a kettlebell training log, and
a launch pad for aberrant missives

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pick Me, Call Me, Scam Me

Coz I'm all dark and twisty.

Dear Mrs. Cremas,

My friend and colleague the Iron Tamer really wanted to work with your daughter, and I am so glad you responded to his email with more details about Jullie's plans. Why don't we plan on having Jullie stay in San Francisco for two months and then go on to Nashville for two months? I am actually not sure what state Nashville is in, but neither do you, so that's okay.

You must be keeping track of so many letters, so I'll just include yours here to keep us all on the same page.

Hello ,

Thanks for your response,My daughter is 18 year old and she have little basic knowledge about these Kettlebell.And i want her to come down to your lesson in order to keep her busy during her staying.I will like you to understand that my Jullie will be coming from Singapore to stay with her friend in your location.But she will be staying for 2 months i will want you to teach her for 2 months (4 days training a week) .So kindly let me know the total amount i'm to pay for these 2 months (4 days training a week) plus any other expensives..Hope this is okay with you? If so kindly please advise back with the total amount i'm to pay,so that i can make the payment payable to you,including with your name and contact address including your phone number in which you will receive the cheque before her arrival next month November.

I will be glad to read from you soonest.

Best regards,

Mrs Christine Cremas

Wow, your family is from Singapore! I visited there when I was eight. I love Singapore fried rice! Do you know my friend Karen? She has curly hair, wears glasses, and we met at an international science camp the summer before college. She must still be about my age, quite possibly taller. Jullie has little basic knowledge about kettlebells? How about little advanced knowledge? No worries, I am a very patient teacher. And I have a job for Jullie. I will appoint her the Bubble Gum Monitor! She will make all my students spit out their gums before class. Gum-chewing is one of my biggest pet peeves. In fact, if Jullie trains hard enough she can become an RKC and go to our private forum and read my famous Bubble Gum Rant. And if I may ask, how much does she weigh? The new RKC snatch test is very difficult for over-weight girls. In fact, I need to lose a few pounds myself so maybe she and I can do the Warrior Diet together?

I think Jullie will find San Francisco a most welcoming city. In fact, we are known as a sanctuary. That means if she overstays her visa, it's perfectly legal for her to stay here as an illegal, and since she's 18, she can even drive a car! We have really pretty boys in town, but too bad most of them only like other pretty boys. But I do love 'em boys coz they all love to workout, and that's good for business. Of course, you can expect to get postcards of her posing on our beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. A new safety net will soon be built to turn the world's most scenic exit into the world's most scenic no-way-out. It only costs $50 million to install, and I'm sure you're glad that our city spares no expenses when it comes to our well-being and mental health.

Regarding my fees, upon further thought, can you put me on your payroll and do the federal tax withholding for me? I am ridding my life of administrative baloney. We must be in compliance with FUTA - the F. U. Tax Act. To keep things simple, I will only ask for $200,000 in wages.

Since I am extremely busy, I have assigned all scheduling and client communication duties to my pimp. Please direct any future correspondence to:

Mr. Esef Peedee
Hall of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room 419
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 553-1521

One last note here. Please have Jullie arrive on Tuesday, November 4. An apocalypse that happens only once every four years is not to be missed. Here's how Obumma vs. McPain will play out in Northern California. Either you will see a massive exodus to Canada on Wednesday morning, or the Dow will again free fall and I will raise my rates by 300% to make up for my generous handouts, and Jullie can do my plumbing. (But she must join the union first.)

Respectfully,

Cecilia Tom, RKC

P.S. Since Mr. Smith Grand is your husband, Mr. Rhodes Cremas must be your brother. I understand that he contacted a dojo in Mississippi back in March to inquire about aikido and judo lessons for his daughter Jullie. So your niece's name is also Jullie? Ah, I get it now. You slept with your brother. Angels and insects, birds and bees, they all do it. No problem.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Open Letter To Mrs. Cremas

Dear Mrs. Cremas,

Since you so kindly sent an email to me this morning, I am going to so kindly respond to you on my very popular blog, because I believe that many of your fellow Nigerians may have similar questions, and I'd like to address all of them here to help keep the global internet bandwidth free from detritus.

First, here's a faithful reproduction of your email inquiry. I am disabling my Blogger spell-check for the moment.

Hello,

I am Mrs Christine Cremas.I contact you on KettlebellTraining.Well my Daughter (Jullie) is coming to stay with her freindfor 2 months and she love Kettlebell. I want her to be coming to yourtraining during her staying ok.

So Note: My Daughter Jullie is just a beginner, so please kindly teachher well. Also kindly let me know your charges cost of thetraining,inorder for me to arrange for her payment before her travel.

Please Advise back on
1. The cost for the training within these 2 months
2. Let me know your mode of payment either by cheque.
3. And your contact Name and address and including your phone numberfor the payment.

I will be glad to read from you soonest.

Best regards,

Mrs Christine Cremas.


Mrs. Cremas, is the "e" pronounced like in cremate or is it more like crème brûlée, and do you emphasize the second syllable as in ass? Sorry for all these questions. I do want to address you correctly.

I would love to work with your daughter Jullie. Since I live in San Francisco, and today is the 19th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, I'd like to inform you that I am raising my rates to include a special earthquake surcharge. So, to answer your questions -

1. A two-month luxury one-on-one package would cost you $10,000 + 19% earthquake insurance = $11,900. A two-on-one package with myself and another male RKC trainer specializing in the PTTP Bear Program would cost double. A gang bang package can be arranged, but you will have to pay the City of San Francisco for a special permit.

2. I only take cash. I know it's not safe for a young lady to travel with so much money. I would suggest that she put the cash in a plastic bag and shove it up her ass.

3. Regarding my name, address and phone number, please be informed that it is common law in the United States to require businesses to operate under fictitious names. If you're seeking to make contact with deep-pocketed individuals and service providers, your best bet is to data-mine the ACORN voter registration files in Ohio.

I suppose Jullie is touring our country and not only staying in San Francisco, so I'd like to recommend other enormously popular kettlebell instructors who can guarantee her sissification. For example, Ryan "Sgt." Shanahan specializes in "
ripitude" using hollowed-out kettlebells. Then there's Michelle Khai, who sells affordable 4 lb. kettlebells that can double as paper weights.

