Friday, April 18, 2014

Functional Strength...for Building the BEST Body

Functional Strength is what you need for building the BEST body. We no longer only train by means of separating body parts, or going from upper to lower. Sure those workouts are good on some days, but who has the time to leave out a body part regularly? Besides, when you can use functional strength training to build the best body, why would you waste time on other methods.

Let's get one thing straight. Functional strength utilizes all of your muscles. From the front to the back, the pushing and the pulling, the upper and the hit them all. Let us not forget the core, the stabilizers the antagonistic muscles and the cardiovascular system. What? The cardiovascular system? Yep. When you train the entire body as in with Kettlebell training, sandbags, explosive moves and exercises like these, you create an efficient machine. So why sit on one when working out?

Machines are good for a few things. Lat pulldowns and seated cable rows are my favorite. Cable crossovers for chest are also good, and you have to keep your entire body tight to maintain form so the core is engaged. However, if you want to really FEEL what an all out full body workout feels like with one tool, then grab a heavy kettlebell. Go from swings to deadllifts to rows to goblet squats. What you will get is stronger, leaner, more cardio efficient and more powerful. Instead of using a machine, you create one. YOU!

Most people that are trying to build the best body are concerned with the same things. Bigger muscles, and less fat. Most athletes are trying to get the same goals as well, being faster, stronger, having more endurance and more power. Both of these are created with functional strength.

Functional strength is for building the BEST body. Between lifting, pulling, pushing, dragging, twisting, jumping, carrying, bending, squatting, reaching, and throwing you will create all the things you are looking for when "shopping" for the best workout.

If you want to know where to build that body, then come to Michigan Kettlebells Strength & Training Center.
If you are looking for a small gym that is owned by a couple that is passionate about functional strength, passionate about coaching people past their comfort zones and makes every workout different, then come to Michigan Kettlebells Strength & Training Center.

Our coaches will push you hard, make you sweat, and help you create the strongest body of your dreams.
This is where you will put functional strength into action and build the BEST body on YOU!
Make that dream a reality.
Summer is right around the corner and there is no time to start like today!
Look in the mirror. Are you at the top of your game physically AND mentally?

See you soon.

Dawn & Craig Sylvester

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Get Your Body Summer Ready!

Are you ready to get your body Summer Ready Now?  This has been a L-O-N-G Winter. We have probably eaten more comfort food, worked out less, and eaten more comfort food than ever this year. We are so ready to open windows and breathe in some fresh air that we could jump for joy! Great! That is exactly what we are going to do!

We are going to get our mind ready to move our body into a new phase. A phase of energy. A phase of activity. A phase of renewal. We are tired of being tired. We are tired of darkness, and television, and rest. We want to move...and get stronger...and break through from the Winter doldrums. We are ready to get energized.

Here are just a few tips that will get your mind, your body and your spirit ready for the new you. Put these tips into practice daily. Whether you add one, or all. You will come out energized, and ready to take on a season of sunshine and less clothing. Fresh foods, and vitality. Enthusiasm to take on a new day. A new you.

1.  Start every morning with a glass of water with the juice of one squeezed lemon.
*good for digestion, detoxifying, and keeping the body in an alkaline state.

2.  Start with a breakfast that energizes. Smoothies made from fresh organic berries, greens, coconut water and organic protein powders are a great start. Check out my Smoothie Recipes for Optimal Health E-Book. 

3. Wake up to some slow deep breathing and some stretching BEFORE you get out of bed. Pull knees up to chest. Pull shoulder blades back. Do some belly massaging...clockwise, slow, methodical movements from the area just outside of the belly button. (this is a technique used in ancient medicine to get the digestive system moving, not to mention bowels. Great for detoxification)

4.  Do a bodyweight only workout., 2-3 times weekly.  No equipment. High Intensity. Jump rope, jump squat, push up, walking lunges, jumping jacks, burpees, step ups, split jump lunges, box jumps. Anything that works a lot of muscles at once, and leaves you breathless. 

Do each exercise for 30 seconds on/30 seconds off, or go for reps. Work hard, be strong, and rest little between each exercise. 

5. Shop for groceries that support the body you WILL build. 
Fresh produce. 
Lean proteins as in grass fed beef and pasture raised eggs and poultry.
Fresh fruits.
Salads made with fresh mixed greens with homemade dressings made simply. Dressings made with olive oil and lemon juice. Olive oil/honey/lemon juice. 
My favorite salad is Arugula, feta, blueberries, and pistachios. dressing is a bit of balsamic/honey/ and olive oil.
Grilled veggies. Grilled fish. Fruit salads topped with a sprinkling of chia seeds.

Simple and Clean eating. 

Short but Intense Workouts.

Water with lemon. 

Deep sleep with open windows.

Mornings that leave you energized and ready to show the world what you are made of.

Time to wake up from a long and cold Winter. Your body is ready for change.


In Strength and Wellness,


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Calm the Fires of Inflammation

Can you calm the fires of inflammation? You bet you can. Inflammation leads to death. Whether it is our brains, our heart, our livers, our lungs, our skin or our entire systems...inflammation is bad. There are some things that we do for our bodies to be healthy that also cause inflammation as in exercise. That is why we need a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods to calm the fires and help us live a long and healthy life.

We now know that processed carbohydrates, sugars, and toxins that are added to foods create havoc in our bodies in the form of inflammation. From breast cancer to arthritis, liver disease to heart attacks, we can decrease our inflammatory responses in our bodies with a diet rich in Omega-3 fats.

Omega 3 sources of fats come from grass fed meat and dairy foods, and high omega 3 eggs. These sources are also found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and cold water fish. Hemp seeds, Chia seeds and Organic Noni powders can be added to smoothies to make a "meal in a cup" that is loaded with inflammation calmers and superfoods.

For the easiest way to add these to your diet, I highly recommend Smoothies. I start every morning with a detoxifying smoothie that is loaded with a plant based protein powder (check out Sunwarrrior tab at the top of this page) and everything from chia to flaxseeds added in.

Click on the tabs above, and get access to my Smoothie Recipe Book and Sunwarrior products to get your body in the best shape of  your life, while you calm the fires of inflammation!

In wellness and strength!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Want to Lift and Tighten Your Buns?

Want to lift and tighten your buns grabbed your attention right? Feeling a little saggy these days? Not loving the view from the rear? Well then get off the treadmill people and grab a bell. A kettlebell that is. A tool that will lift, chisel and tighten your rear is a great tool to have. So, lets look at what will shape up those glutes and put the plan into action the next time you see a kettlebell, and don't know what to do with it.

First and foremost, a kettlebell is not to be used as a free weight. Almost all kettlebell moves are generated from the hips, with power and force to propel the kettlebell up. What that means to your body if done in the right form, is glute power! From the perfectly executed swing, to a deadlift with a 18kg bell, your glutes will be engaged with every move. Here are some of my favorite moves that I do with my girls. But hey boys, don't X out yet....there is nothing worse than a guy with a flat butt and a nice full back. So....grab a kettlebell and shape up your rear view!

Kettlebell Swings - This basic of all kettlebell moves is the beginning exercise to learn. From the hip hinge back to the powerful pop forward. What stops you is the tight core and most of all the tightening of the glutes when this move is executed perfectly.

Goblet Squats - Holding a kettlebell at chest level, with legs far apart and toes pointed out. Drop the glutes toward the center while keeping the chest and chin up. Lower with control while squeezing the glutes upon rising. Tight buns are waiting at the top of every contraction.

Kettlebell Deadlift- One of my personal favorites. This move is great for everything from glute and hamstring strength, to lower back strength and stability. This move can usually be done with the heaviest of the kettlebells in your workouts... but only if your back is kept flat. Starting with the kettlebell between your feet, keeping legs straight, and chin up as you execute this move.

 If you want to lift and tighten your buns, these are the moves that will make your rear go from saggy and low to high and tight! One word of wisdom form a tight bunned girl. First, stay off of the treadmill if what you want is tight muscle. Second, use a heavy kettlebell that makes you HAVE to tighten your buns. I am 5 ' tall and weigh 113, and I use a 16kg bell for swings, a 10kg bell for goblet squats and a 20kg bell for deadlifts.

Spring is right around the corner. Will your body be ready?

In wellness and strength,