The original 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton was and still is one of my all time favorite movies. And for good reason...
Statement: Batman is the most badass superhero of all time.
Don't agree with me? Well let me try and persuade you then...
Being a person of extremes I can relate to Batman, because that's exactly what he is. He technically isn't a "superhero" because he has no real superpowers. He's just one hell of an extreme dude. Unlike Superman who was born with his mystical abilities (talk about picking the right parents) or Spiderman who just got lucky because he forgot to put on bug-spray, Bruce Wayne actually had to work his ass off to become Batman. For years he trained his body to reach a peak state of physical preparedness and studied under the most accomplished and knowledgeable martial arts masters to acquire the skills necessary to hand out some serious ass-kickings.
So how did he do it? How exactly did The Dark Knight get into such great shape to be able to withstand the daily grind of cleaning up the corrupt streets of Gotham City?
This is not an easy question to answer, because Bruce Wayne unfortunately never kept a training log!
But wait! I have the solution...
The problem is clear:
You want to be Batman. Who the hell doesn't? But you don't know how to train like Batman.
I have spent many a years reverse engineering the physical culture of Batman, and I am here to share my findings with you!
Holy Metcon Batman!
Being a superhero is tough work. It demands a lot from you in terms of conditioning and endurance.
Somnath Sikdar RKC once told me "Never let someone beat you because they are better conditioned then you".
Sometimes you get beat because someone is better than you at that certain point in time. Tough luck,but it happens. But never accept defeat because someone had better conditioning than you, that is unacceptable!
Batman knew the importance of this and took his conditioning very seriously. If you've ever seen any of the Batman movies you just wonder how this guy just keeps coming back again and again and again.
So how did he develop such a superior level of conditioning?
The answer is metabolic conditioning aka metcon.
As I describe in my "Power of Complexes eBook"; metabolic conditioning is when you simultaneously engage the cardiovascular system and the muscular system.
So Metcon = Heavy Strength Efforts + Elevated Cardiovascular Stress.
Metcon aims to hybridize strength and cardio work, all while pushing your entire system past it's normal work capacity. The result? Any incredible amount of systemic stress and fatigue, which yields incredible metabolic response. Metcon is by far one of the most effective means of full body conditioning and is my preferred method for hacking off unwanted bodyfat.
Here is an example kettlebell complex that I feel Batman may have used quite regularly for metabolic conditioning when lifting bells down in the Batcave.
Remember that metabolic conditioning is best achieved by varying the exercises and performing them back to back with little to no rest. To learn more about metabolic conditioning and kettlebell complexes head over to the store section and check out my "Power of Complexes" eBook.
Get Abs Like Batman
Like a true bat, Bruce Wayne opted to perform almost all of his core exercises from a hang. A man after my own heart, as I love hanging ab exercises. Studies have shown that as far as neuromuscular activation goes, you really can't beat the hanging leg raise when it comes to core movements. Here is what I have concluded to be a few staple exercises from Batman's personal ab routine:
So now you have some insight on how to train like Batman. But remember it isn't about whehter you want it or not. It's about how bad do you want it. Bruce Wayne is a man of extremes (he's actually a strict teetotaller so he does not sabotage his fitness or mental acuity), because that's what it takes to perform at such a high level. Mental toughness is the name of the game, and intrinsic motivation is what will get you there.
"Have You Ever Danced With The Devil In The Pale Moon Light"
- Pat Flynn
COS Bodyweight Challenge Update
Been getting some great submissions. If you don't know what the hell this is all about, then go read my last post, as there is still time to compete for your chance to win a free copy of my metabolic conditioning eBook!
Speaking of Batman, here's Batgirl (Jessica Brady) with her second attempt at this challenge, beating her previous record by two reps. Awesome stuff
The time has come to put your skills to the test man-cub. Presenting the first ever Chronicles of Strength(COS) Fitness Challenge!The Rules of Engagement:1. Select one or both of the challenges below to compete in.
There will be one winner for each challenge.2.
Film your attempt/s and email me at Hardstylekettlebells@yahoo.com
with a link to your video submission.3. If you are unable to film your submission, then just go by the honor system and post your results in the comment section (you will not be eligible for the prize however).4. The winner will be chosen by me at the end of two-weeks from today! And even though I am posting my attempts, I am obviously not in the running!5. The winner will have their video posted on here if they wish and receive a FREE copy of
my Metabolic Conditioning eBook
I will post two initial sample videos of each challenge - one female performance and one male performanceWhat You Are Judged On:1. Form, ROM, and End Results - You are expected to maintain good form and to move through a full range of motion with every repetition. Poor form and partial ROM are grounds for an automatic disqualification. Competitors end results are obviously going to be the primary influence in deciding a winner, but your weight/numbers are not all that you are being judged on...2. Creativity - Some of these challenges will allow for some leeway in regards to how you are able to perform them. Creativity and originality can go a long way.3. Intensity - Give it your all. Your heart and determination will be judged as well.Challenge #1 - The COS Pistol Squat ChallengeThis one is for all you gunslingers out there. The rules are simple: perform as many consecutive pistol squats as you can on one leg until you either can't perform anymore or until your quad explodes off your leg into the stratosphere.
There should be no more than a 5 second pause between each rep.Only full range of motion pistol squats will be counted people!Here is my attempt initial attempt.
I actually did this twice and banged out two more reps my second time through but I feel my first attempt was much cleaner.
But here's the real show stealer.
Watch as Becca, one of my star pupils, pumps out twenty pistols on one leg with a smile on her face!
Challenge #2 - The COS Hindu Push Up Challenge
Let's add some culture to the conventional 60 second push up challenge.
Task: Perform as many full ROM Hindu Push Ups as possible in 60 seconds. Simple enough right? Quality of reps will be taken into great consideration for this challenge, so do not sacrifice form for quantity.
Here is Jessica Brady making the Great Gama look like a pencil neck as she bangs out 17 quality reps in 60 seconds.
I like strong women :)
And here is comrade Jason Clayton's most admirable performance. As you will see (and hear), Jason likes hindu push ups...
Let the games begin!
There are a million and one ways to cook the get up.
Here's the Spartacus special!
Let me start by asking you a couple of questions.
Let's start with this one:
What happens if you permanently take all protein out of your diet?
Answer: You die.
Here's another one:
What happens if you permanently take all fat out of your diet?
Answer: You die.
Just a few more:
What happens if you permanently take all carbohydrates out of your diet?
Answer: You don't die...
Last one, I promise:
What adjective will you see in front of the word "fat" and "amino acids", that you never see in front of the word "carb"?
Fact: Never has there been, and never will there be such a thing as an "essential carb".
So what is a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is when an individual maintains a state of ketosis.
To put it simply, a state of ketosis is when the body predominantly relies on fat (ketones), rather than carbs(glucose) for energy production. This is accomplished through restricting carbohydrate consumption.
But I Want My Carbs Damnit!
Of course you do.
So do I.
But what do you want more; Carbs or six pack abs year round? A breakfast of lemon cakes and sugar cookies, or healthy cholesterol levels?
For me; I much prefer the long term satisfaction I receive from looking and feeling good, than the short lived instant gratification I get from porking out on Poptarts and Doritos.
Isn't A Calorie Just A Calorie?
If you truly believe this, then I'm sure you won't mind performing a little experiment for me...
For one year, I want you to eat nothing but oreo cookies and cake frosting. Hell, you can even dip your oreo cookies in the cake frosting if you want. Just be sure to keep your calories at or below maintenance.
Then give me a call when you're diabetic and your toes are falling off, and let me know how that's workin out for ya.
Will you lose weight if you restrict calories? The law of thermodynamics has us believe that's true. And in terms of sheer weight, I believe there is some truth to that.
But what is weight?
Weight is simply the force you exert on the earth due to gravity. And as far as I'm concerned, weight is irrelevant.
Who would you rather be:
A guy who is 185lbs at 7% bodyfat or a guy who is 150lbs at 20% bodyfat?
If you care only about weight, then you'd pick the second option. But in any mirror and through any normal person's eyes, the first option will always look a lot heck of a lot better.
Same thing goes for females...
A female who weighs in at 135lbs but only has 10% bodyfat will always look and feel better than a female who is 120lbs at 24% bodyfat.
Scales lie. Mirrors don't.
And in terms of body composition, a calorie is certainly not just a calorie.
Let's break this down even further...
When you eat carbohydrates you will inevitably raise blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels rise, insulin is released. Insulin is an incredibly potent anabolic hormone, and is the main inhibitor of lipolysis which is the breakdown of stored fat. In order for glucagon to be released, which is a catabolic hormone responsible for breaking down stored fat to be used as energy, blood glucose levels must be substantially decreased. Insulin and glucagon are like day and night; they can not co-exist.
What I'm saying is that being fat is not just about eating to many calories. It's more about having continuously elevated levels of insulin. In the long term, this is known as hyperinsulinism, and is one of the main causes of obesity and insulin resistance. Controlling insulin levels in the long run is the golden ticket to staying lean, and there is no better way to control insulin levels than by following a high fat ketogenic diet.
Ok, so far this makes sense...So how do you do it?
Getting into a ketogenic state is not easy for a lot of people. This is because of the dreaded adaptation that must take place; and unfortunately, this adaptation period can be longer for some than others.
So realize that going into this, you either have to be fully committed or it won't work. This is not a yo-yo diet. This is a lifestyle. There is no point suffering through three days of an incredibly low carb diet trying to get into a state of ketosis, to only ruin it by binging on a bag of peanut M&M's and cinnamon raisin bagels; as this will only set you right back to square one.
You see, the adaptation period can be quite painful for some, because it is not only your body that must switch over from primarily burning glucose for fuel to using ketones, but your brain as well! So expect to not feel your greatest the first couple days ( for me it wasn't all that bad, I just felt a little lightheaded and had an odd craving for baby corn?...), but realize this is normal and it will not last forever. I got through it, and so can you! Because once you have reached ketosis, you will feel fantastic! You're energy levels will be consistent throughout the day and you will also notice that your hunger will also stay in check. You just have to suck it up and rough it out for a few days that's all...
Now it's time to answer the big questions... What to eat?
The answer is quite simple. You will be eating a lot of...prep yourself, this may scare you...FAT! That's right, not a low carb/high protein, but a low carb/high fat diet is what is going to lead to the most substantial amount of fat loss.
Fat is not the enemy. It never has been. Yet fat has un-rightfully received one of the worst reputations in nutritional history. Well, it's time to wipe that slate clean. Carbs are the true enemy and they must be destroyed.
Here is Dr. Greg Ellis. He is going to tell you that fat is not bad for you and why you should not just eat a high protein diet. I suggest you listen to him.
Thank you Dr. Ellis.
Now I personally like to keep my fat around 50-60% of my calorie intake. This has worked best for me. Obviously everyone is a little different, so experiment with the ratios and see what works best for you. Protein is around 30-40% and carbs are around 10-15%
Here is what I eat a lot of:
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil-EVOO
Nuts and Seeds
Cheese of all shapes and sizes
Natural and preferably organic peanut and almond butter
Fish of all varieties
Organic eggs (these are always organic for me as I often eat them raw)
Red meat of all varieties (preferably organic)
Whole Raw Milk
By no means is this list exclusive.
The Benefits of a Low Carb Lifestyle
Alright, alright, already!
I know I've kept you in suspense long enough.
And I know! What would this post be without one of my famous, semi-awkward/semi-nude pics of myself?
That is the number one reason that I opt for a low carb lifestyle. As it is the only way of eating that has allowed me to maintain a single digit body fat percentage year round, while still being able to make substantial strength and performance gains.But
pleasing aesthetics are only a small part of the many benefits to be had from following a low carb lifestyle.Now I just got done writing a 15 page research paper on the federal reserve, so the last thing I want to do is list a bunch of sources again. So I'm leaving it up to you to verify my claims for yourself. But I am telling you, the studies are out there, I have thoroughly read many of them, and you can certainly find them if you try.
But for me, the most important experiment ever undertaken was my own, which was conducted upon myself. I know what benefits a low carb lifestyle has brought to me and they simply can not be argued.However, here is the link to one study that proves the effectiveness of a low-carb diet over a low-fat diet http://www.annals.org/content/140/10/769.shortOther benefits of a high fat, low carb lifestyle include:1. Decreased serum triglyceride levels2. Increase in good cholesterol, decrease in bad cholesterol3. Increased levels of testosterone4. Increased insulin sensitivity5. Consistent energy levels throughout the day6.
The right to eat bacon
, and probably the most important reason...7. You don't have to worry about your toes falling off
!So you see, fat is not the enemy. It never has been. Fat is not what makes you fat. Carbs are what make you fat. I'm sticking to a low carb lifestyle because I know it works, and it works damn well And I'm keeping my toes too damnit!Questions? Comments? Rebuttals? Post them in the comment section! Just keep it cool.
pwn (verb) - the act of dominating one's opponent"Nothing feels more like a fight than high rep hardstyle kettlebell snatch
es" - Brian Petty RKCAt the Fight for Brian Benefit yesterday
, I had the pleasure of talking in great length with my good friend and fellow RKC Brian Petty. If you are not aware of the current situation that Brian is now facing, please do me a personal favor and click the link above.A little background is in order. And to put it as simply as I can, I would not be where I am today without the help and tutelage of Brian Petty.
He was the first to introduce me to hardstyle kettlebell training and forever planted a seed in my head.Set the stage: 99 degrees and no air conditioning. Rack holds and farmers walks. Swings and planks in the pool of your own sweat. Forced to Land blow after blow upon the heavy bags; for weeks my virgin knuckles bled before they finally adapted to the old school bare knuckle boxing
. For two years I trained with Brian, throughout the hottest days of summer. Brian's approach was unconventional, unorthodox, but brutally effective. My strength, my conditioning, and my resilience all exponentially and permanently amplified because of what he put me through. You see, Brian makes much more than just strong and conditioned men. He forges fighters of the finest steel; from the hottest furnace."You've caught the sickness kid" is what he told me
, after watching me pass my RKC snatch test for the first time; hitting my 100 reps in just a hair over the 4:30 mark. That "sickness" is still very much ingrained in me today. It's the desire to do more. To become more. To overcome and dismantle my greatest competition....myself. A deep and burning Intrinsic motivation is my disease, and Brian spreads this disease like a dog
. It is a virus
. And this virus is a culture
. A culture unfortunately unteachable, but inevitably communicable. So in honor of Brian, I am going to show you how to become one hell of a resilient bastard. And as far as I'm concerned, there is no better way to prove your resilience than by spending 5 minutes alone with a 24kg kettlebell (16kg for all you ladies), and I'm not talking about just taking it out for coffee...
But I'm not just going to show you the way to just passing your snatch test...that would be no fun; instead I intend to show you how to really be a truly bad mutha-mutha and make mincemeat of this arduous exam, and walk away feeling like you could conquer the world.The rules of engagement:5 minutes1 x 24kg (16kg for ladies) kettlebell.100 snatches...at least...As many hand switches as you want.However, you may not "half-snatch" - meaning you may not reverse press the bell down into the rack before dropping it into the backswing at anytime. The bell must be brought up to a full lockout in one uninterrupted motion, and back down into the backswing again in one uninterrupted motion. The bell must be visibly motionless at the top, with the elbow locked out, and your bicep next to or slightly behind your ear.
Need I make myself clearer? I believe so, as there still seems to be a lot of confusion as to what a hardstyle kettlebell snatch really is...Is there no standard anymore??The Kettlebell Snatch - this definition is taken directly from my RKC manual - "The girevik picks up the kettlebell, swings it back between the legs, and snatches it overhead in one uninterrupted movement to a straight-arm lockout."There has been recent controversy over what constitutes a kettlebell snatch. A snatch is a snatch is a snatch ladies and gentleman; just as much as a horse is a horse. There should really be no confusion as to what is a snatch and what is a sntach. You are either performing a snatch, or you are not. There is no in between. The definition is about as clear as it can get. If you do not lockout, you are not performing a kettlebell snatch. If you press the bell up to finish your rep, you are not performing a kettlebell snatch. A "partial snatch" is not a snatch. A partial snatch is just a "partial snatch".Standards are necessary in many aspects of life. And this is one of them. Quality over quantity always when snatching a kettlebell
.The prep:I've heard some fairly reputably fitness experts claim that you can not prepare the body generally, only specifically.I'm calling bullshit.Not only do you not need to train the body specifically for the snatch test, I'm actually going to claim that preparing the body generally is the best way to go.
Because the key to passing the snatch test is not to perform an endless amount of snatching.
I feel this will get you there at a much slower rate than a solid general physical preparedness(GPP) routine will. You see, the snatch is not an overly specialized lift. Technique is certainly important(and mastery of snatch technique is the first step you must take on your journey to pwning the snatch test), but not to the extent where this lift should be where you spend the majority of your time. Actually, you will find that the amount of time I recommend you spend snatching in this "pwning the snatch test prep routine", is considerably less than a lot of other work you will be doing.So let's get right down to it.Step 1: Master your snatch technique:Yes, I have seen people pass the snatch test with poor technique, but I would never recommend doing so. This is for a couple of reasons (which I'm sure you will find quite obvious after reading, but you'd be amazed how many people disregard such simple logic); the first being the aftermath of spending five minutes snatching a 24kg with incredibly poor technique. Expect torn and bloody callouses, battered forearms
, and an overly fried nervous system. All three consequences you certainly want to avoid if your intention is to get through the rest of RKC in one piece...let alone pass!Mastery of your snatch technique will ensure that you are as efficient as possible, save your hands from looking like two raw bloody pieces of steak
, and just make the whole five minutes a lot less miserable than it has to be (it will still be plenty miserable enough so don't worry about that).Here is a simple progression taht I often use in my classes to help the participants clean up their snatch technique
Step 2: Set up a solid strength and conditioning program:Like I said before; passing the snatch test is about having a good baseline level of conditioning, strength/power, and mobility. I wouldn't go so far as to actually recommend some
one preparing for the snatch test without ever snatching a kettlebell, but assuming that their snatch technique is really solid, then I would say it's certainly possible to do so.Now I'm not going to write a full program for you, because everyone is different and I would never prescribe the same cookie cutter routine to prep everyone for RKC
. If you are interested in a personalized program then check out our At Home Performance Fitness eCourseWhat I am going to do is lay down the foundation for you; and give you an idea of how to construct a solid GPP program for yourself that will have you making the snatch test childs play in no time.Strength lifts to incorporate:The Deadlift:This lift is absolutely essential, specifically the hip drive required to finish the lift. Popular debate often questions the carryover of deadlifting to snatching. The truth is that this lift does indeed transfer over to
your snatching power, especially if you really focus on finishing each and every deadlift your perform much like you would a kettlebell swing; by maximally cramping the glutes and driving your hips forward as quickly as possible. Improve your deadlift, and I promise you that your snatches will go up easier.Double clean and press: This one has two great carryovers to your snatch test. The first being the explosive component (the double clean) which will carry over to sending your snatch bell soaring toward the heavens with the greatest of ease, the second being the strength component (double press)
which will help improve your overhead stability and comfortability. Be sure to try and move some serious weight with this movement at least some of the time, even if you are confined to the 1 - 3 rep range.Pull Ups and rows (weighted and bodyweight):
The pull up and row are fantastic for improving your grip and pulling endurance; both of which play a large role in high rep snatching.Farmer Walks: Incorporating a heavy carry at the end of a workout was a stable of mine and Som's when prepping for RKC. We'd often just stroll around the gym carrying a pair of 32kg bells, until our forearms were so engorged with blood that we could no longer close our fists. This was incredibly important for me, because I tend to suffer from excessively sweaty palms which makes the bell a real bitch to hold onto sometimes
.Turkish Get Ups: I've witnessed people fail their snatch test not do to a lack of conditioning or power, but because of poor mobility. The inability to get your arm far back enough to a proper lockout due to poor flexibility and mobility will not get you a "get out of the snatch test free card". It will instead get you a fail. I've seen many reps not counted because people lock out too far forward. Turkish get ups will help to unlock frozen shoulders and improve your shoulder and thoracic mobility, as well as your overhead stability much like the press will. Remember, that with the snatch test, the best place to rest is in the lockout position. So being comfortable there is very important; if you are immobile and inflexible, then you are putting yourself at a great disadvantage.Explosive Lifts to Incorporate:Heavy Two Hand and One Arm Swings: Heavy is relative term. But in this context, I would like to make heavy as "unrelative"(I have every right to make up words on my own blog) as possible; meaning that you are to incorporate swings into your program with a bell that is at least one size heavier than your snatch test bell. For me, one arm swings with a 32kg had a profound carry over to snatching the 24kg.
You need to tax your grip with heavy one arm swings; as grip is typically one of the first things to go during a snatch test. Even heavier, higher rep two hand swings are great for improving your conditioning, which is the other key component to pwning the snatch test.Kettlebell Snatch: Duh...but again, don't over do it. Keep the groove properly greased, but by no means do not need to attempt the snatch test every other day in order to eventually pass it
. A few tips I have with this, are to practice snatching again with a bell a size or two heavier than your snatch test bell (really learn to decelerate the bell with your hips rather than letting it rip your arm out of your socket), and to incorporate some sort of snatch interval training into your routine at least once a week to get some volume in, but more importantly to improve your conditioning.Barbell Snatch and/or double kettlebell snatch: This one is a given. Heavy barbell and/or double kettlebell snatches had a profound effect on improving my kettlebell snatch.Now these movements that I have provided for you to incorporate are by no means an exclusive list, but are what I feel to be the most crucial to incorporate into a solid GPP program that will prep your body for the rigors of the snatch test.
Other things to consider:
1. Do not neglect the importance of conditioning - The conditioning for the snatch test is twofold. One part is physical. The other part is mental. If you are well conditioned, then your mind will want you to quit before your body gasses out.
Look, I understand that most people hate to do conditioning, but if you really want to maximize your general physical preparedness and blow through the snatch test with a smile on your face, then you have to put yourself through the proverbial eigth circle of hell in terms conditioning at least two to three times a week.
For me, I love kettlebell complexes. They have become a specialty of mine. The more devious and daunting I can create them the better!
Here a few that I use on regular occasion to maintain a high level of conditioning
Now complexes are just one option for getting your conditioning in. Sprints are always peachy, especially interval style hill sprints.
2. Hand care - Please, please, please, file down those nasty callouses! Even if your drop and catch technique is solid, it only takes one bad rep for the handle of the bell to catch your callous and rip it off. Good luck getting through the rest of your snatch test, or the rest of your rkc for that matter, with a torn callous! I like to file them down with a pumice stone or emory board as soon as I get out of the shower.
3. Sweaty palms? - This one sucks. I've always had excessively sweaty palms, and if you have the same problem, then you are naturally at a disadvantage. But don't sweat it(no pun intended :P), there is hope. Spend the extra time strengthing your grip, and check out an anti-perspirant for your hands called TIte-Grip; this works great for me. Id stay away from chalk, because if your palms are as sweaty as mine, then you will just end up with a slimey/pastey substance after about ten reps.
4. Breathing - Breath biomechanically as you normally would, but if you find yourself becoming quite winded then you may want to switch to double breathing. But again, if your conditioning is up to par going into the snatch test, then you should have no problem.
5. Don't set the bell down (unless you don't have to!) - I have noticed a strong correlation between people who set the bell down because they have to, and those who don't pass their snatch test. I say don't set the bell down unless you don't have to, because if you absolutely have to put the bell down during your snatch test, then that is an indicator that your conditioning is not up to par quite yet. However, if you go into teh snatch test with the intent of placing the bell down, but are conditioned well enough that you know you really don't have to, then that's a different story. For my SSST, I planned on putting the bell down ahead of time before going into it, but looking back, I should have just burned through it. But in my most recent RKC snatch test video above, I did not set the bell down once, and was able to hammer out 116 reps; when I put the bell down, my average drops about 10 reps. And are you really "pwning" the snatch test if you put the bell down? I'll leave that one up for debate. But remember, we don't just want to pass the snatch test, we want to own it!
The Day Of
Ah the time has finally arrived. Expect a huge adrenaline dump if others are monitoring you, especially at an RKC (it's just a different feeling if you're working your snatch test in your grandmothers basement); but do your best to control it. Take a few deep breathes and instill some self-confidence in yourself. If you trained hard leading up to this, than that should be all the reassurance you need. Pace yourself accordingly; but that doesn't mean to take your grand ol' time. Burn it up, and let the adrenaline surge go to work; just be sure to keep breathing!
Switch hands before you feel that you have to; you don't want to over fry your grip too early. For me, I switch once I start to feel the first wave or so of grip fatigue; I never wait until I'm about a rep or two away from dropping the bell.
"30 seconds left" - thats your indicator to kick it into overdrive. Redline it. Go for broke and give it everything you've got. Finish strong, clean, confident, and with a smile on your face regardless of how much agony you are in. Do not yell and scream, or jump up and down like a jackass upon completion. Such gestures do not indicate true pwnage. Someone who pwns the snatch test does so humbly, sets the bell down like a gentleman, and walks collectively away to rehydrate with a cool bottle of Fred Water.
Questions about anything? Like programming or why you may only rehydrate with Fred Water? Post them in the comment section
First a public announcement:The At Home Performance Fitness eCourse is now Live!Question:: Why did we decide to launch an online fitness correspondence course?Answer: Because we wanted to provide solutions to the three biggest problems as to why people fail to succeed when it comes to their health and fitness goals, which include:1. Not having the knowledge to construct a program that will meet their needs2. Lacking a plan of action to put all of the components of a program together3. Not having a support structure to keep you motivated and accountable.What the eCourse offers are three solutions to these common problemsSolution 1. We have developed a comprehensive program that can be tailored to just about anyone's goals.Solution 2. We roll the program out to you in a structured, straight forward, and effective way that is clear and easy to follow
.Solution 3. We will keep in regular contact with you in order to help monitor your progress, keep you motivated,
and stay on trackTo enroll in the or course, or to just get more information click here
or comment below!Here are a few sample complexes from one of our routines. You can expect many great, challenging complexes like this in the eCourse which are fantastic for metabolic conditioning and hacking off body fat
Hey (Guinea) Pig Piggy Pig Pig Pig
Self experimentation has been a hobby of mine for sometime.
Statement: "Everybody is different".
Question: Do you believe that?
My Answer: To an extent I do, and is why I attribute self-experimentation to a lot of my success.
And In order to find out what will work for you, you're going to have to be willing to experiment.
Let's clear the air. Self-experimentation is not hopping from diet to diet, or from fitness trend to fitness trend. A true self-experiment, in order to be effective and worth your time, must be carefully planned and controlled.
The first step is to find a testable hypothesis that interests you. Let's keep this fairly simple...
Say you read a claim from your favorite blog (cough chroniclesofstrength cough) that states how a diet relatively low in carbs, moderately high in protein, and moderately high in fat may be the best way to hack off body fat while preserving lean muscle. Certainly a testable hypothesis, and an interesting one at that. So how would you go about conducting a self-experiment to find out whether or not this type feeding is indeed effective for you in terms of fat loss and preserving lean muscle?
The second step is to consider all variables that may effect the outcome, which in this example are quite a few, including but not limited to: diet (the variable we want to change, exercise habits, sleeping habits, stress levels, etc.
Ceteris Paribus is Latin for " All else constant".
If you are going to conduct a self-experiment, then you first must decide what variable it is you are going to change and how you are going to monitor the effects over time. But in order to examine such potential changes successfully and to arrive at an accurate conclusion, then you must keep all other variables constant.
For example; say you want to go ahead and monitor the effects of following a relatively low carb diet for three months. Over the aforementioned time period you are going to record everything that goes into your mouth, take weekly photos, and have your body fat measured by a bod pod bi-weekly.
Now in order to target solely the effects of following a low carb diet as accurately as possible (there will always be some unavoidable error), then you must hold all the other variables that may have an effect on the outcome constant.
How do you know if your conclusion is accurate at the end of the experiment if you changed your workout routine and sleep habits as well? You won't!
So before you begin any self-experiment, write down all of the variables in your life right now that you think may have an effect on the outcome. Choose one variable to alter, and be sure to keep all else constant.
Duration of Self - Experiments and Examples
In order to get the most out of a self-experiment, you must be committed to it for an adequate amount of time.
For me, I give at least three months to any given undertaking. This is the minimum amount of time I would recommend for just about any experiment related to nutrition or fitness.
Here are a few of the following nutritional self-experiments that I've conducted in the past and my findings along with them.
1. The Warrior Diet -I followed the Warrior Diet for a little over four months. During the day I opted mostly for a water fast, occasionally I would have a grapefruit or some sort of other low glycemic fruit or veggie, but nothing substantial. I would overeat at night, consuming upward of 3000 calories during this time.
My conclusion: The warrior diet certainly promotes a sense of alertness and higher levels of adrenaline throughout the day. I lost a substantial amount of weight (10lb), both body fat and some muscle mass. My appearance was quite sinewy and lean, but lacked fullness (this is actually when I filmed my "secret to great abs" youtube video which I feel I look quite frail in). My workouts however felt strong, but my strength gains were nothing to boast about while on the warrior diet. I was able to maintain a high level of conditioning however.
2. Low Carb Diet - Almost immediately after the warrior diet I then conducted a low carb (ketogenic diet) experiment. I dropped my carb intake to less than 20% of my daily caloric intake. During this time I ate substantial amounts of red meat, eggs, olive oil, etc.
My conclusion: The adaptation into a ketogenic state is pure misery, but once I got through it, my energy levels throughout the day were always constant. My bodyfat levels dropped substantially, well into the single digits, yet I was able to maintain a significant amount of muscle mass. I actually gained the weight back that I lost from the warrior diet. My strength gains were good, but not great. But my endurance was fantastic, which I certainly attribute to my body using fat as it's primary fuel source. To this day, I still follow a diet relatively low in carbohydrates because of how convinced I am of it's effectiveness for me.
3. Eat Stop Eat - This is my current and on going self-experiment. Once a week, I must fast for 24 hours. So far, it has been going quite well. I am three weeks in, yet there are still no tangible results. My weight again fluctuated two pounds this week, but again as of now, such a change is immaterial and insignificant. Strength gains however are still coming along as they were prior to following ESE, so I have noticed no negative side effects there. The picture below was taken today; again no noticeable aesthetic differences yet.
As for self-experimentation when it comes to training, I have plenty of those as well, but I'll save most for a later time...Here are two of my more worthwhile findings:1. Metabolic Conditioning - I explain metabolic conditioning in my eBook; but to put it simply, it is when you simultaneously engage the cardiovascular and the muscular systems. When I perform metabolic conditioning, I typically opt for kettlebells
as my tool of choice.My conclusion: Nothing keeps me as ripped as metabolic conditioning, especially through the use of kettlebell complexes and when coupled with a relatively low carb lifestyle. I have tried just about everything when it comes to "fat loss" protocols, and what I can conclude, is that for me at least: the higher the misery index, then the great the fat loss results.
True metabolic conditioning is absolute hell; as you should all be well aware of by now if you have given my Kettlebell Complex eBook
a go. But the benefit of fat loss is only one perk of metabolic conditioning. My overall conditioning has never been better. On a whim, I recently gave the secret service snatch test a go, and got in my 200 reps with time to spare. I attribute my ability to do this, due to the amount of metabolic conditioning I perform.
2. Aerobics - Running on the treadmill was one of the things that I used to do the most of during my high school years. I would typically run 2 to 5 miles per day, 5 to 6 days a week.
My conclusion: Aerobics did help me to initially lose weight (but at the time I was pretty overweight), but the results quickly plateaued; even as I switched forms of aerobics from running on the treadmill to cycling outside. But overall, I would certainly recommend aerobics over doing nothing, but for me it is nowhere near as effective as heavy weight training and metabolic conditioning for fat loss and conditioning. I no longer do any sort of aerobic training by itself, with the exception of a light recovery jog every now and then.
3. Power to the People Approach - This approach to strength training implements feed-forward tension techniques, low rep sets, and adequate amounts of rest between sets and tactical periodization. To simply even further, you make Strength gains through "practice", rather than "working out".
My conclusion: I was not always a fan of Pavel Tsatsouline. But like anything else, he made claims, and I decided to put them to the test. Around the time I discovered Pavel, I was reading some works by many other strength authors as well, but Pavel's caught my attention the most, as it seemed to me at the time to be the most unconventional and old school type of training that I was looking for. And it was because of this, that I have become such an advocate of RKC training principles and Pavel's work. My strength gains from following this approach were undeniably more profound than any other routine I had ever followed up to that point. The poundage of all my major lifts increased dramatically, and I tacked on 15 pounds of muscle withing the course of three months (diet held constant of course).
But I certainly do not limit my self-experimentation to my diet and training. I have constantly experimented with all aspects of my life, and I will continue to do so for as long as I am able. This blog is a war for me to share with you all my findings, and for you all to share with me your own.
Have you ever conducted a worthwhile self-experiment? What were the results, and what were your conclusions? Post in the comment section, I'd love to hear about it!
Self - experimentation is just as much about self-discovery as it is anything else. And it is certainly not limited to health and wellness either. I am constantly conducting self-experiments in all areas of my life, which I will share with you all periodically.
Do not be afraid to experiment. And do not expect each experiment to turn out how you think it will, as this is rarely the case. But nothing is more beneficial then figuring out exactly how your body works, because once you understand how you work, you then have the power to manipulate and mold yourself into whatever you want.
It has been said that the legendary Muslim wrestler, the Great Gama, would perform up to 2000 Hindu push ups a day.
He also never lost one of his 5000+ matches.
A correlation or a coincidence?
I'll leave it up to you to believe whether or not those numbers are inflated.
But there is no denying that there is something to be said about the benefits of performing Hindu push ups. Not only are they a fantastic shoulder and pec developer, but overtime they will greatly improve your shoulder, hip, and back mobility. Exercises like this, that are both very therapeutic in nature and phenomenal strength and endurance builders, have always intrigued me; as the law of diminishing returns seems not to apply to such movements.
So who should be follow a diet high in hindu push ups?
Glad you asked...
1. Martial Artists and Grapplers - This one is a given. If you are a martial artist, a wrestler, or Jiu Jitsu player, then you need to start incorporating Hindu push ups into your life asap. All three of the aforementioned activities require a great deal of mobility, flexibility, and muscular endurance in order to successful. High rep Hindu push ups deliver just that.
2. People with "frozen" shoulders - Are your shoulders weak and immobile? When I suffered a fairly serious shoulder injury some months ago, it was daily doses of joint mobility, hindu push ups, dmso, and light turkish get ups that healed me up quicker than I thought possible. Hindu push ups work the shoulder gently through a great range of motion, and with enough due dilligence and commitment to performing this simple movement, you will surely enough begin to see your shoulder health and mobility greatly improve.
So how do you perform a proper hindu push up?
Again, I'm so glad you asked...
The que that has always worked best for me when trying to visualize your way through a hindu push up, is to think about "diving under a fence".
Start with your hips high, with your body almost in an inverted "V" position. Your hands should be approximately shoulder width apart, as we do not want the elbows to excessively flare out during this movement. Now from here you will begin your descent, by first diving down "under the fence" leading with your nose, and following through with your chest and hips. The Hindu push up should look rather fluid and wave like, especially if performed at a quick tempo.
Here is a video that Somnath Sikdar RKC and I have put together for you in order to demonstrate the Hindu push up and some of our favorite Hindu push up variations.
* Note that since Som is Indian, the argument could be made that every push up he performs is a Hindu push up :P
Do heavy swings make a woman girl?
Or do sexy women make make swings heavy?
Either way, I like my women strong. And women SHOULD be strong! Almost everyday of the week, I spend time making women stronger.
Now don't be confused. Strong is not bulky. Nor does bulky mean strong. Strong is strong, and that is all there is too it.
Women often come to me with worries of bulking up should they lift weights.
Let's get real. As if "bulking" up were easy; even for males who possess the advantageous hormonal make up for maximizing muscle hypertrophy (size). Women need not worry of such things, as they lack the levels of testosterone possessed by a male. Aside from that, strength training is not bodybuilding. Remove such notions from your head. True strength training, specifically the kind of strength training that I put my clients through with kettlebells, results in long, lean muscle definition in women, but more importantly, functional strength gains!
For males, muscle size may be more common, but the results will more so be noticeable when it comes to muscle density. True strength training results in functional and dense muscle mass; not bloated or puffy looking muscles. The difference is on the focus of myofibrillar hypertrophy over sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
Here is Jessica Brady playing with my beloved 24kg kettlebell "Karl", proving that a girl not need to be bulky in order to be strong! This bell is nearly half her bodyweight!
I rest my case.
Workout of the Day
For all of you who value the WOD, Somnath Sikdar RKC and I are launching an online, at home fitness and performance eCourse on March 7th. I will release more details upon launch, but this eCourse will be perfect for anybody who wants a personalized program designed specifically for achieving their goals; whether your goals be weight loss, athletic enhancement, overall wellbeing, or a combination of all three; through the eCourse you will receive a new workout program to follow each week. As a bonus, you will receive a copy of my new kettlebell and barbell strength training eBook as a reference guide for all the exercises you are prescribed throughout the week. Email me if you would like to reserve a spot or want to hear more details.
Here is your Workout of the Day. This is what I put my bootcampers through this morning. Enjoy!
Dynamic Warm Up: 30 - 60 seconds of each movement
Cross Over Step (L+R)
Shuffle Step (L+R)
and 5 minutes of joint mobility work.
Choose one of the following complexes in the video below. If you are a beginner, opt for the first complex, and if you know your way around a kettlebell, then the second one is for you.
Next is a Swing Burpee Ladder - I love the swing burpee because it maintains the intensity of a normal burpee, yet takes out the highest impact movement (the jump) and replaces it with a swing. The way this works is you will perform one swing, then jump back and perform one push up. Immediately jump back up into a recovery squat position and perform two swings. Hop back yet again and perform two push ups. Back up, but this time three swings, followed by three push ups. Continue stacking swings and push ups until you have reached 10 reps of each.
I can't think of any better way to start your day then with some see-saw pressing. Perform five sets of 10 reps (5 L + 5 R)
Reverse Lunge and Single Leg Deadlift Ladder - Superset the two exercises; meaning perform one reverse lunge each leg, then immediately perform one single leg deadlift each leg. Ladder up to 5 and back down.
Finish up with a circuit of core work consisting of Russian Twists, Rotational Planks, and Leg Raises. Three sets of 30-60 seconds each with minimal rest between sets.