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.