R5D24 – 50 Swings, 25 Cleans, 25 Clean And Press (or not)

RKCEagleThat about covers it. The swings that are supposed to last 12 minutes are overflowing into 15 or more. I keep wanting to keep the number of sets up, I did 3 sets of 40 swings last time and wanted to aim for 3 sets of 50 this time. It’s not the total that is the problem here, it is the fact that my heart is trying to escape from my chest once I am done. Next week (maybe after a P90X/Insanity rest week) it’s the ladder. I know nothing about it, but I have a feeling I am not going to enjoy it!

So I was wiped out by the swings, only remembering after that I was supposed to practice my cleans and so on. I figured I would do thet next workout before the TGU since it warms up my shoulders nicely. The 50 swings were a surprise. I was fine up to 30, by 40 I was getting tired but suddenly after 40 my legs started to get wobbly and I had a burning through my whole quads. It was the same for all 3 sets and my heart rate was really high by the time I finished all 3 sets. It was a great accomplishment getting them done but I am not looking forward to doing that again. I was surprised at the work my legs were doing and how my back did not seem to get any more work than usual. Once you are doing 50 swings it gives you a lot of time to scrutinize your form too so I was constantly reminding myself to snap the hips, pull the shoulder, tame the arc!

It’s not exactly a long workout so I don’t really have much else to say about it other than I have really enjoyed getting to this point and I can’t wait to start the next phase of the RKC!

R4 D70 – In The Swing / Weight Achievement (32.2lbs)

goalslolLet’s get to the weight first, since that is the most interesting.

This morning, the scale said I was 250.6 which is a total loss of 32.2lbs. I was hoping to get under 250 by the New Year and I think I will but it wasn’t until I got to putting the numbers into my documentation that I realized something quite amazing. I am currently at my lightest weight since my back surgery in December of 2002. Not only that, I have no record of me being under 250lbs at all. I know I was back in 2001 when I went to Australia but I also know I was in the gym for about 3 hours a day back then just so I could get my weight down which really makes it artificially low. In fact, I have not been this weight without the help of a crazy workout schedule since I was at Western and weighed around 200lbs. I have long been a victim of the notion that in order for me (me, personally that is) to get my weight lower than let’s say 260lbs I had to work out like the Tasmanian Devil and eat nothing but oatmeal and salad. I was convinced that my weight was tied to my workout schedule with no room for error. How foolish I was! I remember times when I was spending 2 hours a day EVERY DAY in the gym. Times when I would do 4 day splits of 3 hours with cardio on top. It was nuts! At least now with the baby and our new life, my new schedule makes sense and is working. So congratulations to me, job well done, so far!

Day 70 was more kettlebell work. I decided I should try to perfect the swing technique and without really knowing what was a lot of reps I set out to do around 30 minutes. I have to say, the smallest difference in the height of that swing makes a world of difference in the effort department. I ended up doing 10 sets of 5 single arms each side and 5 doubles for a total of 150 reps. I still don’t really know if this is enough but the timing was about right and the effort level seemed OK and ultimately I am just learning so I was concentrating more on the hip snap and the proper form to worry about total work. I have to admit, this kettlebell thing is pretty addictive. It is a decent whole body workout and it really the epitome of functional fitness. Now to work it into the schedule properly… It is now the 29th, I need to get through this week and once everything settles down after the New Year it will be time to move onto Round 5. The big question is, what to do? Something I will have to address while I am battling through the last few days of this phase.

R4 D69 – I Can’t Count But I Can Kettlebell


Going forward:
68 Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
69 OFF
70 WOD with Pullups
71 Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
72 Max Cardio
73 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
74 OFF

Since I can’t seem to get the days straight EVER on this site, I will just go with the flow and call this day 69. It was listed as being day 68 but with a day off I probably won’t take it should all line up again tomorrow.

For Christmas my adorable wife got me, among other things, a 45lb kettlebell. This was exactly what I wanted since I have 35lb dumbbells but nothing heavier. I have wanted to get into the swing of kettlebell workouts for a while and this was my big chance so I decided to check some video on the internet and get right into it.

I opted for cleans, clean and press, high pull and two handed swings. I did a quick warmup set of 5 each making a total rep count of 30. It was at that point that I realized this was going to be harder than I thought. I plugged away, doing another set of 60 total reps, 10 of each and then finished with another 5 count set. That gave me a total workout of 120 reps which doesn’t sound like much but for a beginner doing 45lbs I think it was plenty. I had started off by trying to perfect the form before I began so it actually ended up being a 40 minute workout. The most difficult thing, as it turned out, was trying not to bash my forearms on the clean and the clean and press. I found a great youtube piece which solved that for me and I was all set. Some of the videos that were the most helpful are from kbellqueen including the tip that helped me protect my forearms. Her website lists her as a level 1 and 2 Kettlebell instructor and ACE certified among others. Funnily enough, I find many of the male kettlebell instructors on the web have a distasteful elitist attitude, probably because the skill is new and in demand. However, since these videos came up most often for the searches I did, I think she deserves the credit. By the way, listen to what she says about starting with the thumbs back and twist early to avoid painful forearms.