Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12 minute Bowl Picks

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL - Wyoming vs. Temple
Temple - They should be an emerging team. They have the potential to have a great recruiting base is they can steal Philly and Jersey from Penn State. Strike while the iron is not.


R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL - Louisiana-Lafayette vs. San Diego State

BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL ST. PETERSBURG - Marshall vs. Florida International
FIU - may go to this game.

TCU, I bet they are pissed to be playing this early.

MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS - No. 7 Boise State vs. Arizona State
BSU, but watch out for Vontez Burfict. Also see TCU.

SHERATON HAWAII BOWL - No. 21 Southern Miss vs. Nevada
Southern Miss

AdvoCare V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL - North Carolina vs. Missouri

LITTLE CAESARS BOWL - Purdue vs. Western Michigan

BELK BOWL - North Carolina State vs. Louisville
Louisville, emerging team with and emerging Coach and Recruiter (Charlie Strong)

Texas, even though I don't give two shits about this game.

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL - Notre Dame vs. Florida State
I am going to this game, thanks to my girlfriend's Dad.

VALERO ALAMO BOWL - No. 12 Baylor vs. Washington
Baylor. This matchup reminds me of the old Holiday Bowl type of high scoring game. Watch Robert Griffin III


NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL - Iowa State vs. Rutgers
Iowa State

Wake Forest

INSIGHT BOWL - No. 14 Oklahoma vs. Iowa
Oklahoma will stew on their beatdown from Okla. State for over three weeks.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS - Northwestern vs. Texas A&M
Northwestern because of Pat Fitzgerald

HYUNDAI SUN BOWL - Utah vs. Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech. Why? They suck less.

Both of these teams are terrible. Edge: UCLA. Reason: Don't care.

AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL - Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati
These are two teams that I like, with entertaining quarterbacks. Cincinnati. You know what is funny, I still can't spell Cincinnati. Also, there is a small town near Cornell named Cincinnatus. I wonder in there are many Cincinnatuses in a Cincinnati.

Chick-fil-A BOWL - No. 25 Auburn vs. Virginia
In the upset, an emerging UVA team

TICKETCITY BOWL - No. 19 Houston vs. No. 22 Penn State

TAXSLAYER.com GATOR BOWL - Florida vs. Ohio State
They should call this the WTF bowl or the Underachievers Bowl or the Overrecruited Bowl. I am taking Ohio State.

OUTBACK BOWL - No. 16 Georgia vs. No. 17 Michigan State
If the UGA receivers could catch the ball, the SEC Championship would be more interesting. They held LSU w/o a first down for the entire first half.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL - No. 9 South Carolina vs. No. 20 Nebraska
South Carolina

ROSE BOWL GAME PRESENTED BY VIZIO - No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 10 Wisconsin
Oregon will be too fast, but the loss of Cliff Harris will hurt

TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL - No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 4 Stanford
Oklahoma State is just the better team

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL - No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 13 Michigan
Another fun to watch game, I am taking Michigan and Denard Robinson

DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL - No. 15 Clemson vs. No. 23 West Virginia
Geno Hayes and Tahj Boyd make this one not to miss, both will be playing on Sundays some day

AT&T COTTON BOWL - No. 6 Arkansas vs. No. 8 Kansas State
Arkansas in a great, fun to watch game

BBVA COMPASS BOWL - Pittsburgh vs. Southern Methodist

GODADDY.com BOWL - Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State
Arkansas State, big.

The karma police will make Alabama win, just so their original game would have been meaningless. Harris Poll and USA Coaches, you suck. Oklahoma State should be playing in this game and you know it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bowl Games....

The college football bowl season is my favorite time of the year.

* Oklahoma State should have been in the title game. Alabama had their chance, AT HOME. Oklahoma State is the more compelling matchup, at least to me. The great thing about college football is that every game means something. With this game, the previous one meant nothing. In fact, all you did is force LSU to play another game against a top 15 opponent.

* Oklahoma State and Stanford will be fun to watch.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Last Thanksgiving I decided to stay clean, very clean. I gained exactly 1 pound, and I think most of it was water weight. This year, I did exactly the opposite. I am using this to start a mass gain protocol. Here are some of the things that I have eaten.

* Four slices of cheesecake
* 3 slices of apple pie
* 2 huge pieces of lasagna
* A whole container of chocolate covered cashews
* A shit ton of cheeses. I sampled the stinkiest cheese I have ever had at Suburban Square (Philadelphia) Farmer's Market
* 2 slices of pizza
* 1/2 pint of ice cream
* Tandoori Pizza Mac&Cheese
* About 8 bagels over the course of the weekend

Not in the least Paleo.

My strategy is to weigh myself on Friday and eat and train normally until them.

It will be interesting.


The only bells that I had access to were my sister's 25 and 10lbers. Here are some of the exercises that I did.

Bottom Up Presses: 25lb
Stacked Presses 25lb
Sots Presses: 25lb and 35lb
stacked TGU in sets of 5
Goblet Squats in sets of 20
:45 on/:15 off snatches with the 25lb bell (boring as heck)
Nephew flips
Threw football

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bar Food Diet....

If you are unhealthy, and you feel that you spend too much money on health food at Whole Foods, Village Health, Rollin' Oats - you should try my Bar Food diet. You will:
* Be healthier
* Lose weight
* Feel more satisfied
* Save money.

Here is the diet, I was going to sell it as an e-book, but there is no way I can make it long enough for a book.

If you eat the following foods:
* Whole Grain Pasta
* Box Cereal
* Organic Cookies, Chips, or Crackers
* Bread of any type
* Mac and Cheese
* Subway, McDonald's, Burger King, etc.

Eat the following instead, either:
* Chicken Wings, or
* Hummus and Veggies

Once a week, go to a bar, and eat whatever you want, except:
* Anything with cheese, pasta, or bread

That's it. It works and is very satisfied.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Detox Program Testimonial....

"...Saturday will be my 4 weeks. I have done very well and have lost 10 lbs....

...BTW, I went to the Dr. Wed. and my labs tests are better than ever - LDL down, HDL up, A1C down, etc. Dr. says whatever I'm doing keep it up. I owe you again for putting me on the right track.

Also interesting to note is my total cholesterol went down 24 points and triglycerides down 5 points. I was worried it would make my protien levels too high but actually went down from 6.7 to 6.0. All the lab levels in the normal range for the first time in years. I'm sold."

This is the most effective and sensible program of it's type. I would do this program with my five year old nephew. I would do it with my 69 year old mother.

Contact me (faizalenu@yahoo.com/813-851-7470) to learn more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Section II Sectional Predictions for Thu 10-27-2011

Shaker vs Schenectady: Shaker 5-1
==> The gap between the Suburban and Big 10 (which, just like the college football version, does not have 10 teams) is shrinking, but is still wide.

Glens Falls vs Lansingburgh: GF 3-1
==> I see Lansingburgh as a tough out. I didn't play in the game, but Lansingburgh was my first sectional opponent. We won 2-1 in a closely contested contest in the rain.

Fonda vs *Coxsackie-Athens: C-A 5-2
==> I see it being close early, but C-A pulling away. C-A, you had a great season, but don't sleep on this one. C-A came out of the top of a very crowded middle of the Patroon Conference.

Doane Stuart vs Stillwater: Stillwater 4-2
==> There is no way that Doane Stuart/Rensselear should be the 3 seed. They don't play a B school in their conference, and they play about 50% D schools. I do think Doane Stuart has the best player on the field, Noah Rhynhart. That can always make it interesting.

Cohoes vs *Greenville: Cohoes 4-3
==> I am picking Cohoes because they have the best player on the pitch, Brandon LaForest. I have a feeling this game is going to be ugly. Usually sectional games are crisp, but the weather in the Capital District, especially Greene county, has been brutal on fields this year. Both teams play in a lot of 5-2/6-3 type games. Usually when you see a scoreline like that, the game is shit. In my junior year, we beat Chatham in a driving rain storm and the score was 7-5. I was embarrassed to win a game giving up that many goals. There were sloppy goals on both side. It was fun to play in for the field players if the field holds up. And you don't get hot. I love Upstate NY in the fall. Here you get hot walking out to get your mail.

Fort Plain vs Lake George: LG 3-1
==> Don't know much about either team, so going by seed.

Hoosic Valley vs Mekeel Christian Academy (formerly Schenectady Christian): MCA 3-2
==> Probably the best game on the slate, and the hardest to pick. MCA has the best players on the pitch, the Aderounmu brothers.

*Cairo-Durham vs Schuylerville: C-D 2-0
==> The Patroon Conference was interesting this year. There was Maple Hill, and really everyone else. There was very little difference between the bottom (Taconic Hills) and the top of the rest (Coxsackie-Athens). C-D finished in the lower middle, but they can play with anyone or lose to anyone. Here the best goalie (C-D's Cody Rogers) wins.

Hartford vs New Lebanon: Hartford 2-1
==> The Adirondack league is much stronger than the CHVL. Adirondack has three state ranked teams (Fort Ann and Bolton in D, Lake George in C). Just a down year in the CHVL.

* Catskill vs. Tamarac: Tamarac 2-1
==> Interesting game. Tamarac has put the only blemish on Ichabod Crane's record (a 1-1 tie where they were outshot 17-3). Catskill is part of that Patroon Conference "middle" that I talked about earlier. Cam Overbaugh (love those goalies) keeps it close, but I give the edge to Tamarac.

