April 22, 2014

Increase your line.

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 6:53 am

There is an old martial art story that I’ve heard repeated in different forms over the years, and attributed to different sources. This is a short version:

A Karate master is watching two mismatched students in sparring practice. The weaker of the two is losing the match.

The master notices that the weaker of the two resorts to using various methods to try and trick the stronger opponent into leaving openings, and to weaken his defenses and attacks. Of course, none of this works. The frustrated weaker student is still unable to defeat the stronger student.

After the training session, the master takes the student aside and asks him why he tried to trick the more advanced student, rather than mount his own strong attacks. No satisfactory answer surfaced.

The master took a pencil and drew two lines on a piece of paper, a short one and a long one.

The master told the student that the longer line represented himself, and the shorter line represented the student.

The master then asked the student how he could equalize the two lines, without using the eraser.

The student looked at the two line from various angles.

The master finally picked up the pencil and simply extended the student’s line, making it equal to the one representing himself.

The master then recounted the student’s obvious frustration and attempts at weakening his stronger opponent’s defenses earlier, effectively “reducing” the advanced student’s line, without trying to “lengthen” his.

The master then explained that the only way to improve as a martial artist is to build upon your skills, not detract others. The greater your training partner’s skills, the greater yours become if you use it to build yourself, rather than try to reduce others.


Hardstyle Kettlebell Swings or GS?

Hardstyle kettlebell or GS? Who really cares? Why are there so many strong opinions reagarding a simple exercise that only a small percentage of the population even know how to do?

At Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning, we use only a small handful of techniques that come from both, and things seem to be working well. Fitness is the goal.


The 2-arm “hardstyle” kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises a person could do, but it has nothing to do with kettlebell sport lifting and only a marginal carryover into kettlebell sport technique.

The 1-arm swing, in various forms, used as an assistance exercise to kettlebell sport lifting is an entirely different exercise. Different breathing, balance…everything. Still a great grip, back and lung exercise if you want to get better at your long-cycle or snatch.

To compare the 2-arm swing to the 1-arm GS swing is like comparing a pushup to a pullup. They are not the same thing, but each has its benefits.

Do you have to have a favorite? No. There are enough hours in the day to do both if your goal is to get in great shape.


April 15, 2014

Men Should Not Have Breasts.

Men Should Not Have Breasts.

Breasticles, Man-boobs, The Man-Rack, Moobs, Bitch Tits, Gynecomastia…

Whatever you choose to call them, they suck. No man wants these. No man should have to live like this. These are self-esteem and confidence killers.

For a small percentage, genetics play a big part and in these cases they need to talk to a physician or endocrinologist in order to mitigate this situation. For the majority, it is a matter of dietary and lifestyle activities that cause hormonal imbalances.

What is happening?
Essentially, what is going on is the body has too much aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme in the body that converts testosterone into estrogen. When men’s estrogen levels get high, they start growing breasts and gain excess bodyfat. This is also linked to certain cancers.

Here are a quick list of main offenders of aromatase:
Environmental things like pollution, and BPAs.
Chronically elevated insulin levels.
Excessive alcohol consumption (especially beer).
Zinc and magnesium deficiency.
Hormones from feedlot-raised animals.
Certain medications or dietary supplement abuse.
Plastics, when exposed to heat (never heat plastic containers in a microwave).

The diet is the first thing to address. YOU CAN DO THIS TODAY.
1. If you are a drinker, ditch the beer and hard alcohol right now. A little red wine is OK. In fact, dry, red wines contain resveratrol, which actually acts as an aromatase inhibitor. It might actually help reduce problem. Just don’t use this a license to drink a bottle a night.
2. Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and raddishes.
3. Cut the wheat, corn and soy from your diet.
4. Cut all sugars.
5. Eat organic raw nuts, seafood, pastured meats or wild game.
6. Drink green tea. It helps detoxify estrogens.
7. Get at least 30 grams of fiber per day. This should not be a problem if you are getting lots of vegetables. For lack of a more lengthy explanation, fiber helps to pull excess estrogen from your body.

Train like a predator, not prey.
Hit the weights several times per week, using heavy loads and full-body exercises like squats, deadlifts, clean and presses, burpees, kettlebell swings, pullups, and hill sprints. Take up a martial art.

Don’t waste time on exercises like crunches, bicep curls, or chest flyes.

Avoid more than 30 minutes of steady-state cardiovascular training on a regular basis. Do sprints and hard intervals, rather than jogging. Don’t even think about spending time on a “cardio” machine at your local gym in front of a TV.

It goes beyond cosmetics.
Man boobs are a health problem and any man that says he doesn’t care about having them is lying.
Lots of men are suffering from this and are afraid to admit it, and have no idea where to start. These are things to do RIGHT NOW that can help.

Let your breast reduction start now!


April 12, 2014

On “Tabatas.”

A true 4-minute Tabata set is pretty much to metabolic failure. You should be absolutely done at the end of it, and need at least a 3 minute rest before doing a new set.

A guideline I like to use is that if I feel rested enough to do another set at anything less than 3 minutes, I didn’t push it hard enough. I usually use a 4 minute rest interval after a set, with 4 sets per workout.

Also, to really benefit from doing Tabatas, doing them multiple days per week for a matter of weeks is the way to go about it.

Try doing them about 4 intervals per day, 5 days per week for about a month and see where you get.

April 11, 2014

You can’t “OUT-SUPPLEMENT” a crappy diet.

We’ve all heard/used, in some form, the phrase: “You can’t out-train the dinner table.” True. You can’t.

You know what else you can’t do? You can’t “OUT-SUPPLEMENT” a crappy diet.

One thing I’ve noticed is that lots of the health and performance supplements out there are really nothing more than things marketed to counteract a terrible diet.

No supplement has a chance against a diet that derives a significant amount of its calories from wheat, corn, soy, low-quality dairy, and sugar.

Eliminate all these things and everything seems to go much better.

April 10, 2014

Is Body Fat Percentage Important?

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 3:01 pm

Is Body Fat Percentage Important?

I am not a big fan of measuring body fat percentage and never have been. Why?

No one really cares about how low your body fat percentage is or what it was at one time. Really, they don’t.

Where you store body fat is as important to your health as how much you store. A raw number won’t tell you that, or how your hormones are causing fat to be stored in certain areas. Visceral fat is much more dangerous to your health than butt and leg fat.

In any type of athletic endeavor, no one cares about body fat percentage. They care about performance. Although, most sports or physical tasks reward leanness, and punish you for excess baggage.

Unless you are getting a complicated and expensive test like a DEXA scan, water submersion tank test, or air displacement test, you aren’t getting an accurate number anyway.

A body fat percentage number means a lot less than how you feel when you look in a mirror and how your clothes fit.

Your body fat percentage will vary widely depending upon who measures it and what method is used, and no two people will look the same at the same percentage body fat. Take 10 people, all with 12% body fat. They will all show different levels of definition and fat storage.

Most methods of bodyfat testing don’t take into account the bone density of the test subject. Strong and athletic people typically have higher bone density than average. This is a significant portion of a person’s total body mass. Unless the test somehow factors this in, we are just shooting in the dark (as far as I know, only the DEXA scan can measure this).

Body fat testing can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with a number on a paper. So what if you were 6% body fat at one time! Did you really feel your strongest and your best at that point?

Things like how your clothes are fitting, athletic performance, how you look and feel, measurements like hip-to-waist ratio, and your sanity are much more important.

For an athlete, a good way to measure is to pinch the fat on your cheek, just above your jaw. Now, pinch the fat on your gut. If the fold of skin is bigger on your gut than your cheek, you might need to drop a little. If it is less or the same, you’re fine.


April 7, 2014

You can’t separate the process from the outcome.

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 5:02 am

You can’t separate the process from the outcome.

Something I’ve had in my head for quite a while.

I see lots of high level athletes complaining online and warning about things like “overtraining” and “adrenal fatigue.”

How do they know that the reason for their success was not precisely because of inducing that kind of stress on their bodies?

I know I have been there myself. I’ve been awake at 2 a.m., heart racing, tired, sore every single hour of every day, been in pain, zero motivation, cold hands and feet, injured for dumb reasons, trained through injuries I shouldn’t have, trained after being up for 24hours or more at a time. Yep. Been there, done that.

I never had or gave myself the option of quitting, so I just pushed on. Could I have accomplished more with less? I can never know that. No one can.

I can’t separate the fact that I don’t know that every thing I’ve ever accomplished physically isn’t exactly because of pushing hard, until I thought I couldn’t any do anymore, but somehow I did a little more. I can’t know that.

Everyone loves short and easy workouts, and the concept sells lots of ebooks online and makes for lots of popular blog posts, but, let me just point out that most all the extremely fit people I know have not made a regular practice of doing nothing but short and easy workouts, foam rolling and “recovery days” throughout their lives.

Interrogate some of the strongest, baddest people you know and I can almost guarantee you they will tell you about periods of their life when they trained hard 2+ hours per day, almost every day, multiple times per day.

They will probably tell you about training through injuries; training when they were sick; training when they were so tired they wanted to cry; going through times when they almost prayed for a debilitating injury to prevent them from training because they couldn’t stop otherwise; throwing up during workouts; dreading training; skipping rest days to get more training in, etc..

Is it the right thing to do? I can say that as a coach, I would stop someone if I thought they were at this point, but I don’t listen to my own advice.

To reach the next level past the bare beginner level, you have to go hard, heavy, and train until you just can’t do it any more. Not all the time, but sometimes. Sometimes for years.

You can never separate the process from the outcome. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to take it all or none.


Inflammation in Very Simple Terms.

Inflammation in very simple terms.

Inflammation is the body’s defense against irritation, infection, or injury. This can also be caused by lots of stress, eating foods that cause inflammation, inadequate rest, or excessive training.

Inflammation is not always a negative thing (more on that later), but when we generate more of it than we are designed to handle, all sorts of issues can ensue, including GI issues, joint pain, weight gain, and compromised immunity. Your body can handle these things for short periods, as in after a hard workout or to recover from an injury, but when your body has to deal with elevated inflammation levels for long stretches, things just don’t work right.

Lowering excessive inflammation is one of the goals of proper nutrition and hormonal balance.
Now, if you think you have screwed up hormones, don’t take my advice on it. I am not a doctor. Even most MDs will refer you to an endocrinologist in order to help with a suspected hormone problem, which they would only confirm through blood or saliva tests. So, don’t diagnose yourself as having some hormone or adrenal issue via the internet.

But, here are some super simple bits of information I’ve learned about inflammation and how to help minimize it.

Your body works in a coordinated fashion, meaning all the systems work together and must be looked at together. You can’t just look at your training without paying attention to nutrition and expect to look, feel or perform better.

Excess inflammation means fat gain, muscle loss, and “Man-Boobs”
When levels of inflammation go up, the body’s defense is to increase the stress hormone cortisol as an anti-inflammatory hormone. This becomes a priority for your body, instead of producing sex hormones like testosterone, DHEA, androstendione, and progesterone. This is important because having these sex hormones working correctly helps you to train hard, build muscle, burn fat, and make other humans. This is important. Lack of sex drive should be a big sign that something is wrong.

If these hormones aren’t in sync, one of the outcomes is estrogen dominance, which will kill sex drive and cause fat gain. Both men and women have to have the correct amount of estrogen, and when estrogen levels are too high one of the first things is fat gain in the stomach, legs, and chest (the dreaded “Man-Rack”). This can be more than just cosmetic, in that estrogen dominance has also been linked to things like breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Fatty Acid Balance

One of the ways to combat excess inflammation is to balance your fatty acid intake. Which in the simplest terms, means balancing the amount of omega3 fats and omega6 fats.

