Thursday, April 10, 2008

bent pressing the 2 pood

Today was a vacation day for me so I was able to sleep in. Weight: 180 lbs. Again both elbows were a bit sore with the right the worse of the two. I did a ton of Z which provided some relief. As a result, I decided to just do few lifts and call it a day.

Z-Health R-Phase with lots of extra elbow and shoulder circles

24kg 4 x 1 Bent-press with right arm
12kg 3 x 1 Bent-press with left arm (PR)
32kg 1 x 1 Bent-press with right arm (PR)

The feeling of bent-pressing the 2 pood was extraordinary. My torso was bent at an acute angle to the floor in order to keep pushing under that freaking bell. I just kept going lower and lower and all of the a sudden I was magically locked out. Then I slowly windmilled my way up to an overhead lockout. This only worked because I was able to recruit my lat and use it to push into my triceps while at the same time holding my forearm perpendicular to the floor during the bending sideways motion.

I literally felt like I was the strong man (or maybe just the contortionist) in a three ring circus. What's amazing to me is about this lift is that I can NOT press the 2 pood .. I can jerk it for a few reps but NOT press the darn thing (believe me I've tried on and off for several months now). Now I can bent-press it .. I still can't believe it. Both are MP and bent-press are similar in the sense that
  • they both start with a racked bell
  • they both depend on being under constant tension
  • they both are devoid of any jerking or ballistic movements
  • they both end up in an overhead lockout
The difference is that the MP is primarily a triceps lift whereas the bent-press is a complete upper body lift. Although not a very popular lift due to its higher than usual technical demands, the bent-press is an incredible lift for demonstrating time under tension and flexibility. New long term goal: To bent-press the beast!

As for my left side, I was also pleased that I was able to recruit my left lat with the 12kg for my 1st ever left side bent-press singles with any bell. In this case, I can do sets of double MPs with the 24kg with my left so there is a big gap here to close .. traditionally if properly trained, one should be able to bent-press a much heavier bell than a maximal 1 rep MP. The problem is in the initial bent-press position where the bell puts a huge load on the shoulder girdle at a awkward angle as compared to the TGU or MP. Since my left shoulder has a small separation (that I elected not to operate on), the bent-press torque is too much for it at this point with the heavier bell.

Once I get the elbows more under better control, I will build up some volume with the 12kg before moving up to a 16kg and repeat until I can do reps with the 24 .. this could take several months just like the left-side windmill did.

The credit for my bent-press success goes to the new Mike Mahler "Beginner KB Workshop" where he gives an incredibly inspiring demonstration of it with a very heavy bell. Also I received some additional pointers from the excellent DD article "Technique, Repetition and Insight in Kettlebell Training" by Rob Lawrence, RKC:

Diet and Nutrition Log

1 bowl of Kitchari, Green Gram Curry with sweet potato
2 cups of coffee with tbs of 1/2 and 1/2
4 dates
1 banana

Morning Snack:
6 oz Kefir

Linner (Lunch and Dinner combined at Boston Chinatown Restaurant):
1 bowl of Hong-kong style Sesame Chicken with white rice
1 bowl of Beef with Chinese Broccoli with white rice
10 small Chinese cookies

Today was the 1st truly beautiful spring day in New England. It got up to 65 deg and we walked all around the magnificent Boston Commons while soaking up the warmth and sunshine. We got back around 6:30, I then brushed my teeth and eat nothing more for the rest of the evening.


Sean Schniederjan said...

Congrats! Bent pressing takes alot of technique... that is strong stuff working the double like that.

Of everything I've done with kettlebells over three years, I think the biggest hump is pressing the 2 pood. Keep pressing lighter stuff and doing whatever you can with the double and the MP will fall.

Colin said...

EXCELLENT Franklin. You keep doing things with the 2 poods that impress.

Strong work.

Franklin B. Herman said...

Hi Sean,

Thanks so much for stopping by and offering encouragement. Also thanks for re-planting the seed of pressing that mother-[something-not-so-nice] bell. I had given up on it but with this recent success I'll start to affirm it happening in the future.

Hi Colin,

Thanks so much! I love my 2 poods but its more of a love-hate relationship!

Gabi said...

Impressive work! Now you'll press it soon, I bet :)

Franklin B. Herman said...

Thanks Gabi!