Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What did you do this weekend?

While you were sitting on your ass, bitching about the bad weather here in the Midwest, a group of about 60 individuals made the leap from ordinary to extraordinary.

My "new" friend Doug Chapman, also assisting this weekend, was nice enough to capture it so you can see what you could have done.

BTW, Doug is a stand up guy and runs an awesome facility in Ann Arbor, MI. Check it out.

And....if you get past the screening process, He may let you join.

No promises though.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Great traininng this weekend

This past weekend I had three good sessions.

Lots Jerks, Snatches and I played with some One Arm Long cycles, all felt great and all felt grooved.

The jerks surprised me.

What hit me as odd was when I did the Jerks combined with pacing, it cut my reps in half. I was lucky to get 13-14 reps with 2 16kgs kettlebells.

But, when I just decided to see how reps I could bang out and good clip.

I got 25 pretty easily.

I seems, for me at least, the rack position (you know where you are supposed to rest) is more work than actually performing the jerks.

So some more "work" will have to be done to learning to "rest".

Snatches felt good, I have been doing less and less snatching and more jerks lately since it seems to be the lift that I lack skill at.

I have also started using my weightlifting shoes for these training sessions. After the initial "getting used to them again" period I really like the solid support. I also figured out the sound I need to hear, from the heels hitting ground, if it's going to be a good rep. Kind like that nice "tink" sound when a golfer hits a good drive...you hear the and you know it's a good hit.

More Jerks tonight, although I need to taper a little for my Snatch test on Thursday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back to the Grind...or so I thought

OS, I was really excited to get back to training and, again, start to push my numbers higher.

I was excited until I actually started training.

Nothing felt right. Nothing.

No groove for for any of the moves.

You know those days?

Heres what I ended up doing:

Warm up:
I messed around with DBL 16kg combo of swings -> "gun slingers" -> LCCJ

Trying to get used to the "ultra wide stance" I have to take due to my body proportions when using the competition size bells.

2 16kg Kettlebells
4 sets @ 20, 15, 12, 10

These were tough, I didn't use the GymBoss for pacing, I just moved at a comfortable clip.

I was very uncomfortable overhead and had a hard time finding my hips when "dropping" the bells back to he rack.

3 sets of 15 @ 16kg

After the Jerk debacle I thought it best to just work on technique. With my snatches I wanted to focus on getting the bell from one side of my hand to the other with no catch on my callouses.

These went really well.

Kettlebell Swings:
2 sets of 30 with a 16kg Kettlebell

Nothing special. I felt a lot of discomfort in my bicep tendon. A sign I'm probably pulling with my arm too much and out sync with the bells rhythm.

I attribute this bad session to getting old. I turned 32 last Friday, apparently your body falls apart and you can't coordinate these highly technical kettlebell movements. That was sarcasm, BTW.

So, what do I do?

The only thing I can, brush it off and continue to push forward. You're going to have bad days.


It's what you do after that, that makes the difference.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New links to the left!

I added a couple of links today on the left sidebar.

First scroll down and pick up copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I'm about half way through it and it's really got me thinking about some of the food choices American's make everyday.

Pollan does a great job of pointing out you may be eating exactly what you think and while the human species is an omnivore and survive by eating just about anything, most people, because of their food choices, eat a whole lot of only one thing. You may be surprised what that one thing is.

Pollan also goes into great detail about what happens when you feed an animal that has evolved to eat grass, and feed it grains. It isn't pretty.

This leads to the second new link I posted.

Check out Northstar Bison and pick up some 100% grass fed bison, no anti-biotics, no hormones.

My first order from them was the sampler, I got everything from Bison to chicken, turkey, ostrich (this was awesome) to shrimp.

By now I was convinced this was quality stuff and I ordered a ton of New York Strips. Cook it rare to medium rare and you can't beat it.

Everything came shipped frozen and the next day. This is really an A+ operation. When we visited TX over Christmas, I ordered some steaks they were delivered promptly all the way to TX for no extra charge.

'till later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

While we were gone...

I got in a couple good sessions while we were off for our long weekend in Texas.

Thursday we traveled for most of the day and didn't get to the house until about 6 PM, so training.

