Monday, April 28, 2008

New vids

A bit of this and a bit of that - short demo clips from my Thursday training my best friend taped on her visit last week. You can check them out here, if you like.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do you think...

... an ab wheel's just for abs...? :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just to have something done

I don't feel like training these days. I'm not actually sick anymore, but mood, energy and motivation leave a lot to be desired. I hope this will pass soon, together with the last bits of sniffling.

Nevertheless, I did pull myself together, more or less... and it all went quite easy, I still just wished it was over.

VO2Max, 36:36, @12kg
20 reps/set
20 rounds
400 reps

VO2Max, 15:15, @12kg
9 reps/set
50 rounds
450 reps

Snatch ladder @16kg
2* 1-->10
110 reps 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First try at LCCJ

The thread over at DD convinced me very fast :) According to Kuzmin's explanation of the difference between the GS jerk and the old power jerk, what I was trying to do was the latter. Jason C. Brown's tutorial helped a lot. The idea of going for time and not reps came from David Whitley's article (although no ladder yet today). I'm still practicing the move so I stayed conservative with the weights.

@12kg, 1min L, 1min R (9-10 reps/side), 1min off
@2*12kg, 1min on (8-9 reps), 1min off
6 rounds, 30min
3 rounds @2*12kg:
30sec C&J (5 reps), 30sec OH walk, 30sec rack walk, 30sec farmer's walk, 30sec off
two handed swings, alternating 20kg and 24kg
30sec on (20reps), 30sec off
20 rounds, 20min

I had to realize the C&J is a very taxing exercise... not only those many knee dips, but for the back, and the arms, too, although you don't actually press at all - works every bit of the body. It's going to be a hell of a conditioning, once I can use a decent weight.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"A bunch of small workouts"

GTG is just great when your endurance is compromised. And when I checked Mike's details on the snatch race site I realized I don't actually have to always be done with my training within an hour... So, as I felt somewhat better but not ready for a sweaty conditioning workout, I made good use of this free Saturday:

30/30 @12kg
12 rounds, scattered throughout the whole day
720 snatches total

It is a comfortable set length where I get a pump in the forearms, but don't break a sweat yet and don't have to breathe harder either (after a single set, that is, of course).
It is also the RKC snatch test number for 56-60kg or 123-132lb (I currently weigh 55.5kg or 122lb, so I still consider it my number) - good to know I still do okay with it even if I'm not in top form.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Two more of the family complain of scratchy throat, my younger daughter has headache, nausea and fever, too. So I had to be glad my symptoms didn't get worse than yesterday and just did low-rep sets of the following, several times throughout the day:

two-steps-forward-one-step-back MP singles @12kg, @2*12kg
slow MP singles @16kg
Sots press singles @12kg
jerks: triples @16kg, doubles @20kg, doubles @2*16kg (just practicing the movement)
pullups: singles, doubles
chinups: triples
pistols: singles @8kg

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Low volume

I've probably caught a slight virus infection: red throat, dry and scratchy but not really sore. It started yesterday and it didn't get worse today, I think it is a good sign. Nevertheless, I postponed ballistics and did just a bit of strength work, trusting Mike Mahler :)

3*(1,2,3) C&P@16kg+pullup+pistol
3*3 dbl C&PP+C&FSQ @2*16kg

He was right: the double 16s push presses felt easier, needed much less leg work, and I was actually capable of doubles and triples on pullups. I have yet to figure out though, how to get to full ROM: I can touch the bar with my chin but then I'm stuck, no way to get myself even a hair's breadth higher. Lack of proper lat activation, I'd guess... Or...?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snatch up to catch up

I have a friend here to stay with us the next couple of days so I won't be online much but I'll try to post at least short training updates.
Here's what I did yesterday:

VO2Max, 36:36
10 rounds @12kg, 22 reps/set (220)
5 rounds @16kg, 20(10/10) reps/set (100)

breathing overhead snatch ladders:
4*1-->10 @16kg (220)
2*1-->6 @20kg (42)

My left elbow didn't really like long overhead support, I got a bit of tingling with the 20, so I left it at that - I've had golfers' elbow before, a nuisance I don't want to risk again.

Kim Vigsbo RKC has made a great program on his site to track the scores at the race, so I stop being boring with calculating points here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Still doubles

BJ#3, @2*12kg
2 rounds

7 dbl. C&FSQ
20 dbl. swings
7 dbl. C&FSQ
7 dbl. C&P
7 dbl. C&FSQ
5/5 TGU
7 dbl. C&FSQ
10 dbl. snatches
7 dbl. C&FSQ

Then I did a few more squats with one bell racked and one overhead - I don't know how I came to this idea yesterday but I really liked them.
Then I tried the following: double backswing, and then simultaneously a clean on one side and a snatch on the other. That was not at all easy and took quite a while to figure out how to deal with this asymmetry, but it was fun :)
I also went for some double overhead squats: still a bit shaky but I could go ATG, which was not the case the last time I tried.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

No crampin'


I liked to stay with Brett Jones' Prep Program this weekend, too, but, as I went heavy with swings the day before, I took it easy on it.

BJ #1, one round @2*12kg:

?Dbl. swings
?Dbl. C&P
?Dbl. swings
?Dbl. C&FSQ
?Dbl. swings
?Dbl. swings
?Dbl. snatches
?Dbl. swings

No GymBoss! No counting reps!
Somewhere between 10 and 25 reps with swings, 5 or 6 with the other exercises. I simply took the bells outside, picked them up for the set, went as long as I liked and then put them down, walked around a bit, no haste, no stress.
It didn't kill me! :))


Another matter: presses, my weakness. They're to be taken seriously. I goofed around a bit with the other exercises though :)

BJ#2, 2 rounds @2*12kg

12 see-saw presses (6/6)
20 dbl. swings (above eye level)
12 see-saw presses
10 dbl. FSQ (one bell racked, one overhead - not bad)
12 see-saw presses
1 dbl. TGU (this is pure logistics, lol!)
12 see-saw presses
10 dbl. snatches (fast)
12 see-saw presses

Was fun :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Under stress I revert to basic swings

You can't have it all.
As the cert is drawing closer, I have more and more the urge to do this and that and snatching (there's the race, too) and pressing and endurance and strength and heavy weights and high reps and everything at the same time.
This is dangerous and destructive thinking, one can easily fall apart and risk what one has already achieved. I like to believe up to now my preparation was quite reasonable and I don't have all too many things to make self-reproach for. So self-discipline is needed not to get hectic, mess things up and get injured or burned out in these last couple of weeks.

So, swings today. Just swings. Heavy swings. The very basics.

25 @16kg,
25 @20kg,
25 @24kg, 2min on, 1min off,
then the same in reverse order.
5/5/5/5 one handed swings with two hand transfers and one two hand swing to start and to finish.
Once up and down this weight ladder is one round, 150 swings, 6min., *4 = 600 swings, 24min
A few min. rest.
20 DARC swings, 30sec on, 30sec off
10 rounds @20kg, 10min, 200 swings
A few min. rest.
10 rounds @24kg, 10min, 200 swings

Total: cca. 50min
1000 swings, 200@16kg, 400@20kg and 400@24kg, 20.800kg

Felt good.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tomorrow's a new day

Energy was still rather low today. I had planned ballistics, but even the thought of limited rests made me shiver. Also, I did things yesterday that I had neglected for quite a while - the result was (is) quite some soreness everywhere. I haven't had any for a long time now and I didn't take it well. So the bigger weights didn't attract me either. Totally out of sorts. Still, an off day would have just made it worse.
I decided to do just a few longer snatch sets:

2*60 @12kg (10/10/...)
80 @12kg (20/20/...)
5*60 @12kg (30/30)
= 500 @12kg, 500pts

I stepped on the scale today and my BW turned out to have dropped below 56kg. If it stays like that, snatching the 16 at the test won't be an option at all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

To hell with carbs

Refined carbs, that is, of course.
We had a family birthday on Sunday, with cake and all, to be sure. Which was fine by me, I'm by no means a nutrition fanatist that wouldn't allow for some exeptional 'rule violation'. In such cases I actually prefer joining the others to spoiling their mood by playing the health-conscious moralist, as some cake 4-5 times a year certainly won't kill me or ruin my life :)
What I didn't take into account was the fact that I've been eating consequently quite clean for a while now, which in my case also means no sugar and no flour... I have all my carbs from veggies or fruit. So this sudden sugar-flour-"bomb" was devastating, all day yesterday I simultaneously had heartburn and hunger/cravings, felt weak and sleepy and wished the day would be over as soon as possible.
So I just did some JM and made some decent efforts on building up a friendly relationship with my new foam roller :)
Today I was more or less okay but not exactly in abundance of energy, so I chose no big snatching but a more slow and concentrated day.

