Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hanging in there with the workouts ...

although I'm starting to notice I have a little less energy than usual. This could be due to where I am in my monthly cycle, or it could be because I'm eating less, or it could be a combination of the two.

I'm up to doing sets of 40 swings with the 16 kg kettlebell, with a minute of active recovery between sets. I can complete 6 sets in 12 minutes, so that's 240 swings total on the days I do swings. Terrifyingly, I think I am supposed to increase to 50 swings next time.

I usually combine my prescribed ETK workouts with a bit of something else. On Wednesday, for instance, I tried doing some clean & press ladders with the 16 kg. I actually made it through 2 3-rung ladders before I hit the wall on the press. That's significant, because a couple of weeks ago I couldn't press the 16 kg more than once on each side. After I hit my limit on the presses I switched to loaded cleans, sets of 5 on each side, 3 sets total. "Loading" a clean means creating as much tension and compression through your body as possible. Think of a tightly coiled spring--that's the feeling you want. Uncoil the spring and unbelievable energy is released, making the press possible. That's the theory, anyway.

On Thursday I just did my 5 minutes of Turkish get-ups. I also had 90 minutes of ballet to get through as well as a 45 minute cycling class.

On Friday I was feeling pretty wiped out, so took a complete rest day from exercise.

I didn't have a whole lot more energy today but wanted to get on with my kettlebell training anyway. As well as doing my 6 sets of 40 swings I did 5 sets of high pulls, 5 right and 5 left, and three sets of snatches, again 5 right and 5 left. The idea of doing sets of 10 per side boggles my mind, but if I do ladders I think I can work up to it pretty quickly.

My parents are visiting, and my dad wanted to know what Turkish get-ups and snatches are. So I demo'd. My dad immediately saw the usefulness of the get-up and wanted to give it a try, so I coached him through the stages with one of my flip-flops balanced on his knuckles. He did great on his right side but failed almost immediately on his left, which puzzled me until I remembered he has a massive scar on that side from when he had a cancerous kidney removed. The surgery was over 15 years ago but when your core musculature has sustained that kind of trauma you never recover from it fully. So actually it was pretty cool to figure that out, and I will give my dad some core exercises so he can get to work correcting the imbalance as much as possible.

This is why I am so excited that I will be attending the Dragon Door HKC certification workshop next month. I will come away with a much greater understanding of swings, TGUs and goblet squats, and a set of tools for teaching these powerful movements to my clients so they can get rid of their low back pain, their shoulder issues, and their achy knees once and for all. I just hope my own proficiency is adequate to earn me the certification! Oh well ... if it's not at least I will have had a tremendous learning experience and will know what I need to fix so I can do better the next time. And there will be a next time, and a next. My ultimate goal is the CK-FMS certification, which combines kettlebell training with Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screen, so that means becoming an RKC which I hope to do in 2010, ideally before I turn 48 :) Macho-man badass feats of strength and endurance are great fun, but they really are not what I am about. I mean, really, who cares that I can snatch a 12 kg kettlebell 200 times in 10 minutes? It's an accomplishment, but it's a sterile accomplishment. It doesn't do anything for anyone. It's not even particularly entertaining to watch. Nope, what motivates me is the prospect of being better able to help folks in their 60s and 70s get down on the floor so they can play with their grandkids.