Tag Archives: Kettlebells

Article on the Best Kettlebell Exercises for Grapplers

Hey Everyone,

The site Seek Progress has an article on what they consider to be the best 5 kettlebell exercises for grapplers.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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A Friendly Workout Reminder

I’ve been training/working out a lot recently in preparation for some tournaments coming up, and I just wanted to offer these photos as a friendly reminder, if you find yourself lifting weights frequently be sure to trim or file down your calluses:


Not as bad as having them ripped off, but still not very comfortable.

Learn from my mistake, don’t ignore your calluses. And that’s the end of my public service announcement.

Have a great day everyone!

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The Long Journey of Fitness and Weight Loss

I realized I think so much about where I want to be, that I sometimes forget about how far I have come. In my current shape, I feel better on my worst days than I did on my best before I started jiu jitsu and all this delightful craziness. I think I promised then and now pictures before, but today you are totally getting photos of me in all my pre-jiu jitsu glory.

I untagged myself from a lot of photos my friends posted up from my college years, when I was the heaviest, because in many ways I was embarrassed that I had let myself get that large, telling myself that “it wasn’t that bad”. It wasn’t so much the lack of physical activity, as it was my diet that caused such a dramatic weight gain.

Most of my facebook friends have seen the first photo: it was a graduation party for my friend and right around the time I started jiu jitsu. They second photo is about 5 years later with my dad at Lake Tahoe.



I have lost a good deal of weight (obviously) and gained a whole bunch of muscle mass in the process from jiu jitsu, kettlebells, and laying off the fried food.

There have been a lot of ups and downs, and I still feel like I have a bit more to go but I think I have come a long way and I need to honor that- as I am sure many others have experienced, I have at times stepped completely out of my comfort zone, traveled, met all sorts of new people, in addition to greatly improving my chances for a long and healthy life.

Just as long as my joints hold out-fingers crossed!


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The Pros and Cons of Crossfit

I will admit right from the start that any judgments and opinions I have regarding crossfit are all made from someone who has never experienced Crossfit firsthand. Everything I know of it comes from what I have seen in photos, YouTube clips and commercials, as well as conversations with friends and teammates.

From what I understand, Crossfit is primarily strength and conditioning to the point of failure, or near failure. According to our dear friend Wikipedia, “Crossfit is a strength and conditioning brand that combines weightlifting, sprinting, gymnastics, powerlifting and rowing.”

The classes, again, according to Wikipedia, are about 10 to 20 minutes in length, and involve “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.”

This in some respects can be beneficial, as Crossfit can be used to create a baseline for your level of fitness. Also, when you think about it, it’s a wonderful way to train for a possible impending zombie apocalypse, where one can imagine your survival is dependent on a series of explosive fits of sprinting, lifting, and bodyweight exercises such as pull ups.

What I am concerned about is this- Crossfit I feel is more beneficial as a supplemental training for an athlete, rather than the primary training for your average treadmill running, weekend warrior. Again, I am commenting as an outsider, but it sounds like there is little instruction and supplementary training to lay a solid foundation of good technique before everyone is pushed to failure. People have a tendency to sacrifice form for repetition, especially in a competitive setting, which can seriously injure a person.

It’s a lot like training “MMA” as opposed to training Jiu Jitsu, and then taking a Muay Thai class, then attempting to combine the two. When you build the solid foundations of each respective discipline, it may take a little longer in the beginning, but there is good solid technique that was developed in each respective discipline which will lead to a more effective blending later in training. When someone just trains “MMA” they don’t understand that blending, which more often than not leads to poor form, because there was no solid foundation of good technique to build from.

That’s is how I feel about Crossfit: what are your thoughts?


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Working Out Can Improve Brain Function! Yes!

I guess this doesn’t give me much excuse for spelling errors and incorrect grammar, but anyway according to one study, exercise can help improve brain function! Yes!

According to the article, ” A growing body of evidence shows that regular exercise — be it resistance training or aerobic — helps ward off a host of cognitive impairments and enhances brainpower all life long.

“It’s a medium-sized effect — but since we’re talking about the brain, medium is good,” says Michelle Voss, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Iowa and lead author on a 2011 review of the effect of exercise on cognition.”

Hooray! Read the rest of the article here!

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 11.9.11

I personally found this pretty interesting: for those not heavily involved in jiu jitsu and other sports it may seem a little less than interesting, but as someone involved in jiu jitsu and supplements with strength and conditioning training, I found the presentation fairly succinct and went along at a nice pace.

Also, I’m giving it an extra point for the English accent, which is adorable, if we’re being totally honest


I was going to try and embed the slideshow here for your viewing pleasure, but instead here is a screenshot and a link:


Powering Through: Strength and Conditioning Advice Slidecast

Check it out!



Filed under bjj, MMA, Training

Working Out on Vacation….What Do You Do?

Next month I will be away from the gym and kettlebells for an entire week (eek!) and it was decided I probably should not take a kettlebell with me on my trip.

So, I guess I’ll be working primarily with body weight exercises: push-ups, sit-ups, squats…anyone have any interesting body weight workouts I can try during that week?

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Full Moon Funk

I have to admit, I was in a bit of a funk last night, and it hit me unexpectedly. I thought I was doing all right, considering I had gone through the whole kettlebell certification the day before and only felt sore in my hamstrings and butt. I even took the kettlebell class yesterday and while I was sore, I was mobile and did fairly well. 

It was during jiu jitsu that the funk pervaded my soul. I started to become frustrated with how I was training, and instead of the fun,  fast, go with the flow kind of training, it was more of a frustrated “I’m out to prove that I am not horrible at this sport” kind of training, which all of us are guilty of, but it hasn’t been an issue for me for a while now. I tried to breathe after a match, and calm down, but I went through another match and there it was again, a tightness in the chest that I couldn’t shake, that pulled me from the right mindset and made me irritated with everything I was doing, the moves I made, the positions I ended up in. 

Again, it’s a place we all find ourselves in occasionally, the type of training that isn’t about working a move, but some sort of proof that you do actually know jiu jitsu and something has gotten through that skull of yours. But the question is, who are you trying to prove it to? Yourself? Your teammate? They know you have been learning and improving, and probably are struggling just as much as you are. Your instructor? They know how hard you have been working and how you have been improving, sometimes by leaps, other times by inches. Yourself? Drilling techniques for hours and hours wasn’t enough? You need more proof? 

It’s a vicious little mind game we put ourselves in, and it’s hard to escape. Just remember to breathe, and ‘just keep swimming’. 

And totally blame the full moon for whatever funk you’re in. 

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Do It!

That is my main form of persuasion when I am encouraging someone to try something new: I just keep saying, “do it,” if they have that uncertain look on their face. And actually believe it or not, I would say a solid 85-90% it works. I think it helps that I am usually promoting something healthy and beneficial for the person, but regardless, I find it funny.

I can understand the premise behind Nike’s whole “Just Do It” campaign, because sometimes we need that little push to get out of our comfort zone, even if we know full well it’s a change for the better. And sometimes we need that little kick in the butt, someone in our corner encouraging us to go out there and try, to see what will happen when we venture into unchartered waters.

I mention this because we have a girl who gets to the academy early enough to take the kettlebell classes, said she was thinking about taking a kettlebell class, but would opt to wait until the jiu jitsu and judo classes started to get on the mat. A couple of the girls and I, with our super awesome powers of persuasion got her to take the kettlebell class.

Fitness FTW!

So I am encouraging everyone today to “Do It”. Positive and life-affirming stuff, that is: that new sweep that has caught your interest, that question you have been meaning to ask about that the technique you have been learning, all of it.

Do It!

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Nothing There

…Sorry guys, I got nuthin’ for posting today. It’s been mainly work stuff all day. Because, you know, I work. Sorry for the extra-dry, almost-not humor.

Last night I did kettlebells, worked on take downs in BJJ, and drilled more take downs in Judo. My one knee is a little stiff, and I have a business meeting that runs late, so I won’t be doing no-gi, which is probably for the best. I’ll be in BJJ tomorrow.

::shrug:: I could get all abstract about my game and talking about the importance of a particular technique, but frankly, I’m tired and feeling very constrained in terms of time, so maybe for another post.

I hope everyone else is training well, on weight, on point and feeling good. See you on the flip side!


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