Friday, October 14, 2016

Weight Training Methods For Novices

It is more desirable to initially listen to a skilled weight trainer prior to creating your routine due to the fact that if the plan is not correctly handled then it can create issues and even injuries.
The weight training plans for novices generally should start with fat burning, strength increasing and finally building powerful muscle by means of heavy weight training. For each system, generally there needs to be a solid strategy to attain optimum results. The system needs to be divided so that the body receives appropriate rest. It is going to be a good idea to split the week inio three components and create a plan based on your desired criteria.
Weight training is a physical activity to demonstrate the strength and resistance individually this is a technique to strengthen the resistance and proportions of the muscles. A weight training plan for beginners consist of the use of different systems to enhance the intended muscle sets.
Very little is complicated for an individual who has an interest in performing any undertaking, the sole thing he needs is to keep persistence and focus on the important things that he desires.
Presently there are numerous books offered in the marketplace concerning weight training systems for novices so one can check out these books and prepare their own weight training regimens. Currently using the world wide web, it offers simple acces to any fitness subject matter.
The form of equipment utilized often are dumbbells, curl bars, weight stacks as well as kettlebells despite the fact that weight training is completely different from body building and weightlifting therefore it forms an important element of any properly rounded fitness program.
Weight training is not a simple activity that once you do it, it is completed. Weight training systems for beginners calls for great deals of persistence, in addition to appropriate rest and an proper eating plan in order for you to turn into an expert in fitness training.
Presently there are guides out there on the internet supplying help and advice for weight training regimens, likewise one could work out his or her weight training method while consulting with a specialist accessible on the world wide web.

Kettlebell Workout

Russian Kettlebells are amazing! These kettlebell workouts may be the answer to maintaining a home gym or having an expensive club membership.
With Russian kettlebells you can develop superior gains over traditional workout methods and save lots of space in your home.
The man who teaches Russian Kettlebell training is Pavel Tsatsouline. He is a former Spetznaz trainer. For those who may not know, Spetznaz is the Russian equivalent of the CIA or special forces.
As every high-risk agent would wish for, after studying some of Pavel’s books you can definitely find out how to have explosive instant power ready at all times.
But, not everyone is a spy; in fact very few of us are. So what benefits does kettlebell training have for the average woman or man?
Kettlebell training can be a great way to lose weight, tone up the body, and stay in shape once you get it there with the added benefits mentioned above.
And not only that, kettlebell workouts may be better for you than weights. In one of his books, Pavel mentions some of the fitness tests that were used to compare kettlebell training to traditional workouts.
The kettlebell trainers seemed to be in much better shape according to Pavel. And Pavel would know – You can see a picture of Pavel on his web site. The guy is well muscled and toned for someone that avoids weight training like the plague.
Speaking of muscle and tone, check out the incredible Ab muscles that Pavel can show you how to develope. Pavel, being an expert in physical training combined with his unique experience and insight is fully qualified to show you all about physical fitness.
Whether you are female or male, Pavel can show you the way to fitness. He has also collected for our benefit, what he believes to be excellent advice in nutrition.
Another thing I think that is interesting about Pavel and his work is that he brings his colorful and interesting Russian personality into play. For example, just think of the title of one of his books, Power to the People.
Me? I find that title humorous, but if I had to explain why I think it’s funny, I’m not sure that I could. It might be the underlying but subtle notion that liberation is in order for someone. Come to think of it, I guess liberation is in order.
Pavel wants to show us a better way to fitness and free us from our need to spend an inordinate amount of time in the gym and spend it more wisely and effectively, so that we can have great physical fitness and time to enjoy it as well.
As you can see by glancing at his pictures, Pavel not only knows how to develop an amazing physique but he also knows how to keep himself flexible at the same time.
Maybe now you can understand why I think this man has some answers to fitness that we might not be able to find anywhere else, nor all in one convenient location either.
