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This is the time of year which everyone states their new years resolutions.  “I need to lose weight”, “I want to run a marathon this year”, “This is the year I finally start eating better”, “I want to get stronger to help me with my sport”, “I want to be healthier”.

But one of the reasons why many of these individuals fail in achieving their goal for the new year is they never properly sit down and draw a map for their success.

What do I mean by drawing a map?  I mean sit down and take the time to draw out everything.  You have to have your Point A (start) and your Point B (finish).  
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Lets start with Point B cause this is what everyone usually wants to begin with anyways.  Sit down and write down some REAL numbers or measurable achievements.  For the lose weight goal, are you speaking Fat Loss? (most are).  Then you need to write down the goal that you would like to achieve.  Be realistic.  Instead of the lose weight, I like to hear one of the following:
“I want to lose 3 pant sizes”
“I want to lose 2 inches off my waist”
“I want to drop by body fat percentage 2%”
“I want to drop 5 pounds of body fat”

For the marathon goal.  
“what is my goal time to finish”, If this is your first marathon the goal should be “I want to successfully train for and FINISH a marathon”.

For the eating better
“I want to improve my meal complaincy to 90%” is a good option
“I want to eat a vegetable and a protein with every meal”
“I will slow down when I eat”
“I will eat until I am 80% full”
“I will reduce my eating out to 1 time per week”
“I will slowly reduce my soda/latte/calorie drinks from 3 per day to 2 per week”

For the stronger for my sport:
“I want to increase my bench press 20 pounds”
“I want to increase my squat or deadlift 20 pounds”
“I want to improve my vertical jump to 1 inch higher”

For being healthier:
“I want to reduce my cholesterol levels _____ points”
“I want to increase my bone density to ____ level”
“I want to be able to perform insert everyday activity here without pain or issue”

I believe you are starting to see the point.  Pick a goal, then WRITE IT DOWN, post it somewhere where you can look at it or see it every day.

NEXT thing you need to do is figure out where you are starting from (Point A).  This is another time which would be beneficial to find measurable points for which you to address and improve on. Things that I suggest to help you determine your Point A:
EVERYONE

Fat Loss or Muscle Gain

  •     Track body fat percentage, fat mass, lean mass
  •     Track body girth measurements
  •     Food Diary

For eating better

For stronger for my sport

  •     Stats (sport specific)
  •     Performance scores (vertical jump, long jump, med ball throw, really anything that reflects your sport)

    
The reason I put the EVERYONE category together is cause it is important to have your foundation set before you try to put anything else upon it.  Getting a physical and some blood work done is helpful in the fact that you are making sure your body is in working order before going after your goal.  When you go on a car trip wouldn’t drive a vehicle low on oil or gas correct?  No, you would get an oil change, fill up the tank, clean the windows, and make sure the car can make it to the destination.  Same here goes for you and your body.  Having a goal of running a marathon and then at your physical you find out you have cancer will greatly change your goals.  

The functional movement screen is in the same as you are making sureImage you have a proper movement foundation to succeed with your health and fitness goals.  EVERYONE needs an FMS.  You wouldn’t go on that car trip with your car out of alignment would you?  It would greatly affect your ability to drive the car, make proper stops, it would burn more gas and wreck the car if you push it too hard.  Same here with your movement baseline.  In fact, overcoming movement imbalances is a very quick way to help you achieve your goal in less time.

The next thing I feel that is important when mapping out your journey is the idea of time.  You have your point A and point B.  You have your starting point and your destination, now how much time will it take to get from Point A to Point B?  Some individuals will take less time to achieve the same goal (point B) based on their point A (start).  IF you want to improve your sports performance and you map out your A and B which are far apart from each other but your season starts in 3 weeks then I am afraid you will not make your goal.  Plan ahead and be realistic again.  Losing 100 pounds in 3 months is unheard of, but I have had a person tell me that was their goal.  The only way that would be achieved would be by taking off some limbs.

Now you have your map in place, don’t just put it aside and forget about it.  That is the easiest way to get lost.  Use it as a guide.  Have a workout program that you feel will help you lose weight?  The only way to tell is to look at the map and ask yourself “will this help me get from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time? IF so then you use the program but do not forget to recheck the map and your measures to make sure you are making the progress towards the goal, if you are moving farther away from your goal then reassess your point A and tweak your program and go again.  When heading down the journey towards your goal, when you come at a crossroads (fast food restaurant, newest fitness workout, etc.) say to yourself once again, will doing this help me get to point B?  IF not, disregard it.  As Dan John says, The GOAL is to keep the GOAL the GOAL.  

So my best wishes to you on your New Years Resolutions.  If you are in the Omaha, NE area and would like to take advantage of our Complimentary Diagnostic Health and Fitness Consultation which includes a Functional Movement Screen.  Please contact us at info@sghumanperformance.com or 402-915-3636

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Hello everyone.  Hope you are training with integrity, grace, and a bit of humility.  I am just finishing up my training for RKC Level 2 and Dan John is so correct that the training “is about the journey, not the destination”.  I have learned so much about myself and how to not only properly train myself, but others to achieve their health and fitness goals.

I want to review to you an extremely valuable DVD and tool called Kettlebells from the Ground Up 2-Advanced Corrections.  This DVD was performed by Brett Jones, Dr. Mark Cheng, and Jeff O’Connor.  This is a step in the progression from the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD set performed by Brett Jones and Gray Cook.

In the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD and video progression, in my mind, it went on the progression of using the Turkish Get Up as a very valuable evaluation tool toward asymmetry and how to work on each specific step of the Turkish Get Up towards the goal of fluidity and balance.  Also included in the KS1 DVD are very valuable information and drills that I have personally seen do wonders for Shoulder Mobility & Stability as well as Rotary Stability.  It is a great way to use kettlebells to help clean up movement patterns.

The Kalos Sthenos 2 DVD takes the Turkish Get Up to another level.  It very nicely reviews the Turkish Get Up and involves some more progressions to help open up the shoulder (mobility).  What is the gem of the KS2 DVD is the Active Straight Leg Raise progressions/Hip Mobility drills.  These set drills do a fantastic job of working on the FMS Active Straight Leg Raise and Rotary Stability movements.

The small drills alone I have seen with my own eyes do wonders on improving hip mobility, ankle mobility, as well as making a huge impact on clients ASLR and RS scores.  Plus it is a type of Reactive Neuromuscular Training needed to help improvements to stick.

In my professional recommendation, I HIGHLY suggest that you purchase this video as it will do wonders for your patients and clients with kettlebell experience.  The drills in here can be done in a personal training format, in a class/team type setting as a warm up/cool down or FMS break, and also as something that the client or patient can be sent home with to do daily if they have kettlebells at home. It will make a DIRECT impact on your clients and how efficiently they move.

Right now you can purchase your own copy at Perform Better.



Hello everyone.  Hope all of you are doing very well out there.

Today I am providing my product review for the DVD of Applying the FMS Model by Gray Cook.  Nikki and I were fortunate to experience this workshop first hand at the Chicago Perform Better Summit last summer (2011) as we both were given the honor of providing FMS screens for Brett and Gray during the workshop.

Applying the FMS Model is a great DVD for any individual wanting to learn more about applications of how to use the FMS model in their profession.  The DVD provides the actual workshop itself with its presentation slides and demonstrations of the FMS screen itself as well as analysis of the screen results.

Gray includes vital information on:

  • Understanding what the FMS scores mean for the particular individual
    • Individuals activities/sports/work
    • Limitations/Injury History
    • How to remove negatives
    • Applying proper correctives
    • Programming for that particular individual (provides great examples: weightlifter, runner, kettlebell enthusiast, older individual +50, younger individual -25, and an ex-athlete)

This is some pretty fantastic stuff as this type of material has not yet been covered in any other DVD or Workbook.  This is one of the main reasons why Gray and Brett decided to do the workshop in the first place, to provide a demonstration to interested people and to provide both FMS Certified and Non-FMS Certified individuals an understanding of application.

