Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday's Training

Lots more Zhab today. I'm still needing a lot of rest from the Z drills and stressors in my life (if you're out of the loop, my house is a construction/destruction zone right now). I took a 45 min nap today, which kept me from getting out of the house on time for my training. Eeeek!

My training was fantastic. Here's what I did:

Open Palm TGU - 12 kg - 6 x 2 L, R
-Open palm means I hold the kb by the ball end on my open hand. Think waiter carrying a tray.
-All of the reps were strong except the very last one on the left. My hand shook pretty much the entire rep. It's much improved from last week, however.

Double Jerks - 12 kgs - 10 x 6
-I was supposed to do the jerks in sets of three, but I opted for sets of 6 as long as my hips kept firing properly. They did.
-I also performed Z drills between each set of 6.

I'm very pleased with my progress. These drills might look like a step back compared to what I was doing a month ago, but really, they are a step ahead. I am fixing issues that have held me back. I'm doing the time happily so that I can reap the rewards later.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Z Fever

I've got the Z fever this week. Every Z session, every training session, is bringing it on. Some call it "jacked." I also refer to it as Z fever. For my last training session this week, I had a severe case of the Z fever.

Pullup Negatives - 4 x 2
-I did these on Thursday because I knew I would not have access to a pullup bar or rings since I was going to the lake Thursday night. I had a massage Thursday morning. Massage + Pullups does NOT work. I did 3 x 2 and was fried.

1 Arm, 1 Leg Deadlifts - 20 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-Okay, these really jacked up my hips. My big toes were firing and helping me engage my glutes for the deads. Wowsie. After each set I had the Z fever. Bad. I broke into tears at one point.

Open Palm Presses - 12 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-The first set on the left was shaky shaky. Between sets I did my Z (camshafts, and the other arm/neck/hand thingey Brad prescribed). That really helped with the shakes. I also concentrated on the positioning of my toes to grip in properly.

I really feel as if I've made tremendous progress this week. No, I haven't set any PRs, but I have done a lot of work toward fixing some CNS issues that were holding me back. Watch out goals, I'm gonna smash through you very soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Tuesday afternoon I crashed. All the Z Health and stressors took their toll. I gave in and took a two hour nap, after taking a one hour nap earlier that morning. I crashed so hard I didn't even hear the carpenters taking a wall out of my dining room. Miraculously, I still slept a full night Tuesday.

Now it's Wednesday afternoon and I'm toying with the idea of another nap. Hmmmmm. It's probably too late in the day (3:30 CST). I'll just keep moving and then go to bed early. I've got to put together some fun for my victims. It's our last night of class. I can't disappoint them!

This morning I did the following for my training:

Z Health Drills
- about 20 min. worth of specific drills for my feet, delt, hips, and hands.

Open Palm TGU - 12 kg - 5 x 2 L, R
- Okay, I'd rather do 24 kg TGUs the "regular" way than do these open palm puppies. I know that they are helping me fix a specific weakness, but man, they are killing me.
-I think they were so difficult because my muscles are firing differently now that I'm getting everything back into its proper groove from Z health. For instance, on the TGUs I could really feel my glutes because my big toes were gripping the ground. I've never had this sensation before because my big toes used to just lay there doing nothing. My body has to adjust to a new groove.

Double Jerks - 12 kgs - 5 x 10
-I was supposed to do 2 jerks, then take a short break, then 2 and rest, 2 and rest, etc. After 10 I was to do some Z drills.
-I did the first 10 (going 2 at a time) and then did some Z.
-For the next 10, my hips were firing so well I just kept going. I told myself I would stop as soon as my hips quit doing their thing. Lo and behold, they kept up. So I went to 10. Then I did several Z drills, picked up the two bells and went for 10 again. Success.
-I ended up doing 4 sets of 10 with amazing hip action. I am so excited. If you had seen my jerks on Friday, you would understand my excitement today.

Z Health never ceases to amaze me. It works. Don't ask me how. I can't wait to see what's ahead for me in the next month as I put my new groove to work.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How Jacked Up Am I? Let's See........

I've been Z healthing my little heart out, trying like mad to get my big toes moving and my delt knot melting and my glutes firing, oh, and my hands turned out more when I stand. I follow Dr. Nitro's orders to the letter. My big toes have started to budge. I am blown away by the power of Z!

But. Whoa, Nelly! I'm fried!

It's not just the Z health. How am I jacked up? Let me count the ways:

1. I've been wearing my vibrams almost nonstop. I walked over a mile on Sunday in them. Interesting effect on the toes. A couple of them are just cramped up. Taking the vibrams off actually feels worse at this point. I WILL get my feet to straighten out!
2. My house is a flippin disaster zone. I spent two hours Sunday night cleaning up after the carpenters destroyed my kitchen on Thursday and Friday. Then I went down the basement this morning as they were taking out lath and I got a plaster shower. There are holes in my floor from plumbing. Soooooooo I had to clean the whole basement, again.
3. I have run up and down the basement stairs to the "kitchen" /laundry room about 50 times today. Extra calorie burn!
4. I played a round of golf in 95 degree weather with 90% humidity. I came home to a hot, dusty house. I probably sweat off five pounds.
5. I got a sunburn on Saturday only in the spots where I had on 70 SPF lotion. Where I put on the 30 SPF, no burn. What gives? Is Neutrogena lying on its bottles?
6. The carpenters are tearing out more plaster and lath Tuesday, including the stairway to my basement "kitchen" and the new doorway to my dining room. My husband told me to just leave the house tomorrow morning and not come back until bedtime. I don't do well with a messy house. Plaster dust gets everywhere.

Calgon! Take me away!!!!

Serenity now. Serenity now. I will go take a bath, practice my Z health drills, and go to bed early.

Oh, before I forget, my training today was light, but focused:
Pullup Negatives - 4 x 2
Open Palm Press - 12 kg - 4 x 3 L, R
1 Arm, 1 Leg Deadlift - 20 kg - 5 x 3 L, R

Oh crap! I just dozed off at the keyboard. I'm done.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Crank It"

Those are the words of Nitro, aka Brad Nelson. I really cranked it today and plan to be crankin it for the next couple of weeks so that I can reach some big goals.

I drove up to the big city (the Twin Cities, actually) to pay a little visit to Brad. One hour turned into two and then I had a four hour drive to digest everything. Not even close to taking it all in.

Here's what I know for sure:

1. The knot in my delt is a sure sign of issues in my back/hips and in my feet. Huh? I can't explain it; it's a Z Health thing. Trust me, it's related. Brad gave me new Z drills for my hot spot in my neck/delt area. I did them. I had better hip snap on my jerks.
2. No snatches for awhile until the hot spot is taken care of. I stand like an ape with my palms facing my thighs. WTH? How does Brad notice those things? Seriously! I can't turn them, especially with my arm extended. Weird. It's from too much snatching without putting counterpressure on my arms.
3. My rotated hand issue is affecting my pressing. I have a dead zone in my left presses. That's gotta go!
4. My feet. Oh my crazy feet. I have bunions. They don't hurt; however, they force my big toes to slant outward. As a result, my big toes don't plant when I train. That keeps my glutes from fully engaging when I want to something like, say, oh, I don't know, a PISTOL. I did get closer today than I ever have, so I know it is within my reach. Fix my toes, fix a lot of other problems.

So that is a summary of what I got today. In addition I got some good ideas for increasing my pullup strength, but that might have to be put on hold a few weeks while I straighten out my toes and ape arms.

One more thing - you might as well get used to seeing me in my Vibrams because I'm swearing off flip flops for the summer. They make my toes worse. Gotta do what I gotta do!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Training 8.0 & Rock Star Victims

On my RPE scale, all of my drills today rated an 8. RPE = rate of perceived exertion. A 1 means the drill is easy shmeezy. A 10 means you need oxygen or CPR. :P

I like 8s. That means I was really challenged and that I really pushed myself. Here's what I did:

Snatch, lower to rack, Jerk - 20 kg (44 lb) - 4 x 4 L, R
-My back was a little tweeky to start. By the second set, it was behaving very well.

Reverse Rows & Hindu Pushups - 5 x 10 each
-The Hindu pushups felt great on my back since you end in a cobra pose.

One Hand Swings - 24 kg (53 lb) - 12 L, 12 R per minute for 10 minutes
-It was very humid today so my hands were sweating like crazy. The first four rounds went pretty well. I did the 12 on each hand. After that, my single hand grip couldn't hold after 8-10 reps, so I'd finish out the 12 with two hands. That means I still did 24 swings per minute, but 4-8 of them were two-handed.
-It took me about 30 seconds to do the 24 reps, so I'd get 30 seconds of rest.

After that, I had my class of fabulous victims. They learned the Turkish Get-Up tonight and did great. I was so proud of them! We have been doing 10 minute swing workouts for the past two weeks, but tonight I upped it to 12 minutes and they all cranked it out. Most of them used heavier kbs than last week, too. I'm also seeing some serious hip snap. I like it! They are all rock stars!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tweeky Weeky

I tweeked my back on Thursday and was in spasms most of the weekend. I did lots of Z Health and tried to just function as normal. Today I said, "Enough!" I was determined to do my training tweeks and all. Call from Brad and I had my game plan. Try the 16 kg kb. If that hurts, do not do the training.

