Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Proper Push-ups (post pregnancy, c-sections and/or core dysfunction)

Are you struggling with your push ups? I have to admit most people who come to see me for a session, including men, do not perform their push-ups correctly. In fact many people are causing more damage with the way they are currently doing push-ups.

Common mistakes I see:

  • Hands are too wide
  • Lower back sags 
  • Elbows flare out way to far
  • Zero lat engagement throughout
  • Neck and shoulders take over
  • Incorrect head positioning
  • abs completely shut off and not functioning


Here is a quick video I put together on what a proper push-up is suppose to look like along with a progression. Even if you know what one looks like, you may be incapable to perform a solid push-up on the floor until you increase your core activation, trunk stability, and overall core strength.  For the ladies who have had kids, C-sections, suffered from diastasis recti or any sort of abdominal surger, will need to retrain your brain on how to hold a plank properly. Once you can hold a solid plank, you can then work on the moving planks (which I cover in the video) on a higher surface.  Once you can perform 6-10 on the surface you are practicing on, you can then move to a slightly lower surface. If you have a sloppy push-up on the floor all you'll do is injure yourself.  Humble yourself and begin your push-ups higher up until you can eventually go lower and lower over time.  Be patient, there is no rush!

 I will be releasing many more tutorials that will enhance your overall training, including kettlebell training, now that I've found a pretty cool editor for my little videos. ;)




Note: If you are unable to move properly through an elevated push-up, please start with this Mini Plank video instead here


I filmed this push-up video on my youngest daughters 5th birthday. Here is how I looked exactly 5 years ago to remind all of you. I know, I looked so enthusiastic! :)



Photo 1: Ready to pop with baby #2
Photo 2&3: Filmed UBSC Vol. 2 DVD 6 months after Chloe was born, via C-section. (still nursing)


You can go to my main youtube channel to subscribe and get the updates for the next videos to come here.  







Monday, February 10, 2014

Kettlebells for Injuries?

For the last several years I've shifted my training focus on rehabilitating people. When I first got in to the fitness industry 15 years ago, my main focus was on fat loss, strength, getting lean etc... While it still is a large part, I've learned that I don't have to focus just on those aspects. In fact, by zoning in on real life movement patterns and injury prevention exercises, the fat loss and strength still HAPPEN! My point is, rather than merely train for physical appearance, people are thriving consistently by sticking to their programs to reverse the aging clock, stay injury free and enjoy a new found quality of life. This has been proving to be much more rewarding!  If you suffer from back pain and injuries it does not mean it's the end for you.    I just received this beautiful testimonial from one of my students, mother of 2, who suffered a major back injury, that no one could diagnose.  Proper patterning and strength, along with kettlebells saved the day for Kathryn!  I'm sharing this to inspire you to find someone that understands how the body works and to strengthen any dysfunction that you may suffer from.  Even if you feel perfect, train with a purpose.
Here is what she said:
Lauren is simply amazing, as a trainer and person.  When I first started kettlebells eight months ago I could not lift a bag of groceries, container of cat litter, or my six year old.  I had a very painful lower back injury that no one could quite diagnose or fix (I had seen doctors and pain specialists and I tried acupuncture, massage, pain medication, ointments, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, heat, and cold--nothing was making me feel any stronger). When I first started working out with Lauren I refused to swing a tiny 2 ½ kilo bell I was so scared of the pain in my back.  Well, Lauren fixed that.  She was patient but she encouraged me to try many different strengthening exercises (go deadlifts).  She also helped me work through moderate pain and discomfort by facing it in carefully controlled circumstances. Lauren has amazing expertise and the uncanny skill of knowing exactly how much you are capable of doing without pushing it past the breaking point. Within a couple of months I was swinging 16 kilo bells and have graduated from there.  I am so much stronger and I no longer fear the pain in my back because there is no more pain.  I can lift multiple bags of groceries and the cat litter. Best of all, two weeks ago I lifted my six year old for the first time (in a year and a half) without fear.  She said to me, “mommy, you can do this every day now.” And you know what, I can.  Thank you Lauren, for everything.  I am so grateful.
Dr. Statler  -  Encinitas, California

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Healthy Gluten Free Oatmeal and Almond Flour Pancakes

These pancakes have been a Sunday tradition with my girls for quite some time.  Over the years I've made them slightly different ways.  I think I finally have the recipe that suits the taste of both the girls and myself!


Oh and did I tell you making them is quite easy and painless?  




INGREDIENTS




This makes 2 servings

1/2 cup Organic Gluten Free Oatmeal
1/2 cup Almond Flour
2 Organic Free Range Eggs
1/2 cup Almond, Coconut OR hemp milk
1 Tbs Organic Coconut Sugar *
1tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of blueberries or any fruit of choice*

*Optional


My girl is not included.  She insisted on being in the photo since these Pancakes are her Fav!!!


DIRECTIONS:

Grind the oatmeal in a food processor or blender. (I personally use a blender for this recipe.)
Once ground to a powder add all the dry ingredients and stir or blend.  Add the liquid ingredients and blend or beat until smooth. 

Heat coconut or olive oil on medium to high heat.  Pour batter in to small circles on heated grill, pan or skillet.  Flip when small bubbles begin to form. 






On special occasions I will have a touch of whip cream to the girls pancakes.  I personally enjoy them plain or with a dab of Organic dark maple syrup.






Let me know how you do!  I'm always open to more suggestions on how to improve any recipe I share. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

LOVE getting these emails

I'm always so touched when I get these beautiful emails!  Here are some snippets. 


"Hi Lauren,

I discovered your first DVD about three or four years ago now and have been following you ever since.  While I haven't consistently worked out all of this time, I learned that I LOVE kettlebells.  I want to thank you for sharing your passion with the world.  You are an inspiration.  I have all but three of your DVD's (KB Body is my new fav!), your app, your book, and today I just ordered Be SLAM!  Long overdue since I don't always want to fire up the DVD player.

You have been a reminder to me that I can improve my life by taking good care of myself.  That I should do what excites me and that I need to enjoy the process of what I am doing, not just the results!  Most importantly, you speak to the fact that we all have different bodies and we need to appreciate the one we are in no matter our age, size, or abilities.  A thousand times thank you.

Well, I downloaded Be SLAM and immediately got to work organizing my schedule (a compulsion) which included setting up an excel spreadsheet so that I can upload it to my google calendar.  You are so generous with your time and expertise, even for those of us who are remote that I wanted to give you something back. 

My personal results so far?  I am down from 267 lbs and not being able to do a burpee to 240 lbs and squat thrusts being one of my favorite exercises!  This since getting serious this past spring (maybe April).  I still have (approximately) 90 lbs to go.  I can't wait to see the strength and conditioning gains I experience from Be SLAM.  I'll keep you posted.  Have a blessed holiday season, and again, thank you for all that you do and who you are in the world, it is a better place because of you.

Hugs and many blessings,
Chante Fields"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Kat's Kettlebell Journey From the Philippines (Mom of 2 and inspiration)

Two days ago I received such a warm hearted motivating email. I'm always touched when people choose to write to thank me for their what inspired and motivates them for becoming the strong! 

Kat (AKA Mamakat) wrote me several emails on what she has done to achieve a beautiful strong and lean body (6 pack) with kettlebell training and clean eating. 

Thank you Kat for sharing this with me and allowing me to share it with the world.  I hope people find you on instagram and follow your transformation!  ----> mamakathere


Here are a few clips of her email and photos that she has sent over.  


Greetings from your #1 fan in the Phillippines.



Hi Lauren, 

I'm Kat a mother of two. I got hooked into kettlebells when I leaned out a few months after giving birth. I heard about you from our kettlebell instructor marc. He is the only certified ktb instructor here in Manila. I'm lucky to be trained by him. I am a part time model and perfume maker, but my passion for health and fitness is beyond, im a big time ufc fan... Meisha tate has been my long time idol. My goal this year is to spread the beauty of kettlebell training! There are moms here who cannot afford fancy gym and trainers... I want to share how kettlebell training transformed the body I have.... Im 5'9 100 lbs... My energy is insane!  I eat well and never a fan of diets.  I am still nursing.  

I able to double swing, clean and press a 35 pounds bell... Never in my dreams I thought I could ever lift 1/4 of my weight! You are an inspiration! I keep watching your videos over and over for motivation!

Anyway my dream is to meet you."

Best,  

Mamakat




Oh by the way I'm a mother to a special child, my eldest has autism and one of the reasons why we went kettlebell training is that we had no time for fancy gyms last year...my husband is the one who got me into this...He never resorted to any kind of diet.. He ate well but went on working with kettlebells as he leaned out. I documented my transformation on instagram under mamakathere when I started 6mos ago.  There you will see how I got ab cuts with my 14 pound bell. I wish to spread the beauty of kettlebells to all mothers here. That is the very reason why I am training with Marc. I wish to be a blessing to others.









Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to make an injury not suck

If you are like most people, you are, unfortunately, likely to encounter an injury or major setback even if you live within your comfort zone. I can tell you this from my own personal experience since I've had my share of injures and setbacks. I wouldn't attribute any of these to being negligent with my training regimen, but, rather, to mere life circumstances. The reality is that we don't control everything around us. Although I've had the bad fortune of having had many bodily challenges including two Cesarean sections, a torn ACL, a broken foot (twice), a fractured hand, a torn wrist ligament (twice), and two head injuries (that must explain a lot about me... LOL), I have had the good fortune of recovering from all of them relatively quickly. Luckily the training I do helped me rehab these injuries and keep me sane while recovering. These setbacks occurred from life events that were not training related. In fact, if I hadn't been so strong from my training, these injuries would have truly sucked. 

The major question is, how can we learn from our injuries? How can we get stronger regardless of our new limitations?

First off, focus on what you can do. This allows you to get extremely creative. Your mind set will shift from the negative to the positive as soon as you focus on the can do's. For example rather than dwelling on the fact that your knee is inflamed and now you have to stay away from squats of all kinds for a while, focus, instead, on all the amazing things you can improve. For example, it's time to get those pull-up numbers up. Or maybe one leg push-ups? You'd be best off going to someone who specializes in working around injuries to provide a fulfilling workout and to someone who has experience along with a good track record rehabilitating injuries.

Learn something new. After I tore my ACL I had to stop Krav Maga right away. However, instead of crying about it, I decided to research and learn how to rehabilitate my knee injury without following the commonly suggested ACL reconstructive surgery. Not everyone will nerd out like I did, after all this is my profession.

Pick up a new hobby that enhances and exercises your mind. Spending time releasing tension in a different way from what you are used to can be a good change of pace for your psyche. Great options if your'e body needs to rest are: learning a new language, playing an instrument, taking an art class, sewing, and baking; the sky is truly the limit. Get your creative juices flowing stronger than ever and you won't be sorry. 

Spend time helping someone else. Rather than sitting on the couch, feeling sorry for yourself, do your best to inspire or help someone in need. Helping others is the best way to get out of your own head. It's very easy to become self absorbed and play "the poor me" record during this time. Do yourself a favor and make a list of the positives. Then share this information with a good friend. Once you put a smile on someone else's face, you will find that you already feel stronger and studies show that a strong mind will promote faster healing!

Adjust your goals. Goal setting is key for recovering from an injury. When I tore my ACL, I worked on my pull-ups which became super strong. I don't think my pull-ups would be as polished as they are now if I hadn't gone through an ACL tear. Another example is that when I had a fracture in my hand, my one leg squats, which were very weak at the time, became very strong. I also became very empathetic to people with weak and painful wrists. This led to my coming up with all kinds of great ways to do push-ups with neutral wrists due to wrist and hand injuries of my own. As a coach, experiencing an array of injuries allows me to know first hand what it takes to get yourself through and to be empathetic to others. What a gift I tell myself! At the time I may have spoken some words that I wouldn't have said in front of my kids, but now I look at each of my injuries as a blessing in disguise. As a gift that was given to me to give me a lesson. To educate myself and pay it forward time after time. I have to admit that each injury I've had has had a positive ending. We obviously can't say this for all injuries.

Hopefully this blog post sheds some light on how to make an injury not suck so much! 
Now focus on being patient, allowing your set back or injury to heal properly, while strengthening other areas!

Feel free to share how you came back stronger in the comments below. 


Happy Training! 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MY STRENGTH IS OUTTA CONTROL AND I’M HARDLY TRYING


MY STRENGTH IS OUTTA CONTROL AND I’M HARDLY TRYING

BY LAUREN BROOKS, SFG TEAM LEADER


Over the last few months I have performed some lifts that I previously didn’t think could be done by a gal my size. After exchanging some emails with Pavel, he has asked me to write about how I made this happen. I was very honest with him and told him that I didn’t train for it or even try very hard. In fact, the path I took was quite boring. Then I remembered I’m writing for a population that likes “boring” programs. Not boring in our eyes, but it would be as boring as it comes for the mainstream fitness buff.
I discovered that strength can work in very mysterious ways. Living with toxic stress and/or poisonous people can weigh you down in all aspects of life. There’s only so much one body and mind can take. I’ve found for both my students and me, stress takes your strength away and makes all lifts feel heavy. You find yourself training harder during the times you are stressed and risk getting weaker or injured in the process. Letting go of the energy vampires and truly owning the path you take in life is much easier said than done. If everyone could take charge of their own life, we’d have a lot of powerful happy people. Personally I’ve released some very heavy things from my life over the last year. I will admit, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. On the flip side, once I got through the thick of it and began to have clarity, it allowed me to conquer almost anything that came my way.
Back to physical strength: I currently weigh between 112 and 114 pounds. In the last several months, with minimal training, I achieved a 62 pound Get Up, 13 Ring Pull-ups, 140 pound Single Leg Dead Lifts and a Ring Pull-up with 53 pounds hanging from my feet. So how did this happen?  ....

VIEW ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE



Monday, September 30, 2013

Stronger and Better after 50 thanks to Kettlebells!

Martha at 53 years old shares her motivating story of what it takes to be strong and feel good in your 50's. I met Martha through the private Be SLAM group we have for all the people using the program.  When she volunteered to share with us her success with the program and DVD's, I asked her if she can submit some pictures.  I'm blown away by her beauty within and out.  What an amazing role model that can inspire us all.  Thank you Martha for sharing and in response your last line, you are most welcome!



"At 53, I like this better and stronger version of myself!" says Martha






Kettlebells have truly changed my life and I'm excited to share my fitness journey with you. My interest in kettlebells and training with Lauren was a very happy accident. About 2 years ago was looking to try something new in fitness. I was always pretty active but was growing a little bored with traditional weight training.

As a cyclist I was looking for a full-body workout that would be less time-consuming than riding. I also wanted to gain strength, get toned and lose a few lbs. In 2011, I asked for and received a kettlebell as a gift for Christmas. I didn't really know how to work out with it, so I searched online for kettlebell DVDs, and I stumbled on Lauren's website. After reading some very positive reviews I ordered her DVD, "The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells." I was very impressed with Lauren and her workouts, in addition to her choice of Robin Duncan as her workout partner. Robin was also beautiful, strong, and looked incredible for a woman of ANY age (she also happened to be in her fifties as I am). So Robin (and of course, Lauren) became my new fitness role models!

