Posts Tagged ‘resistance training’

It seems like there are endless thoughts in this fitness and performance world about just about every subject in strength and conditioning, as well as a myriad of opinions on how to get the job done. Conditioning is no different, many coaches wrongly believe that running their athletes into complete fatigue is the way to go and to give no thought to movement quality and how the brain learns how to apply the work that we are doing to the sport that we want to improve at.

Then there are those that just use circuit training and assume that their approach will yield the results that they crave when it comes to better performance. Finally there is the group that assumes that drawn out duration training like running for miles at a time will enhance performance. The goal of this post is to not only reveal that these ideas will not work but how to better approach getting in shape for their sport.

 

The first thing that we have to understand when it comes to preparing for sports is the role of movement quality in the athlete’s training program. You see if we go to absolute fatigue often not only will our recovery take too long, but the athlete will only learn how to compensate in order to survive their session and as a result could increase their chance of injury. As well as only learning how to cheat to do a movement pattern during performance and working out.

 

 

The answer first and foremost is to view your conditioning as it is, an opportunity to improve your ability to perform a task at full capability over the long haul of play thus truly making a better athlete and conqueror, rather than just a survivor.  So in your preparation make movement quality, force production and consistency your goals in order to create a better athlete and to better prevent injury.

Secondly, Just a generalized program will only get you so far in the sport world. Grant it, that everyone must begin with a general and less specific program, however there are certain components of strength, power, work capacity and goal oriented training that helps the athlete in their sport.

 

So just a general circuit program that is used for everyone will only carry the athlete so far in the realm of performance. In the general phase, athletes need: control or stability, mobility, strength, power and various types of endurance.

Lastly, just low intensity training all of the time for length will not prepare any athlete for the riggers and demands of sport, unless they are long duration sports like: cross country and distance races.In a sports conditioning program, the energy systems of the sport need to be reviewed and then each quality should be trained in a structured way to get the individual ready for play.

Remember, athletes need power, agility, speed, and balance in varying degrees according to their sport’s needs.

Conditioning is not as easy as the old school thoughts that have been addressed in this post, but rather it is a complex task that requires planning and thought, knowing about the sport that you are working with. Finally and most importantly, you must keep power production up or speed, while maintaining movement quality.

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It seems like our culture is getting worse and worse when it comes to mobility and movement quality. We usually have locked up t-spines, ankles and hips and as a result cannot move the way that we need to stay safe and get the results that we want from our training. One of those issues that we find a lot in our clients and athletes is an obvious lack of the ability to touch ones toes.

This movement pattern is vital for your safety and performance in lifts and movements that require that your hips move in a hinge pattern and at times in hip extension. (Hint, just about everything that utilizes lower body requires these movements.)

But before we go any further, let’s look at these moves so that you can have better understanding of them.

Hip hinging is when you are required to moves your hips back. This is seen in the exercise world in the form of deadlifts, kettlebell swings, broad jumps and other like movements.

Hip extension is the finish of these moves and is also seen in proper running and walking mechanics.
SMLXL
(Dave knows how to extend his hips!)
Now that you understand in a very simple way what these moves are, let’s discuss how a lack of toe touch can mess up these patterns and lead to less than stellar performance.  You see a lack of toe touch is often a problem of not being able to shift your weight back and as a result your brain fires you hamstrings to keep you from breaking your nose. There are also times that your brain senses that a muscle is inhibited in the movement chain and as a result tightens up muscles to keep us from hurting our precious joints.

So then if stretching isn’t the answer, then what is?

The answer isn’t as simple as a 1, 2, 3 solution and can vary from person to person, but we can give you a few drills to help you:

1. Breathing;
Proper breathing patterns that utilize the diaphragm as the main respiratory muscle has a huge in stabilizing ones midsection and can enable you to move better by causing your brain to release any unnecessary tension in the body and to better stabilize your mid-section.

2. Toe touch pattern drill:

As a stated before an inability to toe your toes is usually a lack of being able to shift your weight back. This drill can helps you re-learn how to do this important movement and give you the ability back to deadlift with proper positioning.

To do this drill find a two inch elevation, such as a book, board or even dumbbells. Put your toes on the lift. Then stick something between your legs right above your knees, reach up to the ceiling, crush the object between your legs; and touch your toes 10 times. It is ok to bend your knees if you have to, in order to get to your toes.

After you have done that direction, stick your heels on the lift and follow the same sequence. You will either be able to touch your toes or you will be closer. Keep on practicing this drill until you can touch your toes, when you aren’t warmed up.

SMLXL

3. Glute strengthening:

Lastly is if your glutes are weak or inhibited, you will probably not be able to get in the proper position to lift and train safely with good form. Now when people sit often as well as those who are just begin to workout usually have overactive or tight low back muscles and hamstrings and under active glutes as well as being stuck in a flexed or forward shoulder position.


To combat this and to help better position yourself you will want to, release (stretch, foam roll.) The tight areas and strengthen the weak ones. For the sake of this post we will only discuss the glutes. (We will be doing a posture post soon.) Glute development isn’t too difficult, you will just want to do it in a way that doesn’t keep the imbalance though.

1. Lower rolling for glute strengthing:

2. Supermans, birddogs and reverse hip lifts:

3. Bridges, Single leg and 2 legged

4. Glute ham raises:

 https://youtu.be/w0X0Vw6Vu1Y

5: Hip thrusters :

These aren’t the only exercises that train the glutes they are just simple and effective ways to do so.

Having a comfortable toe touch that is controlled is very important for your health and fitness. So it is worth finding out what is limiting you from being able to do so and to take the time to correct this issue if it is present in your life.

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One of my kettlebell students Steve is a real stand-up guy, he works very hard, has a very good sense of humor and is very athletic. So you can imagine that when I design workouts for him that they can be epic and are worthy of being on this blog for you my friends to enjoy. This week’s workout is one of them, so hold on be ready to be challenged!

Weekly Workout: Your Rentz is due!

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This workout involves bottom’s up lunges and presses, but don’t fear if you can’t do them yet– you can always do the moves from the rack position.

Click here for more on the bottom’s up kettlebell drills.

This workout is done by doing an outside the leg bottom’s up clean, controlling the kettlebell then lunging forward, pressing on the bottom and then standing up switching sides, then repeating it for 3 to 5 reps per side for as many quality rounds as you can do.

If you are pressed for time (pun intended), use a pretty heavy bell for this workout. You can go a bit lighter and work on this complex some more, if you have enough time to do so. The  choice is yours , just make sure that each rep is a good one. Because as you know crap leads to more crap in the long run!

Enjoy forends and watch the video below to see it in action

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!

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Do you feel like you are under pressure like the rock band queen? Maybe you feel like you have no time to train and just accept a life of not being healthy, lean mobile, strong and conditioned. You may be just sitting back and watching life go by at the speed of light and feeling like you have no control over your fitness due to time constraints. Well as any good “salesman” would say, “have I got a deal for you?!”  

That deal is my weekly kettlebell workouts, which are freely given and only require 5 to 30 minutes of time spent training . So my dear under pressure and stressed friend, you can train and you can do it in an effective way without spending too  much time on it. You just have to be tough and willing to do a lot in a little time with the right load and volume for the time you spend working on your fitness.

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This week’s workout is one such workout that doesn’t last long, requires that you have the right weight for you (challenging) and only lasts for the longest ten minutes!

Weekly Workout: The Fat Blasting Express Kettlebell complex

 

This workout is done by doing:

8 kettlebell cleans
5 see-saw presses
8 front squats
10 2 hand swings

 

 

Get as many quality rounds as you can in 5 to minutes and at least you can get the fitness part of your life back and make you better to handle the other things!

 

Enjoy and watch the video below to see the workout done!

 

 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

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  • 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!

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My workouts have been hypertrophy or muscle building based lately, for a few reasons such as: giving my central nervous system a rest from very heavy weights and also experimenting how my body and systems will respond to this type of stimulus.

It so far has been going well over the last six weeks, I developed a little bit of muscle and am a bit harder as a result of training this way. I also am enjoying the faster recovery time and more frequent sessions due to a more volume based approach instead of my usual intensity (heavy) focused one.

MosesBKS-300x225[1](“Moses love lift heavy things!”)

In line with the mechanisms of muscle development, I have been focused on the components of building mass, which are: time under load, metabolic stress and muscle damage in my sessions as well as in my finishers and that is where today’s workout was developed!

                            Weekly workout: Kettlebell Walking Fat Destroyer    

           

This week’s workout requires that you have two kettlebells that equal up to half of your bodyweight but a little bit lower could work as well. You will also need a stop watch to time it and lastly a heart rate monitor to know when to go again. Now if you don’t have one handy, you can always use the rate of perceived exertion; (it is less accurate but better than nothing.) this is done by simply giving an honest number from one to ten after a round and then when you feel it lessen (perceived) go again.

This workout is actually done by doing only one move , a walking lunge (which is simply a moving split squatfor as many rounds as possible in 10 to 15 minutes and if you are crazy like I am, you can do it after doing a high volume lower body day!!!

 

 

 

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After you do round, check your heart rate and then when it goes down to the bottom of your performance heart rate, and go again and again and again for the time that you’ve chosen. Hello metabolic stress, high heart rate and sore legs for a few days!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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I sincerely hope that these posts on a movement that many desire to do  are helping you in your pursuit of your first chin up or to improve your technique. They may also make your form more efficient and possibly move on into advanced versions such as weighted chins and the one arm versions. The last few posts goals have been to help you prepare for this week’s concept which if you apply, will result in you ending up stronger than before as soon as you put them to work. Now although you will end up stronger, it doesn’t mean that you will end up doing this move for reps or at all today. (It can though) It will however result in you being the closer than before though!

This concept  that today’s post is about is  irradiation. Which involves you better stabilizing your body and making strength gains as a result of using it.

iridiation

The following few paragraphs will give you a brief lesson on how to utilize this phenomenon to better build strength and how to apply that to your chin-up work. with the end goal of getting your first or improving your chin-up technique! These points are breathing, planks for learning how to create force,the ab brace and many more, without further ado let’s get to it!

1.Breathing:
Generating strength and increasing force can be amplified by using the proper breathing techniques. The diaphragm when used well stabilizes the spine and fires the deep core muscles resulting in greater force production in your pull-up work. On this movement pattern you will want to get a good breath in on the bottom of the move and exhale on the way up with a hiss, grunt or blow out hard as if you were trying to blow out candles. Watch the video below to learn more about this strength enhancing technique:

2. Planking for tension generation and or greater force:

After you have learned this vital component of strength of breathing you will want to learn how to produce tension. Tension is the foundation for generating force, power and efficient movement. This is simple to do and is done easily in a plank position, especially if you have a friend to train with. Get in a good plank position. (No saggy back or butt lift)

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(Try again!)

Start by squeezing your feet together, then tighten your legs, squeeze your abs as if you were about to get kicked. (Your partner can help you with that, gently of course.) Clench your glutes, (if you do this right you will get a wedgey.) Finally push your hands and feet down into the floor to generate more tension. (You will know it, if you have it!)


wpid-20150910_082837.jpg                                                                       (Yeah dawg, there you go!)

3. Core brace:
When I first started training others the thought about using your abs was to pull in your belly button in. Then research found that if you do that draw in maneuver, that you double the spinal load and actually make yourself weaker as a result of it. Instead of drawing in to increase stability, you will want to brace as if you were about to get socked in the gut. As stated above in the plank paragraph.

4. Leg and glute squeeze:

As you may be aware power starts from the floor and is expressed in other parts of the body. A good example of this is the push-press, which starts in a wheel drive with hip extension and then ends up moving the load up into the air. This wonderful phenomenon however is not seen in pull-ups which are an open chain exercise (feet not on the floor) which makes it a harder movement as a result. So how can we get this effect of the legs to assist our upper pulling and make us better at pull-ups? The answer is the principle that I stated earlier, Irradiation. If you recall it is known to make its user stronger by using our central nervous system.

However, we can use your lower half to perform better at this movement. So when you set up on the bar, squeeze your legs together and squeeze your glutes as if you were trying to create a diamond in between them. Then imagine as if you were pulling the bar towards you. Hello increased strength!!!!!

5. Grip: 
Grip is a highly neurological action, in fact when a baby is born; they can breathe, poop, eat and grip things. Grip is also very much involved with creating muscular tension and making your strength work more effective. So in your pull-up/chin-up work choke the bar as if you hated it (you just may) and imagine trying to break it half.

6.Acceleration: 

we all have sticking points in our movements form squats to deads and every other move strength move. A good way to deal with this is to simply blast or accelerate through this challenging part of the move. It could be on the bottom, mid-way or so-on. Just know yourself and use this concept as needed!

Experimenting and trying out these different concepts can be vital in achieving your first or multiple pull-ups. Practice these concepts slowly, adding in one every session or every other and own the technique as you do you will continue to progress in your training and never be bored as you do!

Next week we will discuss programming and a few regressions and progressions to use to earn this coveted movement pattern that is closer than you think!

I often get asked about my kettlebell program with as: What do you do at each meeting? As well as  other like questions: all to which my response is usually, “swings and things.” Although this saying is meant to be funny, there is truth behind it. The kettlebell swing is an incredible move that with proper progression can make a person fitter without ever even doing such moves as the snatch or more advanced moves. This particular move has built into it the ability to add in complexity to further results and to fight off boredom as you train for your goals.

