Thursday, December 30, 2010

Knife Skills

It is one of my beliefs that good knife skills are the foundation of a good cook. You can only become a good cook with practice, and practicing is the only way to develop good knife skills. Which comes first? Well, I believe they come simultaneously. Because I so much wanted to be a good cook, I had to cook. To cook, I had to chop. To chop, I had to use a knife.

One of the first cooking "lessons" one learns is "Mise en place", it's French for "put in place". Before you try any recipe, especially for the first time, it is highly recommended that you put all of the ingredients you need together, in one place, before you start cooking. This way once you start to assemble the recipe you already have everything right in front of you. This also helps to not forget any ingredient or step. I haven't "mised" in years...yikes...but I used to and that set me up for some good habits.

Although I no longer "mise" (meese, rhymes with cheese!), I'm still in the habit of doing the bulk of my chopping and dicing before I turn on the stovetop. Because I use so many fresh vegetables, easily 2-4 times what most people use, it takes me 10-15 minutes on average, but sometimes as long as 25-30 minutes to prep just the vegetables for my soups and stews. Salads don't take nearly as long because most of that is shredding, and taking 20 minutes I can prep salad ingredients to last a week.

Last month I got this idea to try and make a truly vegetarian chili using no tomatoes (it's winter for God's sake, lol), and no beans, but loads and loads of veggies. I used beets and beet stems to make the chili red, along with the standard ,onions celery, carrots that go in everthing I cook. Fresh chilis, of course, jalapenos, pasilla, and red bell. Oh, and a butternut squash (I learned that from Fawn). The regular chili powders, spices and garlic. It came out OK, not great, but good...I'm not going to lie!

Hot and edible are the only requirements I have for a new recipe! Because of the beets and butternut it was a bit on the sweet side and I felt lacked depth. I helped it a little by adding a bag of frozen yellow corn (I know, I know, it's winter for God's sake).....a little ground meat wouldn't have hurt either, lol.

I'm very proud of my knife skills considering I've never been formally trained, Rachel Ray has nothing on me! I often see food prep, especially chopping and dicing as a form of meditation. I get just as much satisfaction from cooking and preparing my meals as I get from eating them. I will always choose to "eat in", saving my money for more good wine and a few pieces of luck am I?

top picture is a 12 x 18 inch sheet pan with all of the veggies in the bottom picture diced and ready to make "vegetarian beet and butternut chili". middle picture is me stacking and dicing jalapenos.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hope...everyday of every year...

Here is a blogpost I wrote almost 4 years ago....really? Four years?

Hope for the New Year

So much has happened to me in the last few weeks, in the last few days, I can only wonder what this next year holds for me. Two years ago today I was happy. My life was good. Yes, I was fat, but I never defined myself by my weight. I always felt that I was smart, talented, and had a good life. I enjoyed eating alot of food and took responsibility for the results of that. In fact, besides being phyisically uncomfortable at times, I felt the biggest drawback of being so overweight was the judgement other people had about me becausde of my size. I felt invisible, not respected, and I did feel shame about my weight.

Being Mark Reifkind's wife, many times I wanted to hide. Married to a personal trainer, and being so overweight, I remember asking Mark, when he would want to introduce me to a client or friend ," Did you tell them I'm fat? You need to tell them I'm fat, because I don't want them to be surprised." I felt bad for him because I didn't want my weight to be a reflection of him. After all, should the "Worlds Best Personal Trainer" have such a fat wife?

I knew I had it in me to lose the weight and start exercising, I just didn't want to. Why? I don't even know the answer now. I think everyone knows how to lose weight. The question is why don't you want to? I, personally, don't think it matters why. You and I have the rest of our lives to try and figure that out, if we want to. It doesn't change the fact that 2+2=4. In otherwords, the fact is if you count your calories, eat less than you do now, and start some sort of exercise, you will lose weight. You don't need me to tell you that.

Instead of scientific facts, what I want to offer is hope. Hope that you can recover from being overweight. Hope that you can recover from being out of shape. Hope that you can recover from being ashamed. Hope, so you can feel healthy, strong and proud. And that you can also come through it looking and feeling better than you ever have before.

That's what training kettelbells has done for me. I tell everyone that my diet (food) changed the size of my body, but kettlebell training changed the composition of my body. And I wouldn't of believed it until I experienced it. Kettlebell training has given me hope. Hope that I can keep the weight off and feel and look great. Sometimes I think if I only would of known about KBs 10 years ago I might never have gained so much weight. I hope that you find the motivation this year, and if I can give you any, I will. If you have already found your motivation, like me, I hope you keep it going strong.

So much has changed, and then again nothing has changed. Back then I knew I had the answers...and now, sometimes, I find myself looking for the answers....forgetting I already have

The day I shot the video for "4HB", I remember Tim Ferris telling me about the possibilities of being invited to appear on some of the morning talk shows like the "Today Show", or "Regis and Kelly" to promote the book. Someone commented on "Oprah", and Tim commented back, "Oprah calls you, you don't call Oprah!"

That's when it hit me. What am I looking for? I needed to stop looking, instead let "it" find me.

Mark found me.

The weightloss found me.

Kettlebells found me.

If Oprah is supposed to find me then, lucky for her, she will! lol

All of these things found me because I had hope and belief. I knew I would have all of these things. I didn't know when, and I felt impatient at times, but I always trusted that I was not wrong about what a special, smart, talented, and deserving person I was. I had to stop concerning myself with the details.

Last year I weighed around 150lbs, the year before around 132-135lbs. I had gained almost 20 lbs. 20lbs is alot of bodyweight, and it can turn into more quickly. I felt depressed for the first time in a long, long, long time....about my bodyweight! Heck, I wasn't this depressed when I weighed 250lbs+! I felt like I failed because I was no longer "tiny". I was no longer "a size 6 all day long". What did I do?

Well, I went back to what I already knew. My standard answer to the question, "How did you lose all of that weight?" was, "I stopped doing what was making me fat." So, I stopped doing what was making me 150lbs! I started eating a little bit less, and changed the composition and calorie density of my meals. I lost 10lbs before my Febuary re-Cert and have kept it off for a year now. I was eating too much of the wrong things, and I finally let what I already knew find me again.

I have never, for 1 second, been afraid of being obese again. I am not that person anymore. When I found myself weighing 20 lbs heavier I was pissed off, but not afraid. I was pissed off because I really thought that I really liked being thin and fit, or should I say feeling thinner, and feeling more fit? But it turns out I liked eating and drinking more! Lucky me. Here I am, approaching 2011, 5 years post 120lb weightloss. I currently weigh around 140lbs. Originally my "dream bodyweight" was 142lbs! I eat what I want to eat, I drink what I want to drink, I train as much as I want to train...and that's probably too much, lol!

I'm the first person to admit that I don't like defining new beginnings to the calender year, but as we approach January 1st 2011, let us all embrace the hope that it's never too late to realize our potential. Our own unique, incredible, unbelievable, achieveable physical potentials. "Training is the source." (Mark Reifkind).

PS for potential motivation and inspiration please take a look my blogpost archives at and also in the archives of this, my 2nd blog Pictures above: this year playing "This little piggy" with my precious Sophi, and one year before, Xmas Eve with Sophi!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Story of 10x10, and The 5x6 Christmas Workout

When I first started to train kettlebells, sets and reps, traditionally, is how one keeps track of the work completed, or of the work yet to be done, so that's what I did. Ten swings. Only ten swings....ten was hardly anything! Then it hit me...10 sets of 10 swings was 100 swings....100 swings! No one was doing hundreds of swings at the time (that I knew of), but I knew how deceiving a big number like 100 was. How you ask?

