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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

Strength Trumps the Scale...

Welcome to a tale of 20-20 hindsight!!  A decision has been made, and those of you who know me in real life might be pretty happy about it.  I'm only 5'3.5" tall and hover around 123-128lbs normally depending on the time of day, how much water I've chugged etc.  Most people's weight will fluctuate throughout the day - I have been known to have variances as large as 5-6 lbs in 24hrs, and not look or feel different.   The problem is WHY I know this.   About 6 months prior to attending the 2010 Orlando RKC workshop I decided to see if I'd be able to naturally be 123.5 or below without a fight.  Turns out that yes, I was - at the time I weighed about 125 or so and wasn't eating as strategically as I am now - still going out for giant plates of restaurant made chicken Marsala on top of whole wheat pasta that I would eat in its entirety.  Going out for pizza and salad, etc.  Not taking the buns off of burgers and eating a whole lot of buckwheat (which I would bake up with eggs/yogurt/cheese from the neat Ukrainian recipe and still occasionally enjoy).  Hadn't gone Primal/Paleo yet so there was quite a bit of leeway - even with my body fat percentage within the "athletic" range, calories could be cut back a little with ease and without any real effort.  So for 6 months I held steady at around 120lbs.   Weighed in at 119.6, passed the snatch test with the 12kg kettlebell and then immediately began to snacking. (on stuff like this: Chocolatey Pecan Date Coconut Treats never should have given the food processor to my neighbor...) 


After the RKC, I discovered by accident (Hey Alicia, what's this tasty looking cookbook you have on this table at the health fair?!  Can I borrow it?!) the Primal Blueprint plan.  I borrowed it because all the recipes made me hungry... and I felt LOADS better eating this way - cutting out grains, some dairy and focusing on unprocessed good foods.  I was already a meat snob so why not?!  Without meaning to, I dropped a random 3lbs and was visibly much more lean - but in a good way.  In order to keep up with my workouts and crazy schedule I upped the portions and was still very happy with what was going on - the weight loss dropped off and I put the random 3lbs back on, but was significantly stronger and fitting into even smaller clothes.  This continued, and I just went ahead and got rid of my scale when I moved out of my previous apartment. 


Life got crazy, I kept up with training, kept up with eating well but "heavy" (my word for supplementing the day's food with a lot of healthy fats).  Then my little dog died unexpectedly and out of utter despair, for a couple weeks I did whatever I wanted (this just translates into eating fistfuls of nuts and dark chocolate and lifting more heavy things).  Once again, got stronger, maybe gained a random pound or two.  Then... as the RKC Level 2 workshop approached, I panicked - oh no 125-128lbs!  Have to get down under 123.5 so I can use the 12kg kettlebell!!!  But, unlike before, there wasn't much leeway left in my diet - other than the insane snacking - which for my activity level turned out to be necessary.   So I started to cut back on the snacking and portion size - thinking it wasn't any big deal.  I was also training for the Iron Maiden Challenge - which was another good reason not to drop weight - I had gotten a LOT stronger in the months since the October 2010 RKC, and what was left of me was pretty much all essential.  Besides, when I weighed in at the RKC2 at 121.6lbs this time there was a lot of  "oh geez... REALLY" sentiment - especially after David Whitley saw me press the 24kg kettlebell - it was a litany of "you're going heavier because I know you can".


After talking to some very accomplished new friends in the RKC community this week it dawned on me - what's this all about?  Why have I always tried to do the snatch test with the 12kg kettlebell?  Because I was afraid of even having a slight chance of failure, because I'm "close enough to 123.5lbs anyway", because I'm small, because... I hadn't really seriously tried it?!  In the rush of my other training, somehow I hadn't gotten around to trying the test with the 16kg kettlebell.  Pardon me... time to go to make "duuuuhhhh" faces into a mirror.  I can do the test with the 12kg kettlebell with 1-1.5 mins to spare depending on personal choice that day, it's not a problem, how far off was the 16kg test?  As of this afternoon... not far at all - and when I try it outside with a better kettlebell - the 16kg ones I have at the moment are an inferior unnamed brand... with an odd coating that doesn't get along with my hands for high rep exercises.  But even with those excuses I was able to safely complete 100 snatches (60 before stopping to check my hands for damage), then the remaining 40 with sock sleeves at a slower pace (they drive me nuts).  I gave up the delightful snacking for this? …Could have done this... and not gotten all cross-eyed and spacey a couple times too.  Who knows, maybe I could have even gotten the Iron Maiden 24kg weighted pull up.   But the past is the past and the lesson is learned.

The RKC is a school of strength, and I need to set a better example for my clients (who I should have listened to when they said things like "You're getting even MORE vascular?!" which probably meant "Uhhh what are you doing? Are you eating enough?").  For as much as I bash "women's magazine diets" and that "toning" mentality, the logical solution is to just get stronger.  The irony is that I won't look much different if at all - might be a little smarter too - so watch out! 


Wore this today to try and get rid of that darned "tank top tan" but shows how at 126lbs I probably should't try to get under 123.5 again.


Go little women!

Yay, we are the exact same size, almost. I'm 5'2" at 125....Can do the snatch test with the 12 kg and can't wait to kill it with 16!

You are my inspiration.



The main thing is to be patient with yourself ramping up to using the 16kg, it's also a great time to really work on perfecting your form - then one day its like... WOAH! COOL!!!!


You look gorgeous and strong

You look gorgeous and strong at your current weight!



Thank you! :)  I plan on keeping it that way too - glad to see you logged in again! :)


I check the site quite often,

I check the site quite often, I just always forget to log in!



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