Friday, February 27, 2009

Snatching at 16 RPM

Decided to cut my reps per minute down to 16 today and pushed for 8 minutes total.  This workout really gave me reason to pause.  I found that the pace of 16 rpm is really a good pace for me.  I feel like I could easily hit 10 minutes at 16 rpm.  Could have done it today.  If I can hit 90 jerks and 160 snatches I will be 1 rep shy of Level IV classification at the 90+kg weight class.  If I get under 90kg then I will make the cuttoff no problem.  I am not sure I can make a full 10 minutes at 18 rpm, especially after a hard jerk effort.  I think at this time, I will make a decision on my snatch rate based on my jerk performance and my weigh in, but I think 16 rpm may be the safest for me and should allow me to hit a full 10 minute snatch effort.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 15/15
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 switch - 128 reps

No assistance work today.  I am planning 2 last workouts prior to the comp.  Either Monday (jerk) and Tuesday (snatch) or Sunday (jerk and snatch) and Tuesday (jerk and snatch).  Will decide on the fly.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Backing Off

Starting to taper for the competition.  Energy back up after a couple nights of good sleep.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 15
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm/8 rpm alternating x 8 minutes - 72 reps

Felt good today.  Was starting to suffer, but could have made the final 2 minutes.  No assistance work until after the comp.  Only 3 more scheduled workouts until the Arnold.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Getting Closer

Still in a bit of a funk with low energy levels.  Decided to take it a bit easy today.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 12/12
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 7 minutes - 1 switch
OAJ(32kg) 10/10 x 1

Sustained a bit of hand trauma at the DIP joint of 3rd finger ripping a bit of callous.  I hadn't shaved them recently.  Luckily, it wasn't a major injury and should heal quickly.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jerk Day

Survived another weekend call.  Not much energy tonight.  Need to catch up on my sleep.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 15
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 6 minutes
Swing(32kg) 20/20 x 1
Feet Elevated Pushups 15 x 3 sets

Was attempting 7 minutes of jerks, but just ran out of gas.  I am hoping that a couple of early nights to bed will revive me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

162 Snatches in 9 Minutes

Pushed the snatches today.  Decided to go for 9 minutes (4.5 minutes each hand).  Things went very well.  I felt strong today.  My grip didn't suffer and my form held together for the entire time.  I think I could have done the extra 30 seconds on each arm to complete the full 10 minutes or 180 reps.  Whether or not I can do this several hours after a big jerk effort is yet to be seen.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 12/12
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 9 minutes - 1 hand switch - Total 162 reps
OAJ(32kg) 15/15 x 1 set

My hands really were not an issue today.  I have started to just heavily chalk my fingers only and keep my palms free of chalk.  This seems to work the best for me at this point.  My 1 arm jerks continue to get stronger.  15 reps is becoming much easier these days.

Friday, February 20, 2009

91 Jerks in 10 minutes

Well rested today after sacking out at 9:00 PM last night.  Decided to give my updated Arnold goal of 90 jerks a try today.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 12
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm alternating with 8 rpm x 10 minutes - last minute pulled off 9 reps - total 91
Swing(32kg) 20/20 x 1

Felt good.  Last minute was true gut check.  I actually like the alternating rep scheme.  I am not sure I can pull off 10 minutes at 10 rpm yet.  The longest I have gone is 7 minutes at 10 rpm.  At that point I started to fall apart.  Legs burning.  Panic breathing.  By alternating 10 rpm x 1 minute with 8 rpm x 1 minute I am actually able to stay relaxed.  I was able to rest in the rack on the 8 rpm sets and get control of my breathing.  I figure if I am feeling good on the last minute I can pound out a few extra reps.

Weight this morning - 197.7    I have started watching my portion size with meals.  I am hoping this is enough to get myself consistently under 198.

Just placed my order for a second 32kg comp bell.  If I am able to hit Level IV classification at the Arnold I will have to start working the 32kg for jerks and snatches to keep progressing in the WKC classification scheme

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Snatch Day

Why is it that my best performances seem to be on days that I am trying to find all of the excuses in the world NOT to work out?!?  Had a crazy day at work, followed by my sons birthday celebration tonight, leaving me with another late night workout.  Hands were a bit tender from 32kg swings yesterday, but hit the snatches anyways.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 12/12
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 15/15 x 1 set

Snatches felt strong tonight.  Grip fatigued on the left, but my right hand felt great and I truly think I could made another full minute on the right.  Still aiming for 180 snatches at the Arnold.  Flights times for the Arnold Classic have now been posted.  I can't wait for the big event.  It is going to be a great experience.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Jerks

Back into the groove.  Lots of energy today.  Feel like my jerks continue to get stronger.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 12
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 7 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets
Pushups with feet elevated 15 x 3 sets

