Thursday, April 29, 2010


Here's a photo taken a couple of days ago, in class, practicing my best "floor bow" pose. The second photo was taken after only 1 year of my Bikrams practice (My practice now is at about 4 1/2 years).

Consistent training.....if you do the work, if you show up consistently, your body has to conform. Your body has to improve, or at the very least change, in a positive way.....if you do the work, it has to. Greater strength, greater balance, endurance, flexiblity, the work....the body will follow.

I'm lucky for alot of things in life. First is my natural talent for body awareness, and maybe this sickness I have called perfectionism. Another the reason why I'm such a lucky ass, is I happen to have met, and married, a former competitive athlete, and genius coach, who has always supported "form" before intensity, before anything else...technique and form has to come first. If that's not solid then nothing else happens....nothing good that is.....

I was able to video record 1 hour of my Bikrams "standing and balancing series" of poses a couple of days ago, and good Lord I've got some work ahead of exciting!

Since I practice every other day, tomorow, Friday, I have my usual two back to back Bikram classes on my workout schedule, and let me tell you....many days, as my second class begins, I ask myself, "What the hell have you gotten yourself into?" I remind myself that's it's only "3 hours of training" and, what the heck.....right? It's only time....the worst thing that can happen is I lie down and freakin' rest...

Now that I teach kettlebells at Balance Yoga Center,, before, and between my scheduled yoga practices, it's going to get interesting......
But, I'm looking forward tomorrows practice, now knowing what it is I need to work on, based on reviewing my training video. The first and probably most important thing is to practice "lightening up".....good Lord woman, give it a rest....the intensity that is.

Remember, just breathe:

In the Middle

I'm currently, in the middle of writing my book....finally....about my style of training the kettlebell swing, as I'm getting ready to present these techniques on Sunday, during the production of my first DVD of the subject. I'm putting, in order, and explaining the method of my madness to my original swing workload progressions.....and let me say just a few things before I resume.....I love wine, nuts and cheese. I'll swear I'll sacrifice what little "muffin top" I may, or may not have....I will not sacrifice the joys of life, I just won't.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesdays Workout

OK, so my past blogpost about junk miles left me thinking about re-organizing my workout schedule, but before I go into all of that here's the workout of the day....snatches

after a quick 5, or so, min warm up of swings/snatch combos.....(Oh, and a 50 minute high volume swing class @ 6am...but that's another workout.....)

16kg snatches

10/10 1 min work, 1 min rest
11/11 1 min work, 1 min rest
12/12 1 min work, 1 min rest
11/11 1 min work, 1 min rest
10/10 1 min work, 1 min rest

10 minutes, 108 16 kg snatches

12 kg snatches

30 second intervals (1 set is per arm, rest, and then the other arm....there are no rest intervals, each set starts on the 30 seconds)

8 reps L, 8 reps R x 10 (5 each side)
9 reps L, 9 reps R x 10 (5 each side)
10 reps L, 10 reps R x 10 (5 each side)
11 reps L, 11 reps R x 10 ( 5 each side)
8 reps L, 8 reps R x 10

50 sets total 460 snatches w/12kg in 25 minutes

let me know how it goes for you.....oh, and guys, one of my male students did this workout with the 24kg, and the 16kg.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Junk Miles

Sunday is my day off from any kind of just about kills me most weekends....

Training is about improving ones skills, not about exercise anorexia, or "junk miles" (same thing, btw). Junk miles are all of those workouts done when we approach them from obsession, and desperation. Obsession and desperation to burn calories, obsession and desperation to get "skinny", obsession and desperation to outrun, outswing, outsnatch, outplay every other bitch on the planet..... Obsession and desperation are not attractive, they're annoying.

You know what junk miles gets you? Nothing. Nothing but tired and looking stupid.

One day when I was scheduled to work at Equinox, I got there at 7:00am and I noticed a woman, about my age, on the Eliptical Trainer.....when I finished teaching my classes over 1 1/2 hours later she was still on the Eliptical. About 30 minutes later (while I did some Gravitron work and some Get-ups), she was in my Spin class....Spinning away, as if her life depended on it......ick....

I'm lucky to be in the business of fitness. I get to "workout" and "work" at the same time, I've designed it that way because I'm lucky enough to NOT have to make a living depending on the size of my classes or in other words...."paying customers". 6 days a week I train no less than 3-4 hours, but I don't want those hours to be some kind of sick bragging rights.

