Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crime in your neighborhood! The shame of the city!

Apparently my last post pissed some people off and I believe a gang of angry middle aged distance runners attacked my house last night.
We were sitting in the living room at around 1am when we heard the loud 'boom' of our garage door getting kicked in. If you've never witnessed me hauling ass out the door into my driveway with a sledge hammer at one in the morning, well you are just letting the best in life pass you by.
I came to find three out of four tires on my car slashed for the second time in two weeks. Joke's on them though, I have a spare! Not three, but...
They also took the time to leave a message on my garage door. Hell if I know what it means. I can't tell if they want our money (of which we have none, they should know because we just had to replace six tires last week) or if they were telling us we are money, like in the movie Swingers. Being a cock eyed optimist I prefer to think it's the latter.

The important thing in a situation like this is that you must not let them win! You have to hold your ground and show them you are not afraid!
Let me know how that works out for you, as I am in the process of moving and will not be able to keep up with the daily goings on of your crime fighting.
Do you know who the real victim is here?
IT'S ME! I was very close to wrapping up season three of 'Heroes' when this happened, and now who knows when I'll be able to get back to it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Born To Run?

I'm reading this book Born To Run. It's very good and pretty much re-enforces a bunch of things I already knew.
It hasn't made me want to run yet. Nothing can make me want to run. :)
I do plan on putting some running back into my program, just once every week or so to maintain the skill.
Where does my great disdain for running come from? It comes from being a runner. Not just a runner, but a lunatic runner. While I was still in the Marines it wasn't unusual for me to get up at 5 to run a few miles, then run PT with the platoon a few more miles, then run all the run drops (people who couldn't keep up on the unit PT) for a brisk 3-5 mile run. That's Marine Corps logic for you. "You couldn't keep up on the run, so I am going to now make you run even more in the hope that you'll somehow magically get better at it." I would also routinely log miles in boots or full combat gear. I would run in a gask mask, I would run up and down hills and with a pack on. I still sucked at hiking because at the time I didn't realize the problem wasn't my endurance, it was leg and back strength. I wasn't even all that fast. My fastest three mile time on record was 18:30. The trick was that I could run forever.
I was also running with shin splints for about 6 years, as well as various other impact induced problems.
Point being, unless you're an ultra endurance athlete there probably isn't much you have to tell me about distance running.
That bring me full circle back to 'Running may not be the greatest thing for you.'
I'm always amazed at the horrible running form I see displayed by people running down the street, or people running in full on mechanical leg braces! Are you freaking kidding me? I know someone who has to go in to get some meniscus snipped out, and she is still running!!!
Use common sense in your running. I think part of this goes back to a sense of entitlement, as if there should be no skill acquisition required in order to begin running. At some point you had an innate ability to properly propel yourself across the earth just as you understood how to properly squat and roll from side to side, but those days are gone. Now you indeed must re-acquire these 'lost' movement patterns.
Particularly if like the Author you took it up late in life.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A narrow focus, better pistols, and better function.

I've taken the time to identify what caused problems for me in 2009 as far as my training goes. I can't assign blame to having too many goals, but I can say I lacked organization of those goals. So this year I have a more narrow focus. Partly to prep for the April TSC as I already told Chris Gaines RKC I would enter the elite division if he did and I have RKC II coming up. So focusing on my Beast Tamer Goals and my 32 kg. snatching is the way to go. Everything else goes by the wayside until I make marked progress there.
My FMS and Z-Health work has paid off big dividends. Today I hit 8 singles (both legs) with pistols on the 32 kg. A big improvement from all the problems I've had in the past.
I know my nutrition has also been a problem. I generally eat pretty well, but it could be better, and again more regimented. I've been doing a lot of research on nutrition. Lots of conflicting information, but also lots of common threads.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Battling the mis-information Pt. 2

"I'm going to the RKC to learn how to use kettlebells."
Yeah, good luck with that.
You're going to the RKC to perfect your use of kettlebells, and to understand the system with which we use them. If you show up at the RKC without already having a solid grasp on the six core techniques (Swing, Get Up, Squat, Clean, Press, Snatch) you will be crushed.
While we work to refine your ability to safely and effectively use kettlebells, this is not about the kettlebell. You can apply the Hard-Style system of training to anything. Barbells, sandbags, bodyweight, it doesn't matter.
I hear comments from people all the time about how the RKC is a 'rip off' or "I don't need to attend a three day course to learn how to swing a kettlebell."
Well I guess that would explain why you swing kettlebells the way you do.
As to the 'rip off' comment, well... what is there to say? This isn't exactly an algebra equation. Half a dozen paid instructors, another 15-20 voluntary assistant instructors, thousands and thousands of pounds of kettlebells shipped across the country in some cases, years of experience from hundreds of instructors distilled down into a manual you get... you do the math. If you think you can pull this off cheaper than the RKC does be my guest. If you don't understand the value in it, I can't help you.
My friend Nick used to say "Do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again." I've lost track of all the people who second guessed my advice and just ended up following it later. It's like the kettlebell itself. I tell people to pay for quality. They second guess me. After the off brand kettlebell has finally torqued their wrist or the vinyl covering has taken the skin off their forearm one too many times they just end up buying a quality kettlebell. Same thing with RKC. After they go to some BS course with a guy in a community rec center for a day they just end up going to RKC anyway, less the $500 they blew inflating someone's ego.
I'll tell you something about myself. I don't send clients to the RKC. I see that a lot, and it's cool, but it's not my bag. Have I had clients go to the RKC? Yes. I had one go all the way to RKC II. I'm prepping half a dozen right now who are going in February. They all came to me. I'll mention it, but I never push it. Personally, I just don't think it's necessary for most of them. That's just me.
Trainers? If you're using kettlebells with your clients and you don't see the value in this, again I cannot help you. No one can. I've seen websites for personal training studios with kettlebells plastered all over the website, and not a single RKC or HKC trainer on staff. It is reflected in what I see their clients doing in photos and videos. As to the cost again, I think it's hilarious when trainers complain about the expense. You charge $100 an hour. Are you serious?
Someone slashed my tires last night. Which may help to explain the tone of this post.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Battling the mis-information Pt. 1

Recently there was some hulabaloo in the kettlebell community (at least locally) over this article.
Let me first say that I think this Dr. Wagner is probably a very good trainer who gets results for his clients. More than anything I think he is a victim of mis-information and probably a little bit of fear/jealousy. After all it would look kind of silly if a couple of guys in a studio full of cannonballs with handles on them were getting comparable results to him in a 100k facility.
Notice how I make an effort to treat Dr. Wagner with at least a modicum of respect, something he did not feel the need to do in his article.
What I would like to hit upon here is something that I think would have really benefited the good Doctor.
There is a mis-conception out there that we're kettlebell guys. We know a lot about kettlebells but not much else. I'll start with me. I have a long background in combat conditioning, both for Martial Arts and actual combat soldiers and Marines. I've also done more than my fair share of studying and application of Power Lifting methods and Girevoy Sport. There's more, but I won't bore you.
Mark Reifkind Master RKC has been an elite level gymnast, top ranked power lifter, endurance athlete, and part time Space Cowboy.
Brad Nelson Senior RKC is a Black Belt, accomplished Z Health Practitioner, and consultant to police agencies.
Dave Whitley Senior RKC is a Massage Therapist, Martial Artist, and Professional Performing Strongman.
Dr. Mark Cheng RKC Team Leader, L.Ac., Ph.D is the Chief Physician and Head Instructor for the Chung-Hua Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Martial Arts Research.
These results are typical. You will be hard pressed to find anyone in the RKC leadership who is 'just a kettlebell guy'. They don't exist.
Here's the other thing, and this is where I'm going to twist off just a little bit. If you're going to go out on a ledge and assail our training methods, be ready to put your money where your mouth it. Not by pointing at some elite baseball player, you. See, the great thing about the population I work with is that they come from all walks of life and we build them into the elite. I am unimpressed by people who work with a population that is already elite and make them a hair more elite-er-er. I don't think that was a real word.
"Oh, but I'm so busy I don't have time to train."
I haven't slept since 2005. Save it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New photos taken at Girya

Today I finally broke down and decided to take some photos for promotional purposes. I have NO photos I can use for brochures, website, etc. so I figured it was the thing to do. They turned out pretty good. The new color of the walls at Girya is very conducive to good photography, apparently.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 In Review

As the year comes to a close I decided to compile some of the things I achieved into a video. There may be another one as I've still got a bunch of other stuff.
I will note that I did not achieve the goals I had set for myself this year, but I think that was more a case of being overly optimistic than anything else. I did make marked progress toward all of them, I just didn't hit them. A narrower focus on just one may have served me better. I was going for a Beast Challenge, Red Nail Bend, and 100 reps on the 32 kg. in five minutes.
I did bend a Grade 8 Bolt, which is progress. I did pistol a 95 pound bell, press the 36 kg. and pull up the 28 kg. I did hit 20R/20L snatches on the 32 kg. We will see what 2010 brings. I'll be competing in the elite division at the April TSC and will be going for a new 32 kg. snatch test PR.
I feel good about this past year and look forward to what the next will bring.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Men's Helth gets owned

If you didn't already know it, these men's magazines just recycle the same BS 'fitness' info over and over again, most of which doesn't work anyway. I thought this was hilarious when I saw it. Finally caught red handed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Palo Alto HKC announced for Feb. 6th

We've just announced an HKC in Palo Alto, CA for Saturday February 6th. If you're interested in doing this I wouldn't wait too long as I'm on a mission to sell this thing out as fast as possible.

Feb. 6th HKC- Palo Alto, CA

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Convict Conditioning

This is rapidly becoming my favorite book. A lot of people are getting torqued out about the title.
Grow up.
I've studied body weight training and implemented it in my own training for a long time, but never like this. The bottom line is I've never seen anyone lay it out like Paul Wade has and really have the experiences to back it up. 100 pistols in a row? Seriously?
Paul basically says this program was instrumental in him surviving in prison. I don't train for martial arts or anything like that, but it is foremost in my mind that my strength translate should I ever need it to defend myself or my family. So Paul talking about using the methods described in this book to protect himself in the penitentiary really caught my eye.
It's rare that I read a book the way I am reading this one, absorbing every piece of information. It has made a long time goal of mine, the one handed chin, seem much more within reach. In a few days it has changed the way I train.
Not only does Paul have the experience and the know how to back this up, he is obviously very intelligent and has a solid grasp of the mechanics of the human body.
In my opinion the combination of Convict Conditioning and Naked Warrior is a complete atheltic program for anyone who wants to build unreal strength. It can be combined with your current program or used as a stand alone program.
What did Paul Wade go to prison for? Don't know. Do I care? Nope. If you're not going to buy this book because an ex-con wrote it that's fine by me. I like being stronger than 99% of the people I meet. No complaints here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The First Palo Alto HKC

This past Saturday Rif held the first Palo Alto HKC at Girya.
I believe in what we do and I believe in the validity of the RKC as a 'school of strength', and an organization that holds itself to a higher standard. Would the standard be dilluted by the new Hard Style Kettlebell Certification? Only time, and the first group of these certifications would tell.
Now the answer is clear. Not only will the HKC not dilute the RKC, it will enhance it.
We had ten participants, three of which were already signed up for the RKC. By the end of the day we had three more determined to sign up for the RKC.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Featured in a Dragondoor video!

This is cool. Dragondoor put together a video on kettlbells for the armed forces, and I'm in it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Barbell Juggling

Just what it sounds like.

I didn't feel this was that risky, felt in control the whole time. Not really that heavy. It's a whole body workout, that's for sure.