Thursday, October 26, 2006

100 Snatches with 24kg KB in under 4 minutes

[ Picture of me snatching a 32kg KB during the 2004 Washington State KB Championship. My brother Mike took this, catching me just as I was about to "punch" the handle around the bell. ]

Decided to do a 100 rep snatch test today. I've done this before with a 16kg KB and I was planning on doing it with a 20kg KB next, but after getting my 24 kg Competition KB, I decided to give it a go.

I did about a 5 minute warm-up of snatches and overhead squats with a 25# bar, and some snatches with a 16kg KB. I then did 100 snatches with the 16kg in 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Rep breakdown (R/L) was 20/20/15/15/15/15. Went about 75-80% effort.

Took a seven minute break and then did 100 snatches with the 24kg Comp KB. Did 15 right, 15 left, then put the KB down for 5 seconds and did a MacKensie Back bend. Then did another 15/15 set and another back bend. Finished with 4 sets of 10 reps. My goal was to finish under 4 minutes which I was able to do, doing the 100 reps in 3 minutes 55 seconds.

Decided to do a foot/# calculation for the work done. This is an estimate only, as I don't claim to be an expert at this. I just want to do it so I can compare my own workloads. This is a way I can calculate the loads of different exercises with different weights.

Snatch 53# KB six feet = 318 ft/#, times 100 = 31,800 ft/#s of work.
Body (230#) moves 6" up/down = 115 ft/#, times 100 reps = 11,500 ft/#s of work
31,800 + 11,500 = 43,300 ft/# divided by 235 seconds = 184 ft/# of work a second.

My back feels great, which is always my top concern, so I consider this test a success. Next time I am going to either do 200 reps with the 1 pood or maybe 150 reps with the 20kg KB. I'll continue to build my volume with the 24kg Comp KB, and will get my 100 rep time below 3:30 before doing a 150 rep test. Doing more high rep sets of high pulls with the 32kg Competition KB should be added also.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My "Bulgarian" Training Plan

After some experimenting, I've decided to try doing two shorter workouts a day instead of doing longer workouts. I used to be able to do longer workouts (1.5-2 hrs) three to four times a week. As I've gotten into my late 30s-early 40s, I found that these workout levels became too draining. But just cutting down the total time didn't get me the results I was seeking. I needed a certain amount of time, but needed to start splitting it up.

So I've gone to a "Bulgarian" style training plan - do two shorter workouts a day, instead of one long workout. The Bulgarian Olympic Weightlfting Team popularized this method of training. At least that's what I've read, and it sounds cool to take about your "Bulgarian" plan. Kinda like it's cooler to say you're doing Romanian Deadlifts instead of Stiff-Legged Deadlifts (I know they're different, but you get the point!)

Workout #1 at approx. 9 am- Fast Walk to Stadium (15 min) Stadium Stair Work (20 min) Walk back (15 min.)

Workout #2 at approx. 5:30 pm - LCC&J w/24kg Comp. KB -5 reps R, then L, rest 1 minutes, 5 cycles (10 min) , 2 Handed Swings w/32kg Comp KB (head high) 4 sets of 15, 1 set of 20 (9 min.) , LCC&J with 32kg Comp KB - 6 reps R, rest 30 sec. 6 reps L, rest 30 sec. Dit cycle 3 more times, rest 2.5 min (10 min) , Snatch w/24kg Comp KB - 10 R, rest 30 sec., 10 L, rest 30, do cycle 2 more times (6 min) FINI! 35 minutes total time.

The Snatches and C&Js feel great with the Comp KB. The handle just seems to "wedge" into your hand. These KBs give you a great feel when locking out, the angles help you keep your wrist straight. Valery and the guys at the American Kettlebell Club have put out an excellent Comp KB. They even work great for two handed swings, even though the handle is a bit narrower than the Dragondoor handle. The corner of the Comp handle has a nice, smooth curve to it, and my two hands fit great while doing swings.

After the workout, had a great "Blue Collar" treat... A bottle of of beer from the Rogue River Brewing Company. It is a great malty brew called "Hazelnut Brown Nectar". Nice nutty flavor with a smooth malty finish. I'm not into hoppy beers like IPAs, so this was right up my alley! If the guys at the Rogue River Brewing Company want to sponsor a Kettlebeller, I'm their man.. email me!

Just received new Competition KBs... AWESOME!!

I've been doing KBs for over 4 years now and have competed in a few local KB Competitions. I attended Valery Fedorenko's Girevoy Sport Technique Seminar in Seattle earlier this year. Learned a lot about GS training and Technique and kind of "re-caught" the KB bug!

After working out with a friend's set of Valery's KBs, I started to set aside some money to get some. When the sale came up at the end of last month, I had to take advantage of it. Bought a 24kg and a 32kg, which arrived yesterday. I must say, the KBs were packed the best I've even seen. They came in a wooden box! After grabbing a hammer and prying the first box open, I grabbed the camera and took a few pics of the "event"!

These bells are just awesome! Size-wise, they are right between the Dragondoor 32kg and 40kg. The handles are slightly smaller, and narrower, but a bit taller. They fit my forearm perfectly, resting just right, not hitting my wrist bone at all. They seem to just "lock" into place when snatching and cleaning. After getting both of them out of their boxes, it was time for a short workout [been fighting a cold the last few days].

After a warm-up, did 1 arm LCC&Js with the 32kg, 5 reps right then 5 left, then rest 1 minute [10 rounds]. Then did sets of 10R+10L snatches with the 24, 1 minute rest [5 rounds]. Did a couple of sets of C&Js with my Dragondoor 40kg, then finished with a few more sets with the Comp 32.

I am going to start slowly building up a base of conditioning so I can compete with the 24kg Comp bell. I am going to do lots of swings and high pulls with the 32, but I don't see myself competing with it. If I was 31 yo, not 41, it would be a whole diferent story!

Thanks to Valery Fedorenko and Eric Liford at the American Kettlebell Club for making such an awesome product!

If you are interested in buying Competition KBs contact these guys by going to

and sign up for their newsletter.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Big thanks to all who attended my Kettlebell Seminars

The above picture is me teaching my nephew Rory (4 y.o.) about KBs last Christmas.
I just wanted to extend my thanks to all of you who attended one of my kettlebell workshops on September 30th, October 1st and October 7th. I have received some complements already and some requests for some information on any upcoming events.

I am trying to put together some days in both November and December. Weekends seem to work best for most people BUT I am open to doing some classes during the evening or even the afternoon, if there was enough interest.

Please email me at kbfiremantom AT and put "Kettlebell Workshops" in the subject line of your email, if you have any ideas about this subject.

Also, if you have interest in hosting a small group of people who want to do some KB training, I have plenty of KBs I can pile into my van, and drive anywhere in the greater Seattle area. I would be willing to drive farther if the numbers are high enough. Please email me with your requests and questions.

Thanks for all your support and I hope to see you at a workshop in the near future!