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!


Kori Bliffert, NASM-CPT said...

I agree Tracy. When I try a new exercise or re-try an exercise that I have not done for awhile, I go "light" because I don't know what to expect or how my body will be affected the next day.

I am sure before long, you will be using the 12kgs or 16kgs!

Happiness Within said...

Tracy, you are on the path of mastery. It is not a race and I am glad that you see that. Some of us forget this...myself included. Thanks for the great post.

Iron Tamer said...

On a completely urelated subject, how long was thie time between whe you were lean and your biggest size, before you got on the path to where you are now?

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Tracy, you are very inspiring!

I like to see the thought process behind choosing weight that is appropriate. I've just decided to buy some kettlebells and give the training a try. From everything I'm reading it seems that the physics of moving the weight through space is crucial so I imagine there is a point at which an exercise needs a heavier weight for a person to be able to get at the intended mechanics of the exercise (I'm thinking about swings). For people starting out with only experience with dumbbells etc... how can you tell that it is "right"?

Tracy Reifkind said...

Kori, Forget the 12 & 16kg, I'm shooting for the 20 & 24kg...just kidding!

I think most everyone should revisit the 8kg every once in a while, but make it challenging, more reps, practice perfect form etc..

Tracy Reifkind said...

happiness, I agree about it not being a race, but the speeds we move at change from time to time, and the journey is our own.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Dave, What exactly do you mean?? I'll be glad to share, but I'm not following what you are asking.

Tracy Reifkind said...

pixie, Am I correct in thinking you are female? This question will probably require writing a whole post to answer!

I have my own thought process for my own training, but there are definitely guidelines on basic training for beginners.

I had written a post on "My Style" months ago, but maybe it's time to rewrite something else like it. Stay tuned! Thanks for your interest.

Anonymous said...

I'll look for the "my style" post and look forward to anything else you might get a chance to write on the topic.
Pixie (yes female)

Diane said...

Hi Tracy, like Pixie, I too am new to kettlebells and have signed up for RKC in October. Your video's are great and the comradery and friendliness in the kettlebell community has been awesome. Sara Cheatham has been a great mentor as well. I too will look forward to your "my style" post.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Diane, Thanks for your comments.

Kettlebell training is just starting to really "take off" and your desicion to become a certified instructor will be a great addition to this community.

I've never met Sara personally, but I hope to soon, she is incredibly strong and truly a class act!