Monday, February 25, 2013


I am back to work after a two week layoff from kettlebelling.

I was doing 'Perfecting the Press' plus 'Viking Warrior Conditioning' and, of course, had some form problems that I had dismissed as not really important.

In retrospect I'm just luck that I tweaked my rotator cuff instead of tearing the damn thing off.

I've reassessed my program and done two weeks of correctives.  My FMS score for shoulder mobility has gone from a 1A to a 2A.  I am still asymmetric, but I have much better mobility on my tight side than I did.  I will keep working on bring it up.

So I also realized during the layoff that I was being stupid about my programming trying to do way too much and getting way to 'out there' when I would probably be served by a basic, sane, sustainable program.

So today it is back to Enter the Kettlebell.

I am tweaking it (of course) but only to add a few goblet squats and loaded carries for patterning because I've been reading a lot of Dan John.  I will also be doing some thoracic mobility work for my shoulders and front splits work for hamstrings and hip flexors since those are both tight as well.

I am startnig this cycle of EtK with the 2 pood for five ladders of 3.  I am looking to get to 5x5 in the next eight weeks.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Starting From Dysfunction

I finally did it.

Six months of hard kettlebell training and I finally injured myself.

I had a twinge last week of tendonitis in my right hand warning me that maybe I was training too hard but, of course, I ignored it and did a big volume workout the very next day.

And tweaked my left shoulder.

Particularly I tweaked my rotator cuff.

So I am taking two weeks off of kettlebell training to assess my movement and to recover.  I just read an article urging recreational athletes to take more time off so it seemed like a good time.

I had been reading about the FMS recently and so I arbitrarily decided that I would devote these two weeks to using the FMS to assess my rotator cuff.

The FMS is a battery of seven tests that asses quality of movement and a suite of correctives for different problems you can have.  I am working from the book "Movement" by Gray Cook and the excellent videos that they have posted on YouTube and their web site.

FMS Results

Deep Squat - 2 (I bumped the door frame several times but I got down)
Hurdle Step - 2A (Left leg turned in)
Inline lunge - 3 (nothing to see here)
Shoulder mobility - 1A (Very asymmetric I can practically bump fists with left hand low but I can barely get into position right hand low)
ASLR - 1 (At least it's symettric?)
TSPU - 3 (Naked Warrior training coming in handy here)
Rotary Stability - 2 (I don't even get how the three is possible but I've got a solid 2)

I suspected the shoulder mobility problem because I just hurt my rotator cuff, but the ASLR was a surprise.  I watched and read some more and narrowed in on the source of my two biggeset problems.

I will write next time about addressing my shoulder mobility - probably the biggest problem, and then my leg raise test.


I am a desk jockey that has been looking for fitness for year.

Like all desk jockeys everywhere.

I tried bodybuilding and I tried powerlifting and I tried swimming and I tried rowing and I tried tai chi and I tried yoga and I tried...

Finally I decided to just stick to working out with kettlebells.  Not because I think kettlebells are the best program for everyone, but because I decided that I would get better results if I picked a program, any program, and stuck with it for a while instead of what I had been doing.

I had been finding a cool exercise, doing it for two months, and then being distracted by the next thing.

Also I found Fitocracy (@Theophanos) and got hooked into the kettlebell community there.

So far it has been six months that I have been doing kettlebells, chasing the goals of "Enter the Kettlebell".

My pledge to my wife was that I would stick with kettlebells at least through the end of 2014 (which would be 30 months of training the same thing) which would be, I joked, ten times as long as I ever stuck with one routine.

I am 20% there and I am feeling advanced enough that I have to write to process what is going on with me.  This blog is that process of analyzing my progress.