Monday, September 29, 2008

Wounded Warrior Unity Tour

See my Tidewater Randonneur blog for the Wounded Warrior Unity Tour report.

The trip took me from Ft Eustis Va (near Yorktown) to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.

Total Ride: 220~ Miles
Day 1 Ride time: 6hrs
Day 1 Avg Speed: 18.2
Day 2 total time: 9hrs (it was stop and go, esp in DC traffic)
Day 2 Avg Speed: 15.5

Lessons Learned:
I went into this ride with 1.5 weeks off the bike. I felt fresh for most of the first day but a few more miles prior to the ride would have made day 1 a little better.

On day 1 I had some stomach pain and leg cramps. Not exactly sure why.

My nutrition plan worked perfect. I tried a new on the bike fuel and I really like it. I will post more about the nutrition later.

I didn't 'carb load' so to say. I tried to keep the calories from carbs at a normal level and increased my fat intake. This was good as I didn't gain several pounds prior to the ride.

***On day 2 I began feeling a little patela tendonitis in the R knee. This happened only when pushing bigger gears up large hills. Probably overuse related. I plan to rest for a few days before I attempt to ride.


I just ran across an this amusing and I feel important blog post on Modern Forager called Eight Ways to Lower Your Testosterone Levels. The article (blog) shows steps to really strip yourself all testosterone.

If your goals are good health you should read.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back to the Grind

I returned to work after my little vacation. It was a good day to practice some RKC skills. Once again I am hitting the basics and programming them into an effective program. Actually this is right out of Pavel's Enter the Kettlebell. Sounds familiar eh?

I don't need anything shiny or new to have an effective workout. Heck, I've read the book at least 15 times and the last time was about 3 weeks ago. I continue to learn from the book. I've also read the RKC instructor's manual 4 times in the past 2 weeks as well.

Lesson here? Do the program it works. Do it again and again. You will achieve results.

Pull up 5x5

10 min:
24K - TGU 1/1 + Swings x 30 (I completed 6 rounds)

6 min:
Swings 30 sec on/30 sec rest

Monday, September 22, 2008


This weekend , I participated as an assistant instructor at the RKC certification. It was a great honor to be asked to represent myself, the Marine Corps and my strength coach...Pavel. The first correspondence I received from the party stated I would work for (now) Senior RKC Doug Nepodal but plans changed.

I did not control the destiny as the most 'hated' RKC assistant ever. HAHA.

The biggest and most honorable change to the training schedule included me as Pavel's assistant. This meant I would the equivalent to the RKC Company Gunny. What? Did you say? Yes, in a nutshell, I was the Co Gunny for an RKC Cert. That is how I see it! Here's how.

My responsibilities included assisting any manner Pavel thought necessary to include keeping the training schedule on track, assisting all of the instruction teams as needed as a roving instructor, assisting some VERY weak students (that didn't pass), ensuring all the responsibilities/duties of the other assistant instructors were complete and organizing all of the 'victims' into teams for the RKC candidates instructional period. Last, I set my Gym Boss for 10 minutes. Every time it beeped, I would tell the instructor or announce that it was time for swings. Pavel would announce 'because Bob said,' or 'give Bob 30.'

With huge smiles, many of the candidates stated they wanted to choke me every single time they heard the Gym Boss beep! Folks, let me say everything is done for a reason. The candidates swings were terrible until Saturday afternoon. The thousands of repetitions worked wonders. While they hated me, they also thanked me. Everything is done for a reason.

I did manage to get some small workouts in during the weekend.
Thursday - Snatch test and lifting hundreds of kettlebells in a farmers walk.
Friday - demonstration of all the RKC core lifts, swing, squat, clean and press, TGU and snatch.
Saturday - 20 min VO2 max protocol with 20k sets of 8 (I need one of these!)
Sunday - Z Health 1 hr session with Mike Nelson.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good Comedy

This is good comedy. In fact it is about the only good piece from the last SNL.

Found some new training partners today at work. The best part is they were already trained by an RKC at their last duty station. SWEET. Let the fun week.

RIFGA (lots)
Swing 24k 200

Ride 30
Cindy (WOD)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Surry Century

You can read about the Surry Century at the Tidewater Randonneur.

Here are some facts not included in the other blog.

I rode hard and had fun until it wasn't fun. It seems I made some mistakes that I should have learned from earlier in the year. I actually had a great day until about mile 60. That's when things went south fast. I bonked and couldn't get out of it. Once again, I'm sure it was related to the heat. it was HOT and steamy.

Perhaps I should laminate these lessons into a check list:
Wear Sun Screen
Eat all your food
Drink all your drink
Ride your own ride.

The last one is simple. I rarely have a problem riding my ride. For some reason, I felt strong during the first 45 miles and went hard. In hind sight, it was a mistake. It's debatable had I followed the lessons above, things may have been different.

My mindset from the start was to have fun and get in some hard riding prior to the ride at the end of the month. I believe I accomplished this!

