Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas has already ended! I just can't seem to slow it down and hold on to it. It was a great Christmas though. I hope yours was as well. I learned a couple of things this Christmas that I didn't know before:

Did you know a rock makes a great Christmas gift? Seriously, my father in law gave me an 85 pound rock for Christmas. I have to tell you that I was probably more excited about that than any other gift I received. Is that weird? The rock works great too! I let it put me through the paces of an early morning workout the day after Christmas. Again, an awesome gift. I love my rock.

Did you know a frisbee golf disc should not be caught with your mouth? I learned this on Christmas afternoon. Those things hurt! A trip to the ER on Christmas day always makes for fun future stories! "Do you remember the Christmas Tim got hit with a frisbee golf disc...." 

I also learned that no matter how old I get (i'm 36 now), I still can't sleep on Christmas eve with all the excitement and anticipation. I think that is a good thing. It is good to feel like a kid every now and then. Truth is, i feel like one most days anyway, but Christmas really highlights the kid in me. 

Again, I hope you had a great Christmas and that you have a blessed 2012.

Today's work/play session:

A1 - Double bottoms up squats w/ 2-24kgs: 5 x 10 sets
A2 - Pushups w/ feet elevated on blocks: 10 x 10 sets
B2 - Deadlifted my new rock! : 10 x 10 sets - not heavy, but a grip challenge.
B3 - Pull-ups: 7 x 10 sets
C - Ran for approximately 11 minutes and 37 seconds. I was back where I wanted to stop... 

Have a great one.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a Very Merry Christmas

It is my favorite time of the year! I love Christmas! It is just so magical. People are so nice, they smile. The kids are so excited, they bubble over with joy. And the food and goodies taste so wonderful. It is better than being at Disney World. 

Christmas is awesome. Do you wonder what makes this time of year seem so wonderful? It is love. You can feel it oozing through the air. Christmas is a reminder of God's love, and you can actually feel the love oozing out of people. Yep, everyday should be like Christmas!

So, having said all of that, I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas! And don't drink too much egg nog. That stuff will help you throw back some serious calories!

Today's training was fun:

Crawled in Spiderman-esk fashion for 10 minutes.
Performed Burpees for 10 minutes straight, averaging 21 burpees per minute.
Ran for 20 minutes. Covered 2.73 miles.

It has been a great day!

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 19, 2011

New Season

I've decided to quit traditional strength training for a while and just focus on play sessions. More to the point, I'm just going to focus on "work" sessions. I just want to engage in activities and perform bouts of work, or work capacity and increase my mental resiliency. 

If my mental resiliency goes up, i'm guessing my physical resiliency will increase also. This is just the season I am in right now. After a while, I may test some "strength" things and see where I'm at. To me, "strength" is purely relative to the person who is defining it. I've seen several definitions and opinions about strength, so I'll be going with my own version should I get curious to see what I can do. ;) As long as I feel good, feel strong, and I can run, jump, climb and play, I'm good to go.

So, If you've noticed all the play sessions I've posted on facebook or this blog, it is because I'm playing - every day.

Today's session:

Spider-man crawl x 15 minutes
16 lb. Sledge Hammer on tire x 10 minutes
2" Rope, Velocity Training x 10 minutes

35 minutes of work! (play!)

Have a great week!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pressing Reset

I've written a small guide book to Becoming Bulletproof called Pressing Reset. 
It is a short "How to" book intended to help people implement the "resets" into their daily lives. 

This guide book has expanded on some of the resets and offers more illustrations on how to perform them. Also, in Pressing Reset, I introduce a new "reset" that might surprise you. In fact, you probably do it once in a while.

Anyway, if you get a chance, check it out. If you stop by you can download a free 3 Minute Reset PDF that you can hang on your refrigerator!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Abs Like the Man of Steel

Here is an article I wrote for Interesting Times Magazine. Interestingly enough, I don't think that magazine exist anymore, so here ya go!

