Are you having "No Progress?"

Think of your journey into a healthier, happier, better moving you much like building a house. If the foundation of your house is cobbled together, has cracks in it, and is deteriorating then you are starting from a place of weakness. Why then would you spend lots of money and time building that beautiful kitchen you always wanted, and that master bedroom that has amazing views when in a few years the whole thing is going to collapse? You wouldn’t right?

We all want to rush to the end of the project. We want everything yesterday. If there was only a magic pill that would do that… The truth is that all levels of health and fitness are a process you have to be patient with. That is how getting healthier, stronger, and leaner works. You have to start with the right building blocks.

Are you having "No Progress?"Stage 1: Groundwork
We start with a lot of personal attention. Which means teaching you how to move correctly. When to fire the right muscles and how so as to keep you safe and move in an effective way. This is done in an individual basis, or in a small group of other people just like you. So you never feel self conscious that you don’t belong, or are holding people back. We want to help you get to that place that you want to be. That takes time, patience, and understanding.Are you having "No Progress?"

Stage 2: Framing
If you can’t squat, hinge, push, pull, or plank why would you try to load up a bar full of weights, or swing a kettlebell the size of your head through the air on your first day? That is just silly. Here at Contemporary Athlete, everything is a process of learning, then applying that knowledge. Making strides forward. Then learning some new things. This can happen in a larger class where you can have the support of others, and develop along side a small group of peers in a similar place that you are.

Are you having "No Progress?"Stage 3: Roofing
The barbell is like a PHD program. It removes a whole lot of ability to move. So until you are an exceptional mover we won’t use a barbell. We have them, we use them, but not until you are ready. If we are being completely honest, some people don’t ever want to or need to use one in order to get to your personal fitness goals. That being said you should always be preparing for that day because it makes you feel, move, and look better.


Coffee + Training = Gains (The unknown facts to unlocking your gym potential.)

My coffee addiction has a workout problem. Or some variable of that statement is appropriate for this post. I recently found myself sitting in the office drinking a pot of Death Wish Coffee for the better part of 5 hours the other day. Working incessantly on a very exciting, but necessary overhaul of the Contemporary Athlete website. As this community grows and changes I find myself taking occasional observatory steps back so as to see if this crazy awesome ship is traveling in the direction I would like it to; and if not how do I correct that.

Soooooooo a short story long, COFFEE, I love it. It is good for you. (So is a glass of red wine but that is for another post) I drink my coffee generally as a dark roast, black, in a 12 oz. cup. All in all, boring, uncomplicated and I am pretty sure makes me a sociopath. (Thanks random Facebook post)


Quick disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist, dietitian, or anything of the like (yet) so this is strictly my OPINION, based on my personal food intake and a ridiculous amount of reading.


So here are couple quick things:


  • Potential for Genius! (Ok not quite) but an earth shattering effect, coffee is a stimulant. It has caffeine in it. Which blocks a neurotransmitter inhibitor called Adenosine. By stopping this inhibitor it increases neuronal firing and releases dopamine and norepinephrine. Also it is proven through controlled experimentation that caffeine improves mood, reaction time, memory, and general cognitive function.


  • Superhero strength and skinny! (<- A freaking gold plated unicorn says what?) It raises your metabolism and the oxidation of fatty acids. This is due to it being a stimulant and the effect it has on the central nervous system. It has been proven through different meta-analyses that it increases exercise performance by an average of 11-12% this is due to it’s affects on several biological mechanisms, one of them being the mobilization of fatty acids from fat tissue.


  • Type II Diabetes can suck a doughnut! (But, but, can I still have a doughnut? NO, no you cannot) in observational studies, coffee is frequently associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The range of this is anywhere from 25% to as high as 65%. A recent review article I read with close to half a million participants showed that with every extra cup of coffee people had, it lowered their risk by 7%.


  • If Mayan gods are doing it… (The Mayan people originally made Coffee as a soup, or porridge. They also ate people’s hearts [<- I think, that could be a lie though…]) Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make it into the drink.


  1. 11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
  2. 6% of RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
  3. 2% of the RDA for Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Thiamine (B1).
  4. 3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.


Coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet; this outranks both fruits and veggies.


Last thing I have to say though. Great facts here but… once you start filling it with 37 sugars, or artificial sweeteners, a half a gallon of milk or creamer, you have then eradicated all that awesomeness with a whole bunch of not goodness.

Summer Flab to Summer Fab

Right now is the time when everybody starts asking me (that don’t come to the CA) What they should be doing to “mix” it up to break up the monotony of their classes so they are ready for that great black summer cocktail dress, or bikini. Yep, I said it, bikini season is right around the corner. Want to look good for June, July, and August? Here are the easy answers. Kind of, it takes about 4 weeks to feel different, 8 weeks to see changes, and 12 weeks to make “them” ask what you are doing.


So here is my:

If this, then do that


Nice to meet you! You look delicious!

            Are you really hungry, all the time? STOP trying to eat 1000 calories a day or less. Yes, eating less is a good thing if your trying to shed some weight but are if your now considering having your friends for dinner instead of inviting them over to join you you might have a problem. Hopefully it hasn’t come to that point in time that cannibalism is an option, or that the next time you see a ho-ho or ding-dong your going to own them like the factory just closed (Wait? Didn’t it?) Skinny-fat, is out. Fit is in, eat better calories, and lift. You’ll feel better, be more confident, and hell you can carry your own groceries to the car. (Granted I generally let them do it for me, because it makes me feel special.)


Are there vegetables in these vegetables?

            So remember that food pyramid? Take a chainsaw to it. Veggies go on the bottom, you can never have enough of them, they are delicious, they are carbs and did I say you can never have enough of them? Meats are small portions. About the size of the ball of your fist is a good guess-tamate. We tend to over eat our portion sizes proteins here in America. Breads and pastas are not the devil, but when you wrap them fatty goodness they just became the devil. Make your fatty carbs a big fat 0 and your golden (mostly because you just cut 600 calories a day out of your diet). Six-pack abs here we come.


Cardio, Cardio, Cardio

            If you started-in full force with your NYE resolution, and you have now taken “ownership” of a spin bike at your gym’s evening class, or treadmill #5 is yours for 15-50 miles a week between the hours of 5am to 7am. Way to get after it like a champ! Change isn’t easy but you might throat punch somebody that is on your kit during “your” hours. (Keep reading if you want more from your training!)

I’m sorry am I sweating on you?

            This conversation starts with. “I’m sorry that you had to be jogging on the treadmill next to me while I do my 12 x 200 meter sprints at a 5% incline. It’s not that I am better than you, it’s that I don’t like this machine, and the sooner I can get off of it the better. Also is there anything interesting in that Cosmo your reading? It’s hard to read when I’m running this fast, and my vision gets a little blurry right before my legs feel like they might instantaneously combust. Whoops, back at it!” Sprint you get more for it, no matter if you feel you look like a fool, you’ll be the last one laughing the pool this summer.


Lean, Mean, Machine

            Don’t be angry, be better, and up your cardio with a bodyweight high intensity interval training (HIIT) class. These are all the “rage” right now. Interesting fact is that, any boot camp class or sports style interval training is generally HIIT. The fitness industry moves from fad to fad. Just make sure the fundamentals are sound and your going to rock that dress, and better yet rock your body. (Ever heard of LIIT? No? you should read this next.)


Where are the 5# dumbbells?

Want better results from your strength program? Lose the high rep. soup can workout that will “tone” you and pick up some stuff that might make your soul scream a little bit. Unless you have lots of time to do isolated work and your weight lifting is actually a cardio routine in front of the mirrors. Your not doing yourself any favors.


Why won’t the guys at the gym stop staring at me when I do squats?

Simple, you upped your game and decided to actually get something for all that hard work. By lifting heavy in sets of 3 to 5 reps. You are getting more for all that muscle burn, like getting strong, and toned (fit). Also those guys that creep you out. The next time you see them squat anything, ask if they need a spot, because they are likely sitting on the bench press bench while they are freaking you out (mostly because they all skip leg day!). It’s an easy nut check for them and you can strut your spandex all you want as you walk out the door.


Is there any fruit in this strawberry-coconut daiquiri?

This is really what you’re saying, when you have cleaned up so much stuff already. “Can I have some sugar, with my sugar, wrapped in a diuretic, then garnished with some sugar? Ill have 3 of those thanks.” -> no, just NO!


If it’s clear you’re probably in the clear.

Vodka and tequila are probably safe spirits if you’re going to drink. Soda water is a good additive to stay away from a sugary mixer, or one with high salt content. That is if your not just an on the rocks kinda girl. Tequila or vodka on the rocks, will keep your calories in check while not allowing you to unintentionally eat a whole loaf of bread while you are out with your peeps (insert bottle of wine here).

The # 1 easiest fitness hack!

Are you tired of having NO gains?

Working your butt off and NOT losing any weight?

Feeling the pressure of eating ONLY rice cakes and celery?

Hating your stair-mill because you aren’t getting anywhere fast?

Well, I have the easiest solution that NOBODY is talking about, and it makes me kind of annoyed. Most of my day is spent working with hard working youth athletes who have homework, and silly exams, and deadlines, and 4 practices a day. Do you know what is different about them in comparison to you? (I mean other than the 10-20-30-40 years between you?)

Nothing. Not one single thing. We all have jobs, we try to maintain our families from imminent meltdown, eat reasonably healthy, workout, maybe train for a 5k, and not crawl to deeply into a bottle of wine or bourbon once a week. The only difference is this.




As an adult we look at sleep as OPTIONAL

As a youth, sleep is MANDATORY (Thanks parental units 1 +2!)

Sleep is where we recover, and we clean out our brain of stress, and toxins, and all of the other things that keep us from losing weight, progressing our bodies where we want, and keeps us from being rational people with generally good intentions toward other humans. ( I mean even I get cranky on a 16 hour day on the gym floor.)

If you don’t believe me take a few minutes to watch this video put together by people with PHd’s and stuff!

When you are done watching the video. If you think there is somebody who should read this article to really help them succeed with their New Year’s goals please send it along and ask them to subscribe to our newsletter for my epic material! Or better yet the CA Youtube channel where we post a new workout and training tips weekly!




The 5 best reasons NOT to workout!

By Dave Bender

You know that sinking feeling you get when you think “Hey, I really should take some time and get myself healthy (again). January is right around the corner and this year. This year is gonna be different!”

Well stop, stop saying that this is the year. This is NOT the year. This year is just like last year, and the year before that. In my 10 + years in the business of getting people crazy healthy, and wicked strong I have found out the truest reason’s why you shouldn’t start working out this year.


 Here are the 5 best reasons NOT to workout!


  1. The weather is TERRIBLE today!

    The 5 best reasons NOT to workout

Funny thing about the weather is that you aren’t kidding. It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s snowing, it’s raining, there is wind and hail, and lightning, and sleet, and who knows what else. Last time I checked though you probably get up everyday and go to work in a climate controlled office, or at least a place with a roof. Equally ironic, is that almost all gyms are also inside of buildings with heat, lights, and a roof. Some have better playlists than other though, but don’t quote me on that.


  1. My kids have…

    The 5 best reasons NOT to workout

Yep they do, they have all of those things and then some. Do you know what they will remember though? Mom and/or dad being there on their graduation, wedding day, first born, second born, seventh born… See where I am going? It is highly possible that your kids don’t have anything going on at 5am. You don’t even have to leave your house. You could take 30 minutes a day to take care of yourself so you are there when they will want you to be down the road. Then again… there is always sleep, right?

  1. Working out takes SO MUCH TIME!!!

    The 5 best reasons NOT to workout

Yes, I said it. You can change your long term health in roughly 3 months if you workout for 30 minutes a day, 3 to 4 days a week. That is definitely NOT worth it. I mean seriously, that is like 18 to 48 hours of working out over the course of 12 weeks. I don’t know about you but that is far too much time spent on looking and feeling better, and not on Game of Thrones.

  1. Eating ONLY Broccoli and Broiled Chicken EVERY DAY!!!

    The 5 best reasons NOT to workout

Here are the cold hard facts. You want your body to look like that last super hero movie you just saw. RIGHT? Well you have to change how you eat. Just broccoli and chicken… and bacon, cheese, beer, wine, bourbon, tacos, sushi, eggs, spinach, doughnuts, and I think even cookies… Actually you really can eat all the things you always have eaten. You just you need to make some hard choices, like 1 oreo, or the entire sleeve of oreo’s…. Hmmmmmm.


  1. It’s SO EXPENSIVE!!!

    The 5 best reasons NOT to workout

You are absolutely right! It is expensive, really expensive. I mean if you actually hire a professional to help you. (which will save you time.) Like you do when you take your car to a mechanic. Or get your teeth cleaned at the best dentist in town. OR trust your fiscal future with a financial planner.

That being said you can do it on your own, for FREE. There are about 10,000 + workouts posted on Youtube that you can do at home. Or even at the $10 a month purple box fitness place. Hell, our Youtube page is full of FREE advice, and workouts. Although that leads to a different conversation, how much is your time worth? (If you are unsure you should read this article.)

Here is the kicker though, do you know what is more expensive? Diabetes, joint replacement, daily medication, and medical bills… Just something you should consider if you want to start workout or not.


In summary:

For those of you who want to start working out this year. DON’T. Save yourself time, money, and some peace of mind in that the owner of one of the best training facilities in the area talked you out of a sweaty, well rested, more active, sexier you.

Now where are the doughnuts?

The Perfect Push-up

The perfect push-up is an upper-body focused exercise with full-body benefits.

There are many variations, but being able to perform the standard push-up is an important ability to have in your fitness toolbox. Whether you’re fairly experienced or just starting out, you can always benefit from increasing your knowledge of the movement, and a lot of practice, practice, practice.

Here we’ll be breaking down the push-up, going over the setup, technique, and major muscles involved. There will also be ways to help you get started, and cues to help make them even better.

We’ll keep it all short, simple, and (hopefully) practical. Then, get after it. The best way to get better at push-ups…is to do push-ups!


The Setup: Position yourself on the ground with:

  • Arms straight, with elbows and wrists directly below or just wider than your shoulders.
    1. Think as if you were standing up with both arms forward, and trying to push someone’s car out of your parking space.
  • Press your palms and fingers into the floor.
    1. “Grip the ground”. This helps engage more muscles in your arms and shoulders, and take some of the strain off of your wrists.
  • Legs straight out and close together, toes down.
  • Head straight, so that your neck is not arched up or curved down.
    1. Your gaze is towards the floor, just ahead of your hands.
  • Contract your glutes, quads, and abdominals. One way to help is take a big breath out, trying to make everything tight while doing so.
    1. Think squeeze your cheeks, engage your legs, and tighten your abs as if Superman was about to punch you in the gut.

Now pause, hold here, and check yourself.

Your body should be in, or close to a straight line starting from your ankles, up your back, along your neck, and through the top of your head.

Your hands are engaged and gripping the ground, toes are planted, and everything in between (legs, hips, abs, shoulders) is tight and ready.

This is the “up” position.

Your body is now all straightened out, locked in, and good to go.


The Motion:

  • Break from your elbows, and begin lowering your body towards the floor. Your legs, hips, and chest all move together.
    1. Keep everything from the setup nice and tight. Control your movement.
    2. Arms and elbows in close by your body. Think “arms glues to your sides”.
    3. Breathe in (inhale) as you lower down.
  • Bring your chest to, or as close to the ground as possible.
    1. “Graze the ground” or stop just above it.
    2. This is the “down” position.
  • Reach the bottom point, push back up.
    1. Breathe out (exhale) as you push up. Use your breath to help keep your abs tight, and get into a rhythm.
    2. Think “push the floor away from you”.
  • Push yourself back to the starting “up” position.

There is it, one badass push-up! Now reset, and keep going.


What if the Floor is (too much): Raise yourself up, elevate your hands

If you’re at home or the gym.

  • Use a wall, side of a bed, back of a couch, armrest, chair, stairs…
  • Use a box, bench, or a barbell set in the squat rack. Adjust the hooks to the right height, set your body in position, and push away.

Wherever you are, just work your way down towards the floor as your strength improves.

Major Movers: Chest, arms, shoulders

  • Pectoralis major (your chest)
  • Triceps brachii (back of your arms)
  • Anterior deltoids (front of your shoulder)

Also Working: Everything else

  • Core
  • Hips
  • Legs

There you have it, the push-up.

Use these steps to help you get that first push-up, and try out these cues to make your push-ups even more effective.

You need to make your body do what you want it to do. Get yourself set up, and practice, practice, practice.

They’ll get better. You’ll get stronger.

One last thing, if when you are done fixing your form for the better and you are looking for more from your fitness we are only a call or email away. If you are not yet one of our bad-ass clients then call or email now to set up the first workout at the last gym you will ever need.
Don’t believe me? Read these…


Mind Your Movement: The Plank

Mind Your Movement: The Plank
By: Ian Cutting

The plank is an incredibly effective full body exercise. Planks force you to contract every muscle you have, creating high levels of tension. This tension helps you build body awareness and stability.
They require total body engagement, and emphasize core and hip stability. This translates into improved performance in many other exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and kettlebell swings.
Learning how to plank correctly will improve your abilities both in and out of the gym, and they are far more than a contest to see how long you can stay propped up on your elbows.

Enter the “hard-style” plank.

So planks require engagement, create tension, build stability, and increase awareness, but what does all of that training jargon even mean? More importantly, how do you planks and how can all of that help you? Well, let’s keep it simple, practical, and break them down so they can help you build yourself up.
The Setup: Make your way to the floor, with your…


1) Forearms on the ground, with elbow directly below shoulders.
a. Elbows bent at 90°.
b. There is a straight line from your shoulders, through your elbows, to the floor.

2) Legs extend straight out behind you, and are close together.
a. Toes are down.
b. Knees raised up off the floor.

3) Back and hips are straight, level.
a. Hips are not arrow /\ shaped, pointed up towards the ceiling.
b. Back is not U shaped, sagging down towards the floor.


This is the setup. Now, let’s get to all of that fun engagement and muscles and stuff we talked about earlier.
A true, hard-style plank means that every muscle is tight, preventing anything that might knock into you from pushing you around. Your body is a true plank, locked into one solid, immovable position. Here’s how it goes.

The Exercise: You’re all setup. Let’s plank.

1) Squeeze your glutes and core, with everything you’ve got.
a. “Squeeze your cheeks”. Think of your butt eating your shorts.
b. “Rock-solid abs”. Tighten, brace yourself, as if someone was about to punch you in the gut (which, you know, someone might).


2) Squeeze your legs, with everything you’ve got.
a. Tighten you thighs (quads and hamstrings), and lower legs (calves)
b. Straighten, squeeze.


3) Squeeze your back, chest, shoulders, and arms, with everything you’ve got.
a. Keep your neck and face relaxed.
b. Everything from your fingertips to your toes is now tight and on fire.
c. Breathe normally.


Hold this position, with your arms, shoulders, back, core, hips, and legs all tight.
And last but not least, to finish bracing and locking yourself in.


4) Try to “pull the floor together”.
a. Pull your elbows towards your toes.
b. Pull your toes towards your elbows.
c. Picture yourself crinkling, folding up the floor beneath you.


The plank creates full body tension by forcing you to contract every muscle you’ve got.
Planks alone are an effective exercise and are important to have in your training toolbox.
The principles of a plank (core engaged, glutes tight…) will also help you perform other exercises.
So from now on when are planking focus, and force your body to work. Set up in the correct alignment, squeeze everything you’ve got, and don’t forget to breathe.

If done properly, you shouldn’t be able think about anything other than not passing out, much less be able to hold a conversation.

Women: Love your body!

By: Kyla Scherer

As a coach, the number one request from female clients is to lose weight and look better. The female population comes to me “hating” things about their bodies. A body that has potentially gotten them out of bed each day, climbed endless stairs, given birth, stood them in front of seminars and conferences and courtrooms, walked them down the aisle of their wedding, helped them to impact their local or national or international community, saved lives, taught, and inspired others.

How do you hate that?

They see the extra fat, or the flabby arms, or a number on the scale they think is too large. Why shouldn’t they see this? If you walk down the magazine aisle in stores and take a gander at the front cover of women’s magazines versus men’s magazines you see two very different pictures. In a totally unscientific study I did just that, and here’s what I saw.


Magazines geared towards women: fight fat, slim and happy, drop 2 sizes, sexy abs, lose more fat, flat abs, slim sexy body, toned.

Magazines geared towards men: Instant muscle, big arms fast, get big, ripped right now, build muscle, stronger quicker, the big muscle issue.

These are just magazine covers; we are bombarded each day by various types of media that pretty much send the same message. Be small, quiet, and look a very specific way.   We aren’t taught to be grateful about what our bodies can do, but to be ashamed of what they aren’t. We are taught to focus on aesthetics, and not what our bodies can do.   I, personally, chose not to subscribe to this thought process, but it can be difficult to get a female client to turn their backs on the overwhelming majority of messaging.

So how do we go about making women appreciate their bodies more?

As a coach, obviously, I want to know a client’s goals. Whether that goal is to lose 10lbs or have visible abs, or to drop 2 dress sizes. Once I know a client’s goals a program can easily be designed to help them reach their goals. The important part is finding out a client’s why. Why do they want to lose 10lbs, why not 5 or 15? Why 2 dress sizes? Usually in talking to clients the 10lbs and the change in clothing size turns into feeling better. Feeling better in their body and about their body and this is where I like to work.

Most of my clients will start feeling better and more empowered when they start performing better. If during a session I can get them to focus on doing one more rep then last time, trying to move more weight than they did a month ago, or moving faster through a workout suddenly it becomes about what they are capable of and not the 10lbs they were worried about. “I did that one push-up, now I want more.”, “I picked up 100lbs, now I want more.”. If they focus on what they can do in the gym, the aesthetics will come.

Most likely a woman who can bang out 3 pull-ups has a pretty good body composition already. A woman who can pick up over 300lbs probably has a fantastic looking posterior. If you are working hard in the gym for those quad muscles, then you want to show them off in that smaller sized dress. A woman who focuses on getting stronger quickly realizes that she isn’t “getting bulky” as a result, and she’s most likely eating more than she ever has before.

Ultimately, I would like women to stop trying to fix their bodies and start trying to make them stronger. Train because you love your body, not because you hate it. Because our bodies are amazing, and can do so much more then we think. Chances are you are going to see much more positive change if you start from a place of gratitude then one of despair.


“You can still love your body while wanting it to look or perform differently than it does right now. There’s no hypocrisy there.” – Molly Galbraith

Bullshit Fitness: What it is, and what you can do about it

Bullshit Fitness:
What it is, and what you can do about it
By: Ian Cutting
How Can You Tell if it’s Bullshit?

Generally, if…

It sounds too good to be true.
It came out yesterday.
It asks for a few easy payments.
It’s on an infomercial.
It’s based on the latest study.
It promises to remove pounds of toxic sludge from your body.
It promises amazing results with zero effort.
It guarantees amazing changes in a conveniently small amount of time.

It’s new and been improved, since the old version’s completion or expiration date.
It has more ingredients and syllables on the label that you haven’t read anywhere else.
It has more colors on the packaging than there are colors on the rainbow.
Straight to the Point

Stop chasing bullshit fitness. Stop chasing fake health. Stop chasing magic pills and pipe dreams. Stop chasing shortcuts and quick fixes. Stop chasing the latest fad or gimmick.

Stop feeding promoters pushing one size fits all, short-term programs. Stop buying into products guaranteed to help you, pushed by companies who don’t care about you.
The Truth

Change is hard. Real, significant, changes are the result of hard work and consistency.

Real changes come from keeping things simple.

They come from building healthier habits. They come from operating out of your comfort zone. They come from training.
The Process

You don’t always have to “embrace the grind”, but you have to do the work. You won’t always be able to smile, but you will grin when you get it done. You can’t always have fun, but there will be fun along the way.

You don’t have to leave the gym battered and broken every time, but breaking down mental and physical barriers is part of the process. You can’t possibly like all of it, but you will grow to appreciate at least some parts of that process.
Look in the Mirror

Look at what’s being pushed on you, decide you’re better than that.
Look at what you’ve tried, realize you need better than that.

Think about what a better you can be. Think about what it will take to get there.
What Will it Take?

It will depend on what your goals are. What you are trying to get out of life. Why do you want to make these changes and what is the best path to take.

Whichever paths you’re thinking about, don’t take the ones promising overnight transformations. You won’t change, at least not in the way you were hoping for. You won’t learn what it takes. You won’t have any new skills to build off of. You will be left feeling even more discouraged and confused. Your wallet and motivation will be left even emptier, with nothing to show for it.

If you do take that path, you will then seek out the next too good to be true miracle cure, product, or program, and the cycle of disappointment and desperation continues.
The First Step

The first step is to stop buying into the cycle of fitness marketing.
Where to Go From There?

If you don’t know where to start, look for those who have. If you don’t know how to start, find those can help.
How Do You Know What to Look For?

Are you being told you’re too old, young, fat, skinny, tired, ugly, unworthy or unable in some way, or are you empowered to get started, learn, and grow?
Are they professionals, or promoters?

Is it your concerns they care about, or their commission?
It is your progress they care about, or their brand?
Is their way the only way and others are terrible and unhelpful, or is it one that’s practical, been shown to work, and lasting?

Do they listen to you, or talk over you?
Do they ask questions, or answer their own.
Do they have a plan for you, or something to push on you?

You can’t undo anything you’ve already done. Just move on having learned from it.

You can move forward and break out of the cycle. You can start making actual progress in your health and fitness. You can keep making positive changes in your life.
Worth It

It is never too late to make changes. Do not give up on progress, on improvement, on yourself, ever.

It will be hard, especially in the beginning.

It will be worth it, for now, and for the rest of your life.

The 5 best reasons to swing a Kettlebell!

What is it About the Kettlebell?

by Ian Cutting

I was talking to someone recently about fitness and training, and the subject of the kettlebell came up. At one point during this part of our conversation they stopped me and asked, “What is it about kettlebells, how do they work…what makes them so special?”

First of all, I believe in in kettlebells as a training tool, and both I and many clients I train use them frequently to great success. I believe they can help almost anyone improve their health and fitness, and make progress towards and achieve practically any training or lifestyle related goal.

“Well, they…” and I went on to say a little bit about how they are a useful tool and you can do a lot with them. While I’m pretty sure nothing I said was wrong, I realized I hadn’t given them a good answer. It put me off to no be able to talk about them in the way I know I should be able to, and that would actually help someone who didn’t know anything about them. There needed to be a better explanation, especially for those who might have never used kettlebells before and are unsure of their benefits.

So I sat down and thought about a few of the key reasons why kettlebells work and what makes them so effective.

Here are the 5 best reasons to learn to swing a kettlebell:

• They’re adaptable: You can perform many different variations of squats, hinges, pushes and pulls, lunges, loaded carries, and even rotations with kettlebells.
• They’re scalable: With many different weights and all of those movement patterns to choose from, you can more easily adjust the loading and exercises depending on your body and training needs.
• They’re portable: As fitness equipment goes, kettlebells aren’t hard to move around and don’t take up that much space. Keep a bell in your car or basement or garage and there’s no excuses not to get something done.
• They’re versatile: They can be used to build muscular strength, power and endurance, for cardio/conditioning, increasing mobility and improving balance, even more isolation work for rehab/prehab purposes.
• They’re efficient: You don’t need to spend all day training. You can pack a lot of work into a small(er) amount of time.


Ultimately, all of those add up to the most important point. Kettlebells are effective because they eliminate many of the most common excuses for why people don’t exercise.

You can perform virtually any movement with kettlebells, and they help keep training simple because there’s always a more or less advanced version of an exercise to work on. You can bring them anywhere because they don’t take up much space in your car. If you’re too busy to make it to the gym, you can exercise at home. If you don’t live near a gym, they’re a great, durable, low cost training tool that last a long time.

Kettlebells give you a way to train for any health and fitness goal, and help you train consistently by eliminating many common excuses. At the end of the day, consistency is most important factor of all in your making the progress and achieving the results you’re looking for.

Without diving deeper into more science-y answers for how kettlebells work (that’s an article for a later date), those are a few of the reasons for what makes them so special. So the next time someone asks you about the benefits of kettlebells, you’ll have some solid answers to give them.

Happy swinging!

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