Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If a Tree Falls in the Forest....

.....and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If I swing 1000 reps, or snatch 500 reps and no one is around to see it....did I do it? Does it count?

It doesn't matter because I train for myself. I will do it regardless of any witness. The only witness I need is my body that reflects the dedication to the consistency of the regular physical challenges I seem to be inspired to rise up to every week.

This morning I had a plan for my class to accomplish 1000 swing reps done in this interval combination,

40 reps, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
40 reps, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest
20 reps 1 min. work, 30 sec rest
100 reps per 4 minute rotation x 10 = 40 minutes 1000 swing reps

The exact swing combinations are not important. But I did make each rotation progressively harder, by making it heavier, or to include more one hand swings, for instance....

10/10/10/10 one hand swings w/12kg
20/20 one hand swings w/12kg
20 2 hand swings w/16kg

repeat the first 2 sets w/14kg
repeat last set w/16kg (or 20kg)

By the time we got about halfway I added snatches into the rest periods...Meg's still working toward her 50,000 snatches afterall....she's my girl....well, all of them are my girls, but she's the girl that makes us snatch more, lol!

here's an example, (no change in bell size because there's no rest period)

10/10/10/10 one hand swing, 1 min.,
6/6 snatches (R & L) 30 sec
20/20 one hand swings, 1 min
6/6 snatches, 30 sec
20 2 hand swings, 30 sec....now rest for 30 sec before starting the next rotation.

Done. and exactly on time 7:00am. (I did not count the warm up swings, about 100 reps)

Now I'm off to Equinox to do what? Well to be honest, I only have one class, or should I say one student in my Inter/Adv class who happens to be the General Manager of the Club (he's been training with me consistently for over 1 year now) and he's sick today....rare, rare occasion, but....I still have to train! I'm not sick.

I could have easily gone to yoga....double yoga if I wanted to, but that would be way too easy. One of the hardest things to do is train by yourself. No one counting on you. No one waiting for you. No one relying on you. No one, but the most important person of all.....you.

I would usually do another Max based workout, which means snatches, snatches, and more snatches! But I didn't have to take into consideration anyone else but myself. And knowing what I'm capable of, and my own training needs, I could do longer sets, hell, I could do whatever I wanted. And when it's only me I love the "boring stuff" I mean, who's going to pay you to do long ass repetitive single or double movement reps, set after set after set.....in other words....you can't pay for this kind of workout!

500 snatches w/negative press

10 R, 10 L, x 5 = 100 snatch/neg press, 6 minutes work
1 minute rest
x 5 = 500 snatch/neg press, 35 minutes

I chose to do a negative press from the top position of the snatch because my "press" strength is what lacks. Having to lower the bell to my shoulder in the rack position and re-snatch takes longer and is a different skill than casting over to the next snatch. 500 neg presses is a huge workload. Mark says he'd be really amazed if I'm not sore tomorrow....we'll see.

here's a video, back in the day, lol, demonstrating a snatch, negative press. (May 18th, 2008....love the music!)

PS I use negative presses often in my classes for a number of reasons, which I may write about some day in another blogpost......

Monday, August 30, 2010

Secret Experiment

This morning I found myself in my old stomping ground....my garage gym. 6:00am. Me, a 16kg, a gymboss (of course), and my trusty clock with a second hand for back up, lol. More to come in the following weeks....

PS my garage gym has turned into a storage room, but three or so kettlebells remain....who cares about a few spider webs here and there?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The "Killer" Strikes Again....but twice!

The "Killer" struck again on Saturday, but with double bells! Next week, the first weekend in Sept., my Max-based class is going back to traditional 15/15, after taking a 10 minute Snatch test (SSST), which will be re-tested in about 12 weeks time. So, I thought this was going to be the last time, for a while, to play around with the snatch pacing intervals.....but how was I to make it harder? Double snatches.

I've never claimed to be the strongest girl in the world, not even close, so double snatching the 12kg's is challenging. I can easily get out 5 reps, and then? Well, I've never tried it to be honest. (maybe I've done 7???) But one of my favorite way to train double snatches is with light bells, and fast...and long.... What is a light bell? Two 8kg's are easy, breezy, but add on any extra weight and the difficulty seems to magnify, and quickly.

I used two 20lber's (GoFit). I could have used the 10kg's, now that we have Dragon Door bells giving us that option, but as I mentioned there's a big difference between 18lbs (8kg), and 20 lbs, and 22 lbs! This was a test run by the way, no need to go balls to the wall....oh if I only had one more week!

Two 20lb. KB's

5 dbl sn, 15 sec work/15 sec rest,
5/5 dbl sn, 30 sec work/30 sec rest (10 dbl sn)
5/5/5 dbl sn, 45 sec work/30 sec rest (15 dbl, sn)
5/5/5/5 dbl sn 1 min work/ 30 sec rest (20 dbl sn)
50 dbl sn

Two 12kg's 5 reps, 15 sec work, 30 sec rest

5 minutes 15 seconds per rotation (3 rotations)

now a bit faster....

6 dbl sn, 15 sec work/15 sec rest,
6/6 dbl sn, 30 sec work/30 sec rest (12 dbl sn)
6/6/6 dbl sn, 45 sec work/30 sec rest (18 dbl sn)
6/6/6/6 dbl sn 1 min work/ 30 sec rest (24 dbl sn)
60 dbl sn

Two 12kg's 5 reps, 15 sec work, 30 sec rest

a bit faster yet....

7 dbl sn, 15 sec work/15 sec rest,
7/7 dbl sn, 30 sec work/30 sec rest (14 dbl sn)
7/7/7 dbl sn, 45 sec work/30 sec rest (21 dbl sn)
7/7/7/7 dbl sn 1 min work/ 30 sec rest (28 dbl sn)
70 dbl sn

Two 12kg's 5 reps, 15 sec work, 30 sec rest
195 dbl snatches. 15 minutes 45 seconds....is that all? Freakin' Hell!

At this point we are done, done done with 1 minute long snatch pace sets, and double 12kg snatches. Time to slow things down....well not really but, the rest of the workout is done in 30 sec work/ 30 sec rest intervals.

7/5 all four sets have a 5 rep pace, either starting or finish
5/6 all four sets have a 6 rep pace, either to start or to finish
5/7 all four sets have a 7 rep pace, either to start or to finish
144 dbl sn. 12 minutes

Total 339 double snatches
(324 w/20lber's, and 15 with two 12 kg's)

27 minutes
approx.....can't be true! It seemed like forever. Barely a word was uttered in the Studio and Marks training partner Nick said, "That must have been hard! I've never heard such silence in the gym before!" Little did I know the daggers Meg was throwing at me with her eyes....I was facing the clock.

So to remind anyone that cares..... all of the rep #'s are done in 15 second intervals. For instance,
5/5/5/5 means 5 reps per 15 seconds for a total of 20 reps in 1 minute, or 7/6 means 7 reps in the first 15 seconds, 6 reps in the next 15 seconds for a total work set of 30 seconds. Since we had bells in both hands, obviously there were never any switching of hands.

The point of pacing is develop the ability to do a certain amount of work at a certain rate. Running a six minute is not running a seven minute mile, it's a different pace which requires a different amount of energy. It's also a way to change the intensity of the same movement, in this case the double snatch without changing the weight.

I'll bereferring to these long pacing snatch workouts as "Killer" workouts....so watch out for more killers in the future!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday DBL's

two 12kg's

30 sec work/rest intervals

10 sets of 7 reps
dbl cl/dbl strict press (10 min.)
dbl cl/push press (10 min)

15 sec work/rest intervals

10 sets of 7 reps
dbl cleans (5 minutes)

back to 30 sec work/rest intervals

10 sets
10/10 dbl / 2 hd KB Split (10 min.)
1 sw, gblt sq x 4 (10 min)

Total workout 45 minutes

In the first 10 sets I did a dbl clean before each strict press (long cycle). I was able to get all of my last press without pushpressing the bells. (69 strict dbl pr + 1 pu pr)

The next 10 sets were done the same way, with a clean before each push press. (70 pu pr + 1 from the last set)

The next 10 sets were only 15 sec work/rest because it was only the dbl clean. We were able to dbl clean 7 reps in that amount of time.

Back to swings, and 30 sec intervals...10 sets of 20 rep Kettlebell Split. (200 swings)

I ended the workout with one bell instead of dbls for squats, so I had to implement the goblet squat. The biceps of the person I was training with were toast from all of the dbl cleans we had already done....therefore not making the dbl/cl sq possible. Although now that I think about it, I could have done them.

45 minutes is a relatively short workout for me, but it's become about standard for Thursday DBL's.....I still have 2 more 30 minute beginners classes to teach afterwards.....in addition to my pullup and Level 2 skills I practice later in the day with Mark @ Girya.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Go Ahead, Eat the Skin...I dare you!

Before I write about my adventures in quail....so, I'm in Budapest having dinner with 3 other people that have never had a "problem" with their bodyweight, (hint, hint....Mark, Pavel and Andrea). None of them were torured by having to make a decision to order the meal with the least amount of fat, the least amount of carbs, or the least amount of sugar. In fact as I looked around at everyone else's meal it was full of fat, carbs and sugar (well, that was at the end when Andrea and I ordered 4 desserts....to share, to share! I think I was a bad influence on her, lol)

My point is life is too short to pull the chicken skin off...it's yummy.

