Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The World Upside Down

Today, I reached back in my vault of exercises. I love pressing and I want to do it. So I had to think of a way I could press without using KBs. KBs would tempt me to crush grip, or just grip. Either way, I should lay off the grip. SO, I did handstand pushups, elevated on blocks. Hey, these were challenging and they felt oh so good.

A1-Pistols with 8kg: 5/5,5/5,5/5,5/5
A2-Handstand Pushups on blocks: 5,5,5,5
B1-One legged DL with 2(16kgs):

5/5,5/5 => w/ 2(24kgs): 5/5,5/5
(extending wrists and just hooking KBs while doing DLs)
B2-More Handstand Pushups on blocks: 3,3,3,3

I weigh about 170lbs, Handstand pushups on blocks were by no means a walk in the park. A good pressing exercise for me... Practiced pressing with lats and using tension.

Followed all up with 10 minutes of rebounding.

That's all for now.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Getting up

Today, I did TGU's. Nothing fancy, just TGU's followed by some Resilient exercises. I like TGU's. They make me feel strong. Even when the kb is light, they make me feel good and strong. 10 minutes of TGU's with the 16kb. 14 each arm. Not really counting but couldn't help it. There is something awesome about holding that kb overhead from the ground to the sky and back again. Anyway, they felt good and I felt good. I felt so good i fought the urge to do more.

Saturday's Workout:

Tabatas anyone?

Tabata Burpees (20 sec on, 10 sec off for 8 sets)
Tabata Swings without KB (you got to try it before you knock it. really explode and tighten...)
Tabata Pushups
Tabata Bodyweight Squats

Simple. Not easy. Tough enough.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Movin'

Still nursing the elbows... So again today, I worked out with exercises that where pain free. As it turns out, I can do TGU's as long as I don't crush grip the handle. Also I tried to be a little creative and do kb-less swings. Yep, just stood there and rapidly hinged back and exploded forward. Surprisingly enough, it felt like I was actually getting something acomplished. I payed particular attention to what my body was doing; practicing the move. Also did some one legged dead lifts trying to extend my wrist while holding light kettlebells. Trying to be creative... Anyway, here it is:

A- TGU with 24kg x 10 minutes (12 TGU's each arm)
B1- KB-less swing x 20 for 5 sets
B2- One legged DL with 2 16kgs x 5/5 for 5 sets
B3- Pavel's Resilient Tricep Extension with 16kg x 6 for 4 sets

Not too much, but I felt good about it. Worked forearm extensers and streched throughout the rest of the day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Easy Does It.

Today, I kept it easy. Simple. All I did was joint mobility drills followed by light Bent Presses and Pistols. I paid careful attention to how I picked up the kettlebells each time, assisting each hand with the other hand. Trying to ensure I don't aggrivate the elbows. I gave myself one rule: if it hurts, or feels uncomfortable, DON'T DO IT. And for once, I listened to myself. Lucky for me, it didn't hurt! But only because I used light KB's, was careful and not willing to push anything...

A1-Bent Press with 24kg 5/5 x 4 sets
A2-Pistols with 16kg 3/3 x 4 sets

After that I went and ran sprints. More than one way to skin a cat... I'll get an anaerobic workout without using my grippers. (I think kettlebells are easier than sprints.) Oh well, nothing fancy but it feels effective; to me anyway...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A way Around the Pain?

Welp, got golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, or a pain in the butt inside the elbow. Whatever it is it's frustrating. So now, i'm trying to find away around it. I took a week off, but only a week. And really, i just didn't do kettlebells for a week. Now I'm using light KB's and trying to find what doesn't aggrivate my elbow.

This is what I did yesterday:

Swings with 16kg 15/15 x 4 sets
TGU's with 16kg 3/3 x 3 sets
Jerks with 16kgs 20 x 5 sets

The jerks seemed to bother the elbow but only a little.

Spent the rest of the day stretching my tight, sore elbow (probably the jerks weren't a good thing, or maybe the swings...) and doing finger extensions with rubber bands.

Today, I did this:

Dbl front squats with 16kgs x 5, 5, 5, 5
Dbl Military Press with 16kgs 5, 5, 5, 5 (minimum pain, more like sensation)
Buttoms up press with 16kg 5/5, 4/4 (no pain, go figure...)
Windmills with 16kg 5/5, 5/5, 4/4

Bent press with 24kg 5/5 x 5 sets (no pain. I love these!!!!!!!!!!)
One legged DL with 24 kg 5/5 x 4 sets
Pull-ups on rings (minimum discomfort, probably should not do...)

I'm sure i'll be stretching my elbows and doing forearm extension work for the rest of the day. The pain is always worse during the day and not during the workout. Probably because I love to work out. That's where I'm at. Trying to stay at it, trying to be a little smart about it, but at the same time probably not too smart.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Wife

We just got back from vacation yesterday and last night my wife decided to write a review on my dragondoor site. This is not something she would normally do. Anyway, she's been through a lot so I thought this was cool...

As Tim's wife, I'm biased about his instruction skills; however, I have to write what my kettlebell training experience has done for me, especially since I have a unique health situation. I have a horrible back. I wore back braces for scoliosis during middle school and part of high school. The braces left me very inflexible and weak. Every summer since those braces, I haven't been able to get up on one ski (deep water start) at the lake - my back just couldn't handle the drag, year after year. There were other things I couldn't do, but this one bothered me the most! In my mid twenties, I worked out very regularly at the gym (traditional exercises), and I thought I was in the best shape of my life. For one time one summer, I actually pulled out of the water on a slalom ski - it was so hard to hang on to the rope, but I did it. Then within a 3 year time span, I had two kids, and then became extremely ill - hospitalized for almost a month. I lost half a lung and a section of a rib bone, plus my lat muscle was cut during surgery. At 5'11", I wasted away to 112 lbs. The last two years since my surgery have been a slow climb back up to a normal weight, and I've always considered myself in rehab mode ever since. Now, for the last 6 months, I've been training with kettlebells - swings, snatches, windmills and side presses. My back has felt the most flexible and stable than it has in years, not to mention I've made the best progress rehabbing my surgery site (shoulder and lat area). This past week at the annual lake trip, I decided to try to slalom ski starting in the deep water. I pulled right up on the second try - and it wasn't even that hard to handle the drag! I was on cloud nine! After the surgery I've been through, plus with the loss of so much muscle mass through the healing process, I never really imagined my core and upper body would have the strength that it used to have at what I thought was its prime. I still don't have all of my muscle mass back, but I'm so much more flexible than I've ever been, and I know how to use what muscle I have. I'm thrilled with the results of my kettlebell training!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Speed Kills

Still on vacation. And enjoying it... Last night we went out for mexican food. I ate more than I normanlly do. But hey, it's a vacation, right? Anyway, this morning I felt like I needed to do something anaerobic. I'm trying to let my body get a little rest this week, but last night's meal makes me want to move around a little. All we brought on our trip is my wife's 8 kg kettlebell so I decided I would run some sprints. I used to be a sprinter. I pretend I still am. I ran sprints for 10 seconds at a time followed by 10 pushups, with a 30 second walk/rest. I did this for 9 times. 9 because 10 seemed really tortuous. After that I just walked around with my wifes 8kg kb over my head letting my shoulders sink down into their sockets.

Spinting was tough but it felt good, it felt familiar. It feels good to feel like you can fly. And its GREAT exercise. Look at a sprinter's body. They are completely ripped. Sprinting is a great tool to use in your exercise/muscle building tool bag. And it helps work off last night's mexican fiesta. So if you have to leave your kettlebells at home ( or whatever else you use) go for a run, but pretend like a rabid dog is after you.

Later that same day...

