Its that time of year again!
Archive for the Kettlebells Category
I was recently contacted by a fellow called Elmar Schumacher over at Aerobis Germany to test one of their suspension trainer devices- The AeroSling Pro Set. Knowing that I had pretty extensive experience with other suspension trainers and that I have been using them for some of my clients here in Japan, I appreciated their forthrightness in approaching me for a critical evaluation of this new line of equipment
The first thing you notice when you receive one of these kits is the packaging. Its well thought out with little extras that make it obvious that a lot of effort and thought has been put into making this kit as complete as possible. For example, I liked the re-sealable plastic bags that all of the equipment came in, instead of the usual rip and throw variety. It shows an environmental sense. The main parts of the aerosling come already assembled, with accessories separate and each with an instruction guide as to how to set up or add to the assembly.The handy doorknob sign for the busy businessperson staying in a hotel that lets people know- hey, I’m training in here! The exercise chart and easy to follow dvd made my first workout a breeze, with little time spent in set up. My first impressions were- this kit is well thought out.
Compared to other equipment I have used, the Aerosling was both lightweight and sturdy.For anyone carrying equipment or wanting portability with their workouts, a few grams here and there make a big difference. This equipment fits easily into the draw string carry bag (comes with the kit) which can be put in a backpack for an outdoor in-the-wild adventure or take with you to your gym. Here in Japan, we have a mainly urban environment, so the ability for me to pick up the kit and head to the local park is a big plus. All the components were sturdy and built for hours of use. Attaching the device to a wall mount or overhead beam etc was as simple as flipping one end of the attaching cable over the attach point, and then clipping it on the carabineer. For more sturdiness, two winds around the beam give you an extra sure attachment point. Then a simple weight test to check proper set up, and you are off to work.
Having used similiar devices before, I found this one really simple and user friendly. Don’t get me wrong- I like heavy duty, and there is a place for such types of equipment, but there is also some sense of overkill at times, such as in weight. I usually carry other equipment with me, such as kettlebells etc, so the ease of trasnportantion was a big plus for me. For your average athlete or gym who needs equipment that can take a hard workout and still be ready for me, the Aerosling fits the bill.
If you are already used to doing body weight/resistance training, or have some gymnastic background, you will immediately sense of advantage when training- the core muscles are instantly involved to balance you while you work out. For first timers with this kind of equipment, I recommend watching the instruction video and setting up your Aerosling for beginner intensity level. Then as you gain confidence, you can up the intensity easily by a quick unwind of the main handles.
I love the versatility that this equipment brings a workout. You can push yourself as hard as you like, or take the more moderate path. Each exercise shows a simple form and then an advanced level version on the cd, and the exercises are easy to follow. I recommend though that you watch all the exercises through completely first, and perhaps don’t attempt to do them all straight away. Pick a particular area of your body that you want to train, and then follow the related exercise.
I tested the Aerosling out on a couple of my students, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Its a fun machine that you can set up in your own house, take to the gym, or set up outside. For us, it was smiles all round and my students were exhausted after a 45 minute session. I can see it being a real boon to any professionals out there wanting to keep fit while they travel for business and have to adjust to busy schedules. You would hardly notice this kit in a suitcase, even a carry on bag. Perfect. Crossfitters, this equipment has something for you too. Fighters, well enough said- this equipment rocks.
What it will cost you.
The staff at Aerobis have made this equipment very affordable. ( see the details and special offer below!)
For those who travel, the lightness, sturdiness and well thought out design of these easy to use kits will mean that you can take it anywhere with you and give yourself a good workout. Whether you are a professional athlete, sports trainer looking for equipment for your clients, or someone just out to keep your body toned, this kit has something for you.
Two thumbs up from me.
Q: How do I get one???
Elmar at Aerobis headquarters sent me these useful links and some extra information for you :
Go right to the aerosling models:
http://www.aerobis.com/shop/en/Suspended-Pulley-Trainers/aeroSlings (our aeroSling Models)
http://www.aerobis.com/shop/en/Suspended-Pulley-Trainers/aeroSling-Sets (I received a Set which is called the aeroSling ELITE)
A new model for you to check out as well. I will let Elmar explain:
The new aeroSling XPE is a lightweight smaller brother of the ELITE that you tested. It retails at 139 EUR incl. Door Anchor and DVD. It also has great material but is simpler as such as it cannot be extended with other grips etc.. So professionals would go for the ELITE or ELITE set – beginners in Suspended Pulley Training would go for the XPE.
And a special coupon offer from Elmar at Aerobis for you!
People that are interested will get a coupon code for 15% off to cover shipping and such (100 EUR order value min):
So..what are you waiting for? Go get one!!!
Those of you in Japan that are just starting out and looking for guidance, or those of you who are more experienced but in need of tips and a new kettlebell- look no further!
This fall I am offering special training/bell packages that give you a discount on your next purchase- just in time for the cooler weather and your winter training plans.
I also offer regular training packages designed to help you to meet your training goals faster.
Contact me at japankettlebellclub[@]gmail.com for details.
I have been meaning to write this for a while, as I get a lot of questions from people as to the right kind of kettlebell to use. Here in Japan (and anywhere in the world for that matter), if you jump on the internet, you will most certainly find other brands and types that are cheaper than the ones I use. A kettlebell is a kettllebell, right?
The design of this device is critical to your ultimate success and progress as an athlete. And perhaps most critically of all, the design of the handle is key.
Today I will take the time to explain. I will use the types currently available in Japan as a guide.
Extreme Triangle handle type, bevelled grip. – The cheapest available. My answer- ouch. Definitely designed by someone who has never done kb work. Thanks to the sharp angles of the handle, this thing is not going to move smoothly in your hand if you try anything beyond a kettlebell swing. More than that, in order to hold it, you will find yourself compromising your natural wrist position almost immediately, leading you closer to potential injury. If its of any size/weight, you will find turkish get ups and any other big movements a chore as they just dont “sit” naturally. Finally, the textured grip of the handle will act like sandpaper on your hands, rapidly wearing away your skin as you try to clean or snatch it. Try a five minute set of snatches….not.
My advice- regardless of how cheap they are- don’t buy them. And dont say I didnt warn you :).
The Bodymaker- aka- “the copy”. Is exactly as described ( ie, a copy), but a poor one at that and made by someone who has obviously never really swung a bell for any length of time. The handles are roughly finished, with mould seams under the handle waiting to cause you pain and rips when you try to snatch it. The handle design is too short, still too triangulated and too close to the handle, causing difficulties when cleaning the bell to the chest and not allowng the bell to move freely around your grip as you move in more complex movements.
And the Rubber handle version bell- I am not going to even bother telling you anything about this baby :) Next!
The RKC type bell- This is your base, reliable, workhorse bell. Its made to RKC standards which are high, and ensures that the handle is smooth and the bell sits well in the main positions – enough room in the handle for two hand swings, sits well in the “rack” position, and moves well enough around your arm when doing more complex movements, snatch, tgu etc.
Many people are happy with this kind of bell and get great results with them. All your RKC certifications are done with them- that speaks volumes in itself. They were the first bells I ever owned.
The only disadvantages that I can state personally are in the handle design for long cycle/ competition style sets, and the fact that the bells are different sizes according to weight, which means that as you move up, your body has to re-learn the position of using the weight in position/ rack etc. But for many, this isnt a problem- it all depends on personal taste.
The pro- series bell- exactly as it says- this baby can do it all. One common shell size means that once the body has gotten used to moving and holding the bell in position, all you need to adjust to is extra weight as you go up.
The handles are taller and squarer than the other types of bells, finished to a high buff smooth surface and more roomy. This allows the bell to move extremely freely in your grip and rest comfortably against your body in all positions, which is critical for all advanced movements like competition style lifts and timed sets. Want to do a ten minute set of swings? No problem- this bell will move smoothly in your hands and wont get in your way at all. They are designed to help you just focus on the task at hand, hence at any major girevoy competition, this is the standard bell in use. Ten minute long cycle sets, snatch records and the jerk- this is the basic tool.
You do need to keep and eye on the handles, and “condition” them once in a while to keep their smooth surface ready for work.
Any other bells out there are variations of the theme above. Good and bad- look before you leap and don’t get cheated.
