Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve Workout

Warm Up
Jerk(2x32kg) 5 minutes @ 5 rpm
14 min rest
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ L 16/16/16 ----> R 16/16/16
OAJ(40kg) 10/10 x 1, 10L/9R x 1
Swing(40kg) 25/25 x 2

Jerks felt quick and strong. Snatches continue to improve. No grip problems at the 6 minute mark. Overall, technique just feels better.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Conditioning Day

Warm Up
Snatch(24kg) 6 min @ 16 rpm
90 seconds Rest
OAJ(24kg) 6 min @ 16 rpm
90 seconds Rest
OALC(24kg) 6 min @ 10 rpm
5 minutes Rest
Snatch(24kg) 4 min @ 16 rpm
90 seconds Rest
OAJ(24kg) 4 min @ 16 rpm
90 seconds Rest
OALC(24kg) 4 min @ 10 rpm

This was tough! Acutally, I found the OAJ to be the hardest. Snatches continue to improve. Will have to shoot some video in the next few workouts. Hands are less of an issue. Grip is not an issue at least at the 6 minute mark.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snatches Improving

My snatch technique continues to improve, even on the left hand. I am getting more consistent with my finger lock and getting into the lock earlier. This all makes a huge improvement on the descent and really allows for a pendulum effect of the bell as it passes through the legs and then snaps back into the ascent.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x28) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
14 minute rest
Snatch(28) 6 minutes @ L 16/16/16 ---> R 16/16/16
OAJ(40kg) 12/12
Swing(40kg) 30/30

Made the full 6 minute snatch set with essentially no hand issues. In fact, I had to do some overhead holds because my pace was too fast several times.

Came across this very good explanaition of the breathing patterns for the jerk by Tom Corrigan. The best part of this clip is that you can actually hear both Tom and Mikhail breathing while they are doing their sets to reinforce the pattern that they are teaching. For me, this is the best piece I have come across regarding breathing for the jerk......Thanks Tom and Mikhail.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Hiatus and Product Review

Between work and holiday family commitments, planned workouts on 12/24 and 12/25 just didn't happen. Today I was able to do the workout planned for 12/25.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x32kg) 5 minutes @ 5 rpm
OAJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 15 rpm
2 minutes rest
Snatch(24kg) 6 minutes @ 15 rpm
2 minutes rest
OAJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 15 rpm

The 32kg jerk set went quite well. Not much of a struggle and was able to keep breathing relaxed throughout the set. The fitness protocol is amazingly difficult, especially the second set of OAJ. Snatches today felt good. Still a significant difference between the left and right hands in terms of consistency with the finger lock. The right side is much better than the left. Overall, however, my snatches are progressing nicely.

Santa brought me a very cool gift that any true kettlebell sport fan, or anybody doing interval work with kettlebells for that matter, will like:

TITLE Platinum Professional Fight & Gym Timer - click to enlarge
This timer is essentially a very large GymBoss. It allows you to program work time, rest time, and number of cycles. You can program 5 separate interval cycles at one time. It can also be programmed to count up (ie. 0 to 10) or count down (ie. 10 to 0). The unit can stand on the floor or be mounted on the wall and comes with a remote control. For those of you competing, it will also allow you to get used to the digital display that is now being used at most comps. The units are currently on sale and can be found at Title Boxing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday's Re-evaluation of Goals

Constantly shooting for goals with very limited training cycles has led to mental and physical fatigue. Training has become a job and is much less enjoyable. I have spoken with my coach and we plan to back off a bit. A new goal of mid March has been set to shoot for CMS numbers. This will take some of the pressure off, and allow me to work through a long, slow training cycle. I am happy with this plan and hope it will bring back the fun.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
10 minutes rest
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ L 15/15/15 -----> R 15/15/15
OAJ(40kg) 8L/10R
OAJ(32kg) 15/15
Swing(40kg) 30/30 x 1
SLDL(24kg) 10/10 x1

