Posts tagged ‘Kettlebell’

My Journey to RKC II- Part 3

2 full days of 8 hours of physical and mental training is now complete! I continue to be amazed at the level of training one receives at an RKC Certification. Hands down Pavel is the absolute best in his field.

Today we tackled more on the pull up. Pavel taught a particular drill that made it all click for me today!! This a huge breakthrough for my future pull up training. I was able to perform a single pull up without leaking power at the bottom. Meaning I was able to start from a hollow position!!! YEA!

Other drills taught today were the Viking Push Press, Clean & Jerk, Windmill and the Bent Press. If you asked my favorite, it would be the windmill. This was an exercise which I felt very comfortable but honing my skill on the minute details was truly beneficial for me. My booty is super sore from the Windmill, who knew! My second favorite would be the Clean & Jerk. Although this is not an exercise to be taught to your typical clients, it’s value is truly beneficial to build athleticism and build mass. Here are two great quotes in the presentation given by Dan John (1) you cannot think through a ballistic movement (2) repetition is the mother of implementation.

Lastly of the instruction today, I learned more about the many benefits and drills to improve thoracic mobility. Bottom line…I don’t practice this enough!!!! Thank You David Whitley!

The workouts today were the more challenging than yesterday. We did a VO2 Viking Push Press workout – 10 minutes of 15:15. Our next workout of the day was to earn our lunch. Long cycle Clean & Jerk… need I say more!

I will end this blog on a quote from Pavel.

“Before building strength and endurance you must first have strength to endure”.

Now time for sleep and to rest up for our final day and level II testing!

be strong & be well

July 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Practice

Pull up – do your rep max (body weight or assisted)

Heavy Get up to Standing
OH Walk
Get down
(repeat 2x per side)

Pull up – do your rep max (body weight or assisted)

Heavy hand to hand swings – 15 – 20 reps
(repeat 3x)

Double Clean & Jerk x5 (you can sub push press or military press)
Following last C&J, do 5 Front Squats (do not put bells down b/w jerks and Front Squats)

Repeat the entire sequence 3x

Enjoy, Let me know what you think!
~hd

June 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Practice from the Hardstyle Diva

How can you progress to do a get up with a heavier size kettlebell?
I did this progression on myself to get back up to doing multiple get ups with a 24 kg kettlebell. I had not been practicing heavy get ups and realized I missed being able to just pick up a 24kg and feel 100% confident in the movement. I also tried this progression with our group training class recently and all of the students were able to perform a get up with a kettlebell they had not previously.

** If you are trying a new size kettlebell for the first time, be sure to have a partner to spot when you make your heavy bell attempt.

Choose a your normal size Kettlebell for a Get-up -then select one smaller and one lager. You should now have three kettlebells of varying sizes.
1) Begin using your smallest size bell and perform 3 get ups in a row per side.
2) Now switch to your medium bell and perform 2 get ups in a row per side
3) Lastly switch to your heaviest bell and perform 1 get up per side



I will stress again, if you are lifting your heavy bell for the first time, be sure you have someone to spot you on your attempt.

Perform the above progression 2 -3x. Not only will you find you may be able to lift a heavier bell, but you also got a nice 15-20 minute practice.

I would now follow this up with Swings – heavy of course. Set your timer for 10 – 15 minutes and again choose 3 bells. Using the protocol below, enjoy!
1) Light Bell – 20 swings – perform 3 rounds with 1 minute rest between rounds
2) Medium Bell – 15 swings – perform 3 rounds with 30 sec rest between rounds
3) Heavy Bell – 10 swings – perform 3 rounds with 15 sec rest between rounds


I also added the short video below by Dave Whitley, Master RKC (aka Irontamer), with some pointers on performing his “Furnace” workout.

Enjoy and let me know your feedback!
~hd

February 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm 4 comments

Go Viral with this article

In-Your-Face Fitness: Ring the kettle bell. School’s back in

Just an FYI – no further comments from the Hardstyle Diva. Well only one, if you want to learn Kettlebells, find a Certified RKC Instructor in your area, don’t settle for anything less!

