Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Heavier Day

Today was my heavy day for training. Heavy being relative to me of course... Anyway I'm on a different block of training for two weeks. The block training has been my favorite nugget from Return of the Kettlebell. The only thing I don't change or switch every two weeks are my Get-ups. I'm making those my skill to "master." Again, I'm just aiming high here. I may never "master" the Get-up but I'll be able to do it pretty darn well.

Here is today's training:
TGU w/ 32kg: 7/7
TGU w/ 36kg: 1/1
Dbl BUC to Squat w/ 2*24kgs: 5 x 4 sets
Dbl Cleans w/ 2*24kgs: 10 x 4 sets => w/ 2*32kgs: 10
1/2 Kneeling Waiters Press w/ 32kg: 3/3, 4/4, 4/4, 4/4
SLDL w/ 32kg: 5/5 x 4

All in all, i felt pretty good. By the time I got to the get-up with the 36kg bell, It felt pretty heavy. I tried the Dbl cleans with 2*32kgs just to see what it would feel like. Pavel says until you can do Dbl Cleans 10 times with a pair of kbells, you're not ready to go up in weight. Well, I did it, but I have no idea what I'm ready to go up in weight for!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swing On, Johnny!

Yep, I'm finishing up my block of swing training today. I'll be working on my Bottoms Up training for the next two weeks after today. I am digging the block training for right now. I get to really work on a few exercises every two weeks or so and then I get a break from those while I focus on some other exercises. For the past two weeks, I've really been focused on my swings. Two weeks from now, I'll get focused on them again.

The cool thing is, with block training, I am really "focusing" on my skills. Well, maybe it's just me. But whatever the case, lately, I'm really trying to dial in and learn from my training.

This week Betsy and I get to go look at a rough edit of our video. The camera won't lie, so this could be interesting! We've also been working on a manual to go along with our video. The cool think about that is my typing skills are really improving.

Today's training looked like this:

7 step TGU practice w/ 16kg x 5/5 for each of the 7 Steps
TGU w/ 16kg x 5/5 - basically i did about 20 minutes of Turkish Get-up work.
Swings w/ 16kg: 15/15 x 4
Snatches w/ 16kg: 10/10x 5
2H Swings w/ 16kg: 25 x 4

As you can see, today was my light day. The load was light, the focus was high! And, when I was done, I felt great. Thats the sign of a good session.

Have a good week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back in the Swing of Things

I am finally getting well from my Battling Rope-itis. Or whatever it is I caught two weeks ago. My training over the last few weeks has just consisted of trying to get good at the basics like swings and get-ups. I've also been doing a great deal of "self limiting" excersices (term by Gray Cook) such as double bottoms up cleans to a squat to a press.

I'm focusing on these simple moves because they are not simple. And I have plenty of room for improvement... I want to get as close to "mastery" as I can, so for me that means lots of the basics and lots of filling in the gaps. My get-ups have really taken on a whole new feel since I read Kettlebells from the Ground Up, The Kalos Sthenos Method. That is to say I'm really trying to make performing the get-up like performing an art. The cool thing is, I'm getting stronger. I'm also getting one inch closer to mastering my craft.

The weather did not cooperate this week for our DVD filming, so now we try again next week. Oh well, one more week to prepare. I did get to hang out with Betsy though and that is good. Hanging out with RKC's is also an excellent way to improve your skills. It never hurts to have another set of eyes on you...

Training today looked like this:

TGU's with 32kg: 1/1 x 8 -> 10 minutes
Swings with 32kg: 10L/10R x 7 sets, 15 seconds b/w hands
2H Swings w/ 32kg: 10 x 10 sets, 15 seconds b/w sets
SLDL w/ 32kg: 5/5 x 4 sets

Today was my heavy day. Thankfully it is over!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Well, yesterday Betsy Collie and I started filming our kettlebell DVD. If nothing else, this is turning out to be an experience. It is amazing how much brain power I lose when I am supposed to talk in front of a camera. Even though I thought I was relaxed, words could not come out of my mouth in the right way at the right time. Oh well, I hope the producers are great at editing. If the weather cooperates, we should finish filming next week. Betsy is a blast to work with. She is good people.

My workouts have not been great since I attempted my Battling Ropes Level 2 cert. My body is trashed. I even got sick with a wicked head cold. Even the little bit of training we did for the DVD wiped me out. Now that the Ropes cert is over, I plan on focusing on Kbells and sprints a little more. We will see. Shiny things distract me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Battling Ropes Level 2

Well, yesterday was the day. My Battling Ropes Level 2 certification with John Brookfield. All I can say is that it is quite possibly the most physically demanding thing I have ever done. It was also the most mentally challenging.

For example, I had to perform alternating velocity waves with a rope for 20 minutes. That was tough. I'd been practicing that fairly extensively but John's rope felt so much heavier than mine. But, I made it. Then came the fun part; pole pulls for 1 mile. This took an hour and twenty minutes. My body didn't feel like it was my own after that. This actually felt like torture. But with a lot of praying and some pulling I finally made it. I almost started crying but I was too dehydrated for the tears to flow. After that, John gave me one more 15 minute test involving towels. Last night when I got out of the shower and reached for the towel to dry off, I had a wicked flashback...

After all of that, John "showed me the ropes" with several more drills intended to forge a body of steel. John has an amazing wealth of knowledge for simple, effective, "functional" training. John's style of training doesn't just build the body though, it strengthens the mind. I think John truly believes the body will follow where the mind is capable of going and that the only limitations a person has is inside their own head. I am truly fortunate to be able to work with him and learn from him. I have learned a great deal about training from John, but I've also learned something about myself.

Oh yeah, right before I stepped outside to begin John's test I saw a box in his house that said "I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me." Reading it made me feel good, remembering it while I was struggling helped me push on. Or pull on... Anyway, I passed, but not from my own strength.

I can't wait to be able to use my arms again!