Friday, June 26, 2015

1000 swing Tuesday; workout "m" plus Sunday Finisher (Tracy's ballistic wildcard!)

Youtube would not let me post workout "m" in it's entirety so I divided it into two parts.  If you repeat part 1 it will give you a 30 min swing workout.  I did this workout for my friend "m" and the intention for her to use a 10kg for part 1, then repeat it with a 12kg and finish the entire workout, part 1 and 2 with the heavier bell.  This may be a good opportunity for you to use this workout to increase your strength for one hand swings (10/10) too :)



(part 1)
10 2 hd sw x 2 sets (15/15)
20 2 hd sw x 1 set
10 tr x 2 sets
20 transfer swings x 1 set
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
5/5 + 5/5 x 1 set
10 R x 1 set
10 L x 1 set
10 R/ 10 L x 1 set (part 1 video ends here, repeat these first 12 sets one more time through before moving on for a 30 minute workout)


(part 2)
10 R/ 10 L + 10 R/ 10 L = 40 reps ( 1 min work/1 min rest)
10 R/ 10 L + 5 R/ 5 L + 5 R/5 L
10 R/ 10 L + 20 tr
10 R/ 10 L
10 R
10 L
5 R/ 5 L + 5 R/ 5 L x 1 set
5 R/5 L x 2 sets 
20 transfer swings
10 tr x 2 sets
20 2 hd swings
10 2 hd swings x 2 sets

whew!  440 swings, 22 min (or 600, 30 min if you repeat the part 1)

first 600

same as the start of workout "m"
10 2 hd sw x 2 sets (15/15)
20 2 hd sw x 1 set
10 tr x 2 sets
20 transfer swings x 1 set
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets 
5/5 + 5/5 x 1 set
10 R x 1 set
10 L x 1 set
10 R/ 10 L x 1 set (160 reps)
now sets of 30 reps
10 R/ 10 L + 5 R/ 5 L
10 R/ 10 L + 10 tr
10 R/ 10 L + 10 2 hd sw (30 x 3 sets = 90 reps)
now sets of 40
10 R/ 10 L + 10 R/ 10 L = 40 reps ( 1 min work/1 min rest)
10 R/ 10 L + 5 R/ 5 L + 5 R/5 L
10 R/ 10 L + 20 tr
10 R/ 10 L + 20 2 hd swings (40 x 4 sets = 160 reps)
back to sets of 30
10 R/ 10 L + 10 2 hd sw
10 R/ 10 L + 10 tr
10 R/ 10 L + 5 R/ 5 L (30 x 3 sets = 90 reps
back to 1 set of 20, two sets of 10 (downhill progressive swing ladder)
10 R/ 10 L x 1 set
10 R x 1 set
10 L x 1 set
5/5 + 5/5 x 1 set
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
20 transfer swings x 1 set
10 tr x 1 sets
20 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw x 1 sets (160 reps)

total 640 swing reps, 32 min

honest mistake....I forgot when we went slightly over 30 min. I made some cuts and only completed one set each of 10 tr and 10 2 hd sw.

Most mornings, as I drive to teach class I start thinking only about the "theme" of our training that day.  This last Tuesday in June the theme was 40 rep sets, so the goal was to work up to one minute long swing sets.  How I get my class there depends on who I know will be in attendance and base the workloads so everybody can scale and successfully complete most, if not all of the work sets.

Tuesday is becoming what I call "1000 swing Tuesday".  So we started out the morning with a 600 + swing rep version of "m"'s workout knowing I would repeat it, or some of it to video tape and post for my friend.  In this workout we worked our way up to sets of 40 but had many sets of 10 (short work to short rest), as well as many sets of of 20 rep (the first workout even had sets of 30 reps), which increase in difficultly on a more progressive level.

I've never done this exact workout, and that's what I so LOVE about my job!  After almost 10 years of teaching and leading classes, with the average of 5-6 groups a week, I can still, and will forever be able to, create brand new and fun workouts using only the kettlebell swing, it's variations and intervals.  Gosh, I'm set for life!

