Thursday, December 16, 2010

HANGTUFF Suspension Trainer by

RJ "Hanging Out" with new HANGTUFF by

At last! I got my HANGTUFF from good friend Richard "Army" Maguire of!  This is the very first HANGTUFF sold to anyone--I am honored to have it and use it.  Army is a good friend of mine--one that I trust both personally and professionally.  He is also mentoring me on the Indian Clubs and fighting sticks which are two more topics of future discussion, but today, my focus is his new HANGTUFF!

So what is the HANGTUFF?  It's a very simple yet effective suspension trainer.  It can do anything the other suspension trainers can do (many are available now in different forms), but it's a lot faster at some of these exercises--suspended push ups, flys, rows, core work, pull ups, and more.  For now, I'm just focusing on my low back.

I've developed some nagging low back pain.  I've tried everything--including all the stuff I use to fix nearly everyone else's back pain.  I've been very successful helping others with back pain, yet I'm struggling with my own! Oh I've tried it all--less work, more work, the same work, joint mobility, kettlebell correctives like the windmill, Turkish Get Up, arm bar, biofoam roller, trigger point release balls, body weight exercises.  Nothing "bad" about the above--it just has not worked for my own back issues that well.  Maybe it's all just me--who knows.  All I know is how I feel.

Some of the above makes my back feel "kind of sort of" better--I'll be sharing all this with everyone very soon by the way--but with the exception to just a few, nothing gave me immediate relief or led me to believe this is really something significant for "my" own back issue.  After just four minutes hanging upside down on Army's HANGTUFF, my back pain was nearly GONE.  Is my back healed from a few minutes of inversion on the HANGTUFF?  No.  I would be lying if I said otherwise.  I have more work to do, more experimentation, more endurance and discipline with certain tools and methods, but I can tell you straight up and NO BS, that the HANGTUFF is going to part of this solution and a most likely daily part of my routine.  The HANGTUFF will stay in my "permanent" bag of tools for serious fitness and health--I don't roll over time with anything less by the way.

Yeah...we can talk "root cause" and whether or not the inversion is really dealing with the cause of my back pain, but I'm here to tell you, when your back is a pain in the arse, you'll gladly take "natural" pain relief and like it!  I sit too much like most people!  In my car driving at times over 3,000 miles per month, at the computer (like now!), in meetings, etc.  All this sitting might not be the actual cause, but it surely makes things worse.

I've had guys tell me for years that one of the best things they did to help back pain was hanging or inversion, and as long as they did inversion, their backs were just fine.  The upside down "inversion" helps restore space between your joints without the compression of gravity pushing down--just this alone can alleviate some nerve pain pronto.  Historically, there have been all kinds of things from inversion boots to standing table things that flip you upside down, but often this equipment has been too bulky or too hard to use for most people.  I found once Army showed me the set up, it was quite easy to find my way with it.  The HANGTUFF is simple--like me.  I like that about it. 

I talked to Army Maguire about the construction and design.  He has only used high-quality materials--from foam to webbing to even the thread that holds it together--very high quality.  I felt safe hanging inverted on the HANGTUFF which is more than I can say about a lot of equipment I've seen and tried over the years.

The HANGTUFF is just now going into production.  If you're interested in having one, contact Richard "Army" Maguire at Agelesstrength in Los Angeles.  Army has another new product out too that I'm using called the "Chubby" strike bag.  Great for punching, Filipino fighting sticks, hand conditioning, etc. and small enough to be portable.  Really a versatile bag, and again like all of Army's work, it is a VERY high-quality product.  All the links are below including more photos of me hangin' on Army's new HANGTUFF.

I'll will be doing more photos on the actual "fitness" exercises you can do on the HANGTUFF soon along with some video as well.  I'll also be interviewing Army Maguire soon for The Lean Berets too as he and his products are part of the solution for getting Americans MOVING and moving WELL. 

I hope you find benefit in Army's work and products--I know I have and so has my own family.  In Health, Coach RJ

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More Writing...

I need to write for the sake and joy of writing again today. I have no idea what to write about, but I'll put e-pen to e-paper...

My friend Q contacted me the other day. His shoulder hurt. I shot a quick video and sent it to him. He tried the moves in the library and felt better. It's a good start and beats the surgery his doctors were talking about. A lady saw him doing the shoulder mobility exercises and was asking him if it would help her arthritis too. First step? Be OPEN to change! Say what? Heal yourself.

My buddy Kevin Rail was watching the news the other day. They were talking about these bogus lap-band surgeries so many people are buying into these days. Most of them have complications--30% of them are removed because they don't work. Outrageous! Within 24 hours I found that a government panel which included bariatric surgeons decided in their infinite clinical wisdom to open these procedures up for the "less than" morbidly obese--basically meaning it will be easier for people to get these instead of dealing with their own obesity the natural way...EAT LESS!!!

I took the Turbos on a new hike today. They had fun. It was an adventure for them. The trail had a few drop offs--little more technical and less monkey business required (difficult indeed for daughter Ronnie who thinks she IS a monkey!). They did well. No chopper evacuations required today thank God. I took some nice photos of them. They are hiking machines! NO lap-bands needed with these kids in the near future. They were quiet and tired in the car on the way home which lasted about 15 minutes then they were Turbos again ready to go. The energy of these seven-year olds cease to amaze me.

My office is a mess. I need to clean. Cleaning gives me some order. The office can be a daunting task, yet it must be done. I love a clean car! It gives me some sense of organization--it feels good to roll the clean wheels. Maybe it's a SoCal thing? My wife is from the midwest. She doesn't get the clean car thing. Cars to her are for transportation. Cars in LA are your ride man! Not that I get too carried away with the whole car thing, but it is part of my culture being from the Left Coast in SoCal.

Tempus fugit, RJ

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Creative Writing

I need to write more. I don't need to write more business e-mails--I'm talking about creative writing with some style. I really don't care if anyone reads these posts because I need to practice--use it or lose it even with writing. One of my degrees is in English Literature. I've probably forgotten more than I know at this point; however, there is no time like the present to start getting it back!
I started thinking about good writing the other week after reading Dave Draper's newsletter. Dave Draper is a legendary guy in fitness and body building. What's really interesting about Dave is that he not only knows a lot about fitness and health--but he is one hell of a great writer and philosopher of sorts. He has a great reflective and creative style. Good writing makes you THINK and dig deep about things of substance. Good writing goes beyond TMZ crap and the latest junk food for the mind...we need more good writing.
It bothers me the way people write today. It's not that I'm a grammar king--far from it, but at least I can compose a decent sentence, paragraph, article, and commincate so people can actually understand what the hell I'm saying. I've "attempted" to read and comprehend business messages from college graduates--some of which have been extremely difficult to understand because they are so poorly written. I've seen grammar school kids that spell better than some adults today. It's unacceptable. People write e-mails or even business communications like a stupid text message--here's a tip for the youngsters--it makes you look stupid. If you keep lowering the bar and thinking it doesn't matter, we'll become a nation of moronic idiots...not that far from it at the present.
Enough rants on grammar and spelling (before I make my own mistakes).
Some of the most pleasurable writing I have done was creative writing. Sure--I love the science handouts I create, but they are nothing like a good creative piece or even an inspired interview. One of my somewhat recent stories was on "The Gym" in Ventura, California. I wrote a story about The Gym's founder Dan Mackey a couple years ago after his passing. It was a good piece--one with some historical value but also some creative flair. I think Dan would have liked it. Dan reminds me of Dave Draper--I only got to speak with Dan a couple of times before he died, but that guy was a real philosopher too--way beyond just the "business" of fitness and health. Check out my story if you want some real inspiration--not from me, but from Dan.
Enough writing tonight--not perfect grammar because it's "creative." When you know a few rules--you can break them too.
Tempus fugit, RJ