Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flint Michigan

I just want to say wow.   That meet was incredible with all the familiar faces and some of the new ones!  I think I saw at least 50 people there.  There incredible performances from all around.   Ken and Lorraine did a nice job setting it up and it was fun hearing the commentary.  I will write more about who was all there and the aftermath and the decision to attend the meet 8 hours before upon hearing it in  conversation with Valery on the phone.  Great times great times!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What I am able to do. fitness/conditioning

I can do LC with 2 24 kgs.  The doctor said that for two months ( been one month and one week) not to clench when lifting or to stop when feeling pressure.   I'm apprehensive to try with 32 kgs.  So my thought is to stay with 24 kgs.  Even when exhausted I don't strain or clench when doing long cycle.   

This is a tidbit for kettlelbell lifting from a wellness standpoint.  For someone who has blood pressure or cholesterol or bad knees this concept of fitness with kettlebells for these people is a perfect fit.  My feet never leave the ground(minimize impact).  I never clench for a submaximal weight.  

The amount of tension for a lift is learned through repetition.  

The discretion should be based on the ability to do very high reps with light weight in the beginning to get the form down.  

I tried to run and felt pressure in the jaw area.  Not pain but definite vibration.  So I stopped.  
From a standpoint of coming back from a surgery kettlebells reigns supreme especially where avoiding trama is concerned.  If you go light enough if shouldn't be a problem.  I can't run but I can lift 2 24kgs kettlebells.  After what I had been through I wouldn't do what I thought was risky.  Any problems, I would stop.  I want to come back as fast as I can.  In my experience that means that I want to come back as safe as I can.  I want to get the max benefit for my workouts.  

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Almost there

1 more month and then I'll be good for the heavier bells.   Almost feel normal but not quite.  
Long Cycle is the only lift I do with some some one armed work but it is the all inclusive lift for basics.   Throttling back BECAUSE of the bone healing from the upper jaw area has been the hardest thing but also indirectly good  because its motivating to want to jump back in.  So, the next best thing is to just work with the lighter bells a lot which will help my conditioning.   

Even 12 kg is not too light.  

It depends on the exercise, the duration and the pace of course:)   If I work with one kettlebell or two or 5 minutes 10 minutes 20 minutes or one hour its gonna be difficult.   :D  I admit, I don't know if I had done over 30 minutes non stop with a kettlebell.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Latest training milestone

Coming back from 2.5 months off.  

2 24kgs LC for 5 minutes for 35 reps.  I had 40 in me for an all out effort.  Technique felt good, better then before.  Technique enables more reps and/or heavier weight.  I like progress.  

First time using heavier then the 16kgs.  I liked it.  I can't wait to get back to 32kgs.  

This blog is short.  Merely a benchmark for this little comeback from nothing.  My very first workout was 12kg one arm work.  By 6 minutes of a 10 minute set, my legs started to shake.  Its what happens when you lay around and do nothing for two months.  the mind is somewhat ready, technique is good and the body says WTF?  !?!?!?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Its about you, take a deep breath

To clarify my statements about methodology I think people miss things.  

The communication breaks down when you communicate your experience to someone who has no such experience.  

In this particular situation going from 12 jerks with 2 24 kgs to 30 jerks with 2 32kgs and then after getting proper guidance 30-70 jerks with 2 32kgs, people discuss without a frame of reference.  Its no personal I say because I want YOU to be better.  If I didn't, I wouldn't talk at all.  

I can understand where they are coming from because I was at that level of kettlebell lifting before.  I didn't roll out of bed a Master of Sport level.  I also have been exposed to kettlebells before AKC as well.  

Getting to the part where its about you!

I passionately make my case about kettlebell methodology and philosophy to those who don't understand.  

I want people to improve themselves ultimately with well being.  Though I am passionate about a sport, I am also passionate about providing a way to make people well.  People who don't give a damn about a sport still need to be well.  

People take karate to be fit ie.  People dance to be fit etc.  

Wasting time is what we try to avoid.  Ask yourself about shortcuts to success.  There is a reason.  The only shortcut is methodology being the best.  


That is only half.  

If you look for a shortcut after the fact the result is disappointment.   

the other half is work ethic.  

Before you run for the hills, I had a terrible work ethic starting out.  
I wasn't interested.  I was but I didn't like to be the worst.  But who cares.  Worry about the worst when you are high level(at least MS level).  

but I can't tell people enough, try to make the levels before worrying about others.  It is worthy.  

Some people have a better work ethic then others when they start but like anything else work ethic can be learned and groomed.  Transformation takes place on more then just a physical level.  When you go from 0 to 70 jerks you'll understand what I am talking about.  

Nothing worthy is easy.  If it is easy then go to the next level.   

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Why do people go to the gym?

- Look good
  -- get bigger muscles
  -- get leaner muscles

- Get strong
  -- lift more weight

- Get endurance
  -- Run more distance

- Cross train
  -- Combat(popular lately)
      --- grappling
      --- boxing
      --- Kung Fu

Most "average joes"  want to get in shape.  What they want without realizing it, is a combination of components to fitness:  endurance, strength, lean look etc.  

Nutrition accomplishes two things that I'm interested in, cosmetic function and performance function.   When I do scores of reps with 95% of my bodyweight it becomes necessary to combine these components to feel better so I can perform better.  

Since kettlebells can potentially cover a spectrum of almost all aspects of fitness with the exception of the 1 rep max powerlifting, or the marathon running elites, most people (99.99%) will not want to be an elite powerlifter (maybe I'm wrong;)) or an elite marathoner.  Most people say to me "I want to run a marathon."   I call this a "panic" weight loss plan.   Everything else had failed so if I just run a marathon I'l look like the person on the cover of runner's world. 

The human body has potential to exude feats but it is capable of work.  The energy components are a combination for a human is never truly built for strength or for endurance.   It is a complicated machine that requires a balance of these two main components of fitness.   Kettlebells alone are a powerful tool that can fit any mold of a strength/endurance combination.   

From personal experience, I've never felt more confident about taking on tasks that are non kettlebell related.  I need specific practice but certain requirements depending on the activity are not a problem.  

And that is the take away.  Most people will relate their experiences from before and after.  

My advice to those starting out:  listen to your coach for guidance and use common sense.  Work within your parameters.  

and kettlebell lifting again has aspects of strength/endurance together.  

I would like to try to someday jerk 70 kg kettlebell on one arm if there is one.  I have strength goals and endurance goals outside of kettlebells but my priority is strength/endurance in a sport groomed and perfected for over half a century and for the purpose to make a soldier fit to fight.  I want to be ready to fight and can't waste my time.   

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's benchmark

2 16 kg kettlebells test.  50 reps Long cycle for 5 minutes.

A goal for 1 month is to get this number(50) with 2 24 kgs.  

While it is good to shoot for the stars, 50 reps LC with 2 32kgs in 5 minutes while not impossible is virtually an unprecedented level for 70 kg bodyweight.  

But a goal before Toronto would be 50 reps LC with 2 28 kgs for 5 minutes.  Thats MS level at least.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Simplicity in kettlebells

This will be the shortest blog I write.  There is discussion about technique with the jerk in a few forums.  Its not about style.  Its about results.  How do I get the best results?  

Whether its about a few reps 

Or a lot of reps

And people miss these points:

Where do you get your information?
What is your result?  

Monday, July 7, 2008


Short and sweet.

At this point I'm starting a 3 minute session of LC so that I can recover.  My conditioning and wellness.   

2 16 kg.  I haven't done anything as of yet but I will post later.  I could be recovering much much faster but have to keep in mind that for the jaw bone to set(two more weeks),  I can't throw caution to the wind.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My opinion about changing the women's category. I call it empowerment!

and Why?

First of all I want to note that I respect all the categories of kettlebellers.  

There are categories under the worldkettlebellclub and they coincide with categories.  

Titles:  Master of Sport means being a Master of Kettlebell Sport, the upper echelon of lifting a kettlebell any style.  Master of Sport World Class is the equivalent of a Master that stands out among masters.  

In Russia where Kettlebell Sport had been perfected, there is a history of 60 years.   

The Category of Women is being altered to increase effectiveness of kettlebell competitions.  

And 60 years of history for men demonstrates that based on performance we choose to figure what weight to use, length of time and the exercises performed.  Russia needed a way to make its troops the pinnacle of strength endurance mocking other forms of training and had perfected it over 6 decades.  They decided 32 kg for men.  Up until my surgery had I felt that I truly figured out the best technique but I'll never stop thinking even then.  32 kg doesn't allow for many mistakes if I want to win a world championship.  Since the sport for women started much much later, it is still at an earlier stage of development.  Master of Sport can mean something different then it would for a man taking into account the gender difference.  

A fire fighter can't be differentiated for gender.  Special Ops guys can't be differentiated for gender. 

Kettlebells we can but it is true that women are more then half as strong as men potentially based on all other factors equal.  In my humble opinion, 16 kg is too light.  

Russia instituted 24 kg.  WKC is using 20 kg.  I think the latter is a wiser move.  Valery had put enormous amount of consideration into this.  When I felt like telling him how hard I worked putting it the 2.5-3 hours of kettlebell lifting per day and have him tell me "its really not that much".  When compared to his 7 hours I wake up.   I trust him because he has tried it all.

World class women athletes might train 7 hours a day but I doubt it.  The only way to know is to take away the mechanical advantage of barely legal reps by using a heavier kettlebell.  Two girls who put up the same numbers(when they rep out a very very fast rate) may not be the same person.   Change the weights and it may help identify who is better.  

You can put me next to Denisov with the right sized kettlebells.  

ie 1 minute of jerks with 2 12 kgs and it is questionable who win.  And uneducated individual would consider us the same for it.  Absurd.   

When 20 kg is saturated where women can't move any faster then it is time to consider a higher weight for that given exercise.  

Here is the common objection.  

People are either intimidated by 20 kg or its heavy for a girls sport.  

It is not.   Again this is an opinion.  
We have to keep in the back of our minds to figure out what constitutes a world class athlete.   

When I look at female powerlifters and olympic weight lifters who are twice stronger then me, I don't cut any slack for 44 lbs for a kettlebeller.   For someone starting out, competing professional should be out of the question as it is.   Master of Sport can be achieved if someone has the drive and the patience.  Anyone can do it but for some it is harder then others.   

Master of Sport is the beginning of being a professional.  

The harsh truth is a professional does something for a living.  In this case its lifting kettlebells for reps.   For argument's sake, a low level to mid level professional can be Master of Sport. 
The title demonstrates professionalism.  

44 lbs will eliminate mistakes with 16 kg and drive introspection.  For a motivational quote ladies, consider yourselves empowered because the challenge is greater then before.   

The harder something is, the more rewarding the accomplishment.   I'm excited for you.