Kettlebell Sport Practice 101: The Money $$$et

Kettlebell Sport Practice 101: Practice in thy movement improves thy movement. Forget the misc crap that wastes ur time. I used to be a HUGE believer in keeping things as simple as simple may be. In fact Lisa and I just minimized a bit of our lives by going through all our clothes, kitchenware, office stuff, electronics, etc and got rid of everything we either did not use or didn't need. It has actually been a super empowering and liberating experience.

In my 4 years of Kettlebell fitness training and short couple years experience in Kettlebell Sport specific training I'm finding that the protocols in the exact methodology of training is and should be quite simple. Often times people get in the mindset that they need to change things up so often so that their body stays "confused". There seems to be this bandwagon of fitness professionals who believe by varying day to day workouts on the extreme side is beneficial to the body in that it won't be able to adapt and be forced to change. In reality, the only thing that's doing is confusing the body from adapting to the stress load placed upon it in the practiced movements and prohibiting it from growing through progressions of any specific skill practice.

Look at any group of elite athletes and the one thing that is consistent between all of them is the simplicity of their training. In fact many of them have a similar training regimen for years and years. Their goal is to get better at one or two particular main skills.

If Michael Jordan didn't go out and shoot hoops every day and instead decided to ride a bike or play some lacrosse(nothing wrong with either) then he would never have been the amazing athlete that he became. If Michael Phelps didn't jump in the pool every day shave every hair from his body (optional thought here) to make him the best swimmer in the world by swimming lap after lap after lap after lap then he wouldn't be as good as he is. You can only switch up swimming laps in so many ways. The focus here is their consistent practice of the relevant basics of their desired skill in order to become better.

Kettlebell Sport is the same way. Our goal, first and foremost, is to train for and last 10 minutes on the competition platform. Along the wayside people, I was one of them, got sidetracked with training for reps before they can last the time. First is the time and then fill in the gaps with reps long before jumping up in Kettlebell weight.

When you can perform the reps, with the appropriate weight, in a comfortable range to survive 10 minutes then increase your pace. When your pace gets to such that you are performing high level reps for 10 minutes then you can progress to the next size bells. If you prematurely jump bells you will suffer not only physically, but also the timing and possibly technique.

Trying to force your body to give you more reps when all you can do is 3 or 4 minutes is not a good game plan. 3-4 minutes sets with the heavier bells can be tossed in here and there as assistance sets after your main practice, but first master the bells you can go 10 minutes with before jumping up. Always remember that 10 minutes is our goal. No one cares if we can do 3, 4, 5, or even 8 minutes. 10 minutes is what everyone wants to see and see us survive. That is a sign of a well trained and conditioned girevik. Once you get to 10 minutes fill in the reps from there.

As Gordon Gecko, in the movie Wall Street, would say: "Greed Is Good", but this is certainly not the case in Kettlebell Sport training. Personally, I had to eat some humble pie myself for a while and drop bell weight so I can get my pace and conditioning up. Once I did I am now more solid in what I'm currently doing. What I'm currently doing is 1 main Money Set every day for 5 days and never shorter than 6 minutes unless I feel lousy one day then I'll toss around for 5 min, but that's not gonna be too often. Focus on the main set as your bread and butter, work your butt off to give everything you've got left when that one main set isover, and after you're done with that set all you have is only bounced checks to write cause you have nothing left to give. That's the Money Set Training and it just works. When it's all said and done your specific Kettlebell Sport work should only take you 20 min or less, and the money set is only 10 minutes or less, with most days being 5-7 min. Beyond that assistance work and your cooldown. In my cooldown I literally spend 2-3 times the time stretching, yoga postures, etc than I did with my Kettlebell work. That is it. There are no secrets... just attention to simplicity and hard work. Do that and your results will come. Stop over-thinking it.

Synergy Kettlebell Training presents Tammy Gerken

Tammy Gerken, who is a member of the Synergy Kettlebell competition team practicing Biathlon, began lifting Kettlebells a few months ago and took to it right away. As soon as she picked up her first Kettlebell and pressed it overhead, without much effort, I knew right away she's gonna be VERY good at this sport. So, unbeknown to Tammy, I pushed her to her potential. I love working people's potential. Sometimes they go along with it and work their hardest and other times they crumble. Tammy was the former. She rose to the challenge, accepted me as her teacher, and began practicing Kettlebell Sport. Tammy impressed me in several ways and it's truly been a sincere pleasure to begin this great journey alongside her. I could tell she was quite nervous in the beginning and rightly so... it was something new and she had this bald guy telling her to lift heavy weighted balls over her head. I'd be nervous too! LOL I'm glad Tammy has a GREAT sense of humor. :)

Most women begin with the 8kg(pink) Kettlebell, but I noticed Tammy's strength from the getgo so I encouraged her to work her potential for optimal results and reward by blasting right past the pink and goin for the the blue which was the next progression being 12kg. She didn't even hesitate or question my judgement. She trusted her coach and my programming. Shortly after her first month Tammy blasted past that blue Kettlebell and moved into the 16kg (yellow). Now unless someone has a long history of athletics and/or exercise this quick of progression is not very common. Back in high school sports Tammy played volleyball, basketball, track (shot-put, discus, and ran the 800m) so the base was there to build upon. When I made her transition to the 16kg she wasn't as receptive to choosing that Kettlebell as she was the blue one. I'd often see her sneak the blue 12kg back into the mix and have to both remind and encourage her to bring back the yellow. After a short time she said the blue Kettlebell was feeling too light and she was more comfortable with her yellow. So our plan was working. She was looking VERY solid in her technique and impressing me with her reps.

I think the biggest thing that has impressed me with Tammy is her passion and her drive. I posted something about the IKFF Nationals Kettlebell Competition to all my clients and later that day she told me she had registered for it and will be competing in Biathlon (Kettlebell Snatch & Jerk) on the 25th of September. She actually registered before I did. Wow! And then last month when I announced our very own hosted Synergy Kettlebell Turkeybell Invitational, this November on the 13th, she was the first to jump and register for that too. She has decided to put her whole self into what she is doing because this is for her. She is an inspiration to me. Tammy came to me simply looking to lose weight, get in shape, and get healthy, but how Tammy affected me was- in my opinion- probably much more than I could ever affect her. Thank you Tammy!!!


Be Inspired Today!


Today gentlemen, I am honored to coach you More honored to be leading you onto the field of battle But theres another honor to be bestowed upon you And that is in the answer that comes with that question: Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Thats right, and you need to remember that all through this game I will conquer what has not been conquered Defeat will not be in my creed I will believe what others have doubted I will always endeavor to pull esteem, honor, and respect out of my team I have trained my mind and my body will follow Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! I will acknowledge the fact that my opponent does not expect me to win But I will never surrender Weakness will not be in my heart I will look to my comrades and to those who are a part of me in this world and those who have trained me And I will draw strength from them Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! I will gladly go out into the field of battle And I will move in everything I can do And I will reach my field of battle by any means at my disposal And when I get there, I will arrive violently I will rip the heart from my enemy, and leave it bleeding on the ground Because he cannot stop me Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! To my side I have comrades, comrades that have been with me through thick and thin Who have sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears Never will I let them fall, never will I let them down, and I will never leave an enemy behind Because our opponent does not know my heart Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! No one will deny me, no one will define me And no one will tell me who and what I am and can be Belief will change my world It has moved continents, it has moved countries, it has put men on the moon And it will carry me through this battle Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Defeat, retreat: those are not in my words I dont understand those definitions I dont understand when things go wrong I dont understand mistakes But I do understand this: I understand victory, And I understand never surrendering No matter how bad things go my heart and my mind will carry my body through limits and weakness Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Today will be that day Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now, right here In your house and in your homes Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! History will remember me I will not let worrying affect my cause I will define myself I will write my own pages And no one will tell me what I cannot be I will never give up Not until Ive given everything I got Because who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION! Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION!


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, beyond measure.

Ima show you, how great I am.

Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch, and was in the bed before the room was dark.

Ima show you, how great I am.

Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick, Im so mean I make medicine sick.

Ima show you, how great I am.

This kids gonna be the best kid in the world. This kids gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.

Ima show you, how great I am.

I have wrastled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, I done handcuffed lightnin, thrown thunder in jail.

Ima show you, how great I am.

All you chumps are gonna bow when I whoop him, all of you, I know you got him, I know youve got him picked, but the mans in trouble, Ima show you how great I am.

But somewhere along the line you changed, you stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you youre no good, and when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know, the world aint all sunshine and rainbows, its a very mean and nasty place and I dont care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life; but it aint about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. Thats how winning is done.

Cause if youre willin to go through all the battling you gotta go through to get to where you wanna get, whos got the right to stop you. I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to somebody, something. And youre told no even after you pay your dues, whos got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody. Its your right to listen to your gut, it aint nobodys right to say no, after you earn the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do.

Now if you know what youre worth, then go out and get what youre worth. But youve gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you aint where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that aint you! Youre better than that!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

Darlene Davis 10 Min. 8kg One Arm Long Cycle

Team Synergy keeps growing and working very hard to improve ourselves at every kettlebell competition we can make. Darlene Davis, my sister-in-law, did a super great job at her first Kettlebell competition at the Mid Michigan Kettlebell Invitational in Livonia, MI. She performed 123 reps and achieved IKFF Rank IV at her debut event. On top of that we received some excellent feedback that's gonna help our team by me being a better coach and them better athletes.

Awesome job Darlene and CONGRATS! Stay focused and let's keep working hard. I can't wait to see what more you can do in the future.

And here's Darlene's quick 3 min. 12kg One Arm Long Cycle sprint set that was just for fun and also for charity to raise money for the Michigan Soldiers fund.

AGAIN - Awesome job Darlene!! :)

Kettlebell Competition Experience Testimonials

This past weekend was awesome! Team Synergy had a blast up in Michigan at the Great Lakes Kettlebell Lifting Competition. We saw A LOT of newbies competing, but also some REALLY green newbies too. There were a few people who have only been practicing kettlebell training for a little over a month. One guy actually got gold in his class. This sport is perfect for every level and I can't wait for the next one.

The competition at the Kettlebell meets aren't like other sports. No one's in your face being a ruthless competitor. In fact it's more like the opposite.

I was talking on Facebook recently with Lisa Shaffer, another Kettlebell Coach, and she mentioned that my clients were gonna be athletes before they know it. I definitely agree with that and have to say that they're ALREADY athletes,

but just don't know it. It's funny she said that because most all of my clients do exactly what is needed for competition time and numbers. Most of them are just nervous of the "C" word. There's nothing to fear cause it's just like another workout in class except in front of new faces.

Everyone at Kettlebell Competitions are so nice and supportive. Most of the people next to you are just chugging along in their own sets, trying to survive, just like you and you don't even know how many reps they have either. So that being said, you go for you. You do the absolute best you can do and whatever happens, happens and you find out when your set ends what the results were.

Here's two of Team Synergy Kettlebell Training members sharing what their experience was at their first Girevoy Sport meet which was the Great Lakes Kettlebell Competition at Turtle Creek Casino in Traverse City, MI. It was a great meet and we had so much fun.

Our results this weekend were pretty good. We all finished our full 10 min. The ladies all competed in Women's Long Cycle. Nadia put up 102 with the 8kg, Shaheen 99 with the 12kg, Lisa put up 91 and only needed 90 w/ 16kg for Rank I. Lisa was going for Rank II which needed 70 reps so she did 21 more than expected and desired. I achieved Men's Long Cycle Rank III by putting up 61 reps and only needing 44 with two 20kg bells.

We had a great time and are looking forward to next month when we do it again. If you want to join us and be part of Team Synergy or just wanna go be a spectactor let me know.

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.

Who Is Valery Fedorenko

This was a recent American Kettlebell Club video post and I thought I would share it with everyone as he is one of the men who taught me what I know as well as believe in the practice of kettlebells.

After accomplishing many firsts at a very young age, Valery Fedorenko retired from Professional Kettlebell Sport to pursue his new goals! The first goal being to promote Kettlebell Lifting as a superior way to get in shape! He knew that the best way to do this was to go to America and introduce the Kettlebell and his methods there. In 1999 he brought the first Kettlebell to USA and has not stopped talking about it since! He has a secondary goal to bring more Master of Sport of Kettlebell Lifting to the world than any Coach in history, but that's his competitive nature! He is currently Chief Advisor for World Kettlebell Club and Head Coach of Team America, and has students from age 8 - 80! In this capacity he cooperates with Top Coaches from all over the world to educate the masses of planet Earth!


Some of Valery's Firsts:

*First World Champion in Kettlebell Sport history (80kg)
*First to Snatch 200 reps with 32kg in 10 minutes
*First Junior to win a National Competition
*First kettlebell demonstration in America 2000/NYC
*Youngest Master of Sport World Class
*Youngest Honoured Master of Sport

For more information on Valery Fedorenko or World Kettlebell Club, visit: