New toys, training like a Viking and the beginning of my 2nd coaching session

June 18, 2011

My first session of distance coaching with Sandy Sommer has some to an end. I’d definitely call it a success. I dropped a few lbs, deadlifted 250 pounds (never done that before, EVER) and my clothes are fitting better.

The program was simple. It was a mix of kettlebells, freeweights a little bit of my chinup bar and my jumprope. 4 times a week. None of the workouts were more than 30 minutes, except for the last few swing/jumprope supersets. Simple isn’t always easy, however. They were challenging to say the least.

I’m starting round 2 with him. There is going to be an emphasis on conditioning while maintaining my strength. Also I’ll be paying more attention to joint mobility. So important once you round 4o. I’d say if you pay more attention to it while you’re in your 20′s and 30′s, you won’t have to concentrate so much on it while you hit the big four-oh. Said another way, mobility, and fitness, is easier to keep and maintain than it is to get back.

That’s where the new toys come in. To improve my conditioning, I’ll be spending more time on the mVO2 protocol outlined in Viking Warrior Conditioning. I did that in round 1, but only once a week. My first week has 3 sessions. YIPE. This is where the first of my toys come in to play. I’ve recently bought a Polar heart rate monitor to see just how hard I’m working and how hard the mVO2 protocol will be working me. I actually got the idea from one of the kettlebell guys I follow on facebook, Faizal Enu. He owns Bayshore Kettlebells. I liked his thoughts on them, so since I’m about to test the upper limits of my CV system, I figured it would be fun to track. Check his blog out, he’s the real deal.

Toy #2 – this one is a simple one. Lacrosse balls. Sandy turned me on to a great mobility site, Mobility WOD. Kelly Starett, DPT runs this site and has excellent ways to keep loose and “supple like a leopard”. His words, not mine :) Anyhoo….. back to the lacrosse balls. Both gentlemen recommended them for trigger point release, or, in a simpler terms, to get to those deep knots that we all have living in our backs and necks, and who knows where. They’re cheap and easy to use. I have some shoulder mobility issues. The first day using the balls, I found a NASTY knot that I believe will help solve some of the problems in my left shoulder. It may not totally fix it, but I can already feel an improvement. I’ve been using a foam roller to help with those spots, but the lacrosse balls really target those tough spots.

One last thing, I’ve got my semiannual doctors visit on Tuesday. Bloodwork was drawn last week. I’ll be interested to see how my cholesterol and other important numbers are looking.

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What did I do?

May 16, 2011

I haven’t worked out since Saturday. I don’t think I over did it, but I woke up Sunday morning and my left shoulder was hurting and I wasn’t sleeping on it.

When I got out of bed, I ached. VO2 max protocol was out of the question. I didn’t know what was going on.

My hands hurt, meaning my middle knuckle on each finger. My wrist hurts where my navicular meets my radius, both wrists. My shoulders ache, AC joints. Knees, back, hips. Not muscular, but more joint pain. I think my hip pain is more muscular and maybe my neck. I’ve lost ROM for sure.

It’s Monday night and it’s better, but still not right. I can’t figure out why.

My deadlift and millitary press workout Saturday had a PR of 235 on the DL. I presed 115 once. Now what I did do was use a different grip, not utilizing my thumb. That may be the reason for my hands and wrists hurting. As far as my neck and shoulders. Still wondering.

I tried to snatch my 16kg one time today and it hurt just to grip.

Am I foam rolling too much? Was that new grip not a good idea?

Alleve isn’t really helping. Not like I’d like. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.


The end of week 4 and 1st half of my distance coaching

May 5, 2011

I just finished up the first half of my distance coaching. I’d have to say the results are great.

My weight went from 194 to 190. Pants are looser and I feel great. Cant wait to see what weeks 5-8 have in store. AND, Lana just bought  a new dress shirt for me. It’s a 15 1/2 inch neck, Classic fit Polo buttondown. I could get the collar buttoned. It was tight, but I could breathe. It wasn’t long ago that I was wearing 18 inch or 18 1/2 inch collars. Nice

A good plan, executed well,will bring results

In my last post I didn’t quite hit my VO2 max workout time of 13 min with the kettlebell snatches. Turns out I may have been sick, sinusy or something. It started the Sunday before, but I hit 12 min with no issues. This week I was getting ready to leave on vacation so I did that workout before breakfast and coffee. I had to stop after 9 minutes. Well I think I had some sinus issues also, which I’m sure didn’t help. I didn’t really feel right until Tuesday. Sometimes you don’t realize how badly you feel until you start feeling better.

Last nights workout was an easy one. Deloading

Millitary Press  45,55, and 65 x5

Deadlift  135  3 sets of 5

Workout 5 Thursday night

TGU’s 10 minutes alternating hands. 3 breaths at each position. 35lb bell

Jump Rope/Swing :30/:30 with a minute of rest. 10 rounds. I may have one 11. Not sure

Luckily, I left my ego at the door and did the swings with the 35lb bell. This was actually challenging, done correctly. I wanted to grab my 44.  Glad I didn’t.

I read an article this morning from TNation by Dan John. It was on tabata intervals. He quoted on the swing

“If you feel swings in your lower back, you’re doing them wrong and you need to stop. If swings make your hamstrings sing and feel smoked the next day, you’re doing them right and you may continue.”

It brought me back to my lesson with Michael Spain. He really tweaked my swing technique and I could really feel it in my hammys. It made me take stock of my form again and make sure I did it right. Choosing qualtity over quantity or poundage was the correct choice.


Week 4 weekend workout

May 1, 2011

Week 4 begins of my coaching sessions. It’s also the end of the first half of that session.

I’ve definitely made progress, dropped a few lbs – I saw 189 this morning. I was 194 when I started. We’ll see how that holds as I’m about to leave on a short family trip. I feel stronger for sure. My workouts have been progressing a bit each week with the volume and weights I’m using. But not so much as to make me feel like I’m overtraining.

Saturday barbell workout

Millitary Press

 45, 55 x 5, 65 x 3

85  x 5, 95 x 3, 105 x 1

Deadlift

135 x 5,5 135 x 3

180 x 5, 200 x 3 and 225 x 1

I posted a video in my last deadlift session,which was critiqued by my coach. I was pleased to hear my form wasn’t bad. All I needed to do was drop my tail a bit. No problem, easy enough fix.

Sunday VO2 max protocol

35lb Kettlebell snatches :15/:15 for 13 min, or 26 sets   EPIC FAIL

Since, I’m going on vacation today, I got up early, before church, and did my VO2 workout. Or at least attempted it. I didn’t get close. I hit 9 minutes and really started to struggle. Had to rest, tried to finish the last 4 minutes, but couldn’t do it. Not sure if it was because I wasn’t awake/warm enough, shouldn’t have done this before breakfast or my coffee. Who knows.

Another fitness buff that I follow on facebook, Jedd Johnson, says: “Misses aren’t failures, they’re just warmups!”

So there ya go. I didn’t hit that one. I’ll knock it out of the park on the next one.


Week 2 Coaching

April 21, 2011

Just finished up week 2’s workouts and I’m really enjoying it. I know I keep saying this, but it’s true and a testament to planning your workouts at least a day in advance, if not a week if possible.

My Coach, Sandy Sommer took off this week on vacation so he sent me this week and next weeks workouts. I got a little peek and understanding to what he’s doing. Definitely a method to his madness.

Saturday 4-16

Military Press

 45, 55 x 5, 65 x 3, 80 x 5, 90 x 3 and 100 x 1
Deadlift 135 x 5,5 3, 170 x 5, 195 x 3, 215 x 1

     I like this workout and it’s a nice progression. Hits the whole body and doesn’t take all day.

Sunday 4-17

Kettlebell Snatches VO2 Max 15/15 with 16kg bell for 11 minutes

     I LOVE this workout. Last weeks VO2 was for 10 minutes, next weeks for 12. Slowly working up to improve my   conditioning. I need to go ahead and get Viking Warrior Conditioning to get more out of this concept. My first couple of sets I got 7 reps on each side well within the 15 seconds. By the end, was barely getting them in.

Tuesday 4-19

Military Press 45,55 and 65 x 5
Deadlift 135 x 5,5,5

Nice simple deload workout. This week was crazy and I did this Tuesday morning before I got into my day. I don’t think I like deadlifting that early in the morning before I’ve had time to get up, properly caffeineated and loosened up. Glad it wasn’t any heavier.

Thursday 4-21

TGU 35 lbs 12 minutes. 3 breaths at each phase

I think Sandy is trying to torture me me with these. The slow progression is killer. I definitely need to record this and have him critique me. Some parts of the progression are easier than others, even from side to side.

Super Set
10 2H swings
10 pushups
as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. I used a 44lb bell.

I don’t think I swung much last week. I missed it. Maybe I could do that in my “active recovery” days. I really like the swing a lot. From what I saw in next week workouts, I’ll be making up for this.

All in all another great workout week designed my Coach Sommer. I’ve weighed and the number was good, but I’ll weigh another time to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It does seem that my pants are getting a bit looser and that’s awesome! Which brings me to another point, DIET, not as a verb, but as in what I eat. I’m not being very disciplined with my eating. I need to get that back together. Maybe even post an eating journal. Wouldn’t THAT be scary. All I know is you cannot out train a bad diet and all the work in the world will be lost if I keep this up.

MJS


Day 5, last workout of week 1

April 14, 2011

Well, my first week of coached workouts has come to completion, and I must say it’s  been awesome

A very simple program with 4 workouts and an active recovery day. And I assume 2 rest days to make 7. I was having trouble deciding what to do for active recovery. I should be reaching for the bike and I will, going forward. I chose the Trampoline yesterday, or as Sophie calls it, the Bamp-o-line. A few minutes jumping with the kiddos can loosen things up nicely and it does wonders for your psyche.

I loved this workout today. a bit evil and tough

Turkish Getups with a 35 lb bell 10 minutes

I was to hold each part of the movement for 3 breaths. That will take a bit of time to do efficiently.

Goblet Squat with a 44lb bell supersetted with 2 pullups. As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. I got 17.

That was a tough one as pullups aren’t my strong suit, but I love goblet squats. I’d like to be able to get 5 strict pullups.

Rest day tomorrow and then the start of week 2. I can’t wait

Have a great weekend


Day 2 VO2 max

April 13, 2011

Day 2 was a good one, quick but good

One thing about Kettlebells, they’re simple and this workout was about as simple as it gets.

10 minutes of Snatches with a 35lb bell using the VO2 max protocol.

What it that you ask? It’s 10 minutes of buttkicking.  Kettlebell snatches using :15 seconds of work and :15 seconds of rest. My goal was 10 minutes or 20 sets and I hit it. And oh yes, you’re doing 7 or 8 snatches during that 15 seconds. I did 7 per set. Doing the math, that’s 140 snatches in 10 min.

It was tough. In fact I don’t think I’ve gotten near the 10 minutes with this type of workout before. Not that I couldn’t, but I hadn’t set out with a goal of 10 minutes. Once again, a testament to planning your workouts. To tell the truth, it felt really good when I finished. Partially because I was done, mainly because I accomplished the 10 minutes I set out to do.

Kenneth Jay, Master RKC, has a book out that I’m about to read called Viking Warrior Conditioning. This protocol comes from that book.  While I don’t pretend to know all of it yet, I’ve gotten the jist of it and it seems like a fantastic way to increase your conditioning. This protocol is a big part of it, from what I’ve seen about the book so far.  I’m looking forward to reading it. One of my fitness goals is to increase my cardiovascular conditioning. This will help. When I started training for the Freeze Your Fanny bike ride this past February, I vividly remember my first training ride. It seemed like I hadn’t laid off riding at all. I attribute that to Kettlebell work.

Next up Active recovery day. Actually that turned into a straignt rest day.

Michael