While experts debate the exact ratio of omega3 fats to omega6 fats needed to stay in balance (some say it should be 1:1, while others say it should be 1:3 or 1:4), the important thing to realize is that if you are eating a standard diet of corn-fed beef and chicken, farmed fish, and seed oils like canola and soybean, you are getting bombarded with omega6 fats and your ratio is way higher, like in the neighborhood of 1:20-1:25. This causes your body to produce excessive inflammation.

Good sources of omega3 fats are fish oil, flaxseed oil, grass-fed beef, wild fish, free-range chicken and chicken eggs. Try to eat as much of these as possible.

You still need omega6 fats to be healthy, though. It is not like you ONLY should consume omega3 fats. You should still be getting a good amount of fats from nuts and seeds, and lots of meat. Avocados and coconut oil are some of my favorite sources.

Excess carbs and sugar cause inflammation.
Excess carbohydrate intake causes inflammation by causing high insulin levels for sustained periods. We don’t want insulin to be high all the time. It constricts arteries and raises blood pressure, and also causes excess fat storage and if prolonged, eventually diabetes.

Insulin resistance is caused by having high insulin levels. Your body gets used to having it high, and it takes more and more to get the desired effect (of moving sugar and nutrients into cells). It becomes less and less sensitive to it because it is high all the time.

This is a precursor to diabetes, and is almost always accompanied by excess bodyfat. In fact, almost every obese or nearly obese person is insulin-resistant. It goes hand-in-hand with obesity and all the other corresponding issues that accompany obesity.

What we want to build is insulin sensitivity. Insulin is not a bad thing, but having too much all the time is. We want our insulin levels to rise temporarily in response to a meal, but not too much. 95% of this is done by getting rid of excess sugars and starchy carbs in the diet.

The most direct way to do this is limit carbohydrate intake to non-starchy vegetables, and very little fruit. NO processed carbohydrates, like bread, pasta, cereal, granola, etc.

Another important aspect of this is to take at least 4 hours between meals, as a minimum. 6-8 hours is preferable, in order to help make your body more insulin sensitive.

Everyone is different.
Yes, everyone is different and some people will have inflammation from foods that don’t bother others. I recommend starting with a strict paleo diet for at least a month, and then maybe experiment with adding certain foods back in one at a time. Kind of find what you can get away with.

For example: Let’s say you’ve gone strict paleo and eliminated grains and dairy completely for a month (and actually did it, and didn’t cheat). After a month, you decide to eat some bread.

For someone that is sensitive to the gluten or excess of carbohydrate, they will immediately experience a massive amount of inflammation, and will add a few pounds of weight on the scale the next day and will look puffy, kind of like their whole body is bloated. That is inflammation. Different foods affect different people differently.

This response is your body telling you that you SHOULD NOT be eating these foods.

Again, this is not a one-size-fits-all thing. I know people that are fine with one type of food, but maybe another has that effect on them. Everyone is different.

Personally, I can eat a dry cheese and have no problem. If I have a small amount of ice cream, though, I am 3-5lbs heavier the next day, puffy and have dark circles under my eyes. Any wheat or bread, and I am pounds heavier and my nose runs.

Get your magnesium.
One of the critical elements to fighting inflammation is maintaining adequate levels of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is chronic for many people eating highly processed foods and grains, which deplete your body of magnesium and calcium.

Here are a few reasons to get your magnesium:
It helps to lower cortisol, a hormone that is elevated as a response to stress.
It helps to raise DHEA levels, which is an anti-inflammatory hormone.
Magnesium deficiency makes it hard for your body to metabolize essential fatty acids.
Magnesium can help with sleep and recovery from hard exercise, which can also cause inflammation.

