Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roundabout Swing Ladders and the 20 kg

I haven't been training very many heavy one hand swings, not even with the 16kg! (compared to my two hand swing volume) I've got to focus more on even heavier one hand swings so I can eventually translate those heavier bells into my snatch and press training. Time for "Roundabouts"!

I designed a combination of swings I named the "Roundabout" and the intention of this swing combination was to help build my ability to swing a really heavy bell "one handed". I will include a link breaking down the Roundabout but here I write the breakdown of swings that make up one roundabout;

2 hd sw,
tr R
R one hd sw
tr 2 hd
2 hd sw,
tr L,
L one hd sw,
tr 2 hd

1 roundabout = 8 reps
5 roundabouts = 40 reps/1 min

In one minute you should be able to complete 5 roundabouts. In 5 roundabouts there are 10 one hand swing (5 R, 5 L), 10 2 hd swings and 20 transfers (1 hd sw to 2 hd sw, or 2 hd sw to 1 hd sw). Here is the link to my original blogpost describing, but unfortunately demonstrates a different version (Oct 7, 2008!).

In this video I demonstrate the last set of my 2nd rotation and all three sets of my 3rd rotation. Each rotation I ladder up only the one hand swings with the lighter bells, but not with the 20kg.

1st rotation

12kg 5 rd ab (40 reps, 1 min/1 min)
16kg 5 rd ab (40 reps, 1 min. 1 min)
20kg 5 rd ab (40 reps, 1 min. 1 min)

2nd rotation

12 kg 5 rd ab w/2 sw (50 reps, 1.25 min/45)
16kg 5 rd ab w/2 sw (50 reps, 1.25 min/45)
20kg 5 rd ab (40 reps, 1 min/1 min)

3rd rotaion

12kg, 5 rd ab w/3 sw (60 reps, 1.5 min/1 min)
16kg rd ab w/2 sw (50 reps, 1.25 min/45)
20kg rd ab (40 reps, 1 min/ 1 min)

total time 18 min.

(repeat rotation #3 two more times for a 30 minute workout)

I only did three rotations because I had already done 490 20kg 2 hd swings and 305 12kg swings during the first half of my training. But I liked this workout enough to make it a main workout with my Saturday classes this weekend!

I teach the Roundabout in my "Programming the Kettlebell Swing" and I have also designed many variables to my Roundabout using ladders for the one hand swings, the two hand swings, and/or both. I've also designed workouts with"1/2 Roundabouts" I will post more variations, but I train all of them in my DVD "Roundabout 2.0" which I believe is available on Amazon.

Maybe I'll post a workout using my "Snatch Roundabout" too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Try, try, again....roasting veggies in turkey fat!

I did not roast a whole turkey this Thanksgiving because I've been roasting whole chickens like crazy since I got back home from staying with Fawn! Since I've been roasting whole chickens, and the best parts are the wings, I went ahead and just roasted turkey wings! They're kinda big!

I roasted them on top of onion, celery and carrots (big dice) hoping the turkey fat would drip down onto them...and it did! Yum...

Since I roasted them slow, at a low temp the veggies were not done at the same time as the wings (roasting veggies usually takes high heat), so I removed the wings from the pan, added thinly sliced Delicata squash, tossed with turkey fat and continued to roast the veggies for about another 20 minutes at 375 degrees. OMG...seriously good stuff! Lucky me!

So good that I've been trying to recreate it since! Not with turkey wings, but with chicken....turkey fat, chicken fat, seems as if they should be similar? Really the biggest difference was that roasting the whole chicken rendered too much fat and soaked the veggies. Whereas the wings, even though I had 8 pieces (4 whole wings cut in half), seemed to provide just the right amount. Try, try again....I'll get it right!

Oh, and now Delicata squash (my fav) is no where to be found...argh! I find Delicata to be less starchy and I like the fact that you can leave some or all of the skin on....somehow it feels like I'm getting more nutrition (like an apple!) I still have a butternut, an acorn and, oh I forgot the name of that cute little orange pumpkin like squash...oh yes, Buttercup...that should be good!

My freezer is filling up with bones....soup time!

Beyond Max, 2:1

Mark and I started training on Mondays instead of Tuesdays, which means it's an additional weekly workout for me. Usually I get two days of recovery from Sat-Tues, but now I only get one....the verdict is still out to whether or not this is a good thing. Anyway...

Typically we train Max which means I have quite a few options. I'm actually working up to training a cycle with the 14kg, but I don't feel ready yet. Using the 12kg for traditional 8/8 (15/15) is a workout for sure, but it doesn't really push me in anyway.....Beyond Max....

I'm only including a short video, as it's not really instructional. It simply shows how I combine pacing my intervals along with Mark so we both get the workouts we need. In this Beyond Max workout we did a total of 40 sets (15/15). I did the first ten set warming up with 7 reps each side. That left 30 sets. I didn't feel like going faster so I stayed with the 7 rep per 15 pace and instead of switching hands, or resting every other interval, I continued on with 7 more snatch reps on the same side, working two intervals and resting one. I repeated this ten times to total my 40 sets for the workout.

Beyond Max 2:1 (no hand switch)

7/7 x 10 sets
14/14 x 10 sets

280 snatch reps, 20 minutes

I may repeat a version of this workout on Saturday with either 8's (16/16), or maybe a 3:1 work/rest ratio with no hand switch. (21/21 or 24/24 per 45 sec work/15 sec rest)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy 24th Anniversary to the Strongest Man I Know

Today Mark and I have been married 24 years. About 3 years ago I started sending Mark a daily morning "love note" (via email). Today my love note said, "....24 years is a beautiful start to forever". I will forever be his and he will forever be mine.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Typical Saturday....Rep Count

This morning I started to journal all three of the workouts I lead my Saturday classes through, and I thought it might be fun to add up all of the reps I did in the 2 hours and 45 minutes worth of training. Because I have a very deliberate way of designing workouts based on progressions, groups and patterns of rep counts and timed intervals, it's easy for me to remember and record exact routines. This including how long a set, rotation, or entire workout lasted, in addition to rep counts.

When I train I watch the second hand on a wall clock for pacing, and to time the length of a work/rest set (that's why you see me looking up all the time). I use a Gymboss to count the number of work/rest set intervals. Fun fact: When we taped "Mastering the Hardstyle Swing" I did not have a wall clock, or use a Gymboss....that's why the first workout goes past the 25-30 min time frame I originally designed!

Yesterday I actually had a lighter load, although I did have a private after my three classes, I did not have an additional "Learn to Swing" group (45 min). Knowing this in advance I decided to push the workouts a bit with a double swing routine using a method I created last year and I've done a few times's hard! I did take video but it doesn't provide enough direction, so I'm going to tape and intro to the method and post it soon. I did the workout twice, the first time with Meg and two 12kg's, the second time around I used two 8kg' was the last 30 minutes of an already long morning (after snatch testing). Near the end of the first dbl workout the name of the routine became obvious to me.....I'm going to call it "Sour Puss"! Once you try it, you'll know why!

