Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Tracy Rif Sock Sleeve for KB training.

The Tracy Rif Sock Sleeve for High rep Snatch and Swing training.

Perhaps the most troublesome aspect of high repetition snatch and swing training, especially for Comrade Ladies, is the wear and tear on the hands. Women clients, most particularly, are loathe to develop calluses much less deal with tearing those calluses.
While proper hand care; consisting of shaving and filing large callus pads down regularly, is vital, many trainees like to use some kind of hand protection during rigorous training.
One can use gymnastics grips(sometime poor feedback from the bell), make grips from athletic tape( hard to do if you train alone) or, you can use an innovative solution my wife came up with; the Sock Sleeve.
This is a very simple solution to a vexing problem. The gymnastics grips and the athletic tape work by reducing friction between the hand and the bell. Holding the bell in the hook grip and NOT deep in the palm is another key component to not tearing calluses and this solution actually encourages the correct hand and grip position on the bell.
All one has to do is find a pair of medium thickness socks and cut the top, elastic portion of the sock off. A two inch section is best, although one can cut three inches if they have very large hands. We have found crew socks, as opposed to tube socks to work best although feel free to experiment. New socks works best as the fresh elastic helps to keep the sleeve in the right part of the hand.
Simply slide the sleeve over the top of the hand covering the lower portion of the fingers and the top section of the palm of the hand. Just where the bell should sit if properly held!
That’s it! Pick up the kettlebell and start snatching or swinging and you will find there is considerably less friction in the hand right from the start, but with almost no extra bulk to tax the strength of the grip. The sleeve doesn’t roll up as you swing and encourages you to hold the bell in the correct part of the hand. You can use this all the time or just when you feel tender or hot spots on the calluses.
A very simple but effective solution for keeping the hands in tip top shape and keeping your training on track.Nothing worse than wanting to train but having to make adaptations because the hands are trashed.

Mark Reifkind

Eating Clean, start with spinach

One of the miracles that has happened to me in the last few years has been my health. If the way I feel, right now, is healthy, then I've realized that I've never been healthy in my life...until now. Not only does my body look fit, but I feel as if I have this "healthy" energy that people notice and comment about.

I feel heathly because I eat healthy. I eat healthy, because I can eat more! Healthy foods are lower in calories, it's just that simple.

I lost my weight by going back to basics. Basic heathly, live foods. And my goal was not to get healthy, it was to lose weight! And like my KB training, it has been a progression. The more good clean food I ate, the more I wanted to eat. The better and faster I got at cooking and preparing good clean food, the better and faster I got! Every one has to start somewhere, and I started with spinach!

But before I get into that, I want to expand upon what I mean by clean food. Clean food, to me, is live food. Live food isn't necessarily food that has been alive at one point, although that is a literal definition of live food, but also food that gives life. And, what I mean about that, is food that gives health, because a healthy life is the best life. Live food is obviously the least processed. Live food is real, not fake.

Now I'm not claiming that I never eat some processed and even fake foods, but it gets less and less every week. And my weakness is desserts! That's why I cave at bake sales, because I much prefer "home made, home baked" goodies, as opposed to store bought, made with hydrogenated fats and fake sugars. I chose ice cream with real sugar, not corn syrup, and I never eat foods or drinks w/splenda or equal. (there's another reason for that, also, that I will get into another time).

So, back to the spinach. I found spinach to be the easiest vegetable to incorporate into everyday foods because it's flavor is mild, therefore less "detectable", it cooks fast, and can be eaten raw. And with pre-washed, pre-packaged baby spinach so available, the most convenient, not to mention highly nutrtious, (oh yeah, that too, lol).

So in addition to opening up a package of baby spinach and making a salad, which can be as easy as adding a tomato and store bought dressing, to now, I clean and wash my own fresher (IMO) spinach, add home grown tomatoes, just picked green beans, and homemade dressings. And since my salads are always "main dish" salads, which means I add my protein source to it, you can buy a roasted chicken or use a can of tuna, or steak, whatever. I like to get a small bite of all the ingredients at once, so I measure out my protein, dice it, shred it or slice it and toss it with the other ingredients.

I've added spinach to pasta when making spaghetti, carbonara, tortellini, ravioli, what ever I was cooking for my family. If you add it into the pasta water (along with the pasta, of course)seconds before draining, it wilts instantly, or adding hot pasta to it, wilts it while leaving it slightly firmer, and then sauce. Just the sight of bright green, fresh, live spinach swirling amongst the pasta makes you feel healthier!

I've added it to lasagna, shredded it into tacos (instead of lettuce), made spianch pesto, and I even add it to my meatloaf. Of course, a simple saute w/olive oil and garlic (maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes) as a side dish is done in 30 seconds! There is nothing I cook that doesn't have an added veg to it, nothing.

So from spinach, (pre-packaged, to fresh), I went to swiss chard, and kale. Both are similar, but take longer to cook. At first I only used the leaves of these veggies, and then when I figured out that you can eat the stems, I cook those too! I don't waste anything, and I eat everything!

My point is to start somewhere. Start easy, and it will become easier to always add health.

Spinach Walnut pesto

in a food processor add;

1-2 cloves garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
2tbl. - 1/2 c. toasted walnuts
1 lb. spinach

with processor still running drizzle in;

2 tbl. - 1/2 cup olive oil

Taste, and season with salt and pepper (don't forget this final step).

Toss with hot pasta (adding some reserved pasta water to adjust consistency if needed). You can add parmesean, feta, goat cheese, cottage cheese, etc.

Since oil and nuts are high calorie foods, depending on how I'm using the pesto (as a spread, in a salad, or as a pasta sauce) I adjust the amount to fit my caloric needs. I would use the higher amounts when serving it to non-dieting family members ot guests!

Spinach Pasta Salad

In a large bowl add;

1lb spinach (store bought baby, or wash your own fresh)
thinly sliced red onion

Cook and drain (according to pkg.) 1 pkg. pasta (small like orzo, or long thin spaghetti)and add hot pasta to bowl. Stir quickly to wilt spinach and toss with store bought, or home made balsamic salad dressing ( I like Newman's). Add toasted pine nuts or walnuts, feta cheese and kalmata olives. Chill.

I use less dressing at first then add additional dressing after chilling, right before serving. If I were to make this for myself I would use 1/2 pkg of pasta, increasing the spinach to pasta ratio, half the nuts and cheese, and add chicken for at least 2-3 main dishes.

Spinach is good, life is good

Monday, July 30, 2007

It aint pretty but it's 39.

This set was video taped after 20 minutes of 15 sec. on 15 sec/ rest (8 reps per, 320 snatch total) ) for 40 sets. Sara Chetham posted her max snatch for 1 minute @ 40 reps, I had to try!

Joe Sarti pointed out that it looked as if I could go faster, and I agreed, I felt like I could, I just couldn't figure out what was missing in my technique. He suggested that I could of "pulled" the weight down on the descent, bingo! I had tried that technique in the past, as I praticed speed, but I had forgotten about it this time....oh well.

The other thing was, I considered switching hands as I slowed down around 26-28 reps, but couldn't decide whether I wanted to waste time on a transfer, so I just kept going. It was fun! I finished the workout with 200 more snatches.

1:15 KB Snatch Max Vo2

10 minute warm up, 1 min. on 1 min. rest misc. swings/transfers (5 sets)

Work sets

8 snatch L, 14 sec,

15 sec. rest
8 snatch R, 15 sec,
15 sec. rest

These two sets x 20 = 40 sets, 20 min. (320 snatches)

39 snatch R, 1 min. on, (video shows this set)
1 min. rest x 1 set
36 snatch L, 1 min. on,
1 min. rest x 1 set

20 snatch L, 1 minute pace
1 min. rest
20 snatch R, 1 minute pace
1 min. rest

rotating these 2 sets x 5 each = 10 sets, 20 min., 200 snatches

Total workout 54 min., 595 snatch total

The last 2 sets had a 1-2 sec. hold at the top, making the last few reps of every set pretty tough!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lo/hi swing, snatch combination

Saturday swing/snatch 1:45pm

I had a KB client this afternoon @12:30 (he was awesome, by the way, his snatch improved 200%,lol), and decided to swing/snatch, "I go, you go", with him for the last 20 minutes of his workout and use that as my "warm up" since my workout followed his.

Warm up

20 minutes 1 min. on 1 min rest, misc. swing/transfers/snatches

Work sets

10 L, hi/lo/snatch, 10 R, hi/lo/snatch, 2 min on
, (video demos 1/2 of this set)
1 min. rest

5 L, hi/lo/snatch, 5 R, hi/lo/snatch w/16kg,
1 min. on
1 min. rest

I completed 3 rotations and then decided I had to put the 16kg away! (15 min. total) After Mondays max Vo2 training w/16kg, I just wasn't strong enough, and my hands were trashed. So I changed set #2 to the following;

15 L,swing/snatch, 15 R swing/snatch, 2 min. on
1 min. rest

I alternated this new, longer set with set #1, 2 times each and then my hands just gave out. (12 min. total) It was not a good decision (for my hands) to do 2 min. long sets.

I debated with myself to bang out some 2 hand swing sets, but at that point I had been in the gym for almost 2 hours and called it a day! I'll go for my hour long walk later this evening and that will make me feel better!

Total workout 47 min.

Thursday Dbl. Clean, Press. Squat

Thursday 10:30 KB

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/12kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 5 sets - 10 min.

Work sets

10 dbl. clean, dbl. push press w/2 12kg's 45 sec. on
45 sec rest
x 10 sets = 15 min.

8 dbl. clean, dbl clean, squat w/ 12kg's,
1 min. on
1 min. rest
10 dbl clean w/ 16kg's, 30 sec. on
30 sec. rest
x 5 rotaions = 15 min.

10/10 clean, press w/12kg (one) 1.5 min. on
1 min. rest x 4 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 50 min.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Me and my guy.

1:00pm Max Vo2 training with 16 kg. 50 total sets.

15 seconds on / 15 sec. rest for 25 min.

10 sets of 2 hand swings w/ 16kg 1 min. on 1 min. rest = 20 min.

Total workout 45 min.

I was really nervous going into this workout, because the 16kg is way harder than the 12kg. And even though I've done 40 sets before, I'm still not that comfortable with the heavier weight.

For one, even with my "hand bands" I knew I was going to tear up my hands, and after all, I'm still a girl about those things, lol. (That, and also the fact that I don't own a dishwasher aand doing dishes by hand sucks when you have open wounds, ouch!)

Mark had set the number of sets @45, but when we got there, I had found my groove and wanted to go for 50. He wasn't having it, at first, he had a plan, and he HATES to deviate from it, HATES it! But I guess I "called him out" and he had to go for it. I was going for it regardless, and he knew it!

By the way, Mark and I are using the same weight, and doing the same number of reps!

It was awesome having Joe Sarti there to tape it and keep track. Joe is one of the few witnesses in the KB world that has seen my transformation, from start to finish, and he is always so kind to compliment and encourage me. Thanks Joe!

two minutes in

ten minutes in

last 2 sets

Monday AM weight 129.2 (afternoon weight 128.0 18% BF)
1:00 KB


5-8am coffee w/cream 80 cal.
8:00 prunes (2) 40 cal.
11:30 PNB, raisins, celery, carrot 300 cal.
1:00 1 tbl. honey, 10 almonds, pinch of kosher salt 165 cal.
3:00 sm. soup w/chicken 250 cal.
5-7:00 sushi / drink, 650 / 150 cal.

Total calories 1635

I needed the sugar pre-workout, since I hadn't eaten much before 1:00. Then later that evening I went out to Sushi,(I know can you believe I ate out?), I think I had about 9 pieces? Along with other small misc. I estimated the calories on the high side.

3 Weeks of My New Plan

Wow, alot can happen in three weeks time! I just went back over the details of the plan for my diet that I laid out 3 weeks ago. I started out with the best of intentions, but it has taken me until this last week to really take responsibility for it and make it happen. Laziness, denial, complacency, wishful thinking, botom line, I guess I just wasn't serious enough until I got tired of seeing those 130's on the face of the scale!

My weight actually went up! Two reasons, first, I was still eating too much, and second, the increase in muscle from heavier and longer training routines. I love, love, love, being more muscular, but I don't love weighing 132lbs. Such a dilemma, isn't it great!!! (I just realized, again, how freakin lucky I am to have this as a problem in my life!) I knew exactly what the problems were and I changed them.

The changes that I made, and were hoping to make involved these areas of my diet;

food journaling
calorie counting
food prep / types of food
meal times
cheat day

Food journaling. I did in fact, after 1 week, purchase a larger food journal...I love it. It has plenty of room for not only listing exact meal times, but little notes of inspirational thoughts, and suggestions for future changes. I can see that when I no longer need to keep such accurate details of my diet, it will become a more personal journal, and that's a good thing.

Calorie counting. I admit, I still try and lie to myself, damn! No matter how you might try and lie, you know the truth inside, and more importantly the scale knows the truth! Bottom line, I was still consuming too many calories. I was in denial!

One of the things I wanted to implement was to keep a "running total" of calories throughout the day, this became a very important part of getting control back. Laziness and denial seem to go hand in hand, lol. When I did keep a running total I couldn't be in denial...I couldn't because it was all right there in front of me as it went down! As my calories added up during the course of the day, my last meal became my last chance to make my best choices for whether, or not, I would achieve my goal.

I'm still working on the "portion thing". I have started to change this when I feel I can, and I'm hopeful about this becoming more routine.

Food prep/ types of food. I have increased my fats, (yum), lots more PNB. I measure out 2 tbls. of PNB and I'm really good at sticking with that portion. I eat it with celery and raisins, it's one of my favorite meals...yes, I count it as a meal, not a snack! I cut out so many carrots, I traded out my oats for Triscut crackers in my yogurt. I went back to packing an apple as a snack, instead of prunes or a chocolate sucker.

My bodyfat has increased slightly, but I'm totally OK with that, I think it looks good!

Meal times. As much as I would like to eat at exactly the same times everyday, it just isn't that important. The impotant part of meal times for me is to stop eating as early as possilble. It doesn't seem to make a difference how early I start my first meal as much as when I stop in the evening. I feel best the next day if I eat my last big meal between 4-5pm. Luckily, I don't get hungry, I mean really hungry, not just boredom hungry, in the evening times.

If I do find myself really hungry, I will eat a small snack, like fruit (6-8 apricots, 1 serv. of grapes, maybe a couple of prunes, etc.), and that seems to work fine. (can you believe that I can use the word "small" in describing anything I eat??? LOL)

Cheat day. Well I predicted that this would be my biggest challenge! Now I'm predicting something different....relaxing! I have no plan other than trying this approach. I will not stress about this anymore. It's just one day, It's fine. I feel good about it, and the better I feel, the better I want to feel, and the better I want to feel, the better my choices are.

