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November 2014

Turkey Day WOD

Turkey-weightliftingDon't forget to join us for our Thanksgiving Day Workout (aptly named "Giblets and Gravy") at (the ungodly hour of) 0730 AM!  It will be a great way to start your day and give you a few calories to play with as you sit down for the feast! :)

Rope Climbing

As many of you have already found out climbing a rope is hard work.  Not only is it hard going up it's even harder coming down under control.  As a rock climber (many years ago) we never had the need to climb ropes but we had methods to navigate them if we had to.  I used a method that I was taught by some tactical friends and it worked okay... but it was still exhausting to do.  Check out this video on rope climbing and keep them in mind because there may be some rope climbing in your future! :)


Finding Balance

MaxShankGetUpExcess surrounds us on a daily basis and after a while it ends up being the norm.  Getting a "super sized" meal or an "xtra larger" drink is almost a reflex.  The tendency to do too much doens't limit itself to consuming calories.  If you are trying to make strength gains the biggest mistake you can do is to try and do more than you need - but that's exactly what most people will do.  The mentality that "if a little is good then more is better" doesn't apply when it comes to strength and conditioning.

More isn't better - it's just more; and it can actually it keeps you from making progress.  Trying to PR your Deadlift before you put in the requisite preparation is just asking for an injury.  Attempting Jerks before you have gotten a good handle on your Military Press and Push Press is downright stupid.  But people will push harder and longer in the hope of getting better results (or a better score on a WOD)... when the real key to success is not working harder but working smarter (and putting in the time i.e., consistency!)

Doing too much work is almost as bad as doing too much of one thing.  Focusing on one thing at the expense of not doing a balance of work is asking for trouble.  Focusing on your Squat and Pull Ups and not doing any Mobility work or anaerobic conditioning is going to leave some holes in your athletic ability.  Any combination that focuses too much on one aspect is not a good idea - unless you are training for a competition that requires that skill; then have at it and fix the imbalances later!

Check out this RKC Blog post by my buddy Max Shank, Master RKC to get his take on creating a balanced training program.

History and Background on Club Swinging

This video is from a Kettlebells For Warriors event that we put together at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Marina Del Rey, California.  My good buddy Richard "Army" Maguire was gracious enough to offer his time and expertise to the event.  Check out his thoughts on Club Swinging and how they can benefit you!


Heavy Indian Club Swinging

My good friend Richard "Army" Maguire has forgotten more about Club Swinging than most of the experts that are out there.  Army has the ability to take any skill, dissect it, and then put it back better than he learned it - and then show you how it does it.  If you want to know how to manipulate the heavy clubs then Army can help you learn!


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 35

WowWelcome to Whacked Out Wedensday Number 35!

This week we have another person who has completely missed the mark when it comes to how Kettlebells should be used... not only did they missed the mark, they're going in the wrong direction entirely!?!?  NOTE: this guy has a number of other videos as well... :)

All good intentions aside how can any self-respecting trainer think that this stuff is going to elicit any sort of positive change or adaptation in a client?  I understand the whole "self expression thing" but when someone is paying you to get them off the couch and change their body composition then you have to do something that is going to do just that.  Making up stuff that you think will fill up the clients time is the same as taking money out of their wallet - you're stealing from them!

Have a great week and we'll see you here next week for more Whacked Out Wednesday fun!


Body Weight Leg Workout

If you don't have any equipment to train with you can still get a great lower body workout that will definitely increase your strength and might even add some "mass to your a$$"! :)

The following video gives you a good place to start as any - just remember to start out slow and easy!  Many of these exercises look easy but will take their toll on you over the next several days... can you say "handicap stall" at work for the rest of the week?

BTW - i chose this video because I know where this park is and have trained there on my own on a couple of occasions. Memories...


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 34

WowWelcome to the thirty-second installment of Whacked Out Wednesday!  Wow - I can't believe that we've been doing this for that many episodes... will it ever end?!?!

This week is another CrossFit Failure Compilation for your viewing pleasure!  There are sure a lot of these out there and I particularly like this one with the "Benny Hill-esque" music in the background!?!?

Enjoy the antics of those Crazy CrossFitters and remember kids: don't try this stuff at home! :)


The Workout You Need

Athletic_injuriesAre you getting the workout you need as opposed to the workout that you want?

If you've been training for any amount of time, be it weeks, months or even in some cases, years, you are going to have good days and bad days.  Sometimes it takes everything you've got to muster the energy to go to the gym and when you get there you're crushed when you see the Workout of the Day.  Does this sound familiar?  If it does then you're not alone - train hard enough and long enough and you'll find yourself in this situation. If it doesn't then you're lucky and you can go back to trolling Facebook...

So what do you do when you find yourself in this situation?  Well there are a couple paths you can take and it's entirely up to you which one you take.  First - take a couple days or even a week off.  Read a couple books, hang out with your friends, eat dinner and have a glass of wine - anything but training.  While this might seem like an extreme choice it's not that big a deal.  Think about it this way: there are 52 weeks in a year and you probably train a couple times a week every week.  By taking a week off every once in a while you are not going to impact your overall training time and, this is the kicker, you might just end up stronger and injury free in the process.

Second is the one that most of you won't even consider because it's just way too extreme.  Really,  I hate to even mention it because it may just be too much for most of you to handle.  Do you seriously want to know what the other option is?  Okay... here you go: ask your coach to scale the WOD for you.  See - I told you that you would like this one!  Seriously, the WOD is supposed to be a guideline for the days training not the be all and end all.  I know that some gyms live and die by the WOD - but it's just not realistic for ninety percent of the athletes out there in most gyms.  Think I'm blowing smoke?  Do a search on Greg Glassman and Scaling and see what he says (massive paraphrase: main site WOD is for top five-percent of the athletes; the remaining ninety-five percent should be scaling).

Here's the deal: if you are dreading the WOD either take some time away from the gym or get your coach to scale the workout. While the other idiots are destroying themselves in the pursuit of their next PR you will be getting stronger, staying healthier, and moving forward while they are recovering from their next orthopedic procedure.  Be smart - scale when and where you need to and don't be so anxious to rack up PR's that mean absolutely nothing to your athletic ability, performance and longevity in the long run.

Deadlift: Push Not Pull!

Richard HawthorneThe Deadlift is one of the most important lifts that you can perform and one that will have a tremendous carryover in your overall strength.  Most people, even those that are "coached" on a regular basis,  approach the Deadlift as pulling the bar off the ground and their position (starting, mid-point, and completion) show just that: they are pulling.  If you don't know if you are pulling the bar or not - chances are you are pulling the bar!

To have a stronger Deadlift you have to eradicate the pull out of the movement and approach it more as a push; as in pushing the ground away from the bar.  When you finally wrap your head around this concept the Deadlift will completely change for you!  Watch most people Deadlift and you will see that their sequencing is based on pulling the bar; this will allow them to Deadlift for quite a while (until they injure their lower back that is) but it's going to limit the weight they can maximally pull and will also establish a weak movement pattern and locking sequence.

Take a look at the following video, it's a little long at 15 minutes, but listen to what Richard "The Ant" Hawthorne has to say and I think you'll be anxious to get in front of a bar and see if you can reprogram this movement.  BTW - this is what I have been talking about and demonstrating for years.  We are still working on the coaching cues but this movement pattern is pervasive throughout how we use the Bar and the Kettlebell... remember: in the grand scheme of things the load doesn't matter the movement does!