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Are Kettlebells better than Dumbbells? Dumbbells Vs Kettlebells

 

Dumbbells vs Kettlebells….

This question pops up all the time from well-intentioned, inquisitive trainees to the person trying to downplay the benefits of the kettlebell. The answer is pretty simple; use both. There...article over. However, if you’d like to know a little more why, then keep reading.

Let’s start with the anatomical differences. The most obvious one being that the kettlebell has a handle with the weight at the end. This creates an unbalanced nature to even simple exercises like squats and presses. Since the weight isn’t balanced on both sides like a dumbbell this creates extra tension pulling in one direction that creates a greater need for stability. This is why the first time you grab a kettlebell of the same size of a dumbbell it feels significantly heavier and more awkward. 

This has it’s pros and cons. Pros being that it creates a slightly different training stimulus. The con being that while the bell is in the racked...

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3 Common Mistakes with the Kettlebell Swing

 

The Kettlebell is a dynamic exercise that will build a stronger, more powerful athlete. With great power comes....you know where I’m going.

The responsibility lies on your shoulders to make sure you make the most from the movement without injuring yourself or your client. Here are three common mistakes that most new trainees make with kettlebell swings and how to fix them.

 

 

Mistake #1: Lacking stability in your feet.

Whether you’re swinging from a bilateral stance or performing walking swings, staggered swings, etc. you want to make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground. As the weight is moving it’s constantly trying to move your center of gravity with it. This is why it’s important to use shoes that are thin enough to create a strong connection between your feet and the floor. Practice rooting your  entire foot and toes into the ground before you do anything ballistic. Feel the connection throughout your lower limbs all the way...

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How To Gauge Intensity for Your Workouts

 

How To Gauge Intensity for Your Workouts

By: Aaron Guyett

Intensity is this ambiguous term for most of us...but we can help you gauge it for progress.

Intensity is usually correlated with weight or perceived exertion, and it can be very helpful to know when to ramp up or lower down the intensity for your fitness results.

What weight should I use for what intensity?

 

 

Light weight will usually result in low intensity, which can be helpful if you are trying to grow your muscular endurance or aerobic efficiency, however it will not help with you booty gains, muscular gains, or improving your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest).

Choose your weight, exertion, and intensity based on your programming, and if you aren’t sure how to program to create a certain results, check out our programs here:

Workout Plans or Memberships Here

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Are Your Workouts a Waste of Time?

 

When you’re a high-level athlete where a fraction of difference in your performance can be the difference between silver and gold your training needs to match with incredible specificity and consistent intensity. For the rest of us, it’s important to assess why we're working out and what results we’re looking for. In this world of fitness it’s common for people to draw lines in the sand and designate something as a waste of time. Slow, low intensity cardio, walking, flow, kettlebells, isolation exercises, HIIT, and the list goes on. 

 

 

What about if you can get better results doing something else? What if all the research indicates that type X cardio will give you what you want at a faster rate than type Y? Most people will go all in at least for a little while. What’s more important is which cardio or type of training will get you results even if it takes a little longer IF it’s something you enjoy and will actually be...

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3 Kettlebell Snatches for Rotational Power

 

The kettlebell snatch is a powerful movement that builds full body strength and power. Once you’ve mastered the basics it’s time to get some rotation in! Here are three variations that will give you a new movement to master as well as build rotational power. 

For each of these variations it’s crucial to have the “float” at the top to allow for the bell to finish in the overhead position without slamming on your forearm. Regardless of what orientation or degree of rotation you’re in, maintain enough tension throughout your torso and during the movement itself to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back. 

 1. Deadstart Rotational Snatch

This variation will require the least amount of coordination since you’ll be moving the bell vertically and across the body. There is no drop in the variation so you’ll only be getting the concentric pull.

 

 

2. Half Rotational Snatch

This variation will have the bell...

