Open House at Anderson’s Step it up.

Tracey Push - pForm is Function are co-hosting an open house with Anderson’s Step it up dance studio in Nevada City. Form is Function students, athletes and instructors will demonstrate our Soviet/Russian based methods of exercise, answer questions and take suggestions for the design of future classes and workshops.

Step it up is a very high level, professional dance and acrobatic school. We saw their impressive demos at the Nevada County Fair, and the director Yesenia Anderson saw ours. Now we are working together. FIF will train Step it up dancers and instructors in injury prevention and specialized aspects of strength & conditioning. FIF’s long experience training professional dancers, acrobats, aerialists and other physical performers makes this association a perfect match. We will also present basic exercise classes for parents while their children take acrobatic and dance classes.

On Saturday we will also demonstrate the Functional Movement Screen. This is a series of basic movement tests that predict injury risk. The system includes corrective exercise that improves motor control and balance to reduce that risk. Every NFL player, and many world class gymnasts and runners do FMS testing and correctives every training day.

The Form is Function courses at Anderson’s will be result based. We use input from our students and future students to design the class. The goals of our students will determine what we do. This is a great opportunity to custom design exercise classes to match your objectives, your ability level and your lifestyle. FIF is also conducting special workshops and private classes at Step it up.

Saturday 27 August

9:00 to 11:00 am

554 Searles Ave Nevada City

Anderson’s Step it up dance studio has almost no web or social media presence. What they do have are first class instructors, a mob of very dedicated students, a very large case full of trophies, and a nearly full schedule of classes for two large studios. See you there. – EK


Beginners Intro to Russian Kettlebell Lifting

Maroo smile rackThis two hour class is designed for beginners who may lack confidence in exercise settings. This is the perfect workshop for anyone who has reservations about jumping into our group classes. Students will practice the basic kettlebell lifts correctly, learn the purpose of each lift, and how it fits into a goal based exercise program. This workshop prepares attendees for a safe and confident entry to any place where kettlebells are used.

Saturday 20 August,

1:30 to 3:30 pm

At the Aikido’Ka dojo, 142 East McKnight Way

Grass Valley


Instructor: Chief instructor Eric Kenyon

Any questions, contact Eric at cell: 510-393-2568 or email:

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Kettlebell Demos at the County Fair

Cory GSQBy chief instructor Eric Kenyon.

Form is Function are back at the Nevada County fair. This year we will do Russian kettlebell lifting demos again. We will explain each lift, what purpose it serves, and elements of technique and safety. Join us at the Dance Pad.

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Thursday Aug 11th 4:00 pm

Friday Aug 12th 5:30 pm

Saturday Aug 13th 4:00 pm

Sunday Aug 14th 5:30 pm

Here is what you will see and learn:

  1. True strength has very little to do with size and nothing to do with gender or age.
  2. These demos may be your first time seeing correct kettlebell lifting technique.
  3. Get a sense of the kind of results FIF students achieve regularly, including gold medals at the Olympics.
  4. How to get more results from your exercise in less time.
  5. Why anyone can train with us safely and effectively.
  6. All your questions will be answered by me on the mike, or by Form is Function students and instructors one on one in our Q & A session.
  7. You will get to feel the kettlebells in your own hand, this will show you exactly how powerful our students are.
  8.  How to train all aspects of athletics: strength, speed, flexibility, stamina and agility at one time, indeed in one lift.Rita OHIf you like what you see you will be able get info about upcoming workshops, and get a Nevada County fair discount on group classes or private training. See you there! – EK

Form is Function at The Nest

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By chief instructor Eric Kenyon

Form is Function is honored to be teaching at The Nest in Grass Valley California. The Nest is an organization that supports new mothers (and fathers) with parenting classes, nursing and birthing classes and maternity focused exercise classes.  The Nest is a beautiful and quiet Gold Rush era location in downtown Grass valley. Form is Function’s offering is a weekly class designed to make the physical lives of mothers easier, more efficient and less painful. We do that by connecting to the ancient and powerful Russian tradition of female strength.

In this class we show our students how to use alignment, breath, gaze, mental focus and even facial expression to maximize their bodies naturally for greater strength, safety and efficiency. This practice supports new parents by enabling them to conserve energy, get more done in less time, take stress away from existing injuries, and be less exhausted by physical work and stress.

Exercise & Mother Russia

Thursdays 5:30 to 6:30 pm

At The Nest, 107 West Main Street

Grass Valley CA

Instructors: Eric Kenyon and Amy Zuhlke

$15.00 per session, $60.00 for 5 sessions, discount for couples, babes in arms may accompany.

Beginner’s Intro to Russian Kettlebell Lifting


“This workshop is especially designed to teach beginners who may lack confidence in exercise settings. This event will prepare attendees for a safe and confident entry to any place where kettlebells are being used.”

Saturday, June 25th

1;30 to 3:30 pm

At the Aikido’Ka dojo

142 East McKnight Way

Grass valley CA

Instructor: Eric Kenyon


The Year in Review and what’s New in 2016.

By Head Coach Eric Kenyon

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2015 was an exciting year for us at Form is Function. Our students are making progress toward their goals faster than ever. That is very important to us. In fact it is the only important thing. Local clinicians, chiropractors and physical therapists sent us a very large number of referrals last year. At a group class you may find half the people there were sent by their chiropractor. Why would a chiropractor send his or her patients to Form is Function?

1. Seven years of noticing that Form is Function’s are the only group classes in our area where nobody ever gets injured.

2.. Seven years of noticing that chiropractic adjustments preformed on Form is Function private and group exercise students last longer.

3. Seven years of noticing that Form is Function private and group students heal quicker, and make more complete recoveries than other patients.

4. Seven years of noticing that often patients who are making no progress suddenly make breakthroughs when they start training with Form is Function.

How do we accomplish all this? That is for another article. For now it is enough to know: at Form is Function we work with your clinical needs, not against.
Another exciting spectacle is the continuing effect our instruction has on local martial artist’s, especially Aikido practitioners. We have been teaching strength & conditioning at Aikido’Ka of Grass Valley for nearly five years. Here are some of the results achieved by our Aikido people:

1. Decreased incidence of injuries.
2. Increased full body strength, up to 200%.
3. Faster progress learning Aikido skills.
4. Increased endurance in Aikido and everything else.
5. Improved healing of old injuries.
6. Increased enjoyment of Aikido.
7. Improved ability to demonstrate and teach Aikido.

In the realm of professional athletics Form is Function athlete Evan Strong followed up his Gold medal at the 2014 Olympics with an impressive 2014/15 snowboard racing season. Among other triumphs Evan won gold at the Nationals and at the World Cup in the new snowboard racing discipline of Banked Slalom. In the warm months Evan achieved world ranking 14th in ocean wave surfing, newly designated an Olympic sport! Evan has already won gold at the Europa Cup and World Cups this season, and is headed for a very busy winter, including his 5th X Games.
In the three years plus I have trained Evan he has steadily upgraded his estimate of the importance of the training he does with FIF. Here are some links to an article and two audio interviews about Evan’s strength and conditioning training.

Form is Function has a small but very dynamic crew of pro snowboard racers. We’ll keep you posted on what is shaping up to be an excellent season of snow and snowboarding.
2015 saw several important visits by our colleague Ron Jones from Valencia. Ron presented unique exercise workshops introducing his Circular Restorative Arts, Indian Club Basics, La Sierra Calisthenic, and a fascinating historical presentation entitled The Golden Age of Exercise. Ron’s cutting edge instruction substantially increased the abilities of FIF staff and other local health professionals serving our community.
In 2016, our 8th year in Nevada County, look for more Indian clubs and more La Sierra type calisthenic in our group classes. More importantly, look for even faster and more dramatic results in private and group training settings. We are now teaching thirteen group classes per week in Nevada County, and more to be scheduled soon. – EK

The Golden Age of Exercise

RJ NYCRon Jones, one of our favorite teachers, leaders and innovators in the fields of health and athletics, will be visiting Nevada County again in mid October. Join Form is Function at these unique events:

Lecture and discussion led by Ron Jones of the Lean Berets, on youth physical education.
Friday, October 16th, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
at Aikido’Ka, 142 Easy MicKnight Way, Grass Valley CA.

Restorative, Indian and Persian club exercise class, taught by Ron Jones.
Saturday, October 17th, 9:00 to 11:00 am
Pioneer Park, 421 Nimrod St, Nevada City Ca
near the bandshell.

The La Sierra high school PE program, exercise class taught by Ron Jones.
Sunday, 5:00 to 7:00 pm
at Aikido’Ka, 142 East McKnight Way, Grass Valley CA.

Only $40.00 to attend both workshops.

Ron’s Indian club exercise instructional DVD will be available for only $20.00

Cash only.

Hosted by Form is Function.
Any questions call Eric Kenyon at 510-393-2568, or email


The Habit of Strength, Part II.

Heart side-press loIʼve been thinking about the habit of strength lately, and observing it in my students. What is the habit of strength? I am using that term to describe real, useful, comprehensive, and omnipresent strength. This is the kind of strength all of our diligent students have at Form is Function. Real strength is strength that is plainly demonstrated. Nobody wonders if the student is only strong in one  arcane or non-typical action that may be demonstrated. A good example of real strength is a correct and heavy, barbell deadlift. Useful strength is the ability to use that deadlift strength outside the gym or exercise setting. Lifting bags of concrete into your car for example. Pushing large rocks off a roadway is another. Comprehensive strength is strength you can use everywhere and for all purposes. Form is Function students are strong in all natural movements and postures. If you are weak in a common situation, you do not have comprehensive strength. Omnipresent strength: You are always strong, even if you are tired, sick, scared or hurt. Even when there is no warm-up or warning. You have a surplus of physical power that you can call upon.

Here is part of a post I wrote in August of 2012 while teaching outdoor group classes:

“Everyone did heavy and excellent goblet squats. Many of The ladies went VERY heavy, with rock solid technique. Libby, Danielle, Kate and Nolita did squats with the 53 and 62 pound kettlebell, and alternated with double 30ʼs. Britt used the 80 pound kettlebell. Lindsey usually uses the 80, but scaled back to the 62 on this evening. Those weights are impressive. But I have seen heavy lifting before. The really satisfying thing for me was the calm and confident manner in which these ladies went about their work in the greenhouse heat. No words of doubt, no scared faces, only a quiet, intense focus. The women helped each other get into position, and moved with perfect form. These are the marks of people who have developed the habit of extreme strength. Fear and hesitation are long gone, all that remains is pure power.”

There may be much more to this conversation. We have marveled at “effortless strength” for instance. I have observed the habit of strength in the last few days and weeks. My student Heather sprained her ankle quite badly the other day, she canʼt put any weight on it. I went over to apply tractioning. She was a bit dazed, but very pleased with the strength of her uninjured leg, which enabled her to be impressively mobile. While I was there Heather did a competent sort of one-legged-crab-crawl through her house with a lap full of computer equipment, and hopped around the kitchen on one foot with good control and no fear. We also did some kettlebell lifting, she experimenting with various seated positions for the military press. Heather is practicing the habit of strength. You could say she has mastered it to an impressive degree, and that mastery is serving her very well.

My Long time student Louise was riding her bicycle at a good clip on a desolate road recently, and went into a pot- hole. She launched over the handlebars and landed on her hands. This kind of accident can cripple a person. I should mention Louise is in her late 60ʼs. She stood up, did a quick inventory of bike and body and cycied on. Her companions never knew she had fallen. Louise had barely a scratch, and no pain from that incident. She credits her diligent work in group classes and private sessions with Form is Function over a period of four years. Louise draws a clear connection between her very substantial increase in strength in our basic drills, and her impressive resilience in the crash. Besides not being hurt at all, she was not scared at all. This is the habit of strength.

– Eric Kenyon

Restorative Wand Workshop with Ron Jones

By Eva Riihiluoma

Last Saturday the students of Form is Function had a wonderful opportunity to explore a style of restorative movement with Health Wands.  We learned basic forms with light wands and were introduced to meel clubs, leather (!) kettlebells, and sand disks.  As far as the techie stuff, here’s a blog post from Ron’s page, featuring some great video.

10959885_10153133319764653_6559842747591620468_nFor myself, I found that the free flow of working with the clubs to be a very complimentary exercise to do in tandem with kettlebells training.  I work a lot with my hands, playing instruments, making jewelry, and computer work.  In the past few years I have begun to feel a certain stiffness, soreness, and strain with certain movements.  Also with sitting to these tasks for long hours.  Discovering this movement style is exciting for me.  Doing a few clean and press sets is wonderful to get the blood flowing if I have been sitting, and now this adds another tool in the belt.  Just yesterday after some hours of jewelry making I put on some music and practiced some of the forms, the restorative benefits were felt pretty much immediately.  Thanks Ron, hope to see you back up our way!