Here’s something we rarely talk about (come to think
of it, I’ve NEVER talked about it here):
I got some done about 3 years ago.
My cholesterol was off the charts.
My good friend who hooked me up with the latest, greatest,
high powered blood panels, that included genetic testing.
Long story short, I had 50% of the genetic predisposition
for abnormally high cholesterol.
He suggested I go on a statin medication.
You know what those do to you?
– Suppress your testosterone levels.
– Suppress your sex drive.
– Cause depression, anxiety, dementia, and memory loss.
– Among other things.
No. Thank. You.
(I did some more investigating and discovered that my
high readings were most likely due to the fact that I was
on a fat loss plan at the time and I had more free-fatty
acids floating in my blood stream than I normally would.)
So what’d I do?
I just kept on going baby.
Doing what I was doing.
Because all my other health markers were great.
Blood sugars. Check.
C-reactive protein. Check.
Everything else. Check. Check. Check.
Why am I sharing my personal health info with you and
violating HIPA? (Oh wait, no I’m not – it’s MY info.)
Because your health is important.
Is it more important than strength?
I see it as a false dichotomy.
If you have poor health, you’re not as strong as you could or
But that doesn’t mean that if you work on your health, you’ll
It all comes down to how we choose to define strength.
For me, it’s all one package deal.
Health = Strength.
Strength = Health.
You shouldn’t separate the two.
Here’s what I mean:
If I have chronic inflammation levels then my muscles and
joints aren’t going to operate as well as they should, therefore
no matter how much I press, squat, or swing or even snatch,
I will never make the progress I want.
Seek to get rid of the inflammation first.
On the flip side, I could be the picture of internal health
yet pound my body into oblivion with outdated modes and
methods of training (think jogging or some other form of
1970s / 80s “fitness”) and be doing more harm than good.
Seriously, how many times have you heard of guys who
had a clean bill of health and either dropped dead while out
running or had their joints replaced because they wore them
out from all that repetitive low quality movement?
(This happened to the Head Athletic Trainer at Rutgers
while I was there. Went out for a run – didn’t come home.
His wife found him on the side of the road – massive heart
attack. Fortunately he lived.)
Life is short.
And many people spend the first half of their lives losing
their health and the second half trying to regain it.
So What Can You Do Now… Today?
1. Realize that it’s never too late to “start again” or get a
Carpe diem – Seize the day.
2. Take action!
This one’s obvious and yet not so obvious.
Many times we get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over
and over and over again.
If it’s not working for you, do something else.
3. Start with nutrition.
Noticed how I said “nutrition” – NOT diet?
Eat lean meats. Fruits. Vegetables.
Use seasonings to “spice” it up.
(Get it? Seasonings? Spice?)
For example, cumin, often found in Indian food, has been
shown to reduce inflammation.
And cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity, making your
body store carbs more efficiently.
Repeat for 30 days – heck – 90 days. (That’s til the end
of the summer – not very long…)
Hard to overeat on fruit and veggies.
Seriously, when was that last time you “cheated” on 10
oranges? (That’s about 1000 calories, btw…) It just NEVER
4. Train heavy (-ish).
I know, I know, I know.
I “should” say – “do a bunch of swings.”
And you can do that too.
Just keep the reps low.
I like keeping strength exercises to 1-5 reps to start.
And that progress keeps you motivated.
And that motivation begets MORE progress and results.
Sure, do swings too. 10 reps. Or even 5 and make them
as explosive as possible.
Why strength and low(er) rep swing protocols?
You keep higher quality movement and therefore can burn
more calories per rep.
And of course, you don’t get as sore as you do from traditional
protocols. Which is also a plus on the motivation side.
Here’s the other reason:
Pure strength work doesn’t take as much out of you as most
conditioning workouts – like some of today’s popular MetCon
(I’m not “poo-poo-ing” them – I’m just saying there are times
and places for everything. Keep them there challenges for
when you have conquered your other challenges – like
How ’bout something a little more specific you say?
Sure thing, amigo.
PRINT THIS PART OUT BELOW
So your plan – your MISSION, should you choose to accept
it – for the next 90 days, (if you’re up for the ol’ challenge) is
1. Get your blood work done so you have a baseline. Make
a follow up with your doc for 90 days from now. Get the
appointment on the books to hold yourself accountable.
2a. Get serious about viewing health and strength as one
and the same – so get your nutritional house in order.
2b. Commit to eating for health AND strength – clean all the
junk out of your kitchen – get rid of the chips, crackers, candy,
soda… Pretzels, popcorn, and whatever else you “snack”
on and go to the store and get yourself a week’s worth of your
3 favorite pieces of fruit and your 3 favorite vegetables and
a 3-5 pounds of steak, chicken and fish.
3. Take your physical measurements: Waist size and weight
are good starters.
4. Get on a REAL strength program and stop dinking around.
Plan on training 3 times per week.
5. Plan this in advance – Enjoy your favorite meal once per
week – whatever it is.
The rest of the time you’re making sure your nutrition is right.
Oh yeah, and go for a long walk – 30-60 minutes – 2-3 times
1. Take your measurements again – waist and weight.
If you followed steps 1-4 above you WILL see noticeable
2. Make sure your nutrition is still in check. No junk food
should’ve crept in the house.
3. Keep using your “strength only” plan and walking – add
in one “MetCon” workout per week. That’s it – just one.
(Speaking of one – use the “One” program that’s inside
“Kettlebell STRONG!” – it’s only 10 minutes long so it’ll fit
in nicely with your current schedule. In fact, I’d do it on a
weekend morning, then go for one of your long walks
1. Take your measurements again – waist and weight.
If you’ve followed “all” the steps so far, you’ll see a MAJOR
improvement here – especially if you were really overweight /
out of shape before.
2. Keep on your eating plan. It should be second nature and
habit by now.
3. Keep your 3 strength training days, 1 MetCon workout,
and walking OR…
Switch to 2 strength days and 2 MetCon days.
(Use the “STRONG! program twice weekly and the “One”
program twice weekly – don’t worry – I show you exactly
how to cycle them and set this up inside “Kettlebell STRONG!”.)
4. Get your blood work done on day 90.
Once you’ve completed this plan – you’ll look and feel better
both inside and out with restored youth and renewed confidence.
The best part is that your both your health AND your strength
will have significantly improved.
Now, don’t make the mistake so many other people do –
They quit doing what made them successful and go back
to old destructive habits.
Stick with your new eating plan, your strength training plan
and keep making investments in your life because you
only get this one – may as well make the most of it.
Do me a favor – email me back in 90 days or so and let
me know your before and after results.