Sports Festival

My First 2x28kg Kettlebell Long Cycle Set

Ok so, after achieving Long Cycle IKFF Rank III and American Kettlebell Club Rank II with the 20kg Kettlebells in the April 2010, I've been working with the 24kg bells since then in my attempt to tame them. So far so good and I've been very happy with my results thus far. I've been consistently practicing with them and feeling more and more comfortable every day. That's the thing right there... if you want to be good at something you've gotta practice it and don't stop till you get there. Well in practicing something 4-5 days a week, every week, one can get burnt out so I decided to give myself a break from exclusively the 24's during the month of December. In doing so, and of course considering my love to lift heavy weights over my head, I decided that the orange and red bells had my name all over them.

Here's my inaugural Long Cycle set with the 28kg Kettlebells. Now also keep in mind that my bodyweight is currently about 145lbs too so this is A LOT of fun. It actually went much better than I had expected. My goal is to get comfortable with them so the Green Machines (24kg Kettlebells) will be much easier to tame when I start my next training cycle in January. Ultimately I want IKFF Rank CMS (candidate master of sport) in March at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Team Synergy has big goals for the upcoming event and I have high confidence we'll all achieve them. Keep watching us...

This was one of my low volume days and felt great. Here's my full Long Cycle practice that I did:

Warmup: Synergy Dynamics 2x16kg Jerks x 10 2x24kg Long Cycle x 6

Long Cycle Practice: 2 min rest between sets 2 Minutes 2x28kg @ 6rpm 1 Min. 2x28kg @ 6rpm x 4 sets

Finisher: 3 Min. 2x16kg @ 10rpm

Cooldown:

Synergy Dynamics floor series and foam roll

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.

The Pineapple Express Toward Your Diet Fast

A couple years ago I decided the diet I was on was just not working for me and my goals. You see that's exactly it. Our habits need to reflect our goals. When this happens everything falls into place and we reach our goals.  It's like having a road map... one that works. This past weekend I went with my Team Synergy Kettlebell competing team to the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH.  I'll be writing more on our Arnold & Kettlebell competing experiences there in a later blog post and I'll be posting pics and videos too. We had a great time.

On our trip from Chicago to Columbus we used a GPS... thank God!  Outside of me missing our first major highway junction, and having to make a detoured route, the GPS became an invaluable tool throughout the weekend. You see I'm not so good with finding my way around new town, let alone my own, and so I need very specific instructions.  When I have those then it becomes a no brainer and I simply follow as I'm told. So as my GPSscreamed at me to make a u-turn over and over and over as it was "re-routing" I eventually found my way and got back on track to thankfully reach my destination.

The same is true with our eating habits. We might have the directions right in front of us. We might have a nutritional coach or two that we follow or hire who, just like my GPS, "screams" at us to re-route and make a u-turn over and over and over. Until we do we will never get back on track. The directions are clear and the path simple to follow. What stops us from continuing on the right path is the action of which we must decide to make that u-turn and re-route. Once we do, our destination (our results) will be reached because the path will be right.

When I decided what path I wanted to take I thought of giving myself a day a week where I allow myself to fast or eat very little. Based upon a lot of research via both books and online I made my re-route to an Intermediate Fasting lifestyle.

It's strange that we feel we have to eat breakfast, have to eat lunch and have to eat dinner even though we might not be hungry. It took me over a year to prepare my mind for fasting and to believe that it is actually good for me... and it IS very good for me.  It's a proven fact that you will burn more fat, have more mental clarity, detox, have much more energy, not feel bloated, and the list goes on.

It's strange that in the beginning I thought that if I commit to fasting, I can get scared about it and resist it, but by creating a routine "Cleansing Fast Day or Period" I really look forward to it.  This gives me a designated day and/or time period each week when I don't have to think about eating food if I don't want to, and can just enjoy cleansing, detoxing, and re-hydrating by drinking water all day long.

For me I enjoy Intermediate Fasting and do it for the better part of the day. I don't eat anything, except maybe some berries, pineapple, and a small handful of almonds during the day. Then in the evening, always after 6pm (time can be adjusted to anyone's individual schedule), I begin my eating over the course of a 2-4 hour eating period. Some people just eat "normally" during each day and then take one or two, non-consecutive, Fast Days a week. That's perfectly fine too and still produces great health benefits and fat loss results.  Here's more of that story: America NEEDS An Awakening... Jared Lies!

Oh and by the way, those of you who are allergy and/or asthma suffers, the season is fast approaching where we'll be tested. I've got some great info that you can follow to help you with that.  Here's some natural remedies that just work. I use them ongoing- especially the bromelian by eating pineapple every day.

Quercetin: Quercetin’s effect on allergies is unmatched by other natural substances. Quercetin inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells, thereby preventing the allergic response and the secondary effects of congestion and asthmatic symptoms. Quercetin also inhibits leukotrienes which cause airway constriction. In addition, quercetin is a

powerful antioxidant that mops up free radicals generated by an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, the absorption of quercetin is poor. Luckily, this can be altered with the concomitant administration of bromelain.

Bromelain: Bromelain, derived from the stem of the pineapple plant, can enhance the absorption of quercetin. Anadded benefit included with bromelain is its ability to block inflammatory pathways fibrin and kinin. These compounds are responsible for tissue swelling, nasal congestion and sinus pain. Bromelain has also been shown to decrease the viscosity of mucus in the lungs. Pineapple is excellent to toss in a post workout smoothie to combat inflammation and aid in breaking down protein for absorption.

Have a great day and as always, I love hearing your feedback in the comment section.