Getting ready for “Back to School” Fitness mode

Posted in Lean Eats! on August 13, 2017 by Jacques Jean

If you’ve ever lived in or currently live in Michigan or a neighboring state, you start thinking about the Fall the moment that August rolls around. It’s a sobering feeling; my friends who are Teachers start dreading the upcoming change in their daily schedules. Some days are extremely hot while other days make you reach in the closet for a jacket. Also, you’re stricken by a sense of urgency to do everything you can outdoors before it gets cold.

The silver lining in all of this? There’s still time! Time to get outdoors, ramp up your work out, hang out at the Farmer’s Market for fresh produce, etc. So far, August weather has put me in the mind of weather in San Diego, CA. Not too hot, roughly around 78 degrees and I love it! I’ve spent more time running outdoors than I did in the month of July.

My plan this week is to begin focusing on maintaining a consistent routine that takes into consideration the shorter days. Since I normally work out in the early evenings during the week it means getting started a little earlier as the hours of day light get shorter.  Also, this means ramping up my meal planning efforts as the change of season usually makes me eat out less. My food choices will be relatively the same with an increase in Spinach, Carrots and Artichokes as we get closer to the Fall.

As for exercise, I’ll continue my 3-4 mile run followed by a 20 minute stretch and 30 minute kettle bell circuit. The CRIM Festival of Races is weeks away so I’m focusing on my cardiovascular endurance as well as muscle endurance in my legs. My kettlebell circuit will include the following:

  • 2 minutes of two hand Swings
  • 3 sets of Dive Bombers
  • 2 minutes of alternating one arm Swings
  • 30 Goblet Squats
  • 1 minute of Figure Eights
  • 30 Romanian Deadlifts
  • 2 minutes of one arm Snatches (alternating)

I’ll be repeating this circuit three times. My point here is to work on both my aerobic as well as anaerobic capacity. Often times on long runs even if your lungs can handle the pace your legs feel like they’re ready to “call it quits.” This work out is quick and easy and allows you to both enjoy the outdoor days we have left while getting a solid work out in. Enjoy!

 

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Time to “Ramp Up” again!

Posted in Functional Fitness with tags , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Jacques Jean

So you spent all summer enjoying all your fitness activities outdoors and now comes the cold season! Not a good look right? Wrong, it’s time to transition indoors with our favorite sport! That’s the beauty of Kettle Bells; it really doesn’t matter if your inside or outside, not even how limited a space you have to work with. Very few exercises will provide for this kind of flexibility with the results the Bells deliver. I’ve had the great opportunity of welcoming some new comrades to the program and I’m hoping to peak your interest as well. While I’m still holding tentative dates for the “Fundamentals” class at Powerhouse in Southfield, I’m also holding the more advanced course Tuesdays and Thursdays at Telex Powerhouse in Southfield from 6pm to 7pm. Call me or email me with any questions.

Raising the bar in 2012!!

Posted in Functional Fitness on December 22, 2011 by Jacques Jean

It has certainly been a wonderful year. Wonderful in the sense that although we experienced our share of challenges, we did all that we could to stay on course both in our personal and professional lives. Meanwhile, we also had that cloud of consciousness hanging over our heads as we were reminded one way or another to make sure our bodies and minds are where we need them to be. This reminder could have come by way of a health risk appraisal, a fitness challenge or your motivation to improve the run time in your last 5k. I’m excited about the new year because I get to go “clean slate” and raise the bar. New healthy recipes, bigger fitness goals and most importantly, more treacherous kettlebell circuits!!

Raising the bar in 2012 means getting out of the comfort zone I eased into in 2011. Now mind you, I did decent for myself and realize that improving my sprint triathlon time by 27 minutes this year was a huge personal accomplishment; as was incorporating the 70 lb kettlebell into my circuits. But it’s all about forward movement right? Certainly! Ok, well that means it’s time to get that game plan together!

My plan includes dedicating some quality time to those gigantic paper weights and doing what one professional mentor of mines would refer to as “just having fun with it!” Since I’ve got Kettlebell competitions, more Sprint Triathlons and a 10 mile run for the CRIM on my agenda, I’ll be busy with swimming, snatching, running and lifting. It’s never like work when you make it fun. I’ll be sharing my workouts with you and challenge you to do the same. Make your last best effort your base, and slowly progress from there for the new year. Take some of your favorite forms of exercise along with some not so favorites and mix it up! It might sound like a lot but all it takes is a little of your time a few days a week…just don’t stop. The time you spend maintaining your active lifestyle is your refuge; be it by yourself, with your fellow comrades or with your loved ones.

Russian Kettlebell Certified

Posted in Functional Fitness on May 4, 2011 by Jacques Jean

Getting ready for the North American Outlaw Kettlebell Competition

Posted in Lean Eats! on May 3, 2011 by Jacques Jean

I’m so excited about Comrade Ben’s first Kettlebell competition this Saturday at the North American Outlaw Kettlebell Competition. If you’ve seen this cat in action you know he’s going to give fellow competitors a run for their money. He’ll be competing in the Long Cycle competition.

The Long Cycle is a very tricky lift as it requires a lot of coordination and timing throughout your entire body for maximum efficiency. When Ben first started working out with me, we focused primarily on foundation; swings, pull-ups, cleans, presses, etc. Well, the clean and press became his strong suit! He was pressing until the cows came home!! This makes the long cycle a bit of an adjustment for a couple of reasons. One, the long cycle is basically a clean and jerk which means pressing will fatigue your arms at a much faster rate. Try doing clean and presses for five to ten minutes (snatch size kettlebell) and your triceps will be smoked!! Well, now that I think about it Ben is an exception. Anyways the other reason is that the long cycle is an endurance lift so technique can make the difference between going for 3 minutes vs. 10 minutes no matter how strong you are.

Its hard taming your body to explode from the hips and catapult two kettlebells over your head to a lock out position, then as efficiently as possible, bring them down to a rack position. Very different execution and application as the long cycle technique is designed for doing as many as you possibly can. I’m happy to say that Ben has risen to the occasion, setting aside all that I drilled into his mind for the clean and press to deliver an ever improving clean and jerk. If you’re in the area, please come down and support Ben and the team. The event will be held at Hyperfit USA, 670 Airport Blvd Suites 3 & 4, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Spring Training for the Weekend Athlete

Posted in "Breathe my friend, breathe!!" on April 24, 2011 by Jacques Jean

Are you all fired up for another Spring and Summer? Perhaps you’ve spent this past winter doing work outs ranging from moderate to high impact for conditioning. Maybe you practically checked out from November to New Years. Either way it’s time now to get in gear. Best way to kick start your active Spring and Summer season is to start signing up for those events. Visit the website of your local running store or gym for their complete list of athletic events; 5ks, 10ks, Triathlons, Marathons, Strongman competitions, etc. Depending on where you are with your training, you should evaluate how much time you’ll need to get ready. It depends on if you’ll be participating in an event for your fitness and enjoyment without the competitive element or if you’re participating in a very intense competitive event. Kettlebell competitions as well as Triathlons and Marathons demand a lot from you. Even if you’re an experienced Triathlete or Kettlebell lifter I wouldn’t take anything short of 11 weeks to prepare for the event. Spring Training is in full swing as there are both kettlebell competitions and triathlons to train for this summer.

Kettlebells with Jacques

Posted in Functional Fitness on April 23, 2011 by Jacques Jean