Holy Cow Batman! I am so sore. It's as if i found a whole bunch of muscles i've never worked before. I wonder how sore i'll be tomorrow. Maybe I should start sprinting on a regular basis again. I use to do it all the time. Kettlebells and sprinting. Sounds like a deadly effective combination.

Monday, July 9, 2007


What a day. I got up early, did my super joints, jump roped a little, practiced pistols and total tension pushups. Spent the rest of the day greasing the elbows from Pavel's Resilient DVD.

Enough about that. I spent most of the day playing with my kids. Both my 4 year old and 3 year old skiied behind a boat for the first time. They were both so proud. Then tonight we went to the carnival and rode rides. A really great family day with a really great family. And the week is just getting started.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bang Bang!

Bang Bang!

My last freestyle workout for the week was yesterday. I chose to focus on pistols. Very simple routine. I basically mixed up TGU’s with pistols, swings, halo’s and waiter’s presses. The exercises where all done randomly; some of my reps looked like this:

bwx 5/5
16kg x 4/4
24 kg x 3/3
32 kg x 1/1
(not aesthetically pleasing, but I did it. Will work on making it pretty…)

Waiter’s Press
24kg x 5/5 for 3 random sets

24kg x 30
24kg x 40
24kg x 30
24 kg x 30

Over all, a good practice for each exercise. Still really trying to focus on how my body feels and what it’s doing during each rep.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I'm going on vacation tomorrow. I've been wondering which kettlebells to take with me; the 16kgs, 24kgs? Maybe both sets. I just don't know. On the other hand, I haven't taken a real break from training in quite a while. I probably should just take it easy and enjoy the week. After all, my joints would probably appreciate it. If I didn't love training with kettlebells so much, it wouldn't really be an issue. But I do love it, it's addictive. But perhaps rest is the best thing for me right now. Sounds logical. Yes, it does make sense. I should rest.

I know what I must do... Take the 16kgs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Portable Perfection

One of the great things about kettlebells is that they are portable. We traveled to be with my wife's family for the forth of july and I didn't want to miss a workout so i took my kbells. At first I grabbed the 24kgs and then i thought maybe i'll "practice" with the 16kgs. After reading Mark Reifkin's blog I thought 16kgs may be plenty, especially since i'm putting them in the back of my accord with my two kids.

As Rif pointed out, light does not mean easy. I tried a freestyle workout again focusing on snatches. I mixed double snatches with double jerks, double front squats, pistols, swings, pushups, halo's and windmills. I got smoked. Period. Double snatches with 16kgs will put something on you, especially when you go from one exercise to another. I stayed fresh for each exercise but Holy Cow Batman, what a workout. Or should I say "practice." After all, I was practicing, trying to use perfect form, trying to concentrate and learn from my body.

You get out of it what you put in to it. That's what I learned today. Oh, I still like the freestyle workout. I do feel fresh and strong while doing it. I especially feel good through out the day after i've done it. Happy 4th!

Monday, July 2, 2007


I've been trying freestyle training over the last few days. I think I kinda like it. I've always wanted to be a circus-like strongman so this may be my ticket. Today, I focused on pressing. For about 35 minutes I mixed front squats, bent presses, pistols, military presses, halos, swings and windmills together. Constantly moving from one exercise to the next, from one hard set to an easier set. Back and forth... It was pretty cool, when i was finished i felt great, i felt strong.

Like I said, my focus was on pressing. Here is some of what I was able to do as I was freestylin' and profilin':

2* 24kg x 5
2 * 32kg x 2 (never done this, ever!)
2*32kg x 2 (now i've done it twice!)
2* 24kg x 5

Bent Press
24kg x 5/5
32kg x 3/3
40kg x 1/1
40 kg x 1/1
32 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 5/5

ofcourse, i was freestyling, so the order wasn't really like this. Everything was all mixed up. But it felt good, and i feel good. I'm going to be a circus strongman when i grow up.