A title of this magnitude should most certainly grab your attention! 😉
Welcome to another ask the instructor blog post brought to you by yours truly, Janelle Pica. I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding liquid indulgences, training for the kettlebell snatch test, and some questions about performing handstands. While I had planned to separate these items into different blog posts, I decided to lump it all together to make for one incredibly epic post. We will be talking about smart nutrition and hard training today so keep reading! We are about to dive right in!
Dear Janelle, I enjoy alcohol. Every weekend I have a few glasses of wine but, I know that if I want to lose weight, alcohol can stall the process. Do I really need to cut out the booze? Are certain alcohols better over other ones if you want to lose weight? Do I really have to give it up?
First up, a confession. Much to the dismay of my Paleo brothers and sisters, I most certainly am a craft beer snob. Every now and again, I enjoy a few strong ales because. . well. . . I just enjoy them. I really can’t lump in alcohol as a “health food” of sorts because it isn’t. Yeah, I know. I hear all this “glass of wine a day” or “1 drink a day” is supposed to lower risks of heart disease and yadda yadda yadda. Truth is, frequent alcohol use can upset the liver, which upsets your ability to burn fat. Here’s a short blip as to why.
Now, can you still drink and lose weight? If you do enjoy the weekend kick backs, you’ll want to keep yourself to 1-2 units of alcohol A WEEK in order to not offset you hard training efforts. 1 unit equals a 6 oz glass of wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. 1-2 units of alcohol DOES NOT MEAN 1-2 nights of partying in the South Side of Pittsburgh. If fatloss is the goal, I recommend not drinking for at least 3 weeks. If you are unable to cut booze for that small amount of time, sorry to say, you might actually have an issue there. Most moderate drinkers drink less than 6 drinks a week. If consuming, on average, more than this 6 drink a week marker, users are said to be at risk for if not already alcohol dependent. Alcohol dependency is no joke folks, and of all drugs you could be hooked on, alcohol is the worst. FACT! Give it a go for a month and track how you feel. You may sleep better and look better for it too. And on that note, let’s make this a challenge. With my Level II cert coming up fast, I myself have decided to cut the weekend beers to zero and focus on my training. I’ll hold the rest of you to it should you choose to walk this path along with me. 🙂
Dear Janelle, I recently signed up for my Level 1 Kettlebell certification and am worried about the snatch test portion of the certification. I saw your time on the 16kg test and am shocked by how fast you can complete the test. How did you do this? How can I do this? What is the secret to training for this test?
First, a word of advice. If you are considering cutting your weight to make the weight classes for this, DON’T EFFING DO THAT! Do not even THINK about cutting your weight. For more on why I feel that way, please read this post. Now, to address the question. Training for the snatch test should NOT be your main priority. I say that because the Level 1 Kettlebell certification process is hard. It’s really really hard. You my friend have just signed up for a 3 day kettlebell event that is called a “Challenge” for a reason. Expect 8 to 9 hours of olympic style lifting EACH DAY and a lot of skills testing, teaching and review, written evaluations ON TOP of this 5 minute snatch test thing. Level 1 is physically demanding and mentally taxing. Fair warning. Once you set up the training accordingly to survive the weekend, you will want to position your snatch test program at the end of a workout 1x per week. I would focus on heavy one arm swings to make the load of your snatch test bell seem light and effortless. The heavy one arm swing will also force a good back swing or “hike” to get the kettlebell above your head when you go to perform the test. Set yourself up on a nice little 10 minute protocol with 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. You may increase the weight of the kettlebell over time for extra strength and conditioning. Here’s an example of my 1 arm heavy swings below.
Dear Janelle, what the heck were you doing at the laundromat the other day? I kept seeing you and your friend doing handstands in public while I was folding my clothes. I must say, that was impressive to watch though. Are you teaching people how to do handstands now? How can I learn how to do this for myself?
First of all, my intermittent hand stand practice was inspired by Ryan Williams, the Progressive Calisthenics Coach at Primal Fitness Pittsburgh, and a very close friend of mine who happens to be a gymnastics coach. I have always practiced handstand push ups up against the wall but really wanted to dive into the unassisted handstand for a while. I am not proficient at it. . .yet. I do know some incredibly strong coaches though that have been working with me on this for quite some time. My handstand hold is at about 5 seconds on a good day, but I see it average more around the 3 second marker. I have some work to do for sure. That being said, when you and your friend run into each other at the laundromat and you and your friend are fairly proficient at body weight exercises. . . well. . . let’s just say killing time while you’re washing your clothes can get particularly interesting.
Above is Lisa Joseph, gymnastic coach and dear friend, performing an flawless handstand in public. Kudos!
I should note that Lisa, Ryan and I are planning a body weight workshop in the coming months once I return from my Level II certification. We will be covering a lot more of the calisthenics side of fitness and diving into hand stand progressions, pistol progressions, and who you may need mobility wise to master more advanced body weight holds. Be on the look out for that workshop coming to you right from Primal Fitness Pittsburgh! If you can’t wait for the workshop and want to jump right into Progressive Calisthenics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can schedule you a consultation. I would absolutely LOVE for you to eat up all the Primal Move and Progressive Calisthenics you can to reach a superior amount of strength and conditioning!
That’s it for today folks! Have a great weekend and until next time. . .
Master your instincts!