First, let me clarify: I’m talking about the "Lose your gut in 5 weeks" workout magazines, not the "Add 12 inches to your arms with these five kinds of steroids" magazines. In other words, if the guy on the cover has veins on his forehead that are bigger than your arms, I hope you skip that magazine completely.
We’re talking about the Men’s Health kinds of magazines, that in the last couple of years have gotten much better in terms of exercise selection and workout recommendations. That kind of guy workout magazine.
Guy magazines have started to include good workouts, but now there is a new problem
They’ll recommend doing a really awesome exercise like a barbell clean, but they’ll give two pictures and one sentence about how to do it.
Then they’ll do the same thing with five other complex exercises that the average gym goer isn’t familiar with, like good mornings, kettlebell swings, overhead squats and pistols.
While the workout programs are starting to get decent, the instruction on how to do them is completely inadequate.
The result it people doing things with really ugly form, and a lot of dudes walking out of the gym rubbing their tweaked and sore lower backs.
In other words, they are doing a lot of the right things, but they’re doing them mostly the wrong way.
So if you saw the article last week, I compared the measures of success Coach Dan John uses with his athletes, with the measures I use with my leanest girl clients.
For guys, I’m going to add one more, specific to the problems I usually see with guys doing workouts from magazines:
They don’t understand how to do technical lifts like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and squats with correct form, but they are doing them anyway.
Get Your Black Belt in Full Body Strength
I’ve actually been criticized for putting in too much information about how to perform an exercise in my books.
Three pages about a kettlebell swing! No one wants to read three whole pages on one move!
A lot of it comes from the way my mentors teach. Pavel wrote an entire book, Power to the People, about how to do two movements: the deadlift and the side press. He wrote another book, Enter the Kettlebell, where the entire book is about the kettlebell swing and the clean and press.
It’s a paradigm shift in working out.
You don’t just go to the gym and bang out mindless reps.
It takes skill.
It’s like getting your black belt in generating full body power.
And an MBA in force generation.
Some people understand the kettlebell swing the first time they try it. That’s awesome.
But I was never that guy – in any sport I played. I needed the complex movements broken down into smaller steps.
Most of my clients need to go through a progression of drills to learn the movement perfectly. The entire progression I use I learned from Pavel, and you can get it all in his book, Enter the Kettlebell.
The guy clients I have that are the leanest, most jacked, ready to tear off their t-shirts at the pool are always the ones who:
1.) Can do the most pull-ups.
2.) Have the strongest deadlift.
3.) Have the best food log.
4.) Understand how to do technical lifts like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and squats with correct form.
I’m up to doing serious kettlebell snatch workouts with the 44lb kettlebell, heavy swings with the 70lb kettlebell, and push presses with the 52lb kettlebell. I’m doing Enter the Kettlebell style Snatch + Press ladders with the 44.
After being hurt most of last year, I’m slowly working my way back to the kind of fitness I know myself as having. I’m right on track to be back in RKC Instructor shape by the time the October RKC Instructor Certification rolls around, where I am going to be an Assistant Instructor. I get to hang with Head RKC Instructor Pavel, and I get to help my friend and Senior RKC Dave Whitley teach the new RKC hopefulls. I’m really, really stoked.
So like I said, I’m getting more and more into Web 2.0. If you’ve never played with StumbleUpon before, it learns the websites you like, and lets you channel surf, with amazing accuracy, website after website you’ve never seen before, but that you are going to like. You can check out my all time favorite "stumbles" at http://joshhillis.stumbleupon.com/ or the things I’ve "stumbled" recently at http://joshhillis.stumbleupon.com/stumbles/
And if you like my articles it totally helps me out if you give ’em a thumbs up at StumbleUpon by clicking on the "share this" button at the bottom of this article. And thanks to everyone who stumbled ’em last week! Thanks so much!
By Josh Hillis
Author of How To Lose The Stubborn Seven Pounds
Josh is currently finishing up his second book Fighter Workouts for Fat Loss
Josh is a fat loss expert, a kettlebell instructor and a 24 Hour Fitness Master Trainer in Denver, Colorado. Josh helps women and men lose stubborn fat.
"When we say Hillis, we mean awesome. When we say awesome, we mean Hillis." Dave Whitley, Senior Instructor – Russian Kettlebell Challenge
© Joshua Hillis 2008