Post 66: How Much Do You Know About Strength?

So you think you know about strength eh? Well take this quiz and lets see how you do.

The following information is taken from Men’s Health Power Training by Robert dos Remedios , MA, CSCS

By the way, this is an excellent book. Don’t let the “Men’s Health” throw you. This is a serious book. The words “Dude” or “Bro” are not mentioned at all.

Take a look at these questions and write down your best guess, then go to the bottom of the page for answers.

1. Most Pushups in an hour?

2. Most parallel dips in an hour?

3. Most Chin-ups in an hour?

4. Heaviest Power-Lifting Bench press?

5. Heaviest Power-Lifting Squat?

6. Heaviest Power-Lifting Deadllift?

7. Heaviest Weight-Lifting Clean and jerk?

8. Heaviest Weight-Lifting Snatch?

Ok, so take your best guesses and prepare to be humbled.
p.s. This edition is from 2007 so I am sure some of these records have been broken.

1. Most Pushups in an hour? 3,416

2. Most parallel dips in an hour? 3,989

3. Most Chin-ups in an hour? 445

4. Heaviest Power-Lifting Bench press? 1,005 lbs.

5. Heaviest Power-Lifting Squat?  1,200 lbs.

6. Heaviest Power-Lifting Deadllift?  1,003 lbs.

7. Heaviest Weight-Lifting Clean and jerk?  580 lbs.

8. Heaviest Weight-Lifting Snatch?   469 lbs.

 Hopefully this inspires you to lift a little harder this afternoon.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 65: Good Workout Music Part One

I may be hypersensitive to this but bad music really bugs me. Even worse is hearing bad music when you try and workout. I don’t know what it is but I find it supremely aggravating.

The advent of Walkmans then Discmans, now IPods has surely solved a lot of issues surrounding this. You don’t have to be subjected to other people’s bad taste in music.

But what if you have bad taste in music? Well my friend, Mike is here to help. Not that you have bad taste in music but maybe you don’t play the right music when you workout. This can affect the quality of the workout.

Warning: Any statements you are going to read are not based on any scientific facts and have no evidence backing them up other than the fact that I think they are true.

Example, I like Neil Diamond but I am never going to listen to him while swinging kettlebells. I guarantee you there are people in the gym right now listening to ” Sweet Caroline” and trying to move iron. It won’t work. neither will listening to “Journey’s Greatest hits” or “Abba” or American folk songs. Listen to that on your own time, not gym time. That kind of pop music has been shown to increase estrogen production and dramatically reduce available testosterone.

I will put forth the proposition that you need a little metal in your life. Now some guys secretly like metal and won’t admit to it because they think it is weird or childish. They liked it in high school but now they are mature and have responsibilities so they listen to Dave Matthews. Nonsense. Dave Matthews is crap. Some people may say they don’t like it because of the screaming. Maybe. Some will say it is noise. Perhaps. But I am not asking you to listen to it for pleasure. I am asking you to consider listening to it to put a little rocket fuel in your workouts. Get a little aural testosterone in your ears.

If you are still reading this, then I hope you are at least considering my idea. To help you , I am breaking the metal genre down into a couple segments with some band suggestions. Hopefully these are some bands you may actually like outside the weight room after a few listens.

1. German Metal- Nothing raises testosterone quicker than an angry German shouting in your ears. ( Fact )
Rammstein- Magnificent Industrial metal.
     Pick any cd, you won’t understand it anyway unless you speak German.

Accept– Classic Metal
I would recommend the last two albums, Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad although most people will be more familiar with the older stuff. The newer stuff is thrashier.

Kreator- German Thrashmasters. Loud and fast. They are a contender for best thrash band ever.

Industrial Metal

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Beginning Kettlebell Training for Women

When They Get Big, You Should Name Your Kettle Bells

Yes you should name your Kettlebells when they get big. Here is a 45 pound, 55 pound and 70 pound bell.

KettleBell Training For Women

I found a great article by Lauren Brooks on www.Dragondoor.com.

Let me just say this, if you get intrigued by kettlebells and what they can do for you, there is no better resource than Dragon Door.

P.S. On the right hand side of this blog is an ad for Onnit. Check out the cool primate and demon kettlebells they have. Really cool.

I have always been of the mindset that if someone goes through the bother of writing a great article, I would rather promote it and give the writer credit than doing a re-write and claiming it is my idea.

This month my blog seems to have a theme of convincing women to lift heavy to lose fat. So here is another article and it is a great one. Even if you are a guy, pay attention to the ideas.

So after decades in the United States, Kettlebells have suddenly become the “cool” thing to do. That’s the good thing.

A Kettlebell workout may be

  • The most demanding workout you ever do.
  • The best cardio workout you ever do.
  • The most functional workout you ever do.

And that is saying a lot.

In addition

  • You don’t need a lot of space.
  • You don’t need a lot of equipment
  • You don’t have to learn a lot of movements.

Isn’t that awesome.

But don’t be fooled by cheap imitations.

My Quick Kettlebell Rant

Anytime you get a system that really works, marketers start rubbing their little ratty paws together to try and water it down. It is no different with kettlebell training. Instead of learning from people that specialize in this sport, you see the “celebrity” trainers with their own kettlebell workouts. You know who I am talking about. “Biggest Loser” coaches, “Cardio Bunnies” and others. I have seen a couple of these “workouts” and I noticed a couple things.

  • They have no understanding of kettlebell training.
  • They lack technique.
  • They basically substitute a kettlebell for a dumbbell. So you end up doing exercises that a kettlebell person would never do.
  • They introduce little bitty 3 and 5 pound kettle bells. Some even made of plastic!

You should avoid these “Celebrity Coaches” like the plague anyway but please avoid them when it comes to kettlebell training.

Plastic 3 pound kettlebells ? Really?

A Word of Caution:

When you learn kettlebell movements, you are creating a lot of force with the bell. Control the forces generated and your lower back and joints will become bullet-proof.

Screw around those forces will mess you up. So please learn from a professional. Look for the RKC designation.

P.S. I don’t have the designation and I wouldn’t pretend to be able to show you how to do all the moves. I will teach my clients the swing but that is about it.

Listen to Lauren, She knows what she is talking about.

Enough of my soapbox. here is the article and here is the link.
http://www.dragondoor.com/articles/the-need-to-train-like-a-man-especially-if-you-are-a-woman/

The Need to Train Like A Man, Especially if you are a Woman

Lauren Brooks, RKC
March 9, 2006 04:08 PM

Come on ladies! Are you sick of watching men do pull-ups and you can’t even do one? I know I was!

As a fitness coach I stay current with the latest developments. I am always looking for workouts to stay in shape that are not only effective, but also fun. Since most of my clients are more concerned with having a lean physique than with developing real strength, it’s been a challenge to convince them that training for strength is an excellent way to become leaner.

Many women have the illusion that if they even glance at free weights, they will end up looking like Arnold’s long lost twin sister. As a result, women flock to aerobics classes and exercise machines every year with the hope of discovering the holy grail of fat loss.

I do not have to tell you what the end result is.

Think I am being too harsh? Go to an aerobics class today and take a mental note of the class. Now go back in a month and take a look at the results. See what I mean?

Results that are noticeable do not come from just cardiovascular exercise. Make no mistake about it, the best way to get a lean, sexy, and a well defined physique is with heavy weights and low reps. Why? Read the rest of the article to find out.

I am also going to go over what I believe is the most effective form of weight training for women and what it did for me. By the time you get to the end of this article, you will be over the irrational fear that lifting heavy weights makes women bulky. You will have a plan of action to develop a body that is super strong and conditioned. The body you have always wanted. Lets get started! Many woman who insist on training with light or medium weights and doing many reps end up building Sarcosplasmic Hypertrophy: bloated, soft and useless muscle. Proper strength training leads to gains in Myofibrillar Hypertrophy: strong and dense muscle. Using lower reps and heavy weights is the best way to achieve the lean physique.

Moreover, you will actually have strength that works; strength that will let you achieve that pull up you’ve always wanted. And don’t worry, most women do not have the testosterone levels to achieve the big bulky muscles. Men have 10 to 15 times the amount of testosterone women posses. Men still have to work very hard to put on muscle. In order to build big bulky muscles you have to have the right amount of testosterone levels, an increased caloric intake, and a regimen that includes lots of volume. Lots of volume can mean 5-10 sets per exercise. So what is the best way to develop real strength? I am firmly convinced it is kettlebell training. When I discovered kettlebells, I was hooked immediately and stopped training with dumbbells and machines. After training with only kettlebells 2-3 times a week for 10 weeks, I lost about 4-5% of my body fat. I am 5’3 and was 118 pounds with 18% body fat. Now I’m 114 lb, much stronger and more conditioned and have a body fat of 13%.

