Tag Archive: kettlebells


Legs, Cut Day 29

Feb 3 – High Carb Day / Legs

In retrospect, this day was ambitious.  I guess I thought moderate amounts of carbs would turn me into Superman, haha.  Oh well, I pushed it.

Woke up in the morning, then went to the gym for 30 min of cardio on the elliptical.  Then went to work.

At lunch, I was bored and wanted to escape the slow whittling of my soul that is my job, so I slipped out with a coworker and went to the office gym for 30 more min of cardio on the stationary bike.

Post work I had an appt with the trainer,  time for legs!

Yeah, it was my 2nd Leg Day in 3 calendar days.  No excuses!  Get to squattin

We took 5 min first to do measurements, discuss my diet, make plans for the future, plot and scheme.

I told the trainer my right knee was sore, so we warmed up with 10 min of Dynamic Stretching
– walking lunges with high knee squeezes
– lateral lunges
– yoga:  dragon, gecko, twisted gecko, forward folds  (imagine going into plank, then bringing one foot outside your sameside hand.  then playing around with your forward knee or playing around with your opposite side arm)

Barbell Squats (about 45-60 sec rest)

135 x 10
155 x 10
175 x 10
175 x 10
175 x 10
175 x 10

IMG_3550

notes:  My trainer was unhappy with my heels, so we threw some nickel plates under them.  Tiring!

Walking Lunges w Kettlebells (30-45 sec rest)

40 lb KBs x 8/8
40 lb KBs x 8/8
40 lb KBs x 8/8
40 lb KBs x 8/8

IMG_3553

notes:  I hate lunges!  I was tired as hell, I didn’t register why at the time, I just thought I was having an off day.  Only now looking back do I realize multiple leg days plus multiple cardio before the second leg day.  Plus the cutting and carb cycling, FUARK.  Oh well, LOL

Deadlifts (45-60 sec rest)

135 x 10
205 x 8
205 x 10
205 x 5 DROP 135 x 5
135 x 10

IMG_3565

notes:  I look like KoolAid lifting that chit!  Trainer made me rack pull from below my knees, then bring it low without touching the ground, then back up.  Just all tension!
I felt gassed right away, I thought I was having a straight garbage session.  I had to drop the weight back to my warmup and just focus on good form.  Its not like my grip was tired or my back was sore… I just RAN OUT OF GAS.

Elevated Split Squats w Kettlebells (30 sec rest))

25 lb KBs x 10/10
25 lb KBs x 10/10
25 lb KBs x 10/10

IMG_3566

notes:  These felt better, thank gawd.

I was running out of time in our session at this point, so I broke out and went to my massage session.  But woops!  the massage dude had something unexpected come up, so whatever.  I just went home and crashed.

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Monday Legs

Squat Day!  My personal best in the past was 245 for a set of 8, so realistically I was aiming for 3 wheels.  I took a scoop of Fast Fuel 20-25 min before the weights, sipped on a scoop of Fast Fuel and ReGen during the workout, then a scoop of ReGen right after.

We set up the cage to about parallel depth.  I don’t have any awesome pics of deep squatting, sorry.  Bear in mind I have big hams so it may be deeper than you think, but at any rate let’s say the heavy squats were just before parallel or around parallel.  Hippy form mofo’s, please critique and hate away; in the meantime I’ll keep pushing weight while you keep pushing hate, haha.

Oct 28 – Legs

Warmup 5 min on the elliptical

Heavy Squats (about 60-120 sec b/w sets)
225 x 5
245 x 4
265 x 4
295 x 2
315 x 2  PR
335 x 1 PLUS fail  PR
315 x 1
IMG_3034

Hit my PR at 3 wheels, then one more PR!  I failed on the second rep of 335.  Then we dropped the weight to 315 and I had to squat cold from the cage up to rerack it, lol!  I was plum tuckered after that, so we lightened the weight for some light squat work, also dropped the cage bars one notch.

Overall I figure I beat my 1 rep max estimate by about 10%, so huge success!!

Light Squats to about parallel or slightly below, still 60-120 sec b/w sets
135 x 10
135 x 8 w/ 3 sec negs, PLUS 3 second HOLD at the bottom
135 x 15
IMG_3037

We tried slow negs with a hold at the bottom, that was fun!  Tiring but fun.  Sets 1 and 3 were normal tempo.

Superset Stepback Lunges and Prone Leg Curls  (rest about 45 sec)
BW x 15 & 75 x 15
2×20 lb KBs x 12 & 75 x 15
2×30 lb KBs x 10 & 100 x 10
IMG_3040

Tharz yur butt shot!!  Man, do I hate lunges!  Good thing I have a trainer, would be hard-pressed to do them on my own.

Superset Abs V-Ups and Single Straight Leg Raises (about 45 sec rest)
15 & 12
15 & 12
15 & 12
IMG_3048

I also hate “boats”, but my tailbone felt good, so F it, let’s do it.
IMG_3052

This rep looked like **** because I couldn’t keep my upright leg straight, but check OUT that butt shot!  I need a bearskin rug and a fireplace…

Whole thing took about an hour.  Massive PR tonight!  Thanks Fast Fuel!!

Work up headed to the gym for some shoulders and cardio before work.

AM workout:

lat raises (30 sec rest) 80 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

rope face pulls (10 sec rest) 70 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

cable rear delt fly (10 sec rest) 33 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

db shrugs (30 sec rest) 200 x 10, 10, 10, 10

cardio:  lateral elliptical 25 min, variable resistance, angle 8

notes:  the cables were crowded, so I couldn’t grab both cables for reverse flys, so I grabbed just one of them for face pulls, and sure enough the other guy got grumpy and left quick.  It goes to reinforce my theory that some people hang out at that cable station in the back corner just to be isolated.  Whenever I enter their bubble they lose interest.  I don’t ask to sub in with them, just by being colocated they are all of a sudden done.  guess they were never that serious.

Funny, the face pulls felt easier than usual, and then when I shifted to flys I realized it was because I did them in the reverse order of normal.  So the flys felt EXTRA hard.  Even light weight was no joke with that volume.

 

Then I went to work, grabbed a 6 min lie down in the tan bed at lunch.

After work headed to the studio for a special Thursday session with the trainer (she is out of town for the long weekend).  Weighed me… down only 1 pound, dammit!  Not spectacular, compared to previous weeks.  I guess my body is adapting to the new routine and I am gonna have to shock it into new loss.  Still, have lost a lot so far, lost inches all over too!

tan still working itself out

tan still working itself out

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

 

Then it was on to legs and abs!

PM workout:

bench bb squats 225 x 10, 7; 205 x 10, 10

IMG_2531

kettlebell step ups (30 sec rest) 80 x 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

instead of lunges

instead of lunges

lying leg curls (30 sec rest) 95 x 15, 15, 15, 15

IMG_2538

static extended plank (30 sec rest) 45 sec, 45, 45

IMG_2541

stability ball crunches (30 sec rest) 25, 25, 25, 25

bicycle crunches (30 sec rest) 30, 30, 30

 

notes:  ugh, this workout, will go down in infamy.  During the first set of back squats on the last rep, I “stapled” myself.  I got pinned at the bottom by the bar.  I just gave out.  Thankfully I was going to a bench, so all it did was pin me to the bench.  But my trainer was starting to freak out because the bar was too heavy for her to lift off me.  so I was stuck there.  No way out.

OK, 2 ways out.  Shrug it off me and lunge forward.  Or push it back up, from a dead stop on the bench with a back hunch.  I chose to push up, and complete the last rep.

That rattled me a lot, kinda the trainer too.  We ended up messing around with the cage set up a lot, and I went cold a bit.  BUT.  Big but.  I still did 3 more sets.  Set 2 felt tough and I was starting to go by rep 7.  So we dropped the weight by 20 pounds, and I kept going.

I chalk that up as mental toughness.  You get your butt kicked, you just fail hard,  you get up and dust yourself off and keep going.  So I didn’t give up.  But I won’t lie, the intensity was totally gone, I was shaken, but undeterred.

My foot was sore from a chronic health issue I had, so we exchanged lunges for stepups.  Which I hate quite a bit also, so it was a fair trade.  I got through the rest of the workout, but that crapfest at the start plus the weigh in ate up a lot of time, so we had to cut leg exercises out AND I still had to do ab work on my own.

On one hand, I am proud of losing weight, losing inches.  I am proud I was tough enough to salvage my workout and not give up.  But on some level, I am pissed about that fail.  I am pissed I had to drop weight on an exercise I ALREADY do with a pitifully low weight.  I am mad my core is so weak it failed me on squats.  And you know what?  Being mad is ok too.  Being competitive will keep you going during the tough times.

And tomorrow it starts all over again.

Monday.  And Leg Day.  With this variable schedule, it was bound to happen.  Every once in a while the dice come up snake eyes, and you just gotta deal with it.

By Monday, I mean that waking up at 5 am hurt hard.  I went to the gym for some 6 am spin class with Andrea.  That’s ok, it was Monday morning for Andrea too, she tripped over her own words about 8 or 9 times during the class.  It’s all good, spin instructors are people too 🙂  I found myself a spot in the back row, which was a mistake, as these 2 dudes in their mid 40s sat in front of me, who look like they went shopping for gym clothes together and did I mention they look totally alike?  Not all their fault, darn white people, so hard to tell them apart!

Their total brothers from different mothers vibe aside, sitting behind them was rough, as they had some horrible gas!  It was like a bike ride through Chernobyl!  I’m real glad you had a giant broccoli omelet for breakfast dude, but every time you stand out of your bike seat, you immerse me in your hot farts.  I think Andrea noticed that my concentration was off, I wasn’t keeping my core tight and speeding up my feet, more like I was twisting from side to side while exhaling violently through my nostrils.

Otherwise, it was alright.  My right knee, which has been semi-regularly stiff, has caused some related pains:  now my right achilles tendon is stiff.  I think its throwing my mechanics off.  Maybe the acupressure dude can work on that (I renewed my sessions with him, 10 sessions of blistering pain)

 

After spin I headed to work.  And saved up my energy for a session with Leslie.

 

Showed up, ready to hit it!

Legs and Shoulders:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

45 degree Leg Press:  410 + sled x 15, 15, 15, 15

8 plates, 2 quarter plates

8 plates, 2 quarter plates

Lunges:  holding 2 x 45 lb kettlebells:  10, 10, 10 (ten each leg)

IMG_2105

Stiff Legged Deadlift:  135 x 12, 12; 155 x 12

IMG_2109

Prone Leg Curls:  75 x 15, 15, 15, 15

obligatory butt shot!

obligatory butt shot!

smith machine military press:  50 + bar x 15; 70 + bar x 15, 15, 15

IMG_2112

cable lat raise:  20 x 12/12; 30 x 12/12, 12/12

ugh, close your mouth, idiot

ugh, close your mouth, idiot

reverse cable fly:  40 x 12; 60 x 12, 12

IMG_2118

hanging knee raises:  10, 13

standing bodyweight calf raises:  90, 90, 90, 90

 

notes:  crap! I realized I forgot to do trap work.  I was going to do upright rows…. grrr… this is a tough workout to pack into an hour.  As it is, the knee raises and calf raises I did on my own, after my session with Les had ended.

The SLDL’s were too easy, so Les added weight on the last set.  Good! Form getting better!

As for the leg curls, I was only able to get through all reps with a little helping pull from the trainer.  Looks like 75 pounds for 4 sets of 15 with reduced rest is going to be a major hill for me to conquer.  Been stuck at 75 forever!

Using the smith machine for the shoulder presses actually worked really well.  Need I mention how great it feels not to have to sling those GD dumbbells off the floor and onto my shoulders???  I love you smith machine.

 

And that was my day!  How about you?  Any good workouts??

 

Oh yeah, let’s close this out with a quick shout-out to my trainer Leslie, just weeks away from her figure competition!  In her honour, I attempted to do a pose-off.

IMG_2120

 

Eat your heart out.

End of a Tough Week

I AM tired though.  I barely made it through the last few workouts, spin classes are getting harder and harder, I have SO earned a day of rest!  Friday was the last day of the second 3 day microcycle in the 6 day split.  It was also a fairly hectic week at work, I am getting over a cold or something, etc etc

Friday I got up, made it to the gym in time for 6 am spin class!  I have no idea how, I barely made it.  Les and a bunch of her clients were there spinning too, Les is like a magnet for morning cardio, she is able to make like 3 or 4 extra people come out.  She is like a shepherd of morning cardio, gathering her flock.

Andrea was leading this spin class, and the class was tough!  Sweat was streaming down my face about 4 songs in.  It wasn’t just me, other people were asking if classes were ALWAYS this hard.  Andrea said no, it’s just her classes… haha!  So yeah this class kicked peoples’ butts.  I hung out in the back and worked as hard as I could, but I barely made it through.

After I wrapped up my shfit at work, I headed to the studio for a Legs and Shoulders session with Les!  I admit, I was SOOO tired.  I got to the workout early, but I couldn’t bring myself to do any cardio.  I did 5 min on the elliptical, then I went into the mens washroom and slept on the toilet for 5 min, haha!  Then I came back into the studio and slept on the incline bench for another 5 min.

Then it was time for my session!  We did some business first, scheduled some sessions, then got to it.

Legs and Shoulders (30 sec rest between sets)

45 degree Leg Press:  450 x 15, 15, 15, 15

Lunges holding 2 x 40 lb Kettlebells:  approx 12 each leg (24 total) – 12, 12, 12

I hate you lunges!

I hate you lunges!

Stiff-Legged Deadlift:  115 x 12, 12, 12

Standing Bodyweight Calf Raises:  85, 85, 85, 85

wakin up the calves!

wakin up the calves!

Lying Leg Curls:  75 x 15, 15, 12; 50 x 15

IMG_1985

Dumbbell Shoulder Press:  80 x 15, 15, 12, 10

Dumbbell Lat Raise:  40 x 12, 12; 30 x 12

Cooldown:  35 min cardio

notes:  we just plain ole ran out of time.  I could have kept doing the exercises on my own, but I said screw it, I will just get my cardio in and then go home.  So, no reverse flyes or upright rows or ab work.

I was running out of gas pretty good anyways, lat raises my form had gone to shit, my hamstrings couldn’t curl any more, and my gym clothes smelled like the guy McDonalds hires to quality test all their new sandwich ideas… or at least his underpants.  A old pair of dingy offwhite underpants with a broken elastic band, worn twice a week by a guy who eats experimental McDonalds every day.  He would probably look like one of the people from the Hills Have Eyes.

Wait, what was I talking about?  OK, I stunk.  One of the other trainers claimed I smelled like bacon.

I crawled home and died.  And that was my workout today!  I barely made it through the day, a bookend to a tough week.  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Monday, Tuesday

Monday I headed out for a Kettlebell workout with Leslie. Gotta admit, the diet is really dragging me down. January was rough, I fell off the wagon a lot. Let’s be brutally honest, I did not lose a single pound in January. I won’t go into too much gory detail, let’s just say that you can’t out train a lousy diet 🙂
Let’s hope February is kinder to me and my goals!

Kettlebells:

cardio warm up for 15 min

Kettlebell Swings:  40 lbs x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20 (30 sec rest)

singlehand clean & press:  30 x 12, 12, 12 (60 sec rest)

c&p

c&p

stepback lunge:  70 lbs x 10, 10, 10  (each leg, 60 sec rest)

35 each hand

35 each hand

Turkish “Sit Up”:  20 x 12, 12, 12 (eachhand)

comin atcha!

comin atcha!

Battle Ropes:  tabata style, 20 sec on, 10 sec off for 4 minutes

IMG_1877

notes:  30 sec rest between swing sets got tiring by the end 🙂  I was glad those ended.  I continue to suck at lunges, and reverse lunges doubly so.  I will never stop cursing them,my hatred gives me STRENGTH 🙂

The Turkish Sit Ups actually I found iffy on my sprained shoulder.  Not when holding the kettlebell up with my outstretched arm, but the elbow pushing into the floor, I could feel it in my shoulder/rotator cuff.  So I had to be very careful with my form.

As for battle ropes Tabata style… er, not a fan.  I don’t feel like I could go all out with my heart rate, 100%, without the ropes banging and clattering all over the place, I had to keep the rhythm going, so more control, so less strenuous effort, so I doubt my heart rate got high enough.  Oh well.

Tuesday was mostly a day off.  I went to a health food store to buy some protein.  An employee swooped in – can I help you?  I said I was buying protein and some fish oil, and kind of knew what I wanted.  She said she recommended this, and pointed to Dymatize Elite Fusion 7.  I said yeah, but I am trying to lose weight and I want low carb and this protein is like only 50% protein, and I pointed to the nutritional info on the back.  I said I was more interested in the Allmax isolate and pointed out the different percentages.  She said, “but this one has different kinds of protein,”  I said, “so?”

She changed tactics.  “You wanted fish oil?”  She brought me to the pills.  I told her that I had been using pills, and wanted to go back to the Carlson’s oil.  She said that with these pills they have a special coating that means I won’t get the fish burps or the fishy taste when I take it as oil.  I pointed out I have never tasted fish in the Carlson’s oil, just lemon or orange or whaetever, it’s a strong flavour masking it.

She finally crumbled.  “I am new here, I have never tried this stuff, I am just saying what they told me.”  I told her its ok, I kind of had my mind made up already, and sent her on her way.

What’s the lesson here?  Just because you are in a health food chain, a GNC or Nutrition House or whatever, do NOT assume you can rely on the staff.  They have sales quotas, they are talking out their ass most of the time.  PLEASE just do your own research, educate yourself on what you want or need, and you will be amazed at the stuff falling out of the rep’s mouth.  I go often to different stores, and the same rep at the same store will give totally contrary advice on brands from one month to the next – January he loves this brand, Feb he hates this brand its crap dont use it use this its better!  It’s all pap, just research it yourself.

I came home, shoulder a little sore, I did some cooking, some laundry.  In between I did some pushups – about 90 pushups over the course of the night.  They felt not too bad.

And that was my Mon/Tues!  How was your day?

Cleansing Korean Kettlebells

All week I have been reeling from the cleanse kit.  It makes it hard to key up 2 hours of sitting in a forest of stationary bikes when you might need to sprint for the bathroom at any moment.  All week long.  The cramps have gone away, but I am a powderkeg.  Well, maybe a poo-derkeg!  See what I did there?

I wanted to cheer myself up, but didn’t know how to treat myself.  Then I noticed all the Korean restaurants close to my office building!  If you have never had Korean (it gets lost in the shuffle of exotic foods sometimes, living in the shadow of Chinese and Indian and sushi), you should try it!  I spent a few weeks in Seoul way back when I was travelling and needed somewhere to crash while I applied for a working visa to Japan, and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the cuisine.

Korean food tends to very colorful, spicy, with a variety of foods in moderate amounts.  A traditional, formal dinner might consist of dozens of small dishes with multiple kinds of foods.  This tends to help with the portion control.  Meat isn’t the dominating feature of the meal, just another supporting piece.  Veggies tend to take center stage, even over the rice.  Cooking methods don’t involve a lot of frying in general.  Not a lot of heavy high-calorie sauces either.  Not that you can’t stuff yourself with fried foods, rice and beef if you really want to, but it doesn’t dominate the menu the way it does when you go for Chinese.  Although, to be fair, those Chinese menus got that way because they know that’s what us Westerners want.  Authentic Chinese food can be much more light.  Yet still, you don’t get as much pandering on a Korean menu – they stick to the rustic and traditional.

Nowhere is this better exemplified than by Korea’s national dish:  kimchi.  Fermented spicy cabbage, basically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi

Low-fat, high-fibre, chock full of vitamins, probiotic, what’s not to admire about it?  People get scared by the description, but it really is a superfood.  Koreans love it to death, they don’t even mind eating it for breakfast (I told my hosts in Seoul I love kimchi, and I got a big bowl of it at 7 am the next day, haha)!  They even had a museum in the city devoted to its history and all of the seasonal varieties, free samples at the end of the tour.  To my limited understanding, they pack the veggies and spices in pots and bury them in the ground for a while.  tada, kimchi.  Whenever I go to a Koerean resto, I always order some extra on the side, it cleanses the palate nicely.

So I ordered some bibimbap on Friday, its like a stone bowl full of seasonal veggies and a scoop of rice, some pork, topped with an egg, laced with chili sauce, served sizzling hot like a plate of fajitas.  Some cold veggies on the side (and kimchi!), and a pair of solid steel chopsticks and a long handle spoon (some of the rice bakes to the side of the bowl).

my bibimbap

my bibimbap

I might have been tempting fate by eating spicy fermented cabbage while on a cleanse, but I figured my depleted tummy needed probiotic food more than ever.  We shall speak no more if it!

 

After work I headed to the studio for a kettlebell workout with Leslie.  I soon realized that putting your new gym shirt in the dryer is a bad idea!  So yeah, out of respect for everyone else in the gym, out of respect for you my dear readers, and in recognition of the shreds of my own self-respect, I threw another shirt on.

shameless plug!

shameless plug!

Looking at that pic, it is clear which shoulder was the one that had been sprained.

We cycled back and forth between 4 exercises, and finished it off with a suitcase carry.

IMG_1765

First circuit:

Kettlebell Swings 45×20 then 1 arm row 35×15 then Clean & Press 60×12, run through this circuit three times

rows done while in a lunge

rows done while in a lunge

the clean tends to bang up the back of your wrists

the clean tends to bang up the back of your wrists

Second circuit:  Goblet Squat to Press 40×15 then Pushups x10, run this circuit 3 times

pushups off the kettlebells

pushups off the kettlebells

notes:  by the second circuit I was feeling a little pooped, but hey.  Good times.

Finisher:  carry a 100 lb dumbbell in one hand while you walk for approx 30 seconds, 2 sets

Les trying to snap a pic without having to lift it off the rack, haha

Les trying to snap a pic without having to lift it off the rack, haha

IMG_1775

notes:  Les was going to get me to use a kettlebell, but they only went up to 50 lbs, so I rolled my eyes and said let’s use the 100 DBs instead.  This is to work your core – you try to walk normally, compensating for the weight without overcompensating and bending in the other direction.  I held it for about 30-35 seconds, at that point my grip was starting to go, so it obviously is a workout for your forearms too, as long as you keep trying to squeeze the handle instead of just using your hands as hooks.

 

And that was Friday!  Then I went home and crapped my pants.  Every story needs a good BUTTON to it.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Y’all come back now, y’hear?