Here is a breakdown on what you receive:

4-disc DVD set—nearly 4 hours, plus bonus material
Filmed live at a Perform Better Summit Workshop
Disk One
Introduction
Standard Operating Procedures
Movement Matters
Squat Discussion
Stabilization and Repatterning
Our Movement History

Disk Two
Functional Movement Screen Review
Scoring the Screens
Filters and Key Points
Live Screens
Scoring Criteria
Programming the Results

Disk Three
Screen Results Analysis
Order of Screen Priority
Hip Hinge and Deadlift Strategies
Movement Motor Learning
Movement Principles
Self-Limiting Exercise

Disk Four
Extra corrective strategies footage
Full lecture in MP3 audio format for listening in your car or on your portable device
A 61-page typeset transcript of the lecture
Movement Principles excerpt from the Movement book
FMS scoring criteria and verbal instructions
Presentation slides PDF
Video clips from Gray’s Powerpoint presentation
Self-limiting activities chart

On Target Publications did a fantastic job with this DVD.  It includes everything.  The PDF of the presentation slides, charts, scoring criteria and verbal instructions for the FMS, as well as a full MP3 of the lecture so you can listen off of your ipod or even in the car.  LOVE THAT!

In the workshop Gray does a fantastic job of explaining the finer points of why it is important to have a movement screen for any active individual.  These points can be used by the FMS professional towards convincing the importance of using the FMS in many different domains (Examples: sports teams, gyms, bootcamps, risk management for different active careers and etc.)

This DVD and workbook can be used in so many different ways:

  • Provide the Certified FMS Professional a valuable resource tool to enhance their current practice
  • Provide professionals who are interested in getting FMS certified a taste of everything the FMS entails
  • Provides all professionals a tool to present to their superiors, co-workers, and/or potential clients (examples: head coaches, athletic directors, strength coaches, athletic trainers, wellness coordinators, corporate wellness committees and etc.) which gives a vivid explanation of the whole FMS process and its applications and benefits.  Use this in your arsenal when you are trying to establish its importance within your setting.  How nice is it to ask someone to watch this video when they are interested in learning more about the FMS and its benefits?

For more information and to see more of the sample videos click HERE.

Hello everyone.  Hope you are training smart, plus taking care of yourself and the ones around you.

I want to start a discussion about achieving your 1/2 bodyweight press requirement for RKC Level 2.  From reading the RKC Forum and through speaking with individuals who have trained for RKC Level 2.  It seems the most common reoccurring theme for males were issues achieving the 1/2 bodyweight press requirement.

It seems that those who did not pass Level 2 certification could not achieve their 1/2 bw press and those who cancelled attending RKC Level 2 usually did due to some type of injury from training to achieve the 1/2 bw press.

I trained successfully for RKC Level 1 by performing Enter the Kettlebell Rite of Passage program of pressing ladders.  The ROP is a fantastic program for building a solid foundation for swings, cleans, and presses.  This was especially successful for building up my strength and endurance to achieve 5 double kb presses with a significant amount of weight (one of the requirements for passing RKC Level 1).

When I signed up for RKC Level 2 in August, I planned out all the requirements on a piece of paper and listed them from what would be the most challenging to achieve and that I felt I had a decent grasp upon.  I did this to determine how I would program my workouts to achieve all the RKC Level 2 requirements.  At the top of the list was the 1/2 bw press.

I decided to take a different approach to this requirement and not do the ROP clean and press ladders.  Instead I planned on doing a few different things to see if I could achieve this goal.

  1. Complete a Functional movement screen (every 4-6 weeks) to make sure that I am symmetrical and that my programming is taking me on the correct course (my baseline).
  2. Use bottoms up kb cleans, walks, squats, and pressing (self limiting exercises) to accomplish the proper alignment and technique to accomplish the press.
  3. Train for the press, pull up, and pistol by performing sets of 1 repetition.  Since that is what the requirement stated, I am going to train accordingly.

I brought up this plan of action to my mentor, Master RKC David Whitley, and he suggested an alternate route, the bent press.  As we were sitting there discussing my goals, he stated that the bent press is a way to achieve the type of mobility and stability necessary to achieve the 1/2 bw press.  Plus you get the opportunity to get heavy loads above your head and then train the pressing pattern eccentrically.  I was very intrigued by this idea and was willing to give it a try, but I had one problem.  I had no idea how to properly bent press.  David worked with me about a year before on my BP and I failed miserably.  At the time I did not have the type of mobility to achieve such a lift.