So there it is. I wanted to get my weight back down in the 128-129's in 4-6 weeks time. I'm confident now that I can do that, I'm confident that I want to do that, by the end of the next 3 weeks. Most important to me right now is feeling my absolute best by my birthday in 2 weeks, and I know that I will!

Sunday AM weight 130.4 (not bad after a cheat day!)
1 hour walk


coffee w/cream 80 cal.
yogurt w/triscut (3) 180 cal.
green salad w/veggies, 1 brownie 500 cal.
broc salad w/tuna/mayo 350 cal.
apricots (12?) 100 cal.

Total calories 1210

I spent Sunday away from home, so I packed my own lunch of small portioned meals. There was a buffet (FREE!) so, I chose to take advantage of the free food, while staying within my diet parameters. I made a large green salad w/extra veggies, but no rice or pasta. I ate all of my own food throughout the day with the exception of my PNB/celery/raisins, which I brought back home and will eat today.

Of course there was a large platter of cookies, cakes and brownies that were just too much to resist, besides I don't have to resist! I chose ONE brownie and ate it slowly with a fork. Man, in the old days (not too long ago), I would've been all over that dessert platter. Looking around most people did take advantage of it, and their bodies reflected their choices!

Monday AM weight 129.2

Life is good.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Snatch Ladder

Saturday 6:45am

Misc. warm up w/12kg, swings, transfers, snatches, about 6 min.

Max Vo2 w/12kg work sets

8 snatch L, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest
8 Snatch R, 15 sec,. on
15 sec. rest
x 30 (60 sets)= 30 min. 480 snatches

Snatch ladders w/12kg


10L, 10R, 9L, 9R, 8L, 8R, 7L, 7R, etc.. to 1L, 1R, 3.5 min. on

2 min. rest
5.5 min. total108 snatches

#2 ascending (going up in reps)

1 thru 8 all on left side, 1 .5 min. on

1 min. rest
1 thru 8 all on right side, 1.5 min on
1 min rest
5 min. total 70 snatches

#3 descending (going down in reps)

8 thru 1 all on left side, 1.5 min. on

1 min. rest
8 thru 1 all on Right side, 1.5 min. on (video shows this set)
1 min. rest
5 min total 70 snatches

Total workout 50 min. 728 total snatches!

After the Max Vo2 snatches, I wanted to do some long snatch sets. So I started with set #1, switching sides from 10 reps down to 1. It was a long set, and I didn't feel the need to repeat it! Next I wanted each set to be done all on one side at a time and considered doing the last 4 sets descending, because they're easier, and after the previous 35 minutes of snatching I was tempted to wuss out!

But, I knew I was feeling tough enough, so I started the next 2 sets ascending until I felt I just couldn't add another snatch on, and that ended at 8 reps, that's how that number was chosen, I just couldn't increase the reps any more!

This workout freakin rocked. That along with my new "Disturbed" CD.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's a nice day for a walk; waiters walk.

This workout was the first workout in a long time that just didn't have a plan! I started way too late in the day, 12:30. Mark had a client in the gym. so I had to train outside (not a big deal, I don't mind). And once my workout doesn't have direction, I lose motivation, I don't feel strong, my mind starts to wonder, I didn't have any music, etc...

12:30 KB

10 minute warm up w/12kg, with the usual 1 min. on 1 min. rest, 2 hand swings/transfers x 5 set = 10 min.

Work sets

double clean, dbl squat, dble press, waiters walk (6 steps) w/12 kg's, repeat 5 times, ending w/press. (Video shows this set) 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 8 sets = 16 min.

Variety of clean/squat/press/waiters walk/transfer, w/1 16kg (no plan) 10 min.

I ended the workout w/

10 L,10 R, clean presses w/12kg, 1.5 min. on 1.5 min. rest x 10 sets = 30 min.

If I had been in the gym, I would've taken a shorter rest period in these last sets, but I wasn't in the mood, I felt like I messed up my workout, I just wasn't "feeling it" and had to force myself to knock out the last 2 or 3 sets. And because I was outside, it was cool (temp.) and I hadn't worked up much of a sweat, so I didn't fell like I had a good workout. I hate that!

Total workout, 66 min.

I forced myself to go to 7pm yoga, part of my "recommitment", I had to walk the talk!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Aerobic Threshold Training by Mark Reifkind

Tracy @ 131 lbs. 7/16/07

I am amazed that more people wanting weight loss aren't looking more closely at what Tracy has been doing, from an energy system and calorie burned per minute perpective. Many people have lost 100 pounds or more. Some have even kept it off for two plus years or more. But I surely haven't seen anyone loose 125 pounds and end up to lean and muscular with body fat levels 20 year old females would love to have.
Now I write this NOT because she is my wife and I am proud of her but because as a strength and conditioning professional I am amazed at what I have seen her do with her body with her training and I am intrigued by what is actually happening.

She built up quickly to two minute swing sets, which is a feat in itself, with two minute rest intervals. She started with four work bouts( 8 minutes of actual work) twice a week and built up to being able to do 800-900 swings with the 16 kg in 30 minutes as a throwaway workout- no big deal. or 1200-1600 swings in a hour two or three times a week.

The work( in a physics sense) being done here is off the charts ; and yet it is available to so many. yet so few seem to choose it. It is very hard but ???? It is obviously working.At whatever sport I decided to compete in I always approached it the same way. I started at the top and looked to what the best were doing. I would try to emulate them and build up to what they were capable of.If my goal were to lose a lot of bodyfat and get as lean as possible I would be doing these hellacious swing workouts Tracy is doing. At least I would HAVE to try.Start at the top and work down.

When she started doing them and I noted how well they were working I called them "aerobic threshold" sets. In an energy system sense, under two minutes of work is mostly anaerobic, requiring more white fibers, glucose as fuel and by nature higher intensity.Think sprinting.

Pretty much after two minutes the energy required to keep things going is primarily fueled by the aerobic energy system.The anaerobic threshold is the level one can work at and NOT go into oxygen debt.The aerobic threshold is the level one can work and NOT go aerobic.I'm sure Kenneth Jay can school me on my exercise physiology mistakes but one thing is true: it does work.
SO these multiple two minute work bouts she does is just of short enough duration to keep a high degree of white fibers involved but long enough to start tapping into the aerobic( more fat, less sugar as fuel). That's my theory and boy it sure seems to work.Now that she is doing heavier, shorter work bouts she is not losing weight but gaining muscle. The one to one work to rest ratio keeps the entire time spent training shifted towards the aerobic system so she is as lean as ever. Way cool.I am just suprised more people who's primary goal is weight loss are not emulating her training.


Recommitment to Yoga

Well, the yoga studio I switched my membership to just isn't working out for me. I sent in my notice to cancel and I'll be going back to my former studio next month. My pratice has gone from a solid 4 days a week to barely 2 and for the first time since I began sometimes only getting in 1 class in a weeks time. Not good.

Yoga, I feel, has been an important part of my training, in fact I believe the it keeps my shoulders open and healthy, and now that I'm having some tighness in my hip flexor, something that I never had a problem with before, I need to take the time to stretch on a more regular basis.

I know, I could take the time to stretch at home on my own, but I do so much on my own already that I prefer the energy of a class environment. My KB workouts are alone and I walk by myself, no music.

I started Bikram yoga right after Thanksgiving 2005 ( my weight was 145lbs.) and 2 months later (Jan. 2006) I did a 60 day challenge, 1 class everyday for 60 days straight, sometimes 2 classes back to back! And although I didn't use "hot" yoga to lose weight, it was my motivation to lose another 10 pounds, because I recognized that my pratice could improve by losing the extra weight, and you know me, I wanted to be the best I could be! That time also coincided with my training for the April '06 RKC, and I met my weight requirement of 132lbs.

In the past few months, even beore I switched studios, I had been having a hard time "quieting" my mind to focus for a 90 minute class, and was experiencing a loss of motivation. I think, espescially as a woman, it's natural for me to want to multi-task, something you cannot do while particing yoga! But now that I've had some time off, whether planned or unplanned, I ready to recommit. Yoga is good!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Max Vo2 Snatch training, with the Reifkinds!

3 minutes in or so

10 minutes in, halfway. My feet started to feel numb, you can see me wiggling them!

The last 2 minutes. I lost count, and without my glasses I couldn't see the clock clearly, lol.

After my Saturday Max Vo2 snatch workout w/16kg, (the same workout that Mark did in this video), I realized that I wanted to do this workout twice a week, once with the 16kg, and one with the 12kg.

So when Mark mentioned over the weekend that this would be his Monday workout, I quickly jumped on the chance to train with him. I knew the energy would be awesome, and I knew he would totally dig it! I don't know why he resists so much, he didn't even want to tape it! I practically forced him to, and I could tell he was glad! I can't wait to do it with him again, next week. We both agreed that we could've gone another 5 min., (10 sets).

12:20 Misc. warm up for 10 min.

12:30 KB Max Vo2

15 sec on, 15 sec. rest
("I go, you go", style)w/12kg

8 reps per side x 40 sets, 20 L, 20 R = 20 min. 320 snatches

2 hand swings

16kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest

alternated w/
20 kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest

10 sets, (5 each) = 20 min.

bottoms up swings, 10/10/10/10, 2 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 5 min.

Total workout 55 min.

The fact that I could still count all of my reps at the end of 20 min., shows that I still had alot more in me, (I wasn't out of breath). Next time we will increase the number of sets, and I'll start out with 9 reps per 15 sec. as I often found myself completeing 8 reps in about 12-13 sec., and then I'll take the option of backing down to 8.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

MVO2 Snatch training with 16 kg

Workout to be posted this afternoon.

6:45am KB

Warm up / all sets are 1 minute on, 1 min. rest

40 transfers w/12kg x 2 sets
40 2 hand swings w/16kg
40 transfers w/16kg
16 snatch transfers w/12kg
14 snatch transfers w/16kg

Total warm up 12 min.

Work sets (video shows set 11-13 of 20)

7 snatch L, 15 sec. on,

15 sec. rest,
7 snatch R, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest

x 20 sets = 20 min. total

swings w/16kg

50/50, 2.5 min. on, 2 min rest x 1 set = 4.5 min.
40/40, 2 min. on, 1.5 min. rest x 1 set = 3.5 min.
30/30, 1.5 min. on, 1 min. rest x 1 set = 2.5 min
20/20, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 5 sets = 10 min.

Total swing time 20.5 min.

Total work out 52.5 min.

I was quite suprised to be able to do the 40 sets (20 L/20 R) w/16kg, I thought I would be lucky to get in 20 and then my plan was to switch to the 12kg. Mentally, I wasn't prepared to make it, so when the last set came along, I gave up! Next time 50 sets!

I switched to the 16 kg becaue the 12kg was just too easy, although I might alternate the two weights every other week and go for 60 sets w/12kg (30 L, 30 R).

Mark did a 200 rep swing set w/16kg , 100 L, 100 R, on Monday, so You know I had to try it! After all of the snatches I did in 20 min., I could only hold on for 50 reps before having to switch to the other side for the next 50 reps. My legs gave out about the same time as my grip, so I knew that's all I had. I then worked my way down to the 20/20 sets. I think this was the first time I had done swings w/16kg for more than 10 reps per hand before switching hands!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday, snatches 20/20, and pull ups

Almost there! I haven't really been training my pull up, but after my KB workouts I always try to do a couple of sets to see if I'm getting any closer, and I am!

Thursday 9:45 am KB snatches w/12kg

Warm up

40 2 hand swings 1 min. on, 1 min. rest x 3 sets = 6 min.
40 transfers, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 4 min.
14 snatch, transfer, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 1 set = 2 min.

Total warm up 12 min.

Work sets

20 L/20 R snatches x 10 (5 sets each side, continuous) 10 min.

20 L/20 R snatches, 2 min. on, 1 min. rest x 5 sets = 15 min.

15 L/15 R snatches, 1.5 min. on 1 min. rest x 5 sets = 12.5 min.

Total snatches 550/37.5 min.

Reverse warmup to cool down

14 snatch transfer, 1 min. on, 1 min. rest x 1 set = 2 min.
40 transfers, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 4 min.
40 2 hand swings, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 3 sets = 6 min.

Total workout 61.5 min.

My first 10 minute set of snatches, I think I actually went 12 min., that's what happens when you get in a "zone" and lose track of time, damn! Anyway, my pace was 20 snatches per 1 min. before switching w/1 trans. to the other side, so maybe a 1 sec. hold at the top. The first 15 reps, not a problem, it was the last 5 of 20 that was the killer! My forearms and grip were certainly tested today! My second round of 20/20 sets w/1 min. rest period, the same experience with the last 5 reps of 20, killer! So I dropped down to 15/15 for my last 5 sets, keeping the same pace.

My form was best by the time I got about 1/2 way and then to the last set, when I lost it and got sloppy, it was over! Great workout!

Thursday AM weight 131.2
1:00pm weight 130.4, 18% BF
6:30 Bikram yoga
9:45 KB snatches


coffee w/cream 70 cal.
prunes (5) 100 cal.
yogurt w/fiber, blueberries, 3 triscut crackers 380 cal.
lg fuji apple 100 cal.
spinach salad w/anchovy dressing 300 cal.
1 can tuna 150 cal.
2 Bit O Honey candies 60 cal.
chili pepper and tomato stew w/skirt steak (5oz) 450 cal.

Total calories 1610

I'm tempted to go on a walk this evening, but I'll be on the beach tomorrow doing my walk/jog for 50-60 min. so I'll pass on it tonight and do something else with my hour! It'll probably be overcast in Santa Cruz in the morning, but that's fine, it's still the beach!

"There's an Ice Cream Cake in the Freezer, Please Help Yourself"

That's what the note on the refrigerator at work said...........free food. I've written about this subject before, I know how I feel about free food, I'm trying to change how I feel about it, I am going to change how I feel about it, it has to change.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm always so surprised when I have a mid-week mini-binge :( Maybe because I never feel it coming. I don't wake up that morning craving anything in particular. My life is happy, my life is good, I'm fine, I've got my whole day's food planned out, I'm busy, I'm motivated to eat my own good food, I look forward to it, I'm not necessarily hungry. So what the hell comes over me????? And what the hell keeps it going, and going, and going????? Oh well no biggie, (well, it kind of was a little biggie).

There was literally 2 bites of frozen whipped cream and caramel left, but it was enough to set in motion a frantic search for candy and anything else I could shove in my mouth before my senses got a hold of me, it sucks.

Wednesday AM weight 129.8
no exercise, 12 hour workday


doesn't matter, it all got screwed up by a 4:00pm binge on candy :( boo hoo!

basically the same stuff;

cream / oats /celery/ raisins / PNB /tuna / broccoli salad / green soup / ground beef

Total calories, around 1500, BEFORE the candy binge?? I'm guessing another 1000 cal. after.

I can try and figure it out, I was "stressed" I tried to keep my calories too low, not enough fat, not enough protein, maybe I'm just screwed up in the head, LOL. I'm fine.

Life is good, I had a great yoga class this morning. I had an awesome snatch workout today. My housecleaner came today! I ate great food today. I still love my husband and family, and they still love me! I'm stronger today than I was yesterday. My gas tank is full and so is my refrigerator. I live in California, and tomorrow is BEACH DAY!!!!!

How could life get any better??

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

clean press clean squat

Mark thought I said "balls", when I actually said "twelves", you'll hear it!

7:45am KB clean, press, clean, squat

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/12kg, 1 min. on, 1 min. rest x 5 sets = 10 min.

Work sets

#1 w/16kg clean press L, trans, clean press R, trans, clean squat L, trans, clean squat R, 5/5, 5/5, 2 min. on, 1 min. rest

#2 w/2 12kg's dbl clean press, dbl clean squat 6/6, 1 min. on 1 min. rest

I alternated these 2 sets 6 x each for a total of 12 sets. Each rotation took 5 min. to complete, 6 x 5 = 30 min. total (video demonstrates partial sets of both)

#3 dbl. swing, dbl clean, dbl clean press, repeat 6/6, 1 min on, 1 min rest x 5 sets = 10 min. total

80 2 hand swings w/12kg, 2 min on, 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 6 min.

Total workout 56 min.

I'm still working out the bugs, in my head, regarding my plan for the next 3 months' workouts. Thursday will be a endurance snatch w/12kg and Saturday Max vo2 snatch w/16kg. That's why I did my clean/press/squat workout today. Even though squats keep me "thick" around my middle, I really dig thicker legs, especially my hamstrings so I'll take the trade-off for now.

Tuesday AM weight 130.8 12 noon weight 129.2, 18.3% BF
7:45 am KB


5-7:00 coffee w/cream 35 cal.
10:20 oats/sugar (1 tbl.) 200 cal.
10:50 celery/raisins 40 cal.
11:30 coffee w/cream 15 cal.
12:30 green soup w/chicken and black beans 420 cal.
3:00 2 red vines 60 cal.
4:15 Hagen Daaz Carmel Cone ice cream, 1 serving 320 cal. (yes, 1 serv.!)
5:30 spinach salad w/anchovy dressing, heirloom tomatoes, yellow bell, 1 can tuna, capers and green olives 450 cal.

Total calories 1540

Well, I tried one serving of ice cream, and it was relatively painfuless. I think being aware of smaller portions and my new attitude of being grateful for the "little things" is helping, although, today, my soup and salad portions were my usual extra large sizes. Looking back, I would of rather had 350 cal. worth of yogurt, but hindsight is 20/20, I'll try and remember that next time.

It's been a week since I implemented my new plan, and my weight is lower this week than last (on average). I confess that I just, today, got my new food journal, and I'm pretty excited about it. I splurged on a large one with "faux" leather cover, it really looks official!

Contemplating on getting up extra early to make my meals for the 12 hour day at work tomorrow or doing it this evening, probably a little of both. Either way it will get done, and I've actually scheduled meal breaks tomorrow.

The Perfect Weight

It occured to me the other day that I am pretty much at a perfect weight, given my level of activity. Could I weigh less? I most certainly could weigh more. So, I concluded that I am in my perfect weight range.

I have no doubt I could weigh less, but why? To weigh less I would have to eat less, I could do that, but my training might suffer slightly, and to keep the muscle I work so hard to build, my weight loss would be in the form of bodyfat. And for strictly cosmetic reasons I don't want my BF to get too low, I'm too old, and there's no need. I have the willpower to starve myself down, but, come on that's stupid.

But every once in a while I'll see someone smaller than me and think, "Why can't I be that small?", "Why can't I be a size 2?". But most of the time, I'll look around me and to my surprise I might be the only person that I see that doesn't have to lose any weight. I'm not kidding! I was in Trader Joes on a Grand Opening weekend, the store was very crowded, and as I looked around I noticed that I was the only person, men included, that didn't need to lose any weight. And this is a store that caters to, supposedly, food conscious customers.

I also know that if I gained 5 lbs and kept my range at 130-135, I could become much stronger, look softer and be able to eat more! And my biggest resistance to that is mental. There's something about weighing in th 120's that mentally feels successful. What's that all about? What's so special about 125?

It's been hard enough for me to put on this last 3-5lbs, but I know that most of it is muscle. I know that because in addition to weighing my self everyday and monitoring my BF levels, my clothes fit differently. My jeans are tight around my legs, especially my hamstrings (squatting), but not around the waist/hips. My t-shirts are tight around my arms and shoulders, but no where else, I'm still the same size, and I like how that feels.

So I find it interesting, when having conversations with people about weight loss, that people fall into 4 groups (IMO), the ones that have alot of weight to lose, and I consider that more than 60 lbs, then there's the group that have a good amount to lose 40-60lbs, and then the group with 20-40 and then there's the group within 5-20lbs.

For now, I want to refer to the last group, 5-20lbs, since I'm closest now to this group.

If someone asked me if I wanted to lose any weight, if I thought really hard before answering, my answer would be "Yea, a couple of pounds." A couple of pounds? What does that mean? Aren't I already there? I mean, a couple of pounds is really only a couple of days away, if I really wanted to. So I'm already there, in my range. So after thinking harder before my answer I would have to conclude that my answer is "NO, I'm perfectly within my range." But as soon as it gets to 5lbs., it easily becomes 10, and then...... So at 5 to 10 a person is soooo close to the range they want to be.

I remember being so far away from my range (obviously, @ 250lbs.!) that I couldn't understand why a person soooo close to thier ideal weight, couldn't just tighten the belt slightly, and within a few weeks, get there! It's the same lack of motivation of a person having much more to lose. It's the same....motivation.

The first week of my diet I lost 5lbs. I didn't weigh myself for a solid week, and when I stepped on that scale and saw that 5lb. loss I knew if I could lose 5lbs., I could lose 50lbs.! And if I could lose 50lbs., I could lose 100lbs.! I knew it! I had no doubt that I was going to lose 100lbs! So as I got closer to my goal weights (my first goal was 200, then 175, then 145, and finally 135) and I saw that I could weigh whatever I wanted to, I knew how, and I had the motivation, my perfect weight was my desicion.

To be honest I still struggle with wanting to be "skinny". Somehow "skinny" still seems to be some sort of ideal in this culture and society. And I know that I can be "skinny" if I want to, in fact I was not too long ago, I think Mark described it as "scrawny"! But, taking everything into account, my genetics, my age, my activity level, my health (this is the most important one!), my lifestyle, I have to admit that I am at my perfect weight!

Monday AM weight 129.2
10:30am 1000 swing KB workout (details below)
5:15 Bikram yoga


coffee/cream 70 cal.
prunes 80 cal.
oats/sugar 200 cal.
cherries 100 cal.
broccoli salad w/grapes 400 cal. / roasted pork loin 275 cal.
chocolate sucker 70 cal.
Starbucks passion fruit iced tea (no sweetener) 0 cal.?
green soup w/chicken and cottage cheese 550 cal.

Total calories 1745

Sometimes I like to cook food monochromatically! So I used all of the green veggies I had in my fridge and made soup. Celery, onion, anaheim chili, pasilla chili, tomatillos, kale (stems included), cabbage, green beans and summer squash, garlic and fresh herbs. I didn't eat my last meal until after yoga (7:30pm), I hate eating late, but I have a heavy workout this morning and I couldn't eat before yoga.

Evening yoga class is pure willpower to attend! I hate it so much, the ONLY reason I go, is because I know I HAVE to! I need it for my health and training and the studio that I currently go to only has the 5:15pm on Mondays. I need to switch studios soon!

10:30am 1000 swings w/12kg

#1 100 2 hand swings 2 1/2 min. on , 1 min rest
#2 100 1 hand swings switching every 10, 2 1/2 min. on, 1 min rest

Each set rotated 5 x (10 sets total), 7 min. to complete both sets, 5 x 7 = 35 min. total

The weather is beautiful and so is life!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

16 kg Snatch Holds.

Saturday 2:00pm KB Snatch/holds 16kg

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/12kg 1 min. on, 1 min. rest x 3 sets = 6 min.
20/20 1 hand swings w/12kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 4 min.
40 transfers w/16kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest, x 1 set = 2 min.
10/10, 10/10 1 hnad swings w/16kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 1 set = 2 min.

Total 14 min.

Work sets w/16kg

15/15 snatches, 1 min. 15 sec. on, 1 min., 15 sec. rest x 2 sets = 5 min.

12/12 snatches, 1 min. 15 sec. on, 1 min. 15 sec. rest x 4 sets = 10 min.

10/10 snatches, 1 min. 15 sev. on, 1 min. 15 sec. rest x 4 sets = 10 min.
(video shows the last set)

Total time 25 min., 236 snatches

40 transfers w/16kg, 1 min. on
1 min. rest
10/10, 10/10 1 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min. on,
1 min. rest

x 4 rotations (8 sets) = 16 min.

Total workout 55 min.

My hands are torn up! Even with my hand bands, the volume of heavy snatches is taking it's toll! I think I am going to switch my Max vo2 workout to using the 16kg and then doing an endurance workout w/12kg, instead of the other way around. Also, Im thinking of using the 16kg for my press day, combining press/holds into the workout.

Friday AM weight 129.8 (excellent!) 12 noon weight 128.6 (17.1% BF)
50 min. jog/walk at beach


coffee w/cream 70 cal.
oats / sugar 200 cal.
apricots 50 cal.
esspresso/cream 70 cal.
apple/cabbage slaw w/chicken 400 cal.
carrots, almonds 100 cal.
broccoli salad w/asian dressing and chinese marinated pork 400 cal.
chili/tomato soup w/black beans 200 cal

Total calories 1500

Saturday AM weight 129.4
2:00 KB snatch / holds
7:30pm 1 hour walk


coffee /cream
oats/sugar (8:30 am)
rice krispy treats (8?)
brownies (3 lg)
veg soup w/beef (4:00pm)

Total calories LOTS!

Nothing tears up your mouth more that eating over 1/2 dozen rice krispy treats in an hour! I hate to admit these crazy binges, but it is what it is. And what that is, I don't know yet, so in the mean time, I ate all of my crap between 9:30am and 10:30 am, with the exception af 1 brownie after my workout at 3:30pm. I had eaten so much crap that I didn't feel like eating any good food, and I almost didn't, but it really does make you feel better....it helps break the junk food cycle, so I'm glad I did.

Sunday AM weight 131.6 (it could've been worse!)
7:00pm 1 hour walk

4-6:00am coffe w/cream 45 cal.
8:30 oats/sugar 200 cal.
9:30 carrots/almonds/raisins/dried mango 300 cal.
12:30 espresso w/whipped cream 100 cal.
3:00 cherries 50 cal.
3:30 green bean/squash/tomato salad w/sherry/shallot vinaigrette 250 cal.
5:00 yogurt, triscut (2) 210 cal.
skirt steak 2oz. 100 cal.

Total calories 1255

I didn't feel hungry today and I was able to keep my calories low. My portions were smaller this week 80% of the time, I feel that was a success...it actually felt better (mentally).

Life is better than ever.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Too Light?

It's easy to get caught up in lifting heavy, swinging heavy, lifting more, swinging longer, etc. But there are so many variables to consider when you train for "fitness" not so much for competition. I think that's why the "cross training" style workouts have become so popular.

I am not a competitve athlete, although I am competitve, I'm not training for a specific competition against other athletes at a certain time (a "meet"). I do have some goals for myself, against myself and that affords me the luxury of changing my workouts and tryng different combination of exercises to a certain degree. Ultimately my goals right now are to gain and mantain a certain amount of strength and muscle while keeping my bodyweight and BF at a certain level. But more about my specific goals at another time. Fawn left me a comment about my last workout usig the 8kg's seeming too light. So let me address that.

I pointed out that I since I used 2 8kg's that was the weight equivilent of a 36. Pressing one 36 is, of course, harder than double pressing 2 18's, but lunging with the same weight, is lunging with the same weight...holding two 18's (lbs) is "easier" on the arms than holding one 36 in one arm, but you still have to lunge forward and get back up with the weight. I chose to do 15 double clean/presses in between lunge sets with only 30 sec rest periods, that made the press done with in the lunge set very challenging! And let's not forget that I alternated these sets for over 1/2 hour continuously and after a 90 minute, 104 degree yoga class.

I hadn't done lunges in a long time and didn't want to cripple myself for the next day, even though I have a good fitness base, you never know what a new movement will cause your body to experience especially at my age. We've all overdone new exercises to the point of soreness the following day! And I don't really need to squat every week, in fact squatting is making me thicker around the middle, exactly what I don't want, but the trade off is bigger hamstrings and booty which I like. So I thought alternating lunges with squats every other week would be a good compromise.

In the past two weeks some of my workouts have included, 1600 swings w/16kg (in 1 hour), 2127 swings w/12kg (in 1 hour), two heavy snatch (16kg) workouts, one of which also included a Max Vo2 cycle (320 snatches) and then two days later another Max Vo2 based workout (another 320 snatches), in addition to all of my other training. I think it was time to lighten up!

You shouldn't be afraid of using the lighter bells. Lighter bells move faster, higher, longer and give you yet another variable in your training. Lighter bells give you an opportunity to try new exercises that you might not be able to do yet with the heavier weights, especially "double" work....double swings, double presses, double snatches. And because they're lighter, therefore easier (lol), it's a good time to swing longer to build endurance. Using lighter weights between regular heavy workout days affords you to get in an "extra" workout without killing yourself!

So, bottom line, it's all good!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lunge double press

Did someone suggest lunges???? Anyway, I decided to alternate heavy / light double press days every other week, so on the light weeks I'll double press w/2 8kg's and include lunges, and the other week, heavy double presses w/ 12kg's and squats.

I can't swing / lift heavy all the time, so here's my first, fast/light/double press/lunge, workout. I'm still working on my lunge form w/weight, I had never done a lunge with a press at the bottom, they'll get better! (Idea courtesy of Fawn Friday)

combination #2

9:45am KB

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/12kg 1 min. on 1 min rest x 5 sets = 10 min. total

Worksets w/ 2 8kgs

15 double clean, double press, 1 min. on

30 sec. rest
10 lunge, double press, (5 L, 5 R) 1 min. on (see video)
30 sec. rest
15 double clean, double press, 1 min. on (same as combo #1)
30 sec. rest
double clean, 16 lunge (8 each side) w/kb's in rack position, 1 min. on
1 min. rest

Repeat 5 x. All 4 combos took 6.5 min to complete x 5 = 32.5 min. total

10/10/10/10 clean, bottoms up clean w/12kg 3 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 8 min.(video shows 5/5)

20 double swings w/8kg's, 30 sec. on 30 sec. rest x 10 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 60 min.

Short rest periods during the lunge combinations keep the workout fast and I really worked up a sweat. I thought about doing some walking lunges / presses outside, but I've got plenty of time to play with new combinations.

Thursday AM weight 130.6
6:30 Bikram yoga
9:45 KB


coffee w/ cream 70 cal.
8:30am oats w/ 1tbl. sugar 200 cal., 3 prunes 60 cal.
11:00 coffee w/cream 45 cal.
2:00 chili/tomato stew w/black beans and skirt steak 450 cal.
4:00 PNB / raisins w/celery and green beans 320 cal.
6:30 fresh green bean and heirloom tomato salad w/ tuna, capers, balsamic dressing 400 cal.

Total calories 1545

Today was the first day I didn't feel hungry. The last two weeks I had done some seriously hard workouts and it just caught up with me, I needed more food. Looking back over the last few days however, I tried hard to eat good things, smaller portions, and just enough. I didn't overeat, but couldn't get my calories under 1700, until today.

I cut the sugar (cocoa) out of my second cup of morning coffee weeks ago, maybe months, because I wanted to get off of the sugar, but this morning I felt I needed it after going to yoga, before my KB workout, so I put some in my oats. I don't know if that had anything to do with curbing my appetite (one of the things I like about sugar, for me, is that it's an appetite suppressant), so we'll see how tomorrow goes.

Saturday cheat day isn't looking good! I haven't been able to get my weight back down yet, although my late morning weight (11:00am) was 129.6 / 19% BF, that's slighly lower. I do weigh less on average this week than last, so I'm moving in the right direction, and my motivation is high. I'm starting to miss being skinny, lol.

The only thing better than growing your own veggies, is having friends that grow them for you! A client brought me just picked green beans, some of which I ate raw right then, the rest I brought home and made into a salad by blanching for 1-2 min. in lightly salted water (cold water to cool), tossed them with some tomatoes, from another friend, 1/2 can tuna in olive oil, 1 tbl. capers, 1 tbl. balsamic, salt and fresh ground pepper. YUM!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rediscovering Strength

I recently added this title to my blog, I don't know if anyone noticed, but I did this after feeling as if I had "lost myself", and now rediscovered who I've always been....strong. I realized this after someone had asked me if I felt like a new person. I told them that I didn't feel like a new person, I felt like the person I am supposed to be, the person I once felt I was, at my best, reaching for my lifes' potential.

Right now at this moment in my life I get to feel empowered....again. And as corny as it may sound my kettlebell training gets alot of credit for that. When I think of traditional weight resistance training compared to swinging, there is no comparison. Swinging moves, it flows, it starts the blood pumping, through my body, into my muscle, it pumps life into me. The movement and momentum generates strength....and builds it.

But it's not just KB's, it's this whole journey. Sometimes I think that there's somebody out there reading my stuff and thinking, "Oh that poor woman! She has to weigh her food, and count her calories." What I would want them to understand is that doing these things doesn't depress me, they empower me. I'm in control of my life, I'm making the choices...I'm taking responsibility. And I feel strong doing them. It's a joy.

The strength of my body is starting to translate into strength of character. To put my mind to something and do it. To decide what's right and do it, over and over again, until it no longer is a choice but a need.

As I approach my 44th birthday this summer I've never felt stronger. Discovering new strength, not to just manage the feelings and emotions that I sometimes let myself fall victim to, but strong enough to overcome them. Rediscovering the strength I always knew I had. Rediscovering my lifes' potential and living it.

Tuesday, 15 sec. on, 15 sec. rest

Tuesday 7:30am KB
Max vo2
Heavy 2 hands swings

Warm up w/12kg

40 2 hand swings, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 5 sets = 10 min.
16 snatch, transfers, 1 min. on 1 min. rest x 2 sets = 4 min.

Total warm up 14 min.

Work sets Max Vo2 w/12kg

8 snatch L, 15 sec. on,
15 sec rest,
8 snatch R, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest

x 40 sets (20 L, 20 R) = 20 min. total (320 snatches)

1 min. rest

10 2 hand swings w/12kg, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest
10 2 hand swing w/16kg, 15 sec. on
15 sec. rest
10 2 hand swings w/20 kg, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest,
10 2 hand swings w/24kg, 15 sec. on,
15 sec. rest

Reverse order x 10 sets total ( pyramid )

All 4 sets took 2 min. to complete x 10 sets = 20 min.

Total workout 54 min.

40 minutes of 15 sec. rest periods goes fast! No time to think much, barely enough time to "chicken stratch" the number of sets, much less drink enough water.

I'm diggin' the Max Vo2 training, I hope to increase my sets to 50 next week. The 12kg for snatching is getting lighter and lighter, I shouldn't have a problem breaking 300 when I decide to test SSST again with that weight, probably before the end of summer.

I'm going to outline my training/workout plan for the next 3 months within few days.

Monday AM weight 131.8
9:00am 1 hour walk
5:15pm Bikram yoga
Calories 1640

I needed to take the day off from KB, my shoulders were so tired from Saturday's workout, I could barely keep my arms up in yoga class on Sunday. Time to admit I need to recover, and I know I'll be repeating the Max Vo2 snatch protocol on Tuesday.

I felt hungry most of the day, I just can't expect to continuously progress in my training the way that I have and not require more food.

Tuesday AM weight 130.0
7:30 KB
Total calories 1850 (first meal time, 9:30am, last meal time, 5:00pm)

I had a great KB workout early but still wanted to walk for an hour after dinner, but it was more important to get things ready to spend the next day at the beach, besides I need to cut back on the over exercising. I made a couple of salads, one w/chicken, one w/tuna (undressed until Wed.) and packed PNB w/raisins and celery/carrot sticks, almonds, grapes, apricots, whole wheat crackers w/robusto cheese and plenty of water and sunblock.

Wednesday AM weight 130.6
50 min. walk along beach
Total calories 1710 ( first meal time, 9am, last meal time, 4:30pm)

Spent the day with my sister Donna, in Santa Cruz, but came back way early. We didn't go for the fireworks, like tens of thousands of other people did....just the surf and sun. I thought about finding a late afternoon yoga class, but we are having a mini heat wave and the thought of Bikram just isn't appealing, I'll go tomorrow.

Lifes a beach, lol.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My Food Plan

It's time to commit to some changes. In the next 4-6 weeks I want to consistently have my body weight at 127-8lbs, and my body fat to stay around 17-18%. I'm currently averaging 128-131lbs w/18-19.8% BF. This may seem like not a big deal, but as someone that has "food issues" I know that the key to long term success is establishing habits that become second nature....habits that are "a way of life".

For the most part I've got the "food" thing down, for the most part. But here's what's working and what not working;

Working / Not Working

food journaling / not enough detail
calorie counting / eating too may calories
making and preparing food / the types of food
meal times / wrong times
cheat day / not controlled
portions of food / still too big

Food journaling. It's time to buy a bigger journal. Currently my hard copy journal is a small date book (9"x5") that just doesn't have enough room to list meal times and more importantly, at this point, room to start writing down my mood, feelings, and thoughts. Today I will purchase a larger book, one that can accomodate my new needs. Easy.

Calorie counting. I'm still one to try and "fudge" the numbers. No can do. Most of the time I over estimate, but every once in a while I fall into "wishful thinking". Part of the problem is that I'm so used to trying to eat as little as possible that I don't eat enough, and then I get famished (mentally), and then I overeat. When I started my weight loss, I would shoot for 1200 cal./per day and usually end up aroun 1400-1500. Now I shoot for 1500 and end up around 17-1800. I need to plan and shoot for what I need, period. I can't let myself get hungry. With my workout schedule I need 17-1900 cal., I need to accept it, plan for it and do it. I need to keep a "running total" as I go along my day.

Making and preparing my own food. Part of my problem at this time of the year is seasonal food. The summer fruit is coming in full force, and it's difficult to resist. Melon, cherries, grapes, strawberries, apricots, although low in calories, when I eat 2 lbs worth, the calories add up! Also, I need to work on my anxiety about "missing out", or the feeling of never again getting a chance to eat all of that good food, my "take advantage now" attitude, my new food journal will help with that.

Because of my food journal I know lately I haven't been drinking enough water, especially during this hot weather. I suspect I'm eating too many carrots (something that I just started doing w/PNB, about 3 lg), it seems to be affecting my, how can I put this delicately, elimination. Carrots are high in natural sugar, and although a vegetable with alot of fiber, not alot of water content. Combined with not enough water already, not a good thing.

Meal times. I like to eat all of my daily food within 5-7 hours. I haven't been good at sticking to those parameters. I try and not eat until late in the morning, sometimes not until 12:30 - 1:30 pm. That's not working. Because of my training I'm getting hungrier earlier and I need to just accept the fact that I need to eat. So I'll try starting earlier and stopping earlier. 9:30-10:30, until 3:30-4:30. 3:30-4:30 may seem really early to most people, but I've already established the habit of not eating after 6:00pm, an hour or 2 earlier isn't going to kill me. I'm willing to try and see if this helps.

Cheat Day. This is my biggest challenge. This one is huge., and I do mean that literally. Every Saturday I truly feel as if I have a chance of contolling this, but something comes over me and I totally lose control. I could try and add in 300-400 calories daily of some sort of dessert, that's scary, but I'm leaning towards giving it a try, maybe every other day I'll alternate my yogurt meal with an ice cream meal. Somehow I forgot about "hour to devour", that was good and kind of worked, I'll at least go back to that if I need to. Having a problem with bingeing is no joke. The ultimate goal is to be "normal". And that means not bingeing, not bingeing on "bad foods" as well as "good foods" which brings me to my next subject....

Portion control. Hi, my name is Tracy, and I'm a compulsive overeater. I've been lucky enough to devise a way to overeat and lose weight......vegetables. But overeating is still overeating. I've been talking a while about wanting to decrease the size of my portions, so my plan is to increase my protein and fats. My salads will have more meat and fattier dressings, less veggies (instead of 16oz, maybe 12oz.), my soups, well, it's hard to get fat in soups, I guess I could add cream or just plain olive oil, but I would rather not, so I'll increase my fats at other meals. I'm digging my PNB and I seem to be able to control that, but the carrots have to go, I'll replace with celery and/or other veggies.

Daily plan / short term plan

Keep a "running total" of calories
Eat enough, but not too much, be honest
Start eating earlier
Increase fats and protein, smaller portions
Recognize and change things that don't work

More details will be journaled in the next few weeks.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Make a New Plan, Stan (Are you ready?)

Everyday we plan. We plan what time we get up in the morning, what we are going to wear, what we are going to eat (or not eat), how to get the kids up and to school, how we get to work (which route to take), what the days appointments look like, whatever needs to get done that day requires us to think ahead to a certain extent to make it happen. So, we have daily plans as well as short term and long term plans.

The first step, I believe, in making changes in your diet (or training) is to make a plan. In fact, I wrote a post on 4/4/07 called "Boring Diet Advice", and after re-reading it this morning the very first suggestion was to make a plan! ( If you haven't read it, I suggest that you do, it's a post that I'm quite proud of and quickly outlines some important suggestions) A plan is, of course, a way of "mapping out" how you expect to accomplish your goals. So, decide what your goals are, to simply say I want to lose weight, or, I want to get in shape, means little without taking the responsibility to "map out" how you're going to do it.

Are you ready to lose weight? It's OK if you're not, but don't whine about it, don't bitch about it, don't pretend you're doing everything you can and you're still not losing weight if you don't have a plan. A plan that WORKS! If you think you have a plan, and it's not working, CHANGE IT! But that requires being honest not only about what you're eating, but if you're ready.

What I've done, or what anyone else has done to lose weight, if they've been succsessful, has worked for them. It may or may not work for you. But I think everyone would agree that if you weigh more than you want to, you got that way by eating too many calories. Start by changing that. Make a plan to eat less calories, how will you do that, are you ready to do that? A couple of ways to do that are to eat less of the same foods you ae currently eating, or to change your foods to lower calorie foods, more than likely they will also be healther. Either option can work, and to what degree you are ready and willing to change will affect the speed of your success.

One of the excuses that I hate to hear is the excuse of "time". "I don't have time to make my lunch", "I don't have time to go to the store everyday", "I don't have time for breakfast", "I don"t have time to workout", "I just don't have enough time", bullshit. If I told you that I would give you a $100 dollar bill, or $1000, whatever amount would motivate you, every morning, but you had to drive (or get) accross town at 4:00am to collect it, I think you might muster up the motivtion to make that happen, even with your "busy schedule". We all find time to do the things that we are motivated to do. And the first thing you would do is to make a plan. In fact you might even start planning how you will spend the money! So don't use the excuse of "time", just make peace with the fact that you may not be ready.

OK, so you're ready to lose weight, right? Eat fewer calories, you know what you're eating, I don't, so how are you going to do that? Here are some of the things that I do to plan my food;

I keep a food journal to stay accountable and to track not only how many calories I'm eating, but what kinds of food affect my weight, and how often I eat. My journal also gives me time to reflect and decide what may or may not be working so I can change it!

I eat basically the same foods everyday. I make food ahead of time, that can mean freezing portioned meals, or simply getting up earlier to prepare my food for the day, or staying up late the night before to make sure I have the food I need for the next day, I never leave my house without knowing what I'm going to eat that day. I don't eat out. I don't care if it's someones birthday, or a way to socialize, I'll meet someone for a large glass of ice tea at a coffee shop, but I don't need to eat crappy food to please someone else. And because my food is already planned, I don't need to eat out. Besides, my food is better, both taste wise and health wise.

One of my favorite stories is the one where I describe while walking in my neighborhood I pass by a Weinershnitzel (hot dog stand) and notice the long line of people (unhealthy looking people, I might add) and wonder why in the hell these people don't think they have the 30 sec. time to microwave a damn hotdog themselves? A whole package of hot dogs and buns probably cost less than what they're spending, buying a chili dog and soda (OK 2 chili dogs w/cheese, lg. fries and lg soda, yuk!). People can simply start by making their own sandwich for lunch, how long can that take? C'mon people.

I know what kinds of snack foods can get me to my next meal if for some reason I've waited too long or if my plan doesn't work out. For instance, at work I don't always plan my appointments to accomodate meal breaks (it's my own fault, I admit it), and I need something low calorie, nutritious and satifying to get me to the next meal. Apples, prunes, almonds, and my latest favorite, carrot sticks w/PNB, for some a 90 cal. yogurt, etc. Be prepared if your plan gets disrupted.

So what will your plan look like? My plan, although it's been working for me, needs some fine tuning. I'm at a point where my training goals are changing and therefore my food needs to change. I'm lifting more and heavier the perfect combination to put on muscle and my weight is a little higher than I'm comfortable with. So my goals are to continue to get stronger, give myself sufficient time to recover, not to overexercise, and to eat enough, but not too much to maintain my weight at the range I need it (128's). I'll be outlining my master plan in the next few days to hopefully map out exactly how I expect to get to where I need to be, and where I want to go. I'm ready!