idahokettlebells.com Blog

September 21, 2020

IKSC Blog September 21, 2020

IKSC Blog September 21, 2020

Squat myths still surface now and then. Everyone is different, but there is a joint in the middle of our leg, called a knee. It is designed to articulate more than just 90 degrees. Squat Myths

Safeguard your sleep. It is important for your immune system’s ability to ward off all kinds of nasty marauders.
Sleep and Immunity

Protein intake for women: Note that these are minimum requirements and it won’t hurt you to get more.
Protein Intake for Women

Carbs at night: I’ve found that getting most of your carbs at night or immediately after your training for the day is best for most people, and I’ve been recommending it for those I have worked with in my nutrition program for years now. This, of course, was an uphill battle against so much misinformation from mainstream nutrition recommendations. Carb Night

Good article on hand strength. Every time you pick up a kettlebell your hands get stronger: Strong Hands

Video of The Week: Get strong in your basic human movement patterns by increasing load in those movements and then specifically practice the sport movements you are playing. Your strength training does not have to be complicated or look cool. Save that for the mat, ring, or field.

September 6, 2020

IKSC Link Blast: September 6, 2020

IKSC Link Blast: September 6, 2020
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The bird in the photos is a golden eagle. It was feeding on a dead coyote way out in the desert on beef rangeland. There are 1,000s of cows in the area. This is one of the nuanced parts of beef production that is rarely discussed. There are also 1,000s of wild animals, insects, reptiles and birds that live on rangeland. The cattle help by keeping the grasses (fire fuel load) in-check and fertilizing the soil.

Vitamin D
The latest on Vitamin D: Just what many of us have been hinting at with all the positive indications on vitamin D. For those that need a study, here is one:
Corona Vitamin D Therapy

I know this is starting to be redundant on the vitamin D, but here’s more.
Vitamin D and Corona Outcome

Training Smart
Note that we do lots of sets “on-the-minute” or with a specific rest period. This article says it is for big athletes, but I find this works just as well for most normal people that aren’t 21 years old and who are training for general health and fitness. The goal is to avoid training injuries.
Training for Monsters

Foot Muscles
I totally agree with the sentiment in this article about training the foot muscles, but you don’t necessarily need to do the exercises presented.
One of the chief reasons IKSC’s training is very effective is that there is ample attention paid to the effect it will have on the feet and ankles (even if I don’t go on about it in class every day). Even a slight degree of immobility or instability in the feet and ankles causes a ripple effect that decreases force production throughout the body (think of it like your car’s traction control taking power away so you won’t spin the tires).
Simply training barefoot and spending as much time barefoot as possible is the most obvious, and why I encourage it and discourage training in shoes like running shoes. Here are some of the most valuable exercises we do for the feet and ankles, in no particular order:
1. Crawling, lunging, loaded carries, etc.
2. Swings, and goblet squats.
3. Even pushups and especially Hindu pushups force the feet to work and provide extra stability.

I believe it was Gichin Funakoshi (founder of modern Karate-Do) that said Karate training exercises the body from toes to fingertips. This is important to consider for overall health.
Weak Feet = Weak Body

Meal Timing Mistakes
One of the things I’m always asked about when it comes to my nutrition program is whether people have to eat several times a day. No. I’ve never bought into that idea. It was validated for me back in the 2000s, when I read The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler. Basically, the idea of eating frequently is a modern invention, and the eventual problems that go with it have to do with it just not being inline with what our genes expect us to do, which is eat one or two big meals per day and sometimes go long stretches without eating.
6 Meals A Day?

Video of the Week: Long term damage from excessive cardio.

