Monday, September 26, 2016

Fitness After a C-Section - Advice to New Mamas

Fitness After a C-Section 
by Melissa Closser

First off, I want to apologize to every new mom I saw pushing their 6 month old child in a stroller and thinking "Why hasn't she lost the weight yet? It can't be that hard."  YES IT IS!!!
I got into fitness, primarily kettlebell training, after suffering a miscarriage.  Before getting pregnant with my son, I trained for my first kettlebell competition and level 1 kettlebell certification (I certified while 10 weeks pregnant, with doctor's clearance).  I continued my kettlebell training throughout the first and second trimesters of my pregnancy.

2 month after C-section
Once I was cleared from my c-section to start training again, I turned to Lauren's article What Doctor's Don't Tell You After a C-Section for help. I wanted to get my strong body back, but wasn't sure how to begin. I followed her programming of planks, pelvic tilts, kettlebell swings and 4-point tummy vacuum. I also added a 10 minute jog on the treadmill and some kettlebell military presses (with moderate to light weight).  Let me tell you, it was hard! I started off slow and listened to my body. I gradually increased reps and weight. Within two and a half months, I was able to do full leg lifts!!! And the weight and inches slowly started dropping.





I continued this program for a few months, but I have to admit, I fell off the horse. With a husband who owns his own business and is the mayor of our city, plus trying to balance a full-time job and mommy duties, I slacked. I would come home with every intention to train, but one look at my son and all training went out the window. I wanted to spend every minute with him.  
When my progress stopped, I finally made a decision to focus on myself. I asked my husband to chisel out a few hours of his schedule to watch our son after I got off work so I could focus my training. I would change into my workout gear at work and head straight for the gym. I stared eating better and pushed myself a little harder.  Nine months after baby, I am back to my pre-baby weight, have my pull-up back, and my 1-rep max is 40 lbs., 5 lbs. less than what I was pressing at my strongest. I still have not achieved my goals, but the inches are falling off and I am seeing results, which has given me a ton of confidence.


9 month post C-section


Thanks Lauren for giving me the foundation to get strong again!

My Advice to New Mamas

If I have any advice to give to new moms, this is what I would say:

1. Don't Stress About the Weight Not Magically Coming Off
Not sure why, but I was surprised that the weight didn't magically come off. (Crazy, right?!) I cried all of the time because I had never been so big. I hated dressing up for events my husband took me to and seeing a bunch of skinny women. It's hard getting back into training, but you can do it! (Plus, adding a good pair of Spanx in your wardrobe helps!)

2. Be Proud of Your Body
You did an amazing thing by giving birth - BE PROUD! We struggled for five years to conceive and there were moments I thought I would never become a mom.  Although I miss my pre-baby body, I am even more proud of the one I have now. 

3. Find Time For You
Many times, I would feel guilty for choosing a training session over going directly home to my son. It's okay to focus on you sometimes and EVERY mom needs that! Plus, taking care of your health benefits your child in the end and gives him direction into healthy living by watching you.

4. When You Fall Off the Horse, Get Back On


I fell off my training schedule many times. It happens! But I didn't give up and would get right back into it.  When I finally got in two solid weeks of 3-day training sessions, it was easy to get back into the groove.  Sometimes you need to fall off the horse to figure out what kind of training schedule works best for you.






ABOUT MELISSA CLOSSER


Melissa Closser started her fitness journey four years ago. She began teaching bootcamp fitness classes in her hometown as a way to get herself, as well as others, fit and strong. After being introduced to kettlebells, Melissa wanted to learn more about the 'little cannon ball with a handle'. She found Lauren Brooks' YouTube videos and learned to perfect her form and technique. She joined Buckeye Kettlebells in February 2014 and entered her first kettlebell competition four months later. Once completing that goal, she began training for her level I kettlebell certification. After being cleared from doctors, she certified at 10 weeks pregnant in April 2015. She continued her kettlebell training during her first two trimesters.  Today, Melissa works in Purchasing at Stanley Electric U.S., Co., Inc. and is a freelance layout designer. She and her husband, Mayor Patrick Closser, reside in London, Ohio with their 10 month old son, Maddoxx.



A few words from Lauren Brooks (me):  Thank you Melissa for writing such a real experience and wonderful advice. Your story is like so many other new moms. It is definitely NOT EASY! 

You have proven that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. I love that you discuss what happens when you can't be consistent with your training. Life happens and sometimes we stray from what needs to be done. But like you said "I didn't give up and would get right back into it." The is the key for everyone out there that goes through bumps.

You look incredible, you're super strong and I loved the pull up videos you sent me. I look forward to seeing what the year mark looks like for you. Congratulations for becoming a role model for women and new moms, especially moms who go through Cesarean sections. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do You Love Kettlebell Training?

Once you find something that works well, it's hard to keep it a secret. Over the years my local and distant students have achieved such raving results with intelligent kettlebell based training, that many have actually gone on to become kettlebell instructors.

After 12 solid years of teaching kettlebell training I've had the honor of watching my students share their beautiful success stories with friends and family. I've decided it's time for you to reap even more benefits. You've shared your love for kettlebells by sending people my direction, so they can take the same road you did, to achieve great success. I'd like to begin giving you a commission for all that you do. I am literally going to pay you 15% cash for every Playground member, DVD product, top of the line nutrition products, apparel and even my distant coaching services!! Yeah the services count!!  If your referring friend or family purchases over $27 you will get 15% cash back of all sales generated by you.

I know this is a no brainer since you've been spreading the love for years without this type of incentive. This is probably the easiest and best tracking Refer a Friend program we've ever implemented. It doesn't take long to sign up to get your unique sharing link. Looking forward to sending you money!








WHAT'S NEW ON THE PLAYGROUND?

ORGANIZED MISHMASH is live - If you get a bit of ADD strictly following training programs, you're not alone! I've created a new program for you that takes some of your favorite workouts from the Playground and puts it together in an organized 8 week program. So it feels like you're bouncing all around to different themes with the organized mishmash program, but it's secretly very organized and has a rhyme and reason behind it. 


Members Log in to the Organized MIshmash here

Not a member yet? We now have a yearly option. 
Check out your options here

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Kettlebell Press Challenge (21 Days)

It's time for another challenge. This challenge can be done in conjunction with other training programs. It's designed so you can go through this protocol in a very calm and relaxed way. If you do this properly watch your pressing strength go up significantly in just 21 days!

Not everyone is designed to press a bell over head. If you can not lock your elbow and maintain a straight arm over head, chances are,  pressing over your head may not be a safe option for you. The majority of my students who are unable to press heavy over head or press anything properly over head, switch to a very LIGHT Bottoms Up carry or Bottoms up press bell.  Like with any challenge or new workout regimen make sure you check with your doctor first, proceed with caution and use good judgement. Then have a great time! Details below with video!





Pressing options:

Kettlebell Press 


Tall Kneeling Press


Bottoms Up Press



 The Kettlebell Press Challenge 
(21 days)
#KettlebellPressChallenge  #TheKettlebellPressChallenge

DIRECTIONS: Choose a pressing pattern and size bell that works well with your body and your current fitness level. You may use the same size bell each day or use a heavier bell as the reps become lower. For example Day 1 Press 4 times each side with a 12kg bells. Take a 30-120 second rest and use the 12kg bells for 3 times per side. Take a 30-120 second rest and use a 16kg bell for 2 per side and so on. Only go up if you KNOW you can safely get the bell over head WITHOUT a push press.

Rest suggestion: take a minute rest before moving to the next rep range. If you're using a heavier weight than normal take a 2 minute rest. If you need more rest that's ok too! Just get them done within the day!

Note - The 1 rep that is indicated is not meant for you to work with your 1 rep max, You should be able to do 2 consecutive reps with the bell you are using for 1 rep.

The suggest rep are indicated for EACH side.

