November 6th, 2014

Where Do I Begin???

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This is a common question that I hear (in reference to training) from friends, family, and people at the gym.  What exercises should I be doing?  How many sets & reps?  What type of cardio is best for fat loss?  It’s actually a really good question because there is an overwhelming amount of information out there regarding fitness.  Sadly, a lot of this information is conflicting, especially when things are taken out of context.  The most important thing to remember is to START SOMEWHERE!  Don’t wait for the perfect training program or perfect diet. YOU have to take action to make shit happen.  So, for the rest of this article I am going to make some assumptions about who you are as a reader, what you are looking to do, and try to get to some truths for you.

I am assuming that you are looking to start working out or as I call it, training.  There is a distinct difference between training for progress & distinct goals, and “working out” to burn calories and get sweaty.  Choose to train.  I am also assuming that you are a beginner, meaning that you’ve never done strength training before or it’s been a long time since you have.

I’m writing this plan for those whose conditioning has seen better days.  This is simply an outline, or template that you can use for your own training.  It is a starting point, and by all means you have the liberty to change it to fit your needs.  There is no “magic” program or sequence of exercises.  A training program is simply a window into a specific period of time.  Everything works, but nothing works forever.

Every Program I write has 3 important elements:  mobility work, strength training, and conditioning.  Depending on who and what your needs are, the emphasis on each element will change.  Most importantly, never find yourself neglecting one of these elements of training!  Every Time I have strayed from this, things have gotten out of balance and I ended up paying for it in the long run.

Here is the basic stru

October 1st, 2014

You Should Train Everyday…

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You should Train Everyday.  There, I said it.  I know what you are thinking.  ”But Freeman, you said you can get great results training 3 times per week!  Now you’re telling me I need to train everyday!?”  Well….not exactly.

I’m not saying you should lift everyday, nor am I saying you should condition or push the prowler everyday.  What I’m telling you is you should be “training” everyday in pursuit of your goals!  To be stronger, mobile, leaner, more muscular.  Your habits and routines should be a reflection of these goals.  They should reach far beyond the 1-2 hrs a week that you are in the gym with me, or when you are doing a distance coaching program.  Your “training” should be a part of your everyday.

Allow me to explain.  Training can mean different things to different people.  I see training as learned behaviors.  This could include any of the following:
- Lifting or Strength Training
- Conditioning
- Sleep Hygiene
- Play & Sports
- Food & Water
- Mobility or active recovery drills
- Supplementation
You see?  Training everyday, is FAR different than living in the gym everyday!  I would never wish for anyone to be inside the gym, day in and day out no matter what their goals.  What I do wish for you, is that you look at the BIG PICTURE.  If you are serious about your health, and you are in it for the long haul, make training part of your daily practice.  It doesn’t have to be that hard, just start somewhere!
Side Note:
My goal is to help everyday people change their mind and body through strength training.  I don’t talk about getting fit in 30 days.  Photoshopped before & after photos don’t do it for me. Training can teach you a lot about your life, if you are willing to listen.
August 11th, 2014

Coaches Corner – Dealing with back stiffness

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One of my greatest assets as a coach, is that I have personally dealt with a lot of injuries.  This is incredibly important, because everything I have learned I can pass on to you, and my clients Online and in the gym.  With that said, it is important for you the trainee, to know the difference between stiffness/soreness you can work through, and being injured. Always seek help from a medical professional for a MEDICAL issue. I can help you with most training related issues.

I put together a short video for you that contains 3 of my favorite drills you can use in your warm-up or active recovery session to keep your back healthy.  I chose to keep the video simple and to the piont.  If the subject matter stirs up any questions for you, feel free to comment below, or send me a question at krisfreeman5@gmail.com.

Remember, your training should give back more than it takes away!

- Freeman

April 20th, 2014

KB Complexes: Breaking it down “Barney Style”

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Breaking it down “Barney Style” – the act of simplifying an activity, or procedure into several, easy to follow steps. Thank the United States Marine Corps for that one ;)

NO fuckery here today, no foreplay. Today I want to introduce you to one of the most POTENT fat burners and muscle builders you have at your fingertips: Kettlebell Complexes.

