Yesterday, I asked you guys what your favorite kettlebell exercises were! Thanks to Ana Farr , EddieTheBarsteward, Dannii from Hungry Healthy Happy, Astrid from BetterBelieveIt, Alfonso “The Angry Trainer“, Lisa from Kettlebell Bombshell and my very own Steve Pfiester from BCx Boot Camp, who shared some of their favs, I have 10 awesome exercises and 4 awesome workouts to share with you!
Give some a try – and share more of your favs below in the comment section! Now, let’s grab a kettlebell and get to work!
Top 10 Kettlebell Exerices!
4. Goblet Squat
6. Figure 8s
4 Kettlebell Workouts!
#1 4-Step Kettlebell Workout with BCx trainer, StevePfiester
#2 Kettlebell Blast Workout by AngryTrainerFitness
#3 Check out Astrid’s latest kettlebell workout from BetterBelieveFit
#4 Kettlebell Workout by Kettlebell Bombshell (Lisa Balash)
In Steve’s blog today, he talks about fighting for what you really want. In a scene from the last episode of Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook tells Rumpelstiltskin “If you aren’t willing to fight for what you want, then you deserve what you get”. How TRUE is this?!
Joyce Meyer smoked since she was 9 years old. I imagine that was one strong habit. She said she used to lead Bible studies at her house while puffing on a cigarette (which totally cracks me up picturing her do this in her younger years). She really didn’t want to quit smoking, but she said “I finally got to a place where I wanted to please God more than I wanted to smoke” so she was willing to fight for what she wanted most.
When will you finally get to the place where you want to feel fit more than to taste food? How hard will you fight for what you want most?
Imagine dieting for weeks, training twice a day 7 days a week, taking all the right supplements, and ordering all the products you need to be on stage to look your best wearing next to nothing to expose every muscle to judges and hundreds of spectators – and BAM! You get injured 10 days away from the big day.
The Monkey Wrench
That’s what happened to my husband, Steve Pfiester, last week. Everyone who was there in the room with him heard the dreadful snap of his MCL and medial meniscus. It’s what every athlete fears most. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t even dangle his leg without supporting it to prevent pain. He was afraid to move. He was paralyzed. Within 2 hours, I bought knee braces and crutches just so he could get from the couch to the bathroom. His plans of competing September the 22nd appeared to be gone.
The next day Steve was in and out of doctor’s offices, getting checked out and getting an MRI. Within minutes of his MRI, his General Physician and Radiologist were reading the results and sending Steve to Vero Orthopedics. That’s when he heard words that were music to his ears. “Steve, this is just a bump in the road”. This was the second time he heard this statement in one day – first by his general physician, Dr. Nick Cappola of Compassionate Medical Center, and now from Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Steinfeild.
Dr. Steinfield continued to explain his diagnosis. The MCL will require 6 weeks recovery and rehabilitation. The medial meniscus could require surgery, but we won’t know until the MCL heals. The best news was the doc said Steve could be weight-bearing and workout as long as it didn’t hurt him. Although exercise didn’t seem possible at that moment, Steve wanted to at least try.
Get After It
Just 8 days later, we are full steam ahead getting for Steve’s competition, packing his bags, and preparing his food. Steve has decided he will be on that stage even if he has to limp his way through this thing. He doesn’t want to take the easy way out. He has EVERY excuse to quit, and to grab a big fat pizza and cry over his broken knee. But, instead, he’s using this as even a bigger part of his challenge – just one more thing to conquer.
Not only does he have to get through his workouts still, he has to fight the swelling, bruising and pain. His knee is not only swollen, he has fluid and blood pooling down in his ankle. He will have to get all of that out by Saturday so he is as symmetrical as possible at the NPC Daytona Beach Classic – because the judges won’t care if he’s been hurt, so having one fat Flintstone foot isn’t an option.
Personal Challenge vs. Public Contest
This competition is not about winning first place. It’s not about being seen half naked so people can admire his abs. This show is not about vanity or notoriety. This is about pushing his body to its limits. It’s about practicing discipline and self-control – and that hasn’t changed. If nothing else, it’s become harder and requires more discipline and more pushing. For Steve, this is a personal challenge that will be victorious as long as he doesn’t quit. Win or lose, he is a winner for not giving up when he had every excuse to.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to learn from this. We ALL have good excuses to quit trying, to cheat on your diet, or to skip a workout. Whether it’s a bad day, a busy schedule or an injury, we can all justify quitting if we want to quit bad enough. Believe me, Steve could have come home the night he got injured and dive in big fat juicy burger, and down some beers to wash his sorrows away, but he didn’t. Instead he focused on why he SHOULDN’T QUIT – and there were more reasons not to quit than there were to give up.
No matter what excuses come your way – you can use them or you can beat them. It’s your choice.
Read Steve’s blog, “Train Hurt or Go Home (or Should You?)” for more on training through an injury.
When I searched for candid photos of female celebrities who had great abs, I came up pretty empty handed. However, the one female star that really stole the google image show was Gwen Stefani, and deservingly so.
The truth is, everyone has abs – it’s just whether we see them or not. The leaner you are and the more developed they are, the more visible they are. Aside from diet, the problem is many people are limited when it comes to knowing a lot of ab exercises. If you are working on getting Gwen Stefani abs by bikini season, then maybe it’s time to freshen up your abs hit list!
If you were Steve Pfiester‘s client, here are a few of the exercises he’d likely have you doing.
3. Bicycle Crunch
4. Vertical Leg Crunch
5. Oblique Crunch
6. Reverse Crunch
7. Side V-up
8. Hanging Knee-ups
9. Snow Angels
10. Crunch & Punch
11. Take it or Leave it
13. Pulse Side Plank
15. Alternating Hand Foot Plank Lift Off
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Steve Pfiester asks: “Is it worth it?”
I don’t know that anyone is inherently just drawn to enjoy dragging their “out of shape lazy butt” into a gym, or basement for that matter, and really enjoy the euphoria of that “warm and nauseous feeling”. What makes someone finally sell out to a fit lifestyle and not “restart” every Monday, or have 365 “do-overs” for their new years resolution to lose that 20-50 pounds that they have had since their 3rd child (yes, you guys too), but really, really do it.
After 25 years of trudging through the emotional and psychological trenches of this beautifully simple question, I have narrowed it down to 3 sobering and motivating life-changing reasons some people make permanent changes to our physique and physiology:
- We, or someone we care for, has been told they will die if we don’t make some very real dietary changes and increase our all over fitness.
- The realization that entropy (degrading energy) is a very real result of life. Every day we have less and less energy, yet we are eating more and more, finally becoming sick of being sick
- Aesthetics… there I said it. Many of us are tired of buying clothes that we don’t even like just because they are the best choice to hide 5 or more of our 2000 parts.
Many of us fall into a little of all three of these reasons, but others of us can definitely say, “I want to live longer, healthier or just look better.”
IT’S WORTH THE REWARD
I am the latter. I definitely want to live longer. Not only that, but I want to live longer AND healthier. I don’t care to live even another year if I was completely dependent on others and had a poor quality of life. Even knowing exercise can produce that type of amazing benefit, I am so vain that I still wouldn’t be completely sold out for a fit lifestyle if it did nothing for the way I look. I probably would still eat ‘ok’ and have an ‘ok’ workout.., but no freak’n way would I ever train this hard, or eat this clean, if it wasn’t gonna see abs or tone up my bottom.
SIDE NOTE –> YES, us 40 year old men still want our wives to think we have firm derrières’ also. Not an obsession but a definite concern. We just don’t sit around the office with each other and compare, “Hey Bob, what have you been doin, your ass looks really amazing lately”. Bob says, “Welp’ Stevo, I’ve been doing some lunges and eating steamers”. Nope, not a conversation we’re gonna have – but still concerned all the same.
IS IT WORTH IT to go to bed a little hungry?
What is it worth to not only work in your training 5 or 6 days a week but also, do that extra 5 or 6 reps? I’m here to tell you I’ve seen it happen to the most unexpected of people. You know, the ones who come back in the office after the summer, or the ones you haven’t seen in a while, drop lots of weight and toned up? You want SO bad to believe they got sick or had Lipo, but then the nasty truth is they just set their mind to what they wanted to do… (and listen).. AND DID IT!!!!! Read the rest of this entry
If you have ever thought of doing a boot camp program where you live, this is a great inside look into a “newbie’s” experience. Common fears, thoughts, feelings (both mental and physical) and the victories discovered along the way. I recently got an email from one of out new boot campers and it touched us so much, we had to share. I hope it encourages you to try something new and go outside your own comfort zone so you too can have a story to share.
Dear Bonnie, Steve & Paula:
“Boot camp is over and I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and feelings about that – mostly gratitude. I have no doubt that you’ve each received hundreds of ‘thank you’ notes from those whose lives you touched and … here’s another one!
Thank You! What an amazing ride this has been! You are each extraordinary & amazing leaders! You put the breath back in my body! You got my heart pumping again and I feel alive! Now don’t get me wrong … I give myself full credit for finding you and falling at your feet but you helped me find the strength to stand and run! Astonishing!
I have to share a few highlights from my journey:
I’ve lived in the area for about 2 years and everyone I’ve met so far either doesn’t exercise or they have a home gym of some sort so I was lucky to find you on the internet. As with most people’s stories I reached that point when I had to make a change in my life – fast. For me that day was April 9, 2011. Time was on my side because a new boot camp was scheduled to start on April 18th.
MapQuest directed me to your door and I marched in and slapped my deposit check on the counter and then quickly marched right back out before I talked myself out of it. I held my breath until the 18th.
Day 1, Orientation:
I opened your front door and it was standing room only. It seemed that everyone knew at least one other person and the whole place was loud with chatter. I suddenly felt like I was the only one who had no clue about what they were supposed to do. (I’m 5 feet tall so it’s pretty easy to get lost in a crowd.) I’ll never forget what happened next … through the sea of rear-ends and elbows this gorgeous face appeared with a smile that lit up the shadow I was standing in. Bonnie, you greeted me like a VIP!
