Sunday, August 31, 2008

32 kg. 5 minute snatch test- 68 reps

This was not as bad as I expected it to be. I was expecting strength to be the issue, but it ended up being cardio. I felt that I could keep punching, but I couldn't catch my breath. Bell speed was good at the end, and if I bring up my shoulder/core strength and stability I can keep the bell up the whole 5 minutes.
At the end my hands were still good, and I did the whole things sans chalk. It works for me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My new Girevik Tattoo

Who's a psycho now?!

This tattoo was done by Jeramie at Homeward Bound Tattoo in Redwood City, CA

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New article posted on Straight To The Bar

I put together this article recently on the unwillingness of some people to regress a bit in order to address technique problems and weaknesses.

Progressing to the regression

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Turkish Get Up Corrections Pt. 1

I'm putting together a series of videos on the Turkish Get Up and the Snatch. These cover common deviations I have observed as a trainer, and methods of correction. This one covers the sit-up portion of the get up. When I see people struggling with the initial portion of the get up, normally it is due to the arm which locks out the bell levering back behind the ideal supportive position. Punching the bells slightly forward and up corrects this and causes the bell to end up in a position where it 'meets' the torso, which is moving forward.

Monday, August 25, 2008

There is no mercy in this dojo...

I had an interesting conversation with a client today that seemed to revolve around him pointing at himself and saying "Normal person." then pointing at me and saying "Psycho."
I've been working with him for about two years now, so it's good natured, but at the same time true on some level. He was pointing out that my motivational skills are lacking. Such as when he asks what his motivation is for competing at the TSC and I declare "To crush the bones of your opponents to dust."
Initially the point was that people may not find swinging a kettlebell to be fun, and perhaps it could somehow be tweaked to make it more enjoyable.
Now, I should point out that he isn't the problem, he gets it. He is a lifelong athlete and doesn't have a problem with the idea of snatching a kettlebell for ten minutes straight, but he is always looking out for my business interests. My contention is that one of the primary reasons our culture is going down the tubes is that somewhere along the line we all decided that everything had to be fun.
No, sometimes it's just work. Everything doesn't have to be fun. You do not have to enjoy everything that you do. Sorry. Suck it up and carry on. We seem to be fleeing with an ever quickening pace from the idea of hard work, particularly hard physical labor.
This week I have two clients (well I have more than two, but not relevant to this) at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet very alike. Physically they are very similar. One is just beginning and is working through get ups with the 6 kg. and 8 kg. kettlebells. This is a perfectly reasonable (and safe) weight to start with. The other completed a solid set of six get ups alternating hand to hand with the 16 kg. and uses 40 sets of max vo2 snatches with the 12 kg. as her independent training. She has come a long way from the days of shaky get ups with the 8 kg. I see the road laid out before the beginner, and the only thing required of her is to put one foot in front of the other. So long as they are physically sound I normally tell my female clients that someday they'll be doing their get ups with the 20 kg. I get looks that mirror the "Normal/psycho" conversation, but it's true. All that is required is that the pieces of the puzzle fit, and that you start putting one foot in front of the other.

The curious effect of 80 sets.

Once it was announced that Kenneth Jay Master RKC had bumped the sets for the 15/15 max vo2 up to 80, I dutifully complied and consistently hovered around that territory. My first foray into the 80 sets region was 80 sets of 7 reps with the 20 kg. Since then I have lost a step. There are several different possibilities as to why this happened.
1. Peaking for the RKC and then coasting down a bit.
2. Diet.
3. Higher sets for the max vo2 just doesn't agree with me.
I think it's a combination of the three, but at the end of the day 80 sets just doesn't agree with me.
Today I hit twenty good sets of the 36/36 protocol at 16 reps per set with the 20 kg. This felt good, and I could tell trying to go up to 30 or more sets would have seriously skewed things.
Do not get me wrong, I'm not saying the 80 set deal is no good. Far from it. What I am saying is that right now it is not optimal for me. It also dramatically changes how I structure my workouts when I go from a time frame of 25 minutes to 40 minutes.
So for now, if it ain't broke don't fix it. It ain't broke. I will stick with what works until the TSC. After that I may go back to 80 sets. We'll see.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Welcome to the patio of pain!

I've been remiss in my blogging lately, but have still been going strong in my business and my own training. Partially my lack of blogging has been due to apartment hunting this week. I got lucky and the first one I looked at was it. I'll now be in Menlo Park a scant 1.5 miles or so from Girya, my place of business. Sweet! I'll also have a patio area where I can chain up my kettlebells and train outside. I have already dubbed it the 'Patio of Pain'.
I've started an RKC prep course for some trainer/friends of mine over at Equinox, and we had our first kettlebell beatdown today. The Equinox members didn't know quite what to make of this. :)
I also witnessed some young men doing a workout that I can only guess they saw on 'Behind the octagon' or some other UFC related show. Wow. That's all I can say. I thought the whole '3 day split on all machines' workout was bad, but this is actually worse. Hey, intensity, they've got it! No doubt. I only hope they also have some wheelchairs and screws and pins for their shoulders. I saw an amazing kettlebell clean and press. I'm just thinking "There's no way that can feel right." Some might say I should step in and fix them, but I would literally be there all day long. I saw one of the trainers trying to give them some tips and doing a good job, but they just seemed to have it stuck in their heads that they knew what they were doing. Oh well.
I've been super disciplined with my warrior dieting lately and it's paying off. I had a very strong session of snatching the 28 kg. today. Just hitting 10/10 for 7 sets, but I felt strong throughout. I tried to keep the breaks short, about 2 minutes maybe, but I wasn't being strict about it. I keep expecting my weight to drop, but it's actually going up. I ate virtually nothing today, got on the scale after my training and was at 163. I'm usually 159/160. I've also lost bodyfat, so things are heading in the right direction.
Good times.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hilarious Review

I just got this review on my DragonDoor Instructor page. It's definitely in the top five ever. :)

"Jordan didn't make sense to me when I first met him. He seemed like he didn't have much personality or intelligence off the bat. When I got to know him better he is actually extremely intelligent. His workshops and style seem simple only because he is very experienced and selective in his approach. Jordan jokes that he is "lazy," but that is really code for him being selective and efficient. He takes out all the guess work and extraneous information and delivers a succinct, to-the-point style of instruction. He also makes a lot of dry humor jokes that makes whatever he is teaching much more enjoyable than it should be. I enjoyed his class and his style and also I came out of his workshop excited and capable."
Colin Lewis - San Jose, CA

Friday, August 15, 2008

My RKC Instructor review page

I finally got this thing up. As usual I fell between the cracks and had to do a little footwork to prove that I do in fact exist. :) It happens.
Jordan Vezina RKC Instructor Review Page
DD also put up some more photos of the RKC, and I found a few of myself and The Man Himself.

A lot of people have been digging my new cards lately, so I thought I'd post the JPEG image here for everyone to check out.

Upcoming Workshops

All of the running and working I've been doing since the RKC is finally coming to fruition, by way of a series of upcoming workshops I will be conducting.

Sunday August 31st at Girya in Palo Alto, CA
Level One Kettlebell Basics Workshop- The swing and Turkish Get Up

Saturday September 6th at Equinox Fitness in Palo Alto, CA
Level One Kettlebell Basics Workshop- The swing and Turkish Get Up

Saturday/ Sunday September 13th-14th at Equinox Fitness in Palo Alto, CA
Level Two Kettlebell Trainer Workshop- Closed to the public

Saturday/ Sunday September 20th-21st at Equinox Fitness in San Mateo, CA
Level One Kettlebell Trainer Workshop- Closed to the public

So far that's what is on the calendar. More workshops will be coming online in the next month or so for the peninsula as well as the rest of the Bay Area.
If you're interested in attending one of the open workshops or booking one please e-mail me directly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Corn Husker's Lotion is available at Safeway.

