Defined By You

Insight into what I offer as a provider of the greatest personal training on earth at Superb Health.

By Nick Lynch

I’m not sure if any of you noticed, but Superb Health has been going naked for a while. About eight months ago, I made the executive decision to retire our old tagline, “Primitive Strength for Modern Masses.” I can’t exactly explain why, but around the time we left  the Bay View facility, it hit me that particular tagline, didn’t really fit with where Superb Health was headed. I put it on the back burner and stayed open to the possibility that something more appropriate would come to me. Today, I am happy to share with you that Superb Health’s tagline has been reimagined and  could not have come to me without your help. 

You see, I have been providing services as a personal trainer since 2001 (18 years and counting).In this time I’ve learned all the necessary techniques and tools to give you the results you are looking for. In my evolution as a trainer, I picked up on something far more beneficial to your success than any technique or tool, somewhere along the way I recognized how important YOU really are. With every session, I recognize  it is YOU who defines the session and it is I who refines the session.

As a beginning trainer I thought I’d be a great trainer if I had the right credentials. For a long time I put my energy into who I know, who knows me, who I think I should know, and how I look to those around me. As a seasoned trainer, I realize this is nonsense. What matters doesn’t come from outside myself, what defines me as an atypical trainer is how I view myself. 

My experience is no different than yours. When it comes to helping you to reach your full potential the defining factor, critical to your success, is how you view you. By the time we are ready to invest in creating a new vision of ourselves, we’ve already taken some direct hits to our ego from other “well-meaning” coaches, family, friends and trainers. We cloak ourselves in others opinions, criticisms and even compliments and, if we hear them enough, we begin to feel this is who we are. 

Thus, our new tagline: “Defined by YOU!” is more than a simple tagline. It is my attempt to hand you your power back. To put you in control of you. I need to help YOU realize the driving force moving you toward the goals you set is YOU. Because you are the driving force, my role becomes one of facilitation. 

In contemplating how to REALLY make a training session about you, I realized that there is what we ‘think’ is true and then there’s what really is true. It’s my job to challenge you to define your preconceived notions of truth to ensure you’re in accountability for your actual truth. This relates to self image, personal goals and setting realistic time frames for your success.  

An example of what you might think is true is that, since you pay me money to tell you what to do, this means it’s my job to assess your current abilities, write you a training program, and encourage you to do the program. If you make an appointment for a session, you might think I should remind you that you have an appointment so that you can show up. This is magical thinking. 

The reality of this false thinking, carried further, is that you might never reach your potential if I take on all your responsibility. Sure, you’ll show up and pay the bill but, you might never reach the goals you set for yourself because you are really not holding yourself accountable to them. 

The truth is, I guide you to accept that your state of Superb Health is Defined by YOU. I do this in a very skilled and experienced way by listening carefully to your story, looking at what your body and your emotions are showing me and then put the metaphoric mirror up for you to see for yourself. Putting the mirror up for you to see you is another way of understanding your own body language. Your body speaks loudly with feelings. If something feels bad, your body tells you with pain. If your body feels great, your body tells you with pleasure. Often times you can’t see what your body is doing when feeling, but I can. My job is to see and then translate what I see to you so you can better communicate with, and inhabit, your own body. 

The reality of this truth empowers you to understand your body in new and invigorating ways. You will make appointments that you want to be here for as much as I want you to be here for them. You will contribute to your appointment, knowing that tapping into hidden potential requires accountability. As a result and over time, you will far exceed your goals and create a life of greater success and happiness. This is what makes your experience at Superb Health Defined by YOU!

Superb Health, defined by you,  is exactly why our initial consultations with new clients are 90 + minutes long. In addition to taking the basic information, medical history and injury history, hearing and seeing you speak gives me an understanding of how you will move by the words you use as we review your health history. In this appointment, I listen deeply to how you view yourself. I notice how this view has lead you to think  about yourself. I discern how your thoughts about yourself inform what you say about your body and how this process now informs your movement patterns. Your movement patterns are your body’s language. It is a language I speak and translate fluently.

