Friday, December 30, 2011


At this point last year, I was baking playsand in the oven to dry it out. I could only get about eighteen pounds in at a time.There was approximately five hundered pounds of sand to dry. It's normally no problem to find dry sand at a Home Depot or Lowes. That was not the case last December. Every bag of playsand was damp and New York City was getting a ton of snow. Drying the sand outside was not an option. It was a nightmare, but I was on a mission. I had proposed and developed the first dedicated Ulitmate Sandbag class at Five Points Academy (and anywhere else for tthat matter). I had a start date of January 9, 2011 and six brand new Ultimate Sandbags waiting to be filled. This was my baby. Labor was going to be difficult. 

Steve "Coach Fury" Holiner, DVRT 2, RKC II, CICS and Coach Lance Turnbow, DVRT 2, HKC

My friend and mentor Gavin Van Vlack first introduced me to sandbag training about 6 months earlier. Gavin saw the fitness boner I had for kettlebells and knew that I would fall equally in love with sandbags. The man was right. I ordered a couple of bags a week later and started to intergrate sandbag movements into my training. I fell so hard for the bags that I almost went to Arizona for a L.I.F.T. Certification instead of going for my RKC. Those that know me, know that being an RKC means the world to me. The decision wasn't going to be easy. Fortunately, I got word of a L.I.F.T. certification workshop coming to NYC during my birthday weekend in 2010. It was perfect. I was able to do the RKC and then do the L.I.F.T. certification exactly one month later.

After completing my RKC, I began to focus soley on sandbag training leading to the L.I.F.T. cert. I noticed that some Five Points members were watching with some confusion and awe at what I was doing. Around the worlds, snatches and anything done within a TRX suspended lunge will draw attention. People started asking about it. 

Josh Henkin is the brains and brawn behind Ulitmate Sandbag training. He's ridiculously strong, knowledgable and an overall nice guy. At the workshop, I had the opportunity to meet and train with Josh and his amazing team. I hold Josh, Troy Anderson, Cem Eren and Jim Caiafa in the highest regard. What too many people don't realize about L.I.F.T. (now D.V.R.T.) was that it was much more than a "sandbag" certification. It's about safe and effective progressions in strength training. It's about building a person up in intelligent stages and adding progression when appropriate. These concepts apply to any implement. That said, sandbags are an awesome tool to have in your toolbox.

I got certified, got back to the gym and kept training with the bags. Enough people had started to show interest that I pitched the idea of a sandbag only class to another mentor, my boss and role model, Arjan Steve Milles. His response was immediate. Get the costs and we'll make it happen. And we did. I didn't expect a huge turnout so I hedged my bets and only ordered only six bags in addition to the three that I already owned. Twenty plus people came to the first two classes. We needed more bags and I needed to rethink how I was going to program the class. This was a critical and important time for me and the program. I wanted it to be popular, but I also wanted it to be smart, controlled, effective and safe. Class size limits were put into place and the entire program was redesigned. This is when the Ulitmate Sandbag class hit it's stride. More bags were ordered. Thankfully, I was able to buy dry sand. 

We found our niche within the Five Points crew. It is the type of training that just clicks with people. Interestingly enough, there is no set demographic for it. Members of all ages, genders and backgrounds became Tusken Raiders (Sandpeople - don't sue me George). There is nothing quite like the feel of shifting sand and the changing dynamic of the bag with each rep. The rotational lifting movements help eliminate weak links and have a direct positive effect on martial arts (Five Points is primarily known for Muay Thai, Kali, Judo and Jiu Jitsu).

It was a great year for sandbag training at Five Points. I had the privilege of being interviewed by Josh for his blog. I was also asked to speak at the next L.I.F.T. certification held in NY. My good friend, Coach Lance Turnbow became certified as well. We added two more classes classes in May. Lance also started an Ultimate Sandbag and kettlebell class in September, bringing our sandbag class total to 4 per week. We have a total of fourteen sandbags now (not counting my own). 

As the program hits it's anniversary next week, Ultimate Sandbag training has become a staple at Five Points Academy. It is used for strength, conditioning and corrective exercises within the class and with personal training clients. The sandbag crew continues to get stronger and move better. My baby is growing up and I'm extrememly proud of it. I can't wait to watch it develop over the next year. Come on down to Five Points and take a trial class if you're interested.

I want to thank everyone at Five Points that's tried and supported the class. A special thanks goes out to the regular Ultimate Sandbag/Bags and Bells crew, Lance Turnbow and Gavin Van Vlack. Thanks to Josh Henkin and Jessica Bento for their help and support. Finally, thanks to Steve Milles for giving me the shot and his continuing support of all things Fury. 

-Steve "Coach Fury" Holiner

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Here's what's going on in the world of Fury.

-I was happy to help Jano Iriarte Leon record and pass is RKC snatch test. I look forward to hearing the official pass. Nice work Comrade. 

-Within four months, Lisa has gone from some movement issues and only feeling comfortable with the plastic 10lb kettlebell (aka: the Fisher Price bell) to deadlifting the Beast for reps and swinging the 12kg with authority. Proof that if you learn to move correctly, strength will follow. 

-Adrienne is getting her pull-ups for singles, pressing double 12kgs and well on her way to a double bodyweight deadlift. 
-Virna is regaining her strength weekly and close to getting back to where we left off. If you only knew. I'm so proud of her. 

-All I can say about Andy is that he absolutely killing it. He's breaking plateaus in every category. 

-If you know Mark, you've seen the change. Thinner and stronger by the week. You want results? Follow his example. Drive and commitment.

-Eight months ago, Ben suffered a serious back injury while deadlifting. He thought he would never lift again. About three months ago, we started deadlifting with an elevated 12kg  kettlebell. He's now deadlifting 195lbs, clean & pressing the 24kg and swinging the 16kg. His back has never felt better. 

-You may have seen the video in a previous post, but I took my first crack at Beast Taming in training recently. That's a clean & press, a pistol squat and a pull-up with the 48kg kettlebell. I got through 2 sets of each. Master RKC, Brett Jones and RKC Team Leader, Andrew Read both gave me some much appreciated feedback. This is going to go down. 

-Grading is going on at Five Points this week. That can only mean that Master Cheetah will be in town. It's always great to have him around. Good luck to everyone climbing the Muay Thai ladder. I'll be going for Blue/White Monday. 

-I finally got to see Emily Bearden in the ring. She was fantastic. Win by split decision. 

-Vincent Hui had a great fight the same night. He's always fun to watch. Unfortunately, this went to the other guy. Loss by split decision. Next time. Vincent rips. 

-We have a number of fighters on the Take-On card in Queens on 12/16. This includes the debut of Michelle "Baby Tiger" Bryner. 

-The big news is that Coach Fury's Kettlebell club has a new home at Body Reserve in Park Slope. Saturdays at 8am. Four and half years ago I started lifting again when my back started hurting carrying Sadie around. It all started at Body Reserve. Nice that things have come full circle. 

Happy holidays everyone!

-Fury out!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I'm happy to announce that the CFKC will now be held at Body Reserve in Park Slope. This is the gym where the "Coach Fury" transformation started. The gym is on the corner of 5th Avenue and Union. You will also have access to the gym after class. 8am on Saturday's. Same time. Same Fury. Contact me for pricing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I've been training for the Beast Tamer Challenge off and on since October of 2010. I hoped to nail it at the RKC II last July. I wasn't ready. A few weeks ago I met the latest Iron Maiden (1 of only 3), Valerie Hedlund at John Du Cane's Marketing Mastermind Intensive. Val's awesome and she motivated me to take another shot at it. I've done each of these moves in the past. However, they've never been remotely consistent or done in the same session (or month). I got home from the MMI and created a new training program for myself. Last night, I got that gut feeling that today was going to be the day. It was. There was very little warm-up for each move. I did everything twice. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I just returned from an amazing weekend in San Diego as a participant in John Du Cane's Marketing Mastermind Intensive aka the MMI. The entire workshop is aimed at arming RKC's with the marketing and selling know-how to build our businesses up. I have to admit that initially I was worried about being at a three day intensive marketing workshop. I've helped brand, sell and run visual effects companies in the past, but I didn't know how to apply that knowledge into the world of fitness. Having just left the ad world six months ago, I arrived with a little trepidation. Was this going to be too long or boring?

Hell no. I wasn't bored for a minute. Tired, yes. The days were long and packed with detailed information. Much of the work was hands on and within groups. Some of the best points came from members within the group. The wisdom that John Du Cane, Nicole Du Cane, Shari Alexander and the others imparted on the group and the relationships and friendships developed were priceless. RKCs are a damn fine group of people to be around. And if you don't know, now you know.

This was the missing key to my success. The MMI may not sound as fun as lifting, pulling and swinging things, but it is equally important to succeed in this business. At the end of the day. It is a business. It just happens to be one we love.

-Fury Out

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Here's what's going on in the world of Fury.

-I have been training Michael for the Connecticut HKC with Master RKC Andrea Du Cane. As expected, he passed and decided to go back the next day for Andrea's RKC Prep Course. Congrats to Michael. I look forward to getting him RKC ready. Andrea will be back at Five Points in February to instruct an HKC and an RKC Recert.

-Josh Henkin of Ultimate Sandbag Training fame has re-programmed and renamed his L.I.F.T. certification program. As a result, Coach Lance Turnbow and I have been elevated to DVRT Level 2 status. Sandbag training is constantly evolving and Lance and I are very proud to be a part of it. 

-The mighty Virna is back after some significant health setbacks. She is one of the most mentally and physically strong people I know. Don't call it a comeback. 

-Andy's domination of the 20kg Clean and Press is complete. He can officially rep it five per side. Huge deal for Andy. Onto the 24kg. 

-Mark, Rachel, Ed and Adrienne are all getting stronger by the week. Adrienne is making a run for the pound for pound strongest woman at Five Points. 

-Lisa continues to amaze herself (and her daughter, Chloe) with her strength gains. There's a healthy mother/daughter competition brewing.Every week she's surprised by finding muscles she never knew she had. Lisa's been with another trainer for years, but she is now seeing how exceptional hard-style kettlebell training is. 

-A few weeks ago, I took Senior RKC John Engum's Flexibility and Mobility Workshop. John is an amazing instructor and I can't recommend this workshop enough. My clients and I have been benefitting from it daily. 

-Greg Rowe dominated Steve Dang of Evolve Martial Arts from MD. Don't mess with Greg in the ring. 

-The first weekend of December is a big one for the Five Points Academy Fight Team. We have four fighters, including the one and only Emily Bearden, fighting in the Friday Night Fights card on 12/2. We also have several fighters, including Greg, in the Warrior's Cup promotion in NJ on 12/3.

-Michelle "Baby Tiger" Bryner will make her debut alongside other members of the fight team at Take On's card on 12/16 in Flushing, NY. 

-Congrats to Jasmine and Jonathan. The lovebirds are now married and enjoying their honeymoon. The pictures of which are making many fellow New Yorkers jealous. 

-The entire crew is getting more technically proficient. The strength gains have been considerable. I now have to haul much heavier bells to class. The kettlebell cart is hitting max capacity. I'm proud of them.

-I'm in the process of finding a new indoor space to keep things going. Stay posted. 

-I'm off to San Diego (Spanish for whale vagina) this week for John Du Cane's Marketing Mastermind Intensive. I've been looking forward to this for weeks now. I'll report in when I'm back.

-Fury out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Things have been busy in the land of Fury.  If you've been here before, you'll notice that the site has been redesigned. Special thanks to Kristin Koch for helping me out with this. It's a big step up from what it was.

Coach Fury's Kettlebell Club is going strong in Brooklyn. The crew has been killing it weekly. Saturday's at 8am. Come join the fun.

I've completed a round of Dan John's 40 Day Workout Program with great results. Key PRs for me include the double 44kg clean and press, 415lb deadlift, clean and pressing, pistol squatting and doing the Turkish Get-Up with the Beast.

More importantly, I've incorporated elements of the 40 Day into my clients and friends programming. The progress has been excellent. Everyone is benefitting from it. Highlights include:

- Andy's double 20kg press, 2x5 strict pull-ups, and relatively quickly upping his deadlift from 185 to 225 to 265. People have been noticing his gains.
- Lisa's improved movement patterns quickly have her showing great strength gains. She started deadlifting the 12kg and is now easily repping the 28kg. Her swings are also getting stronger every session.
-Ed getting his first set of 5 strict pull-ups. That was a big goal of his.
-Coming off of a back injury, Ben is showing great gains and renewed confidence with improved technique. He's also loving his introduction into the world of kettlebells, sandbags and TRX training.
-If you're a Five Points member you may have noticed that Coach Jose Cruz is quickly becoming (if not already is) one of the pound for pound strongest guys at the gym. His deadlift, clean and pressing and weighted pull-up progress has been ridiculous.

I've also had the pleasure coaching some future HKC and RKCs.
-Michael and I have been nailing down his technique for an upcoming HKC with Master RKC Andrea Du Cane.
-Glyn Wyss came in and recorded his RKC Snatch Test redo. He nailed it and is now officially an RKC. Congrats Comrade.

I'll be attending John Du Cane's Marketing Mastermind Intensive in a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Coach Fury's Kettlebell Club (CFKC) meets every Saturday at 8am in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Class size is limited. Email for any questions or to reserve your spot. The cost is $25 per class. On nice weather days, we're at JJ Byrne Park (between 3rd and 4th street and 4th and 5th avenue). I'll be announcing details soon about an indoor space to keep it going during bad weather and the winter. This is a great opportunity to jump into kettlebells with a certified RKC Level 2 Instructor. Stop thinking about it and start now. I hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Right after nailing the double 44kg (97lb) press, I went for The Beast (48kg/106lb). From the moment I passed my HKC, the Beast Press has been my biggest kettlebell goal. Though I've been able to push-press it, the grind was way off. The damn thing felt insanely heavy. That was then. This is now. It feels great to have gotten this out of the way. You can read more on my training for this in my previous post. Special thanks go to Steve Milles and Emily Bearden for their continued support and motivation. Thanks also go to all of the fellow RKC's that I've learned from. 

The new goal is the double Beast press. 


I got to the RKC II prepared to nail the press. And failed. I was crushed. Things happened so fast. There was very little warm-up and my head got the best of me. I knew I had it and didn't deliver when it counted. It was extremely disappointing. Especially, considering I had about five makes on my phone. 

I got home to NY by 12:30, instructed my 4-5pm kettlebell class and by 5:30 had the 44kg press with both arms done and on youtube. The next morning, I got word from my Team Leader, Phil Scarito, that I had officially passed and was an RKC II. Awesome. 

Now the hard work began. I was going to make the 44kg my bitch. I created a clean & press program for myself involving heavy double kb reps and heavier single kb rep. I would not allow myself to go lower than double 36kg and would not go over 40kg for a month. I could feel myself getting stronger and resisted the urge to pick up the 44kg. I transitioned from my program into Dan John's 40 Day Workout plan. The only change up I made was allowing myself to use double 32kgs due to how often I was pressing. I still left the 44kg untouched. 

Then on the last day of week 1, I was able to clean & press double 40kgs (video in previous post). I knew I had it that day. I was surprised at how easily they went up. It felt great.

I rested a day and the following morning, my gut was telling me that something big was going to go down. It had been about a month since I set my own weight restrictions and I took the training wheels off. I didn't even attempt a single 44 press. I just went straight to the double 44s and nailed it first try. 

The Beast went up immediately after.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I'm psyched on this one. This is the first day I ever tried to clean and press double 40s and it actually came pretty easy. I did 5x1 and then 1x2 with the Double 40s. The clip is of the last 1x2 set. This was part of Day 4 of Dan John's 40 Day Workout. The plan is kicking my ass in a wonderful way. I'm already seeing and feeling results. I plan on trying double 44s in a few weeks.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


The first Kettlebell Bootcamp went off perfectly. It was a beautiful day to swing some kettlebells in the park. Most of the crew hadn't really touched bells before. They got through the basics and are ready to step it up next week. Come on down and join in. Saturday, 8/6 at 8am in Washington Park (Between 3rd & 4th St. and 4th & 5th Ave) Park Slope, Brooklyn. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This conditioning workout consists of doing 2 circuits for 3 sets each. It is fast and efficient. Your heart will get pumping quickly. Circuit 1: 10x Ultimate sandbag rotational cleans to zercher squat to push-up. 5/5/5x Double KB high pulls/snatches/high pulls. 7x Strict dead hang pull-ups. :90 Rest. Circuit 2: 10x Sandbag high pulls and 20x single arm KB swings. :60 Rest. Use a light to moderate weight. Enjoy. 


I'm happy to announce that the bootcamp will be returning this Saturday at 8am. This time it will be held on the turf at Washington Park. The park is located between 3rd and 4th St. & 4th & 5th Ave. We'll be closer to 4th Ave. This is going to be a beginner's workshop. $20/Person. Email me to reserve your spot. Class size is limited. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


RKC II has come and gone. It was an amazing weekend. I learned a ton and I'm ready to make myself and my clients stronger. Here are a few pics. 

Coach Fury & Iron Tamer: Dave Whitley, Master RKC

Pavel, John Du Cane and I

Emily Bearden, Steve Milles, Katie Bigelow, Phil Scarito and I

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I decided to give this a try while hanging out with the grandparents. This is 3rd try (with no warm-up) as I got used to Ben's squirming. Happy 4th of July weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Today was my last heavy lifting day for the RKC II next week. My goal was to nail the strict 44kg press with both arms. Psychologically, it was a big day. As I mentioned in my last posting, I had worked out a flexibility issue by using some FMS exercises.  I learned that I had been pressing off of that area of tightness. I've been getting the 44kg up but not consistently with each arm since. I would have been seriously bumming if I didn't get that damn big kettlebell up today. I'm happy to say (and show) that I got it done. I'm going into next week prepared. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


RKC II is two weeks away. I had the 44kg press down a month ago but a CK-FMS screening revealed some shoulder issues that needed to be worked out. I was given some corrective exercises and was told not to put anything overhead until I was re-screened. The issue was corrected in just under two weeks. My range of motion in the right shoulder is much better now. The unexpected factor was needing to relearn how to heavy press. I had been using the tightness in my right shoulder to press off of. With that range limiting tightness gone, I had to reconnect the way I brought my lat into the press. Two weeks later and the above is the result. The 44kg press is getting more consistent. The bonus is that I don't have the soreness and same level of fatigue after each press. It's very unlikely that I'll make the Beast Tamer now. That's disappointing. The good news is that I'm now able to lift better and more safely.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I felt like working on my get ups this morning and got down to business. Prior to today, I had only gone up to the 32kg. I got the 32kg and the 36kg up easier than expected and decided to give the 40kg a go. I don't like how my left leg came up at the start. I made sure that didn't happen when I switched sides (not recorded). I'm psyched on my progression on this one because it wasn't expected. 

I also practiced the RKC Snatch Test (100x 24kg snatches in 5 minutes) this morning.  I've only done this once since the RKC. I banged it out in 3:56 with one pause for chalk. I tore my hands at the RKC and want to be sure I don't when I re-test at the RKC II. That's still my best time even with the chalk break. Now I'll focus on skipping the break.

Find a reason. Train hard. Train fun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


More of everything Fury at Five Points! Here's my full class schedule starting June 1:
4-5pm Kettlebells
7-8pm Kettlebells
8-9pm Indian Club Swinging
5-6pm TRX Training
5-6pm Ultimate Sandbags
1-2pm TRX Training
2-3pm Ultimate Sandbags

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Today I made the Beast Pull-up twice. I was excited to say the least. Two more challenges to go.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I'll be participating in the RKC II in July. I've been toying with the idea of attempting the Beast Tamer Challenge since I signed up for the certification. The Challenge consists of 1x 48kg Clean and Press, 1x 48kg Pull-up and 1x 48kg Pistol Squat. I was making good progress before taking a break from heavy lifting due to a small injury. This was my first heavy day back to Tamer training. I'm one bell away from the press and the pull-up. Two sizes away from the pistol. Getting close.

Monday, April 4, 2011


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of assisting Master RKC Andrea Du Cane at the HKC held at Five Points Academy in NYC. Steve Milles, RKC II, CICS, CK-FMS hosted the workshop. My fellow assistants consisted of Emily Bearden, RKC, Matthew Flaherty, RKC,  CICS and Paul Hafner, RKC. Those outside of the gym may not know that Emily coached my first kettlebell class. I've been hooked ever since. I met Matthew at the CICS last month. It was great to see him again and I look forward to catching up with him at the RKC II in July. Paul was a great guy and anyone in NJ looking for an RKC should look him up.

We had 17 people going for it. There is always a wide array of fitness minded individuals at these things. You really get a good cross section of the industry. It was interesting that one attendee had taken a Kettlebell certification through someone other than Dragon Door. She literally claimed that the other cert was rushed and dangerous.

It was a great feeling to be on the other side of the fence on this cert. I felt privileged to help coach and help the attendees work on technique, form and cueing. They all showed tremendous progress through the event. The key thing with kettlebells (or anything) is that you can always be better and learn something new. I definitely added some tricks to my repertoire courtesy of Andrea.

While not everyone passed at the time of the cert, I'm sure they will do their prep work and pass upon submitting their videos.

Congrats to the new HKCs. Especially, fellow Five Pointer, Jano. It was an honor to Coach you. Thanks to Steve and Emily for backing me and fueling the KB monster. Thanks to Andrea Du Cane for the opportunity and kind words. Those in the RKC/HKC family know that it's a great place to be.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


I had the pleasure of attending Dragon Door's CICS Workshop the weekend of March 11th. Arjan Steve Milles and left the nicest day in NYC to fly down to freezing Minneapolis, MN. The workshop was run by the stellar Instructing team of Brett Jones, David Whitley, Jeff O'Connor, and Dustin Rippetoe. I experienced two days of top training. I thought I had a good grasp of Indian Clubs going in. Was I mistaken. I quickly learned that it's all in the details. This has officially kicked off a quest to better my technique. I highly recommend the workshop. It was a small international group of people under the guidance of the RKC's best. People flew in from Sweden, Italy, Korea and Japan. My heart goes out to Matthew who landed to hear of the Earthquake in Japan. Steve and I found good food, got some rest and even made it to the Mall of America in our downtime. Hit me up if you want to learn more about swinging Indian Clubs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I had the privilege of being interviewed by Josh Henkin of Henkin Fitness Systems & Ultimate Sandbag Training. Josh is an amazing Coach and someone I look up to. He is on a never ending quest to make the perfect product. In the interview we discuss group sandbag class development, programming and L.I.F.T. certification. Check it out.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Thanks for everyone who came down to the new classes. TRX attendance was great. Sandbag attendance was insane. I'm extremely excited with where I can take these 2 classes (and my kettlebell class). Keep coming!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Sundays: TRX at 1pm and Sandbag Training at 2pm. See you there.