That's all. Apparently Safeway now carries cornhusker's lotion. It's in the bath aisle.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend Kettlebell Workshop

This weekend it was time to train the trainers. I had some of the trainers from Equinox Fitness in Palo Alto, CA in to learn the basics and get them another step closer to using these tools with their clients. I was very impressed with how quickly they picked things up, and hung in there through the workouts. Particularly when you haven't done this before, swings and get ups (even for just ten minutes) can feel like quite the beating. It also looks like a couple of them are going to sign up for the San Jose RKC in February. Very nice. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ori Hofmekler is 55!?!!

I had no idea Ori was 55! Just thought you might like to know. I'm reading the Purposeful Primitive right now and Marty has a section on Ori.

I'll post something more substantial soon. I'm rolling into week 3 without a day off, running like Val Kilmer in 'The man who broke 1000 chains'.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The UCLA RKC Part 2

Tracy Reifkind RKC was kind enough to supply me with some video of my RKC snatch test, which is below.

Initially I wanted to do the whole thing on one hand, but as I broke into the mid thirties I started thinking I would look pretty dumb if I failed my snatch test trying to do it one handed, and opted for a hand switch.

Below is the video Vanessa took of Kenneth and Rif's promotion to Master RKC by Pavel Tsatsouline.

Below is Bryan spiking my kettlebell back down during some overspeed eccentrics work.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The UCLA RKC Part 1

All my adult life I have been having to endure this conversation.
"You know (Insert individual's job or hobby) is a lot lke being in the Marines."
As this conversation continues I'm always thinking "No. You know what's like being in the Marines? Being in the Marines. Nothing else even comes close."
Well, this is pretty damn close.
The RKC obviously has a military type of structure to it. Why? The military is really good at breaking down complex subjects so that they are easy to understand, keeping large groups organized, building esprit de corps, and providing a consistent funnel of ever evolving instruction.
I have just described the RKC experience.
I met and worked with a number of outstanding trainers. I was fortunate enough to be on Kenneth Jay Master RKC's team. Kenneth designed the workout that I mainly do, the Max VO2. It's easy to forget that Kenneth is only 30, and just how much he's done already in regard to not just kettlebells, but health and fitness. Why? For the same reason that the RKC works. Egos are firmly in check. More importantly, there's no need for ego because these men and women are confident in their abilities. It would be really easy for Kenneth, or Brett Jones, or Mark Reifkind to have big heads, but they don't. Sometimes even if people are trying to be humble they put out a vibe that just says "Hey, look at me I'm awesome!" I didn't get this when speaking to Brett, and I never get it when talking to Rif. People who are truly confident don't have to convince you that they're good.
I had the opportunity to talk to Dan John a few times, and it was the same thing. It was as if he was just some guy off the street who wanted to get to know you. I found out his brother lives down the street from me, and we both have an affinity for Corn Husker's lotion.
I of course met Pavel, which brings me back to the ego thing. I don't know Pavel that well, but you do get a strong vibe off of him that it's not about him. It's about the system. A good chunk of the RKC instructor's manual comes from other people, past and present RKC's. This is because Pavel listens. He hears what you say, and if it's better than what he had, he changes it. It doesn't always have to be his way, but it must be the way that is most effective.
There will be much more to come on this, but the general idea is that this is a life changing experience. I watched people who were dying by the end of the first day keep fighting and hang tough through the next two days. Much credit to my trying partner Bryan (forgive me for forgetting your last name) from Arizona for hanging in there like a pitbull and never quitting.
Oh, and I managed to stay in the Happy Hands Club. I have had a theory for a while of how to keep your hands together during the RKC, and I am very pleased to announce that it worked. This isn't happenstance, and I don't have naturally tough hands. Quite the opposite. I was able to do this by implementing an organized system. I'll have more on that in the future. If you're going to the RKC in the next month or two and want more info e-mail me directly. The below photos were taken in the UCLA locker room right after completion of the RKC. I never taped or used any protective gear.