All posts in “multiplanar movements”

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

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…

FMS Certified

How to Exercise Using the Functional Movement System (FMS)

FMS, the Functional Movement Screen and Certification, was originated by Gray Cook, one of the world’s foremost Physiotherapists.

gray cook kettlebells rehab functional movement FMS

Gray Cook MSPT, CSCS, OCS, RKC Kettlebell Instructor

Ouch!  Which exercises hurt, and cause us to forego them?  For many it’s the deadlift, or some version of the squat or lunge.  For others, it’s the the walkout.  Many hate doing the kettlebell get-up, due to poor hip movement patterns and limitations.  Guess what – there are exercises that I have serious hangups with also —-most trainers and athletes do. Continue Reading…

Kettlebells, Pickles, and Vodka (What I know about the bells)

female using kettlebells strength training programme

I was completely turned off to using them, when I first heard about kettlebells in  2005.  They were what MMA fighters used, and I wasn’t into that scene, that genre.  But the same reason I shied away, is the main reason I use them now, both for athletes I train and myself.  But first, I had to get my head around why fighters need to train with them. Below, I’ll explain a few things that I know for sure, about the bells.

Kettlebells build your strength from infinite angles, whereas dumbbells and barbells are more limited.  When you hold a bell, the handle lets you lift it in any direction, from any angle, as opposed to one direction at one angle.  Ultimately, this renders our traditional gym equipment as useless.  Furthermore, our gym equipment serves to further decondition us, relying less on our ancillary muscles, less on our core, and this actually weakens us, as much as does an office chair (see the similarity….YOU ARE SITTING DOWN).

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