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Kettlebell My S&S two year anniversary

wexford

Level 2 Valued Member
I posted about my 1 year anniversary last November so I figured why not add another year update.

This year was definitely a tough one and progress was slower. Additionally, I turned 50 late February.

I began my 2nd year with the following status:
* Warmups using 20kg
* 2H swings am using 24kg although I would like more.
* 1H swings I am stuck on 20kg still. I try the 24kg now and again but I'm still trying to nail down my 1H technique and the 24kg destroys it. Will keep trying.
* TGU is finally just this week up to 4 x 24kg and 6 x 20kg. I think upping the warmup up a notch helped me gain some strength for this.

I bought some gymnastic rings and a 28kg bell to shoot for. I was quite obsessed with working on pull ups for the start of the year. I wanted to see how many strict pull ups I could do for my 50th birthday. I got my first dead hang strict pull up at the beginning of December. I'll ignore pull up progress here and just cover my S&S progress over the year. For S&S, I mostly managed about 3 to 5 days a week over the year.

* December 6th. I got up to 6x 24kg for TGU.
* December 22nd... Popped my back during a swing. Injured.
* December 23rd... was ok again. (not sure what happened or how I recovered so fast). It had me questioning my technique though
* January 3rd. I got up to 8x 24kg for TGU.
* January 5th. I tried pressing the 28kg at the bottom of the TGU but could not budge it.
* January 9th. Gave up trying 24kg 1H swing in order to practice technique with the 20kg
* January 10th. Started suddenly feeling winded all the time doing swings... This went on for 2-3 weeks...
* February 20th. I got up to 10x 24kg for TGU PR
* February 27th. My 50th birthday. Scored 3 strict dead hang pull ups. 7 non-strict.
* March 8th. Tried dropping to 16kg 1H swings again to work on technique but was not happy either.
* apple watch sending me low heart rate warnings during sleep (as low as 37)
* Mostly doing 2H swings to work on technique
* Sick Mid-April until June really. Got sessions in but was mostly trying to keep my head above the water.
* TGU had regressed for a bit, but got it back to 10x 24kg by June 9th. Using 16kg for warmups mostly. still 2H swings.
* July had tests done on heart, ECG, torture test, wore holter device etc, apparently low HDL and some hardness in my aorta cusps which the doctor said affects my ability to recover.
* Started taking 25ml of virgin olive oil at breakfast (Internet remedy to see if it helps me HDL).
* End of July trying 1H 16kg swings again.
* End of July vacation until end of August. But have bells up to 20kg to play with.
* September 7th, finally have a 24kg bell again. TGU back at 24kg again.
* Doing 1H 20kg swings again while on vacation a little. Back to Japan and also doing them.
* September 23rd trying working in 24kg 1H swings again. Heavy.
* October 9th - started using 16kg and 24kg for warmup. Really struggling and depressed over 1H swing progress. Questioning myself. Started to look for a coach.
* October 13th - 2x 28kg TGU PR.
* Mid October - started to re-think my swing and practice without bell before each set. This helped focus. Focused on different things like connection, hinge, float, etc separately again, Kept working on the 20kg.
* Decided to buy and try some liquid chalk for the swings.
* November 4th - scored 40x 24kg 1H swings that felt good. Starting to believe again. Mostly doing 20x 24kg though for next while.
* November 22nd - PR for TGU with 4x 28kg and back to 40x 24kg on the 1H swing.

Bit of a whacky year really. I had quite a lot of set backs but kept plugging away as much as I could. Not sure what that sickness was (maybe covid) but it blew me away for almost 2 months.

1H swings wise, my 20kg mostly feels pretty light at the moment. The 24kg still feels very heavy but some days I nail it. I am starting to feel more confident in it. I know I'm on exactly the same 40x for the 24kg that I was on at the start of the year, but it feels very different now then it did back then and I finally feel that I can progress it all the way to 100 with a few more weeks. I think the chalk really helped me relax my grip concentration a little and I also feel that doing some empty swings before picking up the bell each set help a lot also for me. I still get it wrong but some days are just awesome.

TGU wise, I've gained 4kg. It was hard won and took a long time but I think this was mostly due to illness and vacations. Hopefully by my 51st, my TGU will be a full compliment of 10x 28kg and my swings will be on 100x 24kg.

I know I am making progress as I am starting to look into getting a 32kg bell. They seem to be quite hard to get in Japan though. The company that sold me the 28kg seems to have gone under. Pity as I really like the 24kg and 28kg from that brand.

Current Status:
- warmup x 16kg and 24kg
- 40x 24kg and 60x 20kg 1H swings
- 4x 28kg and 6x 24kg TGU
 
December 23rd... was ok again. (not sure what happened or how I recovered so fast). It had me questioning my technique though
October 9th - started using 16kg and 24kg for warmup. Really struggling and depressed over 1H swing progress. Questioning myself. Started to look for a coach.
Did you find a coach? I know I would never have made the progress I did in kettlebells or weightlifting without coaching. Highly recommend!

July had tests done on heart, ECG, torture test, wore holter device etc, apparently low HDL and some hardness in my aorta cusps which the doctor said affects my ability to recover.
Glad you got checked out. Did they advise anything specific regarding exercise -- anything to do, or to not do?

H swings wise, my 20kg mostly feels pretty light at the moment. The 24kg still feels very heavy but some days I nail it. I am starting to feel more confident in it. I know I'm on exactly the same 40x for the 24kg that I was on at the start of the year, but it feels very different now then it did back then and I finally feel that I can progress it all the way to 100 with a few more weeks. I think the chalk really helped me relax my grip concentration a little and I also feel that doing some empty swings before picking up the bell each set help a lot also for me. I still get it wrong but some days are just awesome.

TGU wise, I've gained 4kg. It was hard won and took a long time but I think this was mostly due to illness and vacations. Hopefully by my 51st, my TGU will be a full compliment of 10x 28kg and my swings will be on 100x 24kg.

I know I am making progress as I am starting to look into getting a 32kg bell.

Sounds good! Wishing you the best on continued progress!
 
Did you find a coach? I know I would never have made the progress I did in kettlebells or weightlifting without coaching. Highly recommend!
Hi @Anna C - Initially I wanted to go see the same guy I went to in Ireland when I went home in the summer but it didn't work out schedule wise with all my different commitments. I also missed a StrongFirst KB event in Tokyo due to being in Ireland. I did contact a local instructor but I'm skeptical about online instruction in my available environment and they don't have a gym space to visit, so we need to figure something out. There doesn't seem to be any kettlebell course coming up in Japan. I'm currently enjoying the feeling of progression again though so I can wait a bit until stars align.
Glad you got checked out. Did they advise anything specific regarding exercise -- anything to do, or to not do?
They told me that I could continue exercise. They mentioned medication for helping raise my HDL but said it was also not something that needed addressing right away. Also said that I didn't need any operation but that we should just keep an eye on things. So good news really. I mentioned I'm trying the extra virgin olive oil and I'll be getting another blood test this month sometime so will be able to see if its helping at all.
Sounds good! Wishing you the best on continued progress!
Thanks! I was actually watching some of your videos recently again regarding the swing and the TGU. You are amazing.
 
My KB sessions these days take the following time.

Warmup about 7 mins.
100 swings about 13 mins sometimes maybe 2 mins longer.
10 TGU about 20 mins or sometimes 25 mins.

The full session can take me anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes usually.
 
Here is what my TGU looks like recently. These are still at the edge of my ability.

Right Hand 28kg TGU.


Left Hand 28kg TGU


Those look great! Keep up the good work! Really nice one-hand floor press with that heavy kettlebell. I can get-up 28 but I definitely can't press it with one arm (I struggle to press 20 kg with one arm).

I don't see anything in your movement that needs to change.

I might just suggest just some mindset shifts... they may make a difference in execution of reps, that eventually translates to greater confidence and strength with more weight.
  1. Think of wedging yourself under the weight in each position, instead of lifting the weight
  2. Smooth out your breathing - using power breath at hard parts is good, but seeking to breathe easier, through the nose, calmly, as much as possible seems to make the whole body feel more confident with the weight
  3. Feel stillness (and that "wedged under" feeling, super solid body between weight and floor) at each position before transitions
 
@Anna C - Thanks for taking the time to look at these and comment. I like this idea of simple mindset shifts and I will try to apply them going forward. I find it amazing that you can get-up the 28kg but cannot floor press it which just goes to show your confidence and where your advice stems from. I have so far held off doing get-ups with weight that I cannot press. I will probably continue to do so but I'll search out your confidence in my daily grind.
 
I posted about my 1 year anniversary last November so I figured why not add another year update.

This year was definitely a tough one and progress was slower. Additionally, I turned 50 late February.

I began my 2nd year with the following status:
* Warmups using 20kg
* 2H swings am using 24kg although I would like more.
* 1H swings I am stuck on 20kg still. I try the 24kg now and again but I'm still trying to nail down my 1H technique and the 24kg destroys it. Will keep trying.
* TGU is finally just this week up to 4 x 24kg and 6 x 20kg. I think upping the warmup up a notch helped me gain some strength for this.

I bought some gymnastic rings and a 28kg bell to shoot for. I was quite obsessed with working on pull ups for the start of the year. I wanted to see how many strict pull ups I could do for my 50th birthday. I got my first dead hang strict pull up at the beginning of December. I'll ignore pull up progress here and just cover my S&S progress over the year. For S&S, I mostly managed about 3 to 5 days a week over the year.

* December 6th. I got up to 6x 24kg for TGU.
* December 22nd... Popped my back during a swing. Injured.
* December 23rd... was ok again. (not sure what happened or how I recovered so fast). It had me questioning my technique though
* January 3rd. I got up to 8x 24kg for TGU.
* January 5th. I tried pressing the 28kg at the bottom of the TGU but could not budge it.
* January 9th. Gave up trying 24kg 1H swing in order to practice technique with the 20kg
* January 10th. Started suddenly feeling winded all the time doing swings... This went on for 2-3 weeks...
* February 20th. I got up to 10x 24kg for TGU PR
* February 27th. My 50th birthday. Scored 3 strict dead hang pull ups. 7 non-strict.
* March 8th. Tried dropping to 16kg 1H swings again to work on technique but was not happy either.
* apple watch sending me low heart rate warnings during sleep (as low as 37)
* Mostly doing 2H swings to work on technique
* Sick Mid-April until June really. Got sessions in but was mostly trying to keep my head above the water.
* TGU had regressed for a bit, but got it back to 10x 24kg by June 9th. Using 16kg for warmups mostly. still 2H swings.
* July had tests done on heart, ECG, torture test, wore holter device etc, apparently low HDL and some hardness in my aorta cusps which the doctor said affects my ability to recover.
* Started taking 25ml of virgin olive oil at breakfast (Internet remedy to see if it helps me HDL).
* End of July trying 1H 16kg swings again.
* End of July vacation until end of August. But have bells up to 20kg to play with.
* September 7th, finally have a 24kg bell again. TGU back at 24kg again.
* Doing 1H 20kg swings again while on vacation a little. Back to Japan and also doing them.
* September 23rd trying working in 24kg 1H swings again. Heavy.
* October 9th - started using 16kg and 24kg for warmup. Really struggling and depressed over 1H swing progress. Questioning myself. Started to look for a coach.
* October 13th - 2x 28kg TGU PR.
* Mid October - started to re-think my swing and practice without bell before each set. This helped focus. Focused on different things like connection, hinge, float, etc separately again, Kept working on the 20kg.
* Decided to buy and try some liquid chalk for the swings.
* November 4th - scored 40x 24kg 1H swings that felt good. Starting to believe again. Mostly doing 20x 24kg though for next while.
* November 22nd - PR for TGU with 4x 28kg and back to 40x 24kg on the 1H swing.

Bit of a whacky year really. I had quite a lot of set backs but kept plugging away as much as I could. Not sure what that sickness was (maybe covid) but it blew me away for almost 2 months.

1H swings wise, my 20kg mostly feels pretty light at the moment. The 24kg still feels very heavy but some days I nail it. I am starting to feel more confident in it. I know I'm on exactly the same 40x for the 24kg that I was on at the start of the year, but it feels very different now then it did back then and I finally feel that I can progress it all the way to 100 with a few more weeks. I think the chalk really helped me relax my grip concentration a little and I also feel that doing some empty swings before picking up the bell each set help a lot also for me. I still get it wrong but some days are just awesome.

TGU wise, I've gained 4kg. It was hard won and took a long time but I think this was mostly due to illness and vacations. Hopefully by my 51st, my TGU will be a full compliment of 10x 28kg and my swings will be on 100x 24kg.

I know I am making progress as I am starting to look into getting a 32kg bell. They seem to be quite hard to get in Japan though. The company that sold me the 28kg seems to have gone under. Pity as I really like the 24kg and 28kg from that brand.

Current Status:
- warmup x 16kg and 24kg
- 40x 24kg and 60x 20kg 1H swings
- 4x 28kg and 6x 24kg TGU
Hey nice write-up and progress at 50. I didn't start kettlebells until around 53, and it came pretty quickly since I was a long time barbell trainee. Then the first shoulder surgery hit, and it was work with one arm for half a year or longer while doing PT on the reconstructed one. So my Kb snatch numbers and skill level right vs. left was a mile apart. Congrats on that first dead-hang pullup. I think p/u's are a very underrated exercise, and I still do some a few days a week at 73.
 
Thank you @Whosonfirst. My 9 year old son said something funny to me the other day when he was watching me doing my S&S. He said, "Dad I think most people get weaker at 50 but you are getting stronger. You weren't able to lift that before were you?". That really made me feel proud of what I'm doing for both myself and hopefully for shaping his outlook and the effectiveness of greasing the groove on everything.
 
Thank you @Whosonfirst. My 9 year old son said something funny to me the other day when he was watching me doing my S&S. He said, "Dad I think most people get weaker at 50 but you are getting stronger. You weren't able to lift that before were you?". That really made me feel proud of what I'm doing for both myself and hopefully for shaping his outlook and the effectiveness of greasing the groove on everything.
Please continue to update us all from time to time.
 
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