Countdown to Miami - Ashley's Kettlebell Training Log

This blog is dedicated to the sharing of Ashley's Log. Ashley Hughes, under the guidance of Coach Mike Stefano, is preparing for a Professional World Kettlebell Competition in Miami on November 3 and 4, 2007, as part of the American Kettlebell Club's Team America.

This represents the first international competition on U.S. soil. The main focus of Ashley's competition training is the One-Arm Jerk (16 kg, one-switch), Snatch (16 kg, one-switch), and One-Arm Long Cycle (20-minutes, multi-switch). All sets are performed with one arm-switch unless otherwise stated.

This log was created on September 4, 2007, and we will list over four weeks of consecutive workouts, and is an open book for all to see. We have no secrets at the AKC, just perfect technique and hard work. Ash will log in every workout, sometimes with a brief comment on how she felt.

Scroll down to see start date of September 4, 2007 and watch Ashley's numbers RISE!


The last 4 weeks of training will go unposted. To date, Ashley's best is 186 in the one arm Jerk and 185 in the Snatch. Look to Miami for the next entry!
  • TUESDAY, October 9
1arm Jerk 16k 10min 17rpm=170

Snatch 16k 6min 16rpm= 96

Comments by Mike Stefano: Slow and steady progress with a very healthy Ashley is the goal. We have just under four weeks and some more room to move up.

  • MONDAY, October 8
1 arm Jerk 16k 8min 14rpm=112

Snatch 16k 8min 16rpm=128

  • SUNDAY, October 7
1arm Jerk 16k 8min 14rpm=112

Snatch 16k 8min 15rpm=120

  • SATURDAY, October 6
  • FRIDAY, October 5
Snatch 16k 8min 18rpm=144

Where before i was acclimating to working out 6 days a i'm acclimating to besting myself 6 days a week.
  • THURSDAY, October 4
1arm Jerk 16k 8min 18rpm= 144

  • WEDNESDAY, October 3
1arm Jerk 16k 6min 20-22rpm (21,22,20,21,21,20)= 125

Snatch 16k 6min 21-25rpm (21,22,22,22,22,25)= 134

Both sets felt pretty good. I felt the jerk mostly in my calves. Also, I can see how speeding can make you breath a little heavier, but no crazy breathing. My hands skin and grip-wise held up. I guess i'm just going to have to go faster and faster and faster now. hehehehe.

  • TUESDAY, October 2
1arm Jerk 16k 8min 16rpm

Snatch 16k 8min 16rpm= 128

  • MONDAY, October 1
1-Arm Long Cycle 16k, 10min, 10rpm, 100total

I took a serious break today
  • SUNDAY, September 30

  • SATURDAY, September 29
1-Arm Jerk 16k, 10min, 12rpm, 120total
Swings 70/70

My hands getting a little I didn't snatch today. I jerked relatively slow today, just wanted to get a sixth day in even though my body is tired. Swings are really helping me learn how to relax when I fold in half. Also, I'm training my body to relax (while loaded with an extra 24k) and move at the same time as the bell.

  • FRIDAY, September 28
1-Arm Jerk 16k, 8min, 15rpm, 120total
Snatch 16k, 8 min, 16rpm, 128total

Felt good, I think I'm thinking too much lately. I have to relax.
  • THURSDAY, September 27
Snatch 16k, 10 min, 15rpm, 147total

Weird...I got through the first five minutes on my left hand without missing any reps. I probably should've even gone longer on my left. I missed the last three on my right. I think I must be gripping the bell too tight with my right hand because my grip just went. I start to lose the "hook" with my index finger and thumb the last minute. Nevertheless, this set felt way better than last week. Still psyched's a pr again did 10 more than my last ten minute snatch set last week. Movin' on up! Can't say enough about all the swings I've been doing.
  • WEDNESDAY, September 26
1-Arm Jerk 16k, 10min, 15rpm, 150total
Swings 24k 65/65

Today I didn't snatch my left hand is getting a little raw and my skin felt kind of spent. I probably should take care of that. Anyway, I needed to do a 10 minute set so I took my pr pace and decreased it by one rep. Instead of snatching I decided to swing so I could save my hand for another day. We figured out that 65/65 is a solid 4 minutes of swings. No wonder they're ass kickers. No wonder swings cross over to long snatch sets. I'm feeling good and have allowed myself a beer with dinner. Cheers!
  • TUESDAY, September 25
1-Arm Jerk 16k, 6min, 17rpm, 102total
Snatch 16k, 6 min, 20rpm, 120total

Today I decided set a faster pace just to see how it feels. The goal was to stay relaxed, keep the same technique but just go faster. It seemed to work. I can see how the swings start to crossover more to the snatch. 20rpm starts to actually feel more like a swing because you have less rest at the top in the lockout. Mike said my jerk set was the best set he's seen from me. Sweet!
  • MONDAY, September 24
1-Arm Jerk 16k, 8min, 12rpm, 96total
Snatch 16k, 8 min, 14rpm, 113total
Swings 24k 60/60

