Posts Tagged ‘Mark Snow’

I was approached today by a potential client who is training for the Omaha Fire Department.  Extremely honored for the opportunity!  This also brings up an important point…

  • What goals are you trying to accomplish in 2012?
  • Do you have a plan of action?
  • Does your plan of action take into account where you are starting from, what skills you need to attain to accomplish this goal?
  • Does this plan take into account your movement and performance baseline?
  • Does this plan determine your strengths to maintain and your weaknesses to improve on?
  • Does this plan allow for changes or modifications to be made due to things that may come up?  How does the plan determine when to make modification?

Whether you are training for the Omaha Fire Department, Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor Certification, Marathon, 1/2 marathon, or just fat loss you MUST have a plan of action.

Here is my 2012 gift to you….  Anyone in the area who is interested in getting a proper PLAN OF ACTION towards their upcoming 2012 goals is invited to come in and get a Fitness Consultation and Functional Movement Screen at NO CHARGE ($87 value).  Just click the link below to get registered and we will sign you up for your consult and screen.  No strings attached.  This is a great way for you to understand every aspect detailed above whether you chose to train at home, at another gym, through another trainer, or through SG Human Performance.  What do you have to lose?

FREE CONSULTATION AND FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN

Here is to you accomplishing your goals!

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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.  Wanted to see if I could get the word out to everyone who is interested in learning more about how we use the Functional Movement Screen to enhance our programming and clients success in the group setting.

As many of you may know, we specialize in group kettlebell classes but also include bodyweight exercises, TRX Training, battling ropes and other drills (ALOT of self limiting exercises).

Basically our Foundation here at SG Human Performance (its even in our mission statement) is using the Functional Movement Screen.

FMS provides us the following:

  • Establishes rapport with new and existing clients
  • Determines programming success
  • Boosts Metabolism (YES, hard to believe I know, but its so true)
  • Improves exercise technique
  • Assesses client progress

So I am opening up my blog for ANYONE to ask their questions about how to use the FMS to enhance themselves as a fitness professional and also to enhance their rehabilitation or fitness business.  Please post a comment to this blog with your question and I will do my best to answer it.

If you don’t believe me (or want more information) check into Alwyn Cosgroves “Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss Programming” and how he uses the FMS in his Fat Loss Programming in both Semi Private and Group Training.

Hello everyone.  Hope all of you are doing well and training smart.

Just a quick post on how things are going.  Had such a fantastic week training for RKC Level 2 certification last week.  I was able to press the 40kg on Tuesday, pistol both sides with a 16kg, and on Saturday I did my first bent press with a 44kg.  The 44kg felt really good as it was my first attempt at it but it went up quite smoothly.

Now the decisions I made next are crucial for me to be able to continue with my strength training foundation and to hit more PR’s.  The old me would have quickly ran over and tried to bent press the 48kg since the 44kg went so smooth.  I remember when I did this big jump before and I was able to perform it but a week later I had to take time off because I hurt my shoulder blade.  So I placed the 44kg down with happiness and left it at that.

My next decision is to lay off this week and really get to moving well.  I am taking the advice of many others who say not to keep hitting the accelerator when you hit a PR.  Every time I hit a PR it seems the next week I get hurt because I did not back off.  I was feeling so good last week and felt unbreakable, that is my hint that its time to back off and start the trek back up the peak slowly but surely next week.

Not that I am going to lay down on the couch or anything, but I am going to lighten the loads and really work on technique this week.

Goals this week: GREASE THE GROOVE

  • Bent Press practice with 32kg
  • 1 arm swings for sets of 5/5 with 32kg to build up grip strength for heavier kb cleans
  • Level 1 prep with 16kgs or 20kgs
  • Pistol practice with feet and knees together (more of a feet and knees together squat but it really helps my pistol)
  • Continue to work on thoracic mobility and ankle mobility
  • Own my rolling patterns
  • Kalos Sthenos on the Get Up (1 and 2)

As many of you may have read, in the past 2 weeks of my training I decided to revert back and work on some movement patterns and get back to basics.

  1. Been working the brettzel stretch and ankle mobility which was recently re-introduced to me by Master RKC, Jeff O’Connor.
  2. Went back to the beginning and relearned the drills for the bent press, pistol, and pull up.
  3. Then just started playing around with the level II drills here and there and just trying to OWN the movements.

Just yesterday Nikki and I decided to “play around a bit”.  I was extremely impressed by how going back to the basics and owning the movement patterns has made a big impact on my training.

  • Performed a pull ups on the bar
    • (1st set with 18#, and 2nd with 10kg: I know this is not much but I was doing them with a 16kg and decided that I was not finishing high enough on the bar so went back to basics)
  • Performed bottoms up press with a 24kg on both sides.
    • Very pleased with how seamless this felt and am looking forward to BU Pressing the 28kg soon
  • Performed some basic pistol work
    • Bottom position way more steady than before
  • Pressed the 40kg for the first time on my right side
    • Before yesterday, wasn’t able to get anywhere close to this.  Special thanks to MRKC David Whitley on his Bent Press Program to help me achieve this.  Now back to more bent pressing 🙂

Hopefully I have learned enough from previous bad habits of lift, lift more, lift heavier, lift even heavier then get hurt, rest and start over again.  Going to keep working those patterns daily and stay with the basics.  Here are my upcoming goals for the next 4 weeks.

