Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some Training and Some PRs

Had a wonderful day today.

Went to Hagerstown MD to train some old friends. Neither had ever used a kettlebell before and I hope they enjoyed! I certainly had fun sharing with them. We worked on the kettlebell swing, the Turkish Get Up and Front Squats. They caught on very quickly and have a bunch they can practice before we get together again.

Next ended up in Frederick with a good friend who is an RKC candidate. We worked on swings, Turkish Get Ups, Presses and Squats. He will be ready when he tests. Great job by all of you today and I can't wait to see you all again.

Also set a few PRs in Frederick today. 36 KG Press and 32 KG Turkish Get Up. Both were done with strict form. Wish I had them on tape but will get them up soon.

Got back to Towson and did a quick 15 minutes of metabolic training. 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 15 minutes.

Russian Swings

Sledgehammers swing right

Sledgehammers swing left

Felt great and my core is SMOKED!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Search of Perfection Or The RKC II

Or at least improvement.

I realize that I'm my own worst enemy but I am quite irritated with my Pistol work and Pull up work. These two movements are frankly the bane of my existence. Neither are easy for me but at least I can do them now. So that's a start.

One of my goals is the RKC II certification and I'm about as far off as I could imagine on the pull up. As far off as I once was regarding the RKC snatch test. But you know what? This weekend I am going to devise a plan of action and work my plan until I'm ready. At that time, I will announce when I am going to the RKC 2 certification.

Thanks for your support!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Some Thoughts

I finished my breakfast an hour or so ago and I start to look around on the Internet for kettlebell information and I am still astounded at the lack of knowledge in general.

Kettlebells are not fancy nor are the exercises we can do with them. In fact, the exercises are quite simple. Not easy perhaps but simple.

Why do trainers, athletes, those looking to make body changes etc try to reinvent the wheel? I actually don't know. But it borders on the ridiculous. And the dangerous. Just yesterday I saw a video that would have made me fall down laughing if I hadn't been concerned that the exerciser wasn't about to have major kettlebell blunt force trauma.

So called kettlebell "experts" are part of the problem too I may add. I know that this is going to piss off a number of you but frankly I'm past the point of caring.

As an example, a lot of big box gyms and other fitness organizations have had the bright idea of introducing kettlebells to their customers. So what? As an example, I can name and I personally know a huge number of Cross Fit affliates that are RKC affliated as well because the Cross Fit Kettlebell certificate programs aren't well done. and they have told me the CF kettlebell certification is a joke.

It may appear that I'm picking on CF but I'm not. I just find it interesting that so many of their folks seek out the RKC or AKC. It makes you think, doesn't it?

And it's not just CF. I own another Kettlebell Certification and I can assure you that when I got it I was about as ready to teach as my 4 year old son is. I saw own because it was bought and paid for; Not earned.

Well kettlebells aren't a laughing matter and in the hands of a improperly trained novice an accident waiting to happen. There are "Certified" Cross Fit kettlebell instructors working at big box gyms in my area who hadn't touched a kettlebell three weeks ago. And they look like it. My students would be far better equipped to lead the class. OK Enough. Just an observation. It does work me up though LOL

As I've said before, swinging a kettlebell doesn't mean you are doing kettlebell swings. And having a kettlebell cert doesn't mean you are certified apparently.

Kettlebells should be done right or not at all.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kettlebells in 25 minutes

Today is a wonderful day and I had a nice kettlebell and bodyweight session this morning.

Did 15 minutes of push ups and hand to hand swings. My focus was one the perfect pushup. Engaged core, elbows into lats, full press up and pause but no rest at the bottom. Breathing in rhytym to the movement and using tension. Hard Style Press ups.

Since I don't and won't and recommend that you shouldn't use a mirror, I instead pictured in my "Mind's eye" the perfect one armed Kettlebell swing. Arm loose and relaxed,engaged lat, shoulder back and down, fast hips, tight glutes, knees pulled up into get the picture.

After finishing that I moved right into practicing kettlebell cleans for 10 minutes alternated with prisoner lunges. My concentration was intense.

I imagined zipping up a jacket as I did my cleans. Taming the arc. Elbow attached to my oblique at the bottom and top of my clean. A wall in front of me as well that requires that the kettlebell move up and down and not out.Can you see that? Good!

Have a great day!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kettlebells In 11 Minutes

Did a very solid session today with the 28 kg Kettlebell. All I did was 11 minutes of Kettlebell Presses did 2 a side and rested and ended up doing 40 reps in 11 minutes. Good reps. Solid reps. Hard Style breathing behind the shield reps.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

I read this tonight to my 4 year old son, Alex and it really hot home. We live in interesting times. Take advantage!

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss

Easy Like Monday Morning

Didn't quite feel it like I usually do!

Probably has something to do with my end of weekend dining fare. Pulled pork, BBQ shrimp, buttered corn, deviled eggs, chocolate chip cookies...not my usual menu but well worth it!

I had ZERO energy. Imagine if you eat like that every day LOL and some do that. Wow:)

Was able to manage this with my 24 kg Kettlebell:

50 Presses

100 swings

67 snatches

There is always tomorrow.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Double Press 16KG Kettlebell

Whether because I have little imagination or for some other reason, I have never contemplated double presses. I saw Jordan Vezina, RKC do it and I wanted to check it out for myself. Please feel free to comment!

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Tactical Pull Up PR and New RKC Snatch Test

Had a good session yesterday.

I have not done the new RKC Snatch Test requirement until now. Honestly, I was a bit nervous to do it as I don't really do snatches anymore than I do any other kettlebell movements.

Anyway, now I train both "grinds" and "ballistics" equally. To get ready for RKC I think I did more swing and snatch work.

When I went to the RKC certification had to do a different Snatch requirement than they do today so I had to see how I would do. When I attended I had to do 64 reps of snatches with the 24 KG Kettlebell based on my weight of 193 pounds at the weigh-in. And we could only have one hand switch and never place the bell on the deck.

Based on my current weight of 184 (Lost weight since October but NOW STRONGER)I needed to do 84 reps in 5 minutes. I could rest my grip by placing kettlebell on deck and could do multiple hand switches. The test now is half of the time of the Secret Service Snatch Test. Pulled it off with no drama at all. Just did 20 per minute and I was done.

Tactical Pull Ups suck for me! I have always hated them, mainly as I can't do them well. I have been making steady progress though and hit a PR Of 14 yesterday. Will continue to do them and I will continue to improve. This is the tool I used to get better.

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