Sunday, October 12, 2014

It has happened to us all.

We are active and then we get injured.

Because we are injured, we can't exercise or do the active things we enjoy. This leads to weight gain and slowing down of our injury recovery. I have said before to many of my clients who are out due to injury that this is the time to curb your intake to offset the sedentary healing process.

Below is an article from Shane McDavid from the Appetite Control Blueprint. That gives more advice on how to Prevent Gain after injury

I bet you may have been in this situation before.

You're lying on the couch with your feet up watching your favorite television show.

Asleep on Couch.bmpThe good news is you're finally catching up on some much needed rest.

The bad news is that the reason you're on the couch and not training is because of a tweaked hamstring.....

......or maybe an injured shoulder

......or a strained lower back

I think you get the point.

Not only are you not working out as much, but I bet your diet is not as strict as it once was.

This is an important time frame in your training cycle that you can't overlook. Gaining body fat right after an injury will only make your recovery time longer. You also have to make sure to get enough micronutrients to help facilitate the recovery process. The downside is that recovering from your injury will lower your metabolic rate.

This means you'll need to stay away from eating too many calories while still providing enough nutrition to help improve the recovery. Unfortunately, that bag of potato chips and cookies on the counter becomes even more tempting to eat.

The only way to not gain body fat when recovering from an injury is to control your appetite. Thankfully, our body has a natural way of controlling our appetite to make sure we get adequate vitamins and minerals, while not getting too many calories. "Boosting" your metabolism doesn't work in this case.

Think about all of the times you've tried to "boost" your metabolism and lost a little weight, but saw all of the weight come back.

See, the food industry has actually made food that makes you hungry even when you're not. Ever find yourself craving something "salty" or "sweet" after you just finished a meal?

3 Ways to Prevent Fat Gain After an Injury

#1 - Lower Carbohydrates

When you're training hard, having a decent amount of carbohydrates improves recovery, allows you to train harder, and refills glycogen levels giving you better leverage for your workouts.

When you're recovering from an injury, lowering carbs will improve insulin sensitivity and keep body fat in check. Your main carb sources should come from non-starchy vegetables. If you're eating carbs in all of your meals, remove carbs from just one meal and then reassess. The more severe the injury limits your ability to be active, the less carbs you'll need.

#2 - Awaken Your Inner Carnivore

You HAVE to eat enough protein. Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. We do this for a few reasons:

  • Improves Recovery
  • Suppresses Your Appetite
  • Helps you retain more muscle
  • It gives you another reason to eat more steak....(probably the best reason in my opinion)

#3 - Get Rid of the Junk Food! No to Junk foodI know, this tip isn't what you want to hear. Everyone tells me they'll just buy the processed food and leave it for their family.......(we all know what really happens)

But what if you are married and have children?

You obviously can't deprive them of their favorite snacks. Here's the key: I bet your kids or your spouse have favorite snacks that you don't care for. THOSE are the treats that you keep around the house.

Remember, take this time to really focus on limiting body fat gain. In fact, we've had a lot of our clients actually get leaner during this phase. Their recovery time was shorter and they got back to their normal workouts MUCH SOONER.

About Shane:

Shane McDavid is former obesity researcher with an expertise in appetite control. After realizing how most diet programs were failing miserably, he set out to learn why the typical fat loss "tip" of boosting your metabolism was not working. He finally discovered the key to overcoming food cravings and how you can overcome a slow metabolism by implementing a strategic step-by-step plan.

If you're looking to get leaner and stop falling for all of these "metabolism boosting" gimmicks, then check out the Appetite Control Blueprint for the step-by-step process to stop struggling with losing body fat.

Shane McDavid



Friday, July 18, 2014

SFG Kettlebell User Course - Chicago, IL August 24

SFG Kettlebell User Course
Betsy Collie Senior SFG Instructor
Sunday, August 24, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Registration $299 

For more information go to or see registration page at

Lona Fitness
314 W. Superior St. Chicago, Illinois 60610
United States
Phone: 919-403-8651

The one-day SFG Kettlebell Course is more than entry-level user instruction for the AK-47 of exercise equipment—the kettlebell. It is education in moving strong.
No previous kettlebell experience is required. No matter what your goals are, we strongly urge you to take this Course. On one end of the spectrum, subtleties taught in this course have been instrumental in helping Donnie Thompson make a breakthrough in strength while making back problems a thing of the past—and eventually breaking the 3,000 pound world superheavyweight powerlifting total record. On the other end is Tracy Reifkind, who lost over 100 pounds in less than a year.

  • Kettlebell training safety procedures.
  • Essential joint mobility exercises.
  • Sophisticated breathing techniques for strength, back safety, endurance, and reducing the stress level.
  • “Hip-centric” (McGill) movement, a must for strength and back health.
  • Strength Stretching™ principles and key exercises which enable greater expression of strength while dramatically reduc- ing the back, hip, and knee stress.
  • “Lat-centric” shoulder mechanics which protect the shoulder while significantly increasing strength.
  • The most “functional” exercise—the deadlift.
  • A powerful drill for strengthening the feet and the ankles and injury proofing the hamstrings—the one-leg deadlift.
  • The single most beneficial exercise anyone can do—the swing.
  • The get-up—your strongman mentor.
  • The most foolproof squat—the goblet squat.
  • A foundation for barbell skills (this course is a prerequisite for our barbell course).
  • What GPP really is and how to program it. Misunderstanding of general physical preparation, prevalent in the West, even among coaches, prevents one from reaching his or her athletic potential and predisposes him or her to injuries.
  • The principles of effective program design refined and condensed from the Russian methodology.
  • A number of foolproof program design tools and sample programs for a variety of training goals


Dear StrongFirst,
I just wanted to send you a big thank you, and 2 thumbs up on your kettlebell course. My wife and I attended the SFG Kettlebell course in Fayetteville N.C., taught by SFG Senior Instructor Betsy Collie. The Course was hosted by SFG instructor Jill Mahurin at Silverback Fitness.

I am a 51 year old field operations paramedic for New Hanover Regional EMS in Wilmington, N.C. Myself and 100 coworkers will respond to over 60.000 calls in 2014. I have been surfing for over 40 years with an extensive competitive history. I stand paddleboard race for cross training, and have earned 2 black belts. My wife Melissa is a massage therapist and surfer, and very gifted at both her trade and passion. I have been training with  kettlebells for 6 years. Probably like most, I bought the ETK book and video, went to my courage corner and began to practice. Kettlebells have kept me strong, resilient, and kept my hips powerful. I believe all good athletes move from the hips.

Wow, what an eye opening day. Betsy and the StrongFirst course content were fantastic. Betsy brought such passion and energy to her instruction. She really wanted you to get a deeper understanding of  the StrongFirst principles. This day was true goldmine of knowledge, as Betsy was able to instruct and prepare you to get strong before the movements. Her cueing and masterful correctives brought so much more tension and strength to my game.

The course content was much more evolved than the HKC certification I obtained in 2011.Everyone who attended had a basic grasp of the movements being taught, as Betsy was able to teach the subtle details that get the most out of each rep. Two of the biggest pearls of wisdom I walked away with were “zip it up and finish the lift”, which really brought each rep full circle. Tension when needed, relaxation when needed. She was excellent in having to get our pelvis tucked, kneecaps up, shoulders packed with lats in control, and breath control.

Once again, Betsy’s attention to detail is finer that frog hair. She’ll see it, she’ll correct it, and she has the depth and knowledge to explain it. There is also so much more than the 5 movements listed , with the yang plank, dead swing , and “the plan” hid- den in the mix.

Thank you Pavel and your team for making this information and course available. you have greatly improved the quality of my life, and me as an athlete. I guess I’m going to have to put my sites on a SFG certification in the future. And in conclusion, all I can say is, take this course, train with Betsy , and get Strong!
Andrew Herzog, NREMT-P Carolina Beach, N.C., USA

I couldn’t agree more Andy! My husband and I also attended Betsy’s StongFirst Kettlebell Course at Jill’s facility. I emphatically echo what Andy said. This was my second experience being taught by Betsy as I followed the recommendations of this forum when I started S&S last January and sought a StrongFirst instructor to get my form checked. Her passion and depth of knowl- edge for the kettlebell far exceeded my expectations on both occasions. There were so many nuggets of information to take away and Andy mentioned several. One thing I will add in that regard (really there are so many that will present themselves as I train and re-read my notes!) is how important it is to practice technique and own the movements; especially before moving up in KB size. If you read this forum regularly you won’t have to wait too long to hear someone ask “should I move up a KB size” or “am I ready yet” or “wow! When I jumped up to the 32 it took me much longer to progress”. Strength is a skill and part of that skill is learning to be humble in the face of iron. Betsy reminded us that learning the foundations and principles of these movements will help us achieve our goals safely and efficiently.

“Thank You” to StrongFirst, Betsy, and the class attendees who have enriched my experience.
Amy Wolff

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Passing on the Knowledge....

By now most of you in our program know where we get most of our training from. But if you don't let me explain. We combine solid training information from FMS (Functional Movement Screening,,), Z Health (joint mobility, elementary movements that reset the body (from Original Strength,  and of course our exceptional training from StrongFirst (

I wanted to pass along a review from Gray Cook one of the most intelligent men I know! Gray Cook is a practicing physical therapist, a orthopedic certified specialist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an RKC kettlebell instructor. He is the founder of Functional Movement Systems, a company that promotes the concept of movement pattern screening and assessment. His work and ideas are at the forefront of fitness, conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

For those that may not know much about Pavel, here is a short bio on him.

Pavel Tsatsouline, Chairman of StrongFirst, Inc. (born August 23, 1969 in Minsk, USSR (now part of Belarus)) is a fitness instructor from the former Soviet Union. He holds a degree in Sports Science from the Physical Culture Institute in Minsk.[1] He is involved with the evolving field of martial arts fitness and is a major proponent of the traditional Russian fitness tool, the kettlebell, as an exercise and strengthening tool. In 1998, Tsatsouline introduced the kettlebell to the United States, and is credited with popularizing the kettlebell in the West.[2] Dr. Randall J. Strossen, founder and president of IronMind Enterprises, Inc., stated, "In our eyes, Pavel Tsatsouline will always reign as the modern king of kettlebells since it was he who popularized them to the point where you could almost found a country filled with his converts...".[3]

In the 1980s, Tsatsouline was a physical-training instructor for Spetnaz, the elite Soviet special-forces units.[4] Tsatsouline is now a subject matter expert to the US Marine Corps, the US Secret Service, and the US Navy SEALs.[5]

In 2001, Tsatsouline was voted a "Hot Trainer" by Rolling Stone, pictured with a kettlebell in hand.[6] He has published articles in Milo magazine[7] and Performance Press, as well as being the author of several books on stretching and strength training (see Bibliography).

Tsatsouline's publisher is Dragon Door, owned by John Du Cane. Dragon Door is a website and publishing company generally focused on martial arts and related sports, but also catering to general health, fitness, weight loss, and stress management. Pavel started the Russian Kettlebell Challenge ("RKC"), an advanced kettlebell training certification, with Dragon Door in 2001.

In 2012, Pavel left the RKC and formed a new company, StrongFirst. StrongFirst is dedicated to the pursuit, development, and acquisition of strength - a skill that, as stated on the homepage of StrongFirst, "has been compared to a glass that can be filled with other qualities; the larger the glass, the more endurance, sport skill, fat loss, etc. it can hold." [8] StrongFirst offers several comprehensive user courses and certifications for the use of kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight exercises, which are currently being offered in the United States, Europe, Korea, Australia, Canada, and South America.

Oh and Pavel is also my boss in StrongFirst. As you may or may not know I hold a leadership position in StrongFirst. These positions are appointed by Pavel himself. So it is a responsibility I consider a real honor and the expectations are high.  I was appointed Team Leader by Pavel back in 2009. This allowed me to teach at certifications around the world as needed or required. But just recently Pavel appointed me to Senior StrongFirst Instructor. There are only 15 in the world and 5 of them are women. I am excited about being in this position and  take my role very seriously. For more information about what we do at StrongFirst, please read here: .


Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because it is what sets our program apart from any other gym or fitness facility in our area. Our expertise is backed by smart training and learning correctly how to use the body not just with kettlebells, but with body weight exercise and barbells too.

So I encourage you to read up on the sites mentioned above and learn more if you wish about some of the  foundations we have built our program on.

I hope you have found this helpful.

I encourage you to keep coming to class regularly and also if you haven't read Pavel's book, I encourage you to get your copy from me in the studio. It is only $17.95, but the information in it is priceless!!! The info you have heard me say time and time again, but it is worth reading AGAIN!!!!

Building strong bodies!

See you in class!