Posts Tagged ‘nikki snow’

I was approached today by a potential client who is training for the Omaha Fire Department.  Extremely honored for the opportunity!  This also brings up an important point…

  • What goals are you trying to accomplish in 2012?
  • Do you have a plan of action?
  • Does your plan of action take into account where you are starting from, what skills you need to attain to accomplish this goal?
  • Does this plan take into account your movement and performance baseline?
  • Does this plan determine your strengths to maintain and your weaknesses to improve on?
  • Does this plan allow for changes or modifications to be made due to things that may come up?  How does the plan determine when to make modification?

Whether you are training for the Omaha Fire Department, Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor Certification, Marathon, 1/2 marathon, or just fat loss you MUST have a plan of action.

Here is my 2012 gift to you….  Anyone in the area who is interested in getting a proper PLAN OF ACTION towards their upcoming 2012 goals is invited to come in and get a Fitness Consultation and Functional Movement Screen at NO CHARGE ($87 value).  Just click the link below to get registered and we will sign you up for your consult and screen.  No strings attached.  This is a great way for you to understand every aspect detailed above whether you chose to train at home, at another gym, through another trainer, or through SG Human Performance.  What do you have to lose?

FREE CONSULTATION AND FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN

Here is to you accomplishing your goals!

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Hello everyone.  Hope all of you are doing very well out there.

Today I am providing my product review for the DVD of Applying the FMS Model by Gray Cook.  Nikki and I were fortunate to experience this workshop first hand at the Chicago Perform Better Summit last summer (2011) as we both were given the honor of providing FMS screens for Brett and Gray during the workshop.

Applying the FMS Model is a great DVD for any individual wanting to learn more about applications of how to use the FMS model in their profession.  The DVD provides the actual workshop itself with its presentation slides and demonstrations of the FMS screen itself as well as analysis of the screen results.

Gray includes vital information on:

  • Understanding what the FMS scores mean for the particular individual
    • Individuals activities/sports/work
    • Limitations/Injury History
    • How to remove negatives
    • Applying proper correctives
    • Programming for that particular individual (provides great examples: weightlifter, runner, kettlebell enthusiast, older individual +50, younger individual -25, and an ex-athlete)

This is some pretty fantastic stuff as this type of material has not yet been covered in any other DVD or Workbook.  This is one of the main reasons why Gray and Brett decided to do the workshop in the first place, to provide a demonstration to interested people and to provide both FMS Certified and Non-FMS Certified individuals an understanding of application.

Here is a breakdown on what you receive:

4-disc DVD set—nearly 4 hours, plus bonus material
Filmed live at a Perform Better Summit Workshop
Disk One
Introduction
Standard Operating Procedures
Movement Matters
Squat Discussion
Stabilization and Repatterning
Our Movement History

Disk Two
Functional Movement Screen Review
Scoring the Screens
Filters and Key Points
Live Screens
Scoring Criteria
Programming the Results

Disk Three
Screen Results Analysis
Order of Screen Priority
Hip Hinge and Deadlift Strategies
Movement Motor Learning
Movement Principles
Self-Limiting Exercise

Disk Four
Extra corrective strategies footage
Full lecture in MP3 audio format for listening in your car or on your portable device
A 61-page typeset transcript of the lecture
Movement Principles excerpt from the Movement book
FMS scoring criteria and verbal instructions
Presentation slides PDF
Video clips from Gray’s Powerpoint presentation
Self-limiting activities chart

On Target Publications did a fantastic job with this DVD.  It includes everything.  The PDF of the presentation slides, charts, scoring criteria and verbal instructions for the FMS, as well as a full MP3 of the lecture so you can listen off of your ipod or even in the car.  LOVE THAT!

In the workshop Gray does a fantastic job of explaining the finer points of why it is important to have a movement screen for any active individual.  These points can be used by the FMS professional towards convincing the importance of using the FMS in many different domains (Examples: sports teams, gyms, bootcamps, risk management for different active careers and etc.)

This DVD and workbook can be used in so many different ways:

  • Provide the Certified FMS Professional a valuable resource tool to enhance their current practice
  • Provide professionals who are interested in getting FMS certified a taste of everything the FMS entails
  • Provides all professionals a tool to present to their superiors, co-workers, and/or potential clients (examples: head coaches, athletic directors, strength coaches, athletic trainers, wellness coordinators, corporate wellness committees and etc.) which gives a vivid explanation of the whole FMS process and its applications and benefits.  Use this in your arsenal when you are trying to establish its importance within your setting.  How nice is it to ask someone to watch this video when they are interested in learning more about the FMS and its benefits?

For more information and to see more of the sample videos click HERE.

Hello everyone.  Hope you are training smart, plus taking care of yourself and the ones around you.

I want to start a discussion about achieving your 1/2 bodyweight press requirement for RKC Level 2.  From reading the RKC Forum and through speaking with individuals who have trained for RKC Level 2.  It seems the most common reoccurring theme for males were issues achieving the 1/2 bodyweight press requirement.

It seems that those who did not pass Level 2 certification could not achieve their 1/2 bw press and those who cancelled attending RKC Level 2 usually did due to some type of injury from training to achieve the 1/2 bw press.

I trained successfully for RKC Level 1 by performing Enter the Kettlebell Rite of Passage program of pressing ladders.  The ROP is a fantastic program for building a solid foundation for swings, cleans, and presses.  This was especially successful for building up my strength and endurance to achieve 5 double kb presses with a significant amount of weight (one of the requirements for passing RKC Level 1).

When I signed up for RKC Level 2 in August, I planned out all the requirements on a piece of paper and listed them from what would be the most challenging to achieve and that I felt I had a decent grasp upon.  I did this to determine how I would program my workouts to achieve all the RKC Level 2 requirements.  At the top of the list was the 1/2 bw press.

I decided to take a different approach to this requirement and not do the ROP clean and press ladders.  Instead I planned on doing a few different things to see if I could achieve this goal.

  1. Complete a Functional movement screen (every 4-6 weeks) to make sure that I am symmetrical and that my programming is taking me on the correct course (my baseline).
  2. Use bottoms up kb cleans, walks, squats, and pressing (self limiting exercises) to accomplish the proper alignment and technique to accomplish the press.
  3. Train for the press, pull up, and pistol by performing sets of 1 repetition.  Since that is what the requirement stated, I am going to train accordingly.

I brought up this plan of action to my mentor, Master RKC David Whitley, and he suggested an alternate route, the bent press.  As we were sitting there discussing my goals, he stated that the bent press is a way to achieve the type of mobility and stability necessary to achieve the 1/2 bw press.  Plus you get the opportunity to get heavy loads above your head and then train the pressing pattern eccentrically.  I was very intrigued by this idea and was willing to give it a try, but I had one problem.  I had no idea how to properly bent press.  David worked with me about a year before on my BP and I failed miserably.  At the time I did not have the type of mobility to achieve such a lift.

So David spent the next 45 minutes with me bodyweight patterning the bent press.  It was quite the learning experience and I cannot say enough of how fortunate I am to learn from the best.  David sent me home with some points of the bent press and told me “to practice”.  So for the next 10 weeks I made it a priority to improve my bent press to really see if it would have a carry over to the 1/2 bw press.  My previous heaviest kb press was the 36kg at RKC Level 1 (my performance baseline) so with the bent press I began with a 24kg to see if I could get the movement down.  The movement felt akward, and uncomfortable.  But in my experience that could necessarily mean that I am learning so I kept with it.  I got a lot of positive feedback just by videoing myself performing the bent press and then seeing the movement in my mind.

My 10 minute workouts throughout the day would go something like this:

  • Bent press 1/1 followed by single arm swing 5/5
  • I would review the video I did on my technique during my rest period
  • I would play out the proper movement in my mind, maybe even go through the motions with just bodyweight
  • Rinse and repeat

Once I felt I was no longer learning during my practice sessions, I would stop and do other things and then come back to the movement later that day or the next workout.  As I progressed within the movement, the 24kg no longer gave me the type of feedback that I needed to progress so I moved up in weight to the 28kg.  In not much time at all I progressed onto the 32kg bent press followed by single arm swings with the 32kg.

I still continued to video myself and occasionally sent the video onto David for some feedback.  I always tried to keep learning during this movement.  I learned along the way that if I achieved a new weight with the bent press that this new achievement did not mean that it was my new practice weight.  I needed to keep learning during practice and when my practice kb was no longer giving me the feedback I needed, then and only then, would I move up.

2 weeks ago I bent press the 44kg for 1 repetition on each side.  2 days later just to measure progress I was able to strict press the 40kg for the first time ever.  I was also able to bottoms up press the 24kg.  This is the type of progression I was looking for.  I am going up on my press weight and am not suffering from any shoulder/neck issues currently.  As a matter of fact, my shoulder mobility now is the most symmetrical it has ever been.

Some finer points I want to emphasize if you are planning on trying this method:

  • Get your FMS screen:  In my opinion there is a minimum requirement of mobility and stability to begin practicing the bent press.  When I tried it before and was so bad at it, I had not yet achieved that minimum standard and it was only when I got more symmetrical that the learning experience could include
  • The bent press is a SKILL just like all other lifts:  You need to get expert instruction and be willing to practice the skill.  It will be uncomfortable (but not painful!), it will be difficult, but you need to communicate with your body and keep making progress.  Stop the practice session when you are no longer making progress.

So my experiment is not yet done but I will continue to work on it and report on my progress.  As a matter of fact, after another one on one coaching session with the Iron Tamer himself, I achieved the 48kg bent press.  I still have some work to do but I know I am on the proper path as I have my baseline (my FMS score) and my strength continues to increase.

Would love to get some feedback from other individuals as how they achieved their press requirement for Level 2.  I am not saying that this is the only way to train for it, but it has worked very well for me and is something to consider especially if you have suffered from shoulder and neck issues in the past.

Hello everyone.  Wanted to see if I could get the word out to everyone who is interested in learning more about how we use the Functional Movement Screen to enhance our programming and clients success in the group setting.

As many of you may know, we specialize in group kettlebell classes but also include bodyweight exercises, TRX Training, battling ropes and other drills (ALOT of self limiting exercises).

Basically our Foundation here at SG Human Performance (its even in our mission statement) is using the Functional Movement Screen.

FMS provides us the following:

  • Establishes rapport with new and existing clients
  • Determines programming success
  • Boosts Metabolism (YES, hard to believe I know, but its so true)
  • Improves exercise technique
  • Assesses client progress

So I am opening up my blog for ANYONE to ask their questions about how to use the FMS to enhance themselves as a fitness professional and also to enhance their rehabilitation or fitness business.  Please post a comment to this blog with your question and I will do my best to answer it.

If you don’t believe me (or want more information) check into Alwyn Cosgroves “Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss Programming” and how he uses the FMS in his Fat Loss Programming in both Semi Private and Group Training.

Hello everyone.  Hope all of you are doing well and training smart.

Just a quick post on how things are going.  Had such a fantastic week training for RKC Level 2 certification last week.  I was able to press the 40kg on Tuesday, pistol both sides with a 16kg, and on Saturday I did my first bent press with a 44kg.  The 44kg felt really good as it was my first attempt at it but it went up quite smoothly.

Now the decisions I made next are crucial for me to be able to continue with my strength training foundation and to hit more PR’s.  The old me would have quickly ran over and tried to bent press the 48kg since the 44kg went so smooth.  I remember when I did this big jump before and I was able to perform it but a week later I had to take time off because I hurt my shoulder blade.  So I placed the 44kg down with happiness and left it at that.

My next decision is to lay off this week and really get to moving well.  I am taking the advice of many others who say not to keep hitting the accelerator when you hit a PR.  Every time I hit a PR it seems the next week I get hurt because I did not back off.  I was feeling so good last week and felt unbreakable, that is my hint that its time to back off and start the trek back up the peak slowly but surely next week.

Not that I am going to lay down on the couch or anything, but I am going to lighten the loads and really work on technique this week.

Goals this week: GREASE THE GROOVE

  • Bent Press practice with 32kg
  • 1 arm swings for sets of 5/5 with 32kg to build up grip strength for heavier kb cleans
  • Level 1 prep with 16kgs or 20kgs
  • Pistol practice with feet and knees together (more of a feet and knees together squat but it really helps my pistol)
  • Continue to work on thoracic mobility and ankle mobility
  • Own my rolling patterns
  • Kalos Sthenos on the Get Up (1 and 2)

As many of you may have read, in the past 2 weeks of my training I decided to revert back and work on some movement patterns and get back to basics.

  1. Been working the brettzel stretch and ankle mobility which was recently re-introduced to me by Master RKC, Jeff O’Connor.
  2. Went back to the beginning and relearned the drills for the bent press, pistol, and pull up.
  3. Then just started playing around with the level II drills here and there and just trying to OWN the movements.

Just yesterday Nikki and I decided to “play around a bit”.  I was extremely impressed by how going back to the basics and owning the movement patterns has made a big impact on my training.

  • Performed a pull ups on the bar
    • (1st set with 18#, and 2nd with 10kg: I know this is not much but I was doing them with a 16kg and decided that I was not finishing high enough on the bar so went back to basics)
  • Performed bottoms up press with a 24kg on both sides.
    • Very pleased with how seamless this felt and am looking forward to BU Pressing the 28kg soon
  • Performed some basic pistol work
    • Bottom position way more steady than before
  • Pressed the 40kg for the first time on my right side
    • Before yesterday, wasn’t able to get anywhere close to this.  Special thanks to MRKC David Whitley on his Bent Press Program to help me achieve this.  Now back to more bent pressing 🙂

Hopefully I have learned enough from previous bad habits of lift, lift more, lift heavier, lift even heavier then get hurt, rest and start over again.  Going to keep working those patterns daily and stay with the basics.  Here are my upcoming goals for the next 4 weeks.

  1. Continue to work on mobility (brettzels, ankle, soft tissue and rib pulls)
  2. Perform drills every day -Grease the Groove (some type of press for singles, some type of pistol or squat work, some type of pull up)
  3. Remind myself to taper when I get to the point that I feel indestructible then start back over at the basics.

Just started with Geoff Neupert’s New Nutrition Program so I will keep all of you posted.  Right now I am at 215 and would like to lose some body fat if at all possible to help me during this journey.  Don’t necessarily want to cut weight to press less, but if I end up losing some fat and staying strong in the process I won’t complain if I am asked to press the 44kg instead of the 48kg at RKC Level II.

 

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.

Hope everyone is doing well out there and training hard and more importantly training smart.

After the past two weeks of speaking to individuals about their health and fitness goals for changing their lives I am inspired to write a blog on the subject.

First I need to provide a warning for you that this blog post will not be pretty.  You are going to see a little bit of my dark side.  Yes I have an alter ego (some of my clients have named him “Mac”) and it is about time that my alter ego come out and provide some knowledge.  I am not going to be an A$$hole, I am just going to be very blunt and provide all of you a little reality check.  Its not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings but to get you to achieving your goals.

Being a fitness/sports medicine professional since 1996 I have met a lot of individuals.  Some are inspiring with their story about how they have overcome adversity and made a positive change in their life.  But, the majority of the people I have met only have excuses.  Excuses for why they live the life they live, for their troubles, for their issues, blaming others for the problems they are faced with today, or baggage that is keeping them from living a happy life.

Listen, I am not better than anyone else.  I used to be Captain Excuse, I would blame my past for my issues with being able to deal with people.  I still catch myself today making excuses for many things, but I am aware of it and trying to stop it.

Here is the big problem.  If we are so busy making excuses, we are never working on SOLUTIONS to our adversity. Here is some of the excuses that I have heard recently and here is what they are really saying.

  • “The reason why my knee buckles when I exercise is because the flooring is bad or I have crappy shoes, or its just the way I move.”
    • I have knee issues but I don’t want to take time away from my workout to correct it.  So I am risking ruining my knees even more just so I can workout harder
  • “I used to workout ALL the time and was so happy with my body, until I had someone close to me pass away.  Ever since then I haven’t had the energy to workout and eat right.”
    • I was on track and then off track and now I just don’t have the energy to go through what I went through before to achieve the results I need.
      • This is a tough one.  I am not saying that you cannot mourn.  All I am saying is that you should mourn, but there has to be a time where you pick yourself up off of the floor and put the pieces back together.
  • “The reason I eat crap and don’t workout is because I don’t have the money.”
    • I am too lazy to think of a SOLUTION on how to budget properly to afford a proper fitness program and nutrition strategy.  I would much rather use my money (that I state that I don’t have) eating out and going to the bar.
  • “I would love to join a fitness facility or a fitness program, but I need to get in better shape to handle the intensity of the program.”
    • I am scared out of my mind about showing up to a fitness class and looking like a fool.  I don’t want others to see me make mistakes and fail.  I don’t want to look like an idiot in front of others.
      • This is another tough one.  But understand that everyone is in your shoes and has the same doubts and worries as you.  Ask any of our members, they were in the same situation as you during the first week of their program.  I was as well when I started my first kettlebell class!  But you make mistakes and learn from them, you struggle and sweat and accomplish and you do it with others who are there to help you along and you can help them too.  The difference between our members and you is that they decided they were tired of living the life that they were and took the first step.

So as painful as this blog may have been for you to read.  Take a few days and think about it.  Are you making Excuses?  Or are you now going to start thinking of SOLUTIONS to your problems.  I know that it has made my life much better when I stopped looking for an excuse and began thinking of solutions.

If you ever need help finding a solution, there are thousands of well trained individuals out there to help you find those solutions.  Never give up, always be thinking of a solution and your mind will find the answer.

Hello everyone!  Hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday Weekend and celebrated their Independence.

Here is SG Human Performance’s Protein Shake Recipe of the Week and in honor of the 4th of July whats more American than Apple Pie?  So we went with the Apple Pie Shake.