Today, I stopped thinking about the finger lock during my snatch set and things went much better. I just let my CNS run the show, took my "ego" mind out of the set. Low and behold, I went the distance and used the finger lock for almost the entire set. Also re-introduced some single leg dead lifts as my surgically repaired knee is starting to get sore again. On previous occasions, the SLDL has taken care of the pain in the knee, but has made my medial gluts VERY sore.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Week, Same Struggles

Jerks continue to get stronger. Snatches continue to struggle. I need to master the finger lock before I will be able to progress any further with the 28 and 32kg bells, however, this process is going to take awhile.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
10 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) L 14/14/10 ----> R 14/14/14
OAJ(40kg) 10/10
Swing(40kg) 30/30

Friday, December 18, 2009

Still Struggling

Continuing to struggle with the finger lock. Need to build up the callous at the index finger as this is now the major tender spot. However, as I fatigue, I tend to palm the handle a bit which is causing problems too. Hopefully all this will clear up with time.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x24kg) 7 minutes @ 10 rpm
10 min rest
Snatch(24kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm
2 min rest
OAJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm
2 min rest
OALCCJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 10 rpm

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Working on Technique

Besides working on the finger lock, my coach also suggested I focus on my first bump in the jerk. A more explosive first bump will make my jerk quicker and more efficient, both of which will be needed with the eventual move up to the 32kg bells. Today, I noticed that a forceful exhale just prior to my first dip seems to really help the connection between my elbows and my anterior illiac spine translating into a more powerful first bump. I played with this technique during my warm up sets with OAJ and lighter 2 arm jerks. During my money set, I found the 7 minutes passed without much struggle which I think can be attributed to a more consistent, powerful first bump.

Warm Up
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
15 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ L 15/15/9 -----> R 15/15/15
OAJ(40kg) 8/8
OAJ(32kg) 12/12
Swing(40kg) 30/30

My snatches remain a work in progress. I have found that I am much more consistent with the finger lock on the right hand compared to the left. I stopped early on the left because I was haveing difficulty applying the finger lock towards the end and started to palm the bell which began to cause some hand issues. The right side felt pretty solid. I was able to finger lock the majority of the set. After 3 minutes I had essentially no forearm pump and my grip still felt strong.
My OAJ sets also felt strong especially with the 40kg bell. Again, focusing on the 1st bump allowed me to be much quicker. I have also noticed the formation of a large callous on the heal of both hands and for the first time I didn't notice any hand discomfort on my 40kg OAJ set.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's Workout

Mixing things up a bit today. Working on general conditioning, but working the lighter bell also allows me to continue working on the finger lock on both snatches and LCCJ.

Warm Up
Snatch(24kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm - 1 hand switch
2 min rest
OAJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm - 1 hand switch
2 min rest
OALCCJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 10 rpm - 1 hand switch
8 min rest
Snatch(24kg) 4 minutes @ 14 rpm - 1 hand switch
2 min rest
OAJ(24kg) 6 minutes @ 14 rpm - 1 hand switch
*unable to do last set of OALCCJ due to extreme hand tenderness*

This workout was short, yet very effective.
Tonight, I am very tender at the MPJ of the index finger on both hands. This is a good sign.....meaning I am catching the bell in the finger lock. This should improve as I start to develop the elusive 4th callous. Off tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One Step Back; Two Steps Forward

After a refreshing week off from training, today was the first day back with the bells. I am once again training for my CMS numbers in the biathlon with my sights set on the next meet in Toledo on January 30th. At the recent Atlanta meet, my coach noticed that I was catching the bell too late on the descent of the snatch which was pulling my arm down and leading to early grip fatigue. I am now focused on changing my snatch technique. I am really concentrating on getting into the finger lock (thumb over index finger) early in the descent in hopes of preserving my grip and picking up the extra reps that I need to hit my CMS numbers. However, getting into the finger lock is easier said than done. During my week off, I practiced getting into the finger lock from the clean. Although this is a good drill, it is easier than dropping from the overhead position in the snatch.

Warm Up: Z/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/Jerk/Clean/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 8 rpm
10 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) L 18/18 ----> R 18/18/10
Snatch(28kg) L 14 ---> R 14
OAJ(32kg) 15/15
Swing(40kg) 20/20
Swing(32kg) 30/30

My snatch set was supposed to be 6 minutes at 18 rpm, however, this pace is just too fast as I am trying to figure out this new technique. The first minute on both sides, however, felt great. I was able to get into the finger lock early in the descent and actually experienced the ratcheting effect of the finger lock as the bell fell. Getting into the lock high in the descent also allowed me to follow the natural trajectory of the bell and I was really able to experience the "slingshot" effect of the bell as it completed its backswing between my legs and was launched upwards in the ascent. Even after only one session, I can tell this technique change is going to pay huge dividends. I am going to have to slow the rate of my snatch sets and maybe even drop down in bell weight until I can perfect the technique, but this change is eventually going to put me over the CMS numbers. This is a change well worth making.

Monday, December 7, 2009

AKC Southeastern Kettlebell Sport Championships Review

Well, overall the competition was a good experience. Scott Shetler put on a nice event that had a nice turnout of both seasoned lifters and first time competitors. Unfortunately, I was not able to make my goal of CMS rank in the 90kg weight class. My jerk set was first starting around 11:30 AM. I was able to hit my CMS numbers in just over 9 minutes (73 reps) working at a pace of 8 rpm. The video of the set can be seen below:

Since Scott was only running 2 platforms, I had about 3 hours and 30 minutes between sets. I thought this was going to work to my advantage. Heading into the snatch set, I felt quite fresh and my hopes were high for hitting my numbers of 70/70 with the 28kg bell. Unfortunately, things just didn't go my way. I decided to go out at 14 rpm with the plan of working the entire 10 minutes. However, just around the 4 minute mark on the left side, my grip died and I had to switch arms after only 55 reps. On the right side, things didn't fare much better as I was only able to hit 47 reps before suffering grip failure (see video below):

Heading into the competition I didn't think I was quite ready to make my CMS snatch numbers, but I thought I would at least make it into the 60's range on each side. Justin Case also came up just short of making CMS numbers in biathlon (85 kg class) with 68 jerks and 55/65 snatches (needed 65/65 snatches). Mike Sherman had a good showing in the (80 kg class) also falling short of his CMS goals with 41 jerks (needs 65 jerks) and 65/65 snatches.

The good news is that my coach, Catherine Imes, was able to pick up a technical issue with my snatch that once addressed should help me reach my goals. Watching from the side, she noticed that I was still catching the bell too low on the snatch descent causing the bell to pull my arm down and adding extra strain to my grip.....hence the grip failure. After my set, we spent about 15 minutes working on getting into the "hook grip" while the bell is still around eye level. This allows the hook (thumb over index finger) to self tighten as the bell drops between the legs. Once perfected, this should greatly decrease the fatigue of my grip and hopefully put me over the edge for CMS. I am going to take the rest of this week off and then re-focus with the goal of hitting my CMS goal at the upcoming meet January 30th, 2010 in Toledo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Last Pre-Comp Workout

Today was a short and sweet workout:
Warm Up
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 8 rpm
Rest 15 minutes
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 14 rpm

Now it is time to rest up, and mentally prepare for Saturday's Comp in Atlanta. I will try to post video and a summary on Sunday, December 6th.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Comp Week

Workouts are easing up for the upcoming competition in Atlanta on Dec. 5th. Just today and tomorrow and then rest until Saturday. Feeling pretty good today after a weekend of rest. My hands are not tender for the first time in several weeks!

