Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How To Deal With Criticism


Developing Thicker Skin

Have you ever felt the sting from criticism? Ouch! When you receive criticism naturally you'll first experience some negative emotions. If you're going to put yourself out there you have to expect feedback of all kinds. There is only one way around this without making it break you, toughen up!

I'm not saying toughen up to be so hard that you completely ignore the feedback you receive. This would be comparable to ignoring your body if you were to suddenly come down with a high fever. When your body develops a fever, it's telling you something important about what's currently happening. In general, you want to be open to warning signs, but at the same time, you want to create a good filtering system. A system to weed out the junk mail but not the important stuff. 

If you think you never make mistakes and only deserve praise, you are living in a dream world and may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. On the other hand, creating self-awareness allows you to accept feedback and put it to use. Recognizing that you need feedback and even seek it is a great way to get to the next level of your endeavors. The greatest leaders ask for feedback and continue to be malleable as they grow.

Unfortunately, criticism is an unavoidable part of being alive. Ask any successful leader that has done something meritorious, I guarantee they're all familiar with criticism. 

Mindset

It's easy to view criticism as a bash on your character. You should never take feedback personally, otherwise you will become paralyzed and stop dead in your tracks of life. The best thing you can do is detach your personal self from the feedback you receive and use it as a gift. Use it as information to help you improve.

Evaluate

Regardless of how proud you are of not caring what other people think, it's still important to be open minded while embracing valuable data. Once you begin to accept that there is a ton of feedback, it's time to figure out what is useful and what is junk. For example I was reading my reviews from my pregnancy DVD I created 7 years ago. Most of the reviews were fabulous and people loved the workout. I got one review out of 50 that didn't like the fact that I was showing my pregnant belly. I also read a couple reviews saying I was teaching with a lower energy personality than I did with my other other DVDs. I could easily get upset over reading this.

Sift

Being able to compartmentalize and separate the valuable feedback from other feedback can take practice. The example, I used is an easier one for me. One person out of 50 didn't like that I didn't cover my belly. This one will be going in the junk pile. The few comments that discussed the lower energy personality will be filed away for a future video of mine and be dually noted. I will take the energy levels up as best as I can. Of course, I was pregnant and we filmed the video inside a very hot building and we couldn't put the fans on due to the sound. Therefore, I probably was very tired and extremely uncomfortable. Needless to say, I'm not going to cry myself to sleep over this one. I'm going to use this data and improve my future offerings. 


Developing Confidence

Rather than reacting emotionally and letting some criticism get to you, use this as a way to fix the issue. Don't let this destroy your confidence. The last thing you want to do is tell yourself you're not good at something. If you love what you do, then keep on striving to be better. Continue to hold your head up high.

One way to develop confidence is to continue to grow your knowledge base. We are designed to be around other humans to collaborate and learn. If you always work alone, try and get out to interact with other like minded individuals. Exchanging ideas in a group situation will help you grow and fill your cup up. 

Be You


Once you become more self aware, you will be able to develop a better mental system for sifting through the crap and accept the gold nuggets of info. It's true, you will never be able to please everyone, but that's something that you should come to terms with. Knowing that you are open to doing your best and being a lifelong student will get you on the right path. At the end of the day, staying humble while being your best self will give you the most satisfaction. While it takes practice to compartmentalize and sift through comments, you will develop a thicker skin over time. Don't let the bastards grind you down. Be you because there is no one else like you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Turkish Get Up - Modified for Sensitive Knees












Modified Turkish Get Ups became my best friend in 2010 when I tore my ACL during a Krav Maga test. Naturally I was completely distraught when this happened. Luckily during a CK-FMS certification, I was shown by Jeff O'Connor, former Master RKC, how to work around this injury. I brought this back to California after that weekend excited to show my students and colleagues this modification. Many people loved it and began using it with their students too! My clients with very tender and sensitive knees were finally able to do the Get Up pain free. I usually do this style Get Up with lighter bells. Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me and my students over the years! 

Clip taken directly from The Kettlebell Revelation video

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kettlebell Bottoms Up Clean Video

Bottoms up kettlebell work is under utilized. The benefits are incredible. I recommend bottoms up work at least once a week. If you feel you've grown out of your kettlebells that you own, turn them upside down and this will change your mind. Bottoms up kettlebell exercises not only increase your grip strength like no other, which carries over in to a ton of strength exercises, it builds significant core strength, teaches you tension and relaxation, while achieving more athleticism! Try this! You will not be sorry. 


