Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bring Your Best Everyday

I'm not sure who said it first, but I heard it said several times at a conference I was attending a few months ago, while listening to Thomas Plummer speak. Again, it was one of those lines that struck me, something I should remember, and something I should do, so I wrote it down.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of posting little notes on every mirror in my house, but this one I do have sitting on my desk, it's right between the phone and the computer, with the sole purpose to be read each day, at least once, but preferably more.

You see it's all about how you approach things. When you wake up in the morning, if your first thought is negative, you haven't started your day off well and you haven't even gotten out of bed. However, if you start your day off on a positive note, you will start to see positive changes through out your day. Sure, annoying and bothersome things are bound to happen each day, there really is no way to avoid them, but how you handle them can effect the outcome of those little annoyances that appear each day.

If you don't put your best foot forward everyday you have no one but yourself to blame when you have a sub-par day. It's just like skipping breakfast, if you do, you'll be hungry on your commute to work and you're likely to stop for an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich when you should have taken a few extra minutes at home to make some oatmeal and egg whites (or anything that's better than a fast food breakfast sandwich.) Then because you ate a bad breakfast the likelihood of eating a bad lunch is greater because you already screwed up today's nutrition. It's a domino effect. Approach each day with the maximal amount of positive energy, to make the most out of each day.

Bring Your Best Everyday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

'Never Let Down'

When I first read the phrase, it actually made me think hard about the last three words I just read. I immediatley related it to training, determination, and dedication. Later a friend let me know that it's actually the name of a song, and though it's meaning could still be similar, the lyrics allow you to think about those three words, 'never let down' in different ways and apply it to different aspects of your life beyond training.

"Never Let Down"

Never wanna break your heart.
Never wanna make you cry.
Never wanna give up and die.
Even if you can't stand up.
Even if you lose your life.
I'm a friend by your side.
You're never gonna be alone.
You can never let down.
Never let down.
You can never let down.
Never let down.
Never wanna make mistakes.
Never wanna do no wrong.
Never have a place to belong.
And I'm never gonna leave you out.
If you ever lose your way.
Not alone or betrayed.
I'm always gonna be around.
You can never let down.
Never let down.
You're doing alright.
You're doing ok.
Just follow your heart.
And don't run away.
You can never let down.
You're doing alright.
You're doing ok.
Just follow your heart.
And don't run away.
You can never let down.
You're doing alright.
You're doing ok.
Just follow your heart.
And don't run away.
Never wanna break your heart.

Although I now think of other things when I hear these words I still come back to my training. Everyone has a focal point, everyone has at least one thing that drives them, makes them care, makes them get out of bed in the morning, makes them live life. Right now, mine is training, it's one of the few things, although sometimes frustrating, that allows me to zone out. I have a goal and I have steps to conquer each goal, it's methodic yet at times totally random, but it's the main thing that drives me.

Even on bad training days... All these apply. Determination and dedication...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

To Inspire or Be Inspired

Most of my friends say I'm fortunate because I work for myself. Some say they admire my dedication to something that has been created from almost nothing. Sure there are bad days, ones where'd I'd love to pull out my hair, lock the door and not let anyone in, or even stay asleep in my warm bed dreaming my dreams.

If I did that, what sense of accomplishment would I have that day? Probably none. So rather each day when I walk in the door, although I know I'm going to work my butt off, I wonder if I'm going to inspire someone, but I also wonder which face is going to be the one who inspires me.

For me, it's almost the same debate of, what came first, the chicken or the egg? When I demo push ups, I hear a cheer from the sideline, but when I see their's I smile for their success. When I grab a pull up or two between rest periods I catch their glance, but when I see their's my eyes light up in their completed effort.

When the daughters come in and ask to be lifted to the bar to do their pull ups, I gladly raise them just to see the satisfaction of accomplishment on their face. When I replace the heavy kettlebell for snatches and she doesn't realize it but gets the lift anyway, I smile at her success and laugh with her when I tell her the true weight. When she's just added together the weight of both dumbbells that she pressed overhead, and says that's half my bodyweight, I reflect on the feelings of confidence she just recognized. When her email calls me her shero, and that same day she gets a PR in pull ups, the roles reverse themselves because she has worked so hard. When she tells me that her workouts have made the last four months worth everything, I appreciate her dedication.

It's at these moments and so many others, that I am inspired. To inspire or be inspired...well I'd never be able to choose, they play off of each other. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Supportive and Encouranging Training Environments

Bella, one of my supportive and encouraging training partners, she's always there.

Training in an unsupportive environment could be the death of any training program. The training environment consists of the actual location, your coaches, your training partners, and anything going on in your head. Self doubt and negative thoughts are bad news especially if you're going after a goal on any particular day.

Visualizing what you plan on doing helps get you motivated and sets you up for success. Even if you don't physically achieve the exact goal for the day, knowing that you can do it in your mind is just as important as the physical training.

"I can't" are words that should never be said, thought, written or focused on when training. Try visualizing the steps in your head the next time you go to train or the next time you test yourself. You'll be amazed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Training The Girls To Be Strong

Training the girls to be strong...because they can be.

No more little 8kg and 12kg kettlebells! Although they're a great place start, they're also great to look back on, a reminder of your starting point.

In my own training I rarely see anything less than the 20kg, and try to make sure I stick with the 24kg. Sharon and Dawn are headed in the same direction. Sharon very rarely uses anything less than the 16kg, she's only 5'2" and Dawn rarely uses anything less than the 20kg. Here Sharon is snatching the 20kg kettlebell and Dawn is snatching the 24kg kettlebell. Both have goals of snatching the 24kg and the 32kg respectively.

They'll do it too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting Through The Rough Training Times

When you're're sick. Your training tends to suck, your work effort sucks, your nutrition sucks, and all you really want to do is sleep.

How do you get through the slump and stay on track?

Part of me thinks that you actually get sick because you ignored all the other signs that your body was trying to give you to take it easy and back off a little bit. The other part of me thinks that you just get sick regardless of what you do or don't do. Let's ignore the latter for the moment.

Can illness really be a sign of overtraining?

Here's what one researcher has to say,

"If sufficient rest is not included in a training program then regeneration cannot occur and performance plateaus. If this imbalance between excess training and inadequate rest persists then performance will decline. Overtraining can best be defined as the state where the athlete has been repeatedly stressed by training to the point where rest is no longer adequate to allow for recovery. The "overtraining syndrome" is the name given to the collection of emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms due to overtraining that has persisted for weeks to months. Athletes and coaches also know it as "burnout" or "staleness." This is different from the day to day variation in performance and post exercise tiredness that is common in conditioned athletes. Overtraining is marked by cumulative exhaustion that persists even after recovery periods.
The most common symptom is fatigue. This may limit workouts and may be present at rest. The athlete may also become moody, easily irritated, have altered sleep patterns, become depressed, or lose the competitive desire and enthusiasm for the sport. Some will report decreased appetite and weight loss. Physical symptoms include persistent muscular soreness, increased frequency of viral illnesses, and increased incidence of injuries." -Mark Jacobs, MD

It is practically an impossible task to convince any athlete especially competitive athletes to take time off, to rest, and to even recover properly. But when the outcome of not doing so results in days to weeks of bad training, sub-par performance, and constant illness, I think we should all agree that rest and recovery is important.

Now, do as I say and not as I do. However this time, I'm off for some much needed rest in hope of full recovery for next week to get back on schedule with my training and the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Blue Belt Promotion

Noah did some promotions on Tuesday night. John (Johnnie FootLock) and I were promoted to Blue Belt. Jason and John were promoted to 1st degree Blue Belts. Beau was promoted to 4th degree White Belt, and Dante was promoted to 4th degree Yellow Belt. Buiu was in from Florida for the weekend. It was great to have him there. The Balance girls came out for the night too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fourth Match of the Day

Here's the fourth and last match of the day. It ended well. Missed getting the third match recorded since everyone ended up competing at the same time. I had 16 points this match and ended it with a choke.

Would have loved to see the third match since that was the match against the purple belt.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Second Match of the Day

The second match for the Women's White Belt 160lbs+ division.

First Match of the Day

Here's the first match from this past weekend. I think we have all but one recorded. This is from the Women's White Belt 160lbs+ division.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grappler's Quest

I can honestly say that I am very pleased with my performance today! The divisions were looking a little thin, so they did some combining and made sure we all got in a few matches (thank you Karen!)

Women's White Belt 160lbs +

First Match went pretty well, I got a good single leg and stayed strong on top for most of the match. Thought I had an Americana on really well that turned into some kind of chaos, but she held out til the end. I won on points.

Second Match also went well. This girl was a little more rough than the first, got another single leg. I won on points.

Women's Absolute (Purple, Brown, and Black)

First Match was against a purple belt. She pulled guard at the very beginning, She had my one arm really good and it was difficult to get out of. The first 3 minutes was a good fight. I slipped out of an armbar and triangle. No points only 3 advantages to her. Just past 3minutes I tapped to a wicked armbar.

Second Match for third place. Takedown was a little sloppy. Kept cross body and the mount for most of the match, earned atleast 16 points, but won with a collar choke from the guard.

Driving over to New Jersey this morning I felt like crap, and didn't even want to compete. Not really sure what happened, but got a little warm up in and everything kind of fell into place on the mat. I wasn't too tired during any of the matches. I'm glad I stepped up to the more advanced absolute division. A lot of people really seemed to be looking out for us today.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

24kg Snatch Update

By the looks and feel of things I should be able to crank out around 28/28 early next week. The only problem I had today was in my right hand on the last reps I started to feel my palm tear, so I readjusted on the down swing of the last two reps and completed my set.

15-12-10-8-6-6 Left - 1 minute rest between 15-12-10-8, 30 second rest between 6-6. Completed in 7:35.

15-12-10-8-6-6 Right - 1 minute rest between 15-12-10-8, 30 second rest between 6-6. Completed in 7:28.

Both hands are fairly consistent with each other. I'm a little curious now as to how many statches I can do with the 16kg.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So, it appears that I might have fallen over on this one! And we're not all perfect, but I'm okay with that. Obviously, since I'm smiling about it.

Today's Workout went like this...

5 minutes on the mat
5 minutes of swings with the 24kg, 15 reps, rest for 15 seconds
5 minutes on the mat
5 minutes of 10 squats, 5 push ups, 1 pull up, rest 15 seconds
5 minutes on the mat
5 mnutes on the mat

Ate a good lunch, 3 eggs over-easy with 2 pieces of whole grain toast, and chocolate milk, yummy!!

About 2 hours later...

Snatches with the 24kg

12-10-8-6-4-2 Left, rested 1 minute between 12, 10, and 8, rested 45 seconds at 6, and no rest for 4 and 2

12-10-8-6-4-2 Right, rested 1 minute between 12, 10, and 8, rested 45 seconds at 6, and no rest for 4 and 2

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Get Up Sit Up

When teaching the Turkish Get Up we always run through the entire movement without weight, or naked as it's often called. After this, we teach the Get Up Sit Up with weight. From the Get Up Sit Up we progress to the full Turkish Get Up with weight. The progression is simple in that it introduces the entire movement and then introduces the movement slightly disected with weight. It helps to stress the importance of keeping the elbow extended throughout the movement, as well as the keeping the arm vertical and perpendicular to the ground.

Training: Yesterday's training was brutal. I had written to a fellow RKC, Harinder Sabharwal, just to see how his training was going and he sent over this Kettlebell and Jiu-Jitsu workout he had been doing, thinking I'd be interested. It looked awesome, so we tried it out yesterday, it was a little tough for the first 3 rounds but I didn't think much of it until the 4th and 5th round, when I realized that I was getting exhausted quickly.

It was 5 rounds without rest of...
5 minutes of Kettlebell Snatches, switching every 8 reps, resting 15 seconds after each 8/8
5 minutes of training on the mat

Thanks Harinder that was great!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I still feel quite beat up and a little broken from Saturday's matches. Training has been going well though. Did some drilling and conditioning on Monday and Tuesday, and some jiu-jitsu on Tuesday night and this afternoon. Seems like my strength is good, so I just have to maintain that for November.
Back to the 40/40 kettlebell snatch training early next week, should feel good and recovered by then.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

BJJ Competition Videos

First match was won by one advantage against the blue belt. This was interesting, we spent half the match dancing after getting tapped in the forehead as an attempted distraction. She was determined.

Second match was lost by two points. I looked at the scoreboard with less than a minute left in the match and actually thought I was up on points so I just held out, but I should have fought a little harder at the end. It also looks like two points were awarded to green when they should have been awarded to red, me. I hate that arm triangle choke.

It was a long day, we went up early in the morning to watch the kid's and teen's matches. I found out when I got there that they had not only paired the Women's white and blue belts together, but that all the Women's belts were fighting together.

After the kids/teens we waited a good 8 hours or more before any of the adult BJJ matches started. Stepped outside for about an hour and did a kettlebell workout on the sidewalk to kill some time, get the heart rate up, and get the jitters out. I didn't compete until after 8:30 at night, so I was getting sleepy and low on energy from eating nothing but protein bars and trail mix all day. Last year I was nervous before my match, this year I felt great. I was pretty pleased with the effort I put forth in my first two matches. I think I could have performed a little better on the third match.

Five weeks until the next tournament.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Four Days To Go!

Been a little lax with posting all of my workouts. Mostly focusing on the jiu-jitsu competition this Saturday. Doing a little conditioning and spending time on the mat. Have still been training 24kg kettlebell snatches for the 40/40 goal, I'm at 17/18 as of last week. The normal workouts will resume next week after the competition is over.

5-4-3-2-1 Left/Right TGUs - 16kgs

2 x 7/7 Kettlebell Snatches - 55lbs (Was shooting for 6 sets, but wripped up one of my hands at the end of 2nd set.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kettlebell Swings Both Days

Did a nice little ladder of pull ups and heavy swings yesterday.

Swings with the 32kg, were 2-4-6-8-etc-20
Pull Ups BW, were 10-9-8-etc-1

Took 15:03.


Today got a little circuit in around 4:30.

1 minute rounds of
Thick Ring Rows
Dbl DB Push Presses
24kg KB Swings
24 inch Box Jumps

Completed 5 times, with 30sec rest between each round.

Jiu-Jitsu at 8:00.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In Addition To Strength Training

Although I love my kettlebells and my kettlebell training to death, it's not the only training I do. They are usually a part of every workout from the pure strength to conditioning, however they are often mixed in with other tools.
Plyo boxes, bodyweight, medicine balls, rings, straight bar, and sandbags just skim the surface of what my kettlebells get to play with on a regular basis.
Yesterday I took off.
Today was Jiu-Jitsu for about two hours. Rested about an hour and ate, then decided that Bella needed to go for a run, beautiful day.

Friday, September 21, 2007

09.20.2007 Workout

Spent 2 hours training BJJ today, that's a lot longer than usual.

After some rest and food...

12/12, 10/10, 8/8, 6/6, 4/4, 2/2 Snatches with a 55lbs KB. Rested 1 minute between sets, except no rest between the 4s and 2s. Total working time 8:10.

A good quote...

"Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strength."
-Lois Wyse

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Busy or Lazy, Both Bad Excuses

Got in a good workout today, after being busy and tired most of the weekend, I didn't train as hard as I would have liked to.
Ladder 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Snatches 40lb KB
5 FS, 15 Swings L/R 20 Weighted Walking Lunges L/R
10 Swings
Run 2 lengths of the soccor field
15 Swings
Run 2 lengths of the soccor field
20 Swings
Run 2 lengths of the soccor field
25 Swings
Run 2 lengths of the soccor field
(around 1pm)
2 Hours of BJJ in the evening

Thursday, September 13, 2007

24kg Kettlebell Snatch Video

Here's the 15/15 from yesterday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And the humidity is gone...

Kept it simple today...

One hour on the mat, drills.

24kg kettlebell snatches 15/15 (video will be up tomorrow) Felt pretty good after the snatches, was aiming to do 12/12 but felt pretty strong so I kept going. Probably could have gotten a few more but wasn't sure.

Got an urge to do the circuit that I put the evening group workout through...
20 reps each of
Elevated Lateral Jump Squats
Elevated Reverse Lunges
Box Hops with a Reverse Lunge
Kettlebell High Pulls
Jumping Pull Ups
Elevated Hand Walk Overs
Medicine Ball Push Ups

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sluggish Already, It's The Humidity

I really feel like I pushed myself through today's workout just because I had to. I really wanted to exert a little more effort. It probably all started when at the last minute I switched from box jumps to box hops because I didn't want to re-injure my knee. My effort didn't decrease at all throughout the workout, but it didn't increase either.

6 - 1 minute rounds of...
Box Hops
24kg Kettlebell Snatches
Alternating Reverse Lunges
Push Ups
Pull Ups
Sit Ups

Consistantly got 30, 6L/R, 28, 15, 6, 15 respectively. 32 minutes, rest included.

BJJ tonight. No training all drills.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where We're Starting From

I always pick a few training goals and a time period to obtain the goal. Without the goal my training suffers and without the time restriction the goal can get lost. That's part's part two. State the training goal outloud, so you can hold yourself accountable.

Where are we? At some point I've had a 295lb deadlift. At some point I've side pressed the 32kg KB. At some point I've done 130 KB snatches in 5 minutes with the 16kg. I've snatched a 36kg KB with my right arm. I've gotten a 10kg weighted pull up.

Where are we going? Here'e the list that means something right now! Here's the list that makes my training move forward. Here's the list that will make all the things I've listed above come even easier.

Military Press the 32kg KB Left and Right

Snatch the 40kg KB Left and Right

Muscle Up on the Rings

Snatch the 24kg KB 40 reps Left and Right

24kg Weighted Pull Up

The time line hasn't been defined yet. That will take another day or two. One more thing, the trick with the goals I've listed is to also stay well conditioned for the two BJJ competitions coming up in October and November.