I also ordered Lauren's other DVDs and enjoyed working with them for another year or so, but what really took my training to the next level was joining the 12-week workout program Be SLAM. Prior to that I was never one to follow programs or schedules, but joining Be SLAM showed me I could push past self-made boundaries and get even stronger.
  
Through the encouragement of the other ladies on the Be SLAM facebook page and working at my own pace, I was able to increase my weights and move up gradually. Everyone in the group was so positive and helpful and we really encouraged each other, which was a huge motivating factor. The other women were great teachers too, since they had tons of experience to share. During the program I saw tremendous strength gains and also body composition changes that I didn't think were possible 'for someone my age. I was also inspired to clean up my diet and get honest with myself about what I was actually putting in my mouth! I still enjoy an occasional treat but I try to eat mainly fresh, unprocessed whole foods with a focus on vegetables, lean proteins, and good fats. The combination of consistent good eating and kettlebell training is a real powerhouse combination in getting lean and maintaining it! 
 
I am still a work in progress, but I'm interested to see where this kettlebell journey takes me. I also continue to cycle, ski, hike, and do anything outdoors. I really enjoy the quick, hard-hitting, no-nonsense kettlebell workouts, and getting my strength back has been a real confidence-booster. At 53, I like this better and stronger version of myself! Thank you so much Lauren, for designing these great programs that are truly life changing. Keep the great workouts coming!!





Thursday, August 29, 2013

On The Edge Fitness KETTLEBELL STORE is Now Ready!

Kettlebells For Everyone

Purchase any kettlebell or kettlebell package today and receive $5 off with on any or our results driven kettlebell DVDs and our effective  Be SLAM (Be Strong Like A Mother) program!


These kettlebells have been tested by all private members in my classes, training sessions and me.  After spending 9 years trying and testing different types of kettlebells we have all come to an agreement that these kettlebells are the winner.  

Not sure where to begin?  
Click here and I'll show you


Shopping for a Kettlebell


Finding the right kettlebell can be very confusing. Knowing what sizes to purchase and brands to invest in can be very overwhelming. Generally when just beginning your journey you can purchase just one kettlebell. There is no pressure to rush and order several at a time. Developing strength will be an organic process when done correctly. You will know when you are ready to incorporate a heavier kettlebell into your program.
At the very minimum this is what I recommend:
In a perfect world it’s nice to have options for the different exercises. If you have the funds to invest in several at a time then this is what I’d recommend for the average male and female:
You can view some of the packages I have put together for both men and female here. 
  • Women – 8kg, 12kg, 16kg Kettlebell package
  • Mens – 16kg, 20kg, 24kg Kettlebell Package

Russian Kettlebell Metrixx E-Coat

10 KG | 22 Lb Metrixx™ E-Coat Kettlebell

These classic Russian Kettlebells Metrixx series have a perfect shape that allows you to put your hand through to have the handle rest on the base of your hand without bending your wrist back. These bells are similar to the classic style bell that I began my kettlebell journey. The Metrixx coat kettlebells have a very nice non slip grip with a resilient finish. The main difference is the affordable price and perfectly flat handmachined flat bottom. These bells are made with single cast moldings wth superior consistency and quality.

8 kg Russian Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for females new to kettlebell training. The majority of females do very well with starting with an 8kg bell. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats, but this bell will be your friend for a bit longer when performing exercises such as Cleans, Presses, Get Ups and High Pulls.

10kg Russian Kettlebell
This size is the perfect in between bell from a traditional starter 8kg to the next level 12kg kettlebell.

12kg Russian Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for stronger females newer to kettlebell training. The majority of females do very well with starting with an 8kg bell, but quickly begin swinging a 12kg. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats, but this bell will be your friend for a bit longer when performing exercises such as Cleans, Presses, Get Ups and High Pulls.

14kg Russian Kettlebell
This size is quickly becoming the most popular for stronger females that are ready to take kettlebell training to the next level.  The perfect bell to help you get to the 16kg press or 16kg snatches that you've been going after!


16kg Russian Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for males new to kettlebell training. The majority of men do very well with starting with a 16kg bell. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats.



32 KG Paradigm Pro Competition Kettlebell

About Competition Kettlebells. Great advantage of competition kettlebells is the handle size stays the same. Perfect for people with smaller hands. Perfect for doing push-ups on and renegage rows even for the 8kg bells.
These classic Russian Kettlebells Metrixx series have a perfect shape that allows you to put your hand through to have the handle rest on the base of your hand without bending your wrist back. These bells are similar to the classic style bell that I began my kettlebell journey. The Metrixx coat kettlebells have a very nice non slip grip with a resilient finish. The main difference is the affordable price and perfectly flat handmachined flat bottom. These bells are made with single cast moldings with superior consistency and quality.
Due to the fact that Competition (Pro Grade) kettlebells are made from steel, and not cast iron, they are more durable. This is not to say that the cast iron russian kettlebells will fall apart, it just means that steel is stronger than cast iron and therefore more durable.
Pro Grade handles are slightly slimmer than with traditional cast iron kettlebells. The handles are specifically designed to prevent lateral slipping and minimize fatigue with high repetition sets.
The smaller handle size of competition kettlebells allows many women with small hands to workout with more weight since the handle size does not get thicker as the weight increases.
Pro Grade Competition Kettlebells look “fat” compared to cast iron bells. They have a larger mass in the ball of the bell, imparting different, and many think, better ballistic properties due to this larger center mass.

8 kg (18lb) Competition Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for females new to kettlebell training. The majority of females do very well with starting with an 8kg bell. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats, but this bell will be your friend for a bit longer when performing exercises such as Cleans, Presses, Get Ups and High Pulls.

12kg Competition or Pro Grade Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for stronger females newer to kettlebell training. The majority of females do very well with starting with an 8kg bell, but quickly begin swinging a 12kg. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats, but this bell will be your friend for a bit longer when performing exercises such as Cleans, Presses, Get Ups and High Pulls.
16kg Competition or Pro Grade Kettlebell
This size is the most popular starting weight for males new to kettlebell training. The majority of men do very well with starting with a 16kg bell. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats.
  • Gravity Cast To Precise Weight Specifications.
  • Bare metal handles that are ready for chalking! No paint stripping needed.
  • 100% Steel construction & color-coded for easy identification.
  • Regulation 33mm Handle.
  • A superior professional grade competition kettlebell.

Premium Cast Iron Kettlebells

18 Lb | 8 Kg Premium Cast Iron Kettlebell
  • Classic, Durable, Cast Iron Russian Kettlebells.
  • “Gravity Cast” Molding With No Welds, Weak Spots, Seams or Burrs.
  • Hammer Tone Coating.
  • Thick, Smooth, Handles Optimized to Prevent Chafing.
  • “Machined” bases that are Perfectly Flat.
  • Used by all branches of the United States Armed Forces, MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA.
  • Good for many exercises such as halos and arm bars.
4kg Premium Cast
Perfect starter bell for anyone who may be a little intimidated with starting their kettlebell journey. Small size bell and easy to manage. Perfect for rehab or pregnancy. Great practice bell for learning new exercises such as Get Ups.
6kg Premium Cast
Beginner bell for anyone who may be a little intimidated with starting their kettlebell journey. Also great for learning exercises such as Get Ups, Cleans, Presses and Snatches. Small size bell and easy to manage. Perfect for rehab or pregnancy.
8 kg Premium Cast
This size is the most popular starting weight for females new to kettlebell training. The majority of females do very well with starting with an 8kg bell. You will quickly move up to a heavier bell for swings and squats, but this bell will be your friend for a bit longer when performing exercises such as Cleans, Presses, Get Ups and High Pulls.