This is a small clip from the Kettlebell Revelation video and DVD.











Or view here


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Shut Up & Train Ladies Racerback Tanks


Shut Up And Train with Kettlebells Ladies Racerback Tanks. 

Shut up and Train in style with these fabulous quality sexy tank tops for women.
Grab your favorite style out of the two or both here
Tank tops are currently in the works.

We have men and unisex tank tops as well now!



GRAY SUAT TANKS WITH YELLOW ACCENTS
Reserve your size here



PURPLE SUAT TANKS WITH SOLID BLACK

Reserve your size here






We want you to model your shirt. Share with us and hashtag #SUAT and #shutupandtrain so we can find you! 







Friday, May 8, 2015

Stronger Than Ever Before... Despite a Permanent Back Injury

I am constantly amazed to realize just how far I have come and how much I have changed mentally and physically. Right now I am a gazillion times stronger and in way better shape than I’ve ever been in and I have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Much to my father’s chagrin who is certain that I’m going to hurt myself “…flinging around those damn, heavy cow-balls…”  Eileen Laughlin



Blown away by the power of dedication and proper training! Here is an incredible inspiring story written by a distant student of mine. Eileen suffered from a fractured lumbar vertebrae after being rear ended in a car accident. This was devastating for her as it would be for anyone. Years later she ended up discovering kettlebells! Now at almost 42 years old she has an amazing story to tell. She accomplished strength and overcame an obstacle that most wouldn't have thought was possible. Reading Eileen's story WILL inspire you!



Stronger Than Ever Before Despite a Permanent Back Injury

by Eileen Laughlin


This year I will turn 42. Throughout my life I’ve always been fairly active. My main interests have consistently been weight training and various martial arts. I have rank in a few different martial arts and most notably two years ago I earned my 1st degree black belt in ITF TaeKwon-Do. Despite periodic dabbling in weight training, I never stuck with any program long enough to accomplish any results or see any real changes.



Discovering Kettlebells

That is until I tried kettlebells about 2 years ago. I took some beginner classes at a local studio taught by an RKC instructor and I was instantly hooked. I admit that originally I was under the assumption that kettlebells were hazardous and would be a permanent for the back injury I sustained in a car accident in 2000. Totally not the case. I loved the fact that there was very specific and safe techniques that needed to be learned and continually practiced (very similar to learning a martial art). Shortly after taking the classes I discovered Lauren Brooks’ iPad app and purchased her Kettlebells for Women book. Then came her dvds and once I felt I had a decent handle on the basics I ordered her BeSLAM program. Now, I’m not the type to typically follow programs but with the comradery of the fabulous women in the FaceBook group and the short, efficient and super effective workouts I found myself progressing along in the program, having fun and looking forward to the next sessions. It wasn’t long into BeSLAM that I began to see changes. I was getting stronger and starting to notice more muscle definition appearing!!! All the more motivation to keep plugging along! By the time I completed the program in July 2014, I was stronger in all of the exercises and had begun to develop the highly coveted “kettlebooty”. 




After Be SLAM I did the 12 week program from Kettlebells for Women and when that program was completed, I played around with some other programs and various workouts but realized pretty quickly that I was missing the programming and workouts from Be SLAM, so I started it for a second time. At this point I was pleased to realize that I was using all heavier weights than my first time through, and yet my strength continued to increase! It had to be magic; such a simple formula: follow the workouts (I did have to adjust a few things to accommodate my existing back injury and a Morton’s neuroma in my foot) and my strength increased!


The night before I was scheduled to finish Be SLAM for my second time I was making some tea. While it was steeping, I was goofing around in the kitchen doing pushups from the counter and then decided to see how much of a pistol squat I could do. I had only ever attempted them a few times, and never quite made it all the way down – forget about coming back up. So there in my kitchen I slowly descended on one leg and I went ALL THE WAY DOWN! To my amazement, I then reversed it and CAME ALL THE WAY BACK UP!!! I was shocked. I could not believe it. So, what did I do then? I ran into the living room saying “Hun, watch this!” AND DID ANOTHER ONE!!! Then posted about it to my FaceBook Kettlebell friends.  I was giddy like a child because this was not something I specifically trained for or practiced. It was simply a delicious byproduct of all my strength gains.  I went on to finish BeSLAM the next day and realized that in every exercise except for one, I had gone up in weight since I began for the second time. ALL BUT ONE. To put that in perspective, it took me approximately 4 months to complete Be SLAM this second time, and in that short amount of time I gained appreciable strength in virtually ALL areas. Not bad for 41 ½ years old!






I am constantly amazed to realize just how far I have come and how much I have changed mentally and physically. Right now I am a gazillion times stronger and in way better shape than I’ve ever been in and I have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Much to my father’s chagrin who is certain that I’m going to hurt myself “…flinging around those damn, heavy cow-balls…”


Without question, the vast majority of my success can be directly traced back to Lauren’s programs. They just work. For real. No gimmicks, nothing extreme or crazy and no fluff. I know I am not the first and won’t be the last to say it, but discovering Lauren Brooks has had such a dramatic, positive impact on my life and health. For that I am eternally grateful and a forever devotee… (and can not wait for Be SLAM2!!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Top 5 Ways Kettlebells Can Transform Your Life


CHECK OUT EPISODE #49 ON ESPN RADIO TO HEAR THE SHOW. TODAY IT'S THE THIRD IN THE QUEUE

It aired on May 4th 2015 to find it easier. 
I come on live at around 25 minutes in

EPISODE  #49 ABOUT PROMOTING
 "STRONG AND SEXY MAMAS"

 TOP 5 WAYS KETTLEBELLS CAN TRANSFORM YOU 

LIFE!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Shut Up & Train with Kettlebells DVD by Lauren Brooks

The workouts you've been asking me for! 6 Workouts all under 15 minutes. 2 Discs. No more excuses can be made!





 Shut Up and Train is like no other workout you've ever experienced. It's 6 amazing quick workouts that can be done almost anywhere in less than 15 minutes. Stop making excuses and take a few minutes to go through these strength and fat loss workouts. Your energy levels will sky rocket and you may be surprised how amazing you feel. These workouts will keep you going for years. Like our popular 12 min workout on  Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells this gives you SIX to choose from. They get progressively more challenging in a very subtle way. If you're a beginner you will LOVE these workouts. If you're advanced this is your time to get your heavy load day in. Short & sweet.. results driven.... you won't even believe it yourself. Now let's stop talking so we can SHUT UP AND TRAIN!






Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kimberly Baker - Beautiful & Strong at 42 yrs old - Mother of 3

"They have no idea the struggles I’ve gone through with my self-image and I’m so careful not to discuss weight or anything like that in front of them. I want them to love the body God gave them and be comfortable with who they are and not let society or anyone else change that for them."  Kimberly Baker


I'm always blown away when I learn more about my students, especially Kimberly, full time working mother of 3! Knowing Kimberly now for 7 years I had no idea she went through the self image struggles she has shared with all of you below. Kimberly has chosen to open up because she wants you to know that you're not alone! I can't tell you how many of my students have suffered from these exact battles with body image. Whether we are too thin, too big, too weak, not good enough, too this, too that... Kimberly has put this all in to perspective which is extremely inspiring. With Kimberly's full schedule she seems to still make time to show up for her short workout sessions. I always see her at school functions and she is a dedicated wife, friend, mother, and student. I hope Kimberly's raw and deep core story that she wrote inspires you to continue to find the path that brings you strength and joy in your life. 

Kimberly's Story - Full Time Working Mother of 3 
written by Kimberly Baker


7 years ago…that’s when my journey with Lauren to a healthier, stronger me began. At the time my oldest daughter was 8, my middle daughter was 3 and my youngest had just turned 1. I’ve always been active, mostly a runner, but wanted to build strength. I’ll be honest…I really wanted nice abs! I remember my sister in law, who lived in Tucson at the time, was talking about this new workout she was doing…kettlebells. I had never heard of it, but I could see the results she was getting. So, like anything that I want to learn more about, I turned to the internet. I couldn’t believe it…one of the best instructors was living right in my backyard. I read about Lauren, looked at all her photos, and was in love with how her body looked. She was tone, but still feminine looking. That’s exactly what I wanted and the more I read about the kettlebells…the more I thought…"I could do this." 
I called Lauren and set up an appointment to meet with her and “talk” more about this workout and how it could work for me. Lauren must have spent a good 15 minutes on the initial phone call with me answering questions and getting to know me before I ever met her in person. When I finally did make it to her house, with my littlest one in tow, I felt like I had known her forever. She just had this warmth about her that made me feel right at home. Any fears or doubts about doing kettlebells went right out the window. She gave me such confidence!  Something I have to say that I haven’t always had when it came to my body. 


The History and Struggles

I guess I should take you back…way back…to high school. I was your typical girl…social, athletic, good in school, but I had body image issues. I swam on the swim team for 3 years so I was pretty fit…I had to be right? But at the time I didn’t think I was.  When I was in college I suffered a bit from Anorexia, but I would never admit it. This is the first time I have actually said that out loud. I remember I would go an entire day without eating or just eat a couple crackers. My stomach was always upset and bloated, but I couldn’t understand why so I just wouldn’t eat because I thought that would make it worse. I was actually starving myself and my stomach was trying to tell me that. I remember my parents being worried and sending me to the doctor and I would make up stories about just being stressed, but that I ate and they were just overreacting. After all I was in college, I was an adult, and I thought I looked good…I was thin.

 A few years passed and I started to become healthier, I would eat but I would really watch everything that I put into my mouth. It was so unhealthy I can’t even explain it. This habit went on for years. I eventually married, had a daughter, moved crossed country, got divorced, and moved back home. Still with my unhealthy habits…constantly watching what I ate, working out at the gym, running, limiting myself, and skipping meals. How I could even workout with how little I was eating is beyond my comprehension. I needed to start to rebuild my life with my daughter. I started working full time, which meant I really had to work out because sitting in a chair all day was going to make me fat, right?



I rekindled a friendship with my high school sweetheart.  We started dating and to make a long story short we got married. I was happier than I had ever been…life was great and I was right where I wanted to be.  Mind you still with my unhealthy habits. My husband, Cord, could never wrap his head around it.  He would always tell me how great I looked and how beautiful I was, “but he had to say that, right?” he was my husband after all.  Now just to clarify, I was unhealthy in my eating, but when I was pregnant I never deprived myself of meals. It was the warped way in which my mind worked. I’m not worth eating for, but I will do it for my babies. It wasn’t until my 30’s, looking back at an old swim meet video before I noticed what great shape I was actually in and really had been my entire life. Had I really gone this far in life thinking I was fat? Never being able to take a compliment? Thinking people were just trying to be nice by saying I looked great for having 3 kids? WOW!  What a waste of those years and truly being able to enjoy my body and the shape I was in. 


My Life Changing Experience

Fast forward to the day I met Lauren. She changed everything for me. Granted she’s not a psychologist or a doctor or a life coach, but she is a strong, healthy, beautiful woman, who exudes confidence, oh and by the way, happens to be one of the best kettlebell instructor around. Have I mentioned that? When I first started training with Lauren I couldn’t even do a push up…not one, but she never once made me feel less because I couldn’t do it. She kept encouraging me to keep going and that it would take time to see results, but that I would get there. For me that was the hardest part….waiting for the results, but I stuck with it and continued to work hard. How could I not?…if I stopped now I would let myself down and her…and I wasn’t about to do that. I’ve had to take a break here and there due to work and children, but luckily my husband is very supportive of me working out because he sees how healthy it makes me…not only physically, but mentally. I can honestly say that kettlebells has made me a better person, a stronger person, a better mom and wife. As a full-time working mom of 3 and a wife, it’s not easy to carve out the time for myself. Sometimes I feel guilty that I go off to kettlebells 2-3 times a week, but it makes me so confident that I come home thinking I can handle anything life throws at me…and with 3 girls…a lot gets thrown at my husband and me!




























STRENGTH


Today, I’m almost 42, I’m the healthiest and strongest I’ve ever been and can honestly say that, for the first time, I am comfortable in my own skin. I’m currently training for my second half marathon…let’s just say my first had a less than desirable ending and I want to prove to myself that I can do it.  I’m hoping I get there, but what I can tell you is how kettlebells has positively impacted my training. Now, I have to build up my lung endurance, but my legs and body are stronger than ever. I remember going out for my first run in almost 2 years and was shocked at the strength in my legs. That was the moment I knew kettlebells was definitely working for me…not to mention I can do regular push-ups back to back. That to me is motivation to keep going, to keep training with kettlebells, and become stronger and healthier. I also feel it’s a good role model for my girls. They have no idea the struggles I’ve gone through with my self-image and I’m so careful not to discuss weight or anything like that in front of them. I want them to love the body God gave them and be comfortable with who they are and not let society or anyone else change that for them. What I love seeing is how they want to run with me or do sit ups or planks alongside me at home. Several times I’ve brought them to class with me, because I couldn’t leave them home, and they love watching. I find that to be the best way I can teach them…leading by example. If they see me do it, at almost 42, then they know they can do almost anything! I never thought I would be in better shape today than I was at 25, especially after having 3 children. However, I feel amazing, healthy and strong and I thank God every day for bringing Lauren and kettlebells into my life when he did.  