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Intensify Your Battle Rope Workout with these 5 Variations

 

Battle Ropes are already intensity in ten cities, but if you are ready to level up with them...check these 5 Variations to Intensify your battle rope training: 

 

 

  1. Tall Kneeling - This position allows you to understand how much your legs give you power, even if you are just doing an “upper body exercise” like the alternating waves or lateral waves. The tall kneeling still allows you to use your hips and torso to generate force for and through your upper body and arms.
  2. Half-Kneeling Right - I choose half-kneeling if I am trying to “turn-on” one of my glutes or get more muscular activation through one glute at a time. This will help force unilateral engagement and activation.
  3. Half-Kneeling Left - Don’t forget to use both sides, unless there is a radical asymmetry in your musculature and engagement...no one wants to walk in circles from too much engagement on one side over the other.
  4. Seated - If you thought your abs and upper back were...
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How to Train in the Park with Bells and Ropes

 

Alright, so let’s say you only have a kettlebell and a battle rope...how do you get a good workout?

We talk through a few methods to think about getting the most bang for your time, when you want to get a great workout at the local park with just a kettlebell and a battle rope.

Aaron breaks down battle rope set-ups, and then they jump right into the workout.

 

Think about a basic full body workout:

  1. Starting with Power, Speed, and Explosive work at the beginning - Marcus and Aaron also break down sets, reps, movement pattern development, and planes of motion.
    1. Battle Rope Rainbows
    2. Split Jerks
  2. Strength is next ***And then this is where your video stops if you watched this on social media or you are watching this on our blog. To get a longer version, but not the full version, subscribe to our Reading and Demonstrations with just your email address. If you want the full versions of all or our video breakdowns and Living.Fit Show, subscribe to one of our memberships...
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Learn the Kettlebell Clean in 2.5 Minutes

 

The Clean is a deceptive exercise. It looks like a curl, but moves from the ground to your shoulder in an entirely different way. The key thing for those new to the clean to understand is the trajectory the kettlebell needs to take and the primary movers. 

Here are a handful of regressions that will help you on that path! 

  1. Two hand Cheat Curl Clean - This is helping you understand that the bell doesn't come end over end as it finishes in the rack. Even with speed the kettlebell should nestle itself in the rack like a baby bird as opposed to a wrecking ball. 
  2. Two hand Hang Clean - Once the pathway has been set, now we want to add some hip timing of the hinge and extension. The primary mover is not the upper body, so this will help you practice that. You’ll still use your other arm for half the work here. 
  3. Assisted Hang Clean - Now we’re speed and less intervention from the other hand. This will help use work the lower body with a powerful drive, but...
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Building Strength Vs Building Muscle

 

Strength and size typically go hand in hand. The more muscular a person is the stronger they are, but that’s not always the case. Building strength and building muscle have some key differences that need to be made aware of. The skill of strength can be acquired through better technique, increased neural drive, and better firing of motor units. Progressive overload is a necessity, but strength is primarily created in the 1-6 rep range with greater rest periods. While incredibly taxing typically the time under tension is minimal with much less blood flow into the muscles as compared to sets in the 8-15 rep range. 


Many athletes need strength, but also need to stay in a certain weight class. Take Olympic weightlifters for example. The practice of getting stronger doesn’t necessarily equate to muscular size gains. While their movements are very technique driven and work strength and power, you’d think many of the athletes would be bigger with the insane...

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5 Variations to Add to Your Kettlebell Swing

 

The swing is a powerful movement that helps the strongest and most powerful athlete get even more explosive. Two hand swings are great and have their uses, but here are five swing variations you might not have tried before.

  1. One Arm Staggered Swing 

Here you’re going to take the mechanics of the swing (strong hip drive, tense upper body, tall standing position), but instead of staying in a bilateral stance with your feet at an equal distance you’re going to stagger your feet. This allows you to focus slightly more on one side (your front leg) as you drive through to the top of the exercise. On this variation avoid rotating your torso on the downswing. Sink into your front glute on the downswing to add a greater unilateral focus to the movement. 

  1. Alternating Staggered Rotational Swing 

This is by far one of my favorite kettlebell exercises. You get the timing of the alternating position from the hand to hand transfer as well as your foot position, the...

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