Friday, June 14, 2013

The Great Equalizer.

The Swing is the great equalizer, the kettlebell the tool.  How does an almost 50 year old, former fat girl, teach and lead a 40 year old, former fat and out of shape, ex military guy, through a challenging but fun kettlebell swing workout?

Today is Friday, so it's barely been two days since I finished taping my next two Swing Workout DVD's, "Give and Take #2", and the other still to be titled, but is a "partner" swing workout that is scalable to every level and sure to make couples, groups and or anybody who trains together completely happy!  My tight lower back was not happy about the heavy double swing workout the next morning, but finally a hot yoga class this afternoon and all is almost well in my world again!

But, speaking of partners..... As many of you already know I asked a very special SFG colleague of mine to join me in demonstrating these next two DVDs, Jeff Sokol Sfg.  But for those of you that do not know, or are not familiar with Jeff and his own story of transformation, let me share a bit with you, in Jeff's own words in his recent facebook post:

"I was 35 years old, 240lbs, working a job I despised, and DEPRESSED! During a huge moment of weakness an infomercial about kettlebell training aired. I ordered a 25 lb kettlebell and a set of DVDs. That twist of fate changed my life forever!

I'm absolutely dumbfounded that four years later, I'm doing a job that I love, I'm in the best shape of my life, and now I'm actually going to be in two kettlebell DVDs that may change someone else's life.

To make a long story short...
It's never too late to find your passion, live your dreams, and become the best version of you! 

Thank you again Tracy Reifkind for the amazing opportunity!"

These words, Jeff's story, are part, the first and large part, of why I asked him to partner up with me.    He has a strong presence in our kettlebell community and is respected not because of his past, but because of his present!  He is a great example of skill, commitment and passion for training kettlebells.

The second is that some of you might have noticed a lack of "male" examples in my world of high volume swing training....and there is a reason for that!  Not to pick on the male population, but it is not as common to meet and train with males that are, what I affectionately term as, endurance junkies, or just plain all out crazy!  I was lucky to have Rasul Davis from Santa Monica come up and help me demo "Top 40" and "D30" in Modesto last year, which proves that there is at least one more male "all out crazy" who's a fan of my style of training the swing!  lol  I knew both of these men could bring the business and keep up, rep for rep, and like it, or at least appreciate it for what it is!

The Swing is the great equalizer and the kettlebell is the tool.  Male, female, young, old, overweight, underweight, "out of shape", "in shape".  For me, for Jeff, for you?

The key is to design workouts that make everyone feel like a King or a feel in control again...for at least one part of our lives.  Making training the kettlebell swing interesting by adjusting reps, weights, rest intervals and work intervals so it is accessible to everybody.  To combine strength and conditioning effectively and efficiently, and I believe, and have experienced, that the kettlebell swing is one answer....well it was my one answer.

I had never met Jeff in person, so it stands to reason I had never swung with him either!  But I was confident that he would catch on quickly based on his skill, conditioning, passion, and commitment to do a good job!  He demonstrated that by practicing a few 500 rep swing workouts in the weeks prior to the taping date!  He did his homework!

Leading many entire groups as well as individuals through completely new routines I never lost confidence that it would be easy for him to follow along.  After all, that's what my DVD workouts are about.  They are about helping you, by simply following along!  I did the work figuring out the progressions, I count (most reps), you just need to show up!  Both of these new workouts are technically "partner" workouts.

We had a blast, but make no mistake it was also some serious swing rep business!  We started taping at 11:05am, and finished, on time at 2:00pm!  Jeff had been up to catch his flight from Seattle at 7:30am, me, still finishing the programming until I had to drive to Juno in Berkeley (at 8:00am, but up since 4:00am).  Sure, it took a bit of warming up for our personalities to come together, but it was quite the day!

Clean up and a long lunch afterwards...drop off Jeff at the Oakland airport...I had it easy from there!  A little over an hour drive home, but Jeff had to wait for his 7:30pm flight back home.  By the time he landed I was asleep...yikes, lucky me!

I can't wait to start the edit for these workouts!  In the mean time I'll be training them with my groups ('cause they are killer workouts!) along with all of my other routines!  And if you all like them I just may ask Jeff back for an encore!

In the mean time, if you haven't trained "Give and Take" (#1) you might think about practicing those workouts as "G & T #2" progressively build on those routines.  AND, I have a surprise complimentary "D30" workout that will be part of "The Swing Quest 2013" scheduled next, for June 29th!  OMG!  Really?  In barely 2 weeks I'll be leading you all through another installment of a 2013 swing rep workout! But this time with a "D30" bonus!  So you all keep practicing, keep swinging there is so much more to come!

"Give and Take"

Thank you to all of my swing partners, past and present:

My wonderful husband Mark Reifkind MSFG who braved the first workout in "Give and Take" (#1).

My co-swingers in "Give and Take" and "Roundabout 2.0"

Meg Lloyd
Brian Hemedinger
Sabina Dominguez
Christopher Gaines
Genevieve Gaines

"Top 40" and "Dirty 30"

Meg Lloyd
Maribel Medina
Brenda Tierney
Deepika Goyal
Rasul Davis
Monica Worline
and....part of the Full Force PT crew!

"Dirty Thirty"

More to details to come about the new workouts, because I learned even more about training my favorite exercise!  As well as how the swing progressions in Top 40 and D30 all tie into The Swing Quest 2013!  Be there, or be square!


Haico said...

Hi Tracy,

Is the option available to buy your different DVD content and then download them in some form? I would be playing this on my iPad or smartphone. Buying in the US from the Netherlands is "interesting" as stuff gets lost.

thank you in advance,

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


The option to download is still pending for some reason. We (Mark!) will check the status and see what the hold up is.

Thanks for your interest...although I did have a facebook comment that one was ordered from the link I provided on a Sat, arrived on Monday to the UK!

Diana said...

Thanks for some eye candy, I just might have to get this DVD!!


Tracy Reifkind said...


One of my students, Andrea, calls it "man candy", lol!

Personally, I got some pretty sweet stuff at home!

Diana said...

Me too! But just cause I'm on a diet doesn't mean I can't appreciate looking at the dessert menu! LOL!

Tracy Reifkind said...