Here are my rep counts for all three classes:

280 swings w/12kg
120 snatches w/12kg

82 16kg snatches
85 14kg snatches
102 12kg snatches
280 double swings w/ two 12kg's
240 single swings w/12kg

420 swings w/12kg
260 snatches w/12kg
280 double swings w/two 8kg's
240 single swings w/8kg

1740 swings
649 snatches

I don't usually add up a total rep count much less post my numbers. My training is not about how much I can do compared to anyone else, and neither should your training. I've been training high volume for years and I love it! Time flies by as I get into the rhythm and momentum of my workouts as my focus is not how much I can do, but to share my kind of fun with my students. Nothing makes me feel more capable to do anything than the strength and power I get from my translates into so many other parts of my life....maybe every part of my life!

PS I publicly introduced my double kettlebell method in Seattle this past'll be coming soon to everyone! Picture above is of my double swing "Sour Puss!" lol

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Testing Day....again! 16kg, 14kg, 12kg snatches...3 minute sets

What I love about my Saturday training is that, along with my training partner Meg, I get to do what ever I want to do without limits, and with little explanation! Meg has been my training partner for over 3 years and I'm lucky that she is familiar with how I program my workouts, therefore she just lets me tell her what to do!

Inspired by a facebook post by Joe Sarti, a couple of weeks ago, where he posted the results of a quick 3 minute 16kg snatch test (100 reps), I myself decided to join in on the fun....with the 12kg of course. To be honest I didn't think that 100 reps in 3 min w/16kg for a man of his strength was all that impressive.....I stand corrected! As I tested the 3 minutes, "all out", myself with the 12kg and experiencing for myself how fast that bell has to move....I was humbled! 100 snatch reps in 3 minutes is lightening fast! (as you will see in the last video)

Every 6-8 weeks, or so, I do the RKC snatch test, which is for me means using the 16kg. The requirements are 100 snatch reps in 5 minutes. I've been able to shave down the completion time to just about over 4 minutes time. I know a lot of women capable of much better, but this is not a competition with other women, this is about maintaining my own training strength and endurance as I approach my 50's.....

Today I started my own workout with three 3 minute snatch tests, "all out" other words "for reps". We used the 16kg for the first one, the 14kg for the second and the 12kg for the third. All sets had an equal amount of time to rest....3 minute rest period. In 15 minutes I completed 82/ 16kg snatches, 85 /14kg snatches and 102 /12kg snatches. Here are the videos of all three.

I did not find much difference between the 16kg and the be honest it was disappointing. But that being said, there seems to be, for me, a world of difference between the 12kg and 14kg, but not that much between the 14kg and the 16kg! In the first video with the 16kg I miscalculated my remaining time and by the time I got the the last 6 or 7 reps, having realized my mistake, I'm confident I could have paced another 2-3 reps total. As I switched to the 14kg, I have to admit, I was blown away at how NOT easier it was! My pace was barely faster....but the 12kg! Now you know how fast that bell has to move....without cutting the snatch short I don't see how you could do it much faster that maybe 105 reps in 3 minutes. If you can? Then post your video! (16kg for a male)

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday weekend....and don't buy too much. Be grateful for what we all have already! Life is great!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Snatch Workout Beg/Intermed

Since Tuesday, and all through the weekend, I will be doing a variation of the workout I am posting today. This Snatch workout is what I would consider an "entry level" high volume snatch workout. How I define that is, it is designed for someone that has not trained a Max Vo2 cycle, or is not used to snatching for more than 1 minute, OR is not used to more than 100 snatch reps in a workout.

That being said, each rotation in this workout is equal to 80 reps and starts out with all "equal work to rest" ratio and increases, only slightly, in the last two rotations. If you are used to training high volume snatch workouts, or have trained Max Vo2 through at least one cycle, you can still make this challenging by using a heavier bell or decreasing the rest periods to 15 seconds, OR stringing together sets to make it more advanced. (which I will post next week)

The first rotation is 8 sets of 30 sec/30 sec (work to rest). It should take 8 minutes to complete. The video shows all work sets with all rest periods. If you find this rotation #1 to be challenging then repeat it, exactly, two more times, before moving to rotation #2 & #3 variations for your next workout. The first two rotations are designed in an "uphill" progression of difficulty.

Rotation #1 (video)

set #1 1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 6
set #2 1 sn, 1 tr x 8
set #3 5 R/5 L
set #4 10 R
set #5 10 L
set #6 6 R/6 L
set # 7 12 R
set #8 12 L

8 min 80 snatches

rotation #2

set #1 1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 6
set #2 1 sn, 1 tr x 8
set #3 5 R/5 L
set #4 & #5 10 R/10 L (1 min/30 sec)
set #6 6 R/6 L
set #7 & set #8 12 L/12R (1 min/30 sec)

7 min 80 snatches

This last rotation is a "downhill" progressive ladder.

rotation #3

set #8 12 R
set #7 12 L
set #6 6 R/6 L
set #5 & #4 10 R/10 L (1 min/30 sec)
set #3 5 R/5 L
set # 2 1 sn, 1 tr x 8
set #1 1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr, x 6

7.5 min 80 snatches

Total workout 22.5 min. 240 snatches.

To increase the workout time, and reps, repeat any of the three rotations and design your own workout! Each additional rotation will increase the workout by 7-8 minutes and add 80 more snatch reps!

I want to thank my training partners, Deepika and Bruce for showing up this Thanksgiving morning in my cold garage gym! We started out with a swing workout of 640 reps in 25 minutes and followed up with the rotations #1 and #3.

I finished my workout with 500 16kg swings in 25 min and some light dbl cl/pr and clubbells.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cut the Fat, Live "Lean"

Wow! When I made an innocent little post on facebook this morning I had no idea of the feedback, the great feedback, I would get! The post was a simple question of whether or not I should keep a mortar and pestle that I've owned for over 10 years but never used.

Of course I bought it with the intention of using it, but I've long gotten over having to toast and grind my own spices, or make my own "authentic" pesto or salsa, etc. I've opted for the convenience of the spice grinder or food processor....two pieces of equipment I use regularly....unlike the mortar and pestle. To my surprise the votes to keep it were so enthusiastic that it got me thinking....

Here I am wondering about this mortar and pestle that I've never used (so far) and it's taking up some small but valuable real estate in my mental space now that I'm starting to look at things, at owning too many things, in a different light. In the past month, or so, I've gone through every room and closet in my house for the first, the biggest, and in my opinion the easiest edit. Now for the small stuff.... It seems however the mortar and pestle will survive...this time.

