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Milwaukee RKC 2016

Adrienne: You recently hosted a second RKC at your gym in Milwaukee. What inspired you to host the RKC again?

Nick: We’ve had several HKC workshops at our gym as well. I think the RKC is the coolest, it’s the full package, and it’s good for everybody. At the recent workshop, the group included gym owners and professional athletes as well as “nine-to-fivers” who’ve never played a sport in their life! But, everyone can equally benefit.

The athletes signed up for the RKC to learn and enhance their performance in any future event—while often experiencing the hardest physical challenge of their lives! There’s a yin and yang to the RKC, you learn a ton while still experiencing a serious physical challenge in the process.

Adrienne: In your opinion, who should sign up for an RKC Workshop?

Nick: Anyone who is interested in improving themselves should sign up. At the recent RKC in Milwaukee we even had two people who signed up because they wanted to learn, even though they didn’t think they could pass the testing. A chiropractor who came to the RKC we hosted last year signed up again and fully retested, even though he didn’t need to recertify yet.

The RKC is great for anyone who wants to learn about kettlebell technique, functional strength training, and to see how hard they can safely push themselves. There’s a kind of safety net with the RKC—you’re pushing yourself to new limits while simultaneously correcting your movement patterns.

Essentially, you’ll spend three days finding everything dysfunctional about yourself and your students, then learn functional ways to fix and improve the issues. So anyone who is interested in learning how to replace dysfunction with function should go to an RKC Workshop.

Milwaukee RKC Jared Squat Coaching

If I hand my beginner clients a kettlebell, the weight can anchor their joints so they can learn to wedge. A kettlebell can pull their hips back so that they can learn to hinge. Nearly everybody can get involved with kettlebells on a pretty equal playing field. I can easily teach a group of ten people kettlebell swings and watch as the professional athlete and beginner both improve.

Adrienne: That’s right—and with an appropriate weight for each, they can all practice the same basic movement patterns.

Nick: Yes and it’s kind of freaky how hard we can make kettlebell training—we’re not sure if it’s even possible to max out one’s potential. At the same time, kettlebell training can be regressed to beginner movements. We’ve even seen Prof. Stuart McGill, back surgeon Dr. Roth and Milwaukee RKC attendees Dr. Jon Duris and Dr. Christina Ronchetti trust the kettlebell with their patients. Kettlebells can work with a full spectrum of people and that’s why I think it’s important to host and be part of the RKC community.

Adrienne: The recent RKC workshop you hosted was taught by Master RKC Phil Ross. I had the pleasure of recertifying for my RKC-II with him last year. He brings so many useful cues from his experience in martial arts and as a highly experienced teacher. Did you learn anything particularly unique from Phil this time?

Nick: Absolutely! I liked a lot of the old school stuff that he taught. He went over a lot of really applicable and functional drills with kettlebells—things that people can start using in their own training and with their clients immediately. I had forgotten about some of the ideas and also learned some cool new ways to use kettlebells.

Milwaukee RKC Phil Ross Instructing

He brought so much to the table—I think it came from so many years of actively working in the fitness industry and his experience as a fighter. He’d also experienced debilitating injuries in the past, has healed and worked himself out of it. I think that experience has lead to a whole lot of learning.

Adrienne: Even though you’re an RKC-II and a Team Leader, did you learn anything completely new at the recent RKC Workshop you hosted?

Nick: We went over some RKC armbar variations I hadn’t done before. Phil had everyone moving quickly in them, but with the number one safety rule: maintaining the wedge. We started on our backs with both legs still straight with heels flexed to get ready to move into the arm bar position. We were to keep the toe pointing towards our faces the whole time on the foot on the same side as the kettlebell. That leg then raises up and all the way across the body. Every time that leg moves though, your shoulders are packed, you’re pressing your lower back into the ground—and the same is true when you come out of it too.

Personally, as someone born with a congenital spinal defect (and I’ve avoided surgery) I’m cautious but open-minded about ways to safely strengthen my core. After that exercise, I felt like my whole body was put together really well. Normally twisting exercises with weight seem like we’re begging for injury, but because of the emphasis on the wedge and tension—even while moving quickly with it—everyone agreed they felt really good afterwards. I get something new every time!

