Friday, August 31, 2007

New Kettlebell Info Magazine...

Attached is a link to another issue of Kettlebell Info Magazine. Enjoy!

RKC vs AKC...

I wanted to re post a review I did in May of the certification for the American Kettlebell Club. I was planning on going to the RKC in June but had to postpone it because of my disk injury in my neck. I still have my intention to go to the RKC listed on my site so once in a while I get questions on why I did not attend and if it because I like the AKC style better.

Here is my post:

"I have been lazy in posting my review of the Amercian Kettlebell Certification but will now summarize my thoughts.I thought it was very informative. It focused mainly on training for GS events but brought along alot of practical applications that I can use in my training. The focus was on the one arm jerk, the long cycle jerk, and the snatch. The three exercises are the staple of a GS event and I believe it is important to get proper instruction if competing is one of you main goals.

One of the reasons I went was because I am interested in competing in GS as ONE of my motivations for training. I also want to have the knowledge to pass along to clients that I may train in the future who want to compete in GS and increase their numbers.But I also do agree that there can be two styles of kettlebell lifting. GS aims for efficiency in the lifts for better results where I believe the RKC style if better suited for strength and size results because efficiency is not the main goal but the intensity of the training. I think that the RKC style better suits my personality and main goal for training.

I am aiming for a strong as I look body as a priority while "the numbers" are secondary.I would like to get to about 175lbs while maintaining a body fat level of about 8%. Neither of these things have much relevance to GS training. I also enjoy the multitude of KB lift available to me on a daily basis and enjoy mixing up my training very often.

This is the main thing that attracted my to kettlebell lifting in the first place and is why I love it so much.I hope in the future that all the different camps of kettlebell training can come together to unite so our "sport" can be broadcast to the world as the best tool for strength & conditioning available"!

I still fell this way and can appreciate both sides of the argument. There are many ways to train. I think that a person needs to find the system that best fits BOTH their goals and personality/training style. If you are not enjoying your training or seeing the results that you want then you may stop training all together. Whatever motivates you to get better is a good thing in my book. One of my favorite quotes is "you are either improving or regressing - there is no maintaining".

Another Day Off..

I am taking another day off after returning from CA. I am looking forward to returning to training tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last few days...

I did not have access to a computer for the last few days. Here is my training.

Tuesday 8/28 - Core Work

Windmills - 18lb body bar
TGU's - 18lb body bar
Russian Twists - 16kg bell
Plank - 30 seconds
Side Plank - 30 seconds each side

I did the above 5 times

Wednesday 8/29 - Modified Providence

I did the "Providence" workout from Anthony Diluglio with the training portion being about a minute with almost no rest in between - about 15 seconds.

Thursday 8/30 - Day Off

I am flying home tonight on the red eye and need to take some time off.

Monday, August 27, 2007

16kg Circuit Training

I got my 16kg Ader bell last night and used it this morning at the hotel gym. I have not training for strength-endurance in over a week do I did a circuit today. My training looked like this:

Clean & Press - 5 reps each side - 5 rounds - 50 total reps
Snatch - 5 reps each side - 5 rounds - 50 total reps
Alternating Walk Over KB Push Up - 5 reps each side - 5 rounds - 50 total reps

I finished with 5 sets of 3 reps of windmills - 15 each side - 30 total reps

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Off Day...

I am taking today off from training. I am in Southern California for business until Friday morning and will try to train all week but am thinking of taking a few more days off as I have been pushing it lately.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Strength Again....

I did another heavy workout today as I am leaving on business to CA for a week. I will have access to a 16kg bell not not much else.

I wanted to go heavy again before I rest fora few days next week. My training looked like this:

Incline Smith Machine Press - 135lbs, 145lbs, 155lbs, 165lbs, 175lbs - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps
Swings - 48kg bell - 5 sets of 5 25 reps
Renegade Rows with Push Up - 32kg bells - 5 sets of 5 25 reps each side
Pec Dec - 180lbs - 3 sets of 6 - 18 reps
Cable Flys - 50lbs,60lbs,70lbs - 3 sets of 6 - 18 reps

I finished with Hanging Pikes for 10 sets of 5.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Bells & Rope @ Home!

I keep most of my kettlebells at my local gym but have some at home. Attached is a picture of them with my new 30 foot rope. Tried some rope training this morning. It is a great cardio workout and alot harder to sustain the speed that you would think.

Strength Training...

I trained for strength today and rested much more than usual to try to focus on perfect reps and consistent pace. Although I did not keep track of time I structured the workout like EDT with two distinct super sets.

My training looked like this:

Double Clean Drop Sets - 24kg bells x3, 16kg bells x 4, 12kg bells x5 - 5 times through- 60 total reps
Swiss Ball Incline Chest Press - 24kg bells - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps

The 24kg chest press is the heaviest I have gone for chest in a while and felt good. I am inching closer to returning my right side to complete health strength wise. I still have some size to regain in my right chest and upper arm.

The seconds super set consisted of:

Double Snatch - 16kg bells - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps
Hanging Pikes - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps

The double snatch felt great and really puts the ballistic nature of the exercise in perspective as you power both bells over your head simultaneously. I have done 32kg double snatches in the past and remember the feeling...good stuff!

What is "Core"?

Stephen B - posted his description of "core" training as a response to my training yesterday. It is pretty cool! Check it out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Got My Rope Today!

Anthony DiLuglio has introduced rope training on his site - and I purchased a 30 foot rope that is a 1.5 inch diameter thick. I am looking forward to adding this as ancillary training to my kettlebell, shot and body weight training. My wife thinks I have really lost my mind. She trains with kettlebells, thinks I have lost it with the "shot" but the rope was the clincher. She said..." you will buy a 30 foot rope to stay in shape but complain if you have to mow the lawn". Sad but true!

Attached is a link to a video introducing rope training. Check out Anthony's site for more info. Have fun!

EDT - Core

In an effort to continue to train core separately from my regular training twice a week and to mix up my training I decided to train core today EDT style. I have never done this before but it seemed like a good idea. I used a 12lb "shot" - (go to to learn more) for the first group of exercises.

Here is my training:

First PR - 10 Minutes:

Saxon Side Bend - 12lb shot - 9 sets of 5 - 45 total reps
Hot Potato - 12lb shot - 9 sets of 5 - 45 reps

I wanted to hit my core from all angles and planes so I focused the vertical movement on the side bends and the horizontal movement on the hot potato.

I rested 2 minutes between PRs

Second PR - 5 Minutes

Hanging Pike - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps
Roman Chair Back Extension - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps

Again, I wanted to hit my core from all angles so I did exercises that focused on the front of my core and back of my core/

Most people think of ore training as just abdominal training but I think of it as training the following muscles: Abdominals, Obliques, Hip Flexors, Lower Back, and Hamstrings.

I believe that if you effectively and consistently (twice a week) train your core that the rest of your training will improve because you will be more injury resistant. Also, if you have a strong core your strength will increase because of the carry over effect and strong base of strength for the heavier and more intense lifts like the snatch, clean and press, squat, clean and windmill.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

5 Sets of 5

I decided to focus more on strength today instead of strength-endurance so I did 5 sets of 5 of four exercises. I also focused on my upper body as my legs are still fried from the 150 swings and 100 dragon walks Sunday. My right arm/chest is still weaker than my left because of the herniated disk in my neck so the chest exercises are very light. I need to build up the strength slowly.

My training looked like this:

Iron Cross - 16kg bells - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps
KB Rows - 24kg bell - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps
Swiss Ball Incline Press - 16kg bells - 25 reps
Hanging Pikes - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps

I did the above in a circuit fashion. I rested a little (about 30 seconds) between each cycle of the circuit as I wanted to conserve strength and concentrate on good form. The one problem I see with a strength-endurance type circuit where you are condensing the volume and racing the clock is that there inevitably is a break down in form. A rep should not count unless it is done in good form otherwise it is like lying about your score on the golf course. You are only cheating yourself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I contemplated not training today as I am still sore from Sunday's training but I decided to keep it short and light with an emphasis on core training with some easy stuff (slingshots & halos) just to get the blood flowing and loosen up my shoulders and upper back.

My training looked like this:

Slingshot - 16kg bell - 10 reps each direction
Double Windmill - 16kg bells - 5 reps each side
Halos- 12kg bell - 5 reps each direction
Dive Bomber Push Up/Floor Pike - 5 reps each
Plank - 30 seconds

I did the above 3 times.

I finished with 5 sets of 5 hanging knee raises bringing my knees as close to my elbows as possible.

Not the most intense workout but just what I needed - an active rest and an easy training day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day Off...

I am taking today off from training. My CNS was fried yesterday after my workout and felt like a truck hit me. Time to ramp down the intensity a bit before I overdo it. Maybe I will go for a bike ride with my 8 year old.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Swing Drop Sets, Dragon Walks & Pikes

I felt like doing some swings today and decided to focus on legs while getting my heart rate up. I was motivated to have a great workout but did not want to overdo it and injure myself again. It is a fine line to walk but I think I accomplished both today.

My training looked like this:

Two Handed Swings - 40kg bell, 28kg bell & 24kg bell - consecutive sets of 5 - 15 reps total


Dragon Walks - 10 steps each leg

I did the above 10 times while resting as little as possible in between sets.

The total was:

150 sets of swings for a total of 10,120 lbs in swings and
100 steps of dragon walks on each leg.

I finished with pikes for 5 sets of 5.

I am planning on taking tomorrow off to rest. Much needed as I am headed toward over training.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Core Training...

I had more soreness than usual this morning after my training yesterday. I was going to take today off but was motivated to do some core work. I kept it short and light today.

My training looked like this:

TGU - 16kg bell - 3 reps each side
Windmill - 16kg bell - 3 reps each side
Slingshot - 16kg bell - 10 reps each direction
Figure 8 /Hold - 16 kg bell - 10 reps
Pike - 5 reps
Rope Crunch - 130lbs - 10 reps
Roman Chair Back Lift- 25lb plate - 10 reps
Decline Sit Ups - 25lb plate - 10 reps

I did the above circuit 3 times with no rest in between each exercise.

Friday, August 17, 2007

EDT - Whole Body & Pikes

Today I trained my whole body EDT style.

PR One - 15 Minutes

Alternating Hang C & P's - 16kg bells - 8 sets of 5 - 40 reps each arm - 80 total reps
Alternating Swiss Ball Incline Chest Presses - 16kg bells - 8 sets of 5 - 45 reps each arm - 80 total reps

I rested 4 minutes between PR's

PR Two - 10 Minutes

Snatches - 24kg bell - 5 sets of 5 - 25 reps each arm - 50 total reps
Renegade Rows - 24kg bells - 5 sets of 5 each arm - 50 total reps

The first PR was tough because it was the first time in a while I have tried chest presses. I have been doing push ups to build up my chest strength and want to keep progressing without injuring myself again. The disk problem in my neck seems to be in check. Both exercises done back to back really fry your chest, tri's and shoulders!

In the second PR I decided to go heavier than I have been training lately and focus on strict form during the exercises. I try to use mostly my legs and hip snap during the snatches and focused on keep my back as strait as a board during the renegade rows.

I finished my training with 5 sets of 5 pikes. If you do not know what a pike is - it is a hanging leg raise where you bring your strait legs all the way up to your hands as you are hanging from a pull up bar or beam. It is a notch above the regular HLR in terms of difficulty and really fries your abs, lower back and stretches your hamstrings and hip flexors. A great exercise but not easy to master.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

10 Consecutive Core Exercises...

I like to train core twice a week as a stand alone training session so today I picked 10 exercises and completed them back to back for a minute each with almost no rest in between - except to switch exercises. I mixed some body weight training like the plank and hanging leg raises in with my kettlebell training. My training looked like this:

  1. Saxon Side Bend - 12kg bell
  2. Windmill - 16kg bell - 30 seconds each side
  3. Plank
  4. Figure 8/Hold - 16kg bell
  5. Russian Twist - 16kg bell
  6. Ab Wheel
  7. Get Up Sit Up - 16kg bell - 30 seconds each side
  8. Side Plank - 30 second each side
  9. Alternating One Leg Raise
  10. Hanging Leg Raises

This smoked my abs and core and the the hanging leg raises were really difficult to complete at the end for a minute strait. Next time I am going to aim for 2 times through the circuit with no rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

17 Minutes of Hell - Part 2 (12:29)

This morning I decided to take another run at my 17 minute circuit from last week. I wanted to improve my time substantially and ended up taking 4:31 off my time to complete the training in 12:29. I still had to rest some between exercises as my strength endurance need some work as I recover from my disk injury.

My training looked like this:

C & P - 5 reps L and R
Pull ups - 5 reps
Snatch - 5 reps L and R
Alternating KB Push Up - 5 reps L and R

I ended up finishing all four rounds in 12:29 minutes and rested as little as possible.

The total number of reps completed were:

C & P - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total
Pull ups - 20 reps total
Snatch - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total
Alternating KB Push Up - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total

My eventual goal is 5 cycles in under 10 minutes.

I want to thank John Culotta for pushing me to do better than last time as he smoked me after I posted the 17 minutes from hell. He completed 5 cycles in 12:20. That is the reason for this blog - to share ideas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Day Off...

After 4 strait days of training I am taking a much needed day off. I plan on resuming training tomorrow and trying another crack at my "17 minute" workout. Results to follow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

600 Seconds of Core Work...

I have to give credit to Anthony Diluglio for inspiring me to create the following core training session. I was planning on doing some core work and began thinking of time under tension. Anthony's AOS:Essentials is basically a string of exercises without putting the bell down that creates a tremendous amount of time under tension for the muscles involved.

I wanted to do some core work and took his idea and translated it to a 10 minute continuous core training session. Imitation is the most sincere for of flattery and he has inspired me to take my training up a notch. I used the 16kg bell for the whole sequence.

Here is the "600 seconds of Core" :

  • Start on the ground with the bell in the left hand in the beginning position of a TGU
  • Do a TGU to the top position
  • Complete windmill until the bell is above your head
  • Do three reps of a figure 8/hold - with bell handle in right hand
  • Go into a snatch until the bell is above your head in your right hand
  • Complete a windmill on the right side
  • Go back to the ground using the TGU

Repeat for 10 minutes.

Feedback is appreciated!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

EDT - Whole Body

Today I trained my whole body EDT style.

PR One - 15 Minutes

Long Cycle Double C & P's - 16kg bells - 9 sets of 5 - 45 reps
Renegade Rows - 16kg bells - 9 sets of 5 - 45 reps

I rested 2 minutes between PR's

PR Two - 10 Minutes

Swings - 24kg bell - 6 sets of 10 - 60 reps
Hanging Leg Raises - 6 sets of 10 - 60 reps

This was a great workout. 27 minutes counting the 2 minute rest. I wanted to go light to see how my arm/neck would feel on the double kb exercises. I am going to increase the weight later this week to see how I feel.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I need to pace my training as I recover from my disk injury. I took a step back in intensity today and did AOS: Elevation with 3 passes through the circuit.

Friday, August 10, 2007

17 Minutes Of Hell....

This morning I decided to focus on a whole body workout focusing on strength and strength endurance. I picked four exercises and my goal was to complete 4 rounds of the circuit in as little time as possible. I used the 20kg bell.

My training looked like this:

C & P - 5 reps L and R
Pull ups - 5 reps
Snatch - 5 reps L and R
Alternating KB Push Up - 5 reps L and R

I ended up finishing all four rounds in 17 minutes and rested as little as possible. Because you are doing full body with no rest this training tires you very fast. Every exercise make the next harder and harder. I was smoked at the end!

The total number of reps completed were:

C & P - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total
Pull ups - 20 reps total
Snatch - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total
Alternating KB Push Up - 20 reps L & 20 reps R - 40 reps total

My goal next time I try this is 5 rounds in 17 minutes.

It is kind of funny when I am done training like this and am smoked in 17 minutes and see other people at the gym going through the motions without even breathing hard...and they have been training for over an hour and have little or no results to show for it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Another OFF day...

I am taking today off from training after doing 255 total reps yesterday. I am a bit wiped but mentally ready for training tomorrow. 225 of the reps were using the 24kg bell (30 were body weight push ups) meaning I lifted 11,925 lbs of iron in about 30 minutes. Good Stuff!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

C & P/Chin Up Ladders and Swings/Alt KB Push Ups

Today I did ladders with the 24kg bell on the C & P and Chin up. I did 5 ladders with 4 rungs on each ladder.

The 4 ladders looked like this:

C & P - L & R
Chin Up

1 x 1 1 rep
1 x 2 2 reps
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 4 4 reps

I did the above 5 times. There were 10 reps each ladder for a total of:

50 C & P reps left
50 C & P reps right
100 total C & P reps

50 total Chin Ups

Then I did 3 sets of 25 reps of the two handed swing with the 24kg bell
3 sets of 5 reps of the Alternating KB push Up - 15 reps each side for 30 total push ups.

I did not rest between the above two exercises.

I felt good and wanted to push more but need to back off when I feel like that....One of my favorite quotes is appropriate..."The next step off a peak is a long way down"!

I will probably walk the dog or stretch/do core work tomorrow as an active rest.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Core Work

I had a bit of DOMS this morning from my ladders on Sunday so I focused on core work. I did Windmills, Slingshots, figure 8/hold, Turkish get-ups, Get up sit-ups in a random fashion for about 25 minutes.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Keep your kettlebell training simple

Kettlebell training is finally making a surge into the mainstream market. Every day, new people get exposed to this style of training and fall in love. Kettlebell training can stay fun and effective if you'll just keep it simple as you get started.

Walk The Dog

As an active rest I walked the dog for 2 miles with my 8 year old son. Good way to get some exercise while lettign your body rest.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Snatch & KB Pushup Ladders

Today I did ladders with the 20kg bell on the snatch and alternating KB push up. I did 4 ladders with 5 rungs on each ladder. The 4 ladders looked like this:

Snatch L & R then
Push up L & R

1 x 5 5 reps
1 x 4 4 reps
1 x 3 3 reps
1 x 2 2 reps
1 x 1 1 rep

I did the above 4 times.

15 reps each ladder for a total of:

60 Snatch reps left
60 Snatch reps right
120 total snatch reps

60 push ups left
60 push ups right
120 total push ups

I feel great but I plan on taking AT LEAST two days off this week to avoid over training.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Modified "Providence"

Today I did "Providence" in one minute rounds with a shorter (30 second rest) in between rounds to build up my endurance. I alter it a bit and added more chest at the end. I used the 16kg bell.

Beta-Alanine: Better than Creatine?

I have been using Beta 7 - a lactic acid buffer - for about 6 months now and love it! Check out the following artice and read for yourself!

Friday, August 3, 2007

C & P and Snatch Ladders

This morning I tried some clean & press and snatch ladders with the 20kg bell and24kg bell. I felt a bit tired this morning so I wanted to back off on the intensity and take it easy. Training looked like this:

First I did the 20kg ladders:
I did the ladders twice with the 20kg bell
C & P Ladders then Snatch immediately after the C & P

1X1,2,3 6 reps total for each exercise
1X1,2 3 reps total for each exercise
1X1 1 rep for each exercise

I did the above twice with the 20kg bells.

My final set I used the 24kg bell. That adds another 10 reps for C & P and snatch.

Total reps per arm for my training totaled 30 reps for the C & P and 30 for the snatch. Good short training session.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

AOS: Essentials Test

Today I returned to training after 72 hours off and felt great. I did the 6 minutes Art of Strength Essential test (see Sunday 7/29/7 training for a description) twice with the 16kg bell. In between the 6 minutes rounds I did two sets of ten of hanging leg raises. I spent 3 minutes doing the HLR and resting in between both sets of the Essentials Test. The training lasted 15 minutes and is a true test of will. 15 minutes doesn't seem like much until you try it with only about 2 minutes of total rest in the whole circuit. Good stuff!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Few Days Off....

I did not train yesterday or today because of work related travel but am looking forward to resuming my training tomorrow. It was a nice break from my return to training and hopefully what my body needed going forward as I ramp up my intensity.