June 6th 2015 – Breakthrough Spotlight – Joyce Prescott
– We would like to welcome our new Breakthrough members who joined us last month! Welcome Stefanie Lawson, Alexa Minasian, Nathan Davidson, Melissa Cotter, and Michelle Damas!!
– 7pm is a popular time for training, so we’re removing the Yoga Nidra class from our Thursday night schedule to offer another semi-private time slot instead. We will find another time to offer this class as soon as possible.
– June is the start of a new theme for our Complete Strength classes, Squats for Strength and Cleaning up Cleans – read more below.
Our Complete Strength classes for the summer will focus on a couple of the classic kettlebell lifts; one basic and one… not so basic. First off, the Squat.
Dan John, strength coach extraordinaire and StrongFirst Master Instructor says this of KB Goblet Squats:
“Squats can do more for total body strength than probably all other lifts combined. Doing them wrong can do more damage than probably all the other moves, too. The goblet squat fixes all.”
Our work with Goblet Squats will build tremendous strength, while honing our squatting skills and ensuring safe and technique in this fundamental human movement pattern. Greatness resides in those who have the patience to master the patterns first, then add complexity later.
Speaking of complexity, enter “The Clean.” So-called because it “cleanly” gets the kettlebell from the floor to the rack position. The kettlebell clean is the most nuanced of the classic lifts; even more technically challenging in some ways than the snatch. But fear not, “A clean is just a swing that ends up in the rack.” – Dave Whitley, Master SFG. In other words, if our one-handed swing technique is dialed in, then we should be able to perform acceptable cleans. The trick to turning a swing into a clean is in how we tame the arc. The more tame the arc, the softer the landing in the rack position; resulting in a “cleaner” clean. When cleans are safe, we can do lots of them. For explosive power development and building lean muscle, lots of cleans should do the trick!
Weekly News: Breakthrough Spotlight!
This month’s Breakthrough Spotlight is Joyce Prescott!! Joyce is not just a member of the Breakthrough family… she is actually Kati’s mom. Chances are if you have been in the gym at the same time as Joyce, you have gotten a high five and probably a hug! Her infectious positivity and enthusiasm has earned her the nickname “Firecracker”, as well as the June Spotlight.
We sat down with Joyce after one of her semi-private sessions to ask her a few questions about her training.
Breakthrough: We’re here with Joyce, AKA The Firecracker! We shared in the Grand Opening presentation about her incredible over 50 pound weight loss and she’s not done yet! So, Joyce, we wanted to ask you some other questions to see how your training has helped you. We talked a little bit about your training getting rid of pain medication and helping with fibromyalgia, so maybe you can tell us a little bit about that.
Joyce: I was taking Meloxicam twice a day for several years and it failed to diminish the pain after a while, so when I started kettlebells I noticed that I needed less and I started cutting back. When my doctor told me I couldn’t take any of that medication anymore because it upset my stomach, I thought “oh well what the heck,” and stopped taking any of it. Now I take absolutely no pain medication, or anti-inflammatories except for the occasional Excedrin for a headache.
Breakthrough: Well that’s awesome! Your before picture was taken hiking, and you really enjoyed doing that but you had to stop?
Joyce: I couldn’t do it, it was a breath control thing, I was having trouble breathing on the uphills. And my knees hurt, and I guess also my back too a little. But it was mostly that I couldn’t breathe well and my knee pain.
Breakthrough: And I remember about a year ago we went on that steep hike up in the Griffith Park area and you had no problem! It was tough but you were doing it again, where a couple years before just flat walking was difficult.
Joyce: Just walking was a challenge, yes.
Breakthrough: Also there were some balance issues you were struggling with? You were falling?
Joyce: I used to joke that I could trip on air, but since I have worked here on functional movement skills, working with balance, working asymmetrically, and doing corrective exercises, I feel more surefooted and balanced.
Breakthrough: That’s good we want you on your feet, training and giving all those high fives and hugs! Is there anything else that you want to share?
Joyce: Well for someone who might be skeptical, the first time I saw kettlebells I told Kati and Caleb they needed to get them out of the house because they scared me. But they are awesome and incredible and yes, I am a firecracker, because they empower me, they make me feeling so strong like I can do anything. Really, they do! My favorite thing to do is the kettlebell snatch, I love and it and it’s very empowering. I also love deadlifting with barbells, never in my life would I believe that at 66 I would be able to do this! That is where the high fives come from- the sheer joy of being able to do something like this and to feel so energized. Even though I have back issues, you guys taught me how to protect my back so I can do what seems impossible!
Breakthrough: That’s awesome! So physical strength leads to feeling powerful in the rest of your life… That’s what it’s all about. Thanks so much for sharing your story. We are excited to see what goals you conquer next!