Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You have a training plan for the next six months, right?

I'm trying a 5-step seasonal training schedule, adapted from Coach's notes and John Wild Buckley's blog.  I think it's time I let go of my 65kg bodyweight and got stronger, at least in the offseason when I'm trying to move up a bell. First PT and recovery, then a serious strength - mass - strength-endurance season before resuming KB sport. This post was written and edited during phase 1 and published late in the 2-wk break in (highlighted below) of Dan John's "Mass Made Simple" article on T-Nation.

Rehab/Phase 1 intro
  • 5wks PT, Convict Conditioning big 6 done 2/day, 3d/wk, stairs on day 1 and treadmill on day 3.  Made outstanding progress, bridges helped rehab, handstands helped shoulders and presses.  Testing double KB presses in wk 5, I pressed 2x20kg for the first time ever.  Running up to 3mi.
  • December and January: a close adaptation of Mass Made Simple. 3 sets of 2-3 primary lifts, 5 reps, 5 reps, and "as many". A finisher of 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps high back squats around 70% 1RM for the first 2-few weeks, then many sets for the next 4 weeks.  I don't know how his athletes had time for what was in that article.  25 sets of 20 after a regular workout?
    • Monday: 5 each bench presses (maybe dumbbell, maybe inclined), inverted rows, front squats. May substitute or add some uneven pushups. High volume back squats. Walk stairs 10' unloaded to finish.
    • Wednesday: 5 each clean and press, pullups, single leg dead lifts. High volume back squats.
    • Friday: back and spine work, more focus on joint mobility drills than other days.  10 HLR to the bar, 5 of the Spetznaz hip rolling drills (need a link), 5 Maxwell rolling planks, and some tumbling drills. Follow by 20-40' light run. 6mph = 2mi/20'.  5mph = 2.5mi/30'. Score a 40' run every few weeks.
    • Eat for growth and recovery: protein supplements, Metamucil, and 4 or 5 meals. Magnesium oil spray on knee and hip after every session and on back when needed.
    • 2-wk break in: I am visibly bigger but barely 2lb heavier. CC work always bulks me and did so in November. This hasn't been heavy yet. With 2x16kg, presses are solid up to 10 reps and squats up to 30. Time to add weight with dumbbells or barbells. Limit the bulking phase to 4 weeks. Repeat in February if necessary, but only after a break and some fat loss.
Phase 1 - Off-season (indefinite length, starting in January)
  • I have this idea that I would like to be 150lb and pressing 2x20kg for reps and squatting it for dozens of reps and running miles before I resume LC sport training. Not certain that's all necessary, but I don't want to be struggling every rep and gassed at 6:00 like last time.
  • Strength, conditioning, technique, and GPP. Build strength up to the next bell.
  • Barbell dead lifts and squats, KB swings, jump squats, and military presses.
  • Density KB work: 1-3' sets at comp weight or higher. Done at pace for timing and speed, done with extended overhead time for strength.  Aggregate volume, if not extended sets.
  • Cardio output work at HR 120-150 (5mph or less), 30-90min, 2-3/wk.

Phase 2 - Preseason (4-6wks, maybe 8wks starting in March)
  • KB sets 5-7' minimum at or near target rpm, 4-5 training days/wk. 1 10' comp set weekly or biweekly. All 1-2' density work stops.
    •  This is the AKC plan. I found I was doing well on a Russian/Denisov plan last year: 2-3' sets at pace to more than 10' volume, varying the rest.  May do 3-4days/wk density work, 1 day 10' comp set.
  • Barbell work reduced to squats and jump squats.  All pullups and horizontal pressing stops.  Overhead pressing replaced by heavy OAJ with static holds.
  • Introduce cardio power work at HR above 150, 2-3min intervals: sprints, KB stairs, Eagles. Maintain cardio work 2-3/wk.

Phase 3 - Peaking (2-4wks including competition, maybe 6wks starting in May)
  • 4days/wk: 1 set comp weight/6-8'@target rpm. 1 day/wk: 1 set comp weight/10'@target rpm. Any day that you feel smoked and unable to work the distance with comp weight, use 1 size lighter.
    • See comment above about AKC/Russian plans.  Not sure at this early time whether this is best for me, based on last year's experience.
  • Mix output cardio and power cardio, 2-3/wk.
  • Only strength work might be squat jumps. Almost all assistance work on mobility and low-HR cardio.
  • The week of competition, 1 10' comp set, 1 6-8' set at comp or lighter, then Competition phase.

Phase 4 - Competition (2-3 days in mid-June)
  • 1-3 days off with recovery work and light cardio. Federenko's experience was that he lost conditioning after only 2 days.  Maybe test this in Peaking phase with consecutive long runs and HR monitoring.

Phase 5 - Postseason
  • Karaoke and burgers.  (John Wild Buckley)
  • At least 1wk mobility/maintenance work, light running, stretching, and massage.

Tentative schedule based around June 18, 2010 meet.
  • Off-season - through February
  • Preseason - March to May (T minus 3mos)
  • Peaking - May to mid-June (T minus 4-6wks)
  • Competition - mid-June (T minus days)
  • Postseason - when the bells hit the mat

  • Technique at wk 2 of peaking phase should determine your target weight if you plan to make 10'.
  • Stair carries lifted me over the hump, but they should have followed a more solid month of long, 130bpm cardio. Bicycling barely served this purpose, but I abandoned it because there was no load on my legs. Running 5mph raises my pulse to 150, but running slower is bumpy on my joints. May just accept running as "volume cardio" and stairs as "power cardio", regardless of being outside my block on the HR chart.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why am I running?

I'm on a brief medical hiatus from lifting. I pinched a nerve in my lower back in a dead lift on September 19. That was probably healing on a timeline of 1-2 months, but it felt so much better in 1-2 weeks that I resumed training. I actually thrived and broke some personal records for a few weeks before straining it again on something totally inconsequential in mid-October.

In the meantime, I have seen my orthopedist for a 3-yr checkup and have had a month of PT. The doc says I have good hips, good knees, and a little bulge in the L5-S1 disc. He said I'm getting old, and I strained my back lifting something heavy. Offered me drugs, which I declined, and asked that I see him next time I have a boo-boo in 3 more years (joking). So far, PT has gone well. I'm pain-free and beginning to bend again.  My therapist recommended I continue running, as it's probably training good posture.  So, outside of all the weight lifting and kettlebells, what finally got me into running?

I only began running a couple months ago, after decades of not trying and 3 years of being completely unable. I've needed a long-slow cardio for quite some time. Stationary cycling worked my knees, but there was no impact or balance and no active engagement of the foot itself. It never "felt right". I needed to bounce. I could creep into a squat and explode out of a squat, but I couldn't leap-frog through the squat. Every running stride, especially downhill, would stiffen my knee and send the whole impact up to my hip, which would seize up in a half-mile.

It took squatting and stairs to rebuild my running, which is interesting. My orthopedist and I disagreed strongly about squats, but he could not argue with my success. I supposedly had a partial ACL tear 3 years ago, and there's no evidence of it now.  What does squatting have to do with running? I needed to safely train my leg to drop me in and out of the "hole" without seizing up as a protective reflex. You can't train around a fear reflex under the full-weight burden that causes fear in the first place.  You train around that reflex with a fraction of that weight to regain movement and confidence.  I had to do deep squats, jump squats, and other movements that required and reinforced elasticity to rebuild elasticity.

The running motion itself required some study. I've had an interest in minimalist shoes and the type of running done by unshod and barely-shod billions around the world since long before Nike, Inc was born in 1972. I work out in Vibram Five Fingers, so I started testing my running motion in them.  Running doesn't hurt because it's unnatural; it hurts because you're doing it wrong. (That could be an article unto itself.) It is, rather, the epitome of "natural" human movement. My wife comments that I creep around in my comfy shoes but have this unusually heavy footstep in my motorcycle boots.  In bare feet, I'm the wind itself.

I found a few steps into my first run that I land on my midfoot, with a little roll from the outer edge in.  I found a few minutes in that I like a fairly high step and broad arc beneath me. I described it once like an ostrich, where the foot reaches forward and scratches the ground beneath the body. A lot of other natural running schools keep the feet basically below and behind the body. I reach forward by comparison, but I've figured out why.  That is the important point; I paid attention to what my joints needed. It's inefficient by any measure, but I run 30 minutes twice a week without pain.

Why would I go to all this trouble? First, there's an element of self-discovery and achievement. I'm not a licensed physical therapist, but I rebuilt a cripple into a runner and a weight lifter. Second, every pair of strides is a chance to check my alignment, my balance, the blown right leg, the left ankle I sprained in high school on an otherwise uninjured leg. The footfalls in those goofy plastic shoes on the treadmill give me constant feedback, and I can tell by their tone whether I'm landing on my heel or too flat or too pronated. I run around 850 pairs of strides in every mile, each one a movement screen.

Understand I've done maybe two months of running, with a couple years of conditioning work before it. I'm running in increments not of laps or minutes, but of 2-3 miles. Running is not an unnatural movement. Minimal shoes and bare feet are not dangerous. Squats are not bad for your knees. If I have learned any overarching theme from this long process, it is that my problem is probably not the activity but that I am doing it wrong. I deadlifted wrong, and I knew I rounded my back when I did it, but prior to that, I had added 50lb to my all-time max dead lift. I was rehabbing my knee wrong until I started squatting deep. I was running wrong, in expensive running shoes. I'm clearly blogging wrong, but thanks for joining me along the way.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Training Log 10/02-10/08 - long sets and a 1 mile run

New focus on improving my cardio and limiting barbell work to cleans and front squats.  Hate to say it, but I'm in the 4-wk countdown to regionals.  I should be at volume right now.  Focusing on single 5-7' sets instead of consolidating multiple 3-4' sets still doesn't sit quite right with me.  Doing a 16kg speed/volume Sunday, and using OALC as finishers on 20kg days when I don't have other cardio.

10/02 Su 16kg long LC
- LC:
5'@8, mostly locomotive breathing, video
Kink in back. Rest, repeat.
5', breathe after J: 98889

Notes: kink in R scap all wknd, felt a knot there in warmup and at 4'. Loco breathing same tempo as steady after jerk. If anything, 1 breath after jerk works better at 16kg, but that may be better suited for fast pace.
10/03 Mo 20kg LC
Lost sleep, light back spasm. Packed a ball. 10 pistols and spine mob before lunch.
20kg LC Evening
- LC: 27/4:30 loco breathing, 3 extra after Jer, almost blacked out!
- OALC 2x10
10/04 Tue BB
Run/walk/loaded carry dog 1mi
BW 144.0 noon
CL/FSQ: 8@85,95,105, 5@115, from the floor

10/05 We 20kg long LC
LC: 25/4:30
Stairs: 6 laps

10/06 Th BB work
1mi w dog
DL and SN warmup
CL/FSQ: 8@95, 8@105, 5@115
Cardio 10-12':  12' run, 1mi (ran a mile, PR in every conceivable statistic)

started 5mph, finished 3'@6mph. HR 115 after 2' cool.

Notes: too many things. Wasted time. Better: snatch 45, CL/FSQ 95-105, run. Ran a mile. :-)
10/07 Fr 20kg LC
LC: 30/6', no drops (PR reps and time)


Training Log 09/11-09/30

Posted a video outline of my "short set" day, minus dips, which are boring unless they're full depth and weighted.  Got away from posting for a while, so this is a recap of September work.  I spent the middle of the month rehabilitating a low back/hip strain for a PR dead lift of 235lb.  It was a mistake, and I haven't dead lifted heavy since.  Cleans, front squats, some jerks and snatches.

The high point of the month was 09/26 in the notes.  It's my cardio.  I accepted ownership of that, and my numbers started climbing steadily.

09/11 Su 16kg short LC
LC:2'@10, 1'rest x3
J:1'@12, CL:2'@12
5SQ/40JSQ, 15 1/4 Dips: x3
Notes: Knee wrap worked well. Keep it.
09/15 Mo 16kg med LC
LC: 37/5', 36/5'
09/13 Lunch BB
Power CL: 5@65 with sq, 5@95, 3@105
- DL with short plates:
4@135, 2@185, singles 195, 205, 225, 3@165, 2@185, 2@205 Pullups/HLR: 4x5
09/14 We 16kg long LC
LC: 77666666 (50/8', time PR)
Stair Carries and Squats
09/16 Fr 20kg long LC 
LC: 54445 (22/5', time PR)
- BB work
CL/FSQ: 3@65, 85, 95
BSQ: 5@135, 2@185, 3@155, 7@145, 8@135
Dips, pistols, pullups

Notes: Dan John advises using only 45s and 25s, mastering the weight and jumping to the next class.  Only 10 reps of whole body moves, after warmup sets.
09/18 Su 16kg short LC
LC: 30/3', 90"r,  28/3'
J: 18/90", CL: 27/2', exhausted
Squats and dips
NEW NOTES FROM COACH: Go 20kg/5-7' plus cardio
09/19 Mo 20kg LC
LC: 15/3', loose, 7/75", looser, 10 untimed, better
Notes: ditch the clock, work on breathing
BB work, tall plates
DL: 185 to 235 (PR and lumbar strain), pairs 215 to 175
09/21 We 20kg long LC
LC: 19/4', to failure
Lower back/hip recovery a few days.  Mobility, band work, and recuperative carries through 09/25.
09/26 Mo 20kg LC
LC: 5563, drop (19/4:40)
BB work
CL/SQ: warmup, singles to 115, 8@95, 6@115, 5@105
Jumps and carries

Notes: It's my cardio. Walk/run 1mi w Kilo. Rowing, running, or timed sets of JSQ on Mon, FSQ sets 8-10 on Fri, no more singles. Actual 10' stair carries, no more subbing squats and flat ground. Get this turned around. You're strong enough; make it go.
09/28 We 20kg long LC
- LC: 22 on video, untimed
OALC: 16/2' each
Stairs: 5 laps/10', breaks at 4' and 8'

09/30 Fr 20kg LC
LC: 23/4:20, breathing before CL
BB work
CL/SQ: 8@85, 8@95, 8@105
Few CL and SN with bar, felt good.  Stretch, walk, rest.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Training Log 09/04-09/10 (wk 1)

Took a four day rest.  Not completely burned, but slipping some. Adding barbell sessions at a new local gym during lunch hour, two days a week. Changing rotation a bit to give Saturdays back to my wife and home.

End of week max: DL 225, BSQ 195, FSQ 115, CL/SQ 105

09/04 Su weekend off
09/05 Mo 16kg short LC
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps 
- LC:3'@9-10 x2, 30/3' 18/2', rest
J:3'@10-12, 20/2'  rest
CL:3'@10-12, 24/2'
Pullups/2x16kg MP: 3 x 5
10 dbl sq, probably wasted time but done cleanly

Notes: Overslept, dry throat. 3' sets were not working, but 2' sets were fine.  May have been late morning start, maybe fighting Dawn's strep, not sure.  Got 9' work in, overall good upper body day for lack of BBs.

PM BB session
Mobilize, Hindu pushups, bench jumps
5x2 DL: 4@135, 2@155, 2@180, 2@225 PR on video, light-headed!
Power Clean/FSQ practice: 1/5@65, 2/5@65
Back SQ: 10@95, 3@135, 3@155, 3@175, 1@195 PR
1@205 not parallel. Next time.

Notes: 17:45-18:40, not too sweaty. Lot of time consumed changing plates. Check for DOMS later, but this 2/day may be perfect for fitting in BB work.

09/07 We 16kg med LC
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps
- LC:5'@7-9 x2
35/5' x2
Indoor Eagle (studio 30m walk/8 FSQ): 4 circuits

Notes: Skip the 16 long set day in this short week. Spent 10hrs on feet today after a 5am change window and this session. Still stiff through Thursday night.

09/09 Fr 20kg LC
5hrs sleep, barely
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps
- LC:5-7' @4-6 x1 (commit to one long, slow set)
10/2', failed a launch.

Not "working" yet. For some reason, 20kg LC doesn't get smooth until after 2-3' of warmup.
20/3:45 away from clock
10/1:45 timed by breathing. Much better now.


Lunch BB session
HLR: 2 x 5
DL: 5@135, 3@185, 2@205
Pwr CL/FSQ: 3@65, 2@95, 2@105

Rack FSQ: 3@115 (arms not comfy)
- CL/FSQ 3x3@60-80%:
3@65, 3@85, 3 SQ @115 (folded arms)

Back SQ: 3@165

Notes: not too sore. BB FSQ challenged rack more than anything else. Cleaning to front of chest, not to top of clavicles. Only 19 reps SQ today, messy. Next time 1@65, 95, 115, 135. 3x5-8@50-80% daily max.

Think whether I want hi vol or "wiry strength" lo vol. 3x10 @50-80% seems wasteful. More recovery needed, higher body weight. Consider 2x5 SQ and DL above 80%. That volume's standard to WL and PL, but I'm not sure I want to waste reps at light weight and add mass for no reason.

20kg LC benefits from more frequent handling and from warmup. Suffers from shock around 2'. Pace by breath, not clock.

Training Log 08/28/09/03

This is week 4 in a row and was to consist of a test and a back-off period. Joined month-to-month at a new gym to include barbell work. I should not find the 88lb "heavy" from week to week like I have been. Start handling 188 and 288 regularly.

8/28 Su 16kg short LC
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps
- LC:2-3'@9-10 to 10'
25/2:30,1'r,23/2:30 chaos
21/2:30, r, 22/2:30 much better
Dumbbell DL (10@150# x3-4): 8,8,8
1/4 Dips: 10,10,15

Notes: Dumbbell DLs suck. Wobbly grip, feet not clear of the weights, awkwardness affects focus. 8-9rpm LC ok, 10 was chaotic. Need to work up to that. Last set, did not look at the clock, and it was smoother. Go by breath until I meet the clock. Hands parallel by instinct, maybe pronated will smooth out cleans. Good speed work.

Peeled one dry callus from palm, never stopped. Found it on the handle later. Like a boss.

8/30 Tu (7:20 dentist)
Did not sleep. Not safe for timed sets.

08/31 We 16kg med LC
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps
- LC:5'@7-9 x2
35/5' x2

5SQ/40JSQ x3

Note: internally rotating hands on the backswing helped flip the bells into the rack. Much smoother. 1st dip with a little gulp and a partial exhale and a tight 'puff' made the bells bounce off my belly. 2nd set crisper than the 1st. 7's a good pace, long term.

09/01 Th 16kg long LC (new gym)
Warmup joints, stick or band, jumps
- LC:6-8'@6-8 x1
3'@6, handles really sticky, see notes
Hvy DL: 135x2, 155x3, 185x3, 200x5
HLR:  sets 5 xxxx
Med Squats: 100lbs 4 sets5, 120lbs 1x5
1/4 Dips: 3 sets 15

Notes: did many more things because the equipment was there. Probably good to include HLR, few pullups, and dips. KBs require a vertical, open, lucky insertion. Poor fit for me. DL and SQ could've been heavier, but not the point. 5RM was the point. Good session. Oly stance > sumo for me.

Sore. :-) saw it coming. NOW it's time to recover.

09/02 Fri maintenance
Mobilize, stretch
Inc OAP: 5 x
BW SQ: 10 xxxxx
Pistols: 5 x

09/03 Sa wknd off

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Training Log 08/27-08/28 LC at different weights

There is a common mantra that you train light to build strength and lift heavy to demonstrate strength. I'll have LC at different weights and set lengths starting this weekend, with a long 20kg set on Saturday and a number of short 16kg sets on Sunday. This Saturday didn't last all the way to the programmed "5-7'@4-6rpm" set, but I did get 7'@6rpm work done in 3 subsets. I barely jerk 16kg pairs at the 9-10rpm Coach requested of me for sustained sets, so this will be a whole new technique and conditioning experience for me. Right away, my cleans are too bumpy to transition smoothly and keep the pace up.

08/27 Sat long 20kg LC and squats
Warm up, band work, jumps
- 20kg LC
Goal: 5-7' @4-6rpm
Done: 3'@6rpm, 2'@6rpm, 2'@6rpm

Test Olympic Clean and squats with the EZ-Curl barbells on hand
5 @40lb, 5@60lb. These bars are not good, don't rack right at all.
10 @2x20kg

Stairs: 10' work

Notes: this LC is so much heavier than the 16kg LC I did 5' at a time earlier in the week. It wasn't unmanageable, but it was unfamiliar. I got tipped backward on my heels several times and clunked a few cleans into the rack so hard I had to reset to accomplish a jerk afterward. Lightweight practice will refine my speed, breathing, and technique, but it will not train the geometry of counterweighting the bells.

The 2x20kg squats felt surprisingly good. 10 reps well below parallel really surprised me. I may be prepared to start hi-vol squat training at this weight, which would be huge in support of this training.

