Best Kettlebell Workout http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com Resource for kettlebell enthusiasts Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:21:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Best Kettlebell Workouts http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/best-kettlebell-workouts/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/best-kettlebell-workouts/#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 02:56:44 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=35 Kettlebells have been around for a long time, but have become very popular recently due to the intense workouts you can get using them.

What do Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey have in common? They both use kettlebells to stay in shape.

One of the unique benefits of using kettlebells is that you can [...]]]> Kettlebells have been around for a long time, but have become very popular recently due to the intense workouts you can get using them.

What do Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey have in common? They both use kettlebells to stay in shape.

One of the unique benefits of using kettlebells is that you can train both cardio-vascular and anabolic systems in one go. Simply put you can increase your overall fitness and tone up your muscles. The biggest benefit from doing kettlebell workouts by far, is for weight loss.

On this site you will find countless kettlebell workouts for you to get started, all the workouts are aimed at beginners and intermediate level trainers. So they are suitable for most people of all shapes and sizes.

In this post I will highlight some of the best kettlebell workouts for you, whether you want to increase muscle mass, tone up your muscles or lose weight.

Key kettlebell exercises.

Twice the Results in Half the Time?

Kettlebell workouts have a reputation for providing much faster fat loss results than conventional resistance weight and barbell workouts. It’s no wonder that Hollywood actors are turning to them to the droves. It is touted that Gerard Butler the lead from the movie 300 used kettlebells to get in shape for the film.

The American Council on Exercise undertook research with University of Wisconsin, to get to the bottom of all the kettlebell claims. The research led by John Porcari Ph.D., and Chad Schnettler, M.S., found that the calorie burn per minute was off the charts. The only comparable equivalent to kettlebell workouts would be running a 6 minute mile or cross country skiing uphill at a fast pace!

Time-saving workouts: Kettlebells combine aerobic and anaerobic (aka cardio and strenngth) into one workout, so you don’t have to do 15 minutes of cardio and a boring 45 minute weight training session into your workout. You just need to do 25 minutes of kettlebells and you’ll be done!

 

kettlebell basics
Grab all the best kettlebell workouts in a nice and easy to read complimentary manual.
Get it here before it’s withdrawn.

Kettlebells for Women

Contrary to what you might think, kettlebells aren’t just for men, but women can use it today. It’s actually perfectly suited for women because the aim is not to build huge muscles, rather the aim is fitness and overall core strength. What you will find is that you will lose fat and tone up those glutes and thighs.

Ready for the challenge? See if you can keep up with kettlebell workouts from the free kettlebell basics 101 programme

300 Kettlebell Workout

If you’ve gone through and enjoyed the 300 workout, then you’ll just love this workout. Kettlebells can be adapted to work very well to the 300 workout

Super MMA Workouts using Kettlebells

Kettlebells have been widely adopted by MMA trainees and coaches for their versatile use and sport specific training abilities which make them perfect for us in MMA.

What makes Kettlebell workouts so special

Kettlebells are so versatile and suit trainees who are more interested in core body strength, and fitness. This is why kettlebells are utilised so much by crossfitters and MMA athletes.

  • Kettlebells save time, there’s less resting time and more time spent on the exercises. A workout lasts for 30 minutes max, but is twice or three times more intense then resistance weight excercises.
  • Kettlebells hit all the wish lists anyone can ask for, they aid in fat loss, strength gain and fitness.
  • Kettlebell explosive movements closely mimic sport specific moves, helps shotputters throw more further, helps baseball players throw faster, and helps boxers snap their punches more quickly.
  • Kettlebells free you up from going to the gym, you can own just 3 kettlebells, a skipping rope and a yoga mat and it would be sufficient to get all your workouts from this basic kit.

kettlebell basics
Grab all the best kettlebell workouts in a nice and easy to read complimentary manual.
Get it here before it’s withdrawn.

Related sites

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Cool kettlebell designs http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/cool-kettlebell-designs/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/cool-kettlebell-designs/#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:53:34 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=586 Our kettlebells are like an extension of ourselves. I still have my dragon door kettlebell that I purchases over 4 years ago and still use it to this day.

I’ve been lucky in that it’s remained in pristine condition to this day that I didn’t have to do a new paint job on it, or [...]]]> Our kettlebells are like an extension of ourselves. I still have my dragon door kettlebell that I purchases over 4 years ago and still use it to this day.

I’ve been lucky in that it’s remained in pristine condition to this day that I didn’t have to do a new paint job on it, or do any smoothing mods on it.

I’ve also happened to buy some cheap ebay kettlebells that I spent a whole weekend trying to smooth out the handles to get to work. A few of the kettlebells I had to work on, I decided to go the extra mile and painted them with mixed results.

In any case if you’re interested in dragon door bells click here.

I’ve been collecting some cool kettlebell custom paint job pictures and picked these as my most favorite.

 

I never understood the fascination some women have with leopard print. But I really like the look of this.

 

Good first attempt at custom kettlebell painting

 

American Kettlebell Club logo inspired design

 

Pixellated camo design, I guess one for the FPS gamer

 

My favourite arty kettlebell

 

My personal favorite and my recent acquisition:

Primal bells by onnit labs

I recently bought these kettlebells from onnit labs. I’ve had so many comments made about them, including random passers by. Which is a surreal experience in the tight lipped “we don’t talk to strangers” London culture. You can get them here.

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Warmups & Stretching http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/warmups-stretchings/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/warmups-stretchings/#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 23:37:14 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=581 Warmups should always be done before any exercise, to understand the importance of warmups think of your muscles like a ball of plasticine, when you have a cold ball of plasticine and you try to stretch it into a long piece it will probably break. But that that same ball and roll it around your [...]]]> Warmups should always be done before any exercise, to understand the importance of warmups think of your muscles like a ball of plasticine, when you have a cold ball of plasticine and you try to stretch it into a long piece it will probably break. But that that same ball and roll it around your hand and get it warm and it will be a lot more stretchy!

Your muscles behave similarly, if you suddenly decide to sprint or lift heavy weight without warming up it can cause you to pull or tear a muscle. There are all sorts of fancy warmup routines that people subscribe to – I personally just get myself the light kettle bell and do a few repetitions of each exercise.

  • 2 minutes skipping
  • 6 kettlebell orbits (grab a kettlebell and let it hang by your side, then let it orbit around you by passing it from one hand to the other)
  • 10 swings
  • 10 kettlebell presses (5 each side)
  • 4-6 kettlebell halos
  • 10-15 burpees
  • 10 situps
  • 2 minutes skipping

I have a bad meniscus that need to pay particular attention to know and I have a whole routine for that – if you have an injury you may way to contact a physio to get a warmup routine made for you.

Warmups in-between exercises

Warmups aren’t just for the beginning of your workout session either, if you’re following the kettlebell basics 101 workouts chances are you’re doing the exercises in blocks of sets. E.g. 3 sets of swings, 2 minutes of turkish getups, 3 sets of kettlebell presses and the end with 3 sets of kettlebell lunges

In-between your exercises, you may find some parts of your body becoming cold, so it’s important to do a few sets with a light weight before doing the lift set.

 

Stretching

The subject of whether to stretch or not is a controversial, the old school dogma was that you should stretch before exercise, some even went as far as to say you should stretch before warmups! On the contrary, I have a background in strength training and we were taught to AVOID any stretching before lifting, because stretching has been proven to relax your muscles which impairs performance. Rather we did dynamic warmups which got our bodies warm without the static stretching.

Although I don’t do any power-lifting any more, I tend to still subscribe to that thought for two reasons:

  1. Stretching should never be done cold, just like with the plasticine example, when your muscles are too cold and you try to stretch beyond your normal range there is a increase chance of pulling a muscle. Ideally you should do a light warmup before stretching.
  2. Secondly you can do dynamic stretching while warming up which serves both functions, basically stretching while moving, without holding. Example below:


(This is a good example of dynamic stretching, it’s exhaustive and should be a good starting point.)

 

So does that eliminate stretching?

Not at all, stretching is important for flexibility, lack of flexibility can cause injury as the muscles in your body become “imbalanced”. Our bodies are balanced by having opposing muscles either side namely the posterior and anterior. Due to the way the human body was designed to move the posterior chain tends to have the bigger muscles groups. E.g. glutes are the biggest muscle group in the body, hamstrings are bigger than their opposing quadriceps. Because of this a common imbalance occurs by developing tight hamstrings which can lead to minuscal tears and back injury as the tight hamstring disrupt the natural body movement and put your back out of alignment.

It’s important to have a regular stretch routine, it’s just that before workout is probably not the ideal time. I tend to do my thorough stretch routine immediately after working out which is perfect because your muscles are warm and you can really stretch to your limit. It’s also a good idea to stretch on your rest days.

 

Takeaway point

Warmups are a neglected part of training, men feel less inclined to stretch more than women for some reason, but it never ends pretty, failing to warm up repeatedly will increase your chance of injuries, failing to stretch will reduce your flexibility and cause imbalances in your body.

 

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7 home health checks that could save your life http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/7-home-health-checks-that-could-save-your-life/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/7-home-health-checks-that-could-save-your-life/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:12:05 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=504 Most people fail to get an annual medical examinations and put their health at risk. Although it’s advisable to get an annual check-up with the doctor, there are other early warning signs that you can look out for to make sure everything is running OK. Below are 7 vital early warning signs that could save [...]]]> Most people fail to get an annual medical examinations and put their health at risk. Although it’s advisable to get an annual check-up with the doctor, there are other early warning signs that you can look out for to make sure everything is running OK. Below are 7 vital early warning signs that could save your life.

1. Sudden weight gains or losses

Sudden increases or losses in weight can signal serious health issues. Sudden gains in weight may be due to hypothyroidism, adrenal disorders, fluid retention due to congestive heart disorder and kidney disease. Don’t rule out pregnancy either.

Sudden decreases in weight could be down to depression (caused by huge drop in appetite), cancer, autoimmune disease and hyperthyroidism.

If you have experience sudden weight loss or gains do not hesitate for one second to visit your GP and get checked out.

2. Check your urine for a consistent light yellow colour

Urine tests can reveal a lot about your diet, how much you’re exercise, whether you’ve taken narcotics and give a good indicator of your overall health.

In fact your urine has more than 70 markers that can give doctors an idea of how your body is functioning overall. Urine tests can help identify and prevent degenerative diseases, gluten intolerance and much more.

Your urine will be a little darker in the morning. But if it’s unusually darker than you will need to see a doctor about it. Oddly there are websites dedicated to urine colour such as (http://www.urinecolors.com/) which make for interesting reading.

3. Heart rate overdrive

Healthy people should have a  very high heart rate [higher than unhealthy people] during exercise and low heart rates during rest. To take your heart rate you must measure total beats per minute (bpm).

To work out your resting heart rate, first empty your bladder and relax in a chair for a minute or two and begin measuring your heart rate for a minute either on your neck or wrist using your index and middle finger.

40-60 is a good resting heart rate, over 70 is a cause for concern.

4. Do a wheeze test

Woman having trouble breathingMany of us simply accept that our lungs aren’t going to be as good as they were during our late teens. While to a certain degree this is true. In many cases (10% in fact) adults suffer from asthma and are not diagnosed.

If you get out of breath far quicker than other people who are of similar health to you. Or if you breathe hard and your air passage ways make a whistling sound during heavy breathing that could indicate asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

Doctors can easily carry out tests to determine your lung function to diagnose any issues there and then.

5. Dental checkups more than just cosmetic.

When buying a used car, just walking around and examining the bodywork can give a pretty good idea of the car’s history. Crashes, repair work undertaken, and general tardiness of previous owner becomes apparent. If there are slight knocks and scratches everywhere, then it’s safe to assume that the clutch or engine may have taken the same beating too because of bad driving.

Dental health can provide signs of other more serious health issues such as heart, lung and digestive conditions that you may need to look up.

Inflammation, redness, bleeding gums can be caused by gingivitis, which if untreated can lead to periodontal disease. At that stage it can lead to heart disease as bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body, even your heart.

6. Skin

Like your teeth, your skin can give you an overview of your diet and health. Uneven skin tone, spots, rashes can indicate diet and hydration related issues. More critically it’s important to check your skin for growth of moles and birth marks. Sudden appearance and growth can indicate cancer. If caught early it’s easy to treat. But if caught late it can cause the cancer to become aggressive and more difficult to treat.

7. Poor memory

Studies have shown that as technology improves our memories tend to get worse. This is because we can rely on computer software to remind us of important events and other bits of information we need to remember.

For instance, how many phone numbers did you know by memory when you were a child and how many do you know now?

Poor memory can also be caused by cortisol build up (stress hormone) which short circuits your memory. Exercise reduces cortisol so you will find that you can learn a lot better after periods of exercise.

Poor memory can also be hereditary and indicate more serious brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. So keep exercising your memory using Brain Training games on the DS. And if you notice a sharp decline in memory consult your doctor.

Note: This list is by no means complete, and should NOT be a replacement for an actual physical examination from a qualified doctor.

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Benefits of Bare Feet Training http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/benefits-of-bare-foot-training/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/benefits-of-bare-foot-training/#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2012 05:49:54 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=444 I was an early adopter of Vibram Five fingers ever since they first came out (I think back in 2008). After hearing about the numerous benefits of bare foot training [which I will talk about in this post] I just had to try them out.

The whole point of these funky shoes is to mimic [...]]]> I was an early adopter of Vibram Five fingers ever since they first came out (I think back in 2008). After hearing about the numerous benefits of bare foot training [which I will talk about in this post] I just had to try them out.

The whole point of these funky shoes is to mimic barefoot training. Here’s a picture of my first pair. Back then there were only 3 colour choices, red & black, marine blue and grey. I went for the red.

I wear it religiously, sometimes in winter too. One day I got caught out by the snow. (Snow was pretty rare in England, so I never anticipated it).

Vibram Five Fingers red and black

My first pair of Vibram Five Fingers

Whoever discovered these footprints later must've had questions

Some interesting facts about our feet

Our feet are pretty important, did you know that 1/4 of our bones are in our feet. Read that again. 25% of ALL the bones in our body are in our feet.

On top of that our feet have to bear the weight of our entire body too.

Problems with ordinary shoes

Hoffman et al. found that since the human race has started wearing shoes a number of changes have occurred. Because of shoes, the way we use our feet has changed, this has caused a biomechanical change in the way we walk, run and stand too.

Our feet used to be naturally wider and our toes had more strength. In fact, our toes used to curl downwards to grip the floor. Thus we had incredible dexterity in our feet.

We also had far greater balance too, Mickle et al. observed that people with greater toe and feet strength had less tendency to fall.

Why train bare foot?

But there are benefits to at least training bare foot. For one thing it burns more calories because your feet muscles get a workout too. In an ideal world we would be walking around bare feet. Though, I don’t think people will stop wearing shoes any time soon. So it helpful then to give your feet a workout whenever you can.

Wearing Five Fingers during your workout can be beneficial. Also, the Vibrams are great to wear to the beach.

Better stability
It allows you to build better balance by improving foot strength, in addition to this it gives you more stability. Having good contact with the floor is important when you’re trusting kettlebells up in the air.

Calf workout
A lot of people use the calf raise machine in the gym. That machine just bugs the hell out of me. There’s no reason to use that. Barefoot running will give you a killer calf workout. In fact, when you do barefoot running for the first time, your calves are probably going to struggle after just 10 minutes. Many people who are used to running for hours struggle to run just 10 minutes with the Vibram Five Fingers, but with practice you can build your calf strength up.

Improves foot posture
Ballet dancers are known for their high arches, this is actually how our feet are supposed to be. But years of wearing shoes causes our feet to become flat. Studies have shown that just 6 weeks of barefoot running/training can improve foot structure.

Prevention/relief from chronic knee and back pain
With the lazy heel strike way of running [with shoes] a lot of the impact is borne by the knee and back. Training bare foot allows you to better absorb the impact of your stride (using your Achilles tendon and calves).

How do I run and do I need to buy “barefoot shoes”?

The video below explains beautifully how to run properly and no you don’t need “barefoot shoes”. You can run with proper form wearing shoes. But barefoot shoes are a great way to keep your form in check.

Range of bare foot shoes out there

The four original Vibram Fivefingers

The four original Vibram Fivefingers

 

Adidas Adipure jumping onto the toe shoe game

 

References

Hoffman, P. et al. Conclusions drawn from a comparative study of the feet of barefooted and shoe-wearing peoples. Am J Orthopedic Surgery, 1905.

Mickle, K. et al. Toe weakness and deformity increase the risk of falls in older people. Clinic Biomechanics, 2009. 24(10): 787-791.

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Fat Loss Benefits of Interval Training with Kettlebells http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/fat-loss-benefits-of-interval-training-with-kettlebells/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/fat-loss-benefits-of-interval-training-with-kettlebells/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 22:47:27 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=430 Interval training is the holy grail of Fitness. it’s probably the single most effective way to burn fat, increase metabolism and drastically improve your VO2max (stamina).

Conventional Wisdom is WRONG

Conventional wisdom has been that in order to achieve fat loss, trainees had to perform aerobic workouts for more than 30 minutes in order to [...]]]> Interval training is the holy grail of Fitness. it’s probably the single most effective way to burn fat, increase metabolism and drastically improve your VO2max (stamina).

Conventional Wisdom is WRONG

Conventional wisdom has been that in order to achieve fat loss, trainees had to perform aerobic workouts for more than 30 minutes in order to activate fat loss. Interval training is counter intuitive to this principle.

A study by Stephen H. Boutcher from the University of New South Wales found that affects of regular aerobic activity on body fat is NEGLIGIBLE. Based on his research he found that interval training was more effective at reducing subcutaneous abdominal fat more than any other exercise.

Boutcher also found that interval training helps massively with both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

Why Elite Sports Athletes Use Interval Training

Kouichi Irisawa, head of the Japanese national speed skating team had been using interval training for several years, and led directly to marked improvements of the Japanese speed skating team.

Since then interval training has been adopted by countless sports coaches from football coaches such as John Thomas, the strength and conditioning coach for Penn State. To combat athletes such as UFC champion George St. Pierre.

Real fat loss, without sacrificing muscle mass.

Perhaps the real benefit of using interval training over conventional cardio is the anaerobic and aerobic benefits. Simply put anaerobic fitness is the ability to exert intense force for long periods; aerobic fitness is the ability to keep running at moderate speeds for long periods of time.

The problem with running for hours on a treadmill is that it only tackles your aerobic fitness. Worse still it actually instigates loss of muscle mass, which is not what most people want.

This creates a twofold problem. Firstly, you undo months or years of hard work spent in building your muscles. Secondly, muscle mass is instrumental in fat loss because it increases metabolism, because it increases your resting rate of calorie burn. Loss in muscle mass will reduce your metabolism, thereby reducing your overall resting calorie burn.

This is probably why MMA fighters use interval training, because it allows them to increase their fitness, without losing muscle mass.

How exactly do I get started with interval training?

Interval training is the general umbrella term for workouts that cycle periods of intense activity followed by half time for rest or low intensity exercise. This is usually repeated for cycles for duration of 10 minutes.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is usually performed with 30 seconds of high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity (50% difficulty). Max number of sets is 12. So in effect you will be exercising for 12 minutes straight. It may seem short. But this is a challenging exercise.

TABATA Method

Tabata is used by soccer players a lot. You perform 8 rounds of 20 seconds of very intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest. So the workout lasts for a total of 4 minutes. But don’t be fooled. Tabata is just as intense, if not more intense than HIIT.

Workout programme that combines interval training with kettlebells.

Workout Finishers is the best programme to combine interval training with kettlebells

If you wanted any more proof of why interval training is so ruthlessly effective at fat loss, no example is more potent than Mike Whitfield’s massive 105lbs fat loss. Which you can read about here.

The 40 Workout Finishers programme is a great complimentary system for your existing workout. You can even use the existing exercises from your current workouts; use the interval training principles to get a massive boost in fat loss and calorie burn.

>>Grab the Workout Finishers course here<<

 

 

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7 tips to stay motivated http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/7-tips-to-stay-motivated/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/7-tips-to-stay-motivated/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 02:03:20 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=424 The number one reason why people fail to achieve their goals and are almost permanently disappointed by their results is a lack of motivation.

You simply cannot lose weight consistently over time and build your fitness if you are not motivated enough to stick to your programme.

Reading this post will give you 7 hardcore [...]]]> The number one reason why people fail to achieve their goals and are almost permanently disappointed by their results is a lack of motivation.

You simply cannot lose weight consistently over time and build your fitness if you are not motivated enough to stick to your programme.

Reading this post will give you 7 hardcore tips on how to stay motivated on your fitness programme.

1. Set measurable and achievable goals.

A lot of people get into exercise after making the realisation that they’re unhappy with their weight/health. They’re not sure exactly what they want to achieve but they do know that they don’t want to remain overweight and out of shape.

While this realisation is a great starting point. You need to have an exact vision of what you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to go down two belt sizes, or for women a specific dress size. Having a mental picture of your ideal physique helps a lot! Most importantly, it should be achievable.

The exact vision gives you a precise idea of what you’re going for and motivates you to keep working out.

After setting you main goal, e.g. get to 180lb bodyweight by summer in order to look good in shorts. You should set milestones in 4 week intervals to measure and check your progress to make sure you’re on track. Attack your goal using bite-sized milestones, e.g. lose 10lbs per month.

Set your goal and put your blinders on, don’t look back.

Give yourself a treat for achieving your goals, I’m a gadget freak. I told myself that I needed to do 150reps on the 10 minute snatch test, as a reward I’d buy myself an iPhone 4S. It was a helluva motivator and I did it!

2. Find a training partner.

If you’re working out by yourself all the time, it can be easy to make excuses and skip workouts from time to time. Your motivation levels will go up and down all the time. When you reach your low points it can be really enticing to throw in the towel and stay home and watch a movie while eating ice cream.

A training partner can help kick your butt in gear. Friendly competition and rivalry helps maintain motivation. You can help each other out on your low points as well. If one person is making excuses the other can help to snap out of it.

If you can’t find a training partner another great way to get the same effect is to commit yourself to achieving your goals by explaining them to a trusted loved one. It works a bit like a pledge or an oath. Psychologically you don’t want to seem like a failure or let someone else down, so you will try hard to stick to your pledge. They can also hold you to account if you’re not progressing.

3. Absolute commitment in the first few weeks of your programme.

Carl Daikeler of BeachBody says that the most common time for people to quit their programme is between the 2 week to 4 week period, also known as “the wall”. That’s when someone is most likely to give up training. But if you get through that first 4 weeks chances are you will stick with the programme for the long term.

