Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two days of training; "Easy" PR

[picture above is me doing the Secret Service Snatch Test at the Las Vegas KB Convention two years ago. Did 170 reps without any specific training (mistake). Tore up my hands, and felt tired the next day. Recently did 190 reps, and while I was breathing hard at the end, I recovered quickly, trained hard the next day and my hands were fine. I'll give it a go this Summer for sure, and I'll shoot for 1 rep for every pound I weight (currently 230#). What a great insentive to lose weight! ;-) ]

3/26 Evening workout.
5 minute warm-up - 1 arm LCC&Js with 44# and 53# KBs

SWING (Hinge style - barely any leg bend)
4 sets of 25 reps, swung to forehead level.
This style really hits the glutes and hams.

SNATCH - 35# 20R+20L, 44# 20R+20L, 53# 16R+16L.
All sets 2 minutes. Rest 2 minutes between sets.
Getting used to locking out without completely rotating my shoulder out. My elbow and hands turn about 45 degrees instead of 90. This is really helping with reducing premature fautiging of my shoulder. Also woking on getting the handle to rest in just the right spot on my palm, and letting my wrist bend back slightly. This also is a great forearm saver.

JERK SQUATS - Have a pair of 70# KBs in the Racked position and do the first dip of the jerk (tempo wise). Do a dip (1/4 squat) every 6 seconds. 10 reps.

FARMERS SQUATS - Hold a pair of 70# KBs in the Farmers Walk position and dip like a jerk (quickly) every 5 seconds, for 1 minute. 12 reps, 2 sets.

I'm experimenting with doing some more assistance exercises to get me used to working with the heavier KBs (70# and 88#). While I plan on competing with the 53# KBs at Nationals in May, I do want to see if I can build enough strength-endurance to use the 70s at the World KB Championships in November in Miami...


3/27 Early afternoon workout

Warm-up with 1 arm LCC&Js with a 26# and 35# KB, approx. 5 minutes

LCC&J with a pair of 35# KBs. Previous best, 60 reps in 6 minutes.

Did 81 reps in 8 minutes and felt like I could have gone the full ten at that pace. Little adjustments I've made with my grip, my shoulder alignment, how I lower the KBs from the racked position, and my pacing strategy has really paid off. Want to do a full ten minutes next week, then I plan on starting over again at 6 minutes with a pair of 44# KBs.... Lather, rinse, repeat...

Took a 5 minute break then did 5 sets of 10 reps with a pair of 53# KB in the LCC&J.
Each set took 1 minute, 2 minutes rest between sets.

Ended session with some "KB Cardio" in the form of 200 snatch reps with a 35# KB.
Switched hands every minute (about 20 reps), and finished in 9:50. Broke a great sweat and my back and grip felt good. I may go with 25 reps before switching next time, then I'll try to build up to doing 50 reps before switching and do 300 to 400 reps that way.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jerk Day + swings and snatches

[ the picture above shows my Rack form, which needs some improvement if I'm going to be able to put up bigger numbers. I need more flexibility in my traps and shoulders so I can get my elbows closer together and my forearms more perpendicular to the ground. ]

Did a 25 minute set at the Fire Station yesterday as I was called in to work a 24 hour overtime shift on Ladder One at the big Downtown station. Wanted to break a sweat but stay fresh, so I just did some moderate rep (10-20) work of 1 arm LCC&Js with the 53# and 70# KB, mixed in with some 1 and 2 arm swings and some snatching.

Today I decided to do a more Jerk focused workout. Did about 20 minutes of Jerks, working from the 35#, then the 44#, then the 53#, then the 70# and finally ending with the 53#. Also three in some push presses with the 53#. Not a real strenuous workout, but working technique with 1 arm on the rack and practicing how to Rack more comfortably. Probably need to see my Rolfer soon, so he can work my traps over with his elbows! All the years of Benching (with Bodybuilding sets and reps) has given me a larger than average chest which is a disadvantage when trying to hold two heavy KBs in the Rack position.

Then I moved on to some swings with the 70# KB. Did a set of 15 R + 15 L, then two sets of two handed swings, really focusing on hinging at the hip and using optimal glute power to get the bell well over my head for some high reps sets. Did 33 reps then 25. Back felt good. I want to be able to do multiple sets of 50 rep two handed swings with minimal rest, just for general conditioning.

Finished with a 6 minute Snatch set with the 35# kb, going 50 reps right, then 50 reps left (about a 16-17 rpm pace). While I will be focusing on the LCC&J, I think I'm going to continue doing high rep snatch work with the 35# kb. Sometimes I'll use a one-hand-switch-only format, and other times I'll switch every 20-25 reps and try and go for 15-20+ minutes at a quick pace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

LCC&J Journey, Day TWO

[ Pressing a 70# KB at Fire Station 3 in Everett, August, 2003. ]

LCC&J with two 20kg KBs - 30 reps, 3 minutes.
3 min. rest
LCC&J with two 20kg KBs - 30 reps, 3 minutes.
3 min. rest
LCC&J with one 32kg KB - 5+5+5+5+5+5 (R/L), 3 minutes
3 min. rest
Snatch with one 16kg KB - 40 R + 40 L, 4 minutes


Broke a nice sweat, and the back feels good, and the forearms were just a bit pumped at the end. Did some hangs from my pull up bar and from my manila rope for about 5 minutes to work the grip a bit more.

2x24 with 2x24s

[ the photo above is me Cleaning and Jerking a pair of 32kg KBs during the Long Cycle competition at the 2004 Washington State KB Championships at CrossFit North. Should have done much more work with the 16s and 24s before doing the 32s, but now I know better, and am working on a plan to eventually triple the numbers I did at that meet.... ]

After a nasty sinus infection derailed my training for a few weeks, I wasn't any where near ready to test myself on the day of the CrossWorld Kettlebell Competition Meet (which I was going to do "unofficially" for my own benefit). I did a very high reps snatch workout on the 17th, doing 400 reps with a 14kg KB (20R/20L every two minutes) in 20 minutes. I think someday I will make a push for the 1000 rep snatch challenge with the 16kg kb. Finishing in under an hour will be my goal in completing it.

I am now planning on competing in the KB Nationals in Salt Lake City at the beginning of May. I plan on doing the Long Cycle only, with the 24s, but I may do it with the 32s also, depending on how my back feels.

I have been doing some 50-60 rep sets of the Long Cycle Clean and Jerk (LCCJ) with a pair of 16kg kbs, building up the strength-endurance of my low back and shoulders. The work with the 16s has helped my technique and my confidence in doing longer sets. My pace has been 10-12 reps a minute. In my training, I have also done some 10-15 rep sets with pairs of 24s and 32s, which have usually taken around a minute to complete.

So on the 19th I decided to do just a couple of sets of LCCJs with a pair of 24s. Decided to set a pace of 8 reps a minute, wanting to go at least 3 minutes, maybe 4. At the 3 minute mark I was feelimg very good with my pace, so I did 4 minutes, ending up with 24 reps. The great part was that I wasn't wiped out. After a 3 minute rest I did another 4 minute, 24 rep set. I felt good enough to do another set, BUT since I haven't been doing most of my work with the 24s, I decided to call it a day.

My plan is to build up my times with the 24s at the 8 reps/min. pace until I can do 8 minutes, then I'll drop the pace to seven a minute and go up to 10 minutes, then I'll work at a 9 rep a minute pace for 8 minutes, then build my way up to 10 full minutes. I will be in the middle of this plan by the time Nationals happens, but since there will be a World KB Competition in Miami in November, I should have enough time to build up to being able to do a full 10 minute set with a pair of 24kg kbs.... The journey begins!