Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin ? - My comments

My comments:

The correct name of the article should be :
"Why poorly designed exercise programs and a bad diet won't make you thin?"
I would have loved to post a comment on Time, but you do not get the chance to do it. Therefore I will post a comment right here in my KB blog.

If you want to read the article here it is:,8599,1914857-1,00.html

The author of this article is John Cloud. As I understand from the article and from the pics, poor John never got great results from training.
In his article he even says that "I still have gut fat that hangs over my belt when I sit. Why isn't all the exercise wiping it out? ".

Why didn't John never got good results after years of exercise ?
First he, like many others, thinks that exercise is mostly aerobic type of training.

If you want to lose fat, the most important thing you have to do is strength training. Good old, basic, progressive and intense strength training.

What does strength training do:
- it burns calories (about 70 - 80 % of what cardio burns for the same ammount of time)
- burns also some extra calories after the training for recovery
- builds muscle - 2.2 lbs (1 kg) bulids at rest 50 extra calories , so 5 extra lbs (2 kg) of muscle will help you burn 35000 extra calories equals to 5 kg of body fat, within one year. Building muscle will help you prevent fat regain.
- increases your testosterone and growth hormone production

What is good strength training.

All the kettlebell drills are valuable; beside KB also barbells and dumbells are very good:

- squat, deadlift, standing press, bench press, bent over row

Body weight drills can also work wonders:

- one leg squat, pistol squat, hindu squat, push ups, one hand push ups, dips, chin ups, gorilla crunch.

What is John wright about is that the calories you spend doing cardio equals to the calories you control in your diet in terms of fat loss.

Maybe his article is not so bad. I am sure he thought a lot before taking it to be published. The truth is that many people are scrambling like John is, running the rat race on the treadmill while munching on muffins, pizzas and chocolate.

Strength training rules even if your goal is fat loss.

Beside good training you also need to watch your diet. Calculate your daily caloric needs and count your calories. You do not need to keep on counting calories a lifetime, but you need until you get to knowledge and understanding about how much do you really eat.

Dietary guidelines
- split the total calories between 4-6meals, taken at equal intervals (200-800 cal for a meal);
- eat the meal according with the latter activity-(ex: if you have to work in the office for the next hours take a light meal 250 - 500 cal, 90 min before training take about 400 - 800 calories, mainly from carbohydrates) ;
- drink plenty of liquids (water, green tea, fruit juices, milk) during the day, at intervals, without waiting to be thirsty (at least 2-3 liters a day), more in hot weather and during and after training;
- while exercising keep a full bottle with you and sip every few minutes; you should aim to eat the same amount of liquid as you lose through sweating;
- eat fresh food, do not store it for a long time, do not overcook it ;
- eat plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables- due to phytochemicals, fibers and vitamins contained, the fruits and vegetables, along with cereals are the best for supporting a good health and a prolonged life ,free of diseases;
- have a varied diet, including foods from all the food groups, and well balanced (see the food pyramid);
- one hour after the training eat a meal rich in animal protein and carbohydrates;
- do not eat late in the evening (after 21:00), or eat some fruits and vegetables;
- at least once or twice in a week eat deep sea fish for its omega 3 fatty acids and/or some olive oil ;
- avoid or limit alcoholic beverages intake - the alcohol contains 7 cal per gram and it can ruin your diet, along with other unwanted effects;

Train hard

Thursday, October 1, 2009

At this moment I am unable to access Blogger, because it is blocked in China.

I will continue to post so keep reading.
Physical conditioning with kettlebells for MMA fighters

Without doubt MMA fighters are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. As a fighter you need good performance for every physical quality: strength, speed, endurance, skills and flexibility.

If your are not well conditioned as a sport player or a single event athlete you may lose games, your opponents will score goals and points over you; if you are not fit and participate in MMA competition you will get your own dear ass kicked.

The single main goal of martial arts is to defeat a stronger opponent. If you can not achieve this, there is no point in training martial arts; just improve your strength and impose your will on your adversaries. If you are not fit enough the you may often fail to achieve this single most important goal of martial arts; you will get beaten by less skilled, but better conditioned opponents.

I have seen many athletes who overlook physical conditioning training, thinking that just skill is important. If you want to know the importance of physical prowess just think about women martial artists fighting men. It is extremely difficult for women athletes to triumph over men, mostly because of physical conditioning level.

What physical qualities do you need to improve as a MMA fighters and what drills you can use?


You need to consider more aspects of strength:

Maximal general strength

Maximal general strength is the basic for every other aspect of strength. To develop maximal strength train with heavy weights (1-5 RM 85 – 100% x 1 RM) and low repetitions (1 – 5 reps).

KB drills for maximal general strength:

- Standing KB press
- Windmill
- KB pistol squat
- Bent press
- Turkish get up (TGU)
- Gladiator row

Explosive strength

Power is king in every athletic discipline. The ability to apply maximal strength in shortest time possible makes the difference between great strikers and novices.

To develop power you need to practice explosive drills. You can train with very heavy weights and maximal acceleration for low reps (1-5 RM for 1-5 Reps).
You can also use lightest weights (30 – 70 % x 1 RM), and use maximal acceleration for 6 – 15 Reps. Stop the drill when you begin your explosiveness begins to drop.

KB explosive drills for power: (you can practice these drills using one or two KB)

- KB swing
- KB snatch
- KB clean
- KB jerk
- KB clean & jerk

KB throws outside on the sand or other soft terrain: two hands overhead behind, two hands forward, two hands up, one or two hands with torso twisting, etc.

Strength endurance

If MMA combat rounds would be just 30 seconds you wouldn’t need strength endurance, but with multiple rounds of 3 to 5 minutes you need.

For developing strength endurance use 60 – 70% x 1 RM loads for sets of 15 – 30 reps. You can tie different drill together for an extended circuit up to 3 – 5 minutes. Maintain a moderate tempo of execution.

KB drills for strength endurance:

- Turkish get up
- KB standing press
- KB bent press
- KB pistol squat
- Double KB squat
- Two hands anyhow
- Gladiator row
- Farmer’s walk

Explosive strength endurance

If you watch beginner amateurs fighting you will notice that punching turn into pushing by the end of the rounds. If you want to maintain your whip and snap until the end of the fight, you need specific training.

Use explosive drills performed for time 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes. Use the heaviest loads you can handle for the period of time and maintain a moderate pace.

KB drills for explosive strength endurance

- KB snatch ( aim for 100 snatches in 5 minutes; you can change hands as you wish)
- KB swing
- KB clean @ jerk
- Double KB jerk

MMA specific strength

Fighters need especially good strength for the core muscles, forearm muscles, hip muscles and shoulder joint muscles.

Core strength

The real power behind the punch comes from your big and strong hip and leg muscles. Lower body strength transmits to the fist through the core; that is one of the reasons you need good core strength.

Almost all kettlebell drills train the core. Some drills are especially good for core strength:

- Windmill
- Bent press
- Double KB squat (with KB on rack position)
- Double KB standing press
- Gladiator row

Forearm strength

When you grab the opponent with a strong grip it is scary for him. Strong grip is especially important for wrestling and grappling.

Because the KB center of gravity is away from the handle when you grip the KB you need to use your forearm strength to maintain a good wrist alignment. When performing ballistic drills, because of the inertia, the stress upon you gripping muscles is very high, so all ballistic drills are great grip strength developers.

The most challenging KB drills for your grip are:

- Snatch
- Clean
- Farmer’s walk
- Bottom up standing press and awkward grip press (with the body of the KB inside the wrist, left or write side)

Hip strength

Your most powerful muscles should be your hip muscles which stand behind your hip thrust.
When you learn to punch and kick using your hips, no matter your body size, you will be a threat for any opponent, even much bigger than you.

The best KB hip strength drills are:

- KB swing
- KB snatch
- KB pistol squat

Shoulder strength

In MMA the shoulder is one of the most vulnerable parts of your armor. If you get caught in a lock or if you fall on your hands, your shoulders might get hurt. Training with kettlebells, your shoulder muscles, tendons, ligaments and articular capsula will all get tougher.

KB drills work your shoulders in almost every possible angle and range of motion.

- TGU works your shoulders starting with the hand extended in front of your body when you lie down, finishing with the arm above your head in line with your body.
- Windmills train your shoulders on the side plane
- Shoulder press, floor press, gladiator row train your front, middle and rear of your shoulders

Cardiorespiratory endurance

If you got no “wind” by the end of the round you are in major danger. Great MMA fighters are able to keep the same pace from the beginning, until the end of the fight; the greatest fighters are even able to fight multiple contest during the same night.

Some athletes train with long runs for improving the cardiovascular ability; long runs do not make too much sense for fighters training program because they are aerobic and do not have enough intensity. The fighters energy during combat is assured mostly through anaerobic energy delivery pathways with often maximal bursts of effort.
If the athletes train long enough on long running, they might even hinder the peak power ability, because the body will adapt for long time, moderate intensity efforts; they might as well change to another discipline, maybe cross running.

The best and most specific way of training for cardiorespiratory endurance is prolonged power effort and circuit training.

KB training for cardio power

- KB swings ( start with rounds of 1 minute and build up to 5 minutes rounds; increase the kettlebell weight when you can easily complete 3 rounds of 5 minutes each)
- KB snatch – perform 100 reps within 5 minutes. If you can do it with a 20 kg KB you are good, with 24 kg you are very competitive, with 28 kg you are one of the best, with 32 kg you are world level. I have not heard of any heavier than this.
- KB clean & jerk – do them at a faster pace


Even if flexibility is not the main goal of KB training, because of some KB drill range of motion, your specific flexibility will improve.

