Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WOW - the response has been HUGE...

    Convict Conditioning How to Bust Free of All Weakness—Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength

When I had the chance to preview and then help with some editing on the book Convict Conditioning I knew it would be both popular and controversial but it has exploded far beyond what I had expected...
"To paraphrase a famous political quote: "It's the progressions stupid.' Coach Wade has laid out a set of progressions in Convict Conditioning that can lead to mastery of the big 6 bodyweight exercises and you would be wise to listen. This is knowledge proven in "extreme' conditions. So respect the progressions and put in your time—you'll be stronger for it."
—Brett Jones Master RKC, CSCS, CK-FMS
Do you travel a lot as I do? Having a solid set of bodyweight exercises to fall back on during travel is essential
Have you been frustrated by trying to hop right in on an exercise like a One-arm Push-up or Single Leg Squat? Maybe you didn't follow the right progression(s) to get there safely and effectively
Regardless of the title and controversy the information is solid and worth your time as a trainer or trainee.

Click the link above to read the description of the book and various testimonials...

Pair it with the Naked Warrior by Pavel and you have a superior bodyweight training pair!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Here we come...
So the recovery continues and writing dominates my days but life is good and I am looking forward to a great 2010 - even with this monkey - I mean cat on my back!
Let me know what you think of the different look for the blog.

I am using a little IMTUG gripper to get started with some hand strength work and still turning Clubs on a regular basis.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To warm up or not to warm up - That is the question...???

A response to a question on the forum on whether or not to warm up prior to training.

Define "warm-up"? In "big box gym" parlance it is 10 minutes on a treadmill and some static stretching. I have even run into some that say they need 30-40 minutes before they are "ready" to train. Some will say not to "warm-up". Citing the need of survival reaction or the law enforcement officer that needs to go from "zero to hero" in an instance.
Are you a member of military or law enforcement? And does it matter
As has been noted by Zachriah and some others - in moments of survival reaction your body takes care of the warm up (endocrine response etc...)
The answer is somewhere in the middle but not anywhere near traditional recommendations - What if your everyday movement ability and skill was high enough so you were "prepared" after a brief amount of preparation specific to the goals of the session and your individual movement issues?
In Super Joints, Pavel recommends a daily morning routine is advocated so that your body will "remember" this movement work and be better prepared for the day. Z health is a daily routine. We move everyday so why shouldn't we strive for excellent movement everyday. A "warm up" is not an excuse to avoid building full and superb joint mobility and movement skill - but that is precisely what people use a warm up for - they walk around with far (and I mean FAR) from optimal movement skill but feel prepared to train after a "warm up" that provides a "false" increase in their movement. There is a reason an FMS screen is performed without warm up - to catch your true movement - not your warm ups movement. There is a reason Z and Super Joints are daily. Build your movement skill - remove restrictions and target the areas that need attention.

When I am lifting (surgery is a bummer) I don't "warm up" - I perform Movement prep and then Progress into my training. Movement prep might take the form of some ASLR work from FMS and a brief Z session focused on some areas I need to "touch base" with prior to loading them. Then it is a progressive build up to my goal lift.
Lets say that it is squat day - Bodyweight squats are up first, Then an unloaded barbell, then 135 and so on....
Not 15 reps but 4-6 focusing on perfect groove and pattern. Your jumps during your "build up" might be different but when I was squatting "heavy" (for me) it would be something like bodyweight, 135, 225, 315, 365, 405 and by that time I was at or nearing my working weights and was ready to hit my sets with precision and focus. Not fatigued by 4-6 sets of 1-15 reps. Build up instead of "warm up".

Build movement skill and movement ability that is "permanent" a solid foundation that is the base for and supports your goals and your movement potential - don't rely on a "warm up" but rather create a situation where you prepare for the demands of the session.




May the Joy of the Season be with you and your family!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This is how great writers write....

Friday, December 18, 2009

A quick Travel Year in Review...

It was a banner year for travel here at Applied Strength - aka... - Me!

27 trips total - taking me to Amsterdam (twice), Budapest (twice), Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Canada, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Connecticut, Kansas, West Virginia, New York, Philly, San Diego, Providence, Long Beach, Orlando, Ohio (twice), Minneapolis (a few times of course), Virginia, D.C, and a couple of others...Plus getting married (short honeymoon), surgery (and pulmonary embolism).

Quite a year to say the least - RKC and FMS are growing dramatically and business is great!

I am already booked for over 3/4 of the year for 2010 - so 2010 is looking fantastic as well.

Two products in the works now and another video being shot in January.

Life is great!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Little Research Review...

My most recent Strength and Conditioning Journal (vol 31, num 6, December 2009) and Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (vol 23, num 9, December 2009) arrived and I actually spent a small amount of time looking through them and wanted to highlight a couple of things...

In the S&C Journal:
an article on using the Body Weight Forward Lunge as a screen - Holy Re-inventing the Wheel and leaving a lot out!
The FMS has 7 Screens for a reason - finding an issue in an integrated pattern like a lunge might have nothing to do with the lunge. FMS progresses from integrated to simple patterns for a reason - an Active Straight Leg Raise issue might fix what looks like back hyperextension in a lunge, fixing a Trunk Stability Push-up issue might fix what looks like a core stability problem in the lunge.
One movement doesn't tell the whole story.

An article on stretching the Posterior Shoulder - but no mention of normalizing Thoracic Spine mobility. (must not have seen Secrets of the Shoulder)
Not that the stretches are "wrong" per se (other than the sleeper stretch - just don't like that one) but that the shoulder can only work correctly if the t-spine is not restricted and the scapula can stabilize effectively. So just stretching something that is "tight" might not be the answer - what if it is tight because something else isn't doing it's job and that muscle or structure HAD to become tight as a compensation?
We have to look beyond the sight of pain or tightness.

(there were a couple of others but you get the idea from the S&C Journal)

From the Journal of S&C Research:
An article on using Dynamic Field tests used in an NFL Combine "Setting" to identify Lower Extremity Functional Asymmetries - basically took 6 people (not a large study group) and ran them through three PERFORMANCE tests. Yet again a group that doesn't get the idea that movement quality must PRECEDE performance. NOT that performance testing isn't valid - it's just that movement lays the foundation for performance. Testing performance matters after movement quality is checked otherwise you might just be testing compensation.
I actually like the performance tests that were used but movement comes first.

A comparison of the Free Weight squat and Smith Machine Squat found that the Free Weight squat has 43% higher muscle activation. Well thank goodness that finally been proven!!??
A machine squat (especially a smith machine) can never approximate a actual Barbell Back Squat - period. But it was impressive to see the large difference between the two and it seemed that the researchers were actually looking to prove that the Smith Machine squat was as good as or better than the free weight squat. So Cudos (sp?) to them for simply reporting the data.

A Kinematic analysis of the powerlifting Squat and conventional deadlift in competition looking for crossover effect between the lifts caught my eye...
And actually had some good stuff in it - final findings indicate that the squat is a synergistic movement where the deadlift is a sequential lift. This makes sense to me.
They were looking at the sticking points in the lifts and comparing the two to find similarities or cross over but it appears that the difference in joint angles at the sticking points makes cross over difficult at best.
This also makes sense although I will have to say that #1 - it depends on your individual area of weakness, #2 - these were competition lifts (which is good and bad and they had a good section in the article re: the difference in competition lifts).
Now where they really "brought it home" in style - their data showed that as expected the sticking point in the deadlift was at the knees but what they found was that bar speed began to decrease BEFORE the bar reached the knees. So the popular method for working the sticking point of the knees in the deadlift is to perform "lockouts" with the bar starting at the knees but this misses the fact that bar speed has already gone down before this point and is working on the wrong "weak link".
They recommend starting the bar 6 cm below the knees to hit the entire range from deceleration to the knees.
Also they site the idea that people typically recommend removing the deadlift and just working on the squat - an idea which they refute and simply state that "...deadlift should be properly and strategically placed in a periodized training...."
"In conclusion, .....the best way to improve the deadlift is to deadlift."
Now where have I heard that before??????
Overall - nice study that was actually looking for some interesting stuff.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Christmas with Cats....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas with cats....

Catching up and rolling on...

Spent the past couple of days trying to catch up - on sleep, email, invoices etc...
No matter what you have going on business and life march on the challenge is to learn on the fly and keep up the pace you set.

Rolling on - Indian Clubs again yesterday and today
These are feeling great and allowing me to practice my skill and get "active" again with some very mindful movement.

Writing, work and some interesting news...

The DVD of the month in Muscle and Fitness magazine for Jan 2010 -
Kalos Sthenos - Kettlebells from the Ground Up by Brett Jones, Gray Cook and Mark Cheng!
How about that - kettlebells and mindful movement as the DVD of the month in a bodybuilding magazine??!!!
I'm picking up a copy tomorrow to checkout the details.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Hot showers, sleeping through the night - simple stuff but it all feels a bit better after a stay in the hospital!

Made a trip to the store to break my isolation - great to be out and about...

20 minutes (give or take) of Indian Club turning and a 20 or so minute walk for a bit of activity today - feeling good.

Now for some rest etc...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I'll be released from the hospital today. My 3 am blood test finally came back at the right level and I will be sent home at some point this morning or early afternoon.

Rest and recuperation will be the theme of the next few days. I don't know if you have ever had an extended hospital stay but lets just say that the hospital is NOT where you go for rest. Alarms, taking vitals, blood tests etc... are happening 24 hours a day.
Now I will say that I have received excellent care - simply excellent - but it is time to go home.

Thank you to everyone for your support over these past few days - it has been a great comfort and help.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hopefully only one more day...

My blood levels are close but no cigar so one more day in the hospital - hopefully!!!
(fingers and toes crossed)

On a positive note I am moving around much better and the Hernia repair feels like it is healing up quite well. Still have a pressure dressing over the original hernia site to make sure no fluid accumulates there and I haven't had any negative effects to the hernia surgery due to the thinning of my blood.

Fewer blood tests and more waiting today....

On a related note - I was speaking to my Dr. this morning and he told me that it was fortunate that I'm not a complainer. Otherwise he might not have taken my shortness of breath quite so seriously. But I was aware enough of my situation to know that I needed to check in with my Dr.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A new definition of Balance...

I am used to talking asymmetry and balancing out movement patterns and restriction in the body but I am involved in another type of balancing act at the moment - balancing out my blood levels and reaching therapeutic level with my medications.
Blood draws every 6 hours and tweaking the meds to get me in the right zones which will allow me to go home (looking like monday now...) and lots of rest are the order of the day.

"Shock Value"

We talk about shock value in re: to marketing, news stories etc... but shock value has a whole other meaning when you find out that the shortness of breath you almost blew off was actually a life threatening situation. I have been extremely blessed and fortunate in my life and was again in this case.
My PCP's nurse took my phone call on Friday morning and recognized the situation right away and they made sure I was taken care of quickly. (Guess who's getting a Christmas Card?)
I reached a point while waiting for the results of a CT scan with contrast (getting that contrast put in is an interesting experience) where I was complaining about the cost and "what a waste of time this was...." (i think my wife said something about being a "typical male" - not sure what that means...) when the Dr. came back and confirmed that it was indeed a PE and that I would be admitted etc... WHAM!!! Right between the eyes!
It's just a shock - no other way to describe it. I'm fine and everything is ok but the realization that it could have very quickly and very easily been far more is "shock value" as far as I am concerned at the moment.
Considering my age, fitness and the fact that I have basically zero other risk factors (other than recent surgery - a major risk factor) - it has even more "shock value" - I mean I am fit and strong etc.... this shouldn't be happening to me...all of that...
And my situation is really mild - it didn't go the other way and I did get taken care of and people receive far worse news or have far worse outcomes than I am having so don't think that I am inflating the experience. But - every experience is unique and significant to the individual.

Lesson learned - Listen to your body and get help from the right people.
And be thankful for every moment - "No day is guaranteed anyone."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Well - Sometimes you just never know...

After having shortness of breath overnight and checking in with my Dr. this morning I was sent to the ER for testing and turns out I have a Pulmonary Embolism (one clot in the lower lobe of the right lung).
I have been admitted the hospital and am on heparin and cumadin and might not get out till Monday - just what i had planned for the weekend....

Things are steady and looking good now - but you just never know....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Day 5 post surgery

Huge improvement in the last couple of days!
Pain is greatly reduced and I am walking around a lot more.

Also spending a significant amount of time working on the two DVD + manual products that we will have coming out soon.

Thanks for all of the well wishes

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Recovering from Surgery...

Tomorrow morning will make three days out from Ventral Hernia repair and I am slowly but surely progressing.
The Surgeon and his two assistants each told me independently that it was a painful procedure and boy were they right.
A lot of sleeping and resting is the way to go for the moment...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keeping it simple...

Movement prep - ASLR, Joint mobility, Brettzel
16 kg Get-ups x 10 min (various styles)
16 kg x 100 continuous swings (Rx10, Lx10, Altx20, 2 arm x 10 and repeat)
16 kg SLDL x 3 sets of 5+5
ASLR, Hip Flexor stretch
Club Swinging

Just keeping things moving and getting ready for surgery on Friday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

KBs and some "boxing"...

Prep - Joint mobility, various hip and ankle "openers"
20 kg Goblet Squat and Swing and snatch ladder
10 GS + 10 Alt Swings
9 GS + 10 Alt Swings
Hip Flexor stretch
8 GS + 10+10 Snatches
7 GS + 10+10 Snatches
Hip Flexor stretch
6 GS + 10 Alt Swings
5 GS + 10 Alt Swings
Hip Flexor Stretch
4 GS + 10+10 Snatches
3 GS + 10+10 Snatches
Hip Flexor Stretch
2 GS + 10 Alt Swings
1 GS + 10 Alt Swings
3 x 1 min rounds of Boxing (trainer had the "body armor" on and blocking pads)

Club Swinging

Lots of fun.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Double Kb work and Clubs...

Geoff Neupert made the trip for a little hanging out time and a wee bit of training...

My own training for the day:
Prep work - Joint mobility, ASLR
16 kg Get-up x 3+3 (various styles)
Double 16 kg ladders (ladders from one rep to 5)
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Bottoms up Press
Clean + Press + Squat
Clean + Squat + Push press
Double KB Swing x 20, 15, 10
Hip flexor stretch

Club Swinging

Thanks Geoff for coming up and spending some time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Loving the clubs!

Training felt really good today...

Prep work - Z Joint mobility, ASLR, Brettzel
24 kg Tall kneeling presses x 5+5
One arm rows 32 kg x 5+5
24 kg 1/2 kneeling presses x 5+5
One arm rows 32kg x 5+5
24 kg 1/2 kneeling presses x 5+5
One arm rows 32 kg x 5+5
Double 16 kg See-Saw presses x 20 (10 each arm)
One arm rows 32 kg x 5+5
Single leg DL 24 kg x 2 sets of 5+5
Double 16 kg See-Saw presses in Horse stance x 20
Double 16 kg See-Saw presses x 20
Double 16 kg See-Saw presses in Horse Stance x 20
Lots of Club Swinging

The clubs are feeling really good! Keep you eyes peeled for Club Swinging Essentials from Gray Cook and Myself....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just the basics...

Movement prep - Z joint mobility, ASLR
24 kg Get-ups x 3 + 3 (various styles)
Swing ladders - 16 kg, 24 kg , 32 kg
1st ladder - one arm swings
32 kg Right x 10, 16 kg Left x 10, 24 kg Right x 10
32 kg Left x 10 , 16 kg Right x 10, 24 kg Left x 10
2nd ladder - Two arm swings
32 kg x 20, 16 kg x 20, 24 kg x 20
3rd ladder - Side stepping swings
32 kg x 20, 16 kg x 20, 24 kg x 20
24 kg Goblet Squat x 10
Club Swinging
Some hip flexor stretching
Just enough after yesterday's training.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Recent training...

Thursday -
Joint mobility
16kg VO2Max - 8 reps per 15 sec. x 30 sets

Today - Monday 11/9
Joint mobility
Burst Training - one minute on - one minute off
Three Circuits of:
(if multiple exercises listed then it is Circuit 1, 2, 3 etc...)
Jump Rope
Cut Kick L/ Cut Kick R/ Rapid punches
Burpee/Burpee/Mountain Climber

2/16kg Ladders
Clean and Front Squat x 1>5
Clean and Press x 1>5
Clean + Press + Front Squat x 1>5

Club Swinging and Inversion

The "burst" circuits were interesting - not just a minute on but the idea was to make yourself "fail" in that minute. Plus I got to kick and punch - fun stuff.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Check this out.....

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Take two 16kg KBs and....

Knock the road dust off!

Did some joint mobility to get started and then did a few ladders with the double 16 kgs:
Clean and FS + 1 > 5
Clean and Press + 1 > 5
Clean + Press + FS x 1> 5
Dbl Snatch x 5 sets of 5 reps
Dbl Push Press x 5 sets of 5 reps
Dbl Jerks x 5 sets of 10 reps
Club Swining
Inversion and hip flexor stretch to finish

Jeff Matone had a saying the KILAH principle - Keep It Light and Happy and that is just what I needed today. Light but good work to get the time changes and travel knocked off.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The first FMS course in Sweden....

A huge thank you to Tommy Blom for hosting me for the FMS workshop this past weekend in Gothenburgh, Sweden. I had some great Swedish food and a great time with great friends - Thank you.

Now it is time to travel home and i am delayed in Paris airport hoping to make my connection in Cinn - Travel is fun!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gothenburg, Sweden
A couple of shots from the harbor area of Gothenburg - the top pic is a statue/memorial of Sweden giving Delaware into the custody of the US in 1638.
A shot of the harbor below that.

Tommy Blom of is hosting me for this weekend and I am having a great time talking training and Krav Maga and Tommy is now an RKC Level 2 - congrats Tommy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh the places you'll go....

I was reading some Dr. Seuss this week with one of Peter Lakatos' children and it just kind of stuck ;-)
A huge thank you to Peter and his family for their hospitality and generosity - sometimes thank you seems very inadequate to express gratitude but it's the best we have at the moment.
This is a castle/1000 year old church site in Hungary!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Greetings from Hungary...

A great FMS course in Hungary!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Couple of days training and getting ready to travel...

On Monday:
Halo and Pump Stretch
20 kg Goblet Squats and Swings
10 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
9 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
Hip Flexor stretch
8 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
7 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
Hip Flexor stretch
6 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
5 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
Hip Flexor stretch
4 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
3 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
Hip Flexor stretch
2 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
1 GS + 10 Alt. Swings
Pump stretch

ASLR and Brettzel
16 kg Get-ups
5+5 - 4+4 - 3+3 - 2+2 - 1+1
Various styles

The get-ups today were really good - just what I needed.

Getting ready to travel and trying to stay "in shape" until surgery.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blogging from 30,000 feet...

That's right I am blogging while flying from Atlanta to Pittsburgh - wi-fi is now available on most Delta flights and I just had to check it out!

I am on the way home from presenting at the NPE workshop in Orlando and have some very serious business thoughts flying around in my head - too much to blog about but NPE has some incredible tools for the business of personal training - check them out if you are in the business!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Questions on Rope Training -

Have you seen Ropes training?
There are imitators out there but only one John Brookfield and only one original ropes training program!
Check out John's latest ropes training DVD by clicking here:

Battling Ropes - Hurrican Ingrid

I am going to visiting John next year to go through the ropes training myself but until then...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Off to the first East Coast RKC...

I am headed to Philadelphia, Pa today for the first east coast RKC. Really looking forward to teaching this weekend.

Otherwise I am turning Clubs and still moving.

Davor's comment below on my last post and some Dragondoor Forum posts have me thinking:

Are you ready for a volume routine?
What do I mean by a volume routine? Check this article for the Russian Squat Routine:
Insane right? Especially if you use it for your deadlift!
I went through the RSR twice for my deadlift and added 50 pounds both times. So it works but you won't be doing much of anything else while you are on it.
So how do you know if you are ready?
First - just assume that you aren't. Mean, I know but most people think they are an advanced lifter when they are just climbing toward intermediate.
Second - Clean up your movement before taking on a routine like this. FMS, Z - whatever but move often, move well and move with a purpose.
Third - Technique, Technique, Technique - did I mention technique? A volume routine can cement your form - is it exactly what you want to have cemented?
Forth - There is a Pre-RSR provided in the article - use it.
Fifth - Understand that specializing in something means giving up other stuff.

