Category Archives: Workouts

‘Off Day’ Workout

Awhile back, I discussed critiquing your own form to detect flaws in order to improve and reduce risk of injury. Here’s a brief workout I completed doing 1-arm and 2-arm swings with a kettlebell as well as some pushups.

As I edited the video, there were several flaws that were evident. Probably the one that jumped out the most to me was how my knees dip down on my pushups, and as a result, my entire body is not pushing up as 1 ramrod straight unit.

Anyway, this should give you a little insight in how little space you need to be able to complete the workout.

The best part of this video is (1) you don’t have to hear a word or noise from me, and (2) you can watch my wife wash dishes at landspeed record in the background!

Enjoy and comment, if you will.

Garage Workouts

Lest ye think I only work out with kettlebells, yesterday’s workout included sandbag single arm presses, sandbag zercher squats, barbell bench press, rowing, static dumbbell holds, and more!

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That’s me on the right completing a sandbag press with a 35-lb sandbag. The weight isn’t the challenge as much as the grip and balance of the bag.

Kettlebell Swing Basics

In my previous post, I mentioned capturing your form on video for self critique. I spent a few hours this weekend shooting some video of myself doing a 2-hand kettlebell swing and then put together a video that highlights the key things to remember when swinging a kettlebell.

Enjoy, if you can survive the 8 minutes of me droning on and on!

Critique Your Form

When working out, one way to avoid unneccessary injury is to execute correct form. Whether you are doing deadlifts, running, swinging a kettlebell, pushups, pullups, etc., there is a science behind every exercise movement and an exact, correct way to do it. There are thousands of videos on the web with people demonstrating exercise form (some correct and some not so much). Whether you have a personal instructor or are using web content, the hard part is taking what you’ve seen and replicating that with the exact same form.

Anyone who works out hard and very intensely for an extended duration faces the challenge of fatigue and as a correlating result: slipping form. As your body fatigues and your form begins to slip, your potential for injury is really increases. My mentor and coach Mark always says, “Train hard, train smart!” Both are equally important: hard generates results, and smart keeps you injury-free and able to keep working out, which is pretty important.

Let’s move on to what the title of the blog post is actually about. It is critically important to evaluate your form from time-to-time. Over time, as you learn and ‘master’ a particular routine or exercise, it is easy to fall into the mindset that you will continue to always do that routine or exercise with good form. It is common to pick up bad habits form-wise without realizing it. IĀ understand that not everyone has access to a qualified trainer who can point out and correct flaws in their form. While that is obviously ideal, there are alternatives.

As an alternative, you can record yourself via video. Go back and watch that video (even in slow motion). While you may not be able to notice every little nuance in your form, it is quite likely that you will notice any bad habits that you have picked up. For example, you may notice that your body is not perfectly ramrod straight when doing something as simple as pushups – perhaps your knees are dipping, maybe your butt is too high, etc. Consider pro golfers. Even the best golfers in the world develop issues / hitches with their swing that they either self-evaluate or use a swing coach to correct in order to return to world class form.

Lastly, don’t forget to practice exact and correct form. The more you practice the right form, the more ingrained in your mind the form will be. As your workout progresses, and your body fatigues, your mind will rely on the correct form that you have time and time again stamped into it.

Double the Effort, Double the Misery, Double the Results!!!

Today’s lesson in humility consisted of 12 sets of 10 double clean and press and 10 double kettlebell swings (2 35lb kettlebells).

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To add to the misery, we added 100 pushups the end.

A workout like this is a surefire way to gain strength, become more lean and trim, and improve conditioning!

Midweek Workout

It was refreshing to get an afternoon workout in today. All you need to complete it is a kettlebell and something to jump onto. Here is what we did:

WARMUP
– stretch
– 10 sets of 10 2-handed kettlebell swings with focus on form and proper breathing
– 30 pushups followed by 5 sets of 7 pushups with 15 second rest intervals

WORKOUT
– 7 sets of…
–> 5 slow grinding goblet squats (you could use either a kettlebell or a dumbbell)
–> 10 box jumps where you fully extend to a standing position at the top, then complete an air squat, and then step back down.

You could complete this individually, or with a partner… switching every time both are complete.

For the kettlebell swings, I used a 16kg kettlebell. For the goblet squats, I used a 12kg kettlebell, and the box jump is approximately 24″.

It is important to note that the workout focused on controlled movement and not bouncing up and down on the knee joints (your knees will thank you for that, and the goal is strength building NOT max reps). This workout should thoroughly smoke your legs and core.

Remember, don’t forget to stretch when you are done… Bretzels and press-ups are good for that.

If you happen to try this workout, post here and let me know what you think.

Start Your Week With A Workout

What better way to kickstart your week than with an intense workout?

After completing a garage workout yesterday that focused on heavy weight training, today featured pushups… a lot of them.

For warmups, I continued a pushup program that is geared toward increasing my max number of pushups in 1 set. (65 pushups spaced over 6 sets).

Next up, single arm farmers walks with a 70 lb kettlebell.

Then 100 burpees with pushups. Spaced out in however many sets needed to get to 100… more important to maintain good form than complete in a certain time limit! Did 25 more pushups after just for the heck of it.

Finished with a 2 minute plank.

Don’t let this time of the year sap your energy for exercise.