Friday, January 30, 2009


I have felt so much more present during my training this week than I have in a long time. The new direction helps tremendously. For example, I have NEVER liked do TGUs. I hated them so much that I would literally go through the motions to just get them done. I always used a 12 kg bell and always complained that my left knee hurt. Since I did a 20 kg TGU on Saturday, I realize that I am stronger than I thought and that TGUs are an important step in increasing my strength, especially my pressing and grip strength.

Wednesday brought a great training session. I got to do 8 reps on each side of arm bar to a TGU with the 16 kg KB. I LOVED it. I feel so strong on arm bars because I am able to press both hips to the ground with my legs straight behind me. That stretch feels amazing. Then I went into the TGU with confidence. My brain was engaged in each movement. That rated a 6 on my PRE scale. It didn't wind me, but it was challenging.

After that I did 10 minutes of snatches with the 16 kg. I went 7 minutes where I did 7 reps L, R and then had the rest of the minute to rest (usually 30 seconds). The remaining three minutes I went 6 reps L, R. So, I did 134 snatches. That rated an 8 on PRE scale.

Thursday I took off from training. My body was definitely ready for some recovery. I've still been sleeping more - I have woken up 20 minutes before my alarm every morning this week! Tonight I get to do some presses, pullups, and suitcase deadlifts. I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday Training

I have an optional training day each week now. If I feel good and want to burn a few cals, I can do a short MVO2 session. I took that optional session on Tuesday.

Being the blonde that I am, I started off with a 16 kg bell. 7 rep cadence, 15:15. After 5 minutes I thought "I don't usually do MVO2 with the 16. Duh!" So I check my training schedule. Yep, use the 12 stupid! So I switched and did 10 minutes more.

I'm so intrigued by increasing my grip strength, that I couldn't stop myself from doing some more plate curls. Adam's enthusiasm really rubs off. What he said Saturday really makes sense, though. You can't move/lift heavier weights unless you can literally handle heavier weights. How can I deadlift more if I can't hold onto the bar? How can I press more if I can't hold on to the kettlebell?

I also hung on the pullup bar and shortened my arms/engaged my lats. Love doing those!

When I got home, I had a buffalo burger and some mixed veggies and then ordered thinner jumpstretch bands. Pullup here I come!!!

I have gotten a great night's sleep for the past four nights and am feeling energized. I am keeping my promise to myself. Oh, and I said "I'd like to, but I can't" to a meeting tonight. I need to be home taking care of the mini-mes and doing Z health. All this new training is taxing on the CNS.

I have a fun training session this afternoon - arm bars to TGU and 16 kg snatches. Can't wait to get after that!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brand New Start

Brad and I had a long discussion about the direction my training will be going in. I want to focus on strength gains. Shocking, I know! So he totally revamped my program. I got to start some new drills as well as variations of regular ones.

On my training posts you will now see a number after each drill. That number represents my rate of exertion 1-10. This is for Brad and me to gauge my intensity.

So here's what I did Monday.

Bent Press - 20 kg - 4 x 1 L (8), R(6)
The right side is so much easier than the left. I need to find the path on the left.

Long Push Press - 20 kg - 5 x 3 L, R (7)
I don't think I squatted low enough. I'll need to check that next week.

Pull-ups - Green Band - 1 x 8, 2 x 6 - (7)
I need to order more bands. That green one is too easy.

Suitcase Deadlifts - 45 lb. bar w/ 30 lbs. - 5 x 1 L, R - (6)
These were fun and I got a lot of strange looks from folks in the gym. "Don't you wish your training was hot like mine?"

I also did 10 lb. plate curls using an open hand, bent thumb grip - 3 x 2 L, R. Smokin'!!!

Now I have a baseline for heavy press days. I know that I need to fuel my body well and rest it better, so I am on a mission to go to bed one hour earlier each night and to intake more protein at noon. Really, two eggs isn't enough protein to last me through the afternoon and through heavy training.

Random change of subject-----------
So, Brad throws down a stack of business cards on his counter Saturday. I look down and see my before and after pics staring up at me from the cards. That took me off-guard. I don't really think my physique is worthy of that! Thank you for the confidence boost Brad! (I mean Monkey Boy! lol)

And, I purchased a 24 kg bell. Until Saturday I had never even picked one up. To be able to do a bent press was a real boon. Now I'll have one to start working with. Exciting stuff.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Grip-n-Rip - Unbelievably Amazing

Adam Glass and Brad Nelson teamed up for a hardcore strength-increasing seminar, and I was fortunate enough to be part of the learning. I'm still trying to process everything, kind of like after the RKC. There is just so much running around my brain.
First though, I need to share a couple accomplishments from Saturday.
1. I did a 24 kg Bent Press. (Brad got it on video, so I am hoping to get a copy of it to post.)

2. I did a 20 kg TGU. Who knew? I've never tried it. I guess you don't know if you don't try! Thanks, Adam, for so casually suggesting I do one in front of everyone!

3. I curled a 10 lb. plate (with a pinch grip) several times. It was actually a bit too easy. Too bad there aren't 12 and 15 lb plates. I will definitely be incorporating plate curls into my regimen each week.
4. I did several 12 kg Bottoms Up TGUs and Clean and Press. I never tried those before, so I was pleasantly surprised I could do them.

I knew that I had some strength in me, but I hadn't tapped into it. Now I'm excited to get started REALLY working on my goals of pressing the 20 kg and doing a pull up. Thanks to Adam and Brad, I have the tools to start seeing some strength gains.

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting my thoughts on what I learned as well as a little more info on my training sessions. One thing that was made clear to me is that I need to keep track of a few more items besides the drills, reps, and sets.

1. I need to record time on task so I can chart progress - am I completing the work in less time?

2. I need to record perceived rate of exertion - is the work getting easier or harder from week to week?
That's all I'll post for now. I'll wrap up with some pics from the day.

Adam bending a horseshoe and then giving it to me.

Nice souvenir!!

Brad will now be referred to as "Monkey Boy" for his uncanny ability to scamper up the ropes in about 4 seconds. Seriously - how do you do that???

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm Off to See the Gripper.....

the amazing Adam Glass. He is, he is, he is, he is, the horseshoe bending man.

I could go on, but it's 5:30 in the morning. That's all I got in me!

I'll post some pics, maybe a video when I return. Have a great weekend all!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deck of Doom

I got to do the deck of cards for my training today. Remember, this deck of cards has burial vaults printed on every card. Hence the title "Deck of Doom."

Hearts - Snatches each arm w/ 35 lb. kb
Diamonds - Burpees
Clubs - Rows each arm w/ 35 lb. kb
Spades - Mountain Climbers each leg

Do the number of reps on the card. Face cards are 10; aces are 11.

Last week I did 32 cards. This week 42. I would have finished the entire deck if I had had the time. Dag Nabbit!! Next week, for sure.

Two days until Grip-n-Rip!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anxious and Giddy

I can be such a girl sometimes! I am so anxious for Saturday I want to jump up and down and clap my hands like the newly crowned Miss America. Why?

I'm participating in the Grip-n-Rip training put on by Brad Nelson and Adam Glass!! Insert a cheerleader high kick with a woot woot!! (Click on the Brad Rants link on the right to read about it.)

Okay, now that my girlie moment has passed, I can gain my composure. Clearing my throat; standing up straight; smoothing my hair.

This training will help me tap my strength potential, something I know runs deep, but I'm not sure how to unleash it. I've met most of my "vanity" goals, so I need something to keep my brain interested in training.

Just ask Brad about my brain. I think I drive him crazy with all my analysis and intellectualizing. What about this and what about that? I'm thinking this and I'm thinking that. My brain never shuts off. I always need a challenge, be it physical or intellectual. Never stop learning, growing, pushing myself.

Grip-n-Rip is a great opportunity for me to challenge myself. I've never really thought of myself as a horseshoe or nail-bending girl, but who knows? I never imagined myself swinging around 45 pounds of cast iron either!

One thing that's for sure, I want to be able to do a pull-up. I'm a big gal - 5'11" 158 lbs. - so it's a daunting challenge. Perhaps if I drop a few more lbs. and learn how to tap my strength, I will experience the bliss of pulling up my own bodyweight. (You men reading this have no idea how jealous us women are of your upper body strength. Don't take your ability to do pullups for granted!!!)

I think that's why I'm so excited for Saturday. I will be one step closer to that experience. I get to start a new chapter in my training. Besides, if I want to be an RKC II, I have to be able to do at least one pull up and pistol. I never met a challenge I didn't want to dominate.

Go Me!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Simple and Sore

Friday I was back at the gym for my training. Good thing since I had to do crab walks, bear crawls and walking lunges. Wowsie is my arse sore today! Here's what I did:

Crab Walk - 20 yards
Pushups - 10
Bear Crawl - 20 yards
Squats - 15 (ATG)
Walking Lunges - 20 each leg
Clean & Press - 5 L, R

4 rounds - no rest between drills
45 seconds between rounds.

