Registrations for the 1 Day intensive Kettlejitsu Seminar to be held at Seacoast Kettelbells in Dover, New Hampshire Horne, St, Dover NH 03820
This course will start at 10am sharp! Workshop ends at 5pm. We will break for lunch!
This course will cover
body weight fundamentals
body weight flows
kettlebell interval training
figure 8 progressions
the dead snatch
Reserve your spot now! Space is limited. Included are a couple of downloadable workout samples. Upon registration, you will receive an email confirmation. The email will contain a link to download the workout samples. Thank you and See you there!
Over head squat flow tutorial
If you have followed me for a while, you should know that i am not a huge fan of lifting super heavy. Ill turn 47 next month so I am careful about injuring myself. In my experience, the 2 most commong ways people injure themselves is by not warming up properly and lifting too much weight. So, how do you increase the difficulty of an exercise without having to increase the weight too much? The answer is use a slightly different variation of the same exercise. Example. Say I am doing racked squats and i want a more advanced variation. I can substitute racked squats for overhead squats! This squat variation is more difficult because you are holding the bell in the over head lock out position as you do a squat. This challenges your focus, balance and it hits your core more than the traditional variation. You can also expect it to challenge your mobility as well.
So here are a few tips on the overhead squat. First of all, try it without kettlebell first. It can be an awkward move for some people. After you feel comfortable using just your body weight, ad a light kettlebell include a sneak peak of one of my kettlebell flows from my upcoming KB Flow program!
to get a feel for it. In the video for this article, I break down the overhead squat and give you a couple of other safety tips. I also include a sample workout from my upcoming KB Flow program! Enjpoy!
Warming up in my professional opinion is without a doubt the most important thing you can do before exercising. I realized this about 10 years ago when I first embarked on my Kettlebell journey. We had a certified kettlebell coach teaching a boot camp once a week at my old gym SoCal MMA. The coach was insistent that I use a heavy weight because I wan an MMA fighter and a man. Even though I had zero kettlebell training, I listened to him. After every class, my lower back was killing me! I thought to myself, “I must be doing something wrong.” After a few classes I realized that it wasn’t me, it was the lack of a good, solid warm up!
Our warm up consisted of halos with 16kg bells and swings. Not the ideal warm up when you are about to engage in any type of kettlebell training. I eventually took over the KB boot camp at my gym and made warming up a priority. In the 10 years that I have been training with kettlebells, I have narrowed it down to the 2 areas of the bodies that endure the most injuries. These areas are the lower back, and the shoulders.
The kettlebell swing is an explosive exercise that emphasizes your posterior chain. Your lower back is a crucial part of this chain. If you injure your back, it is extremely painful and uncomfortable. When your lower back is injured, walking, bending over, getting out of bed and just about everything you do will be painful. It is my number one priority that all of my clients stay injury free. If any of my students leave my gym injured, then I failed them as a coach. I can not have that on my conscience.
I know the name Kettle-Jitsu may be misleading. People may assume its just about kettlebell training. But, in my programs, body weight is just as important as kettlebell. In fact, in my classes, it consists of 30 minutes of body weight and 30 minutes of kettlebell. This is the protocol I follow on all of my downloads. The first 30 minutes of body weight training are preparing you to work with the kettlebell in the last 30 minutes of the workout.
In the first 30 minutes of my classes, we focus on warming up our entire body with mobility, isometrics, core exercises, ab training and body weight training. There is a huge emphasis on warming up the posterior chain. That way, when we get to the body weight training, the chances of you getting any type of injury are miniscule.
The enclosed video contains 10 of the exercises we use in every class I teach. I even include these my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes! I urge you to implement these into your daily routine. Since these are body weight exercises, you can do them anywhere! You can even wake up in the morning and do these in your living room before work! Have a look at this video and try them out for yourself!
¬The Kettlebell Figure 8 for MMA Striking
Close to 10 years ago when I started developing my Kettlejitsu system, I discovered you can mimic fighting movements with a Kettlebell. The rocking chair and snake move are the first exercises that I experimented with. I was astonished at how well they worked together! I became obsessed! So, I wondered, could I utilize striking movements with the kettlebell? The answer is yes! I saw someone do a figure 8 to a hold back then and I though, that looks similar to an uppercut! That’s when I started working on the fighter’s figure 8 and the KB uppercut. It later led to me developing swings and other striking movements from a fighting (staggered) stance.
But first things first. I believe it is easiest to start working on these movements with the basic figure 8 first. Why? Because it is from the same stance most KB exercises utilize. So, you will have a basic, shoulder width stance. I have seen many figure 8 variations. I use a hinging movement with this exercise. I have seen variations where people stay hunched over and just use arm momentum to feed the bell in a figure 8 fashion. I tried this method and really got nothing from it. By utilizing the hinge in the basic figure 8, and since the bell is being fed in between the legs and on the outside of the body, it hits your core in an entirely different manner than a swing.
Couple of tips! I grab the bell by the corner and feed it to my other hand so it can gram the opposite corner of the bell. If you grab the handle by center of the bell, when you feed the bell through your legs, you may accidentally grab your own hand and drop the bell. Also, I suggest using a light bell to practice.
Once you get the hang of the basic figure 8, you can progress to a figure 8 to a hold, bottoms up uppercuts, ballistic uppercuts and the fighters figure 8. Some of these can be found on my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution download.
I definitely recommend adding the Kettlebell figure 8 and its variations to your workouts. They are super fun and add a ton of variety to your training! You do not have to be a combat athlete to enjoy and benefit from them!!
How to make dairy free cheese (vegan)
So, as you may already know, I have given up all animal products for the most part! I guess you can say that I am a vegetarian. I thought that meat would be the most difficult. But there are suitable replacements for meat. What I miss the most is cheese!!! I have tried a lot of dairy free variations but I was not totally satisfied. But thanks to some friends who are vegan, they turned me on to cashew based cheese. I mean, who would have thought you can make cheese out of nuts!??
A student of mine Sasha, brought me a bit of some cashew cheese that his girlfriend made and I loved it! It had a creamy, nacho cheese flavor that I really liked. I finished the container he brought me in like a day! I though to myself, “there is hope!”
So, I became a bit obsessed with making cheese. I researched it and found a ton of different recipes. I then came up with my own variation that combined several different methods. So here it is. Sensei’s dairy free cheese!
1. Raw cashews
2. Nutritional yeast
3. Miso paste
4. Lime or lemon juice
5. Apple cider vinegar
6. Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
8. Agar agar powder
9. Whatever seasoning you like
There you go. Only 8 ingredients. You actually do not need the siracha or miso. Those were my additions to this recipe.
1. Soak the cashews in water for a few hours or overnight.
2. Add cashews to a food processor and blend until you get almost a peanut butter like texture.
3. Add nutritional yeast to taste
4. Add other ingredients to taste as well
5. Add 2 table spoons of agar agar flakes to a cup or so of water and boil. Continuously stir the liquid for about five minutes. It will start to tighten up into a gel type consistency.
6. Add agar mixture to the cheese in the processor and blend. Do this quickly because the agar will start to tighten up quickly.
7. Pour cheese mixture into molds or a bowl and let sit in the fridge for a few hours.
Presto! You have vegan cheese! Great to spread on bread and crackers. I love adding it to my bean and chees burritos and as a dip for veggies. Enjoy!
Max reps: Are they necessary to build strength?
Strength is something that can be defined in many different ways. The goal of a powerlifter is to lift the heaviest weight possible. Bodybuilders lift heavier in the off season primarily to build mass in their muscles for competition. But what if you are not interested in being a powerlifter or a bodybuilder? What if you don’t feel comfortable using a lot of weight when you are training? Does this mean you cannot build strength?
Fear not. You too can build a more practical and functional strength without having to do max reps. Even in the kettlebell community some organizations program their pupils to do max reps with Turkish get ups, presses and other kb exercises. In my opinion there really is no need for that. What good does doing one rep of a Turkish Get up do? If you are not a powerlifter or bodybuilder, why are you doing max reps? When it boils down to it, its more about stroking your own ego. Not only that, you are putting yourself at risk!
At 46 years of age, my body doesn’t snap back like it used to. I have to train smarter. When people start trying to do too much weight, then it often leads to injury.
Let’s take the Turkish Get Up for example. I feel you are losing a ton of benefits of this movement when your goal is to do max reps. The TGU is one of the best full body exercises anyone can do. If you it the Kettlejitsu way, there is not a muscle missed in this exercise! In my classes, we drill each individual movement that makes up a TGU. Then, we drill the whole movement for rounds. Who do you think is stronger? The person who can do one Turkish get up with a 40kg kettlebell. Or someone who can do 3 x 3-minute rounds of an alternating get up with a 16kg bell? The latter person has a much more functional strength.
So, are max reps necessary? No, they are not. Don’t be fooled by organizations that force you to use a lot of weight. You can build functional and practical strength by doing compound, full body exercises with a lower, safer weight!
Alcohol and Exercise: Do they mix?
I think it is safe to say that we all have our guilty pleasures. I think for many, alcohol is one of them. I mean after a stressful day at work, some people like to unwind with a nice alcoholic beverage. But what kind of toll is it taking on your body? Is it healthy?
Most of us go through a “party phase” in our lives. I did a couple of years in college and I can honestly say that me and my roommates always had beer in the fridge. Subsequently, during that period of my life is when I was the heaviest!
But once I hit my 30’s, I noticed that it became increasingly difficult to recover from a night out of drinking. So, I lowered my alcohol consumption. Now at 46 years of age, I can count on one hand how many drinks I have per month. If I tie one on, it will take me a few days to full recover. I really can’t afford to feel like that in my profession. I can’t imagine having to teach and train with a hangover.
Studies have shown that a few glasses of wine per week can be really beneficial. But after a certain amount of alcohol it can have a negative effect. Excessive drinking as we all know can lead to a variety of health issues. It can lead to constant fatigue and hormonal issues as you get older. So, if you are constantly tired, you probably are not going to want to exercise.
I know people who drink several times a week. After work a few times a week, they hit the pub with a few friends and have 2 or 3 drinks. Then on the weekends a few more. So, do the math, let’s say, they had 3 drinks 3 times during the week and 3 more on the weekend.
That’s 12 drinks a week. By months end, you have consumed 48 alcoholic beverages!
That kind of alcoholic consumption will eventually take its toll on your body. I think it will interfere with any type of exercise program. Consuming alcohol tears down your immune system and can even lead to thyroid problems. Since It weakens your immune system your body recuperates slower. This makes you more susceptible to illness.
Bottom line is excessive drinking and exercise does not mix. Instead of heading to the pub with your friends after work, try heading to the gym instead. Reducing your alcohol consumption can lead to better moods, increased energy levels, and it will reduce your chances of alcohol related diseases. Don’t get me wrong! Nothing wrong with a nice cocktail every now and then. But remember, moderation is key!
Ive always professed how I believe Kettlebell and body weight to be the ultimate combo for fitness! The options are endless. Check out this kettlebell and body weight combo workout. The body weight workout out consists of 8 count body builders. These are taken from my Kettlejitsu Revolution 8 week program. They are a super fun and simple body weight exercise as used by the Navy Seals. Its fun to challenge your students by counting out the numbers step by step or out of order! You can hear me counting them out in the enclosed video.
The kettlebell workout is taken directly from my KB Strength and Conditioning 9 week program. It is a basic kettlebell pyramid. The pyramid is protocol that I use on the entire KB strength program. This is the beauty of Kettlejitsu Program. Once you have mastered each program, you can combine workouts from each program to add variety! Check out this video!
2 day sale! Get 20% off at checkout when you use code Kj20! Start your path to getting in the best shape of your life today!! Intermittent Fasting: What are the Benefits?
If you have been following my blog for the last couple of years than you may have purchased my KB Strength and conditioning program. On this program I was able to lose 20lbs in 2 months and subsequently win my first world championship at black belt! Intermittent fasting is a key factor in my KB strength program and helped reached my fat loss goals. Now I have talked about how great it is to shed unwanted fat. But, there are a lot of other benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is very common practice in the fitness community and amongst people trying to lose weight. There has been a lot of research on the subject the last few years. So now, there is conclusive scientific evidence to support the numerous benefits of intermittent fasting. Some benefits include: 1. insulin levels drop which speeds up fast loss 2. growth hormone levels increase 3. reduces inflammation in the body which can reduce the risk of some diseases 4. It can help prevent cancer 5. May improve your lifespan.
Those are a few benefits of adding intermittent fasting to your everyday routine. There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting as well. Since everyone is different, I recommend finding the fasting method that works for you. To give you an example of a fasting protocol, we will use my daily routine.
Monday morning, I wake up at 4am and make a double shot of espresso and drink a bottle of water. Coffee is a diuretic and will help you get rid of any waste in your body from the previous day. Plus, coffee has natural occurring caffeine which is proven to help fat loss. I teach and train in my 5:30am KB class, teach 6:30am BJJ class then take a power nap. I wake up then it’s another shot of espresso and I teach another class. By that time, it’s about 11am and I have my first meal after that. I follow that routine every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, I wake up and hit the espresso again. On these days I typically go for a hike with my doggy, or just rest depending on how I feel. My first meal is about 1:30pm or 2pm.
Keep in mind that during my fasting period, I drink a lot of water. That, and the coffee keep me feeling full. If you do not like coffee, try tea. Particularly a tea that has some caffeine in it. Green tea is a great substitute.
So basically, I intermittent fast more or less until lunch. Remember, if you want to lose weight, fasting helps reduce your caloric intake. This is necessary for burning that stubborn belly fat.
I hope this gives you all a better understanding of intermittent fasting. It has numerous benefits such as losing weight, helps fight disease and increases your growth hormone levels. If you want to go more in depth of its benefits, there are tons of articles on it on the internet. I recommend experimenting with different protocols to see which works for you.
Fitness and Form: Is Form Everything?
I started my Kettlebell journey close to ten years ago. I was instructed by a certified trainer. So naturally, form was something that was definitely emphasized. Afterwards, I started to develop my own kettlebell movements and released a DVD on My Mad Methods Productions (later bought out by Onnit). Once I started putting my new stuff out there I got mixed reviews. Some people loved it and felt it was a natural evolution for kettlebell training. But, the form police came out as well! A lot of traditionalist openly criticized my movements and told me my form was bad and that I would hurt somebody.
Your form when performing any fitness exercise is always important. But what everyone should know is that form varies from instructor to instructor. Even when it comes to something like the kettlebell swing. One organization teaches one way and another organization teaches another way. So, if 5 different kettlebell organizations teach the swing differently, whose form is correct??
Is form everything? In my opinion my student’s safety is everything. It is my priority to keep my student’s injury free. Form is something that is taught and refined over a long period of time. Nobody’s form is perfect 100 % of the time. Plus, I have new students trying out my classes all the time. Do I expect them to have perfect technique in their first class? Of course not. Does that mean I should not even let them workout because their technique is not there? Hell no! When people come to your class, they are there for a workout. If you don’t give it to them, then you may have lost money there.
Some organizations brainwash their pupils to believe their technique is above and beyond everyone else’s. I read an article from a man who was master instructor from a prominent kettlebell organization. He was talking about how he was invited to teach a boot camp at a local facility. He went on about how he didn’t like the boot camp because it wasn’t enough time to correct everyone’s form. He also said he could never do boot camps if it meant that form would have to be sacrificed. I thought to myself, man this guy obviously doesn’t have students. Lol So, I did a little digging. I checked out his Instagram account. Just as I thought, Mr. Master Kettlebell instructor had a few videos of himself in a garage doing the most basic and boring workouts ever. SMH! Just because someone is certified doesn’t automatically mean they are capable of teaching. To be an instructor, one must be flexible and be able to adapt.
Keep in mind these are the same guys that heckle me and tell me my form is imperfect. Yet, I make a living from teaching. How ironic! Lol I will also tell you, from my experience, the people that always critique and heckle are the ones training in their garage or living room. The arm chair experts.
If you ever want to make a living by being a trainer, you must be patient and give your client what they came there for. If they came for a workout, then that’s what you need to give them. If you spend an hour just correcting technique and they don’t break a sweat, don’t expect them to come back.
I believe one of the reasons people are so concerned with technique is that they believe it leads to injury. In all of the years I have been teaching, I have come to the conclusion that improper warm up is the number one reason people get injured. Once your body is thoroughly warm, it can sustain most strenuous workouts as well as different sporting activities. Take Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for instance. During the course of a BJJ fight, almost every position you’re in is a mechanical disadvantage. You are constantly lifting, pushing and pulling from awkward positions. Do you think we stop and say, “let me shoot that double leg again, my form was a little off?” lol In fact, I have trained a ton of BJJ fighters over the years. A large portion of them have back problems. After I warm them up, most of them are like, man, we don’t even really warm up, we just train hard.
So, is form everything? I believe warming up and my client’s needs are everything. Form should always be emphasized. But a trainer has to be patient and realize that form is something that comes with time.
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