• There's no doubt that these workouts are challenging. We were soaked with sweat by the end since Michael Skogg had us constantly moving from exercise to exercise.
    Andy Haley
    STACK Media
  • The Skogg System is a straight-forward, no-nonsense workout program that, when followed, is sure to produce results.
    American Council on Exercise
  • The Skogg System is a complete body workout and a great way to train.
    Ben Baucum
    Portland Motorcycles Examiner

You, only stronger

What is the SKOGG Kettlebell Method?

The SKOGG Kettlebell Method is our kettlebell program. It combines conditioning, strength training and power development in a clean, easy to follow package. This includes the use of kettlebells, body weight and other functional training equipment. This Method is used everyday at the SKOGG Kettlebell Gym and on Virtual SKOGG by thousands of members around the world.

What is the SKOGG Kettlebell System?

The SKOGG Kettlebell System is a five DVD set designed to teach proper form and technique to anyone who is learning kettlebell for the first time.

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By Michelle Brannan |

Kettlebells: Old-School Power, New-Age Technique = World Class Strength

By Michelle Brannan |

Bringing Instruction to the World

Michael Skogg is a world-renowned kettlebell coach, educator and author. He is a leader in the fitness industry and an inspiration to all who have trained and learned from him. Michael is also a contributing writer for STACK Media/Magazine, the number one training resource both online and print, designed specifically for the development of the young athlete. Michael Skogg was introduced to kettlebells by a Highland Games competitor over twenty years ago while stationed in Scotland with the U.S. Military. He was frustrated with his training program, which often left him injured and sore. His long history working with kettlebells, understanding of how the body works, and the unique workouts and classes he has created make him a standout in kettlebell training. The SKOGG Kettlebell Method is the kettlebell program that Michael developed. The SKOGG Kettlebell System, which is a five DVD set designed to teach proper form and technique to anyone who is learning kettlebell training. It combines conditioning, strength training and power development in a clean, easy to follow package. This includes the use of kettlebells, body weight and other functional training equipment. This Method is used every day at the SKOGG Kettlebell Gym and on Virtual SKOGG by thousands of members around the world. This DVD System has introduced kettlebell workouts to enthusiasts in 38 countries. Today, Michael Skogg enthusiastically shares the benefits of his SKOGG kettlebell workouts at the SKOGG Kettlebell Gym in Portland, Oregon. As the recognized kettlebell expert for the NCAA Division I strength and conditioning coaches, Michael was the key-note speaker at the 2012 National Conference for the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA). In addition, Michael Skogg awarded 23 Division 1 college strength coaches the SKOGG Kettlebell Strength Coach Certification after completion of Michael Skogg’s program. To learn more about the Skogg Kettlebell Method or to purchase the Skogg Training System, click here: Skogg

No One Competes with Black Iron Strength®

Black Iron Strength® currently has more active US Patents in force than the rest of the free weight industry combined. Upon its inception, Black Iron Strength® launched a series of new products to help strength professionals obtain an edge in training. The goal of Black Iron Strength® was to provide the world’s best free weight products, which would be manufactured in the United States with the highest grade materials and detailed craftsmanship. There would be no compromise on design and innovation. Today, Black Iron Strength® continues to produce the best products in every free weight category and stands behind all products produced with a solid warranty. No other company in the world can claim that they manufacture higher quality Thick Bars, Solid Steel Dumbbells, Solid Steel Kettlebells, Solid Steel Barbells, and Attachments than Black Iron Strength®.

To check out Black Iron Strength® Kettlebells and to purchase direct, click here: Black Iron Strength Kettlebells

Kettlebells: Old-School Power, New-Age Technique = World Class Strength

By Michelle Brannan |

A Brief History

“The reemergence of the kettlebell as a training tool of prominence in recent times has spawned a great deal of buzz about this supremely time-honored strength/conditioning medium”. J. Dellinger continues on to share that, despite a lack of documented info on kettlebells, there is traceable data to show that this type of strength training instrument has been used throughout the world, including Russia, Ireland, China, India, and Egypt. It’s no wonder that countries are competing for the original acknowledgement of this amazing, yet pragmatic “ring-weight”. The Textbook of Weightlifting, published in 1910 contains four exercises, which used the kettlebell. Then, in 1924, the Milo Barbell Company incorporated six kettlebell exercises in their course series Body-building and Muscle-developing Exercises. The reason for the implementation of the kettlebell is obvious from two perspectives. First, it made lifting a heavy weight both convenient and practical. Second, the aesthetic shape made them ideal for strongman acts.

Arthur Saxon, nicknamed "The Iron-Master", was a German strongman and circus performer from the late 19th century into the early 20th century. Mr. Saxon had the following points of interest to say: “The lifting of three, or even two, 56 lb. ring weights is far more impressive to the ordinary man than a much heavier bar-bell.” We can all agree that kettlebell training methods and philosophy have evolved since the late 1800’s, Brian D. Johnston and Tommy Boyer-Kendrick continue on in Current Kettlebell Methodology. They state that in the past, the number of explosive and ballistic kettlebell movements were often more of a demonstration of ability rather than an applied and regular exercise technique. We know more about the human body, what our individual muscle groups are capable of and how to utilize kettlebell training to our advantage to increase muscle and performance.

Arthur Saxon, the only man to single press 370 pounds overhead with one arm, had this to say on the subject in The Text Book of Weight-lifting: “In order to secure (the result of all-around development), the exercising must be thorough, and it must be all-around. Each part of the body must be dealt with seriatim.” “Just think carefully over the various lifts, and you will see that every lift develops particularly certain muscular groups upon which a very considerable strain is put in other lifts, which do not, however, test these same groups so severely. It stands to reason, therefore that the regular practice of all-around lifting must (out) of necessity, be excellent practice, not only for all-round lifting, but also for special and particularized lifting.”

Dynamic Duo: The Maker and The Instructor

There are two key players in the kettlebell industry: the maker, Tom Grace, President of Black Iron Strength®, and the instructor, Michael Skogg, world-renowned kettlebell coach, educator and author. Michael Skogg has this to say about kettlebell technology today: “It’s for everyone. Whether you’re a 20-something guy in peak condition, or a 72 year-old grandma, we can work out a routine for you and it will make you stronger.” “A simple concept: Everyone can be strong with the (SKOGG) Kettlebell Method.”  That statement is a huge jump from the iron men of the 1800’s to being a recommended weight lifting apparatus for a “72 year old grandma.” Here is the thing, when used correctly, at the appropriate weight, kettlebell training is ideal for all lifters. In The Future of Kettlebell Training, Brian D. Johnston and Andrew Short share the following: Certainly the “olde tyme” strongmen exercise and methods will never go out of vogue; and neither will Olympic style lifting. Those lifts have become “traditional” and likely will always remain part of our exercise heritage. However, as we become more creative and have better tools with which to exercise, such as Modern American kettlebells by Black Iron Strength®. These new and innovative methods are easier to develop and employ, which meets the needs of our progressive society to bring this optimum weight training application to all as Michael Skogg referred to above.

Let’s talk about the modern maker, Tom Grace.

Tom Grace, President of Black Iron Strength®, and developer of the Modern American Kettlebell, is no stranger to strength training in athletics and in military training. Tom served as the Director of Instruction for the Department of Physical Education at the US Military Academy supervising 42 instructors, 57 programs and instruction for 4,400 cadets. Also, Tom was also the Women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach at West Point. Tom served as an Officer in the US Army, retiring at the rank of Major, from 1978-1992. After completing his Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from Penn State University, he returned to his Alma Mater to become an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Education.

With education and experience under his belt, Tom applied his knowledge to develop the top of the line, American made weight training systems. In fact, Black Iron Strength® has been awarded 15 US Patents and 6 Registered Trade Marks.

Post Holiday Self Loathing

Did anyone else out there eat their way to a food coma over the holiday? If you did it’s OK. You are not alone.

The average American eats 4500 calories on Thanksgiving day alone and if you’re at all like me the madness continued until January 1st with a large assortment of cookies, cake, pie, Ice cream and everything else that is bad for you.

Did I say it was OK? I meant it but now it’s time to stop and get back on the wagon. A healthy way to look at this time of year is with a resolve knowing that it is temporary. Unhealthy is beating yourself up.

So here you are the at the first of the year standing in front of the mirror. “I will get in the best shape of my life” you say without conviction. “I will have a six pack by summer” you say without designing a strategy. “I will run a marathon this summer” you state half heartedly knowing that you’re clueless on how to get there. The truth is you have control over more than you give yourself credit for.

You do have the power to change what the mirror is telling you and here’s a few tips on how to make that possible.

1. Have an attainable goal with a finish line.

2. Find the “perfect” gym, trainer, activity, nutrition plan that fits you, not someone else.

3. Seek professional help where you lack knowledge.

4. Create a strategy that has benchmarks.

5. Create accountability. Telling someone what you’re up to makes it real.

6. Pull the trigger. The fire is hot right now, don’t let it fade!

7. The final and best tip I can give you is to try the Skogg 60 day challenge. You will have everything listed above as well as a good understanding on why you’re making new choices to the routine your currently using.

What are you waiting for? Pull that trigger and take control. Don’t be that person who leaves their shirt on at the pool or the beach.



Keep It Stupid Simple

Words to live by and when creating workouts or programs, are my rules that govern.

The inspiration for this 3 minute sermon came from the witnessing of a park kettlebell workout by one of the local gyms this past weekend. Running an outdoor workout in a public space is an excellent idea. It gives you an opportunity to market your services while creating an interest for all to see. Make sure your game is on point though.

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The Fitness Formula

The alarm goes off at 5:15 am, you roll out of bed angry that tomorrow has already arrived. Your fitful sleep was preceded by a recap of your stressful day. “Damn I need a vacation” is all you can muster as you blindly toss clothes and a well used pair of training shoes into a duffel bag.

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Goal Setting

The Road Map. It’s your first “road trip”. You wake up before the alarm in anticipation of your adventure, eager to hit your first destination. The car is packed and off you go. A couple hours into your trip as you head into unfamiliar territory, you panic as you realize you forgot your map. Let’s pretend Google Maps doesn’t exist and GPS is one of those super high tech gadgets only scientists own.

Who needs a map anyway as long as you kind of know where your journey ends. Right? This is a perfect analogy for the way most of us set our fitness goals. We have our “perfect” body example in hand torn from the pages of the most current Shape magazine and now it’s time to hit the gym! Too many of us treat goal setting this way. We dream about where we want to go but we don’t have a map to get there.

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Picking the “Right” trainer

This is the final step to building your masterpiece.

Now that you’ve established your body type and created a realistic goal, it’s time to find Mr./Mrs.”Right” trainer. Finding a trainer is easy. I can throw a stick and hit 30 of them in any direction here in Portland. I bet. With so many out there the vetting process can be overwhelming which is why you should consider a few sound tips for making this choice.

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Building your masterpiece part 2

Have you established a fitness goal for the next step? If you’re still unsure of your reality allow me to help you figure it out.

Case study A: The “pear” shape. This is the body type where the lower half is largely imbalanced compared to the top. I see this body type quite often with women and some men.

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How to build your masterpiece

This is an on-going series on how to build the body you want and are capable of creating. Treat this blog post like an open forum by sending me your questions and updates so we can work together on building your masterpiece.

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