Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bending a 12" Timber Spike and Kettlebells in Outside Magazine

A client sent me this link: Kettlebells in Outside Magazine.

Today I got a decent bend out of a 12" timber spike. I also finally got the hang of bending a horseshoe across my hip vs. the inside of my leg. It was just a hand positioning problem.
Card tearing is going well. Today I got 30 cards using Adam's overhand technique.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Long Cycle with 32's

I'm getting ready to really break into RTK in preparation for RKC II, so I decided to get under the 32's again. Went well. I think most of my issues were mental 'residue' from the last time I did this. I was expecting it to be harder and so I kind of managed to 'make it' harder. The only place I felt a little unstable was during the drop to catch, and I know a lot of that had to do with not getting my hips going enough. My breathing was a little messed up too.
More to come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Coming back stronger

Today I pulled off my first reverse bend of a 60 penny nail. I ended up getting some bracing against my leg, which isn't ideal, but I'll work on it. Looking at the video I see a lot of areas where I can improve.
I'm getting better with Adam's overhand card tearing technique. Almost up to 30 cards now. I can still shred a deck with the old style, but this is worth working on. Working the overhand tearing and the reverse bending is making everything else stronger. I have attacked my weaknesses and it's paying off.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have bent 100 sixty penny nails

For the past few months I haven't done much double overhand bending. Most of my work has been reverse and double under styles, just trying to get stronger and balanced out. It worked.
Today I worked my way through a bucket of 100 sixty penny nails. It got harder toward the end, but I didn't run into the same pain issues I did last time with the 50 blues. I just started feeling really punchy around the 80's.
Why did I do it? Because I thought I could. I'm glad I did because I learned a lot about my technique, particularly getting my glutes tight. Guess what helps stabilize your core? Duh.
My wrists and grip are a hell of a lot stronger. I've been working on grabbing the nails hard vs. 'folding' them.
I feel like I was hit by a truck right now, but it was a good day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Justin Timberlake Death Metal and Bad Company

I love this. I half expected Justin to start slaughtering people at the end of the video.

Then there's this.

Adam Glass had this on one of his videos. I lived and died by this little black cassette tape when I was fifteen. I was given it by my uncle who is now about half way through a 35 year bid at Corcoran, one of the most notorious prisons in the world. Strange how that worked out.

Listening to stuff like that makes me want to get back into music. For the better part of a decade I played in a lot of bands. Mostly metal and one delta blues metal project that no one understood, mainly because it didn't make a lick of sense. Go cross Robert Johnson with Pantera and tell me what you get.

It's interesting the different kinds of music that people dig on. Some think my tastes run kind of on the harder core side, but I don't really see it that way. Erik Blekeberg was listening to stuff that will take some of your brain cells with it on the way out the door when Eric Kenyon and I were staying with him in San Diego. Not in a Bad Way, it's just METAL. No additives, no preservatives, just the real deal.
Folks dig on different things and that's cool. Everyone's musical tastes are valid.
Unless you listen to R&B.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Attacking your weakness

Regressing yourself can be a bummer, especially if you're making great progress. However, if you want to reach your goals that's the gig. For example I was getting very strong with my double overhand bending. I was getting some respectable bends out of Grade 8 bolts. After talking to some different folks I came to the conclusion that I needed to bring up my double under and reverse technique as well, so that's what I have been doing. In addition to assistance exercises I've been burning through piles of green nails, same method I used to build my Double Over. This morning 25 in a row went down using double under. Last week I moved a Gr2. I think next week I'll get my first solid double under bend of a Gr2. I can already reverse bend a Gr2 and a 60D nail. I think that once I'm evened out I'll be stronger Double Over.
Still working the card tearing using Adam's method, the same one Dave Whitley Senior RKC talked to me about at HSV. Getting better all the time. It won't be long before I can rip a deck that way.
My mobility is improving by leaps and bounds. A combination of FMS, Z-Health R Phase, and Inversion Therapy is doing the trick. I've been hanging upside down for ten minutes at a time and I can feel myself lengthening out. I cannot recommend the inversion table enough. This is the model I use.
These things can be kind of pricey, but you can find them on Craig's List or Ebay cheaper. I got mine new in the wrapper for 150.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A better 36 kg. press and re-aligned thinking

Mark Reifkind very correctly pointed out that the manner in which I was cocking my hip prior to my 36 kg. press was helping me drive it up, and effectively negating it being a strict military press. With this in mind I went for it again.

I found that doing it this way was actually easier. I just have to get my mind right about committing myself to grinding the press out.
I've had a bad habit in the past of not thinking of the 28 kg. and 36 kg. bells as 'real weights', which is silly. I wasn't really that thrilled about pressing the 36 because I'm so narrowly focused on the 40 kg., but that again is silly. Pressing 36 kg. at 170 pounds is no joke.
For the moment I've dropped back to the 28 kg. for Rite of Passage because my left shoulder was getting tweakey. I think part of it was a sloppy pressing pattern from that hip drive. I can bang out presses on my right with the 32 no problem, but every single one on the left is a struggle. I need to give my left some time to catch up.
I knocked out 100 snatches on the 28 kg. in about ten minutes, a fairly leisurely pace. The 28 feels like the 24. I've been working on my corkscrew descent, as I think that is the only way I'll make it through the USSST on the 32 kg. It hurts just thinking about that.
Steel bending is going. Opening the horseshoes I have now is relatively easy, finishing them is hard. Mostly a technique thing for me I think. I open shoes weird, so there's an odd transition to the finish. More videos to watch. I have noticed the Gr5's I got from FBBC are waaay harder than the ones I got from Fastenal. I can knock out about 15 Fastenal Gr5's in a row, but the FBBC stock is a fight for every one. Oh well. Get stronger. Problem solved.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FIrst run at my RKC II tests

The other day I decided to make an impromptu run at my three RKC II strength tests. A pistol, a 24 kg. pull up, and a 36 kg. press. We'll see what happens to me during RTK, as that 36 kg. press may quickly become a 40 kg. press.
I was surprised at how easy the press was. That 40 is coming fast.
The pull up was hard, but I can see I'm not engaging properly right out of the gate. Way too much arm, not enough lat. I did clear the bar, but I don't think I would get passed on that. I need throat or chest to bar contact.
Pistol was easy. I'm doing a lot of mobility work now to smooth it out.

Right now I'm on Rite of Passage with the 32 kg. Today I hit 5 ladders of 3 rungs each. Followed up with 200 swings. 4 sets of 25, and 5 of 20.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Making progress- ROP on the 32 kg. and a nice shoe bend

I'm very fortunate to have fallen in with the crowd I did. I owe a lot to the RKC, Rif, Pavel, Adam Glass, Jedd Johnson, and everyone else who has selflessly given of their time and advice as I make my little journey.
Last week I decided to attempt another horseshoe bend. The first time I tried this I thought my head was going to explode. This time the initial opening of the shoe was actually fairly easy. I then forgot how to finish it, and Zach Coulter brought it to my attention that it might be easier to stand up. I realized I had in fact been standing last time I did this. Not sure why I started kneeling. So now I now.
V bar work is okay, and Jedd gave me a tip on how to improve this.
I've been working the hell out of my reverse and double under style bending and it's paying off. Lots of axillary work as well. My double over dropped off a bit, but no surprise there. It will ultimately be better.
I've started into Rite of Passage with the 32 kg. this week. I already feel I could blow through four rungs on the 32 kg., but I'll be patient.
My pull ups are razor sharp after HSV. I am easily doing things that were hard before. I used to tell people if your lats aren't sore down to your lower back a day after doing pull ups you're not engaging properly. Now I have one to add: Ribs. My ribs are so freaking sore the day after a lot of pull ups.
Pain is good.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Palo Alto Kettlebells Promotional Video

As virtually no one knows I am transitioning myself over to a new local identity called 'Palo Alto Kettlebells'. Average to Elite isn't going anywhere, but it will become more of the international identity, while PAKB will be the place to go for local kettlebell training and group classes. I've made a short promotional video breaking down what we do. Thanks to Adam Glass for the use of his slogan from Unbreakable Fitness. I just thought it fit.