Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30X30 NO EXCUSES New Year's Challenge!

I've decided to share something with everyone that saved my life--The Lean Berets 30X30 NO EXCUSES New Year's Challenge. It's a very simple plan to kick start your mind so your body can follow. 30 days of exercise in a row. 30 minutes per day. That's it. Sounds easy enough. Even walking qualifies as exercise. The real battle? The mind.

The 30X30 is getting some traction around the country. People are posting the flyer at work. Businesses are posting the flyer at the shops. People are telling friends and family. It is so important for us to start moving daily. Our health is in such poor condition today. It's absolutely pathetic! There are NO EXCUSES good enough for allowing ourselves to get in such poor shape. It's out fault. We need to get over it! How? Starting MOVING! This is a great start.

Take 30X30 Challenge if you need a good kick in the butt. Curse me and The Lean Berets the first two weeks if you must. You can thank us later!

To report for duty, go to The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge link below...then get moving!

From a warming Atlanta today, Coach RJ, Co-Founder, The Lean Berets-Avengers of Health!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Extreme Radicalism

So yes, I'm being ranked as an extreme radical. NO--I have not joined the Taliban, but I have joined other "extreme" radicals like Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, Pavel and the RKC, my Bro Kevin Rail and co-founder of The Lean Berets, and others who like me have an EXTREME and radical position--of getting a nation full of illness, obesity, and sloth healthy! Straight up--NO BS: When you try to change some 80% of a population, there is going to be some heat, complaints, and people offended. So be it. Any moron should be able to see that we need some extreme measures for extreme times i.e. get OFF ass and get to work. Any moron...yet we are still having arguments and debates about whether or not people should be personally responsible for their own health and get in shape. Here's a news flash! If you're overweight and out of shape, it's YOUR fault. Not mine. Not LaLanne's. Not anyone else's fault but yours. It is what it is. Now take ACTION and change it. Want to take action? I'm here to help. So is Jack, Richard, Kevin, and many other health and fitness pros. Key concept here--YOU have to do the work. We can't do it for you. We also refuse to own YOUR health behavior dysfunction and disease. That's yours. Change while you still can, or simply, Enjoy the Pain because that is what you're going to get. Keeping it real, Coach RJ

Sunday, December 14, 2008

KBs, Metallica, & Truffles!

KBs: Another KB PR on Saturday Comrades! 100 snatch reps in 5:24 with the 24kg. Felt GREAT! And for those that don't like my "Comrade" diction--get over it. Go back to your donuts and leave me alone because I'm BUSY getting it on!
Metallica: Hit the Metallica and Lamb of God show last night in Fresno. I don't like Fresno, but I love Metallica. An awesome show. Heavy metal without a kettlebell for sure! Lamb of God for a warm up set the tone--HARD and FAST! Metallica was awesome. This was my third time seeing my all-time favorite band. Why do I like them so much? They age well. They stay hard. They stay fast. Why ask for more?!!!
Truffles: Okay, so I'm in Trader Joe's tonight waiting to pay for my: mixed greens, avocados, and bananas, and I spot the truffles. I check them out thinking they'd be out of control with fat and calories, but NO! Not bad. I had a moment--of weakness! I bought them! And now I'm eating "one" serving which is five totalling 240 calories.
I guess when you are closing in on completing TWO full years of exercise without ever missing a day, you can eat truffles after setting a kettlebell PR and seeing Metallica.
Keeping it hard, fast, and real from a cold and windy SoCal tonight, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Linkage Over Leakage" KB Training Tips

Yet another enlightening Sunday Morning Line Up with Kettlebells Los Angeles Comrades! This time under the watchful eyes of RKC Anton since Dr. Cheng was still on the road. The theme of the day was "Linkage Over Leakage." We spent the morning practicing our HARD style lockouts to prevent force leaks. I stayed after class to jot down some notes before I forgot them. Another group showed up with a KB. I watched them for a while. BIG difference! When people don't know or understand HARD style, at best they are not efficient and at worst they are outright dangerous with a KB and an injury waiting to happen! I'm thankful to be learning KBs the RIGHT way--and the safe way.

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!