08/28 Sun short 16kg LC and DL
Warm up, stick work, jumps
- 16kg LC @9-10rpm
25/2'30", 1'r, 23/2'30", chaotic, rest
21/2'30", rest, 22/2'30"
- total 91/10'

Dead lift 150lb: 8, 8, 8
1/4 Dips: 10, 10, 15

Notes: DB DLs suck. Wobbly grip, feet not clear of the weights, the awkwardness affects my focus and the qualit of every rep. 8-9rpm LC ok, but 10 was chaotic. Need to work up to that. Last set, did not look at the clock, and it was smoother. Going forward, pace by breath until I meet the speed. I backswing with the handles parallel by instinct, maybe pronating the hands to impart a little rotation at the top will smooth out cleans. Good speed work.

Peeled one dry callus from palm, never stopped. Found it on the handle later. Didn't even phase me. The new skin beneath did not blister.

Friday, August 26, 2011

At least exert yourself

Ed. note: There is a slim chance that a couple of people I know will recognize the situation I describe and the people I'm talking about. I mean no offense, but this profoundly affected me and needs to be said. It's not hurtful, it's just blunt, and it is heart-felt and honest.


I did some jerk and some long cycle with a pair of 20kg (44lb) kettlebells today, my current standard, and a pair of modest jerks at the end of the 90min session with a pair of 24kg (53lb) bells. Now the 2 24kg bells were a personal record, and 48kg (106lb) overhead for the first time was every bit heavy. Not three months ago, I nearly put 2 20kg bells on my head with that same lift, but now I train with them regularly. It was a big deal to me that I didn't eat those green 24s.

I saw some new folks training this week. One was pressing a pair of 35lb weights without pausing at the shoulder or at the top and deadlifting 53lb in a circuit.  Realize that they were deadlifting, from the floor with both hands, less weight than they were lifting overhead. Now realize that again. When I was 16 years old, I deadlifted a spinet piano once when it tipped over on a moving truck ramp, and I had never lifted weights in high school. They were deadlifting 53 pounds, in a gym, for which they paid money.

These folks were turning their heads to make eye contact and chat. They were talking freely instead of bracing themselves with a deep breath to protect the spine. These are not just my pet peeves; these are details that you cover subconsciously every day to lift things out of your car because the reach feels awkward.

I'm glad they were trying, but let's face facts. This was not exercise. This was not focused; this was not even safe. Going to a gym to get less old/fat/feeble does not automatically make you less old/fat/feeble. Hard work does. I accept I'm good at this because it's my hobby, but I am not the strongest person my size that I know. I know a 120lb woman who can deadlift over 200lb, which I cannot. If some guy bigger than me doesn't want to launch 40kg (88lb) overhead like I do, that's fine, but I know he can lift it off the floor. The point is that he was not even exerting himself, so he was wasting his time and not getting any healthier.

Clinical studies have shown as little as 15min of strenuous exercise on 3 days a week can reduce your body fat and blood lipids.  90min a week was shown to add as much as 3 years to your life expectancy in a long-term study in Taiwan. This isn't about kettlebells or about fat shredding or cardio vs HIIT vs strength training. What I do and call "cardio" is carry 40kg up and down stairs after my regular workout, but I couldn't survive a modern aerobics class. I don't care. I'm stronger than 3 months ago. My cholesterol is down. I eat like a puppy in a bacon store, and I can see my abs in the mirror. None of this would be true if I were too lazy to actually exert myself or too bored by the experience to keep it up.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The longest 10min of my life, and the next-longest 10min

I prematurely published my log for 08/14-08/20 on the 19th, so I edited the title and wrote a new piece for today. I even did some sets of 5 heavy last night after work that aren't listed, but I'll just call it pre-dinner and let it go. Today's session was good enough to post on its own. I don't do this often.

08/20 Sat 2x20kg Jerk
Mobility, band work, 2 sets 5 Bench Jumps

Goal = J:2x20/6-8/1'/1'r x7-9 (felt another set in me at the end)
Done = 10 sets 8/1', a PR by 3 full minutes

Partial BW dips: 2 sets 20
20kg SW: 30ea, 20ea
10’ Stair carries: 2'carry/30"rest x5, longer rest on #5


This is actually the first time I've accumulated 10 minutes of Jerk in one session. My Spring cycle was organized to stretch short sets into long sets. The long sets wore me out, so I never actually did 3' x 3 or 5' x 2 or any volume that added up close to 10'. I was one of the few competitors at State who did not finish the clock. The pure beginners, the still-overweight women snatching 8kg, finished their clocks. I made rank plus 9, completely drained, and set the bells down. I knew I had done something wrong.

This was a technically good session, including a few recoveries. The overhead squat training helped me later on. I'm working on launching the bells straight up instead of up and back, more Denisov, less Goncharov. The balance is tenuous, but there's less strain on my back. My new shoulder-width stance can accommodate a clean, more stable and ready for LC. And obviously, I'm recovering well. This is a good place to be 11 weeks out from Regionals.

Clearly, this was not elite mastery of the 10' clock, but this is my new baseline. I had a baseline a year ago of 3200kg ballistics every workout, based initially on 200 16kg swings. Now I have 80reps/10' at 2x20kg... which is ironically 3200kg. (I just noticed that!) What's important is that I did 10 minutes of my skill, then 10 minutes of 2x20kg stair carries for conditioning. This cycle, that's step 1, ground floor, my de-loading routine after a month of heavier stuff.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Training Log 08/14-08/19

19Started off with Sunday afternoon doubles strength work, on the roof and in the sun. Simple circuit, brisk pace, killer. Again on Wednesday morning, since I was already up from having been paged. Detecting a shift toward the LC, reflected in my choice of work and snatch quality.

8/14 Su 2x16kg Complexes
Knee mobility, stick drills
- all done 2x16kg
5 C&P
10 FSQ
5 Ren rows
- 5 circuits/15min
First 2 circuits consecutive, sets 4 and 5 on video

16kg SW: 20ea x2 sets (calluses)

Notes: Felt good.  I like this work, having this particular day in my routine. I'd like to think I'd start doing this with 20kg, but the whole point was doubles work for symmetry and I can't press 2x20kg. Pressing 2x16kg is still teaching me things. 50 reps squat is a good addition. Including bodyweight squats, full double-bell squats, overhead squats with sticks and light barbells, and jump squats/jerk bumps, I will squat thousands of reps this month. 50/daily bodyweight, 60-90/Tuesday jerks, 50/Sunday = 400-450/wk with great variety.  This is good.

8/16 Tu 2x20kg Jerk
Mobility, stick work, 5 bench jumps
- test number of sets, previous PR is 5 sets 8

Goal = J:2x20/6-8/1', 1'r x5-7
Done = 6888888 rushed last set, broke lockout

5SQ/30JSQ x3
30# OHSQ: 5 deep

Notes: Great session, like I never missed. Joint work, jumps, OHSQ doing a world of good. Get to 10' volume quickly, raise density gradually. 6rpm did me little good, too slow, too much rack time.

08/17 We 2x16kg short sets
Got paged, worked, did some sets of 5
Joints, stick work, slow DLs to warmup
5 CL, 5 FSQ, 5 alt MP
- 3 sets
Light stretch

Th 20 SW
TGU 1 rachet style, some elbow soreness
OAJ 2x5, L ankle turns during dip
SW:1'/1'r x3 ea, some broken up
Rack carry: 4' out of 5'

Notes: grip really challenged, some minutes of swings were 30",15",15". Borderline with the new skin. Rack carry needs work, caused numbness, may need chalk/belt. Work more on L ankle mob; L launch is rotating foot around.

Almost too many things. Feels random. Love TGU, but beginning to see them as a distraction. Shoulder is never quite vertical in TGU, better for acclimating to heavy support than a warmup for the jerk.  I'd warm up better with a windmill, which can play around at vertical and assume an OHSQ.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My forehead and the wall

I planned a break at the beginning of August, which overlapped a trip to the family hometown and ended with a few days of fever and throat trouble. All told, maybe 12 days of joint work and light calisthenics, no weights. Did some pistol squats early in the break, felt good.

Then this happened, I resumed training a few days ago with get-ups, double presses, pullups, and some double KB swings, all fine. My second session back, I reintroduced the KB snatch, 1min sets with 1min rests, and I blistered both hands in short order. Keeping in mind that I did heavy-bell swings for for the whole month prior to the break, I expected to be conditioned for snatches.

Now I'll have to let my hands heal and rebuild. There are two competitions on the calendar in two months, and I can't snatch. With or without swings, apparently I have to train snatches constantly to maintain snatches, and therein lies a dilemma.

The snatch has always been uncomfortable for me. I have issues with an elbow and nerve impingement and calluses. My score creeps at a glacial pace. I have never had this sort of anatomical difficulty with the jerk or the long cycle, and the squat work in jerk training is good for my legs. The jerk is just "hard", but it's not "tricky" or "complicated". I love LC. I'd train entirely around competition LC, but I would lose snatches altogether.

At what point am I adding marginal cost to simply compete this event instead of that one, or to compete at all instead of just being healthy and having fun? That is the question. This week, I am officially beyond health and fun and training toward heavy-bell biathlon, and I'm not sure anymore if that's what I want.

08/06 Sat 16kg warmup work
TGU: 2 slow ratchet get-ups each side, 8'
5 2x16kg military press
5 30lb barbell overhead squats
a few pullups (5, 3, 3, 3, 5)
- 5 circuits

2x16kg swings, 10sw/10breaths x10sets
Stretch in the sun

Notes: Sore throat, watch my health. BW 146 with breakfast, still lean. 1 OHSQ set at 2x16kg, and it was too heavy. 30-40lb BB is just right for now.
8/7 Su: Thighs ruined from dbl sw. I knew better than 10x10. (grin) Foam roller, stick OHSQ, and menthol rub. Consider OHSQ and stick work as warmup for a while. I'd have much to gain from a good OHSQ.

08/08 Mo: Cont'd OHSQ with stick and shoulder dislocates. Sore throat spread to wife and a coworker. Not run-down, but not 100%. Consider down a bell this week and reset Sat or Sun. It's just 1wk.

08/09 Tu: Both of us have sore throats. Lost 3hrs sleep. Worked at home. Stretching, 20kg 5J and 5P and GSQ, stick work. Presses were solid.

08/10 We: Fever down, throat 50% better, hamstrings 3/4 better. Train Th morning. Keeping up shoulder dislocates and OHSQ, some Hindu pushups. Feel ok.
08/11 Th 16kg and 20kg SN sets
1-2 TGU, 5 OAJ, get my pulse up 

20kg SN:1-2'@16rpm/1'r x5-6 all L first, then R, 16kg when fatigued
1'SN @20kg,20kg,16kg, 20kg SW 20reps,20reps, stopped for blisters
10 20kg GSQ/5 40# OHSQ x2
5 bench jumps, stretch

Notes: chalked, probably shouldn't have. Blistered bad. Hate snatches, and chalk. Love squats. OHSQ 30-40# for a while with bench jumps. When ready, train SW to rebuild SN.

Note to self: I need a heavy low pull to support the clean of "clean and jerk". If I have this much trouble adapting to 20kg snatch, I will seriously consider training Long Cycle with swings and barbell work for support.
08/13 Sa 16kg Jerk
Mobility, stick work and OHSQ, Jumps

Goal = 9-10/1', 1'r x5-6 sets
Done = 12,12,12,12,12,15. Focused on fixation. Actually got better 4 sets in.

5FSQ/30bumps: 1
10’ Stairs total volume: finished 4 laps/5:30.

Notes: Stairs ended with serious systemic fatigue, muscles twitching, grip and back tired. Jerks felt fine; carries were rough. Quick and constant work today, but worn out a little earlier than if I'd been healthy. Wife had 102 fever from this last night.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Training Log 07/23-following, time for a break

Did a 20kg biathlon sets test, which went okay but strained my back again. Two straight weekends. It turns out I've been almost 4 full months without a rest week.

07/23 20kg Biathlon sets
feeling skippy, testing actual biathlon sets instead of 5-8
Mobility, 5' bike warmup
J:20kg/2' sets
16, 16 video, 11/90" failed lockout
SN: 1'ea sets
17 video, 15
5SQ, 30bump x2 sets
Stretch deep in the sun.

Notes: Belt and full chalk today, felt interesting. Not a hindrance at all, though the belt did pinch a little belly against my elbow. Left lower back felt sore again like last weekend, something in my swing/snatch motion.

07/24 Monday issues
Worked on left gluteus medius and opening the hip all day Monday to break the pain. I think I'm done.

Rest of this week and the next are cancelled.

I have logged 3-5 sessions per week with no more than 3-4 days off since 03/31. No wonder I have lower back fatigue. Have been working out as a mental escape and preoccupation, to bored and restless on off days to actually take them off.

First, I need to revisit some internal priorities and clear my head. Do not do this again.

Second, I'm amazed I made 16wks straight. Revisit my 3-wk cycle design as 4- or 5-wk blocks. I clearly do have more capacity than 3 wks.

Recovery through August 05:
Joint mobility drills: wide knee circles, T-spine ribbons, shoulder girdle circles, elbow circles
Band and ball work as needed
- multiple times daily
10 Hindu pushups
10 BW close squats
10 Hindu pushups
10 full squats and hip stretches
Hang stretches and cat/cow stretches as available

No full-tension pullups, pistols, etc until at least the weekend. That should be 6 days rest and a week of light recovery. I need this. The open-chain wide knee circles are doing good things for my left hip and my right VMO. Squat's much deeper with natural spine curve and toes forward.

Consider restarting with 16kg biathlon short sets, then evaluating whether to do another 3wks strength work or 20kg biathlon. Probably the "Volume Template" in notes. Need to be doing 20kg volume by 08/31 to make the meet season.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Training Log 07/16-07/22 Strength block 3

Dropping hanging leg raises.  Hip flexors are tense already and need to be open for dead lifts and swings. Rely on tension support for ab work.

Wknd Single Heavy Work
Mobility, BW warmup
24kg TGU: 10'

5 Pull-ups, 1 HLR: 3 sets
DL 3x150,170,170

Low SW: 15ea/2' (7, 210 total)

Notes: 142.0 pre-hydrated. Interesting I haven't put on weight yet. This was a good mix overall. Some of the DLs weren't right. Did not sleep: work, epic neighborhood fail. Lower back sore beyond 24hrs. Band work on hips relieved it.

Tue Double 20kg Complexes
Mobility, 5' low bike 

8CL,8J: 8888,8LC
5SQ,20bump: x3 

Stairs: 2 laps of 65 up-down/7'. Plenty of other work done.

Notes: AC out. Scale broken. Lockout tired after 4 sets. HOT. No air.  Lifting and eating are spot-on, but not sleeping enough. Salvaging rest after RFCs, up late with glowing rectangles. Need to change nighttime routine.

Thu Single Heavy Work
Mobility, BW warmup
24kg TGU: 4ea/8'

3-5 Pull-ups: 4,4,4
110lb BB DL: 8,10,10

Low SW: 15/15/2' x5
BW cool down.

Notes: SW until skin started moving. DL felt great this time. TGU felt tough, but better. Much better.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Training Log 07/09-07/15 Building Strength Again

Week 2 of a "strength block" of training, prepping to move up to 20kg Biathlon in the Fall. I read a few articles lately on specificity of training.  Faleev on power lifting: just the 3 lifts, unless you are correcting a hazardous dysfunction. Vasiliev and others on GPP for GS: use running, BB lifting, and other sports outside competition season to build GPP. 60-70% of session time spent on warm-up and cool-down. Interesting. Specialized training is demanding stuff.

This "20min to a fitter you" philosophy is a marketing gimmick. Even doing the most basic RKC beginner's workout, I needed to warm up first, and I got sore if I didn't stretch thoroughly at least 1-2 times a week. 20 minutes can help general fitness. It cannot maintain a high-level enthusiast or a competitive athlete, not 20 minutes all-inclusive. 20 minutes of actual resistance training, plus maintenance, that can work.

I'm finding my knees pop in acute angles, and hundreds of weekly squats have not fixed that. The video of my squats sounds like leather stretching, but that's just the cracking and popping with bad acoustics. I'm strong, and I'm mobile, and I'm a coin-toss every morning. Granted, the doc did say I had stretched or "partially torn" my MCL, and I'm missing part of my VMO. Let's try warmup on a recumbent stationary bike with the seat low enough for acute flexion. 

I also need to start prepping my snatch technique again.  Add some dead lift volume for strength instead of HS swings.  Add GS style "low swings" for grip endurance and maintaining arm-trunk contact in the backswing. Pulling from the shoulder's a bad habit for me. Use the right tool for the job.

There's this little grouping I'm doing as warmup and before the majority of meals: knee circles, shoulder girdle (upper T-spine) circles, 10 Hindu pushups, 10 close squats, 10 Hindu pushups, 10 full squats.  I'm doing it almost so often that it's not worth documenting, so I'll call it "4 tens" in warmup. I may actually be working out the rotation in my left shoulder. 60 Hindu pushups a day (for someone who never does pushups) will do that.

07/09 Double 20kg Complexes
Warmup: 4 tens, 5' low bike

5CL,5J,  2-5s hold: 6 sets, #5 on video
5SQ,20bumps: 3 sets

planned 4, winded

4 tens and stretch

Notes: BW 141.5. 16oz Gatorade before, sloshed in belly during jerks. Did discrete bumps instead of JSQ, treating each as a jerk rep. Knee responding well to warmup and maintenance work. Did extra skill work, less drill work, felt "cardio" was already accomplished. No work wasted for its own sake.

Tue Single Heavy Work
4 tens, 5' low bike

24kg TGU: 2ea/5'

3-5 Pull-ups, HLR: 4,3,3
DL: 3ea 160lb, 140lb, 120lb
- 3 circuits
Low SW: 10/10 x10

planned 4-5

Notes: turning into grip and back day, okay. Complements jerk and squat day. BW 143.0 pre-hydrated. There's no productive reason to do DL in drop sets in this routine.

Thu 20kg Double Complexes
4 tens, 5' low bike

8CL, 8J 5"OH:  x5 (88855)
5SQ,20bumps: x3
Stairs: 3 laps/9' with some rests

Notes: First full set of stairs with 2x20kg.  No shame in catching my breath. Started losing the lockout in jerk at set 3.  Traced it back to a weak launch, of course, pressing out at the top. Changing to a shoulder-width stance in set 4 benefited my undersquat and didn't cost much in my launch. If I can train this, intentionally, it will benefit my LC and not let my joints inhibit my 2nd dip.

Ordinarily, the jerk suffers from a wider stance because of the change in the angle of force. You don't see a lot of short guys doing LC because of the spread. This new to the weight class, I'm completing 8 CL and 8 J in 2'. Not bad.  Stay here until 5 sets 8 is strong.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Training Log - program change to 20-24kg strength work

Long Cycle has always fit me well, in the sense that the movement grooves well with little practice and does not provoke soreness. I wanted to get my LC rank III (16kg) so as not to fall behind my Biathlon ranking, but I did not specify a number of weeks or 10' straight.  I ranked this week, and I'm moving on to heavier weight.  This is a block of 24kg and double 20kg drills to build my strength up.  May (need to) put on mass (to progress), so eating freely and tracking BW. Adding squat work almost every day to build up to the heavier jerks. Get-ups feel really good right now.

07/02 Sat 2x16kg LC
Warmup, mobilize. Video.
BW: 141.5
LC: 44/6'
added 12/2' x2 to finish at 10' total
Stretch out.

Notes: slept in, trained 14hr fasted. Petered out at the last rep, probably due to being fasted the extra few hours, but the set was solid. That video's been sent in to WKC. This was what I wanted to do, plain and simple.

standing holds
2x16kg 5'
2x20kg 2', 2', 2'

07/03 Sun stretching and sunshine
Sun salutes: 2 sets 5 ea
Face-the-wall Squats: 2 sets 10
24kg TGU: 5 ea/10'
24kg 2-handed hardstyle Swings: 5 sets 20
Stretch and sun

Notes: how great will my overhead be when I can do 5 TGU each side without unloading the bell? This felt good. Excited about this month. And the heavy HS swings were a good addition. Go ahead and make the change.

07/05 Tue Double 20kg Complexes
Mobilize and windmills as needed. Be mobile and safe.

5CL,3-5jerk/PP:  x3 (5,5,5)
5SQ,20FSQ: x3
Stairs: 2laps/5'
Stretch 15', felt good

Notes: 143.0lbs. Shoulder fatigue on stairs. Jerk launch was weak. Add bench jumps, patience.  This will come together.  Good first session.

07/06 Wed maintenance
Before every meal, 10 Hindu pushups x2, 10 close squats, 10 full squats done explosively. 
Started when I rolled out of bed, and had a protein meal immediately after.  I like this pre-meal routine a lot.  Not stressful, not heavy or resource-intensive.

07/07 Thu Single Heavy Work
24kg TGU: 6', 4ea

- Circuit
3 Pullups, HLR

5 Goblet SQ
- 4 circuits

24kg Pulls:
OALC: 5ea, for practice

SW: 3'@20 2H hardstyle, 3'@10ea sport style
Stretch thoroughly

Notes: BW 142.5 with 1pt Gatorade in me. A little sore later. 24 is definitely heavy for me. Hardstyle swings are a surprising challenge at this weight and this long out of practice.

