Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fighting For His Life

Today I'm sharing a letter written to me from Robert, a dedicated husband and father, diagnosed with one of the deadliest cancers, Pancreatic cancer. Robert has been fighting for his life the moment he found out that he was diagnosed with this deadly disease. I was lucky enough to be able to meet him during his fight and offer him some help. All I could do was offer him support and help him develop a stronger body during his chemo and radiation treatments. Please take some time to read his letter. He is a true soldier and I'm proud to know him and call him a friend.  His letter below is inspiring and could offer a glimmer of hope to someone else facing something life threatening. This letter brought tears to my eyes as well as my family.  Robert is one of the most upbeat positive people I've ever met.  Thank you Robert for sharing this with the world. Thank you for being such an amazing role model to all of us. We love you!






Lauren,

I wanted to thank you for all you have done. I have benefited greatly from your no nonsense advice, encouragement and friendship. You are a very caring and wonderful person that has made a positive difference in my life and I am very fortunate to have you by my side, since I was diagnosed with having pancreatic cancer back in April 2014. 

Eight months ago I was laying on the bathroom floor overcome with nausea and severe cramping from my stomach to the front of my neck, hands, arms, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. First it started slowly, the day before Superbowl Sunday (February 2, 2014), at the rate of about three times a week, but then the frequency increased during the next two months until it came to a crescendo every night for five days straight. The 20 - 25 mile group bicycle rides the week prior didn't help my cause either. When our daughter Lauren's child care provider, Katy, (who is also a very good friend of ours) called me at 5:15pm to ask me if I was going to come pick up Lauren, I wasn't able to speak coherently. Realizing this, (she knew that I was currently being treated by my GP for a potential 'stomach virus' and getting no where) Katy immediately told me she was going to drive me to the ER. It was only a few minutes until Katy was at my front door, and reluctantly, I climbed into her car for the short drive to the ER. I was admitted to the ER and that's when my struggle for survival began.


Robert and his daughter Lauren
At the ER, I was treated for severe dehydration that was causing damage to my kidney and liver. I was on the verge of life threatening kidney and liver failure and I was lucky to have gone to the ER when I did. The doctors also told me that the CT scans showed my intestines, for some unknown reason, were kinked. The kink was causing a blockage below my stomach that prevented any food and water from being absorbed into my system and an endoscopy along with additional scans were needed. I didn't know at the time how much I was in dire straights - I was dying slowly and didn’t know it. But all I ever wanted to do was what I did everyday and that was to be a father and 'grow old' with my wife - as Liz would say. I just wanted to get back to my normal routine and that was to drop my six year old son Tyler off at school and my two year old daughter Lauren off at Katy's, then go to work only to leave work early to pick them up and spend more time with them again and again. That was my weekly routine and I did it well. I didn't know I would spend half of April in two different ERs and three hospitals. I was eventually diagnosed with cancer and I went from cancer to chemo in just six days – I took the fast track.



Robert and his son Tyler

I was finally discharged on my son's sixth birthday - a very happy day indeed. But, I was prescribed an additional six months regimen of chemotherapy to take place every ten days, which would progress to every seven days after the second month. Then afterwards, I would undergo 1.5 months of simultaneous oral chemotherapy and radiation. All that, in hopes to shrink the tumor before I could have surgery, which was targeted for November - that is if I met each and every hurdle so to speak. I remember my oncologist said that maybe I could get the tumor removed as an early Christmas present.




After I got home and recovered from my initial hospital stay I found myself weak and unable to care for my children, as I didn't have the energy or strength to walk, carry and play with them like used to. I started rehab on my own while undergoing the full course of treatment for my disease and so I did what I knew best. I started bicycling 10 - 20 miles a day - a mere glimmer of what I'm used to. I even biked with the portable chemo pump tucked away in a backpack doing its thing - pumping poison into my system at a steady cadence for 48 hours straight. As an avid and competitive cyclist, I used to ride 100 - 230 miles a week and I've been know to be chased by the local cycling club (starting 70 miles into a +100 mile century ride) on Hwy 67 coming out of Ramona, never to be caught. But cycling wasn't getting me anywhere, it wasn't building my core strength and I was spending many hours on the bike and time was the one thing I really didn't have much of anymore. 


That day when you skateboarded down my street, it was a godsend. We talked and you offered to help. I remember you saying you were pretty good at what you do, so I decided to accept your unselfish offer to help me gain strength to live. The past five months, you focused my energy in short slices of time (50 minutes a day) redirecting my focus to perform more functional exercises as I undergo chemotherapy for my disease. The exercises were hard and difficult at first, but my body eventually responded and got stronger. I started lifting heavier weight, being careful to not over do it as per my doctor's recommendation. I enjoyed the workouts so much that I would get my blood work in the mornings for my oncologist to review (he would look at my red and white blood cell count among other indicators to determine if I was healthy enough to withstand that weeks chemo therapy session), but it usually took him an hour to get the results and make the decision. So, in the meantime, I would leave the treatment center with the needle still stuck in my port (on my chest) to make your 9:30am work out. 



When the work out was over, I would drive (if I didn't bike that day) back to the treatment facility for chemo. Sometimes, the treatment would fall on the same day as the Tuesday or Thursday PM class. And in that case, I would show up for your workout just hours after completing chemo. My mind, body and spirit responded in a way that I could never have imagined and for that I'm forever grateful and indebted to you and you ask for nothing in return. My core is as strong as ever and I've been able to lose body fat and build muscle in a very safe and controlled environment. I've never been good at doing pull ups and now all I want to do is pull ups on the new pull up bar I anchored to the ceiling of my garage. A few weeks ago, I was able to do a set of single leg squats.







The tumor is located in the part of my body that is responsible for generating the necessary enzymes needed to digest the food I eat and so it's very important what I put into my body. I took your recommendation to supplement with a pea protein shake (along with hemp seeds, almond milk, banana and ice) and in a few days, my gastrointestinal system calmed down and I no longer have the issues I was having throughout chemo therapy. Your workouts actually increased my energy levels and alleviated the side-effects of the chemo therapy and radiation. I was healthy enough to have met all but one of my scheduled chemo therapy and radiation sessions and towards the end of my chemo/radiation therapy, my blood work started an uptrend when a downward trend was expected due to the suppression of red and white blood cells which is one of the side effects of chemo therapy.




Six months ago when you heard I was sick, you offered me hope - that I would get stronger physically and mentally and that I would make it to surgery. My final CT scans came back negative for metastatic disease (spreading of cancer) in my abdomen, pelvis, chest and lungs. Yesterday, my surgeon gave the go ahead to proceed to surgery on November 19th - just six days from now. My main goal was to get to surgery and get the tumor removed from my body as that is the best chance for survival when one has pancreatic cancer - one of the world's deadliest cancers. The last eight months, I've been poked and prodded more times than I can count. I've been injected with not only six different chemotherapy drugs, but also the usual anti nausea and steroids that are paired with these drugs. I've also been bombarded with radiation every weekday for five and a half weeks and subjected to weekly blood tests and the required chest x-rays and CT scans. But I made it through, thanks to you and this wonderful community we live in. I made a promise to myself to wage hope and advocate for the fight against pancreatic cancer - no matter what it takes. Just as you provided inspiration and offered me hope, I will try to inspire others to change the course of this terrible disease.






Though my journey is just beginning, every time I am able to play, swing my kids and have the energy to finally do the things I used to be able to do, I will think of you. Especially now when the next chapter of my life is about to begin, I'm confident that I am fully prepared for the battle ahead. It will not be easy, it will be filled with ups and downs, but I know in the meantime, I'm living again and for that I thank you.



----- Robert -----










Let us send him prayers, good vibes, love and strength to help him through this next chapter of his life. He will be going in to surgery today. We will continue to keep you updated with the next part of his journey.

If you'd like to contact Robert to send him letters of support or any type of donation to help his family, you can email him at robertduranwagehope@gmail.com










More about pancreatic cancer:


The 5-year survival rate for those with pancreatic cancer is only 6% which is the lowest relative survival rate of all major cancers. That said, I'm very fortunate to be in the 20% of patients to survive longer than 4 - 6 months after being diagnosed (I'm for fortunate to have been diagnosed early) and extremely lucky to progress to surgery as surgery offers the best realistic CHANCE for survival - approximately 15% of patients with pancreatic cancer can have surgery. For year 2014, 46,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 39,500 will die from the disease.  Pancreatic cancer is currently, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, and anticipated to become the second in six years. As I write this, today is Pancreatic Cancer Day. Despite being one of the most deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer receives less than 2% of overall cancer research funding.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love Yourself First

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
- Veronica A. Shoffstall


Although love is beautiful, it can be a very challenging subject to write. There are many definitions, versions and opinions of love. Some spend their entire lives searching for true love while others spend their lives suffering with a broken heart and  pushing people away out of fear of being hurt again.  Love can be a bundle of the strongest emotions and can powerfully influence our everyday life.





In my deepest opinion, true love starts within yourself.  It begins with acceptance and forgiveness. Looking at yourself and knowing that you're worth it. Respecting yourself and living day to day with the best morals and ethics.  No one is perfect and each and everyone of us should accept that, learn from our mistakes, and move forward. 




Our past is made up of so many different types of experiences. If you have made mistakes that you're not proud of or failed miserably, stop beating yourself up over it.  All you're doing is ruminating and unproductively judging yourself. Instead, you should love yourself and learn from your experiences. Dwelling on  your past holds you hostage to it. Focusing on your failure can result in physiological and psychological problems including migraines, anxiety, IBS,  stomach pain, depression, back pain, rapid aging, adrenal fatigue, insomnia and lowered immune system. Distorting  your past with continuous lies, excuses and/or self loathing  causes emotional  paralysis .  How can you love or accept yourself and be liberated if you're busy fighting demons, living with negative internal self talk , and drowning in daily guilt?  Guilt can be dissipated by owning up to your actions and not obsessing upon your failures.  




If you perceive yourself a victim of past circumstances, it's time to stop and reconstruct your self image and your interactions and move forward. Feeling as if people are always after you or giving you the short end of the stick should be a wake up call. What are you portraying to the world? Why does this victim pattern continue? Is it them or is it you? I'm not discounting that there are true victims, but there are survivors who refuse to be controlled by their negative trauma. My point is, if you carry drama wherever you go, it's time to take a new route in life to heal and be free. Love and respect your inner self.  








As you all know I'm a huge advocate of developing a strong body and consistently working on increasing one’s physical strength. If you're a complete wreck inside and you're using strength training as a band-aid for your mental frailty, you may be going about it all wrong. You will end up just being a physically strong individual with a weak disposition and a load of negative baggage. You will continue to be a victim wherever you go and it will be apparent to those around you. Don't get me wrong, physical strength can alleviate mental torment. However, the real work comes from eliminating self whipping scripts and instead, striving for creative self nourishment. We come back to one thing. LOVE!  Love is what makes the world go round. Demonstrate love or simple acts of loving kindness to your family, friends, and even show tolerance to those who are unkind. They deserve some form of this vital emotion called love. You will have the power to show the world what it's like to be loved by being kind, accepting , and loving.






Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Next Chapter Begins.......

The Next Chapter
Life after divorce


I write this knowingly that I may be judged harshly by some. I am writing this to share something very deep and personal to my readers. In the early stages of my writing I was an open book with my life and I shared somewhat more personal stories. In many posts I spoke about a range of topics including my fears of pregnancy and getting my fitness shape back after having C-sections and other significant events in my life. I've made some shifts the last couple of years with my writing. I chose to use more of an informative and dryer tone sticking to subjects regarding strength training, kettlebell tutorials, and inspirational students or recipes. I'm finally ready to take the risk to open up to everyone and share with you a glimpse of my new life.



Ending A Marriage




A couple of years ago my marriage ended and I became a single parent. The moment we separated I felt as if I jumped off the highest bridge and dove head first into rough muddy waters. As a result, I experienced difficulty breathing, nausea, extreme highs and lows, and a considerable number of crying spells. I wasn't a crier before, so I felt I lost control. The tears of pain were filled with a frantic amount of guilt and fear. I felt utterly confused and crippled as to why a "strong" woman like me was having these low points of feeling so weak.


Processing the Stages

I'd like to highlight and make it known that ending a marriage, especially one with kids, is not the easy way out. It's hard on everyone. The only way I was able to cope was by visualizing and knowing that I'd be happier on the other side. As I swam water upstream and nearly drowned in the storm, I continued to focus on the beautiful island, the rainbow that awaited: The island of happiness, independence, balance, peace and harmony. Luckily with an incredibly supportive family and with friends who stuck by me, I was able to move through each stage. I want to deeply thank my friends that reached out to me without judgment and supported me during that time.


Discovering Self



After my separation/divorce, I didn't know who I was anymore. I felt like a scared little girl. All I knew is that I was a mom and business owner. I had forgotten what it's like to be me. I felt as if I'd entered a new dimension like the twilight zone. My confidence was low and it was hard not to experience feelings of vulnerability. My judgment felt impaired at times and I didn't trust my own decisions. After some trial and error, I eventually discovered who I could trust along the way and the people I chose to surround myself with. Isn't that just part of life anyway?





Being Away from My Kids


As an overprotective and hands-on mom, just thinking about not being continually with my kids made me panic. When they were born I changed my whole career structure to be able to be around them as much as possible. Just the thought of not being able to kiss them every night before bed or be there when they woke up became a harsh reality. I found this to be the most painful part of all. I discovered during my time with my kids, the quality time that was spent was taken to another level.



The Storm




Dissolving a marriage is one of the most emotional and draining experiences for anyone. Just like when someone loses someone, there can be major grieving periods. In rare circumstances, I've heard of very peaceful and amicable parting of ways, which is the ideal. A true test of strength for me was being able to create a bubble of happiness around me, without it being punctured during the emotional hurricane. When each mini cyclone passed, I made an effort to have small victory celebrations. Celebrating love and happiness became my religion.

During the process of adjusting to my new life, my career took a huge dive. Creative skills and writing were nonexistent and I was completely drained. I used any energy I had to sustain the art of juggling kids, paying a slew of bills, and training my students. Writing and filming took the back seat. Luckily my students were very understanding during this major transitional time.

The Kettlebell Body fitness DVD was born during this time.  I was still in the middle of the storm, but felt pulled to create this DVD. The workouts were very empowering for me. I was beginning to get my strength back and my stress levels started to diminish. This was the start of regaining myself and physique. The 4 generations of powerful women that were featured all had gone through hardships in their lives, yet overcame them. 

Dating Myself


I created a new relationship with myself as I began to feel more whole and complete. Initially I was incapable of doing this. I was carrying bitterness around and banned the thought of ever getting married again. Dating myself was a very gratifying experience. Being alone forced me to rely on myself and develop a new level of independence. Relationships with my friends became stronger and much deeper during. My happiness levels became less of a roller coaster ride and much more consistent. I was beginning to feel like I could accomplish anything. Looking back over the years I realized more and more that discovering who I am again, was a gift from God.



Whole Again

Becoming whole again took time, along with the practice of letting go. Letting go of the past and guilt, while moving through a stagnant limbo state, became the key to feeling more complete. Doing it all on my own was an invigorating feeling. It was at this time my physical strength was at it's all time high. It was almost supernatural how physically strong I became and honestly I didn't even try that hard. I even wrote an article about it here. The most important part of all is that my precious girls were happy and were adjusting. They continued to thrive in school and make lots of friends. Knowing they had so much love surrounding them allowed me to move past the guilt I was carrying.






Opening My Heart

 I finally felt as if I became a strong woman inside and out with control of my feelings. Several months in to my new sense of wholeness, the impossible happened to me. I didn't ask for it. In fact, I didn't even want it, nor did I trust it. I sure as hell wasn't ready to feel vulnerable or dependent on someone. I was afraid of being hurt and didn't want to chance losing my sense of being whole. I had just healed, recovered from being in the frying pan and was finally enjoying ME!

Falling for someone that was on a very similar path as me, was the last thing I expected to happen. It was as if we had been riding tandem on the same wave and finally collided. I admit, I broke the student and teacher relationship rule, for the first time.  It wasn't until months in to his training journey, while the transformational process was in effect, did we form a friendship outside of training.

Our lives were revitalized in more ways than one. This is where Kettlebell Revelation stems from. My 8th DVD, represents a new beginning and a new chapter with my new partner.

Well...... The rest is history.....






Blessed to have more to love











Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Awesome Ab Exercise

SkateCore™ Ab Exercise with Lauren Brooks 

Try this incredible core strengthening exercise utilizing a skateboard.
My students continue to achieve results very quickly with this approach. Let us know what you think!!













These kind of exercises are seen in our newest DVD Kettlebell Revelation. Pre-Order is still running through our store. Use Discount Code: Revelation27 to receive $10.00 off.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Push-up using a Skateboard. Enjoy this Push-up Variation

If you are ready to take your push-up to the next level, here is one that I truly enjoy!

Try this SkateCore™ Push-up Variation


This can also help you on your way to One Arm Push-Ups






If you want to see more SkateCore exercises you can find them on our newest release Kettlebell Revelation. Pre-order prices are still available for 1 more week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kari went from ZERO to SIX PULL-UPS starting in her 40's. (Watch Video on How To Begin Your Pull-up Journey)

"I never thought at age 43, I would be strong enough to be able to do even one pull-up, let alone six."

video
Kari doing Chin-ups


video
Kari doing Pull-ups

Today is Kari Miller's 43rd birthday!  I felt it was time to highlight Kari, 43 yr old mom of 2, success in achieving her pull-up goal. Kari's determination and dedication has been infectious to our entire group.  She's a beautiful woman inside and out and we truly love her.  

Here is Kari's Story:

I started my kettlebell journey with Lauren Brooks last December.  I went to Lauren because I wanted to take my training to the next level.  I didn’t just want to be kettlebell strong,  I wanted to be Lauren Brooks strong.

I witnessed just how strong Lauren is when she did a set of pull-ups (too many to count) during a Friday group session.  I decided that day I wanted to be strong enough to do just one.

I started using the assistance band in class to help me with my pull-ups.  With the strength I was gaining from attending Lauren's classes three times a week and consistently working on pull-ups, Lauren suggested I try a pull-up without a band.  I tried and I did my first pull-up.  I was so excited and I became obsessed with wanting to do more.  Lucky for me my husband had installed a pull-up bar in the house a few years back. I was doing pull-ups at home and in class.  The one turned into two, the two turned into four and the four turned into six.  I am now working on chin-ups, pulls-ups, mix grips and weighted pull-ups.  My ultimate goal is to be able to do ten in a row with any grip I choose.

I never thought at age 43, I would be strong enough to be able to do even one pull-up, let alone six.  It's a huge testament to Lauren and her strength training programs!
Thank you so much Lauren!!


THANK YOU KARI! You've inspired the entire group to get up on the pull-up bar and more females in their 40's are beginning their pull-up journey because of you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARI!


Her and her husband own a popular sports bar and restaurant called Miller's Field down in Pacific Beach (San Diego), California.  Be sure to check it out if you're in the area. Special healthy menu as well!




WOULD YOU LIKE TO BEGIN YOUR PULL-UP JOURNEY?  HERE IS QUICK VIDEO ON HOW TO GET STARTED!



Here is a link to some suggested bands to begin your pull- up journey. In addition to the bands I would also look in to making sure your body is strong with our tried and true programs.  Be SLAM and Kettlebell Body would be the perfect way to enhance this.



Friday, September 19, 2014

SkateCore™ Exercise Tutorials. You don't need to know how to skateboard!

Hope you enjoy the first few exercises to help strengthen the core.  We will be adding a new one each week for the next several weeks. The SkateCore ab exercises are seen in our newest DVD we've just pre-released, Kettlebell Revelation.

Grab your old skateboard or new one and try these!





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kettlebell Revelation™ DVD and Streaming Options


Revitalize and awaken your body from head to toe with Kettlebell Revelation. Lauren proudly brings you into her gym to experience the innovative program she has designed for both men and women. This program consists of highly-effective strength and fat burning workouts she uses with her intermediate to advanced kettlebell students. These workouts will truly rejuvenate you. The Kettlebell Revelation DVD includes exercises that are not on any of Lauren's other DVDs. Prepare to be blown away by all the workouts and especially the bonus abs of steel section. 







PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE
OR YOU CAN DOWNLOAD/STREAM YOUR COPY HERE






Lauren teaches you a variety of exercises that will take your training to the next level! Just to name a few she includes:

Tall Kneeling Press
Bottoms Up Clean
Bottoms Up Press
Pistols (Single Leg Squat)
Double Front Squat
Plank Rows
Side Lunge
Single Leg Dead lift 



DVD FEATURES:

Over 12 demonstrations
Warm Up/Cool Down Section 

4 follow along workouts


Revelation Strength 1  30 minutes 
Revelation Strength 2  27 minutes
 Fat Burning  12 minutes 
Bonus: Abs of Steel featuring SkateCore™   7 minutes 

DVD Running Time 96 minutes




PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE
Or Download or Stream you copy here 



DVDs are here and shipping out!











Thursday, September 4, 2014

On The Edge Fitness KETTLEBELL Giveaway.


Fresh starts can be very purifying. Today I'm celebrating a new phase with my website/business. As the collection in educational material grows, it's time to take my site platform to the next level. I still have several projects in the works but we are ready to celebrate this upgrade. We are GIVING a KETTLEBELL away. One person will WIN our most popular new Metrixx Elite™ Precision E-Coat Kettlebell. People are raving about how smooth this one is and enjoying the size of the handle.  


 Enter the kettlebell giveaway here.




16kg Metrixx Elite™ Precision E-Coat Kettlebell


WE ARE CELEBRATING AN UPGRADED NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH. On The Edge Fitness website has taken it to the next level. We have redesigned the entire site and are now offering the highest technology when it comes to streaming our popular follow along workouts and education material.  You can still order our tried and true hard copy DVDs and books as well. Look out for our newest addition about to join us as well in weeks to come.  For a limited time take $10 off our hard copy DVD's Code: 10offdvd

Second place wins our brand new soon to be released Kettlebell Revelation™ DVD


For my loyal friends and followers who have been with me for years, you can also enter to win even if you receive my newsletters. So much more to come! I thank you for all your support and I look forward to releasing more educational training materials! Second place winner will win a copy of our brand new DVD Kettlebell Revelation™, which has not yet been released! Sign up below. Please share if you feel someone can benefit from these programs. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kettlebell TOWEL Swing


Kettlebell Towel Swing

This is the absolute BEST exercise to practice to help you with the Kettlebell Swing. Practice this after the hip hinge and Dead Lift exercise. Watch your Kettlebell Swing improve dramatically with this exercise. Let me know how you do!








Practice your swing in some of our most popular DVD's and look out for our upcoming DVD Kettlebell Revelation™.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Turkish Get Up - Part 4

The Get Up
Part 4 (Final Lesson)
and final portion of the full body incredible exercise The Get Up. Please let me know how you do!

To view the other sections scroll down on my blog or go to this playlist via youtube. 






Here's a super simple tutorial of how stand up effectively and reverse the steps on the way down for an effective Get Up.  Covers proper head positioning.  You will find this exercise utilized in the popular Be SLAM program, Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning part 2 and the new Kettlebell Body DVD.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Turkish Get Up Tutorial - Part 3 (windshield wiper)

Here is Part 3 of the awesome Get Up. One of the most effective all around amazing strength and mobility improving exercise that exists.  These tutorials have helped make the Get Up easy and user friendly, along with increasing the bell size with ease.









Look out for our brand new DVD coming soon Kettlebell Revelation™, where you can use this drill in the workouts. In the mean time you can use this in Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells (Volume 2), Be SLAM program and The Kettlebell Body™.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Turkish Get Up Part 2 - Mastering the sweep thru.

The Get Up 
Step 2



Here's a super simple tutorial of how to sweep your leg through ending in the proper position. You will find this exercise utilized in the popular Be SLAM program, Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning part 2 and the new Kettlebell Body DVD.








Friday, July 25, 2014

Featuring Ida: Amazing Weight Loss Story and NOW Beautiful Fit Kettlebell Instructor.

Always extremely touched and honored with testimonials and success stories such as this one!  Here's a story of a woman that was severely overweight, had babies via C-section and suffered from hormonal issues. Fast forward to today she is now a kettlebell instructor getting her Strong First Kettlebell Certification (SFG). Read her story that she wrote to me. If you needed some inspiration this is the real deal!


Hi Lauren -

A little over 5 years ago I found your name as I was researching how to recover core strength after having a c-section.  At that time, I was severely overweight due to general poor diet, hormonal issues, pregnancy, and hormonal medications I had to take to become pregnant. I had always been physically active, but still overweight. I weighed 216 pounds. I am 5'2".

Your research led me to kettlebells, and my very first kettlebell workout was with your DVD The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells. I studied your YouTube videos and your blog to make sure my form was good and to make sure I was using the kettlebells correctly.  With your email advice, I started with an 18 pound kettlebell.

After that c-section in 2008, I had another in 2011 and recovered so quickly because I continued to use kettlebells during that pregnancy. Even my doctor was impressed!



Fast forward to today. Using your DVDs as a springboard, I started using kettlebells as my primary form of exercise. Eventually, I started training at FIRE-BELLZ and then with Zar Horton, Master SFG.

I am now a ketttlebell instructor at FIRE-BELLZ. (I also have a professional career, so kettlebells are my part-time passion!) I will be attending the October SFG I cert in San Diego this year.  My weight hovers between 140 and 145 pounds, and has for almost 3 years. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life. My normal swinging bell is either a 20kg or 24kg bell. I turn 40 this year, and feel the best I have ever felt in my life. 

