Archive for the ‘farmer’s walks’ Category

It is the holiday season and a few days away from Christmas and I am very excited to be able to share the season with my awesome little dude as well as my siblings and friends.  I also am very excited about this week’s workout that involves a functional movement, loaded carries. 

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Think about it we have to carry all kinds of stuff around. We carry groceries, bags of gifts, (for this time of year) kids if you have them and so on. So, it makes perfect sense to strengthen and build work capacity with this movement pattern.

Weekly Workout: Cardio Christmas Carry

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This workout is so simple that it will make you question whether there is more  to it or not! But it will leave your heart and waistline happy as well as give you the option of one more cookie, if you so wish. 

Pick a distance to carry half or your body weight in dumbbells or kettlebells (I prefer kettlebells for this one, due to the ability to do more rounds with them.) Set a stop watch for 10 to 30 minutes and carry away, after each round check your heart rate and go again if low enough to do so, if not recover enough to midway or all the way for your aerobic training zone and then go and go and go again until your chosen time is up.

Enjoy the happy heart, fat-loss training friends!

 

 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Perfection is an interesting concept, we all realize that we are not it if you are in touch with yourself and if you do think that you are you are deceived and possibly very insecure. Now the realization that you are imperfect should not leave you feeling powerless and hopeless, in fact it should make you excited for the endless possibilities to learn, grow and improve in all areas of your life from: relationships, career and so-on. I will be the first to acknowledge that learning new stuff isn’t difficult and often painful, but avoiding this truth will lead to you getting nowhere fast and becoming ineffective before you know it. So just to end this rant, seek and pursue perfection. But realize it is out of grasp and even if we did somehow manage to achieve it, how can we really know if it truly is perfection?!

Another idea where people feel that there is a perfect standard is in movement. A lot of times exercise and rehabilitation professional foolishly assume that there is no such thing as perfect movement and try to cram people into their box of ideological fallacy.

This group of people believes that their standard will somehow stop the injuries that happen in people due to poor exercise form and overuse. Yet, their clients are often the most “banged up” and it could be different if they did not assume that everyone should look the same, as well as respecting the law of individual differences.

Now this post is not saying that there are no rules for safety and performance when it comes to training and exercises. It is simply saying that there is safe form not perfect form. The goal of this post is to give you a standard for that form, which is simply, competency as well as some of the consequences of forcing our movement ideals on all. What should be corrected and finally to tie it all together with a bow and send you home being better for it!

As I stated earlier, there is no such thing as perfect movement; however, there is competent and safe movement. Safety comes as a result of not overtaxing a joint in the movement pattern and doing that overtime which could lead to injury in the exerciser. This means that you should have proper mobility and stability in the movement to keep you safe as you do it. The joint by joint concept shown below can help you visualize this as you look at it.


Also here is an example of this concept at work in squatting, the low back should be stable or long, the t-spine needs extension, the hips mobile to get in the best squat for you. You need ankle dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion to do it well and of course your head shouldn’t bob around like Quagmire!

So in light of the last paragraph, you see the need for things to be move adequately in order to perform this task of loaded or unloaded squatting. If one aspect has an issue, it can lead to overuse in another and an overuse injury somewhere along the chain. If that is the case, our cues are not enough to fix the problem and the problem at hand should be corrected in a way that results in better movement by the individual. E.g. a restricted ankle needs to be mobilized in order to squat better.

In light of those issues that can put the exerciser into a bad position as they train there needs to be allowance for the individuality of the person and their anthropometry as they do any exercise. In fact, there may be things present in the person’s movement patterns that you feel are ugly. But that is how the person is built and just the way it goes and maybe there is a need to switch to different variation of the same move. E.G. dumbbell bench press over barbell.

Now also be aware that there is the possibility that a person may stand a tiny bit uneven in a lower body exercise and also be ok. I would in this case try to correct it, if their movement profile says that they are ok and then be open for feedback from the person as to how they feel while doing the move. If they feel weird or if they have pain there may be a chance that they have two different hip joints (the ball and socket and need to be allowed to be a bit uneven in their stance.

Depth in a move also may vary from person to person and trying to force a person deeper in a move such as a squat may lead to a whole lot of health problems down the road. So have your ideas just recognize that everyone is different and should be treated as such.

In conclusion, I hope that you realize that better is better and not to aim for some false ideal of perfection as you train others if you are a trainer and if you are a fellow no trainer fitness buff, don’t let anyone force you into an uncomfortable or painful position in the name of some outdated philosophy. Be free to do you even if it bothers the anal exercise form person. Take the time to get assessed to see if you have any issues that need correction and practice safe form as you train. Most of all keep on rocking and get fitter as you train to be the very best that you can be!

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I have to say that I am constantly inspired by my clients, athletes and followers. I love your feedback, work ethic and determination to do what is needed to get to your goals. You come to each session ready to train and give it your best, you listen when I tell you to make a change and the very best you can to implement it and let me regress your exercise without complaint when I see something that isn’t up to your potential. This week’s workout is dedicated to all of you and was inspired by one of my clients earlier this week.

Weekly Workout: The B Fat Blaster

This workout adds a tiny bit of complexity in, but is more than scalable to all levels of experience and fitness levels. It is done by doing: a rotational dead cleans for 30 seconds, followed by 8 step back lunges and then ending in 5 Viking push-presses. Do both sides rest as little or as much as needed and get back to work.

Guys use a 16 to 24 kg
Ladies use a 10 to 16 kg


Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

I can’t believe that I have been writing these workout posts for two years now. It seems as if it were yesterday that I began this new endeavor and thanks to all of you, it has been successful as well as  a heck of a lot of fun to do! As a result of this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to put a few workouts together in this week’s post, so that we can reminisce together and maybe for some of you, they will be new to workouts to use. So let’s get to it and Happy Birthday Weekly Kettlebell Workout!

The workout that started it all: The Squat Scorcher
This workout is a reflection of my love for squats. I hope that you enjoy it!

The Dreaded Undertaker:

Are you familiar with dead-swings? If not this workout will cause you to both love and hate them!

The Back yard complex:
A challenging workout created while on vacation.

The Pasco Punisher:
This was created for one of my online students who will be a RKC candidate next month! (You are ready my friend!)

The uneven man maker:
This is one of my most popular workouts and you will see why if you try it, enjoy!

Pressing in the new year:
A celebration if strength for 2015!

What is/was your favorite workout? Write it in the comments below and keep on swinging!

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

One day at 3 A.M. my dog began to freak out and wouldn’t be calmed down no matter how much we reassured her. So as a result, I got up out of bed and laid down with her on the coach. (My presence can usually calm her down.) Then we finally fell back to sleep and sometime later I heard my wife yell, MOSES! I think that my water broke, of course I being the intelligent man who I am said, really! Isn’t it a bit early for that. You see our child wasn’t supposed to be born until a month from that day. But thankfully my wife being very intelligent decided to call the hospital , talked to a nurse and told all that happened as a result, the nurse told us to come in. We then packed a bag (remember a month.) and began the drive to the hospital to meet our little one.

 

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After many hours and a bit of sleep my wife gave birth to a baby boy, his name was Josh and I began the journey into fatherhood. I didn’t realize how much it would affect my fitness though and I have learned a few valuable lessons as a parent and of course want to share them with you!

Mobility:
I have spent years investing time into moving well and a big part of the focus is having good joint mobility. It is funny how fast all of that work can begin to disappear when you are carrying a baby around often. I can recall when my guy was very little working with one of my clients on the barbell clean and for a brief second my wrists would not extend and get into a good rack position. I was extremely perplexed, but then realized that I had been carrying a baby in wrist flexion and made my muscles tight as a result.

I also began to feel something that I had not felt for a few years and that was tight shoulder area muscles. My t-spine, pecs and other back muscles ended up getting tight from once again being in slight flexion while carrying around my little guy; then came the elbow pain factor from over use. So I began to apply my knowledge to my situation and came up with some solutions to these problems that wouldn’t be going away any time soon

First of all and the most uncomfortable feeling was what was going on in mid-back, so I began to work even diligently on my mobility, stability and breathing in this area. You will want to do the same, maintain your posture and keep your shoulders healthy with: T-spine mobility drillskettlebell halosArm bars, Turkish get ups and breathing drills. Also of course don’t forget to foam roll as much as you can!

You will also want to spend time on wrist mobility and making sure that your movement is as balanced as possible.

Working out:
You will find this part very challenging to do as a new dad; if you are like me then you feel obligated to help your partner with the little one. But you need to recognize that you need to stay fit for your baby and significant other’s benefit. Now you will not however be able to dedicate a lot of time to it. So you will want to train complex moves with a good amount of intensity in order to either maintain or get results from your training. Just don’t kill yourself; you may not sleep from one night to the other.

Some moves that you will want to incorporate in your training are:

Kettlebell swings
this movement will counteract the baby carry posture and help strengthen your back line.

Farmer’s walks

This will help you stabilize your shoulders and train your posture while working your abs.

You may find doing all of these moves to be very challenging and making time to train difficult, so I want to give you some options to help.

  1. Do shorter more frequent workouts:
    With any child time is a precious commodity, so you will not be able to spend as much time training as before. Instead pick a few complex moves and put them together with a bit more intensity than before, as well-doing super-sets and so-on. Now do this more often than before. (4 to 6 days a week)

    2. Train total body 2 times a week:
    This will cover all of your needs in your fitness for the time being and help you even make progress as you train

    3.Grease the groove:
    This is simple, pick a movement or two and do it on the hour or every two and so-on. For example as I writing this post, I took a break to do pistols. Just keep it away from failure and enjoy the gains!

You as a new dad or even an older one can still stay relatively fit through this busy time of your life and you don’t have to feel guilty about taking time for your health. Staying fit is a gift not only to yourself but your family as well. Just make sure to iron out the details with your partner and have a plan for what you are going to do and how much time you are going to do it in. If you have to work your mobility throughout the day to save time for your strength and or conditioning work, Just figure it out for you and stick to the plan using the points that I gave you and enjoy fatherhood!

One of my favorite bands is a group called Cake (I am aware of the irony) and one of the well-known songs is a song called the distance. Knowing does two things for me: One, it gave me an opening statement to this week’s workout. Two: we all now have a song to listen to as we do this week’s workout!  So without further ado, let’s get blasting some fat!


Weekly workout: The Distance

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This workout is probably the simplest ever in the history of mankind and it also involves one of the lowest skill movements that there, but that does a lot for us training wise: Farmer’s carries! All that you have to have is a pair of relatively heavy dumbbells to do. Now I say relatively, because, if you go too heavy, you won’t be able to finish and if you go too light, you won’t get the maximum training effect.

I also want you to know why dumbbells are important for this week’s workout; the dumbbell’s weight placement is placed on both sides of the handle, so you have to keep the weight even as you carry the objects. The Kettlebell’s handle although awesome, is directly over the weight centering it for you.   However, although if all you have are two kettlebells, have fun and do it anyway!

Here is a brief video on this movement: 

This workout is done by doing farmer’s carries with dumbbells in a circular fashion. (We use the inside of the gym) Your goal is to keep the dumbbells straight as you walk. Do your circle, then rest 20 to 30 seconds and then again and again and again; stopping short of failure and your form breaking down. Time yourself to see how long you can do it for and try to beat it next time!

Enjoy this simple but not easy workout!

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

it is funny how these workouts are created at times. there are workouts that I develop just for my self and my own training, there are some that I make before I do this weekly post and at last there are others that I make just for my students as a finisher or a workout depending on their skill and fitness levels. This week’s workout is for one of my students and follower of this blog.

I named this workout after his last name, Miller . Of course it is once again a shameless attempt at getting these workouts out there to help others with kettlebell training and our reasonable attempt to make people healthier and fitter in the least amount of time possible! This doesn’t make it easy in fact, you will have to work as hard as you can safely in the time allotted for this session.

Weekly Workout: It’s Miller time

This week’s workout is done by doing the following in the order given:

8 cleans with two moderate sized bells
Rack carries for 50 steps
5 front squats
farmer’s walks back to the beginning

Repeat the sequence again and take off  one rep form each lift.

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

This week’s title seems kind of funny. Doesn’t it ? Isn’t that say bottom ‘s up a drinking phrase? The answer is yes, it is. But in the world of kettlebells training as you may know, it is way of placing the  kettlebells handle down and the bottom up to make strength gains, enable people with bad shoulders to press at times , build grip , stability and s to improve your overhead press technique. So yes, bottoms up to your strength. Now let’s get on to this week’s workout!

Weekly Workout: Bottoms up to your strength (an intense kb workout)

( the Bottom’s up donut press a super advanced variation brought to you by yours truly)

The Bottom’s up variations are a bit advanced and only should be done in lower reps and by those who have been training with kettlebells for a while. If you however are beginning to do them, then do 1 to 3 reps each time as you do this week’s straight workout. As a side note, if you want to know if you are ready for bottom’s up, can you keep your wrist straight   on your other kb drills? If the answer is no, work on that and then move on to b.u. Otherwise you will regret trying to do the more advanced stuff, when you don’t have the basics down.

This week’s workout is done by doing:

1 B.U. clean to press up to 3 rungs
10 1 arm swings
suitcase carries 50 steps a side

Repeat this for 10 minutes while getting in as many quality rounds as you can and if you need a back off move for the B.U.P use a regular press or a push-press.

Have fun destroying fat and building strength with this workout and the other weekly workouts!

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

The sun is beginning to set on this series and it has been a lot of fun to write it out, however, I suppose even something that has the potential to change your training such as these concepts can be redundant after a while. As you can see these ideas are interwoven together and when applied will help you to continue to have success in your fitness over the long haul.

In fact these “commandments” are so powerful that if you neglect one it will leave you in regret over lost time and a possible injury. So be wise instead and apply them to your life and fitness as you train. You may find that you apply some of them easily and others need work. That is cool just keep working on it and learning how to apply these points to your life and you will be successful.


I was once an imbalanced person with these concepts and I always sought to overload my system and it worked for a while. However, I ended up inured and deconditioned as result. If you are like me, then today’s command is just for you. That is the GAS principle, which means General Adaptation syndrome; this law teaches us that success is not linear and that we need times of lower intensity work along without high intensity training.

What is low intensity?
I am can remember once speaking with a co-worker who was shamelessly on steroids. As we were talking he was saying how tired he was and how he didn’t feel as if he could train that day. My response was a simple and scientific fact that he should do a light day. I promise you that his head spun around as if he was in the Exorcist and he said sarcastically “A light day.” You see in his mind that meant something that it is not and he also had no idea about this GAS concept and how the body works when it comes to training. (By the way this fellow fancied himself a trainer.)

Our bodies and brain cannot tolerate high intensity all of the time without some kind of negative consequence and without continuing to make gains! As a result we need some lower intensity activities so that we don’t lose our fitness gains but not too much as to keep in this cycle of overuse.

Decrease volume:

If you are constantly hitting a movement or muscle with a lot of repetitions and various exercise or if you are doing a lot of volume with the same move, you will want to cut that in half for a bit. This is not hard to do, but you will have to turn off your brain from making you think that this approach will not help you! A simple example of this is, if you are doing 6 exercises per a movement pattern do 3 for a while and add in a bit of loading to those sets or any of the other approaches form my overload post. (Except volume)

Intensity:

This most of the time means the external load but it can also mean the difficulty of the exercise. So if you like me love to lift heavy lighten up the load and do pause reps or work exclusively on your technique and make it better.

Frequency:
For those that know me well, you know that I am not a big fan of my upper trap development and have been working on getting them bigger. I have also had great success with this endeavor through intelligent science based exercise selection and the use of high frequency training. In fact I hit my traps in some way or another every workout. So if you are a person that uses high frequency, cut back. For example if you squat three times a week, do it once or twice and let your body recover and help you make gains as you do!

Use the same but different approach:

This idea is pretty simple if you are tired in a pattern and are not getting results from it any more, switch to something that will help your overall goal but will be different enough. This is simple to do, if you love conventional Deadlifts- do sumo d.l. s for a while and get stronger in that and most likely your conventional numbers will improve as well. This can apply to any movement as well, just find different variations and do them intentionally. So in other words, this is specialized variety and not variety for the sake of itself.

It seems funny to me that fitness and getting results is not what must people think and practice. It seems that people err in one or two directions: either they do not work hard enough and never get results or they work too hard to often and also never get anywhere in the long run. This GAS principle must not be ignored, if you are overloading and seeking to move ahead. They are many different ways to apply this concept and you can be creative with it as you learn more about fitness and how you personally react to the training stimulus. Just make sure that you do apply it and keep getting results and combating injury by doing so!

I prefer a balanced training approach in which one trains with high intensity at times and then backs off recovers and then kills it again. ( To learn more about this concept stay tuned this blog and my Ten fitness commandment series.) So I endeavor to apply that to these workouts as we all do them to make sure that we are get the most of it. This week’s workout is a real challenge and it will strengthen your grip, heart and legs, while hacking off fat! This workout was created for one of my advanced clients and he loved it and so will you as you do it!

Weekly Workout: The can you finish it

This is an as many rounds as possible workout with good form and there is an advanced approach to it an intermediate and a beginners.

1. Advanced:
Don’t set the bells down until you do all the move in sequence
Use 2 kettlebells for all the moves 
Go heavy for you!
Farmer’s walks for 60 steps

2. Intermediate:

Use two bells for the carries and rows, but do a single arm racked squat.
Go pretty heavy for you
Set them down if you need to
Farmer’s walks for 55 steps

3. Beginner :

Rest in between moves, 10 to 20 seconds.
Do a goblet squat and one arm row
Farmer’s carry with 2 bells for 50 steps
Use challenging weight

As I stated earlier this workout is as many rounds as possible with good form. So set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and go to town by doing 8 rows, your steps of farmer’s walk (depending on which level you chose.) and finally 5 squats. 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!