Posts Tagged ‘kettlebell training’

Hope everyone is doing well, sticking with their guns and progressing towards their goals and most importantly, training smart.  Here is my favorite shake recipe going on right now.

Peanut Butter Cookie Shake (makes 2-4 servings)

  • 8 ounces of milk or almond milk
  • 8 ounces of cold water
  • 4 scoops of Vi-Shape Protein Mix
  • 4 Teaspoons of PB2 (you can use organic peanut butter if you choose)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 4-8 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese

Blend and enjoy.  The PB2 is a powdered form of peanut butter that just makes it way easier to make shakes with peanut butter (you can get it online or at your local grocery store).  I have used regular peanut butter in the past but it tends to stick to the blender half the time.  The secret ingredient in my mind is the cinnamon.  It really gives the shake that cookie taste that I love so much.  The cottage cheese sounds weird at first but it gives the shake an ice cream consistency to it.

Now is the time of year that everyone has BIG goals in mind.  And rightfully so, you should!  A new year is among us and we make resolutions and goals.  Many have the goal of obtaining and health and fitness goal(s) such as fat loss, improving strength or setting new heights within their sports or activities.

Many of these individuals set out to set a new standard of the way they train.  They set a goal and a date to reach that goal (which is very important by the way), they get a plan of action (secondly important) and they have the passion to complete the goal.

Only one thing may be missing from you achieving that ever so important goal.  How WELL do you move?  Establishing a baseline for movement is very important and is becoming the new standard for training.  You see, over time our bodies can and will develop imbalances by the way we live our lives.  That could be due to working at a desk 8 hours per day, playing a particular sport or even from a previous injury.

The problem is that alot of people feel that you need to move more to achieve your health and fitness goals.  But as a matter of fact, this may create more of a problem.  Think of it this way.  You buy a brand new BMW roadster the only problem is that you purchased the car from another person and the frame is out of alignment.  What should you do first?  Drive that car all out with the pedal to the metal?  No, because you know that would do more harm than good.  You take it to a licensed mechanic who can get the car back into proper alignment.  THEN you can take it out and drive it the way you want to.

The same should be said for our bodies.  Imbalances and asymmetries can prevent us from getting the workout that we want.  Better movement, better workout, more productivity towards your fitness goal.

This is why all our clients get a Functional Movement Screen included in their free trial.  This helps us to understand how to train them better.  If you are interested in getting a FREE functional movement screen at no charge contact us here at  To find out more about the Functional Movement Screen you can check out their website and you can also find information about it on our website.

In the following weeks we will be posting exercises and videos that helps us get a terrific workout and maintain or achieve all our movement quality.

Hello everyone.  I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving weekend and have made sure to take time to reflect on all the things you have to be thankful for.  I sure did.

This blog is one of four reviews I will be doing of all 4 DVD’s that were just put out by Mark and Tracy Reifkind and David Whitley.  You would think naturally I would first review my mentor and long time coach Master RKC David Whitely, but actually I started with the DVD that I thought would help me to work on one of my weaknesses.  My shoulder stability and strength.

So naturally I began with Lats, the Super Muscles by Master RKC, Mark Reifkind.  Mark is extremely knowledgeable about injuries (he has had them), anatomy of the muscles and how they coordinate with each other, and really helped to explain to me how the Lats are a bridge between the upper and lower body.

His drills that he demonstrates within the DVD will help develop anyone’s kettlebell exercise technique.  The drills alone helped to improve my swing, ESPECIALLY my clean (weak point), and my press.  I will continue to revisit these drills to make sure that I am using my lats properly in my lifts.  They will be especially helpful in my training for RKC Level II (pull up, half bodyweight press and etc).

I truly believe that there are individuals out there that have a weak press or even a painful press that would greatly benefit from this DVD.  Besides for $29.95 it is a steal and should be in all RKC/HKC’s library collection.

I remember the very first time I was introduced with peoples obsession to running. I was training a new mother who wanted to work off some of her baby weight and also to get stronger due to some previous injuries/surgeries. We were using FMS corrective exercise as well as kettlebell training under the Russian Kettlebell Challenge method. She loved the program and the benefits that it was giving her and she was progressing very nicely in strength, plus Turkish Getups and swings did not bother her knees. But at the end of one session she stated: “I just have to get back into running” when I asked why she said, “cause I want to lose some weight”. (hint to the sarcastic look on my face now. She had already dropped nine pounds in the past three weeks with no running whatsoever)

I explained to her that if she did not like running then there was no need to, she was getting all of the needed calorie burning benefits in our workouts and actually in half the time. She had some trouble believing me. I thought to myself, why are so many people hell bent on running to lose weight? And why do they feel that it is the best way to lose weight?

At some point and time our society is obsessed with running to lose weight. The funny thing is most people HATE RUNNING! I am not to say that I am above everyone else, I learned the hard way. I was talked into training for a half marathon, so off I went on a 16 week training program that started very slowly and gradually moved up my mileage. I went to a running store and bought a nice expensive pair of shoes that were made for my body type. Everything actually was going pretty well and I was starting to lose some weight along the way until one day my knee started snapping. I decided to ignore it and kept running, by the end of the workout my knee was in a lot of pain. I ended up having to take 3 weeks off of running and doing rehabilitation, getting ultrasounds, and taping my knee. I showed up to my 1/2 marathon at about the same weight I started at and was taped and braced to that knee. The race went fine until mile 10 when that unhappy snapping came back. I finished the race but was in alot of pain. I vowed never to train for that long of a run again. It got to the point that I hated running.

The problem with our culture that I am beginning to understand is how we exercise or in fact how we try to make exercise easier. Running has become a non-engaged exercise to us. We find ways to take our mind off of what we are doing (due to the fact that we feel we need to be on a treadmill for 60 minutes or need to run ten miles per day). Hence the TV’s in front of the treadmills, stairmasters, and ellipticals. We began not paying attention to what we are doing and how well we are doing it (with excellent form, or poor form thus the increased risk for injury).

So if you run because you love to let me give you some points to think about that may help you enjoy running and also stay out of the doctors office and physical therapy.

Science is pointing to the fact that our shoes and the way we run (heel strike) is doing alot of harm to our bodies and in all likelyhood our shoes may be one of the reasons Americans suffer from so many running related injuries.

Video on the effects of heelstrike running to forefoot running and barefoot running.

As you can see, a way to make running a more engaged activity is to run barefoot. This all came about by a gentleman named Chris McDougall, author of BORN TO RUN. The videos below explain the process of barefoot running and about the book itself and tells it way more than I can write.

Interview with Chris McDougall by the New York Times

Other ways to get better effects of running:

  • performing sprints or intervals.
    • 2 minutes slow and steady pace (4 or 5 on exertion scale, concentrate on being light and springy like a coil), then 1 minute at a pace of 7 or 8 out of 10 on the exertion scale.
    • This can give you the same results as a 10k but in half the time.
  • do something other than running.
    • Strength training is vital for the runner to stay healthy.
    • I am biased but I love Kettlebell training for the strength and cardio component that it provides at the same time.
    • the American Council on Exercise (ACE put the money where my mouth is) performed a study on the effects of kettlebell training towards fat loss. After all that was said and done, they determined that the kettlebell snatch can burn up to 20 CALORIES PER MINUTE!
    • Basically if you want to get the same type of calorie burn on a treadmill you would have to run for the same amount of time at a 6 minute mile pace! That is booking by the way! The next closest thing to the kettlebell snatch in terms of calorie burn was circuit training which came to 9 calories per minute.
  • Participate in ENGAGED activity exercise
    • There are plenty of easy ways to perform ENGAGED activities that will help with your running
      • Jumping rope is a very self limiting exercise plus it works on the footwork needed to run correctly.  Personally I would take intervals of jumping rope instead of running on a treadmill on a rainy day
      • Trail running.  I had a patient in physical therapy that stated “I always have pain when I run on a treadmill or on concrete, but when I trail run I can run forever and am pain free”.  This is precisely my point!  She made trail running an ENGAGED activity because she was watching out for rocks, tree branches, working with hills and slopes and paying attention to her exercise.
      • 15 minutes of good Turkish Getups may be all you need for strength training to help keep you healthy and strong!
        • The get up with a kettlebell is an engaged activity with makes you use dynamic mobility and stability to perform an exercise that challenges all planes of movement, kind of like running don’t you think?
      • If you have any more ideas on types of engaged exercise, please post them in the comments below!
  • attend a running clinic
    • learn how to run correctly!  Learn from the best!
  • get a functional movement screen before starting a workout regimen
    • learn how well you move and if you have any imbalances that may lead you to an injury during your training
So if you run, do it because you LOVE it and how it makes you feel, not because you feel obligated to do it.  If you are too out of shape to run, recovering from a previous injury/surgery, or just flat out hate running then I suggest you get involved with an ENGAGED type of activity.  I have worked with individuals who have had total knee and hip replacements who are instructed NEVER to run again, but they can perform kettlebell swings and turkish get ups like no other and love the way it makes them feel.  I do suggest that you look into a Russian Kettlebell Certified instructor to learn how to perform the movement correctly since they are an engaged activity and technique is a must.

Nice little write-up on kettlebell training by Nicole Nichols with SPARK PEOPLE.

Spark People is a free website that a new Nebraska Kettlebell Bootcamp member brought to our attention.  This website has the following benefits. 

  • Personalized diet & fitness plan
  • Calorie counter and exercise tracker (includes kettlebell training!)
  • Answers from our dietitians & trainers on message boards
  • Connect with others like you on our active teams
  • The article, termed “We Iron Out the Facts on Kettlebell Training” gives a good idea on kettlebell training.  Here are some of the finer points.

    • Full body conditioning
    • Big results in less time
    • Increased resistance to injury
    • Work anaerobic and aerobic systems in the same workout
    • Improved mobility/range of motion
    • Increased strength
    • Enhanced performance from everyday activities to sports
    • Major Calorie BURN! **

    (**This is all due to the article that the American Council of Exercise put out on the benefits of kettlebell training.)

    They provide a list of qualified kettlebell instructors including the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (which is the first to arrive in the US, the best in my opinion, and who we are certified under).  Click here to see Nikki’s Instructor Page and My Instructor Page.  You can also watch the video to see what we went through to become certified.

    This article also stresses the importance of proper kettlebell instruction.  I would like to say that all of our members would agree that there is no substitute for proper kettlebell instruction.  You will get a better workout cause you will be using your muscles more efficiently.  Plus this is much safer.  I know too many individuals (myself included) that tried learning kettlebells on their own and who have suffered from back pain or other ailments due to improper technique.  This is because your body thinks it is doing the movements correctly, but you are not.  Here at Nebraska Kettlebell we teach with proper drills and cues how to communicate better with your body to get you moving optimally.

    If you are interested in becoming a member of Nebraska Kettlebell Bootcamp or you just want to learn the basics of kettlebell training, email us ( or call us at 402-490-4793 to set yourself up for a free kettlebell orientation.  This way you will learn basic kettlebell exercise technique and can practice and learn from certified instructors.  Even if you don’t join our bootcamp (you do get to try 2 weeks free after attending orientation ya know) at least you can train at home with an idea on proper technique.  This is our gift to you!