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.