Monday, November 11, 2013

Feelin' My Groove Again

I still have more food and travel posts to write, I'm barely back home, less than a week, and my number one priority is getting my training routine back on track.  Does that seem shallow?  That my #1 priority is my training schedule?  Hmmnn...  Well, all I can say is that there is plenty of other things in my life that are priorities, but working out, feeling healthy and fit, takes so little time and it's the easiest to cross off the list and get on to other, equally important things I have to get done.  So maybe it's tied for #1 place with a few other things.

I'm so thankful that swinging a kettlebell has got to be one of the easiest ways of exercising while away from home, dependent on having a bell to swing of course.  But training for sport while traveling half way around the world was much more difficult that I could have predicted.  It was almost torture.  And I'm not being dramatic....okay, maybe a little bit.  Exercise is different than sport.  Training for a sport requires a plan, thought out in advance, to produce a particular result.  That result is a time, a number, a distance, a performance, in preparation for a particular date of a competition.  My sport, kettlebell sport, requires numbers.  Rep counts to be exact.  Rep counts are only improved by consistent and progressive practice, like all sport performance.  There is no other way.

My next competition is not until February, but it's coming up fast and furious it seems.  I did not do as well as I wanted to in August and I'm having to take a few steps backwards in order to move forward.  Going back to lighter bells, more reps is fine with me, I probably should not have tried to move forward so quickly, but I'm old already!  I feel like I only have so much time to move some of those heavier weights.

As I wrote about in my previous training post, during my trip my sport training felt so hard, but as soon as I got home I started to feel better, stronger.  I didn't want to rush it, I still have plenty of time, so I waited until Friday to do my sets.  I had a fast 12kg, 10 min jerk set (20rpm).  I managed to complete 92 R/73 L = 165.  My first feelings are that I should be better than this by now, but it was a PR total for me, and the 10 minutes on my grip with this weight was no where near where it was only 5-6 months ago.  Considering my very first meet in Feb my total was 90 reps (after training for only few weeks prior), to 121 in April, I'd say I've come a long way.  I don't often share my jerk practice videos publicly because, to be honest, I'm embarrassed.  But really I'm caring less and less about what anybody thinks these days, so here it is.

This was supposed to be a 10 minute set at 20 rpm, but I never did get that pace once I switched to my left side.  Since I rely on my video tape to go back and count I started setting my Gymboss next to the camera to beep every 30 seconds, making it easier for me to count my rpm.  My R I was able to maintain 20 rpm until the 4th minute.  It slowed down to 16 rpm for min 4 and 5. My left, not so good.  17, 16, 14, 13, 13. Wow, not even close, but it is what it is, and it was my best that day.

My snatch set turned out a little better.  My coach programmed a 12kg 10 min set at a super fast pace.  20-22 rpm, with a little note of encouragement that reminded me to have fun with it.  He knows the 12kg is light for me at this point, but it was a workout I was supposed to do while away and I only had a 12 or 16kg.  I had done the last 3 workouts w/16kg (and a couple sets w/20kg before I left) so a super fast paced set w/12kg was reasonable.  I was confident I could do 220 total, but 246?  um....I think that's pretty good, even if it was only the 12kg.  This set came just in time to help me start to feel human again, thank God.

I took Sat off from GS, but I did teach a 1 hour class in the morning and practiced yoga at 12noon.  Sunday I had to program myself a little as I was behind in completing last weeks workouts and I hadn't received next weeks yet, so I improvised.  I looked back a couple of weeks for an idea of a jerk set.  I hadn't jerked the 14kg in what seemed like forever so taking a cue from 3 weeks ago I repeated two 4 min sets (15rpm) with a 2 min rest to see if the result would be better.  It was.  The two sets were easier and I completed them both...although my L did tire, but truly I think I'm still afraid of my weakness on that side and I let it scare me.  I'm getting better though, so maybe next time I won't worry about it.

While I was away I had to complete three 16kg snatch sets 60+60 which felt like it crushed me, 35+35 in 3 min, which also was freakin hard, but no so much because it was over in three minutes!  And 50+50 swing/snatch that I misread and only did a straight snatch set of 50+50....omg, I just now realized that! There was no way I could have done the sw/sn set, a total of 100 reps per arm that day!  Anyway, I decided to repeat a 60+60 16kg snatch, and it felt much easiser, in fact I'm kinda feelin' my groove again.  It's good to be back.

photo above was taken after Sunday training with my girls all wearing the t-shirts I brought back from my trip; L to R  Meg, Maribel, Deepika and me :)


Diana said...

I've watched a gazillion videos of the jerk move and I still can't get the rhythm~ you look great!
If only that elderly lady behind you would pick up a bell she'd be able to step up on that block easier!
Question~ do you always use the "corkscrew" decent with the snatch or just for comps?

Tracy Reifkind said...


When I come to stay at your B & B I'll teach you the jerk! You'll get it, as it largely depends on breathing.

Good question about the possibility of GS creeping into HS, or if GS technique creeps into using cast iron bells. I would have to answer that by saying that it depends on what I'm training.

GS flows so it can become natural to start "flowing". The "corkscrew" technique is a must with a bell the size of a beach ball. The added size adds a certain buoyancy and slowness. The smaller, more compact cast iron bells do not require that technique in order to be moved quickly, as in HS or Max style workouts when the emphasis is on power and acceleration (low reps too, usually).

So to answer your question, when I'm training power and acceleration, outside of sport training I'm aware to NOT use the corkscrew. When I'm slowly training long sets, no matter what bell I'm using I tend to implement endurance technique, which the corkscrew is part of.

Did I answer your question?

Diana said...

I "kind of" mess with the corkscrew once in a while only because, you're right those bigger bells; 20kg and 24kg are just frickin big bells!
The handles on them, being big also, tend to put more wear on my hands....just wondering.