Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bank on hormones: Jason Lezak

I am one of those people who loses my breath when I get over excited.  As a sports fanatic, whether it be football, athletics, or curling, watching the final moments of a battle can be a life or death situation.  Ussain Bolt's 100m world record left me hyperventilating.  Jason Lezak's historic split literally had me blue in the face.

To put you on my page, you need to go back to the Beijing Olympics of '08 - men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

Possibly thee most exciting chlorinated race of all time, in my opinion anyway!

Jason Lezak, an American Olympic swimmer, all though a well regarded figure amongst the HTH henchmen, this single feat propelled him right into the sporting hall of fame. Lezak is no doubt an elite swimmer, who has no personal coach and in '08 he was the oldest man on the US swim team.

He rose from behind in the final 25m of the 400m freestyle relay event, being led by world record holders France, who were convinced and had already claimed bragging rights to the Gold medal prior to the start of the race.  Lezak tailed Alain Bernard by a full bodies length advantage, yet split a 46 flat in the final moments, making it the fastest 100m freestyle split in the history of the sport.

I've attached this clip so you can really understand the sheer exuberance of the race:

I have watched this video over and over, I have downloaded several versions of the race to allow me to dissect every stroke.  Lezak smashing a historic split in the time that he did is phenomenal, it is almost as if someone hooked him and dragged him like a tuna on steroids through the final meters of the pool.

Getting behind the physical swim I saw that Lezak gets into the water at 2.38, to a first time viewer his stroke looks pretty similar to his french opponent.  His first turn is at 21.50 next to Bernard's 21.27, he is trailing behind like a dead fish, yet in the final 25m he runs down Bernard like he has been fuel injected.

Analyzing Lezak, I learnt that he is a full inch shorter than Bernard. His swim form displays a change in the last 50m, his left arm delays longer than the right which causes an interference with his breathing, therefore he is taking in less oxygen, which just poses more questions.

The lack of oxygen  effects the maximising on the purchase of the water and looking at Bernard, his efficient strokes vent smaller bursts and Lezak is literally launching his torso further out the water, requiring more energy, so physically how did he propel forward at such a pace?

I just cant get my head around it, the change of form, the interfered breathing, the energy required to plummet his body further out of the water, yet he rockets a full 9 inches forward in a matter of seconds to win the race!

I can only put it down to chemical synthesis.  Epinephrine or adrenaline as we know it, caused this incredible feat.  When the body surges adrenaline there is an increase of energy sent to the muscles, which boosts their ability to react.  Adrenaline finds its way to the heart which immediately boosts its rate and strength which increases the respiratory exchange.  More oxygen equals better performance.

Lezak is the human equivalent of a formula 1 car with fuel injection.  The science behind this victory is mind boggling.

Simply amazing feat of strength and power!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Elite Fitness

I am an aspiring superhero.  The desire for being a ninja means that it is my duty to master all trades.  I owe that to humanity.

In my inquiry for these required skills and knowledge, I have come across all kinds of fitness training methods.  The one that got my attention in particular, solicits different methodologies and combines them into one giant heap of confusion.

I believe in cross training as it improves your fitness, enhances your efficiency, increases power, and the list goes on.  However it is all determined by how your methods are combined.  The illogical programming of taking several different exercises and combining them together into three day long battles and calling it cross training is not quite the science one would have in mind.

Yes, it may keep people excited about their workouts but that's like bringing a clown to make balloon animals to a thirtieth birthday party.  Utterly pointless.

These training organizations that are integrating Olympic lifts at maximum aerobic capacities and blending them with high intensity kettlebell snatches and overhead swings (might I add, that these overhead swings can cause impingement of the shoulders, and virtually wipes out the entire point of the lateral force a swing is supposed to generate) are making a mockery out of some serious specialisations.

To add fuel to the fire, the trainer certifications require no basic knowledge of anatomy or biochemistry, so the coaches running the show have attended short courses on how to master an Olympic lift that would take a normal strength coach years to perfect.  Concerning? a little.

The lack of quality control is what gets my goat the most.  Watching recent competitions televised locally had me on the edge of my seat, not from the sheer excitement of the event but because it was nauseating and I may have needed a quick escape to ruminate.

How does one possibly screw up an exercise such as the pull up? This must be the easiest move technique wise to get ones head around.  All it involves is pulling ones self up from a static position, over a bar.  However some organizations have added the infamous 'kip' to a pull up, so much so, that its almost as if, if it wasn't included it wouldn't be right.  Kipping makes pull ups child's play.  Since when does momentum build muscles? I was always under the impression that controlled movements built muscles.

Another great exercise included in the workout battle, is the power clean, except in this circumstance it is completed at high repetition.  What is the purpose of a power clean?  Is it to get you into better aerobic shape or is it to build explosive power from the ground up?  High repetition power cleans cause injury.  That's my only explanation.

So, in closing, my findings are in focus.  Finding one specialization and mastering it, is the answer.  Once I have mastered my first specialization only then will I move forward.  Or I will find myself on a list of statistics.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Get a grip

I used to be absolutely shocking at kettlebell snatches, a few months ago I'd hang from a bar like a dead fish, and doing one rep of a deadlift (correctly) was something I always struggled with.  Training for hours every week made me physically strong and fit, no doubt, but I just wasn't performing as optimally as I knew I could.

Doing high repetition drills were nightmarish, I felt like I had the physical strength, but my hands just couldn't keep up with the pace. The same goes for my pull up power, I could pull off one rep of a chin up, on a narrow bar while kipping, but the chance of me completing a strict wide hand pull up on a 2" bar was as believable as Bill Clinton's statements surrounding Monica Lewinsky.

It just made me realize that there really is no such thing as a person with weak hands and a strong body, it just does not work that way.

The sad reality of the situation is that very few people actually work on this area of strength, and we can only put that down to ignorance.  If you are going to attack the gym day after day with no guidance from a professional, its an area you are going to think very little about.  Improving your grip strength has a positive correlation on your over all strength.

Try flipping a tire or grabbing a sandbag and actually pressing it, running with it, rowing it, or throwing it.  If you cant hold the damn thing, how are you going to move it? Weak hands are going to effect your potential in so many areas.  Weak hands, wrists and fingers are only going to limit your potential.

Improving this strength is not only for enhancing your lifting potential but is essential for combat athletes too.  Weak hands are disastrous for performance in battle, your hands are what generates and transfers your strength throughout your body.  Weak hands produce very little force and strong hands do damage.  Weak hands equal weak fighters.

A strong grip improves your dexterity, enables you to lift heavier, builds endurance in your hands and builds injury resilience.  Then again its also not what you do, but how you do it.  There are so many gadgets on the market today for improving your grip strength, but if you don't want to get your ass handed to you its going to take a lot more than some mechanism to enable you to bend horse shoes.

When using kettlebells probably one of the best things you could do is juggling, and anything that involves bottoms up moves and pinch gripping, otherwise incorporate bar hangs, rope work, rope pull ups, wrist rolling (I was recently introduced to this, and it has already done wonders for me) otherwise if you with a trained professional work on levering and plate pinching.

I still have much to learn about grip strength, but with the little work I have done improving this area I can already feel the vast difference and have already broken more personal records having incorporated it into my training.

So come to grips with your weaknesses and get a grip on your strengths.

Monday, 05 December 2011

Mitchell Strength

A few months ago I was contacted by Terence Mitchell of Mitchell Strength in Ballito.  
I was extended an invite to experience a taste of what this strength and performance training facility had to offer.

I was completely magnetized by every aspect of this garage style gym. In its pure simplicity, Mitchell Strength empowers everything that is truly functional.  Nothing is out of reach and there are no limits to what your body is capable of achieving under Terence's watchful eye.  There are no gadgets, fancy mechanisms and empty promises, there are only true methodologies, old school philosophies and serious strength tools.

Mitchell Strength is a playground for relentless lifters, who are real about training, from dipping bars to pull up bars to kettlebells, battling ropes and the infamous T-Rex prowlers.  This gym is not about fancy cardio machines and looking pretty in spandex, its about hard work, dedication and training methods that work. 

Woman want those bikini bodies and men want that elemental strength, this gym undertakes your deepest physical desires and turns them into your realities.  Women and men are often misconceived about how to achieve their goals, and turn a blind eye to the style of training offered here, they couldn't be more wrong.  Mitchell Strength awakens your senses and seduces your inner beast.  In the three months I have trained at this gym, I have collectively gained 3kg of raw muscle, I've set personal records I never dreamed possible, and I have learned to OWN the pull up bar, something most woman are afraid of.  

Terence encompasses functional training, his styles are practical and his results are evident. Nothing is outside his limits, nothing is unattainable or abstract.  Everything is within his reach and his passion for people truly makes his gym, a special place to train.

Mitchell Strength Ballito is universal, its alive with energy and churns out beautiful bodies and powerful muscles like a real gym should.  

Thursday, 01 December 2011

Durban's Poison

I am a gypsy.  I have lived in fourteen different cities around the world, five of which have been in South Africa alone.  Two years ago I found myself moving to Durban, and have not looked back since.  This has got to be one of thee most prismatic, diverse, and captivating cities of them all.

As I am up at dawn, grabbing life by the bells, I am constantly surrounded by some of Durban's finest poison.  These addicts are unlike the common habitue, they don't have excuses for anything.  These guys are getting high no matter what the circumstance. From the honest cyclist, runner and athlete, to the soul surfer, the paddlers, the rugby boys and the serious lifters.  These guys are out their searching for their natural high, pursuing their passion, chasing that perfect wave, beating the odds, and smashing their limitations.

As well as these Durbanites, there also comes the infamous weekend warriors, MMA wannabees and gym junkies filtering through the atmosphere.  This special lot are just as feisty by week day.  Smashing the machines, chugging down the top of the range supplements, trawling the local gyms for a taste of the exercise high and smashing back cold beers by night.

Regardless of whether the locals are serious about sport or serious about having six packs to flash the beach babes on the weekends.  Durbanites are passionate about being active.
Whether thier goal is to complete the comrades, win the Mr Price Pro, bring home the World Cup Rugby trophy or simply to look amazing in a gym vest while you cruise the beachfront with your hat backwards, each one of these ninjas need a sound gpp program (general physical practice) to make them better, faster, stronger, harder and fitter!

Combining the conditioning from kettlebells with the strength work from calisthenics into their daily routines will blast their fitness levels straight into Superman's underpants.

Whilst kettlebells develop your posterior chain, building solid cores, improved athleticism and strength endurance, bodyweight training gives you reaction power, improved co-ordination, balance, synergy and raw strength, making you more efficient, effective and functional on the field, in the water and on the beach front.

We are proudly Durbanites, we are proudly active and we are damn right colourful. Getting out there and involved in real training the real way, forgetting the tug toners, bosu balls, pec-decs and treadmills and getting a taste of ballistic training with kettlebells and old school strength training will give you that edge above the rest.

Practical methods of training will improve your sport, your life and your functionality no matter what drives you.  No matter what drives Durban.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cool Runnings

I've signed up to run the Two oceans half marathon in April next year.  I do not run. This is not my forte.  I do not intend on running for placement, I am not running competitively.  I'm running because as someone who doesn't run, this is a challenge of great measure.  It does not matter if I come first, somewhere in the middle or stone cold last, I want to say that "I have finished", there is a lot of satisfaction in that.

Not only is the marathon a personal test, but as I work with runners on a day to day basis I feel that experiencing a part of them will help me, help them.  I want to put myself in their shoes, I want to expose myself to their highs and their lows.  Lets call it research.

I've always said to my clients that working with kettlebells will boost their levels of fitness, increase their cardiovascular output, and strengthen and develop their 'go muscles' because this is what I have experienced first hand.  However only now that I have hit the road running have I literally felt the surge of all the years of training come together.  My first 5km run, having not even run 100m in over five years was an absolute walk in the park.  My first 10km is still trying to catch up to me.

The ballistic training from kettlebells has increased my power output. My obsession with the kettlebell snatch has not only improved my technique and allowed me to lift heavier for longer but has built strength in my lower back and hip flexors which are vital muscle groups required in running.  My ability to keep running is owed to the fact that kettlebells have improved my conditioning and muscular endurance with less fatigue and lactic acid build up.

The two oceans is known as the worlds most beautiful marathon, I am excited to be a part of it.  I am nervous to be challenging my potential, yet I'm thrilled to be facing the truths of the journey to the end.

To the runners, this half marathon may be a quick afternoon run for you but a nerve racking task to me.  I feel light headed just thinking about facing the road. All though even if I fall flat on my face, at least I will be moving somewhat forward. I respect your sport and look forward to experiencing my first 'runners high', I salute you!

Time to get out the running shoes

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

All work and no pay

Day in and day out you have been busting your balls, sacrificing those office cupcakes, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, substituting your usual double brandy for a Castle Lite, bypassing the sweets isle in the grocery store and even spending 3 hours a day on the treadmill.  Yet come month end, you sneak into the bathroom, peer over your shoulder and jump on the scale, and that hated little indicator hasn't moved a notch.

You putting in the time, you feel like you paying the price yet you not getting the results?  So you resort to the couch with a bag of cheese curls.  High five.  Now that's taking initiative.

Firstly you need to get into the gym, because driving past it doesn't count.  Also, talking about going to the gym is like being a beauty pageant and talking about world peace.  A little less talk and a lot more action is necessary.

If you are however religiously hitting the sweat shop, on a daily basis and still not getting results. You need to reassess your workouts.  Most gym revelers are all about quantity and not quality, people tend to go into auto pilot with the backing track of some recently downloaded idols favourite, and are to busy learning the lyrics then concentrating on doing what they came to do.

Keep it fresh, provide a stimulus because the body easily adapts.  Going from the bench press to the pec dec to the treadmill, day after day, at the same intensity, your body is going to adjust.  The body recognizes exercise as a form of stress and when we stress our body the right way for too long it adapts.

Plan each workout thoroughly. Focus on what you are doing and increase the quality, push your aerobic capacity and your strength, increase the intensity, the volume and the duration of each exercise.  Brace yourself and push your boundaries all the time, every time.

Inconsistency is another ball player on the field of result-less effort.  The weekend comes and all goes out the window.  Going to the gym and then to happy hour is about as effective as eating your morning cereal with a fork.  If you want to see changes and feel changes, you need to change the way you think.  If you are going to set yourself a goal, commit to it.

Another huge mistake people tend to make in their drive to reach their goals, is in that they 'klap' the gym so hard, 3 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yet still, no results. You are doing more damage than good. Pushing yourself to that extent just results in overtraining.  Overtraining breaks you down and makes you weaker.  It is during the rest and recover periods that you are getting stronger, it is in this time that regeneration occurs.

Too much training does not allow your body the period to restore.  Overtraining results in degeneration, fatigue, lowered performance, lowered resistance to illness, mood swings, consistent muscle pain, and the list goes on.

An important note to bare in mind is that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym.  Its 70% diet and 30% exercise that contributes to weight.  There are a million books on weight loss, hundreds of methods and most people unfortunately try and fail with each program, and each one goes up in smoke, and then they turn to the next one. 

What they don’t realize is that yo-yo dieting causes a ‘metabolic disaster’, when cycles of weight gain and weight loss are repeated over and over, their energy burning process decreases with weight loss as the body adapts to the lower energy intake, and then when they start eating energy rich foods again they gain more weight than before.

Every time the destructive yo-yo cycle is repeated, the body’s ability to burn fat decreases until you reach a point where weight loss theoretically becomes close to impossible. 

Following a healthy eating play combined with daily exercise is the only road to success, and not just for the next 2 months but for life.

Improve your lifestyle, make the necessary changes and follow the basic rules and you too will receive a satisfying pay check at the end of the month

Friday, 11 November 2011

The power of plyometrics

Do you ever sit and watch the guys from the NBA? I mean really watch the sportsmen, not the game? Besides the fact that these altitudinous men could easily trip over Tom Cruse and fall with their faces in another hemisphere, these guys can jump.

A sportsman's height or physique has little to do with their abilities to elevate themselves beyond their center of gravity.  Football players, MMA fighters, gymnasts, rugby players, these sportsmen all require explosive power for optimal performance. However even the weekend warrior, housewife or average gym junkie should include explosive training into their regimes.

Developing raw strength and rapid power increases your muscular endurance, efficiency, function and capacity. It improves your rate-of-force production, improves your performance, boosts metabolic rate, enhances your ability to burn calories and of course gives you samurai like characteristics to run raster, jump higher, throw further and punch harder.

Training for fast powerful movements is done through methods of plyometrics.  Plyo's involve using the resistance of gravity to elevate stored elastic energy in muscles during the eccentric (muscle lengthening) contraction.  Energy is then discharged during the concentric (muscle shortening) contraction which results in an explosive burst.  Therefor increasing the muscles performance.

In ninja terms your muscle is contracting before it is expanding.  These fast powerful movements improve the way your nervous system works and therefor enhances your functioning and efficiency.  However plyo training does require a pre-requisite of strength work.  Smashing out plyometric push ups (clap push ups) are going to be virtually impossible if you don't already have the core and upper body strength to handle a normal military push up.

Plyometric exercises load your muscles and then contracts them in a rapid sequence. Training your body to contend with the speed or force of the contractions takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day and assuming after 10 box jumps you are going to be able to crack out slam dunks like Michael Jordan, is just going to leave you face down on the floor, in your own sweat.

Include vertical jumps, over head throws, tuck jumps, slams, drop jumping, squat jumps, and plyo push ups into your drills and perform them in a smooth and integrated fashion as quick as possible with as little ground contact time as possible.

Soon enough you will jump like Jordan and bend it like Beckham.


Monday, 07 November 2011

Interview with Trent Murgatroyd

This weekend I managed to get a few minutes with the 'Murgatroyd' himself.  Trent is the regional representative of IKFF Africa and holds both his CKT and RKC in kettlebell training.  Trent hails from a prevalent background of martial arts, and has been lifting kettlebells for the last 8 years.  

Aside from being a self made superhero, Trent has worked with some of the top world ranked competitors in Boxing, Judo, Enduro, cycling and mountain biking.  His extensive knowledge and experience within the sporting world is truly humbling.

Trent is an inspiring teacher, a dedicated student and a coach that every aspiring trainer should take the time to work under.  His workout regimens are challenging, functional and fulfilling in every way.  He calls on your inner beast and lets it out to play whilst instilling discipline, development and personal motivation.

Here's what the Murgatroyd had to say.

Kettlebells are still very much an unknown quantity here in South Africa, as a true patriot, ambassador and athlete of ‘GS’ what are your views on the future of KB’s in our country and what would the ‘Murgatroyd’ have to say had he the chance to talk to the nation?

Awareness about Russian kettlebell training has grown significantly in South Africa, especially over the past few years. Just a decade or so ago, when one spoke of Kettlebell training, the standard response would be a confused “Huh?” … A descriptive explanation would then be necessary. Since then, however, there has been a noticeable growth in the awareness of kettlebell training – thanks primarily to Megan of Pace & Power.  She has, in all probability, single-handedly raised the awareness of this type of training to the general public in SA via her extensive database. And although kettlebell training is now a familiar concept, many “gym-rats” have yet to muster the courage to step outside of their set routines and experience a session with the bells. 

I am obviously delighted with this rapid growth and increased demand for kettlebell training, but many personal trainers have been “climbing on the bandwagon” by teaching kettlebells without having completed any internationally-recognised kettlebell certification. To make matters worse, many of the well-known Personal Training Schools are not certified to offer kettlebell courses! Many of their lecturers have not been properly trained to teach kettlebells. This is indeed a disturbing trend: Kettlebell training, as I am sure you are aware, is not a standard “gym” exercise routine where the risk of injury is relatively lower. The ballistic/ plyometric nature of Kettlebell training increases the risk of injury if the move is not executed correctly: And so, if your trainer is showing you incorrect technique, the risk getting injured rises exponentially.

That said, Kettlebells are an awesome training tool if used correctly – In fact, professional Kettlebell Sport (Girevoy Sport) has one of the LOWEST recorded injury rates when compared to almost any other professional sports in the world. This is because technique is taught systematically; athletes are progressed with caution and judiciousness. According to recorded history, Kettlebells have been around for at least 3 centuries – and so it makes sense for us latecomers to pay attention to hundreds of year’s experience that lies in this momentous Grandfather of physical conditioning. Steve Cotter, who is the head of the IKFF, has had the privilege of training with the best Russian kettlebell coaches worldwide and he shares his cutting-edge training technology as part of the CKT Certifications. The IKFF Certifications are, in essence, the "gold standard" of kettlebell certifications. And so, as head of IKFF Africa, (the International Kettlebell Fitness Federation), my message to South Africans is that if you’re considering training with kettlebells, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR KETTLEBELL INSTRUCTOR IS PROPERLY CERTIFIED through an INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED institution.

You have earned yourself much respect amongst local kettlebell revelers, as the ‘Murdertroyd’ and act as a mentor to myself and many others with your disciplined, challenging, and functional methods of laying down the law training wise.   What advice could you give to other aspiring lifters who strive to be effective and successful coaches?

To be a successful coach, one needs to understand the application of sound training principles as they apply to that unique individual: Periodisation and progression in relation to frequency, intensity, duration as well as the type of exercise selected for that particular athlete or individual. A key principle in kettlebell training is not allowing the participant to go too heavy too soon! Steve Cotter emphasises this careful and prudent approach!

Besides the above, to be a successful coach, mutual respect is imperative: The oldest person whom I have trained was my 90-year old grandmother. Great respect to her! In addition, I never ask my students to do anything that I, myself would not be prepared to do: I place value on earning respect, and respecting the folk with whom I train.

Lastly, and by no means least, to be an exceptional coach, one needs to stay “in the loop”. I personally re-certify with the head of the IKFF every year to stay ahead my game. I believe in sharing my knowledge generously – The passion and love I have for kettlebell training makes this a sheer delight and pleasure to do!

As a child of the seventies you have seen your fair share of training tools come and go over the years, how do you think these pieces of Russia differ and personally how have you seen yourself and your training styles grow through kettlebells?

Uhmmm... child of the sixties actually *blush* :-[
kettlebells to be, by far, the most effective for me. In the words of Steve Cotter, kettlebell training is a blend of strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, muscle endurance and core stability. In terms of athletic conditioning for various sports, Kettlebells are one of the most effective prepping tools: The entire body is loaded on every repetition, strengthening the core and various movement patterns, preparing the athlete’s body to withstand the demands of the sport. I have trained “ordinary” folk of all ages and fitness/strength levels, as well as top athletes, and with kettlebells, there is always a significant improvement in their performance!

Rumour has it John Buckley used the Murgatroyd as a tool to perform the ‘Windmill’, could you tell our readers what the deal was here?

When a VERY strong fella giant, weighing about 400 lbs/180 kgs (at the time), decides to do a 1-arm press - using you as the “kettlebell”, I thought it wouldn’t be terribly wise to decline. I was honoured to be lifted to such heights! John has since lost more than 100lbs/45 kgs and is now not only incredibly strong, he is fit and lean too. John also performed a 1-arm barbell snatch using a 60kg Olympic bar; as well as a double “bottoms-up” press using 2 x 32kg kettlebells. He is a really strong guy!

You are a remarkable teacher, yet also a student – where to next for you?

I think of myself more as a student than a teacher. When one ceases to learn, one ceases to evolve.  The kettlebell journey has taught me much! And with this journey, I have discovered my passion :-)
Next up? More fun with greater expansion! We have already embarked on a program to take kettlebells into the rest of Africa. It makes so much sense! Kettlebells are such a simple, yet effective training tool that can be used anywhere, anytime… and really, they should be available to everybody. It's not supposed to be an elitist sport. Africa has some incredible natural athleticism, but lacks good training tools and systems. A kettlebell is an affordable item - you don’t need 26 pieces of gym equipment to get full body conditioning: One kettlebell will suffice! I also believe that kettlebells can play a significant role in raising our standard in the international sports arena where we are currently lagging - such as rugby and soccer. We are told that the All-Blacks have been using kettlebells as part of their sports-conditioning for some time now. Given their results in the recent World Cup, that’s an exciting trend! 

The IKFF with its systematic approach has much to offer South Africa and Africa as a whole - It is truly an honour to be associated with them! 

Thanks for your time Trent, we look forward to having you back on local soil in the near future.

Thursday, 03 November 2011

I choose to sweat

I am not an addict to fitness, I am not obsessed and I am not an extremist. Yes, I push my body, I push my own limits, I break my own records, I challenge myself. I choose to feel alive rather than hungover. I choose to release my spirit rather than contain its potential.  Lazy is your choice, dedication is mine.

Why do I choose to sweat?

1) Nobody can understand a comfort zone quite like someone who distances themselves from it entirely. Spending an hour in the rain pushing iron to the elements, fighting fatigue, challenging your muscles potential and holding on when your body is begging for you to stop.  When that weight hits the ground, that moment the pain subsides, that feeling, that rush of blood to every muscle in your body.  That feeling of being completely alive.

2) Setting yourself a physical challenge, whether it be completing the comrades or finally smashing the 20 dead hang pull ups you have been working so hard to achieve. Achieving it.  That feeling of knowing that you have tried, tested and smashed it. The possibilities are endless.

3) Finally seeing how mental strength over powers physical strength tenfold.  Your body begs for mercy but your mind gives it horns. Believe me when you smashing out 12 minute planks, your fatigue sets in at 6 minutes, your body has given in by 8, the last 4 minutes were all mental.

4) I am not competitive, I do not care if you can jump higher, run faster or push heavier than I can.  I sweat because breaking my own records is the most rewarding and fulfilling conviction I have experienced

5) Being in the zone.  You can only really understand being in the zone when you in it.

I can be cliche and continue on about how fitness and strength will change your life forever, how it promotes longevity, how good it is for your heart, your blood pressure and preventing thousands of diseases.  But for me its more about how it changes the way you see and experience the world.

In French they say "Qui s'excuse s'accuse" He who excuses himself, accuses himself

I am not obsessed, I am dedicated

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What gravity defies...

I've always had a fascination for the human body and what it's capabilities are. The magic of being able to defy gravity and contradict what people assume is the impossible.  Just the word 'calisthenics' makes my hair stand on end.  As a little girl I would watch the Olympic gymnasts for hours and hope that one day I too would master my own body.

Meeting Dave Ozorio back in 2009 turned my simple fascination with body weight control into an absolute obsession.  He fed me the best reading material and educated me on the old school approach to real training, to learning how to curb your own weight first, prior to knocking on the weight lifting door.

Not only on the 'how to' but also on how your body benefits from calisthenics. Where your chassis can take you and how being an apprentice of your physique will change the way you see and experience the world.

Since then my training methodologies have revolved around using body weight training to strengthen your core, develop power and build maximum raw muscle. When I was introduced to the kettlebell, my world took another 360, combining this humble strength tool with my calisthenic training took my body to new levels.

The word 'functional' is being thrown around today's fitness communities like a cheap hooker on new year.  Functional to my understanding is practicality and body weight training is practical.  Learning to move your own weight around without an external force is a feat of strength.

Defying gravity is tough, its challenging and not a single movement is easy and that is why its the real trial. Its demanding, daring and just plain hardcore.  Where I view the body as an integrated whole, and not as a collection of parts. I train my body to work in synergy for every day life, for practicality, and for my own mental well being.  I will confront and brave the forces, I will master my own body, I will demolish the series of one arm moves, I will conquer the bar and I will achieve the finesse of calisthenics.


"Because it's a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable" - Socrates

Thursday, 20 October 2011

People vs Profit

Money talks and debris walks. That's the bottom line.

This week I was overpowered by an array of mixed emotions. The contributing factor: money hungry, consumer driven, commercial industries of today. Frustration and outrage for the audacity of 'professionals', annoyance for the lack of conduct and passion for the people.  That sums up my current 'state of mind', my current emotion.

I very nearly lost a potential client this week due to a large corporations conduct tarnishing my profession.  It is not the first time I have been confronted by a maltreated and previously injured individual, who unfortunately was a victim of this companies lack of education.

The most important people in my life are the people that I train.  For one hour every day they commit to me, they put their hope in my hands and their trust in my methodologies.  It is an honor to hold the belief in people and a humbling experience to possess their faith.

Unfortunately most commercial businesses don't see clients they see dollar bills. They don't see people, they see profit.  Kettlebells are a fast growing industry in our country, and many people are beginning to see and understand the nature of our sport.

To the grey man in the street their is something special about our way of life and our unique ability to carefully defy gravity.  For those of us who are 'trained professionals' we invest our money and our time, no matter what the cost, to ensure we get the best teaching experience from the best organizations in the world, to ensure the best possible experience for our clients.

Internationally the only organizations that certify trainers are either the IKFF with Steve Cotter, the RKC with Pavel Tsatsouline or the WKC with Valery Federenko or locally, Kettlebells SA with Trent Murgatroyd, Sean Temple or Megan Jaffray (IKFF Africa).  

However, local facilities are quickly jumping on the band wagon, offering one day workshops to their 'trainers' and promising their members extreme and safe classes in kettlebells.  Raking in the big bucks! If your trainer has not been accredited by the IKFF, RKC or WKC - then they are not certified. Period.

Write that down!

Unfortunately members of these clubs are not aware of this, and are being injured and incorrectly trained in the art and technique of kettlebells, on a daily basis by 'unqualified' teaching staff.  We as ambassadors to our sport take this very seriously, as it is affecting our profession negatively.  Many commercial clubs are not willing to financially commit to the expense of these courses, and are unfortunately placing profit before people.

We take care in each one of our clients, and their needs, and have our nation’s best interests at heart.  If kettlebell technique is not correctly followed they will cause long term injury to the user.  These dissenting connotations surrounding kettlebells brought upon by unqualified trainers are negatively impacting our profession.

Surgery is best done by surgeons.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


People are bound by impossibilities, limits, apprehensions and worst of all, doubt. Why does the human being limit themselves to average? Why are we so quick to accept mediocre?  Why do we subject ourselves to just, ok?

Not only do we settle for less but we endure and tolerate it.  Every year 90% of the worlds population starts off with a set of goals, resolutions, and the heart to persevere. Yet we quickly forget and continue to follow our habitual lives.

Why is it so prevalent in our society to see a target and then give up on it, without even acknowledging the limits we place on ourselves? Why is it that one person can accomplish what would be perceived as the impossible and others can disregard their hope so easily?

No matter how distant your goal may seem to others, do not let them deter you, do not allow someone else's pessimism and opposing attitude effect your belief in yourself. Nothing is impossible, the only person in the way of achieving your goals, is you.

Everyday I set new personal records, everyday I persevere. The more unthinkable the challenge the more it drives me to succeed at it.  I am only just starting to crawl strength wise, I am only just beginning to see results. Everyday my size, build and frame lights a flame of doubt in the minds of those around me, that flame sparks a burning desire to prove them wrong.  I am capable, I am unstoppable, unbreakable, determined and immovable.

Do not be affected by the world around you, strive to effect the world.

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it.  Impossible is not a fact.  It's an opinion.  Impossible is not a declaration.  It's a dare.  Impossible is temporary.  Impossible is nothing"

- Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, 05 October 2011

Whats your excuse?

Smack is cheap, talk is cheaper.  Should have, could have, would have. If this and if that doesn't cut it in my books.  The masses want to be 'in shape', lose 20kg, be built like Jay Cutler but nobody is willing to work for it.  Nobody wants to act, nobody wants to take charge, nobody commits.

Who are the ones who act?  They are the ones who show up, they put in the hours, they commit, they take charge, they find their inspiration, they self select, they do it again!  They put in the work, because 'right now' works.  Not tomorrow, not on Monday, not when the rain stops, not next week. Right now.  This is how you get results.  You commit.

I've heard every excuse in the book, the human is a creature of habit we get used to the things that are bad for us.  Wake up, stand up and challenge your body and your mind.  We, as a species are master of excuses, but champions don't make excuses, that's why they are champions, that's why they are 'in shape'

I'm tired of excuses, double standards, issues, illusions and limits.  There are no limits to how far you can go.

Its raining, its cold, its hot, I cant find my big boy pants.
Man up and take charge, your excuses are limiting only you, nobody else.  Nobody cares about where you want to be if you not willing to commit to getting there.

I've been working late, I have three jobs, a new born puppy and some one covered the dogs kennel in pancakes.
If you have time to sit and watch the Idols finale, time to sit and complain to your co-workers about how little time you have and time to stop at the McDonalds drive through for your super size MacMeal - you have time to squat.

I'm too tired, I have insomnia, the neighbours dog kept we awake.
If you committed to exercise in the first place you would sleep better, if you pushed your boundaries in your training, if you challenged yourself and if you committed, an atomic bomb wouldn't wake you.  Exercise shifts your body clock to get your circadian rhythms back on track.

17 years ago when I was in high school I hurt my knee, my shoulder, my back, my attitude and I'm most comfortable on the couch eating doughnuts.
If you never going to attempt to rehabilitate old injuries, or try to improve your performance levels through challenges or keep blaming old injuries for your big ass then you deserve to be on the couch, on your own, in the dark while the rest of us stand by and watch Natalie Du Toit win more gold medals.

I cant afford the gym membership, the classes and the Nike trainers
But you can afford DSTV, the new I-phone and the daily trips to the pie shop.  Exercise costs nothing, motivation is free, I promise you 20 push ups, 50 squats and a couple burpees will only burn your fat not your pocket.

Stop saying you cant.  You can. You just choose not to

Monday, 03 October 2011

Taking a bag of sand to the beach??

There is nothing more taxing than moving home.  Mentally and physically it is a venture best avoided.

Yesterday I had the final task of having to move the crowning item.  The stove.

I decided to leave this offending article to the very last day, now that the removal van has long gone along with  its army of men.  Not only did I leave the stove for myself to cart around but I chose to handle the eviction during a torrential downfall.

Due to the gale force winds and rainy conditions the lift in my complex had been shut down. Which required me to walk up 275 000 stairs, collect my 85kg stove and venture back down, in the rain, with my stove.  Awesome.

Talk about a functional workout.  Now if I had spent my life between the treadmill, pec dec, ab crunch machine, and other arbitrary scientifically engineered machinery, found littering out gyms, this task would have been a major struggle for me, having a payload of but only 50kg.  BUT I would have, an awesome rack of abs, pumped biceps and some notable quads.

However my training methodologies allow my workouts to transpire into active every day living. 'Operation stove drop' was a great success and I handled the removal like a superhero.

My posterior chain has been trained and built to make me harder, faster, better and stronger.  275 000 steps and a kitchen appliance felt like a light warm up in comparison to what my body endures during a functional workout.

Gym junkies all over the world spend their days slaving away attempting to operate heavy machinery, under the false impression that these gizmos are building actual strength, when they are in fact just building size.  Spending an hour tackling the leg press, lat pull down machine and 'klapping' the gym like an addict is as painful and as pointless as taking a bag of sand to the beach.

Sorry guys, size does not matter.  Strength matters.

If you are going to commit yourself to perfecting your physique, get the real deal or your ego is going to write cheques that your body cant cash.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


One mad hour of constant steel throwing with Flux Motion.  Raising funds for the Clarke Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.  Epic day on the beach front!

Snatch That

A painful yet exhilarating snatch session with a 12kg, 14kg and 16kg - Sean knows how to lay it on thick!

Choose Life

It seems with summer around the corner, the smell of flowering Jacaranda trees and the sudden bikini boom in stores, people are in a frantic rush to get healthy and in shape.  For some reason winter doesn't call for good well-being and spending the cold days in doors eating Mcdonalds cheeseburgers is perfectly fine.

So let your bodies go, because when spring comes we can find a 'quick fix' or purchase some detox pills over the counter and A for Away.  I choose Life.

Detoxing was invented by a bunch of uneducated doctors who couldn't be bothered to explain the true meaning of health and longevity, to anyone who was willing to listen.  Detoxing is based on 'junk science' rather than a true understanding of how the body works, and is painfully giving people a false sense of security.

Detox advocates say that the body is under constant violation from toxins and needs to be flushed - here have a prescription for our 'super pill' and follow this diet of a glass of sunflower oil and and an olive pip every 2 hours. Great success.  The science behind this is flawed, honestly.  I am no doctor but taking biology in high school taught me that the body already has these systems in place.  You may know these organs well - the kidney, the liver the gastrointestinal tract?

The liver, this magic little organ, changes the chemical structure of foreign components so they can be filtered out the blood.  That's what its there for.  If you however choose to contaminate your body with processed foods, fuel injected meats and Mcdonalds chicken nuggets well then you haven't chosen LIFE to start with, you've chosen MEDIOCRE.

Wellness clinics and spa's all over the world are inviting people to spend thousands of Rands to starve themselves in exotic locations.  Please.  Pay more attention to your body and you wouldn't have to. If you want your body to perform optimally and you want to look amazing for the summer - choose life!

For those who disagree with me entirely and choose average, you may find this diet helpful:



  • Breakfast:      A cup of weak tea                                
  •  Lunch:          Prune pip, suck for ten seconds                                 
  •  Supper:        One leg of mossie (baked in the oven), 3ml prune juice – gargle with this


  • Breakfast:     Baked crumbs from one slice of burnt toast
  • Lunch:          One Doughnut hole without sugar
  • Supper:         Read a recipe for roast turkey – That’s all! You may only read it!


  • Breakfast:     One dove egg boiled
  • Lunch:          Six Papaya seeds (peeled)
  • Supper:         Praying Mantis knees and mosquito knuckles marinated in vinegar


  • Breakfast:      Ten tomato pips
  • Lunch:            Fresh orange peel (one)
  • Supper:          Three potato eyes, cut into blocks


  • Breakfast:      Two crayfish feelers – suck only
  • Lunch:           One gold fish – lightly fried
  • Supper:         Soup made stock from a jelly fish bone


  • Breakfast:     Four chopped banana pips
  • Lunch:          One cooked butterfly liver
  • Supper:        One Roasted leg of small insect (half a portion)


  • Breakfast:     Preserved tongue of sugar bird
  • Lunch:          Prime rib of one tadpole
  • Supper:        Roasted leg of grasshopper


 Start to arrange funeral

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Out of sight, out of mind

I recently spent ten days in my home town, and as this town is built around a platinum mine, numerous panel beaters and a factory that churns out "big tuffs guys" I thought I would take the time off to scope out what the fitness scene is like, and what the local boys and girls do to make things happen physically.

Turns out even when you live 800km from the beach, the beach is still the biggest motivator for the weekend warrior.  Most importantly, that you have a set of abs that will ricochet the sun light and blind a blond passer buyer.  Abs.  It's amazing how people perceive a good rack of abdominals.  You can have the legs of a praying mantis yet if that 'six pack' is starring on Broadway all else can fail.

Personally, I'm a bum and backs girl - you can tell a lot about a persons abilities by the appearance of their back. A good back that enhances the V-taper is a sheer sign of actual physical strength, good posture, and great mobility.   There is also the insignificant reason for checking out ones back - team steroid - the clusters of acne that develop across the back region are like sign boards for identifying the weak.

Believe me this 'mate' may appear to be big and strong but they are actually just a pair of wet panties.

Many warriors have confirmed the abdominals as a must have.  When I question their training techniques and methods for developing their backs and posterior chain, I'm confronted with "You cant see it, so whats the point", yes, that's right, out of sight, out of mind.

Training the back muscles are overlooked today, but the back plays such an important role in life. Not only for the obvious reasons of improved sports performance, strength, power, core stability and athleticism but because the back muscles play such a vital role in all compound lifts.  You are never going to reach your lifting potential with a weak back, you are not going to bust out high repetition pull ups, deadlifts or cleans without a strong posterior chain.  Your posterior chain is your power zone.

Developing your back, makes you more physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium and stability for life, not just for your workouts.  The back and core are your bodies center of strength.  Strong posterior chains improve balance, physical performance and help avoid any unwanted back injuries.

Train your back, its the area that gives you that edge, that GO. Your back muscles facilitate all your pulling movements, and I promise you, that will include your 'chic pulling' too.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Interview with Sean Temple

So I got a few minutes with the Temple himself on his thoughts, his training and his methodologies.  Sean draws from an extensive background of sport, conditioning and strength training where kettlebells feature dominantly.

What I love about Sean's approach to training styles is that he continues to research and implement his studies.  He never assumes to know it all and is always willing and open to new things and to be taught.  I personally think his humility is his greatest attribute.

In life when that point comes when you think you know everything or that their is only one way, then you fail as a trainer.

Here's what the Temple had to say:

To the grey man in the street, your profession is based on fitness, conditioning & strength development using kettlebells as a tool for achieving results.  If you could describe the true essence of Flux, what would you say to emphasize the reality behind the sport and what Flux promotes?
Flux is a philosophy borne out of years of my own experience and learning, mixed with the research and coaching, I have received from all corners of the globe. USA, Russia, Australia and obviously South Africa. Flux is about what makes the weekend warrior to international athlete get the most out of what they need for their training goals.  Russian kettlebells, and thus Flux, training is a complete mind and body philosophy - you will never work as hard or be more gratified with the results you get as a person and your goal setting.  We work hard here and there are no excuses for that.  What we do know is that Flux works.

You have inspired me to be a better teacher and a better student, what is the greatest advice you could give to an aspiring superhero?
Well as you well know, you wouldn't have made the achievements you have without a burning passion and desire to improve who you are.  That's the great thing about Russian kettlebell training, if you embrace it, is the immense changes you will see in yourself.  Belief and will to learn.  This sport has so many intricacies and techniques that you never stop learning. So keep learning and just enjoy the ride or should it be the swing?

On a daily basis you work with people from beginners to athletes to weekend warriors, what inspires you the most working with such a diverse group of people?
I love people, but more to the point, I love passionate people who really want to make a difference.  Positive people attract a positive energy and Flux has that in leaps and bounds. The fact that I can help make people achieve what they want as well as achieve a positive vibe, that's what makes me love working with all manners of people.

If you had the opportunity to broadcast one message in 5 words to our nation, a nation that is passionate about sport, what would it be?

As we know each other on a personal basis, I know that you are a strong believer in functional training methods.  How do you feel about today's forms of training against what they used to be, and how have you integrated old school methods into your teachings?
I really think that there are, too many to count, gyms that use the term functional training too loosely.  I believe that what we were doing with which body part a thousand years ago is what we should be using today.  If you do body building then obviously do that training.  If however you do everything else, there is NO excuse for creating a powerful posterior chain, back and quads.  We also tend to neglect our mobility and flexibility.  We forget that the most powerful part of our body is the mind.  Work that regularly and the rest follows.  Today there are too many excuses being made.  I love this clip so much!!!

You are a soon to be 'Dad', I'm sure the anticipation and excitement is overwhelming.  What is the greatest advice you can give to parents regarding fitness and strength development in their children?
I am so excited to bring such a gift into the world.  My advice is start early! You be the example.  Have fun doing it, build that lasting and genuine relationship with your child.  At the end of the day our bodies have not changed in thousands of years, which means the body wasn't designed for TV or gaming! That's an added perk! So get outdoors, have fun and laugh while doing it! Give your child the best chance they deserve.

Thanks for your time Sean - keep inspiring the uninspired!!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

In my shoes

Jenni Button, Jimmy Choo, Foi Gras and Dom Perignon were the order of the day. London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Dusseldorf, from skyscrapers to Ferrari drivers tents to the final Led Zeppelin shin dig with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Ozzy Osborne, Kate Moss and the Prince of Arabia.  Some like to think that the Hotel game is a glamorous one.

I walked away from this a few years ago after a hellish 10 years of brutal onslaught.  It is not alluring or sophisticated to say the least.  It thieves your every last breath, and cheats your soul.  This game pirated my passion and left me empty.  Smiles were reserved for guests only.

However I look back at it with fond memories.  The industry built an inner strength of cohesion and backbone in me that cannot be compared to anything I've ever experienced.

Growing up in a hotel, in a predominantly male orientated mob, amplified my passion for sport, from football to formula 1, my greatest passions.  I chose after years of searching to enter an industry that awakens your every sense, through excitement, progress and physical development.  The world of sport, fitness, bio mechanics and kinesiology.

Starting a new game in your late twenties is never easy.  Do not pass begin, do not collect R200.  When you are a female, weighing in at 50kg with a frame of a pixie, you are not taken very seriously by aspiring sportsmen, weight lifters and athletic competitors.  However I continue to persevere.

I owe my passion for old school methodologies to Dave Ozorio who took me under his wing 2 years ago, after a long struggle to find a good teacher in the world of fitness and strength.

Dave pushed my boundaries, and salted my taste for true bulletproof practice.  He educated me on the early techniques that outweigh modern machinery tenfold.  Dave inspired my love for the kettlebell and the sport that goes with it.

With the passion for the kettlebell came the introduction of the Temple.  Since meeting Sean Temple of Flux Motion and being exposed to his training styles, his teachings and his enthusiasm for the ancient sport of girevoy. I have develop a burning desire for ultimate conditioning.  Sean awoke an inner temptress in me.  My physical and mental progression has evolved from school girl to aspiring professor overnight.

Sean has encouraged, supported and motivated me every step of the way.  His personal approach and inspiring strength has engineered a machine in me.  Physically, in my 6 months with Sean I have developed a power I never thought I would achieve and it is only just the beginning.

As for his teachings, I aspire to demonstrate his level of discipline and encouragement to my students one day.

Only two years into the world of conditioning and strength, I am only just starting to crawl, I look forward to many years of learning, growing and teaching those who aspire to find their inner perfections.  To passing on the true methodologies of fitness and functionality.

Come ride with me.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011

A rush of blood to the head

As an adrenalin junkie I spent most of my twenties diving headfirst out of high flying objects, throwing myself off bridges and plummeting down the side of skyscrapers. The majority of my 'leisure' time was spent being upside down.

Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and most recently Amy Winehouse, should have considered spending more of their lives inverted, and a little less 'bottoms up'. Being upside down is nothing but good for you. At 27 years old and looking at the current global status of people with more than a few screws loose, I am alive.   

Which brings me to the topic at hand, why does no one teach the handstand push up?  This is the most natural shoulder exercise, and benefits the mind and body enormously.  Your blood supply is reversed which means your veins and arteries are working against gravity, forcing them to become stronger.  A rush of fresh blood to the head, that's absolute tonic for the mind and brain.  

Handstand push ups develop incredibly powerful shoulders, why are we wasting time on the shoulder press at the local sweat shop? There is no excuse not to do this exercise, it requires no equipment, heavy machinery or any space at all, you can perform this exercise inside your closet if you must.

It works your upper body pressing muscles, developing strength Conan would be jealous of. When in this pose your body instinctively positions itself in a position healthiest to the shoulders, and raising your feet above your body transfers body weight through your hands in a concentrated way.  A handstand push up is the equivalent of shoulder pressing your body weight, many athletes cant even accomplish that.  It can take you years and many deep heat rubs to get to this level of strength with a barbell, but handstand push ups can get you there in a few months.

Not only do they develop absurdly strong muscular shoulders but they teach total body control, and kinesthetic awareness in all your other training movements.  Strength, stamina, power, agility and health all in one exercise.

Today's gyms are placing orders for bosu balls, balance boards and other trivial pieces of balloon, because of the supposed benefits of balance, stability and core conditioning they administer.  I remember reading about the Roman gladiators, preparing for battle, strengthening their cores with a bosu ball.  Handstand push ups offer you all that, plus total body coordination and muscle control.

Being upside down also causes the balance organ in your ear (vestibular system) to adapt to the motions and become increasingly more efficient for your everyday life.  This form of upper body training heightens and strengthens every single muscle in your upper body all at the same time and improves your upper body resistance exercises.  

Strength is not something that you find under a Christmas tree in a box, or on a shelf in your local Glomail store.  Strength is a skill - practice it often if you want to improve it.

Monday, 05 September 2011

In the presence of a master

I feel like I have just seen a trailer to the new rendition of 'Terminator' or 'Blood Sport', except, I featured in it and the leading actor didn't have a stunt double, and actually has real life melon sized joints, an iron body casing and the knowledge of an encyclopedia of kinesiology.

This is - Steve Cotter, being in the presence of a kettlebell great is overwhelming to say the least.  You cant not be in awe of his existence, or not watch his every move with sheer exuberance. Steve Cotter is the director of the IKFF (International kettlebell and fitness federation) he is not your typical 'trainer' he teaches integrity, he pushes boundaries and he researches human physical performance.  A teacher yet also a student.  An elite coach who presents new knowledge and integrates it into his coaching.

My colleagues and I made the great trek up north for a weekend with the kettlebell guru himself.  Prior to signing up for the certification we spent many a long hour training in preparation for two days of blood, sweat and tears.  We put in countless hours, intense effort and buckets of carbs and protein to ensure we were ready for what awaited us.

You never really know what to expect, all you know, is the fear that slowly grows inside of you. Sean Temple of Flux put us through the motions, as he does.  He drilled us, he perfected our techniques, he turned our weaknesses into strengths and mentally placed us in Steve's presence weeks before he had even arrived.

When the time came to finally start the CKT we where greeted with "The following 2 days will consist of fitness tests, technique specializations, coaching proficiency, performance, procedures and..... you are going to die, I am going to kill you"  I have never seen a room of colour turn so white so quickly.  We put Table Mountains infamous table cloth to shame.

Steve took classic kettlebell moves and broke them down individually, refining them and perfecting them in each one of us.  Built up our confidence, perfected our techniques and coached us on the science of movement and its energy systems.  Kettlebells are not just tools for strength and conditioning but an art that requires precision, accuracy, definition and purity.

We concentrated on each movement independently, we studied it, we understood it and we trained like it was the last thing we would do on earth. Each movement was accompanied by set after set, of intense drills, promoting strength, agility, endurance, flexibility and stability. We sweat, we ached, we shed skin but we learnt and we excelled.

You cannot help absorbing Steve's every last word, mimicking his every move.  He is a highly inspirational and versatile coach.  The passion he exposes is contagious. Each and every one of us walked away from this weekend with a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. We trained hard and were individually molded into aspiring athletes by his teachings.

The weekend was exhilarating, we discovered new strengths and new weaknesses.  We have formed new goals and aspirations and we stood together strong, we drove each other. The motivation amongst our team alone sets off fires miles away.  Our hard work, dedication and devotion of the 'Temple' earned us Steve Cotter's closing statement:

"This is the strongest CKT team I have worked with"

Well done to everyone at Flux and Kettlebells SA, each of you inspire me more everyday

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Synergy's Weekly Scoop

Kettlebell Guru and Director of IKFF Arrives in South Africa

The world renowned strength and conditioning coach, martial artist, world class athlete and kettlebell guru arrives on South African shores - TODAY!  Steve Cotter is one of thee most talented trainers of our century and we as South Africans are honoured to have him share his expertise with us. 
Steve began his physical training at the ripe young age of 12 with the Hsing-I ch’uan Chinese martial arts system and went on to conquer the world!! Today Steve shares his craft and finesse with the fitness industry and educates trainers worldwide on the techniques and systems of correct performance, all the while blowing us away with his precision, athleticism and raw strength.

Up and Coming CKT and Master Classes

An opportunity not to be missed by aspiring trainers and kettlebell lifters.  Steve Cotter will be hosting master classes throughout the country:

1st September:     Take Down Gym - Cape Town
2nd September:    Kettlebells SA - Johannesburg (Fighters only)
3rd September:     Kettlebells SA - Johannesburg
8th September:     Flux - Umhlanga
9th September:     Flux - Umhlanga
10th September:   Kettlebells SA - Johannesburg

For the fitness junkies out there who wish to join the exciting world of kettlebell lifting, it's imperative that you find yourself a qualified coach, to ensure that you get the best results, perform with perfection, avoid painful physical injuries and enjoy this world class sport to the max. Go to www.kettlebells.za.net for more information.

Trainers, it's time for us to stand together, improve our knowledge, expand our horizons and reach for the stars.  CKT kicks off this weekend 3rd September at Kettlebells SA in Johannesburg.  I look forward to getting faster, better and stronger with you all.  For more info on this weekends kettlebell certification go to www.ikff.net

To book your places in the upcoming events, please contact sean@fluxmotion.net or trent@kettlebells.za.net 

Commit to be Fit - Summer is around the corner

It's that time of year again where the sun beats down on the beach, the ice cream vendor get his Christmas bonus and the sales of pina coladas sky rocket.  Its never too late to get that body in shape. 

Put down the cereal box promising you to drop 2 sizes, turn off the TV and step away from the computer and pull yourself together. Pick up a kettlebell and start putting in the hard work, your body will reap the summer benefits of old school training. There are no excuses to not being in perfect shape, having a healthy heart and owning the strength of a brown bear. Commit yourself to fitness, health and longevity.