Gotta Tabata

Last night we did weighted pull-ups. I used the 12-kg weight and got 4 reps my first round, then did a few rounds of three reps. Then I did one very slow negative with 16 kilos–I had someone hook it over my foot after I pulled up, then I came down slowly and tried to pull back up again every so often. I’d gain about an inch and start down again.
Then we did Tabata squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and kettlebell swings (20 kg). My scores:
Squat—–20—21—20—20—20—20—20—20
Push-up–12—10—-8—-8—–6—-5—-5—–5
Sit-up—–9—–9—-9—-9—–9—-8—-8—–8
Swing—–13—13–12—12—12—12—12—12
It doesn’t seem like all that much until you’re the one doing it.
After I rested a while, I decided to try some kettlebell presses. I’m working on presses regularly right now because now that my shoulder is so much better I want to make it as strong as I can. I’d been doing presses with 16 kilos for a while and last night I pressed the 18 for several singles. A couple of days ago I found I could press a 35-kilo barbell for at least two reps. I thought I could have done three but decided not to take a chance on failing at it. Failed presses feel terrible! My next short-term goal is to press a 40-kilo barbell.

Kettlebells Again

Last weekend I was Tom Corrigan‘s assistant for two two-hour introductory kettlebell classes at a fitness equipment store in Lynnwood. We had six people on Saturday and four on Sunday. In both classes was one person who’d been to Cappy’s Boxing Gym (where I went for three years pre-CrossFit) and two people who knew quite a bit about CrossFit or had tried it. It was fun to connect with all of these people who are interested enough in fitness to buy their own kettlebells and come to the class. And classes are a confidence builder because I see that I’m able to talk about technique and people respond positively.
Tom C. says that to build up to a heavier kettlebell lift–for example my wanting to snatch 24 kilos–I should do this:
-Perfect the form by doing the lift for high reps (like 50-plus) at a light weight;
-Do heavier presses
-Do the high one-arm swing with the slight bend at the top (i.e., the whole snatch except the finishing punch-through) with the heavy weight that I want to snatch.
For me that means many snatches at 12 kilos (I can already snatch 16), presses with the 16, and high one-arm swings with the 24. I’ll work on those on days I don’t go to the gym, starting two days ago and today.
Turns out I’m not so close to snatching the 24, because it’s hard for me to control it during the high one-arm swings with the elbow bend at the top. By the time I try that, I’ve already done a bunch of snatches with the 12 and presses with the 16, and besides the fatigue, the 24 is hard for me to grip with one hand. Its handle is thicker and my hands are sweaty by that time. Still I think with good form I can work up to it. After all, when you punch through and finish the snatch, there’s no grip issue. The grip problem comes when controlling the change of directions on the top and bottom of the swing.
It also turns out my endurance isn’t what I wish it were. I’ve been snatching the 12 kilos for nowhere near 50 reps per side. Today I did sets on right and left with 5-second breaks. The sets were 10, 10, 6, 10 snatches.
I’ll solve these two problems by doing the high swings with the 16 for a while; and by continuing to add sets of snatches with the 12 instead of psyching myself out by saying I’m going to do 30 without stopping.
I’m happy with my pressing strength for now and feel confident I can improve it. My right shoulder, after three Active Release Therapy sessions, is a lot more reliable and solid. I did five sets of two 16-kilo presses per side today.
I finished with two sets of 10 suitcase deadlifts, holding a 16 on one side and the 24 on the other side. It was a good workout and fun to do it in the backyard while looking at my flowers.