Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Updated Class Schedule....

I have added the following kettlebell group classes to my schedule for 2010:

XpertFitness (2607 S. Azeele): Mondays and Thursdays at 7:00 PM (starting Jan 4)

USF Kettlebell Club (USF Intramural Fields): Tuesdays and Sundays at 5:30 (starting Dec 27)

Cost for classes is:
$150/5 sessions
$240/10 sessions

Contact me at faizalenu(at) for details.

Stuff I want to get good at....

My shoulder has been jacked up for most of 2009, so not as many new strength feats this year. None to happy about that.

I did lose 30+ lbs and maintained most of my strength, so I guess I can't complain too much. Now fitting into size 32s again.

Here is the stuff that I want to get proficient with in 2010:
* KB Pressing: 40kg x 3 reps current, 48 x 1 goal
* 24kg 5 minute snatch test: 142, 150
* 32kg 5 minute snatch test: 75, 100
* 40kg snatches: 5 reps, 10L/10R
* Bent Press: 24kg x 1 left/32kg x 1L/1R (relative speaking, I really suck at this)
* Tactical pullups: 14, 24
* Weighted Tactical Pullup: 24kg, 40kg
* Barbell TGU: 120, 150
* Double 32kg Long-Cycle Clean and Jerks: 8, 20
* Deadlift: 450 (on a really good day), 525

Exercises I want to do more of:
* Snatches
* Double swings
* Squats/Box Squats
* Good Mornings
* Deadlifts
* Windmills
* RKC armbars
* Pistol (these really suck)
* Foam roller work

Other goals:
* Improve relationships
* Grow business
* Average 210 in bowling

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I have just been invited...

... to be an assistant instructor at the next RKC certification in San Jose in Feb.

Even though I am confident in my abilities, you don't show up to something like that unprepared. Game face is officially ON!

Monday, December 7, 2009

BCS Update...

What a great weekend of college football. Good thing that we have the BCS, because if we didn't, the results of Bama-UF, Cinc-Pitt, and UT-Neb would not have meant as much.

The five BCS bowls are:
* Bama-UT
* TCU-Boise St.
* Cinc-UF
* Ohio State-Oregon
* Ga. Tech-Iowa

I think that these are the right teams. TCU has wins of 3 ranked teams this year, and Boise beat Pac-10 champion Oregon, so neither team has anything to prove. THEY belong in the top 10. I also think that besides the national championship game, it is the most intriguing matchup.

I was right in my previous blog post about Cincinnati winning and passing TCU.

My picks:
Boise St.
Ga. Tech
==> That being said, I would not surprised if I only got one right.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The holidays are a busy time for me....

Just because we are busy, we can't neglect our bodies during the holiday season. Here are 5 strategies that I plan on using to kip fit during the holiday season.

1) Incorporate 15-30 minutes workouts into your routine:
If you need some ideas for short workouts here are a few: Escalating Density Training (EDT), ETK Program Minimum, KB Snatch: 8 x 10L/10R on the minute. There are a lot more. Contact me if you need other ideas based on equipment that you have. Short workouts prime the metabolism and lower your appetite.

2) Make sure that you are hydrated:
Many people overeat because they are thirsty. Stay hydrated.

3) Plan your cheat meals:
I recommend two cheat meals/week. Plan your cheat meals when you will get the most enjoyment out of them. Keep in mind, if you schedule your cheat meal for Saturday night, and you eat like a slob on Thursday and Friday, your Saturday cheat meal is not longer a cheat meal - it is you eating like crap.

4) Party strategy - keep your hands full:
Keep something in your hands: water, a pen. This keeps you from grabbing anything when that platters start coming around.

5) Weigh yourself daily:
This is about the only time I would recommend weighing yourself anywhere near that frequently. You just don't want to have any surprises.

College Football.....

I am going to digress a little bit and talk a little bit about college football. I really LIKE the fact that college football does not have playoffs for three reasons:
* Game early on the season have a lot of importance
* Bowl season is my favorite time of the year
* Teams have to schedule better competition out of conference to jockey for position.

Right now there are 6 teams that have a chance at the national title
* Florida
* Alabama
* Texas
* Cincinnati
* Boise State: They are effectively eliminated because both TCU and Boise don't play anymore. Unless there is a sway in the writers and coaches poll, Boise can't catch TCU and the winner of UF/'Bama.

For the following discussion, I have assumed the following for this weekends critical games:
- Florida has a 60% probability of beating Alabama
- Texas has an 85% probability of beating Nebraska
- Cincinnati has a 55% probability of beating Pitt
- If Cincinnati wins, they will pass TCU in the polls by adding another quality win. Right now TCU is killing them in the human polls and Cincinnati has a big edge in the computers. A solid road win against a top-15 team should give Cincinnati the edge.

I can't remember this many teams being undefeated for this long. Here are the most like scenarios:

1) Florida vs. Texas (Probability: 51%)
Simple: Florida has to beat Alabama and Texas has to beat Nebraska

2) 'Bama vs. Texas (Probability: 34%)
Simple: Florida has to lose to Alabama and Texas has to beat Nebraska

3) Florida vs. Cincinnati (Probability: 5.0%)
Florida and Cincinnati win, Texas loses

4) Alabama vs. Cincinnati (Probability: 3.7%)
Alabama and Cincinnati win, Texas loses

5) Florida vs. TCU (Probability: 4.1%)
Florida wins, Cincinnati and Texas lose

6) Alabama vs. TCU (Probability: 2.7%)
Florida wins, Cincinnati and Texas lose

Florida (60% shot at being in title game), Alabama(40%), and Texas(85%) are in a "they win/they're in" scenario.

I feel that Cincinnati (8.7%) should be in if they win and Texas loses, hopefully the writers and coaches agree with me.

TCU (6.8%) needs Texas and Cincinnati to lose.

Right now if you were going to choose the 4 at large BCS teams, it would have to be:
'Bama/FL loser
Boise State
2nd team from Big East: Iowa (BCS #9) or Penn St. (BCS #11)

Big 12: If Texas loses, Nebraska is the Big 12 Champion and I think Texas would be at at-large team, bumping the #2 Big Ten Team

Big East: If Cincinnati loses, Pitt is the Big East Champion and I think Cincinnati bumps the #2 Big East Team

If both Cincinnati and Texas lose, I think Cincinnati gets bumped. Nothing that happens in the Pac-10 or ACC championship games will justify getting a second team in the BCS. Note the Cincinnati has a win over potential Pac-10 champ Oregon St., Boise St. has a win over potential Pac-10 champ Oregon, and TCU has a win over potential ACC champ Clemson.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I weighed in at 177.5 right after coming back from Thanksgiving in Philly. I had no formal workouts for 6 days and average eating about 5000 calories a day, so I am thankful I did not gain any weight. I did play with my nephew and did some DDR.

Really looking to dial it in for the rest of the year.

Here is a question for you, if you are 10-12% bodyfat, but cannot do 10 pushups - can you really say that you are LEAN? I have seen this in the gym. When I was 9, every kid in my gym class could bang out 20 no problem.

I did some MaxVO2 snatches the other day. Max VO2 snatches is a snatch protocol where you snatch a kettlebell for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, snatch with the other hand for 15 second, rest for 15 seconds (for a 1 minute total) and repeat for 25-40 minutes. I did this with a 16kg and got 9 reps on every set. Someone on one of the forums noted correctly that a lot of people that get 9 reps in 15 second (or pace of 36 snatches/minute) are not using good form. I personal believe that everyone should be able to get nine reps. Here are some things that will help you snatch faster during MaxVO2 snatches:

1) The slowest parts of the snatch are the two endpoints, at the bottom and at the top of the snatch. Just like in a chemical reaction, if you want to speed up your snatch you need to increase the speed at the slowest points.

The key to speeding up the bell is at the bottom of the snatch is the "butt punch". What you are going to do is punch your butt backwards when the bell is at about head level. This does two things to make the bell go faster. a) It actively pulls the bell backwards to the bottom position and b) it uses the stretch reflex in your glutes to get a better pop out of the bottom.

At the top, you want to push your chest out at the top of the snatch, right before the punch through. This will move the bell backwards faster (conservation of momentum) and it will create a stretch reflex at the top your snatch with the pec major, pec minor, subscapularis, lats/teres minor. You lockout will be complete, but shorter. You chest does not have move that much, maybe an inch, to create that stretch reflex.

If you cast the bell at the top of your snatch, you are going to lose speed. The different between 8 snatch and 9 snatches is 11%. It does not take a big cast to create that differential in snatch speed. You also get this inefficiency is you pull back to late on the way up.

If you are arming your snatches, you are not going to be fast with your snatches. Snatching depends on a strong pop with the hips, changing the direction with the pull, and punching the hand around the bell. If you arm your snatches:
* the bell moves slower in the pull phase
* you are more likely to tear your hands.

Note for MaxVO2 snatches. To be in the target HR zone for cardiovascular conditioning, you need you HR to average to about 80-85% of your MaxVO2. Ideally you will have a heart monitor to measure this.

Lets say you do 80 sets, and you are below the target HR, then you can either do 1 of two things:
* Increase the cadence (i.e., go from 6 to 7 or 7 to 8)
* Increase the weight

For Max VO2 training, I prefer to increase reps up to 9 before increasing weight.

Since HR is correlated to the work done, a simple work calculation will help see if it will be the right combination.

Lets say you have a 16kg and a 24kg, or a 8kg vs. a 12kg for the ladies, in both cases the heavier bell weighs 3/2 as much as the lighter one. In order to make the work rate the same, you will have to do 2/3 as many snatches. So 9 snatches with the lighter bell is equivalent to 6 snatches with the heavier bell. Because the focus on is on "overspeed" eccentrics, when in doubt lean towards using the lighter bell for 9 reps rather then the heavier for for 6.

If you have a 20kg bell, you want to be intelligent on how you progress through the bells. Here is a sensical progression based on the work being done:
weight reps work/m
16 6 96
16 7 112
16 8 128
20 7 140

16 9 144
24 6 144 (you see these are equivalent workwise)

20 8 160
24 7 168
20 9 180
24 8 192 (I have done this for about 10 minutes, but I can't maintain it)

As you progress with Max VO2 this should help in picking the cadence and bell.