This interpretation of what your body is saying doesn’t happen instantly, it develops over time. This is why I don’t have new clients join small groups immediately. If I schedule you with a group of individuals whom I’ve had the honor to get to know on a personal level, they will have a personal experience, you will have a group experience. They are individuals who know my language and I theirs. You are new to me, and I to you. In order to ensure you receive the same level of expertise, wealth of knowledge and invigorating results that everyone else is receiving and that brought you here to train with me in the first place, I need to better understand your body language, your emotions and your goals. If at some point you want to be in a small group, we’ll check in with your body to see if it is in your best interest. 

Because I want your experience at Superb Health to be customized to you, I feel it must be defined by you. This is much more than a tagline to me, it is the creation of a synergistic force within each of us. It is an experience that is  designed by you, for you, to empower you to reach your highest potential. 

For so long I had a hard time answering the question, “What do you do?” But now, thanks to countless clients, when someone asks me what I do at Superb Health, my answer is, “That is Defined by YOU!


How Will You Show Up Today?

By Nick Lynch

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How Will You Show Up Today?

One day off our regular routines, even when it’s a snow day, can play with our motivation. One day off can turn into a slippery slope.


It reminds me of a recent conversation I had with Coach Stollenwerk, coach of the MSOE rowing team in which he shared with me that a previous team trainer, on regular occasion, just didn’t show up. Didn’t show up  to train the team! 


A trainer that doesn't show up blows my mind for several reasons. First, I think it’s amazing that so many young athletes on the rowing team will show up to train at 5:00 AM. Of course, if they’re going to show up at 5:00 AM, you can bet on it that I’m going to be there to train them at 5:00 AM.


To show up each one of us has to make a number of decisions, one of which is to actually wake at 4:00 AM. If you’re wondering if we’re super human specimens who want to wake up at 4:00 AM, the answer is: NO!


We are, in fact, just like you. So how do we get and keep our motivation?

We get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

We train at 5:00 AM to build integrity and strength, including the mental strength to not give in to our own negative messaging. Over time, our habituated 5:00 AM workout and the mental strength needed to maintain it, shows up in everything we do, whether as a team, or as an individual.

Rather than giving into the comfort of flannel sheets on a cold winter morning, we embrace those sheets earlier at night, so we may rise earlier. Rather than dwelling on the hour, we meditate on affirmations, those positive and personal reasons, we each have for showing up to 5:00 AM training.


Of course, developing the habit of a 5:00 AM training time is like the development of any habit, you make a decision and you choose to  implement it.  For me, the mechanics of it are simple and look like this:

·     4:00 am wake up

·     Brush teeth

·     Drink water

·     Wash face and hair with cold water

·     Light candle

·     Brew Gyokuro Tea

·     Sit in silence and contemplate gratitude

Today, I am grateful for the young, mindful, athletes who will make a choice to  show up and honor their commitment to their team, to themselves and to me.

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I get that we all battle the chill of winter and the falling snow.  I understand how it can suck us, and our motivation, into the flannel vortex, honestly, I get it. But, consider this–whether team player, individual, trainer or coach, together we are like a kinetic mobile. If anyone is a no show, if anyone is missing, we all lose our equilibrium. We all experience a loss.


In contrast, each time you show up, each time you follow through with your commitment to yourself, your team, your trainer or your coach,  each time you do what you said you would do with ease, you acknowledge that each one of us matters to the others function and purpose.

We can celebrate that over some tea or with kettlebells, it’s your choice.

Training Like an Eldar

By Nick Lynch

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The Eldars in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings seldom give advice because they know even the wisest among them cannot foresee an outcome. If we think about what advice actually is, or what it implies, we might notice that advice is directive, it tells rather than inquires, it presumes to know what will happen if one follows the advice or, if one chooses not to.

When it comes to training, the truth is, the majority of ‘expert’ fitness trainers do not subscribe to an Eldarin philosophy and, while we’re at it, the majority of fitness clients don’t care.  

