Dumbbell Training Goes Digital

In June, 2006 Matt Brzycki and I published our book “Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness” and we’ve sold nearly 25,000 copies to date. Well, Matt and I are happy to announce that we have finally caught up to the 21st century and now offer our book in digital format. It is currently available through Amazon and can be purchased in either format so if you don’t already have a copy or would like one in digital convenience, please check it out.




If you come to a trainer/coach for motivation then you are not seriously committed to improving your health and fitness. Depending on someone else to get you motivated means you aren’t ready because motivation comes from within. trainer9Too often trainer/coaches are misinterpreted in the media and unfortunately, in real life as well when they stand over their client yelling encouraging words when they really should be coaching your repetitions and teaching. Any schmo can what I refer to as “point and click” and tell you to do 3 sets of 10 reps in an exercise and make you feel beat-up after a workout (by the way, that’s your first sign to not use that person again) and berate you so you work hard. Find a coach, someone who works with your independent needs and before you waste yours and their time, make sure you are ready to commit to improving your health and ready to learn and make fitness a part of your daily life.

So What’s Wrong With Kettlebells?

So what’s wrong with the kettlebell? Well, nothing!

The kettlebell – which can date back to the 1700’s – has grown tremendously in popularity as a productive piece of exercise equipment. Most recently, the kettlebell has been attached to specific exercise protocols and philosophies and consequently, those who use kettlebells today tend to do so in a manner that I would deem unsafe.kettlebellholdoldschool-thumb-440x505 Consequently, the kettlebell (not the user) is misinterpreted and categorized incorrectly based on its current population of users. Exercises such as the snatch, hang clean, the swing which are associated with the kettlebell can also be performed using a dumbbell, sandbag or anything really that allows a secure grip. Conversely, the kettlebell makes a fine tool to use in conventional manners just as a dumbbell or sandbag would. In fact, using a kettlebell instead of dumbbell on certain exercises provides different leverages throughout the movement and adds a whole new dynamic to the exercise. I particularly like the kettlebell for 1-arm overhead presses, rows, curls, hammer curls, squats, suit case deadlifts, shrugs, lateral raises, standing calf raises, side bends, single sided squats and more. All of which provide a different stimulation when using the kettlebell so next time you see a kettlebell, don’t “pooh-pooh” it and ignore its potential for providing a safe and effective workout.

Practice What You Preach

I’m often amused when I read “experts” making recommendations to people when they themselves have little or no experience in what they are recommending.  How would one know what is truly involved unless they engage in it themselves? How does someone recommend performance tips, training strategies or work “with” the individual if he or she themselves haven’t actually engaged in the activities. Well, the answer is, you can’t!  bigbook

I’ve come across on a number of occasions from the self-anointed “world-renown” trainers making suggestions way out of their experience league. For instance, how does someone make specific strength training recommendations to an individual who is  an endurance athlete when he/she themselves don’t know what it’s like to run, bike or engage in functional activities outside the gym? Yes, intellect, research and possibly some common sense can be somewhat of an insight into what should be done, but to make definitive statements without having done so themselves is a level of arrogance and irresponsibility. Now I’m not saying that a person needs to experience every facet of functionality to be a good trainer/coach, but they better darn well have a strong level of expertise inside as well as outside the gym to provide a well-rounded, safe and effective program for their clients.