Sunday's workout was a whole different ball game!  7:15 starts out with heavy presses, and some complexes, moves on at 8:00 for GS practice....and these days it's minimal :( ...then ends with my "ballistic wildcard"!  It's a simple and hard way of doing 40-45 minutes of ballistics in half the time!  This past weekend the BW was as follows:

10 - 1 snatch ladder (110 snatches)
10-1 two hand swing/squat ladder (55 swings, 10 squats)
10-1 one hand swing ladder (110 1 hd swings)
x 2 = 220 snatches, 330 swings, 20 squats



I knew I did not want to do two rounds with the 16kg.  I had already pressed earlier in the morning and did a set of 100 snatches with the 16kg comp bell, but the 14kg would have been a little too easy, especially for swings and squats....but not after completing one full round with the 16kg!  So that's what I did. I did the first round with the 16kg, the second with the 14kg and only screwed up the counting a couple of times!  I actually did about 10 more swings in the first round w/16kg....but who's counting?



It took me approx under 5 min to complete the snatch ladders, a little over 2 min for the sw/sqt ladders and the same for the one swing ladders.  Meg used a variety of weights for each set, which is also an option.  You may choose to snatch light, swing and squat heavy, or visa versa...will you try it?  And what's your planned strategy?

Enjoy.

This should take about 10 minutes per round if done continuous, but there are no rules about putting the bell down at any point and as many times as you might need to complete the round.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday 6/11

Currently on Sunday mornings I've been training a heavy single bell press. This past weekend I completed 5 sets of 3 rep , R/L w/18kg.  My goal is 5 x 5 w/18kg, which should not be a problem at the end of this particular cycle which ends for me in 2 weeks.

This morning was my double press maintenance program, 5 sets of 3 16kg double presses, and in between sets I practice my pull ups.  Since this part of the program is not timed using intervals, we take turns completing our presses and help each other with hangs and pull ups for the first 30 minutes.  This time might also include heavy double cleans before moving onto the second 30 minutes of our hour of training.

swings.  heavy.  doubles.

10 2 hd sw x 4 sets 16kg single
10 x 4 sets 16kg double
5 2 hd + 5 R
5 2 hd + 5 L
repeat x 2 = 10 x 4 16kg
10 x 4 dbl 16kg's
5/5 x 4 16kg
10 x 4 dbl 16kg's
10 R
10 L
repeat x 2 = 10 x 4 16kg
10 x 4 dbl 16kg's
repeat the next 8 sets x 3
10 R
10 L
repeat x 2 = 10 x 4 16kg
10 x 4 dbl 14kg's

28 minutes
560 swings
280 single 16kg
120 dbl 16kg's
80 dbl 14kg's

GS practice
TALC, 10kg's
2 sets, 3 min each
14kg snatch
4 min (2/2) and it just about killed me :)

Off to CFPA for 20kg goblet squats, 400m run, 15 burpees x 4 rounds.  6 ring dips (assisted) 12 32kg swings OTM x 6

1:00-2:00 Ruck Walk w/Mark, 15lb pack.



Monday, June 8, 2015

"100 Snatch Transfers" Sunday Finisher




Sunday Workout

My strict press training is moving along, as programmed, and I'm quite happy actually.  In the past I had never had any real goals with my strict press, mostly snatch goals, reps / weight / time, because I tend to enjoy the ballistics, which I'm fairly good at, as opposed to the grinds, which I'm not naturally good at!  (I don't have any video mostly because I train with a couple of other people and it can be awkward and time consuming to set up the camera in the middle of workouts)

Currently I'm alternating my strict press training cycles between a single bell press, and double bell press.  I completed my 5x5 double 16kg program (double presses on Thursday mornings), and so I only train "maintenance" double 16kg reps, 3 x 5 every week, and I increase the loading of my single bell press on Sunday.  Yesterday I completed 3x5 w/18kg, easily on my R, and not so bad on my L.  I'm confident I'll get my 5x5, as scheduled in two weeks time.  Once that goal is completed I'll maintain my 18kg single press (3x3) while increasing my double 18kg press.