Of course I am not saying to only do kettlebell swings, but that as moves go in addition to a well-rounded program of pushes, pulls, carries and so-on. You don’t need to get complicated to see fitness results from the swing. This week’s workout is my ode to that point and it will challenge you throughout.

Weekly Workout: The Fat-loss Shifting Swing

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

10 1 arm dead swings

10 figure 8’s

10 1 arm swings

Once again the goal of each set is to not set the bell down. So be wise and grab the right size bell to make that happen. As each round goes along take off two reps of each move in order to not have to rest much and to get the metabolic effect.

Men use a 16 to 32 kg bell

Women use a 10 kg to 16 kg bell

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!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on injury prevention and our own responsibility in the process. (To read it click here.) Due to all of the attention and shares it got, I decided to write a post that takes it a step further by giving you some ways that we fitness lovers can prevent an occurrence of injury as much as possible. First of all may I say that if you are training for results, you may end up injured at times. Working on getting results means that we need to overload our body in order to create an adaptation to the stress that we put on it. However, there are things that we can do not make this process less dangerous and some choices that we can make that will go a long way in this effort of injury prevention.

 

 

Today’s post is all about some of the things that we can do to ensure that we get the best “leg -up” against injury and time off from working on our goals.

 

 

How to better avoid injury while training

As always we need to avoid the victim mentality as exercisers. However, swinging to the other end of the spectrum and thinking that getting injured is hardcore is also not the best choice in attitudes to have as we train for our goals. Both of these attitudes show a lack of education on the body and how it works. One we don’t have to get injured to get to our goals. Second, injuries usually lead to other injuries down the road, if we don’t deal with the issues that come as a result of our problems. We should rather work hard in a calculated way, progressing through our steps wisely and maintain good movement patterns and so-on throughout our program and workouts.

 

One of the first things that we need to deal with if we want to be successful in our attempt to prevent injury as much as possible is to be mobile. Think about it, how many of us are tight due to poor posture, sitting too much and past injuries. How many time have you seen people try to do a hip-hinge exercise such as a dead lift and have them round their back as a banana (umm!) I know there are many causes if this issue. However, mobility can be one of the top causes of this phenomenon.

 

This point often leads to the question of what should be mobilized and what shouldn’t. The chart below can give an idea of how it works in general.

 

But, it is a good to work on your own lack of full range of motion by using the right drills for you. Below is a video by Dr. Weingraft further explaining this concept.

 

 

Now that you know and hopefully understand this concept; we are now free to talk about mobility in the areas that should be mobile. Let’s first start with our Thoracic spine. Our T-spine should be mobile in two ways; one it should be able to rotate pretty close to equal on both sides. Then it should also be able to extend as well. We can address these necessary movement aspects with a combo of foam rolling, mobility drills and stability work that will train the body to move the way it should.

 

Foam rolling:

 

 

Extension: The Cat and Cow.

 

Rotation:

 

Stability:

 

Of course there are many more ways to mobilize and stabilize this area than the last few moves. These are just food for thought and at least some moves to start with if you don’t have any drills to get the effect needed.

 

Second we have the hips area. Just like with your t-spine this area is often “locked up” and immobile. This more often than not leads to overuse and injury as people workout. As you know, injury is an easy way to not get to your goals in a timely manner or at all. So we will also want to mobilize, stabilize and pattern this area as well.

Now much of the hip area has to do with being able to control the pelvis and to stabilize the lumbar area. It also has much to do with being able to shift your weight back or to be able to touch your toes. In fact a lack of these aspects in our movement can lead to a higher chance of injury, thus having these qualities may not just help you to perform better, but will also go a long way in longevity of training.

 

So then can we do these things and develop these qualities?

 

There is not a one size fits all answer. That is why it pays to have someone who is qualified to assess movement do so with you. However, these next few exercises will most likely help most of the people reading this post.

The following drills in this video can help you do just that:

 

 

As well as these:

Toe touch:

 

Hip flexors:

 

Moving better can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals of better fitness, body composition and staying healthy. All while enabling you to get better workouts as you train. So doing all of these things especially those that help your particular issues is worth the time spent on doing it. So get to work, try out these preceding drills and look for and use others as well. If you do you like many others will find yourself moving, feeling and training better!

One day while training at the gym that I work at, one of my co-worker’s client would respond to almost anything that I would say with that phrase, “that’s what she said!” Bless his heart he was trying to be funny, but he really ended up making more mistakes with it. (using it with at the wrong time) In spite of his errors at least he was trying to joke and have fun. (Too many people are miserable and have no sense of humor in the world.)  He also reminded me about an important principle of training and fitness called: The S.A.I.D principle.

If you are unfamiliar with this concept it is: Specific Adaptation Imposed Demand. In other this thought teaches us that if we want a specific result form our fitness work, we must train  the right way to get it. Do you think that most people are doing that and following this idea?  Or do you feel as if most people have no idea how to train for what they want to have and are just going through the motions? Today’s post will shed some light on this concept and how to utilize it to get fitness results!

In layman’s terms this concept simply means, you will get what you put in;  or the result of your training will be in accordance to what you do in it. So if you want to body-build, you will have to do workouts that will build muscle and eat in accordance with your goal. You wouldn’t do what some people refer to as “functional training.” Just for the basic fact that this will not get you to your goal of being big.

However, balance in our training is essential and you will need to do things such as mobility and some stability work, regardless of your overall goals. Yet, this will be done in addition to your overall goals and can be trained as a warm-up or a super-set.

Now let’s break down this principle in order to better apply it to you life.

Specific:
The type of stress and the approach of training must fit your goals and the outcome that you desire. This means that if you want to grow your chest, training your lats. will not get you there. You must work that group, in a way that it will grow. There are different approaches to achieve this outcome, you could do mid to high reps or 5 x5’s and so-on, just take the one that will get you want you want form your training and the one that you can stick over the long haul.

Adaptation:
This is where the results happen as you train and over-load your body; your body will adapt to the stress and if you are keeping it specific will get you the change that you want in your body. As this process goes on, there is a need for advancement in order to continue getting results.

Imposed:
This means that the stress is forced on the body by the trainee and not something that just happens by itself. You must also be aware that this principle will also be at work if you choose to be a coach potato. Your  body will adjust to that as well and make you de-condition, become overweight and unhealthy.

 

Demand:
What kind of eu-stress are you making your body endure or what kind of demand are you making to adapt to? As always, the level of stress that you put it under must not be too much or it will take to long to recover from. But it also must not be too little or else there will be no change. Your focus should be as you train to “stimulate and not annihilate yourself.” Contrary to many training  circles you don’t have to be sore every workout or not be able to move the next day. In fact moving and functioning are good things and should be what a good program produces as you train. So figure out what that balance is for you and get lasting, long-term results!

Following this basic principle will help you archive your goals as a fitness buff. It is a concept that will help you guide your training choices and keep you in line with your goals. So remember to apply this point to your training and just remember ” that is what she S.A.I.D. !

If you read last week’s workout, you know that my son decided to get  an early release from the womb due to  good behavior. I guess he figured 36 and 1/2 weeks was good enough and that he wanted to start eating without direct transport to him. (Let that soak in.) I got asked by a bunch of people for a  picture, so I decided to put one on this post for all to see my little man.
So here it is, say hi to little Josh

I am so very proud of him and it is so much fun to watch him develop and begin the process of becoming the man that he will be. It seems like every day there is a new funny moment, face or developmental progress for us to witness. I am so thankful for him!

 

Now let’s get on to our weekly kettlebell workout. As you all are well aware, having a baby means change in time, priorities and unfortunately at times, sleep. In fact my whole training approach has changed a bit for the time being. I have decided to do shorter duration and more intense workouts more frequently throughout the week. I have been working on improving my basic human movements and doing two strength moves and then my metabolic conditioning in as short as time as possible. It usually is 25 minutes with my warm-up included. Also as you are aware that is what this whole series is about time efficient, intense workouts that will get you results with less time spent training.

(There is no reason to ever miss a workout with this series help!)

Today’s workout is that, as well as simple to do just involving the swing and a stop watch. However, as you read along don’t write it off as easy and not worth your time. Because I know that you will be pleased with its results!

Weekly Workout: The Handy Swing

 

This little session is one of my favorite ones to use with my students and myself. It is done by doing 5 sets if hand to hand swings (swing the bell to the other hand on top.) at 20 reps each side. Now here are the rules, you will need to use your RKC or SFG, snatch size bell and get it done in less than 8 minutes. My p.r. is 4 minutes and 20 seconds doing this and a bunch of my clients have done it in less than 5 minutes as well!

 

Men use a 20   to 24 K.G. kettlebell

Women use a 12 to 16 k.g kettlebell

 

AS ALWAYS HERE ARE 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 your copy of my kettlebell sing series and body weight strength series.