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August 2014

Kettlebells and Olympic Lifting

JuliarohdeDo you want to improve your Olympic Lifts?  Well, you could do more Olympic Lifting or you could just train with Kettlebells instead!

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, they found that there was a documented translation effect from kettlebell training on strength, power, and endurance for both Olympic Lifting and Body Weight exercises. What exactly does that mean?  It means that by NOT doing Olympic Lifting or Body Weight exercises for ten weeks the subjects got better at both by using Kettlebells instead.

I distinctly remember having several heated conversations with a number of CrossFit coaches and even a couple Olympic Lifters on the applicability of Kettlebell training.  They were adamant that there was no crossover effect and I was confident and able to prove them wrong.  I guess science wins in the end... but will this positively affect the CrossFit community?  Probably not.  The CrossFit view of Kettlebells has been so slewed and maligned that it will most likely never be accepted as a viable training option.  Too bad for them...

2014 Crossfit Games Highlights

2014_CFGamesIf you didn't get the opportunity to follow the 2014 CrossFit Games as they were being played here is a video that will show you some of the highlights from this year. Watching these amazing athletes compete is inspirational and will no doubt motivate many to want to compete as well.  My only hope would be that the athletes would get more extensive or better coaching on some of the exercises to ensure their safety during competition and in the long run.  I think it is the responsibility of CrossFit HQ to raise the movement standards from "do anything that looks like a XXXXX (Snatch, Jerk, Burpee, Thruster, etc.)" to "this is what we are looking for and deviation from this basic movement pattern will be a no count".

I can dream can't I?


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 23

WowWelcome to another Whacked Out Wednesday!

This week we have another well meaning trainer using a fifteen pound kettlebell to demonstrate a 12 minute kettlebell workout (currently has over 381,000 views).  It seems to be challenging for her... but seriously, what is this workout going to do for someone who is anything short of couch fodder?  Burn fat? Nope.  Build muscle?  Seriously - NO!  Make them sweat - I guess; but I can't imagine it doing more than that.

Ladies - do you want to burn fat, build muscle, and look and move the best you ever have?  Then put down the dinky little weights and start picking up some heavy stuff! Push it!  Pull it! Squat it! Swing it! Carry it!  Stand up and down with it!  I guarantee you that with six weeks of hard work you will never want to do cardio or pick up your chrome plated dumbbells again!

BTW - do I need to even bring up the fact that she has absolutely NO CLUE what to do with the kettlebell?  I didn't think so... :)


Stop the Madness!?!?

Bosu_ballDo Kettlebells and Bosu Balls really mix well?  Personally I don't think so... but I could be wrong.  There seems to be a lot of "trainers" out there using them together.  Is this a serious trend in training or just another tactic to throw "circus tricks" at clients to make them think they are training at an elite level? 

Seriously?  Is this something that is going to benefit the average or even elite athlete?  What attributes does this type of training create or does it just make a physiological and neurological sludge?

If you want to train for strength then train for strength.  If you want to train for stability then train for stability.  Remember: Friends don't let friends use Kettlebells on a Bosu Ball!?!?


Tearing up your hands? Not anymore...

Rips2ETearing up your hands is something that happens when the heat is up, the humidity is high, and you're not paying attention to what's going on.  You can avoid a lot of problems with your hands by managing your calluses on a regular basis - and that means taking care of them daily for a lot of you.  We've posted information on managing your calluses in the past - take a peak!

If you are already in distress and you're worried about a tear you can always tape your hands. If you've tried it in the past and it wasn't a good experience - I completely understand.  Most people just wrap tape around their hands and hope for the best... and end up with the worst.  Just slapping tape on your hands will not solve the problem; you need to protect the areas that are already damaged and keep them from getting any more damage.

Check out the following video for a surefire way to protect your hands and keep you in the iron game!


How Not to Snatch the Kettlebell

Rr004The Kettlebell Snatch is probably one of the most technical movements you can perform.  It is one of the fastest lifts and derives the speed from an orchestrated explosion from the ground to over your head.  The Snatch is easy to do incorrectly and even harder to unlearn once you've got the pattern ingrained. If everything is in sync and working like it should the Snatch is beautiful to watch, pleasing to the eye and looks almost effortless.

If you have experience using Kettlebells you should be able to spot loading and sequencing errors almost immediately.  If you are just learning how to do the Snatch then you need to find an RKC in your area to help you get all the pieces put together so that you can perform the technique safely, efficiently and effectively.  NOTE: if your Kettlebell Snatch looks like what you see in the following video run, do not walk, to an RKC for help!


"Fed Up"

Big-MacCan we reverse the nutritional disaster that is pervasive in our country?  Highly processed food with high caloric density and little nutritional value are the staples in most people's diet. Can we reverse this trend or are we just one Super Sized Meal away from a society of morbidly obese people?

I'm not sure, but the trailer for this documentary makes some excellent points that you need to consider...This is worth taking a few minutes to watch and think about the message they are trying to convey.  While some of their information might be a little slanted they make some good points that should make you stop and think about what you are putting in your mouth.


Strong People are Hard to Kill! :)

BmiSomeone once said that "strong people are hard to kill" and a study comprised of 3600 people just confirmed it!  The continued use of BMI (or Body Mass Index) by doctors, a number-based look at your height to weight ratio, has come into question... finally!  The study has concluded that muscle mass (having more as opposed to less) is a better indicator of longevity than BMI (having a favorable height to weight ratio).  This makes a lot sense especially in the case of someone who has an increased body weight due to muscle as opposed to fat; being proportional (at least according to the BMI) doesn't cut it in the real world. 

For access to the full article go to the Scientific American website.

Whacked Out Wednesday Number 22

WowAfter watching the 2014 CrossFit Games I just had to post another "CrossFit Fail" video.  These would be funny if they weren't so scary... okay, they really are that funny!  If you don't have the common sense to get some decent coaching then maybe you get what you deserve; but people are paying a lot of money each month and not getting one tenth of what they are promised.  Look: just because there are a lot of idiots running around the gym tossing big weights around doesn'e they know what the heck they are doing.  Look for somewhere that is going to establish strong underpinnings of mobility, body weight strength and then kettlebell or barbell work.  The scary thing about most of the people in this video is that many of them would be challenged doing a strict push up or pull up; no, I mean are "real" strict rep not a "strict" rep defined by most CrossFit gyms.