Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Steve's Real Fitness Blog has a new home!!!

I have moved this blog to my newly redesigned website at

This is the last post here, so come on over to!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Something to think about...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take it from a Harvard Professor... barefoot or minimal-shoe running is the way to go!

From a recent post by Chiggers on the Dragondoor Forum...

Us kettlebell-lifters love to train barefoot, and for good reason. As humans, we have been lifting things in bare feet for at least a million years... in shoes, not so long : ) Our feet are adapted to bear weight the most efficiently the closer we are to barefoot. For those who need orthotics to correct misalignments, the most minimal and thin-soled shoe that will still support the insert is recommended (think converse Chuck Taylors). Why would running be any different? Humans have also been running barefoot a lot longer than in the thick-heeled running shoes invented in the 1970s!

And now, the science... complete with groovy computer graphics comparing heel-strike vs forefoot-strike:

YouTube text:
Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman has ditched his trainers and started running barefoot. His research shows that barefoot runners, who tend to land on their fore-foot, generate less impact shock than runners in sports shoes who land heel first. This makes barefoot running comfortable and could minimize running-related injuries. Read more here and find the original research here:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Proven by Science...
Kettlebell Snatches burn more calories than almost any other form of sport or exercise!

Those who train with kettlebells know they are one of the top tools for fat-burning. Now, a study by the American Council on Exercise proves the anecdotal evidence to be true.

Click here to read the complete article from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of ACE FitnessMatters.
Please refrain from studying the exercise examples too closely and instead see an RKC Certified Instructor who will teach you a much safer and more powerful way to perform them.

The ACE study shows that kettlebell snatches done Viking Warrior Conditioning style burn an amazing 404 calories in only 20-minutes (1212cal/hour)! The VWC protocol used in the study was developed by Master RKC Kenneth Jay and in this case involves 15sec of Snatches at a fast pace, followed by 15sec of Rest for up to 40mins straight.

Here are other examples of exercises that come close to this phenominal calorie burn (at least 800cal/hr for a 155lb person) :

Running, 10 mph (6 min mile) - 1126cal/hr
Running, 9 mph (6.5 min mile) - 1056cal/hr
Running, stairs, up - 1056cal/hr
Skating, ice, speed, competitive - 1056cal/hr
Skiing, cross-country, uphill, maximum effort - 1161cal/hr
Squash - 844cal/hr
Bicycling, >20mph, racing - 1126cal/hr
Bicycling, 16-19mph, very fast, racing - 844cal/hr
Bicycling, stationary, very vigorous effort - 880cal/hr
Boxing, in ring, general - 844cal/hr
Handball, general - 844cal/hr
Jai alai - 844cal/hr
Rope jumping, fast - 844cal/hr
Rowing, stationary, very vigorous effort - 844cal/hr

As you can see, all very fast-paced and high-intensity sports or activities! Try doing any of the above for 20minutes straight and tell me how that goes... The VWC protocol allows for equal Work/Rest intervals, making it possible to keep working at a high-intensity for the duration of the workout.

Now, take a look at calories per hour for some of the more common forms of exercise:

Aerobics, high impact - 493cal/hr
Aerobics, general - 422cal/hr
Basketball, game - 563cal/hr
Basketball, nongame, general - 422cal/hr
Bicycling, 12-13.9mph, moderate effort - 563cal/hr
Calisthenics (pushups, sit-ups), vigorous effort - 563cal/hr
Calisthenics, home, light/moderate effort - 317cal/hr
Frisbee, ultimate - 246cal/hr
Hiking, cross country - 422cal/hr
Jogging, general - 493cal/hr
Race walking - 453cal/hr
Rowing, stationary, moderate effort - 598cal/hr
Skiing, downhill, moderate effort - 422cal/hr
Snow shoeing - 563cal/hr
Swimming laps, freestyle, light/moderate effort - 563cal/hr
Tennis, singles - 563cal/hr
Weight lifting or body building, vigorous effort - 422cal/hr

The numbers tell the tale. Kettlebell Snatches rule!

See an RKC Instructor to get your form dialed-in and then get started, as Kenneth says "Like a Viking"!

Click here to order your very own copy of Viking Warrior Conditioning.

I could not have passed my RKC Certification Snatch Test without it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A fitting tribute : )

My awesome clients Corwin and Eileen put together a video extolling my kettlebell training virtues!

I would like to direct you to their websites (strategic event design, marketing, and project management) and (singer/songwriter extraordinaire) as they are awesome too!

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Wing Tsun Sifu and a new Wing Tsun Master!

From left: Sifu Brian Yam 2TG, Sifu Gary Kaiser 1TG, Sifu Steve McMinn 1TG, Sifu Ciprian Constantinescu 1TG. Seated: Master Ralph Haenel 5PG

On December 4th 2009, at the Wing Tsun Vancouver 15th Anniversary Dinner, Master Ralph Haenel made me a Sifu of Wing Tsun Kungfu. The term Sifu means "father teacher" and is awarded in recognition of a teacher's contributions to the learning, teaching and promotion of Wing Tsun. A few weeks earlier, Brian, Gary and Ciprian received their Sifu titles at the last Seminar of 2009. I was in sunny Venice Beach at the time and was very happy to hear about the new Sifus when I got back. Imagine my surprise when I became a Sifu too! After 10.5 years training and just over 8 years teaching, it is an honour I will continue working hard to live up to.

Master Ralph recently wrote a great article titled SifuMania – or who or what is a Kung Fu Sifu anyway?

Now, some people reading this may ask, "Why are you calling him Master Ralph?. I thought he was a Sifu too!?!"

Well, he WAS known as Si-fu Ralph and continues to be to his current students. However, on the same evening as I was awarded my Sifu title, the senior students and trainer team at Wing Tsun Vancouver presented Si-Fu Ralph with his 5th Practician Grade in Wing Tsun, making him a Master of Kungfu. This title is well deserved as we have felt for years that Master Ralph is at a Practician's Skill Level. Many visits from other WT teachers and students from around the Wing Tsun world have served to reinforce Ralph's level of skill and unsurpassed teaching ability.

Congratulations, Master Ralph Haenel, training and teaching WT for 25 years!

Me and Sifu Chris Chinfen present Master Ralph with his 5PG Certificate.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

36 Military Presses for my 36th!

Today is my 36th birthday.

Last year, I decided to start marking the day with a shirtless and in shorts kettlebell exercise, done outdoors, reps matching my age : ) For my 35th, I did 35 Snatches with a 24kg kettlebell in Kelowna, temperature -10C.

This year it was only -5C and I decided to do 36x 16kg Military Presses per arm.

Next year, I want to up the ante and do 37x 24kg Snatches per arm!

Here's the video:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wing Tsun Chi-Sau Marathon!

Me and Master Ralph after the lesson.

On Friday December 18th, I went to my private lesson with Master Ralph Haenel of Wing Tsun Vancouver. I had been informed beforehand that I was to be part of a "warm-up" set of 6 lessons in preparation for Saturday's 14-hour Chi-Sau marathon.

Yes, that's right... a 14-hour Chi-Sau marathon!

Master Ralph wrote a great blog post about the marathon, AND how hard training of the basics is of the absolute importance, if real-world Wing Tsun skills are your goal.

The Tan-Sau of death and other secret techniques of Wing Tsun Kung Fu - part 2 of 2


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

There's snow on the roof... and fire in the furnace!

You all know about the amazing 63 year-old, octuple-bypassed powerhouse named Irv, now I would like to introduce two other awesome dudes...

Comrade Brockster from the Dragondoor Forum and Russian Oleg Pronnikov, a tough 72 year-old European Kettlebell Sport Champion.

Brockster aka Brewster Righter is a 163lb, 73 year-old, hard-training Comrade from Long Island, New York. I first became aware of him via a funny online picture where he is posing with his wife and grandaughter in front of his house, kettlebells at his feet. I posted the link on the Dragondoor Forum and was surprised when Brewster turned out to be a member : )

Recently, he set a new AAU National Deadlift record of 358.2lbs in his age group.

Here's a video of his record-setting deadlift:

The next inspiring gentleman is 72 year-old European Sport Kettlebell Champion Oleg Pronnikov, who recently performed 249 16kg Snatches in 10 minutes. Oleg did not even start lifting kettlebells til after his 50th birthday!

Oleg on the competition kettlebell weights being made lighter for those over 70:

"They say now that they want those who are older than 70 years old, to lift a 12 kg kettlebell. I think that it is better to lift a pan in the kitchen than a 12 kg kettlebell. A 16kg is the Girevoy Sport weight.”

Here is a link where you can watch some of Oleg's championship performance!

I found out about Oleg at Caestus: The Extreme Girevoy Sport Records Blog. A fun site to visit as long as you don't mind terribly translated Russian : )

We can all only hope to be as awesome as Brockster and Oleg when we're in our 70s!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My 100th Blog Post: Fitness and Fun Combined!

Behold the Ultra Machine Super Pitcher!

"Simple but interesting!"

"We all can have fun while playing it!"

And better still, "Even breaking pitch can be free done!"

I picked this little beauty up in Vancouver's Chinatown for a cool $18. Now, I can set up a batting cage right in the living-room. Why? To work on hand-eye coordination of course! Also just so I can have a batting cage in the living-room : )

The sticker on the machine says "Basketball".

Here's a video of me and Tony in the "cage"

Enter The Kettlebell
Start your Hardstyle kettlebell training with ETK!
Power to the People - Russian Strength Secrets
PTTP Puts you on the path to Deadlift Dominance!