Surprisingly, or not, my training went really well. I had an open mind. I did not go in thinking I was doomed. Positive thoughts. My body knows what to do. I trusted my body. The trust was well-founded. Having the tweeky back actually made me focus on my movement, doing every little motion with intention and perfection. As a result, I feel amazing and my tweekies are melting away. It's as if my muscles needed to do some work to quit freaking out. :P

Front Squats - 20 kg (44 lb) - 5 x 3 L, R (RPE - 7)
Windmills - 20 kg - 5 x 3 L, R (RPE - 6)
Clean & Press - 16 kg - 4 x 1, 2, 3
-I rushed that bell up to the top as quickly as a I could. Explosions every time. I did more strict C & P on the left than ever before. The 3rd rep of each set still need a tiny push, but I could definitely tell I'm stronger.
RPE - 7 (L) & 6 (R)

I also did 10 ring pullups today between loads of laundry. Rings in the laundry room. There's an idea. My grandfather hung them there about 50 years ago, but I have no idea why. (I live in my grandparents' house.) Every time I do pullups on those rings I imagine my grandma doing pullups. I doubt she actually did them, but I like to put that image in my mind so I smile. I want to do pullups when I'm a grandma.

Post Script: I asked my dad about the rings in my basement. My grandfather made them in the 1960s. He did pullups from them, too! They are made from 3/4 inch OD steamer tubing and galvanized chain that he bolted to the ceiling rafters. I have 9 foot ceilings in my basement, which is very cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friday on Thursday

I did Friday's training today (Thursday) since I will be golfing pretty much all day on Friday. Here's what I did:

Clean & Press - 12 kg (26 lb) - 8 x 1, 2, 3
-These went very well. I pressed up every rep hardstyle. Oh, and quickly as well.
RPE - 7

1 Arm, 1 Leg, Bent Knee Deadlift - 24 kg (53 lb) - 5 x 7 L, R
-I thought these would be tougher than they ended up being. I can really feel them in my asterisk. I can see how these will carry over into pistols.
RPE - 7

1 Hand Swings - 20 kg (44 lb) - 5 x 15 L, R
-20 seconds rest between arms
RPE - 5

Tonight my low back seized up. Not sure what's going on there. Probably the deadlifts. I'll do my Z health tonight and maybe a hot bath to see if I can loosen it up. I've been lying on my stomach in a cobra pose, but that is not relieving the tightness. Grrrrrr. Anybody have any suggestions?

Wednesday's Training

It was all good on Wednesday. I confessed my training lapse, which made me push harder on the scheduled training.

TGU to 20 yard Walk - 16 kg (35 lb) - 8 L, R
-I did four on each side, took a minute break, and then did the remaining four.
-I'm thinking this drill may be contributing to my sore asterisk. Hmmmmm
RPE - 6

Goblet Squat to Front Delt Raise - 18 lb - 4 x 8
-I keep my feet close and go asterisk to grass. The last two reps were tough!
RPE - 7

Snatches - 20 kg (44 lb) - 6 x 7 L, R
-I get 30 secs rest between arms, and it's taking me about 15 secs to do the 7 reps.
-The last two rounds are a challenge, but they feel oh so good.
RPE - 8

I'm going to pre-confess here. I'm not going to do pistols or pullups today, as scheduled. Instead, I'm going to do my training for Friday since I have a golf tournament on Friday that I am in charge of and playing in. I will do the pistols and pullups on Friday before my tournament. I promise!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Confession Is Good for the Soul

I am doing my walk of shame here. I must keep myself accountable.

I did not do my pistols or pullups on Tuesday.

My asterisk and trap needed a day of rest. Add to this the fact that I have carpenters destroying my house, demanding answers to about 800 questions an hour. Plus, I'm getting kicked out of my kitchen. The result will be fantastic, but feeding two kids and a husband without a kitchen will be a challenge. In a month, I should be moving into a new kitchen. Until then, I will be a basket case because I hate it when my house is dirty. It's only just begun. Serenity now.

Today I have lots of training for myself and my Wednesday night victims. I hope they enjoy the pain!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Wowsie! My training has been a pain in the asterisk!!** I've been doing lots of pistols to a low bench as well as 1 leg deadlifts. Maybe I'll actually grow some butt to replace the pancake I currently possess. Ha! At any rate, I don't remember ever having this much soreness in my rear. It's an unfamiliar ache. I'm taking it as a sign that I am building up my pistol strength.