Here is the link to the article:
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-fitness-jillian-michaels-20101011,0,2339798.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Ffeatures%2Fhealth+%28L.A.+Times+-+Health%29

October 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Practice from the Hardstyle Diva

WOW – what a great week in class at Tennessee Kettlebell. I will have to give credit to my husband for this workout! Everyone needs a good sweat every now and again, get that heart pumping, and to challenge yourself.

30 sec each exercise
One hand Swing – Right
Burpee
One hand Swing – Left
Burpee
45 seconds of rest
30 seconds each exercise
High Pull – Right
Jump Squats
High Pull – Left
Jump Squats
45 seconds rest
30 seconds each exercise
Military Press – Right
Jumping Lunges
Military Press – Left
Jumping Lunges
45 seconds rest
30 seconds each exercise
Two hand Swing
Mountain Climbers
Two hand Swing
Mountain Climbers
2 minutes rest
REPEAT

Everyone in class loved the challenge, its great when you can do a hard workout and people rally around each other encouraging everyone. Quality exercise is always encouraged, although when you are tired, proper form and technique will save you and often times people find that ah ha moment during times of fatigue.

Also in the news at Tennessee Kettlebell, Robert Chandler performed his first pistol (a one legged squat) this week…and we caught it on video. Check it out below. Robert has been training with us for over 8 months and because of training with Tennessee Kettlebell, he can now perform a pistol on each side. Congrats Robert, I am excited to see what’s on tap for you next — snatch test perhaps?!?!?!?

Enjoy the workout and let me know what you think ~hd

August 2, 2010 at 8:56 pm 1 comment

Are you ready to “Get Real”

Everyday it is so easy to come up with excuses about exercise and diet, you might have even come up with a few yourself. What’s holding you back from acting on getting the results you really want? On the flipside as primal or concsious eaters, we are often pointed out in a crowd as the minority. How sad is it that that eating healthy is the minority, just because people are not willing to make a few simple changes or sacrifices to live a long, healthful and active life. As a group fitness instructor, people categorize themselves with so may limitations and take the easy way out thinking they are too old, too large, when the truth is that they are too comfortable and unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to feeling the absolute best they can. As a fan of the Primal Blueprint and the Blog Mark’s Daily Apple, I came across some very simple guidelines. No more excues, no more one more day, the last time, etc. As stated in Mark’s Article below It’s time to “Get Real”!

Enjoy this great excerpt from the Blog Mark’s Daily Apple

I realize that most of you probably don’t think you need a lecture. You may not need any further motivation. You’re eating good, whole foods, getting daily exercise, and things are going well. For the most part, Grok gazes upon you with twinkling, approving eyes. But what of newcomers? What of the average doughy citizen happily bumbling along in blissful ignorance, unaware that his or her dietary habits and devotion to Conventional Wisdom might actually be counterproductive to those goals implicit in all forms of life, great or small? Survival, contentedness, and prosperity. Surely he deserves a harsh check of reality.

And even Grok stumbles. Even the most zealous adherents of the Primal Blueprint falter, or even relapse. Maybe they start taking advantage of the office snack stash on a regular basis. A few Twix can’t hurt, right? (Every day? Yeah, they can.) Or maybe they swing by the drive-thru because they put off grocery shopping that week. (Enjoy your microwaved pseudo-meat product flanked by enriched flour patties and plastic cheese.) Hell, even I’ve made that split-second decision – half-out the door, bedecked in workout gear, mind dreading the pain to come – to put off exercise for momentary comfort.

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional foray into our old ways, especially if the situation necessitates it (starving on a business trip in some far-off town with nothing but fast food joints open, or taking a day off to rest an overworked body). Just be wary of man’s unique ability to justify anything. We’ll eat vegetables chips and swear they’re healthy. We’ll order a light Frappucino and convince ourselves it’s cool (never mind that sugary sweet syrup concoction coating your mouth afterward). Call it self-delusion, cognitive dissonance, or just plain lying to yourself – we all do it, we’re great at it, it’s a coping mechanism, but it’s ultimately harmful and impedes progress in the Primal Blueprint. Because once we justify and rationalize a counterproductive behavior, we’re all the more likely to continue said behavior.

“Just one more day…”

“Just this once…”

“Last time. Promise…”

Sound familiar? When you’re promising stuff to yourself and convincing yourself that the lies you’re spewing are to be trusted (and falling for it!)… it’s time to GET REAL.

Consider this, then, a wake-up call. (If you’re diligent and secure, exempt yourself – but even then, you’d be selling yourself short. There’s always room for improvement. Thinking otherwise leads to stagnation.) A wake up call to the beginners, a wake up call to our most loyal readers. Let’s even consider it a wake up call to me, Mark, to get and stay serious about eating right and working out correctly. Following the direction of our evolutionary genetics is a beautifully simple endeavor, but it takes diligence and dedication nonetheless.

Are you prepared to re-up on the Primal Blueprint? If so, these should help you maintain composure and stay the course.

Get Real Meat

Eat real, actual meat. You want a slab of beef untouched by preservatives, by antibiotics, by hormones, and by soy feed. You want a whole roasted chicken so you can crack open the bones and suck the marrow. Eat clean, wild fish and pick out the rib bones. Most importantly, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that greasy little Slim Jim you picked up at the gas station on the way home from work that oozes slimy nitrites with every bite is real meat. Nor are, for that matter, the treated cold cuts, the bargain bin bacon that miraculously survives for months in your fridge, and that pepperoni you pick off your spouse’s pizza. Get real meat, folks.

Get Real Vegetables

Don’t eat corn (on the cob, popped, or otherwise prepared – it’s actually a grain!), potatoes (although sweet potatoes and yams are decent in moderation), vegetable tempura (don’t let that flaky, crispy batter fool you), or veggie chips (the chubby vegetarian’s best friend). And President Reagan may have once proclaimed it a vegetable, but ketchup is definitely not a good choice – it’s loaded with so much corn syrup, sodium, and other pseudo-foods that the tomato can scarcely be detected. Instead, load up on the stuff that you know to be good. Broccoli, greens of all kinds, cauliflower (mash it up for a superior potato substitute), carrots (hold the cake), peppers, tomatoes (real ones), squash, and eggplant (among numerous others) work quite well.

Get Real Fruit

And get realistic amounts of it. Fruit was a luxury for Grok, a seasonal delicacy. He wasn’t slurping sherbet-based smoothies every morning, nor was he munching on apples engineered for maximum sugar content. When you eat fruit try to stick to organic. Rather than drink juice or smoothies (albeit, a better choice), try to eat whole fruits. They’ll fill you up faster. Also go easy on the dried fruit; it’s great in a pinch and on hikes (mixed with nuts), but you’ll fill up on sugar before you notice it because it’s so concentrated. As always, berries are best.

Get Real Nuts

Lose the peanuts, the candy-coated almonds, the caramel-fudge-encrusted macadamia nuts, those clusters of candy and nuts masquerading as healthy snacks (they may have exotic spices like anise and cayenne, but they’re still covered in a fine sheen of syrup). Eat real nuts and seeds instead: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp. And please – do not eat those dried crispy soybeans.

Get Real Fat

Though that header could be easily misconstrued, what I mean is that you need to get real sources of good fat in your diet. Avoid the processed, hydrogenated (partially or totally), trans garbage. You should be eating real animal fat (lard, tallow), olive oil and fats from avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds, and good cuts of meat (eat that crispy chicken skin!). If you’ve bought into the widespread ridiculous fear of fat in favor of artificial vegetable oils, margarines, and other disgusting lab creations, you need to get real.

Get Real About Grains

CW likes to tout grains as “the staff of life” – the foundation for the human diet. Deep down, you know better. You know that the best alternative to grains is eating real food our bodies were designed to eat. Meat, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and fats are highly superior to grains, and they don’t require loads of processing, heating, pressing, fermenting, soaking, or any other tampering just to be digestible. Get real about the Primal Blueprint, stay off the grains for a few months, and you’ll forget all about your former masters.

Get Real Workouts

The success and effectiveness of your workout depends on the enthusiasm with which it’s assailed. Don’t half ass your sprint day at 60% intensity when you know you need to be going 100%. Don’t show up at the gym when you’re supposed to max your squat if you’re not serious about it. Use these days for rest, play or some low level aerobic activity (think long walks/hikes or an easy bike ride) instead and you’ll still be perfectly Primal. Then, when you’re ready, regroup and give it your all. Otherwise, malaise or even injury can easily set in. Get real about what you’re up for, then do it! Oh, and if you’re counting your walk out to your mailbox and back as your workout of the day you seriously need to get real.

Get Real About Your Goals

First of all, get some real goals. Get out a piece of paper (or blog, or Word doc, whatever) and figure out what you’re working toward. Be honest with yourself, and don’t expect the impossible. I am a strong believer in one’s ability to control their gene expression, reprogram their body, and become a healthier individual, but you aren’t going to sprout a few more inches no matter how many reps you do or vegetables you eat.

That said, never sell yourself short. Push yourself to the limit, and don’t use common excuses – “most of my family is slightly overweight” or “my dad never was really that muscular” or “I’m too old to start over” – to avoid making changes in your life. Your ability to seize control of your life, your body, and your health is real. You just have to do it. Ewald (Otto’s identical twin) did.

I hope all of this wasn’t too harsh. Chalk it up to a little tough love follow-up to yesterday’s “Excuses” post. I think it’s important to have a call to action every now and then. And it’s not like I told you something you didn’t know. You know these are the keys to living a long, healthy life. You know eating the right food and getting daily exercise will pay dividends – today, tomorrow, and in thirty years. Don’t relegate yourself to a future of walkers, brittle bones, sagging guts (and spirits), and doctor visits, all because it was easier to delude yourself and take the easy route. Instead, get real about your abilities, about your goals, about your lifestyle, and about your body.

Good luck!

April 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

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

Merry Christmas from Hardstyle Diva!

Merry Christmas from the Hardstyle Diva!

Enjoy the Holiday Jingle from Pavel & the RKC. Jingle Kettlebells
http://bit.ly/8PClhk

December 18, 2009 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

All About Energy Drinks

All About Energy Drinks
by Ryan Andrews, November 30th, 2009.

Cocaine. BooKoo. Mother. V. These are just a few of the hundreds of energy drinks now available on the market. Are these names supposed to be amusing? Or just downright disturbing?

Of course, and who can forget the infamous PowerThirst. It’s energy for men. It’s “menergy.”

OK, that last one is funny! But seriously, am I at a rave… or at the gym? It’s hard to tell.

What are energy drinks and why are they important?

In 1997, I just passed my driver’s license test. And in the same year Red Bull was introduced in the U.S. Over the next 6 years the sale of energy drinks in the U.S. increased about 465%.

In response, one question that I always ask is this one. Why would somebody need more energy?

I mean, the only time energy levels bottom out is when we skip sleep, skip workouts, and consume pathetic foods. Wait a minute, I just described most of North America. Ok, I guess I do understand why people are drawn to canned pick-me-ups!

Interestingly, the term “energy drink” is not recognized by the FDA or USDA. The details around regulation of these drinks are, well, kind of boring. Except for the following:

In the U.S., an over-the-counter medication for energy (like No-Doz) containing 100 mg of caffeine must include lots of warnings.
But the 24 ouncer of “knock your socks off energy beverage” from 7-11 that contains 500 mg of caffeine can be marketed with no warnings.

Badass or loser?

Energy drinks are now a $3.4 billion per year industry. The U.S. leads the world in total volume sales of energy drinks. In 2006, 31% of teens in the U.S. reported drinking them. We are talking about nearly 8 million teens — who are potentially consuming teeth-rattling amounts of caffeine and sugar.

What you should know about energy drinks

Have you ever heard of Red Bull? In 2002, it commanded about 50% of energy drink revenue. Let’s break down the ingredients. It contains:

Carbonated water
Sucrose
Glucose
Sodium citrate
Taurine
Glucuronolactone
Caffeine
Inositol
B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12)
Flavours and colours
We’ll take them one at a time.

Carbonated water
This is water dissolved with carbon dioxide. Doesn’t do much for energy or health – but it can make you bloated.

Sucrose/glucose
Unless your drink is sugar-free, you will find some form of added sugar. Per 8 ounces, the sugar content is between 20 and 35 grams for most drinks.

Glucose is the major energy source for the brain, red blood cells, and muscles. Consuming glucose with caffeine can enhance concentration. Too much sugar, though, will lead to a big waistline rather than big energy. Oh, and cavities.

A 24 ounce can of BooKoo has 81 grams of sugar. That’s the same amount as a medium Butterfinger blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Sodium citrate
More commonly known as citric acid. This is a preservative that also provides a tart taste. Lots of it may cause GI upset. And it has been known to erode tooth enamel.

Taurine
This is a sulfur containing amino acid that we can make from methionine and cysteine. It’s found mainly in muscle tissue and can:

Help to regulate water, mineral & homocysteine levels
Help contribute to bile acid formation
Improve muscle contractility and protect against muscle stress in animals.
Help to prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, but results are mixed. Taurine has actually worsened lipid panels in animals.
A dose of nearly 5 grams might be needed to notice any effect. Most energy drinks contain much less.

Consuming taurine from food/supplements seems to have minimal impact on blood levels, yet strangely, it still concentrates in organs and tissues. Taurine is highly water soluble and excreted by the kidneys.

The wonderful world of taurine Those who probably shouldn’t experiment with taurine:

Anyone with kidney disease. It won’t be readily excreted and supplementation can lead to accumulation in tissues (and lots of dizzy spells). Anyone who doesn’t like itching. Supplementing taurine can cause itching. Those with epilepsy. Supplementing taurine can cause nausea, dizziness, and a headache

Glucuronolactone
This naturally occurring glucose metabolite can help to reduce glycogen breakdown during workouts. It can help improve alertness too. It’s found naturally in very small amounts. Once ingested, it’s transformed in the liver and excreted via urine. That’s about all there is to say about this stuff.

Caffeine
90% of us (in the U.S.) consume caffeine each day. A typical energy drink contains between 50 and 500 mg of caffeine per can/bottle. 500 mg is like drinking 14 cans of cola or 5 strong cups of coffee. Zowie!

How many energy drinks before you die? Find out here:
http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most widely studied, and most effective, ergogenic acids on the planet. Consuming 5 mg/kg of caffeine can enhance performance, both in the short- and long-term.

Caffeine is a methylxanthine and acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist, which can enhance CNS activation and blood epinephrine. It can also improve muscle contractility.

Caffeine seems to be more beneficial for those who don’t use it on a regular basis. When combined with taurine, the effects seem to be additive.

Inositol
This is found in various foods and is necessary for insulin signal transduction. It can also be made by the body, so it’s non-essential.

B vitamins
The B vitamins are important for long-term adaptation to exercise. A B vitamin deficiency is bad news. But relying on a daily Red Bull shooter to meet your micronutrient needs is also pretty pathetic. Regular energy drink consumption is more likely to lead to toxicity.

Vitamin B3, aka niacinimide
Toxicity: Supplemental forms may cause flushing of skin, itching, impaired glucose tolerance, nausea, liver toxicity and gastrointestinal upset. Intake of 750 mg per day for less than 3 months can cause liver damage.

Vitamin B5, aka calcium pantothenate or pantothenic acid
Toxicity: Nausea, heartburn and diarrhea may be noticed with high dose supplements.

Vitamin B6
Toxicity: High doses of supplemental forms may result in painful neurological symptoms.

Vitamin B12
Toxicity: None known from supplements. Only a small amount is absorbed via oral route making the potential for toxicity low.

Flavours and colours
Even nutrition degenerates know these aren’t a good idea to consume on a regular basis.

Do energy drinks actually give people more energy? Energy drinks with sugar and caffeine may enhance performance slightly. However, it appears that the sugar-free varieties don’t match up. This might be due to the synergistic effect of caffeine and carbohydrates before workouts.

Pre-workout energy drinks seem to increase endurance and strength, but the results vary depending on exact ingredients.

Energy drinks don’t seem to improve memory very well, but they might improve reaction time. This holds true with sugared and sugar-free versions.

Energy drinks & alcohol
Guess what? Lots of booze isn’t associated with better test scores and more volunteer hours at the food bank. It’s associated with injuries, sexual assault, drunk driving, liver disease, and death. Not good.

Almost 25% of college drinkers report mixing alcohol with energy drinks. Before you chase your booze with an energy drink, you might want to make those last minute changes in your will.

Mixing energy drinks and booze can lead to heart rhythm disturbances and false assumptions regarding your level of intoxication. Further, alcohol and energy drinks lead to higher blood lactate, blood pressure and stress hormones.

Summary and recommendations
From a health perspective, energy drinks probably aren’t the best idea.

An energy drink that contains lots of sugar doesn’t make much sense, unless you’re participating in extended/repeated bouts of intense training. Energy drinks with artificial sweeteners probably aren’t wise either. Read more here: All About Diet Sodas.

On the performance side, the amount of “energizing” ingredients in most energy drinks are generally too low to notice a benefit or detriment, except for the caffeine.

And yes, there are still degenerates mixing energy drinks with alcohol. I would think common sense clues us in to how this might turn out, but since 24% of college students report mixing these drinks in the past month, looks like I’m the foolish one. Energy drinks can mask alcohol intoxication symptoms. This means your chances of walking off of the roof into the pool increase exponentially.

Think about the budget factor as well. What are we spending our money on when buying energy drinks? If you buy an energy drink three times per week, 40 weeks out of the year, that’s about $180.

Finally, consider why someone would “need” an energy drink.

How is their nutrition?
Are they overfat and lethargic?
Are they getting adequate sleep?
Do they take lots of meds with side effects?
Are they exercising?
Getting those habits dialed in might give you more than enough energy each day.

Further resources
Who needs Red Bull? Try Purple Bull!

Other interesting information about energy drinks
Energy drinks are a drain on water reserves. Producing 1 litre of energy drink requires approximately 2.5 litres of water.

Some people use inositol as a cutting agent with cocaine and methamphetamines.

There have been reported cases of seizures in those consuming high amounts of energy drinks (among individuals with no prior history of seizures).

Energy drinks may increase likelihood of manic episodes.

Thailand leads the world in energy drink consumption (per person – not in total volume).

Caffeine has been shown to increase alcohol consumption in rats.

PowerThirst now comes in flavours like Manana. (Just kidding.)

References
Forbes SC, et al. Effect of Red Bull energy drink on repeated Wingate cycle performance and bench press muscle endurance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2007;17:433-444.

IFIC Q & A – Energy drinks and health. July 2009. http://www.ific.org/publications/qa/energydrinkqa.cfm

Teens abusing energy boosting drinks, doctors fear. October 2006. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,226223,00.html

Babu KM, et al. Energy drinks: The new eye-opener for adolescents. Clin Ped Emerg Med 2008;9:35-42.

Reissig CJ, et al. Caffeinated energy drinks – a growing problem. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2009;99:1-10.

Candow DG, et al. Effect of sugar-free Red Bull energy drink on high-intensity run time-to-exhaustion in young adults. J Strength Cond Res 2009;23:1271-1275.

Wesseling S, Koeners MP, Joles JA. Taurine – Red Bull or Red Herring? Hypertension 2009;53:909-911.

Lovett R. Coffee: The demon drink? New Scientist. 2005.

Warburton DM, et al. An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Psychopharmacology 2001;158:322-328.

Clauson KA, et al. Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks. J Am Pharm Assoc 2008;48:e55-e67.

O’Brien MC, et al. Caffeinated cocktails: Energy drink consumption, high-risk drinking, and alcohol related consequences among college students. Academic Emerg Med 2008;15:453-460.

Beck TW, et al. The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capabilities. J Strength Cond Res 2006;20:506-510.

Huxtable RJ. Physiological actions of taurine. Physiol Rev 1992;72:101-163.

Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of a pre-exercise energy supplement on the acute hormonal response to resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 2008;22:874-882.

Zhang M, et al. Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids 2004;26:203-207.

Curry K & Stasio MJ. The effects of energy drinks alone and with alcohol on neuropsychological functioning. Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp 2009;24:473-481.

December 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

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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