Approximately one year ago (6/10/19) I joined the Caveman Inner Circle kettlebell workout group. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most active member of this group. However, reading the progress and enthusiasm of other members every day, my passion for kettlebell training has never subsided. It’s refreshing to witness such a diverse group of people hit new goals and really push themselves. Men, women, younger & older folks coming together to improve themselves in multiple ways. It’s a family of sorts; one that spreads across several continents and countries.
So what exactly IS the Caveman Inner Circle? I consider it a personalized extension of the Kettlebell Training Facebook Group built by Cavemantraining. If you’re new to kettlebells, the Kettlebell Training group is a great resource to see what the kettlebell community is all about. The 15,000+ members regularly post videos of their technique and workouts for assessment and feedback. Although, the group’s main focus is encouraging participation and to provide feedback only when requested. The goal is to get people interested in kettlebells, and if they choose to do so, improve their technique once they are comfortable.
Both of the Kettlebell Training and Caveman Inner Circle Facebook groups serve as a forum of sorts for the Cavemantraining website and Youtube channel. Lead kettlebell trainers Taco Fleur and Anna Junghans have created numerous videos, books, and guidelines on various kettlebell exercises and workouts. Many of them available for free. In my opinion, no where else online can you find the level of detail with explanations on kettlebell technique and form.
Caveman Inner Circle Described in a Nutshell
Quite simply, the Caveman Inner Circle is an ever-evolving platform where members learn, contribute, and vote on aspects of kettlebell training. Membership payments are made either weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or yearly. When I joined, I chose the monthly rate of $21.42. That’s an absolute bargain and I’ll explain why shortly.
As far as the workouts, the most recent format has been to conduct live streams every other day or so on YouTube. Due to members being from all over the world these workouts typically start around 9 am EST. That’s 2 pm UK, 3 pm Italy/Germany, and for the early birds, 6 am PST. Of course, it’s not necessary to participate in real-time as the videos will remain online indefinitely for members.
Those who do join in during the live stream can even become a part of the stream themselves via StreamYard. This acts as more of a support mechanism that allows you to broadcast yourself performing the workouts alongside trainers and other participants. During rest periods anyone watching can submit questions regarding the previous exercise. It’s a great way to learn on the fly if you’re having problems in a particular area.
Members Becoming Trainers
One aspect of the Caveman Inner Circle that’s really caught my attention is the dedication by some of its members. Michael Ajibulu, who joined after I did, is now a Caveman Master Trainer. I’ve personally witnessed his growth progressing from lighter weights to heavy kettlebells in a matter of months. Now he’s conducting solo live streams for the group in addition to Taco and Anna.
If I wasn’t already aware, I’d assume that Michael has been training for years. Yes, years! It takes more than just demonstrating the proper technique to become a trainer. He provides the rationale for which exercise and movements are good for a particular muscle and why. Michael isn’t the only member to become a trainer either. Several prominent members have acquired certification which you can see here.
Perhaps you’re already a fitness instructor who wants to add kettlebell training to your portfolio. The Caveman Inner Circle might serve as a stepping stone to the various online certifications offered by Cavemantraining. Depending on your involvement and pace, there is no reason why you couldn’t be teaching your own students these very same fundamentals in the near future. Now that kettlebells are finally getting some widespread recognition, it’s the perfect time to capitalize on this amazing fitness tool.
Reasons Why I Love The Caveman Inner Circle
The signup page for this group lists several benefits and what you can expect when you join. I mentioned why I believe that the price of admission is a great deal earlier. Now, I’ll touch on some of those reasons and my experiences over the past year.
A Vote at the Table
This is referring to members having a say on what workouts are scheduled for the week. Strength, cardio, endurance, flexibility, and more are just some styles available. Polls are created and members vote (or can add) on these choices. If what you voted on wasn’t selected for that workout, don’t fret, it’ll likely be scheduled for another workout during the week.
The members and trainers are very supportive of one another and their goals. No one’s goal is less important than anyone else’s. I’m more of a cardio and “fat burner” guy myself and have had numerous workouts tailored for that. Even if you want a workout designed for just a single exercise for technique, the trainers will make sure your voice isn’t ignored.
I said this earlier too. The group I joined a year ago is not the same as it was then. At its core, it remains the same but the presentation and format have changed for the better. If you have an idea for improvement, feel free to say so. That’s how StreamYard became a regular feature of the online workouts.
Unlike some kettlebell classes and courses that follow a strict protocol, the Caveman Inner Circle is always open to new ideas. Never have I experienced a moment where the attitudes of the trainers were egotistical or arrogant. On the contrary, occasionally members will offer advice and input that was greatly appreciated.
No Drama and No BS
This is a big one for me. Generally, I despise Facebook. It’s not quite the cesspool that Twitter has become, however, I make it a point not to engage other friends and family with differing beliefs. Everyone has their own opinion on politics and other controversial subjects. This leads to tiresome arguments and hostility. Thankfully, there’s no such problem with the Caveman Inner Circle.
This group is a politics-free place. It’s not a space to discuss hot-button topics. What is discussed is how you can better yourself physically. Since members are from every corner of the world, there’s a lack of point of contention. Honestly, no one has ever brought up anything controversial or tried to sway a member in a specific direction. There’s no cross-promotion by moderators to join any other group or cause. It’s solely about supporting one another and self-improvement.
A Most Diverse Membership
You’d be hard-pressed to find a fitness group that covers such a broad range of people outside of kettlebells. Well, at least any involving weights. There’s no judgment which is why members who are in their 50’s and 60’s are just as important as those in their 20’s and 30’s. Simply putting in the effort and doing your best is all that is asked.
If I want to have a light day and use my 25 lb. (~12 kg) kettlebell while others are using 35+ lb. kettlebells, I don’t feel like I’m a wimp. After all, it’s not a competition. No one will think negatively of you when you bust out those pink 18 lb. (8 kg) kettlebells. You want to choose a weight that is challenging but not too burdensome. My first kettlebell weight was 15 lbs.. and my newest one is 45 lbs. Do the training and you will get stronger.
Alternative Moves For Workouts
Some workouts will task you with using two kettlebells of the same weight. In many cases, an alternative set of exercises is offered with one kettlebell. Also, if you’re having difficulty with one exercise it might be suggested to perform a different exercise. Maybe you’re not comfortable doing kettlebell snatches. In that case, a series of clean and presses might suffice.
These alternatives are usually brought up without anyone asking. Although, if you’re truly having difficulty, posting to the group or submitting a comment on the videos is suggested. You’ll likely get an explanation as to the source of the problem and what can be done to correct it.
Discounts and Freebies
Don’t be surprised to see steep discounts and even free coupon codes for various courses, programs, books, and other training material available on the Cavemantraining website. Many of which are also available on Amazon with 4 and 5-star ratings. I’m not talking about a few bucks off here and there. I’ve seen several items valued at $50 or more given to members for free!
What this tells me is that the Caveman Inner Circle trainers are more concerned about their member’s well-being than maximizing profit. I greatly appreciate that and it always comes as a nice surprise and bonus when these discounts are posted.
Interview With a Caveman Inner Circle Member
Being a stats and data guy, I always enjoy seeing others in the group post the results of specific workouts. One such member, Jay Ryan Martin, usually posts his results accompanied by a heart rate graphic. It’s an excellent way to show the intensity of certain workouts by factoring in average and maximum beats per minute. What’s even more astounding is how his passion for kettlebells has helped him in his career.
Jay is a First Sergeant (1SG) in the U.S. Army currently stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Part of the appropriately named “Artic Wolves”, he serves in the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. As described here, this unit is an infantry centric organization, which provides the Army with a lethal, deployable, survivable, and mobile option formed around the ten variants of our trademark Stryker vehicle. With such responsibilities, being in the best shape possible makes a whole lot of sense.
Recently, Jay completed a nine-month deployment in Iraq. Now that he has some extra time to spare, I wanted to learn how the Caveman Inner Circle has helped him reach his fitness goals. Lucky for me, he agreed to answer a few questions and share them here with everyone. I think you’ll agree that his answers are quite interesting!
Jay Ryan Martin Interview
How long have you been training with kettlebells and what made you decide to become a member of the Caveman Inner Circle?
I started seriously training with kettlebells in February of this year after a serious back injury from Olympic Lifting. I was listening to Pavel Tsatsouline on the Joe Rogan Experience and kettlebells sounded like a smart choice to continue staying physically fit, but with less wear and tear on my body. As I started looking for workouts one name kept showing up, Cavemantraining.
Taco Fleur did such a fantastic job of explaining the workouts and how to do them correctly that it became my one-stop-shop on YouTube. A huge thing for me was his focus on doing the exercise right and not the pursuit of high reps or heavy weight for the sake of safety and progression. Plus watching Taco and Anna suffer through the workouts too was great to see. Once I heard him say there was an exclusive group of likeminded people and all the one on one coaching you can get, I was sold on the Inner Circle group.
What is your most favorite aspect of the group? Is it the workouts? The motivation and accountability? What sort of improvements have you noticed physically?
The motivation and accountability are huge for me. When you can access the group at any time and see people from other parts of the world already getting after it, you say to yourself “no damn excuses now, get your ass to work”. Physically I was able to drop some weight and gained a ton of definition in my arms and legs. My cardio also improved quite a bit as well. The largest impact though was emotionally. I started this kettlebell journey while deployed to Iraq. Now the days of the kicking down doors and bullets flying are pretty much over, but the grind of still being away from your family and the feeling of isolation weighs on you. Kettlebell training gave me something to look forward to every day. All the movements were new, and every workout was different. It made the time there so much easier.
What do your fellow military personnel think of your kettlebell training? Have you inspired others to use them for their workouts? Any friendly nicknames you’re known for such as “the kettlebell guy”?
I started a mini kettlebell revolution. After about six weeks people could really see the physical results and wanted to get in on the workouts. In total there are 10 of us who have made it our main form of fitness and have spent a good bit of money equipping ourselves with quality kettlebells, which oddly enough are a real pain in the ass to get in Alaska. No one ships them up here, so we had to go through a cargo company that put them on a boat from Seattle to Anchorage and then flew them into Fairbanks. As far as nicknames I’d have to say “gramps the swinger” was my favorite.
Do you have a favorite kettlebell exercise, complex, or routine? Also, what is your main goal with kettlebell training? Do you prefer strength workouts, cardio, or something else?
I enjoy all the complexes, each one is uniquely different and special. But I really enjoy a lot of Cavemantraining’s early WODs. If I had to pick five it would be Juggernaut, Jean Doe, Procerus Fortis 14, Sangre 1.4, and the Pace Maker are my favorites. I enjoy the workouts that incorporate both strength and cardio. Getting that sweet pump that makes your shirt look too small while being drenched in sweat is a great feeling.
You’ve been a member of the Caveman Inner Circle since February 2020. Would you share some personal bests as far as increased rep counts and weight sizes from the beginning until recently?
So there are three come to mind. The Man of Steel WOD was the first Caveman Training workout that I tried. The first time I was wrecked using 24kg, just last month I completed it with 32kg and felt great. The Pace Maker was a real kick in the teeth the first time, I believe I took three breaks. During a live session a few weeks ago I was able to do it unbroken with a 16kg bell. Lastly, I began the Prometheus workout with 24kg, now 32kg feels like nothing.
The Final Word On The Caveman Inner Circle
No matter who you are or what you do, if you’re looking to improve yourself physically, kettlebell training is the way to go. In my own kettlebell journey, I’ve lost over 80 lbs. to date and am working on improving my cardio and strength. I’ve never been a gym person, however, the freedom that kettlebells offer in regards to time spent in relation to results continually inspires me. Hopefully, you’ll feel the same way after giving kettlebell training a serious chance.
Cavemantraining has a lot of excellent information for free available on their website and Youtube channel. I encourage you to check it out and try some of the workouts. When you’re ready to take the next step the Caveman Inner Circle is ready to welcome you with open arms. A full list of benefits along with some frequently asked questions can be viewed here. As always feel free to comment below with any further questions about the group!