Kettlebell training FAQs

Ever wanted to know more about Kettlebell Training?  We’ve pulled together some Frequently Asked Questions to help you out!

Q: Is kettlebell training the ultimate way to train?

A: No one system is the ultimate way to train. Is kettlebell training effective for fat loss, strength training, and building muscle? Yes – and it is a super fun way to train. In order to keep training interesting, you have to keep it fun and kettlebells are a great fit. You can benefit from kettlebell focused programs or you can incorporate kettlebell training into your current regimen. There is something for everyone.

Q: Are kettlebell exercises dangerous?

A: Only when done with poor form. However, any exercise is dangerous even pushups and lame machine exercises when poor form is used. Bottom line is most people will require in-person instruction to maximize the benefits of training safely. Kettlebell DVD’s while useful are not a replacement for in person instruction.

Q: Is kettlebell training effective for fat loss?

A: Yes, however pushing yourself away from the table more often and cutting krispy creme out of your diet is even more effective. Fat loss is 70% diet and 30% training. Unless you are a professional athlete where training is your job. Kettlebell training can be a very effective way to ramp up your metabolism. However, anyone that tells you that you can lose fat with this sorted of training and a crappy diet is doing you a disservice

Q: Is Kettlebell training effective for building muscle?

A: What do barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells all have in common? All three are forms of weight training. Thus, just as barbells and dumbbells are effective for building muscle, kettlebells are effective as well. That said, nothing takes the place of progressive weight training – if what you want is bigger muscle try out our Strength Training classes instead. 

Q: I want to get stronger without getting bigger. Is kettlebell training for me?

A: Yes, this is one of the most popular benefits of kettlebell training. Women, for example, love it as it helps them tone up and lose fat without overdeveloping muscles. Truth be told, building muscle is not easy for men and especially women so this is not something you should be worrying about. 

Q: Do women use kettlebells?

A: Only the smart ones 😉 Yes I work with women all of the time at my workshops and they love kettlebell training. Women tend to believe the illusion that they will turn into “Arnold” just be looking at weights. I’ve been training women for years and I can tell you categorically that this just isn’t true. Bulking up is really really hard for women to do. 

Q: If kettlebell training is so great how come they are not in every gym in the country?

A: Having worked for a major fitness club chain in the past, I can tell you first hand that the main goal of a fitness club is to make money and keep liability costs low. Thus the trend in most clubs is to have more machines and less free weights. While machines are not as effective as free weights, they are much easier to use and require minimal instruction. Thus, less of a need for highly skilled trainers.

What is Strength Training?


The buzz in the studio is all about Strength Training.  So what IS it?

Over the last year and with much learning from my amazing wife, I have finally started embracing my minimalist nature.

The same minimalist concept can be applied to training.

If you want to get strong, then the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Pull Up will do 90% of what you’re after in as little as 45 minutes per session. My work is done, thank you very much.

Seriously, apart from some basic supporting exercises, it’s all there if the intensity is high. Follow the protocol and it means you’re always fresh and never frustrated trying to figure out overly complicated routines. Just train efficiently and effectively.

Don’t get me wrong, more complex plans are good for coaches to create the structure needed to improve performance for particular sports, or for rehab, but my years of experience tell me that the most effective way for busy people to get results is to get in, do only what NEEDS to be done and get to hell outta dodge. In summary, just get good at the basics.

That’s what we’ll be teaching at White Dog Studio – the basics, done safely, and with an intensity that’s right for your fitness level.

What Strength Training at White Dog isn’t: it’s not Crossfit and it’s not Olympic Lifting (the stuff you see on TV at the Olympics), it’s simply some basic functional exercises (that means stuff you use in your everyday life) that will improve your overall strength. 

Great article on the big 3 here:

Look forward to seeing you in the studio. 

All the details are here:

The hindu what-up?

So this week’s video is about the Hindu push-up. It’s a little slow coming off the request pile, but hey, we went to India and things slowed down a little.

Anyone that has been in a mat Pilates class over the last few months has been witness to my love of this exercise. Especially the folks who come to the level 2 classes.

If the exercise itself isn’t immediately familiar to you, the progressions I talk through will be.

So why do I love the Hindu Push-Up so much?

Mostly because the full version of the exercise feels great to do when your body can, Its a wonderfully rhythmic combination of a push-up, a front plank, down face dog or Ardho Mukha Svanasana and up face dog or Ardho Mukha Svanasana.

The progressions to wards the final exercise are a great way to work on triceps, anterior deltoids and the shoulder flexion component of the Biceps function. Your Serratus anterior has to work to keep the scapulae stable and connected to the thorax and the Pecs and Lats work through the movement in a lovely dancey way – less grunty than pull-ups and regular push-ups.

What’s all this nerd speak amount to?

An exercise that is challenging but doable and has huge bang for the buck in building shoulder strength and stability.


The exercise has further progressions, and as your strength builds, and confidence, the shoulder work from the Hindu push-up becomes the key to this exercise (though challenging, it is easier than it might at first look)

Level 2 Reformer Sequencing

As mentioned in our last newsletter, here is the second video of Angela demonstrating a level 2 Reformer sequence.

Angela is taking us throuogh the thigh/kip flexor stretch.  This will be familiar to all who do our Reformer classes.

Angela is also adding some bits and pieces to make it more challenging. Keep an eye out for her super smooth transition to arabesque from straight leg at the end.

Candlestick + handstand

One of the flow sequences we work on in Core 2 (gymnastic) classes is the Candlestick + Handstand.

As always we develop the component skills in earlier classes.  Then we combine the deck squat, candlestick and handstand to eventually to create this little gem. 

Crab roll handstand flow

This video shows the Crab Roll Handstand. 

This is one of the movement flows we work on in Core 2 (gymnastic core) classes.

We layer it up so that you learn the basic movements first.  Then we string them together little by little over the weeks.

We are doing this against the wall to show one way of practising the handstand to build confidence.