Backyard Beefcake & The Psycho CEO: Russian Kettlebell Swings

Successful people eat healthy, exercise regularly, and sleep consistently.

This maxim transcends social and economic status. The formula can be applied to students, teachers, and Psycho CEOs alike. This series, The Backyard Beefcakes & The Psycho CEO, aims to explore these concepts in greater detail in an attempt to make each member of our Chicago School Supply Family more successful. It will also provide insight into the private life and personal passion of Chicago School Supply Founder and CEO, Michael Ockrim…Enjoy!

This edition of BB&TPC is under the Exercise Regularly portion of the equation. “Regularly” is a vague term that means many different things to many different people. Do not over-engineer what exercise should entail. It is not the bodybuilding sessions of cable curls and seated dumbbell presses (trust me, I made that mistake for 19 years), or the two hour cardio sessions on the treadmill.

Exercise should be natural, multi-joint movements that prepare your body to perform at an optimal level during everyday activities.

The Exercise Regularly portion of BB&TPC will explore numerous forms of exercise that embrace this approach to physical fitness. Most will not require special equipment or gear. Many will incorporate unique equipment, simply because it is fun! We will throw stuff, bash stuff, swing stuff, and generally do all of the fun things many of us did as children. Exercise should be functional and fun!

Today was Day 1 of a six-week, twice-a-week Russian Kettlebell training program I am exploring. Six weeks is my threshold for most activities – I tend to have Athletic Attention Deficit Disorder. My (only) friend Mike and I met at 8:00 A.M with Paul Lyngso of Burr Ridge Kettlebell Club. While we had a grand plan of training outdoors, the brutal Midwestern weather sent us into the garage for our Beef Fest.

My two sons, Nathan (5) and Nicholas (4), also joined us in the Man Cave. They were extremely curious what I and Mr. Mike were up to outside in the rain. We were all impressed when Nicholas walked over to the 35lb. Kettlebell and hoisted it with perfect form! While we discouraged him from playing with the Bulldogs, we promised to bring out a kid-friendly size on Friday.

Paul led us through a series of flexibility tests and breathing exercises. We then practiced the basic squat and swing moves without the Kettlebells. From there we progressed into weighted movements and full Russian Kettlebell Swings – BEEFY!

The next movement was the Turkish Getup. This is an advanced movement that will require some practice. We decided to skip the weights and concentrate on practicing the basic form in the movement. I left the session without breaking a sweat, nor elevating my heart rate. I thought it was easy…until just recently. I can already feel my muscles in my back and hamstrings getting sore. While it would normally take 48 hours for the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness to set in, these new movements are already showing signs that I have been physically challenged.

Share your own health and wellness stories with us! We are genuinely interested in learning new movements and concepts to incorporate into training. We are also here as a support network for you. It takes discipline to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Stay Strong!

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