Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Swinging double 40's

I've had an interest for a while in swinging double 40 kg. bells, as I had a notion this would mean I had developed a good base of strength. I finally pulled it off at the TSC.

I have to admit it wasn't really that tough, though my technique could be better.

I am learning to understand the difference between 'goals' and 'interests'. This helps avoid having too many goals and spreading yourself too thin.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Palo Alto TSC

The competitors at Palo Alto this year killed it!
I struck up a deal with Chris Gaines RKC (Equinox PT Manager) that if he goes Elite next time I will compete as well.

Open Division

Name/ Weight
Pull Ups

Kai Johnson/188

Michael Corrales/198

Ian Droze/149

Shaun Eagen/ 225

Billy Bybee/159

Chris Gaines/235
Thanks to everyone for coming out and to Equinox Palo Alto for hosting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First try double snatching 28's

This went okay, but as soon as I looked at the video I realized my hips weren't really snapping, I was definitely muscling these up. Back to the 24's for more sets and reps. This isn't really any kind of goal, more of an interest. I'd like to be able to smoothly put up 32's.
I'll steer clear of the 28's until I can get 10 solid reps on the 24's.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dead start one arm/ one leg push up

I don't think I posted this before. Max Shank RKC brought up doing a one arm/ one leg push up starting from the floor.
How hard could it be?

Pretty damn hard. I think this is a great expression of tension. If you don't get tight you ain't moving. I can't do it on my left yet, but I'm working on evening out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Palo Alto Tactical Strength Challenge at Equinox

Next Saturday 9/26 I will be holding the Palo Alto TSC at Equinox Fitness in Palo Alto.
Weigh ins start at noon and lifting begins immediately thereafter.
Equinox Fitness, 440 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 9430

Are you legit, or are you full of... well you know.

I recently watched this three part interview by Ron Jones on Dr. Rusty Smith.

I've run into Rusty three times now. First he was inextricably hanging around the UCLA RKC. Then I ran into him at Pavel's stretching workshop in Sacramento. Then last month he was on my team at the San Diego RKC. I didn't really get Rusty at first, and then he said something that connected a lot of dots for me.
"Living like this... in cities is very counter to our nature."
Some of you may not get that, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Many people know I'm not a big fan of the tree huggers or the shrub humpers, but they mistake why this is. It's not because I'm against eating organic, protecting the earth, etc. It's because so often these people come off as so fake it leaves a taste of plastic in my mouth. I can tell when you're doing this stuff because you're legit, and when you're doing it because you want to communicate what a good person you are. You don't perceive the value within yourself, so you seek validation from others by trying to become a reflection of what they wish they saw in the mirror. It's a viscous cycle.
This is like people who are constantly spouting lessons learned from a life they never lived. Okay I get it, you read a book. Here's the problem. When you haven't lived that life, when you haven't truly suffered and shouldered responsibility and had leadership thrust upon you, it sounds fake. It's like a five year old walking around in his father's suit and trying to convince everyone he is the real deal. Stop worrying so much about the next brilliant thing you're going to say and just frigging BE!
Stop worrying about trying to attain enlightenment in this life, it's a cheat! You haven't done the time, so you don't get to pass go, you do not get to collect $200. Go get beaten for a few years and get back to me if you want your hall pass.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The more I watch this the more amazed I am by it

Do you have any idea how hard it is to do that just once?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nourishing Traditions

Erik Blekeberg RKC recommended this book to me during the San Diego RKC. So I read it, and it basically changed how I eat in the space of a few hours. There's a lot of stuff in this book that seems unbelievable at first, but if you let your common sense take over and forget what you think you know about nutrition and food in general it makes perfect sense. I was already familiar with Weston Price's research, and Sally Fallon obviously being a strong supporter of Dr. Price made it all the more palatable.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
I've been looking for a book for a while that was basically like 'one stop shopping' to address everyone's questions regarding nutrition. This is as close as I've come that wasn't linked to some goofy diet. The other day I ordered a dozen copies for my clients. That should tell you something.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Time is running out! Register for Pavel's San Francisco Workshop!

December 13th Pavel will be conducting a Tactical Kettlebell Workwhop in San Francisco, CA. Save $150 when you register before Sept. 15th!

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Register now for the February San Jose RKC

Today they announced the February San Jose RKC. If you're interested it would behoove you to sign up ASAP. I expect this one to sell out fast.
San Jose 2010 February RKC.
Particulalry if you're a trainer and you use kettlebells with your clients this should be on your to do list. If you're a trainer who uses the kettlebell as your main tool and you choose not to do the cert, you're negligent. That may seem heavy handed, but it's not. I'll be signing up for RKC II this year. It's not because I've got $1700 to spare and too much time on my hands. Possibly I know something you don't?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

San Diego RKC After Action Report

This past weekend I served as an assistant instructor at the San Diego RKC Kettlebell Certification. I believe we had 104 registered participants plus about 30 Instructors. People often ask why I think this cert works so well. Gee, let me think. Could a 3 to 1 student to instructor ratio have something to do with it?
On Friday and Saturday it hit 104 degrees on the field in La Jolla. Eric Kenyon RKC described it as a 'viscous beatdown', and I think that's pretty accurate. I know a lot of people were taken right to their limit, but in a good way. It's not that anything is really that challenging, it's just that it goes on and on. Brett Jones Master RKC put it aptly "It's a grinder."
More importantly than the grinder is the quality of instruction. Rif has talked a lot about the amazing changes people go through from day 1 to day 3. I didn't quite get it before this weekend. It's hard to see when you're going through it yourself, but as an instructor it's crazy to witness! Someone who looks like they have never swung a bell before has razor sharp swings by day 3, despite being worked into the ground for three days. They get better, not worse.
I hear people question this system all the time, but they usually haven't gone through it.
"But why do you have to do so many swings? Seems kind of like you're beating up on people."
Go cry to someone else. There are two kinds of people. The kind who when presented with a challenge steel up and give it their best, and the kind who start whining and trying to find a way out. If you're the latter we do not want you anyway, so it's not an issue. What's great is that often people do not realize what is inside of them until they get on the field and start putting out their max effort. When I was in the Marines we said 'The Marine Corps does not build character, it reveals it.' I feel the same way about the RKC.
Here is some video of the Graduation Workout.

That was Mark Snow RKC crossing the finish line. If you're wondering why Mark was lagging I'm pretty sure he was using heavier bells than just about everyone else. Mark was on my team and he is locked on.
I had the honor of running the max vo2 snatch workout as well as doing a short presentation on my individual tweaks on the kettlebell snatch. Presenting to over 130 people will really let you know if you have any public speaking issues. :)
If you are not familiar with the mvo2 snatch workout it is a beatdown. Fifteen seconds of snatches alternated with fifteen seconds of rest for 40 minutes. We only did it for 10 minutes, but believe me that was enough. At the conclusion I inquired if anyone wanted to go 'beyond thunderdome' with me and proceeded to go another five minutes. I think nearly everyone stepped up and did it. To really grasp this you have to realize that probably just about everyone on that field was ready to eject a lung at the end of ten minutes, yet they still opted to keep going. It's called a gut check for a reason. Why did I do that? Not to beat people down, but to show you what's left inside of you just in case you didn't know, and how far you can really go.

I was on Brett Jones' team with Terrence Robertson and Jill Knapp. Terrence came from New Zealand under his own power to do this, and did a bang up job. Jill was a great example of the 'silent assassin'. Just a tap on the shoulder and a couple words fixed most issues.
It was interesting to see the new 100 rep snatch test implemented. I know a lot of people were freaking out about 100 reps in five minutes (men on the 24 kg. women on the 12 kg. or 16 kg.) but it seemed to not be a big deal. Nearly everyone on my team passed, most with time to spare. I think the 100 rep standard just forced everyone to step up their game.
I'm sure I'll have more to say on this later, but that's enough for now. I will add that I grabbed a 48 kg. kettlebell for myself. When I returned home I also took another run at my 36 kg. stacked press. I had done this before I left and it was very, very hard. Applying some of the things I learned at the RKC I hit it again and it was much, much easier.