“Men’s Health” 2

27 09 2007

mens-health.jpgSo I started reading. The whole thing about this article was how Statham, who was not in bad shape to begin with, had leaned out and lost 17 lbs in 6 weeks. He states he’s “never, ever gotten results like this before”. And what did he do exactly to achieve this. Well let’s see…..”‘working out…..at most, about 35mins a day'”, in “a converted warehouse near the…. airport”, with “trampolines, climbing ropes, barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells and…..pullup bars”. “‘I haven’t had one single day in 6 weeks that has been a repeat'”. “….you can pick six basic exercises you can do at home and go full out. Statham does one six-exercise circut five times”.

Is any of this sounding familiar? I had to laugh and say to myself, “That’s what Chris and I have been doing for the last 6 months. If off the beaten path is where we tread, then I guess we’re on the right track”.

Part of what was interesting for me in all this has been getting a better sense of just how known in the greater fitness community things like Cross Fit and Kettle Bells are becoming. I’ve been wondering about that lately. How known and popular are these modes, really? Because they have been basically all I’ve learned about and done for the last two years, it’s difficult to tell whether anyone outside of those who do it, actually know it. For the first year, there wasn’t a single person I talked to who knew what kettlebells were. I had a good personal trainer friend of mine who didn’t know what they were till I described them to him. He then said “Ooohh…that’s what those things are. I’ve seen them at this one gym, but I have never seen anyone use them. I think they actually have dust on them”.

Now with these fitness magazines, they have to sell. And so they are going to write about all those things that are primarily pushing the market. And so to see Cross Fit style workouts (thru interviewing Statham) as a major feature, and another article “Pack on size fast with…..exercises you’ve never done before” that feature a Dumbbell Split Jerk (no, no kettlebells yet, but give them time;), Dumbbell Floor Press, Dumbbell Swing and a One Legged Deadlift, you know that it’s starting to seep into the mass consciousness.

And this is good. I’m not a fanatic or anything (in fact being opened-minded helped me find Kettlebells and Cross Fit), but these modes of training just makes so much sense. And when you’ve got groups like elite athletes, fire fighters, law-enforcement, military (especially special forces) , some of these groups being at the leading edge of effective fitness, saying they are in the best shape they’ve ever been and adopting these modes as their primary fitness training tool, you have to take a sec and go “hhmmnn……maybe there’s something to all this”.


P.S. The guys who run Epoch Training, where Statham trained, are Logan Hood and Clay Enos. Those names had sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t place them. Then the next day it clicked. I went to the Gym Jones site, went to Disciples and there they were. They’d both trained with Mark Twight. Good on them for starting up a facility:)

“Men’s Health” 1

27 09 2007

mens-health-w.jpgI used to read various fitness magazines a fair bit. There was period of about 2 1/2 yrs (Oh…about 8-10 years ago) where I would buy quite a few, if not at least read it each month. There was lots to learn, lots of info on various exercises or routines and nutrition that I was not yet familiar with. But then I hit a point, after about 2 yrs, where I was getting kind of disappointed. They just kept writing about all the same stuff, month after month. There was really nothing new being brought to the table. Basically the same stuff, with different fonts and new pictures. I no longer felt it worth the time and money to be spending on it as a resource and basically just stopped even browsing thru them (It was around this time that I really got hooked on the fitness training that the special forces community adhered to).

Then a few years ago, Mens Health magazine started introducing (on a very regular basis) interviews with actors and athletes and what they do for their fitness needs. Good marketing….it got me to flip thru again:) But the key that kept me coming back, just to read those interviews, was the fact that these actors and athletes weren’t really doing the stuff that is usually prescribed in fitness magazines (Men’s Health included). And so I found it funny that this magazine was publishing these articles about these people who are in amazing shape, but do so in a way that’s so not mainstream, that seems opposite of what everything else in the magazine was saying.

And so, anyway, the reason I’m writing about this, is because I happened by the magazine rack the other day and saw on the cover of Men’s Health, Jason Statham. I thought to myself, “Hmmn…this guys already been on once or twice. And they were interesting interviews. I wonder what he’s doing different this time that’s bringing him back”.



Back to Circuits!

25 09 2007

SprintAfter about a month of working out with Kettle Bells coming back to CrossFit is a bucket of cold water down your spine! It felt great to, once again, have to fight with myself to finish the workout! When we were working with the kettle bells, there is a lot of resting time, which I generally use for reflection or hangout. BUT! with Cross Fit the level of intensity is high and constant (with peaks!). The big difference is that one works out my muscles and the other works on my physical and mental endurance.

Circuits are intended to bring you to a heightened level of activity in a short period to time and to maintain you there until the end. Because of this it is important to prepare mentally for the workout. Before starting I always tell myself a few things: I am about to do something hard and the reward is good; it has an end and I will feel good once I get there; and the goal of these workouts is to improve my life by increasing my discipline.

Once I say it mentally, I am ready for hell! It’s like a warrior mantra!

300 style: “Tonight we dine in hell!’ 😉


Cycle 4: Sword in the Stone

24 09 2007

Let the games…..sweat……heartpounding……tears……aaahhh, mommy…….begin! So we finished up Cycle 3 (the sprint cycle with KB’s) and dove back into the Crossfit styled workouts last week. It was great! We were both feeling pretty psyched and looking forward to getting back into it. This cycle we have set for 6 weeks, at the end of which we are going to perform the test “300”, as administered by Gym Jones themselves. I spoke earlier about being honest with ourselves and where we were at, not rushing the progress and steadily building ourselves up to a pretty decent level of conditioning. The type of conditioning that doing “300” would put to the test. We are now much closer to that than we were 6 weeks ago, and with 6 more to go, feel we will be ready. We’ll see about that;)

Something important to note: the first cycle, we really randomized the workouts. In 8 weeks, we never repeated a single workout (as Gym Jones had done, putting the guys thru the training for the film “300”). Things changed a little with the second cycle. We had completed the “300 Jr.” and were able to identify where we needed to improve. Only, in focusing on the things that needed improving, I ended up creating a very specific program without a lot of variety. Now anyone who’s involved in fitness will tell you that you don’t want to do a particular program for much more than 6 weeks. Your body adapts, you plateau and you can burnout (hence cycling). Because of the first cycle, the progress we saw and the fact that we did it for 8 weeks, I kind of forgot about that. I think perhaps that was a contributing factor to our feeling a bit burnt by the end of cycle 2. Whereas if you are randomizing it all the time, you don’t give your body a chance to adapt and so there’s alway progress forward (even if it feels like you are doing the same stuff).

But I had also briefly lost sight of the whole point for doing the “300” test. I got so focused on doing it, the second cycle had become about training FOR the test, as if it were an end in and of itself. Here we were writing about what the whole point of this for us was, not for the test but rather for the qualities we would develop in training in this manner. But then starting to fall into the trap, the trap that it was about the test and being able to achieve it. “300” is just that, a test. To let us know where we are at, show us where we can improve, show us where we’ve been and where we are going.

In creating the program for Cycle 4, all this has been taken into account. We’re back on randomness, back to really shaking things up and back to finding our limits (though this time we are a little better equipped to handle it…..a little;). At the end of these 6 weeks, we will take stock. We will approach the sword where it stands and see whether we possess the qualities required to draw it forth from it’s resting place………


The Wee Kettlebells

24 09 2007

When my niece Isabella was about 2 1/2 yrs,  she would watch me do my workouts with the kettlebells.  Of course, in her enthusiasm and curiosity, she would want to do the exercises as well. When she got to the point where she talked about exercising with kettlebells (outside of when we were actually around them), I decided it was time that she had one as well. So I made her a kettlebell. I found some wooden spools with some thick rope attached to it at the Salvation Army. I then got a sock, poured dried beans into it (like a bean bag), wrapped the sock around the string and then duck-taped it all. Now over a year later, with Olee showing the same excitement  and my wanting to encourage that  enthusiasm and his desire to participate, made him a kettlebell as well (with an extra wooden spool I had). In the next while, I’ll make one for my nephew Diego to add to the bunch.

Learning to count……from scratch:)

24 09 2007

o an eDuring one of the workouts last week, Erika was doing Turkish Half-ups with a kettlebell. My son Olee saw her doing them and said “lay down…..keddubells”. He grabbed two Wee Kettlebells and lay down on his back next to his Aunt. He then raised the kettlebells above his head and tensing up his whole body, grunting and wheezing (under the immense weight of the bells *wink*:) he counted along with Erika. “Oooone….urghu….twooooooo…argh…..fweeeeee…….”

It was priceless:)


Week 22 (Sept 10 – 16)

18 09 2007

DAY 1 (Strength)
c-WU-SJ + 2HSW (# 35 KB) x 20

WO- Seated MilPr (#35) x 4, R 45sec, Alternating ReRo x 5, R 45sec, 5 rds

WM (Single) (#35 KB) x 3/side, 3 rds, R 1 min/rd

DL (#130) x 5, R 45sec, Dbl KB HP (#35’s) x 5, R 45sec, 5 rdsdscn2313.jpg

s -WU-SJ + 2HSW (# 35 KB) x 20

WO- Seated MilPr (#35) x 5, R 45sec, Alternating ReRo x 5, R 45sec, 5 rds

WM (Single) (#35 KB) x 4/side, 4 rds, R 1 min/rd

DL (#130) x 5, R 45sec, Dbl KB SW (#35’s) x 5, R 45sec, 5 rds

c&s -Rowing Machine: 5 min WU, Tabata Row, cool down.

Note: This was our last rowing day. We decided to not push it too hard this week, as it was our final week before we start back up with the Crossfit stuff. And although we aren’t charging out the gates at an insane pace next week, we wanted to give our bodies a bit of recovery time before the next cycle.

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