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.


Week 3 workout 4

April 28, 2011

Getups and Swings, oh my

Again, another simple but taxing workout

Turkish getups 5 min 5 breaths at each position

This was tough as I didn’t get many getups in, but I was under load for a long time. Can really feel it in my shoulders

300 Kettlebell Swings, any style

I switched back between my 44 and 35 doing 2 and 1 handed swings. It took about 19 and a half minutes.

All in all a workout that was less than 30 minutes.

Cant wait to see whats in store for next week.

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 4, 3rd Coaching Workout

April 14, 2011

Day 3 (yesterday) was supposed to be an active recovery day. It was just a rest day. Monday got away from me.

Workout #3 was another barbell session. I think I’m going to like the barbell sessions twice a week, if they keep up.

Millitary Press

45 x5

55 x5

65 x3

75, 85, and 95 x3


135 x1, 5, and 3

160, 180 and 205 x1

Nice low volume workout and I was able to get it in before the T-ball game. About 20 minutes, if that.

I did break protocol on the DL’s a bit. I did 180 and 205 twice.

I was pretty pumped up from the day. My facebook account was left open when I left for work and my loving wife, Lana, was mercilessly hacking me all day. Funny stuff and it had me charged up. It’s amazing the two way street your mood and excercise can have on each other. I’ve been in horrible moods, hopped on the bike or grabbed a bell and 20 minutes later I’m a new man, all calm and docile 😉 This time it was the other way. I was in an awesome mood and felt like I could have lifted that end of the house. Endorphins are a wonderful thing.

The next session is going to be a good one. Turkish Getups and supersets of Goblet squats and pullups. WOO HOO>

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.


Day 1 Distance Training

April 12, 2011

I got my workout plan for week 1 and I was excited to get started. I must have been. Up at 630, at the T-ball fields by 730, home at 1230. I should have been whipped.

I went ahead and started Day 1 of the program. I like it. Funny I almost delayed signing up right now because of T-ball. What a cheesey excuse. Please, like no one’s busy. That’s how I hit 250 a few years ago. Any excuse not to take care of myself.

Funny thing too. This session started off with Military Pressing and Deadlift. I actually enjoy deadlifting now, but never had in the past when I belonged to Globogym…. Guess I’m opting for simple over flashy now in my workouts.

Here it is

Military Barbell Press

45 x5

55 x5

65 x3

70, 80, 90 x3


135 x1

135 x5

135 x3

150, 175, 195 x5

I really liked this workout. I had been deadlifting first, then pressing. Not sure it mattered, but it since I don’t have a rack and have to pick everything up from the floor, my lower back is nice and warm by the time I finish the presses.

At first I thought the pressing was going to be a bit light, but it seems right on. Especially in light of the fact that tomorrows workout will be Kettlebell snatches. Lots of them…


The Joy of Coaching

April 12, 2011

Everyone is good at something. No matter how good you are, or what it’s at, you can always learn something else, or benefit from idea sharing or advice. In my last post I talked about my first lesson with a real, live, RKC Kettlebell instructor. I’d been going it on my own for some time now. I’m doing ok, but definitely don’t know it all, so I sought out a good instructor and had an excellent workout.  I’ll definitely go visit him again, but, one lesson and a small arsenal of Kettlebells and weights does not a solid fitness program make.

I’ve started a new chapter in my fitness quest. I’ve enlisted the help of a qualified coach, Sandy Sommer, to help me with my workouts. Sandy owns Charm City Kettlebells in Baltimore. He offers distance coaching as well and I’m his newest client. I’m excited about this as everything you do that is worthwile needs a plan and work to make it happen. Fitness is no different. Funny that we talked about this in Sunday School today, the difference between Good Intentions and Living Intentionally. You can have the best intentions to eat well (another conversation altogether) and train properly, but if you just go do it, who knows what kind of results you’ll get. If you make a plan and stick to it, or at least execute it as well as you can, not perfectly most likely, but at least execute it, you will like the results you get.

Said another way, “Aim high, if you miss, you’ll still miss high”. Aim low or don’t aim at all and well, you finish that sentence. Again, more advice I should apply to my personal life as well, again, another conversation.

My coaching progam will be eight weeks and if you check out the online training part on Sandy’s site you’ll find he’s very reasonable. From what I know of Sandy so far, I believe that I’ll get a great program as well. But its not all about the training. You have to mind what you eat. I started eating Paleo style in January and had some great success. While I was away on a business trip the first part of March, my fridge went out and it was about 10 days after I got back before it worked properly again. I fell off of the wagon until last week. I didn’t give up any ground, but I didn’t improve any either. Long story short for another posting, I felt great, my body worked great eating like that. This fitness program will cause me to pay more attention to how I eat, which will help my results.

Either way, I’m excited to work with someone. I’ve worked out by myself for far too long. It’s good to have someone push you. I’m actually having my workouts laid out for me and that’s cool. I just completed Day 4. 3 workout days and an active rest day, which was more of a rest day. I’m liking the workouts so far, it’s great mix of Kettlebells and free weights. Is it rocket science? No it’s not. But it’s planned out and I think that’s going to bring great benefits. I’ve gotten the first week written out for me. I don’t have to come up with what I’m going to do, just picture the days I’m going to do it and execute. It’s two days of free weights and two days of kettlebell or bodyweight work, with an active recovery day and two rest days. Makes perfect sense. None of the workouts will take much more than 30 minutes, which is perfect for my schedule.

While I just started this, I’ll go ahead and post some stats and other info I’ll use to measure progress

Bodyweight 194 lbs

Bodyfat 17%. Who knows how accurate my scale is

I just bought 2 pair of dress pants. Size 34 waist. They fit, and arent uncomfortable, but the waist could be a bit looser. That will be the key. I’m not so concerned with my weight as I am how my clothes fit. When those loosen up, I know I’m getting results.

Here’s to planning and execution!

see ya soon