Happy Thursday to you.
January is always a busy month in the fitness calendar and I’m gearing up for an exciting month and also a productive year.
My main focus this year is to help you realise your health and fitness goals.
What is your main focus this year? Fat Loss, Muscle, Performance, Toning, or just Moving Better and Pain Free.
Knowing exactly what you want is the first step to achieving it. It’s funny how if you think about something long enough the brain figures out a way to achieve it.
So get clear on what you really want in 2020 and beyond.
The way I plan for 2020 is to take out my calendar (I buy a paper wall one) and write down everything I want to happen each month. My calendar this year includes: cities I want to visit, fitness conventions, live sporting events, workout filming, opera performances (don’t judge), and workout milestones.
With my calendar now roughly complete for 2020 I can relax and just make sure it all happens.
I’d love to know your goals, hit reply and let me know.
Movement before equipment
Regardless of your fitness goals for 2020 understanding the 5 movement patterns I mentioned last week will form the framework for your success.
The truth is, once you understand these movement pattens it doesn’t matter which training tool you use: kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, TRX, or even just your own body weight.
I choose to mostly use kettlebells because they are such a diverse training tool but I always put movement patterns first before any piece of equipment.
The Squat is one of the 5 essential movement patterns and I classify it as a knee bend along with exercises including the Lunge.
Not matter what your goals the Squat should be part of your workout and here’s why:
- Squatting is developed as a toddler but often forgotten
- Squatting is used daily when sitting and standing
- Squatting opens up the joints of the lower back and helps mobilise the joints
- Squatting helps pump blood (nutrients) around the body
- Squatting pumps lymph around the body improving the immune system
- Squatting uses 100’s of muscles in one movement
Once you understand the importance of the squat you can see how holding any number of pieces of equipment will produce the same results whether a weight plate, water bottle, dumbbell, or kettlebell.
You may be thinking sharing information like this is detrimental to my kettlebell business but what I really want to get accross is that you MUST SQUAT whether it’s with a kettlebell or any other piece of equipment.
If you struggle squatting (and most people do, even personal trainers) then here are some videos / info to help you:
- How to improve your squats using assistance
- How to fix painful knees
- Getting started with the kettlebell goblet squat
Here’s an intermediate workout from my 12 Week Fat Loss Program
- 1A. Goblet Squat – 15 reps
- 1B. Regular Row – 15 reps each side
- 2A. Single Handed Deadlift – 15 reps each side
- 2B. Push Press – 15 reps each side
- 3A. Reverse Lunge – 15 reps each side
- 3B. Shoulder Taps – 30 seconds
The above workout will require a lighter kettlebell that will enable you to perform all 15 reps.
Perform exercise 1A then immediately after 1B, rest 75 seconds and repeat. Next, progress onto exercise 2A and perform using the same format (known as supersets).
Here’s a few nutritional things to think about:
- Quality or Quantity: weight gain comes from either eating too much food (quantity) or eating poor unnatural foods (quality). How can you improve on this? Eat more veg, fast from 6pm until 9am, go organic, reduce portion size
- No Protein Powders: constipation, weight gain, allergies, and poor ingredients are just a few of the reasons why I don’t recommend protein powders for most people. There are no shortcuts, like most things in life, hard work gets results, plus a good quality diet.
- Veg Delivery: no matter what your thoughts are regarding nutrition, everyone agrees that vegetables are a must. Eat seasonally, organic and conveniently by getting an organic veg delivery like I have for the past 12 years. I order 2 boxes from Riverford here in the UK every week.
See my 9 most important nutritional tips in order of importance.
Thoughts on training equipment I’ve been using lately:
- Rollga Foam Roller: last week I mentioned my love of this particular type of foam roller. I received a lot of emails regarding how to use it so here are 9 ways that I recommend you use your foam roller.
- Slimbeam Cable Machine: a few years ago I added a cable machine to my garage gym. I love the functional movements you can achieve using cables especially single arm pushes and pulls along with woodchops. A sizable investment but worth every penny.
- Which Kettlebells? I get asked a lot about what size and brand of kettlebells to purchase so I’ve written a complete guide to buying kettlebells for both men and women.
See you next week.
P.S. Missed last weeks newsletter? Read it here