The Bledsoe Show

Limitless Potential with Kettlebell, Finding The Flow, and Instagram Marketing with Marcus Martinez

Limitless Potential with Kettlebell, Finding The Flow, and Instagram Marketing with Marcus Martinez

In this episode, we have Marcus Martinez. Marcus is all things Kettlebell. He is a Master Coach for Living Fit, and has online courses that provide unconventional training in Kettlebell. We talked about the limitless potential of kettlebells when it comes to train, mentality in coaching, hustle porn, and using Instagram as a marketing platform. Enjoy!

Table Of Contents:

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Getting Bored With Workout

Photographer: Evan Wise | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah, we've got a really great kettlebell workout. And one of the things, this is perfect timing because I told you when you got here and we were talking about flow. And I go, "You know what? I'm so happy you're here." Because I actually got a little bored in my workouts. Which is unusual for me. It was the very last workout I did before I went to the retreat last week and I go, "This is strange, I haven't been bored during a workout in a long time."

Mike: And I realized I'd been doing a lot of the same stuff and I thought to myself, "Yeah, I need to pick up something new." I was thinking about going and doing aerial yoga or something. I was like, looking stuff up. And then you were standing in my kitchen and I go, "Oh, that's what I'm supposed to be doing."

Marcus: You're like, what should I be flowing with? If there was only this tool that I could flow with." Anyway.

Mike: Yeah, I've got like-

Marcus: Aerial yoga.

Mike: Find the craziest thing. It's like I want people to make fun of me. I want people to make fun of me, yeah.

Marcus: That's the best way to live, it's the only way to live.

Chris: Yeah.

Limitless Potential with Kettlebells

Man performs the kettlebell swing in front of the Mediterranean sea.
Photographer: Taco Fleur | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah, so this is my second time doing kettlebells with you. The first time was at a kettlebell certification and that was … I've been doing stuff with kettlebells most of my life at this point, and very much of my experience was in the crossfit stuff. It's like, do a million kettlebell swings and then go do a bunch of other shit. And then come do a million kettlebell swings again. And it's very one dimensional.

Mike: I remember when I trained with you the first time it opened my eyes. I go, "Oh, all I would need is a kettlebell, I really don't need many other things." There was just so much stuff we were able to do.

Marcus: Yeah, I mean it's really limitless and that's what really attracted the kettlebell to me was how many different things you can do with it that will build strength, build power, build athleticism. All the buzz words in the fitness world. But ultimately for me, it's like I just fucking enjoyed it. I had a good time, I felt good, I felt connected. I got a lot out of a little in terms of it wasn't a long workout and it wasn't a lot of equipment. And I was able to really just accentuate my workouts.

Marcus: And from there on I was like, "Fuck, what else can I do with this thing?" And so, it just kind of opened the door for me so.

What's different about Chris' approach to kettlebell

Mike: What would you say is different about how you approach kettlebells than what's been tradition. Say, versus RKC or?

Marcus: The traditional approach is a fantastic approach because you focus on the fundamentals. Because there are so many nuances with the kettlebells, something as simple as a clean or a swing … That fly is just on your eye, it was walking on your eye and I'm looking at it like, how the fuck are you sitting there with it walking on your eye?

Mike: It's years of mediation.

Chris: Stoic.

Marcus: That was medication in action. You didn't move and the fly was just like, "What? Okay, I'll just-" For all you watching at home.

Marcus: Anyway, so kettlebells. I love the hard style approach because it really puts a lot of emphasis on tension, explosion, intention on the movement. Very singularly focused, you're only doing a few different movements. That's how I started and it's a very safe way to start with the kettlebell.

Marcus: So, and that's still how I incorporate it when I train somebody new. In my workshops I do kind of a blend of hard style with a little bit more fluidity so that way it's not so tense but you still have that kind of foundation.

Marcus: And then from there, I want to see how quickly I can get that person to get to that fluid state. Because then once you can access those two points, there's a huge spectrum that nobody's on. Everybody wants to be categorized as a thing. I'm a hard style, I'm a kettlebell sport, I'm a blah, blah, blah. And the problem is you put your blinders on and then you don't see what else is possible.

Dogmatic is not the only way

Marcus: But for me I was like, "Fuck it, I want to try everything. I want to see what works. I want to just … There's going to be times where I'm going to do a hundred swings. There's going to be times where I'm just going to flow for 20 minutes. There's going to times where I'm going to do clean and jerk for 10 minutes. Now, how can I blend these all together to access exactly or to do exactly what I want to do right at that point and to really benefit what I need right there for myself, for my client and not get so stuck in these dogmatic, this is the only way?" Because the reality is, anyone that says that they're just trying to sell you something.

Marcus: And that pissed me off more than anything so I'm like, "I'm going to show you the other way. I'm going to show you shit that nobody's seen." And it's just from playing.

Mike: There's so much variation I thought I had in my training, right? Until I started getting exposure to more guys like yourself, who come in and go, "You know, you can rotate and you can move this direction and yeah, we'll just set a timer and go." And I go, "This is so far from my structured workout reality where I'm doing sets of this and sets of that. And I know I'm working this muscle group and this and that." And then now I'm going, "Okay-"

The Purpose Of "Flow"

Spinning Dream
Photographer: Christophe Hautier | Source: Unsplash

Marcus: You inspired me at the workshop that you came to. Because when you came up and told me, "That was like a customized workout, that's the best I've ever felt." And that was the first time, even though I've been teaching it for years, that was the first time it really lit a light bulb on me. It was like, that's exactly why this is so good. Because it's so organic, it's so customized. It's so individual based. I mean, I can't show you a flow because that's the thing that now because flow is becoming more popular and people are seeing it they're like, "Give me a flow."

Marcus: I'm like, "That's not the point of flow, that's just a workout." Flow is supposed to be organic movements that you're going through, that you feel comfortable with, that you feel good with at the time that you're doing them. So, it becomes very, very specific to you. And I love that because then it's like you come out of it like we did today.

Marcus: We did 10 minutes after a few rounds and you just feel like, shit I feel really good.

Mike: My body feels alive. Things are woken up. And working strength and directions that I would normally not ever work." Right?

Chris: When I found taking my mind out of it and working my body, I was doing things that I couldn't even picture, couldn't even write up. Your body just starts moving the way that it needs to move.

Everything has to be balanced

Marcus: You know what, it might be some repressed stuff there but. That's the thing is everything is always about more, more, more. How can I do more reps? How can I do more weight? And it was like, I was breaking myself down doing that. With the goal to press the 48 K and that's what I have to do. And I put that on myself, nobody said, "This is what you have to do." But it was like I felt the pressure. I want to try this, I want to do this. And for what? I felt like shit afterwards.

Marcus: So, then I started incorporating stuff like this and then I still go and have my goals, my strength goals. But it wasn't just all or nothing. It's like what I talk about in the course is everything has to be balance. It doesn't have to be 50/50 but there has to be some balance. You have to have some structured training, you have to have some flow and play and just kind of unstructured stuff. And the more that you can find the right balance, the better each are going to help each other.

Chris: It was great though, it was fun. I found myself getting into flow state, which I think is the intention right there.

Marcus: That's absolutely it. When I read that book, Flow State, or Flow … Which I can never say his last name, Mihaily-

Mike: Csikszentmihaily.

Marcus: There it is. I just, I loved that. I loved Flow, I loved what it was all about. I loved the fact that you … When he categorizes thing as the zone and when you think okay, when an athlete's in the zone, how good you feel and how everything just feels effortless.

Breaking through the layers

Marcus: And that's exactly what happens with the kettle flow when you … You have to break through a couple layers sometimes and then once you get in there I mean, I'll be shooting videos I'm like, for those people that complain about the weight, I'll grab something heavy and I'll grab like a 32 K and I'll just start going. After five seconds I'm like, fuck yeah. Everything just it feels like the bell's floating.

Marcus: And then as soon as I put it down I'm like okay, that sucked. But once you break through that and you can just really get into that flow state, it almost feels effortless. It's like a movement meditation.

Mike: Yeah, I definitely get the movement meditation part. That was something that when I was first introduced to flow at all, it was I go, "Oh, I actually have to be thinking here." So many times when I was working out when I was younger it was a checking out. There was pain and I was like, I'm pushing myself in this pain cave. So, mentally I'm checking out, I'm not really engaged with what's happening in my body. And that became a habit. I was more caught up in listening to the music than paying attention to the movement or whatever.

Mike: And when you get into the flow scenario, it forces me to be really focused on what's happening in my body, and what's going on and be completely in that zone, completely engaged. And that carries over into the structured work.