This reminded me of how it's not the mortar and pestle that is creating the problem of too much stuff. I have many other things that add to the problem and to blame this one little item (s) as the culprit is like blaming too many carrot sticks for the reason you are overweight! If you look at how much extra food is making or keeping you overweight, then you have to look at all of it!

If you have that extra 5 lb (or less) it may be that daily pumpkin spice latte, or that bowl of cereal you eat late every night. But if you've got some weight to lose (30, 40, 50lbs +) then it's the pumpkin latte and walnut scone, it's the lg burrito or sandwich for lunch, it's the handfuls(s) of M & M's from a co workers desk, it's the late dinner of "drive through" and the ice cream in front of the TV. It's not the extra carrot sticks, or the white versus whole wheat bread or tortilla, the whole cream or half and half in your coffee, the low fat shredded cheddar versus the full fat cheddar on your burrito, the cob salad versus the Mediterranean salad, etc..
.. It's more than likely not that "one" thing. It's an accumulation of "things"...lots of things!

So, here I am and I'd like to decide which items to keep in my home that will help me create the kind of life that is filled with things that add value, or fill a need, whether that's a practical need or an emotional things I feel are beautiful to look at, or things that bring happy memories. I want to cut the "fat" and live in a lean home and have a lean life. And to me the feeling of living lean provides me with space and choice to take off in so many different directions as I chose.

Imagine that same feeling with your body. A "lean" body. I'm not talking about being "skinny" or deprived. I'm talking about eating those foods that add value, fill a need AND make you happy. There are so many food choices and I trust that everybody can find foods and meals that are conducive to a "lean" lifestyle that fill these requirements. It's all that other "stuff"...that mindless, useless crap (food) that we collect (eat) that we don't need and half the time don't really want.

The mortar and pestle just may be my 2 pieces of caramel candy everyday that bring me some joy with my coffee, and I can rest assured that I can cut the fat of "give away samples" at Costco and Whole Foods. I can "cut" out the bagels a well intending coworker brought as well as the food my kids left on their plates that just seems too good to simply "throw away"!

Pick and chose. Not everything has to go. Keep the stuff (food) that aligns with the vision of your life, the vision of your body, the way you want your body to look and perform. If you are an all or nothing person then knock yourself out, but sometimes just making some "trade-offs" will give you the relief you need to help reinforce the lifestyle you truly want. Free, light, lean, healthy, fit, agile, ready for anything life throws your way. Don't weigh yourself down, and you can interpret that any way you want to.

picture above; I've decided that it is not my mortar and pestle holding me back from a clean, useful, organized kitchen. I am "trading" this crap I rummaged from a kitchen drawer and cabinet that somehow made the last "cut"...but not this one! A electric tea kettle that has seen better days....two of the four squeeze bottles I never use (Fawn uses hers all the time....that's why I'm keeping "officially" professional, lol!), one of two candy thermometers (?) a couple of wine bottle openers (leaving two), and some knives that we've owned since we got married but never use (24 year anniversary in one more week! Yay!), and really....who uses corn cob forks "thingies" anymore?

Hungarian Hundred Snatch Workout

Saturday I had to train on my own from 8:00-9:00 between my Intermed 7:15, and my Adv 9:00 classes. I had thought I would do a heavier snatch workout instead of a super fast and lighter "Beyond Max" routine that I would normally train.

I started out repeating the end of the previous classes workout. I teach my Int. class with a 12kg, a weight that is borderline too light for my own training, but since I have over three hours to teach on a typical Sat. the 12kg gets pretty challenging around 9:30am! (I never pick up a heavier bell after 10:00am) Anyway, I thought I should try the workout I give my students, using the 16kg, which is heavy for me, to get an idea of the workload I'm asking my less experienced students to follow.

I've posted these swing/snatch combinations many times before as the first three are standard warm up work sets. As we "train" the combinations the rest periods decrease and the work periods increase. But basic warm up is always 30/30 (work to rest)

1 swing, 1 snatch, 1 transfer x 6 (3 R, 3 L) 30/30 x 2
1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 12 (6 R, 6 L) 1 min/1 min x 1

1 snatch 1 transfer x 8 (4 R, 4 L) 30/30 x 2
1 sn, 1 tr x 16 (8 R, 8L) 1 min/1 min x 1

5 snatch R, 5 snatch L x 1, 30/30 x 2 (paced at a slower 5 snatch reps per 15 sec)
10 sn R, 10 sn L x 1 (1 min/1 min same slow pace)
5 sn R, 5 sn L x 2, 1 min/1 min

(this is where my workout to follow changes)

1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 12 + 1 sn, 1 tr x 16, 2 min/1 min

10 sn R, 10 sn L + 5 snatch R, 5 snatch L 2 min/1 min

10 sn R, 10 sn L + 5 snatch R, 5 snatch L + 1 sn, 1 tr x 16 + 1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 12, 4 min.

So there is the complete workout I did in the last half of my 7:15am class (w/12kg), swings and snatches, I think it takes around 20 min.

In my own workout I repeated the first 10 min. with the 16kg and then went on to use my "Hungarian Hundred" snatch combinations to finish.

Hungarian Hundred

5/5 snatches x 2, 1 min/1 min (20 reps)
10/10 x 1, 1 min/1 min (20 reps)
1-5 sn ladder 1.5 min/1 min (30 reps) (video shows this set)
5-1 sn ld, 1.5 min/1 min (30 reps)

I repeated this 3 times. Each rotation of 4 work sets = 9 min, 100 snatch reps! This workout is also a exercise in pacing. If you watch the video I keep the same pace as the 5/5 and 10/10 rep sets. Easier to snatch slower with a heavy bell but if you use a lighter bell you have to be conscious of the slower pace.

In the past when using the 12kg for this "HH" snatch workout my rest periods are only 30 seconds long. With the 16kg I took a longer rest periods of 1 min. I wasn't trying to rush or snatch as many reps as possible. It's been a long time since I snatched the 16kg for an entire workout so I didn't want to push it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The "Fun" factor

A few days ago I wrote about passion. Having passion, bringing passion, doing things you are passionate about....but what about plain ole fun? Sometimes when we think about the things we feel passionately for we get so darn serious! I don't think passion is about being serious...seriously! (lol) I know I can get the two things mixed up sometimes.

You can have fun with things you feel passionate about and you can have a ton of fun regardless of any passion! Fun is the feeling of lightness! In a time when we are all so busy and stressed out, feeling as if we "have" to find our passion, our purpose, can get, well, tiring and stressful!

What if our only "purpose" was to have fun? I'm not implying that we quit our jobs to frolic in the sun. At a certain point, with no money, no food or a place to live, frolicking wouldn't be any kind of fun at all!