5 rounds of 3/3 C&P @16kg, 3 strict dead hang chins, 3/3 pistols
Bonus: my first ever pullups: 5 singles!
5*5/5 BU cleans (or rather attempts) @16kg - I would have liked them to stay a bit longer in place, but at least I still have all my teeth :)
5*10 double cleans @2*16kg
5 rounds, all on rings: 5 pushups, 5 inverted rows, 5 standing jackknives (starting distance 3', rings low: at the end position about 10" from the floor)
3*1/1 Shoulder Flow @16kg

Sunday, April 6, 2008


A good friend and fellow RKC-candidate and his mother came to visit and train together this morning. We had some serious work and fun too, of course.
I think he fell in immortal love with the GymBoss, after I put us all through one round each of all three Brett Jones Prep Program days, 30sec on, 30sec off... ;)
That meant 20 or so swings and 6 of the other exercises:

20 Dbl. Swing
6 Dbl. Clean and Press
20 Dbl. Swing
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
20 Dbl. Swing
3/3 Dbl. Windmill*
20 Dbl. Swing
6 Dbl. Snatch
20 Dbl. Swing

6 Dbl. Clean and Press
20 Dbl. Swing
6 Dbl. Clean and Press
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
6 Dbl. Clean and Press
3/3 Dbl. Windmill*
6 Dbl. Clean and Press
6 Dbl. Snatch
6 Dbl. Clean and Press

6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
20 Dbl. Swing
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
6 Dbl. Clean and Press
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
3/3 Dbl. Windmill*
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
6 Dbl. Snatch
6 Dbl Clean and Front Squat
*It had just stopped raining so we made an exeption and substituted windmills for TGUs.

He used double 16s and me double 12s. Her mom joined us, too, and, with a few alterations, she confidently did all three rounds with us, using an 8kg! She said, my 8kg felt much lighter than hers at home :)

I then suggested to do some VO2Max but he was somehow less enthusiastic about it than he had been on the phone... :) But it was actually better this way, his hands were rather beaten up and the wounds started to open, in spite of sock sleeves or duct tape or whatever.

So we switched to the pure fun part. Trying this and that, like swinging double 24s (as he had brought his, we had two). As for me, it was more a drunken sailor show than a KB exercise :) I even did a double 16s snatch, but that was rather shaky (maybe no wonder, after snatching 5/5 @24kg) so I left it at that. We also cleared the difference between a side press and a bent press, did some bear crawl, some other double drills (he has no pair at home), goofed around with the rings, then I introduced him the evil ab wheel, too... :)
All in all, a fine day, I hope we can repeat it soon.

60@12kg, 60pts
36@2*12, 72pts
20@16kg, 40pts
20@20kg, 60pts
40@24kg, 200pts
1@2*16kg, 4pts
Total: 4842


Yesterday's workshop was all about why and how to use the foam roller. A most painful 3-hour-event, I must say... :D My calves were hours later still on the verge of cramping :D
Lots of information, most of it I'll have to digest for a while. And of course I'll have to practice and experiment around and see for myself - that will take time, as, even if a seminar is as thorough as this was, it can only provide a first impression. But I liked that first one and I'm curious about what it's going to bring when applied regularly.

I need to buy a decent video camera

This was made with our old photo camera - the $@%"#$* thing would or would not start at its own will and keeps shutting down after a few seconds. Bad quality too. But I put it up anyway ;)


Friday, April 4, 2008

Snatching and breathing

Early risers' swing-snatch combo @12kg
2min on, 1min off
6 snatches L - 3 transfers - 6 snatches R - 3 transfers - ... - 6 snatches R
8*6 snatches and 7*3 swings per round
7 rounds, 336 snatches (336pts) and 147 swings in 20min

Overhead-breathing snatch ladder @16kg
I do a snatch left, keep the kettlebell overhead, take one breath. Lower, switch hands, do 2 snatches right, keep the bell overhead, take two breaths, lower, switch hands, 3 snatches left, 3 breaths and so on. As the overhead pauses are getting longer, I start walking around.
4* 1-->10
220 snatches (440pts)
This is a home-made mixture, sort of. Normally you would put the bell down between rungs of a breathing ladder. But, inspired by Howie's training idea of paused snatches and Dave's advice to go by breaths, I combined it with OH hold/walk. I found it good for breath control, overhead support strength and it teaches me to use the top position as rest. Mark's false grip really makes it easier.
Bonus: you can build up quite a workload without killing yourself ;)
Con: can take long, depending on one's lungs and self-control.

3 rounds of alternating sets of
5/5 @20kg and
10 @2*12kg
30 snatches @20kg (90pts) and 30 @2*12kg (60pts)

That makes 926pts today, total: 4406pts.

Tomorrow's off. I attend an introductory workshop about trigger point massage and SMR in Budapest. I'm really looking forward to it, I'm completely ignorant in this field :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Calling it "easing" into upping the weight for VO2Max would be exaggerated as it was everything except easy :)

15:15, 40 sets, 10 times through these 4:
9reps @12kg, L, R
8reps @16kg, L, R
It makes 20 sets of 9 (180, 180pts) @12kg and 20 sets of 8 @16kg (160, 320pts), 340 snatches in 20min, 500pts.

36:36, 12 sets, 3 times through these 4:
22L @12kg
9R/9L @16kg
22R @12kg
9L/9R @16kg
That's 6 sets of 22 @12kg (132, 132pts) and 6 sets of 18 @16kg (108, 216pts), 240 snatches in cca. 15min, 348pts.

Total today: 580 snatches, 312 @12kg and 268 @16kg, 848pts.
Grand total: 3480

Early morning sessions  seem to be a good idea :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

...and the beep goes on...

BJ#3, @16kg,
3 rounds, 1min on, 30sec off, 2min rest between rounds

6/6 C&FSQ
20/20 swing
6/6 C&FSQ
6/6 C&PP
6/6 C&FSQ
3/3 TGU
6/6 C&FSQ
12/12 snatch
6/6 C&FSQ

Of course I had to try and go 1min on, 30sec off all 3 rounds through... :)
Tough. I got so tired, cardio-wise, too - it was a real mental fight to set up for the last set of squats only 30sec after having done 24 snatches in a row. The shoulders, however, took it a bit better than last time. I found that pushing my elbow actively against the kettlebell makes it locally more but altogether less tiring, due to its stabilizing effect.

72 snatches @16kg, *2pts, 144pts
Total: 2612pts
Tomorrow I'll make some early risers' bonus points :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A GymBoss-addict?

While doing those timed sets yesterday I was thinking I actually could time the press and squat workouts as well: now that with the 16kg I do push presses anyway. I think they are okay for a conditioning focus, while strict presses are more for strength. But, for this same reason, I'm not going to time press days when using double 12s, as those are strict presses.

BJ#2, @16kg, 3 rounds

6/6 C&P
20/20 swing
6/6 C&P
6/6 C&FSQ
6/6 C&P
3/3 TGU
6/6 C&P
12/12 snatch
6/6 C&P

First two rounds: 1min on, 30sec off (14min)
Third round: 1min on, 1min off (18min)
2min rest between rounds

1min on - 30sec off was quite tough but doable. Maybe I could have done the third round with the same ratio, too, but I wasn't sure, so I chose to extend the rest period to 1min, because I wanted that third round to be done properly. I used the rep numbers from yesterday (=whatever I could do in 30sec/side at a comfortable pace), except I did less TGUs, as it would have been hopeless to recover from 10 TGUs in a row in just 30sec, especially for the presses to follow, of all exercises.
I'll try timed sets for the squats tomorrow, too, but the rule will still be to strive for conditioning, but only to the limit of not sacrificing form/reps, rather adjusting rest if necessary.