Posts tagged ‘boot camp’

The Kettlebell Swing

In one of my last posts, I stated that I would do a series of blogs on each of the six basic kettlebell exercises: Swing, Squat, Snatch, Clean, Military Press and the Turkish Get-up.

Here we go, let’s talk about the Kettbell Swing!

There is a reason I blog first about the Kettlebell Swing. This is because it is the foundation for 4 of the other basic kettlebell exercises. Before getting into why the kettlebell swing, first let me digress and talk about cardio. I have been working out with kettlebells for almost over two years. Previously, I was a gym rat, I was all about “cardio” over “strength”. I thought that cardio was the only way to loose weight and lifting weights would make me “bulky”. Sound familar? That was when loosing weight was my goal. I lived by the number on the scale as my measurment of success. Who would have thought that two years in to working out with kettlebells, I have not stepped one foot on a treadmil, elliptical, not even put on a pair of athletic shoes to work out – to the “norm” in the training world this defies all reason! But, Kettlebells defy all reason. “The goal of an effective cardio session is to establish an elevated heart rate and keep the heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. The goal of a sensible cardio session strikes the elusive balance between duration and intensity. The kettlebell swing seems to be the ideal heart-rate spiking exercise in that it is a perfect combination of muscle activation and sustainable momentum.” My views of exercise and my pardigms of cardio first have been shattered. The Kettlebell Swing is where it all began. No I was not perfect in my first attempt, but I kept practicing and practicing and swinging and swinging. To have recently heard from “Irontamer” Dave Whitley, Master RKC “I am not sure I can find one thing to correct about your Swing.” Wow, that was music to my ears! Now my goals, strength over cardio, perfect practice not just a tough workout, and fat loss over weight loss, and an ultimate goal to strive for optimal health, not just the ultimate “look” or to be skinny!

The kettlebell swing has changed my pardigm of exercise incorporating strength and cardio into one movement. Benefits of the kettlebell swing are simply amazing when performed with proper form and technique. Pavel brought kettlebells to the United States from Russia and is the Chief Instructor for the RKC. Therfore, training RKC is the only option for me. Although many fitness professionals are attempting to teach their clients kettlebells, there is only one safe and effective technique. A kettlebell swing is a movement that should be taught in several progressions leading up to performing a swing with safe technique. A kettlebell swing should never be taught by attempting to swing first. The purpose of using progressions to teach a kettlebell swing is to evaluate a client’s current movement and hip mobility. Athletic people move from their hips and non athletic people move from their knees and lower back. Although your goals may not include becoming a world class athlete, but I am sure they include prevention of injury or reduction of chronic pain. Moving from your knees and lower back are one giant prescription for injury and the development of chronic pain. The kettlebell swing will teach you how to engage your hip flexor muscles, thus providing better movement in your everyday activities. No, you will not be perfect in your first attempt at a proper kettlebell swing. This movement is very foreign to most individuals. When performed with proper technique by engaging the hip flexors and keeping a long neutral spine, the benefits are unmatched. I guarantee you, you will being to move better in your day to day activities, existing pain will subside and all other areas of your general fitness will improve. As always you need to perform movement quality over movement quanity! I promise you that regardless of the # of reps performed your workout will be effective and efficient.

Be Strong & Be Well ~HD

March 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm 4 comments

How do you prove it?

As certified RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) instructors at Tennessee Kettlebell Boot Camp and Nashville Kettlebell Boot Camp we see many clients that have tried many types of fitness instruction from various types of instructors. Our clients find a refreshing change to our style of teaching and actually taking an interest in how they feel, not just trying to pump their vanity. I wanted to share with you a recent blog post from Dave Whitley, Sr. RKC, CK-FMS on how we are different and how we actually take an interest in working with our clients to measure their success, track their progress and teach them how to reach thier fitness and nutrition goals.

How do you prove it?
How do you measure success?

How do you track progress?

Is it by how sore your workout made you? Is it by how much you got your ass kicked during your workout? I am all for hard training, but pushing yourself just to be pushing yourself is not the most productive way to go. It may feel really good, but eventually you have to measure some results to see if it is doing any good.

It takes ZERO teaching talent to make someone exhausted, nauseous or sore. A monkey with a pair of dice can get you there in about 8 minutes, just do 10 burpees for whatever number comes up when he rolls.


Do you trust this guy to teach you how to swing a kettlebell?
If you just want to be sore, let me just hit you with a stick a couple of times and we’ll call it a day.

At the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp and at Tennessee Kettlebell Bootcamp we have several ways that we track progress, depending on the goals of the individual. My students literally span the gap from be interested in a smaller waistline to professional athletes and everything in between. The great thing about the RKC system is that we use the same principles to address all these seemingly very different goals.

One unique thing we offer as part of our program is the use of Gray Cook’s Functional Movement Screen and the Kettlebell Corrective Movement strategies of the Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS).
I never want to put fitness on top of a dysfunctional movement pattern and without a standardized, repeatable method of screening movement patterns, how do I know if you have dysfunction and where it originates? Right, I wouldn’t, I’d just be guessing.

The FMS allows me to see things in your movement that are predictors of potential injury and the CKFMS drills allow me to correct any underlying problems and head them off at the pass, keeping you healthy and making you more resilient as we travel the road of strength and fitness. If (when) your FMS score goes up over the course of 2 or 3 months, then you are improving and I can prove it.

Move Better. Feel Better. Look Better. We will teach you how.
Tennessee Kettlebell
Nashville Kettlebell

February 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

6 Tips for a Fitter 2010 (definitely not your same old diet advise)

I am an avid reader and follower of the Precision Nutrition Network. The precision nutrition program is proven scientifically, its simple and it can fit into any lifestlye. Through the precision nutrition method of eating everyone can win and get the results they are looking for … or shall I say everyone can loose!

Here are 6 Unconventional Tips that are a sure fire way to prepare yourself psycologically to get in best shape of your life in 2010.

Except taken from John Bernardi – 6 tips for a fitter 2010!

1. Do Less — People make change hard on themselves by attempting to change too many things at once. They try to overhaul their diet, their exercise habits, their finances, their relationships, etc., all at once — and each of those changes is probably made up of 10-20 smaller behaviors that have to change. That’s a big mistake. Accept the fact that you can only change one behavior at a time, and you will succeed. Try to change more than one thing at a time, and you will fail. It’s really that simple.

2. Focus on your Nutrition – exercise doesn’t work — Two recent studies have shown that exercise alone, isn’t all that effective for helping people lose fat, gain lean, and improve their body composition. I know it’s hard to believe. But it’s totally true. Of course, I’m not telling you this to convince you that exercise is no good. Rather, I’m trying to make a much more important point. And that point is this. Exercise ALONE isn’t very effective at promoting weight loss. However, when you combine a proper exercise program PLUS the right nutrition habits, the sky’s the limit.

3. Find a Social Support Network — Fortunately, leanness also can also be contagious. If you hang out with people who INSPIRE you, who LIFT YOU UP, inevitably you’ll find yourself inspiring others, and lifting up those around you. Really, if you don’t have a strong social support circle, people who can help you, people who inspire you, people you can lean on, then that’s one of the first things that needs to improve in 2010.

4. Give yourself and Incentive or Reward — Its a reward big enough to help you overcome the inertia that keeps most people from getting fit. In 2010, if you’re committing to getting in better shape than ever before, what’s your incentive going to be? Are you going to have a body transformation contest with your friends? With your work colleagues? Is money going to be on the line? A vacation somewhere special? It doesn’t matter what the incentive is. But there has to be one. And it has to be big enough to keep you focused when your motivation wanes. Which it always does, even if for just a little while.

5. Take a Risk — I learned a lot about this principle in a book called “The Blackmail Diet.” It this book, Dr John Bear mentions that experts can tell you what to do to lose weight. But all of this advice doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you’re not forced to stay on the plan when the motivation wanes, when things get hard, when life gets in the way. Even famous fiction author Steven King writes about this principle in the context of quitting smoking. So, you’ve got your reward down. Now let’s pick your punishment. What uncomfortable thing are you gonna use to keep yourself motivated, to create pressure to succeed?

6. Do Something – Anything – Right Now — In fitness and in life. If you don’t do it now, it’s not likely you’ll ever do it. I know, I know, you like to “do your research”, read, learn, reason, and decide. But, the chinese have a great saying that tells you exactly where that gets you: one who deliberates fully before taking their first step will spend their entire life on one leg. And the Americans have a simpler one: just do it. I’ve found that those who just do it, need 3 things. First, they need a sense of importance. At some deep level, you need to genuinely feel that changing your habits and your body is really important. Second, you need confidence. Not necessarily in yourself (although that helps). After all, almost everyone starting something new lacks confidence. No, you need confidence in your plan. You need to really believe that the plan you’re about to follow, will work. Third, you need a willingness to act. You see motivation comes and goes. And the trick is to strike when the iron is hot. To act decisively when the motivation is there. The key is to do something positive, anything, right now. To be decisive, and act in a way that brings you even an inch closer to your dream. If you can do it on your own, go for it. If you need help, get it. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s positive and you can do it in the next 5 minutes.

If you liked what you read above… you can check out the full article and videos from John Bernardi at 6 Important Tips for a Fitter 2010.

Now, JUST DO IT!

January 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Pizza craving…try this great recipe

Do you live a healthy lifestyle, but still have a pizza craving! Here are two great receipes I found online at Men’s Health. Your cheat meals do not have to be completely unhealthy. When you apply some of the basic healthy eating rules (see a previous blog post “How to Begin a Life Long Nutritional Plan”) to your cheat meals, you keep your saiety while enjoying the comfort foods we all love!

License to Kielbasa Powerfoods:
3 tablespoons reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 ready-made flatbread, such as Flat Out
3/4 cup thinly sliced turkey kielbasa
1/4 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Spread ricotta on flatbread. Top with kielbasa, onion, and mozzarella. Bake at 375°F for 6 minutes.

Serves 1
Nutritional information, per serving: 414 calories, 34 g protein, 40 g carbs, 13 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 1,796 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Terra Ricotta Powerfoods:
3 tablespoons reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon ready-made roasted garlic
1 ready-made flatbread, such as Flat Out
3/4 cup chopped precooked chicken
3 tablespoons grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together ricotta and garlic, blending well. Spread on flatbread. Top with chicken and mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F for 6 minutes.

Serves 1
Nutritional information, per serving: 352 calories, 41 g protein, 19 g carbs, 13 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 409 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

November 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

All About Protein

Hello!
Great Article about the importance of Protein — take the time to read!

My diet of choice is the Warrior Diet, this diet focuses a lot on protien intake during evening meals and post workout meals. Often times I do not think people realize how little protein they are actually eating, therefore do not get the benfits of of this great nutrient! I was a little leary in reading the beginning part of this article as, I though it would challenge my views on eating large quantities of protien. John Bernardi could not have said it better when he states “Is building muscle the ONLY reason we eat protein?” My faith is restored….Thanks for the rebutal of the recent studies!

Limit Protein to 20g Per Meal?
by John M Berardi, November 4th, 2009.

Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009.

A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009.

So, what did these landmark studies show?

Well, the first study showed that when college-aged weight-trainers drink 0g, 5g, 10g, 20g, or 40g of protein after a weight training session, muscle protein synthesis is stimulated maximally at the 20g dose. Interestingly, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 40g dose.

Similarly, in the second study, when young and elderly volunteers were given 30 or 90g of dietary protein in a single meal, the 30g dose maximally stimulated muscle protein synthesis. Again, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 90g dose.

20-30 Grams and No More
Oddly, since the publication of these two studies, I’ve read no less than 2 dozen articles and blog posts suggesting that these two studies definitively close the case on protein intake. Indeed, some authors have even suggested that we’re ignorant wastrels if we dare eat more than 20-30g of protein in a single sitting.

Milk? This is the best you can do? Maybe you should read PN’s All About Milk article.
Here are a few quotes:

“So basically what you’re saying is that we don’t need to consume any more than 20g of high quality protein after exercise. You could get that in a 500ml serving of milk…This info is really going to piss off a bunch of internet keyboard jockeys.”

“I’ve cut back on the amount of protein I eat during most meals…No more slogging down 50-60g in a sitting. “

“Looks like 3 eggs post workout is just as effective as drinking a protein shake. Plus all that extra shake will be wasted.”

And so on…

Is Muscle The Only Reason We Eat Protein?
Now, while I can always appreciate a good muscle protein synthesis study, I sorta wonder if all the hoopla regarding these two studies is doing healthy eaters a service or not.

I mean, it’s definitely a good thing to discover that 30g of protein provides the upper limit of amino acids necessary for maximal protein synthesis at a particular point in time. However, the important, big-picture question is this one…is building muscle the only reason we eat protein?

I think not.

Challenging the notion that eating more than 30g in a sitting is wasteful, here are a few thoughts I sent to a group of colleagues:

1) What Else Will You Eat?
Let’s say you’re on a high calorie diet. Maybe you’re into bodybuilding or you’re training for an athletic event. And now you limit your protein intake to 20-30g per meal. What else do you fill up with? Carbs or fats?

Let’s take an example. Say you’re eating 4000-4500kcal per day for competition, which many larger lifers and athletes will need to do. And let’s say, because of these studies, you limit your protein intake to 5 meals of 20g each. In the end you’ll be getting 100g and 400kcal from protein.

Well, that’s 8% of your diet. What makes up the other 92%? If you’re loading up with that many carbs or fats, body comp can suffer. Remember, the protein is being replaced by macronutrients with lower thermic effects (more on this below).

2) What About The Other Benefits?
Muscle protein synthesis isn’t the only reason to eat more protein. There’s satiety, the thermogenic effects, the impact on the immune system, and more (see below).

Plus, there are probably a few benefits science can’t measure yet. I say the last part because there’s so much experiential evidence suggesting that when you’re training hard and you up your protein, you do better. So maybe we just haven’t looked in the right places to notice the real benefits.

Other Protein Benefits
In an article I wrote a few years back, I listed some of the benefits of eating more protein. And although the article is a few years old, nothing’s really changed since then. Here’s the list:

Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding — While all macronutrients require metabolic processing for digestion, absorption, and storage or oxidation, the thermic effect of protein is roughly double that of carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, eating protein is actually thermogenic and can lead to a higher metabolic rate. This means greater fat loss when dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding/muscle building.

Increased Glucagon — Protein consumption increases plasma concentrations of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon is responsible for antagonizing the effects of insulin in adipose tissue, leading to greater fat mobilization. In addition, glucagon also decreases the amounts and activities of the enzymes responsible for making and storing fat in adipose and liver cells. Again, this leads to greater fat loss during dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding.

Metabolic Pathway Adjustment – When a higher protein (20-50% of intake) is followed, a host of metabolic adjustments occur. These include: a down regulation of glycolysis, a reduction in fatty acid synthesis enzymes, increase in gluconeogenesis, a carbohydrate “draining” effect where carbons necessary for ridding the body of amino nitrogen is drawn from glucose.

Increased IGF-1 — Protein and amino-acid supplementation has been shown to increase the IGF-1 response to both exercise and feeding. Since IGF-1 is an anabolic hormone that’s related to muscle growth, another advantage associated with consuming more protein is more muscle growth when overfeeding and/or muscle sparing when dieting.

Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk — Several studies have shown that increasing the percentage of protein in the diet (from 11% to 23%) while decreasing the percentage of carbohydrate (from 63% to 48%) lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations with concomitant increases in HDL cholesterol concentrations.

Improved Weight-Loss Profile —Research by Layman and colleagues has demonstrated that reducing the carbohydrate ratio from 3.5 – 1 to 1.4 – 1 increases body fat loss, spares muscle mass, reduces triglyceride concentrations, improves satiety, and improves blood glucose management (Layman et al 2003 — If you’re at all interested in protein intake, you’ve gotta go read the January and February issues of the Journal of Nutrition. Layman has three interesting articles in the two journals).

Increased Protein Turnover — All tissues of the body, including muscle, go through a regular program of turnover. Since the balance between protein breakdown and protein synthesis governs muscle protein turnover, you need to increase your protein turnover rates in order to best improve your muscle quality. A high protein diet does just this. By increasing both protein synthesis and protein breakdown, a high protein diet helps you get rid of the old muscle more quickly and build up new, more functional muscle to take its place.

Increased Nitrogen Status — Earlier I indicated that a positive nitrogen status means that more protein is entering the body than is leaving the body. High protein diets cause a strong positive protein status and when this increased protein availability is coupled with an exercise program that increases the body’s anabolic efficiency, the growth process may be accelerated.

Increased Provision of Auxiliary Nutrients — Although the benefits mentioned above have related specifically to protein and amino acids, it’s important to recognize that we don’t just eat protein and amino acids — we eat food. Therefore, high protein diets often provide auxiliary nutrients that could enhance performance and/or muscle growth. These nutrients include creatine, branched chain amino acids, conjugated linoleic acids, and/or additional nutrients that are important but remain to be discovered. And don’t forget the vitamins and minerals we get from protein rich foods. (And lest anyone think I’m a shill for the protein powder industry, this last point clearly illustrates the need to get most of your protein from food, rather than supplements.)

Looking over this list of benefits, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we don’t just eat protein for its muscle synthetic effect. We eat protein for a bunch of other reasons too. And since a higher protein diet can lead to a better health profile, an increased metabolism, improved body composition, and an improved training response, why would anyone ever try to limit their protein intake to the bare minimum?

Take-Home Message
It seems to me that whether someone’s on a hypoenergetic diet (low calorie) or a hyperenergetic diet (high calorie), the one macronutrient they would want to be sure to “overeat” (relatively speaking) would be protein.

But that’s not what people do, is it? Instead, their protein prejudice often leads them to look for what they consider the bare minimum of protein (whether it’s 20-30g/meal or 0.8g/kg/day), and then overeat carbohydrates and fats instead. That could prove to be a performance – and body composition – mistake.

To this end, my advice is the same as I’ve outlined in the Precision Nutrition System.

Women – 1 serving of lean, complete protein (20-30g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

Men – 2 servings of lean, complete protein (40-60g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

This pattern of intake will make sure you’re getting enough protein to reap all the benefits that this macronutrient has to offer. Not just the protein synthetic benefits.

November 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm 2 comments


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