Sunday, January 31, 2010
Tomorrow I will review the month's kettlebell work and see how random random actually was.
Took it easy with the 10 minute kettlebell session. 20kg, 1 minute each hand of jerk, snatch, clean and jerk, swing, clean and press.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
My kettlebell session was 12 minutes of one hand farmer walks around the building with a 24kg kettlebell.
Friday, January 29, 2010
About a half hour later I still wasn't sure what I was going to do for my kettlebell 10 minutes. I threw around a set or two of snatches with the 20kg and it felt alright so I thought I would go for 200 reps in 10 minutes with one hand switch.
I didn't monitor the clock closely for pace so when I looked up at 100 reps and saw that I was at 4:30 I was thrilled...I could back off the pace on the switch. But I hit 200 at a 9:30 so I didn't really slow that much. Now I had 30 seconds I had to kill before I put the bell down. My grip was cooked though, so no more snatches, so I finished the 30 seconds with some low amplitude 2 hand swings.
This was a real, I've never done it before PR. Not an age group PR or bodyweight PR. What I like about it most is, it means I can pass the RKC snatch test for Masters (100 reps in 5 minutes with a 20kg bell) without even switching hands.
Oh yeah. I might be getting bad. Even at 52.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I think the variety of weights and exercises and working well within my capacity with the occasional uncomfortable push is paying dividends. Given a rep count of 160 reps in the snatch, a light day is with the 12s, a medium day is with the 16s and a heavy day (for me for now) is with the 20s. Kind of like managing intensity with weightlifting. Kettlebells can be tricky because due to the fixed weight, volume is one way Russian coaches measure training intensity. The number of reps per set as a percentage of the maximum number of reps you can do is the intensity. If you can do 100 reps, a 50% set would be 50 reps.
I'm not managing intensity that closely, but I am working (albeit by feel) to make light and medium days the majority of my work load. Since I'm putting in 10 minutes a day as the basic training scheme, I have a choice each day of exercise, weight and rep range depending on what I feel I can do for the entire 10 minutes. Kind of random, but I'll crunch it all at the end of the month and see what I end up with.
Simple. 10 minutes a day of kettlebell something without putting the bell down. P90X look out.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Last week I stormed through 100 rep set of 12kg long cycle without stopping. This week if I feel up to it I will try for a similar technical result with the 16kg although numbers will likely be in the 70 rep range.
I wonder, are the 10 minute sets having a training effect?
Monday, January 25, 2010
By Josh Hanagarne World’s Strongest Librarian
I was working at the library when a strange-looking book came across the desk. The Naked Warrior. I picked it up and took it to the break room to read it. I’d never heard of the author, Pavel Tsatsouline, but the title promised a combination of two of my great loves: nudity and warfare!
I read the book quickly, which wasn’t hard since it is written in 50 point font. A lot of it made me laugh: Pavel is pretty funny. I’d never really thought much about bodyweight training, so all the business about the one armed pushups and one-legged squats were interesting to me, but not enough to really rev me up yet.
Near the end of the book, however, Pavel mentions kettlebells. I’d never heard of these things, but there was a line that really stuck with me:
Try it if you’re so tough. You’ll wish you were dead.
And now you know how to manipulate me. Just challenge me to something.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
When I lived in Chicago many years ago, I got into the habit of daily marketing. I would walk to the grocery store and buy only the amount of food that I could carry home. This habit carried on during my years in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I thought about buying one of those collapsible shopping carts so I could wheel my groceries home, but I never did. What I found over the years was I couldn't buy more than a few days of produce without it going bad before I ate it, so the cart would have ended up wasting food and wasting money.
A couple of interludes in the suburbs where grocery stores are miles away from home put a crimp in this style of shopping. I recall at first I actually resented having to own a car to get around. And I resented even more the lack of suburban planning that made a car a necessity. Self propelled suburban shopping carts essentially. But I still stuck to my habit of shopping with a basket, not a cart. The basket provided a kind of portion control that I found, and still find, useful. As I think about it now, I don't believe I've ever filled a shopping cart in my life. Nor have I spent more than $35 on a basket of groceries. To this day I look on in a mix of fascination and horror when the person in front of me forks over well more than a hundred dollars for an overflowing cart of groceries. I realize, folks have families...but the amount of food you can fit in an SUV is staggering. Do they really eat that much in a week?
