Archive for May, 2011

Seven deuce suited playing cards

Image by Jim B L via Flickr

It’s a three-day weekend!!  Grab a pack of cards and your kettlebells… get yourself set up with some great music… and check out my new workout!

Here’s how to do the “Vegas Baby Workout” with Kettlebells:

The number on each card is the number of reps you need to do.  (Ace counts as 1 (you’ll thank me later) and Jack, Queen, King is 11, 12, 13, respectively.)

The suit is the exercise you do:  Write this down and put it with the pack of cards:

Clubs: Pop-Up Push Ups (Burpees)

UPDATE: I’ve added a video if you haven’t done these yet.

NOTE: The first three in the video are great if you’re just getting started, the fourth one at 1:10 is the Basic Burpee, however I can hear my trainer in my head saying “wider feet!!” when you jump back up.  One day I’ll try all 21!


Spades: Double-Handed Clean and Press

Hearts: Two-Handed Swings

Diamonds: Hand-to-Hand Swings

Jokers: Wild Card… do 50 Get-Ups, 25 each side.

Your challenge is to see how far you can get into the deck of cards!   (You’re going to wish you’d taken the face cards out… and the jokers, too).  The first time I tried this workout I got 5 clubs in a row and wish I had shuffled the deck better.

(By the way, my kids are taking Karate class, and this is where I got my inspiration!  They tell me that when the black belts do the Vegas Workout, they have to get through the whole deck of cards.  Good Luck!)

So shuffle and stack the deck, turn over the first card, and let me know how far you got, ay?

Happy Memorial Day!


It’s a beautiful day here in Seattle… finally.  Here’s a great workout for a sunny day…

Get outside!  Put on some Snow Patrol or Train and do an easy run… (2 to 4 miles).

Drink some BCAA’s when you return, and then mix up a green banana smoothie with kale, swiss chard, 1 bunch of parsley, a little coconut water and some protein powder.  mmmmm….

Get outside and garden.  Plant those cherry tomatoes anywhere and everywhere you have space… (you’ll thank me in August!)

Then knock out some kettlebells… in the yard!  Now’s your chance to do the two-handed releases, which I always save for outside (just in case).  If you’ve forgotten what those are, check out my previous post:

In the evening, fire up the grill.  Then peel an orange, lemon and lime and throw them all in the blender with a little tequilla & ice and enjoy your night!


Sick Puppies

Posted: May 13, 2011 in Kettlebell, sick puppies

I’ve had a few requests for music suggestions while doing kettlebells. I am a strong advocate for chosing the right tunes to push you mentally to the next level. Today, give the Sick Puppies a try… especially “You’re Going Down” and “Rip Tide”. Don’t opt for the unplugged version… you miss out on the great basslines, and that’s the best part after all. Rock out…

Need a quick workout?  Here’s one that fits into my new pyramiding routine, it only takes 15 minutes, it’s all swings, and is sure to bring on the sweatstorm!

Check it out:

Double-handed swings: Pyramid sets: 
20 reps light/15 reps medium/8 reps heavy/15 reps medium/20 reps light

Single-handed swings: Pyramid sets: 
Right Side: 15 reps light/10 reps medium/5 reps heavy/10 reps medium/15 reps light
Left Side: 15 reps light/10 reps medium/5 reps heavy/10 reps medium/15 reps light

Hand-to-hand swings:
Pyramid sets: 
30 reps light/20 reps medium/10 reps heavy/20 reps medium/30 reps light   
(count 1 for each time you switch hands)

Have more time?  Repeat above routine.

1.   No rests between sets.  When pyramiding, it’s important to power through all 5 sets without stopping to maximize the aerobic benefits.
Take a minimal rest between exercises.  (basically, take just enough time for a water break and then get back to it.) 
3.  Remember to “lift quads” and “tighten glutes” on every rep.
4.  Music with a good bassline. 
Try Chili Peppers Californication… track 1.  track 5.  track 13. 

knock it out!


In my last post I talked about the benefits of Pyramid Training.  I forgot to mention that if you decide to embark upon this for the next 30 days with me, I would make sure you get some good Branched-Chain Amino Acids.  I am a big fan of the MRM brand because their products are all natural.  No food dye, artificial flavor,…etc. and they sell them at our local organic Co-op!  Good stuff.  You will be going through a pretty intense cycle of breaking down and rebuilding muscle fibers, so I feel like BCAA’s are key to this process.  Especially if you take them diligently for the next 30 days, and then taper off once you’ve eased up on your pyramid training. 

Here’s the link to MRM’s website:

The best way to pack on muscle… and pack it on fast… is pyramid training.  Hey, how long has it been since you tried this?  I bet it’s been awhile.  I remember pyramiding at Golds Gym about 15 years ago… wow, seems like yesterday!  How about giving it a try for a month?  Who’s with me on my new “One Month Challenge”… pyramiding every workout???  Yikes, it takes more time, but the results are phenomenal… and let’s face it… we’ll be pool-side soon!

Here’s the deal:

Triangle Pyramids: 15-10-5-10-15

5 sets, starting with high reps/low weight, ascending up, peaking on third set with low reps/high weight, and then descending back down.

Here’s how it would look: 

Set 1 – 50% of your max for 15 reps
Set 2 – 75% of your max for 10 reps
Set 3 – close to your max for 5 reps
Set 4 – 75% of your max for 10 reps
Set 5 – 50% of your max for 15 reps

I just plugged these numbers in, but you get the idea.  If you are used to doing 3 sets of 50 swings, then by all means, bump up the reps to where it works for you, but just keep the 3rd set heavy and challenging.

You’ll need at least 3 sizes of kettlebells to do this with your kettlebell workouts, and it won’t exactly follow the percentages above… but the idea is to give the body a warm up, and get it ready to take on near-max weight that you wouldn’t normally be working with, which will overload the muscles to the point of exhaustion and teardown…which is what we want!  Remember, we have to tear down to build up… and Pyramid Training is the best way to do that in my opinion.

Let’s rock this thing…

Peace Out,