Posts Tagged ‘omaha kettlebell’

Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well and training smart (I know I always say that but I feel it is important to let all of you know that I care).

Today I wanted to present to you a CK-FMS Success Story that we achieved just recently.  This individual contacted me after meeting me at CK-FMS and asked if I would be interested in providing him coaching and programming to improve his FMS score, get him out of pain and help him achieve some of his goals.  The only problem was is he lives about 6 hours away and is unable to come at all for an FMS screen and visits to work on his programming.

At first I was going to turn him down and have him see someone locally, but since he is the only CK-FMS of his kind where he was there were no other options, plus I was assured by Master RKC, Brett Jones that this type of program can and will work if you use the Functional Movement Screen as your foundation for programming.  So I took on the task of improving this person’s FMS.

Let me provide you a little background information on Corey (in his own words).

“I met Mark Snow at the CK-FMS in May of 2011. At the time I has just pulled out of the RKC Level  II workshop and into the CK-FMS because I was experiencing pain from my workouts. I have a “nice healthy” case of scoliosis, and my overhead pressing was causing low back pain and numbness down my leg. After bombing my FMS (scoring an 11 at CK-FMS), and struggling with daily activities I decided only a fool trains himself.  I asked Mark for help with a goal of moving better, feeling better, living pain free and a completion of the USSS snatch test.”

So we have established some goals below (this is the destination in our journey).

Goals:
•    Pain Free
•    Achieve Secret Service Snatch Test of 200 snatches in 10 minutes
•    Become efficient in all Level 2 skills (pain free)
•    Improve and stay technically sound in Level 1 skills (pain free)

Next we needed to determine where we are currently at in our program (our starting point in our journey).

I had him video his FMS screen and send it to me to score.  Its not that I didn’t think he would score his FMS well but I have seen a tendancy for individuals to pad their score a little by accident.

Here was his FMS score Day 1:

The good news is that he has already improved 2 points since CK-FMS by working on his lowest score at that time (Active Straight Leg Raise) this also improved his Rotary Stability from 1/1 to 2/2.

First step in developing the program is to remove the negatives.  I asked Corey to provide me with a list of exercises/workouts that he is doing for 3 days and send it too me.  Basically, Corey was doing A LOT of loaded upper body pushing activities and not enough upper body pulling activities.  I wanted to take pressing, snatching and squatting off the table for a little while since they all were established at red lights in my mind.

So here was our first plan of action:

So with all of this knowledge in our corner I devised a workout plan (built the map).  Please remember that I instructed Corey to constantly follow up with me and let me know how the workouts are going and to keep checking the baseline to make sure we are staying on track.  Once the map has been built there doesn’t mean that we can’t take any detours and have to revise the map now and again.

We kept in contact and once Corey was able to complete the program (4 completed weeks of workouts) we rechecked vital FMS scores to make sure we were on track.  Then I would revise our plan of action and from there establish the program for the the next 4 weeks.

I am very pleased to state that, for 4 months of training, Corey stayed the course and trusted the program and did not try to add anything additional to the program.  He sent me every video that I asked for as I wanted to make sure the program was doing what it was designed to do.  Here are his words on what he has accomplished throughout this time.

“It’s important to me that I see tangible improvement on paper. Keeping that in mind, my FMS score has improved to a 17.  My get up has gone from a 32k max to an easy 40k max (I don’t have a heavier bell or I’d try it).  My bottoms up clean and press is now an easy 24k. Intrestingly enough, I’m up 3lbs but down 2% bodyfat.  And as far as nontangibles, I don’t hurt all the time now.   My low back pain has subsided.   The leg numbness is gone. And as a father… I can play with my 7 year old son pain free!

“I need to say that everyone needs a coach.   In my area I was the only RKC (pending Ck-FMS) and as a result I get a ton of questions about training programs.   Dan John says: “”only the fool trains himself””, and for me that was spot on accurate.   I need someone like Mark Snow to give me a path.   That way I don’t think for myself and screw up.   I needed an outside view and a professional application of the FMS to fix me and help me achieve the goals I have set for myself.   As an RKC… I expect and demand a lot from myself, but Coach Snow provides a brilliant map.  Without his Yoda-like skills, I’d still be hurting and nowhere near where I am.   Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the RKC community.   Thanks Coach!

So there you have it.  Determine you starting point, determine your destination, draw the map, and continue to re-evaluate the map and your baseline to see if you are going in the right direction.  Even long distance, a lot of fantastic things can happen if you use the FMS as your baseline and re-evaluation tool.

Hope all of you are doing well and training smart.  Nikki and I were progressing very well in our RKC Level II Training in the past few weeks.  We were feeling more grooved with the bent press, clean and jerk was coming along well with few problems and pull up and pistol training was really starting to take off thanks to the pistol progressions we were given by Senior RKC Franz Snideman (you can also youtube Doc Mark Cheng on his pistol progressions as well as they are both outstanding).

The very cool thing is that we really worked with a simplistic type of approach that you would see in Dan John’s 40 day workout program.  We spent 2 days per week doing Level II skills, 1 day per week doing Level I skills, and 2 more days just getting in some swings.

Then we kind of ran into a wall training wise.  We went off to CK-FMS for a wonderful weekend and the following week off to Net Profit Explosion’s Mega Training and Orlando HKC.  During this time my skills began to start lacking.  My tailbone would be sore from time to time as well.  We got back from Orlando and were thinking of getting hard and heavy into training when we did a very smart thing, we FMS screened each other.  The astonishing thing was is that we both scored a 12.  This was a very kind way that my body was telling me I had some things to work on and to back off before I get an injury in training.

I feel that this was a very important lesson for me and for everyone reaching for a big fitness goal.  There is a time to hit the pedal to the metal and a time to back off.  As Master RKC Mark Reifkind states “the next step off of a peak is always down” & “tough guy periodization- Heavy, heavier, even heavier, INJURY, light, light, heavy…..” you get the idea. I feel a lot of this occurs not only within the RKC community when training for the RKC Level I and II (example: 1/2 bodyweight press for level II) but also in the health and fitness community as a whole.  We never want to back off.  We have to remind ourselves and our clients that we need to take ourselves in for an inspection and  tune up every now and then and get back to basics.

So this past week I decided I would listen to my body and go back to some of the very basics:  pistol progression from the beginning, deadlifts, body weight pull ups, and FMS correctives (mine was rolling patterns, scored 1/1). By the end of this past week my FMS improved by 3-4 points and now I am ready to get back into the training program.  We were also fortunate enough that Master RKC Jeff O’Connor came in town to teach the Omaha HKC.  The following day we hosted a mobility and stability workshop taught by the Red Neck Ninja himself and man was it fantastic.  More information on how that went is upcoming.

Hello everyone.  I wish all of you well in your quest to become better individuals by healthy mind, body and soul.

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted.  You see, I don’t just blog all the time to be blogging.  I want my blog posts to have some meaning.  So when I am inspired to blog for any specific reason, then and only then do I get the word out to the masses.

Now to the good stuff.  So many of you out there feel that you HAVE to do cardio training to lose fat.  In all actuality this is not always necessarily true.  Many of you are missing out on the anaerobic and metabolic effects of resistance training and high intensity training.  I feel that part of this may be due to the fact that we (meaning Americans) LOVE to see the “calories burned” at the end of our workout.  Hence the love of getting on the treadmill or hooking ourselves up to a heart rate monitor.  BUT you are only taking in the “aerobic” measures towards caloric expenditure.  You are missing on a few other more important variables when determining what exercise means give you the most bang for your buck when working into a fat loss exercise program.

I want to thank Alwyn Cosgrove for bringing this study to my attention.  Alwyn is a fat loss EXPERT and has been doing it for quite some time now.  He has kept EVERY workout he has had his members perform and is up to date on ALL the research on fat loss.  So lets just say when Alwyn speaks, we (Nikki and I) listen.

