Ladies kettlebell group

Women’s Strength training

Women’s Strength training workout

Unfortunately many women think that once they start lifting weight they will all of a sudden get big or “too bulky”. This way of thinking has been around for as long as a can remember. It’s a pity that some simply don’t understand that a woman’s body simply does not release enough testosterone in the body to create this perceived increase in size. What I have found is that (with no offence) their poor diet and over indulgence in food over time has caused them to get big.

The benefits of getting some muscle onto you frame are many. One reason is to simply get strong enough to be able to cope with the daily workload and another is the fact that if you are carrying a bit of muscle your body it is in a better position to burn more calories when either doing low impact movements or attacking the local group fitness class. It cost a lot of energy (calories) in moving a more muscular body and the body is now programmed to burn more while still at rest.

A clear benefit when you are fitter and stronger.

So gear up and hit some of those weight and start building that body you are after. Simply doing cardio on the treadmill at home will not do the job. Apart from making you bored it not enough.

A sample workout that I roll out to my clients is as follows. It cover a full body program in my women’s only class and gets them stronger , fitter and with a sound nutritional plan much leaner, with nice muscles to boot.

Women’s strength exercises

Warmup – Mobility drills

These involve a quick series of drill that cover the most basic movements the body also depends on the weather in how long we will stay on the warm-up drills.

Kettlebell swing – A fundamental within the Kettlebell series of exercises the swing and it variants offers a dynamic workout to those hips, legs, core and is an absolute cardio workout. It’s basically one of my go to movements when it comes to looking after the ladies.

Kettlebell around the legs. – This movement involves the manoeuvring around the legs in a figure 8 patterns while keeping the hips folded back. It’s for a bit of fun while still providing a challenging workout those hips and thighs. Obviously you will be taught how to perform this movement before we hit you with a heavier bell.

Double Kettlebells deadlift – The deadlift on its own it a rewarding movement and is not specifically Kettlebell related. Due to the ease of the movement we don’t require the set up time when conducting a group session and simply grab two bells and hit those reps. The Kettlebell deadlifts happens to offer a better range of motion on the back phase those tight areas and sits quite comfortable at the top end. This allows me to get some high volume work in while keeping user friendly.

Double Kettlebell cleans – With a solid understanding of the basic Kettlebell lifts the introduction to the clean with the bells is a great way in teaching you to absorb impact, work those hips and keep the core tight. An added benefit is the workout the arms get in holding onto those bells. A fundamental move that allows you to safely pick the Kettlebells up in an efficient and safe manner.

Double Kettlebell squats – Once you have become efficient with the Kettlebell clean you are now able to pick them up and start you squat training. Once they are taught to be held in position your are then able to execute the front squat with the bells in getting those quads truly worked. Having the bells in from are that your core in works hard in keeping an upright position while also promoting a good posture. A great one for the ladies.

Double Kettlebell Shoulder press– One of my favourite movers for the upper body are the Double bell press. They allow you to have a nice overhead positioning and when worked in volumes also hit the core well. The aesthetics results with the press are sure to come when adherence to proper technique is applied along with a pair of nice looking shoulders. By the way ladies the arms get a solid workout and take a more natural shape in hitting a well-known target area of the triceps.

Single leg deadlifts – To fully appreciate how good this hits the gluteus, the use of a Kettlebell becomes an essential tool. When performed properly the gluteus get the best workout that I can deliver with any exercise. I have heard many comments after working my group with this exercise -never a complaint.

Once the strength component of the session is complete its fair to say that the cardio component was also looked after. You see by using the Kettlebell the effect on the cardio system also gets a workout so you don’t have to do the old weights first and cardio last program you get rolled out at most commercial gyms.

The cardio and strength are worked together.

For a finisher and depending on time I usually get the sandbags out and for a bit of fun do the drill for time. These put the icing on the cake for a greater calorie burn. They are safe and get the job done and given the already established fatigue on of the body certainly add value to my ladies group class.

  • Sandbag power press
  • Sandbag shouldering

In finishing we perform the same mobility drills that we did from the start. It allows the ladies to get their heart rate down and test out their mobility compared to when they commenced class.

It also puts them in a better frame of mind knowing the belted out a solid and rewarding workout.

Claude Castro runs his business Claudefit Personal Training in a private setting. Premises are located in Mill Park.



Kettlebells for Mobility

Kettlebells for Mobility and Strength

It still surprises me to this day that most gym goers neglect something that is an important component of their overall fitness and strength program. People tend to neglect their mobility work in stretching and flexibility as parts of their workout not realising that it will go a long way in adding value to their program. It’s best described as something they will do at home later. Somehow I don’t think this will happen. In the past I’ve myself have been guilty in taking this approach. I guess I was too busy and in a rush wanting to get home and didn’t really place too much emphasis on it.

The bottom line is we all need some form of Mobility for the benefits it brings. Take yoga for instance and you will soon understand why it’s such a popular past time. Its stretches you out, makes you feel great and promotes a healthy outlook in life. However one component is missing. It’s not strength training.

So what will allow you to both get a strength and mobility workout in a single session? well this is where the ever reliable Kettlebell comes into it. The Kettlebell will allow a natural pattern of movement and with the three exercises I will cover with be all you need in combining the elements of mobility, stretching and strength.

The Kettlebell movements here are the Turkish get up, the goblet squat and the dynamic swing. Along with the relevant stretches (depending on your needs) you will be well served at getting what you want. A more flexible, stronger and mobile individual.

The Turkish get up. This old and dynamic exercise will allow you to from a lying position stand up again with the weight been held above your head in a press/locked out position. It’s not just a “trick”exercise that gets you to stand up and lie back down again. It’s more than that. The benefits here are within the transition of various positions in getting you to stand up and get back down again in benefiting both sides of the body. With an experienced RKC Kettlebell Instructor you can be sure this single exercise can work your movement, flexibility and strength components all in the same workout.

The Goblet Squat. This little treasure if performed correctly benefits you in getting those tight hips to open up in a controlled and safe plain. I’ve used it many times in getting the older gentlemen with tight hips in both aiding inflexibility and simply taking away the pain of feeling rigid and sore as men often do. The other is that it promotes a solid postural position in its application, on obvious carry over effect if daily life. Especially for those office workers who seek comfort from sitting down all day. It’s also an excellent way to teach someone how to squat. If you can get them to perform a proper goblet squat it makes sense to be able to do a freestanding one and then progress with load.

The Kettlebell Swing. One of my go to movement for most fitness requirement in delivering results. The swing allows me in one movement to get the hips to fold and contract the posterior chain , it helps me indirectly teach the deadlift, compliments your running mechanics, builds stamina and is a clear winner in burning calories.Overall performing the kettlebell swing and its many variables is a staple here at claudefit. Because it works. 

The above three exercise on their very own are great for delivering solid results in movement, flexibility and strength and have certain carry over effect in many sporting application. You can also add more specific exercises depending on your needs. Together they make up a total movement package in making you both stronger all over and mobile.

Unfortunately a lot of trainers get to the fun stuff because they mistakenly think this is what client needs.   Yes it is what the client needs but with most movements you are required to have an adequate range of motion. (ROM)   And guess what gets it done. mobility work.Without a sufficient ROM you will not be able to benefit from the exercises properly and get the results you are after.

It’s important to include mobility work into you program, over time you will learn to move, stretch and work on flexibly more efficiently over a workout. Once you take the time to apply some simple drills you will never look back.

I’m sure you work out to Move better, feel better and look you best. So grab a kettlebell now and get started.

Claudefit is a certified RKC2 instructor with over 7 years of practical experience.

Ladies Workout

Ladies workout

As a personal trainer the ability to get the job done quick is something that people assume will just happen. Unfortunately if getting results was “quick and easy” you would not require hiring the services of a personal trainer or having the need to sign up for that body challenge, skinny jeans fitting group fitness class and sadly being pressured into signing a long term fixed contract with a global commercial gym.  Nor would you have the need to purchase the variety of expensive supplement out there in the hope of looking/feeling great.  It’s not hard in getting the results you are after. You just need to know how to go about it in a practical and realistic way.

It all takes hard and committed work. So you might as well come to terms with it and find a suitable trainer that knows how to put it all together.

For my lady clients I have several ways in getting them toned, lean, not too bulky and to drop weight. In addition they will feel they have more energy to burn for other pursuits. All I ask is that you do what’s required. That you manage your nutritional requirements, commit to yourself and do the work. This is where I teach you what to do as you require. It is the reason you will hire me right?

One of my favourite fat burning workouts for the ladies who have a sound fitness base and can now be pushed a little harder or my ladies group classes. The following is a typical workout and what you expect to get. It targets your hips, legs, core, arms, gluteus and burns a lot of calories which my female clients enjoy.

Warm up

  • 3 x 2 minute round of skipping
  • Bear crawls for time

Kettlebell Workout

  • Two hand Kettlebell swing 30 second x 5
  • Double Kettlebell Military press 5 x5
  • Double Kettlebell clean 5×5
  • 2 minute skipping
  • Double Kettlebell squats 5 x5
  • Double Kettlebell  single leg Deadlift 5 x5

At this stage the whole body has been worked and the heat rate is going to be elevated so expect to have already burned a few calories in just the first part of the program. After a brief rest we wrap up and put the gloves on and change the theme over to a Boxing protocol. Given that my experienced client are able to utilise footwork , have solid grasp of punching techniques and can perform pad work one on one, it time to push the pace and smack some focus pads. This is where you simply move and punch. Given a basic boxing understanding it fair to say the calorie burn is up there.

A bit of Boxing 

  • 2 minute skip
  • In circuit format . One on the Heavy bag, one on the focus pads with me, one on the medicine ball and the fourth member doing core work. Basically two repeats of 2 minute rounds are done and by now all ladies are fully worked and thinking dry clothing and the comforts of home. Well done to all!

The simplicity of it all for the above program should not be confused with easy. At Claudefit it’s never hard, just challenging to the level you are currently at. This particular format is suitable for all as not everyone is at the same level. For more focused and personal attention, that’s where the PT comes into it. It all depends on you and your particular needs.

On this occasion this program was clearly Kettlebell focused with the Boxing at the end complimenting the previous work done.  Some nights we just go straight to boxing and then move onto other elements in complementing the workout in getting you results. So don’t expect the same old theme for every class. Just expect result if you put in the work.

I have been running both one on one and small group fitness for the ladies for 8 years so has heard many times what you want.

Quite happy to hear about what your need s are

Claude Castro has been operating as a full time personal trainer since 2006 and currently operated his own premises Claudefit Personal Training



Ladies group training : Why Kettlebells and Boxing go together.

Over the past 8 years that I have been involved with personal training the smaller groups and more focused training for ladies has always been more popular due to the size and comradeship that is quickly developed within this particular set up. Whether it was a session conducted within a commercial gym environment, taking it outside when weather permits and now in my own private facility at Claudefit the groups of 4 (the maximum I will run) has always appealed.  It is an environment that I can focus completety on participants and delivering the service they are entitled and pay for.

Remember this is a service industry and my sole objective is to deliver results. It is the bottom line.

How this is achieved at claudefit is with a solid mixture of both kettlebells and Boxing as the base of the overall program. In addition to other equipment used, these two systems of exercise are quite dynamic and are well known in returning great outcomes on their own. When it comes to delivering results to my ladies groups, it is these two elements that have allowed me to hit the mark with most in reaching their weight loss, strength, fitness and to some, appearance goals.  The benefits of using the kettlebell along with a boxing bias program are many. The following are just some of the reasons that I believe are the basis of building a more resilient, stronger and fitter body. Once you have these tools in your fitness arsenal along with a healthy nutritional approach, the aesthetic results follow thereafter pretty much straight away.

