Monday, June 30, 2008

Level 2 Cert Testing

Next time I get to attend a RKC I'm going to make it a point to meet all of the woman participants, (but I can be shy, seriously lol), and get pictures and video of it all, but here are a couple of pictures....more to come....and some video of the last day Level 2 skills testing....

Kiera Newton, me, and Heidi Rothenberg at the Meet and Greet, (Firebellz, Albuquerque) Heidi testing pull-up, and Kiera testing bent press.

Cindy Glass and me in the Cert hotel lobby (Girya, Palo Alto) Cindy testing pistol, and push press.

Besty Collins and me at the Cert last Oct., sorry I didn't get a new picture! (Raleigh, NC) Besty testing pistol.

Gayle Hunter, and me a few months ago on her deck over-looking the Russian river, (Russian River Kettlebells, Healdsburg). Gayle testing pull up.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Too Busy Having a Blast!

Why is it that I've practically quit my job, and I have less time than ever?

Anyway, I didn't even have time to write about my trip to the Level 2 RKC this weekend in St. Paul! Well I'm here, and I haven't stopped for one second until this morning, and I barely have time to post because the weekend is over, my hotel room is a stinkin' mess, I've got a little hangover from the wine last night, my body is sore from the snatches I did yesterday at the Cert, testing the new Max V02 Boost protocol, (after co-teaching 2 of Fawns KB classes and a 5 mile walk), so I've got to clean up, clean out and make it over to the Cert by 10:45 to hear my brilliant husbands lecture.

Much more to come, lots of pictures and details of weekend....woo hoo!

Picture above is "kettlebell Kate", me and Fawn at the Meet and Greet Thursday night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Change Your Body with KB's

Yes, I admit I weigh about 8lbs more than this time last year, but last year I didn't have an ass! Oh, I had plenty of ass when I weighed over 200lbs., but dieting and exercising down to 17-19% bodyfat left me with little 'junk in my trunk', LOL!

The only complaint I have about weighing more these days is my little 'muffin top', and my size 6 jeans being snug, but other than that there are more benefits to carrying around a little more weight. First of all, I can eat more! But also, I like more fat on my face, (ladies over the age of 40 can appreciate this), and I like being curvier....I love having an ass, lol!

I've got more muscle too, because of my training, and just carrying around the extra bodyweight 24/7 makes me stronger! In yoga I can feel the extra weight, especially in the two poses that require you to squat down the count of 10....but I know when this weight comes off I'll be that much stronger because of having to practice as if I have a 8lb backpack on!

I don't know why, but I'm always surprised when I look in the mirror and really like the way my body looks, it's only when I put on clothes that feel tight that I feel....well, I don't want to say "bad", but not my best!

My KB training has been miracle in changing my body. A miracle because I just 'show up' and do the workouts, I wasn't trying to make physical changes, actual body shape changes. I just do the work, consistently, and my body follows, how lucky am I?

Picture at left was taken almost 2 years ago, at about a 2lb. bodyweight difference. I definitely have more muscle now....and a bigger a good way, lol!

Posted on Food and Thought 06/24/08

"The Taste of Summer"

Now that I make chicken stock by the buckets in my pressure cooker, I'm able to make all kinds of vegetable soups that are high in nutrition, super low in calories, and few, very few, i
Posted ngredients...oh yes, and fresh, fresh, fresh!

I'm sure I'll be sick of zucchini by the middle of summer, but the light green pattypan squash that I brought home from Waynes garden was the best of the 4 squash soups I experimented with. I purposely used only one type of squash for each soup, hoping to taste flavor differences. The differences were noticeable when tasted side by side, but so slight otherwise that in the future I'll throw them all in the same pot. The picture above, from L to R, is yellow, green pattypan, and zucchini squash soup.

The other veggies are the ones I picked up from the farmers market on Sunday. Leeks and fennel for Marks quiche, fresh corn for some corn chowder and to add to the squash soup, broccoli and radishes for salads, carrots for more soup, onions, and celery to have on can never have too many onions, because if you have nothing else in the house, you still have...well...onions! Remember, onions are a vegetable too!

I bought 8lbs. of squash from Wayne, (all of the squash in the picture above!),and although I'm tempted to go and buy some more today, I've got plenty of food in the fridge and freezer, including ready made squash soup. I get my CSA box tomorrow night, and Mark and I are going to Minnesota on Thursday for the Level 2 Cert and will be gone for a few days, so I don't need anything.

Squash soup


Saute onion in oil or butter (1-2 tbl.) until translucent 5-10 min, added crushed garlic in the last minute of cooking. Add squash, cut into large chunks and barely cover with stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer (slightly covered) until soft, 15-20 min.. Puree in soup pot, using an immersion blender, or when cool enough to handle, puree in blender. Season with S&P.

I have so much soup that I haven't had a salad in days! I'm still in love with the cauliflower soup, I made more carrot, and I've been adding all sorts of stuff to my squash soup, including roasted corn, greens (of course) and chicken. Somehow I think jalapenos will eventually end up in the squash soup too!

Soup is good.
Life is good, my life is good,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend Workout

8:00am Bikram yoga
2:30pm 1 hour walk

8:00am Bikram yoga
10:30 KB

Warm up

40 misc. swings w/12kg, 1 min work, 1 min rest x 4 sets = 8 min.

Work sets

40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work
30 sec. rest
20 2 hand swings w/20kg, 30 sec work,
15 sec rest
10 2 hand swings w/24kg, 25 sec work,

#2 (see video)
40 transfers w/16kg, 1 min work,
30 sec. rest,
20 transfers w/20kg, 30 sec work,
15 sec rest,
10 2 hand swings w/14kg,
15 work, 30 sec rest
30 sec. rest

Both uphill ladders took 3 min. to complete. I alternated the 2 sets 5x each (10 sets total) = 30 min.

#3 uphill 2 hand swing ladder (see video)

12 w/16kg, 12 w/20kg, 12w/24kg, 1 min work,
1 min rest
x 8 sets = 16 min.

Total workout 54 min.

I've had three great yoga classes in a row, that means tomorrow's practice is going to suck, lol! We'll see....5:30am.

Friday, June 20, 2008

5:30am Bikram yoga
7:30am KB Max V02/snatch holds

Warm up
misc. swings/snatch, 1 min work, 1 min rest x 5 sets = 10 min (20 snatch points)

Max V02 work sets w/12kg

8 x 5 sets per arm (10 sets)= 5 min.
9 x 5 sets per arm (10 sets)= 5 min.
8 altrenating 9 x 5 sets each per arm(20 sets)= 10 min. (see video)
8 x 5 sets per arm (10 sets) = 5 min.

total 50 sets = 25 min.

Snatch holds w/16kg
8/8 x 8, 1 min work, 1 min rest = 16 min.

2 hand swings w/16kg
22 reps per 30 sec work, 30 sec rest x 10 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 60 min.

12kg, 440 reps = 440 points
16kg, 128 reps = 256 points
Snatch points total = 696

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I hate double swings. I mean, 'dislike'.

7:15am Bikram yoga

9:30am KB

Warm up w/12kg

40 2 hand swings, 1 min work, 1 min est x 5 sets = 10 min.

Work sets w/ two 12kg's

8 dbl clean/ press, 15 dbl swings, 1 min work, 1 min rest x 10 sets = 20 min.

(see video)

12 dbl clean, 18 dbl swings, 1 min work, 1 min. rest

alternating w/

40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work, 1 min rest

10 sets total (5 each) = 20 min.

10/10/10/10 bottoms up cleans, 2 min work, 1 min rest x 2 sets = 5 min.

Total workout 55 min.

Nothing but Snatches....ok, and a few swings!

