Monday, September 20, 2010

It's been awhile.....because I moved!

Thanks to all who have taken the time and effort to view my blog. I had moved a new website so please join me at http://selectedstrength.webs.com/. The direct link to my new blog is http://selectedstrength.webs.com/apps/blog/.


Many thanks to everyone,
Ron Baguisa
Selected Strength 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest Feature Article: Hybrid Training for Athletes by Coach Joe Belden

Hi Everyone!
My latest guest feature article was written by Coach Joe Belden of Kettlebellinc.com. Coach Belden teaches Strength and Conditioning at Wichita High School North. He has been teaching and coaching in the Wichita area for over 20 years. Coach Belden has achieved both C.S.C.S. and U.S.A.W. certifications and currently holds both American Kettlebell Club and Maxbells certifications. Joe has also been involved in the development and implementation of speed development programs for over a decade. He conducts Kettlebell and Hybrid training classes in the Wichita area and has served as a fitness consultant for Wichita S.W.A.T. and other local law enforcement.

Please read on and enjoy this excellent article.


Hybrid Training for Athletes
Written by Coach Joe Belden

There are a variety of training tools and modalities. Most can be used successfully and have there place when training athletes. For years, my background and the majority of my training knowledge was centered around Olympic and powerlifting exercises. I still teach those lifts and every student taking my Strength and Conditioning class will learn to perform them with proper technique. While these movements used to comprise about 80% of our program, it is now about 40%. It’s amazing how my training philosophy has changed in the last decade. What you see as you walk into the weight room at Wichita High School North are multiracks lining two walls across from each other, with kettlebells and sandbags at one end and a few machines at the other. Hybrid training has revolutionized the way we train athletes.



Most people are somewhat familiar with barbell and dumbbell training. It’s common place in almost every high school and college weight room. The three areas that make North’s training program unique from many others are how we have implemented kettlebells, sandbags and body weight training progressions into our curriculum. Some plyometrics and speed development are also taught as a part of the program. We don’t put up the same numbers in the Olympic and power lifts that we used to as the training protocol has become more diverse, but I’m convinced that we produce a more well rounded athlete. We have created an environment conducive to training all athletes in the right energy system with a greater degree of specificity. By introducing athletes to different training tools and modalities, we have found that it also intrinsically motivates the athlete. Training becomes more purposeful, meaningful and fun.

In a small weight room with many athletes competing for space, alternative training tools have made it possible to train many athletes at once. Kettlebells and sandbags are portable. This allows teams or groups of athletes to transport them outside the weight room, reducing weight room congestion. Implementing alternative exercises in a superset or circuit format, allow more athletes to train at once. This keeps more kids busy and creates an environment in which twice as much work can be done in the same period of time. We now have 16 – 24 kids working at eight multiracks instead of eight.

Here are some reasons we use alternative training tools:

Kettlebells- Kettlebells are without question, one of the most versatile tools in our training arsenal. They are perfect for athletes who participate in sports that are both aerobically and anaerobically demanding. Even though they look very intimidating, they are incredibly safe. While explosive barbell Olympic lifts like the clean are typically performed for low reps and quite technical from a teaching standpoint, kettlebell ballistics can be performed for high reps, allowing the athlete to train in a different energy system while training explosively. Kettlebells also allow an athlete to train unilaterally. We perform a barbell jerk on one day and a kettlebell jerk on another, for example. In performing both, athletes are exposed to both unilateral and bilateral training, high rep and low rep sets, respectively. We perform unilateral and bilateral variations for all movements.

We spend a lot of time talking about good athletic stance and movement. We believe that the swing is the perfect exercise to groove this hip dominant, athletic movement. Whether it’s a vertical jump, fielding a baseball, a defensive basketball stance, or a 2 point football stance, the kettlebell swing grooves a movement advantageous to all athletes. We almost always end our workouts with timed sets of kettlebell swings, snatches or long cycle. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all,” and kettlebells are the perfect finishing tool to condition athletes to fight past fatigue at the end of a contest.

Sandbags- Sandbags are the newest member to our training arsenal. We’re very pleased with their simplicity and effectiveness so far. The sandbag clean requires very little instruction and helps correct many technique flaws that athletes develop with the barbell Olympic clean. Sandbags make it almost impossible to cheat on the clean, forcing the athlete to explode into a high pull instead of a reverse curl. The athlete is also forced to shoot the elbows to catch the bag. With the sandbag in the Zercher position, we can also add a front squat for a killer conditioning combo. Shouldering is unique to only sandbags. This is like good, old fashioned farm work, and our wrestlers love it.

Body weight training- Take Steve Maxwell’s Body Weight Training course. Enough said. Even though body weight training goes back to the beginning of mankind, it is so easily bypassed for other training tools. Until proper technique is achieved with body weight training, students have no business adding additional weight. You have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. By understanding simple teaching progressions and training variations, the gym is always open. Learning these training principles can take your athletes training to a new level. Body weight exercises are also perfect for supersets and circuits or in situations where equipment is at a minimum. Try taking your athletes through a single leg squat / pistol progression and watch this simple, but difficult movement take your athletes unilateral leg strength and balance to a new level. When an athlete sprints, there is never a time that both legs are in contact with the ground at the same time, making it very important to train unilaterally. I’ve been involved in the research, implementation and overseeing of speed development programs for over a decade. The addition of a few kettlebell and body weight movements have improved mobility, unilateral strength and balance, and has been an integral part of improving overall athlete performance.

As strength coaches, we have a responsibility to help our athletes perform at a high level and to take them where they can not take themselves. For those athletes who rely on absolute strength and power to perform at a high level for their sport, a certain amount of training time must be spent pushing or pulling heavy weight. There is no question that they need to be trained in way that’s specific to their needs. We also have a responsibility to educate our students on healthier, effective long term training alternatives. There are better long term ways to train, than to overstress joints and compress the spine as is repeatedly done by performing heavy Olympic and power lifting exercises. So by exposing our athletes to alternative training methods and progressions, we are not only helping them achieve their immediate goals, we are giving them the knowledge they need achieve a healthy lifestyle long after they are done competing.

Below are some training methods we use and how we incorporate kettlebells, sandbags and body weight movements into each method.

Timed sets: The best way to become good at performing a skill or to improve technique is to practice. I emphasize to my athletes that we are going to practice perfect technique for a period of time. We may start with periods of only 30 seconds per side and extend the time period as conditioning and technique improves. We use timed sets at the beginning to hone our kettlebell skills and the end of class for a finisher. Even power and strength athletes, such as football players, can benefit from 30second to1 minute sets of double cleans and double jerks. A 1:1 work/rest ratio is ideal for partner work. There is a fourth quarter in every football game and the most well conditioned team will many times prevail.

Circuit training: Two of my favorites are the Power Endurance Circuit and the Clean Circuit.With the P.E. circuit, the athlete performs a Clean and Jerk, Clean and Front Squat, Front Squat and Push Press, Clean + Jerk + Front Squat and a Maxwell Kettlebell Burpee, if so desired. Those athletes who tackle this one work at a 1:1 work/rest ratio, 30 seconds of work and rest on week 1, moving to 45 seconds on week 2 and 1 minute on week three. On week 4 we start reducing rest intervals to 45 seconds and 30 seconds on weeks 5 and 6, respectively. The C.C. circuit, simply involves performing cleans with three different training tools. First we perform Olympic hang cleans with the barbell, then sandbag cleans, and finally double kettlebell cleans. This is great for not only power athletes, but for all athletes.We use this at the beginning of many of our workouts.

Complexes: We will sometimes combine a series of different exercises, completing an entire set of one movement before moving to another, creating a complex. It’s a great way to practice many kettlebell or sandbag exercises and condition our athletes in a very short period of time.Below are few unique kettlebell complexes. Both are advanced and somewhat grueling. Complexes are great for training wrestlers and any athlete who spends a lot of “time under tension.”

Warrior Walks-This is a “time under tension” complex that will make your body scream. Start with two heavy kettlebells in the overhead position and walk a specified distance, 10-25 meters. Then perform 5 jerks with the kettlebells. When concluding the last rep, hold both bells in the rack position and rack walk back to where you started. Then proceed to complete 5 front squats. Now, making sure your feet are at proper distance apart, unrack both bells, swinging them down safely and now place the bells outside the hips for farmer’s walks. At the conclusion of your farmers walk, complete 5 double cleans and bear crawl the bells back to the starting line where you will finish with 5 renegade rows each arm. It’s no walk in the park.

Blaster- Start by performing 10 double clean and jerks, followed by 10 double front squats, and finally 10 double bent rows. If the athlete hasn’t advanced to double kettlebell work yet, try progressing from one arm clean and jerk to reverse lunges, to a one leg deadlift and finish with bent rows.



Combinations: We use combination lifts with just about every tool. Clean and push press or jerk, clean and front squat are a few of our favorites. This gives us “more bang for the buck,” More work is done in the same time frame and it is also a great conditioner. Also, in most athletic competitions, the athlete is not limited to performing one movement at a time. They are required to transition from one movement to the next and to change levels as smoothly as possible. The Power Endurance Circuit is and example of how we combine combination movements in a circuit format.

Tabata sets: 20 seconds of intense work doesn’t seem like very long, but 10 seconds of rest is even shorter. We sometimes use a Tabata format for our finisher. Pairing up two to three exercises adds variety and it moves so fast, our athletes are smoked before they know what hit them. Using a variety of training tools make the possibilities endless. Our soccer athletes have utilized tabata sets after unilateral strength work. We also use tabata sets as a finisher with all athletes to add a little variety to the end of the workout.

Supersets: We can pair up barbell Olympic jerks with sandbag cleans, barbell back squats with kettlebell single leg deadlifts, and dumbbell bench press with pull ups or body weight rows. These are just a few pairings we may use and an example of how we can run 32 athletes through eight racks in an efficient manner. If the goal is hypertrophy, we’ll pair antagonistic movements, short rest intervals, with a slightly higher rep range. If the goal is strength, we keep the rep range low with longer recovery and pair up unrelated movements, such as a squat with a bent row. Pair up a couple combination exercises, such as sandbag clean and front squat and kettlebell clean and jerk for a killer conditioning combo.Pavel popularized using ladders in a superset format in his “Right of Passage” workout. If you want to move to a heavier bell on your presses and push your pull up numbers through the roof, you should consider this one. The thing that I like most is that it’s extremely simple with a low to high volume progression, allowing the athlete to polish their technique as they get stronger. Our modified version of this workout will also get you ready for the beach.

Competitions: Year end competitions help the athletes to stay motivated and make training fun. All athletes are required to participate in a power lifting competition, our North Kettlebell Challenge or our Warrior Challenge. The last 8 weeks of the school year are spent preparing for their chosen competition.

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I love how Coach Belden promotes the advancement of other implements to help succeed in the realm of physical fitness.

Thanks for checking in here at Selected Strength!

Ron

TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Five Keystone Exercises for Size and Strength

Below is an excellent tutorial presented by Josh Hewett and Craig Hirota of Top-Form Fitness and Team Barbarian. The exercises presented will make a solid cornerstone to your training. Each movement is explained with in-depth detail. Take the time to watch this well-presented video. **SPOILER ALERT** Make sure you stay tuned to the last few minutes. Josh had included another TEN BONUS tips to help boost your training goals. Don't miss it!!

Now if you happened to be wondering what I like to use as a primary mass and strength builder, I personally choose the deadlift as the king of all exercises. It's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I think no other movement hits the body quite like deadlift. The deadlift involves almost every muscle of the body with strong emphasis to the posterior chain. My personal favorite is the trap bar version!!

Thanks for reading and check out the tutorial below,
Ron

TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN




Watch The 5 Best Exercises for Size and Strength in Educational & How-To  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

GUEST ARTICLE: Stop Being Content and Become Great by David Clairborne

My guest article of the weekend is by David Clairborne of "The Training Website That Builds The Best Bodies and Athletes". This article was featured on sicfit.com. Some good points are brought up by David. Read and enjoy the article!

Stop Being Content and Become Great




Thanks,
Ron

TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Are Your Abs Ready to Start Training With Kettlebells?

For my weekend post, I'd like to feature as a guest, Chris Lopez of KettlebellWorkouts.com. I relate well to this article because I'm a big believer of being able to build a strong core without having to lay down horizontally. The kettlebell is a big proponent in my preferred style of training with odd objects. Read on and enjoy Chris' unedited article in its entirety!


Are Your Abs Ready to Start Training With Kettlebells?

This post was written by Chris Lopez. Follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his Tumblr feed.

I came across THIS article in a back issue of MacLeans Magazine over the weekend while at a friend’s house.

It talks about the research done by Dr. Stuart McGill, who in my opinion, is the #1 spine and low back researcher in word (he also happens to be Canadian).

Dr. McGill has written 2 books and has done numerous workshops on his findings of the importance of proper core training and low back injury and health. Having done several of Dr. McGill’s workshops and visiting him in his laboratory a few years back, I know that he is the real deal.

His big claim to fame among the general population is being known as "The Man Who Wants To Kill Crunches".

Because of McGill, I’ve renounced crunches, sit-ups and pretty much any exercise that involves you flexing your spine (or rounding your back). In the TT KB Revolution Programs, you won’t find any weighted sit-ups, side bends or stiff-legged dead lifts that require you to hunch over.

Your spine only has a finite number of flexions in it before you end up blowing a disc or seriously injuring yourself. If you couple that with adding resistance (like holding a 45lb plate on your chest while you’re anchored down and doing full sit-ups), you’re just asking for trouble.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks back and showed you the perfect ab circuit complement to your Kettlebell Training, but what if you’re just getting started with Kettlebells?

The main point to understand before even thinking about swinging or snatching or even picking-up (literally) a kettlebell is that your spine must remain TIGHT. And by tight I mean that your back shouldn’t round when you pick-up a KB or hunch on the down-swing of a 1 or 2 arm KB swing.

So if you’re just starting out, then the "Core Support" program that accompanies your TT Kettlebell Revolution Manual is what you should master.

In that program you learn how to "separate" your breathing from your brace so that you can maintain tight abs for an extended period of time.

You’ll learn the specific bench marks that I’ve set for you to reach in order for you to progress with more ab training.

And finally, you’ll understand why your 6-pack looks the way it does and why your abs were never meant to bring your torso into hips.

Unlike traditional isolated ab training, the Core Support program works your torso as a single unit - BECAUSE THAT’S HOW YOUR BODY FUNCTIONS IN LIFE (as a unit and not as bunch of little isolated muscles).

So work hard on learning how to keep your spine stable and your abs tight and you will get that much more from your kettlebell training - not only because kettlebell training burns fat and builds muscle better than any workout you’ll find in a bodybuilding magazine, but because you’ll stay healthy and injury free with no back pain which will allow you to be consistent with your workouts and your results.

Chris Lopez, CSCS, CTT


Many thanks to Chris Lopez for sharing this valuable information on the fat burning and muscle building prowness of the kettlebell!

Thanks for reading,
Ron

TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

P.S. If you are interested in more information about his program, just click Kettlebell Revolution. I have it myself and highly recommend it. With all the different circuits and additional workouts, it makes for a great combination.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Dumbbell Swing with Split Jerk

Got an email today from Zach Even-Esh regarding DB Olympic Lifts. It got me thinking about this DB lift variation combining the Swing & the Split Jerk that I have used in the past. After viewing it again, I'm gonna add it back to my workout. Nice movement to build strength and power! We can always use a little more of that! Here is the link that I originally found this on, as provided by Straight To The Bar. Enjoy!

http://www.straighttothebar.com/2007/11/swing.html 

 

 

TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN 

 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Renegade Get-Up by Joe Hashey


I have been following and have always been impressed by Joe Hashey of Synergy Athletics. He is a known author and contributor of various strength training methods. Recently, he shared one of his core strength movements from his book, Bull Strength Manual. The movement he featured was the Renegade Get-Up. I would describe it as a hybrid movement of a T-push up, windmill, and Turkish Get-Up. I tried it and was instantly convinced that I had to add this to my training.

I urge you to click this link to his Synergy Athletics website and find out How To Do Renegade Get-Ups. For information about his Bull Strength Manual, click here.



Thanks,
Ron


TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midwest Strength & Conditioning Clinic

This Saturday, the Midwest Strength & Conditioning Clinic is being held at McHenry Community College in Crystal Lake, IL. I will definitely be attending. You can never have too much knowledge!

For more info, just click the link below.
http://www.mchenry.edu/events/vieweventdes.asp?eventId=3786


Thanks,
Ron


TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

Wong's top 10 ways to get Lean... fast!

Right now, I'd like to share with you an excerpt from an email I received from top MMA trainer, Eric Wong, titled "Wong's top 10 ways to get Lean... fast!" Very sound advice from who knows a lot about getting fighters in top shape. I hope you find his top 10 list beneficial.

"...I've been getting a lot of questions from guys about how to lean up lately...