A study in 2005 titled: “Misconceptions about aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure” by Scott, CB and was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.  Here they performed a study which compared 3.5 minutes of aerobic exercise versus 3 x 15 second wind sprints.

When you look at the first set of data which only recorded the calories burned using the aerobic measure they came out to:

Aerobic exercise = 36 calories burned

Sprints = 4 calories burned

This is where most people stop the argument.  “SEE!”  “Steady state aerobic is better than sprinting or high intensity cause it burns more calories!”  Just a second my friend.

The next measurement they took was EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumpton).  Wikipedia defines EPOC as:

(EPOC, informally called afterburn) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s “oxygen debt.” In historical context the term “oxygen debt” was popularized to explain or perhaps attempt to quantify anaerobic energy expenditure, particularly as regards lactic acid/lactate metabolism; in fact, the term “oxygen debt” is still widely used to this day. Direct and indirect calorimeter experiments have, however, definitively disproven any association of lactate metabolism as causal to an elevated oxygen uptake.[1]

In recovery, oxygen (EPOC) is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed. These include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation and anabolism.

EPOC is accompanied by an elevated consumption of fuel. In response to exercise, fat stores are broken down and free fatty acids (FFA) are released into the blood. In recovery, the direct oxidation of free fatty acids as fuel and the energy consuming re-conversion of FFA’s back into fat stores both take place.[2][3][4]
When they now measured the total calories burned including EPOC and Aerobic it came to the following total:

Steady State Aerobic exercise = 36 calories burned

Sprints (mostly anaerobic) = 39 calories burned

That is a pretty big jump by the 15 second sprints in just the EPOC alone and by checking out the above definition, its pretty nice to see that the fat stores are broken down during EPOC.

Lastly they decided to check calories burned using an Anaerobic Measure.  When all was said and done with aerobic, EPOC, and anaerobic measures were calculated.  Here is the final score:

Steady State Aerobic exercise = 39 calories burned

Sprints (mostly anaerobic) = 65 calories burned

Now do you see why we push so much for high intensity cardio and anaerobic works like kettlebell swings and strength training?  Its the WHOLE affect that creates the type of response that you want when trying to lose fat.

I would love to see a study that promotes strength training,  circuit training, kettlebell swings and other types of anaerobic exercise to put up against the treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical steady state exercise.

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.

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

Kettlebell Training for Athletes (Published in West Metro Sports Magazine, Feb 2011)

By Mark Snow, MA, RKC, ATC, CK-FMS

Soccer Athlete Danny Working Out at SGHP During the Off-Season

Many athletes and their parents alike would like to know the best way to train for their upcoming sports seasons.  Ideally the goals of off-season/pre-season training program SHOULD be to:

  • help prepare the athlete for the upcoming season
  • have the athlete be more resistant to injury from the stresses of that the particular sport

Everything beyond these two goals is a bonus in my mind.  Ideally athletes want to get stronger, faster, and improve in their sports skills to accomplish their goals.  To achieve the bonus you must first achieve the first two goals.  Because for one, you cannot achieve much without a solid foundation and two, you cannot do anything if you are hampered by an injury all season.

So what type of training is out there that addresses the following:

  • movement based
  • trains the body as a whole
  • provides balance, proprioception, strength, skill, and power (all which are ultimately required to be a good athlete)
  • helps to address and correct imbalances and asymmetries (these can lead to poor performance and ultimately an injury)
  • MOST IMPORTANT – the exercises, drills, and movements carry over into the playing field, court and etc.

