Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Amendment to Plan

My December plan is spurred by a conversation with another RKC last week. How did I get strength PR, what did I do? After I "mined" my log book, I noticed that I did two during the spring that I haven't done this fall. 1. Turkish Get Up (TGU) and 2. Jerks.

Both the jerk and TGU have value to most athletes. The jerk is a full body power explosive exercise. The TGU is a full body grind that allows the body to build stability and link the upper body and lower body together into one unit. TGU is also valuable for rehab; either as a whole exercise or broken down into smaller movements. Of course, this is only a summary of the benefits of these exercises.

In the previous post I mentioned a plan outline. Based on results from the spring, I hypothesize performing TGU and Jerk will lead to PR in military press (MP). During the next 4-6 weeks, I need to continue some MP each week as maintenance. At the same time I need to perform both light TGU to groove the movement and heavy TGU to build stability under load. It's been suggested by Pavel and others that working TGU 1 kettbell higher than weight you are working towards.

Rough Outline for December
3 or 4 days/week - easy
a) Practice a set of core RKC lifts as part of warm up. TGU is base of this.
b) Pull up
c) Snatch
d) Jerk
e) Bike / Run

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm Back from a Break

After nearly a year break from posting to the Get off the Couch blog, I'm back. I hope you have been working to improve yourself during this time. I've certainly made some huge strength gains and getting closer to pressing the Beast (48kg) kettlebell although it will take until later next year to achieve. In the upcoming blog posts, I will share some training ideas as always. I also hope to share various psychological theories that will help give you the mental edge you need to succeed in anything.

Psychological theories? Yes. These theories are not the crap offered by self-help gurus. I've spent the past 2 years in graduate school learning how to help organizations, teams and individuals make changes and improve performance. Do a quick search on the internet about achieving goals and you will find a few acronyms that are supposed to be the key. In your search, you will find the Ultimate Guide to Motivation, and How to Achieve Goals. Go ahead and follow them, and you MAY find success or you might NOT. The latter is trying to sell you some canned software. Honestly, how many times have these simple methods worked for you in the past? Sometimes? Well, they can work but you need a coach to make them effective.

I'm not a huge proponent of using goals as motivation. It can be effective for some people but it is not the strongest method for improving. Pavlov for example had great success modifying behavior. Like goal setting, Pavlov's theories are effective but based on theory that has been improved upon for decades. There are other more proven frameworks that will help someone improve performance and achieve goals (I'll use goals for ease). The most effective frameworks for improving performance is a combination of psychological approaches. If you would like more information please let me know. I intend to write about some of these theories here.

Over the past 5 years, I've helped people improve their kettlebell technique and improve their strength. I'm considering change. I would like to focus more on the mental coaching part of physical training. Think about it, achieving most of your goals is more difficult mentally than physically.

What do you think about this?

Enough about you. This is about me.
In the mean time, I have a tentative schedule for 2012. Although this is a rough list, I've put some though into each of these events.
  • Brevets (200km, 300km, 400km and unfinished business on that 600km) (Spring/fall)
  • Marine Corps Marathon (t) - Need to see how body holds up to the miles. (Late October)
  • Tough Mudder (t) - This just looks awesome. Not so into electrocution though.
  • RKC Re-Certification (January or February)
First up is the RKC Re-Cert in January. I have some work to do to get ready for this event. The requirements are not exactly easy. The core of the certification is 5 pullups and 100 24kg snatches. Other requirements include teaching and demonstrating the core lifts of the RKC program, military press, front squat, turkish get ups, swing and snatch.

Assessment -
  • Weakness is Snatch. In fact I only completed 100 snatches in under 5 minutes a few times in the past year.
  • Need to do multiple workouts in a day. The event is 8 hours with several short workouts.
  1. Snatch 2x per week, heavy swing 1x per week.
  2. 1 day per week: Do 2-3 small workouts including my own Pre-RKC prep smoker and a complex.
  3. Continue normal Easy Strength x 3 days.
  4. Need to hop on bike/road 3x per week working to build aerobic base. Use MAF method.

Comments, Suggestions or Complaints about my plan?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wanna get better? Do it.

I'm out of my self-imposed exile from the blog. My bucket was full for the past few months so this was one of the easiest do drop. At the end of September, I went to an RKC instructor seminar presented by Pavel and Dan John. WOW, I'm still digesting information. As a result of the information I received, I have totally changed my training protocols. This new 'easy strength' protocol is very simple and as Dan John says, you will want to quit because it is too easy!

Basically, I have chosen a few lifts and work them 5 days per week. The intensity is somewhere around 50% RM. The concept is not unlike training to improve cardio vascular fitness and building base. I did this for 40 days and had outstanding results. True to what Dan John said, I wanted to change things up periodically especially as I neared the end of the protocol. (Note: my description is vague to respect Dragon Door, Dan John and Pavel there is more to it, it is not published yet.)

