Friday, February 27, 2009

Finishing Strong

I finished the week strong, which is a great confidence boost. I'm really looking forward to Monday to see what I can accomplish. I will take the weekend to rest up and then watch out! I'm feeling a goal being accomplished.

Today was military press, deadlifts, and pullups.

Military Press - 16 kg (35 lbs.) - 3 x 1, 2, 3
-Right side was easy up. Strict MP, good tension. HARDSTYLE!
-Left side was easy up on rung 1. I had to clean and press the 2s and 3s. BUT, that is a definite improvement since last week when I had to put a little push into my press.

Suitcase Deadlift - 100 lbs. - 5 x 1 L, R
-Okay, weird experience today with these. The LEFT was easier than the right. Huh? My right grip was weak today. Huh? My left grip was rock solid. Go figure. It must be all in my head. Good grief; I'm a headcase!

Pullups - Purple Band - 3 x 2
-In between sets I did "arm shorteners" to imprint that lat fire.
-The pullups were easier than they were on Monday. That's a boost for me. I feel that I will actually be able to do a pullup in my lifetime. Hopefully while I'm still in my 30s! How cool would it be to go into my 40s able to do pullups. I think my daughter would think I'm a rock star. I soooooo have to accomplish this!

I can hardly believe it, but I have nothing planned for the weekend. The weather is iffy (could snow a bunch), so I'll just sit tight and see what each day brings. It'll be nice to let my brain relax along with my body.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Plain Tuckered Out

I'm not getting enough sleep, obviously. By the time I was done teaching today I needed a nap. Beings there was no way I was going to get a nap, I did the next best thing - TGUs!!

Really, I wasn't that excited about TGUs today. The 16 kg (35 lbs) felt like 60. I did all my reps and stayed focused; however, that was all I had to give. My CNS threw in the towel.

Arm Bar to TGU
-20 kg - 5 x 1 L, R
-16 kg - 2 x 3 L, R

I still love the arm bars and the heavy TGUs. Now I can't wait for next Wednesay to give em another go.

If you've been following my training, you know that on Wednesday I am supposed to do a killer snatch session after the TGUs. I will live to snatch another day. Tomorrow will be that day.

I also have my last session of my beginner kettlebell class tomorrow. sniff, sniff My first official class of victims was so much fun. I learned a lot about teaching from them. I have to say, though, they did NOT share my love of the TGU. Maybe some day they will appreciate it as I do now. A girl can dream, can't she!?!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Push & Pull

Work together in perfect harmony. I'm still working hard toward my goals. This afternoon I had focus and drive.

Bent Press - 24 kg (53 lbs.) - 4 x 1 L, R
-All good baby!
PRE - 8

Bent Press - 20 kg (44 lbs.) - 3 x 2 L, R
PRE - 5

Long Push Press - 20 kg - 5 x 4 L, R
-I really detest these torture devices. It's not the pressing; it's the squatting. I do them because they will get me where I need to be. Perhaps one day I'll enjoy them like I do the TGU (which I detested until a month ago).
PRE - 8

Suitcase Deadlifts - 95 lbs. - 5 x 2 L, R
-Right side was no prob, bob. I think another 15 lbs. would be in order.
-That bleepin left grip is holding me back. I never dropped the bar; however, it was close. The right side is so smooth and strong. I want that for the left too. Just keep pulling, pulling, pulling. I hesitate to add much more grip work to my training since my thumbs have been irritated from all the heavy training. Any advice anyone? Adam???!!
PRE - 7

Pull-ups - Purple Band - 3 x 2
-I have two words: three inches.
-Nuff said.
PRE - 9

My protein cravings have subsided for the time being. I have increased my intake at noon significantly. I'll have another egg, a chicken breast, or some steak. If only I could get rid of my chocolate cravings. ;-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gaining Left and Right

I ended my week strong: I continue to see strength gains from week to week. It's so addicting!

Military Press - 16 kg (35 lbs) - 3 x 1, 2, 3 L, R
-On the right, I can do these ladders with confidence. PRE - 6
-On the left, I can do the singles with confidence. When I get to 2 and 3 reps, I need to clean the bell first. Then on the 3rd rep, I need to do a push press. PRE - 8
-It's frustrating; HOWEVER, it is so much better than it ever has been. I know those heavy TGUs are making a difference.
-I feel I'm ready to tackle pressing the 20 kg (44 lbs) bell on the right.

Suitcase Deadlifts - 100 lbs. (45 lb bar + 55 lbs. of plates)
-6 x 1 L, R
-On the right, these go right up. Love em!
-On the left, the first four went right up. The last two, my grip gave out. Grrrrrrr!

Pull-ups - Purple Band - 3 x 2
-Okay, Brad. You said use the black band. That won't be happening for awhile. I had a hard time with the purple. The toughest part was the last 4 inches. I couldn't get my chin past the bar. I will, though. You should see my lats. They are getting bigger and stronger! If I drop 10 more lbs of bodyweight, I'll have an easier time pulling my 5'11" frame up. This is the only time in my life I wish I were shorter! lol

I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxing. I need to get a few groceries at the organic market and I'll be set. Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Brain Dump and Body Drain

I am exhausted and I am loving it. Every muscle in my body is tired. That means I worked em good! I worked every muscle hard, but I only did two drills. That is what is so amazing about kettlebell training. Simple and effective.

So often we try to make training complicated. That's probably because we get bored with what we're doing. We also think that complicated = effective. I think we get accustomed to everything in life being complicated. We expect it.

It's great for me to know that after work three (sometimes four) days a week, I get to go challenge my body without all the fuss. I change my clothes grab a couple bells and get to it. I don't even have to wear special shoes. That is a major perk since deciding which shoes to wear can be complicated for me! (Remember, I have horrible bunions that make buying shoes an interesting endeavor.)

So, what two drills did I do today that have me so wiped out tonight? Brad - don't answer! That's cheating since you make up my training schedule!

Those of you who train with kbs probably already know -

Turkish Get-Ups (TGU)

Neither of these drills is easy to perform, but each works your entire body. You'll see below that I don't do a lot of TGUs, or snatches for that matter. I don't need to. I did 18 TGUs total. (I also did an arm bar before each rep.) Those 18 TGUs took me about 30 minutes to complete. If I would have to run on a dreadmill for 30 minutes, I would want to shoot myself. I need the focus of kettlebell training. I love the focus and uncomplicated nature of kettlebell training.

After the TGUs I did 15 minutes of snatches, which amounted to 190 snatches. My heart rate was up around 160 for the last 5 minutes. That is like sprinting! One minute after I finished, my heart rate had recovered to 105. After two minutes, I was down to 90. I think I'm in pretty good shape, probably the best shape of my life. And, I have so much futher to go. This journey is pretty freakin' great!

Okay, so here's the boring run-down of my training:

Arm Bar to TGU - 20 kg (44 lbs.) - 3 x 1 L, R
Arm Bar to TGU - 16 kg (35 lbs.) - 3 x 2 L, R
PRE - 7 (Perceived Rate of Exertion)

Snatches - 16 kg
7 L, R on the top of the minute for 10 minutes
5 L, R on the top of the minute for 5 minutes
PRE - 9

Wow, my body may be drained, but my brain was full of energy. Look how much I just wrote! I'm done. TTFN!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday's Training Log

In all my excitement surrounding my nine 24 kg bent presses yesterday, I did not post all of my training from Monday. So here it is.

Bent Press - 20 kg - 5 x 2 L, R
-Actually, I warmed up with 2 x 2 L, R w/ the 20 kg. Those were quite easy, so I switched to the 24 kg (53 lb.) bell.
-On the right, I did 3 x 2 with the 24 kg bell.
-On the left, I did 1 rep 24 kg, 1 rep 20 kg for three sets.
-All in all, I did 6 reps on the right with the 24 kg and 4 with the 20 kg.
-I did 3 reps on the left with the 24 kg and 7 with the 20 kg.
PRE - 9 (I loved every minute of it!)

Push Press - 20 kg - 5 x 4 L, R
-I was supposed to do long push presses, but did not feel like it.
-These are getting easier. I think I'm almost ready to military press the 20 kg (44 lb.)
PRE - 8 on the left and 6 on the right

Pull-ups - Green Band - 4 x 6
-Wouldn't you know it; when I got home, my purple and black bands had arrived!
PRE - 6

Suitcase Deadlifts - 95 lbs. (bar + 50 lb.) - 4 x 2 L, R
-I love these!
-My grip needs to improve. I had a tough time on the second rep keeping the bar from rolling out of my hand, especially on the left. The first rep would go well. I'd reset for the second rep, pull, and yikes, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.
-I know I could pull more; however, if I can't hold onto the bar, I really can't pull more.
PRE - 8

Tomorrow I get to do heavy TGUs and snatches!

Monday, February 16, 2009

22 Days and 9 Bent Presses Later

It's been 22 days since I attended the Grip-n-Rip seminar put on by Brad Nelson and Adam Glass in St. Paul. I've set some goals, and I've worked my butt off. I've focused every training session, and I've backed off when my body said "Stop." What have I gotten for my work?

9 Bent Presses with a 24 kg (53 lb.) kettlebell

You will recall that three weeks ago I was celebrating my ONE 24 kg bent press at the Grip-n-Rip seminar. I posted the video of my girlie giddiness at pressing that massive ball of cast iron.

Can you imagine my shear bliss today when I did 6 on the right - 2 at a time, no less - and 3 on my left? It was all I could do to not yell out a big "Oh Yeah!" right there at the gym.

I have NEVER made this kind of strength gain in such a short period of time. What made the difference?
Believing in myself.

Where did these come from? Me, of course; however, I wouldn't have found them had I not attended Grip-n-Rip.

There have been 4 turning points in my journey of growing stronger:
1. Finding kettlebells.
2. Finding and training with Brad Nelson.
3. Becoming an RKC.
4. Attending Grip-n-Rip.

It has been that important.

If you can, sign up for the next Grip-n-Rip: April 5 in St. Paul, MN at Brad's training facility Kinetic Edge. The price is a steal for 7 hours of individual training from Adam and Brad!! Contact Brad Nelson at for more info or to register.

You won't be sorry!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm Listening

Over the past three weeks, I've been training hard trying to reach some goals. I have had a renewed commitment to my training and an enthusiasm that has been lacking for several months (6-7 actually). I have had focus and have seen some great gains. I've been listening more closely to my body.

I hit the wall at the end of the week. I was tired mind, body, spirit. This past week brought long meetings, stress, and reduced hours of sleep. By Friday, my body was whispering "I'm tired." In the past, I would have just gone and done my scheduled training anyway. No more. I listened to that feint whisper.

There was no training on Friday, Saturday, or today. It's good. It was time. Monday will bring rejuvenation and a fire in my gut to get after more heavy pressing and dead lifting. It will be a productive week.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tired Typing

Wednesday brought another great training session. Unfortunately, I'm not getting enough sleep this week, and I am feeling it. I WILL be in bed by 9:00 tonight!!!

Arm Bar to TGU
20 kg - 3 x 1 L, R
-This week I didn't even put on the iPod!
-Actually, the 20 kg (44 lb.) arm bars and TGUs were a fun challenge.
PRE - 8

Arm Bar to TGU
16 kg - 3 x 2 L, R
-The 16 kg (35 lb) felt light after using the 20 kg.
- By the end of the second rep, however, my grip and wrists were toast.
-I tweaked my left shoulder ever so slightly.
PRE - 7

Snatches - MVO2
15:15, 7 rep cadence, 20 minutes
-I was supposed to do 16 kg snatches for 15 minutes, but decided to do the VO2 since I tweaked my shoulder. Good choice. Good burn.
-HR at finish of 20 min. - 144 bpm
-HR after 1 min. - 128 bpm
-HR after 3 min. - 98 bpm

Tonight I will rest my shoulder and not use it during my kb class or else I'll demo with a light bell. It's windmill night!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday's Muscle Mania

Forgive my title. It's been a long time since I've written any poetry and I wanted to throw in a little alliteration. (Say that 10 times fast.)

My training did require lots of muscle. I had to keep reciting "Be Here Now" to stay focused.

Bent Press - 20 kg - 6 x 1 L, R
-On the right, these were pretty easy schmeazy, lemon squeezy. PRE - 5
-On the left, these were easier than last week. PRE - 7
-For those of you (Michelle) who don't convert kilograms to pounds, 20 kg = 44 lbs. 16 kg = 35 lbs. 12 kg = 26 pounds. My kettlebells come in 4 kg increments. Each 4 kg increment = 9 lbs. (approximately) Sorry I don't always put the pound equivalents down. I forget that not all of you folks reading use kettlebells. I'll try to be better about that from now on. A faithful reader filled me in recently, and I thank her for that!
Look, a blimp!

Long Push Press - 20 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-My left knee did not like these today. I alternated between long push presses and regular push presses. PRE - 7

Pull-ups - Green Band - 4 x 6
-I only let myself rest a minute between sets. That helped make the sets more challenging. I really need my new bands, but they are still not here. It's been two weeks for crying out loud. If anyone out there works at Jumpstretch, will you see if something happened to my order? Thank you.
PRE - 6

Suitcase Deadlifts - 95 lbs. - 5 x 1 L, R
-After two weeks of 85 lbs, the 10 lb. move up was in order. 95 lbs. is a good weight this week. It was a challenge but doable.
-I found that my left grip threshhold is 95 lbs. I almost dropped the bar on the first set. Yikes! Then I focused on grabbing onto that bar for dear life. PRE - 8

I kept my focus thanks to Adam and Brad. Adam tells me "Be Here Now" and Brad requested my measurements this weekend. Eeeeeek! Gotta keep my sights focused on my goals.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let the Weekend Begin

Done. Done with grading. Done with meetings. Done with rushing around. Whew!
My week ended with a satisfactory training session. I wish one drill had gone better, but other than that, I felt strong.

