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April 2015

Your Brain On... Exercise!


It has long been postulated that exercise is one of the most powerful anti-depression medications available.  There have been studies done around the world that back up that concept and go even farther to state that regular exercise in an integral component of mental health.

So... what are the positive effects of exercise on mental health?  Here are just a few:

  • Reduction in stress and stress indicators
  • Improved self esteem and body image
  • Improved sleep and quality of sleep
  • Increased mobility and pain reduction

It seems that a little exercise can go a long way to give "the blues" a swift kick in the pants!  Check out this post on the new Strong Medicine blog for more information on how exercise can you give you a mental and physical boost!

Exercise Economy

RKC Big Six II_SmallExercise Economy... is this something that you think about?  I do and you should as well!

What Exercise Economy means is that there are a handful of exercises that gives you the biggest bang for your buck (look into the Pareto Principle i.e. 80 percent of your results will be from 20 percent of your effort).  Could the best exercise for you be the Deadlift?  Possibly.  The Thruster? Good choice as well.  Kettlebell Swing? Maybe.

Part of what you need to think about when you look into Exercise Economy is the number of exercises you perform.  Do you do a lot of "stuff" or are you doing core exercises that are going to benefit you across all of your athletic needs?  I can honestly say that we stay within a pretty narrow band of body weight, bar and kettlebell techniques - and exercise economy is the reason why!

NOTE: check out this great podcast by Gray Cook talking about Exercise Economy. It's about ten minutes long and I'm sure his thoughts on this matter will spur you to make changes in your training program.


We have spent a lot of time developing the baselines for the Split Clean and Split Snatch with both one and two kettlebells.  This is a tremendously athletic and dynamic movement that allows people who have problems with their squat (mobility, injury, etc.) still get into a deep movement.  This is not something for beginners but is definitely something that needs to be explored once you get a firm handle on the basics.

Another concept that you are going to want to look at from both a strength and a mobility perspective is the Split Squat.  This is a great technique to once again allow people who don't normally Squat do so with relative comfort and a good range of motion.  Check out the following video from Gray Cook to learn more about this powerful technique:


Are You Getting the Right "Dose" of Exercise?

HypodermicRock legends Queen once asked "Who Wants to Live Forever?"  I don't think I want to live forever - but maybe just long enough to be a burden to my kids would be nice!

In order to meet that lofty goal you're going to need to put in the work now and not sandbag any of the workouts either.  According to a recent article in The New York Times, in order to get the correct "dose" of exercise (i.e. exercise is medicine just like food) to increase the quality of your life and your lifespan, you're going to need to put in about 30 minutes a day (five days a week) of moderate intensity exercise interspersed with 20 to 30 minutes on intense activity mixed in.  Sounds like a recipe for a lifetime of success... 

A quote from the article:

"Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect. The studies also found that prolonged or intense exercise is unlikely to be harmful and could add years to people’s lives."

Check out the complete article on The New York Times website!

New Publication - Strong Medicine

StrongMedicineI like to read. It’s what I do to relax as well as educate myself.  As a matter of fact I’ve been reading several books a week for the majority of my adult life; if you do the math you’ll figure out that it’s a lot of books.  I can even tell you the five books I’ve read that have had the greatest influence on me.  Here they are:

  1. The Bible
  2. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do – Bruce Lee
  3. The Filipino Martial Arts – Dan Inosanto
  4. On Combat – Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
  5. The Gift of Fear – Gavin De Becker

It’s a pretty eclectic list but I have to add a new book to the top five: Strong Medicine by Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher.  Any book that gets added to the above list has to have a lot to offer and Strong Medicine fits the bill.  Coming in at a massive 575 pages it will fill in the blanks in your understanding of how your body works right down to a molecular level.  Through illustrations and easy to manage terminology you will be able to grasp the complex mechanisms that cause obesity, contribute to diabetes, accelerate heart disease, and exacerbates chronic inflammation.  Not content with just giving you the knowledge on how these life threatening, and potentially life ending conditions are developed, it also gives you a step by step plan to reverse their progress and set you on the path to health.

The information contained in this book is life changing and paradigm shifting.  If you take the time to read and digest the information that the authors have painstakingly assembled you will be blessed with the greatest gift of all: health.  I challenge you to read this book and not have your understanding of food and its impact on your health and lifestyle changed.

NOTE: Strong Medicine is published by Dragon Door Publications and is available through their website.

HKC Podcast!

HKCLogoRecently I recorded a podcast with the one and only Miss Adrienne Harvey concerning the HKC, training in general, and some other fun stuff.  If you would like to hear our thoughts on training, the relevance of the HKC, and how it all links together in the RKC then I hope you will listen to the podcast.  You can access it by going to Adrienne's website ( and downloading it.  I hope you enjoy it! :)