 With the Kettebell you are able to move it in more directions that you are not able to with a traditional barbell or dumbbell. You can swing it, flip it, Press it and turn it around in various ways in working towards you fitness and conditioning. In the right hands this piece of ancient equipment can deliver amazing results in a safe and challenging workout.  As an RKC11 Instructor I am always mindful of delivering a service that is both technically proficient and always safe for all my clients.  For others who already have a solid training background and are looking at other challenges the kettlebell   offers a new level of movement complexity which builds superior coordination and can even improve athleticism.

Where the Boxing compliments this tool is simple. A true boxing program delivers a total body workout on its own and given the mixture of the two we are able to compound the loading (in increasing work capacity )and charge you up during these sometimes intense workout sessions . With a few solid pointers on the main punches and stances  that are performed along with the basic footwork movement all group participants are well on the way in ducking, slipping and throwing punching combinations in rightly charging up your heart and lungs. Add an instructor (Claudefit is a registered Boxing coach) who knows boxing and you will soon appreciate what a solid 2 minutes of one on one pad work round does to the heart and lungs.

Here at Claudefit, you will be taught the basic punches, stances and movements in getting the job done in a safe and non intimidating environment. The 1 hour classes are a workout, not a beat down where you are encouraged by your group members in working your butt off and also have a bit of fun.

Just think calories instead of hard and you will be right!

The heart and lungs get an amazing conditioning workout with kettlebells. Ladies if you still think that Lifting weights and cardio are two separate things, try any of the ballistic kettlebell exercises!

Movement like, Swings,  cleans, snatch  even jerks  are a sure fire way in burning all the calories you want not only during the session bit also in the hours post workout.  They are just part of the ballistics movements that you can perform with a bell and hit those target areas of your hips, thighs and core. Take for instance a solid swing set with a kettlebell for a minute multiplied by 3-4 sets with minimum rest. Well I can guarantee that is a  Its a sure way to fire up your “cardio” not only during the session , but will leave you feeling it way after you are done. It’s the kettlebell way!

Can I just lift them?

 Yes! Even low rep kettlebell grinds (Compound lifts) that are complimentary to any regular weight training program can be achieved with a kettlebell. Lifts like Standing Shoulder press, Squats (front version) Deadlifts, Bent over rows and floor presses if you are keen can all be performed with a kettlebell.  Take for example a simple workout like a set of minute swings or cleans performed straight after a set of Kettlebell squats! (Yes more swings) If performed correctly with the applicable focus and approach you get a full leg burning exercise. Add in Single leg Deadlift and I’m sure I won’t be on you Christmas card list come December!

A lot has been said about what some call the “sweet science” used for fitness. It’s one of the most honest, simple and to the few who participate in it as a real sport, quite brutal. The boxing equivalent that we use at Claudefit given our pure “fitness” approach is with a simple yet very effective series of punch-out drills, punch combinations , skipping and timed pad holding sessions. Along with the use of the Heavy Bag, They are what I consider straight forward and effective.

The one Thing I won’t accept in my premises is a compromise on poor technique resulting in an avoidable injury. Once you have been taught proper punching techniques , the use of the hips and your hands and joints getting used to the impact, you are ready to push you workouts  harder  in getting results.  Far too often people come to me with sore wrists due to not being taught how to punch properly.

 A safe approach

You can do whatever you like with a kettlebell. However as an Experienced RKC11 instructor /Boxing trainer entertaining you with tricks is now what I’m about. It’s about safety and results first while establishing what your needs are and catering to them through the use of the bells. They can be used simply as a teaching tool for movements leading into other heavy duty lifts or can be challenging just by simply working with the vast amounts of Kettlebell specific movements on offer.

The boxing component compliments this type of training quite well and is a preferred conditioning tool for many athletes involved in the striking sports.  We simply put the two together plus other equipment in getting you the results you are after.

Both are great in delivering a great calorie burn and given the group environment the support and motivation you receive all add up to a fun and rewarding workout.

In a safe, private and encouraging atmosphere.

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