Thursday, March 11, 2010

The kettlebell is the tool, but what is the goal?

Number of clients I have had come in to the studio with a goal of maxing out their SSST: Zero. Donut hole. Zilch.
Most people come to me with more human goals. Dropping some weight, getting rid of back pain, stronger core, stronger legs for cycling, etc.
I am hesitant to get so wrapped up in the kettlebell culture that i forget why I even started doing it in the first place. It's like I've said before regarding my Beast Challenge goal. I'm not doing it to nail the Beast Challenge, I just figured being able to do those three things with a 106 pound kettlebell would mean I was pretty strong.
If someone comes to me as a cyclist I know a some things right off the bat with a fairly high degree of certainty. No core, no toe touch, glutes don't fire, spends a lot of time in a kyphotic position. The math isn't too hard on that one.
Value in spending a lot of time trying to nail the SSST: Eh. Negligible. He already has more endurance than 99% of the people who will walk in my door, so why hammer on an attribute that is already pretty locked in? Sure it's a different 'type' of endurance and there will be some benefit, but it's not number one on the list of things that need to be addressed.
After corrective work there is probably more benefit in, stop me if you've heard this one: Swings and Get ups. Swings to get the glutes firing, get ups to address the core (plus everything else) and start to balance out the lower and upper body strength.
Folks are resistant to the idea that one or two exercises can do it all. We are conditioned to believe we need 5 exercises to hit the bicpes, and what about my rear delts?
It is this simple though, and this complicated.
Are your goals in line with your goals? Dan John has a great line in his Philosophy of Strength Training DVD: "Let's make sure we keep the goal, the goal."
SDon't get so wrapped up in the kettlebell that you forget why you picked it up in the first place. There's nothing wrong with the SSST, I think it's a great goal, but make sure it's the goal for you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Promoted to RKC Team Leader

Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret like this?!

I have been promoted to the position of Team Leader in the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. This is a big honor for me and I worked myself halfway into an early grave to get it. Someone asked me today how this compared to being promoted to Sergeant while I was in the Marines. I put this over that. Why? Let's face it, if you hang around the Corps long enough and don't punch too many officers or shoot yourself in the face you'll most likely pick up Sergeant eventually. This was different. I had to have a narrow focus and stay on the ball. It reminds me more of when I was involved with Kajunkenbo, a Martial Art with it's roots in Hawaii. Average time to black belt in our school: 5-7 years. Sometimes longer. When you put in your time and passed your belt test, you still had to 'take' your belt from the head instructor. He would say it too, "You're going to have to take this from me." You had to reach out and yank the thing out of his hands. One time a guy didn't pull hard enough and he told him to try again next week, he obviously didn't want it enough.
I had to take this, and I did want it. The process of earning it however, is not over.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taking down a 5.5 inch Gr5

I'm in the midst of a Bear Style PTTP cycle right now as well as working back into regular grip training. I feel like my deadlift max is probably significantly greater than it was previously. I based my Bear weight off my last 5 rep max, but I'm still hitting 15-17 sets of 5 before I finally call it quits. That will most likely change in a couple weeks as the weights go up.
Today I got a decent bend in a five and a half inch Gr5 from John B at Fat Bastard Barbell. John's Gr5's are waaaay harder than the Gr5's I had been getting from Fastenal.
This was decent, but I obviously had an issue on the final crushdown. That's typical for me, same thing happened first time with the blue nails. A few more rounds and I'll get it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The new DVD is coming soon.

I've bumped the release date up to April 1st due to my superior editing skills. More info will be disclosed this coming week such as the contents, price, etc.
Below is the full introduction from the DVD.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jedd Johnson's Card Tearing E-book Sale

Jedd's e-book on the art of card tearing is on sale for a few days. I am of the opinion that it would be a good idea to take advantage of this opportunity. Even if you're not that interested in card tearing there is a ton of great information in here on grip training and general strength work. There is also a great section on dealing with elbow pain that helped me greatly in remaining pain free during my grip work.

Click here to check out Jedd's Card Tearing E-book.