I seriously thought there was a case of mistaken identity for a second and then I realized you really are just that cool.
The way you spotted me in the pack and talked directly to me. You didn’t keep looking all around the room – you looked right at me until you were sure I understood what the agenda was. And then you gave me a reassuring pat on the shoulder. I felt like your personal guest and I knew I was in the right place. Thank you Bonnie!
We all crammed into the boot camp room and I met Steve and Paula for the first time. Steve immediately began shouting commands … line up, arms out … hold them up! The room was really crowded and somehow I got pushed right up to the front row – so close to Steve his breath moved my hair when he bellowed. There is actually a picture of this intense moment on the boot camp bulletin board (I’m the first one in the ‘Live United’ t-shirt & glasses). Still holding our arms up and keeping them up I felt my eyes puddle.
Yep, I shed my first tear within the very first 3 minutes of boot camp. Why? Because that was the moment I really realized the terrible shape I was in and that this was going to hurt. How did I let myself get like this?!
Steve makes me laugh so hard my ‘sip of water’ came out of my nose! Just when I was beginning to take myself too seriously and get far too focused on the struggle – Steve cracked jokes – hilarious! It was the perfect diversion. Thank you Steve! (pictured right wearing a wig in another boot camp class)
Paula makes me cry. Those f-ing burpees! (Please pardon my implied profanity. Sometimes there is just no better word.) This was a real breakthrough for me. I was coming in waaay last on everything and getting really frustrated. This particular time everyone was finished, taking a breather and drinking some water but I still had 10 more burpees to do – now with a full audience.
Then she intuitively knew exactly how to motivate me … she announced, “These burpees are kicking her butt – but look at her form! These are perfect burpees! Good job Lis!” Suddenly I was no longer ashamed of coming in last – I was showing off! And the way she said my name – no ‘a’ just like family – really made me hear her. Thank you Paula!
Day 6, Saturday Yoga with Steve:
I’ve never watched a man get into a yoga pose and demonstrate tremendous flexibility, balance and strength while articulately explaining the how and why of the posture and throw in off-the-wall humor at the same time.
So instead of coming off like some ego maniac demonstrating an impossible act, he made a very difficult posture seem like any goof ball could try it.
And I did. And I was amazed by what I could do. Steve walked around the room helping us make corrections or adjustments and as he passed by me he put one finger on my shoulder and said, “nice job”. It was the last day of the first week and I had no strength left but that atta-girl made me want to work twice as hard. Thank you Steve!
I could barely walk that first week. I wore a baseball cap to work everyday because I could not lift the hairdryer.
I went home early from work twice and just called in sick all together that first Friday. It was the most physically challenging, painful, wonderful and rewarding week of my life! I’ve never hurt so much but been so proud of myself at the same time! I just completed week 4 but it didn’t seem like anything compared to week 1. (You told me so!)
Paula has this amazing ability to make time fly … like when we’re making a chair on the wall or holding plank … legs on fire, can’t breathe, she’ll start dancing around the room and make crazy faces at everyone which always made me laugh which forced me to breathe. Or she does lines from movies and we have to guess who it is. Or music trivia – rock & roll of course! Next thing you know 1 minute has passed or even 2!
Paula you pushed me further than I ever dreamed I could go. You showed me where I needed to improve or pick up the pace and you ALWAYS pointed out when I was good at something. You motivated each of us uniquely – like a tailored fit. By the 2nd week I realized that everyday I just wanted to make YOU proud and I ended up proud of me. Thank you Paula! I just wish you had been my algebra teacher in high school. I might have figured that stuff out too.
I also need to thank Andy at the front for always being so helpful and hospitable. He is a wonderful compliment to the work you do there – really special. Most of us could be his mother but he didn’t discriminate. Many times our squad would be running a warm up lap in the front parking lot at 5:30 AM and he’d smile and cheer us on while wiping down the front door windows. He helped me with my In-Body twice and both times he was very knowledgeable and supportive. He remembered my name on my 3rd day.
I’ll never forget dragging in at 5:15 AM and there he was with a big smile on his face, “Good Morning Lisa.” He remembered all our names! Nice touch.
Steve and Paula – you are very different people but both of you found those critical one on one moments that helped drive me and inspire me and when it was all said and done neither of you wanted the ‘thanks’.
Both of you exuded such humility those last days and just kept pushing it back on us, “no thank YOU”, “this is what I love to do”, “You did the work”, “you’re why I get up so early”, “look at the progress you made”, “thank yourself”.
Truth be told – none of us could have made it without either of you. Thank YOU! I’m sure I speak for many people when I say – when my weight is up, my energy is low and my self esteem tanks. All of these things that each of you do everyday from that first hello – renewed my spirit. I feel like myself again. I still have a long way to go but I’m on the right track. How do you say thank you for that?!”