Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, Feb. 28

I got in my circuits prescribed by Brad:

Windmills - 5 L, 5 R w/ 26 lb.
Overhead Walking Lunge - 8 steps each leg w/ 26 lb.
Renegade Rows - 6 L, 6 R w/26 lb. (full out military position on the bench)
Step Ups on bench - 6 L, 6 R w/26 lb.
Plank hold on elbows - 30 seconds

Completed 4 rounds.

I was supposed to do High Pulls, but decided to give my neck/shoulder a rest and left those out. Nothing exciting to report. The drills felt good, and I had no issues (pain).

Z Health
My ankles are overly sticky this week. I've been doing extra toe pulls. Ahhhhh. They feel great. My neck/shoulder is feeling better, and I'm sleeping well. There's a lot of stress in my life right now, so I'm going to have to take extra time to get my Zzzzzzs. ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Playing in the "White Dirt" - a.k.a. Snow!!

The college where I teach English had Winter Games today. Students from a couple of my classes put together a team. I was the team captain. I had to do a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide which side of the rope we got, and I won. Go me! Our team didn't do so well - we were made up of Composition students and a Powerline students from my Technical Communications course. We had to compete against the Heavy Equipment students. Yeah, it wasn't pretty. We had 7 pullers, and they had 6. We hung in there until the referee made our seventh man drop out. Then we all let go so we wouldn't have a snow sandwich for lunch.

What does all of this have to do with my training? Well, #1 - it made me realize that I am strong and have good endurance. I wasn't even winded after pulling for five minutes, but the 19 year olds on my team were sucking air. #2 - There are so many overweight, out of shape young adults. Those Heavy Equipment students were dying. They laid in the snow weazing when they were done with their second competition. Unbelievable.

After work I headed to the gym for the following fun times and the usual strange looks and head shakes:

5 Rounds of:
10 Burpees
10 Ass-to-Grass Squats
8 Pushups
20 Mountain Climbers
8 Inverted Rows

30 seconds of rest between rounds.

I also did lunges with torso rotation. I was supposed to press the 26 lb. bell while lunging and twisting, but that didn't go so well. I could do 5 with my right arm, but only 2-3 with my left. Darn you presses! When will I conquer you? I still have my goal of pressing the 44 lb. bell.

I will press on!

Monday, February 25, 2008


That describes my lungs after 128 snatches with the 36 lb. kettlebell in 8 minutes. Thank you Yoda! (a.k.a. Brad Nelson)

After that tasty appetizer I got to do the following for my main course:

3 Rounds
TGUs - 4 L, 4 R w/ 26 lb. KB
Squats - 4 L, 4 R w/ 36 lb. KB
Clean & Press - 7 L, 7 R w/26 lb. KB

The sweet dessert was the fact that I completed all the reps of the C & P. Major accomplishment for me considering just one short week ago I could not do the 7 reps with my left arm.

Make sure you check out all of the video links I have posted on the right side of this blog. They are so fun to watch and so motivational. I absolutely love the one of the 9 year old boy practicing with kettlebells. His dad (Chris Wells) is an RKC and an Olympic lifter who is working with his sons. There are other videos on Chris' website (AngryGoat Athletics) of the boys lifting for practice and in competition. Great stuff!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Training Log - Fri. Feb. 22

Another great day practicing with my kettlebells. Since I've gotten on top of the neck/shoulder pain issues, I've been feeling invincible. Here's how my training went today:

TGUs - 5 x 3 L, R w/26 lb.

The last set I only did 2 L and 2 R, but this is the most consecutive TGUs I've done in a long time.

One-Handed Swings - 10 L, 10 R w/36 lb. at the top of the minute for 10 minutes.

For those who like to count, that would be 200 swings in 10 minutes. I usually had 30 seconds to rest each minute. So, theoretically, I should be able to do about 400 swings in 10 minutes - IF I could survive swinging nonstop. Is that even possible? I should post the question on Dragon Door cuz I really wonder what a repectable number of swings would be for 10 minutes. I would bet 300 is pretty good.

