Body By You: A Challenge for Life

Get The Body You Want
Through Supplements, Bootcamps and Six Week Programs???

When it comes to transforming bodies most people are looking for a quick fix. It’s a sort of sad irony that the very people who are out of shape or obese are the same people that have absolutely no idea what it takes to achieve a strong healthy body or they would have it already. In other words, they make the perfect victims for snake oil salesmen. You’ll find no shortage of fitness charlatans preying upon these people and selling them some quick fix in the form of new diets, six-week bootcamps, 90-day programs or poisonous supplements.

Body By Supplements???
One such popular option today is a product known as Visalus or Body by Vi. It is a meal replacement shake that contains Sucralose sold as a line of supplements. This is being pushed as health way to quickly transform you body and lose fat. Here’s an interesting article that exposes the health risk of taking supplements: Sucralose: Dangerous Sugar Substitute.

Before deciding which 90-day program, 6-week challenge, vitamin supplement or meal replacement shake you’re going to spend your hard earned money on consider the following:

  • Does the person pimping the product actually care about you? If the product injures you, doesn’t work out gives you cancer will it bother them in the least?
  • Do you actually know people first hand that have achieved and maintained the body or level of health you want from using the product?
  • Can you continue using the “product” for the rest of you life?
  • What are you going to do during the days, weeks, months and years that follow the end of the program?
  • What will you do when the manufacture or company of your product goes out of business or moves?

Success Leaves Clues
If you know someone that has the body you want or admire and has maintained it for some time chances are they didn’t get it through supplements or any other quick fix. Chances are it is a direct result of the way they have lived day in and day out for years. Any athletic body that I admire is the product of … an active & athletic lifestyle and eating in a manner that uses food a source of fuel rather than a source of happiness. I think it’s no coincidence that these bodies are owned by individuals that are intelligent, always seeking new challenges and growing. I’m talking about those individuals who once they conquer a challenge or reach a certain level of excellence set out in search of the next challenge that pushes them outside of their comfort zone. Those that compete regularly, constantly setting out to achieve personal bests and learn.

One such physique I admire is owned by a 66 year old Vietnam Veteran. I had the honor of meeting Jan when he enrolled in my kettlebell class at the age of 64. Jan performs some sort of intense training nearly every day and his workouts would humble most men in their twenties. He is approximately 5’9″ tall about 160lbs and boasts a low body fat percentage in the single digits. I once witnessed Jan perform 66 chin-ups; one for each year he’s been alive. When I asked him about his impressive chin-ups he told me that ever since he was a teenager he’s made it a goal to be able to do one chin-up for each year he’s been alive. Adding one rep a year was a reasonable goal and one that he’s been able to achieve each year so far. He loves to run and has participated in dozens of marathons. At the gym he performs L-Sits for minutes at time, hanging leg raises, a lot of ab-wheel, uses heavy barbell training performing things like cleans and standing military presses. He also enjoys hardstyle kettlebell training, particularly five or ten minute sets of snatches with a 53lb or 70lb kettlebell. His workouts are typically short, around 30 minutes or so. Sometime he’ll workout two to three times in one day. Sometimes he won’t train at all and take a few days or a week off. When I asked him how he eats he tells me he typically eats one very large meal a day in the evening with raw veggies and protein as the featured ingredient. He snacks on things like fruit veggies or nuts throughout the day. He never concerns himself with the scale. He very much loves things thing like burgers and beer but for the most part he simply eats for energy so that he can keep up with his grand kids, his full time job and his workouts.

A Challenge for Life
Starting now, for the rest of your life perform a reasonable amount of enjoyable exercise 5 to 6 days a week. Learn how to perform your exercises safely and effectively. Read about nutrition. Make better food choices. Eliminate unnecessary stress and get plenty of sleep. On average your exercise should be medium intensity, finish every workout feeling fantastic, once every week or so push yourself much harder. Your body will change for the better little by little in a way that is easily sustainable.

When that 6-week bootcamp is over, the 90-day program is up, the meal replacement shakes and supplements are taken off the market for causing cancer or the manufacturer goes out of business you’ll be enjoying your daily exercise, eating healthy and spending your hard earned money of things that make you happy.

Here’s a photo of Kelly Rushlow, she’s lost over 100 lbs and kept if off. Her transformation was achieved gradually over a few years through sensible diet and regularly training with Kettlebells and Hardstyle methods three days and one FMS session per week. She also enjoys regularly trying new exercise classes such as martial arts and most recently Zumba. She recommends losing no more than one pound of fat per week. Kelly is currently an HKC certified kettlebell instructor.

20120325-224255.jpg

Give Omaha Elite Kettlebell a try. Choose one of our group classes offered six days a week or schedule a private session. We’ll teach you techniques for achieving a stronger healthier you that can be sustained for a lifetime.

DROP and GIVE ME FIVE

Want to get stronger? Give Me Five Reps!

I know what you’re thinking… “Five!? Five is easy!” Bingo! That’s the whole point… most people CAN drop and give me five, or two sets of five, or a set of two then three repeated twice. Only a few can give me fifty that actually amounts to something. If the average person gives me fifty, the first five are good, reps six through ten are questionable and the last 40 are like watching a train wreck. But, that’s the way most people train, hammering away regardless of form and grind out horrible reps so they can get a three for one work-out: they stay weak, they get sore and they get self-induced injuries as a extra bonus.

One of the biggest “secrets” to reaching any goal is consistency. There is great strength in consistency. Repeat a correct performance often enough and you WILL become very good at it. Practice two sets of five perfect reps, five days a week for 40 workouts and at the end of the 8 weeks I’ll show you 10 STRONG reps.

Another secret is setting small easily achievable goals that build upon one another.
Can you do ten reps today, and the day after that for 40 workouts? Yes, that’s reasonable. By doing so can you increase you bench press by 10lbs in 8 weeks? Yes, that’s reasonable. Can you simultaneously improve in one or two other lifts by a similar amount during those 8 weeks. Easily. Can you do this several times throughout the year? I think so. Can you do this for several years to come over the span of your athletic career? Now that’s strength training.

This is one of the themes of “Easy Strength” by Dan John & Pavel Tsatsouline that is having a huge impact on the way professional athletes train strength. Keep it brief, make it realistic, keep it perfect and keep it simple. Pick two to three full body movements that address your weaknesses and practice ten reps of each consistently for 40-workouts. It sounds too simple to work, but that’s exactly why it works… it IS simple, it IS doable, it IS brief and it IS something that is reasonable to do for 40 consecutive workouts. “Easy Strength” is ideal for athletes because low rep heavy lifts have been shown to not produce muscular soreness and it allows athletes more time to focus on practicing and mastering their sport.

I recently attended Pavel Tsatsouline’s & Dan John’s Easy Strength two day workshop in Reno, NV. It was an amazing experience where I was surrounded by a lot of great strength professionals, a lot of who where RKCs. The workshop covered Dan John’s incredibly useful concept of putting athletes into quadrants to determine their training needs, templates for “Easy Strength Training” and “Even Easier Strength Training”. We received top notch coaching in the Olympic Lifts from Dan and Pavel and a lot more.

For those of you who have not read “Easy Strength” watched the DVD set or attended the “Easy Strength Workshop” here are just a handful of gems:

  • Don’t confuse strength training with conditioning & endurance.
  • The stronger you are the easier it is to achieve fat loss, speed, endurance, power etc…
  • The stronger you are the more wiggle room you have when it comes to dieting.
  • The reasons plyometrics is a waste of time for most people.
  • Why lunges are not appropriate for most.
  • How to make significant strength and performance gains in as little as 20-30 minutes of strength training 3 days per week.

As an RKC I get paid to help people get stronger. As it is for most RKCs getting someone stronger is easy. Now it’s even easier. Armed with new tools, knowledge and renewed enthusiasm I can’t wait to see what strength gains my clients will be experiencing in the next 8-weeks. What can you accomplish in 40-workouts?

Give me a call, I’ll create a professionally designed “Easy Strength” program for you and begin 8-weeks to a stronger you.

Swing It Hardstyle

Allow me to introduce you to one of the safest and most powerful exercises you’ve never experienced: The Hardstyle Swing.

20120321-081832.jpg

The Hardstyle Swing is the foundation of effective Kettlebell training. It burns calories at a high rate, develops phenomenal cardio with no impact, develops a powerful midsection, explosive hip drive, resilient hamstrings and a strong back. These benefits have lead to the hardstyle swing establishing a well documented track record of improving the performance of people of all abilities including elite athletes in nearly every athletic endeavor.

