Saturday, July 21, 2007

Free Day

The original plan for today was to lift heavy.  Much to my surprise, after a week of conditioning work, my body wasn't prepared to lift heavy.  I improvised:

12k Kettlebell Warm Up
Kettlebell Sumo Deadlifts: 5x20k, 24k, 28k, 32k
Deadlifts: 3x135, 165, 185, 205, 225; Failx245, 225 (felt weak, so I stopped)
Cleans: 1x135, 135, 135, 135, 135
Chin: 1xBW, BW, BW
Braced Bending (6063 Aluminum): 12" x 1/2", Kink 11.5" x 1/2"
Kettlebell Snatch (form work): 5/5x20k, 20k, 20k; 3/3x28k; 4/4x28k

Overall it was a decent workout that really beat up my hands.  I stopped on the deadlifts when my form felt off with the heavier weights.  I just did not feel like pressing or squatting heavy, probably because I am bad at those exercises. 

The braced bending was fun, but really nothing new.  I did get video of both bars:

12" Full Bend - http://www.gripfaq.com/videos/20070721FullBracedBend.wmv
11.5" Kink - http://www.gripfaq.com/videos/20070721AttemptBracedBend.wmv

For some reason all my bends get stuck as seen in this picture, I made a post on the Gripboard asking for help:

http://www.gripfaq.com/videos/20070721BracedBends.jpg

I put a good bit of effort into improving my snatch form with the kettlebells.  Now that I better understand the idea of keeping my arms connected to my torso and using my hips to drive the weight up, I focused on keeping the arc of the kettlebell close to my body.  At first, with the 20k I couldn't do it at all.  By the 3rd set, I was doing ok and felt ready to try more weight.  Moving up to the 28k bell caused me to revert to my old form completely.  I just need to keep practicing.  I did get video of all the sets:

http://www.gripfaq.com/videos/20070721KBSnatchFormWork.wmv

As I was doing my sets, I took the video, watched my form on the camera, then attempted to make corrections.  I think the approach is working.  My confidence with the heavier kettlebells is increasing a lot.  I do not fear putting the 28k bell overhead anymore, or more importantly, throwing it back down.  That makes a big difference.

After actually going through this workout, I think trying to lift heavy once a week while I am focused on conditioning is a mistake.  I cannot get better at everything at once.  I will try light barbell complexes on my next free day instead.  As I sit here today, my plan is to train for the grip contest up through next weekend, then to take the next 6 weeks focused on nothing but conditioning work.  I will ramp volume up as I drop my weight down to 189.  By the end of 6 weeks my resting heart rate will be in the mid-50's, and several more goals will be knocked off my list.

This takes me through to the September Chicago grip together.  At that point I will see how my grip strength is doing, and then make a firm decision on BBB3.  If I plan to attend, I may need to return my training to a strength focus for the month leading up to the contest.  If I choose not to, it is likely I will continue with the conditioning work until mid-November, then do a quick peaking cycle for Gripmas in December.  Gripmas is high on my priority list, since I would enjoy spending some more time with the OH guys and want to finally meet Mike in person.

From there, who knows.  I may have to retreat into the basement and wait for winter to pass.