So David spent the next 45 minutes with me bodyweight patterning the bent press.  It was quite the learning experience and I cannot say enough of how fortunate I am to learn from the best.  David sent me home with some points of the bent press and told me “to practice”.  So for the next 10 weeks I made it a priority to improve my bent press to really see if it would have a carry over to the 1/2 bw press.  My previous heaviest kb press was the 36kg at RKC Level 1 (my performance baseline) so with the bent press I began with a 24kg to see if I could get the movement down.  The movement felt akward, and uncomfortable.  But in my experience that could necessarily mean that I am learning so I kept with it.  I got a lot of positive feedback just by videoing myself performing the bent press and then seeing the movement in my mind.

My 10 minute workouts throughout the day would go something like this:

  • Bent press 1/1 followed by single arm swing 5/5
  • I would review the video I did on my technique during my rest period
  • I would play out the proper movement in my mind, maybe even go through the motions with just bodyweight
  • Rinse and repeat

Once I felt I was no longer learning during my practice sessions, I would stop and do other things and then come back to the movement later that day or the next workout.  As I progressed within the movement, the 24kg no longer gave me the type of feedback that I needed to progress so I moved up in weight to the 28kg.  In not much time at all I progressed onto the 32kg bent press followed by single arm swings with the 32kg.

I still continued to video myself and occasionally sent the video onto David for some feedback.  I always tried to keep learning during this movement.  I learned along the way that if I achieved a new weight with the bent press that this new achievement did not mean that it was my new practice weight.  I needed to keep learning during practice and when my practice kb was no longer giving me the feedback I needed, then and only then, would I move up.

2 weeks ago I bent press the 44kg for 1 repetition on each side.  2 days later just to measure progress I was able to strict press the 40kg for the first time ever.  I was also able to bottoms up press the 24kg.  This is the type of progression I was looking for.  I am going up on my press weight and am not suffering from any shoulder/neck issues currently.  As a matter of fact, my shoulder mobility now is the most symmetrical it has ever been.

Some finer points I want to emphasize if you are planning on trying this method:

  • Get your FMS screen:  In my opinion there is a minimum requirement of mobility and stability to begin practicing the bent press.  When I tried it before and was so bad at it, I had not yet achieved that minimum standard and it was only when I got more symmetrical that the learning experience could include
  • The bent press is a SKILL just like all other lifts:  You need to get expert instruction and be willing to practice the skill.  It will be uncomfortable (but not painful!), it will be difficult, but you need to communicate with your body and keep making progress.  Stop the practice session when you are no longer making progress.

So my experiment is not yet done but I will continue to work on it and report on my progress.  As a matter of fact, after another one on one coaching session with the Iron Tamer himself, I achieved the 48kg bent press.  I still have some work to do but I know I am on the proper path as I have my baseline (my FMS score) and my strength continues to increase.

Would love to get some feedback from other individuals as how they achieved their press requirement for Level 2.  I am not saying that this is the only way to train for it, but it has worked very well for me and is something to consider especially if you have suffered from shoulder and neck issues in the past.

Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well and training smart (I know I always say that but I feel it is important to let all of you know that I care).

Today I wanted to present to you a CK-FMS Success Story that we achieved just recently.  This individual contacted me after meeting me at CK-FMS and asked if I would be interested in providing him coaching and programming to improve his FMS score, get him out of pain and help him achieve some of his goals.  The only problem was is he lives about 6 hours away and is unable to come at all for an FMS screen and visits to work on his programming.

At first I was going to turn him down and have him see someone locally, but since he is the only CK-FMS of his kind where he was there were no other options, plus I was assured by Master RKC, Brett Jones that this type of program can and will work if you use the Functional Movement Screen as your foundation for programming.  So I took on the task of improving this person’s FMS.

Let me provide you a little background information on Corey (in his own words).

“I met Mark Snow at the CK-FMS in May of 2011. At the time I has just pulled out of the RKC Level  II workshop and into the CK-FMS because I was experiencing pain from my workouts. I have a “nice healthy” case of scoliosis, and my overhead pressing was causing low back pain and numbness down my leg. After bombing my FMS (scoring an 11 at CK-FMS), and struggling with daily activities I decided only a fool trains himself.  I asked Mark for help with a goal of moving better, feeling better, living pain free and a completion of the USSS snatch test.”

So we have established some goals below (this is the destination in our journey).

Goals:
•    Pain Free
•    Achieve Secret Service Snatch Test of 200 snatches in 10 minutes
•    Become efficient in all Level 2 skills (pain free)
•    Improve and stay technically sound in Level 1 skills (pain free)

Next we needed to determine where we are currently at in our program (our starting point in our journey).

