Happy Wednesday to you,
As I’m sitting here in snowy Austria I’ve just realised it’s about 4 months until summer begins.
And a bit more than a month until spring starts.
That means over the next couple of months, outside temperatures will increase.
You might fancy some time in the garden or park working on your tan… fuelling up on that Vitamin D after the winter.
Whatever you do, I want you to enter the first spring and summer of the new decade with complete confidence.
If you want to, you should wear tight clothes confidently. You should look and feel absolutely outstanding…
And I want to give you the opportunity to get a leg up on everyone else that’ll be scrambling to get their body “beach-ready” once the first warm days grace us…
If you get started tomorrow, you will feel better than you ever have by the time spring rolls around!
What am I talking about?
Watch out for tomorrow’s email. I have a feeling you’ll like what’s coming your way 🙂
My most successful clients are very busy people, working full-time jobs, have a family, a thriving social life, and enjoy lots of great food…
Yet they’re able to build – and retain – good looking bodies in just 10 to 30 minutes of regular exercise.
And once they’ve started, they always tell me how easy it is to continue…
Some even call it addictive.
Would you be interested in a package of workout programs that are very easy to do, take just 10 minutes per day… and that target over 600 different muscles with each workout…
Getting you real results in half the time?
Then watch your inbox tomorrow.
Ever since the beginning of my 30 day kettlebell squat challenge that started this month, I’ve had questions about the pistol squat.
“Greg, I can’t wait to be able to perform the pistol squat” or “I can’t believe that the pistol squat is possible in only 4 weeks”
Firstly, I need to apologise if I gave you the impression that this squat challenge would result in you performing pistol squats at the end of it.
Pistol squats are a very advanced exercise that not many can perform.
I only included them twice at the end of the challenge so you can see the different type of squat movement patterns available, those more advanced can, of course, try them or use some assistance to perform the reps as I detail in the squat challenge article.
The squat challenge is about mastering one of the most essential movement patterns and at the same time developing a daily exercise habit.
But, if you have your heart set on performing pistol squats then I’d like to introduce to you the SAID principle.
- Adaptation to
Ultimately, we get better at the movements we perform the most.
So if you want to be a great sprinter then you need to sprint a lot. Not walk, or jog but sprint.
The same applies to the Pistol Squat. Goblets squats, Thrusters, and Deck Squats will all help condition your backside, legs etc. but ultimately they will not improve your pistol squats.
For pistol squats, you need to perform lots of pistol squats. You will need to regress the movement starting with assisted bodyweight pistols, then unassisted and finally using a light kettlebell and so on.
The SAID principle is an important one to remember. I frequently get asked:
“What is the best kettlebell exercise for improving (insert activity here)?”
My answer is always the same, think about what movements are using within the activity and do more of those.
Of course, general exercise does build a strong foundation (providing you use the essential movement patterns) but if you want specific gains then you need to perform specific exercises. This also includes reps, speed, duration, timing etc.
Here’s an intermediate workout from my 12 Week Women’s Kettlebell Program
- Single Handed Swing – 30 seconds each side
- Reverse Lunge – 30 seconds each side
- Goblet Squat – 60 seconds
- Side Plank – 30 seconds each side
I often get asked about cardio and kettlebells. A simple 4-minute workout like this will seriously raise your heart rate. Feel the flow between the first 3 exercises and avoid putting the kettlebell down between exercises.
Repeat the circuit for a total of 3 sets, taking 30 – 60 seconds of rest after each circuit.
Today I’d like to give you a few things to think about when it comes to nutrition and fat loss:
- There are approx. 70 calories in 1 slice of bread and it takes approx. 6 minutes of jogging to burn off that many calories.
- Some years ago Lucy and I walked the ‘Alpine Pass’ which entails 3 weeks of hiking across the width of Switzerland (200 miles) and 16 mountain passes. Both of us gained a little weight even after walking for 5-10 hours per day due to eating a less than optimal diet.
- We experienced the same weight gain when completing the ‘Tour de Mont Blanc’ (110 miles) some years earlier.
- My neighbour lost 14lbs just by giving up alcohol and bread for the month of January.
- You eat approx. 21 meals a week and maybe exercise at the most 7 times, usually less.
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting your nutrition in order.
People frequently overestimate the number of calories burnt from exercise and underestimate the number of calories from food and drink.
This is of course not to say that exercise isn’t important, because it is, for muscle conditioning, heart health, metabolism, joints, mobility, energy, mood, motivation and the list goes on.
But, it is important to put things into context when you spend 1 hour in the gym and then eat and drink what you like because you think you’ve earned it.
Gloves for Kettlebell Training?
- I don’t wear gloves or recommend them for kettlebell training. Many of my clients have tried and soon give up.
- Although the idea is to protect the hands they usually make the matter worse by bunching up and chaffing.
- There are so many proprioceptors in the hands that become blinded by wearing a glove that you lose the feel of what is happening in your hand.
- Chalk will increase callouses by drying out the skin. Look after your hands afterwards by applying a moisturiser to any affected areas.
Wrist Guards for Kettlebell Training?
- There is a temptation to wear wrist guards to protect your wrists against the banging of the kettlebell. I don’t wear them or recommend them, not for very long at least.
- If you are banging your wrists with the kettlebell then your technique needs work. You can wear large sweatbands (like the tennis player ones) just while you master your technique but then remove them to increase focus on proper technique.
- Poor kettlebells without adequate space in the handle will result in exercises including the Clean, Snatch and any racked position to feel painful. Buy better kettlebells.
That’s all for today.
P.S. Missed last weeks newsletter? Read it here