Saturday

New Year's Workout and Sale

I will be sending out a New Year's workout to those who subscribe to the On The Edge Fitness newsletter.  If you have not subscribed yet, it only takes a second.  Then you will get the workout we will all be doing at On The Edge Fitness on New Years day!  Perfect way to start off 2013!



Don't forget our Holiday sale. Only going on for a few more days.  25% off the ENTIRE online store. Code: holiday25










Sunday

Kettlebell Swing Updated

I filmed a kettlebell swing video about 8 years ago, when I first began my journey in to kettlebells.   I shared it on YouTube a few years later.  It helped many learn the swing who didn't have access to a live instructor.  The only issue now is I don't swing like that any more nor teach it that way.  I invited Franz Snideman from Revolution Fitness, my first kettlebell coach, to help break down the "current" swing that we practice today.  Believe it or not, the swing has evolved into something more athletic, more powerful and efficient! For those of you who have access to RKC or StrongFirst Instructors, this may just be review.  For those who don't have access to an instructor and continue to learn from videos and/or books, this is a nice breakdown taught briefly in an easily digestible format.  Apply one technique at a time and watch your kettlebell swing become stronger!  Let us know how you do!



To view video directly on YouTube click here



Happy Holidays!

How Kettlebells Have Changed My Life

(To read this where I originally posted this, which has all the comments, please click here)


"What the hell is that?" I asked as I picked up a big, heavy black ball with a handle on it.  My college and gym rat friend Joel replied, "A kettlebell.  It's a gift for a friend.  It actually costs quite a bit."  I was very intrigued, but it didn't go any further than that.  Little did I know my life was about to change.  

In 2005, I was working as a personal trainer at a gym located in Oceanside, California   (I'll refrain from disclosing the name as I didn't leave on the best of terms) when they received a flyer promoting a Russian kettlebell workshop for trainers only.  Instantly it brought me back to holding that heavy black ball that I was so curious about.  The flyer hung up on the bulletin board in the back for days and I must have walked by and read it 15 times.  For some reason I was obsessed! They wanted to send a trainer from their gym to the workshop in La Jolla to then come back and share what they had learned.  I volunteered immediately so they sent me.  This was the first time that I met Franz and Yoana.  Franz ran the workshop and did an incredible job at teaching this "new" method to a bunch of conventional trainers.  Yoana demonstrated and I was extremely inspired by her strength.  That 6 hour workshop was one of the biggest eye openers of my life.  I will never ever forget my first teachers.  I went back to the gym where I was working in Oceanside so excited to share what I'd learned.  Unfortunately, the owners dismissed it entirely and I was told not to teach it in the gym.  That's when I knew it was time to move on.

I knew in my heart that learning as much as I could about Russian Kettlebells was my calling.  I spent hours researching everything that I could get my hands on.  A few months later, I flew to Minnesota for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certifcation (RKC) since I wanted to learn directly from Pavel, the man himself.  That weekend I was surrounded by the most cutting edge, independent thinking group.  The Senior instructors, which are now equivalent to Masters, were Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Steve Maxwell, Andrea Du Cane, and Jeff Martone.  I will never forget how scared shitless I was throughout the weekend, but being a part of something so different and finding myself surrounded by some of the most amazing people from all over the world was an incredible experience.  People flew to Minnesota from all parts of the globe.  It was a life changing weekend.  

Since that incredible certification, I have gone on to have a successful fitness career incorporating kettlebells and its philosophies.  In 2005, kettlebell instructors were scarce and thus I was able to use my blog, videos, and DVDs to spread the word and inspire others.  It still baffles me that I have received thousands of testimonials from people of all walks of life thanking me for changing their lives.  Is there anything more satisfying than that?  Let's not forget that since then I have married, been pregnant twice, recovered from two C-sections, and am now raising two beautiful little girls.  

As we come into 2013, I wanted to sincerely thank all the people who were responsible for introducing me to kettlebells, brilliant training methods, and who helped mold me as the coach who I am today.  It really isn't just about the kettlebell.  The kettlebell is just an avenue for a different way of thinking.  It’s a mind set.  It's a way of life.  It has opened doors to so much more.  It changed my life.  I have never been stronger, leaner, and more fit than I am now.

Special thanks to Pavel for introducing his kettlebell methods along with ground breaking material.  Pavel is one of the most gifted teachers who exudes a teaching style that stands alone.  Thank you to John Du Cane, responsible for making kettlebell education so accessible and being behind the scenes of some of the most memorable events of my life.  Huge thanks to Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Jeff Martone, Ross Enamait, Franz Snideman, and John Brookfield for leading the way from the beginning of my career.  Thank you to my colleagues who I have also learned a great deal from Max Shank, Mark Cheng, Katie Dawers, Della Whelchel, Elise Badone, really too many to name, and ALL my RKC and StrongFirst friends (family) that have grown close with me over the years.  We have watched each other blossom and continue to grow.  It's been such a wonderful road.  May you all have an incredible 2013.

Single Leg Deadlift warming up with 106lbs  (photo courtesy of F3Nutrition)


   

Saturday

Strength Through Females Eyes and 6 Week Strength Program

I had the honor of writing for Pavel Tsastouline's StrongFirst blog about what it takes to be a strong female.  How strong does a woman need to be to be considered "strong"?   Click on the image below and it will take you directly to the article.   "Masters" women which we refer to ages 50 and older, I will be providing some strength baselines in the comments. I really enjoyed writing this.  Hope you enjoy it! 



Continue reading here



p.s. For ongoing strength and conditioning classes and programs you can access any where  in the world visit Lauren's Playground

Monday

Red Lentil Vegetable Soup (Stew)

This warming comfort soup is very simple to make.  This red lentil with roasted red pepper soup was inspired by my talented friend Allison.  It does take time, since the lentils and veggies need to simmer and need to be stirred.  I make this at night after my kids are in bed while talking to a friend or listening to music.  You can really get a lot done while making this soup.  Make it on an evening where you can hang around the kitchen.





Ingredients:

2 Cups Red Lentils (Washed and separated)
1 Zucchini Chopped
4-5 Carrots Chopped
3-4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
Chopped Green Onions 1-2
4 Cups Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
2-3 Cups Organic Low Sodium Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
1 tsp of Turmeric
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
Add Cilantro to taste


Directions:
Heat up deep pan or pot on medium with 1 Tbs of Olive Oil.  Stir the soaked Red Lentils in olive oil and quickly add the Vegetable Broth and cover.  Take it to a boil stirring frequently so the lentils don't burn.  Once it boils take it down to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Lentils should be soft.
Next add all the chopped vegetables and bring up the temperature while stirring for a few minutes.  Return to a simmer and cover. Add the spices after half hour of simmering.  I enjoy my veggies very soft.  Now it's time to add 2-3 cups of the Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup.  If you love the taste go ahead and add the whole thing. Stir well!  One of these days I'll make a fresh base.  If you want to make your own Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, then more power to you!  

Let it simmer for another hour if you like it super soft and stir it and check on it periodically. 

Garnish with cilantro and season to taste





EASIER WAY (no veggie version)





Hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!  



Tuesday

Train Like A Man, But EAT Like A WOMAN!

Update: Since writing this article I've had an influx of emails from women confessing to me their struggles relating to these females highlighted in this article.   I took a chance writing this article and have definitely received some rebuttals with no scientific backup.  Dr. Berardi, from Precision Nutrition, has shared this article on his main Facebook page for the females considering some sort of fasting approach to health to give it a second thought.  He's worked with over 10,000 women and has had lots of success and continues to experiment on himself and keeps diligent records of what works and what generally does not work.  To have someone of his caliber along with Dr. Krista  Here is a study he found backing this article up.  New study he found here plus a 60 minute lecture he just did on Intermittent Fasting  here.

Sharing the untold stories of Intermittent Fasting (IF) and other dietary fads. This article is exclusively written for Breaking Muscle. It was an honor to write this and hopefully help women all over the world.  Special thanks to all the wonderful females that helped make this possible for me to write.  



Ladies, we have made some amazing strides in a short amount of time. We’ve moved from pink weights to swinging kettlebells almost as heavy or heavier than we are. Women of all types and ages have taken the leap from weak to strong. Congratulations ladies, we did it! We are still doing it! 

lauren brooks, kettlebell queen, on the edge fitness, intermittent fasting
Lauren Brooks
More women are embracing strength as a necessary part of their training. We are clearly not afraid to be strong. The movement of females lifting heavier, while still keeping their feminity, realizing they can feel better without looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger is spreading like wildfire. It was uncommon years ago to see females, much less new moms, swinging around heavy weights or doing pull-ups while smiling at their new baby. It has been an honor to be an integral part of the female movement towards kettlebells, which opened the flood gates to strength and the mastering of pull-ups, dead lifts, and so much more. But have we taken it too far? We train like men and pound for pound some of us are even stronger than men. The question is: are we supposed to eat like men too? 

Wednesday

Double Kettlebell Metabolic Conditioning (Fat Blast)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


Grab 2 Kettlebells and let's have some fun.
Follow along or set your timer for 15 seconds of hard work, 15 seconds of rest.

Nothing wrong with eating pumpkin pie and enjoying your favorite foods over the holidays.  Don't forget to have fun during this time with your workouts, move, invite the family to do an easier version, and again HAVE FUN!!!!!






Happy Thanksgiving from Della, Katie, and Lauren from On The Edge Fitness!

Monday

Crustless Personal Quiche (Egg Dish) for Whole Family

When it comes to meal time, sometimes it's hard to please everyone!  The other day I made some pretty awesome quiches with a homemade almond flour crust.  However, I was the only one that actually thought having the crust was cool.  They looked beautiful, but when it came down to it,  the crust wasn't necessary, just extra food that I didn't need, and my kids only liked the inside.  I think I'll save the crust taste for a personal pie that I'll make sometime.



These muffin tins are the perfect solution if you want to make an egg omelette or egg dish for a group of people who all have different tastes.  Each muffin tin can be personalized so you CAN please everyone!  One of these were filled with onions, arugula, and cheese.  Another just plain cheese.  One pepper, mushrooms, and spinach.  It's an easy way to please a family!

Large Oversized Muffin tin

They turned out awesome as well!




Recipe Ingredients:
6 servings

1 tsp of Coconut Oil
10-12 Organic Free Range Eggs
Veggies of choice (note: you only need about 2-3 Tbs since it's going in a muffin tin)
I used: Red Onions, Sauted Mushrooms, Fresh Arugula, and Fresh Spinach.  Use any meats or any veggie your little heart desired.  Get as creative as you like.
Cheese of choice* (optional) 
I used a few sliced of Grass Fed Chedder cheese.  1-2 tsp per egg tin.
1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt


Directions:  Take 1 tsp of Coconut Oil and with your finger tips grease each muffin tin very well.  Pre heat the oven to 350.  