As you well know, I am also a certified Z Health practitioner, and through the grapevine I heard that your son Jullian may need the services of trainers in the Z Health network. Since I am so kindly kind, I took the initiative to compose an introduction letter for you, similar to the one you sent me. I think it will bring you many usable leads, and I'm really glad to have the opportunity to help you out.

Here it is :-)

Hello,

I am Mrs Christine Cremas.I contact you on Rehab,Reeducate,Restore, my sons hip.Well my Son (Jullian) is hit by car two months back and the doctor said he will only hop on crutch.We sued driver and thanks God the court awards us damage EUROS 6,9 mil (6,900,000).so I am asking you please teach him pelvis tilt. I want him to be coming to yourtherapy ok.

So Note: My Son Jullian is in much hurt, so please kindly cure him better. Also kindly let me know your charges cost of thetreatment,inorder for me to arrange for the payment of your healing.

Please Advise back on
1. The cost for the treatment for my Son Jullian to no more hop
2. Let me know your mode of payment either by cheque.
3. And your contact Name and address and including your Bank Account number for the payment.

I will be glad to read from you soonest.

Best regards,

Mrs Christine Cremas.


Mrs. Cremas, I must warn you. There are unkindly people out there who will give you garbage information. You must disregard all financial institution accounts unless it says "Lehman Brothers" - then you know it's for real.

Finally, I know your husband is Mr. Smith Grand. He sends me many emails about the herbs he takes for his penis. He says he makes his wife ecstatic. You must be such a happy, horny woman. I congratulate you on your most excellent family, and I look forward to meeting your lovely children, Jullie and Jullian.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going For Broke

(I am still not done with my Potty Training piece below, but a PR takes precedence.)

Who: Me, 108 lb. (previous) + 7 lb. (excess), measured at 1 pm
What: 82 sets of VO2-max snatches, 15:15 protocol,
7 reps per set, 8 kg kettlebell

When: Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 8:45 pm - 9:26 pm
Where: @ EBM Kung Fu in Oakland (in the back room)
How: Just do it!

Last week at the same time, I did 40 sets, 20 minutes. That was the plan. I felt a little fatigued towards the end, no doubt from the expectation that the end was near. I executed. I earned my dessert. I ate my cupcake.

The overall game plan was to add 8 sets per week, so it would take me five more sessions to hit 80. Tonight I set the Gymboss in 15-second intervals, so 48 sets = 96 rounds. It is actually kind of cool that the Gymboss rounds decrease by 4 per minute - it seems to approach zero at a faster pace :-) I was running high on qi from the tai chi class (with some bagua to boot), so I just went for it. I was mentally counting each set and focusing on form. I am still not happy with how my left arm is snatching. So I was tweaking this, tweaking that, but always making sure that I completed 7 reps before the beep. At T = 16 minutes, I started counting down. Eight more minutes and I'd be done with 48 sets. At T = 20 minutes, I looked down at my hands for the first time and I saw blood. I was wearing fingerless cloth glove-liners and there's a bright red patch oozing from right below the left pinky. I perked up like a hungry vampire. Quick mental calculation - if I finished 56 sets instead of 48 today, I will have one less week of this hand-shredding nonsense to endure.

As soon as the Gymboss flatlined, I restarted the clock. Four more minutes! Four more minutes! Four more minutes! No term limits! And so it went. I lost count and my body went into auto-pilot. I didn't feel tired. I could feel the irritation from the bloody blister, but by that time I was going for broke and nothing could have stopped me. I became confused as to how many 15-second rounds should remain on the Gymboss by the end of 80 sets. By the time I figured it out - the answer is 32, since I restarted at 96 - I had six more minutes to go. I rallied. ROOOH AAAH! I began to compose this blog post in my head. When 80 came around, I felt like the Energizer Bunny. Why don't I let the clock run down? So I snatched two more sets. Okay, enough is enough. I should be practicing something else. I had the Viking Push Press on my to-do list.

By that time, people were coming into the room to change. (They were taking sanshou class in the main studio.) The extra Danish torture will have to happen on another day.

I will try the 36:36 protocol when my hands are all healed up, and then cycle back to the 15:15. Right now, I don't think I can increase my snatch cadence to 8 and still finish within 15 seconds, so my next goal is to use a slightly heavier weight. I am going to buy a 20 lb. kettlebell.

So, in summation, or multiplication, 82 x 7 = 574 snatches.
Or, in summary, or multiplicity, 1 snatch, 574 times. (And acknowledging W2 for first putting it this way, so poignantly.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Potty-Training

I am not a personal trainer. I never played sports. I have never taken an anatomy class in school. Before I studied pilates in 2002, I didn't know what patella meant or what ACL stood for, let alone what could possibly go wrong with the knee. I was blessed with ignorance - and bliss - because I could move any way I wanted with reckless abandon. I knew diddly-squat about squatting, but squat I did. Quite fortuitously, when I gave my bed away in 1999, I had set myself up for a daily regimen that has kept my legs and joints in superb condition.

The first piece of furniture that I bought as an adult was a bed. For a year after college, I slept on a twin-sized futon, the thing I sat on to study when I was still in school. Then I bought a real wood-framed bed with a firm futon mattress. Luxury! Later, I quit the corporate job and had to downsize, which meant moving in with a roommate. She was a vivacious, passionate Italian woman, a great soul with bad knees (and some other health challenges). When we eventually parted ways, I left her my bed, as she had a hard time getting out of her own.

Almost a decade later, my mattress is still on the floor. Since I live in a tiny studio apartment, the room looks more spacious without a big chunk of bed, but I've always thought that one day, when the bank will take my kettlebells as collateral and give me a mortgage, I will purchase a one-bedroom condo and a bed. Well, I don't even have half a down payment, and I live in San Francisco, but at least I took the bed off the list, so I'm actually closer to my goal :-) Ever since I became aware of the pervasive fear of squatting among certain quarters of the training community, I relish more than ever the act of getting up in the morning. Planting my feet firmly on the floor, feeling the carpet (and wishing for hardwood), shifting my weight slightly, pushing off - voila, I'm up. Look Ma, no hands! A bodyweight get-up + squat, RKC HardStyle. Needless to say, it gives me immense satisfaction to get up in the middle of the night to go to the loo. I hereby issue a challenge to my hard-living comrades: pistol up from your mattress if you need to go pee. Beds are for sissies.

The Japanese got it right - when you sleep on a tatami-style bed all your life, standing up from a rock-bottom squat becomes an autonomous function, and you maintain resilient knees and strong legs without having to think about it. I said "maintain" because we're born with that natural ability to squat. In Athletic Body in Balance, a must-have for anyone serious about identifying and overcoming functional weaknesses, FMS guru Gray Cook writes:
A child does not learn to squat from the top down - in other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and makes the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence ... Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost.
Note that it is completely natural for the back to be "completely relaxed" in a deep squat, i.e. flexion in the spine is a-okay.


(To be continued ... )

Preview: The RKC front squat will not fuck up your knees, but in fact will help restore mobility and function relinquished by toddlers in "civilized" countries with the evolution of the modern toilet. The full squat position is good for business.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taiko Festival!



I'd like to invite everyone to my taiko group's upcoming Meigetsu (Harvest Moon) Taiko Fest to be held on September 12th, 13th, and 14th at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco. As some of you know, my journey in rhythm began at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, where I studied tabla (North Indian drums) with Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri for many years. I took a break when I transitioned to a career in movement instruction, and I also spent a couple of years with two Chinese classical dance groups. Last summer, I got smitten by kettlebells and decided to prioritize my training for the RKC certification. That meant I had very little time left to devote to martial arts and kung fu, yet I missed that warrior energy that had been part and parcel of my being ever since I learned that immensely satisfying round-house kick way back in 1996. But, the Universe always provides what is needed at the moment. By happenstance, I discovered that Sensei Bruce “Mui” Ghent was offering an introductory taiko class in September 2007 at Dance Mission, and it took me less time than Usain Bolt’s 100-meter dash to decide to sign up.

Taiko turned out to be exactly what I needed. It’s got rhythm, kung fu stances, rousing dynamics, fat-burning mechanics, and great spirit – of the peaceful warrior. Taiko drumming is a group endeavor. It is constructive, creative, communal. While I still love to watch bloody UFC fights, kickboxing class has long since ceased to stir my soul, and in any case who wants to fight with guys who never wash their hand-wraps?! And by the way, the kettlebell snatch is the best GPP training I could have done for taiko class. Arm strength, shoulder ROM, cardio endurance – HardStyle provides. Folks in class are taping their hands for blisters, and to help with the grip. I think Pavel would say, “Comrades, soap up the drum sticks, smoke the grip!” Here’s to you, sir -

I wear my well worn RKC calluses with pride,
and take my sweaty RKC palms in stride.

So, come see the taiko get pwned.

Meigetsu (Harvest Moon) Taiko Fest
A Benefit for the Maikaze (Dancing Wind) Taiko School

The performance will feature many renowned taiko artists and ensembles as well as the Maikaze students. Most of us have studied taiko for only about a year, and we’d love to have your support! I will be in two pieces – the first and the last.

Friday, September 12, 8 PM
Saturday, September 13, 8 PM
Sunday, September 14, 6 PM

Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street (@ Mission)
San Francisco, CA 94110

The venue is directly across the street from the 24th / Mission BART station. Parking is available at the Mission Bartlett Garage, 90 Bartlett Street - enter on 21st Street.

Tickets
$14 pre-paid, $17 at the door
T-Shirts
$15 pre-paid, $20 at the door
Fundraiser Package
A donation of $30-50 (sliding scale) for one ticket and one t-shirt to benefit the Maikaze Taiko School, with priority seating.

The pictures above show the front and back designs of the t-shirt. To purchase tickets and / or t-shirts, please email me or leave a comment here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Barely Legal

Much has been said about the prepubescent Chinese girls who tried - and succeeded, with the complicity of an entire nation chasing Olympic glory and that international emblem of corruption, the IOC - to pass off as 16 to compete in the gymnastics competition at the Beijing Olympics. Notwithstanding the fact that they are indeed terrific gymnasts and athletes, there is something hugely unsatisfying about watching little girls compete against adult women. The playing field is not level - body proportions are different, and that affects the strength requirements of the different routines - and aesthetically, it's just not the same. The best way that I can put it is this - Would you rather see Angelina Jolie naked, or do you prefer kiddie porn? Enough said.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hole In One

I want to congratulate my client Ian for hitting a hole-in-one on Wednesday - 220 yards, he said. Ian has been doing pilates for 4 1/2 years, 2-3 times a week, and recently added kettlebells to his workout. This is the WTH ("What The Hell") Effect in glorious display. If you swing kettlebells, crazy things can happen. Ian is your IPO go-to guy. If you have a cool company (alternative energy, solar) that needs some financing, call him up for a game of golf.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mystery Meat

Mike Adams' NaturalNews.com is a terrific site with tons of useful information about leading a natural, healthy life. A picture is worth a thousand words, and last night I stumbled upon this photo tour that really says it all. While my dear clients and students have all been able to withstand my puker workouts, I had a hard time keeping down my organic romaine lettuce while viewing Mystery Meat Macrophotography.

A picture is worth a thousand swings. Go do it. Let it all out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Urgent! Please Help Iowa Pigs!

The Farm Sanctuary has mounted a massive rescue operation to save Iowa pigs stranded by the recent Midwest flooding. These animals were brought into this world by factory farms, raised in horrific conditions, and destined to be slaughtered for bacon. Now, even though disaster has struck, there is an opportunity to rescue them from a hellish existence and give them a shot at a better life. What defines human beings and our humanity is the ability to rise to the occasion, relinquish our selfish desires, and show compassion to all sentient beings in need. You can read about the rescue efforts and make a donation here.

Yes, I was born in the Year of the Pig. Them pigs are sweet, intelligent animals. Babe, you say!


May all beings be free from suffering.
May all the pigs roam free.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sweet Pooding!

I woke up this morning and my body told me today's not a HIIT day. I luxuriated in my Sun Salutations and got all jazzed up with Z Health Neural Warm Up Level 1. I always do some rocking squats to give the back a nice massage, and today I decided to rock up to stand on one leg. Rif taught this as a way to work up to a pistol. Nailed 4 out of 5 with my right leg. Left leg is 0 for 5. I'm probably not staying tight enough on my way up, or I'm psyching myself out, or both. It was fun though.

Then I decided to do the RKC snatch test. It was hard. Still hard. I did my 20+20 with the 12 kg. Okay, I cheated - I'm 1.5 lb. over the limit for that weight class. I had a peanut butter cupcake and a fruit tart yesterday - and the day before, and the day before, and the day before. (I want to make a plug for
Lettus - 100% organic desserts to die for, to snatch for, even though they make you fail your snatch test by putting you in the next heavier weight class.) Actually I thought I was snatching really well with my right arm. Snatching on the left side still felt awkward and too effortful. I proceeded to snatch 9L, 9R, 8L, 8R ... etc. down to 1L, 1R, just to work on technique. The scoliosis doesn't bother me at all in general but I can see how it is definitely hampering any strength movement that requires a strong latissimus dorsi-arm connection. I am most fatigued by the punch through, and I've noticed that if I widened the arc a bit and relied more on the hip snap, the snatch came a lot easier. I need to find my own groove, even if what I just said, widening the arc, is RKC heresy. Any senior RKC's reading this, I'd love to get your feedback and advice.

And now, for today's PR #1 ... I snatched the one pood for the first time!!! This was never in my consciousness even in the realm of possibility. I wasn't training for it, as it had never been my goal. Getting the 12 kg up for the snatch test was hard enough. I thought my snatch career from then on would be about endurance feats like passing the USSS Snatch Test, or training for VO2 Max. Sure, I have been doing a lot of overhead holds with the 16 kg, but my goal was to improve my MP's. Then a couple of weeks ago after kickboxing class, I felt I had more energy to burn, so I picked up a kettlebell and started doing one-arm swings. And it was going up really high, and I was feeling really bad-ass, and I thought I was swinging the 12 kg. But I looked - oooooh, that was the one pood. I started getting some ideas in my head. Maybe, just maybe, I can snatch it up. So this morning I tried. I chalked up. And I punched out 3 sets of 3 with my right arm. And it wasn't nearly as hard or scary as when I tried to snatch the 12 kg for the first time (which was less than six weeks before the RKC course in February). HardStyle is the way to go. I love this!


Next I did presses. I ran out of duct tape and as I'm not ready to start the C&P ladders yet with the 12 kg, I just did singles. For real with the right arm, push presses with the left. I am tempted to get an adjustable kettlebell although that thing looks really ugly - but not as ugly as a taped-up monster bell. But perhaps I'm not that far off from starting the 12 kg ROP cycle. I installed a pull-up bar at home - let me tell you a story about the stud and the screw ... Oh, never mind - and I imagine the pressing will get better if I GTG the pull-up negatives often enough. I don't know how many negatives will eventually make a positive, but it's definitely not two.

And finally, for today's PR #2 ... I also nailed the 20 kg TGU with my left arm. Crush the grip. Stay tight. The Party is always right. Alternating sides, I did 5R, 4L before my left arm pooped out. Piece of cake, I deserve. I will eat it too. My weight today: 111.5 lb.

I want to thank those of you who came to my workshop on Friday. I was energized by your enthusiasm, and you're all walking around town today with sore butts and cursing me out. Wicked, isn't it?

A word about the kettlebell infomercials - THAT'S WHY I DON'T WATCH TV!!! What you see below, my friends, is a cute little Christmas tree ornament. Brad Nelson, RKC, calls this the bastardization of kettlebells. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy and not in a mood to rant, but folks, go read his blog.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taoist Yoga In Action


Yin & Yang makes the ultimate cookie.
No matter how you slice it,
It's still a whole cookie.

Ha & Tha is like chocolate and vanilla.
You twirl it and you swirl it,
And you get smoking kundalini.


"The one who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is a wise person." - Bhagavad Gita, 4:18

There's more that I want to say about this - movement and stillness - but for now I'd like to give a little training update. In the last few weeks I've been working on double swings with uneven weights, and I started two-arm swings with the 32 kg. I cleaned the 16 kg for the first time, and oh yeah - I nailed the 20 kg Turkish get-up shortly after I came back from my Washington DC trip. I managed three reps with my right arm. The left side is not happening yet but it's a matter of time. I feel hella strong :-) The obliques were virtuously sore afterwards - very lovely. This morning I weighed in at 110.4 lb (about 50 kg). My goal for the TGU is half body weight - so I guess I am ordering the 24 kg soon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Every Day Is Groundhog Day


"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"


That was one of the security questions posed to me when I was signing up for Virgin America's frequent flier program. Now, this is a pretty cool airline that gives you a nifty screen in front of your seat so you can order food, customize a music playlist, and chat with your fellow passengers. Heck, I scored a $236 non-stop, roundtrip ticket for my current trip to Washington DC, with no fuel surcharge or fee for a checked bag - all in all, no complaints. The only fatal flaw is, they left Chuck Norris out of the tongue twister. So, we're left with a feeble little critter called the groundhog, otherwise known as the woodchuck or whistlepig, and which apparently is a chubby ground squirrel.

I got a good chuckle, but I didn't choose that security question. How much wood? One pood? That would be the unit of measurement of choice for any self-respecting kettlebell lifter. Too obvious.

Sometimes, we must step off the obvious path, leave our comfort zone, and be willing to confront our fears and insecurities, in order to get to a mo' better place. The time for action is always now, never later. The movie Groundhog Day came out 15 years ago, and I've always taken to heart the flick's simple message of Carpe Diem, and have had great success with it in job interviews answering the question, "What's your favorite movie?" Often in real life, we don't get the opportunity to do something over; once the moment has passed, it's gone forever. "Just do it!" is only part of the deal. We must also try to do it NOW, and do it RIGHT. A kind word unspoken, a helping hand unextended, or a transgression unforgiven is fraught with even more regret than fumbling through our first baby steps towards a more integral way of being. Granted, there are days when I wake up to discover the same old sameness in routine, habits, cravings, neuroses. One falls into the illusion that the next project can just self-start on the next day, weekend, month, quarter, year. The curse of Groundhog Day seems almost like a blessing, that we apparently do have tomorrow to try again. But in fact all there is that we have is the present moment. It's not like we need to scale mountains or dive from the sky to prove the present. The practice of mindfulness can help us zero in on the state of our being: Am I at peace with myself and the world? If I were to die today, would my life have been as meaningful and spiritually rich as I'd like it to be? I try to let the answers to these two questions guide my moment-to-moment experience - what to do and think, how to engage life with "passionate equanimity," with grace, and grit, and a touch of daring.*

Chuck wood, carry water.
Live like there's no tomorrow.

