Its not a secret that we love Kettlebells at KDR. But why?

Its not a secret that we love Kettlebells at KDR. But why?

When people first come to KDR they are usually (this is based off on our experience and the clientele that comes in) de-conditioned and not as strong as they could be.  Plus, they are generally intimidated!  Coming into a weight room full of equipment you don’t know how to use or have never seen before can be very overwhelming.  So, we need a tool that isn’t intimidating, can help bring up someone’s conditioning level fast and that also helps to build strength quickly.
Kettlebells are a great way we can accomplish these goals, i.e. improve your aerobic fitness and get you stronger at the same time.  PLUS!  Thanks to social media and TV, KB’s are a piece of gym equipment most people have seen before so for beginners, KB’s aren’t that intimidating.  After all…it’s just a ball with a handle.

According to a recent study by American Council of Exercise demonstrated that Kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving strength and dynamic balance.
“Kettlebell training increases strength, which you’d expect, but you also get these other benefits,” says Porcari. “You don’t really do resistance training expecting to get an aerobic capacity benefit, and you don’t do resistance training and expect to improve your core strength unless of course, you’re specifically doing core-strengthening exercises. But with kettlebells, you’re able to get a wide variety of benefits with one pretty intense workout.”
My training is heavily influenced by kettlebells as well as most of our members. Here are just a few things I have witnessed due to training with KBs:
  • Increased ability to go longer during runs – without running.
  • Increased ability to go faster during runs – without running.
  • Increased strength in core, glutes, hamstrings AND back.
  • Decreased back pain.
  • Decreased knee pain.
  • Better posture.
  • More power and explosiveness.
Link below for your research pleasure.
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What Types of Protein Should I Eat In My Kettlebell Training?

What Types of Protein Should I Eat In My Kettlebell Training?

A member asked a unique question recently. This question is a great question for anyone in our gym utilizing Kettlebell Training on a regular basis. Here’s the question:

“I want to be more conscientious with my meat purchases in terms of where it comes from, which makes it cost more. I would like to try a meal a week being vegetarian, but am not really sure how to do that without losing out on protein – or resorting to tofu.”

Why?  Why do you want to be more conscientious of your meat purchases?  Generally, people choose to select “better” sources of food (i.e. non-GMO, organic, local, free-range, etc.) because they feel it will improve their health or have less of an impact on the environment.  I am not going to touch the environment thing, but ill comment on the health point.

Think of a fuel gauge, except at one end put unhealthy and at the other end put healthy.  Now let’s say you start at the unhealthy end and you want to move the needle as far toward health as possible.  Then, you need:

  1. Strength training.
  2. Adequate calories.
  3. Adequate nutrients.
  4. Cardiovascular training.
  5. Self-care – yoga, meditation, adequate SLEEP, etc.
  6. A happy outlook on life.

Hitting those 6 points is going to move you 75-80% towards the healthy side.  The other 10% is the cumulative effect of those things, and the other 10% is arguably genetics and environment.  Drink town water?  Probably not great for your overall health.  Smoke?  Seriously?  That certainly won’t move the needle towards health.  In fact, lifestyle is all of these heavy drinker, chronic workaholic, poor sleeper, etc.

Food choices outside of NOT eating a standard American diet composed of processed sugars and fats and watching your overall sugar intake….ANY food choices outside of those will move the needle towards health.

Eating organic, local, free-range, non-gmo blah blah blah won’t move the needle that much.  It just won’t.  Now…I had cancer…so maybe you don’t want to listen to me. However, I don’t think that was due to my lifestyle.

And you can certainly find information to prove me wrong.  But I can find info to prove you wrong.  At the end of the day, I put eating organic, free range, non-gmo, etc. in the realm of “religious belief.”  In other words, you do something because you THINK it makes a difference. However, you can’t conclusively prove that belief will make the difference you think it will.  Some people believe in God (or a higher being) because they want something after they die.  But, we can’t conclusively prove it…i.e. that there is an afterlife.  That’s a religious belief. Ok, onto the advice.

First – shop locally.

There are a HUGE number of local farms that supply chicken, pork, lamb, beef, bison and a whole bunch of other meat choices.  However – be prepared.  You’re going to pay upwards of at least $7 per pound (that’s only if you buy in bulk) and often $10 per pound.  PRICEY!

Second – you can lose weight and be healthy.

by eating a large combination of foods and following a very diverse number of diets.  No diet HAS to include meat, however, it just so happens that meat provides us with valuable nutrients that we can’t get from other sources, or we can’t get EASILY from other sources.  One meal vegetarian is ok as long as you get the minimum grams of protein you need – roughly 100 grams for females and 125 for males (those are assuming your working out, if not then it’s more like 40 grams and 60 grams.)

Third – Beans and nuts. 

Most vegetarian meals are inherently low calories.  While they are very nutritious in terms of nutrients, they are not very energy fueling.  You ever try and eat 3 cups EACH of broccoli, onions, peppers and mushrooms.  I have.  It’s hard.  And there is only about 500 calories in those 12 cups depending on what you cook them with.  So…beans and nuts.  You’re still going to eat a huge volume of food, however, by adding the beans and nuts into the meal you’re adding in protein as well as calories.

So a vegan meal would consist of – at least 4-8 cups of different veggies of varying texture – onions, mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli, with probably 1-3 cups of beans depending on how big you want to make the meal AND probably .5 cups of some kind of nut thrown into the mix.


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Why Do We Deadift In Fitness Training?

Why Do We Deadift In Fitness Training?

If are a member at KDR, you deadlift, sometimes more than once a week in Fitness Training.  Most knowledgeable Fitness Trainers are going to have their clients deadlift.  Why?  What’s the benefit of doing this exercise and why do we have ALL of our members do them?
What is the deadlift?
The human body is an incredible piece of machinery capable of moving in all sorts of ways, from throwing to sprinting and flipping – the ability for your body to express movement is only limited by your ability to safely control that movement.  When we sit down to design a program, we break down all of the different ways your body can move into 7 “Primal Movement Patterns.”
– Push (push ups)
– Pull (pull ups)
– Squat (back squat)
– Lunge/step (post lunge or step ups)
– Lift/hinge (deadlift or good morning)
– Locomote (sprinting)
– Twist (throwing)
By doing this, it allows us to design effective and simple programs in a relatively short period of time that yield fantastic results and are easy for the client to perform.
The deadlift is a hinge or lift movement, meaning, you are picking something up off the floor and bringing it to hip level or you are holding something at hip level or someplace and only moving your hips.
What are the benefits of the Deadlift?
There are very few exercises that work every muscle in your body quite like the DL.  From your hands to your feet, a properly performed DL will work everything.  See below – that’s a shit load of muscles used!
From a real world standpoint, the benefits of a DL are simple – it allows you to pick something up from the ground with confidence and without fear of injuring yourself.  This could be something light, or this could be something heavy.
The DL also teaches you how to BRACE.  Bracing is a term we use that essentially means two things:
– Tightening your core (*see below for a brief note on core) to allow good force transfer between ground and hands.
– Teaching you how to breathe under load before you exert yourself.  Believe it or not, people injure themselves not because the weight is too heavy, but because they don’t know how to breathe and exert themselves at the same time.
* a note on the core – old school core definition was your midsection, i.e. your stomach muscles.  The new 21st-century core definition has the core starting at your pelvis and continuing up to your shoulders encompassing MUCH more muscles.
Who shouldn’t deadlift?
First, everyone should deadlift, but not everyone could deadlift the same way.  We will cover the different types of deadlifts in a future blog post.  Remember – if you pick something up – you deadlift!
However, before you deadlift, you need to get with a competent coach that knows how to deadlift and can teach you effectively.  Like a KDR coach!
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Three Flows for Flexibility in Kettlebell Fitness Training

Three Flows for Flexibility in Kettlebell Fitness Training

Check out these three flows for flexibility in Kettlebell Fitness Training you can string together into a nine exercise combo to help improve flexibility across your whole body!  What’s your set and rep scheme like?  Well it could be any of the below:
– By the duration – repeat each movement as many times as you can in 10-15 minutes.
– By the flow – repeat each flow for a minute before moving onto the next.
– By movement – repeat each movement with in each flow for 5 reps.
– By the who the hell cares – just do it, when you feel like stopping, stop.
– Mix it up!  Improving your fitness doesn’t have to be boring and it certainly doesn’t have to be complex!

Shoulder Smoker – Perform a prone hand release, then a black burn followed by a prone I.


Over Easy – Perform one hand walk out, then a spider man, then a floor pike or downward dog, then finish it with walking feet to hands.


Push Back – Perform a knee to wall on both sides, a wall squat then a post lunge.

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Your Kettlebell Fitness Coach Says-Simplify Your Diet With Veggies

Your Kettlebell Fitness Coach Says-Simplify Your Diet With Veggies

Every day I eat at least two pounds of COOKED veggies + fruit, by doing it this way I find it really simplifies my diet as far as veggies and fruits go.  That’s a pound of cooked veggies and then a pound of fruit.  For instance today I am having the below picture.
PLUS 8 ounces of blueberries and two bananas, in addition, whatever I have tonight with dinner.  All my life I have been a habitual POOR veggie eater.  I think that’s probably the norm for most of you reading this.

Sure you might eat veggies…but do you eat ENOUGH veggies?

Well, the American heart association uses:


  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist),
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice.


  • 1 medium fruit (medium is defined as the size of a baseball);
  • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit; or 1/2 cup juice.”

They even allow fruit juice to count!!!  Don’t count that, in fact don’t even consume it, it’s loaded with nothing but sugar.

The dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 edition tells a different story.  This TOME (literally…it’s about 200 pages) is compiled by a team of dieticians, doctors, nutrition scientists, etc.  Arguably it’s as close as we can get to following good guidelines that our government has put out.  It’s still flawed and very cumbersome to use, but it does provide a bunch of useful information.  Link here –

They say (this is paraphrasing because they actually break it down various groups) to eat roughly 10 cups of veggies per day…that’s not counting fruit!!!!

Those are pretty big numbers to fill for an average person that realistically should be consuming at a minimum 10 cups of veggies per day for a male and somewhere around 8 cups as a female…not counting fruit.

How many cups are in a pound?  I have no clue.  But, I know if I eat a pound of veggies every day, it puts me closer to that 10 cup mark.
Here is what it usually breaks down to per day:

  • 1-2 onions
  • 1-2 peppers
  • 6 oz of mushrooms various kinds
  • 5 handfuls of kale
  • 4 handfull broccoli

That’s what it looks like while I am cooking it.

What I have started doing is to put the veggies in a big container, see above, and eat it throughout the day.

What are the benefits to eating soo much fruit and vegetables?

There are three main benefits that can be broken down into many subgroups:
1.  Fiber (insoluble and soluble) – fiber will help with bowel movements as well as fill you up, and it provides energy for the beneficial bacteria living in our gut.
2.  Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – these nutrients are all requisites to living a healthy, disease free life.
3.  Pro and prebiotics – fruits and veggies are our main source of pre and probiotics.  This biotics, or biota, help populate our microbiome.  Taken as a whole, they help us break apart and absorb various nutrients such as protein, carbs, and fat in addition to vitamins and minerals.

But ultimately I don’t give a shit about any of that.  I care about feeling and looking good.  When I eat enough veggies I notice I have a flatter stomach, my mood and energy is stable and great, AND I have regular bowel movements which help aid my body in detoxification as well as helps prevent bloating.

Going through cancer taught me many lessons – one of them is – the only thing you can control to a large degree is your happiness and your health.
Do things that bring you happiness and health.

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Are You Ready For Life Changing Kettlebell Fitness?

Are You Ready For Life Changing Kettlebell Fitness?

At KDR, we do a lot of things different.  Our mission is to change people’s lives, we view Kettlebell Fitness as a door that allows that to happen, you could call it, “Life Changing Fitness”.  

One of the things we do different from other gyms is how we motivate our members to stay the course, lose weight, accomplish something GREAT…or just keep being awesome!  This is a post that is specifically written to our New Year New You Jump Start participants (all 60 of them!) but it’s absolutely applicable to the person that is working out to change their lives.

  • How far have you come?  
  • Where did you start? 
  • Where are you at now?

With most people doing their inbodies (a machine we use to track body composition) today I want you all to focus on…how far have you come in the last 4 weeks.

When I was going through chemo (it’s only been 6 months!) I used to DREAD stairs. Dread them. Hate them.

Kettlebell FitnessI took the elevator more in the 6 months going through chemo than I ever did…in my life. 

Because, every time I walked up ONE FLIGHT of stairs, I would need to stop, and breathe, and sometimes usually pant. 

When I saw stairs, I knew it was going to be followed by:

  • Legs burning.
  • Chest heaving.
  • Lungs trying to rib my chest open.
  • And my heart HAMMERING out of my chest.

After one flight. So, what are you proud of?  What have you accomplished in the last 4 weeks that you couldn’t do before? For me, it’s being able to SPRINT up SEVERAL flights of stairs and smile at the top!

How did the inbodies go?!  Remember, it’s only week 4. 

  • Have you seen amazing results in the last 4 weeks? 
  • Have you seen ok results in the last 4 weeks?
  • Have you seen no results in the last 4 weeks?

See below for what to do for each.

Great results – have you experienced a greater than 20% drop in body fat percent over the last 4 weeks, i.e. you started at 20%, now you’re at 16%, or you started at 40%, now you are at 32%.

CONGRATS!!! Those kind of results are the stuff of MYTHS and LEGENDS.  You have successfully managed to find the holy grail of weight loss…well you didn’t really find it, we told you want to do 😉

Take a day off of the diet (preferably on a work out day), preferably on a work out day, eat some more calories (500-1000 extra), drink a glass (or bottle) of wine to celebrate, because you should be celebrating that kind of success.

This will do two things – 1) it will help to prevent a metabolic and psychological burn out caused by having calories be too low for too long, i.e. don’t deprive yourself for too long!  2) It will give your body a big boost of extra calories it may need.  If it doesn’t need it, that’s ok, it will just burn off those extra calories in addition to burning off some extra fat in the process.

ONLY DO THIS IF YOU CAN GO BACK ON YOUR DIET!  Don’t do this tactic if you are afraid that you may not be able to get back on the plan.

OK results – A drop of around .5-1% in body fat percent per week or a change of about 10% in the last 4 weeks.  In other words, you started at 30, than went to 29, than went to 28 than went to 27 (a 10% change as well as a drop of 1% per week).  Or, let’s say you started at 20, than 19.5, than 19, than 18.5.  That’s good too!!! 

These kind of results are GREAT!  FANTASTIC!  Not everyone will have a 1%+ drop per week, and that’s OK!  In the grand scheme of things, give me a 1% change per month for 12 months, than a 5% change in one month, with no change for a few months.

  • What can you do to improve your results? 
  • Can you get more sleep? 
  • Can you get better sleep? 
  • Can you drink more water?    
  • Can you be tighter on your diet? 
  • Are you hitting your calories? 
  • How about your protein? 
  • Are you getting 4 days of the gym in, two conditioning and two strength? 
  • Are you taking your supplements?
  • Are you having a work out recovery shake?
  • Are you experiencing a pump, burn and strain during your resistance training sessions (remember, those are the mechanisms required for muscle growth, hit 3 out of 3 for best results)?
  • Are you working 85% to 70% in the conditioning classes?

If your hitting all of those points – than stay the course!  If not, focus on the areas you have gaps in.  DON’T CHANGE!  Sometimes, it takes a week or four for your body to catch up with what you’re doing.

 Ok…so what about those of you not experiencing good or great results?
Well – look at that list above.  Be honest.

  • What do you need to do? 
  • Where are your holes?

If you can’t figure it out, talk to your coach!  That’s their job, figure out what you’re not doing and start doing it. You have 4 weeks to get your shit together. Your still in this contest! And, if life has gotten in the way, don’t worry!  What you are doing now is creating a VERY SOLID FOUNDATION for weight loss to happen. 


You don’t fail when what you try doesn’t work. 

You fail when you stop trying.

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