Saturday, February 28, 2009


Forget what you think you know about Jean-Claude Van Damme. Check this movie out.

Surprisingly good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My first perfect pull up

I've been doing pull ups for a long time. While I was in the Marines I hit a personal best of 28 reps switching back and forth between pulls and chins. One day I did 1,000 pull ups on a bet.
On Tuesday I did my first perfect pull up. In December Pavel had given me some pull up corrections and showed me a depth of skill in the pull up that I did not even realize was there. In January at the Pendleton RKC I watched him do a pull up that I can safely describe as 'perfect'. So I've been working on all these different components, and in the midst of all my pull ups on Tuesday one was perfect. I felt it as I popped over the bar into the hollow position with seemingly little effort required, despite the 10 kg. hanging from my belt. Now I get it.
As a testament to this, my lats hurt today in places I've never felt before. The WHOLE lat is fired up. At some point I'll write up something more in-depth on this for those of you wanting to improve your pull-ups, but I need to master it myself first.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tara's RKC and Meltdown: Do your swings and get ups

Check out Tara Robertson RKC's account of the San Jose RKC here.

I had some time on my hands, so here's a rant.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've got hurt feelings...

Not really. I almost fell off my couch laughing when I saw this.

Then Joe Sarti played this one for me driving back up from Pendleton in January.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kettlebells For Personal Trainers Mar. 21-22 in San Jose

March 21-22 Joe Sarti and I will be doing a 'Kettlebells for Personal Trainers' workshop at X-Body in San Jose. This is based upon the same template I have been using for my closed workshops for the Equinox Trainers for the past year and a half.
You will learn all of the fundamental kettlebell drills as well as how to properly teach them. This can also serve as an RKC prep course.
For more information e-mail me directly. If you would like to register there is a paypal button on the upper right hand corner of this page.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten Blue Nails Back to Back

Technically I did 11, but only ten were back to back, with 1-2 minutes in between. I used suede pads solely because the IM pads are such a pain to keep tight when I'm doing a bunch of nails like this. Personally I can't really say the suede pads are much easier than the IM pads, at least for me.
I think Adam Glass's advice on working the other styles of bending really helped with my strength development. My wrist strength is finally coming up, but I can see it's still the weak link.
I don't want to mouth off or anything, but this was never really that hard. Mostly it was a pain tolerance issue. The final crush down on some of them wasn't quite as tight as I would have liked it, but now I know to give it an extra push.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A word on my female clients.

My female clients are pound for pound stronger than most of my male clients. People generally put false limitations on how much strength a woman can develop. They will then try to declare that if a woman is very strong it is only because she is a natural athlete, and that for an ordinary woman to get that strong she would have to get bulky like a bodybuilder.
It is amazing how many natural athletes I have as clients. I have often heard other trainers remark upon this.
"You're lucky to have so many athletic clients."
Yeah. That's me. Lucky, lucky, lucky.
Hey, wait a minute. Do you think it could have anything to do with this cannonball with the handle on it? Nah. That sounds like witch craft.
I have a female client who does get ups with the 24 kg. She also snatched the 16 kg. 117 times in 5 minutes. Two others get up the 20 kg. kettlebell, and the rest get up at least the 16 kg. They all swing the 12, 16, 20, and 24. At least. One is close to an unassisted pull up.
Not one looks like a bodybuilder. Except for the fact that they look athletic you would have a hard time picking them out of a line up.
Scientifically what keeps women from becoming very strong is that they are made of sugar and spice.
Wait... no they're not. Cotton? Pink Flowers?
No, they're muscle and bone just like men. Different density, etc. but the basic ingredients are the same.
So here's what I'm getting at. If you're not getting stronger, where does the fault lie? It's not in the vessel, but in the operator or the plan. You may ask "Well, how strong do I really need to be?"
I don't know. Strong enough to carry your child for miles if you had to? Strong enough to move those boxes in the garage? Strong enough to survive the rigors of age and play with your grandchildren? If something such as true strength and endurance is available, why not take it? Why deny it out of some mis-placed notion that you 'don't need to be strong'?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Anybody ever tell you that you look like Steve Maxwell?

I went in to Girya about 12:30 today to train when this guy and his wife knock on my door. Lo and behold it was Steve Maxwell. Nothing earth shattering, but it was surprising.
All else is well. I've been getting more serious about my joint mobility work and delving into this Z-Health stuff. It's voodoo.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jerking two 32 kg. kettlebells and notes on heavy swings.

Today I was able to push out two reps jerking two 32 kg. kettlebells overhead. I could have gotten more, but I decided not to push my luck. This is a decent PR for me as I wasn't even feeling close to being able to get them out of the rack a month ago, and now they went up without too much trouble. I have a lot of respect for these cats who can jerk these things for 10 minutes straight. I have no interest in doing it, but it's impressive nonetheless.
I was hitting more heavy swings on double 32's and noticed a few things.
1. Being disengaged is not an option. You have to stay tight at the top or your torso is getting ripped off.
2. Grip strength helps, and applying it more at the top.
3. Don't fight the bells on the way down. Exercise control, but use your stretch reflex and the slingshot effect.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back to crushing blue nails.

For the past couple weeks I've been hitting a wall where I basically couldn't bend anything. I think it was a little getting burned out, and needing to roll back to address some weaknesses and form issues.
As Adam Glass pointed out I needed to get the nail up higher, which meant more shoulder flexibility. I also went back to school on my wrist strength. I started hitting the one hand shield casts with the clubs, sledge hammer leveraging, and picked up a lever block from
So today I was able to take down four blue nails pretty easily. It was a good day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Louie Simmons: Day Two

Day two was prac app. Lots of people packed in a room lifting lots of weight. I was only there for a few hours, but I picked up a lot of useful info and received some deadlift corrections from Louie that made a lot of sense. I watched Shannon Hartnett move some big weight. She is crazy strong.
After these two days I have seen that Louie's approach is not as one dimensional as some people seem to (or want to) think. Applications for sports performance from MMA to Running to Football to Throwing are all there. This is not to say it's the only way or even the best way, but it is a way, and one that works.
You have to look at everything and find what works, then adapt that to the end user, and make sure it works for them.
Below is some video from Day Two. I wasn't paying attention when I shot the video of the guy doing the Beast Pull Up. Looking back at it his shoulders are completely out of the sockets. Impressive that he did it that way, but he could be much stronger.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Louie Simmons: Day One

Day one is in the books.
This was seminar format so it was a lot of talking and demonstrations. Things I already knew about now make sense. I knew, but I didn't know. I learned a lot more about working with bands, percentages, etc. I also saw a zercher harness used for the first time, and I definitely see a lot of value there. Based on everything I saw today I can see that a 500 lbs. deadlift is attainable, possibly in the next 12 months.
Tomorrow is practical application, during which we'll be working with Louie one by one to identify our weaknesses and address them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Louie Simmons seminar this weekend

Tonight we head back to Sacramento for the Louie Simmons seminar.
Well... I guess that's really all there is to say about that until I get back. I may blog from the hotel if I have wi-fi, we'll see.
The more this kind of stuff goes down the more it's interesting to me how many different people I've been able to interact with, many of whom I never thought I would cross paths with.
Below is a video on TGU progressions for the de-conditioned.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pressing two 16 kg. kettlebells in one hand... finally.

I've been working on this for a while, and today they finally went up. Pressing two 16 kg. kettlebells in one hand isn't like pressing a 32 kg. I'm guessing more like a 36 kg. My pressing strength is finally increasing, and I'm going to say I hit a strict military press of the 40 kg. by April 1st.
April fool's day. :)