Gut Health

Inflammation is also caused by having poor gut health. Completely eliminating grains, legumes and sugar is an important first step, and I would argue that as long as you are still consuming these anti-nutrients, you are pretty well stopping your body’s ability to attain proper gut health, and leaching minerals like calcium and magnesium from your body. Beyond that, however, taking a good probiotic is important for some people. Another strategy is eating fermented foods like sauerkraut or kim-chee is a good move.

High-inflammatory versus low-inflammatory foods.

There are lots of anti-inflammatory strategies out there. One of the major ones is simply eliminating foods that are highly-inflammatory, or consuming them in very small quantities. Here are some examples of how just a few different foods rank.

Feedlot-raised beef, pork, chicken.
Farmed fish.
Seed oils, like corn oils and canola oil.
Trans fats
Any refined carbohydrate

Wild fish
Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
Wild game and pastured meats
Natural oils like olive oil and coconut oil
Fruits like papaya, pineapple, cherries, and blueberries

-Jim Beaumont
Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

Nutrition Education Program

By Jim Beaumont

What is it?
This is a 6 week program tailored for your needs to determine the right direction to meet your goals. You will work one-on-one with an experienced coach and certified sport nutrition specialist who will hold you accountable to the plan, while educating you to better understand nutrition and your body’s needs.

Initial private one-hour consultation to gather your history, dietary needs, goals, etc.
Beginning weight and measurements.
Custom written program and manual.
2nd private consultation to explain the program and how to follow it including:
Food measurement.
Food label reading tutorial.
Shopping and supplement guidelines (NOTE: I don’t sell supplements and will only tell you what I know to be proven safe and effective. This is not a marketing gimmick.)
Online nutrition logging program and support.
Weekly 30-minute weigh-in and check-up.

How do I know this will work?
This only works if you are willing to change your old habits. If you are ready, and honest with me and yourself, I won’t let you fail.
There are no guarantees (your success depends on your consistency).

Is this a “crash diet?”

Absolutely not. I don’t believe in diets or the concept of a temporary weight-loss strategy. I am giving you tools to use to help yourself permanently. This is an education program to help you make a lifetime of good nutrition choices.

After a solid month and a half of intense nutritional coaching and monitoring, you can make your own plan and make effective adjustments yourself. I don’t want you to thank me in 3 or 6 months, I want you to thank me years from now.

Who needs this program?
If you’ve bought diet books or infomercial diet products;
You’ve tried nutritional plans on your own and failed;
You are trying to lose weight and have not been successful on your own;
You want to improve athletic performance through healthier hormones, via proper nutrition;
You are a guy and even thinking of taking one of the many “testosterone boosters” on the market;
You crave sugar and have low energy;
You frequently search the internet looking for pieces of nutrition information, only to become more confused.

This program will NOT be for you if…
You are not prepared to be 100% honest about everything you eat and drink.
You are not prepared to give up harmful foods in your diet for one month, because you enjoy them.
You want to mix this program with another nutrition plan or eating strategy.
You are not prepared to take charge of your nutrition and full responsibility for everything you eat or drink.
You are looking for a quick fix in order to prepare for some event or contest.
You are doing this to please someone else, or to compare yourself to someone else.
You are not ready to learn and make a lifelong commitment to healthier choices.

Jim Beaumont, Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Condtioning. (208) 412-6079.

NCSF Certified Sport Nurtition Specialist, Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kettlebell Instructor, WKC-Ranked kettlebell lifter.

What are people saying about my nutrition program?

“I’ve learned more in one year from Jim than I learned in four years studying Exercise Science & Nutrition in college.”
-Cristy ‘CodeRed’. Former NPC figure competition competitor, and professional boxer, named “Top 3 Most Dangerous Females on the Planet” by Ring magazine, and voted “New York’s Best Trainer” by Allure magzine (2008).

“In March of 2012 I embarked on a new chapter of my life, guided by Jim Beaumont. I learned from him a new way of looking at food that provided me with the groundwork for an entire new way of life. I ultimately ended up shedding 35 pounds, and was able to get off all of my medications for cholesterol and insulin resistance…. With his assistance I learned how to become physically strong, and for the first time in my life I had the toned arms, shaped legs and hips, and the well muscled abs I had always dreamed of. I went from a size 14 to a size 4/6, and at the age of 46 I looked and felt better than when I was 30. The lessons I learned from Jim has allowed me to make a long lasting life change and that I still continue to follow today, more than two years since beginning this journey.”
– Paula Turner. Pocatello, ID. Mother of 2, veteran law enforcement officer, and Taekwon-Do black belt.

“After years of being a slave to calorie counting and food measuring plus endless hours of cardio and intense weight training in order to compete in fitness competitions I became sick at 30 years old. I developed an autoimmune disease that shut down my thyroid function…

After following Jim Beaumonts advice and changing my eating patterns, habits and nutrition choices I was able to wean myself off of my thyroid medication, sleeping pills and balance my hormones…

Adopting a “Paleo” or anti inflammatory diet has helped me improve my own health, quality of life, training style and overall relationship with food. As a Fitness Professional in an industry that puts an enormous emphasis on the female “ideal” form this has been a huge win for me and many of my clients.” -Jennifer Ludington, Chief Fitness Officer of A2O Fitness in Boise, ID.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Beaumont in 2012 at a nutrition seminar he held at A2O Fitness. At the time I was on the “normal” eat plan of 5…-6 small meals throughout the day and was struggling with fatigue and the inability to lose weight, in fact my weight was starting to creep up.

Each evening it would take me 30 minutes to weigh and measure the meals I took to my office every day: breakfast, lunch and two snacks. I had to eat every 2 hours or I would get brain fog and could not function at work. My career as an insurance broker can be very stressful and it involves traveling to meet with clients as well. Having to eat every 2 hours or suffering brain fog was starting to affect my work and personal life too. I had been weighing and measuring all of my food for 10 plus years and quite frankly this type of diet was not working for me anymore.

Jim’s approach to nutrition was radically different than what I had been taught. No calorie counting, no weighing or measure food, eat butter, bacon, nuts, avocado, eat as much steak and vegetables as I wanted until I was satiated. Honestly, the first 3-4 weeks were very difficult as I had trained myself to not eat 90% of the foods that Jim said I could now enjoy.”The eating plan was fairly easy; the hard part for me was changing my thinking. Going from eating no fat, low fat, cereal, bread, rice and pasta with a small amount of protein, salad with low fat dressing, lots of fruit, yogurt and cottage cheese to nuts, avocado, eggs, beef, chicken, bacon, pork, tons of vegies, no potatoes, rice, refined carbs, no processed foods was a challenge. The results speak for themselves, I completed a 6 week plan and lost 6 lbs. and reduced my body fat to 14% from 21%.

Fast forward to today and eating this way has become second nature, my weight has stabilized, my body fat continues to be low, my energy is higher, no more brain fog, I can travel all day and not have to eat every 2 hours. In fact, I can go 12+ hours between meals and keep the same level of energy and mental alertness. Needless to say, I will never return to the traditional way of eating.” -Gina Price Insurance Broker. Boise, ID.

$250 for the entire Nutrition Education Program, online coaching, and personal accountability meetings.

April 2, 2014

“Testosterone therapy”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — @ 2:33 pm

“Testosterone therapy”

Do deadlifts and squats instead of bicep curls and ab crunches.

Do hill sprints instead of time on an elliptical.

Eat meat, fish, veggies, and nuts instead of anything containing soy, wheat, and corn.

Drink red wine instead of beer.

Get lots of natural fats, instead of ever touching something designed to be low-fat.

Get 8 hours of good sleep per night. Turn the video games OFF!

Train outdoors as much as possible, rather than inside a cushy gym.

Take vitamin D, magnesium and zinc.

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