October 31, 2008

10/31 Training MVO2

16kg :15/:15
6 reps, 60 sets

October 30, 2008

10/30 Training

Deadlift back to 135# tonight: 5 sets of 2 reps, with a couple isometric pulls.
16kg BU press: 2L/3R for 2 sets, 1L/2R for 2 sets
16kg BU get up: 1R
32kg TGU: 1L/1R for 3 sets
Issue: when I place my hand down on the descent, I end up having to scoot it a bit (backward?) to make going down to the elbow comfortable. I'll tweak this and figure out what works.
32kg clean: 10L/10R
16kg pistol: L/R/L/R for 2 sets
10kg pullup: 1, 1
HLR (hanging leg raise): 1, 2, 1

October 29, 2008

10/29 Training

Joint Mobility
12kg kossacks
28kg TGU: 1L/1R for 3 sets
16kg swings: 100
24kg press: 1L/1R for 4 sets
16kg pistol: 4, alternating
16kg BU press: 1L/1R for 2 sets
12kg BU get-up: 1L/1R for 2 sets (cool - first time trying a BU get-up)
28kg swings 10
16kg BU get-up: 1R (to firing-range at end, didn't get it pulled down under control.) (YEAH!!! Will get this the WHOLE way next time.)
12kg arm bar: 1L/1R
16kg uppercuts to waiter's press for a few reps

October 26, 2008

Trying Out the 28kg

First was the KBLA Sunday morning class, which rocked as always. Then later in the evening I did some work with a 28kg. (I'm borrowing Anton's 28kg for a week, to work on TGUs, primarily.)

Started with some deadlifts, 24kg+28kg 5 sets of 2 reps.

28kg Snatch PR: 3L/5R, 3L/5R, 2L/5R (23 total)
So that's cool, I think I had only gotten one lousy 28kg snatch before tonight. But I was really regretting the nacho lunch/dinner at the end of each set. (Yeah, nachos... ugh.)

28kg TGU: 5L/5R (with some rest.) PR - first time for TGU with this weight.
Not quite as easy as I was hoping for, but good nonetheless!

Attempted a 28kg pistol twice just for S&G... descents were good, but virtually zero ascent. :)
I've barely been doing any weighted pistols - probably a good idea to work in some 20kg practice.

28kg press: also still nowhere near, but wasn't REALLY expecting to be.

So, I might do a couple snatches here & there, but the 28kg really will just be for TGUs.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping an eye on craigslist for any 28kg or 32kg DD KBs that happen to pop up. :)

October 23, 2008

"Is This Really the 32kg?!?"

I had to double check.
Here's why:

Deadlift night at Gold's Gym Venice - after my 165#, 2 reps for 5 sets... I borrowed a 32kg KB, "just to see" what the TGU felt like tonight. (Haven't been practicing with the 28kg yet, just the 20kg.)

Well, it felt like a 24kg. :)

32kg TGU: 3R/3L
(with some rest)

Easy!! Thrilling. Happy. I realized that the ascent is easier for me when pushing off the instep, rather than the toe. Probably shouldn't be the case, but it is... any ideas why? Larger surface area perhaps? Anyway, it was a thrill to get 6 reps in so easily. I would so love to own one of these...

To top it off, I SNATCHED the 32kg TWICE on the right. Yeah! (Did stress the hand a bit, though.)

Cleaned a Bulldog a couple times - that was hard. That thing is large.

Finished off with just a couple 24kg presses, 1L/1R for 4 sets.

And now I can't help but wonder.... is a Bulldog TGU somewhere in my future??
...Crazy. :)

October 22, 2008

Reason #149 why the MVO2 Protocol is so Great.

Considered from a goal-oriented perspective, it's just about perfect, isn't it?
No matter where you are currently in your MVO2 training, your goal is set for you. 80 sets of __ reps with the __kg.

Of course, in the meantime, the weekly or monthly goal may be 40 sets, 60 sets, etc. But ultimately, we're pushing toward 80.

And then, one glorious day, you hit your goal. You get your 80 sets.

BUT! Automatically, the next goal is already set up for you! You don't have to wonder, great, where do I go from here? If you were at 8 (I suppose 9 in some cases) or less reps, you up the rep by 1, until you have 9 reps for 80 sets with your __kg.

