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February 2014

The Daily Dozen

I consider Andrew Read (Master RKC) to be not only a friend but a mentor.  He is one of the most no-nonsense trainers you will ever meet and has an eye for sound training principles and ideas.  So when he recommends something I look at it seriously and implement it in my own training.  Take a look at the following video where Andrew walks through "The Daily Dozen" mobility exercises that will have you moving and feeling better in no time!


Getting Upside Down

A lot of people are working on their Handstands.  We are spending time almost every workout upside down working on one or another skill associated with the Handstand.  I'm very fortunate that my athletes trust me to take them through progressions and regressions that will allow them to safely and effectively build up to more and more advanced skills.  Even those who have already "mastered" the Handstand sometimes need to revisit the basic skills and see where they may have missed a thing or two in the quest for the "big skill".

The following video is in response to a lot of other videos that I've seen that show people jumping up into the Handstand position but slamming their feet into the wall to stop them from toppling over. To them I have to say that you don't have the right to do Handstands, or any other technique beyond that, until you have developed the skill of getting upside down without using the wall to stop you from falling over. This is another example of bypassing the basics to get to the "advanced stuff"; unfortunately bypassing the basics will always give you weaknesses in more technical skills that can only be addressed by going back and putting the time and effort in.

Think about it this way: if you don't know how to get upside down without using the wall to stop you from falling over how to you plan on advancing to other skills? How do you think you are going to develop the sensitivity, strength, and control necessary to safely and effectively do this skill?  Handstands are a great skill to train and develop but to get the most out of them you have to train them in a manner that will allow you to apply those skills and training methods to other skills.  Otherwise you are training a technique that is a dead-end as opposed to a starting point...


This is a Train Wreck...

Sometime you find something online that you can't help but watch.  Kind of like a train wreck - you know what's going to happen but you can't turn away!  Check out the following video by Bob Harper; you might recognize Bob from the television show "The Biggest Loser".  Bob is also a huge supporter of CrossFit and is a CrossFit certified Level I Trainer. In addition he has introduced CrossFit training as part of the training regimen for participants on "The Biggest Loser".


BTW - there is no need to comment on this video and you don't need to watch a whole lot of it to get an idea of what will follow. If you have a basic (and I mean really basic) understanding of how to safely and effectively use Kettlebells then you will see what's going on. For a little more insight into Bob's training expertise be sure to check out the following video where he runs some CrossFitters through a workout:


The Salmon Ladder

No surprise that if you know me you know that I'm a big fan of Super Heroes - Batman in particular.  I'm also a fan of The Green Arrow - another hero that has no super-powers just his own skills, conditioning and mind to defeat the bad guys.


The WB has a series out called "Arrow" that stars Stephen Ammell. who plays the Green Arrow.  As part of the opening credits there is a training sequence that shows Stephen training on a unique apparatus called a "Salmon Ladder".  I heard a couple trainers talking about the fact that he used stuntmen for this sequence and that he was on wires; well here's the video that proves them wrong!


The PCC Century Workout

Later this year (July 11-13, 2014) I will be attending the PCC (Progressive Calisthenic Certification) in Northern Virginia that is being taught by the very talented Kavadlo Brothers (Al and Danny).  The PCC is three days of intense work on body weight skills and fine tuning of tension and movement; an experience that anyone who is truly interested in learning about strength should not miss. This is going to be a great certification and will be attended by a large group of enthusiastic and STRONG people.  If you are interested in learning more about the PCC go to the Dragon Door website and register soon - this one is going to be packed!

Take a look at the following video for a demonstration of the PCC Century Workout by Danny Kavadlo:


And here is a look at Al Kavadlo demonstrating the same workout:


Prepping the Handstand

There are a series of skills that you really want to master prior to doing a Handstand, Handstand Push Up, or Handwalking.  I know, I know - you're way to "advanced" for the basics... are are you?  I know of several athletes who can't do a Headstand but they can knock out something that looks like a Handstand Push Up.  Unfortunately they don't have the strength or motor control to do the movement strictly but instead resort to contortionist-like movements or unsafe techniques to get a "rep". Is it really worth it for short-term glory when you are still going to be weak long-term? I don't think so and I won't coach my athletes that way either...

Take a look at the following video on the Headstand.  Yeah, yeah, yeah... the Headstand is too easy for you but check out the video and see of you can do all of the variations with control and good integration. There are some good points on how to prep the position, load and unload, as well as some progressions and regressions.  I know the guy - he seems to know what he's talking about...

BTW - next up will be a video on how to train to get into a Handstand without needing the wall to save you.  Remember - all of your training should be geared towards developing skills that are at the advanced level; not skills that are advanced at the beginners level.


Cook-ing the Deadlift

You already know that I'm a huge fan of Gray Cook and his work.  So every chance I get I read his books, website and follow his videos on-line.  This is a great example of how Gray can take something that is hard to understand (like the difference between hinging and squatting or what to tighten up during the Deadlift) and not only have it make sense but be entertaining at the same time. Check out this video and learn all there is to know about the Deadlift and how to do it safely and effectively!