What is a Kettlebell Complex you ask? Simply put it is a series of movements that flow together. They work the entire body, allowing you to move for a greater amount of time overall because the stress is constantly shifting around your body. One move may work your legs, the next works the shoulders, and the last may torch everything. You can count on this though, it all, every last bit, works your lungs. This is why complexes are so terrifically effective.

Kettlebell Complexes are a perfect recipe for incinerating fat and building lean muscle. We have big compound movements, a good deal of time under tension for the muscles, and you are moving quickly and explosively. The kettlebell is a more “fitting” tool for most than a barbell when it comes to complexes. Why? Because we are imperfect beings, and kettlebells allow for that, at least more than a barbell does.

Let me list off why I choose to use them.

1. Time efficient. Your complex can certainly BE the meat & potatoes of your workout. Say each set takes 1-2 minutes, you do 5 sets, that’s only 10 minutes. BUT, it’s A LOT of work done in that time window. You won’t be sitting around on machines chatting with your buddies about the new girl in the gym, and how she must have 30 pairs of FAB yoga pants. Get in, get out, get lean, and get jacked.

2. That Kettlebell Flow. You will see once you try them, the kettlebell flows very well from movement to movement, without much awkwardness in the transitions. It will not be like prom night junior year, when you di

April 4th, 2014

How to jump start the F**k out of your morning!

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Waking up yawning, defeated, and generally irritated is a shitty way to start your day.  Make the better choice, set your morning up to be awesome!  It starts with better planning!  In the Marine Corps we had a saying, Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.  We used the shit out of that phrase, but it’s true.  Here are my steps to Jump Start the F**k out of your Morning Routine.

1.  Give yourself enough time to get your shit done, WITHOUT having to break your neck to do it.  This may require waking up earlier, AND getting to bed before 11pm.  Make it happen, you’re an adult.  Being in a constant state of “Sleep Deprivation” is no way to live.

2.  Hydrate.  Drink 16-20 ounces of filtered water when you get up.  Bonus:  squeeze 1/2 a lemon into it, this will help dextox your liver.  Water, by itself, helps rid the body of toxins and metabolic waste.  Goal: half your bodyweight in ounces everyday!  Ex. If you weigh 200lbs, that’s 100 oz of water.  The more you work or sweat, increase it.

2.  Make time for 5-10 minutes of quiet reflection.  Gather your thoughts, read motivation quotes, think of how you want your day to go.  Set the stage for how you will be treated, and how you will treat others

3.  Make time for evacuation.  I call it the “pre-game”.  The morning is the best, most relaxing time to take care of bowel business.  Remember, baby wipes are here for a reason. Remember, “Dry, wet, Dry” for easy clean up.  No one wants to start the day without this!

4.  Bulletproof Coffee.  This will kick start your body into full alert and productivity mode.  Full dose

December 26th, 2013

I’m So Excited!!!

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Like many other trainers and coaches, most people who train with me regularly, live reasonably close. I have received many questions concerning training and nutrition from family and friends, many that I would never be able to work with in person, due to geographical limitations. Until now!

My personal mission statement is to help as many people as I can, make time for themselves and increase their quality of life by making healthy & lasting changes. My new project Freeman’s Online Health & Fitness, will allow me to do that!  Now you can train with me, from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.  As my client you will get everything from custom programming and custom nutrition plan, to phone calls, weekly emails, and even a FitBit Tracker to help keep you accountable!

If you are interested in learning more about how some of this Online Coaching stuff works, check out this quick video!

 

 

All the Best,

Freeman

August 29th, 2013

Keep a training journal

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Why you Keep a training journal

I’ve kept many training journals since 2007.  It is CRITICAL to your success to know where you’ve been, where you are, and what got you there! What worked, and What didn’t work?

Conclusions that can be drawn from training notes and observations

1.  Keep track of daily progress on exercises.  More sets & reps, more weight lifted, new drills.  Know when you break a record, know what weight you are working up to, and how often you are doing it.

2.  Use your comments section to keep track of your overall feeling and recovery from training, and observe how your body is responding.

