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Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

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Ask GiryaGirl: I Only Have One or Two Kettlebells, What Else Can I Do? What is Your Skincare Routine?

Ask GiryaGirl

First off, there's been a TON of especially great stuff on the Dragon Door blogs these past couple weeks/months... If you haven't already, visit and bookmark the RKC Blog, the PCC Blog, and the Strong Medicine Blog for a curated steady stream of great info every week.

Q: I only have one kettlebell, it's the one I started with so it's a little light for most of the things I've been practicing... what do I do until I can order more later this month?

A: Last week's RKC blog from Josh Henkin brought up some ideas that are really great if you have or haven't already heard them.  They're extremely valuable for kettlebell instructors, enthusiasts, and especially people who like to work out at home or when they just have access to one or two kettlebells.  As we all know, a good quality kettlebell like the ones from Dragon Door will last a lifetime, but they are not cheap.  Personally, I think it's a great idea to just get one good kettlebell for a while until you're ready to step up--instead of getting a crummy cheap kettlebell that chews up your hands. Josh's article has all kinds of great ideas for when you're working with limited kettlebell resources... or even if you have nearly pairs of every size as I do, for those times when you just want to take one to the park, the beach, the lake, wherever and get a complete workout with just one kettlebell.

Some highlights from his post with some additional commentary:

  • Pauses, slow speed get ups, squats, and presses can make a seemingly light kettlebell get heavy real fast.  A favorite variation I like for small group or partner workouts is what I call the "narrated get-up" and there's an especially "advanced" version I like to use when maybe my workout partner or small group has chosen their kettlebells a little too conservatively where I might switch subjects during these pauses.  It's like a get-up themed "simon says". If you are working on your own, you can pause at each of the traditional parts of the get-up and count.  If you count in a language other than your first language, and one which you are struggling to learn, you get BONUS POINTS! I like to keep it interesting with Spanish or German, or maybe both.
  • Accessory kettlebell drills - especially ones which require stability on one side and movement on the other, as Josh mentions with the 1
  • And advanced kettlebell people, there's always the option of working with the kettlebell in the "bottom-up" position for extremely challenging get-ups, presses, cleans, squats, etc.  This is difficult even with VERY light kettlebells, and a great grip and focus challenge.
  • You can also use this as a good time to challenge your conditioning with more reps and more sets... just make sure they're all VERY good reps as you're almost literally "programming" your movement patterns!

"Pauses, slow speed get ups, squats and presses can make a light kettlebell get real heavy real fast."  Click to Tweet This!

This next question is somewhat off topic but was asked today by an aesthetician, so I paid attention.  Today I tried out a new thing in town, an Aqua Facial at Asim Medical here in Winter Park.  An interesting machine is used to clean and exfoliate the skin while also hydrating.  All of this is done with sterile saline solution applied with a sort of wand that distributes what felt like a cold vapor.  The effect is very similar to a gentle chemical peel, but without the redness/irritation.  Serums and nutrients were further added using RF.  While I'm not unhappy with my skin, and am pretty much universally not considered to be a "girly girl" I do appreciate the value of skincare and non-invasive methods of upkeep.  I'll be 40 in a couple years and I don't plan on looking or acting like it. Besides "weird" but gentle and low risk spa and non-invasive medspa treatments (big fan of IPL photofacial, and gentle chemical peels) are something I do occasionally enjoy.  If this is a topic you'd like to hear more about, please let me know--if not that's ok too!  Anyway she asked what my "skin care routine" was since I'm managing to keep things together pretty well.


Unlike dorky "celebrities" I'm not "brave" for showing you a post-facial picture with no makeup. The word "brave" should be reserved for acts of actual bravery... seriously... c'mon people...

It's very simple, if it involved a whole time of time or a ton of products, I know me, it just wouldn't happen!  First off, I like to stick to just 1 to 2 quality brands.  While they are not nearly the most expensive out there, I found that these two work best for me (La Mer made me break out, and an all organic line--which shall remain nameless--actually made me look visibly older within a few months).  So for now, here's what goes on around here:

Night (meaning before I go to sleep, which is usually technically morning*):

  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser (just a teeny bit is necessary, and the small 2.5oz tube... which also does double duty for travel lasts FOREVER)
  • Kiehl's Vitamin C Serum (which is called Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate) in "high facial expression areas" or anywhere that needs a little Vitamin-C action.  Normally I don't wrinkle up my forehead during conversation, but when instructing large groups, I do for some reason (working to remove that habit...) On workshop weekends I make sure to drink plenty of water and add extra moisturizer (see next item) on my forehead and laugh line areas.
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, a 24hr moisturizer that lives up to its promises.

Morning (after waking up - hey, it's always "morning" somewhere in the world, right?):

  • Repeat above.
  • If I'll be seen in public or in the sun, I'll apply a thin, even layer of my favorite light foundation with 15spf, Chanel Vitalumière Aqua (which is easily found at Bloomingdale's, Neiman's, most decent international airports duty free, and of course the Chanel website.  For some odd reason it's stupidly marked up on Amazon... no idea.)

Post Workout (It's Florida, not showering afterwards is NOT an option)

  • I use Image Skincare's Vital-C Hydrating Facial Cleanser in the shower, it's extremely gentle, smells like oranges and most importantly calms down my RED LITTLE FACE.
  • Re-apply Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream if it's still reasonably "early" in the day... and if I've done one of my weird super late night workouts then I can skip the "night" regimen listed above.

General Notes:

  1. A little tube of Image Skincare's Ormedic Organic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex is always at hand or in my bag.  While this product seems to be for people recovering from some kind lip-related medical enhancement procedure it seems to work VERY well on natural lips.
  2. This is a trick answer.  I consider the real skincare to be what I actually eat and drink - healthy fats from organic grass fed beef, grass fed dairy, coconut oil, whole organic eggs in abundance, loads of leafy greens, apples, mangos, nuts, seeds, and shots of questionable tasting juices like turmeric and ginger shots, and swigs of aloe juice at the beginning and end of the day.  While I will admit to abusing espresso, I also drink loads of water both still and sparkling, and I haven't had any alcohol in about 6 years.  When I see someone my age who is looking a little ragged it usually turns out that they're hitting the wine bar a bit much... or are still boozing it up at the clubs. It's funny, when she first asked me about skincare I almost immediately talked about food... then realized she was asking about products.  But I consider what I eat (and don't eat) to be as--if not MORE important than what I put on my face, and I am loathe to make compromises.

BONUS QUESTION!!
Right after I finished getting my one-leg (one leg is straight, th other is tucked) human flag on video at the end of yesterday's #MonkeyBarMonday video, a couple of kids who were on the swings asked if I did gymnastics.  I said no, but I wish that I had but that I like to do these things as exercise.  I asked them if they did gymnastics, and they said yes!  Definitely encouraged them to continue, because imagine what they could do if they stick with it until and past my age? 

*I go to bed too late, and get up early for things which worth it either in enjoyment, info, payment, or preferably all three.  LOL but really I am not a morning person naturally at all...

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