It Changed My Entire Life

Guest post from Ben Teal

I had been struggling for years. I’d shed some weight on one fad diet or the other. But I never looked the way I did in college. When I was an athlete (like Forest, I played a little football, though I ultimately settled on baseball).

No. I always had what they call the “skinny-fat” look. Basically, I still looked like my 300 pound self – same shape – just 50 pounds lighter.

It wasn’t satisfying. So I’d order pizza, which sent me down a self-defeating cycle. 50 pounds gone, 43 back on. And it happened more than once.

But I was never satisfied with what I saw in the mirror.

I ultimately decided that I needed to change the way I exercise.

(Have you ever wondered why people choose to diet rather than exercise?…)

I’d been spending an hour (and often more) on the treadmill when I went to the gym.

I emphasize ‘went’ because more often than not, work got in the way. And then, when we had kids, when I wasn’t at work, I wanted to spend time with my growing family.

It seemed time was slipping away each day, and the gym was becoming less and less of a priority.

I’d tried a few programs from the fitness ‘gurus’ online. But they still required a trip to the gym and at least 45 minutes once I got there.

I spend a ton of time analyzing data. And one day, I had an epiphany. I asked a simple question. How long does a 45 minute workout at the gym actually take?

When I got home that evening, I grabbed the stopwatch. Beep. The time was running. I changed my clothes. Kissed my wife and baby boy. Got in the car. Drove to the Gym and spent a few minutes to find parking.

By the time I walked through the door, 35 minutes were already gone.

I started my workout. Sure, the workout lasted 45 minutes, but on the stopwatch, 60 minutes had passed … I spent 15 minutes or so waiting on equipment.

Back in the car. Drive home. Beep. 1 hour and 50 minutes. For a 45 minute workout.

That’s nearly 6 hours per week. I just don’t have that kind of time. And neither do you.

(That’s the reason most people choose to diet rather than exercise. We’ve been trained to believe that you need to spend an hour in the gym. When you add on trip times, you’re looking at almost 2 hours minimum per workout in actual time).

The realization was more than frustrating. I literally picked up the phone and called the ‘guru’. I explained that he was selling workouts for busy people that, once you added in all the extra time, turned out to be a second full time job.

I didn’t want to spend all that time away from my family – especially after working 60 to 70 hours per week to help put a roof over our heads and food on the table.

His response? He plainly said that 1.) I was lazy and 2.) I needed to make it a priority.

Huh? A priority over what? My son? My wife? My job?

And I was lazy because I was working 70 hours a week and then coming home to help cook, clean and take care of the baby?

That conversation literally changed my entire outlook on life.

That guru wasn’t married. He didn’t have any kids. He literally worked in a gym. When he needed a 45 minute workout, he got up out of his chair and walked out of his office. No travel time. No responsibilities.

It’s easy to call you lazy when your life doesn’t look anything like yours.

I’m a bit of a geek (ok, ok Forest. I hear you shouting at me in the background – I’m a lot geek). So I dove into the research. There had to be something out there that would work for busy people like you and me.

And there it was. The first of many studies that would turn into Metabolic Mayhem.

The answer was in the intensity of the workout. Crank up the intensity of the workout, and you can cut massive amounts of time. But that wasn’t all.

You can work out for less time, and actually burn calories LONGER.

As far as how more intensity makes your workouts more efficient, here’s a quote from a 1998 article in the Journal of Obesity:

“…three times as much energy is required to perform one bench press at 80% of one’s maximum compared to four bench presses at 20% of maximum…”

What that means is that if you work out with greater intensity, you can burn up to three times as many calories in only 1/4 of the time!

Now, let me share a quote with you from the late, great Billy Mays:

“But wait! There’s more!”

A 2002 study by European researchers found that when you exercise at the right intensity, your body can continue to burn calories at an elevated rate up to 38 hours AFTER THE WORKOUT ENDS!

That’s right. The right workouts done in the right way can keep your metabolism elevated for a day and a half!

These studies (and dozens more that support similar findings) are the backbone of Metabolic Mayhem…

And Metabolic Mayhem has been the backbone of my over 100 pound weight loss and my ability to dominate three 10+ mile Tough Mudders and 2 Spartan races.

