Basic Movements for Daily Life

Posts tagged “kettlebell swing

Don’t Flaunt It – Sorta

Chances are pretty good I’m guilty of being ‘that guy‘ when it comes to getting healthy and fitter.  I’m pretty sure there were times I was kind of annoying and in people’s faces to a certain degree when I hopped aboard the path to a healthier lifestyle.  After all I wanted to shout from the rooftops I had arrived at a lifestyle change.

That’s nice…

Good for you…

Face it fitness friend, not everyone wants to hear about kettlebells, undulating periodization, the latest on protein to muscle mass ratio.  It’s good that you do, but not everyone wants to hear about it. ALL. THE. TIME.

I fear I was that guy.  I might still be, who knows?

One does not need to get preachy about a healthy lifestyle. Encourage but don’t be preachy.  If someone is curious about how you made your changes let them know.  Discuss it with them about your journey and how you arrived at it.  A gentle nudge is way better than a you-better-do-this push.

If you think about it, you are essentially a walking billboard for a healthier lifestyle.  If you make dramatic changes to your body there may be nothing better than people seeing those changes.  Especially if they haven’t seen you for some time.  A healthier, fitter person tends to walk taller, prouder and well, look different than they may have a few months ago.  Sometimes that’s the only sales pitch you need.  If they get curious, they’ll ask.  If they’re interested and sincere they may join you.

Sure, encourage, but don’t annoy.  Use subtle encouragement.




(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

“Failure Is Not An Option.”

Watch this, then read on:

Okay, get it?

That is from “Apollo 13” and the main character in this scene is Gene Kranz played by Ed Harris.  Apparently Kranz never actually said “failure is not an option.”  He explains as such:

“In preparation for the movie, the script writers, Al Reinart and Bill Broyles, came down to Clear Lake to interview me on “What are the people in Mission Control really like?” One of their questions was “Weren’t there times when everybody, or at least a few people, just panicked?” My answer was “No, when bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them. We never panicked, and we never gave up on finding a solution.”

Regardless, the point is ‘failure is NOT an option.’  And this is the case no matter what situation is tossed at you as try to achieve your fitness goal.

Take all the scientific and engineering jargon out of that scene above and replace with comments you face day to day as you make your journey.  All the negative ‘this can’t be done’ crap is the same, just with different terminology.  I’m not kidding, saboteurs are everywhere.  ‘Have this cookie’ could be the same as ‘you can’t run a vacuum on twelve amps!’  

No matter where you go or what you do there is always someone with a negative point of view regarding, well, everything.  Honestly, it gets tiring.  Remove yourself from the situation as best as possible and show them it CAN be done.

Toxic environments suck.  They suck the life out of you.  They suck the drive out of you.  And they suck the determination and motivation out of you.

Lace ’em up and get going.  Failure is not an option.

You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”  ~ Zig Ziglar

You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.

Zig Ziglar


You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.

Zig Ziglar


Two & A Half Months In And…?

So, here we are, two and a half months into 2013.  How’s that New Years Resolution going?

Just thought I’d ask.

If you’ve bailed on it like I used to do (I don’t make them anymore) I have a suggestion for you.  Why not try something new?  Kettlebells.

This coming Saturday, March 23rd, I have a Beginner Kettlebell Workshop planned at City Motion in Red Deer.  All the details are HERE!

052I see a lot of misinformed people swinging a kettlebell or using one in a potentially dangerous way.  I want to help steer you in the proper direction with education, practical applications and some instruction.

There will be a pile of information, hands on, and yep, even some sweat!

Interested?  Check out the link provided or email me at

It’s only $70.00 for three hours.  Oh, and I’ll even have some bells for sale, too!

Hope to see you there!

Today, I Admitted Defeat

I did something I feel I rarely do, cancelled.

Common sense tells me I had to.

Tomorrow I was supposed to have a three hour kettlebell seminar.  It was going to be geared toward the basics and an introduction to those who have never used them before.  I think it would have been fun.

But after my own training session today I had to make a decision based on my own physical well-being.

My back hurts like a son of a ….. well, gun.. ya, we’ll go with gun.

I’m not 100% sure how it happened in the first place.  It may have been that little slip this week on the snow covered ice…. it could have been the split second loss of focus on a kettlebell swing, I dunno.

I woke up this morning with a little bit of pain after going for physio yesterday.  I decided to take it light.  I warmed up for about ten minutes (I’m old).  Did a few hip movements with a band, tried some swings and pull ups… all seemed tickety-boo.  I moved on to some Turkish Get Ups with no weight (called naked – but you don’t need that picture in your head) and then did some foam roller work and some stretches.

Then I hit the shower.  And that’s when I found it was a bugger to stand.  Sitting wasn’t and isn’t a problem, but standing sucked.

I made the decision to postpone the planned session for tomorrow.  If I couldn’t stand standing for one minute, how in the hell am I going to give a three hour seminar?

Perhaps ‘defeat’ is too strong of a word, but that’s how I felt after sending the text to Jo at Jo Dumont Fitness.

I know I did this for my health, but part of me feels I let a few people down.  I know I shouldn’t feel that way, in fact, preventing injury is part of the whole teaching process.  Sometimes, though, you just can’t prevent ’em all.

So I’m hoping to reschedule the class and be at least 90% by then.  The next couple of days will be alternating ice and heat and limited standing.

A couple of days and I’ll be back to normal.  Whatever normal is.

Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted” -Aldous Huxley