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October 2013

This is Going to Hurt!

Will have to find a Saturday morning (or maybe a warm weeknight) to toss this one into the mix!  It looks like a lot of fun, doable, and within reach of everyone... it just looks like it might take me more than an hour! :P

BTW - Andrew makes some great points about how, if you are looking at being able to put out a lot of energy over a long period of time (60 minutes, 90 minutes, or more) then you need to train for that long as well.  Donnie Thompson mentioned this weekend that a lot of competitors at Powerlifting meets exhaust themselves early in the day and don't have the staying power for an eight to ten hour meet.  Something to think about...


Mike Rowe, CrossFit, Kettlebells and Hard Work

What the heck does Mike Rowe (host of one of my favorite TV shows "Dirty Jobs"), CrossFit,and Kettlebell have in common?  Hard Work. Yep - that four-letter word: W-O-R-K!

One of the most amazing thing the he talks about is how people think that you should "Work Smart - Not Hard". I've got bad news for this generation - you can be as smart as you want but if you don't have the drive to work hard you will not succeed. This goes for business, your personnel life, and in the gym.

But how does this apply to CrossFit and Kettlebell?  Simple - neither are easy and both require a lot of hard work, sweat and discipline.  If you're looking for an easy solution try liposuction. If you are looking for a way to improve your life, clear the mental garbage out of your head, move better and feel better, then you need to be willing to work hard to get the results you want.

BTW - follow your passion?  Yep... every single day and so should you! Also: check out his Profoundly Disconnected website to see what he is doing to promote jobs and training here in the good old U-S- of A! :)


Training for an Injury

The following video would be funny if it wasn't a stark reality.  This isn't a condemnation of anything (even though this was shot in a CrossFit gym) but the stupidity of people who don't know their limitations and don't have coaches and trainers that stop them from doing something stupid or dangerous.

I think trainers should have to take an oath (Hippocratic Oath) just like doctors that starts out with: "First do no harm..."


Andrew Read's KWOW (Kettlebell Workout of the Week) II

This is a great combination of body weight and Kettlebell skills that will challenge anyone.  The workout is a combination of the RKC Snatch Test (100 Kettlebell Snatch in 05 minutes; 24 kg/men and 16 kg/women) and the PCC Century Test (40 Squats, 30 Push-ups, 20 Knees to Elbows and 10 Pull-ups).  The suggested completion time is 13 minutes... which might be a challenge at first but is most definitely "doable" with a little practice.  Enjoy and expect to see this WOD in your future!


The Missing Link

It's not about reps, load or intensity.  If you want to get stronger AND keep your body fat to a minimum the missing link is recovery.  In particular it's about sleep and how much you get and the quality.

Want to lose weight?  Start sleeping eight to ten hours a night in a dark, cold room.  It will jump start fat loss and you'll feel great (do a search on "Dan John Sleep Diet").

Want to get stronger? Start by sleeping eight hours a night and taking a nap in the afternoon.  The extra rest will help you recover from your workouts and give you body the time to repair and create new muscle tissue.

Check out the following graphic and see how you can use naps to maximizing your life:


Kettlebells and Strength

Russian Kettlebells have been my tool of choice to maintain my strength and conditioning for the last twelve years.  I have found that they have kept me strong, mobile and able to do more work than most anyone else my age (51).  I have also found that in many ways they are superior to machines, dumbbells and bars - but that's a topic for another blog posting.

If you are looking at building strength with Kettlebells you need to focus on techniques that require a lot of effort to perform, maximize tension, and systemically engage the body.  My friend Pat Flynn addressed this same topic in a recent video (see below) and his recommendation is the Double Kettlebell Clean and Press and the Double Kettlebell Squat. Both of these exercises will do the trick in making you strong and if they are used in the manner that Pat mentions (low rep ladders) you will have no choice but to get strong.

Not to refute anything that Pat recommended, because it's a solid guideline, I would add two more exercises that would round out the work.  They would be the Turkish Get Up and the Double Kettlebell Farmers Walk.  I think the addition of heavy Turkish Get Ups and the loaded carry in the Farmers Walk would compliment the Clean and Press and Squat as well as add some depth to the strength work... because who doesn't need more Turkish Get Ups and Farmers Walks in their programming?



We do a lot of mobility work in the course of a class - sometimes both before and after a WOD - depending on the overall movement of the class members.  One that we include as a staple is "rocking".  you may not recognize it as being an essential movment but it holds the key to a lot of skills that you use both in and out of the gym.

Check out this video by Tim Anderson for a good look at Rocking and why it's so important: