Monday, December 31, 2007

Bench Press...

I am going to have to face the fact that bench press is simply not my lift and will never be a strong lift for me. Bench pressing hurts my shoulders. Pressing over head is fine... even push-ups are doable. Even with all the excellent coaching Maura gave me, I can only say it hurt less. Yesterday I worked on bench press with Maura. It was a sad day for me...

Bench Press

How pathetic is that, a no lift on 95lbs? I left the gym with a head-ache and very sore shoulders. When I got home I took some ibuprofen and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Here is my plan for next time I bench...
*No yoga before bench press. Certain asana can aggravate my shoulders, I should save my shoulders for bench press on bench press day.
*Ibuprofen as a prophylactic - I will take an anti-inflammatory before there is even a chance for inflammation.
*Z-Health - Mike gave me a Z evaluation on Saturday. I think being vigilante about doing my drills will help.
*Lots of shoulder extension. Back bends and other yoga asana does help my shoulders feel better, just not on bench press day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deadlifting Party

There were five of us pulling deadlifts tonight. Shawn, Aaron and Mike joined Maura and I for deadlifts tonight. It was fun! Shawn gave Maura and I some technical advice and Mike gave us some Z dills to work on. Good stuff! Here is how it went...

~Yet another misload. I am so glad someone else will be loading the bar at the meet. My plan was to pull 245 for my working sets. Mike Nelson notices the misload, but he lets me think I am pulling 245... I follow suggestion easy. LOL. Shawn pointed out a mistake I have made in the past, setting up too close to the bar and having to pull around my knees. My last two pulls felt the best, thanks to Shawn's corrections. So here is my best looking pull. I still have to work on removing the slack in my joints before I start the pull.

After deadlifts, we all goofed around with some kettlebell stuff. Maura and I worked on some swings, single and double. Mike and I are going to be giving a kettlebell/Z-Health workshop on Saturday January 5. Good times!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Squats

Aaron and I were supposed to go to Phoenix for Christmas this year. However, our pup Elsa blew out her knee and needed surgery. Knee surgery for dogs means special treatment and a regimented physical therapy for her to successfully regain the use of her knee. So, we canceled out trip and are spending the holiday home for the first time in our marriage. I was scheduled to squat yesterday, but Aaron and I thought it would be kinda cool to spend some time on Christmas day doing something we both love, training at The Press.

Back Squat
~The squats felt good! I felt I could have done a third... but I stuck to the program. Six weeks ago, this was my old 1RM. Lifting this heavy makes me focus my brain, I still have the tendency to want to "grind" the lift.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Deadlifts Day with Mike and Maura

I am usually a pretty laid back person... however today was a trying day for me and it felt great to pull some deadlifts. I managed to talk Mike T Nelson into come down to The Press to lift with Maura and I. Mike has a good eye and gives great feedback. Plus he is a level 4 Z Health guy. I am really looking forward to getting certified in March. I have to say I am starting to feel a little frustration not knowing how Z works.

Here is how it all went down (or should I say up)...

~Like I said... I wasn't having a five star day. I have no idea why I bothered to pull 225 when my plan was to pull 230 as my working set. Then I misloaded the bar with 245... cripe, what a 'tard. Despite all the goof-ups I managed to feel pretty good about the pulls. Mike gave me some great feed back, thanks Mike.

I believe this is 3 of 7 at 230

5 of 7 at 230

Low Rack Pulls
~Mike had to dig out early... Maura and I goofed around with some low rack pulls. Gary, helped us with the wrist wraps and technique.

This morning Angela and I had our regular Friday morning workout as well.

16kg - 30X2

VO2 Max 15:15 snatch with 12kg
40 sets, 7 reps per set

Angela and I were both pressed for time, so we only did a 25 minute workout... at least we did all 40 sets this time. I was feeling a little low on energy, so I was happy to do half as much as we usually do. I am looking forward to a short break from exercise this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Love Yoga Class

This is what works for me... yoga asana. My shoulders feel so much better! I don't know how this happened... probably purely coincidence, William chose postures that I had wished for! We hung upside down in a pelvic swing. This felt great on my spine after heavy squats from the day before. Then we did backbends in the pelvic swing. My intercostals are changing... they are getting stronger, therefore tighter. Intercostals are difficult to stretch out, especially in a backbend. My ribcage was restricting my lung capacity. Not comfortable. Plus, extending my shoulders bugged me and backbends aggravate the discomfort. Now this is the stupid part... I know backbends are the one thing that makes a big difference in my shoulder pain. Yet, I still avoid them when I am in pain. When will I learn? I know it goes against Z to move into pain... but it is the truth, as painful as it is, backbends work for me in several different ways. Any way... my shoulders are finally feeling better.

I will leave you with my favorite quote... from when I first heard this quote, I loved it. Perfect for someone who is not a goal oriented person.

No better love than love with no object, no more satisfying work than work with no purpose. ~Rumi

Monday, December 17, 2007

Squat Day

It was squat day at The Press Gym. I did some swings with my KB class tonight before my workout. Maura and I had the good platform, which was very nice. I left my note book at home, so I had to go by memory on what was next on my workout plan. Now that I am home looking at my book I realize I was supposed to do only 2 sets of 2, instead I did four sets. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
~I had the right shoes and my TRif belt, which was much better than last week. Every set felt easy, every set felt great! I felt like I could have gone for 4 reps at 190.

Set two of four, with Ryan Coffey spotting

Set three of four, with Chris spotting - yet another state record holder - squatting 465 at 148

Heavy Walkouts
~I think I am going to have to get wrist wraps... set 2 really bugged my wrists. Somehow I figured it out on set 3, but I pinched my hand skin.

Bulgarian Split Squats
12/12kg- 5 reps, 4 sets

It is so nice to have a training partner like Maura! She knows the ropes and she is fun to train with. I am bigger than she is and she is more experienced and stronger than I am... so that puts us at about the same weight range, which works out great! I have to say I am absolutely pleased with my training tonight.

Heavy Swings on Sunday

I am planning on participating in a full Powerlifting meet in February. As an experiment, I am trying to use Kettlebell training as my main assistance lifts. I am doing heavy swings to train the explosiveness desired in the deadlift. I worked in with the Friday Brothers after an afternoon of bench pressing with Maura Shuttleworth on Sunday.

24kg - 10,10
32kg - 10 pyramid to 15 and back to 10

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bench Day

I skipped my yoga class with Lisa this morning. My energy is feeling low and my shoulders are bugging me today. I had made a date with Maura to learn how to bench today so I wanted to save up my energy for our training session. Yoga can be very restorative, but it can also be very rigorous, Lisa's Sunday class is a workout.

I am so lucky to have someone like Maura helping me with bench press. She is the bench press specialist after all... Maura's friend Luke showed up and gave me lots of very helpful advice too, which was wonderful.

My right shoulder was really bugging me, so I focused on arching back and positioning myself under the bar where I belong. I also have to learn to press directly up to the ceiling, and not up to where my face is.

My goal is to not bomb the bench press lift at the meet in February. Today was a technique day...

Bench Press

Friday, December 14, 2007

Deadlifts with Maura

I met up with Maura at The Press tonight for a deadlift training session. We both pulled singles for our working sets.

Deadlift Sumo
~I started lifting some at 210 and somewhere along the way I misloaded the bar with 215. Oops. I pulled the last 5 reps with my TRif belt on. Maura tried my TRif belt and really liked it.

Set 7, no belt

Set 10, belt

Deadlift Conventional


Maura is really fun to train with.

Friday's Workout

Ang and I did some stuff with the gym boss for a warm up today...

45 seconds work/30 seconds rest
  1. 2 hand swings - 16kg - 29reps
  2. Snatch R - 12kg - 19reps
  3. Snatch L - 12kg - 20reps
  4. Snatch R - 16kg - 19reps
  5. Snatch L - 16kg - 20reps
  6. 2 hand swings - 16kg - 30reps
  7. Snatch R - 12kg - 20reps
  8. Snatch L - 12kg - 20reps
  9. Snatch R - 16kg - 15reps
  10. Snatch L - 16kg - 15reps
~I really liked this way of training... I am going to do this time/rep scheme again only I will have rep goals along with timed goals. Again my left side seams stronger than the right. Grip gave out on the last sets of snatches, I could feel it all the way up to my triceps.

Push-up+L Row+R Row+Double Clean+D FSQ+D Push Press - 12/12kg X 5reps X 3Sets
~I believe this combo is called the Man Maker. I did leave out the rows on the last set, I guess I am not a man.

Double KB Lunge with Press+Push-Ups - 8/8kg
  1. 8 Lunging steps w/ presses, 8 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps w/presses, 8 Pushups
  2. 8 Lunging steps w/ presses, 8 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps w/presses, 8 Pushups
  3. 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups
  4. 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups
~This was harder that it should have been.

Deadlifts tonight with Maura. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cheryl Anderson

When I first started to become curious about powerlifting I found Cheryl's web page, I was totally blown away with how strong she is. She is a national champion in the 105 class. When I set up my Kettlebell classes at The Press I thrilled to find out Cheryl trains there on occasion!

For the past few weeks Cheryl has been closing in on the end of a Deadlift cycle. Thee weeks ago she pulled 300lbs, last week was 315lbs. Usually I am too busy training my clients to watch Cheryl lift, but today the planets aligned and I had the opportunity to watch her go for 320lbs. Watching Cheryl prepare to lift is an education all of it's own. There is a ritual that involves headphones and a lot of focus. She transforms herself from a sweet and pretty little girl (sorry) into a pitbull. In no way would you want to even think about getting in her way. She marched up on to the platform, growled at the weight, then grabbed the bar so hard I thought she was going to break the barbell in half. This was a serious maximal effort. She hit a sticking point about 3/4 the way up. I yelled and screamed for her to lock it out. She did it. Holy crap! That vision will stick in my head for a long time. Way to go Cheryl!

I've had a chance to chit-chat with Cheryl a little here and there. For the most part we both have work to do when we are at the gym. Cheryl is always very nice and generous with advice. This is a blog about my training, practice and education. Sometimes, watching someone do something she is very good at is as good as having a physical workout.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Squats With Maura

I had a very nice day of back squats. I had a new training partner today. It was Maura Shuttleworth, bench press specialist. She just returned from the National Bench Press Championship. Maura took first place pressing 171lbs. Weighing in at 105, that's pretty impressive! Of course she has pressed more; in the gym- 210lbs and in competition - 200lbs. Plus she has an awesome raw press at 165lbs. How did she get so strong? She was a gymnast! Gymnasts are the some of the strongest people I have known. Here is a picture of Maura at The Press.

Maura offered to train with me in preparation for our up coming meets... I am training for the State meet in February and she is competing in Nationals which is also in February. How lucky am I? I will be training for my meet with a National PL Champion!

Anywhooo this is what we did tonight...

Ryan Coffey is giving me a spot. He has a State Record for Deadlift at 165 for 595. He also worked with me at Gold's Gym.

Back Squat
95 X5
135 X5
155 x3
180 x2x4
~I focused on blasting out of the hole. Unfortunately I didn't have the shoes I like to lift in, I didn't have the TRif belt either. I thought Aaron was going to join us at the gym, so I left my regular gear in our gym bag.

Squats with a Pause
110lbs X 8 reps, 3 Sets
~I learned a new assistance lift today. This evil thing Maura called Squats with a Pause. They are like back squats, only you rest in the hole for a couple seconds, your partner cues you up. The last rep sucks!

After our workout I showed Maura my kettlebells. We did some swings at the end of our workout. We had fun!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Training

Another great training session with Angela! Ang is training for a body building contest and is using KB's as her cardio training. I am training for a PL meet and am using KB's as my assistance training. It will be an interesting experiment for both of us!

30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
  1. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  2. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  3. snatch right - 12kg
  4. snatch left - 12kg
  5. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  6. snatch right - 12kg
  7. snatch left - 12kg
  8. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  9. snatch right - 16kg
  10. snatch left - 16kg
  11. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  12. snatch right - 16kg
  13. snatch left - 16kg
  14. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  15. snatch right - 16kg
  16. snatch left - 16kg
  17. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  18. snatch right - 16kg
  19. snatch left - 16kg
  20. snatch right - 12kg
  21. snatch left - 12kg
~Snatches with the 12kg averaged 13-14, Snatches with the 16kg averaged 12-13 reps. Swings averaged 18-20. Left arm was stronger and averaged 13 snatches, which was a little surprising. Something extra special and very surprising came with this workout... blood blister on each hand! WTF! I didn't feel that coming!

Swing+Clean+Front Squat+Push Press - 16kg; 5L/5R X 5 sets.
~ The movement oscillated left to right for 10 total reps per set, 5 on each side.

Renegade Rows + Pushup - 12/12kg, 10 push-ups, 5 rows per side X 2 sets

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Snow!

Yep, this will be the second measurable snow fall! I wish I was a winter athlete... I used to ski. Aaron and I pretty much had the gym to ourselves. I believe I am on the third week of the squat cycle Mark Reifkind gave me.

Back Squats
95lbs. x 5
170lbs; 2 reps, 6 sets
~Felt nice and easy. I am still working on finding my groove... The 4th and 5th sets were the easiest. I used my TRif belt. It is starting to get broken in. I took it on and off 6 times. As soon as I got the belt off... I had to start to get it back on.

135lbs. X 3
~I haven't done these for a while. Felt nice... did the last single with the TRif belt.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday, 1st Snow

We got our first measurable snow fall yesterday. I like snow, so I am pretty happy to see it all white outside. It's pretty!

After deicing my car... I made my way to Neti-Neti for yoga with Lisa. I love being a student, especially in Lisa's class. You never know what you are going to get at one of Lisa's classes. You just know it will be challenging and fun. What a great way to start Sunday...
An hour and a half of Vinyasa yoga.

Aaron talked my into doing a Kettlebell workout. I wasn't in the mood, but I threw the KB around anyway. I am glad I did. A live in lifting partner is awesome!

24kg - 20, 20, 20

16kg - 12/12, 12/12, 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

Something is better than nothing, right?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday workout with Angela

Another great workout with my friend Angela!

Double Swing/Punisher Ladder
12 Double Swings
1 Punisher
11 DS
2 P's
10 DS
3 P's
9 DS
4 P's
5 P's
7 DS
6 P's
6 DS
7 P's
5 DS
8 P's
4 DS
9 P's
3 DS
10 P's
2 DS
11 P's
1 DS
12 P's
~Took us about 15 minutes to get through it.

Double Cleans
20/20kg - 5
16/16kg - 5
12/12kg - 5
Five sets of 5 cleans each, in a descending ladder.
~Some rest, but not lots.

12kg - 3L/3R
16kg - 2L/2R
20kg - 2L/2R

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Short and Quick

I got a workout in between clients today. I also did some swings with the 12kg - I go you go style. Nothing too exciting...

16kg - 10/10,10/10, 10/10, 10/10

Double Clean and Press
16/16kg - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3, 3/3

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gym Day... at last!

Finally... I got back to the gym! It was a very necessary break. It was Aaron's idea to take a few days off, I couldn't have done it by myself. It is hard to stop a habit. I understand how this squataholic thing happens. LOL!

Back Squat
95lbs X 5
135 X 5
160 7 sets, 3 reps
~Much easier with no DL's.... I practiced finding my groove. Next week I should work on moving faster on the assent.

Bulgarian Split Squat
25/25lbs X 5/5
35/35lbs X 3/3
40/40lbs X 3/3
40/40lbs X 3/3
30/30lbs X 5/5


~The whole workout took about 40 minutes. I tried to keep less than 2 minutes of rest between squat sets. I super set the BSS and P-ups with plenty of rest between sets. Everything felt easy and natural. The pull-ups could have been stronger... Oh well. I just happy to be at the gym.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kinetic Edge

I haven't posted a message lately because I haven't really been training. I have been enjoying some time away from structured exercise. My shoulders have been bugging me a little, and my thoracic has been bugging me as well. I crashed up my motorcycle in 2001... oops! It isn't really a big deal. I'm just a baby and will avoid training when it isn't comfortable.