I look better now than I did in college. I was amazed and so were my clients and other trainers; they begged me to teach them what I was doing. The first kettlebell exercise I start my clients with is the swing. The SWING is the foundation of Russian Kettlebell training. It teaches (a) the hip thrust that is powerful and explosive, (b) compressed breathing, and (c) how to generate force quickly. This exercise gives you the skills necessary to excel in all Kettlebell lifts. Spend a lot of time perfecting your swings. Here is how to get started: Most women start with an 8kg weight and men with a 16kg kettlebell. Some women can start with a 12kg. (Exercise descriptions adapted from the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification manual.)

  1. Take a natural squat stance making sure your knees are aligned with your ankles
    1. Keep your head up and looking straight forward
    2. Keep a straight back- even when bending forward from hips
    3. Sit back rather than dip down
  2. Keep weight on your heels during swings until the top of the movement; you may shift your weight on your entire foot if that feels more comfortable.
    1. Maintain your balance at all times.
    2. At the bottom position, you should feel your hamstrings stretch.
  3. Explode the hips while keeping your arms straight and loose. The power comes from your legs not your arms. (Do not try and muscle the swing). Keep your shoulders down.
  4. Lock out the hips and knees at the top position. This is where you develop the power to swing the kettlebell.
    1. Squeeze the glutes tight every time you thrust
    2. Brace your abs to protect your spine.
  5. Your breathing should be a power inhale to your abdomen in through the nose at the bottom of the swing. As you snap your hips you let out a little fast breath bracing your spine (like you would with power punches)

Start out by doing 3-5 sets of 15 swings with a lighter bell. When you can do this without overtaxing yourself, move on to a heavier kettlebell. If your seeking to get your heart rate up this is for you. If you are doing the swings correctly your glutes will be sore the next day.

There are many variations with swings you can do once you get it down. There are two-handed swings, alternating swings, double swing (if you have two kettlebells; take a wider stance for this or say bye-bye to knee caps), walking swings, high swings, and so much more. Here are four other exercises you can add to your workout once you feel ready to move on.

The TURKISH GET-UP is an excellent exercise for shoulder stability, flexibility, and resilience. This is a very slow drill. Keep in mind to breathe shallow and keep your abs pressurized through out the set.

  1. Lie on your back and press the kettlebell (KB) in the air
    1. Elbow must be locked through the duration of the set
    2. Keep the handle at the base of the palm and your wrist tight
  2. Roll to your side and sit up keeping your eyes on the bell
  3. Use your free elbow to prop yourself up and get on one knee
  4. Carefully stand up
  5. Slowly reverse the movement and return to the floor (keeping your eye on the KB at all times)

 

The CLEAN is not only an exercise but a safe means to get the KB’s to your shoulders for other drills. Get in the same stance and pick the KB off the floor as you would for a swing.

  1. Keeping your arm loose: the KB is lifted with your hip thrust.
  2. Keep your elbow in and quickly flip your elbow under when the bell has almost reached your shoulder. Do not pull with your arm or try and cheat curl it up to your shoulder! The power is from your hip thrust.
  3. Right before the KB has landed on your forearm, quickly dipping your knees and getting under it will take away the impact.
  4. When returning the KB to the bottom position, keep your arm very loose. Swing it back between your legs and repeat.

 

The FRONT SQUAT is an outstanding leg strength, back, abs, and flexibility developer. This is by far the most practical of all squatting movements. It can be done with one or two KB’s.

  1. Clean the kettlebell and let it rest in the crook of your elbow
  2. Take a breath through your belly before descending
  3. Squat down as deep as you feel comfortable. Pause for 2 seconds
  4. Pressurize your abdomen and straighten out
  5. Push steadily through your heels as you ascend back to the top position

Hint: Never release all the air in your abdominal cavity at one time

The ONE-LEGGED DEAD LIFT is a great exercise that strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, and is important for both athletic power and back safety. It will teach you the very valuable skill of overall tension and staying tight.

  1. Have two KB on the ground side by side with enough room for your foot to fit between them.
  2. Grip the ground with your toes and keep the muscles around your ankle and on the bottom of your foot tight.
  3. Hinge over at your hips with a semi-squat and grab the KB’s. (Eyes are looking straight).
  4. Tense the glute of the loaded leg and brace the abs for that imaginary punch.
  5. Staying very tight throughout the body, push straight down with your leg and squeeze the bells off the ground.
  6. Try to maintain a straight spine. Do not attempt to recover lost balance by fidgeting; this could injure your knee.

 

Here is a sample program to get you started with the five exercises you just learned. Just to keep it simple for beginners, I would recommend 1 minute rests between each set. If you become very fatigue to where you lose your form, I advise you to stop immediately or go down to a lighter weight. If you are looking for higher intensity do one set of each exercise without stopping, then take a 1-2 minute break after all are completed and repeat 3-5 times.

Monday
One Arm Clean 3×6 on each arm
Front Squat 3×8
Two Arm Swing 3×20

Wednesday
Turkish-Get Up 2×3 per side
One-Legged Dead Lifts 3×5 per leg
One Arm Swing 2×15 on each arm

Friday
Double Clean 2×5
Double Front Squat 2×5
Turkish-Get Up 2×3 per side
Alternating Swings 3×15 per arm

So there you have it. Real strength and power exercises with weights for women and men that will get you that lean physique and real strength. Don’t be surprised if your athletic performance improves after 4 weeks of adding this type of training in to your life.

There are endless possibilities of fun and extremely difficult things you can do with kettlebells. Last important thing is to always play it safe! While its good to push your body to the limits, it’s imperative to know when you are over exerting yourself. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at Lauren@SoCaltrainer.com. References:
Zatsiorsky,V.(1995) Science and Practice of Strength Training. Human Kinetics.
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification Manual About the Author Lauren Brooks is a fitness and strength trainer in San Diego, CA. Lauren earned her B.S. in Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Fitness, Nutrition, and Health from San Diego State University. Lauren Brooks is Certified by American Council on Exercise and Russian Kettlebell Challenge. She is available for online nutrition and program designs as well as private and group sessions. You can contact her at Lauren@socaltrainer.com or go to www.SoCaltrainer.com

 

Hopefully you enjoyed the article!

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An Ugly Kettlebell Circuit For Legs

 Ready to get ugly?

Choose your weapon. 45, 55 or 70 pounds of pure fun!

Choose your weapon. 45, 55 or 70 pounds of pure fun!

Kettle bells circuits are, in my opinion, the best type of circuit you can do. They are unforgiving. If your form starts breaking down, you will pay for it. So unlike other types of circuits,these demand your full attention.

This is an ugly, ugly circuit for those of you who want to blast your legs. I have no idea why I was so mad at my legs that day. Oh yeah, I remember…I wanted to make them bigger and stronger. And this is how you do it.

Now, if you don’t have kettle bells, you can do this circuit with dumbbells. The only exercise you will have to replace is the swings. You can substitute 5-10 burpees or maybe do some pull-ups, rows or push-ups.

What you need:

Kettlebells.

I use 35 lb and 45 lb. ( I know it is cooler to use KG’s but what can I say, I am an American,. You should use a weight that will test you. remember, this is training not show off time. Kettlebell training should be a thing of beauty. I want nice controlled, smooth movements that work to transform your body into a single unit. Don’t be jerky or spasmodic and the most important rule of all….

If you can’t keep your form intact you are using too heavy a bell.

If you feel this in your lower back you need a lighter bell or you need to work on your form.

Take breaks if you need to. I don’t want your form breaking down because you think you need to work to the bell.

Interval Timer

Here is a sample of hiit timers. Most have a free version that will work just fine.

Here is a sample of hiit timers. Most have a free version that will work just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interval timer- If you don’t have one on your phone, download one. They are free and they work great. Just go to your app store and search for HIIT (high intensity interval timer). Go to settings and you will see an area for sets, high interval and low interval. The high interval is the work period and the low interval is the rest period. The names may be different depending on what app you download but you are smart and I have full confidence you can figure it out.

Suggested interval settings

Set the sets for 9.

50 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. Advanced

45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. Intermediate

40 seconds work and 20 seconds rest. Beginner.

 

Exercises:

1. Kettlebells Swings- nice smooth swings.

2. Deadlift- use your legs and touch the kettlebell to the floor if you can.

3. Romanian or stiff legged Deadlift holding 1 Kettlebell. Stand on your left leg and hold kettlebell in the same hand. Do this exercise slow and deliberate. You may want to use a lighter weight for the first set as this really stretches out the hamstrings.

4. Romanian deadlifts Right side.

5. Front Squat- Use one Kettlebell and clean it to your left shoulder. Rack it there and squat.

6. Front squat right side.

7. Lunges Left leg. Hold either one or two kettlebells and step into the lunge and back with your left leg.

8. Lunges Right Leg

9. Kettlebell Swings

Let me know what you think.

