Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank You All for your Requests.....and feedback!

On a whim, last Saturday, I taped my beginners KB swing class, and after reviewing the video, later that day, I thought the instruction was clear enough, and the routine easy enough, to share with all of those who might be interested in seeing, and participating in what I do almost every day of the week. I also thought it would be a good way to find out how I could share more, via train along DVD's, streaming webcast, workshops, etc, and make a bit of cashola to keep doing what I train regularly, consistently, progressively and imaginatively. And in the process encourage, and inspire others to experience success the same way I have.

The common feedback was "Time flew by", "I felt like I was training along with you", "The roundabout allowed me to do so much more because I was distracted by the combination of swings and trying to get them right!" (which is part of the point, lol), "That was the hardest workout I've ever done, I can't imagine what your more advanced classes are like!", and the best ones of all, "Give me more!"

High volume Swings are not for everyone, the same way many physical activities are not for everyone, BUT, everyone can learn how to swing a kettlebell safely and effectively to build cardio endurance and fitness, increase muscletone, and burn as many calories as humanly possible with one exercise (fat loss people!).

I also found out something else important....who my audience is! It's regular people like me! Not those who think they are already super stud athletes....although this workout, and many of my other workouts would kick their butts big time! My style of training combines my own original methods to allow ordinary people to do extraordinary workloads! Turning us hard working and dedicated complusive exercisers into the super stud athletes of our dreams, lol! Do this workout at least 4-5 times and see if your work capacity doesn't improve in about 2 weeks time! Not to mention, you will probably be able to see the beginnings of physical changes you've worked so hard to create in the past with regular "aerobics" or circuit training....I hear it all the time! Hell, I experienced it myself!

The second picture, to the left, was taken at 142lbs, 11 months after I weighed 250lbs, and 7 months after I started training with kettlebells.....and I was pretty stinkin' proud of myself this day! (11/2005) The last picture, to the right, was taken 3 years later, at about 135lbs, with consistent kettlebell training (08/2009).....a bit more muscle I would say, not to mention leaner!

I want to get back to all of you that were so kind to take the time to comment via this blog, but as I mentioned....I had no intention of giving away a free workout, AND the time and work involved in doing that! If for some crazy reason you did not get your request filled, then please send me another email and I will get it to you the best I can (we did run into some organizational problems...yikes, we're not perfect....well, Mark and I are perfect for eachother, but that doesn't count, lol)

I can't wait to get back to more Thoughts, and Food! I've been cooking up some mean batches of chili, and my pressure cooker has been going crazy!


Lisa said...

I'm one of the stay at home mom workout warriors who love to believe in someone who's leading them. You've gotten me into pressure cooking and now I'm ready for the swing cycle -advanced. Keep it rockin'..

Anonymous said...

I didn't request the vid, because I am still in LOVE with your DVD. I am so glad I got it, and I really, really, really hope you produce more of them!


Tracy Reifkind said...


More diffiult stuff is coming!

I just as excited that you are pressure cooking as I am swinging a KB! What's your favorite thing to make in the PC?

Mine is big batches of stew with lamb, pork, or beef shoulder cuts....inexpensive and no one wants to take the time to braise a piece of meat for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours! 25 minutes in the PC! Oh and I put a ton of veggies in my stews....of course!

Tracy Reifkind said... can have it anytime! But there is more to come, so much more that the biggest decision is what to do first!

I think this "give away" pointed me in a good direction.

George said...

Hi Tracy,

I watched the Flip video you made and as promised, here is my feedback.

I watched the video with your comments in mind, i.e., you were looking for “comments about things like, difficulty, and was the instruction easy to follow along with? I really want to expand sharing my KB Swing methods with motivated people for future projects, including classes, via DVD, and workshops in conjunction with HKC Certifications, Domestically and Internationally.”

My comments are from a 70-year old man who has been working with kettlebells for 2 years, but not in a class, although I did have a private session with an RKC to check my form and suggest new exercises. Here are my thoughts:

1. You give clear instruction to your class during the video. Your methodology, the “roundabout,” is complex which makes the instruction element even more important.
2. In order to help the instruction element, I think it might be helpful to have a flip chart or a white board to show the outline of the workout to the class. For those new in class, or those new to your methodology, it will give the class an overview of what to expect and how your roundabouts work. During the class, I think it's helpful to refer back to the visual to point out where you are in the program, what the class has accomplished, and what remains ahead of them.
3. I was inexperienced with your “roundabouts” and so found the roundabout format confusing. I think in a class setting the complexity of the roundabout makes it distracting to the individual and so the class will work beyond the point they would ordinarily stop. That's good for a class, but I'm not sure I, or other individuals, would be able to follow it on video without some practice. For me it's simpiler to just count the number of swings in a 10 minute period or do alternating series of work and rest for a period of time. I'm you think it's a “guy” thing to want it simple and straight forward? Do the men and women in your class view the complexity of roundabouts differently?
4. I think you should also have a timeclock showing on the screen during your DVD class. A visual timeclock will keep the video watcher in synch with the work/rest ratio the class is following. Your verbal instructions about where the class is on the clock is not as good as actually seeing it. One picture is worth a thousand words.
5. In this particular video there were several side conversations that could be overheard on the video, some comments were even made when you were talking. It's distracting and needs to be avoided.
6. Since the roundabout is complex, can you group roundabouts into beginnning, intermeditate, and advanced? If so, three DVDs right there. Grouping might also allow quicker learning.
7. Can you add other “swing-like” exercises to your roundabout? For example, adding a high pull or perhaps walking as you swing? More content, variety, and interest for your DVDs.

Thank you for the opportunity to watch your program.

George Power

JenG said...

First, let me just thank you for the opportunity to come to a class!! What a great gift that was. :)

I LOVED it! I mentioned I had been a slug in my e-mail request and hopefully this was just the thing I needed, and it was! I am no longer letting my KB's collect dust - we will be spending a lot more quality time together.

I started in and thought it was fairly easy at first, the most difficult thing was trying to slow my pace to keep up with your count.
I kept thinking I should have used a heavier bell. Then about 3/4 of the way into it, I got rubbahleg. LOL! I wasn't winded, but I stopped. It was my first workout in a while, I need to be able to walk tomorrow. LOL.

I thought it was one of the easiest follow along workouts I have done. I LOVE the roundabout, keeps things from getting boring. I think you do a fabulous job of leading your class, very easy to follow. I love that you give instructions on what the next set involves during the rest period. Gives me a second to go through it in my head first.
I didn't listen to you once and started to put my bell down because I heard your gymboss go off. Then heard you say "drop one hand, swing" and had to scramble to catch up.
It was great! Thank you for sharing. I hope this leads to some of us that will never make it to CA being able to pay to attend your classes. What a fabulous idea!!!

ajam00 said...

I just wanted to say thanks for the video. It caused me to rescue my KB from the garage. I've been able to swing in the morning before I go to work. I'm working my way up to hanging with you the whole video but I'm making progress and I can certainly feel it in my legs. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sir Straw said...

I did request the video three times so i hope that I can still get the chance to view it.


guy said...

Your DVD is excellent! I however would love another DVD from you, along the lines of a follow along workout.So yes More! More! More! ;)

Mark Reifkind said...


I believe we resent your copy this morning, please contact us if you don't get it.

Mark Reifkind said...


please know that this is NOT a dvd but just a taped class. We just put the camera on as Tracy led her class through a typical beginners workout. If you like the training you should definitely get her Programming the Kettlebell Swing DVD which we out now.


Tracy Reifkind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy Reifkind said...


Zowie! I think you took more time to comment than I took swinging in the video...thanks back.

You bring up some important points so I'll address them in the order you made them, but first let me make two points....

This is how I get my students that are already familiar with my methods to do about 600 swings in 30 minutes of time, and although I do, progressively lead into the "roundabout", this was not an "Instructional" DVD, but simply a way for others to see the possibilities in this one kettlebell movement...THE most important one as far as I'm concerned.


I do have a white board in the studio with a basic plan, and combination swings, as well as reps for all to refer back to. I didn't have the luxury of a camera man, or crew to include all of that. In future projects I will more than likely write out the routine for reference. I included one similar to accompany my current DVD. (I agree!)

I have also experienced the differences between men and women to be the same as like "sets and reps", which is why my swing classes have 90% women. My philosophy about that however is...and then what? Women get bored with sets and reps (me!), and that's how and why I developed my methods in the first place. I may do a "roundabout" workout in my class, maybe 1x a month, the other swing workouts don't have as many "transitions", and most beginning level classes have the same work/rest ratio.

I had some critique about my current DVD with the same suggestion about an on screen timer....I agree. I'll definitely look into that for future projects.

About the side conversations....this was not a DVD, it was simply done on a whim and I made the decision that it still had enough value to share with others.

Adding in other movements are part of my intermemdiate and advanced classes. I don't teach new students anything but the swing for 4-8 weeks. At that point if they have established consistent workouts, and really good technique I teach more skills in this order...snatch, press, clean, squat, get up....I have a method to my madness although this may not make sense to some.

I have my own strong opinions about why I focus so much on the swing, it reflects my own personal story. I train others the way I train myself (many PT's do, btw!)

Walking, or lateral swings are not for beginners, and the high pull seems to be more of a "man's" preference...but as I mentioned, I do include many other kb movements into my other classes

I hope I haven't come across as defensive, I don't mean to be, I want to only explain the choices I made, or didn't make (lol).

I asked for it and I got it...again thank you for your time...truly!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I had to turn your comments into a blogpost because my reply was so long (like your comment!) that I couldn't publish it here....

Tracy Reifkind said...

Jen G

I so glad you liked it! I'll be posting more about common feedback, and how I plan to make the improvements necessary to make more workout DVD's available.

Although I've been working on some good ideas and a bit of intuition, it's real live people that will lead me in the right direction!

The one thing you can always count on me can always count on me to show up and swing!

Tracy Reifkind said...


One bell, one piece of equipment, one exercise, one person.

I would do it if no one comes to class, or no one ever watches! This is the people exercise, this is my exercise.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I emailed you, and I hope you get your copy shortly.

Tracy Reifkind said...


This is just the beginning, lots more to come!

La Saun Taylor, RKC, AFAA-CPT said...

As you know, I LOVE Roundabouts! Great job!! You're cueing is excellent! The rest times are right on point. I haven't tried ladders with the Roundabouts. I'm sure that's a real but kicker! Looking forward to more great stuff from you. Thanks so much! said...

Hey Tracy,

Just wanted to thank you for the video. I have just ordered the 8 & 12kg kb and can't wait to get to work. I share part of your story - in having lost nearly 100 pounds. Good job - I know how much diligence it takes to remove it AND maintain that removal.

I did have a problem with watching the video - twice now, at about the 10 minute mark - the video has stopped and I haven't been able to restart it. After 10 minutes though - I think I have a good grasp on a start - and I'll certainly be ordering your DVD with my next Amazon order.

Cheers from Down Under-

Roland said...

It's a good demonstration of how the swing can BE the workout. Many people don't get that.

I think if you make (and post for everyone) a short video swing workout, with some of the dvd features like music, on screen text and timers, you will boost your dvd sales.

A lot of people workout already, so give them a ten to twenty minute finisher to tide them over until their dvd arrives.

david said...

i love how you make the swing the primary focus of all the KB MOVEMENTS..i feel like watching your vids has inspired me to make the swing a primary focus and as of late i've been working out with 12kg just so that i can get my hip movements into place.