health club

Our *NEW* Synergy Kettlebell Training Gym

Last week we moved into our brand new gym suite and are absolutely loving it. There's so much more room to fat blast and get stronger with dem kettlebells.

Check out a few pics from our Synergy Kettlebell Training studio. I'm still working on motivational wall decorations, window signage, mat flooring, and a couple cool murals. For now it's a dream come true for me. I praise God for providing and for all my clients who help make this possible every day.  Thank YOU!  :)

Liberate Yourself From The Four Walls Part 3- Child's Play

In this segment of "Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls" my son Brayden has some Liberation Practice. To him, it's just play time.

We usually do a lot of things together and being active is definitely one of them where we really bond. He comes with me to almost every training session and Kettlebell Kamp. This, fitness, is all he's ever known. I'm hoping as he grows up he keeps to what he knows and doesn't reject any of it.  I do my absolute best to make it fun for him and have it be a more playful atmosphere instead of a grueling workout.  If he stops having fun then we either stop what we're doing or change paces so he's still being active, but simply doing something else more attention grabbing. Enjoy the latest segment of our Liberation Campaign as we see it from a more simplistic approach outside the traditional box. Bruce Lee really hit the nail on the head when he said: "Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere.And this can and most definitely should be applied in all things fitness.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5172063&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1

My goal in this series and Liberation Campaign is to liberate myself- and as many people as I can to come with me- from the four walled, stink, sweaty, meat market, closed in, machine based confines of the modern gyms. Be encouraged- do the same! Just because it's modern doesn't make it better. It simply means they are getting better and better at putting things inside the four walls that attract the public to toss more money at them. What did people do before these gyms? Actually they did a lot.

In case you missed the first 2 parts here you go:

Part 1
Part 2

Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls Part 2

Yesterday I introduced my Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls campaign by breaking down ever so gently that we don't need these big box gyms. As mentioned, it is my goal is to liberate myself- and as many people as I can to come with me- from the four walled, stink, sweaty, meat market, closed in, machine based confines of the modern gyms. Be encouraged- do the same! Just because it's modern doesn't make it better. It simply means they are getting better and better at putting things inside the four walls that attract the public to toss more money at them. What did people do before these gyms? Actually they did a lot.

Today I demonstrate for you a couple things you can do with nature and in nature to acheive strength and conditioning. I left the running element out for obvious reasons. I doubt you'd want to watch a video of me running through woods dodging the tree stumps and weird noises from every other bush. So I spared you those moments and demo my stone and log lifts. Notice that I am not perfect, have butter fingers at times, and do drop the stone in a couple clips. This is ok as long as it doesn't drop on your big toe. The pinky toe you can do without, but watch out for the big boy. That one we still need.

In my next post, Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls Part 3, I will be introducing some other things you can do in nature. My son Brayden guest stars in that video and helps me bring some good info for you by having a great time fitness frolicking in the woods. Stay tuned for that.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O71eoZN7IQ]

In case you missed the first part here you go:

Part 1

Liberate Yourself From The Four Walls

One of the biggest hurdles I have to overcome as a trainer is making people believe that the things that we do are not only good for them, but also possible for them to take the necessary steps to get them where they want to be. It is said that a good coach is someone who makes people do what they do not want to do so that they might become who they've always wanted to be. People seem to tightly cling to their habits like a security blankie. The thought wedge that must be driven between them, and rip that blanky right out of their tightly clenched sweaty hands, is that "force of habit isn't a good reason to do anything unless it's directly benefiting you."

I have been fortunate enough, over the years, to have had several clients who have been capable of going to the extra mile and achieve the next level. These were never easy roads and much of what they were doing before (Smith Machine, leg press, bench, curls, pec dec, 45-60 min of this or that) had to have been weened off like a kid and his blankie, but in the end what turned out was a much, much more functional, leaner, and stronger person.

I know, I know... it's hard to let go of the beloved pec deck, and the preacher curls, I know. I mean, come on, it sounds pretty cool doesn't it?! Preacher curl! Yeah! Heck yeah!! Who is this preacher and where is his church? I want to attend services immediately. Pec deck! Rock On! Get me on that thing, I want big pecs too! Ummmm.... OKAAAAY...

