Blog

8 Year Gym Anniversary

Today marks the 8 year anniversary for Baltimore Kettlebell Club (formerly Art & Strength). Time has really flown by and it’s hard to believe we’ve been at it for this long. It’s been so great to see how many lives have been touched by this place and watching people find their strength is something that I will never get tired of! I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to do what I love doing every_single_day. What we have at…

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Maryland Strongman

Maryland Strongman

The following is a personal account of when I won the Maryland Strongest Man contest, my transition from competition to performing strongman, and my thoughts on what it means to be a strongman or strongwoman. I competed from 2003-2008. I did every strongman competition that was held in Maryland during that time and most of the grip contests in PA. Back then there was 4 weight classes in strongman. There was no women’s division (there was no interest), no…

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Learned Intensity

I recently trained a group of seniors that reminded me of a lesson I learned long ago. The lesson is that “intensity” is something that doesn’t come naturally for most people – it is a learned experience. It is an important lesson too because you cannot gauge the effort you put into your training if you don’t know what you are capable of. You think you’re working hard but you’ve never truly stepped outside of your comfort zone. The…

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Training for Your First Pull Up

Doing a single pull up is a challenge for most women and even some men. It requires good upper body strength and a reasonable bodyweight. For those who are training to do their first pull up, it can seem like an insurmountable task going from 0 to 1 rep. It’s difficult to gauge progress when you’re unable to do a single rep in any exercise. Fortunately there are a number of ways to build pull up strength without some…

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Specialty of a Strongman

I recently asked a Crossfit coach if he had a specialty. I was curious because I figured if he had a particular area of expertise, I might be able to connect with him on a different level than a CF coach, which I am not. I’m not a Crossfitter, don’t teach it and have no idea what my best Fran time is. But, if this guy was a weightlifter, we might talk about the nuances of the clean &…

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8 Tips for Men Training Strong Women

Reposted from Art & Strength circa 2013 As a trainer of strong women and father of daughters, I think a lot about how to make females strong. The female mindset is much different than my own. Their goals, motives and preconceived notions about training I have to pay careful attention to so I can best help girls get strong. Here’s 8 tips for men training strong women… 1. Respect the differences Everybody has different motives for training, different goals…

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Texting Makes You Weak

There’s an ongoing joke at the gym that “texting makes you weak”. It’s what I yell at people when they get on their phone during a workout. Most of the time it’s to check Facebook or respond to an text message that is anything but urgent. While I say it in a joking manner there’s actually a lot of truth to it. Basically what it comes down to is distraction. You only have so much energy to go around….

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Combating Anxiety & Depression with Exercise

The topic I’m writing about this week has been on my mind a while. I want to be very careful with my words because the people who can relate to what I’m about to say are already suffering quietly behind their computer screens, and nobody knows what they’re going through. I’m talking about anxiety and depression. Depression and anxiety are silent killers that destroy happiness, relationships, careers and, in extreme cases, people. The causes may be different for each…

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Holiday Workout Schedules

With the holiday season coming up we are faced with a nationwide dilemma that occurs every year – excess calorie consumption coupled with a shortage of time to exercise! Beginning with Halloween, Americans have made it tradition to eat their way to a larger waistline to enter the New Year with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning holiday feasts or second helpings of dessert (I do it too) but what I’d like to do is present you with…

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Guide to Lifting Gear

I was asked recently what the standards were at BKC for wearing lifting gear. While I encourage new lifters to train with no gloves, no shoes and no belt; there are reasons for that just as there are reasons for lifting with gear. Here are my recommendations… Raw vs Geared Lifting First let’s highlight the differences between raw and geared lifting as these terms are specific to powerlifting. In most federations, “raw” allows for a belt and sleeves only;…

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