I had him video his FMS screen and send it to me to score.  Its not that I didn’t think he would score his FMS well but I have seen a tendancy for individuals to pad their score a little by accident.

Here was his FMS score Day 1:

The good news is that he has already improved 2 points since CK-FMS by working on his lowest score at that time (Active Straight Leg Raise) this also improved his Rotary Stability from 1/1 to 2/2.

First step in developing the program is to remove the negatives.  I asked Corey to provide me with a list of exercises/workouts that he is doing for 3 days and send it too me.  Basically, Corey was doing A LOT of loaded upper body pushing activities and not enough upper body pulling activities.  I wanted to take pressing, snatching and squatting off the table for a little while since they all were established at red lights in my mind.

So here was our first plan of action:

So with all of this knowledge in our corner I devised a workout plan (built the map).  Please remember that I instructed Corey to constantly follow up with me and let me know how the workouts are going and to keep checking the baseline to make sure we are staying on track.  Once the map has been built there doesn’t mean that we can’t take any detours and have to revise the map now and again.

We kept in contact and once Corey was able to complete the program (4 completed weeks of workouts) we rechecked vital FMS scores to make sure we were on track.  Then I would revise our plan of action and from there establish the program for the the next 4 weeks.

I am very pleased to state that, for 4 months of training, Corey stayed the course and trusted the program and did not try to add anything additional to the program.  He sent me every video that I asked for as I wanted to make sure the program was doing what it was designed to do.  Here are his words on what he has accomplished throughout this time.

“It’s important to me that I see tangible improvement on paper. Keeping that in mind, my FMS score has improved to a 17.  My get up has gone from a 32k max to an easy 40k max (I don’t have a heavier bell or I’d try it).  My bottoms up clean and press is now an easy 24k. Intrestingly enough, I’m up 3lbs but down 2% bodyfat.  And as far as nontangibles, I don’t hurt all the time now.   My low back pain has subsided.   The leg numbness is gone. And as a father… I can play with my 7 year old son pain free!

“I need to say that everyone needs a coach.   In my area I was the only RKC (pending Ck-FMS) and as a result I get a ton of questions about training programs.   Dan John says: “”only the fool trains himself””, and for me that was spot on accurate.   I need someone like Mark Snow to give me a path.   That way I don’t think for myself and screw up.   I needed an outside view and a professional application of the FMS to fix me and help me achieve the goals I have set for myself.   As an RKC… I expect and demand a lot from myself, but Coach Snow provides a brilliant map.  Without his Yoda-like skills, I’d still be hurting and nowhere near where I am.   Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the RKC community.   Thanks Coach!

So there you have it.  Determine you starting point, determine your destination, draw the map, and continue to re-evaluate the map and your baseline to see if you are going in the right direction.  Even long distance, a lot of fantastic things can happen if you use the FMS as your baseline and re-evaluation tool.

Hope all of you are doing well and training smart.  Nikki and I were progressing very well in our RKC Level II Training in the past few weeks.  We were feeling more grooved with the bent press, clean and jerk was coming along well with few problems and pull up and pistol training was really starting to take off thanks to the pistol progressions we were given by Senior RKC Franz Snideman (you can also youtube Doc Mark Cheng on his pistol progressions as well as they are both outstanding).

The very cool thing is that we really worked with a simplistic type of approach that you would see in Dan John’s 40 day workout program.  We spent 2 days per week doing Level II skills, 1 day per week doing Level I skills, and 2 more days just getting in some swings.

Then we kind of ran into a wall training wise.  We went off to CK-FMS for a wonderful weekend and the following week off to Net Profit Explosion’s Mega Training and Orlando HKC.  During this time my skills began to start lacking.  My tailbone would be sore from time to time as well.  We got back from Orlando and were thinking of getting hard and heavy into training when we did a very smart thing, we FMS screened each other.  The astonishing thing was is that we both scored a 12.  This was a very kind way that my body was telling me I had some things to work on and to back off before I get an injury in training.