This will be a short training week for me but I will get in some riding on Mon - Wed and some kettlebell stuff on Mon and Tuesday. Thursday will be a test of my skills at the RKC and unloading all 3000 lbs of kettlebells from a truck.

While at the RKC, I plan to get in some swing and snatch (VO2) workouts.

Ride: 75

'cindy' (doing this the day before a long ride is not wise)

Swing - 200

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A little test

I was thinking about riding the Surry Century as a training ride for the Wounded Warrior ride from Ft Eusits VA to Walter Reed Army Hospital at the end of September. It will be the last opportunity for a long ride before back to back centurys. Next weekend I'll be in St Paul assisting at the RKC and won't have a bicycle.

Sounds like a good reason to have a Bike Friday, eh?

I decided that if I could hit my RKC snatch test numbers today then I will allow myself to ride the 100 miles on Saturday. Not sure this is a good bargin or not...sounds like punishment. Doesn't it?

I turned on a fan in my office. Hit the Z Neural Warm up and some swings. All systems go!
Snatch with the left arm 35, two more than I need.

Switch to the right. A few reps. Rest at the top for the first ten reps. Need to relax, lower the heart rate. Continue rep after rep. Focus on hip drive. Man it is hot in here! Focus. Somewhere around 27 or 28 I started noticing some black spots on the wall in f ront of me. Not good. Breath, you only have a few more reps. 29, 30, more black, breath. Finished with 34 on the right and set the kettlebell down. Total reps: 69 only need 64 Good to Go.

I have to tell you, there is a reason that the kettlebell snatch is the 'Czar of Kettlebell Exercises!' They are HARD! I guess if they were easy then everyone would be doing them and I wouldn't.

I walked around and shook it out for a minute. Because 1 set of snatches isn't manly enough for me even with seing black spots on the wall, I decided to do some swings. 200 swing did the trick.

Are you still following long, I'm still doing a party approved program following the Enter the Kettlebell protocol.

Ride: 20 - stupid fast tempo with the 'racers'

Swing 16k 1 x 50
Snatch 24k 35l, 34r = test style, 1 hand exchange, do not set the kettlebell down.
Swing 1 x 50, 1 x 20,20, 1 x 50, 3 x 10,10 - 200 total

Monday, September 8, 2008

Practice on a Monday

This morning I received the current RKC manual. This is a great resource but you have to be an RKC to get one. During lunch, I began reading the materials. The RKC certification keeps evolving. The innovations of my fellow instructors make teaching all of the basics easier. This incarnation of the manual is no exception and this manual is SUPERIOR to the RKC level I manual from 2 years ago even though it is basically the same thing.

I would love to tell you that there is some miracle exercise for gaining strength and loosing fat. Something new and 'shiny.' There is nothing NEW. What will work is a quality diet and hard work. The kettlebell swing would be a great place to start. This exercise is the basis of all RKC drills.

Benefits include:
  • Back endurance
  • Abdominal endurance
  • Hip flexor flexibility
  • Glute recruitment
  • Grip Strength/endurance
  • Core endurance
  • Hip Power
  • Fat Loss
Folks, this is a full body exercise that can be tailored to everyone from elite athletes to grandmothers. I have read about NFL teams using them and I have read articles about 70 year old grandmothers from Tennessee. If it is good enough for them, what are you waiting for?

Ride 15 miles (tabata) My legs were jello at interval 7, I could barely stand on the pedals!

Swing 2 x 20
Turkish Get Up -(16k) 1 x 5l/5r working on form
Clean and Press 24k 5 x 123
Swing (1arm) 24k 5 x 10/10

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I just read a fantastic blog post by Steve Maxwell. I worked with Steve at my RKC certification. He is an excellent example of fitness!

The post is titled 10 Ways to De-sissify Your Kid. The 10 ways seem logical to me but I can see where so many parents go wrong. Read this article and get rid of the video games.

My daughter and I do several fun exercises regularly. We crab walk, bear crawl and skip around. We do summersaults.

When we go for walks, there are retaining walls 8in wide. We always stop and do a 'balance beam' routine with jumping, balancing, piroettes and some ballet stuff.

When I fix my bike, she is there to assist. When I get ready for a ride, she grabs her helmet and rides her trike around the house.

If I play with kettlebells in the house, she will grab the smallest one (4k) and walk around; she always tries to pick up the big ones but the result is a grunt.

We race to check the mail every day.

Everything is a game and it is fun!

Ride 20 - 6 x 45 sec + 2:00 rest

Snatch 24k: 1x10/10, 1 x 20/20, 2 x 15/15, 2 x 10/10
Swing 32K: 5x25

Ride 15 (tempo first 8 miles)

Clean and press 5x1,2 (no rest between sets)
Swing 24k 5x10/10

Explain the kettlebell thing.

This is a great video that says it all. I was at the RKC II with Diane.

Working out with kettlebells