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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Kettlebells

The kettlebell trains the body to work as a complete unit and as a result creates true ‘functional’ strength and endurance. Kettlebell training is a great way to lose weight, tone up those soft areas of the body, and stay in shape. Kettlebells come in many shapes and sizes but that wasn’t always the way.

When kettlebells re-emerged from hiding in 2001 popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline the only weights available were 16kg, 24kg and 32kg.

These were the traditional sizes used in Russia and the weight is measured in ‘poods’ 1 pood was 16kg, 1.5 poods 24kg & 2 poods 32kg.

In Russia, their way of thinking was that if you are a boy use 16kgs, a man who demands strength and endurance a 24kg.

The 32kg was used by very big men and circus performers. Now 17 years later we have the luxury of choosing from a 2kg kettlebell up to 90kg bells that are used in CrossFit and Strongman comps for farmers walks.

So let’s get to it what size do you use?

Women should start with an 8kg and men a 16kg. Why so light you said in your mind, well that is so you can learn the correct technique for the basic exercises and so you don’t get hurt and end up hating kettlebells.

The shape of a kettlebell is very different to a perfectly shaped dumbbell so a lighter weight feels a lot heavier.

You will very quickly advance to the next size weight, women the 12kg and men the 24kg.

Realistically these would be the only weights you will ever need, but we are not going to stop there. When you are proficient with one kettlebell it is time to go back to the first weights we used and use two kettlebells!

Double kettlebell exercises are much harder than single bell exercises and really take your kettlebell skills to the next level.

The plan:

  • Women 12kg, Men 16kg – Learn how to correctly clean, swing and press them
  • Next, Women 16kg, Men 24kg – Practice the previous exercises if your technique starts to fail drop back to the start weight
  • Finally, try double cleans, swings and presses with the lighter kettlebells

 

Gain An Avalanche Of Energy

If you really want to create energy, enthusiasm, and positive forward momentum in your life then start to move your body and breathe deeply each day with focus and you will begin to discover that which I am talking about.

All the systems in your body use energy. Pretty much everyone knows this and it often leads people to miss the boat entirely when it comes to getting themselves motivated, fit, and full of zest for life.

Of course the bodies systems use energy.

But guess what?

They CREATE IT as well!

People routinely forget this and it can lead to gross under training or simply performing the incorrect routines for that which they are after.

If you will allow me to get a little scientific for a moment, oxygen in the air has a very positive charge (imagine the positive pole of a magnet). Your bodily tissues and water therein act like the negative pole of a magnet.

Now, for those of you who are scientific you will know what this means!

Wherever you have a positive and negative pole there is the potential for ENERGY to be created!

So if you wish to feel more energised through exercise go against the grain a little and use your breath and body each day to access this energy and buoyant life force within you.

Speed Training With Intensity

I remember the first time that I ever bounded for speed. I was a wee sophomore in high school when a graduate from our school – who was playing college football – came back to work out at one of our track practices.

Joe – his real name – came back with some great new drills – including bounding down the football field.

What is bounding? Think of it as exaggerated running. When you bound, you push off hard and fast from the ground with each step. Think of leaping like a gazelle or an antelope. You want to try to float in the air as long as you can before the next foot contact. Then, actively drive your foot into the ground to power your next glide. You want your feet on the ground for as little time as possible. Drive with your arms for full power. This is excellent for explosiveness and to increase your stride length – both key factors in running fast.

You should include different types of bounding for greatest results in your speed training. Try these variations to crank up your speed workouts:

o Regular bounding – drive your knees up to 90 degrees and your elbows back

o Straight leg bounding

o Single leg bounding – remember to do both right and left footed

o Single leg pattern bounding – Right Right Left Left Right Right Left Left Right…

o Combination bounding – straight leg bound for 20 meters then regular bounding for 20 meters

o Bound/Run – bound for 20 meters then sprint for 20 meters

o Double leg bounding – moving forward

o Double leg bounding – moving backward

o Power skips – drive your knee up to 90 degrees to try for maximum height.

o Bound up stairs or bleachers

Bounding should be done for done for 10 to 40 meters or a certain number of foot contacts. Start slowly and build up to the longer distances and number of contacts. Be sure to rest and recover fully between reps. This is not endurance work. Keep your workouts short and intense. Your goal should be to include between 4 and 8 sets in your speed workouts.

Bounding is highly intense exercise. Make sure that you are on a good, forgiving surface and that you don’t bound too often, 2 – 3 times per week is plenty. Also, do not bound on consecutive days, your nervous system will be fried from bounding and will take time to recover, probably even more time than the muscles themselves.

Recovery Spin

I started away from the house and left the sub division and onto the bike path. As I made my way down I climbed landscaping boulders and rolled over small snow hills that are left over from winter… oh wait, it’s still winter! Anyway, I was having a great time on the bike, as recovery days should be. I made my way over the bridge that crosses a section of the lake I live by and proceeded to leave the bike path for pedestrians walking their dogs and themselves. Occasionally I would hit a nice rock garden that the fat bike would completely absorb.

Up ahead I notice a significant snow hill at the end of a parking lot, it was in the shade so I figured I would give it a go, and it ended up being awesome! I made it up two snow peaks and back down to the parking lot. As I approached the other end of the parking lot I noticed another snow pile, this time out in the open and in the sun, I inspected the back side to make sure there was not a big drop off. I still had a funny feeling about it but proceeded to gain speed on my second approach, this was steeper and I was going to need a little more speed to get over the top. Not doing the math, warmer temps, snow pile in the sun equals soft snow, I ended up sinking in near the top and going over the handlebars! I am sure a few people in their cars passing by got a great laugh!

I continued on to Lake Michigan and then on the way back home I found a new two track that was recently made and had some cool wooden planks in place to get over a marshy section. This was a great new experience, not sure I want to try and cross the railroad bridge over the river…