The choice of course is always yours, but my advice is, if you want to do things properly, get the right equipment to help you achieve your goals.
Well its just over three months since the big Earthquake hit us here in Japan, and life is settling down back to as normal as it can be under the circumstances of having life in Tokyo being turned upside down. With everyone trying to conserve electricity, it will truly be a long hot Summer this year. Roll on October….!
As you can imagine, it has been hard to maintain regular anything with increased workloads at the office and real life responsibilities being the priority. Personal maintenance becomes secondary as a consequence. On top of that, when the stress levels go up as in times like this, the energy levels just aren’t
there to “push the envelope” so to speak, so I had to put my plans for a second hard training cycle on hold till my body told me it was ready to go again.
That time has come. My body feels good and rested, and my constant light maintenance training has kept me prepared for some hard work to come. So back to the grunt work again…..
In all things, this year has been a learning experience.
I realized in vivid detail that whether you want it to or not, as you get older, stress plays a
greater and greater part of your life and consciousness. The last few months have illustrated to me in great detail just how harmful stress is to your psyche and well being.
It affects everything; work, relationships, free time, your habits. It saps that extra vitality
that we rely upon to get through the grind, whether that be at work or play, or just spending time with your significant other. Naturally, we start looking for crutches when we cant switch it off, and that’s where the danger lies.
Balance is the key, knowing when to step away from situations and unrealistic expectations and acknowledge that you are under a lot of pressure, thus allowing you to seek solutions and if necessary, help.
But how do you do that when the world around you is out of balance? And everyone you know is freaking out?
And herein lies the lesson. I am still learning.
Back to work for me.
Finally, after earthquakes and whatever else can go wrong with a year, they arrive and are waiting for you!
Beautifully crafted, with a Japan Kettlebell Club logo on the side, these babies will fly out faster than you can say gosh golly!
I have them in these sizes:
8kg, 10kg, 12kg, 14kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, and 32kg.
They are already flying out the door, so if you are interested, better stake your claim.
Contact me at japankettlebellclub(@)gmail.com for details.
BB Chest work
Warm up/ stretch
Bench w/u 50 kgs. x 10
60/5, 65/5, 70/5, 72/5, 80/1 ,
Dips to fail-
25 mins total working time
Todays work with Jan
2x 20kgs clean and press x 3 1min sets, 10 rpm
Sprint db kb cleans 2x 16s 20 rpm
Snatch 2 minutes x 16kgs
2x 20kgs sprint 1 minute x 2
Time to get back in the groove
Stretch and mobility work 15-20 mins
Long Cycle 2 x 16kgs x 5 minutes @7rpm
Snatch 16kg x 4 mins ( 2 mins each hand) = 64 reps
Swing 20kgs x 3mins
Stretch and cool down.
Check out Mike Mahler’s latest dvd here:
Here’s an excerpt on the video from his site:
You are going to love this new DVD set! The DVD footage is from my last Level 2 Advanced kettlebell course in Las Vegas. People absolutely loved the course and could not get enough. Everyone stuck around after the course to ask questions which is a clear sign that they enjoyed the course thoroughly. The attendees had a blast learning new exercises such as ballistic work done outside of the feet. This gives an entirely new feel to standard exercises such as Double Swings, Double Cleans, Double Clean and Presses, and Doubles Snatches. You will have a really good time with these new variations. In addition the attendees really enjoyed all of the new core exercises, complex drills, and stacked kettlebell work!
In addition to the extensive training, I delivered a ninety minute lecture on hormone optimization. Hormone optimization is a rapidly growing field that people are starting to become very interested in. Whenever I talk about hormone optimization to anyone they immediately show a lot of interest and cannot stop asking questions. I have been professing the benefits of natural hormone optimization since 2004 and this lecture is my most detailed and comprehensive material to date. You will learn how to tweak your nutrition plan to optimize the three main players in hormone optimization. In addition you will learn what supplements work to increase testosterone, lower estrogen, and help with stress management. The hormone optimization lecture disc alone is worth the several times more than the asking price for the DVD set.
For more information, check out Mike’s site at http://www.mikemahler.com/