Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Six Reasons the Gym SUCKS

There was a time when went to the gym.

A lot.

Exclusively, in fact. If I couldn't get to the gym, I didn't get my workout done. I thought it was necessary to be in a gym to get results and that a good workout required you to be in a health club or weight lifting room of some sort, with all kinds of fancy-pants machines and other equipment.

My how things change.

Most of my current training happens either at the park, the back room where we have the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp classes or in and around the mighty Shed of Strength, which is situated in my backyard. Even better is the simplicity of the equipment: kettlebells, a pullup bar, a barbell, assorted grip devices, a few rubber bands. I also have a set of gymnastic rings and a couple of sandbags.

It’s crazy when I think about it… the overall quality of my life (not just my strength and fitness) began to improve dramatically when I stopped going to the gym.

I am stronger, have better endurance than ever. But even more than that, I am happier than ever and having the time of my life, teaching people, running classes and doing all the stuff I do. I am the American dream!

Now, I don’t mean to imply that not attending the gym anymore was the only reason for the dramatic turn of events in my life, but it is obvious to me the sheer act of breaking from the norm and NOT doing what everyone else does has set me on a distinct path of success- the road less taken if you will.

After thinking about it, I came up with Six Reasons the Gym SUCKS:

1.) Everyone else is going to the gym. And they suck.
Did you ever notice that when you look around the gym, everybody is doing the same thing? Like so many sheep, mindlessly plodding away with the misinformation from fitness magazines. People just go to the gym and do whatever everybody else is doing.

I am sure you have seen the women spending hours at a time on ellipticals, bikes, and treadmills- sadly getting nowhere fast. Listen up ladies- you NEED to start doing some resistance training and cut those cardio sessions down to 20 minutes of intense interval training to get rid of the hip, thigh, and belly fat that is spilling out of your jeans.

And then there are also those wanna-be meathead guys trying to build their mirror muscles (abs, chest, biceps) with the Mr. Gargantuous (professional bodybuilder) routine and super supplement. “I switched my routine up from 4 sets of 10 to 5 sets of 8. Muscle confusion!”

Did you notice that you are exactly the same as you were a year ago? It ain’t the muscle that’s confused, son.

2.) No sunshine sucks.
I am still trying to wrap my cerebellum around the act of driving to a building, parking your car, going inside and getting on a machine to walk for 30-45 minutes. Get outside! If you want to walk, walk around the block, go to the park, whatever, but please stop your hamster wheel!

3.) Gym Memberships suck.
Paying money for a place to work out isn’t a bad thing, but the way gyms set up their business model is designed to sell you a membership, not get you the results you want. If you want personal guidance or a program, you have to pay extra.

4.) Machines suck.
They lock you in to a path that is not a natural movement. I don’t care if it is “state of the art”, if it is not a movement that you use in everyday life, it could be more effective. Plus, do you really want to be sitting in some dudes sweaty butt print?

Machines force you to create a dependence on them and the gym. If you are used to using machines, you feel lost if you travel and can’t access the same equipment. In most cases, people figure “what the hell, I’ll just take some time off until I get back home since I don’t have any gym access out here.” Next thing you know it is 6 months later and you have gained 12lbs.

5.) The music sucks
Most of the time, the music in the gym makes me want to throw up. I don’t know which is worse- an endless loop of the Rocky IV soundtrack or Coldplay, but neither one of them works to get me gassed up for a workout.

6.) “Personal Trainers” suck.
OK, not all personal trainers suck, I know a lot of very good personal trainers, but I consider them to be coaches or instructors, not trainers. I have said it before: You train a dog not to pee on your rug, you coach or teach a person to reach a physical goal.

When you go to the typical gym for personal training, you enter a factory. They don’t really care if your reach your goals, nor do they have the desire to build a lasting relationship with you. They need to hit their quota- and YOU are just another number for them.

With no clue about physiology or effective program design, many personal trainers are ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. I know of trainers who get their routines for clients from the current muscle magazine!

If you are a “personal trainer” and you put a client on a treadmill during the time they have paid you for, you are stealing that person’s money and violating their trust. If you take offense to this, you are probably one of the sucky trainers. Prove me wrong.

And while I am at it- why this need for the one-hour workout? Where the hell did that come from? I’ll tell you where- it’s just a default time to maintain an easy appointment schedule that most health clubs have borrowed from other businesses. Businesses that have nothing to do with fitness.

If you need the support and motivation of a workout buddy or don’t want to work out on your own, the typical gym falls WAY short in providing a results-based, cost-effective solution. So how do you get in the best shape of your life if it isn’t by joining a gym?

Find a fitness boot camp ( like the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp) in your area that creates a fit community- a culture of success. It’s like a support group of like-minded people focused on success. You become like the people who surround you. I know a bunch of great boot camp and kettlebell instructors all over the world- people that I do business coaching for that can get you better results for less than a third the cost of typical personal training rates.

Get out of the gym. Bust out of your comfort zone. Live it up!

Rock on!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fox 17 morning Show Clip

This is a segment from a couple of years ago where we were featured on the Fox Morning Show. Nashville traffic dude Dave Park recieves some tough love.

Another workshop is coming up in Nashville next month. Click HERE for the details.

Monday, February 16, 2009

President's Day Workout: Could Obama do this?

This President’s Day clearly signifies a special moment in history. Regardless of your political views, the recent election of President Barack Obama has brought about change. Though we’ll have to let President Obama’s accomplishments in office dictate what type of change it will be, I find it interesting that he is reported to be very dedicated to his daily workout routine. In addition to playing basketball, he is reputed to and puts get a 45-60 minute workout day in and day out.

I have known for a while that kettlebells travel on Air Force One. Hopefully that hasn't changed. One of the cornerstone workouts outlined in Enter the Kettlebell is the Secret Service Snatch test. The rules and execution are simple: Ten minutes, as many snatches as possible. You can put the kettlebell down or switch hands as often as you like.

Now, I am just going to assume that there are going to be some days when President Obama might not have time to get in his typical 45-60 minute workout. I am going to lend my expertise in this regard to cut Obama’s workout time WAY down ( if only I could do that to defecit spending....) . I personally guarantee this will not only help him maintain, if not increase, his current strength and conditioning level.

I am going to simplify the process for Obama by designing workouts that involve nothing more than a 24kg kettlebell and can be done on Air Force One or in the comfort of the Oval Office.

If Obama has only ten minutes to workout:
Do the Secret Service Snatch test. Try to get at least 200 reps.

If Obama has 20 minutes to workout:

Program Minimum, also outlined in Enter the Kettlebell
Turkish Getups- Aternating hands each rep, perform as many reps a possible in eight minutes. Rest a couple of minutes then do swings at a pace of :30 work and :30 rest for 10 rounds.

I hope the President will appreciate this quick and brutal fitness plan that works with, not against, his schedule. And if the President can find time to get in a workout, there is no excuse for you not to do the same.

Rock on,


Monday, February 9, 2009

Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp Valentines Day Couples Workout

For most people Valentine’s Day is an excuse to hook-up and eat chocolate. Hey, sounds good to me too, can we be more creative than that? No, I am not talking about your private time together either.

Let's mix it up a little this V-Day with a fun workout you can do in the comfort of your home with your significant other.

Members of the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp are no strangers to partner training. In case you don't know what I am talking about, partner training is a workout that involves performing exercises with at least one other person. There are a lot of benefits to partner training, including:

1.)Support and Accountability
2.) Variety
3.) Better Results due to the shared experience
4.) It’s FUN!

So grab your luv-ah and show them WHY you look good naked!

The Valentine’s Day Workout for Couples

Since you may not have access to kettlebells outside of class ( they do make a great Valentine's day gift though), this 20-minute total body partner workout can be done with either kettlebells or ONLY body weight exercises. For each exercise, you will alternate between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You will repeat this 30-second sequence eight times for four total minutes followed by a one-minute rest and transition before moving on to the next station listed:

Station#1- Push-up
Station #2- Squat, with a kettlebell or just bodyweight
Station #3- Alternating Kettlebell Row or Bodyweight row with a towel looped over a doorknob.
Station #4- Kettlebell Swing or burpee

I have read that sweat-driven pheromones are one of nature’s most powerful aphrodisiacs… you tell me ;)

And of course, after the workout, you can cozy up next to each other in the hot tub and eat some post-workout chocolate.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January 2009 Client of the month

Our first spotlight client at Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp of 2009 is Joel. Since the end of November, Joel has been rocking HARD in class and has dropped around 20lbs while getting stronger every week.

Check him out doing 2x24kg clean and press.

Thanks for all your hard work Joel!