The New Year brought the new six-week cycle while I was in Oklahoma visiting family. Traveling I am not usually that strict on diet, so it was a bumpy start. What I did have waiting for me when I got home was my gift from my mother-in-law, a Rogue 70lb kettlebell; which even knowing my absolute strength limit was 62lbs overhead I had to try. Clean and Press was not happening, it barely got off my shoulder, was able to push press it though. With that out of the way I picked up where I left off with Simple & Sinister and using special presses practice on Saturdays so I can get closer to a ½ bodyweight one-arm press.
Week One: Random workouts by what I felt like doing that day. Saturday started the month of Back-Up Presses, an overload press with the 70lb/32kg kettlebell with the offhand helping.
Week Two: Back on track with S&S, swinging the 53lb/24kg ‘bell two-handed for 80 reps. The Turkish Get-Ups were three sets with the 30lb ‘bell and two with the 44lb/20kg of one rep. Overload Presses were 4 sets of one and a set of two reps.
Week Three: Up to 90 swings, keeping the TGUs the same, though I bumped up the overload presses to two sets of three and three sets of one. Discovered it was better for me to press to lockout and really lock down overhead for a 10-second isometric hold.
Week Four: Hit the 100-rep limit for the program on swings and replaced a set of 30lb Get-Ups with a 44lb set. Started to notice I was getting tired training 5-6 days a week so I split the mobility and swings from the TGU’s after Pavel recommended it to a time-crunched forum poster on StrongFirst.
Week Five: Trained just one day and crashed, my CNS tap test plunged to 55 where it is usually 58-62 taps in 10 seconds. I stopped training completely except for foam rolling and stretch until Saturday. Then it was High-Tension Presses to work on my goal for February with seven single reps with the 53lb ‘bell.
Week Six: Dropped way back to 40 swings with lighter TGUs. Saturdays are High-Tension Presses to train staying tight with my 53lb kettlebell.
The method I used to determine moving up on swings was when the TOTAL session was under 30 minutes I add a set. The TGU’s I went by the book, finish under 10 minutes, own it (same weight for another week without drop off) then bump up the weight. Still I pushed too hard and crashed so the final week I cut drastically cut back. Trained the harder one-armed swings, but only 40 reps along with greasing the groove with mostly 30lb TGU’s.
To keep from going overboard this time I will use the book’s time limit for bumping up swing weight determine when I add a set of swings. When I finish consistently under five minutes for swings for more than a week, then I will add on to it. You think I would have learned after Kettlebell Hell and that CNS burnout.
As for nutrition I ran a caloric deficit with the limit being 2228 calories a day which over the cycle averaged out too 2006.5 calories a day. I kept a steely eye on the carbs, making sure they stayed under 100 grams, and on average I took in 91.68 grams a day. Keeping my protein at a gram per pound of lean body mass to maintain it averaged out 132.68 a day. That is my method of dieting, watching macronutrients with a goal to cut fat, not to lose weight overall. It can go down, but as long as the muscles did not, I am fine. So, did it work? Let’s take a look…
Body Composition (inches)
Body Part Before After -/+
Neck 14 14.3 +0.3
Shoulders 44.75 44 -.75
Chest 38.50 37.50 -1.o
Waist 34 33 0
Biceps 12.62 12.5 -0.125
Forearms 11.12 11 -0.12
Thighs 22.75 22.55 -0.20
Calves 14 13.6 -0.40
Weight 160.6 lbs 155.6 -5.0
Body Fat % 18.6% 16% -2.6%
Lean Body Mass 130.8lbs 130.7 -.10 lbs
That worked out perfectly, over the six week cycle I leaned out considerably and still kept my muscle. The 16% of body fat isn’t where I want to be but it’s a marked improvement. I will bump up the calories to a maintence level and not be as strict on the carbs, with 150 grams being the top end limit and an eye towards around 100. I will keep working with Simple and Sinister for another six weeks with a ‘competition’ in three weeks. That being with the old fitness benchmarks met (average) to see where I am comparatively, now to see where I am with myself. Every three months on the 1st I see where my absolute strength is in the one arm press and how many 24kg snatches I can do in 5 minutes to check conditioning.
A good way to start the year…