Warm Up
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
15 minute Rest
Snatch(28kg) L 14/14/14/14/7 ----> R 14/14/14/7

Jerks felt very strong today. Made the 7 minutes without much trouble. Makes me think I probably could go a full 10 minutes at 8 rpm on Saturday, but I will likely shut it down once I hit 73 reps in order to save as much energy as possible for the snatches. Snatches also felt pretty good today, especially on the left. Switched at the 4:30 mark for hand preservation, right side didn't go quite as well as I would have liked with hands becoming an issue earlier than usual. Instead of risking any damage to the hands this close to the comp, I just shut it down. I will throw all caution to the wind on Saturday, however, I am a bit concerned that I was never able to hit my numbers in my basement. Doing this would have given me much more confidence going into the meet. The good news is that I will have 4 hours between jerk and snatch sets which is much more than the usual 15-20 minutes that I give myself in the basement.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday's Workout

Warm Up: Rib pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 min @ 10 rpm
15 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) L 16/16/16/14 ----> R 16/16/16/12
Skipped Assistance

Hard to motivate today. Struggled on jerks. Wasn't expecting much on snatches but just got into the zone and things went pretty well. Cut the left short 2 reps because my four minutes were up, fell off the pace the last minute. Right side also felt strong. Shut it down early due to hand tenderness and not wanting to tear this close to a meet. Off this weekend and then hard workout Monday followed by light workout Tuesday and then rest until December 5th.........

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day Workout

Was a bit pressed for time today due to family commitments. Had to work out fairly early in the morning which is always a struggle for me. Needless to say, things didn't go very well.....

Warm Up: Z Drills/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
15 min rest
Snatch(28kg) L 14/14/14/14/7 ----> R 14/14/14/7

Just didn't have it today in the snatches. I was sucking wind very early in the set even at the slower pace. I am beginning to think I may be overtrained. It is a good thing that my pre-comp taper is coming up as I think I need the rest. Will likely plan for a week off after the comp before I start my next cycle.

But........tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today's Work

Worked out with my father today. Had a good time.

Warm Up: Z/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 min @ 9 rpm
20 min rest
Snatch(28kg) L 16/16/16/16 ----> R 16/16/16/8
OAJ(32kg) 15/15 x 1
Swing(32kg) 45/45 x 1

Really suffered aerobically on the snatch set today, especially during the last 2 minutes on the right. Cut the right side 30 seconds short secondary to hands. They are quite tender tonight. I am off tomorrow and then looking forward to a 14 rpm set on Thursday to see if I can stretch it out the full 10 minutes. I am beginning to think this may be my planned comp rate com Dec. 5th.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Test Day

Had a rough weekend of call, but now I am on vacation. No beeper, no phonecalls, just quality time with the family (and working out). Had a test day on the agenda today.

Warm Up: Z/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 10 minutes @ 8/8/8/8/8/8/7/7/7/7 = 76 reps
30 minutes rest
Snatch(28kg) L 15/15/15/15 ----> R 15/15/15/8

Lost the bell on the backswing of the 9th rep of the 4th minute on the right. I think I could have completed the 4th minute for sure. Overall, I was a bit disappointed with my snatch performance today. Seemed to suffer a bit aerobically today. It is amazing the difference one rep per minute can make. I had a completely different snatching experience on Friday at 14 rpm. I am beginning to think that 14 rpm will be my comp pace in Atlanta. Just doesn't give me any wiggle room and I will have to go the full 10 minutes.

Boris Bachman had a great post recently on his blog that really spoke to me as I struggle to hit my CMS snatch numbers:

Does your training challenge your body and your mind,
or does it stroke your ego?

If you never, ever miss,
if you never stumble,
if you never run out of gas,
can you honestly say you gave it your very best?

If you are afraid to be weak,
you will never truly be strong.

Failure is not an option, but mistakes are essential.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yesterday and Today's Workouts

My workouts yesterday and today seemed like polar opposites. Yesterday I had a short workout before a family event. No jerks were on the docket so I figured my snatches would be strong, however, that was not the way it played out......

Thursday, November 19th
Warm Up - Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/Snatch
Snatch(28kg) 16 rpm L 16/16/16/8 ----> R 16/16/16/8 (total work time 7 minutes)
Swing(40kg) 30/30 x 1
Swing(32kg) 35/35 x 1

Snatches were off right from the beginning. I think this was due to an inadequate warm up. I struggled with the pace right out of the gates and seemed to fatigue quicker than usual. Overall, it was a bit of a downer.

Today, however, things went a bit better. Although I wasn't very motivated to workout initially, like usual it turned out to be one of my better days:

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
20 minute Rest
Snatch(28kg) L 14/14/14/14/14 (70) -----> R 14/14/14/14/0 (56)
OAJ(32kg) L14/R15
Swing(32kg) 20/20 x 1

This was the first time I snatched at 14 rpm that my shoulders didn't fatigue due to the pauses in the overhead position. I have been working on my overhead position lately and finally I am beginning to feel like I can rest in the overhead position with the weight over my axial skeleton. Stopped early on the right due to tender hands. However, I felt like I had at least 30 seconds left in the tank. Overall this was an encouraging snatch set. After resting for about 1 minute I completed one more minute of snatches on the right side to get my volume up to 70 reps. During this short set, I felt for the first time, the perfect timing of the leg launch on the snatch. My bell flew overhead and felt like it was falling out of the sky into my hand in the overhead position. If I can only master this timing my snatches will continue to improve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Long Snatch Set

Hands and body were actually feeling pretty good today. Not too sore from yesterday's effort. Hands were only mildly tender. That was good, because my coach had another long snatch set on the schedule for today.

Warm Up: Z drills/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/usual stuff
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 9 rpm
15 minutes rest
Snatch(28kg) attempted 9 minutes: R 16/16/16/16/2 (66) ---> L 16/16/16/8 (56)
Swing(32kg) 40/40 x 2 sets

Tried a couple of new things during the snatch set today. Decided to go without the wrist wraps and also started with my right arm today. I don't think using wraps makes a difference either way. I will likely continue to start with the left arm from now on, as my technique is slightly worse on the left side and this only becomes amplified during the second half of the long set when fatigue sets in. Swings were good today, as they also taxed the grip which can only help strengthen my weakest link.

Next snatch workout, I will really try to focus on using my legs on the ascent in order to decrease the amount of pulling with the arm, and also focus on following the bell with my body during the descent in order to try to eliminate the jerking of bell at the bottom of the descent. Both of these tips should help preserve grip strength and any little bit saved can only help me hit my numbers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Test Day

Went down like this:
Jerk(2x28kg) 10 minutes @ 8/8/8/8/8/7/7/7/7/7 = 75 reps
80 minutes rest
Snatch(28kg) @ L 16/16/16/16/5 (69)----> R 16/16/16/8 (56)

I am a bit discouraged after this performance. Mentally I felt prepared and felt I was going to hit the numbers. My left side felt very solid until the last couple reps. My right side, which I consider my strong arm, felt great until the 4th minute when I had rather rapid grip fatigue and failure. My aerobic conditioning did not seem to be the deal breaker. On the upside, I still have 2 weeks to train before the comp. Hopefully it is enough time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The State of North American Mens Biathlon

What is the state of Kettlebell Sport Men's Biathlon in North America? This past week has recorded the passing of a major milestone for Eric St-Onge as he qualified for his CMS numbers at the AKC Classic in Las Vegas (see video below).

Andrew Durniat just missed his attempt at Master of Sport this weekend at an AKC Coaches Certification in Cincinnati. He made his jerk numbers, but dropped the bell while completing his 75th rep with his first hand (MS snatch numbers for 90+kg class 75/75).

The current status of men's biathlon in North America is the following (as far as I know, I apologize in advance for leaving anyone off the list):

Master of Sport
Marty Farell

Candidate for Master of Sport
Andrew Durniat
Eric St-Onge

Level 1 Rank(all close to CMS numbers)
Matt Schinabeck
Sean Armstead
Justin Case
Mike Sherman
Michael Cluse

Several of us are very close to posting CMS numbers. It is my hope that by this winter or next spring we will finally have some GS meets where there are several flights of men using the 32kg bells.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Make Up Workout

Friday turned into the perfect storm at work. I again got an early start (6 AM) but it didn't help since I didn't get home until 6:30 PM. I just didn't have it in me to workout. After a good nights sleep, I felt much better today and hit the basement with lots of energy.

Warm Up: Z/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm (see video)

10 minutes Rest
Jerk(2x28kg) 3 minutes @ 10 rpm
15 minutes Rest
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 19 rpm (see video)

OAJ(32kg) 15/15 x 1 set
Swing(40kg) 25/25 x 1 set
Swing(32kg) 35/35 x 1 set

Rest tomorrow. Test set on Monday. 10 minutes Jerk, followed by 10 minutes snatch. I will see how close I am to CMS.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Good Day Gone Bad

Crazy day at work, but I knew it was coming so I was up and out early this morning. Things went well and I was amazed to get home at a reasonable time. However, before I could hit the bells I was called back to work. This messed things up and caused me to have a later than ideal workout tonight.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28) 7 minutes @ 9 rpm
Planned 14 minute rest which turned into 21 minutes due to multiple rapid fire pages that had to be dealt with.
Snatch(28kg) 8 minutes @ L 16/16/16/16 ----> R 16/16/16/11
OAJ(40kg) 7/7 x 1 (skipped second set due to time issues)
Swing(32kg) 40/40 x 1

Snatches felt very strong today particularly on the left. Probably could have squeaked out the remaining 6 reps needed on the left. The right side also felt strong, but I decided to shut it down early again instead of re-injuring my right hand skin tear.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday's Workout

My hand continues to heal and is almost back to baseline.

Warm Up: Z drills/Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
15 minutes rest
Snatch(28kg) 8 minutes @ L 15/15/15/15 ---> R 15/15/15/8
OAJ(40kg) 8/8
Swing(40kg) 30/30

Jerks felt good. My right SI joint continues to feel better every day thanks to the Z drills. My snatch set felt very strong on the left. I was able to catch the bell high and keep my backswing through the entire 4 minutes on the left side. I did much the same on the right but decided to shut it down at the 3:30 mark instead of risking my hand. I think by Thursday, the hand will be fully healed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back To The Grindstone

First of all, my back is still feeling great. Coach prescribed a test day today, but the snatches were made a bit easy due to my recent hand tear last Friday. My hand is actually feeling pretty good so I decided to give it a shot.

Warm Up: Z drills/Rib pull/Arm sweep/Swing/MP/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 10 minutes @ 7 rpm
15 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) 8 min @ L 14/14/14/11 ----> R 14/14/14/0

Jerks felt strong, back felt pretty good until I set the bells down and then the right SI flared up again. I took a few seconds and did the lateral hip circles with an internally rotated hip and the pain essentially disappeared. I also noted that my feet are less turned out (more neutral position) which I think is going to help with my jerk ascent in the long run.
Snatches went ok. I always find the slower rates difficult due to shoulder fatigue from the required overhead holding that occurs. Stopped a few reps short on the left due to hand hot spot and decided to shut things down on the right after 3 minutes. As I start to fatigue, I find that sometimes I palm the bell which is how I tore the right hand in the first place. No need to risk further trauma to the hand at this point.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Miracle (or Voodoo) of Z-Health

Over the past 2 weeks I have developed a nagging pain in the right sacro-illiac joint related to jerking. The pain was not felt during the lift itself, but almost immediately after completion of the set. Not sure how to address the problem, I was beginning to get concerned. That is when I learned Brad Nelson was coming to town. Actually, Amy Dudley, RKC II, hosted Brad at her gym Better Bodies of Medina. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with Brad who is not only a Senior RKC, but also an advanced Z-Health practitioner. Now I have dabbled with Z for sometime, doing R-phase, Neural Warm Up, and I-phase drills on my own, but it wasn't until my RKC cert that I really appreciated that Z is so much more than a joint mobility program. There is actually a therapeutic application to Z that I was able to witness first hand since Zacharriah Salazar was one of my assistant instructors at the cert. Throughout the cert weekend, I watched Zacharria use his Z-Health skills to fix many attendees aches and pains including both myself and a close friend. This made me hopeful that Brad might be able to help me not only get rid of my right SI pain, but also improve my performance in kettlebell sport.

I knew I was in for an interesting session when he and Amy started laughing as they had me walk the length of the gym. "You are so F'ed up" was the comment I received. However, after several simple drills, he had me moving noticeably better and low and behold my back pain had disappeared!!! I have been given a prescription to work on 5 simple drills performing 3 reps of each movement 3 times per day. Based on my results in the inital hour of work with Brad, you can bet I will be incorporating these drills into my daily routine. Now that my pain is better, I am anxious to see if there will be an improvement in my GS performance.

Thanks Brad and Amy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hand Tear

Hit a small bump in the road today. Can't remember the last time I tore my hands from snatching. Usually I just put the bell down when I feel hot spots forming. There is always another day. However, today I only caught the bell wrong 1 or 2 times, felt the pull, but didn't think much of it until I put the bell down and saw the tear. It is pretty superficial, but will likely put a temporary halt on the high volume snatching. Luckily, I have the weekend off to heal. I was scheduled for a 10 minute 28kg snatch set on Monday, but this may have to be postponed for a few days.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 9 rpm
14minutes rest
Snatch(24kg) 10 minutes @ L18/18/18/18/16 ---> 18/18/18/18/11
Bailed on OAJ and Swing assistance work today due to hand tear and time constraints

Stopped early on right due to tear. Overall, the snatches felt strong. My hands were a bit tender going into today from Thursday's snatch workout.

Tomorrow, Brad Nelson, Senior RKC, is in town and I am going to pay him a visit for a Master Z Health session to see if he can help me with some aches and pains that are beginning to accumulate.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Snatch PR

Had another strong workout today. Have been focusing on giving myself slightly longer rest periods between the money jerk and snatch sets and it seems to be making a difference.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 9 rpm
5 minute rest
Jerk(2x28kg) 3 minutes @ 10 rpm
12 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) 8 minutes @ 16 rpm - 64L/64R
OAJ(32kg) 20/20 x 1 set
Swing(32kg) 35/35 x 1 set

Snatch set felt strong until the last 15 seconds on the left (4 reps) and the last 30 seconds (8 reps) on the right when I really suffered from grip fatigue. This is when I loose my back swing and my technique starts to deteriorate. My general conditioning held up very well for this pace, and I was able to remain relaxed for the entire set until the last 20-30 seconds on the right side. My pace also slowed during the last minute on the right and I ended up going 10 seconds extra to fit in the prescribed reps. Overall, I was quite happy with today's performance.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Better Day

Back to regular routine today. Jerks first followed by snatches.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
5 minute rest
Jerk(2x24kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
10 minute rest
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ L 20/16/18 ----> R 18/18/18
OAJ(40kg) 6/6 x 2 sets
Swing(40kg) 25/25 x 1 set

Things just felt better overall today. I extended my rest to 10 minutes between my jerks and snatches. Initially thought I would try 6 minutes of snatches at 20 rpm, however after the first minute it was clear that I am not ready for that pace from a conditioning standpoint so I dropped down to 18 rpm and was able to complete the set. Day off tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birthday Workout

Starting to really focus on pushing the snatch sets. This week I am moving to more 8 minute sets. Today, I tried snatching prior to jerks to see how it would effect my performance.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/Snatch
Snatch(28kg) 8 minutes @ L 15/15/15/15 ---> 15/15/15/13
Jerk(2x28kg) 4 minutes @ 9 rpm
Jerk(2x28kg) 3 minutes @ 9 rpm
OAJ(32kg) 12/12 x 2 sets
Swing(32kg) 40/40 x 1 set

Snatches went well. Last 15-20 seconds on each arm was a struggle, mostly with grip issues. Hands held up ok. I was able to gut it out on the left, but lost my grip on the back swing after the 13th rep during the last minute on the right. I had no trouble with aerobic conditioning during this set. Rested 8 minutes and then attempted a 7 minute jerk set at 9 rpm. This was a disaster. I quickly realized that I was going to be in trouble. My shoulders and triceps were fatigued and I was panic breathing within 2 minutes. I had to put the bells down after 4 minutes, rest, and then complete the remaining 3 minutes a bit later. I am not sure I will snatch prior to jerks too often. However, I may try to sneak in longer rest between my money jerk and snatch sets to see if this helps my performance. In the competition setting usually there is 30-60 minutes rest between jerks and snatches. In Chicago, I had over 2 hours. In my training, I have been taking 5-8 minutes between jerk and snatch sets.

Friday, October 30, 2009

End of The Week Workout

Last workout of the week. Several aches and pains that I am hoping will heal up over the weekend.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 8 rpm
Jerk(2x24kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm
OAJ(32kg) 11L/12R
Swing(32kg) 40/40 x 1

Was supposed to hit 15/15 on the OAJ, but cut it short on both sides due to heel of hand pain from bell. This is getting better, but still remains a problem. Struggled a bit on snatches today from a conditioning standpoint.
Got a preview of next week's workouts and things are going to start getting interesting in the snatch arena.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snatches getting better

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 minutes @ 8 rpm
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 17 rpm
OAJ(40kg) 10 Left/ 9 Right
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets

My snatches continue to get stronger. Six minutes at 17 rpm is becoming easy. I have plenty left in the tank at the end of each arm. I continue to have a good back swing and my hands are giving me no problem. I think it is time to start working the 8 minute sets.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday's Workout

Was lucky and got home early today. Was able to hit the basement before the school bus arrived.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 min @ 9 rpm
Jerk(2x28kg) 3 min @ 10 rpm
Snatch(24kg) 8 min @ 20 rpm
OAJ(32kg) 12/12
Swing(40kg) 20/20

Both jerks and snatches felt very strong today. I can't wait until the 28kg feels like the 24kg on snatches. It is getting close, but not quite yet.
It is official, I have booked airfare for the Atlanta comp. This is my new target date to hit CMS in the biathlon. I hope it all works out.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Week

Had a great weekend with a nice rest from work and the bells. However, I did do some single leg deadlifts yesterday and I am paying the price today with some pretty sore glutes.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 9 rpm
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 17 rpm
OAJ(32kg) 15/15
Swing(32kg) 40/40

Snatches felt strong today. No problem hitting the 6 minutes at this pace.
Due to work and family commitments I will not be able to attend the Las Vegas meet, but I am targeting Scott Shetler's meet in Atlanta on December 5th as my goal date for CMS.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday's Workout

The influenza pandemic is really beginning to make my life difficult. Started to see the first surge of cases this week in Cleveland and it is making my days very long. Many young healthy people are getting very very sick from this virus. Also saw my first death. After what I saw this week, and what I can only imagine is coming in the next few weeks, I would urge all of you to get vaccinated whenever you get the chance. NO EXCUSES. People are dying and many more will die in the coming weeks from a virus that can be prevented from a simple vaccine!!

Really felt like bagging my workout today after another 11 hour day, but like usual, I was glad I exercised. I not only performed well, but the exercise cleared my mind and allowed me to spend some quality time with the family tonight.

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/Snatch/OAJ/Jerk
Jerk(2x28kg) 7 min @ 8 rpm
Snatch(24kg) 8 min @ 18 rpm
OAJ(40kg) 5/5 x 2 sets
Swing(32kg) 30/30

Really enjoyed the 24kg snatch sets this week. Really allowed me to focus on my technique. I am feeling like my snatch "groove" is improving rapidly. Off this weekend. Many family events tomorrow, including taking my first yoga class with my wife. Should be an interesting experience.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday's Workout

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 8 rpm
Jerk(2x24kg) 5 minutes @ 10 rpm
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm
OAJ(32kg) 15/15
Swing(32kg) 35/35

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday's Workout

Warm Up: Rib Pull/Arm Sweep/Swing/OAJ/Jerk/Snatch
Jerk(2x28kg) 5 minutes @ 8 rpm
Snatch(28kg) 6 minutes @ 16 rpm
OAJ(40kg) 8/8 x 1 set
Swing(40kg) 20/20 x 1 set
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 1 set