Day 1     5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Day 2     4, 4, 3, 2, 1
Day 3     4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1
Day 4     3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1
Day 5     2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1
Day 6    1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Day 7     Rest

Day 8    3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Day 9    3, 3, 2, 2, 2
Day 10  3, 2, 2, 2, 1
Day 11  3, 2, 2, 2, 1
Day 12  3, 2, 2, 1, 1
Day 13  3, 2, 1, 1, 1
Day 14  Rest

Day 15  2, 2, 2, 2, 2
Day 16  2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1
Day 17  2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1
Day 18  2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1
Day 19  2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Day 20  Rest
Day 21  Test your 1 REP MAX at the end 2, 1, 1 rep scheme Congratulations!



To check out all of our other past fitness challenges view here.

To join our private facebook group where you can stay motivated and join other people doing the challenges ask to join here.  

If you really want to get involved, receive new workouts, videos, recipes monthly check out our exclusive Lauren's Playground

We encourage a bit of video, photo, or posts of when you participate! No pressure of course!    #TheKettlebellPressChallenge #KettlebellPressChallenge













Saturday, September 3, 2016

Prying Goblet Squats - Try this incredible warm up exercise

Try this Prying Goblet Squat for an increase in your squat mobility. This exercise is great to do with a light bell before you do Goblet and Double Kettlebell Front Squats. 
Here is why we do them. 

- opens up your adductors and groin area.
- creates a deeper squat
- grooves a more efficient Goblet or Double Front Squat
- activates your abductors 
QUICK TIPS

- grab a very light bell by the horns
- Stand about shoulder width apart.
- INHALE, then pull yourself down in to a comfortable squat with your elbows touching the insides of your knees
-make sure heels and toes stay on the floor without coming up.
- Gently push your elbows in to your knees to pry them apart to open your squat wider which will gently stretch your groin and adductors.
- Drop your hips down further, once you've opened up, and take deep breaths at the very bottom.
- Try to keep your chest up and tall without collapsing your shoulders.
- HISS and EXHALE to stand up safely. Very important that you use your breathe on the way up. 
*note the depth you'll get with the prying squat is lower than a loaded goblet or double front squat. You only relax in to a stretch with this type of squat when you have a VERY light bell or no bell at all.
Try this and let me know what you think!

VIEW video HERE on Facebook if you don't have Instagram or view on Youtube here.








Try this Prying Goblet Squat for an increase in your squat mobility. This exercise is great to do with a light bell before you do Goblet and Double Kettlebell Front Squats. Here is why we do them. - opens up your adductors and groin area. - creates a deeper squat - grooves a more efficient Goblet or Double Front Squat - activates your abductors QUICK TIPS - grab a very light bell by the horns - Stand about shoulder width apart. - INHALE, then pull yourself down in to a comfortable squat with your elbows touching the inside of your knees -make sure heels and toes stay on the floor without coming up. - Gently push your elbows in to your knees to pry them open wider to gently stretch your groin and adductors. - Try to keep your chest up and tall without collapsing your shoulders. - Drop your hips down further, once you've opened up, and take deep breaths at the very bottom. - HISS and EXHALE to stand up safely. Very important that you use your breathe on your way up. *note the depth you'll get with the prying squat is lower than a loaded goblet or double front squat. You only relax in to a stretch with this type of squat when you have a VERY light bell or no bell at all. Try this and let me know what you think! #mobility #squats #laurensplayground #laurenbrooksfitness #dropitlikeasquat #deepsquats #strength
A video posted by Lauren Brooks (@laurenbrooksfitness) on

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Low Volume Strength Training Program - without the BULK!

Let's set the record straight. I LOVE muscles! I think they're beautiful, especially on women. I don't mind working hard and seeing my muscles grow even if some consider it a  "bulky" look. I don't mind looking strong either. However, these are my personal goals at times. Just because I love it doesn't mean I should expect all of my female students to want the same thing. In fact many want the complete opposite. 

"Lauren, I want to BE STRONG but I'm petrified of gaining a bunch of muscle." is a common statement I hear from my students.  Who am I to judge and talk them out of what they perceive is comfortable for THEIR body? If they don't want to gain muscle then I need to be careful of the programs I suggest to them. Low rep training with the proper amount of volume has proven you can still become beastly strong without looking like a body builder. If this sounds appealing to you then keep reading...


Low Volume Strength Digital Training Program
(strength without the bulk)






Why Low Volume Strength Training Rocks

Here is a discussion with coach Franz Snideman, owner of Revolution Fitness, about why low volume strength training absolutely rocks!








You can purchase this program separately if you choose. But for a FRACTION of the cost you can have access to THIS program PLUS the entire Playground LIBRARY shown below and more is coming.  For less than .99 a day you have access to programs that are literally changing peoples lives.  SIGN UP TODAY here

To purchase access to this program without joining the playground community visit here
 Everything below is set as "FREE" when you're a member of Lauren's Playground. For less than a dollar a day. Learn more here.

Come join Lauren's Playground community. You will also receive special discounts on all of her distant coaching, nutrition and fitness products when you're apart of the Playground.

What's inside the Low Volume Strength Training Digital Series?
The Low Volume Strength streaming series is an incredible program hyper focused on building real strength without the bulk. 3 strength video workouts, 1 low rep snatch video section and an extended Mobility warm up, led by Franz Snideman. 


We just released this Low Volume Strength in our playground and people have already started posting their thoughts. Here are a few that just came in...



Featuring
Coach Franz Snideman - Owner and Head Coach of Revolution Fitness
Petite and very strong Lee Seider 108lbs and can deadlift 280lbs and chin up with 53lbs from her waist. 
To purchase access to this program without joining the playground community visit here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Importance of Accountability

Accountability is an absolute game changer. With no accountability you can have the best intention on the planet to improve your health/lifestyle, but if you can't follow through, your intentions mean nothing. Your intentions become a pipe dream.

Studies show in real life people are more likely to succeed when they are held accountable. There are people out there that are naturally self motivated and have enough accoutantiblity within themsleves. If you're in the rare breed of being so driven that nothing comes between you and your training or healthy nutrition, more power to you! This isn't the case for most people!

You can have all of the tools in your tool box. Understand the exact path of how to create the perfect nutrition and training lifestyle. You can even have it all at your finger tips. But if you just can't find a reason to commit or have the drive inside, then it sounds like you need an extra push, a bit of a kick in the ole' arse, with motivation and accountability. 😉

How does it work? First off you need to put something valuable on the line. Time, effort, your word and money are all good ways to ensure more success with a commitment. You also need to feel as if you will lose something if you don't follow through.

I want to share with you a couple of testimonials that came out of the last WINNER CIRCLE we just wrapped up. I didn't ask them for feedback. They wrote this during their last check-in and I thought it would be appropriate to share with you. Especially if you were considering signing up for the new one. 

Good new! I just opened the doors to registration today for the public. Due to the fact that we have more than a handful of people continuing from the last Winner Circle, I'm only taking a few more people. Because I will be speaking with each of you on the phone or skype and offering feedback to your check-ins, I have to keep the group intimate. 

SNAG your spot here to be apart of the 12 WEEK Accountability Group ---> WINNER CIRCLE 

A few words from experience:

Michelle Berger Arts
 On one hand it is hard to believe our 16 weeks are up and yet on the other hand the person I was 16 weeks ago is so different from the person I am today! Deciding to join the Winner Circle was one of the best decision I have ever made! In the past 16 weeks I have lost 20lbs, dropped several clothing sizes, gained strength and confidence. Lauren with your guidance and support I am now a very clean eating confident vegan. I learned proper kettlebell technique and countless new moves. My muscle tone and body composition have undergone a complete transformation! I learned to find the time and make myself a priority. I committed to myself, my health and my training. I also learned that sometime life throws curves and no matter how committed a person is to training somedays it just may not happen. I also have the foundation to pickup where I left off and keep going. Lauren Brooks your knowledge, support, encouragement and understanding are incredible! To all of the ladies in this group I have enjoyed taking this journey along with you. We each have different goals, lifestyles, nutrition and training programs but that did not prevent any of us from supporting and cheering one another along our respective journeys. I am so grateful for this opportunity and the impact it has had on my life! At this point I am a little bird trying to decide if I have learned enough to fly on my own or if I still need the comfort and support of the nest. I wish you all the greatest of success in the future. These 16 weeks will always hold a special place in my heart!

I can't believe that this is the last check in...it is truly amazing how quickly the 16 weeks have gone! I am very thankful for this group and especially to you Lauren. Your support is exactly what I needed to help me manage my busy work and baking schedule and mostly all of the injuries. Under the circumstances, it would have been very easy for me to make a million excuses as to why I could not exercise but this group kept me motivated to find the time to get something in the majority of days during the week. And as a result, my injuries improved and I have gotten much stronger and regained some of my confidence. The nutrition coaching has been so helpful and my stomach problems are improving as well. Not every week was perfect but I found ways to make it work and to support others in the group. And, most of all, it is nice to know that there are other people out there with a similar interest that have busy lives that interfere, and we are all trying to do our best to carve out some time to motivate each other to live happier and stronger lives! I am very excited to continue and look forward to seeing alot of familiar faces here and in the playground!!

SNAG your spot here to be apart of the 12 WEEK Accountability Group ---> WINNER CIRCLE   2 spots left.... We have an installment plan option here as well




Friday, July 15, 2016

Lemon Ginger Cinnamon Elixir - A refreshing beverage that helps with weight loss and inflammation

This is one of the recipes you will find "In The Kitchen" which is our newest nutrition recipe video section in Lauren's Playground.

Today I'm going to show you how to make a delicious beverage that has completely helped me shed the last 5 pounds. The ingredients in this quick and easy elixir not only help you feel a burst of energy but it helps keep your hunger under control while easing any bloating you may have. This also helps with digestion and is filmed with anti-inflammatory properties. It's a magical medicinal drink that everyone should try at least once. For more video recipes check out Lauren's Playground.



INGREDIENTS
12-16 oz cold water
lemon (without the peel)
inch of fresh ginger root
cinnamon 1 tsp
1-2 T of honey or coconut sugar



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

REAL Results from Kettlebell Incinerator - 6lbs of fat lost in less than 4 weeks!

I'd like to share an email with you that I received out of the blue. I know many people would like to feel comfortable in their own skin. It's ok to have goals for yourself. After all, you only get one body. I've always been a huge advocate for strength and mobility, but let's face it, people want to feel good in their own skin. Training with Kettlebell Incinerator - the super quick workouts gave Rhonda these results. She's super busy full time working mom and she was able to squeeze this in, in less than 4 weeks. Here's her email and how she did it! 




Hi Lauren,

I finished the Incinerator Advanced Rotation program and wanted to share some thoughts :-)


Amazing. Just amazing. I waited for this cutting program since I finished BeSlam2 and it was even better than I imagined. As you know, I have been on a journey to get comfortable in my skin again. I keep slipping in the areas that matter most, namely nutrition and generally from stress. I have also had some periods of time that I got so frustrated from lack of progress while 'behaving' that I threw away weeks/months of work by over indulging for too many days/weeks. This is what happened to me this past spring. I got to an ok place and plateaued for almost 2 months. This led to a backward slide costing about 10lbs.

I have found that when I have an exact program to follow and commit to an exact eating plan, that I can stay on track for those blocks of time. Yes, I will need to learn how to live in maintenance mode, but first I have to get there! The 4 week Incinerator Advanced Rotation was a perfect program for me- short, focused, and the right length of time to hold true to the program. The workouts were hard! But because they were short I really pushed myself and used my fitbit to urge me to hit peak zone for as long as I could each workout. I removed grains, dairy, alcohol and sugar from my diet. I made a point to walk 20 minutes each day and generally move more.  All this and here are my results:

May 30 2016- June 27 2016
real deal! not photoshopped


I lost 6 lbs, but definelty look like it was a lot more. I am so angry I didn't take measurements! Also, I think my posture even improved.

I took 2 days 'off' and am using this week to visit some of my favorite workouts from your videos. Then I plan to follow your Lean Body program in the Playground. I think that is meant for someone with my goals?  I am going to allow some complex carbs back in, and will only drink sparingly on weekends, if at all- it's summer and BBQ's are aplenty! 

I figured that since Kettlebell Incinerator is a new DVD and program that you may want some real world results from your average followers to see how big of a difference you make to us. Thank you!


Rhonda H.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ten Day Tabata Challenge

Tabata training rocks and it's a very simple and easy way to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic system in as little as 4 minutes a day! I know, it's almost too good to be true. 



Here's how it works! All you have to do is pick between 1-4 exercises to perform a 20 second interval of hard work with a 10 second interval of rest. The chosen exercise or exercises should be intense enough to truly challenge you. The coolest part of Tabata training is you're done in 4 minutes! That's right just 4 minutes of training can get you incredible results with an increased metabolism, cardiovascular and muscular system!


Quick History of where Tabata came from

Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese scientist, along with his research team from the National Insist of Fitness Sports in Tokyo discovered tabata training. They conducted a research study with two groups. Group 1 worked out at a moderate intensity level for one hour 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Group 2 worked out at a high intensity level for 4 minutes with intervals of 20 seconds of work to 10 seconds of rest. 

Results for Group 1 - moderate intensity level 1 hour workout
- Only increased cardiovascular system but showed no increase in the anaerobic system (muscular) system.

Results for Group 2 - High intensity interval - 4 minute workouts
- Increased the cardiovascular (aerobic system) and increased the anaerobic muscular system by 28%. 

This is a workout choice proving that quality beats quantity. This is why the workouts I've released over the years through my live classes, Kettlebell DVD's, programs and online classes include a ton of interval training. People have complained in the past about taking rests because the mindset of resting sounds lazy. Studies have proven over and over again that rest is required to take your aerobic AND anaerobic system to the next level!

To read more information about the study you can see it right here

Now for the FUN details on how to do the challenge.






Ten Day Tabata Challenge

Directions: Pick a challenging exercise that you can go all out, safely, for 20 seconds or work to 10 seconds rest. You will perform 8 - 20 second work intervals with 10 second rest intervals. Below are sample Tabata's as well as a favorite Tabata of mine. 

Sample Tabata 1 - 4 sets for a total of 4 minutes


Jump Squats


Sample Tabata 2: - 2 sets for a total of 4 minutes

1 arm Swing
1 arm Swing
Burpees
Jump Squats 



Sample Tabata 3: 8 sets for a total of 4 minutes

2 Hand Swings 

Sample Bodyweight Tabata 4: 

Bodyweight Squats
Mountain Climbers
Jumping Jacks
Jump Squats



One of my Favorite Kettlebell Tabata Workouts

High Pull, Catch & Squat
Kettlebell Swings
1 Arm Snatch
1 Arm Snatch


Go through this 2 times through. If you're an over achiever do a double Tabata!




#tendaytabatachallenge


Great Exercises options for your TABATA workouts

Jump Rope
Snatch
Body Weight Squats
Kettlebell Swings
1 Arm Snatch
High Pull, Catch & Squat
Jumping Jacks
Star Jumps



Share with us your tabata. Hashtag #tendaytabatachallenge 


Hope you have an amazing time with this challenge. This can be done any time and any place. You don't even need equipment just a timer. Feel free to post your challenge for the world to see. I'll share it if I find your hashtag or if you tag me. 
We also have a challenge group page on Facebook called Lauren Brooks Fitness Challenge if you want to post your challenge privately here. 










Facebook: @LaurenBrooksFit
Twitter:      @laurenbrooksfit