Friday, July 31, 2009

End of a Great Week

The last training session of the week went well. I'm definitely seeing progress in my feet, hips, and neck knot. Here's what I did:

Open Palm TGUs - 12 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-These are still delightfully challenging. Keeping my wrist bent back and balancing the kb works the brain. I also concentrated on my toe placement during the stand and descent. That is part of my rehab to gain strength by ensuring all of my leg/hip muscles are firing.

Double Jerks - 12 kg (one in each hand) - 5 rounds of 5 x 4
-The HR monitor came in handy here again. I would do my 4 reps; do a Z drill; do another 4 when my HR dropped to 120. That did not take long since my HR never went above 138.
-Between rounds I did more Z drills and let my HR drop to 100. Then I went back at it.
-I definitely did the jerk training in less time because I didn't let myself rest too long.
-I paid very close attention to my hip fire, toes, and drifting. On Monday, I found myself drifting right. Today, I only drifted backwards a bit.

I'm pretty sore from my pullup negatives on Wednesday. I hadn't done those in awhile. It's nice to feel that soreness cuz then I know I'm working what I'm supposed to be. I did burn more calories than I did Wednesday - 250.

I've been walking a few miles in my Vibram five fingers nearly every day. My feet feel so much better than they did a few short months ago. I ordered a pair of Terra Plana shoes for work. They are more dressy than the five fingers; in fact they look like regular flat dress shoes, but they are supposed to be more like barefoot than other dress shoes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I like them otherwise I'll be wearing my five fingers to work. That'll freak out my students for sure!

I get to golf in a tournament this afternoon and then it's off to the lake for a long weekend. Make it a good one!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Nothing borrowed or blue. I'm already married (for nearly 17 years - how did that happen when I'm so young?)

Let me start with the "something old." My training today let me revisit the other drills from Block A of my rehab.

A) Ring Pullup Negatives - 5 x 4
B) Waiter Press - 25 lb. plate - 5 x 4 L, R
-The negatives were tough! I had a hard time holding those and going slow, especially at the end.
-The presses were easy. I thought about putting a 2.5 lb. plate on top, but resisted because of logistics.

1 Arm, 1 Leg Deadlifts - 24 kg (53 lbs) - 4 x 3 L, R
-I focused on my big toe plant and did some Z Health between sets.

So there was the old. After doing all of this, I felt flat, lacking. I needed more. What to do? I utilized a new tool to inspire me - a heart rate monitor. Actually, I wore it through my entire training session today. I was curious as to how hard I was working. My HR didn't go above 95 during my training. Not good.

I wanted to get my blood pumping, so I decided to do some swings. The 24 kg bell was right there at my feet, so away I went.

I decided to do 25 swings then check my HR. Once it went below 120 bpm, I would swing another 25 times. I decided I would do 200 swings this way and see how long it took me. It took 10:04.

I have no idea if 120 bpm is too low or too high for a recovery number. Time will tell. While doing the 25 swings, my HR never went above 145 bpm. That seems low to me?????

Actually, I'm really curious to see where my HR is when I do hard snatches. Too bad I didn't have the monitor when I did the Ultimate Snatch Test. I bet I was around 170 during that torture session.

So, now I have a new tool to help me track my progress. My brain is going, going, going. All the possibilities for tracking gains and challenging myself. I already have a goal to beat for my next training session - burn more than 220 calories. That shouldn't be a problem. I have to do 100 double jerks and 30 TGUs. : )

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to Block A

Get Up!
All negative!
: )

Block A consists of TGUs, double jerks, one-leg deadlifts, presses, and pullup negatives. Today was TGUs and double jerks.

Open Palm TGU - 12 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-I served up the TGUs waiter style. I don't know when I'll get to actually hold onto the handle of kb when doing TGUs. I suppose when I'm healed and move properly.
-During the first set I was off-balance. I did some Z drills and concentrated on getting my big toe to fire properly. The remaining four sets were balanced.

Double Jerks - 12 kgs - 4 rounds of 5 x 4
-I noticed on the first round that I was drifting to the right about 6 inches.
-On the second round, I concentrated on my big toes. I only drifted an inch or so. My neck/delt knot was flaring up. I canNOT have that!
-On the third and fourth rounds, I kept concentrating on my big toes AND I made sure to hold my neck in the neutral position. Pain eliminated.

So much to think about during this block. I am exhausted mentally more so than physically. Training without pain is hard work. I could have blown through my training while in pain just to get it out of the way, but that would do me no good. In fact, it would set me back.

Lesson to be learned? Slow down. Think. Notice your position. Make sure you are aligned. Do NOT move through pain. Strive for the perfect rep with every rep.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Again?

How does it get to be Friday so quickly in the summer. During the school year, Friday never comes. Grrrrr!

I got up and trained before breakfast, something I rarely do.

False Grip Rows - 5 x 4
-I got up into my contortions to be able to pull these off on my homemade rings (pun intended!). I wish, wish, wish the gym where I trained had a pull-up bar and rings. The gym has one of those counterweight machine thingies for pull-ups, a smith rack, a set of bicep pull-up handles, and the wide, angled bars. No straight pull-up bar. I try to rig up a regular bar across one of the stationary racks, but it is so wobbly. I'm at a loss. When my house is back together from the remodeling I am soooooo having the hubs build me a pull-up bar, and I'm getting a set of rings. So there!
-I have a question about the rows - I can't fully extend my arms on the descent. Is that okay? I feel as if these rows work my biceps a lot. I want to work my lats. Any suggestions?

Swings - 28 kg (62 lb) - 10, 15, 20, 25 reps - 3 times through
-I set the Gymboss for one-minute intervals. I do 10 the first min, 15 the 2nd, etc. for 12 min.
-This is the first time I worked with the 28 kg. Not bad, not bad at all. Actually, I'm really diggin swings lately since snatches bother my hot spot in my neck/delt. Plus, the heavy swings help build my grip strength. Bonus!

Off to pack for the lake this weekend. It's Aquapalooza and the Antique and Wooden Boat show. Here's to hoping some hot weather moves in!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Try Barefoot and Z Health

Here's a great blogpost about why shoes are harmful to our bodies and why I haven't worn shoes all summer. It also has links to Z Health info. A good read!

A Full Day

Today's training kicked me right where I needed it.

Bent Press - 24 kg (53 lb) - 5 x 3 L, R
-Those third reps were killers!
RPE - 8

Squats - 24 kg - 5 x 7
Open Palm Windmills - 12 kg - 5 x 5 L, R
-The squats still jack me up. I can't go right into the windmills because I have to shake out the shakes in my hips. I hope that means my muscles are firing properly. I'll be going in for a checkup with Dr. Brad in a few weeks. Hopefully he can give me a Zcription for that. ;-)
RPE - 7

Snatches - 16 kg - 7 L, R on the minute for 10 minutes
-Okay, I was toast from the squats and did NOT want to do this.
RPE - 8

After my training I hopped on my Harley and took a little drive. Then I had my Wednesday night bootcamp victims to take through the paces. They did awesome with walking lunges and renegade rows. I also had them do windmills and squats since I had to. After that, I drove my Harley some more. It was absolutely gorgeous tonight. I need more Harley therapy for sure.

I'm off to do some more Z health and read some more Purposeful Primitive. Marty has one of the coolest writing voices. Me likey how he uses language. I can only imagine what it must be like to speak with him. A girl can dream.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ho Hum Monday

I don't have much to write today. I had a relaxing, albeit unusually chilly, weekend at the lake. I caught up with two brothers who I lived next to every summer, chilled (literally) on the beach, and did a lot of eating in since I don't have a kitchen at home. Back home Sunday night. Back to the messy construction zone.

Things look brighter today on the home remodel front. The drywall finishers finished today. :) Jerry and I will be painting as soon as I finish this post. Then, I get to scrub my house, top to bottom. There is construction and drywall dust everywhere. I have been fighting off the urge to clean until the drywall was done.

I got in my training without incident. While folding clothes, I did

False Grip Ring Rows - 5 x 3
-The rings hang right by the washer and dryer. How convenient!

That was followed by

One-Hand Swings - 24 kg (53 lb) - 12 min.
-I did the following # of reps at the top of the minute and did this 4 times through for 12 a total of 12 minutes.
5 L, R - 8 L, R - 13 L, R
-These felt great. I should have gone another round. I felt like it was kind of easy.

Maybe if I keep writing I won't have to paint! No, the sooner I get started, the sooner I get to clean. Seriously, what is wrong with me???

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freezing on Friday

I had to check my calendar because it certainly doesn't feel like July in Iowa. It was 49 degrees this morning. Weird!!

Another big training day with my old friend and nemesis. All went well today.

Bent Press - 24 kg (53 lb) - 8 x 1 L, R
-I did these Right, Left, rest 30 secs
RPE - 7

Squats - 24 kg - 4 x 5
Open Palm Windmill - 12 kg - 4 x 5 L, R
-I did the squats then the windmills as a mini-circuit.
-This was my first time doing 24 kg squats. They felt strong. I narrowed my stance a bit and went ATG. After each set my hips were jacked. Crazy!

Snatches - 16 kg (35 lb) - 6 L, R - 12 min.
-This got my HR up. So far I'm not feeling any knots in my neck/delts (as of 10 pm). I will do a good Z session before bed. I'm hoping that I can get my body to stop holding stress in that area. Just keep Z-ing, Z-ing.

I've been wearing my five fingers nonstop all summer. They are making a huge difference in my gait and strength. Last night I took the dog for a walk and decided to try running in my five fingers. I only went 1/2 mile, unsure of how my legs might feel this morning. They were fine. I'll have to go further next time now that I know my legs and feet can handle it. Now I just need to find some five fingers that I can wear to work. I'm going to hate life when I have to go back to wearing shoes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

8:00 meeting. Check.
10:00 massage. Check.
12:00 lunch. Check.
1:00 nap. Check
3:30 training. Check.

I didn't know what to expect with today's training. I had a new drill to try and then heavy swings. The new drill: false grip ring rows.

Okay, people, if you remember, the rings that I have access to are hanging in my basement from the rafters. My grandpa fabricated them 45+ years ago out of steel tubing. They hang 8 ft. from the ground and are not adjustable. I had to figure out a way to support my legs about 4 ft. off the ground AND be able to get my hands in a false grip before lower myself. Ooofda!

I rigged up quite a conglomeration of chairs and totes to accomplish my task. But, accomplish it, I did!

False Grip Ring Rows - 5 x 2
-I definitely feel these in my triceps and lats.

Swings - 24 kg (53 lbs) - Ascending 10, 15, 20, 25
-Three times through
-Do the reps on the top of the minute. Active rest for the remainder of the minute.
-This was only tough on my grip, and only on the sets of 25. I need to do these heavy swings to build up my grip strength for deads and pullups and you name it. Good stuff!

After the heavy snatches on Monday, my knots are back. Grrrrrr! All the snatching I did through the winter to get me to reach 200 - 16 kg (35 lb) snatches in 10 minutes (the Ultimate Snatch Test) took it's toll. I thought I was pain-free. One snatch session and the pain is back. Does this mean I can't snatch for awhile? I'll keep practicing my Z drills and hope I reprogram my CNS to like snatching.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Facing my Nemesis

I've started Block B of my new training focus. I got to revisit some old friends and an old nemesis. The nemesis must be conquered. Usually, I avoid it whenever possible. It hurts my ego because I don't put up big weights. That is exactly why I need to work hard on it. As Marty Gallagher says, we play to our strengths; when we start playing to our weaknesses, big gains result.

My brain is in gear, Marty, and I'm cruising along with you on this one.

Bent Press - 24 kg (53 lb) - 5 x 2 L, R
-Hello old friend. It's nice to see you. It's been a long time. It was surprising to see the 5 x 2 protocol since I haven't done these for awhile. I took a deep breath and jumped in.
-Each set felt progressively stronger. My left has NEVER felt this strong.
-Between sets I did some of my Zscription.
RPE - 7

A) Squats - 20 kg (44 lb) - 4 x 10
B) Open Palm Windmills - 12 kg - 4 x 5 L, R
-Oh, cursed squats. Why do you torment me so? 10 at a time, seriously? Thanks Brad!
-I did em all, and tried to have a positive mindset throughout. I focused on my big toes and on a forceful push. These made my hips get the Z fever. Whew!
-I will work through these as they are my weakness. If I ever have the desire to do a pistol, I must strengthen my squats.
RPE - 8
-The open palm windmills were a new treat. The weight of the kb was not an issue at all. I focused on steadying the bell and holding my shoulder in its socket. Locked and loaded!
RPE - 5

Snatches - 20 kg (44 lb) - 6 L, R on the min. for 8 min.
-Okay, is this Brad's idea of a joke? I haven't snatched in weeks. 20 kg. Really? I lasted 4 min with that dog. Then I used the 16 kg for the remaining 4 min.
-It was a bit disheartening that I couldn't make the entire 8 min. w/ the 20 kg, but I have to remember that I've been Zhabbing and I've made tremendous gains with that. The kb drills are just one part of my entire training regimen.
RPE - 9

This entire training session had me jacked. I was ready to hurl the entire time because I was so shaken up. I think the Z and the kb drills wreak havoc with my CNS and my hormones. Is there anyone out there researching this? Mike Nelson?? I could be a guinea pig cuz Z Health gets me good.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday's Training

I have been traveling again, so I didn't get my training recorded for Friday.

Open Palm Press - 12 kg - 5 x 4 L, R
-I didn't have a plate this time, so I did all of these with the kb. They were solid.

1 Arm 1 Leg Deadlift - 24 kg (53 lb) - 5 x 5 L, R
-I am amazed how much stronger these are week by week. Before my new zcription, these sent my back into spasms. Now, they are sufficiently challenging without any side effects.

I was supposed to do pullup negatives as well, but I didn't have access to rings or a bar. I'll do those at home tonight.

I'm still very diligent with my Zscription. I've seen so much improvement in my performance as well as my gait and pain and stress management that it is a no-brainer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Read This!

If you're wondering why I wear Vibram Five Fingers (the weird toe shoes), read this blogpost by Dr. Mark Cheng.

What a Wednesday!

What? Well. Wednesday was wonderful this week. Why would I want to say that?

Okay, I'll stop with the alliteration.

Seriously, my training went well. (Sorry! I couldn't resist.) I just keep drinking the Z Health cool aid, and my strength and balance keeps improving.

I started the day with my Z scription. This afternoon I did the following:

Open Palm TGU - 12 kg - 4 x 3 L, R
-The first two sets were seriously easy. The third and fourth sets were more of a challenge. The last rep got to my wrists. Holding the kb in an open palm puts a lot of force on the wrists. I did not have any shakes like I have in past TGU sessions, so I am pleased.

Double Jerks - 12 kgs - 5 rounds of 3 x 5
-I did 5 double jerks. 15 seconds. 5 jerks. 15 secs. 5 jerks. Z health drills.
-I did that 5 times. My hips were really firing today. Quick hips. Love it!!

I finished my night with bootcamp for 8 victims. They love to push themselves and it shows. I can't wait to see what they'll bring next week. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Making Progress

I could tell a big difference in my training today. My new regimen is working for me.

Pullup Negatives - 5 x 2
-Last week I could only get 4 sets. Today I made all five. They are still tough on the last four inches. I just hold, hold, hold as long as I can there.
-These give me Z fever.

Open Palm Presses - 5 x 4 L, R
-I did the first set of 4 with a 12 kg kettlebell. Easy.
-The remaining four sets I did with a 25 lb. plate, holding it like a tray in my open hand.
-Two weeks ago, Brad had me try a press with the 25 lb. plate and I couldn't even hold it because my hand and arm shook so badly and my hot spot in my neck/trap/delt area screamed at me.
-Today, they were challenging, but doable, without the shakes!!

1 Arm 1 Leg Deadlifts - 24 kg (53 lbs.) - 4 x 6 L, R
-These are feeling sooooo much better each time I do them. They give me the Z fever; however, that means I'm getting my big toes to grip in and actually do some work.

I am amazed. I feel giddy. I'm anxious to see what I'm capable of, but I know I need to take it one training session at a time. I need to keep doing my Zscription. The payoff will be worth it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Catching My Breath

I survived this week in one piece. I had doctor's appointments for my son to get his feet checked out, 4 little league games, a golf tournament, a 20 year class reunion, an all-school reunion, a parade float to make and ride, community choir practice and performance, Lauren's Little Miss George contest, two days of 4th of July activities in George, plumbers in the house, electricians (my dad and Jerry) in the house, along with all of the other every day tasks in my life.

I did manage to get in three KB practices and a lot of Z health. I ate really well except for on the 4th of July. I don't want to see another brat or potato salad for awhile! :)

It's time for a little ride on my Harley before finding something for supper. I'm looking forward to what this week will bring. Hopefully I find a little peace!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All Jacked Up ...... Again

In an unusual move, I did my training at 9:00 pm. I don't like to train that late in the evening because it interferes with my sleeping; however, I didn't have a choice today. I suppose I had the choice to not train, but I didn't want that option.

I started with

Pull-up Negatives - 4 x 2
-These got me jacked right away. I tried holding myself in the toughest position for me - 4, 3, 2 inches from dead hang. Oooo that is hard to do.

Then I did

Open Palm Presses - 12 kg - 5 x 3 L, R
-I pressed up quickly and lowered slowly. After each set I did Z-hab. My knot in my delt was very minimal, as were the shakes. Progress!

I finished with

1 Arm, 1 Leg Deadlifts - 24 kg - 4 x 3 L, R
-These jacked me up the worst. I have no idea why. I was shaking between sets. I did toe pulls and wrist circles to deal with it. I don't know why. It just felt as if those were the Z drills I should do.

I will finish my night with my "Zscription" before I'm off to bed. (Thanks for the cool new term, John!)