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September 2011

This is NOT Kettlebell Training!

All good intentions aside this is not what Kettlebells are intended to be used for.  Like most people who haven't had any professional instruction with Kettlebells this woman is using a Kettlebell in the same manner as you would a Dumbbell.  In some instances you can... but you're not going to get the same "bang for your buck". You can use a screwdriver the same way you use a hammer... but you're not going to get the same result! :)

BTW - the really scary thing about this is that the video below has had over 65,000 hits so far.  I can only hope they are from guys with a female bodybuilding fetish not people looking for information on Kettlebells!


Heavy Meel Swinging

The following video is from my good friend Richard "Army" Maguire and in it he explains how to safely and effectively use the Meel or Indian Club.  I have worked with Army on many occasions and he is an expert on using the Meel and makes it look easy... trust me it's not!


Nice Job Paul!

Thanks to Denise for sending me this short video of Paul doing Kettlebell Thrusters as part of the "Dante's Inferno" WOD last week.  Paul shows great form and discipline over the Kettlebell - this is an outstanding example of how this technique shoudl look like even when you are exhausted.  Keep up the great work Paul!


Life's Lessons - Dan John Style!

Getsome As you get a little older and (hopefully) a little wiser, you start to accumulate wisdom and some things begin to get a little clearer. In the strength and conditioning world the last thing most trainers want you to do is simplify your training routine.  To them, the more complicated you make it the longer they can keep the paychecks rolling in.  I know that's unfair to a lot of great trainers out there... but life's unfair as well! 

A good trainer has the insight and experience to make sure that you are doing the things you need to do to improve your fitness and your life; all aspects of your life.  What does this mean to you? It means that you should be working on the "big ticket" movements that are going to make you stronger, more mobile, and resistant to injury.  You know what they are... you just don't want to do them because they're hard and make you sweat like a banshee with Atomic Balm on its butt!  My job (and John's) is to make the hard work fun, interesting, inspiring and make you want to do it... over and over again!

BTW - check out this article by Michael Boyle that talks about the wisdom that he has gleaned from working with Dan John... it's worth a few minutes of your time!

A Different Look at CrossFit

Most people look at CrossFit and all they see are the toough workouts and the torn hands.  Yeah... that's a part of what goes on - but that's only part.  The following video (by my friends at CrossFit by Overload) talk about the heart of Crossfit - what makes it real and lasting.


What is CrossFit?

The standard answer would be "Constantly Varied Functional Movement at High Intensity" - but that doesn't begin to cover it.  Actually, CrossFit is more than the WODs and the exercises - it's the people that make it unique.  Each and every person brings something to CrossFit that makes it better - it could be their smile, their ability to laugh and crack jokes during the most horrific of WODs, or maybe it's their ability to inspire those around them without saying a word.  CrossFit is the sum of all the parts and then some... it is a living, breathing, growing thing that is evolving.  I can't wait to see how it turns out...


More Wisdom From Dan John

Dan John's intial article (40 Years of Insight Part I) contained a ton of valuable information regarding training, recovery and nutrition that he has accumulated in his lifetime as a coach, trainer and athlete. Part II of the article (40 years of Insight Part II) gives you even more information to ponder and ideas to steal.  Dan is not only a world-class athlete but a highly respected trainer and presenter - when he speaks, people listen.  That means you!

BTW - Dan's analysis of the basic movement patterns (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge and Loaded Carry) is ground-breaking and impactful.  This concept alone can and will keep you moving and viable if you follow it.

Developing the Olympic Clean

Every technique we do is a "Work In Progress".  I don't care if it's your 10,000th push-up or your 10th Jerk - you should be approaching it from a "learning" as opposed to a "knowing" perspective.  For as many KB Snatches that I've done in the last 10+ years I'm still learning from the movement and refining my technique... and we're talking about thousands upon thousands of repetitions.

The same holds true for techniques like the Olympic Clean.  It's an amazingly simple, but not easy technique to perform.  It's going to take a lot of reps, think thousands, and a lot of weight from the ground to the rack, think hundreds of thousands, before you can pull it off smoothly and cleanly every time.  With those kind of numbers in mind don't you think you need to get started - now??!!??

Following are two videos we shot early this Summer.  One is of William Brown working on the Clean with various weights. The other one is of Mike Krivka doing the same.  Take a few minutes to look at both of their techniques and see what they are both doing right and wrong! :)



Dive Bomber / Hindu Push-up

One of my favorite bodyweight exercises is the Push-up.  Of all the bodyweight exercises you can do the Push-up will challenge your strength, flexibility, ROM, and mid-line stability (when properly executed).

At CrossFit Koncepts we have a protocol for Push-ups called "N3" - which stands for "Nose, Nipples and Nether-region".  What this means is that during a Push-up these three parts of the body must all "touch" te ground at the same time or the repetition is not counted.  It's a tough protocol to hold yourself to, especially when you are tired, but it will help you get the most out of the exercise.

One of my favorite Push-up variations is the Dive Bomber and/or Hindu Push-up.  They are both great tools for strengthening the upper body, opening up the lower back and hips, and creating a strong abdominal wall.  We follow the same N3 protocol for Dive Bombers and Hindu Push-ups; this makes the movement a little more intense but the pay-off mobility-wise is worth the extra effort.  Another aspect that most people miss (along with the full ROM) is that the hips play an integral part in driving you through the bottom position on the way down and the way up.  Relying on just the arms and shoulders alone will make the exercise too hard for most to do without "cheating" and will minimize the connection between the upper and lower-body that this exercise capitalizes on.

NOTE: the following video is not a "perfect" example of the exercise but it is a good example of the strength and control you need to do them well.