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Additional research in that supports KBs as an alternative to traditional weightlifting exercises and powerlifting
exercises.   Researchers at Long Island University found that a 10 week program that featured 2 KB sessions/wk, divided into 5 cycles of 4 days each, was successful at creating “significant improvements in 3RM clean and jerk and 3RM bench press.” (J Strength Cond Res 27 (2): 477-484, 2013)

Now if I was going to compete in a traditional lifting competition, I wouldn’t scrap standard routines and focus on exclusively on KBs.  But the study does give support to the coaches or individuals that are limited by space and budgets and can’t manage a full Olympic barbell set, benches, platforms etc.  One of the things I like about KBs is that I can line them up next to the wall in my garage and still have space for the vehicles, basketballs, footballs, baseballs, Frisbees, and assorted family paraphernalia.  They are also very portable, so I can throw them in the back of the Suburban and head to the park or to a friend’s house where we can pool resources.  

If you or a client thinks they can’t afford the space or cost of weightlifting equipment, consider adding a couple KBs into your collection.  Maximum effect in minimum packaging.

 
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Following last week’s post of “slow & steady”, I think we
need to re-assess our self-grading.  I think we often can fall into a habit of getting down on ourselves if we feel like we’re not training enough, doing as much as we “should”, or not
meeting some self-imposed standards.   Even small efforts or incremental steps can pay off towards your long term fitness or skill goals.  
 
I was reading an article about an Outdoor Circuit Training program on Swiss Army Recruits (Journal Strength & Cond Res, 26(12): 3418-3425, 2012).  The researchers added one 50 minute outdoor circuit workout to the “standard” training protocol of 1X/week for 70 minutes (How this level of “standard” training can be considered reasonable for army recruits is beyond me.  Maybe since the Swiss will never be called on to defend anyone or
anything, they can enjoy lower levels of fitness in their military?).  The group that performed the additional training showed “significantly greater improvements in trunk muscle fitness, postural control, and total physical fitness score” compared to the control
group.  
 
What strikes me is that they didn’t have to go to some super-duper, Cross-Fit, Ironman, Olympic, Paleo, high intensity, metabolic, split 7-day regimen in order to make significant improvements.  They added one 50 minute session.  Granted, they were inexperienced and barely fit to start with, but hey, a little extra effort showed big results.  If you are fairly fit and decently trained, results may vary.  But maybe finding 50 (more) minutes to stretch each week would help you recover or recuperate.  Or a 30 minute walk after dinner.  Or 20
more pushups at the end of each workout.  Or one more serving of vegetables.  Developing the habit and taking the initiative is often more important than the actual event or what you’re doing.

Training should be a long term initiative and we’re looking for progress, not perfection.  It can be easy to get discouraged, especially as you age. I know that I can’t train 5-6 nights per week for 2-3 hours a night like I did when I was in College.  Life, jobs, family, kids, travel all have an influence on what you can do/not do.  I always encourage people to do what you can, when you can.   It all counts, so get out there and do
SOMETHING.


 
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Just a quick one for today - link to a great message from Ross Enamait that relates to multiple areas. Not just fitness, but martial arts, careers, family etc.  Guess what? There are no fast, easy, painless solutions. 
Things take hard work and dedication, as well as time spent.  Even then there are no guarantees.  There are times when bad luck and trouble screw up all your well
intentioned efforts.  Life isn’t fair.  Get over it.

But, the reality is that if you want results, you have to work for them.  Often for a long
time.  That may be an unpopular message for many living in today’s instant gratification society.  But it’s a message that a lot of people need to hear, pay attention to, and live by.  If you already are, good for you. Continue on that critical path.  If you aren’t, then figure out why not, what’s holding you back, and commit to make a change & embrace the journey.  It’s time well spent.


 
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I stole the headline from one of the most influential
audio courses I ever listen(ed) to: “
The Art of Exceptional Living” by Jim Rohn.  (There are a bunch of Jim Rohn clips on YouTube, but if you want the audio course, find it here).  I don’t know how many times I listened to that program in the past 25 years, but it always inspires me to keep striving and growing.

One of the stories Jim tells centers around the old saying “An apple a day…….” Obviously the finish to that sentence is “…keeps the doctor away.”  Jim asks “What if that was true?”   What if something as simple as eating an apple a day influenced your health?   Is that suggestion easy or hard to do?  It’s easy.  Then why don’t most people do it?   It’s also easy NOT to do.   

The secret to achieving goals, whether it’s in fitness, business, life, quitting smoking, improving your family/relationships, whatever, is not one big magic thing.  It’s often a few simple daily habits that make a difference. You just have to do them.  Easy things. Like pushups.  Easy to do, but also easy not to do.  

I have to admit, I haven’t been diligent in doing my daily pushups.  Granted, I’ve done 2,396 YTD, but that’s a pretty sorry average of ~ 27 per day since I’ve been keeping track. 
It’s better than zero, but not what I’m capable of or should be doing.  Even if I’ve just eaten my 2nd Thanksgiving dinner and feel like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s  Meaning of Life, I should be able to bang out 50+ pushups before I go to bed.  

So, I will spend the next several months cranking out more pushups and getting my
average up.  It’s easy to do; I just need to do it.   
 
What’s something easy that you should be doing?

So why aren’t you doing it?