Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week April 4th

Bent over exercise is a great whole body exercise.

You work your hip  flexibility, core, shoulder stability and back strength.  It’s not about how heavy you do it, but how well you do it.  If you do it properly, you will feel the whole body working.

Bent over looks very similar to windmill.  There are few differences.  The windmill starts with one arm up and then down, while the arm goes up as you go down with the bent press, so you focus more on the press.   The depth is more deep with the windmill. You come down vertically and center with the windmill, while the bent press is more to the side focusing on having the arm up perfect align with the arm down as you press.

Here are two videos of how to do the bent press.  One is with the kettlebell and another is with the barbell.

Enjoy.

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April 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Tip for Week Jan 25th

  • Make sure you implement some Kettlebell’s exercises in your training program.

I wrote about kettlebells in my previous blog: discussing what they are, the trend, history and types of Kettlebells. You can find almost everyone from professional athletes, to military units and Hollywood celebrities using kettlebells. So what is the big deal about kettlebells?  There are numerous benefits and reasons for using kettlebells.

  1. First, kettlebells build functional strength. This is the strength you need to perform everyday activities such as picking up several bags of grocery, lifting them into a vehicle and carrying them into your house.
  2. Kettlebell training is a very effective workout because training with kettlebells activates multiple muscle groups and works your body through ranges of motion that most people would not otherwise encounter in the gym. The goal of many kettlebell exercises is to work muscles in conjunction with each other, as they were meant to be used.  The swing, snatch, turkish get-up, and clean and press are perfect examples of exercises that involve almost every muscle in group in the body and they are all staple kettlebell exercise. In other words, you will get a whole body workout in a short period of time.
  3. Kettlebells are an ideal tool for circuit training, which is an extremely effective fat burning method. Due to their versatility you can transition from one exercise to the next smoothly and quickly, without ever putting the kettlebell down or switching weights. This allows you to accomplish more work in less time, which is outstanding for dropping bodyfat because of the high caloric expenditure and the increased level of intensity. An example of such hybrid exercises would include swing+clean+squat+press+windmill.
  4. The weight or leverage of the Kettlebell is centered unlike the dumbbells.  The center of gravity on a kettlebell falls almost 8 inches below the palm of the user’s hand, instead of directly on the center of the palm.  This means kettlebells force the user to balance and stabilize the weight of the kettlebell. These factors work to add difficulty and challenge to a workout.  And the different leverage stimulates the muscles differently.
  5. The thick handle of the Kettlebell force the user to use extra grip work which increases grip strength and creates a reaction to stabilize the shoulder.
  6. Kettlebell is a useful tool for doing power lifts or explosive training.  It is much easier to learn than the traditional Olympic lifts.

As you see, there are lots of benefits in implementing kettlebells into your training program.  Whether you use them for fat loss, cardio, power circuits, strength, rehab, conditioning or endurance, there is something for everyone.

In my opinion, the only bad thing about kettlebells is that it goes up to only a certain weight.  If you want to maximize strength and power, then the load or weight on the kettlebells are limited.  It is a great tool to teach a young athlete or a beginner power lifting with kettlebells (clean, snatch and jerk). However, as the individual progress and gets stronger, they might need heavier weights.  The heaviest kettlebells in the market are 48 kg or 106 lbs.  I have seen some heavier ones but they were custom made.  Most elite athletes can clean, snatch and jerk a lot heavier than that.  When doing circuits, kettlebells are great and challenging tool; however, when their training require high intensity and low volume (to generate more power and reduce the risk of getting injuries) , therefore, barbells will be more suitable in this case.

In summary, kettlebells are for everybody.  It should be use along with your barbells and dumbbells.  Kettlebells can be use in many ways and for different purposes.  If you are a beginner or never use them and want to incorporate them into your workout routine, make sure you find a qualified instructor.  Learn the basic techniques first so you can get the most of kettlebells.

At AF Performance, we have certified kettlebell instructors.  We provide private training and starting a group kettlebell class on February 2nd, 2010 and it will be held every Tuesday night at 6:30 pm.  We will start with techniques first for beginners to learn and advance users who want to freshen up and/or clean up their techniques.  Class is limited to 10 people so call now at 310-895-5385 to reserve your space or for any questions.  Thanks.

January 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Video of the Kettlebell Workshop

Here is a video (short clips) of the Kettlebell workshop that was held at my gym this past weekend.  The workshop was called “The Kettlebell Training in the Age of Quarrel“.  The presenters were Mike Mahler, Steve Cotter, Ken Blackburn, Jason Dolby and Andrew Durniat.  The workshop was 3 days of intense training in kettlebells, indian clubs, joint mobility exercises, dynamic stretching and warm up exercises and Mike spoke about nutrition.  There were lots of sweat and hard work. The workshop was a success.  There were about 40 people altogether including the presenters and the assistants.  People from all around the state (NY, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Florida) and outside of the state (UK, Panama, Costa Rica, Hungary and Canada) attended the workshop.  Not only was it educational for all but everybody made lots of new friends and had lots of fun.  Enjoy the video.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kettlebells as The New Trend

Kettlebells have been around before the World War II.  It was introduced to America in 2000 and it has become the latest trend in fitness today. Kettlebell workouts are intended to increase strength, endurance, agility and balance, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system with dynamic, total-body movements.

History of Kettlebells:

Kettlebells started in Russia.  They are a truly Russian national sport. Since ancient Russia times, Russian people valued physical strength. The strength contests constantly were held in all villages and in towns. The Strongest men were referred to as Bogatir which means extremely strong and honorable man. During that time, kettlebells officially weren’t considered to be a real sport. It was more form of entertainment, part of the social gatherings. After World War II, the weight lifting became popular in Russia and other countries. People were motivated by the idea of winning, getting titles, getting master of sport in athletics title, but nothing like that was offered in Kettlebell sport. Kettlebells, however, still were practiced in villages by farmers, fisher men, military and navy soldiers. The contests kept on being unofficial and as a form of power and strength contests. There were no rules, no regulations, no normative. It was just plain simple. Who will lift the heaviest kettlebell more times was the winner.

In 1960’s more and more contests were held in schools and universities. The rules, regulations, normative were set up. They varied from one place to another and there was no unity in the contest organizations. There were official recordings of the best results but no official normative for the master of sport title. Later there were special normative and regulations for military contestants. In 1970’s kettlebells became part of the United All State Sport Association of USSR but still there were no official set of rules, normative, or standards. In 1985 committee of kettlebell sport was organized. Finally, national rules, regulations, normative, weight categories were set up. In November of 1985, the First National Championship of USSR was held in Lipetsk, Russia.

Types of Kettlebells:

Many companies produce their own brands of kettlebells and kettlebell exercise programs. Some modern kettlebells feature adjustable weights.  Prices vary depending on size and type. You can buy them at PerformBetter.com

  1. Pro – Heavy Metal – Conventional cash-iron kettlebell.  It changes sizes and diameters as weights go up.

kb-blacks1

  1. Vinyl Coated Metal – A well-made cast iron with color-coded vinyl encasement.  Sizes changes with weight changes.kettlebell-vinyl1
  2. Competition Kettlebell – Steel made with color-coded for easy identification.  All KB are the same size and diameter making going up in weight an easier transition.kb-competition1
  3. Some modern kettlebells with adjustable weights – some companies have adjustments at the bottom of the KB, some are re-loadable with powder into a hollow, steel KB.kb-adj22kb-adj1

The trainers at AF Performance Center are certified Kettlebell instructors and trainers.   All of the clients use kettlebells in their training program for either strength, balance, agility, power, endurance and cardiovascular.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Updates on my studio

Hi everybody-

I apologize for not updating my blog.  It has been awhile.  After I found the location, I have been so busy setting up the studio.  I want this studio to be one of kind in Santa Monica.  The studio is called AF Performance Center.  I want a studio with all of the functional training equipment you can think of, from basic tools for beginners to hard core gadgets for training strong-man and professional athletes.  I already have most of the equipments in the studio but I still have more to come by the end of this year.  I already have or will have the following:

  1. Kettlebells including competition Kettlebells,
  2. Elite Power Rack (a good looking, hard core rack, the only one in Los Angeles) with a multi-grip chin-up bar,
  3. Functional Keiser (a sweet, smooth, air compressor equipment for strength, power and functional movements),
  4. Sled (to be pushed and pulled on my 75-foot indoor track),
  5. Slide Board (a fun tool for intervals, you slide side-to-side like hockey players or roller blading)
  6. Olympic Platform with half rack to do Olympic Lifting,
  7. Indian Clubs (great for training your upper body especially strengthening the shoulder complex),
  8. Climbing rope,
  9. Jungle gym (looks like gymnastic rings but with different handles)
  10. Keiser spinning bike (for metabolic training),
  11. Lots of plyometric tools like the Hurdles, Ladders, Cones, Boxes, Steps and many more.
  12. Free weights like dumbells, chains, Olympic bars (the same ones used at the 2008 Olympics) and bumper plates,
  13. Resistance and correction bands,
  14. Reebok Core Board and ab wheel (to get 6-pack abs).

Go to www.AFPerformanceCenter.com and check out some pictures.  I’m very excited and I hope people like what they see and decide to drop by for a visit and become a member.

I love to train everybody like an athlete.  It’s fun and a different kind of workout unlike the usual machine-based fitness program given at all commercial gyms in LA.

I have clients coming from Pasadena (that is a long drive especially during traffic hours) and one person from Riverside.  They love the training and don’t want to go back to commercial gyms.  I’m working on getting testimonials from my clients for my website.

This is it for now.  I personally invite you all to come and visit my studio.  See ya!!!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Video on Kettlebell

Hi everybody-

I have another YouTube Video on Kettlebell. This video took part of my certification with IKFF in Los Angeles, taught and instructed by Steve Cotter and his team. I went to his certification in Singapore but decided to retake my certification and refresh my Kettlebell’s techniques with Steve. The cool part of this class was I got to use the official Kettlebells used in competitions. These kettlebells are all in the same size but are color-weighted differently. The Blue ones I’m using in this video are 12 Kg or 26 Lbs each. The handles on all of the Kettlebells will be the same regardless of the weight so you don’t have to relearn or readjust when you use different weight of Kettlebell, which can screw up your technique. Check it out. Let me know what you think. More videos to come.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Kettlebell Combo #1

Kettlebell Combo #1:

Deadlift, Swing, Flip, Right-arm Clean, Deep Squat, Right-arm Press, Deep Squat, Right-arm Press, switch to Left-arm Clean, Deep Squat, Left-arm Press, Deep Squat, Left-arm Press, switch to Right-arm Snatch, switch to Left-arm Snatch, both hands Swing, and finally a Flip with both hands.

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment