Thursday, June 30, 2011

July 4th Kettlebell Classes Canceled!

Hi All,

   Just FYI, I will not be having classes on Monday, July 4th.  However, I will have my regular classes (8,9,and 10am) on Saturday, July 2nd.  So plan on attending if possible!



Monday, June 27, 2011

Kettlebell Pummelling

 Here is a long forgotten exercises for combat athletes, or anyone wanting solid shoulder and abdominal strength.  It requires some coordination, so use a fairly light kettlebell until you get the rhythm down.  You could use this as a warmup for your major exercises, or combine it in a kettlebell circuit.  Get creative....and have fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Starting this Sat, 6/25, I will be adding 2 new classes to the weekly schedule. They are open to anyone to attend.  The new classes will be Sat at 10am (starting on 6/25) and Tues at 6pm (starting on 6/28).  After this Sat, the new class schedule will be:

Mon 6pm
Tues 6pm
Wed 6pm
Sat 8am
Sat 10am

Monday, June 13, 2011

MCRD Summer Kettlebell Classes

In about a week, the Montgomery County Recreation Department kettlebell classes will start (assuming a minimum of 8 people enroll).  Please spread the word to anyone you feel might be interested, and help me keep these class options alive.  Website Registration:  Search for the program number below to find the appropriate time slot.

PROGRAM #      DAY        TIME                   START DATE       LOCATION

#307204               Tues        8-9am                     6/21/2011            Capital Sports Injury Center
#307202               Tues        11am-12noon         6/21/2011            Marilyn J. Praisner Community Center
#307205               Thurs       8-9am                    6/23/2011            Capital Sports Injury Center
#307201               Thurs      11am-12noon         6/23/2011            East County Community Center
#307203               Sat          10am – 11am         6/25/2011            Capital Sports Injury Center
#307200               Sat          11am – 12noon      6/25/2011            Capital Sports Injury Center

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kettlebells For Triathletes

It is triathlon season!  I train a lot of triathletes, and most have a glaring weakness in their training.  They choose not to incorporate strength training into their weekly training schedule because they are "too busy" running, biking, and swimming.  Unfortunately, this lack of balance quickly sidelines their triathlon training because of injury.  Kettlebells are a great way to get the strength training you need with minimum time commitment.

As a triathlete, you don't need a large variety of exercises.  You want ones that are going to strengthen the legs, hips, and core.  Perform the training sessions 2-3 per week, for 20-30 minutes per session.  My top 5 exercises you should focus on are:

1) 2 Arm Swing
2) Goblet Squat
3) Cossack
4) Reverse Lunge
5) Turkish Getup

You don't need to perform each of the five every session.  Maybe just pick three exercises, and perform 3-5 sets of each exercise, reps ranging from 5-20.  Mix it up, and take longer rest between sets during the lower repetition sets. 

The goal for adding kettlebells should not be cardiovascular exercise, as you are getting that with your triathlon training.  Your intent should be to maximize tension and strength gains, as well as stability.  Do not turn you kettlebell session into a cardio workout, but instead, opt to push moderate to heavy weight with good technique.  You can thank me in three months when your triathlon performance increases, both because of your increased strength, as well as your avoidance of injury!

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Week's Routine - Heaven and Hell

So I have gotten good feedback from this routine. 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 2-3 circuits on each side, 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

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stop Doing All Those Crunches!

Kettlebells are awesome.  In terms of efficiency, I believe the tool can not be beat.  And just training with kettlebells alone will give you a strong midsection.  Anyone who has performed hundreds of correct swings can vouch for how much the core must work during the movement, effectively transferring the kettlebell's energy back and forth.  With that being said, most people should still include some extra "core" training. 

When I say "core", most people immediately think about crunches and their many variations.  Not me.  The crunch analogous to the bench press in terms of real world strength carryover.  Both are worthless.  Besides, that repeated flexing of the spine is likely to create a disc herniation.  Don't believe me? Start following the work of the most renowned spine biomechanist in the world, Dr. Stuart McGill.  Spend some time on his site, or read his many books and published articles, then try to argue with me about how awesome you think your crunches are!

So if I am not talking about crunches, then how else can you train your core?  By performing the many variations of planks and bridges silly!  Throw a couple of sets of both in your kettlebell routine, or use them as part of your warm-up (you are warming up, aren't you?).  Refer to my video below on how to perform your planks and bridges correctly.

The majority of your core training should center around exercises that lock the rib cage and pelvis together.  Any separation between the two body parts will not only lead to injury, but will decrease your strength due to the energy leakage.  Sure, you can still throw in your crunches from time to time, but keep them to a minimum.  There are much better ways to stroke your ego!