I'm glad I am able to walk to my local grocery store in Boulder. Although I confess I hitch a ride with friends fairly often too. Yesterday morning, bright and early I ventured out into the crisp, clear, clean 34 degree mountain air for the 15 minute walk to the King Soopers. As I plodded along, I thought to myself (once again) that walking to the store was actually an honorable way to procure my daily calories. Certainly healthier to walk than to hop in the car. Something akin, although of course very, very far removed, from what our nomadic ancestors endured to survive. Obviously, they didn't end up in Aisle 4 trying to decide on which of 42 kinds of salsa to buy. OK, so nothing like what our nomadic kin endured to survive. Except for the walking part, which I'm sure they did much more of.
I don't hunt. I'm not opposed to it. But it just never took. My Dad hunted some; quail mostly. He never took my brother or I hunting. I suspect his desire to hunt had faded about the time we were actually old enough to lug around the old shotguns he had. Or maybe he looked at us and realized we would be miserable in the cold and wet. And like our stabs at bass fishing together, no good nor fun (nor game) would likely come of it. So since I don't hunt, I suppose I fulfill the gatherer role in the Hunter-Gatherer paradigm.
As I lugged home two plastic shopping bags filled with vegetables, fruit, chicken and the few condiments I "gathered",I considered that for most of us, roaming the not-so-wild aisles of the supermarket will be as close many of us will ever get to the source of our food. My walk to and from the store over the years has become something of a hair shirt ritual but also in part an acknowledgment of and meditation on how good we all have it. How good I have it. The choices. The abundance.
Perhaps next time, I will pretend to be a Bushman and run down my quartered chicken breasts, cornering them in the meat department refrigerator. Then I will cunningly entrap them with my red plastic basket, scan them, bag them, carry them home, humbly honor their little chicken spirits and in triumph, George Foreman Grill them. And then of course, eat them...bloody red BBQ sauce dripping down my chin.
Today's kettlebell fun after barbell snatching and front squatting: 10 minutes of continuous 1 hand 20kg swings at 30 RPM, switching hands on the minute. 300 swings total.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
This week delivered two new favorites. The first was Avery Brewery's New World Porter. I've been gradually working my way through the offerings of local Colorado breweries and to date, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder has two of my favorites: their India Pale Ale and this really nice porter. It also has a very clever name.
Last night after coaching went to Walnut Brewery with friends David, Phil and Veronica ... had a salad very similar to the one pictured above. Very Paleo, I think...buffalo and spinach, almonds and a balsamic vinegar. Okay, the gorgonzola crumbles not so much on the program, but not a significant departure. I'm not a fundamentalist anyway. The beers were unimpressive...but you can't have everything I guess.
By the way, I'm down about 2kg bodyweight in two weeks. Not bad.
Last night's and today's kettlebells sets:
12kg x 2 bells long cycle clean and jerk. 10 RPMs. 100 reps in 10 minutes. No rest, or putting the bells down of course, just continuous paced set set. A landmark effortfor me...when I get the 16s up to 100 this way I will be in good shape to move up to 20s.
Today I did 10 minutes of one arm farmer's walks around the Xfit facility with a 24kg kettlebell...about 200 yards a lap and 3 minutes a lap. I switched hands halfway around each lap. Did 3 laps and a little more in the 10 minutes. Traps? I know I have them now.
Friday, January 22, 2010
So the set started one clean and press left hand, one clean and press right hand, two clean and press left hand, two clean and press right hand and so on up to 5 reps each hand. Then drop back down to one and "climb the ladder" again.
I was able to eke out three complete ladders and used all the clock to do it. It works out to be 45 reps each arm or 90 reps total.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I love coffee. I drink more than I probably should. But, I don't sugar it or cream it or adulterate it in any way. Black please. Hot, cold, espresso shot: all good with me.
So imagine my dismay when I was informed that because coffee is made from a bean it isn't Paleo. Legumes (beans and such) are not part of the Paleo regimen. Screw it, says I. I'm not giving up the coffee.
I finally got around to researching what the coffee bean actually is. Is it really a bean? Confusion can arise over what something actually is and is not due to common names. It gets dicey in the nut, seed, bean and grain areas. While seeds and nuts are allowed on Paleo, legumes are not. For example a peanut is not actually a nut because it comes from the family Fabaceae a subfamily of the legumes Leguminosae. A peanut is legume, so it is not a Paleo approved food.
Coffee, on the other hand is from the genus Coffea and the family Rubiaceae . It turns out that "bean" is a colloquial misnomer for the Coffea "seed" from the coffee plant flower. Rubiaceae is not the same as Leguminosa.
So coffee is not made from a bean/legume after all but from a seed. Paleo worthy, IMO at least. Huzzah!
Drink up shriners.
Last night's 10 minutes of kettlebell fun: 10 minutes of 20kg 1 arm cleans at 3 RPMs, 1 hand switch. Working on that rack position. Beforehand, a few clean pulls at 110kg, a few 3 position power cleans up to 80kg.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Maybe it is my nightly glass of beer that is killing my progress?
A little barbell power snatching last night. Then 10 minutes of 16kg one arm jerks at 15 RPMs switching on the minute.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
My friend Phil started training with kettlebells a few weeks ago and last night he did a breakthrough workout: 24 minutes of one arm long cycle clean and press at about 15RPMs with the 12kg kettlebell switching hands on the minute .
Inspired by his willingness to push himself (but also needing a light day) I snatched the 12kg for 20 minutes instead of the planned 10 minutes, still switching hands every 5 minutes. Total rep count: 445 reps. I used the long light set to play with pace and a variety of dropping arcs.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Buck and the Air Force Academy put on a really nice meet. Congrats to all the lifters.
I did do 330 16kg swings in 10 minutes yesterday, switching hands on the minute.
Today after barbell snatching: double 16kg long cycle clean and jerk, 10 minutes, 73 reps.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Last night did some clean pulls working up from 70kg to 130kg from below knee for a couple of sets of 3. Then a 10 minute set of KB snatches with the 20kg, 1 hand switch. 80L and 80R, 160 total.
Will do a light 10 minute set of swings this morning...16kg switch on the minute.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Did a few half-hearted/half-assed barbell snatches, but I did get in 10 minutes of 1 Arm Bottoms Up Long Cycle Clean and Press with the 12 kg bell @ 9 RPMs, so 90 reps.
Didn't sleep well. Actually, I'm not sure I slept at all.
This discomfort was foretold, though. So I'll ride it out.
On getting carbs from fruit: Wild fruit contains hexose dominated sugar+high fiber, cultivated fruits are sucrose dominated with less fiber. Ironic since low fiber & sucrose is one of the problems with the "modern" diet. As far as sugar/fiber goes:are... grocery store oranges,apples and bananas any better than candy? Need more complex carb sources. I think the fruit is just making my blood sugar spike and then the insulin kicks in and I crash even though I am eating with/as part of meals and not alone.I'll follow up on the Silver Back question in a day or two when my head clears...right now I just want to take a nap.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Is the Paleo Diet Really Paleo? The short answer is " it depends".
Homo sapiens sapiens, us modern folks, have been around as a species for only about 200,000 years. As we migrated out of Africa displacing and forcing into extinction our proto-human kin, we ate what was available regionally. We only need look at the surviving vestiges of early human populations around the globe to see that we can eat and thrive on pretty much anything; from the raw meat and fat marine mammal diet of the Arctic Eskimo to the sparse largely vegetarian menu of the Australian Aborigine and everything in between, human beings can do pretty well on whatever is available.
This is not to say that we can eat whatever we want. We are as a species stuck with what our teeth, our guts and our body size will allow us to eat, those traits we inherited from pre-human ancestors over the 30 million years of our development. But is there really much evidence to suggest that our digestive inheritance was shaped by some ancient diet?
The main premise of the Paleo diet is that our bodies adapted to a particular way of eating millions of years ago. But this premise fails on several fronts. For one, there is no evidence that there was one monolithic set of food resources that our ancient ancestors adapted to. Nor does the premise explain the diversity of the surviving, albeit rapidly dwindling and nearly extinct "stone age" diets observed around the globe. Which diet from what time and from which neighborhood natural food store are we talking about?
And here is where Paleo Diet has it backwards, I think. Contrary to the Paleo stance, we didn't inherit guts that were shaped by or adapted to some monolithic Hunter Gatherer diet. On the contrary our species global conquest and occupation of different food "niches" suggests that we have constantly adapted the available food sources to our guts. Evolutionary pressure would have come not merely from what was available to eat but from the ability to figure out what was edible, how to prepare it and to be able to survive on it. Or not. Natural Selection in our case favored brainy consumers...cave kids who had cave parents who were smart eaters got to live long enough to pass along their genes to the next generation.
However, we do have a digestive system that is a product of evolution. But this digestive system has been in place, with a few mutations here and there, long before there were Hunter Gatherers. In fact our digestive abilities are very similar to those of our nearest relatives the Great Apes. Like us, the Hunter Gatherers shared 98-99% of their DNA with the great apes. Interestingly, Chimps, Gorillas and Orangutans don't widely suffer from Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, coronary artery disease or any of our species' modern "Diseases of Affluence." In the long history of human development, Hunter Gatherer societies are just another phase. I think the assumption that our collective Hunter Gatherer phase was the crowning moment of human gustatory and digestive development is a mistake. Hunter Gatherers already had a digestive system, a product of evolution established long in the pre-human past and one very similar to our modern Great Ape cousins. Hunter Gatherers did what all humans have done: they adapted the available food sources to their needs.
So how does Silverback Gorilla pack 400lbs of meat and bone on his five foot five inch frame on a vegetarian diet of fruit, shoots, leaves and flowers? And more to the point, if we are truly looking to satisfy evolutionary digestive design and if their guts are so similar to our guts and they are healthy and we are not, shouldn't we be eating more like them?
More about that next time.
Last night's Kookyball madness: 10 minutes 1 arm cleans, 24kg switch on the minute. 13RPMS = 130 reps.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I am giving the Paleo/Zone eating plan a go. This is a hybrid of the Zone Diet and The Paleo Diet: Paleo foods in Zone 40/30/30 percentages. With the exception of pizza and beer and Barilla pasta plus I've been pretty close to eating this way for sometime. I've had good luck maintaining my weight with making sure each meal contains protein, fat and carb although in levels somewhat different than Zone. The Paleo food choices basically eliminate grains and dairy so I will definitely be getting more fruit and vegetables. Pizza can be an occasional treat as it should be, however, I'm still going to enjoy my nightly beer. Besides, my favorite brewer these days is Boulder Brewery: how much more Paleo can a name get?
What is and is not Paleo food can be confusing depending on who you read and who you talk to. Meat, vegetables and fruit are clear enough. What is not altogether clear is the grain, legumes, seeds and nuts. Most roots are allowed but not 'taters. Some folks alllow seet 'taters. There is a rule of thumb on the grains, legumes and such that if it has to be cooked to be edible then it isn't paleo. Many grains and legumes can be sprouted and are then perfectly edible...so that kills that rationale, but then again nuts are a kind of seed, grains are a kind of seed. I've been told that sesame seeds aren't paleo but then other lists say they are. I'm going with they are: I love tahini.
Here are a couple of links discussing Paleo foods: Food List and counter points.
Last night's kettlebell fun: 10 minutes of double 16kg long cycle, 65 reps total, rest in the hang as needed. Earlier, barbell power snatched up to 65kg for a double.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Today's kettlebell set: 10 minutes double 16kg cleans...10 RPMS rested in the hang as needed. 100 reps total. Focused on minimum required stance and not aggravating adductors. Felt OK...a few more sessions of these, maybe working up to 150-170 reps will help the rehab further.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
"Ivan Denisov and his students are demonstration kettlebel lifting in Chelyabinsk. Chelyabinsk athletes do show competition in weightlifting sport in May 2009. Men with weights 24 kg, a girl with weights 18 kg. During 10 minutes."
Today's fun: 5 x 15 reps 65kg sumo(hip conditioning) then 10 minutes 20kg 1 arm cleans at 4RPM, 2 minutes each arm then switch on minute for 10 minutes.
In order of popularity, here are video examples of the three methods currently used to accomplish lowering the body in the barbell jerk.
Split Jerk, Power Jerk and Squat Jerk.
My training day Friday 1/8, clean pulls from below knee to 140kg and Front Squat to 100kg + kettlebell 10 minute set; a free form H2H workout with 12kg.100 reps each arm 24kg swing to finish.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tonight's 10 minute kettlebell set: 20kg 5 rung press ladders (1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5) without putting the bell down...did 3 full ladders for 45/45 = 90 reps total.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This is an assistance exercise for the 2 KB Jerk in which the trainee rack a pair of heavy KBs and does squats with them in the same range of motion as the first dip of the Traditional Jerk. You do these at a slow and steady tempo, with a rep range usually of 40 to 70 reps. This would be done at the end of your workout, maybe 2 or 3 times a week. You would start with your competition KB size, start with 40 reps and work up to 70 reps, then move up 4 kg and go back to 40 reps, then build up you rep count again and then repeat. You would stop doing them two weeks before your competition.
When this video first went up on youtube, there were a lot of guys hanging their heads and wondering "WTF?". I was one of them. I eventually duplicated Bonnie's effort a few weeks later but without the grace and with more obvious suffering.
The 24kg bell is the weight women use for MSWC ranking (Master of Sport World Class) in the World Kettlbell Club. However, I am skeptical that we will see a 110lb woman perform 106 reps in this discipline or a 166lb woman doing 130 reps. But we will see.
Tonight after barbell clean and jerk and some clean pulls did my 10 minutes of continuous kettlebell work. 50/50 one arm long cycle 20kg. One hand switch. Harder than it should have been...or maybe not. 5 down 360 to go.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
An afternoon of weightlifting and exploring program design. Maximizing performance in weightlifting does not happen by accident. Evaluation, planning and responding effectively to changes in performance are all important features of a good program.
In this hands on clinic we will explore some of the basic concepts behind successful program design. Learn how to organize your workouts so they are consistent with your short, medium and long terms goals.
Saturday January 30th, from 12 noon to 3pm
$35 register at www.flatironscrossfit.com via paypal
$50 at the door.
Wear comfortable work out clothes and bring your weight lifting shoes if you have them...this won't be just theory and white board, we will be working!
First two and a half minutes of the video: Russian women are now snatching the 24kg (used to be the 16kg) in competition. The athlete on the far right is 58kg Ksenija Dedyukhina. Imagine snatching over 40% of your body weight 120 times!
Some long cycle and traditional biathlon also. Good stuff!
Today's 10 minutes of kettlebell fun: 16kg 1 arm swings, 3min/3min/2min/2min 325 reps total
Also today: Hit 75kg snatch (PR since injury) and 110kg squat for 2 reps (a PR double - and single for that matter, since injury) went for 130 but got buried in the hole...good negative though!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Really rusty on resting in the rack...I think I rest better in the overhead position, or it may be that overhead is just not any worse.
20 reps each arm total.
Champion Ivan Denisov hits 150 jerks with 2 x 24kg bells. That's averaging better than 25 reps per minute. If anyone tells you that GS techniques or GS athletes can't generate power or speed...hand that person one 24kg bell and see if they can get 25 jerks in one minute.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Here's one I threw out there for myself because it is a challenge, it's strikes me as fun and I can do it however I want. And it will probably be good for me just by coincidence. Every day (not including acts of God, sickness or family emergency) in 2010 I will do a minimum 10 minute kettlebell routine without putting the bell down. Anything I want to do as light or as heavy as fast or as slow as I want. (If it's a power juggling day a drop on the floor doesn't count as putting the bell down)
Here's another: I'll post everyday what I've done. It may be at the end of another post, or it may be The Post for the day...but I want to get in the habit of keeping up the blog daily.
Here's what I did tonight after my Oly lifting workout.
10 minutes 1 arm long cycle, 16kg, one hand switch, 120 reps (50/70)