Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1st Class == Update

Tonight we had the first class. Although the turn out was low, neither I or the attendees were discouraged. This meant more 1 on 1 instruction. We started out with joint mobility, worked on wall squats, box squats, swings and then on to the Turkish Get Up.

The swings are looking awesome! The swings we built and tweaked look better than many people that show up for the RKC cert. Of course with a little tweaking, they look perfect! What I'm telling you is this -- -- -- QUIT WASTING YOUR TIME WITH THE VIDEOS AND KETTLEBELL INSTRUCTOR WANNA BEES. The problem is you are learning technique that is substandard, it is weak or just wrong. You may be missing key cues that make an exercise effective or make an exercise safe. You should NOT feel any pain - ANYWHERE - using kettlebells. Your back should not hurt; your knees should not bow; wrists should NOT be black and blue.

Seek a currently certified RKC Instructor (like me)! It will be well worth your time and money.

Practice Today:
Clean and Press - 24k 5 x 123 ladders.
Snatch 24k on the minute - 3 x 10/10, 2 x 5/5 - 80 total. This was more difficult than I thought it would be. Hitting 100 in 5 is easily in my grasp. This is also the first time I've snatched with the 24k bell since September.

Pull up - 1x14
Turkish Get ups

Pull up x 12 (boots and utes)
6x6 Sand Bag protocol x 15 min

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tuesday Night Kettlebell Class

I’m pleased to announce a kettlebell class starting Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 6:30PM.
The class begins Tuesday at my garage or very near to it. This is a short term location.

Format: 1 Hour, We will start with Joint Mobility, Fix some kettlebell skills, then do a 15 - 20 minute workout.

This class requires a 5 week minimum commitment. The Cost per class is $15.
Please make arrangements to pay me (accept Pay Pal) prior to the class or bring cash. Beginners will need to attend some additional training so I can ensure you are practicing safe and effective

Bring your kettlebell to the class. Get used to using it. I have some kettlebells and will
advise you if you need a more appropriate weight.

Please email me for directions or call me at (757) 667-1537.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More ETK

Yesterday I hit some ETK for a light day. It was good to just practice presses with perfect form. I was able to concentrate on tension without worrying about fatigue and the potential for poor form. I will need the perfect form later when the intensity increases. As Master RKC Rif says, "It's all easy til it's heavy."

Today is the variety day and I needed some time on the bike. I didn't really want to spend the entire day out on the road. I've done that for the past 2 weekends and will do again next weekend. Besides, I bought a new Cylo Ops fluid trainer this afternoon.

I warmed up with swings and windmills then hopped on the bike for a Tabata interval session. Four minutes later, I felt worse than riding for 10 hrs! LOL

Rifga x 5 min.
Swing: 24K 1x100
Windmill: #10 ball x 5/5, 16k x 5x5
Bike: Tabata intervals -- 20 on/10 off x 8 reps.
Cool down 5 min
Fast and loose drills x 5 min. (really needed this after the intervals)

Tonight - Stretching concentrating on legs and shoulders. I'm still having some issues with tightness from the run 1.5 week ago.

Swing: 50
C/P 5 x 1,2 ladders

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Failure

This is supposed to be a heavy day for on the ETK program. It was not quite as 'heavy' or have as much volume as I planned. Of course I haven't really worked any real volume work for several months. I wrote in Monday's blog that it would probably be a week or 2 before an actual heavy day happens. I performed what I could today.

This is the important lesson. Do as much volume or weight as you can leaving some in the tank. Remember training to failure is training to fail. Your body remembers repeated failure.

My original plan for today was 5 sets of 5 rung ladders. During the first set, I decided to adjust fire. The 4th rung wasn't as easy as it should. I ended up completing 5 sets with 4 rung ladders.

Clean and Press - 24k 5 x 1234
Swing - 100

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to ETK

I was feeling really good physically after the weekends festivity then I began my workout with some swings. I went down hill from there. After 100 swings, my legs hurt deep down to the bones. Ok, I'm not recovered.

I did my medium day presses. This felt ok. I think it will be a few weeks before I'm ready for some actual 'heavy' days. I'm most certain, I will ignore the previous sentence and go heavy sooner than later.

I thought I would finish up the workout with several sets of swings but my body did not agree. Too much fatigue. I parked the kettlebell and called it a day.

Swing 24k x 100 -- 50l then 50r
Clean and Press: 5 sets x 3 rung (1,2,3)
Swing 24k x 50 (2 arm) hardstyle overspeed eccentric

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I just returned from another weekend on the bike. Yesterday we rode the Black Creek 200k from Raleigh to the small town of Black Creek. A full write up will be posted on the TR blog soon.

Followed the plan Rx on Wed.

Ride: 125 mi
message -- releasing trigger points and flexibility. This was not foo foo!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Execution of yesterday's plan

Yesterday, I stated I would rest, drink water, do Z etc. It seems to be working pretty well. I still have some swelling in the L ankle but most of the pain has gone.

One of the Gunnys had a STICK sitting at his desk today so I stole it for the majority of the work day. This is a good piece of gear! I've had this on my wish list for a few years. I was able to work out some pain in my quads and a knot I had in my left calf for 3 days. I'm sold and will get one in the near future.

Today was a rest day. Of course I did some swings, snatches and presses but just enough to GTG and demonstrate a protocol.

Tomorrow, I'm off the RTP, NC for a 200k ride on Saturday. Also plan to continue with the plan.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a Dilemma

Dilemma -- a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.

What is the situation?

I need to run more. Not because I want to, because I would become a more efficient runner (faster). I can't run because it is...well...kinda bad for my degenerative L4/L5 discs. So I do what I have to do to get by. I am getting faster by the way...Go Kettlebells!

Today was the semi annual PFT, I improved my run time by 10 sec. and I could have been faster but I felt physically (sick) off and had to slow down for 1/2 mile or so. I have maintained my other events for the entire year. I am just status quo. Not for long, I will improve.

The aftermath of the run is pain and fatigue. I should not be this tired! My back isn't killing me...Yet but there is potential. Why? Because the ankle I tore apart a few years ago is killing me for the first time in more than 3 years. This is NOT good. I feel some soft tissue damage and it is swollen.

What will I do? Yes, I have a plan. UM, kinda.
  1. Lots of water
  2. Sleep. I plan to sleep on it and see how it feels in the morning.
  3. Z. Please correct me if I'm wrong but how about some ankle circles, toe pulls and ankle tilts. Of course it could be something with the wrist, so how about wrist glides/circles and some hand figure 8s? Or, I could just do everything!
  4. Rinse and repeat.
3 mile run: Down to 24:00 (I was in the 27s pushing 28:00 just a few years ago)
Pull ups - max: Slipped to 14. (Time to work these again. It was already in the plan)
Crunches - Max: 100 (yea, Hanging leg raises, evil wheel, and swings/snatches)

Not stellar but I will take it. I keep improving on the run and I can live with that. It's time to put the pieces together. Of course it is just an indicator of fitness not the end all. I do have other goals I'm working. Next week I will officially begin my quest for a turkey day weekend SSST or during the Tidewater Kettlebell Club fun time in early December.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This is a testimonial from Michael. He is preparing for the February RKC certification.

Michael had pretty good form and has had some good strength improvements with kettlebells. We tweaked his form and I gave him some queues that you can't get from watching a video or reading a book.

"I left your place with enthusiasm oozing out of me everywhere.

I practiced yesterday (heavy day) -- and my swings had that crispness that is much more fun --- and I think my body just likes it better. I squatted. I cleaned. I played with the TGU back and forth at all the transition points. This is just great -- the 'shot in the arm' you can me is powerful stuff. And I want more!

Thank you so, so, so much for helping me." Michael G.
Michael, it was a pleasure working with you. Keep working and things will be fine in February. See you next month!


I've just updated the my other blog about bicycles with the write up from the weekend's Road 2 Recovery ride.

Today was rest day as PFT is tomorrow morning. Of course, I'm not 'ready' for the test. Come to think of it, out of more than 36 semi-annual PFTs, I may have been ready for 1 or 2. LOL. That is how it should be. Just do the stinking thing already!

I do have a prediction about the test, I will score lower than the last test. Just a fact. I will drop a few more pull ups from my total. They haven't been a focus this year. I'll fix it and crush them in the spring.

Ride: 80 miles
Kettlebell Class --- demonstrate all basic lifts several times.

Ride:65 miles


Swing: 24k x 200 reps. -- I felt lazy! It's still rest...in comparison. LOL

Friday, October 10, 2008

Boost Protocol - D7

This morning, I had to make time to squeeze in day 7 of the Boost Protocol. We had a short day and I had a bike ride to do starting at 1200. So shortly after I arrived at work, I hit some Z then got to work (training). The format for Day 7 is the same as 6 but I chose the Viking Push Press as my choice of torture today.

After work, I headed across the street to the gym where the bicycle ride began. I am participating in the Road 2 Recovery events here in Virginia Beach this weekend. It is an event sponsored by R2R and the USO. I must say so far, this has been a great event. It was very fun to ride with these guys.

I will post detailed reports on the Tidewater Randonneur.

VO2 Boost day 7 - 5 sets
Ride 40 miles

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boost Protocol - D6

On to Day 6!

Ok, I figured this would get more difficult and it did today. Not sure if it was a fitness thing or a lack of movement on the left side. I performed the boost with snatches today. I felt really weak on the left for the entire session.

Here is what I think happened, I was pressed for time and needed to get this workout in before I left work. So I set up my timer and just jumped right in with both feet. Notice, I didn't do anything for a warm up. I did do my morning ZNWU and JM. That was several hours before the workout.

Lesson learned:
Warm up, Get plum and aligned with the RIFGA, JM and Z!

The lack of mobility in the left made the workout difficult on that side. The right side was cake. Amazingly, I didn't feel winded or fatigued during the protocol again. I do feel it now. The protocol has a cumulative affect on the CNS. The long breaks between sets make it deceptively easy. The fatigue is present...at a later time.

To Kenneth Jay ... this is 'EVIL.' Thanks I'm digging it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sparks part II

In a post in January, I asked the question, What makes you tick?; What is your spark?

I'm back to that question again. This morning, I was reminded that some people will never achieve their goals and dreams because they aren't willing to put forth an effort. It is just a flash bang. In other words they hit something hard for a few weeks or a month then....QUIT.

There are too many people sayin', 'Some day I'm gonna..[fill in the blank]..'

This drives me up the wall. It inspires me to come up with a goal and achieve it. It drove me to join the Marine Corps more than 18 years ago. I couldn't stand sitting on the prairie listening to all of the people talk about doing this and that. Many of those people are still sitting on the prairie. Some of them with regret because they probably been doing the exact same thing for the past 18 years. It drove me to finish my bachelors degree, begin graduate school and to become a trainer.

At work, I offer some good training advice to people on a daily basis. Some take it for a day. Most often, I get a big smile (*$%# eatn' grin). They are basically telling me where to go. My patients is gone and the free well of advice and free training has dried up! Why?

Frankly, it is a waste of my time and energy! You can only help people that are willing to receive help. Now I understand sales. If you hear no enough, pretty soon someone is going to really ruin your day and say yes. But this ain't about sales, it is about helping someone that needs help and won't accept.

Self improvement is difficult.
Training is difficult.
My friends, look around, life is difficult.

What you need to do is grab it by the horns and take control.

It is 8 weeks until Thanksgiving. Set a goal. Work towards it. It is that simple. It doesn't have to be a difficult goal. Set a goal to walk around the block every day for the next 8 weeks. Heck you will have walked about 12 miles in that time! This is more than many do on a daily basis. Just pick something and do it.

Get off the Couch!

Here are my goals:
Well, I've decided that I will actually do the Secret Service Snatch Test (SSST) during the Thanksgiving weekend. Why haven't I done it yet? Good question. I just haven't felt the need to try, it is that simple. Since I haven't done this test before, I will shoot for 200 even. I actually suspect that I will do 220+ snatches in the 10 min time limit.

The stipulations of the test are outlined in Pavel's Enter the Kettlebell. There is a link on the sidebar. Last week, Pavel mentioned, the act of preparing for this test will result in improved strength, stamina and weightloss. ---- Yes, it is that easy!

A few weeks ago I cleaned up my diet. No garbage. The result 10 lbs; I've lost 15 since mid-Aug. The plan is to continue to keep it clean and see what happens. I have a few numbers in my mind that I would roughly like to see but that isn't the point of the goal. CLEAN DIET that's all.

That sucks because I really like cake, ice cream, donuts, brownies and cookies!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Boost Protocol - D5

For some reason, doing the protocol with the snatch is waaaayyyy easier than with the viking push press. Perhaps it is the the shear numbers of snatches I've done in the past 3years. I'm certainly in the groove and the exercise just keeps feeling better.

The viking push press is a relatively new exercise for me. The first time I tried it was this past June and I really haven't worked on it, until now. I can say with confidence that I'm not comfortable with this exercise. Nothing a lot of practice won't cure.

Boost: VPP, 4 rounds ea
Pull up 3x11

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boost Protocol - d4

On to day 4 today. Felt good. I don't really feel fatigued during the protocol. About 20 min later, I have been feeling rather wasted. I'm sure there is more good pain in store.

