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Old 03-12-2007, 07:56 PM   #4
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,273

Sunday morning was a bit rough. It was daylight savings time again, and everyone had lost an hour of sleep.

I woke up and basically it felt like everything from right above the glutes to my neck was locked up along with the delts. Stiff and sore. It took an act of will to move.

I had about an hour's drive back to Fenton so I brewed some coffee and got on the road.

The workshop started right around 9 AM.

First part was a recap of yesterday. We had 3 more people join us, one was Pete Silverman, the other was his son, and the third was a woman I didn't meet.

We started with the same warm up.

That warm up sequence is, basically:

1. High knee skips going forward.
2. High knee skips going backwards.
3. Lateral skips (both directions)
4. Kind of a carioci type movement, making sure you rotated the hips and lower torso while keeping the upper body in the same position (both directions)
5. Lunges
6. Reverse lunges
7. Continuous lunges
8. Continuous backwards lunges

Someone can chime in if I forgot something. Once again I was winded and sweating, but the warm up did have the effect of loosening me up dramatically, compared to how I felt when I walked in.

Then we went over the major points from the first day.

After that we went over some of the "circus feats" of kettlebell lifting. These are basically just the non-contested lifts that are particularly handy to do with a kettlebell.

The military press:

Nothing really new here for anyone, but Ken went over the tension techniques. He easily pressed the 106# kb, and said that he hadn't been pressing much lately, that all the jerking work for kettlebell lifting had kept his press in good shape.

1 kb press
2 kb press
The see-saw press
The sotts press
The push press

Did some timed sets here on a few of these.


Went over the deck squat, front squatting, overhead squatting, and in and effort to improve my depth, Ken showed me a drill to emphasize pulling myself into the squat with my hip flexors...sad to say it didn't work all that well for me, I don't know if it's because I am pretty well trained in barbell squatting or if I had some mental blocks up, but to get deeper in an unloaded squat I really need several cycles of tensing up and relaxing.

Pete had some issues and Ken and Steve went over some things to help him out, like the face-the-wall squat, and some PNF stretching techniques for the shoulders to help improve overhead squatting. The PNF techniques were pretty good stuff, you can probably find out more info than you'd ever care to know if you google it.

The windmill:

Again, nothing new here, just basic, hands on instruction for the movement.

We went over the turkish get up as well.

The pistol, being one of Steve's trademark movements, was demonstrated. Steve makes it look like the most natural and easy movement you can imagine. The rest of us weren't quite as polished. I can't do a pistol, and tried a few different ways to do one, and I have a long way to go. I seem to have some issue where my leg will shut off after I reach a certain depth...doing a one legged step down from a chair revealed that I couldn't just touch my foot lightly to the ground and come up, but that I had to put my weight on it.

After that, Steve did a demonstration of his pistol jumps up and down off a table. It was simply an incredible display of skillful and powerful movement, and it remains one of the more impressive things I've ever seen someone do.

Steve explained that he doesn't ever recommend training these or trying these to anyone, but it's a very good example of why training to decelerate and to absorb force is useful. If you think about it, everyone's very concerned with accelerating and force development, but the vast majority of sports also require the exact opposite skills half the time.

I also like what Mike Boyle says about one legged live your life on one leg. There are very few sports where both legs are engaged at the same time in the same way.

We went over the TGU sit up, which is a very high tension abdominal movement Steve recommends. This was a new one for me, and utilized strategic breath holding and release to control your descent. This is a hard one to describe, and maybe I'll tape myself doing this as a demo.

Then briefly we went over some program design and some Q&A on assorted topics.

Steve said he likes to see a program have a push, a pull, and a squat variant on each day, for general fitness purposes, and then with an abdominal exercise and a grip exercise.

For Kettlebell Sport, he likes the competitive movement done in a timed set, 1 armed overweight jerks, overweight swings, overweight rack holds, and Ken mentioned that he likes high repetition jump squats.

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch, but that was about it.
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