Saturday, March 1, 2008

The end of a cycle

First of all, I want to thank Howie Brewer of "Howz Training" at for encouraging me to start this blog ... his training blog has been an inspiration to my own training and I can't thank him enough.

Today marked the end of four week training cycle that began on Feb 2. Today's training was my first experiment with snatches since August. To provide context for this, back last June, when I was introduced to this incredible training tool by Andrew Bender, RKC, it completely blew me away.. I just couldn't get enough. Due to shoulder and lower back problems and a strong belief that I shouldn't do too much, my previous training consisted of 4 -5 times weekly of 45 minutes on an elliptical trainer with a 10 minute sprinkling of ad hoc dumb bell weight training at a local gym. I thought I had a great base of strength and endurance until I was introduced to the Kettlebell swing .. things haven't been the same since!

Within 6 weeks, using a program Andy had designed for me, I had essentially rehabbed my shoulder and my lower back. Against the warnings of Andy and other knowledgeable trainers, I tried to add more volume and intensity to my workouts that my joints and tendons could handle. As a result, I gave myself a nasty case of left elbow tendinitis. Snatches were impossible as I couldn't even perform a single high pull without extreme discomfort. Eventually, I couldn't even perform swings without discomfort. Naively trying to "work through the pain" by massively dosing myself with Ibuprofen, I also injured my right elbow.

When I finally came to my senses, I had to take 4 months off of all training. In December I resumed my training for about a week until a 5 hour wet-snow shoveling session sent both elbows through the roof. After another 7 weeks of rest, I began resuming training VERY carefully focusing on swings and jerks both of which very easy on my elbows. That 1st training session on Feb 2, consisted of 10 sets of 10 two hand swings with the 16kg bell. Progress has been steady and just a few days ago, I completed the modest "Howie Challenge", consisting of 20 sets of 5 left, 5 right one hand swings on the minute with the 24kb bell.

Having made it through a month of great training without a serious tweak, I am ecstatic! Here is the last session of the cycle:

Pavel's "Resilient" DVD: A circuit of joint mobility and strengthening drills

16kg 2 x 5/5 snatch
16kg 1 x 15/15 snatch
16kg 1 x 20/20 snatch
16kg 2 x 10/10 snatch
Dbl 16kg 2 x 5 snatch
Sub Total 150x35 = 5250 lbs

16kg 10l/10r/10l/10r/6l/6r 1H swing
16gkg 1 x 40 2H swing
Sub Total = 3360 lbs

24kg 1 x 2/2 snatch
24kg 1 x 20 2H swing
Sub Total = 1272 lbs

Total = 9882 lbs

BW Static Plank: 1 x 10b/25r/25l/30b = 1:30

I didn't go overdo it and used conservative un-timed rests between sets. I really focused on a strong hip flex on each rep and the bell felt very comfortable. I had no problems at all with my elbows .. as a pre-caution, I iced both them afterwards just for safety. As a result, I will slowly integrate low rep 24kb snatches into my next cycle.


Howie Brewer said...

Aweome Franklin! Nice job on the workout and the blog. And please you give me WAY too much credit. We are all in this together. Sharing stories and inspirations, energy and motivation. I am glad to see your training coming along so nicely. Just don't overdo it!! =)

Franklin said...


Thanks again for all the encouragement and kind words. Creating this blog has made me feel so much more accountable for my words and actions in everything I do .. and I WILL heed your words of caution.