I feel that this was a very important lesson for me and for everyone reaching for a big fitness goal.  There is a time to hit the pedal to the metal and a time to back off.  As Master RKC Mark Reifkind states “the next step off of a peak is always down” & “tough guy periodization- Heavy, heavier, even heavier, INJURY, light, light, heavy…..” you get the idea. I feel a lot of this occurs not only within the RKC community when training for the RKC Level I and II (example: 1/2 bodyweight press for level II) but also in the health and fitness community as a whole.  We never want to back off.  We have to remind ourselves and our clients that we need to take ourselves in for an inspection and  tune up every now and then and get back to basics.

So this past week I decided I would listen to my body and go back to some of the very basics:  pistol progression from the beginning, deadlifts, body weight pull ups, and FMS correctives (mine was rolling patterns, scored 1/1). By the end of this past week my FMS improved by 3-4 points and now I am ready to get back into the training program.  We were also fortunate enough that Master RKC Jeff O’Connor came in town to teach the Omaha HKC.  The following day we hosted a mobility and stability workshop taught by the Red Neck Ninja himself and man was it fantastic.  More information on how that went is upcoming.

Hello everyone.  I hope once again you are maintaining balance with your mind, body and soul with your life.  That you are working out smart and doing things that help you to be a better person.

September was another big step for Nikki and myself.  We decided to take our careers a step further by signing up for RKC Level II in April of 2012 in Minnesota.  We are going to be talking a lot in the next 8 months about the journey, but today I wanted to talk about how we are going to get started.

I am taking a piece of Alwyn Cosgrove’s advice and mapping out our journey.  This doesn’t mean that there will be road blocks along the way, but we are going to set a map to help us reach our goals of RKC LEVEL II.

I.  Determine the Goal –  Figure out your destination.

A.  Attend & Pass RKC Level II

1.  Strict Press (1/2 bodyweight for myself and 1/4 bodyweight for Nikki)

2.  Pistol (Single Leg Squat)

3.  Pull Up (with 24kg at foot for me, Nikki strict pull up)

4.  Bent Press

5.  Clean And Jerk

6.  Push Press & Viking Push Press

7.  Windmill

B.  Maintain and Pass all Level I Skills on 1st day of Level II

1.  Swing

2.  Turkish Get Up

3.  Squat

4.  Clean

5.  Press

6.  Snatch (maintain snatch test numbers 100 in 5 min)

II.  Determine a starting point – Where does your journey begin.

The first thing google maps will ask you when you ask for directions is where do you want to go and ALSO where you are starting your journey from.  I feel a lot of individuals miss the starting point when determining a proper training program.  This is why some goals are not achieved.  There are so many factors to take into consideration.

Some points to consider:

A.  Ailments/Injuries/Issues

1.  Right now I am injury free but I need to keep in mind that I have a neck and back that likes to get pissy when I overtrain.  Need to keep this in c0nsideration on a daily basis during this journey and back off if needed.

2.  I work with a massage therapist and a chiropractor who will help me with regular visits (monthly) along the way to help prevent any issues from arising.

B.  Functional Movement Screen

1.  Right now my FMS is above 14.  The only asymmetries I need to keep into consideration is my shoulder mobility and my active straight leg raise.  I need to make sure I keep symmetry with these two scores and continue to reassess SM and ASLR daily.  I need to make sure I get an FMS every 5 weeks.

C.  Current Strength

Of all the Level II exercises, I list them by which is hardest for me to accomplish in order.  From most challenging to least challenging goes like this: Press, Pullup, Pistol, Bent Press, Clean and Jerk, Windmill, Viking Push Press, and Push Press.

1.  Best I have ever pressed is a 36kg and have done 32kg for reps.  This is my starting point.

2.  Pullup I have currently accomplished with 10kg on my foot.

3.  Pistol I can do with a 14kg on my L, on my R I can do one time but get a pretty good cramp in my L quad (some type of compensation going on here)

4.  Bent Press is challenging for me due to the sheer technical side of the press, will need some expert advice on this.  (Spoke with Master RKC, David Whitley who is one of the best at the bent press.  He was kind enough to provide me some important pointers on the bent press.  He even told me is will provide huge gains in my strict press as well.  Here is a video by David Whitley on the Bent Press)

Video of my bent press practice

5.  Clean and Jerk is getting better now that I am not dealing with any neck or thoracic mobility issues.  The heavier I go the harder it gets.  Pretty pleased with up to 32kg as of now.

6.  Feel pretty good about the windmill (and how it can help me to a better bent press) as well as the push press and viking push press.  I don’t want to get cocky and forget about these movements, but will address them weekly to maintain.

7.  Just recertified in San Diego on all Level I skills so I just want to maintain these skills and make them as crisp and sharp as I can.  Want to maintain my snatch test numbers as well.

III.  Determine how long the journey will take – time to train

A.  Date of Level II – April 27th – 29th

B.  Weeks to train = 34 overall

C.  Amount of workouts per week (our goal is to try and get 4-5 workouts in per week).  5 workouts per week at 34 weeks is about 170 workouts.  We do want to be realistic here as we have trips planned and will miss some workouts.  So we are going to try for a goal of 150 workouts before level II.

There you have it.  Nikki and I will post updates as we come along in our training.  I am planning on doing a lot of sets of singles to achieve what I am looking for and make modifications as needed.  The hard part will be making sure I don’t progress too quickly and also to take off weeks.

Please feel free to comment back on how you have mapped out your journey for RKC Level I or II Or for any of your health and fitness goals.  Would love some feedback.

Its that time of year again, so we thought we would re-publish our favorite fall dessert/snack recipe.

#1 Pumpkin Pie Bars

These are the best bars around!  A clear favorite of ours!

From Gourmet Nutrition
(Servings 16)

Base
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (organic or 1/4 splenda brown Sugar)
1/2 cup cold Butter (can use 1/2 cup applesauce)

Filling
2 cups low fat/skim milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 can of pumpkin puree (2 cups, NOT pumpkin filling!)
5 scoops (125g) of vanilla protein powder
3 whole omega 3 eggs
Splenda to taste

1. Preheat oven to 505 degrees F(190 degrees C).

2. Stir the flour, oats, brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add butter (or applesauce) and mix with hands thoroughly until mixture is a breadcrumb like texture.  Transfer ingredients to a 9×13 inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Press down on mixture until it covers the bottom of the pan completely.  Bake for 12 minutes

3. In the meantime, bring milk to a boil with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  As soon as it boils, transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the pumpkin first and then the protein powder and eggs.  If necessary, sweeten mixture to taste with Splenda.

4. Once the base has finished baking, remove from the oven and pour the pumpkin filling on top.  Place back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until pumpkin filling has set.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins

Amount Per Serving (with butter)- Calories: 160/ Total Fat: 4.8g / Total Carbs: 17g / Dietary Fiber:1.7g / Protein 11.5g

Recipe from Gourmet Nutrition

Hello everyone.  I wish all of you well in your quest to become better individuals by healthy mind, body and soul.

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted.  You see, I don’t just blog all the time to be blogging.  I want my blog posts to have some meaning.  So when I am inspired to blog for any specific reason, then and only then do I get the word out to the masses.

Now to the good stuff.  So many of you out there feel that you HAVE to do cardio training to lose fat.  In all actuality this is not always necessarily true.  Many of you are missing out on the anaerobic and metabolic effects of resistance training and high intensity training.  I feel that part of this may be due to the fact that we (meaning Americans) LOVE to see the “calories burned” at the end of our workout.  Hence the love of getting on the treadmill or hooking ourselves up to a heart rate monitor.  BUT you are only taking in the “aerobic” measures towards caloric expenditure.  You are missing on a few other more important variables when determining what exercise means give you the most bang for your buck when working into a fat loss exercise program.

I want to thank Alwyn Cosgrove for bringing this study to my attention.  Alwyn is a fat loss EXPERT and has been doing it for quite some time now.  He has kept EVERY workout he has had his members perform and is up to date on ALL the research on fat loss.  So lets just say when Alwyn speaks, we (Nikki and I) listen.

A study in 2005 titled: “Misconceptions about aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure” by Scott, CB and was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.  Here they performed a study which compared 3.5 minutes of aerobic exercise versus 3 x 15 second wind sprints.

When you look at the first set of data which only recorded the calories burned using the aerobic measure they came out to:

Aerobic exercise = 36 calories burned

Sprints = 4 calories burned

This is where most people stop the argument.  “SEE!”  “Steady state aerobic is better than sprinting or high intensity cause it burns more calories!”  Just a second my friend.

The next measurement they took was EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumpton).  Wikipedia defines EPOC as:

(EPOC, informally called afterburn) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s “oxygen debt.” In historical context the term “oxygen debt” was popularized to explain or perhaps attempt to quantify anaerobic energy expenditure, particularly as regards lactic acid/lactate metabolism; in fact, the term “oxygen debt” is still widely used to this day. Direct and indirect calorimeter experiments have, however, definitively disproven any association of lactate metabolism as causal to an elevated oxygen uptake.[1]

In recovery, oxygen (EPOC) is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed. These include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation and anabolism.

EPOC is accompanied by an elevated consumption of fuel. In response to exercise, fat stores are broken down and free fatty acids (FFA) are released into the blood. In recovery, the direct oxidation of free fatty acids as fuel and the energy consuming re-conversion of FFA’s back into fat stores both take place.[2][3][4]
When they now measured the total calories burned including EPOC and Aerobic it came to the following total:

Steady State Aerobic exercise = 36 calories burned

Sprints (mostly anaerobic) = 39 calories burned

That is a pretty big jump by the 15 second sprints in just the EPOC alone and by checking out the above definition, its pretty nice to see that the fat stores are broken down during EPOC.

Lastly they decided to check calories burned using an Anaerobic Measure.  When all was said and done with aerobic, EPOC, and anaerobic measures were calculated.  Here is the final score:

Steady State Aerobic exercise = 39 calories burned

Sprints (mostly anaerobic) = 65 calories burned

Now do you see why we push so much for high intensity cardio and anaerobic works like kettlebell swings and strength training?  Its the WHOLE affect that creates the type of response that you want when trying to lose fat.

I would love to see a study that promotes strength training,  circuit training, kettlebell swings and other types of anaerobic exercise to put up against the treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical steady state exercise.

Dragon Door/RKC sponsors legendary MMA fighter, Fedor Emelianenko in upcoming battle against Dan Henderson, on Showtime

Dragon Door, the originator of the modern kettlebell movement and the world’s premier site for Kettlebells, strength conditioning and advanced fitness resources, is proud to announce its sponsorship of legendary fighter Fedor Emelianenko in his upcoming battle against Dan Henderson on July 30th at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL.

The fight will be broadcast at 10:00 EST on Showtime:

Shrouded in mystique in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, many aficionados have hailed Fedor as the greatest to ever do it, the Muhammad Ali of his sport. He remains one of the most fearsome and talented heavyweights in the world — and practically a national hero in Russia. The Fedor-Henderson fight is being heavily advertised and promoted in the homeland and some fans are calling it ‘Fedor’s Second Coming’.

Dragon Door launched its RKC kettlebell training system in 2001, sparking a worldwide revolution in effective strength and conditioning for elite athletes, martial artists, military and all those seeking a supreme level of functional fitness.

Dragon Door’s RKC programs offer a wealth of kettlebell information for generating superior strength and power — including books, seminars, training certification programs, equipment and DVDs. Many of the resources are considered modern classics, including Enter the Kettlebell: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen written by former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor Pavel Tsatsouline.

American hardmen of all stripes were quick to recognize what their Russian counterparts had long known — nothing beats the kettlebell, when you’re looking for a single tool to dramatically impact your strength and conditioning.

“This is an ideal fit for our team,” writes John Du Cane, Founder and CEO of Dragon Door . “A great believer himself in kettlebells, Fedor embodies strength and power, and that’s what our company has been all about for the past 20 years — no gimmicks or fads, only hard work and training that builds resilience, strength and power.”

Look for Dragon Door’s RKC double-eagle logo displayed on Fedor’s shorts on fight night!

As originator with Pavel Tsatsouline of the modern kettlebell movement, Du Cane has spent decades building the world’s most informed and proficient community of kettlebell instructors, now in 43 countries and every U.S. state.

Dragon Door/RKC offers Certification Workshops the globe — from Budapest to San Diego to Philadelphia, to Korea to Belfast — providing the highest quality kettlebell instructor program available. Pavel’s Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification Workshop gives professionals a crash course in Advanced Strength Skills, ignites new business opportunities, and propels attendees into the front ranks of physical excellence. An enthusiastic following of leading fitness and athletic authorities, trainers, doctors and therapists around the world have supported and attended their workshops since 2001.