31 December 2009

There must be something wrong if I am training on this day. Because of all the partying I didn't manage much anyway.

2 x 24 kg jerks:
5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 5
Rest 2 minutes.

2 x 24 kh overhead holds;
30 sec x 3 sets

That's it. 24 kgs feel disproportionally heavier than 20s, and I want to take things easy. The assignment from Denis was the usual sequence, two pyramids to 15 reps. I am too wuss today to do it.

And now by far more important entry. To all my readers I wish great, happy and prosperous New Year. Great health, great life and great training. May all your dreams materialise. Happy New Year!


26 December 2009

24 kg snatch:
5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 9, 7, 5, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15
Rest between sets 2 minutes

Same type of workout as the previous session. The numbers are for aech arm: 5 left, 5 right, then rest 2 minutes, and so on.

Tore my hands quite badly. An excuse to skip assistance work :))

23 December 2009

It turned out I forgot to cance the PayPal payment for the next month of coaching, and therefore Denis is stuck with me for another month. Today I did the next planned workout, or rather part of it.

2 x 20 kg LC:
5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 9, 7, 5, 3, 5, 7, 9 reps
Rest strictly 2 minutes

I was supposed to do more sets, 11, 13, and 15 reps as well as a shitload of assistance exercises but was just not able to.

The summary of the month

Last month I trained under the guidance of Denis Kanygin. I already mentioned that I was impressed by his professionalism and work ethics and will not hesitate to recommentd him as a coach. Unfortunately I came down with quite a bad flu and could not train for ten days. I only managed to complete 5 sessions with Denis (another one has been written by him for me and I am going to do it next week).

I am not serious enough student to take continuous coaching and not going to continue working with Denis. I am planning to use his services from time to time though, mostly for correcting the technique.

What have I learned while training under Kanygin? A few things.

Firt of all, volume approach, as well as escalating density training work and are used by GS coaches. Of course I knew that, but hanging on IGx where GS is represented by AKC guys - read timed sets - doubts creep in. Now I know at least one coach in flesh who uses these methods. Density progression makes perfect sense. First you build the total workout volume with short sets with fixed rest period, then gradually increase the duration of sets and decrease rest. Very simple to design and follow.

I don't want to be misunderstood: timed sets are very important for peaking and preparation for competition. They are the logical conclusion of volume training. After all, GS is about lifting for 10 minutes non-stop. But just like you don't run full marathon distance every time you go for a run, you don't have to stay the whole 10 minutes.

Second lesson - the technique. When you train alone you get stuck in your own ways, so to speak. You may lift with incorrect technique and get used to it, so after a while it feels quite comfortable. Those in my situation benefit a great deal from consulting knowledgeable coaches. Every time I do Long Cycle I am trying to pay attention to the pointers I was given.

Third. Assistance exercises areimportant. I believe some sessions should consist only of assistance drills, especially if previous session was especially high in volume and/or intensity. Static holds, swings, squats and their variations and bumps. One exercise I have never heard of before, chest bumps. This is part of the technique I never thought about: chest muscles alone should be able to push the bells above the head. My chest muscles are far from being able to do this.

So I am going to adjust my training slightly. Most importantly, I am going to add assistance drills, even a little will make a difference. I am also going to adjust progressions. Previously the goal was to achieve 60 reps in 10 minutes with the given weigh and then move to heavier bells. Now I don't feel that this is particularly beneficial for me. Instead, I am going to build volume and move to heavier bells with shorter sets. In the recent tread about competing I mentioned that getting on the platform with kettlebells below 24 kg does not seem feasible to me. To WKC crowd I am wrong. But as I mentioned, I want to follow Russian standards of GS, and minimal comp bells for men there are 24-s.

To those in my situation - in their forties, working full time jobs and lacking free time - I sincerely advise to use the services of a qualified coach, in 3D or virtual.

19 December 2009

The day after the last training session I woke up with the sore throat. It got worse, and in couple of days I was sick like a dog. So today's session is sort of slow, carefully working back into gear.

20 kg snatch:
6 sets of 20L/20R, rest 2 minutes
Total - 240 reps

This was hard. Once again, I have no idea where peole get this notion that switching hands or taking a rest between sets is not useful for GS. Just about every muscle that takes part in this lift is stressed. My calves, back shoulders - all were hardly firing in the last couple of sets. And hands barely survived the workout without dropping the bell on the floor. Who cares anyway.

20 kg press:
15L/15R, rest 2 minutes

20 kg overhead 1/4 squat walks
20 m left/20 m right

The assignment was to do more, sets of the last two exercises, but I am being cautious (and weak and lazy) and going to stop here.

9 December 2009

2 x 20 kg LC:
15 reps x 5 sets, rest 2 min
@ 6 reps/min

2 x 20 kg bumps:
50 reps x 2

2 x 20 kg chest bumps:
30 reps x 2

2 x 20 kg squats:
10 reps x 4 sets

5 December 2009

2 x 20 kg Long Cycle:
5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 9, 7, 5, 3

The assignment was to repeat the pyramid to 15 reps, but stopped because of pain in the groin.

Overhead quarter squat 2 x 20 kg:
15 x 5 sets

2 x 24 kg bumps:
30 reps x 1 set

Coach Denis Kanygin

Those who follow my blog probably noticed the difference in my training in the last couple of sessions. The reason is simple: this month I am using the coaching services of Denis Kanygin from http://www.workoutiq.com/

My biggest problem with training is the absence of a GS coach in Australia. My training therefore is picking bits and pieces here and there and trying to make the best of it. I am not complaining really, I don't have far reaching goals and am happy with what I do. The problem is the correct technique; if it is bad enough and I progress to higher weight the injury becomes more likely. This - to avoid injury - is on the top of my list of goals, therefore it is mandatory to check the technique at least from time to time.