Clients usually come to trainers with a goal in mind, could be someone is looking for improved athletic performance, improved muscle tone, injury resolution, or any number of other reasons, but one thing is clear, each client wants to experience movement toward their goals.

An ‘expert’  fitness trainer looks at those goals and decides on a program, a one size fits all plan. Chances are it will work for some, but probably not all. The expert focuses on the goal, not necessarily the person, and looks for a program that will fit the goal.  When it works, the ‘expert’ trainer believes it’s because of a particular system of training. When it fails to hit the mark, when the client loses motivation, or experiences an injury, the ‘expert’ blames the client.

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You need to know, that’s not my approach. I prefer to practice a beginner’s mind and apply the Eldarin philosophy to my work. What that means is from the moment you enter my door, I begin assessing you as you are today.


As the session begins we talk, we stretch and as I look and listen to you in the moment,  I become aware of your energy levels and your emotions as they are today. Because energy and emotions fluctuate from day to day, getting a reading before we begin is critical.


Your words provide me with feedback as to how you’re feeling emotionally, and your body shows me how the emotions will allow for certain movements vs. others.


An example of this intuitive approach toward  training on a squat day means I am noticing how your body signals me that you are ready for squats. From there, it’ll show me what kind of squats it’s geared up for: heavy, light, high rep, low rep, front squat or back squat, wide stance, normal stance or narrow stance. For the duration of your session, I read your emotions and develop what will work, in response to your personal state.

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Workouts based on your personal state are workouts uniquely designed to fit your needs on the day you come in. That’s one reason  I don’t write programs and post them on the Internet. A general workout, once posted, can look like advice. But how do I advise someone when I can’t see how their body responds?


Most of us want something simple. But how do we interpret simple when human beings are such complex creatures? Many ‘experts’ still don’t realize that feelings and emotions dictate not only how we move, but also, how we will respond to stress. While it is true that exercise is one form of stress that challenges our movements, if we take a  broader view of who is exercising and what that individual’s particular response is on an energetic and emotional level, it puts the stress of exercise into a whole body context.


In my 17-years as a trainer, I’ve discovered that when I tap into the energy and emotions of a client, using it as a training  gauge, I can develop a personally unique plan not only for each client, but also, each session. I have found it to be the most sound and productive way to challenge movement while making sessions safe, effective and fun.


When we find your body’s groove, your body begins to respond in kind. It decides to give you everything you need to be successful in sport and in life.


Let’s look at it from a different perspective, that of a client with a goal.  If you’re a young athlete and your goal is to go to the National Hockey League, I’ll say, “OK, it’s possible.” I know it’s possible because there are people in the NHL and you’re a person. I’ll begin to treat you like a person whose going into the NHL. What I won’t do is treat you like a hockey player. I won’t give you ‘expert’ advice on how to develop a hockey player’s skill set.

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Rather, I’ll treat you as a person with a unique set of skills. Skills that we know about, and those that have yet to be discovered. Chances are it’s those qualities, unique to you, that will set you apart and make you marketable to coaches and teams.


Starting each session with a beginner’s mind means I never stop reading you. I’m sensing your experiences, your influences, your world view and your personal passions. Why? Because it is in these experiences that your body learned to move. From here, your body informs me how to best work with it toward your goals.


Let me be clear, this is not a sport specific approach and you don’t have to aspire to be a NHL player. You could be someone who might want more muscle tone, to lose weight or to heal a nagging injury. It really doesn’t matter, the goal of each session is to view, think, talk and act in a way that is customized to you and your current daily state.

So while it’s true at Superb Health you won’t find Internet video workouts, or typed up programs to follow, you will find a trainer who will greet every session with a beginner’s mind and, like a wise Eldar, I’ll offer no advice. I am a trainer who is present to you. Who will work to not only interpret the wisdom your body has, but tap into its unique essence for potential. In the world of fitness trainers, Superb Health is but one choice.