Abs Like the Man of Steel
For most of my adult life, I have wanted to be Superman, or Batman, or Wolverine. I have always had an infatuation with super heroes. This is one of the things that lead my friend, Mike McNiff, and I to write Becoming Bulletproof: An Uncommon Approach to Building a Resilient Body. We want to be like superheroes, physically capable of doing anything without the fear of getting injured. 
One of the secrets to becoming bulletproof is to have a very strong mid-section, abs of steel, if you will. And no, I am not referring to an aesthetic “six pack”, though having a set of chiseled abs never hurt anyone. I am talking about a real, solid center that ties the upper body to the lower body together.
Now, before you drop on the floor and start doing crunches again, you should know that I do not believe doing traditional "ab exercises" will build a strong midsection. Your midsection is built to stabilize your torso and efficiently transfer forces generated from your lower body through your upper body. In other words, your core, or your midsection, is designed to transfer force and hold you upright. Sit-ups and crunches do not address this design. 
There is, however, an exercise that does address this design. An exercise that you once did with grace and strength, but you may not be able to now. An exercise so easy, even a baby could do it: crawling. Before you start shouting an explicative of disbelief, let’s take a closer look!
Babies earn and develop their strength by learning how to move. When a baby starts learning how to crawl, the child is building a powerful muscle girdle, or midsection, that will prepare his or her body to walk, to run, to jump, to throw, etc. Crawling teaches the shoulders and the hips how to work together; it ties the muscles of the core together. Input from the hands, arms, legs and feet teach the muscles of the midsection how to function and support the torso. Crawling gets the midsection ready to transfer force!
Crawling, specifically Spider-man crawling, is a great, easy way to start developing a midsection that Superman would envy. Spider-man crawling is done on the hands and feet with the butt held in a low position. The butt is down low, and the head is up to see where you are going. Just holding your body in this position takes strength. Getting used to being in this position builds strength. Reflexively, every time your hands and feet (especially if you are barefoot!) touch the ground, you reinforce strength and dynamic stability. The proprioceptors in your palms and feet signal your muscles to fire. If you get the chance, watch someone spider-man crawl. You will notice that their lats contract as soon as their hands hit the ground. This is also happening in the muscles you can't see like the muscles of the rotator cuff. Spider-man crawling ties the core, the body, together and prepares it to transfer force. Spider-man crawling builds strength. 
Spider-man crawling makes a great warm-up, or movement preparation, for any training session. I believe it will even improve the outcome and performance of the training session. While spider-man crawling can be a great warm-up, it can also be a great training session in, and of, itself. Don't believe me? Just try spider-man crawling for 5 minutes. If you hit one minute off the bat, I'll be impressed. Another great thing about spider-man crawling is that it is easy to progress. You can crawl backwards or sideways. You can crawl for time or distance. You can even drag things or add weight to yourself when you crawl. All these progressions are effective and equally brutal ways to increase your strength. 
From my own personal experience, I was never able to perform a naked warrior pushup (one arm, one leg pushup) until I started spider-man crawling backwards. Over 20 years of traditional weight training never enabled me with the strength to be able to perform that style of pushup. After just a few weeks of backward spiderman crawling and I was a naked warrior! Don't get me wrong, weight training did make me stronger as far as weight training goes. But weight training did not enable me to be able to handle my own bodyweight the way that spider-man crawling did. Spider-man crawling helped fill in the gaps in my strength; it tied me together.
Some of you reading this may find that spider-man crawling is too much of a challenge. It may really tax your strength or your ability to coordinate your limb movements together. If you cannot find your rhythm, moving opposite arm and leg together, or if you cannot keep your butt down low, you may need to start out with traditional baby crawling (on your hands and knees). Baby crawling can help lay the foundation of limb coordination and core strength to prepare you for spider-man crawling. 
Again, I believe a strong midsection is a key, if not the key, to becoming bulletproof. If you want to be strong, really strong, you need to have a strong midsection, or core. Spider-man crawling is a great way to achieve a very strong core. There are other benefits to spider-man crawling as well like brain development, coordination, balance, proprioception, and much more. In fact, as we mentioned in Becoming Bulletproof, I believe crawling is a "reset button" for the body; it sets things right. 
You can incorporate Spider-man crawling into your training sessions or even in your daily warm-up. However you do it, make sure you do it. Find a way to crawl. You will develop abs like the Man of Steel. Or maybe that should read: abs like Spider-man?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Good Week

I love this time of year! Everyone seems so happy and nice! It just seems right. 

I don't have any big post today other than to say it has been a good week. I finished ( i think ) my new ebook called Fitness Made Easy: A Ridiculously Simple Approach to Building a Healthy Body. I hope to have it online and available soon. 
I would explain it more but the title does a pretty good job. And besides, I'll need something to blog about later!

Also this week, today actually, my wife has resumed her goal to learn how to bake Christmas goodies. The house smells so good! 18 years and now she wants to learn how to cook. It really is true, good things come to those who wait!

Training has been going well too. I got a new toy - 16 pound sledge hammer, and I've set a few new PRs for myself. Though, I guess the first time you try anything new, you set a PR. Right? Anyway, It is cool to see what you can do when you just start to think, "I wonder if I can do....." and then you do whatever it is you were wondering about. It is cool to me, anyways. I'm living the bulletproof idea.

Today's training was Distance Day:

Spider-man Crawl while dragging a 96 pound chain: 80 yards x 2 trips
X-vest (40 pounds) and Farmers walks w/ 2 32k kettlebells: 80 yards x 4 trips
X-vest and 90 pound sandbag carries: 80 yards x 6 trips
     Performed 10 pushups between each trip with the farmers walks and sandbag
     carries. = 100 pushups in X-vest
X-vest and 200 pound sled: Drag 80 yards, then push back 80 yards x 2 rounds

This felt great. The X-vest really doesn't seem to effect me any more than not wearing it at all. I really don't notice it with the carries. I guess that is a pretty good sign!

Hope you have a great weekend!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My friend Brett Jones has a saying that always echoes in my head: "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." It is as if Brett is always sitting on my shoulder whispering this into my ear whenever I set out to train. I see to logic in Brett's quote. Basically he is saying just because a person is capable of doing something, doesn't mean they necessarily should because they may have a price to pay later, if not immediately. Yeah, Brett's way of saying it is much shorter. 

Anyway, I agree with what Brett says. It makes sense. Until I start to want to do the thing I think I can even though I probably shouldn't. That's why I seem to hear Brett on my shoulder so frequently: I often start thinking I can do things I probably shouldn't. But then, I hear another voice - the one from my heart: "You can do anything. Just use good judgement." This is the voice that often wins! My heart cries for a victory. 

Yes, I'm a dreamer. I have always wanted to be Superman. But don't miss understand me yet. I believe I should be capable of doing anything as long as I want to do it and I use good judgement. To clarify, my definition of "anything" is anything I want to do. 

To be sure, there are things we probably shouldn't do like trying to perform an Olympic Snatch with 200 pounds when we haven't prepared our body to lift such a weight or practice such a technique. That would not necessarily be using good judgement. Could a person do that without training and knowing how to do it? Maybe. Maybe once. But there could be a price to pay. 

But that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about pushing yourself, seeing what you're made of, what you can do. I believe it is good to test your limits once in a while if for no other reason than to just feel alive. Yes it would be reasonable to always play it safe and train within your means. But where is the fun in that? While I do believe training should enhance your life and enable you to live life well when you're 80 years old. I also believe that it is good to feel alive in the present too. Besides, It can be good to expand your territory every-now-and-then. 

You can use good judgment and still push your limits. You can attempt to do physical tasks that others would only imagine and do them with reasonable safety.  My point is, sometimes pushing the envelope, pushing your limits, can make you feel like a conqueror. Don't miss this: We are conquerors, and sometimes we just need to conquer something. Sometimes we just need a victory. It can be good for the soul.

Okay, enough weirdness. Today's training was great:
Double bottoms up squats with 2 24k bells super-setted with pushup-burpees.
I did 100 of each in 30 minutes. I was stoked. Never done this before!
Followed it up with 10 minutes of velocity training on the Battling Ropes.

Have a great week!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Being Capable

Last night, my family set out to find our Christmas tree at the same tree lot we've been going to for over 10 years. It is our little tradition. Every year, my wife and I pick out the perfect tree while my kids play tag and run through the "tree maze." And, every year, the same man puts out tree on top of our SUV. 

This gentleman has run this tree lot for years. He even has a sign that boasts that his tree lot is the oldest tree lot in town. He has to be close to 75 years old, if not older. He is a little hard of hearing, but he is still able to take an 8 foot tree and toss it up on an SUV. He is capable. He has stood the test of time. 

If this gentleman has a secret to his longevity and ability, it is simply that he has worked all of his life. He works with wood. He has a shop and he creates things. He picks up wood, works magic with his machines and he creates. There are no chairs in his shop. He uses his body all day. But don't miss this: he creates. He uses his brain all day too. His secret to health and longevity has 2 ingredients. 

1. He uses his body like it was made to be used.
2. He uses his brain like it was also intended to be used. He thinks, he imagines, he creates.

And because of this, in his golden years, he is still capable. To be honest, he is not quite as fast with the Christmas trees as he was 10 years ago, but he still has it. He still does the things he loves to do. He is LIVING. 

When I grow up, or when I reach the years that this man has reached, I still want to be able to throw Christmas trees on top of an SUV. I still want to be capable and stand the test of time. I want to LIVE and not just be.

Today's Workout was great!

I put on a 40 pound X-vest and performed the following:
Farmers walks with 144 pounds x 80 yards x 2 trips
Suitcase carries with 72 pounds x 80 yards for each hand
90 pound sandbag carry x 80 yards x 6 trips
Between all of the above trips, I performed 10 pushups in the weight vest for a total of 100 pushups.
Then, 200 pound sled drag x 80 yards x 2 trips
200 pound sled push x 80 yards x 2 trips

Covered some good ground today!

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Go Natural

Our bodies are wonderfully made. We can run, jump, swim, climb, skip, crawl, and a host of other things I can't think of! We were made to traverse and conquer the world - the natural world.

You were made for the world you live in. That is cool. We have a host of physical attributes that allow us to engage and enjoy the world around us. When we train, it would make sense that we engage in activities that strengthen, or enhance, these athletic qualities.

Here is the question: Does your training enhance your athletic qualities? Are you improving your health and your abilites, or are you adversely effecting your health and abilites?

Think about it, Man knows he should be healthy. Man knows he should exercise. Man invents treadmills, pec decks, leg curl machines, and eliptical trainers. Man uses these things and loses the wonderful qualities he was made to have. Instead, if Man would go outside and run, or climb, or carry something, he would be adding to and improving his athletic qualities.

Let's take this a step further to really blow your mind. Man wants to be strong and muscular. Man invents dumbbells and barbells that are easy to hold. They fit almost perfectly in Man's hands. So, in an effort to build strength and become as strong as possible, Man creates weakness by fabricating easy to hold weights. Kind of a weird thought, I know. But we actually create gaps and weaknesses by training with man-made things ALL of the time.

I'm not saying to never dead lift, or bench press. I'm simply saying

1) Do those things add to your athletic qualities? Do they improve your quality of life? 


2) Learn how to go natural. Go outside and learn how to pick up rocks, learn how to swim, learn how to climb. Go outside and work with natural and/or awkward things. Don't create weaknesses by using things that Man made for ergonomic reasons and comfort.

In short, learn how to go Natural. If not all the time, some of the time. You may find that going natural revitalizes your training and opens a flood of creativity in your mind. You may also find that learning how to train "natural" enhances YOU: better athletic qualities, better quality of life, etc.

Today's training:

A1 - 90 pound sand bag squats: 10 x 10
A2 - Pull-ups: 10 x 5, then 5 x 5
B1 - Big Tire Flips: 5 x 10 ( i don't know how much it weighs, but it is big!)
B2 - Pushups: 10 x 10
C - Velocity with Battling Ropes x 10 minutes

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

If I could list all the things I am thankful for it would fill up this page. If I could list all the things I HAVE to be thankful for, it would fill up a library. There aren't enough words to even come close for me to be able to express all that I have to be thankful for. I have truly been blessed. So much so that it seems odd to really reflect and be thankful once a year on Thanksgiving. 

The truth is every day should be Thanksgiving. Just as every day should be Christmas. Can you imagine? What a wonderful world this would be! 

To be honest, I really am thankful for the blessings I have been given quite often, but not as often as I should be if the truth be told. In fact, I have many wonderful blessings that I often take for granted. It is easy for me to just gloss over wonderful gifts in my life as if I just deserved them. And truly, I don't deserve anything. But here is the beautiful thing: though I take my blessings and life for granted, and often treat them as if I deserved them, God still loves me - unconditionally - and he blesses me anyway. God has never abandoned me even though I often take His gift for granted. What a wonderful Love. 

And for that Love, I am thankful.  

So, Here is a very short list of other things I am thankful for: ;)

I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids who love me. 

My friend Mike and I ( along with God ) wrote Becoming Bulletproof, and it has been a wonderful experience. I could not have imagined how well it would be received. I could write a book, alone, about all the people and stories I've met and learned as a result of putting Becoming Bulletproof out there. I have made many, many new friends. What a gift!