Marcus: Absolutely.

Going Hard On Workouts

Photographer: Chase Kinney | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Did you have a … I mean, there was a period of time when you were going hard.

Marcus: Oh, of course.

Mike: And I mean, for me, I went hard until my body gave out.

Marcus: Said, "Fuck you."

Mike: Said, "Fuck you." And then I started listening and things have changed. Did you have something similar? Did you have an injury or anything?

Marcus: No major injury, but I remember pushing myself, pushing myself, trying to get that weight up. And I remember one time, getting … The heaviest kettlebell I have was a 48 K. And I was like, "I'm getting that thing up in a bent press. And I put it up, and I went off to the side, and I did it. The rep was fine and I came down and was like, "Fuck yeah."

Marcus: And as soon as I turned I just felt this twinge in my … Right in my sternum going up into my chest and up into my shoulder. I just remember thinking right there, "What the hell are you doing? What was the point of that? You picked up that weight, you did the thing that you were trying to do, now what?" And I'm looking around, there's nobody in the gym. I'm sitting there by myself in pain and I'm like, "You idiot. Is this what you want to do?"

Not putting the body at risk

Marcus: And that kind of opened my eyes at okay, let's start moving a little bit more intentional. Let's start thinking what we're doing, let's not put my body at risk just because of my ego. And it's still I mean, it's definitely not a sole process. There's definitely sometimes where I'm like, okay I want to just get that weight up. Or I want to just do this. But I at least step back and I at least think about it before I do it rather than just like, "Fuck yeah, I'm going to do this right now.

Marcus: I thought I was the idiot because I was like, that's the common-

Mike: The universe speaks to us, right? The universe sends us signals, we've all heard them and I've notice that the universe likes to speak with the feather first. Walking down the street a feather hits your head and you're like, "Oh. Got the message, okay."

Marcus: And then you forget about it. It just brushes right off.

Mike: Or you … It's like, "What the fuck is that feather?" And then a brick hits you in the head and you go, "Oh, shit I should probably pay attention to this." But then you don't and then you get run over by a mack truck.

Marcus: It wasn't a feather and it definitely wasn't a mack truck. I mean, I haven't had any mack truck yet, thank god, so.

Mike: Yeah, I've had a mack trucks so I can. So, yeah I'm always impressed when somebody gets hit with a feather or a brick. I'm like, "Man, this person's really smart." Like, kind of jealous. I'm just getting pounded by mack trucks.

Chris: Neanderthals over here are just beating our chests and getting hit by mack trucks.

Don't fuck yourself up

Marcus: It wasn't enough. My goal from training I mean, since an early age I never played … It's funny I didn't play any combat sports and then I ended up training MMA fighters for like, 10 years. The reason I got into kettlebell and just training in general was, I played baseball and then I played tennis. And it was like, okay how can I get more athletic, stronger, rotationally stronger and more powerful without putting on size? Because I was trying to stay lean, I was trying not to put on size.

Marcus: So, my training has always been safer compared to okay, I'm going to fucking be the best power lifter out there. That's a totally different world. So, I got into that stuff because I enjoy it and I like to try different things and then I got the bug of like, okay I want to go heavy, I want to feel that.

Marcus: But that was always the first thing was how can I move better? That was always my goal.

Mike: This is a really cool perspective that you're bringing for the fitness enthusiasts out there because you were coming from sport, you were trying to figure out how to get better at sport. Which, the first rule walking into a gym and doing strength training for sport is don't fuck yourself up, right?

Mike: If an athlete gets hurt in the gym, say on a professional team or a college team, if they get hurt in the gym, that strength coach-

Marcus: You're done.

Commonly Missed Mentality In Coaching

Photographer: Domagoj Ćosić | Source: Unsplash

Mike: What do you think is being commonly missed as far as from different perspectives?

Marcus: In terms of the sport or in terms of just weight training?

Mike: Training.

Marcus: I mean, I think being intuitive. I think that we have put too much power into other people and into other people's plans, into other people's diets. And people have stopped listening to themselves and the fact that right now we are at this apex of information. I mean, we can get any amount of information as quickly as it takes to say Siri. You don't even have to type it now.

Marcus: And it's like, so we put too much power in other people's hands and we're not listening at ourselves. And this is one of the things that I love about, just going back to flow, is that you get very internal. And you start to feel what feels good, what doesn't feel good.

Marcus: So, I think what's missing is really that … From a coach's perspective giving their clients, giving their athlete more power. They want to be the one holding the one holding the carrot over them saying, "Here, this is what you've got to do, this is what you've got to do. You've got to follow me. I'm your-" And they want to take the power. They want to take the … They want to have the ego involved and really it's not. I mean, we need to listen to ourselves a lot more.

It's in the culture

Mike: Yeah, it's a cultural thing too. I talk to people a lot of times and they go, "Oh, I'm on this medication." And I go, "Why are you on the medication?" "Oh, my doctor told me to." I go, "Oh."

Mike: "Do you know what it's doing? What are the side effects? How does it work in the body?" And they shrug their shoulders and I go, "Oh, okay." But so, I look at people do this with … They do it overall. In our culture right now, there's a lot of outsourcing.

Mike: So, people are outsourcing their wealth management too, right? So, people outsource their health to doctors who really don't have the proper training. And then they outsource say, their wealth. Like, oh yeah, I'm just going to take my money and I'm going to put it in this IRA. I'm going to take 10% of my money and put it in this then I'll be able to retire at whatever age.

Mike: And then are completely shocked when that's not true. And I think people really like being able to not think about these things that … And I think part of it is there's no real training around it growing up. People go to school and they're learning about math, and history and all this stuff. But health, and nutrition, and movement and even … I always bring up money's big for me. Because it's like I've had to learn how to do that on my own and imagine almost everyone I talk to had to learn how to do it on their own. Unless they come from a family where their dad actually knew what the fuck was going on-

Marcus: Sat down and showed them.

"Just tell me what to do"

Mike: Yeah. And I'm just like oh wow, people are uncomfortable with this so they just say, "Here you take it. You just tell me what to do."

Marcus: Just tell me what to do. That's like the theme of now, just tell me what to do.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, find that sometimes that's what I want.

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative) it's easier.

Mike: I just want someone to tell me what to do.

Marcus: See, there's a time and place but when that's your knee jerk reaction is tell me what to do, then that's the problem. But there's a time when it's like you know what? I don't need someone to tell me or I don't need to tell someone how to do every single thing. But in regards to training, in regards to my diet I'm going to learn things, I'm going at acquire knowledge from different places, from reputable places. And then I'm going to listen to my body far more than I'm going to become a keto person, vegan, whatever that label. Everyone wants to label everything.

Marcus: Regardless of whether you're in a sport, your diet, it's just … That shit just drives me bananas because there's so many variables that you cannot take into account if you don't listen to yourself and nobody does that.

Chris: Yeah, and that's the thing, even if they are an expert and even if they are a great coach and they have your best interests in mind I mean, they don't know your body. They don't know what you're feeling, they don't know what's going on with you. And so you have to take that responsibility.

Taking responsibility and being dogmatic

Chris: Even what we went through here, you were always checking in like, how was that? How was that? And you were coaching us through the movements. But once we get to flow it was just like … We were just, it was us and we were responsible for how we were moving the kettlebell.

Marcus: Exactly and you felt that as you were going through at and you can see and just kind of looking at both of you.

Marcus: So being intuitive, I think that. And then going back to what you asked, another thing that I would say is really missing in the fitness world is, even though again we have so much access to information, people want to be dogmatic. They want to say this is the way. It's our tribal instinct to belong and so we want to say, "This is how we do it, this is the way we do it, this is-"

Marcus: It's like, dude, there's no real way to do something. There's a way to do it, there's a way to do it better. There's a time and a place for everything. And when you are dogmatic about something, unless it's something very specific and a very specific technique, there's no reason to be.

Marcus: There's no reason at all.

Mike: Well, I think everybody … I mean I think it's a predictable stage of development. Like, in training people maybe may have never trained or anything like that. And they find a coach and they go, "This-"

Marcus: This guru.

Mike: Yeah, "This guru has changed my life. I owe them everything and there's no way what anyone else is doing can be this good."

Marcus: Can be better than this.

There's a client and coach for everybody

Mike: Yeah, yeah. "This actually resonates with me better." Or something like that or, "Oh, that was stage one. Now I go to stage two there's another layer to this." And so, yeah. And I find some coaches are very good at initial stages. Some coaches are really good at getting people to adopt like, "Hey, maybe we should just be moving. Let's go for a walk, drink some water."

Mike: And then some coaches want to teach super advanced shit and try to shave point zero seconds off of somebody's full-

Marcus: Yeah, and that's why there's client and a coach for everybody. There's different levels, there's different stages and then that's going back to there is no one way. I mean maybe you need to go back to coach that is just going to get you to walk a little bit more. And then you can kind of advance and then come back to that.

Marcus: It's like it's all kind of cyclical, it's never like a straight line. We're always going in different stages and thinking about different goals at different times so.

Mike: Yeah, the dogma thing's interesting.

Marcus: I know.

Mike: Because it's like, sometimes it's the person that's anti-dogma that creates the dogma. Right? They're like, "I'm doing my own thing da-da-da." Next thing you know-

Chris: And if you're not doing it, you're doing it wrong.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. So, it's funny to watch. Because I've watched people who were anti-dogma and then now they have this thing. And they're not saying it's the only way but it's usually the followers that are saying it's the only way.

I Don't Want Minions

Marcus: And see that, okay that's another thing that's very interesting in the fitness world. Because you get that where in some sects you'll have these followers who are worse than the person that led the thing. And somehow they created this following, and that's an amazing feat already. That you got so many people to buy into what you're doing and believe in you, to be basically minions.

Marcus: And I start every one of my workshops with, "I don't want minions. I don't want people just spouting this off. The only goal of this is to open your eyes on what's possible, give you a system that you can use and then do what you want with it." And who knows, maybe next week I'll be selling my program. That's The Marcus Flow and…

Mike: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think this will be interesting for coaches to hear. So, depending on what stage somebody's in, if you're … Because I have a tendency to want to take people to this very individualistic place where own your own experience.

Mike: I want to take people to go, "Yeah, I recognize that who I am and who I am in the worLd." And break away from tradition for tradition's sake. And when we look at the psychological landscape of say, the United States, 80 to 85% of the people are in a zone of development where they need the tradition.

Mike: They need the rules for the sake of the rules, they don't even know why the rules are there. It's like, "Yeah I'm following the rules." It's like, "Do you know why that rule exists?" "No, but that's what they said we've got to do so I'm going to do it." And they're not questioning it.

Questioning the framework

Marcus: And then I had those people were in that 85%, who were like, "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, I need a little bit of guidance." And I'm like, "Okay, I need to scale back a little bit." So, that's why creating the system, here is the foundation, here is the framework. So, I'm not giving you everything but here's the framework.

Marcus: And with this framework, you'll be able to take it as is, use it as is. But just realize this is working for you right now, but it's not going to work forever. Everything works some of the time, doesn't work forever.

Marcus: From there, this is going to build the roots, this is going to build this foundation so that way we can take this structure wherever the fuck we want and that's where flow and all that other stuff comes in. That's when it's like, okay now question things. But the whole process, even when you have the framework, question why it is.

Marcus: Because if you're not questioning it if you're not asking yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Because I made that mistake, I went through courses where I didn't ask, I'm like they told me it worked, cool. I don't want to think about it anymore.

Marcus: And then upon further inspection it was like, well shit, there's a better way and that's where I want people to ask these things. I want to have these hard clients that come through those students that come through that ask these questions because that's only going to make them better later.

Marcus' Frameworks

Mike: Can you give us an example of some of the frameworks that you have?

Marcus: Well, just in terms of the movements that I like to use, the exercises I like to use. So, let's say for a flow. So, here's a perfect example. If I'm telling someone to flow with the kettlebell, what are they going to do? They don't even know what the fuck to do. They're just going to be like, "Uh, okay, what do I do here?"

Marcus: So, if I give them four or five exercises, this is where the framework isn't even necessarily a specific set of exercises. But look at how today. We just took a few different moments, movements that you weren't used to, moments that were a little bit unique. And from that framework, from those initial sets we were able to expand on that. Able to open up your mind to what you can do, what was possible and then that allowed you to flow.

Marcus: So, having set points, having these kind of little mini check points in the beginning so that way you can wrap your mind around it, that allows you to just kind of go from there.

Mike: You took a concept and then made it very practical and then you take the same concept and you made it practical again. And you take the same concept, made it practical in a third different way, and then I go, "Oh." Using that same concept, tying it into three different practical movements, "Oh I could see how this would work in 100 different movements."

