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

Baltimore Kettlebell Club

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 mental game

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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20 Rep Squat Program

The 20 Rep Squat program is well known as one of the best mass building programs in all of weight training. It’s responsible for huge gains in muscular size, strength and a lesser talked about quality, mental strength. If you do it right, it will build an indomitable will, because it takes such to do it… A lot has been written about 20 rep squats over the years. From Peary Rader, founder of Iron Man magazine in 1936, to…

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StrongFirst Gym


StrongFirst Gym I’m pleased to announce that BKC is now a StrongFirst Gym! What does it mean to be a StrongFirst Gym? It means that our facility, and our instructors, have met the very high standards that have been set by StrongFirst to receive accreditation. What is StrongFirst? StrongFirst is a school of strength that offers classes, workshops and certifications in kettlebell, barbell and bodyweight strength training. Pavel Tsatsouline, the “father” of the modern kettlebell movement, created StrongFirst. A…

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Coaching Kids

coaching kids

I’ve recently become one of those parents on the sidelines watching their kids play sports. It’s super exciting, but I’ve seen a lot of things I don’t like when it comes to coaching kids. Things that are going to end kids’ sporting careers before they even get started. Although my kids are only a couple years into youth sports, I have personally been a coach for over 12 years. So I see things a little bit differently. I look at…

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