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bodybuilding routine vs kettlebell routine

Confessions From a Recovering Bodybuilder

Reblogged Confessions From a Recovering Bodybuilder

Hey Awesome Athletes! I’m re-blogging this article from Strongfirst.com Scott Iardella, Physio, whose training protocols I’ve studied and used, so please enjoy. Note the CK-FMS designation below, which combines Russian Kettlbell Training with FMS.  To look like Scott does, we’ll still need to bench press –  this is a type of usable strength that can not be ignored in sports such as Football, Disc Throwing, and Wrestling, among many others What one coach says is not the have all to end all – but it’s great to take in the opinions and experiences of people who are quite smart, and who dedicate their lives to improving your health.

Dan

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Article by Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS, CISSN, SFGII, CK-FMS, USAW. Scott is an SFG Level II Instructor, former Orthopedic/Sports Medicine Physical Therapist.

This is a little embarrassing, but I admit I was an obsessed bodybuilder for about six years of my life.  My training was completely different about twenty years ago.  One of the key things I learned through all these years is that functional strength training and bodybuilding training are radically different.  Yes, the way I used to train was outstanding for hypertrophy, but not much else.  Let me explain exactly what I mean.

As a former competitive bodybuilder, bodybuilding was a very life changing and rewarding experience for me.  The six years I competed were an amazing time of what I thought was “hard core” training.  You know what, it was “hard core” training, just in a very different way.  At the peak of my bodybuilding career I would spend four hours in the gym, six days a week.  That’s right, 24 hours out of every week were dedicated to high volume lifting with my training partner who was, at the time, training for the Teenage Mr. America.  You can probably guess, we did a lot of sets, reps, and isolation exercises.

I can still remember an example of a chest workout we used to do twice a week:

*    Four sets of flat barbell bench

*    Four sets of incline barbell bench

*    Four sets of dumbbell flat bench

*    Four sets of incline dumbbell bench

*    Finish off with four sets of either a cable fly or dumbbell fly

What you may notice is that all the exercises were done while lying down on a bench.  This is not very functional, obviously.

After our chest training, we’d then proceed on to our back program, usually 20 to 24 sets, and then abs or calves to finish. Slightly crazy as that was 24 work sets, not including warmups.  Rep ranges were in the 8 to 12 range for everything.  You can see why the workouts were four hours in duration.  The word “overtraining” should be coming to mind here.  There were many problems with this type of training, but it served the purpose, at the time.  This was typical bodybuilding training.  This was not strength training.

I still train for muscular hypertrophy, but it’s totally different for me these days. I absolutely want to increase lean muscle mass as much as I possibly can (once a bodybuilder, always a bodybuilder), but the training protocols have completely transformed.  A major contributor to this transformation was the simple discovery of the kettlebell.  It was that tool that helped to change my entire training philosophy, as soon as I learned how to use it properly.

Instead of 24 hours a week, I’m down to four hours a week and usually less than that.  That’s four days a week of one-hour training sessions, where the actual training ranges from 30-45 minutes, with the other time being spent on joint mobility and technique work.  That’s an 83% reduction in my weekly training time.  I’ve also become a “technique fanatic” for the primary benefit of training with maximum safety, efficiency, and results.

If you remember one thing from this article, remember this.  Proper technique combined with smart programming equals optimal results, period.

For me, long gone are the days of hours of training, and double digit sets and reps.  Today, it comes down to just three simple modalities, for the most part.  The kettlebell, the barbell, and bodyweight applications.  It’s a training session that has five fundamental movements and usually includes such movements as a hinge, squat, push, pull, and a carry.  (Thanks Dan John!)

“Fundamental movement is fundamental.” ~Dan John

A typical training session today usually looks something like this:

(By the way, I like to use the term training session as opposed to workout.  Anyone can “work out.”  A “training session” means you are working to improve and build your skills.  Keep this in mind.)

*    Barbell Deadlift, two warmups then 3×5 (pull)

*    Double Kettlebell Military Press, 2×5 (push)

*    Barbell or Double Kettlebell Front Squat, 2-3×5 (squat)

*    Kettlebell Swing, 3×50 (hinge)

*    Kettlebell Turkish Get Up, 2-5 reps (plus one)

*    Racked Walk (or other loaded carry) for distance. (carry)

*    Done…

Take notice of the differences from my previous bodybuilding workouts.  All of these exercises are total body movements, nothing lying down or even seated.  All exercises are a total body integration with no isolation exercises.  This is how the body is designed to be used, as a system.

The big benefits?  Less time, total body integration, functional movement, and skill development, just to name a few.  All are major exercises that work the big muscle groups, stimulate the maximal hormonal effects, and have the greatest systemic benefits.  This is important.  We get stronger, we move better, we feel better, all with the added bonus of gaining muscular hypertrophy.

I change my protocols, rotate different periodization approaches, and sometimes perform more volume to match my training objectives.  But, my primary goals now are improving strength and skill mastery.  All the other goals come after that.  Training the way I used to for bodybuilding did one thing really well.  It was excellent for increasing muscular hypertrophy, but it lacked so many other things.

Now, in addition to increasing muscle mass, I have countless other benefits and I understand what it is to truly train for strength and performance. Pure strength training is king and all goals can be accomplished by being stronger. In my early years, I didn’t realize what I know today, that you must be strong first.


Are you ready to start getting stronger and fitter? Why not book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL NOW?

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Kettlebell and strength training

Eastbay’s Russian Kettlebell Club

There are 3 Aspects to this Kettlebell Club that you really should know about.

Why Learn To Use Kettlebells For Strength?

1. Learn Kettlebells from the ground up, with a Certified Instructor, learning solid fundamentals.  We are building kettlebell bodies here – the type that look great, move well, and are indestructible.  You body will need to change in order to master this sport – Whether you have experience with weight training or not,  and there is plenty to learn for all!  (Kettlebell Training usually costs $90 per hour – this will cost $200/mo. and will be much more fun)

What is FMS Training?

2. FMS….what’s that?  It’s mobility training, designed by Gray Cook, world renowned Physiotherapist.  FMS is used to train MOST professional sports athletes and teams – from the Olympics to Wimbledon.  I incorporate FMS training with Kettlebells, so that your body can move well, pain free, and achieve maximum performance.

Why Kettlebell Classes?

3. It’s SOCIAL.  Yes, this is a social club.  My thinking is this…..why can’t we rock out to our favorite music, kick some serious butt, receive world class coaching in the sport, AND be social at the same time?  I’ll show you how!  This club is about community, about getting your bodily needs met, and creating an environment that’s supportive.  I’ll support you by throwing a monthly BBQ, and making Wednesday evening of each week our Social Hour – where convene for dinner and drink.  

Below’s the press release………I’ll see you there!

It’s social.  It’s Fitness. It’s balance. In Dan’s Kettlebell Club,we’re fusing the national ethnic sport of Russia, Kettlebells, with real life socializing, food and drink! Mixing Kettlebells with FMS,we will start each workout by bringing mobilization and balance to the musculoskeletal system. Learning Kettlebells from the floor up from a SFG certified instructor you will feel like you’ve never felt before while meeting fun, active workout partners. The important part takes place after class on Wednesdays,when we venture out the fitness world to a local restaurant (where we normally do ourselves damage) – but the class will be accompanied by Coach Dan, so some learning about how to balance food with fitness will take place (we’re doing now, and not just telling anymore). And there will be regular BBQs – because the two just go well together – lifting iron outside, just like we’re back in Mother Russia.

When Do We Train?

Meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7:30 PM (more times opening up – send me an email and let me know when you can make it – this will help me in adding additional class times! dan@workout4results.com)

About 75 – 90 minutes of fitness (we’re ditching the traditional hour)

Mobility, musculoskeletal balancing (FMS) and performance enhancement

Russian Kettlebell Instruction, and dripping wet workouts

Other forms of exercise you can expect: Body weight exercises, barbell instruction and training, boxing, aerobics

Here’s a sample of an old world Russian Kettlebell training manual, accompanied by music that’s sure to put you in the mood for this eastern genre…!

Old School Kettlebell Training

Time – time to talk, ask questions – time to learn about how to crack you’re body’s code and get fit like a spring chicken!

As a coaches, after every session we feel like we’re leaving our athlete/client out into the harsh, cold world where they have inadequate support …….!!!  Let’s discuss nutrition and life balance WHILE you are ordering in real time – I mean actually while you’re eating and drinking! Tired of being TOLD? I will SHOW you. We’ll Bridge the gap for training athletes by providing:

1.  World class instruction

2.Group Support

3. Habit building (the Coach is watching you order that burger…..yes, you SHOULD order that after lifting those iron cannonballs with handles)

Most of the Coachs’ knowledge is untapped – until you leave the gym…..that’s where everyone falls down!  I can’t install a kitchen at the studio to demonstrate – but there are plenty of places where we can walk,socialize,learn how to balance from classmates and the Coach and enjoy some healthy grub! It’s funny how in order to be fit,we must lose all of the habits we’ve acquired over the last 150 years – and how bringing the 5,000 year old kettlebell into the picture helps to pull us out of our modern, unhealthy thinking and habits.”

Watch! Old Russian Kettlebell Training

old school kb club

 


By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

strength training for seniors using bench press

Senior Strength Training

“Life’s requires strength.  By now, you know this.” 

Dan Piper, Certified Personal Trainer, HKC Kettlebell Instructor, Workout4Results.com

1/3 of my athletes are seniors.  They are spirited, extremely interesting, and our conversations range from thought provoking to the ridiculous.  My Senior clients tend to have greater desire, a greater  need for strength, and much better adherence than the average gym goer.  But what can a senior do in the gym?

What does senior strength training look like?

You might be surprised, but a senior strength training workout looks no different than mine or your grandaughter’s – really.  Yes, we may lighten the load, and talk more about the old days when a hamburger cost a nickle, or talk about what it was like being a gunner in WWII, or to actually watch Elvis Perform, but essentially the workouts are the same.  They perform olympic lifts, they box, they do abdominal work, and lots of mobility work.  I love letting Charlie sock me in the gut when we “spar”, or watching my younger senior perform a perfect back squat – and I mean it!

I must admit I like having them around for other reasons also – I need the age old wisdom around me.  We all do.

Here’s an article about a 91 year old weightlifting record holder, named Sy Perlis, that you’re sure to enjoy!  91 Year Old Champion


Are you ready to follow the example set by Sy Perlis? Then why not book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL NOW?

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Kettlebells to rehabilitate back pain

Rehabilitate Back Pain with Kettlebells

Kettlebell Exercises Can Provide Therapy For Back and Neck Pain

Although many people with backaches and other pains shy away from weight lifting for fear of hurting themselves, studies show that strength training can reduce pain, and prevent reinjury. While most research has used traditional weight training exercises, researchers in Denmark set out to study whether a kettlebell workout offered therapeutic benefits to back pain sufferers.

The weights, named for their resemblance to a tea kettle with a looped handle, began showing up in American gyms about 15 years ago and have gained a popular following among exercise buffs looking for a quick full-body workout. Unlike traditional weight training, which typically focuses on lifting exercises, a kettlebell workout requires both swinging and lifting of the weights, which for beginners can be awkward and difficult to control.

In a study published last year, the Danish researchers recruited 40 pharmaceutical workers, mostly middle-aged women with back, shoulder and neck pain, who were randomly assigned to either a regular kettlebell workout or a control group that was simply encouraged to exercise. The first group trained with kettlebells in 20-minute sessions two to three times a week for eight weeks, according to the report, published in The Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

At the end of the study, the kettlebell exercisers reported less pain as well as improved strength in the trunk and core muscles, compared with the control group. Over all, working out with kettlebells reduced lower back pain by 57 percent and cut neck and shoulder pain by 46 percent.

The study’s senior author, Lars L. Andersen, a government researcher in Denmark, noted that workers who spend much of the day sitting are particularly vulnerable to back, shoulder and neck pain because they develop tightness and weak spots along the posterior muscle chain, which includes the muscles running from the lower back down to the glutes, hamstrings and calves. Kettlebell workouts strengthen the posterior muscle chain, and the increased blood flow to the back and leg muscles also may lessen pain by reducing the buildup of lactic acid, the authors wrote.

While isolation exercises like curls and presses have their benefits, kettlebell movements recruit multiple muscles and teach the body “to move as one unit,” said J.J. Blea, a certified kettlebell instructor and an owner of Firebellz in Albuquerque, one of the top kettlebell gyms in the country.

Because kettlebells can be difficult to control, it’s important to learn proper form from a certified instructor or a kettlebell class at a gym. The cornerstone of the kettlebell workout requires the exerciser to swing the kettlebell between the legs. In the Danish study, women started with a 17.5-pound kettlebell and men with a 26.5-pound kettlebell.

“When you’re doing a swing, you squeeze your quads, you squeeze your glutes, and you squeeze your abs,” said Mr. Blea. “By squeezing these muscles, you protect your back. It creates power, and it increases strength.”

Kettlebell training is also surprisingly aerobic. A study by the American Council on Exercise found that a 20-minute kettlebell workout burns about 21 calories per minute, the equivalent of running at a six-minute-mile pace.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/turning-to-kettlebells-to-ease-back-pain/?_r=0

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The Farmer’s Carry

Why perform The Farmer’s Carry for Strength Training?

Muscle Gain Workout using the Famer's Carry

 

The Farmer’s Carry is well known in strength training circles.  With the Farmer’s style, hold two heavy kettlebells with the palms face forward, as the arms are rotated and held externally, the lats and shoulders are flexed,  helping pack and hold the shoulders into their sockets, the shoulders are held back and downwards.  Pick a distance to walk, any distance, between 30-200 yards or longer.  Most of us have seen these in strongman events, like the “World’s Strongest Man”.  There are many practical applications for this.  As a matter of Fact,  some of the world’s top researchers recommend including these in every workout program for every athlete!

How to Integrate The Farmer’s Carry in your strength training routine –  The hows and whys:

1. Build Strength.  This exercise works every muscle in the human body.  The type of strength you are building is primal, as this exercise poses a challenge that modern man must re-create, and does not exist in our daily routines.   Continue Reading…