Friday, February 27, 2009

Card Tearing Pic for Phil...
This used to be my starting position for card tearing (above)^
This is basically my hand position for my card tearing right now...^


To the airport...again...

I am off to Kansas to teach an FMS workshop for the weekend.  
This is a one day FMS to the staff of a chain of health clubs (closed workshop so I didn't advertise it).  Should be fun.

Otherwise I am letting my Knee heal - keeping up with my Z, ASLR and Brettzel - and despite the knee being "flaired" up I am moving pretty well and feeling good.  I think the grip work is part of that - keeps the body dialed in when you have a lower body issue.

Will blog if I can...


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Card tearing continued...

I tore 3 casino decks yesterday.
and
Today I tore 4 casino decks -
I added 6 cards to one deck and tore it with pretty much the same effort as a 52 card deck.
Tore two more full decks - quartering one of those halves and then tore the 46 card deck and quartered one of those halves for a total of 4 decks.

I am finding that I am not getting the tear in the middle of the deck but the tear is higher in the deck.  Looks like I need to fiddle with my set up and hand positioning.

More training later...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking around...

I actually bought two "fitness" magazines yesterday just to have a peak out at what is going on in the public or "popular" media as far as health and fitness information.
I am not impressed overall but there was some good dietary info.

More of the same (program of the month, add inches to your arms etc...) with a sprinkle of things that didn't make me shake my head.
I will look through them again and get somewhat specific later today or tomorrow.

In the mean time I saw a good NY Times article on line that I wanted to post and then ran into several others:
The first is on the importance of exercise in learning - the fourth R
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/24well.html?_r=1&ref=health
Movement impacts more than the "body" - it is an essential part of learning and brain and body map development and it is being all but eliminated from our educational system. And in the mean time rates of ADD and behavior issues have been on the climb. Coincidence???

Here is one on foot pain that gives some decent information and then recommends walking as the best way to strengthen the foot:
http://health.nytimes.com/ref/health/healthguide/esn-footpain-ess.html
Well - maybe and maybe not - do the joints in your feet have the mobility necessary to get benefit from walking or will it actually hurt you?
Get your feet mobile with Z Health joint mobility drills if you are going to walk (link on left - either R phase or the Quick Start Guide)

Here is an article that could become a rallying cry for all of those that don't like to exercise:
http://health.nytimes.com/ref/health/healthguide/esn-exercise-ess.html
Apparently exercise doesn't change a thing??? What the hell kind of crap is this???
Did they bother to look at the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle????
AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

And here is another one that will become a rallying cry of those who "can't" or don't want to lose weight:
http://health.nytimes.com/ref/health/healthguide/esn-obesity-ess.html
"The research is just beginning, true, but already it has upended some hoary myths about dieting. The body establishes its optimal weight early on, perhaps even before birth, and defends it vigorously through adulthood. As a result, weight control is difficult for most of us. And obesity, the terrible new epidemic of the developed world, is almost impossible to cure."
Almost impossible to cure - is that is the message to be sending about the coming health epidemic!!???
Do some of these people think before they spew "wisdom"????
Sedentary lifestyle along with massive sugar consumption etc... eliminate those two things or change those two things and we would not be looking at an "impossible" situation.

We as a species are meant to MOVE. Period.

Well - enough ranting...

Yesterday's Training....
Prep work - Extensive Z, ASLR
Get-Ups alternating between 16 kg and 24 kg ladders
Get-ups to Post position (tall sit)
24kg 1+1
16kg 1+1
24kg 2+2
16kg 2+2
24kg 3+3
16kg 3+3
Repeat ladder adding in the bridge position

Z, Brettzel and ASLR to finish

Monday, February 23, 2009


Coming very soon!!
Rare archival footage of Brett Jones and Jeff O'Connor revealing through interviews with World Champions and demonstration of unique KB drills for the "Power Athlete".

Quick grip training today...

Card tearing x 4 decks
(I tried two decks with one strip of duct tape around the deck and while I was able to start each  deck I was unable to finish the deck and had to remove the tape to finish the deck)
Pinch Lever Block with 10# at the end of the post x 2 sets of 3+3

I have a little ways to go with the duct tape card tears - but the other decks were easier after the duct tape attempts.  
Back from Danbury, CT...off to....

I am back from Danbury, Ct and the Kettlebell workshop I taught for Roger Nick at The Golf Performance Center.  If you are in the CT area and can get to Roger's place for FMS and performance enhancement - do it!  He has a great facility there and does a great job.

The workshop was great.  We covered a thorough joint mobility "warm-up" and then it was on to Swings, Get-ups and the rest of the basic KB drills with a heavy sprinkling of extras (rolling patterns and other bits of information included in the "Brett Jones Show").  A good time was had by all and we went about 2 hours over (can you say: added value!)

Now it is a "normal" week and off to Wichita, Kansas to teach a day and a half FMS workshop.

I did manage to tweak my Left knee (i have a history with this left knee so this does not surprise me) so I will be training my grip and half get-ups this week to let it heal up for this weekend.  Travel, fatigue and such take their toll but the show goes on....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A little Strength training today:

DL (conventional stance)
135 x 2, 225 x 2, 315 x 2, 405 x 2, 455 x 2, 405 x 2

32 kg Get-up x 3 singles Left and Right
32 kg One arm swing x 10+10
focus on breathing rhythm during the swings

Just a little bit for now- probably going to have a second workout later today with a client.
Card Tearing

Card tearing is one of the classic feats of hand strength. Taking a deck of plastic coated casino cards can be a great display of finger, hand and wrist strength. It provides new meaning to "cut the deck!"
If you haven't already - check out Adam Glass's blog and his recent video of tearing up to one and three quarters decks and look a bit further back and you will see him tearing decks wrapped in duct tape - in short - Damn strong card tearing!

I have been getting back into card tearing and switching over to the Dennis Rogers style of tearing that Adam, David Whitley and others use and it is going pretty well. But in order to practice card tearing you need cards (duh??!!) so on David Whitley's advice I placed an order with Amazon.com for 72 Casino decks.

Normally decks of cards will run you about a dollar a deck which can turn into an expensive habit. But with the 72 Casino decks you will end up about 34 cents a deck - quite a savings.
Which is good - however - Casino decks come in two varieties - normal and quite difficult!
There are Carta Mundi (sp?) decks that are a bit easier that Bicycles (concidered a "goldstandard" of sorts) and then there are the Aristocrats (Very hard). So while saving money you get hard decks - sort of a win-win if you appreciate getting stronger!

The good stuff about tearing:
1) Fun at parties
2) Finger, hand, and wrist strength
3) Learning tension and dialing in the right amount of tension

The Not-so-good stuff about tearing:
1) Can develop asymmetries since it is an activity typically practiced with one hand on "top" and the other on "bottom"
2) Thumb webbing blisters and tears
3) Getting blocked from attending Texas Hold'em tournaments and your local Bridge group

Card tearing can take different directions:
1) Full tears or Halfing a deck
2) Quartering a deck - or halfing the halves
3) Dennis Rogers will even tear a deck into eighths (sick - sick - sick strong!)
3) Wrapping in duct tape and halfing
4) Behind back
5) In oven mits
6) Adding cards to end up tearing two decks at once
7) Tearing knotches out of the deck
and others

I think for now I am going to focus on full decks (and adding cards) and duct tape variations with less practice on Quartering (this is where you can really tear the thumb webbing).
I'll pop up a video in the near future but just watch Adam Glass - lots to learn from him.
Card tearing was just on my mind after tearing 3 decks yesterday (one lesson from yesterday is that the thumb webbing handles tearing better if you rest between decks.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Better but not 100%...

Quick training today

Prep - quick Z and ASLR
20 kg VO2 Max - 7 reps per 15 seconds x 30 sets
Z, ASLR, Brettzel to finish

Breathing is not back to normal - so I'll be taking it easy for a little bit.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quick training today...

Just picked up a 16kg KB and wanted to move a bit today...
Prep - ASLR and Brettzel
Get-ups (various pieces and whole), windmills, goblet squats, cossack, hip flexor stretch, swings, split snatches, overhead squats, etc....
Extended Z session to finish

Just wanted to move without getting into a "workout" - I think I will save that for a day or so.

Danbury, CT Kettlebell workshop this weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Knocked off line for a bit...And  a special Video clip!

Picked up a little Hungarian Illness while traveling and ended up having a trip to the Dr. and taking some Medications - but am doing much better now.
Probably the first time in almost 15 years (outside of different allergy flair ups) that I have actually gotten "sick".  So I guess we have to deal with this from time to time.

Now - back to work and getting cranking on what will be a very busy End of winter into spring!

And here is a short clip from the KBs from the Ground Up video..

video

Friday, February 06, 2009

Heavy Fun...

My friend and RKC Team Leader Peter Lakatos was kind enough to let me get a little heavy fun in today...

Get-up 36 kg x 1+1
Bent press 48 kg x 1+1

Get-up 60 kg x 1 right (0 left)
Bent Press 60 kg x 1 right

60 kg - Clean x 4+4
60 kg - One Arm Swing x 5+5

36 kg Bottoms up Press x 1 right
32 kg Bottoms up Press x 1 Left
48 kg MP x 1 Right - 40 kg MP x 1 Left
48 kg Snatch x 3+3

Heavy is Fun!
I have a little work to do to bring my Left side up to even with my Right - obviously!
No room for error with the 60 kg KB  - it gets a little momentum and it is going to come out of the groove!  Fun.
Greetings from Hungary...

Here I am teaching a class of kettlebell enthusiasts in Budapest - this is a "guest" teaching I performed for some of the local RKC's - Rita and Ervin.  Much pain and fun was had by all!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


VERY EXCITED to Announce the release of...
Kettlebells from the Ground Up
on dragondoor.com!!
Click on the link for ordering information etc...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Headed off to Budapest tomorrow...

Going to Budapest, Hungary tomorrow to teach an FMS workshop - will blog when I can but I am looking forward to seeing Peter Lakatos and all of my Hungarian friends again!

The picture above is a one arm barbell DL that was one of Ed Coan's favorite lifts for increasing grip strength for the deadlift.  Done for weight or held for time - it is a great grip training lift.
 
Quick training:
Prep work - Z
40 kg Get-ups x 5 singles each side
1 deck of Casino cards - very tough - in fact it turned into a corner tear.
Bending 60d nails x 6
Pinch level Block (10# @ 3/4 post) x 5+5
40 kg One Arm Swings - 5+5 x 5 sets

My hands are still a bit fried from Sunday but I just had to get one more in before the trip.
the Corner tear of the deck is tough but I just couldn't get it to go all the way so I got frustrated and took the corner off instead.  The blister in the webbing of my right that tore open during the attempt might have had something to do with that.
Get-ups felt good and I need to rest my hands.
I will be working on some extended blog posts while I am gone and will try to get some video from Hungary. 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Another Grip, Rip and Kb day...

What better way to get ready for the Super Bowl??!!

Card tearing x 2 decks +
(1st deck was a hard Casino deck that I then Quartered both halves - 2nd deck was a dollar store deck but still not an easy deck - tore that behind the back and then quartered one half of that deck - by this time I am bleeding so I call it a day on the card tearing)

Bending - 60d nails x 5 double underhand

Pinch Lever Block (10# @ 3/4 length of post) x 3+3

40 kg KB One Arm Swings x 6+6 x 5 sets

Lots of Z, ASLR and T-spine rotation to finish.

Best card tearing day in quite some time - amazing what happens when you put some practice into something ;-)
The Dennis Rogers style is going well - got a full tear behind the back and my first quartering of the casino deck literally popped apart.  Feels good - but the bleeding is something to work on.

Thank you to Adam Glass for lighting a fire under my butt again on the Grip work!

Go Steelers!!

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Personal Trainer and Strength Enthusiast Email: appliedstrength@gmail.com

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