Quick words from me:

Thank you so much Kimberly for sharing your deep personal story with us. I know many women of all ages will find this extremely inspiring. Kimberly also has a little side business of sewing and photography. She's quite talented and you can check her out here.
At the end of the day it's imperative for you to never feel guilty to carve out a small chunk of the day to take care of yourself. This will make you a stronger rock for your loved ones and they will appreciate it in more ways than one.  YOU GO GIRL! Keep rocking and motivating those around you. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LIVING ON THE EDGE WITH LAUREN BROOKS - Strength Matters Podcast







Listen to the entire podcast right here on
Strength Matters







Thursday, April 9, 2015

SHORT AND SWEET: 4 NEW 6-MINUTE WORKOUTS FOR BUSY PEOPLE - by Lauren Brooks

Did you know workouts lasting under six minutes can benefit you in more ways than one? Many of you may already know how fabulous snagging a short session can be for not only your mind, but also for the physical body.

If you are bogged down at work all day with hardly a moment to breathe, then having the opportunity to sneak away for six minutes is much more likely than finding an hour or two.


What the Research Says

Research has found that just a few short sessions throughout the day can improve overall stress, blood pressure, and weight control. Shorter intense training sessions can be even more effective in boosting your metabolism than a long drawn-out session. And this research doesn’t just stop at adults. One study in PLos One showed that exercise sessions of as little as five minutes improved adolescents and children's overall health. Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

KEEP READING AND watch the 4 FREE 6 minutes WORKOUT VIDEOS I made just for BREAKING MUSCLE right here


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quadruped Rock - Perfect exercise to activate your Abs

Quadruped Rock - Ab Exercise
by Lauren Brooks
My new favorite ab exercise

Here is an exercise that completely fires up your abs and quadriceps. I was crawling around in my backyard one day and paused for a brief moment to begin rocking. I began rocking back and forth. I tucked my pelvis towards my rib cage to see how my abs would feel as I was hovering in the crawl position. Quads were already on fire. Now my pelvic floor muscles along with my Rectus and Transverse abdominus began to shake. As a woman who’s experienced a couple C-sections and helps others with core dysfunction, I’m always looking for great ways to fire up the deep core muscles. I loved it so much I called it the Quad Rock. I now use the Quad Rock with my students as part of a warm up or followed by a few strength exercises within a set. They claim this is one of the exercises they feel their abs and quads the most. It's also been quite cool because no one feels any lower back pain.  I made a quick video under 2 minutes that will show you how. Let me know how y'all feel after giving this a whirl.





How To Do The Amazing Quad Rock:


  1. Get on the ground barefoot in the quadruped position. 
  2. Lift your knees off the ground as if you’re going to crawl. Make sure your toes are tucked under and pushing in to the floor.
  3. Push the ground away from you and allow your hips and knees to hinge back on to your heels. 
  4. Rock back and forth several times to feel the gentle rocking motion on your body and vestibular system. 
  5. Pause at the top of the quadruped position and tuck your pelvis towards your chest. (For a more intense ab exercise hold this position for 3-5 seconds before rocking back on to your heels. 
  6. Repeat this rocking pattern for a 10-15 reps. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thoughts on the Strength Matters Swing Test

I've had many inquiries about different kettlebell certifications and testing protocols. Through out the years the certification standards have changed. Sometimes the changes are minor such as adding a high bridge to the Turkish Get Up and then deciding to do away with it.  Other changes have been a bit more drastic such as testing a specific rep range of snatches the first day, without a time limit, a one hand switch rule versus testing the last day of the grueling 3 day weekend, with a requirement of getting 100 snatches in under 5 minutes. Preparing people for both RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) and SFG (StrongFirst) certifications for the last 10 years has been rewarding and I will continue to help people do this. Training program development continues to adjust accordingly to the ever evolving changes with each certification.

RKC and SFG certifications are generally known for the snatch test. The new Kettlebell certification being created by Strength Matters has decided to have a different type of test. Instead of testing 100 snatches in under 5 minutes, the test will be 200 swings with a set pace in 10 minutes. As a versatile coach it's my duty to not only test this out myself but see if I can pass the standard test.

My first reaction to learning about Strength Matters requiring a 10 minute swing test was an intrigued and unsure feeling. The structure of my classes, privates, and my own training hardly required long cycles of any one movement. In fact we would practice 8-10 reps of fairly heavy swings or 10 swings per arm within shorter time frames. Nevertheless, it was time I put myself to the test to see what I needed to do to prepare. The new Strength Matters certification standards needed to be tested.

On Sunday morning I decided to give Strength Matters swing test a solid run through. I haven't formally trained for this at all. I set my gym boss to beep every 30 seconds for 20 rounds. 10 swings to sternum height using 1 arm per 30 seconds of work is the requirement for a counted rep.

Throughout the test I ended up completing 10 swings in just under 20 seconds with 10 seconds to spare. During this "break" I set the bell down and was forced to relax as much as possible. Unintentionally this test ended up being similar to the popular Tabata protocol, 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest, which is used very much in my training.

To be completely honest, the first 6 minutes of the test felt relatively easy. As the time passed around minute 7 I noticed my deep  Transverse Abdominus muscles and lower back beginning to fatigue. The bell was still achieving the height desired and my form was still crisp, yet this was the first time I felt this deep fatigue feeling, which may have been lessened if I wasn't restricted from swinging bells for  the last several months.  By the 19th and 20th round of 10 swings I was happy for it to be over and felt accomplished.

My final thoughts regarding the swing test. The Strength Matters swing test was a very doable test. This test requires more endurance, patience, and stamina than other tests I've taken in the past. My hands felt great afterwards with no rips, tears, or bumps. More people are able to perform swings, which makes this test much more accessible, however with high reps using the same repetitive movement it needs building up to. It does require more mental stamina, full body endurance, usage of relaxation drills, and strong functioning ab muscles, and back muscles to get use to the final duration. My only critique would be to allow the kettlebell to be set down after 10 successful swings with 2 hands, especially when working in a fatigued state. Like any test, you need to train for this.

Would love to hear your thoughts.








Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Six Years ago today

Six years ago I was blessed with my second baby girl.  She didn't make her way in to this world easily, despite how great my pregnancy was. (Birth story here) My life has not been the same since, as most parents can imagine. I truly didn't realized after being head over heels in love with my first child, that feeling the same about my second was possible. She has definitely proved me wrong. The connection I have with both of my girls are so different, yet very strong on many levels. The individuality of character they both portray astounds me.


       


Happy 6th Birthday to my precious Chloe. Chloe has learned to read this year in her Kindergarten class and is very motivated to read every book she has to me.  She has learned to use her scooter this year, earned her yellow belt in karate, and enjoys performing with singing and dancing routines with her sisters.












Chloe 6 weeks old with
her 2  yr old sister
Chloe is a witty, sweet, funny, curious, and has a way with animals equivalent to the dog whisperer. She loves her sisters more than anyone could measure and enjoys acting crazy with them. When I pick her up from school she literally jumps up and down several times, while telling me what a great day she had. She is always smiling and laughing.  I love you so much Chloe bear. You are the light of my life.










Chloe's sisters adore her. Playing the bath is just not the same without her. 

Chloe being silly with her sisters


Chloe has been exercising using kettlebells since before she was born. She is an official Baby Bell.  :) She likes to surprise me by showing me what she can do.  She know very well this is how her mom got back in shape quickly after the C-sections. "Look mommy, am I doing it?" she asked. 







Look at me mommy
 Every day is a gift with these kids. I never take a single moment I have with them for granted.  It truly takes a village to help nourish and encourage the inner gifts each child has. The support system of family, friends, and teachers are phenomenal. It's not about WHAT you have in life, it's about WHO you have surrounding you. 




















Monday, February 16, 2015

Rushing Results Leads to Failure

Several years ago someone told me about the show the Biggest Loser.  Reluctantly I turned on the TV, since I don't really watch TV, and began watching the show in the middle of the season. The name of the show bothered me right away, but like most of America, I became intrigued.  The title of the show bothered me tremendously.  I interpreted "The Biggest Loser" as them referring to the contestants as big losers. 

Tuning in to the middle of the season, the show would consist of displaying videos/ photos of how they looked at their heaviest, side by side with how they currently looked from all their "hard" work.  There would be long winded workouts with yelling, screaming, passing out, and emotional breakdowns. The inspiring weight loss images along with the confidence level was displayed very well.  I was pleased to see how happy these contestants looked. They showed them crying for joy on how they're getting their life back with all the hard work and "healthy" eating.  They seemed extremely proud.  For a quick moment I felt inspired and could see how America was eating this up alive.

My Honest Take after the moment wore off - The workout methods and intensity levels were so over the top I eventually had to turn the show off. Even the form and technique was hard to see, especially when they began to introduce some of my favorite kettlebell exercises. This training style and intensity was clearly done for Hollywood only.  To a trained person you can tell it was dangerous and only done to get high ratings for the show. The doctors on this show truly should be ashamed of themselves for backing up this type of physical and mental torture. No human can sustain this type of intense starvation and excessive dangerous way of training over time. Even the winners would eventually gain most of the weight back. What is this show accomplishing? It's portraying an unrealistic over the top way to lose weight and get "healthy". The truth is none of them actually were healthy.  It's showing the ALL or NOTHING approach. An approach that is very bipolar.

Check out what some of the contestants from the Biggest Loser have finally had the courage to reveal about the show.

The brutal secrets behind ‘The Biggest Loser’



My point for sharing these extreme examples is to drive home that there is a high price to pay for rushing results.  If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Calorie restriction, rigid eating structures, obsessive amounts of exercise can only take one so far.  I don't deny that one can lose tons of weight with any type of restrictive eating. Isn't the point to find a lifestyle change that people can stick to for the rest of your life? Short term solutions never work. It baffles me how people can keep falling for the dangling carrot trick. It's easy in todays fitness industry with many personal trainers creating this gimmick products promising fat loss and incredible amounts of gains in just a short amount of time. Long term real results that actually stick only happen when habits are changed over time. It's not easy to sell long term longevity training to a society craving results the next day. Hopefully more and more people will understand the value of training for longevity.

The art of patience and practice are very important to learn or improve upon. If people don't have either they will have a very rough time getting to their goal, nor be able to remain on track. Training and nutrition lifestyle changes take time. Depending on where one is starting from, small changes will always be their best bet.  My final point - Build up slowly. Get the "no pain no gain" myth out of your head.  Welcome the new lifestyle, yet be kind to yourself. Enjoy life and you will see the results happen over time. 




Monday, February 2, 2015

Strength and Fat Loss Kettlebell Workshop - Beginner Focused: All Levels Welcomed!


Beginning STRENGTH and Fat Loss WORKSHOP with KETTLEBELLS and more...

Beginner focused: All levels are welcomed.

AUSTIN, TEXAS
at the
Onnit Academy



Move better and Feel Better learning how to use your body weight and kettlebells to achieve the strong and lean body you've always strived for. Quick and efficient workouts will get you there without the long drawn out boring cardio sessions that run your muscle off and cause overuse injuries. Be ready to change your life!

Instructed by Lauren Brooks 

Feb 7th Saturday Time:
12-4 p.m.

Details below!



ONLY $149




https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=4JPQFB4WYJPNW







Who will benefit from these Fat loss and Strength workshops:

- Busy people who struggle to find the time to work out; such as moms, dads, and all working professionals who still want to feel and look amazing!

- People who despise exercise and need something that is fun and motivating.

- Beginning exercisers that want to learn a fun and efficient way to strengthen their entire body while burning fat at the same time.


Personal Trainers and Group Fitness coaches that want to safely add proper progressions to implement kettlebells to their clients regimen. 


- Athletes who want to take their training to a new level. Such as snowboarders, wakeboarders, surfers, runners, yogi's, and martial artists.

- People who are tired of spending hours in the gym and only seeing mediocre results (IF ANY)

- The at home exerciser who wants to make sure they are using kettlebells correctly in addition to  wanting to feel refreshed with new ideas. 

- Beginners are welcomed and do not need to have any previous kettlebell training experience. 


All levels can will benefit from this type of training.











SOME THOUGHTS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE ATTENDED LAUREN'S WORKSHOPS:

Lauren's workshop was specific, efficient and perfectly designed with appropriate progressions. Specific needs were easily addressed. Individuals each received cues plus suggestions constantly throughout the entire session. Lauren demonstrates and presents excellent real life examples of each kettlebell exercise, as well as providing a specific accurate workbook. SENSATIONAL!
Robin E., Encinitas Ca



I had a great time! Lauren is an excellent teacher she covers everything. She is definitely educated on the human body and knows what she teaches. Loved the class!
M. Roybal, San Diego Ca



"Outstanding workshop. I learned so many new things and I felt challenged throughout. The instructor was very thorough, with great examples. Great pace, I never felt burnt out, but it was never too easy. Excellent motivation as well. The class far exceeded my expectations."
Eric G. - Carlsbad, Ca

" I really enjoyed your laid back style. You are thorough yet you let us get our own feel for it. I will continue to learn from you."
Carrie M. - San Diego, Ca

" I really liked this workshop. You are clear and easy to take direction from. I would recommend this to anyone. I thought this workshop would be good, but it was great. Thanks for sharing!
Tracey B. - Encinitas, Ca

Being a beginner to kettlebells, I thought this workshop was awesome!! Lauren did an excellent job of explaining the different kettlebell moves and also kept me safe from hurting myself. (Which could easily happen being so new to kettlebells) I would love to, and look forward to, taking more classes/workshops in the future. Great job, Lauren!!"
Sarah R. - Newport Beach, Ca

"Loved the workshop. It was great to see if I was actually using Kettlebells correctly. The towel kettlebell swing was my light bulb moment. I love the manual and can't wait to go home and start a new workout!
Karyn R. - Marysville, Ca

 Well Organized
- Comprehensive
- Understandable
- Applicable

And very FUN in a non-intimidating environment.

Well worth the drive! 
Tammy C,  Santa Cruz, California

"Really informative and not intimidating. Wish you lived in Los Angeles."

Amanda L,  Los Angeles, California

"I was very impressed with Lauren's ability to patiently explain each move focusing on each step as it should be executed.  I went in with no knowledge of what a kettlebell workout should look like and feel as though, with some work, I will be able to apply the exercises I learned. Thank you!!"

Honey D, Carlsbad, California

"This was wonderful.  I attended hoping to learn something different & fun, & learn it safely.  You totally delivered.  I look forward to integrating kettlebells into my workout!

Leah. W. , Ca

Dreams DO come true!
I've dreamed of taking a class with Lauren Brooks since I first discovered her DVD workouts about 2 years ago. I live in the UK whilst Lauren lives in the US so I thought my dream would remain just that. Well sometimes dreams do come true as I had the opportunity to take a workshop with Lauren on her recent trip to London and what an experience it was! I was very nervous before attending thinking it would be filled with super fit, amazingly honed athletes and I would be left standing in their dust. Not so. There was a great cross section of kettlebellers from out of shape beginners to some RKC's and Lauren taught us all with huge encouragement, intuition and passion. Lauren's love for what she does is evident in every move and sentence. Lauren is warm, encouraging and totally non-intimidating. Her form tips are excellent. For instance in order to stop some manic swings that were being performed she told us all to think "float" at the top of the swing and it worked like a charm - no more bionic swinging! She wants everybody to progress, safely, to be their best selves and to have fun with their kettlbell practice and not view it as a chore.

If you ever get the chance to work with Lauren, please, please take it. I gained so much from my workshop experience - vastly improved form from when I walked in (even the RKC's participating in the workshop had some tweaks made to their form) and increased confidence that I was actually on the right path and pretty darn good at some moves (swings).

If ever Lauren comes to the UK again for a workshop she can count on at least one class member for sure - me!

Thank you Lauren for everything.
Charmaine, UK






I have been a fan for a long time. I love Lauren's instruction style, it's thorough, clear and it keeps me safe. The Kettlebell Body is proof that Lauren is dedicated to forever learning because she managed to make the best even better with new techniques and even more energy. I think these workout sequences are the best yet, uncomplicated to follow but they make you sweat!!! Lauren's teaching got me hooked on kettlebells. I got serious about my workouts about eight months ago and used Lauren's workouts and the new Kettlebell Body routines to stay focused. In that time I have lost about 37lbs from a combo of exercise and nutrition changes. Most important to me are the SIX inches (I just measured) that melted off my middle-belly all while I was having fun and getting stronger with kettlebells. You can so do this! I LOVE this DVD and highly recommend it. Lauren, your work keeps getting better and better. Thank you for helping me to get it in gear and to finally start transforming my coach potato body. You are an inspiration.  --- Chante`