OK, so the second night, in Huingary, Mark and I ate at the Hotel resturant, and I was looking over the salads because I happen to love salads, not because I was counting calories. It's no secrect that I love fresh veggies, and I had heard horror stories about how hard it was to find fresh veggies in Eastern Europe....???? Whoever told me that must've not vacationed in the Summer (or Spring), how could there not be fresh foods in the Summer? Anyway, I ordered a endive, asparagus and beet salad with grilled quail and tiny poached quail eggs topping the individual endive leaves. Those quail eggs were cr-eamy! I knew I had to make a version of this when I got home.

Years ago I had taken a "gourmet" cooking class where they demonstrated boning a quail (yep, boning a freakin', tiny ass, quail!), so the thought of buying and preparing quail wasn't intimidateing to me. I remembered seeing quail eggs and frozen quail at the Vietnemese Market....voila!

$.99 cents for 1 dozen quail eggs...yep $.99 cents! $7.99 for 6 quail. Now this seemed kind of inexpensive (I don't like to use the word cheap, lol), so after that batch was gone I bought some more quail at Whole Foods....$14.99 for 4! That's almost 3 times as much. I admit the Whole Foods quail looked better.....but until I have a side by side taste test....hey I still buy my Thanksgiving Turkey at Safeway....I'm over the whole "organic" thing..... OK, I'm not going to lie...I'm not! But I'm getting over it more and faster.

I enjoyed a few salads with poached quail eggs. It was challenging getting those little suckers just right. TIP: your poaching water has to be boiling or near boiling. Anything less will not cook the whites fast enough and you'll end up with "spider web" whites. I decided I wasn't %100 sure of the freshness of the eggs from this particular market, but I'm going to go to a busier Asian market in hopes of feeling like the turn over is a bit more consistent.

The quail I left in the fridge to defrost and once they were no longer frozen I rinsed them off, cut out the backbone (and neck), flattened those puppies (OK, I mean birdies) by simply opening them up, breast side up and pushing down on the breast bone to flatten. I made sure they had been out of the fridge for about 20 minutes, so they weren't stone cold, and also, I dried them completely with paper towels (oh, the waste...I'll have to write a blogpost sometime about how it used to be hard for me to "waste" paper towels. So much so that I used to rinse them out and dry them to use again, lol).

Back to the quail....

I sprinkled salt, pepper, and in honor of my Hungarian friends, paprika, put them skin side down in a smokin' hot saute pan. I would have grilled them if I had a grill! I let the skin get really crisp, and then I placed another heavy pot right on top of them to get a really good sear and to help flatten them out a bit more while making sure to cook them throughout, 5 minutes. Flipped them over and cooked for another 3-5 minutes.

There's something about having your own iny little bird, skin and everything, all to yourself! Mine never did make it to top a salad!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Super Human Training Teleseminar

I'm very proud to announce that along with my new DVD coming out, this Wednesday, at 5pm PST I am going to be interviewed by Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher for their Super Human Training Teleseminar.
Now that my dvd is coming out I can talk directly about my training methods and techniques that have allowed me to do such high volume swing training for such a long time.

heres the link to signup to hear my interview

Super Human Training Teleseminar Series

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reverse Engineering, and how to apply that to having, no, feeling, the body you want to have.

One of the concepts I love about the RKC philosophy is "reverse engineering". They use the best examples of what the strongest and most coordinated people do naturally and decipher it for the average person. Giving the average person the corrections to approximate those skills for themselves.

In other words the philosophy is to start from the "end point" and work backwards.

The end point for me? Feeling light, feeling thin, feeling capable, feeling strong, feeling good about myself and what I do. Whatever it is that you want to feel, start there, and work backwards....start there, and work backwards!

Great! I feel light. Great! I feel thin. Great! I feel strong and capable. Wow! I like how I feel, and I like how I look.....funny how that happens.

Today I wanted to weigh myself. Good God I'm 47 years old....do I want to do this the rest of my life? I wanted to weigh myself because I was feeling so good I thought that the scale would have to reflect how good I was feeling by showing me a # I associate with feeling so good! (does this make sense?) But I knew that if the # wasn't right, or good enough I would feel like crap. Why would I do that to myself? Is this one of the by-products of living in this American culture? So consumed by bodyweight.....

So, I decided NOT to weigh myself. Today I got a bit smarter than that darn scale.

Reverse engineering.....I'm already where I want to be. Light, small, strong, capable, smart, lucky, etc.

Life is great, and my precious Sophie turns 1 year old Sept. 2nd! Tomorrow I'll take her shopping for her 1st birthday dress....does it matter how much I weigh? Sophie is perfect and so am I. (so is her mother too!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Queen of Ladders

Although I am the self proclaimed Queen of Swing, my second kingdom would be that of "Ladders"! Anyone who has trained with me, or by me, knows this to be true.

When I design a workout I never know where the starting point is going to be, but I know it's going to get progressively harder set, by set, by set. The key word here is progressively. I'm all about building up the intensity of my workouts, brick, by brick. Or easing up on the intensity by simply turning around and going in the opposite direction.

"Ladders", or "ladder combinations" are infinite, and therefore never boring. I won't get into all of the variables in this blogpost, because I may need to make my next DVD about this subject.

For instance the workout written below ladders up the weight of the bell for the first 2 rotations (16kg - 40kg), but then it ladders down the length of each rotation by, again, laddering down the number of sets in each rotation, progressively.....laddering down the intensity by removing the last, hardest, or heaviest KB. You can also do the same exact workout in REVERSE! Or how about this? Do it twice, once in each direction....laddering up, and then laddering down....or, do it twice in reverse!

You see, I just gave you multiple workouts. Same weights...but oops, there's more..... If you double the workout, you just laddered up your workout time!

Here's a picture of the bells I used to end my Thursday dbl KB workout....the main workout, loaded with heavy dbl presses, swings and cleans, just wasn't enough, but I only had about 15 minutes before my next class.

All sets were 10 reps, 15 sec work/rest)

16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg, 40kg
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg, 40kg
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg,
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg,
16kg, 20kg, 24kg,
16kg, 20kg,

14 minutes 280 swings

Of course this was not preplanned, and as I've mentioned before my OCD would have made it into an even 15 minutes of swings....don't worry, the new and improved "Swing / Weight Ladder" will make another apperance!

PS Equinox didn't have a 36kg available so I was forced to use the 40kg. Dang! After all of those heavy presses I really felt those heavy bells in my upper back, but never in my grip.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Progamming the Kettlebell Swing DVD is Ready!

I am so excited about my first DVD that explains EVERYTHING I've been doing for the past three plus years. The information on this DVD, will help you program individual or group kettlebell swing workouts for yourself or your clients, using my original swing progressions and unique training techniques.

Programming the Kettlebell Swing

Few people use the swing to its full potential -- in this live workshop DVD, Tracy will show you how to do just that. From individuals looking for a basic conditioning progression to instructors who need a variety of intense kettlebell routines, this DVD will cover all the angles. You'll be blown away by the variety possible using this simple movement.

The kettlebell swing is without a doubt the most important of all the kettlebell exercises, but who really knows how to train it properly? For most trainees, this is a throwaway move, done at the end of the workout for minimal reps in a hurry to get into the more "exciting" movements of the snatch, clean and press and jerks.

But Tracy Reifkind has changed all that with her original kettlebell choreography and progressions method demonstrating how to use just the basic kettlebell swing for an almost unlimited number of routines and intensity increases.

Learn how to program the kettlebell swing for the ultimate in muscular and cardiovascular conditioning with just a few basic progressions.

Learn how to maximize the most basic and important kettlebell exercise for the most efficient results possible.

Included on the workshop DVD: Tracy's progressions handout pdf

Muscle Density....the #1 reason to never stop training

For the past 2 + years my bodyweight has gone up and down, and up, and down....not by "alot" according to most peoples standards, but to me any weight gain is a sign of failure, defeat, and embarrassment....kind of. I say "kind of" because I never defined myself by the number on the scale, especially when I weighed over 250lbs. So why now? Well, I've been in the public view specifically because of my successful weightloss....yep, that's why!

I suspect I had started to develop what Mark indentified as "Body Dysmorphia" Body Dysmorphia is usually related to anorexics that see a fat person when they look in the mirror but in actuality they are, sometimes, skin and bones. It can also be common in the bodybuilding community when these athletes can never seem to be satisfied with the size of their musculature, instead always seeing themselves as small and flat. Personally, my own "body dysmorphia" was created because I no longer weighed 128-132lbs, when I look in the mirror I could only see what I wasn't.

I wasn't 10 pounds lighter. I wasn't what I used to be. I couldn't claim 120lb weightloss, and that had become part of what defined me the previous few years. Not only did I feel like I looked to have failed, but I also felt as if everything I said in terms of diet or training advice was no longer valid.....but still I kept on training.

I never missed my kettlebell workouts. KB's was, and is, my #1 training priority. I never missed my yoga practice, as painful as it was, from the heat and extra bodyweight, to the self torture of having to look at myself in the mirror for over an hour, so dissatisfied with how I "looked".....and my practice suffered, not because I was 10lbs heavier but because of the judgements I put on myself. I still found myself outside walking, or on the treadmill (free membership to Equinox, lol). And I learned how to "Spin" in a desperate attempt to burn some extra calories and lose some weight.....but I kept on showing up to train.

Somehow I knew if I kept moving that bell, my body would follow....and it hasn't disappointed....

Having some muscle density, and being so skinny and lean that you can see the little tiny muscle looking things under your skin are worlds apart.

Here is how my husband, Master RKC Instructor, Mark Reifkind defines "Muscle Density"

"So what's the difference from a newbie trainee and a person that's been suiting up and showing up on a regular training schedule for not weeks or months but years? It's called muscle density and you can tell it immediately when you see it.

It's what happens to human tissue when it's exposed to repeated overload with resistance and what most of us think of when we think of "muscle definition".

Muscle you can see when someone's at rest. When they are not 'flexing'. Tone, definition and separation from all the adjacent muscles.

It's muscle that doesn't disappear if you miss a workout or two.

It's one thing to get 'lean'. If one strips all the fat off the body by extreme dieting you will see all kinds of things. The proper name of muscle is "striated muscle" meaning you will see lines and 'definition' when not obscured by fat. BUT, that is not the same as hypertrophied muscle. Or what most recognized as "muscle".

The longer muscle is exposed to the stress of training, the pressure of the weight, the focus of the mind and intense contraction after intense contraction, the more dense it becomes
.Like a diamond that forms under millions of years of pressure. You cannot buy this kind of muscle sophistication, you have to earn it.

Muscle density is what separates the beginner from the veteran. It's what real muscle looks like."

In my opinion the shape of our bodies is more, or at least, as important as the size of our bodies. Sure, functional movement and cardio fitness is important, but don't we all want to look good? When we feel like we look good, we feel good. And when we feel good, we feel good!

Keep showing up. Keep building that muscle, and keep building that strength. If you don't see it or feel it today trust that it's there...it has to be. If you're doing the work, your body will follow.

PS One of my favorite "movie memories" is when Arnold Schwarnegger played Conan and he was a slave chained to a human powered mill (the "wheel of pain"), did he get some muscle or what? Do you think he was trying? (I know it was just a movie, lol, but chain your ass up to one of those things, day after day, after day.) Do you think you might put on a bit of muscle? Of course you have to have food to build the muscle, but you get my point.....
PPS First two pictures were taken from my Flip video at Fawn's KB class in St Paul a few weeks ago, while she leads us all during the joint moblity warm up...I totally dig her! And she's so gracious to let me co-lead her class....Thanks Fawn!

Programming the Kettlebell Swing DVD is READY!

I am so excited about my first DVD that explains EVERYTHING I've been doing for the past three plus years. The information on this DVD, will help you program individual or group kettlebell swing workouts for yourself or your clients, using my original swing progressions and unique training techniques.

Programming the Kettlebell Swing

Few people use the swing to its full potential -- in this live workshop DVD, Tracy will show you how to do just that. From individuals looking for a basic conditioning progression to instructors who need a variety of intense kettlebell routines, this DVD will cover all the angles. You'll be blown away by the variety possible using this simple movement.

The kettlebell swing is without a doubt the most important of all the kettlebell exercises, but who really knows how to train it properly? For most trainees, this is a throwaway move, done at the end of the workout for minimal reps in a hurry to get into the more "exciting" movements of the snatch, clean and press and jerks.

But Tracy Reifkind has changed all that with her original kettlebell choreography and progressions method demonstrating how to use just the basic kettlebell swing for an almost unlimited number of routines and intensity increases.

Learn how to program the kettlebell swing for the ultimate in muscular and cardiovascular conditioning with just a few basic progressions.

Learn how to maximize the most basic and important kettlebell exercise for the most efficient results possible.

Included on the workshop DVD: Tracy's progressions handout pdf

Monday, August 16, 2010

PS Freeze Your Nuts!

Put your nuts in the freezer...seriously. I've got local walnuts in my freezer at home, and Mark has raw almonds in the freezer at Girya.....frozen nuts...they're a good thing!

Speaking of good things.....

Wine, cheese and nuts.....these are the only things that inspire me to keep blogging..

Snatch Vo2 based pacing workout

One of these days I'll explain in more detail how I came to "base" alot of my workouts on Max Vo2, but what's important is not the explaination but the workout!

I've been playing around with my method of "pacing" for a couple of years. Pacing swings, and snatches, but any kettlebell movement can be used and the benefits of pacing can change how you keep interest alive in your workouts (as it does mine and therefore my students workouts!). This method, or technique, is further explained in my upcoming DVD to be available within the next 2 weeks (fingers crossed).

Saturday's Max-based workout was inspired by a previous pacing routine I did years ago (*see note) way back when I started playing around with this method....good God I used to be strong.... Anyway, here is a picture of our white board at Girya, where I mapped out a plan....not really ever knowing what is possible until I get into it.....

OK, the original plan is to the left. All work reps are based on a 15 second intervals. The rest periods are some denomination of 15 seconds (15, 30, 60 seconds).

The first 10 sets were traditional Max 15:15. 7/7, or 8/8, whichever your current skill level is at. Mine is at 8/8 but I didn't warm up my snatch so I did my first 2 sets 7/7 (pictured to the right of the white board) followed by 8 more sets of 8/8 to equal 10 sets total (4 each L & R).

Here's the bulk of the workout using a snatch pacing technique. (pictured to the right of the photo above) All single snatches were done w/12kg, all dbl snatches were done w/two 10kg's.

8/5 R, rest, 8/5 L, rest, 10 dbl sn, rest
8/6 R, rest, 8/6 L, rest, 10 dbl sn, rest
8/7 R, rest, 8/7 L, rest, 10 dbl sn, rest
8/8 R, rest, 8/8 L, rest, 10 dbl sn, rest
x 3 rotations

Here's the work / rest breakdown:

8 snatches in the first 15 seconds
5 snatches in the next 15 seconds, for a total of a 30 sec work period,
rest 30 seconds (equal work/rest), repeat on the other side

10 dbl sn, 30 sec., rest 30 sec (again equal work/rest),

repeat laddering up the # of snatch reps in the 2nd half of the snatch work sets...get it?

All of this work was in preparation to snatch for 1 minute sets, without a hand switch, using this method of pacing. By the time we got around to these 1 minute sets we had already been snatching for 40+ minutes! This is only an hour long workout....so we only had time to complete one set of the minute long snatch pace sets.....but you'll see, in the video, how it actually turned out for me!

Last two sets.....15:15:15:15

8/8/5/5 R snatch do not switch hands, rest 30 seconds and repeat on the other hand (L).

The video starts with 8/7 and ends with my attempt at the last two minute long snatch pacing sets....."attempt" is the key word here, lol!

I adjusted my sock sleeve, knowing while I was doing it, that it had the potential to really screw up my grip.....it did! Stupid! I hate failing. I couldn't hang on to the bell with the added bulk of the thicker hand protection and so I had to put the bell down.

Now what? I went ahead and worked my left side, and then without resting I worked my right side, barely hanging on to the bell....seriously....I could have dropped it anywhere in the last 5 reps......

This blogpost is probably too confusing, but what can I say? I'm a long story teller!

I rarely do a Max based workout that has "equal work/rest" intervals these days, but working with my jetlag it was a nice way to ease back into my routine. My regulars had a bit of time off, working with a substitute, but I'm back and I've got some new plans.....more to come.....

My brilliant husband, Master Instructor Mark Reifkind, writes about pacing the snatch. Fast or slow....it's all good! (We should write a newsletter, huh?)

"The Snatch is a great exercise, the 'Tsar of the Kettlebell lifts' according to Pavel and I agree. And, with the popularity of Max Vo2 training fast snatching or overspeed work has really gained ground. But, there is just as much benefit from snatching slowly, with a set pace where you have to 'rest in the overhead position' as there is from sprint snatching.

With Max Vo2 training one can really increase one's cardiovascular ability, de- inhibit their form on the snatch and really 'find' their groove.But it also has the capacity to allow for shorted snatches, poor lockout position and and a deficit of static strength in the overhead position.

Snatching more slowly, with an emphasis on the lockout and hold position, allows one to focus on both a steady paced snatch workout and the static strength, and rotator cuff stability of holding a weight overhead for prolonged periods.

All one has to do is look at GS sport competitors and their ability to do hundred of reps on one arm to see the benefit of snatching more slowly with solid holds overhead.

So, using both sprinting and paced type workouts have serious benefits for the kettlebell athlete that wants the best of both worlds and serious muscle development to boot!"

My First Batch this Summer

I bought 20 lbs of tomatoes on Friday and I let them ripen just a bit more before I mad my first batch of tomato soup this afternoon (of course I added jalapenos!) I roasted about 1/3 of them on Sat. night, leaving me with, still, enough to make another 4 quarts of soup in a few days from now. I'll pick up another 20 lbs, or so, this Friday and repeat the process every week until my freezer is loaded with soup, sauce and roasted tomatoes. This is one part of my hoarding tendencies to still have a hold on me.....high quality problem, huh?

I've been eating tomato salads every day with nothing but red vinegar to dress it with as I sometimes use other grilled veggies that already have olive oil on them. I was inspired to poach some quail eggs in rememberance of a salad I ate at the Hotel Sofitel, in Budapest, to top my dinner salad last night.

A pot of black beans early this morning in the PC and I was wishing I had a pkg of tortillas in the house for a lunchtime burrito of tomatoes, grilled squach, grilled corn, and chicken....Cojito cheese would have been a bonus!

I also used my PC to poach a whole chicken and then make stock out of the bones for last weeks summer squash (jalapeno) soup, and all of the tomato soup and sauce this week.

Mmm, mmm good! Life, that is.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Good to Be Back

I did not train nearly as much as I wanted to during our trip to the Hungarian RKC....surprise, surprise. Usually I would make it a priority, but I decided that this trip was not about me, Instead of obsessing about working out and spending my whole lunch hours swinging, snatching and pressing, instead I relaxed a bit and tried not to worry...."tried"....

The first day, as I mentioned, I managed a short 25 minute "100" workout with the 12 & 16kg. The second day I only managed to walk 1 mile (4x around the track you see pictured right), holding a 12kg in a "waiters", "rack" and "farmers" walk position. I was inspired to do this as all of the RKC participants were required each day to bring out all bells from the gym to the tent, and back again at the end of the day.....and we're talking some heavy freakin' bells....and alot of them too! I also helped returning bells to the gym every night, taking only 4-5 bells, mostly 16kg's. I say "only" because it was hard! And I wasn't nearly as hardcore as my company....at least not this weekend!

(I had taken a small bell to our hotel to practice Get-ups Saturday morning, but overslept...yikes!)

Monday was our only day to enjoy the sights and shopping in Budapest, so no training. Tuesday was our trip home....salty airport and airline foods.....a boring 10 hours +....what to do but eat? (Shrek was a cute little movie, wasn't it?)

Good Lord! We left Hungary at 7:00am Tuesday, and arrived home at 12noon the same day (9:00pm Hungary time). I crashed at 3:30pm and there I lay until Wednesday morning around 3:30am. Time to jump back into the deep end....thank God!

6:00am Spin. 7-7:45am Get-ups, negative pull-up,and hanging leg raise training. 9:30am Bikram yoga. 7 days since my last double class the previous Wednrsday, the day we left! I haven't taken that much time from my Bikram practice since my surgery almost 3 years ago.

OK, so this morning, Thursday, is the first time I get back to teaching.....ouch! I'm sore as crap in my lower "Dear Abbies" (a term Pavel uses to describe his abs...can you tell we spent alot of time with him? And Adrea DuCane btw, lucky me)....and my glutes were screaming from the lunges in the Get-ups.

Thursday is a doubles workout followed by at least two more Swing classes. Inspired to train doubles a bit heavier, my body was not in agreement! So I stuck with the 12's! Double swings, strict press, push presses, see-saw presses, all with an emphasis on the negative reps, along with double cleans, squats, and double bottoms ups.....It's good to be back!

Simple Life

There's nothing like going on vacation, with a few days worth of clothes in a suitcase, and no kitchen to prepare your foods, to remind you of how little you actually need in life.

I must be at that age when minimalism is so much more attractive than my younger years of wanting to posess, collect, and hoard. Maybe I'm feeling more secure than ever and I don't need all of those extra "things". Wanting and needing are two different things, and as I continue to "want" certain things in my life, my "needing" seems to be less and less and less.

This feeling is most evident in my relationship with food.

It's 5:00am and I just finished grilling some garden fresh yellow squash I picked up from Wayne's garden yesterday. (this was the first time this season I've been over there) Squash is sweetest when cooked as close to harvest as possible, as it's natural sugars start to turn to starch the longer you store it after picking it.....that's not the point though......

The point is that on vacation I was able to enjoy some really good foods....and some really bad foods! And you know what? A couple of things.....

Life is too short to eat crap you don't like. And that means certain "diet foods" we eat only because we think they're going to help us lose weight. That also means we don't eat certain foods because we think they will make us fat.....like sugar, carbs, wheat, fat, etc....

We have an abundance of incredibly yummy foods, practically anytime we want them. Our food wishes are at our command (I know mine are) There are too many choices, and they're all good, and good for us, because not only does food nourish our bodies, food nourishes our souls. Trust that whatever foods you want are there for you whenever you want them, and they will be. There's no need to posess alot of food, or collect and hoard more food than we need.

What does all of this have to do with a "simple life"?

We overcomplicate things. We overthink things. We try to over perfect our lives, and in the process we "work hard, not smart". I'm tired, and you know what else? It doesn't work for me! Things work so much better when I let go....when I surrender to simplicity. When I trust that I am capable of making good choices.....the right choices.

