Thursday, February 28, 2008

This time and place...

So many random actions brought me to where I am today. Mostly, I hold Jeff Martone responsible.
Back in early 2007 I bought Hand 2 Hand kettlebells off of Jeff's Tactical Athelte site. I was particularly interested in his pull up combinations. So I was banging out all these weird moves jumping up into pull ups in-between when- Snap! I tore a tendon in my right hand. I wouldn't say I'm tough as much as dumb and proud, so of course I tried to walk it off despite the agonizing pain.
Then troop surge came, I got a phone call, and then I'm at Camp Roberts CA in the 143rd Task Force with a one way ticket to LSA Anaconda Iraq, otherwise known as Mortar-ita-ville. I'm not kidding.
I try to avoid griping too much, so there I am rocking out at Camp Roberts, eating two hot dogs a day from the base vendor because the food sucks so bad, trying to ignore the finger which is quickly becoming my entire hand.
So I go on an assault course and pull a shoulder roll straight out of a John Woo movie and slam that same finger. Snap!
Now it's serious. Problem is that the unit had more than enough soldiers, so they've been cutting loose anyone who steps forward with a hang nail, and by the time they realize they're running short, it's too late. Now no one leaves.
So I make it all the way to Pre-Dep in Fort Dix New Jersey. Remember the story about the terrorist wannabes plotting to attack Ft. Dix? Yeah, that was right before I left for Ft. Dix.
So I'm rolling through medical screening when I get pulled. Long story short, I'm back on a plain to CA. That's fine with me. I'm in no hurry to make friends with an IED. Going to Kosovo in '99 was annoying enough.
So I'm back in SF. No money, no place to live, no job, nothing. Shortly I'm training clients in the park that I've recruited off of Craig's List with a beat up 16 kilo kettlebell and bodyweight exercises. Gradually I get a few clients back from my Equinox days, but for the most part I'm just rebuilding. I'm couch surfing, training in the park, but I'm not getting shot at, so...
I order more kettlebells. I recruit more clients. I find a dance studio in Mountain View that will let me train there durin goff hours. I'm driving around with a car full of kettlebells and a wallet full of nothing. I am working 18 hours a day all told and trying to figure out exactly where this is going. I know I don't want to go train in a 'by the hour' personal training gym. No hit on those cats, it's just not my thing. I need a home. A couple people step forward and generously offer to bankroll my facility. That's awesome, but I really need to make a strong effort to do this on my own.
ONe day a client and friend Cindy Glass RKC tells me that Mark Reifkind told her to have me contact him regarding training at Girya.
Wow, there's two guys around here named Mark Reifkind who have a training facility called 'GIrya'? Because I know it's not the Senior RKC who tortures people on the foam rollers.
Oh, but it is.
Then I'm training at Girya. Then I'm assisting Rif at a Kettlebell workshop at Axis Personal Training.
Then the other day I order a book from the Diesel Crew and Jedd Johnson compliments my website and links my blog. Check it out.
Hey, to me that's like finding your name in the liner notes of a Pantera CD.
So here I am, and it keeps getting better everyday.
Thanks Jeff. Oh, and Vanessa, Cindy, Rif, Tracy, Joe, Bert, Todd, Jedd, and everyone else involved who I may have forgotten.
The below shot is from Camp Roberts in 2007. Obviously having a ball.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quit yer gripin'.

Seriously. The way this kid moves is incredible. You now officially have nothing to complain about.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There's hip snap, and then there's HIP SNAP!

Snappy hips are happy hips. Just had to throw that in again. :)
During the Axis workshop this weekend Tracy Reifkind did some swings for the Axis trainers, and this was the first time I saw her hip snap first hand and really payed attention to it. It hurts to watch this. You think for sure she's going to break something, but no, this is just the ultimate realization of what you're going for when it comes to the basis of most athletic movement.
I'm not a high volume swing guy, it's just not my thing (though I suspect it will be starting August 1st) but this degree of hip snap makes sense when Rif tells the trainers about the thousands of swings Tracy does. I'm not talking about in a week, I'm talking about in a workout.
I'm pointing this out because I'm seeing so many cases of people just not having any hip snap. None. It's not that they can't do it, it's that they don't quite know what it is. Having that essential component missing from your game is a huge problem, because you're missing out on a lot of the power you should be owning.

Below is some video I shot of a two 40 kilo kettlebell one handed deadlift. When I have access to 4 40 kilo kettlebells I'll try a 4/40 deadlift. I have to work out some positioning issues as I have a pretty small frame.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Workshop with Rif, Joe, and Tracy

This Saturday I had the pleasure of assisting Rif along with Tracy and Joe Sarti during his basics kettlebell workshop at the Axis personal training center in Menlo Park, CA. It was a great chance for me to observe and learn from three great instructors and to practice my work with groups. I did kettlebells with a group of five at the Equinox Workshop, but this time I had 10 at one point. Trying to keep track of 10 trainers trying to learn Turkish Get Ups is no easy task. :)
Aside from honing my instructional skills I of course learned more than a few things. I'm really happy that Rif is starting to do these things as I know the desire to learn kettlebells is out there, and I'd rather people go right to the source as opposed to learning from questionable characters. More than a few times I heard people saying "I learned it a different way, and apparently that was the wrong way."
It's like someone teaching you to drive a car with drum brakes and then someone installs power brakes and things become much more manageable. Then a Hurst shifter, and you get the drift.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Like huge, godzilla sized disgusting!

Disgusting on an epic scale!
But oh so hollywood...

I was watching tv (first mistake) and a commercial for Bally's came on.

Let me give you the back story on Bally's.

Back when I first decided to start training full time, I was a babe in the woods, so I checked out everyone. The employment section of the Bally's website indicated that you could get hired as a trainer with no certification as long as you attained said cetification (still not worth a damn) in 90 days?
Are you freaking kidding me?! That told me everything I needed to know on that count.

So I'm watching tv and a commercial for Bally's comes on. Of course it's like a moving picture of my own private hell. Then there is this one part that really burrowed it's way into my psyche. It's this high school drop out girl jumping up and down yelling through one of those little cardboard cheerleader megaphones at some guy doing some sort of exercise or something.

Really Bally's? Really?
Let's talk. I feel like I kind of need to take you to the curb and maybe help you with your completely twisted view of just what goes on in a gym. I know it's not you, it's the advertising department. Whatever it is, I hate to think that my clients will be dissappointed when I don't whip out a megaphone and start ranting through it about sucking the belly button into the spine.

Short story: The fitness industry hates you. They will gladly pave the way to the bank with your broken bodies. There is no reason to join a coporate gym ever.
I have two Gym Memberships. Equinox (because it was free), and Diesel in Burlingame. Diesel is closer to what we're mostly looking for as it looks like an underfunded highschool gym, they have bumper plates, and they let me bring kettlebells in.

If you're looking for a point to this post, stop looking. File this under 'rants'.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Los Angeles RKC

Guess where I'm going? Today Dragondoor posted the next CA RKC in LA. I signed up immediately. I think this thing will sell out in a week.
Right now all training is geared to the TSC. After that I'm going to push my weight back up to 175 lbs. I don't think I'm going to get below 160 lbs. for the TSC. I was letting it drop to boost my pull ups, but they're going so well I think I'll break 20 by April without much trouble, so I'm going to play that by ear.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In the interests of not killing you...

If you have trained with me, you have probably heard those words come out of my mouth before, most likely heralding the end of a session. Such as... "In the interests of not killing you, I think we'll bring this session to a close."
I bring this up because I took another off day today and decided to ramp down my morning snatches a bit. Not a lot, just a bit. I think I'm going to play them against my training cycles. If I'm overloading I bring them down, if I'm going light for a few weeks I bring them up. Primarily I want my body to become acclimated to doing them. So I have brought it down to a 20 kilo, and am going to alternate them with Jerks. As in one day- Snatches, the next day- Jerks, etc.
I love, love, love what I do. I love that I get to hang out with and learn from so many talented people. Today Cindy kicked me down some stuff she saw Pavel doing at the RKC in San Jose, and one of my clients who is a skilled massage therapist and yoga teacher corrected my janky cobra stretch form. You would be surprised how easy it is to teach this stuff all day, and then be all messed up in your own practice. Mostly because I take it for granted and get sloppy.
Below is a quick video showing a move you can do to build your core strength while also building your grip. Work to keep your body tight and not use momentum. I will try to completely stop at the bottom before returning to the top. This shows a basic, intermediate, and advanced version. Attempt to keep it around five reps. When you get over five make it more difficult.
video
I just saw a commercial for some movie called 'Never back down' and the guy was using kettlebells. It will probably suck, but I'm all over it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

San Jose RKC

Today I went out to the RKC in San Jose, CA. If I weren't already sold on getting out to one this summer (which I am) I would be now. Everyone here was ready for game time. Everyone knew that if you show up to this thing out of shape you're going to get crushed. In a good way, in a way that benefits you.
I hear people make a lot of silly excuses for why they don't read Pavel's books, or aren't interested in the RKC. There are certain points in life where you just have to do the math and accept the calculations you recieve. This guy has the goods, clearly. I think some people assumed I wasn't interested in the RKC, but quite the opposite. 2007 was like a battering ram hitting me at 120 mph every five seconds for 12 months straight, but now that it's over I'm free to work for myself.
It was good to be around a bunch of people walking down the correct path, not rocking the leg extension machines and doing hard cardio sessions on the exercise bike. It was good being around a group that doesn't move away from the pain.
I picked up a couple kettlebells to improve my morning snatch sessions as well as a copy of the Beyond Stretching Seminar DVD. Don't bother trying to call me for the next week. This thing is lke 5 hours long.
The tears on my left hand have already closed up and I am ready to destroy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Max VO2 build up strategy

So you've got good snatch form, and you have some endurance, but you get smashed about 5 mintues into trying to do your Max VO2 snatch workout. I'll go out on a limb and say that for some of you this is mental, but for others of you, you just need an efficient strategy for building up your endurance and mental toughness. Doing the Max VO2 and adding minutes until you hit the 25 is one strategy, but I prefer to start right out of the gate with as much punishment as you can sustain. In reference to that I present you with my Max VO2 build up strategy.
This isn't really anything new I don't think, and some of you may already be doing it, but I'm the guy who made the excel sheet. :)
This is pretty simple. All we are doing is taking Max VO2 15/15 and breaking it up in to 5, 5 minute blocks. In the beginning you may be able to snatch through all 5 blocks, but find you need a 2-3 minute break between two of them. All you do is consistently whittle that break down throughout your workouts. Don't try to make big jumps, if you could you would already be doing that, in which case you know you're just weak sauce and could have done it all along. We want steady progression.
Now maybe you fall in the category of someone who just can't snatch for 25 minutes yet. Perhaps your hands are a factor. If so I suggest the Tracy Socks. Otherwise you would integrate swings. The idea is to get 25 minutes of work, and not let the excuse machine get us out early. In this case you will employ swings once you are unable to keep up snatches. Preferably one handed swings, and once those wear out you transition to two handed swings. Again, the idea here is to keep the work going for the full 25 minutes. If you must take breaks between the five minute blocks, keep them under 3 minutes, as it is highly unlikely you really need more than that, you just think you do.
Download the MaxVO2 Progression Sheet here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Todd's 10 minute long cycle

I like to recognize when things go well with a client, and so I thought I'd put up a post regarding one of my clients; Todd.
We started out at the beginning of July when I got back from my little vacation on the east coast. He was the first new client I recruited.
At the time he was able to do 7 push-ups, and could swing a 16 kilo kettlebell about 7 reps before fatigue took him out. Performing my bodyweight circuit of 3 rounds of 30 squats, 10 push ups, and 5 burpees was iffy at best. Now Todd does over 40 push ups, finished the bodyweight circuit with a sub 2:40 time, and snatches the 24 kilo for reps. He does the Max VO2 15/15 7 reps per 15 for 25 minutes, and now performs the Max VO2 36/36 for 20 sets. Never mind all the sled dragging and other assorted feats.
Recently we have started doing timed sets to build up work capacity as he will most likely start inserting some Crossfit into his program, which will have a heavier endurance component, whereas we tend to have a heavier strength component. He is able to do 10 minutes straight of 16 kilo snatches, and today performed one arm long cycle for 10 minutes straight with the 16 kilo. From here on out it will be a matter of reducing the number of hand switches, currently 1 each minute. This video is of part of a circuit we used today of 1 minute of jerks with 16 kilos and some core work. No argument can be made that Todd is a genetic freak, this is a matter of hard work and perseverance. You can do the same. video

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inner Strength

I'm watching some television right now, or as my great grandmother referred to it I'm "Looking at the television." I don't know why, but that always struck me as being funny.
This is some thing about people who want the perfect body and have surgery or do all these goofy workouts. This guy is going on and on about how everyone looks at him and it's kind of sad. It's this weird attention seeking deal based solely upon how you look. Meanwhile I know this character would be carried out of my workout in a bodybag. That's not really attention seeking behavior on my part, it's a lesson plan. It's a matter of being able to make it through the apocalypse, should it come to that. Hey, I'm a worst case scenario kind of guy. Not because I'm a negative person, but because I want to be prepared. Better to know how to rock it with an MP5 and not have to, than need to and not know how to rack a round in the chamber.
Back to the point... this is insane. I'm watching this right now. So this guy says he wants to look like a statue, and his dad is shaving his ass. He says he shaves what he can, and his dad shaves his backside. WTF?!
Look. I hope that when the day comes I am the best father I can possibly be. However, comma, if my son ever asks me to shave his ass, I will throw him out of the house. Clearly I have failed.
Often when I see this type of behavior I know it's because they lack self confidence, and they're trying to make it up by setting themselves up for positive feedback.
Here's my thing. I don't really care how big you are. I don't care how sweet your six pack abs are. Are you a good father? Do you treat people respectfully? Most Importantly, can you TGU 100 lbs.? :)
Then there are the women, who are worse than the men, unfortunately, which is usually not the case. Usually it's the women who have our number something fierce. I think if I was judged solely upon how I looked it would really bum me out. You really have to have something else to offer other than your appearance. If you don't, maybe your dad should have thrown you out of the house.
Below is the mighty Pantera. If you don't currently train with them, you should.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another night in sanctuary

There's been a lot going on the past week, and several things I'm pretty excited about. Things are looking really good business wise, and I feel like my clients are doing well. I can do 6 hours straight of training and it feels like I've just been having a ball.
People that I look up to or consider to be peers are also doing great and that makes me happy because I know they really put out and are trying to do the best they can. Will Williams has relocated to California and it looks like he's doing great. Every time I read his blog it's like driving by my childhood home, because he speaks in Marine Corps Infantry-ese. If you haven't read his blog yet it's in the links to the right of this blog you're reading. If you live in SoCal you should run, not walk, to train with this cat. Before too long you won't be able to get a slot anymore.
The thing about personal training is that it's real easy to be worthless and still make a bunch of cash. I'll tell you straight up, I could do totally worthless training, charge $100 an hour, and be booked solid through 2023. I could sell ketchup ice cream pops to an Eskimo in white gloves. I am an incredible salesmen. However, I have morals. Plus, it just makes me feel good to know I'm helping people do something they might not be able to do on their own.
I think it is very true, that if you wouldn't do this for free (training), you're in the wrong business.
Below is some video I just put together of a few core exercises I do.


BTW, I've started up a training log at Battles I have fought

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My morning 'wake up' snatch routine

This week has been good. Good for my clients as I feel everyone is moving along nicely, and good for myself as I got some good training in. I ripped out a dozen pull-ups this morning without too much effort, so I feel strong on the way to my twenty, I just have to hit it harder over the next month.
I've devised a morning snatch routine to be performed every day. When I was a kid I always had chores, often in the morning. I connect with a hard work ethic, and I always think of farmers who have to get up first thing in the morning and get it done. I think that builds character as it's easy to be lazy in the morning and waste a good chunk of your day. You need to just pull the chord and get the motor running as quick as you can.
So, since I don't have a farm, I'm going to start doing 10 minutes of 24 kilo snatches every morning after I feel 'warmed up' from my sleep cycle.
This isn't ten minutes straight or anything crazy, just a leisurely set of snatches as I watch the morning news.
I think the main thing will be to make sure I don't end up walking around all day with bits of chalk under my fingernails. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Killswitch engage

I was re-reading Power to the People! today. :)
Try a little experiment. Flip through PTTP and then walk into your local McGym. It's like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face. The thing is, I get why it happens. I understand that most people just don't know any better. My problem is when people do know better and choose not to pursue this.

Actual conversation:
Trainer 1: I noticed you doing one of the exercises he (me) does. What's it called?
Trainer 2: It's a Turkish Get Up.
Trainer 1: What's the purpose?
Trainer 2: It's good for building whole body functional strength.
Trainer 1: Oh. Is that really something you worry about?

I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't standing there.

A big part of the problem is routine and humility. When I received my rude awakening I was doing good compound movements (deadlift, squat, etc.) and running hard. It would have been easy to shrug it off and go back to what I was doing, make excuses that "I don't do that type of training." Would have been real easy. I can't imagine how rough it would have been if I was doing bodybuilding routines and riding the stationary bike for cardio.
Instead I had to suck it up and do the do. I had to do the boatloads of swings and TGU's. I had to re-set to zero and re-learn everything I thought I knew. It put me on a different path that led me to where I am today. I used to be really, really small. I mean painfully small. At the lowest I was 114 lbs. at 5'8" when I was 21. I usually hovered around 140 in my twenties, and could get up to 160, but it was a fat 160. :)
People who haven't seen me in a while and see me now are always doubtful when I tell them it's mostly just kettlebells.
You get out what you put in. Hard work (done safely) equals results. How did we get so far away from something that at it's base is so simplistic?
This is where the mental part comes in. Some people just play with kettlebells, and some of us go up against them like we're wrestling King Kong on a caffeine jag. Where's the dividing line? It's in your head. Doing my 5 minute snatch tests getting ready for the TSC I've had to re-connect with that brutal mind set I had in the Marines. You can't go 100% all the time, you just can't. You have to back off a bit, and I've done that. Now it's time to killswitch engage and start prodding the beast with a stick again. Then when you don't need him anymore you slam the cage door.
Some of my clients have reached the point where they have the physical tools, but don't have the mindset.
So you walk into the box. You walk in a wad of chewed up cookie dough, and you walk out carved out of wood. Five minutes in the box with your 16 kilo, or 20 kilo, ripping out as many snatches as you can perform safely. I watch, and wait for the deviations before I call a mandatory rest. Most likely if you walk into the box you can already snatch like you're ringing a bell, so it isn't an issue.
You can't leave the box, so there's nowhere to run, no way to stall. If you get 80 snatches today, next week you get 85.
It's just one way of building your mental toughness. It's a gut check. Rack walking two 16 kilos up the Lion Street Stairs in SF is another. Pick your poison, it all goes down the same.
On another note I'm starting work on an e-book today that is going to be pretty good. I've been interested in doing one of these, but I don't want to just re=hash something that's been done a hundred times. It has to be unique, and I think this will be. More to come.
Seacrest out.

BTW, coffee is for closers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

There is no mercy in this dojo, mercy is for the weak.

Today I did some grappling with Cindy Glass RKC. It's good for me to instruct this stuff as I have to really think about how I do it. I started seriously grappling when I was 18. After a while having drilled the fundamentals and just hammered it in during hours and hours on the mat it just became "You came at me, you screwed up, I took your back, you're unconscious, game over." Now I have to go back and reverse engineer all this stuff.
I've been toying for a while with the idea of doing very limited self-defense training. More along the lines of what Tony Blauer does than what you see in the McDojos. "Here's how I beat someone unconscious with a rolled up magazine. Here's how to choke someone with a water bottle."
Primarily, to learn how to avoid these situations is the best self-defense tactic.
Combining that with Lt.Col. Grossman's teachings, and strength training. Nothing you could ever use in competition, but when things go bad, you survive.
The big thing with me is physical readiness. I've run across way too many martial artists who are just in sorry shape. All the technique in the world won't save you if you can't catch your breath.
I developed an idea that is going to be freaking brutal.
Max VO2 36/36.
However.
Instead of 36 seconds of rest you are running one of a selection of drills to include:
1. Defense against punches from the guard position.
2. Sprawl defense against a takedown.
3. Double leg takedown and mount.
4. Apply a submission from the guard.

Keep drilling the same four over and over. Then change it up to only applying four submissions in mixed selection- Triangle, Armbar, Kimura, Guillotine.

The key here is precision under pressure. One of the biggest things I find is that people just need to calm down and apply the techniques. Granted, this can be hard if you're eating a flurry of punches on the way into the guard, but you really don't have a lot of choice. With only 36 seconds to get taken down, get in the guard, and apply a triangle, you can't be sloppy.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Making the pieces fit

The last week was nuts, and to make matters worse my shoulders both decided to take a vacation. Piercing pain in the right shoulder made putting anything overhead impossible. Then as the pain dissipated from the right shoulder the left flared up with the exact same thing. What does this tell me? I'm not injured for one thing, and something's locked up. Went in to my massage guy and he confirmed I was locked up between my shoulders blades, and my left shoulder is freaking out. I figured out it was the pull=ups, and some detail I was not seeing caused it. Not a huge deal, i just need to pay attention and make sure I don't do it again. My shoulders have always been kind of tricky.
I'm shaving my training down, kicking out the max VO2 for now and switching to timed sets. Mixing sets of snatches and jerks with pull ups. After the TSC I'll go back to max VO2, but for now I find my body responds better to training within the mode of the event, so timed sets.
Now there is the matter of body weight. This turns into a bit of a math problem. I'm walking around at 165-170 right now depending on the time of day, but my body is most comfortable around 155. Question: At what point will a weight drop start shaving more poundage off my deadlift than I make up in pull ups? Really, I don't think that much. I've pulled 385 at 155 lbs. before on a regular basis, I know I can pull 405 right now at 165-170. I'm pretty confident that if I get up to 425 at my current weight, I will still be able to pull it at 155, but will also gain 5 or more pull ups. I know I can bang out 20 pull ups at 155. Probably 15 right now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Elements of the snatch- Pt. 1

The below is Pt. 1 of some bits and pieces I have picked up regarding the kettlebell snatch. I put this together at the request of a blog reader. This is not meant to be the end all be all of snatching, they are just things I have discovered by trial and error, and work for me.
Also, I just received my copy of the February crossfit journal and almost fell out of my chair reading the title of one of the articles "You can't lift what you can't hold on to." If you saw the end of my towel swings and pull-ups video you know why. :)
BTW, there's good kettlebell article in this one. Overall it looks like they really outdid themselves with this issue. If you aren't subscribed to the crossfit journal, I mean, seriously people...

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Elements of the snatch
Pt. 1

1. Snappy hips are happy hips- The hips are the center of most athletic movements. If your hips are not the primary mover during your snatches, you have a problem. If you find your upper body is becoming worn out quickly, there is a good chance that you are pulling primarily with the upper body and not properly employing the hips. You must also be careful not to treat the hip drive as almost a ‘decorative’ movement, and remember that it has a very distinct purpose. Those of you who properly employ you’re hips in the snatch may wonder how someone can treat the movement as ‘decorative’, but it happens all the time. This may be displayed as the hips lacking explosive power and just sort of being ‘put’ out there, or being deployed too late. If you are throwing your hips out when the kettlebell is already halfway up the body, you are not using them as the primary force by which the bell is propelled upward. If you realize you do not have the explosive power element, go back to swings and develop it. Snatching is cool, all the cool kids do it. Based upon this reality we have a tendency to want to jump right to snatching. In this instance as in most, patience is a virtue. Return to the swing and develop explosive power directly from the hips. After that, work on your one handed high pulls. After that, snatch away.

2. The Pull- The kettlebell snatch is not a stiff armed endeavor. If your arm is straight and you are effectively performing an ‘explosive swing’, you can hardly help but bang up your forearm. You want a slight bend in your elbow somewhat similar to a high pull so that you have room to ‘punch through’ at the top of the movement. On the way down you will want this as well in order to avoid ‘casting’ the bell out. Casting is poor form and can cause unnecessary strain on the shoulder, as well as pull you away from your foundation. You can also avoid casting by leaning back slightly as you descend. Where you might ordinarily fall back, you are counterbalanced by the bell and this will help clean up your descent, and make your long snatch sets easier as you are not employing as much muscular resistance to the downward force.

3. The open hand- If you find you have trouble stabilizing the bell at the top, are death-gripping it, or are getting excessive friction in your palm on the way up, try opening your hand. Right after I punch through I open my hand. This also solves the problem of hyper-extending the wrist for most people. If you hyper-extend too far with an open hand, the bell will fall out of your hand. By keeping my hand open I also relax my forearm flexors, so I am less likely to burn my grip out quickly.

4. Chalk Up- Use chalk. It will help with your grip and also puts an extra layer between the handle and your hand, which will reduce friction. It will also suck up some of the sweat coming off of you, which will help the grip. Chalking up also makes you a better person. If possible don't just chalk your hands, but chalk the kettlebell handle as well. Painted or treated handles don't hold chalk as well as the raw iron or steel. You can also score your handles to hold the chalk. Along the same lines, also degrease your bells. Hand oils and other assorted non-sense can make the slippery. Per Jared Savik's suggestion I use rubbing alcohol first on the handles, then wash them off and dry them before chalking them.