Previous month:
January 2022
Next month:
March 2022

February 2022

SMASH Your Goals!

A common mistake people make when they start, or re-start, training, is to try and chase a bunch of goals at once. If you've ever tried this yourself then you know, not only do you not accomplish all of the goals, you don't accomplish any of them. Frustration sets in and you quit...

Instead, why don't you try to get more out of less?

Pick a simple, quick program, that you can ease yourself into. Get good at that program and then find a program that is a little more challenging. Don't pick a program that has too many end goals. You want to get stronger and move better - period. You don't want to jump into a program to compete in an Iron Man competition or prepare for BUDS. You want a program that focuses on the fundamental movement skills (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry, and Other) and has minimal equipment requirements. Once again, your goal is to just get stronger... a little bit at a time.

If you take some time and build a good foundation of strength and movement, you will be heading in the right direction. And before you know it you will really be able to crush your goals!

Scaling is NOT Failing!

Scaling a workout means that you modify the techniques used, the loads used, the duration, the intensity, or all of the above. The reasons behind scaling are numerous and all are valid.

The biggest reason people don't scale a workout when they should is pure EGO. They don't want to stand out as doing something different. Instead, they endanger themself by doing workouts they have no business doing. If they are lucky, all they will end us some sore muscles. If they're not, they will end up with a trip to the hospital.

Don't be that person! The only person you are competing with is yourself, and some days, even that's not a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to only train as hard as you can recover from... and that's going to change from day to day, month to month, and year to year. Use your head and you will make faster gains as well as measuring your workouts in years not minutes. 

Getting the Most Out of the Wheel Of Pain (WOP)

At CrossFit Koncepts we have a very small number of tools that we use.

Of course we have a boatload of Kettlebells; last count was around 165. We also have ten Olympic bars and several thousand pounds of plates. 

After that, we have fifteen Ab Wheels, or what we call, the Wheel of Pain.

That seems like a big jump from Kettlebells and Bars to the WOP! It's really not.

Why? Because we only have tools in the gym that are powerful, effective, and support the other tools in the gym. And the WOP definitely fit those requirements.

That is, if you are using it correctly...

Following is a video I made from 2009 that outlines how to get the most out of the WOP and make each and every rep a deep dive into tension and control. Trust me... you will be cursing my name 24-36 hours later!

Great info on Sleep and COVID, Alcohol, and More

Matthew Walker
Has COVID had a negative or positive impact on our sleep?

Has alcohol consumption during COVID impacted our sleep?

Has COVID had a negative or positive impact on children's sleep?

How do you score on the Five Pillars of Sleep?

If you are interested in learning more about this, which you should, please take some time to listen to this podcast (link below) with Dr. Peter Attia and Matthew Walker.

Follow this link to learn more about the impact of COVID and Alcohol on your sleep, as well as your adherence to the guidelines of the Five Pillars of Sleep.

"Keep 'Em Coming Back"

I had the honor of presenting at the 2016 Dragon Door Health and Strength Conference. This was a two-day event that brought together the top minds in the the fields of health, longevity, strength and mobility. This is the presentation I did on how to structure and teach group exercise classes and make the memorable and productive. I hope you enjoy it!

Training vs Torture

What constitutes training and what constitutes torture?

Training is when you are developing skills, strength and stamina. There are a lot of ways to do that, and they are all somewhat effective. Training is process and can go through cycles of high intensity and low intensity. It is never barbaric or damaging. It should constantly be supportive and building on previous training sessions.

Torture is pain, suffering and abuse. Some torture is self-inflicted; like you are trying to find retribution for some imagined slight. That's the case when someone trains at a gym that makes every workout a beatdown, a soul crushing experience, every single time. You are competing for points or for time. Anything goes in order to "win". That's a hefty price to pay in the short term, and terribly damaging in the long term.

If you are looking to suffer, life will supply enough of that sooner or later. But, if you are looking for training, then I know somewhere you'd fit right in.

Gaithersburg, MD RKC - March 12 and 13, 2022!

If you are experiencing the gold standard on Russian Kettlebell training, then you need to attend the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification)!

The RKC will expose you to the foundational one-handed Kettlebell techniques. From the Grinds (like the Turkish Get Up, Press and Squat) to the Ballistics (Swing, Clean, and Snatch). That's not all you will learn, but it's going to be covered in such a way that you will be fully prepared to attack any Kettlebell workout that you come across.

This RKC is going to be taught by Michael Krivka, Sr., Master RKC. His twenty-plus years of teaching and using Kettlebells will give you insights and information that you will not find anywhere else. He has thousands of hours teaching group kettlebell classes, and hundreds of hours teaching elite military, law enforcement, and tactical personnel. This depth and experience in teaching dynamic environments, gives him the ability to get to the core of what is important in training with Kettlebells and teaching how to use them in safe, sane, and effective manner.

If you are interested in signing up for the RKC, please follow this link... and I'll see you on March 12th!

Alpha and Omega

When you are learning a new skill, or even practicing an existing skill, where you start is going to dictate where you end up.

The smallest things, like where your feet are, where your hands are, how you align your head and torso, are critically important. Any modification or deviation from the optimal position, will end up putting you in a sub-optimal position at the end.

The common mistake that beginners, and even some experienced athletes, make is that they rush through the setup to get moving and get reps in. This is a bad idea and will lead to frustration and even injury.

Learn as much as you can about the foundational techniques. How you start, how you end, and the big and small transitions in between.

A Kettlebell by any other name, is not a Kettlebell!

It's just a metal ball with a handle! What's the big deal?

Well, there are a lot of differences between the design of Kettlebells that are available on the market today. There are multiple designs and coatings that are available on Amazon twenty-four hours a day. But, just because it's called a Kettlebell, doesn't mean that it can be used for anything more than a doorstop.

The configuration of the "ball" itself, the height of the handle from the "ball", and the diameter of the handle are all key. There is an optimal dimension for all three and very few Kettlebell designs hit all three marks. A deviation from optimal, will lead to Kettlebell training being a very painful experience.

Mastering the Mace Swing

Most people today are not familiar with the Mace, or Gada, which is unfortunate. The Mace is an ancient strength and conditioning tool that was developed alongside other ancient tools like the Indian Clubs, Push Up Board (Shena), and Kettlebell.

Ancient, and effective tools, have been replaced with chrome-covered machines that limit movement and physical adaptation.

There are multiple ways to utilize the Mace. They can be broken down into two categories: Ancient training methods and modern training methods.

In regards to modern training methods, there are an overwhelming number of videos on YouTube now that deal with "Mace Flow" or what I call "Dancing With Mace"... a bad pun on "Dancing With Wolves".

I come at using the Mace along the lines of the more ancient training methods. I teach it primarily as a prehab, rehab, and injury prevention tool. No fancy flows or dance moves. Just straight up focusing on learning how to load and unload the Mace; Swing dynamics; effective load management; and transitional skills. Developing competency in the listed skills will give you enhanced awareness of how to effectively move under load, fine tune your understanding of tension and relaxation, and, most important of all, make your shoulders and torso strong, resilient and injury proof.

If you want to get a quick peek into the Mace please take a look at the following video: