Kettlebell Training for Mental Illness

 

Kettlebell Training is the perfect way to calm mental ill-health and get life back on track.

Even long before the emergence of Covid19, there’s been a major issue in the mental health of our youth in this country. Not only the youth but men and women of all ages have been experiencing depression and many other illnesses that come under the mental health umbrella. The stability of homes and domestic abuse, drug use and the programming of minds through social and traditional media have in part caused the situation of mental imbalance within society. You’ll likely have friends and/or family members that have had to gather the strength and determination to overcome mental ill-health. The economic cost of Mental ill-health in 2020 was estimated to be in the region of £105 billion each year which is money that could be put into better health services if health, nutrition and fitness were generally given more of a role and appreciation in society. What we put into our bodies determines to a great degree our level of health and standing within society, eat well be well.

There are many ways people, men in particular go about battling mental ill-health. Some of the options open to you my dear reader are:

  • Deny the issue
  • Take drugs and intoxicants to numb the pain
  • Take prescription medications that seem to have no end
  • Talk to those people you trust and build a healthy network
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Gain control over the food you eat
  • Join a fitness or sports club

Exercise can really have a remarkable effect on your mental health, I’m not just talking to waste your time. You’ll probably know this all too well already, the times you’ve gone for a run around your local park and gotten exceptionally good sleep the same night or taking the stair up to your level of the estate block due to faulty lifts and noticing how toned your legs are getting and better breathing! The benefits of regular exercise (physical activity) cannot be denied.

I know firsthand just how bad times can be for a man with mental health issues. You can feel isolated, misunderstood, scared and hopeless all at the same time but no one can get you out of the situation you’re in unless you make positive steps toward change. That may mean giving up alcohol, building a new network of friends, working on unstable relationships, spending money on new foods that benefit mental health, buying new clothes and equipment for your fitness lifestyle and yes getting yourself some Kettlebells.

At CriterionFit we help clients utilise the gym equipment of kings; kettlebells, the one-piece gym that gives you a true workout when used in the correct way! We will take an inexperienced man and over a period of time coach him into being a perficient kettlebell user with a number of movements mastered to perfection. We love Kettlebells because they are inexpensive, convenient to keep at home, aid strength training goals and can be used as a way of losing weight. Above all, they offer a fun way to train and get regular exercise in, be it in a gym or at home if the gym environment isn’t your scene.

We conduct weekly one-2-one online kettlebell sessions with flexible times to suit your lifestyle and training goals. We design personal sessions that will aid you in achieving your fitness goals and changing your lifestyle and mental outlook. With the lived experience of mental illness, I can relate to your struggles and as a man that’s increased further. If you have a group of friends that would also like to train alongside you we can arrange group training.

We at Criterion Fit take our clients to be athletes and as such, they need to eat well. We have level 3 certification in Nutrition and Weight Management so we are well placed to help you attain the balanced health you require and shredded physique to suit. Kettlebell training looks intimidating to the most capable of gym users but with our coaching, you’ll gain a new skill, more confidence and the ability to walk into any gym knowing you’re skilled up to get some real training in. Helping men with mental and other health issues gives us pleasure because we know the power of a man that’s been down isn’t the same as a man that hasn’t seen what the former man has seen. He’s a different beast if he only gives himself the chance to rise up once again; we’ll help you all the way.

How To Attain A Fitness Lifestyle

Healthy Living is living a Fitness Lifestyle.

Leading a fitness lifestyle sounds great to most men but when it comes to the hard work of actualising that lifestyle we can fall flat on our faces. Figuring out how to reduce the foods we enjoy eating is difficult, waking up early to prepare meals feels like torture, getting into a routine of exercise is some self-inflicted punishment and on and on. The key is to set goals that fit your lifestyle.

In this post, we will help you set a foundation to work on so you can enjoy a fitness lifestyle that works for you. Hello, my name is Hanif of Criterion Fit; we help men in the UK and worldwide get the balance of fitness lifestyle right. With nutritional coaching and exercise training, you can achieve the vitality, body image and mental focus you’ve been dreaming of.

