Monday, February 28, 2011

Just some things that have to be said.....

This Logan Christopher/300 Snatch controversy have stirred up a lot of emotions. Here are some things that I feel have to be said:

1. Fast and Loose: Numbers have meaning. Words have meaning too. When you say "kettlebell snatch", people have a preconceived notion of what it means. It doesn't mean "superior conditioning". It doesn't mean "lung-blowing feat of strength". It means that you explosively bring a kettlebell overhead to a locked position in one motion. No matter how fast you move, it is either a snatch or it isn't. Don't play fast and loose with words order to achieve a number. The number doesn't mean anything if the words don't. Again, I can appreciate it for being a great test of superior strength, conditioning, and mental toughness, but that doesn't make it "300 snatches". Just because you don't think 300 snatches is impossible in 10 minutes doesn't give you free reign to change the scope of a snatch.

2. Blindly forwarding content is no better than SPAM: If I subscribe to your mailing list, and you send me a video and say that I need to watch it, I think it is assumed that you have watched it. If you haven't, don't pimp it around to your subscribers. What you are saying is that my time is not as valuable as yours. More time was taken to market the product than look at the product. I see a disturbing trend of cross promotion that focuses on the person and not the content. Remember, content is KING and thus should always come first.

Even the people who send me spam about Viagara, hip replacements, and Work-from-Home jobs have taken the time to know what is on the other end of the link. And I don't even know those people.

3) Buildup: If you build something up, it better be worth the buildup. I have a friend that I bowled with in the Florida State Tournaments. He got waaaaaaaaaaaay too excited about it for way to long. At the end of the day, it is just bowling. He built it up so big that he couldn't just enjoy it. It is what it is, a fun weekend of bowling and competition, if you make it any more than that, you will be disappointed.

I think some of the backlash from this video was they way it was hyped. It was announced two weeks in advance. People asked about it on the forums. People kept asking about it. It was promoted by two Master RKCs. You had to provide your e-mail to see it. There was a 4-6 minute introduction. There were comparisons to Valery and Superman. It didn't live up to the hype for everyone. Because of that there was going to be backlash. They were expecting one thing, and got another. If you think it was bad on DragonDoor, you should have seen the criticism on Iron Garm.

4) Stay genuinely excited with fitness accomplishements: Are we so jaded with kettlebell lifting that when someone asks you to help promote a video with the words "300 snatches" that the video is not worth watching BEFORE passing it on to others? I mean, there were people having wet dreams about this on the forum for over a week before it came out. I hope that no matter where I go in this industry that I never get so involved in the business side of things that I can't get excited when someone performs amazing feats of physical strength and endurance. Imagine this conversation:

Peter: Hey Faizal, did you hear some dude out in Northern California did 300 snatches in 10 minutes. I mean, you were happy the first time you got over 200. I got 100 in under 5 minutes and it damn near killed me. I got a link to the video, do you want to watch it?

Faizal: No, I don't have time. Tell you what, I bet my blog subscribers and Meetup Group want to see it. Send me a link, and I will pass it on to them.

5) Look through your own eyes: When I got Logan's video, while I was impressed with the effort (just keeping a bell up in the air for 10 minutes is killer), the very first thing I did is asked the people who sent me the video "Did you watch this video?" My heart of hearts told me they didn't.

If you were on either of the mailing lists, and your first gut response was to not ask "Did you watch this video?" of the person sending it to you, you REALLY need to think whose eyes you are looking at stuff through. If that answer is anyone's but your own, you really need to take a good look in the mirror. I saw this quote this weekend: "You see what you see, not what someone else sees. A friend of mine posted an opinion about what he saw on FB, and was told that "He shouldn't write stuff like that, people will get mad." SO WHAT! What you see is what you see, no matter the context of what you are looking at. I won't get mad at someone because I disagree with them. I will get mad if they lie to me. I have had disagreements about lots of thing in the fitness industry. Even if I don't agree with them, I learn from it. No one should ever be afraid of questioning what they are told because of who they might upset. If the person gets upset, it is because they:

* Don't have an answer or logical reasoning, and/or

* They are insecure.

