Monday, April 30, 2007

Compound Movements

During today's workout I began experimenting with compound kettlebell movements. This involves taking kettlebell lifting to the next level. Compound movements are not for those that have weak fundamentals of the basic kettlebell lifts. They are also not for the weak! In the coming weeks, there will be more discussion and experimentation. Stay Tuned!

Pullup 16k: 5x6
Clean/Press 2x24k: 5x5

Compound movements:
renegade row + clean/double press
squat thruster + pushup + renegade row + deadlift + clean + press

These movements are kick butt exercises!

Saturday Workout

Late Entry:
Saturday's Ride
Rode 60 mi 3 1/2 hrs

Getting faster!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Recovery Day - Kinda

I wrote an article about rest in one of my newsletters. Read it at this link:

In the article, I mention that it is ok to take a day here and there and there to rest. That is what nearly happened today. I did have the intentions of hitting a pull up bar at work but that plan fell through. It wasn't a priority. I worked with a client this evening and got some presses and swings in. I guess it is better than doing nothing at all.

Today's Workout
Press 32K 5x3
Swing 32K 5x20
demonstrate squats.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Complacency and Bordem

Workout was quick today. Never a pleasant thing. Perhaps workouts should not be pleasant. Getting too comfortable with any routine means you should stir the pot a little. I don't mean changing something that is working for you. What I do mean is that if your are feeling comfortable with the workout perhaps you are getting complacent. Changing it up once in a while is a fantastic way to recharge the batteries.

Here are a few ideas: Do your workout as a circuit with little or no rest. Lift more weight than you are accustomed to. If you have been using kettlebells for a few months, perhaps you can go to a gym and do DL, BP and PU for a week or two for a change of scenery. The possibilities are endless.

I tend to stir it up a little one or two days every week because I get bored easy. One day I might work on TGU, windmills and pistols. Another day I might do something very intense like manmakers at the track or hit the rowing machine in the gym. While these two days are random, I still keep all other workouts within the ETK guidelines provided by Pavel.

This works for me. I keep getting stronger, improving endurance, increasing flexibility and losing body fat. If you want more information or need help finding what works for you, contact me.

Todays workout in the cold mist:
Wall Squats
Pistols 2l,2r.
I nearly did these with bw only. This means my flexibility is improving.
Tabata Swings.
Need to push harder next time; try for 1 extra rep during each interval or do 32K.

Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday's Workout
pullup - 16K 5x5 + bw1x10 ripped callous...ouch
24k 1leg clean and press - 5x5 - difficult.
16k kettlebell juggling 5 sets
24k swing - 10,12,14,16,18,20

In the Am I broke out the evil wheel and did 1x10. Felt good. Around 1200, I stood up and couldn't figure out why my abs were en fuego. Must respect this tool! The good news is my back didn't bother me for the first time in weeks. This is a lesson in balance. If there is a push there should be a pull. My posterior chain gets plenty of work but I have been neglecting working the front. I figure it gets worked with all of the other exercises. This is true but I guess all little more specific work is good medicine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Living Sacrifice (part3)

Rom 12:1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.

Yes, more on this verse. In this verse, Paul urges you. This verse was written as a letter to all Christians in Rome. You see 2000 years ago, it was just as it is today to do simple things. It is amazing to think that human kind still fails to do simple things that please God. Humanity including Christians pretty much had the same problems we deal with today. Of course the distractions they had then weren't as prevalent as they are today. Regardless of the technological advances God has allowed us, we are still the same creatures we were back then, with the same minds that often lead us to make poor decisions. You would think we would have learned from the hundreds of generations that came before us.

We haven't learned because we don't listen. We don't listen to God our Father and we certainly don't like to listen to our mothers and fathers. Face it,we don't need sound advice and we all know more than everyone else. It is said that mistakes are the best way to learn a good lesson. We are really good at this. In God's eyes, we make mistakes every single day. He still forgives us.

What can you do for God? Present your living sacrifice. Let's look at it a little differently. Think of the pagans, they would bring a live animal to the altar to offer it to what ever god they are worshiping at the time. It is gruesome to think about. Once the animal has been sacrificed, the sacrifice is over; it is temporary. When we bring your bodies to the altar for sacrifice, we give our living bodies to God. It is not a one time shot, it is a continual arrangement.

