Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Goals

6'2" 182




I am attacking the Beast Challenge movements. I'm 47 and Tame the Beast before I'm 50.
Sandy Sommer, RKC


How To Get To 11% Body Fat At 47

Today I went to get my body composition tested as well as a metabolic assessment. I was mildly disappointed to come in at 11% body fat. Weight was 181.9, 170 of lean and 19 fatty tissue. Calipers were reading about 8% but those are apparently +/- as much as 8%. 11% ain't bad though.

Resting Metabolic rate (RMR) is 1943 calories and the Total Energy Expediture (TEE) is just over 4000 calories. So to live I need the first amount and to maintian body comp the last one. I weigh about 14 pounds less than I did in October so that would indicate I have lost some fat and gained muscle since I have continued to increase my physical strength. It's all good.

How did I get here? Well I don't count calories at all. I do pay strict attention to my fueling about 85% of the time. What I mean is that I eat a lot of lean protein (fish, lean beef, poultry and lean pork). Very few simple carbohysrates (again 85% of the time)almost no dairy( save for one bowl of ice cream or so a week), tons of fruits and vegetables, raw nuts too. (I mean tons) and plenty of water. I pretty much follow the Paleo Diet For Athletes. Will it work for you? I have no idea but it may be worth shot. The key is to eat only things that you don't need a chemical engineering background to understand the label, I think.

I also exercise at maximal levels. I don't go through the motions and I always have specific workouts that are planned out in advance. None of this "Let me see how I feel" crap! If I don't hit the goal, then I don't hit it. But I don't start without a plan. Pretty simple really.

Also, I don't go from program to program. "Doing Few Things Better" is how Marty Gallagher describes it in his tome the "Purposeful Primitive."

So my focus is on the Press, the pistol and the Tactical Pull Up for raw and sustained strength and then the "Viking Warrior Conditioning" for my conditioning. I also do heavy swings and Turkish Get Ups once a week. Amazingly simple but not easy at all.

Today I did my low volume weighted tactical pull ups. 10 sets of 1 rep. That's it.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Friday, May 15, 2009

100 Pistols Is A Good Day

Today was a great day. I walked 18, shot a 86 and then decided that I needed to do my workout.

Doing 100 pistols isn't easy to begin with but after walking 4 miles in high humidity it seemed tougher than usual.

I used a 10 lb gripper plate as counterbalance and I did 25 sets of 4. I felt awesome! Never went off form and stayed really powerful.

Now is a different story though. I feel a bit spent. Have really loaded up on fruits and protein but am interested to see how I will feel tomorrow when I do my low volume tactical pull ups.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day! Coaching call with Strength guru, Marty Gallagher and then the bod pod pre workout.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Viking Warrior Strength Practice and Conditioning

Many of you know that I have a goal to be an RKC II and I plan on earning that in June, 2010. Check out the requirements here.

To that end I continue to work on my Viking Warrior Strength and Conditioning Program. Today was all about the kettlebell press.

This was the first day for me to use 2 16kg kettlebells in one hand. So 32 kgs total but with a weird level of stability and a different center of gravity than the 32 kg kettlebell has.

Last week, I did 4 sets of 4 reps per hand using the 12 and 16 kg kettlebell in one hand. Today, I was able to press the 16 and 16 3 times for 3 sets on the right side. I did 2 sets of just one rep on the left side and then finished strong with the final set pushing 2 reps.

I also did 40 sets of the mVO2 with the 16 kg kettlebell with a cadence of 7.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How To Do a Kettlebell Pistol

Trying to learn how to do Kettlebell pistols is a fairly humbling experience. I wish I had better notes but it took we approximately three months of doing them with assistance before I was able to do them without any help.

I used a pillar to teach myself but there are other ways. Here's how I used the pillar. I grasped it with as little pressure as possible as I lowered myself and then tried like the dickens to not use it on the way up. As I mentioned, it took approximately three months for me to get rid of this crutch. My limiting factor was average balance.

Kettlebell pistols require excellent coordination, balance, stability,flexibility and power. Done correctly there may not be a more complete lower body exercise. Few people do it because not many people are able to do it on the first attempt. Too many folks say "Hey, I'm not the right body type" etc and that's just a bunch of stuff. It's worth the practice required to master this movement.

To perform the movement start my lowering yourself "butt to hamstring" on one foot. Extend the non-working leg out in front of you. If you push your rear back as you lower yourself and lean forward a bit to balance yourself at the same time you will keep your weight back on your heel. You really want your weight back on the heel. If your heel comes off the ground, most likely you didn't push your butt back. Failure to lower yourself both "back and down" can put unnecessary pressure on your knees as well.

Here's a few things to keep in mind before you lower yourself. Squeeze your glutes to really get them ready to work. Exhale before the movement and hold your breath "hardstyle" as you lower yourself. Create as much tension as you can and pull yourself down into the whole. As you lower yourself,pretend that you are lowering yourself onto a razor and make yourself as skinny as possible. Extend the kettlebell out and away from your body as a counter balance. And when you reach bottom, you will pause slightly, crush grip the kettlebell to create the desired tension and drive up through the bell. Check out this video.

Monday, May 11, 2009

High Volume Kettlebell Presses

Today I moved up in intensity for the Kettlebell Press. I moved from the 20 kg Kettlebell to the 24 kg kettlebell for the high volume Press day.

Definitely made a difference as I was able to do 160 reps with excellent form. With high Volume Strength work it's very important that it be done with submaximal weight and NEVER done to failure. The purpose of this type of workout is to get a lot of work done correctly. It is really for practicing solid technique and to really develop a "feel" for the exercise.

I did accomplish this today.

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