Not sure if it's got to do with the nice weather we're having and the imposing shirtless days at the beach, but I thought I'd give you my Top 10 ways to get lean fast...
Everyone loves Top 10 lists right?
This one will some good, actionable advice mixed with irreverent humour. Thanks CagePotato.
Well OK then let's get at it:
  1. Drink only WATER all day, everyday (and maybe some herbal tea without honey or sugar)
  2. Dedicate 1 day a week to eating whatever the heck you want
  3. The rest of the time, eat nothing but meats you cook yourself, fruit, vegetables and carbs only after training
  4. Set a time to go to the grocery store twice a week
  5. If you're gonna drink, do it only once a week, but make sure you go to a bar to do it and hit on the girlfriend of the biggest guy in the bar... you're bound to burn off some of the calories in the scuffle (or at least you'll diet in jail)
  6. Stick to a training program and make PROGRESS every workout
  7. Eat at half the speed you currently eat and if you feel kinda full, ask yourself, "Am I satisfied now?" and if you are, stop eating
  8. Fail to plan, plan to fail - PLAN ahead the night before what you're going to eat and when and make sure you have it
  9. Before continuing, drop down and do as many pushups as you can... Do this every time you find yourself browsing the internet mindlessly.
And the #10 strategy for getting lean fast is...
10. Set a goal and a date, then give someone $500 (or better yet, $1000) and tell them they get to keep it if you don't hit your goal. If you don't have the cash, give them something you value more than the cash.
That's it!
Hopefully you can take something away from this if your goal is to get lean. But if you just take 1 thing, do #10!

Your coach,
Eric


  • Good, solid advice from this native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I'd like to offer my thanks to Coach Wong for his continued guidance in the realm of MMA conditioning. If you're interested in his "Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program", just follow this link, http://tiny.cc/EricWong. 


Thanks for reading!
Ron

 TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN





  • Saturday, March 13, 2010

    The Strength Shop 27 Matty-Made Jungle Gym

    The Virginia Beach Beast does it again! This is great grip and bodyweight work at its best! Nice set-up he put together! Check it out!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Nice Buzzle Article About Underground Strength Training

    I'd like to share this nice article I found that was written by Lynn Van Dyke. If you didn't realize this by now, I'm a huge advocate for this style of training. It isn't the only style of training I adhere to but this is at the top of my list. Click the link to view the original article or just read on and enjoy!

    Go Undergrounders!
    TRAIN * COMPETE * WIN

    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/underground-strength-training.html


    Underground Strength Training

    Underground Strength Training is the hottest and newest craze in fitness. Tires, kettlebells, sandbags and much more are used to increase strength and power.

    Underground Strength Training – Subculture Of Beliefs

    Being an underground group is a euphemism for a subculture with unifying beliefs. The subculture could be related to politics or music or religion. But it is usually a tight group of people that believe in their cause with a passion.

    If you believe in exercising and developing strength, there is no reason to go underground. Strength training is a subject that is not whispered about behind closed doors or in dark tunnels. It is a current health issue topic that has value for everyone.

    Underground Strength Training – Radical Change

    Often a subculture has radical views, which is one reason why they go underground. Strength training is viewed as radical exercise by some, but the truth is it is just good physical conditioning sense. You can always become a radical and workout with weights for hours every day.

    But the average person does not have the time or desire for such an intensive program. What they want is strength training that conditions and tone and provides basic good health. 
    • Maximum muscle strength related to good physical condition
    • Strength endurance
    • Muscle Flexibility
    • Balance and coordination
    Most people who go to the gym aren’t looking for a radical underground. Strength training is more a program to create well being and improve general conditioning.

    Many want good muscle tone, but not bulging muscles. But there are men and women who need high intensity strength training. If there were an underground group of exercise radicals, they might sign up!

    •  Athletes in all sports who compete to win
    •  Bodybuilders who emphasize large muscles
    •  Weight lifters who need maximum strength to lift the greatest number of pounds
    •  Exercisers who are advanced and always looking for a challenge for self-improvement
     If you joined this group in their underground, strength training would be your passion! You can find more about intensive strength training programs by visiting this website.

     Underground Strength Training – Guerrilla Warfare

     Political groups often go underground. Strength training is part of their regimen for preparedness. You are not a guerrilla, and you aren’t preparing for war. But what you are doing is preparing to become fit. Most of us need to start with the basics.

    •  Tighten glutes with squats and leg presses 
    •  Strengthen calves with bent knee calf raises
    •  Target abdomen core muscles with crunches and curls
    •  Strengthen quadriceps with leg extensions
    •  Improve posture with back muscle strengthening planks
    •  Improve hip flexibility with leg lifts 
    • Strengthen chest muscles with push-ups or bench presses 
    • Develop arm strength with curls and kickbacks
    The rule of thumb is to begin with the larger muscle groups. This way you are doing the toughest exercises before you begin to deplete your body’s energy.

     If you were one of the radical exercisers underground, strength training would involve an assortment of conventional and unconventional routines that push your muscles to the limit.

     But for a daily exercise regimen for the average person, strength training does not require a lot of fancy equipment. It does require an understanding of the muscles in the body.

    Strength training is for everyone. There is traditional training done in the gym, or there are the more intense programs that push bodies to the limit. Whichever program you choose, above or underground, strength training equates to being fit for life.

    About the Author

    Lynn VanDyke is a Master Personal Trainer and fitness nutritionist. This is who she uses and recommends for underground strength training practices and techniques.

    By Lynn VanDyke

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Without the Shiny Dumbbells, Treadmills, & Mirrors

    This might really strike a nerve with people but here it goes! Your local commercial gym isn't all that great!! There, I said it!

    It's been many years since I actually worked out at one of those franchised commercial gym. A friend of mine wanted to try this particular gym out but didn't want to do it alone so I tagged along for the free one week trial. I figured why not! It would be nice to train with some heavier weights since the gym I belong to only goes up to 100 pound dumbbells. Anyways, the gym was nice and clean. In the front, I see two long rows of treadmills and elliptical and two long rows of machines. TVs all around. People talking amongst each other from machine to machine. A lady is walking leisurely on the treadmill while talking on her blackberry. Another lady is reading a magazine while cruising on her elliptical. A guy is reading a newspaper while his arms are draped over the top of the elliptical while he is plodding along on it. I walk into the free weight area. I see a guy squatting with a couple of plates and only squatting a quarter of the way down. Another guy sitting on a bench working on his concentration curls. Looks like he was texting someone between sets. I work my way around the place to check out what I want to use. I see a sign on the wall stating the some of the gym rules. One rule struck me funny. "No loud grunting noises. Noises will disturb the people around you." What?!? I see three young guys huddled around the squat rack, joking amongst themselves, while watching their buddy doing of all things, barbell shoulder shrugs. Shoulder shrugs!! At the squat rack!!! Up ahead, I see a small open area with a line of kettlebells along the wall and medicine balls on a vertical rack and "no one around using them"! YES!!! Salvation!! After a warm-up, I went to town doing circuits using both kettlebells and medicine balls. I grunted and groaned loudly because I was working hard, Jack! I was sweating up a storm! I was doing all these different swings and slams and even did various farmer walks around the aisles of the gym. I might have gotten some funny looks but so what! To finish off, I did a barbell complex of 8 movements for 8 reps for 3 rounds. Do some static stretching for a cooldown and I'm done under 50 minutes.

    Going to the gym isn't social hour. Time is a valuble commodity and you need to work hard for everything you want. Don't waste your time getting distracted with other things. Get down to business and get the most out of yourself. Be in the moment!

    As you might be able to tell, I'm not into those fancy gyms mostly because the atmosphere is not conducive for real hardcore training. I believe in real world stuff, like working out outdoors. Enjoy the fresh air. No need to breathe that stale enclosed air within a gym. Don't get me wrong, You can't always go outside for a workout either. I'm no different. I have a gym membership that I use often. But the difference is that the gym I belong to has the atmosphere I need to get real hard work done. It has lot of the basics, like barbells and dumbbells. But it also has other equipment that I can use, like kettlebells, medicine balls, sledgehammers, and tractor tires. At home along with the basic workout equipment, I also use some homemade workout equipment like a bulgarian bag, sandbags, and clubbell. Open yourself to alternate ways of training. Your body will not continue to improve if you don't challenge it and vary your habits. If you keep doing the same routine everytime, the changes in your body will become stagnant because your body will adapt. Let me end these with final thoughts.

    1) “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” - Bruce Lee

    2) Check out the link below. You can get a good look at some alternate types of workout equipment. I hope one day will have a chance to visit this particular gym.     