Then, after a few weeks the light bulb turns on and the equation becomes impossible to ignore. In a short time on the Kettlebells you have become much stronger, leaner, and better conditioned. You just feel like everything is working so much better. Going back to the unforgotten pec dec- when you think I'm not looking- becomes a hum drum experience, but you can't help it, it's force of habit. I mean, everyone else is doing it right?!  Hmmm...

Sometimes there is fresh air and I get someone begins training with me who has been doing jerks, hindu push ups, cleans, presses, sprints, and burpees. In that case I can leave the can of WD40 and not pry any blankies (aka bad habits). More often than not though, the canvas must be cleansed so that we can start fresh.

In either case of a newbie or a somewhat seasoned client there are always certain things to overcome. Exercise, strength training, cardio conditioning, kettlebell training, GPP training, etc. should never be about ego. Throw that out the door when you come in because we are all here for the same thing- to better ourselves despite what the next guy can bench or squat. That doesn't matter whatsoever.  So leave the ego and hopefully one day you'll recognize when you're all healthy, lean, and strong that yeah, this little dude with the bald head seems know what he's talking about. It's never about ego.

It's not just about the kettlebells either. They are a means to an end. I use them because, based off of everything I have ever worked with regarding fitness and training tools, they are the best tool I have found to get the job done.  Keep in mind that it is JUST tool. There are other tools such as barbells, dumbbells, sandbags, kitchen sinks, kegs, big tractor tires, Indian Clubs, Sloshpipes, ropes, chains, bands, stones, etc.  You simply must choose the right tool for the job when fitness training and I'll use them all if that'll help get my clients and you more fit.
If you wanted to drive nails into a board you wouldn't go at it with pliers.  If you did it would probably move a little bit, but would move much better with a hammer.  The same is true for other fitness movements.  You can use many tools to perform the task, movement, exercise, etc., but only one tool is the best.  I prefer the Kettlebell.  

My goal is to liberate myself- and as many people as I can to come with me- from the four walled, stink, sweaty, meat market, closed in, machine based confines of the modern gyms. Be encouraged- do the same! Just because it's modern doesn't make it better. It simply means they are getting better and better at putting things inside the four walls that attract the public to toss more money at them. What did people do before these gyms? Actually they did a lot.

I'm going to be writing more and more about how you can liberate yourself from the four walls. In the mean time watch my intro video below and look forward to my upcoming articles.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNPYU7lM-rs]

Elliptical Machines Are Not THAT Great

Elliptical machines are designed to limit the impact on the body so you can get a workout without having to stress your joints and muscles, but what they really do is something more. They cause certain mechanic inhibitors to occur that you probably will not notice right away; however over time this will cause some knee, hip, and low back issues.

In reality I'm sure that sounds like an oxymoron on how to achieve great physical conditioning because these machines are peppered along the cardio floor of your local big box gym.

Elliptical machines force you to run in sometimes an unorthodox way because the machine is typically measured for individuals of a certain height, stride length, etc. While performing the elliptical trainer your feet are essentially locked in place while the rest of the body is simulating a running pattern which in turn can strain the joints at certain points throughout the abnormal range of motion. The hip flexor/rotator is connected to your hamstrings which also pulls on the knees and right down to your achillies tendon. That being said, if you hip is out of wack- or it soon will be by continued elliptical use- it could be causing real problems for all the muscles in the legs as well as the knees and low back.

1. Cardio machines with swinging handles offer very little to no benefit than if you swung your hands naturally at your sides. You'll get a better workout by working your stabilizing core muscles.

2. Keep in mind the elliptical will make you better at 'elliptical' and burn some calories, improve general cardio- which is way better than being sedentary- BUT will most likely not translate to anything else that you do. ie. walking, running, stair climbing etc. It is very common that people can do an hour on elliptical, but have trouble running for 20 minutes.

In summation the elliptical trainer will help with burning some needed calories, but doesn't make you better at anything except itself. Personally I believe it is harder to get a good workout on the elliptical machine. It takes a lot more concentration to work hard enough to work up a sweat and it's very easy to make the elliptical an easy workout. It typically takes 3 times as long to burn the amount of calories you do with other exercise and cardio types.

It is interesting to note, an observation I have made at the gym over the years is that when you look at the people who regularly use elliptical machines compared to those on treadmills, stairs, or who interval train with weight resistance, is the people using the ellipticals are on average at least 20lbs. heavier and don't look nearly as fit. Food for thought...