While most of us are still spending most of our time in our homes, I wanted to share some workouts you can do in a limited space and time. These Kettlebell workouts will work your core, provide good cardio, and even help with your posture.
View the playlist below to choose your kettlebell workout. Bookmark this page so you can check back for new workouts and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get updated even faster.
If you’re looking for more comprehensive workout help, send me a message. I provide online nutrition and fitness services to help you stay fit and keep up with your routine during this unprecedented time.
“I didn’t use to take time to appreciate my body, and the last 15 years my weight has been up and down. I knew when I started Precision Nutrition that it would be the last thing I tried. I feel like I’m at my best right now—it was a year of fun, excitement, change, and triumph.”
“Precision Nutrition Coaching has been an investment in myself on a long-term, consistent basis. That was a huge change from what I used to do — trying to get into shape on a short-term basis where I would just get burned out and go back to my old habits. And coaching really gave me a person who was looking out for me and helped me stay consistent.”
Give me one year. You’ll get in the best shape of your life — or your money back.
Stick with me for a full year and follow my recommendations. If you don’t get what you’re looking for at the end of the year, I’ll give you a full refund. You get to decide if the program was worth it. Why do I do this? Because I stand by my work. I know you’ll walk out healthier and happier than ever before. All you have to do is take the first step.
Being out of shape and overweight can be stigmatizing. You’re reminded of it each day when you look in the mirror and put on clothes. Television and magazines pound unattainable images of good-looking fit people into our minds multiple times throughout the day. It’s no wonder it takes such a big mental and emotional toll on us. When these images end up being our ideal, we have created a mountain that cannot be climbed.
Every January, I see people take on grand New Year’s resolutions in a quest for their perfect self. While these efforts are noble, only about one percent of people actually stick to whatever program or changes they’ve started. You’ve probably seen it yourself: your local gym packed with new people eager to make changes for the first six to eight weeks of the year. But by March it’s back to business as usual. That’s because it’s tough to change habits that have been formed over decades.
People typically take on too much, too soon. It is more effective to start with modest changes that allow you to make long-term adjustments to your habits and routines. Trying to add in a new exercise routine while also trying to make changes to a diet is a huge undertaking. If there isn’t an immediate sense of progress, negativity creeps in and the goal seems out of reach.
By making small changes in my own life, I moved from exercising sporadically and eating poorly to becoming a fitness coach. And at 40 years old, I’m as fit as I have ever been. Before I decided I was going to quit my desk job and become a trainer it was important to me to “walk the walk.” I didn’t want to be a trainer or coach who couldn’t follow my own advice. I certainly didn’t go from A to Z with a snap of the fingers like you see advertised with a diet or exercise fad. I was commuting two to three hours a day and sitting in an office for eight hours a day. Yikes! Ten plus hours a day of sitting at a desk under constant stress and living on a poor diet caused me to gain weight and have unbearable migraines.
I decided to start small. My modest goal was to add 30 minutes of any type of exercise, three times a week. I joined a small little gym down the street that I passed by to and from work every day. I had no workout plan. My only goal was to get to the gym—even if it was to walk on a treadmill. I focused on this behavior change and the process of getting to the gym rather than some large, overwhelming outcome like obtaining a perfect body. If I got to the gym, I considered it a win. I just needed to start moving again.
Most weeks I did the minimum of three 30-minute visits, but other times I got in an extra fourth or fifth time. Sometimes I stayed 60 minutes, and of course I missed some. If I missed a visit, I didn’t beat myself up or dwell on it. I immediately forgot about it and moved on.
Over those first few months I really started to feel better. It was odd, but each visit made it easier to get there the next time. It created this domino effect of healthier choices outside the gym, too. I wasn’t staying out as late or drinking as much because I didn’t want to miss my gym time. If I did drink or stay out late, I made myself suck it up and go to the gym anyway. I really hated those days.
Many years later while studying behavior change, I learned that LASTING behavior change is best done little by little by creating Tiny Habits. Dr. B.J. Fogg, a behavior expert at Stanford University, has created a behavior model that shows that for a behavior to occur, three things must be present: motivation, ability and a trigger (B= MAT). I had unknowingly followed this model in my own experience. I had really wanted to add in a new behavior—exercise—so my motivation was high. The goal of three visits and nothing more made my ability to accomplish it very high. My trigger was that I passed this gym twice a day. I had followed an ideal plan, by accident mind you, to create a lasting behavior.
Simplicity matters more than motivation, so keep the new behavior simple. Once you achieve your newly desired behavior congratulate yourself—affirmative emotions help create these habits. While seeming silly and irrelevant, congratulating yourself is a huge key to how fast you form habits. Success leads to success. Whatever the larger end goal, it will always come down to small daily habits like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy breakfast or going to the gym. You have to follow the day-to-day program and build. Tie your happiness to the PROCESS instead of the achievement of your goal.
So with summer now here, don’t fall into the trap of a large abstract goal like getting pool ready. Instead, find something small you can attach to an existing routine. By focusing on the behavior change itself and the process, you can develop long-lasting healthy habits.
It’s springtime. Time for flowers, rain, NCAA March Madness and, in CrossFit circles, time for the CrossFit Open. The first stage of the CrossFit Games, the Open is a five-week tournament geared toward every age and skill level, ages 12 to 60 and up. If our only exposure to CrossFit is what we see in the CrossFit Games on television not many of us would want to get near it. It’s amazing what those athletes can do. Not many people can accomplish 21 power cleans at 205 pounds and 28 ring handstand push-ups all in under 12 minutes. It’s craziness! To me it’s like any pro sport. Just because we can’t do what professional football players can do in the NFL on Sundays doesn’t mean we stop playing catch with the football in the backyard.
Still, people tend to be intimidated by CrossFit. They’ve seen or heard it’s too intense with lots of heavy weights and difficult exercises (like those mentioned above) and they feel like they don’t have any business going into a CrossFit gym. But no matter the sport or exercise program, you need to try it out for yourself. Every good CrossFit gym (or box as they’re called) will bring you on board and up to speed in a way that matches your fitness level and ability.
Most boxes are composed of people ages 12–60+ who are going to school, working or raising kids, and they’ve come to CrossFit just like you to get fit. “Fit” or “fitness” as defined by CrossFit founder Greg Glassman is increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This means the work must be measurable and you must do more work—move more weight, do more reps, go farther distances all in less time. If we don’t have something to track and measure then we fall into the endless cycle of exercising and dieting while making no progress in the long term. This is how we tell if an exercise program is working.
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements per-formed at high intensity: squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, gymnastics, weights (both barbells and dumbbells), plus rowing, jump rope, running, and biking. A good CrossFit box will have certified coaches knowledgeable about teaching you these functional movements. This will be your foundation, learning how to move your body well in space through all manner of movements. Good coaches will progress you slowly and when appropriate.
CrossFit’s aim is to get you ready for anything life can throw at you. GPP, General Physical Preparedness, means you can do a little of everything. It’s better to be well rounded versus only being really good at one thing. It’s not very useful in life to be able to run 20 miles if you can’t even squat a barbell, or the inverse of squatting 400 pounds but can’t run one mile without wanting to throw up.
This is what the CrossFit Games and CrossFit Open are designed to test, to find the fittest person in the world—someone who can do everything well. If you want to be stronger and healthier and are sick of the normal group classes and monotonous cardio programs then CrossFit is a perfect way to change it up.
Take a long view when starting any new program and treat it as you would marathon training. You don’t run the race distance on the first day: it takes months. Fitness and health is a slow process that requires consistency and patience. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you want to learn barbells lifts, swim, golf or, in this case, CrossFit, the mentality is the same; start at the level you’re at, learn the basics and slowly challenge yourself. Like a scorecard in golf, you’ll only know you’re getting better if you track and measure what you’re doing. Good luck and I hope to see your name in the next Open.
Dale Barr is a devoted father of two young boys and has committed himself to staying active and fit, while helping others do the same. He has been a personal trainer for more than 10 years and has coached CrossFit for five years. He finished the 2017 CrossFit Open ranked 186th in the world in the Masters Men 40–44 age group. The top 200 qualify for the four-day regional event starting April 20, 2017. The top 20 from the regional advance to the CrossFit Games. For more information on Dale Barr’s fitness program, visit d3fitness.com. To learn more about the CrossFit Games, visit games.crossfit.com.
Does this sound familiar? You have a long day at work, just a coffee for breakfast, skip lunch, come home and get dinner ready for the kids but nothing for yourself. So what do you do? You end up eating the leftover chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese and chase it down with a glass of wine or two. Or, you stop to grab something for dinner on the way home, say chicken tenders and some fries for the kids and you just “have a few” for yourself.
Eating a healthy diet is difficult if you have limited food choices, bad habits, a tight schedule and parenting obligations. Many people think they can make up for their poor food choices by spending extra time in the gym. A fact: You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. It’s simply not possible. Many factors go into being fit and healthy: sleep, stress management, exercise and nutrition to name a few. The last one, nutrition, affects all of the others and is 80 percent of the game.
All of the difficulties of eating well are multiplied when taking into account our children. It’s easy as parents to skip our own needs because we’re so busy in all of our other tasks. Parenting is already high stress and when we add in lack of sleep and not eating (or eating poorly) we’re on the track to being overweight. Remember that small and healthy choices add up and can make all the difference in the long run.
At our home we try to plan our meals each week, and yet we still look forward to getting out of the house for dinner and treating ourselves occasionally. As a parent, I look at restaurants differently, especially when it comes to the “kids menu.” By and large the choices are laughable. With such staples as chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza and hot dogs, all with a side of French fries and juice to drink, it’s no wonder we have a childhood obesity problem in our country.
Here are a few strategies our family uses to eat healthy and stay fit with the unforgiving schedule of working parents:
BE PREPARED – This is far and away the most important and all-encompassing rule. Try to decide your meals and prep them each week, prepare meals that can be made quickly, and have meals or snacks available that can bridge time gaps.
For example, we use Sunday to grocery shop and decide our menu for the week. Then we prep or pre-cook as many of the meals as we can. That saves us time during the week when we’re trying to get kids into the bath and bed and are short on time to make dinner. Trying to decide what we should eat as it gets later and later in the evening eliminates many healthy choices. If we’ve already cooked a few chicken breasts Sunday night for our “emergency” meals during the week, we can just warm them up quickly with some veggies and we’ve got a great meal for all of us.
Make sure you have healthy foods that get you from work, school or practice to home. We’ve been driving home with the boys and they’re so hungry they’re crying and screaming in the backseat. We’re hungry and cranky too and if we don’t do something now we may just drive off of a bridge (kidding)! Fast food isn’t the answer, so we make sure to have apples, grass-fed beef jerky, almonds and cashews with us at all times. This doesn’t seem like much but it has gotten us through many meltdowns with hungry boys. If it’s post-practice for older children or post-workout for you, have a protein shake or something similar to help speed recovery until your next meal.
FEED THEM WHAT YOU EAT – Kids can be picky, but they’re also a blank slate and malleable when it comes to food. You don’t have to limit them to only foods you like, or only foods on the “kids menu.” When we eat out we feed our kids from our plates or we order them an adult meal to split. A steak Caesar salad or chicken avocado sandwich is far better than hot dogs or macaroni. Don’t dumb down what you’re eating to placate to them. Chicken nuggets are easy, but so is a roasted or grilled chicken breast. Conversely, don’t use your child as an excuse to order the macaroni for your indulgence.
MAKE THEM TRY FOODS MULTIPLE TIMES – My wife likes to say a kid needs to try a food ten times before we give up on it. I’m not sure where she got this rule, but it’s served us well. There will be foods the kids don’t like, sure, but they seem to be few and far between. If you keep presenting a food in a variety of ways your child will at some point eat it. Other than spicy foods we have yet to come across much of anything our kids won’t eat.
GET HELP – Try one of the many outlets that do the shopping or cooking for you. There are a lot of good, reputable companies at different price points that do everything from grocery shop to prepare and cook meals for you. Power Supply, Plated, Green Chef, Relay Foods and Blue Apron are a just a few. For us, if we spend $70 for two nights worth of healthy, organic food delivered to our door and it keeps us from eating out at a restaurant then we’ve saved money and eaten better.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet is a challenge we all face and is a major part of the fitness equation. Raising children can make this battle even more daunting. Use these tips and ideas to lessen the stressful, last minute choices that can undermine a healthy lifestyle and help your family navigate this daily challenge. Just in time for the holidays, too!
Dale Barr is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), as well as a Certified Venice Nutrition Coach and CrossFit Level I and CrossFit Endurance Coach. For more information visit d3fitness.com.