H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow


H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow
This is part 2 of my 3 articles on kettlebell training for combat sports exclusively for my sponsors the Kettlebell kings. In this article, we are covering what I call an H2H or hand to hand kettlebell flow. This particular flow is for intermediate level KB practitioners for 2 reasons. 1. It involves the overhead squat and high pull which require a bit of practice. 2. H2H means we will be passing the kettlebell from our left hand to right hand for the duration of this flow. This requires focus, timing and coordination.
This kettlebell flow contains one of my favorite kettlebell exercises, the high pull. When I was first taught this exercise, I immediately thought to myself “this is like throwing a punch.” I immediately attributed it to a punch we call a overhand right in MMA or Boxing. But to my dismay, we only worked it a few times. Most traditional kettlebell trainers teach the high pull as a precursor to the snatch. Which for a lot of people, is the be all and end all of kettlebell training. Although I do enjoy snatches, I feel the high pull is equally important. Maybe even more so. Reason being, if you work the high pull the way I do, then your hinging, pushing and pulling all in one explosive movement. That means your working your core, chest, back, shoulders biceps, triceps and forearm at once. I am including a video tutorial of how I do a high pull. So check it out to see what im talking about. High pulls are also help with hand speed and punching power. Its like throwing punches with a kettlebell! Try shadow boxing after a few sets of high pulls and see how fast your hands are!
In the previous article I talked about the many attributes needed in combat sports and how kettlebell flows help. One I didn’t touch on is focus. Your mind has to be razor sharp in the ring or cage. Even when you are in the later rounds and you are exhausted you have to have the ability to keep your composure and focus. One mental lapse and it can cause you the fight. Kettlebell flows address this issue. After a few rounds of this flow you will tire and it will increasingly get difficult to keep the flow consistent. It forces you to focus.
Here is the workout. We will keep the protocol the same as the workout in the previous article. In all of my workouts protocol is as follows:
1. mobility and core warm up
2. Ab pyramid (abdominal work)
3. B.I.T. Body weight interval training
4. C.I.T. Compound body weight training.
5. K.I.T. Kettlebell interval training
6. Kettlebell circuit
The kettlebell circuit is as follows: 2-minute round. 1 minute kettlebell flow, 30 seconds of rows and 30 seconds of burpees. I would suggest practicing each exercise that makes up the flow individually. This is what I call K.I.T. or kettlebell interval training. I usually do 30 seconds of work with a 10 second break between each set. Example: 30 seconds of overhead squats on the left 30 seconds of overhead squats on the right, 30 seconds high pulls on the left and so forth. Then try the flow using a lighter bell until you get used to the sequence. You can upgrade the weight of your bell for however you see fit.
There you have it! Intermediate H2H Kettlebell flow for combat sports and fitness! Stay tuned for part 3 of this series!

The benefits of compound bodyweight training

The benefits of compound body weight training

I’m sure most of you all are familiar with the burpee. This is what I like to refer to as a compound body weight exercise.  People worldwide use burpees every day and with good reason. It’s simple and extremely beneficial exercise. A compound exercises is made up of 2 or more movements together. The burpee combines a squat, sprawl and a push up. So you are working several major muscle groups at once making it a metabolic exercise. Compound exercises raise your heart rate more so than muscle isolation exercises.

Since the burpee is such an awesome exercise, it made sense to me to develop more compound body weight and kettlebell exercises.  In the new kettlejitsu revolution dvd, I use many different body-weight flows and combinations. Some of these flows even contain movements from jiu jitsu and mma. I specifically created these combos to challenge you both physically and mentally. A good example of what I am talking about is the karate kid flow.  This compound movement consists of a sit up, shin box, deck squat and push up. Using these exercises in unison has many benefits. It challenges your focus, timing, coordination and your conditioning.

This particular exercise was inspired by my trip to Lisbon, Portugal.  There I administered a kettle-jitsu workshop. One of the attendees was a karate kumite fighter named hugo. I was showing different sit up combos and he stopped and asked if was it OK if he added a kick to it. I said show me. I immediately loved it and added it to my arsenal! When I got back home I played with it and added the other movements.  It spawned the “karate kid flow!” We use it regularly at my gym socal mma and fitness to my students enjoyment. Check out the enclosed video for a demo of this amazing compound body-weight exercise. Enjoy!