I'll program the next double bell press cycle starting with 3 sets, 1 - 3 reps each, and base it on how many I can complete, if any, at about 80-90% effort.  It is never my intention to press /push as hard as possible in any workout, except the last one, the one with the end goal :)

7:15-8:00am
5 min swing warm up
10 minute press warm up
heavy single press, 18kg 3 reps x 5 sets, every 2 minutes = 10 min
heavy double cleans, 20kg's, 5 x 5 OTM = 5 min
goblet squat, front squat/press complex "I go, you go" 10 min (40 squats/30 press total)
swings, 6 sets of 10

My training partner Matt finished his double press cycle w/18kg's yesterday so he'll be moving on to either double 20kg's, or a single bell, his choice.  He's also working toward the Strength Matters Swing Test, so that's the reason we ended the workout with some sets of 10 swings (Matt used the 20kg).  We would have done more, but we simply ran out of time.  I could have cut the squats short, or not done them at all, but I was being selfish! I knew I still had a ton of swings to do during the last part of the morning and this would be my only chance to practice some squat reps. :)

8:00-8:45am GS
double jerk 10kg's 2 min
double jerk 12kg's 2 min
swing snatch 14kg 6 min

I'm playing around with double jerks these days, but I'll write more about that another time.  I haven't been practicing GS regularly for a number of reasons, mostly because I'm lacking in inspiration, therefore I'm not really motivated.  Having that horrible flu for over 3 weeks, then breaking my toe, and  then having one of my training partners gone for almost 3 weeks all didn't help either.  It's no wonder the 6 min14kg swing snatch set felt as difficult as ever, but awesome at the same time because I was still able to do it after weeks and weeks of no practice.

8:45-9:30
740 16kg swings 33 min
16kg snatch transfers, 6 min, 100 snatches, 100 swings (video above)

I started "Skypercising" with my friend Emily on Wednesday mornings, but she missed her workout last week so I tried connecting with her to swing during the last part of our workout.  Unfortunately we lost the connection 1/2 through the swing workout, but she later messaged me to tell me she continued to finish on her own!  The connection in the garage gym is sketchy but I'm happy we were able to get some work done at all :)

I swung really heavy last Sunday so anything above the 16kg was off limits, besides the 16kg for over 700 swings in about 1/2 hour is plenty challenging enough!  All of the swing sets were done in sets of 10 or 20 reps, with equal or less rest than work.

Now the Finisher..... 100 snatches, 100 swings ("snatch transfers")

We had about 12 minutes left on the clock so it had to take less than that, and besides, last Sunday the Finisher took me over 20 minutes, so again, no need to go that long this week.  I needed to snatch "heavy" (snatch test weight), but two hours of training already completed is not the time for hundreds of snatch reps. I knew 100 would be plenty....but how to make them just a wee bit harder?  Do them one at a time!  No more than one rep at a time means that you have to transfer R/L each rep with a swing! 100 snatches, 100 swings, for time!

I finished in 6 minutes exactly.  If I calculate correctly, based on 40 swings per 60 seconds (2.5 min.), that leaves 3.5 min it took me to do 100 snatches.  I'm pretty pleased with that result....could I have gone faster?  Maybe just a little, but I haven't trained specifically to improve that particular goal.  If I were to want to I would guess being able to shave 30 seconds off would be top speed (with that weight).

"snatch transfers" have always been part of my snatch progressions, similar in the same way "swing transfers" are part of my swing progressions.  I've calculated that one can complete 16 snatch transfers (8 R/ 9 L) in 1 min, on average.  Taking that experience into account it would have taken 6 min, 15 seconds at a "normal pace", so I did actually shave off 15 seconds, which ain't bad!




Monday, June 1, 2015

Sunday Finisher 20 x 30 in 20!




I love my Sunday morning workouts!  Sunday is pretty much just for me because I do everything I want to, as long as I want to, and if I'm really lucky a few of my students join me!  The workout is broken up into three 45 minute sessions starting at 7:15am.

The first is focused on heavy presses after a quick warm up, and usually finishes with a much faster paced "I go, you go" swing / clean / squat / press complexes that may or may not be done with double bells.  This workout has the deliberate goal of increasing press strength which is why it's done first.

The second is GS practice.  If there is a competition date on the horizon the sets are programed accordingly, which hasn't been the case of late, so the practice focuses more on maintaining base levels of grip strength and cardio endurance.

