October 21, 2019

Special Class: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Special Class: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Monday November 4th at 7p.m.


The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be a nutritional and emotional disaster. It doesn’t have to be this way.
This class will focus on keeping weight gain in-check by looking at all the factors that cause unwanted flab to accumulate during this time of year.

You will leave with tools to help you make the best food and health choices during this holiday season.

No cost to IKSC members.
$15 drop-in fee for non-members.

Non-members can sign up here:

August 15, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast: August 15, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast: August 15, 2019

Video of the week. This gives a good perspective on the getup, but really, just getting up and down off the floor is good no matter how you do it.

Another study, a randomized controlled trial (not just a food questionnaire), demonstrating that high protein and low carbs helps fight diabetes. Why do none of the restaurants and food companies that claim to donate to causes to fight children’s diabetes mention this? This is not new information, just another study confirming what we already know.

Carnitine for strength! FYI: Beef has a ton of it.

Mark Sisson calls these “microworkouts.” This is something I’ve done my whole life, and are the basis for most of the exercise challenges IKSC has encouraged for many years now. I first started doing “microworkouts” well over 25 years ago on different jobs I’ve had and have always done this in some form or another. It is good for your brain, too.

This article gives a good breakdown of what fats are good and which ones aren’t. The ones that are most commonly found in snacks are soybean oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. But, any kind of processed seed oil is basically a poison and damages every cell in your body, right down to the mitochondria.

Here’s an interesting article (more just a testimonial) that I saw among the headlines today. Something to know is that PCOS is caused by insulin resistance and high blood sugar. Taking long stretches between meals is one way help with insulin sensitivity, but eating a very low carb and higher protein diet is more than likely going to be the best strategy.

Muscles sore from training (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorenesss)? Sorry, there is no “gold standard” way to prevent it. Sometimes you just have to tough it out. Note: More exercise is apparently effective (my advice for as long as I can remember).

This chart from the NCSF explains it well.

July 4, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast July 4, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast July 4, 2019

Video of the week: I can’t emphasize how important this is. Very much worth your time to watch this:

People who work hard live longer. This should be no surprise to anyone.

Be my guest to do this goblet squat challenge anytime. I kind of prefer 1,000 feet of lunges to this, but go for it if you are so inclined. Every day is “leg day” at IKSC.

Some of you give me a look of disbelief when I talk about Planet Weakness. I’m not making it up.

A topic or question that comes up frequently is bodyfat percentage and if I test it or not. Here is something I wrote up on it a while back. The pictures shown are really not that far off, either.

This illustration is true for most people. I’ve given this out many times.

June 28, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast June 27, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast June 27, 2019

Video of the week:
Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek are basically the modern leaders in the low-carb diet field, or “keto” as it has become known as. I’ve been reading their work and following them for several years now. Here is a good primer on nutritional ketosis.

I’ve eaten what would be considered a very low carb diet for several years now. I haven’t had a weight loss goal at all during that time. I’ve stayed pretty much the same weight and body composition, and anything physically I set out to do I can usually accomplish. I do know that if I add back more than about 50grams of carbs per day, the body composition starts to suffer.

Think of our July Challenge nutrition guidelines as the “anti-processed food” diet. Good reasons to adopt that strategy full-time:

As it says on my business cards, form follows function. Train for performance and the aesthetics will follow.

We were talking about this just the other day. The benefit of concentric training is that you can do a bunch of it and recover fast.

If you really want to go with no processed food, here is an option. The only downside I’ve found is it is sometimes hard to get in enough calories. I am carnivore about 5 days of the week, with a few meals of some starches, fermented foods, and limited vegetables. Been that way for about the past year.

Loaded carries. Can’t get enough.

Bonus video. Short, and a few years old, but still dead-on. The idea that dietary fat and cholesterol is a problem within itself is a lie:

Photos this week: The people who carved these drawings didn’t eat processed food. They are near a site likely used to harvest wild game by some primitive people, an estimated 5,000-6,000 years ago:



May 23, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast May 23, 2019

IKSC Weekly Link Blast May 23, 2019

We do “abs” every day. It’s just that we do exercises that make your abs work with the rest of your body at the same time (like they’re supposed to work).

Good article on post-partum body image:

This is the reason I recommend a diet that is ancestrally based, which includes no processed foods.

Exercise technique is slightly different for everyone depending on lots of things. A good coach can see what is safe and optimal for the individual, depending on their level of development.

One of my favorite articles by Steve Maxwell. IKSC’s training philosophy closely resembles this perspective:

Video of the week. This is a few years old, but it one of the best breakdowns of what goes on when you switch from using carbs for fuel and transition to using fat, or “go keto” as everyone likes to say now. It is also a reason why using things like urine strips are not that reliable. With all the faddish ketogenic diet stuff out there now, I try to think those of you at IKSC are at a little higher level of understanding on this topic. This is worth taking the time to sit down and watch.

October 26, 2010

Super Simple Nutrition Tips for Weight Loss:

Super Simple Nutrition Tips for Weight Loss:
Here are a few quick nutritional tips. I am a kettlebell strength and conditioning coach, kettlebell instructor and licensed fitness trainer, not a nutritionist.

These are just a few suggestions for those looking to lose weight through exercise. Any weight loss goal is at least 80% nutrition. You can’t out-train the dinner table.

I know there are other things that could be included, but these are a few that I know that people routinely struggle with. They are presented in no particular order.

You have to be accountable for everything that goes in your mouth.
Most people have no idea what “one serving” of anything is. I know I didn’t at one point. Studies have shown that people underestimate portion sizes by up to 40%. Whatever the actual amount of underestimation, the fact is you will de-rail your weight loss goals if you don’t measure everything accurately. This includes drinks. Drinking calories destroys a weight-loss goal. This includes alcohol. Alcohol is guaranteed to sabotage you.

Get a food scale and measure everything. Don’t make excuses.

“Too busy” is not acceptable.
I know that measuring, planning and accounting for every food and drink item takes time and effort, just like any other worthwhile accomplishment. Everyone has other commitments, such as work, family or school. You just have to find a way. Period.

Poor eating is usually a factor of poor planning.
Take time to plan your meals. I loosely follow The Warrior Diet, in which I starve myself most of the day, and then pig out at night. This is my personal choice, and I do not have a weight loss goal. This is not for everyone.

Plan your meals based around a lean protein source and some fruits and vegetables. This protein source could be as simple as whey protein mixed in water.

Along with poor planning, comes eating out. Let us just be safe and assume that everything you eat at a restaurant is horrible for you, even if it is presented as something healthy. This means you have to pack things with you. Go get a small cooler and get ready to pack things that do not need to be cooked.

Yes, once per week or so you can have a cheat meal that you indulge yourself with. This should only be once per week. Go ahead and plan your cheat meal and enjoy it!

If you can’t eat it raw, don’t eat it.
This obviously does not include meat, fish or eggs. You have to cook these things or you will get sick and die (or wish you did).

This includes things like any vegetable, nut or fruit. Eat only whole, raw nuts. No roasted nuts.

This doesn’t mean you can’t eat things that are cooked. It just means that you should be able to eat it raw if you had to. Take potatoes, for example: You could eat a raw potato. It would taste terrible, but it wouldn’t kill you.

No processed grains.
Consume nothing containing any form of wheat. No bread. No bagels. No pasta. None. These things are all horrible for you. Get your carbohydrates from things that grow straight from the ground, like vegetables and fruits.

Drink lots of water.Keep a water bottle near you at all times. Try to drink at least 3-4 litres of water per day. Everyday. Don’t be afraid to drink more.

Keep a food log that you can track portion sizes and calories consumed with.
This is extremely important. Write down everything you eat and the amount immediately. Don’t wait an hour or until the end of the day. Write it down as you eat it. You will forget otherwise, and you will take in more than you intend to.


July 29, 2010

Overhead lifting is the ultimate test of full-body strength.

Overhead lifting is the ultimate test of full-body strength.

Since before the first Olympics, lifting heavy objects overhead has been the ultimate test of strength.
Every part of the human body is placed under load while lifting a heavy object overhead, such as during a dumbell or kettlebell military press.
Forget the bench press. The bench press is an artificial, gym creation. Lifting something heavy from the ground overhead is not.

Seated or machine presses are not the same.

What about “military presses” on a Smith rack or other machine? Isn’t that the same thing? They smoke they shoulders, and you get a great burn in your deltoids and triceps.
No. Machine presses are not even the same thing.
Anything done in a machine or seated does not require nearly the spinal stabilization or central nervous system demand lifting an actual object overhead does.
And, if you want to gain strength, forget about the “burn.”
There are lot of things that burn. Placing a hand on a hot stove burns, but does not make you stronger. Training for the burn is bodybuilder nonsense, not strength training.
Furthermore, the military press is only done from a standing position, with locked knees. It is not performed seated, nor in some kind of pussified machine.
Traditionally, it was done with the heels together and feet facing out at a 45-degree angle, as if standing at attention in a military formation. It has, however, changed so that any locked-knee overhead press is known as the military press.

Overhead lifting can be done with any implement

Overhead lifting can and should be done with a wide variety of implements. My favorite is the kettlebell. The kettlebell’s offset center-of-gravity requires a great deal of stabilization, which challenges every muscle from the fingertips to the toes.
No kettlebell? No problem. The dumbell military press is a great exercise.
No dumbell? Still no problem. Overhead lifting can be done with a sandbag, medicine ball, or whatever you can imagine.
The barbell military press is a great exercise, and is considered by many to be the ultimate test of upper-body strength, with much more carryover to other activities than the bench press; however, it is significantly more technical than a dumbell or kettlebell press and should be only attempted after careful study and/or professional coaching.

What about cardiovascular conditioning?

The demand placed on every muscle group that comes from lifting a heavy object from the ground to full overhead lockout is incredible. When done for high reps, it equals a cardiovascular workout unmatched by literally anything.
Doubt this? Then try this for size. Find a dumbell or sandbag you can lift from floor to overhead lockout for about 10 reps before failure. Find a quarter mile track, or just take it right next to your treadmill at your local gym.
Clean and press the weight 5 times. Then run a quarter mile as fast as possible. Repeat for rounds for 20-30 minutes.
That’s it. No “abs” at the end of the workout. No idiotic bicep curls or tricep extensions. No boring “cardio” session afterwards. You’re done. Cooldown, stretch and then eat.

Overhead lifting is safe if done properly.
An often-cited reason for not including overhead lifting in a strength training program is because it “hurts my shoulders” or fear of injury.
Unless you have some prior injury, there is no reason not to include overhead lifting in your exercise, if you do it properly. I have women senior citizens clean and press 26lb kettlebells overhead on a regular basis with zero injury. On the contrary, increased range-of-motion and injury resistance are to be expected with correctly-done overhead lifting.
At the same time, I know young, otherwise strong women that cannot lift ½ that amount safely. It is all about proper technique and preparation.
If it hurts, you are probably doing something wrong, or have some flexibility issues that must be addressed, whether you plan to press overhead or not.
Get some training from a legit trainer. Correct overhead lifting takes practice and technique, something usually not covered in a multiple-choice trainer certification, or part of some corporate gym’s “sales” training.
And no, overhead lifting does not cause rotator cuff injury, but improper overhead lifting can cause any number of injuries, just like any exercise done with too much weight, too soon or lack of attention to correct technique.
Build Strength & Agility with Gym Rings

Strength is a skill
Overhead pressing requires skill and body-awareness. That means you have to actually pay attention and focus while performing this activity. Watching the TV in a cushy commercial gym while attempting to barbell press your bodyweight is a recipe for disaster, and possibly a good Youtube video.
Focus and learn to use your body. Learning to use your body more efficiently should be part of any exercise routine.
Learning a challenging activity like pressing weight overhead will build neuromuscular efficiency that will pay off in almost every aspect of your strength and health.

-Jim Beaumont
CrossFit/Tactical Athlete Certified Kettlebell Instructor

June 4, 2010

Training First!

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Click here to visit Kettlebell Inc.

Jim Beaumont

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Random thoughts about training, from Jim.

A while back I wrote a Facebook post that said something about subscribing to a number of training resources, most of which dealt with how to earn as much money as possible, but not anything about actual training. Some of these sites actually primarily dealt with how to train as little as possible, some only a few hours per week.

I actually was offended by that concept and it has grown on me. I occurred to me that almost every waking moment I spend has to do with learning how to train better, or how to acquire some piece of equipment or facility enhancement that may assist me in training others or myself.

The thought that I would train less hours per day and spend more time behind a computer or doing less work actually terrifies me. I do what I do because I don’t have to spend time behind a desk and get to actually work to make people stronger. I love every second of it.

Part of that satisfaction is in knowing that the more I train, the better I become at it. I get a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I am building my skill as a trainer.

I have worked in professions that requred me to sit the majority of the day, and it sucked. I literally found myself envying the nightime freight stockers at Wal-Mart, because they got to move while they worked.

Now, I am not against making money. No one is. There is nothing wrong with charging a fair price for a service. But, when your motivation is only to do that, everything else suffers.

I remember almost a year ago, when I first started training for myself. I had little equipment and was training out of a very rough warehouse gym. It was 100 degrees in that place and four very dedicated individuals showed up to train with me.

They each picked up a single kettlebell and proceeded to work their asses off on the workout for the day: Single-arm kettlebell thrusters (5L/5R) then 15 kettlebell swings, max rounds in 20 minutes. How simple? But, what an asskicker.

They could have been training in comfort at a corporate gym, and most had memberships at one nearby. They chose to follow me to that dungeon and sweat, sweat and sweat.

That is the exact moment I realized that – above all else – the training and workout must not be compromised, regardless of the circumstance or equipment available.

I committed to spend extra time constructing the most efficient exercise possible, because I simply didn’t have anything else to offer.

The only commodity I had was training. I paused every day and took extra time to go over training plans for the day. When in doubt, I repeated to myself these concepts: Put the client’s workout above all else, and that I had nothing BUT training to offer. It had better be the best around, because I sure didn’t have some luxury facilty.

There is an old saying that you should never be afraid of the weapon, but the man (or woman) that holds it. The tools are not important. Constructing an efficient – not to be confused with “hard” – workout is what is important.

Lose sight of that, and you are no longer a trainer. You are a sleazy salesman, and no one respects you. No committed person wants to train with you, and you just plain suck.


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