7 Reasons you should be training with Kettlebells

The Kettlebell is an Ancient Russian Weapon Against Weakness” – Pavel Tsatsouline

If you are looking for one of the best ways to develop power, strength, coordination, endurance, and even thick wrists 😉 look no further than the kettlebell. In fact, since I added kettlebells to my personal training plan I have noticed an increase in my ability to produce power, my muscle endurance is the best it has even been, and my movement patterns are improving at an almost unbelievable rate! To say the least, I am a big fan!

So why should you be using kettlebells? Wow, where do I start? Well let me first say that Kettlebells just might be the best piece of physical fitness equipment that I have ever used. If that is not a good enough reason let me give you 7 more:

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  1. Kettlebells are small, portable and indestructible -Which means they don’t take up a lot of room in your house, your car, your hotel room, and/or at the park. They are the perfect “anywhere” fitness device that builds strength and improves your cardio vascular system. Not to mention they will last forever, that’s right, your kettlebell will become a family heirloom because it will be around longer than you!
  2. Kettlebells produce real world strength – I have been in the fitness game for a long time and nothing fixes your muscle imbalances/weakness like kettlebells. This is because by design, the (kettlebell’s) center of gravity is “off”; in other words, the center of gravity is about 6 to 8 – inches away from your grip. Unlike barbells that put the center of gravity in line with your “grip” and joints. The off-centered weight of a kettlebell will force you to use more stabilizer muscles, and work the targeted muscles through a longer range of motion. This mimics the real world as we rarely find objects with perfect centers of gravity like dumbbells and barbells.11072650_900389066670368_6193007967563830849_o
  3. Fixes movement patterns – One of the biggest advantages of using kettlebells is that they allow for nearly perfect movement. Because they are small and compact they allow one to perform total body movements such as the Turkish getup fairly easy* (*easy is definitely a relative term here). Also when it comes to more traditional movements such as the squat, deadlift, and press kettlebells have this amazing way of forcing perfect form!
  4. Teaches you a skill – Kettlebells resemble a sport, in the sense that they are technique intensive and just like a boxer is always working on that perfect jab or perfect footwork, a kettlebell athlete is always working on that perfect swing, perfect snatch, or perfect Turkish Get-up! Not to mention the coordination and concentration required improves your mind-muscle connection making you a better functioning human.11124166_900388910003717_2679379399271451927_o
  5. Kettlebells bridge the gap between strength and cardio – Kettlebells are small and relativity easy to handle (again easy is a relative term) which allows for many explosive movement possibilities. Explosive movements such as the swing, clean, and snatch not only build muscle but also will leave you dripping in sweat and gasping for air!!!11050641_923316321020761_6738095632755867194_n
  6. Kettlebells reduce overall training time – All you need is one kettlebell to get an amazing total body workout. This need for only one piece of equipment has 2 distinct advantages, 1) You can quickly move from one exercise to the next with no set-up and 2) Once you become advanced you can enter kettlebell flow which is moving from one exercise to the next in one fluid motion.
  7. It is an art – The fluid movement possibilities of kettlebells allow you to create your own “dance” and just like any dance there is an almost indescribable beauty to the dance between a human and a kettlebell.

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There you have it, kettlebells are the definitely the real deal but beware, mastering the kettlebell takes time and concentration. So while kettlebells can take your fitness to the next level, they are by no means a short cut to success. The kettlebell requires an commitment and an open mind, so impatient, shallow minded people looking for quick results need not apply.

 

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Resting bitch face makes you a bitch (Episode 14)

 

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Yes, we just made that statement! But it is true, and in this episode we (Garett and Jessica) discuss how your posture can affect your entire life. Also Garett makes a couple of “failed” attempts to bring Jessica into a philosophical debate about gym distraction and another debate about being popular or the best. This is a great episode and the information about changing your posture is mind-blowing!

Check out this episode!

The Grass is Greener (Self-Sabotage Series)

If you have ever been to a yoga studio, hung out with a hipster, or been around anyone who has ever used the word “ZEN” in a sentence, then I can almost guarantee you have heard the word “mindfulness” a time or two. But what exactly is mindfulness? Well, mindfulness in its most basic definition means, being 100% in the moment. This means, giving all your attention to the task at hand, not getting distracted by outside thoughts. A way to relate this into the fitness world would be to think of it like this; the opposite of mindfulness is, working out while simultaneously thinking about what you are going to make for dinner and how you only have 2-more days until that major work project is due and that you also forgot to pay the electric bill. In other words, you are completely distracted during your workout thus resulting is a sub-par performance.

