It was hot weather seventeen months ago when I first tried my hand at a suspension trainer. The briefest moment after I slipped my hands in, they slipped right back out, and my face met mud.
Thereafter, I held a hateful grudge. I reckoned that all suspension trainers, in their essence, were conspiratorial devices intended to humiliate the haughty.
But recently, a fellow by the name of Jim Ferris (a featured presenter at Strength Fest 2013) sought to change my heart, and totted with him to the dragon gym something I now consider to be a marvelous device.
I hope you enjoy the follow scenes from our lifting session.Please drop your comments below.
Kettlebell Complex with The Aerosling
The Flutter Kick Push Up Thing
I don't really know how to describe this, but I really liked the way it made my abs feel and how pretty my feet look on camera.
I can count on two fingers and one thumb the number of books that have directly influenced my course in life. None of these books share a similar theme, but they all—at least for me—produced a similar outcome: they got me thinking differently.
The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss, was one of those books. It changed the way I thought about work, and what I thought was possible in the ways of entrepreneurship. This mental shift led me to great people, great places, and great things.
Tim’s work has shaped my life, so you can only imagine my level of excitement when I got the chance to sit down with Tim and talk about his new book--The 4-Hour Chef.
Having read this book twice now (I had the distinct opportunity to score an advanced copy), I can tell you, with great confidence, that this book is pickled in the juice brilliance.
The 4-Hour Chef is cleverly disguised as a “cookbook for those who don’t buy cookbooks”, and as far as cookbooks go, you’ll find nothing better. The pictures are gorgeous, the instructions are simple, and the results are delicious. This book has done something that I previously would have thought impossible; it’s sparked my interest in cooking.
But The 4-Hour Chef is much more than an ordinary cook book. Lift up the veil and you’ll find that this is really a book on learning how to learn, or as the description on Amazon reads, “it’s a choose-your-own-adventure guide to the world of rapid learning.”
I hope you enjoy watching my interview with Tim Ferriss as much as I enjoyed conducting it. Please drop any questions or commentary below. And be sure to head over to Amazon to pick yourself up a copy of The 4-Hour Chef!
Pat Flynn Interviews Tim Ferriss
How to Cook Ossobuco from The 4-Hour Chef
PS - Are you currently working on learning a new skill? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section.
In the summer of 2012, for no particular reason, I began a weekly video series unimaginatively titled the Kettlebell Workout of the Week.
This endeavor has proven to be a personal source of delight! With the exception of a Swanson’s frozen dinner and Thursday night bingo, few activities bring me such joy.
I am blessed, and humbled, that so many of you tune in to bear witness to my antics each week. Thanks guys.
In the beginning, I promised 1000 episodes. I am now 50% of 1/10 of the way there (somebody please check the math on that), which has sparked a generous mood…
Below, presented as smooth as tapioca, is episode 50: The 5-Minute Kettlebell Complex from Hell. Actually, now that I think about it, this complex is a lot like sugar-free, fat-free pudding (the kind that comes in a box). The idea is alluring. But the product is foul.
Anyways, if you’d like a chance to win The Birth of a Hero Vol 2, or any other eBook of your choosing, simply drop a comment below answering the following two questions:
1. What has been your favorite Kettlebell Workout of the Week so far?
2. Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, or Roger Moore? If you say Dalton, then you have a 100% percent chance of NOT winning an eBook.
I will pick a winner at random Monday night.
- Pat Flynn
2007 Bingo World Champion
PS – Have you gotten your ticket to Strength Fest 2013 yet? If not, CLICK HERE. Did I mention that Dan John will be there?
Fill out the Form Below to Download My Exclusive Interview with Legendary Strength Coach Dan John
Again, attempting to even remotely outline everything that Dan John talked about in this 90 minute webinar has proven to be a heady exercise in futility!
Instead, I'm asking you to trust me when I say that you will learn something from his webinar that you didn't know before (as I always do when I listen to Dan), and you will grow stronger because of it.
If you have any questions, please drop them below in the comment section.
Also, since this is a WMV file you may need to download the "gotomeeting codec" to view the video - just google it.
I subscribe to the general theory that being strong fixes just about everything; so off and on for more than five years now I have been offering one simple, sweeping, but deadly effective antidote to the general ailments of the masses: get stronger.
Too skinny? Get stronger.
Overweight? Get stronger.
Inflexible? Get stronger.
Like skiing, reading, or typing, strength is a skill (I first heard this expression, from a strong Russian named Pavel Tsatsouline). A skill, as you may or may not know, is nothing more than a habit of operation, and is something that one acquires through observation and experience. You learn the rules, and then you operate according to the rules until you have formed a habit. This is what it means to say that we learn by doing.
So if you lack strength, it is not because you chose the wrong parents, but because you chose the wrong habits. To say it another way, if you are weak, it is either because you have left unpracticed what ought to be practiced, or you have elected to practice ineffective practices. The same could be said if you are fat, but I will save that discussion for a later date. Like after the holidays, when everybody’s fat.
Skills range in complexity. For example, learning a new language, or how to play the piano, are often considered to be complex skills that take years to develop (at least to a level of significant proficiency). Strength, however, is a simple skill—one that anyone, at any age, can acquire rapidly.
Skills also range in necessity. If you are unable to moonwalk, you need not offer any apologies. That’s a hard skill to learn, and is relatively useless. Relatively…
But you should certainly apologize for being weak—as strength is essential, and there is no excuse for leaving uncultivated what is so easily cultivated.
For strength, you need not memorize the circle of fifths or thousands of foreign alphabetical characters. To grow strong you only need to follow two simple rules: (1) Practice often (2) lift heavy some of the time.
Practice often: I know of no one who has ever acquired a skill without practice. Strength is no different. If you want to get strong at pull ups, practice pull ups. If you want to get strong at squats, practice squats. If you want to suck at everything, practice nothing.
Lift heavy some of the time: To get strong, you have to lift heavy some of the time. I cannot say this more plainly.
I challenge you to test my assertions. I dare you to lift often, sometimes heavy, and to NOT grow stronger, and generally more useful.
To summarize, strength is merely an attribute of the practiced. That is all. Thank you.
The One Arm One Leg Push Up:
A Great Strength Based Litmus Test
The one arm one leg push up, I believe, is something that you should be able to do anyways -- if you are strong.What I mean by this is that the one arm push up, for me, is a demonstration of my strength, not a cause of it.Come again?I can do a one a one arm one leg push up, not because I practice one arm one leg push ups, but because my program has made me strong in all the right places. Mmm!
As evidenced by the video below (which struck me as a fairly decent rep), I have adequate upper body strength and rotary stability, but I acquired neither through specific one arm one leg push up practice.Is that to say that specific practice would not have yielded the same result, or that you should never train this exercise.No silly! If you actually practice this movement, surely you'll fare better at it than I!I merely aim to state that I believe the one arm one leg push up to be a serviceable strength based litmus test.Think you're strong? Well then, quickly run yourself through this machine and see what it churns out.
PS - Training Webinar With Dan John
I realize this is last minute, but tonight I will be hosting a FREE training webinar with strength and conditioning legend Dan John.CLICK HERE to reserve your spot immediately.
You ought not leave unpracticed what ought to be practiced.
I guess my concern lies in—I was going to say poor movement—but it is more than that. My concern is with the gross lack of desire, or priority, for better movement.
Like skiing, typing, or learning a musical instrument, all movement—even the most basic human movement--is a skill. Any skill can be acquired, rapidly even, when one learns to operate according to a particular set of rules, and then diligently operates.
It is to my sorrow that only a handful approach movement this way. Too many pay movement too little respect; leaving uncultivated what ought to be cultivated.
However, movement certifications are now popping up like flies around fresh cow pie, so perhaps my assertions now stand on shaky ground. Perhaps a culture shift is imminent. Perhaps it has already taken place. But until I am sure this is the case, which I am not, I will continue to preach this gospel:
The quality of one’s movement should not be a concern only of those whose profession is to teach movement, but a concern of all of those whose existence involves movement.
To say it more plainly, life is movement, and we ought not to neglect the importance of practicing what is most important—basic human movement.
If you’ll permit me, before venturing a few suggestions on how to go about practicing and acquiring high quality movement, I’d like to venture three theories on why most operate with, and accept, low quality movement.
1. Most fail to learn the rules of movement and most fail to move.
Here I’m stating the obvious, but then again, if it’s that obvious, need I state it?
2. Some learn the rules, but fail to move.
You can study all there is to know about the skill of skiing, but until you actually get on pair of skis and start practicing, all of your study will remain futile.
3. Some move, but fail to learn the rules.
To my dismay, and great discouragement, some will continue to flagrantly disregard the rules regardless of potential consequences.
These folks stand out like streakers in a gym and serve a similar purpose--they remind me of my values.
Now if it were true, as some claim, that so long as the weight is moved or the task completed, that form or quality of movement has no relevance, then indeed, the game is over. I lose.
But I refuse to subscribe to such folly. I believe that there is more to being strong than wheels on a bar. I hope you agree with me here, otherwise what’s to follow will serve you little good purpose.
I also believe that if there are qualitative differences in movement—which there are—then these differences merit great consideration.
What must also be noted is that a serviceable movement does not indicate a high quality movement any more than a serviceable vehicle indicates a high quality one. My first vehicle, may it rust in peace, was serviceable (arguably), but far from quality. It got the job done (most of the time), but nothing else could be said of it.
The reverse however, is true, as a high quality movement is always serviceable.
“So Pat”, you might ask, “how does one develop quality movement?”
The answer, of course, is to first learn the rules of movement, and then to move insatiably.If this intrigues you--this quest for better movement--then please join me Wednesday night at 8pm Eastern for a FREE online training session where I am going to take you through the rules of just one basic human movement: the hinge.Some of you may better know this movement as the swing.Please CLICK HERE to save your spot at my FREE online training webinar this Wednesday night at 8pm.
- Pat FlynnPS - I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of quality movement in the comment section.PPS - Seating at this FREE online training is limited, so CLICK HERE to reserve your space before this event fills up.
In this post, we’re going to visit the kettlebell snatch yet again.
The focus of this lesson is on the “tuggy tug”. Some may refer to this technique as a high pull. For the clean, Dan John calls this technique a “quiet elbow.” I like “tuggy tug”. To each his own.
I discussed previously that in order to develop a skill one must first learn operate in accordance to a particular set of rules. After all, a skill is nothing more than a habit of operation.
The rule we are focusing on today has to do with the trajectory of the bell, or “taming the arc”, as it is often referred to.
We ought to keep the bell in tight. Our snatch ought to look elegant, stylish, and dare I say, haughty? It not ought to look disjointed, clunky, or sloppy.
You’ll know when you got it, because a smooth kettlebell snatch feels almost as good as knocking the door shut on a Mercedez Benz.
- Pat FlynnPS - Check out The Birth of a HeroPPS - If you enjoyed this post, please "like" and share it!PPPS - Drop any questions you have in the comment section!