Welcome back to Earth! One more day and it is back to the day to day grind. Amazingly every year the world shuts off the last two weeks of the year. What has happened? Well, the Patriots defense is still atrocious, former Kardashian Kris Humphries is getting booed every time he touches the ball. Britney Spears got engaged. Hopefully for her, 3 is a charm. Katy Perry along with Kim Kardashian prove that some California girls are forgettable. I give Britney’s marriage somewhere between 76 days and 13 months, or enough time for her fiance to take over her conservatorship. Funny story, was at the Rio in Las Vegas 3 years ago, getting my clock cleaned at blackjack. Walked over to the bar to watch one of the baseball playoff games and play video poker. Bartender introduces himself and says, “Where are you from?” I said, “Boston” and he informs me that he lived there, but was from LA. I said, “Why did you move?” He states that he had gotten divorced and was trying to find a place as far away from her as possible. Something about moving from Southern California to Weymouth (nice town on the South Shore) made me crack up.
Anyway, coming into December, off of a successful 4 week session of Escalation Density Training, I decided to lower the volume and work on a 10 sets of 2-4 scheme. Also, there is an annual challenge of seven thousand swings as well as performing a number of getups for whatever day it is. So if it’s the 18th of the month, you do 18 getups on each side that day. The swings are broken down into weekly numbers. 1k the first week, 1500 the second, 2k the third and 2500 the fourth. It’s a great workout to concentrate on your swing form as well as stabilizing the shoulder muscles. You get four “amnesty” days for the month so if you’re beat up, take a day off. At the beginning, my goal was not to use less than a 55 lb. kettlebell for any of the exercises. I added burpees as a finisher I was also combining the 10 sets scheme.
Oozing of self confidence and ego, I started out by using the 88. Some days I would do the getups first, then the swings, other times I would do them in rounds. 2 getups each side, 2 sets of 20 swings, 6 burpees, rinse and repeat. Right around the 13th of the month, I made my first mistake. I did 13 getups with the 70 as a warmup to pressing double 70′s. Wrong move, started my pressing, did one rep and popped my neck muscle on the left side with the second rep. Already thinking Joe Weider was a clown, recalling his pre exhaustion principle strongly reiterated this belief. Took the next day off, neck felt better, but at this point decided to drop the 10 rep scheme. Tested it with a light 18 lb kettlebell and got back on the saddle. I started to do the program in rounds and added jumping rope in between swing sets to make it a kind of metabolic conditioning workout. My diet was completely locked in, I started the month at around 186.6 and was down around the 184 range on the 22nd. For swings, I really focused on dropping the hips before the knees and snapping the bell upward as well as forward. I was exploding on my getups. The highlights were doing 52 consecutive getups (26 each side) with the 70 and doing 500 swings one day with the 88! However, just before Christmas, I developed this red bulge on my left knee. It felt like a rug burn except for the lump and it was tender. Lo and behold, I went to the doctor, staph infecion. No more getups. I had to cut it short on the 28th. Final numbers were seven thousand swings and 498 getups (249 each side) and burpees. There were only two days I used less than a 55 for TGU’s. Past couple of days I’ve pressed and done jerks, and the bell seems to be moving pretty well. I did put on a few pounds over Christmas week, up around 190 but most of its water weight and I still fit well into 32 inch jeans, so no worries. If you are looking to work on your form, strength, as well as get into great shape this is an excellent challenge. It can get real tedious at times, but it’s only 4 weeks. Deal with it, and don’t drop out halfway through week 3 when things get harder.
Everyone has goals and resolutions. What are yours? Whatever you do, write them down and be specific. Writing things down shows committment. Unlike the Black Maria Song, committment is not a sickness. Make sure you review them. If you fall off, and you will, get back on immediately. Now, should you announce them to people to hold yourself accountable? That’s up for debate. In the op-ed page of the Boston Globe yesterday, there was this deliciously cyncial article about resolutions and the type of person you are if you make them. One of the interesting points of the article is if you tell someone, you will fail in the resolution. The reasoning is that you will have accepted victory for something you haven’t attained and rest on your laurels instead of being driven. I think some resolutions are worth telling and others should be kept personal. There was also a great article about the how we pronounce the year. Are we going to break the habit of saying “two thousand”….enter year here? My prediction is it will change in 2020. I say twenty twelve myself. It’s more efficient syllablically.
That being said, here are my fitness goals. 1. Press the 88. 2. Military Press 2 seventy pound kettlebells 10 times. (Currently at 5) 3. Snatch a 55 lb kettlebell 200 times in 10 minutes. Currently at 151. I have also designed workouts to reach these goals which I will post later. I’m also going to become more skilled in the kettlebell jerk. Both single and double bells.
Currently I am building a foundation of strength using Dan John’s 40 Day program. Read Dan John. In regard to strength, he is right about almost everything. Basically you pick 5 exercises and do 2 sets of 5, 5-6 days a week, 40 consecutive times. He recommends warming up with the squat. Do deadlifts, a press (military or bench), a lat exercise (rows or pullups), a swing or snatch (for 20-50 reps) and torso exercise (ab roll out). You wave the weight and reps up and down based on how you feel. Here are the exercise I’ve chosen. Double Squat, Double Deadlift, Double Rows Outside the Knees/Pullups, Double Military Press (I started with double 55′s.), One Arm Snatch 55, and Double Windmill. I am doing the other exercises with the 70′s and have moved up to 70′s with the military press. I am doing 10 reps with the deadlift as I don’t have an olympic bar to load up 275lbs. You finish the workout feeling fresh, because you are practicing. The workout only takes 20-25 minutes. Toward the end of the challenge, my workouts were going over an hour.
Happy New Year, be specific about your goals, write them down and commit!