  1. Continue to work on mobility (brettzels, ankle, soft tissue and rib pulls)
  2. Perform drills every day -Grease the Groove (some type of press for singles, some type of pistol or squat work, some type of pull up)
  3. Remind myself to taper when I get to the point that I feel indestructible then start back over at the basics.

Just started with Geoff Neupert’s New Nutrition Program so I will keep all of you posted.  Right now I am at 215 and would like to lose some body fat if at all possible to help me during this journey.  Don’t necessarily want to cut weight to press less, but if I end up losing some fat and staying strong in the process I won’t complain if I am asked to press the 44kg instead of the 48kg at RKC Level II.

 

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 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.

Hope everyone is doing well, sticking with their guns and progressing towards their goals and most importantly, training smart.  Here is my favorite shake recipe going on right now.

Peanut Butter Cookie Shake (makes 2-4 servings)

  • 8 ounces of milk or almond milk
  • 8 ounces of cold water
  • 4 scoops of Vi-Shape Protein Mix
  • 4 Teaspoons of PB2 (you can use organic peanut butter if you choose)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 4-8 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese

Blend and enjoy.  The PB2 is a powdered form of peanut butter that just makes it way easier to make shakes with peanut butter (you can get it online or at your local grocery store).  I have used regular peanut butter in the past but it tends to stick to the blender half the time.  The secret ingredient in my mind is the cinnamon.  It really gives the shake that cookie taste that I love so much.  The cottage cheese sounds weird at first but it gives the shake an ice cream consistency to it.

Hope everyone is doing well out there and training hard and more importantly training smart.

After the past two weeks of speaking to individuals about their health and fitness goals for changing their lives I am inspired to write a blog on the subject.

First I need to provide a warning for you that this blog post will not be pretty.  You are going to see a little bit of my dark side.  Yes I have an alter ego (some of my clients have named him “Mac”) and it is about time that my alter ego come out and provide some knowledge.  I am not going to be an A$$hole, I am just going to be very blunt and provide all of you a little reality check.  Its not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings but to get you to achieving your goals.

Being a fitness/sports medicine professional since 1996 I have met a lot of individuals.  Some are inspiring with their story about how they have overcome adversity and made a positive change in their life.  But, the majority of the people I have met only have excuses.  Excuses for why they live the life they live, for their troubles, for their issues, blaming others for the problems they are faced with today, or baggage that is keeping them from living a happy life.

Listen, I am not better than anyone else.  I used to be Captain Excuse, I would blame my past for my issues with being able to deal with people.  I still catch myself today making excuses for many things, but I am aware of it and trying to stop it.

Here is the big problem.  If we are so busy making excuses, we are never working on SOLUTIONS to our adversity. Here is some of the excuses that I have heard recently and here is what they are really saying.

  • “The reason why my knee buckles when I exercise is because the flooring is bad or I have crappy shoes, or its just the way I move.”
    • I have knee issues but I don’t want to take time away from my workout to correct it.  So I am risking ruining my knees even more just so I can workout harder
  • “I used to workout ALL the time and was so happy with my body, until I had someone close to me pass away.  Ever since then I haven’t had the energy to workout and eat right.”
    • I was on track and then off track and now I just don’t have the energy to go through what I went through before to achieve the results I need.
      • This is a tough one.  I am not saying that you cannot mourn.  All I am saying is that you should mourn, but there has to be a time where you pick yourself up off of the floor and put the pieces back together.
  • “The reason I eat crap and don’t workout is because I don’t have the money.”
    • I am too lazy to think of a SOLUTION on how to budget properly to afford a proper fitness program and nutrition strategy.  I would much rather use my money (that I state that I don’t have) eating out and going to the bar.
  • “I would love to join a fitness facility or a fitness program, but I need to get in better shape to handle the intensity of the program.”
    • I am scared out of my mind about showing up to a fitness class and looking like a fool.  I don’t want others to see me make mistakes and fail.  I don’t want to look like an idiot in front of others.
      • This is another tough one.  But understand that everyone is in your shoes and has the same doubts and worries as you.  Ask any of our members, they were in the same situation as you during the first week of their program.  I was as well when I started my first kettlebell class!  But you make mistakes and learn from them, you struggle and sweat and accomplish and you do it with others who are there to help you along and you can help them too.  The difference between our members and you is that they decided they were tired of living the life that they were and took the first step.

So as painful as this blog may have been for you to read.  Take a few days and think about it.  Are you making Excuses?  Or are you now going to start thinking of SOLUTIONS to your problems.  I know that it has made my life much better when I stopped looking for an excuse and began thinking of solutions.

If you ever need help finding a solution, there are thousands of well trained individuals out there to help you find those solutions.  Never give up, always be thinking of a solution and your mind will find the answer.