1618168_10151890215121651_167122917_oThe second day of sport camp was all about this amazing lifter – Aleksander Khvostov. This weekend at the Cali Open he competed 100 snatches with a 40kg kettlebell and every single rep was the most beautifully executed. For the 73kg weight class that is just an amazing feat of strength and endurance. We started our morning learning and practicing snatch technique. We also had Ivan Denisov and  Ksenia Dedukhina assisting and providing feedback to lifters as well. Not going to lie – but getting some myofascial release on my forearm from Denisov was definitely a highlight. However, today I made some amazing progress with understanding the snatch. I love how Khvostov broke the movement down. I am starting to have a better understanding of how to connect with the bell and allow gravity to support me where it can so that I can relax my arms and conserve energy. I’m not always able to execute that understanding…but it is coming along and I have a much better idea of what correct form feels like. I am especially pleased with my insertion and increased accuracy in finding a stable position.


Today during the lunch hour I took a private training session with one of my favourite champions – Yevgeniy  Goncharov. My friend and teammate John Harshman showed me a video of Yevgeniy lifting months ago. He immediately became one of my favourite lifters, because of his awesome technique, sweet and hilarious sense of humour and ofcourse especially since we both share a love of long cycle. Today he showed me what I already suspected and knew – and that is what an incredible human being he is. He had me demonstrate my technique for him using 12kg kettlebell. Then he had me play around with two arm long cycle. Not sure if my reps were horrible but we didn’t do very much before moving back to one arm long cycle. LOL! He didn’t have too many suggestions for my technique but helped me use my legs but also focus on keeping them more relaxed in fixation.  He then gave me some 1minute sets with 12kg, 14kg, 16kg and 20kg kettlebells followed by some long cycle with extra swing with the 20kg.


Next was the part that was the best part of the entire session. We had a long discussion about “psychology”. He asked me why I had done 81 repetitions in Bay Area last August and only 78 repetitions on Sunday. What blew me away was that he knew these results and I had not told him. I shared with him some of my post competition reflections about the number of distractions I had allowed to commit my time and energy too – size of the competition, live streaming, MS expectations, fear of letting my coach and teammates down…the list goes on. He then proceeded to do 2 very cool things – 1. He told me a story about when he had first started competing in kettlebell sport and advice that his Uncle had given to him to give him confidence and think like a champion and 2. He offered to look at my programming and preparation for this meet and give me feedback and assistance work suggestions. We talked some more about how my training had gone over the month before the competition. I immediately came out of my sulky funk over my set. He had told me he believed I was capable of the 100 reps and needed to work on my mindset to believe in myself. BOOM! Thank you so much Yevgeniy  Goncharov!! It was such an honour to train with you today! CHU HI!


Then wouldn’t you know the Facebook forces of the universe must have heard I needed support. This showed up in my newsfeed (because of the awesome people I know) and really solidified my uplifted spirits. I realized how I have always been consistently over critical of myself to my own detriment throughout my athletic career. This was the slap in the face I needed to stop. I have worked super hard in the last 5 months to prepare for this competition. I overcame my first 12minute set of long cycle with and 18kg kettlebell, I rocked my 8min set at competition pace with the 20kg kettlebell. The numbers will come. I will get there. I definitely feel stronger and fitter than I did in August.

Speaking of which – the day would not have been complete without one of Aleksander’s GPP circuits. That man is so fit and he loves physical challenges. He is the only person I know to have completed 1000 consecutive burpees. Luckily he was much easier than that on us. We only had to work for 10 minutes. These kinds of workouts are a piece of cake for me so I really enjoyed ending the day this way…although my arms are sooo sore. I forgot to mention that this competition is taking place at the most amazing facility I have ever seen – Innovative Results. The owner of this facility is an INCREDIBLE athlete and kettlebell sport lifter, Aaron Guyett. He is also an incredible trainer with so many creative ideas on moving in fun and challenging ways. So far each day he has given me an interesting challenge which I have loved (but also felt pissed off because my arms are so sore from the competition so they are more challenging then they should be). On Day 1 in introduced me to the peg board. This thing is HUGE. So many interesting variations can be done on it. I am definitely going to make Carl build me one some how. This morning it was a rope climb to some rock climbing hand grips that I wanted to play with, but the only way to reach them was to climb the rope. Ofcourse you had to use no legs to climb the rope (according to his challenging and twisted rules). I managed to climb the rope and was then too exhausted to play on the hand grips. It makes me want to make a special trip back to Cali when I am fresh just so I can play there. This was the finisher Aleks had for us today:

IMG_20140225_165652I used a 16kg kettlebell (or pair) for all of the movements requiring a kettlebell except for using a 12kg kettlebell for Highway to Hell and Russian twists. Thanks for the trainings Aleks!


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