idahokettlebells.com Blog

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 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 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 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

March 21, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 21, 2020

One of my favorite spots

One of my favorite spots


IKSC Weekly Links: March 21, 2020

This is a good article from a friend’s blog on gut health. Most of these things will sound familiar, if you’ve been to any of my nutrition classes. Autoimmune diseases cover a wide range of things, so if you have a chronic skin issue or allergies, you might look into it. This also includes thyroid conditions. I talk about these things related to diet often, but Heidi Toy is a real expert on it.
Healing Your Gut

Here’s a good article on ways to help your immune system stay strong. Always useful, but sure can’t hurt to hear right now.
Boost Immune System

You always hear people talk about “doing cardio.” I hate that term. “Cardio” is largely activity-specific. Meaning running makes you good at running and biking makes you good at biking. Strength-interval training will get you to the same place body-composition wise, but when you consider all the things that you gain from a good strength program, it is clear what is a better use of your time. No one ever got stronger or increased mobility jogging or riding a stationary bike. They will make you better able to do those things.
Strength -vs- Running for Cardio

Kettlebell intervals have the highest calorie burn of any exercise. I’ve written and spoken extensively on this study since it came out about 10 years ago. There are many things that are misleading here. Something to think about is that even if you do think calorie burn as a result of exercise is of major importance, you aren’t really burning enough to make a huge dent in bodyfat. That part is going to come from diet.
Oh, and for those that are interested, I used a very similar program prior to this study and it does work as well as anything. While it’s not mentioned in the here, the exact program they used is called “Viking Warrior Conditioning” by Kenneth Jay, but I think his book was published later.
Best Way To Burn Calories

Video of The Week: Press reset with breathing. Take a minute to do this daily. This is good for stress levels. Use this position if it is comfortable, modify if-needed to make yourself comfortable.

March 14, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 13, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: March 13, 2020

I was one of the first certified Primal Health Coaches. It’s been a long time since that opportunity opened up in 2014. It is part of a bigger movement to make people healthier. I just found out that program is a member of this organization:
Holistic Health Education

Best article I’ve read yet on Coronavirus. Remember that having a positive mindset matters in everything. You WILL get better. This, too, shall pass.
What to expect.

Great things to keep in mind from Weston A. Price Foundation. Success leaves clues. Look to History, Anthropology, and Biology for what humans are truly designed to function best on.
Ancestral Diets

If there is a fountain of youth, it surely includes making yourself as strong as possible.
Fight Aging

I have no idea if this will minimize Coronavirus or not, but getting as much sunlight and fresh air as you can is always good advice. However, even though I supplement with 5,000iu per day of Vitamin D3 all year long, I’d make sure and maybe even take a little extra if you aren’t able to get your sun (I usually up my to 10,000iu during winter months). Low D3 levels are a common-denominator in so many ailments that it makes sense, regardless. I also read a little bit the other day that populations that the virus has spread are also known to be D-deficient. Sunlight and Coronavirus

Video of The Week: I’m often asked what I think of CrossFit. I view it as an exercise sport nowadays, not a training system. Mark Rippetoe (in the video) used to do barbell certifications for CrossFit, and like many that were involved in it 10-15 years ago, saw it changing for the worse. My first exposure to kettlebells was through CrossFit back in 2007.

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.

February 29, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: February 28, 2020

IKSC Weekly Links: February 28, 2020

Here’s a great article on one of our staples, the Goblet Squat. Dan John’s stuff mirrors a lot of what we do here. Happy to say that a lot of that has to do with just finding these things out via trial and error and lots of reps. If you want to read more, look him up. He also has a podcast now that is worth listening to.
Dan John Goblet Squat

Your gut and brain are connected. Junk in= Junk out. We all know this, but still a good read.
Processed Food = Junk Brain

If you want to live a long time, get comfortable being uncomfortable. I plan to live long and hard and then drop dead.
Discomfort = Long Life

High blood sugar equals low testosterone. Not a surprise. Insulin and leptin are master control hormones. If they are messed up because of high sugars, then everything else will be downstream. That is one of the first things I teach in my nutrition courses.
Blood Sugar and Hormones

Video of the Week: An interesting video about rowing trends. “Boutique” rowing studios are starting to be a thing. Trends are not something I follow (because one of my theories is that the longer and more proven a training system has been around the better it is), but you just might see more dedicated rowing interval classes in the future.

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