    CLICK THIS LINK >>> Without Shiny Dumbbells, Treadmills, & Mirrors

    TRAIN! COMPETE! WIN!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Quick Thoughts On the Use of Protein

    This is a nice idea I think, as posted here from Men's Fitness. I could understand how slowly drinking a protein shake mid-workout and having it for the duration could be beneficial. I do have a couple of quick additional comments on the use of protein as well. I do adhere to drinking a quality whey isolate post-workout. We all know that we need that immediate boost of quality amino acids afterwards to help build and repair that quality muscle that we all work hard to achieve for power and strength. I also use a quality whey casein to start out my mornings. I do this so because I do not workout until later during the day. What the casein will do is distribute the protein to your muscles slowly throughout the day. This works for me. Do any of you do this or something similar to this? Let me know your thoughts!!

    Click the link below to read their article. Afterwards, come back to my page and give me your thoughts and ideas!

    http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/beverages/319

    TRAIN! COMPETE! WIN!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    The Lost Art of the Push-up

    Here is a great article that was published by EliteFTS. It is regarding the classic Push-Up, which was written by a fellow Underground Strength Coach, Ryan Minney. Check it out!

    Power to the Push-Ups

    Monday, January 25, 2010



    23 SLEDGEHAMMER EXERCISES
    Featured is Arnel Ricafranca of "www.iwantsixpackabs.com" showing 23 different sledgehammer exercises. He demonstrates very well how the sledgehammer on its own can be an extremely effective core workout. I have done Tabata-style circuits utilizing several of these exercises. Usually, I perform them as a finisher for a workout with a 16 pound sledgehammer. By the end, my core and forearms were screaming!! Do it and love it!!

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Being the absolute best!!

    If you're a MMA fan, you might have heard that UFC Heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, stated that he will back to defend his title this summer. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that he is a phenomenal athlete. It makes you wonder what his workouts must be like. I found a couple of clips from when he was still in the sports entertainment biz with the WWE several years ago. Though I'm sure you may question the "reality" of sports entertainment, you cannot question the great athleticism that is required of these "wrestlers" to do what they do night-in, night-out.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find these two clips hyping up a big match-up between Brock Lesnar and current movie star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. When talking about their individual workout routines, they both emphasized movements that didn't involve any high tech gadgets or the latest workout fad at all. What they emphasized in their workouts were back-to-the-basics, good old-fashioned hard work. The Rock utilizes olympic barbell training, box jumping, and stadium stair running. Brock emphasizes bodyweight training, log lifting, and punching bag work.

    I think a wrestler-turned sports entertainer-turned UFC Heavyweight Champion and a football player-turned sports entertainer-turned top movie star actor started their humble beginnings with underground strength and still use it to this day. Seems like these two warriors could make a home at any underground gym. Check it out and enjoy!


    BROCK LESNAR




    DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    The Bootstrapper Squat

    For those bodyweight trainers that are not familiar with the bootstrapper squat,here is a great explanation given by Scrapper of "http://www.trainforstrength.com/".




    Pic. 1 The starting position is usually the most difficult for people to visualize. They either have their hands too close to their feet (or fingers under their toes!), too far away to maintain balance or their arms are inside their legs creating potential elbow damage. The starting position is crucial to performing Boot-Strappers correctly, so learn to set yourself up right the first time and keep it up every time!
    Start by squatting down and balancing yourself, momentarily, on your toes and get into position by slowly leaning forward and putting your hands on the ground just forward of your shoulders. Make sure to keep the toes pointed forward with heels off the ground, and that your knees are together. Relax your body and maintain a 60-40% weight distribution between your feet and your hands with your Hamstrings and Glutes resting on your heels. (pic. 1)




    From the starting position all you have to do is try to straighten your legs and stop when your heels touch the ground. From there bring your Glutes back down until they touch your heels and you've completed 1 repetition (or half a repetition if you're doing these in 4-count fashion). (pic. 2)

    Quick note: If you feel this exercise in your hamstrings, you are suffering from poor flexibility. Bootstrappers will burn your quads like few other things will! Mixed with various other exercises Bootstrappers quickly point out the weakest link in your body.

    Kettlebell Bootstrapper Squat



    This clip is courtesy of Jason Ferruggia. This is a great utilization of combining a kettlebell with a very underrated lower bodyweight exercise.