Why we train you to move a certain way, not look a certain way.

Why we train you to move a certain way, not look a certain way.

You’re still in the gym? NICE, keep that up.

We had a fantastic turn out for the Transformation Challenge. Many of you are so motivated and excited to work hard these next 8 weeks. Many of you are completely new to the gym, many of you not so new but still adjusting to the new schedule and space – and all of you want to improve. In the midst of measurement-taking and weigh-ins, we have gotten a lot of questions. One, how often should I come in – have that one prepared here. But mostly it’s ‘How do I fix… this.’ *points vaguely to a place on your body you don’t care for* And you want a smaller waistline, bigger arms, etc, etc. “Just keep coming to class, we’ll take care of it.” It isn’t a stupid question. We all have a little of that in our heads, wanting to look a certain way. But, we want more for you than just the aesthetics of it all.

Body building use to be where it was at. You wanted to be Arnold. You didn’t want to be just Zeus, you wanted to be Zeus’s daddy. Big, ripped, a mean-machine. Luckily, some people kept their heads on – mostly the Russians – about true strength training. And in recent years, more and more research points us in the direction of training our movement patterns, not just our muscles. When we train our movements, our whole body contributes to the action – including the nervous system. When you train only for muscle gain – you’re missing pieces of the puzzle. Yes, you’re muscles may be getting stronger. But you only trained them to get stronger at that one lift (further assault on your body when it’s on a machine).

Why do we use kettlebells? Kettlebells aren’t fixed – forcing us to use kinesthetic awareness (the awareness of your body, and load, in space), we have to constantly adjust muscle recruitment patterns to continue the action, and kettlebell movements allow a flow that is difficult to replicate with other equipment. Simply the way we have to hold, and rack, the bell forces us to pay attention to our grip, wrist-elbow-shoulder alignment and time under tension.

Movement-based training makes everything you do better. Carrying your groceries, holding your kids on your shoulders, not falling when you slip on ice, a pickup game with some buddies. You’re prepared to throw, jump, lift, carry, brace, etc… because you have been toning your body to do so. It is about sustainability. Not just worrying about how you look in two months, but creating a lifestyle of movement, play and health. It is a constant learning process, one that continues to evolve – and you conquer feats of strength you never thought possible. So, to answer your question, if you want to look a certain way: training like us will literally use every muscle in your body. You will begin to look and feel like you never have before – while being a total badass under the kettlebell.

Emily Kulakowski