Not a complete list and it needs to be tailored to you - the individual - but it should provide a starting point for those of you thinking of a volume routine.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Going to be taking it easy for a while...

Good training today:
Prep - ASLR, T-spine, Club Swinging
10 minutes of Get-ups w/ 20kg KB - various styles
6 sets of: (w/ 20 kg KB)
Goblet Squat x 10 + Alt swings x 10 + Full Bridge x 3
Inversion table to finish

Club Swinging is feeling great.

I'll be getting surgery on a ventral hernia this december so I'll be taking it easy on my training.
This is the reason you haven't seen a lot of high tension exercise on my training recently.
Just gotta roll with it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pressing, Squatting, and Swinging...

Prep - ASLR and Brettzel
24 kg Get-up Repeating every step on the way up x 1+1
Pressing ladders
24 kg Tall Kneeing Press x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (r+L)
24 kg Half Kneeling Press x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (r+L) - same side as up leg
24 kg Half Kneeling Press x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (r+L) - same side as kneeling leg
24 kg Goblet Squat and Alt Swing Ladder
GS x 10 + Alt Sw x 10 + Hip flexor stretch
GS x 9 + Alt Sw x 10 + Hip Flexor stretch
GS x 8 + Alt Sw x 10 + Hip Flexor stretch
GS x 7 + Alt Sw x 10 + Hip Flexor stretch
GS x 6 + Alt Sw x 10 + Hip Flexor stretch
GS x 5 + Alt Sw x 10 - no rest
GS x 4 + Alt Sw x 10 - brief rest
GS x 3 + Alt Sw x 10 - no rest
GS x 2 + Alt Sw x 10 - no rest
GS x 1 + Alt Sw x 10 - no rest
Hip Flexor stretch, Inversion table and Club Swinging to finish

Good workout.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back from the first ever HKC!!

The HKC is off to a huge start. 125 attendees showed up in Minneapolis/St. Paul for this inaugural event and it was a big success.
A solid day of the kettlebell essentials, form and technique, principles and teaching tips.
Look for an HKC to be coming to your area or contact me about hosting an HKC in your town.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Training and Traveling...

Prep work - Club swinging, ASLR, Brettzel
Goblet Squat and Swing and Full Bridge workout
GS x 10 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridge x 10
GS x 9 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridge x 9
GS x 8 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridge x 8
GS x 7 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridge x 7
GS x 6 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridge x 6
GS x 5 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridges x 5
GS x 4 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridges x 4
GS x 3 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridges x 3
GS x 2 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridges x 2
GS x 1 + Alt Sw x 10 + Bridges x 1
Inversion table to finish

Club Swinging is feeling good.

Back from Amsterdam and off to MSP for the first HKC this weekend...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kettlebell Snatches

Prep work - ASLR , Brettzel, Ankle and hip movement prep
24 kg Windmill x 5 + 5
24 kg Snatches - Density "valley"
10+10 at the top of the minute
9+9 at the top of the next (you get the idea - rest is only what is left after the snatches)
and back up 5+5, 6+6, 7+7, 8+8, 9+9, 10+10
Inversion table to finish

12 minutes and 180 snatches and one callous tear (hate it when I slack on hand care and use chalk)
Going from short rest to little longer rest to short rest again (hence the "valley") added a little to this work out - fun stuff.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Training report...

Prep - Club swinging, ankle and hip movement prep
24 kg Goblet Squat Ladder + 10 alternating swings + one Wall Walk Bridge
10 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
9 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
8 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
7 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
6 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
5 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
4 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
3 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
2 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
1 GS + 10 Alt Sw + 1 WWBridge
24 KG Windmill x 5 + 5
Inversion Table to finish

Used various speeds and pauses and variations of the GS down the ladder.
Club Swinging is feeling very good and getting better every session.
Feeling good...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Training today and the Concept of Symmetry...

Prep work - various mobility/stretches
Club Swinging practice
24 kg Windmill x 3+3
24 kg Goblet Squat x 5

Double KB work with 2/24 kg KBs - this is one of the Neupert programs that I am not at liberty to share but it is tough! Tough in a fun way ;-)

24kg Windmill x 3+3

Observation on the windmill - I have been away from them for too long. These will make it back in for my Movement Prep.

Symmetry - (right to left "balance")
There have been a lot of questions lately on FMS and the concept of symmetry and this is great - here are some research offerings and my opinions...
One of the early studies to show an asymmetry puts you at risk of injury was a military study by
Knapik - Sports Med (1992) - indicating that a hip extension inflexibility imbalance of 15% or more indicated subjects were 2.6 times more likely to get injured. (Asymmetrical hip extension flexibility which is checked three different ways in the FMS screen)

And a few more bits of research...

1. Cook E, Kiesel K. Impaired Patterns of Posture and Function In: Prentice B, Voight M, eds. Techniques in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Chicago: McGraw-Hill; 2006.
2. Kiesel K, P P, R B, Burton L, Cook E. Functional Movement Test Scores Improve following a Standardized Off-season Intervention Program Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009; In Review.
3. Kiesel K, Plisky P, Kersey P. Functional Movement Test Score as a Predictor of Time-loss during a Professional Football Team’s Pre-season Paper presented at: American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference, 2008; Indianapolis, IN.
4. Kiesel K, Plisky P, Voight M. Can serious injury in professional football be predicted by a preseason Functional Movement Screen? North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. August 2007;2(3):147-158.
5. Minick K, Burton L, Butler R, Kiesel K. A Reliability Study of the Functional Movement Screen. National Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2009;In Press.
6. Wainner RS, Whitman JM, Cleland JA, Flynn TW. Regional interdependence: a musculoskeletal examination model whose time has come. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. Nov 2007;37(11):658-660.

Five of the Seven FMS tests provide a Left to Right comparison (read asymmetry check)
So even if the word symmetry may not appear in the article it is simply part of FMS screening.

One of the early research studies on the FMS a Fire Fighter Study (sub 2006), "Core strength: A new model for injury prediction and prevention":
"A battery of FMS tests were performed on 433 firefighters. We analyzed the
correlation between FMS performance and injuries and other selected parameters. An
intervention to improve flexibility and strength in trunk stabilizer or core muscle groups
through a training program was evaluated.
Results: The intervention reduced lost time due to injuries by 62% and the number of
injuries by 42% over a twelve month period as compared to a historical control group. "

The issue with research is controlling for variables (very tough to do) and when researching FMS you have to screen a group (know that they have an increased chance for injury) and wait for injury to happen to be proved "valid" - sounds great doesn't it.

To put it simply - does it not make sense that if the Right side will or will not do something the Left side can or can't do - that that is an issue?
Right side get-up with a 24kg but can only complete a Left side get-up with a 12kg
right side mp 32 kg but Left side can press the beast
Right side Pistol vs no pistol on the Left
Right eye converges - Left eye will not
Right cuboid is mobile - Left Cuboid is not.......
In any performance standard we would clearly look at the "asymmetry" in performance and address it
but there is a mental block when a Movement standard (or asymmetry check) is suggested - even when that movement base is the foundation for the performance test.

BTW - check out the new Functional Movement website

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Different training today....

10 "Rounds" of:
{20 alternating swings + Jump rope x 50 + Speed Press x 5 R+L + 30 Mountain Climbers}
Alternating swing and Speed presses with a 20 KG KB
Round completed in 1:40 followed by :15 seconds rest

ASLR and Club Swinging practice after
Inversion table

Interesting to have a great variety of movement etc... fun stuff

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Training report...

Good training session today:
Prep work - ASLR, Brettzel
Wall Walk Bridges x 5
Goblet Squat and Swing ladder combo thingy...
24 kg Goblet squat and alternating swing ladder with hip flexor stretch and either Ballet Heel Raise or Hindu Push-up
GS x 10 + Alternating Swing x 10 + Hip Flexor stretch
GS x 9 + Alternating Swing x 10 + HF Stretch + Ballet Heel Raise x 10
GS x 8 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + Hindu Push-up x 10
GS x 7 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + BHH x 10
GS x 6 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + Hindu Push-up x 10
GS x 5 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + BHH x 10
GS x 4 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + Hindu Push-up x 10
GS x 3 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + BHH x 10
GS x 2 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch + Hindu Push-up x 10
GS x 1 + Alt Sw x 10 + HF Stretch

Club Swinging Practice
Inversion Table for a couple of minutes

A nice variety of movement worked up a good sweat and felt great.
Club Swinging is continuing to progress well.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Getting caught up...

Nearly two weeks of continuous travel left me in a bit of a hole (which I am still trying to dig out of) but I am finally seeing the light at the top.

Training has had the usual travel interruptions and switch over to bodyweight exercises which is going well.
Recent KB training
on Tuesday
Prep - ASLR, Brettzel etc...
Get-up x 5+5
Goblet squat and swings with 16kg
10 GS + 10 alt. swings
9 GS + 10 alt swings
8 GS + 10 alt swings
7 GS + 10 alt swings
and on down to one with the GS but keeping the swings at 10.
Brief rest at 6 reps.

Prep - ASLR , Brettzel, Ankle and hip mobility
MVO2 24 kg x 8 reps per 15 seconds x 20 sets

I have also been making progress on my Club swinging (more on that soon).

Quick observation...
There are some that will tell you not to worry about symmetry (in relation to body shape and movement) - that it is marketing etc...
Unfortunately asymmetry in strength or flexibility is the only thing in the research that is correlated with risk of injury. Being just tight or just loose or just weak wasn't a risk but being asymmetrical (right vs. left) in strength or flexibility was a risk.
The proper perspective to keep on this is the rule of 10 percent and to keep in mind what we sacrifice for elite performance in a sport.
The Rule of 10 percent basically states that your body will compensate for a difference of about 10 percent between the right and left side. Beyond that the compensations can become problematic.
In leg length for example you only correct for 1/2 of the difference and you don't even start to do that until the leg length difference is greater that a 1/2 inch.
There is a certain level of sacrifice for elite level performance.
Something like golf or other "one sided" events can lead to a built in asymmetry but look at the injury rates for those sports. Know what you are sacrificing and then decide whether narrowing the asymmetries to 10 percent of so would make a difference.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back home and off again...

Back from VA and the filming weekend - got some great stuff in the works but I am going to play this close to the chest and not reveal anything until the time is right ;-)

Off to the San Diego RKC on Thursday morning so less than 48 hours at home :-(

I did a lot of various training over the weekend - some in the process of filming and some for fun (like a 2.5 mile run in my VFFs).

Overall feeling good but need to keep plugging away...

Quick training today:
Prep work - ASLR, Brettzel and other movement prep
Swing ladder
16 kg side stepping x 20
24 kg Alternating swing x 14
32 kb 2 hand Swing x 10
x 3 circuits/ladders

Swings felt really crisp!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MVO2 36:36 Protocol...

Prep work - Z, ASLR, Brettzel, Ankle and Hip mobilizations
MVO2 36:36 - 24 kg x 10 sets
(18 reps per 36 sec x 6 sets, 16 reps per 36 sec x 2 sets, 14 reps per 36 sec x 2 sets)

WOW what a difference between the 36:36 protocol and the 15:15 protocol!
Grip and heart were stressed in a very different way - now I have to admit that I don't have my copy of VWC (I lent it to a friend) so I didn't test for my pace etc... and I'm not sure you are supposed to start with the 24 kg but I thought it was tough anyway. Maybe Rif or someone else that has the book can clue me in to how this little venture into the 36:36 world stacks up.

The hip and ankle mobilizations I am working on are turning into great movement prep and I might post video or pics at some point.

Off to VA in the morning to get the DVD shoots done...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Secret training...

Had to take my training underground - Gray and I are prepping for two video shoots this coming weekend. I will release details as I can.

Couple of recent observations -
...but there is no ONE solution to anything. like most things that happen, there are multiple reasons they occur, and multiple ways to assess and correct them. our bodies are no different. it is always wonderful and amazing thing that the RKC continually deconstructs, adds and changes as new and appropriate information comes to the fore.
Andrea U-Shi Chang RKC, CK-FMS
Certified Z-Health Instructor

Andrea U-Shi Chang on the forum answering a question about the Brettzel, FMS, Z etc...

There is no one solution - I use the FMS as my consistent baseline assessment and I do use the FMS corrections a very large percentage of the time but you have to keep an open mind to all possible options but you have to have a consistent baseline that tells you if things have changed. FMS is mine.

Observation #2
Does your workout leave you moving and feeling better or Does it leave you beaten and moving worse?
Pavel had a great quote in Power to the People from an old time strongman -
"After a workout you should feel ready to battle for the kingdom - not like the battle has been lost"
or words to that effect (I am paraphrasing since I don't have the book in front of me)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Training today and some time off coming up...

Training today -
Prep work - ASLR, T-spine rotations, Z
24 kg Arm bar + 5 leg raises x 3+3
Tall kneeling press ladder superset with SLDL ladder
Tall kneeling press 24 kg x 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
SLDL R+L 24 kg x 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
24 kg Swings x 60 (side stepping x 20, alternating x 20, left x 10 + right x 10)
24 kg Snatches 10+10+10+10
Inversion to finish

Starting Saturday I will be taking the week off and getting a little R&R - will blog after next week. Here is a couple pics and description of the active straight leg raise drill:

Active Straight Leg Raise drill - using the strap bring the leg up to the beginning of the stretch and hold for a few seconds while keeping the down leg straight and flat. Then perform 10 leg raises keeping the down leg straight raise it even with the Up leg. If the Up leg loosens a bit then increase the stretch but the down leg needs to return to the ground straight and flat (calf touching before heel without any turn out) every rep. Go easy and take your time and this will really change your hip mobility.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Back from the Summit and a little training...

Back from the PB Summit - got to see some old friend and make some new ones
The PB Summits can be a literal who's who of the fitness industry.  Chris Poirier and the PB staff put on a great show and it is well worth your time to get to one of these in the future.
Besides - I'll be there ;-)

Prep - ASLR, T-Spine rotations, Z
24 kg Get- up 3+3 (+ arm bar and leg raises to get started)
20 sets of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off alternating sets of:
32 kg one arm swings and 24 kg Clean and Press
so - Right arm 32 kg swing x 30 sec > rest > Left arm 32 kg swing > rest > Right arm 24 kg C&P> rest > Left arm 24 kg C&P and so on.....

Friday, July 31, 2009

At the Long Beach Perform Better Summit...

Had some time in the room this morning after getting in a bit late last night to get a small amount of training in - naked. Meaning no weights - not no clothes - get your minds out of the gutter ;-)
An extended session of Z, ASLR, Brettzel and some work on Half kneeling static stability drills which confirmed and revealed a right hip issue that I will be working on (the same issue you can see on the Secrets of the Knee and Hip DVD)  also worked on the Pump and some handstands.

Looking forward to presenting today for the Perform Better crowd!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Proof that some researchers need to get out more...

They were actually confused by arm swinging during walking and had to spend money and time to research it....

Any runner, track athlete, track coach, performance coach etc... could have saved them a lot of money and time and told them that it is an integral part of gait and the contralateral coordination of the body during gait (well maybe not in those words but....).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mixed MVO2 today...

Prep - ASLR, T-spine rotations, Z
24 kg Get-up (arm bar to leg raise) 1+1
24 kg Get-up x 4+4
24 kg Bottoms up clean 5+5
24 kg SLDL x 5+5
24 kg one arm Jerk 5+5
24 kg One arm swing 5+5
Above exercises as a circuit through the with right arm then repeated with the left arm
24 kg MVO2 alternating sets of Snatches (7 reps per 15 sec) and Viking Push Press (10 reps per 15 sec) x 20 sets

The VPP was a lot easier and faster pace than previous which I have to attribute to the Neupert program pressing volume.

I am still trying to get caught up on some sleep after a very bad night of sleep in Dublin, OH because a wedding party on my floor of the hotel went ALL night!  Drunk people tend to be very loud and rude.  I was not happy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Training and Teaching...

On the road in Ohio teaching an FMS and snuck in a workout this morning...

Prep - ASLR and T-spine rotations
24 kg Get-up 2 singles each side (arm bar to leg raise to full get-up)
24 kg bottoms up get-up x 2 singles each side
24 kg MVO2 x 20 sets @ 7 reps per 15 sec
24 kg 10 Goblet squats + 10 two arm swings
24 kg 9 Goblet Squats + 10 two arm swings

Also had the chance to get in a Bod Pod today (with full lung capacity calibration) and got a reading of my bodyfat - good news my weight is down to a steady 188 and the Bod Pod has my body fat at around 18.8 percent.  In the moderately lean category for Bod Pod measurements - in my experience I might come out lower with another type of bodyfat measure but as a recovering powerlifter I am pretty pleased actually.  Obviously I am going to try to lower this  below the 13% level but for now - not too bad.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Swing Ladder...

Prep work - ASLR , Brettzel and a little Z
32 kg Get-up 1+1 -Arm Bar to leg raise to full get-up
32 kg Get-up 2+2 - full get-up
Swing ladder -
24kg x 10 reps Right
32kg x 10 reps Left
16kg x 10 reps Right
24kg x 10 reps Left
32kg x 10 reps Right
16kg x 10 reps Left
Repeat this circuit/ladder again
ASLR to finish

Feeling good

A brief observation and maybe a more extended article or blog post later - 
Gray Cook and I created the Secrets of.... series to provide screening and assessment for specific areas (shoulder, hip and knee, etc...) and this screening and assessment leads to corrective drills for the areas found in the screening/assessment.  But most everyone wants to skip that part and move on to the "exercises".
Exercises do not matter if the foundation for those exercises is wrong.

If your car has a bent frame and the front wheels are out of alignment you wouldn't take it to the racetrack - you would take it off the road and go to the mechanic.
Why treat yourself any different?

Your movement base is your foundation for your exercise - Exercise is NOT the foundation of your movement base.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick training today...

Prep - ASLR, T-Spine Rotations
Neupert program Day 3 - Week 1

Feeling good - had to fit this in at 8:30 at night but got it done.

Off to Dublin, OH this weekend to teach an FMS and short KB course.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quick Training Today:

Prep work - ASLR, Brettzel
24 kg Get-up 1 +1 (arm bar to leg raise to full Get-up)

24 kg MVO2 x 20 sets @ 7 reps per set

ASLR and some Z to finish

Feeling good and 7 reps per set was just right - nice pace with good lockouts.

If you haven't checked out Kenneth Jay's book Viking Warrior Conditioning -I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Prep work - ASLR, Brettzel
32 kg Get-up 2 singles each side (arm bar, leg raise to Post position)
32 kg SLDL x 5+5
Neupert Program Day 2 Week 1

Feeling good

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Back on the Neupert program starting over at the beginning - Day one of week one.
Prep - ASLR and T-spine rotations
24 kg Get-up 2 singles each side - arm bar to leg raises to Post position
Neupert program

Went much better this time around vs. the first time I did this workout.

On with the weekend...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Much better today...

The foot/big toe is MUCH better today and I am well on my way to restarting the Neupert program this Sunday or Monday.
Even did a bit of training today...

Prep work - Extended ASLR and T-spine rotation work
24 kg Get-up (arm bar into leg raises then to the elbow to post position) x 3 singles each side
24kg Tall Kneeling presses x 3+3
24 kg 1/2 Kneeling presses x 3+3
24 kg Alternating swings x 20 reps x 5 sets

Felt very good and Better is Better...
Hard to believe but...

I more than likely have Gout.  An accumulation of Uric Acid crystals in the joints (most commonly the distal joint of the big toe) - here is an overview from WebMd:

So a little indomethacin for a few days and I should be right as rain.  Already woke up yesterday feeling much better but followed through on the Dr. visit.

I have no family history and I don't feel that i have many if any of the dietary risk factors so this (in my mind) goes to show that sometimes you just don't know what can or will happen to you.
But you gotta roll with it!

So I will ease back into some get-ups and mobility work the remainder of this week and then start the neupert program next week.  The issue with that is that I am getting ready to start a pretty difficult travel time:
July 24-26 - FMS in Ohio
July 31- August 2 - Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, CA
August 8 - August 15 Personal Vacation
August 21-25 - Filming in Danville, VA
August 27-31 - RKC San Diego
Sept. 10-11 - FMS - Washington, DC
Sept. 16-20 - Advanced Corrective Exercise workshop in Amsterdam
Sept. 26 - HKC in Minneapolis - our new One day KB certification 
Oct. 3-4 - Advanced Corrective Exercise workshop here in the US (should be NJ - details when available)
Oct. 9-11 - RKC Philly (first East Coast RKC!)
Oct. 16-18 - Closed workshop
Oct. 23-24 - FMS Hungary and Possibly one other workshop (KB oriented) 
Nov. 4-6 - Personal Continuing education and Possibly a KB workshop in Raleigh, NC
Nov. 13-15 - FMS Canada
Nov. 17-22 - Closed workshop 
Early Dec. I have another closed workshop

How's that for a travel schedule?
Fun - Fun - Fun...

So it will be interesting to see how the travel impacts my ability to stay on a program.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How do you know IF you should train???

I did get the third day of the third week of the Neupert program in on Saturday but something has popped up since then that has put a little halt to my training and brought the question above to the front of my mind...

Sunday night my Right big toe was a little sore but no big deal but by mid day on Monday it was a big deal - very painful and swollen and warm to the touch and a very altered gait.  
Even worse this morning so I am off to the Dr. tomorrow to get checked - will report the findings.

So now to the question - 
How do you know IF you should train?
I could go ahead and swing and "workout" because I can stand in one place - HOWEVER - I tested my Straight leg raise and my Rolling Patterns and they are altered from what is normal for me.
Meaning it is a VERY poor idea for me to train today!

This is just one of the benefits of the FMS and having a consistent repeatable assessment.  I could have convinced myself that it was ok for me to train but the screens don't lie!

So how do you know if you should train on a given day?

Also- the next question that should pop into your head if you have an ache or pain is - how is it affecting you?  How would you know?  How would you know if it is resolved and that it is ok to go back to training?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Getting caught up....

Tuesday: day off from training but I did golf 18 holes. ;-) 

Prep - ASLR, Brettzel, Z foot drills
Neupert Program Week 3 - Day 2

Today might be a day off but I'm not sure yet.  I purchased an old fashioned push mower for the yard and it is time to mow again and that turns into a decent "workout".  So we will see what the day brings.

The importance of the Deadlift
A proper Deadlift sets the stage for the proper KB Swing so it is an essential movement to have in your training.  I wrote an article on programming for the deadlift here - DL Programming
But it assumes that you have good form for taking on the programs provided so if you need help with that Secrets of Core Training - The Backside (as noted in the article) will help you with screening and corrections to get you in good position for the Deadlift.
A quick verbal cue that I have been using:
"In a squat the hips go down but in the Deadlift the hips go back."
I'll even emphasize this more by saying that the hips go back and up.
Too many people turn their DL into a squat and in that position your back ends up the fulcrum but if you sit the hips back (and "up") then your hips will be the fulcrum.
More to come on this....

Monday, July 06, 2009

Wimbledon wrap up and the program continues...

Training today:
Prep - ASLR, Brettzel and few Z drills
Neupert Program Week 3 - Day 1
1/2 hour stretch class

The Neupert program is challenging to say the least!  Still feeling great and getting great results.

Wimbledon - Federer is the Champ!!
6 Wimbledon titles and 15 Grand Slams

If you were watching the match and the slow motion replays - did you notice how Federer was in position for his shots "early" (most of the time anyway).  Superior Visual skills and a relaxed nature on the court provide Federer with that "next level" game.  
Roddick played so well - truly amazing.
A testament to the conditioning of both players was the consistent service speeds and great foot work.  Federer almost appeared not to sweat at all and Roddick nailed 130+ mph serves in the 14th and 15th games.  Awesome!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wimbledon Sunday...

A great match shaping up on Wimbledon Sunday - Federer and Roddick going at it Center court.

Federer has a smoothness to his movement and game that is awesome to watch and Roddick is powerful and a great player as well.  If you are watching the match try to see how much time Federer typically has for each shot.  He moves into position so well but Roddick leaves his feet so often.  Very different approaches to the game.
Interesting to note the Ankle braces on Roddick - wonder why they are there?  Since he doesn't get into position early like Federer, Roddick has a lot more hard cutting and stopping.  Very stressful on the feet and ankles.  Also interesting that Nadal dropped from Wimbledon this year citing knee pain and he has a similar power game to Roddick.

Movement rules.

I ran a couple of hill sprints today which are feeling better and better.

Hope the holiday weekend has been great for everyone.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Training Week complete time to rest...

Prep - ASLR, Z foot drills
Neupert program - Week 2 Day 3

Pushed pretty hard this week between the Neupert program and other training sessions so now it is time to relax over the 4th of July weekend.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend - stay safe.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Viking Push Press training today...

Prep - ASLR and Brettzel
Get-up 28 kg x 3+3
VO2 Max Viking Push Press 8 reps per 15 sec protocol x 30 sets
28 kg x 10 sets @ 8 reps per 15 sec
24 kg x 10 sets @ 8 reps per 15 sec
20 kg x 10 sets @ 8 reps per 15 sec

ASLR to finish

Probably a tougher workout than I should have had considering tomorrow is the heavy day of Neupert's program but hey...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Couple days of training...

Tuesday 6/30
Prep - Z, ASLR, Brettzel
32 kg Get-up x 5 singles Left and Right
24 kg Get-up x 5 singles Left and Right
24kg x 20 Alternating swings
32kg x 20 Alternating swings
24kg x 20 Alternating swings
32kg x 20 Alternating swings
24kg x 20 Alternating swings

A little Z to finish

Today 7/1
Prep - ASLR, Brettzel, Z foot drills
Neupert Program Week 2 - Day 2

Neupert's program is bringing quick results!
Feeling good

Great Blog post by Mark of SG Human Performance
talking about the importance of Prep work for your training - check it out.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Program Continues...

Today was Day 1 of Week 2 of the Neupert program
Prep - Z 
Neupert Program
Little Z to finish

Got this one in after 7:30 at night - one of the great things about following a program is you just need to get it in.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two words...

Hill Sprints!

Friday was day 3 of the Neupert Program:
Prep - ASLR, Brettzel
Neupert Program

This morning I decided to try out the alley behind my house for some hill spints in my VFFs
and made it through 3 "sprints" up the hill.  My rest between runs was to walk back to the start of the alley way.  This is a paved alley, probably over a 1/10th of a mile long with a decent grade.  
I will work on adding a sprint every week or so and build up slowly.  Prepared for the hills with a little ALSR and finished with a few minutes of Indian Club work.

Now I have to admit that Jeff O'Connor yelled at me for being on a treadmill and then I read Alwyn Cosgrove's advice in this article:

Myth: Sweating on a treadmill is just as good as sweating outside.

In the past people moved more and their exercise programs were well rounded, but recently more people have switched to doing treadmill-only workouts for their cardio. Whether they think it's better for their joints or because they're closet vampires who can't...stand...the light! and never want to venture outside, I'm not sure.

What I am sure of is that steady-state cardio on the treadmill is just fucking stupid. And, no, I'm not going to rehash the old argument about how intervals burn more calories. You already know that.

Instead I'm going to do some math.

Walking a mile is about two thousand reps in the sagittal plane at about one and a half to two times your bodyweight. Jogging would be around fifteen hundred total reps at about two to three times your bodyweight.

And since the treadmill switches your hamstring and glutes off — your foot hits the belt and the belt pulls you through — it's mainly a quad exercise.

So let's say a client does three miles three times per week for one year (and I'm being conservative).

That's 6000 reps x 3 days per week x 52 weeks, which equals 936,000 reps of knee extension work. Or 468,000 reps per leg.

Let's say the load going through with the knee was a measly 100 pounds. That's 4.6 millionpounds of work for the quad with absolutely no hamstring work.

Think of it this way: if you did 400,000 reps of triceps extensions with 100 pounds you'd get four million pounds of volume. If you didn't balance that out with biceps curls you'd expect the elbow joint to hurt, right? You're damn straight it would!

So long term walking or running on the treadmill is almost guaranteeing knee pain. And that's not even the worst part. Since the hamstring is switched off you're actually burning even less calories than you would if you were to walk on the ground!

This study showed that hip flexion angle increases on the treadmill as opposed to the ground and that stance time was reduced. Basically, the whole hip extensor mechanism is affected; hip and knee flexion angles have to increase to bring the hip through on the stride. So hip flexor fatigue plus substitution patterns equals severe knee pain.

Ten or twenty years ago we'd get away with this because our clients ran outside and did other activities. The contribution of treadmill time to total exercise time was much lower. It's hardly the case today.

One of the problems with low intensity steady-state aerobics for fat loss in the deconditioned population is the sheer amount of reps needed. I can do a bodyweight circuit and spread the "reps" over the whole body and get a similar metabolic effect.

At my gym we've always done interval training as we felt the results were superior, but over time we've moved to a "metabolic resistance training" model.

For example, one mile on the treadmill would be 1500 reps and burn around 100 calories. If you did a circuit of kettlebell swings, undulating ropes, inverted rows, sled pushes, and burpees for four rounds with 10 to 15 reps each, you'd burn 100 calories in less time with less load, and the reps would be spread over the entire body instead of on the ankles, knees, and hips. It's just a superior model.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quick training today...

Up and working out by 5:30 am because it wouldn't have happened otherwise:
Prep - ASLR
Vibram FF Jog x 1 mile @ 6.0mph
Neupert Program Day 2
Ballet Heel Raise x 10 in between sets
ASLR and Brettzel to finish

I like just doing what Geoff said to do - I can relieve myself of that responsibility at the moment and just train.  Not that I prefer to be hitting it at 5:30 in the AM but that was what was required.

Monday, June 22, 2009

VFFs, GPS and Training...

Today we take GPS and exact location for granted. Punch in an address into a GPS unit or Navigation system (cell phone or other) and BAM - your exact location is pinpointed and directions to your destination are quickly calculated.

Now imagine a time when your exact location is determined by the phase of the moon and enough calculation to make a NASA engineer sweat and you have the background for Dava Sobel's book - "Longitude". (

Yes - there was a time where England offered a huge reward for the development of a reliable method of calculating the Longitude for sea travel. The word Chronometer came out of this search as did many of the advancements that we take for granted in our portable time keepers ( or chronometers as they were once known).
Check it out for a quick but informative and entertaining read.

What does this have to do with training?
Glad you asked...
I am going to be putting my training in the hands of Geoff Neupert for the next six weeks.
At this time in my life I am too distracted by work and other obligations and need to just sit back and "Do what Geoff said to do..." (as Dan John would say - his book btw is excellent and I will be blogging on that soon)
Geoff has calculated the "longitude" and I can sit back and follow directions and end up at my destination. My training will be "underground" for the next few weeks but this will force me to blog on more interesting subjects.

VFFs or Vibram Five Fingers shoes are working very well for me - part of my training today was a 1 mile jog on the treadmill (yes I hate treadmills but decided that was preferable to the concrete at this time) at 6 mph (or 10 minute mile pace). And lo-and-behold my calves were firing and will more than likely be pretty sore tomorrow.

So training today looked like:
Prep- ALSR, Brettzel, the Pump
32 kg Get-up x 2 singles right and left
Geoff's program
Jog one mile in VFFs
Ballet Heel Raise x 20, 20
1/2 hour stretch class

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A little Contest...

I am hosting an RKC prep course at Iron Core in San Diego very soon and would like to "Sweeten the pot" by offering an incentive for whomever gets the most people signed up for the course within the next 7 days (starting as of tomorrow):
1st place for the person that gets the most people signed up for the course will be the 
CK-FMS 15 DVD set - that's right - the entire 15 DVD CK-FMS set an over $500 value.
2nd place - will be one each of the Secrets of DVDs - all 4 Secrets of DVDs - an over $250 value.

Now space is limited for this workshop and you must get more than 1 person to sign up under your name in order to be eligible for this contest.  And I would of course recommend getting several more than that in order to win. 

So if you are an RKC prepping people to go to an RKC or you are prepping yourself to attend and know others thinking of taking on the challenge - hop on this contest!

Brett Jones is teaching a total
RKC Prep Course in San Diego, July 11-12th...
Are you ready for the RKC course in San Diego this August?
Want to be sure before you go?
Proper form, snatch test numbers already dialed in and able to soak in every bit of information!
Then come on over to the Prep course I am teaching and I will see you again at the course!
Considered one of the greatest challenges and a life transforming weekend the RKC is the Gold Standard Kettlebell Training Certification and I have been teaching at the Certs since April of 2003.  As a Master Instructor in the RKC I am well suited to prepare you for the rigors of the weekend and have you coming in prepared to optimize your experience.
Whether you are attending the RKC in August or have plans to attend the RKC in the future this is a great opportunity to get dialed in on your technique and learn what it takes to pass the RKC.

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