Kettlebell and Battle Rope Workouts

 
Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRAs, FRCms
Living.Fit's Education Director and Master Instructor

If you haven't combined the power of these two "unconventional" tools, you are missing out.

The kettlebell is a world-renowned strength and stability creator, and the battle rope is a world-renowned finisher...but the concepts that these two tools are known for, is only telling a fraction of the story.

With the right coaching and programming these two tools can fill entire libraries of effective and efficient programs that build strength, coordination, efficiency, mobility, endurance, power, and cognitive focus.

Check out our growing libraries of workouts and programming here: Trainer Resources

Don't get caught in the trap that kettlebells are only for strength, and battle ropes are only for cardio.

This will lead you into a corner, that will hurt your training effectiveness.

The key is to learn the principles and concepts behind each of the tools, so that you can build more effective...

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Single Arm Body Weight and Battle Ropes Exercises

aaron guyett battle ropes Dec 11, 2019
 
Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRAs, FRCms
Living.Fit's Education Director and Master Instructor
 
Single arm body weight and battle ropes exercises to help you create isometric engagement and then dynamic engagements to help you move better, feel better, and look better.
 
  • Prepares the musculoskeletal tissues for movement, and then maximizes the output potential.1
  • Prepares the Nervous System for movement, and then maximizes the output potential.2
  • The static/isometric safely prepares the joints and kinetic chain for the movement pattern.3
  • The dynamic movement patterns explores and reinforces the range of motion your joints and kinetic chain have control of.4
  • An effective way to add volume to your programming.5
  • Single arm forces the vertical core to integrate for more stability in all three planes of motion.6
  • Single arm forces the vertical core to create more output through all three planes of motion.6
  • Works on ipsilateral patterning and contralateral patterning.7
 ...
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Action, Because Dreams Don't Become Reality Without It

Written By: Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRAs, FRCms

Living.Fit Education Director and Master Coach

 

Action.

There is no substitute. One cannot wish or hope their way to doing.

In consulting and coaching, I hear a lot of people express the action they are going to take in poor ways.

It will have a lot of “try,” “should,” and “hope.”

I also read and hear a lot of ambiguous and general language.

It is almost as if the person is giving themselves an escape.

Unfortunately, this ambiguity does not inspire, ensure, or create any actions.

In order for action to be taken, there must be concrete terms and clarity.

“I will run every morning for ten minutes for the next week, in order to develop strength, endurance, and improve my health.”

That is concrete, clear, and calls out the action step.

How can you adjust your language to bring forth action?

I recently had a talk with one of my Battle Ropes Level 4 members.
 
They expressed the need...
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Circuit Training For Strength and Endurance

aaron guyett battle ropes Dec 04, 2019
 

By: Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRCms, FRAs

Education Director and Master Coach

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is the high intensity interval training of yesteryear.

Whereas the average group training and exercise class is filled with high intensity interval training, we used to call this circuit training.

Most people think of machines or tiny dumbbells when they conjure pictures of circuit training, but that does have to be the case.

Is circuit training high intensity?

It can be, depending upon the results you are working for, or the way in which you design the program.

Is circuit training, interval training?

It is, dependent upon the goals, and the way you design the program.

Is circuit training effective in building strength and endurance?

As stated in research by Alcaraz, Sánchez-Lorente, and Blazevich, "Heavy Resistance Circuits may be an effective training strategy for the promotion of both strength and cardiovascular adaptations."1  It has...

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Can Kettlebells Build Muscle?

 
 
The question “can kettlebells build muscle” comes up almost weekly.
 
My answer?
 
Yes. End of article.
 
Ok, you might need a little more information than that.
 
Any modality can build muscle as long as there’s progressive intensity and volume combined with a caloric surplus and enough rest to facilitate growth. That goes for bodyweight training, dumbbells, barbells, sandbags, etc. As long as the muscle fibers are stimulated with enough weight for a long enough time you’re golden.
 
So why don’t we see huge kettlebellers?
 
There’s a few reasons here…
  1. Too much ballistic work with not enough weight
  2. Too many circuits that burn too many calories
  3. That’s not the goal for most
When I owned and operated a kettlebell-centric gym do you know how many people came in saying “I want to get huuuuuuuuge!” 
 
I can’t even remember one. 
 
The goals were always I want to...
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Flow State and Flow Workouts

 

By: Aaron Guyett, M.A., B.S., CSCS, FRCms, FRAs

Education Director and Master Coach 

So many people are talking about flow, and there is an equal amount of people that have zero clue what these flow-people are doing.

Turns out, many of the flow-people are just using yet another term that has been watered down and turned into whatever feels good at the time.

Person 1 - "Check out this flow that I am doing with the kettlebell." (performs cool sequence of fluid and dynamic movements with a kettlebell)

Person 2 - "I am so flowing right now." (Really into a video game)

Person 3 - "I am flowing." (Gives dog a treat...)

Let's break down what flow state is, and then we can begin to see how flow workouts began to exist in the fitness industry and the Gram (as in Instagram).

Flow State is a heightened state of arousal and focus, also know as being in the "zone."

If you have played sports or even been really into a creative craft or competition...you may have experienced flow state.

Let's...

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5 Single Leg Exercises for Strength and Athleticism

 
The squat, deadlift and Olympic lifts (or weightlifting if you’re a purist) have rightfully taken the spotlight in most training we can’t ignore the fact that single leg work is extremely powerful. 
 
For most trainers unilateral work is what you do during rehabilitation or as some accessory work to your main lift of the day and typically this works. The main problem lies when things become one size fits all and those who really shouldn’t be loading a bar are doing so from the advice from a well-intentioned coach. 
 
Back issues, lower body mobility, and imbalances can all lead to more serious ailments if ignored. Just because you’re going heavier and progressing with the “big lifts” doesn’t mean anything if you’re just becoming a more imbalanced lifter. Unilateral work is not only a way a good way to increase coordination and balance, but also strength while taking the pressure off the old spine.
 
When it...
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5 Ways to Build Gorilla Strength with the Pull-up

 
If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one piece of equipment to train a fighter at any level (who would apparently only be fighting me) it would have to be a good ‘ol fashioned pull up bar and a kettlebell. Yes, that’s two pieces. I also break the rules.
 
The ground can give you a fantastic strength and conditioning session with calisthenics, plyometrics, body flows, and more, but the pull up bar will help you build a powerful upper body, grip and core..all crucial for the strength to survive in your deserted predicament.
 
There are many reasons you should be doing (a lot) of pull ups and variations and I don’t just mean throwing in a couple of half-assed sets towards the end of your workout. 
 
Reason #1 - It hits a lot of muscles at once
Let’s get the obvious reason out of the way that the pull up and it’s friends are compound movements that will give you the most bang for your buck. With each pull you...
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Abs Versus Core Workout Set-up and Programming

 

Abs versus core gets broken down by our Education Director and Master Coach Aaron Guyett. He then gives you a workout with ab and core exercises, and goes on to explain how to set-up this effective workout within a program.

In the first part of the video, Aaron Guyett demonstrates a few exercises to include in your next AB & CORE WORKOUT with some super sweet music.

The next portion,  break down the difference between "ab" workouts and "core" workouts.

I also break down a very thorough and effective way to train both abs and core at the same time with battle ropes.

After breaking down the workout, I then talk through how I would put this workout into a program, and how I would set it up for progress (or improved adaptation).

If you are looking for some incredible follow-along workouts click here: Battle Ropes Level 2

If you want to learn more about programming and workout development click here: Battle Ropes Advanced Course

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3 Ways to Avoid Kettlebell Injuries

If you train hard and push your body to the limits it’s almost impossible to avoid some form of microtrauma, but being smart about your training and kettlebell training will help you avoid MOST major injuries.
 
Most of the time the overuse of any movement pattern will eventually lead to potential repetitive use injuries. That goes for running, pushups, kettlebells work, or just about anything done with too much volume and intensity. 
 
It’s easy to get a little overzealous with a challenge that has a thousand attached to it. Thousands of swings, snatches, squats, (pick your poison) will definitely get you fitter, but at what cost? With just about everything you do you should be thinking about your athletic longevity. How can you move like an athlete as long as humanly possible. 
 
For me that means avoiding injury and here are three ways I like to assess and incorporate things to help me do just that.
  1. Always look at the Risk/Reward of...
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