Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's in Your Gym Bag?

Here's Willy (Wonka) in my gym bag.....notice one of my Gymboss's clipped to the side (yep, I said one of my Gymboss's....I never travel without at least 2!)
I always joke that if someone stole my gymbag they'd make off with hundreds of dollars worth of Lululemon yoga and workout clothes.....I always carry multiple changes of clothes because of my inner Vagabond....you should see my car!
The brats are as energnetic as they are cute, and Mark and I are tuckered out....when are they leaving? Next week! Mark and I have decided that these two kittens, Willy and Nilly, have a higher prey drive than the past kittens we have raised....they are constantly on the move, pouncing on eachother and batting around playing with everything and, anything we leave on the dining room table from coins, jewelry, paper receipts, nail polish bottles, and their favorite, a one dollar bill! Oh, and my gymbag!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Roasted Veggies

I, originally, started this blog, away from my first blog, as my way of focusing on food, and eating....most importantly our behaviors and habits that surround the way we....I.... eat, that's why the first title of this blog was "Food and Thought"....not "Sets and Reps", lol!. Most of my first blogposts were recipes and pictures of homemade foods, or about the thought processes of a complusivve overeater, me, and how I had been inspired to take control of my health by cooking and preparing my own homecooked foods and meals.....and I wanted to share that same inspiration. Discovering the beauty of real foods, mostly veggies.....and pressure cooking! lol

There is not one day that goes by that I'm not in my kitchen preparing my breakfast, lunch or dinner.....and making enough for the next few days, if not the next week. I consider cooking my hobby and my Joy.

Since we are, smackdab, in the middle of winter, roasting veggies is natural. Turning on that hot oven, rubbing veggies down with plenty of oil, S & P and letting them roast away, to carmelized goodness is, just about, a daily event at my house.

My BFF, Fawn, turned me on to a great combination of roasting shitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and yams, (garnet) together....I'm forever grateful for this introduction to Shitake mushrooms AND roasting a variety of mixed veggies, wheras I used to roast only one type of veggie at a time, (thanks Girlfriend!). Since then mushrooms are always thrown into the mix. Here's what I roasted last night. (be sure and save the mushroom stems for stock)

Fingerling potatoes (I bought a big bag at Costco, and I have to say....I don't care for the purple ones)

My neighbor, Peter, the first Chef I ever knew, turned me on to Fingerling potaotes about 9 years ago. His favorite roasting combination was fingerlings, shallots, whole garlic cloves and fresh thyme.

red onion

shallots (another favorite and only $1.29 lb at the Vietnamese market)

shitake mushrooms (again...1/2 the priceat the VM, only $3.99lb instead of $6.99lb at WF)
white button mushrooms

brussel sprouts (halved)

whole garlic cloves
fresh thyme
plenty of salt and pepper

Toss with olive oil. I start with 2 tbl per roasting pan (4 in this case) and then I add as needed....never more than a couple of tbls more (total). Roast in an oven @350-400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan, or turning the veggies over, once half way through.

I toss roasted veggies with romaine lettuce and homemead lo-cal Ceasar Dressing.....the ones that actually make it that far, lol! I also added a heaping helping to the turkey meatball and bean soup for Marks dinner tonight.

I only used potatoes because we had leftover turkey and gravy...I rarely use potaotes! But if you're not into startchy veggies like me, for instance, potatoes, rutabaga, beets, yams and squashes (buuternut), then lots of other choices like cauliflower, carrots (I used those tonight), tons of onions, celery, and broccoli....oh, or throw some apples or pears into the mix...goodness I just thought of that...yum, yum!

Of course spices, spice things up. A dusting of curry powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes (another favorite of mine), fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, and rosemary, etc.

lo-cal Ceasar Dressing

1/2 plain yogurt, 1/2 mayo, lemon juice, crushed garlic, anchovy paste (or 2 anchovy filets minced), S & P

parmesan cheese optional (I rarely add it....but that's just me)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Not What's Happened To You.....

But what you do with what's happened to you......

Brilliant words, by a brilliant man, my husband Mark. Before I get into what this blogpost is about, let me just say a couple of things.....

Every day, every day, Mark and I talk about training, and how training is about life. And I swear, I wish I could write down, fast enough, all of the brilliant things that come of of his mouth.

So....tonight a couple of things came up.....the first is something totally freaky that happened in my swing class this morning. One of my students misjudged, or somehow got ahead of the swing combination, and actually came down, with the KB on her knee....well, actually her shin! Swear to God! Here's the piture to prove it. lol! I've never witnessed anything like it before, but I saw it happen.

I jokingly said something like, I thought this particular student was too hardcore, mentally, and it just hadn't caught up physically! And I wasn't kidding. I'm so impressed with level of conditioning that this student has been able to build up in such a short amount of time, not to mention how quickly she picked up perfect swing AND snatch form......I really think her mind is so far ahead of her body, given her previous athletic experience of discipline and dedication as a rower.

Sometimes life interrupts.....

Wrestlers and rowers, just a couple of naturally hardcore athletes......no body trains harder. Nobody is more willing to go train alone.. They're up at the crack of dawn getting it done. You know if they're a wrestler or rower they're tough....mentally and physically....they'll get it done every single time.

Those that get back on, and get back going, because life always interrupts. That's the excuse everyone gives "I can't train because life interrupted"....."I got a tummy ache", "I hit my knee with a kettlebell", "I lost my job", "I got a divorce"..."It's too hard".....you still have to train... or it'll always be something.....training keeps you strong enough to handle all of those "somethings"......it doesn't matter that life interrupts.

Hardcore.....heart and spirit, it's not about workout routines. Molly is hardcore, and it's not for everybody. It's not being afraid to see your edge....to know your limit....because you know you can make it beter. It's not about falling down, it's about who gets up....and up....and up...and up....and up....and up....and up....and, sometimes, up again.

Mark had had some recent setbacks that have involved his back, yet today he snatched a modified version of Max Vo2, AND 2 sets of 100 continuous reps with his clubbell.....not the 2 lb clubbells, the 15lb clubbells.

And here I am.....bitching about a silly 15-20lb weight gain from the past few years....but you know what? I get back up....and up....and up. I still haven't missed, or canceled, one kettlebell class, or missed one yoga class because I felt "fat", or unworthy, or defeated, or embarrassed.....even though I've had all of these feelings.....every-freakin'-day, practically.

Doing it anyway....that's hardcore.

Let me add one more thing. Up until recently, the last few months, I've trained, at the crack of dawn, in my garage gym...barefoot.....freezing......I never missed.....and I don't plan to anytime soon. Holidays, grandkids, cats, weightloss, weightgain, hangovers, no one watching...no one caring.....but me.

No Max.....Vo2....just Max weight, for reps.....

Saturday.....day after Xmas. 7:30am Beginning Swing class 30 minutes.....8:00am Max training....well....snatch day....however I want to do it! That's the good thing about being the Boss!

I decided it wasn't quite time to go back to Max Vo2 w/16kg, instead? Heavy snatches. 20kg to be exact. Could I have tried the 24kg? the 28kg?, the 32kg? Of course, but really, what's the purpose of training? The purpose of training is to progressively get stronger and have higher levels of conditioning, and you do that by, not beating yourself into the ground, but progressively increasing, and decreasing levels of loads, conditioning, intensities, and volume (as quoted by the brilliant Mr. ....Master Instructor, Mark Reifkind...you don't think I'm that smart, do you?)

Tracy and Megs Heavy Snatch Day

All sets were timed "I go , you go"

12 kg 5/5 x 10 = 100 reps
16kg 5/5 x 10 = 100 reps

20 kg
1/1 x 5 = 10 reps
2/2 x 5 = 20 reps
3/3 x 5 = 30 reps, 60 reps total w/20kg

16kg 5/5 x 10 = 100 reps.....easy.....
12kg 5/5 x 10 = 100 reps....easier.....Whoops, that was the "plan", BUT this what we did, like I said I'm the Boss, lol!

I decided to snatch nonstop, and our pace set us up to complete 100 snatches w/12kg....without any trouble, in fact, easy, in 3 1/2 minutes!

I could have snatched the 20kg for sets of 5's, but I didn't want to snatch at a different pace than Meg, and although Meg is certainly strong enough, as women, some of us have to consider the handle size of those bigger bells. I use sock sleeves....it's my choice, but Meg doesn't use any hand protection, and I totally respect that, but I chose to build my strength first, and then build my hand strength....but that's just me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Max, to the Max

Good Lord....I'm tired....and hungry! OK, so on this past Saturday, one week after Meg and I tested the USSST, we were scheduled to go back to our 16kg Max Vo2 Workouts, starting with at least 46-50 sets of 8, out of a total of 70 sets. All week I kept thinking.....wouldn't it be "fun" to do a Max workout with the 12kg....even if it was the top of Max, which is 80 sets of 8. I mean, that should be easy, right?

Well, 8:00am Saturday morning.....Meg mentions the same thought...about snatching the 12kg......and I say, "You know I was kinda thinking something like that too."....and Mark says, "I think that's a good idea."

I say......"What?" What do you mean?" (I'm looking for validation to go back to the 12kg, lol)

He says....."No, I think that's a good idea."

I say....."Why? I just want to know (from the expert), why....the "technical" reasoning behind it"

He says....."The next step off a peak is always down.....you step back, or you fall off.....last week, you peaked!"


Tracy and Megs Max

80 set of 8 w/ 12kg

40 freakin' minutes, 640 snatches!

OK, so today is Monday. I had one, committed student in my 7:00am class (too bad for anyone else that doesn't have the balls to swing and snatch with us....too bad for them)....yikes, am I a little frustrated with people that can't bring themselves to swing a freakin' bell for a measley 30 freakin' minutes?.....good God people......as I watch all of the ridiculous, waste of time, training that goes on all around me....la de dah......the "eliptical"?....are you serious?


OK, so Brian....lucky ass that he is, is the only one in my Intermediate/Adv 7:30am class right now, consistently,(Brian is the GM of the Club, and he chooses to train with me, out of all of the 20+ PT's employeed by Equinox.....a 46 year old, former fat girl, that can swing and snatch her ass off, what does that tell you?), he has been training a version of Max Vo2 on Mondays, he uses the 16kg, and I normally use the 12kg, because I have already been swinging for 30 + minutes by the time our workout starts.....technically my classes are 30 minutes long, but I let the 7:30am class go for at leat 40+ minutes.

So, as I started to say, we did 54 sets last week.....

Brian w/16kg
10 sets of 7
44 sets of 8

Tracy w/12kg
54 sets of 8 (this was 2 days after I tested the USSST with Meg)

This last Saturday, since I did 80 sets of 8, w/12kg, I decided it was time for a little mixup.....36/36!

Brian used the 16kg, and I used the 14kg

Tracy w/14kg

36 sec work/rest
18 reps x 20 sets
24 minutes, 360 snatches

Brian w/16kg

36 sec work/rest
18 reps x 14 sets
19 reps x 6 sets
20 sets total, 25 minutes, 366 snatches

Now, don't forget this was after a 10 minute warm up, and, for me, a 30+ minute class of swings and snatches....but let's not get caught up in the details.....

Our hands gave out before our strength did, but that's how it goes....I was plenty ready to stop at set 20! We finished off the workout with 2 sets of 2 1/2 minutes swing sets.

I'll write a blogpost about the 14kg...again, but until then....my legs are a bit tired.....(I started the morning with only 20 minutes of Spinning, and followed KB's with 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga...ouch)......You think I'd be skinnier......(the 14kg.....)

PS in the above picture, can you see the 16kg's sitting quietly on the sidelines, lol?

Rugrat Sandwich

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post I have joint custody, during the Holidays, of the Rugrats, Willy and Nilly (aka, the redheaded stepchildren, lol.....no offense to red heads....but I guess it is offensive....sorry....yikes!). Here is, from the top down, Petunia (aka,Tuna), Nilly (aka Purr Monster), and Sexy (don't ask!).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul....and recipe for kettlecorn

I love that phrase, because it applies to so many area of my life....good God, I've been robbing "Peter to pay Paul" for as long as I can remember! (and it's not necessarily a good thing....lol, kind of). I was never taught by my parents to be responsible....in a "mature" kind of way. And by that I mean, paying bills, building credit, being punctual (I have Mark to thank for teaching me to be on time), or actually doing what I say I will.... and following through......I'm not going to blame my parenting, but.......

Anyway, I'm talking about something else right now......I'm talking about robbing "Peter Calorie" to pay "Junk Food Paul"! In a perfect world, I truly believe that it doesn't matter what I eat, or how much I eat, it's how I feel about what I eat, and how I feel about myself....hence the first part of the blog title, Transforming Thought.......but that's another, long ass, blogpost......

In the mean time, as I juggle calories....whether or not I do it consciously, or subconsciously, I have to make choices.....what motivates those choices, is again, another "long ass" blog post....(PS it's a good thing I'm spending more time around my precious granddaughter, Sophie, because it has to cure me of my "sailor"mouth!)

So here's the deal.....I trained my freakin', frackin', ass off today, (Meg and I did 80 sets of Max Vo2 w/12kg earlier), and all I could think about was how I "deserved" whatever I wanted....and that may be true.....and what I "deserved" was a big ass batch of kettlecorn....yum, freakin' yum! (When I visited our friend Jen and Greg in Santa Barbara, I was sure to bring the ingredients for a big batch! ), and I was willing to not eat a "regular" meal in exchange, but......the more I thought about eating the good food I was going to make for dinner, the less attractive it was to trade off. There are just too many food choices, good food choices.....not that kettlecorn isn't "good".

Sometimes it isn't even about the calories. I can fit a small batch of kettlecorn into my calorie count for the day (I don't formally count calories anymore, but I know basically what I'm eating), it's about how I'm going to feel the next day if I make and eat a big batch, which is why I don't drink a bottle of wine everynight, lol! It's not like I never eat sweets, I eat something sweet practically everyday, but it's usually early in the day, and it's rare that I overeat them these days.

Robbing Peter Calorie, to pay Junk Food Paul has always worked for me, especially back in the days where I had my once a week "Cheat Day" (Sat.), followed by a fasting day (Sun.), so it's nothing new. It's when you rob Peter, and never pay back Paul......now, that's just not nice.

Mark and I met Dawn Jarrell at dinner in St. Paul when we were there for the HKC this past
Sept. Dawn shared with me her recipe for old fashioned home made popcorn using coconut oil. Coconut oil is a different type of fat, it's a medium chain triglyceride. That means that our bodies don't store it as bodyfat as easily, instead our bodies treat it more like a carbohydrate.....it doesn't taste like coconut! There are many other benefits of coconut oil. http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut- oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

Basic kettlecorn recipe
1 part oil
2 parts sugar
3 parts popcorn
salt, of course (I use kosher)
For a "big batch" I use 3 tbl coconut oil. 6 tbl sugar. 9 tbl popcorn.

Melt oil in a pot big enough to hold the corn once it starts to pop (I use an 8 qt pot). Add in 3 kernels of popcorn, put the lid on and listen for all 3 to pop......at this time the oil is the right temp and you can go ahead and add in all of your popcorn and sugar. Shake the pot to make sure everything is coated, replace the lid and give it a good shake every 30 seconds or so,until you hear the "popping" slow down, or stop.
Turn off the heat, remove the pot, being careful of the steam when you take off the lid. Add a few good pinches of salt and stir using a long wooden spoon, or long metal tongs.....because there's "hot" sugar on the corn you can not use your hands! Let cool for a minute or two and dump into a big bowl....I mean several small bowls because you will be sharing this...won't you?

Always trying to make my junk food more nutritious, I add in about 2 t. flax seeds to my kettlecorn! I've also tried to make kettlecorn with honey, and brown sugar instead of white sugar. Both of those substitutions tasted a little "burnt", and I didn't think the tradeoff was worth it.

Don't think I'm smart enough to know anything about coconut oil, I got my information from my brilliant husband Mark....he knows everything! Seriously, he does!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfect Again

I had an incredibly lazy day yesterday. I missed yoga (on pupose), I did get, kind of, a workout doing a few Get-ups at Girya w/Mark coaching me.....I ate a big peice of chocolate cake......and a scone.....I haven't done that in forever. Got in back in bed around 12noon, and there I stayed. I thought I would feel better today with all of that rest, but no. I want to cancel my morning, call in sick, and bail.

But I won't.

I missed 6:00am Spin....again, for maybe the 3rd or 4th time in a row. Because I didn't even get the dishes done yesterday, so I had to, basically, do all of my housework first thing this morning. We are babysitting the two Rugrats, Willy & Nilly during the Holidays, so I've got 7 freakin' cats again and 2 litterboxes......Oh, and one fat cat that I'm trying to keep on a diet....oh, and another that's got some kind of skin allergy so I have to medicate her twice a day.....good Lord, cats have some big sharp teeth....yikes!

I'm not in any kind of mood. I'm spoiled, that's the problem. In my perfect days I get to Spin, KB, Yoga, walk, cook, eat, nap, start over and repeat......

One of the thoughts I had this morning was of my blogpost I wrote a couple of weeks ago about losing momentum.....that's all this is. I lost a little momentum yesterday, when my whole day fell apart....and then this morning continued to fall.....

It's 6:12am. I've got to get some gas in my car to make it to Palo Alto this morning, and then in about 45 minutes I'll do my first 2 hand KB swing.....and then it'll all be perfect again.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just in case.....

Just in case you don't read some of the comments made.....here is one from my last blogpost....

kettlebells_n_sunshine said...

Tracy, I had the pleasure of meeting you at dinner at the first HKC in MN. You are a beautiful, funny and vibrant person - so full of life. And I actually did hear Mark say that it was easier "when you were fat".

I have always been a fat girl, still I am thick in the middle. I have finally gotten past the scale and the irrational need to be a size 2 because someone says that I should be. The kb was handed to me by my boyfriend a year and a half ago and it changed my life in more ways than imaginable, it even took me into a new career path.

Its hard to let go of images society wants us to embrace for women, but I can look around at the women I train with and see such beauty that it overwhelms me.I continue to pick up my kb and practice and share it with others so that they too can know the beauty of being strong.

Bret & Gray did the video on the TGU (my favorite move) and they remind us of the kalos sthenos or beautiful strength that we all possess. What I think we need to do more often is to embrace it.

I find you inspiring...love yourself they way that others love you... keep up the inspiration...Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Hi Jennifer!

Talk about the KB changing someones life more than ever! I can relate...and talk about new career paths....who knew we'd both be teaching, and preaching, to others the miracle that has come into our lives.

I spent my teen years in the late 70's, and early 80's, when a totally flat tummy....good Lord, a "concave" stomach was the ideal, not to mention pencil thin thighs....not a good thing for a "pear shaped" girl, lol......it was the beginning of the "Super Model". I remember turning sideways in the mirror, daily, to see if I had a flat tummy....thinking by some miracle, during the night, God would grant me this perfect body.....(which my sister had BTW....damn her).

