Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Light day..again? Where'd my memory go?

I may have done another light day today. With reason!

Why is it every time I pick up one of Pavel's books, I read something I haven't ever read before? A few days ago I picked up Enter the Kettlebell...again and read it. I swear, I have never seen some of that material in print or in lecture format from the evil Russian or any other comrade RKC. I'm certain I've received the information before but did not have any reinforcement. Actually there is a reason.

Psych Lesson 101:

We don't retain information in memory due to ineffective encoding. One cause is simply not paying attention to what you are reading or hearing. So it's like you are reading words independent of meaning. Another theory is the decay theory which proposes that you forget because memory fades with time. Decay theory is debatable and research has yet to provide proof it occurs. Last, the interference theory says there is too much information coming in and something has to go. Have you ever crammed for a test? You didn't remember all of the material for very long due to the interference theory. Both new and previous learned materials compete with each other. As a result you only remember so much. The lesson? Go back and read it again.

Back to the light day.

Ok, I didn't forget. I admit it. I just ignored some parts because I listened to my ego instead of Pavel. When you do your ladders, it is ok to do uneven ladders. Unlike me, don't pull an Adrian Monk and make everything equal, it will only hinder progress in the long run. A typical ladder might be 5 sets of 1,2,3.

Let's say you got to the 3rd set of your 3 rung ladder. During the 2nd, you notice you are getting close to failure on the third rung. On the third set, don't even attempt the third rung. Just let it go. I will look like this: 2 sets of 1,2,3 (3rd set) 1,2, (4th) 1,2 (5th) 1,2). Next week on your heavy day, go for 3 sets of 3 rungs (not 5). Build the volume slowly if you need. Rushing the process will cause you to fall short of your goals.

The point is last week when I did 5 x 3 rung ladders, I pushed them all out it was perfect for a heavy day. My next heavy day should have 1 or more sets of 4 rung ladders and it is ok to do some 3 rung ladders for the remainder of sets.

This also caused me to rethink my light day. Hint: it is spelled out in ETK something like this in the Right of Passage section...[Comrade], if your heavy day looks like 5 x 3 rung ladder, your light day might be [say] 5 x singles.

Training today:
Znwu - r
bottoms up press 16,24k - some -I didn't count.
Clean and Press 28k 1x5, 5 x singles Light and easy day.
Swing - 32k 2x50

Indoor bicycle century (yuck).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here we go...

I began the 2010 plan a while back. Last week I made an adjustment. I plan to alternate a few different strength training modalities for 2 week periods. I just finished up with several weeks of double kettlebell chains. I like them too much but I have a need to achieve some specific goals prior to next winter. So Enter the Kettlebell format will be used to reach this goal.


The following are in prep for a 2011 re-cert of RKC2...
  1. Clean and Press the bulldog (40k) 5x5 -- I can press...but need to work back up to it. Pressing it 1x is not enough.
  2. Pistol - 40k
  3. Heck, let's just round it out and throw in the Pull up with 40k as well.
  4. Snatch - work it back up. I haven't done the test since last spring...Oh, I'll pay for this.
That pretty much sums up the strength goals. I have a secondary set of goals because I will hit these well before the year is over. I also have a few other goals. Some of them aren't exactly conducive to strength...oh well let's go.

  • On the bike: SR series (200, 300, 400, 600k); and (-)5hr century.
  • I also have a couple ideas I'm tossing around for next fall on the bike and running but I'm not sold yet. I can't compromise prep for the re-cert.
  • Oh, I do have 1 last PFT to take. I haven't set a goal for it yet. I need to do some pre-season testing to determine a viable goal.
  • Need to drop some weight before spring. Weight in the #170s is the goal. Need to get primal.
Training today:
Znwu - r
Ride 2.5 hrs - big headwind on the way out this am...ouch.
Clean and Press - 2 rung ladders x 5 sets (28k) (light)

Pressing last session-3 rung ladders.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost T-Day

Quick almost Turkey Day update. I know it's Thanksgiving and I have much to be thankful for. That's is another post.

Last week I ran our Combat Fitness Test or should I say survived. I had moderate improvements in the events. I am satisfied with the results although I can do much better with some specific training. It was most likely the last CFT I will have to take though. On to PFT training...

I managed to tweak my back on the left side. Probably from doing the fireman's carry with my neck and back twisted to the left. I knew it would hurt but...hey I had to save my casualty and couldn't stop to fix the position.

Additionally, I managed to injure my R knee. Not certain what I did. It could be a combo of things. Bike saddle dropping 1 inch during a ride? That will do it. Running in boots with no ankle flex? Yup, that too. Hyper extension performing a front kick? Yessiree, that one happened after the knee was already tender. I took some time off training ...REST...

Last night I hit the kettlebells again for a little shock.
Chain---->Clean, front squat, press, swing 2x16k 5 x 5
Chain2---->Clean, high swing, push press 5x5
DL ---> 2 x 20

This morning I did the commute in the drizzle. 2 hrs later:
Warm up then
Chain 2x24---->Clean, front squat, press, swing 5 x 3 -- ok hello..wake up time
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk - 2x16 --->3 x 2,4,6,8,10 - need to move up to 24ks on these.

Did weigh in today. Right where I need to be. Got some more weight to go to hit my goal but I did drop 10+ lbs in the past 3 weeks. cool eh?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quick Update

A quick update...Busy week, here's the lowdown. I'll post quick updates when I can.

Last night - Sleep study. Perhaps I will get restful rest someday.
Tomorrow - CFT - Moved up from Fri.
Final paper due Fri...

Yesterday's practice:
Get up
Ride - 30

Clean, fsq, press, swing 5x5 - Light day used 16s.

LC jerk - 2 x 2,4,6,8,10 (rest 2 min btw sets.)

DL 2x20

This stuff is much harder when your legs are thrashed from an AM bike ride. I'll keep that in mind.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Still Raining...and Still Training

It has rained more than a foot in the past 3 days. I almost hopped on the bike to go 5 blocks to the post office, then it started raining, again and the wind is still above 40 mph. thus today was a tale of two workouts. I had a little pain during my warm up and corrective drills in the right hammie or glute or both. So I finished the stuff and relaxed. Rest is good right?

This evening, I stared all over again. Z R Phas NWU then corrective drills. I guess I felt ok, then I started the workout. More of the same chins as Wednesday kicked up a notch.

32k swings x 50 + Goblet Squats

Uneven weights...16k & 24k 1 min btw sets and 2 between chains
clean+front squat+press+swing 5X3
Clean+front squat+push press + swing 5x3
rest 5 min
DL 2 x 20

clean and jerk ladders 1 set of 2...the hammie glute problem was bothering me too much to continue. Save it for next time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rainy Day Training

A noreaster is blowin' in so my original training plans were awash. So what's a Devil Dog to do?
I'll get to that in a minute.

On Saturday, I attended a RKC only double kettlebell workshop with Geoff Neupert, Sr RKC. It was a great day. We tweeked form on some advanced drills. We learned about the "Sports Tuned Rack" position. All to make things better, more powerful etc. During the 2 days it took to recover, I felt like I had ridden a double century.

As a result, my body is not the say as it was last week. I put on some mass. That's good but not when you are trying to drop lbs. Oh well, muscle eats calories. YUM.

Yesterday I rode 20 miles, did some swings and called it a day. I felt like a million bucks after.

So back to today:
I thought it appropriate to
1.) test my 32k ability. presses are there, 64k, yea that needs some work. I'll build up to that before the new year.

2) Review all of the evil twisted things Geoff revealed at his workshop. If this doesn't burn some fat, nothing will.

FMS drills ankle mobility, ASLR, Bretzel, Swings, Get up to elbow.
24k swings x 20 + goblet squat - x 5 sts
Clean and press 32k 2x1/1 --
double 32k Clean and jerk + Front Squat x3 - seemed like a good idea at the time. Ego in check.
24k clean and press 4 rung ladders x 5 sets
double 16k 1 min btw sets and 2 between chains
clean+front squat+press+swing 5X5
Clean+front squat+push press + swing 5x5
clean+ front squat + push press + high pull 5x5
rest 5 min
clean and jerk ladders 3 x 2,4,6,8,10 - 2 min rest between ladders.

Yea that's alot of volume...DON'T all of this. 1 of the chains is enough to smoke you. this is MY practice. I have done it for a reason. I you are dumb enough to do all of this, let me know how you feel!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Are you interested in attending a kettlebell class each week at oceanfront area?

I have some interest and I will probably start a class within the next few weeks. The more the merrier.

Pavel's new book is due out tomorrow. It discusses powerlifting and competition. Sounds interesting.

After my Z Rphase and corrective drills, I hopped on the BMC for my morning commute. Plan was Zone 3 tempo ride. Went well. I find it interesting the more I ride 'slow' and concentrate on form and cadence, the more efficient I become when riding fast. In other words more work with less effort. SWEET. Don't have a power meter so it isn't too scientific...just sayin. (Hear that Santa?) The afternoon ride was more of the same but I pushed it into Zone 4 for a few long intervals. 2010 is going to rock.

Ride: 35

I didn't have time for PT at work today so when I got home I did something I don't really recommend after riding or running - strength training. No worries, I knew the CNS was zapped before I started and changed my mind at least 3 times before I decided on this:

32k - 5x 10swing+8 goblet squats.
5 x 5 wheel roll outs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Shortcuts to the Top.

Call me a slacker. No posts last week. I've been training.

Last week I did several rides in Zone 4 & 5. Training in the low end of the zone is just as important as the high intensity training. To become effective at anything, you have to train in all idioms of that event. Fast, medium and slow speeds. Heavy weight, medium weight and lighter weight. In music, high notes, low notes; high volume, medium volume, and soft volume. Doing this provides stimulation across the whole spectrum.

No shortcuts to the top. -- Ed Viesturs

This is the biggest, most important lesson I've learned in the past few years. I knew it deep down but experimenting didn't pay off. Don't let the fitness mags and blogs fool you into thinking some shortcut way to do anything. You might get some training benefits but it just doesn't work. Joe Friel states, as you get closer to your priority events, you have to simulate those events.

Oh and if you would like a list of webs that propose shortcuts, I will provide.

I'm slightly concerned my weight, need to loose lbs before turkey day. Plan is to cut out most processed chow (grain, bread, pasta) and eat green carbs and fruit carbs. Also, I will kick up the training intensity a notch.
Today's training:
Clean and Press 24k 5 rung ladders x 5 sets - Survived.
Kettlebell Complex - (32k) 6 x 5 swing, snatch, front squat - rest 2 min.

ZNWU, various corrective movements
partial getups - 32k - 2x3, 24k 2x5, 16k 1x5

ride on trainer - 30 min. cadence - 100

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NO Hammies

Wow, today's VWC session was not very pleasant. But I'm progressing perfectly.

My hammies weren't firing. As a result, I'm pulling the kettlebell up using lats and the WRONG leg muscles. The body compensates and will complete the mission. This isn't always the best thing. I reckon if it's a competition or a battle, the cost or ROI is worth it.

Training requires strict adherence to perfect form and how your body feels. Both should be taken into consideration. I probably could have stopped at any time but I didn't. I had a mission today and I'm training for an event in about 6 weeks. The truth is I should have chosen a different program today. I could have done a complex or some active recovery giving me the opprotunity to recuperate from Monday's festivities. I didn't, I sucked it up and completed the workout, then ran all without hammies. I'll recover and be fine in a couple days by doing plenty of mobility work.

Sara wrote a good post about kettlebell brands. I have used many different brands and prefer DD. I have used the Lifeline and they work. Here's my opinion. I don't like the smoothness of the handles. I have/had some DD Russian Red kettlebells and I don't use them (I keep them for clients). While I'm not a huge fan of ripping my hands up on coarse kettlebell handles, I appreciate the grip they seem to give.

Perhaps it is the added surface area; think nerve endings. Truthfully, when I'm sweating and it is humid, I feel more secure with the coarse handle; especially when a large mass is overhead. Bear in mind, the course handles wear down and become smoother with use! The hundreds of thousands of reps I've done with my first couple kettlebells have a custom feel. I still prefer to use them more than others. You can tell I don't use my 40k very often, it bites!

I worked with a gentleman for a few weeks that was preparing for his first MMA fight. He is a great athlete and wanted to kick things up a notch. So that's what we did. I probably didn't contribute too much to his fitness but maybe I did. Regardless, it was fun to work with a true professional! He wrote this update:
Just wanted to give you a quick update and a THANK YOU. I won my fight last night with the ref stopping the bout in the second round due to strikes (I took full mount and was punishing him pretty good; by my count, I threw 8-10 punches, with 4-5 getting through clean) before ref pulled me off him.
This is motivating! Great Job Scott -- Semper Fi!

VWC x 46 sets
croc. breathing (must relax back)
Run @ track - 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 2 x 100, 1 x 400, 1 x 200, 1 x 400, walked the same distance between sets. It is all about form and cadence.

Tonight -- ASLR, Bretzel, Ankle mobility, croc. breathing

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Scoop from Great Minds

Here's today's blogroll scoop:

Senior RKC, Sara Cheatham has a great post about kettlebells for combat readiness. This is pretty much what I've been telling people for a few years. Of course, Sara backs it up with case studies. There you have it.

Here's something interesting from Mike T Nelson. It is a study of neural science and fat loss.

Sandy Sommer writes about cycling your workouts. This is important, you can't go hard all the time. Delaine Ross wrote an article for Dragon Door about a similar subject.

Last, I thought I would share a new blog I ran across last week. I think I've read nearly every post. George has finished my favorite bike race, the Furnace Creek 508, 4 times and has done it on a fixie. Oh, and he was a HAT. George you da man!

Today I had a co-worker asked me about kettlebells. He started attending a class at the rec center and the instructor is clueless. I asked him to show me his swing and holy cow; it's no wonder he is having serious lower back pain. If your lower back hurts from doing something, you are doing it wrong. Get help from someone that is certified in that activity. I am aware of this person in the Virginia Beach area, she has no idea what she is doing but she insists on teaching kettlebells. She even had the audacity to attend a free class at Karen's studio and tell Karen she was doing it wrong.

Now, let me tell you what really pisses me off about this. I don't try to make much cash by teaching kettlebell stuff. My MO is simply to break even so I can attend more training and become a better, more educated trainer. The fact is I refer most everyone to Karen Smith, RKCII. I do offer FREE instruction often for a few reasons. 1) if you are going to do this stuff, you need to do it correct. 2) Maybe you refer someone to me. No worries. So when I offer free training and someone says no, they can learn it on their own than my kindness ends. Figure it out on your own, I have better things to do anyway!

ZNWU, movement drills
Ride: 30 miles - Zone 1,2
Clean and press: 5x5

(planned a complex but ended up correcting the above person and ran out of time for my own workout) C'est la vie.

Until Next time!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to train for 2010

This is the first week of training for next year's events and goals. The future is now. Over the past few weeks I've been working out goals, key events, and a loose training plan that will help make it all a reality.

Like I said, it's a loose plan. I don't think a super-rigid plan is the way to go because I won't follow it for more than a week. I think flexibility and consistency are both key to a plan. So, what I've come up with is more of a framework. Within the frame work, there are key workouts that need to be completed.

****Dang the Bronco's socks are ummm, sexy. lol****

There are some components to the plan that need to be completed every day even when I don't plan to train. This includes Z Health, joint mobility and/or the FMS drills. These create better movement and take away pain. Each week I have certain workouts that are absolutely necessary for progression and some optional workouts that are important but a lower priority.

Let's face it, training/practice isn't a job, it's just a lifestyle. There are a couple things that are more important. If I feel like playing with my kiddo, I'll do that. (I'm still distracted by those socks.) I'm also hitting the school thing so several hours are designated for this.

I'm in the base period on the bike and will build to some stupid long rides in late December/early January. The weather could make things a little miserable. I plan to keep doing a couple runs weekly to keep improving my form/efficiency.

Kettlebell - next few weeks - a combo of Viking Warrior conditioning, some double kb complexes and some pressing ladders. The main goal is to shed some fat and get the strength ready for the spring.

Today's practice:
I set out today to take it easy or ease into the VWC protocol. That went out the window when I was setting the timer up. I did double what my plan called for now I have to adjust the entire next 3-4 weeks. Remember flexibility?

On the way home from work, we had to stop at the grocery store for some supplies. I went ahead and ran home from the store. It is about a mile. The goal was to keep good form and tempo. I actually beat my wife home. Not a long distance but the goal is to PRACTICE the form to improve efficiency. I'm still having to think about the form too much.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Favorite Practice (exercise)

I think I've found a new favorite exercise. It is part of the turkish get up. I know the value of the get up but don't practice it enough. Next to the swing, it packs the most bang for the buck. I'm most certain like most people, you don't practice get ups much either. EH, they are hard and sorta suck.

My preparation work includes a portion of the get up. I'm finding that I am starting to enjoy. I was nearly embarrassed when Brett Jones asked me to do a get up a few weeks back. Because I was there to fix movement issues, every second of the exercise was critiqued...perhaps more so than the RKC. "Watch your ear, your knee moved..."

The get up told Brett exactly where I was weak. Not that he needed it, we'd already determined all the weakness. What am I working on and how can it benefit you?

I am working the get up only to the elbow. That's it. Simple right? Maybe not. Try it.

GET UP to ELBOW: (left)
Roll to the side and grip bell.
Press to pistol grip. Left arm up, left knee up.
The right arm should be in a comfortable spot,
Lift your palm off the ground. Keep your elbow down.
Raise up to elbow.

Don't move your raised knee inboard.
Keep left shoulder packed...shoulder away from ear.
Right shoulder away from ear too!
Expand rib cage...stretch the T Spine and open yourself up...feels good eh.

Lower your self back down slowly...

Begin with a lighter weight than you press and perform them perfectly for sets of 3-5.
Move up weight when you feel comfortable. You will progress quickly.

If you like and want/need more...check out KALOS STENOS at Dragon Door

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prep work....a warm up for life

For the past year or so, I've done Z health R Phase neural warm up prior to workouts and bicycle rides. I try to make sure I do some Z before I lace up my boots every morning. It is a great way to start the day and I recommend.


I've been neglecting some bad movement patterns which are related to use and abuse of the body over the years; specifically some rather major injuries to ankles and back. HMMM, probably related. Thus there are some specific Z Health movements that I practice regularly. Especially when things go wrong and I lock up.

I have achieved most of my goals in the past few years and continue to improve slowly. This is not good enough. My ego says I should be better at my sports than I am right now. The largest problem is limitations and restrictions of my own body. These limitations range from flexibility, mobility and stability. Time to get busy.

I met with Master RKC Brett Jones one of the creators of the CK-FMS system that screens athletes, finds the weakness and provides corrective strategies. After a 45 minute screen, I found that I was very correct, I can't move. We spent another hour working on corrective strategies.

During the session I didn't really push anything to the extreme yet I was totally cooked. Brett was kind enough to tell me that I have enough disfunction in my body to fight just to walk. The good news is that most of the problems should be better in a few weeks.

The result of my visit is a series of exercises or movements that I need to practice a couple times per day. I actually timed it today, another 15 - 20 minutes of work just so I can be prepared for a workout. This is not a warm up it is work.

I generally like to be done with a workout in less than 30 min. GRRR, with the additional prep work, this is now impossible. It is necessary to restore function and ultimately rule the world.

Here is my prep work time break down:
Z NWU - 10 minutes
Movement prep including breathing, rolling, Bretzel, ankle mobility and strap work - 15 min.
Kettlebell prep - deadlift, swings and get ups to elbow only - 10 +++ min (depends how many swings).
At a minimum my prep work will take 35 min and I need to repeat 2x daily. This is way more than my workouts (not including bike rides).

Think about it another way. The average Joe spends about 1 minute preparing for a workout. Elite athletes spend hours preparing for their event or practice. What do you do?

Another thought. What is more important, the workout or the preparation for the workout? I do prep work even if I'm not working out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Press Technique Part 2 -- Grip

In the gym you see all sorts of crazy things. Even something like pressing is often messed up. Pay attention tomorrow and you will notice open palms while pressing, loose bodies in every single lift and many other bad habits. I admit it, I've done them too.

What does grip have to do with pressing an object?

A strong grip is a strong body. I'll break the law of iradiation into slang. It basically says that when you clench really tight the tension will move up your forearm to your biceps and triceps to your shoulder, chest and lats.

Go ahead, try it. DO IT NOW...MOVE. Try to cinch your grip without having any flex in your biceps and shoulders. It is difficult and there is still a little tension with zero effort. Use this law to your advantage. When you press or even pull, grip with a white knuckle grip. You will find you are stronger.

I delayed this post for a few weeks as I was practicing the following skills and improving my strength. Dude...I pressed more weight with more volume than I have in months.

Practice pressing with the white knuckle grip and using the pull down technique in Part 1. Add the following: squeeze your free hand while pressing and double the tension and irradiation. You can squeeze your hand, a racket ball or even a gripper. I was using my Capt of Crunch T gripper but a cheap one will be more than adequate.

Remember strength is a skill. Practice it perfectly while fresh and use only a few reps.

Next post will describe tension.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I am going to update weekly with quality scoop. Including good articles, interviews etc.


Complacency has taken this from one end of the spectrum to just a training log. I plan to keep my log in another format.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Techinque is everything (press part 1)

You can fake it until you make it and you will have results. It doesn't matter the skill, playing an instrument, running, riding bicycle or weight training. I can go on with the list but think about this...

Have you ever played tennis? Or, gone to the court to hit balls? It soon becomes evident that there is a huge amount of technique required to keep the ball in the court. When I say court, I mean the court, specifically inside the fence. Go ahead, admit it, you have hit the ball over the fence. Skill is everything.

I spent some of my juvenile life and ALL of my adult life learning and practicing a musical instrument. Every minute of practice is spent working on achieving the perfect tone, timing, timbre and coordinating it all at the same time. I still haven't achieved this but they pay me to play so I practice. I practice to develop skills and to prevent and repair bad habits.

The same attention to detail is required for strength training. It is better called strength practice after all, strength is a learned skill. Through practice you will achieve efficiency thus speed and strength.

This is the start of a technique series that is guaranteed to improve your strength.

Military Press

Here is a question for you. Do your biceps get tired when you press? They should!

Part 1: pull with your lats.

Begin the press by flexing the lat while moving the weight up. The lat provides support and stability to your shoulder. It also creates strength in the bottom of the lift.

Ok, bicep already...Once you reach the apex of your lift, pull the weight down with your lats. In the military press, pulling the weight down is the same as doing a pull up. When the weight reaches the bottom position, the lat is already loaded and ready for the next press.

Practice this technique until you master. You will improve strength in press and pull ups. Call it time management.

Next time we will discuss how grip assists your press.
bottom up press 10x1, mil press 6x5 (coc grip in opposite hand) Pistol 5x1, oh swing 100

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1.5 weeks until workshop

There is only 1.5 weeks remaining until the June 20 Workshop. This is going to be a fun event and everyone will learn. For more information click here.

There are limited seats for this workshop so don't miss something this valuable.

I now have a Twitter account. I will try to update often. Username is bobyorr

Training Update.
I've continued training since my last post.
Riding: several rides from 30 - 50 miles.
3 complex variations repeated a few times.
Tabata front squat workout...that will wake you up.
Added my basic 3 money lifts back into my daily routine. Wonder what they are?
Oh, I almost forgot, I resumed tearing some cards.

I have also plotted and roughly planned the next 3 months of training. Now all I have to do is execute it.

What about you? What have you been doing? Do you have a plan?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

June 20 Workshop

Sara Cheatham, M.S., Sr RKC,

Z-Health Master Trainer Intern

collaborates with

Bob Orr, RKC II


Kettlebell Strength Secrets Revealed:

Maximize Strength & Mobility
Minimize Pain & Injury™

Unlock your potential by combining the secrets of
Z-Health & RKC


  • How to combine principles of these top-level training systems to get the most from your training

  • The secrets that separate the elite from the ordinary

  • What you really need to know about mobility & core training

  • How old injuries hold you back and how to fix them

  • How you can “take the breaks off” mentally to break through long-standing performance plateaus

  • How to increase neuropathways to make you quicker, stronger, and super-resilient

  • How to recover faster & optimize efficiency

  • Why working-out for hours on end is counterproductive

  • How to be powerful & pain-free at any age and fitness level!

    Sara Cheatham M.S., Sr. RKC, Z-Health Master Trainer Intern, reveals advanced Russian training secrets behind maximizing strength & injury proofing your body!

    For the first time, discover how to unlock your true athletic potential—using the fundamental principles of both Hard Style Russian kettlebell training & Z-Health Performance Solutions.

    Using this knowledge, you will easily out-perform past PRs and skyrocket your training progress!

What people are saying about training with Sara:

“I owe much of what I learned to Sara’s patience, knowledge, understanding and expertise. Keep spreading your gift.” –Steve, CO

“Sara has a grasp of concepts & principles of training as well as the bigger picture.” Mark ‘Rif,’ CA

“I have the resilience in my back like I did as a wrestler in high school. Well worth my time and money.” Bryan, NV

“My time with you was more valuable than the combined 10 months of physical therapy. I wish I would have heard about ‘this stuff’ sooner!” Brent, NV

“Sara has a passion for what she does & a passion for her clients as well.” Anj, NV.

What the Workshop Covers:

1. Z-Health Neural warm-up 1: Joint -by-joint mobility to pinpoint personal movement inefficiencies to prevent or eliminate pain during and as a result of training; Pain relief and performance enhancement.

2. Pavel's "3 S's:" This goes hand-in-hand with Z-health

3. The RKC Swing & related Z drills:1 arm swing, 2 arm swing, alternating swing, figure 8 swing, double swing and the Z drills to perfect for of the swing. Perfecting drills include tools to find proper spinal alignment from the tail to the neck, head carriage, proper foot and leg placement, optimal shoulder movement throughout the swing.

4. Clean & related Z drills: The clean is a lot like the swing, but with very different execution to get the bell to the rack. You will learn the 1 arm clean, 2 arm clean, bottoms-up clean, double bottoms-up clean, & flip clean

5. Press & related Z drills: Obviously the press is closely linked to the clean. We build the press from the clean drills and use Pavel's irradiation drill to maximize pressing strength. We also look at head and heck carriage throughout the press and the proper Z correction drill, wrist carriage, & how eye position can effect the press. You will learn the 1 arm military press, 2 arm press, bottoms-up press, push press, in line kneeling lunge press, one-leg press, and long cycle press.

6. Front Squat & deadlift & their Z related drills: 1 arm FS, double FS, goblet squat, loaded deadlift, suitcase DL, Sumo DL, one-legged DL. we will cover proper spinal alignment and the corrective Z drills, proper foot and leg placement, using eye position to effect the squat. Corrective Z drills for the deadlift cover proper spine, head, and knee alignment

7. Get-up & related Z drills: We will cover the lunge style GU, OH squat style GU, double GU, and shin roll GU. you will learn Pavel's heel extension drill to maximize upper and lower body connection on the get-up sit-up. We'll cover how to maintain proper spinal alignment throughout the GU.

8. Snatch: Discover how my "volume swings" make learning and executing the snatch a breeze. It is like "steering your strength" as Pavel says, or turning up the volume swing my swing. This is a "threat inoculation" approach to the snatch.

9. Final workout: A final "smoker" to immediately incorporate the learned drills into your training protocol.

Date:20 June 2009

Time: 12:00-5:00

Space is limited, Register before June 14 and receive the Early Bird Rate of $99.

The rate will increase to $150 after this date.

Place: 217 First Colonial Road, Suite #106, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23454

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It has been a relaxing weekend, a far cry from last several weekends. It is just what I needed but it is time to keep the eye on the prize so training will continue.

Ride 5 x 4/3

Moved the complexes up to 24k. This is a whole new world. The 16s were good to go, they brought positive metabolic changes Can't wait to see what the 24s do. I will work these 2-3 times per week and perhaps some viking mvo2 2-3 times per week. Will continue through June.
Complex: 5 x 3rep of Swing, front squat, clean and press, row 2 min rest. (will add a rep and a set)
Ride: 8x20/10

Fri: off

Ride 8x20/10

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Workshop June 20 2009

Russian Kettlebell and Z Health Workshop

with Sara Cheatham, SR RKC, Z level 4 and myself

June 20, 2009 in Virginia Beach.

Contact me for details.

We will cover the basic kettlebell lifts, then move into more advanced applications including how to incorporate Z Health movement concepts into your workout.

Training Today:
Complex 6 sets 2 min rest
Swing, Snatch, Clean & Press, Row

Ride: 4 x 4 min/3 min (keep HR@80% on work intervals)
Front Plank 5 x 30 on/30 rest

Ride: 16 x 10/20

Swings 16k x 200

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What up?

First, keep tuned for a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT.

You ask, what up wit you?

I've been training! Not too intense as I am riding a 300k this Saturday and I WILL finish. A combination of kettlebell training and riding is the Rx this week as always.

Do you know what rocks? Saturday I rode 200K and on Monday I was back on the bike for a short ride. No pain, no fatigue. Tuesday and today I did bike and pain, no fatigue.

Why does this rock? In the past years I had to really watch what I did the days following long rides. Too much intensity always led to increased time to recovery. Of course I didn't hit heavy front squats, pistols or lunges on Monday; that would be counter productive. I have built up some good endurance over the past few years in regard to both weight training and endurance events. It is the SAID principle in action.

TGU warm up then
20 min of 1/1TGU + 30 swing I started with 16k and moved up to 24k on 2nd set.
rest 3 hrs
Ride: 36sec on/36 sec off x 30 min.
Plank 5x30sec/30sec rest

Complex -- 5 reps - 1 min rest (shorter than a few weeks ago)
Swing, Snatch, clean and press, row
rest 4 hrs
Ride: 8x20/10

Note: I will move to complex w/24k as soon as I'm not doing 100+mile rides every weekend preferably a 3 week rest btw events. Just because I can recover doesn't mean I want to cross that line. Failure to recover means more REST.

Ride 16reps x 10/20 - spin out.
Plank - 5x30/30

Now I just have to figure out how to carb load without getting fat! I guess a dozen donuts is not the best idea. The past 2 weeks, I ate too much pasta and not enough other carbs like squash, beans and sweet potatoes. I've changed this trend starting tonight.

Salad - spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, avacado
Broccolli, salmon, sweet potatoes
Now I just need to find some donuts for desert! I'm kidding, I'll have some yogurt and maybe some carrots and hummus.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I took last week easy with an impending 300k bike ride on the ticket for Saturday and I had some back pain kick up. It is not the chronic back pain but it is a new pain from tweaking something in the lat during the CFT. The pain remained as I have been hitting pull ups much. On Monday I decided to continue with the program and wamo -- tweaked again.

Saturday's ride had some good points and bad points.

Good: rode strong for the first 80 miles. Then the heat took its toll on me. I abandoned the trip after 200k. My 200k time wasn't actually too terrible but I chose to ride again another day.

My dog friends didn't eat me. My fight or flight reflex took over a couple times during the struggle. I could smell rage and boom 30 mph, look over my right shoulder and here comes a wolf. YIKES.

On the way out, I saw this large creature (dog) lunging at me from a yard. A 3/4" chain connected an old Camaro kept me alive. Everytime he lunged, the Camaro squeaked from the stress.

Bad: Temp--98F
I was having flashbacks of last May's ride. I don't have the desire to do that again. All of the signs were stacking up in the same manner. Queasy, didn't want to eat, very slow riding. heat exhaustion sneaking up on me.

Another day:
I am planning take 2 either next weekend or in 3 weeks. Saturday's weather forecast for Warrenton, VA (the start and finish) is 66H-49L with scattered showers. This is more conducive to riding especially on a bike named after a fish.

Last week training
Sat: ride: 127mi - 11h
F: off
Th: 5 x 32k swings
W: Ride 20x10 x 8
T: -- Pull ups - 11,10,8,7,7
M --Pull ups = 11, 10, 8,76, ride easy spin
S rest

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tour de Cure

Saturday I completed the 100 mile Tour de Cure to raise money for diabetes research. I will post a full write up on the Tidewater Randonneur blog later.

In the mean time, I have some lessons learned. I normally post these here not to distract from a good story about a wonderful day on the bicycle.

Avg Speed - 17.4 mph
time: 5.22 (stopped too long with team) They lolly gag.

It was a good hard effort for most of the day. I ran into trouble around 70 miles. Legs cramping? I guess that is that feeling of cold pain down to the bone.

Food/water intake:
I'm getting dialed in the food. Need to bring 1 efs bar for every 2 hrs. I needed 1 more yesterday.
Water -- need to drink more on the ride especially on a warm day. hmmm. We were riding brisk enough that I forgot to intake. NO excuse.
electrolytes -- A v8 or something would have been gold at the 65 mile stop. Powerade isn't for me. Not sure I need any pill form stuff but I will toss some in my bag for next weekends ride.

Vitamin - M - (NSAID) I could have benefited from a dose at the same 65 mile point. Probably not the healthiest thing but feeling good is a good thing.

Pain during ride - other than some leg muscle pain - NONE. That's what I'm talking about. I did do Z - ankle, wrist, hip and Tspine stuff at the 1/2 way point.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We took the semi annual pft today. I can't say I'm surprised with the result. I'm not disappointed either. I firmly believe the purpose of the test is to MEASURE readiness and see where your program is taking you. It doesn't mean practicing those events as the sole basis of your training program although some practice isn't a bad idea. Distance running requires some distance running to develop efficiency.

Today's result tells me what I knew all along. Improve run, keep working the pull ups and hit the hang leg raises etc....DUH. I didn't realize exactly how poor my crunch performance would be today and was a little disappointed but then again, I couldn't stop laughing at myself during the event.

I can say with certainty that I won't be working on running in the near future. I'm actually in a completely different training cycle at the moment. Improvement in THIS test is not a goal at the moment. A goal is to do the test and recover quickly so that I can return to normalcy as quickly as possible and have as little pain as possible.

How will I change my program?

Simple, I plan to add 1 or 2 exercises that will improve EVERY area of strengh that I need to achieve my goals.
2. Hanging Leg Raise.

That's it! It really is that easy. No need for the latest 'Ken & Barbie exercises' or the new craze--the PX90. (No thanks).

Run - 24.50 (I wasn't last)
Pull up - 15
Crunch 85 (WTHO)

The score is a first class. Glad it is done, I can concentrate on other goals for a while.
Rx - add above exercises, work pull ups consistently, throw in some DOE man makers in the fall.
I am curious about how I will feel (back) the rest of the week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pain? Ponder this--

Sara Cheatham wrote the following:
"How do you know the difference between good pain and bad pain? Easily. When our survival is threatened we get "tunnel vision." So if you think you're just being a wuss and want to know if you really can handle more, stand tall and look straight ahead. Now, if you have a nice wide peripheral field of vision on either side you can keep going. If all you can take in is what's in front of you, um that's your sign to stop and re-group."

Any thoughts?

Rest Day today, Tomorrow -- PFT (that means running...YUCK).
Did swings about 150 @16k, bottom up press 10-15 @16k and some snatches 30-40 @16k.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The weekend update

I'm concentrating press technique this week. I realized last week that some complacency has set in during the press. What I've been doing is pressing and dropping the weight similar to a jerk. Pavel recommends a more effective method for the press which loads the lat for the next press, sets up the groove for the press and provides support for the shoulder girdle.

The correct way to press is to pull the weight down into the rack like a pull up. It is a little difficult to coordinate the pull down and the breathing cycle but the pay off is good.

TGU - 5x5
6 sets x 5 swing, snatch, clean and press, row

Ride: LaT - 5 on, 2.5 off, 6 on, 3 off, 7 on,

5 sets x 5 snatch, front squat, clean and press, row
pull up - 2 x 10
Ride: 20/10 x 8

5 set x 5 snatch, front squat, clean and press, row
Ride: 20/10 x 8
Pull up 5 x 13

Saturday, April 11, 2009

RKC - assistant

I was asked by Pavel to assist at an RKC certification for some frogs here in Virginia Beach. On Monday morning, a group of hand selected RKC instructors began providing instruction to some of the world's most elite warriors. We taught in the heat, rain, and a bone chilling wind. On Tuesday we finished the crucible with several newly minted RKC instructors.

The kettlebell is a tool that can be used anywhere in the world. There are kettlebells used as door stops in quaint destinations all over the world including Afganistan. The problem is most people don't know how to use the tool properly so they don't benifit from it. This weeks certification was one way to change this problem as several operators learned the basic and advanced kettlebell techniques.

Most of the candidates had never touched a kettlebell until Monday morning. Here is the impressive part: by Tuesday afternoon, they ALL looked like long time gireveks.

The sad part? Well, 2 Devil Dogs attended training on Monday and were too sore to continue on Tuesday. I think they are weak and they didn't represent very well. In fact, these 2 chuckle-heads piss me off.

Overall this was an awesome expierence. I continued to learn new things and hone the old.

Snatch test update: Begining in June, the snatch numbers will change again. Males need to snatch the 24k kettlebell 100 times in 5 minutes regardless of body weight. Start practicing now.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rest day

After a couple days of intense activity, I'm resting.

Yesterday, I completed the Morrisville 200k @ 10h, just under 9h on the bike. This is a good start to the season. A complete write up is available here. I spent 2 hrs with severe stomach pain, only able to muster 10, 13 mph. I'm still not sure of the cause but I will test a few hypothesis before the 300k in a 3 weeks. The pain left after a stop at a porta-jon on the side of the road.

Thursday evening, I went to Karen Smith's new kettlebell gym in VB. I was roped into a workout. I had a blast with the circuit. This is a cool facility and the only one in VB.

Tomorrow and Tuesday...assisting Pavel at an RKC cert at an undisclosed local here in VB. Should be fun.

Monday, March 30, 2009

CFT -- Slayed

I hit the ZNWU before I walked to the track for the Combat Fitness Test (CFT) the Corps' new physical fitness test. The CFT does not replace the physical fitness test it is a different test; testing totally different energy systems (anaerobic).

The test begins with a 880 yard run for time (in boots and utes) simulating moving to engagement. The second event is the 2 minute #35 ammo can lift simulating a resupply. The finish is called the maneuver under fire (MANUF). The MANUF is the combination of sprinting, crawling, more sprinting, casulty drag, firemans cary, ammo can (x2) run, a gernade toss and more ammo can running.

Is the test hard? Well, it isn't easy. It is just a different level of suck; then it is done. Actually the test is fun and I would rather do this than run 3 miles any day.

Run - 880 - 3:20 - this is actually my fastest far. It is also the first time my left lumbar didn't ache for 600 yd. GO Z!

Ammo Can - I hit the minimum (40) in about 40 seconds and then stopped. This time, the test is pass fail (will change in the fall) and I didn't see the incentive to go on. Well, I started pressing again at 1 minute and matched my partner at 80 reps. I can do 100 easy, if needed.

MANUF - Hard to describe this event. I basically tried to relax and keep a steady pace for the entire event. Pushing too hard at any point results in quickly reaching MHR. It would be interesting to wear the HRM for this! Perhaps I will do in practice later down the road. Time: 3:03 with a miss (missed the target on the gernade toss by a few inches).

1. Improvement will be easy in all 3 events. I won't speculate on my goal numbers yet. I have an idea of what is achievable but will wait for the announcement of scoring zones.

2. The ZNWU and R Phase drills done between events were a life saver! Perhaps I should start some I phase one of these days.

Pull ups 98765

Sunday, March 29, 2009

rest update

This weekend was a wash. Saturday - sick, I didn't do too much. Today, not as bad but, need to take it easy; tomorrow CFT.

Pull up 88765
Swing 32k - 2x50

Friday, March 27, 2009


Quick update.

Pull up ladders 87765
Ride - 10 x 10/20 - spin high cadence as possible then recover. Work on leg speed.

Feel ill...was ok until about 45 min after the bike ride. Then WAMO!

Hope to get 4-5 hr ride in tomorrow, I have to see how I feel in the AM first.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What do you suck at?

HUGE discount on DD kettlebells. DD has changed foundries and kettlebells now cost less. This is a good thing. Click one of the Dragon Door links to get 1 or 2 at up to 30% off!

I read Kenneth Jay's new book, Viking Warrior Conditioning. It explains the MVO2 workout protocols. If you haven't done the MVO2 max workouts, you are missing out. I plan to cycle through the protocols again later in the spring. First things first!

Today I realized that it is time to kick the complex up a notch. Here are a couple thoughts.

1. Keep the complexes the same and decrease rest time.
2. Add more sets (take longer)
3. Do both. (won't take quite as long)
4. The other option is to complete with 24k kettlebells.

Opt 4. Will probably be the most beneficial for power development and muscular endurance. Who am I kidding, I shouldn't be using 16k 'bells for this. I haven't messed with snatching 2x24k for nearly a year and if I remember correctly, I stopped because form was not adequate.

So, a combination of all of the above may be in store. How? Alternate high volume lighter weight days with low volume heavier days. Sounds simple enough right? Keep reading, you will be the first to know.

Today's Reward:
Pull up 87665
Complex deux -16kx2 6sets x 5.snatch,front squat, clean and press, row.
The first set felt terrible and the other sets were good to go! I feel like I have the perfect groove in the snatch right now. I can't wait to test my hip power in a snatch test in the near future.

10 x 30sec on / 2:30 rest alternated standing sprint with seated. Using 52x12.
MXHR - 166. I only reached this on the 9th interval. I just reviewed my training files on the HRM. It has been more than a month since my HR was elevated more than the 160s (that I've recorded).

Huge improvement this year of course there are too many variables that affect HR so it is not the best tool to measure fitness but it is an indicator. Indications are looking good. Real world tests are on the way. CFT on Monday (this will be my baseline), 200k next Sat. The PFT is in about 3 weeks as well. I should throw in a snatch test in the near future. It is a good indicator of strength endurance and there aren't many variables to skew data.

Analyzing the results of the above tests will tell me alot. Simply, it will show me a picture of what I suck at.

Like I tell my Marines every day, find the thing you suck at and practice that. If this is the ONLY thing you do, you can't help it you will improve. -- Freaking Amazing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

practice update

It seems as though the weather is conspiring to keep me on the trainer. Bummer! Not a good thing either as my 'season' starts in a week and a half. Hopefully, I have done enough. I'm not worried about the first event. I will finish it (200k) no problem.

The concern is the longer distances especially completing the 400k and 600k. The good news is that the series is designed for the purpose of working up to these distances and longer. SWEET!

I'm considering attempting to add a low volume, heavy practice early in the am, I will do a couple days per week and see what happens. My goal is building strength during the season. I'm not concerned with hypertrophy. In fact, shedding some weight and improving strength (POWER) is more beneficial.

Z Drills – full body
Bretzel, ASLR
Complex Swing, snatch, clean and press, row

Ride trainer – 6x90/90
Pull up - 87654

Complex swing, snatch, clean and press row

CFT – practice –
Run – 880y
Run – 8x100y
Ammo can run 1x100y
(did a short fireman carry….bad idea back tweaked)

Sunday – Off (ill)

Saturday –
Complex – snatch, front squat, clean and press, row
Pull up – 2x10

Ride – 8x20/10 – standing

Friday –
Ride – 5x4/3

Ride – 30 fassssssst
Pull up 7x6

Wednesday –
Complex – swing, snatch clean&press, row
Pull up 6x6

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I was mildly hungry then I read Nutrition Solutions recipes of the day. YUM. I'm all about a few days.

Continued with another complex today. Quick, simple and effective. I'm all about this too. Actually these are fitting nicely into my current training cycle.

ZNWU, Bretzel,
Swing, snatch, clean and press, row. 5x5 2 min rest.

Pull up 4x7

Oddly, today's limiter seemed to be the press. Grip was not an issue.

Monday, March 16, 2009

cold ride today

Today I ventured out in the cold for a long-ish ride. We headed out to the Pungo area of VB for the ride. This is where I ALWAYS get lost and today was no exception. We zigged when we should have zagged, kept zipping along when I started to notice the signs all said, Chesapeake. CRAP! We turned around and the retrun trip was all into a northeast wind off the Atlantic...cold.

I'm making good progress with the bretzel, my shoulders are nearly flat on the deck...sweet.

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Ride 55 miles

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Complex...5 sets x 5reps 2/16k - swing, snatch, clean and press, row
Pull up 5x6

Evening: - Ride (watching Paris - Nice) 5x4 min. on/3 min. off

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Clean and Press - 5 x 1234 ladders
Pull up - 5x5 12k

ride 8x20/10

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here comes the rain

Just like the song, here comes the rain again...I'm bracing for 4-5 days of rain. That means I have to ride indoor on the trainer. This also means I will get some good quality KB practice because I wont be sitting on my bicycle for 4-8 hours at any point during the weekend. Of course I could get cabin fever and go ride in the rain and cold. I'm not opposed to the thought but...I will save it for a day when I 'have' to tough it out.

Today's training and practice:
BRETZEL- These are coming along. TSpine flexibility is nearly full ROM.
ASLR, TGU #3, bow

Front Squat - 106# 8x5 + pull up 1x10, 7x5
Wheel Roll outs - 3x5 + pull up 3x5
Swing 32k 3x30 --
Ride on trainer - standing 8x20/10

Then I ate!!!!! YUM.

Clean and press 32k 4 x 1,12 ladders + pull up 12k 4x4
(failed on fourth press set. Next time I will save the pull ups until later.)
Snatch - 24k - 94 reps (about 4:30) - need to keep this exercise regular.
I used all the time I had - busy schedule, Need more time on a heavy day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Training -- the past week

Something to think about....

Last summer I switched multi vitamin brands because the GNC brand was giving me a huge head ache. About 3 - 4 weeks ago, I ran out of the new multi vitamin and didn't make it to the store to purchase more. After a week, I read Georgie's nurtition blog she was talking about vitamins and the bodies needs. Her post reinforced my thought of just stopping the vitamins all together.

So, after a month, I feel NO difference. In fact my strength and endurance performance has improved. Recovery? No difference. Verdict? No more multi vitamins. I'll keep the cash for something that tastes than a vitamin.

ALL of our daily requirements are available by eating real food. A recent study (see G's blog) has shown that the health benefits from taking suplements are not the same as eating grub. Meaning Popeye was on to something; you receive MORE benefit from eating the real deal.

Worried about not getting enough of each nutrient? More than likely you don't eat enough veggies, add an extra helping at night. Here's what I do:
  • Since last fall, I've been eating 3 - 4 large bags of spinach each week. Sometimes it is salad form and others it is steamed with a little lemon and paprika or both the salad and steamed. In addition, I always fill 1/2 my plate with another veggie.

I'm posting a quick update of my training.

Ride 20

Ride 15
Z cooldown

Monday (rest)
Z work
TGU Prep stuff
Swings 1x100

did some stick work on right quad - had a charlie horse ALL day.

Prepwork-ASLR - Bretzel Step 4 TGU
Front Squat 24(2) 8x5
Clean and Press - 24k 8x1234 + Pull up 8kx4
Swing 40k 5x25

PM -
Ride - 8x20/10 - STANDING

Ride 45 miles - (ZOOOOOM - rode with the racers)

Walk - 4 miles

Z work
TGU prep - ASLR - Bretzel

TGU Prep
TGU 24k 5x5
Ride: 8x20/10

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Check it out

I just stumbled upon this post while surfing the Modern Forager blog. It is titled 'Don't be this Guy/Gal...' The author describes several types of gym-goer.
  • The Wanderer, The Super Strong Guy who Doesn’t Re-rack the Weights, The 1/4 Heavy Squat Guy, The ELS Person, The Grunter/Screamer, The Bluetooth Person, The No-Wiper, The “Off-Duty” Trainer, The Cologne/Perfume Person, The Functional Training Catalog Trainer, The Cutoff Guy, The Leaner
Frankly I think this is brilliant and it is the reason I haven't stepped into the base gym since July.

Step 4 TGU

Clean and press 24k - 8x1,2 ladders + pull up bw+4k x 3
Goblet squat - 40k 5x5 + Swing 40k 5x20

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

quick update

Quick updates from today:

TGU steps 3/4
Swings x 100
Bike: 5 min wu - 8x20/10 - 5 min cool down

Tomorrow is.....tgu step 5, 7 sets of light presses, front squats, pull ups, swings (many), Ride vo2m

Monday, March 2, 2009

'heavy' day

In ETK, Pavel prescribes a pressing format of a light, medium and heavy and heavy day. Today was my heavy day; heavy volume. Actually this is the first time in months that I have actually completed a heavy day. Not sure I actually did a heavy day last spring when preparing for the level 2 certification.

Upon completing 5 sets of 5 rung ladders, I should be ready for to move up to the next size kettlebell (in theory). Instead, I plan to add a little more volume perhaps an extra set or 2 before I move up. Why? Just because I completed the plan doesn't mean it was comfortable. I think the groove could use a little more work. The set will be added to the light and medium days as well.

Now Hear This:
I finished some reading and practice today that got me thinking about how to approach my training/practice as well as training with clients either individual or group classes. Not too terribly different but I have decided to change the format slightly. What this means to you is...more Turkish Get Ups!

TGU - Step 2/3 (will work these again tomorrow)

Clean and Press 24k 5x12345 ladder
Swing 40k 5 x 20 + pull up x 5

Sunday, March 1, 2009

more Issues discovered

During today's practice, I once again used video analysis between sets. Arrrghhh, more problems. During my 5min RKC snatch practice, I noticed that my right arm is NOT locked out in the overhead position. Did I mention that this was a problem in the get up yesterday?

This shows how bad habits are not isolated to individual problems. Work on the little, 'simple' things. Perfect them and find that more complicated or heavier activities are simplified. Not to mention you reduce the chance for injury.

This relates to music as well. When a (music) student comes asks me to listen to their scales or solo it is always evident who practices perfectly and uses a metronome to keep tempo. Students that don't use these tools or don't pay attention to what they are playing ALWAYS speed up and slow down. Mashing the 'buttons' (valves or keys) is akin to throwing weights around without attention to detail.

In my own music practice, I find it necessary to practice a scale or exercise at a slow precise tempo. When it is perfect slow, I speed it up, practice and so on until I can do it faster than required. It takes discipline and time.

The same care should be take in exerciese. You will find tales in this blog of people that just don't get it. They throw weight around in a very small range of motion that is more than not the wrong groove. I guess it is part ignorance, part naiveity or part complacency; or a combination of all. I think everyone needs some instruction at some point and periodically. A coach or instructor will let you know where you are going wrong and how to fix.

How often should I have a coach? That depends on your goals and how much money you have to spend. When you are sick you visit the doc for a chunk of money. Why don't we take this much care and prevent the visit? That money can be spent on a good trainer/coach (like me).

Last year, I worked with a coach 6-7 times both face to face and via video. I would recommend weekly or monthly contact with a trainer at the minimum but if you don't have the dollars, I guess a few times a year is better than never.

Prep work
Z - nwu
BRETZEL - feels good.

Swing: 1x100
TGU:2x5/5 (worked the hip extention)
Goblet squat: 6x5 (32k)
Snatch 5 min - 82 - didn't try to push anything just 8/8 on the minute. Hmmm, I guess I should have done a couple more to reach my didn't register until just now. I need 1.4 reps.
Snatch practice 3x5/5 + Pullup 3x5

More snatch thoughts:
I haven't worked on these for 2-3 weeks for some reason. My groove was off in several ways. Need practice to the groove back.

Trainer 4min/3min x 5

Saturday, February 28, 2009

more Practice etc.

Today's practice was more of the same. I took video of each set of each exercise and analyzed my form. It was eye opening. Some things are great and a few other things had deteriorated. Most of the issues were a very simple fix like keeping the elbow locked in the get up.

I did notice one possibly serious movement flaw in the squat. My left knee tends to collapse when I'm fatigued. This was a problem in the past and it has returned. Good thing I know how to fix it!

This brings me to this: if you are training blindly; seek assistance. A trained set of eyeballs can save you thousands in PT bills, surgeries or both. I noticed my problems from a video and know how to fix but I will seek out another RKC to assist me. Mainly because the corrective strategies for the collapsing knee need another set of hands (mine are holding kettlebells).

I've completed the level I, level II RKC courses and have assisted at certifications. Each time my form has been meticulously inspected, scrutinized and corrected (if needed). I've even sent video to other RKCs and Master RKCs for the same beat down. You owe it to yourself to do the same, shoot me a line and we'll work out the details.

TGU practice
Front Squat: 2/24k 5x5
Clean practice
clean and press: 24k 123x5

Ride 35 miles

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I've mentioned foundation before. Building a foundation sets you up for good lifting, mucho improved strength and less injuries. All of these lead to a better lifestyle. Better lifestyle for me is living pain free or as much pain free as I can without eating NSAIDS like Vitamin M. I'm thinking some very important organs, mainly the liver and kidneys may appreciate my thoughtfulness and actually last my lifetime.

Building a foundation is as simple as throwing away the EGO and perfecting movement patterns. Movement patterns are lifts or parts of a lift. It is training the CNS (central nervous system) to allow the body to perform properly. It's like a map (that is what the Z gurus call it). The CNS is like the black box in the cockpit of an aircraft. It tracks or maps all movement good and bad.

Performing movement incorrectly leads to an incorrect map. Instead of finding the burried treasure, you find...pain. The pain probably won't happen today or tommorrow but it will happen. Incorrect movement leads the body to correct with other joints and a wild cycle of compensation and shutting down function leads to loss of movement all together. Three years ago I couldn't put my own socks on due to this phenomon.

A good map allows improved athletic performance for anyone. Elite professional athletes benefit from this and so do those of us who enjoy watching from the couch. I will take any improvement in athleticism I can get and judging from all of the HGH/steroid/EPO users, so will the elite athlete. A proper map is legal!

So I take my vitamin Z drills, and have been rehashing the basic movment patterns under weight. Most recently I've been practicing the Get up with a very easy weight. I've also practiced cleans with a variety of weights. It is paying off as my cleans with heavy weights is becoming more natural.

So practice looks very similar to what I was doing 2 years ago with at least 1 benefit, I don't get DOMS (from these lifts).

Swing 16k x 100
TGU 12k 3 x 5/5, 16k 2 x 5/5 ( I practiced any transition that I didn't feel comfortable in 5x during the first set.
Cleans 5 sets of 3 reps 24k, 32k, 40k
Press 24k 5 sets x 1,1,2 ladders + pull up x 5
Swing - 24k OH 20/20 - 32k x 50 - 40k x 50
Evil wheel - 3x5 + crocadile breathing between sets.

Saved Rounds:
My back pain is present; not this bad since June? or longer.

Monday, February 23, 2009

a week of updates

It's been a little over a week since the last post. Complacent...yes. This is a training update.

In short,I think I have a problem other than the usual chronic pain. I have some sort of imbalance that is causing my adductors to over compensate during running. Yes, I know running sucks and is not the best exercise but as a combat athlete (Marine), running is part of my job so I suck it up and do it. Normally as little as I can get away with. I guess it is part of the puzzle.

The easy solution is don't run. The other solution is to figure out the imbalance and correct it. I'm absolutely certain the solution can be found in something like this hypothetical-fictional Z Health solution: Standing in the Neutral look up through the forehead like the lizards on the Galapagos Is. or Fernando Valenzuela, at the same time rotate only the pinkie finger about 4x each direction. -- Well, I think it's funny! All kidding and exaggeration aside, it's really this easy.

880yd run,
6x100yd run
and some other things.

Swing: 16k x 100
TGU - 12k 5x5/5 - practice!
Cleans 5 x 3reps(16k, 24k, 32k, 40k) - practice
Press - 24k 5 x 1234 -- getting it back
Swing - 32k 2x25, 40k 3x25

Bike - 20/10 x 8

VO2M 20 min @ 8reps


Run - 2.5 mi fartlek with grappling etc. (MCMAP)


C/P 24k x 1,2 (easy)
Front Squat - 2/24k 5x5
Swing - 40k 2x50
-----in hind sight, this second workout was dumb! I felt it all week and a little during today's runs. Need some corrective something in the adductor area. Me thinks me has an ailment.

Mon -
Z - rest; lots of sleep

Sun -
Ride: 134 miles - yes this is correct and it was cold.

Sat -
TGU 12k 5x5/5

Ride: 20

ride : 20

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Today ended up a rest day but I did have to move all of the boxes in the picture. That is the picture of pain.

I practiced Z this morning. Amazingly it released some pain and stiffness. Cool eh? I plan to practice some more Z before I hit the rack. Lots of ankle work, ok, I will hit the whole body again.

Full training day tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beat-Down Continues

90% of the time when I talk about training, I'm actually practicing an activity. This week is different with more training or beat down than practice. Yesterday we did more CFT training er...practice. When I got home, I practiced heavy kettlebell snatches. This morning a 20 mile bike ride with plenty o' sprinting and this evening, I got a nice beat-down at MCMAP.

This is what all of the practice and conditioning with kettlebells allows me to accomplish. I am very thankful that I work them hard. I recover quickly after grappling rounds -- great when fresh bodies are bringing it to you. It also lets me have a huge smile during cohesion drills. Most of all it is great to have conditioning that is superior to most. Notice I didn't say all!

I should add one tidbit. I am beat!

Ride 20 mi. several sprints
Z drills

880 yd run., Press, MANUF
Snatch 5 rounds - 5x16, 24, 32

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Almond Butter Cookies

I made the almond butter cookies. They are good and light. They have just enough almond flavor; it isn't overwhelming.

I am not a fan of Splenda as it always leaves an after taste. These cookies do leave the Splenda after taste. I will make these again and will even try with peanut butter.

Time for updates

Ok, so I need to get better at these updates and I will.

In the mean time, I've just spent the last 30 min checking out Nutrition Solutions Blog. This is full of fantastic and very important information from a RD and fellow RKC. Check it out!

Not only does Georgie, the author, provide and discuss important nutrition scoop, she gives recipes that look delicious (and healthy). In fact I think I will try this out tonight!

This is from Georgie's Site:
Almond Butter Cookies
1/4 c almond butter
8 pkts Splenda
2T egg beaters
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325, and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Drop into 6 equal portions on cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 7-8 minutes. Mmmmmmm. (Don't have almond butter? Use PB. It still rocks. )

Now for the training update:
Ride: 35 mi. (5 laps on W Great Neck bridge)(5 laps on Ft Story Rollers)
rest 3 hrs
TGU 5/5 (16k) + 50 swings (32k)

Ride: 25 miles

Run 880 yds + 2 min ammo can lift

Vo2 Max x 20 sets - I ran out of time.

Off - I had watch. Lots of walking and stair climbing. Next month I should use a flack vest for my tours...

Everyday: Z drills!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Ok, so the lack of power in yesterdays workout must have been due to illness. I woke this morning feeling a under the weather. Today was not fun. I skipped my kb workout today...(VO2 scheduled -- sorry Sandy). Saved the little energy I had for MCMAP this afternoon.

When I got home from work, I felt ok and thought that I would probably feel guilty if I didn't do something. So I hopped on the bike for 10x30 sec (hard)/1:30 sec (rest).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Practice today and update

I took break for a couple days -- kinda -- because we moved. I could not have done a workout and moved all of our stuff and still train this week. I was wasted by the end of Saturday and have tweaked my back. Of course it is the same area that has hurt for 4 years. That is good news because I know what to do to get back to normal.

During my snatch practice today I had no power and felt my back on every rep. I also noticed my entire left side was compensating. In other words my hips did not fire. I cut back on the reps then added several sets of swings. Of course I could just have no energy because of the crap I ate yesterday.

OAJerk 32k on the min 5 reps alternating arms - 10 min.
5 min rest
Snatch: 24k 5 min - 3 x 11/11, 2 x 5/5 = 86 (it was hard but I hit my numbers)
then - 2 min x swing

bike: 8x20:10 standing on every interval

Sat - off - znwu
Friday - znwu
Thursday - Bike 20:10x8 - MVO2 x 35sets
Wednesday - Bike 2 min on: 1 min off x 10

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back to the VO2 (V1)

Yesterday I mentioned that I would be hitting the VO2 Max. Well I began a day early was there. I noticed I was more winded on this protocol than in the past. This 'off season' is taking a toll on my VO2 max. At least my SE (strength Endurance) is coming along just right. Of course, this is the reason we have protocols such as the Vo2 max protocol. To improve it and become machines like Drago er...Rocky B or Pavel (he's real).

Day 1 (or 2 see note)
VO2Max -- 15/15 8 rep -- 30 sets.

This was pretty much the end of the line for today. I could have done a few more sets but for day 1 this is a fantastic start. I will add at least 5 reps on the next series.

One more note, yesterday's 4:3 intervals are also allowed in the protocol, So actually, this is DAY 2.....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Update -- more practice

I guess I have slacked on the updates. Here is the scoop.

I'm going to start a VO2 max cycle and work up to 40 min. I was planning on starting next week but I was motivated by an update by Sandy Sommer RKC. He is working up to 80 sets so I will keep up and hopefully motivate him too! So I will begin this week on Wed.

swing 16k x 50/50, 24k x 100
Snatch: 24k on the min - 12l/12r x 6 min
rest 2 min
Snatch 16k 10/10 x 4 min

rest 3.5 hrs

Bike: 6 min wu + 4x 4:00 on/3 min rest

Ride: 20/10 x 8

snatch 16k x 100

Ride: 20/10 x 8

Z practice

pistol: 16k 5/5
snatch 16k x 100

Pull up 5x10
ride 3 hrs

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Split into 2 sessions today:

A. strength
ZNWU - Z continues to amaze me. Check this out on Mike T Nelson Blog.
Z work
Jog 1/2 mile
OH swing 16k x 50/50
Front Squat: 3 x 32k x 5 | 4 x 56k x 3 - (got some work to do, good start)
OH LCJerk: on the min. 6 min. 10 reps each arm per min.
Jog 1/2 mile

Goal with FSQ -
  • 5x5 with 64k. end of march...
  • END of year goal - 80k.

B. bike
5 min wu
20 x 10 sec on/5 sec off
5 wd

Pull up 10x5

Pull Up: 2x10
Swing 32k x 100
Bike: 8x20:10

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The baseline

A few years back I decided that completing 1 set of 100 snatches was a milestone. My first attempt was in my living room and it was a success. It showed me that I was right where I needed to be. I also decided I could begin using my 24k kettlebell. The rep scheme for that attempt was 20,15,10, and 5 reps.

I did it again a few months after my first RKC certification when I was working out with one of my buddies. He mentioned he did 100 snatches in a workout a few weeks prior and I said cool, let's do it. Instead of doing it in 1 set, I told him that we would alternate sets in a you go - I go format. The thing is kept bragging about how cool he was and how much he was a stud. (with the 16k? come on gimme a break) So he struggled with the first set of 20s then my turn. I did 50 left and 50 right. He said humbly, 'I guess I have much to learn.' We completed the workout in order (yes, I did the 15, 10 5 with him).

I didn't do it to show off and I'm not writing about it to show off. It is great to reach milestones but they are only milestones and should serve as motivation for the next milestone.

Today one of my 'students' attempted the 100 rep challenge with the 16k. It all sounded great until he started breaking it down. He rested several times in the rack position and it took him 4.5 minutes. This is admirable and a start ain't quite up to par. So he has some work ahead of him. Good thing is he will nail it in a few weeks - non-stop!

So I was inspired to attempt this again. I needed a quick workout this afternoon and he had a 16k Russian Red in his office. So, about a minute and a half - two minutes later, I was done 40,40, 10,10.

I like the 100rep challenge and will have to ammend it to the 24k in the next few months. Can I do 100 w/o rest? Well, it's a great question, I think I shall find out. Hmmm, this means I might have to work on the 10 min thing huh?

Give the 16k 100 reps a try. Do 100 snatches without setting the kettlebell down. Rest is in the overhead position (if needed).

Monday, January 12, 2009

1st outdoor ride of the year

I suited up with several layers and headed outside for a ride. It was the first outdoor ride of the year. I'm a little behind in the long ride category. Riding fitness is not there right now but I started feeling great after the first hour.

I decided to skip my scheduled kettlebell work today with the long ride planned. I'm glad I did. I feel the least few workouts.

Ride: 2.5 hours

Sunday, January 11, 2009

5 min SSST

After some practice on various lifts, I planned some snatch practice. When it came time for snatches, I decided to do the test. I was actually inspired by the Karen Smith, the other RKC in Virginia Beach. She is preparing for the level 2 RKC this summer and has nailed her test a few times already. I said, "Hmmm, I should actually try in one of these days." If you rember, I did in a few months ago; I hit my number in the first 3 minutes and decided that was enough, need more practice. The 5 min snatch test is the new RKC certification standard. ALL RKCs and RKC candidates must complete the test.

Males will use the 24k kettlebell, you may switch hands as many times as you like and you may set the kettlebell down. You must complete your weight in KG for me right now that is about 84 reps/kg. I figured that anything over 86 would be a good number to shoot for. (Just keeping it humble)

Of course as soon as I hit start on the GymBoss, I changed my mind and went for 100 reps. It looked like this, 15/15, 15/15, 10/10, 10/11 = 101 reps (did 1 for the Corps). Regardless of your weight the most reps you have to complete in the test is 100. I actually rested about 43 seconds after the second set of 15/15 and had plenty left in the tank when I was done.

I plan to keep working towards improving my score in the test as it is a fantastic workout. I will shoot for the 10 min SSST in the next month or so with a goal of 200+reps. I have never attempted this test but I think it will be good GPP for the events in the spring.

OH Swing 16k x 100
Pistols 16K 10 x 1/1
TGU 16k 5 x 5/5 (alternated fluid GU and high hip)
5 min Snatch test - 101 reps

Bike 10 min wu + 8x20sec/10sec + cool down 2 min.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Today we did a mock PFT. Not really sure why but it was a good excuse to shuffle a few miles and hit some pull ups. Actually, the students needed an inventory PFT to start the year off and we were volun-told to provide some motivation. OOHRAH Mandatory fun! I skipped the crunches ', they are worthless and I personally like the way my back feels these days. I did do hanging leg raises 5 sets of 10 instead!!!!! Today I put out about 60 - 80% effort on the events. I guess you could call it junk miles or junk training, Yea - no - maybe?

It is wise to practice things even running. My focus for the run was form. I would like to become more efficient but that will take more running. YUCK.

Practice today:
Pull ups
Hanging Leg raise

Jerks 6 min x 7 reps l/r

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sold My Kettlebells

Yesterday, I had time to get in a quick beating at work before I sold my kettlebells. I have been keeping a full set of kettlebells beside my desk at work for quite a while. They keep accumulating. When someone approached me about purchasing some kettlebells before he deployed in the very near future I couldn't say no. He got a great deal for a 16k, 24k and 32K, didn't have to wait for shipping and I got some ca$h.

No, I don't need cash.
Yes, I still have many kettlebells, just none at work...for a short time. I guess I'll have to either practice at home or do something else at the gym?

Or, I could do BW stuff, pull ups, push ups and pistols. This might be a good idea!

Anyway, I will order new kettlebells and some additional for my class. The UPS dude is going to say my name in vain. I may have to leave a nice tip. I wonder if the IBT allows?

Snatch 24k 20 min. on the minute. 10 reps alternate hands each minute. - 200 reps.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 - 1

Well it is 2009.

Of course everyone has resolutions to do this and that. I...well came up with my 2009 goals and began working on them months ago. Let me sum it up in 1 sentence:

Work hard at the boring things that will make me a better man (Tsatsouline).' What the...?
This goes for training and life. It is the little things consistently that pay off in the long run.

Actually, a few minutes ago, I was thinking about my goals and ambitions for the year and beyond. One thought struck me. Do I REALLY want to do these things? It will be hard and require sacrifice. Well, yea, I really do want to do these things but WHY?

Training update:
Pull up BW - 5 x 5 working on form. 1 sec pause at bottom.
Front Squat - feet together - 32K 5x5
OALC - 32k - 7 min - 5l, 5r on the min. (my whole body is shaking after this)
Swing - 32k 3x50 - still shaking

Bike trainer - 8x 20:10

Snatch: 24k 10 min. 5/5 on the minute