It was weird no having the usual tools be we made it work. Luckily the last time I drove to the house I managed to haul 23 Kettlebells, new in there DD boxes.

So we had plenty of bells, but nothing heavier than a 16kg.

I basically just did circuits, body weight drills, push up variations, squats and we got in some running.

I haven't gone for a run since last summer some time, but with all the snatches and swings we routinely do I had no problems.

Hopefully with in the next month or so we can make that our full time home, Kori had a final interview at a spectacular looking hospital. Finger are crossed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day 9 of 24

Had a great session last night.

Tried to keep the pace a little higher, I feel I dick around too much sometimes between sets so I've been a little more conscience of when I finish a set and start the next one.

I decided to add a little more load an attempt to gain some strength in the overhead lockout position.

Here we go:

2 24kg bells 5x5 approx 2 minutes rest between sets.
These felt good, the hard part was accepting/receiving the bells from the lockout back to the rack. Ideally you want to just "turn off" your arms/shoulders and let the bell "fall" back into the rack. Double 16s is pretty easy, double 24s was rough, considering its about 2/3 my bodyweight.

16kg Kettlebell, 15RPM for 6 minutes = 90 reps
These were pretty easy. I really wanted to concentrated on my grip and bell position and transition between having the bell sit on the heal of my palm back to the "OK" sign for the down swing.

24kg Kettlebell 2 x 20 R/L
Again pretty easy, sort of. Easy for the hips, not so much for the grip. But, it will get better

Training will be tough the next couple of days due to travel.

I should be able to get a good session in tomorrow, I plan to purposely "over do it" since I may not be able to train on Thursday.

I was hoping to get some Comp bells delivered to our house in Texas so I/we could train, but it seems nobody has any, or they can't tell when they will be shipped. So, we'll see how this goes. Lots of bodyweight stuff, sled pulling and I hope I at least have a 16kg bell there but can't remember.

I think I'm also going to have some Bison delivered so we can grill out, this stuff is awesome. Grass fed, no antibiotics and delivered the next day fresh...can't beat it. I'll post a link where we get it if I get a chance later.

Two weeks to the RKC, can't wait see some friends and make some new ones.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day's 6, 7 & 8

No training over the last two days.

I was feeling really run down and thought it best to slow down a little.

I did a lot of stuff around the house and spread some mulch outside.

It was good for some active recovery.

Today is different.

I'm ready to get back to work, and go hard today.

Snatches w/ 24kg 12 RPM the goal is 6 minutes which = 72 reps.
Accomplished, tough but got it. Supporting the weight was the tough part.

Jerks w/ 2 16kg 5 RPM goal is 3 minutes focusing on getting comfy in the rack.
The goal was 15, I got 12. I couldn't support in the rack, but I found a sweet spot for my hands that made it easier to "rest". I followed this up with 3 sets of 5 reps to groove the motion.

Swings w/ 24kg 2 sets of 20-30 R/L
Got 2 sets of 20. I hit a mental barrier at rep number 20, I need to get past this and bump this number up to the 40-50 rep range.

I'll post and update once it's complete.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Day 5 of 24

Going strong and no signs of slowing!

16kg kettlebell 10:00 @ 12 RPM = 120reps (60/60)

Kettlebell Jerks:
2 16kg Kettlebells Max Reps in 3:00 = 19 (set bell down for short rest), 6 = 25 total

Not bad, th 10 minute set got hairy toward the end on the left hand. I haven't worked the snatches that long since adding some 24kg work. I need to get back to longer sets, and really work technique. The bell started to get "caught" on my palm as my grip started to fail.

Jerks were OK, if I had a pair of 12kg Pro-Grades I would actually drop down and use them to build time. But, I don't so I can't.

Can't wait, one week from today I'll be in TX for a long birthday weekend and hopefully get to hang out with sister. I haven't seen her since November when she moved to Mississippi, should be a blast...and warm.

Day 4 of 24

Still going strong and the skills seem to be getting "grooved" very nicely.

Now it may be time to just push through some of the un-comfortable-ness (probably not a word) and push the time longer and longer.

Did some Z and them the usual Overhead squats and Pull ups for a warm up.

