Archive for April, 2010

April 12th, 2010

A recent study came out of Truman State University and looked at the metabolic effect of kettlebell training (thanks to Adam Bornstein for forwarding)

The subjects were asked to swing a kettlebell as many times as they could in a 12 minute period (sets, reps and rest period it seems were freestyled – the subjects rested whenever they wanted)

The researchers found that the subjects completed between 198 and 333 swings in the time frame (265 swings average ) and worked at an average heart rate of 86% of max and at 65% of their previously measured oxygen consumption [VO2max]. They concluded that

“Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max. Heart rate was substantially higher than Vo2 during kettlebell swings. Kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes.”

This validates what several of you training yourself, training clients or who just hate doing traditional cardio have probably known for a while… We don’t have to do traditional cardiovascular training (running, cycling etc) to get a cardiovascular training effect. 12 mins of kettlebell swings can be used as a great cardio tool, as can bodyweight circuits, sleds, sandbags etc.

Taking that a step further, we can see that it may actually be a better choice of cardio training for some clients.

12 mins of running  as a comparison obviously involves a lot more repetitions through the joints than an average of 265 reps of kettlebell swings.  So for some clients/trainees, we can get a similar metabolic effect, heart rate, oxygen consumption (and therefore calories burned) while reducing the total reps and joint stress in deconditioned clients.

The bottom line is that we can use non-traditional metabolic training such as this, to provide cardiovascular training benefits.

Try the following at the end of your next workout:

Start the stopwatch.

Do 10-12 swings at the top of each minute, and rest for the remainder of the minute.

Repeat for 10-12 mins.

A great article from Alwyn Cosgrove

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: April 08, 2010

Any alternative or nutritional supplement, whether recommended by a medical professional or purchased over the counter, can be of great benefit to your health—but can also present risks. When beginning a new supplement regimen, make sure you take the following important steps to ensure your safety.

The benefits of most complementary supplements are usually clear, such as garlic’s antibiotic effects or chamomile’s stomach soothing properties. However, like most prescription medicines and some foods, alternative supplements may also produce side effects, such as upset stomach, drowsiness, or nausea. In some cases, the potential side effects are even more serious than that.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of having problems with your supplements:

Understand what the supplement is supposed to do and when you can expect results.

Carefully read the label and any materials inside or on the package.

Be sure you understand all directions. Do you know when, how often and how long to take the supplement? If the packaging doesn’t help you understand those things, consult with your healthcare provider.

Check the expiration date, and stop taking anything in your cabinet that is past its date of expiration.

Vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements may interact with over-the-counter and prescription medicines, so be sure to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have and what side effects to watch for. Make sure they know about any other supplements or medications (prescription and over-the-counter) that you are currently taking so you can help prevent unwanted drug interactions. Write up a list beforehand and take it with you so you don’t leave anything out.

Pay attention to any differences in how you feel. If you notice a new symptom, tell your doctor or healthcare provider when it started and how it’s different from previous symptoms. Occasionally, a symptom caused by your illness can be mistaken for a drug reaction.

Keep your supplements in a safe place. Most supplements are best stored out of direct light in a cool, dry location. Don’t keep them in a medicine cabinet above the sink, where moisture can potentially seep into packaging and alter effectiveness. Also, keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Be safe with your supplements! By following the above tips, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your daily supplements without compromising your health.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and Healthy)