Friday, December 31, 2010

More Glute Activation Tricks!

Here is another useful glute activation trick.  If this doesn't prove to you that everything is interconnected, then shame on you.  Loosening up your calf muscle immediately provides more strength in the glutes and hip extensors.  I tried it on myself, and the results were quite dramatic.  Try calf rolling before a run, or before sets of squats, deadlifts, swings, or snatches.  My bet is, you'll notice the exercise seems much easier immediately!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You Can Change the Nation

 Everyone with a dvd player should watch this movie: Food, Inc.  I bet most of you, like me, have never bothered to ask where your supermarket gets the food you eat.  I knew about slaughterhouses being gruesome, e.coli outbreaks occurring more frequently, and farms being responsible for pollution.  What I did not know was how severe and prevalent these issues have become.  Even worse, the FDA and USDA are no longer protecting the consumer from harmful poisons and poor nutrition.  In fact, they are working behind the scenes with multi-national corporations and Congress to not only promote cheap, harmful food, but are actively creating a veil to hide the reality from consumers.  Companies and individuals that attempt to fight them are shut down and silenced through lawsuits and impossible court fees, often times ending in their family and property being taken from them. 

But, as consumers, we are not powerless.  We can dictate the market by only buying foods that are organic from companies that support healthy and ethical farming practices.  We can support local meat, produce, and dairy farms, and spend money in local farmers markets.  We can rally together to support bills that will change how the food industry processes and packages the food we eat.  We can act to shut down facilities that regularly fail to pass pathogen tests.

All of these issues are DIRECTLY related to childhood obesity and the boom of childhood diseases.  Until we start changing our buying habits so that a bag of carrots costs less than a bag of potato chips, schools and daycares will continue to shovel shit into our children's mouths.  Low income families will not be able to buy that bag of carrots until middle class Americans flood the market with a demand for high quality, nutritious food.

Please do YOUR PART.  Watch the movie, and pass it along to others.  Change your buying habits.  Get involved locally. Go to this website to take part in changing our future, and our kid's future.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Functional Movement Screen Opportunity

Attention: If you have any money left in your flex spending account, you can use it for chiropractic services, corrective exercise, and/or the functional movement screen (FMS).
        Our FMS Screening and Corrective Exercise Instruction was a success on Dec 24th.  Because of the great turnout and volume of patient interest, we are opening up the same options on Dec 31st, from 10am – 12:30pm.  However, we will ONLY be offering the screening process on that day.  The corrective exercises will be given on a follow up appointment.
***There are only 10 slots available on that day for the FMS assessment***
       For those interested in taking advantage of our discounted FMS testing, please call the office at 301-622-9000 to schedule an appointment.  The fee for the FMS assessment ONLY will be $25, which is the same 50% discount provided to patients on the Dec 24th screening day. Each appointment will be 15 minutes in length, and consist of the injury assessment, results, and interpretation.  Please wear clothes that provide freedom of movement, and wear the shoes that you would normally train in.  
 Attention: If you have any money left in your flex spending account, you can use it for chiropractic services, corrective exercise, and/or the functional movement screen (FMS)
       After you appointment is finished, you will need to schedule a follow up appointment to learn the corrective exercises prescribed to you based on your assessment results.  Please schedule that follow-up appointment with Milvia at the front desk after your initial FMS assessment. 
 For more information on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), go to:
See you soon,

Jason Schreiber, Director of Sports Performance

Strength is Built on a Foundation of Mobility

    As I sat here trying to decide on what I wanted to write about today, it dawned on me that I have not talked a lot about mobility and flexibility training.  Sure, strength is incredibly important, but not at the expense of joint mobility.  One of the quickest ways to get injured is to force a joint through a range of motion greater than what it is used to. Knowing what muscles you need to stretch is a very individual issue.  The best way to find out is to come see us at the office to participate in a functional movement screen (FMS). 

   However, many kettlebell exercises stress the hip musculature, core, and shoulder complex.  This means that if you are not regularly performing stretches for those overworked muscles, they might tighten up and cause injury. The muscles you should stretch after kettlebell training are your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, abdominals, lower back, and shoulders.  Performing the following exercises will help you keep those muscles flexible.

1) Shoulders
2) Chest
3) Glutes
4) Abdominals
5) Hip Flexors
6) Quads
7) Hamstrings

Friday, December 24, 2010

World's Strongest Woman

Aneta Florcyk is considered the "World's Strongest Woman."  She weighs about 150-160 lbs, and proves that strong women do not have to be "masculine."  I believe every woman should aspire to be as strong as they can be, and the benefits of that strength carry over to all aspects of your life.  I have never seen a woman more confident in themselves than a strong woman. Enjoy the inspiration!

1) Here she is setting a world record of rolling up frying pans in China, 2008.
2) Here she is deadlifting 550lbs.
3) Here she is deadlifting 484 lbs for 6 reps.
4) Here she is clean and jerking 264 lbs
5) Here she is breaking another record in the farmer's walk with 154lbs in each hand!

Monday, December 20, 2010

This Week's Routine- Hip Mobility

In an effort to remind everyone that mobility and flexibility are just as important as strength, here is a wonderful routine for improving your hip and shoulder mobility.  All of them should be slowed and controlled movement, with just 5 repetitions at a time, in a circuit without stopping.

1) Goblet Squats
2) Halos
3) Cossacks
4) Windmills
5) Overhead Lunge
6) Getup

Repeat twice, without stopping, and ideally, without changing weights.

Making these movements are regular part of your monthly training will help to improve your hip and shoulder mobility.  This in turn, will maximize your strength training efforts and significantly lower your risk of injury, both in training, and in your daily life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8 Reasons to Train with Kettlebells Regularly

Critics of kettlebell training simply dismiss it as a passing fad without a true understanding of the historical record and the shared history’s of kettlebell training and athletic development and fitness training.

I’m well aware of the volumes of hype that have been written about kettlebell training and it’s benefits, sometimes this hype is for marketing purposes, more often however, it’s for a good reason. Kettlebell training holds some distinct advantages over other training tools within the fitness professional and conditioning coaches’ toolbox.

Below are my Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Train with Kettlebells.

1. Kettlebell training amplifies your power output. This may be my favorite reason to train with kettlebells! Since classic kettlebell lifts such as the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk cannot be performed slowly, they develop a special quality known as power-endurance, or your ability to produce movements over an extended period of time. This differs from strength-endurance. Strength- endurance is your ability to produce force over an extended period of time. Power-endurance adds another time component; power-endurance is your ability to sustain fast muscular contractions over an extended period of time. While both strength-endurance and power-endurance are essential qualities to possess, power-endurance is usually what determines who the winner is in sport. Power-endurance training is also an excellent way to training for fat loss and conditioning.

2. Kettlebell training teaches your body how to contend with a constantly changing center of gravity. By design, the kettlebell’s center of gravity lays 6- 8 inches outside of your grip; this replicates the forces that you’ll encounter in sport and activities in daily living. This feature of the kettlebell will help improve this aspect of sports performance.

