Thursday, April 26, 2012

Swing Routine, "Burning the Candle at Both Ends" (BCBE)

Here is an abbreviated version of "Burning the Candle at Both Ends" Swing routine.  I decided to post a shorter version because I wanted to make it more accessible for everybody.  It's a great routine that done once through equals 240 swings in under 12 minutes, plenty of training for sure!

The first rotation uses three "ten rep" swing combinations in an uphill and down hill progressive ladder.  Two hand swings, five one hand swing (R and L, 5/5), and 10 one hand swings (R and L), Three sets up and three sets down.  I chose these three because the less you transfer hands (switch hands) the less confusing it is and the more one hand swing practice you get while training it.  I give another option of using my "1/2 swing ladder" in the second rotation,(and follow the downhill version closely, there's a surprise!) but any 10 rep swing combination will work.  I only suggest to keeping the first/last sets using the 2 hand swing, and the two middle sets 10 R, 10 L, one hand swings.

The reason for the name is because you start with 6 sets of 10 with rest in between.  Each rotation afterwards joins more of the first sets in the beginning, and the last sets at the end until you reach one continuous set of 60 reps.  The "super advanced" version has 10 sets of ten and ends with one set of 100 reps!  I will post that one over the weekend.  It's the same workout I did with Linda Mertens group in Plymouth MN two weeks ago.

1st rotation (all sets are done "equal work to rest)

10 2 hd swing (15/15), 
5/5 one hd sw (15/15)
10 R one hd sw (15/15)
10 L one hd sw (15/15)
5/5 one hand sw (15/15)
10 2 hd sw (15/15)

If you are not yet at the level of equal work to rest intervals, then repeat only this first rotation, taking the rest between sets that you need until your conditioning, skill and strength allow you to move forward.

10 2 hd swing + 5/5 one hd sw (20 reps, 30/30)
10 R one hd sw (15/15)
10 L one hd sw (15/15)
5/5 one hand sw + 10 2 hd sw (20 reps, 30/30)

10 2 hd swing + 5/5 one hd sw + 10 R one hd sw (30 reps, 45/45)
10 L one hd sw + 5/5 one hand sw + 10 2 hd sw (30 reps, 45/45)

10 2 hd swing + 5/5 one hd sw + 10 R one hd sw + 10 L one hd sw + 5/5 one hand sw + 10 2 hd sw (60 reps, 1.5/1.5)

12 min, 240 swings

2nd rotation (every rest period is only 15 sec)

10 2 hd swing (15/15),
51/2 sw ld (15/15)
10 R one hd sw (15/15)
10 L one hd sw (15/15)
2/1 sw ld (15/15)
10 2 hd sw (15/15)

10 2 hd swing + 1/2 sw ld (30/15)
10 R one hd sw (15/15)
10 L one hd sw (15/15)
2/1 sw ld sw + 10 2 hd sw (30/15)

10 2 hd swing + 1/2 sw ld + 10 R one hd sw (45/15)
10 L one hd sw + 2/1 sw ld + 10 2 hd sw (45/15)

10 2 hd swing + 1/2 sw ld + 10 R one hd sw + 10 L one hd sw + 2/1 sw ld + 10 2 hd sw (1 min 30 sec)

9 min, 240 swings

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Podcast Interview with Scott Iardella of Stealth Body

Here you go....  Most of you have never heard me talk for a whole hour so here I am!  Last Friday I spent some time with Scott Iardella of Stealth Body talking about my book "The Swing" (in case you forgot the name of it, lol)  Scott is an RKC Level 2 and has an extensive background in strength and fitness and is a true believer in the magic of kettlebells and a healthy diet.

Speaking of healthy diet.  What was so exciting for me about this interview was that I got a chance to talk more about food and eating and how that relates to the spirit and lifestyle of "The Swing".  And an hour wasn't close to enough time, we could have gone on for another hour...or two!

A huge thank you to Scott for helping me get this message out there and for all the hard work and promotion he is doing surrounding it.  A true fan, not of mine, but of this powerful exercise, the people's exercise, just like me!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Designer Foods

Who doesn't want to eat good quality foods?  But who determines what "quality" means?  In this country the selling of foods is a tricky business.  "Natural" may not mean what you think, same with "organic", "cage free" and many of the other labels food companies put on their products.  But I'm not going to get into all of the details of the marketing and selling of food products.

One of my neighbors who is a professional Chef used the term "designer foods" to describe what markets like Whole Foods sells.  I immediately felt what that term was supposed to mean.  There is a certain something, a feeling perhaps, we get when we buy what we perceive is extra special!

I often let people know that I managed to lose over 120lbs never eating an organic vegetable or grass fed burger.  First of all I wasn't aware of the differences, and once I became aware of what the food industry wanted me to believe were the differences I quickly jumped on the bandwagon.  I spent some time buying into all of the hype, and I do believe that there are products that are, in fact, of better quality.  But at the end of the day the types of foods I eat and prepare myself, no matter if they are organic or not, is what I'm most proud of.

But I "get it", and I myself sometimes feel a little extra special when I shop at those gourmet markets. Yes, you can get unique, sometimes imported or local handmade food products that may in fact be treated with extra care and attention to quality.  But in my opinion there's no reason to judge the rest of the food products (or the people that buy and eat them) as less than necessarily.  A person would have to live by very strict standards that would include, in my opinion growing and killing their own foods before they could judge the choices other people make.  Especially when it's this same crowd that can't even cook their own foods!

I often shop at ethnic markets because the prices are better and I can find interesting and unique produce sometimes.  I often watch the regular customers and what they put in their baskets.  It's not unusual for most of what they purchase to be produce.  I also take notice at how few overweight customers there are compared to the shoppers at "quality" markets like Whole Foods.  (I also find it interesting that I can pay $4 for a 1lb bunch of spinach in Palo Alto Farmes' Market and $1 per bunch in my own Japantown FM.  Both are certified organic markets.)

Yesterday I bought some asparagus at a "Fine Foods" market, $22 dollars worth to be exact at $5.99lb!  Does it taste better?  Or does it make me feel better?

As I end this blog post I want to share a funny story with may or may not be relevant:

When I was 21 years old I had a boyfriend that bought me a Silver Fox fur coat as a Xmas present.  It was the 80's and owning a BMW and a fur were all the rage here in CA (I know a fur in California, pretty funny!).  Anyway, of course I did not own a fancy car much less a BMW, in fact my car was an old bright yellow '76 Toyota Celica handed down to me from my mother.  I never felt quite right arriving at my destination wearing a fur while stepping out of my old beater....(it was actually kind of a cute little car...wish I had it now!)

Moral of the story?  Know that who you are and what you do is special!  Not your fur coat or grass fed burger. The coat you wear must first keep you warm and dry.  And the car you drive must get you where you need to go, just like the foods you eat.  Where you buy your food is secondary to how you feed yourself.  If you feel better in a fur coat and can afford it then knock yourself out!  But what's underneath that coat?  Is it something you are equally proud of?

Friday, April 20, 2012

One Hand Swing Practice Workout

My workouts almost always parallel what my clients/students need to work on as well as what I need from my own personal training.  I decided to post this workout because the cross over of scaleability as it does not exclude any "level".

In the first video I talk about the workout along with a quick warm up, and then I demonstrate the entire first rotation in the second.  I totally screwed up and did 4 extra work sets, so I apologize for not being perfect, lol....a little extra work never hurt anyone! (but I did do it right numerous times through the week!). The thrid video sugggests how to program the workout using only one more variation.  It only demonstrates a couple of work sets, how many you actually do is up to you.  And the last video demonstrates another entire version of how to use this progression with a heavier, much heavier bell, (and as you will see I get out of breath), so you can scale the workout to an advanced level easily.

With the exception of the very first set of 10 2 hand swings and the last set of 10 one hand swings, all work sets start with 2 hands on the bell, and each set is performed R and then L seperately.  When you read 5/5 for instance that means 5 2 hd swings, 5 one hand swings, either left or right.  The entire workout is designed with "equal work to rest" ratio, but if you are not training at that level yet then my suggestion is to complete 2 sets, one R and one L, with the prescribed 15 sec rest and then take the extra rest you need, starting again with two sets/15 sec rest between, extra rest etc.  But always always take the rest you need this is your workout, no one elses.

10 2 hd sw
9/1 x 2 (1 set R, 1 set L)
8/2 x 2 (here is where I keep screwing up!  7/3 R, 8/2 L, and then I repeat the mistake again!)
7/3 x 2
6/4 x 2
5/5 x 2
4/6 x 2
3/7 x 2
2/8 x 2
1/9 x 2
10/10 one hand swings

210 swings 10 min

5 2 hd sw + 5 one hd sw  x 2 x 5 (I suggest 10 sets total 5/5 R, 5/5 L)
100 swings, 5 min

No need to ever use a heavier bell, it depends on whether or not you own additional bells and what kind of workout you need, or challenge you want.  Remember that "training" is not "testing"!

Heaviset bell, last rotation (or maybe this version IS your workout, repeated a few wasn't mine, lol!)

10 2 hd sw
9/1 x 2
8/2 x 2
7/3 x 2
6/4 x 2
5/5 x 2
110 swings 5.5 min


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Learn, Practice, Train and Test...the differences

One question I'm often asked is how many swings should I do?  How many swings one should do depends on where you are in your phase of learning, practicing, and training.....and here I've added "testing" because if you have read or tried some of my advanced workouts before your skill and practice is ready to, then this post will explain when it is appropriate for you to incorporate some more advanced training.

Learn.  Obviously learning the skill of the swing can start before you put your hands on a bell!  Going through the correct positioning, feeling the motion and movement by putting your body in positions similar to the actual swing by using what we in the RKC call "drills".  Mark was teaching at a Cert one year and he asked me what I thought was the most important part to emphasize to candidates that would help them get the most out of the weekend and, of course, pass the Certification.  My answer was to "focus on the drills that teach the skills".  This happened to rhyme also, lol, and it has stuck as part of the way I teach, and a phrase I use often.

Besides the benefit of learning the swing, the drills in themselves can be a workout too!  Getting in and out of the correct position will work up quite a sweat, and these motions are what inspired me to design the first workout in our DVD, "Mastering the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing"....which brings us to the next phase.

Practice. Practice focuses on technique and the parts of the movement without regard to intensity or load. Things like the weight or size of the bell, rep count, interval times are less important.  Although in some cases you may need to go heavier to get correct feedback from the kettlebell.  For instance, if you use a weight you can "lift" with your arms you will not learn to use your hips, and by practicing with a weight you know you cannot "front raise" can help this.

This is the reason why Pavel recommends making large jumps in weight, passing on intermediate increases.  When you make a large jump you must do it using proper technique, otherwise you will not be successful in moving the weight properly, if at all.  Intermediate weights may let you "cheat" some movements by allowing other smaller muscles or muscle groups to compensate.  He often uses the example of being able to do a movement properly with a ridiculously light weight!  When you have become advanced at the skill of the swing movement, your heaviest training bell should look no different from the lightest bell.

Training.  Once you have mastered the techniques it is at this time the loads, volume, and intensity become the focus.  Training is all about progressions.  You don't pass the first two phases before you get to this one.  Training respects the cyclic nature of progressions, it's not a straight line.  You don't continue to go heavier and heavier, longer and longer, faster and faster, etc....if you could them we would all be lifting thousands of pounds and running marathons in a matter of minutes!  When you train a skill, or a sport, you go up, you come down, you go up, you come down.  You play with loads, which are volume, weight, and intensity.  You plan how much work you do in a certain amount of time using progression to meet certain goals.

Different effects are created by using different loading.  Training one effect, whether it's strength, speed, distance, etc is not better or worse, just different.  Unless you are training for a specific sport (obviously) all of these effects benefit our physical conditioning.  This is why I consider myself a kettlebell athlete.  I'm not committed to only absolute strength, I can also play with cardio strength and endurance, both of which makes me stronger overall.