Hard to figure out.
I bet Chuck Norris can.
But Chuck Norris never dies.
Every day is Groundhog Day.




Chuck Norris for VP

* Ken Wilber's Grace and Grit is probably the greatest book that I've ever read. Ken's brilliance as a contemporary philosopher is undisputed. This book shows his "softer" side as a caregiver to his wife Treya, whose journey through breast cancer, with an emotional fortitude that she calls "passionate equanimity," is at once moving, inspiring, and life-affirming. I remember being handed a dog-eared copy in the late 90's when my then-roommate was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. I didn't go to work for two days because I couldn't put the book down. I then ordered four copies to give to friends - that was my first online purchase ever, from Amazon!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In The Hall Of The Mountain King

This piece of music, by Edvard Grieg for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, is the best workout music ever. It got the kids totally high and completely crazed. They listened to it over and over and got their exercise sprinting around the living room. I may have to play it in my kettlebell classes.



Okay, I can't get the audio to work. You can listen to the song here and superimpose the last 30 seconds onto the vid.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Twins!

The babies were dumped outside my apartment door on Tuesday an hour before I was to leave for SFO. I was across the street at the pilates studio with a client. I did not want to miss their arrival before I skipped town, and I want to thank my UPS GUY for his wonderful good sense of not leaving them with the building manager on the ground floor, or bringing them to the studio, as he had done with all my shoes from Zappos. Hey UPS GUY, I even had a chocolate bar for you, but you got here when I was out. I did not want to haul 88 lbs. of metal up two flights of stairs and you totally saved the day, when I was so pressed for time I didn't even take out the garbage.

I am naming the twins Spirit and Opportunity, after the Mars rovers. Two 20 kg Dragon Door kettlebells, still sitting in the box, waiting for my return. I have to start visualizing the 20 kg TGU.

So I am in Washington DC visiting the heirs to my future kettlebell empire - Nolan (4), Camille (3), and Loic (<1) - and of course, their mommy, who happens to be my sister. I ought to make it clear, that if the Auntie gets put into a home, they're not getting any; and should the Auntie experience an unexplicated murder, they're not getting any. Other than that, they will need to demonstrate good burpee skills and show kindness to all pigs and monkeys.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Double Swings (one 12 kg & one 8 kg)
4 x 15 = 60 swings (switching R & L with each set)

Goblet Squats (12 kg)
3 x 5

Russian Cossacks (12kg)
3 sets of 5 x (1L + 1R)

Double Windmills (12 kg above, 16 kg below)
8L, 8R

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Snatches (12 kg)
10 x (5+5) on the minute = 100 snatches

TGU's (16 kg)
10 Xs, alternating right & left

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clean & Jerks (single - 12 kg, doubles - two 8 kg's)
4 x (5L, 5R, 5 doubles), on the minute

One-Arm Swings (16 kg)
10 x (10 + 10) on the minute = 200 swings

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Touchdown On Mars!



The Phoenix spacecraft has made a picture-perfect landing on Mars' northern polar region to begin a scientific mission of examining ice likely to be dug up by the lander's robotic arm. Yeah! I am a NASA geek through and through - I find rocket launches to be incredibly thrilling, and this lander's EDL (entry, descent, landing) sequence, while not as funky as the airbag deployment from the MER mission, provided just as much of an adrenaline rush. Seven minutes of terror! Human ingenuity and creativity, the desire to explore and soar beyond our ordinary existence - isn't that what ignites the passion that makes life worthwhile? I want to thank and congratulate all the engineers and rocket scientists who let our spirits ride on the back on their hard work to go places no man has ever gone, to see and touch and kiss the soil of another world - a little bit of sweet transcendence.

Meanwhile at CPL (Cannonball Propulsion Lab), I am putting my victims through the Seven Minutes of Terror swings workout. One day the nerds will inherit the Red Planet, and yours truly will be at the helm of Mission Control, launching kettlebells at Mach 1 and creating craters with impunity.


"S" Is For Sacred - Reloaded

I am hella tired. My eyes hurt.

I am writing a business plan - a strategic blueprint and financial road map that will guide prAxis Kettlebell Athletica, Inc. in its first months of operations. I want to create an environment that reflects my vision of athletic training, where I can have fun sharing what I love to do with others. But the fact that I will have creditors and substantial bills means I can't goof around with the bottom line. Because of the overwhelming support from my clients and friends and family and mentors and even the monkeys and bunny rabbits, prAxis is a project that is much larger than a personal undertaking. I am humbled by the enormity of the responsibility, and apprehensive of the amount of work that lies ahead ... I need to remind myself that my dharma is to serve, and my purpose, in this life, is to help others cultivate abundant health and vitality. I pledge to abide by the principles of Sacred Commerce. Yet another reason/excuse to go to
Cafe Gratitude to get dessert. I am planning to pick up a copy of the owners' new book very soon. Can't go wrong with the people who've brought us the most delish raw chocolate cream pie - I Am Bliss!



Sunday, May 25, 2008

Snatches (12 kg)
(9 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 7 + 7 + 6 + 6 + 5 + 5
+ 5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1) = 100 snatches


MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

TGU's (16 kg)
10 Xs, alternating right & left


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2-Arm Swings (24 kg)
2 x 20, 2 x 18, 2 x 16, on the minute = 108 swings

Double Swings (two 12 kg's)
2 x 20, 2 x 18, 2 x 16, on the minute = 108 swings

Snatches (12 kg)
(15 + 15) = 30 snatches

Bottoms-Up Presses (8 kg)
5L, 5R

Cheat-Clean, Cheat-Press, Overhead Holds (16 kg)
10 Xs, alternating right & left

Russian Cossacks (8kg)
2 sets of 5 x (1L + 1R)

Double Windmills (12 kg above, 16 kg below)
8L, 8R

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2-Arm Swings (24 kg)
4 x 18, 4 x 16, 4 x 14, on the minute = 192 swings


Snatches (12 kg)
(10 + 10) = 20 snatches

Snatches (8 kg)
(20 + 20 + 15 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 5) = 100 snatches

Clean & Jerks (12 kg)
5L, 5R, 4L, 4R, 3L, 3R, 2L, 2R, 1L, 1R

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"S" Is For Sacred

So I filed to form an S Corporation.

