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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Pavel

Here is a Christmas wish from Chief Kettlebell Instructor Pavel.

Amen Pavel!!

Power by Pavel Newsletter
Issue 194, 12/24/09
Merry Christmas!

If you are not a Christian and you took offense I respectfully ask you to reconsider. I grew up in the Soviet Union where you could get expelled from school, dishonorably discharged from the army officer's corps, or put an end to your career for wishing someone a merry Christmas. Christmas celebrations were supplanted with "New Year" celebrations to keep God out of our lives.

Today, every time I hear lame and toothless "Happy holidays!" or I wish someone a merry Christmas and get a look, I feel like I am back in the USSR. The Big Brother is watching.

If you do not believe in the Christian God, at least have the cheer to celebrate the freedom of religion—or lack of thereof—and the freedom of speech we still enjoy in America.

Merry Christmas and God bless America!

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 things I wish I knew 5 years ago

Here are 10 things I have experienced in the last 5 years. These are in no specific order.

1. If a client cannot do a proper scapular wall slide you should probably hold off on overhead movements. Clear up the restriction then progress

2. Teach your clients the difference between a pelvic tilt and scapular retraction and protraction. If they can do each one without moving the other they will have better body awareness.

3. Spend more time prepping the hips and shoulders.

4. Ankle mobility is the key to all lower body movements- clearing up any ankle restrictions will pretty much increase the quality of any lower body lift.

5. Do not teach something you cannot do PERFECTLY

6. Take the time to mentor a younger client. I can assure you that you will learn just as much from them as they learned from you.

7. Strength is a skill, you MUST practice every time you train. Do not just work out. PRACTICE

8. Take the time to learn and network with other strength coaches, you do not know it all.

9. Quality before quantity- anybody can do a drill wrong, not everybody can do it correctly.

10. Spend more time with your friends. This doesn't always have to be something significant. Sometimes you need to just "show up"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great MMA website

Hi everybody, I came across a great website called WWW.BUDDHASPORT.COM
This is a website dedicated to MMA (mixed martial arts). Please check it out when you get a second. The owner/founder of buddhasport is Nick Mirabella, he has done a great job with the site so please support him and check it out. I have the honor of sharing some of my knowledge on his site so stay tuned.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Top Ten Nutritional Tips

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- proper hydration is essential to keep our bodies performing at a high level. Make sure that your urine color is clear or has a slight yellowish tint.

2. Eat at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Try to pick fruits that vary in color.

3. Consume 1 to 2 grams of fish oil per day. Fish oil is loaded with Omega-3’s. Some benefits of fish oil are:
-improved brain function
- regulated blood sugar levels
-fish oil has natural anti- inflammatory properties, especially for people with digestive issues

4. When shopping for chicken, eggs, beef or pork, try to buy meats that are all natural and have not been treated with any type of hormones.

5. Avoid drinking soda at all costs. Soda is filled with sugar and provides empty calories with no nutritional benefits.

6. Surround your workouts with protein. Consuming a small amount of protein before a workout will fuel your muscles for the duration of your training. Your post workout meal should consist of a 2/1 carbohydrate to protein meal. For example, try to ingest 60 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein immediately after a workout. This will ensure that your body has the proper nutrition to repair muscle tissue that was broken down during your training routine.

7. Don’t starve yourself, eating 1 to 2 meals a day will slow your metabolism down. Your body will be using protein as fuel instead of carbohydrates. This can lead to a decrease in lean muscle. Instead try to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks each day, always include a lean protein with each meal or snack.

8. The best time to consume a complex carbohydrate is after your workout. Try to get your carbs from fruits and vegetables for the rest of the day.

9. Eat more fat. Foods such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, and Greek yogurt provide a healthy source of fat. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.

10. Try a protein shake- Shakes are one of the tastiest ways to get protein into your system - you just need to be creative with the ingredients. Here is my favorite recipe:

10 oz skim milk 2 Scoops of Vanilla protein
4 large frozen strawberries
1 banana

You can change the liquid content to change the consistency of the shake. Some like it thicker while some enjoy a lighter shake

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keep it Simple Stupid

You have no idea how to work out. It's not your fault, you haven't been educated enough. Don't take it personally, it's just the truth. I know that you have been lifting for 10 years but that doesn't mean that you have any clue about training. Here is my point, Too many times we are trying the newest exercises in Mens Health. We buy Muscle & Fitness magazine because we want a bigger chest in 8 weeks. The truth is that most people haven't even mastered basic, proven strength training methods and yet they are trying advanced drills. Here it Comes....and the catch line is Keep it Simple Stupid! I got the idea to write this after I finished my RKC last April, not only was this a life-changing experience but it truly opened my eyes about Strength Training. Strength is a skill, in order to get strong you must first develop the proper technique(s). This comes through fixing imbalances, always practicing perfect form and logging thousands of perfect repetitions. Someone once told me, the most elite athletes in the world all have something in common, they all have mastered the basic skills and techniques in their sport. We can take this quote and apply it directly to our workouts, My challenge to you is to take these 5 exercises, learn them, practice them 3 days a week and see how you progress in 4 weeks.


Start with your hands directly underneath your shoulder joint, keep your body in a straight line from ears to ankle. Create tension in your abdominals and squeeze your quads and glutes. Tighten your lats as if you are squeezing a piece if paper underneath your armpit. As you descend into your push-up, keep everything tight. Think about spreading your hands apart as you come down. Create that slight tension outward as you get to the bottom. Do not rest, stay tight. As you get ready to push-up, are you tight? Have you lost any tension in your body? From there slowly push to the top while keeping everything tight. Think about sliding your hands together as you ascend. Squeeze your chest and lats on the way up and finish just as you started. Try to complete 3 or 4 sets of 10 exactly as I described and see how you feel.

Body Weight Squat

Start with you feet roughly hip width. You can toe out slightly but not too much. Slightly extend your hips. Create outward tension as if you are trying to spread the floor apart. This will help activate your hips as you squat. As you descend, keep your stomach tight and sit back as if you are sitting onto a chair. Your posture should be tall and not hunched forward. Go as deep as you can and try to bottom out on your squat. You spine will most likely be in flexion at this point but as long as you are not loading the spine in flexion then thats ok. From here drive your feet into the floor, keep everything tight, stomach, hips and lats. Stand up tall and repeat. Try 3-4 sets of 20


In my opinion the pull-up is the best upper body exercise when done correctly. If you can't do a pull-up order a superband from perform better, they will assist you until you have developed the strength/skill to perform a body weight pull-up. http://www.performbetter.com/detail.aspx_Q_ID_E_3889_A_CategoryID_E_352 Start at the bottom, set your shoulders back and down and try to pack your shoulder into the socket. This should be the first part of your pull-up. Remember the lats are the prime mover on these, if you don't do this you will be doing the pullup incorrectly. Start from a dead hang, keep shoulders packed and pull upwards, keep tension in your lats as you pull, and you should feel them working. Continue to pull until your chin has easily cleared the bar and the bar is at the bottom of your throat. Pause at the top. On the way down think about pulling your body down and slightly away from the bar. Try to envision it as if you are performing a overhead press. Keep all of the tension in your stomach and lats and control to the bottom. Try 3 to 4 sets of these. Do as many perfect reps as possible, once form is sloppy, STOP!

Bulgarian Squat

I am pretty sure that these didn't originate in Bulgaria but it is a great exercise. I will start with the Left leg forward for descriptive purposes. You can use a bench or a chair for the back leg in this exercise. Make sure the your have perfect posture on these, shoulders stay directly over the hips and remain that way through the exercise. Start with your Right leg on the bench, being on your toes is slightly more challenging while laces are a bit easier. Reach your Left foot forward far enough that the majority of weight is in your heel. Keep tall and imagine a plate of glass in front of your face, Squeeze your right glute and keep your stomach tight and go as deep as you can while remaining tall and keeping your weight into your heel. Keep tension in your hips throughout the exercise. Try 3 or 4 sets of 10 on each leg.


I have a problem when people do the plank wrong. Some say it's too easy while others say they can't feel it. If you feel it in your back you are most likely doing it wrong or do not have the strength to perform it correctly. You may need to start with a slightly less challenging exercise. Start with your elbows tight to your rib cage, keep tension in your abdominals and tighten your lats. Keep everything tight, make sure that your quads and glutes and tight at the same time. Keep your feet hip width and drive your heels back. Make sure that your spine stays neutral, don't arch your low back and round your upper back.. Keep your head neutral and facing down. Hold this and stay tight, try to squeeze everything while keeping mental notes of what's tight and what's not. Try performing 3 to 4 sets of 30 second holds.

Remember, stay hydrated throughout the day and make sure that you surround your workouts with Protein. You have already done the workout, make sure you take full advantage of it with proper nutrition.