Monday, May 28, 2007

Musical Conditioning

Music brings power, joy, sadness, grief and happiness to us all. When we work out theres a variety of music people listenining to all sorts of music from opera to rap. Many people have different opinions on what kind of music works in order to workout. They'll sometimes tell you "Dont listen to that its not gonna get you pumped" or "If you listen to this you will work out harder and better then ever." You know what I gotta say to those guys. Go listen to yours and i'll do the same. You're only gonna get pumped by what you listen to not theirs or anybody elses just yours.

For me it hard rock or heavy metal because I go a little faster but I always watch my form while I train, I dont listen to death metal like canibbal corpse no more like metallica, Iced earth or my boys archer at www.archernation.com. It gets me in the mood to go higher and higher reps like in the 300 range for hindu squats or 10-15 handstand push-ups. We all have different tastes but dont tell me what i can and cant listen to. You can have your opinion i just won't apply it. Never listen to people who tell you what you can or cant listen to. Its your choice and your preference.

Find the music for you and see what works for you

Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Practice Of Deep Breathing!!!!!

When you take a breath you're not only giving power and oxygen to your body, you're taking in life-force. Breathing deeply over a period of time and practice can turn you into somewhat of a superhuman. Look at some of the most famous practioners of this subject:

Yogies

Shoalin Monks

Military Personell

Old-time Strongmen

Wrestlers

Gymnasts

Thats just to name a few but you get my point. Deep breathing creates your inner power and with a focused mind, you can control anything in your body you want. This type of practice is not for people who like to rush things and rather focus on the outside then on the inside. When you wake up in the morning, take in a few deep breaths and realize how energized you get just doing a few of these. Training is not about rushing it but going along with it smoothly and with flow. Never believe those people who say "Deep breathing doesnt make you strong and you have to run and do aerobics to get lung power." Nothing can be further then the truth, truth is when you practice this not only will you be stronger but your organs will make everything in your body do things you never thought possible.

This has been done for millions of years if not billions. Deep breathing is the healthiest form of exercise there is and when you add other exercises watch your strength, stamina, agility, flexibility and lung power skyrocket. Its the ultimate anytime, anywhere way of training and if you're a bridging practioner, your timing will go through the roof and you would think you wern't it that long when you were holding for a long time. Theres an old saying from an old-time wrestler "Deep breathing alone can make a weak man strong and a sick man well." Try it sometime and you'll know what I mean.

If you'd like read some articles on this subject and see for yourself how powerful this life-force is.

www.mattfurey.com

www.transformetics.com

Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wrist Rolling- Strength Training for the Grip

Grip Strength these days at most gyms are very neglected and yet is one of the most important training elements in Strength & Conditioning. When I'm talking about grip strength i'm not just talking about the hands and foearms no i'm talking the entire lower arm: Elbow, Foearms, Wrist, Fingers and most importantly the tendons that give all of these the strength to grab and pinch things. There are many ways to strengthen these areas, wrist curls, fingertip push-ups, holding onto a pull-up bar and doing wrist flexibility but as of late one of my favorite peices of equipment for strengthening the grip is Wrist Rolling.

You can do this almost with anything you can imagine, take a long smooth stick about 9-10 inch and roll your hands up and down. Another way would take a smaller stick, wrap a string around the middle and let a long peice hang, put very small pounds on it and roll it up until the weight reaches the top and let it drop and repeat. Now the way train the wrist roller is having whats called the Sports Grip from Lifeline USA. Its a thick 10 inch rubber line with black foam covered and you twist it, bend it, grip it, roll on your neck, shake it pretty much anything you can try. I like to grip it pretty tightly and start rolling it back and forth and visiualize i'm rolling up 100's of pounds and making my grip as strong as possible and it doesnt take that long to start feeling it.

Now i'm all for bodyweight training I can go all day doing it but its nice to have a change of pace and train on something to get strong tendons. Because of using this and doing the combo grip and roll I have been able to bend tough nails, screwdrivers and tearing phonebooks. Wouldnt you want to be that strong. Train the grip and you're strength training will skyrocket.

If you want strong tendons and dont want have to hit the gym. Heres the place take your grip to the next level.

www.lifelineusa.com

Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Monday, May 14, 2007

The benefits of Steel Bending and Phonebook Tearing

When you look at an old-time strongman like Dennis Rogers, Slim The Hammerman and Pat Poviliatis and the best of them all The Mighty Atom, They seem to be strong from how they look but how strong are they? Heres your answer: Hours upon hours upon hours of training and practicing. They make these feats a way of life and some of the time it could possibly kill them. People see impossible feats happening before their eyes but do they really realize what benefits they get out of it, heres how I break it down:

Steel Bending- When you can take a wrench and I mean a 10-12 inch steel wrench and bend it into a pin holder or in a "S" shape or take a 6 inch spike even a 6 inch ironmind red nail and bend it into a "U" you're building some powerful joints and ligements and it shows when you shake their hand or ask the to pinch you. Your tendons will be almost bionic and have strength beyond imagination. Now steel bending can be dangerous if you don't do it correctly or if you make a slip you can puncture your skin and really hurt yourself. No one in the world is a greater short steel bender then Pat Povilaitis, he can take a short steel rod and bend it at chest level and these take 100's upon hundredes of pressure. Talk about super strength.

Phonebook Tearing- When properly trained you can destroy the thickest of phonebooks and take grip strength to a whole new level. No one on the world can do it better then Dennis & Pat they are the dynamic duo of phonebook tearing and Pat just keeps one-upping by tearing a phonebook in 5 peices. Its just surreal. Take a phonebook, have a post arm and pulling arm, your post arm pushes down on the book to keep the tear in place and your pulling arm with enough strength destroys the book. Thats one way of doing it and probably the best way cause most people you see today would take a book and try to "pop" it by squeezing the pages together and press down to rip it. My best tear is 886 pages, my goal is get up to a thousand by the end of the year.

The only way to master these feats is by doing them, not training certain exercises to make the feats work, thats all fine if thats what you want to do but if you want to be super strong then practice the feats themselves. If you want to bend steel then practice bending or if you want to rip phonebooks then progress ripping phonebooks dont just go with something that the feat needs or is required. Simple and easy to understand. Never think you're too small to do these things cause 3/4 of these are at average height of 5'9 and average weight of 160 pounds.

www.dennisrogers.net

www.functionalhandstrength.com- (Look for the quantuple tear)

Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Are You Too Small To Be Strong?

When you look at the strongmen today compared to yesteryear its a huge margin and I don't mean the number of men but by physiques. When you think of strongman you think of weightlifters, big burly monsters who can deadlift well over 700 pounds and bring up a 800 pound tire or lift super heavy stones. As you keep looking at what these beasts can do you're forgeting that there are much smaller guys who posses a different kind of strength that no monster can touch.

Let me make a point that these men are well under 200 pounds and know how to set their mind to take on feats that require 100's and 100's of pounds of pressure and I mean steel bending, phonebook tearing, horeshoe bending, nail biting, ect. When you try to visualize what these guys can do you're first thought is its impossible and you'd have to be a giant to pull them off. Well heres a few guys i'm going to name off the bat that can do feats that would make even a 300 pound lifter's jaw drop.

Joe "Mighty Atom" Greenstein- Pound for pound one of the strongest men to walk the earth. Grew up in a really bad and tough polish town and was told by doctors at a young age he wouldnt survive his 18th b-day. Made a solem vow that will never happen and learn the ways of internal power and preserveriance. In many years to come he would be a vaudville star and a powerful strongman at only 5'4 and 150 pounds. Even at that weight he broke steel chains on his chest, bent the toughest steel bars and spikes and even laid on a bed of nails while a truck went up sat on him and went back down. He lived to be in his late 80's and even then he was a force to be wrecking with, had tendons that were like steel rods and was a good catch wrestler so he had the best of both worlds. His legecy lives on in some great men old and modern and in the iron game he's never forgotten.

Dennis Rogers- Possibly without question the strongest man at 168 pounds. This is a guy like Charles Atlas was puny as a teenager and didnt show in any way of muscular strength. As a young man in his 20's he became an Arm Wrestler at 140 pounds and beating some of the best in the world even heavy weight armers. Its said he has won many many awards in the sport and yet didnt satisfy him so he learned the tricks of the trade and became a strongman. He became content with the fact that even at 165 pounds and only 5'8 he wanted to very strong and have powerful tendons. His big break came in 1993 when he held back two airplanes for a matter of 20 seconds i believe. From that day on he traveled far and wide putting on shows for more people then any strongman dead or alive and went on countless television shows mostly Oprah and Regis And Kathy Lee. One of his greatest feats next to holding the planes was the ability to snap off shackles and chains. Overall never underestimate the power a man of small size can posses and no matter how you put it he always has something to prove.

Pat Povilaitis aka The Human Vise- Like Dennis and Atom he isnt a big man but yet has the strength of one. An upincoming master strongman Pat has shown what it takes to put himself in a feat where it could either hurt him or kill him and he can pull off any feat thats thrown at him or what he comes up with. He even owns a couple records that can never be touched unless you're a smartass and wanna die young. His most shocking feat is not bending steel and closing a number 3 COC gripper (280 pounds of pressure) but tearing a phonebook in 5 peices vertically which is called a quantuple vertical tear. Now if someone can have that kind of strength I would love to posses that. He's a great asset to the iron game and will be breaking records many years to come.


If you want to get a glimpse of what these guys do and what feats they used i'd reccomend these 3 sites that can help any strongman or strongman entusiast posses strength beyond imagination. Here you go:

www.dennisrogers.net

www.humanvise.com

www.functionalhandstrength.com


Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Friday, May 4, 2007

Movies That Inspire Fitness

Whenever I watch a movie that inspires a certain subject I like to look at from a fitness stand point and see what kind of dtermination and mind/body/spirit that represents it.

1. Vision Quest- The story of a high school wrestler who wants to drop an extreme amount of weight in a dangerous short period of time just to take on the top guy in the division. He puts himself through diets that can probably kill the average human being, runs a great deal on a daily basis and with all this going on, he falls inlove with an older woman. It never ceases to amaze me that a young man at that age goes from a confused hormonial boy to a determained and strong man.

2. Pumping Iron- This movie takes place a few months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia Contest where the top dog Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on the best of the best plus a newcomer in Lou Ferrigno. The focus of this film was to see how grueling the training is to be a top bodybuilder and to see how the mind works against the competition. Arnold in Venice Beach, CA is putting up hard workouts and using phsycology on his gymmates to make them either work harder or go home even though these people put on the same thinking caps, Arnold was running the ship. In New York, young Louie at 6'5 nearly 300 pounds was the largest bodybuilder at that time and pretty much doing things on his own under the guidence of his estranged father. You don't have to be an expert to understand how hard he fought not just for himself but to beat his idol Arnold.

3. The Longest Yard (2005)- A washed up football player is sent to prison and gets blackmailed into coaching and playing with his fellow cons against the sadistic guards. Not knowing how he's gonna pull it off he recruits some of the meanest people you can find and puts them through a typical NFL type training program but yet they don't have the heart and mind to play as a team. When you have 40 cons assembling as a team and some of the strongest and basddest people on the planet I don't believe a top 3 college or NFL team can stop them.


All in all, no matter how you put it fitness always plays a role in film whether its through the mind or through physical activity and i'm not talking about pansywaist machines or pink dumbbells or even a few toe touches no i'm talking hardcore, in your face do or die will power and don't give up. There are many movies that represent this so you can pick out what you want but give these 3 a try and see how you feel about them.

Never Stop Learning

Whenever you hear some know it all fitness expert say "Do what I do and you'll go far" or Never do this or that" obviously he hasn't learned much and whos to say is the ultimate expert in physical fitness. There is no ultimate expert but a man or women who knows fitness like the back of their hand doesnt stop learning what works and what doesnt, not "this works and thats all i'll ever do" thats fine with them and more power to them but will it go for other trainees and? I don't think so.

I started learning physical fitness at the age of 13 and it all began with weights and machines. I picked up a few things here an there for the last decade and to my knowledge I still got more to learn. No matter if you're a fitness enthusiast or a business man or a military officer you still learn things on a day to day basis, if you believe you know everything there is to know then you shouldnt be living or at least brag about it. Its not who knows what works and what doesnt and whos the smartest to learn from the best and act upon it.

My knowledge in fitness is pretty high at my age but yet there is at least 10 people in the world who have much greater knowledge and learnings then I have so i'm not calling myself an expert but a learner. No one has all the answers to every single question in this world even some of the smartest people in the world don't always have an answer. Its who has the answer for themselves not for everybody else.

Call me a prick or an asshole but whenever I see a gym full of dumb ass looking posers with skimpy shorts and lifting the entire rack and calls himself a fitness expert and knows how to be healthy I would just laugh and say "If you're such an expert why do you hurt so much" and not the sore feeling either but being in pain after lifting so much weight. I'm not saying he's not a strong guy thats call good with him but dude how can you can be in pain after that. Training is not about pain or strain its about feeling good and knowing that after a hard session you got some more ground to cover.

No matter what we do in life we always learn something even small things make a difference. Don't listen to people who call themselves experts and let them tell you what to do. Use your mind and heart and listen to your inner-self. Learn to observe things and act upon them in your daily life. Since I won't put any sites up for this post, thought i'd let you be the judge and see whats right for you not what I think is or what my opinion is.

Yours in Power & Might

Ben

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Matt Furey-Modern Day Fitness Icon

In this day in age there are many heroes and icons and men of immortality in the depths of time and yet I havent heard Matt Furey being mentioned in that category. Most of you know him as a controversial fitness/conditioning writer and being mentioned as a scam artist and full of shit. With all that being said heres what I would say about the guy. Hes got balls coming into the fitness world going from a highly stressed trainer to millionare businessman and still has tricks up his sleeve.

 Heres a guy who grew up in Iowa in America's "Wrestling State" and became a champion wrestler/swimmer and football player, learning all the tricks and traits of some of the strongest wrestlers and conditioners. In his teens he learned wrestling and conditioning from many books and his coaches at the time and won a few matches here and there but in college that was the beginning of the greatest years as a wrestler by being trained under legendary coach Dan Gable and showing him some of the best tricks to win a match and put him through some of the most brutal workouts that would make world-class athletes come to their knees.

 After three years he transfered to Edinboro University and put some big numbers and won the Division II championship in the 167 pound class i believe. After college he bacame a personal trainer working long hours to support a wife and make ends meat and trained in the martial arts more knowingly Shauio Chuo (Oldest Style Of Kung Fu) and won world titles and national championships. In one championship he trained for the World Championship in China. Now bare in mind that no american at the time has won a world title on chinese turf in that martial art.

 He didnt have the money to support the trip so he made a video that showed how he trained and what he used to keep him fired up and alive. It became a huge seller and it made more then enough for the trip. The day after Christmas in 1997 Furey did the unthinkable and beat the chinese on their home turf and became now the only american to do so. This would be a stepping stone of whats to become of him. After spending 16 months training people and making champions and working hard to support a family he would another trip that would change his life forever.

 He met who argue the greatest hooker of all-time (submission wrestler) Karl Gotch and he made a believer out of Furey that what he was currently doing was way off and in no way good for the body and for combat. He taught him the value of bodyweight training. It only took a couple exercises to convince him that this is the safest and most effective program. Some of Gotch's workouts were considered barbaric and inhuman and totally outdated and yet the exercises he put him through are thousands of years old and no matter what you put you're money on it can either kill you or give you a hard time, Furey used the ladder and began a program that would lead to his Best Seller: Combat Conditioning- Functional Exercises For Fitness & Combat Sports!!!!!

 Matt has written many other books and courses that take you to a whole new demension in physical fitness. Although every one of his courses are very valuable and very useful Combat Conditioning is his foundation. You can check him out and theres going to be some bad things and good things said about him one way or another you have to give the guy credit for making a living supporting his wife and 2 children Frank & Faith plus giving other people second or many other chances of reaching new goals in their lives that doesnt need to involve fitness. He may be a controversial son of a bitch but he can bring out the best in all of us one way or another.

Yours in Power & Might

Ben