PREMIER KETTLEBELL TRAINING
We spent some time talking to Taco Fleur – the owner of Cavemantraining. Taco is a nomad of sorts, having spent time finding and building a home in a diverse spectrum of countries – building knowledge, memories and stories across the globe.
With kettlebell’s playing an integral role in Midgard – we wanted to speak with the man who is one with this instrument of strength – a specialist with over a decade of knowledge forged with the bells.
The philosophy of Cavemantraining is a simple yet pure one: Educating people on movement and freedom till the day they die. We no longer plow the land, we no longer build our own homes, we no longer walk to work, we no longer have to cook our own food, there is a button or a pill for just about anything. All this results in people being in the worst state they’ve ever been, we might live longer, but are we truly living?
“I had to sleep on the porch for a year, no problem, I do what has to be done to get to where I know we’ll be. If you start with something and already think that there could be a day you’ll give up if this or that happens then you’ve already lost.”
before we move into cavemantraining and kettlebell training – let’s set the foundation. tell us about the saga so far, how your journey has taken you here.
Born in Amsterdam the Netherlands, always been a shy boy due to the way I was raised and family problems that go too deep to bring up. At age 16, I volunteered to go into the military so I could get away and be on my own. At age 19, I left the Netherlands to be even further away so I could live my life the way I wanted to, and live it feely so that I was happy.
I moved to Spain where I turned from a shy boy into a womanizer, not something I’m proud of or condone, but it was so good to be free, and I never really understood the process of how to ‘find the right one for you’. Although I was happy as can be, I don’t approve of how I was living back then, which was drinking, partying, drugs, and more. Neither was it going to be a lifestyle I would be able to sustain.
One day on my usual womanizer days I made it my goal to conquer someone who is now my loving wife and with whom I share a beautiful 18-year-old son. Had she not fought for me and later on not got pregnant, things could have been completely different now. Because she fought for me and because I was not going to be the same type of loser my alcoholic and drug-abusing father was before he killed himself, I decided to take responsibility and make things work.
I spend about 7 years in Spain, running my own IT business, with the last 2 years no longer womanizing but still doing all the rest of the stuff. When our son was several months old I decided that I had to get away and change my life completely, no better place than the other side of the world right!? We moved to where my wife is from, Australia, and spend 13 awesome years there. I quit smoking the day I set foot on Australian soil, no more drugs, drinking in moderation. From there I was working to get everything improved in regards to health and fitness. I went to the gym more than before, from there things grew, and due to my wife also being into fitness things just naturally progressed from us running boot camps and personal training to running a gym, that gym turned into two gyms, we developed our own style of training and discovered the kettlebell, or rather re-ignited our passion for them. I wanted to share the awesomeness of kettlebells with the world and decided to create a YouTube channel, that channel now has over 38,000 subscribers and 6 million views which is one of the highest in its niche.
on the nomadic adventure of finding home, following what felt right and the ever present challenge of evolution and relocation.
We worked extremely hard but never saw the monetary returns and always remained on the same level, it was then I knew that no matter how much harder we worked or how many more gyms we opened, we were not going to get ahead, at least not when it came to money, which I know now isn’t everything. After many years of hard work we decided it was time to settle down and grow our own food somewhere nice. We moved to Vietnam. As always, we change our minds from day to day and just do what feels good for us, so we opened another gym over there, this on its own could be a whole book. Vietnam is certainly different, and definitely not as natural and clean as we imagined it to be. Needless to say, with my wife and son being sick most of the time, us dodging the craziest traffic you can imagine every day, and me having to deal with territorial expats, it was time to move on again after 1 year. We sold everything, we’re quite good at that now, and we moved on. We moved to Thailand, which was really our preferred destination, but unless my wife agreed I marry some Thai girl, that idea was never going to work, either way, we tried one more time, since we were practically next door, so why not. As great as Thailand is, with all the rules and things we would have to do to ‘possibly’ live there we would never feel free. So we bailed on that one.
We went back to the place we knew best, the place we could live without worries, Spain. The day we landed in Spain we said we would not get on a plane for a long time, and we kept our word, it’s been 4 years and we’re leaving Spain this week. First Amsterdam, then the UK for a workshop we’re running, then on to the US for 3 months, after that we’ll enter Italy and give that a go, we don’t know how long we’ll stay there, could be a month, could be a year, could be more, for all I know we could find somewhere else that we fancy in between. This is one of the great things that I share with my wife, we live day by day and just do what sounds/feels good. One of the benefits of not owning a lot is that you can pack up and leave. The world is our oyster. Our plans after Italy are Romania, Hungary, and Greece, and again, we don’t know how long we’ll stay in each country, it all depends on what place we find to live in and how easy it is to find. From there the plans are to return to Asia and travel between countries every 3 months, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. After that, who knows, maybe back to Australia.
STRIKING CALIBRATION: PHASE 1
Warm up drills for striking programs.
“they’re so versatile, they allow people to train for cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, mobility, and the list goes on and on. The kettlebell allows movements that are impossible with other tools.”
TALK TO US ABOUT THE REASON YOU OPTED TO USE KETTLEBELL’S AS YOUR WEAPON OF CHOICE.
Circa 2004 our passion for kettlebells developed, having trained with dumbbells, barbells, TRX, you name it, I could see that the kettlebell is superior but comes with a higher learning curve, hence the reason a lot of people are not fond of kettlebells. Even in Crossfit where they are somewhat prevalent – they tend only to be used for American swings and possibly farmers walks and snatches. They aren’t used to their full potential nor do we spend enough time learning to understand the kettlebell and lay a solid foundation to build upon. We have achieved this.
The kettlebell is also safer due to it’s unilateral qualities with the barbell press being a good example, whether shoulder or chest press, with the bar the grip is fixed during the movement, with the kettlebell, the arms/shoulders can move freely and adjust as they’re supposed to.
In our modern society – there is a pill, a quick alternative and easy route to everything. All this results in people being in the worst state they’ve ever been, we might live longer, but whether that is truly living, I doubt it. For most people success means mortgages, credit card debts, working 9 to 5, staying with the same company your whole life for the sake of security, buying a house, buying many things one doesn’t need, and accumulate wealth, eating for pleasure, moving as little as possible. I know that success means happiness, having the ability to move freely, to run, to sprint, to lift, to pull yourself up, to jump over rocks, to crawl, to get up without hands, to be able to fight off attackers, to have confidence, to have no worries. All this can be achieved, but it’s a lot, so I focus on kettlebells, kettlebells allow you to become more flexible and stronger, if you stick with it then you can tie your own shoelaces with ease when you’re 70, 80, or 90. To me this is the ultimate goal, not giving up on myself, keeping my dignity and not having to rely on others, ever.
WERE THERE EVER TIMES OF DOUBT – WHERE IT FELT LIKE THE MOUNTAIN WAS JUST TO BIG TO CLIMB AND MAYBE MOVING ON TO A DIFFERENT PROJECT WOULD BE THE EASIER AND EVEN BETTER CHOICE?
No. I knew the day I was going to create it that it was going to take a long time to achieve the ultimate goal (we’re only 20% of the way), I knew I had to commit, all in and stick to it or might as well not start. I will never give up, there was a time we ran out of money and we had to stay with someone else, I had to sleep on the porch for a year, no problem, I do what has to be done to get to where I know we’ll be. If you start with something and already think that there could be a day you’ll give up if this or that happens then you’ve already lost.
I’m going to leave you all with a workout that screams who I am and has everything in it that I love about the kettlebell, it shows variety, it screams mental toughness, and can only be completed by those who understand the kettlebell and train in all aspects of kettlebell training.
Cavemantraining offers a kettlebell community along with a wide range of online resources, including books on Amazon, courses on Udemy, videos on Amazing Prime, DVDs and Blu-rays on Amazon along with their own kettlebell certifications. Their community is free despite the work involved in it’s upkeep – offering a place for people to interact, learn and have access to kettlebell trainers for their knowledge and more.
STRIKING CALIBRATION: PHASE 1
Warm up drills for striking programs.
THE ULTIMATE CAVEMAN WORKOUT
JUMPING JACKS x 6
SQUATS x 4
PUSH-UPS x 2
ARM CIRCLES x 4
ALTERNATING HIP CIRCLES x 6
End with 2 mins of joint work
SINGLE KB FLOW – 6 MINS
DEAD SWING SNATCH
Return to the ground and switch arms
All workouts end with mobility work so make sure you don’t neglect this part of the prescribed work.
HEAVY DOUBLE KB – 8 MINS EMOM
DEAD SWING CLEAN
Repeat the combo 3 times, start on every minute and rest for the remainder of the minute. Work slow, completing the 3 reps should take about 30 to 40 seconds which gives you 20 seconds to rest.
HEAVY SINGLE KB – 10 MINS EMOM
DEAD SNATCH x 6
Change hands every 2 mins. The video below outlines numerous snatch techniques – with the first example shown being the dead snatch.
MEDIUM KB – 30 MINS UNBROKEN
CLEAN & JERK
Switch arms as often as required. Regardless – never drop the weight. Remain moving the entire time. A maximum of 1 min break is allowed during this exercise.
LIGHT KB FLOW – 14 MINS
TURKISH GETUP – REMAIN UP
TURKISH GET UP – DOWN PHASE
Switch arms and rest as needed during this 14 min flow. Focus on control and quality of movement.