Why kettlebells are good for your back!

We hear it all the time. “I’d hurt my back if I picked up that kettlebell…..”


1) Kettlebell exercises strengthen the glutes – those who sit in chairs (see my cars, cubicle, couch article on Kettlebellzen.com) have tight hip flexors..therefore they are likely to have “gluteal amnesia.” Learning how to swing and squat will allow you to “find,” your glutes and provide some relief from low back pain.

2) Kettlebell exercises stretch the hip flexors – weak glutes = weak hip flexors (we are sitting too much)

3) Kettlebells develop back endurance – the more you swing and/or snatch (with good form) the more you will be able to swing and snatch!

4) “Bracing” is superior to “hollowing” for spinal stability – I will show you all the “active static stomp,” this week.

5) Ballistic loading (swings/snatches) are highly beneficial to your joints – joint cartilage subjected to regular repetitive loading remains healthy and copes very well with impulsive loads..whereas slow cardio jogging causes the collagen network to lose its cohesion and the cartilage deteriorates.

If you create an act, you create a habit

Schedule for May 28- June 2

Tuesday & Thursday, 10am – Oakland Rose Garden (Olive Street)

Tuesday, 6 & 7pm – Foley Dojo (391 Euclid)

Wednesday, 6am – Area 51

Thursday, 7pm – Foley Dojo

Friday, 6am – Lakeside Park (where Lenox runs into Grand Avenue)

Saturday, 9am – Estuary Park – just b4 the entrance to Jack London Aquatic Center

Sunday, 9am – Oakland Rose Garden

Introductory Packages continue to be $25. That covers a Beginner’s Lesson and two group class (to be used within 1 week of purchase). Tell your friends..and your friend’s friends!

If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.
– Andre Maurois

Easter Bells & Spring Beginnings



It was a record turn-out this past weekend! I want to especially thank the Saturday participants who all came together after a last minute shift in location.

Highlights for the week include:

Lauren (pictured above) and Autumn pressing the 16kg for multiple reps!!

Mike pressing the 28kg with authority

Quang and Andrew displaying some serious sprinting skills

Angelica & Amelia swinging the 28kg for the 1st time

We are all putting the Beast (48kg) in his place with confident sumo deadlifts,

and the mysterious snatch was finally let loose! Expect much more of that as we move forward!

Here are some articles as “food for thought.”

#1. Eat Your Egg Yolks

#2 Myths about cholesterol

#3 Restoring intestinal flora


1. Dangerously Hardcore

2. Functional Performance Systems

3. The Danny Roddy Weblog

4. Michael McEvoy Nutrition

Schedule for the WEEK (not for the weak…but it should be)

Tuesday 10am – Rose Garden
Tuesday 6 & 7pm – Dojo de Foley (see Rocky IV)
Wednesday, Friday 6am – Beach Field
Thursday, 7pm Witter Field (Piedmont HS)
Saturday 10am – Crocker Park (Piedmont)
Sunday 9am -Lakeshore Park – where Lenox Avenue runs into Grand Avenue

Thurs or Fri @ 10am TBD

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Isaac Asimov

There is Power in Vision

The Power in Vision

The Power in Vision

Spring ahead is what we did. We did not look behind. In fact, it’s best to stay in the present, especially when hoisting orbs of iron weight above our heads. Tune into your body. Don’t bounce off the bottom of a squat, lock out that press, snap those hips, call upon each cell in your body to get that extra rep. Don’t psych yourself out!. Summon the strength that is lying dormant within your mind. Take it to the next level. Baby steps…consistency…showing up.

Let’s not forget that the road to healthier, stronger body is something that lasts a lifetime. It’s sometimes hard to know when to put the pedal to the metal and other times when to take the foot off the gas. (see Intervention link to the right) I think it’s very important to find ways to use your growing strength and endurance. Whether it be cycling, training for a half-marathon, playing tennis, practicing yoga or getting your Roller Derby Girl on, take the time to explore the different ways you can use your body. That being said, there were several of you that made great strides toward the (5 & Dime Challenge) that I threw down last week. In fact, I think there are one or two people ready to take on the Challenge!

One of the things that we talked about this past Saturday was about sharing information. I’d like to share with you some ideas that have been helpful to me. Check them out and tell me what you think!

Raw Carrot Salad
17 Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Bulletproof Coffee recipe
Health Benefits of Magnesium Oil

Dan John’s “Intervention”

Magnesium Benefits Infographic

In the week ahead, we will be meeting at the following locations:

Tuesday 10am – Oakland Rose Garden
Tuesday 6am & 7am – Foley’s Dojo
Weds & Friday, 6am – Beach Field
Thurs 7pm – Witter Field
Friday, 10am – Cesar Chavez Park (Berkeley)
Saturday 10am – Willard Park (Berkeley)
Sunday, 9am – Rose Garden

*no class Thurs @ 10am (moved to Friday)

My kettlebell compendium is still a work in progress, but should be completed within the week!
Stay Strong!

Coach T
Kettlebell Zen

“there can be no power in a square”
-Black Elk

It’s Just a Tool!

The sledgehammer’s made their first appearance this week. It’s such a great complement to the kettlebell. We have yet to give each hammer a name, but two moves were created this week which will go down in legend. The first, the “Fireman Chop,” with the cue of “breaking through the wall,” and the “Save the Baby” overhead chop were born. We can thank dear Amelia for the latter! The right cue can really make the difference. I’m always stressing the quality over quantity aspect of the practice and these cues help to provide the brain with the right messaging to make each repetition count. More sledgehammer moves will be added as we forge ahead.

Highlighting last week was our first get-together at Witter Field (Piedmont High). Talk about the perfect setting for some “Beautiful Strength,” aka the Turkish Get-up. We will be meeting there again every Thursday evening at 7pm. The first 20min of this class will always be devoted to the get-up.

Where there are Redwoods, there is Peace - Foley

Where there are Redwoods, there is Peace – Foley

This was also Week 2 of the SSS WOD (SwingStaircaseSprint) at the Rose Garden. 20 swings, then the 100 step sprint to Vernon Street and back.

Men – 20, 32kg swings
Women – 20, 16kg swings

Virtually everyone improved their times from last week!

I’ve also issued the 5 & Dime Challenge

What is it?

Double Clean & Press (10×5)
Double Front Squat (10×5)
Two-hand Swings (10×10)

In order to qualify for the prize (yet to ordered Kettlebell Zen t-shirts) you need to complete the entire circuit in 30min.

Women use 12kgs, Men use 20kgs for the doubles work.
For swings, Women use 24kg Men use 32kg.

If you go through this program twice a week for one month, I can guarantee you that you will be seeing major changes in your appearance. That being said, in my eyes, you all look great!

I also want to give my heart-felt thanks to those of your that have given me these awesome YELP reviews. Thanks to Quang, if someone is looking for a “kettleball” instructor, I’m right there near the top of the page!

Here is the line-up for this week’s classes:

Tuesday & Thurs – 10am @ Oakland Rose Garden

Weds & Friday – 6am @ Beach Field

Tues 7pm – Foley’s Dojo..farmer carries, sprints and pull-ups

Thurs, 7pm – Witter Field (Piedmont HS)

Saturday, 10am – (pending feedback on Clubbell Workshop) Estuary Park, Oakland


Sunday, 9am – Oakland Rose Garden

“The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

Swami Vivekananda

Lastly, we all miss Chris Pufpaf very much. We want you back as soon as you are able!