(From Pat: What follows is a guest post–and a fun, silly, sweaty, very effective, super tough workout–from Jen Sinkler. We put it together in California, after our workshop, tired and stinky. Enjoy.)
Jen: One of the best things about doing what I do is that I get to travel to wonderful places, to really great gyms with really great members, and help lead workshops alongside some pretty incredible trainers. (Wow, there were a lot of raves in that sentence!) Two weekends ago was one such fab weekend, when my husband, David, and I, together with charming mischief-maker Pat Flynn, coached a “Kettlebells and Intuitive Training” workshop in Half Moon Bay, California. The whole weekend was a delight, to be sure, but a definite high point was being asked to autograph a kettlebell — in nail polish!
Anyhoodle, intuitive training and kettlebells go together like peanut butter and jelly. (Or if you’re not into the lectins in peanuts, could I interest you in some chocolate and strawberries?) Training with kettlebells requires sharp attention to detail, lest you run the risk of injury, or heaven forbid, drop a k-bell on your toe. Your head needs to be in the game, so to speak. Intuitive training takes that one step further by asking you to take action on whatever physical responses your mind is picking up on. Noticing your form is beginning to look less than excellent? Rest, even if it’s longer than prescribed. Picking up on an uncomfortable tweak here or a twinge there? Try taking the weight down and repositioning your body in some way. There are many paths to take with intuitive training, but the takeaway is this: Melding the versatility of kettlebells with the application of biofeedback can take your workouts to a whole ’nother level. One that has no ceiling, frankly.
Intuitive training has you listening to your body during your workouts – and then doing something with the information you receive. It’s about more than resting when you get fatigued (although it includes that, too), but also about making a slight change in direction when one is indicated. Picking up a heavier weight or swapping it out for a lighter one, going for more reps than last time or taking longer rest breaks, it all adds up to you working within your limits – and gently nudging them to expand, little by little. It emphasizes better over perfect, and makes training a heckuva lot more fun and approachable.
So, I invite you to laugh along with us as we demo “The Iron Troll” for you. (That is what it is called, contrary to what you hear Pat say.) This is a full-body, negative-rest circuit, meaning you’re going to be working for longer than you’ll be resting. Don’t by shy about taking longer than 20 seconds to rest between exercises if you need it, though, and always remember to move within a range of motion that feels best for your body.
Name: The Iron Troll: It’s no joke.
Suggested Equipment: Just your body, a kettlebell and a place to crawl.
Instructions: Complete three rounds of this negative-rest circuit, working for 40 seconds and resting for 20 seconds. Take additional rest, if needed, between movements and rounds. Suggested Time: 10 Minutes
Ready for more?
If I’ve piqued your interest in making your conditioning workouts work for you in creative and productive ways, I’ve put together a mammoth 181-workout pick-and-choose library called Lift Weights Faster 2. Complete with a full exercise glossary that includes written descriptions and photographic demonstrations of nearly 270 exercises (from classic moves to more unusual ones — the Jefferson deadlift, anyone?), a video library that includes coaching on 30 of the more technical lifts, 10 challengeworkout videos, plus a dynamic warm-up routine, I’ve combined my training and athletic experience with my long background in magazine publishing to create a clear-cut, easy-to-use resource that you’ll want to turn to all the time.
Every workout is organized by the equipment you have available and how much time you’ve got, with options that last anywhere from five up to 30 minutes. (But feel free to modify any workout in a way that feels right for you.) Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I teamed up with my husband, David Dellanave, to create a strength program companion resource called Get Stronger Faster 2 to help you take your strength level to the next level. This completes the total workout package and helps you get results, faster.
For more info, click HERE.
PS from Pat: For anybody who decides to pick up LWF2 before Friday (must be through the link above), what I’m going to do is put on a free nutritional training on intermittent fasting (finding the right approach for you, if any) and variable eating intensity, which is learning to cycle between periods of high intensity and low intensity eating, to give fat loss a boost. This is to complement the LWF2 program, and help you lean out for summer without having to count calories or do anything else unreasonable, so you can lose the weight without also losing your mind.
Jen Sinkler is a longtime fitness writer for national magazines such as Women’s Health and Men’s Health. A former member of the U.S. national women’s rugby team, she currently trains clients at The Movement Minneapolis. Jen talks fitness, food, happy life and general health topics at her website, www.jensinkler.com.