Monday, April 27, 2015

Vancouver Weekend Workouts

As promised my Vancouver Weekend Workouts!  Teresa and I rolled into Vancouver last Friday after a couple of pit stops, okay, we did a little outlet shopping!  One of the stops we made was at the Pendleton outlet store where while I was in the dressing room trying on a few things, Teresa, having just lost 50lb (!) got into a conversation with one of the sales associates about weightloss....and kettlebells!   Teresa happened to have a couple of copies of The Swing in the car so I was happy to give our new friend, Aubrey, a signed copy.  You just never know who you are going to meet :)

Saturday we got up early and went for a lovely walk to Starbucks, followed by a couple of short hikes with Marshall and Christina's dogs, but they went home before we continued on to the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park.   Next was a little food shopping (omg, Polish deli discovery!) before heading out on a day trip to Point Roberts Marina to spend the day on the water, where Bacchus, a German Shepard mix, joined us!  We drove back to Vancouver around dinner time and relaxed the rest of the evening.  Early up the next day around 7:00am, another morning stroll and cup of coffee at JJ Beans.  The only thing left to do before we left, driving back to Seattle, was teach Christina how to swing!

I hadn't planned on doing any kind of workout myself over the weekend, but since the weather was perfect out back on the deck I threw together what I would describe as an "all around" kettlebell routine using swings to start and end one minute long work sets.  I call these "Swing Sandwiches"!  I post the Swing, Clean/Press Sandwich last week and as promised here are the snatch and squat variation, with a bonus swing progression variation if you are not practicing the other skills yet :)

As I posted last week, I started out with the snatch progressions, then the clean/presses, ending with squat progressions.  I did them in this order because I was using a lighter weight (12kg) than my regular "work" weight. (14kg-16kg).  The swing/snatches helped me warm this old body up for the presses and squats.  If I were doing these as part of my workouts at home I would start with the squats or presses, ending with the snatches.  Yesterday we did the squats first, the snatches next and ended with this bonus workout, that I did not do in Vancouver, of swing sandwiches.  The Swing Sandwich variation came about after I returned home and lead my Tuesday morning class.  I was so inspired with possibilities that I simply applied the sandwich method using my swing progressions.....but I forgot about you have a guess?

(video at top of page)
Training my 30 second squat progressions "sandwiched" in between 15 sec of swings (10 2 hd sw reps).

squat progressions:
1 swing, 1 goblet squat
goblet squat
1 swing R, front squat, switch hands, 1 sw L, fr sq (alternating)
cl/fr sq R, switch, cl/fr sq L, alternate x 6 total
cl/ fr sq R x 3, switch hands, cl/ fr sq L x 3
cl/fr sq R x 6
cl/fr sq L x 6

7 progressions, each set starting and ending with 10 2 hand swings, 1 min work, 30 sec rest.  If you want to practice "equal work to rest" ratio either take a full minute rest between sets, OR do not complete the last 10 swings.

Training my 30 sec snatch progressions "sandwiched" in between 10 2 hd swings!

snatch progressions:
1 sw, 1 snatch, 1 switch (alternate R/L)
1 snatch, 1 switch (alternate R/L)
5 sn R, 5 sn L
10 sn R
10 sn L

5 progressions, 1 minute long sets, starting and ending with 10 2 hand swings, 30 seconds rest between sets.

If you want to train "equal work to rest" simply take 1 min between sets OR omit the last 10 swings in each set (or the first 10!)

Ah...! You may not be snatching, squatting or pressing yet, so here is a simple "swing sandwich" using my swing progressions, laddering down starting with;

10 R/ 10 L
5R/5 L x 2
1/2 sw ld x 2
20 transfer swings, ending with all 
2 hand swings

.....if you've been training with me for a while can you guess which one I forgot?

Each one of these variations is a workout in themselves for sure, which one is your favorite?

Teresa sharing her homemade doggie treats with Brody, Murray and Bacchus!

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!