Archive | December, 2013

Last Workout Of The Year!

31 Dec


What a year. So many highs and so many lows. Really looking forward to what next year brings. This past year, I’ve learned a lot about diet and exercise. I’m just pleased that for the whole year I was able to maintain an exercise program. I’ve completed Insanity for the second time and also did the TRX Force Tactical Conditioning Program a second time as well. I’ve done Pat Flynn’s 21 Day Transformation Challenge and his kettlebell complexes. Workouts from The Skogg System, Art of Strength and Keith Webber.

The one thing I learned this past year was that, no matter how many workouts you do for however long, you’re not going to see your body change unless you change your diet. It’s as simple as that! A healthy lifestyle to me is 80% diet, 15% mental and 5% physical. If this year I learned about different workouts, next year I want to focus on proper diet and nutrition. Even if it means cutting out some of my favorite foods and beverages. This past Christmas, I’ve already abandoned soda pop and replaced it with green tea. I’ve been drinking one green smoothie a day and I’ve already notices changes to my skin.

Today was suppose to be my rest day but I wanted to finish the year strong. I did a TRX workout that I got for free called the TRX 300K Strong Workout. You can get it free too if you sign up on their Facebook page. Workout consist of 6 rounds of upper and lower body plus abdominal work that can be done in 30 minutes. If you’ve neglected your core, give this workout a shot.

Happy New Year To All The Savages! Let’s get really for a new year of challenges!


New Week, More Swings

30 Dec


After a week of Art of Strength’s Firepower workout, I decided to try another DVD workout to mix it up. I put in the Interval DVD from The Skogg System. I did the Interval workout about a month ago and it’s one of my favorite kettlebell workouts. The workout is simple but effective. I was hoping to finish 3 rounds but finished 2 rounds when my lower right side lumbar was starting to flare up. I’m guessing all the hinging and the 5 minute snatch test from Firepower did me in.

I spent the last 10 minutes using the TRX to try to loosen and alleviate the lumbar flare up by doing planks, tucks, hamstring runners and side planks. Working the core is a great way to deal with lower back pain. I’m thinking about starting all my workouts by performing core exercises as my warm up. There’s no better tool for core strength than the TRX.

4X The Firepower

29 Dec


I wrapped up the week completing Art of Strength’s Firepower kettlebell workout DVD for the fourth time this week. And each time, it didn’t get any easier. I was also challenging myself to take less breaks. I’m not sure what size bell Anthony DiLuglio uses but I’m using double 16kg bells. It’s the perfect size for me right now as I’m working on my endurance and strength. I’m working my way to run through the whole workout without any pauses. By the time I reach the fifth round and working on renegade rows, I’m starting to sweat and steam in my garage in winter. Then comes the bonus exercise of 5 minutes snatches. When I’m done, the floor is sprinkled with sweat.

A drop of sweat on the drill ground will save many drops of blood on the battlefield

XC Skiing

26 Dec


Was looking forward to my “rest” day today getting away from my kettlebell workouts these past two days. Chicago got a bit of powder overnight on top of the snow that fell before Christmas. Today my intention was to ski more than my previous best of 1.5 miles. With a temperature high of 30° degrees F, my goal was within reach.

This is my winter wonderland playground


Another view from the back of the park next to a frozen pond.



I wore my HRM to track my distance and was curious how many calories I would burn. I knew that is will be low since I’m not going that fast. I lapped the park three times. Each lap was getting tougher to glide on the skis. The sun was starting to come out and warm up the park. The snow was starting to stick to the bottom of my skis. I ended up doing 2.54 miles in 50 minutes and burning 250 calories.

Not bad for a rest day!

Day 2 of Firepower

25 Dec


I woke up feeling a bit sore this morning. I remember Pavel Tsatsouline say in his DVD, Enter The Kettlebell, that training with a kettlebell is feeling like you’ve been in a fight without throwing a punch. My core, chest, and arms felt spent all thanks to Firepower by Art of Strength. I’m feeling DOMS throughout my body and I know that my metabolism furnace is burning.

I also practiced intermittent fasting and ate after I completed Firepower for a second day in a row. I did an 18 fast and broke it with a small serving of pasta, walnuts and a protein shake after my workout. I’ve been keeping an eye on the amount of carbs entering my diet but if you’re going to eat carbs, make sure they are right after you workout when your glycogen stores are empty.

Art of Strength Firepower Workout DVD

24 Dec


I know I’ve been missing in action lately but I’ve decided to take a break from my usual training and take advantage of the snowy weather here in Chicago. Three years ago I bought some cross country skis that have been neglected due to the mild and warm winters we’ve had. But this year, the snow came early and it looks like it is staying awhile.

All last week, I’ve been making tracks trying to perfect my gliding motion. I started out clumsy but now I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. Each day I would try to ski longer than the day before, then I wanted to see how far I was going. I got about a mile and a half in 32 minutes. Nothing to brag about, but I’ll come home streaming.

Christmas came early this year and I got a new 16kg kettlebell to pair up with my other 16kg so now I can double up some of my kettlebell movements. Along with the kettlebell I got a workout DVD called Firepower made by Anthony Diluglio of Art of Strength.

I’ve always wanted one of Anthony Diluglio’s kettlebell DVD and now I finally got to workout to one today. I’m not ready to give a full review yet but I really enjoyed the workout! He give excellent cues and does a great job of keeping you motivated.

I plan on doubling my workouts using this new Firepower Workout DVD in the day and hitting the snow in the evening.



Form is Function

13 Dec


What I like about training with kettlebells is how versatile your workouts can become. You have the options of working on strength, power, conditioning, mobility, endurance, will, mental attitude and so on. You can be an athlete that’s worked with kettlebells for more than 10 years but there’s always something that you can focus on to get better at when training with a bell.

I choose to do a low rep workout today to focus on my form as well as my breathing. Two areas that often get overlooked or taken for granted. Sweat the details and focus on being present. Let habit be your master and you will be on your way to improving your workout. You’ll be surprised by the beauty of movement once your breathing and intention are lock in. 

Thrust Burpers
5 sets

Double Kettlebell Thursters x 5
Burpees x 10

Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups
3 reps each side with heavy bell. Perform all reps from one side before switching to other side.

TRX Mountain Climbers
Left and right = 1 rep
5 sets x 20 reps