Posts tagged ‘tsatsouline’

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

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

Tennessee Kettlebell Workshop – January 2010

Kettlebell Workshop January 16th at Tennessee Kettlebell led by Senior RKC Instructor David Whitley along with the RKCs in the IronTamer Clan! Sign up and get one free month of Boot Camp! Details below!

Click here to learn more about our new year, new you workshop!

Click here to learn more about Tennessee Kettlebell
Click here to learn more about Nashivlle Kettlebell & Sr. Instructor Dave Whitley

Tennessee Kettlebell, No complicated Machines, just exercises that produce RESULTS…Learn from the ONLY RKC certified instructors in Middle Tennessee…Get Fit, Get Lean, Get Strong at Tennessee Kettlebell!

December 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Are you Gluten Sensitive?

Another Great Article from Precision Nutrition

The At-Home Test For Gluten Sensitivity
by Bryan Walsh, November 18th, 2009.

Everywhere you look, there’s a ton of discussion about gluten and gluten sensitivity. In fact, PN’s very own Ryan Andrews wrote a great article – All About Gluten – just a few weeks back.

But is gluten sensitivity really something you need to be concerned with? Or is it merely a “Hollywood fad” that’ll disappear as quickly as it came?

Well, a host of new research studies suggest that this whole gluten thing can be a pretty big deal. In fact, emerging research on gluten and its negative impacts on health, including brain function, is starting to look kinda scary.

Quick Gluten Review

Gluten is a sticky protein found in a number of grains that helps bind things together. Basically, it’s the “glue” that helps bread hold its shape, stops sauces from curdling, and gives cheese spreads, canned meats and many condiments their smooth texture.

Gluten is ubiquitous in our food supply today and is found in everything from oats, bran and cereal – to the not so obvious – ketchup, soy sauce, chewing gum and salad dressing. Truthfully, if you eat any type of processed food, you’re likely eating gluten.

For more on what gluten is and where it’s found, check out Ryan’s article here.

Interestingly, gluten-free foods are one of the fastest growing sectors in the nutritional world today – and with good reason. If you’re sensitive to gluten, yet continue to consume products that contain it, there is a strong likelihood that some aspect of your health will suffer.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

Before discussing gluten sensitivity in depth, some distinction should be made between it and its cousin, Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition affecting numerous systems in the body. But its main target is the digestive tract.

Gluten sensitivity on the other hand simply implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring to gluten in the diet. For you clinical types, this immune reaction can be detected by anti-gliadin antibodies in the serum, stool or saliva.

In the end, the primary difference between the two is whether or not there is intestinal damage.

Gluten sensitivity + Intestinal damage = Celiac Disease

Gluten sensitivity + No intestinal damage = Gluten Sensitivity

Now, you might think that gluten sensitivity only occurs in a small percentage of the population, just like with Celiac Disease. If so, you might be surprised to learn that in non-celiac disease patients, anti-gliadin antibodies can be found in as high as 35 percent of the population.

Gluten and Your Health

The seriousness of gluten sensitivity – with respect to everyday health concerns, as well as some atypical health issues issues – can’t be overstated. Really, it’s a big deal. But instead of taking my word for it, let’s take a look at some of the research.

Gluten and Women
Women with gluten sensitivity were found to have a higher incidence of stillbirths, spontaneous and repeated abortions, late onset of menarche, amenhorhea (no menses), anemia, and early menopause.

Because of the potentially negative impact of gluten on women’s hormone and reproductive system, one study recommended “celiac disease should be included in the screening of reproductive disorders.”

Gluten and Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and depression have been linked to gluten sensitivity. In fact, gluten sensitivity seems to be a causative factor for schizophrenia in patients genetically susceptible to the condition.

In one study, “A drastic reduction, if not full remission, of schizophrenic symptoms after initiation of gluten withdrawal has been noted in a variety of studies.”

Gluten and Your Brain
Gluten has particular reactivity to our nervous system and is no longer considered to be a gut issue. Our brain and nervous system governs our perception, mood and quality of life. When our nervous system deteriorates, our life deteriorates.

Research has correlated gluten sensitivity to seizures, neuropathies, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, MS, migraines and even EEG anomalies (brain wave abnormalities).

One study concluded, “Gluten sensitivity can be primarily, and at times exclusively, a neurological disease.”

Gluten and Metabolism
Gluten sensitivity has been correlated with decreased absorption of critical minerals, such as zinc.

Zinc absorption occurs in the small intestines (duodenum and jejunum), the two areas most affected by celiac disease lesions. Researchers conclude, “These observations indicate that trace metal deficiency is another common nutrition complication of adult celiac disease.

Zinc has an important role in a variety of functions including our immune system, hormone production, brain function, taste, smell and our digestive function.

Gluten and Bone
There are numerous studies showing a link between gluten sensitivity and bone loss. Numerous mechanism have been proposed, including decreased calcium absorption. Researchers determined “Continuing long-term benefit of gluten withdrawal on bone metabolism in celiac patients.”

Gluten, Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to gluten. “This population-based study showed the highest reported prevalence of celiac disease in Type 1 diabetes in Europe. Patients with celiac disease showed clinical improvements with a gluten-free diet (GFD). We recommend screening for celiac disease in all children with type 1 diabetes.”

Gluten and Behavior Disorders
Partial peptide digests of gluten, called “exomorphins” have been shown to have psychoactive properties that have morphine-like properties in the body and brain. Studies have shown abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain in celiac patients at rates similar to ADHD children. Also, celiac disease has been found more frequently in children with dyslexia.

There are literally hundreds more studies demonstrating the negative impacts of gluten in susceptible individuals to virtually every aspect of their physiology.

That’s right, this isn’t some fly-by-night, tree-hugging, tie-dye T-shirt wearing hippy craze. Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they don’t have symptoms – yet.

At Home Gluten Testing
As highlighted above – gluten isn’t something we should all be frightened of. After all, only about 35-40% of the population may experience gluten sensitivity. So please don’t get the idea here that I’m suggesting we all start on 100% gluten-free diets immediately.

However, and here’s the crux of the issue, many of us simply don’t know whether we fall into the 60-65% of the population that can tolerate gluten or into the 35-40% of the population that can’t. So it’s important that we find out.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways of getting tested, the best of which (at least, at the present) seems to be a combination of stool and saliva testing through a company called EnteroLab (

And here’s the cool part. You can actually do the test yourself. You simple order a test kit through the company’s website, perform the tests yourself at home, send the kit back to the lab, and receive the results a few weeks later.

Of course, it’s beyond the scope of this article to go into interpreting the test here, but should you look into this kind of testing, the tech support available at Enterolab will be able to help you with your results.

The Gluten-Free Lifestyle

So let’s say you do the test and determine that you’re sensitive. What’s next? Well, you’ll have to cut all gluten out of your diet.

But deciding to go gluten-free isn’t a simple lifestyle change. It is more akin to a meat-eater deciding to become vegetarian. Gluten is so pervasive in our society, it takes a conscious effort to avoid it. And, because many of our comfort foods are full of gluten, it requires a change in perspective as well.

When many of my patients are reluctant to go off gluten – they just don’t want to give up some of the foods they love – I simply ask them, “Your bagel or your brain?” It’s that simple.

If you have a proven gluten sensitivity, it IS destroying some part of your body every time you eat it. Your thyroid, your brain, your joints – it could be any or all of these. And you must avoid gluten permanently.

This doesn’t mean being gluten-free most of the time, or “I’m gluten-free all week except for my one Ms. Fields chocolate chip cookie.” There is evidence that gluten can stay in your system for up to 8 months making every exposure a long-term thing. Does that sound too doom and gloom? Totally, and it sucks, but it’s the reality.

In many ways, gluten sensitivity is akin to peanut allergy. Any little bit of gluten can be cause for some real problems. So again I ask – your brain or your bagel?

Additional Support
Once you’ve decided to avoid gluten, there are other things you can do to protect yourself.

Besides avoiding it everywhere you can, there have been a couple of novel enzymes found to help break down accidental exposure to gluten. However, it is not a license to eat gluten. Rather, if you know you are sensitive to gluten, you can take these enzymes on a daily basis to help avoid any gluten that may have snuck into your diet.

Research has shown that the digestion of proteins found in gluten requires an enzyme known as DPP IV (dipeptyl dipeptidase IV). This enzyme is normally found in intestinal cells and is known to be deficient in celiac patients. In non-Celiac patients, if there is any damage to the intestinal wall, DPP IV will be decreased, causing an increases susceptibility to gluten and therefore damage.

In gluten sensitive individuals following a gluten-free diet, it is recommended to take a few capsules of a supplement containing DPP IV daily to prevent damage from accidental exposure.

Gluten sensitivity is a very real condition. And if you test positive for gluten sensitivity, and you continue to eat gluten-containing foods, your health and performance are at risk.

Fortunately, we don’t have to employ any guesswork or speculate about gluten sensitivity. With the genetic testing available today, we can be sure about gluten problems.

If you’re are interested in optimizing your performance and preventing future health issues, get tested and find out.


Sher, KS, Mayberry, JF. Female fertility, obstetric and gynaecological history in coeliac disease. Digestion. 1994;55(4):243-6.

Kotze, LM. Gynecologic and obstetric findings related to nutritional status and adherence to a gluten-free diet in Brazilian patients with celiac disease. J Clin Gastroenterol.2004 Aug;38(7):567-74

Molteni N, Bardella MT, Bianchi, PA. Obstetric and Gynecological Problems in Women with Untreated Celiac Sprue. J Clin Gastroenterol.1990 Feb;12(1):37-9.

Hadjvassioulu M, et al. Headaches and CNS white matter abnormalities associated with gluten sensitivity. Neurology 56:385-388; Feb, 2001.

Neuromuscular disorder as a presenting feature of Celiac disease. J Neurol neurosurg psychiatry. 1997;63:770-775

Paul V, Henkerr J, Todt H, Eysold R. EEG Research Findings in Children with Celiac Disease According to Dietary Variations. Z.Klin.Med., 1985; 40: 707-709.

Hadjivassiliou M et al 2003. Gluten ataxia in perspective: epidemiology, genetic susceptibility and clinical characteristics. Brain 126: 685-91.

Tengah D et al 2002. neurological complications of coeliac disease. Postgrad Med J 78: 393-98.

Hadjivassiliou, et al. 2002. Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 72: 560-3

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Tursi A et al 2001. Low prevalence of antigliadin and anti-endomysium antibodies in subclinical/silent celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol 96: 1507-1510.

Hadjivassiliou M, et al. 2003. Dietary treatment of gluten ataxia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74: 1221-24.

Will AJ. 2000. The neurology and neuropathy of coeliac disease. Neuropathy and Applied Neurobio 226: 493-96.

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Hadjivassiliou M, et al. 2002. The humoral response in the pathogenesis of gluten ataxia. Neurology 58: 1221-26.

Marsh M. Gluten, Major Histocompatbilty Complex and the small intestine. Gastroenterology 1992; 102:330-354.

Kalaydijian AE, et al. The gluten connection: the association between schizophrenia and celiac disease. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Feb;113(2):82-90.

Solomons NW, et al. Zinc nutrition in celiac sprue. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Apr;29(4):371-5.

Pazianas M, et al. Calcium absorption and bone mineral density in celiac after long term treatment with gluten-free die and adequate calcium intake. Osteoporos Int. 2005 Jan;16(1):56-63.

Spiekerkoetter U, et al. General screening for celiac disease is advisable in children with type 1 diabetes. Horm Metab Res. 2002 Apr;34(4):192-5.

Hansen D, et al. Clinical benefit of a gluten-free diet in type 1 diabetic children with screening-detected celiac disease: a population-based screening study with 2 years’ follow-up. Diabetes Care. 2006 Nov;29(11):2452-6.

Zioudrou, C., Streaty, R., Klee, W. (1979). Opioid Peptides Derived from Food Proteins. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 254(7), 2446-2449.

Usai P, Serra A, Marini B, Mariotti S, Satta L, Boi MF, Spanu A, Loi G, Piga M. (2004). Frontal cortical perfusion abnormalities related to gluten intake and associated autoimmune disease in adult coeliac disease: 99mTc-ECD brain SPECT study.Dig Liver Dis. Aug;36(8):513-8.

Paul, K., Todt, J., Eysold, R. (1985). EEG Research Findings in Children with Celiac Disease According to Dietary Variations. Zeitschrift der Klinische Medizin. 40, 707-709.

Kozlowska, Z: (1991). Results of investigation on children with coeliakia treated many years with glutethen free diet Psychiatria Polska. 25(2), 130-134.

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November 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

Foam Rolling?

As I get older, the more I find myself needing to focus on finding more ways to recover from my workouts. Sleep. Relax. Eat. How else does an active person take care of thier body and muscles? After hearing some recent buzz about foam rollers, I took the plunge and bought some of my very own. Ok — I now have foam rollers in two sizes, what do I do with them? I began searching the internet, watching videos and talking to my chiropractors office to find out the benefits and purposes for using a foam roller. In searching the internet I came across the article below that sums it up perfectly.

The article was written by Michael Boyle and originally printed in Stregth and Conditioning Magazine in December 2006.
Videos in the article below can be viewed at FOAM ROLLING

Foam Rolling?
A decade ago strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists would have looked quizzically at a thirty six inch long round piece of foam and wondered “What is that for?”. Today nearly every athletic training room and most strength conditioning facilities contain an array of foam rollers in different lengths and consistencies.

What happened? A major change in the attitude toward injury prevention and treatment has been evidenced by a huge increase in the awareness that hands on techniques like massage, Muscle Activation (MAT), and Active Release Therapy (ART) can work wonders for injured athletes. We appear to be moving away from the eighties injury care mode of isokinetics and electronics to a more European inspired process that focuses on hands-on soft tissue care. The success of physical therapists with soft tissue mobilization (the physical therapy term for massage) and MAT, and a number of chiropractors with ART has clearly put the focus back on the muscle. The message at the elite level is “if you want to get better (healthier) get a good manual therapist in your corner”.

What does all this have to do with foam rollers you might ask? Well. Foam rollers are the poor mans massage therapist, soft tissue work for the masses. As strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers watched elite level athletes tout their success and improvement from various soft tissue techniques the obvious question arose. How can I mass-produce “massage” or soft tissue work for large groups of athletes at a reasonable cost? Enter the foam roller. Physical Therapist Mike Clark is credited by many, the author included, with the initial exposure of the athletic and physical therapy communities to the foam roller and to what he termed “self myofascial release”. Self myofascial release is simply another technical term for self-massage. In one of Clarke’s early manuals published as a pre-cursor to his book Integrated Training for the New Millenium Clark included a few photos of self-myofascial release techniques using a foam roller. The technique illustrated was simple and nearly self-explanatory. Get a foam roller and use your bodyweight to apply pressure to sore spots. Kind of a self-accupresssure technique. I believe these photos began a trend that is now probably a multi-million dollar business in the manufacture and sale of these simple tools.

What is a Foam Roller and How do You Use It?

A foam roller is simply a cylindrical piece of some type of extruded hard-celled foam. Think pool noodles but a little more dense and larger in diameter. The techniques are simple. Clarke’s initial recommendation was not a self-massage technique but, more the accupressure concept described previously. Athletes or patients were simply instructed to use the roller to apply pressure to sensitive areas in the muscles. Depending on the orientation of the therapist, these points can alternately be described as trigger points, knots or simply areas of increased muscle density. Regardless of the name, those in the fields of athletics and rehab were familiar with the concepts of sore muscles and the need for massage.

Note:It is the authors belief that massage fell out of favor during the physical therapy boom of the 1980’s not because it was ineffective but, because it was not cost effective. With the increase in use of modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation athletic trainers and therapists could treat more athletes, more rapidly. In Europe and in elite athlete situations such as high-level track and field and swimming, a disdain for a modality based approach and an affinity for European inspired massage still existed. Slowly, the performance world caught on to the idea that manipulation of the soft tissue caused athletes to either stay healthier or, to get healthy faster.

The use of foam rollers has progressed in many circles from an acupressure type approach to a self-massage approach. The roller is now used to apply longer more sweeping strokes to the long muscle groups like the calves, adductors and quadriceps and small directed force to areas like the TFL, hip rotators and glute medius.

Athletes are instructed to use the roller to search for tender areas or trigger point and to roll these areas to decrease density and over-activity. The major areas that respond well to the foam roller are:

Glute max and hip rotators- the athlete, client or patient sits on the roller with a slight tilt and moves from the iliac crest to the hip joint to address the glute max (video 1a). To address the hip rotators the affected leg is crossed to place the hip rotator group on stretch. As a general rule of thumb, ten slow rolls are done in each position although there are no hard and fast rules for foam rolling (video 1b). Often athletes or clients are encouraged to simply roll until the pain disappears.
TFL and Gluteus Medius- the tensor fascia latae and gluteus medius, although small muscles, are significant factors in anterior knee pain. To address the TFL the athlete begins with the body prone and the edge of the roller placed over the TFL, just below the iliac crest. After working the TFL, the athlete turns ninety degrees to a side position and works from the hip joint to the iliac crest to address the gluteus medius.

Adductors- the adductors are probably the most neglected area of the lower body. A great deal of time and energy is focused on the quadriceps and hamstring groups and very little attention paid to the adductors. There are two methods to roll the adductors. The first is a floor based technique that will work well for beginners. In the floor technique the user abducts the leg over the roller and places the roller at about a 60 degree angle to the leg. The rolling action should be done in three portions beginning just above the knee in the area of the vastus medialis and pes anserine. Ten short rolls should be done covering about one third the length of the femur. Next the roller should be moved to the mid point of the adductor group and again rolled ten times in the middle third of the muscle. Last the roller should be moved high into the groin almost to the pubic symphysis.

The secondary technique for the adductors should be used after the athlete has acclimated to the previous technique. The secondary technique needs the use of a training room table or the top of a plyometric box (video 4). Sitting with the leg dropped over the roller allows the athlete to shift significantly more weight onto the roller and work deeper into the large adductor triangle.

Trainer Beware
It is important to note that foam rolling can be hard work, particularly for weaker or overweight clients as the arms are heavily involved in moving the body. In addition, foam rolling can border on painful. Foam rollers are available in a number of densities from relatively soft foam, slightly harder than a pool noodle, to newer high-density rollers with a much more solid feel. The feel of the roller and the intensity of the self-massage work must be properly geared to the age, and fitness level of the client. Good massage work, and correspondingly good self-massage work, may be uncomfortable much like stretching. It is important that athletes or clients learn to distinguish between a moderate level of discomfort related to a trigger point and a potentially injurious situation. Foam rolling should be used with discretion in those clients with less muscle density. Foam rolling should never cause bruising. The reality is that the athlete or client should feel better, not worse after a brief session with a foam roller.

When to Roll
Coaches and therapists are not in universal agreement over when to roll, how often to roll, or how long to roll so only general guidelines can be provided.

Rolling can provide great benefit both before and after a workout. Foam rolling prior to a workout can help to decrease muscle density and allow for better warm-up. Rolling after a workout may help to aid in recovery from strenuous exercise. The nice thing about using the foam roller is that it appears it can be done on a daily basis. In fact, Clair and Amber Davies in the The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook actually recommend trigger point work up to 12 times a day in situations of acute pain.

How long an athlete or client rolls is also individual. In a personal training setting we allow 5-10 minutes for soft tissue work at the beginning of the session prior to warm-up. With our athletic clients we do the same.

Foam Rollers versus Massage

The question often arises “Which is better, massage therapy or a foam roller?”. To me the answer is obvious. Hands work better than foam. Hands are directly connected to the brain and can feel. A foam roller cannot feel. If cost was not an issue I would have team of massage therapists on call for my athletes at all times. However, this is simply not realistic. Most athletes struggle to afford the services of a qualified coach or the cost of a facility membership. At the current state of health care, prevention is generally not a covered cost for healthy athletes. With no ability to get reimbursed the cost of massage therapy alone could approach or surpass the cost of training. The foam roller can provide unlimited self-massage for under twenty dollars? You do the math.


The use of foam rollers has exploded over the past ten years and will continue to increase. Athletic trainers in high school or small college situations can teach their athletes to perform hands on treatment that might not have been possible due to work schedules, while strength and conditioning coaches can provide a form of massage therapy to all of their athletes. Foam rollers are a small investment to make to see a potentially significant decrease in the number of soft tissue/ non-contact injuries.


Clark,M: Integrated Training for the New Millennium. National Academy of SportsMedicine, Thousand Oaks, CA. 2000

September 27, 2009 at 3:40 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.


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.


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.


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)


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 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.


      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… I come RKC II 2010.
      Be Strong and Be Well

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

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