I'm currently training for my Level 2 RKC and that has given my workouts more focus. I have to do stuff that I'm not naturally talented at doing. Strict pressing, pull-ups, pistols, etc.....I can swing and snatch forever...... I'm so lucky to have this life, at the age of 46, to spend so much time training, practicing, and living my physical potential.....I really don't want to abuse it.

I went for a walk today....Sunday, my day off, because I couldn't stand the fact that I wasn't doing anything else know what? I'm not sure I feel, or don't feel, better because of it.

Life is supposed to feel good. I do, in fact, feel good that I went for a walk. But not because of "the walk", but because of the reflection I had about my life while I was walking......the next blogpost......

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Shape of Things to Come

I have a ton more muscle than I've ever had....without even trying! Why? Well....I haven't missed a workout, a kettlebell workout, in forever, in addition to teaching lots of swing classes, most of which I always lead....lots and lots of swings....good thing I know how to make swinging kettlebells fun and interesting, lol!

I have a favorite phrase that I use quite often....."The size of my body is determined by the amounts, and kinds of foods that I eat, but the composition of my body (the shape) comes from my kettlebell training." And that is the truth. Of course body composition is related to nutrition, but nutrition alone won't give you muscle. (neither will Bikram, but that's another blogpost).

Losing over 120lbs does not leave a person lean and muscular, it simply leaves them with a lower bodyweight, often times a smaller version of their "fat selves" know, a person can be "skinny fat". A person can also be heavier, shapelier, and stronger. To me, beauty is the shape of a athletic, muscular, body.....leaness can be pretty too, but how lean is up to each individuals preferrance.

Recently I've been noticing some pretty lean "older" women at the Club I work at, and you know what? I'm not liking the look....even when I look at old pictures of myself when I was really lean I'm not sure I looked my best. Even now a couple of years older, if I had to be completely honest, I'm on a borderline of not really knowing what's going to make me feel better.....skinnier and older looking, or keeping a few pounds of softness, especially on my face.....Mark says a facelift is out of the question......drats!

Back to "shape". The responseI hear most often when someone finds out that I've lost over 100lbs is...."But you don't have any 'extra' skin!" This is such an irritating response to me, but that's another story......what's more important is the fact that most people cannot believe I used to weigh over 250lbs because I don't "look" like I was ever that fat! It's no secret that I had a "tummy tuck" two years ago, (because I wrote a blogpost about it), but I had that same response for the two years prior to my surgery because I was so lean, 17-19% bodyfat, and muscular. (The flap of skin they cut off of my gut only weighed 2lbs. and I didn't need any liposuction My point is.....sure I have some loose skin, I am in my mid 40's afterall, give me a break! But Mark explained it perfectly when he said it this way.....

My training created a "muscular frame" for my skin to "adhere"." In other words I've given my skin something to mold's called muscle! Thank God for kettlebell swings. Think about hanging your favorite outfit on a hanger, or on a mannequin....which one do you think looks better?

I may not weigh what I want to, but I have to admit that I like the shape of my body. I'm constantly getting comments like, "You're in such great shape.", I even had someone tell me the other day that even while I was wearing long sleeves they could tell that I was "in good shape".

Of course I do other types of exercises besides training kettlebells. I practice Bikram yoga 6 times a week. Bikram yoga helps me build balance, flexibiltiy, stability, and endurance. I "Spin" only twice a week, because I find the benefits to Spinning not worth more time in my workout schedule then 2 days.....Geoff Neupert (Master Instructor) said to me at the August, La Jolla RKC last year, "So I hear you've been Spinning....why don't you just ride a bike? You know Spinning is just going to give you big legs....that's what I hear from all of the people I know that Spin." My response? "I don't mind having big legs, in fact I like big's my 'muffin top' that I don't like!" Big legs are athletic to me.....speed skaters rock! (I think I have bigger hamstrings than anyone else in my yoga classes....gotta love the hamstrings, LOL)

I may lose a few more pounds, but in the mean time I feel as if the shape of my body now is pretty great! Small waist, small hips, big legs, shapley arms, seriously muscular back, big lats, and my shoulders are getting bigger (more shapely) with all of the strict presses I've been doing....OK, so I may not have my "prized bicep vein" but, whatever! Give and take, right? No! I'll get it back, and I'll get my stinkin' 'pull up', the same way I got my 'hang'....hard work, but most importantly consistentcy.