Marcus: Exactly.

No Pain No Gain Mentality

Photographer: Mitchell Hollander | Source: Unsplash

Mike: One of the things we also talked about during the workout was feeling good while getting stronger. And I think so many people are associating pain with success or pain with getting stronger. And if I'm not in pain then I'm not getting stronger. But that's not really the case.

Marcus: I feel like we're getting out of that mentality, the no pain, no gain. At least in lip service. People say it but then they still do it. So, they're saying no pain no, gain but then they're, "Well, you've got to put your reps in." I mean, it's the same thing as no pain … I mean, it's just the same thing in a different way.

Mike: People are saying okay, no pain, no gain isn't legit anymore?

Marcus: No, no, no I'm saying that they are saying it but then they're not doing it. They're saying into their coaches, they're saying it in with their training and they're like … They logically understand yes, pain does not equal gain. But-

Mike: When I hear no pain, no gain I hear you have to have pain to have gain.

Marcus: No, no exactly. That's where I'm saying people are saying that they know that that's not the right way.

Marcus: But in their training, they're attributing all their gain to the pain. They're going to that pain cave, they're like, that's just how it is. But then when they're talking about like, "Oh, well you've got to train smarter." I'm like, "But you're not. You're training totally in pain. That doesn't make any sense to me."

How are you moving?

Marcus: And so, that's why I mean, just looking at it first from just how are you moving? If you're moving well, then let's build on your movement, the way you move, your coordination. I mean those are the roots. If your roots aren't strong, I don't give a fuck how much weight you put on the bar, you're going to break at some point.

Marcus: Anything that does not bend, will break.

Finding The Flow Between Kettlebell Movements

Photographer: Alora Griffiths | Source: Unsplash

Chris: When did you realize you can flow between the standard hard kettlebell movements? How did that come?

Marcus: So, the first time I saw anything unique was Steve Maxwell. And that dude was just one of my biggest inspirations.

Mike: Keep hearing about this guy and-

Marcus: You fucking don't know Steve … Jesus, how do you not know Steve Maxwell. If you touched a kettlebell. You understand he had the first kettlebell gym in America, first kettlebell gym.

Mike: Really?

Marcus: Philadelphia. Maxercise.

Mike: Doesn't he travel around?

Marcus: Now he's a nomad, now he's all over the place. He's in what a nomad would do, he's in a place I don't know where he is. But he was-

Marcus: By definition he is doing what he's said he's going to do. But that was the first guy I saw doing an outside lateral swing. And the second I saw that I'm like, "Huh, all right, this is different. I can-" And I was as RKC as you can get. I was like, "Fuck yeah, this is how you swing a bell. That's the only way you swing a bell. Any one doesn't do that, you're an idiot."

Marcus: And saw that I'm like, "Oh, I guess I'm the idiot. Okay, that's not the only way to swing a bell." And then actually, funny enough, one of the things that got me into flow was I had a buddy who's dad was really into swords. Like, every kind of sword. Just like he wasn't a LARPer but he loved swords.

Mike: What's a LARPer?

Marcus: Live action role play.

Flow using the sword

Marcus: There will definitely be some LARPing up in there. But no, so my buddy's dad was super into swords, super into swords. And one day, I don't even know why it came up, but we were out at his dad's place and we were drinking a beer and we just saw the swords like, "Oh, I can bring them to the gym. I'll bring them to the gym and I'll show you-" Because he was into fencing. So, I was like, all right that was super random but cool. Like, that'll kill some hours.

Marcus: So, one day he brought like 15 different swords and I mean it was the gladiator sword, he had a fencing sword, he had all these different things. And he's showing us the movements, and he's showing us these different positions and everything and then he was just like, "All right, now go. Do those things and just move."

Marcus: So, we started doing them and I swear to God, it was like flow. We were just we're fucking … On our own, not like, at each other but we're just like doing the different movements and in totally shit form and whatever. But the next day, so I had one of those TAPS pull ups bars, those tactical pull up … The free standing ones. And the bar, it was all disassembled, and the bar was there. It was like a five pound bar, it was probably about four feet or so.

The sky is the limit

Marcus: And for whatever reason I picked it up, and I started just like, swinging it and doing shit with it. The same kind of stuff with the swords. But then I started kind of like, using kettlebell form. I was snapping my hips, I was moving in directions, I was rotating. I went for about five minutes. I wrote that, I got to fucking find it, I wrote it in my training journal. I said, "This was awesome, remember this." And I just remember feeling so fucking good after.

Marcus: My grip was on fire, my arms were pumped, I felt just I was sweating like crazy, so that kind of then started the process even further and kept the process going. I'm like, "All right well, what else can I do this with?" And then I was into arm axe clubs at the time. I was into the mace bells. So, I was doing it all with that stuff. And then actually kettlebells was one of the last things that I tried doing any kind of flow with outside of just doing some lateral movements.

Marcus: And then, once I got into it with the kettlebells I was like like, "Oh, okay." And 360 snatches, and juggles and all that. It was just sky was the limit.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah, I mean when I did the certification with you it was so many things. I go, "I've been so fucking limited. This is crazy all the stuff I can do."

Working With Kettle Bell Kings & Living Fit

Marcus: So, right now I'm working with Kettle Bell Kings and Living Fit is the platform where we have all the workouts and everything. The virtual course is on there, my in person courses are all over the country.

Marcus: So, living.fit is where all the information is and that's where you can get access to the kettlebells and all the other stuff.

Marcus: And so everything is based out … I mean, you are living.fit certified, everything Living Fit. We've got kettlebells, we've got battle ropes, we've got kettlebell sport, we've got body weight, we've got nutrition on there. The goal is to make it a one stop shop for everything Living Fit.

Mike: Yeah, they were like the easiest to talk to. I talked to a lot of different companies and Kettle Bell Kings were solid. They've been solid, yeah.

Marcus: That's one of the things that attracted me to working with them. When they reached out to me, it was like, "Okay, I just like how you guys are just some good solid people." Like, they're easy to deal with, they're easy to talk to. I mean, there's no drama yet. Everything's been good.

Marcus: No, I've been digging it, it's been a great thing.

Using Instagram as a Marketing Platform

Using Instagram as a Marketing Platform
Photographer: NeONBRAND | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Do you put a lot of stuff on Instagram?

Mike: You've got a fucking shit load of followers I know that.

Marcus: Dude, I just got it at the right time, I guess and it's funny, I stated that after-

Marcus: Only a couple I DM people booty shots so that way … I had entice them. But I started out … I was coming out of a workout at my gym. I was in the little mezzanine are and I was like, "I want to start kettlebell exercise and just post exercises on there." And it was more for my clients.

Marcus: So, I was like, "Oh, this'll be a place, I don't have to start a website, I don't have to do anything else. I'll just have them go to there." Like, the first week I got like a thousand people. I was like, okay. And then it just kept growing, kept growing, kept growing. So, it was … I still crack up when I look at it. I'm like kettlebell exercises, like fucking random.

Marcus: But that's where I'm definitely living my life is on Instagram at kettlebell exercises.

Mike: Are you?

Marcus: Dude, I had to look at my screen time to see how much time I was on there. I put my hour block on there now. So, at an hour it says, "Alert." And most of the time-

Mike: An hour on your phone or on Instagram?

Marcus: On Instagram. Instagram. Not on my phone. One day that'll be on my life will be an hour on my phone. But an hour on Instagram is what I allot myself a day.

An hour on Instagram

Marcus: And that gives me enough time to post what I need to post. Because you want to have a good amount of stories. I mean it's really the only marketing tool I use so posting the stories at the right times. Interacting with people, making sure I'm not just like, letting comments go. Like, I'm inter … and that's the whole point. It's honestly what I'm doing this for is to help people understand more from kettlebells.

Marcus: So, this is a very free, obviously easy way for people to do that. So, I do spend some time on there. But then sometimes I'm like, do I really need to be looking at this chick's butt right now? Like, yes.

Mike: That's why I'm on here. I want to point this out because a lot of coaches listen to this. Marcus is doing Instagram, right. First off, the name of it.

Marcus: Kettlebellexercies.

Mike: Kettlebellexercises. People, as sexy and clever as we think we are-

Marcus: No.

Mike: I battle this and different personalities gravitate to different things. It's like I know better and I still want to make something clever. It's like, no.

Marcus: I know.

Mike: It's just exactly what people are going to get. Kettlebell exercise.

Marcus: That's it.

Mike: What are people going to search in Google? That's what you should name your thing.

Marcus: That's almost how I write all my articles is what are people searching in Google? Not what I feel like doing sometimes. Because then those things I'm like, "Oh, I actually really like that topic." Or, "I really like that." And obviously, if it's something I don't like or I'm not interested in, I'm not going to do.

Being authentic on Instagram

Marcus: Kettlebell I was like, fuck I love kettlebell, I have a gym of kettlebells, I've been training kettlebell, at that point I had taught a few different workshops in different places. So, I was like, "Okay, I feel pretty good about this. I'm just going to put some exercises up there." And then always try to make it a blend of something useful, try to add a little entertaining, not try to be too one thing or the other. And ultimately, this is always the advice that I try to give anybody when it comes to Instagram or social media is just be authentic.

Marcus: I don't know why this seems to be … Well, I know why, because you see what else is out there and you're like, "I want that. I'm going to be that." It's like, that's not you. Don't try to be that if that's not you. Be authentic and whatever you are enjoying, what is what people are looking for, it'll happen, it'll blow up.

Mike: Yeah. Whatever strategy … There's a lot of people out there coaching and all that and there's definitely core principals you need to know. Like, name your shit something that people are searching.

Marcus: That's such a simple thing and people are like … I guarantee you and me at one state would have been like, "Fuck, that's genius." Because that's it, that's something that is so simple but it's so true.

Hustle Porn

Mike: Yeah, I mean, there's some principals you should know when you're doing these things if you're wanting to be an influencer or a coach and you want to get clients this way. But yeah, the authenticity thing is yeah, there's so many people and there's some people like, you've got to look at Gary Vanyerchuk out there saying, "You've got to do it like this." Ad that dude's the master of social media, that dude's fucking crushing it.

Marcus: Well, that's the thing. And it's not to knock Gary, but I feel like it's just we're in this age of hustle porn. I learned that and I was like, "That's the best saying ever."

Mike: Hustle porn.

Marcus: Hustle porn where it's like you get the "Rise and gram fam at 4:00 AM. I'm up at 2:00 AM today." Right? And it's like, really? Is this called balance? This is not balance. "Oh, balance is for fucking pussies."

Marcus: Okay, hold on a second. No, take it back. I promise you, you will go further if you just scale back a little bit rather than trying to go all in, all out, and balls out and this whole … That's the thing about Instagram. I have to remind myself I'm like, "It's just a marketing tool, this is not real life, this is personal marketing whatever you are watching on people this is … They're showing you their best, their showing you their highlights, this is their highlight reel." So, just keep it all in perspective.

Mike: Yeah, the way I think about Instagram is it's not for me.

Marcus: It's not for you?

Mike: My account's not about me.

Marcus: Exactly, no.

Mike: It's about who I'm trying to help.

Instagram is just a tool

Marcus: Well, I think there's a level of where it has to be about you. Because especially in your field and with what you're doing, and really with anybody. So, any coaches listening I mean, you do want to create a bit of celebrity. You do want to make yourself the go to person for … It doesn't have to be as specific as kettle bells, but whatever you are doing, be that person, be that kind of celebrity-ish that's going to-

Mike: Yeah, I mean it's still putting stuff out there where it is about me but in the context of is this beneficial for them to hear or see?

Marcus: Yes, absolutely. What value?

Mike: Is this going to help them in some way?

Marcus: It's amazing to me that we have to remind people, is it valuable? If it's not valuable and you're crating a business. If you're just having your Instagram and you just want to show your fucking dog and cake or whatever you're eating cool, that's what you want to do.

Marcus: But if this is a business, what value are you adding to this? Because if you're not adding value, there's literally no reason for you to be posting on here.

Mike: Yeah, we were talking about someone recently … Someone you talked, I don't know about recently, we were talking today about someone you were talking to about their Instagram account. And they were posting something very personal and you advised them to pull that shit down. And I think that a lot of people are … They-

Marcus: They confuse it with real life.

Mike: Well, they think that's being authentic.

Marcus: Yes.

Closing Thoughts

Mike: All right, Marcus, remind us. Where can people find what you're up to and exactly how to-

Marcus: Two main places. Instagram, you can find me at kettlebellexercises. One word, don't forget the at sign. And then online at living.fit. Exactly how it sounds.

Marcus: And my number, in case you need it.

Mike: Awesome, thanks man, I had a lot of fun.

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