Friday, December 19, 2014

The last 10 x 10 of 2014 with Anna Bogdanova

Time is flying by for sure.  With the new 10 x 10 weekend challenge being born in December it's turning out to be a 10 x 10 themed month!  I've posted ten 10 x 10 video workout options in the first week of the month and I've continued a similar practice in my own weekly swing workouts so don't think there weren't any Thursday versions.  That being said I'm working on revamping 2015's Swing Quest routines starting first and and ending last with 500 swing reps done in 10 x 10 progressions :)  But here is the very last one of 2014!  I taped this 10 x 10 in Denmark a few weeks ago with Anna Bogdanova, author of "Sky High Metabolism", enjoy!

10 2 hd swing x 2 sets
5 2 hd sw + 5 R
5 2 hd sw + 5 L
5 R/5 L x 2 sets
10 transfer swings x 2 sets
10 2 hd sw x 2 sets (thanks Gwen!)

And yes, the first Swing Quest marathon event for 2015 is scheduled for Thursday morning January 1st, exact time and location still to be determined (probably 7:30-9:30am).  Depending on how many commitments I get from my students I may decide to hold it here in our garage gym and have a small breakfast on my back patio (weather permitting).  The Swing Quest 2015 takes just under 2 hours to complete and for me I can't think of a better way to start off the New Year!  I love it!

Speaking of New Year swings....less than one week later I may be in your neighborhood!  Another reminder that it's not too late to register for my Winter Tour, One Hour Swing Class events in St Paul MN, Monday Jan 5th, and Milwaukee WI, Thursday Jan 8.  One hour of swings is around 1000 reps, but I promise to take care of each and everyone and help you scale the workout to your own personal level of skill and conditioning.  To swing with a group for one hour, no matter what your exact rep count is a ton of fun, especially when it's over!  Don't miss it, I have no idea when I'll make it back to the Midwest :)

Space and number of bells is limited in both locations so please if you are thinking about coming to swing with me reserve a spot now!  You can find the links to preregister right here, on my blog, in the left sidebar.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seriously Hard....I mean fun! the whole idea of the "all day long" part of the 10 x 10 x 10 challenge was because I'm here in Tel Aviv, Israel, while Mark is teaching the SFG Certification Course over a three day period and while I've had the chance to lead a couple of very short swing workouts I'm not officially assisting or participating.  BUT I thought because the SFG candidates have to practice and train over the course of three entire days it would be fair to challenge myself to something similar!

Friday I lead my short "Power-Ful Swing" workout and did some regular snatch practice for about 40 minutes and then went shopping and site seeing with a dear friend of mine.  Saturday I knew I was going to be at the Cert all day long, first leading a private swing practice class for an hour (which turned into two hours!) starting at 9:00am.  I finished that around 11:30 and knew I had the rest of the day, until 5:00pm to do my ten rounds of 10 x 10 w/24kg.  Oh boy.....11:40am 1st round.  12:00pm 2nd round, 12:30 3rd round, 1:00....or maybe I should refer to it as 13:00?  4th round.  It was my plan to get it done in about 3 hours completing one round every 20-30 minutes.

My hands and fingers were "crispy" from all of the swinging and snatching I had already done, but mostly from the chalk, as it dries out the skin very quickly so in all honesty ever single round, starting with the first one was more painful because of my hands mostly, but uncomfortable nonetheless.  It was probably the hardest thing I've done in a very, very, very long time.

Completely stopping for 20-40 minutes, and then having to start again, with a tired body and crispy hands was the biggest challenge I've felt in long time.  Going through my own SFG Certification course for three days two years ago felt easier than yesterday! Mostly, I think, because although it's more training in total it's continuous and because you are learning and practicing you never really stop, AND someone else is telling you when and what to do as opposed to having to tell yourself to when to start/stop.

More than once I contemplated quitting.  More than once I contemplated giving up and just not posting anything about it and maybe giving it another go on a different weekend before the end of the year.  And every time I contemplated it I just couldn't let myself give up.  Feeling accountable for presenting a challenge and not following through with it myself would just be too hypocritical.

I was able to do round 8 with the SFG candidates for part of their practice, finishing the last one around 4:30pm.

Now looking back at yesterday I'm happy, of course! It's over and to be honest my body felt great last night (besides a bit stiff and sore).  I'm off in a couple of hours to finish the second part of my challenge, 10 x 10 x 10 continuous, and because there is no 14kg available I will be doing all two hand swings w/16kg.  A walk on the beach this afternoon and dinner at a wine bar tonight!

One more day in Israel and I'll be back home on Wednesday :)

Here is a short workout I did with Tzvia Ben Shimon, who earned her SFG Certification last year.  My I Pad ran out of room to finish the video and it was cut short by 1 1/2 20 rep sets, but here is the complete One Hand Swing Practice workout...will you join us? Or maybe you are working on the challenge this weekend?  :)

5 2 hd sw + 5 R
5 2 hd sw + 5 L
5 2 hd sw + 5 R/5 L + 5 2 hd sw
4 2 hd sw + 6 R/6 L + 4 2 hd sw
3 2 hd sw + 7 R/7 L + 3 2 hd sw
2 2 hd sw + 8 R/8 L + 2 2 hd sw
1 2 hd sw + 9 R/9 L + 1 2 hd sw
10 R/10 L (this is where the video ends)
20 2 hd swings
7 min, 140 swing reps

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tracy Reifkind's Ten 10 x 10 Challenge

Ah the story goes.  Last year around this time I created my 10 x 10 workouts designed just to get your hands on the bell, work up a little sweat and get back into feeling your body and out of your head.  Over the last 12 months I've posted well over 100 workouts, close to 200 I'm sure (I stopped counting) so now I have a challenge for you during this busy holiday season to help you maintain your strength, health and fitness and hit the ground swinging strong on the first of the year. In fact it's a great way to get ready for The Swing Quest, which I will lead/host here in the SF Bay Area on January 1st (Thursday morning), and my Winter Tour Classes I'll be leading in St Paul and Milwaukee right afterwards, on January 5th and 8th!

The challenge is this.  Over 1 weekend before Xmas complete ten rounds of 10 x 10's twice.  Once over the course of an entire day (8 hours at least), and once done is consecutive sets.  If you are advanced/intermediate level you should be able to complete the consecutive set challenge within an hour, if you are a beginner do it using "On the Minute" sets of up to 10 reps for 50 minutes, rep count is irrelevant. You can do either way first but do them both one day after the next.....I'll be doing mine this weekend at the Israel SFG, most likely Saturday and Sunday.

You may choose this weekend (like me), or it may be one of the next three, but complete it at least one full week before January 1st.  Here are the ten consecutive sets I did in Sweden on Monday morning but please use any variation of 10 swings, with any variation of bell sizes.  Please share your results here in the comments section!  We all want to know how you did!  Thank you :)

PS And remember to register for my Winter Tour Classes here on by blog by December 10th to get a special gift form me :)  (links on the left)  and on Face Book you'll find the Milwaukee event here;

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winter Tour 2015, Come Swing With Me! I can't do it for you, but I'll do it with you!

Last January I spent a few days in Milwaukee Wisconsin with my friend Diana lured with the promise of snowshoeing!  I grew up in California rarely leaving the state for most of my life, and yes, it's true, we do have snow in CA, but it's a 4 hour drive from where I am, and it's cold when it snows!  Besides, Diana's not here!  I had so much fun that this year I decided to lengthen the trip and include a quick stop in St Paul Minnesota to spend some time with my bestie Fawn Friday.  And since I'm going to be away from home for so long I need to swing on the road.....Winter Swing Tour 2015 was born :)  Funny story....when I called Fawn to ask if I could come, in January, she said, "You know it's going to be cold!"  But what better way to generate some heat than to swing?

Lucky me once "word" got out that I was planning on visiting Milwaukee again and wanting to find a place to teach a Swing Class, good old Facebook comes to the rescue!  Ryan Toshner of TNT Performance opened up his gym for me to offer a 1 hour Swing Class! ( (or find them on Facebook;  But Milwaukee is my second stop after St Paul, so I'll also be leading two swing classes at Fawn Friday Kettlebell Studio (, or find Fawn on FB;

Monday January 5th Fawn Friday Kettlebell Training

Thursday January 8th TNT Performance

Cost is $30 per person
Register by December 10th for a special surprise....almost as special as over 1000 swing reps!  lol

You will find links to sign up here on my blog (on the left sidebar) via Paypal.

If you live close enough to trek through the snow to come and swing with me I'd love to have you.....and there is no better way to kick off the New Year, and in fact kick off the New Year starting NOW, because you better start training for it!  I think it could be a great goal for anybody to stick to, or start, a regular swing practice during a time when typically people slack off, eat more and move less!

The class will be scalable to all levels, the only requirement is that you already know a proper and safe kettlebell swing.  This is not a class that I will teach the movement to new students, but I'll be leading beginning-advanced students through choreographed interval swing routines, TracyStyle!  If you need to learn how to swing then now is the time to contact Ryan or Fawn and get some practice in so you can join the fun!  Seriously, now's the time :)

And speaking of "Now's the Time"  This past week I celebrated one year of my 10 x 10 video posts.  It didn't start out all that pretty!  In fact I was motivated by a couple of friends that had contacted me for help because they had fallen off the wagon....the swing wagon!  So I'm sharing again, the very first 10 x 10 workout video I posted last year, AND my most recent 10 x 10....and you can find over 100 more on Youtube!  BUT better yet you an find me in person this January in St Paul and Milwaukee!

Some of you might remember this.....and if you haven't been training then it's perfect time for a reminder!  I can't do it for you....but I will do it with you!

And I'll continue because it not what I do, it's who I am...and I love it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday 10 x 10 combining sets, and "Man Pie"?

As I posted recently, all of my swing workouts these days are based on The Swing workouts, mostly #7, #8 and #9.  In yesterday's 10 x 10 video I demo how to take two of the sets of 10 reps "combining" them into a longer 20 rep set (longer set = longer rest!), similar to what I've been practicing in my own swing training.

10 x 10

10 2 hd swings x 2 sets
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
5/5 + 10 2 hd sw x 2 sets
5/5 x 1 set
10 2 hd sw x 1 set

100 swings, 5 minutes


Man Pie?

Over the past couple of weeks I've made a few batches of chutney using the pineapple guavas Meg brought me from her tree.  I've made chutneys in the past, mostly serving them with cheese and crackers, but there are only so much cheese and so many crackers a person can eat!  Chutney freezes well, and I am saving some for another time, but I wanted to figure out more ways of eating/using it.

I can't quite remember now how I came up with the idea of using the chutney in a savory pie, similar to an empanada, using ground beef, and a vegetarian option using sweet potatoes and black beans, but somehow I did!  Like practically every recipe I come up with the process evolves from the original idea.

The original idea was making a top and bottom pastry crust, filling one with ground beef and chutney, and the other with roasted sweet potato, black beans and chutney....but I found a bottom and top crust was too much pastry, and that equals too many calories per serving!  So I started thinking about how to get rid of the bottom crust....ah, sweet potato!  So I ended up combining both versions together.  I layered sliced sweet potato on the bottom, added my browned ground beef (and onion), black beans, then spread the chutney over that, and topped the pie with a pastry crust.  

I wasn't 100% that all of these flavors were just my own crazy tastes so I gave my training partners each a slice to take home and report back!  Everyone said it was pretty good, and it was Deepika that called it "Man Pie"! (maybe because of the meat?)  So there you go, the name sticks!

Man Pie

1 med sweet potato (yam) sliced thin
1 lb ground beef cooked with 1/2 diced onion, drained of fat and cooled
1 c. black beans (if using canned, drain and rinse)
1 c. chutney (you an use store bought Mango chutney)
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, the one find already made in the refrigerator section that you simply unroll (shhhh, I won't tell if you don't tell!)
1 egg to brush on top of the pastry

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes until the top crust is golden and crisp.  Enjoy!

PS one of my favorite secret cooking "cheats" is Pillsbury all ready made pie crusts that you unroll out of the package!  I happen to make an awesome homemade pastry but what I lack in time is only second to my lack of counter space to use my rolling pin!  Besides, I promise, no one will ever question if it's a store bought crust because you can still make the edges the way you like and design the top steam holes in your own pattern :)  What's your secret cooking "cheat"?

See! I have to remind you to season (salt) each ingredient?  The sweet potato (after you layer it), when you cook the beef, and to the black beans after you rinse them. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yukon Gold!

Now that I've gotten over my fear of potatoes I forgot how delicious Yukon Gold's were!  I've always made Mark potato salad, you know, the good old fashioned kind with tons of mayonnaise.  For years and years I didn't allow myself to eat it (or much of it) in fear of the extra "carbs" and although I'm not afraid of fats, traditional potato salad has a ton of it.  Having the behavior of overeating in my history I was not to be trusted....isn't this all crazy?  Fast forward.  This post is not about old habits and behaviors of overeating, it's about potato salad! Yukon Gold and Green Bean Salad with a simple Mustard Dressing to be exact.

I was in the market the other day and saw these small gold potatoes.  All of a sudden my mind clicked back to the memory of these buttery yummies and I decided to buy a handful for a small batch of some kind of salad.  Lately I've been steaming most all of my cooked veggies for salads using my pressure cooker.  It takes so little time, literally one minute for green beans and about 10 minutes for potatoes (5 min cook, 5 min rest), but the best thing about steaming as opposed to boiling is that you retain more nutrients in the foods you are cooking.

Most salads need no more than oil and vinegar and this one is no different.  Red wine vinegar, olive oil and a spoonful of grainy mustard was all I used.  Steamed potatoes, green beans and a finely diced shallot, and with only those 6 ingredients, viola.  Super yummy goodness :)  

A few tips for making potato salads (and if you have any other good ones please share!)

#1 Save the potato water you boil or steam the veggies in!  Instead of using more oil or mayonnaise you can use the starchy water to thin out and adjust the consistency of the finished salad without making it heavier, thicker and more calorie dense.

#2 Boil or steam the potatoes unpeeled if you want to save some time, once they cool enough to handle the skin simply slides off.

#3 Once the potatoes are skinned and diced, season with your salt and some vinegar while still warm.  Seasoning the potatoes when they are warm insures greater absorption of flavor. 

Since I really don't count olive oil, vinegar or mustard an "ingredient", these should be fridge and pantry items you always have on hand, this recipe only has three things you need to pick up at the market.  Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans and a shallot.  Speaking of shallot, that poor forgotten onion, a red onion is a fine substitute but I find shallots milder, sweeter and maybe even a hint of garlic taste.

What is your favorite way of preparing potato salad?  Or do you not eat potatoes?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dive Back In

Sometimes Youtube will not show some of my videos in some countries.  I'm not sure if this is because of copy write laws with the music that plays in the background.  A couple of people let me know that they could not see the latest video I posted on FB of yesterday's GS 14kg snatch set (89R/95L) so I'm going to give it a go, here on my blog.

I'll be posting more about my recent dive back into GS Sport.