Snatches w/ 24 kg kettlebell
4:16 @ 15rpm = 32/32

One Arm (OA)LCCJ w/ 16kg kettlebell
10:00 @ 5RPM = 25/25

OASwing w/ 16kg
25/25 x 2sets

Felt really good, the OALCCJ got tough in the rack toward the end, luckly I have a better groove on the left side and I seem to be able "find my hip" and can get more "hollow" which makes resting easier.

Snatches were fine, felt a little bit of pulling on a callous just below my middle finger.

I am starting to re-think the importance of chalk. It seems hurt just as much as it helps sometimes. Much of it seems to depends on what material the handle is made from.

Steel handles: chalk seems to hurt my performance.

Cast iron handles: chalk seems to help.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 3 of 24

I'm loving the Long Cycle Clean & Jerk (LCCJ)

After warming up I was able to pull off a PR.

Well to be honest it's more of a baseline, I have never tried to go this long and I learning a big part of performing sets for time is just suckin' it up.

One problem I'm having with the LCCJ is the size of the bells and the stance I have to take due to being short and having stubby legs.

It forces me to take a wider stance, which is fine for the Clean, but feels weird when performing the Jerk. It something I'll have to get used to, stepping in and out from wide to narrow and back again will be too inefficient.

So, I'll deal.

Here's the session in nutshell:

LCCJ 2 16kg
5RPM, 5 minutes = 25 reps.

One arm swings 16kg
30/30 x 2 sets
20/20 x 3 sets

I wanted 30 on all the sets of swings, that'll be the goal next time 5 sets comes up.

The Rack killed me again, this will take some time to get used too. I learning (slowly) to allow my body to support the bells rather than me actively holding them. This makes it a little less "painfull" and is a skill all in itself.

Time to go watch some fights and eat some awesome Bison Meatloaf. Yum!

Day 2 of 24

After a nice fast warm up of pull ups, power snatches (45lb bar) and overhead squats (45lb bar) I was ready to go.

A nice easy session today to work on technique and use like active recovery.


50R/50L @ 15rpm w/ 16kg

5 minutes rest


15R/15L @ 12RPM w/ 16kg


40R/40L w/ 16kg

Took the dog for a quick jog after this, it's finally a little nicer so I figured I'd get out of the house.

This was a good session, the hardest part was the rack position in the LCCJ. I can get really comfortable (this is a relative comfort) on the left side, but I don't have the flexibility/mobility to find my hip on the right side. Over time this should get better.

I think I'll be able to push the LCCJ another 2 minutes at this pace, we'll see next time the exercise comes up.

Stay tuned for today's session.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

3 Short Weeks

Yesterday marked 3 weeks and 3 days until the April RKC. These are always a good time and I'm excited to meet more new, like minded people.

I like assisting at the certifications, too, because having the date on the calender serves as a deadline and forces me to be on top of my game.

Even with my recent cold, it feels like everything is falling into place.

My numbers are going up, body fat is going down and so on.

So in an attempt to squeak out any extra fitness/conditioning/strength I'm going to attempt to train 21 out of the next 24 days.

This will require some serious thought regarding volume, intensity, load, food intake, etc.

I'll make a blog entry for every day of training (I will be traveling a few days next week, but I'll update when I return).

So starting with last nights session:

I did my typical warm up including overhead squats, pull ups and push ups after a thorough joint mobility run through.


24kg / 4 minutes / 15 RPM = 60 reps 30/30


2 16kg / 10, 6, 5, 5, 5


24kg / 30/30, 20,20

Random Clubbell movements.

Snatches felt good, I felt a little pulling on a callous but was able to "fix" my grip and continue with out a tear.

The Jerks and still hard for me. Not in terms of load, the load is easy. The return to the rack is what gets me, and I seem to waste a lot of energy getting the bells back to where they should be in the rack. These will get better with time.

Swings were easy and I need to push these more. It seems the little voice in my head tells me to switch hands at 30 reps no matter how taxed I am. I need to break the barrier and push for higher reps next time.

Clubbells, this was just for fun, I want to get better at some of the movements and I like the way they tax the grip in a different way the KBs.

'Til later, I'll post tonight's session once complete.