Within the last few weeks, it has become increasingly clear to me that I am not thriving. I have several gigs that make for a pretty good living, but employment conditions and space constraints preclude me from teaching exactly the way I want - how, what, when. I also realize that I have the power to change that, and the time is now.

I am opening a kettlebell studio in San Francisco!

"Inc." has perpetual existence. Immortality, incorporated. (And I shall take forever to finish this post - please check back tomorrow.)

... Ah, tomorrow. "Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You're always a day a-way!" Here I am, six tomorrow's later, reprising my role from grade school of that little orphan girl, Annie, bursting into song with that ever ebullient optimism that there's always a tomorrow to finish this post, and contemplating on the irony that another draft post, as yet unpublished, is titled "Every Day Is Groundhog Day" - whatwith that timeless theme of Carpe Diem, it's patiently waiting to see the light of day. Ah, later ...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Catching Some ZzZzZzZzZ

Ain't got no time to sleep! But I just signed up for the Z Health R-Phase certification course in Fremont later this year. That means more studying and practicing on top of all the little and big things that I need to get done. One thing that I like about myself is that I don't agonize over decisions - I don't have an internal calculus when it comes to the question of "What's next?" When I first found out about the San Jose RKC, I was browsing the Dragon Door website - barely two months after I picked up my first kettlebell. Within minutes I had signed up for it. Impulsive? Hardly. Over the years I have become more and more trusting of my intuition. I simply let it guide me along the path that is revealing itself as I'm ready to take the next step. Life is very uncomplicated if you'd just go with the flow. I don't need to justify or rationalize anything. There is a sense of true freedom!

Oh, I am proud to announce that I broke a drum stick Monday night in taiko class. It snapped right into two on the final note of my solo ending. Those kettlebell muscles, you know.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

1-Arm Swings (16 kg)
12 x (10 + 10) on the minute = 240 swings

Double Swings (two 12 kg's)
4 x 20 on the minute = 80 swings

Double Swings & Snatches (two 8 kg's)
2 sets of 10 x (1 swing + 1 snatch), 3-minute rounds

Russian Cossacks (8kg)
3 sets of 5 x (1L + 1R)

Double Windmills (12 kg above, 16 kg below)
8L, 8R

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Double Swings (two 12 kg's)
4 x 18 on the minute = 72 swings


Clean & Jerks (12 kg)
3 x (5L, 5R)

Russian Cossacks (8kg)
3 sets of 5 x (1L + 1R)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

On Death & Snatches

I have been hustling since April 15, when I emptied out my bank account to help fill state and federal government coffers. I don't bemoan paying taxes - at least the concept of it - if my hard-earned dollars would actually sustain legitimate government functions, such as enhancing infrastructure, national security, law and order, conservation, and sustainable agriculture, and developing our intellectual and cultural assets via support for the humanities, arts, and natural sciences. I also think it befits a compassionate and influential world power to devote substantial resources towards humanitarian causes across the globe.

But of course, that's just a preamble to my RANT -

  1. There are too many !@#$% people on the planet.
  2. Everybody is his or her own special interest group, the effects of which are as insidious as any social ill blamed on "big corporations" and George W. Bush.
  3. Entrenched special interests are created by market distortions. Abolish rent control! (And I say this as a renter.)
  4. A flat tax is a fair tax - and that means no deductions and credits for anything.
  5. Subsidies = pork. Corn farmers have brought us high fructose corn syrup and a national epidemic of obesity. Now they are paid to grow corn for ethanol, another recipe for waste and global warming. Wherefore such stupidity? Well, the presidential election cycle begins in Iowa.
  6. My health, my life is my responsibility. I don't smoke, drink or ingest junk food and I don't believe I have any right to your tax dollars for my health concerns. I don't have children because I can't afford to, and nobody should have to subsidize what I can't afford. And what I'm saying, not so subtly, is I shouldn't have to pay for yours either.
  7. Some taxes are legitimate if they help to neutralize negative externalities. Gas taxes are okay by my book, as long as the money is used for greenhouse gas abatement or transportation-related improvements.
  8. Make Form 1040 simple and keep income taxes low. Let me have the choice to consume more, or less, or not at all.
  9. Send me that damn stimulus check already, so I can buy my next Dragon Door kettlebell - 20 kg!

We can't engineer a great society with a convoluted tax code. Parsimony is beautiful!

And while I was running on empty for a fortnight, I thought about life as a flow of energy. Money, material things as waves, particles - what does it matter? It's what you make of it. Paying taxes is a form of qigong. Circulation is infinitely better than stagnation. May abundance flow through me ... And many, many happy (tax) returns to you!

The 1040 Workout

This was completed over a few days around April 15 - withholding max effort to make up for insufficient withholding to the IRS :-) I'll have to pay a penalty, so I might as well spread out the pain. Total reps = 1040.

Snatches (12 kg)
10 x (8+4+8+4), 2-minute rounds = 240 snatches

1-Arm Swings (12 kg)
8 x (25 + 25+15+15), 4-minute rounds = 640 swings

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

TGU's (12 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 28.5 lb.)
8 Xs, alternating right & left
+ 1R, 1L with the 16 kg - first time!!! Success!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Freedom Torch (Swing) Relay





om mani padme hum

I dedicate my yoga and kettlebell practice today to the people of Tibet. As human beings existing in a dualistic universe, we are at once the oppressor and the oppressed. We can be truly enlightened, but so can we be the self-righteous, moralistic, holier-than-thou evangelist for whatever pet causes the ego happens to latch upon. I truly believe that to change the world we have to change ourselves first, and it's a blessing to even know what needs changing. Yoga helps to bring about that meditative awareness that is the essential first step to transformation. Yoga is spiritual discipline. I don't do it as a workout to burn calories, to sweat, or even to stretch. Yoga is the gift of quietude, the stilling of the mind so that breath and suffering and joy can come to the fore, and so remind us of our aliveness, and our humanity.


Editorial
The Olympic Torch has come and gone, mobilizing thousands in this protest capital of the world, San Francisco. I stand in solidarity with the human rights activists who descended upon London, Paris, and my home city to make it plenty clear to the Beijing government that we will not stand for China's many objectionable policies with respect to Tibet, Darfur, the environment, food safety, etc. I say this as a Chinese-American, knowing full well that many like-minded individuals have been vehemently condemned as "traitors" in recent weeks by pro-Beijing elements in our community. Try as I might, I cannot with good conscience support a government that labels the Dalai Lama as "anti-human rights," shamelessly suppresses freedom of the press, and puts up a joke of a website about the Olympic Torch relay. My allegiance is to my own (fallible) sense of right and wrong, and I believe that the only way to change the hearts and minds of the Chinese people is for them to come to their own conclusions, based on objective information not manipulated by their government. One of my goals in writing this post is to reach the foreigners living and working in China. I think they can be a powerful force in bringing awareness, through their day-to-day interactions with the Chinese people, of the egregious human rights violations that Beijing commits in the name of law and order, and how such heavy-handed tactics only serve to sabotage its international image no matter how fancy or spectacular the Beijing Olympics turns out to be. Change can only come from within, so I call upon the expatriates participating in China's unbridled economic growth to insist on not only spreading Western technological and management know-how, but also the values that we hold dear - freedom of expression, and the right to self-determination. These values are neither Eastern nor Western - they are universal, the foundation of civilization's collective rights and responsibilities. I believe in the power of intention - whether it's my yoga practice, or a protester's non-violent demonstration against injustice, or a journalist's struggle to supplant propaganda with truth, the intent is not to prove that we're right, but to realize that we are all in this together.

April 13, 2008

I first got the idea of staging my own Freedom Torch workout after reading about torch swings on Rif's blog. He did them with clubbells and he made a how-to video for me. Since I don't have clubbells, I did bottoms-up snatches (first time!) - the two exercises are similar in terms of ROM and mechanics.




I used a lighter kettlebell - it was not particularly strenuous, but my forearms were sore for three days! Some pointers: (i) use chalk, (ii) keep your eyes on the ball, and (iii) stay really tight through the lats.

Sun Salutations
108 rounds

Bottoms-Up Snatches (8 kg)
9 x (12 + 12), 2-minute rounds = 108 snatches per arm

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stop The Spray!!!





If ever we needed to deploy surface-to-air missiles, this is the time. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for an unprecedented urban assault via aerial spraying of biochemical agents, ostensibly to contain the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), a reckless experiment of questionable efficacy and benefit (except to Big Ag) and unquestionable harm - to human and animal health, ecological balance, property values, and our implied right to homeland security. The spraying, slated to begin August 1, 2008, is cause for alarm because it will impact not only local farms that supply our organic produce, but in fact will blanket our homes, playgrounds, schools - and yes, our heads, if we happen to be outdoors when the choppers fly by. The pesticide is designed to linger in the environment for quite some time, so we cannot entirely escape even if we managed to skip town for a few days. In the wake of a first round of spraying in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties in 2007, residents reported hundreds of cases of respiratory, dermatological, and endocrine-related afflictions. This foolhardy approach to eradicating LBAM is akin to invading a country to look for non-existent WMDs. There will be unintended consequences, beyond what our government is capable of fixing. At the end of the day, I don't want poison dumped upon my head, or yours. I call for the right to bear arms, metaphorically (or not), in order to shoot 'em down, metaphorically (or not); in any case, be up in arms about this!

Resources

* This post will be updated in the near future with original content, as I plan to conduct some personal interviews and report back to my readers. Stay tuned!

William ShakySphere

So uttered the original Dane of Pain, "Frailty, thy name is woman!" Poor, poor Prince of Denmark, Dane of bread, dejected, despondent, deficient in testosterone.

O that this too too sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter.

Methinks he needed to ingest some protein and slaughter a cannonball for a fix. Willie wielded his pen with ease, but how would he fare under a pood of tragedy?

Frailty, that which is my mind - a mind that fails to grasp the voluminous drama atop my bathroom scale. William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1986 - 3.8 kg.


Tuesday, April 7, 2008

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4)


Wednesday, April 8, 2008

1-Arm Swings (16 kg)
12 x (11 + 11) on the minute = 264 swings

Clean & Jerks (12 kg)
1 x (
5L, 5R), 2 x (4L, 4R), 3 x (3L, 3R)

Jerks (12 kg)
2 x (4L, 4R), 1 x (5L, 5R)

Bottoms-Up C&Ps (8 kg)
5L, 5R, 4L, 4R, 3L, 3R, 2L, 2R, 1L, 1R

Front Squats (12 kg)
5L, 5R

Double Windmills (12 kg above, 16 kg below)
8L, 8R

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Genuflection

Genuflect. Let us genuflect. If you follow the ETK Program Minimum, chances are you're already doing it. You just may not have a poetic way to describe it.

I first encountered this word in the RKC instructor manual, which I received this February in San Jose, on my birthday, no less. It's a big word, I assure you, for the simple reason that I didn't know it, I who knew all my SAT words and kicked everyone's asses in the scoring department. Ah, but that was two decades ago. Now, I see this word "genuflect" next to a picture of the great Dr. Mark Cheng manipulating a kettlebell. What the heck?! My ignorance had been exposed. But there's a way out of this. I rationalized thus: Why say scapula when you can say shoulder blades? Do my clients really need to know that coccyx = tailbone? I concluded thus: Lay people don't need to genuflect. If they want to see a vision of the Virgin Mary, they can just do one hundred Turkish Get-ups.

But I was tormented. I needed a precise definition for the word. My intellectual life was hanging in the balance. Comrades, please nail it down for me.

What is genuflection? Pick one.

a) Reflection of sunlight away from abdominal blubber via nano-tech fabric.
b) A position for oral sex as described in the Kama Sutra.
c) An outpouring of subconscious thoughts following an overdose of Russian truth serum, a.k.a. vodka.
d) A position commonly assumed when presenting expensive rocks, as in a marriage proposal, or when placating a spouse after a crater-sized kettlebell mishap.
e) Forward bends conducted in a weightless condition such as aboard the ISS or on the moon.

It took me more than six weeks, but my wounded pride finally got the better of me, and I looked it up. According to the Marriam-Webster Online Dictionary, genuflect means:

a) To bend the knee; to touch the knee to the floor or ground especially in worship.
b) To be servilely obedient or respectful.
(etymology: from Latin genu knee + flectere to bend)

So there you have it. The word is most often used in the context of Christian worship and Catholic rites, so no wonder I didn't know it. Even my mother is convinced I am headed straight to hell. But I do protest! I genuflect prayerfully, lest disaster befalls my head, every time I get to Step 8 of the Turkish Get-up. As Dr. Cheng demonstrates, this is where you have one knee on the ground, readying to stand. So next time when you're at Step 8, take a moment to contemplate and connect with that spiritual force of your life, whether it's the Holy Virgin or the other, almost-like-a-virgin, Madonna (& Malawi Child). When you're suffering under 32 kg of martyrdom in genuflection, meditate upon the Holy Grail of kettlebell lifting. You just have to know what it is - 100 virgins, or 50,000 snatches ... Okay, let's not go
there.

Comrades, crack the Code.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Snatches (12 kg)
(20 + 20) = 40 snatches

Snatches (8 kg)
(25 + 25 + 15 + 15 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5) = 100 snatches

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Snatches (12 kg)
{10 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 8 + 8 +7 +7 + 6 + 6
+ 4 x (5 + 5) + 4 x (4 + 4)
+ 4 x (3 + 3) + 6 x (2 + 2)} = 200 snatches, ~ 11 minutes

I guess that's the USSS Snatch Test. I dropped the kettlebell during the 3 + 3 sequence while switching hands, so I did an extra 3 + 3 to make up for it. So, for real, I did 206 snatches. It was hard but not as exhausting as I had expected. I was so energized after taiko class on Monday night that I wanted to do it again, but it was pretty late and I figured I should eat my dinner before midnight ... Oh well, another day.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fearless

I don't exercise to music, but I like to do free-form stretching and allow the spontaneous flow of movement when I'm by myself - free from the tyranny of rules and structure. Too often our approach to working out is completely utilitarian - we want to lose weight, we want to improve our athletic performance, we want to be in control. Dance is deliverance in motion. The soul needs no justification to express itself. Everybody can dance, everybody can be fearlessly beautiful.

Here's what I'm listening to: Jay Chou's Fearless, from the movie of the same title (starring Jet Li).



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

1-Arm Swings (16 kg)
12 x (10 + 10) on the minute = 240 swings

2-Arm Swings (24 kg)
4 x 15 = 60 swings

Clean & Jerks (12 kg)
5L, 5R, 4L, 4R, 3L, 3R, 2L, 2R, 1L, 1R

Bottoms-Up Presses (8 kg)
3 x (3L, 3R), 3 x (2L, 2R), 3 x (1L, 1R)

Windmills (16 kg - bottom arm)
8L, 8R

Sumo Deadlifts (32 kg)
10 Xs

Good Mornings (32 kg)
10 Xs

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ultimate Pinup

Finishing work at 8 pm, I found myself at the crossroads of a momentous decision. Do I go to Whole Paycheck and get a pint of organic Straus ice-cream, or do I go home and swing my kettlebell? Overweight vs. Flyweight - a ridiculous modern dilemma. The unbearable lightness of being taunts and beckons, throws a fake, fakes a throw - I swung.


Order a free 'Vegetarian Starter Kit' at GoVeg.com!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

1-Arm Swings (12 kg)
(30 + 30 + 25 + 25 + 20 + 20 + 15 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 5)
= 210 swings at T = 0 minute

(25 + 25 + 20 + 20 + 15 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 5)
= 150 swings at T = 10 minutes

(20 + 20 + 15 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 5)
= 100 swings at T = 18 minutes

(15 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 5) = 60 swings at T = 24 minutes
(10 + 10 + 5 + 5) = 30 swings at T = 28 minutes
(5 + 5) = 10 swings at T = 30 minutes
Total: 560 swings

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3, 4)

TGU's (12 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 28.5 lb.)
6 Xs, alternating right & left

With the swings, could I have done a few more longer sets towards the end? Sure, absolutely. But I find patterns in the mathematical universe beautiful. As written, the workout displays symmetry and order. Why create Chaos?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Brilliant Kicks!

Congratulations to Cung Le for winning the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship last night! Kudos to Shamrock for sticking with the stand-up game, but now that the verdict is in - Cung Le is king! - I hope to see these two on the ground for a rematch. Frank is apparently getting some hardware installed to fix his broken arm. I wish him well and hope to see him back in the ring soon.

The fight video is no longer available, but check out how the champions train - Goldberg goes toe to toe with Frank Shamrock and Cung Le.




Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another doubles workout today. I was hoping to dedicate it to the Lopez twins, but God knows I don't like tall people's sports, so March Madness is officially over for mankind - although smart women are still playing strong and the short chick is swinging and snatching two balls at a time.

Double Swings & Snatches (two 8 kg's)
2 sets of 4 x (3 swings + 1 snatch), 10 sets of 5 x (3 swings + 1 snatch), 90-second rounds

MP Ladders (8 kg + 2.5 lb. plate = 20.5 lb.)
5 x (1, 2, 3)

Double TGU's (two 8 kg's)
3 Xs

This was my first time doing double snatches, so I decided to take it easy and not kill myself on the cardio, hence the 90-second round. But after the first two sets, I felt it was too easy, so I extended the sequence. Doubles work is informative because you can tell if your body is not working in symmetry. My left forearm / grip remains the weakest link so I got work to do - what else is new. Double get-ups - I would say it's dangerous if you're sitting with your back in flexion under all that load. So, as your mother would say, sit up tall. I couldn't keep my left arm straight while rolling up, so I just pressed the weight back up once I was seated. It's possible to keep my arms straight if I yank myself up quickly, i.e. let the hip flexors take over and legs pop off the ground - but no self-respecting Pilates teacher will condone that kind of atrocity. We use core. Abs. I figured out the perfect setup on the Pilates Cadillac to practice this - bottom-load the push-through bar with two heavy springs and try to do roll-ups, arms straight, shoulders down, legs glued to the mat. No cheating is possible.