The third is a ballistic wild card, and the last chance for me to put the nail in the swing coffin!  Which is why I've started to use the concept of a workout "finisher".  Just swings, or Max Vo2 snatches, a variation of high volume snatch / swing combinations.  If I include squats, it's not for strength so they're mostly done with lighter weights and higher reps, with the focus more about increasing and maintaining hip/glute flexibility.

But to be honest, if and when I have to do this last workout by myself, which is rare but more often lately, it could be a good thing and a not so good thing!  My long time student/training partner Meg is a tough cookie!  She's capable of crazy amounts of work, hard work, and game for anything I could come up with.  A lot of times if I want to "test" how difficult something is, like the Strength Matters Swing Test, I'll have her join me in trying it out because if she thinks it's challenging then I trust it is!  In fact, she did the very first trail run of the SMST with me, 200 24kg one hand swings (10 x 20) in 10 minutes!  And neither one of us would be required to use the 24kg based on body weight, so that goes to show you how powerful regular and consistent high volume swing practice can be!

Recently I've been "testing" more variations of heavy swings, for reps and time.  Yesterday, on my own, when it came down to my last 30 minutes of the morning's training I knew 600 swings was going to be the minimum amount of work left to complete.  I had done plenty of squats earlier in the week, and I want to snatch on Tuesday...that left only swings (lol, "only"!)  Well, being alone, and without the energy of at least one other person, and already almost 2 hours of training completed, I could barely get excited about another 30 full minutes of swings!  So I decided to stay with the 600 reps, but get them done as quickly as possible.

I knew I wanted to do some 24kg one hand swings, but not kill myself, because it had been a while since I last did them.  I knew I didn't want to do all 600 swings with the 24kg because Thursday mornings are my heavy double swing training and there's just no need to do that much heavy training in the same week.  100 wasn't enough, 600 way too many, so I settled on 200 reps, 1/3 of the total.  It made sense to break up the total into thirds, heavy, moderately heavy and moderate weights since the goal was to complete them in less time, much less time, than "equal work to rest", which would have taken 30 minutes.

I wanted to do one hand swings for half of my 24kg 200 reps, and two hand swings for the other 100 reps and so I decided to do that with all three weights.  I also know that most times, for me,  the longer the set is in continuous reps the "easier" it feels (the more times I put the bell down = the more I haev to pick it up again!), so I would limit the number of reps in each set to only 20, and the rest period would not be timed, instead, random.  In my head I was hoping to finish around 20 minutes....it took me 22 min 40 seconds.  But this turned out to be a good thing because now I know I could have done it, if I would have paid attention, and this first result was me not pushing myself too hard.  So you know what that means, don't you?  Yep, I gotta do it again in 20 minutes or less (probably not less!).  So I'll wait a few weeks and repeat it with this new goal in mind.  And then....I'll try it in reverse!  Starting with the lightest bell, the 16kg, and ending with the heaviest, the 24kg!  I love testing out how simply changing an up hill ladder to a downhill ladder and visa versa can drastically change the effect of ease or difficulty of a target challenge.

Guidelines of this week's Sunday Finisher; goal of 600 swing reps under 30 minutes

3 bells, heavy, moderately heavy, moderate.
one hand swings for half of the swing reps
max of 20 reps per set, no minimum (you can do sets of 10 if you choose)
rest only as long as you need to between each set. 

I chose to alternate my one hand swings sets using 5 R/ 5 L x 2 and 10 R/10 L because this made it easier to keep track of the 5 sets of 20, and I simply didn't feel ready to do my first set w/24kg 10 reps at a time, I wanted to ease into it.....see, I told you I was a weenie when I trained on my own!  lol

Looking at the video I know I could have shaved off a lot of the rest time I took between sets, in fact afterward I was able to calculate in order to get it done in 20 minutes I can only allow 10 seconds, or less to rest between sets.  But it's all good and fine because now I have a goal based on how difficult this trial test was, and I have more to look forward to in the next couple of months :)  Hmm...I should give this one a name since I'm going to do it again....20 x 30 in 20 :)




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tracy Reifkind's Overhead Swing Progressions (and a quick squat/overhead swing workout!)



I can't believe it's been a month since my trip to Vancouver!  Probably because the week I got back I came down with the worst flu I've ever had, ever!  The most notable symptom was that I had ZERO energy, I couldn't move.  A raging sore throat I could dismiss, some congestion, stuffy nose, no problem, but I couldn't get out of bed for a solid 7 days.  I tried, oh yes, I tried!  For the first time ever I had to completely cancel training appointments, but I managed to make it to a couple of classes only to be left even more zapped of my energy :(  It took me down for over 2 weeks!  (super sad face)  THEN....last Wednesday I broke my toe.  Things just seem to be going my way, huh? lol

By the time I broke my toe I just had to laugh about it!  And the good news, well there's two things positive about it, is that I can still do kettlebells with a broken toe, and I broke it doing something that I've been loving....cleaning out all the clutter in my house!  I was tackling the laundry room when it tackled me back!  A 40lb box of kitty litter was sticking out into my path and I caught my second little toe on it, ouch.  When I looked down at my left foot my toe was pointing 90 degrees to the left!  Kind of an indicator something was not quite right!  Seriously, I wish I could have taken a picture of it because it was so darn funny :)  What hasn't been all that funny is missing my ruck walks with Mark on Thursday, and you know, the swelling and bruising is kind of a drag....but compared that that flu I had?  Easy peasy.  But enough already...moving on....

Sunday was a challenging workout. Not because of my toe/foot, but because my regular training partners were out for the "second and third" part of my Sunday workout.  Gosh, I'm not going to lie, motivation to really push myself felt harder than usual.  And to be perfectly honest, if it weren't for Matt who I know was coming over from 7:15-8:00 (heavy presses and half snatches) I contemplated taking the day off...oh no I didn't say that :(  But I pulled my head out of where it shouldn't have been and managed to continue on for another hour practicing double jerks with competition bells and this 30 minute "squat / overhead swing" workout.

I've neglected squats mostly because no one else likes doing them, but I've got to do them more regularly so no excuse when nobody else is there but me, huh?  Gosh, if I can't make myself do them then I have no business asking others to do them either.  So I started out with a set of 15 goblet squats, which took one minute.  Argh!  I certainly did not want to do another set right away, so I did a set of 20 overheard swings....not so bad, especially with my squat weight of 16kg.  I prefer to do overhead swings with a 20kg, but there was no way I was squatting with one and I knew the 3rd set I would alternate both the goblet squat with the overhead swing....maybe I'll repeat it with the 20kg this weekend :)

Since I've never posted anything about the overhead swing I thought I would video tape a quick tutorial about my own teaching/learning progressions for this movement.  The most IMPORTANT thing about practicing the overhead swing is that you DO NOT let the bell flop over, so if you are going to try it please maintain a firm grip!  The other important part of this movement, how I train it and practice it, is that you pull the bell in towards your body as the bell swing out and up in front of you.  I demonstrate and explain this in my video tutorial (above).  Personally I enjoy the overhead swings, and I've been teaching it in my groups for many years, but only recently have I been including it regularly into my own workouts.  Enjoy, but practice it cautiously please.

The usual Sunday workout is a "three parter"
7:15-8:00 warm up, heavy presses, double complexes
8:00-8:45 GS practice, both jerks and snatches
8:45-9:15/9:30 swings! ending with some kind of "finisher"

This past Sunday because it was just me for part 2 and 3, I only spent 30 minutes on GS, still limited by my foot, and 30 minutes on this "Squat/Overhead Swing" workout;

Set #1
15 goblet squats = 1 min work/1 min rest



Set #2
20 overhead swings = 1 min work/1 min rest



Set #3
10 goblet squat/overhead swing = 1 min work/ 1 minute rest



I especially like the last set where I combine both movements!  And in fact, Mark came into the gym when I was finishing one of these sets and commented on how much he liked it too :)  I love it when he likes something that I design :) .....I hope you do too!

Enjoy.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vancouver Weekend Workouts




As promised my Vancouver Weekend Workouts!  Teresa and I rolled into Vancouver last Friday after a couple of pit stops, okay, we did a little outlet shopping!  One of the stops we made was at the Pendleton outlet store where while I was in the dressing room trying on a few things, Teresa, having just lost 50lb (!) got into a conversation with one of the sales associates about weightloss....and kettlebells!   Teresa happened to have a couple of copies of The Swing in the car so I was happy to give our new friend, Aubrey, a signed copy.  You just never know who you are going to meet :)



Saturday we got up early and went for a lovely walk to Starbucks, followed by a couple of short hikes with Marshall and Christina's dogs, but they went home before we continued on to the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park.   Next was a little food shopping (omg, Polish deli discovery!) before heading out on a day trip to Point Roberts Marina to spend the day on the water, where Bacchus, a German Shepard mix, joined us!  We drove back to Vancouver around dinner time and relaxed the rest of the evening.  Early up the next day around 7:00am, another morning stroll and cup of coffee at JJ Beans.  The only thing left to do before we left, driving back to Seattle, was teach Christina how to swing!





I hadn't planned on doing any kind of workout myself over the weekend, but since the weather was perfect out back on the deck I threw together what I would describe as an "all around" kettlebell routine using swings to start and end one minute long work sets.  I call these "Swing Sandwiches"!  I post the Swing, Clean/Press Sandwich last week and as promised here are the snatch and squat variation, with a bonus swing progression variation if you are not practicing the other skills yet :)



As I posted last week, I started out with the snatch progressions, then the clean/presses, ending with squat progressions.  I did them in this order because I was using a lighter weight (12kg) than my regular "work" weight. (14kg-16kg).  The swing/snatches helped me warm this old body up for the presses and squats.  If I were doing these as part of my workouts at home I would start with the squats or presses, ending with the snatches.  Yesterday we did the squats first, the snatches next and ended with this bonus workout, that I did not do in Vancouver, of swing sandwiches.  The Swing Sandwich variation came about after I returned home and lead my Tuesday morning class.  I was so inspired with possibilities that I simply applied the sandwich method using my swing progressions.....but I forgot about one....do you have a guess?

(video at top of page)
Training my 30 second squat progressions "sandwiched" in between 15 sec of swings (10 2 hd sw reps).

squat progressions:
1 swing, 1 goblet squat
goblet squat
1 swing R, front squat, switch hands, 1 sw L, fr sq (alternating)
cl/fr sq R, switch, cl/fr sq L, alternate x 6 total
cl/ fr sq R x 3, switch hands, cl/ fr sq L x 3
cl/fr sq R x 6
cl/fr sq L x 6

7 progressions, each set starting and ending with 10 2 hand swings, 1 min work, 30 sec rest.  If you want to practice "equal work to rest" ratio either take a full minute rest between sets, OR do not complete the last 10 swings.




Training my 30 sec snatch progressions "sandwiched" in between 10 2 hd swings!

snatch progressions:
1 sw, 1 snatch, 1 switch (alternate R/L)
1 snatch, 1 switch (alternate R/L)
5 sn R, 5 sn L
10 sn R
10 sn L

5 progressions, 1 minute long sets, starting and ending with 10 2 hand swings, 30 seconds rest between sets.

If you want to train "equal work to rest" simply take 1 min between sets OR omit the last 10 swings in each set (or the first 10!)




Ah...! You may not be snatching, squatting or pressing yet, so here is a simple "swing sandwich" using my swing progressions, laddering down starting with;

10 R/ 10 L
5R/5 L x 2
1/2 sw ld x 2
20 transfer swings, ending with all 
2 hand swings

.....if you've been training with me for a while can you guess which one I forgot?

Each one of these variations is a workout in themselves for sure, which one is your favorite?





Teresa sharing her homemade doggie treats with Brody, Murray and Bacchus!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Where should I start? How about with a Podcast interview? Then some swings....and presses!

A couple of weeks ago I did a podcast interview with Bill Kociaba of Kociaba Fitness in Florida http://kociaba-fitness.com/about.  I love talking about, what I describe as, my Kettlebell Lifestyle, so much that it's difficult for me to contain my excitement.  Some of you that have talked with me in person will most likely not be surprised listening to my enthusiasm during this interview, but to those of you that haven't I think this is a true example of how I feel about what I do, and how I got here!

In all honesty I have not listened to this edited version of it, but I remember quite clearly how much fun it was and all the subjects we were able to cover in just over an hour....in fact I wish it could have gone on longer :)

http://kociaba-fitness.com/blog_rwf_8_tracy

http://media.serotalk.com/podcasts/rww/rwf008.mp3



Last weekend I was in Vancouver BC with a dear friend of mine, Teresa Glidden, who lives in Olympia WA.  Teresa drove up to Seattle to pick me up, and then we drove up to Vancouver to stay with some friends of hers that she knows through her Bernese Mountain Dog group.  Lots and lots of stuff to share including meeting new friends, Christina and Marshall, who so graciously invited us to stay in their home with their three amazingly well behaved big dogs, Bacchus (Shepard and Bernese mix), Brodie (Bernese), and Murray (Labradoodle)....almost inspires me to get a big dog!



We did a ton of walking and hiking and since I am a Kettlebell Instructor I had planned on teaching my new friend, Christina, how to swing, but I hadn't planned on doing any kind of kettlebell workout myself.  I recently decided that I would start to treat my vacations, short or long, focusing on the experience of a new adventure and if I got to do some training too then that would be a bonus, but not a goal.


Since Teresa and I drove she was able to pack some kettlebells in her trunk, an 8kg, 20lb, and 12kg, so I had those weights available to me.  Sunday morning Teresa and I got up and started the morning with an hour long walk in the Commercial Street area of Vancouver.  When we got back (waiting for Christina to come home from her morning run) it was such an amazing day out back on the deck that I just couldn't help myself to a mini workout :)  I decided to do an "all around" routine that included swings, snatches, clean/press and squats.





When I do a workout outside of actual "training", in other words, without a plan that has a target end point in mind, I generally like to work with one minute long sets and a 30 sec rest interval (2 to 1 work to rest ratio).  This ratio lets me work a little bit harder in a short amount of time because these types of workouts are more about putting in practice and movement under the bells, and working up a bit of a sweat, which always feels good :)  One of my methods I like to use is what I started calling my "Swing Sandwiches" lol.  Work sets that start and end with swings while incorporating other "skill combinations" in the middle.  These Vancouver workouts all start with 10 2 hand swings, which take 15 seconds, include a 30 second skill combination, snatch, clean press or squat, and end with another 10 2 hand swings (15 sec) for a total of 1 minute long work sets.  You may choose to rest for a minute, or like me, only take half that time to rest before you go on to the next progression.

I started out my workout with swing and snatch "sandwich" sets, using my snatch progressions in between two hand swings.  I then went on to clean/presses and then ended the workout with squats.  I did them in this order because the ballistic nature of swings/snatches with a lighter bell warmed my body up before moving onto clean and presses, and then near the end of the workout my hips were fully ready for squats.  Oh, and I also decided in this demo to do "push presses" for two reasons, instead of strict presses, because if you are not 100% confident in your ability to strict press then I would rather you use your legs and push press, and I have always felt that push presses more of a ballistic flow to them.  If I were practicing with a heavier bell I would have done my clean/presses first, squats next and snatches last.

In this post I'm only sharing a video demo of the "press" version because I want to repeat the snatch and squat version in my own workout (w/16kg) this Sunday, and I'll tape those sets then!  I taped this demo after my own regular workout yesterday morning, it took approx 10 minutes to complete but I've written it out for you here;

10 2 hd swings x 2 sets (15/15 x 2 = 1 min warm up)

10 2 hd swing + 1 sw R/clean/push press, 1 sw L/clean/push press x 4 total + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 cl/pu pr R switch hands, 1 cl/pu pr L, switch hands, repeat x 6 total + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 3 cl/pu pr R, switch hands, 3 cl/pu pr L + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 4 pu pr R, switch hands, 1 clean, 4 pu pr L + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 10 pu pr R + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 10 pu pr L - 10 2 hd sw


If you are using this as a full workout you can do one of two things;


You can interject these 6 progressive sets before or after a swing workout (15-20 minutes) OR repeat the last two swing/clean/pu pr "sandwich" sets 3x-5x more depending on how long you want the workout to last.


If you use equal work to rest the above workout will take you 14 minutes to complete, but in the video it takes me 9 minutes because I'm only resting 30 seconds. Enjoy, and I'll be back on Sunday with another Swing Sandwich workout incorporating snatches and yes....squats!  Ouch!