Friday, October 5, 2012


I would like to announce that we have moved to a new location.  To stay current with our blogs just go to

We look forward to having you on our new and improved blog. 

Thank you,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

“If it’s Important to you, do it every day.”

That’s what Olympic Gold medalist Dan Gable said.  

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.  

If your goal is fat loss, then you should be doing swings, and its many variations, all the time.  If you want to build up to a bigger press, then you should be pressing –every day!  Same thing goes with getting better at a sport.  If you want to improve, you must diligently practice daily.  

Now I didn’t say attempt a PR every day.  If you ‘practice’, the PR’s will naturally come.  

Last week I showed you how to create goals to have a better plan of attack and this week’s post ties right into that.  

Whatever your goals are, make sure your action steps are congruent with them.  So as in the example above, if your goal is fat loss, then why are you wasting your time with bicep curls???  If you are cleared to swing, then grab a kettlebell and start swinging!  Likewise, if you want to get stronger or more flexible, choose the exercises that have the biggest bang for the buck.  

Too many people in our country are wrapped up in searching for the next best thing.  There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  When it comes to developing your own exercise plan, use tested and proven exercises.  Squats, swings, deadlifts, and presses are all great examples. But don’t just pick exercises because they are good exercises.  They have to match what you’re looking to accomplish.  

Here’s a simple template that can get you started on the right foot this new year.  It’s simple, but don’t disregard it on that basis because more often then not the simplest things in life are often the hardest things to do (and more beneficial).    

Pick one pushing exercise, one pulling exercise, and one leg exercise.  Do them every day, or at least 3-5 days a week.  Make sure you rotate through light, moderate, and heavy intensity days, and track everything you do on paper.  You can also do different variations of the exercise every day.  You can set a kitchen timer (set the timer for 20 minutes and try to do as many sets as you safely can), roll a pair of dice (completely random), or work up to a certain number of sets (start at 5 and work up to 10).   

Concentrate on mastering technique and never let it deteriorate.  Once it does, stop the set right where you are.  If it keeps happening, stop the session altogether – tomorrow is another day.  

Do this for 2-4 weeks and evaluate your progress.  Keep it the same or modify accordingly.  Don’t change it just because you’re ‘bored’.  As we so often hear in the RKC community, “Are you looking to be entertained or to see results?” 

Don’t be consumed with sets and reps; alternate between easy, medium, and hard days (with the majority of them being light and medium); try different variations of the exercise; and always finish fresh and listen to your body.  By using those principals, you will not burn out and you will keep progressing.  

Leave a comment and let me know how it turns out for you.  

Have a Happy (and strong) 2012!

Have fun, train smart, get strong,


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Setting Goals For The New Year

We all know the New Year is literally around the corner and with that comes resolutions, right?  Well, resolutions don’t work so don’t make any.  


Yes, don’t set yourself up for failure and make resolutions this year.  Instead, make healthy and realistic goals.  Well what’s the difference? 

There’s a BIG difference comrade.  Let me explain.

First, resolutions are just a lame attempt to get something done.  I like to look at it as wishful thinking.  The ONLY reason we make New Year’s resolutions is because everybody else is doing it.  Am I right? 

We say we “want to do this” or “want to do that”, but in reality, we’re not really committed to “doing” this or that or else we would be doing it already.  If you REALLY want to accomplish something, especially something that can be as challenging as slimming down or bulking up, then you have to be serious and committed to do whatever it takes to reach those goals; deciding that you are going to wait ‘till January 1st to get motivated is NOT serious OR committed by any means.    

So instead of making some silly resolutions, which everyone knows (including yourself) aint gonna happen, try sitting down and putting some thought into coming up with some healthy GOALS.   

Here’s what you do:
I want you to come up with your top 3 goals for the next 90 days.  That’s it.  Just 3 of the most meaningful goals you want to achieve over the next 3 months.  Anything more than 3, or longer than 90 days will basically turn into resolutions because you will be all over the place.  Seriously, just 3 goals over the next 90 days.  

Now I must mention that these 3 goals need to be measurable.  That means that instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, write down that I want to lose 5% body fat, or lose 10lbs of fat (or body weight), or drop 4 sizes.  Those are all measurable and objective.  If you are looking to achieve some strength goals, than doing 20 pull-ups, or pressing the beast, or even wanting to improve your Functional Movement Screen so everything is at least a 2 with no asymmetry are good as well.  These are very measurable and clear cut.  Don’t be vague with this, be specific. 
Next, write down 3-5 reasons why those goals are important to you.  Please, write down exactly why they are important to you.  And be specific! Try to get to the root cause of this.  If you don’t, when an obstacle comes (and believe me, it will), you will get knocked down and those goals will turn into just another resolution.  

After you have your goals written down on paper, your next step is to figure out your actions steps towards reaching those goals.  Write down about 3-5 things that will help you reach your goal(s).  For instance, if your goal is to drop 15lbs of fat in 90 days, something that will certainly help you reach that goal is committing to stay active everyday.  That can mean training 3 times a week with your kettlebells and doing something light on your off days like walking, corrective exercises, or even practicing your kettlebell technique.  Notice I said practice, not work-out –keep it light.  If that’s too much to chew for you right now, simply training 2-3 x week for 20-30 minutes should suffice.  The key here is consistency!  If you only train 3 (or even 2) times a week but you don’t miss a single session, you will see some significant improvement!  Be consistent.  Another big one is taking the time to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time.  Try that one out and watch how fast you start to see progress!

After you have your goals written down with your action steps, it’s time to list what you are willing to sacrifice in order to reach those goals.  For example: you could eliminate soda, fast food, or could even be something like missing your favorite TV show at night because it ends too late and you never get enough sleep (with the technology these days, just record it.  Lol).   List out 3-5 sacrifices you are willing to make.  

To summarize it for you, write down your top 3 goals for the next 90 days, write down exactly why they are important to you, then decide what action steps you are going to take to get you there, make sure you write down what you are willing to sacrifice, and then finally –go implement and take action!

So there you have it.  If you followed the instructions the way I outlined them you should have a clearer vision, and path to help you accomplish your goals once and for all.  Don’t dismiss the importance of this exercise because you think you don’t need it.  Anyone who is successful, in anything in life, will always have a plan.  And remember, a crappy plan that is laid out and implemented is always better than a good plan that never got put to use.

P.S. Be sure to review your goals on a daily basis to keep them fresh in your mind.  Also, don't be afraid to post a comment below and share your progress.  It might inspire someone else to start as well! : )

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Type of Cardio Is Best For Fat Loss?

You wanna lose fat. And you want to do it FAST!  To burn off that fat, you've got to burn calories. There's no way around it.  To that end, the most common piece of advice you'll hear is "do more cardio."

Easier said than done. Especially when you consider that there is so much conflicting information out there. Some people say you need to do hours on end of cardio.  Yet others say that long bouts of cardio are a waste of time. Instead what you need is interval training cardio.   

So who's right!? And more importantly, what should YOU do so you can start burning off that fat faster than ever before?

Here's the skinny (sorry, no pun intended)...when it comes to what kind of cardio to do, it depends.

Let me explain.

If you're looking for changes in your body composition (the relation muscle of vs fat on your body), then running for at a low intensity for a long duration is not the best route.  Intervals are king here.  
Take for example, the two different breeds of runners: the marathon runner on one hand, and the sprinter on the other.  More often then not, you will see people who run for miles at a time who either look like they haven't eaten in weeks and can't even take on grandma Betty in a wrestling match, or you will see someone who looks like they just sit on the coach all day watching re-runs of The Jefferson's.   The sprinter on the other hand usually looks very muscular and has the power to go with it.  

Let me put it in a different way.  Here in New England it can get pretty cold and heating costs can really get expensive.  We are always looking for ways to save our hard earned money so we look for tips to save on energy.  One of the main things we are told is to keep the heat at a consistent temperature.  By doing this, the motor doesn't have to keep turning on and off throughout the day/night.  In turn, you don't use up as much energy so your bill won't be as high.  

On the other hand, if you are constantly cranking up the thermostat (temperature) when you get cold and turning it back down when you get too hot, you will make the motor work harder.  This is a sure-fire way to wanna pull your hair out when you get the bill.  

Hopefully by now you have made the connection from the heater and the runner,  but if not, here it is:  When it comes to fat loss, low intensity/long duration cardio is like the energy efficient heater saving you money (and calories) and sprinters are equivalent to using more heat (and calories) by drastically cranking up and turning down the temperature.   So unlike your energy bill, you should strive to be less energy efficient and more of a energy guzzling furnace. 

The main purpose of cardio in any training/fat loss program is to expend extra calories once you've ALREADY established a caloric deficit from diet - and are on a sound weight-lifting program.

So in the end, the mission is to burn enough calories to create enough of a deficit that you'll lose weight.  Both low-intensity and high-intensity cardio can do that but the trade off is time and efficiency. With low-intensity cardio (like walking) you have to do more of it to burn a decent amount of calories.  This is why most recommendations for low-intensity cardio are between 45-60 minutes.

On the other hand, high-intensity intervals burn the same amount of calories in half the time (usually).  So with just 20-30 minutes of intense interval training, you can burn the same number of calories as you do with 45-60 minutes of low-intensity steady state cardio.  That's DURING your exercise bout.  Intervals also offer another benefit that most people don't know about, and that is EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).  Without getting too technical here, it means your body turns on it's "after burners" and continues to burn calories at a much higher rate up to 24-36 hours AFTER exercise!

That said, too much of a good thing (on either end) is never a good thing.  So the best advice? Mix it up.

Do maybe 2-3 high intensity sessions a week.  If you still need more cardio than that, then add in maybe one or two extra bouts of low-intensity cardio.  The only caveat here is that you want to do this gradually. That is, if you're severely out of shape, start by only doing low-intensity cardio.  Once you've lost a bit of weight and have improved your cardiovascular system, then start adding in one intense cardio session a week.  Then build to two.

By mixing things up this way, you're reducing the chances of overuse injury. And, you ward off overtraining (5 high intensity cardio sessions a week plus weight training is overkill!)

So there you have it - cardio demystified!

If you are running at a low intensity/long duration to burn fat (like so many people do), you are not going to maximize your efforts.  Start small then build up. Then mix in both interval-type workouts with low-intensity workouts and you'll see your fat loss speed up.  Remember, although interval training is far superior than steady state cardio, you must use good judgement.  It is better to start off slow and build yourself up than to do too much too soon.  

P.S.  I spoke specifically about running because everyone can relate to that but cardio isn't just about running.  For example, the cardio benefits offered by kettlebell ballistic exercises like the swing and snatch are unmatched.  Interval training can easily be done using kettlebells and in the next few days I will show you how you can use your kettlebell to burn maximum amount of fat off your body in the shortest amount of time.  

Untill then...

Have fun, train smart, get strong,


P.P.S. Photos are courtesy of Google images

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Enjoy the time off today with friends and family but make sure you stay safe.  I know many people will be eating outside of their normal routine, and that's okay.  Just make sure you get focused and back on track tomorrow so you don't lose any steam. 

Days like today can keep you from going crazy and can feel like a breath full of fresh air for some people.  For others, it may seem more of a nuisance than anything. 

However you feel, make sure you stay focused on your goal and keep it simple.  If you have been eating according to your goals and haven't been missing any of your training sessions, take today to unwind.  If you haven't been so diligent with your exercise and/or nutrition, just make wiser choices and make sure you don't continue down the same path.

Either way...have a safe holiday and enjoy the day!

Have fun, train smart, get strong,


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A lesson in life...

I think it's safe to say Hurricane Irene impacted everyone. Some more than others, but nonetheless, everyone. If you were fortunate enough to not be in the group of people who had property damages and/or power outages, you more than likely spent plenty of time and money preparing.

Although no one wants to be preparing for hurricanes all the time, a lot of good did come out of this experience. You see, it's easy to take things for granted and let complacency set in. It doesn't matter the situation, overstaying your welcome in your comfort zone is not a good thing. Even worse is being comfortable with staying in your comfort zone. Now that's just dangerous!

Irene reminded many of us that we like comfort, and will do anything to remain comfortable. Am I saying that I believe we should remain in a constant state of being uncomfortable? No. What you should avoid is overstaying your welcome when it comes to comfort.

If you are never faced with adversity, you will never grow. Instead, you will become complacent, which is like being luke warm. If you are luke warm, you are just mediocre...and no one pays for mediocrity! We should strive to stay hot in whatever we do, not luke warm, or even cold.

You were not put here on this earth to serve yourself, but to serve others. From the most to the least, we were all meant to help others. Irene helped us get back to that mindset because all over the country people were pulling together to help whoever needed it.

Comfort can sabotage any area of your life. One classic area that we tend to get comfortable with is the most precious gift we can have...our health. In our country especially people are overweight and de-conditioned more than ever before. I blame part of that on the media because it just feeds the people lies and deception (no pun intended). Part of it is because of technology, and part of it is because we are just way too comfortable with being in pain, both physical and emotional. But pain without purpose is just torment.

After every storm there are sunny skies and after each sweat dripping session there is a personal victory. S
o the next time you feel like putting your health off until tomorrow because you don't "feel like it" or it's not convenient, just remember the lesson lovely Irene taught us: Even though the storms come, a little inconvenience and adversity will keep you out of that dangerous comfort zone and you will be in a better position to help others more effectively.

Have fun, train smart, get strong,


Friday, July 29, 2011

RKC sponsors MMA fighter

Dragon Door/RKC sponsors legendary MMA fighter, Fedor Emelianenko in upcoming battle against Dan Henderson, on Showtime
Dragon Door, the originator of the modern kettlebell movement and the world's premier site for Kettlebells, strength conditioning and advanced fitness resources, is proud to announce its sponsorship of legendary fighter Fedor Emelianenko in his upcoming battle against Dan Henderson on July 30th at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL.

The fight will be broadcast at 10:00 EST on Showtime:

Shrouded in mystique in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, many aficionados have hailed Fedor as the greatest to ever do it, the Muhammad Ali of his sport. He remains one of the most fearsome and talented heavyweights in the world -- and practically a national hero in Russia. The Fedor-Henderson fight is being heavily advertised and promoted in the homeland and some fans are calling it 'Fedor's Second Coming'.

Dragon Door launched its RKC kettlebell training system in 2001, sparking a worldwide revolution in effective strength and conditioning for elite athletes, martial artists, military and all those seeking a supreme level of functional fitness.

Dragon Door's RKC programs offer a wealth of kettlebell information for generating superior strength and power -- including books, seminars, training certification programs, equipment and DVDs. Many of the resources are considered modern classics, including Enter the Kettlebell: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen ( written by former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor Pavel Tsatsouline.

American hardmen of all stripes were quick to recognize what their Russian counterparts had long known -- nothing beats the kettlebell, when you're looking for a single tool to dramatically impact your strength and conditioning.

"This is an ideal fit for our team," writes John Du Cane, Founder and CEO of Dragon Door . "A great believer himself in kettlebells, Fedor embodies strength and power, and that's what our company has been all about for the past 20 years -- no gimmicks or fads, only hard work and training that builds resilience, strength and power."

Look for Dragon Door's RKC double-eagle logo displayed on Fedor's shorts on fight night!

As originator with Pavel Tsatsouline of the modern kettlebell movement, Du Cane has spent decades building the world's most informed and proficient community of kettlebell instructors, now in 43 countries and every U.S. state.

Dragon Door/RKC offers Certification Workshops ( the globe -- from Budapest to San Diego to Philadelphia, to Korea to Belfast -- providing the highest quality kettlebell instructor program available. Pavel's Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification Workshop gives professionals a crash course in Advanced Strength Skills, ignites new business opportunities, and propels attendees into the front ranks of physical excellence. An enthusiastic following of leading fitness and athletic authorities, trainers, doctors and therapists around the world have supported and attended their workshops since 2001.

Have fun, train smart, get strong,