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January 2023

Beyond the Swing Workshop - 02/19/2023

Beyond the Swing 021923Beyond the Swing (BTSw) Workshop Overview

The Beyond the Swing (BTSw) workshop is the entry point into getting a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics and techniques behind the Kettlebell. We will cover the foundational 02-hand Grinds and Ballistics that are essential to using the Kettlebell safely and effectively. All the techniques that will be taught during the workshop are applicable to athletes of any age, strength, or experience level. We will also delve deeply into the concept of the “Hinge” and the "Backswing", and how they apply to Kettlebells, as well as providing coaching and performance guidelines for all techniques. This will be intensely "hands on", so prepare to train hard, learn a lot, and take lots of notes.

NOTE: this workshop is applicable to both the beginning athlete and the experienced coach. The workshop will be taught so that the beginning athlete will have sufficient depth in the techniques that they can self-assess their performance and make appropriate modifications. Coaches, trainers, and experienced Kettlebell users, will gain a deeper understanding of how to manipulate, teach, demonstrate, and troubleshoot Kettlebell technique in a manner that is safe, effective, and scalable to any athlete.

BTSw Curriculum

The Beyond the Swing (BTSw) workshop is based on around foundational techniques and tactics that have been used in programming individual workouts (for civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel), as well as small and large group classes for over twenty years. That means that every single technique has performed thousands of times, and the teaching methodology and tactics have been ironed out through working with real clients. There is no "fluff" in this workshop, only tested and validated techniques that can be applied today, and developed to a higher level in the future.

NOTE: each technique listed below will be demonstrated, trained, and tactics presented to ensure that the user understands the principles that are being taught. Techniques that have been honed through twenty years of classroom experience, that are completely unique to this training program, will be presented to add depth to the learning and training experience.

Kettlebell HINGE:

    • Door Hinge
    • Accordion Hinge

Kettlebell BACKSWING:

    • High Hinge
    • Squat Hinge
    • Power Hinge

Kettlebell GRINDS:

    • Deadlift
    • Goblet Squat
    • Front Squat

Kettlebell BALLISTICS:

    • 02-hand Swing
    • 02-hand Clean/Dead
    • 02-hand Clean/Swing
    • 02-hand High Pull
    • 02-hand American Swing


  • Date: Sunday February 18th, 2023
  • Time: 1030 am to 0500 pm; 01 hour lunch break
  • Location: CrossFit Koncepts 16720 Oakmont Avenue Gaithersburg, MD 20877
  • Cost: $200/person if pre-registered by 02/12/23; $299/person after 02/12/23 (no exceptions)
  • Registration: Contact Mike Krivka at 301/404-2571 or [email protected]
  • NOTE: workshop size will be limited to 15 people; pre-registration as of 02/09/23 is at 06 attendees

More Thoughts on Cholesterol

I'm not a doctor and I am not making medical advice. But, I'm a firm believer in managing your own healthcare and making intelligent decisions, along with recommendations from your doctor.

In regards to cholesterol there is a lot of information, both good and bad, that may influence your decision to take medication to reduce your overall cholesterol levels. There have been a number of studies that are both for taking the medication and strongly against taking it.

If you are in a low risk group, meaning that you have your weight, diet, sleep, and stress, under control, you might not benefit from taking the medication. If you are overweight, have a crappy diet, don't sleep well, and are rife with stress, you might benefit from taking the medication.

Note that even the best medications can only make a twenty percent (+/-) in your total cholesterol. The biggest impact is going to come from weight reduction, diet modification, sleep enhancement, and stress control. Also, your body produces the cholesterol that is being read in the testing, and because of your genetics, you might not have a whole lot of say into your numbers.

So, the long and short of the cholesterol story is: manage your weight, diet, sleep, and stress, talk to your doctor, and make a decision that works best for you and your situation. The following video will give you some insights into what cholesterol is and how you can approach managing it.


Kettlebell Swings vs Deadlifts

Is there a benefit from one over the other? I know that there are a lot of strong opinions on this subject. Some are vehemently opposed to Kettlebell Swings because they "hurt your back". Others are also strongly opposed to Deadlifts for the same reason.

I look at it from a very different point of view. I strongly think that both are necessary, for both health and longevity reasons, in addition to being complementary to each other. A strong Kettlebell Swing will reinforce your Deadlift, and a strong Deadlift will reinforce your Kettlebell Swing.

I've been teaching for many years that the Deadlift is the foundation for all of the Kettlebell ballistics.

Why you might ask?

Because the Deadlift is not about how mush weight you can pull. It's purpose is develop the ability to generate a tremendous about of force into the ground and translate that into moving the bar (or the Kettlebell). A strong Deadlift allows you to feel the ground and use it to tie the biggest muscles in the body (lower body and lats) into the force production chain, as opposed to using the much smaller upper body muscles.

In regards to longevity: both are going to be key to staying strong and mobile as we age. If I was starting someone from scratch, I would no doubt begin with the Deadlift. But once they demonstrated competence in the Deadlift, the Swing would be introduced as well.

Like I said, everyone has an opinion about both exercises. Check out what Dan John has to say on the subject:

CrossFit Koncepts Testimonial from Teresa

TeresaHere is what Teresa, who has been working with us for over twelve years and is also a Coach, has to say about her experience training at CrossFit Koncepts is like:

If I had to put together a wish list of what I want to get out of a gym membership, it would be as follows:

  • A knowledgeable instructor who is interested in improving the quality of my life.
  • Something different and fun that’s going to make me want to come back day after day.
  • A community of amazing supportive people to work out with.

Lucky for me (and for you), this place not only exists, but it’s close by, and it has changed my life!  

A KNOWLEDGEABLE INSTRUCTOR – Michael A Krivka, Sr., Master RKC, a CrossFit gym owner for the last 15 years, and a martial arts instructor with over 45+ years of experience teaching and training. Not only is he one of the world’s finest kettlebell instructors, but there is also no one you will find locally who is more knowledgeable about fitness, or more dedicated to continuous improvement.  His focus is to help you be the best you can be. He’s not about competition, or PRs, or the fastest time.  He’s about helping you getting stronger, more mobile, and more flexible, using good form and staying safe, while having fun for the rest of your life.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT - It’s not your typical CrossFit gym, but more centered on the use of kettlebells and body weight exercises in the workouts.  While the workouts are challenging, they can be scaled to any level, and there is nothing that will make you feel more badass than swinging around a heavy kettlebell!  Classes are an hour.  Warm up, work out, cool down, you’re done.  That first class (ALMOST 12 YEARS AGO!?!) was the hardest I had ever worked out, but also the most fun I ever had working out up to that point.  I was 49 at the time.  It didn’t seem dangerous at all because someone was always watching me and willing to guide me to get my form right. Over time, I found out it is really hard work.  And at first, it’s common to think you can’t make it through the workout, but you do anyway.  Then something changes mentally, and you know you can do this.  It never stops being hard, you just get strong both physically and mentally.

TeresaAN AMAZING COMMUNITY – I cannot say enough about the family-like atmosphere Mike has created in which to train that includes clients from age 10 to 80; from military/law enforcement personnel to doctors to lawyers, to teachers, to social workers, to families, and their kids!  All of whom blend together seamlessly.  It’s a place where if you don’t show up to train for a couple of days, people call to see if you’re okay.  I’ve met some of the best friends of my life here – people I want to grow old with.  They host pot-luck cookouts on the summer holidays, a fun holiday party, poker nights, and birthday celebrations.  Members get together for breakfast on Sundays after the workout. I’ve done ropes courses and trained for a 5K with people I’ve met at CFK, both of which I never would have done without the self-confidence I gained from training there.  No matter how good (or bad) my day is, I always walk out feeling better than I did when I walked in partly from the adrenaline, and partly from seeing my friends.

To RECAP – CrossFit Koncepts is more than just a gym and Mike is so much more than just a trainer.  For me, CrossFit Koncepts improved the quality of my life immensely.  So, if you’re having trouble staying motivated in your current fitness regimen, or want to get one started, or just want to try something different, give Mike a call.  You’ll be really glad you did!

Good Cholesterol? Bad Cholesterol? No Such Thing!

HDL LDLEvery day I come across at least two or three posts on the dangers of "bad cholesterol" and the benefits of "good cholesterol". These posts are written by people, all good intentions aside, have no idea what they are talking about and are just regurgitating bad information and bad science.

Do you know what Lipids and Lipoproteins are?

Do you know the difference between HDL and LDL?

Do you know the difference between HDL cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol?

Do you know what Apo B is and its importance?

If you are concerned about your cholesterol, or are taking medication to regulate it, you should really do some research into what is being manipulated and why it's important.

A very good place to start would be the following video, by Dr. Peter Attia, who is not only a Cardiologist, but he is world renowned expert on longevity. Check out the video, it's only 12 minutes long, and I can guarantee that you will no more about cholesterol than ninety-percent of the people writing posts on it!

CrossFit Koncepts Testimonial from Sarah

Sarah_RollmanHere's what Sarah, who has been working with us for over a year now, has to say about her experience training with CrossFit Koncepts is like:

Like many, I was deeply saddened when the pandemic brought the closure of Twin Flames. While I knew that I loved CrossFit Become and then Twin Flames, until COVID, I hadn’t realized how much I need a gym.

I feel so lucky to have found CrossFit Koncepts. As someone in my sixth decade of life, my reason for writing the monthly check and showing up multiple times a week is to make sure I am doing what I can to ensure that I have the strength and coordination to do everything I could do half my life ago. I want to move through the rest of my life never saying, I wish I had or I wish I could. And I feel like that the training I get with Mike is keeping me on track. He works with me on my form, so I don’t get hurt. He develops workouts that push my limits. And he coaches in a way that builds my confidence and skills.

When I decided to commit to CrossFit Koncepts, I bought the family membership. It took a minute, but I now have all five of us working out with Mike. We range in age from 14 to 61 and he offers a plan for all of us. I am particularly impressed with how he has worked with my 23-year-old Auto Tech son. Before my son worked with Mike, I worried that he would get hurt because of the heavy nature of his job and his lack of good body mechanics. But now my son knows how his body works and how to lift. And, within months, he tripled the amount of weight he could lift – the gift of youth.

Anyway, if you haven’t found a home, I highly recommend that you contact Mike and try out our box.

What are your priorities?

PriorotiesI hear every day from potential clients that they don't have the time or money to work out three times a week. I completely understand that committing to an exercise program is a difficult step to make.

But, these are the same people who are glued to their phone (an average of 3.75 hours a day) and are up to date on all the latest shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. (an average of 4.0 hours a day). Not to mention that they HAVE to get their daily fix of caffeine and sugar from Starbucks (an average $5.90 per visit.) on the way into the office.

How can you argue with that kind of thinking?

Well, cold, hard facts sometimes work!

A one hour workout is 4.0% of your day. Yep - 4.0%. Seeing that the average American spends 3.5 hours/day staring at their smart phone, you would think that getting a workout in would be more important than keeping up on the latest TikTok trend.

If you took 45 minutes from your phone use and 45 minutes from your TV watching... you'd have more than enough time to drive to the gym, get in an hour, and then drive home. And still have 7.5 hours to split between your phone and the TV!

Your priorities, what you consider to be important or vital, will determine how you live your life.

If you prioritize eating good, nutritious food, you will avoid most of the causes of death in the United States.

If you prioritize getting adequate and high quality sleep, you will avoid a host of maladies as well as improve your day to day life.

If you prioritize wasting your life with your face stuck in your phone, and waste your money on sugar and caffeine, you will most definitely improve... nothing.

CrossFit Koncepts Testimonial from Kristine

Kristine_RogersHere's what Kristine, who has been working with us for well over a year now, has to say about her experience training with CrossFit Koncepts is like:

After 5 years with Liz watching myself transform and become; seeing the Twin Flame Gym close was quite a blow...especially during a global pandemic. She was kind enough to refer us all to Mike Krivka's gym nearby at CrossFit Koncepts. I know many remember Mike when he came for a kettlebell clinic and recall not only his fun personality, but also his knowledge of technique and training.

Once things got back to normal, I decided it was time to get back at it. Mike welcomed me joyfully and took the time to get me back on track. He is truly a master with so many things, body movement, training, and those kettlebells. Our work outs are varied and endlessly versatile. I'm grateful at every class for the welcoming community that is so diverse where I found the support and fun I had been missing. Yes, it's a struggle getting back to where I was. But having fun supportive coaches and a welcoming non-judgmental gym community, where I feel comfortable and want to come back after each class, has made all the difference. I have a journey ahead still and I certainly won't be doing Ragnar anytime soon (who am I kidding: NEVER) but I am seeing improvements and getting excited again about picking up heavy things and to just keep going.

If you're still looking for a new gym, join Sarah and I here with Mike! You'll be glad you did.

Join the Elite - The Five Percent

If you have spent years and years in the gym, you don't think about doing it anymore. It's part of your life, it's a part of who you are, and you don't think twice about spending a couple hours a week training. If you've been doing it long enough, you even get "jittery" when you don't get into the gym.

If that's is the case you are among 4.86% of Americans that have a gym membership and use it regularly. 4.86%! That means that you are in the top 5.0% of Americans... congratulations!

If you are not among this elite group, the top 5.0%, why not?

I've got to admit, after owning a gym for over fifteen years, I've heard every excuse hundreds of times. Maybe thousands.

But... in the end, they are all excuses. The real issue is that training your body and your mind is not a priority. I don't want to sound judgmental, but why isn't it?

With over 55% of Americans obese, and the top three causes of death being lifestyle driven, you should have no excuses, no other priorities, than to take better care of yourself.

Sleep better. Eat better. Exercise.

It doesn't seem like a lot to ask of anyone. But if it was easy, the numbers would reflect it.

All I can say is that there are people who can help you make inroads into all three areas. Come into CrossFit Koncepts and I will introduce you to them.