Here is the fun stuff I have been doing... I have been filling in for Brad Nelson at Kinetic Edge.
The new location for KE is beautiful. I snapped a couple pictures to show off how really nice a space this is. Way nice spot! Ropes, rings, clubbells, heavy bag, etc. His students were awesome, and all very capable and prepared for everything I had to throw at them... and very good sports to train with me!

I have been doing a vanilla yoga practice and swinging a 12kg for demos in class. Otherwise I have been just eating well and resting. I feel great! I will resume training soon. Hopefully tomorrow at The Press for DL's. I am off to a slow start for the PL meet in February.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back off days...

Sunday morning I woke up feeling not rested like I usually do. I am backing off training for a couple days. Hopefully I will be ready to train tomorrow. I am thinking I will only DL or Squat. Probably not both. Restorative yoga asana, rest and food Sunday and today.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday workout with Angela

My friend Angela showed up at The Press to workout with me today! I was thrilled to have someone to workout with. I showed Angela the VO2 max workout today...

Snatch - VO2 max 15:15 style...
16kg 7 reps 30 sets
~16kg was a big challenge, and I knew it would be... but the challenges were unexpected. My left rhomboid was acting up, then on the 2oth set I tore the callous off my right (wtf?) palm! Angela loved the VO2 Max work out!

I showed Ang a TracyStyle workout...
Swings - 20kg; 20reps
Swing/Clean - 16kg; 5/5
Swings - 12kg; 10/10/10/10
Thrusters - 16kg; 5/5
Swings - 16kg; 10/10
Swings/Snatch - 12kg; 5/5/5/5
~I go you go, two times through. Ang loved this one!

Bulgarian Split Squats
12/12kgs - 6/6
16/16kgs - 5/5
16/16kgs - 5/5

Pistols - some

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yoga with William

I love Wednesdays... that is the day I have my yoga class with William. I hope everyone reading this has had a teacher, coach, mentor who has made a life changing impact on your travel through life on plant earth. Every time I am a student in William's class he says or does something that causes me to look at the world a little differently. He has certainly impacted the way I teach.

This is the biggest thing I have gotten out of William's classes is simply the inspiration to work harder. Yoga is fun! Learning new things is fun, finding a better way to do something is inspirational! I like living in my physical body when I am practicing yoga. Gaining a deeper understanding of how the body works in a certain asana is epiphanic. Everything I learn in yoga class is transferable to everything else I do. I could go on and on... I am so lucky to have a teacher that I connect with like William.

We worked backbends again today. After squats and DL's... backbends are a prefect release. Maybe not backbends the same day as squats and DL's, certainly not right after... but the next day is optimal.

I am still working on extending the medial side of my heal as much as the lateral side. Right now this is causing my toes to go off in their own direction. I will have to put more awareness toward the front part of my feet.

Lumbar and sacrum takes a little extra time to warm up to the intense extensions. ASIS should release inward and across toward the pubic bones and sacrum should release out... I might be gripping in my lumbar and sacral region. Shoulders and intercostals always complain at first before releasing.

Backbends everyday! Inversions every night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gym Day


Back Squat

My legs feel like jelly... haven't felt like that for a while.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cold Weather Cookin'

As winter gets closer my cooking has changed to more soups, stews, and roasts. I have been way into split pea soup lately... made with cardamom, ham, kale, some other veggies and topped with lemon, parsley-yogurt cheese.

Tracy Reifkind gave me a yogurt cheese maker. When I was in restaurantland we made yogurt cheese by hanging yogurt in cheese cloth over night. Now that I am a home cook only... I have no room in my fridge to hang cheese cloth... once in a while I would line my strainer with a cloth napkin. That was a pain in the butt... I had no idea someone actually made a convenient sized device that was that that.

Some other fun things I have been making with yogurt cheese...
Creamy blue cheese dressing... yogurt is full of cultures that assist digestion. Strong digestion keeps your immune system strong.

I made my own chipotle-horseradish mayonnaise, I cut it with yogurt cheese for mayo lite!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Workout with the Fridays

This morning was Yoga with Lisa at Neti-Neti. Lisa's classes are always uplifting and challenging. Her classes keep my practice honest and inspired. In the day and age of "westernized" yoga styles, Lisa's classic approach reminds us of some important details of yoga asana... For example, when in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog) posture, in this asana you should lengthen the back of your neck, causing the blood flow to somewhat restricted in the throat, but increased blood flow to the brain. When you transition to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog), the thyroid has a renewed supply of blood... This is an example of a classic detail of yoga asana.

Anywhoo... Heavy swings for me tonight

24kg - 20
20kg - 10/10 (single hand swings)
32kg - 10
~3 sets, done in rotation

40kg - 10, 10, 10
24kg - 10/10, 10/10, 10/10 (single hand swings)
~I concentrated on really blasting each swing.


Friday, November 9, 2007

VO2 Max Workout...

Tracy Reifkind showed me the VO2 max workout when she was here visiting last month. Tracy wasn't here, so I did my workout with the Gym Boss...

VO2 Max 15:15
Snatch; 12kg
8 Reps, 30 Sets

I should have done 40 sets... oh well next time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Fancy New Belt...

I just got a new lifting belt. It was a gift from my Best Bud Tracy Reifkind. This may sound a little compulsive... but now that I have this fabulous belt I have decided to participate in the Minnesota State Open PL meet. It's in February. This will be my first meet. I am planning on lifting raw. I have been lifting for two years and swinging Kettlebells for a little over a year. This is kind of a big deal for me.

I have several things working in my favor. I have practiced yoga for over 10 years world class teachers. I have a brother-in-law who is an accomplished PL'er who will be coaching me. Tracy gave me a special belt (you can see it in the video below), and offered up her husband Mark Reifkind as a coach as well. I also have a husband who is movement talented and very supportive. I've got a lot of help. All I have to do is show up!

Tonight's Workout...


Back Squat
195x1 ~pr
205x1 ~pr video below for your viewing pleasure...

10lbs x 3
15lbs x 2
20lbs x 1
20lbs x 1
BW x 3

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday Workout... Friday Style

Saturday night workout with Shawn and Aaron, they worked out with the Bulldog and 32kg. I don't have anything smaller than a 20kg here at home, so I am forced to go heavy on Saturdays too.

28kg - 10, 10, 10

24kg - 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6
~I felt like I needed a PR... difficult, but doable

Over Head Squat
20kg - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3
~not very much fun... my shoulder has been bugging me for the past couple days. The last set felt the best.

24kg - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1
~not all were perfect... a couple times the extend foot touched the ground on the way up.

5 x 5
~felt nice on my shoulders...

Friday Workout...

After Tracy's visit I have been using her formula for my beginners classes. This means I have been getting some high volume swinging in my training... something that was missing from my regular workouts. I may have thought I was doing some high volume swinging before, but after training with Tracy I think differently. LOL! So, Thursday I had two classes with the "I go you go" method of training.

Warm up

Swings; 20kg - 30, 30

Double Clean and Press Latter

16/16kg - 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,3,

That was my morning workout... latter in the evening I goofed around with the Sots Press and Sots Press Pistols. Despite my pretty good ROM, I have a difficulty totally locking out my elbows in the hole of the squat...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Deadlifts and Squats

Gym day today... I decided I was going to do some back squats for a change. Actually I was inspired by one of the women powerlifters at The Press. Her name is Maura Shuttleworth. She is currently working toward a regional meet coming up in November. Maura competes in the 105lb. class and is Benching 200lbs! Pretty amazing. Today is her squat day, so I thought I would try to squat as well. I didn't do too bad considering I can't remember when I last had a bar on my back!

Deadlift; 185lbs - 5 X 5
~I'm trying to groove my technique. Last week Shawn suggested I work on getting a consistently good pull every time.

Back Squat; 95lbs X 5
105x3, 135X3, 145X3, 155x3, 165x3, 135x5
~Maura watched to make sure my hips got low enough... I was borderline for the heavy squats otherwise good.

Monday's Workout

I haven't done much for snatching with the 16kg for a while. So, today I had about 25 minutes between clients, I decided to see what I could get done...

