Saturday, July 7, 2007

Session with RKC

Today was my session with RKC Dave Kallas.  He showed up about 9am and we spent an hour going through various drills.  This is what I picked up:

1. My strength endurance sucks.  I was sweating bullets and exhausted 40 minutes into the session.  I normally stay with reps of 5 or less per set.  I normally rest a minute or two between sets.  Both of these showed when doing higher reps and more sets in order to practice form tweaks.

2. I'm not using hip snap as the primary force to move the kettlebell.  Most of my power is coming from my legs and back.  While not necessarily wrong, it is probably limiting my endurance and possibly limiting my max strength.

3. I can improve the ability to use my hips by keeping my legs straighter and focusing on bending down and sticking my hips behind me.  A good way to practice this is by doing a dead clean with the kettlebell positioned just behind my feet.

4. When driving with the hips, my arm should not leave my torso until I really pop at the top of the movement.

5. When coming back down, I should be driving the kettlebell down, not just dropping it.

6. If I put change in my pocket, I should be able to hear the hip snap.

7.  When doing a snatch, I typically swing the kettlebell waaay out in front of me, then pull it in.  The more efficient way to do it is to keep the kettlebell close to my body as I bring it up.  A good way to practice this is to hang a towel from my rack and gradually move closer to it.  I can also do dead snatches with the kettlebell just behind my feet.

I think that's about it.  By the end of the hour, I was gassed.  Interestingly, a muscle on the right side of my butt was tight that normally is not.  I assume it is from practicing the hip snap.  I wonder if that could be related to the issue I have with imbalanced external rotation on my hips.  My bad shoulder was beat up, I think it's a combination of catching the cleans and the spike bending I tried last night.

I'm definitely going to keep practicing to learn the hip snap.  I'm also going to try to learn to tame the arc of the cleans and snatches with the dead snatch and clean work.  I am not sure that I will change the way I actually do the exercises during my training, that decision will come once I learn the movements properly.  I did have one dead snatch where I pulled the kettlebell so hard it almost got away from me.  On the other hand, my shoulder feels pretty beat up right now, and it usually feels great after the kettlebell work.

That's about it.  I ended up forgoing any significant grip work or additional upper body work today.  I was just too tired.  Yesterday I did put some energy into trying to bend a spike, but got stuck at 45 degrees.  I stretched and foam rollered both last night and this morning.  I'll probably try to stretch later tonight as well.  My wife and I have a 4-5 mile walk planned, so I'll need to loosen up after.