Kettlebells and Beers

“I’ve got a fever and the only prescription, is more Kettlebell” -Zues

The kettlebell does not lie, you either lift it or you don’t. You can’t “muscle” your way through a movement, it requires focus and efficiency. The odd shape of the Kettlebell declares one thing, this workout will not be easy. And, if comfort is something your were looking for in your next training session, the kettlebell will leave you disappointed; however, if your looking for a new look at training, than the kettlebell will not dissapoint.

This session of Barbells and Beers took us to Synergy Kettlebell in St. Charles, IL. Upon entering, your eyes can’t help but look at the rows of kettlbells awaiting your arrival. And, as a dude, you hope to all that is mighty you wont have to use the pink kettlebell (the lightest of the kettlebells); however, the kettlebell is humbling. Even the toughest of meat heads might wish he had chosen the pink kettlebell 5 minutes into the workout.

Bob, gym owner, and Lewis, assistant coach, greet us at the door and introduce us to their method of training. Theyalso know  something  we don’t, we are going to get our asses kicked. With a little warm up session, which had some prematurely gasping, we hit the mats swinging, literally. The first round took us through a METCON of jump roping, sledge hammer strikes, kettlebell swings and rope slams. Which apparently was the warm up after the warm up. What followed was a drop set circuit from hell. All gasped desperatly for oxygen after 20 pulls ups, squats, double kettlebell cleans, suit case carries and sit ups….. and that was just the beginning. In just 20 minutes there was no doubt we had put in some volume. One brave soul paid tribute to the porcelain shrine of exhaustion.


Bob’s system is intense and effective. We all left feeling accomplished. We felt a bit stronger, although our bodies were worn. Bob’s gym is not only about the Kettlebell, but it’s about progress. It’s about pushing past the mental blocks and remembering why you showed up in the first place, and if you forget, Bob will make sure to remind you. The walls pay tribute to those who have followed the program and have benifited from the intense method of training.

After a quick cool down session, we made our way to Puebla Modern Mexican for some tacos and of course BEER!! Much earned BEER, I might add.

If regular ground beef tacos is what your looking for you’ve come to the wrong place. Puebla Modern Mexican,  in St. Charles IL, is the Mecca of tacos that will blow your mind; for example, “The Hombre” taco, meaning “the man” in Spanish, it truly lives up to it testosterone raging title. A mix of chorizo, chicken, bacon and salsa de arbol is sure to make a man out of whomever is brave enough to try it. 

Although our meal consisted of a smattering of several varieties of tacos, my favorite consisting of shrimp and bacon (named El Jefe), even the complementary homemade chips and bean dip were enough to give the place a raving review. Most of us, still sweaty and reeling from our workout, chose to eat a bit lighter than usual, but the menu bosts several other options that will send me back for sure. 

Now for the beer. The beer was phenomenal. The Rick Bayless Tacayo is a white ale that was described as a “high class blue moon”. Most of us thought that description downplayed the true taste. It was sweet, hoppy, with a touch of just enough malt to calm the burning tastebuds. Maybe it was the workout that contributed to the appreciation of the meal.  Maybe it would have been just as delicious had we brought our family any other day of the week -which many people obviously did as indicated by the plethora of  highchairs all around us. Either way, it was the best Mexican food I’ve had locally in some time. 

As always, though, what truly made the day great was the conversation among like minded men. Dad’s, grandpas, dads-to be. We all bonded over our desire to be the best men we can be. By keeping healthy, motivating each other, and enjoying the important things in life…our family and friends. Till next time! 

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