Three weeks ago, I started a kettlebell challenge to complete the RKC snatch test requirement (32 L+R reps with the 53 lbs kettlebell) with no breaks.

Except for the trip to NY last week, I have been working on this consistently exercising three days a week. As expected (I have done this before), Liebitz law of the minimum (If you don’t know what that is, you should research it) comes into play for multiple factors. First it was my grip which was too weak. Then it became the energy supply (tanking), and now it’s the cardio. Three weeks ago, I started with 21x3L+R, and now I’m doing 9 sets of 7 L+R, where each set takes 37 seconds with a 23 second break. This means that my workout now takes less than 10 minutes. Yet during those 10 minutes, I move almost as much iron as I would do in a gym with a bodybuilding program, hence the high intensity cardio benefit. This also saves me hours on a treadmill.

Fortunately, being cardio limited is easy to overcome when the limit is set by how well you can breathe compared to how much blood the heart can pump in the muscles, which depends on the capilary development and of course the strength of your heart(*). It does not hurt nearly as much when being pushed to just below the limit.

(*) Endurance training gives you a big thin-walled heart, which is not strong but which will pump a lot of blood. Strength training gives you a small thick-walled heart, which is strong and can sustain large blood pressures. No training gives you a small thin-walled heart. To avoid cardiovascular diseases, you want good circulation, the kind of circulation you get from endurance training, but to survive a heart attack, you want a strong heart. See? So what is one to do? Exactly what I’m doing above.

Physiologically, I have surely undergone what fitness wimps refer to as toning. The muscles have tightened slightly. Toning can not be sustained unless you continuously increase the load or you exercise so rarely (like once a week) that the body reverts back to its previous stage during the long breaks. I think I also added a couple of pounds, however in three weeks, it can’t be more than a couple—about 0.5″ on the arms. Probably more on the shoulders and chest. I would once again like to emphasize that I am not as strong (or large) as I used to be and going back is easier than going somewhere for the first time. Somehow the body remembers.

The ultimate goal is to work out with the 32kg/71lbs KB instead. Maybe then I can sell my 53lbs KB and liberate some space.

Originally posted 2009-07-10 10:05:28.