Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HKC....last of the sun's rays, end of the day

Rain was on the forecast for the first ever HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification), but it turned out to be an absolutely perfect day....if I would've known I would've worn shorter pants, lol!

Here is a picture of Mark and me near the end of the day....I love all of the bells in the background! Mark and I had a great time staying and visiting with the Fridays and I had a great time assisting (Team Brett Jones), and I'll write more details when I have time.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Good Lord, is it Friday already? Mark and I leave later this morning for the HKC....goodness, we were just in St. Paul less than a week ago, and now it's time to turn around and go back! I haven't had time to post this week's Viking Push Press Max workout....which totally destroyed my arms BTW, so much so that I 'crashed and burned' big time in Bikram later that day, lol(I'll explain later)

Mark and I are staying with our good friends., Aaron and Fawn. Although I got a chance to visit with them last weekend, Mark didn't really have any time to visit, and unfortunately it doesn't look as if this trip will be much different....I mean, HE actually has to work, lol! I've got 4 friends attending the HKC and it's going to be a blast....a "wet blast" according to the forecast! No time for Bikram this weekend, I plan on spending every minute at the Cert.....well, maybe Sunday, if I don't drink too much Saturday night....yeah right!

Anyway, I won't be taking my computer, but I'll take plenty of pictures to post when I get back. (Pictured above are Mark and I just before the gradworkout at last weeks RKC, and Aaron and Fawn....my two favorite people in St. Paul)

Bug in a Rug

Sophia lives over an hour away from me, but doesn't seem to care much because everytime I go to see her she sleeps right through my visit....in fact it's almost a joke now! But I don't care, I can still take a picture of my sweet little "Bug in a Rug"


I have many terms of endearment for Willy and Nilly (or sometimes known as Vanilly, pictured left, after scarfing down some milk, lol)......pee monsters, rugrats, ankle biters, but lately it's been plan 'ole "crazy-asses". I'll post some video when I get back and you'll understand!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lucky Me and the RKC!

It's Sunday, the last day of this 3 day September RKC, and I have to say that it's the most fun I've ever had at an RKC.....except that I wish I could do all of the things I've been doing AND spend all day actually at the Cert! First of all I have to say I really like the new hotel. It's walking distance from some really good places to eat and get coffee....what's more important than good coffee? The hotel is compact and it makes getting in and out super fast. It's a stones throw from the Cert, and literally 5 minutes from the Bikram yoga studio, which is 2 minutes from Fawn and Aarons house....lucky me!

And speaking of Bikrams yoga, I made it to 2 classes on Friday, 9:30am and the 4:30pm, the 4:30 class on Sat., after hanging out at the Cert all day, and getting in a measly little KB workout (yikes), and I'm heading over to the 9:30 class this morning.....feeling a little rough from the food and wine last night.

And speaking of food and wine.....last night's dinner was fabuloso! The only thing better than the food and wine was the company! Mark and I sat at a table with his team assistant Kelly, one of his team members James, Wynne on Kenneth Jays team and Steve on Team Dan John. We all had a great time.

And speaking of Fawn and Aaron....the first day, Friday (funny that's their last name, lol), after yoga I went over to Fawn's house for lunch....does it get any better than that.....yes! Fawn was trying to make weight for her powerlifting meet the next day, so she made the simplest, but yummiest light lunch of a beef patty (nothing but grass fed beef of course), and a light salad of grilled zucchini, spinach, fennel, romaine lettuce and quinoa. I'm so lucky!

Anyway, off to get Mark to the Cert this morning, more yoga for me, pack for home, check out, and meet Fawn for a nice long walk around the lake by her house. The victim portion of the Cert, and then the Grad workout, before leaving for CA, only to be back next weekend for the HKC! Lucky me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

15 min Snatch Set Ladder

I love, love, love laddering sets. Rep ladders, weight ladders, time ladders, uphill, downhill, etc. I've been using ladders in my training for years, and have posted many routines as well as my reasons for those routines on my former blog, Living My Physical Potential. When Mark and I write my book, I'll give more detail to my many reasons why I think using this type of training is so productive.....and fun (whoops, did I say the "F" word, lol)

15 minute downhill snatch ladder
(no rest, no putting the bell down)

11/11,etc...keep going 1 rep at a time (10-6) down to

240 snatches in 15 minutes

Pace each rep increment into 1 minutes time. In other words, 15/15 snatches L & R in one minute is a fast ass pace! It's the top end of a "Max pace", and then slow down slightly every minute as you snatch 1 less rep than the minute before. I did this snatch set with my two "max" girls on Sat.....after their workout! I repeated this in my Monday class with Gen, again, and Brian. Brian used the 16kg.....that's what I want to do!

I believe the 10 snatch rep per minute is the perfect pace for long endurance snatch sets....I think I snatched the 12kg for 30 straight minutes once usins this pace....so by the time you get down to 10-9 reps you may find this pace easy, in fact take advantage of these "rest sets", lol!......and then you slow down..... Bythe time you get to 6-5 this exercise becomes more of a "snatch hold" exercise. Six snatches in 30 secs breaks down to 1 snatch hold every 5 seconds, 5 snatches breaks down to 1 snatch every 6 secs, 4 snatches for 7 1/2 secs., 3 holds for 10 secs., 2 holds for 15 sec. and the final snatch hold is a full 30 seconds! It seems as if it continues to get easy, but the beauty of it is that by the time you get down to 5's, you've been snatching for 10 consecutive minutes already.....and you still have 5 more minutes to go!

I haven't tried the uphill ladder, but you know I will! In fact I'll do both back to back....uphill/ downhill, and downhill/uphill. If you want a great 30 minute snatch workout, take your pick.....if you want an unbelievable 60 minute snatch workout, do all four....with a rest inbetween of course......or maybe not!

Does She Look Like Me? (lol)

Well, since my oldest son, Rick, looks like me alot, I thought there just might be a chance little Sopia might resemble me in some kind of way.....just like a Leo, huh? But Sophia looks just like her beautiful mother Cristina! Lucky her!

I wish I had better pictures, but we can't use the flash on the camera yet. Sophia is 2 weeks old now and I won't get to see her again until we get back from the St. Paul Cert....so much changes when they're this young, but for now Sohia is like a little "bug in rug".

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Chicken or the Egg......(I like chicken, lol)

I't's 4:45am Friday morning, and if I want to Spin and yoga this morning I'll have to be on the road in about 1/2 hour so I can get an early start, on my 1 hour+ drive, to see my sweet Sophia in Fairfeild.

I haven't written a post about the subject of Transforming Thoughts of Food & Eating lately, mostly posting about training, because so much is changing for me around that part of my life. Lately my dominate thoughts about food is that being fat isn't about food, which I already knew, it's about eating. Eating behaviors, eating habits, not just the science of "calories in, calories out". Calories in/out does work, for sure, but why is it that so many, in fact most, gain weight back, lose weight, gain it back, lose it (etc.), what is driving our behavior to eventually start eating too much over and over again? Is it the amount of foods we eat? Is it the kinds of foods we eat? Is it how we feel about the foods we choose? Why can some people eat more, or eat "crappy" and not be fat? Here it is again......the chicken or the egg?

Do we eat less because we feel so good about ourselves, and our lives, and therefore eat less? OR do we start eating less, either from motivation or discipline & willpower, and therefore feel better , or good, about ourselves for eating less? Do we feel good about ourselves, or can we feel good about ourselves when we eat alot? Do we feel differently about ourselves when we eat foods we perceive as "junk foods" or "healthy"?

No time to finish this right now, it's 5:18am and I've got to go......

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Intermediate/Advanced Swing Combination Workout

On Monday and Tuesdays I have a 7:30am intermediate/advanced swing class at Equniox in Palo Alto, after my 30 minute beginners class. My beginners class swings about equal work to equal rest, but then the more advanced class can swing up to 5-9 minutes before a rest period...here's the workout we did today.

I won't bore you with the details of our 5 minute warm up but it adds up to 130, 2 hand swings, and then the real workout......

I used the 12kg and most swings were purely "hardstyle"

1 swing 1 transfer x 10 (5x each side, 20 reps), 30 sec work/30 sec rest
2 sw, 1 tr, x 10 (30 reps) 45 sec work/30 sec rest
3 sw, 1 tr x 10 (40 reps) 60 sec work/30 sec rest
4 sw, 1 tr x 10 (50 reps) 1 min. 15 sec work/30 sec rest
5 sw, 1 tr x 10 (60 reps) 1 min. 30 sec work/30 sec rest
6 sw, 1 tr x 10 (70 reps) 1 min. 45 sec work/30 sec rest
7 sw, 1 tr x 10 (80 reps) 2 min. work/30 sec rest
8 sw, 1 tr x 10 (90 reps) 2 min. 15 sec work/30 sec rest
9 sw, 1 tr x 10 (100 reps) 2 min. 30 sec work/30 sec rest
10 sw, 1 tr x 10 (110 reps) 2 min. 45 sec work/done....and then we did squats (goblet & double cl/sq)......and then Gen and I practiced get-ups!

650 swings in 21 min. 25 secs. Basically 900 swings per 30 minutes, or 1800 swings per hour!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

16kg Max....super short version

Well, Mark and I usually train Max on Tues, but we had to reschedule for today, and lucky for me Mark had a cancellation @10am, so instead of having to wait until he got home at 1:00pm (yuck) we got to train together at Girya, and get it done before 11am! woo hoo!

I know I'm going to start training Max w/16kg again soon, and I think I'll use my "mid-week" Max workout as my main Max training.....afterall, I've got a Master Instructor as my coach (how lucky am I?), so today I decided to snatch the 16kg, but only 5 reps per 15 sec. I also have decided to start working with the heavier bells with NO hand protection.....this means I'm going to have to pay close attention to hand care. (the RKC requirements are no hand protection for testing of 16kg snatches)

5 snatch hold L,
5 snatch hold R,
x 10 sets (5 each side)
5 snatch hold, L, rest, 5 snatch hold R, rest
5 snatch 10 sec./5 sec hold on the last rep, rest, 5 snatch 10 sec./5 sec hold on the last rep, rest

I alternated these two snatch tempos x 32 more sets (42 total of 50 intended).....and then I tore a callus off of my right hand....

I actually thought I was going to tear my left hand because I felt one starting and around about sets 34-35 I started having thoughts about stopping at 40. Mark and I rarely train less than 50 sets and that was the agreed upon number of sets today, but since I chose to use the 16kg (same as him BTW), and although I knew I was only going to do 5 reps per 15 sec (Mark does 7 & 8's), I haven't been snatching the 16kg hardly at all until recently, maybe as long as almost 1 year....it just hadn't been part of my training strategy.....there just was no reason to push it except pure hardcore pride!

I kept saying to myself "OK, it's only around 10 more sets....that's only 5 per each side....you know, you could just throw some sock sleeves on....NO! Just do the sets....why are you quitting? Just find that 'sweet spot' so that won't tear your hands....that's really the key..... don't quit now, you've never quit before....just do it"....etc.. And then at set 42 I felt it go.....rip!

Now, I've trained with bleeding palms before, but it's not worth it right now at this point of my training. This was, kind of, a trail 16kg Max, just a taste of what's to come. I'll be better prepared when the real 16kg Max starts....lol!

PS Last year my top 16kg Max was 60 sets of 7.....are we going for 80 sets next? Hmnn....I think so.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Max interrupted....100 reps w/16kg in 5 minutes

How can anyone attend an RKC and not be inspired? Every Cert I go to motivates me to change my training, or my teaching is some way or another. I knew, weeks before Mark and I went, that the requirements to earn your Certification had changed this year, and if I were participating as an assistant or new Cert candidate that I would have to do 100 snatches, w/16kg, in 5 minutes, oh, and with NO sock sleeves, or any other hand protection, just chalk. So I had planned to do just that, but with my Max Vo2 class after we had completed our 36:36 protocol.

I had thrown some 16kg snatch sets into our Max training 3-4 weeks ago, and for Gen it was the first time she ahd ever snatched the 16kg, so I was going to scale the 100 reps to her ability....unfortunately a past back injury reared it's ugly head so I would not have suggested she test herself at this time, besides she was out of town this weekend....so that left just me and Meg.

My goal was to switch hands every 10 reps/per 30 secs....a nice slow pace...this was not a race! I also thought that it would be good for Meg and I to snatch at the same time....keeping the pace for eachother. My biggest challenge was the callus build up on my hands, where my palm meets my fingers....especially at the base where my middle fingers are.....pinch, pinch, ouch! And I could have worn my sock sleeves, afterall, this wasn't an "official" test, but no frickin' way! My hands are what wore down on the last 10 reps on my right side. My grip was fine, my strength was fine, my cardio was fine, but now I know to give way more attention on keeping that hard skin from forming.....the reason why I had not paid much attention lately, is because I had rarely been swinging those bigger handled bells, much less snatching them (16kg and up).

When my 100 reps were done, with 15 secs to spare, Meg kept going and easily snatched 5 more reps saying afterwards that she felt like she could have keep going forever (pacing is key...seriuosly).....it's awesome when you get that feeling.....much different than Monday's last Max workout, lol! In fact, I had joked with Meg that after this workout she could go and run 20 miles....she said she probably would, lol......did she? I on the other hand, after swinging and TGU-ing for the previous 1 hour before, skipped 12 noon yoga in exchange for "wine shopping", and then "'wine drinking", lol!

Now.....the TGU w/16kg.....on my "bad" side! I've got to meet HKC requirements and more.....

Friday, September 4, 2009

1 Day Old.....I mean, Young

Sophia Cristina
6 lbs. 12 ounces

Minutes after Sophia was born, my son, Rick, was standing at her bassinet looking a little.....shall we say 'in shock', lol.....I guess the reality of this new life, this new responsiblity, the miracle of creation, who knows what was going through his mind, but whatever it was, it was overwhelming to say the least. I'm a little in shock myself....it hasn't really sunk in yet because I still see my two boys as little kids.....have they really grown up?
This last year, 1 1/2 years, has been different for me. Somehow I became distracted from having a positive outlook and started to become a little more cynical. I got wrapped up in myself too much. So much pressure to be better, that meant thinner, leaner, perfect. I wondered why God sent me 2 little kittens just weeks ago....2 kittens who needed a mother, unable to survive on their own.....I already had 5 cats I didn't need more! Why? Why the responsiblity, the clean up the feedings? Maybe it was to help me pull my head out of my backside to see a bigger picture, and to focus on something other than myself. Of course I knew little Sophia was coming, and she was nice enough to wait until Mark and I got back from our RKC weekend, but now that's she's here how will my life change?
Driving home from the hospital after yesterdays visit, I was thinking so much more positively. Every thought I had was hopeful, and exciting. It's almost like getting another chance. Isn't that how Grandparents describe having grandchildren, as 'another chance' to get it right! Another chance to be a better parent....not directly of course, but to be better than you were with your own kids......I just realized though....even if my kids are grown I'm still their parent and it's never too late to do better. I can do better, and I will.....with my two boys, and now my granddaughter.... I'm not too old, I can start again, I'm only 46 years young!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Max & the Rugrats, when I got back

I had rescheduled my Max class for the Monday I got back.....while in La Jolla, I managed to get in 2 of THE hottest Bikram yoga classes of my life (seriously!), I also went through the standing portion of Bikram out in the field during the Cert (in the shade of course), I also trained KB's on Sat. morning for about 60 minutes, and finally 3 walks (1 hour, 30 min. & 45 minutes), so I guess I earned all of the fruit & cheese I ate at the M&G, and before Saturday night dinner, lol! Back to Max.....

Monday morning.....I taught a 30 minute beginners class, some swings, some snatches, and then my next class showed up for Max 36:36. Two of my 7:30 class students have been doing some serious swinging with me so I thought I may be able to scale Meg's and my Max training with them (I didn't hear about the aftermath until Tuesday...this morning....that it was pretty intense, I mean brutal....yikes!).

Meg and I snatched our first 2 sets (1 L, 1 R) 17/17, the next sets I increased to 18/18, and it was clear......that was as fast as it was going to go! We had 35 sets to do and let me tell you I wasn't feelin' it....lucky for me, Meg and I were on the same page, and around the 7th/8th sets Meg volunteered the information that she wan't feelin' it either! Whew! Sometimes you just gotta work with the body that shows up that day. Mondays Max 36:36 was the longest workout ever...... Meg's got this thing where half way through Max she does a "happy dance".....no happy dance this day.....17 more sets......argg....

Meg and Tracy 12kg

17/17 x 2
18/18 x 33

628 snatches
42 minutes (not including warm up)

Brian 16kg & Rachel 8kg

18/18, repeat, the uphill ladder starting from 14-18 (20 sets total, then ladder down....)
7 L, 7 R x 5 sets (still 14 snatches, but switching hands in the same set)

514 snatches

Brian actually completed this, suffering a little blood from a callus tear, but when you move a bell fast at some point it's going to happen. Rachel's hands gave her greif too, and she had to switch some of the snathes for swings, but seriously amazing considering she's only been training with me for about 3-4 months! Unfortunately, her forearm swelled up from the bell hitting the back of her wrist, and although she's not a "flopper", her snatches looked great, just the sheer weight and speed of the bell making that much contact in such a short amount of time can do that

Willy & Nilly

Thank goodness my son Gabe's girlfriend, Lilly, aka mommy #2 (soon to be mommy #1) made leaving the rugrats for 3 days possible. When we got back, Nilly (R) was eating solid food, he started just before we left, and I think they both doubled in size, lol! They can both jump up onto our bed now (bummer, because Willy peed through all of my blankets after a nap yesterday), anyway, a couple of more weeks they'll get neutered and then go to live with Lilly at Chico State....thank God! My three youngest cats groom, play and sleep with the little boogers, but my two older cats rarely come in the house anymore and hiss like crazy at them....besides I never wanted anymore cats! Although it's been a blast having little babies again, they eventually (too fast) grow into big cats and it been a big commitment of time and energy with the feeding, litterbox training, and organization of my other cats.....I'm tired!

Now a "real" baby! Any minute I'll be a grandma....I mean a "Meemie" (that's what I'm going to try and go by, lol I'm too young to be "Grandma"). We were hoping Sophia would be born today (9/1), but it looks as if Sept. 2 will have to do! No more kittty pics (maybe one more....on the day they leave, lol, just kidding), instead my my first grandchild, my first granddaughter!