Posts Tagged ‘kettlebells’

Top 7 Reasons to Use a Kettlebell in Your Workouts

September 18, 2012

CONTACT: Julie Sawyer

Old-school Training Tool Still Gaining Popularity for Rapid, Fun Fat Loss

Charlotte, NC– September 9, 2012 – Kettlebell training has increased in popularity across the country since 2009. The American Council on Exercise, America’s leading authority on fitness, named kettlebells as one of the top 10 trends in fitness in 2009. Personal trainers and gyms alike are still adopting this tool as a cure for the common workout as its popularity continues to surge.

The kettlebell, still unrecognized and mispronounced by many, is best described as a black bowling ball made of iron with a suitcase handle on it. Kettlebells come in various sizes anywhere from 8 lbs to over 100 pounds for the strongest men and women. This tool was developed by Russian strongmen in the early 1700’s as a way to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility and has also been used more recently in the Russian and American special forces. The kettlebell has also been touted as a “total gym in the palm of your hand.”

According to Julie Sawyer, kettlebell-certified expert in SW Charlotte, kettlebell training has many benefits. Listed below are Sawyer’s top 7 reasons to use a kettlebell, especially if you like short, effective workouts.

Top 7 Reasons to Use a Kettlebell
1) You can get a serious cardio workout without the boredom of the “hamster wheel” (ie. cardio on a treadmill or elliptical).
2) Kettlebell workouts are never boring because the variety of exercises makes working out more fun.
3) Kettlebell training combines cardio with strength training, which means you don’t have to hop on the treadmill for an extra 45 minutes after your kettlebell workout.
4) Kettlebells are a great solution for busy people. A kettlebell workout can be the solution for squeezing in cardio, strength training, and flexibility into a busy schedule because you can accomplish all three objectives in one 20 minute workout.
5) Kettlebell workouts melt fat with a one-two-three punch. A) These workouts are highly metabolic due to the intensity and full-body nature of the movements. B) They increase muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories all day long. C) Whole-body movements and higher exercise intensity stimulate human growth hormone (HGH), which is known for its fat-burning effects.
6) Since kettlebell training consists of whole-body movements, every muscle is strengthened from head-to-toe. It is well-known that compound whole body movements are superior to muscle-isolating machines for strength and body composition.
7) The ballistic but nonimpact nature of kettlebell exercises actually strengthens tendons, ligaments, and joints instead of wearing them down like running does.
For those interested in learning how to use a kettlebell, Julie Sawyer will be conducting a kettlebell workshop on Saturday, January 22nd at 10 AM at The Palisades Sports Complex. Registration is required to participate in the workshop, and the cost of the workshop is $20. To register, email Julie Sawyer at Updates and info will be posted at



Top 10 Fitness Resources of 2010/2011!

December 28, 2010

OK bootcampers, here’s one more Top 10 list for you that you really need to know!  You’ve probably heard me mention some of these before, but these are some of my “go-to” resources or people that I use regularly.  Some of these are local professionals that I use when I need help with a particular issue and others are online, worldwide resources.  Each one of these people or resources are THE BEST in their particular field, and I highly recommend them/their services.

Top 10 Fitness Resources of 2010/2011!

1)       Best interval training music!  Workout Muse– The world’s leading custom interval training workout music!  You know well that this is one of my favorites.  We use it for bootcamp workouts so that I can help coach you, encourage you, and check your form, so that I don’t have to look at my watch!  I also use Workout Muse for my own workouts.  I have it on my smartphone and on my ipod, and it keeps me from having to look down at my watch.  A great way to do intervals and a great source of workout information!  To shop for workout muse soundtracks of your own, go to  They have 2 free tracks there if you click on “music store,” then “interval protocols” and then “FREE.” (30-15 track and the 60-15 track)

Also, check out workout automator if you want a Done-For-You music track and workout to follow for a make-up day or when you’re on the road.

2)      Best supplements!  Prograde- All formulated by a registered dietician, these supplements are used and recommended by the country’s best fitness professionals.  Some of the most popular supplements include Prograde Protein (reduces sugar cravings, great protein supplement), Prograde Workout (after workout drink for adding lean muscle and recovering from a tough workout), Prograde Lean (great meal replacement, chocolate flavored), Prograde multi-vitamin, and Prograde nutrition bars (healthy protein bars that reduce sugar cravings…great snack made of organic ingredients).  To order Prograde, go to

3)      Best/Most Online Fitness Info- Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training workouts.  Craig has hundreds of free workouts and videos on YouTube, and all of them are very good, so check them out!  Here’s one of his most popular called the “300” Workout. If you’d like to order one of Craig’s workout programs, go to

4)      Top liquid vitamin supplement/energy drink: I go with Vemma for a liquid vitamin or Verve for an energy drink with vitamins…not that I recommend energy drinks as a habit, but if you’re going to drink caffeine, this is one way to get a good source of vitamins and anti-oxidants.

5)      Top Workout Method-  Bootcamp! No surprise here.   This is one of the fastest growing workout methods/programs in the country.  Some are pretenders; there are all types of bootcamps, but Tuff Girl Bootcamps follows a top-notch, challenging but safe, programming model that the top bootcamp owners in the country are using.  If you want the most effective and most efficient way to improve your fitness, Tuff Girl Bootcamps will provide that programming for you.

6)      Best Way to Do Cardio- High Intensity Interval Training-  You’ve heard me talk about it many times.  High intensity interval training has been proven to burn fat 9 times faster than slow, boring cardio.  If you want to know more about how to do this type of cardio, we’re running an interval class for the new year at CrossFit Steele Creek.  We also give out a handout to all of our bootcampers on how to do cardio when you join the Drop a Dress Size program.

7)      Number 1 Piece of Equipment- (besides your own bodyweight)-  The kettlebell!  This “gym in your hand” is an extremely versatile too that is pretty easy to travel with and can provide a total body workout including core and cardio for great results in a short period of time.  Kettlebells can be purchase locally at Total Fitness Warehouse (803-548-5864).  Tell them Julie from Tuff Girl Bootcamps sent you, and you’ll get a 10% discount!

8)      Top Chiropractor/Health & Rehab Source-DC Brian Strump of Premier Health & Rehab.  Go see Brian at Premier Health & Rehab in Ayrsley to be pro-active in your health and to take care of your spine.  Your symptoms are only the “tip of the iceberg” when your body starts to talk back to you!  Brian can tell you more about why this is important, but he is the one who I go to regularly to take good care of myself.  (704-714-7770,

9)      Top Physical Therapist-Rich Biggers at Focus PTF in Lake Wylie is considered one of the top physical therapists in the country.  Go to him if you need to do rehab before you can start a normal exercise routine. (803-746-7800)

10)   Top Sports Injury Specialist- Ryan Danner at Carolina Performance and Wellness specializes in aggressively attacking injuries and then teaching you how to prevent them in the future and especially treats many runners/triathletes with repetitive injuries. 704-541-7499.

Take advantage of these resources everyone, and let me know if you have any questions!  We will be having some of these guys speak at an upcoming event soon!

Fears of Fitness

June 7, 2010

I just thought I’d write a minute about what everyone goes through before they go to their first group fitness class.  Wi believe that almost everyone is afraid or anxious before they try a particular class for the first time.  Here are some of the fears that most people will have about a group fitness class.

1) Fear of embarassment? This may be the number one fear.  Someone may be afraid that they don’t have the coordination to do a class, which would cause embarassment, or they don’t know if they can physically keep up with the group.  They don’t want to stick out, so they just don’t try.

2)  Fear of pain: If you haven’t attended a class before, then you don’t know how hard it’s going to be unless you try it yourself.  Word of mouth helps if you know someone who attends the class, but you really don’t know for yourself until you try it.

3)  Fear of the unknown: This is just a basic fear that everyone has because you won’t know what you’re about to experience until you step in there and just do it.

4)  Pride: Very similar to the pain factor is pride.  Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll have to stop before someone else does because it hurts too much, and you don’t want someone else to out-perform you or for someone that you know to realize your vulnerabilities.

One way to alleviate some of these fears is to be able to watch a class or to be able to talk to the instructor about any concerns you have before you actually participate in the class.   This weekend, we’re holding a Fitness Marathon/Health Fair at The Palisades Country Club for members and non-members to show many of our members what our group fitness classes are like.  The instructors will be there explaining a little bit about the benefits of each class and will go through a short 20-minute demo of the class.

This is a great way to get introduced to a fitness class that you haven’t done before.  Come on out and join us if you’d like.  We’re doing a Bootcamp demo, a kettlebell demo, CrossFit, Zumba, MMA, and Yoga.  Here’s more information if you need it, or email me at if you have more specific questions.

Fitness Marathon