Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are you Kettlebell Juggling?

Just got back from Fort Collins, Colorado where I taught an HKC certification. RKC Aaron Pierson was the host and was a excellent host to say the least. We had a rather small group but what was really cool was that many of the top RKC Colorado Instructors came up to watch and assist. Josh Hillis, Valerie Hedlund, Gus Petersen, Shari Wagner, Jim Perry and Heather Hubbard. It's always great to get talented RKC's together because ideas organically come to life and we all learn off each other! Really enjoyed my time in Colorado (although I am glad to be back in San Diego.....I don't like being cold and I love the ocean).

Now onto Juggling. The day after the HKC Aaron Pierson and I had the opportunity to drive to Denver and spend two hours training with RKC Gus Petersen and his lovely wife Karen. Gus is the creator of the K.A.T (Kettlebell Athletic Training System.)  The K.A.T. system is an all-Amerian system of kettlebell juggling moves that's as physically demaning and mentally engaging as your chosen sport, athletic endeavor, or outdoor adventure.  I have alway been curious about kettlebell juggling but have never had any serious coaching. To say I was impressed with Gus and his juggling is an understatement. It was some of the most challening and fun training I have ever done. The amount of hand eye coordination, FOCUS and quickness that is needed is off the charts!!!  Neurologically I felt alive.
Gus took us through his foundational juggling movements and coached us through a step-by step progression that allowed to start juggling right off the start. Gus's coaching is so effective yet so simple. He got me to do things that I thought I would never be able to do.  I was so impressed with what Gus can do and the creative mind that he has, I will be hosting a joint workshop with Gus sometime in the near future. Details to come!

Here is a video compilation I put together of our session with Gus! Truly is amazing what is possible with kettlebell juggling. The MINDFULLNESS it requires is more than you could imagine!

How many of you are doing kettlebell juggling? Thoughts and comments are welcome.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sprinting......why you should be doing it

Last Saturday I was forunate enought to give a brief lecture at the Hardstyle Ventura Workshop on the importance of SPRINTING and the many positive benefits of including this primal movement into your regimen!  It was amazing to see 50 plus people performing sprint technique drills and focusing on the basics. Just like we teach at the RKC, anybody can pick up a kettlebell and swing it; but not everyone can properly perform the KETTLEBELL SWING.  It is no different with sprint technique; everyone can attempt to run fast, but not everyone can run well.What I want to share with you today are some of the main principles I taught the group.

"You run on the ground - you sprint over it." - Perry Duncan

Why Sprint?

  • Being able to move fast could save your life (and someone else as well)
  • It keeps you functioning a very high level throughout life
  • Better communication and activation of fast twitch fibers
  • Can build MUSCLE and encourage FAT LOSS
  • Makes you LOOK better - which is why the majority of people train anyway

  • Positive hormonal reaction - Growth Hormone and Testosterone
  • Anabolic Stimulus
  • The most practical way to demonstrate ballistic HIP EXTENSION
  • The ultimate in power training with just your bodyweight
  • Some of the highest power outputs have been found in sprinting
  • Very dynamic form of strength training / mobility training
  • PALEO PEOPLE would say that sprinting was needed for evolutionary reason to catch prey or escape predators
  • The ability to sprint at high intensity is a very good sign of orthopedic and neuro-endocrine health
Like any movement worth doing, the secret is learning CORRECT technique.  Although explaining proper technque in detail is far beyond the scope of this blog post, here are some essentials that you must know about proper sprint technique.


  1. Head is held high and is the beginning of running tall
  2. The torso erect
  3. The hand of the driving arm comes up to the level of the face
  4. The shoulders are relaxed
  5. The hips are high enough above the ground to allow the driving leg to extend fully to the ground
  6. The ankle of the recoevery leg clears the knee of the driving leg - MOST IMPORTANT****
  7. The ankle fully extends at the end of the leg drive
Next post I will show the drills that I taught in learning proper sprint mechanics.

Question to all of you: are you currenty sprinting, why or why not?

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome!