Monday, April 30, 2012

Kicking Field Goals

My friend, John Brookfield, told me once in a conversation, "Well, Tim, if you want to be a field goal kicker, you need to practice kicking field goals." John told me this as we were discussing training methodologies and modalities. There is a notion in the fitness industry that if you are fit, that is REALLY in shape, you will be good at any physical endeavor. This isn't really a true notion, however. 

Yes, exercise can make you fit. But, exercise alone can only make you proficient in exercise. That is, if you really just want to be good at exercise, well, then exercise. But, if you want to be really good at climbing trees, maybe you should practice climbing trees. 

I'll be the first one to tell anyone: I believe that humans were made to be able to conquer anything. We are wonderfully designed. And, if we own all of our movement patterns, we should pretty much be able to do anything we want to physically. However, there is a difference in being able to do something and being able to do something well. Just because I can crawl backwards for a quarter of a mile doesn't mean I could kick field goals well. It may indicate I have the strength to kick field goals, but really it only means I am good at crawling backwards. 

If you can perform insane interval combinations for 15 minutes, it would indicate that you may be proficient at performing intervals. It really does not indicate how well you climb trees. 

If you want to be good at a particular skill, you should practice that skill. I recently ran a 5K mud run. I practiced obstacle-type stuff for my training. I only performed "courtesy runs" a couple of times a week. Want to guess what my limiting factor was for the mud run? Yes, running. I was so thankful to run up to obstacles so that I could have a break from running. Don't get me wrong, because of the way I train, I am fit. My time was very decent. However, I did not respect running enough to "practice" it for periods longer that 1 1/2 miles. So, the skill of running for 3 miles or longer was not owned by me. Yes, I ran the 3 miles, but I didn't run it well. And yes, running a 5k is a skill, it does not have to be an issue of fitness. If you consider that I can easily spider-man crawl for well over 30 minutes - I have strength and endurance. However, running for 24 minutes makes me want to crawl! Maybe this says more about my love, or lack of love, for running than anything.

Anyway, all I am saying is that exercise is great. But if you truly want to be good at something other than exercise, you need to spend time practicing whatever that is. Whether it is kicking field goals, running 5Ks, or climbing trees. We get proficient at the things we do. 

Have a great week!

Yesterday for training, I took a frisbee out to the park and threw it. Then, I would try to run fast enough to chase it down and catch it. If you've never done this, and you don't have many friends, this is a great way to practice sprints!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Change is Coming

The fitness industry is changing. It has to. Soon, the ways of Muscle and Fiction will be gone. Yes, there will also be a few people who want to look like modern day comic book heroes, but they are truly in the minority. Fitness is no longer about leotards, leg warmers, ab machines, or monthly memberships. Fitness is becoming a quality of life issue - a real-world life issue. 

There is a fitness revolution. The wave is coming. New and wonderful systems like Primal Move and MovNat are on the scene. People are starting to learn that just moving, playing, or exploring movement is a great place to start in their quest to become fit. Simplicity is starting to take hold in the minds of those seeking to improve the quality of their health. This is a refreshing change. Not everyone needs to be 3% body fat. Not everyone needs to be able to squat twice their bodyweight. Not everyone needs to eat 6 times a day. BUT, everyone needs to be able to get up off the floor should they ever fall. Everyone needs to be able to take a fall! Everyone needs, or at least they should want, to enjoy their lives when, and if, they make it into their 90's. 

Has your fitness paradigm shifted yet? Do you still believe all the lies that are in the magazines? Or the infomercials? Turn a deaf ear to those things. Learn how to move and use your body, and you may find that your fitness goals will fall into place. Better yet, you will probably, no definitely, improve the quality of your life.

A shift in the fitness world is coming, and this is a change that is GOOD. 

If you are interested, I recently wrote an article for Primal Move that deals with a small paradigm shift in strength training. You can check it out here:

Hope you are having a great week!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

6-pack abs for 365 days?

Can you get a 6-pack? Everyone has one. So then, the real question is: Can you get lean enough to show off your 6-pack? Again, I think the answer to that question is also yes - if that is what you really want. I'm a big believer in producing the results you meditate on. If you want to be lean and strong, and you keep those thoughts in your head, knowing and seeing yourself as lean and strong, then you can become lean and strong. IF, your actions line up with your thoughts!

Lining up actions with our thoughts and goals is simple in concept, but it may not always be intuitive. Sometimes we don't always have the right knowledge base to get our actions started in the right direction. What I'm trying to say is that we can have the right goals or visions in our heads, but we may lack the knowledge on how to get started with the proper actions. This can become a source for frustration. 

I recently read a book authored by my friend, Geoff Neupert, called Six Pack Abs 365 - How To Get And Keep Your Six Pack Abs All Year Long. In his book, Geoff lays out the actions needed to line up with the goal of obtaining a six-pack midsection and keeping one. Geoff's idea is that a six-pack is a sign of strength and health, that your activity level and nutritional approach are in balance with each other. I like this idea because there are some people walking around with visible abs who are not very healthy or strong. 

In Six Pack Abs 365, Geoff provides his nutritional approach, a type of intermittent fasting, as well as some great "bulletproofing" exercise and strength building methods. The cool thing about the book is that it is full of the "why and how". That is to say, it doesn't just tell you the "what". Geoff provides the reasons, the science (biology), for why and how nutrition effects your body the way it does. To be honest, most of this was over my head. He actually goes into how each system in the body responds to our nutritional habits. It was deep. But that is cool because some people want to know how things work. Make no mistake about it, your eating choices effect your body and your outcomes.

Geoff also provides the "what" - his plan for obtaining and keeping the six-pack year round. He lays it all out nutritionally and physically. Overall, the book is FULL of information that can provide the knowledge to help you align your actions with your goals - if your goals are six-pack related. If you want to check it out, it is available on Because everything is available on Amazon!


Training today was good.

10 minutes of turkish get-ups with 24k: 14 per side
10 minutes of velocity (Battling Ropes)
10 minutes of backwards crawling
10 minutes of running!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Get outside the box!

Sometimes we need to do more than just think outside the box. We actually need to just get outside the box. The box can be an actual box, like a health club, a training studio, a cross fit warehouse, or whatever. The box can also be your normal routine. Whatever your box, it can be good for you to get outside of it every now and then. 

If you only spend time in a traditional training facility, you have no idea what you are missing. Day in day out, year after year (if you are rare and have survived your own routine for that long) you see the same machines. You get on the same machines, or you keep doing preacher curls. If this is you, you are missing the fun of movement, the fun of play. You can get way more physical benefit from going outside and "playing" on a local playground. Your body will thank you.
Even something as simple as walking on a balance beam, or a curb, can give you a much needed change and challenge. When is the last time you just got out and explored movement? When is the last time you trained under natural light instead of fluorescent lights? If this rings true to you, but outside! Go play.

Maybe this is not you. Maybe you are "different." Maybe you train with kettlebells and you don't train in traditional health settings. Let me tell you, if all you do is train with kettlebells, you are still missing out on some pretty good movement exploring opportunities. Please don't be offended if you love your kbells. They are great tools, but there is more to health, fitness, and strength than kettlebells. There is a whole world of movement and creativity that is just waiting for you to discover it with or without your kettlebells. Really, have you ever just sat around and wondered how many different ways you could use your kettlebells? Different ways beyond the ways you've been taught, that is. For instance, and this is free to you, how could you train with your kettlebell if you pretended like it didn't have a handle? I bet you could come up with some pretty cool exercises that could yield a whole host of benefits for you. Just think about it. Kettlebells are great, but they can put you in a box.

Maybe you're a CrossFitter and you have to go to bed early every friday night so you can make sure you perform well on Saturday's big workout. Can I make fun of you for a second? It's okay. I love everybody. Really, I do! Anyway, CrossFitters are outside of the box, at least they think they are. As diverse as they are, they are still in a box, or mode, so to speak. If all you ever do is interval training, then you will be good at interval training, but you might not be so good at something that requires a great deal of endurance. For another example, I recently met some great crossfit people who had a hard time doing a strict pull-up, they could kip all day long, but to just hang and pull themselves up was quite a challenge. Sometimes it can be good to get outside of your normal routine and do something different.

I'm not making fun of anyone. As diverse as I like to think my own training is, I know that my own habits and personal biases keep me in a box as well. I am not the perfect, well rounded training guru I want to be. Yet. ;) But, I'm not as stuck in my ways as I used to be. I do enjoy learning and trying new exercises and routines.  I am enjoying the process of movement exploration. I have learned several new ways to train and gain strength outside of the normal " fitness boxes". 

I look forward to finding playgrounds to practice on. I even look forward to cutting the grass with a push mower on some days because I like to see how fast I can do it. I make it a challenge. I am learning how to be creative. 

My only point to this whole post is that if you are in a routine, one that you have had for a while, it may be good to totally shake it up, get creative and bust out of your box. You may find something completely awesome that you enjoy doing, or you may discover something your body really needed. Who knows, you may discover a new way to train that the whole world falls in love with. 

Get out of your box!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter makes training worth while

Easter is a celebration of Jesus' death AND resurrection. If this had never happened, there would be no reason to train, or no reason for exercise. What would be the point? There would be no hope for anything beyond this life here on Earth. Sure, you could try to stay healthy for your short time here, but still, that would be a pretty futile effort. If there were nothing more than this life, why bother with anything?

Can you imagine how dark this world would really be if it were not for the life of Jesus? His light has made the world a better place. Like it or not, believe it or not. Jesus' life has changed the course of the world for the better. Imagine a world without smiling people. Imagine a world without a Christmas. Imagine a world where no one regarded life as being precious. You have hope because of Jesus.

Easter is hope. Easter is the celebration of hope, of something so much more and wonderful than life here on this Earth. Jesus gives hope to the world. Whether you are a Christian or not, you have been given hope because of what Jesus did. He came for you. He died for you. He fought for you. He rose for you. He lives for you. He intercedes for you. It was, and is, all for you. We have hope. We have everlasting life, at least it is offered to us. We have to take it.

Anyway, there is so much more to this life than just being here for a short time. If that were not so, there really would be no reason to train. You may be thinking, why train anyway then? Well, you were created to be healthy. You were created to be wonderful, to be amazing. To not try to be wonderful, would be a shame. To not be healthy and enjoy your life would be sad. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. So be wonderful. ;)

Just so you know, when I started this blog 6 years ago, it was originally intended as a blog about training and movement. But this life is short, and I want to be as wonderful as I can be. If I can bless God a couple of times a year on my blog, then thats what I want to do. I really hope you don't mind. But the deal is that everything I have been given is a gift from God. My life, my health, my family, my freedom, and my salvation. It all came from Him. I am because He is. So, I can lift heavy things and / or climb trees because God made me. I think that is cool.


Okay, so lets talk training then. I'm at the beach with my family to celebrate Easter. Yesterday I ran for 15 minutes and spider-man crawled for 15 minutes in the sand. I have done this a few times before, but the shifting sand was a nice new variable. I was a little tired after that.

I hope you have had a great week and an aswesome Easter.

Take care,


Sunday, April 1, 2012

My X-tremely Wild, but Cool Theory

I have a theory. Yes, another one. But this one is out there, so I'll warn you now. I have a theory that there is really something special about the letter X. Actually, there really is something special about the letter X, but I have a theory about why the letter X is special. You still with me?

Our body is an X. It is also made up of a series of X's. From your spiraling, or X-ing, DNA, to the way your muscles cross over each other and lie in relation to each other. The forces we generate even travel through our bodies contra-laterally, from one side to the other. Everything about you is an X. (this is a brief recap from Becoming Bulletproof)

Now, here is the cool stuff. The letter X is the only symbol, or letter, that requires both hemispheres of your brain to see. From Carla Hannaford's Smart Moves: "Both hemispheres of the neocortex and the developed neural pathways of the corpus callosum are required in order to see the X."

I letter X is pretty cool. I have even had clients who were in pain think, or imagine, the letter X while they were rocking and their pain went away. I just told them to imagine the X, I never told them why or what to expect. In Brain Gym, Paul Dennison, says that visualizing the letter X can improve performance. Why? Probably because it requires both hemispheres of the brain to be done, and the better the brain is functioning, the better the body functions. 

Okay, hold on because here is my theory: We are made up of X's, everything about our design is an X (most everything). Even thinking about the letter X does wonders in our brain. I think that maybe the letter X is a calling card from God. Don't freak out, just think about it. The letter X is the symbol for Christ. God knew that it would be the symbol, too! What if, in God's wisdom, and His sense of humor, He left clues about His being. What if the X and all the wonders that revolve around it, are just God's way of saying, "I'm here. You were made by Me." 
What if this is why the X is so special?

If I haven't lost you, and if you are still with me, you must understand that I am just fascinated by how awesome the body is and how amazing God is. My mind thinks of things like this. I don't think I'm too crazy though (of course I wouldn't think myself to be crazy). Look in our world, even in marketing, if you slap an X on your words, like X-treme, X-citing, XXX, XL, or whatever, you create excitement or a buzz. We generate, or invoke, awesomeness with use of the letter X in our everyday worlds. Do you think this is coincidence? I don't.

Anyway, again, this is just my theory. There is something special about the X no matter how you look at it. I will say though that it does make me feel good to think that God uses it as a way of saying, "Hey, I'm here."


Training today (on a Sunday!) looked like this:

A1 - Rock lift to a press with 50 pounds x 10 x 10 sets
A2 - Burpees x 10 x 10 sets

B- Lots of top secret crawling drills! ;)

C - Sled dragging / running w/ 95 pounds: 80 yards x 10 runs - whew! 

Hope you have a great week!


Hope you have a great week!