One method that we prefer is kettlebell training.  Not only just kettlebell training but the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) method of kettlebell training.  You see, anyone can go to a local store and purchase a kettlebell and practice at home to a book or DVD with some positive carry over effects to their skill level.  But how did all you athletes learn your particular skills in sports?  More than likely you met with a coach at one time or another and practiced, drilled, and practiced (again) sports skills.  This is what allows you to thrive in your sport, you have a solid foundation of sports skill.  The same can be said of the RKC system and what we provide our clients.  The system provides a step by step process of developing your body as an athlete in the way that addresses all of the bullet points above as well as helping you achieve your goals of preparation for the upcoming season and preventing injury and all of those bonuses as well.  The RKC system uses the kettlebell as a tool to provide the following positive adaptations to the body:

  • Coordination
  • Dynamic Mobility & Stability
  • QUALITY of movement
  • Strength
  • and the ultimate goal POWER

Any athlete can work or be worked out until the point of exhaustion, but what was the carry over effect if any?

Two of the foundational kettlebell exercises of the RKC is the kettlebell swing (see above) and the turkish get up (see below).

These two lifts ALONE provide a huge carry over into the sports fields as they require:
proper movement (the same movements to properly perform your sports skills with efficiency)

  • demand coordination
  • work the body as a whole

Now do we use only kettlebells? Nope, but the majority of our training includes using kettlebells.  Anything else we use (bodyweight exercises, battling ropes, TRX suspension training) is still used under the RKC System of training.  Why you ask that we use kettlebells over other conventional methods?  Because I have worked with athletes from as young as 10 years of age up to professional athletes and I have NEVER seen the type of response and carry over effect of training into the athlete’s sport that the RKC system of kettlebell training provides.  The proof is in the pudding.  If you need proof just ask the Indianapolis Colts and the Vanderbilt University Football and Baseball teams (just two immediate examples, there are many more).

Ultimately if you want to prepare yourself for your upcoming season first take a look at your goals.  Next you need to find a way to train that will help prepare you to achieve those goals.  If what you are doing right now does not carry over into your sport nor towards you goals then you need to find another way to train in my mind.

Mark Snow is a Russian Kettlebell Certified Instructor, Functional Movement Specialist, and Athletic Trainer.  He and his wife, Nikki, own SG Human Performance.  For more information on kettlebell athletics classes, semi-private training, or adult classes.  Check out http://www.sghumanperformance.com or email Mark at sghumanperformance@gmail.com.

Hello everyone out there.  Hope you all are doing well and training smart.  Hope you are doing something to help exercise your mind, body and soul.  Just finished watching Tracy Reifkind’s Programming the Kettlebell Swing.

No one has done more with the kettlebell swing than Tracy Reifkind.  She is a visionary in the art of the kettlebell swing and the numerous ways you can perform swing variations and workouts.  Her DVD alone has provided me with some vital information about ways to change up things in our classes here at SG Human Performance.  From swing timing, on the minute swings, to the roundabout swing, Tracy provides many important drills and aspects to the swing that I would have never even thought of until I watched the DVD.  The roundabout swing idea alone is a solid drill for newcomers all the way to skilled RKC’s on perfecting their one arm swing.

IF you don’t want to take my word for it then I am sure you will listen to what Pavel has to say:

“If you searching a brutally effective fat loss and conditioning regimen, you have found it: Programming the Swing. I was so impressed with Tracy Reifkind’s innovations that I am incorporating some of them into the RKC curriculum.”


Anyone who is training clients and groups with kettlebell swings will greatly improve their programming by using her material.  I again think that this DVD along with Dave Whitley’s Deepening Your Get Up Skills and Mark Reifkind’s Lats the Super Muscles will provide you with vital information when training for your upcoming Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification and/or your Russian Kettlebell Certification.  I really would not see why you would not purchase the 4 disc set really.

Hello everyone!  Hope you are training smart.  Just wanted to let everyone know of our upcoming events coming here in the late winter/early spring.