Anyway, I think we also have to be careful of what defines "strong". As I mentioned to Laura Sacks (above), to her comment on Marks blog, I've been posting videos and, of course, my training routines and workouts for a few years now, also watching and reading what others are doing, and sometimes we get caught up in the competition of who can lift, swing, snatch, press, squat the biggest bell for the most times, in the shortest amount of time......goodness I'm tired of the comparisons!

I just want everyone to show up and train regularly! To share one of my favorite "Rifism's", I may not out lift them, but I'll outlast them!".....don't give up.....show up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Skinny" is Making the Whole World Miserable

This is the cover of a Hallmark Shoebox Greeting Card that my friend Sabina gave me last week....isn't it hilarious?

What's not hilarious is how miserable the quest to be considered "skinny" in these current times, in our culture, in many cultures, is.

Mark has said to me, more than once...."It was better (easier) when you were fat."

Good Lord.
Am I that miserable of a person? Sometimes.

He didn't mean any harm, that I know. I also know what he meant by saying something like that. It must be hard to live with someone who insists on torturing themselves by defining their worth by the number on the scale. Not just me, but Mark has been working one-on-one as a personal trainer for many, many years, and alot of his clients have been women who have had the same self torture of, not only the number on the scale, but how big their thighs measured, and how many calories they can eat without getting fat...fat-ter, etc.....

Trying to be, trying to feel, skinny is making us, and the people who love us, miserable.
What is Skinny anyway? Skinny is skinny! Seriously, who wants to be skinny? Anorexics, that's who! OK, I admit to having feelings of being jealous of anorexics...how messed up am I? I'm not anymore messed up than anyone else.....if I truly believed it....but I don't...not really.
I happen to know some skinny people....guess what? They hate themselves just as much as anyone for not being skinny enough....is that justice? I'll humor myself and say, "Yes!"

Listen to happy music and be light with yourself......sing this to yourself......this is for you.....this is about you....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Last Reps....USSST....PR for Tracy, 211, and Megs first attempt, 210!

Well......I love training Russian Kettlebells.... What better is there to do? I mean, really, what else do you have going on? Training takes up so little time....OK I admit it takes alot of energy and commitment, but after you put in...what...about and hour or so? What the hell?

Meg earned her HKC last weekend at Girya, so we did not get to train our Max Vo2 w/16kg workout.....her, learning and training, and me, helping assist and coach.....what better time to test the 10 minute snatch test w/16kg, then after over a week off from heavy snatches? One of things that I like about having Meg as a training partner (besides her fierce competitveness...which she denies, lol), is her willingness to just do as I say! She'll show up....that's the trained, competitve athlete in her...she's taken away the choice of whether or not she "feels" like it! Bravo!

So, I decided now was as good a time as any to test the 16kg snatch. Afterall, we had just done Max training, 2 weeks ago, with the 16kg for what? 70 sets? Oh yes, 70 freakin' sets....and 42-44 sets of 8 reps.....we had already done over 500 snatches with the 16kg....what's a couple hundred in 10 minutes? LOL

Tracys 211

Megs 210

Although we taped video of the full 10 minutes....for now, here is the last minutes of both of our USSST. I went first and then Meg. Neither one of us talked to the other about any strategy other than Meg asking me, just before I started, if I had a goal number....which, I told her was 200. When I have more time and energy I'll post the complete 10 minute sets, and talk about the strategy I went in with, based on my last test....BTW I did this test, probably, 2 years ago and managed 171 reps in the 10 minutes, so todays 211 total was a 40 rep PR, for me!

Looking back at the video I can see lots of room for improvement, which I'll share in the next blogpost about this....I can't wait to retest this, and retesting the SSST (10 minutes w/12kg) will also be interesting.....that will happen after we get our Max 80 sets w/16kg.

PS After my last blogpost, I was tempted to title this one something like "Grandmother snatches the 16kg 211 reps in 10 minutes!" LOL

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Much Fun

I can't help it.......my little Sophia is so cute...and she's so sweet....seriously, she's such a good baby!

I can see her Mommy in her eyes and nose, but her cheeks and forehead are all my son Richard's! This is so much fun.

Monday, December 7, 2009

When Snacks Replace Meals

OK, although I make all of my own meals, my snacking is starting to get a little out of hand.....I say this as I'm just returning from the Whole Foods "bulk aisle", my mouth still burning from the crystalized ginger candy I can't seem to keep my hands out of! I've already banned myself from the bulk aisle of Mollie Stones (in PA) because in addition to crystalized ginger candy they have those little, carob energy nuggets......yikes! As much as I bitch about "energy bars", these are basically the same thing.....ok, that's it, I'll never eat them again, lol!

I've lightened up on my diet quite a bit this last year because micro-managing every morsel of food wasn't working for me. And what I mean by "not working" is, it didn't make me feel good about myself. It made me feel as if I was becoming my own food prison guard. I know exactly when I'm eating too much. I know when I'm not hungry, but eat something anyway. And I know it's my choice, I'm not in denial about anything.....I eat what I want, when I want to, knowing full well any consequences I may "suffer"....suffering is also a choice btw.

I never used to snack more than my one, pre-designated, snack, which was something like a apple, or serving of fruit, PNB and celery/carrots, small sucker, etc., but lately I find myself eating more traditional snack foods like corn chips....thanks alot Fawn, lol! No seriously, I'm pretty good about eating a small amount of snack foods, like chips or crackers, it's not a problem, but this silly crystalized ginger candy keeps "zinging" me....literally!

Isn't the definition of a "snack" a small sumpin'-sumpin'? In fact I looked at the calories in a serving of some of my favorite multigrain chips and one serving has 140 calories, not a problem, I can ususally take a handful and be doen with it. 140 isn't bad, and I think it certainly qualifies as a snack, but if you can't stop yourself after 10 chips (yep, I said 10....one-zero, lol), then what do you do? Well, you probalby eat 20, then 30, hopefully you can stop at this point, because your snack just turned into your meal! And that's pretty much what I've been doing.....eating meal sized amounts of snacks!

Sometimes I consciously choose this. For example, I've been making my own kettlecorn (sugary popcorn....blogpost to come....), and some days I chose to eat it for dinner.....but guess what? It's a trade off, kettlecorn will literally be my dinner and nothing else, nothing more nutritious, just fat, sugar, corn and salt....it's my choice. Crystalized ginger candy was my lunch today!

Most days I know I have good food waiting at home for me, and I can calm myself down long enough to drive home, warm it up, or toss it together, and I feel so much better. Or like today I threw a couple of persimmons in my gym bag to make sure I had something after my workouts, instead of being lured by the peppermint patties, I don't even like, at the yoga studio (the damn little things are free! Argg...)

But for now, as I drink my wine and write this blogpost, I'm cooking a large turkey thigh in the PC while making stock for the lentil mushroom soup I'm making for dinner later on ( or maybe I'll use some black eyed peas and throw some bacon in it, lol). Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the ginger candy.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

If you want to follow along you can.....or just come to my class, lol!

12 kg 10 2 hd sw, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (50 sw)
12 kg 10 tr, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (50 sw)
12 kg 10 1 sw/1 tr, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (100 sw)
12kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 1 min work/30 sec rest, x 5 (200 sw)

repeat w/16kg

16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (50 sw)
16 kg 10 tr, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (50 sw)
16 kg 10 1 sw/1 tr, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (100 sw)
16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 1 min work/30 sec rest, x 5 (200 sw)

repeat w 12kg, but increase each 15 sec interval by 2 reps, speed swings

12 kg 12 2 hd sw, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (60 sw)
12 kg 12 tr, 15 sec work/rest x 5 (60 sw)
12 kg 12 1 sw/1 tr, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (120 sw)
12kg 12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/tr, 1 min work/30 sec rest, x 5 (240 sw)

52.5 minutes 880 swings so far...... (17.5 minutes per block)

12kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, switch bells
16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

12kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr,
12kg 12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, switch bells
12kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, switch bells
12kg 12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

12kg 12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/tr,
12kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

12kg 12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/tr, switch bells
16 kg 10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/tr, 2 min work, 1 min rest

512 swings 18 minutes

100 more swings....10 sets of 10....your chioce 15 sec work/rest = 5 minutes.

1 hour 15.5 minutes
1492 swings

Each block of combination swings has 20 sets (4 x 5). Ten 15/15 work/rest sets, five 30/30 work/rest sets, and five 1 min. work/30 sec rest sets, for a total of 17.5 minutes per block).

The first block is done with the 12kg. The second block has a weight increase to the 16kg. The third block goes back down in KB weight, but the intensity is increased by speeding up the pace and increasing the reps by 2 per 15 seconds.

The last 1 minute sets on all three blocks were combined two at a time, alternating all possible pairs, progressively, starting with the "easiet" and ending with the "hardest" (heavy and speed!),to end the workout. And then.....we just finished it all off with 10 sets of 10 swings....any swing movement (1 hand, 2 hand, trans?) and kettlebell weight, individually chosen.

This is not the hardest, heaviest or longest workout we've done, but in my opinion it was designed and paced in a way to go the distance.

PS this swing combination is the combination I just posted in the last swing video a couple of days ago.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursdays workouts.....

I started my training this morning with 6am Spin class. I haven't been Spinning much because I've been focusing more on getting Girya's makeover fininshed and I don't have time for every-frickin'-thing......

I teach my Beg/Inter class from 7:00 to 7:30am and usually let them stay 5-10 minutes longer, if they want, as I warm up with my next class. My weekday classes @ Equinox are not very well attended as the Club has not promoted the classes, or me, very well, and I haven't pushed it for various reasons. But anyway, for now I have 2 advanced students on Monday, and on Thursdays it's just me and Brian.

Here was the "meat" of our workout today, which is a heavy day that includes, many times, doubles (like today), cleans, presses and squats. I used double 12's & 16's, and Brian used double 16's & 20's.

10 dbl sw w/12kgs, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest
10 dbl sw w/16kgs, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest
7 dbl cl, dbl press w/ 12kgs, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest
6 cl sq L w/ 16kg, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest
6 cl sq R w/16kg, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest
4 min total

10 dbl sw w/12kgs, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest
10 dbl sw w/16kgs, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest
7 dbl cl, dbl press w/ 12kgs, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest

5 dbl cl sq w/16kg's, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest
3 min total

Repeat 4 x, alternating rotations #1 & #2 (8 rotations)

Total workout 28 minutes

We set 4 bells (2 of each weight) next to eachother, and then moved to the bells we needed for the combinations we were doing. We ended the rotations with the last combination of dbl cl squats with our 2 heaviest bells....whew!

I had do do some extra dbl cl presses, since I missed my "strict press" workout with Mark yesterday, so Brian had no choice but to follow suite. I really liked what we did, and instead of explaining it, I'll tape it for one of my future DVD's!

Got to 9:15am Bikrams yoga.....it was weird, but I got my practice in for the day....maybe I'll explain another time.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yoga, or Sophia....yoga, or Sophia?....Sophia, of course!

I had to leave my house this morning by 8:00am to get to Fairfield in time to see my baby granddaughter get her 3 month old pictures taken, so yoga class was not going to fit into the schedule today. I also had to skip my workout with Mark this morning....but what's more important? Yoga will aslways be there, but Sophia's 3 month birthday only happens once!
She is such a good baby.....we took her shopping afterwards and out to lunch.....(even though I brought my own lunch I had to take Mom out to spend just a little more time with sophia....no offense, Mom! lol)

Really, she does like me!

Old School

Wednesday 5:07am....check email and one of the two 6:00am KB clients I train in my garage gym is not feeling well.....one down, but one left......6:00am....I'm on my new stationary bike, the one we toook out of Girya to make room to host HKC's, waiting for client #2......6:05am, I know she's not coming (I'm sure I'll get an email soon about how she overslept, lol), but I'm still there, in the cold, 39 degrees actually, like old times, alone......

It doesn't matter though, I've got work to do, and I'll gt it done. Good news....I can do more alone.

So there I am, 20 minutes on the bike (which I really dig BTW), and the plan was to go on a long walk afterwards because I wasn't counting on getting a workout in today, I wanted to go see my baby girl, on her 3 month birthday, get her pictures taken in her Xmas dress, and I had to leave early to get there in time. But as I sat, warming up on the bike I realized....why go on a walk when I can swing for about 20-30 minutes and get a better workout? In fact, since I can get a great workout with KB's in 20 minutes, I can still go for a walk too! Brilliant!

Tomorrow in my Thursday class I usually swing heavy, lots of times it's "doubles" day, so I wanted something quick, efficient, light and long...... Swinging the 12kg for 20 minutes straight is not a big deal for me.....if I swing at my 10 reps per 15 sec pace (also known as "cruising pace"), but if I increase the swing reps by just 2 reps more in the same 15 sec., it totally changes the difficulty of the exercise......change it by an additional 4 reps and then you're smokin'.....but I didn't want to "smoke" this morning!

I know I cannot swing fast for a straight 20 minutes, so I alternated cruising pace with speed swings for 20 minutes with no rest period. 840 swings in 20 minutes (not including the extra 160+ swings I did for the demo tapes, lol)

10 2 hd sw, 10 tr, 10 1 sw/1 tr (20 reps), 1 minute
12 2 hd sw, 12 tr, 12 1 sw/1 tr (24 reps), 1 minute
repeat 10 times = 20 minutes

Man! Talk about "old school"! Training, by myself in the cold and dark garage gym, barefoot, (and in "street clothes"), and then turning on the video camera was a little deja vu! Perfect timing actually, as I get ready to sit down and write how I train the kettlebell swing, how my progressions came to be, and using the magic number of "10" has been, and still is, key for me.....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Powders and Promises

"You don't need real food when you have enough formula."That's what Mark just said when I was reading the nutritious "diet secrets" of website I just checked out about a multi-level marketing type of business that sells fitness programs....and all the "fixin's".....

2-Day Fast Formula
ActiVit Multivitamins
Meal Replacement Shake
Results and Recovery Formula
Peak Performance Protein Bars
Performance Formula
Slimming Formula

It just kills me that anyone could think, for one second, that eating shakes, bars and supplements is the way to maintain a healthy bodyweight for the rest of our lives......puh-lease!

People! There is NO getting around real food! And I'm not sorry for saying so. Grow up and learn how to feed yourselves. Feeding yourself doesn't mean tearing open a "bar", or popping the top of a Slimfast. It means learning to cook and prepare the food our bodies were meant to eat 100+ years ago....if it wasn't around 100+ years ago, then don't eat it regularly, much less instead of real food.

Now, I don't have a problem disclosing all of the junk I eat at times, but I don't live on it. OK, I had 2 stinkin', nasty ass suckers that were on the counter at the bank this afternoon.....stinkin' free food. But that was only because I left the house without a snack and I have loads of persimmons at my house and I was too stinkin' cheap (and lazy) to stop and pick up an apple....so sugar is the first thing I grab....arggg!

But I headed straight home, ate a persimmon (OK 1 1/2 persimmons) when I got there, while I was heating up a huge bowl of Turkey soup with chorizo and cabbage (yummm,,,,chorizo....my next blog post!) Yes, I was too cheap and tired to stop for a piece of fruit, but knowing there was plenty of homemade food ready for me at home I never, ever, have to rely on "driving through" someplace for someone else to cook my food......and I use the term "cook" lightly.

But as long as supplement companies give people an easy out with powders and promises.....powders you add water to, or bars you simply tear open.....and let's not forget most of this stuff is chocolate, vanilla, or peanut butter flavored, lol...it just gets more ridiculous doesn't it? Aren't those dessert flavors...Yay....dessert all day long and still be lean, mean, healthy and skinny, forever! Sign me up....NOT!

Monday @ Equinox.....are you "hardcore"?

I wrote this blogpost over one month ago, but never posted it until now......

Two people showed up for class this morning....only one in each of my two classes, and I'll get to that in a second....but first here's what Brian and I did in the inter/adv 7:30am class:

Tracy's warmup, all 2 hand swings before progressing up to the 24kg

5 x 10 w 12kg
3 x 10 w 16kg
2 x 10 w/20kg

work sets

50 x 10 w/24kg =
50 sets = 500 swings w/24kg

Brian's warmup, all 2 hand swings before progressing up to the 28kg & 32 kg

5 x 10 w/ 16kg
3 x 10 w/20 kg
2 x 10 w/ 24 kg

work sets

10 x 10 w/28kg
15 x 10 w/32kg
5 x 10 w/ 28kg....and fininshing
20 x 10 w/32kg

50 sets = 500 swings, 200 w/28kg, 300 w/32kg

Total workout 30 minutes, 600 heavy 2 hand swings

Since I had already been swinging for 30 minutes in my basic beginning class from 7:00-7:30am I was done! So I asked Brian if there was anything else he wanted to work on with KB's that I could help him, since I usually train my Inter/Adv class an additional 10-20 minutes. He wanted to do some "lat work", so we practiced some strict press....I mean he practiced some strict presses and with some coaching and a little "tough love" (RKC's know what that is, lol), Brian pressed the 28kg, a new PR for him for 4 reps, 1/1 x 2, and he said it felt easy! Brian definitely benefitted from the practice and coaching Ive been doing with Mark on my own strict pressing....see how lucky my students are, lol! Now Brian can progress up to the 32kg and then 40kg which is about half of his bodyweight.

OK, so if anyone has actually read the workout details in this blogpost, and is interested in the actual training I do with (and without) my students in a class structure, some may think, "Goodness, is that what she does in her classes? I mean should I pay, or would I pay, a trainer to do nothing but set after set of 2 hand swings?" Well, the question isn't, would you pay someone to take you through this workout, but would you even do it on your own? Probably not. Should you? Well, you should be doing something that is considered exercise, and as I always say...."If there was something better than training kettlebells, then I would be doing it!" So why don't more people train kettlebells, and why don't I have more people show up for my classes?

Because it's hard. Because sometimes it hurts....but I don't mean "hurt/ injure", although it may be physically uncomfortable....the kettlebell doesn't swing itself.....you have to move it, and to move the KB you have to move your body! Moving your body in a way that reminds you how out of shape you are, or how out of shape you'll become, quickly, if you stop moving it, hurts your ego more than anything. Go ahead, lose your mobility, lose conditioning, lose strength.....and you lose quality of life....you just do. So why should you come to one of my classes where I may simply do set after set of 2 hand swings? Because you won't do it on you own, and nothing will get you in shape faster.

Are my classes hard? Yep. Is my own training hard? Yep. This is what Brian said to me one time when I gave him a choice about a particular combination to end the workout with, he said "I don't care....whatever is harder!" I couldn't have said it better myself! Now that's hardcore!