I continue to follow your blog and do your workouts. You are an inspiration to me and many many others. 

Even though I train now with Zar and at FIRE-BELLZ.
 I will always credit you for starting me on this path. When I signed up for the cert, I knew I had to reach out to you and share my story. You started this! And I thank you so very much for doing so!

So, if you happen to be at the October cert and see a short, dark curly haired chic running up to you to give you a big hug, do not be afraid. It's just me!!!

With lots of thanks and tons of kettlebell love,

Ida Hernandez 




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Turkish Get Up Tutorial Part 1 - Lauren Brooks


Part 1 of my favorite exercise - The Turkish Get Up

Practice this before moving on to the next sections. Next step coming soon....








For more free videos and tutorials subscribe to my youtube channel right here 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Way to Results Without Spending Your Life in a Gym... by Regina H.


What an honor to receive this testimonial/review. Thank you Regina Hurley for sharing this. I hope this inspires others to add this type of life changing training in to their lives. 


"It is possible for anyone – young, old, men, women, anywhere in the world, and cancer survivors and those affected by thyroid disease like me."  --- Regina H. Connecticut

The Way to Results Without Spending Your Life in a Gym.

I did what I was told for 21 days, cardio and weights in a circuit on machines. I did lose 5 lbs but I didn’t feel any stronger, or better. The trainer was quick to say – to make the cardio harder walk up hill and put the weights on the lightest possible and said – “you don’t want to get bulky.” then was somehow disappointed with me that I didn’t achieve in 21 days – lower fat percentage, inches off my waist and hips. The trainer repeated that I need to make the cardio harder, work longer, spend more than an hour in the gym. I didn’t have that kind of time and even if I did, physically I don’t have it in me to spend hours at a gym.  I began to feel discouraged.  

However, while sitting at my desk. I saw Lauren’s book Kettlebells for Women

I opened up Kettlebells for Women and reread the first line “Have you been discouraged from lifting weights or resistance training due to the fear of becoming big and bulky?”  It was like a light bulb had been turned on.  That was definitely what had just happened.  Right then and there, I decided to reread her book. I had read the book back in 2012 when it first came out. Yet the last 7 years I have battled serious health issues.  

In 2007, after a bout with pneumonia, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was put on generic thyroid meds but I did not improve. From 2007 to 2013, I had gained 70 lbs about 12 lbs a year. In 2010 after a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught early enough and I am cancer free. 

In 2013, I finally found the right doctor for my thyroid condition.  It was his diagnosis that I most likely had Hashimoto's disease, which went untreated from 2007, and so I progressed to hypothyroidism.  My endocrinologist explained that I have been in a constant state of stress for the last 7 years and I needed a break from workouts. In March 2014, I was finally cleared to start workouts again. 

I already know Lauren to be a bad ass when it came to Kettlebells.  She is not in any way bulky or big, and has maintained a level of strength that most men don’t even have, while raising her own children, and running her own business, kettlebell classes, working with her clients, making videos, DVDs etc.  I also know her to be one of the strongest, most affective, intelligent, efficient, caring, compassionate strength coach, kettlebell instructor and fitness professional. Lauren Brooks truly wants results for her clients and works tirelessly to see to it that it happens and this book clearly shows this. 


Her book reminded me to work smarter not harder that results were achievable without spending hours in the gym. Most importantly this book helped me realize that getting strong and lean isn’t some big secret or complicated workout program.  It is possible for anyone – young, old, men, women, anywhere in the world, and cancer survivors and those affected by thyroid disease like me.   Lauren has provided simple straightforward exercises that are very effective in an easy to follow format. Kettlebells for Women also gives valuable nutrition information. Kettlebells for Women provides detailed instructions and photos about various exercises and how they benefit you.  Lastly, the book provides you with workouts for any level of fitness to help you get started and achieve results. 

More importantly, she never asked me to write this review. I contacted her and told her this was the least I could do to show my gratitude. This book changed my life for the better as it brought me from feeling discouraged, tired, out of shape to empower me with optimism and what is possible when I commit to the work. I would recommend Lauren Brooks's Kettlebells for Women to anyone looking to get strong, lean, sculpted and sexy.  Lauren Brooks truly believes that anyone can get those results and now so do I.