30/4/10 – pressing & swings, yeah!

Joint mobility
16kg KB snatch – 5R/5L
Partial HeSPU (6cm) – 3,4,5
24kg KB swing – 15mins @ 15 TOM = 225

Love these two exercises. I’ve gone back to partials on the headstand push ups. I got a bit over excited when working on them before and jumped to full reps a bit too soon. It meant I could eek out a single or two but not reps. I’ll rake this step back and work back up gradually.

The swings were the first step towards 300 in 15 minutes. I’ll add on reps from here until I’m doing 15×20.


28/4/10 – all good stuff

Joint mobility
16kg KB snatch – 2 x 6R/6L

Ring series – 1,1
Ring dip – 5,5, 10 sec support hold after last rep
OALCCJ – 16kg 10R/10L, 24kg 5R/5L,5R/5L,3R/3L
40kg KB front squat – 3,3
5kg plate curl – 15R/15L,10R/10L

This was all good, start to finish. To make the 24kg feel lighter I need to lift it, and heavier stuff, a lot. Next time I’ll cut out the 16kg set of long cycle jerks and get straight to the good stuff. Front squats are new to me, I figure some extra strength can only help me drive out of the first dip.

24/4/10 – more met con and timing workouts

I planned to rest this weekend ahead of starting my new plan next week. The wife went out this evening and left me alone with my bells and clubs – what was I supposed to do?

16kg snatch/16kg OAJ/6kg mill – 10,9,8,7,6,5 R/L

Completed in – 18:53

I moved straight from right to left and exercise to exercise.

I’ve started recording the time of my more random workouts. I’m not chasing the clock though a la Crossfit and only check the time at the end of the session. It’s just so I can measure progress when I repeat workouts. I want all of my reps to be quality reps and think if you focus too much on the clock it is easy to start cheating and cutting corners to get a better time.

23/4/10 – holidays, met con & revised goals

Although our original holiday plans were scuppered by volcanic ash we did still get away for a few days. Today I hit a cheeky met con circuit to welcome myself home.

Five rounds of:
Snatch turkish get up* – 3
Rings: 360 pull – 3
Spinning tripod – 5/5
Frog planche – 10 sec
24kg KB hand 2 hand swing – 10

Completed in 23:10

*this is a snatch followed by a TGU (getting down first), I then dropped the bell to the rack, then to a hang before snatching again)

Recently I have been trying to be consistent in my training but keep getting distracted by new things. To get around this I’m going to start doing randomised met con circuits on Mondays after practising my gymnastic static holds. This should satisfy my desire for variety (while working towards my gymnastic goals) and free up my other sessions to focus on specific things.

For the next few months I will focus on building up to snatching my 24kg kettlebell for reps. I can already swing it to head height in one hand so could probably snatch it now but I want to work on another few things first so I can do it safely. The plan is to do lots of swings both heavier than my goal snatch weight (to build power) and one handed at the goal weight (to increase grip endurance). I’ll complement this by adding in TGUs and jerks so I spend more time with the 24kg overhead. As well as lots of practice snatching the 16kg.

I see all this as the building blocks for snatching a kettlebell: well practiced technique, enough power to move the bell quickly overhead, the strength to secure it overhead safely and enough grip strength to hang to the thing.

The added bonus is that although the snatch is the aim, all of the exercises building to it are excellent in their own right. There will be loads of additional benefits along the way.

The goals are:

5 sec front lever
5 sec back lever
30 sec l-sit
10 sec freestanding handstand
16kg KB snatch – 200 in 10 mins
24kg KB swing – 300 in 15 mins
24kg KB OA swing – 5 x 20L/20R
28kg KB swing – 200 in 10 mins

Going vivo barefoot

I’ve been searching for some barefoot shoes for some time. The more I’ve read and thought about how feet should work naturally and the effects of modern built up shoes the more stifling those shoes seem.

Over-protective footwear will dull the many nerve endings in your feet, reducing the amount of information about your surroundings they pass up to your brain. A built up, springy heel also promotes heel striking when running vastly increasing the amount of impact on the knees and other joints, while reducing the involvement of the foot muscles. Neither of these sound like good things.

To wear footwear that protects your feet from potential damage (ie broken glass) makes perfect sense, to protect them from feeling the surface you are walking/running along doesn’t. Especially if you are weakening the muscles of the foot at the same time. Why actively prevent your body from functioning in the way it is meant to?

So less is more when it comes to shoes. I had been looking for some barefoot shoes that weren’t too wacky looking (sorry vibrams) and this week found something that fit the bill perfectly – vivo barefoot. I’ve noticed a difference already, i can feel that all of the muscles in my feet have been working harder than they are used to, especially in the arches. It’s good though, my feet feel generally more ‘alive’ and I can’t see me going back to my old shoes anytime soon.

I just need someone to bring out some barefoot shoes that go with a suit so I can be sorted while I’m at work!

Mike T Nelson’s last post was about the evils of modern shoes. Lot’s of interesting science stuff in there.


I’m rocking the Dharma

16/4/10 – damn the volcanos, bring on the gymnastics

A large cloud of volcanic ash has grounded all planes out of England scuppering the Davis family’s planned holiday abroad. The small plus side is I had some spare time for an excellent gymnastic practice with a slice of deadlift.

Joint mobility
16kg KB halo – 10R/10L
16kg KB goblet squat – 10
KB round body pass – 16kg 20R/20L, 24kg 10R/10L

L-sit – 3 x 12 sec
8 mins handstand practice
Adv front lever – 6 x 10 sec
Ring dip – 5,5,5
Pull up – 5,5,5

40kg deadlift – 8,8,8
5kg plate curl – 3 x 12R/12L

Handstand practice involved wall, HeSPU and a 3 sec freestanding off the wall.

I’m starting to push the front levers further by extending my legs out slightly. I’ll stick at that level until I can do 3 x 20 sec and then move up again.