Follow Paul's "urging" and get off the couch.

Am: Ride 20

Pull up 16K 7x4 (held the KB on the foot instead of strap.)
TGU 24K 1 x 5/5
Snatch 16K 1 x 100 (25l, 25r, 25l, 25r)No rest between hand switching. KB didn't hit the deck.
Ride 15

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sacrifice is not all that bad!

I had little desire to do any workout today. I guess I got a bad case of spring fever and just want to go hang at the beach. I had to be outside so I grabbed Comrade baby and decided to head to the park. On Saturday morning we finally got a Radio Flyer wagon with pneumatic wheels, it is capable of carrying 250lbs. This is the perfect mode of transportation for hauling kettlebells to the park. This is exactly what I did.

The baby said, "Go, Go," and I placed her in the wagon, along with her ball and some water for each of us. We went to the car and grabbed a 32K kettlebell and placed it in the wagon too. The wagon handles beautiful with the added weight; both up and down hill. Comrade baby and mommy played ball at the park while I worked out.

It is almost too hard to call today's workout a sacrifice. In the process, I got stronger, I got fresh air from the ocean and the baby got to ride in her wagon and run around at the park. It is a winning situation for everyone.

Clean and Press - 32K 5 x 4 (first time with 4 reps!)
Front Squat - 32K 5 x 5
Swing - 32K 5 x 20

Sunday, April 22, 2007

LIving Sacrafice (cont.)

Earlier in the week, I talked about Romans 12:1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.

It really sounds easy doesn't it. It isn't or everyone would be doing it every single day. We wouldn't have the pandemic health problems that are becoming more and more common. There are just too many temptations. Let me narrow it down to a couple of excuses. Either we don't have enough time to do anything or if we do, we are too tired.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Overcoming this isn't that difficult. Your living sacrifice or workout absolutely has to be a priority just like watching American Idol. Listen or read carefully: You will never have enough time to do everything you would like. Stop putting it off until tomorrow because you will not have time tomorrow either.

If you are reading this you have either already given your living sacrifice (workout) today or you should get off the couch right now and do some push ups and some deck squats. Quickly before the commercial is over. One way to make time for a workout is to do a set of push ups or deck squats during every commercial this week. Gotta start somewhere right?

Remember, a workout doesn't have to be nor should it be a whole 45 minute ordeal. You will get results with 10 - 20 min intense workouts. Take the example above with the push ups and deck squats. Start your timer, alternate exercises every minute for 10 minutes. I can assure you that if you do this everyday consistently you will see results relatively quickly. This type of workout will build strength, endurance and shed unwanted pounds. Give it a try.

Sunday Ride:
Ride 30mi. rode the little hills on Ft Story. Around and around in circles.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday's Frolic

Posting this one a little late. Late is better than never; isn't it?

Began working out with Boris:
Pullups 16k 6x4
clean & Press 32k 5x3

Double D arrived when we were half way done with the press. He brought his kettlebells as well as a basket ball filled with sand. This provided about 10 min of "fun" as we played catch for a while. I am feeling the effects today!

Next week will begin pullups with 16k for sets of 5!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Motivation: Padwans, follow Master Yoda's advice

I help a couple guys in another branch of service with their physical training. Often we train side by side. Good times! A complete psychological difference between the services became apparent today. Here's how. The Army tests sit ups, push ups and a 2 mile run and the guys I help had significant improvement since their last test. This is the stuff that motivates me. I always look forward to other’s improvement.

So what is the big deal?

The big deal is the approach the Soldier takes toward the test. Not the approach in preparation but their approach in execution. A brief description of the Soldier’s approach follows:

(1) Some of the soldiers did not complete the maximum number of push ups and had 30 seconds remaining when they stopped. One only required another 10 repetitions to max this part of the test. Several of them stated they were saving energy for the impending run.

(2) I heard more than one Soldier talk about the tempo of their sit ups. “Keeping the correct tempo to max the test is hard.” I talked to 3 or 4 Soldiers, all failed to achieve a maximum score in this portion of the test.

Do you see the problem? If not, let me describe for you how a Marine approaches a physical fitness test. In a timed event, like a crunch or sit up, it is unacceptable to quit before the time has elapsed. Those that attempt to stop will be told or motivated to keep going until the time is up. There are two acceptable times to stop. First, you have already completed the maximum number of repetitions required. Second, you are broken and cannot physically continue.

One comrade provided an argument for pacing and saving energy for later events. He stated, if I go all out on the sit ups, I will burn out before the time is up and not achieve a perfect score. Well, that is fine if you are able to achieve the perfect score. When you consistently fail to reach that score, if ever, it is time to try another tactic.

If you train hard, failure becomes increasingly difficult. It comes down to confidence. The difference between those that are successful in any event and those that also ran just to get the tee shirt is confidence. Successful people are confident because they conduct adequate preparation. When it is time for the big event, they don’t think, they just do.

Quitting is a big deal! Quitting should leave you feeling guilty. If it doesn’t you need to do some soul searching. Quitting on yourself regardless of improvement negates all of the hard work you complete in preparation of an event. Quitting brings regret along with this thought, “What if I would have (fill in the blank).” What if you didn’t quit? You just might be successful!

Yoda said it right when training Luke Skywalker, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” The timed events only have a two minute time limit. This means that burning pain will subside very soon. Overcoming the pain is as simple once you realize it is only temporary. Just close your eyes and go until told to stop. Leave it all on the field. Lance Armstrong once said, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

I do understand the theory of pacing and conserving energy. Only do as much as you have to. A physical fitenss test for all of the services lasts less than 45 minutes for all events. This is not an epic time period and will not even begin to tap out glycogen storage. In fact it is not even necessary to do any carbo loading for these events which is customary; although it doesn't hurt. With that said, proper training, rest and hydration will enable anyone to go balls to the wall during ALL of their physical fitenss test events.

Today's Workout(s) - increased intensity.
AM: 5 rounds of Pullup x 5, Push up x 20, bw squat x 20

PM: Other paricipants - Dan and Shane.
Jerk (2x24K) 5x5 - Dan did presses with the same weight, he is nursing a strained calf.
Kettlebell Swings - Tabata

Note to self: drink more water!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I got back off the couch today.

After 3 days rest, it was time to get back off the couch. That is exactly what I did. After taking the days off, I decided to hit my workouts with some intensity. Because I am in the middle of the "season," I felt there is no sense in easing into heavier kettbells. Besides I am fully recovered from the weekends activity. Right? I didn't do my normal pull up numbers today. Unlike presses and swings, the pull up is unforgiving of any extended lay off. I kept with my usual minimum volume and will build up over the next few weeks.
  • Ride 20mi. Slow speed as the winds were above 20 with gusts. Just getting the legs spinning today.
  • JM
  • Pullups 6x5 (felt easy but also felt like I took 7 days off! Oh yea, I did.)
  • Clean & Press 32K 5 x 2 rung ladders
  • Swing 32k 5x10 - too easy but feels great.
Today was definitely in accordance with Rom. 12:1 - A living sacrifice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunday's Incident

On the way back from North Carolina on Sunday, there was a strange sequence of events.

The front bicycle wheel flew from its perch on the roof rack. It bounced on the interstate and into the center median. It missed the three cars following. It was a few miles before we were able to think about stopping because of heavy traffic. We decided to go back around to find the wheel. The next exit that enabling us to return south was about 10 miles up the road. We took the exit and headed south back about 15 miles. Eventually we headed north again. Hopes of finding the wheel in one piece or finding it at all were very low at this point. Because the traffic was heavy, we could not travel slowly to look for the wheel. Finally we spotted the wheel and it took about a mile to change lanes and stop.

I dawned my yellow rain poncho and began the trek back down the interstate getting sprayed by every passing vehicle. Needless to say, between the spray from the road, the wet grass and the falling rain, I soaked quickly. I spotted the wheel on the other side of the road and waited for traffic to pass. After crossing the road, grabbing the wheel I began to return back to the truck. I inspected the wheel as I stuck it in the cargo area. The only visible blemishes are a few scratches.

Relieved to find the wheel we continued to head home. Fifteen minutes up the road, the traffic was at a stand still. A tractor trailer and 3 other cars had collided on the interstate.

The question?
Had the wheel remained on the car would we have been involved in the accident? Hard to say but anything is possible.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Workouts are a living sacrafice

Romans 12:1 says, Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.

This verse is simply a reason why you should get off your couch and do some exercise. I haven't found any evidence of God wanting you to sit around eating chocolate Easter bunnies and diet soda or beer and pretzels. Likewise, there is no evidence God wanting you to sit around all day or evening watching re-runs of Magnum PI and Tool Time. God wants you to treat your body as a temple. To please God, your physical workout is a way for spiritual worship.

By the way, working out to worship yourself (vanity) is a bad idea and a sin.

Today I worked out with a client nothing major, just light weight and low reps for demonstration purpose. I am still in recovery mode from Saturday.

Joint Mobility
Body Weight Squats
more Joint Mobility

Sunday, April 15, 2007

200K Brevet - North Carolina

Yesterday I completed a 200K brevet which started and finished in the Raleigh/Durham area. I can officially call myself a Randoneur. Randoneur is French for long distance cyclist. Needless to say, I did not spend Saturday on the couch!

I completed the 200K in just under 9 hours on the bike and another hour off the bike here and there. So it was about 10 hrs in all. The conversion from to metric to standard makes the distance about 125 mi. As you will soon see, this is slightly less than the distance I completed.

OOPS (1)
The first 30 miles went without incident. We followed our cue sheet to a tee and our average speed was right around 20mph. We rounded the corner at Andrews Store road and began climbing a hill. The hill had a slight slope, leveled off then got pretty steep. I was in a group of three at this point which quickly became three groups of 1. At the crest, I sipped some water and began the decent. I wanted to catch the rider that went off ahead on the hill. I flew down the hill about 45 mph, don't remember much else. As I began the climb on the next hill, I began to have a bad feeling that something was wrong. I didn't see either of the other two riders and considered turning around. Perhaps I descended too fast and missed a turn... Not a good feeling. About this time I heard my name from behind me. I stopped and waited. We agreed we both missed a turn and needed to get back on the trail. The road we missed was 2.5 miles back. At the bottom of the hill. Good thing, we really needed the practice climbing hills, especially 5 miles worth!

"Live Chickens"
We were back on track and even saw some other riders about a mile ahead. We started to push the pace sightly. We caught some other riders on a hill around mile 45. Conversation was everywhere. One rider over packed for his attempt at a 300K. He was fully loaded for a brevet...a 1200K brevet! When asked what he had in the bags he replied, "live chickens."

Around mile 50 severe pain began to form in both legs. Cramps! This is a bad sign. I knew I didn't have enough water and needed to stop to get some but, we passed the store and I figured another 10 - 15 miles wouldn't kill me. I just add it to the lessons learned.

We arrived at the first check point at 1040 am. Another slight problem, the store is closed. We can't even get our brevet cards signed! The "kind" lady in the store poked her head out with a phone in her ear, smoke in her mouth and a drink in her other hand to say she would not help us. She had to get her store up and running. We would have to go across the street to another gas station.

The priorities at the stop. 1. Brevet card signed. 2. Provisions to get rid of the cramps and to survive another 100k. The clerks at this station were very kind and helpful. A liter of high quality H2O, some fig newtons (no bananas at the store:() , a cup of truck driver coffee, some vitamin 'M' and I am ready to go home. Perhaps I can take the Greyhound back to Raleigh.

The return trip went without incident until I read my cue sheet wrong and made a L when I should have gone R. I noticed the mistake after 1.5 miles while looking for the next directions. After turning around, I was home free. Although I am now paranoid about every turn.

Lessons learned:
My training so far is adequate.
Need to eat food during the first hour. Can't get behind too early.
Bring more water. This one should be obvious. I figured I would stop and get some but I didn't.
Vitamin M rules. I knew this already but it sure saved me!
Oh yea, I finally learned the meaning of Hokie of Virginia Tech fame.

The first post

I have decided to put my thoughts into this blog for a few reasons. Among the reasons is to get some ideas out of my head and onto some sort of forum for others to benefit.

Most of all, my wish is to get you off the couch or lazy boy or bean bag to do something positive for your health.

The posts on this blog are about cycling (brevets), training and kettlebell training. Oh yea there will be inspiration and guilt spread throughout the blog.