Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Yin & Yang of Kettlebells - What is real Power?

Russian Kettlebell training has always been seen as hardcore, as strong, as aggressive (or yang) in its movement. But there's a balance. There's a yin side to the training as well.

For those of you who follow the RKC's principles, tension = strength. If you can't generate tension, you can't demonstrate strength.

However, the equation is a little more complicated than it first appears. Power is evidenced by the change in tension per unit of time. So the greater the change in tension through the smaller the amount of time, the greater the power output.

THUS... if you're fairly stiff to begin with, and then you generate an MVC (Maximum Volitional Contraction) in say 0.5 seconds, the change in tension levels isn't going to be that impressive.

However, if you're able to relax your muscles to the point of almost total flaccidity and then generate the same MVC in the same 0.5 seconds, your power output is phenomenally better than if you were stiff.

This is where the concept of "intelligent mobility" comes in to play.

If you spend all day stretching and kneading your body until you're as pliable as Gumby, that's great as far as being able to tie yourself into postures that'll be the envy of everyone at yoga class. But it doesn't necessarily mean jack when it comes to having the power to punch through a car window or an attacker's larynx to save a life.

I first heard this principle from my Combat Shuai-Chiao master's elder son, Sifu James Lin, before I started training with kettlebells under Pavel Tsatsouline. The late Grandmaster Chang Tung-sheng believed that stretching too much can actually inhibit your strength and power. Thus, Master Lin said that it's not good for a fighter to be too flexible.

This is where the Turkish Get-Up & Viking Warrior Conditioning methods come in. The Turkish Get-Up, taught in the FMS-influenced manner, is one of the premier movement patterning exercises in the US today. Its slow, precise movement trains the body to use its musculoskeletal system in the most linked fashion possible, giving you strength and control while developing grace and coordination.

The RKC Hard Style snatch with the VO2 protocols developed by Kenneth Jay train the body like no other to load & explode like a cross between a cheetah and Michael Jordan. When combined with the Turkish Get-Up, these two exercises will help you maximize your human movement potential like few others can!

Who in their right mind wouldn't want to have a physical training regimen that gave them strength through a maximal range of motion?

Who doesn't like the idea of having both the POWER and COORDINATED CONTROL to both pull a child to safety in a crisis situation OR to comfortably handle an unruly person in a non-life-threatening situation?

Who doesn't have a few pounds that they'd like to shave off in the right places?

When Master RKC Kenneth Jay & I hit Irvine, CA to teach our Yin & Yang of Kettlebells workshop at Kettlebells Orange County, be ready for some of the most detail oriented training of your life.

The 4+ hours you spend training with us will leave your brain (and probably a few muscles) aching for more... more insights... more training... more fun... more mobility... and more POWER without bulk.

The available slots may already be sold out. But drop Kingston Heng, RKC, a line at and see if he'll squeeze you in.

The Viking & I are looking forward to seeing you!

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