7 Minute Flexibility (stretching sequence inside)

I just finished off a short flexibility session this morning to start my day.

This is something that I do almost every morning. I started the routine seven or eight years ago, and it has made a TREMENDOUS difference in improving recovery, mobility, conditioning, and overall athleticsim.

If you are looking for similar benefits, and you aren’t currently doing a routine like this, I suggest you work something like this into your training as well!

Here is the short series from today, if you want to give it a try… I held each of these poses for about 45 seconds each:

  • Low lunge
  • Wide leg stretch / straddle
  • Lying spinal twist
  • Couch stretch
  • Standing legs-apart stretch
  • Seated spinal twist

I also highly recommend a new, more comprehensive program from my fried Logan Christopher, called “7 Minute Flexibility“.

A few words from Logan on his new program:

“Like most of fitness, there are a bunch of myths and inefficient ideas surrounding that of stretching and flexibility.

In short:

Static stretching is over-rated.

…and…

Other forms of flexibility training are under-rated.

Stretching your muscles might make them feel good, but is it really the goal you’re after?

If you want to actually get more flexible it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of all the following:

Static Stretching
Isometric Stretching
Dynamic Stretching

Learn more here.

You’ll also find out how you can become much more flexible in just seven minutes!”

#

To sum up, there are some tremendous benefits to be had from incorporating a regular stretching routine into your training, if you’re not already.

You can use the short sequence I shared with you today, or for a more comprehensive solution, check out 7 minute Flexibility from my friend Logan Christopher:

=>> 7 Minute Flexibility

To your continued success

-Forest Vance
Corrective Exercise Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

Test Boost “Challenge” for Men 40+

For most men, test levels start to decline around age 40, averaging just over 1% per year.

This drop is imperceptible at first, but by age 70, the average man’s testosterone production is 30% below its peak.

This can lead to things like:

  • fatigue
  • loss of muscle mass
  • low energy
  • low sex drive
  • increased body fat
  • decreased bone mass
  • mood changes

And more.

So what can you do about it?

Personally, one of the things I’ve started up is a regular dose of the herb Pine Pollen.

I have tried other “natural test boosters”, none of them really compare.

This one, you can feel the difference right away. I have more energy, feel more alert, am more motivated, and feel stronger in the gym.

And Lost Empire Herbs (the brand I take and the one I recommend) has a pretty unique “Challenge”, lol:

“For men, take a three tablespoon dose of pine pollen (a megadose) mixed in 8 oz. of water before going to bed. If you don’t wake up with “morning wood”, you can send back the unused portion of your pine pollen for a full refund.”

So, take the Test Boost “Challenge” for Men 40+ at the link below:

=>> Lost Empire Herbs Test Boost “Challenge” for Men 40+

And here’s to more energy, more muscle, less fat, and an improved you!

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert to men and women over 40
KettlebellBasics.net

Week 1, Day 2 “Kettlebell Body Revival” Workout

This is a sample workout from my “Kettlebell Body Revival” program.

(It’s a full 28-day training plan that is included free when you pick up Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness.)

This program is designed specifically with the 40’s, 50’s and beyond crowd in mind… but it’s also NOT just an “easier” version of our regular kettlebell workout plans.

We just look more closely at the big picture in terms of programming, take into account things like volume, intensity, and frequency, and more.

Here’s the workout:

Week 1, Day 2 “Kettlebell Body Revival” Workout

PART 1

This workout starts with kettlebell presses. You’ll do five reps on the right, and five reps on the left … rest as needed, and continue on to do four sets of five total on each side.

*video exercise demos linked in full program
*recommended KB weights included in full program

PART 2

Do three rounds of the following circuit, moving quickly but resting as needed:

— walking lunge with kettlebell at side (complete all reps on one side before switching to other side) – 10 per leg
— hanging leg raises – 10
— 12 push ups

PART 3

(beginner) One hand kettlebell swing

OR

(advanced) kettlebell snatch

Do 50 reps as fast as possible, using any combination of reps on either side. Prioritze perfect form! Time yourself, and see if you can get slightly faster every workout.

#

Remember – my 28-day Kettlebell Body Revival course is a program you get FREE when you pick up a copy of Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness.

And the cool thing is, you get the amount of strength you need, AND total-body conditioning… so that you can do workouts like this three or four times per week, and get a complete fitness solution.

So, if you’re looking to:

— Improve the ability to do what you love
— Eliminate the pain of getting older
— Feel up to 20 years younger
— Gain strength
— Prevent injury
— Build functional fitness at ANY age

Check out my Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program today at the link below:

=> Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness

And here’s to your continued success!

-Forest Vance
KettlebellBasics.net

18-min “Lifetime KB Fitness” Swing / TGU Workout

If you are age 50+…

If you want to eliminate the pain of getting older…

If you want to improve your ability to do what you love…

And if you want to feel up to 20 years younger…

My Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness training plan is built SPECIFICIALLY for you.

Here is a sample from the program:

#

18-min Swing / TGU Workout
sample from – Lifetime KB Fitness for Men and Women Over 50 (week 5)

*Video demos, detailed progressions, exercise breakdowns and more in the full course

Warm Up

– Box Squat – 10-15 repetitions
– Hamstring/Hip Flexor Stretch Combo

Perform these two exercises back-to-back without rest; repeat the pair of warm-up movements twice without rest

Workout

– swing progression (sumo deadlift – 1/2 swing – full swing) – 15-20
– ‘Active Rest’- :30
– ½ OR foot sweep Turkish get up – 3 reps ea side
– ‘Active Rest’- :30

Continue this sequence non-stop for 18 minutes

Cool Down

5 minutes of static stretching – tight muscle groups only

#

With Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness, you get:

  • Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness Training Manual – 6 week plan to help you gain strength, prevent injury, and build functional fitness at any age
  • Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness Video Series – Learn how to do every exercise in the Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program using perfect form with video demo
  • 28 Day KB Body Revival – An additional, full 28 day kettlebell program. Once you’ve completed Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness, move on to the 28 Day KB Body Revival program to keep your training going and take things to the next level!
  • 14 Day Rapid Shred Protocol – I launched this as a pilot program with local clients at our gym facilities who wanted to participate. Follow the protocol to a “T”, and you can expect to lose 2-3% of your bodyweight in 14 days.

Full 6 week training plan at the link below:

=>> https://bit.ly/lifetimekettlebellfit

And here’s to improving your ability to do what you love, eliminating the pain of getting older, and feeling up to 20 years younger!

– Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Kettlebell Expert
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

(video) 5-Point Deadlift Technique Checklist

*Before we get to today’s article and video, I am curious – would you want a copy of my “5×5 Bolt-On” program?

It’s a training I put it together to help some of our staff lead an “advanced” small group training program we run at our gym in Sacramento, CA. With this group, we do a MIX of a basic barbell lift + metabolic conditioning, at every workout. And it’s an AWESOME approach if you want to become strong, fit, and athletic.

So the “5×5 Bolt-On” program is basically programming for folks first getting into the group. It’s intended to get YOU started with lifting – as an ADDITION to your existing HIIT – type program.

Hit reply if this sounds cool, and if we get enough interest, we’ll put it together and make it happen!*

===

I am slowly building back my deadlift after tearing my pec around this time last year.

(No, your pectoral muscles are obviously not prime movers during a deadlift. But, when you start picking up some heavier weights, you’d be surprised how much you do use and feel them, especially if one is a little weaker and less mobile as you come back from an injury… not to mention, it’s a pretty good demonstration that the deadlift is a TOTAL BODY exercise!)

Here is the 5-point mental “checklist” I think about before a deadlift session. I also try to focus on ONE of these tips – that I, or a client I’m working with – need to work on most, for the workout. Do you think I hit all of these points in the video? 🙂

===

5-Point Deadlift Technique Checklist

1 – Set up with the bar just in front of your shins, but not touching them. When you reach down to grab the bar, your shins should touch it.

2 – Take the slack out of the bar when you set up and get ready to lift. This will feel a bit like you’re pulling up on the bar and driving your feet into the ground at the same time. Another way to think about it is like you’re wedging yourself between the bar and the ground.

3 – Get your back flat. Your shoulders should be down and back, your back flat, and your upper back tight and positioned right over the bar on your set up.

4 – The bar path should be straight up and down. NOT around your knees, out in front of your body, etc.

5 – Stick with the double overhand grip for as long as possible. At some point, when the weight gets higher, you’ll have to switch to the mixed grip. But the double overhand grip is most symmetrical and easiest on your body.

===

Curious – would you want a copy of my “5×5 Bolt-On” program?

It’s a training I put it together to help some of our staff lead an “advanced” small group training program we run at our gym in Sacramento, CA. With this group, we do a MIX of a basic barbell lift + metabolic conditioning, at every workout. And it’s an AWESOME approach if you want to become strong, fit, and athletic.

So the “5×5 Bolt-On” program is basically programming for folks first getting into the group. It’s intended to get YOU started with lifting – as an ADDITION to your existing HIIT – type program.

Hit reply if this sounds cool, and if we get enough interest, we’ll put it together and make it happen!

Keep training hard, talk soon –

-Forest Vance, Certified StrongFirst Barbell Instructor, KettlebellBasics.net

[video] Modified / Beginner-Level Turkish Getup Variations

What muscles does the Turkish getup work?

ALL OF THEM 🙂

But it’s fantastic.

Because no other exercise simultanously trains both stabilty and mobility, across so many joints, and in so many positions.

However, if you are just learning the exercise, working around an injury, or don’t quite yet have the mobility or core strength to do the full version, it can be tricky.

So check out today’s video. In it, I show two beginner / entry – level variations of the movement – the “1/2 get up” and the “foot switch get up”:

Enjoy!

And if you like this one, also be sure to check out my Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program for men and women over 50 – we use modified / beginner level version of a lot of the different moves, kind of like this one:

=>> Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

HIIT-crawl-climb-carry “Hurricane” workout

I love OCR (obstacle course racing) events!

They are a great combo – you have to be able to run and / or hike fast uphill, but you also have to be able to climb, crawl, and carry heavy objects pretty proficently to do well.

Plus you get to exercise outdoors, you get to visit beautiful locations, and you get to be around other positive, like-minded people that are all about strength and health!

Now almost exactly a year ago, I ended up tearing my pec at the Lake Tahoe Spartan Ultra Beast event.

Got surgery to correct it in November of 2019.

And have been training hard all year to get to where I was.

That’s why I was so pumped to have completed a “virtual” Spartan Beast this last weekend!

(It’s a half marathon run, plus 30 virtual “obstacles”.)

Not the same as the real thing obviously, but it still felt great to have something to train for on the calendar, and to get it done.

One of the methods I used to get ready is we call “Hurricane” training. It’s a mash-up of high intensity conditioning moves (jump rope, step ups, running, burpees) and crawls, pulls, and carries.

(We use this method in my OCR Domination program… it’s probably my personal favorite program we’ve put together, and it’s very close to how I train myself.)

Whether you are going to be doing a real or virtual OCR event or not, this is a great method to incorporate into your program for faster fat loss, better conditioning, and improved mental toughness:

#

HIIT-crawl-climb-carry “Hurricane” workout
OCR Domination – week 9, day 1

90 Secs jump rope

  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs bear crawls
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs step ups
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs pull ups
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs jumping jacks
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs carries (choose your preferred from the last 8 weeks)
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs running
  • 30 Sec rest
    90 Secs burpees
  • 30 Sec rest

REPEAT! (2 rounds total)

#

Get the full OCR Domination course here:

=>> OCR Domination

Enjoy today’s workout…

…and here’s to your continued success!

-Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement
KettlebellBasics.net

Kettlebells + Sprints – Ultimate Conditioning Workout

One thing I LOVE to incorporate at the end of our outdoor boot camp workouts these days is sprints in one form or another.

Now when I say “sprinting”, this can mean different things for different people… and we give each person at a workout regressions or progressions depending on their current fitness level, goals, etc…

…but for example, last week we did:

  • For six minutes, on the minute, do one “1/2 gassers” (run width of football field and back)
  • In the “remaining amount of time” left in that minute (ex – it takes you 25 seconds to run your 1/2 gasser, you have 35 seconds left) alternate KB halos (first / third / fifth rounds) and KB slingshots (second / fourth / sixth rounds)

See, running is an athletic activity I believe a healthy, athletic man or woman should be able to do.

Now I’m not saying you have to go out and sign up for a marathon. Or even a 5k. But running, even a short distance, is part of normal athletic movement.

And sprinting can be a GREAT, and in a lot of cases superior, to just going out for a jog.

1 – Sprinting is WAY more time efficient – we’re talking workouts like the one above that literally only take a few minutes
2 – For guys, there is actually a lot of research behind sprinting boosting test levels – check out this page for more info
3 – I always tell people to find athletes you want to look like, and train like them. Elite endurance runners tend to be skinny, without a lot of muscle. Sprinters tend to be muscular and jacked. Enough said 🙂

As far as a full sprinting program, I recommend Anabolic Running 2.0:

=>> Anabolic Running 2.0

It’s a complete program adjustable for various fitness levels, that can be added right on to your current routine.

And here’s to taking your fitness to the next level!\

-Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
KettlebellBasics.net

[pic] Simple 6-Min Recovery Sesh for Lifters + Athletes

If you are a person that does any kind of HIIT-type workouts..

If you are a runner..

If you lift weights regularly..

Or even if you just want an easy way to get moving and start doing these things in the near future..

And ESPECIALLY if you are age 35 or older…

Regular mobility, flexibility and core work is probably one of the most overlooked parts of a training program.

And the cool thing is, in my REGENERATE program (FREE when you sign up for this month’s “500” 28-day KB Challenge), we put all of these elements together into short, simple sequences so that you can:

  • Improve recovery 
  • Improve conditioning
  • Increase mobility
  • Improve overall athleticism
  • Prevent injury

And much more.

Here is a simple one of these sequences to get you started. Do/hold each pose/stretch for about 60 seconds:

  • Cat / Cow
  • Lying hamstring stretch
  • ‘Modified’ cobra
  • Quadruped rocks
  • Downward dog
  • Cobra

And if you liked this sequence, you have one last chance to get my REGENERATE program for free when you sign up for the 28-day “500” KB Challenge here =>> https://bit.ly/500kb20social

Here’s faster recovery, better movement, and less injury! –

-Forest Vance, Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, KettlebellBasics.net

PART 2 – Kettlebell “Versus” Series: Jason Statham vs the Rock

In part 1 of this Kettlebell “Versus” Series, I posed this question:

Who would you rather look and/or perform like – Jason Statham, or the Rock?

And we talked about how, if you want “functional fitness” and lean muscle, you’d want to model your training after someone like Statham.

Today, we’re going to talk about talk how if you want to get straight up JACKED… if you want brute strength and raw power and an intimidating presence to go with it… how you can train like the Rock.

For maximum muscle size, there are a few specific things you want to focus on:

1 – Up the Volume

Training VOLUME – total number of reps x total number of sets – is a BIG factor if you want to gain size.

Short, 20-30 minute workouts WILL help you get lean and functional and fit – but they will NOT help you gain max muscle.

Looking at one sample Rock training session, he splits up his bodyparts, and focuses on training one or two each day. Here is a sample leg workout I found (you’d also want to have separate days for back, chest, shoulders, arms, etc):

Run on Treadmill – 30-50 minutes
Eat Breakfast
Barbell Walking Lunge – 4 sets, 25 reps
Leg Press – 4 sets, 25 reps
Leg Extensions – 3 sets, 20 reps
Barbell Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
Single Leg Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets, 10 reps
Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets, 20 reps
Thigh Abductor – 4 sets, 12 reps

2 – Moderate Rep Range

If you’re going for all-out SIZE, you want to stick in what we’d call a “moderate” rep range – 8-12 – most of the time. Substantial evidence argues that this is the best way to build muscle mass. It increases hormone response, spares protein, and provides the necessary time under tension to spark muscle damage. You’re actually going to stay AWAY from low rep / very heavy (5 reps or less), most of the time. Counter-intuitive, I know, but true. Training for strength and training for mass are actually two different things.

3 – Keep Rest Periods Short

When the training goal is muscular hypertrophy, the combination of moderate-intensity sets with short rest intervals of 30-60 seconds might be most effective due to greater acute levels of growth hormone during such workouts.

Again – this is NOT the approach you take when training for maximal strength… but it works for building mass.

See this research paper for more: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19691365

#

So there you have a few keys to training for maximum strength and size!

Is this a realistic routine for most?

Not really 🙂

The time and energy and available equipment etc etc this takes can be tough, especially if you’re managing other priorities in your life.

And we didn’t even get into the nutrition side, but that is also a HUGE factor too.

The great news is, if your goals are more along the lines of “functional fitness” and lean muscle, you absolutely CAN reach your goals in just a few 20-30 minute kettlebell-based workouts per week.

Like we do in our upcoming 500 KB Challenge.

Details on that here:

=>> 500 KB Challenge

Hope this “kettlebell versus” serious was both informative, and entertaining 🙂

If you have ideas for more athlete or celebrity training styles you’d like me to break down, let me know!

And whatever your goals, here’s to your continued success –

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
KettlebellBasics.net