Thursday, February 7, 2008

Killswitch engage

I was re-reading Power to the People! today. :)
Try a little experiment. Flip through PTTP and then walk into your local McGym. It's like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face. The thing is, I get why it happens. I understand that most people just don't know any better. My problem is when people do know better and choose not to pursue this.

Actual conversation:
Trainer 1: I noticed you doing one of the exercises he (me) does. What's it called?
Trainer 2: It's a Turkish Get Up.
Trainer 1: What's the purpose?
Trainer 2: It's good for building whole body functional strength.
Trainer 1: Oh. Is that really something you worry about?

I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't standing there.

A big part of the problem is routine and humility. When I received my rude awakening I was doing good compound movements (deadlift, squat, etc.) and running hard. It would have been easy to shrug it off and go back to what I was doing, make excuses that "I don't do that type of training." Would have been real easy. I can't imagine how rough it would have been if I was doing bodybuilding routines and riding the stationary bike for cardio.
Instead I had to suck it up and do the do. I had to do the boatloads of swings and TGU's. I had to re-set to zero and re-learn everything I thought I knew. It put me on a different path that led me to where I am today. I used to be really, really small. I mean painfully small. At the lowest I was 114 lbs. at 5'8" when I was 21. I usually hovered around 140 in my twenties, and could get up to 160, but it was a fat 160. :)
People who haven't seen me in a while and see me now are always doubtful when I tell them it's mostly just kettlebells.
You get out what you put in. Hard work (done safely) equals results. How did we get so far away from something that at it's base is so simplistic?
This is where the mental part comes in. Some people just play with kettlebells, and some of us go up against them like we're wrestling King Kong on a caffeine jag. Where's the dividing line? It's in your head. Doing my 5 minute snatch tests getting ready for the TSC I've had to re-connect with that brutal mind set I had in the Marines. You can't go 100% all the time, you just can't. You have to back off a bit, and I've done that. Now it's time to killswitch engage and start prodding the beast with a stick again. Then when you don't need him anymore you slam the cage door.
Some of my clients have reached the point where they have the physical tools, but don't have the mindset.
So you walk into the box. You walk in a wad of chewed up cookie dough, and you walk out carved out of wood. Five minutes in the box with your 16 kilo, or 20 kilo, ripping out as many snatches as you can perform safely. I watch, and wait for the deviations before I call a mandatory rest. Most likely if you walk into the box you can already snatch like you're ringing a bell, so it isn't an issue.
You can't leave the box, so there's nowhere to run, no way to stall. If you get 80 snatches today, next week you get 85.
It's just one way of building your mental toughness. It's a gut check. Rack walking two 16 kilos up the Lion Street Stairs in SF is another. Pick your poison, it all goes down the same.
On another note I'm starting work on an e-book today that is going to be pretty good. I've been interested in doing one of these, but I don't want to just re=hash something that's been done a hundred times. It has to be unique, and I think this will be. More to come.
Seacrest out.

BTW, coffee is for closers.


  1. Thanks Jordan, you just re-named my deadlift platform - "The Box".

    I assume you're using the term in the military sense of "being inside the (kill)box", yes.

    BTW, in my vid from the last TSC, during the 5 minute test, I insisted on Killswitch Engage in the CD player. Coincidence?

  2. great post but never, never quote ryan secrest again!LOL!

  3. I thought the Glengary Glenn Ross quote would make up for it. :)