Friday, April 24, 2015

Where should I start? How about with a Podcast interview? Then some swings....and presses!

A couple of weeks ago I did a podcast interview with Bill Kociaba of Kociaba Fitness in Florida  I love talking about, what I describe as, my Kettlebell Lifestyle, so much that it's difficult for me to contain my excitement.  Some of you that have talked with me in person will most likely not be surprised listening to my enthusiasm during this interview, but to those of you that haven't I think this is a true example of how I feel about what I do, and how I got here!

In all honesty I have not listened to this edited version of it, but I remember quite clearly how much fun it was and all the subjects we were able to cover in just over an fact I wish it could have gone on longer :)

Last weekend I was in Vancouver BC with a dear friend of mine, Teresa Glidden, who lives in Olympia WA.  Teresa drove up to Seattle to pick me up, and then we drove up to Vancouver to stay with some friends of hers that she knows through her Bernese Mountain Dog group.  Lots and lots of stuff to share including meeting new friends, Christina and Marshall, who so graciously invited us to stay in their home with their three amazingly well behaved big dogs, Bacchus (Shepard and Bernese mix), Brodie (Bernese), and Murray (Labradoodle)....almost inspires me to get a big dog!

We did a ton of walking and hiking and since I am a Kettlebell Instructor I had planned on teaching my new friend, Christina, how to swing, but I hadn't planned on doing any kind of kettlebell workout myself.  I recently decided that I would start to treat my vacations, short or long, focusing on the experience of a new adventure and if I got to do some training too then that would be a bonus, but not a goal.

Since Teresa and I drove she was able to pack some kettlebells in her trunk, an 8kg, 20lb, and 12kg, so I had those weights available to me.  Sunday morning Teresa and I got up and started the morning with an hour long walk in the Commercial Street area of Vancouver.  When we got back (waiting for Christina to come home from her morning run) it was such an amazing day out back on the deck that I just couldn't help myself to a mini workout :)  I decided to do an "all around" routine that included swings, snatches, clean/press and squats.

When I do a workout outside of actual "training", in other words, without a plan that has a target end point in mind, I generally like to work with one minute long sets and a 30 sec rest interval (2 to 1 work to rest ratio).  This ratio lets me work a little bit harder in a short amount of time because these types of workouts are more about putting in practice and movement under the bells, and working up a bit of a sweat, which always feels good :)  One of my methods I like to use is what I started calling my "Swing Sandwiches" lol.  Work sets that start and end with swings while incorporating other "skill combinations" in the middle.  These Vancouver workouts all start with 10 2 hand swings, which take 15 seconds, include a 30 second skill combination, snatch, clean press or squat, and end with another 10 2 hand swings (15 sec) for a total of 1 minute long work sets.  You may choose to rest for a minute, or like me, only take half that time to rest before you go on to the next progression.

I started out my workout with swing and snatch "sandwich" sets, using my snatch progressions in between two hand swings.  I then went on to clean/presses and then ended the workout with squats.  I did them in this order because the ballistic nature of swings/snatches with a lighter bell warmed my body up before moving onto clean and presses, and then near the end of the workout my hips were fully ready for squats.  Oh, and I also decided in this demo to do "push presses" for two reasons, instead of strict presses, because if you are not 100% confident in your ability to strict press then I would rather you use your legs and push press, and I have always felt that push presses more of a ballistic flow to them.  If I were practicing with a heavier bell I would have done my clean/presses first, squats next and snatches last.

In this post I'm only sharing a video demo of the "press" version because I want to repeat the snatch and squat version in my own workout (w/16kg) this Sunday, and I'll tape those sets then!  I taped this demo after my own regular workout yesterday morning, it took approx 10 minutes to complete but I've written it out for you here;

10 2 hd swings x 2 sets (15/15 x 2 = 1 min warm up)

10 2 hd swing + 1 sw R/clean/push press, 1 sw L/clean/push press x 4 total + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 cl/pu pr R switch hands, 1 cl/pu pr L, switch hands, repeat x 6 total + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 3 cl/pu pr R, switch hands, 3 cl/pu pr L + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 4 pu pr R, switch hands, 1 clean, 4 pu pr L + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 10 pu pr R + 10 2 hd sw
10 2 hd sw + 1 clean, 10 pu pr L - 10 2 hd sw

If you are using this as a full workout you can do one of two things;

You can interject these 6 progressive sets before or after a swing workout (15-20 minutes) OR repeat the last two swing/clean/pu pr "sandwich" sets 3x-5x more depending on how long you want the workout to last.

If you use equal work to rest the above workout will take you 14 minutes to complete, but in the video it takes me 9 minutes because I'm only resting 30 seconds. Enjoy, and I'll be back on Sunday with another Swing Sandwich workout incorporating snatches and yes....squats!  Ouch!


Mahda16 said...

I listened to the Podcast. So informative, inspiring, just plain great! You've totally validated my feelings for the KB. At 60 I'm feeling GREAT and I'm so much stronger now than 30 years ago, KUDOS! and Thank you!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you so much for listening, although I'm sure you heard it all before :)

Your experience and mine are becoming more and more common as we share our stories with others to create this community of people that feel strong and positive! I always welcome your comments, and thanks again :)

Gwen Krehbiel said...

Thanks for another great workout. Love how you got in swings and the clean/push press. I really haven't done these before so I'm sure I'll be feeling them in the AM. Great addition! Thanks again. ~Gwen

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Tracy. I also have not reached "rock bottom" but I do not want to die from type 2 diabetes at seventy one like my mom either. I was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Counting calories is kinda a pain but it is necessary. Phone apps make it much easier. I also need to up my veggies.

Peace ~ Bear

Anonymous said...

PS. I guess I should go shopping at Laree's site again. :-)

Tracy Reifkind said...


You are welcome :) More variations coming, I love these workouts and I'll be playing with them a lot over the next few weeks/months.

Technically these should be part of my "no brainer" workouts! Just get em done!

Tracy Reifkind said...


We may not be able to control all of the "whats" we die from, but we might be able to control some of the "whats"! And that was my point.

I'm happy to hear you are not settling for a disease you can do something about. All the best my friend, and yes, up the veggies! (Spinach is an easy one :) )

Anushka Sharma said...

Nice post...I look forward to reading more, and getting a more active part in the talks here, whilst picking up some knowledge as well..

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