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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

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  :)

Kettlebell Double Trouble Combo Two Ways

Kettlebell Combo Workout - TWO WAYS!

Once again, I wrote a workout for an intermediate client, then felt the need to write a version of it specific to my own needs. I'll present both of them to you here. I can't get over how much fun it is to train outside with kettlebells and rocks.* While I ended up doing my version of the workout indoors (it's been getting dark so early... and it's easy to lose the kettlebells on the ground out there and create tripping hazards), this particular client was lucky enough to be able to schedule the session during the few hours of daytime that work for both of us.  You'll see that we're working on different things as expected.

And for me some of those different things were also small "tidying up" chores. VERY small, like 30 seconds of "put the tea boxes back in the cabinet" or "put the dry silverware back in the drawer... but just the forks this time, spoons next break..."

So here's the first version, you'll see it bears some resemblence to a complex from Geoff Neupert's Kettlebell Muscle book from a while back (check out this oldy goldy blog about that). The workout below was done outside with the goals of kettlebell form practice with doubles, along with general strength and conditioning.

We began with joint mobility exercises, including several that are goal (and person) specific. While everyone's joint mobility warm up will have a few standard items, everyone who trains with me has their own personal, evolving mobility warmup. My own is no exception!

Next, 4 rounds of the following with double kettlebells one size down from RKC snatch test kettlebell (remember, our focus was on form with doubles):

Then, we brought those double kettlebells over to a nice, stable flat part of the ground and added a 20kg kettlebell as well for five rounds of:

  • 5 plank row with push-up (row right, row left, push-up, maintain an awesome straight arm plank position on the kettlebell handles. These are also known sometimes as "renegade rows" or "manmakers" though thankfully everyone seems to stay the same gender as when they started the workout.)
  • 20 two-hand kettlebell swings

Lastly, because I found a new favorite light-ish rock (30lbs approx) just perfect for Russian twists and partner sit ups (partners sit facing each other soles of the shoes touching, both sit up, one has the rock and hands it to the other partner as both reach the top of the situp).
Two rounds (though do more if you have the time):

  • 20 Russian twists with a smooth rock or kettlebell of your choice
  • 10 partner sit-ups with rock trade-off (do more if the rock is light)

Gosh... all of that looked like so much fun, that I wanted to do a good bit of it myself later in the day. There were some other things I had on my "fitness to do list" however, so I adapted the workout and added in a new "friend" freshly assembled the other night. A fan bike. What? An EXERCISE MACHINE? In YOUR house?! Yeah well... let's just say there's a reason the infamous Assault Bike does not have a magazine holder or drink holder. I don't plan to use it for any long duration steady state stuff. In fact, I got it  mainly for burnouts, a meaningful Tabata set of intervals or two, or as I did today, short fast sprint, recovery, repeat for about 6 minutes then pedaling in a daze as a sort of cool down for the last 2 mins or so before wandering around in the kitchen like a stuck video game character. But more about that later.**

So, I did my personalized joint mobility warm up, with a little extra focus on hip flexor stretches and torso twists (too much sitting today). I also did a slow 16kg kettlebell get-up on each side to continue the warmup. Then it was time to get serious with five rounds of:

After I finished five rounds of that, which if you don't put the kettlebells down at all between the exercises, it goes pretty fast, I found my heart rate monitor to do some more testing with the Assault Bike. Since this was basically just a fun little burn out and I'm still learning about the fan bike and myself (now that I can reach the pedals like a grown-up), I decided to do 10 second all out sprints on it, then pedal/push more slowly to recover before the next sprint. It's nuts how this thing will get even my heart rate up in the hummingbird range, and it's not like I've been slacking off with my training...

After about 8 minutes and 22 seconds of this special sort of "fun" I called it a day by wandering around in a slight daze before doing a little more joint mobility and finishing up chores. According to the questionable math of my HRM, it reported that I had scorched through 100+ calories in that 8:22. I'm skeptical, but post workout snack time was pretty serious - considering this was done after my fairly involved double kettlebell work.

*Rock burpees anyone? Here's another high intensity experiment from the other day

**Ever since Marty Gallagher and Dr. Chris Hardy brought up the fan bike in the Strong Medicine blog a while back, I'd been more than curious. Seeing videos of a bunch of tough guys looking near tears after spending a good 30 seconds of quality time with something that looked like a heavy metal version of an old 80s home exercise bike got me even MORE curious. What was this mean thing that looked a whole lot like the fan bike I'd seen as a kid at a friend's house... that we then took turns trying to ride so we could use it to dry our dolls' hair. By the way, that's a terrible use of a fan bike, especially when you're too short to reach the pedals, but we had fun trying. I also wanted a little variety for when the winter here starts getting serious and hill sprints up the driveway become icy and ill advised. And it would drive one of my clients bonkers, and well. OK fine I just wanted to get it, ok?


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