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Live and Die By The Kettlebell

By Nick Lynch

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When I was only a few years into my career as a trainer, the owner where I was working had the opportunity to buy some Kettlebells and asked my opinion about them. My response still makes me laugh, “Kettlebells? They’re a fad, don’t buy em.”



It’s a great example of how an ‘expert mind’ can limit the ability to see clearly and prevent growth. On a daily basis, I am challenged to constantly remove ego, stay open, and invite the Universe of possibilities in. Just when I think I know something, the Universe reminds me that to become an ‘expert’ is to stay ignorant. My goal, to see and teach that possibilities are unlimited, requires me to see with a beginner’s mind.



When I’m successful it allows a certain flow that sees beyond limits. New ideas and concepts seem more plentiful. With a beginner’s mind, I see  the client for who, and where, they are- not where I am. This allows me to not only implement a training program for them, but it also allows me the flexibility to see how, on any given day, it may need to change.



Getting out of my own way enabled me to bring Kettlebells into my client’s, and my own, workouts. I now see unlimited possibilities for what one can do with this singular piece of exercise equipment. For me, “live by the Kettlebell and die by the Kettlebell”  is a metaphor for the importance of keeping an open mind, a beginner’s mind.



Today, I use kettlebells for all of my clients and individualize their use according to the needs of each client. Here’s why:

  • Nothing compares to the shape and weight distribution of the Kettlebell.

  • Going overhead with a Kettlebell and a neutral wrist never gets old. The shape challenges coordination of breath and posture. The wrist position can be seen in this image:

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  • Hand-to-hand ballistics. Swinging a Kettlebell in the air, releasing and catching with the other hand challenges the brain to focus and coordinate. This requires a higher level of performance not only for the workout, but for life. (Video posted below)

  • Full hip range of motion. Reaching your arms between your legs with a Kettlebell allows you to go where your couldn’t with a barbell. A barbell stops at your bones, a Kettlebell can go further. With proper posture, you’re safe.

  • Results, Results, Results! Better posture, development of functional movement patterns, sculpting  and more. Results, like nothing else, make clients happy.



While we all know breath is essential to life, most of us tend to need reminders that to truly “live by the Kettlebell”, one must master the concept of coordinating breath with posture. The Kettlebell requires coordination of breath with movement. In fact, the number one rule to good training is breath. Without breath, there’s death.



To do a lot of of Kettlebell ballistics or to press overhead for high reps or to lift heavy for low reps, your breath needs to be strong. The Kettlebell reminds us to breathe deep. To inhale. To exhale. And, if you breathe deep and at the correct time, you are alive and well.


I am very thankful for the versatility Kettlebells provide to my client’s training programs. Versatility is expansive, it vanquishes narrow-minded, one-way, thinking. Versatility taps into the flow of unlimited potential. And, while I explore and incorporate many different modes of training methods to meet my clients needs, Kettlebells have opened a porthole of awesomeness that younger me, couldn’t have foreseen and they continue to open my mind to see human movement in a whole new way. Kettlebells enable me to help my clients correct dysfunctional movement patterns, correct posture and gain strength. But more than that, I’ve discovered how that metaphor to “live by the Kettlebell, die by the Kettlebell,” is a constant reminder to maintain an open mind that attracts possibilities. Now that’s versatility!

Hand to hand swings video:

January News and Upgrades at Superb Health

By Nick Lynch

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As a gift of gratitude to our community and members, we’ve invested a great deal of time and funds these last 4 months into upgrades around Superb Health! Here’s a list of news you should know about:

  1. We are transitioning to Mindbody software, please download the Mindbody App on your mobile device. We are working on customizing the App and as soon as we are up and running it will allow you to tap into some scheduling, tracking and billing features, currently unavailable.

  2. New faces - Lori H. is our new manager and she’s doing an amazing job!

  3. Website updates. You’ll notice updated content and testimonials.

  4. New computer systems. You’ll notice all of your workouts are tracked, logged and shared with you to utilize in your off days to constantly progress and improve.

  5. Increased service hours. We’re now offering more serviceable hours than ever before.

  6. Scheduling out ensures you stay consistent with your workouts. We can, and would love to, schedule out your entire package of sessions to ensure you get a time that works best for you.

  7. New phone system. 414-477-2071 is now an integrated landline. Lori monitors this on a daily basis to ensure you’re in the schedule, up to date with billing and any other necessary information. Please note: This is a landline and no longer accepts text messages.

  8. These newsletters. We’re aiming to have 1 per month. Not to much, not to little. We respect you and will therefore only send out necessary information such as this or information that can help guide you in your path to wellness.


Our farm fresh Japanese Green Tea is in and is stronger than ever! Just in time as it’s a antiviral and anti-bacterial POWERHOUSE!

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Meditative Movement Mastery (M3)

By Nick Lynch 

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My friends, if you wish to obtain quality of movement and therefore increase strength you need more energy. Energy is a lot like Free Will. Dan John, in his book Never Let Go, tells us Free Will is like shaving gel. If you use it all up shaving one side of your face, you have to suffer on the other. So use it wisely. The same is true with energy. 

With M3 strength training, meditation allows you the opportunity to preserve your energy until you need it. Today we’re talking about lunges and all their movement mastery. We’re also sprinkling on some meditative techniques to integrate into your program. I would like to share 3 lunge topics and 3 programs with you. This is a gift from me to you and yours. I hope it brings you good health and massive strength gains. 

I have three lunge topics to share with you today:

  1. The Overhead (OH) Lunge Technique

  2. The One Breath Turkish Get Up (TGU)

  3. The M3 Lunge Press

Please allow yourself the opportunity to try these programs and exercises. I think as a result you’ll find a deeper level of inner peace and outer strength gains. You’ll smile as your numbers in the gym, in your sport, at your place of work and in your home will all improve.

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The OH Lunge

  1. Clean up a kettlebell, press it OH and step your opposite KB side leg back into an OH lunge position

  2. Tuck your pelvis directly underneath you, not forward into sway back position, just to neutral

  3. Inhale deep into your belly so it sticks out. This puts pressure on your pelvis making you WANT to descend

  4. Hold your breath and lower down to the ground slowly

  5. At the bottom of the lunge, pause and imagine you’re dragging your back knee forward and your front planted heel back creating tension in all of the muscles in your legs

  6. Stand up fast, exhale hard at the top and repeat

Please hold your breath the whole way down. Your knee should not go past your shins. Basically, keep everything vertical. 

The One Breath Turkish Get Up

  1. Begin as you would with a get-up at the bottom

  2. Exhale all the air out of your lungs until your abs begin to slightly burn

  3. Take the biggest inhale you can and hold your breath

  4. Come up to standing position of the TGU and repeat step 2

  5. Repeat step 3

  6. Come down

  7. Repeat step 2

  8. Switch sides

 

 

Select a step or two down from your ‘go to’ TGU bell. 

The M3 Lunge Press

  1. Same first 3 steps as the OH lunge

  2. Count to 10 on the descent

  3. As you very slowly descend, press a kettlebell OH at the same pace until your knee has touched the ground and the kettlebell arm is locked out OH

  4. Count to 10 as you stand up

  5. As you very slowly stand up, pull the kettlebell down at the same pace until your both of your knees have locked out in standing position and the kettlebell has softly landed in the rack position

  6. Take a deep breath and switch sides

 

 

Select a step or two down from your ‘go to’ press bell. When in doubt, go light and do it right. You can always add more weight later.

 
I really enjoyed an article my friend Dan John wrote a while back about the benefits of classical music during workouts. Another type of music you might enjoy for a higher level of focus is Tibetan gongs. Or perhaps nothing at all but the wonderful sound of your breath matching your movement. Once you’ve determined what you’re going to be listening to, please try one of the following programs out and see how you feel. I recommend turning off your phone and eliminating as many distractions as you can. If you have any distractions that are out of your control, try to think of the distraction as a mindfulness reminder. When the distraction comes into view or within your sound or smell space, it’s reminding you to focus on your breath and focus on your technique. 

Program 1 - The One Breath TGU Meditation

  1. Select the heaviest bell you can safely perform a one breath TGU with

  2. Perform a one breath TGU on one side

  3. Upon completion, lie on your back and take 3 deep breaths. During breathing you should have two thoughts, one on the inhale and one on the exhale. Inhale, "I know I’m breathing in". Exhale, "I know I’m breathing out"

  4. Perform a one breath TGU on the other side

  5. Repeat this program for 15 minutes

Heavy swings pair well with this program. Heavy swings in particular promote breathing matched with movement. Here is a good swing program you can use to meditate and simultaneously build strength.

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Program 2 - Swing Meditation

  1. Select the heaviest possible bell you can safely swing 15 times

  2. Swing the bell 15 times and put the bell down

  3. Straighten up, open your palms and take 5 deep breaths

  4. Repeat this process 5-10 sets

Dan teaches the hoop breath by having his students hold the down position of a

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for 30 seconds. I love this exercise very much and use it frequently with my students as well. I like to superset it with the Swing Meditation. 

Program 3 - Goblet/Swing Meditation

  1. Select the heaviest possible bell you can safely squat

  2. Squat down and hold at the bottom for 30 seconds

  3. Ensure you don’t lean on your thighs with your elbows or hands

  4. Keep your posture upright

  5. Keep breathing

  6. Loudest and most powerful hoop possible to stand up

  7. Park the bell

  8. Perform 1 round of program 2

  9. Fast and loose for 20-30 seconds. Standing breathing meditation for 1 minute "I know I’m breathing in" Exhale, "I know I’m breathing out"

  10. Repeat for 5rounds

 

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CrossFit, Kettlebell Training, Kale Salad and Donuts

By Nick Lynch

First off, I’d like to admit that I love donuts. It may or may not have been the years of skipping Sunday Boy Scouts to watch The Simpsons with my dad that programmed my subconscious to love donuts but nonetheless, I love donuts. Would I eat them all the time? Only if I wanted to be as soft and squishy as the crème filled varietal. I’ve come to learn that in order to have a donut here and there, I need to eat some kale salad. So what’s all this donut and kale salad talk have to do with CrossFit and kettlebell training? Everything…and here’s why.

I’ve learned to appreciate CrossFit over the years. Many clients that I train with participate in it, love it, and swear by it. If it weren’t for Crossfit, I’m not sure kettlebells and dinosaur training would be so popular today. CrossFit has popularized otherwise forgotten strength secrets like carrying heavy stones, pushing and pulling heavy loads, and of course, Olympic Lifting. But, it’s the Hardstyle training methods that we teach as RKCs that make these lifts safe and effective. You could say it’s a match made in heaven! So what’s with the whole kale salad and donuts analogy? Well, the vast majority of the people I know who participate in CrossFit quickly realize that they can’t only do CrossFit. They need their kale salad, which in this analogy is Hardstyle kettlebell training.

Why?

Kettlebell training serves as corrective exercise and therefore has functional carry-over to other intense physical activity, such as CrossFit. One must master his/her breath, the hinge, the wedge and gain strong grip strength in order to perform such exercises as the Hardstyle swing, strict pull-up, Turkish get-up, snatch and strict press. Guys like Bolt take home gold medals for having a strong hinge, wedge, wrists, feet and coordinated breath. When you take talent and combine the skills required of an RKC, you’re on your way to a gold medal, so to speak. You’re a strong and functional athlete.

 

Hinge = staying in your wedge, reach your butt towards the wall behind you without forward bending of the knees.

 


Wedge = shoulders packed, pelvis neutral, glutes locked and abs flexed rock solid.

The general population does not lead a physically challenging lifestyle. We type, we click, we press, and we swipe to “work” our grip strength. Our daily squatting happens in the form of on-and-off the toilet and up-and-down off a chair. That said, we don’t have the wrist strength and the hip/lumbar/thoracic mobility to safely barbell snatch overhead and catch the bar without something debilitating happening; hence the high injury rate associated with intense physical activities. I’ve learned that you can greatly reduce debilitating injuries during any activity simply by learning functional movement patterns and gaining strength with RKC kettlebell training. It’s fun to eat donuts just like it’s fun to snatch a barbell. But you can’t eat donuts all of the time just like you can’t snatch a barbell all of the time. You’ve got to have your kale salad just like you’ve got to have your corrective exercises.

Here’s a major example of how one can utilize Hardstyle kettlebell training as a form of corrective exercise to enhance their athletic performance at CrossFit:

 

Wrist strength. Many movement patterns in Olympic lifting require catching a fast moving weight with the wrists in extension. This pattern forces the body to respond with borrowed movement from the elbows, shoulders, back and knees putting the body in a dangerous and compromised position. In martial arts and fighting, this body position would require one to submit or tap out. You’re basically rendered useless as your successor could, if they wanted to, break your arm. Additionally, I want you to think for a second about how many sports and or physical activities require an emphasis on extended wrist positions. Here’s a few functionally and daily movements that DON’T require extended wrists: pull-ups, deadlifts, running, climbing, swimming, rowing, punching etc. Lifting weights in a way that means you could tear or break your arm is a bad idea unless you practice the solution!

Extended wrists in action as showcased by Jared Byczko, RKC and owner of CrossFit Naptown:

 

The solution: Hardstyle Turkish get ups, kettlebell presses, knuckle push-ups, strict pull ups and bottoms up presses. These exercises require you do the opposite of Oly lifts. In addition, the speed in which you perform such exercises is slow and focused. Wrists maintain a neutral and flexed position throughout each exercise therefore strengthening. Lastly, the body does not need to borrow movement to compensate, instead, one can utilize the wedge to support the weight. The wedge strengthens your whole torso and hips, while the neutral and flexed position of your wrists strengthens your wrists, hands, forearms, elbows, shoulders and postural chain.

 

Now you can go a little more nuts next time you clean and jerk with the barbell for reps.

In the following program, I’m going to outline a simple and effective corrective exercise program that utilizes kettlebells. I’ve found that bodybuilders, CrossFitters, powerlifters, etc. all respect and enjoy this program simply because it’s difficult, yet restorative.

Day 1 – WOD – light – Practice your technique, don’t go heavy, don’t set new PRs, be mindful of form. 50-65% max

Day 2 – Hardstyle – Follow the program listed below. Ensure you practice the Hardstyle technique as it’s specifically designed to strengthen your wrists, postural chain, hands/wrists and feet.

Day 3 – WOD – medium – Same as Day 1 except go a little heavier (but not much!). 65-75% max.

Day 4 – Hardstyle – Follow the program listed below.

Day 5 – WOD – hard – heavy- 80-90% max.

Days 6 and 7 – Functional human activities such as running, jumping, swimming, climbing, carrying, etc.

You may have noticed on the hard WOD day I recommended going 80-90% max. Save your 110% effort for every 3-6 months. After all, the greats really only PR once or twice per year and that’s at a competition.

Hardstyle Program-Day 2: 

Suitcase Deadlift – go heavy, 3-5 reps

Push ups – on front two knuckles if you can, otherwise on two kettlebells or Neuro-Grips

Rest 1:30

Repeat 4 sets

Farmer Carry – very heavy for 30 seconds. For extra grip strength, wrap a towel around the handle of your bell

OH Press – 3-5 per side, medium weight, stellar technique!

Rest 1:30

Repeat 4 sets

Core:

Reverse plank x10 seconds

Plank x10 seconds

Side planks, both sides, x10 seconds each

Rest 30-seconds

Repeat 2-4 sets

 

Hardstyle Program Day-4

Goblet Squat – heavy, 3-5 reps

OH Double press – medium, 3-5 reps

Rest 1:30

Repeat 4 sets

Pull ups – 3-5 reps

Split squat – medium, 3 reps per side

Rest 1:30

Repeat 4 sets

Core: 

Log roll – 5 to the right, 5 to the left

Mtn Climbers – 20 reps

Pelvic Push Ups – 3 reps

Rest 30-seconds

Repeat 2-4 sets

Five 5s: Five Simple, Effective, Nourishing Kettlebell Workouts

By Nick Lynch


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Sometimes, I just want to do a quick workout and either can’t or don’t want to spend an hour to do it. That’s why I put together this series of efficient kettlebell workouts which can be done in a short amount of time with minimal equipment (a kettlebell, the floor, rings and a pull-up bar of some type).

These workouts are also simple to modify. If you DO have an hour in the gym, you can simply multiply your sets. As you’re reading, I invite you to take note of any questions you may have and ask them in the comments section below this blog post. I’m more than happy to do my best when answering them. I hope you enjoy these programs as much as we do in Milwaukee!

1: “The Zen of Zane”

Frank Zane used to train chest, triceps and shoulders in one day. Compared to how his competition was training, his approach was totally bizarre. His competition was training opposing muscle groups such as chest and biceps. Frank was known for his amazing symmetry and muscularity. With a daily dose of this workout, I think you might start to look and feel like Frank Zane!

Set a timer for five minutes and repeat the following sequence of exercises until five minutes has passed.

  • 5 push presses per side

  • 5 pull-ups

  • 5-10 push-ups

  • 30 seconds break

  • 1 push-up

  • 1 push press per side

  • 1 pull-up

  • 5 push presses per side

  • 5 pull-ups

  • 5-10 push-ups

  • 30 seconds break

Modification
Trade reps for seconds. For example, instead of 10 pull ups, perform a 10-seconds flex arm hang.

 

2: “My Favorite”

This workout is my personal favorite, let’s see what you think!

Set a timer for eight minutes, complete at least four full sets of the following:

Modifications


Option one: try putting your feet a raised platform for extra stability. Option two: perform bench dips instead of ring dips. Option three: forming a triangle with your hands, and perform 5 push-ups, be sure to use the entire range of motion, bringing your sternum down to your hands.

 

3: “Lungs of Hell”

The name of this workout is a tribute to the classic Megadeth song which I think also sounds great played loud along with this workout…

Set a timer for five minutes, and perform the following sequence safely for time:

Perform a get-up to standing, do 5 overhead lunges, 5 push presses, 5 squats, then 5 snatches. Keeping the kettlebell overhead finish the get-up and return to the floor. Switch sides, resting as needed.

Modifications:


Option one, reduce your reps to three. Option two, reduce the size of the kettlebell you’re using. Option three, reduce your reps to one.

 

4: “Speak To Me/Breathe”

Pink Floyd begins their infamous albums, Dark Side of the Moon with “Speak To Me” which leads right into “Breathe.” I think this is funny because this could also describe the breathing techniques we teach and use in the RKC community. There’s the classic hiss during the swing and goblet squat “hoooop” grunt. You’ll need to focus on your vocalizing your breaths to keep up with these reps. The end result is amazing lung capacity, strong legs, bullet-proof abs, and grip strength that won’t quit!

Set a timer for 8 minutes with the goal of completing 4 rounds of the following:

  • 10 goblet squats

  • 25 swings

  • rest

  • 5 goblet squats

  • 25 swings

  • rest

Use a HEAVY kettlebell.

Modifications


Option one: use a lighter kettlebell. Option two: reduce overall reps. Option three: perform bodyweight squats and vertical jumps instead of goblet squats and swings.

 

5: “Look Alive”

Coordination and attention to detail make this last workout effective and nourishing. It’s challenging and fun at the same time because you must focus on every rep for the entire five minutes.

Set a timer for five minutes. Repeat the following sequence for a total of five sets. If you finish early, take a short active-rest break and, a swig of water and continue until the end of five minutes.

  • 5 push-ups

  • 5 partial jumps (please refer to video for the technique)

  • 5 swings