What are the right choices? The right choices are vegetables when I need vegetables, candy when I need candy....both are right, both are good. Simple.

I want a simple life. I want a good life. Oops...I already have it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

There's No Place Like Home....but there are close seconds!

I have to say that this was the best vacation Mark and I have had, probably ever! Budapest is an extremely "English speaking" friendly city. Even though we worked (well, he worked, lol), every day except our last day. (picture is part of the view from our hotel room)

Our hotel was the best. The Cert site was the best. Peter Lakatos, his wife Elena, and the whole Hungarian team were super. The food was good, the wine? Well, let's just say we do live in California, so we're a bit spoiled.....

I have so much to write about, when I get home later. I've been sleeping since 3:30pm yesterday, and I'm off this morning to get back to some sort of regular training schedule :) One more thing.....I did not test my pull-up while I was there and I'll be back to give you my list of excuses, lol!

Here's the only workout I did while I was there, a 25 minute version of my "100" workout.

100 swings w/12kg (see below)
10/10 snatch w/16kg
repeat 5 times

snatch w/12kg

25 minutes
= 500 swings w/12kg
100 snatches w/16kg
100 snatches w/12kg

When I finished the first part of this workout I knew I wanted to end it with 100 12kg snatches done 10/10 for 5 minutes. But when I looked at my Gymboss it would have taken 26 minutes....well, I couldn't have that! My OCD took over and I had to make it an "even "25" minutes (I know, I know, 25 isn't an even number, but you know what I mean!) So, I progressively sped up the next 3 sets to make the 100 reps fit into 4 minutes. Try this one it's quick and to the point!

100 swing combination
20 2 hd sw
20 tr
1 sw 1 tr x 10
20 tr
20 2 hd sw

x 5

Monday, August 9, 2010

How's the food?

More to come, the best RKC ever, having and great time and the food IS good,lol....

it's food, after all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1 of 4 workouts....

Here are the 4 workouts I did this morning in my group training classes. I'll explain, in detail, all of them, but here's the 2nd progression.....

Heavy 2 hand swings, alternated with moderate weight "Snatch / Transfers".

20 "snatch / transfers" w/12kg, 15 sec rest
10 2 hd sw w/16kg, 15 sec rest,
20 sn/tr, w/12kg, 30 sec rest,
20 2 hd sw w/16kg, 30 sec rest,
20 sn / tr, w/12kg, 30 sec rest,
30 2 hd sw w/16kg, 30 sec rest,
20 sn / tr, w/12kg, 30 sec rest,
40 2 hd sw w/16 kg, 30 sec rest.

repeat, only increase the weight to the next bell size for the "snatch / transfers"

20 "snatch / transfers" w/14kg, 15 sec rest
10 2 hd sw w/16kg, 15 sec rest,
20 sn/tr, w/14kg
20 2 hd sw w/16kg, 30 sec rest,
20 sn / tr, w/14kg, 30 sec rest,
30 2 hd sw w/16kg, 30 sec rest,
20 sn / tr, w/14kg, 30 sec rest,
40 2 hd sw w/16 kg, 30 sec rest.

Each rotation is approx 8.75 minutes, repeat it as many times as you would like to. You can decrease the weight back to the first rotation, (ladder "down"), or keep the weight the same, or increase the "sn / tr" to the next size bell, (ladder "up").

Pictured upper left side of white board is the second, of a four part workout, and the video demonstrates "snatch / transfers".

Monday, August 2, 2010

No Time to Blog

I'm just one day home from our St Paul trip where I was supposed to assist and Mark teach at a national HKC. But DD had a much smaller turnout than expected, and instead? Well, I co-taught Fawn's Saturday KB class, at Athlete's Lab, walked around her neighborhood lake, managed 2 Bikram practices, but the best part was hanging out with my BFF Fawn. We caught up on tons of stuff we didn't have time for a couple of weeks ago, and it still didn't seem like enough!

Mark? Well he still had to work! Mark, all of the Master & Senior Instructors had meetings for two days to talk about the future vision of the RKC.

Now were are barely home for 2 days and we're off to Budapest Hungary for the largest (so far) International RKC! How do the Hungarians say "hello"? "Hello"? I guess I should have at least found that out....yikes

I still have some comments I want to respond to and I hope to post tomorrows workout. My biggest challenge is to not overpack! Too much Lululemon, not enough time....
PS I always bring Fawn a matching top, jacket, or something from Lululemon for letting Mark and I stay with her and Aaron. Am I corny or what? Someone at Level 2 actually asked if Fawn and I were sisters! I said we were twins seperated at birth, lol