Monday, September 24, 2012

Indian Club Chain Marching

In case you missed it, but would like to read it, here is the article that I wrote for It's about a different way to train. Hope you enjoy!

The first "full day" Becoming Bulletproof Workshop is this Saturday in Boston!!!!!! Whooooo! This is exciting!

Have a great week! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Mighty Pinky Toe

Ah, the mighty pinky toe. You may be thinking already that I'm crazy; any Seinfield fan knows that the big toe is the captain of the toes. This may be true, but you cannot deny the importance of the mighty pinky toe. 

The pinky toe is a major player in the role of movement. In fact, a life without a cooperating pinky toe is a life of challenge. Don't believe me? Just break your pinky toe one time and you will quickly agree that the pinky toe is extremely valuable. If you are still in doubt, break your other one!

I did this. A few years ago, I broke my left pinky toe. That was back before I was so in tune with how my body moves and works. However, at the time, it hurt like a @#$%@# for days, even weeks. Last year, I broke my right pinky toe. It too hurt like a @#$%@#! This time, however, I learned all to well the value of a pinky toe. 

With my broke pinky toe, it was almost impossible for me to stand on one foot (the foot with the broke toe). You might be thinking "duh!", but think about it: if that little toe had hardly any value, I should still be able to stand on my foot with balance. But, I couldn't. I couldn't even perform symmetrical looking cross-crawls. I even had to "re-learn" the single leg deadlift on that leg. I certainly couldn't sprint while my pinky toe was injured. It took months before the pain subsided enough for me to sprint again. Having a broken pinky toe, took away many of the things I enjoyed to do as well as took for granted. The pinky toe, for me, is a mighty toe!

What is the point? Everything matters. The pinky toe is no less a toe, or appendage, than any other part of your body. It is extremely valuable. Every part of you works together to create the whole you - even the parts that you think don't do too much about. 

The body is so completely and well integrated that you cannot isolate one part from another. The notion of isolated joint mobility, or isolating muscle groups, is off the mark. You can't isolate the body apart from itself. Or, at least you shouldn't try. If you are successful, you are in a sense practicing dis-integration.  I don't think it is wise to practice dis-integration as the body is integrated - like it should be. 

The pinky toe is not an isolated toe, or island, all to itself. It contributes to all your proprioception, your balance, your movements. The pinky toe is just a highlighter to how the body is so amazingly designed. Every single cell in your body is connected to the whole of you. 

We are integrated; through and through. When we train, we should train with this integration in mind. We should train movements and patterns and not seek to isolate parts of our bodies from others. 

For example, crawling is a wonderful pattern that encourages wonderful changes throughout the whole body. It is a wonderful way to engage in "gentle strength training" as it builds reflexive strength = foundational strength, AND it even improves the health and STRUCTURE of the brain. 

It is crazy. A movement as simple as crawling can improve everything about you: how you move, how you feel, how you digest your food, even how you think! ONE reason this is so is because crawling practices and reinforces whole-body integration. It does not isolate joints, and yet it helps improve joint mobility. It does not isolate the "core" and yet it produces a bulletproof core. 

Crawling is much like the pinky toe. At first glance, it is easy to dismiss as something that is "cute" or not necessary. But that is simply not the case. As with the example of both crawling and the pinky toe, little things are not little things. Do not dismiss the simple or seemingly useless. 

EVERYTHING matters, and in more than you are often aware: The way you move effects the way you feel and think. The way you feel and think effects how you view yourself and how you interact with the world around you. Mind warp alert: Your pinky toe can effect how you move ----> your pinky toe can effect how you interact with the world! See why I say it is a mighty toe?

Anyway, we are completely integrated and we shouldn't seek to isolate ourselves in parts. As an aside, we shouldn't seek to isolate ourselves at all - even from the world. Wait for it....

The body is just a representation of how integrated the whole world is. What I mean is, even if you only see yourself as a pinky toe in a world full of chiseled abs, you are no less valuable than any of the rest of us. You matter. You effect the world around you. You effect the whole world. We all matter. Therefor, YOU are mighty, just like the pinky toe. ;) 

Randomly round-about post, I know! If you hung in there, you are awesome!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Do You Hear the Noise?

Have you ever had a dream or a goal that you told someone about only to receive less than desirable feedback? Have you ever set your sites on a target that you knew you could hit only to have those around you ridicule you or tell you that you would never make it? Of course you have. We all have.

At some point in our lives we have all had our hopes bashed, our dreams squelched, our goals ridiculed, or our bubbles burst. Often times, it is those who are closest to us who do the bubble bursting. It usually starts with the phrase, "I hate to burst your bubble, but..." Knowing full well, they really don't hate to burst your bubble, they actually quite enjoy the process. 

As a trainer, and as a person, I see this happen all the time. My clients try to better themselves: get stronger, move better, lose weight, lose body fat, or whatever, and someone will come along and burst their bubble. Why does this happen? It is simple. Most people around you don't want you to succeed. I know you are probably thinking that "Wait, my bubble poppers are usually my loved ones! Why wouldn't they want me to succeed?" If we succeed at our goals, that makes us successful - that makes us outliers, reachers of the un-normal! Our loved ones don't really mean any harm towards us or our goals, but they assume they know us. And, they assume that if they struggle, or fail, to lose weight or run a marathon, then you should too. 

We live in a world of apathy and complacency. That is the norm for most everyone around us. Those of us who want to better ourselves or who want to achieve greatness are looked at with contempt because we are the ones who are swimming up stream. We are the ones who are running the race. 

Have you ever heard people watching a game from the sidelines talk about how if they were in the game, they would have done it better? That is so easy to do - talk about what you would have done. Most people are just spectators who only talk, they only make noise. And that is the point, there is a lot of noise in this world. Noise that is only there to distract you and slow you down, to hinder you and make you just stop and join them on the sidelines. The goal of noise is to make you conform to the apathy around you. 

Don't listen to the noise! 

Run your race. Every step you take brings you closer to your goal, your target. No matter how fast, long, or slow you step, if you keep stepping and don't allow the noise to stop you, you will reach your target. Sure, there are more direct routes than others, but who cares! If you take the long way, the hard way towards reaching your dream, and you reach it, how blessed are you?! How much knowledge and wisdom will you have gained? All that matters is that you pursue your dream with relentless determination.  

If you have a dream, a goal, a target, go get it! If you want to lose 30 pounds, do it! Do not settle for less. Do not yield to the noise around you. Just because your co-worker couldn't keep his weight off, doesn't mean you can't. Just because your sister couldn't run 3 miles without a car, doesn't mean you can't. Also, just because someone says you are doing something wrong, doesn't mean you are!!! Run your race.

Truly, not everyone around you is against you. But you will know those who are and those who aren't by what comes out of their mouths. If they only speak negative towards you with no hope of help or wisdom, they are not for you. If however, they speak love and helpful things to show you how to aim at your target better, then they are for you. You will know those who are for you by what comes out of their mouth because the mouth will speak what is in the heart. This is truth.

Anyway, run your race. Whatever it is. 

Here is the question of the day: 

Do you listen to the noise around you? 

Don't let the voices of those without hope drag you down. Even dead fish can swim down a stream. Salmon fight to swim up stream. Salmon fight to live. Fight. Run your race. Don't let the noise distract you. Don't start floating down stream. If you want to succeed, do not stop until you do. Do not settle for less. 

You are a conqueror. You are an outlier.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, September 9, 2012


There are many facets to becoming bulletproof. I often write about the physical variable. Today, and maybe on a few more posts, I thought I talk about another facet to becoming bulletproof: nutrition.

It does matter, but perhaps differently than you think. Nutrition, what you physically eat, plays a large role in becoming bulletproof. I clarify "what you physically eat" because I believe there are various forms of supplying yourself with nutrition - I'll explain this later perhaps. Anyway, what you put in your mouth matters. 

It is MY opinion that if we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then we should eat foods that are also fearfully and wonderfully made. What? We should eat natural, God-made, foods: Foods that were created naturally and perfectly. I would like to say this again: perfectly. For some reason, man has decided that we can create better foods than God can, or nature can. This is crazy! 

Why do we think that ingesting chemicals, and other things that we design - that we can't even pronounce, can possibly be good for us? Why do we think we need to enrich wheat flour? Why do we think if we strip the grains from all the things that make them nutritious, they will be better for us? It is almost as if we have gone mad with arrogance. How can we possibly design a food that is better for our natural bodies than the natural food that God creates? 

Even if you don't believe in God, you have to know that nature makes perfect food without our scientific help. I'm not talking about using science, or what we know, to grow food. I am talking about tinkering with our food through science, altering it perhaps by genetic manipulation, or chemical additives, or whatever else we do to alter our foods. 

We all know natural is better. When we make things complicated, when we tinker with things to make them better, we often take away the power and effectiveness that was right there in front of our eyes. We hamper and sabotage our own ability to be bulletproof.

Here are some examples of how we unwittingly outsmart ourselves:

enriched, stripped wheat flour
isolated soy protein powder
grain fed cattle
hormone fed cattle
preservatives in our meats, our canned goods
chemical pesticides
Splenda - because obviously God didn't know what He was doing when he made sugar
hydrogenated oils
perhaps the entire sports supplement industry (take this with a grain of thought, but use thought)
ultra-pasteurization and homogenization
"don't eat eggs!"
"don't eat fat!"
"don't eat meat!"
"don't eat fruits!"
"don't eat carbs!"

Look at those last five, do you realize if all of those were espoused at the same time in our history we would be in real trouble? That whole list wreaks of insanity and arrogance. We are too smart to see that we have all we need! 

As I am starting to say this a lot - Here is the deal: We don't have a man-made chemical deficiency in our body. We don't need chemicals to make things sweet and we don't need chemicals to preserve our food for a 6 year shelf life. We don't need chemically altered fats. 

We were perfectly made to consume perfectly made foods. We cannot fabricate better nutrition than God can. Have you ever noticed that the truest and most effective things in this world are also the simplest? The things right in front of us that we choose to ignore, or dismiss, because of their simplicity? 

If you want to become bulletproof, keep it simple. Go for natural, wholesome foods. Foods that you can spell and pronounce. Foods without a mile long ingredient list. Foods that you can prepare from the farm to your plate. 

Your body will operate so much better on these natural, non-man-made foods! Man's wisdom is often wrong. Just look at that list above. We know so much that we don't even know what we are doing. 

Keep your nutrition simple. I believe you were made to be bulletproof. Don't sabotage yourself with your food.

Hope your having a great weekend!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are you Aging?

It is a serious question that I think we all need to evaluate. I know this may not be a shock to you if you are a regular reader of this blog, but I don't beleive that people are supposed to age. I do think we are supposed to grow older, but not age. 

You may be asking yourself, "what is the difference?" Well, there is a huge difference. Growing older happens with time. Aging happens with lack of use.

Aging is the result of not living and moving the way we were meant to. As we grow older, we should still be able to move around much like we did when we were teenagers, or the way we did when we were in our twenties for those of you who don't think you can move like you did as a teenager. 

Think about it. We really are wonderfully made. What would be the point of growing older without vitality? We were meant to live and enjoy this life. We weren't meant to grow older only to lose our independence. That is not growing older, that is aging. 

Aging happens to us when we spend our lives being static. When we allow stress and fears to consume us. When all we do is work and not play. Aging is a result of using our bodies, or not using rather, for something other than what they were intended. We were meant to move, to play, to engage life. We need to get back to doing these things so we can grow old with vitality. 

And we can. We cannot reverse time. We will grow older. But we can reverse the aging process - to a degree. We can regain our vitality. We can enter our 90s with vibrance. We don't have to wonder if we will be bed-ridden by the time we are 70. 

Jack Lalanne is a man who understood this. He died at age 96 and he was still able to do finger tip pushups when he died. How many teenagers, or twenty-somethings do you know who can do that? Harrison Ford is another example. He lives and works on his ranch. Riding horses and feeding cattle keep his body young even though he is in his 70s. 

I am even learning this lesson from my own life. I am knocking at the door of 40 and yet daily I find myself engaging in new activities that I could have never done in my twenties. I certainly move better today and have more energy than I did when I was younger. 

So how do we stop aging? The answer is ridiculously simple. We move. We engage in life. We smile more. We believe we can become better than we currently are. When we imagine ouselves growing older, we imagine ourselves being vibrant and not achy, slow, crooked, or ancient. 

We get to have a huge say in how we grow older. We don't have to age. And, if we find ouselves aging, we can change and become vibrant again. 

If you want to grow old with vitality and you don't know where to start the anti-aging process, just start by spending about 5 minutes on the floor every day. Start rolling around like a kid. Start crawling on your hands and knees. It is amazing what a difference this will make in your body. It is so amazing that it is almost a miracle. Engaging in "child-like" movements is a great way to turn back the hands of time. And it doesn't have to be laborious, you can start with just 5 minutes a day. But do it every single day. Consitent engagement in these simple movements is an effective tool for regaining our vitality. If and when 5 minutes seems too easy, great, do 10 minutes - every day. 

Wonderful things happen when children learn to roll, creep, and crawl. Wonderful things can still happen when adults remember how to do the same thing. You can actually regain your vitality by simply spending time on the floor and moving like a child. 

If you are aging, stop. You're not supposed to. Wake up the kid inside of you and start moving. You are meant to grow old with strength and health. You are meant to be able to wrestle with your grandkids and go for long walks with your spouse. Growing older should be a wonderful process, not something to be dreaded and feared. Roll on!