Goblet squat - narrow stance 16k 5x5 -- all about form.
Boost Protocol - snatch 16k - 4 sets of each round @ 8 & 16reps

Pull up 2x10
Wheel roll out: 5x5

Friday, October 3, 2008

D1 VO2max Boost

I'm trying something new that I learned at the RKCII. It is the VO2 max boost protocol by Kenneth Jay. The protocol was used to help train some of his olympic athletes. If it is good enough for them, well, you get the picture.

At the certification, we actually did day 1. I put it in the tool box for a later date and it is later. The protocol calls for either snatch or Viking push press. My hands are a little beat up and tired so I chose to do the VPP today. I will probably alternate the two exercises.

I didn't exactly know what to expect today but I did do the VO2 max protocol yesterday and I can say that day 1 of the boost is waaaaay easier than the actual the original VO2 max protocol. I will not let it fool me. I'm pretty sure there is a reason there is 2-3 min rests. Not to mention the protocol gets progressively harder...really quick! Oh yea, KJ also mentions the protocol can only be done about 3 times per year as it is very difficult; physically and mentally demanding.

I probably should have started the protocol last week or on Monday so I could finish before my PFT. As it is right now, I will probably finish after the PFT but that is ok I'm not training for that event. It is just another day in the training life.

What am I training for?
I am defining what my real goals are at the moment.

I am training for some super GPP. The ability to leap small buildings in a single bound. To be faster than a rolling O. The ability to play with my daughter! To be resilient. Fix my body composition; must have 'shredded muscle fibre and freakish vascularity,' or wiry Pavel strength. It's all good.

Z - assigned exercises
swings - 100
Windmill: 16K 5/5
Goblet Squat: 24k 5x5
VO2MBP - Day 1
Viking push press: 24K 6 reps/14 reps -

Thursday, October 2, 2008


SR RKC David Whitley sent his newsletter today -- very interesting. David puts up a challenge for the next 9 weeks. This is exactly what I have been working at for the past 2 weeks. Of course now I have to define my goals a little differently.

From David's blog:

It is 9 weeks until Thanksgiving.

Thus begins the American cycle of overeating, oversoending and skipping workouts, sliding into the New Year in fatter, weaker, more broke and more miserable than ever, only to begin anew come January 1.

Does it sound familiar? This doesn't have to be you. Not this year. You can break the cycle. If you have already successfully broken this cycle, then I applaud you! If not, I would like to help you.

How am I going to do that? By issuing a 2-part challenge to you:

Number One: I want you to set at least one performance goal that you want to accomplish by Thanksgiving. What is a performance goal? It could be something like doing 50 consecutive push ups, or hitting 200 reps of kettlebell snatches in 10 minutes. It's important for you to know that I DO NOT mean weight loss goal, like "drop 15 pounds." I'll explain why in a moment.

Number Two: Set a nutritional goal. Decide on what your nutritional strategy will be and follow with tremendous purpose. I don't even care which plan it is so much, just follow it to the best of your ablitlity for nine Straight weeks. Don't wait until Monday to start. Decide NOW. Begin TODAY.

Pistol:GTG #30 - 1/1 x 4

VO2Max Protocol: 16k 15/15 x 36 sets
Pull up: 5x5
Hanging Leg Raises: 5x5

The VO2 protocol went well today. I nearly doubled my work from last week. I noticed some interesting things during the snatch. It is almost like a new groove than I've felt in the past. Not exactly sure what is happening but it results in more power so I won't complain. I will note how it feels next snatch day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time to practice - done resting

They say that rest is just as important as training. After the rides this past weekend I told myself and some people at work that I need 2 days to recover. At that point I could ease into some training then hit it hard again. In the past, I've done too much in the couple days after ultra weekend rides and hurt for more days. It is difficult to know exactly how much rest is good.

I actually felt pretty good yesterday but decided to stick with my plan. This is exactly what I did.

During the day today, I practiced some odd object lifting, 30-50 lb sandbags. We are getting ready to play with these at work. I filled some up yesterday and dropped them off in the CP, the 3 and the 4. They all played all day long.


lunch time: pistol (30-50)sandbag - 5 sets of 1/1, presses 1arm mp, side press, bent press.

5 rounds of:
TGU 24k 1/1
Pull up - BW - 5
Swing - 24k 20 (2arm)

This workout is getting easy, I will do it 1 more time then move to 32k and add weight to the Pull ups. Of course, RIF says, 'It's all easy 'til it's heavy.'

My focus with all swings have been on perfect technique. Power breathing and snappy hips. Tonight I observed that the more I concentrated on the breathing, the easier they became.

Breathing technique? There is a technique to something natural?
YES! Stay tuned for a breathing class!