3.  Monitor your training volume and intensity.  Are you training too heavy, too often?  Are you using enough volume to spur an adaptation?  Are you you using to much volume?

The most successful lifters I have observed ALL kept training journals.

All the best,

Freeman

August 26th, 2013

Building Training Momentum

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I have had some serious training momentum for some time now. Really…. Since after my injury in 2006.  Training is as simple to me as any other appointment in my planner.  I set time aside, consistently, and get it done.  Not too much thinking, or deliberating is involved.  Unless I am feeling like crap, I train.  What is training momentum exactly?  I would define it as:  An uninterrupted cycle of training, with a special amount of purposefulness.  If you are searching for training momentum right now, hopefully I can help!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to learn/attempt a new skill. Waterskiing! I have never been what I would consider a natural athlete. But, with time I have developed a considerable amount of general athletic skill, compared to 10 yrs ago. Still, it was a challenge to say the least, as I fell, time after time. I have recently gained a considerable amount of muscular body weight, about 25lbs, in a relatively short amount of time. So it does feel as if I am doing some tasks with a weighted vest, ;) . Still, I realized, I had not had this amount of difficulty in the learning process in some time.

Because training is such an important part of what I like to do, I had a thought: I should be all the more understanding of when some clients have great difficulty finding their training momentum.  When you are having to start anything for the first time, and figure everything out as a beginner, it can be a trying time.

Here are a few tips to help you generate your training momentum.


1.  Peer support.

August 7th, 2013

Weekly Freeman Q&A Episode 1

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This is the First video Q&A of a series, I plan to one of these every week.  I have been getting more questions lately about training, etc. on my FACEBOOK PAGE, and it is sometimes easier for me to answer them on video than writing it out.  This first question is from a really cool lady I have known for a little over 3 years now.  She has been doing some “Cross–t Training” and is feeling a little lost about what her next step should be.  Her priorities are losing bodyfat, looking good, and feeling healthy & strong.  All great goals, and can be obtained with very REASONABLE training and nutrition.  Here is my answer to her question.

- Freeman

 

July 25th, 2013

LLSE Video Interview 2

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Here is another short(er) clip from an interview that I did with Harrison of, Lessons Learned, Scars Earned.  We discussed some of my physical therapy and recovery after being blown up (I say it casually now after talking about it for 7 yrs ;) .  We also discuss why it is good to do what you feel is right, even if it requires ignoring others.  Lastly we talk about one of my favorite training tools, the kettlebell, and how it helped “straighten me out”.

Thanks for following,

Freeman

July 21st, 2013

Meet Write Up

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This past weekend I had the privilege of competing in my first Powerlifting Meet at the Derby City Crossfit APA Championships.  I have to say it was a great experience.  I learned a great deal, and also had a lot of fun!  I assume one would ask, did you win anything? (Meaning, did you lift more than everyone else?)  My response would be, I won a number of things.  I set 2 personal records, one on my squat, one on my deadlift.  I got to compete along side a great friend/client of mine and watch her set records.  I challenged my body to its limits, as SAFELY as possible.  Most important, I challenged myself to compete, get out of my comfort zone, and step up to the platform with a purpose!  I was competing with my self yesterday, like everyone else.

To me competing was not about having the most impressive numbers in my weight class.  It was about breaking my records.  Your training journey is different from mine.  Mine has been a challenging one.  I began with NO strength base.  Even as a Recon Marine, I was strong for my size, but when it came to moving heavy shit around that was not a natural gift I possessed.  With my injury history when I started lifting weights, I had many limitations.  My strength, mobility, stability were all at low levels.  I was very thin, 160 lbs on a 6’1″ frame.  I had a lot to overcome from the beginning.  But, was that a good reason to quit, or make excuses?  Not for me it wasn’t.  It meant I had to work harder, I had to be smarter, resourceful, and learn what works for my body, or what doesn’t.

My body is far from perfect, yet I always strive for the best form I can muster.  I have metal rods, plates, &

July 18th, 2013

Freeman Q&A: Should I continue with CrossFit?

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I get questions from time to time regarding training programs, nutrition protocols & diets, should I use baby wipes when I poo? (YES!  If not, you are not truly clean) etc.  I thought this question I received yesterday would be helpful for others, so I made a quick video response.  If you have questions that I can answer, please direct them to my email inbox:  krisfreeman5@gmail.com, or my facebook page: Kris Freeman, Personal Trainer inbox.

All The Best,

Freeman

 

July 3rd, 2013

Happy Independence Day Merrica!!!

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Hey friends,

I just want to take a minute to express my gratitude to live in a country like America, and have the liberty to celebrate as we see fit.  Is America perfect, no.  But, the beliefs and principles our country was founded on our something very special.  I nearly gave my life in protection of those beliefs, and I have many friends that paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Let us not take for granted our liberty, which has been paid at a high cost.

Let us enjoy this holiday by spending real quality time with friends and loved ones.  Spend time on things that enrich your life, and enjoy it!  Cook outs, cold beer, fireworks, swimming, whatever you do, make the most of it.  As always, thanks for following my blog, and hope you have a great 4th and a great weekend!

 

 

If you get a second, head over to www.crossfit.com the workout of the day is “Smykowski”, named after my Team Leader Sgt. Mark T. Smykowski.  He was a great man who taught me a great deal about leadership.  Rest easy “Ski”, never below you, never above you, always beside you.  The WOD requires a 6k run and 60 burpee pull-ups because we were hit on June 6, 2006.  Ski hated long runs ;) .<

June 14th, 2013

“You Got A Pet, you got a Responsibility…”

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If you have baby ears I apologize, but Billy Madison is one of my favorites and hopefully a few of you will chuckle at it.  But, I think his rant demonstrates a great point:  YOU have a responsibility.  All too often I see people doing two things that really upset me.  I get upset not just because it frustrates me, but also because I want the best for people around me.

First, is not taking responsibility for your own health & wellness.  I am a teacher, sometimes motivator, but to be truly successful you have to take responsibility for yourself.  I am not about 14 day fat loss, or marketing gimmicks.  I am about teaching you how to be stronger, healthier, and how to move better.  To create a strong body and mind it begins with you and your drive to better yourself, I am happy to reinforce and strengthen that.  To make lasting change it needs to become a part of your life.  2-3 hours in the gym a week cannot change your body unless you eat to support that output.  If we are trying to reshape your posture, but you continue to sit in crap positions, and slouch while you walk around, how you can you expect change?  I like to say, “Quit hitting yourself!”  You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to make change, but you need to take charge and carry out the plan on the day, every day!

Second, is giving up on yourself.  Think, if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you?  Overcoming challenges, and testing your fortitude is one of the greatest things you can do to yourself.  Just imagine, what would life be like without challenges?  For example, it is tough to think about making better food choices,  because so

June 12th, 2013

Training Roadblocks, and How To Deal With Them

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Squat down, stand up, and repeat.  Seems pretty simple right?  For some it is, but for me learning to squat has been an uphill climb EVERY step of the way.  Like anything else I have ever done that is incredibly difficult, learning to squat has taught me a lot.  My squat is definitely not perfect, but is so much better than the first time I tried to squat with a bar on my back.  The squat is a lift that I have many different ways to coach, because I have had to use every resource available to learn myself.  So, when you are training and find something very challenging, or seemingly impossible, slow down and use it as an opportunity to grow and learn.  Here are a few steps you can take to help you overcome a roadblock in your training.

  1. Be honest with yourself about your training and lifestyle.  If you are in denial about a weakness or deficiency that is holding you back, how can you begin to fix it?  Part of this begins with being able to identify what is preventing you from achieving your goals.  This could be that you aren’t making enough time for food prep and it causes you to make bad choices.  It could be your squat is suffering because you are sitting with bad posture, more than you are opening up your hips and working on positioning.  It could also be that you need to reset your expectations if you are unwilling to change certain aspects of your lifestyle.  Always make sure your behaviors are in line with your goals.  If not, change the behaviors, or you have to change the goals.
  1. Seek advice from others.  I am not talking about the biggest guy in the gym, or the fittest girl you know.  Just because they look t
June 7th, 2013

My 4 Favorite Alternatives to Sit-ups

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OUCH! All I feel is my lower back???

