Sunday, November 30, 2008

200 snatches 1 hand change

Too much going on yesterday.  I was able to fit in a workout, but didn't post it.  Here it is:

Double Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 2 minutes
Double Jerk(16kg) 10 rpm x 2 minutes x 5 sets
Snatch(16kg) 20 rpm x 10 minutes with 1 hand switch
OAJ(24kg) 10 rpm x 4 minutes changing arms each minute
Swing(24kg) 30/30 x 1 set
One Arm Rows(24kg) 10/10 x 3 sets

My snatches felt very good.  My grip and hands held up well.  I am now ready to move up to the 20kg and start the snatch progression over again.....I just need my new bells to arrive!  Off to the hospital......

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today's Workout

Pre Turkey Workout - Today is my 3rd day in a row.  This is probably more than I should do, but I have been feeling good:

2AJ (16kg) 8RPM x 7 minutes
Snatch (16kg) 20RPM x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch
1AJ (24kg) 10RPM x 2 minutes R and 2 minutes L
Swing (24kg) 40L/40R

My form is improving.  Tonight I did not get the pectoralis pump that I have been getting during prior workouts from the jerk.  I have been trying to relax more in my rack instead of squeezing my elbows together which has been frying my pecs by the end of the set.  I also played with different rack positions today as mentioned on Scott Helsley's blog.  Since meeting with Andrew, my snatch has also improved.  My grip was much less fatigued after today's long snatch set.  Taking the day off tomorrow.  Only Turkey and Football on my schedule......well maybe a nap.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday and Tuesdays Workouts

Forgot to post Monday's workout:

Double Jerk 16kg - 8 RPM x 5 minutes
Snatch 16kg - 20 RPM x 6 minutes
OAJ 24kg - 8 RPM 3 minutes R/3 minutes L
Swing 24kg 30L/30R x 2 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

Today, I did a short workout since my left shoulder was pretty sore following my flu shot earlier today: 

Double Jerk 16kg - 12 RPM x 2 minutes - 4 sets (2 minutes rest between sets)
Swing 24kg 20L/20R x 2 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

*My COC grippers arrived yesterday.  I received the Trainer and #1.  I was able to do several sets of 10 reps each hand with the trainer and could get 2-3 reps per hand with the #1.  I guess all that kettlebell work has payed dividends with my grip.  My forearms were sore this morning.  I will try to follow the training recs provided with the grippers and plan 2-3 workouts per week.  I will likely need to order the #1.5 soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Morning in Wooster

Had a great day.  Drove to Wooster, OH (about 80 minutes) to receive some coaching from Andrew Durniat in GS technique.  Andrew is a great guy and has an impressive facility.  We spent a lot of time talking and then he helped me with my GS technique on the swing, clean, jerk (single and double) and snatch.  He then put me through some short timed sets of double jerk (16kg) - 3 minutes at 6 rpm and snatch (16kg) - 4 minutes at 20 rpm.  We also discussed general training templates for the GS lifts.  This was the first time I had the opportunity to use the competition bells which I found very nice.  The best part about them is that they are all the same size regardless of the weight.  So you can work your technique with the 12kg or 16kg and there will be no changes required when moving up to the 24kg or 32kg.  Last week I ordered 16kg and 20kg AKC comp bells which will hopefully be arriving this week.  I am excited to start working the program and perfecting my technique.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jerks and Snatches

Continued to work my technique on the jerk.  I need a lot of work here.  I am heading down to Wooster this weekend to spend some time with Andrew Durniat.  Hopefully he will be able to give me some pointers on my GS techniques to make me more efficient.  I have also tracked down some beginner GS training templates that I will start to apply to my workouts:

Double 16kg Jerk: 6 RPM x 5 minutes
8 RPM x 3 minutes

16kg Snatch:   60L/60R

24kg 1 Arm Swing:  15L/15R

24kg 1 Arm Jerk: 15L/15R x 2 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

I am really feeling this in my grip.  My forearms are still pumped several hours after completing this workout.  I am also feeling these workouts in different places, it is going to take me a while to build up the strength and technique needed to move up in weight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Presses and a Change in Plans

Bit sore today.  Not sure if from heavier snatches yesterday or from the jerks.  Decided to do some pressing as I still attempt to figure out my next plan of action.

24kg TGU 5 minutes
16kg MP 15L/15R x 3 sets
Bodyweight Pullups 5 reps x 3 sets
24kg MP 5L/5R x 3 sets with 5 second overhead hold with each rep
Box Pistols done on steps 5L/5R x 3 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

After working low rep, heavier weight exercises for the past 18 months, and making excellent progress with my SSST (220 reps with 24kg), VO2 Max protocol (80 sets of 15:15 with 16kg), and C&P Ladders (32kg 4(1,2,3,4,5) 1(1,2,3,4)), I feel like I have hit a plateau in my training.  I tweaked my shoulder attempting to C&P the 32kg probably because I am pushing too much weight too soon for my age and shoulder conditioning.  What are my next goals?  Is it really safe for me to continue to go up in weight?  Am I supposed to start snatching the 32kg for reps, press the bulldog or beast, and do the VO2 max with the 24kg?  These goals all sound like a giant recipe for injury.  Given this realization, I have become more interested in GS training.  I have had several conversations with Tom Corrigan (Fireman Tom) and have decided to focus the next several months on GS training (ie. long sets of snatches as well as the jerk).   I will be dropping my weight down to the 16kg as I start to work longer sets and attempt to master the technique.  I figure I have very little to loose at this point.....try something new or continue down my current path which is destined for another injury.  Stay tuned...............

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snatches and Jerks

Worked out with my wife today while the kids were sledding with the neighbors (yes, I did say sledding.  We received several inches of the white stuff over the past 24 hours).

24kg snatches 10L/10R x 10 sets - 30 seconds rest between sets
16kg 1 arm jerk 12 reps/minute - changed arms every minute, no rest x 10 minutes total
Z Neural Warm Up 1

8kg snatches 10L/10R x 10 sets - 30 seconds rest between sets (she needs more weight, too easy)

Jerks felt great.  I need more weight.  Will either play with double 16s or move up to single 24kg at a slower rate.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2nd Meeting of the CKC

We had a nice turn out today for our 2nd meeting of the Cleveland Kettlebell Club.  Renee, Todd, and myself plus 6 others.  We did some joint mobility warm up and then broke into groups of 2.  I worked on swings and TGU with my group.  We finished with a group workout put together by Renee:

Swings 20 reps on 1 minute x 3 sets (32kg)
Sumo Deadlifts (32kg)
Bent Rows 30 sec (32kg)/pushups 30 sec x 2 sets
Rack walk x 2 sets (32kg)
Walking lunges (32kg) 2 lengths of floor

While making dinner I did my 16kg MP 15L/15R x 3 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1 done as warm up for CKC meeting.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Long Sets of 16kg Snatches

Busy day for the social calendar today, but was able to get in a ballistics workout today:

16kg Snatch 50L/50R x 2 sets
32kg Swing x 10 reps, then 24kg Swing x 10 reps on the minute x 10 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

Long sets of light snatches are really helping me groove my snatch technique.  More so than doing the VO2 Max protocol because my pace is controlled and I am going to complete lock out.  I can really feel the fatigue in the muscles of my entire shoulder....anterior/posterior delts, traps, lats, rhomboids.  

.....and my neck pain is almost completely gone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

16kg Presses

No trap/neck pain after the light snatches yesterday.  I decided to give the light pressing a try today:

16kg MP 15L/15R x 3 sets
Bodyweight Pullups 5 reps x 3 sets
24kg MP 5L/5R x 3 sets - 3 second overhead hold at lockout on each rep
24kg Goblet Squat 5 reps x 3 sets
16kg One Leg Deadlift 5L/5R x 3 sets

Z Neural Warm Up 1

This felt very good.  Pressing the 16kg really allowed me to focus on keeping my shoulder in the socket, firing my lat, and working on my overhead position.  I think this new routine is going to work well for me for the next few weeks.  I am also planning to start some grip work with the Captains of Crush Grippers.  According to Grey Cook and Pavel, a strong grip will benefit one's pressing.  I am about to find out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change in Plans

After my light RoP day, once again the left trap/neck flared up.  I am convinced that the pressing is causing this pain.  I am also convinced that doing heavy C&P ladders with the 32kg is my problem.  Although I was making good progress, I don't think my shoulders were prepared for the assault.  Today, I had a very interesting telephone conversation with Fireman Tom.  He is a believer in higher rep/lower weight pressing in order to prepare the muscles of the shoulders and to prepare the CNS (ie. grease the groove).  Like me, he has experienced people moving too quickly with their pressing ladders only to suffer injury.  The technique suffers when one is attempting to push too much weight and this leads to problems, especially in those whose shoulders are not properly prepared for such volume with heavy weight.  Tom feels that you should not progress to a heavier weight until you can military press your current weight for 3 sets of 15 reps with good technique.  

