Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Burn of 2008

For my last training session of 2008, I did the following circuit:

Burpee / Clean 16kg / x5 l,r
Swings 20kg / x12
Mountain Climbers x40 (20 each leg)
Pushups x 8
Dips x15
Snatches 16kg / x8 l,r

4 Rounds - no rest between drills
40 seconds between rounds

I am tempted to wax philosophical, to recap the year, but I'll spare you. I think I've posted enough throughout the year about my goals, progress, and frame of mind. I tend to share too much sometimes.

Suffice it to say, 2008 was the year I became an RKC and snatched the 20 kg bell.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I've consumed enough sugar over the last week to last me six months. My body is in shock. My brain is freaking out. What if I slip back into old habits? Yikes!

I will be cleansing the house of all Christmas treats TODAY. All the boxes of candy and the candy sack from church, all the chocolate covered peanuts and snack breads that were brought into this house will find new homes. I will share the joy.

In their place I have purchased cabbage and broccoli, farm fresh eggs, and the juiciest pears ever! The sugar binge is over!!

On a different note (sort of) I am happy to report that I have no New Year's resolutions. I have my previously reported goals from November, but nothing new. I want to stay focused on those other three.

1. Press the 20 kg bell.
2. Drop 3% bodyfat.
3. Drop one jean size.

I am making great progess on goal 1. Brad is really priming me well to press that 20 kg. I know when he says it's time, it'll be time.

I don't know where I am on goal 2. I need to meet with Brad and check against my bodyfat % from this summer.

I am also making progress on goal 3. Last week I actually did buy a pair of Lucky jeans that are one size smaller than all of my other jeans. And, they are THREE sizes smaller than my last pair of Lucky jeans. Unreal to me. When I bought that last pair (a few months after I started kb training) I thought I was making progress. Little did I know what was in store for me!

Here's a picture of me right before I started training with Brad Nelson. (December 2006)
And here I am today. (December 2008)

The pictures tell one part of the story, but they don't tell how I've changed on the inside. If you knew me then and know me now, you might say I have a changed personality. I feel like a different person.

So today I will focus on my successes, forget about the holiday sugar overdose, and remember how far I've come. I will continue to branch out and discover who I can be. Thank you to all of you who read my blog and who support me on my journey. It means more than you'll ever know.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Training Blizzard

or "Training in a Blizzard."
I never train in the morning, but today, I decided to give it a shot. The kids were outside playing in newly fallen snow. (They're working on a snow fort in the snowpiles that surround my parents' house down the block.) Jerry was on the phone with employees dealing with hazardous travel, broken furnaces, and a stubborn fireplace.

This is the view out my front door looking down the block at my parents' house.

With the blizzard of activity, I had nothing to do. Why not train?? Okay!

I did four rounds of the following:

Tricep Dips - 15
Walking Lunges - 20
Hindu Pushups - 8
Cossacks w/ 16 kg - 16

No rest between drills; 30 secs between rounds.

Later I will do some push presses with the 20 kg. Yoohoo!!!!

I actually have all of my kbs at home. Why you ask? Well I'll tell you! I'm going to teach two PE classes at my local high school on Monday and Tuesday. The school (I'm on its school board) received a federal PE grant and is using some of the funds to purchase kettlebells! Guess where they got the idea??? Hmmmmmmmm The only downside is they didn't tell me they were ordering kbs until after it was done, so I didn't have the chance to direct them to Dragon Door. (Maybe if they decide to purchase more, I can show them the light!) The kbs haven't arrived yet, so yesterday I gathered up all my bells for them to use.

So, the first two official days of my winter break will be spent training 17 year olds. I have a lot of these students in my college classes, so they know me and know about kbs. (In Iowa we have dual credit courses. Advanced high school students can take college credit courses.) I'm looking forward to showing these students how fun and challenging kbs can be.

The rest of this weekend will probably look like this:

Stuck inside looking out!

The wind has died down for awhile, but it is supposed to kick into high later. No travel. Good thing all my shopping is done! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Avoiding the Inevitable

I've been knocking out my training this week - good progress. The only area I've felt unsure of is my military press on the left side. I press out hardstyle on the right and my training protocol is working beautifully on that right side. I feel that I will be pressing the 20 kg in the next few weeks. (Unfortunately, I'm not confident I will git er done by Christmas. Bummer! But I WILL definitely try!)

On the left side, I have gotten very few presses out without a little knee dip. (Just to remind everyone, I'm doing double presses - 16 kg in one hand, 8 kg in the other.) Well, wouldn't you know it; David Whitley posted a video about getting your lats to engage when doing presses. The man can read my mind, seriously! I was doing exactly what he shows on my left side - lifting my shoulder up to my ear. Dumb, dumb, me. On the right side, I wasn't doing that. My left side must have an inferiority complex!
So, I will definitely be hanging around, shortening my arms over the next week. (If that means nothing to you, watch Dave's video.)
Click on his blog link in the right column ------->

The title of my post today reflects my absolute lack of interest in grading the 12 remaining research papers in the box next to my desk. I'm doing everything I can to avoid them. Heck, I may even post some more student photos to eat up more time. I am terrible!

I hope you enjoy the photos in this post. They are by Rachel Hughbanks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Big Chill

Oh baby it's cold outside! 15 below 0 without the windchill. Break out the wool boys and girls!

All of you folks who live in warm parts of the world, could you send me some warm wishes?! Tell me how you're training on the beach and running around in shorts.

I'll tell you how the wind howled all night, how I wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants to bed with two goose-down comforters and a quilt, how I saw semi trucks and school buses gelled up on the side of the road, and how all I want to drink is tea and eat is soup!

I have 10 days to press the 20 kg bell in order to meet my goal. I'm getting nervous. I think I'll give it a go this afternoon before I dive into my training. I want to see how close I am. I'll probably take next week off of training and just enjoy some down time.

I hope you're enjoying the photos I've posted so far. I will take a break from posting those until the student photographers have a chance to work with their images, retouch them, make me look 10 pounds thinner, you know! lol I did post a bunch of the unretouched photos in my facebook. It seems a little overboard to post all those photos of myself, but I really liked photos from each of the students. It's hard to just choose one from each person. Hopefully they all get an A on their projects!

Well, I'm off to get another cup of hot tea. Enjoy your week, no matter what kind of weather you're having!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Boring Now - Fun Later

This is just a quick post about my training so far this week.

Double Military Press Ladders - 3 x 1, 2, 3
-I started with the 16 kg in the right hand and the 8 kg in the left. I changed hands with the two kbs on each rung.
- I rested 1:00 between rungs.

Circuit of
Swings w/20kg - 20 secs work / 10 secs rest
Burpees 20 secs work / 10 secs rest
5 rounds w/out any rest between rounds

Double Military Press Ladders - 4 x 1, 2, 3
- 16 kg in the left hand and the 8 kg in the right. I changed hands with the two kbs on each rung.
- I rested 1:00 between rungs.

Circuit of
Walking Lunges- 20 yards
Bear Crawl - 20 yards
Inverted Rows - 8
Squats w/ 16 kg - 10
3 Rounds
30 secs rest between rounds

I will have pictures from the student photo shoots to post later this week. The students did pretty well. After I have the photos retouched, they'll be ready to post. Stop back to see them!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Moving - No Other Words

Check out Brad Nelson's blog for a video showing his service in Africa. He, his wife, and his wife's family do mission work with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. They fit deaf children with hearing aids.

Brad and Jordan - you're amazing. Thanks for sharing the video and for touching so many lives. You inspire me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday Comes Before Friday

Since Wednesday I was looking forward to my training on Friday. I was not disappointed today. However, I got in a bonus training session on Thursday.

The photography students at the college where I teach had a test. They each had 10 minutes to shoot me with my kettlebells. They had had a day to research kettlebells and they watched a video of me conducting some training on Wednesday. There are 11 students. A couple actually did some research. The others, not so much. A few wanted me to hold a bell in each hand and hold my arms out in a T. Maybe if I had 10 lb kbs!

Suffice it to say I had a two-hour training session while posing for 11 photo shoots. I bet I did 50 windmills, 30 TGUs, 30 presses, and 100 swings (w/ the 20 kg). I also did a lot of squats and renegade rows. I will get a disk with all the photos. I can't wait! I will post some on this blog and my facebook page when I get them.

All that training made me hungry! I had "naked" chinese for lunch Thursday (no sauce, just steamed veggies and chicken) and opted for the rice, which I usually forego. Then I had a naked burrito at Qdoba for supper. (That actually gave me a stomach ache. Yuck!) Wow, Thursday was kind of a naked day, huh?! LOL

Today I was sore, especially my sides from all the windmills. I didn't know how my training would go today. Here's what I did:

Circuit of
Tricep Dips - 15
Walking lunges - 10 each leg
Hindu Pushups - 8
Cossacks w/16 kg - 8 each leg
-3 Rounds
-No rest between drills
-30 secs between rounds

Clean & Push Press - 20 kg - 5 x 2 L, R

That went well. When I got home, I lied down and fell asleep for an hour. Whew! I'm beat. It's been a crazy week. I have two more weeks to go before my semester is over and I get a break.

I've been keeping my PhD. When I look back at what I've eaten, I think maybe I'm not eating enough. I don't know. My eating has been weird since I started the piehole diary two weeks ago. I've actually eaten more cookies in the last two weeks than I probably did the previous 10 months! Maybe it's just a phase. Hopefully it's just a phase! I don't usually eat a lot of sweets. I tend to go for grains - oatmeal, bread, cereal. Oh, and Templeton Rye!

Well, I'm off to bed early. My body and mind are D-O-N-E. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, Wednesday Good - Can't Wait for Friday

Okay - I'm in training to press the 20 kg. Here's the beatdown:

Double Military Press Ladders - 3 x 1, 2, 3
- I started with the 16 kg in the left hand and an 8 kg in the right. I changed hands with the two kbs on each rung.
- I rested 1:00 between rungs.

Quick Circuit of
Swings w/20kg - 20 secs work / 10 secs rest
Burpees 20 secs work / 10 secs rest
5 rounds w/out any rest between rounds

Double Military Press Ladders - 4 x 1, 2, 3
- I started with the 16 kg in the left hand and an 8 kg in the right. I changed hands with the two kbs on each rung.
- I rested 1:00 between rungs.

Circuit of
Crab Walk - 20 yards
Bear Crawl - 20 yards
Inverted Rows - 8
Squats w/ 16 kg - 10
3 Rounds
45 secs rest between rounds

I'm having some trouble on the left with the presses. When I have that 8 kg in the right hand, it really forces me to use the appropriate pressing muscles and technique. No cheating!! My left side is definitely weaker than my right. I can knock out 3 presses on the right no prob. I end up having to do a little bit of a knee dip to get that 3rd rep on the left. I'm not discouraged, though, because I know the double presses will make me stronger, faster.

Friday I get to do push presses with the 20 kg. I am so freaking excited to get to pressing that 20 kg!!!! I have no doubt I'll do it, so it's fun stepping back and watching myself. My goal is to do it by Christmas. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Training and Templeton Rye

I had lots of fun over the Thanksgiving holiday. Here's a summary of two of the fun events.

1. Touring the Templeton Rye distillery on Saturday. It was so much fun to meet the fun folks at Templeton. Scott, Keith, Meryl, and Michael were great hosts and put up with all my picture taking. I think I came off as a crazy Templeton Rye fan. Go figure!!

Scott Bush, me, Jerry, Keith Kerkhoff

Jerry, Meryl Kerkhoff, me, Keith Kerkhoff

We got to sample some whiskey straight from the still. It was really good! I labelled a bottle and bought a whole bunch of Templeton gear. Unfortunately, in Iowa you can't buy whiskey from the distillery, only from retail stores. Bummer! But I did have five samples so I was feeling great on the ride home!

Meryl and his grandson at the still. (Meryl is the man who brought the recipe back into production.)

Me with Michael Killmer, Brand Manager

You HAVE to check out the Templeton Rye website and blog to read and hear about the history of this whiskey which was said to be the favorite of Al Capone. You can also read about all of the great people who bring Templeton to us.

2. Getting Jon, a personal trainer and Advocare advisor, started with kettlebell training. Jon is a big guy and very strong. He really didn't know what he was in for when I walked into his gym with my bells. He was a great sport about it - willing to try and to open his mind.

A lot of men I encounter are not as open to kettlebells. Why? Because kettlebells aren't hundreds of pounds. It isn't as cool to say you did squats with two 20 kg bells as it is to say you squat 500 lbs.

Jon put the macho stuff aside and went with me. He was a fast learner. I left him with a 16 kg bell and two hours worth of training. I also got in quite a bit of training myself. I easily cranked out forty 16 kg snatches. I'm ready to start snatching that 20 kg regularly.

Jon helped me do a couple pull ups and played with my dog. Here's a picture. Jon has two boxers as well, so he and my boxer Penny were fast friends.

Now it's back to my mountain of grading. The last 10 years have pretty much been the same in the month leading up to the fall semester's end. You'd think one of these years I would figure out a way to lessen the grading load at the end of the semester. I just don't think it's possible without reducing the rigor of my classes. So, until I'm willing to do that, I'll have to put up with the pile of papers and stress of getting through it. Sigh!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Am So Thankful

that I don't run anymore. It was 45 degrees and sunny today, so I decided to replace my planned training with a run. Why, I'll never know.

I hooked up Penny to the leash, set the iPod to some kickin tunes, and away I went. I only ran for twenty, twenty-five minutes. I wasn't breathing hard. It was so much easier than doing V02 Max with the 16 kg bell as far as my cardiovascular system was concerned.

As far as my feet go, running sucks. My feet were not made for running. They were not impressed with me. LOL

So, I decided that it was kinda fun to do a little run; however, I'm thankful that I found kettlebells so that I don't have to subject my feet (and the rest of my body) to the pounding. I don't know how people run marathons. I'm in awe of those who do because I would never be able to do it.

Good thing God made us all different. This Thanksgiving, let all of us appreciate the abilities, interests, and bodies that make us each unique!

Gobble, Gobble!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Work on My PhD

Not in rhetoric or linguistics. Not even in education. PhD as in Piehole Diary.

Brad gave the order. I am powerless to resist. I have been coasting for too long. My body hasn't changed in months. That's the good news and the bad news, I guess. I haven't gained; I haven't lost. So the PhD is started. I instantly became more aware of what passes o'er my lips!

I also need to set three goals. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Press the 20 kg (44 lb) kettlebell
2. Drop 3% bodyfat
3. Drop one more jean size

All three are doable. All three are controlled by me. In order to do any of them I need to manage my stress better. Life has been crazy non-stop for the last 6 weeks. No breathing room. I've been busy with play practice, performance, school board meetings, work, work, oh yeah, and work. There are no visible surfaces in my office. They are all covered with papers I need to grade. Uhhhhgggg!!! Not to mention, the holidays are here.

So, with all of you as my witnesses, I will slow down. I will enjoy my cup of green or red tea after supper. I will snuggle with my kids. I will put only healthy food in appropriate portions in my body. I will train hard and sleep more. (I feel better already!)

Speaking of training, I had the pleasure of the "Hotel Workout" today:

4 Rounds of Each Couplet

1. 10 burpees
2. 12 tricep dips

1. 8 lunge switch splits
2. 8 rows

1. 8 pushups
2. 8 jumps up onto the bed/box

I have a Z Health session planned for later. It really helps me wind down at night. If I Z before/during training it energizes my training. However, if I do targeted R-Phase drills before bed, I feel destressed. Love the Z!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Blog

I haven't updated this week. Sorry! I'm alive and I've been blog stalking all of you. I needed a little break from writing. What? Me? English professor!!? Yep. So I will be back writing next week. I have been on facebook, so you are welcome to check in on me there. Have a great weekend!!

Oh yeah, go Lions!! (My school's football team is playing in the state championship game Saturday for the third year in a row against the same team.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

In His Own Voice

Check out Brad Nelson's vlog (video blog) at You'll get a tour of his studio and hear from the man himself. This will give you a glimpse into my training life for the last (nearly) two years.

Brad definitely keeps my training challenging and different. Often when I am given to complaining, I hear his voice in my head and shut my pie hole. Now, I, along with anyone else who cares to listen, can hear him for yourself. He talks straight and positively. He sees your potential and pushes you to see it for yourself.

I don't know where I would be if it weren't for Brad Nelson. God definitely puts people in your life for a reason. Brad has been my coach and guide. He believed in me from day one. He takes me seriously and seriously trains me. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

Brad is a true friend - he is honest and focuses on the positive while helping me overcome my weaknesses. Thank you, friend, for guiding me on this journey.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Got Nothing (For a Title, That Is)

But I got blisters. And a good training session. And a great end to my week.

VO2 Max Protocol
12 kg
7 Rep cadence
60 sets = 420 snatches

followed by

Waiter Windmills
12 kg
5 x 5 L, R

I do believe I have made great strides during this cycle of training. I have become noticeably stronger as evidenced in my pushups and presses. The VO2 snatches are getting much easier. I actually did 10 sets more today than I had planned because I felt so good. I'm keeping my eye on my goal of pressing the 20 kg (44 lbs) by Christmas. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Training Log

Heavy duty training today, but it was all good.

Clean & Push Press - 20 kg 4 L, R
Clean & Push Press - 16 kg 7 L, R
Clean & Press - 12 kg 5 L, R
4 Rounds

20 Burpees - 2 Swings - w/16 kg
18 Burpees - 4 Swings
16 Burpees - 6 Swings
etc. to
2 Burpees - 20 Swings

After that, I had a massage. Then it was dinner - grilled salmon and mixed veggies and pumpkin pie (homemade - low sugar!). Now I'm ready for a bath and bed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Not?

I put in an impromptu training session today. I thought, why not? It was a snowy, icy, rainy, crappy day. School was two hours late. I just about had a ditch sandwich on my way to work (even with my truck in 4-wheel drive, what gives?!?). I didn't get nearly enough papers graded, soooooooooooooooo

I figured I might as well end my day on a positive note.

Off to the TKD room at the gym. 20 kg and 16 kg bells Ready. Set. SWING!!!

I did 5 sets of 1:00 swing, :30 rest w/ the 20 kg (44 lbs)
Then 10 sets of 1:00 swing, :30 rest w/ 16 kg (35 lbs)
Then 1 set of 1:00 swing w/ 20 kg

I did 40 swings/minute of work (give or take). Some were two-handed, some were one-handed. All-in-all I got in approximately 640 swings in 24 minutes. I have the blisters to prove it! All that was an awesome workout for my grip, especially if I'm going to press the 20 kg by Christmas!

After that, I did my R-Phase. All I have to say about that is

AHHHHHHHHHHHH That is some good stuff. Z Health never gets old.

Well, here's to a better day tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Strength Gains

Today's training was uplifting. It proved that I am definitely gaining strength. My EDT numbers continue to increase. Plus, my pressing is improving.

EDT (Escalating Density Training)
20 minutes
Pushups - 135
Tricep Dips - 225

Last week I did 123 pushups and 205 dips.

Clean & Press
16 kg (35 lbs)
4 x 4 L, R

I forgot to do the presses before my EDT, so I attempted them afterward. I could only eek out 2 presses per side before switching to a push press. So, I did C & P L (2) then C & PP L (2) then switched to the right side. It felt great even though I had to do push presses. I mean seriously; I had just smoked my arms with 20 minutes of nonstop pushups and dips!!

I can't wait to see how I do with my presses on Wednesday - heavy press day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Drama Queen

Here's a few pics of me on stage. I played Suzanne, a bitter woman who talks all the time and whose husband blows all their money and cheats on her with a woman he met in the K-Mart parking lot. The play "Dearly Departed" was a comedy, of course. I got to put on my best southern accent and dress trashy. Think Naomi, the daughter-in-law from Mama's Family. Pretty fun, huh?

I can't wait to get back into a real training schedule. I just maintained last week. Now I need to burn off all the junk I ate backstage! Pretzels and trail mix. I'm over it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

VO2 Max Snatches It Is!

I opted for 16 kg snatches.
6 rep cadence
44 rounds

Then I followed that up with
Waiter Windmills
12 kg
5 x 5 L, R

When I finished that, I did an entire cycle of R Phase Z Health. I was bawling like a baby. It's been too long since I did the entire R Phase. Wow did that feel great!! I just felt all my stress melt away.

My fellow castmates and I had another stellar performance tonight. Two more to go. Now I'm getting sad to be so close to the end. :-(

Pictures are coming!

Just Checking In

Two of the five performances of "Dearly Departed" are in the book. Three more to go. I'm having a lot of fun being on stage with my wonderful castmates. I'll try to post a few pictures of us in action before the weekend.

I will get in some training today, no doubt. I just have to decide what I'm going to do - heavy presses or VO2 max snatches. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, November 3, 2008

He's Back with a Vengeance

Brad Nelson is back from Africa. It's been a little strange not having contact with him for 3 weeks when I've been in contact with him every week for nearly two years. I can't wait to hear all about the trip, Brad! Keep checking his blog for the update

This week is pretty hectic for me. I'm in a play with my local theater group. We have practice tonight (Monday), dress rehearsal Tuesday, and performances Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. It's a dinner theater, so we have to be ready to go by 6:30. My training will be sparse this week. I do enjoy being on stage, so it will be a good back off week for me.

Today, I was back at my EDT:

20 minutes
Tricep Dips

I did 123 pushups and 205 tricep dips. Oh, that was after

Descending Ladder Clean & Press
16 kg
4, 3, 2, 1

During the rung of 2, I threw out my neck. Too much tension I guess! My good friend is a chiropractor, so I went straight to her to get back in alignment. Ahhhhhhhh!

I'm off to practice. The Play's the Thing!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

October Has Left the Building

I ended the week and month with a great VO2 Max session.

12 kg
7 rep cadence
60 sets
420 snatches in 30 minutes

Then I went home and made a big batch of chili and handed out candy to the trick or treaters. After that, some friends came over to eat with us. We had a relaxing evening. Good times. This is how a weekend should start!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hope - Believing in Possibility

I continue to have hope. Hope that I will press that 20 kg bell by Christmas. I believe in my strength. I know it is possible. If I didn't, the goal wouldn't even be in my sights.

I remember the first time I pressed the 12 kg. It was exciting. I couldn't believe that I would ever be strong enough to press more than that weight. Look at me now! Some of you have been watching me branch out; some are new to my journey. Regardless, I want you to see how important hope is, how active hope is, how motivating hope is.

Wishing is NOT hoping. Wishing is wanting something that isn't possible. That is why we wish on stars and birthday candles. Wishes have no power.

Hope gives you power. You must believe and you must know it is possible. Setting goals is crucial. Have someone - a trainer preferably - that you set your goals with so that you can set goals that are attainable. Then trust that trainer to guide your work. Finally, believe in yourself during the process. If you stop believing, the possibilty vanishes.

I wear a ring that says "HOPE" on it to remind me to believe in all of my life's possibilties and to work to make them happen.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Soup Du Jour

Monday = EDT

Last Monday I did 90 pushups and 152 tricep dips in 17 minutes.
This Monday, 100 pushups and 165 tricep dips.
Amazed myself.


Because I'm extremely dehydrated and haven't been able to eat much today. After the EDT, I called it good. I'm hoping to get in my high pull descending ladder and the squat/one-legged deadlifts tomorrow. All I can do is all I can do.

My body is rebelling from wedding cake, M&Ms, Templeton Rye, and bread. Too much sugar. I had more sugar this weekend than I usually take in over the course of a couple weeks. Yuck! I just never learn. Everytime I eat this kind of crap, my digestive system gets even with me. It is a mystery to me how I ever functioned eating all the simple carbs. Makes me appreciate all my veggies.

