Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tearing your hands?

One of the main concerns people have when training in kettlebell sport is how not to tear their hands up. First and foremost, proper, progressive training to effectively condition your hands is very important. Tearing up your hands is not a badge of honour. It just results in downtime from training.

The biggest reason for tearing the skin on your hands is overgripping the handle. If you have a death-grip on the handle, when it moves it's going to take skin with it! If the kettlebell is below your waist it should be held in a hook grip, just the ends of your fingers. It may take a while to build strength in this grip but it is necessary. Practice swinging in the hook grip.

When the bell is above the waist (ie: racked or overhead), it should hang low and diagonally through the palm – not straight across the palm. If you are able to fully grip the handle, your hand position is incorrect. When the bell shifts from the hook to low in the palm, it should just 'pop' back and forth, and not drag across the skin. The transition has minimal skin contact. The more friction-contact you have, the more likely you will be to tear your skin.

If you train properly, callouses will form, so make sure you keep them under control. If they get too big and hard, they will tear away from the soft skin around them. Rub them down with a pumice stone and use a moisturiser.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.
Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Do you enjoy training with kettlebells? Why not take it to the next level and compete? Traditionally kettlebell sport is Girevoy Sport, and if you'd like to know more about that contact me or Google it. However... there is a new kid on the competition block – Pentathlon. This is kettlebell sport that is accessible to everybody, a great deal of fun, yet still challenging – which is what we want! If you are familiar with the 5 required lifts: Clean, Clean & Press, Jerk, Half Snatch and Push Press, then you are ready to compete.
It goes as follows:
  • Each lift is for 6 minutes followed by 5 minutes rest
  • You may change hands as often as you like
  • There is a maximum number of allowed reps to encourage heavier bells and to discourage sloppy technique
  • Clean: 120, Clean & press: 60, Jerk: 120, Half-snatch: 108, Push-press: 120
  • Each bell size has a value. 8Kg=x1, 10kg=x1.25, 12kg=x1.5, etc.
  • Your score (or quotient) is your number of reps multiplied by the bell value
  • Your final score / quotient will fall into categories to indicate your ability level
That's it!

Exercise is just that – exercise. Training is exercise with a goal. So why not give Pentathlon a go? It's quite exciting to test yourself and have a bit of fun in a competition, plus once you have your quotient, it gives you an excellent starting point and something to train for and beat next time.

The first Pentathlon will be held at BodyQuest Kettlebell Gym in Westcliff-on-sea, Essex on Sunday the 4th of November 2012, with many more to come, as well as regular training workshops. Get your name down, and get involved with the new kettlebell sport – PENTATHLON.

Join the Facebook group PENTATHLON UK 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Kettlebell Pentathlon

Kettlebell Pentathlon is a relatively new kettlebell sport. It is the brain-child of Valery Fedorenko, who came up with it so that everyone can compete. Girevoy Sport, because of it's 10 minute sets remaining a tad elitist. There's a ton of information on the Pentathlon via Google, so I will attempt to sum it up as briefly as I can.

There are 5 lifts to do, each working set is 6 minutes with a 5 minute rest between sets. The lifts are as follows:

1 - Clean
2 - Clean & Press
3 - Jerk
4 - Half-snatch
5 - Push-press

Unlike Girevoy, only 1 kettlebel is used for both men & women. You may change hands as many times as you like during the 6 minute sets. You may not set the bell down.

There is a maximum number of repetitions for each lift. Any reps done over and above the maximum do not count. If you achieve the maximum reps you will be expected to use a heavier bell next time. The maximum reps are as follows:

1 - Clean - 120 reps
2 - Clean & Press - 60 reps
3 - Jerk -  120 reps
4 - Half-snatch - 108 reps
5 - Push-press - 120 reps

Each size kettlebell has a quotient score, which you use to multiply you rep score to get your final score for each lift. The quotients are as follows:

8kg = 1.0x
12kg = 1.5x
16kg = 2.0x
20kg = 2.5x
24kg = 3.0x
28kg = 3.5x
32kg = 4.0x

I understand the quotients continue (0.5 increase for each 4kg increase) up to 72kg. If you're a mutant.

You may use different size bells for different lifts.

The final scoring is categorised as follows:


Less than 360 - Low
361-540 - Average
541-720 - Good
721 - 900 High
901-1080 Extreme
More than 1081 Superhuman


Less than 720 - Low
721-900 - Average
901-1080 - Good
1081-1260 - High
1261-1440 Extreme
More than 1441 Superhuman

The thing to bear in mind, is if a man used a 16kg for all the lifts, and hit the maximum reps allowed, his score would be 1,056 - which would only place him in the 'Good' category. To get high numbers, you have to lift heavier.

So what are you waiting for?? Give it a go! It is not as demanding as Girevoy Sport, so it opens the doors for kettlebell lifters to have a go at competing - even if it is just for yourself.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.
Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Monday, 21 May 2012

Strength & Conditioning training (part 1)

If you are an MMA athlete (or a surfer, a cyclist, anything) and you take it seriously, chances are you are doing Strength & Conditioning (S&C) training to improve your performance in your sport. In this article I will be sharing my views on the PITFALLS of S&C training - basically where it goes wrong, or how it is used incorrectly/inefficiently. I will use MMA as a running example in this article.

1 - spending too much time on S&C.

S&C training is there to improve your sports performance. It is not there to replace it or overtake it. S&C workouts are great, and the rush of getting stronger and better conditioned can become addictive, but remember, whatever you chosen sport is, is what you do FIRST. If you are an MMA athlete, you should be spending most of your workout time on the mat, honing your techniques. Your S&C is there as an add-on, a small percentage of your time will be carefully spent on specific drills designed to improve targeted areas of your game. Don't be the S&C guy who 'also' does MMA... Remember what your focus is.

2 - Doing the wrong exercises.

Why are MMA athletes still benching pressing and doing barbell bicep curls? The biggest advantage you will likely get from those 2 exercises is the ability to intimidate your opponent (which is unlikely. He's also an MMA athlete). Bodybuilding-style training for athletes just means you don't know what your doing. In your sport, your body is working as a complete unit, moving in several planes, and often with your weight predominantly on one leg. Squats & deadlifts are great exercises, huge bang-for-your-buck in terms of strength. But will the grinding strength of these lifts help you if you lack rotational power? Exercises should be sport-oriented and athlete-specific.

3 - Training too hard.

Yes, it is possible! Just because tire flipping, sledge hammer strikes and rope undulating are great exercises, it doesn't mean you should flip the tire 2,000 times, then hammer it with a 20kg sledge for 20 minutes and then undulate a 3" thick 30m rope for 10 minutes straight. Any idiot can 'design' a tough workout. A tough workout, just for the sake of tough, won't produce good results. Try 1,000 burpees - see? It's easy to come up with a tough workout. Your training should be designed to produce better results in your sport, not just make you throw up at the end of it. Some workouts will be gruelling, others can actually be relatively easy. Designed properly, the performance results will follow.

4 - Not addressing the athlete.

(This excludes group sessions where the training is sport-specific) When you train on your own, your training should be sport-oriented, but tailored specifically to YOU. If squatting strength is required in your sport, and you're already a beast on squats, your S&C workout should focus in other areas - specifically your weaknesses. That might be overall strength, it might be movement. It might be the ability to move with strength, or purely acceleration. When I train an athlete I don't enhance his strengths. There is no need - he's already strong there. I find his weakness and bring that up to be as good as his strengths. If you have a weakness it can be exploited. Train to eliminate your weaknesses.

Stay tuned for part 2...

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.
Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Sunday, 8 April 2012

I've been busy...

I do not spend a great deal of time creating an online presence, and this is something I hope to rectify someday. But not today. Not yet. There is a time for talk, and there is a time for action, and actions speak louder than words. Occasionally someone says something that resonates, and Elliot Hulse is always talking about becoming a stronger version of yourself. This year I got tired of thinking about it. I got tired of researching it. So I decided to do it.

Find a goal for yourself. Then don't think about it. Don't read about it. Just get off your ass and do it. Accept no excuses - only results.

I am not interested in just looking like an athlete - I want to be one. If you share my views and want real training that produces real results, contact me.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.

Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Monday, 2 January 2012

Top Tips for Health & Fitness

Here are some Top Tips to help get you positive results in your health & fitness!

  • Add strength training. Think of your strength as a container, and all other aspects of training as the contents. The bigger the container the greater your ability will be to get results in all other areas. Don't limit your potential by avoiding lifting heavy – and get advice if you haven't trained specifically for strength before!

  • Nutrition! A good diet is imperative – you can't out-train a bad diet. Top tips for nutrition are to avoid processed foods, high GI carbohydrates & alcohol, whilst making sure you include lots of vegetables, sufficient good quality protein & do not avoid fat in your diet! Fat won't make you fat!

  • Rest & recover. Make sure you are getting a good night's sleep! This is the most important recovery & regeneration time for your body, don't skimp on it!

  • Don't just move more – more better. One of my favourites! The video above is just a basic demonstration of movement. Learn proper technique, you can always go faster or heavier later. Going too fast or too heavy without good technique is a recipe for disaster. The Body-Flow class I will be offering soon will teach you proprioception – to become aware of your body's position and the level of exertion required in any given movement.

  • Focus on long term – and periodise to get there. We all want results immediately, but create long term goals, then break them down into more short term goals, and formulate a plan (periodise) to get there. Some aspects of getting there will be harder & less enjoyable than others, but they are just as important – do not avoid things purely because they are harder or not as fun!

  • Develop power! Explosive training (strength combined with speed) will yield fantastic results, and relatively quickly too. This type of training requires a good knowledge of safe training technique and the ability to adjust and scale exercises.

  • Don't be fooled! Fit flops, ab gliders, detox diets, shake weights, etc – all junk! There is no short-cut to health, fitness, strength & mobility. There are only good ways & bad ways. Use common sense or ask the advice of a professional if you are considering spending money on something to achieve your goals.

  • Make it a lifestyle choice. Almost every exercise & diet regime out there that has failed has done so for one reason – it has been temporary (either by design or default). Any plan to change that is temporary, will only ever yield temporary results. Period. If you go on a 30-day diet, or join the gym for 2 months, or attend training (group or private) sessions haphazardly, your results will always be short-lived or disappointing at best. Make the decision for your life, and then watch how much your life improves!

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.

Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Kickstart 2012 with some REAL training!

And now for a taste of things to come...

With the start of a new year, most people will be looking to burn off those extra pounds that have appeared over the last month... :) The clip above shows you just one of the fun & challenging ways which guarantees you results! I can show you how to achieve twice the results in half the time!

If you have a few pounds to lose, come on down to my studio - I will help you achieve the results you desire using training that is a lot more fun that the treadmill! We use kettlebells, ropes, bodyweight exercises, Olympic lifts, Indian clubs and a whole lot more.

Every new person is entitled to a FREE class, as well as a FREE PT session (30 minutes consultation Q&A, and 30 minutes training). Free tuition is available before every class as well, and available to anyone, new or not.

What are you waiting for?!

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.

Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT