Friday, August 31, 2012

WOD- Max Effort 6

Over the course of 3-5 sets, find the max weight you can use to safely and correctly perform the following exercises/ reps.

Turkish Getup- 5 RM

Windmills - 10 RM

Thrusters- 10 RM

Snatch- 10 RM

Compare 6/8/12

Monday, August 27, 2012

Strength is Sexy!

I am sure most of you have seen the kettlebells that are now being sold in Target, Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc.  Many of them are extremely light, perhaps 5 or 7 pounds.  A lot of times, they have moveable pieces or separate handles, perhaps wrapped in pretty, colored vinyl.  Stay away from them! Don't buy them!  Kettlebells are traditionally forged as a single piece of iron/ steel, starting at 8kg, which is 17.6 lbs.  Unless you have a severe injury, which would prevent you from performing kettlebell training anyhow, you can safely use the 8kg kettlebell.  I have not met a man or woman yet who fails to perform a proper kettlebell swing with 8kg, once they learn the proper technique! 

Women are esspecially guilty of expressing anxiety when I suggest them to put down the 10 lbs kettlebell and pick up the 17.6 or 25 lbs kettlebell for swing.  They often are conditioned by society to believe that heavier weight is not for them, or that they will be hospitalized upon attempting to pick one up.  Ladies, how much does your squirming, hyper 2 year old toddler weight?  How many times do you pick them up, load them in the car seat, or out of the bathtub?  A inanimate 20 lbs kettlebell is no where near as hard to control as your son or daughter, and often just as heavy as your vacuum or bags of groceries.

Kettlebell training will get you stronger than you already are!  Stop performing 50 reps with your 5 lbs weight, and instead, opt to challenge yourself with the 20-30 lbs bells.  This truth applies to any traditional weight training you perform with barbells and dumbells too, so don't think it stops with just your kettlebell!  Your will get wicked strong and lean, as well as shed the bodyfat.  Even better, you'll be liberated from the social constraints of gender based strength training, which has been holding you back all these years with its lies!

Friday, August 24, 2012

WOD- Cardio 6

AMRAP (as many reps as possible for each exercise in the given time frame prescribed.)

Turkish Getups- 5 minutes

Clean and Press - 5 minutes

Snatches -  5 minutes

Compare to 5/31/12

Monday, August 20, 2012

Variety is the Spice of Kettlebell Life!

Given that kettlebells are still relatively new for many people, traditional sets vs. reps training schemes are usually how most people training.  For example, they may use a 16kg bell to perform snatches for 3 sets of 5 reps on each arm, with 1 minute of rest between each set.  Most exercises are novel and exciting initially, so they feel little need to change how they utilize their respective exercises.  However, as you learn to integrate more variety in your training, remember you can also chose different training schemes with the same exercises.  Some basic options that come to mind are the following:

1)  Circuit Training:  Chose 3-5 exercises, for example, a 1 arm swing, 1 arm snatch, and 1 arm clean & press.  Perform 10 reps of each exercise in a row, without rest.  Repeat the circuit 1-2 more times.

2)  Ladder Training:  Performed with 2 or more people in a group.  The larger the group, the more rest each person gets.  Chose an exercise, like a 1 arm snatch.  Each person does the same number of repetitions as the person before them, continuing in a sequence, until someone in the group fails to match the reps.  For example, I do 5 reps, you do 5.  I do 6, you do 6.  I do 7, you do 7...continue until done.

3)  1 Minute Intervals:  Chose a 1 arm exercise, like a 1 arm snatch. Perform 10 reps on each arm, as fast as you can.  Whatever time is left in your minute, that is your rest period.  Begin you second set on the "2 minute mark."  Perform up to 5-10 minutes straight.  You want an intense cardiovascular workout, give this a try!

Remember, keep learning, keep practicing...and above all, keep consistent.  Along the way, have fun!

Friday, August 17, 2012

WOD -Max Effort 5

You will have approximately 30 minutes to complete the 4 exercises below.  Your goal is to achieve the request repetition maximum (RM) for each exercise, on each arm, before moving onto the next exercise.  It should take you less than 5 sets to achieve the highest weight possible for each RM task.  Record the heaviest weight you used for the requisite RM prescription.

Bottom Up Turkish Getup - 1 RM

Bottom Up Clean and Press- 3 RM

Push Press - 3 RM

2 Hand Swing - 20 RM

Compare to 5/24/12

Monday, August 13, 2012

Risk vs. Reward?

Do a youtube video search for "kettlebell exercises," and you'll find many exercises that are ridiculously complicated.  When you see them, don't just immediately attempt to perform them.  First ask yourself, "Why?"  Every exercise has a "cost versus benefit ratio."  That means every exercise you perform has inherent risk for injury, some more than others.  Likewise, each exercise has inherent benefits, which when performed correctly and consistently, outweigh its risks for injury.  Before you perform any exercise, be CERTAIN that the potential reward greatly outweighs any risks.  If you find yourself performing a pushup on a "bottom-up" kettlebell, while simultaneously having your feet wobbling on top of a stability ball, don't complain when you make your trip to the dentist!

Friday, August 10, 2012

WOD- Cardio 5

Descending Ladder ( Record time to completion and weight used)

Turkish Getup - 1 rep each set on each side

Followed by:

1 Arm Snatches - 10, 9, 8,....1 reps

Directions: Start on your back. Use turkish getup to stand up, perform your 10 snatches, then leave the bell up on the 10th snatch. Return to the ground, reversing your turkish getup. Switch sides, repeating the same sequence. When you return to the first side, once you are standing, you will only perform 9 snatches, then go back down to the ground. You will continue in the descending pattern until you end with 1 turkish getup and 1 snatch on each arm.

Compare to 5/18/12

Monday, August 6, 2012

Short, Sweet, and Intense!

I posted a 5 minute kettlebell routine focusing on total body recruitment, which quickly became very popular on youtube.  So in response to that demand, I turned the video camera on during one of my many shoulder exercise circuits.  Here it is:

Please keep in mind that these are advanced exercises.  If you have not mastered the basic swings and getups, and perhaps even cleans, presses, and snatches (videos to come), I would focus on those exercises first.  For the record on terminology, the video above shows exercises in the following order:
1) Kettlebell Pummel
2) Kettlebell Side Press
3) Kettlebell Bend Press (with some Kettlebell Windmills thrown in as well)

Friday, August 3, 2012

WOD- Max Effort 4

Directions:  End with the highest weight possible for the given exercise and repetitions. Spend 3-5 sets getting to that heaviest weight.  Log the weight, and if it is different on the left and right arm.

Windmill - 5RM

Reverse Lunge- 5RM

Lateral Lunge- 5RM

1 Arm Swing - 10RM

Compare to 5/11/12