Know your goal

The first thing in attaining your goal will be deciding what exactly you want to achieve. Is it to reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, increase strength, move and feel better in yourself, attain a better quality of life, get better sleep, lifestyle change, look better aesthetically and so on. Once you know what you want out of exercise and your diet you can move on to the next step of setting a target.

Targets

You need a target date to achieve your goal that is realistic. To say “I want to lose 10lbs in 10 weeks” is realistic and attainable once you adapt your diet and exercise to facilitate this. This is also a specific amount of weight which is also important because if you stick with “I want to lose weight” alone, you’ll find yourself without a clear vision of when you’ve achieved your goal.

Be Conscious

Now you have a clear goal and set amount of time to achieve the goal the next step is to look at your levels of exercise along with the food you eat. Are you exercising enough, are you physically active, should you join a fitness club to get things going? You need to be conscious of the food you eat, how it’s prepared, how much you eat and plan out when you’ll eat. Putting on or reducing your size doesn’t come all in one go. It will take methodical work, structured and planned eating to get where you want to be.

Forming Habits

Increasing healthy habits such as drinking more water and snacking on fruit and vegetables aid you in living a fitness lifestyle. Setting a schedule to fit in your new healthy habits will help you ingrain them into your everyday life. Using your phone calendar for example is a great way to be reminded to stretch and do your core exercise in the mornings or go for a 30-minute walk during your lunch hour. All these habits will accumulate to transform your lifestyle before your eyes.

Employ A Trainer

Finally, I recommend you don’t go it alone. Seeking the help of a fitness trainer to help you get a handle on exercise will get you to point B in a structured way. The internet will throw up many opinions and ideas. A fitness coach will help you decipher the truth from falsehood and be a motivation to you when times get tough.

Conclusion

Every fitness journey is unique, looking at other people work is motivation but it’s important to get into the lane that works for you. I’ve been helping men with fitness goals since 2017 and have found that the men that achieve their goals and maintain them are those that make the fitness lifestyle a common part of their lives. As a Muslim my lifestyle is Islam but a fitness/healthy lifestyle was found with Islam long before modern science came about, long before the Carnivor diet was thought up and long before I proposed you lead a fitness lifestyle. Fitness is a part of or should I say should be a part of all our lives.

To get to the goal takes knowledge and action. Planning is an essential phase for anyone with fitness goals. I can help you with these goals so get in touch with me by hitting the contact button and we can arrange a free consultation to help you get to the goal you want to achieve.

Saved by the Kettlebell

Kettlebells are great fitness kit that store away conveniently at home or in the office. What makes them even better is how a greater training session can come from just one bell, from cardio and endurance training to strength gains, kettlebells can help you achieve whatever your goals call for. The days where you’d find it hard to get kettlebells are long gone. You’ll find many brands, shapes and sizes in today’s kettlebell ranges. Have an affinity for Gorillas? You’ll even find kettlebells in their form, want some pink kettlebells for wifey – you’ll find them too. In this post I will direct you to some of the best kettlebells you’ll find in the United Kingdom and online depending on your budget.

How’s it going? My name is Hanif of criterionfit.com. We help Men in the UK and worldwide level up fitness and achieve the goals they set themselves. Kettlebell training is fun and challenging, we love to use Kettlebells to help clients with health issues including obesity. Check out our online kettlebell training programme with varied amounts of sessions per week depending on your goals; get into the best shape of your life and kick into hyperdrive for 2022.

Blk Box

The first brand of kettlebells we’ll look at are from Blk Box Fitness, straight out of Newtownabbey, Ireland. This brand is bubbling like Irish Stew on Instagram which is where I believe I first found them during the lockdown. I was looking for kettlebells before I popped a blood vessel at home and they had some in stock, “swoosh.” BB is doing a lot, they have all you need for a home gym and they kit out team gyms (football, rugby etc) so you better believe they know about long-lasting materials.

Blk Box Fitness

If you need social proof to buy kettlebells even after reading this you’ll find a lot on their website but let me help you pick what you need bro. Cast Iron is the material of traditional kettlebells so the weight of the kettlebell may be off a little for a set bought on the same day but the idea I’m sure is to use them for home or office training. I’d recommend you take care as some textured handles can be a bit rough on the hands (generally) so you may want to get out some sandpaper or something. 

The next option still with Blx Box is their brushed steel competition kettlebells. These come in a standard size, unlike the cast iron kettlebells that just get bigger and bigger as weight increases. If you plan to train in this way long-term it’s a good investment and a bit more costly than cast iron but the price is made up for in quality and smoothness, going up to 40kg for both types. If price is no issue and you don’t mind kettlebells being seen too much I’d recommend the competition kettlebells. But if you’re a husband and/or father with family around while you train at home or you’ll be keeping them under your desk at work stick to 12-16kg cast iron kettlebells. They look great powder-coated, don’t cost the world and have good quality production skills, Blk Box is worth checking out.

BlkBox.instagram £31.99 (single 12kg cast-iron kettlebell).

Amazon Basics

Yes, we already know “Billi Billi” Jeff Bazos is getting his hands into a lot of pies. If you want some kettlebells fast and out for a real deal you should have a look at the current savings possible on amazon.co.uk. At under £28 for a single 16kg kettlebell, you can’t go wrong. The extended horns and handle of this corrosion protected kettlebell may take getting used to and make some techniques harder to master, especially with slippery sweaty hands but you’ll find them long-lasting, especially if you forget them in the garden for a while.

Amazon Basics

The quality and price can’t be denied or played down although they don’t look as appealing as some of the kettlebells you’ll find on the website. The large array of kettlebells on sale just in the basic price range makes amazon a good place to start and as you progress with your training improve the quality you purchase. Amazon does not make competition kettlebells since the company fulfils the needs of the everyday consumer, if you want competition kettlebells you’ll want to head over to Blk Box.

You’ll find many reviews on this kettlebell, on the amazon website all pointing to the fact that they are good value for money. Not cool but clean, practical, convenient and you could have them in your home today!

Amazon £27.29 current price (single 16kg cast-iron kettlebell).

TRX

I won’t go into the brand of TRX and how it came about, (check my post “Road to PT’ing: Certified Suspension Trainer”) we’ll get into these durable and rubber-coated kettlebells. Working out at home, outside, in the park or office should be no issue with a powder-coated handle found on these smooth looking kettlebells. They are expensive but that would be expected just off the brand name.

TRX

Set to standard sizes these are for everyday use and not as competition kettlebells, they start from 4kg and stop at 24kg which may limit the user that focuses on this style of resistance training regularly. But it’s all 5-star reviews on the TRX website and 125+ thousand followers in the UK and Ireland, TRX knows how to design durable products. 

The price being no issue, looking for style with bankable quality you’ll win with a pair of these kettlebells if you stay between 12-20kg weight. If you move past that you’ll eventually have to find a new supplier if you want to progress your strength and/or size while resistance training. The Cyber Monday deal for these kettlebells ends soon so hit the website and get a win if these are your fit.

TRX £37.95 (single 12kg cast-iron kettlebell).

Conclusion

There are many brands to choose from all offering variety which is good. Finding the kettlebells that suit your living or working environment is important to keeping training. What you pick will say only a little about the person you are, it’s the hard work and training that you get in with them that will speak louder and longer, I presume. Kettlebell training is fun and can be a group experience if you so choose; It takes time to get good so pick something you like!

Our Kettlebell training programmes run for 3 months at a time. You’ll get comfortable with their use and have a great experience. If group training is your thing look out for our Online Group Kettlebell sessions streaming live, weekly. Send me a message for more details – contact details in the main menu.

Pick Your Antidote: Our Top Workout Pick-Me-Ups + Audio

Pre-workout drink selection.

You wake up tired and early, with the plan to get a beastly training session in. You contemplate another 30 minutes of sleep but you know the gains won’t come by bench-pressing your pillow. We all go through it, so if you’re just starting your fitness lifestyle journey, welcome to the Zoo and it’s time to leave the cage.

We all need a pick-me-up from time to time, that juice that has you jumping off the walls like the gummy bears. We’re going to review 3 drinks you can consume to get a killer workout session in, be it in the gym, on the road or at home. These 3 antidotes to wake up your system will go in order of how close they are to nature, free of any additives, preservatives and pesticides and generally more healthy.

But before we get into it let me introduce myself. My name is Hanif, I’m a Fitness Instructor and Nutritional Advisor for CriterionFit.com where I help Men in the U.K., Europe and around the world tip the balance of fitness and good health in their favour. I don’t make bold claims, how I work is based on authentic Islamic knowledge, Sunnah and the lifestyle of the Salaf as well as established proofs found with modern health & science. Helping Men with health issues including mental health, depression and obesity is what we have passion for; I can go on and on, so let’s talk about these drinks! Oh, and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share this post with that friend or family member getting into their fitness lifestyle.

Beetroot

We’ll start with the healthiest of pre-workout drinks and work our way to the mad hatter concoctions that have you up all night. So, first up is Beetroot Juice. Beetroot Juice is from the beetroot vegetable. You may be thinking hows a vegetable going to get me charged up for my training session but no, no, no, no, don’t look down on the creation of Allah ta’ala for a minute my friend. Beetroot and its raw juice are high in nitrates, which become nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide has the effect of relaxing blood vessels which helps the flow of blood around your body so you get that rush to your muscles; increasing your stamina, which is ideal for cycling or running sessions.

Healthline.com released an online article that reported that a study took place that found that, trained cyclists who drank 2 cups of beetroot juice daily improved their 10K time trial by approximately 12 seconds. So it seems that you can’t beat beetroot when you need that extra kick for performance. Try drinking beetroot juice 15 – 30 minutes before your session to give time for the drink to reach your bloodstream.

Espresso Coffee as a pre-workout drink.

Coffee

If you’ve never experienced the almost instant effect of coffee, come join the roastery! Coffee has a deep history and connection to the Muslim world but is now found all around the world. Arabica and Robusta are the two main types and popular varieties in the western world. It’s the Coffee beans Caffeine content that gives it that amazing kick, blocking adenosine in the brain to make you feel alert and about to jump out the window! It really does give you that level of fight-or-flight response as it also triggers off the release of adrenaline. The more consistently you drink the roasted wonder drink the less its effects have on you so it’s advisable to drink coffee infrequently and when you really need that boost like today.

You should drink Coffee 30 minutes or more before your training session as recommended by registered dietician Katey Davidson for Healthline.

Pre-workout

Here comes the next Caffeine hookup mixed in with a bunch of other ingredients depending on your source. Pre-workout powders come in all varieties so what you buy will vary, even varying between the country you purchase the product in. Caffeine is often a key ingredient in pre-workout powders because of the benefits gained that we previously discussed.

Another key ingredient you’ll likely find is L-Citrulline, a popular non-essential amino acid. When consumed some Citrulline will be turned into Arginine which is another amino acid, arginine is then converted into nitric oxide which widens blood vessels just like what occurs with Beetroot Juice.

Endurance and strength training sessions both benefit from Pre-workout powders but there are downsides to these powders and drinks such as jitters, dry mouth, dehydration, headaches, stomach issues and itchiness. Doses of pre-workouts shouldn’t be played around with. You’re unlikely to have issues with anything more than you will with powders so stick to the instructions and recommendations on your pre-workout product. Drinking your pre-workout 30 minutes before your session should be sufficient time to get the most out of the beverage.

If you ask me it is hard to pick one of these drinks over the others, I use them all and like them all but I’d probably say Coffee wins them over due to its social factor. You’re not going to fall ill drinking Beetroot Juice (I hope), it also contains antioxidants but I love me an Americano and I don’t mean anything to do with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Whatever you chose to drink lean towards moderation and tip the balance of good health and fitness in your favour.

Pick Your Antidote Audio

3 Things Wealthy People Do To Lose Weight

You can achieve your weight loss goals with these keys

Wealth as we understand from a Muslim perspective is to have reliance upon Allah ta’ala and not to yearn for what other people have (paraphrased from the words of Abu Hazim rahimullah). We won’t be going into the vast meanings of wealth since I’m not a Student of Knowledge or Scholar to explain this. However, when it comes to the worldly affair of health, fitness and nutrition I can share with you the little that I’ve gained on my road as a Fitness Lifestyle Coach

Hello, my name is Hanif and I own CriterionFit.com helping Men in the UK and worldwide move better, feel better and live better lives. I’m a certified Gym Instructor and Nutritional Coach working online providing services and digital products that will help you on your way to optimum health.

Wealthy (monetarily) Men and Women know the following three keys to good health. I’m sure you know these keys too but it’s the implementation of these keys that unlocks a healthy lifestyle and ultimately a healthy body and weight loss is included.

Have you ever gone a day without food? I’m guessing the answer is yes! If you repeat that process on a regular basis, in a controlled way, you’ll lose weight. Yes, you will lose muscle too if you take the process to an extreme but fasting (leaving off food for a prolonged duration) will see you lose weight.

It’s all the rage some would say; go online to blogs, social media sites and news articles and they all have their hands in the pot of intermittent fasting. It’s nothing new, fasting has been a part of human history for a long time but when celebrities and health-conscious money makers see a good thing the world starts to take notice.

For Muslim Men fasting may be a little easier than non-Muslim Men since we have Ramadan which is a month of fasting but easy or not, fasting is well worth getting into. Start with water fasts (drink water only that day until dinner) then increase the fasting duration in hours. It’s still very important to eat food. Don’t start fasting and give up food altogether, that’s not the goal and if you have a medical condition please consult your GP before fasting.

Fasting leads us to eating. When you next go shopping think ‘Clean Eating.’ When we say clean eating we don’t mean clean the food before you eat although that helps, the term refers to foods as close to nature as possible, not necessarily organic but that would be the best choice on offer.

Avoid Processed Food

Processed food and overconsumption thereof contribute to many of modern societies health issues including heart disease, obesity, inflammation and so on. Eating foods that have been through little to no processing before they reach your dinner table will increase the number of healthy nutrients locked into that food. When we consume in this raw fashion we’ll also stay away from snacks that provide little to no nutritional benefit.

Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks, eating an Apple for a lunch snack rather than a packet of Crisps etc all help to lower your calorie count which will equate to higher weight loss week-to-week. This is something the wealthy do that Men like you and I are only just catching onto.

The final turn of the key belongs to exercise. You knew it was coming and it had to be stated because the wealthy spend a lot of money on physical activity while the rest of us are on Netflix and chill mode, Twitching off the Nootropic drinks and control pad. 

Exercise for weight loss can take so many forms so it’s up to you to look into the form of physical activity that suits your lifestyle and time availability but I do recommend a balanced mix between cardiovascular exercise such as running and resistance training such as suspension training, kettlebells and other weight-bearing exercises.

Regular exercise is good for heart health, increasing the balance within your body (many of us have imbalances due to sitting at desks etc) and even getting a better quality of sleep as well as reducing stress. The benefits of exercise can only truly be experienced through regular activity so set the start date, get your clothes ready and get active.

I hope you’ll take these keys to weight-loss success and never turn back. Health and fitness, fitness lifestyle, they are the right of all Men and Women no matter the age. It doesn’t matter your financial report or the car you drive, what matters is your appreciation for the life you’ve been given and the body you’ve been blessed with. Only you can turn things around! When you work hard to shift the weight that has been holding you back you’ll feel more responsibility and desire to maintain what you’ve achieved. The clock doesn’t stop until your last breath so get the keys out and live long.

Before you go, why not download our FREE eBook on a number of health supplements that may be lacking in your diet [CLICK HERE]. Don’t forget to sign up for our eMail list [HERE].

WhatSupp? Download The eBook To Find Out

Click image above to Download this eBook – FREE or Pay as much as you like!

The Supplement industry is big business and can be the difference between good health and the opposite of good health. The foundation is to eat for good health we’ll all agree but sometimes you’ll find supplements have a more suitable dosage of vitamins and minerals you need.