I got to resign from my "job" and do what I love to do: Train / teach people how to move.

I am grateful for my health! I know, that's probably a shocker coming from me....

Here is today's Thanksgiving Play session:

90 pound sandbag front squats superset with pull-ups: 
1 and 1, 2 and 2, 3 and 3, ...10 and 10, 9 and 9, 8 and 8, .... 1 and 1 - all total, it was 100 reps of each 
The hardest thing was continually having to pick up the sandbag!

Pushup plank for 10 minutes.

That is all I got!

Happy Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

It Shouldn't Matter

Three days ago my 9 year old son had to take a test to see if he should be placed into a higher academic setting. When I picked him up from school, I asked him how the test went. He said, "It was okay, but why did they want to know what race I was? And why did they care about gender?" Really, out of the whole test, what stood out in my sons mind were these two questions. Before I could give him a "good" answer, he said "I think I filled it out right. I said I was white, but I don't really think of myself as white. I'm not really that pale." My heart melted. How beautiful is that?

In a world where color is not supposed to matter, it matters. Can you even imagine how wonderful this world would be if we all saw things through the eyes of a child? Through an achievement test, my son lost a little of his innocence. But through my son, the world gained a little bit of innocence. 

I have said in Becoming Bulletproof that we can learn a lot by watching children, but I was talking about physical movements. It doesn't stop there. We can learn a lot more than just how to move from watching children. We can learn how to be. We can learn about the wonder and beauty of innocence. 

Some things just shouldn't matter. We preach it. We don't really live it. We often follow opinions and rules before we follow our own heart, or gut. That is sad. 

Okay, since this is a blog about training, lets relate this to training: There are so many rules and opinions out there about how we should train, they literally put the human body into a box. Our limitations are only in our heads. If we fill our heads with rules and precious opinions about training, and we believe these notions, we put our body in a box. We don't belong in a box.

We should be able to do whatever, or train however, we want to without succumbing to certain schools of thought or rules. Some people think running a marathon is bad for you. Some people think training everyday will get you hurt. Some people think strength training should only be done in cycles. All that matters is: What do you think? Do you want to run? Run. Do you want to train everyday of the week because you enjoy it? Train. Do you want to be the strongest man on earth? You better quit listening to people - aim at your dream and go get. You can do almost anything as long as you don't know that you can't!

We are too wonderful to be put in boxes. If we truly are made in God's image, putting ourselves in boxes is no different than putting God in a box. We truly are capable of anything. 

Yesterday's Training:
100 bottoms up snatches with a 24K kettlebell - nonstop. Whew! First time!
Bottoms up clean and press with 28K kettlebell: 3/3 x 4 sets
Skips: 45 yards x 5 trips
Sprints: 45 yards x 10
Have a great weekend!


Monday, November 14, 2011

You've Got It

Have you ever felt limited by your resources? Your abilities? Your environment?
You don't have to feel limited. You've got everything you need to accomplish any task. You have been blessed with a brain and a body. You can really do almost anything you set your sights on. I really believe that. 

For the sake of time, lets apply this "notion" to health and fitness. Really, you can apply this idea anywhere, but will try to contain it here just a little. If you have a health and fitness goal, you possess everything you need to achieve your goal. You don't need a gym membership, a fancy strap system, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or even a rope. All you need is your brain and your body. If you are creative, you can train every muscle you have by learning and applying bodyweight training tactics. 

Do you want to lose weight? Great. Consider your food choices and start moving daily. 

Do you want big muscles? Great. Learn how to do pushups, pull-ups and run sprints. Learn how to carry heavy things for distance. 

Do you want more time in your day to devote to getting in shape? Great. Get up earlier, or watch less TV and exercise instead. 

You really have no limitations except the ones you place on yourself. 
If you lack knowledge, seek it: Hire a trainer, buy some books, learn. If you lack equipment, use your own body, use whatever is around you - climb a tree, lift a rock, try to catch a squirrel. You were made to be creative. Create!  If you have determination and an imagination, you can build your perfect, healthy body. 

I'll leave you with this thought: I know you could get into the best shape of your life using only a beach towel. It is a bold statement, but I know it is true. How many ways can you think of to use a beach towel? 

Saturday's training was pretty fun, so I'll share it:

Bottoms Up Windmills w/ 24kg: 5/5 x 5
Turkish Getups to the elbow w/ 24kg: 5/5 x 5
Cross-body Lunges w/ 24kg: 5/5 x 5
Tabata Split Jumps (20 sec on, 10 sec off x 8 rounds) - This was the fun part, okay in a fun/sick way...

Have a great week!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

It is not what you know.

We all know certain things. We know that lettuce is probably better for us than twinkies. We know that exercising 20 minutes a day is better than doing nothing. We know taking walks is better than taking up space on a couch. We know.

Sometimes it isn't enough to know. What good is knowledge if you don't apply it? Knowing something in your head is not as good as knowing something in your heart, your core. Living out what we know, as long as we know what we know, is far better than just knowing. In other words, applying what we know to be true yields results. Just knowing stuff is pretty fruitless unless we just want to be good at gameshows. 

You know right now that doing something physical like training, exercising, or playing for just 20 minutes a day can be really good for you. In fact you probably know that vigerous physical movement can release endorphins, pick up your metabolism, boost your immune system, and keep your body young. So, why don't you do it? Surely you can find 20 minutes in a day? Right? 

You may know that the only way you can find 20 minutes in your day to take care of yourself is to get up early because your day is too hectic and stressful to fit in exercise at any other time. Great. Get up 20 minutes early. Apply your knowledge and take action. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish be living out your knowledge. 

Do you have a goal? Do you know how to reach it? What do you know? What will you do? So many people would be extremely successful if they would only apply what they know, myself included!

Today's training session was just good enough to knock the dust off of me!

I crawled laterally like spiderman for roughly 20 minutes.
Then, I carried a 90 pound sandbag across an 80 yard field 10 times and did 10 pushups after each trip. 

That is all I got. Have a good one!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Infomercials and Six Packs

In the last 20 years there have been tons of infomercials promising abs of steel, or six-packs. These infomercials have made millions and millions of dollars by promising something they just could not deliver. But the blame is to be placed on us, the consumer, not the seller. We are the ones paying the money for lies. We are the ones WISHING for six-pack abs of steel.

No product can give you a six-pack, or abs of steel. That is fact. All those informercials promise to be the secret, the key, to achieving the abs you've always wanted. They are all right about one thing: there is a secret to having six-pack abs. The secret, however, is that YOU are the KEY to achieving your six-pack. YOU are THE secret to abs of steel.

Here it is: If you want a six-pack, or you want to be ripped, or whatever it is you want, you have to determine to achieve it. YOU have to decide to get it and then go after it. You can't WISH for a six-pack. You can't HOPE one day you'll be ripped. You can't possibly think that if you strap an electic girdle around your waist and sit around you can shock your stomach into being flat and fantastic in a few weeks. But, you can decide you WILL HAVE a six-pack and work to have one.

You are the secret to your health. You are the secret to having the body that you want to have.
Gimmicks and quick fixes only feed off your wishes and hopes. They promise you dreams and only give you frustrations. If you want a six-pack, if you want the body of your dreams, decide you will have it and then go get it. You'll have what you want if you are resolute in your decision and you work for it consistenly. You are the key, the secret, to your own success. You can do it.

Training yesterday was good.

I dragged a 95 pound chain forwards and backwards while spider-man crawling for 80 yards each direction.
I then pulled and pushed a 200 pound sled while wearing a 40 pound x-vest for 80 yards each direction - twice.
I then ran about a mile.

Felt good!

Hope you had a great weekend.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turtle or Rabbit?

Do you remember the story about the race between the tortoise and the rabbit? The fast, cocky rabbit (Bugs Bunny version) lost a race to the slow, steady (smart) turtle. There are probably more than a few lessons in this story, but if you think about it, it really does parallel life quite well. 

In life, we must decide if we are going to be the rabbit or the turtle. In today's world, many of us want to be rabbits. We want results yesterday, we lack patience. But really, life is a journey and it is one that requires time and wisdom if we want to get from point a to point b with any amount of success. 

What I mean is this: 

Are you the type of person who wants to lose 20 pounds in a week, or a month? Or are you the type of person who is willing to lose 20 pounds over a few months? Are you the type of person who wants to bench press 300 pounds even though you can't do a good, solid pushup? Or are you the type of person who is willing to work at building perfect pushups before you ever even lay down on a weight bench? 

Most of us want results and answers before we ever even take a real step towards our journey. The journey is where you learn and grow. The journey is what makes the results worth the effort and the wait. The journey offers wisdom.

If you woke up tomorrow and were suddenly 30 pounds leaner, or say you woke up and found yourself completely ripped with the body of your dreams. How long do you think that would last? You didn't earn it. You would have no reference, or wisdom, for how you got that way. Eventually, and sooner than you think, you would wake up the way you were before that "magical" morning. 

Take weight lifting: if you can't do a pushup, you have no business deadlifting 300 lbs or trying to bench 335. Why would you set yourself up for disaster? If you can't handle your own body, why would you try to handle your body plus another 300 pounds? 

We want quick fixes. We want now. But it is the process of living in the now that builds the lasting results. Take time to earn what it is you want. You will enjoy it more and it will last a whole lot longer. 

I write this not for you, but for me. I often want to be the rabbit. It is hard to remember that "slow and steady wins the race." I need to be the turtle! What are you? 

Today's workout was great!

Dead Hang Bottoms-Up Snatches with 24k kettlebell: 50 / 50 for 100 total 
  The first 50 were nonstop! Then 20, then 10, 10, 10 
  I switched hands every 5 snatches....
Bottoms-Up C & P w/ 24k bell: 5/5 x 5
Skipping 45 yards x 5
Sprinting 45 yards x 10 
Skipping 45 yards x 5

Have a great week!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cold Water Dousing

Cold weather is here. Sick / flu season is here too. A friend of mine uses cold water dousing to stay "sharp", and sick-free. He claims he hasn't even had a cold in years. 

Last year, with much of his encouragement, I gave cold water dousing a try. Well, first I researched it to see if it would (a) kill me, and (b) help keep me well. I couldn't find too much information about it but I did find that it supposedly raises body temperature to about 108 degrees thus killing any bacteria or viruses that might be inside of you. One reference I found said that dousing raises testosterone levels (cool) and other hormones. Oh, I also found out that it could kill me too, if my heart was weak. 

Anyway, I will never forget the first time I doused. I had a bucket filled with ice water and I stood in the shower as scared as I could possibly be. It felt like I stood there holding the bucket for 10 minutes trying to get up the courage to pour it over my head. Finally, I did it. It was not as cold as I thought it would be, it was worse! It was also euphoric. I felt invisible. I also thanked God several times for not letting it kill me. The cool thing about dousing was that at that moment, I knew then that I was crazy enough to do anything. 

My friend was proud of me but I didn't do it right. He said to truly do it, I had to do it outside in the cold. So, with his prompting, again, I did it a few days later outside at about 6 am in the dark (didn't want the neighbors to see). It was 15 degrees outside and I had a bucket of frigid water. I poured it over my head and again, I felt euphoric. The water actually felt warm, for a second. 

