What’s YOUR Story? Sonny B. Was “Really Pissed Off”

Friday is upon us.

And many people (hopefully not you) are looking
forward to the “escape” from the weekly grind that
the weekend provides.

Speaking of escapes, sometimes people feel “trapped”
in this whole workout thing.

Or trapped by it.

They’ve invested long hours only to be disappointed
by the lack of visible results.

There’s a very good reason for that – assuming they
aren’t slackers.

Their bodies simply aren’t equipped to handle
the workout they’re currently doing.

It’s literally too much for them, even though they
may “feel” like it’s manageable.

I know that sounds kind of strange – but did you ever
wonder why you couldn’t just swing your kettlebell
and have the fat magically disappear as was originally

I mean, what’s the deal?

Why isn’t this stuff working for you the way you think
it should?

That’s why I came up with the 4-Stage Cycle For
Perpetual Progress. 

(You can learn exactly how that works here.)

And that’s why I put together my Kettlebell Secrets
Insider Coaching

However –

You may be on the fence about becoming a member.

Maybe you couldn’t relate to the case studies I
showed you –

After all, let’s be real here –

How many women have visible abs like Debbie?

Or can see themselves having abs like her?

(Not to take anything away from her – she looks great
in my opinion – and obviously she feels great about
herself, which she should.)

Or how many guys would love to look like Aaron,
but feel like they’re too far away and that’s out of
reach. Shoot, they’d settle for dropping 20 pounds
and keeping it off…

That’s why I asked KSIC member Sonny B. (out
of respect for his privacy we’re not using his last
name) if he could tell his story.

Sonny’s not your “usual” success story or case study.

He started the KSIC at over 300 pounds.

That’s right – over 300 pounds.

And –

He was really pissed off.

(His words, not mine.)

And with his permission, he’s allowed me to share
his story with you in hopes that it will help you get
to where you really want to be.

The best part of Sonny’s story?

He gives you a blow-by-blow account of what he
was experiencing – good and bad – over his 8
months in the KSIC.

That also means you’ll get a slight peak into how
the entire program is structured and some of the
exercises we use.

And you’ll see some “failures” inside Sonny’s
story, because as much as we’d like it to be, life’s
not always sunshine and lollipops.

I’ve put this in a “magalog” format – included
in this email so you can easily read it.

Here we go –

Hello Geoff…

How are you doing Sir???  As I told you at the start of this, being active on FB and posting personal information about myself, is not who I am and will be very difficult for me.  I know you said we could use this email account, so this is my attempt to update you on my personal progress with KSIC.  I fully expect positive results from this program. I do apologize for my lack of timely updates, please do not take this as a failure to commit to your programming, but more so of a person not being comfortable with sharing personal information about himself on the internet.  I know you understand what I am talking about…

I’m a 44 year old white male, husband / father of 4 / grandfather; 5’10”, 308 lbs, I love to liftheavy objects like kettlebells, rocks, sand bags, tires, logs, etc.  I really don’t like to run, but I do walk for 30 – 60 mins 5-6 days a week.  I’ve been big most of my life, over 200 lbs since I was 13 years old and even though I always followed the right healthy high carb diets my waist line rarely seemed to improve and steadily increased.

About 15 years ago, I started learning about and dealing with metabolic syndrome.  I realized I really couldn’t handle many forms of carbs without adverse reactions and started following lower carb diets.  My weight went down then back up a couple of times over the years, but I mainly stayed the same or increased slightly.  A little more than 3 years ago, while following the South Beach Diet, I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. The American Diabetes Diet recommendations made/make no sense to me at all so I tried to again tweak my diet and committed to a low carb Palio style diet and began taking Metformin.  Along with a very active workout schedule I have been able to keep my blood sugars with in acceptable ranges and well managed, but losing weight has been slow going.

Physical issues:  ACL tear on right knee, repaired in high school; tight shoulders, left ankle and hips; torn ACL in left knee about 2 years ago, but due to a very stable knee the doctor decided to only remove the ACL without doing a repair, I have full use of the knee but I feel like I’m still trying to get my strength leveled out.

My current 9 year profession is working from home for a major medical insurance carrier where I spend 8 – 12 hours a day in front of a computer, talking on a phone, video conferencing and mostly sitting on my butt.  I do have a desk that allows me to stand, but it’s not easy to do while typing all day.  I really need to figure out a way of fixing that and standing up more during work.

I have worked out hard, just not smart for most of my life. I had mainly followed bodybuilding style workouts, which really didn’t seem to produce sustainable long term results, then power lifting and strong man for a while as well. Several years ago I realized my REAL desire and overall goal has always really been to be STRONG! That’s when I found out about kettlebells.

Started working out with kettlebells about 8 years ago, using mainly programs by Mike Mahler and to a lesser extent Pavel.  Even though I learned later that I should have started with single kettlebell work, double KB’s always appealed to me and just seemed to make more sense. I learned about the Kettlebell Secrets Podcasts and you a few years later and started following your newsletter. I used several of the workouts you talked about as well as the Double Kettlebell Clean and Jerk (LCCJ) program by Pavel.

Your newsletter led me to my first program of yours Kettlebell Muscle, which I really enjoyed and sang your praises on the StrongFirst Forum.  Using two 16 kg bells, it was the most difficult program I had ever completed, I did see improvement (lost some fat, gained some muscle).  KBM was my favorite program at the time, I saw progressive results but it really kicked my butt at times.

However I may have been dealing with some exhaustion issues or more likely reflexive stability issues at the time.  Not sure what to do next, I went back to the DC&J (LCCJ) program, which seemed to make my issues a little worse.

I had injured the ACL in my left knee, during the week off after KBM, hiking in the woods hunting for mushrooms I fell into a washed out creek bed.  I could not use the knee very well, but I could still Clean and Press a pair of kettlebells.

Again upon your suggestion after KBM, I got Kettlebell STRONG!  I thought KBM was great, but I have to say I love everything about KBS, it is simple but not easy and it truly helped me to finally understand progressive overload as it should be used.

I started the program in May 2013 and followed it slow and steady using a pair of 24 kg kettlebells.  There was a SIGNIFICANT increase in my over all strength and my body composition changed for the better.  I started looking and feeling more like I trained as hard as I did on a daily basis.

I completed Strong in October, then spent a month practicing the other lifts in KBS.  Had my left knee surgery in November, the doctor was very surprised that I had completely torn the ACL because he said my knee stability was very good.

After some discussion he advised that because of that stability there really wasn’t a need to repair the ACL and just removed it from the knee.  This greatly reduced my recovery time as I only spent the next couple of months rehabbing that knee, doing OS rests as I could then started my come back to kettlebells with 6 weeks of swings.  After so much success with KBS I decided to test my rep max with the 24’s and restarted the program at week 30, working KBS to completion with much success.

Again I found myself in the same familiar situation of not knowing what to do next???

As always there you were Geoff with another great program Kettlebell Burn EXTREME! RPFL, of course I got it as quickly as I could and dove in.  I really hoped this program would yield similar results to your others and be the next step toward meeting my goals, I started in late April 2014… it really is a well designed and very intense program, I followed your plan as written for diet and training.

I did see some progress and lost a little more then 15 pounds doing the first 6 weeks, but I also started having some real issues with being able to complete the workouts after the first month.

I was working long hours, fatigue and an inability to recover from the workouts were getting to me.  I tried to push through, but during week 9 I had no choice but to stop the program.

By the end of June I was completely wasted, unable to recover from my workouts or even complete the workouts as you had written them.  I felt so bad not being able to continue, but looking  back on it now, it was probably the smartest thing I could have done at the time.  If I hadn’t I probably would have ended up injured and back on the rehab and recovery plan.

I again floundered not sure what to do with myself, trying to figure out something I could do with my kettlebells to stay active and improve myself.  So I again returned to the LCCJ program of Pavel’s using 24’s, then later combined it with the Strong program doing FSQ with a pair of 32 kg bells.

Using progressive overload I was able to steadily make increases in my numbers, while waving my loads and getting my left leg strength back.

I really enjoyed this program, but my physical composition was not improving as I thought or expected that it should.

In October of 2014 you sent out emails regarding your new program Kettlebell Secrets Inside Coaching.

I read and re-read those emails over and over again, almost in a completely stunned state.  You really seemed to be speaking directly to me…  all of the issue’s you described coming  from a lack of reflexive stability were problems I have had for many, many years and come to find out that those issues were actually keeping me from making the progress that I had worked so hard for, quite frankly really pissed me off!!!

Trying to be a responsible husband and father, my head told me I shouldn’t spend all that money on myself so I could do yet another kettlebell workout.  But my experiences with your almost daily emails, KBM, KBS, OS and everything else told me that this may finally been the missing piece I needed to get moving in the right direction and help me to achieve my goals.

– Be the Strongest person I can be for my family – Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually
– Learn to identify ALL of my weaknesses and correct them
– Build Muscle & Burn Fat to get my body back to the way it is meant to be – Healthy and Strong
– Lose 60+ lbs of fat and get down to 240 lbs range
– To train hard and look like I train hard

Month 1:
This was a difficult month for me, I had never been into body weight work, then I read what you said during the months leading up to you introducing KSIC…  my thought had always been that adding weight made everything better.  I never understood what a body weight exercise could do for me that a weighted exercise couldn’t.

This month was very demanding, loss of breath and overall physical exhaustion.  The reboot seemed to create an internal fire that was very intense, several areas of pops and cracks early in the month, but they did ease later.  Really starting to feel my X getting tied together.

RRMW – I did see many improvements in my movement and recovery, much improved overall mobility, less stiffness, better shoulder mobility, gluts are active again for the first time in many years.  By the end of the month moving much better, didn’t drop any weight but much less pain.

First Workout A: 1.5 rounds                      Last Workout A: 3 rounds
First Workout B:  2 rounds                        Last Workout B: 3 rounds

Month 2:
Loved being back on a Strength Program, even though it’s with a single KB, as I said I have never been a fan.  I am however now beginning to understand the advantages of single KB work to get my body back in balance.  My midsection if on fire and my X is really getting tied together.

You said we were going to work the pelvic floor, but I had no idea how much, I don’t know that I’ve ever really felt my pelvic floor as much as I do now, like you said sitting and surgery are not good.  Those exercises were difficult, but I know I have never had that much control of my floor before this.  I think spending all of those years doing primarily double KB work allowed one side to compensate for the other and hide some of the issues I have been having for years.

Really starting to understand the benefits of the Get Up and Bottom’s Up work…  wishing I had started learning and using them years ago.

RRMW 2.0 – Feeling my abs like never before, just wish I could see them better.  Body feeling more tied together, tighter (in a good way), definitely stronger than I was before this month.  I have always followed your programs to the letter, the only thing I have every added was loaded carries, all versions of them with KB’s, rock’s, sand bags. They just always seemed to make sense to me as a great all over exercise and you always know you worked hard the following day.  So nice to see you added them into your program.  Weight did not change again this month, but feeling and moving much better.

First Workout A: A1 A2 B1 B2 16kg, C 24kg bell            Last Workout A:  A1 A2 20kg, B1 B2 16kg, C 24kg
First Workout B: A1 16kg, A2 B1 B2 C 24 kg bell           Last Workout B:  A1 20kg, A2 B1 B2 C 24kg

Month 3:
This was a very difficult month…  What did I ever due to deserve the Hindu Push Ups, these things really suck, but I worked through them and learned to love to hate them.

The swings were nice and felt good.  Really loving the Get Ups more and more every time I do them, even though they are not easy.  Starting to understand why the old time strong men put so much of an emphasis on this exercise.  I have attempted the single leg deadlift before, but never used it regularly.

Gluts are on fire and this seemed to have some positive effects on my core and overall stability, kinda liking this exercise and really tried to push it.  Workout C – back to KBM world with The Chain this seemed more like a strength workout and I really liked it, but it did get me winded.  As mentioned above, always walking on my off day and twice as much on the weekends.  Been doing contrast and cold shower’s since RPFL, feels good and seems to help with recovery, but not  sure if I have had much of a benefit as far as fat loss.

I have always followed your diet recommendations in all of your programs and your logic behind them has always made since to me.  I have followed IF for several years now, usually only eating twice a day with the first meal being in the late afternoon, usually after my workout.  Even with the restrictive diet and Metcon focus this month, I gained 13 lbs.  This really bothered me, I was never excessively hungry and didn’t cheat once.  I followed the program.  I’m trying to stay positive and continue with the program.
I understand your point of view regarding carbs, but with my diabetes I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for me???  Could this still be related to my lack of reflexive stability?  Will wait and see what happens…  Ended the month at 321 lbs.

First Workout A:  A2 B2 20 kg                                  Last Workout A:  A2 B2 20 kg
First Workout B: A1 A3 B1 B2 16 kg, A2 24 kg       Last Workout B: A3 B1 B2 16 kg, A2 A4 20 kg
First Workout C:  A1 A2 24kg                                    Last Workout C:  A1 A2 24kg

Month 4:
Loved being back on a muscle building program again, I haven’t done a lot of singles work over the years.  Already loving the GU’s and quickly started felling the same about the SLDL.  Apparently from sitting on my butt all day long, I have had some issues with my backside, the SLDL really worked my gluts and I have noticed a huge change in how they work and feel.   The Dead Stop / Power Swings I have done before after reading an article by Mark Reifkind,  I was able to really get that 32 kg bell up and hover around chest level.   Back to Complexes – as they always have, kicking my butt and worked me really hard.  Got a really good pump and very winded most of the time.

Followed your guidelines for nutrition but stayed more on the lower carb side.   While over eating and at times forcing myself to eat, I was not able to lose any of the weight I gained last month, finished the month again at 321 lbs

First Workout A: A1 20 kg, A2 24 kg, B 32 kg        Last Workout A: A1 24 kg, A2 32 kg
First Workout B:  24 kg                                               Last Workout B: 24 kg
First Workout C:  A1 36, A2 24kg/60, C 32 kg       Last Workout C: A1 45, A2 24 kg, C 32 kg

Month 5:
Started RRMW 3.0 this month, I’ve got a love hate thing going on with this Reflexive Stability work, but it is changing the way I feel on a daily basis for the better…  It is all so hard, I would much rather grab a pair of heavy bells and go to town with them, I can push myself really hard like that.

You make it all look so easy in the video’s and they just seem to point out my weaknesses and issues, its difficult doing something shows you how many issues you really have and how much further you have to go to get better, but I’m doing them.

Pumps are getting better and not as taxing as they originally were.  Hip Flexor stretches really show how tight my hips and shoulders really are, but I am noticing improvements.  (Half) Sit Out, this looked so cool when you did it, but it was rather ugly when I first started.  Left shoulder popped over and over again, about week 3 I noticed that it had stopped and seemed to be more fluid, but still get winded doing them.  The Shin Box is completely new to me, half was ok, but had to continue using my hands on both of the other versions in order to complete them, belly still too big (something still too tight) but they still feel really good.

Really getting into the single work and it’s amazing to me how much core activation is required to do the Bottoms Up work, I never would have imagined that to be the case.  I really tried to focus on my form and make sure every rep was as good as I could make it.  I again stayed with a lower carb version of your nutrition guidelines, after month 3 I’m concerned about gaining weight again.  I am seeing improvements in body composition, cloths are feeling looser, shoulders, arms, chest are all filling out my shirts nicely, traps are looking good,  but my weight isn’t decreasing as I had hoped or would like.  I was able to lose 3 of the 13 lbs I gained during month 3, now at 318 lbs.  I’m pretty sure I’m losing fat and gaining muscle, but I can’t believe that I am losing fat and gaining muscle by the same amount over and over again???   Even if this is the case, I NEED to lose more fat than that!

First Workout A:  2 circuits, 16 kg                   Last Workout A:  2 circuits, 16 kg
First Workout B:  1 circuit, 16 kg                    Last Workout B:  2 circuits, 16 kg

Month 6:
Love being back on a strength workout, entire month of training went really well, progressed nicely from workout to workout, felt really strong, I can really notice the difference from the reflexive stability work.

Only issue I had was with the L-Sit/Tuck Sit, I was able to hold myself up, but keeping my legs/knees up were something I struggled with all month long.  This was probably due to my weight and also due to my need for continued reflexive stability work.  I’ve also noticed some of my prior  shoulder pain issues starting to come back, that hadn’t appended since the first & second month of KSIC.

As I said before, your nutrition guidelines make complete sense to me and I’ve followed them for several years with different programs.  I see no reason why they should not be effective.  The  carb loads/refeeds and starches really mess with me.  I get bloated very quickly and always feel bad, when I consume almost any kind of carbs.  And running to the bathroom after was exhausting too, even after something as “good” as a sweet potato.  I do continue to see body composition changes, belt went down one notch.  I look more fit and trim and  I feel better, but I’m not losing the fat as quickly as I want or need to do.  I finally came to the realization that no matter how good your diet programs are, they might not be the best option for me with my issues, specifically being diabetic.

After much research I decided to stop following your diet recommendations and started to follow a Ketogenic / Low Card High Fat plan of 75-80% Fat, 15-20% Protein and 5% Carbs without any refeeds or carb loading.  I continued with Intermittent Fasting and the simple method of eating twice a day, skipping breakfast, mid sized afternoon meal usually after a workout then a second bigger meal later in the day.  By the end of the month I had lost 9 lbs, finished up at 309 lbs and I seemed to be more stable, no big swinging in mood or energy levels.  My wife appreciated really that and noticed a big difference.

First Workout A:  A1 10, A2 5, A3 5 all 24 kg                Last Workout A: A1 10, A2 5, A3 5 all 28 kg
First Workout B:  A1 A2 A3 6 reps all 24 kg                  Last Workout B:  A1 A2 A3 8 reps all 24 kg

Month 7:
I can’t tell you how much this months Fat Loss program worried me…  after putting on 13 lbs during month 3, while I was trying to lose fat I was completely beside myself.  I spent a good amount of time trying to determine what I could do to see the bigger more substantial improvements I needed, when I found out about Keto/ LCHF.  The higher fat intake was very satiating, I would often forget to eat and end up eating a smaller meal late in the evening and not wake up the next morning needing more food.  The fat is coming mainly from coconut oil, grass fed butter (love both of these), olive oil and fattier cuts of meat.  The only carbs I really get now are from greens, mainly coming from spinach, broccoli and olives).  It is really weird eating a diet made up mainly of the very thing I have been told all my life to avoid.  I am seeing improvements in many areas and will continue to follow this dietary program.  During this month I lost 8 lbs and ended the month at 301 lbs.

Workout A is my kind of fat loss exercise program, really heavy and really hard, I loved this.  I was huffing and puffing, heart pounding out of my chest after every set.  Trying to hold that rack position was at times very difficult.  Left shoulder starting to pop more, sit outs are becoming more difficult and noticing a little bit of pain in my right shoulder now too.

Finally stopped being stubborn and asked you about it on FB, then posted videos. Dude!!!  I know you do this a lot, but you have no idea how hard that was for me to put myself out there like that.  I train by myself for myself, I don’t look in mirrors and no one is around watching me, except when I go outside for a change.  Then the neighbors all look at me like I’m some freaking weirdo.  Anyway, I’m glad I did put the video out there for you to critique so I can learn, grow and expose myself to the world a little bit too.  Workout B felt like a true MetCon, kicked my butt and I really liked it too, not as much as A, but it was still a good month, felt strong.

I always walk, 30 mins a day minimum and at least an hour on off days, started working up to a 2 hour walk at least once a week after reading a post by Mark Reifkind regarding the  best fat loss exercise.  I had been thinking of increasing my walking for a while now too, I have read/heard many stories over the years of people walking to lose significant amounts of weight, your father included.  Also it feels like something I need to do to combat my weekly job of sitting on my butt.

First Workout A:  4 ladders 28 kg                        Last Workout A:  6 sets 28 kg
First Workout B:  15 sets 24 kg                       Last Workout B:  4 ladders 24 kg

Month 8:
This was another good month, down 10 more pounds, finished the program at 291 lbs as of 6/29/15, a weight loss of 17 lbs during the 8 months (excluding the 13 lbs gain).
First time I have been under 300 since I tried your RPFL program and I felt good.  That really doesn’t seem like an accurate number, I feel and look like I have lost more than that.  I’m sure the body composition changes were more significant, but the body fat scales I currently have are only showing a drop of 2% body fat (from 40% down to 38%) since the start of the program.  It’s an older model body fat scale, more than 10 years old, it’s probably not as accurate as the newer models?  I understand they are not supposed to be accurate, I only used it to see if there was a body fat change, which there didn’t seem to be much based on those scales.

Did workout A with my new 28 kg bells, clean and push press felt really good for 30 mins.  My new Renegade bells however really messed up my hands, split one callus open on left hand and tore another one open about half way on my right.  Got both back to working order and used protection on my callus line a little bit at the beginning of the month, by the end I was not using any extra protection.  Workout B felt good too and again with your directions my press felt much improved.  Adding back in a couple of Get Ups before my workouts also helped to improve the shoulder issues very quickly.

Another good month and it felt like a really good end to the KSIC program.  I feel really Strong and tied together.

First Workout A:  12 sets / 30 mins 28 kg            Last Workout A:  10 sets / 30 mins 28 kg
First Workout B:  13 sets / 30 mins 28 kg         Last Workout B:  10 sets / 30 mins 28 kg

I have really enjoyed this KSIC program, your 4 stages have made a world of difference in my training and body.

I have been working out for many years but have never seen as much progress as I have during the last 8 months with KSIC.

You were completely correct when you said at the start that if my reflexive stability was off, I would not be able to obtain the results I was capable of.

I had no idea how many issues I actually had, how much of it was preventing me from making progress, and how much reflexive stability work I needed and still do.

I feel so much better, I can move around with out pain, squat down and get up with no pain, no more moaning and grunting like an old man anymore when I move, and no more working through the pain during every workouts.

I can recuperate much quicker than before and come back better than I have been able to do so for many many years.  There were so many little things that got better with out me even realizing it.

Late in month 7 I realized that the stiffness I had felt in my left ankle for about a year prior to KSIC was gone.  I don’t know when it got better, it just did and one day I remembered I used to have an issue with my ankle, but no longer.

I still do not look good naked, but there has been a significant enough of a change that I and my family can see a difference.  I can also see my improvements in the reactions of people who have not seen me for some time.

I work from home and rarely need to go into the office, however I did have to do so for one week in February during month 4.  I hadn’t seem most of these people in person for about a year, during which time I had completed the Strong! program and started KSIC, both of which had made changes to my physique.

I noticed that the demeanor of the people I see out in public and at work had changed around me.  They were checking me out, looking at my broader upper body and trimmed midsection and they always seemed have a big smile on their faces.

I know it’s a little superficial but it really felt good and it’s a nice feeling to get that unspoken acknowledgement that all of the hard work is showing.

I know there is so much more I feel like I should and want to tell you, but I think I should finally end this by just saying Thank You.

KSIC lived up to your promises and my expectations.

I was able to see significant improvements in all area’s, I feel better, I move better, I am stronger, I’ve lost fat and gained muscle.  What more could anyone ask?

THANK YOU AGAIN GEOFF!!!!  Appreciated You…
Sonny B.

What can I actually say after that, except, Thank You,

If you want to change your story like Sonny did, then
you owe it to yourself to enroll now in the Kettlebell
Secrets Insider Coaching

Go here to become a member.

Talk soon.


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