 

Sit-ups are no fun. Tell me someone who enjoys doing them?  For your valuable training time I would advise you to seek out alternative means to improving your core strength.  Let me go ahead and say, abs are TRULY made in the kitchen. We will never get around that. But, it is always beneficial to have a stronger, more stable foundation.  There are many other exercises, but here are 4 of my favorites you may not have considered when it comes to training your midsection.

In the video I walk you through:  The RKC Plank, Weighted Carry, Paloff Press, & The Partial Get-up.  I include regressions for beginners, as well as some programming ideas to include sets & reps.  I also discuss where you might insert these drills into your training program.

 

 

Fit Tip:  If you do sit-ups make sure to never go into lumbar hyper extension (where your low back is in extreme arch), make it a point to maintain neutral spine (flat), and never pull on your head or neck (you only get the one, no returns).

 

 

 

June 6th, 2013

My Alive Day, 7 Years Later

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7 years ago today I survived, when I shouldn’t have. Plain and simple. There was a dark period in my life where I could not understand, or deal with the fact I was still here. I spent too much time beating myself up with guilt and asking all the wrong questions. Why? There are a lot of questions we might never get the answers to. So, what does that matter? I AM HERE. And I don’t plan on wasting this opportunity I have been given. What better way do I have, to pay respect to my fallen brothers, than to kick ass and take charge of my life

Through overcoming my injuries from my IED blast, to the many injuries that followed, I HAD to remain strong. I found a passion for coaching and teaching others to be strong. It is something I can never grow tired of. I like to think I am here for a reason, to help people. That’s actually one big reason I started my blog.

I am thankful now on my “Alive Day” for the friends and family I do have. I am grateful for the physical abilities I have and use to help other people. Not everyday is easy, but if it were, wouldn’t that be a boring existence? Remember when you are down in a hole, you can dig yourself out.

Here for a reason,
Freeman

May 23rd, 2013

Modified Bulletproof Coffee

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Hey Friends,

Thanks for following my Blog!  It has been an high tempo kind of week, hence the lack of updates. I will be doing more videos to keep you updated with the latest and greatest in my Region of the Fitness world.  This video features my favorite breakfast, Modified Bulletproof Coffee. This will help your body naturally burn more fat the first part of the day!!! Don’t we all want more of that? Plus, it tastes amazing.

Enjoy!

 

May 14th, 2013

What I Dislike About CrossFit: Part 1

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I was indoctrinated into CrossFit during my CF Level 1 course in Santa Cruz, California in November 2007.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will treasure that memory for a long time!  If you are familiar with the CrossFit Community, the instructors at my course were what I would refer to as the CF “OGs”.  Here is a brief recap of the rock star attendance list:  Coach Glassman, Nicole Carroll, Annie Sakamoto, Eva T (The original “Nasty Girls”), Rob Miller (the Mr. Rogers of CF), Robb Wolf, Jolie Gentry, and a lot of other people I am leaving out.  I was star-struck when I saw my first CrossFit Box ever, in Santa Cruz, and it had the coolest staff of instructors you could ask for!  I had been dabbling with CF since 2005 and really dug in after my I got blasted by an IED on my 2006 De

May 4th, 2013

Take That Step…. Show Support for WWP

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You are tired, fed up, discouraged and there is no end in sight. You don’t know how long you’ve been running, but you fell back from the lead group a while ago. You can feel blisters ripping on your heels within the confines of your boots. Your 80lb pack and web gear are slowly gnawing at the skin on your lower back. You do not know how far you have run, and you have no idea when your pain will end. But, you are stubborn; you are a warrior; you shuffle on listening to the beating of your own heart drowning out the white noise around you.  You’ve nearly drowned twice, you came back from that, just run past that stump. Just when you think you can’t go another 10 feet without keeling over, the sun peeks its head over the trees. It reveals the flashing light of the safety vehicle which means, you are nearing the end.

The challenges I faced daily as a Recon Marine remind me that sometimes, you just have to take things moment by moment and keep faith that you WILL come out on the other side. If you give up at the instant you doubt yourself, you will never experience the unbelievable feeling of overcoming your fears and self-doubt. I have to remind myself of this when, what used to be my crystal-clear perspective, is clouded by all the smoke and mirrors that steal our time and energy. Take that next step because when you do reach the other side, you will discover what many people never get to see. Growth is uncomfortable; let’s embrace it.

May 20th I am launching a Kettlebell Bootcamp to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  For 1 month of Bootcamp it will only cost you $49!  This is less than I charge for a individual training se

May 2nd, 2013

KB Clean Quick Tips: Taming The Arc

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The Kettlebell Clean can be a challenging movement to learn, especially when you don’t have any coaching.  I hope you find these quick tips helpful for improving your technique and your workouts

- Freeman

 

I only coach 5 Online Coaching Clients at any given time

If you are interested in one of these spots, please direct inquires to krisfreeman5@gmail.com

April 29th, 2013

Is Your Training Reasonable?

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The longer I train, the more I realize that thinking more “long-term” about your training is ESSENTIAL to your success.  Planning out training cycles, and athletic qualities that you want to train for certain periods of time, can be fun and challenging.  Variety in your training, as well as focused goals, are great for keeping you stoked about your training time.  But what about the rest of your year?  You train REASONABLY.

What the hell does that mean anyway?

REA*SON* A*BLE

Adjective
  1. (of a person) Having sound judgment; fair and sensible.
  2. Based on good sense: “a reasonable request”.

The concept was introduced to me by Coach Dan John, who has been coaching longer than I’ve been alive.  Reasonable simply means this:  Get in, get your work done, don’t stress about your training, follow a plan, keep reserved and reasonable expectations for yourself.  Then, when you have a weightlifting competition, vacation, , strongman, what have you you dial your training in to meet your specific training objectives.  Huh?

Yeah, not too sexy is it?  This is the important stuff that is not quite as marketable as the Newest 30 days to ripped program.  Reasonable training means most of your year, you make sure to keep training.  You make sure you eat reasonably to suit your goals.  But when you have need, desire, circumstance, you seize the opportunity to step it up!  You train long enough, you quickly realize that linear gains, are very short lived.  You can’t go 10/10 every sessi

April 23rd, 2013

7 Lessons From A Bad Training Day

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When are you thinking long-term for your training, less than stellar workouts are something you need to learn toaccept.  This isn’t to say, accept mediocrity, or don’t apply any effort unless you feel like it, but when you train long enough, you begin to realize not everyday can, or should be 100%.

1.  Take the day for what it is.  Less than stellar.  To completely ignore what your body is telling you will only leave your “bank account” overdrawn.  Save it for next training session.

Things could always be worse ;)

2.  As Forrest Gump once said, “S–t Happens.” (Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned come from movies, true story!)  Learn from it.  Maybe you can reflect and realize that you could put more energy into your nutrition than you have been.  Perhaps you could give yourself a break, because your boss reminds you of Bill Lumberg from Office Space, and his presence is killing you slowly.

 

3.  If you are dissatisfied with your training on a regular basis, you should consider changing some things.  Make sure your behaviors and your training are a reflection of your goals. 

April 22nd, 2013

Surviving Your Workout? Seriously?

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If I had a dollar for every time I saw this posted on Facebook.  Maybe the shtick is your workout is only brag worthy if you saw your life flash before your eyes, or you vomited in your mouth a little.  The concept of wondering if you are gonna survive training is fool-hearty and likely to land you injured, and sulking around feeling sorry for yourself.  But, I bet you wouldn’t brag about that on Facebook.  Believe me, as a Recon Marine we did some dumb shit.  But, if you are gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.  Also, we were going to fight a war.  So take that for what it is.

unless you are fighting for your life, you shouldn’t be fighting, for your life

4 reasons why surviving your workout might be a bad idea

1. Mental Toughness should not be the priority for your training.  Unless you are training for Marine Recon, BUD/s, or another special forces organization, this should not be a regular part of your training.  Even then, you have to do a certain amount to build yourself up, so you aren’t always breaking yourself down.  If your life is not on the line, you should not train like it is.  Read that again and let it sink in. This will only lead to over exhaustion, slower progress, and eventually lead to injury.