Posts tagged ‘fitness’

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

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

Excerpt from “Mark’s Daily Apple”

Below is an excerpt from a great blog “Mark’s Daily Apple”. This blog that was sent to me by my husband as one to follow. We are always talking about this topic below and struggle wth reaching out to the people who mean the most in our lives. We wonder why they don’t understand our reasons and practices of “primal” eating. I could not have summed it up better than the blog below. I guess some things we just need to let go and and let people see the differences such practices can make in ones life. This blog was an emotional read for me and any other primal eaters out there I am sure you will feel the same way!

Enjoy ~HD

Monday’s “Dear Mark” sparked a great discussion about raising healthy kids, but the conversation really got going (in the comment board and forum) when readers lamented the hard-headedness of their parents.

Yes, we too often paint younger folks as the impulsive, devil-may-care madcaps or hapless Pied Piper targets. Truth is, there are plenty of those qualities in every age demographic. Kids aren’t the only ones who can dig in their heels after all. So, to take on the flipside of Monday’s question, what’s a Primal child (of any age) to do when Mom and Dad are the ones whose health needs a major overhaul?

I venture to say that many more people find themselves in the role of concerned progeny than those who commented Monday. Far too many of us, I imagine, have been grudging witnesses over the years to our parents’ destructive health habits – whether it be crummy diet, complete lack of physical activity, smoking, workaholic lifestyle, chronic stress, or – who knows – compulsive use of household insecticides. Sometimes it’s ignorance on their part. Other times it’s denial. In some cases, it’s flat out apathy.

We drop hints at dinner. We drop pamphlets, articles or whole books on their coffee tables. At turns, we find ourselves lecturing. We argue. We offer to help – to make dinner, suggest some relaxation techniques or pay for a gym membership. In the midst of the back and forth, some of us deal with the frustration better than others. Perhaps those of us who recently moved out or are in the process of doing so are just glad to be on our own, away from the influence for a while. However, for many of us it’s an ongoing source of disappointment and even an emotional roadblock in the relationship.

The questions nag at the back of our brains and maybe tug at the heart strings a little. Why won’t they listen to reason? Why don’t they value their own health? Don’t they want to live to be there for their grandchildren – for me? How can it not bother them to be giving up decades of their lives or at least the hope of some additional active and independent years? What am I supposed to do here? Will anything I do or say make any difference whatsoever?

Step Back
As difficult as it is, maybe the first step in dealing with the quandary is this: we should all take a step back. (A big breath helps too.) There’s a certain freedom in accepting that you aren’t responsible for another person’s choices. Although you certainly have a big stake in their health, in their independence, in their well-being, in their being in this world period, the fact is and will always remain that you don’t run their lives. If you genuinely worry for them, it’s a painful realization, but at least it can stop you from beating your head against the wall. It’s not your fault. It’s not under your control. It’s sad and horribly unfortunate that they stand a big chance of missing out on some of their good years as well as your life and your kids’, but there it is. Ultimately, it’s out of your hands. Que Sera isn’t a comforting concept, but it can be a liberating one.

Don’t Apologize for Your Lifestyle
Just as they are going to live their lives the way they want, make no bones about doing the same for yourself. Stop feeling guilty for refusing your mother’s pie at Thanksgiving if you don’t want it. Stop apologizing for bringing your own food to their house or turning down Sunday night get-togethers if that’s a good workout night for you. Stop caving to their pushing treats on the grandkids. Maybe the more you stand by your lifestyle, the more seriously they’ll take it. If not, you’ll at least feel more in control of your own life and less swept up by their choices.

Appreciate Small Changes
Just because you accept that you don’t control the ultimate outcome doesn’t mean you can’t leave the door open for them to change or that you can’t make the adjoining room all the more inviting. I’d never say give up encouraging your parents to get healthy. Nonetheless, it’s all about perspective. When you take yourself out of the role of health director or even rescuer, you’re in a much better mindset to encourage, see and appreciate smaller changes. You’re not caught up in the vision of deep and desperate change for them. Once you take the pressure off, they might soften up a bit and surprise you.

Offer Some Healthy Bonding Opportunities
So, your dad probably isn’t going to ever accompany you to a PrimalCon event, but maybe you can convince him to go for a walk on a nice spring day. Though your mother will never give up her carbs, she’ll love spending Sunday brunch at your house (with your food) when she can have fun with the grandkids. Invite your parents to participate in your life – and the lifestyle that goes along with it. Find things that both of you can enjoy and get something out of.

Finally, however frustrating or unchanging your parents’ choices are, enjoy your time with them. Live life to the fullest with them as much as you can. Show them you care and that you enjoy their company. Let them know they’re an important part of your life. In the best or worst circumstances, you’ll be glad you did. There’s an old fable in which the sun and wind compete to see who can get the coat off a man passing by. In the harshness of the wind, the man simply clutches his coat more tightly. In the sun’s warmth, he happily casts it aside. In the best circumstances, perhaps warmth and love provide the best inspiration for healthy change.

Have your own stories and strategies for prodding your parents or other family members toward a healthier lifestyle? Thanks for reading.

February 6, 2010 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

RKC – the training

I said I would blog about how I trained for RKC, so here you go! I worked out about 4-6 days per week, most weeks were 5-6 days of training.

Every week I performed the Snatch Test and VO2 max. Maybe just my personality, but I found it helpful to do these on the same day every week.

    SNATCH TEST


I did the Snatch Test every Thursday, usually in the evenings. I somtimes did it on Wednesdays if I knew I was not going to be able to workout on Thursday. But I always fit it in every week. I started out with 5 reps per side, as I got more comfortable with the 16Kg bell, I would move up to 10 reps per side. Although I was able to complete 100 reps in the required 5 minutes, I wanted to be able to finish in under 4 minutes. As I started feeling stronger, I experimented with 15 reps per side alternating with 10 and 5 reps. This would really speed up my time. Pre RKC, my PR for the sntach test was 3:45.

    VO2 Max

I did VO2 Max every Sunday. I started with the 12kg doing 15:15 (just like we would perform at RKC) for 20 sets working my way up to 80 sets. I then moved up to 36:36 for 15 sets working my way up to 20 sets. I love VO2 as this workout provides a MAX workout in a short time!!! After experimenting with the 36:36, I went back to 20 sets of 15:15 with my snatch weight — this was a smoker. But it also REALLY helped me feel more comforatable with my Sntach bell and prepared me for the Snatch test for RKC.

    SWINGS

I ALWAYS incorporated swings into every workout. I did a mix of 1:1 and 2:1 rest. My 1:1 was usually 30 sec on and 30 sec rest, but somtimes did 45 sec on and 45 sec of rest or 1 min on and 1 min rest. I either started my workout with swings or ended my workout with swings. On my 1:1 work/rest sets I did my swings with a 20Kg or 24kg bell. By swinging heavy, this would help condition me for long 8 hour days of at the Certification and help build strength. On my 2:1 work/rest sets I would usually do 20 sec on and 10 sec rest for 5-7 sets. I would use a 16Kg or 20kg bell for the 2:1 using Overspeed to also ensure max conditioning.

    BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES

Every workout incorporated some type of body weight exercises. I have listed below each of these exercises – some are favorites and some not so favorite, but I incorporated something from the list below into every workout. These exercises were incorporated into each of my workouts as “active rest”. or change of activity.
– Pushups (5-10 reps)
– Burpees (1-2 minutes)
– Bodyweight squat or Hindu squat (30 sec – 1 minute)
– Squat Jumps (15-20 reps)
– Dive Bomber or Hindu pushup (5-10 reps)
– Planks (30 sec-1 minute)
– V-Ups (10-20 reps)
– Pull-ups – suspension bands (3-5 reps)
– Mountain Climbers (25-50 reps)
– Lunges (12-25 reps)
– Jump Squats (25 reps)
– Boat / Superman (30 sec each, alternating)
Here are some of my favorite combinations of bodyweight exercises:
1) V-up – 30 sec; Plank 30 sec, Russian Twists – 30 sec. Repeat 3x
2) Goblet Squats – 10 reps, Push-ups – 5 reps. Repeat for 4 mintues
3) 26 body wieght squats, 12 Lunges (one leg), 12 lunges (other leg), 24 alternating lunges, 26 Jump Squats (aka Lead Boots, by Dave Whitley)

GET-UPS

2-3 days per week I did Turkish GetUps with a 12kg or 16kg weight for 8-15 minutes. Being consistent in performing the getups, helped all aspects of my kettlebell technique from my Swings to Snatching to Cleans and Press. It is one of the best full body and movement exercises I have ever done. The benefits of this exercise are immeasurable…or rather very measurable to improving your overall functional movement, Period! The Getup is a MUST for life!!

CLEANS & PRESSES

    Cleans and Presses are not my favorite nor my strongest exercise. After attending RKC, I now understand why and how to improve my Clean & Press. For now, I will stick to how I incorporated these into my training for RKC. At RKC you are tested on the Double Military Press. I had practiced with both 12kg bells and 16kg bells in performing the clean and the press. As a wise instructor (my RKC, hubby) once told me, your press is only as good as your clean. I will let you in on a secret I learned at the RKC that brought meaning to the statement “your press is only as good as your clean”. You see its all about the tension and what is called breathing behind the shield. When you remain tense and use correct breathing techniques, keeping a strong core and lots of tension at the top of the clean, this tension translates into strength to press the bells. Easier said than done….. practice and repeat, practice and repeat, practice and repeat = reaching your goals. I incorporated clean & press into my workout in a variety of ways. I performed VO2 drills with Viking push presses, very light weight here!! Mostly I did press ladders, following the Rite of Passage from Enter the Kettlebell. I started with 1-3 ladders for 3 rounds with the 12kg one arm clean and press, working up to 1-5 ladders of 5 rounds. Once I reached this goal, I increased my bell to 16kg on the one arm clean and press for 1-3 and then up to 1-5 for 5 rounds, then I repeated the same progression with double 12kg. I am still working on the double 16kg for a full 1-5 ladder of 5 rounds. Back to more get-ups to help out with my clean and press, I am working on multiple get-ups with the 20kg to help me master double 16kg 1-5 press ladders.

    GOBLET SQUAT

      This was probably my least favorite exercise of them all — NOW it is one of my favorites!!! In learning how to perform the ATG (ass to grass) with proper form, I know I will get maximum results and that feels GOOD!
      Squats were also a part of my training each week. Some weeks I had days that consisted solely of squatting drills with and without kettlebells. No light weights for me here, I used 16kg or 20kg for goblet squats and when practicing Front Squats, I used 12kg or 16kg depending on the number of reps. 3-5 reps I would use 16kg, more than 5 reps, I would use doube 12kg.

      What I think most prepared me for RKC was the conditioning of ALWAYS lifting the heaviest weight I could while maintaining proper form. To recap by the end of my training I was able to perform with good technique Swings with 24kg, Snatching with 16kg, get up with 16kg, Goblet Squat with 20kg, front squat 16kg. 160 sntaches in 10 minutes, and VO2 with 16kg for 20 sets. Maybe I over prepared compared to others, but not only did I get the desired outcome of now being a RKC, but I am ready for my next challenge…..here I come RKC II 2010.
      Be Strong and Be Well
      ~hd

      September 13, 2009 at 2:10 am Leave a comment


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