Basic Movements for Daily Life

Archive for May, 2013

Let’s Get Creative

There are a number of kettlebell instructors I find inspirational and that I look up to.  They continue to learn and practice and learn and practice and learn.  And practice.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

And quite often they boil things down to basics.

One of those instructors I follow is Franz Snideman from Revolution Fitness Center in La Jolla, California.  My wife and I had the chance to visit him there in February.  One of the things I immediately noticed was the lack of, uh, stuff.  There were kettlebells, dumbbells, one Olympic bar (I think), ropes and a few other odds and ends.  Other than that, it was a big empty room.  No machines and lots of space to do, uh, stuff.  Body weight stuff, swing bells around and be, uh, basic.

Last week he posted a picture on Facebook doing Pistol Squats in a playground with milk jugs full of sand for weight.  I immediately thought back to when I started my fitness journey.  I had no weights or gear of any kind.  So, I filled milk jugs with sand, taped them to a less than sturdy metal broom handle and went nuts.  I benched, I pressed, I deadlifted and more with those things.  I was creative.  And thus began my fitness journey.  There’s photo evidence somewhere, but at this point it seems to be, uh, missing?

I’ve used barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and machines.  And after messing with all of them, I’m starting to lean towards just kettlebells and body weight stuff.  Basics.  Nothing fancy.  Kettlebells and my body are pretty portable.  I mean, after all, where I go the bag of skin and stuff stuffed inside typically goes with me.  And the hooks attached to the gangly things called arms can lug a kettlebell or two around.

With body weight and kettlebells there really is nothing  you can’t do.  Be creative and have fun.  Think outside the box.

There is nothing wrong with machines and all of the other gear.  I love training in the gym.  There is a certain inspiration I get just from being in there.  But the excuses of not having access to a facility need to go.

Don’t believe you can get a killer workout with JUST your body?  Watch this:

I dare ya, tell that dude he’s doing it wrong.

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.”  Earl of Derby


A Goal Without A Plan Is….

When I was a young lad, I had many dreams and wishes.  I mean didn’t we all?  I wanted to be an astronaut (still do), but as it turns out, science and math were never really my strong point and I likely never really applied myself like I should have.  I remember wanting to be a rock star, too.  But you need to ‘play a guitar to my fingers bled.’  Well, I never did that either.  I had those wishes, but didn’t really make a plan.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

How true.  This fits for a lot of things.  Think about it, if you have the wish to work in a certain city or country and you have no plan, it’s just a wish.  You need to get the ball rolling.  Make a plan.  What do I need to do to get there?  Upgrade my skills?  Learn another language?  This goes for wealth and damn near anything else you can think of.  Even lottery winners had a plan.. buy a ticket.  Hell,  you can’t win the lottery without that simple, basic plan.

The same is true for your health and well-being.  Overall fitness if you will.

I’ve been dealing with this hip/back issue for a year and a half almost.  I’ve had chiropractic, physio, Graston and am now currently undergoing I.M.S.  All of those treatments have been lovely experiences.  (insert sarcasm).  And they have all helped.  The hip is getting better.  It’s part of my plan to become pain free.

What I need to do now, though, is up the ante and fine tune my current plan.  I’ve been doing a few odds and ends at the gym to try to loosen things up, but the nagging, annoying reminder that it’s always there is, well, always there.

I need to explore further options and go outside of the delight of I.M.S. to help speed things up.  I’m itching to get back to swings and a few other things I have in mind, but I don’t want to rush it.

I have another goal; to further my kettlebell education.  But I can’t do that with a funky hip.  So I need to continue with my plan, maybe steer it in a slightly different direction, continue to explore, ask questions, and try a few different methods.

Without a proper plan, my goal of being pain free isn’t going to happen.

This is where you ask yourself what your goal is.  Is it to drop 20 pounds of fat? Is it to add 20 pounds of muscle?  Is it to become more flexible?  Now get a piece of paper, a pen and start writing.  Make a plan, stick with it (more than two days please) and you will get there.

While some wishes do come true, more goals get accomplished when a plan comes together.

“The Hardest Victory Is Over Self”

Sometimes social media drives me up the wall.  So much drama for people.  I try to be as positive as possible on Facebook and Twitter.  It doesn’t always work, but trust me, if I didn’t use a filter on my statuses or tweets, the ‘what’s on your mind‘ question on Facebook might get yanked.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your own good is delete people or remove them from your news feed.  Once you filter through all the garbage sometimes a gem shows up.  Like this picture:

pleasure in life  Now, I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have people around me who told me major decisions or ideas I had for my life or career were good ones.  I had their full support.  So, in reality I can’t completely relate to the statement in this picture.

Let me rephrase the quote a bit.  “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what YOU say YOU cannot do.”  This is something I can relate to more.  And to me, that statement is far more of a reward than doing what people say you cannot do.  Oh, I understand the feeling of showing somebody you can do something they say can’t be done, but beating your brain at ‘the game‘ is a bigger challenge.  You can remove yourself from the naysayers, but your thoughts, your self doubts, your feelings that you cannot do something can follow you around and linger and make you bonkers.  You don’t always need to believe the little voice in your head.

You get the opportunity to show your brain and any negative thoughts that YOU can do it.  And YOU will do it.  It doesn’t matter what IT is.  Work, life, health and well being, whatever.

I’ve conquered my brain a number of times and will continue to try to do so for as long as I can.

The funny thing is these little mental challenges will show up for as long as you’re not pushing up daisies, and even then, who knows?

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle

Bentley Bells Return for May and June

The next session of Bentley Bells starts May 9th and runs for 12 classes at 7:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. The session is registered and is $120.00 for the 12 classes. The dates are as follows:

May 9th, 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th, June 4th, 6th, 11th, 20th and 25th.  The dates are subject to change.

All classes are one hour and will take place in the Bentley Elementary School Gym unless it’s nice outside.. then we may swing in the grass!

If you are interested, shoot me an email at