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Video and Photography by NickNikPhotography

RKC Team Leader Nick Lynch is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Milwaukee School of Engineering University (MSOE). He owns Superb Health Milwaukee, a kettlebell studio in Milwaukee, WI. He has 13 years of full-time training and coaching experience and a lifetime of wellness education. Nick lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife Natalie and son Weston.

Adrienne Harvey is a Senior PCC, RKC-II, DVRT, CK-FMS, and author of the upcoming Dragon Door title, Eat Strong, Lift Strong, Move Strong: Proven Secrets for Strength, Power and Robust Energy. She has been RKC Certified since 2010, RKC Level 2 certified since 2011, and a core member of the PCC team.  Adrienne loves sharing her knowledge with small groups and individuals.

 

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How to Keep Training When Life Gets in the Way

by Phil Ross on July 6, 2016

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Phil Ross Master RKC One Hand Handstand

Other than the excuse of “I don’t have the money to train”, the other top excuse for not exercising is “I don’t have time”. The money issue is usually more a question of priorities. At my gym, it costs about five dollars a day to join my classes. That’s not much when it seems like many people spend $3 to $5 on their morning coffee, $10-15 on lunch and waste even more on other frivolous expenditures. If it still isn’t in the budget, people can always work out at home with books like Convict Conditioning, Survival Strong, or Master the Kettlebell for a small one-time investment. But, budgeting to join a class could be as easy as packing your lunch and making your own coffee. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ve been almost penniless—twice—and never stopped training. Excuses are like armpits, everyone has them and they all stink! But, my focus for this post isn’t savings, it’s time allocation.

“No time, no time, no time…” That’s no excuse. Make time! It doesn’t take much. Pick an activity and do it for one hour, three times a week. Do something else for 20 to 30 minutes a day on your “off days”. If you still can’t manage one hour, three times a week, start by doing this little workout to get your juices flowing—all you need is 30 minutes, a floor and a $10 jump rope:

The goal is 1000 jump rope skips (200 per round for 5 sets), 100 push-ups (25 per round for 4 sets) and 120 abdominals (30 per round for 4 sets). Here’s the order: jump rope, push-ups, abs, jump rope, push-ups, abs, jump rope, push-ups, abs, jump rope, push-ups, abs, jump rope. End the workout with planks, bridges and stretching.

With kettlebells, you can do a 12 or 20 minute Tabata interval sequence. Pick 3 to 5 exercises, and set your interval timer for 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest and hit it! Your heart rate will rise and you’ll be sweating in no time! For example, you could pick three exercises like double kettlebell swings, double kettlebell front squats and double kettlebell presses. If you pick five exercises you might add double kettlebell rows and cleans. There are endless combinations. Pick a few that work well together. A bodyweight exercise only version could be burpees, push-ups and abs. End the workout with bridges and stretch out. There are endless possibilities.

Here’s a real life example of how I kept training in a very busy time…

It was crunch time. I had less than three weeks before the photo shoot for my upcoming book with Marty Gallagher, Ferocious Fitness. I needed to be in peak condition, so missing my training was out of the question. My training had been going according to schedule, but then life happened—as it often does—when you own a business, are a parent, a spouse, have older parents, and have dogs, too.

Right before noon, I got a call from my six year old daughter’s school. She was sick and needed to come home. Since my wife was at her job 40 miles away from home, I also needed to take my daughter to the doctor. I told my blue belts what to cover in our noon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, and I was out the door.

The first available doctor’s appointment was 2PM, and it was already 12:22 by the time I picked up my little one. After I situated her on the couch at home, I had 1 hour and 38 minutes to workout, eat, shower and get her to the doctor. Game on!

I went into the garage and hit it. I started with the 5 Geometric Bando forms (Point, Square, Cross, T and the Line), three times each. Then I did a nonstop circuit with Neuro-Grip push-ups and kettlebells. I did four sets of the Neuro-Grip push-ups and three sets of the other exercises:

  • 25 Neuro-Grip push-ups
  • 10 hand to hand kettlebell swings
  • Table top push-downs, 10 seconds, 6 reps
  • Single kettlebell front squats, 5 reps each side
  • WOD-QB roller: 5 seconds out and back, 5 reps to the center and each side
  • Single kettlebell high pulls, 8 each side
  • 4 way neck, 10 seconds dynamic tension in each direction
  • Single kettlebell rows, 8 each side

I ended the workout with 5 sets of uneven kettlebell shrugs (20 reps per set). 
Since I didn’t have time for a “real” lunch, I made a shake with a banana, a splash of OJ, water, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and egg white protein powder—then chugged it. I took the next 7 minutes to shower, get dressed and get in the car. (I’m glad I’m bald at times like this!) At 1:45PM we were off to the doctor’s office, and made it on time. It even worked out that we were able to pick up her prescription, and drop her off at home with the sitter by 3:15PM. I had plenty of time to teach my 4PM kettlebell class, and since my wife got home from work early, I was able to teach my classes through 9PM.

I could have easily bypassed the workout and no one would have thought less of me—except for me! My point is that these scenarios happen fairly often. A sick child, a parent who needs help, a dog eating the carpet, network problems at the studio… Life happens, but if you roll with the punches, you can still fit in your workout. You can do it!

Strength and Honor,

Coach Phil

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Master RKC Phil Ross is the creator of many strength and conditioning programs, including The Kettlebell Workout Library DVD set. Visit www.philross.com to learn about his programs, classes, and workshops. Subscribe to his YouTube channel for more workout and exercise info.

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A Superset Series for Shoulder Mobility

June 29, 2016

I’ve screened many people with the Functional Movement Screen. In conducting all of those screens, I’ve observed typical patterns, one of which tends to be shoulder mobility issues. While this post is not a treatment plan or medical advice, it is the quick shoulder mobility series I use after the initial individual work and correctives. […]

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Why the Single-Leg Deadlift is a Go-To Leg Exercise

June 22, 2016

Why do I love single-leg deadlifts so much? For one thing, nothing works the butt and legs quite like it. Add the extra benefit to the back, core, lower legs and feet and you have a full body exercise. As Gray Cook likes to say, “Maintain your squat and TRAIN your deadlift.” I think this […]

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Training an Olympic Judoka with Kettlebell Swings and the Goblet Squat

June 15, 2016

10,000 athletes compete in the Summer Olympics. Colton Brown, age 23, was ranked number 1 in the USA (and 27th in the world) in the Men’s 90 Kilogram Judo Black Belt Division on May 30, 2016. Now, Colton is heading to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro to represent the USA. The road […]

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Improve Your Posture with the RKC Kettlebell Swing

June 8, 2016

Postural correction is a hot topic. Spending too much time in a seated position while driving or working on a computer will adversely affect our ability to stand up straight. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a time-efficient exercise that could counteract all the time you’ve spent in the seated position and help you […]

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Rowing and Kettlebells

June 1, 2016

Indoor rowing is one of the fastest growing fitness trends in the US. Head to any major city and you’ll find rowing gyms. Even the local YMCAs are taking the rowing machines out of the corner and moving them to a prominent spot. But, with the rise of rowing, we also find many people rowing […]

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Moving Strong(er) Equals Training Strong(er)

May 25, 2016

First, let’s consider the human movement system. What parts are involved? What is moving? What initiates the movement? The human movement system is comprised of the nervous system, skeletal system, and the muscle system—including all the connective soft tissues: tendons, ligaments, and fascia. The nervous system is the master control center of the entire body. […]

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Why Recertify?

May 18, 2016

As I review my half-century in the weightroom (I started lifting in 1965), I begin to see our world of strength through the lens of something Arthur Schopenhauer noted: “When you look back on your life, it looks as though it were a plot, but when you are into it, it’s a mess: just one […]

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7 Steps to a Bang-Free Kettlebell Clean

May 11, 2016

Few movements in “kettlebell land” frustrate people like kettlebell cleans. Not everyone enjoys the bruising and soreness we often deal with while learning cleans. And, cleans can get stressful if we’re anticipating multiple slams to the arm. In my years as an RKC Instructor, I’ve found kettlebell cleans to be one of the most challenging […]

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