Contact Me

I offer in home and online personal training. This is customized training directed at achieving your goals. I offer a free 30 minute consultation and would love to talk with you. Just fill out the consult form and I will be in touch with you. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Post 62: Workout Rituals…Everyone Needs Them.

 One of the biggest parts of working out is the rituals that it entails. Not sacrificial or religeous rituals but work-out rituals. If you don’t have ’em, you need ’em. And that is the purpose of this blog entry. Being ritualistic with your lifting makes this a part of your life, not just something you casually toss in to your schedule.

I love the pre-workout and post-workout rituals that I have created over the years. Most veteran lifters have them and they are important to put you in the mood to lift at your best. A ritual is a series of events you do before you lift your first weight. Consider a movie theater. Most people have a routine they go through every time they see a movie. From personal observation, this is our family movie ritual:

  • We get to the theater a half hour early.
  • Get the same stuff to eat and drink.
  • I gripe about the prices.
  • We sit in the same seats. They usually are available because we get there early. See the logic in this?
  • Watch the trailers and give either a silent nod or shake of the head as to whether it meets our movie standards.
  • Watch the movie.
  • Watch the credits.
  • Review and discuss the movie

We do it this way every time. The few times we have strayed from this, the movie experience wasn’t the same.

So you need to come up with your workout rituals.

Here is my ritual. Feel free to copy if you think it will work for you.

  • Pick kids up from school. Start thinking about the workout.
  • Pick the workout music. More on this in another blog.
  • Pre-workout drink mixed in blender while music is playing.
  • Give final approval to the music. Crank it up a bit more.
  •  Warm -up with 4 pre-hab exercises
  • Start workout
  • Finish workout, lie on floor tired and sweaty. Rest until my dog starts licking my face.
  • Change music to cool-down music
  • Stretch
  • Post workout drink, usually chocolate milk.

Now there is a ritual for you. Everything in it’s proper place. So all you need to do is analyze what makes a great workout for you, break down the steps and follow them in order. 

What if you don’t work out the same time each day? Alter step 1 but keep as much of it the same as you can.

Have a ritual? Send it to me and I will throw it on here. Until next time…..

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 61: Turkish Get-Up Tutorial

Hey, how is everyone today?

Who Wants to do A Turkish Get-Up?

One of the great things about publishing a blog is that I can direct this wobbly ship anyway I want. One of the things I like to do is share information I find. Not crappy marketing info or generic filler articles but honest fitness stuff from fellow athletes who are in the trenches like you and me. This information is always better and always more credible. This is actual training you can use.

That is why I originally posted the video from Neghar Fonooni, the 36k Turkish Get-Up. Now everyone wants to learn how to do one and to be honest, I am not the one to show you. But Neghar is. When I originally asked her permission to post her video on my site, she agreed.

If I were a vain person I would put a video of myself doing them but since she is teaching me, I will bow to the master on this one. The explanation is simply the best I have found. But I need to warn you, this is a hard and humbling exercise. Don’t be an idiot and try this using weight until you have your form down.  Don’t be a bigger idiot by trying to use the weight she uses. She is a trained professional. Doing a 72 pound TGU would be like trying to walk into a 500 lb squat. Work your way into it. I am.
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Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 60: An Amazing Feat With a Kettlebell- 36k TGU

As a trainer, one of the constant battles I fight is convincing women that you can train heavy and you won’t look freakish. To prove my point, here is a video from Neghar Fonooni. She has over 90 videos on YouTube and I would urge everyone to check them out.

If you are like most guys, you will be humbled by the amount of weight she lifts, not to mention the flawless form. If you are a woman, hopefully this will inspire you to go a little heavier next time you lift.

 

In case you don’t perform turkish get-ups, you can probably see from the video that they are hard. Really hard and technical. Notice she isn’t lifting 36 pounds, she is lifting 36kg which translates to 79.3 pounds! And she is doing this at a bodyweight of 125 lbs. Very cool.

Enjoy

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 59: R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan

R.I.P. Big man

This really stinks. Michael Clarke Duncan died today from a heart attack suffered in July.

I am not really good at writing tributes but I wanted to do my best here. Because Michael Clarke Duncan was not only an extraordinary actor, he was also a brother of the iron. Much like when an actor comes from your hometown you can have a sense of pride in sharing that commonality.

I shared with him that sense that he was one of us. One of the few representatives in Hollywood that was a weightlifter. Not some skinny guy that works out for a given role but an honest iron pumping dude who made it big. And that was special to me. Just like Sly and Arnold, Michael was in the club. In a world that increasingly favors little nebbish heroes on the screen, Michael Clarke Duncan was the man. He commanded the screen with his presence.

So that is really all I wanted say. We have lost a brother of the iron today. He will be missed.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 58: KettleBell Training Comes To M Factor Fitness

 Hello Comrades, Kettlebell training has crossed over from the Soviet Union to the shores of M Factor Fitness!

( I realize the Soviet Union is no more but since this originated in the Soviet Union, I wanted to be accurate. Plus it makes a catchy headline. )

It is about time. I have been reading about kettlebells from the mid-nineties in Muscle and Fitness and the magazine Bill Phillips used to put out. I forgot the name of it but it was a great magazine. If memory serves, the guy that really introduced kettlebells to America was Pavel Tsatsouline. A man ahead of his time. Really about 15 years ahead of his time. I hope he is making a nice living off of this because he is the true founder of this movement. But at the time it looked kind of silly to me, so I ignored it.

Anyway, kettlebell training may sound intimidating because it is. You are swinging a cannonball with a handle all around your body so you should have some concern. As always, the celebrity fitness gurus are marketing this to beginners and people who have no business starting out with kettlebells. But this will lead to another rant, so let’s move on. Suffice to say, don’t start an exercise program with them. Work into them. They are a great tool for functional fitness but you need some functional fitness before you should use them. If that makes any sense.

Why did I start training with Kettlebells? I was looking for a way to improve my squats and explosive power. The cool thing about the kettle-bell as opposed to the dumbbell is the concentration of mass. A dumbbell is balanced with weight on each side of the handle, which makes it wider and more cumbersome. The kettlebell has the weight beneath the handle so it is more compact and easier to swing.

The act of swinging a weight has an effect of tying together muscles by making every exercise a compound movement. My main purpose was to work what is called the posterior chain. These are the muscles from the calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back , mid back and traps.
From a functional training perspective I was strong in the quads but weak in the glutes. In fact my hamstrings had started taking over a lot of the glute work, meaning they were always tight and fatigued. This really affected my ability to go heavy with back squats.
1. I felt I could never go as heavy as I wanted.
2. When I did go heavy, I always ended up getting injured, hip flexor strain, hamstring pull, lower back pain etc…

So my reason to get into kettlebell training was to coordinate and strengthen the posterior chain muscles to create more balanced power. And it has really been a blessing for me to do this. Not only do I feel stronger, I walk in a better alignment and I just feel more balanced.

So I decided to introduce basic kettlebell exercises to some of my clients this month. Remember, the people I like to train are between 35 and 60 and many of them suffer from back, knee and hip pain. So we are starting off with a 15 lb. kettle-bell and doing very basic but hard exercises; swings, deadlifts, rows and stiff legged deadlifts. The results so far have been fantastic.

I will keep you posted next month.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 57: Sports Nutrition Training at M Factor Fitness

 First off, I have to apologize for not being more consistent with the blog. That must be one of the most over-used excuses for bloggers but it is sincere.  It has been a crazy summer. In addition to my full schedule with clients, I was working on another certification for sports nutrition through the ISSA. This was in addition to the one I have from the NFPT, which sounds crazy because a certification is a certification. In reality, the ISSA course was light years ahead in the scope of detail and application, so I am glad I took it .I read books on nutrition all the time but there is something about paying for a course and being under a deadline to take a test that really makes you focus on learning not just reading.

The course was written by Dr. Jon Berardi, who has his own sports nutrition program, Precision Nutrition. As time permits I plan on taking more courses through him as he seems to be on the cutting edge of fat loss and the art of retaining muscle. Believe me, sports nutrition really is just nutrition. It is about eating for energy, muscle and strength retention and fat loss. Isn’t that the goal of everyone?

But what does that mean for you? Better information, better implementation and that means better results. So all my clients have a 42 page coursebook, and worksheets to keep them on track. This has been one area I have wanted to upgrade with my people so it is going to be interesting to track the changes.

As a pretty rock solid rule of thumb for all nutrition systems:

  1. Read the manual.
  2. Ask questions 
  3. Plan your food
  4. Log your food

You will have success.

But this is same for any nutrition program. The Precision Nutrition program isn’t revolutionary but it is truly cutting edge science so I am looking forward to seeing more success with this.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |