Musings after holidays

Yesterday morning I came back from two week holiday in Vietnam. Enjoyed it a lot, it was a mix of running around tourist places and sitting in swimming pools in resorts and hotels, drinking all kind of relaxing concoctions. Although they had fitness centers in every place we stayed, I haven't trained all this time. What the hell, a holiday is a holiday! In addition I caught some sort of virus on the way back and will have to stay away from kettlebells for a few more days.

I've been thinking about my training and came to the conclusion that the Russian EDT progression posted on Rybinsk forum by Mr. Mandrigelya is one of the best methods for the average middle age trainee. I should probably include more back-offs. For instance, you achieve 3 sets of 4 minutes, the next session should fall back on 1 minute sets. Especially if heavier bells are used. This idea was expressed by Wild Bill.

Someone asked why I think that KB snatch is not the best exercise for conditioning VO2Max style. The snatch is ok, it's just I don't like the idea of lifting light bell at crazy speeds which wrecks your hands. I would prefer to increase the weight snatch slower. It also seems to me that if you are after extreme intervals (which arte supposedly the most efficient means of improving VO2 Max) there are better, more taxing exercises to do them with, such as stationary bike or sprinting. The very fact that DD guys can do 80 sets of intervals tells you that the load is probably not that close to the maximal intensity. Having said that, snatching interval style is great for conditioning, and I am planning to include more of it in my training (just not planning to tear my hands, even if it proves my extreme manhood).

Well, from the next week I should be back to training. I will probably concentrate more on long cycle, just because it is such time efficient lift and my time for working out is so limited. I am going to follow the EDT progression for LC, starting at 6 reps per minute with 16 kg, working to 10 minutes, increasing the weight and going through the progression again. I also want to do squats (to counteract the testosterone lowering effects of GS!) and running. The main goal of me doing GS is to stay strong and fit, and these two activities support these goals quite well.

That's all for post-holiday musings. I am at work, it's night time and I am already missing the beaches, food and crazy traffic of Vietnam.

Long Cycle tips

I was going throught Wild Bill's forum and came across an interesting post on long cycle. It is from Rash (Rashid) whose ideas I already posted here. The thread was on how to get to 10 minutes in snatch or jerk. One of the exercises for this purpose is static holds: 30 seconds in rack, 30 seconds overhead. Rash wrote the following.

Vasek (Rash's friend) and I stay in rack only half the time of jerk set. Static holds are very hard, and in long cycle you can last even longer [than standing in rack position - smet].

I want to warn you that if for long cycle training you use the actual LC, the effect is not going to be great. It is comparable to training snatch with multiple hand switches: the muscles rest too much. It is better to train cleans and jerks separately.

It is even better to divide the jerk into two phases: partial beginning phase and overhead hold. You do partial jerks until the quads start burning. If you feel that the back is in good shape - do full jerk. Too - tired - do partials. If the quads are exhausted - do cleans.

Someone mentioned that static holds load the heart - but running does the same. One should not do static holds for too long at the beginning: if the heart rate gets to 200 - drop the bells. Gradually you will get used to it.

I advise not to lean back in the lumbar spine, you may damage it. Rather rest a little and do another set. People generally get tired in rack because of weak lower back. It is better to train it not with static holds but with cleans. If you can do 70 cleans then you will last for 10 minutes if you reduce the tempo. The snatch will also get better. the end

It is a bit disordered, and I had to edit it a little. The ideas in the post though are very useful. Thanks Rash.

11 April 2009

I am working over the Easter weekend. Yesterday, waiting for the next case I was browsing the Net and came across couple of articles on box squat. It turned out I missed out on something very interesting. Apparently box squat is a very useful exercise: it allows you to improve your squat while working with lower weight and causes less muscle soreness. For those interested here are couple of links, both by the Maestro Louie Simmonds.

So today at the gym I did the following

Box BB squats:
60 kg x 3 x 6 sets

Wanted to do more but the back started playing up.

Wingate interval protocol:
Stationary bike
4 intervals of 30 sec, rest 3-4 minutes
Though getting better, still absolutely fried at the end.

10 April 2009

Today I am away from home. My 20 kg kettlebell is at the workshop, its handle being professionally polished. The worksho is specializing in electroplating, and it is very tempting to ask them to strip the bell off its paint completely and cover it with nickel! Anyway, it is Good Friday and the gyms are closed. The only thing left for me is

3 km outdoor run, 20 minutes

I am pleased to notice that my running is gradually getting better. Talk about doing things regularly. I wonder though why outdoor running seems to be harder than treadmill. The cooling fans, TV with sports and videos of pretty singing girls to distract from the strain? Maybe.

Going to do some stretching, handstands and skipping rope.

9 April 2009

16 kg OAJ:

32 kg OAJ

Rest between sets 1-2 min
52 reps/arm
volume - 3328 kg

6 April 2009

Today's session was a bit disordered. I didn't do barbell stuff for a while and to day was getting back into the gear.

BB squat:
50 kg x 5
60 kg x 5
65 kg x 5 x 4 sets

BB Jerk:
50 kg x 5

2 x 20 kg shrugs:
10 reps x 2

Romanian DL:
60 kg x 5
80 kg x 5
60 kg x 10

2 km treadmill run
13 min

2 April 2009

1 km treadmill run @ 10 km/hour

I am happy to notice that I am progressing in running. The run felt easy, and the reason I stopped was the next step which was

Wingate intervals on stationary bike:
30 sec on/4 min off
4 intervals

I was honestly planning to do more than 4 intervals but could not manage another one. My quads were burning like hell.


20 kg clean&press ladders:
1,2,3,4 x 3

1 April 2009

April's fool: don't believe a thing I post today.

2 x 16 kg jerk
14 minutes (honest!)
4 reps/min - 56 reps

Interesting, long set uncovered new weakness: the palm. The idea was to do 15 minutes, but the heels of the palms where the bells are sitting started hurting quite badly. From stregth-endurance point of view I could easily go for another couple of minutes. I guess I am going to carry on with long sets, so the hands get used to them.

2 x 16 kg press: 12 reps
2 x 16 kg overhead squat:
2 sets of 5 reps

OHSQ are shamefully difficult!