Featured body weight exercise, “Thai Knee Combos”

Screenshot_2013-07-14-19-22-35Thai Knee Combos are one of the many dynamic body weight combos that will be featured on the new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  This compound exercise is a class favorite at Joey Alvarado’s gym, So Cal mma and fitness in los Angeles, CA.  Like many of the exercises in Joey’s system, it an mma infused movement designed to improve your anaerobic capacity.  The Thai knee combos are a fun and effective flow to add to any ones arsenal!  Look for a detailed instruction on the upcoming Kettle-Jitsu Revolution double dvd!

The four stages of an mma war

D3D_2405The Four Stages of an MMA War: Preparing for a Fight

If you’ve never competed in a professional fight, you might not realize the amount of mental fortitude required by the fighters to get into the ring. Coach and former professional MMA fighter Joey Alvarado will fill you in.

Time after time, fans of MMA glue themselves in front of the big screen to watch the UFC. What they see is the fight that happens in the cage, but what most people do not realize is what an MMA fighter goes through behind the scenes preparing for the match, both physically and mentally. They simply see the final culmination of months of hard work. As a former professional MMA fighter, I can tell you from personal experience that the trials of preparing for a fight are some of the most difficult I have ever experienced. Here is an inside view of what an MMA fighter endures when preparing to fight. I have broken it down into what I call the “Four Stages of an MMA War.”

Stage One: Long Term Preparation

Training for a specific MMA match can take anywhere from two to three months. If you are training properly for a fight, you should be training at least twice a day (some UFC fighters train as much as three times a day). When training this much, there is little time for anything else; almost everything else takes a back seat to the training. The preparation of a fight can put a significant strain on personal relationships; if your significant other is not understanding, it can hinder the training process. A boyfriend/girlfriend who is demanding attention can cause you to lose focus, leading to lackluster training sessions or even inconsistency in training. My father, a former world ranked boxer, once told me that in order to be a fighter, one must live the life of a monk. What does a monk do? A monk spends his days meditating and keeping away from the distractions of the outside world. If afighter can apply the discipline of a monk into his/ her own training, they will be much better off.

Stage Two: Hell Week

This is the week before the fight. This is the time when you might be cutting the pounds needed to make weight the day before the fight. Reducing your caloric intake significantly can cause your mind to become more susceptible to the stresses and anxiety of the upcoming match. During Hell Week, fellow training partners are constantly going to ask you, “How you feeling man, are you ready to fight?” The slightest thought of the fight will most likely raise your anxiety levels and mentally drain you. Keep your mind occupied and try not to dwell on the fight too much. This is a difficult stage and it is important that your coach pays close attention, preparing you both mentally and physically.

Stage Three: The Day of

Stage three is the final waiting period the day of the fight. This is an extremely nerve racking time period; it may only be a few hours before the match, but it will seem like days. While in the warm up room, you can hear the droves of people filling up the arena and your adrenaline will kick in. Proper breathing is extremely important to control your anxiety levels. It’s important that your coach stays with you during this whole period to make sure your mind is in check, wrap your hands, and make sure that you’re warmed up properly. A good coach will prepare your mind and constantly reassure you that you are prepared for the fight. If you are not prepared mentally, you can lose the fight before you even step in the cage.

Stage Four: The Fight

The final stage is the actual fight. There is a saying amongst trainers/fighters that states, “the hardest part of a fight is the preparation, the easiest part is the fight itself.” This is 100% true. Months of training boils down to a mere 15 to 25 minutes a cage fight (sometimes much less). A fight can end within seconds. During the fight, you must not think; you should simply react. After the months of drilling techniques and the countless hours of sparring, your body should be conditioned for the proper reactions to what happens during the fight. In MMA, there is no time to think. If you spend too much time thinking, your opponent may capitalize on it and end the fight.