Archive | February, 2014

Making Strides

24 Feb

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For that last month, I’ve only been doing the Simple and Sinister kettlebell complex and have seen great improvement in my conditioning. I complete the workout 4 times a week and designate the first workout of the week (Monday) to test against time. I have the weekend to recover and a day after my cheat day, there’s no better day to pick to benchmark against previous weeks. Plus, it limits my indulgences during the weekend knowing that I have to be at my best on Monday to bring that time down.

The first time I tested myself it took me 22.5 minutes to complete 5 sets of 3x Reverse Turkish Get Up (16kg bell) and 10 Double Kettlebell Swings (2x16kg bells). The second, 20 minutes and 52 seconds and today, 18 minutes and 34 seconds. Last week I started thinking of how long it was going to take to bring that time to under 20 minutes. Today, I answered that question and surprised that I kicked more that 2.5 minutes from my previous time. I was focused and determined and tried to keep my rest times as short as I needed. You have to be careful when you work for time so that your form doesn’t get sloppy.

Looking forward to bringing that time down close to the 18 minute mark next week!

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It Doesn’t Get Easier, You Get Stronger!

20 Feb

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That was the mantra I kept repeating to myself as my blood was boiling, my heart thumping and my endurance dissipating as I was working on the reverse Turkish Get Up part of the kettlebell complex. I’m not sure if it helped but I did see the workout till the end. I’ve been doing the Simple and Sinister kettlebell complex for the last 3 weeks and this week I’ve started to time myself to see how fast I can finish it. It’s more of an incentive to shorten my rest breaks by focusing on my breath, helping bring down my heart rate. At the beginning of the week I finished the complex at 22.5 minutes. Today I brought down that time to 20 minutes and 52 seconds. I’ll bring out the stopwatch as a benchmark once a week to determine if my conditioning is improving.

To get through the Simple and Sinister complex, you need a good warm up. I’ve been warming up using both yoga and meditation. I’ve noticed that my yoga practice has been getting longer which definitely benefits by kettlebell regimen. The above photo is my new workout space. I had to move indoors due to the frigid temperatures in my garage. It’s not much room, 2×6 feet to be exact. I have to move my mattresses to the side to make room or else no work gets done. Just goes to show you that you don’t need much room, just a little bit of dedication.

Keeping it Savage!

The Ashram

14 Feb

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Last week I visited a local Ashram to keep throwing myself into a spiritual practice. They said there would be a snow storm but I was determined to ride my bike across town 5 miles away. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me since the roads were slick and would need to take roads that were somewhat plowed. I left an hour before yoga would start at the Ashram and to my surprised arrived 20 minutes early just as the snow was starting to fall. Doubt was getting the best of me, “Did yoga class get canceled today because of the weather?” “Am I even in the right place?” Just as I was trying to best answer those questions, cars started trickling in the small parking lot and my hope was reassured.

For this day only, both instructors agreed to join and practice only pranayama instead of separating into 2 groups to practice yoga and pranayama. This was OK with me as I was looking to learn new techniques to strengthen my meditation practice. The practice was packed full with techniques and information I’ve only started reading about. We learned locks, bandhas and breathing techniques to open and close the chakras. We even learned Super Brain Yoga based on the principles of subtle energy and ear acupuncture.

Along with my daily yoga/meditation, I’ve been keeping up with my Simple and Sinister kettlebell workout. After completing 5 sets of this workout, you feel like you’ve been in a fight without throwing a punch. Especially after completing a week of 4 workouts using 2 on/ 1 off workout regime, your body starts to ache in a good way.

Kettlebell Workout
5 sets:
3 x Reverse Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups (Left and Right) (16kg)
10 x Double Kettlebell Swings (2 x 16kg)

Total: 15 Reverse Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups, 50 Double Kettlebell Swings

 

Yoga = Kettlebell = Meditation

5 Feb

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So I’ve still, to my surprised kept up my home yoga practice. Some days are harder than others and just when I’m about to give up I hit a breakthrough. I wasn’t looking for it, it just happened. Getting deeper into the stretch, holding asanas longer, it’s a magical moment where the body tells the mind, “OK gimme more.” This happened to me last night about 30 minutes before midnight. I didn’t think I would get a good quality yoga practice in this late at night but I still wanted to keep my daily practice going. I thought that I would half ass it, get really sloppy then frustrated but the opposite happened.

It makes sense that I had one of my better practice this late at night. It’s a great way to unwind and relax the mind. The body and mind surrenders to all day’s events and seeks to heal itself. The best times for yoga and mediation are in the mornings and at night. Before the body and mind face the world’s distracts and at the end for rejuvenation. Now I’m on that “had a great practice high” and want to repeat that feeling but what mediation and yoga taught me, is that everyday is different. It’s about letting go and being in the present. My next yoga session could be my worst yet. One never knows, all one can do is see the moment for what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

 I bet people would be surprised to know how much yoga/mediation has so much in common with workouts. In all, form is important, and being aware of your body and mind to avoid injury. The breath helps to relax the mind and squeeze another rep. Today’s workout is based on Pavel’s new book, Simple and Sinister. You can break up the reps how you wish and take as long of a rest as you need. This is an excellent cardio workout that gets your heart beating up your chest and leaves your shirt soaked. Below is how I broke up today’s workout. This is the only workout I’m going to do for the next 60 days.

 

Simple and Sinister – 50 Double Kettlebell Swings/ 15 Turkish Get Ups
7 sets. Only rest after completing both movements.

2 x Reversed Turkish Get Ups (L+R) (I used 16kg bell)
5 x Double Kettlebell Swings (I did a pair of 16kgs)
Rest

1 set
1 x Reversed Turkish Get Ups (L+R)
15 x Double Kettlebell Swings