I felt kind of crappy today (for lack of a better term). All this speeding everyday and trying to set a higher standard for myself is quite taxing (more so mentally). I'm not complaining or wimping out (well maybe a little), but I needed a break. Also, from speeding in the jerk I think I was losing some finesse and timing and my technique was starting to slightly suck. So... today I took it easy and concentrated on doing every rep perfectly. I'm still diggin' the swings. Out of everything they seem to kick my ass the most.
  • SUNDAY, September 23
  • SATURDAY, September 22
  • FRIDAY, September 21
1-Arm Jerk, 16kg 10 min, 16rpm, 161total

comments by Mike Stefano
New PR for Jerk, finally starting to hit an "uncomfortable" zone... Still more room.
  • THURSDAY, September 20
1-Arm Jerk, 24kg 6 min, 8rpm, 48total
Snatch, 16kg, 8min, 15rpm, 120

comments by Mike Stefano
We worked heavier on the jerk, more of a mental break than anything else
  • WEDNESDAY, September 19
1-Arm Jerk, 16kg 8 min, 14rpm, 112total
Snatch, 16kg, 8min, 14rpm, 114 total (+2 last minute)

comments by Mike Stefano
This is the best snatch set that I've ever seen from Ashley.

She was more relaxed having pasted yesterday's milestone. Her movements seemed even more efficient. Blisters better all around. We actually ran out of time for swings (client showed up and Ash had to run), we'll make up for it I'm sure.

I've uploaded yesterday's 10-minute snatch set. Click below to check it out.


  • TUESDAY, September 18
I knew I was going to do my pr on the snatch so i jerked for a warm up.

1-Arm Jerk, 16kg 4 min, 14rpm, 56total
Snatch, 16kg, 10min, 14rpm, 137total

I missed the last 2 on my left and last one on my right hand.

I got club hand for the last couple reps on each hand. Although I'm pissed that that in one way failed, I'm proud of myself for getting through ten minutes and going the longest i have ever. This was a huge stepping stone for me today. my hands held up (skin-wise) without ripping any new blisters. i still have that annoying blister on my right "hip" of hand.'s all good. thanks for the support...i definitely can't skip a workout when i know i have to post it up here for everyone to read.
  • MONDAY, September 17
1-Arm Jerk, 16kg 8 min, 14rpm, 112total
Snatch, 16kg, 8min, 15rpm, 120total
Swings, 24kg, 60/60

Blister on hip of palm almost healed, but still needs to be taped. Left hand (palm blister from snatch) gone. Trying to relax the grip from the outset... it's helping. Handled today's workout pretty easily.
  • SUNDAY, September 16
  • SATURDAY, September 15
1-Arm Jerk, 16kg 10 min, 15rpm, 150total
Swings, 24kg, 55/55

Hip of palm blister getting better. We managed to tape it nicely (right hand). Some minor blistering on the left palm prevented us from going for snatch.
  • FRIDAY, Sept. 14th
8min Snatch 16rpm=128

No left hand (my serious baby hand)is about to rip open...need a day to heal. my right hand that has the "hip" blister was okay enough to snatch's not the pain that stops me, it's that i don't want to make it worse and then really have to miss out on a workout. so i think i'll just jerk tomorrow and swing to make up for no snatching. definitely a 10 minute jerk set. i need a massage.
  • THURSDAY, Sept 13
Jerk 14RPM 6min= 84
Snatch 8min 16rpm/18 last minute= 130

First time i did that many snatches one switch that long. I'll definitely take the advice to snatch every day unless my hands are taking a beating. I have that weird jerking blister right under the "hip" of my hand. didn't stop me though...
  • WEDNESDAY, Sept 12
20min 16K L/C switch every min. 10RPM=200
Swings24K 55/55

I was originally going for 16min. but then realized I wasn't out of breath or tired, so I went for 20min. I haven't done anything but one switch in months. Switching every min gave me the mental staying power to go longer.
  • TUESDAY, Sept 11
Jerk 16kg 10min 14RPM = 140
Snatch 16kg 6min 16RPM = 96
long day of coaching with quite a few demonstrations, no swings...

Still not tapping fully into the Jerk, I definitely had more room to push. Today's snatch set didn't push my hands either. Great sign!
  • MONDAY, Sept 10
Jerk 16K 8min 14RPM= 112
Snatch 4min 21-22RPM =86
Swings 24K 50/50

Today we did something different I just wanted to go for speed. I've been working on my snatch form but haven't tested it while speeding. Jerking, even at 14rpm still not insanely uncomfortable. Snatch, form stayed pretty good throughout. Diggin' the swings. I like the challenge of the swings at the end of the workout When i'm tired from jerking and snatching I can still make myself do more by swinging and also work on the "hook" grip of index finger and thumb for snatch...ONWARD!
  • SUNDAY, Sept 9
  • SATURDAY, Sept 8
  • FRIDAY, Sept 7
1A L/C 16k 10min 11RPM= 110

Feeling a bit tired, but strong.
  • THURSDAY, Sept 6
1A Jerk 16K 6min. 14RPM= 84
Snatch 16k 6min 16RPM= 96
Swings 24K 45/45

I just had to take a 20 min nap. My rack was way better on my right side.
  • WEDNESDAY, Sept 5
1A Jerk 16K 10min. 12RPM= 120
Snatch 16K 6min 16RPM = 96

I got through both sets pretty well. My rack was a little better on my right side. I'll prob do and 8 min snatch set tomorrow. We'll see how I feel. I don't want to get greedy so I'm just trying to slowly, but surely progress. I'm definitely getting psyched and feeling good.
  • TUESDAY, Sept 4
Getting back into the swing of things without being too intense

1 Arm JK 16K 8M 12RPM=96
Snatch 16K 6M 16RPM=96
Swing 24K 40/40= 80

--------START HERE--------