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.