Here was today's training:

Clean & Press - 12 kg - 5 x 1, 2, 3, 4 L, R
-As before, I'm doing 1 clean, 1 press, 2 cleans, 2 presses, etc. up to 4 on the left and then I switch and do it on the right.
-I tried to press the bell up very quickly. (I ready Marty's last column about Sandy. I do the EXACT same thing Sandy did - one speed.) Light weight needs to be moved more rapidly than heavy weight.
-I had a very tight left trap. Time to see the chiro.
RPE - 7 on the left and 6 on the right

1 Leg, 1 Arm Bent Knee deadlifts - 24 kg (53 lb) 6 x 5 L, R
-Oh how I wanted to cut these short. My asterisk was killing me. I did Z between ladders and stretches, but nothing would release it.
RPE - 6 (except for the pain)

1 Arm Swings - 20 kg (44 lb) - 5 x 12 L, R - 20 secs between arms
-Not too taxing.
RPE - 5

I just received a phone call inviting me to an event Wednesday night to meet Mike Huckabee. He's going to be endorsing Bob VanderPlaats for governor of Iowa. I want to go so badly. I have a KB class Wedesday and Bible school. I'm directing music again this year, which I love, love, love. I guess I'm not supposed to meet Bob and Mike. Bummer!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fantastic Friday

I'm feeling all of my training this week. I have been sleeping like crazy! I also had a massage Thursday which did wonders for my neck. Today I did virtually the same training as Monday, only more of it.

TGU, walk 20 yards w/ kb overhead - 12 kg (26 lb) - 12 L, R
-I did these continuously.
RPE - 6

Squat to Front Delt Raise - 8 kg (17 lb) - 5 x 6
-I wish there were plates that weight 20 pounds. That would be perfect. Using the kb replicates what I'll actually do during a pistol better, however.
RPE - 6

Snatches - 20 kg (44 lb) - 6 x 6 L, R - 30 secs b/w arms
-It would take me about 13 seconds to do the work. That seems like a pretty good pace for that size bell. I definitely got my HR up!
RPE - 7

I brought my daughter with me today while I trained. She had a blast in the TKD room where I train. She jumped rope, did a lot of tumbling, hurdled the apparatus, and swang kettlebells! She would do 7 swings with the 15 lb bell when I did my 6 snatches.

I snapped a couple pics with my phone:
Lauren is 7 and weighs 24 kg (53 lb). I was shocked at how well she handled that 15 lb bell.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, Wednesday

On Tuesday I worked my GTG on pullups and pistols:

Ring Pullups - 4 x 2
-Yeah, baby. I did doubles!!

Pistols to low bench - 4 x 2 L, R


Clean & Press - 5 x 1, 2, 3, 4 L, R - 12 kg (26 lb)
-For these, I did all the cleans in a rung and then all of the presses all the way up the ladder on the left; then did it on the right.
-1 c, 1 p, 2 c, 2 p, 3 c, 3 p, 4 c, 4 p on the left; then on the right
-Five times through
-The 4th press in each rung was a B.
RPE - 7

1 Arm, 1 Leg Bent Knee Deadlift - 24 kg (53 lb) - 5 x 5 L, R
-Oh yeah, I do have hamstrings!
RPE - 7

1 Hand Swings - 20 kg (44 lb) - 6 x 10 L, R
-I was supposed to rest 20 seconds between each arm. Instead, I did both arms and then rested 20 seconds. That made it a good workout.
RPE - 7

I also started a four week beginner class tonight. I had nine new victims come out to enjoy the pain. I was so proud of them. They were great students. Now, they need to do their homework!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The New Deal

I started a new block of training today. Big things ahead for me. Today was the first step in a journey to branch out even more, to push myself to new levels. I am excited and scared at the same time. I don't want to even verbalize what it is I'm working toward. I will, in time, when I'm ready.

Block A
TGU and walk 20 yards w/bell locked out overhead
12 kg (26 lb) - 10 L, R
-I alternated left, right continuously without stopping. Anyone working on a shoulder, walk with a kb overhead. It felt awesome!

Goblet Squat to Front Delt Raise w/ 10 lb. plate - 5 x 5
-Pretty easy, but that's okay. I need to get this movement grooved.
RPE - 4

Snatches - 20 kg (44 lb) - 5 x 6 L, R
-I got 30 seconds to rest between each arm.
-My grip was strong on these. Yay!

About a year ago I did my first 20 kg snatch. That was quite an accomplishment for me. Look at me now, snatching it like nobody's business. It is so fun to see the strength gains. I hope next year at this time I can boast about another strength gain or two!