Matt's Log


Level 6 Valued Member
I figured I’d finally put my log online, since that way it will probably be more organized and easier to track than just in my own poor handwriting. Also, it can’t hurt to open things up to other people and see what observations are made. I’m mostly writing all this down to ensure that I don’t get distracted from my goals, but if you want to read it, be my guest. There’s a an acronym glossary at the bottom.

My current stats are:
  • 24 year old male. 160 lbs (soaking wet after a big meal), 5'10"
  • Full time student, but I do whatever manual labor jobs I can find on Craigslist when I have the time.
  • Previous programs-Just got off Plan 104C, did Plan 103 before that, and S&S before that. I should note that I did both of Al’s protocols with 2H swings instead of 1H swings since my hips can out work my grip
  • My eating pattern is this: On days I train in the morning, I eat 2-3 meals throughout the day. On days I don’t train, or train in the afternoon, I fast (e.g. undereat) for 16-20 hours, then eat 2-3 meals. If I train on a fasting day, I train, shower, and eat a meal in quick succession.
  • The only non-training "athletic activity" I have is commuting around on my bike.

Goals, in order of importance:
  1. Maintain a reasonably high level of general fitness, both for health and so I can perform well during any athletic/labor intensive endeavor I pursue for profit or pleasure.

  2. Train for a Spartan Beast (a 12-14 mile obstacle race in the mountains) in early May that a buddy of mine convinced me to do with him. I don’t necessarily care about doing as well as possible, and I know I won’t be the slowest person on our team, but I still want to do fairly well.

  3. I need to have something flexible/recoverable enough that when my wife and become parents sometime this March, I will still be able to make progress on goals 1 and 2 with little sleep

The Plan: Bent and Sinister+some running

I chose this from Dave Whitley’s Taming the Bent Press because it’s basically S&S, but there’s a little more flexibility regarding swings, and I would like to learn the bent press. Why not the TGU? I worked on the TGU for a little over a year while doing S&S, and my best sessions were 8 TGUs @40K and 2 @ 32K in just under 10 minutes (I could easily meet the TGU standard for “simple,” but was quite a ways from it with the swings). I do like the TGU, and have done well with it, but (not to sound like the poster boy for that one Dan John article about things going well) I think I can indulge myself and do something else for a while. While doing Plans 103 and 104C, I focused on the military press (with pretty good results), but I definitely want something that, like the TGU, is a “bigger” movement (if that makes sense). So, I’ll focus on the bent press until the end of the summer or so, and make another decision then.

Execution of KB Program:
EDIT-Since the birth of my son in early March, I have found that I have needed to make certain adjustments to my program, though it still falls within the parameters of “Bent and Sinister.” I have decided to edit my introductory post to reflect these changes.

In theory, I will keep all the sessions under 40 minutes so I can fit them into my schedule 4-5 days per week, and training will look like this:
  • Warmup: 5 minutes- a couple sets of Goblet Squats and some OS stuff.
  • Bent Press: 10-15 minutes-Do bent press singles with weights that will let me do 10+ reps in the allotted time.
  • Kettlebell swings: 15-20 minutes-Here is where I make a marginal increase in complexity, but I’m gonna try not to overthink it. I’ll have two different swing sessions, either heavy two hand swings or lighter one hand swings. I'll either be resting until I can pass the "talk test" between each set, or using a HR monitor to start each set at a certain heart rate.
  • --Session A: 2H swings (32K or 40K), sets of 5. I will probably only do this once or twice a week, when I feel like I can recover well.
  • --Session B: 1H swings (24K to start, progressing to 32K). This is going to be the bread and butter of the program.
I've been staying up and sleeping in later, so a lot of days I just do the bent press training in the morning and the swings in the afternoon/evening. One thing I like about that set up is the grinds, with relaxed rest intervals, don't cause any interference with intermittent fasting the way that swing based aerobic training can.

Execution of Running Program:
  • 0-3 short runs (10-20 minutes) per week. These will be low intensity, and purely for the purpose of working on technical aspects of running, such as cadence and foot strike.
  • 1 long run each weekend (or a similar LSD type activity), progressing from 30 minutes to 2+ hours. I will spend most of my time in my MAF training zone, which is 151-161 BPM for me.

Acronym Glossary
1H-One Handed
2H- Two Handed
Avg-Average HR
BtP-Bent Press
HR-Heart Rate
KBS-Kettlebell Swing
Max-Maximum HR
OS-Overspeed. Or original strength. Use context.
OTM-On The Minute
OTHR-On The Heart Rate. For instance OTHR≈130 means I start each new set when my HR is about 130.

If I do 7 bent presses on each side, 5 presses @ 32K and 2 presses @ 40K, it will be written as follows:
BtP-7x1 @ 32 & 40K (5:2)
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Glad to see your log here. So I'm curious what you are studying, as a student? You are really an outstanding communicator! I'm sure that is of good use in any course of study.


Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks Anna! If all goes well, I'll graduate this May with a cellular biology degree. It sounds more impressive than it is. It's essentially a biology degree that's borderline useless on its own, but allows people some latitude in setting themselves up for a post-bac program. I'm hoping to get into a med school (MD or DO) in the next year or two.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks Anna! If all goes well, I'll graduate this May with a cellular biology degree. It sounds more impressive than it is. It's essentially a biology degree that's borderline useless on its own, but allows people some latitude in setting themselves up for a post-bac program. I'm hoping to get into a med school (MD or DO) in the next year or two.
Yes, sounds like more years of learning ahead! Good luck with med school pursuits. I can say that from my experience as a patient, the difference between MD and DO has been pretty striking. The two DOs that have provided care for me in recent years are so much more "health" oriented than "sickness" oriented as MDs seem to be. But that could just be the particular people I've dealt with. And my brother is an MD (a Nephrologist in Boston) so I should not talk bad about them...

Anyway back to kettlebell, looking forward to your bent press experience. I've practiced a bit lately and I'm not having much luck with it so far. My shoulders really don't like it. But I'm not sure I'm doing it right, yet.
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Level 6 Valued Member
@Anna C It has been interesting to compare the two. The way I think about health seems to be similar to the "typical" DO approach. Either would work well for my purposes (I would like to go into family practice), so I'll take whichever one I can get my hands on ;).
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Level 6 Valued Member
Feb 24
BtP-6x1 (each side) @ 28K
KBS-1H-4x10 (each side) @ 24K
-2H/OS-4x10 @ 24K
Easy run-14 minutes

Feb 25
Btp-4x1 (each side) @ 32K
KBS-2H-5 reps OTM @ 32 & 40K (1:1) for 20 minutes
HR Avg-145, Max-156
Note: I decided to make an early adjustment for the sake of simplicity. Since my heavy sessions are pretty short, I will put more effort into the eccentric phase of the swings. I see the eccentric phase of the swing as being on a scale, with a pop and float swing being a 1 (just enough tension to guide the bell back down), and a max tension overspeed swing being a 10 (arresting upward momentum ASAP and aggressively throwing the bell back down). For the past few months, my heavy swings have been in the 1-3 range, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep up the power output for 40+ minute sessions. I will eliminate the overspeed swings from my light days (a 9-10 on the scale), and increase my eccentric focus on my heavy days (bump the swings from the 1-3 range to the 4-6 range). I tried this today and my HR stayed where it needed to. This will mean that I only do one kind of swing each day I train, 1H one day, 2H the next. Think less. Focus more.

Feb 26
BtP-6x1 (each side) @ 24/32K (5:1)
Note-Had a bit of a lightbulb moment today. Sometimes I have trouble getting started on the BtP; I get the bell racked properly, and then I don’t know what part of me to move where to get things going (especially when my right side is loaded for some reason). For a right handed press, I’ve been thinking “I need to move my butt right and back, and move my left shoulder left and forward.” Today I tried thinking “I need to move my butt right and back, and move my left shoulder down to my left knee.” Things slid into place much more easily after that.
KBS-1H-5x10 (each side) @ 24K
-1x5 (each side) @ 32K
Easy run-15 minutes

Feb 27
Got on the slopes for the first time all season and skied for a half day (3-4 hours). Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may call today "active rest" and do a longer run, or I may take it off completely.
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Level 6 Valued Member
Feb 28-LSD day
BtP-1 each side @ 16, 20, 24, 32, and 40K
Ran/walked 3 miles and 1,200 ft. elevation (47 minutes) on a local mountain trail
HR Avg-158, Max-192 (this seems like a faulty reading. HR did get high 3 or 4 times when I was running downhill, but the highest I saw was 174)
Note-According to the internet (always a reliable source), something that people don't think about training enough in preparation for a Spartan Race is walking uphill quickly (since a lot of the hills are too steep to run), and staying relaxed while running downhill. I'll probably spend a good portion of my weekend LSD work on mountain trails to address this, and take care of my running technique in my short sessions. It felt great to get outside in the sun and wind for a while, and I only fell downhill once (good thing swings toughen up the hands ;))
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Level 7 Valued Member
I am also practicing "Bent and Sinister" and am making great progress. Currently at BntP 1x1ea of 60lb, 70lb, 80lb, 4x1ea@40kg and 6x1ea@48kg and recently added heavy sandbag loading and carrying instead of swings. Put swings at the end of my squat sessions.

It takes me a lot longer than 5 min. to get warmed up though.

Wish you great success on the program. "Go forth and kick much a#@" -Dave Whitley.

P.S. I also do 2 back off sets of 3ea at 70-80% from one of the other programs.
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Level 6 Valued Member
Nice! I'll probably see how 44k or 48k feels next weekend. Now that I know the 40k isn't too tough, I'll probably bump my working weights up to the 28k-36k range. I've been waving my loads a little so that the heavy weights can teach me what I need to work on, and the lighter weights give me a chance to work on it. I'll probably wait another week then post a video for critique purposes, once I feel like I've taken care of the obvious issues.

I do miss loaded carries, maybe I'll slide them into the mix this summer, when life slows down a little...

And much a#@ kicking to you as well!


Level 6 Valued Member
Feb 29
Rest day. Don't feel too sore from my longer run, we'll see what tomorrow holds

March 1
BtP-6x1 (each side) @ 28K
KBS-2H-5 reps OTM @ 32 & 40K (1:1) for 20 minutes
HR Avg-144, Max-159
Note: Today I felt the run. A little bit in my quads, but mostly in the soles of my feet. Need to toughen those suckers up...

March 2
BtP-6x1 (each side) @ 32K
KBS-1H-5x10 (each side) @ 24K
-2x5 (each side) @ 32K


Level 6 Valued Member
It's pretty abbreviated right now, but I may extend it once the weights get heavier. Anyways, it usually goes like this:
  • 5 prying goblets squats at 24K
  • Dead bugs until my abs begin to feel it (about 15 or so)
  • 2 rolls right and left, just using my upper body
  • 2 rolls right and left, just using my lower body
  • Rib pull (kind of). Essentially, I keep my shoulders on the ground, grab my knee with the opposite hand, and pull across. The intent is to minimize lumbar rotation/maximize thoracic rotation. I try to hold it for 10-20 seconds on each side, which feels long enough to get comfortable in the position, but not so long that I get stretched out and weak.
  • 10-20 rocks (in a quadruped position), followed by a similar number of head bobs
  • A few 16K presses from an arm bar position or partial TGU postion, working on range of motion
This usually takes 4-6 minutes.
If I need to do more, I will probably spend more time on T-spine rotation drills, arm bar/TGU presses, and throw in some crawling. When I get to heavier weights, I'll probably start with a couple light sets to practice the movement first.


Level 7 Valued Member
Sounds great. Mine goes like this:
-2 min ea roll feet with lacrosse ball and ankle drills
-10 min of OS Resets, dead bugs, and bird dogs
-5 ea Alexander shoulder roll
-3 min ea Brettzel, most important drill to me
-10@50lb Kb pullover, 10 straight arm band lat pulldown, bent arm bar 5@50-70lb, 2-3 circuits
-5@60lb prying goblet squat, 5ea@60lb single leg DL, 1+3@50-70lb TGU+windmill+half kneeling windmill bent arm bars on the way down from TGU, 2-3 circuits

Takes about 30-40 min. That would be a workout for most but it keeps me healthy. Also, a 10 min cool down of stretching, diaphragmatic breathing, hangs, and handstands.

Easy GPP and activation for movement quality and injury prevention. I always have warmed up well and some form of active recovery between sets. Never suffered any strains or injuries in about 15 years of weight training.


Level 6 Valued Member
Haha my body starts to feel good just reading that. I'm sure you get a lot of "outside the gym" benefits from doing all the resets/mobility work, as well. Maybe when I grow up and have a different schedule I'll do something similar. I usually end up with 35-45 minutes in which to do everything, so my warm up takes a back seat. That being said, I have noticed that I can usually do alright as long as I am mentally ready for a movement, for example, I consciously get extra tight, or slow a movement down just a little. I can't say I've been injury free, but at least none of my injuries have been from doing something dumb that caused immediate damage (e.g didn't warm up enough and pulled a muscle). They've all been from repeatedly doing something dumb and causing damage over time ;) (e.g. runners knee, stress fracture in my foot, stuff like that).


Level 6 Valued Member
March 3
BtP-5x1(each side) @ 32&36K (3:2)
Note-Could definitely tell something wasn't flowing as well on my right side (which is normally my dominant side, but since I started bent pressing it seems to be behind). I started at 36 and couldn't quite get in the groove, so I dropped down to 32 for a few sets, then did one more set at 36.
KBS-2H-5 reps OTM @ 32 & 40K (1:1) for 20 minutes
HR Avg-146, Max-157

March 4
Active rest day
Extended warm up to 15-ish minutes
BtP-4x2(each side) @ 24. Worked on doing more hinging and less squatting. Not that a squatting is bad, but I'm built for more of a hinge based movement, and I think I'm squatting more than I should just to avoid getting into a position that I'm not comfortable with. I'll try to get a video up this weekend for people to critique.


Level 6 Valued Member
March 5
Had a PT test today (I'm in the Army National Guard). Results are as follows:
-Max pushups in 2 minutes: 62
-Max situps in 2 minutes: 61
-2 mile run for time: 14:59
Total:238 points out of 300 maximum (passing is 180)
Not very impressive. I think this is probably the 2nd or 3rd worst score I've gotten in the 7 years I've been in ,buuut considering I've been doing nothing but KB swings and military presses for the past three months, and nothing but KB swings and TGUs before that, I'm not too worried. We have another test in May or June, so I may make some slight alterations to my warmup to ensure that I am actually doing some pushups, even if it's just to practice the movement. I'm not worried about the run for obvious reasons, and now that I'm emphasizing overspeed swings some more, sit ups shouldn't be an issue.

March 6
Rest day

March 7
BtP-5x1 (each side) @ 32K
KBS-1H-5x10 (each side) @ 24K
Easy run-14 minutes
Posted this video on the main kettlebell forum with a critique request, but I may as well post it here as well.


Level 5 Valued Member
I'm hoping to get into a med school (MD or DO) in the next year or two.
Once you get into med school they'll beat that outstanding communication out of you.

Where are you in Montana? I spent a great summer in Bozeman about 20 years ago. Beautiful town and area.


Level 8 Valued Member
In our Army, I mean in Polish Army, we have something similiar to your PT but we call it just an exam. On that exam we have to do:
1. max sit-ups in 2 min
2. max pull-ups
3. shuttle run 10x10 m
4. 3km run for time


Level 6 Valued Member
@krg You mean I can't just talk down to patients like they're proletariat underlings once I have a medical degree? Shoot, now I don't even know what I want to do with my life ;). In regard to your other question, I actually live in Bozeman. I grew up in rural eastern Montana(it's less beautiful, but that just keeps out the softies), but I've been going to college at Montana State University. From what I hear, Bozeman's changed a lot since you were here last. Beautiful places attract people, and people have a funny way of changing places. It's still objectively a great place, though. Anyone in town can drive for 30 minutes or less and be at some fantastic hiking/biking/rock climbing locations.

@mikhael It sounds like we have a pretty similar set up. I like that fact that you guys have something like shuttle runs to test power/agility. I also wish we had something that was more strength biased, like pull ups (to be fair, the Marines test pull ups, just not the Army). It's a little awkward to see scrawny guys who think they're in great physical condition because they get a perfect score on the PT test, when there's no way they could pull an unconscious person out of a vehicle, or comfortably live in full gear for days...
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