My nutrition evolution over the past year…

I was just reflecting back on how my nutrition has changed over the past year in an email to one of my good friends who was light-years ahead of my on this aspect of physical development.

In the past year I’ve gone from junk-food carnivore, to no meat-only fish and eggs + vegetarian fare, to predominantly raw vegan foods (60-80%) and the rest cooked vegetarian plus a little fish, yogurt and eggs – consequently my body fat has dropped tremendously, my energy has increased and I feel about 1000% better. I typically don’t keep a nutrition log-just a training log-but it was interesting to see a comparison between my normal daily nutrition today vs. one year ago!
Here’s the copy and paste of the email I sent my friend:

Ok, one year ago this time:

-coffee w/ cream, almond milk & raw sugar
-blender drink: raw oats, whey protein, regular cows milk or almond milk, honey

mid morning
-protein bar or greek yogurt and fruit

-deli sammich (like jersey mikes) either turkey w/ veggies or meatball- and sometimes YUK 1/4 w/ cheese at MCD’s w/ fries and diet soda

mid afternoon
-coffee at SBUX w/ cream and raw sugar and whatever chocolate treat appealed – usually dark chocolate grahams

-pizza,or MCD’s, or if Lisa cooked usually a healthy’ish pizza made with veggies, org cheese, pepperoni from whole foods, or sometimes we’d go out and have sushi, or steak, and usually a beer or two to drink or diet soda

post training
-32oz of organic chocolate milk

-usually cereal and milk or almond milk

total h2o intake probably 1/2 – 3/4 gallon

BW fluctating between 210-225 lbs


1st thing after waking:
-32oz of clean water with a whole juiced lime and raw apple cider vinegar, 2g blue green algae
-shot of wheat grass juice I juiced
-fresh organic carrot apple juice I juiced
-32oz of clean water

breakfast (pre-workout)
-3 figs
-1 apple
-1 orange
-goji berries
-puh ehr tea

(post training)
-blended drink of: almond milk, honey, mixed berries, banana, rice protein powder

-walnuts and coconut water (straight from a young thai coconut I extracted myself)
-32oz glass of clean water

late afternoon (“dinner”)
-blended drink: kale, rainbow chard, collard greens, dandelion greens, parsley, bok choy, 1-scoop of vitamineral green superfood powder, 2 apples, 1 carrot
-homemade vegetarian chilli: tomatos, 3 colors of peppers, 3 types of org beans (black, pinto, kidney), seitan (in place of ground beef), tomato paste, garlic cloves, chilli powder, sea salt
-sprinkled a bit of shredded organic cheese and had two small slices of sprouted grain bread

pre-taiji class
-icelandic skyr yogurt, walnuts, puh ehr tea

post-taiji class and a bit of a cheat
-1/2 an apple lisa didn’t finish, a few chunks of homemade raw chocolate, and a small serving of whole foods brand frosted mini wheats I still had in the pantry with almond milk

total fresh water: 3x 32oz. mugs + about 3-4 16oz bottles from gym

other supps: 2g vitamin C, 2 caps of D3, digestive enzymes, magnesium, bee pollen / propolis, fish oil caps, probiotics

BW – fluctuates 180-185 lbs

Dude about 20 servings of fresh / raw fruits and veges and NO meat?!?! Who the hell have I become?!?!?!

That’s it-what a change over the past year. I can honestly say I’ve never felt better. I still have some cheat meals here and there-a little too much chocolate, coffee, beer, lobster mac n’ cheese (when at the House of Blues in Vegas), etc. but that stuff is a lot less than in the past and as time goes by I can see shifting closer to a 100% raw vegan nutrition plan, in the meantime I’m quite happy with dropping 30-35 lbs, having a ton more energy and just feeling better overall.
Now-let the onslaught of hate mail from my carnivorous friends begin!
Stay Strong AND Healthy!

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Hydration – the Ultimate Sports Drink? Water!

I think hydration is one of the most overlooked aspects of health and fitness. Especially now when everyone is worried about what energy drink to take before training, what supplements to take, what pre- peri- and post-workout beverage is optimal, blah blah blah..