There is not much choice of GS coaches, even on the Net. But when looking around I specifically wanted two things. First, I wanted a Russian coach. Second, I didn't want a champion or a particularly higher ranking athlete. The info on coach Kanygin's site met these rather capricious criteria, and I contacted him.

Was my choice correct? See for yourself. The first Denis did is analyse the video of my Long Cycle which was posted on the 19th of November. For your convenience I re-post the video.

And now the analysis of coach Kanygin. He did it in English, so my translation will not spoil anything. Here it goes.


Phase 1: bringing bells up into the rack position (clean)*

1. you are not using your toes

On the up swing, after your thrust you hips forward and lock your knees, as the bells pass knees - go up on both toes and bring your shoulders up and back. Involving these muscles will create extra momentum and make moving of the weights much easier. It will result in bells 'floating' up - all you need to do then is to get under bells, pull them in slightly as you push your hands through the handles. This approach ensures that your arms stay relaxed.

2. no use of shoulders

After knees lock, bring both shoulders up and back. Keep arms relaxed. This will engage powerful muscles up thoracic region and add quite a bit of power to the movement. Shoulder movement should be done at the same time with going up on toes described above.

3. way too much arm involvement

On the up-swing keep arms relaxed. As the bells float up, bend your arms, get under bells and pull them in. Keep arms relaxed during the movement. Kettlebells should be 'launched' by the power of legs and torso, followed by shoulders and toes. Keep arms relaxed.

4. not enough leaning back

To maintain balance and keep mechanics of the movement more efficient, lean back to counterbalance forward pull of kettlebells. It will also give you greater leverage and help momentum do most of the work.

Summary of Phase 1:

Here is the sequencing of movement:

1. on the up-swing as bells start to pass the knees, lock legs and thrust your pelvis forward - start to lean back compensating for pull of the kettlebells and shift in center of mass.

2. after knees as locked, go up on toes and bring both shoulders up and back

3. let the bells 'float' up

4. bend arms, get under bells, pull them to the chest.

5. keep arms relaxed, minimizing their involvement.

Phase 2: Rack position

1. try to lock your legs a bit more. Overall very good.

Your rack position looks good. Do your best to lock your knees. Need to work on your lumbar and thoracic flexibility. When in the rack, relax your latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles.

Phase 3: Getting bells to under-squat position (second dip)

1. need more thoracic involvement

You need to involve your thoracic a lot more in this movement. Thoracic and legs should provide equal amount of power to the bell movement. You need to practice in more and get to the point where you can bump both bells above your head using your thoracic only without any leg involvement.

2. need to use shoulders more

As chest bumps are executed, you also need to bring both of your shoulders up and back. It will add extra power to the velocity of the bells.

3. timing looks good

Phase 3 Summary:Here is the proper sequencing for this phase:

1. Do first dip

2. As you come up from the first dip, lock legs

3. As your legs are locked, go up on toes and at the same time engage thoracic in 'chest bump'

4. As you do the 'chest bump', bring both shoulders up and back5. Do second dip and get under the bells

Phase 4: Lockout

1. Shoulder flexibility needs more work

Arm positioning in the lockout is not as efficient as it could be

Phase 5: Brining bells down from lockout to rack position

1. improper timing/sequencing: legs get involved before bells start falling.

Seems like you use your legs to 'bump' bells of from the lockout. Instead you need relax arms and let the bells fall onto your chest. When the bells are falling, then you need to go up on your toes and elevate both shoulders and rib cage toward the bells.

2. not moving shoulders up, toward the bells

As the bells are falling down toward your chest, move your chest and shoulders toward the bells.

Phase 5 Summary:

Here is the sequence of phase 5:

1. relax arms and let the bells fall towards your chest

2. as the bells are falling, go up on your toes and elevate rib cage and both shoulders

3. as the bells hit your chest, let them force you onto your heels, push your shoulders down.

4. bring pelvis forward and try to keep knees locked

5. this way the shock is absorbed into the skeletal structure, upper body and heels

Phase 6: Bring bells down from rack position (downward part of clean)

1. no shoulder involvement

As you bump bells from the rack position, you need to elevate both of your shoulders up

2. no toes

As you bump bells from the rack position, go up on toes

3. need to lean back more

Lean back to maintain proper balance and compensating for bells pulling you forward

Summary of Phase 6:

Sequencing of phase 6:

1. bump bells of from your chest

2. start to lean back - keep legs locked and arms relaxed

3. go up on your toes and at the same time elevate both of your shoulders

4. let the bells pull your shoulders down and push you onto the heels (this allows for great shock absorption and makes it much easier on grip and back)

5. bring hips and knees back and let the bell swing behind the knees

The end of the report.

So far I am quite impressed. The analysis is very detailed, and I have plenty of pointers to work on for a while. The coaching is also neatly organized: the assignments are sent via a shared Google spreadsheet, and I am also supposed to enter what I managed to do during the session, so that it is easy to compare the two.

In short, so far I am very satisfied with the services of Denis Kanyging and recommend him to anybody who needs an Internet coach.

1 December 2009

Treadmill run:
6.6 km in 44 minutes.

Several accelerations in the process. Not particularly impressive.