So here’s what you need to do. When you start a new programme or start exercising after a long layoff. Commit yourself for the first 30 days. No matter how painful or difficult it may seem, do not quit. Stick to your programme, and after 30 days of regular training it will be habitual to you and will become super easy.

4. Make workouts fun with variations

The biggest reason why people quit training is mediocrity. They get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Hence why people who just run on the treadmill for fitness end up being the first ones to quit (usually).

The best thing to do, is stick to a workout for 4 weeks and then change you workouts a little. It’s also important to do that to drive through your plateaus as well.  Your body adapts to exercises over time, and stops making gains so you need to shock your body by altering your programme.

Most importantly, make sure the workouts are interesting and fun. It’s no good forcing yourself to do an exercise that you feel is torture. It must be engaging and fun to do.

Adding a social dimension by taking kettlebell classes adds tremendously.

5. Keep a journal

Always record your workouts, you can print out your logs from the Kettlebell Basics 101 Manual. But it’s much more preferable to keep a log on a spreadsheet so you can track your progress.

Blogging your workouts can help tremendously too. If you don’t have a high traffic blog, an alternative method is to join a popular forum based on your goals (e.g. fat loss, fitness, strength gain) and create a workout log thread.

The point of the blog isn’t just to record your progress, the point is to get encouragement from others and reach out.

6.  Don’t overextend yourself.

Remember to pace yourself and challenge yourself within your range of abilities. If you push yourself too hard you might get put off. On the flip side if you don’t challenge yourself enough and keep improving you may get bored and quit (read point 4).

Don’t force your life to fit around your workout, fit your workout around your life. Exercise at a time that suits you some people prefer evenings, some people prefer mornings, other people even work out during their lunch! The point is everyone is different so cater to your individual needs.

7. Do it to feel good not to look good.

Edward Deci, Ph. D., a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says that working out to lose weight for a partner or other third party reasons are not a strong enough motivator for the long term. You must exercise because YOU want to do it for yourself. Also studies have shown that those who exercised to feel good rather than look good ended up sticking to their programme for longer.

 

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The best way to record and track your body fat levels http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/the-best-way-to-record-and-track-your-body-fat-levels/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/the-best-way-to-record-and-track-your-body-fat-levels/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 01:04:32 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=395 When you’re lifting weights or doing any physical exercise, it’s important to keep a record of your bodyweight and body fat percentage in order to track your progress.

Having a clear record of your body fat percentage is important because a lot of the time when people start training they notice that their overall bodyweight [...]]]> When you’re lifting weights or doing any physical exercise, it’s important to keep a record of your bodyweight and body fat percentage in order to track your progress.

Having a clear record of your body fat percentage is important because a lot of the time when people start training they notice that their overall bodyweight does not change on the scales, despite clear improvements in fitness and health. This can be explained by the fact that body fat can decrease and muscle mass can increase simultaneously. Increases in muscle mass adds weight on the scales of course.

So in order to get a true picture of your progress, it’s essential to keep track of your body fat percentage, arguably your body fat percentage is more important to track than your overall bodyweight.

There are a number of different tools available to measure your body fat. I will discuss them in this article.

Skin fold calipers

If you want accurate results, skin fold calipers are probably the most cost effective way to measure your body fat.

You take measurements of skin folds from various parts of your body (stomach, arms, thighs, hips back) and measure it using the calipers. In order to get a consistent read, the calipers are pressure sensitive. You simply press until the calipers go “click” and then you release and record the measurements.

This is quite accurate, but the downside is that there are quite a lot of math involved and you need someone else to take some of the measurements for you, as it’s impossible to take measurements on your arm or your back yourself.

AccuMeasure Caliper and MyoTape

I’ve used the accu-measure calipers before, they’re cheap and effective. The pressure sensitive “click” mean you won’t get duped into cheating by squeezing harder to get more flattering measurements. It has a sliding marker which will keep a mark on the reading as well.

Cheapest location: amazon

Body fat scales

Bodyfat scales are by far the easiest and cost effective way to measure your bodyfat for the long term. They work by sending a completely harmless current through one side of your body to the other (e.g. left leg to right leg).

You simply turn on the scale, wait for the scale to reset to 0.0 and then step up and get your reading. In 10 seconds you’ve got your reading.

The only downside with body fat scales is that the body fat % can vary quite a lot depending on your hydration levels. The less hydrated you are the worse readings you will get. So if you measure yourself first thing in the morning, your reading can be +2% your actual body fat %. The best way to work around that is to measure your body fat in the same time each day. E.g. Measure yourself 6pm in the afternoon.

Having said that, I still prefer them over the calipers because they’re easy to operate. Remember the goal isn’t to get a scientifically accurate reading. The goal is to track your progress. If the body fat scale is giving you a consistent +.5% reading. That’s fine, because you should be more interested in the weekly changes, rather than the number itself.

A good body fat scale will last you years. I’ve had my Omron HBF-514C for almost 3 years now, since it first came out. So if you’re buying one, spend carefully as it’s a long term investment. Just don’t get the glass ones and you should be fine.

NOTE: Do not use a body fat scale if you have medical implants, such as a pacemaker or an artificial limb. Breast implants can distort your body fat % a little, but distortions are slight and acceptable.

Omron HBF-514C

This is great for gadget lovers like myself, because it looks very advanced and has features to boot. The Omron HBF-514C sends pulses through your arms and legs so you get a more accurate reading. This is important because some people are top heavy or bottom heavy so the “leg only” body fat scales can be a bit off.

I also take measurements with calipers from time to time, and have found that the readings between the calipers and bodyfat scales are pretty similar. Overall the Omron is excellent value for what is available at the $60 price bracket.

Cheapest location: amazon

Tanita BF680W

Tanita have been making bodyfat scales for years, probably before everyone else, my buddy Allen uses this in his gym when measuring clients and swears by it. This has a cool feature where it shows your required calorie consumption to maintain your physique. This is a nice overview but there are better more scientific diets out there which give you a better idea.

Cheapest location: amazon

 

DEXA scan

DEXA scans are probably the most accurate and fool proof way to measure body fat. But it can be cost prohibitive, costing anything from £200 ($300USD) upwards for a single DEXA scan. Though I did get a scan for free after joining an expensive health spa back into 2008.

As you can imagine DEXA scans are great to do once in a while, but attempting to do this every week to track your progress is far too expensive.

 

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Where does all the energy go after increasing metabolism? http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/where-does-all-the-energy-go-after-increasing-metabolism/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/where-does-all-the-energy-go-after-increasing-metabolism/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 02:16:09 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=514 I wrote a post a while back on workout finishers that aid fat loss by increasing resting metabolism. You can read about it here.

Let me reiterate, increasing resting metabolism IS the holy grail of fat loss. It effectively allows you to burn more calories without doing exercise. Often you will hear people talking about [...]]]> I wrote a post a while back on workout finishers that aid fat loss by increasing resting metabolism. You can read about it here.

Let me reiterate, increasing resting metabolism IS the holy grail of fat loss. It effectively allows you to burn more calories without doing exercise. Often you will hear people talking about increasing metabolism and burning more fat/energy. But what surprises me is that people never seem to ask, “So where does all this energy expenditure go?”

If you paid attention to Physics class, you’ll be familiar with the old adage “energy is never lost, it just changes form”. So if your metabolism increases, energy use is increased, it must be spent in some way in the body.

In this article I will discuss some of the ways the extra energy is burnt in the body as a result of increased metabolism.

Increased energy

energised friendsThe most obvious benefits of higher metabolism is that you have increased energy levels, your body has access to more nutrients so you’re more awake and you can get more things done. Increased energy levels also combat depression. It allows you to get a better night’s as your body tires more during the day. People with low energy throughout the day find it difficult to sleep at night and maintain a healthy sleep clock because the body never feels tired enough to sleep on time.

Decreased chance of disease

Slow metabolism has an adverse impact on your thyroid, because of improper secretion of hormones in the body. The hormones are like messengers in the body which send signals from one organ to another. As you can imagine a slow production of hormones slows down vital organ functions which can have adverse affect on your body. Hypothyroidism has been known to cause heart disease.

Brain function

BrainThis is somewhat linked the increased energy point above, but needs emphasis on its own. The brain uses roughly 20% of all energy consumed. The bulk of which is used to keep neurons firing, the remaining is used for cell maintenance. When most people talk about nutritional requirements often they’re just interested in feeding the body, when was the last time you considered nutrition for the brain? Seldom do you ever hear about the brain’s needs. Which is without doubt more important. An increase in metabolism means that the brain can work more and faster too.

Tissue repair

red blood cellEvery cell in your body needs maintenance and upkeep. From your brain, heart and lungs to your skin, eyes and hair. A faster metabolism means that cell repair can occur faster. Physical activity plays a big part in this too. After your exercise, the cells in your muscles need repair. A faster metabolism can tend to vital muscle cell repairs. Though with regards to metabolism this is a bit of a chicken and egg situation, as the bodies demand for energy will increase metabolism too.

So now you know how an increase in metabolism impacts your body, it’s not just superficial, it can really improve the quality of your life, help you in your career/studies and improve your relationships and family life too.

