One of the things I most enjoy doing is conducting written interviews for Dragon Door. This has put me in touch with such a variety of inspiring people, and has even made lasting friendships too. Being able to share their stories is an honor that is not taken lightly. The other great thing about the interviews is they often give me ideas about challenges I’d like to try. Sometimes, as in the case of this past week, a good 2/3 of the Thursday small group challenge was from an interviewee (will share that workout AFTER his interview is live) mainly because it sounded like such a great idea and I wanted to see how it would do with my training partners and friends.
You can find all the interviews by clicking right here, by the way… and I will be talking about specific interviews more often from here on out, because these people are SO inspiring and awesome. There’s bound to be someone’s story in there that will resonate and/or inspire you.
Similarly, yesterday I was VERY much inspired by an extremely interesting interviewee to finally try the SSST (which when you say it over the phone to your training partner is apparently really confusing sounding… HOW many Ss??). Those who know me well, know that the RKC kettlebell snatch test is still a mental challenge for me, and something that I actually sort of dread in a recert situation. Seriously, even now. Its much better since they updated the weight classes and added the 14kg kettlebell (which is in my group of “most favorite kettlebells”) – For women, before there was this massive jump from doing the test with either the 12kg or 16kg which as my friend and I discussed last night there are worlds, nay UNIVERSES of difference hiding in those 4 kilos… heck there’s universes of difference hiding between the 12kg and 14kg if you’re doing 5 minutes of snatching!
Considering how much progress I’ve made since that first 12kg snatch test I took at the Orlando RKC workshop in 2010 (and the fact that I am heavier… hint: it’s not fat) the 14kg snatch test for my weight class has now become comfortable and non-stress inducing on most days. It’s still absolutely challenging and not something I particularly enjoy doing, but it doesn’t inspire the hand-wringing-consternation and dread of days past. Basically I am telling you all of this as to why I’d never even considered trying the SSST before last night.
After digging up this TOTALLY ANCIENT 2006 article on Dragon Door, I was relieved to find out that the “rules” were not as horrifying as I remembered them:
Considering that I’d been doing the 100 snatches in 5 minutes RKC snatch test with the 14kg for a while now, the idea of snatching with the 12kg for 10 minutes wasn’t so scary. Besides, I had written this as the beginning section of the workout we did last night, and left the rest of the workout fairly open for practicing stuff like flags, advanced push up variations, a couple of heavy presses, and something I called the “flex hang grudge match” My training partner can’t (YET) do as many pull ups as I can, but she has this bizarre (and frankly infuriating) power of staying above the bar FOREVER with seemingly no strain at all. It drives me nuts. Hence the grudge match, and I knew I would lose and I did. Maybe it was that attitude. HAHAHAHA.
Anyway – here’s what happened last night while you were out partying:
We warmed up with some basic joint mobility exercises and then got straight to the SSST. This first time through I really had no idea what would happen, I set my timer to beep every minute on the minute so I’d kind of have an idea of what was going on. Figured I’d use my “cruising at altitude” pace and see where it got me. Actually ended up going a little faster than that since I was using a lighter weight than usual, and could feel that it was going to be a bit easier than I’d anticipated. I never put the kettlebell down, because I’m one of those people who if I put it down, I am less likely to pick it back up again. So I cruised through the whole 10 minutes, ended up getting 235 snatches and have confidence that I could probably do it again and get more. The “eyeball bleeding elite” at 250 reps as listed in that 2006 article sounds like a good goal for next time, and possibly even doable. Was really happy to see that this test did not destroy me, and that the recent training that I’d been doing was obviously doing its job. It was cool to see that I wasn’t even hitting my top range of heart rate exertion that I’ve been in the habit of getting to in recent workouts.
So after grabbing some water, we wandered down to an area that had a very nice pole for clutch flag and progressions towards the human flag (vertical press, chamber press) practice. We took turns practicing with the pole for a few short reps and then doing a few either Neuro-Grip push ups or I was doing low reps of 1 arm push ups in anticipation of the PCC Workshop later this month. Honestly, after seeing the cool photo of Danny about to do a one arm push up on a Neuro-Grip leading this past week’s PCC Blog Post, I have set my sights on that insane little goal. Pretty sure we haven’t seen any women do that yet, and well that means I feel like I need to do it. While my one arm push ups are improving, I’m not yet to the point of one Neuro-Grip, but with time and stubbornness who knows!
After a brief break, we switched planes of motion and did some max-pressing with the kettlebells. I didn’t set any PRs, but I am SUPER proud of my friend who pressed the 16kg on both sides for the first time! AND THEN DID IT AGAIN! If you’re keeping score, its not like she did this right at the beginning of the workout either… this is after the SSST and after some strength practice too. So coasting on that victory she made short work of me on the flex hang grudge match, but I’m proud to say I did hold my own and probably picked the wrong grip (“tactical”) out of habit. Excuses excuses.
We finally ended with some favorite Primal Move cooldown activities and enjoyed a brief visit of a funny dog (beagle pit mix?!?!) that was out walking with his human.
I have to get back to finishing the final edits on my American Ninja Warrior audition video now, but I want to give you a little preview… this was recorded yesterday in one take (had no idea if I could even do it) and this i-beam might be my new favorite thing to play on in the neighborhood! SO FUN (even if you can only use the first 2 knuckles of your fingers on it)