Hello Fitlandians! Today I am thrilled to be kicking off my series on all the different exercises that are available to us. I’m beginning this series by chatting with a local Portland, Oregon fitness pro, Michael Skogg of Skogg Kettlebells, about one of my all time favorite workouts: kettlebells!
Before we get started I just wanted to throw out a few reminders. We are just a couple of days left before the start of our next 30 Days To Thriving program for February. Some of you have heard my awesome podcast show with Leanne from Healthful Pursuits and in order to show my gratitude to listeners of both my podcast and Leanne’s, I am offering some exclusive early bird pricing! Enter discount code Leanne297 to receive $100 off the program!
For anybody who is hearing about 30 Days to Thriving for the first time, you’ll get to hang out with me everyday for the next month to reach your greatest vitality! You’ll be getting a food guide, weekly recipes and meal plans, workouts that fit the detox, a group coaching call with me weekly and daily interaction in the secret Facebook group. And the best part is you’ll receive a Mind ZoningⓇ audio bundle with 5 sessions that fit perfectly with the program! We are getting started in just a couple days so be sure to get signed up today!
Michael Skogg of Skogg Kettlebells is here with us today. A big thanks to Michael for being on the show. Be sure to show him some love and check out Skogg Kettlebell’s website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter @skogggym and online program, Virtual Skogg. I want to go ahead and say that I’ve spent a good deal of time at Skogg Gym and his facility is absolutely beautiful and the instructors there are ridiculously knowledgeable.
So how did Michael get started with kettlebells? He explains that he was living in Scotland when he was around 18 and his neighbor was a Highland Games competitor and he would see him doing his workouts with everyday items like rocks and telephone poles. Finally, his curiosity got the better of him and he asked his neighbor why he worked out like that and he explained that training is not just about being strong, it’s about being strong in life and finding applicable ways to do so. It really stuck with him and he realized that conventional exercise is something powerful and since the first time his neighbor handed him a kettlebell, he’s been hooked.
Back then, kettlebell training was quite underground and he actually had to work with things like milk jugs and dumbells to get the workout in until his friend found an old kettlebell in a crawl space that he could use. They were surprisingly difficult to come by! He finally purchased his own set of kettlebells while furthering his education in the fitness field.
Because of this he wanted to share the power of these workouts with the world. He had done a great deal of work rehabbing himself out of hip and knee injuries and wanted to help others do the same. He has opened quite a few gyms in his time but his first specific kettlebell gym opened here in Portland in 2007 when he followed his own workout passion.
The gym started out primarily as a strength and conditioning hub for fighters and MMA athletes but Michael wanted to expand his workouts to women as well so he opened up a gym in the Pearl District, Portlands hip and trendy neighborhood bustling with female athletes. Since then, he has moved slightly Northwest of this area to help members find easier parking to get their workouts in.
What’s the difference with kettlebells? What’s the big deal? These types of workouts absolutely work you out…but they also empower you! If you are looking for a way to burn calories, you burn 20 calories a minute swinging a kettlebell…which is pretty impressive. Not only that, but you get an element of resistance along with the cardio of the workout. It’s an all in one option…killing two birds with one stone!
Here are Michael’s Top Reasons to Try a Kettlebell Workout:
- Great cardio (gets your heart rate up).
- Resistance training at the same time.
- Burns 20 calories per minute.
- Corrective exercise for posture, joints, and more.
- Finds your weakness, exploits it, and corrects it.
- Uses your body in natural ways-radial directions (very primal movement).
- Mental empowerment post-workout.
One thing to remember about kettlebell workouts is the importance of form and safety, which the instructors at Skogg are great at explaining and assisting with. Michael says, “A kettlebell is a wrecking ball if not used correctly.” So what does a correct workout look like?
Michael’s Kettlebell Safety Tips:
- Have an experience teacher who is familiar with safe techniques.
- Technique is BOSS…the value is limitless.
- Only swing what you know you can handle…doesn’t matter how much.
- Pay attention and let the kettlebell lead you as an extension of your arm.
- Remember the importance of stretching along with your workouts.
“Kettlebell is like a dance. The kettlebell is your partner and it leads…you follow.”
For those listeners who are still feeling a bit hesitant about giving a kettlebell workout a try, know this: Rest and recover is very important, so do what you can do and rest when you need to rest. Asking questions is GOOD…highly encouraged really. Trust in the coaching offered at the gym and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn. You are not just getting a workout, you are getting full exercise science, whether you understand exactly what is happening or not, your coach does. You will thank yourself (and them) in the long run!
Another thanks to Michael for his insight into this amazing workout option and we hope we inspired you to give something new a try in your workouts!
Be sure to request to join the Fitlandia Facebook Group to share what workouts you are trying out and get inspiration from others in our amazing community.