Bullet Points and a Brew 4/20/17

It’s that time of the week again. It’s been a solid week of coaching and training for me. Tennessee Bouldering Authority had an awesome 17th anniversary party, full of beer, pizza and dynos. It was a good time. It’s the best climbing gym in the Chattanooga area, and each new wall tweak or pad shuffle seems to make it better.  If you live in the area and haven’t been, you need to check it out.

 

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I’m going to try and get out on a rope this weekend, and it sure will be interesting to see just how pumped I get. I’ve been toying with some endurance work, but nowhere near the amount I need to to start building some fitness…yet. Regardless, it will be a great day outdoors.

Let’s get into the Bullet Points.

The Bullet Points

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This is a slightly different Podcast than you may be used to from the Power Company. We’re releasing an arsenal of Proven Plans this week. They’re a really unique offering offering personalization and individual coaching at a level of affordability that’s tough to match. I’ve never seen anything else out there like this, so if you’re looking to take your training up a notch this summer, it would be worth your while to give them a look. This podcast breaks down the Proven Plans structure with the coach who oversees the vast majority of the program. It’s full of some great concepts on coaching, relationships, and designing effective training programs. Check it out.

Adding a reaching element to core training improves shoulder function, helps tie together systems running throughout the body that are responsible for movement, and frankly, are less boring than direct core work. You’ve heard of one of the exercises, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of the other two. Time to change that.

Upper back mobility is critical. It allows for proper shoulder mechanics and makes sure the lower back isn’t called to do more than its proper share of work. The Cat-Camel exercise is a common exercise to develop this quality, but it’s often done incorrectly. Dr. Quinn Henoch breaks down some of the finer points of the movement.

“Do Move. Do Grow. Don’t Stop”

It’s easy to find someone on the interwebz to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. People selling the “my way is the only way” approach on social media are ubiquitous. These do’s and dont’s are a little bit different, and are well worth the read.

The Brew

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Fall of the Rebel Angels, Burial Brewing Co.

Burial is a fantastic small brewery out of Asheville, North Carolina. Whenever we make a trip to that city, the brewery sits solidly in our circuit of must visits. This offering is a Saison ale blended and brewed with Chokeberries…yeah, I’ve never heard of those berries either.  It ours a dark rose gold with a finger and a half of bubbly white head. The aroma has a strong sour character with dry yeast hiding underneath, mixed with hints of fruit. On the taste, it’s dry and bluntly sour, with a nice funkiness. I’m not really getting a whole lot of chokeberries, but I’ve never had a chokeberry, so I’m not really sure what they taste like. It’s a nice dry sour that’s refreshing for this time of year, that’s for sure.

 

 

That’s it for this week!


What’s Happening

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Strongfirst Kettlebell User Course

I’m excited to announce that the Strongfirst Kettlebell User course is coming back to Chattanooga! On May 27, Senior SFG Delaine Ross will be at Scenic City Strength and Fitness for an 8 hour workshop breaking down fundamental kettlebell skills. These skills lay the foundation for a lifetime of effective kettlebell training, so this course is not to be missed. You can find more information here.

Coaching

I deliver efficient and effective programming that gets the job done without demanding too much of your valuable time. I have some open spots for distance coaching, so if you are interested, please apply. You can find more information here.

 

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training is held Tuesdays at 6:15 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you are in the Chattanooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I also teach a class for folks who are more familiar with kettlebells on Thursdays at the same time. We will dive into some more advanced kettlebell movements and concepts, and push the intensity up a bit more than Tuesday.

You can check out the calendar and register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

Social Medias

Like what you’ve read? Want to find out more? Like the Facebook Page and share with your friends!

Bullet Points and a Brew 1/2/17

Happy new year everybody! It’s been a good week on the island of Maui. A bunch of family time, relaxation, and food. January is going to be a busy month for me. I’m assisting at a StrongFirst kettlebell certification in Atlanta at the end of the month, and I’m stoked to reconnect with some friends, do a little bit of teaching, and a lotta bit of learning. It’ll be a good time. Today, I’m headed out to do some sport climbing on a new wall being developed here on Maui. The last two times I’ve been to the islands, the burgeoning climbing community has been super welcoming and open with their areas, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the stone! Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

Dr. Weingroff is at the top of the list of people who influence me. His blog posts aren’t super frequent, but always full of information. Sometimes, the information is wayyy over my head, but usually there are always some good pieces to pull out. In this article, he takes a simple question about a plank and delves into movement technique, the art of cuing, tension, and a bunch of other concepts related to the plank and trunk stability. I highly recommend this read.

First off, I don’t treat pain. Not my scope of practice. If you’re in pain, don’t see a trainer or someone with a weekend certification that allows him or her to make believe that they are a shitty physical therapist. Ok. Rant over. Just because I refer pain out and don’t deal with it doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting to me. It’s a really cool topic. A sweet video from the folks over at Modern Manual Therapy.

It’s the new year, and it’s time to look forward and start building our training plan for 2017. I always like to sit down, and I create my plan. It’s perfect. I’m gonna get so strong. And then life happens. Schedules get crazy. It’s easy to let all of the planning fall by the wayside and call an audible. Here are some ways to NOT do that.

The Brew

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Liquid Breadfruit, Maui Brewing Company

One item out of the infinite number of cool things about Maui is Maui Brewing Company. It’s a huge facility and they have up to 24 different beers of their own available for sampling, awesome food trucks outside, and plenty of games to play. I’ve never had this limited release of theirs and was intrigued, so I picked it up. It’s brewed with breadfruit and toasted papaya seeds. It got some bready malt flavors, hints of orange, mango and papaya, and a faint toastiness, I assume from the papaya seeds. For a higher-abv beer, the alcohol is hidden quite well. A good one.


What’s Happening

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

It’s the new year, and a lot of people are building out their strategy for training in 2017. I can help. If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs, you can find more information here.

Kettlebell Classes

No kettlebell classes this next two weeks, as I will be out of town, but they will resume when I return. You can check out the SCSF schedule here.

Bullet Points and a Brew 11/28/16

Hey there, everybody. Hope the holiday weekend was good to you! I had a good time up in Indianapolis. The trip was full of visiting family, seeing friends, eating a bunch of food, and laying around. I’m back in Chatt now, getting started on the week. I’m competing in another Jiu-Jitsu tournament this weekend, a submission only event. It’s a 16-man blue belt bracket, and since I’m just a white belt, I’m sure I will learn quite a bit about my game. I’m stoked! Probably no climbing this week, I warmed up like an idiot last week and my elbows paid the price. Resting and making sure I stay focused on this weekend.

In Case You Missed It

It was a good week for content this past week. I wrote a guest article for Skimble, an online training app about some basic strength training principles. If you apply these principles, you’ll be on a solid path to get stronger and not get hurt. Check it out here:

>>4 Principles for Effective and Sustainable Strength Training<<

I also published a post on here I’ve been working on for a few weeks. It covers motor learning, patience, and some of the finer points I’m focusing on in terms of my training.

>>Majoring in the Minor Details: A Good Thing?<<

The Bullet Points

Wait…what? It’s a great article, and not what you think. Read it.

I thought this one was cool. A brief breakdown of an overhead lifter and some non-painful shoulder issues he was dealing with. Also included are some interesting and effective shoulder correctives.

A climber performing a bottoms up kettlebell press for shoulder stability? A climber actually doing a pushup correctly? I was as shocked as you were. Turns out that people like Alex Megos work with good coaches. Who knew?  I’m not familiar with the first movement showed in the video, but I might have to toy with it a bit. Consider me intrigued.

The Brew

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5 Beans, Sixpoint Brewery

Imperial porters are fairly common these days. Porters with coffee, vanilla, and cacao also aren’t hard to find. Imperial Porters with cardamom? That’s a different story. Inspired by a Turkish Coffee, this porter has roasty notes from the coffee that are blunted by the vanilla before it gets too harsh. Bittersweet chocolate rides throughout the flavor and a hint of cardamom makes this beer seem slightly different than a lot of the other winter seasonals out there. It’s true. It’s different, and it’s good. If you see it on the shelves and like chocolate, porters, Turkish coffee and Turkish Get Ups (they go hand in hand), you should probably grab some of this beer.

 

 

 


What’s Happening This Week

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, or performance training, I’ve got room for a couple more clients. More information here.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training will be held Tuesday, November 29th, at 6 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you’re in the Chattanoooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I’m also teaching a class on Thursday, the 1st of December, for folks who are more familiar with kettlebells. We will dive into some more advanced kettlebell movements and concepts, and push the intensity up a bit more than Tuesday.

You can register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

Bullet Points and a Brew 10/06/16

Here comes a late-week edition! My training’s been interesting this week. I’m blurring in some more unilateral and core tension work to transfer into the climbing season, and at the same time doing a whole bunch of swings on the minute to peak my conditioning for my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament this weekend. It’ll be interesting! I’m stoked to get out on the mat and compete. How’s your training going? Ready for the season? Let’s look at some bullet points.