I wore my skinny jeans today. In my head I know I'm getting smaller, but the image I see in the mirror hasn't caught up yet. It's a strange thing. I still see the same reflection I've been seeing for the last decade. Perhaps I should avoid the mirror for a few weeks and then test my reflection. Hmmmmmmmm I'm gonna consider that.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Training Log - Thurs. Feb. 21

Good training day. No complaints, just good times. Here's what I got to do:

Windmills - 5 L, 5 R w/ 26 lb. KB
Overhead Walking Lunges - 8 steps L, 8 steps R w/ 26 lb.
Renegade Rows - 6L, 6 R w/ 26 lb.
Step Ups on Bench - 6 L, 6 R w/26 lb.
High Pulls - 10 L, 10 R w/36 lb.
Planks on elbows - 30 seconds

Completed 4 rounds w/ 1 minute rest between rounds.

I'm pretty happy with my renegade rows today. I used the bench I was stepping on and I was able to get in a military pushup position to do the rows. I usually have to bring my feet closer to my hands, but today I went for it an did it. Yippee!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Training Log - Tues. Feb. 19

It was back to old school on Tuesday! My husband teases me that I should just attend a P.E. class and do the same things. I think doing burpees and grasshoppers makes me feel young again. It's all perspective, right?

Here was my circuit.
5 times through w/ 30 seconds between rounds

10 Burpees (no pushup or jump)
10 Squats
8 Pushups
40 Mountain Climbers (grasshoppers)
8 inverted rows (on a bar)

I was actually able to do 1/2 of the pushups military style! That's an improvement for me.

Z Update
I feel better every day. I keep doing my Rx and I keep thinking happy thoughts - a white sand beach surrounded by a deep blue ocean (think the closing scene of The Shawshank Redemption), cruising down a quiet highway on my Harley, sitting around a fire with friends.

It's working. I am 90% pain free today. I'm listening to my body. I'm practicing my Z and testing each drill. The testing slows me down so I really tune in rather than just move on to the next drill. The testing quiets my spirit and prepares me for the next drill.

I wish everyone could experience the benefits of Z Health. When I try to explain Z to others I am reminded of the quote by Helen Keller - "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." That is the essence of Z only I would say "must be felt with the heart, body, and mind."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Training Log - Mon. Feb. 18 & The Force

First of all, my training:

36 lb. kettlebell - 8 l, 8 r at the top of the minute for six minutes = 96 snatches in six minutes for anyone keeping track

After 16 snatches, I had about 15 seconds of rest before that bleepin' Gymboss timer was going off.

TGUs - 3 x 4 l,r w/ 26 lb. KB
Squats - 3 x 4 l, r w/ 36 lb. KB
Clean & Press - 3 x 7 l, r w/ 26 lb. KB

I did this as a circuit, three times through.

TGUs - I did 2 full get-ups and 2 from the lunge up and down. That felt better on my neck/shoulder, but still worked my legs.
Squats - Ass to grass! It felt great to use the bigger bell.
Clean & Press - On the left I couldn't eek out that last rep. On the right, no problem.

Neck/Shoulder Musings:
Brad sells the best Z Health kool aid! I love it!

Seriously, if you look at my quote of the week, that shows you what Brad does for me. He tells me to "use the force" - aka my inner spirit to find healing and strength. And gosh, darn it, if he isn't right. I'm going to change my name for Brad. I used to call him Evil, Evil Kettlebell Man. Now I will call him Yoda. Let me splain.........

I've had this nagging neck/shoulder issue for weeks. It has been bad. It was consuming all of my thoughts. I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. Why won't it go away? What if I can't train? What if it prevents me from becoming an RKC. On and on and on in my brain like this. Brad tells me I need to re-associate the pain in my neck. He directs me to think about people and events that make me happy while I'm doing my Z. Okay, Yoda, whatever you say. Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday morning, Monday afternoon - I do what Yoda says. And yeah, he's right. The pain is subsiding.

Our thoughts truly do define what we are. I think pain/negative - I get pain. I think happy/positive - I get happy/positive. I'm branching out!!!

Thanks, Yoda, for showing me where to find my force.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This Is Getting Old

My neck and shoulder are worse today than they have been all week. The shoulder feels inflammed. I don't get it. Just moving my shoulder sends a shooting pain down my arm and up my neck. Yikes! I need some help Brad.

I do the new Rx three times a day minimum. I do shoulder circles and camshafts three times a day. I turn my torso while doing the shoulder and neck work. I look right, I turn my head left. I've been doing it all. Is there something else I can do?

I'm not venting here. I'm explaining the problem and what I've been doing to try to fix it. What steps should I take next?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Training Log - Fri. Feb. 15

Turkish Get Ups

Completed 3 x 3 l,r
I was supposed to do 5 x 3 l,r but my left shoulder was irritated. It hurt to keep that pressure on it, so I cut my rounds short.


5 x 6 l,r (6 l + 6 r at the top of each minute for 5 min.)
5 x 5 l,r (5 l + 5 r at the top of each minute for 5 min.)

That means I did 110 snatches in 10 minutes. I suppose Brad's working me up to 200 in ten minutes. It felt great actually, and I wasn't terribly winded. I'd be curious to see how far I could run and how quickly I could run a mile. I don't know if I've ever been in this good of shape before in my life.


I only did my GTG once this week. I have got to find a way to work that into my day. The only day I did it, I did NOT use the 26 lb. kb. I did bodyweight only.

You need to kick my ass on this. I don't know why, but I forget the GTGs until I'm lying in bed or when I'm at work where I can't do them. I need a hard reminder - a gut check if you will. I know I will be doing many TGUs at the RKC so I MUST get in the best TGU form possible.

Why do I let myself down????

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Training Log - Thurs. Feb. 14

I was uneasy as I stepped into the taekwando room with my lone kettlebell. I had 25 minutes of snatch-squat @ 6/minute. Previous weeks have found me unable to complete the 25 because of knee issues on the squat. I was also uneasy because I have been sick this week. Tuesday was the worst; however, yesterday I slept for an hour unexpectedly when I got home from work. I wasn't sure if I had my strength back or not, but I wouldn't know if I didn't try.

Z Health
I am addicted to my new Rx. It is working well at relieving the pain in my neck. I seem to have picked up a bit of inflamation in my left shoulder. My mobility there is quite limited. I do the shoulder work three times a day.

3l + 3r at the top of each minute for 25 minutes


I made it all 25 minutes!!!!!! Rounds 16 -19 I just did four snatches l,r to let my knee rest a bit. Man, I slammed it. That is the first time I made all 25 minutes and the first time I made it to round 15 before my knee needed a break. My power naps this week gave me power I guess!

Til tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What Happened?

I got up today, went to work, and an hour later I thought I was going to pass out. I drove home at 10 a.m., went to bed at 10:30, and got up at 2:00 p.m. I'm feeling better now, but I am confused. I don't have a sore throat, stuffed sinuses, respiratory congestion, nausea or anything. I'm just weak, light-headed, and constantly vacillating between hot and cold. Who knows! Tomorrow is my off-day so I will see how I feel Thursday.

Weird! Perhaps this is as sick as I will get this winter. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Training Log - Mon. Feb. 11

No complaints. The training was sufficiently challenging. On the renegade rows, I got into a deep lunge position to take the stress off of my neck.

I buzzed through my training since the weather was bad and I wanted to get home before dark.

Neck update - My chiro friend Krista put me back in place Saturday. I did a lot of Z on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I took a little rest on Sunday afternoon - nice luxury! I'm feeling pretty good today. The adjustment to the renegade rows helped, I think. I'll see how I feel in the morning.

News Flash
My skinny jeans are too big!!!!!!!!!! I bought some new skinny jeans Saturday. It's amazing!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


My neck pain is back. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Is it the snatches? Too much too soon? I'm going to try to see the chiro today. I think my neck is out. Jer says my muscles feel loose and he did not feel any knots, so I'm assuming my neck popped out in the regular spot.

I'm ticked!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Training Log - Friday, Feb. 8

I feel like a rock star. I completed all of my training and today's workout was really hard. I kept telling myself your (Brad) quote: Your body doesn't care what your excuse is. That got me through the 10 minutes of snatch hell.

TGUs - 5 x 3 l,r

These went pretty well, better than they have for a long time.

Snatch - 10 x 5 l,r
(5l, 5r top of minute, rest the remainder, start over at the top of the minute for 10 minutes)

I had my ipod on for this. When I finished, I took my earbuds out and was amazed at how hard I was breathing. I knew that ipod was good for something! Wow, I was smoked!!!

It feels amazing to complete that workout. I feel totally rejuvenated compared to where I was one short week ago. Amazing.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Training Log - Thursday, Feb. 7

The jury is still out on today's training.

20 rounds - Snatch/Squat 3 l, 3 r per minute on the Gymboss timer.
Windmills 5 x 3 l,r

I was supposed to do 25 rounds of the snatch/squat. At about round 12, my knee started to give. At 20 I made the decision to stop so that I wouldn't injure myself.

When I did the windmills, my hamstrings felt very tight. I suppose that is why my knee was bothering me. I did many Z drills for ankle and hip hoping to alleviate the knee.

So far this week I'm 3 for 3 with my workouts! Yipeeeeeee!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Finally - the tension in my neck is gone. I got my massage today. Now I'll keep it all loosened up doing my Z!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Training Log - Tuesday, February 5

Not much I can say. I'm still trying to catch my breath.

Holy high pulls!!

I did the math:
Pyramid from 1 to 10 l,r and back down = 200 high pulls (approximately 15 minutes to complete)

I feel pretty good about completing the pyramid because I really wanted to quit after the 10th rung. I just told myself to keep moving and complete it no matter how long it took. I wanted good form and I wanted completion. 2 for 2

The clean, lunge, and rotate went well after I got my groove. The hardest position was the lunge back. I kept losing my balance.

I'm glad tomorrow is my off day!! I don't want to look at a KB. :-)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Training Log - Monday, Feb 4

The new Z Rx is working already. Tears started flowing the first time I did the tilt, turn, and swallow. Wowsie!

Clean & Squat - 5 x 3 l,r - 36 lbs
  • Felt good to clean the larger bell
  • No knee issues on the squat
  • Took 4:30 to complete
Renegade Rows - 5 x 5 l,r - 26 lbs
  • Pretty good considering I haven't done these for a while
  • The rowing wasn't a problem, but the constant tension on the neck bothered me a bit

Swings - 5 x 10 l,r - 36 lbs.

  • Took me 4:25 to complete the 100 swings
  • Not sure how good of a time that is

My heart got pumping during these drills and it felt great!!! I did enjoy the pain!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Could It Be This Simple?

Is it possible that the neck to shoulder issues I've been having are related to the placement of my keyboard? I said something in passing to the IT director at work and he immediately said "You need to change your keyboard height." So, we crawled around, moved furniture and got my keyboard and mouse up off the keyboard tray and onto the desktop. I'll keep you posted on how this goes.

Sometimes I can be so blonde!

What a Pain in the Neck

this pain in the neck is becoming. I've struggled for the last five months or so with a recurring tightness/pain in my neck all the way to my shoulder. When it first showed up, Brad instructed me on some Z Health movements to alleviate the pain. It worked fantastically.

When I trained with Brad in December, he had me work on my eye positioning, torso rotation, and head positioning during Z. He's also been working with me on my head position during training. I also need to keep my head pulled back when working at the computer.

Z has completely changed the way my body feels and functions. I move like an athlete now, or at least better than I used to. It's extremely frustrating for me to find the Z not helping now with my neck pain when it did in the past. I'm not giving up, though!

I went to the chiro yesterday and got my neck put back in place. I've been applying heat and my husband has been doing some massage. I get my regular professional massage next week. Can't wait!!!

Is it possible that this ball of tension in my body is neurological stress isolated in one spot? I've had a lot of crap to deal with lately and I wonder if my body isn't putting it in my neck instead of my digestive track or my heart or somewhere else. Perhaps I need to work through the issues causing me stress so I can heal. How's that for mind-body connection!!

In the meantime, training is painful and pretty much out-of-the-question. This just gets me riled because I want to make more strength gains and practice my KB techniques. The RKC is less than 100 days away. Yikes!!

I may just have to give in to reason and take another week off - totally off. I'm going to talk to Brad later to hear his opinion. Help me oh wise one!!!