9 Steps to Starting your own Fitness Program

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How to develop your own fitness program
I receive emails and messages daily in regards to kettlebell and body weight training. So, in my next few articles, I will try and cover the questions that I get the most.
“How do I create my own fitness system/program?” is one I was asked since the release of my first DVD Combat Kettlebell systems. Im actually surprised that I haven’t covered this topic already!
First of all, I never sought out to create my own kettlebell and body weight training system. This is the difference between me and all the other people trying to cash in on the fitness industry. I developed Kettle-Jitsu out of necessity.
In an effort to find a fitness program that fit with my gym at the time, one of my business partners suggested we get a kettlebell instructor. I heard great things about them and had no knowledge on how to use them. But I was smart enough to know that in needed some type of instruction to learn to use them properly. So, I agreed and was eager to learn!
My business partner Bill, found an instructor that was certified by the biggest kettlebell instructor at the time. So, we started a once a week kettlebell class with him at my gym SoCal MMA and fitness. We learned the basics. He covered the dead lift, swings, cleans, Turkish get ups and snatches. These were all new to me so, at first, I was really hooked! But, it didn’t really progress from there. It was the kettlebell basics over and over.
As a result, I got bored and so did my students. I really felt there was more kettlebell variety out there. So, I started researching it on the web. To my dismay, I saw very little variety.
Then one day, I was lying in my room, which was in the back of my gym, (yes, I lived in my gym in its early days!), I had an epiphany. I though, I bet you could combine some BJJ movements with the kettlebell. I jumped off my bed, and went into the main mat of my gym and grabbed a kettlebell. I was right! The kettlebell flowed so naturally with the BJJ movements.
So, every morning, I woke up extra early to put myself through a different kettlebell workout. I incorporated all of my innovations into each workout. Then I started integrating it into my boot camps with my students and fighters. They loved it! This is what separates my programs from others. Every single movement and workout I have developed has been a result of direct feedback from my students. Your pupils are your best critics! If your classes are growing and you are retaining students, then you’re doing something right!
Kettle-Jitsu has been 10 years in the making and is continuously evolving.
So, this is how I developed Kettle-jitsu. Not everyone has the convenience of owning their own gym and having students to test their workouts on. So, if you think that developing your own fitness program is something you want to do, then here are a few tips.
1. Master your basics. Online certs like NASM and what not in my opinion are scams. You cant learn fitness from a computer. You need an actual person to show you what and what not to do. So maybe you should do some sort of kettlebell and body weight certification. That way, you have something to build off. Its kind of the same process with martial arts. How do you think there are so many different styles of martial arts? One person becomes proficient in one style. Then he or she, starts to develop their own philosophies and adds their own twist or emphasis to it.
2. After you master your basics and start developing your own workouts, test them on yourself first! Every workout, every exercise I have ever developed, I tried myself before teaching it to my students.
3. Start a small boot camp. Think of it as a test group. Teach your new workouts on them and see how it goes. Ask opinions from your clients. If you have any intention of pursuing a career in fitness, you have to listen to your clients. They pay their hard-earned coin for you to train them. If they like you and the workouts, they will keep coming and are likely to bring friends.
4. Come up with a catchy name for your program. To be honest I’m not even sure how I came up with the name Kettle-Jitsu. But I do know that ever fitness program was fit, this and fit that. So, I didn’t want to jump on the band wagon and come up with an obvious name. Not my style😉
5. Next you should start a business page on Instagram and Facebook. We are in the age of social media and it helps tremendously. Social media is great for various different reasons. It gets your material out there and is a great way to promote your products. Facebook and Instagram now make it fairly easy to run ads all by yourself.
6. Start a website. People need a place where they can go and learn more about you and what you do.
7. If your small boot camp is doing well, you have the options of offering your services at some sort of fitness or martial arts gym. Or, your next option would be to open your own studio. Obviously, the latter is a bit more difficult because of the money factor. But, I know a lot of trainers that earn a living by teaching boot camps at various different gym.
8. Sell your programs online. This means, filming your workouts and putting them up on your website for sale. There are numerous ways to do it. You can do it digitally, or you can do a DVD. I could probably write a small book on this subject! Maybe in another article😉
9. If people are purchasing your programs online and your boot camps are doing well, people may ask you how to get certified in your methods. I never thought in a million years I would be doing a kettlebell DVD and certifying people. But after I released Combat Kettlebell Systems, I started receiving emails asking how to get certified in the CKS system. That’s how it

Kettlebell Workout for MMA/BJJ and Fitness using Nontraditional Exercises

kb kings article 3Kettlebell Workout using nontraditional exercises
The Kettlebell is the most diverse training tool in existence in my opinion. I always tell people the only limit is your imagination when it comes to kettlebell training. When I started my KB training close to 10 years ago, I was really excited about these new movements that I was learning. I had never done a kettlebell swing, snatch or Turkish Get Up before then. But to my dismay, after learning the KB basics, the exercises did not expand past that. I wanted more. I researched KB training and could not find anything other than the same exercises rehashed over and over. Then one day, when I was living in my gym. A light bulb popped up in my head. I thought to myself, I bet I could incorporate KB with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. So, I jumped on the mat, grabbed a kettlebell and the first move I worked on is the rocking chair! That was the beginnings of Kettlejitsu. Since then, I have continuously developed a lot of other nontraditional exercises and workouts using Kettlebell.
In my previous 2 articles that I have written for the Kettlebell Kings Blog, I used kettlebell flows using more or less traditional exercises. In this one we will be using mostly sports specific MMA/BJJ inspired exercises. Keep in mind, that just because these exercises are influenced by Martial Arts, does not mean that they are inclusive to combat athletes. Anyone can enjoy these exercises. But they are a bit advanced so be sure to have your KB basics down. In this workout, we will be using what I call Anaerobic Pyramid Conditioning (APC). This means it’s a series of movements combined to create an anaerobic breathing effect which is what you will experience if you were in an MMA or BJJ fight. These exercises are combined in what I call a pyramid. So we will perform 5 reps of each exercise, 10 reps and then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid. This is the protocol that I focus on in my new KB Strength and Conditioning download. Let me break down the exercises for you.
1. The KB rocking chair to a press. Like I said this is the first exercise that I developed. This was taught to me by my BJJ Master Roger Machado. It is a movement found in a lot of different BJJ techniques and transitions. It can be performed using body weight only or with KB. Excellent movement for hip/ knee mobility and core strength. By adding a kettlebell and a press, you are incorporating multiple muscles at once. You will be working your upper chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and your core simultaneously. Plus, you will feel like a ninja afterwards!
2. Deck squats. These are like squats on steroids. By rolling from your back all the way to your feet, you incorporate a lot of different muscles. Particularly, your core. There is a lot of getting up off your back to your feet in MMA and BJJ so this one helps tremendously.
3. Corner to corner rows. In BJJ we do a lot of pulling from this position. So, I feel it’s important to incorporate a lot of different row variations in my workouts.
4. The fighters figure 8. This was also one of the first exercises I developed when embarking on my Kettlejitsu journey. I wanted to incorporate punching to the best of my ability. This one mimics the punching movement of a hooking type punch. It also addresses pivoting and torque. You will feel this exercise in your upper body and your core simultaneously.
So please keep in mind. Before getting to the main workout, you must warm up first! The way I teach, that means plenty of body weight first. Then, we practice each individual kettlebell exercise for 30 second intervals with a 10 second rest. Once you drill each exercise for several rounds, then you can wrap it up with the final kettlebell pyramid.
-rocking chair 5x
-deck squats 5x
-corner to corner rows 5x
-fighters figure 8 5x
-burpees 5x
Repeat each exercise for 10 repetitions then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid.
Check out the video include in this article to get a better idea of the movements in this workout. I also include some footage of me using this workout with my Kettlejitsu boot camp at Legacy Los Angeles. Have fun and train safe!

Body weight flows and practicality

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body weight flows and practicality

Body Weight Flows:

Which type is right for you?

Body weight flow training is all the rave right now. There are so many fitness gurus developing their own styles nowadays. But before you jump on the bandwagon of some of these trends, ask yourself, “Is this practical for me?”  There are many different types of body weight flows. The two I’ll talk about here are class format flows and open space flows.

Since I teach boot camps on a regular basis, space is always an issue. This is why a spend more time developing class format flows. That way you can teach these movements in large group classes and require minimal space.  The first video below is an example of class format flows.  As you can see in the video, me and my student are performing various different types of flows side by side. These are movements I teach daily and work great in large class format.

Open space flows are when you have enough space to perform more intricate flows. Maybe you own a gym and you have a large mat space to yourself. You could be at a park or a beach. In the second video, me and long time student Oscar are doing some free style MMA flowing. As you can see with all of the Kicking, punching and random rolling around, these types of flows would not be ideal, in a large class. Even though I have access to a really big gym, I rarely have the time to do these types of flows. I work out with my classes, so on free time, the last thing I want to do is extracurricular training.

So if you are a trainer and you teach group classes on a regular basis, class format flows may be what you want to spend your time learning or developing. If space is not an option, you can partake in open space flows.



Kettlebells vs Clubbells: Which tool is best for you?

kb vs cbKettlebells vs Clubbells: Which is best for you?

First and foremost, I would like to say, I am not a leading authority on clubbell training. After training with kettlebells for a  few years, I was curious about clubbells, so I experimented with them.

Also, I may be biased because I feel kettlebells are hands down the most efficient weight training device in existence. But this question comes up very often with me. People ask me if I use clubbells, and  what I think about them.

I was watching a video of kettlebell legend Mike Mahler. He addressed this same issue. To quote him roughly, he says, “clubbells are not a complete weight training system like kettlebells, dumbells or barbells. They are more specialized for grip and shoulder strength. “ I have to agree with him. When performing any clubbell exercise, the emphasis goes directly to your forearms. Ive seen beginners drop the clubbells because their grips get fried fast. You can do a lot of the same exercises you do with kettlebells with clubbells as well. Swings are an example.  But because of the shape of the clubbell, your forearms get the bulk of the work load. So when it comes to working major muscle groups, I don’t believe you can achieve the same workout with clubbells as you do with kettlebells.

On the plus side, clubbells add variety to workouts. Training with them can be quite fun. I do believe golfers and baseball players could possible benefit from their use. You can also do nice flows and some rotational stuff with clubbells. I mean you have fitness gurus like John Wolf who can attest to the use of clubbells. So they must be useful.

So to sum this up, If you are looking to build strength and muscle, stick with the 3 primary tools, Kettlebells, barbells and dumbells.  However, clubbells are great for specialized training. If you want to work on your grip, shoulder strength and add some fun to your training, then clubbells are great. But, they are not a complete weight training system like kettlebells.

Best Kettlebell Exercise for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU on sale now for only $17! ass seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu magazine! Click the above banner or this link!Ultimate Turkish Get Up Program download Or, get Save $$$$ and purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week program and Ultimate TGU together for only $47!!! Click the below banner or this link to save! Kj revolution/Ultimate TGU combo!New web banner package dealTurkish Get Ups are one of the initial exercises that I knew had a direct connection to MMA and Bjj.  The mechanics of the TGU are almost identical to a movement in BJJ called, Standing up in base or the Technical lift. The TGU is the best kettlebell exercise for BJJ for 3 reasons. 1. You work your pushing, pulling, squatting/lunging movements all in one exercise. 2. it has numerous applications in actual BJJ techniques. 3. It works motor skills we are not accustomed to doing in every day life. Therefor it enhances your coordination.  Most traditional Bjj dojos practice this via body weight on a daily basis.  Standing up in base has many applications in jiu jitsu. It has also evolved into a movement necessary for the “scrambling aspect” of Mixed Martial Arts. Scrambling is the art of regaining the standing position in an MMA fight.  If you are not good at scrambling, then you will have a shot career in MMA.  So, drilling the mechanics of Standing up in base is a must. In the enclosed video, I have several variations of the TGU and Brazilian get up and some applications with a partner. Implement these into your mma and kb training and you will experience tremendous gains! Be sure to check out Joey Alvarado’s article on the Turkish Get Up in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine!

Injuries: Cause and Prevention

back-injury

Since I have been involved in the Kettlebell industry, I have realized that it has gotten an bum rap for back injuries. Even my chiropractor said to me once, “Oh, I get a lot of business from kettlebells.”  Here is the problem. Most kettlebell practitioners blame technique as the root of all injuries. This is what they are programmed to believe. I have seen and received plenty of comments of certified kettlebell coaches ridiculing technique. Omg, you are going to injure yourself doing that. Ive heard it time and again. These people have been totally misinformed. Most of these people do not even train a lot of people on a regular basis. Ive been in the martial arts and fitness industry for over 30 years. What I have learned is the number one people get injured is because of improper warm up.

Here is a common scenario. I was at a tournament one day and a guy saw my Kettlejitsu shirt. He was like, “oh I love kettlebells.” “I was going to compete today, but my back is jacked up.” I asked him if he did it swinging. He said yes. I asked him if he warmed up first. He said, “yes, I did some jumping jacks first.” This is a perfect example of people not warming up properly.  I have seen numerous people jack up the backs from just the swing alone.  The fact of the matter is that if your body is thoroughly warmed up, you can do almost anything. Our bodies are super resilient machines.  We adapt to everything. In mixed martial arts and jiu jitsu, we are constantly putting our bodies at a mechanical disadvantage. Perfect technique %100 of the time is impossible.

At my gym SoCal mma and fitness, I can literally teach up to 100 students a week.  I am constantly getting new students. Many of them have never tried kettlebells, are overweight and out of shape.  But, they learn the same routines as the intermediate and advanced students at my gym. The beginners are obviously not going to have perfect technique. But since they are warmed up properly, they will remain injury free.  In my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd, the workouts are structured exactly the way they are taught at my gym.  The workouts are easy enough for the beginner, yet challenging enough for the advanced practitioner.  It is a complete workout program that includes a solid 15 minute warm up to insure you will not get injured.  I am also a firm believer that Kettlebell and body weight go hand in hand. The way I teach, you never even pick up the kb until we are thoroughly warmed up.  That is why I include and ab workout, body weight interval training and compound body weight training before we hit the kettlebells.

In my line of work, injured clients do not help pay the bills or bring me business.  Keep your clients injury free by warming up properly, especially before dynamic full body exercises with barbells and kettlebells.  You can learn how to warm up your clients from my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution body weight and kettlebell dvd!

10 Kettlebell and bodyweight movements to help MMA striking

10 for striking10 Exercises to Help Striking For MMA

Almost four years ago I released my first dvd Combat Kettlebell Systems.  On the dvd I introduced a lot of sports specific movements for mma and bjj.  On the CKS dvd I used mostly kettlebells for this. I introduced newly developed movements to help improve your striking and ground work. My second dvd, shadow-jitsu, I continued with the mma/bjj theme but using only bodyweight.  Since then I have refined and developed more movements to help your striking for mma, boxing and kickboxing.  Here are 10 of these movements with a brief description of their purposes.  Enjoy.

1. The jab drill: This is a forgotten drill that was taught to me by my father, former number 6 ranked feather weight boxer. It emphasizes the importance of the jab and helps with rhythm and timing

2.The shoe shine: this boxing drill helps sharpen your uppercuts flow better and helps with hand speed.

3.Machine gun kicks: this exercise helps add speed, timing and torque to Thai style kicks

4.Thai knee combo: Helps with conditioning and simulates Muay Thai knee strikes.

5.High pulls: Ive adapted this kettlebell exercise to mimic an actual punch. Punches involve a pushing and pulling dynamic that this exercise helps harness. It also helps with hand speed

6.Bottoms up uppercuts: this one helps develop proper mechanics for your uppercuts.  It also helps develop torque, pivot and hand speed. It is also a great core and bicep exercise

7.The fighters figure 8: A favorite amongst my certified Kettle-Jitsu coaches.  Develops speed and power for hooking style punches. Also an amazing full body exercise.

8.Combat cleans: these are cleans performed from a fighting stance. This make this exercise pretty close to throwing an actual punch. Helps torque, pivot and its an excellent full body exercise. Make sure you have a solid kettlebell foundation before attempting this one

9.The pull and punch: My most recent development. Combines an upright row with a press and pivot. Works timing, power, pivot, focus and torque. This one will have your heart pumping in no time! Check out the Kettlsjitsu Revolution download that contains some of the movements from this article!

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Featured body weight exercise, “Thai Knee Combos”

Screenshot_2013-07-14-19-22-35Thai Knee Combos are one of the many dynamic body weight combos that will be featured on the new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  This compound exercise is a class favorite at Joey Alvarado’s gym, So Cal mma and fitness in los Angeles, CA.  Like many of the exercises in Joey’s system, it an mma infused movement designed to improve your anaerobic capacity.  The Thai knee combos are a fun and effective flow to add to any ones arsenal!  Look for a detailed instruction on the upcoming Kettle-Jitsu Revolution double dvd!

Welcome

Description

Combat Kettle-Jitsu is the first and only MMA inspired Kettlebell and bodyweight training system! This system contains elements of traditional kettlebell liftining/bodyweight training and fuses it with newly innovative drills from mixed marts. Joey Alvarado combines them into one comprehensive fitness/conditioning system that can be taught to anybody! Kettle-Jitsu is an ever evolving system that takes the monotony out of exercising. Kettle-Jitsu workouts will challenge you like no other! See for yourself by purchasing Joey’s DVD;s at Kettle-Jitsu.com and shadowjitsu.com

General Information

Kettle-Jitsu Headquarters is located inside of SoCal mma and fitness. in los Angeles, Ca
Joey is available for kettlebell/bodyweight training seminars/certifications as well as mma/bjj workshop For more info, leave a message here or email at scfighter1@yahoo.com