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Kettlebells For Beginners

I’m newer to kettlebells than Lindsay Lohan is to underwear.

So, when I decided I wanted some awesome KB’s and guidance on how to start, I went straight to The Kettlebell Kings. I had seen them all over Instagram and could tell from photos that these KB’s were solid. (I didn’t want to invest in low quality KB’s just to have them die out early.)

The KB’s from Kettlebell Kings were just what I was looking for. There’s no random coating on the outside to scratch off, they look badass, and they feel great when using them.

Kettlebell Kings KB's

The even cooler upside to these nifty bells? They come with a 3 move beginner program, complete with awesome tips and video demonstrations from a real KB badass.  

I started with the first move, kettlebell deadlifts. I’m a huge fan of deadlifting and different variations, so this was right up my alley. I caught on quickly after reading the first blog post and watching the video.

Take home points from move one: keep your back straight, don’t lift too heavy and BREATHE.

You can watch my video here. 

The second move, the kettlebell swing, was way harder for me. Having only done swings with dumbbells before, it was a whole new world for me. Cue Aladdin & Jasmine. 

Take home points from move one: back straight, deadlift position on the bottom of the move, breathe and (the most challenging part for me) let the KB weight come into your hips before you start to hinge at the hips.

I needed a TON of practice on weight placement during this move. Since I had never really been shown proper form before, I just thought you swung with the weight. I was totally wrong.

It’s really important to hinge when the weight comes into your hips because if you start to bend too early, you place a ton of emphasis on the lower back. You want to avoid doing that. Retraining my muscle memory has been tough.

After numerous videos and corrections, I am better, but still need work.

You can watch my video here.

The third and final beginner move is the kettlebell squat press. I watched the videos, got all of my points mentally checked off and headed straight for the bell.

Instantly, I knew I was doing it wrong. Why? Because my forearm hurt like hell from racking the KB. Such a novice.

So on to YouTube I went. There had to be a way to rack the KB without hurting and bruising yourself. Then I found this video on keeping your hand open and using it as more of a hook to rack your weight. Game changer. 

My form got so much better and I wasn’t hurting myself any longer. AWESOME.

Take home points from move one: rack your kettlebell correctly, keep core activated and keep your elbow high to help maintain good form during your squat.

I loved this move! It was so much fun once I was able to do it correctly. Watch my video here.

Overall, I was super happy with my education and progress while completing the Kettlebell Kings beginner program!

Interested in grabbing some kettlebells for yourself? Check out The Kettlebell Kings!!

 

 

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Full Body Workout

Warm Up – 5 minutes on the stepmill at level 10

Round 1 – 4 sets
250m row
15 reps – 30lb dumbbell swings
10 reps – 40lb back squat with a slow negative

Round 2 – 3 sets (video below)
20 reps – 50lb Barbell alternating toe taps
10 reps – 50lb chest press


Round 3 – 3 sets 
(video below)

10 reps – 50lb barbell deadlifts
10 reps – 50lb barbell upright rows
10 reps – 40lb overhead barbell press


Round 4 – 4 sets

15 reps – 70lb deadlifts
 
This workout should take you about an hour from start to finish. Enjoy! 🙂
 
 

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Spartan Race Review

I am a Spartan… and you can be too!

SpartanJump

Honestly, I always thought Spartan Races were for the Crossfitters who just wanted to prove they are actually crazy and can perform awesomely hard feats while being wet and muddy. Well, I was totally wrong and I’d like seconds of the Spartan Cray Cool-aid. Like now.

I didn’t train much differently prior to the race. I kept my functional approach with lots of body weight work, lifting and a few cardio sprint sessions. If you have a relatively solid upper body regime, you’ll be just fine. I found the upper body work to be the most prominent throughout the race. Between the walls, heavy objects to carry and monkey bar variations, there was quite a bit of upper body work to be done.

Getting in a few trail runs also helps with training for the race. In Lake Elsinore, the paths were pretty flat with some trecks down rocks and hills. You know what also helps? Having a buddy.

While most people are SUPER (and I highly emphasis this!) helpful, it’s always better to have someone to encourage you and…. also let you sit on their back while you make your way across the horizontal wall traverse! 🙂 (Luckily there were two angels from heaven who showed my friend and I how to get across with no feet assistance).

Speaking of obstacles, I thought we had some pretty great ones! While some seemed a bit redundant (numerous walls and two rounds of slightly different heavy carries for example), I enjoyed the variety. The inverted wall was my favorite. Some of the other obstacles we encountered were the barbed wire “crawl” (we all got high off rolling), tire flip, net climb, atlas carry, monkey bars, rings, sand bag carry, bucket carry, plate drag, rolling mud and slippery wall.

SpartanBucketCarry

I approached each obstacle with slight apprehension as I had NO idea whether I’d actually be able to do it. I put my best face on and made sure I at least gave it my best go before succumbing to burpees. To my surprise, I completed all of them except for the rope climb.

What did I love most of all about the Spartan Race? The strong sense of community. It was as if everyone came together (no matter the shape, age or color) to overcome obstacles some never thought possible.

The emcee was amazing at starting the race off with a warm up. He pumped us up before we even left the corral by getting us chanting and encouraging each other. Making sure to set the environment with hearty AROOOO’s, camaraderie genuinely filled the air. This is the cool-aid I’m talking about.

I have never raced with such excitement & fear and I was so proud and inspired by the time I jumped over that fire with my friend. We had completed a race we never thought we could. We joined arms with individuals of all backgrounds and we came together to accomplish everything. Together, we all became Spartans. Together, we worked hard and set forth to do the best we could while helping others along the way. We started as strangers, but we ended as family.

This might seem like some crazy blog post, but honestly…. if you are thinking of doing a race. Do it! I promise, you’ll be changed forever.

SpartanCarry

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Upper/Lower Body Weight Workout

Here is one of my workouts from the other day! Helllllooooooo….. SORE.

dl

Warm Up: run 1 mile

Circuit: Perform 3 rounds (video example below)
10 Squat Rounds
10 Behind the Neck Military Presses
10 Bent Over Rows (with a 5 second negative)

Explosive Dead Lifts – 5 second negative – 15 Reps X 3 Sets (video example below)

Hanging Leg Raises – 10 Reps X 3 Sets (video example below)

Lat Pull Down – (go slightly lighter in your weight to really focus on utilizing the correct muscle group)
3 second count each way – 10 Reps X 3 Sets

Run 5 minutes

BOOM 🙂

 

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Running Tips – For Beginners

I have a (relatively) new love of running! I have never, EVER been a runner by any means, but some things have helped me to increase my speed, endurance and even just start out in general.

To summarize the 13 minutes of FABULOUS information in the video above:

  1. Get on a program.
  2. GET FIT FOR SHOES!!!!!! (and run in decent gear)
  3. Watch your speed – Talk Test
  4. Pump your arms
  5. Run intervals
  6. Fuel up properly

What are some of your running tips? Comment below 🙂

 

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Shoulder Blaster Workout

We all love a good boulder shoulder, right?! Here’s a quick little circuit to add to your routine.

This one will BURN. Make sure to choose weights that you are able to complete the entire circuit with and in good form.

 


Shoulder Blaster Circuit:

8 Dumbbell (or KB) swings
8 Wall Sit Front Raises (I use an EZ bar, but you can also use a barbell or dumbbells)
8 Medial Delt Raises

 

 

 

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