Emergency post

This is a spur-of-the-moment, emergency blog post in order to avoid breaching the terms of The Blog Pact.  It’s been a busy weekend, and I have much to say, but I cannot guarantee that I’ll stay awake long enough to say it.  Hence the emergency post.

I shall endeavour to tell you tales of London, cosplay and free stuff in the very near future, but in the mean time you shall have to be satisfied with this little piece of awesome, which made me happier than I care to admit.

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A well-earned chillout

Greetings, blogosphere!

This is the first afternoon I can remember in a very long time where I don’t have something that has to be done right NAOW!!1!  It’s nice, if I’m honest – very nice indeed!

There’s not much to report on the training front, apart from another pentathlon attempt.  My scores (all with 12kg) were:

  • Clean – 120 (+30 seconds spare)
  • Long cycle press – 60 (+1m14s)
  • Jerk – 113
  • Half snatch – 108
  • Push press – 120 +4s
So that’s every lift lift maxed, except the jerk, for a total of 781.5 points.  Quite a long way to go to reach the necessary score to enter the “extreme” category!  Once again I didn’t have a 16kg pro-grade bell available, and the first two lifts are clearly far too easy with 12kg.  I’m currently occupied with brushing up on my excel syntax, and building myself a spreadsheet to help plan what reps I need to reach.  Geekgasm 🙂
Other than that I’ve done nothing but join in with the occasional kettlebell class (coaching more than training lately though), and eating an unreasonable amount of baked goods.  My fiancé’s mother has been very ill, so between that and working full time, we are struggling just to get enough sleep most days.
So a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do is just about perfect 🙂

Pentathlon update

I had my second attempt at kettlebell pentathlon this evening, and it went pretty well! I had a look at the numbers beforehand to figure out what kind of reps I needed to hit to level up and it didn’t seem to be too much of an ask, so I went for it.
My numbers for the clean, longcycle press, jerk, half snatch and push press were…

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You’ll need to excuse the shoddy handwriting; my forearms were too pumped to hold the pen well!
I’m really pleased with that score, especially since it represents a move into the ‘high’ category. It’s clear that I need to lift more for the first two exercises since I reached max reps with time to spare – 16kg is going to feel like a big jump though (there wasn’t a pro-16kg available today or I probably would have tried it). The reps will certainly go down, but if I can achieve three quarters of my 12kg reps with the 16kg my score will be the same. I think that’s do-able for cleans and longcycle, though it’ll certainly make the rest of the lifts harder!
I’m likely to be sore for a couple of days, so I’ll make sure workouts for the rest of the week have a different focus, and maybe try pentathlon again at the weekend. It’s been a while since I enjoyed a workout this much – I think the mix of physical and mental perseverance is just what I needed 🙂

Pentathlon rankings

Note: If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, do that first!

Just another snippet on kettlebell pentathlon!  My good friend Dave found a note that Valery Fedorenko posted to Facebook, indicating what scores are considered average, good, and so on.  As Fedorenko himself points out these are very subjective, as they’ll be influenced by age, injury, and any number of other things.  But I kind of like having a score to aim for (need nearly 100 more points to level up!), and knowing what Fedorenko considers to be a good score.

Here are the ranks as outlined on facebook:

Women’s Standards

  • Less < 360 : Low
  • 361 – 540 : Average
  • 541 – 720 : Good
  • 721 – 900 : High
  • 901 – 1080 : Extreme
  • More > 1081 : Superhuman

Men’s Standards

  • Less < 720 : Low
  • 721 – 900 : Average
  • 901 – 1080 : Good
  • 1081 – 1260 : High
  • 1261 – 1440 : Extreme
  • More > 1441 : Superhuman
I’d like to reach “high”, and consider “extreme to be a very long term goal.  Superhuman is probably never going to happen!

Kettlebell pentathlon

In case you hadn’t noticed, I quite enjoy kettlebell lifting.  I’m also interested in kettlebell sport, so I have a lot of respect for a man called Valery Fedorenko – he’s a so-called Master of Sport, and has been winning competitions since he was a teenager.  Now in his 40s he is the founder of the World Kettlebell Club and an authority on kettlebell sport, which is the discipline of lifting really heavy things for a really long time (10 minute sets with the bell changing hands only once).

So imagine my delight when Fedorenko posted a video explaining something called kettlebell pentathlon.  He describes it as a game, and challenges the viewer to see what they can achieve.  Hell yeah!

The rules are as follows: perform each exercise for 6 minutes, changing hands as many times as you like.  Rest for 5 minutes in between exercises.  Choose whichever bell you like for each exercise, or pick one and use it all the way through – it’s up to you.  These are 1-arm exercises – there are no doubles.  The maximum rep range is indicated below in brackets – if you can exceed this number, you need to lift heavier.  The exercises are:

  • Clean (x120)
  • Longcycle press (x60) – this is a military press; no knee involvement.
  • Jerk (x120)
  • Half snatch (x108)
  • Push press (x120) – heels must not leave the floor during this exercise.
Make sure to either count your reps (or have someone with you to count them), because this isn’t just about doing the movements, it’s about keeping score too.  At the end the running total of all the exercises is added up to give you your total, and then multiplied by a number that depends on the kettlebell you used:
  • 8kg – multiply by 1.0
  • 12kg – x1.5
  • 16kg – x2.0
  • 20kg – x2.5
  • 24kg – x3.0
  • 28kg – x3.5
  • 32kg – x4.0
And so on.  Fedorenko kindly says that you may use up to a 72kg kettlebell, although the very thought makes me feel…woozy.
I attempted all of this for the first time this evening, and to be honest I’m just kind of glad to have made it to the end without having to stop or ripping my hand open!  My reps were as follows:
  • Clean – 110 (very happy with this)
  • Longcycle press – 60 (and this)
  • Jerk – 84 (reasonably happy with this, but could do better)
  • Half snatch – 82 (fatigue really kicking in now)
  • Push press – 88 (just happy to get these done without falling over or swearing)
So that’s a total of 424 reps, with a 12kg bell throughout for a multiplier of 1.5 = 636 points.  I’m rather happy with that for a first time, but will definitely be aiming to improve it.
And soon, too 🙂
Note: Click here for more about kettlebell pentathlon!