Saturday, June 6, 2009

Strength Workout A (upper body) plus kettlebell practice

plus whatever else wanders into my mind as I write this post. I call my blogging style "stream of semi-consciousness."

Which is better, I suppose, than stream of self-consciousness. I wasted too many years of my life being self-conscious. It wasn't until I was well along in my 30s that it finally sunk in that most people are far too preoccupied with their own concerns even to notice what others are doing let alone think harshly of them for doing it. And those who do get off on judging others ... well, let's just say they've got Issues, so really it's not worth worrying what they think. Unless of course they happen to be related to you, but that's a subject for elsewhere.

Anyhoo, here's what yesterday looked like:

Alternating sets: incline BB press, 5x65; bentover BB row, 5x75, 5x80, 5x85, 5x90, 5x95

Superset: flat DB press, 8x40's, 2x10x40's; wide underhand grip recline row, 3x10

Tri-set: DB rear delt T-raise, 3x10x8's; BB curl, 10x30; 2x10x35; pushup, arms on SB, 3x10

I also did more cleans and getups, 5x5 cleans each arm, alternating with 5x1 getups each side, all with 12 kg. I'm feeling a bit more confident about my cleans. My wrist doesn't flop, my upper arm is staying pinned to my torso, and the bell isn't swinging as wide. It's still very much a work in progress, but progress is happening.

I'm going to see if I can get my husband to practice the shoulder-packing drill with me. That's the one where you lie on the floor with one arm extended overhead as if you were about to do a get-up, and your workout partner pulls on your arm to bring you to a sitting position. If your shoulderblade is properly depressed and retracted and your lats are firing, your shoulder should stay in place and you should come up "all in one piece." If that doesn't happen it means you've got some work to do before you'll be able to press heavy loads safely. This is one of those drills that's useful whether you're into kettlebells or not because we all need to be able to stabilize our shoulders so we can lift stuff (laundry baskets, luggage, moving boxes, offspring) safely.

So, that was yesterday. Today was an ETK Rite of Passage day, meaning more clean & press/pullup ladders and swings. Mondays are "light" days in terms of volume, and Wednesdays are "medium" days. Saturdays, therefore, are "heavy" days, but since I'm still in Week One the volume isn't all that horrific. The clean & press/pullup ladders today were still only 3 ladders x 3 rungs, and the timed swing interval was only 4 minutes long. It was an intense 4 minutes, though: 50 swings, rest 10 seconds, repeat until time is up. My usual cadence is about 40 swings per minute, so it took me roughly 75 seconds to complete a set of 50. All told I got in almost 3 complete sets in my 4 minutes. 140 reps total, I think.

I'm also thinking I should start watching my diet a little more, just to make sure that when I go to the RKC instructor certification course I weigh in at less than 123. I'm around 118 at the moment, which in itself is fine but the upward trend together with other hormonal weirdness makes me a little nervous. My other alternative is simply to plan on using a 16 kg kettlebell for the snatch test, but considering that I've never snatched a kettlebell heavier than 14 kg in my life it's a daunting prospect.

Not that daunting, though. I can do it. It's not that long ago that I was only using 8 kg on snatches and not feeling very good about them. Last Monday I did 60 in 5 minutes using a 12 kg kettlebell and easily could have done more if the program had called for it. I'm pretty sure they were all quality reps, too. My lockout at the top looked convincing to me, I felt in control of the bell throughout, and there were no bruises on my forearms afterward.