Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Archive for Craziness

Painting a picture of the Urban run: what it really looks like

We had recently talked in some comments on a previous post about what an Urban really looks like.  If you find yourself in the midst of total boredom, I have written about it before here and here and here and here and here and here. If you want a “Reader’s Digest version” and a quick painting, so to say, of an Urban Run, skip the links and read below.


The quick explanation is you run for a while, then stop and do some bodyweight exercises while using your urban landscape, then repeat for a total of about a mile (or shorter or longer).

But does this “stop and do some bodyweight exercises while using your urban landscape,” look like?

First off, a true Urban Run is not running down the sidewalk and stopping for some Push-ups and Burpees here and there. That would still qualify as a Functional Fitness workout in an urban environment, but you would be missing all the fun and benefits of the Urban Run. You need to keep an eye out at all times for things suchs as cement walls, railings, stairs, tunnels, bike racks, and benches (among other objects).

When you see those items, you have to utilize them. Here is what it looks like:


Pull-ups on a cement wall, Bodyweight Rows hanging under a railing, Dips on the bike racks (depending on what style they are), crawling under objects or small tunnels, Bear Walking down a small flight of stairs, declined Spiderman Push-ups while your feet are on a small wall or bench, Box Jumps on a bench, Lunge Walks across a bridge, Frog Jumps for 4 or 6 or 10 parking spaces, Crab Walk up a hill and then back down, or run up the stairwell in a parking structure with Hindu Push-ups at each floor.

This is just the beginning. If you find a green space, or even if not, come up with little mini-circuits.  Steal some from the Bonus Circuit or Warm-up pages, or just use your imagination. Try a small sprint with Burpees at each end, or do various planks together, or have a V-Sit competition with everybody, or do animal walks back and forth, or….you get the idea hopefully by now.

The key is to have fun and be as creative as possible.


Functional Fitness barefoot

I stole from an old post, but wanted to share some of these thoughts again.


There is a movement out there that is picking up momentum. It is the barefoot running and minimalist shoe running movement. Shoe companies such as Merrell have even changed the way they do business and are turning towards minimalist shoes that they call “barefoot shoes.” I know it is an oxymoron, but it is the new buzz word in the shoe industry, so deal with it.

A leading expert in the barefoot and mimimalist running industry is Jason Robillard from the Barefoot Running University. He is on the forefront of educating the masses about the benefits of barefoot running. He still uses minimalist shoes as tools for various races, training, or terrains. You want to buy a minimalist shoe? Well check out his website for reviews.

Now, let’s get on topic. Crosstraining is a different animal than running, so even if there are benefits for barefoot running, what does that mean for crosstraining?  I’ll be honest with you, there is little research in this area. Having good running form is essential to avoiding injury, and being barefoot is the best way to learn good form. However, what we do here at Kemme Fitness does not involve long distance running.

So why do I crosstrain barefoot?

I’ll be honest with you again…it just feels sooo good!  I love the feel of the tactile response I get from getting out of my “foot coffins.”  Ok, I stole that phrase and I’m probably not cool enough to use it, so I’m sorry to you real barefoot runners out there.

There are some other practical reasons here as well. I originally started because we still do some running and my IT bands would flare where they attach on the outside of my knees whenever I ran frequently. I began barefoot walking as suggested by Jason Robillard in his successful book, The Barefoot Running Book (I strongly suggest you read his book for tips on good form and how to start slowly and avoid pain as you learn to walk and run properly). Myself, I felt some top of the foot pain originally, as well as some discomfort from my calf stretching out to the natural shape. But guess what…no more IT band flares!

I have written another post on some safety issues for crosstraining barefoot. That post included some of the benefits as well, such as better balancing and the ability to perform Olympic lifts with heavier weights.

The barefoot crosstraining movement is no where as explosive as the barefoot and minimalist running movement, but I am here to tell you…we are not alone!

I urge you to try taking off your shoes. Make sure you are not doing box jumps on hard edged wooden boxes or anything your first day, but try doing a workout barefoot.

If you need a little protection and don’t want to purchase those expensive minimalist shoes, then pick up a pair of Aqua Socks from Meijers (or whatever your local supermarket chain is called) for $9.99 and use those. They are just as effective, but most likely won’t fit perfectly. But since we aren’t running 25 miles, a little sloppy shoe seems to work just fine.

And we want to here from any of you out there who are already crosstraining barefoot. What advice would you give? What do you like best? What safety tips can you share?

I need help with the title to one of my upcoming 12 week fitness programs.

About a year ago I realized how many runners were using Kemme Fitness. In response, I created K-Crosstrain to try and guide them into a cross-training program. K-Crosstrain is an 8 week program, an ebook in pdf format you can click and download.

It answers some common questions and provides several workouts for you, depending on what equipment you have, for the duration of 8 weeks.

As 2011 wore on, I decided to help our readers who are exercising at home to create the very same pieces of exercise equipment I was testing out.

That spawned The Low Cost Gym, another downloadable free ebook. This ebook has instructions on how to make your very own Slosh Tube and homemade Clubbell.


Later, as the year wore on some more, I kept receiving an increasing amount of feedback about the pros and cons of Kemme Fitness. The biggest “con” or complaint was that even the Beginner page of workouts is still not user friendly. It takes several minutes to click on the various workouts to see which ones are right for you. People were sick of wasting their “exercise time” surfing for the workout.

Well that worked out perfectly for all of us with New Year’s resolutions, because I released K-Fit just the other day in time for folks ready to start 2012 anew. K-Fit is a 12 week program, in the usual free pdf ebook you can download here.

K-Fit became instantly popular among our readers, so that got me a think’n.  Next to come: K-Challenge. K-Challenge will be similar to K-Fit, except instead of being a program for those newer to Functional Fitness, it will be a compilation of our most intense workouts.

Oh Yeah!  You think you are nuts? Wait until you begin K-Challenge later this spring.

That brings us to the purpose of this post. After K-Challenge, I want to release yet another 12 week program. The difference with this program will be its use of equipment. At this point, I am shooting for Pull-up Bar, Slosh Tube, Clubbell, and Medicine ball. That may change, but it will be something similar.

In the spirit of the other programs, I of course will have it named K-something or other.  You know, brand identification. I just can’t seem for the life of me to figure out what the something or other is actually going to be.

K-Homemade?  K-Craziness? I don’t know. Please share with us your thoughts and leave some comments on your ideas.  Whoever’s name I use will get a free copy of the free ebook. Talk about incentives to participate!!

Grand Rapids Urban Run turns into a soccer match

So on Tuesday we did the weekly Urban Run through the streets of beautiful downtown Grand Rapids for a nice Functional Fitness workout. But on that day, thanks to Mason Klein, we opted to steer the run over to the community college outdoor track. The football field in the middle served as our soccer field. Thanks again to Mason for bringing a few soccer balls and cones.

We stopped along the way for some Animal Walks, Planks, and Push-ups. Once at the track we did a few relays to continue our warm-up. There were 10 of us, so we made two lines of 5. The 2 would pass the ball back and forth for about 20 yards, then Inchworm for 5 yards, some more passing, then a Crab Walk for 5 yards. Shoot the ball back to the line and sprint back. Sit in a V-sit until you are up again to go. I believe we did 3 rounds of this, changing up the animal walks.

Then it was game time – a little 5 on 5. Some played soccer before, some had not. We had large men, and small women, and all in between.

Here were the rules:

RULE #1:  2 people from a team would have to touch the ball without the other team touching it before they could take a shot on goal.  This stopped any ringers was controlling the ball too much.

RULE #2: When a team scored, they had the entire other team do 10 reps of an exercise of choice. Of course Burpees was the first choice!

RULE #3: When a team shot at the goal and missed, the other team had them do 10 reps of an exercise of their choice.

RULE #4:  You can not choose the same exercise twice.

We had a great game, nobody getting hurt. We made sure to take it easy, but each and every one of us was exhausted. The jog back to work was not an easy one!

Slosh Tube Challenge

10 – each side –  Slosh Tube Overhead Lunge
Run around the house
10 Slosh Tube Press/Squat Combo
Run around the house
25 Slosh Tube Presses
20 Slaloms over Slosh Tube
5 Slosh Tube Twirls to the left (360 degree each twirl)
Run around the house
10 Slosh Tube Burpees
50 Leg Raises with Slosh Tube on chest
10 – each side – Slosh Tube Front Paddling
Run around the house
15 Slosh Tube Get-up Sit-ups
10 Psycho Push-ups over the Slosh Tube
10 – each side – Slosh Tube Back Paddling
Run around the house
10 Slosh Tube Floor Wipers
Run around the house
10 – each side – Slosh Tube Lunge Twists
50 Scissor Kicks with Slosh Tube on chest
10 – each side – Slosh Tube Cossack Squats
Run around the house
5 Slosh Tube Twirls to the right (360 degree each twirl)

A run with a Slosh Tube? Really?

So I was going to spend the afternoon in my brother-in-law’s pool. Well since it was a nice humid 96 degrees, a full out workout was not an option. Not to mention I didn’t have enough time. So my solution was to drive over (only down the block) with my Slosh Tube named Adam sticking out the back of my car.

While my family got settled in the pool, I quickly took off down the road.  Ok…by quickly, I mean slowly. I tried carrying Adam in front of me. That didn’t last long, as my biceps were burning. I did my usual “stop and perform some exercises such as Slosh Tube Presses, or Twists, etc,” so that gave me a break.

However, I basically resorted to loading the Slosh Tube on my back to slug along down the road. I did stop probably about 12 times during the run, er ah, jog to do exercises.  I especially like the Front and Back Paddling.

But by the time I made it back to my brother-in-law’s house, I fell into his pool. There was a brief moment where I was not sure I could resurface, but I obviously survived.

Side note:  It is hilarious to watch your teenage nephews (who think they are tough and all) try to hold a Slosh Tube!  Hey, us mid-30 year olds need our ego’s inflated every now and then 🙂

A very special exercise called Virtual Loading and Unloading

This exercise is very special to me. I think it is special because it symbolizes my attempt at create the perfect movement. See…Kemme Fitness is about Functional Fitness. If you don’t know what I mean by that, then check out my ebook, or the article “Functional Fitness defined.”

My wife and I were talking the other day about farmer’s years ago before the invention of the multitude of farm equipment. These farmers were in great shape, full of Functional Fitness. They were that way because everyday they lifted stuff, threw stuff, hammered crap, shoveled…well shoveled crap, hoisted bails of hay, etc.  What we are trying to do is to replicate their work day in our workout program. That way, whenever we need to run around and play with our kids, or carry a piece of OSB board, we can do so without getting hurt or exhausted.

That brings me to Virtual Loading and Unloading.  I wanted to create a movement that would simulate real life work. So I decided to use a barbell and grab it off the ground, manuever it around the posts of a rack and then set it up on a “shelf.”  The purpose was to simulate the grabbing of something heavy and walking awkwardly with it and then putting it on a shelf. Sound like stuff you do around your house?  That is the point.

Now in the video, I do not have heavy weight here so it looks a little cheesy, but you get the point. Just make sure not to round your back when you lift the weight off the ground. Basically, do a proper Clean and then walk around awkwardly until you can spin the barbell and set it on the hooks. Then take it back down.

For a workout using it, check out  Ultimate Movements.

Please feel free to share any ideas you have for a Functional Fitness movement. Or just let me know what you think of Virtual Loading and Unloading. Simply leave a comment on this post

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