Upon completion of 40 training days, I pondered several protocols to switch for the remainder of the year. An Enter the Kettlebell cycle, VWC, Kettlebell Muscle, Return of the Kettlebell, some kettlebell sport (GS) training, just to name a few. I chose to do another 40 day cycle of easy strength with the same focus. Heck, if you want to get better at something, you have to do it.

My lifts for this cycle:
WU with swings and goblet squat then military press, single leg deadlift, Row/pull up (choose 1), Evil wheel. Oh yea, snatches too.

How simple is that?

I've already had mucho success in the 11 days of my second cycle! I'm hitting more volume easier with bigger weight than ever and I'm knocking on the door of a new all time PR in the MP. It is hard to believe that I'm pressing 36k (80 lbs) kettlebells for multiple reps and sets. !!EXCITEMENT!!

More to come on my progress over the past few months. I have graphs!

I have began riding my bicycle again but don't have enough cycling fitness to ride any real distances because I didn't ride for 3 months. This could prove to suck bad but 2011 is right around the corner and I have goals. Thus I'm slowly rebuilding stamina and I mean real slowly! My short term goal on the bike is to build to 80-100 mile ride before 2011.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


First, let me say this will now be a weekly updated blog. It obvious that I'm not going to do it daily thus the new plan.

My training or practice is now based on a grease the groove model. That means instead of setting aside a large block of time, I'm working through out the day. So it kinda looks like this:

In the AM I try to get my prep work done. This includes some Z health, and some corrective movement patterns and some get ups. I throw in some jumping rope if I feel froggy.

Pull ups - a set of x reps every time I go up stairs. That can be a lot because I moved the baby's changing table up stairs.

Press, swings when I go into the basement. I make excuses to venture down there every few hours.

I've been managing to get a smoker in before dinner each night too. Just trying to explode the heart!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fatigue is the Enemy

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to learn the 5 phases of squat mastery from the legendary Marty Gallagher. I went in to sponge mode and learned. Did lots of squats too. Nothing heavy though, it is all about form.

Yesterday, I got busy with the Mr. Mom duties and just wasted away.

Today, back to business.

Most of my workouts consist of preparatory work. This includes joint mobility, perhaps some Z health, some corrective exercises personalized for MY issues (yours may be different but probably similar) and then some work (exercises) that prepare the groove. All of this before the work begins. I did the JM, Z, and started the corrective issues. If I wasn't so damn Fat, I would be able to get into the freaking bretzel a little easier. Hell, I would be able to do EVERYTHING without difficulty. SH*7 I need to drop lbs...fast.

All of the prep work lasted about 30 minutes. Then it was time for the real work. I did snatches.
The first minute was horrible, then I settled into a groove. When my form started failing due to fatigue, I parked the bell and called it a night.

Fatigue is the enemy of progress. Going on after fatigue destroys form is NOT acceptable towards the overall good. Remember it is not about today's workout. It is the ability to repeat it for months or years to come.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The last 3 BIG rides I've attempted have ended in a DNF. In each of them I rode about 40-50 miles and called it a day due to GI issues. Not just a belly ache, so get that thought out of your head. It is more like purged innards. This has pretty much (maybe) ruined my preparation for my fall cycling events. I've ridden several rides around home of 50-60 miles with NO difficulty. So the question is why only the events. Nerves? Doubt it.

Since I have no idea what the problem is, I'm thinking about just riding for fun. Keeping the distances >80 miles or so (MAYBE, haha). I'm sure I'll be tempted to do some real distance. Truth is I know what I want to do but may need to get in the game mentally.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its time

Let's sum up the past month. I've done a little riding, not enough and almost no lifting. What have I achieved? Insidious weight gain, GI problems and possibly some depression thrown in to ice the cake. I may becoming Doug Heffernan. A reflection of 2010 thus far shows no real training on my part yet, lots of half-ass efforts. I can see nothing positive coming from this.

Here's a problem. Grab a plate at the gym and start walking around, get on the treadmill and walk with it or try to run with it. Now sit on your bicycle and try to ride several hours with the extra weight.

Time for some changes.
1. Diet change. - Some adjustments that will lead to better health and dropping some LBS. See Primal Blueprint for more information.

2. Resume a RKC based strength and mobility program. I've done testing and have a focus on what I need to work on. I also have to prepare for some upcoming RKC workshops that I'm attending.

I need to set some goals for the rest of 2010 and will have another post about these goals. I'm still getting them specific.

Prep work - Crocadile breathing, primal rolls, bretzel,
5 x Swings 24k x 25 + Get ups to hip raise x 5lr
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk ladder 7 rungs. Stopped when form started to go south. Got some work to do here.
PM -
Ride 40min.