Still amazes me how aerobic 10 rpm becomes compared to 8 rpm.  I also feel the burn in my legs at 10 rpm which previously has not been an issue.  Really focused on relaxing/resting in the rack and was able to keep my breathing controlled until the last 30 seconds.  I will keep training the 10 rpm rate, but doubt i will be able to complete a 10 minute set at that rate by the Arnold.  I will stick with my plan of alternating 10 rpm and 8 rpm sets for a total of 90 reps in 10 minutes.  Really tried to focus on the index/thumb pinch grip with my swings.  Right hand was better than left, but my hands felt much better at completion of this set of swings.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Comp Practice

After training jerk and snatch on alternating days for the past 3 months, I decided I should try doing long sets of both exercises on the same day in preparation for the upcoming Arnold Classic.  My workout went as follows:

Warm Up: Stick work for shoulder mobility
    Hour glass and knee circles
                    12kg Halos and Military Press
                    16kg LCCJ x 10 reps
                    20kg Jerk x 10 reps

Working Set:  Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm/8 rpm x 8 minutes - 72 reps

*I have decided to alternate each minute between 10 rpm and 8 rpm.  If I can hold this pace for the full 10 minutes it will give me a total of 90 reps.  

Rest about 90 minutes

Warm Up:   Snatch(16kg) 15/15
                      Snatch(20kg) 10/10

Working Set: Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch - 139 reps

*I tried snatching without chalk today.  My hands were much less sore than when using chalk, but my grip seemed to fatigue faster.  Although this could also be related to the jerks done earlier.  I had to put the bell down around the 7:45 mark due to right hand grip fatigue and my concern of dropping the bell.  I think I need to continue using chalk and REALLY need to keep working on the index/thumb pinch on my descent and backswing which should help me preserve my grip.

Total reps:  211

Not bad for only 8 minutes in each lift.  My jerk really has improved lately and I think I can realistically shoot for 90-95 jerks at the Arnold.  My snatch, on the other hand has me a bit worried.  This had been my strong suit.  I thought 180 reps was doable, now I might need to reconsider.  Everything also hinges on my weigh in.  I still am not sure if I will make it below 198.  My weight seems to fluctuate day to day by up to 4 lbs.  One day I am 199, the next 203.  If I can get below 198, and hit 90 jerks, then I will only need to hit 140 snatches to make level 4 classification.  If I weigh over 198, hit 90 jerks, then I will need 161 snatches to make level 4.  Both of these should be reachable for me.  I have hit these numbers in my basement, but on the platform could prove to be another story.....

Friday, February 13, 2009



Come learn the 6 foundation exercises performed with the russian kettlebell.  During this two day workshop, Matt Schinabeck, RKC, will teach you how to successfully and safely perform the swing, turkish getup, squat, clean, press, and snatch.  Upon completion of this workshop, the participant will be able to use these foundation exercises to improve their strength, endurance, and joint mobility/stability.

Course Details
Date:         Saturday, February 28th and Sunday, March 1st

Time:         10:00 AM - 12:30 PM both days

Price:       $60 Crossfit CLE and other Crossfit affiliate members
                    $75 Non Crossfit members

Location:  Crossfit CLE
                   2218 Superior Ave E
                   Cleveland, OH 44104

Questions: Matt Schinabeck:
                  Carl Sandridge:

The workshop will be limited to 12 participants.  Please notify Carl or Matt by email if you plan to attend.  Payment will be collected at the door prior to the first session.

Easy Snatch Day

Another late workout (I would prefer to avoid these) starting around 9:30 PM tonight.  Planned a short/easier workout to rest for my planned competition simulation on Sunday.  Ended up cutting my planned 6 minute snatch set to 5 minutes (3 min on left and 2 min on right) due to a tender right hand.  I recently aggressively shaved down my callouses leaving me a bit exposed.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 15/15
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 5 minutes (3 min left and 2 min right)
OAJ(32kg) 15/15 x 1

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Easy Jerk Day

Long day at work.  Didn't hit the bells until 8:30 tonight after getting the kids in bed.  Today and tomorrow are on the lighter side as I plan a competition simulation Sunday.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 6 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 1
Pullups 5 x 2 sets

Always amazes me how increasing the rpm from 8 to 10 changes the jerk to a much more aerobic exercise.  I also feel it in my legs much more.  Not sure I could make a full 10 minutes at 10 rpm but I am thinking of alternating minutes of 8 and 10 which will give me a total of 90 reps in 10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Feeling good today.  Nothing special:

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 10/10 x 2
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 12/12 x 2 sets

Worried to push the 10 minute barrier with snatches because I think I might suffer some hand damage.  This close to the comp I want to preserve my hands.  8 minute sets I can do without any hand problems.  

Planning to take it easy on Thursday/Friday workouts and then will attempt a competition simulation on Sunday with a jerk set followed a couple hours later with a snatch set.

Monday, February 9, 2009

An Accidental Jerk PR

Have really been fighting the training blahs lately.  Even with the Arnold looming in the near future, my motivation has been low.  I think part of it is doing he same workout for the past 3 months.  Also working long timed sets hurts and it gets hard to motivate knowing the pain that is coming.  Today, I was really dragging.  Not motivated.  Decided to have a bit of a coffee jolt and then hit the bells.  Warmed up, back was feeling good.  Set the GymBoss for 7 minutes and started on my 8 rpm jerk pace.  Today was the first day that I actually rested in the rack.  I focused on keeping my elbows close to my belly button and was really able to rest the entire weight on my pelvis (axial skeleton).  I have also totally given up on the "false grip".  I have been keeping my hands open in the overhead lockout and in the rack I am overlapping handles and then my fingers.  This has really made a HUGE improvement in my previous hand/wrist/forearm fatigue with long sets.  The combination of these two technique improvements truly allowed me to rest in the rack for the first time......what a pleasure!!!  The GymBoss buzzed at the 7 minute mark and I decided to do 8 minutes, still feeling good 60 seconds later so I went for 9 minutes, beginning to fatigue, but what the heck, what is one more I pushed on and finished the full 10 minutes at 8 rpm.  I truly think I could have done more!!

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 10 minutes = 80 reps
Swing(24kg) 20/20 no rest between hands x 2 sets (used 24kg instead of 32 as I wanted to rest my back 1 more day)
Pushups 15 x 3 sets

For me, finding peace in the rack, I truly believe is the key to my improved jerk.  Now, with 4 weeks to go prior to the Arnold, I need to consider my strategy.....should I just focus on the 10 minute set at 8 rpm, or should I keep pushing and see if I can prepare for a 10 minute 10 rpm set?

Friday, February 6, 2009

8 Minute Snatch

Well, my left trap/rhomboid is better, but now I tweaked my low back today doing snatches.  This is an injury I have never done before in over 2 years of kettlebell work.  As I was approaching the four minute mark on my left arm (1st side) I caught the descending bell with my back instead of my hammies and glutes and knew instantly I was going to have some pain.  This was purely a lapse in concentration brought on by suffering.  I was able to finish the set, but I decided to skip the one arm jerks.  Loaded up on some ibuprofen.  Will see how I feel tomorrow.  May end up having to take some time off to recover from this.  Could end up being a blessing in disguise.  Luckily I still have 4 weeks before the comp.

Snatch(16kg) 15/15
Snatch(20kg) 10/10
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch

Thursday, February 5, 2009

10 rpm jerks

Instead of going to 9 minutes at 8 rpm, today, I decided to give a 10 rpm set a try.  Big difference.  The rack issues are less of a problem since I am not sitting in the rack waiting for the clock.  This became much more aerobic and I really felt the fatigue in my legs.  I was really forced to think about slowing my breathing and relaxing.

Jerk(16) 15
Jerk(20) 10
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 6 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 2 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30
Pullups 5 x 2 sets

Weighed in this morning at 198.6.  I continue to drop weight by watching my portions and continuing to exercise.  Still hoping to be 197 or less by the Arnold.  I don't want to cut it close at the weigh in.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

8 minute Snatch

Tweaked my left trap/rhomboid yesterday.  Currently having difficulty turning my head to the left.  Not sure what I did.  Decided to take it easy today and planned to do a 6 minute snatch set, but once I got going I was feeling strong and my neck wasn't bothered by snatching so I decided to push ahead for an 8 minute set.

Snatch(16) 10/10
Snatch(20kg) 10/10 x 2
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 8 minute - 1 switch

Decided to pass on the OAJ in order to rest my sore neck/trap.  Off tomorrow.  Hopefully will be feeling better so I can continue my jerk work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

PR Jerk

I continue to work my jerk progressions.  Giving up on the false grip, and returning to open hands which allows them to easily overlap the handles in the rack has helped me tremendously.  My hands/wrists/forearms are much less fatigued.  I also really started to pay attention to the path of the bells heading for the lockout.  I tend to push wide and then have to correct and bring my arms closer to my head at lockout.  This is clearly a waste of energy.  Today, I focused on keeping my arms and bells close to my ears all the way up.  This really felt good.  Now I just need to groove this path so it is the norm.  I also noticed that on my drop my elbows tend to be too lateral.  Focusing on dropping my elbows to my belly button helps me keep my elbows in tight and allows me to benefit from resting my arms on my pelvis.  This also translates to a stronger bump off the pelvis during the launch of the jerk.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 8 minutes - 64 reps
Jerk(24kg) 12 rpm x 2 minutes
Swing(32kg) 20/20 x 1
Pushups 15 x 3 sets