Or, (if you've already hit 9 for 80 sets,) you're moving up to the next size KB and shooting for that 80 sets again.

Performance-related goals work. Even if you have body comp. goals, weight loss goals, etc.... performance goals (with a good diet, of course) will get you there, with your focus in a more productive, less-volatile place. And instead of celebrating the buttoning of your size 4 jeans with a pint of frozen delight, because the "goal has been reached," the thought of embarking on that journey to 80 sets with the heavier KB keeps you focused, motivated, and happy to be working toward something!

And the tight bod is just a really nice side-effect. ;)

October 16, 2008

Special KBLA happenings for local Fire & Police

FIRST of all, there is a fundraiser coming up for the Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association, taking place this December to benefit the Widows', Orphans', and Disabled Firemen's Fund. I'll be donating private kettlebell training sessions to benefit the fund this year. If you are already planning to attend, please look for my silent auction item and place a bid, or encourage another to do the same! If you would like to be involved with supporting our local firemen and their families, this is a great organization.

So if you have been considering private training for yourself, or would like to give a gift of private lessons to someone else for the holidays, here's a great time to do it!

Tickets and other information about the event can be found here.

ADDITIONALLY, as mentioned on KBLA Chief Instructor Dr. Cheng's blog, all group classes for the remainder of 2008 are FREE (rather than the usual 50% off) for all active Fire Dept. and Law Enforcement Personnel. (Please also see Dr. Cheng's blog for more specifics on this.) This is an effort to say "thank you" to those who put their lives on the line for our safety on a daily basis, as well as a sincere desire to assist these brave men and women with reaching their optimal strength and conditioning levels, to help them remain safe and injury-free while in strenuous, physically demanding situations (read: life or death!). Please help spread the word - we'd like to see as many active Police & Fire personnel as possible take advantage of these free lessons. Thank you!!

As ALSO mentioned on Dr. Cheng's blog, we will be hosting a special kettlebell clinic for firefighters. More details will be forthcoming, so either send me an e-mail if you are interested, or keep checking the blog in the coming days.

KBLA thanks you!

October 15, 2008

Lucky Girl!!

Yes, that's me. :)
SOMEHOW, I was lucky enough to score a 1-on-1 coaching session with Pavel Tsatsouline yesterday. I was thrilled at the prospect of having just a few minutes of his time, to get a proper deadlifting form established. To my great surprise and delight, Pavel extended that few minutes to just over an hour - and as many of you know, just a few minutes with Pavel results in a REAL good quantity of hugely valuable advice and information - let alone an hour! (My notes from yesterday are extensive!) I'm very grateful for Pavel's tremendous generosity - and am determined to put these new methods to such diligent practice that the results will be fast and furious!

This was my first time ever deadlifting a barbell... and I really liked it. There is something simply satisfying about picking up something really heavy - without feeling *strain* anywhere. ...To feel stronger afterward, rather than strained, or injured... I'm amazed to have no soreness today. Then again, it's not like I was lifting 300lbs. I'm not exactly sure what weight I got up to, (telling you, I'm a true novice when it comes to weights!) but it might have been around 160. I may have done around 15 lifts total - and wow, did I learn a lot - breathing & tension techniques, form from head to toe, grip, speed, plyometrics... like I said, the list of particulars is long.

He then wanted to see the weighted pistol and pull-up, and we worked on the pull-up for maybe 15 minutes, which was fantastic. Many more drills to practice there, and now I'm really feeling like I could work up to a 24kg weighted pull-up in time for RKCII. :)

After class later that evening, I managed the 32kg TGU again - this time on my weaker side, so that's a PR. It was not easy!! Really close to losing it, actually, and had I an ounce less determination, would have missed it for sure. Attempt on the right side actually felt REALLY strong, but I screwed something up on the ascent, and lost it. I'll be borrowing a 28kg to work on these.

October 12, 2008

College Football and Kettlebells

At home watching the Florida Gators beat up LSU. My idea was to do a set (with the 20kg) for every Gator first down, Gator touchdown or field goal, or penalty in the Gators' favor. For the first half, a set was 20 swings, the second half's set was: C&P left, swing-switch, C&P right, swing-switch, repeat again (L&R), followed by 10 goblet squats.

First half, the 20 swings... hello forearms! I don't know how many sets there were, but it was more than enough - grip was worked big-time.

Second half... before long, I had to start doing push-presses on the left, and the game ended with me still owing 5 more sets. I didn't make them up, I was plain DONE. This was a killer workout! I sort of liked it, but really wish I had used a 16kg instead of a 20kg.

KBLA. Borrowed a 32kg afterward for some heavy cleans, 10R, 10L.... really like these with a super-heavy bell. It feels strong! I want a 32kg!

October 10, 2008

Small Discoveries

Presses, Snatches, Half Get-Ups.

Presses: I focused on being fully-loaded earlier, by the time the clean is racked, ready for the press. I made a fist on the opposite hand even earlier - anticipating earlier - not waiting till the bell is racked to really activate the full-body tension.

When doing presses, the protocol is to push yourself AWAY from the bell, rather than trying to push the bell upward. I have to confess... while I've understood what this is supposed to feel like, I've had a difficult time actually FEELING this. I finally (why tonight??) came up with a way to conceptualize this that works for me. It REALLY worked! It happened on the ninth set... I thought about trying to leave the deepest indent I could in the grass with my feet. Not even really thinking about the bell at all. Push through my feet, into the ground, as hard as I could... really as if I were making an indent. Pretty cool what happened on the next set...


1: C&P L/R, snatch 5L/5R
2: C&P R, snatch 5L/5R... missed L press. Whoa, this is going to be a long workout, snatch sets feel hard.
3: C&P R, snatch 5L/5R... missed L press. Snatches are hard, it's been a while since I did these.
4: C&P R, snatch 5L/5R...missed L press, won't try it anymore. Snatches: maybe I'll just stop at 5 sets... the 24kg feels so heavy...
5: C&P R, snatch 5L/5R... feeling stronger, I will make it to 10 sets.
6-9: C&P R, snatch 5L/5R
10: C&P L/R, snatch 5L/5R...here's where I started "indenting" the ground with my feet. Had to try it out on the left, just to see if it would make a big difference. Well what do you know?!?? All of a sudden, I get the press on the left again! Interestingly, my feet got tingly/buzzy, just like fingers in Tai Chi practice. Could that really be the case? Really felt like I had pushed all this energy down through my feet, leaving them buzzing... ? Has anyone else experienced this? Hopefully that means I did something right - it would seem so, since I got the press again. :) Snatches: hands are done, not gonna push it. Will continue with the presses...
11: C&P L/R Yes! Another on the left!
12-18: C&P R Missed on the left for a few more, then stopped trying again.
19: C&P R...the clean to press: the bell landed lower on my hand on this set, and I realized...while I'm focusing on having the full-body tension, loaded as the bell racks, squeezing my opposite fist earlier... I'm also gripping the bell handle too tight, not allowing it to drop lower on my hand. So, for the rest of the sets, work on doing BOTH - loading up earlier, WHILE keeping my hand relaxed enough for the bell to land lower on my palm. And indenting the ground. I'll try the L press again, trying to do all of these things...
20: C&P L/R :)
21-25: C&P R
So, I just had that one more L press in me, for a total of 4 for the workout, and 2 earlier in the day. NOT BAD! I'm pretty happy about my little "discoveries" throughout the workout, and am glad to have this blog to document them. Right-side presses totaled 25 for the workout, and 3 earlier, for a total of 28. Excellent.

A recap of the curious set sequence for achieved left presses: Got #1, #10, #11, and #20.

Half Get-Up:
Feet pressed down on every rep. These felt strong, and great. Somewhere during the second set... (where I was doing 4 reps per side then switching,) I let my hand raise off the ground when pushing onto that elbow. And it was stronger, easier. Why have I been trying to keep my hand on the ground the whole time? It's okay to have it come up, really pushing down through your elbow, right??? I'll have to check that out during my nightly review of the RKC Manual tonight.

Total count:
24kg C&P: 6L/28R
24kg snatch: 50L/50R
24kg half get-up: 12L/12R
...and 3 small discoveries.