He also feels that long sets of snatches with 1 hand change are more beneficial than heavier, shorter, timed intervals (ie. 24kg 10L/10R x 10 sets).  His recommendation is once again to drop down to lighter weights (16kg) and slowly work your way up to 100L/100R snatches with 1 hand change prior to moving up in weight.  This will once again allow your shoulders to be strengthened and your CNS to be grooved prior to heading to the higher shoulder stress associated with heavier weights.

I think I am going to give this approach a try.  I will try to come up with some kind of program over the next few days.

Todays Workout:

16kg snatches 40L/40R x 3 sets
24kg 2 Arm Swings 20 reps on 1 minute x 5 sets.

The snatches were a challenge especially on the grip.  However, I definitely could feel the burn/pump in my shoulders letting me know I have some work to do.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Easy RoP

Still trying to slowly ramp my workload back up after my back off week.  It is hard not to just jump right back in.  I had to really remind myself to take it easy today.

24kg TGU x 10 minutes (planned 5 minutes but didn't hear the gymboss go too loud)
24kg Kneeling MP Ladder 3(1,2,3)
Bodyweight Pushups 10 reps x 3 sets
Double 24kg Squats 5 reps x 3 sets

Finished with Z Neural Warmup Level 1

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Am Back.....Sort Of

Today was finally the first day that I even thought of kettlebells.  Thurday/Friday/Saturday were the worst of my cold.....and of course I was on call this weekend.  Today, however, I am feeling better.  Still a bit congested, but at least the fever is gone.  My wife actually convinced me to work out today as I was planning to restart tomorrow.  My neck is feeling much better, but I think I will still plan to lay off the heavy presses for a bit longer.

24kg 2 Arm Swing 20 reps on 1 minute x 12 sets

Wife: 16kg 2 Arm Swing 20 reps on 1 minute x 12 sets

Nice to hit the bells again.  Time to ramp things up again and keep focused on my goals.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pulled muscle in Neck/Sick/Back Off Week

Feeling run down, got the viral crud from the kids, woke up this morning with stiff muscle left neck/trap.......I think my body is telling me something.......time to back off for a few days.  I will plan to take the next 5-7 days off and try to refresh and recharge.  I am sure I will be ready to hit the bells in a few days.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Still with persistent muscle tightness in the left upper trap/neck.  I still think it is related to my heavy C&P work with the 32kg.  In order to get it to settle down, I think I am going to have to stop pressing for a while.  Will need to come up with some other things to work on with my grind days.  Might have to give the jerk a try for a while.  Today's non pressing workout:

24kg TGU 5 minutes
16kg 1 leg deadlift x 10L/10R x 3 sets
Double 24kg Renegade Row 10L/10R x 3 sets
32kg Goblet Squat x 10 reps x 3 sets

Received Z Neural Warm Up 1 and I-Phase as B-day presents.  Did the Neural Warm Up today.  Essentially an abbreviated version of R-Phase with some new eye work (which is interesting).  Only takes 10 minutes to complete.  It could easily be done daily.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New PR in the SSST

Today was the last day of my 37th year and I was scheduled for a test day in the SSST.  It went down like this:

20L/20R/20L/20R - 15 sec rest
15L/15R/15L/15R - 15 sec rest

Total Reps: 210 in 10 minutes

Feels great to break the 200 barrier, but it was still an extremely painful experience.  My listed goal by Thanksgiving is to hit 220.  I think it is doable with a bit more conditioning work.  My grip held in there pretty well, although I couldn't hold a pencil for about 10 minutes after finishing!!

Thanksgiving Goals - per motivation by David Whitley's Blog:

VO2 Max 15:15 80 sets (8 reps) - Done
SSST 220 reps - Not done
40kg C&P - Have not attempted yet, but making good progress on RoP with the 32kg