I doused everyday after my first douse last year. In fact, I doused until July. I eventually stopped then because It was so hot here, my refrigerator couldn't make enough ice to get my water cold enough. Whether or not dousing boost the immune system, or whether or not it raises testosterone levels, it doesn't matter. I believe it does make you tough. A person that can could water douse in the middle of winter, is a capable person. 

The cold weather is here. It is time to douse! I'm not telling you to give it a try, I'm just telling you to entertain the thought. It can be a powerful tool. If not for the body, for the mind.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Can Learn from Training

It is amazing the things you can learn by doing something. Most people probably agree that experience is a good teacher and that is one way to learn. From experience, or through participation, you can learn new skills and you can also glean bits of wisdom.

For example, I learned a lot about myself through my training session today. I have often thought and believed that the body will go where the mind takes it. Today, I learned that a person can be led by their body or they can be led by their mind. We choose which one does the leading.

In today's play / training session I set out perform a brutal workout that John Brookfield has been encouraging me to try. Anyone else know John Brookfield? His workouts are utterly miserable! (out of respect for John, i removed the information about this particular workout.)

Anyway, when I started this "play" session, I was ready to tap out inside the first minute. My body was screaming; letting me know that I was participating in madness. My body wanted to quit. My mind was starting to listen to my body. But for some reason, my mind kept saying "do a few more. you can make it a few more" So, I continued. Much to my bodies' displeasure, I performed a few more, then a few more, then a few more. Eventually, and much to my complete surprise, I completed the workout with John's prescribed target. I was completely miserable about one minute into it, but I lasted a whole 16 minutes. John would be proud.

The point is, I learned something today. It is not always the engine that matters, sometimes it is the governor. The body wanted to stop, the mind wanted to go on. I chose to listen to my mind and not my body. It would have been much easier to stop, but that would have bothered me later. My mind was on a mission. Was my performance great? Probably not, but then I don't know. I do know, if I ever set out to do this again, I have already done it once. It will be easier the next time.

I think we sometimes take for granted what we can accomplish. Maybe sometimes we don't accomplish much because we don't believe we can. I know. It is funny the things my training sessions make me think about.

That's all I got!

Have a great week.


Friday, October 21, 2011

How do You Run?

Have you ever watched people run? You will see all different kinds of things. Some people run as if they are being tortured, some run as if their body is just a collection of disintergrated parts, others run like they are being chased by slow bears, and some people run like they are chasing something - they run with purpose.

I am not here to debate foot strike. While I do have my own opinion about how the foot should grace the ground, that is not my focus for this post. I am refering to arm swing. Watch people run as you drive through your neighborhood, or go check out a local 5K event. You will see thousands of arms doing all sorts of things. Most people run as if their arms are just loose attachments that serve no purpose. Maybe you run this way too. But what if you ran as if your arms were just as important as your legs?

What I mean is, what if your arms were just as important for running as they are for crawling?
Crawling is the foundation for our gait pattern. It teaches our shoulders and hips to work together. Running is the ultimate expression of our gait pattern. In running, our shoulders and hips should still work together.

What if instead of letting your arms flop by your sides, or let them shuffle side to side infront of your chest, or even letting them bounce up and down towards your ears, you purposefully drove them foward and back to match and equal the drive of your legs? What if you ran with a tall spine, the crown of your head to the sky, breathing deep into your belly, and your drove your arms forward and back from your shoulders.

Again, I believe running is the ultimate expression of our gait pattern. Running should look graceful and powerful, not like an explosion of body parts. How much more efficient could our running be if we took advantage of the contral-lateral, cross-body, energy sling system that we are designed to travel by? What if we ran intentionally and with purpose? What if you used your arms like they mattered when you ran? Because they do.

Today's Training looked like this:
Crawled in a circle like a lost spider-man for 20 minutes.
Ran like the hunter, not the prey, for 10 minutes.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Farmer Strength

When I worked as a firefighter, if someone was really strong, freakishly strong, we would call them "farmer strong". Have you ever met a farmer who wasn't strong as an ox? Most farmers I can think of, or that I ever knew, were average sized guys and they really didn't stand out much. At least until something had to be picked up, carried, or moved.

I have seen wirey looking farmers out work and out lift (basically out perform) very lean, muscular men who spend there time in the gym. Farmers are not genetic freaks. They don't have special powers that other people can't possess. Farmers are just so strong because they work. They perform "real world" tasks that requires them to use their bodies the way it was intended.

Farmers have real, "functional" strength. They have this strength because they use their bodies daily. Their lives consist of picking things up, moving things, throwing things, etc. They may not look the healthiest because of their diets or because they are out in the sun all day, but they are by far capable of out working most people in the modern world.

This is just an observation I have. I could be completely wrong, but If you want real strength, or you want to be able to improve your performance, you could learn a lot from a farmer.

Today's training session was kinda cool and fun:
1. Beat the crap out of a tire with a 10 pound sledge hammer for 10 straight minutes. I've never done this before. It was pretty fun. Do farmers do this?

2. Battling Ropes for 10 minutes (velocity). This I have done before. It gets the blood flowing.

3. Ran for 10 minutes. Focused on driving my arms. Trying to really make the shoulders and hips work together like they are designed to do. This was a good run. About 1 1/2 miles in 10 minutes.

That is it. Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Its All in Your Head

Becoming Bulletproof is more than a "physical thing". There are other variables as well. Today, I want to touch on the mental aspect of becoming bulletproof. Your mind runs the show. You will never know what you are physically capable of doing or becoming until you set your mind on your desired goal. 

Remember in Becoming Bulletproof I mentioned when talking about rolling, where the head goes, the body will follow. You've probably heard this most all of your life  in dealing with athletics, martial arts, or whatever. That is physical phenomenon. We are wired that way because our vestibular system, is tied to our entire body. That, and our big melons effect our center of gravity. 

"Where the head goes, the body will follow." is also a mental phenomenon as well. Before you can ever accomplish a physical goal, you have to decide and choose to accomplish that goal first. In Proverbs 23:7, there is a verse "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." If you don't believe you are capable, then you are not. IF you believe you can and will succeed, then you probably will. You must set your mind and heart on your desired outcome. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you achieve anything? 

If you have a goal of becoming bulletproof, weekend proof, office proof or whatever, you must set your mind on your desired outcome. If you want to lose 30 pounds, set your mind on it - believe you can do it. Losing 30 pounds could seem like an unclimbable mountain to some people. But to the person who believes he can lose 30 pounds, that mountain becomes a mole hill. We are all good at turning mole hills into mountains, but how many of us can turn mountains into mole hills? 

Becoming Bulletproof is a journey. Your physical goals, whatever they are are also journeys within your life story. If you approach your journey with the right mental attitude you will find that there aren't many mountains that you can't climb. Your daily attitude, the mental decision on how you approach each day, will greatly effect whether you see Mount Everest standing in front of you, or an ant hill. 

If you have a goal, a journey you want to embark on, choose to KNOW that you can achieve it. IF you want to be successful, believe in yourself. As a man (or woman) thinks in his heart, so is he....

Today's play session looked like this:

Dead lift to catch to press with a 24K kettlebell and burpees:
1 and 1, 2 and 2, 3 and 3, ....10 and 10, 9 and 9, 8 and 8, ....1 and 1 = 100 reps of each

Farmers walks with 2-32K kettlebells while wearing an X-vest: 105 yards x 3 trips
Suitcase Carries w/ 32K kettlebell while wearing an X-vest: 105 yards each arm 
Bottums Up Carry w/ 24K kettlebell: 50 yards right arm, 50 yards left arm
Overhead Carry w/ 24K kettlebell: 50 yards right arm, 50 yards left arm x 2 trips

That's all for now. Have a great day!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Do You Know How Capable You Are?

I've got a client, I will call him "Sam" to protect his identity. When Sam first came to see me, he just wanted to improve his blood pressure and decrease his risk of diabetes. He really didn't have a physical weight loss goal or anything like that. He simply wanted to improve his insides. 

One of the first tools I introduced Sam to was the Battling Ropes. I started Sam out with 30 seconds of velocity waves. After 30 seconds, Sam was whooped. He was exhausted, sweating, out of breath and a bit bewildered. If you've ever done velocity training, you know how Sam felt. Anyway, I told Sam "I know this is hard to believe but in a few weeks from now, it won't be anything for you to be able to last 10 minutes without stopping." For some reason, Sam liked the sound of that. I think it gave him a challenge that, in his mind, would be an amazing achievement. 

So, twice a week Sam showed up, and we worked for about 20 to 25 minutes with the ropes. In less than a week, Sam was at 1 minute intervals. Fast forward about 4 weeks and Sam was performing velocity for 10 straight minutes at about 90 waves per minute. If you know anything about velocity, that is amazing. But while it is amazing, it is also doable. It was doable because Sam believed he would eventually be able to do it. Sam had faith, and he set his actions to line up with his faith. There is a Bible verse in there somewhere...

Anyway, many of us will never know what we are capable of because we don't really believe in ourselves. Others of us never try to tap into our potential because we fear failure, or we're just too lazy to engage. Whatever the reason we fall short of our goals, or our dreams, we don't have to. 

Know this: You are CAPABLE of anything. When it comes to success, the only thing that stands in your way is you. The only thing that stands in my way is me. 

I know 10 minutes of performing velocity waves may not seem like a significant life changer, but let me tell you what it has done for Sam: Sam's blood pressure is now normal. His blood sugar levels are also normal. His blood cholesterol is now great. He is down 25 pounds. He is looking for 5k's to run, something he has never done before. Sam is confident, he has a new life. Sam also knows he is pretty much capable of anything as long as he engages; he has tasted victory. 10 minutes of velocity waves can be a life changer, a world changer even.

Do you have a health goal? It is yours for the taking if you engage in it. You are capable of achieving your goal. Just engage. Take charge. Engaging is simply the difference between watching your favorite sport and playing your favorite sport. Let's assume your sport is life; be a player. Don't sit on the sidelines and watch it go by. You are capable of anything. You decide if you are able.

Today's workout: I covered a lot of ground today...
Spider-man crawl: 80 yards x 2 trips
Farmers Walks with an X-vest and 2 -32k kettlebells (180 lbs): 80 yards x 4 trips
Suitcase Carry w/ an X-vest and a 32k kettlebell (110 lbs): 80 yards each arm
Sled Drag w/ 200 lbs: 80 yards x 2 trips
Sled Push w/ 200 lbs: 80 yards x 2 trips
Over Head Carry to Dbl Rack Carry w/ 2-24k kettlebells: 80 yards x 2 trips 

Yep, a lot of ground --> 1,120 yards 

Have a great weekend.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Its More than a Physical Thing

When Mike and I set out to write Becoming Bulletproof, we had been living out our ideas for over a year. We were pretty confident we had found something quite wonderful. About half way through the process of writing the book, Mike suffered an unfortunate accident. With over 300 pounds on his back, he fell through a floor and tore all the tendons off of both his knees, and his right knee cap was broken. His knees were pretty much destoyed. As horrible as this sounds, I think Mike was quite remarkably spared from a terrible spinal injury. At any rate, Mike suffered a horrific physical injury, one in which he was told he would never be able to walk without the use of a cane.

Mike has a passion for health, fitness and all things related to exercise. He was a competitive bodybuilder and a competitive strongman, as well as a phenomenal trainer. When he was injured, all of those things were taken away from him. Or so it seemed. Mike suffered more than a physical injury, Mike suffered from a huge mental injury. Mike's heart and passion were ripped away along with the tendons around his knees.

Becoming Bulletproof is more than just a physical journey or a physical state. It can also be a mental journey as well. We can not control all the many things that life will throw at us, if not hurl at us. But we can control how we will respond and react to the things life lays at our feet. I will not lie, Mike was wounded. His spirit was crushed and he will tell you himself that at times, he seriously contemplated ending his life. But, he didn't. He fought. Each and everyday, Mike made the decision to keep fighting. Each day, he tried to regain a little mobility and strength back in his legs. Each day, Mike held on for another day, a better day.

It was not easy, but Mike, through his will and determination, has rehabbed his legs back beyond all his doctors and therapists expectations. He did not let their prophecies limit his potential. He refused to yield to their expected limitations. Instead, Mike daily practiced the principles that we laid out in Becoming Bulletproof. But more than that, he daily practiced the decision to engage and fight for another day.

It has been a little over 6 months sense Mike's injury and today he can spiderman crawl, squat with well over 235 pounds, and perform glute-ham raises again; he can do the things he loves. In fact, Mike is determined to compete again in strongman competitions and he is well on his way. He has no doubt that he is closing in a 400 pound-plus squat again. I know he is right, he will do it. He is mentally bulletproof.

We all have our own issues and face our own challenges. It is what we decide to do and how we decide to react to those challenges that determine our potential. We are not limited by our circumstances. We are only limited by ourselves and the decisions that we make. Nothing in our lives is set in stone.

If becoming bulletproof is your quest, remember, it is a journey and you are the navigator. Remember too, that becoming bulletproof is more than a physical journey. It is a mental and spiritual journey as well. Where the mind and heart go, the body will follow.

Whatever your quest, fight the Good fight.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kettlebell Fat Loss

Recently, my friend, Troy Anderson (no relation - by blood anyway!), asked me if I would check out his Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System.  All I can really is - Wow! Troy has put together an amazing amount of content and information. Troy’s website boast that he has left no stone unturned and I have to say that I believe he is right. 
Troy’s kettlebell fat loss program is great for anyone who wants to efficiently burn body fat and get in phenomenal shape. I think what amazed me the most about this program is that Troy provides so much information in so many different ways. For example, his workout manuals and templates are available by download, but you also get to download the follow-along videos. I like having both, I think that is great. Troy even includes awesome interviews with several nutritional gurus and the Godfather of Kettlebells himself, Pavel Tsatsouline. I thought Pavel’s interview was excellent. It was very neat to hear how the kettlebell revolution got started. 
As far as the actual Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System material goes, it is complete! Troy is providing over 5 months of short, intense workouts that combine kettlebell use with bodyweight training; a perfect combination. The workout sessions look great. They would make excellent “play sessions,” if you have subscribed to the Becoming Bulletproof methodology. Again, Troy has methodically combined the use of kettlebell training with bodyweight exercises for the purpose of building a stronger, leaner physique. Some days focus on strength training, others focus on fat burning and conditioning. The 300 workout (from the movie, 300) is even included in the program; this one is pretty intense! The plans are well laid out and easy to follow - they provide structure! You don’t have to think. You just show up, and get to work. In about 20 minutes, you’re done and on your way. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes a day to get into the best shape of their lives? 
The Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System is a great tool for anyone, at any fitness level.   Troy has even included extra step by step instructions and material for those people who may be new to kettlebells. I think that is great because a lot of people will not seek out a kettlebell instructor before they pick up a kettlebell; It happens. Troy has done a great job at providing those new to kettlebells with the information they need to get started. The workouts are also designed, and intended, to be easily progressed to fit any fitness level and grow with any newly obtained fitness levels. In other words, as you progress, so does the program. 
I believe Troy has truly put his heart into his Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System. He truly wants his clients to have every resource they could need to be successful in their fat loss burning goals. After a person purchases the Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System, they also get full support from Troy and his coaches through personal emails, facebook, and the Alpha Kettlebell Fitness Community. Troy is trying to provide a full service experience and build relationships. This is rare in today’s world and I really admire this because that is exactly the same thing Mike and I are trying to do with those of you who purchased Becoming Bulletproof: build relationships. Life is short and relationships are priceless. Troy knows this and it is evident. If you have a body fat goal and you get the chance, check out The Kettlebell Fat Loss Training System at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Carrying Things

To follow up on my last blog about Basic Human Movement, I thought I'd talk more about carrying things today. Carries could be anything from doing farmers walks, suitcase carries, to pulling a weighted sled to pushing a car down the street. Carries are you moving your body under a load of some type.

Is carrying things a basic human movement? Yes. You were made to carry things. You have two feet for walking and two hands for holding. We are multi-taskers, we can do a whole host of things that other animals simply can't do. 

Can carrying things improve your performance? Absolutely. When you carry or push or pull a load around from one spot to the other, you are causing your core muscles to engage. Carrying builds tremendous core strength. You know what else carrying builds? Tremendous conditioning. Carrying things around stresses your body and it takes a lot of work. When you perform carries, you are not only working your core muscles, you are working your cardiovascular system as well. Performing a farmers walk across a football field may leave you feeling like you've been doing wind sprints. 

Carries can really improve your performance simply because they improve you. To reiterate my last blog, if you are not doing carries, maybe you should.

Today's Play Session:
Farmers walks with 32k bells and a 40 lb X-vest = about 180 lbs x 160 yards
Farmers walks with 32k bells = about 140 lbs x 160 yards
Over Head carry with 24k bell x 80 yards each arm x 2 trips
Run x 10 minutes

It was short and sweet and it felt GREAT!

Have a good weekend!