Lifter

Lisa Garon Is An Outlaw Kettlebell Lifter

Lisa Garon was highlighted as a top U.S. Kettlebell sportsman, sportsperson, sportswoman (not sure which is appropriate LOL). Check out the featured article Ken Whetham put up on his North American Outlaw Kettlebell Club blog and show Lisa some love & support with a nice comment: Lisa Garon Outlaw Article HERE. Lisa really inspires me with how far she's come in such a short dedicated time. Her commitment to herself and her weekly routine is how this is all possible. When I first met her she didn't even go to the gym and to think about her eating anything healthy was like asking a horse to moo. LOL

She smoked, drank and partied here and there, but one day just decided it was time to get away from that life wrecking habit and create better ones. So she dropped over 30lbs and hasn't look back since. Who would have thought this little bowling ball with a handle on it would change her, and the lives of others, so much.

Watch the video below of her 20kg (44lb) One Arm Long Cycle set at the IKFF Kettlebell Lifting Invitational 2011. VERY solid set!

Great write up honey! You're lookin more amazing every day and every day you amaze me more.

Synergy Kettlebell Training "No Weak Sauce" Challenge Rewards

Achieve Kettlebell Sport rankings in either IKFF or AKC and we’ll celebrate together with some awesome rewards recognizing your dedication and achievement.

2011 is the Year of Yes! Do NOT say "Maybe"!!! Do or do not. -Master Yoda

YES I Can! YES You Can! YES We Can!

With that mindset let's make some new goals happen and step off this year stronger than ever before in your entire life. This is YOUR year! This is YOUR 2011! Let's make it so!!

New for 2011, as a Synergy Kettlebell Training member, when you achieve Kettlebell Sport ranks in either the IKFF or AKC we'll support you with really cool recognition rewards.

Ranks for each organization:

International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation Kettlebell Sport Ranks

American Kettlebell Club Ranks

According to the AKC here are the Top 10 Benefits of the Kettlebell Sport Ranking System

Promotes the use of lighter weight and greater technique Reduces chance of injury as lifter can progress gradually Opens the sport to many more lifters Encourages a balanced, healthy approach Allows coaches to bring in more clients / students Specifically creates a better lockout and rack position Promotes adherence to the sport Creates competition at lower levels Increases potential size of teams Opens up the kettlebell community to more age groups

DOWNLOAD THE REWARDS PROGRAM HERE

I love having ranks like this cause it benefits us with a solid goal and once we reach that goal we know exactly where to go beyond that. So as we improve in the ranks we know that our body is improving in every aspect as well to become more and more Skinny Stronger every day. I must tell you that achieving rank just doesn't happen. It's not something we just stumble upon and do one day. It's something we must work toward with everything we've got. Only that way will we truly enjoy the sweet rewards of everything Kettlebell Training results have to offer.

I wanna see some newbies get rank here real soon. Age or experience doesn't matter as much as getting out there and doing it. You never know what you're capable of until you put yourself to the test. By achieving each rank we find out more and more about how we can improve ourselves to get better. That's the great thing about Kettlebell Sport ranks. We're already doing this stuff and now we can apply it right to a perfect set of goals in front of us to motivate and encourage us to be the best we can.

Kettlebells = Skinny Strong

This month at Synergy Kettlebell Training we're focusing on a series I'm calling "Skinny Strong". The goal is to get as strong as we possibly can and all without putting on any mass. In fact we want to get both skinnier and stronger at the exact same time. That's exactly the type of strength that Kettlebells give.

Most women, and more and more even men, don't want to bulk up. That's just not how most people want to be. Yeah sure when you're an 18-22 year old male looking to impress the ladies with your ripped abs, juiced biceps, and widepecs, but is that really complimentary to how life really is? Do beach muscles provide functional strength that can be applied to our every day living? Do preacher curls, pec decs, lat pulldowns, leg extensions, and elliptical machines do a body good? Is it cool having mere aesthetics without the full use of them and when asked to run across the street you get out of breath before you hit the curb? Is that really a good thing? Wellllllll I don't think so!

Of course BOTH genetics and your nutrition DEFINITELY play a HUGE part in how your body will develop, but when training Kettlebell Sport style you won't have to worry about packing on pounds or getting bulky. In fact added muscle and bulk is actually quite cumbersome to the movements: Snatch, Jerk, & Long Cycle. So being Skinny Strong is very complimentary to moving Kettlebells.

Problem: weakness and flab. Solution: Kettlebell Training = Skinny Strong and a super fit body that won't ever quit on you!

More to come on being Skinny Strong with Kettlebells in future posts. Next up is learning how to be Skinny Strong by playing with the Kettlebell Jerk. Ok I'll stay away from the mirrors. LOL

In the pics above you'll see one of my friends, and fellow Kettlebell Sport lifter (who achieved her Candidate Master of Sport ranking earlier this year), Johanna Funk and the Ice Chamber Girls.

Learn From My Girevoy Sport Technique Mistakes

This past weekend I had the fun experience of Kettlebell Sport competing at the Mid Michigan Kettlebell Invitational in Livonia, MI. This was only my second official competition with my first being a month prior. I've learned quite a bit of technique in the past couple months of training. You see I've been training with kettlebells for about 3 years now; however moreover in a more fitness style and not sport style training. At the beginning of March, after this year's Arnold Sports Festival where I had a few athletes (my wife one of them), I decided it was time I through myself onto the platform. I've had a lingering lumbar spine disc protrusion for the past 3 years which I've allowed to limit me and I wasn't gonna let that happen any longer. So I jumped into the Girevoy Sport water and decided to swim. It's been a fun past couple months and my technique and strength continue to improve. By exposing myself to these Kettlebell Sport competition experiences I rub shoulders with some of the best lifters the U.S. has to offer. Some of them have been privileged to have training opportunity with top level Russian lifters and coaches. That being said, they have passed some of their invaluable knowledge onto me and exposed both my weaknesses as well as gaps in my technique. By correcting my mistakes, from what I've learned in one weekend experience alone just being around these amazing athletes, it has made me a much better lifter and coach.

In hopes that you too will learn from my own technique mistakes I have included pics of what they look like and what to look/feel for when you are training.

Mistake 1. Use Proper Equipment: Get lifting shoes from the start. Get your own here: Rogue Fitness "Do-Wins"

Mistake 2. Have Proper Body Alignment: Always keep your elbows in front when resting in the rack. Never lean to one side or the other as you see me mistakenly do in the pictures below.

Mistake 3. Proper Lockout: When the bells are locked out overhead count "one one-thousand" before bringing them down. This will ensure a good lockout. My picture directly below is NOT a good lockout and was the last one I performed in my set before setting down my bells. I received a "No Count" for it and rightly so.

Definition of a proper overhead kettlebell lockout: By AKC Coach Mike Stefano The feet are flat on the floor, knees, hips straight and strong. Back is arched, and gaze forward. The lockout arm extends straight up over the head with the bicep near the ear. The elbow is locked and shoulder is seated. The kettlebell hangs off the heal of the hand (hip of the palm) behind the head, wrist is relaxed. Ears, shoulders, hips, and knees line up vertically creating a skeletal stack to accept the majority of the resting load. The palm is angled slightly towards the face, not rotated out where the kettlebell spins out overhead. The kettlebell is completely still or fixated. From the side view the upper arm appears to be perpendicular to the floor as it rises up out of the shoulder joint. The elbow joint is fully extended (not hyperextended) and completely locked. This may result in a gentle backward curve in the arm. Don't confuse this with the elbow being bent. The arm should never be in front of the face from the side view, as this will require much greater muscle contraction to stabilize the shoulder joint. How far back the arm will go depends upon the flexibility of the shoulder joint. Many people have a tight anterior, rounding the shoulders, thus preventing the arm from getting to that parallel-to-ear position while overhead, preventing a stable rest position.

Mistake 4. Fixation: Fixation in a nutshell means being in control of the kettlebell. Fixate the bells overhead prior to lowering them back to the rack in the case of Jerks and Long Cycle or before tossing back into the swing in the case of the Snatch. Fixation means no overhead movement of any kind as well as no unstable footing. To have good fixation both your elbows will be locked, both your knees will be locked, and there will be full bodily control over the bell. You will not have any momentum or movement going anywhere. By ensuring fixation overhead you will have all the stabilizer muscles working and ultimately become stronger. Once you have fixation you are ready to return the bell whence it came whether that was the rack position or to re-snatch it.

These are the things I am working directly on and my encouragement to you is to do the same no matter if you're working with one bell or two in your own training sessions. Even if you have no desire to compete in Kettlebell Sport you are going to benefit from proper overhead lockout, fixation, and focusing on body stability in all of your movements.  Valery Fedorenko told me that fixation in the lockout is the key to kettlebell lifting whether for sport or fitness so that your body becomes strong, stable, and ensures chance of injury is greatly diminished. Having fixation means having control over the kettlebells. If you have control then you are able to better focus and succeed in your kettlebell training goals.

My First Long Cycle Set Using 2x24kgs

So I threw myself to the wolves at this year's Mid Michigan Kettlebell Invitational in Livonia, MI when I decided to give the 24kgs Kettlebells a go. It was only my third time using them outside of a warm-up or single bell work. I don't think my set this time around was the prettiest ever performed and seen on the Girevoy Sport platform, BUT the fact that I got up there and did my best is worth noting. I've only been training specifically for Girevoy Sport, aka Kettlebell Sport, for about 3 months. Yes I've been working with kettlebells for about 3 years, but that has been more fitness oriented and only with one bell. Since this past year's Arnold Sports Festival back in March I got more serious and wanted to Kettlebell Sport train to compete. I had to get up there and throw myself into the water and swim so I know exactly what I am doing right as well as wrong. That is the way I find works best for me to learn. I will only strive to continue improving myself through experience and feedback that I receive by better as well as more weathered lifters.

I have A LOT of work to focus on in tweaking my overall technique such as getting more comfortable and stable with them, better elbow posturing in the rack position, longer and more strict fixations, and lower second hip dips. I know that I will only get better the more I work with them ongoing.

I received some really, really good feedback on my Long Cycle set that I will directly put into practice in my training. Honestly and truly I never ever claim to be the best or do everything right. I've only been practicing kettlebell training for about 3 years and when it comes to G.S., I'm still a baby in this sport with only 2 competitions under my belt and 3 where I've coached athletes in them. With each one I learn more and more.

When I post my videos I know I get feedback. That's the point. I know I'm not perfect and never claimed to be a great Kettlebell lifter. But if I don't jump on the platform and just do it then I'll never experience what I need to in order to learn and grow.

There is two main reasons why I compete- and am extremely glad I can given my lumbar spine condition. The first is for fun. The second is for abrasion. In order to grow we must scrape off that which is unneeded and be guided in the direction of accepted and proper habits. This most recent competition experience has given me tremendous guidance in which I will be abrading myself in order to come back stronger in several regards.

It is because of everyone who comments to me on the video where I posted it on Facebook, Youtube, and my blog here, who attended the event, who I spoke to privately, and who I continue to be mentored from that have truly given me leverage over my abrasive self. I just want to enjoy kettlebell sport... so I got up on the platform and went to work. I didn't expect perfection. In fact my wife reminds me all the time that I am definitely not there yet. But what I did want is the abrading experience that only comes by sucking up the fact that I am not of the highest caliber of G.S. athletes and jumping up there and just doing it.

In Russia, they too must all start somewhere. Typically we only see the videos of the good Russian lifters, BUT there are lifters making the exact same mistakes that I, and everyone else here in the U.S., are making. Each of their own coaches must work with them ongoing to get better and better. That's just the process of the way it goes. As much as we'd like to think all Russians are born born with a Kettlebell in their hand and with an MS branded on their foreheads, they are not. They too have to do exactly as I, and all the other American rookies are doing. We've gotta just get up there and do. In doing we get better... in hopes that one day we might put up a really good set which in turn truly deserves the "good jobs" and "thatta boys/girls". I like hearing that, but know deep down what I need to do in order to get better and better. If there is something that I need to know and work on, well, that comes with experiencing the abrasion. I welcome that.

So again to all of you I say: THANK YOU. I truly, truly mean that and all of your comments, thoughts, and words never ever fall on deaf ears. I take every one of them to heart and because of my own mistakes every one else can also continue to grow.

Overall the Kettlebell meet was a really fun time with some super great people there to hang with.

Here's a video of my performance:

And here's my quick 3 min. 2x20kg Long Cycle sprint set that was just for fun and also for charity to raise money for the Michigan Soldiers fund.

My First Long Cycle Set Using 2x24kgs

So I threw myself to the wolves at this year's Mid Michigan Kettlebell Invitational in Livonia, MI when I decided to give the 24kgs Kettlebells a go. It was only my third time using them outside of a warm-up or single bell work. I don't think my set this time around was the prettiest ever performed and seen on the Girevoy Sport platform, BUT the fact that I got up there and did my best is worth noting. I've only been training specifically for Girevoy Sport, aka Kettlebell Sport, for about 3 months. Yes I've been working with kettlebells for about 3 years, but that has been more fitness oriented and only with one bell. Since this past year's Arnold Sports Festival back in March I got more serious and wanted to Kettlebell Sport train to compete. I had to get up there and throw myself into the water and swim so I know exactly what I am doing right as well as wrong. That is the way I find works best for me to learn. I will only strive to continue improving myself through experience and feedback that I receive by better as well as more weathered lifters.

I have A LOT of work to focus on in tweaking my overall technique such as getting more comfortable and stable with them, better elbow posturing in the rack position, longer and more strict fixations, and lower second hip dips. I know that I will only get better the more I work with them ongoing.

I received some really, really good feedback on my Long Cycle set that I will directly put into practice in my training. Honestly and truly I never ever claim to be the best or do everything right. I've only been practicing kettlebell training for about 3 years and when it comes to G.S., I'm still a baby in this sport with only 2 competitions under my belt and 3 where I've coached athletes in them. With each one I learn more and more.

When I post my videos I know I get feedback. That's the point. I know I'm not perfect and never claimed to be a great Kettlebell lifter. But if I don't jump on the platform and just do it then I'll never experience what I need to in order to learn and grow.

There is two main reasons why I compete- and am extremely glad I can given my lumbar spine condition. The first is for fun. The second is for abrasion. In order to grow we must scrape off that which is unneeded and be guided in the direction of accepted and proper habits. This most recent competition experience has given me tremendous guidance in which I will be abrading myself in order to come back stronger in several regards.

It is because of everyone who comments to me on the video where I posted it on Facebook, Youtube, and my blog here, who attended the event, who I spoke to privately, and who I continue to be mentored from that have truly given me leverage over my abrasive self. I just want to enjoy kettlebell sport... so I got up on the platform and went to work. I didn't expect perfection. In fact my wife reminds me all the time that I am definitely not there yet. But what I did want is the abrading experience that only comes by sucking up the fact that I am not of the highest caliber of G.S. athletes and jumping up there and just doing it.

In Russia, they too must all start somewhere. Typically we only see the videos of the good Russian lifters, BUT there are lifters making the exact same mistakes that I, and everyone else here in the U.S., are making. Each of their own coaches must work with them ongoing to get better and better. That's just the process of the way it goes. As much as we'd like to think all Russians are born born with a Kettlebell in their hand and with an MS branded on their foreheads, they are not. They too have to do exactly as I, and all the other American rookies are doing. We've gotta just get up there and do. In doing we get better... in hopes that one day we might put up a really good set which in turn truly deserves the "good jobs" and "thatta boys/girls". I like hearing that, but know deep down what I need to do in order to get better and better. If there is something that I need to know and work on, well, that comes with experiencing the abrasion. I welcome that.

So again to all of you I say: THANK YOU. I truly, truly mean that and all of your comments, thoughts, and words never ever fall on deaf ears. I take every one of them to heart and because of my own mistakes every one else can also continue to grow.

Overall the Kettlebell meet was a really fun time with some super great people there to hang with.

Here's a video of my performance:

And here's my quick 3 min. 2x20kg Long Cycle sprint set that was just for fun and also for charity to raise money for the Michigan Soldiers fund.

Kettlebell Training & Forearm Recovery Care

After my kettlebell training and Girevoy Sport practice my forearms are usually what bother me most depending on what I've done. Proper forearm, wrist, and hand care is vital for a girevik's (kettlebell lifter) ability to continue training. If your grip goes then you cannot complete your sets and your workout ends. Obviously that's not the goal and so preventive mobility drills and stretches for the forearm will allow it to continue recovery ongoing.

Here's what I do to help increase my forearm mobility and a great way to make sure your forearms are fully stretched and recovering after your kettlebell training.