It's all here for me. Life is good.

What's In Yor Lunch today?

Real quick because I'm late for my most important, hardest, longest workout of the week......

Here's what I packed to eat after my workout later today....I couldn't make up my mind between chocolate fudge cake, and oatmeal w/milk and fiber.....what would you pick? I'll let you know how it goes......

......I ate the cake! I feel good about my choice, because I "got it over with".....but physically I feel a little sick....but it'll pass. The good news is that I don't think I'll need to eat a big slice of cake for breakfast again anytime soon. lol (maybe)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just a Reminder

Mark changed the heading that describes his blog....his philosophy, his life.....

He quoted these words to me and I posted them in my own blogpost announcing his return to the blogoshere, and these words are so true to who he is that I had to, I had to, repost them. Here they are;

"And in those simple beautiful movements I remembered what was really important in training; that consistency trumps intensity; all the time. That intensity is born from consistency. That one cannot force it, one has to lay in wait for it, patiently, instinctively, calmly and be ready to grab it when Grace lays it down in front of you to take it."

Still training...hard, after all these years. "Consistency trumps intensity." How many people, how many athletes can live it, much less say it?

Show up and train.......

Saturday Snatch Workout w/single and double bells

It may seem to most that my workout routines are random, but they're not. I always have a plan that has a starting point, which then leads to a progression of intensity. I'm getting ready to have produced my first DVD outlining how and why I developed this style of training, and I'm starting to get really excited about it! In it I'll explain, from start to finish, many of my methods and techniques for "Programming the Kettlebell Swing" (that's the name of my presentation BTW).

This particular snatch workout is based on my Max Vo2 training (damn Meg and her snatch, but without explaining all of the "why's" of this workout, I'm simply sharing it with you to try on your own, restructured slighty for an easier follow-along....enjoy!

set your Gymboss @ 30 second intervals


8 L, 8 R
9 L, 9 R
10 L, 10 R
9 L, 9 R
8 L, 8 R

10 set snatch ladder (uphill and downhill)

two 8kg's (we also used two 20lb bells from Go Fit)

8 reps

x 5 sets

15 set rotation repeated 4 times for a total of 60 sets = 30 minutes

In this video, I start with the exact workout described above. Meg starts in the opposite order with doubles first, and then the snatch ladder because I only had one set of 20lb bells (the blue ones), so we had to share. We taped an additional 15 sets to the 60 set workout above, making our workout 75 sets = 37 minutes.

I would have chosen to double snatch the 12kg's, but I had already trained double snatches w/12kg's on Thursday, and I know I'll be training them again on Tues., so I went a little lighter. If I had used the 12 kg's, and if you chose to use 12 kg's, then you may only be able to double snatch 5-6 reps, the goal is to use 15 seconds of your 30 second interval. If you can snatch the 12's for 8 reps in 15 seconds, then knock yourself out! LOL

This workout applies many of my own progressive training techniques, and after I release my video I may revisit the "whys" of this particular workout.

PS Diana...this would be a good workout for you to replace one of your Max workouts! Let me know how you liked it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taking Photos and Video of Your Own Training

As I started to write this morning....

One of my strongest suggestions to new HKC's is......"Become your own first client." What do I mean by that? Well, teaching requires:

#1 an "eye" You HAVE to be able to recognize mistakes and,

#2 how to fix the mistakes, lol!

#3 how to communicate the corrections

Anyway, I believe the best way to start, if you are inexperienced in teaching, is to watch yourself. Take video of your own form and training. If you don't have a video recorder take photos (have someone take photos) of your form. It's invaluable....period.

This is never more true than in my yoga practice. Why more yoga Studios don't offer the service of photos, and video recording of indivual practices is, in my opinion, mind blowing! Seriously. If we can't see what we are doing, how can we correct it?

I discovered this by mistake! I started to video record my "little kettlebell combinations" with my Cannon camera (which has a 3 minute capacity, btw, lol) to post on my blog, not for my own study....I've since posted way over 200 videos, here's one of my earliest videos....enjoy, lol! Lots of things have changed....yikes! And that's part of my point.....I've been able to make alot of changes from seeing myself on camera.

My point is.....make the corrections on yourself! It's amazing, to me, how looking at yourself from another point of view enables you to coach yourself! A good example is an elaboration of my last blogpost of my Bikram yoga practice, specifically of the pose known as "Rabbit". In "Rabbit", you start by sitting "Japanese style" (on top of your two legs), grabbing your heels, and "rounding forwards", until your head touches your knees. At this point you lift your hips up, towards the ceiling, trying to get a 90 degree angle with your legs. In other words, the "goal" is to get your legs completely vertical, while keeping your forehead connected with your knees......

Let me tell's impossible to see how "vertical" your legs are to the ceiling, because you cannot turn your head while in the posture.....and it ain't easy, lol!

Here's the progression. Grab your heels from behind, thumbs on the outside, (top picture), round down until you forehead touches your knees (next picture)....this may take took me about 3 years.

At this point, lift your hips up, towards the ceiling, keeping your forehead and knees touching....if they come apart then walk them back up together.....this may sound easy, but it's not, LOL!

Personally, as I lift my hips up, my forehead comes away from my knees, (except on a good day....a very good day!), BUT, walking them forwards does not work for me.....they just seperate again....I'm working on this, lol!

My next blogpost will be about being friends with the person that own the yoga studio! LOL! Michael Mayle just opened up a new Bikram yoga studio in the Silver Creek area of San Jose, (, and lucky for me, he's HKC certified! He's one of the smarties that has recognized the value in yoga, and kettlebells! I'm starting a Beginning Kettlebell Swing class this next Monday 4/19, @ 6:15am at Balance Yoga Center, Silver Creek.....finishing just time to attend the 7:15am Bikram class.....I've got to get my practice in afterall, lol!

See you there!

Unbelievable Video!

I'm late for class this morning but I wanted to write a blogpost about how important it is for everyone to take pictures and video of their training.....

This photo was taken of "rabbit" in my Bikram practice yesterday (my 2nd first one I had to sweat out the hangover, lol!), and when I saw it....this is the first time I've ever seen myself in this position....I was shocked! I'm unbelievably surprised at how good this forward bend for me is. I thought I only was able to lift my hips up about 45 can now really visiualize myself getting to 90 degrees, something I thought I would never do.

more to come.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

no title for this blogpost.....I'm feeling pretty crappy, drank a little too much last night and now I'm faced with back to back Bikram classes, starting in less than an hour.....this is gonna hurt (it already hurts, but it was worth it btw, lol)

If I don't train then I won't get back to yoga until Friday....I can think of all kinds of things I can get done if I'm not going to spend the next 5 hours away from home.

Not only will I not get back to yoga for another 2 days, but I won't get my 6 classes in this week.

I can only do one class....I can always suffer through one class....but I gotta do two, it comes with the OCD.

I can always sit out some poses.....not! (again, part of the OCD)

How bad can it be? I play, I pay.

You cannot give yourself the choice not to train, especially when there's no good reason (if you can stand up then you can train).

I've got my coffee packed, my water, I'm half dressed, I guess I'm going.....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Park Road HKC!

Mark and I just got home from our 4th, yep, 4th, HKC. Nate Flores, co-owner of Park Road Fitness in Burlingame CA(, along with Jordan Vezina (, worked hard to promote this HKC, and it was a ton of fun! (but then again I only lead a few workouts.....oh, and ran down to Lululemon on my lunch break....Park Road Fitness is just 3 measley blocks from downtown Burlingame....I can't wait to go back! lol)

Both Mark and Nate testing the potential HKC's

The lovely "Rif" couple, lol! (doing the 1st thing they do best....kissing, and then teaching HKC's!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Look Who's Got Her First Tooth!

Can you see it? lol (oh, and aren't her peirced ears the cutest? Sapphire is her birthstone)

Sophie is never too happy to see me :( I don't get near enough time with her, so when I do see her she doesn't yet know who I kills....but what can I do? Anyway, it's just a matter of time before she gets old enough to know who's gonna spoil her the most.....and that will be me!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daily Regrets

So, as I mentioned previously, I've recently dropped about 10-12 lbs.....I'm not forgetting that I had gained I'm not bragging, btw....but, I really tortured myself for quite awhile, a few months, if not a year.....I got tired. I couldn't take how much energy it took to hate myself and I knew something had to give.

Over 4 years ago when I decided to map out a dieting strategy, I knew, for a fact, that lots of things had to change, but there was really only one thing I could not live without, and that was real cream in my coffee....every morning. Coffee is what makes me want to live, lol! And I have to drink it "my way", or I will kill someone. So, I factored in the calories for 2 tbls. of real cream in my coffee every morning, and any other sacrifice I had to make was worth that particular one I didn't or felt I couldn't make. (I still, out of habit, measure my cream with a measuring spoon every morning)

Overeating is a habit I've fallen into most of my life, I acknowledge that, but I won't own the fact that I'm an "overeater". In fact it was the biggest reason I was turned off to OA (overeaters anonymous). I've been known to overeat, but I can change that anytime.....and I do....or I don''s my choice.

Back to the point.....

I haven't counted calories in years because I know how much I'm eating. I've counted so many calories, for so long, that I consider myself an expert....give or take a few calories here and there. But, I am a believer in calorie counting because I don't think most people know how much food they consume, or they chose to be in denial, clinging to the fact that they eat "healthy", and although they don't exercise regularly, or at all, they consider themselves pretty active, "on the go", so they must be burning some calories that way, right? (hate the BodyBugs).

So, if I'm a believer in counting calories, and I haven't been counting calories, how have I managed to drop a few pounds? Well, one of the things I do is to ask myself, before I plan to eat something, or a particularly large portion of something, a few questions......

"Are you really hungry?" You know, sometimes I'm not really hungry! Sometimes I "run" into food, lol Free food is an example of this occurrance. When I run into free food...samples, little candies at stores or banks, or God Forbid some kind of food is a mind f**k. Again, as I've written about before, growing up with "less" makes me want to make up for all of the things I didn't get, or have, by taking everything, (hoarding), and anything, that is "free" if I'll never get a chance to have it again.

I finally convinced myself of the truth.....I already have too much. I can have anything I want any time I want it, and there's plenty for everyone, mostly for me. My world is full of abundance everywhere, and there's no such thing as waste.

"Do you really want/have to eat this?"(this ususally refers to candy or some other sugary, or salty, ready made convenience food). You know what? Sometimes I do! But that doesn't mean I have to go on an all out and binge. In fact just the action of allowing myself to eat candy and other sweets, somehow, makes me happy enough to eat less.

I'll eat a peice of candy, and I want another? Sometimes I do, so I'll eat another. Lots of times that'll be it....but what if I want another? Then I'll eat it....and another? Yep, I'll eat it. I can't remember the last time I ate more than two candies at a time, or more than 2 candies in a day.....but I could if I wanted to....but for some reason I haven't wanted to.

"If you don't eat this what are you telling yourself?" This kind of refers to the last question. I remind myself that when I don't allow myself to have something, it's ususally because "I'm not supposed to" Only the fat, stupid, lazy, and unsuccessful eat candy and/or junk food....oh, and the low class (notice how all of these descriptions are related to eachother .....screw the judgements skinny people have, lol)

There is nothing wrong with eating a piece of candy (or two), a fast food burger (but not fries, lol), fats, carbs, sugars, etc.....a couple glasses of wine (OK, a bottle, lol)....whatever. You, I, know when we are eating too much...c'mon. Don't beat yourself up for the kinds of foods you want to eat, but don't be a victim to the "I really don't eat that much.".....guess what? you do! lol I believe a person can eat whatever they want to, but in moderation. What's moderation? The question is not "What is moderation?", but, "Why can't I eat in moderation?"....that's the bigger question (another blogpost for another time)

(long story teller....)

"Will you regret eating this, or "this much". Why do you feel as if you have to eat this huge portion?" Lots of times this question keeps me from eating impulsively, compulsively, or mindlessly. Lots of times I'll make, and serve, myself this humongous salad, because it's salad afterall, and I'll ask myself this question.....most times, lately, I'll take about 30% of the serving out, pack it up for the next day and be just as happy eating a smaller fact happier.

At the end of the day, the most important question is this. Can I look back at my day and indentify something I could have done differently? This blogpost is about eating, so the real questions are, "Did I eat something today I could have lived without?" Did everything I ate today make my day better?" "Did everything I ate today make me happy?" "Did I chose what to eat, or did I let it choose me?"

Last night I was putting dinner away around 7:30pm.....ah, freshly made food......of course I ended up shoving a few, big, spoonfuls (a few too many really describes it, lol), into my mouth ("shoving" is what you do when you're not in control)....totally complusive. Why? It was after 6:00pm and I don't eat after 6....I'm not "allowed".....well then I had to..... If I allowed myself to have some, then I would've taken a bowl, scooped out a portion, put the rest away, and I'd be able to look back on yesterday with no regrets.....

But really, the reason why I don't eat after 6:00pm is because physically I don't feel good if I eat after 6:00pm, and I know this. Why did I do it? It doesn't matter. Maybe I was just triggered by the sight, the smell of the food I was putting away, or maybe I was just plain hungry! It's 5:46pm right now.... I better go eat something, lol! No regrets. At least not today.....and that's's better than is good.

My life is good, Food is good. Eating is good. We are good.

Decide what you can live without, and what you can't live without. I feel that "rewarding" yourself with those small acceptions gives you power. In the beginning, for me, it was cream in my coffee. Now it may be a couple of pieces of candy everyday, a couple of glasses of wine every day, a handful of chips...whatever (high qualiy problems). My body is a reflection of my choices, and I must, I must, be happy with my choices....they are my choices afterall.

But everyday I can chose something different. Feeling good about myself no matter what my choices are, no matter what I weigh, no matter how much I train, no matter who likes me or not, feeling good about myself means having no regrets.

PS (I'm a work in progress. I'm not perfect, only perfectly fine, and perfectly good. When I write these blogposts they are only a reflection of my current thoughts about how to live my life feeling good. My life is full of things not related to food and eating.....I get to see my grandaughters first tooth tomorrow!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seeing My Toes

Will I ever see my toes in "Floor Bow"?.......I ask myself this question after 4+ years of practicing Bikram's Yoga.

Of all the 26 postures in Bikram's, I can tell you which ones (postures) I was not genetically born to do. Combine that with starting a yoga practice after the age of 40 and what can a person expect?

Tight hamstrings......that's my first problem, and I take responsiblility for it. Sure, I can take the time to stretch on a regular basis.....stretching and practicing yoga, by the way, are two different things. So, any kind of forward bend is challenging for me....let's start with the first forward "head to knee" about "seperate leg, forehead to knee", even a simple seperate leg, forehead to floor.....these three postures are the reason that I decided to train for my level 2 RKC....(again, another blogpost for another time.......)

Here we are, backbends......ahh....backbends....I can figure these out. In fact I find backbends, well, I'm not going to say easy, but easier, because I know if I contract my glutes (swings....) that helps t release my hips and why was arching back to the point of seeing my toes in floor bow (a backwards bend) so far from reality.....or so I thought.

A few months ago I noticed, from my peripheral vision, one of my yoga instructors (who is naturally flexible, by the way) get into the full expression of this posture, effortlessly.....what was different with her pose than mine? Her neck. The extention and flexiblity of her can only kick your legs back, and up, so far, and then what? And then your neck, has to have the flexiblilty for your eyes to look behind you to see.....YOUR TOES!

Monday April 5th, 9:15am Bikram yoga class (after a 7:15am "warm up" class, lol) Tracy Reifkind saw her toes, in "Floor Bow", for the very first time!

OMG! I've been hell bent on seeing my damn freakin' toes for a few months now. Now that I had figured out it was the flexibility in my neck that I had to focus on.......and now it paid off! Was that real? Did I really just see my toes? Yep! First my right side toes, and then I looked quickly to my left.....yep, there they were, both sides, two feet.....good Lord, today it seems like a dream....but it did happen!

I flagged down my teacher during savasana and excitedly "mouthed" to her....."I saw my toes! For the first time ever!"(thumbs up)....She announced it to the class...."Tracy just saw her toes for the first time!" And she's been practicing for years.....see! It'll happen".....(it was thrilling to have my fellow practioners, besides me, congratulate me, and a few more of my friends after class, take notice., if I can ever get my damn forehead to my knee......

Top picture was taken about 4 hours after my Monday mornings yoga practice....obviously whithout heat, and after my Level 2 training with Mark.....but it starts to show the difference from the next picture, taken about 2-3 years ago....see the difference in the neck flexibility and extention? The last picture is of my backward bend......much easier for me to do than forward bends......but as you can see with the rest of the class it's not easy for most.

The End of the Workout....the main workout, that is....

Today is Tuesday.....6:00am high volume swing class, and then off to Equinox to train Max Vo2 (based) for my second Max workout. Saturday Meg and I train a Max based workout, and then I train it again, for the second time, based on what Meg and I did previously, but depending on how I feel, I go heavier, faster, or lighter, but always just as intense!

I've been doing alot of training lately that involves building strength and endurance on one side or the other, but I won't get into the exact details, just yet, instead I'll write about another part of my training focus, which is pacing.

I'm getting ready to film, and produce, my first video about my high volume kettlebell swing training and the progressions I developed, and use regularly, in my own workouts, as well as how I train others to build up, quickly, a practice of high volume kettlebell swings. One of the methods I have developed is the practice of pacing....more about that another time....

Here is how I ended my morning of swings and snatches.....(after 50+ minutes of swings @ Girya, and then 30+ minutes of Max Vo2 @ Equinox)

Snatch / Transfers
Tracy 12kg
Brian 16kg

16 snatch transfers, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest, (8 R, 8 L)
18 snatch transfers, 1 min. work, 30 sec. rest (9 R, 9 L)
20 snatch transfers, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest (10 R, 10 L)....(uphill....)

16 snatch trans, 18 snatch trans, 2 min. work, 1 min. rest
18 snatch trans, 20 snatch trans, 2 min. work, 1 min, rest (uphill....)

16 snatch trans., 18 snatch trans, 20 snatch trans, 3 min. work, 1 min. rest (uphill)
20 snatch trans, 18 snatch trans, 16 snatch trans, 3 min. work, end of workout....(downhill)

15 minutes approx. (234 snatches and transfers)

Brian says when we're finished...."I like going downhill better!"

Regardless of what your main workout is, try this ending! Lots of fun! By the way.....Meg and I did 20 snatch / transfers per minute for 5 minutes in my first class (100 snatch transfers)....try that one too, and let me know how it goes for you!

The combination of one snatch, one transfer, is one I am reluctant to take "credit" for, but it's a classic training combination that I've been using for years, and I have valid reasons for this particular combination and how it fits into my progressive training philosophy.....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tuesday Kettlebells....and other stuff

Tuesday mornings 6-7:00am I teach a high volume swing class. Mark starts us all off with a little joint mobility work, after which, I decided this week to teach one of my newest students to snatch. We spent the first 20-30 minutes learning the snatch, my veteran students following along with high pulls, and other snatch drills, finally settling into some snatch and swing combinations for the duration of Equinox....Tuesday is another snatch day, usually my second Max, but this week we needed a break from Max, so heavier, longer, faster sets were the order of the morning.

After my usual swing / snatch combinations for approx. 5 minutes, we went right into snatches....

16kg (Brian used the 20kg, Trevor used the 16kg)

20 snatch R, 1 minute work,
20 snatch L, 1 minute work,
1 minute rest
x 3 sets= 9 minutes

down in weight, 14kg (Brian used the 16kg, Trevor used the 12kg)

15 snatch R, 15 snatch L, 1 minute work, minute rest x 5 sets = 10 minutes

back up in weight, snatch "holds" w/16kg, I go, you go style, switching hands every 30 seconds twice, for 2 minutes work, 1 minute rest....reps are approx....

7-8 snatch R, 7-8 snatch L, repeat, 2 minutes work, 1 minute rest x 5 sets = 15 minutes

40-ish minutes

Continued on with the same swing/snatch combinations I did with my earlier class, 1 minute work to 30 sec rest for an additional 10 sets = 15 minutes. (see below)

16 kg (Brian used the same 16kg weight...shhh, I didn't tell him it was the same weight I was using)

5 snatch R, 5 snatch L, 30 sec swing combos. 1 minute work, 30 sec rest x 10 sets

Continued on with Get-up practice for approx. 20 minutes, misc bottoms up cleans, etc. Spinning Class for 50 minutes on the bike. Shower, and off to Girya to train Level 2 skills with Mark.

Pull-up drills
Pistol drills

I felt kinda crappy about myself this morning and I let it affect my workouts.....I need to pull my head out of my ass and quick! Level 2 is no joke and I've got a long way to go. Thank God for the World's Greatest Coach, who is also my darling husband! He'll save my ass....he always does!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Raw Beet, Apple and Jicama salad

If you want to eat "healthy" then I believe you must base your diet around fresh vegetables. I went through a "raw" phase a couple of years ago looking for recipes and ideas to use vegetables we would usually think to only eat cooked, but many, if not most vegetables can be eaten raw, including beets.

Beets are a root vegetable, and for me, can actually "act" more like a starch (potato, squash, etc.), which means they take a little longer to digest and hold a bit more water, like a carb....whatever....I warned you many times I'm a long story-teller.....

But let's be serious, a raw beet salad is better than a order of french fries anyday......

Another root vegetable that I almost forgot about, until I re-Certed (it was served at the lunch buffet) was jicama. Jicama....thank goodness I shop the Mexican market regularly, this vegetable is no stranger to's just that with so many food choices, where does one start?

In my opinion, raw beets, shredded raw beets, lend themselves very well with Asian type salad dressing, as well as dressings with a Latin flair (lime / chili / jalapeno). And adding a protein to those flavors calls for something like shrimp, or my opinion.....chicken? Of course, what does not go with chicken?

So....I was shopping for some greens the other day, to add to some soup....Mark and I went down to our local Mexican market and to my surprise, Mi Pueblo did not carry anything but spinach. No chard (shocking), no collard greens (I didn't expect collard greens, so no surprise there), no kale (again, I didn't expect kale, of any sort)....just spinach. Well, I didn't want spinach.....I looked around and the only other choice was beets......with their greens! Beet greens! I love, love, love beet greens! The problem is I love beet greens more than I love beets! But I bought them anyway, knowing I would find something to do with those beets....the greens? Those were headed straight for my Smokey, Hot, Split Pea Soup with Chorizo!

If you want to prepare and eat fresh salads, then you must own an efficient, and sharp (!), mandoline or vegetable shredder (a food processor works great btw), I own a, I bought at a Japanese market and works great for carrot, broccoli, beets, jicama, and other similarly dense veggies( pictured below), another is a "V-slicer" mandoline by OXO...I have another hand grater I like, a great veggie peeler that I use for lots of stuff, including shredding cabbage.....and I rarely use my food processor, but it's always an option....
Enough already.....

Raw Beet, Apple and Jicama Salad

2 lg or 4 small red beets, (really the color doesn't matter, use gold if you want, but peel the skin off first with a vegetable peeler)
1 lg or 2 small sweet apples, like fuji, or try tart! Whatever you like!
1 small jicama (about 3-4 inches in diameter...not the huge 6-8 inche size, lol)
1 carrot

1 - 4 jalapenos (guess how many I used? Yep, 4! top picture)

1/2 bunch cilantro

fresh ginger (1-2 tbl)
garlic (1-2 cloves, crushed)
juice of one lemon OR rice wine vinegar (about 1-2 tbl)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tbl olive oil
Sarachi sauce, 1-2 teaspoons (totally optional! this will add alot of heat!)
Sugar to taste....start with 1 teaspoon and add 1 tespoon at a time until you get the flavor you like ( you can use any other kind of sweetner you feel comfortable with.....honey, Stevia, splenda....whatever! Make the recipe yours!)

SALT and I have to mention this every time? It's called "seasoning your food", lol!

Taste your food, is it missing something? What? Learn to adjust seasoning by tasting your food! Taste for texture (enough oil?). Salt, (of course, but not too much). Acid? Vinegar, lemon, etc. Sweetness? (again, add in your favorite sweetner)

Add in cooked pork tenderloin, shredded roasted chicken, or grilled prawns.

Also, I chose to include a fresh fruit, the apple, instead of a dried fruit, but instead of apple, raisins, dates, pineapple, etc would work just as well.


Another salad I use jicama in was a simple version of my friend Gayle's Ginger and Lemon Apple Salad

Shredded apple

shredded jicama

juice of about 2 inches of fresh ginger

juice of one lemon

chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds)

dried blueberries, or any other dried fruit optional

(a little pinch of salt is a bonus, lol)