Snatches 16kg - 15/15, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

Well, that was 165 snatches with plenty of rest between sets. I would have to say I need to bring the 16kg snatch into regular rotation. This was a challenging workout...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday's Workout

I went to Lisa's yoga class this morning. It was a really nice, well rounded practice. Lisa's classes are Vinyasa classes based on the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga. Lisa is a really great teacher, she has a strong practice and is very compassionate. Her teaching style is inspirational and her classes are always fun.

Shawn came over for a KB workout. He and Aaron worked with the Bulldog.

This is what I did...

Warmed up with some swings.
Tried to press the 20kg... yes on the right no on the left.

Double Cleans; 20/20kg - 5X5

TGU; 20kg - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1
24kg - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1
This was the first time I did TGU with 24kg. I guess I am getting stronger.

Saturday Snatch Workout

My workouts are weird from Thursday to Saturdays... those are my class heavy days. I think I am going to have to make a workout schedule. Anywhoo, this is what I did for a workout between classes...

Snatches -
16kg; 15/15
20kg; 10/10
24kg; 5/5

Double Snatches -
12/12kg - 12
12/12kg - 12

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Beginners Class...

I started a KB Beginners Class three weeks ago. Some of my students also train privates with me, for others it is their first time swinging a Kettlebell. One week ago Tracy Reifkind came out here to Minnesota to visit me. Tracy is an awesome Kettlebell instructor... I invited her to co-teach my classes with me. Sounds like work... but for two Kettlebell enthusiasts it is how we have fun!

For those of you who don't know Tracy personally... she has a very dynamic personality. She loves Kettlebells and her enthusiasm shines through into her teaching. I got some great ideas from Tracy's training style. I am going to post today's class workout inspired by Tracy...

KB Beginners Class - Last week they enjoy watching on as Tracy works me over with the Max Vo2 workout...

After Joint Mobility drills and some revision drills (this is a beginners class). We learned high pulls and snatches for the first time today. Everyone totally nailed it!

Here is the workout... we did I Go You Go style...

Two hand Swings - 20

Swing and Clean - 5/5

5 -Two hand Swing - Drop on the top, 5 single hand Left - Switch, 5 single Right - Finish with 5 two hand swings. (Totally a Tracy combo)

Front Squat, Push Press - 3/3

Repeat three times...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New DL Plan...

Tuesday night is our new DL night... which is a perfect night for me. Aaron's brother Shawn came along to give me a little coaching with my DL. I was planning on maxing, just to find out where I am. That didn't happen... I just wasn't grooving the technique. Plus, Shawn's advice was to start using a belt, which I have never used before in my life. I found out my form is really hit and miss. This is actually great news! When my form no longer sucks... I will be pulling much more weight! I will also be learning to use a belt. LOL!

My new plan for DL is to groove the technique... 5x5. I also got some advice from Mark Reifkind for improving my DL. I will use that after I clean up my form. So, for the next six weeks I will try to find my DL groove... then I will cycle up to a max with the advice I got from Rif. I am an impatient person, so all this cycling will be a challenge.

Shawn DLing and Me doing Front Squats at 145 for your viewing pleasure...

Deadlift - Conventional
135 x 5
185 x 3
DL - Sumo
225 x 1
225 x 1
225 x 1
245 x 1
245 x 1
135 x 5

Front Squats
95 x 5
115 x5
135 x 3
145 x 3
145 x 3
135 x 3

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tracy & Me

Tracy and I had an awesome weekend together! Here are a few things we did...

Tracy and I both love food... I brought her down to the Saint Paul Farmers Market, where good food starts.

Aaron coaches Tracy with the Sig Sauer 226 9mm. First time shooting, great shot!

Mike Nelson pushing through the graduation workout! Nice job Mike!
Tracy and I snap some action shots!

Superman... aka Geoff Nuepert.

Aaron and I watching the RKC candidates' graduation workout. Boy, that looks like a tough workout!

I'll take two Beasts please!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My best bud... Tracy Reifkind

Tracy and I are having a great time here in Minnesota. We started our weekend of fun when we crashed the M&G with Aaron as our chauffeur. I didn't go to the Meet and Greet in April when I was taking the RKC. I wanted to see what I was missing out on... minus the anxiety of the snatch test. I saw Geoff Neupert, my Team Leader in April, as well as Mark Toomey, who was an assistant on my team. I also saw Mike Nelson and Brad Ellingson RKC candidates. Of course Pavel, Brett and Andrea were also there.

Friday morning Tracy and I went to The Press Gym and met Tracy V and Stephanie for a Tracy Rif Style workout. Holy crap! I don't think I have ever done so many swings in my life! Seriously... if you have never tried one of Tracy's killer swing/snatch combos, I dare you!

After our KB workout Tracy and I took my dog Elsa for a walk around Como Lake. It was cold and windy, but we were grateful for no rain. The trees are changing color and there is always some wildlife around the lake.
We did a little cooking... then off to the thrif stores for some treasure hunting. Finally back home for some dinner. Tracy is a ton of fun to pal around with! More updates to come!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Backbends after Deadlifts

Backbends in yoga today felt AWESOME. I was very pleased with the ROM, stamina, and over all energy. Shoulders and upper back were open and mobile. I was mentally prepared for resistance because of the DL's yesterday.

We started with Sun Salutations and standing asana for a warm up... then for backbends William directed us to backbend over horse with the emphasis on mid-thoracic. Arms reaching up and over the horse and opening chest and shoulders. Then we did backbends with blocks under our toes up against the wall. After pressing up into backbend we kicked over into chaturanga dandasana.

I am feeling some DOMS in my quads and lateral side of my legs today, probably from the front squats...

Tracy Reifkind is coming tomorrow. I am very excited! It will be fun to hang out with my new best bud and swing bells, yoga, shop, cook, shoot, swing bells, eat, shop, yoga... you get the idea.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday is DL Day!

So, I decided Sunday is not a good day for me to DL. Tuesday is a much better day. This is what I did...

Deadlift Conventional
135lbs - 5 reps, 2 sets
185 - 5 reps, 2 sets
225 - 6 singles
All pulls felt great and went up easy. Aaron's brother Shawn and Shawn's friend Rich both gave me some things to work on when training my DL. Rich's advice is posted on the TSC entry. Shawn advised me to train conventional DL's to strengthen my back. My hips seam to be plenty strong from KB swings. Which reminds me... I am going to start swinging heavier, stronger is always better, right? I took careful notice to pull myself down to the bar, then blast the lift with as little lag time as possible. It made a difference! Thanks Rich. I also worked on not throwing my head back. This was pretty challenging.

Front Squats
145 is a personal best for FSQ's. It was a challenge but doable. The second set was pretty tough.

bw x 5
10lbs x 2
10lbs x 2
10lbs x 2
bw x 5

We had a great time training at The Press! It is a great gym! The equipment is great, the owners are awesome, the members are a cut above. Aaron got a PR on his DL which was totally awesome! I wish we would have had our camera. If you are ever in Minnesota... check out The Press.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday workout Friday Style...

It is looking like this is going to be a regular thing, Shawn (Aaron's brother) coming over to train KB's with us on Saturday nights. This is very cool because Shawn is an excellent PL'er. In fact I am told he is the best DL technician in the state. He was swinging the 32kg tonight... totally blasting it with great technique. Anywhooo... Because I have a huge blister on my left hand, this is what I did...

Swings; 20kg - 15, 15
24kg - 15
28kg - 15

Push Press; 20kg - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5,
24kg - 3/3, 3/3

Pistols; 16kg - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3
SPPS; 8kg - 1/1
Double Sots Press; 8/8kgs - 5/5
12/12kg - 2/2

I haven't posted a workout for the past two days. I do workout a little with my classes... I can't really call it a workout because I am not focused on myself, I am carefully watching my class while offering a visual demonstration. Andrea Du Cane trains this way and I have always really liked it.

We had fun!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Backbends in Yoga class today... backbends are starting to feel better. It is still more challenging than they used to be. Intercostals seam tight. However, everything felt pretty good.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday Doubles Workout

I got in a quick workout today between clients.

Double Swings; 12/12kg - 10, 10, 10
Double Snatch; 12/12kg - 10,10,10
Double OH Press; 12/12kg - 5,5,5

Windmills; 20kg - 3/3
SPPS; 18lbs - 1/1, 1/1

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Deadlift Day

Sunday is our day to train Deadlifts... I'm not so sure this is going to work out for me. Sunday afternoon has been a low energy time for me. I will have to give this some time and see if this is just a fluke two weeks in a row that I feel like going home 10 minutes after I get to the gym...