Russian Kettlebell Challenge Workshop

Sunday, March 20th.  12pm-3pm

This is a 3 hour workshop designed to introduce or sharpen your kettlebell skills.  We will be teaching and practicing the 6 foundational kettlebell exercises.  Here are the foundational exercises:

  • Kettlebell Swing (and variations)
  • Kettlebell Clean
  • Squat variations
  • Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Snatch
  • Turkish Get Up

Cost is only $89 and you can sign up by CLICKING HERE.  Again this workshop is ideal for those individuals who want to learn how to PROPERLY perform the kettlebell exercises/workouts in the RKC/Dragon Door community.  It is also a fantastic prep workshop for the Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification and the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

Hardstyle Kettlebell Instructor Certification Workshop

Omaha, NE

Saturday, April 30th: 8am-5pm

For more information and to sign up CLICK HERE

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

Russian Kettlebell Challenge Re-Certification Workshop

Omaha, NE

Sunday, May 1st: 8am-5pm

For more information and to sign up CLICK HERE.

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

This is the time of year when everyone should make some type of New Years Resolution.  It is good to see that people want to make a change in their lives one way or another. 

Nikki and I took that same commitment almost a year ago in 2009.  We made the promise to workout on a regular basis and improve our diets.  We got our support system in place to keep each other accountable for our fitness and diet regimen. 

12 weeks later I went from 205 lbs to 186.  My health improved as well as my energy and confidence.  Compliments on our figure came from friends and family.  My staff photo at work looked nothing like me.  So how were we able to be so successful?  I will show you what worked for us. 

  1. We made the commitment where we had no choice but to succeed.
    • We made a financial commitment towards our bootcamp.  We signed up for 4 months.  Many think that you probably don’t have the money for it, but more than likely you do.  We had to make some changes here and there, but with the money paid out we had no choice but to show up to workout since we had already paid the money
      • come to think of it, if you don’t want to make a financial commitment, then how much worth is it to you in the first place?
      • We were so happy with the results we received, we kept paying to attend bootcamp to maintain the shape we were in
  2. We benefited by working within a system
    • First of all, we joined a bootcamp.  This allowed us to get a workout in but not have to pay for personal training.  Yes it was more than just a regular gym membership, but it was less than hiring a personal trainer. 
      • Not only did we join a bootcamp, but we were fortunate enough to be worked out by a Russian Kettlebell Certified Instructor.  What is the difference between an RKC and other personal trainers and bootcamp coaches?  The RKC understands movement.  Technique is a must in the RKC.  What does this mean?  Better results, less chance for injury.   In the RKC, the kettlebell is only a tool they use for facilitating proper movement during the workout
    • Second of all, we got on a proven diet plan.  We chose the Precision Nutrition system by Dr. John Berardi.  Basically his plan was easy to follow and we kept each other accountable to making sure we kept track of our calories on a daily food planner.  (I suggest www.dailyplate.com or www.livestrong.com)  The planner can be a pain at first but if you take 5 minutes per day to put the food in it really helps you to figure out what works best for you.
  3. We put a support system in place
    • We were fortunate enough to have each other to keep us accountable to our resolution.  There were times where one of us wanted to go get a pizza or sleep in instead of working out, but the great news is that the other person usually did not feel that way.  That was a great way to keep both of us committed.
    • Also, another bonus of being in a bootcamp is you have a group of people after the same goals as you.  The support system is there and in place.  We got to the point that we looked forward to seeing everyone in class (kind of a fitness happy hour sort of speaking) and we got grilled by people on facebook if we missed a class.

There you have it.  Make a commitment, get a system in place, and have a support staff.  If you get all three of these things in place you have improved your chances to be successful. 

Here at Nebraska Kettlebell you can try out our bootcamp for a low cost of $25 dollars.  This cost includes a kettlebell orientation, a functional movement screen, and 2 weeks of bootcamp.

Also Nikki and I have decided to jump start people’s New Years Resolutions by having our NEW YEARS SPECIAL.  If you sign up and make the commitment you will get the month of January for FREE, and the next three months for only $99.  Sign up for an orientation at our sign up page.   This special not only includes a functional movement screen and 3 workouts per week, but it includes a workbook to help get your nutrition on track and workouts and exercises you can perform at home to help keep you in balance and succeed. 

Here is to a wonderful 2010!