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Once Again, It’s Time For Change

I have been in the fitness industry since 1982 when I joined my first gym and also worked the front desk while helping members with their workouts.  Gyms were much different back then. We had a full line of the original Nautilus machines, tons of free weights, dumbbells, cable machines, squat stands (not racks), a weightlifting platform, and absolutely no cardio equipment. Rock music blasted the stereo and the mirrors were always fogged up from the humidity. This was a serious bodybuilding gym where Mike and Ray Mentzer would often pop in for a workout using High Intensity Training and putting on a great show posing for us. 

…I told my kettlebell class to grab a sandbag, a kettlebell, and get ready to do some TRX exercises as well. This moment changed the way me and my clients performed our workouts forever.

Fitness has changed a lot since then.  Now, we hear about Crossfit, core and functional training, Tabata Intervals, and the list goes on. Gyms like LA Fitness are much different now than my first gym in 1982 and mostly a social outlet with a lot of fluff and more cardio machines than anything. I never did get a decent workout at these types of gyms.

In early 2009 I left behind the 25+ years of gym training and started to workout at home and began using a combination of kettlebells and the TRX Suspension Trainer with a Tai Chi cooldown. My body was actually in a state of shock from having to actually “work”, balance, stabilize, and use its core during the entire session.  It paid off though, I rehabbed a torn Labrum in my right shoulder and actually regained a lot of strength while putting on some lean body mass in only 30 days.

In June 2009 I opened my boutique 900 sq ft fitness studio (which is now 2400 sq ft), Supreme Ultimate Fitness, in Boca Raton, FL and began teaching classes that consisted of kettlebells, sandbags, and the TRX. I was already using kettlebells for me and my clients when a Facebook friend told me about sandbags and then one day I told my kettlebell class to grab a sandbag, a kettlebell, and get ready to do some TRX exercises as well. This moment changed the way me and my clients performed our workouts forever.

Kettlebell-TRX

Kettlebell-TRX

So many others have caught on to this training format by seeing my youtube videos from my beach workouts and classes. I see many kettlebell instructors now incorporating both the TRX and sandbags in their training. There is a good reason, because it works all systems of the fitness chain: cardio, strength, and flexibility. Not only that but it also builds balance, core, and stability and if the workout is done correctly with static, ballistic, and explosive movements, will work both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers.  What more could you ask for in a 20 minute workout?

Now that I’ve preached the word of kettlebells, TRX, and Sandbags let me show you a typical 14 minute workout, not including warm up and cool down:

kettlebell 2 handed swings – 60 sec

kettlebell alternating swings – 30 sec

kettlebell cleans right – 30 sec

kettlebell cleans left 30 sec

kettlebell goblet squat  – 30 sec

TRX Pistols (one leg squat) left 30 sec

TRX Pistols right 30 sec

TRX rows – 30 sec

TRX Chest Press 30 sec

Sandbag clean and press – 60 sec

Sandbag deadlift with side to side rotation -60 sec

Kettlebell snatches right 30 sec

Kettlebell snatches left 30 sec

Kettlebell single leg deadlift right 30 sec

Kettlebell SLDL left 30 sec

TRX Bicep curl 30 sec

TRX Triceps Press 30 sec

Sandbag shouldering – 60 sec

Kettlebell overhead press left 30 sec

Kettlebell overhead press right 30 sec

Sandbag Russian Twists – 60 sec

TRX suspended crunch – 30 sec

TRX plank – 30 sec

You can switch exercises and order. I like to use combo of upper and lower body, push and pull, and keep it moving with no rest. Use a gymboss timer or something similar so you can focus on the workout.  More advanced students can go up to 30 minutes with this workout. Tons of different exercises and combination. You will never have to do the same workout twice.

This type of training does require that you start with proper technique using kettlebells and the TRX and moving slowly into a full blow workout after you have mastered the basic exercises. I would suggest finding a certified instructor in your area.  If you need any help with that let me know and I will be happy to locate one for you.


Dale Buchanan has been working in the fitness industry since 1982. He is the owner of Supreme Ultimate Fitness in Boca Raton, FL, where he instructs and coaches people on how to use kettlebells as well as conduct bootcamp style group classes with kettlebells, sandbags, ropes, TRX, and other fun tools. He also performs personal training sessions for the elite Boca Raton residents. His philosophy is a WHOLISTIC approach to fitness, health, and wellness. A lifestyle that encompass a balance between mind and body. Not just to look great; to feel great, move well, and have no injuries.