The Bullet Points

More and more climbers are taking up strength training. As they should. In this simple, yet incredibly helpful article, Steve shares some standards climbers should use to direct their training, and a sample plan. A great guide to those starting out, this should be read by every climber interested in building a strong foundation.

I’ve been using the 1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch and Push Up Position Plank for a while. These movements are a great way to get the mobility and stability necessary to pick up heavy shit. I like doing that, so it’s a good idea to prep the right way. Max Shank posted this video recently that contains some tweaks to supercharge your movement prep. I’m a BIG fan of these changes. You need to watch this.

I like Turkish Get Ups. I like heavy Turkish Get Ups. A bigger bell means that pressure on the forearm can be an issue. It’s worth your time to figure out exactly how you want to grab the kettlebell for a Turkish Get Up. I’d rather be focusing on technique with 100lbs over my head than being preoccupied with forearm discomfort. Here’s how to reduce or eliminate that pressure.

The Brew

unnamedAlternate Takes #2- Dogfish Head Brewing Company

I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it was delicious. It’s a Belgian dark ale based off of DFH’s Raison d’etre, one of my favorite beers of theirs that has been disappointingly absent  lately. They aged the Raison with grape must and brettanomyces. I got dark fruit flavors, fruity esters from the Belgian yeast, and some funky tartness from the brett. A great bridge from summer to fall. If you’re in Chattanooga, Bewhaus has it right now. Go try it.

That’s it for this week’s BPB! Have a great weekend.


 

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in nutrition coaching or strength and performance training, I’ve got room for a couple more clients. Reach out to me via email or apply here. If you’re curious about what I do, check out my program offerings.

Your Sport is Unique..Just Like Every Other Sport

It’s so common. Everyone is looking for the next “X”-specific training program. “I’m looking for a climbing/basketball/baseball/etc. specific strength routine.” “Oh, I don’t squat. I’m on a marathon preparation training program.” The examples are endless. While having a program tailored to your sport-specific goals is important, it’s even more important to make sure the foundation isn’t neglected. Oftentimes, in the well meaning attempt to be “specific”, people end up doing goofy “circus trick” movements that are worthless in terms of performance development. When you boil it down to the core principles, you are a human. You need to train like a human before everything else.

The Performance Pyramid

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I can’t draw on a computer very well.

I like to arrange the major factors of athletic performance into a pyramid. This pyramid has three sections. The top section concerns skill. This includes sport specific abilities. Some examples of skills include shooting accuracy in basketball, the ability to drop knee in rock climbing, the ability to play donkey guard in jiu-jitsu (Yes, this is a real thing. Look it up. It’s ridiculous.) Performance concerns qualities such as speed, power, explosiveness, and raw strength. The bottom section concerns movement.

Let’s take a closer look at movement. Can your body perform the fundamental human movements? Can you squat? Can you hinge? Can you reach or pull? Can you crawl? Can you carry something relatively heavy for a decent distance? Can you resist movement through your midsection? It’s easy to see how each one of these movements provides the foundation for every single athletic quality. Consider the location of “Movement” on the pyramid. It provides the foundation. A house with a shitty foundation is a shitty house. Any adequate performance program MUST address the goal of a solid movement foundation, regardless of what skills are required in the sport.

If the quality and capability of fundamental human movement is not addressed, injuries are lying in wait, and WILL happen. It’s just a matter of time. Another cool thing about the foundation of the pyramid: it limits the size of the top of the pyramid. It’s geometry. Thanks Mr. Schroeder, I knew paying attention in 10th grade (sort of) would help sometime. A small foundation means skill can only grow so much. A larger foundation means a larger potential for skill development.

Addressing the Movements

There are an infinite amount of ways to practice these movements and develop your movement “literacy”. Here are some that I like, because they can be done anywhere, require little to no equipment, and provide a stellar benefit:effort ratio. Work smarter, not harder.

Squatting Pattern

Prying Squat

This is a great drill to refine your squat and help create some space in your hips. Start by standing tall with your feet in a comfortable squat stance. Squat down and use your elbows to create some gentle outward pressure on your knees. Slightly rock from side to side, making sure to keep the back straight and tall. Stand up and finish the squat.

Hinging Pattern

Wall Touches

Find a wall and put your heels to the wall. Step forward one foot length. Without squatting, push your hips back until your butt touches the wall. Keep your back straight. If it is easy, step forward an inch or two. Find the spot where it is a gentle to moderate stretch to reach your hips back towards the wall. If you can’t get your hips back to the wall, you are either too far forward or you are “squatting” your hinge too much. Hips should move predominantly forward and backwards.

Reaching Pattern

Pushup Plus

A lot of times, people forget about their serratus when performing a pushup. This drill helps get the serratus involved the way it should be. Start in a pushup position. Like all pushups, you should be in a plank. No movement should occur through the trunk. Do a push up, and at the top, reach your hands through the floor. Make sure to include this reach with every repetition.

Pulling Pattern

Band Pulldown

This movement is a great variation for people just starting out. You can also use a lat pull down machine, but I don’t have one. An elastic band can provide the same benefit. Start on your knees and make sure your hips are tucked underneath your torso. Grab the band as high a possible and pull down. Make sure to squeeze the armpits at the bottom and keep your chest proud.

Strict Chin Up

Chin Ups are another good pulling progression. When performing a chin up, make sure to start from a dead hang and keep the rest of the body in a plank. Lower all the way to the dead hang position and pause before the next repetition.

Strict Pull Up

Another classic pulling variation is the pullup. Like the strict chin up, make sure to start from a dead hang, touch your neck or chest to the bar (no trying to lift your head up and streeetch your chin over the bar), and keep the rest of your body in a plank.

Crawling Pattern

Knee Crawling

An often overlooked pattern, crawling helps build stability and coordination through the midsection, shoulders, and hips. Get set up on all fours, with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your feet. Crawl forwards and backwards, making sure to move the opposite arm and leg at the same time.

Core Control Bear Crawl

The core control bear crawl is a progression from knee crawling. Keep the knees hovering off the ground, try not to let your hips move from side to side, and move the opposite arm and leg together. Crawl forwards and backwards, keeping your movements smooth, slow and controlled. When done right, this is a challenge.

Carrying Pattern

1/2 Suitcase Carry

Pick up something heavy in one hand and walk around with it. Try not to lean too far in either direction. Keep your midsection stiff and stable. I’m using a kettlebell, you can use literally anything that you can pick up and hold comfortably. Or uncomfortably.

Rotation Control

Pallof Press

You can do this movement from a variety of positions. I like 1/2 kneeling as a starter. It allows for some side to side stability, helps cue the proper pelvis position, let still provides plenty of trunk stability challenge. Make sure to stay tall and reach long through the end of the press.

Do these anywhere and everywhere

All these movements should be fairly simple to perform. They are a great way to fill some gaps in your programming, and you don’t even have to do them when you train! Most of these require zero or little equipment, so as long as you perform them somewhere, you will receive the benefit.

Will these movements make me better at my sport?

Like all good performance questions, the answer is “maybe.” Maybe you have been compensating due to a lack of proficiency in one or more of these categories. Maybe some focused attention on a certain deficiency will unlock the “parking brake” that has been limiting some quality necessary to better performance.

Will these movements (or some variation) make me better mover overall and help build a resilient, athletic platform to increase strength, mobility, and power?

Absolutely.

Train like a Human

Sport specificity is great. Generality is mandatory. Specificity allows us to use the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) to direct our body to adapt and make us better at whatever goal we choose. Generality keeps us resilient, supple, and bullet-proof. Again, a shiny, beautiful house with a shitty foundation is still a shitty house. Build from the ground up. What are you going to do to build your foundation?


 

If you’re interested in other ways to build your foundation, reach out to me here. If you’re interested in nutrition, strength, or performance coaching, apply here. If you’re curious about what I do, check out my program offerings.

Bullet Points and a Brew 8/22/16

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I got some Jiu-Jitsu training in, a round of golf in (had my best 9 holes ever…and then my worst 9 holes ever), and had a fun Sunday of nothing particularly physically demanding, except for a quick snatch workout with some new kettlebell additions to the household gym (which now consists solely of three kettlebells).

Before we get to the Bullet Points, I want to remind everyone that the StrongFirst Kettlebell User course, an 8 hour plunge into kettlebell training, is a week away! Taught by Senior SFG Delaine Ross, this is an incredible opportunity to walk away with confidence that you can use kettlebells effectively to train for any goal. We’re hosting it at Scenic City Strength on and Fitness on the 28th. You will NOT find a more valuable single day of kettlebell instruction anywhere. Click here for more information and here to sign up!

The Bullet Points

Another fantastic core/trunk movement that emphasizes the ability to resist movement through the midsection while the extremities move. I think this is a fundamental principle to core training, so it’s nice to see exercises like these become more and more prominent. Give it a try.

This is an interesting squat variation. It doesn’t require a whole lot of equipment, helps promote a proper squatting pattern, and is an immense core and upper body challenge as well. It checks off a lot of  boxes, and is well worth a try.

Portion control is a critical aspect of proper nutrition. It’s relatively easy to get the right foods on the plate, yet it’s also relatively easy to eat way too much of it. This article dives into some physiology, some chemistry, some psychology, and a lot of other fields to examine the “why” behind the amount of food we eat in a meal. If you’re interested in understanding nutrition just a bit better, this is a must read.

Social Media Gold

Every now and then, I see a short status update from someone that is clear, concise, and wise. This is one of those. We’ve all seen the insane training regimens elite-level athletes undergo. A lot of times, elite athletes aren’t successful because of their training, but in spite of their training . A lot of other times, however, it is because of smart training. It’s definitely a two way street. So it’s up to you to decide whether to smash yourself with the same soul-crushing workout you saw your hero performing on youtube, or to get your “minimal effective dose” of smart, balanced training.

The Brew

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Montmaretto, Wicked Weed Brewing

Another offering from Wicked Weed, this is a sour ale brewed with cherries and almonds. It pours a reddish orange with a thin head that fades to a faint ring around the glass. Aromas of lactobacillus, cherries, and smoothness from the almonds. Beautiful subtle cherry flavor in the taste with again, the smooth nuttiness which I can only assume comes from the almonds. Another good one from Wicked Weed. Very  reminiscent of Amaretto, which is what they were going for.


What’s Happening This Week

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in nutrition coaching or strength and performance training, I’ve got room for a couple more clients. Reach out to me via email or apply here. If you’re curious about what I do, check out my program offerings.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training will be held Tuesday, August 22nd, at 6 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you’re in the Chattanoooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I’m also teaching a class on Thursday, the 24th for folks on who are more familiar with kettlebells. A good crew of our students at SCSF will be there and are training for the TSC in October. What does that mean? A lot of work to refine the Snatch and lots and lots of snatches. It’ll be a good time.

You can register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

That’s it for this week. I’m going to try to put out a content piece sometime this week, so stay tuned.

Bullet Points and a Brew, 8/15/16

And we’re back. I was at the New River Gorge this weekend, did zero climbing and had a blast. My family gathered from all over the country for some Whitewater Rafting. Good times were had. Hope everyone’s weekend was great. Let’s dive into the bullet points.

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Try hard faces are still weird

The Bullet Points

If you’re a human and you train, you are an athlete in my opinion. However, most people don’t get paid to train. You have to work, maintain your relationships, and take care of other responsibilities. How do you organize your training and make it work with a hectic lifestyle? This article is a great resource to make it all fit together.

Everyone likes to work their abs. From what I’ve seen, everyone also likes to destroy their lower back and vertebral discs as well. Here are three great principles on how NOT to do those last two things and build a truly strong core. Also included is a link to building a dragon flag, which is a seriously cool trunk stability movement.

The Ketogenic Diet is an oft-talked about, almost zero-carbohydrate diet that has a variety of game changing benefits…or so it may seem. Precision Nutrition published this FANTASTIC article that digs through the science, the scholarly journals, and the supplements that relate to this diet. If you’re wondering whether the Ketogenic Diet is right for you (it may be, or it may not be..everyone is different and requires different solutions), don’t get your information from a buzzfeed article or a newstand magazine. Just don’t do it. Read this instead.

The Brew

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Night Marcher, Rivertown Brewery and Barrel House

This beer is an “Island Pale Ale”…get it? I.P.A? All the LOLs. It’s a pale ale brewed with a whole bunch of tropical fruit: coconut, papaya, pineapple, etc. For fermentation, it’s completely fermented by Brettanomyces, a yeast that can create some truly funky (in a good way) flavors. This one I tried fresh. It was full of tropical fruits in both the aroma and flavors, and was very well balanced with Citra hops. A fruity bomb with some faint dry funkiness from the Brett. I bought two, and the other one is living in the beer cellar at the moment. I’ll try it in a year or so and see how the Brett has changed the beer! If you see it on the shelves, grab a couple. It’s great for the heat!


What’s Happening This Week

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

I’ve kicked off Nutrition Coaching, and have been busy working with people to help tweak and fine tune how they fuel their days! If you’re interested in nutrition or strength and performance training, I’ve got room for a couple more clients. Reach out to me via email or apply here. If you’re curious in all that I offer, check out my program offerings.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training will be held Tuesday, August 16th, at 6 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you’re in the Chattanoooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I’m also teaching a class on Thursday, the 18th for folks on who are more familiar with kettlebells. A good crew of our students at SCSF will be there and are training for the TSC in October. What does that mean? A lot of work to refine the Snatch and lots and lots of snatches. It’ll be a good time.

You can register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

That’s it for this week’s BPB! Have a great week.