Combat Thruster Kettlebell Circuit

tgu banner combat thruster pic for article new years adCombat Thruster Kettlebell Circuit This is our Kettlejitsu, “workout of the week” at Legacy BJJ Burbank. All of the exercises in this workout are performed in a fighting or “stagger” stance.  This adds and entirely different aspect to the workout. Since we are working from a fighting stance, all of your muscles are working from a different angle. Pivot and torque are also addressed in these exercises. Combat thrusters, and combat high pulls add a pivoting aspect to the exercises.  These two exercises are very specific to striking since it is imperative to pivot into your punches for maximum power. Check out the enclosed video to see the Combat Thruster Circuit in action

The Kettle-Jitsu Difference: Why this Kettlebell and Body weight Program Stands out

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the kettlejitsu difference
The Kettle-Jitsu Difference: Why this Kettlebell and Body weight program stands out.
The fitness industry is more popular than ever. Combat sports like MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are now household names. Because of this we are having a lot of people coming out with different fitness programs. All of them claiming to be effect for combat sports. So naturally people will ask why my system is any different than the others.
The number one reason I feel my Kettlejitsu Program stands out from other kettlebell and body weight programs is that it was developed by me teaching group and private classes, 6 days a week, for the last 7 years at my previous gym SoCal mma and for the last year at Legacy BJJ Burbank. Since I have taught Kettlejitsu so much, I have developed an efficient formula for creating effective kettlebell and body weight routines. When teaching on a regular everyday basis, you have to keep your clients attention. Retention of your students is key to running a gym. Since Kettlejitsu is constantly in evolution, I have developed tons of routines so that my clients never get bored. On my Kettlejitsu71 youtube channel, I have a ton of videos of my bootcamps with me teaching packed classes. On my dvds, I use actual students who take my classes on a daily. I do not hire professional fitness models in my videos. Since I teach daily, I get direct feedback from my students. I can have 15 to 20 people show up to my 5:30am bootcamp. This tells me that im doing something right. When I see a new fitness program come out claiming to do this and that, I google it and the instructor. If there is little info of them on the internet and only videos of them training themselves in their basement, then there isn’t much merit to their claim. Who is actually doing their workouts? In my videos I post on my facebook, web site and youtube, you can see exactly the people I train in my Kettlejitsu bootcamps.
Another reason why Kettlejitsu stands out, is that it contains actual sports specific MMA and BJJ movements. I have fused combat specific movements with traditional kettlebell and body weight exercises. I have seen people claiming to do the same thing, but they are just rehashing the same traditional kettlebell movements that have been around forever.
So Kettle-Jitsu stands out because: 1. Its routines were developed by teaching it extensively for close to a decade. 2. The variety keeps your student’s attention and helps with retention. 3. Because it contains combat specific movements, it engages the practitioner like no other program. 4. I have videos and dvds containing actual students (and combat athletes) who train in my programs to back my claims. 5. I am the only BJJ black belt/BJJ/MMA champion to develop a Kettlebell and body weigh system. Check out this link for my credentials About Joey Alvarado. 6. I actually do the workouts myself. I train with my students 4 days a week. These workouts that Ive developed are like second nature to me. So, I can train and teach simultaneously with my students.
Check out the enclosed video. In this clip, you can see 2 BJJ world champions on the mat. Alberto Crane and Jessica Oliveira. There are also Muay Thai fighter and regular every day people in the video. Remember, you don’t have to be a combat athlete to train like one!

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Important Kettlebell Safety Tip!

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Double Kettlebell grip training for BJJ/MMA

Grip training is a subject I wanted to touch on for some time now. I definitely have some serious opinions on it.  As you already may know, I have been training in martial arts for over 30 years. I am also a competitive Brazilian Jiu JItsu fighter.  I have won and lost many BJJ matches. I have never thought to myself after one of my losses that my grip strength cost me the match.  I also have a lot of friends that train with kettlebells, but also do macebell and clubbell work. Which to me, doesnt make sense. I believe macebells and clubbells are not nearly as efficient as kettlebells. I have even asked my friends why the include those implements as well. They always say, “well its really good for grip strength.”  Which brings me to my next question. “Why does an average person need grip strength?” I honestly dont even think BJJ fighters need extra grip strength.  Isnt the whole point of jiu jitsu to not use strength. If you are dependent on grip strength in you bjj matches your technique must be off.  By training BJJ regularly, you will develop the conditioning needed in your forearms needed in training, If you do extra strength and conditioning, then you should be good to go.

The 2 types of strength and conditioning I do are body weight and kettlebell.  I dont really feel I need anything else.  Although I do not do any extra specific grip training. Every kettlebell workout challenges your grip to an extent. Some more than others. Which brings me to this basic double kettlebell workout that will have your forearms firing off like you just finished a BJJ match in a tournament!  First let me say this is an example and not meant to be an instructional.  Next, before any kettlebell workout I do a good 20 minute body weight and mobility workout. This insures that Im thoroughly warmed up and prevents injury.

The double kettlebell workout consists of 5 different exercises.  1.double dead cleans 2. double overhead presses 3. double swings 4. double rows 5. burpees

What challenges your grip is that fact that you do not put the bells down until the burpees. This workout is put into what I call a pyramid. You want to do 5 reps of each exercise. then move up to 10 reps. Last you go back down the pyramid to 5 reps.  By the time you are working up to 10 you should feel that burn in your forearms! So be careful! Enjoy!

To learn more workouts like this, check out the Kettlejitsu 8 week kettlebell and body weight dvd here!  http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

Animal Style Workout Variations for BJJ

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Animal style movement training seems to be pretty popular nowadays. Its hardly anything new. Animal style training can date back to the monks of the Shaolin temple. They used many different animal movements in their Kung fu.  I first was introduced to animal style workouts back in about 1994 when I Trained at Romero Calvacanti’s(jacare) Master BJJ gym in Atlanta.  Animal movements are one of the standard warm ups used in a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms world wide.  Now animal movements have caught on to the mainstream. Since functional training is so popular now, animal style workouts fit right in. They are full body movements that can be performed almost anywhere.  In this video I am doing some variations that I have developed my self. The movements in the video will help with your conditioning, agility, mobility and coordination.  Stay tuned for my upcoming Body Weight 4 BJJ programs! It will contain and encyclopedia of BJJ/MMA specific movements and workouts!. Enjoy! 

To Purchase Joey’s Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week Kettlebell and body weight workout dvd, click here!! http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

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.

Kettlebell S Get Up for BJJ/MMA

The Kettlebell S Get Up

I think anybody who trains with kettlebells knows what a Turkish get up is. It is an amazing full body exercise. I love it and have a very particular way of teaching it. But, at my gym, I teach large groups at once. Most of the time they are vary in fitness levels. Since the TGU contains so many movements, plus the fact that involves holding the bell in an overhead lock out position, it is not always ideal to teach in that type of environment. This is what inspired me to develop the S Get Up.  I wanted to do a get up, that was challenging enough for advanced people, yet easy enough for a novice to learn and enjoy.

Like the Turkish Get up, the S Get up is a compound movement. It contains several movements rolled into one.  Like a lot of my movements, its based off of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu position. In the SGU your legs are in an S shape that is used in many BJJ techniques.  Ive eliminated the overhead position in this get up to make it safer and easier to learn. Plus, even though it is challenging, I feel that holding a bell in the overhead position has little practicality in BJJ or life in general.

When I teach any routine in my classes, I like to break down each movement and drill each one for 30 second intervals. That way, my students get the feel for it. The same goes for the SGU.  First, I break down each step using body weigh only. Then I put it together in a flow. After drilling the body weight version for several rounds, we apply the kettlebell to it. Start by drilling the lying S press for 30 seconds on each side. Next, drill the S squats for 30 seconds on each side. Same thing with rows and cleans. You can repeat these exercises as much as you like. Then, I put it all together into a 3 minute round. 2 minutes of alternating SGU, 20 seconds of rows and Burpees for the last 30 seconds.

Please remember that you must always warm up thoroughly before rigorous training. My workouts always consist of joint mobility, core warm ups and body weight warm ups before even touching a kettlebell. For an easy to follow kettlebell warm ups and workouts, check out my Kettle-Jitsu 8 week kettlebell and bodyweight workout program! Have fun with the SGU! Oss!

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7 BJJ/MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises For core/hip strength

 

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7 BJJ/MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises for core/hip strength

I’ve seen quite a few articles out there on this topic. But I’m not seeing anything new. Swings, snatches and cleans are about the only exercises I see so called kettlebell experts doing. A lot of them are putting the tag “for MMA” behind it. Even though the majority of them haven’t had any experience in that area.  Kettlebells are my single most favorite exercise tool. I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to kettlebells and body weight training specifically for BJJ/MMA conditioning.   Over this period of time, I have developed new kettlebell movements, released 3 dvds on the subject and administered certifications all over the world with my Kettle-Jitsu system.  I am a first degree World Champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt and over the last 2 years I’ve competed in 18 BJJ tournaments.  So, I have battle tested my system as well.

After reading numerous articles on core strength for MMA/BJJ, I decided to take a stab at it.  I guess you can call this 7 unconventional BJJ/MMA specific Kettlebell exercises for core strength.  I use the word unconventional, because these aren’t the typical KB exercises you see people doing.  These are exercises I have developed myself and teach to my students regularly.

I love kettlebells because they allow for more natural movements. You can do a lot of sports specific movements with them.  When I design workouts, I think in terms of practicality as well as effectiveness.  I have seen people recently lay 400 lb barbells over their hips to develop hip strength.  Im not saying it doesn’t work, but in terms of practicality, it doesn’t suit me.  I teach large classes, so using a kettlebell allows me to utilize minimal space and still deliver an amazing workout. Here are my top 7 exercises for hip power:

  1. Snake move: In MMA/BJJ you have to know how to fight off of your back period.  Snake move is an essential movement that you have to master if you want to fight off of your back effectively.  Adding a kettlebell to this movement mimics fighting off of your back to a t.
  2. Rocking chair: This is another BJJ bodyweight exercise adapted with a kettlebell.  This is one way to regain the standing position in combat sports. It is also used in numerous transitional techniques in Brazilian jiu jitsu.  It hits your core and hips directly.  I like to add a press to this exercise to hit more muscle groups simultaneously.
  3. Upa: Prounounced oo-pah. This the third BJJ body weight exercise adapted with a kettlebell. Upa is typically used for escaping the mount and as a way to offset your opponents balance. Bridging is a common movement found in the ground fighting.
  4. Turkish presses: Some people refer to this as a quarter get up. But this is a partial movement of an exercise commonly called “standing up in base” in BJJ.  It is another movement that is used almost every time you are fighting off of your back. It has a ton of applications.
  5. Double kettlebell swings: Double kettlebell training means double the power. This swing variations will take your hip and core power to another level.  Mastering swings and the hip hinge will take your sprawls to new heights.
  6. Hopping swings:  This is a swing variation that hits your core differently than traditional swings. It adds explosiveness to it.  Hopping back and forth builds momentum, so your core works harder to stabilize your body. Otherwise, this exercise can throw you off balance big time!
  7. Bridge and sprawl:  In this one, im combining 2 of common movements used in ground fighting.  This exercise also requires coordination, agility and focus into one flowing movement.

I was training a fighter for his UFC debut once. We were using these exercises combined into a circuit and afterwards he said, “Man, I felt like I was in a fight the whole time!” To make a routine like this you will typically need various different training devices. But, with a little creativity, a kettlebell can do it more efficiently. Enjoy!

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3 Minute Total Body Weight Circuit

When developing workouts for my classes and dvd’s, one of the main concepts I use is what I call the “balance principle.” This basically means, I try to hit all of your major muscle groups evenly. So after a Kettle-Jitsu workout, you should never feel like you just got a leg workout, or just a core workout. By combining as many muscle groups into your workouts, you will get that metabolic effect. I use this principle with both body weight and kettlebell training.

For this particular body weight workout, I combine dynamic exercises that hit multiple muscles simultaneously to give the circuit an anaerobic effect. I call this the Lunge/Touch and kick circuit. This is a 3 minute nonstop circuit in which you change exercises every 30 seconds. There are 4 exercises.  1. The lunge/touch and kick 2. Walk out to a push up 3. Mountain climbers 4. Burpees.  In my classes, before any workout, we start off with joint mobility and some light body weight movements. I cant stress enough how important this is. This prepares your body for rigorous training and helps to prevent injuries. We do an ab pyramid, then break down each movement in the circuit for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest in between. To have a better understanding of this formula, check out my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  It follows the same aforementioned format.  After this, you should be ready to start the Lung/Touch and kick circuit!

Instructions:  Set your timers to 3 minutes with 30 second intervals.  We rest for 30 seconds in between rounds. I use a ringside mma timer.  These are great because you can set it to ring every 30 seconds. This lets you know when to change exercises.  To perform the circuit, start with lunge/touch and kick(right leg back, kick w left) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, lunge/touch kick(left leg back, kick w right) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, mountain climbers for 30 seconds followed by burpees for the final 30 seconds.  Repeat as many times as you like. At my gym SoCal mma, we do 3 rounds and follow it up with our kettlebell workout.

You will feel this circuit everywhere! Enjoy!