August 24, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: August 23, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: August 23, 2020

I have a decent amount of muscle in my chest and shoulders. My main chest exercises are pushups, dips, getups and presses. I haven’t ever felt a need for bench pressing.
Pushups -vs – Bench Press

Kettlebell swings: Ignore the videos shown, or if you do watch them, at least ignore the weights and form shown. We can do better. The rest of the data is good, and I’ve read much of the background on some of the experiments he cites. It is a good article. Also, I’d ignore the part about going super heavy. We have since learned that the most optimal bell for max force is generally not more than 1/3 of a person’s bodyweight.
Heavy Kettlebell Swings

I can think of a good number of people I know personally who have experienced these odd illnesses over the past year and gotten over it. Looks like coronavirus is so scary and debilitating that you may have had it and not even known it. Now, figure this basically un-knowable amount of people with the padded death counts, and I gather that the numbers put out daily or weekly are just about meaningless and paying attention to them is likely just to cause anxiety and worry over something you can’t control.
Maybe You Had CV Already?

Rack kettlebell carries and front squats. Another good article in T-Nation this week!
Kettlebell Squat and Carry

I’ve been beating the drum about vitamin D at the first mention of coronavirus. Here’s what is being born out: Better Survival Rates with Vitamin D

Video of The Week: Some of you might recall this as being similar to the drill we do in class with the goblet squat. Remember how the squat got easier?

August 1, 2020

IKSC Article List: August 1, 2020

IKSC Article List August 1, 2020

Keep training. Now is not the time to take your fitness for granted. There are some holes in this article. The timeframes they are giving for working out seem pretty long to me (45-80 minutes). I’ll have to look more into what they consider “vigorous” exercise. Chances are some of the things we do at IKSC probably get that done in 20-30 minutes. Personally, I see no problem in training for 20 minutes and then keeping general movement levels high throughout the day.
Exercise Improves Mood

High blood sugars and high insulin levels = Low energy availability.
High Insulin Levels = Low Energy

Most of these fitness myths are debunked on a daily basis at IKSC, but this is a good breakdown of some of BS you might hear or have heard in the past.
Myths that Stop Fat Loss

Great article on why beef is good for you and the planet!
Beef: Good for you and the planet.

Video of the Week: This is not just for kids: Sensory stimulation and direct interpersonal contact and interaction is just as important for adults. It is very much a “use it or lose it” deal.
Exercises that involve as many senses as possible, like rolling, crawling, and getting up and down from the ground (getups anyone?) repeatedly are a key part of overall fitness. Pay attention to the quote about skin receptor sites and tactile stimulation. Note: You get a big dose of this when you roll and crawl.

July 17, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: July 17, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: July 17, 2020

Book recommendation! Finally got my hands on this after having it on pre-order for a few months. I’ve learned a ton from both authors over the years and have followed this book’s progression for the past few years. Here’s more about it and where to get one: https://www.sacredcow.info
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After working with countless people with tennis elbow and hand issues from lots of desk time over the years, it is pretty common for these issues to just go away when you get things moving and working. Never needed to look up a study on it, but here’s one anyway. It’s not like we really set out to “cure” anything, it just seems to work.
Tennis Elbow and Mouse Arm

Diet and metabolic health are keys to immunity. This is one of the reasons I emphasized being even more strict with my diet and my dietary recommendations (don’t give into stress eating) when things started getting rough a few months back.

Looks like I was not a complete idiot about that advice. Some big brains seem to share that theory.
“…As of 30 May 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that among COVID-19 cases, the two most common underlying health conditions were cardiovascular disease (32%) and diabetes (30%)”

Coronavirus and Diabesity

Listen to this podcast interview! Seriously.
It might be a little tough to grasp for smoothbrains that get their health advice or knowledge from news sources or are addicted to being “Google experts” on a given topic. It will be hard to swallow for those that seem to revel in fear.
This will take more than a 30 second scan to process and think about. It might also be the best advice you’ll get about dealing with a contagious global virus. You can find the Wise Traditions Podcast on iTunes, as well.
Proactive During Pandemic

The average grip strength of young men has been dropping for the past few generations. When I shake hands with young men and young women these days I find that most young women are a lot more likely to give a firm handshake and have strong hands than guys. In this study, they found an interesting correlation between that and a country’s top athletes.
” For every 1kg increase in population GS, the medal tally increased by 36%”
Medals and Grip Strength

Video of The Week: Pretty cool information on rowing.

July 7, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: July 6, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: July 6, 2020

The term “muscle head” is a compliment. It should be noted that many of our great thinkers like Plato and Socrates embraced extreme physical fitness.
At the top of the food-chain with regards to neural activity and neuroplasticity (whereby you actually make new neural connections) are movements that involve lots of muscles and include cross-patterning and gaiting patterns. This is why we squat deep, crawl, get up and down off the floor a bunch, and carry heavy loads.
Weightlifting Makes Your Brain Work

One of my biggest concerns about the separation and fearmongering we’ve been subject to in recent months due to lockdowns and such.
Loneliness Makes Stress Worse

More than likely, you are not a victim of poor genetics, but are a victim of poor life choices. Everything we do, the exercises I choose and the foods I advise others to eat have to do with how they trigger genetic expression. This, people, IS the big picture
Epigenetics

Pay special attention to #3 in this article: “Just about any body composition problem you have is a diet problem, not a training problem.”
This is the hardest pill to swallow I offer frequent nutrition classes to members of IKSC. The frustrating part on the coaching end is that that only a few bother to show up, and yet almost everyone comes in the door looking for a strength and body composition goals. Training is only 10% of the whole equation.
Painful Fitness Truths!

Always good information from Tim Anderson at Original Strength

June 15, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: June 15, 2020

Video of The Week: This is from Prof. Stu McGill, kind of the back guru. There are a few videos in this series, so be sure and check the rest out.

I passed the exam a few months back, but these guys just sent me a paper certificate a few days ago…maybe I should get around to hanging some certs up.
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Sorry I missed last week. I just couldn’t find enough interesting stuff. I didn’t want to bore everyone. These are all basic things this week, but it doesn’t hurt to revisit the basics. I am excited for this year’s July Challenge. It is always a good way to stay accountable. It is always a good training month for me.
July Fitness and Nutrition Challenge

Not sure we needed another study to demonstrate this, but what it demonstrates is that eating a bunch of carbs makes your blood rise and then crash. People think they are eating them for energy, but what it does in reality is give a little energy followed by a crash. This is one of the best reasons not to start your day with a blast of carbs in the form of cereal or pancakes.
Keeping Blood Sugar Stable

Interval strength training “on-the-clock” as I always call it, is important for managing blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
Insulin Sensitivity

I have to agree with this article’s analysis of the most damaging forms of training. My goal is to build resistance to injury through training. The myofascial release techniques he shows are standard and nothing new. You can probably just feel your way into most of them. But, it is important to realize that those things are not going to fix movement dysfunction. Being able to perform basic hinging, pushing, squatting, and gaiting patterns are important to avoid having to do that kind of quick-fix stuff.
Damaging Exercise

Interesting article on sleep and medical students’ grades.
Sleep and Grades

Might be off-topic, but I know many of you that might read this are also into shooting and guns to an extent. You know that I am kind of a training junky, so here is a good article on selecting a gun for a pistol course. I’ve been though a bunch of them taught by some of the best in the world over the years. I’d also have to add that it is good for confidence levels to be able to know you can safely handle that firearm if you need to (for most of us, that is going to mean carrying it in the outdoors or at home for defense). Don’t compromise your safety with a gun that isn’t reliable enough to complete a course like this and you can’t perform your best with:
Handgun Choice for Course

June 1, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: May 31, 2020

IKSC is always changing and learning. Throughout the years, we have been one of the first in the area to adopt effective training methodologies that take a while to filter into other area facilities. We usually go straight to the source of a big system to bring information back to the gym. Original Strength is no different. I’m not the first to attend one of their workshops, but I’m the first certified coach in their system in Idaho.
Original Strength Directory

These resting positions give a lot of time for the little effort they take to implement. Try each for about 30 seconds at a time. Just getting up and down off the floor just makes you feel better.
Ancestral Resting Positions