3. Kettlebell training builds powerful forearms and a strong grip. Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts taxing your grip and developing greater forearm strength. As our society continues to move away from manual labor our grip strength continues to decrease as well. Kettlebell training will help reverse this trend. The design of the kettlebell also adds another unique component to your grip training. Since the kettlebell’s center of gravity is usually in motion your grip training becomes a combination of dynamic and static muscular contractions in an attempt to control that fluctuating center of mass.

4. Kettlebell training improves your cardio –respiratory fitness. Since many kettlebell exercises take place with your arms in an overhead position the muscles responsible for assisting the breathing process are engaged in muscular activity, not allowing them to assist in the respiratory process. This forces the muscles most responsible for breathing to play an even larger role in cardio-vascular fitness.

5. Kettlebell training eliminates the need for a large training facility. The fitness industry is undergoing a change in thought and design…”Small is the new big…” Smaller, more focused fitness and sport training facilities increase in number daily and are much more profitable than larger, less personal studios. This makes kettlebell training ideal for small facilities. Kettlebells possess a very small footprint, meaning that they take up very little floor space. Kettlebells don’t require expensive racks; they can be stored in the corner or underneath other equipment.

6. Kettlebell training allows you to reduce overall training time, so you can devote your attention to other issues such as strategy, skill, rest and recovery. We all know how time-crunched everyone is today. A quick yet effective workout is the order of the day and kettlebell training delivers.

7. Kettlebell training bridges the gap between strength training and cardio; sport and real life do not respect the difference.

8. Kettlebell training allows you to never miss your workout. Again, we all know how busy people are today. Kettlebells allow you to train anywhere, the local park, beach, outside or inside.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Weeks Routine - Muscle Cardio

We like to say that kettlebell training is like, "muscle cardio." This weeks routine will focus predominantly on bridging the gap between strength and cardiovascular training.  The routine will last 15 minutes, but it will be intense. You only need to use 3 exercises, the snatch, clean and press, and swing.  Here is your task:

1.) Choose a kettlebell that you can use for all 3 lifts, the snatch, clean and press, and swing. 
2.) Find a timer that will allow you to keep track of a minute.
3) Set the timer for 1 minute, then hit the start button.
4.)  Start performing your 1 arm snatches, 8 reps on each side.  Once done, rest until your minute ends.
5.) Repeat for 4 more minutes.
6.) Change to clean and presses, 5 reps on each side.  Once done, rest until your minute ends.
7.) Repeat for 4 more minutes.
8.)  Change to 1 arm swings, 10 reps on each side.  Once done, rest until your minute ends.
9.) Thank God you are finished, puke, and then stretch.....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter 2011 MCRD Kettlebell Seminars

I will be holding another 8 session kettlebell course for the winter 2011 season in association with the Montgomery County Department of Recreation. For those interested, you must register online. Their are two different classes. One is designed for adults of all ages, and the other targets adults over 50. Please forward this information to interested friends and family in the area. The links to more information and to register are below. 

Kettlebells for Everyone

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row

Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 11am - 12noon

Cost: $120, register online below
Kettlebells for 50+

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row

Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 12noon-1pm

Cost: $120, register online below

Location: Marilyn J. Praisner Community Center
Day: 8 Tuesdays in a row

Dates: 1/11/11 - 3/1/11
Time: 11am-12noon

Cost: $120, register online below 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Power Endurance for Sport

Kettlebell Training for Power Endurance

Most sporting events revolve around your ability to create explosive movements over an extended period of time. This athletic quality is known as power-endurance. Training for power-endurance can be absolutely grueling; however, the athlete that possesses the greatest amount of power-endurance usually goes home the winner.  Kettlebell training is relatively new in the world of sports performance enhancement. However, if there is one training tool for improving power-endurance, kettlebells are it. Kettlebell training traditionally revolves around modified Olympic lifting variations performed for high repetitions. It's this combination of high repetitions and modified Olympic lifts that make kettlebell training ideal for creating incredible amounts of power-endurance. What is it about this combination that makes kettlebell training so effective‌
Olympic lifts and their variations, by their very design cannot be performed slowly. Snatches, Cleans and Jerks must be executed quickly or not at all. By combining this quick lifting protocol you essentially train your body to produce high rates of power for an extensive time period

Kettlebell Clusters:
Kettlebell Clusters involve performing 1 repetition every 20 seconds for a set period of time. To spice things up even further I often rotate the drills that are performed every rep. For example, on the first rep you Snatch, rest 20 seconds and then Clean, rest another 20 seconds and High-Pull.  A great way to work Kettlebell Clusters is by training with a partner. You each call out the drill that your partner is to perform for their next rep. This just adds some chaos and a lot of fun to the workout. It also becomes very competitive with each partner trying to outdo the other. Just make sure to pick drills that are explosive and performed quickly as well as within the skill set of your partner.

So One Minute Of Kettlebell Clusters Would Look Like This:
    • 1 Kettlebell Snatch - 20 seconds rest
    • 1 Kettlebell Clean and Jerk - 20 seconds rest
    • 1 Kettlebell Push Press
      Repeat for the desired amount of time.

Kettlebell Couplets:
Kettlebell Couplets involve alternating a full-body ballistic movement with a fundamental bodyweight drill that stresses different musculature or opposite movement patterns. This allows one set of muscles to recover while the others are working overtime. Working in a descending rep scheme is a great way to train Kettlebell Couplets, simply because you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and as you near the end of your set you'll be fired up and hasten your performance. It's a great idea to time yourself during some of your favorite Kettlebell Couplets and try to beat that time when you visit that workout again. Here are a few Kettlebell Couplets that are guaranteed to improve your power output. Alternate each exercise until all sets of each drill are complete. Keep rest periods short and work to improve your time when you perform this workout again.
    • A1) Kettlebell Swing - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • A2) Pushups - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • B1) Kettlebell Snatch - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • B2) Dips - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • C1) Kettlebell Jerk - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • C2) Pull-ups - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Kettlebell Complexes:
One of the greatest features of kettlebell training is the ability to link and combine distinct movements into one continuous set. The unique shape of the kettlebell allows you to transfer from one ballistic drill into another without a hesitation. Complete the prescribed repetitions of each drill before moving unto the next. Don't stop working until each drill is complete. As you fatigue, drop your repetitions to ensure fast, high quality movement.

Complex #1
    • A1) Kettlebell Snatch - 5, 3, 1
    • A2) Kettlebell Clean -5, 3, 1
    • A3) Kettlebell Swing - 5, 3, 1

Complex # 2
    • B1) Kettlebell Push-Press- 5, 3, 1
    • B2) Kettlebell Jerk - 5, 3, 1
    • B3) Thrusters - 5, 3, 1

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Week's Routine - Circuit

Here’s a simple circuit you can perform anywhere with a single kettlebell:
  • (20) 1 Arm Swings (10 each side)
  • (10) Windmills (5 each side)
  • (20) 1 Arm Cleans (10 each side)
  • (20) Military Presses (10 each side)
  • (20) Hand to Hand Swings
  • (20) 1 Arm Rows (10 each side)

Put a 30-60 second active rest between each of these and try to repeat the whole circuit 2-3 times. It should take under 30 minutes. If you are new, concentrate more on good form than completing reps.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kettlebells and Lower Cross Syndrome

  Time for a History Lesson      

                 Vladimir Janda was one of the most influential physical medicine physicians in the world in the late 20th century. A pioneer in the field of "low tech" rehabilitation, he honed his skills in communist Czechoslovakia. While western physicians were producing "human wreckage," with surgical techniques for the lumbar spine,  Janda consistently produced outstanding results in rehabilitating the same types of cases using wobble boards, sticks, exercise balls, kettlebells, and, most importantly, his hands. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the formation of the Czech Republic, Janda and his colleagues became more accessible. In the early nineties, a group of progressive thinking chiropractors and physical therapists began teaching Janda’s techniques in the West, and changed the way most of us looked at physical medicine.

                   One of the more basic (but essential) Janda concepts is the Lower Cross Syndrome. Lower Cross Syndrome is epidemic in western society because most people spend a large percentage of their time sitting. This can cause tightness and hyperactivity in the hip flexor group (iliopsoas etc.). Through a process known as reciprocal inhibition (defined as the contraction or activity of one muscle group inhibiting the contraction or activity of the antagonist muscle group), the hyperactive or tight hip flexor group can actually inhibit the hip extensor group, most importantly, the gluteus maximus. This imbalance then produces a secondary effect during walking. Since these people are unable to produce hip flexion with the gluteus maximus, they begin to substitute the low back extensors. They in turn become tight and hypertonic and through reciprocal inhibition inhibit the abdominal muscles. Thereby producing a "big gut, no butt" scenario (usually aided by poor diet and no exercise). Lifting and walking using primarily the low back extensors cause an increase in biomechanical stress in the lumbar spine producing chronic pain, osteoarthritic degeneration, and disc herniation.

            A key challenge to anyone treating low back pain is how to permanently correct this dysfunctional pattern. In my previous life (before kettlebells), I would use wobble boards, exercise balls and other "low tech" solutions. While effective, the exercises tended to be complicated (as well as boring) for the patient and more than one tool would often be necessary. When I started learning about kettlebells, I was excited at how such simple movements (the swing, clean, press and snatch), in addition to being amazing cardiovascular and strength conditioning exercises, actually corrected many of the movement pattern disorders I had been trained to identify. The most common of these was the Lower Cross Syndrome. What is amazing is that it seems as if the kettlebell swing was specifically designed to correct this pattern. Proper swing technique involves lowering the kettlebell via lumbar spine neutral hip flexion and then producing power via lumbar spine neutral hip extension (aka the hip snap). This simultaneously stretches and relaxes the hip flexors, activates and strengthens the hip extensors (particularly the gluteus maximus), and teaches lumbar spine control. Additionally, the secondary part of the swing, abdominal contraction at the apex of the swing, facilitates and strengthens the abdominals and relaxes and stretches the lumbar paraspinal musculature; a fantastic win/win scenario!!

          In summary, performing or teaching the swing exercise not only gets you or a client/patient in shape, it also has a corrective effect on one of the most common dysfunctional lifestyle patterns of the western world!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Week's Routine- Let It Flow

This week, focus in flowing from one exercise into another.  Your pace should be rhythmic, safe, and consistent.  The weight used should be appropriate for the weakest lift in the flow sequence.  Complete all prescribed reps and exercises on one side of your body before you change to the other side.  Feel free to repeat the flow sequence 2-3 times.

Getups x 5
Windmill x 5
Snatch x 10
Clean and Press x 5
Front Squat x 10

Safely switch arms...

Rinse and repeat.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Choose Kettlebells Instead of Dumbells?

Don't choose! They are simply different strength tools and should be considered complimentary, not exclusive. The primary benefits of kettlebell training lie in the philosophy of the movements that have grown up around it. Kettlebell drills have historically focused on working many muscle groups in unison. Dumbbells have been more commonly used for isolation drills (preacher curl, front raise, etc.) in traditional western weight training. Kettlebells are also more convenient for explosive movement patterns which are frowned upon in most traditional mainstream gyms.

You can certainly perform many of the kettlebell drills with a dumbbell. Swings, for instance, just feel more pleasant and natural with a kettlebell. The round, compact shape and offset handle are made for this movement pattern. The wide, angular dumbbell shape makes the movement awkward and less intuitive.
Some kettlebell drills have dumbbell alternatives that offer lower difficulty levels. For instance, I love the added instability challenge that comes from perching atop two kettlebells in the Renegade Row... but, I often start my clients on this drill with dumbbells for a more stable base.
As I always say, "Use the right tool for the job." Here is a sample workout combining both kettlebells and dumbbells:
  • A-1: Kettlebell swings - x20
  • A-2: Dumbbell or kettlebell one arm suitcase deadlift - x6 (L,R)
  • A-3: One leg, single arm deadlift using a dumbbell or kettlebell - x6 (L,R)
  • Repeat 2-5x
  • B-1: Kettlebell Turkish get up - x1 (L,R)
  • B-2: Dumbbell or kettlebell one arm suitcase row - x6
  • B-3: Kettlebell lunge cocktail (back lunge, straight up with a twist)
  • Repeat 2-5x
  • C-1: Alternating seated kettlebell or dumbbell press (from the floor) - x6
  • C-2: Dumbbell renegade row - x6
  • C-3: Kettlebell Figure 8 to hold
  • Repeat 2-5x
  • D-1: Kettlebell crush curl - x6
  • D-2: Dumbbell tricep extension - x6
  • D-3: Kettlebell snatch - x6-20 (L,R)
  • Repeat 2-5x

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter 2011 MCRD Kettlebell Seminars

I will be holding another 8 session kettlebell course for the winter 2011 season in association with the Montgomery County Department of Recreation. For those interested, you must register online. Their are two different classes. One is designed for adults of all ages, and the other targets adults over 50. Please forward this information to interested friends and family in the area. The links to more information and to register are below. 

Kettlebells for Everyone

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row

Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 11am - 12noon

Cost: $120, register online below
Kettlebells for 50+

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row

Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 12noon-1pm

Cost: $120, register online below

Location: Marilyn J. Praisner Community Center
Day: 8 Tuesdays in a row

Dates: 1/11/11 - 3/1/11
Time: 11am-12noon

Cost: $120, register online below 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Weeks Routine

Kettlebell Flow - Getup and Go!

One of the more unique methods of using kettlebells are to flow from one exercise to the next, without stopping.  Try putting these exercises together in a row.  Complete the prescribed repetitions and exercises on your right side first, then repeat the whole flow routine on your left side.  You can certainly be creative and add your own variations!  

Directions: For each exercise, perform 5 reps, then move onto the next exercise, for 5 reps.  Continue in this manner until you are done your right side completely.  Then repeat on your left side.

Exercise Order:

1) Getups
2) Windmills
3)  1 Arm Snatch
4)  1 Arm Swings

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Week's Routine- Full Body Blitz!

Full Body Blitz!

This week, your focus will be on cardiovascular output and power endurance.  Your workout will be brief, but intense.  You will only perform 3 exercises, all of them ballistic. 

