Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How fast can you snatch a 35# KB 100 times?

Did a two-stage KB workout today. Part one was Dead Hang Cleans and Presses, Strict Military Presses and Pull Ups. Part two was doing some high rep snatches with a 1 pood (35#) ketlebell.

After reading Pavel's new book "Enter the Kettlebell", I am building up (albeit slowly and cautiously) to the Rites of Passage, which are 200 snatches with a 1.5 pood (53#) kettlebell in 10 minutes, and cleaning and pressing a KB that is 1/2 your bodyweight. I've done 170 reps in 10 minutes, and I've push pressed the Beast (a 106# KB) which is just under 1/2 my bodyweight (about 225-230#). Part of my plan is that by training to snatch 200 reps, I will lose 15-20#s, thereby making the Beast 1/2 my bodyweight.

The last pressing w/o I did (7/4) left my right shoulder a little "tender", probably from pressing the 88# KB without enough tension. Probably need to work on some "loaded cleans" to work on generating the correct tension in my shoulder girdle before pressing.

Dead Hang Clean and Press, 53# kb, 5 R+5L
Military Press, 53# kb, 10 R + 10 L
Dead Hang Pull Ups, BW, 5 reps
(Repeat this cycle of three exercises)
Dead Hang C & P, 70# kb, 4 R + 4 L
Military Press, 70# kb, 4 R + 4 L
Dead Hang Pull Ups, BW, 5 reps
(Repeat this cycle of three exercise)

These 12 sets took 12 minutes. Took a 3 minute rest and got readt to snatch the 1 pood 100 times as fast as I could. I've done this before, and have done it in about 3 minutes 30 seconds, going 25 reps each hand before switching. Put on my Heart Rate monitor and started....

20 R, 20 L, 20 R, 20 L, 10 R, 10 L = 100 reps in 3:17 Ending HR 171 (96% of MAX)

walk around for 1:43 (let HR fall to 120) and did another 100 reps.

20 R, 20 L, 15 R, 15 L, 15 R, 15L = 100 reps in 3:10 Ending HR 181 (101% of MAX)

Tried a different rep scheme, and it seemed to pay off. Was able to keep the pace fast all the way to the end. During the second set of 20 reps in my first test, I lost a little "zip" in my grip, so I couldn't pull as quickly. 15 rep sets worked well for now. Eventually I see doing a set of 30 and then 20 with each hand as the quickest.

I think it is important to have some "Benchmark" workouts, so you can keep track of how "fit" you are, not just have a few maximal lift numbers, which only indicates your stength level. This idea has been used a lot by CrossFit (www.crossfit.com) which has a myriad of named workouts which you do every 30-90 days. You compare your time and/or weight(s) used and you can track your progress. Have been trying to develop my own kettlebell "Benchmark Workouts", and the 100 Rep Snatch Test (eventually with the 53#) will be a good one. I've done about 112 reps in 5 minutes with a 53# kb a while ago, so after doing the 100 rep test with a 44# kb, I'll give it a go with the 53# kb.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

High Rep KB Bottoms Up Cleans

One of the great exercises you can do with a KB is a Bottoms Up Clean. It's great for learning how to tuck in your elbow tight to your ribs, thereby creating a solid shelf to begin your pressing from. It's also great for building up your wrist strength.

I've done 3 reps of the BUC in a row with a 32kg KB, but today I wanted to do some higher rep work with the 16kg KB. Just worked a 24hr shift yesterday, and I'm working one tomorrow, so I needed to just break a good sweat.

Started of with some clean pulls and high pulls as a warm up. Then some jerks and presses. The main body of my workout was snatches, done is sets of 15-25 each hand.

Finished with the BUCs. When I do them, I hold it in the clean position for a 2-count, squeezing the handle hard. Did 25 reps each side, then 23, then 21. By the end of each set, a nice tightness built up in my forearms.

Now I know that the "usual" advice is to only do BU cleans and/or presses for low reps. But as a fireman, I need to build up strength-endurance in my grip. Farmer's Walks and hanging from a pull up bar work great for static holds, but BUCs add a great ballistic dimension to building grip endurance.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day 2006

Set up this Blog back in September 2005, but I need to get it going for real so I decided to set aside some time on the 4th to do it.

Here is a great picture from about 3 years ago, when the U.S.S. Lincoln came back to Homeport Everett, and our fire department (City of Everett, WA) set up our two new ladder trucks with the flag hanging between the extended aerials.


Decided to do a Press-based workout today. Need to add some grinding lifts with some heavier KBs to my usual training, which has lately consisted of using light/medium sized KBs for high reps.

Double KB Military Press 53s/5 reps, 62s/5 reps, 70s/5 reps
Bodyweight Pull Ups (230#/5 reps) Overhand grip
Single KB Military Press 80#KB 5 reps R, 5 reps L. 88#KB 3 R, 3 L.
Bodyweight Pull Ups (230#/5 reps) Underhand grip
Double KB Military Press 70s/9 reps, 62s/6 reps, 53s/6reps
Bodyweight Pull Ups (230#/5 reps) Overhand grip

Done in 15 minutes. Did a set about every minute.

Finished with 5 minutes of 2 hand swings with a 88# KB, swung to eye level.
15 reps/ 10 reps/ 15 reps/ 10 reps/ 15 reps.

Nice short workout. Ready for duty tomorrow at EFD Station 1, driving Engine 3.