Get-ups were more squared and solid after I became aware of my left shoulder external rotation and ducking around beneath the bell.  Much better now.  Moving very well.  Keep these up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Training Log 06/25-07/01 LC wk 2

Week 2 of focused Long Cycle training. I gave myself up to 6wks to make my rank numbers in LC (42 reps), then ranked in 2wks.  For some odd reason, LC doesn't make me sore, so my perception of recovery and progress is different.  I need to transition up a weight class and reserve 16kg for conditioning work.

06/25 24kg OALC
BW 141.5, not even trying. Last-min upgrade 20-24kg. We'll see.

Warmup, mobilize, TGUs xx
CP: 1 3-rung push presses :-p
OALC: 1'ea, 1'r x4-5
7,6,6,8,9 (total 36ea/10')
Cycling: L9 4.1/15' 145HR 120cal

Notes: over-rotated a couple with the new weight, all early. Grip fatigued, not hips. Presses are a waste at this weight; do get-ups here and 2x16kg Dbl MP later.

06/26 Sun 2x16kg LC (opt)
>> lost sleep, knee sore, worked overnight and afternoon. 5pm short session
Warmup, mobilize
LCCP/Pullups: 1 x3r
LC: 1'@10rpm,1'r x5-6
10, 10, 10, 10, 20/2'
stairs, cycling (skipped)

5' walk, stretch lightly

Notes: dbl cp and pullups were easy. Don't have 30 of them, but short sets were easy. LC pace was aggressive, but reasonable. Jerk has gotten easy, springy, even with the wider stance. My second dip is clearer on video now than a few weeks ago.

06/28 Tue 2x16kg LC plus drills
Warmup, mobilize
LCCP/Pullups: 1 x3r 

LC: 3',1'r x3-4
18/3', 1'r x4
Stairs: 3laps/5'30"

Notes: banged a finger during warmups; manned it out. Last 1' was real shaky. 6rpm is a LOT of rack time; 7-8rpm may feel better as soon as it's sustainable.

06/29 Wed mobility work
Arm bars, get-ups, halos, GSQ.
Midday pistols: alternating singles, 8 or 10 each with short rests. Rock bottom, good form.

06/30 Thu 2x16kg LC
Paged on-call, slept in, single 6' set instead of multiple sets.  Let's see what this can do.

6' timer: 8,8,8,8,6,8 (46), big PR!
BW 142.5, rank III with spares
2x16kg 5SQ+20JSQ x3

Stretch well

Notes: Skipped cycling and stairs in favor of squat/jump squat complexes.  This was short, intense, and focused.  Felt good.  If not for the 6' timer, I could have actually done 50-plus.

Question: Will I reach a point of diminishing returns gained by extending LC instead of moving up to 20kg biathlon? I need to move up more than I need to sit on LC just because I find it fun.  Get a rank video, get a 10' limit test, and move on.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can I do this instead of that? No.

I just finished a 6-month program, laid out for me by a coach and culminating in a competition. I made small changes when my stamina improved or to improve mobility. Otherwise, the goals I laid out for months 4, 5, and 6 were met on schedule. I lost 8lbs in the 5th month, right on schedule, and I followed the program.

Then there's this. One of my social venues is a web forum for kettlebell and fitness enthusiasts like myself. New people join the forum, post comments on their own threads until their post count says "Senior Member", and start re-posting the same questions until someone agrees with them.

"Can I do cardio from this program alongside the strength phase of this other program?"

"Can I add high-volume calisthenics along the part of this other program that says 'no other strength training at this time'? "

"I have decided to program my workout this way instead of following the book.  I've been at it for a week, and I feel great. Doesn't everyone think this is a great idea?"

I'll summarize by quoting the FAQ of Pavel's "Enter the Kettlebell", with due respect and credit.
"Q: Can I substitute the... with the...?"
"A: No. By virtue of your asking this question."
I'm a student and an educator by nature, and a compulsive hobbyist. I'm bothered by little things "done wrong", like South American fish and Asian plants in the same aquarium. I also care a little and feel compelled to help. Step 1 is to have a goal. Step 2 is to take stock of your own resources and limitations. Planning your training is at least as late as step 3.

"Can I trade out dead lifts and squats from this powerlifting program for shoulder shrugs and bench presses from this body building program?" No, they are completely different. Do kettlebell swings, do rowing, do some sort of hip-driven pull. The shrug is a gesture of someone who does not care. Care.

"I tore my hands up doing snatches; can I keep doing snatches with gloves to train for my RKC." First, no. Pain will corrupt your technique. Let your hands heal. Second, you're not passing the RKC. It's an instructor's certification, and you didn't know better than snatching with blisters.

I'm taking some time off the forum, for my own sake. For the next 6wks, I'm doing 2x16kg Long Cycle, pullups, and carrying bells up and down stairs. Strength training for 6wks after that. Follow me here weekly if you like. You'll be on a program for the next 90 days, right? Send me a link to your training journal, and I'll follow that instead of the forum.

Training Log 06/19-06/24 (Long Cycle wk1)

I'm starting a block of Long Cycle (Clean and Jerk) training. My long-term goal is to maintain competency in both the Biathlon and the Long Cycle, so there will be milestones along the way to keep their ranks equal. After the 16kg bell, rank tests must be performed at competitions, which are not that common here.

The major competitions are at least slightly "seasonal", with LC in the Spring and Biathlon in the Fall. I may be able to make 20kg Biathlon for Southeast Regionals in November and 20kg LC at the GA State meet next June. I may find cause to travel for this...

06/21 Tue Pullups and 2x16kg LC
Warmup, mobilize.
LCCP and Pullups: 2 x1-2-3 in supersets
LC: 2',1'r x4
14,12,12,12 (call it 6rpm)
Cycling: L9 2.7/10' 135HR 75cal

Notes: good start. 6rpm, good volume. Triceps really sore. Knee felt fine.

06/22 Wed

Not a training day, but got asked about wreck 'n rehab. Did around 10 pistols each.

06/23 Thu 2x16kg LC
Warmup, mobilize, halos, single OH SQ
TGU: 2
LC: 12/2' x5, 1'r
13,12,12,12,17 (7,10) = 66/10' total

Stairs: 3laps/under 6'

Notes: felt good. A little stiff later, but not bad. Plenty of grip fatigue work, including stairs. I like this. Single overhead squat felt surprisingly good. Add some double OH SQ by the end of next week, and add some JSQ sets back into the mix. Not as critical for this slow pace as it was for the jerk, but good squat work will certainly help.

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 Georgia State Kettlebell Sport Championships

18 June, 2011, Duluth, GA at Extreme Fitness, hosted by WKC Master Trainer Scott Shetler. I counted 12 competitors on the card, male and female, representing biathlon, long cycle, and strong sport. There were several men competing 20kg LC, and several women put up numbers above rank and lasted the full 10 minutes.

I scored 60J, 54SN to make WKC rank III at 65kg with reps to spare.

I hoped for 60 Jerk and 55 Snatch, both of which would have been personal records by 5 reps. I tried to recover the last snatch, but I couldn't close my fingers around the handle. It was just "over".  I took a break in the Jerk at 50 reps, between rank and PR. That breather got me 10 more reps in the 7th minute. I am very close to a 10min set in the Jerk.

On a training note, this is the first time I've taken most of a week's rest before a max effort instead of maintaining momentum. I had a couple of light sessions, 10 reps of each and some bicycling and stretching. I do believe I went in rested, but I definitely came out more sore than I've been in a long time. My knee and triceps were sore for more than 48hrs afterward.

Where do I go from here?
  1. Make steady improvement on movement in my right knee and my left shoulder.
  2. Get my Long Cycle rank III by the end of July. I'm not actively competing it yet, but I don't want my two events to get very staggered.
  3. Train 3/wk for a while. Get a little of my life back on the weekends. Keep a 4th session of one-armed work on file for when I'm bored.
  4. Rank II (20kg) by the Autumn meet. Start some strength training now, which will involve some heavy lifting and more eating.  Maintain 10 pullups, 10 pistols, and <150lbs.
  5. Extend my 16kg work to 10min, no questions asked. I need a lightweight, high-volume option. I'm at 7min in both lifts right now.

Training Log 06/11-06/17 State Champs Week

Light training this week, resting for GA State meet on Saturday.

06/11 Sat Assistance work
Warm up, mobilize, stretch, jumps
16kg OALC: 2 sets 5 for warmup
Jerk, 10" OH hold: 3 sets 5
SW: 1'ea, 1'rest, 2 sets
2x16kg stair carries, 3 floors: 4 laps/8'

Notes: 143.5lbs, dressed.  Good session, not exhausted.  Good OH work.
PM 2x16kg Static holds: 4', 1'rest, 4'

06/12 Sun Biathlon
Warm up, mobilize, band stretch, jumps
Scratched plan to do multiple short sets in favor of short rank test
J: 12,12,12,9,5/4'30" (48 and 2 spares)
SN: 20,20,5 ea/4'40" (45)
2x16kg stair carries, 3 floors: 4 laps/7'30"

Notes:  142.0lbs. Just did not feel like 2' sets today.  J: 3'@12 was a very significant milestone for conditioning and sprint capacity.  Maybe try a comfortable 4-5' on Tuesday, 40 each lift.

P.S. Calves are no longer sore from stair carries.  This rank set and stair carry was in VFFs.  Stretching out well.  This addition may have peaked at an ideal time.

06/14 Tue
skipped morning for poor sleep, after work...
OAJ/GSQ: 2x5
TGU: 3 plus 1 ratchet
OAJ: 10, 16/1' ea
SW: 50ea non-stop
Cycling: L9 4.2mi/15', 130HR 125cal
Stretch lightly

06/15 Wed pm
8' static hold at arms' length, 2x16kg.  Stretching.

Notes: when this hits 10', move up to 20kg.

06/16 Thu mobility
BW 141.0
Lunch: mobilize and warmup
Superset pullups/pistols: 4, 3, 3
18 floor round-trip stair walk
Evening stretch

06/17 Fri light work
Warmup, stretch, light session
Cycling: 4.25mi/15', 120HR, 115cal
Few jerks, few OAJ, few SN
Some half-Get Up work with spine mobilization
Stretch out

Feels good.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bonus Round!

I got last-minute notice of an Indian Club training session this afternoon and bailed work early to get there.  Thanks to Scott Shetler for hosting at Extreme Fitness, and thanks to Dr. Ed Thomas for leading a tiny group of us in this surprising, challenging skill.  It's just a circle.  When did circles get so hard?

I also hung around to video a rank IV (12kg) attempt in Long Cycle.  I don't practice a lot of LC.  Most competitors focus on biathlon the majority of the year and prep for LC competitions the last couple months before a meet.  I'm a biathlon competitor, but I just love what LC represents as an exercise.  The heavy swing, the rack, the jerk, the slower pace and slower accumulation of points. LC's always appealed to me.  And LC video thumbnails just ROCK. 

I didn't want to get more than one or two biathlon ranks and have to start over from scratch at LC, so I planned to "throw together" a LC rank attempt whenever my jerk was good enough. Started shaky, got progressively smoother.  That lighter weight never really "pinned" me into the rack or forced me to counterbalance the swing.  By rep 40 or so, I was keeping time at four breaths for well over 7 minutes.  This is remarkably focused and cathartic for me, especially at a lighter weight like this.  If I hadn't trained twice already, I could have done this all day.

Training Log 06/04-06/10 The Home Stretch

Hands are healing well. First couple sets of snatch did not tear, which is a good thing. Made my target weight on Saturday, 143.0lbs. 143.3 is exactly 65kg, so I am there without rounding or fudging. Finally sustained 12rpm jerk Sunday for the first time. Stair carries are more relevant and sustainable GPP work than squats, more challenging than bicycling. I wish I could run.

Thursday, I hit the 70kg rank III numbers at a weigh-in of 65kg.  PR on both lifts, and broke a month-long plateau on snatches.

06/04 Sat Assistance work plus 2x16kg bells
Mobilize, warm up, band stretches, 30' total
2x16 LC + 10" OH hold: 2 sets 5
 - worked out to around 3rpm with this extended OH hold.
5CL, 5SQ, 10JSQ: 5 sets with 45" rest
1H SW: 1'ea x2, 30rpm

Cycling: upgrade to L9.  4.4mi/15', 150HR, 130cal

Notes: BW 143.0. +2lbs by end of session, most of it on my shirt.  Band and mobility work helped my squat form.  OH holds were really helpful, actually relaxing my quads in lockout a couple times.  LC is always fun.

Tiny bubble under new skin on a finger.  May need anti-perspirant and tape for snatches. Clean and squat finisher was fun and challenging, but it fried my hips for the next 2-3 days.

06/05 Sun Biathlon short sets
Slept poorly, woke up with stiff hip and sore knee.  Mobilize and warm up, band stretches.

J: 12/1', 1'rest x5, 15/1' blind sprint to finish

SN/SW: 90"ea, 1'rest x4
25, 22, 18, 10sn + 30"sw each

In lieu of cycling,
3-floor stair carries, shoulders up and farmers down: 5 laps in 9'


Notes: hips REALLY tight, but hamstrings loose enough to forward fold head to shin.  Never acheived a useful 12rpm jerk before.  This will certainly help my conditioning.  Band work on my shoulder external rotation really helped.

Stair carries made a GREAT finisher.  Leg drive and dip absorption.  Shoulder/rack and vertical posture going up, grip impact going down, intense general cardio.  Breathing like a train for 9'; I would love to do this for 15-20' instead of cycling.  Left my calves really sore, but works the conditioning really well..

06/07 Tue Biathlon for time (on video)
Mobilize, warm up, band stretches
Goal: 6'/6'

J: 54/6' (10,10,10,8,8,8) (PR! woo!)
10' rest
SN: 43/6' (tragic)

3-floor stair carries: 3 laps/6'

Notes: calves REALLY sore, hips not so much. Surprised I had any launch at all.  1 possible no-count jerk, and a couple of under-dip snatches.  Jerk was a PR for time and reps, 6/30" improvement with a little in the tank. Left stopped at 44, almost dropped the bell. Did not have 1 more rep in that hand. Right actually dropped the bell at 43, and there was a peeled callus on the floor. Need to find a better use of intermission to prep forearms, maybe add some static holds or carries. I shouldn't be fighting with this right now. I should be reaching for 60 or 65 reps right now.

06/08 Wed
Slept in, soreness in L shoulder from pulling snatches.  Worked on that all day.
a.m. 2x16kg side carries, 4', 1'r, 4'
12kg single OH holds 4x1' alt hands.
p.m. 2x16kg side carries, 4', 1'r, 4'

Notes: Start doing these drills regularly.  This was good stuff.  Standing static holds will help.  The overhead holds revealed that my left brachial/ulnar trunk gets impinged and numb over time, even under flexible and optimized posture.  May change my strategy on resting during snatches until I can address this later in the summer.

06/09 Thu Biathlon for reps, on video
BW 143lb (65kg)
Mobilize, warm up, band stretches
Goal: 55J/55SN

J:55/6'40"  PR!  Gave myself 1 no-count, had more in the tank.
10' rest
SN:50ea/6'30" PR! 

3-floor stair carries: 3 laps/6'

Notes: On video, timing was approximate. Jerks worked well. Focus on a visible second dip, even though I'm slamming the heels with my knees bent. Snatches went better at a slightly higher pace on the left.  These are both PR numbers and rank III 70kg numbers.  I am so relieved to hit 70kg rank at 65kg weight a week in advance.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Training 05/28-06-03

Dialing back from 5/wk to 4/wk.  This weekend was uncertain going in, but long-term something like this.
Sa Jerk sets and squats
Su Snatch/swing sets and cycling, OR Biathlon closer to competition
Tu Biathlon for a timed set
Th Biathlon for a rep number
Remembering that I peeled calluses off left hand last week, I'm willing to switch snatches to swings if needed.  I wish I could snatch consecutive days.  I wish I had another month to do 1-arm heavy support work, but it's time to scale that back and do the show.  Here we go.

05/28 Sat
BW 144.5
DL 5x110,130,160
Parallel pistols: 5,5,5 alt
Cycling: 5.8mi/20', HR135, 160cal, 2' end sprint: 125rpm, HR 150.
Stretch well

Notes: first pistols since 05/09, felt good. DL felt good. "Rest" day, right? De-loading at least.

05/29 oh, well.  Other plans did not materialize.
Mobilize and warm up
J: 2x3', 1'30" rest
SN: 2x2-3', watch skin
2'ea@15, peeled other hand. 40sw ea and done.

Notes: peeled other hand during snatches. Did not hurt, came off in a lump on the handle. Actually flicked it and finished the set. Like a boss.  6rpm jerk actually felt almost uncomfortably slow.  Breathing never got into a rhythm.  That's kind of good.

05/30 Memorial Day
Warm up
Pullups: 6,6,6
110#DL: 10,10,10
Cycling: 5.5/20', 135HR, 155cal
Stretching and yoga on roof

Notes: BW 143.5. Pizza Hut made me poop into a lower weight class. Who knew?  Good pullups.  DLs felt great.  Good basic Exercise Day.  I wish I could fit this in more often.

05/31 Tue Biathlon
Mobilize, warm up
Goal 5'/5', 40 ea optimistic
J: 5'
8rpm, 40/5'
5' rest
SN: 5' split
15,14,6/15,14,6 (34,34/5')

Notes: mashed middle finger cleaning up gym.  Big bruise over the first knuckle. Affected overlap grip, but worked around it and finished the time.  Not a bad snatch total for being a little out of practice.

06/02 Thu Bi
Mobilize, warm up
Goal 50/45
J: 50/6'-plus w/o clock.
 - 10' walking and mobility work
SN: 42/6'-plus w/o clock.  Shoot.
Stretch well

Notes: BW 143.5, and apparently stable!  For reference, my WL shoes are 2.5lb.

Jerks felt good.  I had a couple more.  I was resting fairly well in a left-side slouch.  I was very tired at the end, but I was not at failure.  I've not done jerks to failure in weeks; I have no idea where my actual limit is.  My rightward lean seems to be from residual tension in the left glute and hamstring.  Right hip flexor stretches can practically dislocate, so it's not the flexors.  After a set of hip openers last night, just standing up straight was visibly rotated to the right.  May work on SLDLs and some pistol/lunge progressions.

Snatches have not been 100% in a while.  Left arm has a persistent ulnar groove tightness, like there's a tendon or nerve slightly inflamed.  I got to 42 legit, plus one obvious no-count.  Grip just died; my hand was this weird claw that wouldn't close anymore.  I was so stressed that my right hand was sweaty before it ever started.  My record is 45, so this is more recovery than progress.  May do a third biathlon day on weekends and actually take the full 30' with light cycling.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Training Log 05/21-05/27 Test and rest

Short week, planning an all-out test Tuesday, then 5 days rest.  Did not work out that way.  I've been experimenting with chalking snatches, and it bit me bad on Sunday.  I got in some good jerk work, then right knee came up really sore.  Was much better by Thursday, but I've got to stop creating small injuries.

05/21 2x16kg Jerk and Squats
- Drive. Relax. Breathe.
shoulders, hips, jumps, OALC warmup
J: 2x16/  /3-4' x2-3
30/3', 30/3', 20/2', lockout getting weak, but good work
5CL-FSQ 20JSQ: 3sets
Stretch legs and back

Notes: finally got elbows to IC in squats. Lockout got loose in set 3. Drive was good. 10rpm was good.  Good session.

05/22 16kg Snatch and Cycling
- Drive. Relax. Breathe. Done a lot of hasty 4' lately. Maybe 2',1'r,2' L, then repeat on R.
shoulders, hips, Windmills
SN: 2' left, 1' rest, 2' right
Mistake. Outdoors and hot, chalked thoroughly. Blistered the left hand at 3', did not feel it coming on.  Blistered the right hand at 3', did not feel it coming on.  Tried some swings for conditioning work.
SW: 30ea, no more.  Done.
Cycling: 5.5mi/20', HR 130, 160 cal

Notes: chalk does not help me unless the handle is wet-chalked to a smooth, almost plastic finish.  The new WKC bells don't have the texture on the handles to hold chalk that way. Outside does not work for SN. Screwed Tue test day entirely, and may lose snatch practice next week.  Did not feel any pain 2 reps before failure.  Should have seen this coming.

The snatch grip pressure is not equal across all fingers.  The fingers that usually slide on the handle with very little pressure were sticking by the chalk and creating friction.  Some light damage on middle fingers, but major damage on ring and pinkie fingers, which I don't even use to support the bell.  I may be able to do jerks Tuesday or Thursday, but even cleans will be dangerous between now and next week.  Dang it.

05/23 Mon
Mobility on roof
Cycling: 6.1mi/20', HR 135 at 110rpm, 170cal. 

 Ended w 3' sprint at 120rpm, HR 155.
FTW SQ: 10,10,10
Divebomber Pushups: 10

Knee feels okay. HR is lower now for 20'@110rpm than 3mos ago for 12'@100rpm.

05/24 Tue 16kg 2x16kg Jerk test, no SN
- Drive. Relax. Breathe.
shoulders and hips warmed up

J: no attn to clock, test on video
55/6'30" PR, rank III number + 2
Cycling: 3.2/12', 135 HR, 90cal

Notes: pinched heel of thumb 2-3 times near the end, which is weird to do. Made rank plus 2, called it done.

PS: knee got very sore and noisy by afternoon. Mobilized and rubbed down, then iced.  Presents catch/pop pain at 90deg, then tension pain at 45deg.

05/26 Thu, 144.75lb BW after breakfast
Mobilize all, focus on stabilizing right leg
 - alt DL sets with Pullups
Dumbbell Deadlifts: 10x100, 10x120, 5x150
Pullups: 5Close Chin, 5Overhand, 5Towel
Cycling: 5.6mi/20' L8, 135HR, 160cal
Stretch, ice knee

Notes: DLs felt good, pullups were crisp and deep. Strong ext torque on leg relieved knee pain. Make a note.  Granted there was rest and therapy, but this practically re-set my knee.  I can pass parallel without a hitch, and I can get rock-bottom with a slightly wide stance and parallel feet.  This feels great.  Also, I did not have any trouble with my hands after all this hook-grip pulling.  May be able to snatch next week after all.

Notes: 4-wk back off overdue. Last SN PR was May 05, 45ea/6'.  Haven't touched it in almost 3wks. L elbow (ulnar nerve) sore since May 15. Blisters on both hands from experimenting with chalk. Strained right knee May 09, still impaired 2wks later. K-Starr's hip openers definitely stretched the knee in the spot where it's sore, like the external torque came from outside the leg.  I am NOT injury-free. This is NOT effective training. Lose the chalk for snatches.  Drop the 5th session. Rest before resuming with SN day, J day, two Bi days until State.  Make weight, or don't, but quit worrying about weight on June 19.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Training Log 05/14-05/20

Starting the week with a sensitive right knee.  Aware of this since a mild patellar strain last Monday (seems to be vastus medialis obliquus).  It's getting better, but it's regulating my jerks, deep squats, and stretching.

05/14 2x16kg Jerk, Squats
- Drive. Relax. Breathe.
shoulders, hips, jumps 2 x5
OAJ: 10-15ea for breathing

- J: 2x16/40 or 4' x2 sets
35 vid, no clock. Do 40 or 5' next.
40/4'30", cheated some 2nd dips

5FSQ 20JSQ: 2
15 Step ups and dips: 2
Stretch back, arms, easy on legs

Notes: triceps and shoulders were tired after. Video shows a SLOW lockout during even the first set, evidence of a sloppy leg drive. Knee was weak but not in pain. I was still tentative with it and cheated a LOT of the second dips. Nothing but massage and ice until Tuesday. Breathing was "off", a little hasty. Never sustained a groove like last week, but I did drift in and out of grooves and keep going for two significant sets.

05/15 16kg Snatch, Cycling
shoulders, hips
- Stack.  Relax.  Breathe.

SN: 16kg/  /4-5' x2-3
30+30/4', 30+30/4', 20+20 untimed

Cycling: 5.25mi/20', HR 125, 150cal
Stretch well, careful with legs

Notes: L elbow sore, feels like ulnar nerve tension.  I even stretched between sets.  HR was unusually low for a snatch/cycling session.  I hope I can attribute that to spectacular conditioning.  Finding that the hip opener stretch puts tension on R knee and causes shooting pain around VMO.  Susceptible to stretch in internal or external rotation or deep flexion.  Be careful with this.  This is wk 3, but close enough to the meet to warrant a rest either right now or at weekend.

05/17 16 Biathlon
shoulders, hips, jumps 2 x5
- Plan for practice sets, not PR numbers.

J: 10,9,9,8/4'
Stopped early and safe.  On video.


Bell had something on the handle.  Grip was irritated.

Notes: Good practice anyway.  Sustained 9rpm in Jerk.  Snatches were hasty and lacked rhythm, so stopped well short of failure.  Knee was okay.

From video:  lean back more from snatches.  Get forearm on torso.  Legs are not vertical in jerks.  Stacking and 2nd dip were irregular.

05/18 2x16 Jerk, Squats
- Drive. Quads. Breathe.
shoulders, hips, jumps 2 x5

J: 2x16/4-breath test, 2-3'
40/4', 3'r, 24/2', 3'r, 12/1'

5FSQ 20JSQ: 2 sets
Stretch legs and back

Notes: Good drive today.  12rpm is a bear, but 8-10 is manageable and available to me now.  This went well.  A few reps (no video) absolutely shot up in the air and I moved underneath.  My usual motion pulls back overhead at the top.  Those few unusual reps were the easiest I've ever done.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Training Log 05/07-05/13, Rank IV Test

Basics over the weekend, testing rank IV (12kg) on Monday.

05/07 16kg Snatch, Cycling
sh ext rot, hips, Windmill

- SN: 16kg/16-18rpm/1-2' alt  hands
2' ea @16 x3, 2'/1'30"@18
= 128
10ea 2breath: xx
20ea 2breath: x
- Total = 128,10,10,20 = 168ea

Cycling 5.75 mi/20', HR 140, 160 cal

Felt good.  Did some at pace, some slower with extra breaths in the rhythm.  The timing practice was good.

05/08 2x16kg Jerk, Squats
- rank test Monday, lighten up
- Big leg drive. Quads relaxed.
sh rot, hips, jumps 2 x5

J 2-3 sets: 24/3',26/3',24/3'

Stretch legs and back

Felt good.  9' total volume at pace.  I need more days like this.  Soon I'll start reducing assistance work and adding volume sets like this.

05/09 rank IV test @5:30

12kg, 55J, 52SN @65kg BW
Jerk Video 
Snatch Video

Tested at 65kg.  I wanted to present 70kg numbers, mostly to show myself that I could, and to pad a couple extra reps in case the reviewer finds fault.  Coach says these looked good.  I had more in the tank, lots more.  I could probably go 10' at pace with that weight.  Vids currently not on my own channel and not searchable; hence, the links.

05/11 2x16 Jerk
shoulders, jumps, half get-ups, watch the right knee
- "Practice" by 4-5 breaths, video, 35+ goal, no clock.  Find sustainable rhythm.

J: 2x16kg/48/5'35"  <-- Big PR

16kg Jump Squats: 30, 20
Stretch well

PR on time and reps, actually 1rpm faster than usual.  65kg rank number at BW 144lb afterward, hydrated, wet t-shirt.  I quit while okay, but my lockout was fading fast.  Will work 75% for now and re-test in 2wks for 53/50.  I think I can.

05/12 20kg Snatch and Deadlift
shoulders, half get-ups, watch the right knee
- Keep the arc close, in the top triangle between the legs.  Stack and rest.  Technique work.

SN: 1'ea @15rpm, 2'r x3sets

DL: 5x140lb, 10x140lb
Stretch well

Iffy.  Right snatch was directly overhead, but the left snatch was wide.  Could not do the alternating sets non-stop.  Felt like a shoulder pull instead of a hip drive.  Revisit this later.  Heavy swings + comp snatches instead of heavy snatches.  Too close to State.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Training Log 05/03-05/06

Fresh off a 4-day rest.  Not shooting for PR, but for a clean 38-40 reps in 5'30" or more.  40J/43SN is my standing PR, both in around 5'.

Goals: stack the joints.  Relax the quads and shoulders between reps.  Do not rush snatches; start at 12 if necessary.

05/03 20kg Snatch and Deadlift
shoulders, hips, TGU
SN: 10 at top of the minute, alternating hands

DL: 5x130lb, 5x150lb
10 20kg Goblet Squats

Stacked well, 10/40-45".  Ready to try 20kg/10-12/1' without setting the bell down.

05/04 2x16kg Jerk and Squats
shoulder, hips, jumps 2x5
- J: 2x16/  /4' x2-3, Big leg drive.  Relax quads in the rack.
32/4', 3'r, 20/2', 3'r, 20/2'
15 BW dips x2
5FSQ + 35JSQ x2
Stretch legs and back

Stacking felt good.  Experimented with 10rpm.  I can "do" that, but it catches up with me.  I don't feel all the joint discomfort, but I'm totally out of wind.  Interesting angle for density training.

05/05 16kg Biathlon, 1 set each
shoulders, hips, warm up
- stack 'n relax. Shoot for 40 each.
J: goal 2x16/  /5-6'
(9,8,8,8)/4', stop.  Launch never felt "right", didn't push it.
SN: goal 16/  /5'30"
(45+45)/6', significant PR

The launch of my jerk never felt right.  My 1st dip seemed to drop away from my elbows, so it was jarring and jiggly.  At least I didn't fail out in 2min.  I stopped when the fatigue impacted my form.

Snatch felt good.  Stacked well, breathed twice.  Left hand went almost to complete failure on grip alone, not shoulder or wrist pain.  Made my 3min.  Technically, I was resting okay at the top and might have gotten a few more.  Right hand had 3-5 more left in the grip, but there was no point.  Interesting, the back of my right hand got sticky and began snagging under the handle.  Got wrenched a couple times.  Look into chalk, powder, whatever.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Recovery Work 04/30-05/01

Every four weeks I take a back-off period from heavy KB work.  Skipping the two weekend sessions buys me four days off.  Cycling, yoga and other restorative mobility work, and plenty of sunshine.

04/30 Recovery work
Cycling: 5.5mi/20', HR 140
Stretching, ankle work with rubber ball
Yoga by the pool
Pistols: 15 singles each leg, alternating sides, rock-bottom.  PR
6' of hip openers

Cycling with a partner, felt great.  Right hip finally opened.  Pistols got really droopy around 6.  Stopped to activate glutes and rehearse the squat position a couple times, resumed.  Felt progressively better from 8 to 12.  Stopped at 15 due to fatigue, not failure.  This was a clear-cut example of training strength until freshness and form first began to diminish.

05/01 Recovery work
- worked overnight, so not well rested
3 short sets Pullups: 5,5,3
15' Cycling: 5mi/18', 136cal, HR 145
Stretching, ankle and hip work
Yoga outdoors

Sitting overnight left me sore.  Glutes and hips hurt all day.  Rigorous work to loosen them up during the evening, much better Monday morning.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Training Log 04/23-04/28

Spread out the assistance work, schedule an optional 5th session, and build some strength with one-armed heavier work.  Hopefully the sessions will be shorter and more focused, and I can redeem the time with preparation and recovery.  Ended with PRs of 40/5' Jerk and 43/5' Snatch.

04/23 24kg OAJ, SW
sh ext rot, hips, TGU x
OAJ ea: 5, 5, 5LC, 5, 10    (total 30+30)
SW 10-15ea: 15,10,10,10,10    (total 110+110)

LC actually felt good, shoulder-wide stance.  This was simple and to the point, and I liked it.  Started with a "5x5 strength program" idea, and the load was just right.  Get-up was heavy and in a confined space, so it presented a real sense of exertion and challenge.

04/24 16-20kg Snatch, Cycling
sh ext rot, hips, TGU
SN: 20/9ea/1'

16/32ea/4' x2 sets
6rpm, OH holds, alternating 1': 3sets ea.
Cycling 5.3mi/20' HR 130


Snatch sets felt good. Changing to 6rpm let me explore resting at the top. Fairly tired, still stayed up another minute and another 6 reps.  PR is still 42+40/5'20" from last Thursday biathlon session.  Shoot for 6' this week, even if lower rep count.

04/25 maintenance
Lunch hour:
stretch, 10 jerk jumps, 20 seated dips, 4 close-grip pullups, 15 Peterson step-ups
 x 2 circuits

04/26 20kg SN and Deadlifts
sh ext rot, hip distraction stretches, squats
SN: 10, top of the minute, alternating hands

8'@10rpm changing hands, 14+15/2' finisher
DL 5x130#
DL 5x150#

Felt good.  The AC was out, so hands were humid and soft and clearly the weak link.  Chalk made it worse.  Fingers a little sore, but did remarkably well overall.  2' finisher was rewarding.

04/27 2x16kg Jerk and Squats
shoulder rotation stretches, hip stretches, TGU
- Big leg drive.  Pause until quads relax, even if pace is slow.
J: 2x16/24/3' + 2'rest x3 sets
 -- (tried 10rpm in the last set.  Got as far as 10,6,8, but I tried.)
5FSQ+30JSQ x2sets
Stretch legs and back

TONS of little adjustments, gleaned from different trainers and therapists.  Eyes, "false grip", drop, shoulder stretches, relaxed quads, could be an article in itself.  This was a GOOD jerk session for me, better than the raw numbers indicate.  I should write this up.

I need 10rpm so bad.  I might actually be able to do 7' @8rpm, but it's not competitive.  At current pace -- 15rpm snatch and 8rpm jerk -- I'm looking at 7' each to make rank.  5' @10rpm would be a relief.

04/28 16kg biathlon, 1 set each
shldr rotation, hip stretches, TGU
- explore stacking for rest, even with low score.  Relax quads between reps.
J: 2x16/40/5'
-- Straight 8rpm.  Actually stopped with gas in the tank.
10' active recovery
SN: 16/43+44/5'
-- Started 19rpm, catch-up from there.  Never stacked and rested right at all.

My mistake.  Started snatches too fast, and never stacked up right.  Forearms pumped, lactate caught up with me.  Still a PR in both lifts, though not quite optimized.  Really sore afterward.

begin 4wk back-off period, off 'til next Tuesday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Training Log 04/16-04/22

Met with Coach on Tuesday.  Finding benefit in heavy work.  Need to build up leg drive, especially on the right.  Time to gut it out, endure the pain.  "Welcome to the sport; do 5 minutes from now on."  Have some video, but it's boring.

04/16 Saturday 16kg Snatches
warmup, TGU, halos, OAJ
- 16kg SN, indoors, some chalked
Planned 4'@15rpm, 1' rest, repeat.  Did not get far.
18,12+18,12/3' - failure
10+10: 4 sets

Deadlift: 5 x120lb, 5 x140lb
Pistols: 2 x10
Cycling: 20', HR >145

Late start, fasted, fast start.  This did not work, overall.  Lost both grip and shoulders during snatches.  Even cycling hit "force of will" at only 6'.  Last 4' on the edge of cramps.  Sore 2hrs later.  Not a good session.

Pistols worked.  DL's worked, limited only by grip, not back.  18rpm screwed me, but it was a novel feeling.  Grip is developing into an actual, free release and a strong hook that I never managed with traditional bells.

04/17 Sunday 2x16kg Jerk
warmup, windmills, halos
- J intended for time, 1-2 sets
2'@10.  Rack failed.
2'@10, 2'r, 2'@6, 2'r, 4'@2 for rack work
- total = 34/10' split

15 Step-ups, 15 Dips, 5FSQ + 40JSQ: 2 sets each

Rack was infuriating.  Revisit this with Coach later in the week.

04/18 light 16kg work
OAJ alternating sets of 5: 2 x5
SN slow alternating sets of 5: 2 x5ea

Lunch hour: stretch legs, 5 pistols, stretch lats, 2 x3 pullups
PM: 16kg 2x5 OAJ, 4x5 SN
20kg 5 OAJ, 5 SN

Sleep and recovery... I wake up tired after training days, fresh after rest days.  Mental or psychological?  I handled some weight on an off day and felt good.  How would I manage redistributing this into a 5th session?

04/19 Shoulder and hip work, Coach at 5:30pm.

Drive jerks with the legs.  5-10 vertical jumps before jerks.  2x20kg showed I was strong-arming the launch.  Use volume 24kg OAJ as supplementary work. Get 16kg/5' at least once a week, period.  Hanes t-shirt, WET, worked better than anything else I train in.  Add a set of 20kg SN before 16kg training sets.  Go for 16kg/6' snatch soon.

Preparing a new program.  Possible 5 sessions/wk.  Some short heavy work, some long comp work.

04/20 worked overnight and half of morning.

16kg 5 SW, 5 CL, 5 OAJ ea
20kg 5 SW, 5 CL, 5 OAJ ea, x2 sets

Felt good.  Do often.

04/21 16kg biathlon sets
shoulder ext rot stretch, hips, 1 TGU, WET t-shirt
J: shoot for 35/5' - 36/5' (8,8,8,6,6)
15' active recovery
SN: shoot for 35/5' - 42+40/5'20" (15,17,12/17,15,8)

Finally made 5' jerk.  Chalked SN did not help, tore skin a little. Continue to improve the hook grip.

04/22 maintenance work

Begin a 5 session routine next week.  2 exercises a day, assistance work distributed through the week.  1 day each at comp weight, 1 day each heavy, 1 biathlon test weekly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Training Log 04/11-04/15 - narrower KB jerk stance

04/11 calisthenics
Begin sets of Peterson step ups throughout the day. Response speed is visibly slower on the right leg.  Hip mobility work during lunch.

PM: foam roll, t-spine, 8+12kg rack 10' w step ups, 1x16kg 8' split set.

04/12 16kg Snatch
warmup, TGU, halos

1 set SN 16/4-5': 38+38/5' (big PR)

Pullups 2 sets of 5-8: 6 neutral grip, 5 overhand grip
DL 5ea 110#, 130#, 140#
Cycling 5.5mi/20', HR 140

2x16 Static hang: 2', 3'
2x16 Rack: 3', 3'

Held out until my grip was truly fried this morning.  Good session.  Previous 16kg snatch PR was 30+30/4'.  Possibly do some OA work on Wednesday. 

04/14 2x16kg Jerk
focus on hip-wide stance today
warmup, WM, OAJ, halos
J: 2'@8, 1'r, 2'@8, 3'r, 3'@8

OAJ: 3'@10
Step Ups, Dips 15x2
5FSQ+40JSQ x2
Stretch, including hip opener from

Good work today, and some GOOD diagnostics performed.  Slept well, warmed up and lifting by 6, first time in weeks.  Total was 2x16/56/7', all on video.  Work up to a total of 60/10' with timed rests, the whole program.  The rest of this is technical in nature from identifying and fixing some problems.

Got the narrow-stance idea from Ilya Tashlanov, IGSF world champion at 68kg.  He's teensy like me, and his stance is shaped like an "H".  (Does he even compete LC?)  Denisov and Rachinsky are much more A-shaped for LC, which fits the bells but isn't yet sustainable for me.  With the new stance, my launch looks more like Tashlanov or Rudnev now and feels good.  The rack carries are helping, and I'm fairly comfortable overhead when the launch is good.  If I can start breathing again overhead, I'm confident it will add a full minute.

Right leg is improving, on the whole, more than adequate today.  The hip opener is helping.  Left ankle's lack of flexion is rotating my knee out, spreading my stance.  (It was laterally sprained once, badly.)  This was a good discovery, one I wouldn't have made without the stance change.  It threw me completely off during jump squats!  Every bounce rotated a little further out.  Weightlifting shoes would relieve the limitation.  I may be able to fix this in therapy, but it's gonna hurt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Training Log 04/09-04/10

04/09 Sat 12-16kg Snatch
warmup, 16kg TGU 2-3, halos
5-10 OAJ x2sets

- Snatch drop sets, as described in notes

16kg/2' + 12kg/2', each hand. See notes about weather.
16kg/(15+15) 12kg/10 L, 16kg/(15+15) 12kg/10 R

12kg/4'@15 x well chalked
16kg/ alt every 10 x3sets ea

- total 12kg/60ea, 16kg/40ea

3 sets Half PLUP: 6OH, 6Close UH, 6OH
3 sets HPistols: 5 +10lb, 8, 8
Cycling: 4mi/15', HR 140
Stretch well

Notes: I've been needing a way to  add volume and length to snatch sets.  An entry at Girevoy Sport After 40 caught my attention, so I tried it today.  It mimics the idea of drop sets.  To quote Ukranian coach Morov:

Left: 28 kg - 50 reps, put down, 24 kg - 30 reps, then 16 kg - 50 reps (130 reps total). Without rest repeat the same with the right arm.

Those weights are out of my range, but the idea is accessible.  I trained outside, and the weather was muggy.  The bells were moistening out of the air.  The finish on the 12kg was almost slimy.  This was a good idea, but poorly executed.  Still, I did train 200 reps of snatch today.  No video this time.

Pistols and pullups behaved remarkably well.  I'm only training those twice a week.  The R knee has been griping at me for 2 days.  I was impressed that it warmed up and did the job.  I stopped at 8R the second set because I felt the first twinge of discomfort, not because it failed.

04/10 Sun 2x16kg Jerk
warmup, windmills, OAJ, halos
- J: schedule 2'@10 + 30"rest, repeat

20/2', 13/1'15"
Step Ups, Dips: 15x2
5FSQ+40JSQ x2

The pace caught up with me, made me sloppy.  I need mechanical work.  My elbows don't plant anywhere.  Video shows that I'm not just aiming my left arm wide; I'm rotating to the right.  I think I might be missing some feedback from my right leg, as much as I hate to keep blaming that.

Seeing Coach 04/12 or 04/13.  May pre-empt my snatch day.