Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On kettlebell training

In my previous post, I wrote about acquiring a 16 kgs kettlebell.  Since then, I've been able to improve on my kettlebell snatch, which was difficult when I only had the 24 kgs kb to play with.  With the lighter kb, I was able to work on technique, a major obstacle in snatching the 24 kgs kb.  Unlocking the technique made everything possible.  Once snatching the heavier bell became routine, all grip associated problems (calluses) associated with snatching the lighter bell disappeared.

Now I've got my sights on the SSST (Secret Service Snatch Test), which comprises AMRAP of a 24 kgs kb in 10 minutes.  You can rest, switch hands, even put the kb on the ground, but when the time is up, that's your score.  It took me about 12 minutes to do 100 snatches with the prescribed weight.  I've got a ways to go.

In other news, work on the planche progresses slowly.  Lately, I've been working on transitions from the L-sit to the advanced tuck planche.  The act of raising my lower body to the advanced tuck position was a minor triumph.  In the past, I'd have to raise my legs into a tuck planche.  Baby steps.

-kb snatches (6x10, 24 kgs; 2x30, 16 kgs)
-hand stands and forearm stands
-L-sit to advanced tuck planche transitions

Friday, July 13, 2012

little yellow kettlebell

You may have been wondering where I have been, that maybe I had given up.  Nope.  Still here.

One of my recent distractions has been a 16 kgs kettlebell, which I bought from

Yeah, it's pricey, but I figure it'll be great preparation in case I get interested in kb competitions.   That was the plan when I got the 24kgs competition bell, but that was way too heavy to learn technique.  With this light bell, technique improved exponentially.

-tuck planche holds (6x10 secs)
-HSPU (3x12, 3x12 sec bent arm holds)
-weighted off-set chin-ups (3x8, 16 kgs)
-weighted bent-arm hang (30 sec)
-db hang power cleans (2x6x5, 2x60 lbs)
-kb snatches (2x30, 16 kgs)

It was probably not smart to do the snatches last.  They are the most technical of the exercises and I too pooped to do 100 of them.

Friday, June 8, 2012

achey traps and progress on the tuck planche

Greetings faithful readers.  Sorry for the dearth of posts, I've been distracted by life's little events.  Anywho, a reader asked how my wrist injury had healed and whether the Wristwidget had helped.  Well, I've regained a lot of the lost function in the injured wrist, so I believe the Wristwidget did good.  However, it's my impression that my wrist will always be the weak link, always prone to re-injury.  Lots of tape or some sort of brace will be forever in my future.

I have been able to hold a tuck planche for a few more seconds now;  20 versus 10 at a shot.  That's a positive development.  With the longer tuck planche holds, my shoulders have been taking a beating.  I decided to make it a shoulder mobility day.

Sledge hammer pendulum swings-  Grasp a sledge hammer by the handle and let it hangover the shoulder and behind your back.  Your elbow points straight upwards.  Now sway from side to side.  The sledge hammer head will oscillate.

Sledge hammer casts and swings- I took these from Indian Club exercises.  Look them up.

Sledge hammer trap fixer- Take your sledge hammer and sling it over your shoulder.  Allow the handle to see-saw over the tight spots in your upper trapezius.  My wife wears out her thumbs trying to massage my traps.  The sledge hammer handle works with no effort.

Today's workout:
-HSPU (3x10+10 sec bent arm hand stand holds)
-weighted chin-ups (5, 6, 5; 24 kgs)
-weighted bent arm hangs (3x10 secs, 24 kgs)
-advanced tuck, front lever bodyrows (3x20)

Monday, May 7, 2012

tuck planche

My progress towards the Planche/Maltese on the floor was stalled by my inability to hold a tuck planche.  I would get intense cramping in my abs, specifically the top left bump of the six-pack.  It looked like a hard-boiled egg was implanted subcutaneously, and man did it hurt.  I encountered no such pain nor cramping when doing roll-outs, front lever progressions, or any other ab exercise.  It then occurred to me that some pretty taxing ab exercise usually preceded my tuck planche attempts.  Aha!  A thought bubble formed above my head.  Forget the intense warm-up, just do the tuck planches.  And so I did.

- single db C&P (2x5x5, 24 kgs)
- tuck planche holds (6x10 secs)

On Mondays I like to do squat cleans, but the thought of hoisting the 2 db's was unappealing today.  I grabbed a single db and performed alternating sets of 5 reps at a fast pace.  Before you knew it 50 reps had flown by, and I was breathing hard.  The tuck planches weren't so onerous by themselves.  How far away are advanced tuck and straddle planches I wonder.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

more db squat cleans

Yes, I am back. . . not that I had ever left.  It's just that I have been working on the db squat cleans, HSPU and advanced tuck front lever rows with very limited progress.  Just to refresh your memory, the HSPU and the advanced tuck, front lever body rows are laying the ground work for the one armed pull-up and human flag.  The db squat cleans are for general strength and conditioning.

When I reported here last, I was doing sets with 100 lbs.  I have since added a little weight to the db's (104).  Just 2 days ago I completed 50 reps, resting one minute for every minute of work.  I averaged 5 reps per set.  Today, I tried to go for 6 reps per set and burnt out at 24 reps.  Any more and I would have strained a muscle, I'm sure.  It was tremendously difficult to get my breathing under control during the rest periods.  Oh man.  I think I'll build a bigger base of work capacity at 5 reps per set.

-advanced tuck, front lever rows (3x20)
-HSPU (3x10, 3x10 sec bent arm handstand hold)
-db squat cleans (4x6, 104 lbs)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Squat cleans for reps

I love me some db squat cleans! I mean, what's not to like? You develop explosiveness, a strong core, your traps, grip and will. I want to do these everyday.

-DB squat cleans (100 lbs; 10,8,5,5,5)

While we are on the subject of squatting, I thought I'd mention a quick fix for low back pain. The other day I woke up feeling some tightness in my lower back. I had been doing some kb swings and squats days before and slept funny. Anyway, I got out of bed feeling old like Fred Sanford. I guess I am pretty old if I'm using a Redd Foxx reference. Foam rolling, my usual go-to for muscle aches was ineffectual. Same with the lacrosse balls, my silver bullet of late for muscle pain.

What finally worked was just squatting down, heels to the ground and sitting this way for several minutes. Upon standing, I noticed that the tightness was gone. I could speculate that by squatting I corrected the hyper-lordosis in my spine, but I'm not qualified. I just know that I'm feeling much better. Next I'm going to work on my slouching shoulders. Poor posture and decreased shoulder mobility can contribute to lower back pain, so I've heard.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Torn TFCC follow-up

You may recall my first post on my torn TFCC injury back in November of 2011. Well, it has been more than a few weeks and I am happy to report that there has been some improvement. Some improvement is better than none. When pressed, my orthopedist wouldn't guarantee 100% return of function so I don't regret the conservative approach I've taken.

When I say "some" improvement, I mean I can do simple tasks like washing my face without my wrist complaining. On the bathroom scale test, I can support the same amount of body-weight with the right hand as well as the left with a little discomfort. And today, I did 30 handstand pushups without having the wrist wrapped in yards of tape. Improvements to be sure. I have also lost a little range of motion. Then there's the fear that if my wrist undergoes another impact trauma my wrist will explode like a glass jar full of marbles hitting the floor. Karate, Sambo and Judo? Hmmn, I don't know. How many chances do I get to bounce back?

-advanced tuck, front lever body rows (20)
-Bent arm grip transitions (3x10)
-HSPU (3x10)+(3x10) sec bent arm holds)
-kb swings, 2x100x24 kgs