Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Archive for Randomness

A big “thank you” to the Grand Rapids Police Department officers


I did my best through the years to keep my profession separate from this blog.  For those of you who knew, I appreciate you keeping it off the comments. However, I retired early from the Grand Rapids Police Department last September (after seventeen years as a police officer) so I suppose it no longer matters to keep it a secret.

NOTE: for those of you who know my current profession, I again ask you keep the company name out of any comments. I just feel it is wise to keep your company name unattached to any ramblings you might do on a website. Let’s be honest, I have had plenty of ramblings through the years.

Now that I exercise at home with my wife and our friends (Seth Crooks and his wife), I no longer have the “crew” I had when I was running workouts during the lunch hour at the police department.  For over 5 years I had the pleasure of testing out new workouts and got the bulk of my training experience thanks to my co-workers.  I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of my “guinea pigs.”

Harvey and Lawrence – you two were great partners.

Val, thank you for being my greatest success story and my longest running trainee.

I also want to thank all the other officers at the Grand Rapids Police Department for your participation, complaining, laughing, and sweating. I will probably miss a few names, but thanks Jeff, Mason, Josh, Amy, Kelly, Shelly, Rene, Matt, Craig, Mark, Geoff, Todd, Kristine, and those whose names are most likely escaping me for some reason.

I can’t forget the great cult members from Parole, the ATF, and the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. I especially want to thank Jeremy for taking the leadership role at times and Dave for always returning to the team.

I miss you all terribly and it is awesome to hear you are still doing Kemme Fitness at times.  Don’t forget to reinstate the Urban Runs when the weather breaks!  Those runners need you all to push them towards Functional Fitness supplements to their running programs.




This year, the Clubbell has won out as my favorite piece of homemade equipment

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I’ve written about my homemade Clubbells before here . Last year, I used them in my bootcamp I ran along the Grand River just north of downtown Grand Rapids.

I have enjoyed many other fine pieces of equipment. There are the typical Physioballs, Medicine Balls, Kettlebells, Dumbbells, Barbells, Pull-up Bars, and Cables. In additional to those, we have the more – shall we say – unique pieces of equipment such as Slosh Tubes, Macebells, Parallettes, Heavy Bars, and Sandbags. So why are the Clubbells my favorite?

There are a few things about the Clubbell that edge it out. For starters, it is a great tool for working your core. Yet, so are Physioballs and Slosh Tubes. They are easy to make. Yet, so are Slosh Tubes and Pull-up Bars. What stands out most, however, is the kindness to your joints. When I use the Clubbell, my joints and muscles don’t start burning out during the workout. In contrast, a Slosh Tube can burn out your shoulders quite quickly. This allows for a great workout without having to stop or slow down because you lack some strength. Then, you can’t help but feel a hour later like your total body got toned. Hint: that’s because you did work your total body.

So there it is: easy to make, works your core, easy on your joints, works the whole body also.  Oh, and you can’t just help but feel like a warrior swinging it around!

And here is a list of Clubbell exercise links if you aren’t familiar with the movements:

Alternating Shield Cast
Barbarian Press
Barbarian Squat
Front Circle
Front Pendulum
Front Swing Hand Switch
Inside Pendulum
Lunge Walk
Mill (short for windmill)
Mill (another version)
Outside Pendulum
Rear Lunge Pendulum
Side Lunge Pendulum
Side Semi
Side Swing
Torch Press
Turkish Get-up
Two Handed Press

Can you pick your top ten exercises? Here is my list

This is going to be a serious challenge, especially considering we use, what some 400 some exercises.  Top 10?  Really? 


Oh come on, this will be fun.  It might take some thought, but you already know a few on the top of your head.  Now, by top ten, I am not necessarily saying the 10 easiest or the 10 hardest. Nor am I saying the 10 most effective or 10 best core exercises.  It will be a combination of aspects that you yourself must decide upon.  In fact, give us a reason or two about your most favorites. 

If you can’t come up with a complete top ten, just think of a few you would put at the very top and think about why.  Below, I compiled two lists actually.  One list is for bodyweight only exercises with my reasons why. Then I have my top ten with equipment.

Burpee – classic Functional Fitness exercise we all love to hate
Box Jump – great movement that is very useful for life. 
Push-up – a staple exercise perfect for building a strong core and upper body
Front & Side Bridges – The best bodyweight core builders
Hindu Push-up – tough movement that hits a large majority of your muscles all at once
Sit-up, Stand-up, Tuck Jump – very dynamic movement
Bear Walk – the most versatile of all animal walks (can be done down the stairs, etc)
Inchworm – perfect warm-up exercise to get ready for Push-ups and Burpees
Spinning Push-up – just looks awesome – very dynamic
Aztec Push-up – same reason as the Spinning Push-up
Pull-up – classic exercise which works your shoulders and back
Deadlift – developes strength in every muscle under your shoulders
Kettlebell Swing – great strength builder that gets your heartrate up and works your lower body
Kettlebell Turkish Get-up – can be done with dumbbells or barbell. Great strength builder exercise
Clubbell Alternating Shield Cast – the best Clubbell exercise and great core/upper body
Clubbell Barbarian Squat – hits core and entire lower body. Can be used to strengthen your back
Physioball Balance – classic core builder if done right
Medicine Ball Sit-up Stand-up Slam – very dynamic movement
Medicine Ball Slams – not only great for working many muscles together, but also fun as all get out
Slosh Tube Twirls – very challenging Slosh Tube movement
If you don’t know the exercises, just click on our exercise page to find them.  Don’t forget to leave a comment with some of your favorites and why! 

Any thoughts on what I should do with this whole Kemme Fitness blog?

Maybe you are new to Kemme Fitness, or maybe you are a junkie/core follower (pun intended). In either case, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I should do with this website.

I am doing some reflection, perhaps it is the 3 year itch. I think it is important for us to use the Kemme Fitness concept of sharing back and forth with each other. This is one of those times where I am hoping you will share your thoughts with me.

First, let me explain what is all on this website in case you are new, or haven’t explored it very well.
-400+ exercises with video link demonstrations
-200+ complete Functional Fitness workouts to choose from either at home or at the gym
-5 unique twelve week programs to download
-ebook Functional Fitness Defined
-free Kemme Fitness User Guide
-ebook The Low Cost Gym
-just shy of 600 total posts, including the workouts and also tips, thoughts, advice, and recommendations on Functional Fitness
-links to various Functional Fitness resources
-K-Fit app for the Blackberry
Secondly, I will explain why I’m contemplating the future of this site. Running a blog with new material every day or two is a great deal of work.  Just look at your favorite barefoot running and Functional Fitness blogs from 2 or 3 years ago and I bet many are gone already. It simply takes a lot of time to research, develop, and share new and relevant material at a steady pace.
None of this site has generated income for my family, but hasn’t really costs anything either so my family tolerates my “hobby.”  We get the excitement of sharing and helping others and also for the possibility of something taking off.  The app is still a possibility when it comes out on Android and ios, but I’m not holding my breath that I can quit my day job.
Up until this point, I’ve had two goals with Kemme Fitness. The main goal has been to share/help others and to learn. The secondary goal has been to grow the number of followers of the blog.  The thought behind that was that as the popularity of Kemme Fitness grew, the more likely some sort of opportunity would arise. However, I have been at a plateau for most of 2013 and can’t seem to break the 5000-6000 hits a month mark.
I couldn’t stomach the idea of removing the site from the internet for a couple reasons. One reason is that I invested too much time to let it dissappear.  Also, I personally hope (and believe) there is value here people could use and I love sharing with others.  So Kemme Fitness would stay online in some shape or another for sure.
An option could be to turn the home page into a static page instead of a blog. I could have the blog as a separate page. In that case, I can reduce the amount of posts dramatically and save time. I could always continue to add new workouts and put up the posts if I had something I really wanted to say. The problem with stopping the blog is I can pretty much count on the traffic to the site dropping off.  I believe folks come here over and over for the consistently new material. It would be sort of “giving up” in ways to end the blog. Another negative consequence is the K-Fit app has a streaming update of posts, which would make no sense if I hardly ever added new content.
I feel Kemme Fitness is incredibly resource/content rich already. My concern is I am not sure if I can keep the pace up. Maybe if I saw a rise in popularity, that would inspire me more, but as it stands, I’m feeling a little burned out to be honest.
Thoughts?  Seriously, I could use some thoughts on this.  This is becoming more and more of a struggle for me and I need some help.

so what do you wear when you exercise?


Oh, the 80’s!  I miss them so.

So do you wear expensive, matching athletic gear?


Or do you wear something a little more creative?


Personally, I prefer to save money.  If you have been reading Kemme Fitness for any length of time, you should know how I am about staying functionally fit while spending little money.  Hence, The Low Cost Gym ebook I created for you to download. That’s why I don’t pay gym memberships and why I share everything for free.  The only exception being the K-Fit app for the Blackberry, but nobody apparently owns a Blackberry Playbook anyways. If you do, the app does rock – so buy one!

I found some shorts for sale at Target, which cost me about $8 to $10 a pair.  For shirts, I just take my normal t-shirts that are now too short, torn, dirty, etc. and turn them into my fitness shirts.  Essentially I wear the oldest, rattiest clothes I have. Top it off by not wearing any socks or shoes.  Ta, da, low cost fitness clothing.


What do you wear?  Do you have to have some nice, thin material? You wear a kilt? Tell us. Leave a comment.

I am beginning to feel that high humidity is dangerous for Functional Fitness


It’s the humidity that will kill ya!

We all know how hard humidity can be on us. If you don’t know this, you live someplace you should never, ever, ever, ever move away from. I especially noticed this lately with some workouts and have had some fellow Functional Fitness junkies agree. Some of my favorite K-Bootcamp workouts from last summer have kicked my butt this year. I mean, I couldn’t finish them. I  knew it was humid on those days, but I was dying!

There is actually some science behind this.  As usual, I’ll give you my unofficial, idiot’s guide. You generate heat during exercise and your body needs to sweat to cool itself. Well in high humidity, the sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly, which causes your body temp to rise. Also, the sweat loss from exercising descreases your blood volume,  putting more work on your heart to pump the small amount to working muscles. This raises your heartrate.

Humidity = body temp up, heartrate up = you aren’t able to do the workout as intensely as usual.

More importantly than your ego here though is the serious health concerns of heat stress. Pay attention to headaches, fatigue (worse than normal), profuse sweating (again hard to tell here), and muscle spasms or cramps.  If you are worried, it isn’t worth it – stop, get into a cool place and replenish your fluids.

Don’t worry there are plenty of cooler (less humid) days to try K-Bootcamp weeks 11 & 12!

the perfect time of year to download K-Bootcamp and start a summer commitment to yourself

I know exactly what you are thinking. You are sitting there on your computer, apathetically searching for something to get you motivated. You want to kick it up this summer and get ripped and walk around showing off how fit you are. Plus, you have that shed you have to build before fall and you know you will need all the Functional Fitness strength you can get to slap that thing together.

But where is your motivation?  You don’t know where or when you lost it even. You are still working out, but only half heartedly. I hear ya buddy.

I have a summer plan for you.  First off, get some friends (hopefully you have some already, but otherwise you just need to go out and get them quick).  Then, you will click here and download K-Bootcamp.

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The only other thing to do is set up your schedule.  Maybe you have a good couple friends that are willing to do this with you 4 days a week for 12 weeks. If not, try scheduling 1 or 2 days a week and then fill in the rest of your workouts with Urban (or Rural) Runs. Maybe you have a favorite few workouts you can throw in to fill the space.

The key to this plan, however, are these group workouts with K-Bootcamp. We have talked before about how accountability is important for motivation, and how group workouts are perfect for this.

The weather is nice, folks are outside. It is the perfect season to begin your committment to Functional Fitness.

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