8:00am Bikram yoga
1:00 KB snatch workout
4:30 1 hour walk

KB Snatch workout

10 swing/snatch/ transfer warm up
x 2 = 20 snatches

30/30 2 minutes 15 sec., 1 min rest
x 2 = 120 snatches

I didn't have my groove yet to haul ass and get this done within 2 minutes! I hadn't snatched this kind of volume per arm before switching, in I can't remember when, and I was only able to do 2 sets before dividing the set in two, still 30 reps per arm, but with the rest period inbetween.

30 L, 1 min work, 1 min rest
30 R, 1 min work, 1 min rest
x 3 sets each = 180 snatches

My grip just barely hung on during the last 5 reps, so keeping up the 30 reps per minute pace I switched arms in the middle.

15/15, 1 min. work, 1 min rest
x 7 sets = 210 snatches

I didn't plan such an "uneven" number of sets, but my right hand gave out at this pace. I finished the workout with five, 2 minute long, snatch/transfer sets.

30 snatch/transfers, 2 min work, 1 min rest (15 snatches per arm)
x 5 sets = 150 snatches

Total snatches 680

I HAVE to recalculate my snatch points, I have no idea where I am in this race, but it doesn't matter because I'll just keep on snatching, lol!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tracy's Progressive Uphill Rep Swing Combinations, 8 minutes real time training

OK, I'm claiming these swing combinations as mine! I developed this progression of kettlebell swings in the beginning of my training as a way to build strength and conditioning, progressively.
This is how it works:
Two hand swings

Starting with the basic 2 hand swing. Two hand swing is the first KB movement I learned. Because it involves both hands, the 2 (hands) distribute the weight, therefore making the load lighter. Two hand swings with any weight are always easier than one hand swings with the same weight.

One hand swings.

Transferring at each rep is the first progression. Switching the load every rep makes the overall work that much easier. Each time you swith slightly different muscles come into play, this little rest allows the muscles to recover so you can keep going. (when I teach one hand transfers I start with the next progression)

One swing/One transfer. Of all my combinations, this is the one that truly started my style of combination training, here's why. One swing, followed by one transfer = 2 reps. In the beginning I counted these 2 reps as one, this distraction allowed twice as much work with what felt like the same effort. (I teach this movement first, using the "touch, transfer" method, then dropping the "touch" right over to transfers, FYI)

5/5, this is the next progression, transferring on every 5th rep. The more swings you do with one hand before transferring the load, allows more building of strength, including grip strength.

10/10, 20/20, 40/40. These progressions should be obvious, as they multiply the benefits of the previous progression.

Of course, these progressions can be broken down even further, but I'll save all of that for my book, when I write it!

8 minute progressive swing combination. One minute each progression, uphill.

Set #1 w/12kg

40 2 hand swings, 1 min.
40 transfers, 1 min.
20 one swing/one transfer (40 reps), 1 min.
5/5 x 4, 1 min.
10/10 x 2, 1 min.
20/20 x 1, 1 min.
40/40 x 2, 2 mins.

8 min work, 2 min rest

Set #2 w/16kg

20 2 hand swings, 30 sec.
20 transfers, 30 sec.
10 one swing, one transfer (20 reps), 30 sec.
5/5/5/5, 30 sec.
10/10, 30 sec.
20/20, 1 min.

3.5 min. work, 1.5 min rest

sets #1 & #2 uphill = 15 min.
sets #1 & #2 down hill = 15 min.
sets #1 & #2 uphill = 15 min.
set #1 downhill = 10 min.

Total workout 55 min.

One Weeks Training

See what happens when you quit your job? I had the whole week off from work, and I couldn't find the time to post my workouts! Well, here they are,

8am 40 min walk
9am 50 min KB

"On the minute" 16kg swings at the park with my Gymboss, 10 sets each

20 2 hand swings
20 transfers
25 2 hand swing, alternating w/
25 transfers
20 2 hand swings

1100 swings. Every 20 rep set was equal work/ equal time, I increased the work and intensity by addin 5 reps to the 3rd and forth comination making it more work/to rest ratio.