Note* - It is funny how:
1) All four (Catskill, C-A, C-D, Greenville) of the Greene County patroon teams all play today. What is great, unlike in yesterday's game, is that they get to play the other conferences (2 against the Colonial, 2 against the Wasaren). Let's see how good the Patroon Conference is. A lot of non-league games were cancelled because of Tropical storms earlier in the year, so today is a good litmus test.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Letter to the Respective Athletic Directors at Taconic Hills and Hudson High Schools...

To whom it may concern:

I am writing on behalf of both the Hudson High and Taconic Hills soccer teams. As you both know, this time of year is Sectionals. When I look back on my High School years, these are some of the times that I remember the best. I can remember the crispness of the air, the bus ride to the game, the opportunity to play the bigger schools up north, the sense finality to the season. IT IS AN EXPERIENCE EVERY HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PLAYER SHOULD EXPERIENCE.

Below is my case for why both Taconic Hills and Hudson High School Soccer teams should go to sectionals, even though both teams records are not stellar (Hudson: 2-11; TH: 1-11-1):

* Both teams have played the rest of the conference tough. Hudson lost to state-ranked Maple Hill 1-0 and had them scoreless for 45 minutes. TH has lost 3 one-goal games. Hudson has lost 5.

* Both teams have players that could play at the college level (Hudson: R. Dorce, Z. Sohotra, Z. Bartolotta; TH: A. Mierzejewski, I. Rasweiler). Given the relative southern location of both school, there isn't as much exposure to college recruiting. That typically happens at sections. I know that I talked to college coaches after sectional losses in '86 (2-0 to Gloversville) and '87 (2-0 to Queensbury) even though those coaches were looking at other players. Those schools were 40% bigger than ours, but we got to compete. Give these guys the opportunity to be seen and compete.

* Both teams are tough outs. They have a puncher's chance for the upset.

* Hudson has played 14 games this year. TH has played 15. That is an embarrassingly light schedule for a high school team to play. My senior year we only played 15 games, after playing 19 the year before. Give these young men at least one more opportunity to show what they can do. I know that I wish we had more games my senior year.

* Don't give me any BS about school policy and stuff like that. I am not interested.

* What makes sports great is that they give you the opportunity to see who you really are. Give these hard-working young men the chance to see how they compare against the better players and teams from outside the Patroon conference. Let's show them how good and deep the Patroon conference, from top to bottom, really is.

* There is something about sectionals that brings out the energy of the Seniors that are playing, especially if they haven't played in sectionals before. In my Junior Year, I remember the effort that Mike Layman, Gregg Shutts, Roger Ringer, James Hatch, Lee VanDeCarr, and Mike Bruno gave on that day. That was 19 years of varsity experience on that day, and I remember those 6 gentlemen left it out on the field that day. We didn't win, but I am sure they did not want to see us again.

Many of the seniors on these team played on teams that were very bad a couple of years ago, and suffered some humiliating losses. Their teams now are competitive. Reward them for their efforts, and more importantly, their persistence and school service when it would have been much easier for them to quit.

Yours truly,
Faizal S. Enu, RKC (Hudson High Varsity Soccer Player '84-'87)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chronological Timeline - Monster Burger Challenge...

I and three of my friends decided to take on the Monster Burger Challenge at Green Iguana. Below is a chronological timeline of the events leading up to it, the actually challenge, and the aftermath.

++++++++++++++++++ Prelude +++++++++++++++

7:30 AM: Woke up. The first thing I thought about was the Monster Burger Challenge. According to my old soccer coach, Robert Rowley, this is a good. I am ready.

9:30 AM: Worked out with my Kettlebell Boot Campers at Xtreme Athletix. The workout:

* MP: 5 x 5
* Dragon Walks: 3 x 8
* Double Snatches on the minute for 20 minutes: 130 total.

Workout felt pretty strong.

11:30 AM to 3:00 PM: Cleaned my place. Still did not eat anything.

3:30 PM: Got to my girlfriend's place. Pretty worried that I am not hungry AT ALL. Oh shit.

3:45 PM: Weigh in - 162.4 lb. I am by at least 30lbs the smallest person doing this challenge.

4:20 PM: Arrive at the venue. Two other challengers are already there.

4:45 PM: We have our own separate area. The four people that are competing are facing the rest of the bar.

4:50 PM: Orders are in. I order mine "Well Done." My fellow competitors order theirs "Medium." This will become important later on.

4:58 PM: Burgers are out. This thing looks humongous. From the picture, you can see it is the size, vertically, of my forearm. The buns are ridiculous. I am not worried. This is a rock star moment. Everyone is taking pictures of the burgers, even people we don't know. When a Monster Burger comes out, everyone notices. You will notice there are two dowel sticks in it - that keeps them from tipping over. This is three 3/4 pound burgers with humongous buns. The three flavors are Mean Green Florentine, Smokiest (BBQ Sauce, Onions, and Blue Cheese), a the Cheesiest (4 cheeses). I never really liked cheese, now I hate it. As you can see, not exactly designed for quick eating. Oh, there there is this wee little thing about a whole pound of wedge cut fries.

Here is what the burger looks like.


When I saw this picture, I was thinking that I got really skinny. But in reality the burger is just that big.

+++++++++ Show Time ++++++++++++

5:02 PM: Eating commences. I make a tactical decision to eat the burgers as they are instead of separating them. I start with the Mean Green Florentine Burger.

5:08 PM: Mean Green Florentine is done. Start with the Cheesiest. I am thinking this is going to be a piece of cake.

5:14 PM: About half way through the second burger. My sensation of taste is non-existant. I start dousing the food in hot sauce. Any bread that I am eating is filling up my stomach....fast. I start just eating the meat and screw my initial plan to "preserve the integrity of the food."

5:16 PM: The cheese feels like I am chewing on Rosie O'Donnell's ass. There are 4 slices on it, which is more cheese than I eat in a year.

5:18 PM: Second burger is done. Holy shit there is a lot of bread left. I swear that it is expanding. I start trying to nibble on the fries. This is really the first time that I think to myself "This is going to suck!". I douse the fries in hot sause.

5:20 PM: I am eating, but nothing is happening. It looks like there is more food on my plate. I swear Peter is throwing fries on my plate.

5:24 PM: The bread is getting to the point of ridiculousness. It is so big, airy, dry, and tasteless. Not so much that it lacks taste, but I am lacking the ability to taste it. Green Iguana's burgers are awesome. I got back to the burger that is left.

5:32 PM: Jimmy Brown finishes. Holy shit. That is goddamn insane.

5:36 PM: I hear one of the competitors puke in their bowl. Peter says to me "Don't look over there." I almost lose it.

5:38 PM: This is really starting to not be fun. My right hand is starting to cramp up in between bites. My body is rejecting my attempt at gluttony.

EVERY....BITE.....HURTS. Each swallow is a max effort attempt with its own breathing pattern and thought process.

5:44 PM: Peter Baker finishes. Unreal. All eyes are on me.

5:47 PM: I am finished with the last burger, the smoky blue cheese. The raw onions were really strong and hard to chew. I have 19 minutes left. I have a 1 and 1/4 buns, about 3/4lb of fries, and some neutral cheese to finish. The cheese at this point is like chewing on plastic. It sounds easy, except:
* Breathing is very labored because my diaphragm has no room to move.

* I am scared shitless to burp because I might throw up. I am talking Carrie-style projectile vomiting with people a couple of feet from me. I tell Jennifer and Brian that they don't want to block my way to the bathroom. This is where the first seeds of doubt start to creep in.

5:49 PM: Now BOTH hands are cramping up. My stomach is so full that breathing is labored. My diaphram can't move and I am showing "elements of effort." My girlfriend is worried, but still cheering me on.

5:52 PM: I am trying to swallow bigger bites of food, and I am gagging them back up. Now I am really hurting and the possibility of not finishing, after hyping it up, is really starting to set in. There are only 10 minutes left.

5:56 PM: Jimmy taunts me by stealing a fry off my girlfriend's plate and asks if I want his help. I give him the finger. I am worried, but the game face is still on.

5:58 PM: The waitress tries to come and say that the hour is up. I say bullshit and point to the official time. My plate still has a single layer of bread and fries. I am starting to think, this is crunch time. Do or Die. Four minutes left

This is not a workout. If it was, I would have quit. If I finish 99%, it is like I didn't finish at all. No T-shirt. No name on the wall. But I am past the proverbial "Point of No Return". It is going to suck whether I finish or not. Everyone is cheering. Forget pain, taste, pleasure. I talked it up too much, and THERE IS NO FAILURE!

5:58.15 PM: I realize that small bites go down much easier. I have a two handed system going. Now when I takes bites, I am starting to see more of the plate. Encouraged. I am just sprinting to the end. In my mind I am sprinting, I am sure to everyone watching me eat that I am moving real slow.

5:59 PM: The plate is simply is wet pile of bread and fries. It has absolutely no taste what so ever. I just put my head down and sprint. At this point, I have to make it. There is no other option.

6:01:45 PM: I am finished. I point to it in celebration. Here is the final sprint on video (pending). It was a furious dash, and I had only 15 seconds to spare.

++++++++ Aftermath +++++++++++

6:02:22 PM: I rush to the bathroom, and I am about ready to hurl. I threw up in my mouth, but gravity keeps it in. I make it to the bathroom, but did not hurl, but almost did. I am bent over, it hurts to stand up.

6:08 PM: I got my shirt and put it on. I earned this shirt. Some jackass says "Give me a break, it is not like Tough Mudder." I say "You're right, a higher percentage of people complete the Tough Mudder."

6:10 PM: I am hating life. I have the biggest gluten headache that you could possibly have. Have you ever eaten cheap chinese food. It feels like that, but except that you also fell on your head. I haven't eaten bread since.

6:15 PM: I tell my Xtreme Athletix, Bayshore Kettlebell, and USF Kettlebell Club brethren that I have never grinded through anything like this in my life. I would like to thank them again for their support and getting me water. Not even the RKC snatch test (the original, the current one is not a grind) or Grad Workout can compare. Grinding through the pain of a workout is one thing. Bypassing the bodies self-preservation reflexes are another. If I had to choose, I would go with the snatch test in a heart beat.

6:30 PM: Jennifer has a half-eaten turkey burger in front of her. I am like "Put that fucking thing away." The sight of food is nauseating. The sight of burgers, cheese, bread, or fries is even worse. Even the sight of PBR and Bud Light cans are making me sick.

8:00 PM: While walking down the street, I have my girlfriend feel my stomach. It feels pretrified. It is gross and somewhat scary. We pass a convenience store, and I am beginning to consider Epicac.

9:00 PM: I am feeling miserable and force myself to throw up. My neck actually recoils from the force of the projectile vomit and I give myself a poor man's chiropractic adjustment.

10:22 PM: I am thinking that I want to go out, but it is miserable outside. I am miserable inside. All of a sudden, it hits me like a truck, and I am exhausted. It has been a long day.

12:00 AM: Lying down hurts. I sleep on my stomach.

2:00 AM: Finally fall asleep.

4:00 AM: Wake up again. Frack

Friday, October 7, 2011

Differences between :15/:15 and :36/:36

As many of you know, I am a big, big fan of MaxVO2 snatch work. Kenneth Jay came up with this program years ago, and it has given jack-rabbit hearts to those you have taken on the challenge.

There are many, many snatch protocols. Two of the more basic ones are the :15 work/:15 rest and :36 work/:36 rest. As you can see, they are very similar - really two sides of the same coin.

Here are the differences I see between the two:
* Obviously, :36/:36 is more advanced. But the difference is not as much as it seems. If you can do 80 sets with :15/:15 at 9 reps, feel free to try going to the :36/:36 at 21-22 reps. If you at seven reps/40 sets, do not even thing of trying :36/:36 at 17 reps. All you would be doing is practicing slow, sorry snatch technique. Move your cadence up.

* You :36/:36 workout takes less time. About 20-33% less to get the same amount of overload with the same weight and cadence. For me, 20kg x 24 min @ :36 is about the same as 20kg x 32min @ :15.

* You get practice with longer sets. For me, I do 20kg for 20 reps/:36. Longer sets groove snatch technique. For some reason, the RKC does not value this as much as it used to. You can pass the existing certification and never do more than 8 reps in a row. I think the longer sets expose snatch flaws (casting, winging, flopping, late hips, early hips, etc.) more than shorter sets. In fact, I have heard people say don't worry about lockout in :15/15. These people "swing" their snatches or hitch their knees.

* You lose track of time. In :15/:15, you know you are snatching on the :00 and :30. You don't really have a feel for this with :36/:36, except that the clock goes back to :00 after 5 work or rest cycles. This makes the workout go faster in your head.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Paul is Successful with His Weight Loss

My new client Paul L. is killing it with kettlebells.  He is down 15lbs in less than one month.  Here are the reasons that he is successful:

1) Show Up:  He shows up ready to work in every session!  He is not late.  He didn't just come from a pedicure and can't wear shoes.  He doesn't call in and say he is sick, tired, or sore (even if he is sore).

2) Open-Minded:  Even though he has experience with iron, he listens to everything I have to say.  He doesn't have false pretenses of being elite (And by the way, you can't be elite on a treadmill or doing half squats).  He doesn't complain about joint mobility exercises being awkward.  Case in point, after 3 sessions, Paul could do a below-parallel squat.  After a month he could hold a Happy Buddha pose for 30 seconds.  After 2.5 weeks he could do an overhead PVC pass through after start with not being able to get the elbows past the ears.  He didn't ask why we practiced these on a daily basis.

3) Diet:  He is making changes to what happens in the other 165 hours of the week.  He ASKS if he has any homework.  He keeps a food log.  One of the first things I learned in fitness is that if:
- Someone is overweight and
- They are not keeping a food log
==> They will be completely delusional about their food intake.  Here is a typical conversation with one of these people.

Faizal:  Hey, how is the diet going.  I know you talked about it on Facebook.
Person:  Not bad, not really losing weight though.
Faizal: Oh, maybe I can help you.  Do you have a food log.
Person: No, but I know my diet is perfect (whatever the frack that means).  I know everything about nutrition.  I don't know why I am not losing weight.  I must being gaining muscle.

Here are the fallacies in this conversation:
a) What is a perfect diet.  Even if one existed, there is no way that you know what it is.

b) You can't know everything about nutrition.  Not even the nutrition people know everything about nutrition.  In fact, look at how much nutrition has changed in the last 20 years.
1991 - Low fat (remember "high volume, low fat" eating?  Bonus points if you can recognize the pitch man for this crap)/Eat every three hours/Exercise in the oxidative zone, etc.
2001 - Low carb/Atkins/Zone/Interval Training
2011 - Paleo/Organic/Warrior Diet/ESE/Functional Fitness/etc.

This is not just "learning new stuff and getting better".  This is "that stuff we told you earlier, we had our heads up our collective asses when we told you that.  But now we know that you should do this, trust us this time."  Also, if you do the same thing with fitness programs and certifications, I will think you are full of shit too.

c) If you diet is not working for you, it sucks!  Period.  You can only eat for yourself, not the general population.  Any diet program that doesn't not allow for individual differences is garbage.  If you want to learn about a diet program that caters to you as an individual and more importantly works quickly, contact me

d) Diet is more about execution than selecting the right diet.  I know sooooooo many people that pontificate about what is good and bad to eat ("Faizal, you are eating bread?"), but they don't even follow their own advice.  I would rather have you follow an imperfect diet, log it, then make adjustments than imperfectly follow a perfect diet.  In fact, I would say that logging and tweaking your diet is the only way to find out what works for you.

4) Triangle of Truth:  He is focusing on how he LOOKS, how he FEELS, and how he PERFORMS.  There is no compromise on any of them.  All three should be improving for general, sustainable fitness.  For underwear models and athletes, you may trade off one for the other two, but for the general population, absolutely not.  Not to get off topic, let me clarify the term athlete.  And "athlete" is someone that plays a sport.  Doing bicep curls in the squat rack is not a sport.  Doing Crossfit's workout of the day, while maybe hard, is not a sport.  Running on a treadmill, stair stepper or an elliptical is not even running, much less a sport.  What makes it a sport?  Winners and losers.  Poker is a sport. Golf is a sport. Bowling is a sport.  10,000 swing challenge is not a sport.  Fran is not a sport.

5) Gear:  He has the correct workout gear.  This includes appropriate footwear, water (not Crystal Light, Vitamin Water, Gatorade, Diet Coke, etc.), towel, notebook/pen, hand care, etc.

These shoes don't suck

6) Educating vs. Annihilating:  He actually LEARNS from his sessions.  When Paul trains with me, he is not looking for someone to motivate him.  That kind of motivation is short-term.  He motivates himself.  He is looking for someone to educate him.  Don't get me wrong, experiencing a lung-blowing workout or a heavy weight is part of "eductation."  Clients should pay for just ass-kickings or being put through a tough workout, they should pay for knowledge.  If you don't feel you need a notebook in a trainer session, you are wasting your time with that trainer.

7) Relevance:  He doesn't ask questions that don't matter AND he doesn't feel like everything has to be explained to him before he takes action.  No inane stuff like "Shouldn't we be doing sets of 15 for fat loss?" or "What muscle does this isolate?"

8) Priorities:  Paul has never told me about a TV show he watched, a bar that he went to, a porn that he watched, a website that he wasted hours on.  Focus!

9) No complaining:  If I give him an exercise that is hard or that he doesn't do well, he doesn't complain.  He never says a session is too hard, or that he didn't sweat enough, or that he doesn't like an exercise.  Also, complaining increases cortisol and decreases T-levels, both of which are bad for fat loss.

10) Entitlement:  Paul understands that he has to continue to work for everything.  Some of the pounds will be easier than others, but he is not entitled to anything.  Time does not entitle you to it.  Paying doesn't entitle you to it.  Previous success doesn't entitle you to it. Touching a kettlebell doesn't entitle you to it.  A well-respected RKC Team Leader once told me "Some of the RKCs have to lay off the pastries."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why Counting Calories is Useless

Why I don't count calories:

1) It is tedious as hell! It is like being a poor accountant.

2) Since I don't know exactly how many calories I am using up, why am I going to calculate exactly what I am taking in. This is the principle of "relative precision."

3) The food industry lies about everything else, so I don't believe the calorie information posted.

4) I don't know my basal metabolism, and even if I did it varies widely and as my body is changing.

5) If you look at any significant weight loss, there is no way that it is accounted for by "Calories Out - Calories In." Let's say someone lost 15 lbs in a month (very doable). That would mean they are creating a caloric deficity of about 1800 calories/day. I DON'T THINK SO, BROCHACHO.

6) The effect of food on hormones is the most important factor in diet, and you can't measure it in terms of calories.

7) Most methods of measuring calories or other ways to quantify food intake are inherently flawed. I won't go into it, except that it is not what you eat, it is what you absorb.

8) I don't want to carry a calculator with me.

9) There is not a way to accurately qualify the calorie burn (and afterburn) from exercise. Let's put it this way, I know someone who also does MaxVO2 snatches. We are about the same weight and age. He does 16kg for sets of 7. I do 20kg for sets of 8. Our heart rates are similar.

==> Based on heart rate, we are about the same.

==> Based on work, I should burn 43% more.

==> Where is the truth, as usual, somewhere in between.

10) I am not weighing everything I eat, sorry.

Scale 2

Doesn't fit in pocket

A better way would be to make relative changes in diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are all about staying ahead of change. Feel like you are putting on a couple pounds, take in a little less calories or burn a little more. Then see what happens. This way you are basing you plan on your body instead of inaccurate and arbitrary calculations.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Guest Blog Post on "Choices"

Here is my Guest Blog post on the Xtreme Athletix website. As far as fitness goes, this is the MOST IMPORTANT POST I HAVE EVER WRITTEN.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Looking for a select group of people....

I am looking for a group of 10 people that are seriously looking to get in shape:
* 25 - 75 lbs overweight
* Between the ages of 30 and 50
* Live in the Tampa Bay area.

If you fit the above criteria, e-mail me at faizalenu@yahoo.com to learn more about what I have to offer you....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MaxVO2 progressions, no cadence test....

I have to admit, when doing MaxVO2 snatching and determining what weight and cadence (i.e., reps/15s) to use, I DON'T use the cadence test. The reasons are:
* Personally, I don't think there is a perfect correlation between the cadence test and oxygen metabolism. Part of it is just snatch proficiency.

* Progress is progress, if you are doing more work aren't you getting better. As you improve, you cadence will change. Since I only do MaxVO2 2x/week, if I tested monthly that is still 1/8 session. 12.5% of sessions spent on testing is excessive. I just focus on doing more.

* During training, do you ever REALLY know if you are operating at MaxVO2. And if you are operating at 90% or 110% of MaxVO2, are you really doing anything wrong.

So here is how I have been progressing.
* I started with 16kg/8 reps. I pretty much did this the first month. After achieving 80 sets, I then chose the next weight cadence by choosing the next combination by increase the (weight x cadence). Here are the weights and cadences that I have used/plan on using:
- 16 x 8 reps (128 kg)
- 16 x 9 reps (144 kg)
- 20 x 8 reps (160 kg)
- 24 x 7 reps (168 kg) <== This is where I am now, and easily get 20 minutes
- 20 x 9 reps (180 kg)
- 24 x 8 reps (192 kg)

* Even though you can, I haven't gone from one progression to the next until I have hit 40 minutes. Part of the reason for this is that at most I do this 2x/week, and it has always either been:
- Variety Day stuff, or
- Replace for swings during ETK (not recommended for beginners)

If you are doing 3 days a week, I do recommend doing a "supramax" session, where you work ABOVE your cadence. (e.g., if your cadence is 20kg x 8, do a shorter session with 20kg x 9 or 24kg x 7). I also believe that there is a diminishing returns with going past 40 minutes, since it just means that it is a pace of work that you can recover from completely. Work above your MaxVO2 will still improve your MaxVO2

* Even though I haven't done a lot of it, I still think the :36/:36 is valuable. As part of full disclosure, I generally use and analog clock when I train, so I train :30/:30 when I do this. My logic is: if :15/:15 is MaxVO2 snatching, and so is :36/:36, then why wouldn't :30/:30. And much easier to do with an analog clock and much easier to calculate cadence from :15/:15. A value of longer sets means that you can't get ugly like you can with sets of 7,8, or 9.

* I have found that the double snatches in RoTK improved my MaxVO2 snatches. Snatch heavy. In my case, this was 32kg/28kg and 2 32kg.

* For those that use heart rate monitors, you should find that you can either:
- do the same amount of work, at a lower heart rate
- do more work at the same heart rate
==> These are expected responses to improving MaxVO2. Don't confuse improving MaxVO2 with pegging your heart rate monitor. Focus on the work, not the heart rate.

Hope this helps. As long as you are doing more work at around the same exertion level, you are getting better. Don't get tied up in protocols, testing, and gadgets. Focus on doing work.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Post Mortem: 30-day Detoxification Program

Objective: Perform a 30-day detoxification program that has been used by a number of people with success.


* Weight went from 178.0 lb to 164.0 lb, for a net weight loss of 13.0 lbs. On my last weigh in, I was a little dry, and I believe a more accurate weight was 167.0 lb, my weight the following morning. It was still a net weight loss of 11.0 lb, even though weight loss was not the primary goal. By the way, this is less than I weighed when I graduated from high school. Also, my half bodyweight RKCII press is the 36kg/80lb bell, which I do for reps, easily.

* I was still able to lift heavy and often during the detox. This detox was not one where you just drank spicy water and took pills. This was a detox that encouraged clean eating of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. What this detox did was avoid toxins (duh) and allergens. It was not a starvation diet. The workouts, primarily barbell and double kettlebell exercises, included:

- Long Cycle Clean and Jerk: 2 24kg x 5 x 5,10,15 and 2 32kg x 5 x 2,4,6
- TGU: 32-40kg x 12 minutes
- Max VO2: 20kg x 25-40 minutes or :15/:15 and 25+ minutes of :30/:30
- Good Mornings: Up to 355lb + maxing out the Leg Press
- Box Squats: 225 - 315lb (unfortunately, the gym that I go to doesn't have any low boxes, so these were slightly above parallel) + Dimel deadlifts with 185-245lb
- Double KB military presses, up to 2 32kg bells, snatch start.
==> These are athletic workouts. No curling in the squat rack here.
==> These are short workouts: 10 - 35 minutes for the most part.
==> There was absolutely no compromising of training intensity/volume on this detox. In fact, I set a number of PRs.

* I did not have any diet soda or any artificial sweeteners for thirty-six days. I have to say that I was extremely surprised at the affects that it had on food cravings and also encouraged me to drink more water. Also, this saved me probably $3-5/day. While that doesn't seem like a big deal, if you take the money from that, about $30/week, you can definitely upgrade your choices of meats and seafood. It also force me to drink a lot more water, which I believe paradoxically caused me to retain less water.

* The protein powder that I used for meals where I could not cook did not have any artificial sweeteners or flavors. While I am not huge on protein shakes (about 1/day), there are times when either:
- I really want something quick in the morning and don't have time to cook/clean and/or
- Post workout, I really don't want to eat harder-to-digest animal protein.

The protein that I was taking felt more like eating real food than most protein powders. Normally, if I have a protein shake, I am hungry 90 to 120 minutes later. This was very filling. Also, it is definitely not something you will find at Wal-Mart, but it is less expensive the that boutique protein powders you find in the health food stores.

* I was starting to feel veins where I haven't in a very long time, including in the front of my shins and in my hip flexors. There were definitely body composition changes. I will say, however, that not all of the weight loss was probably not fat, and I am OK with that. A lot was probably removing water retention associated with a toxic environment. Also, the internal cleansing contributed to the pounds as well. While that may not sound like a big deal, removing that waste help your digestive system function better, allowing you to absorb more of what you eat and helping you eat less, while still getting the nutrition (the "good stuff" is also the hardest to digest).

* I found that my alertness skyrocketed. I got a lot more projects done because I was able to focus better. I am not sure if that was the diet itself, or the fact that I slept much better. If you are dragging ass in the morning and "tired by wired" at night, chances are your cortisol is out of whack, and you may need a detox. If you are throwing coffee, Red Bull, or other nervous system stimulants at a sleep or recovery problem, you are just applying a band aid, except this one will make you psychotic. It is amazing how many people, even personal trainers, brag about how many Red Bulls they drink.

I noticed that I had a lot less lingering pain in my shoulders. I am not sure if this was just part of the recovery process, or if the detox has anything to do with it. I work at a residential fitness center, Core Fitness Solution, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence there or people having reduced joint pain even though they did not get direct medical therapy. Hmmmmm......

Things I wish I did better:*

I normally don't plan my grocery shopping trips. I am pretty minimalist in what I shop for, I don't keep much in inventory, and I can shop every other day with my schedule. I usually just go and get what I need. I did find, that since detox was not on my mind 100% of the time, that a lot of times I bought stuff out of habit. I remember one day getting a can of diet soda, then thinking "Why the frack did I buy that?" I really didn't plan weekly menus and shopping lists, but in retrospect I really should have.

* I wish I did a better job of logging my meals. I know I wasn't perfect with the detox, but I was pretty good. I wish I logged my meals better not so much to improve my choices, but to see what affect those choices had on me. This is going to be especially important that I am "adding stuff back in."

What did I learn:

* Beer has a more negative effect on my than I original thought. I really like beer, and I am not going to give it up completely, but it does affect me, especially in terms of retaining water.

* Breads are a real no-no. I don't think I am allergic or gluten intolerant, but I do noticed that if I eat bread, it stokes my hunger. Given that there are no nutrients in bread than cannot be found in other sources, there is no reason to have to rely on them. I do think bread is tasty, if you see me eating a chicken parm sandwich, it is because it is tasty, not because I think it is healthy.

* Significant healthy weight loss can be achieved quickly while maintaining workout volume. This is just another tool in the tool box.

* In a way, the only way that matters to your bank account, detox-style eating is cheaper than the SAD (Standard American Diet). Even though you may spend more on individual items, eating toxic foods costs more because:

- You get nickel-and-dimed by eating snacks. You spend only a little bit of money, but they add nothing to nutrition. You still have to eat more to get nutrients. Lead with healthy food, and you save in the long run. All of the major fast food companies and large commercial food producers are 5-and-diming you out of your health.

- Things like sodas are much more expensive than water. Sure, things like an organic soda might cost more than a Big Gulp, but you have an alternative that is free -- water. Also, you are most likely craving diet soda (or Crystal Lite or Gatorade), because it is wet, not because it quenches your thrist. Also, do you know what the process is that breaks down fat? HYDROlysis. Get the picture?