KB drills which improve flexibility

- Windmill
- KB swing
- KB side press

Example of weekly conditioning training cycle for MMA fighters:

First I write the sets number and after the reps number( ex 5 x 8 means 5 sets x 8 reps)

Training A

1. KB pistol squat 5 x 5 ( left and right leg)
2. KB shoulder press 5 x 5
3. KB heavy swing 5 x 8
4. TGU 4 x 3 ( each set is performed like this – one rep right hand, one rep left hand, one right, one left, one right, one left)
5. Snatch 5 min 100 reps

Training B

1. KB gladiator row 5 x 6 ( each hand 6, 12 reps in total per set)
2. KB floor press 5 x 5
3. KB windmill 5 x 5
4. Double KB jerk 100 reps (try to do these 100 reps using the least possible number of sets)
5. Swing 3 sets x 3,4,5 minutes each ( between 3,4,5 minutes choose the duration you can sustain)

Training C

1. Clean & jerk heavy 5 x 4
2. Bent press 5 x 5
3. Two hand anyhow 4 x 2
4. Passes between legs 3 x 2 min
5. Circuit: Swing 2 hands 15, Swing left hand 15, Swing right hand 15, Snatch left 15, Snatch right 15 2 sets x 3,4,5 minutes

Training D

1. Double KB squat (rack position) 5 x 6
2. Double KB Clean and press 5 x 5
3. Double KB one leg deadlift 5 x 5
4. KB snatch heavy 5 x 3
5. KB Swings 500 reps (perform them within the fastest time possible; you can rest briefly)

You can arrange these sessions as you like:
A, B, C, D, A
D, A, C,D, C

Train at least 2 times a week, with a better frequency of 3 – 6 times per week.
Every session should take less than 60 minutes.

Advance your MMA ranking by doing conditioning training with kettlebells.

Alex Moisescu

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The first Kettlebell instructor course in China, July 20-22, 2009

As you might know the Blogger service is blocked in China. I used to access Blogger by Hotspot Shield, but now even this proxy doesn't work properly, so I now use to post to my Kettlebell training blogspot.

From 20th to 22nd of July 2009, in Beijing China , I held the first Kettlebell trainer certification from China.

12 trainers registered and completed the 3 days course which was structured with theoretical lessons in the morning and kettlebell training in the afternoon.

The theoretical course content was The principles of athletic training, how to design training programs, how to lose fat and kettlebell facts.
The practical course included almost all kettlebell drills, and in the end Group Exercise with kettlebells.

At the end of 3 days the trainers passed a written examination about how to safely and effectively teach kettlebell drills, passed a practical test for Swing, Windmill, Snatch and Clean&Jerk .

The Kettlebell challenge was kettlebell snatch:
Two of the trainers managed to complete 100 snatches with 20 kg kettlebells, and the rest of them with 16 kg. The tree girls which attended the certification completed the challenge with an 8 kg kettlebell.
I will post pics when I can access the Blogger.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bodyweight training with David Martin - K.I.S.S.

Below you will find David Martin's training program. He is already practicing this type of training for more than one year. At present he trains in my club in Tianjin, China.

K.I.S.S. Workout- Keep It Simple Stupid!

There is no need for all that fancy equipment. No need for trainers or gyms. All that is required is self-motivation and self-discipline.

The Goal: To get you into shape using the least amount of time and equipment as possible. This workout focuses on the basics: pushups, situps, pull-ups, dips, squats and lunges.

You may notice that all these exercises are body weight exercises. You can take this workout wherever you go. So, there is absolutely no excuse not to do this. This workout is designed for people who have very little time to spare and want to improve their energy levels, improve self-esteem, and reduce stress.

The K.I.S.S. Method-

1. Push-ups: Hands shoulder-width apart or at the side of your chest and back straight. Now push it out. Do 10-15 repetitions of this.

2. Sit-ups/Crunches: The trick to any sit-up or crunch is to focus on the muscle group you are working and flex. The more you focus, the more you will feel all the muscles in your stomach and the more defined those muscles become. All sit- ups should be done with hands at the side of your head and the elbows should touch your knees. Do 20-25 repetitions. (See example pictures) Remember to focus on the muscles and flex.

3. Pull-ups: The trick to any good pull-up is that your arms must be fully extended so that you are literally hanging there like a monkey. Your arms must be fully extended to have maximum effect for the muscles you want to work. Your chin must reach above the bar you are holding or that repetition does not count. Do 2-3 repetitions of this.

Well that doesn’t sound hard, does it? You may be asking what makes this a good workout. Well, here is the hard part. You can’t rest. This is a circuit workout built to increase your endurance. You do the pushups, sit-ups and pull-ups, then you get a 1 minute rest. You just did one set. None of these workouts by themselves is hard, but putting them together and not stopping is hard. Your goal over the next month is to increase the sets to where you are doing 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, and around 25 pull-ups.

This is the end of day 1. This workout blasted your core. Your chest, stomach and back will ache if this is your first day doing anything in a while. Not only that though, you will also feel soreness in your biceps, triceps and shoulders from the pushups and pull-ups.

Make sure to stretch well before beginning and after finishing this workout. Spend 5-10
minutes warming up and 5 on the cool down. It really is a good idea to spend more time stretching especially if you are at an older age.


1. Jogging: Cardiovascular exercise is important to any routine to keep or get yourself into shape. It raises your heart rate and helps you burn off the excess fat. This workout is very simple. Stay on the treadmill or road for 15-20 minutes jogging. It does not have to be a fast run. Make it a comfortable pace, but push yourself. Make the pace slightly uncomfortable.

2. Body-squats: Put your weight on your heels and squat down while looking up at the ceiling. This ensures your back is straight and helps you keep your weight on your heels. Do 20 repetitions.

3. Sit-ups: Same as yesterday. Alternate what kind of sit-ups or crunches you do every two sets (See example pictures). Do 20-25 repetitions. Remember to focus on the muscles and flex.

4. Supermans: Lay face down on the floor with arms stretched out in front of you. Lift both your legs and your arms at the same time and hold for 2-3 seconds. Do 5-10 reps. 5. Lunges: Take a step forward with one foot while touching your opposite knee to the ground. Do 10-15 reps.

Today you start your workout with the run. Be sure to stretch all your leg muscles properly both before and after the run to prevent injury by properly warming up and cool down.

More body weight drills from David:

Side reverse crunch.


Front lunge.

Calf raise

What kind of body can you get from

This article is from Mr David Martin . He is also the model from these pics.

Do not forget: Keep It Simple Stupid !

See you ,


Friday, January 30, 2009

Bodyweight training 101

Bodyweight training can fit in every trainee or athlete’s training regimen.

By changing the leverage and the number of supporting points you can make it from very easy to extremely difficult, enabling you to progress the same way as training with weights.
You can increase you muscle mass, your explosive power or your maximal strength. Just choose the same level of difficulty and the number of reps, as you would do when training with weights depending on your goals.

Here are the best body weight exercises. I present them in progression from the easiest which may be a good start for your grandmother to the most difficult which can be used by any serious athlete no mater his or her level.

With pushups you will train your chest, anterior delts, triceps, abs and hip flexors. Full upper body pushing strength will be improved with pushups. ( every pic )
Incline pushups (vary the level of difficulty according with the inclination degree)

Kneeling pushups

Flat half pushups

Flat pushups

Decline pushups

Uneven pushups

Explosive pushups (clapping hands)

Kneeling one arm pushups

One arm push up

One arm, one leg pushups

Pull - ups

Pull ups will develop your lats, biceps, brachioradials, forearm flexors, lower traps, rear delts, lower chest and abs.

This is a capital exercise for increasing upper body pulling strength.

Incline pull-ups (vary the level of difficulty according with the inclination degree)

Vertical pull-ups with feet on the ground

Isometric pull-ups (hold your body weight for 5-10 seconds with elbows at different angles)

Negative pull-ups (help yourself upward with your legs, and come down slowly under control)

Classic supine grip pull-ups (palms toward your face)

Neutral grip pull-ups

Prone grip pull-ups (palms outward)

Left-right pull-ups

One hand grip, one hand wrist grip pull-ups

Uneven grip pull ups

Isometric one hand pull-ups (hold)

One hand pull-ups


The same as weighted squats this exercise will engage every major muscle of your legs. As a difference, body weight squats will be very easy on your back and upper body.

Two legs semi squat

Full squat

Squat lunge

Uneven squat

One leg squat with self help

One leg pistol squat with self help

One leg squat

One leg pistol squat

One leg pistol squat with isometric stops

One leg pistol squat with weight

Dips (chest, triceps, anterior delts for superior upper body strength)

Incline bench dip

Horizontal bench dip

Eccentric dip

Isometric dip

Classic Dip

Dip with isometric stops

Explosive dip

Weighted dip

If you complain that you do not have time and a place to train, with bodyeight training you have no excuses. You always have your body weight with you. Just use it!

The voice of fitness

The past, the present and the future of strength training

About Me

My photo
Kettlebell shoulder press 56 kg Kettlebell pistol squat 56 kg Kettlebell pull up 56 kg I am a kettlebell trainer's trainer in China. I own a fitness club in Tianjin, I provide Personal Trainers training and I also have my own brand of free weights equipment, Metal Gear.