Last week was a nice change of pace. I hadn’t done two workouts in one week where I got to include Turkish get-ups and kettlebell swings, so I enjoyed it. The hardest workout was Wednesday, for sure, but having that one circled on the calendar enabled me to prep for it mentally, if nothing else. Here’s what the week looked like. Monday (3/26)
Turkish Get-ups: 8 minutes (53# KB) KB Swings (53# KB): 200 reps for time
As usual, the Turkish get-ups felt great. I love those. They’re always tiring and a great shoulder workout while demanding something from just about every muscle group.
Now the swings? That was a different story. The last time I went all out for any length of time on these was very demanding on the grip, so I expected a repeat of that. That was on December 11, and I did swings at 100% effort for 8 minutes and I managed 201 reps. Now, with what I’ve learned about strategically resting, I figured I could shoot for 25 swings every minute on the minute and it would work out to be about 40-45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. So that’s exactly what I did, and it enabled me to then stretch my forearms in between rounds. I did 200 swings in 7:41.
And my hamstrings were screaming for the next three days. Ouch. But I felt great by Friday, when I was ready for heavy swings again. 🙂
Skills Practice: KB Clean and Presses, Goblet Squats and KB Rows
This was nice and easy, but totally necessary. The ladies and I worked on these three movements with focus. It’ll pay off later with good muscle memory.
KB Clean and Press Ladders (53# KB): 4 ladders, 4 rungs KB Snatch (53# KB): 6 minutes, 10 reps per side
For the ladders, I rested exactly three minutes between rounds. (Reminder: a “ladder” involves doing one rep left, one rep right, two reps left, two reps right, three reps left, and so on up to four “rungs.” That’s one “ladder.”)
After the fourth ladder I rested five minutes then went after the snatches. I felt really good on these, not having done any snatches since Friday 3/23. I could’t have done many more, though. I was pretty gassed by the end and the biceps and already-sore hamstrings were super-tight. But I felt like I’d slain a dragon.
Stretching for active recovery: 20 minutes
TGU’s: 8 minutes (53# KB) KB Swings (70# KB): 15 minute countdown: 15 reps/minute
This was a rare occasion where I was actually working for over 20 minutes. The TGU’s felt stronger than Monday, and I went a minute longer. Have I mentioned that I love Turkish get-ups?
As for the swings, nothing surprising here. The grip was the weakest link. My heart rate was about 156 bpm doing swings for about 30 seconds, then resting 30 seconds. That’s solid. But when I’m doing kettlebell snatches (with a 53# bell) it’s usually around 170, so for me, the swings are objectively easier, even with a heavier kettlebell. Great interval 30 seconds on/30 seconds off for 15 minutes.
The next day, my traps were a bit sore, which is always telling: it means I’m recruiting muscles I’m not “supposed” to be using. (The traps are the muscles at the base of the neck and along the upper back.) When the grip is failing and the hips, glutes and hamstrings are fatigued, it’s all I can do to keep my back from curling. So in order to do that, I find myself cheating by pulling the bell upward, using the traps in the process.
I’m not alarmed, but it is a good assessment. I just need to get stronger, and not compromise form.