As always, consult a primary care physician before embarking on any fitness regimen. This article is for information purposes only and is not to treat, prevent or diagnose any physical condition.
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included and any hpyerlinks are left active on web pages. You may make minor editorial corrections.

Kettlebell Exercise

The average American lifestyle goes something like this: We drive to work in a box, we sit for 8 hours inside a box (affectionately referred to by some as a cubicle), we drive home in a box, then we sit in front of our box TV (and if were really doing well in life its actually more of a flat rectangle), we throw a box dinner in the microwave and then go hop in our box bed for sleep. This cycle continues day after day, week after week.
Some may try to vary the routine or change their state of mind by drinking an alcoholic beverage or eating tons of sugar, but this will never give them the feeling of well-being that good health and fitness can provide. There is just no way that an overweight body which is oxygen-deprived can be happy. No wonder we are a country of fat, exhausted, and depressed people. WE HAVE TO BREAK OUT OF OUR BOXES!
Oh I have had my own moments of being fat, exhausted, or depressed. At times I would be out of breath just going up 14 stairs to the second floor of my home. How depressing is that? Well, I didnt remain in that condition forever, and I much prefer my life now – fit, energized, and happy. Believe it or not, a large part of the answer to my troubles was discovered with kettlebells and the multiple health benefits they provide.
Not Your Average Exercise
There is no other exercise out there that tones your body like kettlebells do. They provide a unique combination of strength and cardio exercise to build endurance and stamina like no other workout. It is hard not to feel good when your body is being pumped full of oxygen and you are using muscles like they were meant to be used. I dare you to come to one of my classes and then tell me youre depressed afterwards – its simply not possible! I have exercised my entire life but I have never felt so fully alive until I started working out with kettlebells.
I tried the gym, but I didnt find what I was looking for. The treadmill did nothing for me and was boring. I lifted weights but noticed no change in my muscles. I began lifting more but my muscles were still nowhere to be found, and it certainly was not helping my back pain or energy level. Now understand, Im not trying to knock the gym but for me it just wasnt the right answer, and I know I am not the only one out there with the same story.
I started working with the kettlebell in November and by December my back pain was gone and I felt more energetic than I had in years. I continued my routine and soon I was getting muscles all over. My abdominals were stronger than I could ever imagine. I could see and feel the fat melting away. My body became strong, supported, and erect not the floppy mess that it was. I am now able to use my body to the fullest, and my energy is through the roof. This allows me to see my chiropractic patients until 6:15 at night and then I teach a kettlebell class for an hour, four nights a week. I have more energy now at 40 than when I was in my twenties.
Results in the Real World
Tiffany is my 20-year-old receptionist and is very fit. She usually goes to the gym five nights a week and works out for two or more hours. She heard the buzz about kettlebells and their butt-kicking potential but was very skeptical — they looked too simple and unassuming. After all, she had a trainer at her gym who would put her through what was supposed to be a gut-wrenching workout one that would leave her feeling the burn. But afterwards she felt no increase in energy and wasnt even sore. She then took my hour-long kettlebell class and said she had never worked out so hard in her life. She realized that she had used muscles for the first time that she never even knew existed.
Putting a load on your muscles over time builds stamina and endurance. The body is now able to tolerate activities of daily living with ease. Instead of lumbering up the stairs and being out of breath you will be able to run up them with energy to spare. The ballistic nature of kettlebells is what gives you the power, strength, and stamina to get through your day. To raise the kettlebell over your head repeatedly you have to use all your muscles and cardiovascular endurance. 15-20 minutes a day is all you need to give your body an amazing workout. Even if you begin with five minutes of swings a day you will start to feel changes in your body.
I have a woman in my class in her early 60s named Connie. She has never been able to do a sit-up. Never, not even as a child. She is now able to do sit-ups because she has strengthened her abs and entire body doing nothing more than swings and snatches. Pretty powerful! It was after one of my classes she got pulled over by the police for speeding. She was so excited that she could do a sit-up that she didnt realize how fast she was going. Its energizing to have Connie in class because she keeps challenging her body to improve. She will line up three different sizes of kettlebells and will start with the heaviest one. If her form wavers she moves to the next smaller size. She is now using her body as it was meant to be used. As she keeps up the work she will be stronger and more fit than she has ever been.
A Meditative Workout
As demanding as it may be, a kettlebell workout has a meditative quality to it, allowing the mind to become quiet and calm. When I am snatching the 24 kg bell I am focusing on nothing other than doing it with proper form. I focus on my breathing, my core, and my squatting position. There are no thoughts about whats for dinner, the dirty laundry, unopened mail or tomorrows schedule. All of your attention is on the bell and your body. Your mind is clear and focused. Most of us have that awful monkey-chatter going on in our head. Im too fat, Im ugly, I dont make enough money, my life sucks. In a kettlebell class your mind is clear for at least 15-20 minutes as oxygen is pumping through your body, and you are feeling more powerful than you thought you could be. Can you remember the last time you felt that? It may seem minor as you sit there reading about it, but its powerful to experience and begins paving a path that can quickly bring benefits to many aspects of your life.
Are Kettlebells For You?
You may be wondering if kettlebells can work for you. Start by thinking about exercise programs or products you have tried in the past. Now consider the characteristics and benefits of kettlebells and decide for yourself.
1. They are easy to use. You dont have to add weight onto a machine or change elastic bands. You dont have to know how to dance or have rhythm. Once you have learned the correct technique for two simple moves – the snatch and the swing – you are ready to go. There is not a big learning curve.
2. They can be used anywhere. Kettlebell exercise requires very little space. I started working out in a hallway near my living room, which was a very small area. I have worked out in my garage, the parking lot at my office, in my yard, and in a hotel room. Kettlebells are small enough to take anywhere and you can store yours under your bed, under your desk, behind a door, or in your car.
3. They are effective. You will work on your cardio, strength, and flexibility in just 15-20 minutes a day. Most of us who worked out in the gym are used to isolating muscles. When doing a bicep curl you use the bicep only and no other muscle. Thats why it takes so long to do all the exercises in a gym. With kettlebells you use all the muscles in your body to perform the exercises. There are no separate exercises because the butt, abs, legs, and arms all get worked at the same time.
4. They are challenging and fun. People stop going to the gym because it gets old. I usually will stop an exercise six months after I start because I get bored and I dont get the changes I expected. I have been doing kettlebells four times per week for a year and I havent gotten bored yet. There are so many exercise choices that you never lose interest. Figure eights, cleans, clean and jerk, hot potato, lunges the list goes on. If an exercise is fun, gives you results and isnt time consuming you will stick with it. That exercise is kettlebells.
5. They will strengthen your weak or strained areas. Im a Chiropractor, and recognize that kettlebells strengthened my spine and core so that I no longer have back pain. I tried pilates, yoga, weight lifting, treadmill, elliptical, bicycle, walking and aerobics –all of them worsened my pain. With kettlebells I am now pain-free. I have clients with shoulder pain, hip pain, back pain, and neck pain. Many of my patients have been to multiple physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists some with minimal change in their pain. All have experienced improvement by using kettlebells. I got my Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC), not just to teach the average person, but to help my patients when they had no quality of life due to pain and weakness. It warms my heart when I see someones life start to change.
6. They will save you money. Im not talking about the price of the kettlebell. I am talking about the money you will save on doctor bills. When I injured my back there was an entire year when I was being seen 3-4 times per week for chiropractic adjustments, 2-3 times a month for acupuncture and twice a month for massage. That sure adds up. The kettlebell price is also very reasonable considering it will last a lifetime you cant wear them out!
7. They will help you break out of the box! They will prevent you from being a typical American. You will no longer be able to sit at your desk for longer than 20 minutes because you will notice how strange it feels not to move. You will begin to eat better because you will take more pride in your body. When you are pushing your body to new limits it begins to naturally crave different sources of fuel. You will be fit, energized and happy because your body will be functioning at a higher level.
The Power to Break Out of Your Box
How can kettlebells change your life? They will give you power. Physically you will be stronger than you ever imagined. But you will also be amazed at the other changes in your life. I have become more powerful in all areas of my life. My business is better, my interactions with others have improved, my whole outlook on life is better. I have a sense of confidence and know I can do anything I want to. Bring on whatever life has to offerbecause Im ready. Kettlebells have given me this power. I want you to experience these same changes for yourself. Its time to pick up your kettlebell now and stop being the average American!
Disclaimer: The above parties are not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury or health condition that may occur through following the opinions expressed here. Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Muscle Gain Exercises

As you may have already discovered, the squat is at the top of the heap (along with deadlifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating body composition changes (muscle gain and fat loss). This is because exercises like squats and deadlifts use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises known to man. Hence, these exercises stimulate the greatest hormonal responses (growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) of all exercises. In fact, university research studies have even proven that inclusion of squats into a training program increases upper body development, in addition to lower body development, even though upper body specific joint movements are not performed during the squat. Whether your goal is gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, building a strong and functional body, or improving athletic performance, the basic squat and deadlift (and their variations) are the ultimate solution. If you dont believe me that squats and deadlifts are THE basis for a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join all of the other overweight people pumping away mindlessly for hours on boring cardio equipment. You wont find long boring cardio in any of my programs!
Squats can be done with any free weighted objects such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, or even just body weight. Squats should only be done with free weights NEVER with a Smith machine or any other squat machines! Machines do not allow your body to follow natural, biomechanically-correct movement paths. You also perform less work because the machine stabilizes the weight for you. Therefore, you get weaker results!
The type of squat that people are most familiar with is the barbell back squat where the bar is resting on the trapezius muscles of the upper back. Many professional strength coaches believe that front squats (where the bar rests on the shoulders in front of the head) and overhead squats (where the bar is locked out in a snatch grip overhead throughout the squat) are more functional to athletic performance than back squats with less risk of lower back injury. I feel that a combination of all three (not necessarily during the same phase of your workouts) will yield the best results for overall muscular development, body fat loss, and athletic performance.
Front squats are moderately more difficult than back squats, while overhead squats are considerably more difficult than either back squats or front squats. Ill cover overhead squats in a future article. If you are only accustomed to performing back squats, it will take you a few sessions to become comfortable with front squats, so start out light. After a couple sessions of practice, you will start to feel the groove and be able to increase the poundage.
To perform front squats:
The front squat recruits the abdominals to a much higher degree for stability due to the more upright position compared with back squats. It is mostly a lower body exercise, but is great for functionally incorporating core strength and stability into the squatting movement. It can also be slightly difficult to learn how to properly rest the bar on your shoulders. There are two ways to rest the bar on the front of the shoulders. In the first method, you step under the bar and cross your forearms into an X position while resting the bar on the dimple that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, keeping your elbows up high so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground. You then hold the bar in place by pressing the thumb side of your fists against the bar for support.
Alternatively, you can hold the bar by placing your palms face up and the bar resting on your fingers against your shoulders. For both methods, your elbows must stay up high to prevent the weight from falling. Your upper arms should stay parallel to the ground throughout the squat. Find out which bar support method is more comfortable for you. Then, initiate the squat from your hips by sitting back and down, keeping the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Squat down to a position where your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground, then press back up to the starting position. Keeping your weight more towards your heels is the key factor in squatting to protect your knees from injury and develop strong injury-resistant knee joints. Keep in mind squats done correctly actually strengthen the knees; squats done incorrectly can damage the knees.
Practice first with an un-weighted bar or a relatively light weight to learn the movement. Most people are surprised how hard this exercise works your abs once you learn the correct form. This is due to the more upright posture compared with back squats.

7 Reasons kettlebell training is perfect for weight loss

Lose Weight with Kettlebells
Kettlebells are an interesting exercise device. Basically it’s a cannonball with a handle attached to it. Well, nowadays I’m sure they are molded with the handle but I can imagine in the beginning they WERE literally just welded on.
At first glance you might think you’d use one similar to a dumbbell. Picking one up would quickly change that perception however.
The handle, in my opinion, makes the ‘magic’ of the kettlebell. It not only changes the center of gravity of the device, but the size of the handle forces you to exert some strength to hold on to it. This causes just about every exercise you do with the kettlebell to not only work the desired muscle group, but also your ‘gripping’ muscles.
Simple Exercises
The first kettlebell exercise you should seek to master is the swing. It’s a pretty simple maneuver but is the basis for a number of more advanced exercises. But don’t let the simplicity of the swing fool you. You can still get an incredible full body workout just doing swings!
The two handed swing is probably the safest exercise to start with. You need to be extra careful when you have a 35lb chunk of steel swinging around your body though. I will briefly describe the swing, but I strongly urge you to seek out a qualified instructor locally to teach you the proper technique.
The Swing
You start off straddling the kettlebell, feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and bend down at the waist and knees to grasp the handle. At the bottom of the swing you will be in a position similar to a football center hiking the ball.
When you come up, you want to ‘pop’ your hips as you push straight up. This movement will cause the weight to swing forward and upward. As it swings back down, lower yourself back into the starting position and allow the weight to swing back between your legs.
Here’s a little video showing the proper technique of the double arm swing..
That’s the basic swing movement, but as I said, there’s nothing better than having someone able to show you in person.
After you do a few swings, you’ll better understand the beauty of this ‘ugly’ piece of equipment. Such a simple exercise but you will feel it in your whole body!
The One Arm Swing
This is a variation of the swing demonstrated above. It uses a single arm, hence the name ‘One Arm Swing’ In the video I linked below, the lifter starts off performing a one arm swing and quickly progresses to alternating back and forth. Also note, this video is only about 30seconds long and he STILL gets his cardio going.
Clean and Press
This is a little more advanced exercise and since the kettlebell will be raised above your head, I suggest extra caution. Also, I strongly recommend getting proper instruction from a local RKC. I am including the video here so you can check your form at home if you have questions before your next training session.

Kettlebell Training

Russian Martial Art And Kettlebell Training
Russian martial art training and kettlebell training involves elements of strength, flexibility and relaxation. Many would argue that speed and technique should also be included, but given that you have trained in all three of these disciplines, then speed will come naturally. Technique is immaterial: it is related to what you do, not how you do it.
Training, on the other hand, is how you do what you do. The what is irrelevant. It is the how that matters. A boxer cares not what a karate student does, but only what he himself does. A man or woman facing opponents is not concerned with what others can do, but only with they do themselves. It is not the what but the how that matters, and the how is related to training, practice and knowledge.
The training of Russian martial artists is designed to improved the how. Russian martial art has no need of pre-orchestrated movements or katas as Japanese and Chinese martial arts have. Much has been written about Russian martial arts and their means of attack and self defence, a lot of which is based on the popular view of the Russian Special Forces. Most Special Forces can employ the techniques used by their Russian counterparts, but it is the Russian methods of training that make the difference.
Pavel Tsatsouline, trainer to the Russian military and then the American Special Forces and other military personnel, teaches you the secrets of the super-strong and of attaining supreme martial arts power. He does this through use of Russian kettlebells and the tension and relaxation techniques used by the Cossacks who could slice a man from shoulder to buttocks with only a light one handed sabre.
The Cossacks trained by standing in a lake or river up to their waist and then slicing into the water with their sabres for hours on end. The secret was to be in total relaxation until the moment of strike when all the power of the body was concentrated in the one blow, and then reverting to total bodily relaxation immediately after. In that way, strength and stamina were maintained while the blow itself was imparted with the maximum possible strength of the whole body.
Flexibility is the true secret behind supreme martial art power, and the one bodily attribute that is most ignored and misunderstood by the majority of martial art exponents. Russian martial art techniques make best use of supreme strength and absolute power through the understanding of how to properly relax between blows. The supreme power of a martial art punch is used through a total understanding of the levers of the body, the muscles that move them and the relaxation that allows these muscles to exert maximum power to the levers.
A powerful punch is a rapid snap with maximum power and then total relaxation until the next punch. Russians are trained in dynamic relaxation exercises in all athletic training, and the fast and loose techniques they use are ideal for the rigors of absolute mastery in martial arts.
Russian martial art training and kettlebell training is not the theatrically disciplined art of the Chinese and Japanese, but a technique designed for maximum power and effect in attack and not just self defence. The use of the power of the human body can be maximized only by developing the supreme strength possible through kettlebell exercise, and the flexibility and relaxation techniques as taught by the master of the Russian martial art, Pavel Tsatsouline, master teacher of Russian and American Special Forces personnel.

Kettlebell Fitness And Flexibility

Russian martial arts flexibility and strength training techniques such as kettlebells have been available to Western Special Forces for many years from Russian masters of martial arts. Russian territory reaches from the west through middle Asia to China, and they have the benefit of the best of self defence and aggressive techniques from all of these territories within their armed forces.
Both before and after the destruction of the communist ways in parts of the USSR, Russian fitness experts crossed to Europe to provide us with the benefits of their knowledge of self defence and strength training, and both UK and American forces have reaped the benefits of this specialized Russian knowledge. Much of this knowledge is now available online to ordinary people with an interest in improving their strength, flexibility and relaxation techniques in order that they can attain the highest levels possible in their chosen sport or game. That means you!
Take Russian kettlebells, for example. Russian power lifters and martial arts experts are available online to offer you instruction in how to use these simple weights to build exceptional power and strength throughout your whole body. For those not familiar with kettlebells, they are simple heavy balls with a handle so that you can lift them. They are very simple but can make a person stronger, more explosive, and with unbelievable endurance and coordination: just what is needed in any martial art, and used extensively in Russian military training.
Many martial artists, especially in the initial stages of study, are unaware of the true importance of strength, speed and power. In very simple terms, strength + speed = power. If you strike with great strength and high speed, you will generate great power. It is for reasons such as this that great Russian exponents of fitness and martial arts training such as Pavel Tsatsouline have been employed by the American special forces, police and other organizations to teach techniques such as those that enabled Russian Cossacks to slice a man from shoulder to saddle with nothing but a light saber (not a light saber as in star Wars, but a saber that is not heavy!). This is spelled sabre in Europe, where it originated.
They could do this through relaxation techniques, gained by repeatedly slashing into water while standing waist deep in a lake. This sounds easy, but not after doing it for hours, and needs total relaxation until the instant of strike. This is exactly as a martial artist or boxer should be totally relaxed until the arm snaps straight with maximum forward momentum and power, and then relaxes immediately after strike until the next strike which could be a fraction of a second later.
Relaxation can become second nature through the use of Qigong or Tai Chi training, the Chinese art of relaxation. Many people regard it as an exercise for wimps, yet the greatest martial arts exponents in the world use it for relaxation, as do many of the worlds elite martial forces. Meet these guys face to face and call them wimps!
Through a combination of kettlebells, relaxation training and flexibility, the Russian special forces were among the most feared in the world in unarmed combat, which is why they were employed to train the armed forces of the USA. Their techniques are available online if you know where to look, and relaxation that leads to speed, endurance and flexibility appears to be one of their main skills.
Its opposite is tension, which is composed of strength and power. At the moment of a martial artists strike, speed and power are backed up with mass, but an instant later the fist is totally relaxed as it snaps back to guard. Many sports other than just martial arts depend on tension and relaxation, the two aspects of the expert sportsman.
Russian training techniques offer opportunities to improve your tension and relaxation. Strength is increased through the use of kettlebells, power through dynamic and kinetic training, speed through flexibility training and relaxation through qigong and other such techniques. Those that laugh and claim that they do not work would shudder at seeing the power and capabilities of the Cossack, as did the opponents who would rather run than face them. They were more powerful that their horses and the most feared opponents in the known world at the time.
If you want to improve to your ability at most sports, but especially in martial arts, learn from the Cossacks and Russians. Learn from their martial arts flexibility techniques, and kettlebell strength exercises. They are simple to understand, and the equipment is inexpensive
Kettlebells For back Strength
After 14 years as a successful chiropractor I have finally discovered what I believe to be the very best tool for improving the back-strength and overall health of my patients. That tool is the kettlebell something I had never heard of until two years ago. I have to admit that initially they intimidated me until I needed them for my own injury.
The Doctor Becomes a Patient
Growing up I was always extremely athletic in high school and college. I lettered in volleyball, softball, and basketball, and I became a Doctor of Chiropractic because I knew firsthand how important a strong and well-aligned body is for physical activity.
As an athlete and a doctor I never experienced any problems with back pain until about 5 years ago. I was adjusting a very large male patient (63 300lbs), something I never had a problem with in the past because of my use of proper techniques.
Somehow this time was different. When I applied my force into this patients body to adjust his hips nothing moved. I felt like I had just attempted to pass my hands through a pillar of marble. The resulting wave of resistance immediately reverberated through my entire spine. At that moment I knew I was injured.
I did everything I tell my injured patients to do. I stretched, iced, went for massage, received chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture treatments. Being in the healthcare profession, the treatment I received was the best available. At times I was in the offices of other providers 5-6 times per week.
Frustration with Traditional Methods
The treatments kept my back functioning so that I could do my job but the repair and healing of my body did not progress. If I sneezed it would throw my back into spasms. If I slept wrong I would have to wear a back support for a week. This was more than pain and inconvenience my very livelihood was at stake! Nobody wants to put their trust in a chiropractor who clearly has a bad back herself. So I did everything I could to hide and mask my pain from my patients.
Two years into this constant pain I knew I had to try something different. I hired a personal trainer (a former N.F.L. player) who I hoped would whip me into shape. After 6 months, although I gained arm and leg strength, my body did not tone up the way I expected and my back pain did not improve. In fact it got worse. There would be times when I would spend half an hour on the treadmill in the evening and not be able to get out of bed the next morning.
Impressing A Skeptic
About this time I came across a book titled Beyond Stretching, by Pavel Tsatsouline. There was something different here. There were stretches in this book that I had never seen before. Even my physical therapy associates were impressed with this new and cutting-edge material. I had a feeling that Pavel could help me with my back, and hoped this might be the answer to restore my health and the future of my practice.
Fortunately I live close to Seattle because at that time Pavel was visiting the city twice each year. I took his stretching, strengthening and abdominal class. I was impressed not something easily accomplished because I do body work myself, but also because I had experienced so many disappointments.
After attending Pavels classes my stretching improved and my pain was decreasing. In fact, I was so impressed that I encouraged all of my patients and colleagues to attend Pavels seminars.
I had patients drive 70-80 miles one-way to attend Pavels seminars, and I would bring no fewer than 10 people with me each time. I always made sure to bring my most acute patients the ones I knew would experience the most benefit by attending.
When Pavel witnessed my third trek to Seattle with patients in tow, he was impressed with my commitment and suggested that I train with kettlebells round cast-iron weights, like cannonballs with handles. He even implied that I should become certified as a kettlebell trainer to assist my patients. Well, I was more than slightly intimidated in my mind there was no way I could throw around this big piece of iron without inflicting further injury. But everything Pavel had showed me so far was helping, and I was intrigued. I ended up purchasing a kettlebell, but picked it up maybe five times before it began to gather dust at home. I was so out of shape that I would get winded swinging the kettlebell only twenty times. Being an athlete, I think it hurt my ego more than anything else!
One Demonstration Makes All the Difference
Then in October 2004 I was fortunate enough to attend another one of Pavels stretching and strengthening seminars that included a quick kettlebell demonstration. One of the people who spoke was Dave Werner, RKC. He related his experience with severe lower back pain, nerve damage in his leg, and using a cane to walk.
I couldnt believe it this man had recovered and looked like an Olympic athlete! Right then I knew I had to give kettlebells another chance. I not only needed to try them for myself, but for the benefit of all my patients that were in the same predicament as me.
I hired Dave to show me what to do, and one month into my training I sneezed — and had NO PAIN!! For almost five years I had been in pain from the slightest movement, and after one month of training with kettlebells I was able to sneeze and not have pain. That may not seem like much to you, but for me it was a miracle. I started training harder and signed up for the April 2005 RKC. People must have thought I was crazy because I hadnt exercised in well over a year due to my pain and now I wanted to go and subject myself to three days of Russian boot camp!
The more I trained in preparation for the RKC the more my fitness improved, and my back pain quickly became a thing of the past. I made it to the RKC and survived believe me, I had lots of sore muscles, but never a twinge in my lower back. I had been given my life back!
Sharing the Secret
When I returned from the training I soon began working with one of my worst back injury patients. The type of patient I see has extreme back pain and most of them have such poor body mechanics and muscle tone that they can’t even do a squat correctly. Theyre afraid to move their body, believing they can prevent spasms by not moving, so I start them out slowly. This particular patient had constant pain and couldnt do even simple household chores such as vacuuming or cleaning dishes
I started her out with the 4 Kg. bell, doing squats and swings in 5 sets of 5 reps each. If youve ever lifted the 4 Kg. bell, it weighs almost nothing, but it was heavy enough for her body and started improving her strength. We continued her chiropractic adjustments twice per week to control her pain and prevent spasms. After three weeks I introduced an 8 Kg. bell for one of the five sets, and her spine was starting to hold so I reduced her office visits to once per week. I have been training her now for five weeks and she has only minimal pain. She recently vacuumed her whole house without assistance something she had not done in three years. Youve never seen someone so excited about being able to vacuum the floor!
Its now been almost two weeks since she needed an adjustment and Ive added a figure eight with the 8 Kg. bell to expand her range of motion. Its important for those with chronic back pain to expand their abilities so they dont give in to the fear of triggering a back spasm. Kettlebells allow this incremental increase, and it builds confidence in patients like nothing Ive seen before.
Kettlebells the Missing Ingredient?
Ive seen the kettlebell workout help one of my associates with his asthma. Another eliminated her wrist and knee pain after 6 weeks of doing kettlebells. Like me, she was very worried about her career as a chiropractor because her wrists kept giving out. Now she is stronger and more confident that she can do her job for years to come.
Im still amazed at the improvement in back stability that comes with kettlebell training. I feel like a kid again! I can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life after only 8 months! I now work a full day in my practice and then train people with kettlebells one-on-one and in groups 4-5 nights a week.
I now believe kettlebells to be the single most important tool that can be added to a recovery training schedule. There are too many people out there who cannot enjoy life, who are merely existing because of their back pain. Their abdominals and back muscles are so weak from repeated spasms that they fall apart with any activity. I believe all of them can be helped with kettlebells.
Its important to start slowly, primarily because of the weakness and lost muscle tone that develops from repeated muscle spasms, but also because of the mental block created by the fear of pain. Kettlebells allow you to do this. I know, because Ive been there. But at 39 years old I now feel better than I did in my twentys, and I cant wait to see how I will be a year from now. Thank you Pavel for giving me my life back!