Apple Pie Shake

  • 2 scoops Vi-Shape Shake Mix
  • 1 small apple (seeded) or 1/4 cup Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8-10 ounces of Non-Fat Milk, Soy, or Almond Milk
  • A few ice cubes
  • Blend and enjoy

Sometimes we like to add come cottage cheese (1/4 cup) to up the protein content in the shake and it seems to provide a little more of a milkshake consistency.  The amount of ice depends on how thick you want the shake as well.  Tastes so much like apple pie except for the guilt!

IF you are interested in learning more recipes you can go to sghumanperformance.myvi.net and fill out a contact form.  Or just start the challenge and get started on your way to the new you.

If you are interested in receiving a free fitness consultation you can contact us by clicking on the link below.

Train hard and train smart,

Mark Snow

So you have passed the Level I Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification Workshop. You put in all the hard work to prepare for this moment with months of training under your belt. Then you get to the moment where you pass the snatch test, get your technique fine tuned by the numerous high level RKC’s there to help you, and finally finish by nailing the testing portion, teaching aspect and surviving the graduation workout.

Nikki and I with Pavel in 2009

First of all, Congratulations! I have seen it time and time again. The look on someone’s face after they have returned successfully from getting RKC certified is inspiring. I get goose bumps just thinking about everything that went into getting to that moment and the feeling I had after. You will never be the same again, and more important you are part of a COMMUNITY of high level fitness professionals that will be at your side at a drop of the hat.

The Iron Tamer Clan! Friends and Comrades for LIFE!

So what do you do now? I would like to offer some advice if I may on the training side of things as well as on the business side of things.

TRAINING

Continue to work yourself through some type of program. This will help to keep those skills that you just sharpened from getting dull. I suggest the following in my opinion.

  • Perform the ETK Rite Of Passage 1-2 times per year.
    • Again this keeps your skills sharp and will help you to maintain your level of strength as you progress through the RKC. Plus it will keep you sharp once you need to re-certify.
  • Perform a snatch test AT LEAST one time per month if not more
    • One of the biggest mistakes I made once I was certified is not paying attention to the snatch test. I took 2 months off and then when I decided to do it again I could only muster 74 reps in 5 minutes.
    • It is far better to maintain than to try and train it all back again in my opinion.
  • Be on a program
    • There is nothing wrong with just working through workouts and playing around now and then, but I believe NOW that you need to have a goal in mind to reach for and a program that will take you there.
    • If you are training for Level II. Then prepare for it but do not forget to reassess your Level I skills as well.
    • If you want to maintain your skills but want to get off of the program of ROP for a bit. I suggest Kettlebell Burn or Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Neupert. Great programs by the Master RKC himself of programming. Plus both carry over nicely to Level I and II training in my mind.
    • There are numerous programs out there for you to go by. It just depends on what you want your GOAL to be. (Return of the Kettlebell is Fantastic Material also).

BUSINESS

  • Become a Dragon Door AFFILIATE
    • For any of you who would like to make more supplemental income, we highly suggest you become a Dragon Door Affiliate. There is no cost to you and it can be a great way to make extra income on the side promoting the products and equipment that you already believe in, use and endorse.
  • Sign on with a business group
    • This really has paid off for us. IF you have a fitness business or are planning on opening up one in the future. It is CRUCIAL that you learn all aspects of your business including marketing, time management and selling. I had little to no experience in this and wish I would have done it sooner.
    • We use the Evolution Accelerator Program through Net Profit Explosion. They were referred to us directly from Dragon Door. We cannot say enough about them! They have taught us everything from proper marketing, to the sales process, to hiring employees, and time management!
    • Another great idea would be to attend Dragon Door’s Marketing Mastermind Intensive with John DuCane.

TRAINING AND BUSINESS

  • CONTINUE to LEARN
    • If the RKC is continually evolving to make itself better. Then so should you.
    • This is extremely important. I saw it in myself and in others when they came back for an RKC event and had a lot of work to do technique wise.
    • If you do not have a workout partner who is an RKC themselves then there is a good chance that your form may fade or dull slightly because there is no one present to give you feedback. I am very fortunate that I have my wife, Nikki, by my side the majority of the time to tell me if my technique can be improved on.
      • So I suggest that you either meet with another RKC every month or every other month for a workout and to check your technique.
      • You can video yourself from time to time and get feedback by watching it or by sending it to other RKC’s or posting it on the forum. I got some great feedback by other RKC’s this way on my kb snatch technique and swing which was highly valuable!
    • Attend more RKC events. I cannot stress enough the importance of attending MORE events. The RKC Level I is just the foundation to your physical and business success.

There you have it. Hopefully I have provided you with some good information for you to chew on when you are thinking of where the next step will be post RKC certification. I hope to see you at an upcoming RKC event very soon.