Monday, August 31, 2009

Why is it cool to make fun of special needs children?

It seems like the only population left that it's okay to slander and make fun of is those with special needs. I don't talk about this much, but my stepson is a special needs child. He is the light of my life and is a constant inspiration to me. His life is a struggle but he never quits and he is already a better man than most people I know. So why is it okay to make 'short bus' comments or refer to things as 'retarded' in a demeaning manner? Why is it okay to actually compare someone to a 'retarded kid' to cut them down? I'm not talking about grade schoolers, I'm talking about grown adults. What the hell is wrong with people? I have been around special needs kids my whole life, my parents ran an emergency care service. There is nothing there to make fun of, believe me. We look a lot more foolish on a daily basis than these children ever do. Why would you make fun of someone who is so full of life and love and determination? I see plenty of fake people running around talking about how full of love and enlightenment they are, then turn right around and make 'retarded kid' jokes.
I just don't get it. Maybe that's for the best.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can I still do a one arm/ one leg push up?

A couple years ago I used Naked Warrior to build up to a one arm/ one leg push up on my right side. I can get solid one arm push ups on both sides, but the one leg version eludes me on my left. I'm using FMS to work out my asymmetries and restrictions, so I hope to nail it on the left soon.
So on Friday I was working with a client who is building up to one arm push ups, and while explaining why a one arm/ one leg is such a great example of total body tension I decided to quit running my mouth about it, and demonstrate. Problem: I had not done one in a year. Could I still do it? Yes. Strength it a skill, and like any skill it needs to be sharpened from time to time, but it doesn't just go away.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lighting the spark once again

A friend of my wife's was visiting this weekend. She came to the UCLA RKC a year ago to watch me finish on Sunday and has been interested in kettlebells since then, but never found the time to try them. I arrived home Friday night at 9pm after a full training day to find her ready to learn how to use kettlebells. Like rust, at the RKC we never sleep, so instruction of hard-style basics and the kettlebell swing began. Within 5 minutes she had what I can honestly describe as a perfect hard style swing, hip snap included. To be fair she has very good body awareness, so I didn't have to spend ten minutes explaining what it means to keep your back straight. What fun! This allowed us to bang out a couple hundred swings on the 12 kg. before deciding it was too light, and moving up to the 16 kg. Lest your hearts be troubled, all safety protocols were observed and her life was never in danger. At least, not the imminent kind. Instruction of the Turkish Get Up commenced, and the toolbox was now stocked.
People talk about how us kettlebell people are like a cult. I couldn't agree more. What is important in life? Family? Job? Financial security? How about your health? Not just your health, but your ability to feel strong and powerful. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. When you have not had control over your body and your health, and you suddenly realize that you have the tools to get it back, you feel powerful. Not in an 'annex Poland' way, but in a way of knowing you will be there for your grandchildren, you will not lose decades of your life because you can't walk without pain, you will be in control of your vessel.
I've seen so many people make amazing changes through use of the hard-style method that it is impossible to ignore. I'm often unkind in my words regarding so called 'traditional' training methods. It's not that I'm a snob, I just can't forget what I know. This week I watched a few amazing things happen. A female client who was initially honestly intimidated by the prospect of doing a get up with a 6 kg. bell was getting up the 12 kg. for multiple reps. Another female client hit her first legit tactical pull up. Not a chin up, but an overhand pull up. When she first came in she could barely hang on the bar. Another female client hit her first chin up with no specific chin up training. She just jumped up and nailed it. How did she do it? Pressing ladders. Shoulder connection/lat activation+tension generation= chin up.
This is what real training is about. This is why we do this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh, you mean that lat.

Today I had a revelation as I worked my presses. 32 kg. and up I was cleaning with my shoulder out. Not sure why. I dropped a little deeper today to load my hips and 'pop' in it went. Suddenly the 32 kg. goes up much easier. Oh well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rooting out weaknesses

Today I hit some steel bending, card tearing, and sledge leveraging. I pushed myself a little to find my weaknesses and address them. My wrists are not strong enough. I tried a DU bend of a 1/4"x7" nail and got owned. I could feel it in my wrists. Part of this was technique, but I need to bring my wrists up. I hit some respectable reverse style bends on yellow nails. I'm going to start hitting that harder.
My card tearing flat out sucked. I need to generate more power in my initial tears instead of wresting with the things for two minutes. It's also a grip issue from what I can tell. I had some of the outer cards flake off because I wasn't clamping down hard enough.
Sledge leveraging is going well. I hit the 12 pounder in the hardware store the other day. I see the 16 pounder not being far off, but it's a big leap.
I have to get back into my nail bending and card tearing books, watch some video, and work hard.

BTW I added in the clip from my previous Gr8 bend at the end. Everything else was from today's training. I went after the Gr8 a couple times but it kicked my ass. I think I was just too smoked from everything else and the previous day's workouts. Tomorrow off.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Took my snatch test today

I'm a little paranoid about this kind of stuff, so I wanted to make sure I can pass my snatch test at RKC this month under any conditions. So I opted to go for less than optimal conditions. Part of this included the fact I had barely eaten any solid food all day because of a topsy turvey schedule.
I did my workout today around noon which consisted of my beast tamer protocol. This added up to
Mil Press/ 28 kg. 30 total reps.
Pistol/ 32 kg. 10 total reps
Pull Up/ 12 kg. 10 total reps.
Then like the little genius I am I snatch tested myself four hours later. Still no solid food.
Outcome: 100 reps on the 24 kg. in 4:45. Slower than my previous 4:20.
It'll do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Subscription site coming online next week

I'm in the testing phase this week, refining how everything works. Next week everything comes online. This section of my site will have videos, articles, and a bunch of training information that will be consistently updated. Think of it like my youtube page on steroids. Right now there are a dozen videos on there that no one aside from my online training clients have ever seen. By the time it goes live that number will be up to 20. More info to come as I work on it.

New article up on Dragondoor

I have a new article up on

Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My first bend of a Gr8 Bolt

Today I took down my first Gr8 Bolt. This should effectively be the precursor to bending the Red Nail. I think inside a month or two I'll have these going down pretty easy. We'll see what happens from there.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Working my Long Cycle ladders

These things are no joke. I've been working up the ladders from RTK and am currently on two 28 kg. bells for ladders of 2,4,6. I ran some video the other day. Overall I'm pretty happy with my technique. While I could get my elbow tighter, understand I am not going for a GS elbows on hips rack position. I did GS style jerks for about a year and a half before learning the hard-style jerk, and there is a difference.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kettlebells for Fitness Trainers at Equinox Palo Alto Sept. 12-13

I'm all locked in for another kettlebell training course for PT's at Equinox Fitness in Palo Alto. This will go September 12th-13th 9-5 both days. We will be addressing the basics of hard-style kettlebells along with a presentation on the Functional Movement Screen. This will cover just the very, very basic elements of FMS so as not to detract from learning proper technique with the kettlebells. Primarily we will be addressing specific aspects of it that tend to pop up over and over again in regard to the use of kettlebells.
In addition to the registered Equinox trainers I am also opening up two slots for outside trainers. I won't be doing another of these for a while, so if you're interested this is the time.
The cost for the workshop is $250. In addition to the workshop itself you'll receive a copy of my Corrections DVD and a manual.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Kettlebell Snatch Power Chain

I'm catching up on posts.
I came up with this concept to help correct some snatching issues. The power chain for the kettlebell snatch has four links.
1. Backswing
2. Hip drive
3. Pull
4. Punch
Miss any one link and you'll have problems. Break down your chain and see how it looks.

Getting serious and new projects.

I was thinking today about why we train. If you aren't in a sport, and your life doesn't depend on a certain level of fitness, why train? Well, general health and fitness are good. What else? I enjoy it. So if you can train in a manner that moves you towards your goals and you enjoy vs. a manner that move you towards your goals but you don't enjoy, hmm... decision, decisions.
It's important to recognize that you do need to have goals, if only to make sure you're going somewhere. They don't have to be crazy goals, but they need to exist.
I've become a little more free-form with my training of late, keeping the long cycle ladders from RTK as my centerpiece so to speak. As long as I keep moving forward that's okay. The important thing is to have the honesty to recognize when what you are doing is not working and make the necessary adjustments.
I love the bent press. I miss... the bend press. I've been working hard on my shoulder mobility and I'm up to 2/3. It won't be long before I even out. The internal rotation in my right shoulder is starting to dissipate.
I've been off the pistols because I know my tight hips and inability to hold onto the heavy bells is a problem. I'm working on the hips and have devised something I call goblet walks. They are exactly what they sound like. I bring up a 32 or 40 kg. like I'm about to do a goblet squat and go for a walk. I'll run some video soon. This sucks something awful.
I have a few projects on the horizon, two of which will be done this year.
The Corrections Vol. II should be done by the end of the year. More details to come. I'm working on an e-book I don't want to say anything about yet, but I think it will be good.
Nevermind the other 541 things I'm working on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The PDF manual for my DVD is now available as a free download

When you buy the DVD or Download you get a PDF format companion manual. I have decided to expand the manual over the next month for those who purchased the DVD. You will receive the expanded manual by e-mail once it is done if you buy the DVD.
I am now offering the basic manual as a free download on my site.

Click here to get the basic manual.