Saturday, February 21, 2009

RKC Program Minimum and my opinion ...

As more and more people ask me for pointers on the "Hard Style" Manmaker I got the idea to post a short piece here. My opinion is that if all you do is the below exercises, then you will be fitter, have more mobility, and look better than 99.9% of mankind. Simple is good. Complicated is bad.

The idea behind Program Minimum is to create a the resiliency and durability to really begin to practice with kettlebells safely and effectively.

The two exercises that make up the foundation for the RKC strength and conditioning are the Kettlebell Swing

and the Turkish Get Up

Let's discuss the Swing first.

In fact, I write about the TGU tomorrow.

The swing requires that your body work as a machine. Done correctly you will use your hips, legs, back, heart, soul and lungs. The goal is to work up to 12 minutes of high reps swing sets with active recovery of your choice between sets. Could be jumping rope, mountain climbers, get the idea. The fitter you get the less active rest you will require. Then you will be able to do back to back sets.

What does high rep mean? The number you can do correctly and with safe, good form. Swings gone bad are bad indeed. Focus on quality and not quantity. Keep working to do more well each session.

Do this for twelve minutes twice a week and you will be strong, tough and ready for anything.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Kettlebell Practice

I just got back from the gym and it was all I could do to hold my tongue. As many of you know, I have a favorite saying, "just because you are swinging a kettlebell doesn't mean you are doing a kettlebell swing." Well tonight the swingers were out in force. I

I sometimes workout in a Big Box Gym as a change of pace and I like to sauna. I saw 2 women and 1 man doing a bootcamp type class and not only was there no intensity to the workout, they were doing at least the swing incorrectly. Not, I don't mean that there form was less than perfect. I mean that it was unsafe as well as less than perfect. I held my tongue but man oh man.

For me, I did an easy movement session with the kettlebell.

5 sets of 5 snatches left and right with a Turkish Get Up on each side between sets. Total of 50 snatches and 10 Turkish Get Ups. Stole this from Rob O'Brien, AKC.

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Are You Addicted?

We all have addictions. The Status Quo? Drugs? Alcohol? Could it be change?

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Enter The Kettlebell Rite of Passage

I've been doing lots of pulls, mainly in the form of tactical pullups.

Focus today was on "pushes" and I did five ladders with 5 rungs on the Kettlebell Clean and Press. I did rest for a full minute between ladders.

Here's what a ladder looks like.

1 C and P, Right and Left

2, C and P, Right and Left

3, C and P, Right and Left

4, C and P, Right and Left

5, C and P, Right and Left

Rinse and repeat so im my case today I did 75 reps each side.

393 calories in just under 30 minutes with Ahr at 73% max and HHR at 89% of max.

Very strict form. Driving my elbow down in the bottom of my oblique and really engaging my lats. Very good, strong session. Once again simple and effective full body workout. Really breathed "behind the shield" and stayed "Hard Style."

The best,

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tim Ferriss and Five Minute Workout


Saw your video and was impressed with your ability to complete the test. I'm assuming that since you posted the video you were looking for commentary and the "comments" were off on your video.

Couple things. I think I remember reading that you tweaked your shoulder at some point in time. If you tame the arc (think zipping up your jacket) you will feel more comfortable snatching. If your arm stays straight through the range of motion the exercise resembles a hybrid, extended swing.

Also, if you drive your hips crisply and pop them instead of thrusting them you will generate more power from the hips and that's really where you need to initiate your force. Hinge at the hips so your hammies help too.

All the best,

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Thoughts on Belief

These are a few things that came into my head this AM.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

40 Minutes of Kettlebell Hell

Set a goal today to do the Kenneth Jay Special. 40 minutes of Maximum VO2 (MVO2) working :15 seconds on and then resting for :15 seconds.

Never tried it before for the full protocol. Most I had done was 33. Got to 35 minutes and was wondering why? Kept going through the discomfort of excess lactic acid and made it.

My cadence for :15 seconds is 7 reps so I did 560 reps in 80 worksets with the 16 KG kettlebell.

Average heart rate was 158 and the max was 174. Caloric burn....813.


Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Kettlebells in 11 Minutes A Day

I write a lot about different kettlebell exercises you can do to get in amazing shape. The intensity of a typical kettlebell session helps you lose the fat and build lean muscle. Here’s something I’ve been guilty of though. Lots of people may have no idea what a kettlebell actually is.

A kettlebell is a big metal ball with a thick handle attached to it. Think cannonball with a handle. . It looks menacing but it is a really fun training tool. For you to get maximum fat burning and muscle building results with your kettlebell you must understand how to properly train with it.

Kettlebells are incredibly popular with people who have hectic schedules. And with good reason. You can get tons of work done in a short period of time. My average personal workout is 20 minutes. RKC training doesn’t involve any isolated exercise. Every movement uses multiple muscle groups.

Do you have 11 minutes to work out each day? If you do here’s something I swiped from Geoff Neupert, SR. RKC

Train for the next five weeks. For 11 minutes a day. It will become a habit after 30 days and you will accomplish much. I will work very hard and get a lot of work done. In 11 minutes a day.

You will feel better and you will certainly look better. You will move better and you will probably decide that you have more time than you first thought to devote to your fitness program.

There a 6 basic RKC movements. We combine the Clean and Press into one full exercise. Each day you will do a different one. Here’s how it will look for 5 days a week for 5 weeks.

Monday- Swings

Tuesday- Turkish Get Ups

Wednesday- Clean and Press

Thursday- Front Squats

Friday- Snatches

You have 11 minutes to get as much work done as possible. You can’t let form suffer as you try to accomplish more. Rest and get back to it. Each week of swings for example, you try to get more work done in the 11 allocated minutes. In Week 1 say you get 80 swings finished safely and with solid, good form. Week 2 your goals at least as many even if that means 81. If you are ultra fit and you can work the whole 11 minutes you just need a bigger kettlebell.

So there you have it. 5 weeks of 5 exercises done for 11 minutes per session. You will get results that may amaze you. You will be in the habit of exercise. You will be motivated because you will make progress through the 5 weeks. You won’t stall. And you will have put into practice time management skills that will impact all of your living.

Be fit,

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fat Scorching Kettlebell Session Today

I did my own version of a "300" type workout today with just kettlebells. I picked a 16kg because I was focused on measured, safe speed. Use the lightest bell you practice with is a good idea here.

Total time was 24:06 and calories were 458 AHR was 148 and max was 169.

For Three rounds:

10 reps per side with single bell and the bell shouldn't ever be on hte floor during a round. If you must rest, then please continue to grip the bell. 300 reps total when completed.

Kettlebell Thrusters

Kettlebell Clean and Press( Clean after each rep)

Kettlebell Overhead Squat ( or Racked Squats)

Kettlebell Windmill (make sure both feet are turned away at 45 degrees and make sure your hip is shifted under the bell. When bell is on right feet are turned left and vice versa)

Kettlebell Snatch (or one armed swing if you don't know how to snatch)

If there are movements here that you aren't comfortable with the modify them.

Have a great workout!

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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