Directions: Each exercise will be performed in a 5 minute period of time.  Every minute that starts during those 5 minute period, you will perform 6-10 reps on each side.  Once you complete the prescribed number of reps, you will rest, until the next minute begins. So on the minute, EVERY minute, you will START your prescribed repetitions, and not stop to rest until those repetitions are completed on each arm.  After the first 5 minutes are complete, you will continue the pattern, but change the exercise.  You will follow this same pattern until all 3 exercises are completed, at which time, 15 minutes should have elapsed. 

Be sure to spend 5 minutes warming up and 5 minutes cooling down with stretches.  This will be very taxing for your body, so do not mistake 15 minutes of exercise as "easy."

Exercises (IN ORDER)

1.) 1-Arm Snatch - 8 reps each arm
2.) 1-Arm Clean and Press- 6 reps each arm
3.) 1-Arm Swing - 10 reps each arm

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winter 2011 MCRD Kettlebell Seminars

I will be holding another 8 session kettlebell course for the winter 2011 season in association with the Montgomery County Department of Recreation. For those interested, you must register online. Their are two different classes. One is designed for adults of all ages, and the other targets adults over 50. Please forward this information to interested friends and family in the area. The links to more information and to register are below. 

Kettlebells for Everyone

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row
Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 11am - 12noon
Cost: $120, register online below
Kettlebells for 50+

Location: East County Community Center
Day: 8 Saturdays in a row

Dates: 1/15/11 - 3/5/11
Time: 12noon-1pm
Cost: $120, register online below

Location: Marilyn J. Praisner Community Center
Day: 8 Tuesdays in a row

Dates: 1/11/11 - 3/1/11
Time: 11am-12noon

Cost: $120, register online below 

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Week's Routine

It's important to have a plan for your weekly exercise routine.  Planning ahead increases the chance that you will actually complete your exercise.  And of course, staying consistent with exercise is the most important behavior for a healthy, active lifestyle.  For those who need a little guidance in their weekly kettlebell plans, I will try to post a routine each week for you.  Here is this week's plan:

10 Minute Warmup: 5 Minutes calisthenics or aerobic exercise, and 5 minutes joint mobility drills
5 Turkish Getups on each side
30 Snatches on each side
50 Hand to hand swings

Try to complete the 3 exercises after the warmup in 30 minutes or less.  Good luck!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sometimes I Amaze Myself...Can you?

 So here is the story.  No one showed up for the 8am kettlebell class this morning, so I was bored.  I decided to try to outdo my last record of a 116lbs pistol.  I didn't know what exactly would happen.  I knew I could use a little more weight, but I was not prepared for the end result.  After warming up performing single reps with (2) 8, 12, 16, and 24 kg bells...I had a problem.  How was I going to get more weight in my hands for my attempt?  So I decided to put a 24kg bell in my left hand, and a 32kg bell in my right.  I went down in the hole, and surprisingly, up I came.  That was a total of 124 lbs, and it was pretty easy! So I said to myself, "F**K it!, Lets try (2) 32kg bells!"  Honestly, I doubted I could do it. I thought for sure I wouldn't come up, but damn if I didn't!  Not only did I shatter my previous record by 25 lbs, but I was reminded of the psychology for success.  Believe in yourself.  I challenge you to do the same in your fitness goals....

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Other Side of the Coin

 I figured it would only be fair to show you Dr. Horwitz's 110lbs pistol, both because it is impressive, and to document his performance prior to his recent surgery.  Soon to follow is my 116lbs pistol on BOTH LEGS.  I have no doubt that Dr. H will use this as motivation to a faster recovery, just so he can beat my record too!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Progress on my Pistol

 The chiropractor, Dr. Steve Horwitz,  I work with performed a 110lbs pistol during February 2009. He has been hounding me for the last 6 months about how I can't beat his record.  I plan on proving him wrong.  So about a month ago, I recorded my first pistol PR, a 98 lbs pistol (shown below) on both sides.  Oh, it should be noted that Dr. Horwitz was only able to perform his 110 lbs pistol on one leg, not both, so I have him already on that.  For the last 3-4 weeks, I have been drilling pistols with the 32kg and 40kg bells, for multiple sets of 3-5 reps.  In the next 2 weeks, I plan on beating his 110lb pistol.  Wait for the video for proof...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meetup Works!

For over a year, I have tried multiple different marketing methods.  One of those has been using online social networking sites, such as facebook and twitter, to educate the public on kettlebell training.  While they are useful for spreading information, most of the people who visit the sites regularly are not in the local area, and thus, can not physically meetup to learn techniques. changed that.  This is a site specifically used by people who live locally and wish to meet at a physical location to learn as a group.  Three weeks ago, I created my meetup page, and it has already generated a lot of interest.  In fact, 3 new people have come in to begin training.  So, those of you who can help me promote our kettlebell classes, here is my meetup page:  And of course, thanks for your help!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rowing, Renegade Style...

            Rowing is a great exercise, one of the best for strengthening the major muscles of the back.  In fact, if your average weekend warrior invested as much time in rowing as they do with bench pressing, we'd see far fewer shoulder and rotator cuff injuries.  But that is a rant for another time.  Rowing exercises develop the traps, rhomboids, lat, and erector spinae muscles of the back (just to name a few).
            Most people who start kettlebell training do so in part to strengthen their core.  Performing renegade rows are a great way to incorporate the super stiffness needed to strengthen the core.  When attempting them, here are a few tips:

1) Do them early on in your routine before you are tired
2) Use a bell with a large bottom (at least a 16kg) so that they remain stable
3) Be certain to keep your wrist straight, otherwise you will do a face plant
4) Be sure to put your weight directly through the supportive bell when you row, and not on an angle to the handle.  Again, doing so will cause you to head face first in the floor and possibly break your wrist.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Clean Variation

 Circular cleans are a great exercise to improve your core stiffness and full body tension. However, it is certainly an advanced drill.  The idea behind the movement is to force the kettlebell outward away from the body along the frontal plane, and then cleanly redirect the bell back toward your rack position in a downward arcing motion.  The difficulty will be in staying tight through your abdominal brace and staying grounded with your feet.  Even a modest size bell will pull your center of gravity away from you, and fighting to stay still, tight, and fluid is where the major benefit comes from.

Monday, September 20, 2010

As If Your Swings Weren't Hard Enough

 So we all know there are a lot of variations of kettlebell swings. You can swing with two hands, one hand, switching hand to hand, etc.  Most variations have you change with your hands are doing.  The traveling swings do the opposite.  The focus is on moving your feet, rather than your hands, which makes them great for athletes who need to improve explosive power and agility.  Traveling swings can be performed in any direction, whether it be forward, backward, or laterally.  Be sure that when you try them, you completely extend your hips before you move your feet.  The tempo and chant to yourself should be, "Swing! Step! Step!" 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Overhead Lunges For Awesome Abs!

 Everyone is always arguing over the "best" abdominal exercises.  Some stick with situps and crunches, others go with planks, and still others get fancy specialized equipment involved.  Me? I say learn to squat, deadlift, lunge, etc.  Nothing engages your abdominal muscles better than a heavy deadlift, squat, or lunge.  Why? Because our abdominal muscles are not meant to primarily bend, flex, and twist our torso.  Like Dr. Stuart McGill has proven, our abdominal muscles are primarily responsible for transfering energy from the ground, up...through utilization of "super stiffness." 

The overhead lunge is a great variation of a lunge that significantly activates the core musculature, as well as improves shoulder girdle strength and stability.  As you will see once you try it, the lunge portion is not usually that difficult.  Rather, the difficulty lies in maintaining a stable, erect spinal column and preventing your arms from moving at the shoulder.  Try using no weight at first, and then progress to very light weight next.  Don't even think about trying a weight anywhere close to what you can press, unless your are He-Man of course!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Press Variations: Static Hold and Press

One of my previous posts showcased a pressing variation called a seesaw press. This one is about the static hold and press.  This variation requires an isometric contraction in one arm, while actively pressing with the opposite arm.  The higher the repetitions,  the longer the isometric contraction.  Much like your turkish getups that require maintenance of a static press position, this pressing variation improves the stability of the entire shoulder girdle.  This improvement in shoulder girdle function and stability directly improves your other upper body strength movements, as well as significantly lowers your risk of shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, impingements, etc.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Plank Presses

Prone and side planks are among the most effective core exercises around.  For those unfamiliar with how to properly perform a plank, refer to my video here.  You must know how to perform a proper side plank before attempting a plank press.  Furthermore, you should clearly understand the purpose of the plank exercises, which is to strengthen your ability to create "super stiffness" between your rib cage and your pelvis.  For those unfamiliar with Dr. Stuart McGill's research on the necessity of "super stiffness" for lower back protection and performance, do some homework.  I use his core principles everyday, and they are certainly applicable to any athletic endeavor.  Visit his website,, for more information.

A great advanced variation of a side plank, and another opportunity to develop super stiffness, is the plank press shown below.  Start with a very light weight, since most people's initial struggle is with the stability of the supportive shoulder on the bottom arm.  You'll want to be certain that your forearm of the top pressing arm stays at a perpendicular angle to the floor at all times, just as you would with a bent press.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thumbtack Review

Please post reviews and testimonials of my training and kettlebell classes here. You may also include reviews on chiropractic services and rehabilitation as well.  Thumbtack is a site I am attempting to use to help generate interest in kettlebell classes and drive business, so any help is appreciated.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Class Option

I am considering adding a new class during the week on thursday evenings at 6pm.  I ran a poll at the top of the blog for a while, and that seems like a popular option for participation.  However, there is the possibility that some of the people who voted are not actually attending classes here or even local.  So, I want anyone who is currently attending classes, or who lives locally wishing to attend classes, to reply to this post if you would like me to start that class option.  In your reply, please post your real name and your response, so I know that it is legitimate.  If I end up adding a thursday night class, I will also add a few hours before it for 1-on-1 training for those interested.  I figure I need about 6-8 people to commit to this class addition before I commit to it myself.  Thanks for your support!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Press Variations: Seesaw Press

 There are many different variations of your kettlebell press.  This version adds an element of coordination and shoulder/core stability to the mix, as one arm moves overhead while the other arm moves to the "rack."  Usually people need to start with a weight slightly less than what they can use correctly in one arm, just to develop the coordination for the exercise at first.  Try it out...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Basic Kettlebell Routine

Here is a great kettlebell routine using just the 5 basic exercises (getup, swing, clean, snatch, and press).

1 Turkish Getup : 5 One Arm Snatches - use a getup to climb to your feet, perform 5 snatches with that same arm, and after the 5th snatch, return to the floor using your getup technique.  Perform for 5 minutes straight.

 5 One Arm Swings, 5 Cleans, and 5 Presses - perform 5 reps of your swing, followed by 5 cleans, and finally five presses...all on one arm.  Then switch to the other arm and repeat.  Perform this for 5 minutes straight.

1 Goblet Squat : 5 Two Handed Swings - perform 1 goblet squat, followed by 5 swings immediately.  Keep moving back to back in that ratio for 5 minutes straight.

Total time spent exercising is 15 minutes, plus a warmup and cooldown.  This might be short, but it will not be easy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Figure 8's

 One of the greatest lessons that kettlebell training provides is the "interconnectedness" your body and mind develop. Most novice lifters have very little body awareness and proprioception.  They have no "body flow."  Like a martial artist, gymnast, or other highly trained athlete, frequent kettlebell training develops a person's ability to utilize their body in dynamic and fluid ways, showcasing their power, strength, and mobility all in one. 

This is particularly important in daily life tasks.  Imagine if you stumbled on the curb and just abruptly plummeted face first while trying to brake your fall with your hand.  The emergency room visit to repair the broken bones, lesions, and tissue sprain would be quite expensive and painful.  Instead, imagine that same fall, but you learned to redirect your body on its side, tucking and rolling on impact, absorbing the energy through your core and hips.  You would simply brush yourself off and laugh at how disastrous the episode could have been! 

The kettlebell figure 8 teaches you that necessary proprioception and body flow.  You learn to combine rotary torsion with hip extension, while redirecting energy from your legs to your arms.  It take some time to get the coordination of the movement down, but you'll get it.  Now get to work!

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 Hand Anyhow Squat and Press

 How about an introduction to an "old school" strongman lift?  Entertainers would often hold weight overhead while picking up another weight from the ground and pressing it overhead as well.  Some of the really skilled guys would support a platform of women overhead as their "weight", instead of a kettlebell, dumbell, or barbell.  Imagine the strength you would need to hold several hundred pounds overhead, while simultaneously maneuvering a second load up there are well.  Incredible!  Even with our awesome technology and highly researched training methods, I doubt there are many people alive who could do that today.  But I digress....

The video showcases me performing one of the many varieties of "2 Hand Anyhows."  This one is particularly challenging because of the strength and flexibility demands placed on the core due to the constant stabilization of a heavy load overhead.  Before you attempt this exercise, be sure you have familiarized yourself with the following basic exercises:  1) Squat, 2) 1 Arm Clean, 3) 1 Arm Press, and 4) Windmill.  Portions of all four exercises are found throughout the 2 Hand Anyhow Squat and Press.  Stay safe!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's All in the Hips...Part 3

 My previous two posts demonstrated two exercises you should be doing to strengthen the deeper gluteal muscles.  Now I am prescribing an exercise that requires a lot of balance and stabilization around the hip.  This is by far the hardest of the three exercises.  You may find it difficult to perform even 1 repetition, so begin with just doing 1 repetition on each leg at a time.  Accumulate 5 reps on each side in a single training session.  Gradually work your way up to performing 5 repetitions on each side in a row, for 5 sets, with approximately 1 minute break between sets.

Performing the 3 gluteal exercises as a warmup prior to your swings, squats, and deadlifts will prime the system for optimal performance, as well as prevent problems in hip stability and strength.  You will surely notice a difference in mobility and strength in a matter of 3-4 weeks practice.  So get to work!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's All in the Hips...Part 2

 As I mentioned in my previous post (Part 1 of "It's All in the Hips"), it is important to continually and frequently activate and strengthen the gluteal muscles during squatting, walking, and any hip dominant activity (like your kettlebell swings).  The previous exercise got you started with seated gluteal activation through band hip abductions.  Now it is time to introduce locomotion in a partially flexed hip position, i.e. a partial squat.  Most people find that this particular exercise quickly fatigues their gluteal muscles, assuming they use a band of appropriate resistance.  Start with performing 10 steps in each direction, and work up to multiple sets.  You have your get started!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's All in the Hips...Part 1

Human movement should be hip dominant.  The hip is our center of gravity, and the muscles around it are incredibly strong, powerful, and resilient.  A great athlete learns to stiffen their core while mobilizing the hip musculature in highly coordinated patterns.  Somewhere in the middle of our high tech shoes and sedentary lifestyle, Americans have suffered from poor gluteal development and activation.  This "syndrome" has created symptoms of low back, knee, and foot pain, while reinforcing improper gait mechanics and weak core strength. 

When we squat and walk/run barefoot, the hip musculature develops and gets stronger, which creates better stability of the pelvis and core.  Since most of us don't squat or walk around in bare feet often, we need extra help in activating the gluteal muscles, especially the deeper postural gluteals, like the gluteus medius and piriformis.  This seated band hip abduction is a good place to start for you to begin recruiting and activating the deeper gluteal muscles, so they in turn, can properly stabilize and control the hip during your squatting, walking, and kettlebell swinging!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monday,7/5/10, 6pm CLASS CANCELLATION

I am canceling the regular Monday 6pm class on 7/5/10.  I will be taking off for the holiday weekend.  Classes will resume as usual on that Wednesday at 6pm, on 7/7/10.


Jason Schreiber, Director of Sports Performance

Another Descending Ladder Training

Here is another descending ladder routine that the class and I did outside in the sweltering heat and humidity. 

Goblet Squats: 10, 9, 8,....1 reps

              Pair up with:

2 Arm Swings: 10 reps each set

            Instructions:  Jump from 1 set of goblet squats to 1 sets of swings until the 10 sets of each are finished.  Notice only the goblet squats descend in reps each set.

1 Arm Press: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps

              Pair up with:

1 Arm Snatch: 5 reps each set

              Instructions:  Jump from 1 set of presses to 1 set of snatches.  Switch to the other arm and repeat.  Then switch back to your original side and complete the descending sets of presses, followed by your snatches.  Notice that only the presses descend each set.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Snatch Variations

 Here are a few variations of a snatches.  The first in a hang snatch, where you hold another kettlebell at hip level to increase the load through the hip musculature.  The second variation is an elevated snatch where you raise your feet about 6 inches off the ground, gaining an extra 6 inches of range of motion to improve the power of your hip explosion.  Both are great variations to incorporate into your training, as they both increase the involvement of the hip musculature, which carries over to strength and speed in most athletic endeavors.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's 6PM Kettlebell Class CANCELED

I have to cancel today's 6pm kettlebell class.  Sorry for any last minute inconvenience this may cause.


Jason Schreiber, Director of Sports Performance

Time to Pull Out My Pistol!

A "pistol" in my world is a single leg squat. It is an incredible act of athleticism, combining the need for simultaneous strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.  It would be hard to find another exercise that covers so many bases.  Rarely will you spot someone in the gym performing them, due to their difficulty.  However, the road to being about to perform them is merely paved by intelligent and frequent drilling.  When I started trying, I certainly couldn't get down to the floor right away, and started by sitting back into a chair.  In a later video, I will go over how to start incorporating drills into your training that will allow you to work toward performing a full pistol with added weight in your hand.  For now, check out this introduction of what I have in store for you....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From the Ground Up Routine

Here is a great routine that forces you to utilize the getup as a means of switching between standing exercises.  Again, another great calorie burner, and if you push the pace, quite effective at improving conditioning as well.

                     START WITH:
1 Turkish Getup to 5 Single Arm Snatches -  keep moving between left and right sides. Continue for 4-6 minutes.
                     SWITCH TO:
1 Turkish Getup to 5 Single Arm High Pulls - keep moving between left and right sides.  Continue for 4-6 minutes.

                     END WITH:
1 Turkish Getup to 5 Single Arm Swings - keep moving between left and right sides.  Continue for 4-6 minutes.

Tip:  Make your own variation!  All you need to do is combine the getup with ANY single arm exercise.  Use the getup to get to your standing position, complete the number of reps you want on that same arm of your standing position, go back to the ground using your getup technique, and switch side. Beginners should limit the total time training to about 20 minutes, being sure to include a 10 minute warmup prior and a 10 minute cooldown afterward.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Montgomery County Recreation Department Summer Kettlebell Training

 I am teaching another beginner kettlebell class for the Montgomery County Recreation Department.  Just like the last 2 sessions, the class will be held at the East County Community Center, Saturday mornings from 11am-12noon.  They will be 8 classes in a row, and you must register for them online or by phone.  I will be bring kettlebells to each class, but I encourage everyone to buy their own and bring it as well.  This will be especially important after the first class, once you have tried different weights and need to practice outside of class. 

Register at this link:

Please tell your friends and family to register, as there are only 20 slots maximum available, and they may get filled fast!

Training Doesn't Have to Always Be Structured or Lengthy

Just thought I'd like to throw in a video of a short, brief, intense workout I did the other day.  The whole workout only lasted 15 minutes.  It consisted of tire flips, sledge hammer swings, and rope drills.  I taped the first round, and repeated it 2 more times.

There are two important things to say about this scenario.  First, training sessions do not have to be long in order to be effective.  Brief (15-20 min) and intense training sessions raise your metabolic rate and testosterone, which helps burn fat even when you are not doing anything, as well as makes you feel energized for the rest of the day.  Secondly, getting away from the more structured routines of sets and reps can help you break the monotony of training.  Finding ways to make your training both fun and effective will help you stay motivated and consistent.  So try something new this week...and see how it goes! Enjoy....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kettlebell Cleans- Tips for Success

While the kettlebell clean is usually considered a beginner exercise, I have found that a lot of people struggle to perform it.  The skill set required to perform it successfully can be quite challenging, partly because the timing of the clean has to largely be based on the individual's sense of body awareness or "connectedness."  If you pop your hips too fast, the kettlebell will shoot straight into you and you try to catch it.  If you don't explode enough with your hips, your will end up curling the kettlebell up with your biceps.  Furthermore, if you allow your elbow to move away from your body as you explode your hips, you will lose control of your kettlebell, and turn it into a modified swing.  Check the video out, try out some of the tips, and see if they don't help you feel much more confident in your technique.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Heaven and Hell Metabolic Circuit

So I have gotten good feedback from this routine over the past week, and it was requested that I post it on the blog.  There are many different versions of this, with the basic premise being, to change levels with each exercise, and continue moving for some serious calorie burning.  The slight changes in angles allow you to continue exercising with less muscular fatigue, especially when you keep each exercise around 5 repetitions . 

Circuit Instructions - Perform 5 reps of each exercise on one arm (one side of the body), complete the active rest with both hands afterward, and then cycle through again on the second arm (other side of the body).  The circuit will take you about 2-3 minutes on each side, so depending on your fitness level, complete 4-6 circuits, for a brief and intense training session!

Metabolic Circuit :
Swings x 5
High Pulls x 5
Snatches x 5
Clean and Press x 5
1 Arm Squat x 5
Suitcase Deadlift x 5

Active Rest between Sides (arms)
Pass Arounds x 5 each direction
Figure 8's x 5 each direction

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kettlebell Burpee Variations

Anyone who has been involved in bodyweight training is usually familiar with a burpee. If not, refer to this animation of a traditional burpee.  In an effort to blend creativity with high level conditioning, I have successfully used 2 kettlebells to safely raise the intensity of the movement.  In fact, the video will explain how you can choose from a variety of burpee variations to fit them to your level of experience.  To summarize, the following variations are shown in the video:

Beginner Burpee Variation:  Combine a deadlift and a straight arm prone plank.  Move quickly between each position.

Intermediate Burpee Variation: Combine a deadlift and a pushup. Move quickly between each position.

Advanced Burpee Variation: Combine an explosive jump and an explosive pushup.  Move quickly between each position.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Monday, 5/31/10, 6pm CLASS CANCELLATION

I am canceling this monday's (5/31/10; 6 pm) kettlebell class.  Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Classes will resume as usual Wed, 6/2/10, at 6pm.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vortex Training

 Time for some shameless self promotion!  In addition to the general message of broadening your training methods, incorporating some rotational power training will benefit any athlete.  We have a great piece of equipment called "The Vortex,"  which allows you to stand inside of the device and training at a variety of angles, using dynamic resistance, without moving outside of the machine.  This video shows some of the various exercises I use to improve my core strength and rotational power/ stability.  Notice, all of them are from my feet, because most athletic movements are initiated from a standing position.  Come try it out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Don't Limit Your Training

 Just like I hate with people treat an RKC  as the "God of Kettlebells," I don't approve of people limiting their training methods to only kettlebells.  I obviously think they are wonderful and practical tools for fitness, or else I would not teach their use or operate a blog surrounding them.  However, there are plenty of other tools at your disposal, and all have their strengths and weaknesses.  One of my favorite training methods is the use of the major powerlifts to build some SERIOUS strength.  Nothing builds a strong body better than a heavy deadlift.  And nothing builds carryover strength to your daily lives than a heavy deadlift.  Period. 

All you people out there with back pain, learn to deadlift.  Even a partial deadlift in a power rack will be a great start.  In fact, many years ago, the partial deadlift was called the "health lift," because it was believed to be the single best option for improving the overall health and function of a person's neuromuscular system.  But don't kid yourself either.  When you look around the gym, rarely do you see people deadlifting.  And those who do, often do it wrong.  Some people will tell you they don't deadlift because it can be dangerous, but the reality is, most people don't deadlift because it sucks.  Most people take the easy way out, because deadlifts are hard.  Of course, I don't think you want to be like most people though....weak and out of you?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Posture Does Perfect

 Posture is everything.  Your body has to obey the laws of physics, and as such, the forces acting on your body position can alter and permanently deform your posture if left unchecked.  Look around and you see it everywhere.  Heads slumped forward, shoulders rounded and internally rotated, lumbar spines flexed forward, and hips tucked beneath us in a retroversion.  Then, these same people make committment to improving their health and fitness by starting a strength training program, and hurt themselves.  And even if they happen to escape injury immediately, their training performance and progress is thwarted by the inability to create a stable foundation underneath their exercises.  So ultimately, your posture will determine you risk of injury, training progress, and exercise performance.

So if you are one of the many people around you who have poor standing and seated posture, here is some corrective exercises you can starting incorporating in your training.  This video focuses on head, shoulder, and thoracic mobility.  You need to bring the head up and back, drop the shoulders down and back, and extend the rib cage upward, while stretching the front of your shoulders and chest, and strengthening your upper back.  A big part of this whole equation is preventing forward internal rotation of the shoulder in its socket.  Enjoy the video and get started with corrective exercises.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My First Rant!!

So a few posts ago, I asked for suggestions from readers as to how I can make this blog more interactive, useful, and entertaining.  An anonymous poster has given me the great idea of using it for expressing my personal views, beliefs, and rants!  This person, actually 2 people, commented on my video of my 40kg turkish getup. (If you would like to familiarize yourself with the comments regarding this video, click here.)  Both of these people have 2 things to say. First, because I did not lower the bell slowly after each rep, I was in danger, and therefore, my performance of the repetition was "dangerous."  Second, because I did not follow the dogma of the RKC, I am not equipped to teach kettlebell training.  So, now that you got the background on my video and these 2 anonymous poster's comments, here goes my rant!

On more thing beforehand though. It needs to be said that anyone wishing to pick apart my technique, training, and teaching methods should provide some background as to who they are!  It seems to me that any wackjob could have posted that, and I'm willing to bet that neither one of them have anywhere near the experience and training I have in strength and conditioning training.  That being said, lets look at the 2 premises they provided.

First, if you have ever tried to floor press or TGU a heavy bell (over 24kg), you are familiar with the large amount of torque placed on the shoulder and elbow if you try to slowly externally rotate the bell away from you when you are finished the rep.  It seems to me that a very safe and obvious way to avoid that damage is to fluidly allow the bell to drop to your side as you move out of the way.  Since the bell is dropped a merely 2-3 inches, and I am moving away from it as it falls, I am in no danger whatsoever.  In fact, when you have as much martial arts training as I, doing this becomes second nature.  Furthermore, both these jokers are quite arrogant to assume that I teach others to lower the bell in the same manner during a turkish getup.  Of course, the THOUSANDS of people that I have trained over the last 13 years would surely confirm that I always encourage perfect technique and control, especially when you're a novice lifter.

Secondly, I HATE the dogma that surround the letters "RKC."  I have a bunch of pretty letters as credentials around my name too, but I certainly don't claim to arrogantly be the standard for all kettlebell exercises and techniques.  I have both met and trained with Brett Jones, and while he is a nice guy, I certainly do not cling to his every word or movement as if it were gold.  Let's be honest, RKC is just a kettlebell certification marketed by a BUSINESS, and like any business that explodes in an untapped market, it has the luxury of proclaiming it to be the most genuine and perfect expert.  Why?  Because they don't have much competition!  In the last 2 years, a few more certifications from rival businesses have popped up, each claiming they are the primary expert on the subject of kettlebell training.  The truth is, none of them are perfect, nor do any of them have omnipotence over training and techniques.  All of them have something to offer everyone, as we all are on a continual quest to learn and improve our own training.  What I do works for me.  And so far, how I teach others has also worked for me, AND them.  I will continue to learn all I can about kettlebell training, and pass along what I can to my students, all while encouraging them to use what works for them, and discarding the rest.  Bruce Lee had it right when he said we must all search for our own truth in training.  And while dropping a 88lb kettlebell 2 inches may not be supported by a dragondoor RKC, it worked for me! The results speak for themselves, as I do not know of another trainer personally who can perform such a feat, all while making it smooth, safe, and near effortless. 

Gotta love the controversy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Workout of the Week 4/26/10

Another flow routine this week.  10 reps of each exercise...non-stop!  Repeat the flow circuit 2-3 times, with about 1-2 min rest in between each round.  This should take you about 20 minutes to complete...Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Workout of the Week 4/19/10

As promised....Here is a flowing routine.  Perform 10 reps of each exercise, straight through without rest.  Try to repeat the circuit 3 times...which should take you about 15-20 minutes total.  Good luck!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Personal Record!

 Part of everyone's training is finding ways to continually motivate yourself to be consistent with your training.  You need goals, and they must be concrete and tangible.  "I want to be fit" is a very vague wish.  However, changing it to, "I will commit to training kettlebells 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each session for the next 3 months straight without excuse, in order to increase my fitness,"  is a very concrete, tangible, and realistic goal that will hold you accountable.  In fact, writing down you goals is a great way to continually remind you of what you want, as well as hold you to personal accountability.

That being said, one of my goals over the last 3 months was to be able to perform a 40kg turkish getup on each side without a mistake on the way up or down.  So here is the proof of my personal record!  Now that I accomplished it, my next goal is to perform a bottom up turkish getup with a 24kg on each side.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GROUPON Kettlebell Classes

People seeking to redeem their GroupOn Kettlebell Classes should call our Silver Spring office at 301-622-9000.

Become a fan of our Maryland Kettlebells: see

For those new to kettlebells, here is some relevant information for you!

What are kettlebells?  A fitness tool, made of a solid piece of steel, that resembles a cannonball with a handle.

Why should I train with them?  Because no other piece of equipment will get you strong and ripped as quickly as them.  Since they have an off-center of mass, it takes tremendous strength, balance, mobility, and calories to perform the exercise.  Ironically, despite how challenging they can feel, the technique behind the exercises are surprisingly simple and natural.  A single 30 minute session can burn 400 calories and build some serious muscle!

What do you do with them?  Swing them! Fast! Or better yet, lay on your back and smoothly climb to your feet in your "turkish getup."  Kettlebell exercises are incredibly dynamic and fun.  You will never get bored, and they will always challenge you!

How often you use them?  Commit to at least 3 times a week, for at least 20-30 minutes each session.  Because of the technical and dynamic nature of the exercises, you will want to have frequent practice in order to drill high-tension and high-velocity movements for the next several months!  Don't worry, soon enough you'll be hooked!

Where can I buy them?  If you want to buy sizes less than 35lbs, you can get them at a local WalMart, Target, Dicks, etc.  If you want larger sizes, you will have to order online.  I prefer this site, as they are cheaper, but still great quality:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reader Feedback!

I really want to learn how to make this blog a great resource for everyone.  So far, it has been mostly me posting information, videos, links, and my personal thoughts on topics related to kettlebell training.  However, I also want this blog to become more interactive, with people providing comments, feedbacks, and suggestions.  At the bottom of every post, there is a link for you to make comments.  If you have ideas, comments, suggestions, etc, please either post them, or email them to me.

Here are some things I am currently working on posting regularly:

1)  weekly routines, including videos and text descriptions
2)  commentary and links on cutting edge training topics
3)  links and information regarding resources, seminars, merchandise, etc...especially locally
4)  info on practical applications for kettlebell training and exercises
5)  rehab and injury prevention uses for kettlebell training
6)  videos of current kettlebell classes and individual participants
7) personal videos of myself and my wife training
8) uses for kettlebell training in sport
9) cutting edge research regarding the effectiveness of kettlebells for fitness training
10) other methods of training that are great adjuncts to kettlebell training (powerlifting, strongman, olympic lifts, plyometrics, etc...)
11) Historical topics in kettlebell training (many things popular today are not new...history repeats itself!)

Please provide any other ideas to make this a great interactive resource to anyone interested in anything related to kettlebells...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Need Your Help!

Hi Gireviks!

    I need your help on two accounts.  First, I am teaching a kettlebell class for the Montgomery County Recreation Department, starting April 10th at 11am, and continuing for 8 saturdays in a row.  I need more people to register.  I believe the nice weather has encouraged people to look for exercise outdoors, so not as many people are looking at indoor facilities. However, this is only 1 hr a week, and would be a tremendous opportunity for anyone wishing to learn kettlebell basics.  As you all know, once you learn how to perform a swing and a getup, you usually love it or hate it!  So pass this link along to anyone you know to register for 8 classes for $120 (beat that price!)....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Seminars, Lectures, and Demonstrations

Anyone interested in having us provide a training demonstration, lecture, or seminar in the Baltimore/ DC area, please contact us at 301-622-9000.  You can also visit our website or email us at

We can provide help with:

1) Kettlebell Training
2) Athletic Performance Training
3) Injury Prevention
4) Team Training and Safety
5) Fitness and Health
6) Nutrition
7) Personal Training

See some of our training videos at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CLASSES CANCELED Saturday, March 27th

I sent out an email informing my regular students that I have to cancel this Saturday's 8am and 9am classes.  I will be in Hagerstown from 9am-9pm for a Chiropractic Assistant Workshop.  I'd rather be training and teaching, but sometimes I have to suck it up too!

In the interim, for those of you who have your own kettlebells, here are some basic routines you can put yourself through so that you don't miss your workout.  Remember, most of your success will come from consistent training despite inconveniences....

Circuit Training

Swings x 10
Snatches x 10
Presses x 10

          Perform the 3 exercises in a row with as little rest as possible.  Repeat the circuit 4-5 times.

Descending Ladder Training

Goblet Squats - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
2 Arm Swings - 10 reps for 10 sets

     Alternate between a set of Goblet squats and 2 arm swings.  The reps of the goblet squat decrease each time, but the reps of the swings stay the same.

Ascending Ladder Training

Pick a weight you can press less than 6 times.

Perform 1 Arm presses, 1 rep, 2 reps, 3, 4, 5...without resting between sides.  Repeat the ladder 1-2 more times.

Pick a weight you can turkish getup less than 5 times.

Perform your getups, 1 reps each side, 2 reps, 3, 4...without resting between sides. Repeat the ladder 1-2 more times.

Have fun....and good luck!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Women of Strength

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  There is nothing masculine about a strong woman. Period.  In almost all cases, the women who look masculine and participate in fitness and sport competition have some level of experience with drug use.  Certainly, there is the minority of women who are born with higher levels of testosterone, growth hormone, and other androgens, which contribute to greater muscle mass and more masculine features.  But realistically, you probably don't know one personally, as they are fairly rare.

So ladies, don't shy away from the heavy iron!  Don't limit your progress because you are afraid they will turn you into a man.  The fact is, lifting heavy stuff is hard. It hurts, its frustrating, and you have to make funny noises and get sweaty.  However, it is also one of the most beneficial activities you can do.  And even better, the confidence you gain from being successful at heavy lifting changes your life.

So, without further ado, here is my wife, kicking some kettlebell A$$...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Shout Out to You Ladies!

As always, I am constantly trying to encourage more women to try kettlebell training.  Initially, many women (and men for that matter) are hesitant because of how fast moving the exercises look.  After learning the basics, it quickly becomes apparent that the dynamic exercises are safe and incredibly effective.  If you notice in the video, many of the women are overweight.  You do not have to be a "fitness guru" to begin your kettlebell training.  With the exception of those acute spinal, hip, knee,and shoulder injuries, most people can begin some form of training immediately.  Those with specific injuries or health conditions should see an experienced chiropractor prior to engaging in kettlebell training.  Anyone in the Baltimore/ DC area can contact Capital Sports Injury Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Horwitz, DC, at 301-622-9000.  You can also visit for more details.