Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolve: The missing ingredient

Resolution-the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

What is your resolution? If you are like most people "Lose weight" or "Get in shape" are on the list. It seems that every year around the end of December, people start making resolutions and by early February those resolutions are distant memories. By June most people are farther away from where they want to be than ever. Sound familiar?

What is the problem? Why does this happen? What is missing? The desire is certainly there, but unfortunately, that is not what it takes. You can have a very strong desire for great health and a small belly but if you are eating doughnuts all day and the only exercise you get is walking to the kitchen during commercials, it ain't gonna happen.

The Missing IngredientNotice the last 3 words of the definition above: Firmness of Purpose. There is no definite purpose in the list above. "Losing weight" and "Getting in shape" are not goals-they are ideas.A firm purpose changes "I am trying to lose weight" to "I will weigh 120 lbs by April 15th by eating wholesome foods and exercising 3 times per week." Having a purpose changes "I'd like to get in shape" to "I will implement a structured exercise program that includes resistance training, endurance training and mobility training at least 3 days per week for the next three months". See the difference?

What is the single most important part of the process? The overwhelming desire to achieve a specific goal. I tell my clients that if they really want to get amazing results then they must be prepared to do whatever I ask to get them. Getting the results is not that complicated. It is the overwhelming desire that counts. The firmness of purpose.

Most people think -- "Well - one cookie won't hurt me will it?" I encourage my clients to think, "Will this help me or not? Is this a step toward my goal or not?" When fitting into that dress for your 25-year reunion becomes more important than the cookie, you are on your way. Once you understand this and really start to internalize it you become unstoppable.

So what are you going to do? Float through 2009 with the vague notion of better health and fitness while you waist gets bigger and your life expectancy shrinks? Or will you take control of your life and transform your desire into results? I challenge you to aim at a target and keep at it until you get there. One sure fire way to do that is to join us at the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp.

May 2009 be your best year yet!


PS-My favorite program for achieving (not just setting) goals is Dax Moy's Magic 100.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone. See you next week!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It was a tough one

Often the third workout of the week in the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp is the most difficult and this week was no exception. This weeks Day Three consisted of three sections, one drill per section:
  1. Turkish getup, done in ladders 1,2,3 reps per side. 10:00
  2. Snatch or Viking Pushpress: 1:00 left, 1:00 right, 1:00 rest for 3 rounds. The pacing was medium for the first round (about 10 reps per side), fast for the second(16-18 reps per side) and slow for the third (6-8 reps per side) with rest happening ONLY in the overhead position. I called the cadence.
  3. Swings: We did these on the :20 work/:10 rest for between 8 and 12 rounds.

This is one of those that doesn't look very tough on paper (or your computer screen) but there was a fair amount of high-quality cursing to be heard as the class plowed through. I didn't get any video of it this time around, but next time I'll film it. Rock on!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't eat and shop.....

Did you ever wonder about the nutritional content of what are you munching on while you plow though the crowded mall?

One of my clients sent me a link to THIS ARTICLE outlining some of the most horrific things you could ever put in your mouth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Client of the Month for December 2008: Hillary

Hillary talks about her experience in the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp. She has been kicking MAJOR tail over the past 6 months!

Friday, December 12, 2008

"What is Kettlebell Class Like?"

Here is a look inside the Nashville Kettlebell bootcamp during the week of December, 8th 2008.

Our referral contest is still in full effect and Mark is in the lead. Bring someone next week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guest Post: By Jayson Hunter, Registered Dietitian

Rotate "Carbs" for Rapid Fat Loss
By Jayson Hunter, Registered Dietitian
Millions of people have tried both "low-carb" and "no-carb" approaches in an attempt to lose weight quickly. But few have tried a much safer and healthier approach known as Carb Rotation. It is a much more effective and realistic method of rapid fat loss.

There are two general approaches to Carb Rotating. The first approach is to follow a "no, no, no, high carb" program. This means you would eat no carbohydrates at all for the first three days and then eat a "high" amount of carbohydrates on for the fourth day. The fifth day you are back to eating "no carbs" again.

This plan can be effective, but you have to be very strict. It is an aggressive approach that may trigger your starvation response. Yes, the very same starvation response which causes elevation of a hormone called lipoprotein lipase. When this hormone becomes elevated your metabolism begins to slow down. And since that is the last thing anyone who is trying to get rid of unwanted pounds wants, it is not the approach I recommend.

Additionally, when people deprive themselves completely of "carbs" for three days they have a tendency to:
1) Go completely overboard with carbohydrate consumption on the fourth day of the rotation.
2) Not be able to go back to the three days of carbohydrate deprivation resulting in failure of the program.

The much more common sense approach is to follow a "high, low, no carb" program. There is much more room for error with this type of plan. It is much easier to follow and leads to much greater success.

Rotating your "carbs" in this manner allows you to shed fat and keep your metabolism elevated, which is the key to long term weight loss. There is a consistent transition with a "high, low, no" approach because every fourth day you repeat the cycle and you aren't depriving yourself of "carbs" for three days straight. And again: potentially triggering the elevation of lipoprotein lipase.

We tend to eat too many "carbs", we eat improper "carbs" and we don't eat enough protein in our diet. But by following the guidelines laid out in a "high, low, no carb" program we are manipulating the blood sugars and insulin response in our body to achieve rapid of fat loss. Rotating Carbs allows you to control and manipulate your blood sugars and insulin response so you are allowing your body to burn more calories for energy instead of storing "carbs" as fat. This means you are shedding fat and increasing your metabolism. Two very good things!

Jayson Hunter RD, CSCS is the author of the Carb Rotation Diet. You can take advantage of his holiday special by visiting his site Carb Rotation Diet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kettlebells are a part of Lance Armstrong's comeback

You have probably heard that superstar cyclist Lance Armstrong is on the comeback trail. This photo came from an article in the New York Daily News where Armstrong talks bout his training. I always wondered what would happen if he started swinging kettlebells.
More and more professional athletes are tapping into the power of kettlebell training. When will you join the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nine AWESOME Christmas Fitness Gifts

If you have been kicking ass all year with your training and nutrition, you have no doubt made a noticeable physical transformation. Maybe other people been asking you what you have been doing to make such a change. Maybe some of those people are on you Christmas list as well.

Do you know someone who wants to look and feel better? Wanna get them something cool for Christmas to help them along the way? You may even want to put some fitness-related gifts on your own Christmas wish list. These are truly "gifts that keep on giving", because you'll be using them throughout 2009.

Here is my list of fitness gifts for this Christmas:

1. A Foam Roller
These days most people spend a lot of your day sitting in front of (chained to?) a desk. When you actually do have time to workout, usually the workout itself takes up all your time and you neglect stretching. You know daily stretching is important, but who has the time?

This is where the foam roller comes in. It’s an outstanding corrective self-massage tool that dramatically increases injury prevention and improves performance. It’s ideal to use for at about five minutes post-workout to jumpstart the recovery process. Plus, a foam roller helps “knead out” muscle and connective tissues thus helps alleviate (and sometimes eliminate) nagging aches and pains in your back, knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.

A quick Google search for "foam roller" will give you a lot of results.

2. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a simple, convenient, and affordable equipment option for anyone who travels or wants to add some variety to their workouts. They are also great for things like assisted pullups, adding increasing resistance to kettlebell presses, etc.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending the world’s premier resistance band training expert, Dave “The Might Band Man” Schmitz. This guy is a genius at creating workouts with bands for fat loss and total conditioning. He has his own line of resistance bands that are virtually indestructible and I use them year round to crank it at home or on the road. To get the best bands in the business visit his site HERE.

3. A Gift Card to Whole Foods or Other Premium Grocery Stores
Rather then spend money on an restaurant gift card, why not give a week’s worth of groceries to a 100% organic grocer like Whole Foods to a friend or loved one? Everybody’s got to eat, and rather than send someone to get Cheese Fries, help them get in the habit of eating actually eat the right stuff to support their fitness goals.

4. A Gift Card to a Massage Therapist
Are you busy and super stressed out during the Christmas season? Wouldn’t you LOVE a massage? This is about as can’t miss of a gift as it gets, unless you know someone who doesn’t like to be touched. It’s nice to be pampered on occasion, and though the foam roller I mentioned above can do wonders for the majority of your body, nothing can alleviate tension in your like a good massage therapist! I recommend my friends at Balance Bodywork or The Works in Nashville. Tell them I sent you.

5. Supplements that Work: Protein Powders, Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin
I have helped a lot people lose a LOT of bodyfat. I get asked almost daily what is the best fat loss supplement and I have found only three supplements to be a mandatory part of the optimal fat loss program:

Protein powders provide great liquid workout nutrition and a convenient meat alternative for quick snacking. For a protein powder, look for a brand low in sugar and carbohydrates and with a mix of both whey and casein (fast and slow absorbing proteins).

Fish oil, or more appropriately called an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement, is critical to providing key omega 3’s to maximize overall health, performance, and body composition. Studies show that krill oil provides the most effective dosing of EFA’s.

Multi-vitamins provide key vitamins and minerals that are tough to obtain unless your diet is near picture perfect. Choose a multi-vitamin supplement that is made from whole foods rather than synthetic materials, in addition to being made specifically for your gender.

I rock with VGF+25 and EFA Icon, both included in Prograde’s Health+ Package available HERE

6.A kettlebell
I can think of no other gift that will have a better return on investment than a kettlebell. It won’t break, wear out or spoil, and will be just as useful in 50 years as it is now. The very best kettlebells on the market come from Dragon Door.

7. Fitness -related book or DVD
Of course I am biased toward the Power Circuit Workout and Full Body Power DVD's. but here are a few other great ideas:

Pavel's Classic ENTER the Kettlebell

Marty Gallagher's Book The Purposeful Primitive.

My friend Mark Reifkind, RKC Master instructor has a great DVD on how to maximize performance and restore lost physical function with a foam roller.

8. A Gift Certificate to Dragon Door
If your loved one already has a kettlebell or two, or if a kettlebell is a little out of your budget for a particular person, get them a certificate to Dragon Door and let them choose their own gift.

9. A Gift Card to a Fitness Boot Camp

Boot camp workouts are a fun and exciting team environment that guarantee better results than one-on-one personal training for a fraction of the cost… it’s a total no-brainer.

What should you look for a local fitness boot camp? A couple of important things are:

Client testimonials to make sure they have a solid reputation and a bunch of raving fans of people just like you.

Any good boot camp worth its weight will offer free trials and a money-back guarantee to all newcomers. At Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp we do. Why? Because I am so confident the program works that you’ll more than likely continue after a test-drive. This way there is no risk on your part… besides getting your butt kicked, in a good way ;)

So join a fitness boot camp with at a friend or family member or buy a boot camp gift card to give to your loved ones. As a boot camp instructor myself, I know firsthand that clients always get better results when they embark on a fitness journey with others.

If you live in the Nashville area, you can come work with us in the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp. We are the original, number ONE kettlebell class in the Music City and I guarantee we’ll change your life and have you looking better naked this New Year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dietary Damage Control this Christmas Season

"I LOVE the junk food that is always around between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always over do it. I don't want to have that sick feeling from eating too much or wind up needing new clothes in Januray. What "damage control" diet strategies can I employ to keep from overdoing it at the dinner table this year at Christmas time?"

First of all: The hardest part is not chucking the whole thing until the New Year, so you're already ahead of the game by thinking "damage control".

The tips outlined in this post will allow you to stay social and to be able to indulge in moderation without feeling sick or splitting your pants before the January:

1. EARN your dinner!
OK, I promised diet strategies, but I first I must recommend activity. Your body is better equipped to handle higher calorie and/or carbohydrate meals within 30 minutes before and within three hours following high-intensity activity. Ideally you would want to workout out before AND after a big meal, but if you can only make time for one, that is better than nothing. It is more important that you do it than when you do it. Don't pick up you knife and fork until you have put down your kettlebell.

Your best options? 10-20 minutes of kettlebell circuits or interval training ( like the Secret Service Snatch Test). Even a 20-30 plus minute walk a few hours afterwards can serve as a bit of damage control.

2. Do NOT Fast in Preparation for a a Big Meal or Holiday Feast
Unless you are skilled at practicing the Warrior Diet, fasting in preparation for a free meal will not only lead to overeating, but overeating foods that are extremely high in sugar and empty calories. Your body has a survival mechanism. If you are following the Warrior Diet, you are already taking advantage of this. ( Marty Gallagher does a great job of distilling the Warrior DIet into it's simplest elements in his book The Purposeful Primitive. Put it on your Christmas list!)

If you are following a frequent feeding plan like Precision Nutrition, "fasting" equals "famine" to your body. So the next time that you eat your body will want to use as much of the incoming food as possible to store as body fat (survival energy) in anticipation that it won’t see food again for another long period of time. The solution is to stick to you schedule: eat every two to four hours as you normally would and prevent yourself from becoming a ravenous beast this holiday season!

3.) Do NOT Gorge Yourself
It is easy to see a huge spread of food as a "challenge" to see how much you can put away. Eat until the point of satisfaction, not discomfort. Fundamental Law of the Universe: binge eating on Junk food is not the habit of lean individuals. It is imperative to understand that that holiday meals are not a challenge eat as much sugar as you can in as little time as possible. Step away from the cookies.....

4.) Eat a High-Fiber, Protein-Rich Meal An Hour Before a Holiday Event
A meal high in fiber and protein before a big holiday meal will help prevent overeating by making you feel more full before the mashed potatoes and stuffing comes.

5.) Eat Vegetables and Lean Proteins FIRST
Just because it’s a holiday meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat any nutritious food. Load up on healthier food choices first, before the mashed potatoes and rolls and cake. Eat as much lean meat, fish, and fruits and veggies as possible at the beginning of each holiday event. This will leave less room for the unhealthy, higher calorie junk. This way you know your body is getting in some good nutrition in addition to the sugary treats.

6. Resume Your Normal Eating Habits at the Next Meal
What’s done is done. Now it is time to get back to your regular eating plan. Weekly caloric intake is more important than daily caloric intake.

7. Do not Eat Junk Food for Breakfast
Eating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels spike and dive. The result: more junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. Break the cycle by eating some protien and veggies for breakfast.

8. Limit Empty Liquid Calories and Alcohol
One can of soda contains about 140 calories. A 2 liter has over 1,000 calories. It is easy to rack up a LOT of calories with beverages.

As for alchoholic beverages, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed. Keep it to a minumum, only at your pre-planned event.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kettlebell Classes in Nashville

I want to take an opportunity to give a shout out to Nashville's two newest RKC instructors: Dennis Breckey RKC and Matt McBryde, RKC.

Both these guys went throught Pavel's RKC instructor certification in October of this year and I am proud to have them on board both as a part of the RKC family and as associate instructors.

These guys will be covering classes for me when I travel and I am looking forward to their growth and development as instructors.

REMEMBER: The RKC is the original, the gold for kettlebell instructors. Accept no substitutes See you in class!

Holidays=BUSY days.

It is easy get caught in the trap of skipping training time holiday errands, events, etc.

The problem is by not taking time to get your workouts, you risk losing the lean muscle mass and strength that you have worked so hard to build and maintain. If you have been paying attention, you have heard me talk about it before: Losing lean muscle mass will lower your resting metabolic rate, which accounts for the vast majority (about 60-75%) of your total daily calorie burning.

This means that everyday you will be burning less and less calories which will put you at a much greater risk of packing on body fat during the holidays and being mistaken for St. Nick. Plus, losing strength will mean that the next time you start to work out your performance will suffer. Nobody wants to be sucking wind like a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck while working out.

Fear not! I will now show you some clever ways to maintain or increase the number of calories you burn per day, both from exercise and from your normal daily activities, to stay on track this holiday season. Use the strategies below to maintain and/or increase your current amount of lean muscle mass and maximize your daily calorie burn to best protect yourself against the deadly holiday bloat!

1. Perform at least one intense strength training session per week. If you have been reading anything I write then you know this is the sorest dead horse in town: Studies show that only a single strength training workout per week during times when you cannot train as frequently as you normally do is an effective way to maintain your current levels of strength and lean muscle mass. So, to best maintain your strength and lean muscle mass, shoot for at least one good strength training workout per week. Even better: shoot for THREE total body strength workouts per week. To maximize fat burning, perform three total body strength workouts per week and also perform three cardio interval workouts per week either immediately after or non strength-training days.

2. Get the Numbers. Your body is apathetic. It doesn't really care if you do 100 kettlebell swings in 10 minutes or in a day. When you honestly cannot find a five to 20-minute time slot to complete an effective total body workoutfind those hidden chunks of time during the day to get in a certain number of daily repetitions for a certain number of exercises that work your entire body. Got a free moment from now until you need to take the turkey out of the oven? Then, bang out 10 push-ups, 10 rows, and 20 kettlebell swings. Using this method throughout the day will lead to big numbers by the end of the day that will burn a lot of calories in addition to keeping you strong.

It is important to note that this "Get the Numbers" routine is a BACK-UP option, a "PLAN B" for the ideal workouts like we do in Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp. Short rest periods between exercises will create an optimal hormonal environment for rapid fat loss and lean muscle gain. Longer rest periods (full recovery) work well for strength, but not as much for burning fat. However, it comes down to effective (“Get the Numbers”) versus optimal (50-10 Total Body Circuit Interval Training Workouts), so be sure to at least be effective this holiday season!

Choose multi-joint, compound movements that hit as much of your body’s muscle groups in the shortest amount of time possible (e.g. Get-ups, swings, lunges, push-ups, rows, etc.). Use the plan below as guide to build your own “Get the Numbers” workout. Adjust the repetition ranges as necessary based on your current strength levels. All you will need is your body weight and a kettlebell. Perform this plan up to three times per week, resting a day between workouts.

Alternate between Plan A and Plan B for more variety. You can either hit your total by doing one exercise first (e.g. perform push-ups rest-pausing as needed until you get 100 total), or by simply employ circuit style training (e.g. 20 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 rows, repeat 10x throughout the day to hit your totals).

The Get the Numbers Workout For The Holidays

Workout A- Body weight Squats: 100 total

Push-ups: 100 total

Kettlebell Rows: 50 total per arm

Workout B- Turkish get-up: 10 per arm

Kettlebell swing: 200 total

Clean and press: 50 total per arm

3. Plan the Junk- From Halloween until New Years Day we are bombarded with an ever-increasing volume of junk food. From the little "fun size" candy bars ( I never got that...whats fun about haveing to unwrap ever single bite of candy?) to the mashed potatoes and gravy to the stockings full of chocolate Santas to the New Years Eve party buffet. It's everywhere, all the time.

Here is how to enjoy the "goodies" and still keep the jelly off your belly: Plan ahead of time the days/meal/events that you want to indulge. Example: The office party, Christmas day with your family and the New Years Eve party. On those three pre-determined occasions, let loose and shovel it down. Gorge yourself. Then get back to your regular plan.

I have written before about Dr. John Berardi's 90/10 rule: If you are compliant 90% of the time, then 10% of non-compliance has little effect.

4. Keep moving- Do not fear the cold, get outside and move around. Play with the kids, walk the dog, have some fun!

Once again, all these calories here and there truly do add up and could make a difference between you fitting in your pants or ripping your pants by the time the clock strikes midnight this New Year!