Monday, August 30, 2010

New Boot Camp for Women!!!!

Our main website is almost up and running so in the meantime, here is the information for your HeadSTRONG Athletics' new Boot Camp for Women!

Live Oak Center in Ogden
7042 Market St. Suite C
(next to Mandi's Ice Cream)
Wilmington, NC 28411

Camp times are as follows:
Monday, Wed, Friday: 6:00-7:00am and 9:30-10:30am
Mon., Wed., Thursday: 6:30-7:30pm
Saturday: 8:30-9:30am

You will be able to come an unlimited amount of days per week and new camps will be added as space fills up. So if you have a group of women interested in an additional time, please let us know.

One of the best parts about Boot Camp is that your first Camp is FREE! Try it out! There is nothing to lose.

What people saying about Boot Camp:


When I first started my training with you, I was reluctant and apprehensive – reluctant, because I knew how hard it was going to be to start from the beginning to get back in shape, and – apprehensive, because of my back and neck injuries. To tell the truth, I almost quit after the first two sessions, but because of your encouragement and support, along with my confidence in your knowledge about physiology (your really know your stuff), I decided to tough it out. After all, what is the alternative? Sit around and continue to get in worse shape?

So, thank you! thank you! thank you! For helping me get back my old self. I’ve lost 15 pounds; my clothes are starting to fit again – yeah! And now, I can do much more – biking, kayaking, skiing –to name a few, and just doing regular housework is sooooo mush easier.

Shawn, without a doubt, you are the best and most knowledgeable fitness instructor I’ve ever worked with. You vary the workouts so I never get bored; I work harder during the hour than I ever thought I could, and at the end, I’m never sore (how is that?); the workouts you’ve designed for me to do on my days off from training classes are awesome and keep me on track; and you’ve always got some great tips about nutrition – I’m eating better now, but it’s not like dieting – a nice change from the yo-yoing I’d been used to.

And, the classes are so much fun. It seems like intense personal training, but with a group – and such nice people – everyone’s so friendly and welcoming. Your training program is definitely part of my life now, and I can’t imagine where I’d be without it!



In the past few weeks since I've relocated to California, I have realized how much I miss your classes! When I started working with you in September, I was coming off of about nine months of triathlon training. I thought I was in good shape and my body fat wouldn't change too much. I was sure in for a surprise when my body fat decreased by 4.5%! That's a lot in four months! The best part was that it was FUN! Every class was a workout, but I enjoyed each and every one! It was wonderful to work as a group to achieve the common goal of improved fitness. You are so knowlegable in your field and you create a safe workout environment that is challenging for people of ALL abilities and fitness levels at the same time! That's quite an accomplishment! I can feel how much stronger my legs and my core have become as I'm hitting the slopes out west! I have no doubt that I will be returning to Headstrong classes when I come back to Wilmington in the fall! Thanks again!

So don't delay...CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!



I have been working with Shawn Manning for over five years and am in
the best shape of my life! Shawn's approach to physical fitness is
comprehensive, combining very challenging kettlebell workouts with an
emphasis on flexibility, strength training and cardiovascular work,
all with an eye toward personal goals and abilities. I especially
appreciate Shawn's intelligence and camaraderie, which bring
challenge, fun and personal accomplishment to each class.

On a recent trip with friends, I participated in a yoga class, where
my work with Shawn was rewarded by my ability to do a headstand -
easily! Hats off to Headstrong Athletics for the strength and
flexibility which made that possible, right after my 50th birthday!




I've been participating in Shawn's classes for about 1 1/2 years. I have always been active, everything from low to high impact aerobics, pilates, yogi, running, you name it, I've tried it all over the last 25+ years. I will have to say kettlebell training and the diverse routines that Shawn incorporates into her boot camps have been the most effective with the best results. I feel stronger and in better shape than in years. I'm at 18% body fat which is the lowest I've been in a very long time. At 5'7", I'm able to carry extra weight easier than most but, as one gets older, I did not like how "certain areas" seem to be shifting.

I'm currently going twice a week which is a very small amount of time to invest for such a big return. Shawn is constantly checking your form to maximum the affect and avoid any injury. Shawn has such a great way of motivating and makes it all fun. Don't misunderstand, it's hard work...but you know her goal is your goal....Shawn, you're the Best! Thanks for all you do.

