Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Viking Warrior Conditioning Plan

I’ve finished the above book and I’m stoked. The conditioning and strength I’ve gained from ETK etc has me wanting to take my general physical preparedness to another realm.

I’ve lain out the below plan and hope you can offer your input.

I want to follow this for the foreseeable future and KJ makes a good case that is feasible.

Each session will be preceded with a joint mobility warm up as well as some swings and goblet squats.

Monday: Viking Strength Practice

Tuesday: Viking Conditioning

Wednesday: Variety day: Will always include TGU practice and then I may get out a sledgehammer, sandbag or a Power Wheel. Probably will do a wind sprint or 20 as well.

Thursday: Viking Strength

Friday: Viking conditioning

Saturday: Viking Strength

Plan to cycle this for 5 weeks and then take a week off to recovery. Will do joint mobility work etc during this week.

Here’s where I am: PR on Press is 36 KG. I’ve done 40 minutes MVO2 going 15/15. Am going to retest the cMOV2 and start again. Last did it fully in January.

I’ve been practicing low volume pull ups with 8 KG attached to one foot. High volume with bodyweight.

When I practice pistols I usually do it with body weight.

I will continue to do my ETK press ladders separate from my pull ups.

I thought I’d rotate the Viking strength practice with the 3 Beast Exercises. For example, I’d start Monday with Press, High Volume.

Then Thursday, Low Pistol practice.

Saturday would we High volume pull up practice.

The next week I’d start with Low volume press Monday. High Volume Pistols Thursday and then end on Low volume pull ups and so on.

Do you agree with my approach? What suggestions would you make?

My goal is to be able to do the MV02 with the 24 KG kettlebell. Also, will go to RKC II next summer and kill it so I will be pressing the 40 KG KB by then as well be able to pull up with the 24 KG bell.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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The Start of The Viking Warrior Program

I took some pictures in July, 2008 and then again today. The pictures essentially tell you nothing but that I was lean in July and still lean today. I don't see much difference in the photos. Here's whats interesting to me though. I weigh about 193 in the tan short pictures and weigh 182 now. So somehow, I've lost 11 pounds total. Additionally, I'm so much stronger now that their is no comparison. My PR is 36 KG kettlebell on the Press now and I was at 28kg then. Able to get much more work done in my sessions now as well. Correct me if I'm wrong but I see hardly any cosmetic difference. The ones from today are at the top and at the bottom are from July, 2008. Please feel free to share any thoughts.

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How To Eat Well and Eat Paleo

This was an incredibly tasty and healthy meal:

Luscious Lime Shrimp

3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon minced, seeded jalapeno peppers

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon minced garlic

20 large shrimp (about 1 pound) peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon minced red peppers

20 cucumber slices

Stir together lime juice, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, oil and garlic in medium bowl. Toss the shrimp with two tablespoons of the dressing in another medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate shrimp for 30 minutes. Preheat broiler or grill. Broil shrimp about 3 inches from heat for 1 ½ minutes per side or until opaque. Immediately toss hot shrimp with the remaining dressing and red pepper and cool to room temperature. Arrange shrimp on cucumber slices.

Check out all the other possibilities of the Paleo Diet!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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How To Become A Viking Warrior

I'm starting a new journey. I have finished the Viking Warrior Conditioning Manual and I'm about to embark on a journey that may have no final destination. Based on what I've come up with, I may be able to work Kenneth Jay's strength and conditioning program from now on.

Allow me to share my how I got to where I am. I was first introduced to the kettlebell in November, 2006. I somehow ended up at the Dragon Door website and saw a kettlebell for the the first time. Looked pretty cool. At that point there were no RKC instructors nearby but in February of the following year one moved back to Baltimore from LA and I invested in a bunch of training sessions with her.

I thought I was in great shape but she quickly helped dispel of those notions. I may have looked like I was in shape but I couldn't move well at all. My hips were locked up. My glutes maybe could "spark" but certainly weren't capable of "Firing" effectively and I was all bound up.

Our focus was on creating effective movement and once we got that ball rolling she introduced me to the swing. I was hooked. It didn't take me long to figure out that I was going to become a kettlebell devotee.

We worked together for sometime but she moved again and I lost my instructor. Mike Mahler was 2 hours away and I went to his all day seminar and learned even more. At that point I knew I wanted to become an RKC and share this amazing tool with a client base. Why?

Well, first of all, as a former very competitive athlete, it took me all of about a minute to realize that the explosive nature of kettlebell practice had application beyond any tools I had ever used. Second, workouts were short, intense and effective. In our society, where we value time so dearly, I knew that it wouldn't be hard to share my passion with others.

I kept training, using what I had learned from my local trainer as well as from Mike, but again found that I wasn't technically as sound as I thought I was. I worked with two other regionally based RKC instructors and was finally ready for my RKC weekend.

I was in the best condition of my adult life and perhaps of my whole life.

Now, I'm about to take that up a notch. I will be sharing each workout session here. It will be a combination of Viking Warrior Strengh Practice and Viking WArrior conditioning workouts.

Follow my progress as I become a Viking Warrior!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Give Me Forever and I'll Give You Perfection

My life seems to be one giant attempt at incremental improvement. I want to be a better dad, a better partner, a better RKC, a better business owner. Always trying to get a bit better each day. You could call me obsessed if you'd like.

One thing I can promise is that I'm not perfect. One who claims perfection, I can almost guarantee still seeks it. Even Tiger Woods isn't perfect.

Why do I search for improvement? The alternative is to backslide. No thanks!

Everyday I make sure I spend some quality time with Jennifer and Alex. I read something business related. I also study my RKC manual. I work on my raw strength. I try to get fitter. I try to find how to better serve my clients. I work to make my blog better. I try to eat better. In short, I work on being more effective.

This weekend, I meet with Senior RKC, Will Williams. I want to get better. I will continue to make incremental strides.

My life will always be about being all I can be. I won't stop! Will you?

Sandy Sommer, RKC

PS. If this resonates with you, check out The Magic Hundred, a program by my fried Dax Moy. You won't believe how it helps!

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A Rare Opportunity To Become A Viking Warrior

Kenneth Jay's new book, Viking Warrior Conditioning answers all the questions you may have about getting a "heart of elastic steel with the strength of a rhino and the endurance of a rachorse."

The approach is scientific, yet very readable. Nothing is left to chance. Every VO2 protocol is broken down and explained. The protocols dissected is worth the price of admission. The roadmap makes the book a required part of your library.

If your goal is to become a man or woman of uncommon fitness than you really should invest the time to study this manual. And it is a manual by definition. It's a "handy book of facts, instructions, etc. for use as a guide or reference; handbook." That is the Viking Warrior Conditioning.

Why leave your conditioning to chance? The information maps out the "Tripod of Power" as well as the "Tripod of Conditioning."

There are wonderful interviews with those who are already "Hard" men and women.

There are a few editorial mishaps but I'm sure those will be corrected. What can I say? I'm OCD about stuff like that.

Most of us you are using kettlebells to get fitter will need to look no further than this volume in order to reach our goals.

Email me if you have an additional questions! Oh and if you'd care to sign up for the next RKC worshop here is the information.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why Quality Kettlebells?

Using a quality tool is important to getting any job done correctly. I have used so many different kettlebells it would make your head spin. Why? Well I was looking for quality at a low price and I couldn't locate it. But I kept trying. Ader, K2, Perform Better and Power Systems. Each one had limitations and my opinion is that they weren't for me. The kettlebells they carry at Target couldn't even be called a kettlebell accurately.

Many people say that kettlebells aren't cheap. First, compared to what? Nothing will give you as much bang for your buck and good ones don't break. I have used only two kettlebells that I would willingly use again. First, the Dragon Door Kettlebells are what I train with daily. They are the best KB your money can buy. They feel great and in your hand but they do feel different than all other kettlebells. I can assure you that if you show up at the RKC a Dragon Door virgin you will wish you had made the investment before the certification.

Also, as far as I know they are also the only company that will sell you a bell and if you don't like it, give you a full refund up to 12 months later.

Another kettlebell worth a shot and a bit more economical, is the Lifeline Kettlebell. They feel pretty good. I would use them comfortably in a pinch. Are a bit cheaper but not such a guarantee.

Here's the number though. Assuming that you can get 1000 uses from a bell (and that is conservative) then a Dragon Door Bell cost around .12 cents per use. The Lifeline would run about .09 cents. I think Dragon Door is worth it!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Viking Warrior Conditioning

The Viking Warrior Conditioning The Scientific Approach to Forging a Heart of Elastic Steel: An Application of The Theory Behind Proper VO2max Training Kenneth Jay, Master RKC maybe the best information out there now or ever on how to get the most out of your kettlebell.

Look for a review here soon as I ordered the book last week. Click the above link and see what the hub bub is all about!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kettlebell Swings and Sledgehammer Session

Did an easy 7 minutes and 30 seconds of work today.

Main purpose was to check out my new 40 KG Kettlebell and do some quick Tabata work with my Gymboss Interval Timer .

I set the timer for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off and first did kettlebell swings, followed by Sledgehammer work.

Total workout time was 7.5 minutes.

Did 65 swings and 200 sledgehammer hammers, 100 on both sides.

Let me know if you have an questions and please feel free to leave any commentary as it is much appreciated!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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"Hard Style" Kettelbell Training, Part II

The RKC Hard Style strength system is built around the premise that our body is a machine made of interlinked components that work together to move, lift, play etc. We work to train our body like the machine it is. Since we should work as a unit, we need to train it as one as well.

Hard Style training is about power production rather than power conservation. We use maximal acceleration in the ballistic work we do. We do kettlebell swings and snatches as fast as we can on the way up and the way down. Here’s why.

On earth it takes about 10 Newton-meters (N-m) of energy to raise a 1 kilogram mass to a height of 1 meter. Since 1 N-m equals 1 Joule, that's 10 Joules. If it takes 1 second to lift the weight 1 meter, than you have converted 10 Joules of energy to potential energy in one second. That's 10 Watts of power. If you lift a 2 kg weight 1 meter in 1 second, then the rate of energy conversion is 2 x 10 = 20 Joules per second, or 20 Watts of power.

If you can keep lifting a 1 kg weight to a height of 1 meter every second, weight after weight after weight, then you will be steadily producing 10 Watts of power. Your arm would get tired after a while.

Let's slow down. Suppose you move the 1 kilogram weight more slowly so that it takes 2 seconds to lift it 1 meter. Now the rate of work is 10 Joules (Newton-meters) of energy every 2 seconds. Ten Joules divided by 2 seconds is 5 Joules per second, or 5 Watts. Remember that 1 Watt is equal to 1 joule of energy conversion every second.

As you see, the maximal acceleration we use in the quick lifts helps generate the most power possible. A high rep with high sets with lighter weight protocol is the correct tool for the ballistic exercises and will make you tougher and harder than nails. Hard Style training challenges your will, your body and your mind.

On the other hand, for the slow grind lifts we use maximal tension for max strength, as in our estimation = strength. These are used for maximal strength gains. Low reps with low sets at high frequency will make you very strong. We teach how to gain strength using maximal contraction and with “breathing behind the shield.”

Look for Part III soon!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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