Basic Movements for Daily Life

Archive for May, 2014

(Re)Build Your Foundation

My commute to work takes me through various parts of Central Alberta.  I get a chance to witness spectacular sunrises, sunsets, storms (winter, spring, summer and fall), a hint of the foothills and a taste of the prairies.  Honest to God, this is some of the most beautiful territory on Planet Earth.  Period.

On my journey one morning I noticed for the first time a place where a building used to stand. The building isn’t there anymore, but the concrete foundation is.  Farmland is all around it which has been tilled, planted and harvested many times around the square remains of whatever building used to stand there.  Roots, weeds and debris of all sort litter around it.

This got me thinking; if  a structure were to be reconstructed, the base, its foundation, is already there.  The basis onto which a building can be built is in place.  It’s likely solid and ready for any kind of construction.

Human foundation is much the same.  Once you’ve got that basic foundation constructed, the rest can be built.

Human foundations may vary from person to person.  If you’re struggling with healthy eating, build a basic foundation to start.  Remove one poor food choice from your menu and build from that.

If your foundation is to build strength, start at what many people call ‘the core.’  That would be your abs and trunk.  You know, the part that joins your top and bottom.  Sure you can make a strong top and a strong bottom individually, but if the middle is weak the top and bottom can’t really work together or complement each other.  Your ‘core’ doesn’t need to be ripped either.  Plenty of people have a strong foundation without the six pack and if that’s something you want work on the healthy eating foundation.

Once the foundation is there, build up from there.  Keep building till you get to a set goal and rebuild some more from there, kind of like adding another story to a building.

If you’ve had a strong foundation in the past it can be rebuilt.  Find what needs to be corrected within it and start the rebuild.  It’s likely still there, just needs the field around it cleared to get to it.

“Because if you have a strong foundation like we have, then you can build or rebuild anything on it.  But if you’ve got a weak foundation you can’t build anything.” – Jack Scalia


Kettlebells Are Hard

Kettlebells are hard!”  I’ve heard this on numerous occasions.  Yes, yes they are.  I’m not gonna lie to you.

As I was messing around with my practice the other morning I got to thinking ‘shouldn’t anything you do in the gym be hard?‘  Well, not so hard that you’ll never ever be able to do anything there, but difficult enough that goals are within sight but not so difficult they aren’t attainable.

I dunno how many people have told me they won’t attend a kettlebell class because of how hard you work.  Isn’t that the point?  In one hour you can kill a ton of calories.  I can toss science at you till I’m blue in the face, but suffice to say you’ll get more calories gone in twenty minutes of kettlebells than twenty minutes on a treadmill.  Plus, you’ll get strong.  Very strong.  Consider that a bonus.  It’s a more bang for your buck scenario.  If you’re looking for a quick way to burn the fat, kettlebells just might be your ticket.

Kettlebell Workshop March 23rd 010Simply put, when you go to a gym looking for results, no matter what tool you use (bar, kettlebell, treadmill), you need to put in the effort.  I’m not kidding.  It’s also going to be difficult.  Nothing about swinging a kettlebell or bench pressing is easy.  If it is, add some weight or take shorter rest periods.  Simple as that.  No over-thinking.

I’ve also discovered this:  If it’s an exercise (or stretch or ‘insert movement here‘) you hate to do, it’s probably one you need to do.

I hate stretching my hamstrings.  Why? Because it hurts.

Why?  Because they’re tight.

Why?  Because I don’t stretch my hamstrings.

Why?  Because it hurts.

Why?  Because they’re tight.

Stretch them.  No.

Why?  Because it hurts.

Why?  Because they’re tight.

See that vicious cycle?  That example can happen with just about anything.  Silly, isn’t it?

Yes, kettlebells are hard.  Yes, bench pressing is hard.  Yes, squats are hard.  But as the old adage goes, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  It may not seem like it at the time, but it’ll all be worth it.