Basic Movements for Daily Life

Archive for January, 2012

10, 000 Swing Challenge – Conclusion – January 30th, 2012

10, 000 Swing Challenge – Conclusion

Well, as mentioned before, six months ago if you would have asked me if I would be doing ten thousand swings in one month, I would have laughed you off.  Right.   Like that’s gonna happen.   Well it did with a day to spare no less.

I’ve done a few of these kinds of challenges.  I like them cause there is a deadline and you need to get a certain thing done in a certain time frame.  A goal.

At the beginning it seems rather daunting.  Ten thousand is a big number.  That’s four zeros at the end.  Certainly one of the advantages I had was I teach classes.  So any swings done there counted towards the goal.

I also happened along a few challenges, too.  Hurt my hamstring and my fingers are killing me.  Not sure why, but there certainly is a lot of force placed on them as you propel the bell forward.  A couple of them are swollen.  Not too much, but enough.

This was certainly not easy by any means.  I did find, however, that four hundred swings is attainable in twenty minutes.  Hell of a workout that will increase cardio, strength and power.  I also noticed I was hungry.  A lot.  I’m not sure I ate more, but just seemed to want to feed all the time.

Physically I feel different around the middle.  Not sure as I didn’t take any measurements.  I think I actually gained weight, but my clothes don’t feel any tighter (this is a good thing).

I think deep down with each swing I learned something.  It can’t really be placed into words, you need to experience it, I suppose.  Such a simple move, but very complex really.  Breathing, hinging, snapping, braking, popping, squeezing… there’s a lot going on.

Loved it.

And in case you’re curious, no, my back doesn’t hurt.  Abs, lats, ya, but no back pain.

Now, what’s next?  Oh, maybe try for twenty straight pull ups.. ya.. after a few days of rest.

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10, 000 Swing Challenge – January 28th, 2012

10, 000 Swing Challenge

Yep, that’s ten THOUSAND.  A one followed by four zeros.  That is the goal for this month.  I started on January 1st with 600.  I mean how bad would it have been to skip the first day?

A gal by the name of Lisa Shaffer proposed this challenge and it’s the third year in a row for it.  It’s also my first go at it.  I’ve done swings… lots and lots of swings.  How many?  I dunno, thousands?  Let’s go with that.  I sometimes count them during each training session, but haven’t combined the total, until this month.

I’m not gonna lie, there is a bit of a strategy around completing ten thousand swings in 31 days.  Front load them so you do most of them when you are ‘fresh.’  Take rest days when needed.  Know when to stop.  This is of course, assuming you don’t wind up with an injury.  I did.  Something went screwy with my hamstring which meant daily amounts of swings for about five days of either a zero count or mid-teens.  Uncool.  The injury is better and I’m almost done.  There are a few other things that seem to have reared their ugly heads, but I’ll share that upon completion.

I did four hundred tonight and am left with one thousand to pound out over the next three days.  Shouldn’t be a problem.  I hope.

Six months ago if you told me I could do one thousand swings in roughly an hour, I would have laughed at you, but I did.  Will I do a thousand every practice session?  Probably not, but I now know I can.

What else do I know from this challenge?  I’ll share that later in the week once I am actually finished.  If you’ll excuse me, I need to shower.


The Learning Never, Ever Ends – January 23rd, 2012

The Learning Never, Ever Ends

Close to three years ago, I had my first certification in kettlebells.   Two years ago next month, I had my second certification in kettlebells.

I remember the second day like it just happened.  We were at a facility in Calgary and I was a little upset because it was the same day as the gold medal game in Olympics.  THE GOLD MEDAL GAME!!!!  But, I had a task at hand and that was to pass my Agatsu certification.

Through the day which started at about 9:30 we worked out butts off.  Learning, moving, sweating, all the while aware the gold medal game was going to be played soon.  But, the 20 or so of us there had a mission and remained focused on what we needed to do in order to accomplish what lay ahead.

Swings, presses, snatches, squats, body weight movements, it was all going on and we sort of kept updated with the kids playing hockey on the rink below.  We knew it was going to overtime.  But, we kept learning and moving in order to get that certificate.

Somewhere along the way, Crosby potted the winning goal in OT, capturing the gold medal.  We knew by the kids below jumping for joy, sticks in the air and all the yelling.

Awesome, now let’s carry on, I remember thinking.

The day finished, I was exhausted but happier than anything that I managed to live through two of the most physically demanding days of my life.


We Take Health(y bodies) For Granted – January 15th, 2012

We Take Health(y bodies) For Granted

Since I’ve made an extensive change in my health nearly a decade ago, I don’t get sick near as often.  I don’t have a sore back near as often.  Overall, I don’t have much in the way of negativity physically near as often as I used to.  And for that, I am thankful.

All that takes is a minimum three hours a week of physical activity and limiting the junk food eat and making healthier alternatives when it comes to food.  My weakness?  Chocolate.  But that’s for another day.

What I want to talk about is how we can take our health bodies for granted.  I was asked today (jokingly), when can I stop working out (I prefer the term training or practicing, but again, a topic for another day)?  My response, when you die.

Sometimes I feel reach a certain level of health and believe ‘oh, I’m healthy now, I can stop eating right and going to the gym.’  Uh-uh.  Nope.  Now you’re there, you need to maintain that.  This is when I feel we can take our healthy bodies for granted.

We get to that “I’m there” point and slack off a bit… maybe indulge a bit on some of the goodies at the office, or take an extra day away from training, bam, we’re sick or hurt.

Or maybe we do maintain all the ‘good’ and don’t slack of but just get sick because, well, we do.  It happens.  This is when I feel I’ve taken my health for granted and I am not thankful enough for when I’m not ill.  I mean I know why I practice and I know why I eat fairly healthy, I guess I’m just not conscious of it until I’m sick.  And then I hope it’s over quick because the unsick Tim is much more fun and much less cranky.

I seem to be at the tail end of a cold that wiped me out Friday and Saturday.  I woke up with it Thursday.  In the old days, this would have gone on for at least a week.  Now, it seems three days, maybe four.  I like that.

I use a neti-pot on a semi-regular basis and stomach Oil of Oregano on a semi-regular basis.  Is this the deciding factor in a quick turnaround in my health?  Dunno.  Likely won’t ever know.  But either way, I’m happy I’m living a healthier lifestyle.

Three hours a doing physical activity and being conscious of what I’m shoving in my face.

Pretty easy actually.


Real Men Cry – January 9th, 2012

Real Men Cry

Well, I’m buckling down.  I was hoping the foam roller, stretching and leaving a good chunk of leg work out of the equation would help, but alas, my hamstring has other ideas.  So I will endure great pain for an hour or so, get over this lingering pain in my leg.

Thursday is physio day.  Can’t wait.  Actually, I can’t.  I am looking forward to this.

Sometimes you just gotta cave and give in to the realization that while time heals all wounds, you need to help speed it up a bit.  Honestly, this nagging, throbbing, annoying knot in my leg is driving me up the wall.  And it sure isn’t helping my practice nor me teaching others.   So, Thursday morning I will be ‘going under the thumbs’ so to speak and encourage this leg to get better.

I guess it never hurts to call in the cavalry once in a while.  Even if they might make me cry.


Aging Sucks – January 5th, 2012

Aging Sucks

Okay, maybe I’m not that old, but dammit, today I feel like it.  I usually do my training sessions three times a week, maybe four.  I can’t remember the last time I did five in a week, let alone six and especially in a row.

That was my plan this week, six sessions in a row.  Well, sometimes the best laid plans are the worst ideas.

I wouldn’t say I’m old, but I’m certainly not twenty anymore and I need to really start paying attention to my body when it speaks.  I decided to take part in the Ten Thousand Swing Challenge.  The goal is simply to do ten thousand kettlebell swings in the month of January.  It works out to 322.58 swings per day.  That would take me about 20-ish minutes to complete with a 16kg bell.  A couple of times this week I hit over 400 or 500.  I think I did 600 and some odd number.

It’s a lofty goal, but certainly do-able.  Unless you ignore what your body is telling you.

About a week or two ago I noticed my right hamstring was kinda saying ‘hey, I’m here.  Just gonna tug on you a bit.’  Nothing too bad, I figured.  Today it yelled.  Basically told me ‘stop what you’re doing, you need a break.’  You see today was day five of consecutive workouts.  And tomorrow would have been six.  Despite it being the ‘lower body injury’ I’ve decided tomorrow will be a day away from the gym.  Oh don’t worry, I’ve spent the last hour trying to figure out how to get there, ‘I’ll work chest, or back….’  Nope, my body is telling to rest.  Stop.  Take. A. Load. Off.

Okay. I will.  I do have work to do though… 8124 swings left.  That works out to 312.4 per day (26 days left in January).  Most likely it’s going to be 20 days or less of actual work.  That looks like at least 406.2 swings each training day.

Hurry up hamstring, we’ve got a mission.  If not, there is February, and this year it has an extra day.


I Resolve Nothing – January 1st, 2012

I Resolve Nothing

It wasn’t up until a few years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions.  Every year I made them and within six weeks or so they were forgotten or I felt they were impossible to reach or do.

So now I resolve nothing.  Sorta.

The reason for the shift is if you need to change something in your life, quite smoking, eat better, exercise, whatever, why wait till January 1st.  I mean, if it’s February and you plan on making a New Year’s Resolution, you have around three hundred and thirty days to plan for it.  Why not start now?  It doesn’t have to be right now, but sooner rather than later.

And sooner doesn’t mean two weeks from now.  If you have an idea or a change you want to make, be practical about it.  Maybe wait till “Monday.”  That’s how I roll, anyway.  I like to start new programs on a Monday it just seems to make more sense to me.  But, that’s me.  But certainly don’t delay your new idea for too long.  Otherwise it’ll never happen.

Make a plan, get it in order and go!