Over the weekend I was able to squeeze in competing at Crazy Monkey USA’s Kettlebell Championship. With all the traveling we’ve had so far this summer, I haven’t been able to stick to a consistent training schedule enough to be ready for a 10 minute set. So, for fun, I decided to sign up for the 5 minute biathlon instead.
5 vs. 10
Training for a 5 minute event is very different than a 10 minute event. But don’t be deceived. Training is equally brutal. If I had to compare it to another sport, I would say it is like training for a track event—a sprint distance (explosive pace for a short period of time) vs. a middle distance (which requires both strength and endurance). The shorter time under the bells meant I could train at a faster pace without having to save anything in the tank for the long haul. It also meant I had to clean up my technique to be able to go fast and be efficient at the same time.
My training partner Paul was training for a 10 minute set up until just a week or two before the competition before he switched to a 5 minute set, but we still met up as usual to do some work together. The great thing about having a training partner like Paul was that he never let me take a vacation from doing the work, even when I told him I had to hike over 5,000 feet and 15 miles in the middle of the training cycle. My lifting schedule often had to be moved around my travel schedule, so there was a lot of make up sessions and impromptu workouts made with what I had available.
I promised my training partner @trainerpaulie that I would do my homework. He had come up with a brilliant cardio conditioning routine for one of my teammates a few weeks ago, so I modified it a bit for what I had to work with in the resort's itty bitty fitness center. I have named it the Bunyan Special: 5 rounds: 3 min Assault Bike 30 sec Rest 2 min Dumbbell Clean + Jerk (25lbs @ 6rpm) 1 min Rest Not going to lie. It was hard. I shall stretch on the beach now. #vacationworkout #traininghomework #dumbbells #assaultbike #trainingdoesnttakeavacation #postworkoutbeachnap
Paul also came up with an amazing cardio conditioning program for one of our other teammates which I later adapted for travel. It was amazing. It was also hard AF.
5 rounds of:
3 minutes steady state cardio
2 minutes of Clean and Jerk
1 minute rest
What really saved me from missing so much lifting was just staying on top of my—you guessed it—cardio. I got on the rower whenever I could, no matter the time I had. I was also heavily training for the Kalalau Trail which meant a lot of intense hiking with heavy packs.
Keep it simple cardio: 2 min. Jump Rope 1 min. Rest x10 Grip Strength Finisher: 3 min. Farmer Carry w/16kg It was a long day, but that little voice in my head (who sounds a lot like @trainerpaulie ) told me to get it done. #cardio #jumprope #punkrope #kettlebells #kettlebellkings #farmerscarry #littlehandsaysitstimetorockandroll
I also starting using my jump rope more frequently which really gave me the most bang for my buck.
10 rounds of:
2 minutes Jump Rope
1 minute rest
*3 minute finisher: Farmer Carry w/16kg
To be honest, I was so preoccupied with other personal stuff happening the week of the competition, that I actually didn’t have any time to mentally prepare myself for my sets. I slept pretty poorly the 2 nights before Saturday so I felt pretty exhausted and distracted. I picked up my teammate Colleen bright and early and had her play a mix of Run the Jewels and Beyoncé just to wake me up. I walked into the arena just accepting my level of energy and didn’t really set any goals until Coach came up to me during the morning and asked me if I had any. I told him I just wanted to make my test set numbers from June.
Test set numbers leading up to the competition were:
May 4th 5 minutes w/14kg:
Point total: 112
June 9th 5 minutes w/16kg:
Point total: 86.5
My numbers the day of the competition, July 22nd: 5 minutes w/16kg:
Point total: 101 (PR) : 68kg Weight Class, Rank 1, 1st Place
I surprised the hell out of myself. All I wanted to do was nap before my sets and I managed to go faster than I had ever trained. The week before when I was asked what my goals were, I said I just wanted to have fun. I think what finally got me going was getting on the platform next to my favorite teammates and suddenly my mind shifted. I went for it.
Memorably, when I finished my snatch set, I took a knee on the platform, waiting for my heart or small alien baby to explode out of my chest. Coach came over with a high five and said, "You've never gone that fast before!" and then had to help me up and guide me while I walked so I wouldn't die. But, PR, so ... yay?
Classy, As Always
Saiko and her amazing club Crazy Monkey USA always goes above and beyond when hosting competitions. I attended their competition last year which was held at their training facility and was so well organized and offered a lot of amenities to the lifters. This year, the competition was held at Xfinity Arena in Everett. Again, Saiko went above and beyond, giving the lifters a great experience and place to really have fun. Also, a live DJ who would play songs requested by the lifters for their sets! (I forgot to request something, but if I had, it totally would of been Ludacris.)
Thank you to my amazing coaches, teammates and friends at Seattle Kettlebell Club for all the support and kickass community they’ve built. A big thanks to Conor, for telling me I was going to do so much better than I believed, because he always believes in me when all I want to do is be self deprecating and live my life like Gudetama, the lazy egg. (Extra credit points for the ice cream he had waiting for me in the freezer when I got home.) And a special shout out to my teammate Christeine for bringing me a bag of Trader Joe’s Mochi Nuggets to inhale on the way home.