Son't delay another second!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for HeadSTRONG Athletics' Boot Camp for Women!

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our Boot Camps and Kettlebell Workshops in Wilmington, NC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Born to Run...Barefoot?

Many of my clients know that I am not a big fan of long slow distance cardiovascular training. Sprinting and interval training have instead become staples of my exercise routines. Once I quit jogging and started swinging the kettlebell, my body fat dropped and my joints felt a ton better.

So when one of my clients, Mary, gave me the book Born to Run, by McDouggal, I wondered if I would end up disagreeing with most of it. Well, despite the fact that at this point, I never want to run any kind of long distance races, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It reads like a novel with some science thrown in. I was even motivated to take a little jog for the fun of it.

I will not bore you with what the book is can read that ">here on amazon. Instead, I want to point out a major issue discussed by McDougall. The issue of running shoes. For about two years now, I have been pushing to clients the thought of dropping shoes all together for workouts, or getting a pair that allows more flexibility, such as Nike Frees, Chucks, or Pumas. McDougall backs up the idea of barefoot/non-supported running with scientific studies and real live examples. For hundreds of years, the Tarahumara have been running ultra marathon distances through the mountains in Mexico on not much more than a thin piece of rubber from a tire. Just enough cover on the bottom of the foot to give traction and to avoid getting punctured by thorns. So why do we think we need $100+ corrective shoes to run 3 miles? Barefoot Ted, an American ultra runner, has run many races either barefoot or in his Vibram Five Fingers.

If you want a taste of the barefoot argument, read this short article by McDougall that was in the Parade Magazine a couple of weeks ago.

This is something we talked about a lot in my Z Health certification too. I think it may be time we all take a look at the real reason podiatrists are trying to sell us $400 orthotics and shoes companies are telling us that our instinctive running needs to be corrected. Is it really for our own good?

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are you Practicing the All or Nothing Approach?

Are you practicing the all or nothing approach to exercise? Do you figure that since you don't have enough time to complete an awesome one hour workout that you shouldn't even bother?
There are times that I let that stupid idea into my head too. But, realistically, could you take just 20 minutes and knock it out? Probably no more excuses. I don't care if this is the only workout you get this week...just do it. You will feel better and maybe it will just drive you to get back to a regular schedule.

Here are some workouts you can accomplish in that amount of time:

Workout #1: Circuits...3 Rounds of 1-5...30 seconds rest between each exercise (if necessary)
1. Kettlebell Clean, Squat and Press 5-6 Reps
2. Renegade Rows 5 reps each side
3. Front/Back Lunges 8 reps each side
4. Half Turkish Get ups 2 reps each side
5. Swings 20 reps

Workout #2: Circuits...3 Rounds of 1-5...30 seconds rest between each exercise (if necessary)
1. Kettlebell Step ups 10 reps each leg
2. Inchworm Pushups 8-10 reps
3. Kettlebell Clean and Squat (1 sided) 6 reps each side
4. Slingshots 10 each direction
5. Swings 20 reps

Workout #3: Circuits: Sprints and for 30 seconds to 1 min between each set
1. Sprint 30 seconds
2. Frog Hops 30 seconds
3. Shuffle 30 seconds
4. Leaping Lunges 30 seconds

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week 3 of Leave

OK, so I skipped week 2. Please forgive me, I was learning how to have 2 kids.

Fisher Manning came on April 29th at 2:07 am. 20 inches and 7 lbs, 12 oz. He is an awesome sleeper and eater! I just didn't realize how hard it would be to sit down and write out one workout. Napping, playing with #1 and cleaning poopy are priority for now.

So here is week 3, a little late.

Z Joint Mobility Warm-up

Start with practice on your Windmills: 2-3 sets of 5 each side. Can do Turkish get up as an alternative.

Circuit: 4 Rounds with 2 minutes of rest at end of each circuit.
1. Clean, Squat and Press: 5 reps each side
2. One leg deadlift: 5-6 reps each leg (right foot down, left hand picks up)
3. Pushups: 10-20 reps
4. Swings: Hand to Hand Transfers for 20-30 reps

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

WOW-Week 1 of Maternity Leave

I am officially on maternity leave now through the month of May. No baby yet, but I am due April 30th. I am ready, ready, ready!!! Ready to move again, ready to not have heartburn and ready for my right rib and back to stop hurting. And I am especially ready to meet this new miracle!

As promised, I am providing at least one workout per week so clients can keep up with their training. These are meant to be uncomplicated and time efficient. There are a few kb's left to rent so if you need one, please let me know.

So here is week #1.

A. Start with 3-5 minutes of continuous Turkish Get Ups.

B. Circuit Workout (below): Do determined amount of repetitions and move on to next exercise. Rest if needed at end of each set OR don't rest until you are finished with the entire circuit (listen to your body). Do 3-4 circuits.

1. Reverse Lunge (hold kb on same side as leg being moved) 10 reps per leg
2. Clean and Press (clean each time) 5-6 per side
3. Goblet Squat (hold kb at chest level) 10 reps
4. Bent Over Rows 5-6 each side
5. Swings (2 handed or hand-to-hand) 20 reps

You should be filling your in between (or off) days with interval training. Swings are always a great way to do this. Try 15 minutes-20 minutes of swings alternated with sprints, shuffles or jumping jacks.

30 seconds of swings
rest 30 seconds
20 seconds of quick zig-zag sprints (run, turn, run back)
rest 30 seconds
Do 4 rounds of each and take a longer rest. Repeat until time is up.

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Become Pain Free on April 18th

Red Star Athletics and HeadSTRONG Athletics Present
RELEASE ME! with Sara Cheatham

Uncover the Root of your Pain
Discover Pain Free Movement
Prevent Injuries
Free Yourself of Costly Treatments
Enhance Your Health, Vitality and Energy

Mark your calendars for April 18th! My friend, Sara Cheatham, Level 4
Z-Health Practitioner and Russian Kettlebell Challenge Team Leader, is coming to Wilmington for one day to relieve you of PAIN!

Many of you have already heard me brag about my experience with Z Health Performance Solutions, a radically-different, neurologically-based training approach that alleviated my lower back pain. I began practicing Z when I first took up the kettlebell one and a half years ago. I cannot imagine where I would be without it. I wake up every morning, stand up straight and go on without worry of nagging aches and injuries. Along with the kettlebell swing, it is the most beneficial part of my workout program.

There are countless accounts just like mine from people all over the world that have, in one session, released themselves from knee and shoulder pain, lower back issues and turned their life around to wake up feeling healthy and energetic. You can read about them here on Z Health's Website.

If you or anyone you know has pain that has persisted for days or even years without relief or wants to enhance their athletic performance, I highly recommend contacting me, Shawn Manning, at 910-231-5011 or to set up your one-on-one appointment with Sara Cheatham.

Thirty-minute appointments will be scheduled from 10am-5pm on Saturday,
April 18th. The cost is a well-worth-every-penny $50/half hour session. Sara is a nationally sought after movement coach and kettlebell instructor. This is an awesome chance that you should not pass up! To learn more, you can contact Sara at 702-510-4604 or

"My session with Sara was more valuable than the combined 10 months of physical therapy I've gone through. I was pretty skeptical at first, but by the end, she made a believer out of me. I wish I'd heard about 'this stuff' sooner!"
-Brett Bott, USAF Security Forces

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Does it have to be Hard?

What do elite athletes have that most recreation athletes don't?...

The ability to make their sport look easy...without much effort!

Whether it be from years of training or inbred talent, the best of the best do not exercise to wear themselves out. They train to get better at their sport.

Think about this. Each time you workout, are you training to completely exhaust yourself or improve the quality of your movement? If you concentrate on getting the most out of each perfect repetition, the "workout" will take care of itself.

My best results have been from keeping the workouts short (under 30 minutes) and simple. No bosu balls, fancy equipment or treadmills.

If you feel like your training needs to take a step up, then add weight (conservatively) or shorten your rest periods. But don't work to all out exhaustion. You will only be fooling yourself into thinking that since you kicked your own ass, you got a great workout.

This includes those of you who take my class. Yes, you should push yourself but you need to know when to pull back the reigns and step aside to chill. Are you in pain? Then its break time. Reps getting crappy? Then its break time. About to throw up? You know what to do.

Quality not Quantity. It will keep you going, motivated and pain free for a long life of physical play.

Call 910.231.5011 or email for more information on our kettlebell boot camp classes in Wilmington, NC.