kettlebell training

Aj’s Double Trouble Kettlebell Complex

Aj shares his “Double Trouble” kettlebell complex circuit. This includes 25 reps of push ups, 10 reps of double kettlebell snatches, 10 reps of double kettlebell front squats and 10 reps of double kettlebell military press. Rest no longer than 30 seconds between exercises and repeat for four rounds.
Check out his video and see if you are up for the challenge.

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Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 Kettlebell Training, Videos No Comments

Third Annual One-Hour Long Cycle Charity Event

I can hardly believe three years has come and gone and along with it the Third Annual One-Hour Long Cycle Charity event.

What started out as a simple birthday celebration for Jason Dolby of the Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) three years ago has grown into something much larger than he had ever imagined and he is glad that it did.

The First Long Cycle Charity Event started with a modest 19 lifters willing to give it a try and to raise money for Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles where Jason had worked helping children for a few years.

It seemed like none of us knew what would happen or whether or not we would even be able to complete the full hour without passing out or having our arms fall off in the process.  All of the lifters made it, and a nice contribution to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles was made and there was a spark about to ignite a large fire that would continue to grow.

The Second Annual One Hour Long Cycle Event was bigger than the first with 38 participants ranging from recreational kettlebell lifters to record setting world champions.  More weight was lifted, more reps were completed and more money raised for the Japanese Tsunami relief efforts.

This year the event evolved into something much larger and along with it came much more in terms of participation, donations and positive energy.  This year’s event was full of firsts.

This was the first year we left our cozy state of California and headed north to Seattle, Washington with the event being held at Excellence Gym.  The excitement of travel was outshined by the number of satellite gyms and athletes participating in the event simultaneously.  Lifters in New York, Colorado, Los Angeles, Japan and Singapore all lifted and sweated for the full hour.  We were linked via computer and we felt like we were just in the other room.

There were many more lifters participating this year due to the addition of the relay event where a team of lifters would trade off doing reps two minutes at a time and then rest while the others went down the line.

In Seattle alone we had 60 relay lifters in addition to the 12 solo lifters; quite a growth from the humble beginnings from a few years back. The relay team addition was also the right push to get four more clients from Rise Above Performance Training to participate with me.  Jen completed the full hour by herself and the power relay team of Mark, Reggie and Debra did great with the 16kg kettlebell alternating turns every two minutes.  I am very proud of them for their dedication to come in during the weekends for extra training and for taking time out of their schedules to travel up to Seattle to participate in the event.

Along with the growing interest in the event globally and here at the gym there was an increase in donations towards this year’s cause. This year we raised money for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance which conducts research to find a cure for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).  TSC is a rare genetic disease that causes noncancerous (benign) lesions to grow in many parts of the body, such as the skin, brain and kidneys. The signs and symptoms of tuberous sclerosis vary — from patches of light-colored skin to seizures or behavior problems — depending on where the lesions develop.  There’s no cure for tuberous sclerosis, and there’s no way to predict the course or severity of the disease.

Like the last two years this donation was a personal decision by the Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) because a fellow kettlebell lifter, Howie Brewer’s son, Anthony, has TSC.  It is because of the TSC Alliance that Anthony is able to get the treatment he needs to lead a full and happy life.

I feel very blessed to not only have a few people come to lift with me this year, but to all who donated to the cause.  Rise Above Performance Training was able to donate $1,500 towards the $5,000 total the event raised.  I want to thank you all for your support and generosity towards this cause.

It is very easy to get sucked into the daily need of our lives and we forget that there is much more out there for us to unite and assist in making small steps to helping people obtain the basic joys in life that we can easily take for granted.

I am glad there are people out there like Jason Dolby, John “Wild” Buckley and Nazo of the Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) who are able to use their power of influence to get people to come together, take something we all enjoy doing and use it as a powerful tool to help others who need people’s support.

I am also glad there are people like the Rise Above Performance Training members who didn’t hesitate to help out and support.

I plan on doing this event until I am physically unable and I know each year I will be amazed about how much it has grown and how many people we are able to help.  I hope to be lifting right next to you one of those years.

Think about it…You have one year to train.

Check out the Hi-Lights Video below:


Sunday, October 28th, 2012 Kettlebell Training, Videos 3 Comments

A Sprint vs. A Marathon:Girevoy Sport Workshop

Aj came along with me to the Orange Kettlebell Club Workshop at Juno Fitness last month and got to experience Girevoy Sport (GS) kettlebell training.  Below is his review of the two day workshop.

A Sprint vs. A Marathon: Girevoy Sport Workshop

By Aj Lee

A sprint vs. a marathon: That in a nutshell is the difference between Girevoy Sport (GS) and RKC.  When Doug asked me last year if I wanted to do a charity event for the Children’s Hospital in L.A., I was curious until he told me it involved doing long cycle clean and jerks for an hour!  For those who aren’t familiar with this, it is one of the most demanding kettlebell exercises besides snatches.  It involves to different movements: a clean, then a jerk.  My heart rate can easily skyrocket to 80 to 85% of my max after 8-10 reps.

Doug did this for an hour straight without putting the kettlebells down!  When he told me about a workshop where this technique was being taught I was curious and nervous at the same time.  Being an RKC II, we were taught “hard-style” which simply put means, maximum tension to move more weight.  This “hard-style” sprint-like training is great for getting strong; sets are done in rep fashion or in ladders, and rarely for long periods.  The GS workshop focused more on marathon-like training; how to preserve energy and move kettlebells constantly for long period of time.  I was worried that GS or “soft-style” would not mesh with my RKC training.

In the end, I was mistaken.  The instructors were quick to point out that I could benefit from “soft-syle” training.  One of the biggest tips I took away from the workshop was how to breathe properly.  Often during kettlebell workouts I use the valsalva maneuver which means holding your breath to keep maximum tension during the movement.  At the workshop I was told to act like “water-stone-water” at the appropriate time.  Unlike my RKC teaching of using maximum tension along with strong –single burst of breath to move the weight for a few sub-maximal repetitions.   Girevoy Sport kettlebell lifting is the opposite, focusing on minimal tension and long, cyclical breathing to match the movement of the kettlebells.  Most of the time your body will be in the water phase or relaxation and only at one particular moment (usually during the hip drive) you will turn to stone to accelerate the kettlebell toward the desired direction.  This combination of relaxation-tension-relaxation coupled with the cyclical breathing allows for a longer, more sustainable pace needed for GS competition lifting.

Another simple yet great tip that I sometimes forget is, “take your time”.  Instead of sprinting to the finish, it helps to pace yourself for the long haul.  Just these two tips enabled me to up my snatches and long cycle count by several reps which is an accomplishment in itself.  If I were to take one thing away from this workshop it would be, don’t get tunnel vision with your training, try different styles out, some will work, others may not but you’ll learn a lot along the way.

By the way, in October I’m planning on going to New Orleans for a charity event for Katrina victims, I’ll be doing long cycle for an hour, go figure.



Sunday, February 27th, 2011 Kettlebell Training 2 Comments


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