In this short book we look at some supplements that will aid your fitness training and general health. It is a brief introduction and if you’re looking for something prescriptive this isn’t the book. But, if you want to go further and faster in your gym training or upcoming competitions, we can arrange sports nutrition consultations that will give you all you need in terms of dietary knowledge to get to the winner podium.

Download WhatSupp [Here] and set how much you pay for it! To arrange your Sports Nutrition Consultation click [Here] to learn more.

Fitness Supplements eBook Coming Soon!

Learn about some key supplements you should have in your diet to get the results you’re looking for.

If you’ve ever been to a supermarket there’s an aisle that gets little love from the vast majority of shoppers unless and until they have some kind of ill health. The medicine aisles are busy but the food supplement aisles, not so much.

Maybe this is the case because the vast majority of the British population are limited in knowledge to do with food, supplements, vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. This is what we at CriterionFit are working to change.

Sportsmen and everyday exercisers, it’s important to get your bodies fill with nutrients from food but when eating food to fulfil this need will cost an arm ‘n’ leg and when the time it takes to eat the food isn’t manageable, it’s time to seek out supplements that work.

Not all supplements work, many are money-making products that companies promote because of the consumers’ desire to be within the in-crowd and so on. In this short eBook coming very soon you’ll learn about some popular supplements you will likely know of and why they are so important.

Keep checking back to CriterionFit.com to get yourself a copy and end 2021 strong.

Get On The Road To Blackbelt

Road to Blackbelt BJJ Journal Cover (hit link to buy now)

When you love something it’s hard not to talk to friends and family about it. When it comes to training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu this is almost certain once you’ve gotten a couple of sessions in and start to progress in the art. The art takes patience, concentration, dedication, a strong heart and drive to go hard every time you’re on the mat. To help you (old or new Brazilian Jiu-jitsu students, men and women) recall the memories of training, the techniques you’ve learnt and inspirational quotes gained along the way to blackbelt, we’ve have designed the perfect journal for you.

Note space is there to name the Professors and Coaches from around the world you’d like to roll with. Write down the goals you have for your session and tick them off with delight. With 100+ pages to take note of your training journey, this is the only BJJ Journal you’ll want to use and its available through the amazon website [Click Here].

Not like other journals, this book is designed for reflection and for you tolook over your journalling on a regular basis. Keep BJJ in your heart and mind, stay training for life and get your blackbelt the best way. The rush of rolling is amazing but to stay on the mat takes reflection, assessment and hunger.

Purchase your Copy of ‘Road to Blackbelt BJJ Journal’ [Here].

Revise Your Goals To Win The Race

Goal setting is the key to hitting your goals

We’ve previously spoken about SMART goals being the best way to plan out your goals in order to achieve what you set out to do. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-Bound. When all of these components are in place you have a greater chance of achieving what you want because you’ve set goals that can be assessed in terms of how long it will be before you hit the target and/or what needs to change to stay on target.

Soon (God willing) we’ll reach January and with the new year comes new hope for many men, a chance to change their ways and get healthy. Whenever you start your journey and whatever your journey will look like it’s important you check back and review what your goals were to begin with. When you get into the groove of things and your training is going smoothly it can be easy to lose sight of your initial goal.

Revising a goal doesn’t necessarily mean changing it for something else. It could just be refining the goal taking into account your current situation and progress. This will recharge your desire to achieve what you set out to do. 

Today I was complimented on my physique but I know I have work to do when it comes down to nutrition. Being a husband and father often means quick meals to keep hunger at bay but this way of life isn’t sustainable, I have a weight-loss goal and it will take effort to achieve.

Know what you want to achieve, set a date as to when you’ll reach your goal, make sure its something you can stick to and achieve given the equipment and ability you have. You can stay accountable by telling family to check on you or someone you trust that will be real with you and help you stay on track. A weekly weigh-in is the perfect time to check on your progress, whatever works for you.

Our time in this life is decreasing with every breath we take, we are all heading towards that day that is inevitable. We can by the mercy of Allah azza wa jal make our time on earth that bit better by engaging in regular exercise and cleaning up our diet. Let this year end better than it started and get into the best shape of your life. For help in this get in touch via our contact link in the menu above.