Kettlebell Complexes

Our programming has been building up in 2019 to tackle some of the best ways of training with kettlebells. Whilst carrying out individual exercises in sets of a circuit is great, carrying out Kettlebell Complexes is both immensely fun and beneficial. January we worked on setting up the year with a very healthy start. February we worked on developing strength endurance which leads up to this months strength capacity.

What’s that you ask? 

Strength capacity is simply defined as the amount of strength work you can conduct in a given time. By the end of this month, most gym members and online trainees will be carrying out considerably more work per complex without really having to get seriously out of their comfort zone.

The ​Kettlebell complex​ is perhaps one of the more popular methods of programming for a some very clear and concise reasons. You take 2+ movements (3 to 5 being best) and string them together to execute each movement back-to-back. Simple! 

Without going into too much details, Complexes:

  • Have been proven to increase body fat oxygenation.
  • Are very time efficient.
  • Increase conditioning and strength.
  • Are great fun… albeit a rather twisted kind of fun!
  • Make use of just 1 or 2 kettlebells.

 

‘No matter what your goals are—strength, mass, conditioning, or cuts—kettlebell complexes deliver. This is why they are so frequently featured in training plans by our best program designers like Master SFGs Geoff Neupert and Dan John.’

Pavel Tsatsouline

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Screenshot from our Program menu within the Online Membership site.

 

Over 4 weeks we’ll be progressing from simple to somewhat more ominous sessions.

Online members and gym members do get the option to personalise these should there be need, but in every case we’ll work on adding a little bit of volume per week, so subtle it’s practically unnoticeable.

 

One Complex we’ll be employing comes from the library of fantastic workouts from Dan John – the Armour Building complex.

Here’s a quick demo.

 

For all those enthusiastic Bodyweight trainees who are choosing to leave complexes for another time, I have built a routine of short and interesting bodyweight flows. Essentially a complex and a flow are the same thing. One just refers to using an external load while a flow is bodyweight.

Here’s a quick demo of one of our bodyweight routines.

 

If you’d be interested to join in, head over to our Online Membership site and sign up for the month.* It’s only $1 a day! Oh, you’ll also get access to e.v.e.r.y other program on our site during the month including all the teaching videos and resources.

ONLINE MEMBERSHIP

Got any questions, just ask me below:

 

*Join for 1 month for just $30 then cancel as soon as you want.

Kettlebells in Brisbane

Brisbane is an extraordinary place. People living in this part of Australia venture out in search of great days out, great food and new experiences, often finding the bizarre, the intrepid, unusual and down right clever. I’d like to propose the Kettlebell as one of those in the intrepidly clever category.

Since first sight to westerners, the cast iron ball with a handle has raised both fear and intrigue. Many gym goers, bootcampers and new year new body resolutionaries have all ventured into the perceived territory of the hardcore to use the kettlebell (often referred to as the cattle-ball or kettle-ball… sigh). Most without instruction have ended the day with an ache or an injury or a reassured impression that the Russian weapon is indeed dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

Sadly, the same can be said for those who have received ‘instruction’!!! Instruction is probably not the best word to use because these poor victims were subjected to hardship and torture rather than intelligent teaching and instruction.

Most ‘trainers’ who use kettlebells in their classes and activities have in most cases, not been taken through a vigorous program of learning how to teach the common kettlebell movements. Instead, trainers have chosen to use this wonderful device as a tool to beat people up with to show-off how cool a trainer they are for making them work so hard.

(I probably should not have written that last paragraph but it is the honest truth so I’ll leave it there.) 

In order to sell courses for the CEC chasers, course designers have packed multiple movements into their courses to keep them exciting with various movements and exercises. It’s an unfortunate trade off. Cut back on the opportunity to truly learn the essential moves for brushing over way too much to learn.

The real joy and down right cleverness of kettlebell training is not just in its simple shape but in that the tool with a single handle lends itself to performing an essential package of exercises without hassle. The way in which you learn to hold and move with the kettlebell provides feedback between your limbs and the kettlebell. It is in affect, a self teaching tool and yes, this does mean you can hurt yourself if you don’t know how to perform the moves and read the feedback.

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Correct Grip

I’ve had consultations with prospective clients who have seen the line of 36 kettlebells against the edge of the gym and declared their feeling – usually of hate filled past experiences with poorly educated trainers. What a shame.

Look, don’t get me wrong. I am NOT putting down other trainers. We all have to start somewhere in our careers but it is so important to know our scope of practice and to truly take our time to learn how to use our tools before starting to teach others the same.

My process is to teach clients how to move better first-off before loading up with weights. By the time we are ready to use weights, there is a level of trust between us and getting onto using the kettlebells is just the next logical step.

I mentioned course writers eagerness to entertain earlier, with way too many options. Options are fine and perfectly acceptable where required but any good training program should include these essentials:

  • Carries – carrying one or two kettlebells in various positions to develop breathing under tension and torso control / bracing.
  • Squats.
  • Hip hinges, like deadlifts, swings and such.
  • Pushes and presses.
  • Pulling actions.
  • Explosive actions, like the swing, clean and snatch.

The average population training 2 to 3 times a week does not need much more than the above. Add some daily walking and some aerobic activities, good sleep and nutrition and ‘whammy’, there’s a great recipe for health and fitness.

There’s a greater chance of a trainer getting bored than a client getting bored using this short list of moves so professionally, there is not reason to keep swapping exercises every week. Repetitions, sets and loads vary over time as do how the list of moves are ‘packaged’ together in the session. But keeping it simple wins e.v.e.r.y. time.

If you only work with a short list of roughly 6 movements, how well do you think you will progress, get to know the movements, get stronger and more confident? Very well most likely. At the other end, if you work with 20 to 30 variations, how well will you progress and learn how to perform each and every one of them over your 2 to 3 sessions a week? Probably not so well I’m guessing. Keep it simple is the rule.

Confession Time!

I can actually speak from experience. My first kettlebell certification in 2009 was a two day course with roughly 30 different movements that we spent roughly 15 minutes on each with lots of other fluff thrown in too. Would you trust an instructor who had 15 minutes of ‘professional’ instruction on an exercise??? I know I wouldn’t be too confident.

I did spend time over the following 2 years playing frustratingly with some of the moves and all but gave up until in 2011 I saw a Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructor certification was coming to town, well, Melbourne, but that was close enough.

The RKC was the Black Belt of Kettlebell Certifications (and the precursor to StrongFirst), renowned for its strict conduct and roughly 35-40% of candidates failing to pass the testing at the end of the 3 day certification.

The reason the certification is so strict is for some very professional reasons.

  • The association wants to ensure its instructors will conduct themselves professionally and represent strongly.
  • They want to ensure their instructors are able to demonstrate proficiently and safely.
  • They want to make sure their certified instructors are committed to teaching the kettlebell movements and system and not just wanting another CEC.

The experience candidates will encounter will be like no other fitness instruction certification that exists. It will be deep, intense, involve lots of demonstration and practice, skills and tests throughout the 3 days culminating in a tough instructor testing procedure… and that’s prior to teaching a volunteer to demonstrate teaching competence!

If successful, an RKC or a StrongFirst certified instructor will offer their clients a professional experience when they attend training above and beyond the average PT session in a high-street gym. If you want cheap, you can find it everywhere, but if you want a quality experience, look up your local RKC or StrongFirst instructor.

Gearing up for re-certification

As thorough as the certification process is, it is advisable that instructors re-certify to stay on top of their teaching skills and abilities with the kettlebell.  I am in that stage this year, polishing my skills. Perhaps part of my writing this today is an act of accountability. “I am telling you all that I will undertake re-certification this year”. Mmmmm, hopefully that will work.

I am confident my weekend as a student not just a trainer will be fun as usual and that I will walk away excited to share my experience with my clients.

What about you?

I do run ongoing private workshops for people who want to experience a little bit of the Hardstyle Kettlebell world. My own Kettlebell Fundamentals program was launched in 2013 for budding enthusiasts who wanted to learn how to properly use their shiny new black kettlebells. Many attendees came for the workshops and have stayed on as clients, so bitten by the kettlebell bug were they.

If you are interested in experiencing the feel or real Kettlebell training, please do consider a visit to FitStrong.

FitStrong Kettlebell Fundamentals

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Want to chat? Get in touch below.

Online Membership is Open

💣3… 2… 1… 💥

… “And the FitStrong Online Membership is Here” 🎉😍

Yep, there’s been heaps of chitter-chatter from yours truly recently about the start of our New Online Membership – the place where all of our training programs will be hosted. Whether you want to move better to get less stiff and achy or you want a pure kettlebell program or maybe you’ve got no equipment and prefer quick bodyweight only workouts – they are all inside awaiting some attention.

So, here’s a run-down for ya’ll:

👉🏻 Monthly training programs
👉🏻 Bodyweight and Kettlebell focus
👉🏻 Efficient 10 minute workouts
👉🏻 6 – 12 Week Challenges
👉🏻 Mobility tips to get less stiff and achy
👉🏻 Teaching videos for all the major exercises
👉🏻 Access to all the big successful programs we’ve delivered over the years and my 22 years experience!!
👉🏻 Q&A opportunities at the tap of a button
👉🏻 Live training sessions 😀
👉🏻 Nutrition and Lifestyle guidance
👉🏻 Accountability Calls

What else can you get for $1 a day?

fitstrong membership subscription

Click above to go directly to the New Online Membership Site

Kettlebell 10 Min Plan

I’ve been talking a lot recently about solutions for anyone who’s stuck for time to exercise. We all get those times of the year when our days get eaten up with life ‘stuff’. Oftentimes if we haven’t got 45 to 60 minutes we think there’s no point in trying to do a training session… after all, ‘what can you possibly do in 10 to 15 minutes’?

If you’re a kettlebell fan, there are certainly lots of options. I will be going into much more detail on our new Online Membership that goes on release tomorrow but for today, you’ll find a simple 10 minute routine below… it’s in real time so you can follow along if you like.

The PLAN

  • 1 or 2 kettlebells
  • Start each set Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM)
  • Rotate between the Clean and Press, the Front Squat and the 1 Arm Row

So in brief, each minute you start a set and rotate each exercise. It’s a circuit of minimalism. Now, there is roughly 30-40 secs rest between each exercise set but keep in mind that there are minutes between each specific exercise (from squat set to squat set etc).

Today I was working on a medium effort day, so I worked with kettlebells that felt 70% to me for 4 reps. A hard day may be more like 6-8 reps each and an easy day would be something like just 2 of each.

That is exactly how we schedule sessions. An Easier day, a Harder day and a Medium day.

Anyhoo, here’s the action oh, and sorry about absence of sound during a particular section. Youtube doesn’t like background music which I forgot to turn off – “oops”!

 

Would you interested in joining our membership online?

Just $1 a day for:


👉🏻 day by day training programs
👉🏻 short 10 minute workouts
👉🏻 mobility tips to get less stiff and achy
👉🏻 teaching videos for all the major movements we use and need
👉🏻 access to all the big successful programs we’ve delivered over recent years
👉🏻 Q&A opportunities at the tap of a button
👉🏻 live training sessions 😀

What can you get for $1 a day?

 

➡️ Here’s the membership site link ⬅️

Fitness Confusion!

The all new ‘HIIT Keto Yoga Spartan Spandex Warrior Training Program’ is WHAT YOU NEED RIGHT NOW!

Eeeeek!

Okay, a slight over exaggeration there but yikes, doesn’t the fitness industry seem like a field of land mines to battle through?
Who can blame those who just run screaming for their exercise.

And you know what, I am probably part to blame too. I get such a short time with each person per week that it can be hard to put across the honest truth about what a balanced exercise program should look like.

I have spent quite some time this winter putting together a package that maps fitness. It’s not quite ready to share just yet but it’ll be a nice Christmas present to everyone once it’s done.

In short, it outlines the shape of an average weeks complete fitness plan. It’s not for the extremists or specialised sports people. It’s aimed for all of us who want to use exercise to enhance out health, strength and fitness now and going into the future.   

In the video below I talk, yes rather excitedly about this.
This was in response to a question from a member who is time-stuck and wanted to use high intensity training in what time they had in their stress-filled week.
What they wanted to do and what they should do couldn’t be further apart.

 

It does not actually matter how you get in your aerobic training or strength training. Find what you enjoy and do it. Walk, cycle, roller skate, climb, hike – just find what you enjoy and can sustain and repeat.

At the gym these days we practice strength training with bodyweight movements, kettlebells, some barbell work and for others, they get to use the parallette bars too as well as the more progressive bodyweight system called Animal Flow.

Both Kettlebell Training and Animal Flow training have proven their value but what often holds people back is not knowing how to use them.

Heading into Summer, I’m looking to add a few people to the roster and to make on-boarding easier, I’ve set up times for people to learn how to use Kettlebells and the Animal Flow system.

If you or someone else is interested in learning either of these, follow the links below to check out dates and times.

Animal Flow Introductory Classes (facebook link)

-> https://www.facebook.com/events/254622681922592/

Mondays from 5th November at 10am to 10:45am 
Fridays from 9th November at 9am to 9:45am


 

The Kettlebell is practically a complete gym in your hand that allows its user to transition smoothly from one movement to another cutting out time and hassle… providing you know how to safely use it.

I’ve been using and teaching Kettlebell Training since 2009 and it’s transformed my health and fitness and my outlook on strength and fitness training.

Over a series of classes, learn the Swing, Squat, the Press and other great kettlebell movements.

I teach in the Hardstyle method as taught by the RKC and StrongFirst with whom I certified in 2012. The method of teaching is second to none, simple and effective.

The course will include online homework with videos and lectures to compliment the ’in-gym’ training.

Each weeks lessons will be offered on a choice of a:

Wednesdays at 5:45am or the Saturday at 10am.
*** Starting Wednesday 7th ***

Link => https://www.facebook.com/events/2227912690783686/

Note: this beginner course is set-up to allow for a permanent class to continue from January 2019.

$20 per class or $100 for the complete 6 week course per participant.


 

Finally…

My number one goal as a trainer is to help people. It really is that simple.

Whether you want to move better, get stronger, learn more about healthy nutrition habits or you want to know how to use kettlebells properly… I want to help.

I think I do a pretty good job too but your feedback is always welcomed.

To reach out to more people who might like what we do here, I’d love your help by referring friends, family or other business owners.

In particular, I am very keen to work with small groups, 2 to 3 people who would enjoy exercising together.

To thank and reward you for any successful referrals I want to give you a lovely dinner voucher for our local Portabella Restaurant or if you’d prefer, a Westfield voucher.

To refer someone, please direct them to this website to have a look around. Once there, it’s really easy to get in touch with me directly, pretty much from any page.

https://fitstrong.com.au/

Thank you for spending time reading my thoughts today.

Any suggestions – just shout 🙂

Jamie

Short on Gym Time?

We all get those times when we had planned to train but life just got in the way… hey it happens. No drama.

Most of us know how to carry out most of the popular exercises without too much technical jargon or direction but, the ‘no time’ excuse will always raise its ugly head.

I had one of those days today. Sinus headache all morning on top of two online lectures to study left me with 20 minutes roughy to do something before heading off to get my daughter from school.

Once you cut away the fluff that can bulk up a training session you get left with what’s important to get done.

For me today that was some single leg practice and some rows to balance off my main program on the other days.

 I just rotated through step ups, single leg deadlifts and rows.

 Simple. Check it out.

 

 

If you happen to know that you know you should train often but don’t and you know some exercise technique basics too, maybe you know you need some guidance!!! Ye know?!

Maybe consider signing up for early registration for my new online membership program.

  • Weekly programs and workouts with kettlebells and bodyweight exercises
  • Monthly technique tune ups
  • Mobility / flexibility routines (you want to move better too don’t you?!)
  • Occasional challenges
  • Ongoing online support
  • Just $1 a day!!!!

More information will be released early September 2018, but if interested to learn more, just fill out the basics below 👇🏻