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February 2015

Mojo Moves

The-lean-beretsMy buddy Ron Jones is working hard to improve the public's understanding of what fitness and nutrition is all about.  His website, The Lean Berets, is stuffed full of great information and material that anyone would benefit from exploring.  Ron has an extensive background in endurance athletics and has both benefited and suffered from the experience.  He has worked hard both researching and applying the information he has acquired to improve his own life and those of his clients.

Take a few moments to check out this great video of Ron doing some beautiful work moving with clubs, batons, sandbells and more.  Keep your eyes on this guy... he's onto something!


More Foam Roller Advice

Bad_postureCombating the sitting position, or the great slouching position, is a full time job - or at least it should be if you are interested in keeping your body strong and moving well.  We spend a lot of time with our body in a compromised position (seated) and then we try to undo the damage with a couple hours in the gym.  It's a noble effort but alas, one that will fail in the long run.

I, like many of you, spend a lot of time either in from of my computer or in my car.  The combination of these two activities is a good part of my day even though I am fortunate enough to train clients and teach classes every day. Still, even for someone like me, I need to spend time each and every day working on thoracic mobility.  If you've had neck or back injuries in the past (many) then you need to spend extra time to make sure you get things mobile and moving when you transition from inactivity (sitting) to activity (training).

Check out the following video for two really good methods to open up your thoracic spine and make you feel and move better!


Seven Minutes

7minutesI had a couple people make some constructive criticism of our programming lately and I wanted to share it with all of you so that, if we haven't passed this on to you directly, you will now understand what we are doing.

Two individuals pointed out the same thing but in two different ways.  One person said that we need to "start the workouts on time; you're always ten minutes late". Another person said that we need to "do more mobility before the workout because they have special needs and require extra time to warm up".  Both people make great points and are both valid criticisms.  Let me address them individually:

One, every workout starts on time.  From the start of the class time until seven minutes after the hour is your chance to catch up, roll out, interpret the WOD, get your equipment together, etc.  What you do with that time is entirely up to you.  If you use it standing in the corner waiting for the group warm up to start that is entirely your decision.  I intentionally leave this window of time for people to transition from the world outside to the world inside the gym.  Some people don't need this but many do and benefit from it...

Two, we do an extensive technique review and mobility prep prior to each and every workout.  I look at the movements in the workout and focus on the best ways to prepare you for the techniques and loading.  This usually takes about twenty to twenty five minutes but can sometimes go longer if there are special needs that are being addressed. The first seven minutes of each and every class are intended for you to personally prepare yourself for the upcoming WOD.  Look around the room - there are people on the foam rollers, there are people doing stick mobility drills, there are people using the TRX, and there are people stretching.  Granted, there are others standing around chatting - and that's okay!  But, if you have special mobility issues that you need to address, then I build time into the class for you to do that.  BTW - If you don't have specific mobility issues then I can guarantee you that instead of standing around for seven minutes there is a skill or technique that would benefit from some additional attention.

If all else fails ask John or me for some guidance and we'll point you in the right direction! :)


Hulk_KBIs your current training sustainable for lets say the next 30 years or so? Do you really think you can rack up PR's every other workout and still be a viable human being in a few years? 

If you don't think you can keep up your current level of training for the next three decades then you better think long and hard about what you are doing. PR's from today are going to mean absolutely nothing years from now but the work you do on your overall strength, balanced development and mobility will pay dividends.


Training Begins...

MAK_ExtendedCrowTraining starts after the first perfect rep. Until that point you are still putting in the groundwork and after that point you are filling in the blanks.

It doesn't matter what skill you are developing you need to put in a lot of work to get to the first perfect rep.  All those reps leading up to the perfect rep are necessary in order to allow you to establish a new baseline for the skill. Now comes the hard part - making that new perfect rep the baseline that you can build upon.

What do you do now?  Do you move on to a new skill? NO!  Now is the time to build some depth into the new skill and make it a permanent part of your arsenal.  New skill acquisition will just muddy the skill you just developed and make it harder to replicate in the future.

Age Is Just A Number!

John_and_Mike_KBCongratulations to John Kalil, RKC for being featured in an interview on the Dragon Door blog this week!

John has been a pivotal part of our team here at CrossFit Koncepts, and through hard work and tenacity, he earned his RKC in 2014.  This is a pretty impressive accomplishment as the RKC is a hugely physical certification and takes a lot of training and work to achieve.  At any age it would be a significant accomplishment but at 73 years old it is amazing!

Congratulations on being featured on the Dragon Door blog and be sure to check out the interview!

Getting Massive - Hollywood Style!

Bradley-Cooper-American-SniperPrior to the release of "American Sniper" there was a lot of talk about how Bradley Cooper "transformed" into Chris Kyle.  In particular people were interested in what his workout were like in order to add 30-plus pounds of muscle onto his relative spare frame.  I reviewed the workout, called "The American Sniper Workout" (located here) and was extremely surprised at what is was made up of.  Nothing jumped out to me as being "mass builders" that would pack on a lot of muscle in a relatively short period of time.  I'm talking about heavy Deadlifts, Squats, Bench or Carries.  The workout looked kind of tame and almost bordered on a rehab or recovery workout program; not one that was supposed to add a lot of muscle.

So, you may wonder, how did Bradley Cooper add all the muscle?  Welcome to the world of supplements, or at least that's what you are supposed to believe.  If you read down through the article that describes the workout the first thing you will come across is the massive supplement program that Cooper was on.  Several times a day he was hammering down supplement after supplement in order to "fuel recovery" from the workouts.  But... the workouts weren't that intense to require this degree of supplementation.

My good friend Andrew Read came to the same conclusion and wrote about on the Breaking Muscle website.  I think what we are both trying to point out is that the workouts that he did to prepare for the part of Chris Kyle weren't responsible for him gaining all the muscle... it was something else altogether.

BTW - this is no reflection on how I feel about the "American Sniper" movie which I greatly enjoyed.  My issue is with trying to pawn off chemical supplementation as the path to muscle growth and strength development.  Chemicals will give you short term gains but I think you will pay a price for the shortcut in the long run.

RKC Prep Workshop (02/28/15) in Royersford, PA


This workshop will be taught by Michael Krivka, Senior RKC, and is designed to prepare RKC candidates for the rigors of the three-day Russian Kettlebell Certification and for the Five Minute Snatch Test.  We will be focusing on the three “big” ballistic movements in the RKC (Swing, Clean and Snatch) and how to develop them safely, effectively and efficiently.  Attention will also be paid to specific mobility skills that will enhance the safety of the ballistic techniques as well as minimize injury and trauma.

Workshop Goals

This is a very hands-on and interactive workshop that will give the athlete a head start on the RKC certification.  This workshop will establish skills and strategies that will set the ground work for getting the most out of the certification as well as preparing them to become a more skilled and knowledgeable RKC.  Specifically we will be covering the following topics:

  1. Establishing a solid foundation – this will entail creating an understanding of how stance, grip and hinging create the optimal foundation for ballistic techniques.
  2. Developing proper force generation – athletes will develop an understanding of how force is generated, transferred and absorbed during the ballistic techniques.
  3. Managing trajectory – drills and techniques will be performed in order to establish an understanding of the various trajectories that are inherent in the ballistic techniques.
  4. Training strategies – several different methods will be discussed as to how to manage the volume and intensity of training required to complete the RKC Snatch Test.
  5. Troubleshooting – athletes will experience various ways to troubleshoot the ballistic techniques as well as hands-on methods to make corrections.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is designed to benefit anyone who is preparing for the RKC certification and wants to gets hands-on training and movement evaluation prior to the event.  It is also beneficial for anyone who is recertifying for the RKC or is transitioning from other Kettlebell organizations.  Individuals who are currently training with Kettlebells, but are looking for some additional insights and training, will find this workshop just what they need to get their training to the next level.



  • Date & Time: February 28, 2015 from 11:30 am to 03:30 pm
  • Location: CoreFit Training Studio 21 South Limerick Road Royersford, PA 19468
  • Cost: $80/person if paid by 02/21/15; $110/person if paid after 02/21/15 or at the door
  • Contact & Registration: Liz Matino Gillinger at [email protected] or (610) 213-5110

Whacked Out Wednesday Number 42

WowSome things you do because you can see that it will lead you to be stronger.  Some things you do because you can see that it will make you move better.  Some things you do because you can see that it will be good for you.  Other things you do just because it looks like it would be fun - and this is one of them!

I really can't imagine that this would be of benefit to anyone who has the upper body strength to do pull ups or much of the Progressive Calisthenics Certification core movements... but I just think it would something fun to try.  It would be even better if it was outside over a pool with sharks in the water... sharks with lasers!!! :)


The Jerk

TheJerkNo I'm not talking about the movie starring Steve Martin... but it was a great movie!

What I'm talking about is the Jerk either with the Bar or with a Kettlebell.  Too many people do the Jerk with bad mechanics that limit their ability to move lots of weight, but even more importantly, reinforce bad movement that will catch up to them sooner or later.  Some will argue that the techniques are vastly different from the Kettlebell to the Bar and will have to respectfully disagree.  The most efficient technique to get the weight out of the rack and overhead is the same regardless of the tool being used.

Check out this amazing video of Ivan Markov executing the Split Jerk, my favorite of the Jerk skills.  Note that his torso does one thing and one thing only: it goes straight down and then straight up.  Great technique and something we can all use to pattern our own movement against.