All posts in “strength”

Kettlebell Swing for Fat Loss

Huge Fat Loss and the Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swings are huge for fat loss, period.  I can safely say that if you’re seriously into kettlebells and the swinging of them – it is usually difficult for one to keep weight on one’s body.

I really want you to note something.  This is not just an exercise that will help you in your journey.  It’s not just something that you can add in because it will probably work.  Swing a kettlebell 300x per day, twice per week and work your way up do doing this every day, and we completely remove that word – “probably”. Continue Reading…

rehab for muscle imbalances

Rehabilitating Imbalances is the Key to Fitness Over 40

 

Exercise for Those Over 40 – The Two Main Culprits

Muscle Imbalances and flexibility issues are the two of the main culprits standing in the way of people who want to get in shape over 40 years old.  As humans, work takes over our lives for long periods, and when we exit a period of years where we’ve neglected our bodies, that’s where problems commonly begin.  And it’s so easy to avoid!

Sitting in that chair, standing holding the arms out, or sitting in that vehicle – for years, compromises posture, biomechanics, mobility and strength.  This is why when we’re old, we share most all of the above conditions I’ve just listed.  Just turning 40 we’ve already feel this!  When we exercise with these conditions, we’re sure to get injured, and that’s entirely unnecessary if the proper precautions are taken when we start back up again.

 

When you start to exercise again and take charge of your life, there are important steps to take:

  1. You should have an assessment performed for your movement, mobility and posture.  I recommend an FMS screen, which is used in most professional sports.  With this system, you get assigned corrective work that will work out the kinks and inefficiencies in your body, and allow you to exercise pain free/without anti-inflammatory medication.
  2. Your body isn’t as balanced as it used to be, so you will need to work on balancing out your strengths and weaknesses from side to side, front to back and during rotation.  I recommend corrective exercise that it woven into the exercise session itself.
  3. You will need to incorporate a warmup and stretching routine that lets you exercise without causing hip/back/joint pain despite current imbalances.

Does that sound doable?  This is what my athletes do for their workouts, and it’s what I do.  Adding in these protocols,

As a Personal Trainer, I watch people trying to do things on their own, after 10-20 years of leaving their bodies dormant.  I see people start an exercise regimen, then stop in 3 days, 2 week, or 2 months.  None of this is necessary.  The truth is that with the proper education and learning, everybody can exercise and stay healthy – and you should not have to exercise and be in pain. But you will have to take the correct steps forward.

Are you ready to take those steps? Then contact us today

 

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

Rehabilitation at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Dan Piper is one of the Bay Area’s Few Kettlebell Specialists, and an absolute geek on body alignment and muscle balance.  He has worked as a full time Personal Trainer and Strength Coach in Alameda for 5 years, and  caters to folks truly wanting to get healthy.  

 

Fitness Through the Ages vs Today, 6 Training Tips to Regain our Timeless Physical Strength

We’re all looking for some form of reverse evolution as it’s what we need. We don’t use our bodies like we did 100 or 1,000 years ago, so anything we do fitness-wise is there to shore up what we’ve missed out on due to our modern lifestyle. This phenomenon is not familiar to us as humans – now we must supplement what we’re missing in exercise with what we did before naturally…and innately this is very, very new.  

How We Once Were

As we were hunter/gatherers throughout the ages, we performed the movements that were necessary given the situation. Much like with food (we ate what we found available regionally, and this didn’t exclude very much),exercise went much the same way. When we encountered cliffs we scaled them, so we did motions much like pull ups and lunges to perform these feats. It’s also important to note also how often we typically rested. When we encountered enemies we fought them using the pectoral muscles more as we do in combat sports today.

We also walked, jogged and sprinted when necessary, depending on what was needed situationally. That is how simple our fitness was, arguably up until about 100 years ago when we still had to do much labor to bring about crops farming and hunting everything that what was eaten. This is how we have lived historically until just recently. This is how we stayed fit. So how are our natural, age old fitness routines best recreated so that our bodies get what they need in our modern era?

Here’s a cross-analysis of how exercise was done from to 100 to 1,000 years ago, vs how it’s done in our modern era.  *Examples below mentioned after “Now” depict the mere 20% of Americans who get the recommended amount of exercise according to the Center for Disease Control.

Duration:

Now:                      

Exercise is reduced to roughly one short time slot of pure exercise each 24 hour period. Most often little to no exercise is performed outside of these time slots.  

Throughout Time:

Constant if not sporadic exercise throughout the day. Exercise was not reduced to time slots. It was common to get many forms of exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Frequency:

Now:                      

Average person about 3x/week for those who exercise

Throughout Time:  

It was common to get many forms of  exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise.between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Cardio

Now:                      

15 min to 1 hour per day walking or jogging

Throughout Time: Extensive daily walking. Jogging and Sprinting employed when hunting,fighting or combat training

Resistance Exercise:

Now:                       

Barbells, Dumbells etc.  

Throughout Time:   

Hefting hay,hefting animals,farming, plowing,physical tasks were shared amongst inhabitants,so that a larger % of the population was physically active.

After recognizing these many significant asimilarities between traditional vs modern exercise,it should be obvious to most of us now why most of us have such a hard time staying in shape in modern times like we did in our outdoor gyms of the past when the world was one big jungle gym. The types of movement we use,the frequency pace duration and rests periods between do not even approximate the exercise routines we have performed naturally for thousands of years. And yet we desire the same result – a strong, lean and resilient,glistening body,while ignoring the way we have exercised  naturally throughout the ages.

Outdoor strength training

 

So how does one know if their fitness bases are covered? Below is a list of simple steps we can take to become strong again in the way that we have typically throughout time. Here’s what should be included in your workouts in a daily or weekly basis:  

Boost Your Strength Training Routine With These Simple Tips

Change up your tools:

Think about it – did the average person throughout time hoist only small pigs? Absolutely not! They lifted bails of hay,chickens,held down cows as they were branded,they lifted dirt,water jugs….they carried heavy objects for long distances! If you want to maintain you body,lifting barbells is great, but they don’t solve the problem of varying load TYPE,which will challenge the different strength aspects of your body. Try kettlebell training, training with clubs,cables, rubber bands etc. IN ADDITION to your current routine. Just try something new!#%! Remember how we evolved and what movements we’ve done forever and recreate them! Your joints ligaments,your entire body will absolutely love you for it.

 Exercise Outdoors:

Gyms keep us indoors…many of you hate this. I like to take the kettlebells outside and exercise – this is the answer to large % of the population that doesn’t like gyms. For you cardio-enthusiasts – your routine will just plain be more effective if you simply take it outdoors like we’ve done with our cardio for eons. What’s stopping us now?    

Try lifting throughout the day:

It’s proven that people get stronger by performing sets of lifts throughout the day than by trying to get everything in inside of one set hour per day (It also burns much more calories as the body needs to cool down and warm up for each set). Perhaps the reason why is that culturally as humans we have lifted sporadically throughout the day without condensing our routine into a corner of our lives for eons. That’s just a guess. Buy some kettlebells and place them next to your desk. Try to perform just 10 sets of 10 kettlebell deadlifts each and every day,or 5 sets of 5 as I demonstrate here in this youtube video.  

More Strength Training:

It’s clear that most of the population used to strength train given my analysis above, and now almost no one does. 99% of gym goers either do cardio, weights, or classes such as Zumba. Hey that’s you’re choice – gyms do a good job of offering you everything, so make sure and use everything. Guys do more cardio, and you ladies need to venture into the weight room.

Mobility Training:  

Mobility training is exercise with the goal of increasing range of motion in joints, and improvement of overall movements patterns and posture. Some of this mixed into our routines daily will restore some of the function we’ve lost in our bodies since the industrial revolution. Our sitting in chairs for most of our lives has caused us damage to our hips,lower backs,knees, up and down our kinetic chain of which average person isn’t aware until injured. Sitting is the source of most lower back and hip problems. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are aware,and that’s why you see their offices open everywhere you look. Spend 15 minutes before or during your workout mobilizing your joints,your spine,your hips,and you’re likely to spend less time needing their services.   

Are you ready to regain your timeless physical strength? Then book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL today!

Cardio Speed Training

 

 

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

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

Certified by Dan John in Kettlebell Training

 

 

I’m currently sitting in the parking lot, two hours early for my RKC certification, where one of the greatest Olympic coaches and (at 58 years old) is twice as strong as anyone else in the room. He’s also a Fulbright scholar, as well as the friendliest and warmest and funniest person you could possibly meet.

Ladies and Gentlemen I Give You – Russian Kettlebell Club Master; Dan John

Dan spearheads a side to this industry that doesn’t want you to join fads, and doesn’t care if you look like everyone else. At Workout4Results we’re following Dan’s example. We are not taking short cuts to make more money by touting quick fixes to the public.

We’ve taken the time to do things right, and to learn how to coach properly, for the long haul. We are here to help you get better; and we’re very patient. We’re here to help you develop a healthy relationship with your body, and reap the benefits throughout your entire lifetime, not just for a short season.

Flash forward 24 hours…

One of the biggest things I’m taking home this weekend from RKC 1 Kettlebell certification in San Jose is was something Dan John asked “Will your current fitness regimen benefit you 20 years from now?”

This is really essential, because for most folks I coach, the answer up to now has been “no”.

In fact, people often come to see me because they’ve been hurt doing something they thought would lift them up, but that eventually tore them down. Don’t fall into this trap!

What is a correct strength training programme?

A correct training routine is a patient, rather than a hurried process. Such is the nature of strength… Strength is patient.

 

 

February 20, 2016

Continue Reading…

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

____________________________________________________________

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.