Here’s a clue – forget high sugar, high caffine energy drinks — water wins hands-down everytime.

Take it from a self-proclaimed iced coffee addict. In the past couple of months I have taken to filling my awesome 32 oz. beer mug (don’t sweat it, on the weekends it gets filled with a good Belgian ale or Magic Hat!) with clean, filtered water and drinking it first thing in the morning. I usually squeeze the juice of an organic lemon or lime in it and throw a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar in there as well (the lime / lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar help to alkalize the body among other things), and use it to wash down the 2g. of blue green algae I replaced my generic multi-vitamin with.

Usually, after downing the 32 oz. glass of water with the lemon and raw apple cider vinegar, I refill the mug-this time with filtered water only-and drink as I am finishing getting ready to head to work.

This simple method ensures I start my day with a half-gallon of clean, fresh water and get the benefit of some organic lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar as well.

Try it! You will notice a HUGE difference in what starting your day off properly hydrated instead of dehydrated does for you!

Say no to the man-made energy drinks and yes to the nature-made energy drink; clean, fresh water!

Stay thirsty my friends…


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Ten Things to Make 2012 Your Healthiest Year Ever!

With the new year approaching we usually look at making resolutions, changes, and overall a fresh start on a clean slate. This is good if we actually take action and make changes that benefit us.
Improving our health and fitness is a great place to start as I believe this carries over into all aspects of our lives.
If we are healthy and we eat better, we have more energy, we carry around less fat, we are less prone to disease and sickness, we have greater mental clarity, we are more relaxed, we manage stress better, and overall we just feel better.
This carries over into our professional lives, our personal lives and affects not only us but those around us.
Greater health begins with the decision to change-but doesn’t stop there. The next step is to take action. While taking action is very important-and sadly a step most never take-it is not the most important aspect of making a change. The most important aspect is taking the second step, the third step, the thousandth step and to keep going. To keep on keeping on is the key to success in anything.
With this in mind here are ten things you can do to ensure 2012 is your healthiest and happiest year ever.
1. Take Responsibility
In my opinion Jack Canfield’s best book is “The Success Principles”. In it Jack’s first principle of success is to take 100% responsibility for your life-and he’s right. Too often people blame others, circumstances, not being dealt a “fair deck”, the weather, the market, and so on and so forth-yet I’ve never heard anyone blame themselves. This might be a little rough-but where you are now is the culmination of all the decisions YOU made. Period.
Are you sick? It’s because of what you ate, what you did or didn’t do, what you breathed, what you thought, what YOU did.
Are you overweight? It’s because of what YOU ate. It’s because of the workout YOU decided to skip. It’s because you decided there wasn’t enough time in the day to make healthy foods and exercise. No-one else did this for you.
I’m sorry-but save your “It’s too hard to eat healthy” excuse. It takes the same amount of energy to put an apple in your mouth and chew as it does a cupcake. The difference? YOU made the decision what to pick up and put in your mouth. Addicted to sugar? Ok-here’s a radical idea. STOP eating it, make the decision and do it.
Are you not happy with your body, with your energy levels, with your career, with where you live, etc? Then change. Move. Start an exercise program. Buy and eat healthy foods. Change careers. It’s simple, but most people are too afraid to make changes.
If you want to improve something, continuing to do the same thing that is not currently working for you is the absolute worst thing you can ever do. Make a small change today. Then make another tomorrow and the day after.
Continue doing this and taking a step in the direction you want to travel and eventually you will get there. AND don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
2. Exercise Every Day
Don’t tell me you don’t have time to spend 30-60 minutes a day on yourself. You do have time. Make the time. Cut our an hour of TV. Get up earlier. Say no to friends, family or happy hour occasionally. We give so much of our time to other people already-it’s ok to be a little selfish for your health, fitness and sanity.
By exercising daily you don’t need to run yourself into the ground every workout. Just polish yourself a little every day. Strive for perfection of your body and mind a little every day. Don’t try to do it all at once.
3. Do Strength Training and Cardiovascular Training