In my 30's I learned how to cook by taking classes at a cooking store/cooking school called Home Chef. I volunteered to assist and help prep all of the food and ingredients for as many classes as I could at least 2-3 days per week. One of my duties before class started was to set up the chairs for students. I had to set up 50, fifty! That seemed like alot people for such a small room, until I saw the pattern.... Five rows of 10 chairs! Five rows of ten? That was nothing....five, so close to one, and ten, so far away from 50. At that moment I realized that 50, or even 100, was no where near the grand number I thought it was.

Well, now that I have been teaching the kettlebell swing for more than 3 years, in my experience most people start the same way I started, with the goal of a set of 10 swings. Seems so little...unless you're the one learning for the first time! The next goal is another set of 10 swings....and then another set of ten, and then another.... This comes way before interval training. A beginner always takes the rest they need until their level of fitness catches up with their ego!

Good news? A few sets of ten add up quickly, and before you know it the possibility of doing hundreds of swings within 20-30 minutes becomes a regular occurence.

The Story of 5 x 6

What can be easier than 10 x 10? 5 x 6, lol In this case I'm not talking about 5 sets of 6 reps. For this workout I'm talking about 5 repeated sets done in 6 rotations for a total of 30 sets, giving me the 30 minute workout I was looking for this past Thursday morning. Lucky for me each set took 1 minute (30 sec work/rest), so 30 minutes flew by. All I had to concern myself with was completing a group of 5 sets, six times.

Getting the work done uses the same concept of breaking it down into more seemingly managable segments. It was so managable I had to repeat it again with my Sat. class for the second half of our workout. I thnk I'll keep this "5 x 6" training theme for while, so look for more to come!

Christmas Workout

15 minutes of equal work to rest swing intervals including double swings (300 swings)
15 minutes of Max Vo2 30 sets of 8 (240 snatches)

"5 x 6"

dbl sw, dbl clean x 8 30 sec work/rest x 5 (rotation #1)

dbl cl, dbl strict press x 6, 30 sec wor/rest x 5 (rotaion #2, video below)

dbl sw, dbl clean x 8, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (rotation #3, same as #1)

dbl cl, dbl push press x 6, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (rotation #4, video below)

dbl sw, dbl clean x 8, 30 sec work/rest x 5 (rotation #5, same as #1)

dbl cl, dbl jerk x 6, 30 sec work/rest (rotation #6, video below)

30 minutes of dbl swings and presses

Total workout 60 minutes

Video posted on my last blog is of the dbl sw/cl set in rotations #1, #3, #5

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Love Doing What I Hate Doing

This morning, Xmas Day, 7:30am....I taught a modified Holiday Class schedule. Why? Because Saturday is one of my hardest training days, one of my most anticipated and important training days of the week. The fact that it also coincides on the same day as Christmas is of no concern to me. If it wasn't a kettlbell day, then I would be in a yoga I have been in previous years.

I will happily post todays workout tomorrow, but for now I wanted only to post a fraction of my workout, along with a couple of pictures to show a comparison of how far I've come in a few short years.

This mornings workout, with two out of three of my consistent training partners, Sabina and Mina.... We did a little bit of everything. Swings, Max, and doubles. I will post the complete workout in the next blogpost. The theme of the workout today was "I love doing what I hate doing"....doubles! Doubles are freakin' hard! Double snatches, double swings, double presses, and all variations of the double press.

This time a few years ago I could never imagine what I would be doing, or looking like, or feeling like....Xmas is what dreams are made of. Looking at how far I've come, how much I've changed in such a short time, and how I've made the impossible seem, NO, be possible, I feel like my childhood idol, Shirley Temple, in "Poor Little Rich Girl"!

Freakin' lucky me!

Pictures above; Teaching my advanced class on Xmas morning 2010. 5 years previous , 12/21/05 in the hills of Santa Cruz at a Xmas Brunch. (take into consideration the width of my waistline...seriously! Size 22/24 to a size 8. I remember having to find something decent to wear that day....argh! I hated my only option...I looked horrible and I felt horrible!

Video was taken this Xmas morning, 12/25/10

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

At a Crossroads

Tim Ferris sent me a few still pitures taken when we shot the video trailer to his book, "The 4 Hour Body", and to be honest I was....well, I was not all that enthused.... But I'm not going to pick apart all of the little details of what I looked like....instead? I love the look of the beads of sweat that accumulated on my upper lip (they did have me swinging for minutes at a time on top of a roof, with the sun beaming down on me, while wearing a long sleeved jacket.) And, for God's sake...I am 47 years old! Any woman transitioning from her early 40' to her late 40's knows what I'm talking about! I managed to turn back the hands of time physically, and mentally, but the camera doesn't lie! And to be honest, packing on over 100lbs+ in my 20' snd 30's didn't do me any favors. But you know what? I starting not to care.....that much, lol! It's not 2006 anymore, and I'm not 42 years old. I will never be 100lb+ overweight again, and thanks to training kettlebells, I will always be more fit than 99% of women my age, or even 1/2 my age.

Anyway, the point of this blogpost is that in 2006 I was completely anonymous and it now seems light years before. As we approach 2011, I'm not a young chick anymore, and I'm not exactly anonymus. Here I am on the inside cover of a best selling book, and the only female in the national video trailer for that same book. I have my first article published in Pavel's newsletter that goes out to, how many thousands of readers? A photo shoot with a national womens magazine, along with the release of my first DVD just a couple of months earlier....can it get any better? And all at the age of 47!

So at the end of 2010 I've been feeling like I'm at a crossroads....

I've been a bit fuzzy this past week (or 2, or 3!) with all the great and fabulous things that are coming my way, I've also had some crazy weird things happen, but today the fog started to lift. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, as I started to read Tim's book, The 4 Hour Body, I'm beginning to remember how this all started and what this has all been about for me.

Originally because I had not yet read it, I couldn't really understand the connection I had with the stories in this book, except that I lost a bunch of weight and I used kettlebells as my main form of fitness. I now understand why The 4 Hour Body and I have such a close connection and I can't wait to share some of my thoughts and insights here on my blog in the next few weeks. But in the mean time, if you don't have a copy of this book, get one!

Picture above; Larger than life close up of me, taken the day I did the taping for the video trailer "The 4 Hour Body" Middle picture; The inside front cover of The 4 Hour body....notice how my pictures are above of Casey Viator, a legendary bodybuilder (if you don't why he a legend, read the book!) Below; Oh, and I had to post the video one more time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash and Cottage Cheese Smoothie favorite smoothie these days is roasted butternut squash and cottage cheese!

I came up with idea last week when I found that I was "treating" myself to a eggnog latte practically everyday (*see note). I was at the grocery store and saw egg nog in the dairy section and thought...hmnn, instead of buying a coffee drink everyday, I can turn it into a meal by making my own protein eggnog smoothie!

I've also been kind of hooked on cottage cheese must be a "salt" thing. I thought, instead of using yogurt, I could use cottage cheese making it more like cheesecake, lol! Always trying to turn meals into dessert, aren't we?

When I assembled the ingredients for my brand new concoction I started to read the ingredients listed on the eggnog carton....first thing I see? 195 calories per 1/2 cup! 195 calories per 1/2 c.? Good Lord...there is no way I can make this taste eggnoggy, with only 1/2 c., unless I used some vanilla yogurt. But there was already so much sugar in the egg nog....whoops, wrong! High fructose corn sugar.

Make no mistake....I am not so much of a "NO high fructose corn syrup" snob that I was not going to try and make a smoothie anyway....this one time. But I am enough of a snob to know that I would have to throw the rest out. There are too many better choices....but not for me, at that moment, when I had my heart set on an eggnog smoothie!

Needless to say, I was right. After adding the cottage cheese and 1/2 c. egg nog, it wasn't near sweet enough, or egg noggy enough. I ended up putting a couple more tbls of egg nog, a pinch of cinnamon and, oh yes....some frozen mammy fruit to try and save it. "Ma-may" fruit has a pumkin like color and consistency, and that's when I got the idea to use butternut squash. Unfortunately my innocent little experiment probably ended up over 500 calories (I may have even added a bit of maple syrup too...yikes).

The next day, lessons learned from the previous day, I started with

1 c. cottage cheese (203 cal)
1 c. roasted butternut squash (82 cal)
2 tbl maple syrup (100 cal)
pinch of cinnamon
1 c. of ice
1/2 c. water to loosen it to my desired consistency....voila!
under 400 calories

To be honest, it wasn't quite sweet enough, even with 2 tbl maple syrup (100 cal), so today I used 1 tbl maple syrup and 1 tbl brown sugar. Slightly better, but I wouldn't call it sweet. But that's OK. It is still yummy enough to look forward to making and drinking, in fact it's whats for lunch regularly...for a while at least. No more egg nog lattes! And the trade off is so much better.

Here are the nutritional differences between yogurt and cottage cheese.

1 c. 2% plain yogurt

154 cal.
3.8 gm fat
17.2 gm carb
12.9 gm protein
172 mg sodium

1 cup 2% cottage cheese

203 cal.
4.4 gm fat
8.2 gm carb
31.1 gm protein (!)
918 mg sodium

Ok, ok, so I admitted it had more sodium, but I sweat enough to allow for a bit more! The biggest differnce is in the amount of carbs and protein. Just FYI!

(note) When I order a small size eggnog latte, and I have the barista fill the cup 1/2 way with plain coffee first, so when they fill the rest up with the lowfat eggnog mixture it really only gives my coffee an eggnog flavor....full on eggnog is seriously sweet! (in a good way of course)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another "100"

Here is the high volume swing workout Sabina and I did this morning.

You may notice, starting with the 2nd rotation, that every rotation from that point begins with the same 4 sets of 2 hand swings. I trained my first rotation with the 12kg, and then I progressively increased the weight of the first four sets, to next the 14kg, and finally ending up with the 16kg for the remainder of the workout. It was my plan to go up to the 20kg, but I couldn't find my car keys and the 20kg was locked inside! Believe me was fine!

The second part of each rotation is done with a lighter bell, as the sets start at 100 reps in the first rotation, increasing by 20 reps per rotation until 200 reps are reached. All of these sets are done using my progressive swing ladders.

1st rotation includes the warm up w/12kg

10 sets of 10, 15 sec work/rest (100 swings, your choice)

20 tr
10 swing transfers (20 reps)
5/5 x 2 (20 reps)
10 swing transfers
20 tr

100 rep set
2 1/2 min. work, 1 min rest

2nd rotation

10 2 hd sw, 15 sec rest
20 2 hd sw, 30 sec rest
30 2 hd sw, 45 sec rest
40 2 hd sw, 1 min rest

12 kg
20 tr
10 swing transfers
5/5 x 4
10 swing transfers
20 tr

120 reps, 3 min. work, 1 min rest

3rd rotation

10 2 hd sw, 15 sec rest
20 2 hd sw, 30 sec rest
30 2 hd sw, 45 sec rest
40 2 hd sw, 1 min rest

20 tr
10 swing transfers
5/5 x 2
5/5 x 2

10 swing transfers
20 tr

140 reps,
3 1/2 min work, 1 min rest

4th rotation

10 2 hd sw, 15 sec rest
20 2 hd sw, 30 sec rest
30 2 hd sw, 45 sec rest
40 2 hd sw, 1 min rest

20 tr,
10 swing transfers
5/5 x 2

10/10 x 2
5/5 x 2
10 swing transfers
20 tr

160 reps,
4 min work, 1 min rest

5th rotation

10 2 hd sw, 15 sec
2 hd sw, 30 sec rest
30 2 hd sw, 45 sec rest
40 2 hd sw, 1 min rest

20 tr
10 swing transfers
5/5 x 2

20 2 hd sw

5/5 x 2
10 swing transfers
20 tr

180 reps,
4 1/2 min work, 1 min rest

6th rotation (video shows this rotation)

10 2 hd sw, 15 sec rest
20 2 hd sw, 30 sec rest
30 2 hd sw, 45 sec rest
40 2 hd sw, 1 min rest

20 tr
10 swing transfers
5/5 x 2

40 2 hd sw

5/5 x 2
10 swing transfers
20 tr

200 reps,
5 min work....done, now rest up!

Total 52.5 minutes
1500 swing reps

I had no idea of where I was going until I got past the first 10 sets of 10...that's my usual warmup. After the first set of 100 I saw the the pattern was set. I knew the workout would not end until we got to 200 reps.

This is another "100" workout because every rotation starts with 100 2 hand swings...even though the other sets have more than 100. Roughly 660 of these reps were 2 hand swings.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Live Your Life With Arms Wide Open

"Live you life with arms wide open"..... These lyrics to the song "Unwritten", by Natasha Bedingfeild, are my current favorite. Here are all of the lyrics.....

I have been blessed.

Born to an unwed mother in the 60's...abandoned by my fact, never to lay eyes on him....I'm currently 47 years old.

My mother, in her teens, and a young hispanic woman, somehow inherited a bit of class....enough class to keep me and my older sister clean, well dressed, and educated. (I like to think I also inherited a bit of that same "class").

At around the time I was 4 years old I started to become "chubby".... I have one memory of being around the age of 10, parking myself next to a bowl of potato chips at a party.....sneaking chips at every opportunity.

I realized early on that I was not like my "skinny" friends, or my skinny sisters. In fact I realized I was the only fat person in my entire family. In my entire elementary school. Maybe in the entire world.

In my elementary years I could not do alot of the physical things my friends could cartwheels...what kind of kid can't do a simple cartwheel? A chubby kid, that's who.

But I always knew that I was in the wrong place....I was not this fat person.

So, I caught the "perfectionism" disease. Throughout my life I've tried to prove that I was "better than"...."smarter than"....."as good as"

I was driving to work this morning and this song came on the radio.....I had just heard this song yesterday on my way to yoga class......I sang along, with passion for the words, and then I started to think about what these words meant to me, in my life today....."live you life with arms wide open" were the lyrics that stayed with me.

I don't think that anything happens by chance.

What do these lyrics mean to you?


I am unwritten, can't read mBoldy mind, I'm undefined (you decide who you are)
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned (...plan it now, it's up to you how the story ends...)

Staring at the blank page before you (lucky can decide who and what you want to doesn't matter what you've done, or not done....start again, start over, erase your mistakes, the past over. The only thing that matters now is your future....and the future is now)
Open up the dirty window (the window to your future is only cloudy until you claim clarity...YOU claim clarity!)

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it (It's here...NOW.....stop's here now)
Release your inhibitions (dont worry about what anybody else has to say...screw everybody else)
Feel the rain on your skin (feel life!)
No one else can feel it for you (again, screw everybody else!)
Only you can let it in (YOU are in are not a victim)
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips (no one else has walked in your shoes)
Drench yourself in words unspoken ("drench" yourself...lose yourself in the possibilities)
Live your life with arms wide open (surrender)
Today is where your book begins (everyday is a new beginning. Reinvent yourself )
The rest is still unwritten (this is your life....never apologize for being who you truely are)

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way (everybody makes mistakes...embrace the mistakes as long as you can find value in the lessons learned)


Open up the dirty window (the dirt is all of the negative stuff we hold on to...)
Release your inhibitions (let go)

Feel the rain on your skin (feel the life, feel your physical body asking for health and vitality)

Live your life with arms wide open (accept your greatness)

Today is where your book begins (today is the first day of the rest of your life!)

The rest is still unwritten (.....but it's becoming are worth it, you deserve it...we all do)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back To Basics via 4 Hour Body

I can't even begin to write about all of the stuff going on......

Obviously I have some part in he book, "4 Hour Body", which has a release date of 12/15....a week away, and I have to be honest and say that I haven't read it because I'm still eagerly awaiting my copy...but having read Tim Ferris's last book, "The 4 Hour Work Week", I have a pretty good idea of what to expect.....maybe!

Anyway, thinking about what may be in the book, I decided to re-visit some of my old training methods...still every bit releveant, of course, but I've come such a long way since by adding much more advanced interval training as well as more complicated choreography.....but still the original training ideas are the foudantion of everything I do now.

This morning I started out training with one of my best clients (and you'll see her in my next two videos) Sabina....She's always "game" for whatever I have on my 1000 swings, done "old style", or should I say "Tracystyle"?

Here's the thing....will you show up and do the dirty work? The "dirty work" is plain and simple rep after rep, after rep. Will you do 1000 swings on your own? Well I will! Why? Because there is nothing else I could do in less than 1 hours time that will burn more calories (fat), or build more muscle and cardio endurance in less time than the kettlebell swing....period.

Old Style Tracyrif 100 rep swing combinations

1 st rotation

20 2 hd sw
20 tr
1 sw, 1 tr x 10 (20 reps)
5/5 1 hand swings x 2 (20 reps)
20 2 hd sw
2 1/2 minutes work/1 min. rest

2nd rotation

20 2 hd sw
1 sw, 1 tr x 10 (20 reps)
5/5 1 hand swings x 2 (20 reps)
20 tr
20 2 hd sw

2 1/2 minutes work/1 min. rest

3rd rotation

20 2 hd sw
5/5 1 hand swings x 2 (20 reps)
20 tr
1 sw, 1 tr (20 reps)
20 2 hd sw

2 1/2 minutes work/1 min. rest

repeat, in order, 10 times = 1000 reps (ends with the 1st rotation btw) Bleeping Hell! When I'm dripping sweat in a 45 degree garage, sucking wind, even with a 1 minute rest period....well, you know it's a freakin' hard workout!

We warmed up, and "cooled down" with 10, 20, 30 , 40 2 hd swings with equal work/rest for total of an additional 200 reps.

1200 swing reps in less than 50 minutes time...oh, and I used the 16kg.....

Here is the link to the original workout, more than 2 years

OK, so 1200 + swings My own workout! I started to tape a portion of a high volume swing/snatch workout that I want to replicate this weekend in my 9:00am Saturday class.....but I didn't get the camera angle right and I chopped off my head!

You will have to wait until Saturday to see the evil I've come up with!

Life is so freakin' good. oh....and right now I've got an upsidedown turkey in the and blogpost to follow....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cheesey Cheese

This afternoon I did a photo shoot for Womans First Magazine! I'll post more about how it came about another time, but for now, here are a few pictures Mark took from this afternoon.

Modeling for pictures is hard! Good Lord, thank God I watch America's Next Top Model, lol....smize girlfriend, smize!

I don't know how many photos were taken, but how many different ways can a girl smile? The bottom photo is of me being purposely "cheesey" for Mark!

The photo shoot was taken in Meg's a big thank you goes out to Meg, but Meg's dog Clancy is the one I should thank the most.....poor little girl....flashing lights and beeping beeps....she ended up hiding in the back yard away from all of the commotion.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday Lab

Before I write a new blogpost, let me say's killing me that I can't keep this awesome video trailer as the first thing that anyone that comes to my blog don't be surprised if I post it every week....what can I say? My ass has never looked so good....speaking of my ass. This morning I wore the same Lululemon tights I wore in the video to teach way of commemorating the national video trailer for "The 4 Hour Body".....

OK, so I've been summoned by Pavel to write a "Training Tip" and article about my DVD, "Programming the Kettlebell Swing", for his newsletter next month. Hmnn....what is my "training tip"? Well, I've come up with something new, as well as original, that follows my philosophy on how to train high volume swings...

I admit that my HV KB swing classes are not exactly full....that's because it's just too bloody hard! But seriously, when a new idea, routine, method, or workout comes to me, guess who gets to be the guinea pigs? (and I do use the word "pigs" lightly, lol) My swing classes get to test out all of my theories! First of all, I want to test them on myself, but what fun to get to take other people through the same experience.

Let me say this....I will be sore as S#!T tomorrow because I tested my training tip out on my first class, my third class, and my fourth class! Good Lord....I would never advocate trying something new that many times if it's never been tested before! Good can read about it next month and you will see it demonstrated in the next video Mark and I are already scheduled to shoot, this next January!

As I mentioned I tested out my new theory in my 1st, 3rd, and 4th classes...what happened in my 2nd class? High volume snatches of course!

This workout is way too complicated to describe exactly....but for the "hardcore", here it is....

12kg first rotation

1 sn, 1 tr x 16, 30 sec rest (1 minute workset)
2 sn, 1 tr x 14, 30 sec rest
3 sn, 1 tr x 12, 30 sec rest
4 sn, 1 tr x 10, 30 sec rest

18 sn, 1 tr x 18, 30 sec rest (1 minute workset...same combination as first workset, but at a faster pace)
5 sn, 1 tr x 8, 30 sec rest
6 sn, 1 tr, x 6, 30 sec rest
7 sn, 1 tr x 4, 30 sec rest
8 sn, 1 tr x 2, 30 sec rest

Now there's a pattern emerging....and it may be explained in more detail in a video workshop....but if anyone is truly interested in duplicating this workout, I will be happy to break it down via email.....simply request it.

12 kg & 14 kg 2nd rotation

1 sn, 1 tr, x 16 w/14kg, 30 sec rest (1 min. workset w/heavier bell)
2 sn, 1 tr x 14 w/12kg, 30 sec rest
1 sn, 1 tr, x 16 w/14kg, 30 sec rest (1 min workset w/ heavier bell)
3 sn, 1 tr, x 12 w/12kg, 30 sec rest
1 sn, 1 tr, x 16 w/14kg, 30 sec rest (1 min workset w/heavier bell)
4 sn, 1 tr x 10 w/12kg, 30 sec rest

1 sn, 1 tr, x 18 w/12kg, 1 minute work, 30 sec rest (1 min workset @ faster pace)
5 sn, 1 tr x 8 w/12kg, 30 sec rest
1 sn, 1 tr, x 18 w/12kg, 1 minute work, 30 sec rest (1 min workset @ faster pace)
6 sn, 1 tr x 6 w/12kg, 30 sec rest
1 sn, 1 tr, x 8 w/12kg, 1 minute work, 30 sec rest (1 min workset @faster pace)
7 sn, 1 tr, 4 w/ 12 kg, 30 sec rest
1 sn, 1 tr, x 18 w/12kg, 1 minute work, 30 sec rest ( 1 min workset @ faster pace)
8 sn, 1 tr x 2, 30 sec rest

3rd rotation

1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
2 sn, 1 tr w/12kg x 14, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
3 sn, 1 tr w/12kg x 12, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
4 sn, 1 tr w/12kg, x 10, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
5 sn, 1 tr w/12kg x 8, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
6 sn, 1 tr w/12kg x 6, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
7 sn, 1 tr, w/ 14kg x 4, 30 sec rest (faster pace)
1 sn, 1 tr w/14kg x 16, 30 sec rest (heavier bell)
8 sn, 1 tr w/12kg, x 2 (faster pace)

the end....

So, in the true sense of the Saturday Laboratory....I tested weight and speed in combination with high volume snatches. Over 45 minutes of snatches...the total number is yet to be determined....but the exact rep count doesn't still have to show up for the next workout!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another 2 Seconds of Fame!

It's only two seconds, but it's a good 2 seconds! Here I am, the only female in a national video trailer for Tim Ferris's newest New York Times Best Selling book, "The 4 Hour Body". Tim interviewed me for his book last year, and it turns out that my story of how I lost over 100lbs, and transformed my body in the process, made the final cut with my own chapter!

Tim telling me a bit of his vison for the video trailer to give me some ideas of what to do....swing, right? lol

Looks legit huh? What a trip! It's a bigger trip now that it's a reality.... Me! Involved is something this extraordinary is nothing short of....extraordinary! Lucky me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What was the Smartest Thing you Ever Did when You were Twenty-four?

The smartest thing I ever did when I was 24 was that I met and married the love of my life, my husband of 23 years, Mark Reifkind.

August 5th 1987, my 24th birthday. At this time I worked in a trendy downtown salon as a Manicurist (Youtopia)...I worked late that night and then walked down to a local nightclub/bar called D.B. Coopers with a couple of my girlfriends to celebrate. That's when I first really noticed him....

A few months earlier I had started to workout at nearby Gold's Gym in downtown San Jose before work in the mornings. I used to see Mark and Scott Wilson (professional bodybuilder) training around the same time. Scott would always draw quite a bit of attention as he was Pro Mr America, and this was the 80's afterall....bodybuilding was all the rage. Mark was not only Scott's training partner but his coach....but I didn't know that at the time...nor did I care (OK, I was such a bitch...hey I was 24!). The story continues....

Sometime after 10:00pm, that Wednesday night, Mark got off of his evening hours working behind the desk at Gold's Gym a few blocks away. He decided to stop by to see a friend who worked at D.B.'s as a bouncer, and have a drink. That's when our hearts met....

I can't get into the whole story, but Mark and I danced until the bar closed down, and then we must have talked for over an hour sitting in my 1974 yellow Toyota Celica.

The next day was Thursday and we met for lunch at Togo's....after a long lunch talking, laughing, and flirting, I was seriously late getting back to work for an appt, but something crazy good was happening. I wasn't looking for it, in fact I was trying to resist it....

Friday afternoon Mark calls me to see what I'm doing that evening....I invite him over to my place. He leaves Monday morning....three days later!

Monday afternoon he tells me he'll miss seeing me that evening (afterall we just spent 3 days together), and I said these exact words, "What makes you think you're not coming over tonight?. And he replied in these exact words, "You mean I can come over?" I said yes....

Tuesday afternoon he presents me with a 1/2 carat diamond ring....we were engaged. Less than 1 week after meeting eachother!

I remember we used to tell eachother, "I love you", and the other would say, "No, I really love you!", and the other would say, "NO....I really love you!" This would happen over and over again as we both had no other words to describe the deepest love we had ever felt for another human being. I often used to say, "When I fell in love with Mark I realized I had never before really been in love. "

A little more than 3 months later Mark and I drove to Lake Tahoe CA, and got married in a small chapel named Chapel of the Bells. The only reason why we didn't get married sooner was because all of our friends and family told us we were crazy.....besides, we didn't have a babysitter until Thanksgiving weekend! (My oldest son Richard was 4 years old at the time).

Has it all been a bed of roses? Of course it has! As long as my sweetie is in my bed, life is Rosy! The rest is history....history still in the making because the best is yet to come.

Picture at top was taken at a reception party my mother had for us in January 1988.....and yes, Mark is wearing Z Cavaricci's! The second picture was taken this past September at my grandaughter Sophi's 1st birthday party. The last picture was taken of Mark and I about 10-11 years ago, I was not at my heaviest bodyweight, but I was close....and he was there for all of it. Am I the luckiest girl in the world? Or what?

Another Killer High Volume Snatch Training Day

I won't bore anyone with the details of Saturdays HV Snatch workout, but let me say was brilliant! I say that because the "numbers" fit perfectly into my crazy OCD brain for patterns. It was kind of accidental, but I could not have planned it better if I tried.... All of my workouts are a variation of my methods, so not truly an accident.

880 snatches and 262 swings in about 50 minutes time. This one will definitely be part of my HV Snatch workshop/dvd. To be honest I was surprised that the snatches did not add up to more, but we ran out of time to complete the last part, so I had to re-write the end which left us 80 snatches behind the original 960 snatch routine.

I rotated 6 snatch combination sets, the shortest one was 1 minute, and the longest one, combining the previous 5 sets into one long 7+ minute swing/snatch set. Each rotation had 320 snatches and 60 swings. None of the worksets had more than 30 sec rest period, until the rotation of 6 sets was completed...and at that point we only rested less thatn 2 minutes before repeating the rotation again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day workout....something's smokin'

Brrrr! It was freezing cold in the garage gym this morning around 6:30am...and that's why I took a hot bath before my workout.... I thought about bringing the bells inside of the house last night, but I was just too lazy. Of course Mark offered to go out and get them, but I didn't think it would be a big deal.... Man, was I wrong. Those freakin' handles took forever to warm up, freezing my little fingers to the bone first! Too bad I didn't start my workout with a "smoker"'s video taken Saturday of my little shoulder smoker....

Sabina showed up to swing train, and since she overslept on Tuesday and missed class, I had to take her through a version of what we did a couple of days ago...only new and improved!

12kg swings

10 2 hd sw x 5, 15 sec work/rest = 2.5 min (50 swings)

1st rotation

10 tr x 1, 15 sec work/rest (10 sw)
1 sw, 1 tr x 10, 30 sec work/rest (20 sw)
2 sw, 1 tr x 10, 45 sec work/30 sec rest (30 sw)
3 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1 min work/30 sec rest (40 sw)
4 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.25 min work/30 sec rest (50 sw)
5 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.5 min work/30 sec rest (60 sw)
6 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.75 min work/30 sec rest (70 sw)
7 sw, 1 tr x 10, 2 min work/30 sec rest (80 sw)

1 minute rest
total 16.25 minutes, 410 swings

2nd rotation

10 tr x 1, 15 sec work/rest (10 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 1, 15 sec work/rest ( 30 sec 10 sw)
1 sw, 1 tr x 10, 30 sec work/rest (20 sw)
10 2 hd swings x 2, 15 sec work/rest (1.0 min 20 sw)
2 sw, 1 tr x 10, 45 sec work/30 sec rest (30 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 3, 15 sec work/rest (1.5 min 30 sw)
3 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1 min work/30 sec rest (40 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 4, 15 sec work/rest (2.0 min 40 sw)
4 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.25 min work/30 sec rest (50 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 5, 15 sec work/rest (2.5 min 50 sw)
5 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.5 min work/30 sec rest (60 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 6, 15 sec work/rest (3.0 min 60 sw)
6 sw, 1 tr x 10, 1.75 min work/30 sec rest (70 sw)
10 2 hd sw x 7, 15 sec work/rest (3.5 min 70 sw)
7 sw, 1 tr x 10, 2 min work/30 sec rest (80 sw)

26.75 min. 640 sw

Total 43 minutes 1050 swings

Double 12kg press workout

1 cl, 5 pu press x 5 sets, 15 sec work/rest (2.5 min. short cycle)
1 cl, 1 pu press x 6 x 10 sets, 30 sec work/rest (10 min. long cycle)
1 cl, 1 jerk x 5 x 10 sets, 30 sec work/rest (10 min. long cycle)
switch to a single 12kg
1 cl, 1 sq x 5 R, 1 cl, 1 sq x 5 L, 30 sec per side, 1 min total, 30 sec rest x 5 = 7.5 min.

30 minutes total

I ended the workout with my 5 minute shoulder smoker, using an 8kg...see video above

Tracyrif's Shoulder Smoker

12 press R, 12 press L
10 press R, 10 press L
8 press R, 8 press L
6 press R, 6 press L
4 press R, 4 press L
2 press R, 2 press L
1 press R, 1 press L

86 light presses, a little over 5 minutes

I came up with this idea of a little shoulder smoker using a light bell. It's about reps, and little rest. Last week, the first time Meg did this she used the 12kg....seriously impressive! This past Saturday she used the 10kg, and it was still a challenge. I'll stick to my 8kg, it's hard enough, especially at the end of a workout!

PS It's 45 minutes since my workout and my toes are still frozen! Good thing I'll be in Bikrams in about 1 hour!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Writing Recipes and Writing Workouts...Carrot, Pineapple, and Raisin, Coconut Rice Pudding

I've been so busy lately writing recipes and kettlebell workout routines, and I have alot to say about both. But, let me start with recipes....pressure cooker recipes to be exact....

I love my pressure cooker and I've mentioned many times about how it has changed my "cooking life". Little did I know how it would continue to change my life in a much larger way than my own four kitchen walls would contain....more about that soon...

Anyway, I've been cooking away, which is not that unusual, except for the fact that I have to be more precise about the amounts of my ingredients, so I can "officially" start to document more exact "recipes".

Why do I use "quotation marks " when I write "recipe"? Because as any good cook knows, the secret to being a good cook, is to cook, and/or create foods and/or meals, without "recipes". These days I rarely use a recipe....neither does Fawn, I'm sure! Instead relying on the many past experiences, including both triumps and failures....failures to me are only when something cannot be "saved" other words, if it is truly inedible, then it has failed....failed as a meal, but not as a lesson! Most of my failures happen when I burn, or overcook something....I tend to be a bit aggressive with the heat, lol!

So, this evening I've been hard at work trying out some ideas for recipes, using the pressure cooker, that may be attractive to people with an interest in nutrition...but not necessarily a "diet recipe". Instead something that bumps up the nutrition in an everyday meal, side dish, or dessert....did I say dessert?

On the pressure cooker menu this evening is Carrot, Pineapple and Coconut Rice Pudding, Rosy Red Applesauce (beets are the rosy "red"), and Guava Applesauce (done in a saucepan, without the PC). Here's the thing...if a "recipe" does not turn out quite right, then I know how to fix it 99% of the time....but the average non-cook does not. So, I have to do it over and over until it turns out consistent. That is the job of a cookbook and recipe author. Am I a cookbook, or recipe author? Well, I think I can be. At least I'm going to give it a good go...and what do I have to lose? Cooking and preparing foods is one of my I get to do what I love, regardless if anyone else ever reads about it. How lucky am I?

Carrot, Pineapple, Raisin and Coconut Rice Pudding

1 1/2 aborio rice (Italian risotto rice)
2 cups shredded carrot
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple (I'm not sure if this was a positive addition)
1 cup of sugar....yep sugar!
1 14oz can of "lite" coconut milk (Trader Joes or Whole foods)
2 cups additional liquid....water or milk, or 1/2 & 1/2, or cream...its up to you. Calorie count, nutrition, or just plain "on hand" ingredients"
a good pinch of salt.. I always put in a
good pinch of salt jalapeno! although maybe sometime in the future, lol
1/2 cup raisins, added after cooking

Oh, and I would have added a chink of fresh ginger if I had it....

Bring to high pressure (about 5 minutes), turn down heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. After that point turn heat off and let the pressure come down naturally (another 5 minutes). Open PC, stir to combine ingredients. Does it need a bit more of something? Does it seem a bit dry? Or is it perfect? Add more liquid if needed....milk, cream, butter.....make it your own recipe. Personally, I did not have any extra cream (I needed it for my morning coffee!), 2% milk it was. I needed about another cup of milk, a quick whisk, and it was as perfect as it was going to get! (Mark added butter to his, lol...lucky him!)

One of my accidental discoveries was to use aborio rice for rice the PC, of course. Rice pudding, using aborio rice, is like making risotto....10 minutes, and viola... Talk about creamy! But you can control the creaminess, and calorie count, by using water, milk, 1/2 & 1/2, or cream, in addition to the lite coconut milk...or use full fat coconut cream. Fat is not the enemy....the portion and the energy in which you eat your food can be. Anytime coconut milk is used it's a no lose situation! Coconut milk is one of the "cheater" bacon! C'mon...bacon, coconut milk? How can it be bad?

Enough about desserts already! I made a killer pot of smoked turkey, chipotle and split pea soup/with red chard last night in the PC. I found smoked turkey legs at the Mexican market for $.99lb! 2 /12 lbs of smoked protein for $2.50...I had to make split pea soup. The rest of the ingredients cost about $8.00 in total. It took me about 20 minutes prep time and 20 minutes cooking time in the PC.....and I had enough for me, Mark, and my son Gabe, for dinner and about 3 days of lunches! It was so freakin' good that it may be the next "recipe" you read about....

Pictures above: finished rice pudding before I added a touch more cream...therefore adding a touch more "creaminess". Shredded red beets with 8 cups diced fuji apples. My 4 qt pressure cooker ready to go with all of the ingredients for Carrot, Pineapple, Coconut Rice Pudding. Last picture is 1 1/2 c. shredded carrots....I did not use a food processor to shred the carrots on purpose! It takes a bit of muscle to be a good cook sometimes...blogpost to come....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guava Chutney

I love chutneys. Sweet, savory, spicy, sour, salty...what else is there? Meg gave me a ton of guavas from her tree, and I hope there's more to come....chutneys freeze well....(I'll have to start eating some of that tomato soup to make room, lol)

A chutney is from the East Indian word chatni. This spicy condiment contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can range in texture from chunky to smooth and in degrees of spiciness from mild to hot. Chutney is a delicious accompaniment to curried dishes. The sweeter chutneys also make interesting bread spreads and are delicious served with cheese.

Fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices.... I've made everything from cherry, mango, pear, cranberry to now, guava chutney. My basic chutney recipe is almost always the same with only the fruit changing places...and maybe the type of vinegar I use. (I sometimes add white wine also)

apple cider vinegar
red pepper flakes

I haven't made any chutney for quite a while, so in this first batch I put to much vinegar in relation to sugar...the only difference it made was that it was not as firm enough to use as a spread for cheese and crackers. But as a condiment for grilled meats (or maybe some roasted turkey!), it's perfectly fine. I decided to throw a couple of pears into the mix, next time I'll leave them out...I don't think they added much to it. I also only had 1/2 of an onion....considering I had 12-16 cups of fruit, it didn't make the chutney as savory as I like. Jalapeno and red pepper flakes are a must!

Pictures above...cut fruit in half (lengthwise) and scoop out of skin with a spoon, like an avocado or kiwi...hey kiwi chutney, yum! Dice fruit into 1/4 inch chunks, and proceed with cooking. I serve sweeter chutney with slightly stinkier, soft, creamy cheeses...but brie is always a crowd pleaser!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Did I mention.....?

Did I mention that I was shooting a couple of work along videos? I might have dropped a couple of hints.... Yesterday I had the honor of coaching Mark and 5 of my friends through not only a high volume "TracyStyle" kettlebell workout, but a "TracyStyle" 2 hour video taping! More details to come in the next few days, but right now I'm recovering from 2400-2500 swings I did on a day off! But so are they!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday High Volume Snatches...invitation only

I've changed the name of my Saturday "Max based" workout to simply "High Volume Snatches". I made this change after receiving and email from a visiting RKC requesting to attend my class. Routinely I have inquiries about attending my Intermediate, and Advanced classes without passing go.... "Go" is my Learn to Swing class, and my Beginning classes. No one wants to think that they are a "Beginner".

Well, I've tried to explain, in the description of my classes, that my definition of a "Beginner" describes a persons level of conditioning as it pertains to "high volume kettlebell reps", not necessarily their skill at the swing or snatch. You may have great kettlebell swing, or snatch form and technique, but not be conditioned to train the high rep numbers of the Intermediate and, surely not, the advanced levels my more advanced classes train on a regular basis.

This is the only reason my High Volume Snatch class is by invitation only. This past week I got and email from Andi C, and RKC from NM, who trains with TL Keira Newton, about attending my "Max based" snatch class. The only reason why I let her train with us is that she is RKC, and she has already trained Max Vo2....and after I clearly explained to her the possible snatch rep that point it was her responsiblity.

Here is the workout that combines swing/snatch pacing and "all out" fast paced snatches.

1 sw/1 sn/ 1 tr, 1 min work/rest
1 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches (I never counted my reps, I only went for time)
2 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
3 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
4 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
5 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
6 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
7 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
8 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
9 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest
30 sec R, 30 sec L "all out" fast snatches
10 sn/1 tr x 10, 1 min rest

2 minutes "all out" snatches, 30 seconds per arm switch.

In this workout the work sets were "off the clock" In other words, once the snatch /transfer ladder sets were complete I only timed the rest periods to 1 minute. In the beginning the 1 minutes rest period were too long, but I anticipated that. I expected the 1 minute rests to start to feel shorter about at the halfway mark. The rest was much more appreciated after the 1 minute "all out" set, but since the longer snatch transfer rep ladders were done at a slower pace, the 1 minute rest periods never seemed to least to me.

At one time during the workout I suggested a 13kg kettlebell! I knew better than to do this with the 14kg...but the 12kg was a bit too easy for me. Make no mistake shins were sweating! But if I can talk, and count reps, etc., thoughout the entire workout, then it's just not hard enough. But we still got in around 940 snatch reps! That's NOT including the swing reps!

Andi seemed to have a good time of it, as did my other 3 training partners. I was also complimented by her interest to attend more of my classes in the future when she is in town. I did ask Andi to post someting about her experience in my class on the DD forum, so I hope she has something nice to say...well, she better have, as my HV Snatch class is "invitation only", lol!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What a Day....

Today I'm going to try and be a short story teller.

Friday 11/12/2010

My first DVD, Programming the Kettlebell Swing is now being offered by Dragon Door!

I tried not to obsess about over exercising. My schedule only allowed one Bikram yoga class this morning....I decided to skip my second scheduled yoga class, Vinyasa.

I saw my toes for the very first time in Camel pose....for the very first time! 2 weeks short of a 4 year practice. I sat up after the pose and announced it to the class. (blogpost to follow soon)

I spent 15 full minutes in Savasana (something that I now do on a regular basis). And my last thought before I looked up at the clock was, "My life life so good." I decided to end Savasana on a high note!

I showered at the Studio, and put on my best black clothes, suede pumps, pressed slacks, crisp shirt.....when I got to my destination I left my designer purse in the car.

I attended the funeral of the 26 year old son of a close friend I've had in my life for over 28 years. I was reminded this afternoon, by the priest giving service, of the two very things that have been on my mind lately. How one choses to spend their "time". And not waiting for a "special" day, instead remembering that everyday is special.

I went home, changed my clothes, washed my face....I rarely wear makeup, but then I rarely get an occasion to wear it. Has my life come to the point of only taking the time to look my best when attending church services? Whether it's a funeral or a wedding? A bit of reflection about the whole "make-up" thing....

I weighed myself. 140lbs. 26% bodyfat. (do you know how hard it is to publish these facts?) Not hard at all! I'm a strong, lean, muscularly dense kettlebell athlete. And then I had lunch.

Roasted tomato soup, pork, farro and barley, with a dollop of cottage cheese.....a few prunes for dessert.

I finished my own pedicure, I tanned. (I hate to admit it, but life goes life goes on) I've scheduled to shoot 3 kettlebell videos, "work along with" style, on Monday, and I've got to feel like I look my best....whatever that is for a 47 year old former fat girl....can you believe I'm trying to pull the simpathy card? What's wrong with me?

I've already pre cooked and prepared enough food for the next few days. so cooking was not on the list today.

I played around with some workout routines for all 4 of my kettlebell classes tomorrow morning....lots of swings, lots of snatches....should I try and fit a yoga class in afterwards....that's my compulsive overexerciser tapping me on my shoulder.

My weightloss story has been confirmed as a feature in a major magazine....they want to schedule the official photo shoot!

6 hours ago my friends put their son in the ground.....

Mark just asked me if this chaos is ever going to come to an end. Chaos is relative, he didn't mean it in a bad way. Our "chaos" consists of some high quality problems.

My granddaughter Sophi just made a "butt call" to me....accident? I don't think so. Cristina, her mother, and I planned our next get together, and Thanksgiving plans....and Sophi said "Hi" to me over the phone.

I never want to bury anyone I love. Never.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Simple Home Cook....Jalapeno Lovers Unite!

I decided to not do a double Bikram yoga practice this morning...instead? A better use of the extra 90 minutes was to do a bit of food prep, and to do, and put away, all of my laundry, change the litter boxes, etc...basically work around the house. I finally made it to a 9:30am Bikram class, but I got a bunch of stuff done beforehand that made my life so much nicer....

I pressure cooked 1 lb of garbanzo beans to make hummus. I also roasted the last....THE LAST of the tomatoes, with an onion, carrot and celery, for some super yummy soup. I roasted a few jalapeno peppers, for the soup, and the hummus, along with a red bell, on the stovetop (I just have to remember to put my contacts in before I work with jalapenos! I only needed that lesson once!).

So....I found a roasted yellow bell pepper while I was cleaning out my freezer, so I thought, what better place to use it than in my hummus? It will add flavor as well as color.....I love roasted pepper hummus....any kind of peppers. But what I forgot to write on my "to do" list that I needed olive oil! Can't make hummus without olive oil! So it will wait until tomorrow....and so will the picture of the finished product!

I've already got too much prepared food in my fridge, but here's an example of how cheap I can be.... Mark and I live in a part of Dowtown San Jose known as Japantown. We live 1 blk away from the Buddist Temple, and 2 blks away from "Japantown". There's a Japanese Market that has some pretty high quality organic produce (Nikko Market) and they keep two bins that have "seconds", or "expired" produce for a fraction of the original price....I can be so cheap sometimes!

I picked up some Japanese eggplant (the small ones), 8 for $1.10 and threw them in the oven with olive oil, salt and red pepper I ever roast anything without red pepper flakes? No! I haven't decided, yet, how I will use these roasted eggplants, but the possibilities are....a simple spread with roasted garlic for crackers or veg sticks. A pasta sauce. An addition to soup, or a puree. Or, how about scarfing them down, right off the roasting sheet?

Have I ever mentioned that eventually I plan on living, and training abroad? Well, I think I may start with Hungary! I met, but did not get enough time to talk with, a Hungarian jalapeno lover, Aniko Balazsik......

Food is so easy for me. Food is meditation. Roasting peppers. Dicing veggies. Pressure cooking. Grocery shopping. (Mark just tasted the eggplant....he loved it...) I love it all, and it's never any trouble. I love that I know how to feed myself, never having, or wanting to depend on anyone else. Just the vision of nutrition that I create, almost everydday, is enough to fill me with satisfaction. And I'm just a simple home cook.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clubbing....Riding Coattails

Lucky me....I teach a, 1 hour, early morning Swing class on Tuesdays, afterwards go for a 30-45 minute walk that lands me at a Peet's coffee, which is 2 blocks away, for a piping hot 1/2 decaf w/cream, and then I make my way back to Girya to train with my of my life! Tuesday training with my sweetie.

Mark and I train presses first, and then he helps me with my pull up training (blogpost to come....argh!). He trains handstands, and I'm starting to also, and then we finish off with some Clubbells.

I've been wanting to learn clubbells for a couple of years, since Mark first started training them, and although we only have about 15 minutes at the end of our hour together, I know I'll be able to work up to more time, and more skill soon.

Clubbells are mostly arm and shoulder training. Mark does it for development, and to balance out his KB training. Getting tension with elbows locked , working triceps, upper back and arms, in a completely different way than KB's...but in a way that is complimentary to KB' I need a better reason than that? Training circular motions, and the ease of being able to move in a transverse plain.

You don't really think I've come up with this description, do you? Hell no....this is Mark's explaination! But I ride coattails....lucky me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hardstyle HV "100" Snatch workout.....

Funny that "HV" stands for "high volume", but it also stands for "Hardstyle, Ventura"!

As promised I did another version of my last "100" workout, but harder! Harder because it was longer, the rest periods were shorter AND I did it out in the So. California sun! Whew!

I started my workout with 30 solid minutes of practicing a Beginners Swing Routine that I will be taping next Monday for a follow along DVD to be ready by the end of the year (600 + swings) I can't share, yet, the exact workout! But following that workout, here's the new improved "100" HV Snatch workout...same combinations, but the intervals have changed slightly....slight changes can make a big difference.....

each set is one minute work/rest

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (12 snatch/ 24 swings *see note)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (I call these "snatch transfers". 16 snatch/ 32 swings)
10/10 snatch R/L
25 snatch R/L (I divided them 12/13, or visa versa as the workout progresses)

8 minutes total. 72 snatches, 38 swings

each set now increases to two minutes, same combinations, but with only 1 minute rest

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (24 snatch/48 swings)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (32 snatch/ 32 swings)
10/10 x 2 snatch R/L= 40 snatch reps
25 x 2 snatch R/L = 50 snatch reps

12 minutes total 144 snatches, 76 swings

each set now increases to three minutes, same combinations, again with only 1 minute rest,

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (36 snatch/72 swings)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (48 snatch/ 48 swings)
10/10 x 2 snatch R/L= 60 snatch reps
25 x 2 snatch R/L = 75 snatch reps

16 minutes total 219 snatches, 120 swings

each set now increases to four minutes, same combinations, again, only 1 minute rest

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (48 snatch/96 swings)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (60 snatch/60 swings)
10/10 x 2 snatch R/L= 80 snatch reps
25 x 2 snatch R/L = 100! snatch reps

20 minutes total 288 snatches, 156 swings

Total time 56 minutes
snatches 730
swings 560
This first set of swing/snatch/transfers were done at a slightly faster pace than on Thursday....slight change, big difference!

Mark and I rolled into Santa Barbara around 7:30pm on Friday to stay with our good friends, Greg and Jen this time I opened the trunk and went for the suitcase......whoops! Did someone forget to pack the suitcase? Yep.....wasn't me though....aren't the guys supposed to lift the heavy things?

Thank goodness I always live like a vagabond.....these days a Lululemon vagabond! And with my trusty Gymbag in the back seat, here's what was in it!
3 yoga tops
3 tanks
5 short sleeve t's
2 bra tops
1 yoga pant
2 yoga crops
1 pullover
1 scarf
all color coordinated! Also in the car I had 2 jackets! If I we had been driving my car I would have had enough supplies for a month....just
Poor Mark, he had the clothes on his back...yikes! Good thing Greg is the same size, so borrowing some shorts and extra T's was not a problem. The first thing I said to Mark, once we realized we had left out suitcase was, "We could not have picked a better trip to forget our suitcase!" And that's the truth. When you are staying with such great friends like the Mishkins, that have all of the comforts of home, then there's nothing to worry about.....besides, Santa Barbara has a Lululemon store!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hardstyle Ventura

Mark and I just got home from the Hardstyle Ventura, an annual bodyweight exercise workshop held in Southern CA, lead by Pavel, but with guest lectures given by other Master and Senior RKC's, including Mark. I'm too tired to get into the details today, but hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to write down some of the highlights of this quick two day trip.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HV Snatch "all by myself" Day....and a new "100" snatch rep workout

I'm going down south to Hardstyle Ventura with Mark this weekend, but before I leave I had to write a couple of routines for my "subs" so they can lead my Beginning Swing classes on Saturday, in addition I had to design and train my Max based class snatch training!

I liked this high volume snatch workout so much that I may repeat a version of it this weekend on the beach in Ventura (making it a bit harder, of course!). It is a version of one of my "100" workouts. (100 refers to progressing up to a 100 snatch rep set, swing rep set, or both! ). Here it is,


each set is one minute work/rest

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (11-12)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (I call these "snatch transfers". 16)
10/10 snatch R/L
25 snatch R/L (I divided them 12/13, or visa versa as the workout progresses)

8 minutes total. 72 snatches, 38 swings

each set now increases to two minutes, same combinations, but with only 1 minute rest

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (22)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (32)
10/10 x 2 snatch R/L= 40 snatch reps
25 x 2 snatch R/L = 50 snatch reps

12 minutes total 144 snatches, 76 swings

each set now increases to five minutes, same combinations, but with 2 minutes rest (except the last set of faster paced snatches which only lasted for 4 minutes....because 4 x 25 = 100, and that was the goal!)

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer (55, 110 swings)
1 snatch, 1 transfer (80 snatch, 80 swings)
10/10 x 5 santch R/L = 100 snatch reps
25 x 4 snatch R/L = 100 snatch reps (4 minutes)

27 minutes total 335 snatches, 190 swings

Total workout 47 minutes 551 snatches, 304 swings

I thought about leaving the last set at 5 minutes, but there were OCD pros and cons.... the "con" was that it wouldn't equal 100! The pros would be that it would equal a 5 min set, like the others, and it would increase the snatch rep count (576 total snatches)....but do what you want.

Oh, and ladies....(my training partners, Meg, Sabina and Mina....),this is also your Saturday workout!

It may seem a bit slow in the beginning, but the last 27 minutes is chose your bell weight wisely.

I finished my workout with 15 minutes of double clean/presses and my, soon to be famous, "shoulder smoker"! (details to come soon!)

As I mentioned earlier in this blogpost, I'll be doing my own workout on Sat. in Ventura, and it looks as if I'll have at least one person joining me for a swing class/workout during lunch! Any other takers? All are welcome, just BYOB....bring your own bells!

PS Mark and I will be staying our friends, Greg and Jen Mishkin....Jen is my west coast BFF! I've got a big batch of Sloppy Joe sauce in the freezer I'm tempted to pack for dinner tomorrow night so she doesn't have to cook!