idahokettlebells.com Blog

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?

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 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:

April 26, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: April 26, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: April 26, 2020

Get your sunlight! It’s about more than Vitamin D. For the record, I use sunscreen very sparingly and only an my head, neck, nose and ears. Believe it or not, one of the things about eating a diet without high-oleic acid oils and grains and rich in zinc, you will notice after a few years that your resistance to sunburn increases. This isn’t just me, and while I noticed it, I didn’t realize there was a correlation with diet until about two years ago.
More to the Sunlight than Vitamin D

These immune support supplements are consistent with many I’ve recommended in the past. Still good to keep in mind.
Immune Support Supps

Here’s a good article about doing conditioning work like sprints for bigger guys. Now, he’s referring to big athletes, but all of these things apply to the general population, who are not athletes and are training for health and strength. All of these guidelines are ways to minimize risk while building work capacity.
Metabolic Conditioning

More vitamin D goodness. This time, virus related.
CV and Vitamin D

New study on eating meat as related to mental and physical health.
Meat is good for you and your brain

Video of The Week:

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.

February 22, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: February 21, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: February 21, 2020

Sometimes the answer is simply asking yourself what is going to make you the happiest right now and tomorrow. Do less sometimes, but not so much that it causes more stress in the future.
Do Less

Here’s something interesting about artificial sweeteners. We all know we’d be better off without them, but maybe they aren’t the worst thing either.
Artificial Sweeteners

You’ll note that many of these vetted training methods look a lot like IKSC sessions. That’s partly because I’ve stumbled on to some of these methods through trial and error over a lot of years, and also because I’ve geeked out exercise physiology and training literature quite a bit and use that information in programming.
Well-Proven Training Methods

American Diabetes Association CEO goes low-carb. Full. Stop.
Finally…about time these guys got with the rest of the world. I can’t think of how many times I had to argue with a client whose Dr. (or even the Dr. themselves) about the merits of ditching most carbs for someone fighting pre-diabetes or diabetes in the past 10 or so years.
ADA CEO Goes Low-Carb

Good things to think about with every exercise.
Get Strong at Everything

Soybean oil is poison.
Soybean Oil

Couple of short videos for this week.

January 31, 2020

IKSC Weekly Link Blast January 30, 2020

IKSC Weekly Link Blast January 30, 2020
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Thanks for everyone’s patience last week when I was away. The Original Strength cert I went to was pretty high-level. I was gratified to see that what I’ve been teaching was largely inline with what they taught. University strength and conditioning coaches, a neurologist, a few physical therapists, acupuncturists, and a bunch of other health and strength professionals were there. I was lucky to get in and I will be the only one in Idaho certified in that system. Like a lot of stuff we do at IKSC, we are ahead of the curve for the Boise area.
Kettlebell training, ancestral health and nutrition, and neurologically correct movement patterns have been baked into our training for years. Generally, we are about five years ahead of what goes on locally.

More on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Good Stuff About Fasting

The eyes should lead all movement. Think in terms of proper human movement, not in “exercise land” where things are based on doing some gym exercise and not something that reinforces a proper human movement and proprioceptive response. This is essential for sports performance, injury prevention and strong movement patterns.
The Eyes Lead

Until just recently, it was impossible for humans to exist without consuming animal proteins. It is only through global shipping and micronutrient supplements that people now have that option. Looks like Weston A. Price found the closest thing to a native vegan culture, though: Cannibals.
No Vegans, Just Cannibals

The less carb-dependent you are, the longer stretches you can go between eating. Having to eat frequently is a sign something is very wrong. It’s not the way we are designed to operate. We are apex predators, not grazing animals.
Low-Carb Makes Fasting Easy

Video of the Week:
Consistent with one of my philosophies of training. “Work the body from the tips of the toes to the fingertips.” This is what Gichin Funakoshi said of Karate training. Ask me about specific wrist and forearm mobilization exercises, if you want to add them in to your repertoire. My toes won’t do some of the things he shows here, due to destroying a few of them over the years in martial art.

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