Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Well, today was a much better day. I was in great spirits. I did 1/2 of the challenge before spin class.
Snatches: I started with snatches. I did 15 snatches/side with the 16kg (5/side), 20kg (8/side), and 24kg (only 2/side). I was feeling really strong, so I went for it. Boy did the snatches feel GREAT with heavier weight. I still had to tape my hands and go slowly, but I did it!
Swings: I did 100 swings with the 24kg. They're starting to feel easy (two-handed at least). I'll start doing more 1H swings in a few days.
I'll finish the challenge up after class. I had a chance to ride tonight in spin class, and it felt great! We rode hard and anerobically for portions of class. I'm starving now, so I'll eat and then try to finish up my challenge before bed.
How was day 17 for you? I realize that I took an entire week off from the challenge, but I do plan to extend the challenge by 1 week to make up for the time. My new end date will be Sat, Feb 6 instead of Sat, Jan 30. Life happens, but I'm strong and resolve to reach the finish line!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Happy MLK day!! I hope that you were able to reflect on the life of one of our country's most influential civil service people.
Anyway, I didn't do that great with the challenge today. I received some bad news, so I pushed the challenge to the side. I realize that I've taken a full week off from the challenge, but I do plan to add an extra week at the end and finish the task strong. My new end date will be Sat, Feb 6 instead of Sat, Jan 30. Life happens....
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Well, today was a much better day. I was still feeling sluggish and tired, but once I got moving, my energy level improved significantly. I did 50-minutes of cycling (endurance, aerobic focus) followed by 20 minutes of basic strength work (chest press, lunges, back rows & core). I didn't get my challenge work in tonight, as attended an MLK celebration event.
All-in-all, this week was pretty bad in terms of my challenge work. I missed several consecutive days. I hope that my exhaustion has subsided, and I'll be able ot get back on track tomorrow. Sometimes the body needs rest. I think that I've been pushing myself really hard over the past 6 weeks or so, and my body screamed for a rest this week...so I listened :-)
On to tomorrow...
How are your efforts coming along?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I was able to squeeze in a few swings today with the 16kg, as well as 20 snatches/side! My hands are almost completely healed (finally). I still didn't do the challenge in its entirety. I'll start back strong again on Monday.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Once again..it didn't happen for me today...I've been feeling terribly fatigued - maybe from over work, not quite sure..but I definitely know that I don't have the energy to do my challenge in the evenings after spin class and/or clients...If I don't get it done during the day, I probably won't get it done at all...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I started off my day with 30 minutes of moderate cardio on the elliptical. I felt great!
I'm going to do my challenge at 9:00PM...will post back with how it goes. I am starving after my clients, so I need to eat first :-)
ETA: didn't happen last night. I HAVE to make up for it tonight and get back on track..I'm going to do 400 swings to make up for my slacking...
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I started off my day with a 30 minute strength circuit. I was feeling full of energy this morning, so I had an awesome workout! I plan to do my swings tonight.
My hands are healing much slower than I'd anticipated. I'm considering modifying my challenge a bit in lieu of this slow development. Here is what I think I'm going to do for the next week or so as a challenge modification:
1) 5 Days/Week: Abbreviate my time period to 15 minutes, but I'll be doing swings for the entire time period. My challenge will just be to see how many swings I can do in 15 minutes. I think that a good target would be 250-300, but we'll see how it goes...
2) 2 Days/Week: I will focus on just snatches 2x/week, with the same goal of 50/side (100 total).
Well, Tuesdays are clearly proving to be my obstacle with this challenge. I started my day off with a strength circuit routine (25 mins) in the morning to get back on track. Since I coach spin class on Tuesday nights, my intention was to do the challenge afterwards. Tuesday class is typically full, and I don't always get to ride. When I finished class, my legs were pretty swollen from being on my feet. I came home to eat, and I wound up doing another 25-minute strength circuit instead of my challenge. I just didn't feel like it today...Tuesdays are definitely a roadblocker (mentally & physically) for me... Wednesday - here I come :-)
Monday, January 11, 2010
Tonight was a good, strong workout. I did a short 20 minute circuit prior to Mippa & Suzie-Q arriving. I was pretty active with them tonight during their circuit. We did our swings together at the end of their session. I used the 20kg for 50 reps and the 24kg for 150 reps. Everyone stepped up their kettlebell weight, and I think that we were fine tuning the "right tool for the job" concept.
My hands were still killer after swings. I only got 5 snatches in per side before calling it quits. I might try it again later tonight to get to at least 25 snatches/side total. (ETA: didn't happen - I gave myself a hand treatment instead)
Suzie-Q, Mippa, & Corinney did great today!! How did day 8 turn out for you? Remember to take care of those hands! File, moisturize, and protect them!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Today has been another great day. I haven't done my challenge yet, but I did get an hour-long spinning/strength circuit workout in this morning. I was going to add my challenge on at the end of that workout, but I was starving and tired by the time I finished that fast moving circuit. So, I'll plan to do the challenge later this evening...
Well, I got my swings in today with the 20kg...felt great..didn't feel like doing the snatches, so I didn't :-) I actually had an lovely evening of light & fresh cooking - making (and enjoying) new recipes.
How did you make out on day 8?
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Well, I made it through 1 full week!! Yippeee!! Today was a good, strong day. This afternoon, I took an indoor cycling class called "Pedal Harder" at Mellow Johnny's bike shop in Austin. It was great!! I used my own bike on an indoor bike trainer, and it was incredible! I've been contemplating saving up for a bike trainer, as it pains me to see my very expensive bike sitting in the garage on the hook for 6-9 months each year. I'm still not comfortable on it yet; I'm still trying to get my body alignment and positioning right, as well as get the hang of shifting gears. Aside from riding through various neighborhoods & the Veloway, forget about actually riding on real roads! An indoor trainer will help me get used to my road bike vs. my spinning bike. This class confirmed that this item is a personal must have. The class itself was pretty cool. I was able to monitor my workout based upon power output (wattage) instead of just heart rate. Seeing that data confirmed what I always suspected - I am very powerful in my movements, but not very efficient. For instance, I had a very obvious dead spot in my pedal stroke. In my metabolic profile test last year, I also observed that I work and train very hard, but I'm also overtrained and not efficiently utilizing fat during my workouts. Training low intensity, steady state is such a challenging thing for me to do, but I've spent the past 4 weeks moving back to the aerobic base building phase, and it's actually been great! All-in-all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.
I completed my challenge later in the evening around 8:15PM. I was pumped to hit the swings again. I did a few earlier today with my clients on the 20kg and the 24kg, and, once again, that feeling was incredible.
Here are my results from today:
Swings: Used the 20kg to complete 200 swings. It took me 10 minutes with breaks (to preserve my hands). The 20kg felt GREAT! I really felt the drive in my hips, glutes, & core. Remember: try to use the right tool for the job :-)
Snatches: I did 25 snatches/side (50 total). I mixed it up using the 12kg and the 16kg. The 16kg felt great and confirmed that the 12kg is too light for me now, even for technique work. BUT, my hands were still sore and getting pinched on the descent. I tried taping them up, but that didn't work. I also tried just doing a half snatch, which helped somewhat. Bottom line is that I'll just have to let time heal my hands and train in a reduced fashion until then.
How are you doing one week into your challenge?!?! Remember: do what you can with good form and consistency. You'll make it through the 28-days. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or two along the way. Try your best and remember that you are doing something good for your heart, conditioning, and body composition.
Rock on, people!
Friday, January 08, 2010
Okay, so I was seriously slacking today. I had a chiropractic adjustment this morning, and that seemed to really wipe me out as far as energy is concerned. I was a little sore from my adjustment in my upper back & neck, so I decided to do the challenge with caution today. Swings and snatches don't hurt your back, and, if done properly can help. However, I've had so much stress built up in those areas, that I'm being gentle & somewhat overly cautious.
Anyway, I wound up starting my challenge around 10:30PM. To keep things interesting, I did some light kickboxing to warm up for about 10 minutes. I also interspersed a little bit of boxing,etc during the swing portion of my challenge (why, I have no idea..lol). I started with swings today and then moved on to snatches. Despite the late hour, I was really into a groove on my swings.
Anyway, here are today's results: swings excellent, snatches not so much :-)
Swings: Ever since day 2 of the challenge, I could tell that the 16kg is now too light for me (at least for 2H swings). The "flop" in the bell during both the descent and ascending portions of the movement are a tell tale sign that it's time to move up to a heavier bell. I used the 16kg for the first 20 swings. I was feeling great, so I abandoned and moved to the 20kg for the remaining 180 swings. Boy, those swings felt RIGHT! As we always say, you have to use the right sized bell to get the job done. Honestly, I think that my "right size bell" for high rep 2H swings is the 24kg. 1H and H2H swings are probably still at 16kg for now. Anyway, the execution of the 2H swing was perfect with the 20kg bell. For the next 7 days, I'll use the 20kg and practice more 1H and H2H swings with the 16kg. I love the way swings feel with the proper weight. The hips, glutes, hamstrings, & core all feel incredibly engaged (as they are supposed to). I'm excited about this part of the journey. I felt so good with the 20kg that I almost did a couple of snatches with it, but I held off...shouldn't have, but I did...
Snatches: I started my snatches (left side first), but this is where things went to crap...My hands were killing me, despite corn huskers lotion & castor oil. Tape was of no use tonight, and I'm trying not to use at all. I need to pick up some kids sized socks to make a new sock sleeve. I tried it the other night, but my sleeve was a little too big and kept sliding around all over the place. My irritated calluses are healing (thanks to the PedEgg, castor oil, and lots of lotion), which is a good thing. But, I keep going through ups & downs of feeling okay and feeling pain. Tonight I felt pain, so I stopped. I got 10 left and 10 right. I'll try it again tomorrow.
After the challenge, I did another few minutes of kickboxing and some core work. The core work was overkill. Your core is so engaged during swings & snatches, and it was really obvious when I was doing some (eekkk) crunches and planks. They were fun, but kind of unnecessary tonight :-)
In other news, I received excellent progress reports from some of the other ladies tonight. Everyone is doing an awesome job! For those doing the 'swings only' portion of the challenge (200 swings in 10 minutes or less), I am going to change that slightly starting week #2.
So, how did Day 6 go for you?
Other random updates: I've been pleased thus far with myself during this challenge. I know it's only 6 days in, but I'm happy. I'm off to a solid start with the challenge, and it feels great to be getting back into consistent kettlebell work. I haven't done that in quite some time. I've actually been neglecting myself and my own training for the past few months. It's been kind of hit or miss for me, but the past 2 months have been a rejuvenation period. I've been reserving the time for myself & my training, and haven't been letting other things get in my way. I am enjoying being able to focus on my own development. My journaling is also very good; my diet still has room for improvement. I have noticed that I've been working so much on my daily kettlebell challenge this week that I've been pretty lax getting my weight-based circuit training sessions in. So, that will be something to balance.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Check out this video from Jordan Vezina, RKC and marine. He did an excellent job of explaining the logic behind the technique as well as providing the 'how to.' Good luck!
Well, today was a strong day! I started my day off feeling really lethargic and fatigued. However, I took a nap before spin class and caught my 2nd wind! Due to the UT/Alabama BCS game, there was only 1 person in spin class tonight, so I had a chance to ride also. My lone participant was a friend, so we actually had a nice time talking and riding. I considered that my 40-minute warmup :-) I completed the daily challenge when I got home and watched the game during the process. Anyway, on to today's challenge results....
Snatches: Due to my hands, I once again decided to do my snatches before swings, performing them in the same fashion as yesterday - 50 reps on the right, followed by 50 reps on my left. I started on my right side today because my left hand callus/blister was very tender. I actually wound up covering my calluses with tape and using the palm catch technique; both helped a great deal today! I was able to do my snatches in reps of 10. I'd once again allocated 20 minutes to complete my snatches, and I beat that tonight. I wrapped up snatches just under 15 mins using the 12kg. I concentrated on getting the bell up with the hip snap, and then smoothly using the catch method to release the bell. I came easier on my right side than my left. I'll have to keep working on this. I'll be curious to see how it will work with the 16kg bell next week.
Swings: I used the 16kg for my swings tonight. For some reason, the swings tonight were really tough for me, moreso mentally than physically. They seemed to drag on and on. I was trying to complete the entire challenge with 8:00 left on the clock, but I kept putting the bell down to rest, stretch, & protect my hands. I really wanted to focus on really feeling the swing tonight - the hip snap, the tight, engaged glutes & quads, and feeling the floor with my feet. I had a pretty steady pace, and deliberately took rests after every 20 reps or so.
All in all, tonight was a really good challenge experience! I still feel great...spin class before hand really put me in good spirits!
How did you make out today?
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
If you've already torn your calluses or blisters, alot of people try the approach described in this article. Personally, I've never tried it, but I wanted to make sure you were aware if you needed it.
Here is an excellent video from one of the kettlebell greats, Steve Cotter (by way of Jordan Vezina), on hand care. Consider yourself educated :-)
**Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing voluntarily so at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program.**
Today is a new day, and my hands are feeling much better. I'm heading to the gym now to get this thang started...I'll report back in about an hour or so.
Until then, make it a great one!!
So, I completed the challenge today in 31:00 flat. I actually did the 100 snatches first (12kg), followed by the 200 swings (16kg).
Snatches: I used the sock sleeve today, and I simply did 50 reps on the left, followed by 50 reps on the right. I budgeted 20 minutes to accomplish this task. It really took me 23 minutes. My hands were still bothering me, but I was able to muster through safely. I kept some Corn Husker's lotion close by. I did my snatches 5-10 reps at a time, then took a break. I used the 12kg today for snatches.
Swings: I was able to do the swings bare hands. The cool metal actually felt refreshing after the snatches. Anyway, I finished the 200 swings in 8 minutes, taking short breaks along the way. I used the 16kg and did 50, 30, 20, 30, 20, 20, 20, 10.
I hope that you all have success today in completing the challenge! Remember, just give it your best shot (whatever that means for today) and keep moving upward from there :-)
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Day 3 - Tues, Jan 5, 2010
Well, I have a confession. I didn't finish the challenge today. I didn't even start it today for a couple of reasons :-(
- My body was exhausted after spin class tonight. I was working on other things, and my original plan was to get my workout in before spin class. That didn't happen, so I was going to have to do it afterwards. I was exhausted after class, and thought that maybe I'd be able to hack it after some dinner...no go..am tired, achy, and it's not gonna happen today
- my hands are still pretty tender made me hesitant to try today....
- I've also been kind of down today and mentally/emotionally drained....
At any rate, I'll try it again tomorrow.
hopefully y'all had better luck than I did today ;-)
Tomorrow is a new day!
don't be like me...ewwwww and ouch!! by the time i remembered to take off my gloves, it was too late...at least it's healing today..yesterday was murder...i'll be trying my challenge sometime this evening, either before or after spin class...i'll check-in when i'm done. make it a good one people! protect those hands!!!
Helpful Hints on Kettlebell Hand Care
- Here is an excellent article written by David "Iron Tamer" Whitley, Senior RKC. I rate this as recommended reading for all kettlebell enthusiasts....http://www.ronjones.org/Coach&Train/BodyXerciseLibrary/Kettlebells/HandCare.htm
- If you've already torn your calluses or blisters, alot of people try the approach described in this article. Personally, I've never tried it, but I wanted to make sure you were aware if you need it.http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?rm=mode3&articleid=390
**Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing voluntarily, so at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program.**
Monday, January 04, 2010
Well, today was pretty good...my hands were destroyed after yesterday. I taped them up, which marginally helped. I didn't get very far on snatches before my hands gave out completely. I decided not to push it so that they can heal.
Swings: I used the 16kg and took my time completing my 200 snatches. I broke it down into the following rep sequence: 50, 30, 30, 20, 30, 20, 20. It took me 14 minutes because I took really long breaks to give my hands a rest.
Snatches: I used the 16kg and got in two rounds of 10 reps/side...Then my hands died... I wasn't going to sacrifice my hands or quality reps for quantity. Speaking of which, I will now transition onto my soapbox to talk about quality reps vs. quantity for the challenge..
We'll see what tomorrow brings.....Mentally I'm ready to kill it...physically, my hands may be ready to kill me :-D So, how was Day 2 for you?
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Well, I started the challenge today, and I did pretty well. I did a light warm-up on the Airdyne (6 minutes). In retrospect, I'd forgot about the friction on the hands that high rep training can create, especially if you wear lifting gloves (which I did out of habit). I started getting blisters on my hands during the snatch section of the workout.
Swings: I used the 16kg for swings, and primarily did 2H swings. I knocked out my 200 swings in about 8:30, which included periods of rest. I stopped after 50, 40, 60, 30, 20 reps to write down my time & progress. This was my strategy to help me keep track of my count :-). I was very proud of my time. My goal will be to do my swings exclusively with the 24kg by week 4.
My strategy by week for swings is as follows:
Week 1: 16kg
Week 2: Alternate between 16kg & 20kg
Week 3: 20kg
Week 4: Alternate between 20kg & 24kg
Snatches: I did snatches with 12kg since it's been a while for me. The weight itself was easy. The friction on my hands was not. I basically could only do 5/side and then had to stop to rest my hands. After the first 2 rounds, my hands were shot. I kept going, but had to stop with 7 minutes left on the clock and 45 snatches short of my 100-rep goal. I have some nice red blisters on my hands now...and boy do they hurt! I am going to try Tracy Reifkind's sock sleeve method tomorrow morning to see if that helps at all...
My strategy for snatches is as follows:
Week 1: 12kg every day
Week 2: Alternate between 12kg & 16kg
Week 3: 16 kg for 3 days, 12kg for 2 days, 16kg for 2 days
Week 4: 16kg
Bring on the new day! How did you do on Day 1?
Here are my goals for the challenge:
- Complete the challenge! One of the most difficult parts of this challenge for me is the actual time period. The closest I've come to completing 28 days straight is 20 days, non-consecutively. My goal is to improve that record, with the ideal goal being to complete all 28 days.
- I want to exclusively use the 24kg for reps on my swings by week 4.
- I want to exclusively use the 16kg for reps on my snatches by week 4.
- I (selfishly) want to lose some size in my hips and reduce body fat. I don't expect miracles, so I won't put a number on it at this time. I just want it to have some noticeable change take place :-)
I've invited a few friends to join in this journey with me. Some have modified the challenge to just the swing portion, in which the time limit is 10:00. Here's a list so far; we're off to a strong start!!
- FitGirl-ATX (myself)
- Minnesota Mel
Anyone is allowed to join us. Post your goals and daily progress, and join us for the journey!! If you want details about the challenge, click here.
**Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing so voluntarily at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Also, make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program. **
I've tried various derivatives of the challenge below over time, and I never seem to complete it successfully for the entire time period. My strategy this year is to round up a group of friends, and we can complete the challenge together. That being said,....here's a 28-day challenge to try, ideally during the month of January:
Here's the scoop:
Always make sure to warm-up properly prior to starting the challenge. Conclude the workout with a cool-down and stretching.
THE WHEN: Mon, Jan 4 - Sun, Jan 31, 2010 (28 days)
THE TASK: Complete 200 mixed swings & 100 snatches (50/side) per day
THE CATCH: Complete the daily challenge in 30 minutes or less. Record your time and kettlebell weight each day. Try to complete one set of exercises before progressing to the other (i.e. if you start with swings, do all 200 before moving to your snatches and vice versa). You must complete 50 snatches per side. You can rest and/or switch sides as many times as you need to during the 30-minute time period. Please note: this is high rep training, so you will want to protect your hands. Please see the note at the bottom with suggestions on how to do this. I do not recommend using gloves for this challenge! We should be trying to ween ourselves off of gloves anyway during our KB training, but I know that I often use them to protect my hands.
THE PRIZE: Bragging rights!! Couple this challenge with clean eating, and in 28 days you should see an increase in overall cardiovascular capacity & strength, as well as noticeable changes in your overall body composition. This should translate to leaner legs, enhanced muscular definition, and a rounder tushie :-)
KEEPING US HONEST: Share daily or weekly progress on the blog or via email with your training buddies. Select some type of measureable goal to track and compare at the end. For example, your goal might be to complete the task using the 16kg kettlebell by the last week of the challenge (that's one of mine!!). Don't worry if you miss a day here or there. Just record it, share it, and see how you do over the 28 day challenge!
Personally, my challenge will definitely be with the "every day for 28 days" part. The best I've done so far is 20 days, non-consecutively over a 28 day period. I also have a hard time keeping track of my count after a while :-)
Important Note: Be forewarned that this challenge will test your grip & likely cause calluses or blisters at first. I always get a blister or two, and usually don't wear my gloves due to the excess friction that they cause. If you want to protect your hands, I suggest trying Tracy Reifkind's sock sleeve method. Chalk also works...I do not recommend the use of weight lifting gloves during high repetition snatch or swing training sessions. Your hands will eventually get used to high rep training, but there will be some "growing pains" along the way :-)
**Disclaimer: If you choose to participate in this challenge, you are doing so voluntarily at your own risk. I will not be held liable for any injury or mishap that may occur. Make sure that you know how to properly swing and snatch a kettlebell before attempting this challenge. Lastly, make sure that you have clearance from a physician prior to starting this or any exercise program. **
So, who's in??