Just to tell you a little about me I am the founder of Brandon Richey Fitness and a strength and conditioning specialist certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association ( the NSCA), the gold standard in the fitness industry. I earned my bachelors degree in health promotion with a strong background in exercise science from the University of Georgia. I later had the opportunity to return to UGA to work as a strength assistant for the football program, under legendary Hall of Fame strength coach, Dave Van Halanger.
I worked at UGA from 2002-2004, then moved on to work in the private sector of the fitness industry, training Division One, professional athletes, and serious fitness junkies. I have eliminated a lot of BS and have put a lot of time, energy, and study into figuring out what works in terms of getting you REAL life results regardless of your training goals, gender, or level of experience. My approach is simple. Smart training tactics applied smartly yield results! Dumb training will get you nowhere
Having been a professional trainer and strength coach now in the Atlanta area or over 10 years It has been my experience that most people don't have a clue about training and also have some level of difficulty within the scope of their training because of inhibiting factors that mostly revolve around mobility. As a society we have taken on what I like to call the lifestyle of SLOUCH! That's right, most folks spend hours upon hours sitting in front of a computer screen slouched over staring for 8, 10, or even 12 hours a day. This doesn't even factor in the additional SLOUCH you get in the car ride on the way to work, while eating dinner, and while watching TV as well. While doing this we are literally training our bodies to be SLOUCHED!
This not only promotes poor posture, but it also results in the development of a weak inactive core center. This is why my training focuses around the implementation of training movements over the traditional health club mindset of training specific "muscles." We are creatures of motion and our segments or limbs carry out motion that starts from our core center and moves outward. The human body is really only capable of performing two types of movements. Everything is either a pull or a push related action. I don't care how you slice it this is how the body works, period!
Granted the relationship of these pull and push related movements certainly vary depending on what is being done such is the case in very dynamic type lifts and exercises, but the movements are still just combinations of push and pull related actions. Now this is why I love kettlebells. You see the kettlebell is a fantastic training device that really allows you to break up these movements in a very practical manner. From the double arm kettlebell swing to the press and turkish get ups you can systematically create a very functional style of strength training that will accelerate your personal level of fitness and athletic performance to a whole new level! I have already provided you with a ton of content right here on this very site to help you to achieve this optimal level of physical prowess which is why you need to take the time to look around to take it all in.
I also want to point out that as much as I love kettlebells and think of them as being at the very top of the mountain of awesomeness I also employ other tactics to get things done as well. My philosophy is centered around, but not exclusive to the implementation of kettlebell training. I am a strength and conditioning coach first so I love utilizing barbells, medicine balls, sandbags, plyometrics, and even dumbbells(the iron kind, not the human kind) as well!
If you ever hear any of these other trainers out on the web or TV trying to say that one single method IS THE ONLY METHOD they are full of it! Even though some specific methods of training can be obviously more efficient than others one should never say that one single thing is the END ALL. As the old saying goes "there is more than one way to skin a cat."
My program is set to help utilize the fabulous kettlebell, but in my program the kettlebell has a lot of friends. For more information on my program take the time to look over the rest of the site and feel free to contact me on more of my services. I am located in Buford, Ga., but offer my kettlebell fitness and strength programs in the Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Duluth, and Cumming areas as well. I am available for personal training, but I strongly encourage groups. I am also available for kettlebell and strength clinics, speaking engagements, and consulting for various athletic programs and businesses.
Granted I have had the fortunate experience and opportunity to utilize many tools when it comes to training the human body for various purposes. Over the years I have learned that the body can adapt in a tremendous way to many forms of stress that you can place on it. I've been able to rehab both knees from sports injuries back to where I can move well enough that sometimes I can't even tell that I've had an injury. Kettlebell strength training is a tremendous way to get the body to do things that you never thought possible. Once again, I'm not one of these "blow hards" that is saying that kettlebells are the "end all" of training tools, but it is a tremendous asset to add to your toolbox of fitness. I mean a jackhammer is a great tool for breaking the hell out of stuff, but there are only so many things that the jackhammer can do. Once again, kettlebells are way more versatile a training tool than a jackhammer is for construction, but I think you get my drift.
Onward to getting my face kicked in with the iron bell! Yep, that's right I said the first time I trained with the iron bell my body literally felt as if I had just stepped off of the gridiron from taking a physical beating. Now I don't want to mislead you on my description here. I wasn't literally "beat up" with bruises. I am just referring to the particular type of soreness that I was experiencing from this new style of training. It was as if my body just kind of ached all over. It wasn't like one single muscle or area was more sore than the other, but rather almost like my entire musculoskeletal system just received the shock of a lifetime! Was this normal? Well, I'm sure it was a normal response, but I just hadn't felt that specific type of soreness before or at least not for a very long time. Right then and there I knew this was something that my body would benefit from. There was no turning back at this point.
My best friend Bryan Pulliam (A fellow CSCS: Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist) who was also a strength and conditioning assistant with me at UGA introduced me to the kettlebell. He showed me some different moves and we both helped each other and went into a deep study and practice with kettlebells up to the current date. Being that we both like to experiment with different strategies on getting the most out of our training we knew that the kettlebell had a lot to offer and we would both end up being right. We discovered there was a ton versatility and convenience that kettlebell training could specifically offer that most other strength training tools and methods could not, at least not in the same ways.
So once we both had experimented with utilizing the bells for various training purposes we both found a way to inject them into our own programs. Bryan is currently the strength and conditioning coach for a private school in Athens, Ga. and he is one of the few strength coaches here in the state of Georgia that uses this tool in a significant role within the scope of his training program. Both Bryan and myself (here in Atlanta) use kettlebells in a very specific and significant way to achieve an optimal level of athletic performance. I admit that it posed some challenges at first trying to figure out exactly how to "fit it in," but with more and more incorporation it became easier and easier to do so.
So fast forward about 2 or 3 years from the first time I got beat up with the iron bell and I decided to go ahead and write my ebook document Better Than Steroids. I wrote this particular ebook with the intentions of offering some simple training advice and solutions to common problems folks may have when starting to get back into shape either for personal reasons or for the specific purpose of athletic performance. The ebook is packed full of details on how to go about getting things done from a simplified point of view and involves more than just the use of kettlebells. Better Than Steroids includes training tactics that teach you how to use kettlebells, your own body resistance, and an array of other training tactics that are results driven!
For example, if you are unable to perform a single pull up and are attempting a training program that calls for you to perform pull ups then are you simply just SOL, or is there another solution? In Better Than Steroids I am offering you the solution. Teaching proper progression from not being able to do a pull up to being able to crank out as many of those bad boys as you possibly can is what I did in the ebook! I wanted to help you discover your body's potential so that you could take your training to a whole new level. By the way if you want to look at more information on Better Than Steroids all you have to do is click HERE. If you haven't seen the promo video for the ebook then here is your chance just in case you are interested in transforming your body from good into being a MIND BLOWING ATHLETIC TERMINATOR! Enjoy below my friend:
The bottom line is that if anybody really wants to get the most out of training their body it just takes the right knowledge along with the application of that knowledge in order to get it done. You have probably heard the old saying that "some of the best ideas are the simplest ideas." This is completely true when talking about how to go about effectively gaining strength, athleticism, or to get better at any specific task. I want to help you to discover how to do this for yourself by giving you the knowledge that is necessary for you to apply principles in training that work and make sense. Just like with the pull up example. How can a pull up be an effective drill for you if you either are incapable of doing one or are not able to do one very well? It is issues like this that I strive to tackle within my ebook and a great deal within the confines of this website through my BLOG.
My goal is to strive to help you to do this in the best way I know how by applying over 10 years of experience in coaching, education, and self study. I want my ideas and principles to be part of your physical success, period! One of my pet peeves that I generally see on the ads on the internet and TV is that "this program or that program is the absolute best." This type of hype tends to generate a lot of BS! The bottom line is that what makes the program is the participant that is involved along with a miraculous invention known as COACHING. That's right, smart guys that tend to generate the best results with their client base tend to know what the hell they are talking about. This is why being a strength and conditioning professional drives me to do what I do. Both myself and guys like me have read and constantly stay up do date on what is being done in the field so that we can decipher between what is REAL and practical and what is a total heaping pile of baboon crap. I don't want you to step into the baboon mess my friend!
The purpose and advantage of having a smart strength and conditioning program simply exist to develop better athletes, period. I may seem like Captain Obvious saying that, but the truth is that a lot of folks don't quite grasp the concept the way you may think. You see there has been a split in meaning in terms of the direction of a strength and conditioning program designed for athletic enhancement versus the misconception that it is a practice that is meant to be sports specific. Strength and conditioning programming is meant for the purpose of making an athlete stronger, faster, fitter, and better conditioned than his or her opponent irregardless of the sport that athlete may play. Sports specific is what happens when that athlete goes to practice to work on the skills that are specific to the sport that he or she plays. Dribbling a basketball, tackling in football, and hitting a baseball are all examples of sports specific actions in which a smart strength and conditioning program can help in allowing you to perform those skills better. Today the role of a smart strength and conditioning program is essential if an athlete or even a weekend warrior expects to perform at the highest level with the lowest risks which could involve injury or failure! This is why being fit matters my friend.
Boyd Epley is widely recognized as the father of strength and conditioning because he was the first to hold and be paid as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Nebraska football program back in 1969. Granted the roots of strength training for the attempt to gain an edge in sports competition had been occurring long before Epley had taken on his role as this new style of coach, but he was the one that catapulted it into the recognized field that it is today. Epley was hired by head Nebraska coach and athletic director Bob Devaney with a simple warning during the hiring handshake, "If anyone gets slower, you're fired." Devaney, like most coaches then and now, was skeptical about the move. Nevertheless, Epley immediately got to work and after his first season with the Cornhuskers they finished with a 9-3 record with an appearance at the Sun Bowl. Not only did this happen, but Nebraska won back to back National Championships in 1970 and 1971. Once a skeptic when hiring Boyd Epley Devaney was now a converted believer! It was from this point that the importance of strength and conditioning for the purpose of athletic performance and fitness was taken to a whole new level. Check out the video below:
Once again, I may sound like Captain Obvious by saying this too, but it is puzzling to me that the Average "Joes" and "Janes" of the world don't really recognize this when it comes to trying to get in shape by either building a super fit body, losing weight, or for purpose of performing everyday functional tasks. Without strength you can't develop the work capacity needed in order to obtain any of the physical goals necessary for those traits that I just mentioned. Misconceptions still exist today about building strength. Just like the video about Epley mentioned how coaches of yesteryear were fearful of their athletes becoming "muscle bound" and lacking "mobility" those same false beliefs still exist today.
There have been many occasions where I have been witnessed by curious onlookers in the middle of some of my kettlebell workouts. Over the years I've gotten mixed responses from people ranging from curiosity to questions like "Why should I train to try and be a strongman or woman?" What kind of statement is that? I'm not a world strongman competitor, but if you've ever met me or any of my clients you'd see that we are all very lean, fit, and have a very reasonable amount of both total body strength and cardiovascular conditioning. I'm not trying to say this to make an arrogant statement I'm merely just trying to make a point. For whatever reason people want to try and attach stigmas to the act of training heavy. This is also something that I work very hard to overcome with a great deal of folks that come to me for my services.It's not an issue all the time, but it still comes up from time to time. The problem is that folks get inundated with BS advertising from these fad diets and programs that promise them the body of a fitness model while not requiring them to put forth a single bit of effort. It is this promotion of a weak mindset and laziness that I have declared WAR on my friend! Join me in the movement.
Just as the field of strength and conditioning has grown over the years so have the tools that have been used to implement the practices within this field. Again having been in the fitness and strength and conditioning industry here in the metro Atlanta area (Buford, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Duluth, Suwanee) for well over 10 years now it is apparent how much the field has grown especially within the realm of high school sports. More and more individuals, teams, and organizations are looking for ways to gain the edge for their program and there is no doubt that it starts in the weight room. Kettlebells have certainly started to make some noise, but not enough to get the attention of most traditional teams, or to be more specific, most traditional american sports teams.
I often get approached by people that tell me that they have been training with kettlebells on a regular basis, yet when I witness how they implement them for the first time I am shocked that they have stuck with it. I often grit my teeth and cringe while being exposed to this by a lot of these first timers that are insistent on showing me what they know. Let's just say that their technique isn't always up to par! Once again "everyone is a pro trainer," right? Nonetheless as much as kettlebells have started to rocket off more specifically in the world of fitness they have not quite been as embraced to a wide degree in the world of strength and conditioning as you may think. The obvious reason is that most coaches don't know or fully understand the technique that is involved and the one's that think they do generally need some tweaking.
The reason for this is that kettlebells just haven't been as prevalent here in the states up until the past few years. I mean to the point that they are at least recognized by the fitness public. Don't worry I'm not looking for a debate on the specifics of when the iron cannonball with a handle first touched american soil. That argument is irrelevant at the moment. The point is that they just haven't been as widely recognized here in the states for while the way the good ole dumbbells and barbells have been.
I think the reason more of these traditional american sports haven't embraced the iron bells anymore than they have up to this point is because we just haven't reached that recognizable stage of "This is what's cool or correct," yet! You see I know from experience that things like this here in the states just take time. It lends itself to the old notion that "if it's not broken why fix it." However most of the time it takes the competition doing something that seems to give them the ability to beat up the "why fix it guy," before some eyes are open. As I always say a lot of the time it takes some "boots to asses" before something can bring about a real change! For whatever reason though I never had this problem with the sport of MMA. I think this is because of how new and fresh the sport of MMA itself has been along with the growing interest in MMA style fitness and the kettlebell workouts that can go along with it. I mean it really has only come on as a recognized household sport in the last few years. Well, mostly a household sport!
Aside from the amazing ability of these fighters to beat the hell out of each other in so many different ways it is equally impressive to watch them train. I am not a competitive fighter, but I have trained pretty extensively for the past few years in the art of Muay Thai. Being a strength and conditioning coach that engages in this with my amateur and professional competing fighters it hasn't been a problem introducing hells bells to them at all. As a matter of fact kettlebells have been highly demanded by my top competing athletes. To say the least my Muay Thai friends and MMA guys and girls love the dynamic nature that is involved from training with kettlebells. It more easily allows them to put some "boots to asses!" if you know what I mean.
One of the biggest and most consistent testimonies that I receive from MMA personnel is that after engaging in my program they actually feel faster, more powerful, and lighter on their feet in the ring. This usually ends up being the "hook" to get them training regularly in a strength and conditioning program in the weeks and days leading up to their competing event. Kettlebell training obviously allows for the development of strength, but the programming I put behind it coupled with the style of training involved allows for the significant development of speed and conditioning as well. These traits are extremely valuable for any fighter. Can you imagine being able to spar or compete in an event where you just flat out know you are faster, stronger, and better conditioned than the other guy or girl? This is what I work at doing for all of my competitive athletes and fitness enthusiast on a daily basis. Once again, I am a big proponent of many other methods besides kettlebells, but the kettlebell is an extremely valuable tool in the toolbox of strength!
The benefits of kettlebell training are numerous. Let's face it, being able to punch your competition in the mouth with some authority is a strong selling point. As a strength coach I couldn't imagine anything more that would be! Kettlebell exercises just really translate over very well into the sport of MMA. If you are a grappler then you can see how the turkish get up would be of great value. It's all about body position and control. If you want to look at striking ability then the kettlebell snatch and jerk press would both be your best friend. Even if you had no other tools to train with other than your own body resistance and the availability of a couple of bells you could get a whole bunch done with your strength and conditioning program.
Whether you train in a sport professionally, as a hobby, or not at all the benefits of kettlebell training are a WIN WIN choice for you. Like I said before I love utilizing other tactics to build a stronger fitter body. However, I do believe that by learning more of the applied movements that are necessary to lift kettlebells with efficiency and grace it has improved the capacity and performance of my other lifts. To be more specific, I don't just believe it, I know it! You see you immediately have to change your mindset and approach when it comes to kettlebell training because the exercises are all about training those movement patterns as I stated earlier. Mobility is a lost skill with most average folks these days. Once again everyone is trained for SLOUCH from grinding out all those hours sitting at a desk in front of a computer or from driving around in a car all day. The kettlebell provides a means to help you cross over into a new realm of training and fitness. By enforcing mobility within the scope of your training you will develop every trait along the spectrum of fitness. The development of strength, resiliency, flexibility, and a tremendous capacity for cardiovascular conditioning all are included in the benefits package of kettlebell training. Remember that with the development of strength you can accomplish more. You will be able to lift more and accomplish more work, therefore enabling you to incinerate calories and melt the body fat right off of your skeletal frame like a microwaved butter stick!
The mind controls the body, period! The success or failure of your training is dependent upon how focused and driven you want to be, period! Kettlebell training will test your patience, your adherence to sticking to a learning curve, and the ability for you to continue to master your skills more and more. There is no in between when it comes to a successful kettlebell workout program or any strength and conditioning program for that matter. The benefits of kettlebell training are vast, but they can't change your "WANT TO!" If you have that little voice inside of you talking to you whenever you try something challenging for the first time like I do it's going to say one of two different things to you when you hammer out some swings for the first time. It's either going to say "I'm going to master this" or "get me the hell out of here!" Generally there is no in between when this is done correctly. Once again kettlebells aren't elitist, but they certainly fit a certain personality and it is never the LAZY one.
I am a big proponent of mental toughness. This is a trait I often believe you either have or you don't. To be more accurate I think that you can either be moved or convinced to keep pushing at some point in your life or you can't be. I think there comes a time when all of us have to be challenged in one fashion or another and we have to either be tough or collapse under the pressure. The trait of mental toughness is apparent in those individuals that have it and I've been training folks long enough to recognize it. The funny thing is that the novice is generally ok if their thinking has not been distorted by other misleading so-called professionals in the fitness industry. As long as they don't have a polluted mindset on physical training in which I have to spend time combatting the more progress they are going to be able to make with me a lot sooner. Generally it is these "fresh minds" that can be tough without realizing that they actually are being tough. Let that sink in for a second. Nonetheless, I believe kettlebell training will help to bring out that little voice inside of you that will scream "I be damned if I'm going to fail at this or quit!" This is another quality trait that fits side by side with my program and kettlebells so you can gear yourself up and get ready to make some progress. You have to take on the GLADIATOR mindset my friend. If you are going to be in kettlebell shape then this is the kettlebell mindset that goes along with it!
So why train for mobility? Well I say why the hell not? I can't tell you how many people I encounter all of the time with mobility issues. This is NOT an age specific thing either. People have problems with mobility at all ages. In addition to not mimicking the monster of Frankenstein there are other reasons as to why your training should focus in on the act of motion. You see mobility essentially involves being able to move a joint and it's segment throughout it's complete range of motion with seamless control. This being said when I encounter most regular "Janes" and "Joes" they have issues with doing this well. Not only is there a lack of strength with most folks when trying to perform basic body weight mobility drills, but when this is coupled with a weak unsupported core center it's easy to see why there are so many folks out in the world with back and joint issues.
You've heard that old saying "If you don't use it you lose it," right? Well this is a very true statement when referring to the human body. Part of the problem (as I touched on before) is that the health club scene along with this world of "instant gratification" has ruined the mindset of folks by loading up a trailer full of BULL EXCREMENT and using it to feed the lazy mindset that fitness can be obtained by doing as little as possible. When did this notion that doing less would produce more ever come to be? When in the hell has that ever been proven to be the case with anything in life? Aside from winning the Power Ball lottery I don't know where this mindset originated. When examining this it's easy to see why the U.S. is the fattest country on the face of the planet. Look if you don't use your body it will dull and rust just like the blade of a knife or sword. You have to sharpen the blade for it to maintain it's effectiveness.
Going back on the mobility thing let's take a look at how joints work. You see joints aren't supplied by direct blood flow. A joint is encapsulated with a synovial fluid which essentially lines the joint, lubricates the joint, and provides nutrients for cartilage which in turn provides cushioning between the bones of a joint. The more you move the more the joint is able to cleanse itself and maintain lubrication. It is the absence of mobility that can lead to a joint being compromised from the build up of calcium or other negative causes. Without the maintenance of mobility within the structure of your strength training and fitness program you can expect your body to age and regress at a much faster rate. If you don't believe me then take a look at Frankenstein's monster. How long do you think it had been since those joints were used?
Whenever I started this site I realized that I wanted to use it as a platform for not only helping folks to make progress with their strength and conditioning programs, but also to vent my frustrations and to address these problem areas that I have experienced with people for the past 11 years of my career. It is obvious that people these days have many problems in relation to their functional mobility, nutrition, strength, and overall practical understanding of what fitness is all about. This is why I have been diligent about utilizing both my BLOG, as well as, writing BETTER THAN STEROIDS for the purpose of getting people the most effective information possible to enhance their training. The bottom line is that times have changed and with it so have people's lifestyles.
Now when I say that times have changed for people I don't just mean the average "Joe" and "Jane" that are looking to get into shape. The same goes for seriously competitive athletes. If you have been reading through the content of just this homepage alone then you have gotten a glimpse of how the world of strength and conditioning was born and how strength training has evolved over time. Strength coaches and athletic programs have been changing the way they do things for years. It is an industry that is always trying to evolve and trying to discover new ways to gain that "edge" anyway that it can! It's not easy beating up on the other guy so the smartest and most successful athletes look for the one thing or area in their preparation that will separate them from everyone else. Look I'm a fiercely competitive kind of a guy. I mean I'm not quite competitive enough to talk trash to your grandmother after beating her at a game of checkers, but I'm pretty fiery with most other things. You see this is why I wanted to create this site for your convenience. It takes having a competitive spirit to understand this which is why I wanted to point this out to my athletes that may be reading this right now.
Look, the point is that in designing this site I wanted it to be a robust and killer resource that you can reference on a daily basis. If you have read the homepage alone then you have got to take the time to explore the rest of the site. My BLOG is updated regularly and there are social media outlets for you to connect, share, and view your favorite content from here as well. I want you to be a regular part of the site's progress. I will do my best to provide you with the absolute best training information. Together we can rule the universe! Well, maybe not, but we can least work in unison to get you physically prepared to do anything you set your mind to. Strength training is an art and a science and I have a lot of secrets that I can share with you to help you for a very long time. Just remember that kettlebells are part of the process, but not the whole. It's about smart training my friend.