Whisk all the eggs together in a large bowl.  Add Himalayan Pink Salt.   Pour egg mixture in to each over sized muffin tin about 2/3 full leaving room for the veggies and cheese you plan on adding.  Drop the veggies in each muffin tin and sprinkle cheese over it to your personal preference. You may want to stir the veggies in a little so they aren't just cooked on top as well as the cheese.  

Put it in the oven and bake between 15-20 minutes.    If you have regular size muffin tins you can use these as well. They won't need to cook as long and you will make many more.   Let them cool and they should come right out if you used coconut oil.  Cut them up in to little pieces for your little ones since they are very hot in the center. ENJOY!!



Wednesday

Halloween Workout

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Hope you enjoy this workout as much as we did!

Go through the each exercise and do 1 rep.  Lateral Jumps  are an exception and will be 40 reps each time through.  Rest with a 4 Figure stretch or hip flexor stretch.  Then start again and do 2 reps for each exercise.  All the way until you finish 7 reps for each exercises.

FINISH the workout with 20 second of 100% all out work, to 10 seconds of rest for 2-3 rounds.  Grab a light bell for this! If you don't have Ropes, do 2 Handed Swings or Jump Squats instead!  Enjoy!!!

Monday

Conditioning With Rings DVD is Here

I had the honor of working with the amazing Frankie Addelia in his brand new Ring DVD.  I highly suggest you add some ring training to your program if you aren't already doing so.  Many of these exercises can also be done using a TRX.  This DVD is very user friendly and perfect for all ages!








Friday

Why Kettlebells are Perfect For Mommies (Especially the New Ones)

Here is an oldie but goodie.  I wrote this for Liftkettlebells.com several years ago.  Thought it was time to bring to attention on my blog.  More and more new moms are continuing to use this tried and true method.  You can of proof over on our inspiration page. I'm living proof as well! I've had 2 C-sections and my babies were huge!

Kettlebells for women with children




Why Kettlebells are Perfect for Mommies
(Especially the New Ones)
Whether you just had a baby or have been enjoying motherhood for many years, we all have something in common. We put our children first and tend to neglect ourselves. The biggest complaints I hear from moms are, “I can’t seem to get the fat off my midsection,” “I just don’t have two hours a day to spend in the gym.”
Well, I’m here to give you some wonderful news.  You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get rid of the fat that you accumulated during your pregnancies. You can start by training with kettlebells which takes no time at all.  Here are some of the reasons why kettlebell training is perfect for a mom.
Kettlebells kill two birds with one stone
With kettlebell exercises you are able to get your heart....

Read the rest of the article HERE

Tuesday

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread (Gluten Free, Low Sugar)

After making a delicious pumpkin bread yesterday that went very quickly, I decided it was time to start experimenting.  I had some dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's and a very ripe banana.  I use the last bit of honey I had from yesterdays Pumpkin bread, but had some organic raw Agave that needed to be used.  I knew this would be a different bread.  Within one hour of mixing and crushing a chocolate bar, I had probably the most delicious bread, other than my apple cinnamon bread.  Kids like this even better.


Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread (Gluten Free, Low Sugar)


Ingredients:

2 Cups Almond Flour from HoneyVille
1 Very ripe Banana Smashed
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 small bar of Dark Chocolate Bar 72% Crushed and broken (or 1/4 cup of Dark Choc chips)
2 Jumbo or Extra Large Organic Free Range Eggs
2 Tbs of Organic Raw Agave (if you like very sweet bread add more)
2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp of Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Baking Soda

Directions:  Mix dry ingredients, except for chocolate pieces in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients plus the Chocolate pieces.   Then combine dry and wet in a large mixer bowl and blend or stir very well.   Place in a loaf tin.  Bake at 350 for 45-50  minutes.  This one stuck to my tin so you may want to spray non stick spay on yours.  It should come out very moist and taste awesome!   Let me know how it goes!!



Monday

No Guilt Pumpkin Bread (Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Now that Fall is here I get in the baking mood.  Especially when it comes to using Pumpkin. After all who doesn't like Pumpkin?  This was the first time attempting Pumpkin Bread. I've made pumpkin muffins before, but this was different since I only had a limited amount of ingredients.  It's one of the lowest sugar and high protein pumpkin breads I think I could make without actually adding protein.  I don't like to cook with protein powders.  Almond flour is packed with protein, fiber, and good fats.






Ingredients:

1/2 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
2 cups Almond Flour
1/4 cup Honey
2 Large Organic Free Range Eggs
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:  Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately very well.  I recommend using a mixer to blend all the ingredients together nicely.  It will be a thicker batter.  Put in a loaf tin.  Bake at 350 for 30-40  minutes.  I took mine out at 40 minutes.  I personally like my breads very moist so I think it could have come out 5 minutes earlier.  I will make these again soon and take it out earlier or add an extra egg.  I also may add 1 Tbs of Coconut Oil and see what happens. I love to experiment!  Either way, the pumpkin bread is a hit and the fact that the entire loaf has half the honey than most recipes call for, is awesome.   I love being able to get away with less sweetener!  The healthier the better!

I'm always open for suggestions.  If you make this let me know how yours turns out.  If you love sweet breads, then make sure to add more honey or use Agave instead.  You can also check out my new pumpkin banana chocolate chunk bread.

Enjoy!








Monday Funtime Kettlebell

This is a fun ladder circuit we did for the first 10-15 minutes of class after we warmed up.
More detailed directions are all below the video.  This is not a follow along.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did for our class.  In case you are wondering what we did after we did quite a few pull-ups, snatches, roll-outs, crawling, jump squats, and other FUN ways to start a Monday.  People were laughing.  At the end of our workout after I was tired I had fun with Della's daughter.  Photo below!


Here is the workout

1. 
Start with your less strong side.
1 Push-up
1 Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Back Lunge
5 One Arm Swings

Stronger side (other side)
1 Push-up
1 Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Back Lunge
5 One Arm Swings




2.
Start with your less strong side.
2 Push-ups
2 Cleans
2 Front Squats
2 Back Lunges
5 One Arm Swings

Stronger side (other side)
2 Push-ups
1 Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Back Lunge
5 One Arm Swings

Take a quick break for a hip flexor stretch or hip circles

Next do this for 3 reps, then 4 reps, finally finish at 5 reps.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!


This is me just messing around.  She's a STRONG kid that does pull-ups and crazy things.  Most kids can't hold on to themselves this long.  Don't try this at home.  She's a freak of nature, in a GOOD WAY!!






Sunday

Katie's Kettlebell Workout

Katie Dawers, instructor at On The Edge Fitness in Encinitas, designed this great class I had to share with you all. The beauty of this workout is all the strength exercises stay between the rep ranges of 1-5.  The high intensity exercises are higher reps of 6-8.  At On The Edge Fitness we all agree anything over 5 or 6 reps starts getting in the high rep category. 

I will explain the workout below since it may be hard to decipher from this photo.  Not that there is anything wrong with Katie's handwriting.  It's definitely better than mine.  :-)  Personally I used the 16kg's for the Double Presses and two 28kg's for the Single Leg Deadlifts for the workout.  I also used between the 28 and 32kg for the Squats depending on how I felt for that round.  I completed the 5 pull-ups for each round instead of doing 1 arm rows.  High Pulls I used the 18kg and the 20kg.  Swings I used the 32-40kg and the snatches I stuck with the 18kg. 

Directions:  Go through the entire list of exercises.  Refer to the photo to see how many of each exercise you will do. IGNORE the number written on the right of the exercise.  That was me tallying up how many TOTAL reps I did for the entire class.  

1 rep of Double Presses
2 reps each side of Single Leg Dead Lifts 
3 reps of Squats
(you get the picture.)

Your reps look like this. Refer to the photo to see how many of each exercise you will do. 

First Round 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (8 being 1 arm snatches. That's 8 on EACH side)
Second Round 1,2,3,4,5,6,7  You end at the swings
Third Round 1,2,3,4,5,6 You end up doing 6 high pulls on EACH side

Keep going through until you are at 1.  

Then if you have anything left or time left, put yourself through a 4-8 min Tabata drill of ropes or light swings!  Enjoy!!



Mini Healthy Egg Bites (For Kids and Big Kids)

First of all my kids won't stop asking me to make these.  They devoured them in minutes!  These mini egg bites or egg muffins were inspired from my friend Allison who found this on Pinterest.  Of course I immediately went to her board and had to repin it.  Allison is a mom of 2, almost 3 kids, who I truly admire.  She always has the coolest ideas from anything to recipes, costumes, to home organization.  As a working mom of 2 kids myself, I truly don't know how she does it all!  




Originally I wanted to use the large muffin tins that these are designed for.  However, due to our home flooding a few weeks ago, I currently don't have a kitchen.  Our kitchen supplies were quickly packed in boxes and it's hiding in one of the 40 boxes that were packed by the emergency flood workers.  The only muffin tins I could find were my mini muffin tins.  The positive side of using mini muffin tins is they take just 10 minutes to bake and they truly are bite size.  The not so positive side is they are gone in 5 minutes!!  My kids couldn't get enough of them!  You can make these egg bites many different ways.  I experimented by only using one of our muffin tins.  Next time I'll fill both up and add grilled onions, chives, and mushrooms. For the kids I wanted to keep it simple.  

Time to Prepare: 6 Minutes
Time to Cook: 10 - 12 Minutes


INGREDIENTS: 
3 Extra Large Organic Free Range Eggs
6 Tbs Almond Flour
Small Handful of chopped Arugula or chopped cooked broccoli (optional) (Any topping you desire.  Keep it small since they really are very small)
2-3 Tbs of Grass Fed Chedder Cheese 

Directions: 
Spray the muffin tin with nonstick Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Beat eggs together,  then add the Almond Flour.  Beat again.  Then sprinkle the cheese and veggie mixture in and mix well.   You can add the cheese last and sprinkle on top if you prefer.  
Pour in each mini muffin tin 3/4 of the way.  They will bubble and rise past the top in the oven, but will flatten out  once you take it out.    Let cool for 5-10 minutes.  Spoon them out and serve. 

Hope you like these super cute mini egg bites as much my kids and I did.  




Friday

64 Year Old Diabetic to Healthy in Just 4 months

64 Year old diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes now off all meds and loses 37 pounds 

"...I have lost 37 pounds. My glucose level has dropped from 137 to 104 (range 65-110). Cholesterol fell from 217 down to 164 (range: 120-200), LDL-Cholesterol went from 133 to 104.8 (50-130) and triglycerides came in at 213 and went down to 96. (Range: 36-165.) (Today is 10/18/12 - not quite 4 months since the "D" date.) I take no medicine as I prefer a holistic approach and believe that my success is due to my new eating plan and Lauren Brooks' kettlebells DVD."


Here is Rachel's Incredible Story:

Before being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in June 2012, my son kept asking me to use kettlebells. To appease him, I bought a 5 pound one and later a 10 pound one - and they sat on the shelf. Always athletic, I continued with the Step that I've used for the past 20 years. I would lose four or five pounds only to regain it. Then came the frightening diabetes news and so many thoughts crossed my mind. My son told me this was no time to hit the snooze button and I had to get into gear.

I started on a low carb diet and got the kettlebells off the shelf and started using them 5 times a week. I bought two other kettlebell DVD's, one for beginners that ended up with her doing jumping jacks (*.*). The other one has three people using the kettlebells with the lead gal perpetually smiling and saying something like no cardio is lardo. No breaks, no pausing, too severe for me. I told my son that I wasn't happy with the ones I bought and he suggested I look at the kettlebell queen, Lauren Brooks, on You Tube. I liked what I saw and bought The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD and am I ever glad I did.

I like Lauren's soft approach and thorough explanations of what we're about to do and why. I feel like I'm engaged when I'm working out to her DVD as there are messages on the DVD and a timer and Ms. Brooks tells us how long a particular work out will be and how long a break we will have. A rest and water break!!! There's a great idea! It gives me a moment to cool down and get ready for the next segment.

I'm 64 years old and in spite of my athletic abilities when I was younger, I've never had strong arms. Imagine my surprise when one day at the dinner table, for fun, I made a "Popeye" muscle - and I actually had a lump there - a good size one. I don't think any one would want to see me in a dark alley!

I had no idea that you use 400 calories for a 20 minute workout. Lauren's DVD has a warm up and a 12 minute work out along with a 40 minute one. I keep up with them both and now have a 15 and 20 pound kettlebell that I use. I cannot believe my strength and stamina. Lauren's DVD includes a mountain climbing exercise that I used to just sit out or swing the kettlebells. One day I thought, oh, what the heck, I'll give it a try. And I can do it!!! Again, never had strength in my arms, never able to do pushups and here I am on the back nine of my life and I'm doing it!

Since that June day, I have lost 37 pounds. My glucose level has dropped from 137 to 104 (range 65-110). Cholesterol fell from 217 down to 164 (range: 120-200), LDL-Cholesterol went from 133 to 104.8 (50-130) and triglycerides came in at 213 and went down to 96. (Range: 36-165.) (Today is 10/18/12 - not quite 4 months since the "D" date.) I take no medicine as I prefer a holistic approach and believe that my success is due to my new eating plan and Lauren Brooks' kettlebells DVD.

I am amazed at the mobility I have - and I have no more back aches!!! I'm sold on these kettle bells and glad my son 'introduced' me to her wonderful work. I love her sensible and down-to-earth approach. I am going to purchase whatever else this 'kettlebell queen' has produced. I'm sold - give it a try. The only thing you have to lose is weight.




Thursday

Kettlebell Class with a Double Kettlebell Complex


The secret is out!  You finally get to see my horrible hand writing.  Is it an excuse that I'm a lefty and hardly use my hand to write anymore?  Probably not!  Anyhow, this is a workout that my class and I did yesterday.  Directions below. 





We warmed up with alternating light Turkish Get Up for a total of 3 on each side, with some Down Dog, Up dog, and walk outs. 

Part A. Take two heavy bells you can Suitcase Deadlift for at least 5 times, then carry it for about 15-20 seconds. Then a tall kneeling press for 3-5 reps per side (squeeze those glutes)
Total 3-4 Rounds

Part B.  Perform 5-8 stiff one arm rows.  Pelvis is drawn to ribcage, just like the top of the swing.  You are SLOWLY descending on the one arm rows keeping your lats engage as long as possible. 
Single Leg Squats can be done on a bench, using a TRX, or just straight Pistol if you can do 5 on each side that is what is suggested.  Only PERFECT reps please!

Part C.  Just as my beautiful handwriting says.  You must use the same bells for all the exercises in the complex, UNLESS you have 8kg's.  If you do the Renegade Rows you must use at least 12kg's, then you can quickly switch.  Follow the rep scheme as you and your partner pace each other.  It's only 12 reps all together when you are done with everything. 

Part D.  I took my class through a fun circuit with Ropes, TRX core work, and some other explosive body weight drills TABATA style.  It was an advanced group so we definitely did more than I'd recommend the general fitness population to do.  


Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Stay tuned for more workouts that I'll be sharing.  We have many more as well and will continue to post. You can view them up on the tab above that says Free Kettlebell Workouts. 

Wednesday

Ladder Fun (Kettlebell Workout)

Here is a workout we did at On The Edge Fitness the other day.  It's probably one of my favorite workouts so far.  Warm up with light Turkish Get Ups or/and Joint Mobility

I posted this last month over at the On The Edge Fitness Facebook page, but thought I'd make it easier to find and put it on under the kettlebell workouts label of my blog.

Directions:

A. Begin by doing 8 reps for each exercise in this section. Then do a hip flexor stretch and begin back at 7 reps, until you make it down to 1.  If you are just starting begin at 5 or 6 reps.   Pace yourself and take breaks as needed.  It's not a race.

B. Go through each exercise for this section and perform 5-6 reps each.  Rest and repeat for 3 rounds.  Make sure you are challenging yourself since the reps are low.

C. Cool down on your own

D.   ENJOY and let me know how you do!

Photo: Super fun, yet intense ladder workout on this fine Monday morning. My class did awesome with this.  Go ahead and try it! If you are newer start your ladder at 5 reps.  Enjoy!!

Thursday

The Last 5 - 10 Pounds







 This article is written just for people struggling with losing the last five to ten pounds.  To view it where it's published and has a nice size font go to the F3 Nutrition article page here or click on the photo.






Wednesday

The Art of Practice: 5 Key Elements for Perfect Practice


The Art of Practice: 5 Key Elements for Perfect Practice




"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

Does practice make perfect or does practicing perfectly make perfect? Practice comes down to more than just the actual practice session. Patience along with determination are other qualities you should work on to make the most out of your practice.

We are an instant gratification generation and many of us expect to get results and have an amazing skill set overnight. We all want the magic formula that gets you from zero to hero in minutes. Without patience not only will you...

Read the rest right here on Breaking Muscle

Monday

Random Acts of Kindness

“Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person.” Unknown



Have you ever done something for someone without expecting anything in return?  Have you ever helped someone you don’t even know? Did you know that doing something nice for someone without any strings attached can literally be just as rewarding for you as it is for the other person?  Raises seratonin levels and makes you more pleasant to be around. 



A few weeks ago I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  Rather than have a big celebration, I chose to lay low and be with my family.  Throughout the day I thought it would be nice to go to my local Eastern Refloxology place for an hour treatment to have a bit of pampering.  When I walked in the lady at the front desk told me there were no openings.  She asked if I could come back in a few hours and I told her I’d be having a small family birthday dinner by then.  Once she heard the word birthday she immediately got on the phone with another location and had someone drive over to accommodate me.  I was thrown back by her kindness.  She said to me “I can’t let you leave without having something special for your birthday.”  I sat down in the waiting room with a big smile.  As I was waiting, a couple came in for their appointment.  They sat next to me and we began to chat.  The lady was from London so we immediately hit it off. 



When the masseuse arrived from the other store she wished me a happy birthday when she walked in.  I was a bit embarrassed and thanked her profusely for coming just for me.  The couple wished me a Happy Birthday and we said our good-byes.  Normally for reflexology they take you in a quiet room with about 10 other people and lounge chairs.  She took me to a private dark room with my own lounge chair for extra special treatment.  I felt like a princess.  For a full hour I had one of the best reflexology experiences I’ve ever had.  I nearly fell asleep several times, which doesn’t ever happen to me.  I was so relaxed and was able to check out fully.  It was just what I needed!  



When my reflexology treatment was all finished I walked to the front desk and pulled out my wallet to pay.  The lady at the front desk told me that it was all taken care of.  I looked at her confused.  She said, “That couple you were talking to paid for it.”  I looked at her speechless for a moment.  I told her that I had just met that couple and couldn’t believe the kindness.  I gave the masseuse a huge tip and left feeling on top of the world.  I wanted to thank the couple but they were still in their massage.  I left a note thanking them and leaving my information to hopefully pay them back some how.  

I may never see that couple again but they left something with me.  They left the gift to me to continue and pay it forward.  Now it’s my turn to give little random acts of kindness.  I feel these acts can come in so many different ways.  Doesn’t have to be large purchases.  It could be going out of your way and doing a good deed like randomly paying for someone’s coffee behind you.  Smiling at someone, looking in their eyes, and sincerely asking how their day is going.  Humans are good people.  When we are a plugged in to our phones or electronic devices we lose the real human contact interaction.  If I had been plugged in waiting for my masseuse I would have never spoken to the nice couple that was in the waiting room.  Two things I’d like to work on are randoms acts of kindness and unplugging from my devices to be fully engaged with the person I’m with or just be engaged with myself.  I’m ever so guilty of having my phone on me when I’m not with my kids so I can get updates constantly.  I will work on only checking from time to time.  In reality we survived without the phones and constant updates!  Would love to hear some random acts of kindness stories that you have been involved with some how.  Thanks for reading, now go out and make someone’s day! 








Wednesday

Kettlebell Fitness with Lauren Brooks App is Ready




I'm very proud to announce the release of this Kettlebell app.  This app is designed for those just starting their kettlebell journey as well as those wanting to refine their skills and develop the fundamentals.  This app takes you step by step through exercises tutorials and then you will be able apply what you have learned in several different workouts!  If you have enjoyed  any of my DVD's, especially Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells, you will love this app. The detail and lay out of this comprehensive app that Mahalo productions produced and created with me is truly amazing.  I am blown away by the work and quality of this app that the Mahalo team put together!  Much less the fact that if this were one of my DVD's it would be at least $40-$50 a pop.  This detailed app is available for watching, but even better you can download any of the intricate tutorials and workouts to your device so you don't have to worry about buffering and streaming issues since the picture is such high quality. 

Learn more about this kettlebell app here.  Download in  your kettlebell iPhone and iPad app here in just seconds!













Note: I am not personally selling or responsible for the sales of this app or technical issues like I am with all my DVD's.  If you have any questions regarding technical support you will need to contact Mahalo right here mobilehelp@mahalo.com

For those who have had buffering issues this is what they have told me:

Users have the option to download the videos or stream them from YouTube. We offer this option so that the app does not take up too much memory on your device. The default is to stream from YouTube. So, if a user does not have a strong wifi connection, the video may not play properly. 

If a user wants to have the video downloaded to their device, they can click the download icon at the top right of the lesson page. 

Frozen Coconut Banana Protein Smoothie

Don't you dare throw your coconut flesh away! 


When I was pregnant with my first baby 6 years ago, I some how stumbled upon fresh young coconuts.  The market near my house would actually open them for you if you requested it.  They would stick a straw in the top and I would drink the coconut water as I walked around shopping.  Well by the time I was done shopping I had already finished it and was craving another one.  The fresh coconut water that came out of these amazing coconuts were pure heaven to me and extremely hydrating.  I was extremely thirsty during my pregnancy to the point even water wouldn't satisfy me.  Now many times I would eat the flesh, but sometimes my stomach wouldn't be in the mood for it.  I actually use to just throw the coconut away. BIG MISTAKE!  Scoop the flesh out and put it in the freezer for homemade smoothies and ice cream treats.




Here is a smoothie I just made this morning before my strength and conditioning workout for optimal energy

FROZEN COCONUT BANANA PROTEIN SMOOTHIE


Ingredients

8 oz of Unsweetened Almond Milk or Water
Frozen Coconut Flesh from 1 Young Coconut
1 Frozen Banana
1 scoop of Vanilla FIT 365 or a Raw Vanilla Vegan Protein
1 tsp Maca Powder (optional and will change the taste)
1 tsp of Green Powder (optional and will change the taste)
1/2 tsp of a liquid Max B (optional and can change the taste)

Directions: Combine ingredients abovePress milkshake on your blender and the most creamy white amazing tasty smoothie comes out.  Perfect amount of fats, carbs, and protein for an awesome workout.  Those who are obsessed with protein feel free to add an extra scoop of protein powder.


Enjoy!!




Monday

Not Giving Up, Despite 8 surgeries and 3 miscarriages

A compelling inspirational personal story about not giving up from Paige Reagan. 


"...and I have not had to take even one antacid because my digestive issues have disappeared. I am 44 years old now and healthier and in better shape than I have been for a very, very long time."

Before I tell you my story it is important that you know something about me first. I am quiet, extremely private, and fiercely independent. I do not willingly ask for help. I shy away from getting my picture taken and am uncomfortable being the center of attention. In fact, most of my closest friends and family do not know the details of the story that I am about to tell you now. But on this rare occasion I have decided to go outside of my usual comfort zone because of the impact that kettlebells and Lauren have had on me. They have helped me in such a positive way and I hope that my story will help others with struggles of their own.


I was always active as a child. I started figure skating at the age of 8. I competed at the national level, which demanded a lot of time and dedication. For the next 8 years I practiced between 30 and 35 hours a week. Although skating was a huge part of my life I decided to stop at the age of 16 in order to focus on school and college. I remained active afterwards by replacing skating with other physical activities. I went to the gym on a regular basis, became an avid skier, and was known to go biking for miles on the weekends.
I got married in my mid 20's and my husband and I decided to start a family in our early 30's. Unfortunately, our road to starting a family was bumpy and long. I spent the next 3 years undergoing numerous infertility treatments. We were frustrated but refused to give up. And then one day, we finally got the good news! I had an uneventful pregnancy and continued to exercise until I was 37 weeks. I felt great, stayed fit, and only gained 17 pounds.
My daughter was born in the winter of 2002. I was lucky in that I had a very easy and fast delivery. There were no complications except that I never delivered my placenta so my doctor had to remove it. It was the happiest day of my life. But in the weeks that followed I began to feel very sad and confused. I was bleeding terribly but when I called the doctor's office to tell them they just treated me like a nervous new mother and told me not to worry because the bleeding was a result of me nursing. I continued to call every few weeks and was told the same thing each time. The bleeding finally stopped when my daughter was 10 months old.
When my daughter was a year old we decided to go back to the infertility specialist. We wanted her to have a brother or sister and were advised to start sooner rather than later because of the problems the first time. We quickly discovered that once again, things were not going to be easy. Apparently in the year since I had delivered my daughter I had developed a number of new problems, one of which was a large mass in my uterus. The doctor immediately scheduled a surgery to remove the mass but it was inoperable. A biopsy confirmed that it was benign so we were told that it was okay to leave it and that it would not affect future pregnancies. We were relieved by the "good" news.
Following the surgery I became pregnant on 3 occasions but miscarried all 3 times. Two of the 3 miscarriages were after 16 weeks so I had to have D&Cs. When I miscarried the third time, my doctor was concerned because my hormone levels were so high that he suspected that I had a molar pregnancy. They did an emergency D&C the next day and the testing confirmed that the pregnancy was normal. We were given the okay to start another procedure as soon as my cycle resumed and my hormone levels went back to zero.
Four months went by and my levels remained elevated, meaning that I was technically still pregnant. When my levels got to 10, the infertility specialist decided to start me on hormones to trigger my cycle. In my case though, my levels started to go back up and the doctors thought that it was an undiagnosed molar cancer. They administered 2 shots of a cancer drug to terminate the pregnancy and luckily my levels returned to zero within a few weeks.
BEFORE
Three more months went by and my cycle still had not resumed. I was very uncomfortable and could not get up from a sitting position or out of bed without a lot of pain or discomfort. I once again went back to the doctor for an ultrasound. He was completely shocked because my entire uterus was filled with tissue. He feared that the molar pregnancy had started to grow again so I had to head back to the hospital the following morning for another emergency surgery. Fortunately, it was not a molar cancer. However, the surgery revealed that my uterus was severely scarred and had sealed itself shut from front to back. This was the day that I was diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome, which is a condition defined by severe scarring of the uterus and can lead to permanent infertility. In my case, the large mass that they had found in my uterus was actually a piece of placenta that the doctor had missed when I delivered my daughter 3 years before. It was the cause of the prolonged bleeding. It became scarred over from the D&Cs and led to the repeated miscarriages.
Over the next 5 years I underwent an additional 5 surgeries to try to keep my uterus open. The condition was so severe that the scar tissue would start to reform within a week of the surgery. I was on extremely high doses of estrogen to try to improve healing. Finally, my uterus was open and we were allowed to start infertility treatments again. But despite the high-dose medications and repeated attempts, we were unsuccessful. We had even traveled to Los Angeles from the East Coast to have one last surgery with the world's leading expert in Asherman's Syndrome but the damage to the lining of my uterus was too extensive and nothing could grow.




I am not one to give up easily but infertility treatments have a way of making time disappear. I was always looking ahead. By this time my daughter was 8 years old. The repeated surgeries and long-term medications were starting to take their toll. I was tired, weak, and my body was hurting. I was suffering terribly from acne because of all of the hormones. During this 6-year period I had not been able to exercise regularly, if at all because I was either preparing for, undergoing, or recovering from surgery or gearing up for another infertility treatment. I had lost all of my physical strength and was no longer fit. I had developed terrible digestive issues in the form of severe bloating and indigestion. There were times when I ate just a mouthful and felt like I had eaten a watermelon. Sometimes the feeling would last for days, other times it would last for weeks. I had uncontrollable burping all day long. I knew in my heart it was time to stop but the day that we made that decision was still the hardest day of my life. I have never worked so hard at something to come out with nothing to show for it in the end. I felt like I had failed, not myself, but my daughter. My heart was broken for my daughter and I could not sleep. I was completely destroyed, both inside and out.
Time also has a way of healing, and about a year later I started walking with a friend in the mornings. It was not much in the way of exercise but it was good to get out. However, in the fall of 2010 my job became very demanding, requiring that I work 80+ hours a week so I had to stop walking. Any extra time that I had after working and taking care of my family had to be spent on sleeping. My digestive issues got worse despite my attempts to eat well. I was taking antacids on a daily basis and before meals. I managed to stay thin at 120 lbs but was completely unfit and flabby.
In January 2012, I made the "dreaded" New Year's resolution. I promised myself that I was going to get up at 5:15 a.m. and walk on my treadmill every day. And I did. And I felt good. I was proud of myself and happy that I was doing something physical. But I had also convinced myself that the walking was making me more fit than I really was. In February, my daughter's soccer team participated in strength and conditioning classes at a local studio and the parents were invited to attend. I went there thinking that it would be easy because of all of the walking that I was doing but I was seriously wrong. I was totally exhausted within the first 3 minutes. And it's not because it was ridiculously hard - the girls were keeping up just fine - it was because I was so unfit and out of shape. I was beet red, could not breathe, was sweating profusely, and had severe indigestion. It was so bad that my daughter kept asking if I was okay. I was sore within an hour of leaving the studio and could not walk, sit, or get up without severe pain for at least 10 days. I was so mad at myself but not sure what to do because the gym schedule no longer fit in with my life. I felt stuck.
A few weeks later I caught an infomercial on kettlebells. I was mesmerized and watched it 2 times through. I saw the same infomercial 2 weeks later but this time I stopped halfway through to do a search on my computer. I found a link to the "On the Edge Fitness" website and spent hours reading about Lauren and her exercise and nutrition programs. It was then that I finally made a decision. I was going to try kettlebells and Lauren's nutrition program. I ordered a 10-lb kettlebell and the UBSC Volume 1 DVD. I didn't know it then but it was my first step in the right direction.
When I received the kettlebell package I could barely lift it. I was intimidated by the DVD and when I finally decided to try the 12-minute workout I could not make it past the first set of exercises. I could not do even one push up. I could not breathe. And it hurt to walk up the stairs when I was done. But I loved it! And I could not wait to get up the next morning at 5:15 to try again. And I did!
Within a matter of weeks I could feel myself getting stronger. The 10-lb kettlebell seemed lighter. I was able to do 2 to 3 "real" pushups. For the first time in 10 years my shoulder no longer hurt. And I was able to get through most of the 40-minute workout. I ordered a 15-lb kettlebell and the UBSC Volume 2 DVD. I also contacted Lauren about her nutrition program. I wanted to get stronger and healthier and hopefully eliminate my persisting digestive issues.
Lauren was very responsive despite the thousands of miles between us and put together an easy to follow nutrition program and sent me some suggestions for working out with her 2 DVDs. The second DVD was much harder and the 15-lb kettlebell was much heavier. But I did not give up. I interchanged my workouts between both DVDs and switched between the kettlebells instead of stopping in the middle. I learned how to eat clean and fuel my body with the right foods. I got stronger very quickly. After 6 short weeks I had lost 10 lbs and discovered that I actually do have muscles! I can now do 9 to 10 "real" and diamond kettlebell push-ups. I can easily swing a 15-lb kettlebell and have just started using a 20-lb kettlebell with little difficulty. My acne is gone and my skin is clear.  And I have not had to take even one antacid because my digestive issues have disappeared. I am 44 years old now and healthier and in better shape than I have been for a very, very long time.




AFTER (Age 44 - lean, strong, healthy, and fit.  Digestion issues GONE)

My story is only one in a million of others. With Lauren's gentle encouragement I chose to tell it here with the hope that it may inspire others who are dealing with their own struggles to never give up. I have a long way to go but have come so far. My discovery of kettlebells and clean, healthy eating were the key for me. They have changed my life significantly. I am no longer focused on what I could not do but rather what I can do now. My daughter may never have a sibling but she does have me. And I will do everything possible to be strong, healthy, and fit so that I will be here for a very long time with her. I am motivated once again and will continue to use kettlebells and clean eating to help me reach this goal. I have learned that I may have lost the fight but I did not fail. I am strong now and will continue to get stronger, both on the outside and the inside. Once again, I believe in myself.