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November 2008
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January 2009

December 2008

Athletic or Aesthetic?

Kbsnatch What's my acid test for any exercise that I do or teach?  It's a real simple one - all I do is look at the exercise and determine if the underlying goal of the exercise is Athletic or Aesthetic.  Simple?  Yes.  Effective?  Absolutely!  In case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me explain.  An athletic exercise is going to direct impact on my speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, etc.  An aesthetic exercise is going to give (the layman) the impression that I have speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, etc.

Let me give you an example - how about biceps curls for starters?  The goal of the biceps curl is to increase the size and definition of the biceps head in relation to the other muscles in the upper arm.  Increasing the size of the biceps would also require the development of the triceps in order to maintain balance in the upper arm.  What is the athletic purpose of large biceps?  I guess they'll fill out your t-shirt better but will they really improve your performance or just make you look like an athlete?

How about the kettlebell snatch?  The goal of the kettlebell snatch is increase the athlete's hip speed, anterior and posterior chain integration, increase overhead strength and flexibility, and develop anaerobic endurance.  The kettlebell snatch doesn't overtly emphasize the development of one muscle (group) over another but does promote development of the pelvic girdle and glutes.

So which exercise do you think I would do as part of my own workouts as well as recommend to my clients?  Right...

BTW - Guys - if you have to do curls please do them in the privacy of your own home so that I don't have to watch you preening in front of the mirror.  Because if see you doing them I may not be able to control the laughter...

NOTE: image from CrossFit Eastside

Lance Armstrong + Kettlebells

LanceArmstrong doing 2-hand swings with the Kettlebell Lance Armstrong, in an upcoming "Men's Health" magazine article (Jan/Feb 2009) details his mindset and training methodology behind his planned comeback in the 2009 Tour de France.  Not surprisingly, Lance has included Russian Kettlebells as part of the process.

See the full article on the New York Daily Times website and look for the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Men's Health on newsstands later this month.

KB Cossack Pistol from Japan

It's rare that you find someone with spot-on technique on YouTube but this guy has it.  I ran across this video, as well as a couple others that I'm going to post, that are very impressive and represent smooth, powerful and seemingly effortless kettlebell technique.  Nice work!