Military Press - 16 kg - 3 x 1, 2, 3 L, R
-Yeah, these didn't go so well on the left. I can definitely feel an improvement since last week. However, I had to do a Clean before the press. On the right, no complaints. Eeking out the third rep was a challenge, but doable.
PRE - 4 on the right, 8 on the left

Suitcase Deadlifts - 85 lbs. - 5 x 1 L, R
- Geez, you'd think I was superwoman with these. Last week I had to walk around between sets. This week I just cranked out all five with resting (except to reset).
PRE - 5

Pullups - Green Band - 3 x 6
- All good here. I wish my new bands would hurry up and get here already.
- Between sets I did hangs with "arm shortening." Gotta grease that groove!!
PRE - 7

I just finished off an awesome Advocare meal replacement shake to feed my muscles. Now it's off to a high school basketball game. Beyond that, who knows!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feed the TGU

Today it was TGUs baby!

RKC Arm Bar to TGU
16 kg (35 lbs.)
10 L, R
PRE - 7

Last week I did 8 per side and it took me awhile. I would do one on each side and rest. This week I did 5 each side (alternating) and then took a break. Then I finished the other 5 each side. This week I did 4 more in about 4 minutes less time.

Did you know that iPods get in the way when you're trying to do an arm bar? I had to stop and take off the pod. The plus side was that I was very much "here now." The pod was put back in place for the second part of my training session:

Snatches - 16 kg
7 L, 7 R at the top of each minute for 12 minutes
PRE - 9

Did you know that this type of snatch protocol is worse than MVO2? I would rather do 30 minutes of MVO2 with the 12 kg bell 15:15 protocol, 7 rep cadence than 10 minutes of this torture device. My heart rate was still at 105 bpm 5 minutes AFTER I finished.

I sound like I'm complaining, don't I? I'm not. Actually I'm in awe of my body. It seems to be responding really well to this heavier training. I know because I'm ravenous. All my body wants is water and protein.

You should see my PHD. I'm eating almonds, eggs, steak, protein bars, protein shakes. It's crazy! I don't crave anything but protein. That's how I know this training is effective. My body wants to build more muscle. Bring it on!

Time to get the munchkins to bed and then myself. Long day tomorrow.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Be Here Now

Adam Glass gave me that phrase to put in front of me while training. It was my mantra today and it worked. Let me lay out my training and fill in with my thoughts.

Bent Press - 20kg - 6x1 l,r
-Last week I did 4 on each side. Well, actually I did four on the right and two on the left. The other two on the left were with the 16 kg.
-This week I kept a good pace going. I pressed left and then right. Walked to the water fountain, walked back, press left right. PRE - 8

Long Push Press - 20kg - 5x3 l,r
-Last week these were weak, especially on the left.
-This week I squatted deeper and was able to do all the reps at a steady pace. (See above) I really had to repeat "Be here now" to myself to get through these. These are not fun, but I want to get stronger, so I'll get my head into the practice. PRE - 9

Pull-ups - Green band - 3 x 6 reps
-My new bands have not arrived, so I used the green one and really focused on doing a slow pull. I concentrated on firing my lats for each rep. PRE - 7

Suit Case Deadlifts 85 lbs. - 5x1 l,r
-Not much to report here except that I completed these much quicker than last week. Again I kept a steady pace to my lifting and resting. PRE - 6
(Reminder - PRE = perceived rate of exertion)
When I was finished, I did some plate curls with two 5 lbers. Doubling the plates makes it a lot tougher to hang on when the arm is extended. With all this grip work, I'll really be able to torque on the throttle my Harley this summer! BONUS!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week's End

The end of my week of training went great. On Friday I did the following:

Military Press - 16 kg - 3 x 1, 2, 3 L, R

On the right, my RPE was a 7.

On the left, I couldn't do more than one strict MP, so I did bent presses. I just can't get that left lat to fire yet. I'll keep working on it. The bent presses on the left were a 7 RPE also.

Suitcase Deadlifts - 85 lbs - 5 x 1 L, R

I love these. Plain and simple. I really focus on my entire body all the way to my grip. The RPE on those was a 5. I don't want to jump up to more weight too soon and risk injury though. I'll keep practicing those at the weight Brad suggests.

Pullups - Green Band - 4 x 6

I did two sets of 6 on a square tube and the other two sets on a round bar just to work my grip more. RPE was an 8.

I hope my thinner jumpstretch bands arrive this week so I can hit the pullups harder. I'm pleased to report that I have gotten 7-8 hours of sleep every night this week as well as a nap on Saturday. I am ready to rock and roll this week.