Sunday, October 11, 2009

Return of the kettlebell Update 4: C&J heels fix and Balancing the Press, Swing Sets and a Pain in the Quad

This entry (4th RTK update) is about high heels in the C&J, the peculiarity that is uneven pressing, and swinging between sets in practicing Return of the Kettlebell (RTK). Also a question about pistols, pain and mass gain.

C&J - always learning. Dang
In my last episode i'd just lost my C&J form, and got it back noticing i was doing more of a C&J GS jump in the second hop than is appropriate for the Hard Style Way. The next session solved that hop: heavier bells. Ha! Seriously. It's harder to hop on the heavy days. Lor'! Learning to keep speed going for that second hop makes a difference in a good rep and a not so good rep. It seems that because each time one does the RTK block a variable changes - no. of sets, no. of ladders, load, that there's always going to be something new to learn. This is a good thing, to be sure. But likewise, gosh. Anyone who says they need a new program - that a few moves is going to be boring - just hasn't met ETK or RTK.

Uneven Presses
The intriguing thing about uneven pressing
  • - snatching different weights and matching speed between them.
  • - matching speed between pressing sides - keeping up bone rhythm
  • - matching form per side - by the fourth set, the heavy bell starts to feel, well, heavy, and the later presses can let the pelvis slide over to give it a boost that the other side doesn't need. Temptation to do so is very strong.
Swings Between Sets?
I've been experimenting for the past few weeks on keeping my heart rate up between sets, and this for two reasons: one, it's supposed to help eliminate doms (end of this article) and two, it's supposed to help with strength gains, and i'm all for more strength gains.

Today i wore a heart rate monitor and noticed that my typical light jogging in spot or running around the place didn't get my heart up very high, so i thought, what the heck, swings.

So i did some Rannoch's 100's between sets for my 2 mins of recovery, alternating one handed and double, focusing on good clean hip snaps, as well as light overspeeds. Let me say that if you don't have a heart rate monitor, don't worry about it: doing 1oo's of any of these will keep your heart up for two minutes without wasting you.

Pistol Practice
And, just because i'd like to keep up some pistol work, and as this was light day, i got an EDT (escalating density training) set of assisted pistols in. This was done by attaching a green band to a door, and doing the squat down unaided and using the band as an assist on the way up: this was both work and let me focus on form - again with bone rhythm - especially thinking about the form of standing up straight and fast with good good form. That's cool - usually i've been so occupied with just getting up repeatedly that the difference in being able to focus on the groove of the form is pretty cool. Will be interested to see how that translates into unassisted (and gulp, loaded) practice.

What i did notice that was new is that oh, about 3/4's of the way into my EDT block my legs suddenly felt as if DOMS had just turned on about 24 hours early. So it's not DOMS. it's something else. And it's a bit of a surprise, and a rather painful one. Ow? The suddenness of going from fine to Ow was rather abrupt. Anyone?

Mass Gains - to date
It goes without saying, does it not, that strength improves on RTK with each workout? Super duper. But mass? Getting past scrawny arms? Hmm.

Gals who have worked to get lean don't often, in my experience, just surrender to adding more calories in plans of adding some mass, but i've been up for it. In the past 6 weeks, the gains have been on the scale more than on what the tape measures in my arm. Is there anything i could do better, or there just hasn't been enough time to say?

I'm religiously doing a pre and post drink as per the Nutrient Timing work i wrote about awhile ago, and am as said going clearly into caloric surplus. But Tracy Reifkinds arms remain unrivaled. That said 6 weeks may well be far too soon to anticipate real change. I shall just keep it tight, (the HS way of saying "hold my breath?") in the meantime.

Till next time...

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Adam said...

With your opservation on C&J- right on the head. Move up bell sizes as fast as you safely can. there is a time to return to the "easy bells" but for now keep pushing in your 80-90% range.

BTW are you doing swings for both blocks or just your C&J blocks?

on the pistols, i have a different suggestion you may like- do a single rep every 1st and second rung of your ladder. it adds up to perfect practice but you will not feel so beat from it. I do the same thing with different grip feats during the workout-- get those reps in without even noticing it

mc said...

Adam, thank you for the suggestion on pistols. Fabulous idea.

I'm just into the start of a press block, and that's where i've just tried the swings for the period between sets

thanks as always for dropping by and your considered feed back. much obliged



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