Who needs fancy to get a great burn!? These basic bodyweight drills burn a body good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Now, don't faint anyone, but I did two things today I rarely do:
1. Trained at home (see post below)
2. Trained in the morning (I prefer after work)

Seriously!?! Mother Nature gave me a window of opportunity today to get in my training. I was not going to be able to do it after work because I have a meeting at work and then a school board meeting after that. What was I to do?

Enter Mother Nature - more blizzard conditions. My college was opening two hours late. Here was my chance to do my training!!! It was in the cards!!


My training was determined by a deck of cards:
Hearts - snatches w/ 16 kg
Diamonds - rows w/ 12 kg
Clubs - Burpees
Spades - Mountain Climbers

You do the number on the card. Face cards are 10. Aces are 11. Do the deck as quickly as you can. Brad prescribed half the deck. I did 32 cards.

Here's the best part:
The cards have burial vaults on them. They were freebies from the vault company my husband uses at our funeral homes. Is that hilarious or what??? The cards of doom! Loved the symbolism!!

Well, I survived just fine - no need to use the burial vault just yet. :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Snowstorm of Activity

Another blizzard has descended upon the midwest. I went to work and got sent home from work. I drove 55 mph on the way to work and drove 35 mph on the way home. As a result, I was not able to train at the gym (it's located in the town where I work). To many of you, this may not seem like an issue. Just train at home, stupid. You only need 25 square feet and your kettlebells. Sheesh!

You have no idea how much I despise training at home. It feels unnatural to be rolling around on my living room floor doing TGUs or swinging at my 46" LCD television. I just work best at the gym. Plain and simple.

Brad's training menu was a daunting prospect, even if I were at the gym. Having to face it at home was unbearable. BUT, I do have my goals (see a few posts below) so I do need to work at them.

Here's what Brad had on deck for me, and I can say with pride, I completed it ALL. This is a HUGE accomplishment for the woman who cannot train happily at home.

Clean and Push Press - 20kg / 5x5 l,r
Clean and Push Press - 16kg / 5x5 l,r
(I did not have a 20 kg at home, so I did 5 x 10 l,r with the 16 kg.)

Mini Circuit of:
Front Squats - 16 kg - 5 held in rack position (alternate sides holding)
Mountain Climbers - 15 each leg (30 total)
6 Rounds

I finished with
TGUs - 12kg / 2x5 l,r

Whew! I'm so glad I don't have to (can't) go anywhere tonight. I'm beat!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I kicked out a sweet circuit of strength and endurance today:

4 Rounds of
Burpee to clean - 16 kg - 5 L, R
Swings - 20 kg - 12
Mountain Climbers - 40 reps
Pushups - 8 reps
Dips - 15 reps
Snatches - 16 kg - 8 L, R

No rest between drills (killer!) and 45 seconds between rounds.

If you want to smoke your lungs, give it a shot!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Monday I was back to work and back to serious training. I still have to reach my goal of pressing the 20 kg bell. Yah, it didn't happen by Christmas. Perhaps by Valentine's Day? I'm not in a rush. I just want it to happen before spring.

I did 4 x 5 l, r Clean & Push Press with the 20 kg (44 lb) bell Monday. Then I did 5 rounds of the following:
25 seconds - burpees
15 seconds - rest
25 seconds - swings with 20 kg
15 seconds - rest

I am officially sick of looking at a computer screen! I am trying to convert two more of my courses from all paper to predominately digital. Whew! When I'm done posting, I'm going to lie down in the dark and look at nothing! I still need to get caught up on everyone's blogs from the past two days, but it's not going to happen within the next two hours. Maybe later.


Friday, January 2, 2009

A Couple More

Here's a couple more photos from the student photo shoots.

The following two shots are by Megan Franken.

These last two shots are by Katy Jo Gilbert.

I have no idea what I am going to do with all of these photos! That's why I've been posting them here and on my Facebook page. I want to show off the talent of these students. They should all feel very proud of their work. It's fun for me to see how everyone has a different style to their art. None of them had ever seen a kettlebell before I stepped into the studio besides the research a few of them did the day before the shoot. Those who did their homework really did get some amazing shots.

Their instructors - Mike and Michelle Davis - are amazing photographers themselves. Michelle has been shooting my children and family for about 8 years. The students in NCC's program truly are learning from gifted artists. (And for only $117 a credit!!!) The Davises came to my house in December and shot our Christmas card photo as well as a new formal family photo. They also did a shoot at one of our funeral homes. Those turned out amazing!! After I get those retouched, I'll post some.

Well, I'm off to find some after Christmas bargains! Have a great weekend!