idahokettlebells.com Blog

November 21, 2020

IKSC Blog: November 20, 2020

IKSC Blog: November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a junk fest. There were no pies or cranberry sauce on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving lobster and clams anyone?
First Thanksgiving

Those of you training at IKSC have heard me talk about how the veins in your calves are the “second heart” and not to sit around between sets. This is interesting information to build on that. I also like the note about ankle mobility being a key part of this equation.
Strong Calves = Strong Life

Melatonin
You may have seen this study about melatonin levels and coronavirus outcome. You may have also seen a supposed “debunking” article saying that you shouldn’t take melatonin, but the bigger picture is that sleep quality has a lot to do with building a healthy immune system.

We were talking about astaxanthin the other day. You find it in wild salmon. Looks like it’s really good for your skin.
Astaxanthin

December Getup Challenge is coming up soon!

You can’t out-train the dinner table. This is an old blog post I’ve told some of you about. Training to burn calories is a lie.

Video of The Week: Get your salt!

This is not so much a video, but a podcast in video form. You can also look up the Wise Traditions Podcast on iTunes or possibly other outlets.

June 26, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: June 26, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: June 26, 2020

Does cardio make you fat? No form of exercise is going to cause fat gain, but certain training methods will do almost nothing to burn it. Building lean body mass is the way to change the way your body burns fuel. You can’t do that in a constantly stressed state, which “chronic cardio” does to your body and nervous system.
Does Cardio Make You Fat?

I make frequent reference to Native American diets when talking nutrition. This is a great breakdown of what some of the plains tribes ate.
Native American Diet

I know this might seem like a broken record, but here’s an interesting article on vitamin D.
Great Vitamin D Article

You all know that I’ve been “intermittent fasting” since before that word existed. For the past several years I’ve drifted into that pattern of 16:8 (described in the article). Saturdays and Sundays, I find I mostly stick to one big meal per day and maybe a light snack at some point.
I don’t recommend you force yourself into one of these eating patterns unless it feels right to you. You have to kind of customize it. There is no prize for fasting the most, or going the most hours. Also, getting to the place where you burn fat instead of sugar for fuel is almost mandatory here. One thing that surely doesn’t work for people is grazing every few hours per day like a cow.
Ways to IF

Videos of the Week (There are several, here are the first 4): This fit right into our July Fitness and Nutrition Challenge



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.
IMG_4532

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.

April 20, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: April 19, 2020

Training Hard in the Sun!

Training Hard in the Sun!


IKSC Weekly Links: April 19, 2020

Training is on strong at the gym!

Governor’s orders specified against indoor gyms reopening, so we are now an outdoor gym. There is plenty of room outside the back door. Kettlebell and bodyweight workouts are our specialty. No one will lack one ounce of training. The only downside is that I can’t take it on any additional people until May 1st to ensure good quality control.

Please take note that you are all under a great deal of stress. We are still under an “emergency” declaration, which means compromising your immune system by overdoing it, or risking injury is not acceptable. Training sessions will be brief and designed to minimize risk. Do not try to make up for poor eating by training harder. The extra 100-200 calories you might burn off is insignificant. Tighten up the diet and focus on sleep.

The thing I always say? Train like a predator, not prey? This is what I mean. You should feel stronger when you leave the gym than when you came in.

Here’s a very tried and true program I’ve used over and over again. When in doubt, push, pull, squat. Repeat. This post even has some ancient videos from the old gym…LOL!
IKSC Push, Pull, Squat Program

Video of the Week: For those of you that have been doing improvised workouts.

We cover all these bases in our normal programming.
5 Ways to Get Stronger

The more metabolically healthy you are, the better you’ll fight off nasty respiratory illness.
CV and Elephant in the Room

Speculation as to whether exercise will make you better able to fight off a viral infection: I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can say that whenever I feel like I’m coming down with something a good sweat seems to help. Who knows?
Exercise as Protection

April 12, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: April 11, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: April 11, 2020

As always, vitamin D is important.
Vitamin D

How to train hard without compromising your immune systems. Always a good thing.
Immue System and Training

Now is a time to really focus on being reasonable in your training.
Dan John: Reasonable Training.

Kind of a long read, but some good theories here on why The Rona affects some people more than others.
Metabolic Disease and CV

Video of the Week: Gut Health and Immune System. It is extremely individual. Sometimes less fiber is better.

March 28, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 28, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 28, 2020

Every one of this week’s links has to do with strengthening your immune system in one way or another. Always good advice. Here’s something I posted the other day on FB:

Mindset matters. Part of that begins in the way you move. One of the things I notice about all this virus panic is people’s posture and gait when out in public. They all look (just slightly worse than normal) like distressed, caged animals.

Try this: Stand upright, shoulders back chin up, eyes up. Take a deep breath and walk strong and confidently wherever you go. Walk like you own every room you enter and command the ground in front of you.

It reminds me of a samurai maxim that insists that a good samurai only be found with arrows in the front of his body. You might catch something bad or you might not (more than likely not), but walking around like beaten dogs only makes even healthy people sick.

The point is not to be stupid, but be strong and confident. Don’t act wounded or you will be.

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Ignore the ads in this article on ZMA. You can get it from lots of sources. The kind I like is made by Vitamin Shoppe and also has theanine in it (which is an adrenal support supplement), but I don’t really have a brand preference.

I’ve taken ZMA to get my magnesium, zinc, and B6 for years. I always took it for more strength and better sleep, because it’s been proven to help that (directions say to take at bedtime).
I’ve also just bought magnesium, zinc and B6 separately and taken those at night before bed. Not a big difference whether you buy them all together or separately.

Anyone who follows me or has been to some of my nutrition classes hears repeatedly about magnesium, vitamin D, and zinc.

Stress weakens your immune system. Stress about things you can control, but not those you cannot. Control your emotions, or they will control you.
Stress and Immune System

It all starts in the gut. That’s really the whole point behind a paleo diet or ancestral health diet when you get down to it, and why it works so well (or it did, until you could make “paleo” cookies, brownies, etc.). Now is a good time to dial in what you are eating, and spend extra time preparing meals. I know I am dialing in my diet hard, because I know I just don’t have the normal “cheat room” I would otherwise due to the stressful situation we are all under.
Gut Health

Vitamin C is important when it comes to general immune system health. I take 2,000mg per day. This article has to do with it lowering cortisol, which relates back to the article above about stress and immune system. And yes, vitamin D is just as important as C. I’m also hearing chatter about high doses of vitamin C being used to treat our latest fun virus threat, but I’m trying to avoid diving into that specifically, since I just don’t know.
Vitamin C and Cortisol

This week’s video:
I’ve shared this before. This is really important right now. I know it’s easy to fall into a stress and stress eating rollercoaster. We all have a challenge to meet right now. It will only be made worse by going off the rails into a junkfood abyss. It is about more than just a few pounds around the waistline. For some, it is the difference between falling into a much more dangerous condition.

March 7, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 6, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 6, 2020

Great advice for things that will keep you training long and productively. One more that I’d add is don’t waste time on anything that doesn’t make you stronger.
Principles to Change Your Life

The “Program Minimum” he refers to is basically getups and swings. Less is more sometimes. That is something that is very hard for people to get into their heads when deviating from the commercial “recreational exerciser” mindset into the strength and conditioning mindset that is required for really improving performance.
Minimal Program for Fighters

I’m glad that Mark addressed this. The issue of fasting and thyroid comes up frequently.
Fasting and Thyroid

Poor insulin-sensitivity and high blood sugars affect all hormone levels downstream. No surprise here that it would reduce testosterone levels.
High Blood Sugar = Low T

Video of The Week: Anyone want to geek out on back stuff? Here’s your guy.

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