Friday, September 24, 2010


I am proud to announce that I will be instructing group kettlebell classes at 5 Points Academy. The class will be weekly on Mondays at 7pm. I cannot express how honored I am to be teaching at 5 Points. I truly love the place. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The RKC lives up to it's reputation as being both mentally and physically demanding. You will push yourself and come out better for it. If you love kettlebells, do it. You won't regret it. 

Here's some of my advice. 
1. Train hard. Find a local RKC or an HKC and take a class or ask for advice. I was fortunate enought to have Steve Milles, Emily Bearden and Gavin Van Vlack help me out. Work on technique. 

2. Focus on form and technique. At the same time, ease your way up to heavier kettlebells and double bell work. The 24kg doesn't feel so bad (at least during day 1) when you've been working with 32kgs and up.

3. Take care of your hands. Condition your hands and maintain your callouses. I tore my left hand in 2 spots during the Snatch Test. I didn't feel it during the test but I sure as hell felt it the rest of the weekend.

4. It is not all about the Snatch Test. Work on your VO2 Max training, breathing ladders and hi rep work.  This will pay off greatly throughout the 3 days. 

5. Listen to your Team Leaders. I was getting great advice left and right.

6. Drink and eat when you can. The breaks are short. 3 days of intense training takes a toll on the body. Keep feeding the machine. 

7. Pick a good partner. You can tell fairly quickly who is prepared and who didn't take it too seriously. 

8. Read the Snatch Test rules thoroughly. I was shocked that people didn't know you were not allowed to tape or wear gloves for it. 

9. If your hands tear, TAPE THEM and WEAR GLOVES or socks sleeves. Dealing with my torn left hand was the hardest part. It would take 10 or so swings before the pain would go away.

10. Drop weight if your form is failing. There is no shame in going lighter. Talk to your Team Leader and ask them if you can drop. You are learning how to be a good Instructor. You would not force a client to continue to use a weight they can no longer manage. Also keep in mind that this a 3 day marathon and not a sprint. 

11. Don't be late for line up. Everyone suffers for it. Nothing like doing 1/4 mile farmers walks (twice) with a 24kg because someone wasn't paying attention. 

The RKC is not for everyone. Take it seriously. Enjoy it. I loved it. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I've been a skateboarder for over 25 years. I also lifted weights through college. Skating and lifting kept me pretty ripped and lean. I gradually started gaining weight with every year that I was in the workforce. Like most people, I couldn't find the time to go to the gym. I still skated and thought that was enough. I blew my right shoulder out in 2006. It was a painful and frustrating time. I couldn't skate for what seemed like an eternity. I transferred all of that energy into my physical therapy and was able to start skating again 6 months later. The shoulder started hurting less and I, like most, slacked off on the exercising. My average weight was around 230 pounds.

My daughter was born in 2007. She was almost 10 pounds at birth and grew quickly. By the time she was 6 months old, my bad shoulder and my back would hurt while carrying her. She was the motivation I needed. I had to make the time. I had to do the work. I had to be healthy and strong for her. I started going to the gym at 5:30am, 3-5 days a week. I also started to run and within 7 months I was running about 20 miles a week. The weight started to come off but to be honest, the biggest reward was how I felt. There is a simplicity in exercise. It doesn't lie. A mile is a mile. A pound is a pound. The key is to set a goal. Beat it. Then set a new goal and beat that one. That's what builds the confidence. That's what people will see in you before they notice the weight you lost or the definition in your arms. 

I blew my knee out December 30, 2008 at the same skatepark that did my shoulder in.  It was a serious injury and I headed under the knife again. My recovery was much easier because I was already in shape. That's the key. Fitness is not only about weight loss or appearance. It's about injury prevention, recovery and longevity.  I was forced to give up running at the amount I used to. In searching for alternate forms of cardio and weight training, I found two things that changed my life. Muay Thai and kettlebells.  I was cleared to start "taking it easy" in kickboxing by my surgeon. My school, 5 Points Academy, had kettlebell classes and a gym full of non-traditional training gear. I was immediately hooked. Through kettlebells, I began looking into other forms of functional fitness, strength and conditioning. That's where I found TRX Suspension Training. 

I am now a certified Instructor in both kettlebells and TRX Suspension training. I'm also continuing to add more skills to my arsenal. Now I'm hoping to share what I have learned with others. My daughter was my reason. What's yours?