Testing.  What is your best?  What is your maximum weight, distance, effort?  I love it when Mark described that one cannot perform a "max" effort in every workout explaining that that alone proves it is not a "max" effort!  A true "max" effort is one that you can only test a few times a year. If you design and plan a sound training program you actually can't make progress more than every 12 weeks.  And in fact, the best athletes only test a couple of times a year because the more experienced you are the longer time you need to make progress.  People like me (and you) get to test our limits more often because we have so much progress yet to achieve!

This last phase was really the motivation for writing this blog post.

I've been training kettlebells, specifically the ballistics for over 6 years now, it's no wonder I can train thousands of swing and snatch repetitions a week!  That doesn't mean you can or should.  I'm an Instructor and this is what I do.  I try and post routines and workouts that can be scaled for a less experienced KB athlete, but I didn't start my blog as a "teaching" blog, it's original intention was to share what my own training was about.

But here I find myself, and happily, if I must say so, in a position to teach, train, and demonstrate to a larger and wider audience!  As often as I try and remind those of you reading and watching that training kettlebells is the best way customize your own personal workouts, I know some of you may try and "test" too much.  My training is hard work! Hard work that I've earned through years of practicing and purposely design in a progressive way to arrive at these workloads.  I'm not trying to discourage you from trying more advanced workouts, I'm simply reminding you that there is no hurry, there is no finish line.

How many swings do you have to do?  It depends.  What is the effect you want?  If the effect is to improve your strength, level of fitness, muscle tone and strength in you physical appearance on a small level then a small amount of training is necessary, and it is my opinion and belief, based on my experience, and the experience teaching and training others, that the KB swing will get you there faster and safer than any other type of "exercise".  If you want to make bigger and larger improvements then more or different may be necessary.  But do not pass "GO" until you "learn, practice, train"....and then test!

I'm lucky to have a Master Instructor and former competitive athlete at my disposal, and I'm even luckier to have lived with him for the past 25 years watching, hearing, and picking up training information, philosophies and strategies without really knowing it.  You may be lucky and find it easy to design your own progressive training.  But never be afraid or intimidated to ask questions from people that you know have answers, or remember that there are plenty of professionals whose job it is to help you...hire one!  (There are a number of new RKC's from this past weekends St Paul Cert waiting to be called to duty!)

At the end of the day show up and do the work and you body will follow.  But be smart and keep the motivation strong by training for success, your own success, not comparing it to any one else's training or ability.  Changing your physical body, whether it's for performance or just plain 'ole you want to look good naked (or at least feel good naked!) takes consistent commitment to change and change will happen quickly with consistency.  Don't give up, you can do it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Repeat

I love it when I know what the next mornings workout is going to be the night before.  I started both of my weekend swing classes the same and I'm planning on a repeat.  I will probably post it on Thursday as it's perfect to scale for all levels.

It's's a long one..."Burning the Candle at Both Ends".  I designed it months ago but I think I've perfected it now.  Besides I want to share it with those of you that couldn't be there....and speaking of being there.  I just scheduled a swing class/workshop/book signing in Modesto at Full Force Private Training on May 6th.  It's a Sunday and the morning start time still has to be decided.  If you live near or within an hour or so then you have no excuse!  I'll be driving at least the same distance.

Full Force PT

Coming Home to Freedom

I need to start to journal all the inspirational stuff that happens to me on trips.  Each time I am away from home I'm forced to live outside of my comfort zone.  The comfort of routine, the comfort of familiarity, the comfort of freedom of choice!

I really don't know how people that travel a lot do it!  There must be something I'm missing, lol  But for now I'm back home on my computer, at my dining table, eating my leftover quitatta and some yogurt with rice and lime...ah...heading for a nap now....


Monday, April 9, 2012

It Can Happen, it Does Happen, it Did Happen!

One of the things I write about in my book is that weight loss can happen quickly!  One of the myths that keeps getting perpetuated is that you can't lose weight faster than you put it on....really?  Well I think the opposite is true, in fact I know the opposite to be true!

How many times have you heard "Well, you didn't put it on overnight, so you can't expect to take it off overnight!"  You know what?  Screw you!  These are the same people that also tell you once they notice that you are in fact losing weight, "Now, don't lose too much weight.  You don't want to do don't want to get too skinny!"  How dare anyone say that to anybody else....  I say lose all the weight you want, go ahead.

I know how much food, how many extra calories it takes to support an additional 100 lbs of body weight,  I know because I did it.  Once you stop eating like a 250lber you stop being a 250lber!  The "250lber Fairy" didn't come tap you on the head!  The reason why I promote a very low calorie diet is to create momentum.  Losing 5 lbs in a week is practically overnight!  And when we see results quickly it adds fuel to our fire.

It took me years, at the rate of 20lb per year until I my body weight reached over 250lbs, and 11 months to drop 100lbs.  And I wasn't malnourished, in fact I was the healthiest person I knew.  Eating highly nutritious vegetables in abundance, plenty of proteins, fats and carbs, during the week and ice cream and cookies on Saturday (if I wanted), I was hardly starving.

What about the myth that losing weight too fast isn't healthy.

Is being 250lbs healthy?  Starving isn't healthy no matter how much weight you want to lose.  "Starving" yourself is an unhealthy mind set as much as eating yourself to death is, it's the same destruction.  Neither should be an option.

Feed yourself the right amounts of food to support the bodyweight you want to see and feel, and it can happen quickly.  It can happen starting today, right now, you can do it!

PS if you haven't yet liked my fan page on facebook "The Swing" please do...and feel free to comment there too!  I try and post something everyday including the latest events associated with my book!  Thank you

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Ten", an advanced Snatchaholics workout. (and an option to be scaled for a beginning level)

The video I'm including in this post was taken during my Tuesday morning class and that's why you will hear so much talking from other people and trainers in the gym.  Because we started out with this progressively more difficult version of "Ten", it begins with a "warm up".  Personally I don't like to walk into the gym and just start snatching fast and I don't like to lead students that way either, even with swings.

OK, so I mentioned it was "progressively" more difficult.  All of my routines follow a progression that's why I've been called the "Queen of Ladders" also!  In true Tracy fashion this workout starts out slow and easy (relative), although if you are at more of a beginning level video part 1 may be your entire workout, it's a great routine in itself (more advanced people if you don't think it's challenging do it with a heavier bell!)  You will hear me explain throughout both videos options for scaling the workout.  This is because my Tuesday morning class has a mixed level attendance.

The workout uses the same concept of alternating one set of snatches, "paced" within 1 minute and then a 30 sec rest is taken, and one set of snatches done faster only having 1 minute to work and rest.  The first 5 warm up sets will take you to the first work sets of 10/10, same as how the last two "Ten" routines start.  Enjoy!

4 R, 4 L (this set is done slower...paced within a 30 sec work interval with 30 sec rest)
8 R, 8 L, paced, taking and entire 1 min (same pace as the first set, 30 sec rest)
8/8, speed (this will probably take you 30 sec, giving you 30 sec rest)
9 R, 9 L, paced (again still slower than the past 2 workouts)
9/9 speed
10 R, 10 L, paced (here we are at our past starting pace)
10/10, speed
11 R, 11 L (uh oh!  Here we go...this is the advanced part!)
10/10, speed (this set always stays at 10/10...that's why it's included as a version of "Ten", lol)

12 minutes, 158 snatch reps

part 2 video

12 R, 12 L, paced
10/10 speed
13 R, 13 L, paced
10/10 speed
14 R, 14 L, paced
10/10 speed
15 R, 15 L paced
10/10 speed

10 minutes, 188 snatch reps

22 minutes 346 snatch reps

The reason why this is advanced is because, as you'll see, as the "paced" rep counts increase in reps so does the speed turning them into 1 minute long speed sets!

There are a number of ways to use this workout, besides going through both parts once and wrapping it up.  As I mentioned a beginning level KBer can start with the first 9 set and repeat it, and in fact it is a true progression for a beginning level KBer to work up to the first version of "Ten".  Or a more advanced KBer can use a heavier bell, which is something I may do myself!  It's 158 snatch reps and it should take slighty less than 12 minutes to complete, totally respectable! (done twice 316 in only 22 minutes!)

The second video starts with 12 R, 12 L.  You can complete the first video as a warm up and repeat the second half of this workout making it even a more advanced workload, totaling 534 snatch reps in 32 minutes!  I, of course, will keep playing with the variations...more to come, I'm sure!

Friday, April 6, 2012

For Snatchaholics! Another version of "Ten"

I think I'm just going to title all of my high volume snatch routines "For Snatchaholics"

Unlike the last snatch routine post "5/5" that was done with only one pace, this on  has twice as many snatch reps and combines that ten rep per 30 sec pace with a faster pace of about 14-15 reps per 30 is the variation of the workout I did last Sat, only this one, instead of alternating each set one at a time, ladders each set in set of each, and then two sets of each, three sets of each, and four sets of each  Same two sets, one paced at 10 reps per 30 sec, 1 minute work/30 sec rest, and the second set the fastest comfortable pace for you, only you must complete the work and the rest within 1 min.

The workout you see me demonstrating show that my fast paced sets take me 40 seconds allowing 20 sec rest.  Since this video was taped during my class you will hear me instruct variations to make it scaleable.  For instance, in the second faster sets you can chose any rep count from 5/5 - 10/10 and snatch as fast or as slow as you want to or can.  BUT you still only have that full minute to work and to rest.

 These videos only demonstrate, and takes you through rotations are on your own to complete 4!  I only posted them if you wanted to, or needed to work along with me.  Since this workout was the second half of our class we didn't have time to complete 4 sets of each as prescribed, instead we had a few minutes so I threw in a "bonus" of the two sets back to back done once.  So without the last rotation of 4 sets each but with this "bonus" set it equals out to 280 snatch reps in about 16 minutes.

And then I have the super advanced version (the one we did first!)'s a surprise that you won't be able to's hard!  I'll post it over the weekend.


10/10 x 1 set paced (1.5/30 sec work/rest)
10/10 x 1 set speed (on the minute)
10/10 x 2 sets paced
10/10 x 2 sets speed (part 1 ends here)
10/10 x 3 sets paced
10/10 x 3 sets speed
10/10 x 4 sets paced (part 2 does not include these next 8 sets)
10/10 x 4 sets speed

25 minutes 400 snatches


10/10 paced + 10/10 speed (about 1 min 40 sec total time)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"5/5" (five and five) One Hand Swing workout....and "5/5" snatch workout too!

In this workout there is only one, 1 minute work set (40 reps), two, 45 second work sets (30 reps) and three, 30 sec worksets (20 reps).  The rest of the entire workout is only 10 reps at a time, done with one hand 5 R, 5 L ("5/5")  It is written as an "equal work/rest" ratio, but if you need less rest then adjust to fit your level of conditioning and endurance.

5/5 x 4 (work for 15 sec, rest for 15 sec)
5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 10/10), 30/30 work/rest
5/5, 5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 15/15) 45/45 work/rest
5/5, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 20/20) 1 min/1 min work/rest

5/5 x 3 (work for 15 sec, rest for 15 sec) (in the video I lost count and repeated this 4 times....oops!)
5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 10/10), 30/30 work/rest
5/5, 5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 15/15) 45/45 work/rest

5/5 x 2 (work for 15 sec, rest for 15 sec)
5/5, 5/5 x 1 (or 10/10), 30/30 work/rest

5/5 x 1

13 min., 260 swings

I explain throughout the video the two versions for one hand swing rep count options in the longer work sets.  For my own workout I chose to do more one hand swings before a hand switch, but if you have been training for less than a few months I suggest switching R/L every 5th rep count.  I demonstrate my own version, while I "coach" you through the first progression, which is 5 reps at a time.

Repeat the workout for a 25 min, 520 swing routine!

"5/5" Snatch workout

This workout is done with the same concept.  4 sets of 5/5 and then one set of 40, 3 sets, one set of 30, 2 sets, one set of 20, and then one last set of 5/5.  Same as the swing routine I demonstrate the more difficult version while verbally coaching you through the less advanced option.....both are difficult!  40 snatches may be the most you have ever snatched without rest (2 min), so however you chose to do them is in itself an advanced work set!


5/5 x 4 sets (30 sec work/30 sec rest)
5/5 x 4 (40 reps, 2 min continuous set, 1 min rest)
5/5 x 3 sets (30 sec work/30 sec rest)
5/5 x 3 (30 reps, 1.5 min work/1 min rest)
5/5 x 2 sets (30/30)
5/5 x 2 (20 reps, 1 min work/1 min rest)
5/5 x 1 (30/30)

You'll notice that while most of this routine is equal work to rest the longer sets only suggest a 1 min rest. Always take the rest you need!

FYI  The slow pace of 5 snatch rep per 15 second requires a 1 second "hold" at the top of the movement making it in actuality more advanced than 6 rep pace!  With 6 or more reps (faster) because there is no hold it requires less strength endurance....don't believe me?  More workouts to come when you can do your own comparison!  In the mean time, although 5/5 may seem slow, you will be building up the kind of strength (and shape) that you can't when you snatch faster.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Do it to Death! (literally, lol)

You learn by doing, doing, doing and then doing some more! Do something to death and then move on to something else, and do that to death!  I write about "Learn, practice train" in my book, "The Swing" and it applies to more than just kettlebells!  Learn a skill (cooking), practice that skill, and then train it!

There was a a time when I started to cook cuts of meat that I had never purchased before, much less prepared!  There is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with wanting not to serve, much less eat, over cooked, dried out meat, and also not wanting to die from salmonella poisoning!  I never thought I'd ever be able to remember the correct temperatures to cook various meat proteins, and I longed for the day that it would be a no-brainer.....well, that day has come, long ago, and what a relief, as well as giving me confidence and pride for the time, effort and patience (not to mention trust) of making that happen.  Practice makes perfect!

OK, so I'm and my instant-read thermometer! I'm not a professional, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I can't tell by "touching" a piece of meat whether or not it's done!  But I shouldn't have to apologize for not being a professional!  There may come a day, and I don't doubt it will come, that I will have so much practice that a simple nudge with my pointer finger into the side of a steak will indicate to me whether or not my meat is done!  But until then I've got my handy thermometer and I'm good to go!

Here is some information I found online for cooking meat to a correct and safe temperature:

When you overcook meat, the fibrous proteins in it become solid, dense, and dry. You need to find a happy compromise between getting the meat done and keeping it moist and tender.
We strongly suggest you invest in an instant-read thermometer, which will help you know when your meat is fully cooked. Meats will continue to cook after you remove them from the heat — small cuts like pork chops and hamburgers will rise an additional 5° or so while large roasts will rise 10° or so — so you should remove them shortly before they reach the desired temperature.

The US Department of Agriculture says the following temperatures will produce safely cooked, but still flavorful meats:
MeatInternal Temp.Centigrade
Fresh ground beef, veal, lamb, pork160°F71°C
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: medium rare145°F63°C
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: medium160°F71°C
Beef, veal, lamb roasts, steaks, chops: well done170°F77°C
Fresh pork roasts, steaks, chops: medium160°F71°C
Fresh pork roasts, steaks, chops: well done170°F77°C
Ham: cooked before eating160°F71°C
Ham: fully cooked, to reheat140°F60°C
Ground chicken/turkey165° F74°C
Whole chicken/turkey180° F82°C
Poultry breasts, roasts170° F77°C

Additionally, the USDA says the thighs and wings of poultry should be cooked "until the juices run clear." 


To be honest I pull meats 5-10 degrees before they reach the recommended temperatures based on experience.  I do a lot of stuff based on my own personal experience, and information that I've collected from cooks that I trust.

Learning how to feed yourself and you family only

comes with practice.  If you are a beginning cook don't apologize, or let yourself be intimidated by what you may not know yet.  Instead be proud of the time and effort you put into taking charge of your health.  Ask questions from cooks that you trust. And practice!

Or....cook cuts of meat that you can cook to a second death!  lol  Like chicken thighs!

A Book Signing is More than just an "Autograph" (Revised)

This Saturday, April 7th, 1:00pm is my first book signing.  It is an important event for me and for future book signings as it will help establish interest in "The Swing" with other Barnes and Noble bookstores across the country as well as other smaller and local bookstores.  This event is the official launch of my book "The Swing".

This book signing event is about much more than just getting my autograph.  This book signing is about generating excitement as well as exposure not just for this amazing exercise movement, but for the possibilities of transformation.  And no one believes in it more than I do!

This will give me a chance to talk about all aspects this training and to answe any and all questions.  If training kettlebells has changed you, or your life in any way, it's your chance to share too!  If you are an Instructor please come, it's a great opportunity for you to meet potential clients and support your are in the business of teaching kettlebells, right?  And if you can't make it send your clients and students, this book may be just the thing they can share with their family and friends curious or intimidated about kettlebells.

This event will give me a chance to show it the exercise and how it's transformed me. Not just my physical body but how I look at life as a more hopeful and positive person as well as a being and living my life as healthy and fit woman in my 40's.  How it's given me a second chance, in some way helping  me to feel as if I've "righted" all the wrongs in my life!  And how it can help increase everybody chance not just to lose weight but make weightloss permanent, like it has for me!  Let's make the "exception" the "rule"!  

Let's get everybody doing air swings in front of their chairs!  Yeah, let's do it!

Barnes and Noble bookstore, San Jose, Stevens Creek Blvd and San Tomas Expy

Be there or be square!

(Revision)  I'm learning as I go, so I'll share a little bit more information with you all... It costs bookstores to host a book signing event!  They make their money back by....guess? Book sales!  Book stores advertise the event, print promotional materials, create and use space for book signings otherwise utilized by patrons, and purchase maybe up to 10 times more copies of your book in hopes of selling them all, that day, with the authors help!  The author must be able to pull in customers, and get the customers already in the store excited, impressed, or motivated to buy the authors book when they might not have ever known about it!  It's a big deal!

It would be lovely to simply call Barnes and Noble and say, "Hey!  I wrote a book, can you host a party for me?"  

Show up!  Support a book an/or an author you like and/or believe in!  As I mentioned in the first part of this post generating excitement as well as support is the best thing you can do for any author's book signing!

Thank you all!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Seasonal Snob...not!

I know it may seem difficult to not get caught up in all of the "PC" food snobbery that is going around these days, and personally I've been guilty of spreading a little myself over the past few years.  I started buying into all of the labels, "organic", "seasonal", "grass fed", "pasture raised", "vegan", etc....and all of that stuff is fine, but not if it paralyzes you.  I have since been better about dropping the labels of the foods I use.  I don't have to preface the ingredients I use in my foods because anyone knows me knows that I eat "clean"(...oops...sorry!).  Do I have to constantly remind anyone?

I just wanted to remind myself that although I haven't bought a tomato, nor eaten one since Oct, or a strawberry since Sept. (the end of the seasons) there are plenty of non seasonal foods I buy and eat when it sounds tasty or is convenient.  Goodness knows when onion, cabbage and spinach is officially in season but I eat it all year round...isn't it onion and cabbage and spinach season all year? (staples in my diet)  Hey if you like to eat tomatoes and strawberries in winter time, knock yourself out!

Although I am not strict about buying and eating seasonal, I do however take advantage of fruits and veg that are only available when in season!  Fall and Winter fruits like figs and persimmons, or Delicata and Ambercup squashes. I can't get enough of Spring garlic or asparagus when it's finally is here...and what about those Cherimoya's, apricots and cherries in June, July and August?!

At the end of the day I buy what looks good and I have the energy to prepare and cook!  Some of us feel guilty enough about other things in our lives we don't need to be made to feel guilty about our food choices!