135 X 5
135 X 5
185 X 3
205 X 3
225 - NL

225 X 1,1,1,1,1

Face Pulls
Back extentions

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Workout with the Friday Brothers

Aaron's brother Shawn came over tonight for a workout. It is fun to train with Shawn because he is a record holding PL'er. He is very observant and body aware. So, Aaron, Shawn took turns with our lifts, this is what I did...

Snatches; 20kg - 10/10 X 5

C + P; 16kg - 5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2

Sots Press; 16kg - 1/1

Double FSQ; 20/20kg - 5 reps

The snatches were really tough... it has been unseasonably warm and humid lately, including today. No matter how much chalk I used... by rep 8 my grip was getting very slippery. Every set was hard.

Clean and Press, did this earlier today with my class. Cleans stimulate my lats, making the press easier than just presses. I did 3 sets of 5 with 16kg with my class, so I took it easy tonight.

The Sots Press and Double Front Squats were just to see if I could do them, and to show-off for my brother-in-law. We had fun!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday Workout

My workout bud Angela showed up at Gold's this morning... so we had a workout.

Swings; 16kg - Another Pyramid... 10 up to 15, back to 10

Clean and Press; 16kg - 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3

Double Clean and FSQ; 16/16kg - 5, 5, 5

It has been a while since Angela and I have trained together... it was fun!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Workout

Some of my classes are still pretty small... so when only one person showed up for class tonight I worked out with her. I know Emelia won't mind if I tell everyone how much stronger she has gotten since she has started training with me. She love KB's, and I am thrilled to be the one who turned her on to it! This is what we did, weights differed, reps were the same...

Swings; 20kg - 20x2

Timed swings on the minute; 24kg - 10,11,12,13... up to 15 back down to 10

Clean and press; 16kg - 3/3, 4/4, 3/3, 4/4

Bulgarian Split Squats; 12/12kg - 6x3

Get up Sit ups and other abs....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


A light workout today - I like TGU's but I don't practice them very often... I did the TGU's OH Squat style, which is my favorite way to go. The Sots Press Pistol Style is tough.

SPPS; 8kg - 1/1,1/1 Rest 1/1,1/1

TGU; 16kg - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3
20kg; 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1
Rest between sets

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Deadlift Day

Aaron wants to do a Gym day once a week, for Deadlifts. Sunday is looking like it is going to be the day. I guess that will be alright.

I have my Vinyasa Yoga class with Lisa at Neti-Neti at 10am on Sundays. Lisa is a certified Ashtanga instructor. She did most of her training with David Swensen, who I am told is an awesome teacher. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a series of specific postures done in a series... known as the Primary Series and The Secondary Series (i think). I have never learned the traditional Ashtanga series. When I practice yoga on my own it is usually in a Vinyasa style. When I say "Vinyasa style" I mean a "flowing" style.

What I am trying to say is Lisa's class can be pretty demanding. We did a bunch of backbends, and hip opening asana. Just what I needed... When I got home I ate a bunch of food, rested a little and then Aaron and I hit the gym.

This is what I did...

Conventional Deadlifts -
135 X 5
185 X 5
205 X 3
205 X 3
215 X 2

Sumo Deadlifts -
215 X 3
215 X 3
215 X 3

Deadlifts today were tough, but doable. My energy was low, the weather is rainy, and it is Sunday... aka lazy day for Fawn Friday.

Front Squats -
95 X5
115 X 5
135 X 5
115 X 5
115 X 5

95lbs was pretty easy and I was able to drop ATG, 135 was killer... it was all I could do to get my hips down to the level of my knees. Looking back I wish I would have just warmed up with 95lbs and maybe stuck to sets of 3 at 120lbs and challenge my ROM. Oh well.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sots Press - Pistol Style

I did a lot of demonstrations today, that combined with my workout with Nick yesterday has made my hands pretty sore. I have a low threshold for pain... so, when I got home I wanted to keep my workout short and low reps. I have been working in back bends into my standing asana and Surya Namskara... back bends are coming back. Plus they make my back and shoulders feel better.

I really wanted to try the snatch with the 24kg again. I wanted to make sure my 5/5 yesterday wasn't a fluke.

Snatches; 24kg - 5L/5R X 5

Challenging but doable.

What to do next???

The night I worked out at Brad Nelson's Kinetic Edge, Brad told me about the Sots Press, pistol style. It's a Steve Cotter move. Ever since then I have wanted to put that lift into my rotation. I'm not very good at it yet... here is the before picture. I will post a up date when I get better. I love leg stuff... finally, the glory of short legs!

Sots Press - Pistol Style, right side 12kg... in the funky workout room.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A workout with Nick

I had a training session with the new trainer at Gold's, Nick Jasken. He participated in the TSC with very little KB experience and no real preparation. Nick does have two things working in his favor; 1. He has a lot of heart. He loves being a trainer, he is a natural athlete, he is eager to learn. 2. He is a 21 year old guy.

We worked out together today. This is what we did...

Swings; 20kg - 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest - 10 minutes

Presses; 16kg - 5L/5R x 2

Windmills; 16kg - 3L/3R x 3

Double Clean Double FSQ; 16/16kg - 5 reps, 3 sets

Then Nick wanted to work his DL. That is the glory of working out with a 21 year old guy. Luckily he only wanted to do 3 sets...

135 x 5
185 x 5 x 2

It was a good workout, plus he looks just like my brother. Nick is planning on taking the RKC in April, I told him I would work with him and help him prepare. It was like working out with my little brother. It was fun!

Oh, yeah, one more kinda cool thing... earlier today during a demonstration I snatched the 24kg five times each side.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend Workout

Aaron and I went up to Alexandria to visit his parents at their lake home. We brought our kettlebells and got a workout in.

Sunday Morning Workout

Swings; 20kg - 1 minute work 1 minute rest x 7
OMG swings for a whole minute with the 20kg was really tough! I averaged 37-40 swings per minute, after 7 sets I had to jump in the lake. The plan was 10 sets, but I wimped out.

Sunday Afternoon

I didn't really workout. I did however give my brother-in-law some KB instruction. After that I pressed the 20kg twice... two singles, not two in a row. Only on my right side... left side (teres, infraspinatus, and middle traps) is still spasming off and on. Not much strength, very annoying. I need to get over to Mike's for some Z.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday workout

It was a quick one...

Swings 20kg - 20X2

Snatches 20kg - 10/10X3

Goofed around a little with a few different lifts... pistol with an oh press (Sots press), 12kg; both left and right.
Pressed the 20kg, right side only twice. Left was a no go twice.

Everything felt great, wish I had time for a little more training. I have two classes on Thursday now, so that means a lot more demonstration. Oh, well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Workout at Kinetic Edge

Aaron and I went to Kinetic Edge for a workout from Brad Nelson tonight. It was a really fun workout! Brad split up our circut into 12 stations...

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Renegade Rows
3. Thrusters
4. High Pulls
5. Straight Leg DL's
6. Rest
7. Mountain Climbers
9. Rope Pull-ups
10. High Pulls (other side)
11. Thrusters (other side)
12. Rest

Thirty seconds at each station, 10 seconds to collect your wits and switch stations, four times through! Holy Crap! Now I know why Brad's gf Jordan kicked my ass in the snatch part on the TSC. That is more cardio than I normally do in a whole week. Excellent workout Brad... thanks for handing me my ass on a tray.

I am very honored to be filling in for Brad at Kinetic Edge this coming weekend on Saturday. Hopefully, I will be making more appearances to teach classes in the future!

Class up-date. I am also teaching a Kettlebell class at Neti-Neti yoga studio, which is also a huge honor. Lisa is a fantastic yoga teacher and I am thrilled to have been asked to teach Kettlebells at her place. Kettlebell classes are on Thursdays at 5pm.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Goofed up Rhomboid...

I had a motorcycle accident about 6 years ago. No real bad injuries... but ever since then I have occasional muscle spasms in my rhomboids, upper and middle traps and infraspinatus. When I got up out of bed this morning I felt my rhomboids and infraspinatus wind up in spasm. Very annoying and painful. Damn it all to hell.

I went to yoga in hopes of a release. Lisa always asks for requests... I asked for upper thoracic releasing postures. Yoga was helpful, but I am still in spasm. I worked some Z drills... elbow circle, glides, and cam shafts. Relief, but still bugging me. I have a low tolerance for long term (more than a couple minutes) of pain. Stick presses, nope. Damn it to hell.

Aaron's brother came over for some KB lesson today! Way cool! Aaron's brother is an accomplished powerlifter and I am thrilled to have an opportunity to discuss weight training with such a pro! He has a standing record in North Dakota in the Bench Press.

I did a few presses, swings, cleans and snatches in an attempt to work out the spasm (it's still there) as well as to demonstrate KBs. Well, I think I have successfully persuaded another Friday! He wants his own KB and is asking about classes! Cool! Two down and two to go (mom and dad)!

Well, I am going to cry about my shoulder some more. I am a big cry baby!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mail from Ohio

Something arrived in the mail from Ohio today... it was t-shirts from Doug Nepodal's place, Better Bodies of Medina BBOM! Aaron and I tried the shirts on right away and broke them in with a KB work out. It was "I go you go" style.

Double Swings; 16kgs - 12 reps, 10 sets

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on Backbends and Deadlifts...

Something I have come to understand today at William's... Backbends and Deadlifts are contradictory. If I want to train DL's regularly and still keep active in my backbends, I am going to have to be more vigilant with backbend practice.

What I have noticed in backbend practice today...

*Intercostals are tighter, making it harder to breath

*Lumbar spine less mobile

*Thoracic spine less mobile

*Glutes, Quads and Hams gassed out quickly, seriously... my buns ache.

*Overall much more difficult than I ever remember. Honestly, I don't remember backbends ever being so tough! This used to be a strength for me, so I'm not worried about regaining my backbend losses... just interesting to feel the impact of DLs on back body mobility. LOL!

Focus in today's BB class - Lifting the outer ankle and extending the inner ankle, keeping the weight toward the big toe side of the foot for a more balanced anchor in the foot.`

We drilled extending up into backbends on our toes, anchoring the big toe ball mound, as we extended the heals to the floor, we pressed big toe side of the heal first... facilitating an even ankle extension.

Excellent class like always!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Presses and Pistols

Aaron and I banged out a few grinds today...

Double Cleans, Double Presses - 16kg
The last set of three was the easiest! I haven't trained presses for a while so the whole thing was a BIG challenge.

Pistols - 16kg
Tough but doable.

Good workout.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What I have learned from the TSC

I've had a day to reflect on the TSC, this is what I have learned...

Mistakes I Made -

The biggest mistake I made was trying for the 12th pull-up. I spent as much energy trying for that 12th pull-up as I spent doing 11... That pull-up was the cheatiest, suckiest, saddest pull-up in history. Plus I got headache that lasted the rest of the day from pushing my chin toward the bar.

We didn't bring anything to eat. This event lasted 3 hours, by the time we left Aaron and I were both totally depleted. Depleted to the point where Aaron took the wrong road home and I didn't notice. We brought water and Emergen-C, but not protein shakes or food.

I ate a bunch of "treat" food latter that day. I avoid wheat, processed meat, deep fried and sugar as much as I can. After the TSC I ordered some take-out from my favorite Vietnamese dive, Saigon. Two Saigon Sandwiches and a Combination Salad latter... I wasn't feeling too special. A little treat food is fine, a few times a week... pigging out on treat food all day is no good. Now my face is broken out, and I have a food hangover. I would have been better off just eating a grass-fed, free range steak, a salad and ONE treat thing.

Things that Went Right-

Actually participating... gave me a goal with a date attached.

Vinyasas and Z drills between DL attempts. I feel great! No low back soreness... no butt muscle pain... only my medial tricep is a little tiny bit sore. Triceps are usually sore after DL's for me. Weird.

I made good choices on DL weights... challenging, but not overwhelming.

I ate light that morning and drank plenty of water.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Aaron and I just got home from from the TSC... we had a great time! There were 10 total competitors; seven men and 3 women. A very nice showing for us folks in Minnesota.

This is our group - Top row starting with the blond guy (a new co-worker at Gold's) Nick Jasken, Joe Pavel, Mike Nelson, Brad Ellingson, Laurion Burchall, and Brad Nelson. The shorties on the bottom row - Bruce Wuollena, Aaron Friday, me, Jordan Hansen, and Arlene Kim.

Arlene Kim, Jordan Hansen, and I were the three ladies. Arlene and Jordan are very strong. All of our Deadlifts were over 225lbs, and we all did at least 9 pull-ups. That is amazing... I never see women at Gold's doing anything close to 200lb DLs, and I have only seen three women do pull-ups ever at Gold's...ever!

Arlene and Laurion are from Seattle. Arlene is a graduate student here. I believe she told me they both trained Crossfit in Seattle.

Mike Nelson was there. He is awesome... as a person, trainer and athlete. Very upbeat, offered suggestions, congratulatory to everyone, above all he gives every lift his all. He brought his Texas Power Bar we all used to pull.

Brad and his girlfriend Jordan hosted the event. Kinetic Edge is a way cool studio. Based on Kettlebell training, so lots of KBs, plus fun stuff like a rope to climb and rings to goof around on. I want rings and a rope! There was a peg board for climbing and plyo boxes. Plus, a back door that opens up to a view of trees. I saw wild turkeys there one day.

It was such a good time! Everyone there was outstanding. KB people seam to be a notch above, just such a really great group. There is too much to say for one blog entry! I had such a good time!

So, here are my results...

Deadlift - 255lbs
Pull-ups - 11
Snatches - 115

I am pleased with my results. My Deadlift, Pull-ups and Snatch are all PRs! Previous; DL - 245lbs, PU - 10, and Snatch - 100 (never did a whole 5 minutes). Deadlifts were the biggest surprise... I was given a 4th chance to up my PR to 160; it was a no go. Nothing... not even a centimeter off the floor. Oh well.

This was a good first TSC. My numbers were good, and there is lots of room for improvement. So, I still have something to work toward. My biggest challenge will be to stay focused. When I train on my own I usually spend 15-35 minutes training, at the very most I train for an hour. The TSC lasted 3 hours. My focus was great for the DL... after that I started to gap out and fade. I've said it before, if I could cultivate focus... I could get good at something! lol!

The best part was doing the TSC was doing this with Aaron. He is a real training partner. He is a natural athlete, excellent with movement and very smart about training. He makes all this so much fun! I love you babes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Backbends and Deadlifts...

I just got back from William's yoga class... we did more backbends (it is the summer of backbends). I haven't been to Williams class for three weeks. I haven't done much for backbends since I started training deadlifts. Wow, my ROM for backbends has changed! Much smaller ROM, and boy, do my legs have to work that much harder to stabilize. The whole spine, not just lumbar, protested to this movement that used to be a staple. After the TSC I will have to bringing balance back to my back body. I wonder how regular backbends will influence my DL.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Another Snatch Workout

It's Aaron's birthday today and he wanted to train snatches in preparation for the TSC. We probably should have done a little more training this last weekend... but I absolutely had to paint the bedroom. Just like how I had to vacuum every room in the house before I could sturdy for a test in college. lol! If I could learn how to focus for once, I might, one day, actually get good at something.

Swings - 16kg; 20
Snatches - 16kg; 5/5, rest, 10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10, rest, 10/10, rest, 10/10
100 snatches took me 4 minutes and 25 seconds... I went slowish. The last two sets of 10/10 I went for speed. I need to work faster.
SH Swings - 16kg; 10/10, 10/10
Concentrated on blasting every swing.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

TSC, a week away...

I'm starting to get nervous... I have never participated in a competition. I was never in sports as a kid. Plus, I have been training for this competition for less than a month. YIKES! Good news is my husband Aaron will also be competing along with me as well as my friend and trainer Mike Nelson.

I only started to train with weights two years ago. I started training with KB a year ago when I found Andrea DuCane in October. Otherwise, I have only been practicing yoga for the past 12 years. That isn't competitive.

The TSC will be fun... I will be doing something for the first time. I have a real goal with a real date doing something in front of real people. I will find out if a competition brings out the best in me or if preforming in front of other people is something I need to work on. Plus, I will find out what I can really do.

Training for Today...

Swings - 20kg; 20
Snatches - 20kg; 10/10,10/10,10/10,10/10
Swings - 20kg; 20,20,20,20

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Workout

Again, a couple little workouts to make a complete workout...

This Morning...
Swings - 20kg; 4o rest 40 (I have to get in shape for Tracy's visit)
Single Hand Swings - 20kg; pyramid 5/5 - 10/10 - 5/5
OH Presses - 16kg; 5/5, 5/5, 12kg; 5/5

Met up with Aaron at The Press for DL's - I goofed around with both sumo and conventional, grooving the technique...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thrusday Training

I worked on some snatches today, short little workouts...

This morning
Snatches - 16kg; 10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10, rest, 10/10, rest, 10/10
I forgot to time my workout, so I have no clue how long it took me. Closer to 10 minutes than 5 is my guess.

This afternoon
More Snatches - 16kg; 10/10, 10/10, 10/10/10/10/10/10, 10/10
Didn't time it, so I have no clue. I have to start timing my snatch workouts.

I finally press the 20kg, with my right arm only, and only once. Oh well. Did some push presses with the 20kg.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Out of Town...

I am out of town visiting my Grandfather with my Aunt Cait and cousin Leah. We are in Pequot Lakes Minnesota. I brought my KBs in an attempt to get a little training in.

Thursday; I did a little training... I can't remember what

Friday; I did some swings; 1 minute on 30 seconds rest, overhead presses, and something else

Saturday; I worked out with my class - swings, snatches, single leg squats

Sunday; Drove in the car - yuck!

Monday - Swings and Snatches; 12kg - 30 seconds on 30 seconds, 30 minutes

Tuesday - Drive home- I need to do some yoga asana

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More DL's, Another PR

Aaron and I started training Deadlifts last summer. This was the first time I ever really did DL's. By January I was maxed out at 225. Sometimes I would get it, sometimes I would miss it. I had several things working against me...
Long work days (training 8-12 clients daily)
Shit nutrition (back to back clients for 10 hours leave no time to eat food)
Low self confidence (once I miss a lift, I am mentally destroyed)

Now I am training for the TSC. I started pulling DL's again for the first time since January. I have to say I am surprised by my sudden increase in numbers. So, what has changed...
Kettlebells, I train almost everyday (not a lot, not real hard)
Z-Health, something new I have been goofing around with, feels like it makes a difference
Work less (4-8 clients a day)... frankly, I don't like to work very hard, I need lots of time to myself
Nutrition; more veggies, more animal flesh, more consistent with better supplements

Things that have stayed the same...
Yoga 3-4 times a week (really should be 5-6)
Weight same, 123lbs (has been the same for a few years)
Nutrition; it's hit and miss - sometimes I can't get it together enough to plan my food day... I end up eating most of my food in the evening. oops.

Another DL workout with Aaron at the Press

135X5 - C
185X5 - C
205X1 - C
225X1 - S
225X1 - S
245X1- S
245X1- S
225X1 - C

My energy wasn't the greatest... nutrition wasn't the greatest either (wasn't hungry). No matter, everything went up very smoothly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More heavy snatches...

I worked a few pull-ups yesterday. Today was snatch day. It felt like an ab workout.

Snatches - 20kg; 10/10 X 4 (plenty of rest between sets)

The 20kg doesn't feel that heavy any more.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Personal Best Deadlift

It always feels nice to have a new PR... I easily pulled 235lbs at The Press Gym tonight. My last DL PR was 225 in January. After the RKC in April, I haven't done any DLs until I trained with Mike Nelson last Tuesday.

I have decided to pull sumo. I have short legs, and this method feels good. I am still throwing my head back when I lift, something I am trying to train out of myself. Hopefully looking at my mistakes will help me to learn. I am very pleased with how easy this pull went up for me. This video is the third of three 235lb lifts I did tonight.

Training went like this...

Yoga with Lisa at Neti-Neti - 1.75 hours

DL's with Aaron

135 x5 - Conventional
185 x3 - Conventional
205x1 - Conventional
205x1 - Sumo
225x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo

Pull-ups - 5,5,3,3,3

Friday, August 17, 2007

Light day...

I went for light today. I worked out with my class. I used a 12kg for everything. We did...

*30 second snatches and 30 seconds rest; 10 sets
*OH Press; 6X3
*Step back lunges - can't remember

Then I did a little more training with another client who likes it when I train with him. It was my favorite combo, again with the 12kg...

*S+C+FSQ+PP+NP; 2,3,4,2,3,4

Then I did a little more with Aaron when I got home. My other favorite.

*Double Cleans, Double Presses; 16kg - 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,3

My energy was pretty good, but I did fail the second set of 4's the last rep I had to push press... Oh well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heavy Snatches... for me

This is part of my strategy for the TSC... I don't have much time to prepare, so I am also trying to not hurt myself. I took Brett's advice to Aaron and trained heavy (for me) so the 16kg would seam a lighter.

Single arm pyramid swings; 20kg - 5/5 up to 10/10, back to 5/5
This was actually a "demo"workout with one of the big power lifter guys at The Press. He seamed to really like the KB's. Hopefully he will be back for more.

Snatch; 20kg - 10/10, 8/8, 6/6
Surprisingly my right side was weaker... I really have to snap my hips to pop the bell up, especially after fatigue.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I feel great after training with Mike Nelson yesterday... no sore muscles, hands in good shape, great energy. In fact I felt so great I did two set of 9 pull-ups at the gym tonight after work. I worked my Z drills, elbow circles - slooooowly.

Z-Health Deadlift Session

I am lucky enough to have a Z Health practitioner only two miles from the Gold's Gym I work at. I have brought Mike a few clients of mine who experience pain that I can't seam to help.

I finally decided to treat myself to a Z session of my own. Mike offered to do a Z/DL session... perfect timing, I am considering participating in the TSC next month. I haven't pulled since April, before the RKC Certification. My last PR was in January... I pulled 225. I have also been very insecure about my DL form. Having yoga as my main practice has made me very conscientious about form and alignment. My DL has never been painful, but I have always felt like my technique needed refinement.

I have been telling Aaron about Z for months now... he has been reading about it on the blogs, he finally decided to check it out. He joined me in Mike's garage to see for himself what this is all about.

The session started out with Mike observing my DL form... 135x5, 155x5, 185x3, 205x1, 215x1. I hit a sticking point pulling 215 and my hamstrings felt "crunchy". The lift went up fine but I didn't feel like I could even try for 225. Mike checked my Glut Med and Hamstrings, sure enough... they weren't firing properly. I did a few outside toe pulls and lateral ankle tilts. Mike also adjusted my form. I tend to over arch my back and throw my head back. Throwing my head back is going to be something I really have to train out of my lift. I will be practicing GTG to correct that.

I pulled 135, felt much better, but still had crunchy hams. Did some elbow circles (slowly), felt much better. I raised the weight to 185, felt great. Raised the weight again up to 205, easy. I had to try 215... went up much easier than the first. Mike has a video of the before and after lifts at 215.

This training session was at 8pm. This is pretty late for me. I get up at 5am and work all day. When I left Mike's house it was 10pm, I am usually sleeping on the couch by then. Instead I felt better leaving than I did when I showed up! If you are interested in refining your DL, I would recommend seeing a Z health certified trainer... if you live in Minnesota and care anything about form... call Mike Nelson, he guarantees his work, if you don't improve, you don't pay.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tatical Strength Challenge...

I am seriously considering participating in the TSC next month. This is not something I was planning on participating in... but my Z-Health guy, Mike Nelson is trying to talk me into it.

I haven't picked up a bar since March... my personal best DL was 225 in January. I only pulled 225 a couple times, it was really tough for me to finally pick that up. I have no clue where I am at now.

My pull-ups have sucked lately... the best I have ever done is 10, and that was a long time ago. I am going to test my max pull-up latter this week.

My max snatch in 5 minutes... I only tested today for the first time today. I was pleasantly surprised... 90 in 5 minutes. Much better than I hoped for!

This is what I did for my snatch workout; 15/15/10/10/5/5; this took me about 2.5 minutes. I rested for about 45 seconds. Then I finished up with 10/10/5/5. I was sucking for air pretty hard. Still, it was 90 in 5 minutes. Latter today I snatched 20/20, just to see if I could do it... I did, it was pretty tough.

I as seeing Mike Nelson tomorrow for some Z/DL work. I can't wait! I am planning on bringing Aaron with me. If I can pull something respectable I will give the TSC a try... maybe.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Three little workouts...

Aaron wanted to do a morning workout... so, Aaron set the Gym Boss for 1 minute work 1 minute rest. I did Single Hand Swings, it worked out to be exactly 40 swings each set and used a 12kg...

1) 10/10/10/10 X 10

I also worked out with my Thursday class...

2a) Swings; 1 minute work, 30 seconds rest; 16kg - 5 sets.
I couldn't count reps because I had to keep an eye on my students... Grip was challenged on the last set.

2b) Clean and Press; 16kg - 3/3 X3

2c) FSQ+PP; 16kg - 5/5 X3

I got home from work early and Aaron wanted to do another workout... what luck! I was feeling like more Push Presses...

3) C+PP+WM+NP; 20kg - 1/1, 1/1/1/1, 3/3, 3/3
24kg - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

Watered flowers between sets, it was fun!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Front Squats and Snatches

I did a few pull-ups ... I am falling behind on my pull-up quest. Short and sweet...

Front Squat - 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 115x5, 115x5

Snatches - 16kg; 5/5, 5/5, 1/1X10
20kg - 1/1X5, 1/1X5, 5/5, 5/5
16kg - 10/10

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Backbends and Groin Extension....

It was another wonderful class with William today. We started with some stretching drills... big quad, hip flexor and inguinal stretches. I have to confess, I was a little confused when we started with all these stretches... they aren't even real yoga postures (that I know of). I thought it was going to be the Summer of Backbends.

Well, we did practice backbends... opening the hips is extremely helpful with backbends. We practiced dropping into Viparita Dandasana and Dandasana from Sirsasana (headstand) and Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand). Then we kicked back over, lots of back and forth. No tightness in the lumbar or sacrum...

So, here is a reproduction of what we did this morning... I'm not as loose as I was in class, I should lift and extend in my upper thorsic. Oh well, this should give you and idea of what we did.

Puppy and I negotiate for the sticky mat...

Tuesday's Workout

I had another light day, everything with a 12kg

Snatch - 10L/10R X3

Snatches 1 minute work, 1 minute rest - 2 Left, 2 Right; finally some good news, my snatch reps went up for one minute of work. I only did 2 sets, but left side hit 29 both sets, and right side hit 30 both sets. Then my grip gassed out... I finished with 30 seconds Left and 30 seconds Right.

OH Presses - 8/8 X3 - seam as my OH Presses have been sucking so much lately I went light and for high reps (eight is high for me). My intention was to stimulate my nervous system... I'm trying to really focus on my lats.

That was it, short workout between clients at Gold's.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Morning Workout with Aaron

Aaron and I had a great workout this morning. This was a real treat because Aaron isn't typically an early riser...

1 Minute work, 1 minute rest...

6 - Swings

4 - Swing, Clean, Transfer

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Weekend Training...

Saturday I took another light day. I actually didn't really "train" but I did teach a Kettlebell class. There was a new student, so that meant a lot of demonstrating. Plus, when I teach a class, I try to workout along with the class. My intention is to offer a visual demonstration. Andrea does this and I find it very helpful for learning proper form. Plus, my students have actually asked me to teach this way... This is what I did along with my Press Gym Saturday Class...

Swings - 16kg; 20X3

Single Hand Swings - 16kg; 5/5 pyramid up to 10/10 back down to 5/5

OH Press - 16kg; 5/5, 5R/4L (failed one left), 4R/3L (went for 5/5 failed) I would have grabbed a lighter KB, but I was short on 12's... I was stuck demonstrating with the 16

Front Squats - 16kg; 5/5x3 - this weight is super boring, but I was teaching so it didn't matter.

We ended with some abs (for my friend Ang) and stretching.

Sunday - Yoga at Neti Neti.

I got lost on my way to class today due to traffic redirection because of the bridge collapse. I arrived 5 minutes late... just in time for a head stand. Lisa doesn't usually include headstand in her class, so this was a pleasant surprise. Headstand is excellent for the nervous system. Today's class was a lower key... very nice, good for restoring the nervous system. We also did a lot of hip work, great for me, my hips can get tight.

Lisa asked me to teach Kettlebells at Neti Neti. I am very flattered, and will start classes the first week of September. I already have one student promising to attend... Deb, a yoga comrade, who is friend from a previous (restaurant) life. I am really looking forward to doing classes at Neti Neti, this will be great for the yoga people.

*Pistol Training with Aaron

Aaron wanted to do pistols when I got home from Yoga, I couldn't resist...

24kg - 1/1
16kg - 1/1
16kg - 2/2
16kg - 2/2
24kg - 1/1

Friday, August 3, 2007

A light day

I'm still feeling weak, I'm thinking my nutrition is not as good as it could be. I think I need to be more regular with the supplements, plus I think I need more animal flesh in my diet.

I got off work early and I am having a restful evening at home watching Hot Fuzz with Aaron. Hopefully I can get over this lack of strength and get back to my old self, or better yet a new and improved self(i don't think there is such a thing as a self, but I don't know what else to call this vehicle my ego is driving around).

So, I did a light workout, all KB work with the 12kg...

Swings - 3X30

Snatches - 10/10X6

OH Presses - 8/8, 6/6x3

FSQ w/ Barbell - 95, 115, 135, 115, 95 X5 (five sets of five)

Pullups - 3 BW, 15x1, 15x1, 10x2, 10x2, 10x1

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Training with Andrea

I went to Andrea's drop in class. I wanted to hear how I-Phase went and she didn't disappoint! I got both my visual and vestibular tested. Way cool stuff. Now, I will have to learn more about it.
This is our workout, I was feeling weak again today, so I took the weight down a notch... I don't know what is wrong with me, no injuries... just weak. Oh well, train any way.

30 swings - 16kg

Snatches - 12kg,10L/10R x 3

30 swings - 16kg

Snatches - 12kg, 10L/10R x3

Waiters walk - 16kg L/R

Rows - 16kg, 6L/6R

Pushups - 10

Chest Press - 12kg 6/6

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Yoga with William

I just got home from Yoga with William. It was a great class like always... we worked on some standing postures, back bends, we worked with the movement of the back body.

Main points were moving shoulder blades down the back. William referred to the skin and surface... moving the skin of the back down and away form the ears and neck. When we worked the back bends the instruction was to lengthen the lumbar spine... sort of creating it's own traction. This is done by pulling the 12th floating rib up... simultaneously pulling the coccyx toward the pubic bone. This should tip the posterior ilium to a more neutral position. The way I understand it, this action should prevent pinching in the lumbar spine and stop lumbar from collapsing on the kidneys.

The other theme of the day was to practice with out striving... and if you can't stop, then recognize it. William has been talking a lot about striving in the past few months. My question was, what is the difference between striving and tapas?

There are five Yamas and five Niyamas, these are two of the eight limbs of yoga. Tapas is one of the Niyamas (rules to apply to individual discipline). Tapas means a burning effort under all circumstances to achieve a definite goal in life. It involves purification, self-discipline and austerity. William's answer was complicated, like always.

This is how I understood what he was saying. If you are striving to reach a goal, watch for Greed, Hatred and Delusion. I am not a goal oriented person, so I didn't think "striving" is something I needed to address. However... greed and delusion are two things that arise in my practice all the time. There is such a fine line between working to my potential and being greedy and delusional. When I say greedy... I mean using bad form to archive more... and when I say delusional I mean lacking the ability to recognize it. Hatred... I'm sure it is in there some where too, as much as I hate to admit it. Do I strive? I don't really know any more.

So, what is working to my potential with out stepping into greed? I guess that would be more self awareness. Awareness doesn't just happen, it has to be practiced.