One of the reasons I love leading my KB Swing classes is because they are so darn fun! They are freakin fun as hell in my opinion! I'm never bored or disappointed with any of my kettlebell workouts, ever. But my yoga practice....good Lord. All of a sudden things get serious (argh!) Bikram's yoga is hard....there I said it..."hard". Even though I know better.....

I know better than to set myself up to make my training harder by simply thinking it's hard. Sure it can be challenging, but it can be awesomely rewarding too. Too often I put pressure on myself have a great practice. One where my balance and strength is prefect, my stamina is good, and I sweat enough. And if I screw up one or more of these things then it affects how I feel in a negative way. If I look at the challenge as fun maybe it will turn into one that's more rewarding!

My practice currently consists of three days of double, back to back, practices (sometimes I train on Sundays, that would be my 7th practice). That equals 3 hours of yoga, in one day, not including travel to and from and wait time in between classes. Three hours is more time than most people spend in an entire week exercising! I have "good" days but mostly lately I've been having "bad" days....what am I thinking?

I can tell you what I'm NOT thinking! I'm not thinking that life is supposed to be fun! Whoops...forgot that one....

So, this morning I admit I was having a hard time during my first class....and then it hit me! I forgot to have fun with it! Good-ness! Wow, once I remembered to lighten up Iwas actually looking forward to the second class. First thing I did was I stopped judging myself and my practice! My focus was to have fun with my practice and I stopped thinking about all the things I could be doing (instead of yoga), and I stopped making the lists in my head of what I needed to get done that day.

So what if I couldn't hold standing bow for one minute! So what if I fell out of head to knee posture on my left side....again (I didn't btw). So what, so what, so what. None of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was that I was lucky enough to be able to spend my time in my body, in the heat, in my cute yoga clothes, with fresh water and a clean much fun is that?

What are some things you tend to look at in a negative way that if you applied the "fun" factor would change how you feel?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Speed Kills

Have you ever noticed on a day that you are NOT in a hurry how many other people around you are in a hurry?

I try never to rush....after I leave my house and my car! What I mean by that is I'm always trying to get "one more thing done" before heading out the door...which makes me late most often...something that I've had insight about recently (and feel that I can now change). Then I get into my car...late, of course....and rush to where it is I need to be. But once I get where I'm going....

Once I get where I'm going I'm fine, in fact I'm more than fine. I regularly let other people in front of me at check stands. I regularly wait patiently to be waited on, and when a service person apologizes for making me wait I always reply, "no problem, I'm not in a hurry!" Really! I'm not in a hurry! Lucky me!

I don't have kids to chauffeur around to school, appointments or events. I don't have a job I need to make a living from so I have no boss. What reason could I ever have to rush? Rushing is stressful!

In the past week I've focused a little more attention on "living in the moment" and how even this applies to how fast I eat. I'm kind of a "speedy eater", I admit. Often I find myself eating another spoonful, forkful, of food before I'm done with the one already in my mouth. It's also rare that I sit at the table with the only intention of eating. I often eat in the kitchen, standing, or at my computer. Personally after reflecting on these eating habits these past two weeks I don't find anything wrong with the latter but I do find room for improvement on the former....eating quickly.

I eat quickly because I'm hungry! Or I think I'm hungry....but really....I have to ask myself, am I going to "pass out" from hunger? No, of course not. I think we are so used to eating on schedule or of being in a hurry that it can feel hard to slow things down. Part of this whole "minimalism" movement I'm going in the direction of is making me more aware of how I spend my time. All we have is time, right?

I've made a deal with myself. No matter what I'm eating, where I'm eating it, or how much I'm eating, I will make a more conscious effort to acknowledge and enjoy my foods. How nice is that?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bring the Passion, live Passionately

This morning I posted on facebook the question of what is it that you might do today that you feel passionate about. We all have things that we have strong positive feelings for and when we get a chance to spend time doing them, or talking about them, then it seems as if time disappears.....

Sure we all have our daily "to-do" lists (either in our minds, or actually on paper), and some of the things we "have" to do we look forward to doing because we enjoy them. Cooking and food prep is one of the things that I "have" to do, but I'm passionate about doing it. Training is also one of the things that I "have" to do, but again I feel fairly passionate about too. Today I got a chance to do both!

Since I've had this theme about "passion" in my head all morning, as I was returning from my yoga practice this afternoon, I realized that topping the list of what I'm passionate about is teaching. I never thought of myself as a teacher, but looking back over my life it's when I'm sharing my knowledge that I feel most alive and valuable. That's why I am also passionate about writing.....crazy, considering that I have a 10th grade education that I love to teach and write!

Passion: an intense emotion, compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.

It seems unlikely that any one of us can spend a whole day, much less every day, doing only things we are passionate about. But what if we bring the passion? Bring passion, or enthusiasm to everyday events. The simpliest of things like how we answer the question "How are you?" Do we really need to tell the truth if we are feeling crappy, or can we change the truth by choosing a more enthusiastic reply? "I'm doing well! How are you?"

You might be wondering what all this has to do with diet, weight loss, and kettlebell training but I believe the better, more positive, and more hopeful you feel, the more likely you are to want to do better for yourself, your life, and the ones you love around you. I believe it's all connected.

If you are finding it too hard to focus on diet or regular exercise then focus on one of the things you are passionate about. Visualize yourself doing whatever it is that "lights you fire". Now visualize yourself healthy, strong and fit doing that same thing that you feel passionate about. How does that feel different?

How would it feel to be healthy strong and fit while feeling passionate about something as simple as being a good mother, or grandmother. How about being healthy and fit and wanting, passionately to be a good husband and provide for your family. Anything.....a teacher, a cook, a writer, a trainer, an athlete, an artist, a boss, a hard worker....a school bus driver! Realizing your true potential to live your passion, or bring some passion, is so much easier when you feel strong and confident. Strength and confidence comes with health and fitness. If you don't believe me then try it!

I'm so lucky to have the choice of bringing passion to everything I do because I can cross health and fitness off of my "to do"list. I'm free. Being healthy and fit intensifies your ability to live your passion or intensifies living more passionately, it's a "win-win"!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The difference between "maintenance" and "permanent"

Recently I've become less tolerant of this idea that I'm "maintaining" my weight loss. So much so that my blog description exchanges this idea of "maintenance" to one of "permanence". I will never be fat again. I will never be that unhealthy again. I will never be unfit again...I just will never be those things, ever again.....period. If that is not permanent then I don't know what is!

I am not the same person I once was. And let me point out something....there was nothing "wrong" with me before. I needed what I needed, when I needed it.....but now I need something else....I've moved on. Part of my evolution is deciding what it is that I need, and want now.

I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky because I know I'm lucky! Lucky is fun!

What I need and want now is "space". Space to expand my potential. My original blog had, I think, three title changes, the first I can't remember at this moment! The second was "Rediscovering Strength" and the 3rd, "Living My Physical Potential". It was the best I could come up with at each transition to describe what I was feeling at the time.

This blog has gone through it's own changes, the last just recently updated about 1-2 months ago, and who knows how many changes will take place in the future. The point is that things change whether you want them to or not. Life moves. You can chose to be a victim of what life deals out to you, or you can chose to be the dealer....

I'm in charge now! I'm in charge of not making excuses, and I'm in charge of only expecting the best of myself.....and it doesn't feel "hard". It feels exhilarating! As I clear the physical space around me I expand my physical possibilities, and this is how everything I do in my life relates to being my best.

Think of "thriving", instead of "surviving". We did not come here (in our physical bodies) to "survive". We came here to thrive. I'm not maintaining being my best, and I'm not surviving being my "worst". I am permanently hooked on being and feeling my best, and I know the difference! This doesn't mean that I never "react" to old habits, it just means that I recognize them for what they are.....old habits!

I am a different person than I was 10 years ago, and 10 years before that, and 10 years before that.... I am not "maintaining" the old me, I'm living the "new improved" me! Permanently!

Pictures above....could this be the same woman? Left side picture, Oct 2011 taken with my BFF Fawn Friday in St Paul MN. Right side picture, Easter 2004, over 250lbs, at a family reunion, Moorpark Ca.

Clutter Snob

I joke a bit that I'm a "wanna be" snob! I joke because to me a "snob" is defined by someone with quite discerning taste, and I'd like to think I have discerning taste! But true snobs have discerning taste and judge others by their own standards. I first used this term when I was bordering on being a food snob, almost becoming consumed by "organic", "local", "seasonal", "grass fed", and exclusively homemade foods and meals. I've since lightened up enormously when I started to see how unattractive that "snob" quality was in others. Of course I still have certain beliefs about some of those things and I can become passionate about them when involved in conversation, but passionate is not the same as judging others for their food decisions. This blog post is about being another kind of snob. A "clutter snob" within your own home, within your own four walls.

As I read through a few books on living minimally the first step is getting rid of the things you own that you don't truly need. Deciding what it is that you truly need is also part of it....there's lots of parts. I feel that getting to the point of recognizing what you need may benefit by bringing out your "clutter snob".

I'm about halfway through my first round of throw aways and give aways, but now I have a slightly different view of things. Easily half of the stuff I was having a hard time letting go of all of a sudden just may not deserve a place in my home much less in my life. If it doesn't make me happy by being practical enough or beautiful enough to earn being part of my more valuable personal and private space then it has to go. It's my party and I'll invite who I want to come! The first step is guarding the door! I'm not letting anything in that I don't want in my home!

As I continue to edit, anything that wants to stay is going to have to have a good reason! I have quite discerning taste!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brussels Sprouts.....three ways

Ever since I've been making my favorite shredded brussels sprouts salad with apple and maple lemon dressing, I've found a few different ways to use the parts I normally used to throw away. Normally I would wash my sprouts and pull off the loose leaves, and throw those out. Then after the dried I shredded them for my salad and was left with the "core"...a little tough even when shredded so I threw those out too!

One day as I was about to throw away the loose leaves I pulled off I realized that they were perfectly good, nothing was wrong with them, why was I throwing them out? Not only were they perfectly good but they were the greenest part of the sprouts! I ended up using them by making some basic chunky veg soup with Italian sausage in a big stock pot (yep, NO PC!) and about 5 minutes before it was done (it only takes 15-20 min.) I added the brussels leaves to cook for only a short time. I wanted them to stay bright green, not get mushy and grey! I love it! The Italian sausage (only 2 links) along with my own chicken stock was surprisingly rich and flavorful.

Italian Sausage soup with Brussels leaves

2 links pork Italian sausage (remove from casing)
1 lg onion lg dice
2-3 celery stalks, lg dice
1 carrot, med dice
1 small head of cabbage, cut into 1/2 in ribbons (core removed)
1 small bunch of thyme

6-8 cups chicken stock (this I made in the PC!)

loose leaves for washed brussels sprouts

Heat 1 tbl olive oil in the bottom of an 8 qt stock pot and brown Italian sausage breaking into small pieces. Add another 1 tbl olive oil and saute onion and celery for 5 minutes until translucent. Deglaze bottom of pot with about 1 c. chicken stock before pouring the entire add the rest! Add shredded cabbage and thyme bundle. Bring to a boil with the lid on. Once at a boil turn the heat down to low and only slightly cover. Simmer for 15 min until the veggies are soft (almost). Add the loose leaves from the brussls sprouts and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

At this time check to see if the leaves are tender (take a bite!). If they are then turn off the heat and remove the do not want them to heat up and cook anymore or you run the risk of them turning mushy and grey. If they are not tender yet then check them every couple of shouldn't take long. Lift out the bundle of thyme and shake off the's done!

The first time I served this to myself I added 3/4 cooked farro (I love, love, love farro!) If I were going to add beans to this soup I would have done it in the PC (white beans more than likely). Once the beans and veggies were done I would add the leaves to cook in the residual heat.

Now....the cores!
I knew Iwould have to be blasted in the PC! I decided to cook them along with my steel cut oats (in chicken stock) and eat them with feta cheese and black pepper. I posted the recipe for the oats, cheese and pepper a while ago and this time the only difference was that I added the brussels cores. I also used frozen stock! Another advantage of using a PC!

I freeze homemade stocks in increments of 1 c., 2 c., 4 c. containers. I didn't plan this ahead of time so I had to took a 1 c container of frozen chicken stock and added 1 more cup of water. I make my stock super rich to conserve freezer space and often have to dilute it with water.

Savory Steel Cut Oats with Brussels Sprouts, feta and black pepper

1/2 c steel cut oats
2 c. stock, water or combination of both
1 dz sm brussels sprouts (or just the cores)
1 oz feta cheese crumbled
a few fresh grinds of black pepper

Put 1/2 c. oats, 2 c liquid, 1/2 t. salt and brussels into PC. Lock lid and bring pressure to high (about 3-4 min). Turn heat to low while maintaining high pressure, and cook for 7 minutes. turn off heat and let pressure come down naturally (about 3-5 min). Stir in feta and top with a fine grind of black pepper.

So there you go....

Fresh crisp salad, flavorful and filling soup and a nifty way to use even the cores! talk about getting your money's worth!

Now....what to do with the tons of Fuyu persimmons? Today I julienned them with a Honeycrisp apple and squeezed lemon juice all over it. The plan was to make a salad of spinach, pumpkin seeds, persimmon and apple with a roasted pumpkin seed oil dressing (from Hungary)....but the fruits and lemon tasted so good on their own! The other idea was a mint and yogurt dressing....both would have the addition of some of my roasted chicken meat of course!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

700 Swings in under 28 minutes, using TRif's "Progressive Rest Ladder"

Need a quick swing workout in under 30 minutes....I did! Here's a sample of what I did after my Swing class this morning, minus the warm-up (I used my class as a warm-up, lol). I used the 16kg, 14kg & 12kg.

warm up is always "equal work to rest"

10 2 hd sw (15/15)
20 tr (30/30)
30 2 hd sw (45/45)
10 R/10 L 1 hd sw x 2 (1.0/1.0)

100 swings 5 min.

each rotation = 200 swings, 6.5 min not including the rest period between rotations.

16kg, first rotation (video above, taped in Aug.)

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

1 min rest.

14kg, 2nd rotation

40 tr, 15 sec rest
40 tr, 30 sec rest
40 tr, 45 sec rest
40 tr, 1 min rest
40 tr

1 min rest

12kg, 3rd rotation

10 R/10 L 1 hd sw x 2, 15 sec rest
10 R/10 L 1 hd swx 2 30 sec rest
10 R/10 L 1 hd sw x 2, 45 sec rest
10 R/10 L 1 hd sw x 2 1 min rest
10 R/10 L 1 hd swx 2

done! 700 swings, 27.5 min.

Since I did 25 minutes of Beyond Max yesterday (to be posted tomorrow) I did not need to snatch today...yay! So after my swing class I needed an extra 20-30 minutes of swings, and I don't mind doing the "boring' stuff" by myself. When I train by myself I don't have to explain anything, I just swing!

I decided to start out heavy, with the 16kg and work down. This way I got my heart rate up straight away, and then progressively let it come down as I ended my workout. This was because I had already swung for 40-50 minutes in class. If this were going to be my only swing workout I would do it in reverse! Working my way up from the 12kg to 14kg and then the 16kg....and then if I needed or wanted more I would repeat the first two rotations, laddering down again to make it a 900 swing, in a 42.5 minute workout! (If these instructions are not clear and you would like to try it then just ask and I'll post the exact workout).


PS this video was posted in August after I came home from Hungary. It was the first time I had done this "progressive rest ladder". Now I use it quite often, sometimes changing the swing combinations as written here in this post. It's an easy way to knock out 200 swings per rotation!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Motivational by example.

I've been noticing quite a few...hundred (lol...kidding).....motivational quotes posted on facebook everyday. One after another, and another, and another.... Am I not a nice person if I get irritated by motivational quotes? It's not that I'm irritated by the quote, but by the lack of follow through.... Here's what I mean.

When I read something that moves me, motivates me, or inspires me, it's because it usually relates to something I'm intimately going through. Or may not be anything serious, but it touches a nerve and reminds me of my own capabilities or power to create my own destiny. In other words most times I find motivational quotes as reminders not to play victim.

The reason why I find myself becoming irritated by the barrage of motivational quotes on facebook is that I want to know how the person posting that particular quote was affected by it themselves! How did that quote change their day? How did that quote change their mind? How could or did they apply that quote to their lives? Just one tiny example would make me a happy girl! If you care enough to share the quote, then can you care enough to share how or what it means to you?

Call me crazy but, if you follow through and share a bit of yourself, then instead of a bunch of "like" clicks you might actually get some kind of conversations going...isn't that part of what facebook is about?

I'm not trying to hate on anybody or anything, I recognize and appreciate the intent. So as not to single anyone out by picking any one quote from a facebook post I googled "motivational quotes" and the first thing I clicked on with was this quote by Marrianne's kind of long but I decided to go with it anyway because it's how I feel practically everyday, and she reminded me!

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were all meant to shine, as children do.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Since going through this crazy de-clutter I'm realizing that almost all of the habits I have that I want to change are "fear based". At face value "fear" is usually connected with the fear of "not". Not being good enough, or not having enough in some way. But Marianne reminds us that it's the fear of what we know to be inside of all us. In this culture, in these times, it's not "PC" to "toot our own horns" so to speak. But our own unique individual greatness does not take away from anyone else, instead it can motivate and inspire others to realize their individual greatness!

I've always known I was special from the time I was a little girl, and I believe that most people have had the same feeling, at least deep inside of their hearts. But my feelings of being special does not take away anyone else feeling special because I believe we are all special from the day we are born into these bodies (and way before!)

Deepak Chopra writes about all of us having one unique thing, one unique talent that is ours alone......something we do better than anyone else, and to embrace it, follow it, nurture it, celebrate it, grow it. What's inside of you? Let it shine, living by example is the most inspirational thing you can give me a few examples!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Shadow of Truth

Mark described to me the other day a cartoon he saw on facebook. It was of a man and a woman standing in front of a mirror. The man was large and out of shape, the woman thin and well built, but the image they saw of themselves in the mirror was the exact opposite. The man saw himself as built and studly, the woman frumpy and fat. Typical?

This phenomenon can be described as "body dysmorphia" and I do think it's more common among women, and in my experience it's more common among thin women! (by thin I mean most women that do not appear, to the average person, as being overweight) Get a bunch of women together and they start to hack themselves apart playing the "one-upmanship" game.

"Oh I wish I could lose this 5 lbs!"

"5 pounds, heck I wish that's all I had to lose!"

"It's not the 5 lbs for me, I could live with the extra 5 lbs, it's this chunk of fat on the side of my thighs!"

"Where? I didn't see a chunk of fat, at least you don't have a muffin top"

"You know what I hate about my body? I hate my freckles."

"I wish I had freckles instead of big nose."

"You don't have a big nose, I have a big nose! I always wanted to have plastic surgery!"

"OMG, I'd love to have plastic surgery and get my fat just sucked out!"

"I can't even look at myself in the mirror anymore...."

Sound familiar? You may not have heard it among you and your friends, but maybe you hear it in your own head. I know I'm guilty of some of these feelings, or feelings like these. But I do not share them with anyone because I don't think there's any point to it. There's no point to it because there's no truth to it. When I look in the mirror and start to pick myself apart I always follow a negative thought with a positive thought...always! This is part of how I re train how I think, how I re train my negetive thoughts into positive thoughts.

In fact when I do find myself around woman that start those kind of conversations I'm quick to point out the positive and I never agree with anyone that starts speaking negatively about themselves. I may even use myself as an example of how I can change how I feel by, #1 indentifying that I've just made a negative statement, and #2 focusing on a positive aspect of that statement. Here's me talking to myself;

"I need to lose 5 lbs."

"Are you kidding? You look great!" OR

"look at the strong legs!" OR

"Look at all of your muscle, do you want to lose some of that? Nope!" OR

"5lbs isn't going go away this instant, so use this 5lbs to be stronger in you training, or in your practice. You've got it, now use it!" OR, again...

"Wow, you know you do look great!"

I'm not saying that I'm perfect, and sometimes I can't bear to go on about how I look, so I follow up a negative statement about my appearance with other things in my life that I'm grateful for that have nothing to do with how I look. For instance: (me talking to myself again)

"I need to lose 5 lbs!"

"Are you crazy? You're complaining about 5lbs when you have so much in your life to be grateful for?"

"Let's start with how lucky you are that you don't have to work for a living. You don't have to want for anything. You love your training and your practice...and you are good at both! You've come such a long way and it was so much fun looking back on it because you are a different person now, a person you really like! You've got great things happening in your got a freakin' book that will be in Barnes and Noble for God's sake! 5lbs? really? 5lbs is nothing and besides you already know how to change that."

My focus is on finding relief. I sometimes refer to it as "pulling my head out of my backside"! The more I practice the faster I accomplish getting back to what I know is the truth inside of me, the truth inside of all of us. Some days it's easier and faster to make happen than other times, but you should always end with a positive thought.....always end with a positive thought.

The photo above was taken on a day that I was not feeling good about my body. Mark and I were training together at Girya and the mirrors were to the right side of me. That morining I couldn't seem to pull my head out of my backside fast enough so I turned my body to face the back wall. It was then I saw my shadow. The shadow of a strong and shapely woman snatching a kettlebell. Shapely in a way that looked pretty good to me! I started to really like my shadow! I could see the nice shape of my waist, my thick bicep muscles and my thick legs. My shadow rocked! My shadow was me, so what was the big fuss about?

And that's when I started to relax and feel better about myself. Some days if relief comes in the form of a shadow, recognize it and run with it! Get away from the mirror, get away from people that agree with negativity, and look for those better feeling thoughts. Let a shadow of truth lead you towards what you feel in your heart. You are OK, you are better than OK, in fact you rock!

Friday, November 4, 2011

What's the Rush?

I have a tendency to want everything NOW! I think it's called instant gratification! When I wanted to lose weight I wanted it! When I decided to get rid of all of my stuff I wanted it all gone yesterday. I was feeling suffocated and blocked from what I felt was another life waiting for me on the other side of all of my clutter. But I've come to realize that my "stuff" is not all bad, it's not bad at all, most of it is just irrelevant to another kind of life I'm ready to live.

Since going through a lot of my stuff, I'm finding some really cool stuff! At first my attitude was "so what, I don't care how cool it is, it's gotta go!" Now I can see that, sure, I have to get rid of a lot of stuff but I don't have to get rid of everything. It's the same thing with food, there's some really cool foods out there, but you don't have to get rid of everything! There's no rush to any kind of finish line but, for me, there had to be a rush to start! We all have to start somewhere. Starting is key, the key to consistency, and consistency is everything.

I dislike the description "journey" or "process", instead I prefer words, descriptions like "exploration", or maybe "creation", but journey is a term commonly used and understood, so I'll use it. I did not want to compare my journey towards minimalism to weightloss, and I'm not. My own experience is proof that one does NOT need to keep a minimalist home or lifestyle to be of healthy bodyweight. But I think at some point the natural progression to permanent weightloss is to start editing out the irrelevant food and eating habits that are keeping us from the life we want to live. Don't we all want a healthy and fit life with a body we treat with respect and love. There is no finish line when it comes to health, but an ongoing process that requires consistency.

Some people need a slow and steady start, while others, like me, need to hit the ground's up to the individual. But don't wait to start! Suit up and show up, the rest of your life is waiting.

Training Thought

Two days ago my cable TV was disconnected, on purpose, and the TV is physically going to be gone from my home within days. I don't have anything against TV, I love TV, but it was time for me to focus inward a bit more and turning off the outside chatter of the TV seemed like the first place to start. I never watched TV in the mornings or during the daytime, I only watched it starting around 7:00pm and used it to, as I would call, "decompress" or "chill" from my day.

The first night I stayed up on my computer searching for more information on minimal living, finally deciding to go to bed at 8:00pm. Toss and turn, toss and turn, I was finding it difficult to quiet my mind and it took, what seemed like, over an hour to fall asleep. I wondered if the feeling was boredom and maybe I should get up and read some more or get back on the computer.

Last night, same time, 8:00pm bedtime. Knowing what happened the night before I wish I had a good reading lamp and book...that would put me to sleep straight away....but I didn't. And to add insult to injury, after having an absolutely fabuloso day, something irritating happened right before I went to bed and I couldn't stop replaying it in my head. As I replayed it other similar things started to creep back in, stuff that happened in the past was adding fuel to the fire....

As I wrote about in my last blog post, part of the meaning behind the title of my blog is "Training....thought". Being aware of old thought patterns and old thinking habits, usually negative or at the very least counterproductive, and creating new more positive thoughts that help you find relief and hope, to move you in the direction of improving your mood and therefore your outlook on your life, allowing you focus on all of the great possibilities and change that await you.

Instead of replaying the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" song I started thinking about all of the positive feelings I had during the day. My early morning kettlebell workout rocked! My yoga practice was "the bomb". Talked with my oldest son Rick about the new condo he's moving into with his family (they are taking the TV by the way!) I took a large box of stuff to charity. I had a super great second cup of coffee at Peet's. I picked up a great audio book that I hope will help me on my new venture into minimalism. I had a great fresh salad for lunch, and for dessert I ate some fudge! A relaxing nap in the afternoon and then good wine at dinner....I wrote a decent blog post....zzzzzzz......zzzzzzzz

So much nicer falling asleep with positive thoughts and appreciation of all of the good things in life....I may not need a book!

Photo above: According to Bikram, half tortoise pose is supposed give you the same feeling of 8 hours of sleep in 30 seconds....I won't get into what I think of that....remember, postive thoughts, positive thoughts....lucky me that I have a great yoga practice, time to practice everyday, great yoga studios to train at and dedicated teachers that show up and lead me through every practice....lucky me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rags A-plenty

How many rags does one person need? By one person I mean one household because it's usually one main person that does the cleaning. As I clean out my closets and kitchen drawers I'm not surprised by the number of rags or empty bags I'm finding. I find it easier to turn something into a cleaning rag than to throw it out and I'm always thinking I will find another use for those empty bags I bring home from shopping trips.

Well, the answer to the question above is easy when you think about it. You can keep as many rags (and bags) as you have designated space for, and that should be about the size of a small drawer. So as I'm folding and putting my kitchen rags away, and the drawer starts to fill up, that answer is becoming more and more obvious. Heck, I can even imagine a day that I only fill half of my drawer with rags!

So this has me thinking about how some of us get in the habit of holding on to excess, and somehow we keep adding to it, "stuffing" it so to speak, like we stuff rags into a kitchen drawer, even when we start to run out of space. I know it could have something to do with feeling secure, but how are rags helping to make me feel more secure.....obviously it's not the rags but what the rags represent. The rags and all of the other stuff represents the fear of not having enough, not getting enough, or running out. It's all the same feeling, the felling, the fear of "lack".

For quite a while now I've been using my awareness of this feeling and fear of "lack" as it relates to my relationship with food. This feeling of lack is what has, in the past, compelled me to take "free food", or take more food than I needed, wanted or could use (eat). The feeling as if were going to be my last chance to get something before it would be gone forever! How many times do you find yourself taking extra food or servings at a work pot luck, party or buffet...and those "free samples"? Lots of times we eat stuff we don't want, or weren't even thinking about because we might not get the chance again, and God forbid it gets thrown away.

Reminding myself I can have whatever I want whenever I want it, when it comes to food is another way to retrain how I think....and it's working! So many times I walk away with no temptation, and even throwing away extra food has become liberating! The feeling of being in charge and having the power is fun! This is my mantra....."I have enough, I have more than enough, and there's enough for everybody....there's enough for everybody...."

I'm not going to run out of kitchen rags, or food, and if I did what's the worst thing that could happen? I'll get more, there's plenty where that stuff comes from!

PS this is not a picture of my rags btw!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beyond Max

Mark and I were the first kettlebell athletes to train Max Vo2 regularly, test it, write about it, and that was way back in July 2007. I, of course, was simply riding coattails of my brilliant husband but the routine, the workout quickly became a favorite. Why? Because someone else was telling me what to do! Oh sure, I was interested in training my body's ability to maximize oxygen uptake, which is the definition of cardio vascular health and strength , at the same time as increasing muscular strength, but having 4-8 weeks of my training mapped out for me was a big relief!

OK, so you've completed 80 sets of 7 or 8 reps using the 15/15 sec protocol, where do you go after Max? Well, you start over, you do it again, maybe with a heavier bell, maybe with more reps....speaking of more reps.... Before I started playing around with taking "traditional Max" beyond 7 or 8 reps per 15 sec I repeated the training many times over in my classes, with my training partners, until it, and we, just became too efficient at it. After all Max Vo2 training is dependent on maintaining your target heartrate....oh and at some point the boredom factor, especially after 60 sets, is not a challenge but an annoyance. Hey, I can do the boring stuff no problem, but I have to be bored and challenged by the workload.

I started to add in some extra reps in a very progressive and deliberate way. I know to some people my training may look "willy nilly", but I always have a vision of where I'm going, creating new and farther destinations as I's about the journey and what you learn, feel and see along the way. Max Vo2 template is just the starting point to lots of fun and challenging workouts, now let's go "beyond Max"!

I will try and post a new routine based on the original every week. Here in my first progression I add an uphill and a downhill rep ladder. Those of you that do not own my DVD "Programming the Kettlebell Swing" may not be familiar with a method I use to train the swing with what I call "work into rest". "Work into rest" is when you lengthen your training time while reducing your rest simultaneously for only short periods. You do not increase the speed, you keep the same pace and simply keep training past the time of your work interval into your rest interval.

I also like to work in "even" blocks of sets, usually blocks of ten sets.....if you know anything about my training "10" is the magic number! Working in blocks of ten gives me something to focus on instead of the work being done or the time it takes. Ten sets of 15/15 equals 5 min. Start with 15-20 minutes (30-40 sets) and work up to 40 min. This could take 4-8 weeks depending on if you train it once or twice a week.

Here I'm posting video to demonstrate how it's done. I also talk about some other options if you need a slightly less intense progression.

Beyond Max #1

8 sn R, 15 sec rest
8 sn L, 15 sec rest
9 sn R, less than 15 sec rest
9 sn L, less than 15 sec rest
10 sn R, even less than 15 sec rest
10 sn L, even less than 15 sec rest
9 sn R, less than 15 sec rest
9 sn L, less than 15 sec rest
8 sn R, 15 sec rest
8 sn L, 15 sec rest

10 sets = 5 min


The reason why I ladder up and then ladder down is, again, to progressively increase the intensity while still leaving room for future workouts...those are coming! Try this one out for a few workouts and let me know how it goes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Crazy is, as Crazy Does"

What does this phrase mean?

The meaning is hard to explain, but it's basically asking the question, "what is crazy really?" Being crazy is relative. Pretty much, crazy is in the eye of the beholder. An action or thought is "crazy" based on the rationale behind it and the perception of it.

On my walk this morning I was thinking about my "movement towards minimalism". I'm visualizing how empty my house is going be as I mentally pack boxes of stuff to give away. I then thought about moving to a new high rise condo! These thoughts reminded me of my sister Christie. My sister has moved residences so many times I've lost count. She wasn't always this way, I mean she has lived in a few places for a good amount of time, so I'm not trying to make her sound crazy or anything.

At one time I had an address book and under her name were numerous phone numbers, one after the other crossed out as she changed living situations. But I didn't give it too much thought, we were young...young kids move around. She eventually settled down...a couple of times, but recently I heard from another sister that she is in yet another new place, and I remember thinking to myself that she must be a little crazy, she moved again? (in Chris's defense my mother told me her last roommate was really weird, and impossible to live with)

Moving is a pain in the ass....if you are like me! If you are like Christie then it's a piece of cake! Christie doesn't own a bunch of crap, in fact I'll bet she gets rid of stuff on a regular basis, or simply never collects it.

When we were growing up she was "the neat one", the organized one, or at least that's how I saw her. Her bed always made, her clothes neatly put away, her homework always done. But it's more than being just "neat". When Chris and I were teenagers our mother gave the both of us our own shopping money for back to school clothes, and it wasn't much...seriously I think back in those days it may have been $40 bucks, if even that. One year Chris spent, what I thought was a huge amount of her allowance on ONE blouse! One blouse! That one blouse costs the same as maybe three blouses or two pairs of pants....I thought that was just crazy! Chris wore the heck out of that blouse! She wore it every week, maybe twice a week, maybe everyday! She loved that blouse. At the time I couldn't understand how she could pick only one item to own over three....ahead of her time?

It never occured to me that my "crazy" sister isn't crazy at all, in fact now I'm jealous. Christie can pick up and move anytime she wants to, who's to say that's a bad thing! Or a crazy thing? I want to crazy like that, and I will. Maybe I should give her a the very least to apologize for being "judgey" all these years....I have seen the light...the crazy light!

Disclaimer: I think the world of my sister Christie, and all of my sisters. I use the word "crazy" as a term of I'm sure she does, when describing me! (love ya Chris!)