Ways you can increase metabolism

1. Exercise: Exercise helps tremendously in increasing metabolism; it fills your body up with feel good hormones like dopamine and also increases your resting metabolism. Notice how after your kettlebell workouts you feel so energised? This is particularly noticeable by people who begin exercising after a long layoff, or conversely, active people who are forced to take time off after illness or injury.

If you haven’t already get the kettlebell basics 101 manual to begin training using kettlebells.

2. Diet: There are certain foods that can help improve metabolism, green tea, Dijon Mustard, White wine vinegar, grapefruit etc. In fact there’s a whole cookbook dedicated to high metabolism meals. You can even make your own deserts and TV snack foods that increase metabolism too. I’ve taken great meal inspirations from Karine Losier’s Metabolic Cooking course.

The Metabolic Cookinfg course has very tasty meal plans that focus on increasing metabolism

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Beginners guide to buying your first kettlebell http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/beginners-guide-to-buying-your-first-kettlebell/ http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/beginners-guide-to-buying-your-first-kettlebell/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 02:27:32 +0000 http://www.bestkettlebellworkout.com/?p=319 Before you begin training you will need to get your hands on some good quality kettlebells, there is a lot of variations in designs, types and weights of kettlebells. Read this page in full so that you get complete knowledge on exactly what you need to buy, before making a silly purchase you might regret.

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Before you begin training you will need to get your hands on some good quality kettlebells, there is a lot of variations in designs, types and weights of kettlebells. Read this page in full so that you get complete knowledge on exactly what you need to buy, before making a silly purchase you might regret.

There are two main categories of kettlebells

  1. Professional grade steel kettlebells
  2. Standard cast iron kettlebells.

20kg and 28kg steel competition kettlebell

 

32kg, 24kg and 16kg standard cast iron kettlebells

Other than the material difference between these two kettlebells, they also vary in size and the finish of the handle.

  • Competition kettlebells are the same size for all weights, the lighter weights are hollow to make up the size
  • Competition kettlebells have a bare steel finish which rolls better in your hands, essential for big lifts like the snatch
  • Competition kettlebells fit specified size criteria and handle shape, thickness and width
  • Standard kettlebells are are made from solid cast iron, therefore the heavier bells are larger
  • Standard kettlebells have a painted finish, and the metal is not as smooth as the competition grade bells
  • Sometimes the hand shape, thickness and width varies between sizes and between manufacturers.

 More on competition grade kettlebells

From the image above you can see that the 20kg and 28kg are more or less exactly the same in size, the size is actually consistent from 8kg to 48kg. Not only are they the same size, but the shape of the bell and handle are exactly the same.

They’re manufactured to meet the exact criteria because they are used for sport, and competitions, therefore it’s essential that athletes train using the exact same size bells, so they are able to travel and compete using the same equipment wherever the competition is held.

This is why equipment in all sports is standardised and kettlebell training is no different. Standardisation allows you to practice using the same dimension kettlebells, so your body can get used to the shape of the bell. For exercises like the kettlebell press, snatch and clean you need to position your body in a certain way to perform the lift. So the size and shape of the bell effects how your move your body. This makes it essential to have consistent sizes for kettlebell athletes.

However it’s important to bear in mind that competition kettlebells are not necessary for hobby lifters, and given that competition kettlebells are more expensive, it’s preferable to get the standard kettlebells.

The bottom line

Unlike the fitness equipment you currently have at home. The kettlebell has no moving parts, it will last for hundreds of years. If you are serious about lifting and getting fit, then get the best kettlebells that you can afford. The dragon door standard grade kettlebells have the best finish by far and I would highly recommend them. They will last a very long time as well. I’ve kept mine in my outdoor garden gym and they’re still going strong 2 years running.

Weight selection

The chart below indicates some rough kettlebell weight guidelines. Ideally you will need 3 weights, the heaviest will be for the swing, the lightest will be for the press, and the medium will be for the snatch.

Bear in mind that unlike body-building you will not outgrow these weights for years, kettlebell lifting is for endurance, not strength. Therefore you can use the same kettlebell for other exercises or just for more repetitions.

The weight below is a guideline for the “medium intensity lift” like the snatch. Add more weight for the swing, and reduce weight for the press.

Men Women
Below average fitness level 12-16kg 8-12kg
Average fitness level 16-20kg 12-16kg
Good fitness level 20-24kg 16-20kg

Best standard kettlebell package for men

32kg, 24kg and 16kg standard cast iron kettlebells

Best standard kettlebell for women

Ideal kettlebell for women 10kg (cardio/fat loss focus)

Get the dragondoor mens kettlebell package

Get the 10kg womens kettlebell

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