May 27, 2009

Caution - A Hazard of Kettlebell Training

If you practice hardstyle kettlebell training, you may undergo sudden, unexpected fatloss. If this should occur, you may experience simultaneous loosening of your training shorts or pants. Please be advised that when your pants start hanging off your hips, butt and thighs, performing a tight backswing (as with kettlebell swings or snatches) becomes a challenge, as the area of your pants formerly occupied by a sagging rear-end now hangs right in the path of the hiked kettlebell. If and when this should occur, you must attempt to tug the pants up and cinch or roll the waistband tighter. If the problem persists, you may need run inside and change into a smaller pair of training pants before resuming your kettlebell session.

May 22, 2009

Okay Now Tense Even Harder

You know how Pavel says that when we tense "as hard as we can," and are then told to tense even harder...and we do... so that obviously, the "as hard as you can," wasn't really?

Principle in action last night, practicing 20kg presses.
(Which, by the way, have gotten much weaker! Lack of practice.)

Anyway, the point of the blog post is this: I am FULLY aware of the importance of tightening your whole body to perform heavy presses. Feet, heels, knees, legs, glutes, abs, lats, fist/grip... right. I always say that you should be feeling the work in your legs from doing heavy presses, and it's true... but EVEN SO, I realized at points last night that when I clean and establish that full-body tension for a press, it is OFTEN (if not always) still a few steps below that maximum tension. When I pause for a moment, and find more places to squeeze even harder... it works. The press is stronger.

One place specifically - pulling up my kneecaps.
You hear Pavel point this one out frequently. It was major for me last night. Squeezing squeezing, and then, oh, kneecaps - and BAM! THAT's the tension I was looking for.

It takes practice. And awareness. ALL the time.
Good study last night.

BTW, Deadlift (for record keeping) was 175# for 2 sets of 5, then dropped down to 170# for the 3rd set of 5. The 175# got REAL heavy on those last reps. Dropping down was a good move.

May 21, 2009

MVO2 is a real A$$ Kicker.


Wednesday finally made it to 50 sets of 7 on 16kg :15/:15 MVO2.
Annoyingly, Monday's 40 sets were much easier, but restricted to 40 on account of blister threats. So it goes!

Did not do any pistols. I don't think pistols go with MVO2. Where to fit them in... Fridays probably? Randomly during the day, whenever? I'm realizing why setting up a specific schedule has been so difficult! :)

Also, because the deadlifts are only 2 or 3 times a week, I'm doing three sets of 5 reps, rather than 2 sets. Last session was 165#. Will probably test my 1RM after this cycle - I've never actually tested it.
Presses are ROP ladders.
Still loving heavy getups. Realized I've left no room in the training schedule for 24kg snatches. Uggghhhhhh, more tweaking needed!

May 19, 2009

Refining the Training Plan

This was sooo necessary. I know the list of goals is still a bit too long to attack very effectively... but I don't want to abandon any of them.

Monday - MVO2, pistols
Tuesday - 16kg BUP, deadlift
Wednesday - MVO2, pistols
Thursday - 20kg & 24kg MP, deadlift, MAYBE some 16kg BU getups
Friday - 28kg getups
Saturday - 20kg snatches, maybe add-in Sunday's work
Sunday (only if feeling good) - 16kg BU getups, deadlift

This will still probably require some further adjustment, but it's at least a step in the right direction...

May 15, 2009

Is a Kettlebell Really Expensive?

Let's think of it yet another way. If you transition from running or standard "gym" workouts to kettlebell training, you won't have to keep buying expensive running shoes. Kettlebell training is best done barefoot!

16kg Dragon Door kettlebell:

$113.45 (this includes shipping.)
The bell will last you a lifetime.

Nike Shox:

The shoes will need to be replaced every 300 miles. They might last a year, maybe two. For some just a few months.

Those expensive cushy shoes are bad for your feet, anyway. :)

A kettlebell is a better choice, my friend!

May 13, 2009

Student Surpasses Instructor


I would like to take this moment to brag about one of my students, Rachel.

She has been one of our most dedicated and focused kettlebell students - as well as one of our very first. She ALWAYS gives her full effort at class, with laser-like focus and attention to every detail. You can see the internal awareness, the focus on compression, linkage, tension. Not to mention the willingness to continually challenge herself with heavier bells. (It is not uncommon to see her grabbing the 32kg for warmup swings!) And the results have been truly awesome to witness. A really inspiring transformation.

...All leading to a thrilling moment last night, where upon practicing double 12kg snatches for the first time, and with ease!, she moved on to "try out" the 16kgs for double snatches, (which I struggle to perform with any confidence), and ROCKED them!

Rachel you are a badass, and I'm so proud of you.

May 12, 2009


Kettlebell training in Palisades Park, Santa Monica. The "front yard." I took my time last night, the weather was perfect. It's just such a nice place to be. Well, with the exception of a group nearby being led to perform 10lb front raises, I'm sure under the title of "kettlebell swings." Uuuugghhhhhhhh that's so hard to take. Seriously. I wonder what their instructor said regarding my "different" looking swings. And snatches, and getups. (They were watching.)

Attempted a 20kg snatch test.
72 reps in 5:00
So there's the baseline. Only going up from there! My goal is to have the 100 reps by the San Diego RKC in August. I think I'll just keep taking the 5:00 test a couple days a week, on non-MVO2 days.

a few 16kg pistols
a few 16kg BUPs
a few 16kg sots presses
one 28kg snatch (hurt hand)
several 16kg, 20kg, 28kg swings
oh, and a few handstands. I'm still pretty good at those.

28kg TGU 1L/1R for 7 sets
arm bars on the 6th set

A nice, long variety day.

May 11, 2009

The New RKC Snatch Test - It's Not Easy! And a weightloss update.

Well, for some it may be easy - Gabi, Peggy, Laura, Amy - just some names that come to mind. Then again, considering the snatch training I've been doing, I thought the test would be much easier than it was. It is no cake-walk!

100 16kg snatches in 4:30. With a rest after 60 reps.

So there you have it. Lots of progress can and should be made here. Is 16kg MVO2 sufficient? Perhaps not - this may require re-testing at least once per week, perhaps on deadlift days (as yesterday was.) (Actually it was also a KBLA day, so I might have just been overworked a little? Maybe.)

Speaking of deadlifting, yesterday was 185# for 1,2,3,1,2,3. I'll cycle back down to maybe 155# for 2 sets of 5, and work up to 190 or 195, then cycle down again...

Weightloss continues, feeling good. Still have more to go, but it's going very nicely. And I'm really never deprived. For example, I still eat pancakes, bacon, danishes (one almost every day)... wine, lots of cottage cheese, bananas, raw cashews and brasil nuts, macadamias, prosciutto, oh - gelato!! My saving grace is the Ultimate Meal. I can have pancakes with butter and syrup, bacon (6 strips is common)... danishes.... and feel satisfied for the rest of the day. Train in the evening, and have a little whey protein and an Ultimate Meal shake, and I'm good. Maybe a glass of wine. It's working. It's awesome.

28kg TGUs felt heavy last night. Again, this was after lots of heavy deadlifts, KBLA class, snatch test... and the pancake breakfast - haha. So, it might have just been an "off" day for those. Training presses has been focused on 16kg BUP lately. I've lost some strength here, but expect to regain it. The weather has been AWESOME lately, and I intend to take greater advantage of that. :)

I will be assisting at the San Diego RKC, and am VERY excited about that!!! And I'll finally get to meet Sr. RKC David Whitley, as well. It should be an awesome time. Three months to go. :)