The Kettlebell swing looks simple enough on paper.

“Swing a kettlebell back between your legs and then in front of you up to chest level for reps.”

As a result of this deceptively simple explanation many people including well intentioned trainers get the idea that simply reading a magazine article or watching a youtube clip
will arm them with all the information necessary to get spectacular results. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, such simple instruction is just enough to get most people injured and derail their journey to improved health, temporarily or permanently.

As world class strength coach Marty Gallagher and author of the “Purposeful Primitive” says “the swing is an inch wide and a mile deep”. Having the courage to view your exercise as “a mile deep” means taking the time to learn and perfect the details that make this deceptively simple movement a powerful tool for physical transformation and athletic development.

Keep in mind that the Hardstyle swing is not a slow overhead drag from a deep squat as seen in infomercials, most Crossfit boxes, Biggest Loser highlight reels, fitness magazines and your local gym… not even close. The Hardstyle swing is a fluid, athletic, crisp and powerful movement that more closely resembles a cross between a ballerina’s streamlined take-off and karate master’s deadly punch. Performed properly you’ll experience a full body blast that will leave your chest pounding, lungs burning, forearms bulging, abs, lats, glutes and hamstring screaming in the kind of sweet agony that promises a stronger and more athletic you than you have ever known.

“This one goes to eleven”
– Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of the rock band “Spinal Tap”

20120321-080235.jpg

11 Tips for Performing the Hardstyle Swing
Why not ten? While most lists go to ten, I figure you deserve at least one better.

  1. Maintain a flat back.
  2. Keep the heels planted.
  3. Knees track the toes at all times.
  4. Arms are straight in the bottom of the “hike-pass” position
  5. The kettlebell handle stays above the knees during the hike-pass.
  6. There is NO forward knee movement on the upswing.
  7. The body forms straight line from heels to head on the top the of the swing.
  8. The kettlebell forms an extension of the straight arm at the top of the swing.
  9. Forcefully exhale at the top of each rep and inhale during the “hike pass”.
  10. Forcefully and visibly contract both the abs and glutes at the top of each swing.
  11. Stay relaxed from the neck up, keeping the shoulders down and back.

The list above was not meant as “How-to”, but rather a check list to give you a taste of the kind of detail it takes to unlock the swing’s potential and to do so safely. If you decide to give it a try you’ll find that it looks easier on paper than it is in reality. You may even get frustrated and figure it’s too difficult. Let me reassure you that you can do it. In fact, every single client I’ve ever trained has learned to swing the kettlebell effectively and safely, but that’s the key… they were trained by an RKC.

As an RKC Certified Instructor, RKC level II and CK-FMS Functional Movement Specialist I represent the RKC School of Strength: the world’s first and most highly respected Kettlebell Instructor Certification course. Although the RKC’s tool of choice is the kettlebell, an RKC instructor is far more than a kettlebell instructor. An RKC is a strength coach that can teach you how improve your safety and performance in any athletic endeavor or mode of exercise and the kettlebell swing just happens to be one of the best exercises for improving performance in most activities.

The RKC School of Strength is home to such internationally sought after and respected trainers as Pavel Tsatsouline, Brett Jones, Daniel John, Gray Cook, Jon Engum, Geoff Nupert, David Whitley, Mark Reifkind, Andrea DuCane, Mark Cheng and too many to mention by name. These are the same people that the world’s elite athletes turn to when they want to get even more out of their already high performing physiques.

At the center of the RKC Universe is the Kettlebell Swing. Learn this movement from an RKC instructor like myself and your understanding of exercise will be forever changed.

I invite you to be my guest and learn the Hardstyle Swing and improve the way you train.

Email RKC.Scott.Stevens@gmail.com to schedule your intro.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
No Book or DVD will ever replace the immediate feedback, corrective drills and personalized instruction a qualified instructor (RKC) can provide.

The most efficient path to unlocking the potential of the kettlebell is qualified instruction. The next best option is excellent instructional material. With that caveat below you’ll find what I consider to be the best resources on the market for getting the most out of the hardstyle swing.


ENTER THE KETTLEBELL: Men’s Starter Kit
20120321-080933.jpg


MASTERING THE SWING

20120321-080710.jpg