I made veggie soup yesterday. Good move. I call it my "Faux Cream of Broccoli." It is made with chicken stock, broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, onion, and garlic. I smash it all up with a hand blender when the veggies are tender. It tastes like a creamy soup without the cream. I have Tracy Reifkind to thank for the soup ideas. She is the soup queen!!

Well, look at that. I've managed to ramble on for quite a bit. I'll put this issue to bed, along with myself.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Still Feels Good

Yeah, I know. I didn't post my Friday training. It wasn't too exciting, but it felt good. It's the same protocol I've been doing the past three weeks or so, only I've upped my sets.

VO2 Max Snatch
12 kg
8 rep cadence for 10 sets
7 rep cadence for 40 more sets
360 snatches in 25 minutes

Last week I did my VO2 max with the 16 kg. This week I was tired, tired, tired, so I used the 12 kg. I did 8 reps to get my heart rate up and then did the remaining sets at 7 reps.

Waiter Windmills
12 kg
5 x 5 L, R

I will most likely be doing the same weekly training routine for three more weeks. I really have to work on being okay with the same training 6 weeks in a row. I have a brain that gets bored, so doing the same training each week can grate on me. I've been working hard at finding a challenge in the training each week. Hence, the EDT has served me well. I also set goals each week for each session.

I used to complain to Brad that I was bored after 4 weeks of the same training. He didn't give in to me. I had to trust him and do what he prescribed. When I quit fighting him (about 5 months ago) I found that training became more productive. Doing the same training cycle allows my brain to focus on improvement instead of learning the "routine." I don't have to worry about what comes next as far as drills. I can put my energy into doing the drills better, increasing my reps, increasing my strength.

If you struggle with training boredom, I challenge you to set goals and to look at the routine as a positive. It puts your brain to use for good instead of evil, so to speak, the evil of stagnation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Growing Stronger

Nikki Shlosser talks about goals in her latest post, how they keep you moving forward. She must have been reading my mind. I had my heavy press day and I was thinking about how far I've come in a few short weeks and months. When I attended the April RKC, pressing the 12 kg was challenging after 8 reps. Pressing the 16 kg was nearly impossible for more than 3. Today I am close to pressing the 20 kg. There's my goal.

I've been doing push presses with the 20 kg for the past several weeks. I can feel my strength gains from week to week. I'm able to handle the 20 kg for swings, cleans, and push presses. I am anxious to get back to snatching it and to work up to TGUs with it.

However, I know that I need to take my time too. I need to prepare my joints, tendons, and ligaments for the heavier load. I can't be stupid and hurt myself.

But I have goals.

Training goals. These will take focus, determination, and grit. They have nothing to do with how I look. I'll keep branching out, pushing myself, to see who I can be.

Here's what I did today:

Press Circuit
Clean & Push Press - 20 kg - 4 L, R
Clean & Push Press - 16 kg - 7 L, R
Clean & Press - 12 kg - 5 L, R

3 Rounds - 1 minute between rounds

Burpee - Swing Circuit
2 Burpees - 20 Swings
4 Burpees - 18 Swings
6 Burpees - 16 Swings
etc. down to
20 Burpees - 2 Swings

Monday, October 20, 2008

4:15 Brought It

By 4:15 p.m. I had taken my spot on the TKD room floor. 16 kg kettlebell ready for action. I did some Z Health warm ups, set my timer for 17 minutes, and got jiggy with the EDT.

PR Zone 1
BW Squats
One-legged Deadlifts (16 kg)

I did 150 squats and 150 DL (75 each leg) in 17 minutes. Man, my low back keeps having spasms during the DLs. Anyone got a suggestion for me to get that to stop?

PR Zone 2
Tricep Dips

I did 90 pushups and 152 tricep dips in 17 minutes. At the 15 minute mark I had 78 pushups and 132 dips, which is up from my numbers last week. Go me!

I finished off my session with a 10-1 descending ladder of high pulls with the 16 kg. That took me 5:00 on the dot.

Well, I've got a good start to burning off the crap I put in my body this weekend. I know I'll sleep well tonight!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mondays Don't Always Stink

I made some great strides since last Monday.

EDT (Escalating Density Training)
Last week:
52 pushups and 91 tricep dips in 15 minutes.
This week:
72 pushups and 120 tricep dips in 15 minutes.

High pull descending ladder 10-1 L, R w/ 16 kg
Last week: 5:15
This week: 4:03

Why the improvement? I have no idea. I did vow to improve my numbers from last week, and boy, did I ever.

Now I get to top these numbers next Monday. Yeah Baby!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Mojo

Today's training was fantastic!! I had focus and felt strong.

V02 Max Snatch 15:15
7 Reps w/12 kg
40 rounds = 560 snatches

Not too long, not too short, but just right.

Waiter Windmills
12 kg - 5 x 5 L, R

It's amazing how much of a difference it makes to open your hand and hold the KB like a tray when doing windmills. That's a neat trick to make a bell that is getting too light work harder for you. I can do windmills with the 16 kg, no prob. Using the 12 with the open palm worked my stabilizing muscles differently. Very cool.

As far as Fridays go, this one was sweet. I had a great end to my week. I'm still feeling my center and my focus. Usually by Friday afternoon I'm toast, dragging my sorry butt from class to class. Not today. I felt energized. I don't know what I did right, but I need to do more of it. I guess I found my Friday Mojo!

I'm ready to go do another long Z session. I'll have to decide on my Z music. The new Staind album is pretty good. That's probably going to be my muse tonight.

I want to wish Brad and Jordan Nelson a safe and successful trip to Africa. You two are amazing!! Married less than a month and you're off helping others. I can't wait to hear all about your adventure. I'm praying for all to go well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Z Health - Finding the Lost

I found something today, something I forgot I lost. Huh?

I found my center. I found it while focusing during my Z drills today.

Let me explain. After yesterday's training, I was, shall we say, a bit sore. I had to do Wednesday's training today because I won't be able to on Wednesday. I knew that if I wanted any chance of completing the training today, I would need to Z. Brad had quite a few push presses planned.

First, I did the following:

20 Burpees - 2 Swings (16 kg)
18 Burpees - 4 Swings
16 Burpees - 6 Swings
etc. to
2 Burpees - 20 Swings

That took me 9:30. I looked at the press work on deck.

Clean & Push Press - 20 kg - 3 L, R
Clean & Push Press - 16 kg - 6 L, R
Clean & Military Press - 12 kg 4 L, R
Three rounds

Time for Z. I needed strength, physical and mental. I set my iPod for several of my new tunes - Staind "Tangled up in You" and "Believe," Shinedown "If You Only Knew," 3 Doors Down "Your Arms Feel Like Home" and "She Don't Want the World." (I need the right music for all of my activities. I'm very tied to music.) I closed my eyes and practiced the Z drills that my body told me it needed. Everything clicked. The movement, my breathing, the release. Then, the calm.

I've been running like a crazy person for weeks. My Z session chased all that tension and anxiety away. All my attention was directed toward my center. It's so hard to explain how it feels to be in the "Z Zone" except to say it is a calm release. I usually cry when I'm there. I can't help it. Today was no exception.

Now that I felt my center, I was ready to press those bells. Each lift was a joy. I was aware of my entire body; every part felt connected. Amazing!!!

I need to take the time to do this more often. There are too many times I just rush through a few Z drills and move to the next thing that is begging for my attention. I have to stop and focus on my Z. I need to keep my center close now that I found it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Everyone Needs a Trainer

I would never put together a training program like this one for myself. It takes an objective outsider to put a person through the hell that is EDT - Escalating Density Training. If I had to count on myself to come up with this torture device, it would never happen. That also means I would never push myself beyond my comfort zone.

Conclusion: Hire a trainer to push you to your limits and beyond.

Here is a breakdown of the EDT fun Brad prescribed for me today.

PR Zone 1 - 15 Minutes
1. Box Jumps - 150
2. One-Leg Deadlifts w/16 kg KB - 75 per leg (150 total)

Okay - can you say spasms in the lower back. Yeeouch!

PR Zone 2 - 15 Minutes
1. Pushups - 52
2. Dips off Bench - 91

Most of the reps were completed in the first 10 minutes. After that, my arms were spaghetti. My upper body strength is almost non-existant apparently. I have a fire in my belly to change that. (I need more cowbell!) I know I'm female, but that doesn't mean I have to be such a girl!!

As if the EDT weren't quite enough, Brad threw in

High Pulls - w/ 16 kg KB
Descending ladder 10 L, R down to 1 L, R.

This took me 5:15 to complete. I could have done it faster; however, I couldn't feel my hands after the pushups and dips, so I had to rest my grip to prevent the KB from flying out of my hands.

I can't wait to see my EDT numbers after a few weeks. I am confident that I will do my RKC community proud! Hold me to task. Don't let me wuss out. Brad is going to be in Africa for a couple of weeks, so I will need you all to hold me accountable while he is gone.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Winding Down

My weekend is here. The weather was gorgeous today. My classes were fun. Jerry, the kids, and I had a fantastic meal at our favorite restaurant after I had another good training session. Here's what I did.

Burpee to Clean - 16 kg - 7 L, R
Swings - 20 kg - 15 reps
Clean & Press - 12 kg - 8 L, R
Walking Lunges - 10 L, R
Hindu Pushups - 8 reps

4 rounds - no rest between drills, 1 min. between rounds

My knee has felt pretty good this week. I think it is almost healed, though I don't know what I did to it in the first place. Oh well!

Now I'm ready to change into my jammies and get ready to watch O'Reilly. Did you see him chew out Barney Frank last night? I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. And in the words of Forrest Gump, "that's all I've got to say about that."

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Wednesday training rejuvinated me. I felt strong and exhilarated after I completed the tough training program.

3 Rounds of each "couplet"
Step-ups onto 18 inch bench w/2 12 kg bells - 8 L, R
Squats - 2 12 kg bells - 6

Rows - 16 kg - 10 L, R
Pushups - 10

Bench jumps - 12
High Pulls - 16 kg - 10 L,R

Push Press - 16 kg - 7 L, R
Tricep Dips - 10

I'm looking forward Friday's training. Today I'm off. Good thing - I'm a little sore! That's how I know I didn't wuss out. HA! ;-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Frustration = Good Training

I put all of my energy into having a kick butt training session. I left my frustration in the bells. Release. Out of the negative came much positive.

Here's what I did to get rid of my negative energy:

TGUs - 5 x 4 L, R w/ 12 kg
Swings - 4 x 30 L, R w/ 20 kg

I found that if I didn't take a large step back on the TGUs that they didn't bother my knee too much. It took me over 20 minutes to do them, but I got r done!

For the swings, I did 30 L, rest 20 secs, 30 R, rest one minute. I did that four times for 240 swings with the 20 kg!!!! That really worked my grip and got my heart pumping.

I feel like I could take on anybody right now, including my own self-doubt. I'm tired, but I'm exhilarated all at the same time. I pushed myself to do some demanding training. ROAR!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday's training went like this:

Squat Jumps - 10
High Pulls - 12 L, R w/16 kg
3 times w/ 30 secs rest between

Push Press - 6 L, R w/16 kg
Tricep Dips - 10
3 times w/ 30 secs rest between

Step Up onto 18 in. bench - 5 L, R w/ double 12 kgs
Squats - 8 w/ 16 kg
3 times w/ 30 secs rest between

Rows - 8 L, R w/ 16 kg
Pushups - 6 military

All in all, I felt good during the session. However, my left knee gave out during push presses. This morning it feels "tweaked" for the fourth day. I did squats fine, but the steps ups were shaky at best on the left side. I must have twisted that knee or something.


On Tuesday I gave two sessions introducing kettlebells to my colleagues at the college. About 35 employees came over their lunch hour to learn about the benefits of kettlebell training. Then I gave them all a little preparation work - face the wall squats, hinging, sumo deadlifts. Then they got to do some swings. It was so much fun watching these folks -from 25 to 55 - pick up a kettlebell and have a taste of my passion. I was proud that they tried it out with such enthusiasm. Kb training may not be for all of them, but they gave it a try. Many are interested in attending classes. Our college is building a new wellness facility, so that will work out perfectly to offer classes on campus. I will be working to make that happen.

I'm off to work now. I get a massage this afternoon! Then I have play practice tonight. Run, Run, Run!! Gotta keep busy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Training Surprises

Several things took me by surprise during my training today. Let me make a list.

1. My left knee gave out on my first round of TGUs. WTH??? I almost had a cast iron hat. I didn't hurt my knee, so I don't understand why it kept giving out. So, I Z'd the knee. Well, actually I Z Healthed my right elbow for my left knee. Then I did some ATG squats. It felt much better, but I didn't want to press my luck. Time to edit the training program for the day.

2. I did 5 rounds of 4 push presses L, R with the 16 kg. After the third round, I was feeling very strong, so I picked up the 20 kg and did 3 rounds of 2 L, R with that bell. I don't think I've ever done a push press with the 20 kg. Surprise!!

3. While doing my push presses, I noticed a couple of college students playing around with my kbs. They were touching my bells without permission. Panic! Panic! I heard one say "Those things are Russian. I've seen those in a movie." Another one was swinging my Russian Red 16 kg. Pardon me. I'm a certified kettlebell trainer. If you would like, I could show you how to swing that to get maximum results. BTW, my name is Amy. Do you want to bring that kettlebell into the Tae Kwon Do room and have me get you started?

Two scurried away, but one curious cat hung around. "Okay. I'm supposed to do some cleans and snatches," he says as he opens his issue of Muscle and Fitness. He follows me into the TKD room. I talk about hip thrust and force generation. He picks up the 12 kg and snatches it, bent armed with a thud to his wrist. That's pretty good hip thrust. Now, lock out your arm at the top. Two reps later, he's pretty darn good. He's done snatches with a barbell, but never a kb. He's intrigued. He played football and has lifted weights for many years. Now he's in the powerline program. He's a naturally physical guy.

He returns to the TKD room four more times to snatch the 20 kg. While he does that, I do the following:

Snatch - 16 kg, 12 L then 12 kg, 10 L
rest 20 seconds
Snatch 16 kg, 12 R then 12 kg, 10 R
Rest 1:30
4 rounds

The guy can't quit asking about kb training. His friends wander in and out giving him shit. He ignores them. I like him already. He wants to know when I'll be back, when he can use the kbs again. Wednesday. That'll work. He's got to do triceps and biceps on Tuesday anyway. Uhggggg! Okay, baby steps. Rome wasn't built blah blah blah.

It was still a surprise to find a young man eager to pick up the kb and learn more, even if his friends gave him a hard time.

3. Third surprise - I did windmills to end up my training. 3 rounds of 5 reps L, R with the 16 kg. That was shocking that I could do that many with such ease with the 16 kg considering it's been months since I've done a windmill.


Tomorrow I'm presenting at a Lunch and Learn at my college. My pickup is loaded down with every kb I could get my hands on. I'm going to get a workout just hauling all of those puppies into the college!

Thanks Julie and Katie for loaning me your kbs. I will bring them back safe and sound!

Friday, September 19, 2008

50 with 35

VO2 Max
5 rep cadence
16 kg kettlebell (35 lbs.)
50 sets
After 40 sets I really wanted to stop, but I pushed myself. I had to make it. I had to prove to myself I was capable. I probably could have made it to 60 sets, but I was running out of time.

That's been the story of my week. I've been meeting myself coming and going. By the time I got to Des Moines on Tuesday, I was shot. Four nonstop hours driving alone is too much for me. I can travel all day if I'm the passenger, but driving makes me sooooooo tired.

Wednesday I had 10 hours of meetings. I was in no shape to do training. My brain was exhausted. Thursday I had fours hours of meetings and then the four hour drive home. Done. Finished. No way I'm touching a KB.

Sorry Boris! I would have loved to take you up on your offer to train, but it just wasn't going to happen. I'll be back in November for the IASB convention. I'll see if I can break away to get in some training with you.
I'm off to watch Greta on Fox News and then it's bed for me. Tomorrow - soaking up the sun!
Oh, here's a couple of pics of Lauren from her birthday. She's too stinking cute for words!
Webkinz characters on her cake.

New shirt - such a poser!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'll Be Back!!!

I'm heading to Des Moines for the Iowa Association of School Boards board meetings today. I'll be driving (270 miles one way) or in meetings until Thursday night. (I represent nine counties in NW Iowa on the IASB board of directors. I've also been a director on my local school board for nine years. The IASB director position is one I've been filling for the past year.)

Never fear! I will be training in my hotel room. Brad gave me a sweet bodyweight circuit custom made for hotel rooms. I'll be jumping on the bed (YIPPEE!!!!) and doing burpees and hindu pushups. I'm even going to throw in a KB and do a VO2 max snatch session.

I'm still available by phone, email, and facebook on my crackberry. I can check in on all of your blogs as well from my phone.

Look for a post by me by the weekend. Later!

Friday, September 12, 2008

60 - 7 - 1

It had been a long, long time since I did a V02 Max session, probably four months. So, today was the day. I threw my training schedule out the window (figuratively) and set out with my 12 kg bell and the Gymboss.

15:15 protocol
7 reps w/26 lb. KB

My initial goal was 50 sets (25 minutes). When I hit 50, I felt pretty good, so I decided to keep going to 60. I'm glad I did. It felt fantastic and I was really sweating. Love that!!!

I didn't know if Gymboss was going to make it, though. He needs new batteries. I've had him over a year and haven't had to replace the batteries. I'd say he did pretty good. He made it to 60, but barely. I stopped for his sake, of course. ;-) lol

My baby girl turns 7 tomorrow. Seriously, where does the time go? It's crazy.

I must congratulate Brad Nelson and his new bride Jordan on one week of wedded bliss. They were married last week and should be getting home from Hawaii. I wish you two a lifetime of joy as you discover all that life has to offer you together.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Come to Mama you sweet little berries. I've been waiting for you all summer!
My raspberries are finally starting to ripen. Soon I will be drowning in raspliciousness. And look at the size of them! I've been picking about 2 cups every two days, but there are gazillions lurking on the bushes patiently ripening.

I don't raise a garden (my favorite dentist does, so I buy from him) but I do have a huge raspberry patch. My grandma always had them and I would help her pick (eat) them every year. When I moved into her house, I HAD to resurrect the raspberries. I have hundreds of thriving bushes. I usually get three different crops from July through September. This year wasn't hot enough to have the July/August berries. However, the September berries seem very happy. Happy raspberries = Happy Amy.

Last week I took Tracy Reifkind's advice and made some soup with the veggies I had in the fridge. I sauteed some onion and garlic in olive oil. Then I cut up zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower and put that in the pan and filled with organic chicken stock. I let that cook for an hour and pureed it. OMG!! Is that ever good and easy schmeezy, lemon squeezy. The kids even like it.All I have left is one, little bowl for work tomorrow. Look at those tomatoes and that yellow squash! (Both from the gardening dentist.) I really am in fresh produce heaven!

Monday, September 8, 2008


or How to Snatch Your Butt Off - HARDSTYLE!!!

Got back into the swing, or should I say snatch of things, today. Here's what my training looked like:

TGUs - 5 x 3 L, R w/12 kg

Snatch - 12 L w/16 kg to 10 L w/12 kg
rest 20 secs
Snatch - 12 R w/16 kg to 10 R w/12 kg
rest one minute
3 Rounds

Finished with a snatch test - 19 L, 19 R w/ 16 kg

Finishing with 38 snatches after 3 rounds of 44 snatches was a killer. It was almost worse than the grad workout at my RKC. I really wanted to push myself, though. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Now I feel invincible!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Light Bulb Came On

or How I Figured Out Why I Couldn't Complete My Strength Training Thursday.

My son came home sick yesterday. Feverish, sore throat, and weak. Weak. WEAK! Hey, that's how I've been feeling. I had chills yesterday and felt weak. Thursday I couldn't do any push presses or military presses. I was quite concerned about my loss of strength.

Yesterday I made it through all four rounds of my circuit, but I REALLY had to push myself to do it. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. At one point I sat down and just held my head in my hands. Why did I feel so weak?

When I got home to a sick boy, the light bulb came on. I tuned in to my body. How was I feeling? I had the chills, I was tired, and I just felt drained. Ding, Ding, Ding!!!! Amy gets the award for blonde moment of the week!

It's been sooooooo long since I've been sick that I didn't even recognize it. No one in my family had as much as a sniffle all last year. No sick days from work for Jerry or me, and no sick days from school for either kid.

Our family's healthy lifestyle really pays off. Today I have a slight headache and I'm tired, but I'm up and functioning. I won't be doing any training, but I went through all of my daughter's clothes to determine what fits and what doesn't already this morning. Last night I went through all of mine. I weigh 20 lbs. less this fall as compared to last fall, so none of my clothes fit. That's a shame!

Guess what I'm doing this afternoon? Banana Republic, here I come!

Friday, September 5, 2008


or how to train when you feel too weak to do what Brad has ordered you to do.

Yesterday I was slated to do four circuits, 4 times each. I started well completing the following:

Circuit 1:
Squat jumps - 10
High Pulls - 12 l, r w/ 16 kg
4 rounds, 30 secs between rounds

Circuit 2:
One arm rows - 8 l, r w/16 kg
Military Pushups - 6
4 rounds, 30 secs between rounds

So I was supposed to do some push presses w/ the 16 kg, but I was weak, weak, weak. I tried substituting 12 kg MP, but that didn't feel much better. I was also supposed to do some squats, but I wasn't feeling those either. Do you ever get that where certain drills feel impossible? You just want to give up and go home? That's where I was yesterday.

I knew that I couldn't just stop, though. I had to salvage the training session. So I asked my body, "Body, what do you need? What sounds like fun?" The answer came loud and clear.


Elevate the heart rate and burn some cals.

So, I decided to see if I could do 100 one-handed swings nonstop with the 16 kg. Off I went.

20 L
20 R
20 L
20 R
10 L
10 R
It took me 2:30 to do those 100. HR was 150. I rested 1:00. Then

20 L
20 R
20 L
20 R
10 L
10 R
It took 2:30 again! HR was 160 I rested 1:30. Then

20 L
10 L
10 R
10 L
10 R
10 L
10 R
10 L
10 R
That also took 2:30. I didn't take my HR. I was done.

It felt good to smoke my lungs and see that I could do high volume work without much rest. Today I have a longer circuit on the docket. I hope my strength is back. If not, I'll swing, swing, swing again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warning! Boring Post Ahead

Not much to say tonight. I've had a long day of talking - 5 hours worth of lecturing. I'm officially talked out. I'm not witty, creative, philosophical, or anything. Just the facts, ma'am.

Here's my training for the day:

Circuit #1
Box Jumps - 10
High Pulls w/ 16 kg - 10 L, R
4 rounds - 30 secs between rounds

Rest - 1:30

Circuit #2
Push Press w/16 kg - 6 L, R
Tricep Dips - 10
3 rounds - 30 secs between rounds

Rest - 1:30

Circuit #3
Step Ups onto box w/ 2 12 kgs - 8 L, R
Squats - w/ 16 kg
3 rounds - 45 secs between rounds

Rest - 1:30

Circuit #4
Rows w/16 kg - 8 L, R
Pushups - 6
3 rounds - 45 secs between rounds

If you've been following my squat drama, you'll be happy to know that the squats went quite well today. I went deep, paused, pressurized, and shot up. I watched my form and am pleased with it. I just have to keep that focus on all of my squat practice. Soon I'll be squatting with a respectable size bell.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Look at Me!

This past weekend I finally did something I've been wanting to do for years - parasailing. My friend Tim wanted to do it as well. Beings neither of our spouses was up for the height, Tim and I flew together. Jerry and Tim's wife Angie rode in the boat and took pictures.

The experience was not at all like I expected. I expected a big whoosh and then soaring quickly to great heights. Actually, it was quiet and slow and peaceful. I could have stayed up there for hours.

What made the experience more special was that many of our friends from our condo unit went out on boats to watch. There were four boatloads of people in all. Pat and Susan took all the kids (6 of them) on our boat so they could witness the high-flying adventure. You can see our boat in the picture above. Tim and I just floated over top of them and could yell down to the kids. Good times.

Back to work today and back to training. Both felt great. Here's how my training went:

TGU to Squat and Push Press (2 times at the top of each getup)
15 L, R alternating arms

Last week I only made it to 11 each side because of my foot. This week I made all 15 with very little pain. Brad told me to just go slow, which I did. I think it took me about one minute per rep, so the entire getup session took about 30 minutes. After that it was time for snatches.

Snatch - 35 lb. KB - 8 L, R
Snatch 26 lb. KB - 12 L, R

No rest between weight changes, one minute rest between rounds, 4 rounds.

I feel more focused and mentally ready for the challenge of making myself stronger and healthier. I guess a little coasting can prepare a person for the next hill.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Left to My Own Devices

Brad's training for today looked like this:

Burpee to Clean - 16 kg - 7 L, R
Swings - 20 kg - 15
Clean & Press - 12 kg - 8 L, R
Walking Lunges - 10 L, R
Hindu Pushups - 8

Since I had no specifics on rounds or rest, I did what felt right.

I did four rounds of the drills. I rested 10 seconds between drills and 1 minute between rounds. That felt good to my body. I am working on listening to my body. This week has been hectic, so I need to be still and let my body tell me what it needs.

I'm still having foot issues. Now that I'm back to work, I have to wear shoes. They are giving me a lot of pain in my bunion. Just the pressure from shoes on the bunion makes them hurt. I can't wear my vibrams or flip flops to work, for crying out loud. I am at a loss. Maybe the all-black vibrams would work. People will just think they are ballet flats. Hmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Training today consisted of four mini circuits. This was fun and appealed to my love of changing it up. I would go from drill one to drill two without a pause. I rested about a minute between rounds.

Circuit #1
Box Jumps - 10
High Pulls w/ 16 kg - 10 L, R
4 rounds

Circuit #2
Clean & Push Press w/16 kg - 6 L, R alternating arms
Tricep Dips - 10
4 rounds

Circuit #3
Step Ups onto box w/ 2 12 kgs - 8 L, R
Squats - w/ 16 kg
4 rounds

Circuit #4
Rows w/16 kg - 8 L, R
Pushups - 6
4 rounds

Apparently the greasing the groove I did this summer helped with pushups. I was able to do 6 strict military after rowing my butt off. Yeah me! The squats with a measly 35 lbs did not go well. I can't figure out why I suck at squats. I always have.

Today was the first day of my fall semester. I teach 5 classes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have no classes on Tuesday or Thursday. Oh, and my first class is at 7 a.m. Lovely!

The kids had their first day of school as well. Here's some pics from this morning. Gotta love the first day of school pictures!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Better Days Are Coming

I know they are. My training was disappointing. It has been months since I did TGUs, so I am not surprised by the outcome - feeling just plain pooped.

TGU w/ 2 Squats to Push Press
12 kg bell
5 x 3 L,R

I did 11 each side. (I was supposed to do 15 each side.) I didn't realize that my bunion still isn't healed from my little accident. Pushing up to stand sent a jolt up my foot. YeeOuch! I also felt weak and awkward, probably since I haven't done them for awhile. I also did some snatches.

Snatch w/ 16 kg - 8 L,R
Snatch w/ 12 kg - 12 L,R
4 rounds

I did the sets nonstop: 8 L, 8 R, 12 L, 12 R. Then I rested. Those actually felt pretty good. It was awesome to smoke my lungs. I'm definitely ready to head to bed tonight! Too bad I can't for four hours.

I just made up my batch of "cabbage salad" for the week. This time I used olive oil, vinegar, lime, onion, pepper, and honey for my dressing. I have to get back on track with my nutrition. That's my main focus this week. My head is making some adjustments, but my stomach doesn't like the sound of it! I will keep the following quote by RKC Franz Snideman in sight this week:

"Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I'm ready to shift out of neutral. All summer I've been coasting.
1. Coasting on a lot of my training - skipping days, skipping drills
2. Coasting on my nutrition - eating a good breakfast (Advocare shake), an excellent lunch (veggies and eggs), and an acceptable dinner (buffalo, grass-fed beef, salmon, chicken on the grill + a veggie or two) but then having ice cream or chocolate or a whiskey and water. I haven't lost any weight, but I haven't gained any either. Neutral.

3. Coasting on promoting myself as an RKC - I've just been too consumed with other roles I play to add one more (trainer) to the list.

Maybe "coasting" is not the most accurate term to describe my behaviors. Perhaps "resting" or "transitioning" are better terms. Perhaps I shouldn't spin everything in my life to the negative. I am who I am. Sometimes I need to back off, ponder, rejuvenate, then rejoin. Shift.

Monday marks my official shifting of gears. Back to work. New training regimen. Focused nutrition. Determination.
Vroom! Vroom!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Variations on a Theme

Coleslaw - or as Tracy calls it "Cabbage Salad"

This week's batch of coleslaw is a bit different. I used broccoli, carrots, cabbage, green onion, and for a twist, Chinese pea pods and fresh pineapple. For dressing, I used about 1/2 cup of organic poppyseed dressing, soy sauce, sesame oil, and the pineapple juice. That's not much dressing for a ginormous bowl of slaw. All I need is some chicken to mix in and Voila! Yummy lunch for the entire week.

This morning I did my 18 minutes of Clean & Press EDT w/ the 12 kg. I did 100 reps on each arm. That's the same as last week. I think I've maxed out on the C & P. Onto the next EDT drill! I still need to do 18 minute EDT of double swings with double squats (2 12 kg bells). That will be loads of fun!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, Friday

Thursday I did my EDT clean and presses that were left over from Wednesday and I did my zippy circuit for Friday since my Friday is - surprise, surprise - busy with no time for training.

So for the Clean & Press EDT, I did 18 minutes. I am extremely happy with my results, especially since I took a back off week last week. Two weeks ago I did 95 C & P on each arm. This week...............

100 each arm

Oh yeah, baby! In fact, the last five minutes I went nonstop. I just kept changing arms every three reps. It felt great to be able to do that many presses nonstop.

Unfortunately, I have an injury to report. It didn't even happen while training. It happened while bounding up the stairs. My sandal caught the step stopping me from moving upward. As a result, my big toe on the right foot slid ahead and jammed against the step. I don't think it's broken; however, it kept me awake all night and it's swollen. Actually what hurts is my bunion. THE VERY JOINT I HAVE BEEN WORKING SO DILIGENTLY TO ELIMINATE PAIN FROM!!!!!!

From the moment I jammed it, I have been doing my Z drills. I even did my training yesterday with the injury. The pain is better today, so I'm hopeful that by day's end I will be pain free.

Okay, I've got to go get packed for the lake. I'm also playing in a golf tournament Saturday called the Win, Place, and Show. There are 10 teams - man/woman - who all tee off on hole one and alternate shots between man/woman. Whichever team has the highest score on the hole is eliminated. That continues until there is one team left after hole nine. People can buy tickets on who they think will win it, who will place, and who will show, just like horse racing. It's a lot of fun (unless you're playing, like I am; then it's nerve-wracking having 100 people watching you play golf). And, it raises money for the golf course since the course keeps a percentage of the proceeds.

Wish me luck!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday, Wednesday

Another busy day at chez Amy. First thing this morning I put in a round of EDT:

15 minutes of
Double Swings - 26 lb. bells
Double Suitcase Squats - 26 lb. bells

I did 200 double swings and 85 squats.

Holding the bells like suitcases allowed me a much better ROM and allowed me to go deeper into my squat than when I hold them in the rack position. Two weeks ago I did the squats in rack position and only got in 75 in 18 minutes. After my back off week last week, I felt I needed to be kind to my back this week. I'll see how next week goes.

I still need to get in my 18 minute EDT of Clean and Press with the 26 lb. bell, but I'll have to do it tomorrow. Today was too jam packed. After my training, I had to register the kids for school. Then, some friends of ours from the lake - Tim and Angie - stopped in for a visit with their kids. Here's a picture.

After that, I had to trek over to the middle school to give Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa, a tour of the upgrades we made to that building thanks to the half million dollar Harkin Grant our school district received. He was genuinely interested and interesting.

By then, it was supper time. The kids were running around in their swimsuits, so I had to take some pics. Check out Lauren's hair. If you look at Monday's post, you'll see her hair was pretty long. Well, yesterday, she decided it was time to go short. I almost cried when the first 8 inch snip took place. Now I'm glad she did it. It is adorable on her.

It's hard to believe in two weeks I'll be back in the classroom. That also means back to hardcore training. I have not been focused this summer. I guess it's to be expected with all the activity going on at home!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday, Monday

What can I say about Monday? The day did not go at all like I planned. But that's okay. My day was productive and I feel ready to call it a night.

I didn't even do my planned training. I feel lucky that I was able to train at all since I was looking for every excuse NOT to. I almost convinced myself that I should take more time off from training. Then I kicked myself in the rear end, drove to the gym, put on my new tunes (Sugarland's "Love on the Inside") and got down (literally).

Instead of the planned 20 minute snatch EDT, I did my fun circuit of mountain climbers, walking lunges, curls, tricep extensions, bear crawls, and crab walks. Before the circuit, I tried my hand at pressing the 16 kg (35 lb) bell. No problem on the right. That puppy went right up. The left needed a little push press, but I did a very slow negative. I did 10 each side. Oh, yeah baby! I was pumped after that.

In my previous post I said I was hoping to go waterskiing this weekend. Well, that didn't happen. Why? The bleepin wind! Who can ski with three foot swells? Seriously! The boat didn't even get out of the lift. Conner had a good time on his boogey board though!

Lauren was a beach bunny as usual. Check out the attitude with the shades. I'm really going to have trouble with her when she gets older.

Yes, she really is as skinny as she looks. She's worn the same swimsuits for three summers. Get a fat cell kid! To top it off, she LOVES vegetables. What kind of mutant child is this?? At least she'll stay thin if she keeps eating the veggies as she grows.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Let the Weekend Begin!

I'm off to a golf tournament and then to the lake. It is hot, hot, hot. Iowa finally got summer! I'll be in the lake for sure. I'll probably even waterski for the first time this year. Maybe I'll get Jerry to go on the tube so I can tip him. I do that every summer. It brings me such joy to torture my husband!

I've really enjoyed my week without training. My brain needed a break so I could regroup. Next week I'll be burning up the iron. It's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back Off

Here it is Wednesday and I haven't touch a kettlebell. I don't think I will today either. I need a back off week to let my body and mind recoup.

I have a full week of golf - Monday I did an hour's work on the driving range; Tuesday I had my league tournament, in which I placed second in my flight; Wednesday, today, I need to get in a round with my partner for a fundraiser for our golf course; and Friday I'm playing in a tournament with the hubby and a couple employees for a city's development corporation fundraiser. Whew! That's a lot of golf for me.

It has been nice to focus on something different for a short time. I think it'll make me start off next week fresh and ready to swing some iron.

In the meantime, I will be practicing my Z health and continuing my my quest to triumph over my nutrition. (Too much temptation with ice cream and Templeton Rye. Gotta clean house!) I made a trip to the natural food market yesterday and bought a load of good stuff. A few weeks ago I bought a pineapple corer. That thing is amazing! A pineapple lasts about one day in the house now! Sweet corn is in season as well as green beans. My raspberry patch is gearing up for a great crop mid to late August. There are so many yummy fresh foods available to me now. There is absolutely no reason to eat anything processed, such as the Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal that has me under its spell right now. Step away from the box, Amy!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Stuff

What follows are my musings on some of the good stuff I've experienced recently.

1. 20 minute snatch EDT
This was a daunting challenge for sure. Snatch for 20 minutes. See how many I can get done with the 16 kg (35 lbs). I got 220 snatches, 110 each arm. That's some good stuff. The flip side was the humidity which led to................. you know it.......................

tore callouses. I went through the entire RKC weekend without tearing up my hands as much as this one 20 minute session did. I'm not complaining. I'm actually proud of my wounds. I feel broken in now!

2. Z Health drills for my feet
My big toes are getting much more mobile. I still can't move them independently in a circle, but I'm working on it. I can tell that my gait is different because I am very conscientious about my heel strike, transfer of weight, and the push off. I've decided to be brave and post a picture of my feet. I'm warning you, though; they are not pretty, especially the bunions.

They actually look better in addition to working better since I've been practicing my Z drills.

3. Listening to and trusting my body
My body was telling me I had to adjust my schedule. I have too many things on my plate to do any of them well. I decided last week to cut out the GTG and focus on my training. That helped immensely. This week I'm only training three days. Good thing since I have lots of golf to play!

4. Reading blogs
I have been following some of my blog friends closely. I can't tell you how much I enjoy connecting with everyone. I feel privileged to get a glimpse into all of your lives.

Joe Walker has started a new blog: I will get that on my link list soon! Tracy is in tomato heaven. Christine is finding time to swing her KB despite her father's cancer and all of the duties and roles she has to fill in her family. Doc Cheng is feeling allegiance to Batman. Kate is getting back from tri-camp and is prepping for Ironman Louisville. Craig, Kate's husband is missing his wife. Chris Wells is raising two champion weight lifters. Those boys inspire me! I could go on and on. Just know that I am lurking on all of your blogs and enjoying every minute of it!

5. Childhood milestones
Lauren lost her first tooth. She'll be seven in a month, so she was getting stressed that it hadn't happened. Now she feels like a big girl.

So this is some of the good stuff. I'm thankful for all of it and more. Just taking a minute to think about the good in my life has made my Monday start off on a positive note. I'm going to try to keep my focus on the good each day this week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Zippedy Do Da

I had a zippy workout today. I got in; I got out; I got a good session. There were three mini-circuits that I zip through:
Squat Jumps x20 yards
Backwards Bear Crawl x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

2 hand Swings x15
Mountain Climbers x20 per leg
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

Renegade Rows x6 per arm
Crab Walk x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds– 4 rounds

I don't rest between exercises, and I rest a mzximum of 30 seconds between rounds. This is a fun workout because I'm jumping around like a kid and I don't have to think about every move, except the renegade rows.

So, I have a confession: I have done NO GTG this week. I've felt completely overwhelmed and have struggled to even get in all of my training each week. Something had to give, so I decided to forego the GTG. My brain just isn't positioned for pistols, pullups, and pushups. Brad - I need some advice here on whether or not to take a break on these.

Change in topic------------

The weather has not cooperated with me the last two days so I have not been able to get in a Harley ride. Insert sad face. Last week I got a ride in with my friend Dave. He snapped a picture of my bike after the ride. Here it is. Notice the crash bars and riding pegs - those were my birthday present this year!

If you're not up on Harley-Davidsons, this is a Softail Deluxe. It has an 88 cubic inch (1450 cc) engine. It came equipped with a stacked exhaust (two pipes on one side), but I split the exhaust so there is a pipe on each side and put on Screamin Eagle pipes for a nice rumble. Doing that made my bike pretty unique. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bike. There isn't a different one I'd rather have. I'm planning on going to Sturgis again this year, but I'll have to see if it works out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday's Training

Clean and Push Press - 16 kg - 10x3 l,r
30 seconds between sets

Mountain Climbers x25 per leg
Walking lateral lunges x15 yards per leg
Bicep Curls - 20 lb. dumbbells x6 per arm
Tricep Extensions over head - 25 lb. dumbbell x 10
Bear Crawls x20 yards
Crab Walk x20 yards

4 rounds of this circuit. No rest between drills. 30 seconds rest between rounds

This is the same circuit I've been doing for several weeks. I try to rest less, push myself more each week.

On the C & PP, I'm noticing that I need less of a push to complete the press. Maybe next week Brad will have me do some straight presses with the 16 kg to see how that goes?????