EDIT: During my RKC Manual review... guess what I came across? (Well, first of all, no mention is made of whether the hand should be left down or not on the punch, but Dr. Cheng does recommend keeping it down, for anyone wondering.) I re-read parts of the Press section, and Pavel does suggest, while pressing up on the door jamb (to reinforce the feeling of pushing yourself away from the bell), to try to indent the carpet with your feet.
(So who among you didn't want to embarrass me by pointing this out? ;) Well, at least my improper "discovery" only lived for two days! Let this be a reminder to you all - study your Manual regularly, don't make the same mistake!

October 9, 2008

October 8, 2008

Consistency Rules.

Okay, so it's only been a couple days.

Yet.... the last two mornings I actually woke BEFORE the 6:15 alarm.
Tiredness be gone!

Ultimate Meal is working for me.
Early morning VO2 is working for me.
Evening presses, pull-ups, and half-TGUs are working for me.
Got the 8kg pull-up back last night. 20kg military presses in reps of 2 or 3 for several sets. (Haven't re-tried the 24kg yet.) 20kg half-TGUs in reps of 4 or 5 for several sets. (Haven't re-tried the 24kg yet.)
Pistols are done throughout the day - and I did get the 24kg pistol last night. (Told you it would only take two days.) ;)

VO2: Two days on, one day off. (Still getting up early on the off day, but will use that as variety time to avoid overtraining.) I'll probably do 9 reps with the 12kg, as well as working on getting to 80 sets of 6 with the 16kg.

And of course, at least one day a week will be 24kg snatches. I still want that 20/20, and I'll get it soon!

Edit: Check out the poll on the right. If the option you would select is not listed, just shoot me an e-mail.

Edit: VO2 will not be two on one off. It's way too much. One on two off. The off days will be other ballistics - swings, snatches, etc.

October 5, 2008


I realized something this weekend that I should have realized a long time ago.... I have a horrible tendency to stop working once I hit a goal PR. Four examples: Press, TGU, Pistol, Pull-up. The result - weaker press, weaker TGU, weaker pistols, weaker pull-ups. Not just a lack of progress, but a HUGE regression! Say it with me... "Shaaaaame!!"

An amazing event led to this realization - I was invited to assist Pavel at an all-day NSCA Kettlebell Workshop with six other awesome RKCs of various rank. It was a TREMENDOUS honor. I could go on for another half hour about how incredible this was... but the premise of the blog post is this: Pavel asked me to demonstrate a 24kg TGU for the workshop attendees. And since I had done a 32kg TGU in the past, the 24kg TGU should have been flawless.
Yes, it should have been. And yet... wow. I almost didn't even get up to the elbow. I think both feet actually came off the ground. Say it with me again... "ShaaaAME!" Wow, talk about a blown opportunity. Choke artist! I did complete the drill strongly from that point on, but that initial punch weakness (I'm sure I was nervous and didn't pressurize at all)... it just shouldn't have happened that way, period, and it was bloody embarrassing.

It was a good lesson. And I won't let it happen again. Because I've now identified my problem, and I'm determined to solve it with lasting finality. No more neglecting my "strong" skills... because they won't stay that way. Practice. Focus. Consistency. Consistency! I'm going to make "consistency" my new favorite word. ;)

Even though, at this particular moment, teaching skills are a much greater focus than my own technical skills - they cannot be neglected! They MUST not be neglected!

My 24kg press is now rarely successful. A 16kg weighted pull-up has reverted to BW pull-ups. (Yeah, really.) Pistols, well, they're actually okay I think. I can go from wobbly BW pistols to 24kg pistols in two days' work.

So tonight, here's what I worked on: 20kg half get-ups, 20kg presses, BW pistols, BW pull-ups. I'm getting up early tomorrow (really.) for a VO2 Max session, and in the evening will work those 4 drills again. In fact, this will be the plan for the next week. And if I can get through that, maybe it will become a little easier to get up early for that 6:30am training. And I will be mindful of not over-training.

Ultimate Meal at least once a day. I've been tweaking the ratios of ice, water, apple, banana, and UM... and with a lot less fruit and ice, I think I've finally gotten it right, and have even started craving it *just a little bit*. :)

I'll re-post progress in a week.