30-Min Kettlebell Workout

Short on time? Here is a quick (30-min) kettlebell workout that can be done anywhere (home or gym)…

Here are the details of the workout:

Kettlebell Workout 1

 

7-min AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) – 2, 3, 5 Press (each side) + 10 Goblet Squats

  • More detail – 2 press with the right arm, then 2 press with the left arm, then 10 Goblet squats. Then 3 press with right arm, 3 press with left arm, 10 goblet squats. Then 5 press with right arm, 5 press with left arm, 10 goblet squats. Then start over again (2, 3, 5) continue non-stop for 7-mins. Count and record how many rounds you complete.

Rest 1:30

7-min AMRAP – 5 Windmill (each side) + 12 Swings (Hardstyle)

  • More detail – 5 windmills with right, 5 windmills with left, then 12 hardstyle swings for as many rounds as possible in 7-mins. Count and record how many rounds you complete.

Rest 1:30

7-min AMRAP – 5 clean and squat (each side) + 5 explosive pushups (2 sec hold at bottom)

  • More detail – 5 clean and squat (swing clean preferred but floor clean is OK) with right, 5 clean and squat with left, then 5 explosive push-ups with 2-sec hold at bottom. Count and record how many rounds you complete.

 Rest 1:30

5-min (Finisher) – 5 snatches (each side)

  • As many (snatch) reps as possible for 5-mins. Do 5 snatched on the right, then 5 snatches on the left. The goal is to go for the entire 5-mins without putting the kettlebell down. Your forearms will be ON FIRE!!! Count and record how many snatch reps you complete.

Goals of workout:

  • Maintain good form through out workout
  • Count and record reps or rounds and each time you do the workout try to improve your “score”.
  • Once the workout seems relativity “easy” select the next size Kettlebell (“bell-up”)
  • Have fun and push yourself

ENJOY!!!

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Could Exercise Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss? (Survive or Thrive) Part 1

Would you believe me if I told you that exercise could prevent you from losing weight? Wait, what? Well be ready for your mind to be blown because this statement is 100% true! Now before you run out and cancel your gym membership (as if you needed another excuse) I encourage you to read on, then once you have all the “facts” you can then make an informed decision about your own goals and aspirations.

food

Let’s first start with why exercise can either hurt or stall your weight loss progress.

  1. Exercise makes you hungry – Remember back when you were a kid, remember how hungry you were after you spent all day swimming with your friends? Do you remember how much you would eat once you finally sat down to the dinner table after a day of constant activity?  Well them same is true for working out. Exercise burns energy and the more energy you burn the more you need to replace. Let’s compare our body too a car. If you drive just 15-20 miles a day, you maybe able to go weeks before needing to refill the tank, however, if you are driving across the country, you may need to fill up your tank every 4-6 hours. It is simple, the more energy you use, the more energy you will need, and food in its most simplest form, is just “fuel”. So burning fuel and replacing fuel can very quickly turn into a slippery slope, especially if you are eating the wrong foods…
  2. You are eating the wrong foods – Despite what you may have heard while watching the Biggest Loser, calories don’t matter. Trust me, it is way more complicated than “calories in – calories out”, because all calories are not created equal. So if you are eating foods that are high in sugar, high in carbs, hyperpalatable or contain very little nutrients, the likely hood of you stalling or even gaining weight is significantly increased no matter how hard you are working out! Always remember calories don’t matter but what does matter is the quality of the food you eat!!!
What you eat in private, you "wear" in public.

What you eat in private, you “wear” in public.

Second let’s talk about what it means to “lose weight”. To get a better understating about losing weight I suggest you read, “Get off the scale now” before proceeding. Despite the fact that many gyms claim to specialize in “weight loss” you maybe surprised to learn that your weight is not an indicator of your overall health. It gets worse, even being “thin” does not necessarily mean you are healthy, check out this article from Time Magazine from 2011. Hopefully you are not surprised by this…I have said it once and I will say it again, having a fitness or health goal of “losing weight” is the worst goal ever!!! You don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose excess body fat, you don’t want to lose weight, you want to be strong and healthy. So if you are going to a gym that is only concerned with the number on the scale you are selling your health, and even your potential as a human short. There are many reasons why weight alone can’t determine overall health, and one of those reasons is your body type (your genetics).

Oh man, discussing genetics is like discussing religion or politics, you probably shouldn’t do it, because it can become very emotional, very quickly. But here is the truth, genetics can and do play a role not only in your overall health, they also play a role in determining your weight. The best way to think about it is too compare your genetics to a poker game. Your genetics are like the cards that were dealt to you in a poker game. So if you have ever played poker you know that you have very little control over the cards given to you, but if you know how to play the game, you can find ways to maximize the hand that was dealt. Hell if you are good, you can take a sub-par hand and still win the game, it is all about using what you got and knowing how to play the game. I am not going to go into too much more detail about genetics other than discussing the 3 body types.

Consistent self-improvement is the only way you can maximize your potential!!!

Consistent self-improvement is the only way you can maximize your potential! Make this your mantra!

There are 3 distinct body types and for the most part, you have no control over which type you were “dealt”.. The 3 distinct body types are: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.

  • Ectomorphs – Are typically skinny and lean, usually taller with long limbs and thin muscles. Ectomorphs find it hard to gain weight with their generally fast metabolism burning up calories.
  • Mesomorph – Are naturally athletic in build with larger muscles. Mesomorphs find it relatively easy to gain and lose weight. Although they gain body fat more easily than ectomorphs, they are genetically strong and inherently build muscle quicker than any other body type.
  • Endomorphs – Are usually solid and generally bigger but is sometimes labeled “soft.” Endomorphs gain fat very easily but do carry some inherent strength. Endomorphs are often shorter in stature but can have strong and muscular limbs, legs in particular.
Which one are you?

Which one are you?

I mention these body types not as an “excuse” but to show you that your body weight and even your body size (how big or how small you are) is somewhat limited by your genetics. This means it is 100% possible to be healthy and strong, despite being “big boned”. The opposite is true also, you may be an Ectomorph, which means you are really lean, but internally you could be just as “sick” as an obese person. When it comes to genetics, I encourage you not to use it as an excuse but instead take it upon yourself to learn, this way you are better prepared to play the cards you were dealt.

OK so lets go back to addressing the title of this blog. There are 3-main factors in determining your overall health, they are:

  1. Diet – This plays the biggest role in determining your overall health (and even weight). You are want you eat, and it is impossible to “out work” a bad diet. Food is literally nature’s medicine, it can cure diseases, it can give you amazing amounts of energy, it can improve your hormone function, and improve your brain power.  So when looking to make positive changes in your life you should always first start in the kitchen. But diet alone will only take you so far…
  2. Exercise – You should never exercise to “lose weight” you should exercise to improve your overall quality of life. You should exercise to improve your strength, to improve your cardiovascular system, to reduce injuries, to look good naked, to reduce stress, and to improve your movement patterns. See diet will make you healthy, exercising will make you strong (both mentally and physically), but when combined together, diet and exercise will turn you into a certified bad-ass.
  3. Mindset – Attitude is everything, like Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right”. You must get your mind right! You will only achieve what your mind believes, so if you believe you are a loser, guess what? You are! If you believe you are not good enough, guess what? You aren’t good enough. The power of the mind is simply amazing and no matter the cards you were dealt, in is in your best interest to learn about the power of positive thinking! So diet and exercise will turn you into a certified bad-ass, but diet, exercise, and a positive mindset will turn you into a real life Superhero! Once you reach this level you will stop surviving and you will start thriving.

beat her

And that’s what this life journey is all about, it is about thriving. To survive means you are making “it” but you are making “it” by the skin of your teeth. Surviving at best, means you are average, surviving is getting the minimum score needed to pass the test. But to thrive means you have surpassed average and have moved on to achieving greatness. Thriving is passing the test with flying colors, thriving is exceeding expectations! So always remember that your fitness journey is not about looking like that anorexic model on the cover of People Magazine or looking like that shredded male model on the cover of Men’s Health, it is about being the best version of yourself. It is about being strong and capable for your family, it’s about having self confidence, its about being able to participate in life rather than sit on the sidelines. You are a human, and in case you forgot, it is your right to be strong, to be healthy and to have an abundance of energy. Life is short, and you can either spend time surviving or you can thrive, the choice is yours!

Stay tuned for part 2. I will discuss the best way to eat for performance. The focus will be on carb timing and carb reloading!

 

 

 

 

Self Sabatoge – “I play a sport”

Do you play sports for fun or do you play because you think it is a great way to get in shape? Well hopefully you play out of shear enjoyment, because if you think playing a sport will get you into great shape, be prepared to be mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and I would encourage anybody and everybody to take up a sport, but a sport is a game, and playing a game will not get you into shape. Why not?…

Well, believe it or not, there is a huge difference between exercise and a sport. Exercise is not a sport and sports are not necessarily exercise. Of course there are some similarities between the two, if however, you are serious about either; getting in really great shape, or, becoming amazing at your sport of choice, you need to understand the differences between the two.

Here is a very simplistic definition of both exercise and sport

Exercise –  Non-skill based. In its simplest form, it is: moving your body and picking up “heavy stuff” (and putting it down), in a systematic way, with the goal of increasing your heart rate, building muscle, and improving your movement patterns.

Sport –  Skill based. In its simplest form, it is: moving your body with the goal of winning the “game”.

quote-Vince-Lombardi-winning-is-not-a-sometime-thing-its-41798

There are two major differences differences between the two:

  1. The amount of skill needed
  2. The overall objective

When it comes to skill, sports are much more involved compared to exercise. To be good at a sport you do not necessary have to be in great physical shape. Notice I said good, not great, if you want to be GREAT than you need to combine both worlds. But to be a decent “weekend warrior” at your sport all you need to have is a good skill base and knowledge of the “game” (experience). I have witness this over the last 12-years playing in a fairly competitive men’s soccer league. Over those years I saw every type of player you could imagine:

  • The total package player – Great skill, tons of experience, and in great physical shape. When it comes to weekend warriors, these guys are complete game changers.
  • The physical specimen – Great physical shape but brand new to the game, this person has little to zero knowledge of the game and despite being in great shape, struggles to make much an impact in the game.

But the most interesting player…

  • The Lazy Gamer – This player has great knowledge, great skill and horrible physical conditioning, but here is where it gets interesting, these players make huge impacts on the game, not as much as the total package players but darn close.

Sadly, when it comes to sports, the Lazy Gamers are usually much more valuable than the inexperienced physical specimen who despite being able to “run for days”, can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t control the ball and/or doesn’t understand how to play defense. Depending on the sport, knowledge and skill could determine as much as 80% of a players overall performance. Because of this lopsidedness of skill versus strength and endurance, if a player wants to get better, they are better off working on improving their skills instead of improving their strength and conditioning.

But when it comes to exercise, skill plays a very small almost non-essential, role. Think about it, it doesn’t take much skill to pick up heavy things, or run up a flight of stairs, or do a bunch of burpees, but that is the point of exercise, keep the skill needed to a minimum so you can focus most of your energy doing work!

planet-fitness-guy

While these differences between exercise and sport may not be Earth shattering news, there are still a ton of people, mostly Lazy Gamers, who still believe that because they are the star of their Wednesday night softball league, they are in great physical shape. These lazy gamers hide behind their skill and game experience, refusing to exercise because they are “good at their sport”, clueless that this is a form of self-sabatoge. They are sabotaging their overall health and fitness because they choose to remain in their comfort zone instead of challenging themselves (with exercise).  What these Lazy Gamers don’t realize is that once you become good at something, it does not take much effort to stay at that current level.

You best be workin out!

Are you a lazy gamer? You best be working out!

Remember learning to ride a bike? When you first started to learn it seemed impossible to balance, you crashed numerous times, you needed training wheels, but once you learned, the skill of riding a bike is never lost. This is what happens to Lazy Gamers, they become comfortable being “good enough”, not realizing that it takes very little effort to maintain their current skill level.

Now that we understand the differences in skill, what about those objectives? Well, the objective of exercise is to make you stronger, improve your cardio vascular system, help you reduce injuries, and improve your overall quality of life. However, the objective of sports is to win the game (let’s be honest, losing is never fun). Sports are not designed to get you in shape, they are designed to see who the best “player” is, whose skills are the best, and/or who has greater game knowledge, especially at the recreational level, being fit does little for you if you don’t know how to play the game. Also, if your skill level is “good enough” to win some games, you have very little incentive to work harder.

However just because the objectives are very different does not mean exercise and sports are enemies, they are far from it, in fact they are more like allies, each playing a specific role and when used together they can create an unstoppable force. Because sports give you what most people have a hard time finding, a reason to exercise! Not having a “good” reason to exercise (you would think wanting to be healthy is a good reason…) is usually why most most people quit, because exercising can be BORING, and it can be MONOTONOUS and because of this, if you don’t have a good reason WHY you will fail!

Strive to be the best version of yourself!

Strive to be the best version of yourself!

Never forget, exercise is a necessary part of the equation for helping you reach your full potential. In fact, what took me to my current fitness level was my love of Triathlon. I wanted to beat my previous times, I wanted to beat other people, and I wanted to beat Jessica 😉 , and this competitiveness pushed me to train harder, make better life choices, and improve my nutrition, all in an effort to get better at a sport! So my personal drive to become better at a sport, made me a better person!

So if you are having a hard time feeling motivated, I recommend finding a sport, a race, or some sort of physical hobby that will push you to become better. But please watch out for the “I am good enough trap”, remember no sport or hobby is a replacement for basic physical conditioning…basically what I am saying is;

Don’t be a Lazy Gamer!