Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kettlebell Fat Loss

Recently, my friend, Troy Anderson (no relation - by blood anyway!), asked me if I would check out his Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System.  All I can really is - Wow! Troy has put together an amazing amount of content and information. Troy’s website boast that he has left no stone unturned and I have to say that I believe he is right. 
Troy’s kettlebell fat loss program is great for anyone who wants to efficiently burn body fat and get in phenomenal shape. I think what amazed me the most about this program is that Troy provides so much information in so many different ways. For example, his workout manuals and templates are available by download, but you also get to download the follow-along videos. I like having both, I think that is great. Troy even includes awesome interviews with several nutritional gurus and the Godfather of Kettlebells himself, Pavel Tsatsouline. I thought Pavel’s interview was excellent. It was very neat to hear how the kettlebell revolution got started. 
As far as the actual Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System material goes, it is complete! Troy is providing over 5 months of short, intense workouts that combine kettlebell use with bodyweight training; a perfect combination. The workout sessions look great. They would make excellent “play sessions,” if you have subscribed to the Becoming Bulletproof methodology. Again, Troy has methodically combined the use of kettlebell training with bodyweight exercises for the purpose of building a stronger, leaner physique. Some days focus on strength training, others focus on fat burning and conditioning. The 300 workout (from the movie, 300) is even included in the program; this one is pretty intense! The plans are well laid out and easy to follow - they provide structure! You don’t have to think. You just show up, and get to work. In about 20 minutes, you’re done and on your way. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes a day to get into the best shape of their lives? 
The Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System is a great tool for anyone, at any fitness level.   Troy has even included extra step by step instructions and material for those people who may be new to kettlebells. I think that is great because a lot of people will not seek out a kettlebell instructor before they pick up a kettlebell; It happens. Troy has done a great job at providing those new to kettlebells with the information they need to get started. The workouts are also designed, and intended, to be easily progressed to fit any fitness level and grow with any newly obtained fitness levels. In other words, as you progress, so does the program. 
I believe Troy has truly put his heart into his Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System. He truly wants his clients to have every resource they could need to be successful in their fat loss burning goals. After a person purchases the Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System, they also get full support from Troy and his coaches through personal emails, facebook, and the Alpha Kettlebell Fitness Community. Troy is trying to provide a full service experience and build relationships. This is rare in today’s world and I really admire this because that is exactly the same thing Mike and I are trying to do with those of you who purchased Becoming Bulletproof: build relationships. Life is short and relationships are priceless. Troy knows this and it is evident. If you have a body fat goal and you get the chance, check out The Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System at http://www.kettlebellfatlosstraining.com/.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Carrying Things

To follow up on my last blog about Basic Human Movement, I thought I'd talk more about carrying things today. Carries could be anything from doing farmers walks, suitcase carries, to pulling a weighted sled to pushing a car down the street. Carries are you moving your body under a load of some type.

Is carrying things a basic human movement? Yes. You were made to carry things. You have two feet for walking and two hands for holding. We are multi-taskers, we can do a whole host of things that other animals simply can't do. 

Can carrying things improve your performance? Absolutely. When you carry or push or pull a load around from one spot to the other, you are causing your core muscles to engage. Carrying builds tremendous core strength. You know what else carrying builds? Tremendous conditioning. Carrying things around stresses your body and it takes a lot of work. When you perform carries, you are not only working your core muscles, you are working your cardiovascular system as well. Performing a farmers walk across a football field may leave you feeling like you've been doing wind sprints. 

Carries can really improve your performance simply because they improve you. To reiterate my last blog, if you are not doing carries, maybe you should.

Today's Play Session:
Farmers walks with 32k bells and a 40 lb X-vest = about 180 lbs x 160 yards
Farmers walks with 32k bells = about 140 lbs x 160 yards
Over Head carry with 24k bell x 80 yards each arm x 2 trips
Run x 10 minutes

It was short and sweet and it felt GREAT!

Have a good weekend!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Basic Human Movement

We are simply designed to move. We are made to move in a variety of ways with too many combinations of movements to count. Though our movements are many, they can be broken down into a few basic patterns. 

In fact, Dan John, a great author, coach, teacher, and friend believes that all movements can be broken down into 5 basic human movements:


If Dan is training an athlete and he wants to improve their performance, he simply introduces the athlete to whichever of the above movements the athlete is not currently training. For instance, say Dan is coaching a discuss thrower who strength trains religiously but he never does squats. Dan simply introduces squats into that athlete's routine and boom! - instant performance improvement. 

Dan's performance enhancement method is quite simple; simple and brilliant! How can you improve your performance? Simply do the things you are not doing that you were designed to do. 

We are made to move and possess certain movements. We are also made for efficiency, and this works against us when it comes to the "use it or lose it" principle. It is simply inefficient to hold on to movements that we never take advantage of; even the movements we were meant to have. Not using one of the movement patterns you were meant to have is like driving your car around on 3 tires instead of 4 tires. 4 tires is obviously better but your body will accommodate you if you only want to use 3! 

So it only makes sense that if you regularly participate in the 5 basic movements you were meant to have, you will not only retain them, you will move (perform) well. You will perform at your best because you continually take advantage of your basic design. 

Everything about us revolves around the "use it or lose it" principle. Your math skills, your movement patterns, your joints, your strength, everything. The best way to ensure that your body always performs at its best is to regularly, if not daily, engage in the activities and movements you were made for. If you don't push, start. If you don't pull, start. If you don't hinge, learn how. Do the things you are not doing - in your training sessions, in your "play" sessions, in your daily life. Get up and move!

If you want to learn more about Dan John's philosophies and coaching style, check out his blog at http://danjohn.net/category/blog/ 
or his book Never Let Go at http://www.davedraper.com/fitness_products/product/BDJN.html
or his DVD Intervention at 
Dan also writes numerous articles for www.T-nation.com.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Elevated Roll

If you've read Becoming Bulletproof, you know that I like rolling. Rolling is one of those "reseting" movements that seems to help make a lot of good things happen in the body. If you have become really good at rolling and you want to find another way to roll that both challenges the body and offers some great benefit, I would like to introduce what I call the "Elevated Roll."

I first saw this movement at a strength training workshop that was led by Pavel Tsatsouline and Dan John. Dan John uses this move to help people learn the bridge portion of the Turkish Get-up. When I first saw Dan demonstrate this movement, all I could think about was "that's a suspended roll!" 

The elevated roll starts out in the pushup position. Then, just like rolling on the floor, you take one of your legs and reach back across your body until it starts to pull you over. Your leg will pull you over and find a resting place on the ground. As this happens, your same-side hand will leave the ground and rotate up towards the sky. When you have reached this position, push both your feet into the ground and reach for the sky with your pelvis. When you want to return back to the starting position, you just reach across your body with the arm that is pointing towards the sky. You have to REACH! Your arm does not weigh as much as your leg, at least I hope not. As you reach, you will pull your lower body back over until you end back up in the pushup position. This is hard to explain, that's why I've included the slide show!

I love this move because it is a rolling pattern under tension. Your core is engaged in the pushup position and then you roll to a high bridge position. As you roll, you get some good spinal mobility, and fascial stretching along your torso. If you are tight and you try this, you will know what I mean. You also get to really open up your hip flexors in the high bridge position. This not only feels good, it is good for you; especially if you sit a lot during the day. 

This is just one of those movements that makes you feel good. It offers both strength stability, rotational stability, and mobility. And, its rolling! Which, as you may know, I think is important!

Have a great week!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

No shirt, no shoes, no gym - No problem!

Vacations are supposed to help you relax. For me, training is my relaxation. Vacation takes me away from my natural rhythm, my routine. At least it tries to. I'm too set in my ways to let throw me off track. Besides, if I were to relent and not train even if only for a little, I would probably not be so enjoyable to be around. This would not be good for anyone's vacation.

If you've read Becoming Bulletproof, you know that I like to "play" for a great deal of my training anyway. Vacation presents the perfect opportunity to play. When it comes to play, there all no rules. You are free to have fun as you see fit. And, you don't need a lot of equipment. If you've got a body and a place to stand (or crawl) you can have a great training session.

Here is yesterday's beach play session:

24k swings and pushups (yes, i brought my kettlebell to the beach!)
10 swings and 10 pushups x 10 rounds
24k Goblet Squats and pull-ups (i keep a jungle gym in my car - those things are great for travel.)
10 squats and 5 pull-ups x 10 rounds
I then went out on the beach to run some sprints
50 yard sprints x 10
Spiderman crawl x 100 yards for a cool down. People seem to stare at Spiderman crawling on the beach. I don't know why...

I spent the rest of the day throwing the frisbee into the wind and sprinting to catch it. It was a good day. My "play" session felt great and put me a great mood too.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Your body is a gift

The body you have is a gift. It is yours to do what you will with it. You can take care of it or you can let it go to waste. The best way to take care of it is to use it, to move it. Movement is life!

Think about it. Water, that life giving element that we know and love so well, is a great example of how movement yields life. Moving water, as in a river, provides oxygen to animals and nourishment to plants. Moving water takes away trash and debris from rivers. The moving waters of a river bring life. 

Now, take water and that doesn't move and look what happens. It becomes stagnant. What once was the source of vibrant life becomes the source of rotten decay and bacteria. Yes, some life can actually thrive in stagnant water, but it is usually the kind of life that feeds off of death. 

What in the world does this have to do with your body? Your body is made to move! If we do not use our bodies, our insides become like stagnant water. Toxins build up, things like our joints start to deteriorate. Remember "use it or lose it?" Without movement, life giving blood (like water) can't give nourishing oxygen to areas that may need to heal. Moving keeps us healthy. It keeps us young. Just as water stagnates when it stops moving, so does our bodies. We grow old, we deteriorate. We start to breakdown. 

Movement is the key to life. If you have to sit in a chair for most of the day at your job, make sure you find time to move. Take a walk, do some stretches, go play a friendly game of tennis with a friend after work. Find a way to move, to live. You've got one body. If you take care of it, if you use it, it will take care of you. If you don't use it, you are missing out on a great gift. 

Take care. 

I'm going for a walk!