Saturday, September 20, 2014

New 20kg PR: 60/10'

I have been working toward a 20kg Long Cycle test, with a goal of 60 reps in mind. That would be a +6 PR with a drop in weight class. The planning included a little 24kg work, a lot of 20kg sets, and a lot of running and mobility work. I was coached to make a change in technique over the summer, phasing out side-racking and resting in general due to my higher pace. I haven't yet seen how this will translate into 24kg work, but I'm excited about the prospect.

It's interesting to me that I'm cleaning high and noisy like I used to. It was effortless and unintentional. My backswing floated to a stop, and the bells naturally came in high. I actually breathe better with a higher rack, but the 24s will beat me to death coming in this way. I have some work to do. At least I can say I didn't rest in a side rack, and I got my legs into the launch around minute 8.

Below is a video from June of this year, lifting twelves in front of a coach. I intentionally dipped a little slow because I have a tendency to twitch off my toes. But the cleans... the cleans were so quiet. I need to get back to this work. This will be my 16kg work for the next month. I will be lifting at the North Carolina Kettlebell Rx next month. I've not yet determined which bell, but probably 20kg.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making use of the time

About 6wks out from the October 25 North Carolina Kettlebell Rx Weekend, I decided to take a little bump of strength training. I may not be able to compete with 24kg yet, but I can incorporate them for adaptation purposes. The jerks are passable, but the heavier cleans cracked a couple of my calluses, so I've had to grow some skin and manage my activities. This was a sample from today.

Warmup: Indian clubs, rope jumping, elbow and shoulder mobility
one-arm 16kg drills, a few reps double 16kg long cycle
double 24kg Jerk 5x5/1'rest
double 20kg Long Cycle 24/4'
24kg swings 3x50, switching hands every 5 reps
Ab work, squats, and physical therapy

That is a lot of "things" for my taste and available time, but it's a good 2-week bump to preserve strength and muscle. So I'm lifting 3/wk and running 2/wk, both lifting and running on Saturday mornings a couple times. That sounded brutal in my head at first, but it works out better than I ever expected.

P.S. This has been a good training season. Ten months ago, I followed a program to raise my weight from 152 to 164 for strength purposes. Half that fell off when I ended the actual program. I made a recent low-carb/high-fat change that stripped me down to 147, the lightest I've been in 3 years. My old clothes are tighter here and looser there. I press heavier. My 16kg and 20kg scores are up. And, I'm running now. Regardless whether I compete again, whether I lift 24kg or make rank, it's been a successful training season by every measure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Peer Pressure

Ed. note: I'm going to drop a lot of names, some ages, some scores and ranks. All of this info is publicly available on the web if you Google any meet I've ever attended. There is no suggestion of superiority or inferiority, no invasion of privacy intended, just some thoughts that have recently come to me. Enjoy.

The recent build-up to US Nationals in New York was exciting to follow. All these friends of mine -- some virtual, some actual -- griping about their shoulder and running off the last pound in Central Park before weigh-in. There were Juniors who won medals in the Adult brackets. There was a tiebreaker decided by weigh-in. There were newly-minted Masters of Sport. I wish I could have been there, but there really wasn't any reason for me to compete at Nationals. I knew that, and I was okay with it.

I have watched with pride as my young countrymen climbed the ranks. Jason Sanchez, Josh Dunn, Douglas Seamans, and Steve Mathews have moved up 3 bell sizes in the time I've known them. The Ice Chamber KB Girls rose to the challenge of 24kg Snatch, when the rest of the world said the idea was crazy, posting several scores in the eighties and led by Melissa Swanson's 120 for Master of Sport.

As for myself, I've spoken plainly and at length: my entire 2014 season has been a reboot, and a painful one at times. However, I've added 10% to my 16kg LC record, and I was on pace to add 10% to my 20kg LC record when my palm tore at the 7:00 mark. My foundations are better. I may or may not make 24kg before the Autumn competitions, and I've accepted that. But, this condition reminds me of a some other lifters I know.