Review: Mike Mahler's Kettlebell Solutions for Speed and Explosive Strength

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I recently purchased Mike Mahler's latest DVD, Kettlebell Solutions for Speed and Explosive Strength. I'm already a fan of Mike's training, having attended his level-one seminar and owning his previous DVD. Over the past week I've had the great pleasure of watching his latest DVD and trying most of the exercises. This review should give prospective buyers a taste of what they're in for.

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All About Inline Skate Wheels

Inline skating is all the fun of ice skating, skiing, hockey, or whatever the heck you want to make of it -- without the need for a rink, mountains, or snow. My first article on skating covers wheels, which can make a big difference in your skating enjoyment.

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Report: Mike Mahler Kettlebell Workshop

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From my weekend's "don't forget to bring" list:

  • One cast-iron cannonball with handle
  • Towel
  • Water
  • High pain tolerance

Yes, it's time to toss around some kettlebells. A kettlebell is a chunk of iron with a thick handle on it. Russians use them somewhat like low-tech dumbbells. There, kettlebell lifting is a sport and supposedly kettlebells are found in most gyms. America is just starting to discover kettlebells, mostly thanks to Pavel Tsatsouline, author of "The Russian Kettlebell Challenge."

I started lifting kettlebells about six weeks ago, and on October 15th I attended Mike Mahler's workshop in Denver. He's a senior instructor certified by Pavel, and also a prolific author of articles and videos on the sport. Here's my report.

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In Honor of William Nealy

I started inline skating again after a 12ish year hiatus, and while buying some new gear, I picked up William Nealy's book Inline. This was not my first William Nealy book -- that would be Kayaks to Hell, which I bought sometime in the late 80's. I wasn't a kayaker then, nor did I plan to be, but the book was so damn funny it didn't matter.

I'm a fairly advanced skater, so I didn't need to buy Inline, but that also doesn't matter -- his books are worth it for their humor value alone. I do have some purpose for it, however: I'm thinking about teaching skating again, and I want to check out Nealy's material to see if it has useful teaching suggestions. It does, and I was planning to write Nealy a letter with gratuitous praise and a couple suggestions.

That was until I looked up his publisher to get his address, and I found out that William Nealy passed away in 2001.

I'm deeply saddened by this, as I've gone back to Nealy's books many times since I first bought Kayaks to Hell. Every couple years I pull them out and read them all again. I'm still not a kayaker, mountain biker, or anything else his books are about, but for me the value is in his great humor and cartoon style. His books are filled with personal misadventures, so it's like I know him, and today I found out I lost a friend.

So instead of sending Nealy a letter about Inline, I'll start posting my comments here. I figure he'd be honored for his book to continue contributing to the skating community as it stands, plus be the subject of ongoing discussion.