Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
To help y'all do it the right way i.e. in true HARD style (and SAFE style!) of the RKC and KBLA, read on:
Deadlifts: Use a "lat lock" technique to keep shoulders packed throughout.
- Think about pressing the KB "down" as you deadlift the KB up--this will trigger more lat lock which then helps stabilize shoulders more. This was kind of weird at first, but it worked. My shoulders really don't move much during deadlifts--they stay back and down without protracting. My ankles, knees, and hips move and my arms "slightly" rotate in the shoulder joint, but the shoulders themselves do not round forward.
Swings: A great tip to help you engage the lats before you swing is to place the KB out in front then "drag it back" for 1-2" before you actually pick it up. This triggers your lats to fire which then helps you pack your shoulders. The more you engage lats then pack shoulders, the safer you will be while also increasing performance and efficiency--a win-win Comrades.
- If you do 1-Arm Swings, make sure to stay SQUARE on your lockout. Don't let your body rotate or be pulled forward on the KB side...think lat lock again. Even when you backswing the KB between your legs be thinking about keeping the KB arm/shoulder back as much as possible. If you allow the shoulder to unpack, you weaken the joint.
Cleans: Make sure to punch up under the KB quickly so you don't bang the forearms.
- The best HARD style tip at KBLA for me on cleans was a super clench of the glutes. The better I pop the glutes, the more the KB jumps up into my armpit like a cat.
- We worked on "Dead Cleans" too which is when you pull the KB straight up off the ground without a back swing. These force you to use even better technique in some ways, but in general, use the backswing method to get the KB moving before you bring it up.
Presses: As you lockout overhead, press chest slightly forward. This keeps the KB centered better with your body so you have more structural support from the skeleton and rely less on soft tissue support at the top end position.
- Use a more narrow stance on the press--no wider than hips. After you clean the KB, you can readjust slightly with your feet before beginning to press.
- Using a double crush grip enables more MVC--Maximum Volitional Contraction. Basically this means you can press more weight if you try to crush the KB handle while also crushing your opposing fist as well.
- Use the double lat lock technique--BOTH sides even though you are pressing with one side and one KB. This will keep you SQUARE with two packed shoulders and in the safest position. Using the double lat lock also keeps you from doing a side lean as you lockout. Don't allow your torso to collapse under the KB as you lock it out! Stand tall Comrades!
- If there is one big point I've learned about pressing it's to slow down and go HARD. Get a hard lockout on top, then slowly descend like you are literally doing a 1-Arm pullup. Set the KB into the rack firmly--pack the rack!!! I use two exhalations with the Press--one of top lockout and one on bottom rack position too.
Turkish Get Ups: This is a new technique for me on descending into the negative. As you come back down, you "slide" your back foot back instead of blindly reaching back. The slide method will keep you more stable. The key is to slide back at hip width. When I had my stance too narrow, I lost too much base of support, and it was not comfortable or efficient.
- Another HARD style TGU tip is to SLOW DOWN! Really push the stabilization with these. I have hard stops in my TGUs. I stop, assess form, think about my next more before I go there, and wait until I start shaking a bit to get the full joint stabilization benefits. Speed with TGUs is not the objective with me. Max reps is not the objective. I only do 3-5 per side with the 16kg. Doing these HARD style pushing max stabilization like above is...well...HARD! Trust me--less is more with this one if you do them right as in less reps but more quality.
- Don't allow your rear foot and ankle to externally rotate putting stress onto your knee and ankle.
- Basically, this looks like what I call a Box Lunge as you step back and down.
Our Workout: We did a ladder drill instead of a finishing circuit today. Enjoy the pain!!!
- Descending ladder drill of swings followed by goblet squats. Start with 10 swings followed by 10 goblets then go to 9-9, 8-8, etc. Take a brief rest as needed between sets to emphasize both quality and safety i.e. HARD style! Go all the way down to 1-1.
- Go deep on the goblets. This will help open up your hips.
So these are the basics from Sunday, December 7th. Another HARD style Sunday in Santa Monica with KBLA. Enjoy! From SoCal this week, Coach RJ!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- Heel Drive: Continue to work on driving the heels into ground for the optimal force transfer and safety. The "Curb" drill will teach us...the hard way! Place heels on concrete curb allowing front part of feet to hang off over gutter. Arches should be off curb. Proceed to do your KB swings with slightly less weight. I swing the 24kg, so for the curb I will use the 16kg. If your heels are not firmly planted, guess what? You end up in the street! The curb--will teach you the hard way.
- Linkage: Coming up from the heels, there is a sequence for the HARD style locks. Basically...Heels-knees-glutes-abs-lats. For optimal force, they must ALL be locked at the appropriate time.
Off to San Antonio this week for a few days of training. Stay fit. Keep a sweat going...I will! From Smokey SoCal, Coach RJ!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I’m in LA today. We just had a ripping earthquake. It shook the crap out of my apartment in Valencia. Friggin’ RJ was getting ready to leap off the 2nd story balcony into the tree--fitness in ACTION at the time of need! Not a hard jolt but a major rock and roller up and down and all around for about 30 seconds—15 of which was pretty intense. Anyway, I’m okay. No damage that I can see anywhere. Not sure what is up at this point, but I’m hanging tight and okay. It was a 5.8 in Chino Hills between Santa Monica and Long Beach.
Edgy in SoCal, Coach RJ
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I found a sign which explained the history of Inman Park. It was actually the site of the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. In one hot Southern July day, 9,000 men died in battle. I was awestruck. We were on hollowed ground...major chi rush followed. It made me think--people die for their passion and what they believe in. I don't think we have the right passion anymore in America. We are passionate about getting the newest iPhone or Xbox to point of killing someone over it, yet few really stand up for what is truly important like saving what is left of our country! Military is fighting doing their part. I'm fighting the health wars doing my part. Others are getting it on too--no disrespect to them. However, there are far too many people with jacked up priorities and completely lame in their way of thinking.
Speaking of lame, I saw two teens walking the other day. Both were holding their crotches because their damn pants were so loose they would fall down around ankles if not held up. What morons decided that wearing pants around the bottom third of your ass was cool? Whoever it was is making millions--that is jacked up! Pull your pants over your ass after you pull your head out--then fight for something worth fighting for y'all. Deep in the South today, Coach RJ
Monday, June 30, 2008
Just did a great workout with kettlebell guru Dr. Cheng and his Kettlebells Los Angeles comrades down in Santa Monica. His group meets every Sunday morning at 7:00 AM sharp. If you want to work with a real KB pro and a great group dedicated to moving well and injury free with KBs, check out the Sunday @ 7 group for sure! I've been working hard to get better and better with my technique. Dr. Cheng was able to make numerous points with me. Here were the points of KB light for me on Sunday:
- Drive my heels more as I bring the KB up--a good cue is to just lift "the toes" which then makes it impossible to lift the heels!
- Engage lats more. I'm straining my neck too much. I commented that I need to relax my neck to which Dr. Cheng quickly replied, "NO! You need to engage your lats!" Point well taken. At which time he took the group to the pull up bars for the Pavel style "lat" pull ups with locked elbows just to drive in this point!
- I need to keep my shoulder more packed as I finish my snatch. I'm thinking of this more and more but it's hard to master. The lat pull ups above will help with this.
- I was letting my front ABS get a little too soft which allowed my hips to finish too forward with my snatch and swings. Keeping the front ABS really tight enables a much better vertical line all the way through the body.
- This might be the best point and definitely the most funny--but totally true--keep your ass so tight as you pop it during your KB exercises that if someone threw a brick at your ass--the brick would shatter! How's that for redefining a buns of STEEL workout Comrades!
I also met some cool people there. Of course Santa Monica is an interesting scene with or without kettlebells...I met a cool guy named Dr. Victor that is there every morning at 4:00 AM working out. He had some Indian Clubs, DBs, tubing, etc. Has been doing martial arts for 60 years. I'm going to go back down there one morning just to hang with this guy a bit. Two of the LA KB people are getting ready to take their RKC certification, so this makes it a great place for me to hang out more because there are people in the group with "instructor focus" who don't mind helping others as well. Great experience man! If you're in SoCal and interested in kettlebells, you should look up Dr. Cheng! Class fee is $20--a nominal fee for this quality of Comrades! Here's how to find him:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I've been watching the cool P90-X infomercials for years. I liked their simplicity and straight forward approach. This program basically uses body weight, dumbbells, and a pull up bar along with what appears to be some great workout programming. So, in late 2007, I dropped $260 and ordered the DVDs and pull up bar. My experience with P90-X as a consumer had the opposite effect I had hoped for--they made my blood boil when I realized they burned me with deception! Read Full Story A Fit & Furious Coach RJ!