Podcast to listen to this week from Original Strength on the importance of pelvic floor muscles. They are important for strength in lots of areas. Kettlebell swings and crawling are two of the best exercises you can do to build a strong pelvic floor. Part of the reason for that are the emphasis on breath control.
It is work worth a listen. Towards the very end, they talk about their common religious beliefs, which is a topic I avoid discussing or bringing up in the gym, but they both feel strongly about it and I respect that.
Power of Pelvic Floor

It is good to see the trap bar getting a workout in the gym again. I agree with the author on many points in this article on their benefits.
Trap Bar Deadlifts

Inflammation robs your gains and makes your body store bodyfat. It affects every cellular process in our body.Inflammation

Video of The Week: If your feet and ankles are stiff, everything else up the chain is weakened and all movement is compromised.

May 21, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: May 21, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: May 21, 2020

Gym Hygiene and Etiquette

With the reopening of the indoor gym, it is IMPERTIVE that everyone adheres to good personal hygiene habits. The gym floor is mopped daily and the equipment is wiped with alcohol or bleach wipes after every use. We often do exercises that require us to get up and down off the floor. I try to keep it clean enough you could literally eat off it, but please don’t track dirt, mud, or lawn clippings across the gym floor. Please either remove your shoes for indoor workouts or make sure they are clean before tracking across the gym floor.

Please wear clean clothes to train. This is important. Take your training seriously. Dress for success. Train in clean clothes.

Even though most of my wardrobe is what you’d consider “workout clothes.” I always wear fresh, clean workout clothing for my designated, structured training sessions. It is good for mindset. I firmly believe you train better clean than dirty, if for no reason than you can focus better. In martial art training, it is a grave insult to your training partners to show up in a dirty uniform.

Make sure you are clean. Personally, I take a shower before training. I can’t when I’m train dirty. It doesn’t matter if it is a weekend. Your designated training time is a time to build positive habits and shift mindset. Training sessions are important appointments for yourself. Please arrive clean, looking sharp, and ready to train. Avoid heavy perfumes or cologne. Body odor is totally unacceptable. Be as clean as you would be at a church service or martial art training session. Strength training is just as important.

Here are this weeks articles.
This article is a pretty deep dive into why you hear so much anti-meat rhetoric in the media. It is easy to throw out a few select quotes, but it takes intelligence and nuance in order to explain the bigger picture when it comes to the issue.
Why is WHO anti-meat?

Oysters. Part of the goodness of oysters is that they are rich in zinc.
Oysters

Always good information from Poliquin. Here are a few good things about better sleep. When it comes to body composition, quality sleep is almost as important as training.
Sleep Deprived

This is a fairly old study, but it shows the correlation between vitamin D, magnesium, and healthy hormone levels.
Strong Bones = High Testosterone

Video of The Week: Worth your time to listen to this guy. I eat this way about 80% of the time, and have for the past few years. It seems to tighten everything up pretty fast. I would have discounted it as a crash diet a until I learned more about Shawn Baker’s physical feats. He must be doing something right:

May 13, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: May 12, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: May 12, 2020

Insulin resistance is a common thread in so many health conditions. Insulin is one of your body’s master control hormones. The more insulin-sensitive you are, the better.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Big news. Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf’s new book is available for pre-order. I am not promoting this for any reason other than I respect both of these people’s work and have learned a lot from them. I pre-ordered mine already. I can recommend anything they put out without reservation.
Sacred Cow

I firmly believe that the training and nutrition advice and methods we use at IKSC are as good as anything you will find anywhere. One of the things I focus on is resiliency in many areas. This is really important right now.
Metabolic Health and Corona

Walk. Please. The weather this time of year is perfect for just walking around. Find a way to incorporate it into your day.
Walk a Bunch!

Video (s) of the Week: A couple short ones from Original Strength. As soon as we are able to fully open, I plan to do a full movement reset program. We are all in need of this.

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