Lift weights, walk, jog, run, swim, bike – it’s all good. Don’t neglect one area. Focus on developing all of the bodies’ systems.
4. Stretch – Gain More Flexibility and Mobility
Do you want to feel better almost immediately? Stretch. Do joint mobility. Improving your flexibility will help you relax, will release tension in your muscles and help reduce the chance for injury. Do it today and you will feel better tomorrow.
5. Eat Better
Your body rebuilds it’s self on what you eat and what you do. If you eat well and exercise you will have a healthy body to show for it. You do not have the same body you had last year or the year before. The body you have now is a reflection of what you did in the past.
Want a healthier body tomorrow? Do healthy things today.
Every day are cells die and new ones form. What type of fuel are you providing for the rebuilding process? Healthy, fresh, raw whole foods? Or processed, sugar and trans-fat laden crap? Look at where and what you eat then look in the mirror. There is a direct correlation. Change it. Now.
Forget diets-eat fresh, raw, whole unprocessed foods whenever possible. Don’t count calories-just don’t overeat. If you are eating the correct things you won’t get fat.
Eat live foods whenever possible, I recently switched my nutrition to 60-80% raw vegan foods, and the other 20-40% vegetarian foods with the occasional cheat meal and in two months I lost just over 30 pounds, have a lot more energy and overall just feel better. It is a good idea to fuel your body with higher quality nutrients.
6.Enjoy Your Life
Occasionally enjoy whatever it is you want-just don’t use it as an excuse to binge. Have a beer, a slice of pizza or a piece of cheesecake without feeling guilty. Enjoy it then get back to eating healthy.
7. Drink More Water
You will feel a difference if you drink more water. Forget energy drinks, sodas, or other high calorie crap. Drink clean fresh water and your body will thank you for it.
8. Relax More
Going balls to the wall on a fitness program will wear you down fast-particularly the older we get. At 30, 40 and 50 years of age we don’t recover like we did when we were in our teens.
Make sure you are taking time every day to focus on energy producing activities like Qigong, Tai Chi, meditation, relaxtion, prayer, breathing fresh air, long deep breathing exercises-whatever floats your boat-just do it.
Learn to breath into your belly-focus on the area about an inch and a half below your navel. The Chinese call this the dan tien-our center of qi or life force energy. Don’t know how to breath into your belly? Watch a newborn baby-they do it perfectly.
9. Read Less-Do More
Stop reading and watching about fitness, the latest fad diet craze, and what the celebrities are doing. None of this will improve your health and fitness. The only way you will make changes is by doing. Start doing now.
10. Make a Lifestyle Change NOT a Resolution
I think resolutions just doom you to failure. Sure we must set goals and have an idea of where we are going and what we are trying to accomplish-but look at it as a lifestyle change-something you do every-day to bring you closer to your goals.
Do something daily that will bring you a step closer to living the healthy lifestyle you want to live. Start now and don’t stop.
Make 2012 your healthiest and happiest year, set and accomplish all your goals and allow that momentum to build and carryover into the rest of your life!
Wishing you nothing but health, happiness and success in 2012!

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From Band Geek to Business Owner

I have a couple of new books and products / programs coming out for 2012 and decided to share the introduction of my new book on the business of health, fitness and personal training in this blog post. Enjoy!

From Band-Geek to Business Owner

The story of how I came to choose the fitness industry as a career path is far from exciting. I grew up in the very rural town of Austinburg, Ohio-just outside of Geneva in the northeast corner of Ashtabula County. I played a little baseball at a young age and was a pretty decent pitcher, but chose to hang up my baseball glove in favor of a BMX bike and a drum-set around age 11. At that point conventional sports took a backseat and I started launching myself off of vert ramps and dirt jumps in addition to playing drums in my school’s various bands and jamming on my drum-set to all of the heavy metal and punk bands I grew up on through my headphones.

I was always skinny and by 10th grade I was barely 135 pounds soaking wet. It was also around this time that some of my friends were starting to experiment with lifting weights and starting to put on a little muscle. Finally after being laughed at by my girlfriend and a friend of ours (thanks for the motivation Stephanie and Erica!) for owning a set of thighs that didn’t touch when I stood with my feet together, I ordered a bodybuilding training course from the back of one of my Spiderman comic books. I started doing push-ups, pull-ups, bodyweight squats and sit-ups and chugging milk. I even put on a few pounds and started to build a little muscle.

At this point I convinced my mother to let me join my local YMCA and began my journey into the world of the iron, little did I know at the time that it would one day pay my bills and offer me the freedom from having a “regular” job.

Stepping into that weight-room at the Madison, Ohio YMCA was a turning point in my life. There was something so primal and awesome about this weight room. It sat on the second floor over top the swimming pool. This made the weight room extremely hot and humid, but I didn’t care.

The old barbells and weight piles were rusty and hardcore looking. It was really nothing more than an old squat rack, some benches, barbells, dumbbells and a few machines-but this place became a temple to me.

Massively muscled guys trained in there and were kind enough to take me under their wings, at least to the point I didn’t look like a complete idiot while working out in there! I was hooked on the iron and there was no turning back for me.

After graduating high school I looked for the fastest ticket out of Ohio, for me that ended up being the US Navy. I continued my obsession with lifting weights on and off throughout my enlistment and started to pay closer attention bodybuilding.

After I got out of the Navy I came back to Ohio and attended Kent State University, and honestly I cannot remember a time in which I was without a gym membership from that point on. However, that does not mean that I always used it. Around age 21 or 22 I had really let myself go. Some people put on the “freshman 15” but I’m pretty sure I put on the “freshman 30”. I guess living off bacon double cheeseburgers and 32 oz. draft beers from Mooney’s Goose will do that to you.

It was at this point I was visiting my family for the holidays, and my aunt-who was always so complimentary of what good shape I was always in-told me I was fat. She was right; I was in my early 20’s with a huge gut and pain in my lower back and hips. It wasn’t good, and I decided that was the time for me to get serious again and get back in the gym.

This time I started studying about nutrition and supplements and could very well have been a spokesperson for MetRx or EAS, and I subscribed to Muscle Media 2000 magazine. I followed the bodybuilding programs recommended by Bill Phillips and the other writers of MM2K religiously. It was at this point I had really started stripping away body-fat and building a decent amount of muscle. People at the gym kept asking me what I was doing and I ended up coaching and assisting everyone who asked. I remember thinking “man, it would be awesome to do this for a living”.

It was then that I started learning about personal training, different certification organizations, strength & conditioning coaching and started to explore job opportunities in the health and fitness industry. This led to me getting a personal training certification and landing a job at the downtown Akron YMCA.

A year later I packed up and moved to Atlanta to work as a full-time trainer for a private fitness center in a country club while finishing my Health and Physical Education degree.

I ended up staying at the country club for a little over 12 years, the last 6 of which I served as the director of the fitness center.

As I was finishing my degree I was faced with deciding the path I wanted my career to take. I had developed a huge passion for training athletes, so naturally I thought I wanted to be a collegiate or professional strength and conditioning coach. This all changes after visiting a professional football team’s strength training center and after watching their workout, as well as with a little helpful prodding from my wife, I decided that the private sector was the way to go. This way I could operate on my terms, set my salary cap (of which I believe there is none) and set my working conditions. I could run the programming and develop plans specifically for the athletes and clients who paid me for my services and not have to follow anyone else’s model.

In addition I continued to spend time training myself which led to a very brief stint in bodybuilding and eventually competing in the sports of powerlifting and kettlebell sport, to finally studying internal martial arts, particularly Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong, and meditation. I still lift weights, albeit not competitively, and can’t imagine a time in my lift where I will ever give up my barbells and kettlebells. Once the the iron bug bites you the addiction spreads and it’s tough to let go!

Eventually my business grew to the point I had to move from my house and into a private commercial facility. I continued to train clients and athletes from numerous sports (football, boxing, mixed martial arts, powerlifting, kettlebell sport, and many others), wrote and published numerous training books, and am still developing programs and products.

After a couple of years of running my own personal business while simultaneously working as the director of the country club fitness center, and after some planning and encouragement from my wife / business partner, I finally “burned my ships” and resigned from the country club choosing to operate 100% as a self employed business owner and haven’t looked back. It was one of the scariest, most exciting and most liberating decisions I’ve ever made and I couldn’t be happier!

Every year my business becomes more successful and I have had numerous other ventures and business opportunities present themselves as a result of the work I’ve done in the health and fitness industry.

Along the way of building my business from the basement of my house to a private training center, I had been contacted by numerous other trainers and professionals in the industry. Most of them saw what I was doing and were inquiring as to how to apply what I had learned through my experiences to their businesses and careers.

At this point not only was I working as a trainer to my athletes and clients, but I had become a Trainer for Personal Trainers. I really enjoyed this type of networking and was pretty honored that people viewed me as someone they wanted to seek advice from.

My passion for helping people achieve their goals is what fueled my career in the fitness industry; and now my passion for helping other fitness professionals and prospective fitness professionals achieve their career goals has fueled the idea for this book.

If you are ready to begin, or further, your career in the health and fitness industry you’ve come to the right place. It is my sincerest hope that the experiences I have encountered and learned from in my career will help you accelerate your career and avoid some of the inevitable pit-falls and adversity you will encounter along the way.

Now let’s get to work!


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My personal blog…

Check out my personal blog, rants and other ramblings at:

I created this blog to keep it separate from my business blog.


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What am I doing for training and nutrition these days?

I have been getting asked this questin a lot lately, a lot of it is due to the fact I’ve dropped about 20 lbs this past month, going from 212 lbs to 192 lbs as of this morning (9/22/11) in about 4 weeks.

Let me preface this by saying:

1) I am not a registered dietician and am not suggesting any of you follow what I am outlining in my blog – this was what I came up with after doing my own research, and making my own decision, it’s information only and

2) I’m not a “foodie”, I’ve never written a blog about food or diet, nor will I again, I don’t care what you eat or how you eat – this is just what I’ve been doing cause’ a lot of people have been asking.

For the past 6 or 7 years my weight has fluctuated a lot. I started training for powerlifting in 2004 and went from 190 up to a bloated 230/235. I trimmed down a bit and stayed in the 220’s bouncing between 210-218 for most of my powerlifting competitions. After deciding to quit powerlifting and cleaning my diet up a bit (I went mostly vegetarian about 5 months ago) my weight was staying in the 208-212 range.

About 5 weeks ago I stumbled upon some awesome videos on YouTube about some raw food, vegan bodybuilders featured in one of Markus Rothkranz’s videos. I was researching vegetarian bodybuilders (after being inspired by the amazing Bill Pearl) and was curious what was out there. I purchased Markus’ e-book as a result of these YouTube videos, read it, then decided to go mostly raw in my nutrition – I say mostly because I still have 1 cooked vegetarian meal a day most days, I still eat a little fish – 1 or 2 times a week, and still have some beers every now and then, or a couple cookies here and there. However, it is safe to say that raw, fresh vegan food makes up approximately 75-85% of my daily nutriton and what a difference it has made. In addition to dropping 20 pounds in the past 4 weeks, my energy is great and my strength and conditioning is awesome. I am pretty confident that I will continue to gravitate toward a 100% raw food nutrition plan as time goes on. One thing I plan to do more of is fasting, I did a 2 week fast a year ago and it was great, my goal is to do 2 fairly substantial fasts per year.

These are some of the YouTube videos that inspired me to look into raw food nutrition:


Training has been going pretty well lately. With transitioning into my training business full-time this past July and in addition to starting two additional business ventures and taking part in numerous other business opportunities my training went by the wayside. No I am training about 4-5 days per week. I try to do chi kung and meditate daily (I love Holosync too) as well as an Indian Club series and joint mobility daily. Strength and conditioning work is usually 4 days per week. My immediate goals are the following: WKC rank 1 in the long cycle and a 500+ deadlift in competition. I have stopped competing in full meet powerlifting for the meantime and only want to focus on kettlebell sport competition and deadlift specialist competition, my training has been restructured to reflect these goals.

Here is the sample training and nutrition plan I am currently following:

Monday – DL focus (heavy)

Warm-up: mobility, foam rolling, Indian club series

Deadlift: wk1-3×3 then a couple heavy singles, wk2-3×5, wk3-3×5,3,1 then a couple heavy singles, wk4-deload 3×5 (based off of Wendler’s 5/3/1)

Deadlift assist (any deadlift or good morning variation): 3-5×3-5

Long cycle (light weight/higher rpms): 16-20kg x 7-10 rpms x 5-7 minutes

ghrs: 3-4×6-10

Lat work: 3-4×6-15

Reverse hypers: 3-4×10-15

Ab work: 3-4×10-15

Tuesday-long cycle and conditioning focus

Warm-ups: same

Long cycle: 28kgx2-3:00, 24kgx2-3:00, 20kgx2-3:00, 16kgx2-3:00 or 24kg x 3:00-5:00, 16kg x 3:00-5:00

Running x 20:00

Wednesday-active recovery

Lots of mobility, foam rolling, stretching, Indian club series, light cardio

Thursday-deadlift focus (speed)

Warm-up: same

Deadlift w/ bands or chains: 5×2 @50-60%

long cycle – same as Monday

Jumping squat – 2-3×15-25

Rest of accessory work is same as Monday

Friday-long cycle and conditioning focus

Same as Tuesday

Sat and Sun – off, or recovery work

Now, if I wasn’t competing in kb sport / deadlift I’d follow a simple template like this:

Mon – Squat-5/3/1, squat assistance, abs, kb jerk, conditioning

Tue – Bench press-5/3/1, bench assistance, lats/upper back, kb snatch conditioning

Thu – Deadlift-5/3/1, deadlift assistance, abs, kb jerk, conditioning

Fri – Military press-5/3/1, close grip bench, lats / upper back, kb snatch, conditioning

I’d do a solid warm up and Indian club work every session too.

You can see my Indian club warm-up and some training vids at my YouTube and my training log is here:

Nutrition (to my carnivore friends, please save the hate-mail!)

Typical daily nutrition:

1st thing in a.m. – 1-2tbsp raw apple cider vinegar in deionized water and 2g of blue green algae

Iced Coffee w/sugar in the raw and almond milk or organic half and half

Breakfast-mixed fruit (like strawberry & banana slices w/ cinnamon & honey)

Lunch-green drink and/or a vegetarian cooked meal such as organic black beans, organic cheese, organic salsa on a sprouted grain wrap — sometimes Lisa and I go out for sushi or mexican food

Dinner-usually a greens drink and some fruit or a cooked vegetarian meal if I didn’t have one at lunch

Throughout the day I snack on raw nuts, goji berries, an occasional raw food bar, cliff bar or raw homemade chocolate.

Pre-training drink is usually 1 tbsp of chia seeds in clean water w/ a little organic lime or lemon juice and raw organic honey

Post training is usually a blended drink of: juice and meat of a young Thai coconut, chocolate almond milk OR plain almond milk and raw cacao beans, 1 tbsp raw honey, 2 tbsp raw organic nut butter, and a bit of cinnamon and pinch of sea salt.

My greens drink is typically:

-2 handfuls of dark leafy greens (I.e. Kale, collards, romaine,etc)

-a bit of bitter greens like wheat grass or dandelion greens

-1 tbsp of a green superfood powder (it has all kinds of good stuff in it including a lot of sea greens)

-1 or 2 apples or strawberries or banana

-clean water or coconut water & meat of a young Thai coconut for the base

This is all blended in my Vitamix blender, I try to have 1-2 of these a day – they don’t taste awesome, but putting the fruit in helps out and they actually have grown on me a bit. The Vitamix blender is essential as most of us don’t chew our food enough to allow for proper digestion, I was one of those 2 or 3 bites then swallow the food whole types!

I also plan to do an organic juice fast twice a year.

Supplements in addition to blue green algae and apple cider vinegar is 1 – 2 tbsp flax oil, 3 or more grams of vitamin c, 250 mg magnesium, 2-3 caps of bee pollen/bee propolis complex, digestive enzymes and after juice fasting I load up on probiotics.

Cheat foods are occasional and usually cheesecake, pizza, beer, chocolate/cookies, but not a ton of this anymore.

So there you have it – that’s what I’ve been up to with my nutrition and training and I’m very happy with the results so far!

Stay healthy and strong!


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Kettlebell Conditioning for MMA-Introducing the WKC Combat Athlete Specialist!

Kettlebells have become a very popular tool for training and conditioning in the MMA fighter and combat athlete’s toolbox.

Many gyms are now outfitted with kettlebells, but unfortuately they are not getting much use and when they are being implemented often times barbells or dumbbells would be more suitable for the task.

As a strength & conditioning trainer many of my athletes and clients utilize kettlebells to some extent in their training programs and only a very few, predominantly only those who train for the sport of kettlebell lifting, use them almost 100% of the time.

As trainers it is our job to insure the most effective and efficient training programs are implemented and not just do what happens to be “cool” or “looks awesome” at the moment.

What can a sound kettlebell conditioning program offer the combat athlete? Simple – a bridge between a fighter’s general physical preparation (GPP) and specific physical preparation (SPP).

What is GPP? Simple, it is using non-specific forms of training to raise qualities important to a fighter’s demands in competition. Strength, power, aerobic conditioning, anaerobic conditioning, mobility, flexibility, etc. are all extremely important to making a fighter well rounded and giving them the best possible platform from which to raise their specific skills.

What is SPP? Specific physical preparation for the fighter is everything they do that has a direct effect on their fight performance. This may include boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, sparring, technique work,  actual competition, etc.

All the GPP in the world is meaningless if there is no transference to a fighter’s SPP. I feel this is where kettlebell training offers a huge benefit. Keep in mind, in order to get the greatest benefit, the training must exhibit some qualities of the SPP. With kettlebells we accomplish this through time and pacing and NOT trying to mimic specific fight techniques while lifting kettlebells. The kettlebell exercises we use are the variations of the traditional kettlebell exercises, full-body, ground-based lifts such as the clean, 1/2 snatch and long cycle push press. The benefit of these exercises are that they utilize the entire body and allow for the lifter to produce power from the ground, through the body and into the kettlebell.

By using these kettlebell lifts and various timed sets and pace of lifting, we can replicate similar physical demands and build the specific type of endurance and power endurance required by the fighter, in order to help prevent “gassing” and being able to throw that knock-out punch in the later rounds.

In an effort to assist fight coaches and fight gyms, Valery Fedorenko and the World Kettlebell Club are offering the Combat Athlete Specialist kettlebell training certification, that I have the honor of being the instructor at. Participants will learn how to utilize the Fedorenko Method of kettlebell lifting to enhance the performance of their fighters and gym members. Make no mistake – we are not trying to replace any form of your fighter’s training, only enhance it through sound kettlebell conditioning methods. This does not replace general strength training or specific fight training, but it will bridge the gap between your fighter’s GPP and SPP.

Coach Fedorenko and Josh Burkman

If you are ready to implement the WKC Combat Athlete Specialist program in your gym, attend one of World Kettlebell Club’s certifications today!

Here is what Adam Singer, owner of the Hardcore Gym in Athens, GA had to say about the WKC Combat Athlete Specialist certification (you may have heard of Adam and the Hardcore Gym as they are the training center that has produced top fighters Forrest Griffin and Brian Bowles among others – Adam knows MMA and strength and conditioning for MMA!)

Steve Fogle, member and instructor at the Hardcore Gym had this to say about the WKC Combat Athlete Specialist certification.

Doug Seamans, owner of Pride Conditioning in Charlotte, NC had this to say about the WKC Combat Athlete Specialist certification.


The next WKC Combat Athlete Specialist Certification will be on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Jorge Gurgel Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Join Chief Advisor Fedorenko, Master Trainer Scott Shetler, Coach Eric Ramsey, UFC fighter Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett, and others for the absolute best in kettlebell conditioning for MMA and combative athletes!

Master Trainer Scott Shetler and participants of the first WKC Combat Athlete Specialist Certification, Doug Seamans, Adam Singer and Steve Fogle.

For more information and to register, visit:

All the best,

Scott Shetler

World Kettlebell Club Master Trainer

Kettlebell Training Specialist for TapouT VTC

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