We had a little over thirty inches of snow dumped on us in about 24 hours and we are still in the process of digging out. We didn't see a plow after 0800 pm on Friday after... until they showed back up again on midday on Sunday. Of course all the plows did this time was push all of the snow up against the cars leaving us with a 3-4 foot tall and 8-10 deel wall of snow to dig through by hand! I know that the plow truck drivers were putting in long hours but ONE PASS would have saved everyone, and we're talking hundreds of people, hours of work out in the cold! We were out yesterday for six hours shoveling and only got one car partially uncovered and the sidewalk cleared. Today we'll get them both out and finally venture out to see what the roads are like.
So... until I can get out my car out from underneath the snow and get over to see if the contractors have cleared out the parking lot at the gym we are going to be closed. NOTE: looking at Monday and possibly Tuesday morning as well. I should be able to post an update later today and least give you some idea when we will be back open for training. Until then, do your best to keep the sidewalks and walkways clear of snow and ice, check on your elderly or disabled neighbors, and make sure that the fire hydrants near your house are clear of snow and easily identifiable by emergency personnel.
As of Friday at 05:00 pm we are closed in anticipation of the coming blizzard. We are anticipating being closed on Saturday and Sunday as well so that the roads and parking lots can be cleared. I will post the status of the gym for Monday as soon as we can evaluate the roads and parking lots.
Until then, if you're looking for a workout, find someone in your neighborhood who is elderly or incapable of shoveling themselves out and do it for them. Don't forget to find the closest fire hydrant to your house and clear away the snow away from it (3 foot radius). NOTE: do the same for your HVAC unit as well while you are outside shoveling... it's going to be working overtime to keep you warm and you want to make sure there is sufficient airflow around it.
There are two things that I have worked on continuously, year after year, to attain. The first was to become a Full Instructor in Jeet Kune Do (JKD), the Filipino Martial Arts (Kali, Escrima and Arnis) and Maphilindo Silat under Guro Dan Inosanto. Earning that distinction, which is one that I cherish to this day, took me over two decades of training and hard work. The second was being named a Master RKC with Dragon Door. This was another venture that took me almost fifteen years to accomplish. It is also something that I am extremely proud of and grateful for.
Both of these credentials are accompanied with a tremendous amount of responsibility. It would be easy to sit back and coast now that I have reached the zenith in both areas. Instead, the opposite is true. The need to continue to develop skills, attributes, and my knowledge is even more important than when I was working towards these goals. Instead of going easy, it's now time to devote more time to training and polishing my skills and sharpening presentation methods.
Being considered a "master" of anything is usually just the opposite. A Master is someone who has failed more time than a beginner but also someone who refuses to quit because of failure. Being a Master means that you have more patience, drive, and persistence than the majority. Those of you who have been with me on either my journey in the martial arts or with kettlebells can attest to this. If you've been beside me long enough you've seen scores of people rush onto the scene brimming with enthusiasm and fire only to disappear once the real work started. In my lifetime I've had hundreds of training partners; only a small handful are still training today. But they are people who are unique in their disposition and personality; and I call them my brothers and sisters.
After fifteen continuous years of kettlebell training the journey has started again... and there is much, much more for us all to learn together.
The Holidays are coming fast and I wanted to make sure that you had the latest on our training schedule for the next couple weeks! A couple changes, especially around Xmas and New Years, so make sure you write them down.
Enjoy the Holidays, get in some quality workouts, and spend time with those you love!
Following is an excerpt from an article written by Dan John, Master RKC, on the Dragon Door website:
"Simplify, simplify" said Thoreau.
One of our local sports talk stations plays an ad for becoming a personal trainer. The ad also guarantees work within six months of completion of the course. Now, I’m waiting for a company to come out with a quick course on dentistry, so I can start work as a dentist. Volunteers?
Personal training is an exploding field and, sadly, few people survive the first year. You might have the body and the knowledge, but the "Body of Knowledge" in the fields of health, fitness and performance will overwhelm you. Moreover, your clients will seem to go out of their way to sabotage their own success.
Recently, I told someone to put this sentence on her business card: "Getting you to do what you asked me to get you to do."
Talking with clients demands some knowledge, some insights, and some tools. You need to ask the right questions, use some simple assessments, focus on the basics, and work your way forward with steady steps in movement.
Let’s begin. Here are my mistakes and my journey…
The Ten Key Questions! Wait, the Five…I mean, the Three!
I was joking with another fitness writer not long ago that they need to stop working on books and articles because, otherwise, they will continue to cut, trim and slash back the material until all that’s left is a sentence or two.
The great interchange between Thoreau and Emerson comes to mind:
"You didn’t need the second ‘simplify’," answered Emerson.
My book, Intervention, was based on ten questions for athletes followed by five strength training principles. After years of teaching and doing the Intervention protocol, I only have two strength training principles now:
For the full article go please go to the Dragon Door website.
I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! While you are spending time with family and friends today I hope you take a moment to be thankful to those people who are unable to spend time with their families and friends because their jobs take them away from home on holidays, weekends and nights. Of course I am talking about our law enforcement and fire personnel, our doctors and nurses, and others in our community who serve use each and every day. I would also like you to consider our men and women in the armed services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard) who are spending today protecting our country here and overseas. You might also want to consider those who returned from war and were scarred by battle. We have thousands of veterans who are returning to us that have lost limbs, have TBI, PTSD and other life altering injuries, Just take a moment to say a prayer for their safety and well being...
God Bless you and thank you for being a part of the CrossFit Koncepts family!
The following is from a feature article on our very own John Kalil, RKC from the September-October issue of Bethesda Magazine:
Burpees—grueling full-body exercises that go from a squat to a push-up and back to a jump—are a mainstay of John Kalil’s workouts. So are box jumps, bear crawls and strength exercises with kettlebells, weights that resemble a cannonball with a handle. The 73-year-old Gaithersburg grandfather attributes his ability to do all this to a workout regimen he’s followed for the past seven years, a combination that involves CrossFit training and kettlebells. “CrossFit means functional movement, high intensity, constantly varied,” he says. “The kettlebells keep you flexible. They’re hard as hell. …I’m doing the stabilizing, not a bar, therefore I build my core.”
Kalil, who ran a D.C. liquor store for more than four decades, spent a year at home relaxing after he retired in 2006. “I got tired of watching Oprah,” he says. He’d always kept active—skiing, running, biking, weightlifting—and in 2008, his son Chris brought him along to try out kettlebells at CrossFit Koncepts, a boutique gym in Gaithersburg. Kalil was so sore afterward that he didn’t think he’d ever do it again. But Chris urged his dad to go back, and Kalil wanted to prove to himself that he could handle the exercises. “I couldn’t do things like jumping rope and pull-ups, and that bothered me,” Kalil says.
Now, with two instructor certifications from kettlebell company Dragon Door, Kalil teaches eight classes a week and sees 15 clients for personal training. Between teaching and working out, he puts in about 40 hours a week at CrossFit Koncepts, which has 158 kettlebells of varying weights. He’s also changed his diet—he eats salads and quinoa every day and hasn’t had fast food in seven years—and has lost 45 pounds off his 5-foot-6-inch frame. “I feel like I’ve got to stay in shape in order to teach this,” says Kalil, a prostate cancer survivor whose clients are younger than he is. “I’ll say, ‘Look, if I can do it, I know you can.’ ”
Click here to read the full story!
I'm talking to you - yes you! Your posture sucks and your training isn't helping! Your shoulders slant forward, your head is hanging, and your thoracic spine is bent like an old man (or woman). You spend hours and hours each and every day sitting behind a desk or in a car and then plant your butt on a couch and binge-watch television shows. No wonder you look like something only halfway up the evolutionary ladder...
Several years ago Dan John mentioned that we need to do a lot more row-like movements to balance out all of the pushing movements we do in training. I distinctly remember him demonstrating the "Bat Wing" in a bar in Orlando, Florida... but that's a story for another time! Anyway, ask any guy how much he can Bench Press and you'll get a number. But ask them the same question when it comes to Rows and you'll get a blank stare.
Rows aren't sexy and they aren't going to make you look good naked - but they are going to keep you standing tall and allow you to move pain free. Recently we did a little experiment in our gym and took all pull ups out of the training regimen for about six weeks; this was completely voluntary, and if you wanted to do pull ups you were on your own to do so. Instead of pull ups we replaced all of the pulling movements with various types of ring rows, kettlebell rows and Renegade Rows. At the end of six weeks something interesting happened... everyone got better at pull ups without doing them. In my own situation my pull ups improved (no change in number or reps but range of motion and comfort increased) and I was able to do them without pain at the top and the bottom for this first time in several years.
So why should you do Rows instead of Pull Ups? First and foremost, most people who are training in a CrossFit gym have no business whatsoever doing Pull Ups. Using Bands, counterweights and kipping to get a Pull Up is just going to lead to problems down the road. Doing high repetition kipping or butterfly Pull Ups are going to cause problems for inexperienced athletes who don't have the requisite strength and depth of musculature to handle the rapid acceleration and deceleration the technique requires. Second, overemphasizing the overhead pull, without a balancing pull to the rear, is going to create imbalances in the chest, shoulders, biceps, upper back and neck. Adding tension to these areas is going to create dysfunction in any overhead pressing motions as well... just what you need! Finally, people who have compromised posture to begin with, which is most if not all of the athletes you are going to be working with, are just going to be reinforcing dysfunction by doing Pull Ups, especially high rep Pull Ups. They are starting off with poor thoracic stability and mobility, tight pecs and biceps, and poor head alignment... and they are going to end with more of the same.
So... how do you reverse what poor training protocols and bad posture are creating? I know this is going to be hard but... STOP DOING PULL UPS for a while. Seriously, stop completely and work on getting some strength in the Row. There are enough variations of Rows using Rings, the TRX or Jungle Gym, and Kettlebells to keep you busy for quite a while. Make sure that you are spending the time productively and not just blasting through the movement to get your reps in. Spend time locking down the ribs before pulling and working on getting as big of a range of motion as possible on each and every rep. It goes without saying that you should also look into how you can open up your pecs and biceps as well. There are a lot of things you can do with Kettlebells, Lacrosse ball and Foam Roller to improve the quality of these muscles and how they interact.
For more information on how to improve your posture be sure to check out Dr. Jon Rusin's article ("The Posture Cure") on the T-Nation website.