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Training Injuries

June 29, 2006 01:58 PM

Last summer and fall I completed the UNLOCK! and the NAKED WARRIOR weekends presented by dragondoor.com within a couple of months of each other. These are two fantastic seminars. If you have not taken them, do so. You will be glad you did.

My next planned challenge was the dragondoor.com Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructor certification program scheduled for the end of September. While training for the RKC, I encountered my first sign of trouble. It began with left low back pain while doing snatches with a relatively light 20 Kg kettlebell. This persisted for several weeks but gradually improved.

Then, the last week in September I was doing Seated Double Overhead Presses with two 16 Kg kettlebells when I noticed a squishy sensation in my right buttocks area just as the bells were being locked overhead. Rather than paying attention, I did another rep. The sensation was doubly intense and spread over twice the area. This definitely stopped me, and I decided to try to "walk it off." After a mile on the treadmill everything felt fine and the rest of my workout was completed with no problems.

While standing the next day, I began experiencing intense pain in the same right buttock area. It progressively worsened until no weight could be tolerated on my right leg. This ultimately forced a cancellation of my attendance at the RKC seminar.

After two days off work, things were no better. Being self employed means having to work, no matter what. The pain was now going to just below my right knee whenever I stood for even a few minutes. This would progressively and rapidly increase to the point where I would have to sit immediately, on the floor or anywhere, and wait for the pain to subside. At its worst, I was reduced to scooting on my butt to get from room to room. My right leg continued to weaken to the point where going up or down stairs required one step at a time with my left leg.

Massage, electrical physiotherapy, stretching, and Chiropractic manipulation helped briefly and temporarily, but I could not sleep in a bed with my legs straight or bent. Muscle relaxants and pain medication helped for a few hours but the pain still returned whenever there was weight on my right leg.

Finally, after four weeks of no significant improvement, I contacted John Du Cane and Pavel Tsatsouline. John reminded me of something so obvious it was like being smacked in the head by the proverbial Zen master.

Balance, not only for the physical, but also, equally important, for the spiritual, is the key. I had been training for six to seven days a week for the past year. During that time my running, which had been a regular part of my exercise program for over thirty years, had declined to one or maybe two days a week. Likewise, my stretching after the UNLOCK! seminar was ignored as more time was devoted to body weight exercises in preparation for the NAKED WARRIOR seminar. John's Qigong Recharge exercises and my meditations had been forgotten. And, during all this time, my kettlebell routines had been regularly increasing in intensity.

That weekend I decided that if my condition were not going to improve with inactivity or anything else, I would either "make it or break it" so something could be done one way or the other. I began walking on the treadmill. The first quarter mile was excruciating. The second was somewhat less. The third was manageable. And, the fourth was definitely bearable.

Several days later I spoke with Pavel and he said I had to "take the hair of the dog." This was all the confirmation I needed. I had to beat the problem, caused by exercising, by exercising. Pavel recommended, "greasing the groove" with three exercises: Wall Squats, One-Leg Dead Lifts, and Windmills. "Greasing the groove," means doing a few of each of the exercises as often as possible throughout the day. I began immediately. It was not easy, but there was noticeable relief that day that lasted more than an hour or two. My condition continued to improve every day thereafter.

Within two weeks I was able to begin body weight exercises. After another week I was in the woods for the opening day of elk season and, with the help of two friends, dragged a 475 pound, 5 X 4 elk over fifty yards out of a swampy, brushy area where I had dropped him with one shot. No, I wasn't one hundred percent. My right leg collapsed several times during the pull, but the other guys needed breaks also.

Since I was already signed up for the spring RKC, I began a more reasonable three to four day kettlebell program. Each training session began with John Du Cane's UNLOCK! warm-up including Shaking, Recharge, and Spiraling exercises. The kettlebell program incorporated varying combinations, reps, and sets of One-Leg Deadlift, Swing, Bottom-Up Press, Clean & Press, Snatch, Waiter's Press, Turkish Get-Up, and Windmill. Various body-weight exercises such as Wall Squat, Janda Sit-Up, One-Arm Pushup, Pull-up, Pistol, Iranian Pushup, Chin-up, and Dip were included during "active rests."

The weight of the kettlebells, the number of reps, and the number of sets varied. For example, the first week in January included one set, the second week two sets, and the third week three sets with 16 Kg kettlebells. The fourth week I lightened everything (reps, sets, weights, time, etc.) for one week. In other words, one week of "active rest" for every three weeks of progression. February saw an increase to 20 Kg kettlebells. And, March and April incorporated 24 Kg kettlebells.

Variety was included in these workouts by altering the number of reps and sets. Sometimes, heavier bells were used with fewer reps one day a week. Occasionally, ladder sets of 1-2-3-4-5 reps or 5-4-3-2-1 reps helped get past training plateaus.

Just at the right time I received Pavel's March e-mail "training tip" that outlined a program for increasing Snatch reps. This was one of my major concerns for the upcoming RKC since a significant number of participants fail the Snatch rep requirement. In his training tip Pavel recommended doing a varying percentage of max reps three times each week. As you progress, you can increase your target reps as well as your percentages until you reach your goal. This program worked tremendously well. I was able to do more than my required number of Snatch reps at the RKC.

The above program was followed by at least ten minutes of cool-down active stretches with the breathing assist techniques as taught by Steve Maxwell and Pavel in the UNLOCK! and NAKED WARRIOR seminars. Each day's final activity consisted of three to five minutes on an inversion traction table, never exceeding 45 degrees (too great an angle of inversion traction increases pressure in the small capillaries in your eyes and can result in rupture or leakage).

"Active Rest" Sunday workouts included Steve Maxwell's full body warm-up and one leg exercise routines as demonstrated and taught in the UNLOCK! and NAKED WARRIOR seminars. The warm-up takes about 15 to 20 minutes and covers every muscle, joint, and range of motion. Steve's standing One-Leg Exercises requires about four minutes non-stop for each leg. This is followed by the usual cool-down active stretches and inversion traction.

The result of this program was successful completion and certification at the April 2006 RKC. Not bad for becoming 60 years young this year.

Even without my back failing last fall I would probably not have accomplished certification then. It was easy to rationalize as an overtraining injury. It was not. It was due to training for over three years with less than perfect technique. Errors in technique, minor or otherwise, build over time and eventually cause failure in the weakest link. The RKC corrected a multitude of minor, but critical mistakes with my kettlebell exercises. The books and DVDs are marvelous and I would not be without my collection. However, training with a certified kettlebell instructor is essential.

Take the time and make the effort to learn the basics properly. Attend every Dragon Door seminar you can so you can learn the techniques correctly from the masters, senior instructors, and assistant instructors. Then you can be positive you will be able to continue training longer, more comfortably, and more successfully for whatever your goals may be.

Doc Kelley
Newport, OR
dockelley@tnhp.net
www.TheNaturalHealthPlace.com

Doc Kelly at April 06 RKC


Doc Kelley's kettlebell collection

Biography

Ivan F. Kelley, III (Doc or Doc Kelley) graduated from Clemson University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Teaching. During his seven years as a teacher in Port Huron, Michigan, he earned his Master of Arts degree in Secondary Curriculum from Eastern Michigan University. After serving for a year as an assistant principal and another year as office manager for a private industry, he returned to school to become a physician.

At the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, he earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology as well as his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. While attending NUHS, he was employed for three years, during evenings, as a therapist and trainer for the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Institute in Carol Stream, Illinois. There he was fortunate to have as his mentor, Robert Gajda, Mr. America and Mr. Universe, 1964 through 1966. Mr. Gajda unselfishly shared his extensive knowledge of functional anatomy and exercise physiology. This background provided Doc Kelley the opportunity to develop invaluable hands-on expertise with the rehabilitation and performance enhancement of national and international professional and amateur athletes from virtually every sport.

After graduating from NUHS in 1983, Doc purchased an existing chiropractic practice in Newport, Oregon. One of his first projects was the creation of an illustrated manual of body-weight exercises that he still uses with patients daily. Outside of his regular practice, he has served as a consultant, lecturer, and advisor for several nutrition companies. He has written numerous informational newsletters, brochures, and articles about chiropractic, exercise, nutrition, and other health topics for in-office use as well as for magazines and nutrition companies. He has conducted several one- to four-day seminars on natural health care for lay people as well as for professionals. And, he has organized and completed several nutritional research projects.

Subsequent to completing hundreds of post-graduate hours in nutrition, Doc became a Certified Nutritional Consultant of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants and an Enzyme Therapist of The International Academy of Enzyme Nutrition. He has successfully attained Certified Clinical Nutritionist status with the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists and Diplomate status with the American Chiropractic Association's Board of Nutrition. He is an Associate of 21st Century Nutrition and an active member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners.

In April 2006 Doc Kelley successfully completed his certification as an instructor for Russian Kettlebells, the ultimate exercise program and equipment for optimal health and longevity. This was accomplished as the result of his association and friendship with Pavel Tsatsouline, chief instructor and founder of Russian Kettlebells in the United States; Steve Maxwell, world Brazilian Jujitsu champion and trainer of world-class athletes; and John Du Cane, Qigong master and owner of DragonDoor.com, manufacturer and distributor of Russian kettlebells. Having the extreme good fortune to train with these ultimate masters of sports medicine and physiology has given Doc Kelley the opportunity to bring his knowledge of exercise therapy to twenty-first century standards and beyond.

With over twenty years of experience with thousands of patients, Dr. Kelley still enjoys nothing more than assisting people in finding ways to help themselves improve their health and quality of life.
 

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