2014 . The 11 Must Haves In Functional Fitness (and one optional)
This is not an easy article to write as there are just so many things out there promising to make you invincible and or packing around 50 more pounds of muscle. So what I will do is give you a little “Keep It Simple Stupid” to ring in the best 2014 that you can. Keeping it simple and making progression in your training is what you are looking for to make your resolution stick. Remember you are looking for something that can be a lifestyle not just a quick fix. Quick fixes are quick to revert. So, getting to the point here are my top 10 must haves to make your 2014 off on the right track.
1. A Good Community based gym membership. This is where you will find motivation and support, instead of wandering around machine to machine and only to end up on the treadmill for the time you are at the gym.. Make sure this gym or program FITS YOUR NEEDS in 2014. This can be a gym like Swing This Kettlebell or another facility , crossfit etc, that is there to help you succeed with what you can do, not a one size fits all approach. While possibly more expensive than regular health club type gyms, in the long run you will benefit more from surrounding yourselves with motivated and helpful people who have been in your shoes before as a beginner.
(You can also see our prices for classes and training HERE)
2. Membership to MobilityWod.com One of the most important things you can learn no matter what your goals in fitness are, is to be able to address and fix issues with your body before they become problems. Having an idea of what your problem is can help you to fix it yourself with the tools on MobiltyWOD from Dr KElly Starrett or be able to describe your issue better with your therapist or doctor if you do have an injury or problem. Remember pain is a signal that something is wrong not a just cue to take more medications to blunt it. You can come out worse with that approach such as many clients i have seen who have been pushed into taking cortizone shots without fixing the root of the issue such as faulty movement mechanics. You can also get one of the amazing SUPERNOVAs HERE.
3. PrecisionNutrition.com One of the most complete and unbiased collections of nutrition in one place on the web. Jon Berardi’s website features healthy nutrition and lifestyle help to give you the healthiest body and mind youve had yet. Experts from around the world help with the information and you can also find nutrition coaches in your area to help you or even get online coaching from the Precision Nutrition team. Most of the articles are free so dont miss out on this in 2014. Also a great local business I support in Cincinnati is TigerFitness.com for your supplement needs.
4. A Kettlebell (or two or 3,4,5….) Bet you thought i would have put that at #1. Seriously though the benefit of adding proper, kettlebell training can work wonders for every program out there whether it if fat loss, muscle gan, sports performance or coordination and balance training. I cant think of anything they cannot help with. They can help a powerlifter with balance and conditioning to the beginner with very little experience with weight trainingas it is such a fluid motion. Just make sure to work with an experienced trainer. Kettlebells in a boot camp atmosphere for beginners in my mind is a terrible idea. Due to the amount of multiplanar technical coordination skills, it is a must to earn proper ways to use a kettlebell. If youre close to cincinnati you can get Proper , affordable training here….. many great places to purchase quality kettle bells it just depends on which style you’d like . Competition or regular fitness kettlebells . Purchase at Perform Better, RogueFitness, IKFF, World KEttlebell Club or Vulcan.
5. Bulgarian Bag. or Ultimate Sandbag One of the most underrated tools out there I believe. Sure you can make one yourself but the quality and feel wont be there as Ivan Ivanovs Bag. A must for rotational sthletes and wrestlers, these little devils are core training beasts!!! Dont believe me? try the Spin Test with one at my gym. It involves 10 spins to each direction plus 10 pushups for 5 rounds. Anywhere near 3 minutes is great and trust me your whole body will feel it! see video below… You also could save ordering from Suples if you mention that you were sent there from Joe Daniels at SwingThis KEttlebell and Strength at least you could ask , it never hurts…. Get a rock solid and stable torso/ core in 2014. SAndbag training is great as well. Anytime you can use a training tool that closely simulates weights and forces that you come into contact everyday is going to benefit you. Sandbag= not getting as fatigued when handling bags of patio leveling rocks on for the weekend landscape warriors or for you internet cat lovers, you can hurl the kitty litter around like no ones business.
6. Heart Rate Monitor or athletic tracker. I am a big fan of tracking your heart rate. Its not even new technology but the Garmin Forerunner series keeps track of heart rate and GPS tracking. Speed, HR and elevation etc can be charted in real time through your workout and kept in a handy file online. Its cool to see what exercises affected your HEart rate in which ways. I use it a lot for training recovery with Kettlebell SPort. It can be a burden to keep your pulse during exerxise so it’ll just do it for you while tracking calorie expenditure as well. Of course you could use Fitbit or other types of movement trackers as well.
7. A Digital Food Scale and Nutrition Tracking apps Face it, most of you dont know how much you are eating . A digital scale can help you to weigh your food if only for a little while to understand how to implement a better nutritional intake and start good habits. While i dont recommend you have to weigh Everything , all the time, it is good to have for recipes and following nutrition plans that have to be strict. MyFitnessPal, LiveStrong etc, are only a couple of the many calorie and food databases out there that you can use to track your progress. While the apps are free, some have fees for add on services. Digital scales can run from $20 to hundreds of dollars. The Rubbermaid one below is here….
8. A Foam Roller If you’re still not using foam rolling for corrective exercise work and recuperation from training , then we cannot be friends. If you value our friendship and wish to remain within the circle of trust ( Meet the Parents anyone?) youll go to Triggerpoint Therapy , RumbleRoller.com or Perform Better to get one NOW. Youll thank me later. some of the most dramaticchanges we can make is to fix our mechanics and inhibit the tightness we cause our tissue from hard training or a sedentary desk job. Examples of foam rolling are everywhere from MobilityWoD and youtube. A Foam Roller is the basic you could start with then there are many many other tools you could add to your mobility routine along with the ARMAID (which I HIGHLY recommend for any kettlebell or crossfit training). While not a perfect tradeoff for massage therapy, it can definitely help and increase the benefits you get from massage. Check out also the M80 Roller ( tough, tough, and tougher, great density for legs. There you go MAtt, thanks for the Demos they work great.) and the TigerFitness RecoverRoller (Ribbed for your muscles pleasure….)
Can your ankle mobility affect your knee and back pain? Of course it can, Time to FiX IT!!!
9. These Shorts. These Hylete shorts are the most functional, and comfortable ones Ive used for the type of training I do and can even be fine to swim in. They rock and have a 2 year warranty. Go ahead beat em up.
10. YOUR CHOICE!!!
What is your “Must Have” for 2014?? let me know in the comments below!
11. A Nice Pack or Bag
Youre gonna need something to carry all your training tools, or gym stuff. Get rid of those non functional duffel bags that break. With that Kettlebell you have you can load it into a Marmot pack and take it hiking or the beach. Thats where Iprefer to exercise on vacation. Not very expensive but super versatile. Or if youd like to hike alot with a toddler, grab an Osprey Poco Plus pack. It fits great, is comfortable and Sadie loves going out for a couple miles in the wilderness. Why hiking ?? because its incredibly good for your all around fitness. Stability, strength and endurance wrapped into an enjoyable breath of fresh air in your favorite wildlife area! Just remember to take care of your favorite trails and please dont litter!
OPTIONAL This Knife….or one like it.
You should never be without a great knife. Period. This Spyderco knife is one of the most useful ones I’ve ever had for a sharp companion. Oh and its from Golden, CO USA, Earth. Cant beat that.
So there you go. Lots of fun can be had with these tools to make your 2014 resolutions and fitness plans come alive.
Have anything else we shouldnt miss out on?? Tell us below and hit one of those buttons underneath to share with your pals!
In health for 2014 , Joe Daniels SwingThis Kettlebell and Strength