Thursday, July 31, 2014

Get the Most Out of Your Squat by Avoiding This Common Mistake

You can't fix a problem until you recognize it.  Watch this video of Strikerfit Trainer Kristin to determine if your squat might need a little tweaking as a result of back and/or hip inflexibility... and if so, how to fix it. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Murdock's Testimonial

Many thanks to Debra Murdock for writing the following testimonial for Strikerfit!  Deb, you are an inspiration and we're thankful to know you.

Here she is in the natural state of her 20's
"I started my fitness journey 3 years ago at the age of 33.  I decided for the first time in my life to get serious about my health. I wanted to lose weight and get in 'serious' shape.  I had recently taken a job that required me to be in peak physical shape and I was done feeling like a 'fat person'.  

I used Weight Watchers Online to get my diet under control.  I quit smoking, cut down on my alcohol intake and worked out a few times a week.  I lost 30 pounds fairly quickly, but was struggling with getting in shape.  I tried multiple online workouts, joined a gym, and dabbled with CrossFit until I injured myself.  I decided I needed help and found Nikolai with Strikerfit.

The first personal training session kicked my ass in a way that I needed.  For the first time I felt I pushed myself to the limit.  I had lost a lot of weight, but hadn't built strength and endurance.  Over the next 8 weeks I worked with Nikolai twice a week.  Every session I was pushed (by Nikolai) to my limit and was impressed how quickly I saw results both physically and mentally.  Nikolai really helped me feel confident about my abilities and genuinely seemed proud and excited when I would overcome an obstacle or push through that last brutal set. 

I am currently on a workout plan that Nikolai designed. It focuses on my current goals of losing those last few stubborn pounds, building strength in my legs, increasing endurance and mastering the extremely fun art of the kettlebell.  I love using kettlebells in my workout! They make me feel like a Gladiator - but mainly because I see results quickly.  There is nothing better than going from feeling fat for most of your life to looking in the mirror and thinking 'Damn I look ripped!'"

2014:  Deb's Six Month Transformation

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Reasons to Love Kettlebells by Nikolai Puchlov

5 Reasons to Love Kettlebells
(List One)

I referred to this as “List One”, because although “100 Reasons to Love Kettlebells” is more accurate, there’s a chance you might not really appreciate all 100 reasons at once.  So I decided to start with these:  

1)      Kettlebells promote functional fitness; exercises that help you in real-life movement.  Conventional dumbbells and barbells are typically used in an isometric manner, meaning they only focus on one muscle (or large muscle group) at a time.  I liken this to learning how to say one word at a time.  On the other hand, your standard kettlebell exercises are compound and dynamic; requiring a larger range of motion and involving multiple muscle groups.  I liken this to using those “words” in a sentence.

2)      Kettlebells increase flexibility.  Those “range-of-motion” exercises I just mentioned?  You’ll quickly see why yoga isn’t the only game in town when it comes to flexibility.

3)      Kettlebells are versatile.  With a single kettlebell you can work your chest, back, biceps, legs, shoulders, triceps and core.  You can train for power, strength and conditioning, cardio, speed, sports… the possibilities are practically limitless.

4)      Kettlebells are mobile.  Kettlebells are one of the few pieces of exercise equipment that can do all of those things and travel in the trunk of your car.  When the weather is nice and the mood hits you – no, problem.  

5)      Kettlebells are compact.  That extremely effective impromptu park workout you just had?  How great is it that the arsenal of equipment required consisted of, oh, say three or four kettlebells.  They take up less space in your trunk than some people’s gym bags… and don’t smell if you forget to take them out afterward.

We really do have a passion for training with kettlebells and want to share it.  You’re invited to join us at our next “Swingin’ in the Park:  Free Outdoor Kettlebell Cross Training Class” at Alki Beach on Saturday, May 10th at 10:30 am (weather permitting), at our neighborhood kettlebell clubs, or for personal training.  For more information visit .


Nikolai Puchlov

Friday, March 28, 2014

Adrian's Journey to Fitness and Active Lifestyle

My Journey to Fitness and Active Lifestyle 

by Adrian Cowens

This Journey started with me in the Cardiac Care Unit. I had congestive heart failure, acute hypertension, and kidney failure. My weight had gotten to the point that my body was literally beginning to shut down. This was my epiphany moment that there needed to be drastic changes made if I was going to have the life that I wanted, to enjoy. Once I was stabilized I was released from the hospital and placed on a myriad of hypertension/high blood pressure meds. I was meticulous about seeing the Dr. for follow up visits and taking my medicine and keeping track of my blood pressure. I did this for about a year. I then began to think taking all these maintenance medicines in my mid 30’s does not bode well over the long-term. So though I had contained and stabilized the issue that had hospitalized me, the underlying problem still remained…my weight and activity level. I had not always been out of shape however I was so overweight and out of shape I really didn’t know where to begin - although I knew what had to be done.  I didn’t need to just lose weight; I needed to adopt an activity centered lifestyle.
I started with a change in my diet. I was lucky to live next door to a weekly farmers market and a local butcher. I adopted eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods with a menu based mainly on proteins and greens. Not only did I enjoy eating this way but after about 6 to 8 weeks with no exercise I lost my first 20lbs! I could feel the internal momentum building and wanted to keep it going. I then noticed there was a gym in my neighborhood in close proximity to my house. I went to Columbia City Fitness Center and asked about a membership. I spoke with Bull Stewart (the gym owner) and he convinced me that this was the next best step for me to take, so I signed a membership. I then had my first initial consultation and orientation with the gym’s Head Trainer and Strikerfit owner Nikolai Puchlov. I told him my weight and activity goals and he wrote up a plan for me to follow. I worked this plan for about 10 months adding it to my healthy eating plan. I lost 90lbs during this period of time.
Although I was being consistent in my eating and my work out plan, I found myself on a plateau. I then decided that perhaps now was the time to add personal training to my active lifestyle pyramid.  Nikolai started working with me doing 30-minute kettlebell training. On day one I didn’t even know what a kettlebell was, lol! The gains in coordination and power that I was noticing even within the first 6 weeks were phenomenal. I wanted to continue on this path and as I would get stronger the challenge would increase in weight, intensity and coordination. I had caught the kettlebell fever!  I have been in this phase of my training for the last 12 months and have lost another 30 pounds (now at 248 pounds) with muscular growth and gains in power and strength that have been amazing and wonderful. What’s more is my blood pressure is contained and I am on minimal medications to maintain it. My doctors said my EKG results read as if I am a complete different person and there is no sign of my congestive heart failure.  In addition, I have become friends with all the Strikerfit staff as they are wonderful, motivated, like-minded and active people. Come down and talk to Nikolai and the Strikerfit team to see how you can accomplish your goals… and thank you for taking the time to read my journey!