Focus on the NOW

Focus on the NOW

But mindfulness is more than just focusing on the current task, it is an actual way of life. It (mindfulness) is about embracing the NOW, it is about living in the moment. Trust me, living in the moment can be harder than you think! How many people do you know that are still living in the past, (remember Al Bundy and the 4 touchdown game)? Or what about the person so concerned about the future that they forget to enjoy (or at least experience) the present moment? They focus so much on the end-result that they forget to enjoy the journey. In the fitness world I call them the “grass is always greener” people, and these people suffer from a major form of self-sabotage because they spend more time waiting, wanting and/or reminiscing about the “good ole days” then they do, “doing”.

You should have seen me, I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!!!

You should have seen me, I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!!!

A grass is greener person is living the exact opposite of a mindful life. Instead of focusing on their current exercise program, they are waiting and hoping for a new gym, a new trainer, a new supplement, a new diet, and/or a new exercise program to come along and be the solution to all their fitness related problems. Why? Because it is easier to wish and hope for results then it is to earn them! It’s true, success is hard and despite everything we know, many people still believe that short cuts exist. So instead of buckling down and putting in work, they spend most of their time looking for unicorns and leprechauns!

So how do you know if you are a grass is greener person? Well let’s look at some of the signs/symptoms:

  • You are once again excited about another “new gym” opening up – The world of fitness is definitely growing and it seems that new fitness centers are opening up all the time especially if you live in a major city. Now if you love fitness it is definitely natural to be a little curious about the new gym (their trainers and methodologies) but your curiosity boarders on obsession. Ironically your obsession with this new gym makes little since as you have never been there or know nothing about the place other than what you read on their Facebook page. However, this doesn’t stop you from sharing all their posts and voicing your excitement on all forms of social media. Sadly just like the guy/girl that can never find true love, your relationship with this exciting new gym last no more than a few months.
  • You constantly want to “mix-up” your workout – It has only been 3-months but somehow you think you have once again hit a plateau in your current workout. This lack of progress (remember it has only been 3-months) has you convinced that your muscles have adapted to your current workout rendering this particular workout useless. The solution?  CrossFit, or yoga, or maybe hot yoga, or hot yoga crossfit (don’t steal my idea 😉 ) or maybe even pilates, spin, and/or Kettlebells, in fact you want to do anything as long as it is not your current workout plan.
  • You have every gadget or gimmicky machine you can get your hands on – Whether it is the Shake Weight, the Thigh Master, the Ab Lounger, Fitbits, Heart Rate Monitors, Step Counters, or Bar Method you have spent more money and more time looking for the easy path instead of doing what actually works, being CONSISTENT!!!
  • You still believe in fad diets – You have finally found the solution to your fitness problems, it is the cotton ball diet, or raw food diet, or the master cleanse diet, or the latest MLM diet, in fact any “diet” sounds like the solution to your problems except eating REAL WHOLE FOODS!

Now I am not saying that you should never change things up, in fact change can be a good thing but it needs to be a conscience decision. Because there is no perfect workout plan or perfect diet (except eating real whole food). Always remember that there are many ways to the top of the fitness mountain but no matter which route you take you must find some consistency. Consistency is and will always be the key to success and instead of looking for the next best thing sometimes you just need to “dance with the girl you brought”.

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While I would never encourage anyone to settle, I definitely don’t want you to fall into the trap of thinking the grass is always greener, because if you know anything about fitness it is impossible to master. You can always run faster, lift more weight, improve your form, and/or increase the intensity. The journey of fitness is not about finding the next best thing it is about finding yourself, and it is impossible to find yourself if you do not push thorough adversity. While there are multiple paths to the top of the fitness mountain no one path is any easier than the other, they are all hard, so instead of worrying about the future, focus on what you are doing today to become the best version of yourself. Life is too short and if you spend all your time waiting for something better to come along you will look back over your life and see all your wasted potential! Every day you wake-up you have the opportunity to become a better person, you have the opportunity to take an active part in designing your own future instead of waiting around hoping that someone or something will come along and design your future for you. So I urge to to start living in the moment, I urge you to stop waiting and instead take an active part in your life.

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Easy Workouts? (Podcast episode 13)

Check out our latest Episode!

It will never be easy!

It will never be easy!

Is there such a thing as an easy workout? If you do experience an “easy” workout whose fault is it, the trainer’s or your own? In this episode Garett and Jessica discuss this topic as well as laying out the characteristics of what makes a good/bad trainer and also what makes a good/bad class participant. Also Garett and Jessica discuss their opinions about a North Korean documentary and apply their lessons learn to the health and fitness world. Lastly, Garett rants about old blenders having too many buttons!

Check out this episode!