- You don't go out to eat as much. When you go out to eat, only 67-82% of what you pay for is food cost. The rest goes to make it, serve it, and to cover corporate overhead. Use that savings to buy better stuff to cook. Even if it costed 2x as much (it doesn't), you are still better off.

* If you spend an hour in a grocery store, I will almost bet you are not eating healthy. When you are detoxing, shopping is really easy. About 70% of the grocery store is off limits. I go to the health food store, and most people are not healthy or fit. Just because your cookies are organic does make them healthy. Most of the companies that specialize in "health food" aren't in the business of making you healthy. They don't make money if you lose weight. The do make money when you buy their crap. They are in the business of JUSTIFYING UNHEALTHY CHOICES.

* Don't think of foods as being "good" or "bad". It is not that black and white. Are strawberries good for you? "Yes". Can you eat a flat a day? NO! Are they good to have before your workout? NO. This is another way that overweight people justify choices that are making them fat. "How many points is it....?"

I think people who think of foods as either "good" or "bad" were not very creative and/or punished too much as children.

* If you have a fitness goal, write the goal down, BUT DON'T TELL ANYONE unless you are paying them. This is because:

- No one cares. And if someone does care, they probably think you are a righteous asshat or they want to bring you down to their level.

- If you are committed, there is really no need to tell anyone. I know there is a lot of talk about "accountability partners", but I think they are a copout. At the end of the day, there is only two person who cares, and that is you and someone who benefits from your success. My dad has a saying, "When you are in trouble, you are a alone." If you don't believe me, ask the most hated jocksniffer in Florida, Nevin Shapiro. He had a lot of friends when he was buying Miami Hurricane football players hookers and cars. But now that he is in jail, they are shunning him big time. I would like to think that if someone did that for me when I was in college, I would have their back.

I am not really big into the shows like the Biggest Loser and other programs that preach hyper-fast weight loss. I meet a lot of people who can't see their toes tell me how fast they have lost weight before. If it is not sustainable it is not right to do, EVER. At the end of the day, it has to be THE RIGHT THING TO DO. This detox was based on eating clean foods, avoiding toxins/allergens, fixing the body from the inside, and effective exercise. The benefits were improved body composition, performance, and sleep quality, and I even saved some dinero. How can that be counterproductive long term?

If the reason you are training is to look, feel, and perform better, and you are not getting the results as fast as you want them, a detox-program may be for you. Based on what I have experienced, even highly fit people can benefit. Contact me at 813-951-7470/faizalenu@yahoo.com to learn more.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Detox Results -- Day 23....only one week left.

Here are the results as of Day 23 of my detox:

* At day 20, weight was down 10.5 lbs (167.5lb). I am not trying to lose weight. Weight loss has slowed down as expected. Definitely looking a lot leaner, especially in the upper body. I can also see the pes anserousI do feel like I am eating a lot. I probably weigh a little more since Saturday's weigh in, but I expect to be at 166 lbs in one week.

* Cravings are virtually non-existent. Just never feel hungry, except maybe post workout.

* Have not had a Diet Soda in 23 days, and I used to drink as many as 4-8 per day. I don't even crave it (no one even has withdrawal from aspartame). That right there is big monetary savings. Also, it is acidic (about 1/10th as much as acid rain), and the body runs best in a slightly alkaline environment. Another thing about diet soda, since it is carbonated it affects the Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide balance in your body.

* My energy is way up, but not in a strung out, coke-head kind of way. More like a quiet focus.

* I haven't had any processed meats of any kind. Any meat that I did have, I made, with the exception of going to Tun-Du-Ree for curry. Big savings. Also, I have used what I saved on diet sodas to get better cuts of meat.

* The detox that I am doing supports heavy lifting. I have maintained my schedule schedule of:
- Double kettlebell lifting (snatches, clean and jerks, presses, squats, etc.),
- Barbell lifting (good mornings, box squats, Dimel deadlifts, olympic cleans, olympic snatches)
- Turkish Get Ups (32kg & 40kg)
- Max VO2 snatches (20kg x 8 x 25-40 minutes)
==> If the detox does not support heavy lifting, high tension exercises, or high power output, you know it can be doing good for the body.

* Sleeping great. I am tired when I am supposed to be tired and awake when I am supposed to be awake. When I am asleep, I stay asleep.

* I feel light on my feet. During one of the boot camp classes, I set a volume and intensity records for double under rope skipping. I am still not great at it, but definitely improving.

* Have I been perfect on this detox. No, because I don't think "I'm on a detox and I have to avoid this, this, and this." I am eating real food. I am doing very good. Definitely better than doing 80% to get 95% of the results. This detox much easier to stick to than most diets. Now that being said, if you are not serious, you won't stick to it, but that is on you.

* I do supplement with protein, fiber, and Omega-3s, but I always have supplemented with them.

* I am really excited about the results. A 12lb weight loss (projected) in one month while setting PRs is extraordinary and definitely beyond my expectations. I would recommend this program to anyone for the following reasons:
- The logic behind it makes sense.
- It is based on real foods.
- It supports strenuous exercise.
- It fits into working lifestyles.
- If, and this is a big one, effective addresses the reasons that people don't stick to most programs.

==> Let me address this last point real quick. A lot of programs work, but they are so impossible to follow that no one actually finishes them. A lot of programs that are on TV talk about results, but how many people DO YOU KNOW have actually made it all the way through. Typically the number is zero, one, or two. Or people go, "I did this program, and it was great." My next response is usually something like "What happened?" The typical answer is like "I couldn't afford to continue." or "I got hurt!" or "I couldn't stick with it." If it is not sustainable, what is the point of doing it. If feel like I could continue this program for a long time, there is no reason not to.

Again, the results of this are exceptional, and it is a very robust program that is applicable in any lifestyle.

As always, if you have any questions, contact me (faizalenu@yahoo.com) directly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Detoxification -- Results so far....

I have been doing a detoxification since the 17th, and the results are simply AMAZING. Here are some findings as of now:

* Lost 7 lbs in 8 days. I am not trying to lose weight. Most of my clothes are already too big. I can't keep up with getting stuff altered. I am not feeling any of the effects of depletion or undereating. The detoxification still supports heavy training.

* Cravings are virtually non-existent. Just never feel hungry, except maybe post workout.

* Have not had a Diet Soda in 11 days. I can't believe that. I used to drink many per day. That right there is big savings. I think this also prevents cravings and maintains blood sugar levels. Also, it can't be good to put that stuff in your body. Also, it is acidic (about 1/10th as much as acid rain). Your body runs best in a slightly alkaline environment.

* My energy is way up, but not in a strung out, coke-head kind of way. More like a quiet focus.

* I haven't had any processed meats of any kind. Any meat that I did have, I made, with the exception of going to Tun-Du-Ree for curry. Big savings. Also, I have used what I saved on diet sodas to get better cuts of meat.

* Maintained schedule of double kettlebell lifting, teaching, and boot camp classes. If a detox suggests not training, I am not doing it. It might as well suggest not breathing. This is a based of real food and supports heavy lifting.

* Sleeping great. I am tired when I am supposed to be tired and awake when I am supposed to be awake. When I am asleep, I stay asleep.

* I feel light on my feet. During one of the boot camp classes, I set a volume and intensity records for double under rope skipping. I am still not great at it, but definitely improving.

* I have avoided getting stuff to eat at gas stations (Hess, 7-11, and Sunoco are my favorites). I am definite getting meats from better sources. A lot of time I go in, not because I am hungry, but because I am bored. I don't want to just fill up and drive away. When I am inside is when I decide to buy something. Cravings and social eating are easier to manage on this detox.

* I do supplement with protein, fiber, and Omega-3s. A lot of time, I have felt hungry about an hour later (think Chinese take out). Not this time. In fact, I have to will myself to eat pre-workout.

I'll update when I hit the three-week mark. As a right now, the results are incredible, and I am learning about my body and the effects food have on it. If you are hitting a plateau and you are training hard and eating fairly healthy, you should try a detox.

As always, if you have any questions, contact me (faizalenu@yahoo.com) directly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The kettlebell swing is a MOVEMENT, not a LIFT...

Before anyone gets any ideas from the blog post title, I am not AT ALL hating on the kettlebell swings. I have probably done over 125,000 of them, and still do about 600 per week. I just wanted to make a distinction between the kettlebell swing and other exercises.

If you look at the kettlebell military press or front squat, there is a definite minimum starting and ending point. Whether you are lifting 16kg or 64kg, these points are the same. The same cannot be said for the swing. In the swing, the completion of the swing is simply to extend the hips and knees. The bell goes as high as it goes, you don't lift it. I may go up to shoulder level, it may only go to waist level, who cares! The swing is a back-to-front 'projection' of force. The bell goes up, not because we are "lifting" it, but because it is connected to our torsos through our arms. For this reason, treat the swing as a MOVEMENT, and not a LIFT.

What are we training in the swing. Primarily, we are training the hips and glutes, and to a lesser extent the quads. Other muscle are activated to stabilize in the lift, like the abs, obliques, rhomboids, lats, and rotator cuff. If we are primarily training the legs, why would anyone care how high the arms lift the bell? Why would anyone make that the criteria for the swing?

So, you might ask, what is the purpose of the kettlebell in the kettlebell swings. Simply, it gives us an object to exert force against, kind of like the purpose of the floor in a pushup. Pushing against air is not going to generate any tension.

In a military press, if you press a 32kg vs. a 24kg, are you using 33% more force/tension? I would argue that you are indeed. Can the same thing be said about the swing? No. Because the kettlebell swing does not have a fixed end point. If I swing one 24kg bell, the bell will go up to about shoulder height. If I swing two of them, they simply don't go as high. I am exerted similar forces, but with heavier swings the object that I am exerting the force has twice as much mass, so it won't be accelerated as much. I am most certainly not doubling power production or calories burned.

On day I was working with a petite female, and had her swing a 16kg (35lb) bell instead of the 24kg (53lb) bell she said she normally used. She actually said that the 16kg was harder. Here is why that would be:

* In a heavier swing, she is limited by grip strength. Grip strength is not a bad thing to train, but there are a lot of other ways to train it. She may even hold back on the swings (i.e., less force) to take pressure off of the grip.

* She is also limited by her ability to counterbalance or "anchor" the bell. It is a significant percentage of her body weight. The harder she swings the bell, the harder this become. This means is that she may subconsciously mute swings to keep her balance. Not what we are looking for, unless you are training for ego, pounds lifted, or impressing your Facebook friends.

* In this lighter swing, she is limited by her cardiovascular system and her glutes and hamstrings, and not the relative size of the bell or her grip stength. The lighter swings, at least in this case, give me more of the training effect I'm after since now she can really go ALL OUT.

I have done swings with a Beast in one hand and a Bulldog in the other. This is well over my body weight. My normal swing weight is 32kg (sorry, this bell doesn't have a cool name). Am I swinging with 2.75 times the force? Well, if I am truly doing Hardstyle swings, the answer is an obvious no, as I use full effort on all my swings. In my workshops, I demonstrate swings with and 8kg, 24kg, and a 48kg in succession and point out that the MOVEMENT should look the same and done with full intent. This is also the reason that swing MOVEMENT, no matter how heavy, all take about the same time, about 1.5s/swing. If you doubled the weight of a squat, the LIFT will definitely take longer. Pavel has registers forces over 500lbs swinging a 24kg bell. Would they be over a half ton if he swung a Beast? No.

In summary, the purpose of the kettlebell in the swing is to give you something to exert force against. Because it is an open movement and not a lift, added weight DOES NOT proportionately increase force generated, and in fact, may even decrease the force output. Are heavy swings bad? Not at all. In fact, they can be very helpful in dialing in the movement. Just keep in mind that the kettlebell swing is a movement and not a lift. Keep in mind that added weight in the swing doesn't mean the same as if you add weight to your military presses, squats, snatches, cleans and jerks -- these are lifts.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Heart Rate Monitors, what are they good for?

I recently got a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor, after 25 years of training without, or flying blind as some would say. Guys like Marty Gallagher and John Schaeffer swear by them. I used mine for a while after first getting it. My opinion on them is that they are good for what they do, but I would hardly call them essential. Even when training clients, there are much better indicators of intensity than heart rate, including:
* Panic breathing,
* Degree of sweating,
* Rep speed,
* Facial expression and trapezius tension, and
* Technique degredation.

I like using the heart rate monitor as a "objective" proxy for exercise intensity. Generally speaking, the higher your heart rate is, the more intense the effort is. This for example, allows you to objectively compare the intensity of TGU vs. 20kg snatches vs. 40kg swings vs. DDR. I like it for this purpose.

What I really don't use it for is counting calories. It is not that I doubt the accuracy of it, to the limits that I understand it is an estimation, but that I really don't have any need for the information. I don't really plan diets by the calorie. If I look at what I put in my mouth, I don't know what the calories are exactly. I don't know what my basal metabolic rate is. Using what Cornell University taught me about significant digits, it would be pointless to calculate my exercise to the nearest calorie. I better way it is eat for you are going to do/what your body needs. I have never found calorie counting to work simply because they are just estimates anyway.

In common fitness parlance, they are talk about different exercise zones related to heart rate, including:

* the Fat Burning zone: 65-75% of Max Heart Rate
* the Cardiovascular Conditioning zone: 80-85% of Max Heart Rate.

I don't pay much mind to this for a number of reasons:
1) I would rather focus on doing the work instead of what my heart rate is. I can look at the heart rate after.

2) Since a relatively small number of fat calories (for most people) are burned during exercise and most are burned at rest, why would I micromanage fat burning during exercise.

3) Max Heart Rate is an estimate based on age, and while that is true for the general population, that is definitely not true for the:
* Trained or
* Sick/Deconditioned
==> Well, these are the two groups I work with the most. Since the Max Heart Rate is an individual thing, why wouldn't I treat it that way.

4) There are other better indicators of exercise intensity (see above) that are less intrusive and more illustrative.

I tried the HR monitor with a lot of different activities:
* MaxVO2 snatches: 20kg x 8 rep cadence for 30 minutes
==> Average HR: 161; Max HR: 179; Cals: 425 (14.20/minute)
* Sissy Test (325 Burpees and 325 32kg KB swings in 46:25)
==> Average HR: 170; Max HR: 184; Cals: 761 (16.45/minute), I still don't give two shits about burpees
* Lying Down -- Heart Rate: 55-58
* Sitting -- Heart Rate: 61-65
* Walking -- Heart Rate: 72-90
* KB Military Presses: Typically at the end of the workout my HR is in the 85-100 range.
* DDR: 110-150, but I hit 200 during a 5 minute boss song after doing swings.
* Continuous 24kg snatches/burpees combo: Average HR: ~ 160; Max Heart Rate: 179
* Barbell Squats: After: 110; Right Before: 77

What I have found is that the HR monitor is just a too to measure your heart rate. It does give you a gauge on intensity. It is too much of a hassle to use everyday, unless you have no clue how to gauge performance and other physiological factors. Try it out, you will learn something. But don't be a slave to it. The heart supports the performance of the rest of the body, it is not the goal. Keep it in that perspective.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Blogger on FatBlasterWorkout.com

Here are two guest posts on FatBlasterWorkout.com

1) The Plateau Mindset: The Underlying Cause of Plateaus
2) Viking Warrior Condition Max VO2 tips

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An epiphany about the RKC Snatch Test after a 5K run

Today at Xtreme Athletix the workout of the day was something I did not expect. It was a simple one: Run a 5K

This was not something I was expecting, what made it worse was that:

1) It was hot as balls out, about 95F, and humid.

2) I was expecting a lifting workout. I wore my Converse All-Stars, and not running shoes. And no socks to boot.

3) Due to a miscalculation in laundry, I did not have any gym shorts. All I had were cargo shorts that hung lower than my knees.

Not exactly ideal conditions.

I finished 3 minutes before everyone in the class, even some runners. My coach asked me how long it has been since I ran that distance, and I said "1997". I have no idea if that is right, but I know I hate running.

About 3 hours later it got me thinking. Why did I do so well in a relative sense? I think that it was two reasons:

1) I am in shape, and

2) I know how to run. I actually scribed a running workshop about 1.5 months ago.

The first point I won't say much on, other than the fact that all things being equal, the fittest person wins. The cardiovascular system is not that specific to the task at hand. If you can move blood and exchange air using kettlebells, you can do it in any movement.

The second point I think is a big one. I learned how to run when I was 10 months old, so I really do see any reason to practice it. I know that if I need to, I will be able to do it. Not exactly a high skill endeavor (on a scale of 0-10, it would be in the square root club). What still surprises me is how many people run, and have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE how to do the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other. Here are some of the common errors that I see:

* Heel striking, putting undue forces on knees, backs, and ankles.
* Running upright, poor directionality of force.
* Arms are all over the place, leaking energy.
* Poor core function.
* Mouth breathing, inefficient use of the lungs.

A recent study showed that about 66% of runners get injured doing something that is a sub activity of most sports with much lower injury rates.

This got me thinking about the RKC snatch test, if you don't have to practice running all the time to be decent at running, why do people feel that they need to practice the snatch test to get decent at snatching. Why don't they just:

1) Get in shape, and

2) Learn to snatch.

I think the best example of this is how they program it in Enter The Kettlebell. I won't divulge the whole program, but you only snatch once a week. This program will get you in shape and you will groove a decent snatch technique, and that is all you need.

Enter the Kettlebell Book

But what is strange, is that when someone says "I want to be an RKC.", they think now they have to snatch all the time. You don't. Skill level wise, the snatch test is not in the square root club, but it is less than the number of toes you have on ONE of your Vibrams. Eventually, that person will probably tear up their hands or jack up their body. Here are some common errors that people make when programming their snatch preparation:

1) They practice way too often. Again, it is low skill level. You don't need to practice it every day or even every other day.

2) They start snatching before they have good swing technique and overhead mobility. The foundation is not their, but they are trying to build a house on it.

3) They add volume before the have good technique. All you are doing is learning how to snatch poorly. If you can't get nine reps in fifteen seconds in MaxVO2 with a light bell, and you are doing 25-40 minutes, put yourself in this category.

3) They never work on remedial snatch drills. Heavy snatches, dead snatches, double snatches, hang snatches, and fast snatches all have their place in improving different parts of the snatch path. It is amazing how many people "think" they always have to snatch the 24kg bell. Heavy bells work on force production, dead snatch FORCE hips to be first, doubles virtually eliminate an arm cast, and light/fast snatches eliminate motion leaks, hang snatches teach you to catch the bell with your hips and not your arms. When I see someone get hurt during snatches, usually their technique is jacked. When I see someone fail the snatch test, if it more likely their technique is subpar rather than their conditioning. They have probably been practicing garbage for months.

4) They don't wave intensity/weight and volume/duration. If you don't understand this concept, you have no business teaching anything other than a beach burpee boot camp. If you want to develop athletes, you have to balance frequency and load.

5) They test way too often. It this regard, testing is like looking in the mirror or weighing yourself. It doesn't change anything. Testing is not going to get you in shape or improve technique. What is also does is limit how often you can practice techique or remedial drills.

So if you are preparing for the RKC, does your preparation make sense, or are you being shortsighted? When my guys and gals take the snatch test, they almost always pass the first time. Why? I don't let them test until they are in shape and know how to snatch. This checkpoint actually lets someone be able to do this after 3-5 months of training. One last thing I will say is that when a runner trains with me, they get better at running, even though I do NO RUNNING with them.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brad Nelson Sissy Challenge, part II

My facebook friends and fellow RKCs Nicole Money and Shane England of The Edge in Dayton, OH dug up Brad Nelson's "Sissy Challenge" is a very simple but brutal test.

Here is the workout:
25 Burpees/1 swing,
24 Burpees/2 swings,
23 Burpees/3 swings,
2 Burpees/24 swings,
1 Burpee/25 swings
==> For Time (This works out to 325 burpees and swings.

==> I did this workout in 46:15 with a 32kg (including pushups and clapping jumps), here are the stats:
Average HR: 170 (95.0% of MHR)
Max HR: 184 (102.8% of MHR)
Cals: 761 (16.45/minute)

Here are some observations.

1) I did this about 4 years ago (pre-RKC) and did this in over 48 minutes with a 24kg bell. I was sore all over the next two days, right now I am fresh as a daisy. Quads, calves, chest, and hams were destroyed the first time.

2) The key to this is to keep moving. A hard but a steady pace you can maintain. With the burpees, which are really just a bunch of singles, break them up. So if you are doing 15 burpess, divide into manageable pieces, like 8 + 4 + 3 burpees. For some reason the "reverse ladders" (e.g., 23 burpees, do 11, 8, 4) seemed to work. I see a lot of people rush stuff in Met-Con type workouts, and there is not reason to. If the workout is going to take over 30 minutes, you don't need to rush or sprint. You will gas out. Split your workout so that you leave something in the tank.

3) During my first 25 burpees, my heart rate was in the mid-160s.

4) The first time I did this, I did the 25 swings first. I don't it made a huge difference - but I do think the front loaded burpees had more of a degrading effect over the backloaded swings than the front loaded swings had on the backloaded burpees.

5) I wasn't really "fresh" for this test. I did a pretty bad-ass (for me anyways) set of Max VO2 snatches. 20kg x 30 x 8L/:15 rest/8R/:15 rest.

6) I really was not looking forward to this. I probably procrastinated about 45 minutes before starting.

7) Once you start, you really can't stop. It is like a jail sentence.

8) The burpees started getting easier around the set of 16 burpees

9) The swings started to get hard around the 21 mark. There just wasn't enough burpee time to rest between. That is about the point where I split into two sets with minimal rest.

10) I am still of the opinion that lunges and burpees are the most rudimentary exercises that trainers who can't acually teach skills use.. People seem to pride themselved on not being able to walk after doing lunges, esp new trainees. Same with burpees. Don't brag about hurting your wrist doing burpees. All it means is that you are a dumbass. I only do burpees when it is part of a challenge or a boot camp workout that I am unfortunately participating in. The burpee is not exactly a high skill exercise. I was doing pushups at 4, jumping at 3, and clapping as soon as I knew I had hands. Not a high skill exercise. You don't need burpees to get in shape. I will say this, they do get the heart rate up, but so does a kick in the nads.

11) This part is just math, but doing this challenge from 1-20 is not 80% as hard as 1-25. In 1-25, you are doing 325 burpees and swings. In 1-20, you are only doing 210, or 65.%. Also, the hardest sets ARE over 25% harder.

12) One of my coaches called this the "Rhabdo challenge". I would set a time limit of 80 minutes on this. Anything after 80 minutes is not going to help you. If you can't do this in this time, I can't imagine how sore you are going to feel.

13) This test is nothing more than a gut check, but you will remember it. It is strange, but the workouts that I remember are ones with 1 or 2 exercises. For example, I did 154 315lb deadlifts in 30 minutes in the Jack Reape deadlift challenge. I could literally feel my heartbeat in my pelvic floor and felt HOT TO THE TOUCH four hours later. This had nothing on that. It is not always the most skilled or genetically gifted that wins, sometimes it is about what you got.

14) I could ring sweat out of the chest band of my heart rate monitor.

15) I am going to put this challenge up to my peeps at Xtreme Athletix, USF Kettlebell Club, and Core Fitness Solution.

16) I wouldn't even use this as a gauge of conditioning. So much depends on the quality of pushup and degree up jump. I would do this about every four years, just like the Olympics. I never miss the Olympics, and I won't miss this.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brian Sabean comments regarding Scott Cousins

Whenever a player, especially a star player such as Buster Posey, gets injured, emotions will get heated and controversy will ensue. Here are my thought on the matter.

I have refereed probably over 350 soccer games in my life. My primary job is to protect the players' safety and make sure to protect the integrity of the game. This is no different than any other sports official. In looking at a play like this, you have to look at two things:

1) Did Scott Cousins break any rules? Simply put, the answer is "no".

2) Did Scott Cousins take any liberties with Buster Posey? Absolutely not. He went towards the outside of the plate, and hit Posey on the left shoulder after he went to block the plate. The injury was to the left ankle because it was bent backwards. He was playing the game by the rule. If he was taking liberties, he wouldn't have checked to see if he was OK.

Now the other question is, should the rule be changed, to protect the players safety? Personally, I think so. The reason, you have a catcher who is stationary, that this going up against a guy who has a 30 yard head of steam. He is a sitting duck, and that is just not a fair situation. I also don't think that it adds anything to the game, unless you enjoy snuff films or kicking puppies. Change the rule so that:

1) You have to slide into the plate, and

2) The catcher can only block the plate IF they have posession of the ball.

This will make it fair!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Heart Rate Monitor, Polar FT7

Hey everyone,

One of the biggest things they talk about in fitness is exercise intensity. Usually when they talk about this, they are referring to one of two ideas.
* Strength: % of 1RM (i.e., percentage of 1 Repetition Maximum, or the percentage of what you can lift one time)
* Cardiovascular: % of Maximum Heart Rate

For this discussion, I am talking about cardiovascular intensity. I bought a HR monitor to check this out. Here are some workouts that I have tracked.
* Lying Down: 55-58
* Sitting: 61-65
* Walking: 72-90
* KB Military Presses: Typically at the end of the workout my HR is in 85-100.
* DDR: 110-150 (will try snorkel and weighted vest versions)
* Swings: 150-160 (32kg and above, will try Tabata)
* MaxVO2 snatches: up to high 170s after about 20 minutes with the 20kg/8 reps
* Continuous 24kg snatches/burpees combo: ~ 160
* Going to try High Octane Cardio, Oly Lifting, and Bowling

I think the idea that my MaxHR is 179, and the corresponding Fat Burn and Cardiovasculature Conditioning Zones that come with it, are highly underestimated (and keep in mind, they are ESTIMATES).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kettlebell Training Versatility and Continuation of the Learning Process

One of the greatest benefits of Russian Kettlebell Training, besides blowtorching bodyfat and getting stronger, is its ability to physically prepare you for ANYTHING. I train with kettlebells, and I feel I can go into any bootcamp or jump into any sport and be able to not only hang, but excel. I typically train with people that are 10-18 years younger than I am, and I have no problem keeping up.

But even more important than the supposed differences in training methods, there are common threads that run through all sorts of training. I got the opportunity to join in a boot camp workout the other day. The workout of the day prescribed for me was:

3 Rounds of:
* 50 Double Unders
* 50 Kettlebell Swings (70lb)
* 50 Push Presses (95lb barbell)
==> I finished in 31:21, which is not elite or even good. The double unders slowed me down. This is not suprising, since over 90% of the double unders that I have done in my life were done in this workout. What was suprising was the things that I have learned in just this workout that transfer over to the snatch test:

1) Timing/Technique: When doing double unders, rope has to go under you twice. That does not mean that it has to make two full revolution around your body. It really only has to make 1.00001. You want to start your jump right as the rope is going under you. In my case, it takes 2 to 4 singles in between double under attempts. Those that are skilled at it are doing with 1 or no singles in between. In the snatch test, depending on the test, you want to either execute each snatch with at little effort as possible or execute each rep as fast as possible. Wasted motion/energy has not part in the equation. Here is a simple test. If you are doing max VO2 snatching, and you "can't" get 9 reps in 15 seconds with a light bell - YOU HAVE TIMING ISSUES. Usually they are:
* You start your "second pull" too late and the elbow separates from the body.
* You start the downward motion by pushing the bell forward rather than breaking the elbow.
* Your hips go back to early on the downstroke. This causes a wider arc.
* You lead the snatch with your arms instead of your hips.

2) Counsel: Since a lot of insights come from doing, learn from people who can do it and get their clients to do it, not just from people who have read about it, internet experts, or people who make excuses about not being able to do it. It is amazing to see how much bad advice there is on the snatch test FROM PEOPLE THAT HAVE NEVER PASSED IT. If you haven't passed it, your only answer should be "I don't know, but I know someone who does."

3) Learn to rest under load: In the double unders, learn to relax while doing single. In the push presses, learn to rest in the overhead position. Both of these let you eliminate time resetting the bar. In the snatch test, even though you can put the bell down, don't. Learn to rest at the top. By the way, learning to rest at the top is just that: Resting. Open your hand will force you to relax.

4) Breaking up sets: The key to passing the snatch test is to keep the bell moving. My strategy has always been simple. Get a big chunk out of the way with only one hand switch (for me that was 35L/35R) without the bell slowing down, then keep it in the air. In getting that "big chunk" out of the way, you don't want to do so many that the bell starts slowing down or your grip becomes the limiting factor. It is similar with the push presses. If your limit is 15, do 10-12. As you get closer to your limits, recovery time goes up exponentially...you don't want that. Let bar speed and speed between reps be your guide on both.

For the push presses, I did 10-12 reps at first, and had to finish with between 6 and 8. I know that if I did 10, I could rest for about 20s and be good to go. If I did 15, it would be closer to 1 minute.

So the general rule in the snatch test would be:
* Get your big chunk early (20-35L/20-35R), but the chunks shouldn't be so big that you get fatigued and need a lot of rest. For most people this will be between 60 and 75% of your max reps. In the snatch test, any time you lose early you can't get back.

* Chip away at the remaining reps between hand switches to keep from dropping the bell.

So in the workout my round split time were:

Round 1: 10:24
Round 2: 10:10 (my double unders were slightly faster, push presses slightly slower)
Round 3: 10:47 (double unders were slower/more misses)

Pretty consistent times. That is what general conditioning is going to do. You can walk into any boot camp or workout and have the conditioning, strength, and joint mobility to do what they do. You are ready for anything! But also keep in mind, you can learn from anything too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Core/Joint Mobility Kettlebell Workshop at Xtreme Athletix

More info
To Register: http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops

Core strength, in terms both of mobility and stability, it is the cornerstone of athleticism. Learn how to use kettlebells to improve your core strength. If your idea or abdominal training is endless crunches, you NEED this workshop. A BOSU ball -- You are not serious, are you?
The foundation exercises taught in this workshop include:
* The Turkish Get Up (or TGU)
* The Renegade Row (learn how to stabilize your core under movement)
* Russian Twists (to hit all of the rotators in the abs)
* One handed farmers walks and deadlifts (to stabilize under uneven loads)
* Figure Eights

Learn not only how to do these exercises, but how to integrate them into your training program.

If you want to train your core the way athletes do, this workshop is where it's at.

Prerequisites: None, open to all fitness levels and abilities.

Registration will be closed 24 hours before date of workshop.

Space is limited to first 10 people.

To Register: http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops

Beach Workout -- Lessons learned

I went on vacation last week. Here is a beach workout that you can try.

The Fort Myers 500:
100 Military Presses: 5 x 10L/10R
100 Goblet Squats: 10 x 10
100 Snatches: 5 x 10L/10R
100 Cleans: 5 x 10L/10R
100 Swings: 2 x (20 2H/10R/10L/10 H2H)

Lessons Learned:
* Snatching in sand will give you feedback if you are casting the bell or not. If the bell gets away from you, your toes will push into the sand.

* Swinging in sand will prevent the "drinky bird" swing

* Pressing in sand will fix lack of thoracic extension.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Guest Blog Post on World's Strongest Librarian...

I got the opportunity to write a guest post on one of my favorite blogs, World's Strongest Librarian.

Here is my guest post: http://worldsstrongestlibrarian.com/10900/dance-dance-revolution-exercise-yes-a-video-game-for-fat-loss/#comments

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My favorite time of the year......NFL Draft Time

Here is some of my observations/predictions for the NFL Draft this weekend.

1) The mock drafts have been all over the place since the beginning of January. That is interesting, because not a down of football has been played since then. Anyone who has ever put on a jock knows that competition is different from workouts, practice, drills, and all-star games. Todd McShay was a backup quarterback at the University of Richmond, and should know better. I have a feeling, with the exception of the quarterbacks, is that the draft is going to be closer to January's than to April's mock drafts.

2) One thing I like about that top quarterbacks (Newton, Gabbert, Dalton, Locker, Ponder, and Kaepernick) is that they all look like quarterbacks. They just have that look. I still think the reason that Jeff George and Ryan Leaf did not have more success is that they did not look like or carry themselves like quarterbacks. (Note: Personally, except in Atlanta, Jeff George was misused and could have been an elite quarterback and Hall of Famer)

3) Most of the mock drafts have Nick Fairley (Auburn) going either 8th (Titans) or lower. All you need is one to fall in love with him, and I think he is going to go earlier. Anyone who watched the BSC Championship knows why. All the talk about taking plays off is bunk. As a defensive tackle, you can't play with your hair on fire all the time. Sometimes you have to hold the point of attack and let your teammates make plays. People who micromanage watching film lose sight of this.

4) There is no way Da'Quan Bowers (DE/Clemson) goes 17th-20th like many of the mocks suggest. Former #1 projection, again, only needs one team to love him. I just can't see him falling to New England, San Diego, New York Giants, or Tampa Bay. This guy is too physical, too productive, and too versatile to fall that far.

5) There are a lot of good defensive ends in this draft (Aldon Smith, Missouri; JJ Watt, Wisconsin; Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue; Bowers, Clemson; Cameron Jordan, Cal; Justin Houston, Georgia; Adrian Clayborn, Iowa; and Cameron Heyward, Ohio State) projected between 11 and 26. I am not buying it. I think the offensive tackles (Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin; Nate Solder, Colorado; and Derek Sherrod, Miss. St.), which I think is a much stronger group, bump a couple of these guys into the second round. Also, the top safety, second best guard, and second best running back, will also bump a couple of these guys down.

6) I think that Detroit will continue their run of good picks (Calvin Johson, Matthew Stafford, N. Su) with Prince Amukamara (Nebraska). I don't think he is Deion Sanders, but he will be a solid starter that will make many positions better. I think if Bradford stays healthy the Lions make the playoffs.

7) Anyone who sees the films can see that AJ Green (Georgia) is a better wide receiver than Julio Jones (Alabama). Stop focusing on stuff that doesn't matter and watch the games. Being a wideout is about two things: getting open and catching the ball. Green is superior in both of them.

8) I would not want the first pick. There isn't a sure thing is this draft. Also, Carolina drafted two quarterbacks last year (Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike). I don't envy their situation. There isn't a good pick for them. They should skip it, just so they can pay less. It would be a greater value, picking 3rd, but very bad PR. Note: at one point, both Clausen and Pike were top-10 projected picks.

9) The offensive tackle group is solid, but there isn't a Munoz, Pace, or Walter Jones in the bunch. There are some Matt Lights and Joe Thomases, however.

10) New England has the 17th and 28th picks in this years draft. I would hold pat (no pun intended), because both are great value picks. I can't justify a reason to trade up. They are however, in a great position to trade down, esp. if teams are antsy about missing out on a quarterback, defensive end, or offensive tackle. They like to stockpile picks. They also have the luxury of taking the "best available athlete".

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Review of "Dance Dance Revolution" for Wii.

Anyone familiar with my blog or Facebook page knows that I am such a dork about Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). If you are looking to get in shape, all I know is this:

1) If someone is good at DDR, they are probably not overweight. It happens, but not nearly as often as with people who are good at weight lifting, kettlebells, Zumba, running, or spinning.

2) If someone is good at DDR, they cardiovascular system is in good working order. I very much can't say about the Under-armour wearing mullet who has to sit down between sets.

3) If someone is good at DDR, they move well and for the most part they are injury free. I definitely can't say this about my running and spinning friends. Some people who do Zumba don't even look like they can get out of bed on their own.

I am such a proponent of DDR that I am going to write an e-book about using it to get in shape. I use it in conjuction with High Octane Cardio, my weighted X-vest and swings. I have lost 36 lbs. since getting DDR 3 years ago, and unlike others that write about weight loss, I am still losing weight. DDR can very much be a convenient, effective, and sustainable form of fitness.

That being said, here is a review of the newest Wii version of Dance Dance Revolution.

Popular Songs (GRADE: D-): In this regard, this new version sucks ass. Lots of Jordan Sparks and Kelly Clarkson-type stuff. Just because it has popular appeal doesn't mean it has DDR appeal. Also, there is not as much range with these songs as their were in previous version. The worst part of this is that the foot rate for these songs is very slooooooooow compared to other version. This limits its exercise value.

Boss Songs (Grade: B+): "Boss" means "made for DDR." These songs are pretty good, at least the ones I have been able to unlock. Entertaining, well choreographed, and fun to dance to.

Choreography(Grade: A): Even though the song choice was pretty bad, the choreography was pretty good for what they had to work with.

Wii Remote/Nunchuk use (Grade: B): This is a feature that I always have turned off because it was annoying. The response reliability was really bad and it did not add anything to the game. This was consistently shitty throughout the entire Hottest Party series. Well, this version it has all changed:

a) The reliability is pretty good.

b) You do different things with the remote (slash, punch, swing, hand circles), which makes it more fun. For those that work with mobility, some of the pattern have a "Indian club" feel to them. They loosened up my shoulders a lot. One drawback, however, is when you are using them (i.e., Choreography Mode), the foot rate is really slow. I do thing this is a big improvement and it compares favorable to Xbox Kinect's "Dance Central", and you don't have the annoying calibration of the Kinect's.

c) The one bad point about this is when using the Choreography Mode, the foot rate for most songs is very slow.

d) If you do "Expert" level in Choreography Mode, you are not cued as to what to do. You have to follow what the dancer on the screen does. This is a really plus and was a lot of fun.

Exercise Value (Grade: C+): The other versions, especially Hottest Part 1 and 2, are way better. As I open up more songs, my opinion may change, but the songs, especially the popular ones, are definitely sissyfied.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kettlebell Workshop_INTRO_generic

I am hosting an INTRO kettlebell workshop at Xtreme Athletix on 4/9 and 4/16.

To register: http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops