Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Interview with Vegan Athlete Zackery Bickford.

In this episode my good friend Zack (aka The Vegan Legend) joins the show to talk about his wrestling career and being a vegan athlete.

Part 1 of my interview with Zack.

Part 2 of my interview with Zack.

Show notes:
  • Zack's introduction to the sport of wrestling
  • The mental toughness required to train and compete at a high level
  • How training in judo enhanced his wrestling performance
  • The role strength and conditioning has played in both physical and mental preparation
  • How Zack adopted a vegan diet
  • The athletic improvements he's experienced since going vegan
  • Zack's secret to cutting weight
  • Zack's best lifts and current goal to deadlift 600 lbs for reps
  • Zack's wrestling goals
Check out this video to see some of Zack's training at the EPTS Gym - this is a good representation of how our grapplers and combat athletes train!

Follow Zack on Instagram @the_vegan_legend

I hope you enjoyed this episode with Zack and if you have any questions, feedback or suggestions for future episodes email me at scott@eptsgym.com and visit www.eptsgym.com to follow me online.

Stay Strong AND Healthy!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

How to Choose the Right Kettlebell

How to Choose the Right Kettlebell
"Regardless of the style you choose, Kettlebell Kings are the super-cars of kettlebells!"
The popularity of kettlebells has exploded, and so has the number of retailers offering kettlebells. Once you’ve decided to incorporate kettlebells into your workout routines, it can be daunting to select the right kettlebells. The guidelines included here are meant to outline the basics of what makes a great kettlebell, as well as the details that are specific to your fitness needs. If you’re a beginner, consider purchasing a single bell to start your fitness journey. Kettlebells are renowned for their versatility, and a solo kettlebell can be used to perform almost any exercise. The quality, durability, and cross-functionality of kettlebells greatly reduces the amount of equipment you need to purchase for a great at-home workout routine.

Basic Kettlebell Needs to Consider

You should purchase kettlebells that have been constructed in a single cast. This means that the piece of iron used to make the kettlebell is continuous, and the base and handle are not two separate pieces that have been attached. A single-cast kettlebell is more stable, and there is no risk of the handle becoming detached in a dynamic movement. If possible, you should inspect the underside seam of the handle of any kettlebell before purchasing it. The seam should be filed down to create a smooth surface, otherwise you may find yourself developing blisters.

Keep a few details in mind when inspecting the bottom of the kettlebell. For one, the base of the kettlebell should be flattened; the bell should be stable as you set it down and pick it up between reps. This is especially important if you choose to perform movements where you’re balanced above the bell, i.e. push ups, planks, renegade rows, etc.

Your ideal kettlebell depends on the type of exercises you intend to use it for. If you plan on performing most of your kettlebell exercises with one hand, consider buying a competition kettlebell. These kettlebells have smaller handles and are the preferred kettlebell for perfecting technique, as all the competition kettlebells are the same size regardless of their weight. If versatility of movement and two-handed kettlebell exercises are more important to you, consider purchasing a cast-iron kettlebell. Regardless of kettlebell type, make sure the thickness of the kettlebell handle is comfortable for you.

The top two kettlebell finishes we recommend purchasing are cerakote and powder. Avoid vinyl, paint, and cheaper coatings that will chip away over time. Kettlebells are built to last for years without needing to be replaced, and the finish of your kettlebell should align with that durability. Both cerakote and powder bells protect cast iron kettlebells from rust, chemical interactions, and abrasions. They are also designed to be resilient and preserve hardness. If cost is a deciding factor, powder is more affordable and will maintain the integrity of your kettlebell. Cerakote kettlebells have a higher price tag and magnify the benefits of both coatings. They have a smoother finish that may be ideal for delicate palms.

Fitness-Specific Needs to Consider

Now that we’ve discussed a few basic concepts you should be aware of when purchasing kettlebells, we will discuss specific weights. A key component of what makes kettlebells so effective and challenging is that they create a longer lever arm when you’re using them. This means you must use more force to move a kettlebell than you would a dumbbell of the same weight.

As a general recommendation, purchase kettlebells that are anywhere from 5 to 15 lbs. lighter than the dumbbell weight you’d normally use for your workouts. Depending on your strength and fitness level, you may need to size up or down. The best indicator of the right kettlebell weight will be your form. You should maintain correct form throughout your exercise routine; if you can’t, adjust weight accordingly to avoid injury and developing poor form.

Purchasing one kettlebell may be the best idea if you’re a novice kettlebell user. Choose a weight that is compatible with the majority of your movements. If you’d like to purchase a range of kettlebells, consider buying one moderately heavy kettlebell and one heavy kettlebell. A moderately heavy kettlebell for most men would weigh 12-16 kg (26-35 lbs.) kettlebell, and for women, this would be a 8-10 kg (18-22 lbs.) kettlebell. A heavy kettlebell for men would weigh 20 kg (44 lbs.), while for women this would be closer to 16 kg (35 lbs.).

Now that we’ve covered the basic components of a high-quality kettlebell, we encourage you to shop around and compare specialty kettlebell retailers. Most chain stores like Academy, Walmart, and traditional sporting goods stores will stock kettlebells that aren’t cast in a single piece of metal or are covered in vinyl or paint. To ensure you’re making the best investment, purchase from a reputable kettlebell-specific site or store with a great reputation.

About Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings is a premium-quality kettlebell and kettlebell content provider, based in Austin, Texas. You can view our equipment, kettlebell how-to’s, and get expert advice at https://www.kettlebellkings.com and https://www.kettlebellkings.com/blog/. For more information, call us at 855-7KETTLE to learn more.