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!