Warmups & Workouts

WARMUPS & WORKOUTSWhat is the best warm up before a workout? Is it stretching, foam rolling, cobra poses, or what?

Synergy Dynamics

Make the warm up the workout is what my colleague Coach Dan John would say. An example of what he means by this is if you going to be squatting in your workout, you should be squatting in your warm up. All you need are a few light sets of 15, 20, or so reps is typically sufficient. Since we change up our workouts at Synergy Kettlebell so much we try to include movements in our warm ups that are moving all the joints and "prime mover" muscles.


But is that enough? The answer is: usually yes, but sometimes no. Most of the time what studies have shown is a few brief minutes on the foam roller and some gentle stretching/mobility will do. This is precisely why we have our Synergy Dynamics mobility drills positioned at the front of all classes first and then any weighted movements we do are a bonus, but not necessarily required.

Stretching has received a few bad marks these past couple years, but stretching in the right capacity has always been useful and good. If something is tight, I think you should stretch it. That’s also what Dan John and other top coaches would say.

Yoga pose

But what about correctives, and all that functional movement stuff? Great question! Most of the time we build correctives right into the workouts and you often times see them in between sets. They are a good way to keep rest periods productive (aka active rest), without sacrificing precious energy, and sometimes even regenerating it, like a health pack in a video game.

1 up

It can be, however, a mistake and of course a waste of time to do 30 minutes of warm up or corrective work, like leg raises, bird dogs, and ankle rolls before a workout though. Then all your time and concentration has been sucked right out of you. Do only what you need before you lift to prepare you for your workout and then save the rest for afterwards if you still desire to do those things.

3 Things That Make or Break My Workouts

Bob Garon OCR Training 2There are 3 things that I most always do and when I do I feel the benefits from them in my workout performance and recovery. If I alter even one of these 3 I almost immediately begin to feel the effects of that variable change.

2014-05-19 11.54.33 1) The first is after every single workout I always have a green smoothie. Green smoothies are essentially a dark leafy green with 1-3 fruits on top of that. The fruit masks the flavor of the dark leafy green and you receive all the nutritional benefits from the greens and fruit to begin working in your body to increase recovery. Just by that green smoothie inflammation is reduced in the body, energy climbs, hormones balance (cortisol & estrogen lower, testosterone spikes), and muscle heals.

One of my favorite recipes is simple and so nutritiously good! Big handful of spinach or kale Cup of blueberries 2-3 ripe bananas 1-2 apricots Blend and enjoy!

My friend Sergei Boutenko recently conducted a study on the effects green smoothies have on our bodies, mainly on athlete bodies. He studied runners and Crossfit athletes. What he found in the results of his 6 week study were pretty amazing. All the athletes did was add in one green smoothie every day into their diet. In fact, he didn't want them to alter anything else so they can clearly study the results from the introduction of the green smoothie. Check out his documentary called: Powered By Green Smoothies.

wpid-wp-1400705674759.jpeg 2) The second thing I do is always ensure I very thoroughly warmup and cool down. Without scheduling and spending the time to warmup and cool down I feel my body take longer to get into the workout and perform at the level I intend for it. Often times, during my strength training workouts, I spend more time warming up and cooling down than I do with my exercises for the workout. That's how important this part is. I also have been injured in the past, actually not too long ago and I posted about it too, and so I know how important it is for me to ensure I not only do this, but lead my Kettlebell and running students to do the same.

Here is the exact warmup and cooldown mobility drills and stretches that I practice before and after every single workout. I call them "Synergy Dynamics".

2014-03-11 17.31.153) The third thing is every day I make sure I get the right amount of sleep. This is probably THE MOST important one of the three. This can sometimes be a challenge as I get wrapped up in work or watching a Netflix tv show marathon, but sleep is rivaling its importance with good nutrition. Often times I feel the sleep I get is even more important than the food I put into my body. I eat for performance, for overall health & longevity, and also for recovery from workouts. No matter how I eat, if I don't get enough sleep my body will never fully heal itself and because of that, my performance and health will then suffer.

During sleep our tissues repair themselves and hormones balance. In studies, it is found that when we don't get enough sleep our stress hormones are spiked and this also jeopardizes our immunity on top of that. One way to help us get our 7-8 hours of sleep a night is to turn off or dim the lights around us. This includes our TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc. The ambient light stimulates our brains to want to stay awake by not producing the melatonin hormone which helps us initiate our Circadian Rhythm.

I hope these 3 things help you and by practicing them every day I know you will experience increased health, strength, body leanness (aka fat loss), and longevity. Overall you will be happier with yourself and how your body works. Well either do the above 3 for that to happen or we could just add my favorite bonus #4 which is to eat dark chocolate. That alone can accomplish everything!

From Your Coach: Before Every Workout

image The other day I broke one of my own cardinal rules. I was coming off of a stressful night with my son and then woke up early. Long story short, I was tired and unmotivated. So the last thing I truly wanted to do was workout, but I knew I needed to and knew I had to stick to my schedule or I would get out of habit.

Not only that, but I was pressed for time. So what did I do? I jumped right into my workout without first warming up. And I ended up straining a muscle in my shoulder. No bueno!


My cardinal rule has always been before I ever pick up a Kettlebell, run any steps, perform a single pushup, or do even 1 situp that I made it a priority to always warmup first. Well I didn't follow my own rules and I paid the price.

When we practice a good warmup our joints will release toxins, lubricate with synovial fluid, and the muscles will get lengthened so they're ready for full range of movement. This is important for every type of exercise training, strength and cardio alike.

Personally no matter what I'm doing I always perform our Synergy Dynamics before every workout. Years ago I developed it to take all our joints and muscles, from the top of our head to the bottom of our toes, through all movement ranges. Your mind will be ready and your body will feel ready to train as soon as you're done.


Warmup:THIS PREPARES YOU FOR TODAY’S WORKOUT!” This is our Synergy Dynamics.

Cool Down:THIS PREPARES YOU FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT!” This is our Synergy Dynamics Floor Sequence & Foam Roll.


Always make it a priority to be at your workouts early enough for a proper warm up and never just rush out to go home immediately after. The cooldown is just as important, possibly even more important even, than the warm up is. Make those to your priority and you will experience even greater results.

So you can become proficient and practice this on your own every time you without, watch the videos I put together that overview both our Synergy Dynamics Warmup & Cool Down Sequences: http://www.bobgarontraining.com/kettlebell-technique-video/

More results in your workout (HERE'S HOW!)

Warming up before workout program is a vital component for the big picture program. Without a warm up it's like jumping into your car on a frigid winter day, starting it up, and just driving away. Sure it would run, but it would not run very well and be a few miles down the road before it was coming along well enough. Your body operates in a similar manner. What we want to do is take it from a state of low level moving, which is just what we do on a regular basis around our house, our jobs, and of course riding in the car coming to the gym. So what we need to take it through some range of motions so that each joint fully warms up. By "warming up" what that means is, performing full range of motion and controlled dynamic stretching, so each joint will release synovial fluid to lubricate itself. The only way that happens is if we probably warm up with mobility drills. So always arrive at least 15 minutes early to your workout sessions to get in your complete warmup.

What I have done at Synergy Kettlebell Training is developed a warmup system that takes your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes and fully warms you up. Similarly I have also developed a cool down system that open up your hips and creates good spine mobility after your workout, before you leaving go home. The cool down is as vital as your warmup because after putting great stress upon your body with resistance training your muscles become inflamed and can be tight.

So in essence, to get the most of your workout, warming up is vitally important to prepare your body and your mind for the work you will be performing during your training. This keeps your body safer from injury. After your workout your cool down is vitally important so that you get the most of your post training recovery time and recovery is what makes your body decide if its going to give you good results or great results. Think of it like this: Your warmup prepares you for today's workout and your cool down prepares you for tomorrow's. 

In our group classes we lead you through the full warmup and cool down system which involves body weight mobility movements and full body compound resistance movements that change with our workout themes every 2 weeks so that they best compliment what we are going to be doing for that day. If you would like to get a head start in practicing the full body mobility movement portion I have video recorded them for you. By memorizing and practicing these mobility movements your big picture workout will be much more efficient and effective.

Synergy Dynamics Warmup Sequence Synergy Dynamics Cool Down Sequence

Have an awesome day and awesome kettlebell workouts! :)

"Back To The Future" Kettlebell Workout 1

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." -Leonardo Da Vinci

"Back To The Future" Kettlebell Workout 1

Warmup: Synergy Dynamics

Perform the following with a partner (distributing the reps equally), or perform half of the reps solo FOR TIME. Break up the reps and movements however you'd like as long as you and your partner finish 200 of each total between the 2 of you or 100 total for going solo.

200x Prisoner Squats 200x One Arm Thrusters 200x Burpees 200x V-Situps 200x Heavy 2 Hand Swings

"Anger Management" Kettlebell Workout 8

You create opportunities by performing, not complaining. -Muriel Siebert



"Anger Management" workout 8

Warmup: Synergy Dynamics

Your Crazy Go Home Anger Free Blaster: 2 Rounds, 1 Minute each Pushups Side Lunges Around The Worlds (alternate) Dead Lifts

Workout, 3 Rounds: 1st round 40/20 (work/active rest), 2nd round 30/15, 3rd round 20/10, 1 min rest btwn rounds,

*Crazy Jax active rest during the shorter time of all rounds.

Darcy Swings Long Cycle- R/L Phoenix Crunchers Renegade Row- R Renegade Row- L Mountain Climbers



Not All Kettlebells Are Created Equal...

These are the exact Kettlebells that we use at Synergy Kettlebell Training and we use them because Professional Grade Kettlebells are the best you can train with. Kettlebells are a tool for your fitness and I recommend always working with the best.

They are exactly what you'll need to get the most out of your training whether your focus is on sport or fitness. The shape of the bell allows extended, high rep sets with as much comfort as possible.

The bell handle and body ergonomically conforms to the contours of the hand, wrist, and forearm. This is an important aspect of the top lifts (Jerk, Snatch, Long Cycle).

Personally, I don't use anything else for my own training and have seen my progress quickened directly because of using Pro-Grades.

"Anger Management" Kettlebell Workout 1

"Let's make a dent in the universe." -Steve Jobs

"Anger Management" Workout 1

Warmup: Synergy Dynamics

Your Steam 'n Sweat Blaster: 6 Rounds, 25 seconds work /10 seconds rest Seated Press- R/L Swing, Catch, Squat Combo Bottom Half Kettlebell Burpee Heavy Kettlebell Dead Lift

Synergy Smack Station: 3-6 people will be smacking the Synergy BIG Tires with sledgehammers or dowels during each round. Rotate people each round.