But more importantly, it is the backbone of my desire to help people like me – busy moms and dads, aspiring ‘Warriors” and other people that are just too busy to spend hours in the gym.

By now, you’re wondering what a Metabolic Mayhem style workout looks like. Well, since we’re here at Forest Vance Training, I thought I’d put together a quick 10-minute Kettlebell workout that will knock you on the floor.

You’re going to do as many rounds as possible for 10-minutes with this Metabolic Mayhem Shred Circuit workout. Let’s call this one the Metabolic Magic Kettlebell Spell.

1. Kettlebell Swings x 10 (we’ll start with a classic).
2. Kettlebell Push Up and Renegade Row x 10
3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 10
4. Kettlebell Russian Twist x 10

You can do this Shred Circuit as a standalone workout if you’re really time crunched. Or, for even better (and faster) results, you can do it right after one of the Metabolic Muscle workout from Metabolic Mayhem.

Who can do the most rounds? Give it a go and let Forest and I know what you think.

Look. I strongly believe that if your workouts are lasting more than 20 minutes, you’re doing them wrong. So if you’re interested in how to lose more fat in 1/3 of the time, check out Metabolic Mayhem.

Ben Teal, Certified Metabolic Trainer
Creator of Metabolic Mayhem

7 Day Fat Loss Inferno (free gift)

Happy Holidays!

As a gift for you this year, I’ve put together a special report, called the 7 Day Fat Loss Inferno.

This is a program I designed to help you do one thing, and one thing only: lose as much fat as humanly possible in 7 days.

It’s not something that you’ll want to follow ALL the time … but it’s a great way to kick-start your fat loss efforts – whether you’re getting back into it, or you’re stuck at a fat loss plateau. And done for a short period, in the way I outline in this manual – you’ll see that rapid fat loss can be totally safe – and totally awesome!

Click the link below to get it now (direct download link, no opt-in required):

=> The 7 Day Fat Loss Inferno

In this plan, you’ll use kettlebell and body weight – based metabolic conditioning workouts, high intensity cardio sessions, and super clean eating to shed body fat faster than you ever thought possible.

Again, this program is totally free, and no email opt-in is required … it’s just my token of appreciation, and way of saying thanks for a great year!

Click the link below get your gift:

=> The 7 Day Fat Loss Inferno

Thanks again, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, CPT, RKC II

TOUGH (but simple) Kettlebell Swing Workout

I’ve been talking a lot about the kettlebell swing lately.

And for good reason. It’s the most basic of HardStyle kettlebell exercises, and is the first movement you should master before moving on to more advanced drills.

I wanted to give you a sample workout to try – based around the kettlebell swing – just to show you HOW powerful this exercise can be, WHEN you program it properly into your training.

If you missed my recent three part kettlebell swing video tutorial, you can check that out here:

=> Kettlebell Swing Video Tutorial

TOUGH (but simple) KB Workout

  • Begin your workout with a 3-5 minute dynamic warm up.
  • Do two :30 holds of HardStyle planks, resting about :15 sec. between sets.
  • Swings – do 5 sets of 20.  Rest about :30 between sets.
  • Mix up the type of swings you do. You can do two hand, one hand, hand to hand, or double swings.  This is a great way to mix up the workout, hit slightly different muscle groups and give your body a slightly different stimulus throughout the session.
  • Next, do a body weight circuit of Push Ups, Pull Ups or Inverted Rows, and Step Ups or Lunges – you’ll do 2-3 rounds of 10-15 reps of each exercise.
  • Modify the body weight exercises as needed to challenge yourself JUST enough. So … if you’re just starting out, you might do knee push ups and inverted rows. If you’re advanced, you might do feet elevated push ups and standard pull ups. You can really make this workout as hard or as easy as you like.
  • Finish off with a 3-5 minute static stretch of tight muscle groups ONLY.

And, there you have a very simple, but TOUGH, kettlebell swing-based workout.

Enjoy! And talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS – If you liked this workout, make sure to check out my Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual – it includes a full 12 week program designed to take you from KB newb to HardStyle ninja.  Plus, you’ll get a special deal on it when you pick up your copy this week. Click the link below to learn more:

=> The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual

HardStyle Kettlebell Swing Progression (part 3)

Maybe you’re just getting started with kettlebells, and you simply want to learn how to use them properly to avoid injury.

Maybe you’re sore in places you know you shouldn’t be after a KB workout session.

Maybe you feel like you’re just not getting as much out of your kettlebell training as you know you should or could be.

The solution to these issues – and most that are related to learning the basics – starts with mastering the HardStyle Swing.  It’s the movement that all other movements are based upon in the HardStyle system, and it’s critical that you learn how to do it right from the get-go.

This three step video series will show you a quick, easy, and effective progression to learn the basics of the swing.  Take the time to learn and practice each of these drills, and you’ll be well on your way to safe and effective kettlebell workouts!

Video Recap

  • This is step three in the HardStyle kettlebell swing progression.  By now, you should have i) practiced the imaginary swing and ii) the weighted sumo deadlift.  (If you missed either of the first two videos in the series, make sure to check out the links below.)
  • Now we’re moving on to the full two hand kettlebell swing.
  • Start the move with the weight a couple of feet in front of you.  Do this to pre-load the muscles in the back of the body and start from a solid foundation.
  • Snap the weight back like you’re hike passing a football.
  • Reverse the motion, explosively extend the hips and let the weight fly up to shoulder level.  The lower body is doing about 70-80% of the work; the shoulders are like ropes and are just “along for the ride”.
  • Make sure that you don’t overextend your lower back at the top of the movement.  You want to be nice and tall, like you’re doing a standing plank.
  • Repeat the movement for reps.

If you missed either of the first two videos in this series, see them here:

HardStyle Kettlebell Swing Progression (step 1)

HardStyle Kettlebell Swing Progression (step 2)

This videos series is a crash-course in learning the HardStyle kettlebell swing.  Take the time to study and learn each of the movements in this progression and you’ll have the basics of the move down.

If you want more, though … check out the new 12 week course I’ve put together.  It’s all about mastering the swing, and it’ll take you from KB newb to HardStyle swing ninja.  And you can get it as a huge discount for the next couple of days.  Click the link below to learn more:

The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual

Thanks, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

HardStyle Kettlebell Swing Progression (part 2)

I live maybe 15 or 20 minutes away from my training facility.  So, if I can get my own personal workouts there, I do … but I also get some of my workouts at a “big box” gym that’s about a 60 second drive from my house.

I was there working out yesterday, and I saw a trainer taking his client through a set of KB swings.

Now I try to keep to myself when I’m working out as much as I possibly can … but hey, I’m a trainer, and a kettlebell guy at that, so I have to take a quick peek when someone’s training with kettlebells to see what they’re doing.

A couple of things that were going on:

  • The weight the individual was lifting was way to light for their strength level – and as a result, they were able to “cheat” the weight up to the top of the move
  • Their muscle tension and core engagement was nearly non-exisitant – so their back wasn’t protected at the bottom or top of the move, the two spots spots where the lower back is most vunerable
  • They were swinging the weight too high at the top and losing their neutral spine – which was also adding stress to their back

(BTW, it wasn’t the trainee’s fault at all here – I blame the trainer 100%.  Just to be clear 🙂 )

These are things that may or may not seem like a big deal to you … but they are VERY important if you want to get the most out of your swings, and stay injury free.

So, I’ve put together a little three part video series “crash course” on the swing that I’ll be delivering to you over the next few days.

Last time, we covered the first step in the progression – the imaginary, or weightless, swing. If you missed that video/post, make sure to take a look at it – it’s a really important part of the process. See that here:

=> HardStyle kettlebell swing progression (part 1)

The next step – shown in the video below – is the deadlift.

Video Recap

  • Get set up so that the ‘bell is even with the insteps of the feet. You should have your deadlift hip hinging movement down from step one.
  • Stand up with the KB. Get as tall as you can. Make sure to squeeze the glutes, thighs, and abs at the top.
  • Keep in mind that is NOT a squatting move, but a deadlift. This is probably the most important element of step two.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for part three of the HardStyle kettlebell swing progression video series coming soon …

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS – If you like what you’re learning so far in this video series … stay tuned for a cool program I’ve recently RE-designed and improved for 2012-2013 … it’s a full 12 week course that’ll take you in a progressive fashion from KB newb to HardStyle swing ninja.  I’ll have more details for you coming in the next few days …

HardStyle Kettlebell Swing Progression (part 1)

Are you having problems getting the hang of the kettlebell Swing?

Are you tired of your lower back aching after a swing session?

Do you feel like you’re just not getting as much out of the movement as you could be?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, I have great news.

I just finished filming a new – and totally free – video series on a quick and easy progression to master the kettlebell swing.  Check out the first video today – and stay tuned for part two coming very soon:

Video Recap

  • This video outlines step one of a quick and easy progression to learn the HardStyle kettlebell swing.
  • The swing is the most basic and fundamental of HardStyle kettlebell moves.  If you are a beginner, this is the move you will want to learn first.  If you feel like you already have a good mastery of the exercise, this is still a good progression to re-visit – to make sure you’re not building bad habits, developing bad form, etc.
  • Step one – covered in this video – is the weightless or the imaginary swing.  You’re going to practice the move and grove the movement pattern without the actual kettlebell in your hands.
  • Start with the feet about shoulder-width apart and with your weight set back to the heels.
  • Push your hips back behind you to start the move.  Imagine like you are driving your butt back through a piece of glass.  This is very important.  The lower body portion of the KB swing is a deadlift move, NOT a squat (which is a very common error.)
  • First just practice the deadlift portion of the move.  Touch the imaginary KB on the ground with your hands.
  • Now, progress on to the swing movement.  Think hike pass a football. You want to imagine you are tossing the KB back behind you – not bringing it to the ground.
  • Stand up.  Tense the glutes, thighs and abs.  Bring the imaginary weight up to shoulder level.  Then, without hesitating, bring the KB back down.
  • Practice this move with no weight.  Once you have this movement down, you can move on to step two, the KB deadlift …

I hope part one of this video series has helped you grove the basic movement pattern of the swing.  I’ll be back in a couple of days with part two of this series, the KB deadlift video tutorial.  Stay tuned!

And – to get first notice of the next video – make sure to sign up for the newsletter.  Just drop your name and best email address into the box at the upper right of the page to do so now!

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

Interview with Fat Loss Expert Kate Vidulich

Hey! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend.  Forest here back with another expert interview for you from

Today with us we have Kate Vidulich.  I’ve gotten to know Kate now for the last several months, and met her in person a month or so ago at a industry event … she’s a super cool person and has some great ideas about fat loss, specifically losing those last 10 pounds with what she calls “metabolic mashups” (these utilize KB’s, body weight, dumbbells and barbells as primary training tools, BTW) … I knew her ideas would be of great interest to my readers, so I was pumped when she agreed to do an interview for

A little more about Kate before we get to the full interview –

Kate is an experienced Exercise Physiologist and Certified ACSM Health Fitness Specialist with a passion for excellence. Kate has an extensive research background, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Exercise Science from the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia.

Kate specializes in designing and implementing personalized, effective, results-oriented training programs. Her unique approach, combining movement rehabilitation and fat loss, has helped thousands of people across the world achieve their goals, at all ages.

A resident of New York City, Kate operates in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and consults with clients in private one-on-one, and online coaching with clients worldwide.

She is the author of the Fat Loss Accelerators program, and also regularly updates her blog at

Without further ado, Kate –


1. What first drove you to create the Fat Loss Accelerators program?

The evolution of the idea to share Fat Loss Accelerators with the world struck me one afternoon while I was training in a small, crowded New York gym. It was so insanely busy, and I was tired of being pushed out of the space. I just needed a fast, challenging workout to do with limited equipment, in a small area.

The idea for the program had been right in front of me the whole time! I had been using and testing unique metabolic movements for a few years, and getting results with my clients and myself. So I knew there would be other folks in the world who would totally benefit from this and love it!


2. What exactly is your fitness program/philosophy/etc. all about?

My training philosophy is pretty simple. In order to get fit and build an athletic body, you need to work hard based on your current ability. When you progress and succeed, the confidence you gain from training transfers into other aspects of your life. What you initially thought was impossible – is now possible.

I like to focus on training movement patterns, using major muscle groups to burn the maximum number of calories in your workout time. People love a challenge and it’s always great to add a fun element to your training program – otherwise you simply won’t do it!

I think there are so many excellent training approaches, with industry leaders such as Alwyn & Rachel Cosgrove, Craig Ballantyne, Mike Boyle and so many others to list. Instead of trying to compete with these programs, the idea of Fat Loss Accelerators is to add-on to their fantastic work. So I created done-for-you intense workouts that you can plug into your program to accelerate fat loss results.


3. You have a unique and inspiring approach to busting through fitness plateaus that I think appeals to a lot of folks. What exercise methods have you studied and how do they influence your work?

Thanks Forest! I’m always studying different training methods, because you can always learn and pick up ideas from other disciplines.

I worked on a University research project back in Sydney, Australia studying the effectiveness of high intensity interval training for fat loss in women. The results were a major breakthrough in our field, and this has significantly influenced my training approach.

My workouts are intense and challenging. Think resistance training meets high intensity intervals. The unique metabolic movements in my workouts can help you save time in your training sessions, maximize your calorie expenditure and eliminate the need for cardio.

I bring a new, challenging approach for the people who would otherwise jump on a treadmill/bike and do sprints.


4. What type of results have individuals experienced with your program/workouts/etc.? Could you provide a few examples?

The results and feedback from my clients has been incredible. I have a core bunch of clients I been training for over 3 years now, so it’s been very interesting to see the body transformations with my experiments and shift in training style over time. I find it more effective to focus on athletic goals and aesthetic results are a bonus!

My favorite example is a female client who is 62 years old, trains really hard and is currently in better shape than a lot of 30 year olds going around. After achieving her initial weight loss goal of 20 pounds, we shifted the focus to performance goals. Initially, Nancy couldn’t run at all, and now she can run a mile in less than 10 minutes! Plus, she gets so many compliments on how amazing her arms look. I agree – they look incredible!

A 38 year old female client who refused to do any cardio or even go to the gym lost 31 pounds over 6 months. She set up a home gym with weights in her apartment, shifted her mindset and decided to kick butt in every workout. Really impressive change!

Another example is myself. I lost 41 pounds using these insane workouts and in 2011, I beat my previous year NYC marathon time by 54 minutes. This year, I shaved 8 minutes off my best half marathon time.

Awesome, right! See you at the next Olympics 😉


5. Would you be kind enough to provide a sample workout or two for my readers to try out at home?

Absolutely Forest! For best results, use a Fat Loss Accelerators at the beginning of your workout before strength training– after a dynamic warm up and core work Replace your interval days with Fat Loss Accelerators, and reduce the stress involved with thinking and planning.

The first one is a bodyweight only workout, so there is no excuse. Try it!

Accelerator 2

Equipment Options – Bodyweight only

Perform each of the following in order with no rest. Continue the series for a total of 5 minutes. Rest for 90 seconds and then repeat twice:

A) Walk outs x 5
B) T Push Ups x 5
C) Mountain Climbers x 5
D) Jump Squats x 5

Accelerator 27

Equipment Options – Dumbbells / Kettlebells

Choose a weight you can lift overhead for 10 reps. Perform each of the following in order with no rest, and without putting the weight down. At the end of the circuit, rest for 90 seconds. Repeat for 4 rounds:

A) Alternating Lunge to Overhead Reach x 6
B) Squat thrust to Deadlift x 6
C) Front Squats to Push Press x 6
D) Push Up to Renegade Row x 6

You can find both of these in 31 Fat Loss Accelerators, done-for-you workouts that you can simply plug into your current program. Yes, you don’t have to start again.

Grab your very own copy of Fat Loss Accelerators here

These are intense, targeted workouts that involve the strategic use of compounding, hybrid exercises to maximize fat burning and training time to break through plateaus.

Cheers to kicking butt!



Thanks again, Kate. That was an awesome interview.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and talk soon –


PS – To learn more about Kate’s full program for using Fat Loss Accelerator Circuits to bust your fat loss plateau, click here