Basic Movements for Daily Life

Archive for March, 2012

Form Follows Function

The eternal search for the elusive six pack (and in the last few years, eight pack) will go on forever.  I have come to believe that.  It will never end as long as we are inundated with images (sometimes false) of people with amazing figures and body shape, told a six pack is attainable in ’30 days’ or less and more. The same can be said for getting the ‘big guns’ or ‘quads thicker than a tree’ or whatever.

Lemme tell you something… form follows function.

Think about that for a second.  A human beings form will take shape based on their function.  Move lots and eat well?  Your body will reflect that.  Sit around a bunch with a bag of Doritos?  Your body will reflect that, too.

Wanna be a great skater?  Endless laps in the pool aren’t gonna get you a lot of speed on the ice, you gotta practice skating.  Again, form follows function.

Most of what we look like is based on what we do, how we move and what we put in our mouths.

Can I make a suggestion?  Stop worrying about ‘it’ and just move and eat well.  Your body will take the shape it’s meant to take.

Think about it and give it a go.


What’s The Best Time?

Life is busy.  We all have a lot going on and it just seems to get piled on our plate higher, but the plate stays the same size.  But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, you can find the time to exercise, you just need to make it.  It’s easier than you think.

One of the questions that gets consistently asked is ‘when is the best time to workout?’

Well, that’s almost a science unto itself.  It’s been broken down in all sorts of medical studies, using terms I can’t say.  As I wrote in my last post, don’t over think these things.  You can spend hours and hours trying to figure out if working out late will disrupt your sleep, will my body react best if I do it in the middle of the day, is the morning best for strength?

I stumbled upon this today:  “What’s The Best Time of Day to Exercise?”  Gotta love Google.  But, be wary, I found this on the internet.  A little more research if you really want the best results wouldn’t be a bad idea.

For Average Joes (me), there really is no ‘best time’ that can be medically defined.  It’s wherever you can fit it in life.

A workout or practice session has to be timed around life.  That’s work, kids, family, travel, meetings, social commitments, whatever.  Life will make getting to the session a bit of challenge sometimes.

My consistent answer when I get asked ‘what’s the best time to workout?’ is ‘a time that works for you.’

Do the math (previous blog), figure out when  you can go, be consistent and you’ll see results no matter what time you go.

“What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?” Randy Glasbergen, Cartoonist

Over Thinking It

The trick to maintaining a strong, healthy and fit body is something it seems everyone is trying to find.  And snake oil salesmen will try to convince you they have the ‘secret’ with their new ‘whazzie-gadget’ guaranteed to make you lose the fat and keep it off forever.

Whatever. Ever hear of the Sauna Belt?

Here’s what it looks like.

From what I remember you’d wear this, it would heat up and melt the fat away.  Ya, right.  And you’d get shoulders and arms like the guy and a nice sexy back like the gal.  I am willing to bet neither of those models actually used one to look like that and took the money and ran.  At least I hope they got paid.

It really is not all that complicated to stay healthy.

One simple rule is to not over think things.  Move and eat well.  Simple as that, really.

I’m a kettlebeller.  I swing the things, do Turkish Get Ups, Snatches, Presses and a variety of other movements with them.  I love them.

But even for as simple a tool as it is (it has no moving parts, can’t get much simpler than that) people are constantly trying to over think it’s use.

For instance, there is a basic routine called The Program Minimum.  It was developed by Pavel Tsatsouline.  It’s pretty simple.  It’s done over the course of four days.  You can find it in his book “Enter the Kettlebell.”

One of the days is swings, another is Turkish Get Ups and you do each day twice in the course of a week.  You toss in a few practice movements of Cleans, Presses and Snatches and you have one killer workout.  Basic and just a few moves.  It really gives your whole body a workout.

However, many want to make it ‘different‘ and question if they can do ‘this‘ or ‘that‘ and still call it the PM.  Well, no, you’ve created something else.

Don’t over think it.

For the Average Joe (me), you don’t need to make things too sensational or outrageous.  You’ll just drive yourself crazy trying to find the ‘perfect‘ weight lifting program.

Trust me, they don’t exist. The ‘best-for-you’ exists, however.

Suggested reading for you.  Pick up a copy of this book, “Your Body Revival.”  You’ll probably have a hard time finding it in a local book store, so get it online.  This book tells you just how simple it is.  It’s written by Dave Draper – a fella who has won all sorts of bodybuilding competitions in the 60’s.  But, he breaks it all down for us Average Joes (me).

Get it.  Read it.  And keep it simple.  Thinking too much hurts.  What’s the method?  K.I.S.S.?  Keep It Simple Stupid?

“The secret is there is no secret.”  Dave Draper

A Day In Your Life

One day.  It’s 24 hours. It’s 1440 minutes.  That’s 86400 seconds.  (yes, I used a calculator).

Really, it’s a lot of time.  And one of the excuses I hear from people for why they don’t workout, train or practice is cause ‘I don’t have time.’

Yes you do.  You just need to manage the time a bit different.

So, let’s break down your standard 24 hour work day as such:

24 hours.  Let’s assume you get eight hours of sleep… ah, who am I kidding, who gets eight hours of sleep anymore?  Let’s got with a most generous seven.

So, you’re left with 17 hours. Let’s knock off another nine for work. That leaves you with eight.  Let’s take away an hour for travel. Boom, seven.  Now how about another hour, no let’s go with two, two hours for getting ready for work, breakfast and supper.  Lunch was included in the nine hour work day. So we’re down to five.  Then there’s always a few other odds and ends you need to deal with in everyday life, but you should be left with at least two or three hours of ‘me’ time.

Now, ask yourself what that ‘me’ time consists of?  Can you spare some of that time getting active?  Moving around?  Probably.

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’ – Martin Luther

Everything On the Internet is True

Okay, maybe not.. I tend to say that at times when I’m on the air at KG Country in a sarcastic tone.  Why?  Because NOT everything on the internet is true.  Or valid.  Or real.  Or safe.

Now, I want to make something abundantly clear here.  I continue to learn on a regular basis everything I can about proper technique for kettlebells.  It is a constant process of learning, relearning, trying new things and listening and reading from those that are far more experienced than I am.  And ya, I’ll view Youtube videos, read forums and blogs and get a bit of education that way.

However, I have an advantage.  I have taken a couple of kettlebell certification courses, so I can kinda spot when one of the above mentioned sources is full of crap or really doesn’t know what the hell they are doing.

Case in point, the following:

Oh. My. God.  Seriously?  Are you kidding me?  And for crying out loud, it’s a kettlebell… just a ‘kettlebell’ not a “kettlebell fitness accessory.”  It’s as bad as the informercial I watched where the fella called Windmills ‘Disco Side Bends.”  Ugh.

Anyway…. back on track…

What bothers me is that to someone who has never lifted a kettlebell before or is looking up  information about how to use one might stumble upon this.  That’s what scares me.  I watch this and cringe.

Want to see what a REAL kettlebell clean and press looks like?  Here:

I could spend and extended period of time discussing the differences between the two, but if you watch them both, you can probably figure them out on your own.

I cannot express enough the importance of finding someone who is certified.  That’s not to say everyone who is certified knows what they are talking about.  But, that’s likely a discussion for another day.

The internet is a valuable tool.  If I didn’t feel it was I wouldn’t have this blog or a Facebook account trying to promote my teaching.  The sad part is you sometime have to sift through a lot of chaff to get the wheat.

Want to get some proper technique and pointed in the right direction?  Drop me a line.


Got My Fix

Boy it felt good to teach a class last night.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it till I had to bail on a number of weeks.

I wonder if that’s what a junkie feels like?

I think the catch for me right now is to hold back.  One gets pretty eager at the onset sometimes.  The ‘honeymoon phase’ so to speak.  I have another class tonight, so I’ll get another fix.  Hopefully that’s enough to keep me to next week.

Turns out I’m not the only one who gets antsy when they are away from the gym unwillingly.  It kinda gets under your skin, in your veins once you learn you can enjoy it.  It becomes habit.  You rearrange your schedule to fit fitness in.  You make sure any destination you go to has some form of fitness facility.

Maybe that is how a junkie feels.

Time – It Takes Forever

Someone once said (and I assume it was the all-knowing wise man or whoever ‘they‘ is) time heals all things.

True.  Yep, it is.  But it can also try your patience.

I’m back in the gym, but not doing anything extra special, not that I was before, anyway.

Today I was going to try pullups, but you get to find out just how much of a whole body exercise that is if part of you hurts. So I bailed on those and did what the chiro recommended, cycle.  Twenty minutes, low RPMs and no issues with the hip.

That was nice.

No major workouts for this lad for a few weeks yet.  I’m old enough to know I want this to heal so I don’t have to go through the agony of the treatments again. It’s seems to be speeding up the healing, but lemme tell you A.R.T. is no picnic.

I think part of me is somewhat discouraged though because I felt I was on a path to getting better and strong at what I wanted to do.  And today, as I was stretching, I realized I’ll have to scale way back and start all over again.

Such is life I guess.  And probably a wise thing (they said).

Little patience, mmm yeah, mm yeah” – Guns N Roses

Man, that’s a lame quote… this one’s better:  “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson