Kettlebell Products | Shop Kettlebell | Kettlebell Houston | Kettlebell Club Houston | Buy Kettlebells Online | Kettlebell DVD | Kettlebell Shirts | Kettlebell Books | Kettlebell Videos | Kettlebell Training | Kettlebell Coach
Home Kettlebell Products and Information Mission Shop Kettlebell Products Kettlebell Classes Houston Kettlebell Houston Workshops Kettlebell Links Newsletter Contact

Learning Circle

by Jay Armstrong - November 2012

Getting Better

Do you want to be better tomorrow than you are today? Of course you do! Well then, how do you achieve this miracle? It is quite simple really. You must continue to learn.

Our brain, the spongy thing that sits inside of really thick bone on top of our body, is the key to improvement. It controls our movements, processes sensory input and gives us our reasoning ability. These are essentials for being good at anything.

What the Brain Wants

Image of a head showing the human brain inside  

What does the brain want? It wants two things. It wants fuel and it wants to be challenged.

Fuel is necessary for the survival of the brain. As a result, the brain does not want to use too much of it since this might threaten survival. But, it doesn’t want to do NOTHING. This would be boring. In fact, this is why meditation is so difficult. The brain wants you to play and to experience new things. When we do new things, we are provided with new cognitive challenges and new sensory inputs. But, you can get too much of a good thing.

The Comfort Zone

Imaging that there is a favorite place in your house. It is nice and warm. It has your blanket and your teddy bear and soft music playing. You might enjoy this place and it might be a great place to recover from work but spending too much time in this place WILL NOT MAKE YOU BETTER! This is the circle of comfort. This is where part of us wants to be all of the time so that we can rest and avoid challenges.

The Learning Zone

Next, suppose you are taking piano lessons, studying a foreign language, working on a mathematical problem, or playing a game of tennis. Each of these tasks presents a challenge to the brain. In each of these cases, we are in the learning zone. We must engage ourselves in the activity. In other words, we are “present”. Activities of this nature cause neurons in the brain to fire, new neural connections to be made, and new myelin created to strengthen those connections. You are getting better!


But, you can overdo it….

The Panic/Fear Zone

Imagine you are talking to your significant other and the conversation is not going well. (In other words, you are fighting.) During this conversation, you are making a cup of coffee and you spill the coffee. AND, at exactly this moment your boss walks into the kitchen and angrily asks when you will have the project completed that he had assigned to you.

Image of a head showing the human brain inside  

For most people, this will be simply too much “challenge”. This puts us into the panic/fear zone. In this state, we no longer are learning. Rather, we begin to start shutting down. Our fight or flight response kicks in and adrenaline is produced. Many things happen in this state but few of them support the creation and strengthening of neural connections in the brain. Danger Zone stress decreased high level thinking and, if chronic, can damage the brain.

It is okay to push yourself to the limit occasionally. This will make you tougher. However, to get better, day after day and year after year, you must spend as much time in the “learning circle” as possible. Learn new skills every day. Exercise with moderate weights that challenge your movement abilities but do not break you. Engage in fun, physical activities that help you remain “in the present”. You will get better every day.

Just imagine how good you will be in a few years!

Need help finding zone between comfort and panic? Jay Armstrong is a Master Z-Health Trainer located in the Houston area. Jay conducts group kettlebell and mobility classes and sees clients on a one-on-one basis to create pain-free, lifelong exceptional athleticism. Contact Jay today at

(Many thanks to Dr. Bob Rakoswki for suggestions on this article.)


















What we do!

The Kettlebell Club
Teaches people to become better at living their life. Whether its related to strength, sports or just plain old daily activities. We have people of all shapes, sizes and abilities taking the same classes and excelling!
Optimize your Potential.
We understand that the only way to a successful healthy life is to make changes at the core level. We are dedicated to assisting you make those changes and to help you get the most out of your workouts.

Classes are challenging to all. The kettlebell has such unique properties that it is expected that everyone who attends - will benefit from the same class. Whether it's an RKC or a first time beginner. If it's not challenging enough your using the wrong size kettlebell.
read more

The Kettlebell Club © 2010. All Rights Reserved. Web Design Houston.