I liked this workout alot for training at the park because of it's simplicity, although snatching ususally gets more "stares" LOL! One guy came up to me and asked me if my weight was about 8lbs....I told him, try 36lbs! He waas amazed!

45 min walk

5:30am Bikram yoga
1:00 Max Vo2 KB snatch w/12kg

misc. warm up, swing /snatch /transfers, 2 sets ( 10 snatch each, 20 snatch points)

36 sec work, 36 sc rest, 18 reps per
23 sets x 18 reps = 414 snatches
25 min approx. (see video on Mark's blog)

8/8/8/8 clean press, 2 min set, 1 min rest x 6 = 18 min. (192 clean and presses!)

Total workout 45 min aprox.
434 snatch points

8am KB
3:30 Bikram yoga (with my yoga patner)

I started a KB workout that was supposed to be five 8 minute long combination sets w/12kg, but I forgot that it was my Thusday to have my house cleaned and when my cleaning person showed up at 8:30, after my 3rd set, I had to quit and attend to the mess in my house! Damn!

8 min work, 2 min rest x 3 sets = 30 min. total

Anyway, I liked this particular long combination, so I repeated it as my Saturdays KB workout, but adding in a condensed 3.5 min set with the 16kg. the details are explained on the post "Tracy's Progressive Rep Combinations, 8 minutes real time training".

7:15 Bikram yoga
4:30pm 45 min. walk

No work, just play, life is good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Moving On....

I began the transformation of my body in January, 2005, and over the following 3 years I thought I had also transformed my life, and I did to a certain point, but I've come to realize that I'm still hanging on to much of the past. Part of my past is the professional job I've had since I was 19 years old, for almost 26 years my job as a manicurist.

There has been so much I've loved about my choice profession. Besides being really good at what I do, and having a natural talent for sculpting artificial nails, winning many competitions and national awards for my work, I've always loved working in a beauty salon, (owning my own salon, Designing Nails, before Gabriel was born). I loved the independence of working for myself and setting my own hours, not to mention making a crazy good amount of money for a girl that never finished the 10th grade, enough to easily support myself and a small child (before I met Mark). But the one thing that has always given me greif about this profession is the vapor, fumes and dust that accompany working with liquid acrylic products. (Although I have always strongly supported and promoted natural nail care)
I was able to build a full time business quickly, only cutting back when Mark and I had Gabe, then rebuilding a full time business again, when Gabe entered the 1st grade which helped us buy our first home, and then over the past 3 years back to part time 2-3 days a week, until very recently 1-2 days a week, and now 4 days a month, working everyother week. But even 4 days a month is too much.

I remember when I made my first major cut back form 5 days to 2-3, one of my clients asked me what I was going to do with all of my "free time", as if doing nails was the only thing keeping me busy, lol. Free time? Is there such a thing in life? I don't have any free time, I'm always busy! But my answer to her was that I wanted to spend more of my life growing and nurturing my personal relationships with my family and friends.....much more important than sucking down dust and fumes, (I didn't say that part, lol) So, have I done what I thought I was going to do? Grow and nuture my personal relationships with family and friends? Not enough. I mean, it was what it was and now it's time for me to put more energy in that direction.

I thought I was hanging on to this part of my life as some sort of way to keep some independence. I liked having my own money, and having an excuse to get dressed up a couple of times a week, lol. I thought it gave me some sort of freedom. But the independence and freedom I need is independence and freedom from this job! I don't need this job.....I have enough money, and I don't need an excuse to get dressed up!

I'm moving on and letting go of this part of my life to make room for something different. What exactly? I'll keep you posted!

This above picture was provided to me by Jen B. of me and her son Jake, it was taken in October 2003, only 5 years ago!

The picture in the middle left is of me and my long time client and friend (of 25 years!), Cindy H. She's my friend that had gastric bypass this last December and has currently lost 82 lbs.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My New Yoga Partner

Guess what? One of my dreams came true! Mark is my new yoga partner! He's awesome!

I've been practicing Bikram yoga for just 2 1/2 years now, and I'm thrilled that Mark has finally rehabilitated his body enough to share this with me. I'm thrilled for a number of reasons....first, I knew (I know) that he's going to be the best. Why? Because he used to be an elite level gymnast, this type of stuff he's done in his sleep, and besides, he's a child of the 70's, he was doing yoga 30 years ago, before it was trendy. I'm thrilled because we can spend more time together. I'm thrilled because he looks so hot in his yoga shorts! I'm thrilled because he can help me with my practice. And I'm thrilled because he likes it!

Sunday was his second time practicing, and the difference in just one week was amazing. Since the first class was totally new to him,(last week), it was just about learning the sequence, the movements, and tolerating the heat. But yesterday, as I glanced back at him, I could see the young, dedicated gymnast he must of been. I could see deeper by the way he moves his body. His understanding of how the body works is evident to me, and it's, well, quite a turn on, LOL! How lucky am I, that I'm with this guy?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Long and Short, Slow and Fast sets w/16kg

I've been using primarily the 16kg for my workouts lately, and let me tell you, 2 minute sets are a killer! I even been using this weight for my warm up sets, or skipping a warm up altogether, like today, I just started swinging! I like the challenge of not being able to use the 12kg, it's tough!
7:30am KB

Work sets w/ 16kg (no warmup)

80 2 hand swings, 2 min work, 1 min rest

80 rep 1 hand swings combinations, 2 min work, 1 min rest

I alternated these 2 sets x 2 rotations = 12min., before changing the first work set because I realized 2 minute long 2 hand swings w/16 was too hard on my forearms and grip. I changed it to,

48 speed swings w/16kg, 1 min work, 1 min rest

80 rep 1 hand swing combinations, 2 min work, 1 min rest

Alternating these 2 sets 5 times = 25 min.

Total time 37 min.

I want to stay away from longer endurance type sets for another week so I decided a Max V02 style of short intense sets with short rest was the way to finish off this workout.

2 hand speed swings (12 reps), 15 sec work, 15 sec rest w/16kg 32 sets = 16 min.

Total workout 53 min.

I was only going to swing for 30 minutes this morning and do a "real" workout tomorrow, but I thought...what the heck! If I feel up to it tomorrow after yoga I think I'll do some long snatch holds w/16 0r the 12, I'll see how strong I feel!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sundays work- Ten minutes of Real Time

Here's my Sunday workout, all nine minutes of one rotation of worksets.

20kg Roundabouts

7:00 KB
2:00 35 min walk

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/16kg x 5 sets, 1 min work, 1 min rest = 10 min

Work sets

16kg roundabout, 1 min work,
30 sec. rest x 5 sets = 7.5 min.

20 kg roundabouts, 1 min work,
30 sec. rest x 5 sets = 7.5 min work

16kg roundabouts, 1 min work,
30 sec rest x 5 sets = 7.5 min

Total 22.5 min

270 snatches w/12kg, downhill ladder, 12 min work set

10/10, 15/15,
10/10, 14/14,
10/10. 13/13,
10/10, 12/12,
10/10, 11/11,
10/10, 10/10

I hadn't snatched the 12kg for continuous reps like this for over a week, and guess what? It was hard! Just goes to show you how quickly, without regular pratice, you lose strength and conditioning for a specific exercise. Which brings me to mention my current training strategy.

I decided about 2 weeks ago to do most of my KB combination style training for 4 weeks using the 16kg instead of the 12kg. I had become way too efficient with the lighter weight and I needed to change it up. So although my workouts are shorter, they are heavier. After 4 weeks I'll go back to longer lighter for another cycle, then back to 16kg.

My experience with Tuesdays snatch set was exactly what I was hoping for, and I believe it will have the same effect on the rest of my training. By switching modes I lose my efficiency, so when I go back to it, it's more effective.

Total workout approx 45 min.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pancreatic Suicide

Well, sometimes it takes me a while to catch on, but the 'light bulb' finally went off! Thank God! Here's what's been going on (well, part of what's been going on, lol).....after my last candy bar binge....3 king size Butterfingers and 2 regular sized Butterfingers, (one after the other, within , oh I don't know, maybe 20 minutes?) I started to question the health of, not only my binge eating but, my habit of binging on pure sugar. I finally, really, felt that my health was in jeopardy.

Oh, I've been defending this sugar binge habit by thinking my healthy eating habits that I've established 90% of the time was 'canceling out' the other 10%, but for some reason, that day, it stopped feeling good. And it's not just 10% of my calories......

If I counted the calories from sugar in relation to the calories of the good foods that I consume in a week's time....let's say that I should average 1800 calories a day x 7 = 12,600, and I have at least one sugar binge, the equvilent of 8 candy bars, 8 x 300 = 2400, (that's a "mild" binge, by the way...not funny!), add in all of the regular sugar consumed daily probably averaging, say 120 cal. per day x 7 days a week = 840, that's more than 30% total weekly calories coming from sugar.

Take into account other factors like, how many times have I had just one binge in a week? (lately) And, like I mentioned a 2,000 calorie sugar, and/or sugar/flour, binge is mild. So, here I am, and the light bulb went off.....I'm committing pancreatic suicide..... not funny.

Although I knew this, because Marks been warning's the breakdown...... as told to me in Mark's words....

Everytime you eat sugar (or any type of carbs for that matter), the body must produce insulin to process it. Small doses of sugar (or carbs) require small amounts of insulin, which come from the pancreas, large doses of carbs, or concentrated carbs, like straight sugar, push out huge amounts of insulin. The more often you do this, the more wear and tear on the pancreas. You can literally burn out the pancreas by doing this, not to mention giving yourself Type 2 diabetes in the process.... In nature super high concentrations of sugar just don't exist. It's the processing that concentrates the sugar, for instance, fruits don't stimulate insulin very much even the sweetest of fruits, compared to processed sugars or simple carbohydrates (flour products).

Also, this is the set up for the perfect "how to put on bodyfat" scenario. When you overeat sugar, or other carbohydrates, it gets immediatley deposited in the fat just can't work any other way......that's insulins transport sugar into the fat cells, or muscle cells. Unless you have just run 15 miles, or trained for 2 hours, the body has no need for that much sugar in the muscles, therefore it goes into the fat cells for long term storage (bodyfat)'s alot easier to put it in than get it out. The only thing worse than straight sugar is when it's already in water solution, or, high fructose corn syrup, as it needs even less processing than regular sugar.

I kind of like my pancreas! I need it! Just remember how fast people die when their pancreas goes bad, from either cancer or other illnesses.

So there it is. I'm choosing to kill my pancreas if I keep this nonsense up. Me.....I'm doing it. I think I'll stop and turn it around. It'll start with my diet and my behavior. I'll be writing more about this on my other blog, Food and Thought.

Sunday Double Clean, Push Press ....hold

8:00am Bikram yoga
1:30pm KB

Warm up

40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work, 1 min. rest x 5 sets,
10 min

Work sets

40 transfers w/16kg, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
10 double clean, push press, hold, w/12kg's, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest
5/5 x 4, 1 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work, 3o sec. rest (40 reps)
10 double clean, push press, hold, w/12kg's, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest
10/10 x 2, 1 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work, 30 sec rest
10 double clean, push press, hold, w/12kg's, 1 min. work, 30 sec rest

This combination of work sets took 9 minutes to complete x 5 rotations = 45 min.

40 2 hand swings w/16kg x 5 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 65 min.

A total of 15 set of doulble push press/hold with 10 reps each added up to 150! Too much for me, lol. By the time I got to my last rotation I had to switch to no hold, keeping the dbl press, that set took only 45 sec. giving me a 45 sec rest.