28 February 2011

24 kg swing:
10 x 4, 30 x 1

32 kg OAJ:
5 reps on the minute, alternating hands:
10 min/50 reps total

Gets heart rate right up quite quickly!

Bar pullovers:
5 non-stop

Weighted chinups:
20 kg x 5

26 February 2011

2 x 20 kg jerk:
15 x 1 min sets @/6reps/min

It's interesting how fatigue accumulates during repeats. After a few sets my heart rate would get to 140-150/min. Between the last several sets it was constantly aroubd 160-170. The technique also demand more attention as the workout progresses: more relaxed rack, stuck in shoulders at the top, deeper second dip, deeper more conscious breathing.

Wasn't too hard. The back is behaving. I hope to get back to 24s within the next couple of months.

Next thing: I strapped my new HR monitor to my chest and did:

12 kg snatch:
switch every 10 reps, 200 reps total
more of a back rehab set than anything plus testing my HRM

HR during the workout:
Min: 111
Avg: 163
Max: 193

Not too bad for a 48 year old I guess. According to the equation I have exceeded my Max HR. At no time I felt completely out of breath. Interesting how such small weight can get the HR right up. Says something about my low fitness level too, of course. Anyway, I am going to experiment with this toy some more to see if adds value to training.

Back to GS. The easy way.

Today's workout:

2 x 20 kg jerk:
10 x 1 min sets @5 reps/min

Chin-ups: 17 reps - new PR!

I bumped into an article by Marty Gallagher, the latest Dragondoor guru on fitness and strength. While I don't have anything agains his wtitings (I haven't read Purposeful Primitive) I cringed at the  article on cardio at his blog. Gallagher's premise is that going endless jogging on treadmills is useless, instead you should do something short that leaves you gasping for air, intense and brutal.

The idea that interval training is superior to LSD (low slow distance) is the current rave. It is time sparing, brings results faster, loads the anaerobic and so on, and so forth.

Intervals are very useful. However it is just stupid to believe that they can replace anything else. Every endurance coach will tell you that frist you have to build the aerobic base, by walking and jogging. Then, gradually you increase the intensity and add more advanced workouts, including high intensity intervals. This is so well known that I am not even going to look up a reference. In fact, every book on running or cycling for beginners tells you that.

What about advanced trainees? Sure they spend their training at higher intensity? Maybe, or maybe not. Here is the link to an interesting article: Endurance training: large amounts of low-intensity training can develop base conditioning and aid recovery
I recommend you read the whole thing, it's not that long. In essence, the research in Germany looked at training of elite rowers (probably the closest sport to GS) and foung that about 95% of training was spent doing low-intensity work. Only about 30 minutes out of 12-14 hours of weekly training was done at high intensity.
As mentioned in the article, it seems the best way to train is as coined by the respected cycling journalist and coach Fred Matheny put it almost 15 years ago in an article in Bicycling: ‘NML (no man’s land) workouts provide a kinaesthetic sense of working hard but expose the rider to too much stress per unit gain. Instead most base training should be guilt-producingly easy, and the top end, high-intensity-training (HIT) should be very mentally hard, not sort of hard’. This truth is reflected in the fact that elite of virtually every sport follow this principle, as shown by the illustration in the article.
The article concludes: whatever endurance athlete type you are, train low, train high can work for you. This does not mean ‘go easy, we don’t want to push ourselves do we?’ Inclusion of the very high intensity (Z3) work is absolutely critical. However, for long-term success, you need to construct your training so that the body can evolve in a very patient way. Many athletes, even with the best coaching, only see on average a 2 to 8% improvement in a given year, especially those who’ve got several racing seasons under their belts already. If you’ve been struggling in no man’s land and not making much progress, try using train low, train high approach and set realistic improvements of say 5% (not 10 or 15%) faster for 2010. And if you remember the valuable three golden nuggets above, better times are ahead.
For GS it means one thing: long timed sets that leave you breathless should be done seldom, not more often that once every couple of weeks. This has been reiterated numerous times by various Russian coaches, the latest being Leonid Rudnev. It seems that using the same HR training zones make sense for GS. Repeats that keep average heart rate within reasonable limits, probably below 70% max HR, may be optimal.
As it is stated in the article quoted above: you can train excessively in the tempo ‘no man’s land’ zone for years. But while it gives you a buzz from your workouts and gets reasonable performances, the inputs verses the outputs never match up.
I stated many times here that my motivation of doing GS is not getting to MSMC and dominate the world. I will leave amazing tricks to people like Denisov and Morozov. I like lifting these metal balls and like the result they produce. When I meet new people they invariable ask: you go to gym often, do you? Thet's good enought for me, to look and feel good.
Couple of days ago I ordered a cheap HR monitor on eBay. I am going to give it a good try, to see how useful it is for GS.

Return to the kettlebell and slow burn reflection

I have been enjoying BW training. However I am beginning to feel restless without kettlebells. I have been incorporating them into some of my workouts and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. My back seems to be taking light snatches and jerks well, and I will do more of them in the near future. I also decided to re-start posting my training here. Hell, how many blogs does one need...

Recent posts on IGx were related to HR monitors and slow burn training by Maffetone and Mittleman. I haven't read the books, but I understand that the idea is to train at lower intensity - read lower HR - in order to build endurance base and burn fat. From the reviews and crums that I can gather I prefer another book on the subject, Heart Monitor Training for Compleat Idiot, by John L.Parker Jr., the author of Once a Runner, apparently a bestselling cult novel. I actually bought the latter a while ago after reading all the rave reviews. I couldn't finish it, it was so boring, and now regret not buying Heart Monitor Training instead.

Anyway, the philosophy of Parker's HR training is to find the low and high intensity HR zones and alternate workouts between below 70% and above 85%. I think the idea is perfectly suitable for GS training. Getting above 85% is easy: just do heavy jerks or snatches. For easy days though you can do continuous snatching with multiple switches, with light bells and at slow cadence, anything between 10 and 20 minutes long. They help getting used to long sets and at the same time are not particularly taxing, mentally of physically, just like a light jog. You can do them in front of TV too.

Continuous snatching is a good way to train for GS snatching set, and I did a post on this method a while ago. Light long snatches are more of a cardio workout at low intensity, very suitable for light days.

Just a thought.