I have known generally when I have upset people, 1 of the above was true. When I asked if "Did you watch the video?", I was glad I got honest answers! It takes a lot of guts to be honest. Your reaction to the video should be about what you see, not what your affiliation is or who your role model it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Food Post: 2/25

Breakfast: 8 AM
* Rotisserie Chicken and Broccoli (Raw)
* Hummus

Lunch: 3:00 PM
* 2 Deviled Crabs

I feel like I am missing something....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food Log: 02/24

Really have no appetite today:
Wake Up @ 8 AM: Good to sleep in after bowling, not hungry at all

1:00PM: Apple
Water from home

3:15PM: Coffee (1.47)
Small Bag of Honey Roasted Peanuts ($.59)

8oz Carne Picada
1 carrot

Food Post: 2/23

Morning: 1 Protein Shake (Milk, Water, Protein Powder, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate)
Early Afternoon: Carne Picada Steak (8oz)
1 Protein Shake (Milk, Water, Protein Powder, Peanut Butter)
==> Meal Cost: ~$1.10

2:00 PM: Workout (Chest)

3:30 PM: Low Carb Latte at Indigo Coffee:
==> Meal Cost: $3.64

4:30 PM: Carne Picada Steak (8oz): $1.12
1 can canned carrots: $.67
==> Meal Cost: $1.79

6:00 PM Meditation@

7:30 PM: Shopping @ Publix Greenwise, Shopping List:
Family Combo Meal: Rotisserie Chicken, 1lb Coleslaw, 1lb Baked Beans for $10.59
5lb Organic Carrots: $5.99
Celery Hearts: $2.29
Kale Greens (precut): $2.99 (I decided to try this again)

8:30 PM: Workout (TGU - 10L/10R)
1 Protein Shake (Milk, Water, Protein Powder, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate)

9:15: Bowling (244-203-192 -- Flagged two 9 pins in a row and a 5 pin in the 10th of the third game to lose. Unacceptable)
2 O'Douls
==> Meal Cost: $8.00 (@$2.70 + $2.60 tip)

Post Bowling Meal:
Rotisserie Chicken, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans
==> They had a great deal at Publix. Normally a Chicken is $7.30, but you can add to sides (value: $4.50) and Bread Rolls (value: $.99) for a total of only $10.56
==> Meal Cost: Still need to estimate.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Introductory Kettlebell Workshop, South Tampa

I am hosting an Introductory Kettlebell Workshop at Xtreme Athletix this Saturday, Feb 26th at 10:30 AM. There is no time like the present.

Kettlebell Workshop_INTRO_generic

To Register:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes I just don't get it....

1) If you are bench pressing, and you can fit a Nathan's foot long VERTICALLY between you the bar and your chest: a) It is not a bench press and b) It won't do a damn thing for your chest. Same goes for a pushup and the floor.

2) If you do deadlift, and it is anything other than a barbell lifted from the floor, you need some terms to qualify what it is. I used a trap bar, so those are called "Trap Bar Deadlifts". If you use a kettlebell, it is a Kettlebell Deadlift. If you pull from pins in a squat rack, it is called a Rack Pull. Stiff legged deadlifts and Dimel Deadlifts are not really deadlifts at all, since you are not lifting from a dead stop, but those two lifts have been referred to so often as not to be misleading.

If you are not deadlifting from the floor, it is something else. You are lying if you don't clarify.

3) I got a one-week trial membership to a local gym in town. I honestly think that they have 50 cardio machines to every (i.e., both) squat rack. There was a trainer working with a female, and for a little while I was actually impressed because he got her to an above BW squat that was actually less that 1 foot from parallel. The bad part was that he left the 25lb plates on the bar and he put 4 10lb plates on the floor. Congrats to your client for doing a one plate above parallel squat. That doesn't make her the Queen of Hyde Park, put your fuckin' weights away.

4) Hey, if you are taking growth hormone, we can tell. And when you look at us to see if we are looking at you, we are. And we are wondering, what kind of douchebag doctor runs a hormone mill.

5) If I ask you how many sets you have left on the leg press and you say "two", don't check your Iphone of Blackberry between steps.

6) Making your client do a squat or a lunge between reps on exercise equipment doesn't fool anyone into thinking that you know what you are doing. It just shows that you have to use smoke and mirrors to hide then fact that:
* You can't lift anything heavy, and ipso facto
* You can't teach anyone to do the same.

7) If you are female, don't wear shorts, and your workout pants are "reinforced", you:
* Are not fooling anyone, and
* You look ridiculous

8) I was in the Gym for 75 minutes and I saw the:
* Jillian Michael's Clean and Press, and
* Ryan Shanahan "Squat and Front Raise" swing

9) I saw a guy wearing Parachute Pants and a tank top. Took me back to 1994. The only justification for him wearing those pants is that he got a lot of action back then. I think he just cut his mullet too. He "looked" like he was in good shape, but got winded stretching.

10) Just make it an even 10.


Diet Challenge: 2/22

12:45 AM: 1 16oz Miller Lite
Meal Cost: $5.00 (yeah, even though I am trying to spend as little as possible, I am still going to tip)

1:45 AM: 1/2 CVS High Energy Mix
Meal Cost: $2.50 (some part of it was paleo, some wasn't)

10:00 AM: Protein Shake (Water, Protein Powder, Peanut Butter)
Meal Cost: $.67

1:45 PM: Diet Coke (12oz can)
Meal Cost: $.60 (While it doesn't get any cheaper than this, this is really an EMPTY choice)

4:00 PM: Cappuccino (Indigo Coffee)
Meal Cost: $4.27 (It was good)
==> I feel like a wasted $5

7:30 PM: Protein Shake (yes, I am going to prepare some real food)
==> Thought about getting Wings from Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Tue is wing day and you get 1.5lb of wings for the price of a lb. But at $8.99 it really costs about $12.00 with tax and tip. So $3 would to local government and some dude I don't know instead of in my stomach.
==> Meal Cost: $.67

10:00 PM
==> Carne Picada Steak, 8oz. Carne Picada steak costs around 2.23/lb
==> 3 roasted carrots, cost about $.80

1:00 AM: Protein Shake

Monday, February 21, 2011

Running Diet Log: 02/21

Monday, 02/21:

* 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 oz. peanuts, 16 oz of tap water
==> I got the tub of yogurt cheap @ $1.99, Peanuts were $2.00 for 8oz
Meal Cost: $.50

* Chicken Dog from Race Track (no bun), Can of Peas
Meal cost: $1.74
==> The chicken dog was surprisingly satisfying.

* 2oz Meatloaf and can of Carrots, 16oz of tap water
Meal cost: ~$1.25, based on ground beef at $3.99/lb

4:00 PM
Protein Shake ("Elite Gourmet" Powder, Ice, 1oz Peanut Butter and Water)
==> Hungry
Meal Cost: $.70

7:30 PM
* Cup of Coffee
==> Coffee is a waste, it costs almost as much as a meal. If you get "coffee drinks", they cost as almost as much as two homemade meals.)
Meal Cost: $2.25

* 1oz Meatloaf (scrap) and 3 eggs
==> Not sure on the cost of the eggs. Used the leftover meat loaf more like a spice than an ingredient.
Meal Cost: $.24 + $.50 = $.74

10:00 PM
Protein Powder (the cheap stuff) and Water
Meal Cost: $.50

Total Cost: $7.68


Food Purchases:
Village Health:
Mangostein w/Gogi Energy Drink: $.99
Guru Energy Drink
Kale Chips (aaaaaaaack): $.99
SupraFiber: $1.99 for 10.6oz

CVS: Two Campbell's Chunky Chili: 2 for $3
Two CVS Gold Emblem "High Energy Mix" 2 for $5

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Diet Challenge

Even though my weight is down to a svelte 177lbs, I still get bored by diet and look for new challenges. I found that when I set up special challenges (e.g., Jack Reape Deadlift Challenge, Faizal S. Enu Double Snatch Challenge, the RKC), I learn lessons that last a lifetime.

Here is my newest challenge: Spend as little possible on food in one week.

Objective: Incur the least amount of cost of food consumed during one week. The cost will be determined on a "consumption" basis and not a "cash-flow" basis.

Inspiration: I went to Whole Foods on Saturday, and I was VERY disappointed with how deconditioned and sickly many people in the store were. I was also disappointed with the food choices that were being made (expensive junk). I hate when people say "I can't afford to eat well."

Constraints: In this challenge, I could simply not eat, but not only would that be non-sporting, it would also be useless as a learning experience. Therefore I have the following constraints:
* No free food, or I will have to account for it as if I had bought it
* I have to keep up my current training volume
* I have to maintain my current weight

Reporting: I will report, in a separate blog post, everyday what I ate and spent.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some observations about fitness industry...

1) I have people focusing less on how much you are lifting (i.e. reps/sets) and more stuff that just doesn't matter. People want to make light weights hard rather than lifting heavy. I am not sure why this is, but I have a feeling that heavy lifting is just hard work. Also, some people think that they have to be "different" to get in shape. You don't, just put in the work. In my one boot camp, I talk about "Simple is not Easy".

2) In the top of the lift, like a kettlebell snatch, you want to stabilize the weight. Stable means it doesn't move. It does not mean that you look like you have been tased. I am not sure where this came into fitness vogue. Think of the word "stable" like the word "wet". Something is either wet or not wet. An overhead lockout is either stable or not. There is no "stabler".

3) A lot more people lunge than squat. I know the reason for this, and it is pathetic. If you are not getting the results you want, and you are not squatting, all other discussion is pointless until you squat.

4) The dragon walks, and shown in Beyond Bodybuilding, are the most underrated exercise ever. If you want to improve your squat depth or improve your balance and athleticism, do this exercise. For you runners out there, if you have IT band problems, do this to open them up. I do them as lunges, and they work great.

5) I don't bother asking how important fitness results are to someone's training. I just ask what they did in the last week. If you didn't do anything, it is not important. Nobody's goal is to be fat and weak, but they don't prioritize changing it.

6) I used to be a Civil Engineer, and one of the first thing we learned is if something "looks" wrong, it usually is. Trust your judgement. Movements should look strong and athletic.

7) People talk about the Biggest Loser recently, both positive and negative. Personally I find the show annoying for the following reasons:
* It is more focused on the drama than anything else.
* Most of the people that watch are those that should be training instead of watching TV.
* There isn't full disclosure about diet and medications (this is also what killed bodybuilding as a sport).
* It is completely unrealistic for most people.
* In a show like this, I should learn something from every show. I don't.
* The product placement on the show is ridiculous.

I will say this. The show for the most part does get results and does get people into better habits. I think if they went "full disclosure", it would have a bigger impact on our fitness landscape. Just like bodybuilding, people just say its the drugs. In Biggest Loser, people say "If I had a trainer.", "I have a job.", I have to take care of my family." It may not be the ratings winner, but it wouldn't be the turd sandwich it is today.

8) There seems to be a lot of overuse injuries. I have had them, but there is never an excuse for them. Overuse injuries are not from training hard, they are from badly planned training. And a torn callous is a overuse injury.

9) If your warmup lasts longer than your workout, you need to reconsider what you are doing.

10) If a fitness test can be "gamed" with bad technique, the test should be changed. People are complaining the the RKC snatch test can be passed with bad technique. No kidding, it is not a test of technique. If it doesn't meet the needs, change it. The old snatch test (one hand switch) penalized bad technique much more. It sounds like one problem (people using GS style snatches) was fixed and bigger one (ugly style) was created. If you can pass the test with sets of 8, don't expect it to be a test of technique. It is what it is.

Now, the snatch test is a small part of RKC weekend, and if you are an instructor, you should know how to pass any test put in front of you. I have seen both tests at certs, and I know which one rewards better technique. I have less of a problem with a corkscrew drop than I do with the swing/front raise or the forward cast that I see that is not penalized with unlimited switches.

Friday, February 4, 2011

RoTK Ballistic Block -- Why only one exercise?

I can't say enough how many joint movements the long cycle teaches. If you Facebook status your workout as "Long Cycle: 2 32kg x 5 x (2,4,6,8) in 42:00", many think you are only doing one exercise and you worked out for less than two hours. But look at all of the joint actions that it covers:

* Ankle plantarflexion and eccentric dorsiflexion,
* Knee extension and eccentric flexion,
* Hip extension and eccentric flexion,
* Core stabilization and force absorption,
* Grip,
* Elbow flexion, extension, force absorption,
* Shoulder flexion and eccentric extension,
* Shoulder lateral rotation and eccentric internal rotation,
* Shoulder joint stabilization and force absorption,
* Lumbar stabilization and force absorption, and
* Thoracic extension and stabilization and force absorption

Seriously, no joint is left uncovered! I reiterate that most of the size gaining effects of RoTK are elicited from systemic stress rather than localized muscle failure. Look at how many muscle actions you are hitting. If you don't know what systemic overload is, one week of the ballistic block will show you. The grind block (double military presses), is systemic overload of the "neural drive" variety. You are not limited by shoulder strength, but your ability to support your pressing weight. That weight is trying to fold you in half. Same idea, different mechanism. The two-week alternating blocks are a kind of periodization on a "critical factor" level.

I am hitting the 2, 4, 6, 8, 10s with the 32kgs in 5 days. Not looking forward to it.