Showing posts from March, 2012

Fire, Passion & Powerful

Three words that I can describe this guy whose come right out of the bushes and began a journey of strength & health unlike anyone I’ve seen before. I’m talking about my man Matti Merzel. He’s one very unique individual that you only see once in a generation. A man who’s come so far in a short period of time that one can only wonder how far he’s going to push the limit. This is the same guy who was in the army in Israel and became a mean, fighting machine.
 There’s a lot of great qualities about him but one thing that gives him away more then anything in a good way is his intensity for becoming strong and powerful at a small size. One would not think of him as being strong but that’s where ignorance is bliss. I’ve seen and talked to some of the strongest people on this planet but Matt has that aura of him that takes on a whole new meaning to the words “holy f*cking s*it.”
He’s a warrior by nature not only being in the military but in his specific feats of strength he performs. I…

The Animal

There’s a movie of the same name that’s been around for over 10 years. It’s a really funny comedy if you’re a fan of Rob Schneider. I’ve seen it many times over the years but after learning more on exercise I’m looking at this movie from a different perspective. It’s one of those scenarios of being bullied and turning it into triumph.
The story goes of a wanna-be who wants nothing more then to be a cop. The problem with him is that he’s a classic weakling and has symptoms of asthma and a lack of confidence in himself. He goes through an obstacle course for police training that keeps blowing up in his face and fails on the last piece of the course. He even goes as far to make himself lean and mean by buying a bodybuilding supplement called “Badger Milk.” After seeing in the infomercial what the product “does”, he orders it and tries it out and even likes the taste.
One day there’s a call in a robbery and with all the other cops out at a sporting event, this lonely, weak looking guy takes…

Fitness Russian Roulette

Ever heard of that ultimate and ruthless gamble? You have one bullet in a gun and you never know which part of the barrel it’s in. It’s a matter of life and death and you never know how long you’ll live until BANG!!! You’re dead.
 In the fitness world this type of gamble happens more often then you might think. You have that one chance to find the results you want, you keep trying this or that but in the end, that one bullet will come up on you and because of your stressful efforts you failed and bit that bullet. People gamble so much for their bodies that the odds of them succeeding are 100-1 in my opinion. Very rarely that bullet of failure falls out of that metaphorical gun and you just happen to accomplish a goal and you felt awesome about it.

What about the game of Chicken? You know that gamble like in jousting where one guy lives and the other might not and one chickens out and turns the other way? Throughout the years this game has had cars to “toy with” and it doesn’t turn int…

The Forgotten Lift

Before anyone said “How much can you bench?” Before there were cardio machines reigning gymnasiums and long before the testing powers of Power lifting, there was one lift that gave you the most praises for your test of strength and that was the overhead press. This was the lift that told you how you belonged in the Physical Culture world and the two variations that became the stuff of legends were the Bent Press and the Two Hands Anyhow which means lifting 2 objects any way you can.
In this day in age it’s very difficult to find almost anyone doing these lifts. The closest would be doing them with a kettlebell, rarely a dumbbell and almost never with a barbell. Why have these lifts fallen off the radar? Good question. Olympic Weightlifting has dominated the strength world and so has Power lifting and the Strongman competitions and have other tested feats of strength. However, these two lifts alone are one of the very pinnacles of what true lifting strength is and it’s also one of the …

Internal Conditioning

A lot of mainstream gyms today help you build your body from an external point of view as in you see what’s in the mirror and for most that’s the only thing that counts. Some even go on extreme diets and do extreme type workouts that not only can hurt you from the outside but more on the inside. Have you ever thought of what it’s like to feel alive both in and out?
Building the body from the inside is a key ingredient to your fitness success. The reason why that is it’s because your body is a system of not just bones and tissues but your organs as well. The organs are what are keeping the body alive. You have your heart, liver, lungs, spleen, kidneys and the largest organ of them all, your skin. Too many people neglect training these areas because to them either they take it for granted or don’t realize how important they are.
Working the body internally is not just taking a few deep breaths no, its loosening the joints to keep them fresh, strengthening the organs to keep your energy fl…

Finding The Flow Of Your Training

All of us have different perspectives about the flow or high we get when we train. It can be a real hardcore workout, smooth and methodical, powerful or having the feeling of just taken on the world and won it in a glorious fashion. When you find how you flow through your workouts, you’ll be getting a sense of what true strength and power lies, not in the muscles but in the mind.
What is the perfect workout? Is it hitting a certain sets and reps? Is it perfecting the very best exercise performance? Or is it just finishing everything and going home to rest? The answer can be any of those three things but to me the perfect workout is neither one of them. The very perfect workout is when everything comes together and you flow through it like the waves of the ocean. It’s when you create something special that you rarely ever do and it’s powerful and strong but at the same time it’s peaceful and vibrant. Very few people experience that but again it’s never the same for everyone so your defi…

How To Deal With Minor Injuries

Anything can happen in a workout especially when it comes to injuries. You can break a bone, sprain an ankle or you can pull muscles. One little minor injury however happens often in the strongman world and at times its common in gymnastics and that’s tearing of the skin. You get a cut or a bruise and you automatically think your training is done. Well hate to burst your bubble but you can still train while you heal but might need to cut back (no pun intended) a bit.
I went for a personal record this past St Patrick’s Day weekend and ended up having my skin being torn in two different places in my right hand. Now I’ve dealt with this before and have had big time bruises from bending and tearing stuff and I can assure you it’s no picnic but that doesn’t give me an excuse to stop training all together. Taking a little time off from certain training can do you some good but you should also focus on another realm of training.
When you get a cut or a bruise from a workout its not a laughing…

Muscle Control Resurrected

There is such a thing as building beautiful muscles without ever training with weights. It’s not always calisthenics that does it but with the proper techniques, you can build awesome looking muscle by doing the lost art of Muscle Control. This method of exercise is one of the most unique in the world and it’s very powerful.
Muscle Control has been around for centuries since it became famous by a teacher who traveled to China and taught the out of shape monks how to fight with peace but also build their bodies both internally and externally. This is a form of internal training, using your mind to create the tension. It became more famous later on in the Golden Age of Physical Culture in the early 20th Century by strength stars like Eugene Sandow, Maxick, Otto Arco, Sig Klein and many more. This was the true way to building strength and build muscle in ways unheard of at the time.

The real days of Bodybuilding were in the era of the stars I mentioned above. Their physiques were unmatch…

Beginners Luck

Every journey starts at taking one step at a time. Just like in Fitness, if you haven’t exercised at all or wanting to get back into after many, many years, all it takes is one step and keep moving. It’s not always easy getting into an exercise program and you might get discouraged because you can’t get the exercises right off the bat. Starting out can be confusing and not know what to do. Many systems don’t teach you real basic training instead they tell you to this for muscles and that for strength it becomes a vicious cycle that you never should go through.
You’re in luck and you know why? Because you can begin anexercise program at any age and it doesn’t matter if you’re thin and want to build muscle or you’re overweight and want to trim down or even just getting the basics back on track to help you stay in shape. It’s a matter of how much you want to improve yourself and become healthy, strong and vibrant.
The benefits of learning an exercise program is to find what works best for…

Bringing Out Your Animality

I think the only real time you’ve ever heard that word if you knew, was in Mortal Kombat 3 the video game or in the very terrible scripted film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Although the movie sucked and made the first film look like it should’ve been up for an Oscar lets not forget an important message. In each and every one of us there is a wild animal waiting to be unleashed. Now not saying you’re going to literally turn in a ferocious creature but you can however make your conditioning look like a cake-walk to other methods.
Becoming an animal takes practice, observation, mindfulness and the will to move like one. We humans have lost our sense of what’s to be in shape and if you want to look like a bloated pumped up meat-head that’s your business. Some of us even sit on our asses almost an entire day without moving or never get the time to get out and move around. That’s not acceptable and I feel nothing gets you moving more than being a beast in the urban jungle.
The practice of mov…

Healing The Joints For Super Human Health

Was there ever a time in your life when you didn’t have nagging joint pain? Most likely when you were born and as you got older and less active or pushed yourself too much you developed it. I know a thing or 2 about joint pain. Imagine being 19 or 20 years old and waking up some days being so stiff and in pain that every inch you made, some joints will crack in odd places. That was me before I had my major leg injury.
Joint pain is not good on the body and you’re certainly not healthy from a physical stand point. I’m sure you’ve tried pain killers, morphine, aspirin and inflammatory medication at one point. All those are made to only ease the pain, not cure it and certainly will get you addicted if you keep taking them, now you have all these chemicals in your body that are really not that good for you. There are people that have no choice but to be on meds since the pain is too severe and need it. The majority of you however should work on more exercise and watch what you eat.
One of t…

Animal Gymnastics

Without question the greatest athletes in the field of bodyweight training are the acrobats and gymnasts. Now why do I say that? Simple really, they use their bodyweight in ways most others can’t even compare to. They’re control, balance, awareness and conditioning is second to none. The closest to conditioning I would compare them to are wrestlers. The way they train almost seems animal-like, graceful, strong and powerful. 
Do you need to be a gymnast or acrobat to be in good condition? Hell no. You can have a powerful and strong body just using simple and basic gymnastics training and if you want to be wild about it, you can even do Animal exercises which imitate the most graceful and strongest animals on the planet. The benefits of learning these types of methods is off the charts…Strength, flexibility, stamina, lean body and have great mental clarity. Animal Gymnastics is the combination of basic gymnastics along with the movement of wild animal. It’s not hard to say just doing bas…

Stretching For Strength

When you think of flexibility, you normally think of limberness, a few stretches and stretching a few muscles but what if you can gain strength while becoming flexibile? How's that possible? There's no such thing as building strength while stretching, or is there?

There are a lot of things wrong with modern flexiblity in the mainstream gyms and even the Yoga classes. But wait, Yoga is suppose to make you limber and lighten your life and body. Truth is the one mistake people forget about stretching is to breathe and use their mind to break through the stiffness. Flexibility is beyond just common stretching. When I think of flexibility I think, loose joints, stretching beyond the muscles and tendons and strengthening the body from every possible angle.

How's it possible to create strength while stretching? Simple really....Use tension in the various exercises like you learn here. Tension creates strength period. However if you also want to move up even a centimeter in your s…

Can You Become Your Own Avenger? Pt. 4

We've read about superheroes since the days of David vs. Goliath to the powers of Sampson and the strength of Milo. In the modern age of comic books, there are superheroes and villains in every page front to back with stories of victory, struggle, love, hate, diversity and learning the responsibilities of having super powers. Our heroes come and go and some live on in legend. Some work as individuals and some work as a team, however at rare times you'll find our most favorites work as a unit and to assemble the ultimate team.

In my opinion if you are hardcore trainer or like staying in shape, its not just a hobby, its a lifestyle. For some, fitness is like a second language, we are so consumed by it we don't think twice about it yet some take it to extremes that's out of their control, they feel its life or death if they don't do a workout, kind of like a superhero who's so consumed by their gifts that they forget what is more important and what makes them who…

The Eye Of The Wildman

In the world of fitness today, we are taught to do this or that, do aerobics for cardio, low reps for strength, bodyweight for endurance, weights for power, crunches for super abs and cardio machines to burn calories. Some of this is all well and good if you're into that kind of thing and want to learn them but really its about following your instincts. If you truely want to be athletic and have a body that you dream about then you must learn to use your instincts. Training is not always about looking good, having big muscles, being ripped to shreds, its about heart, about passion, the will to push through and the power to strive for survival.

When it comes to AnimalFitness, you don't need to be an expert and jump through exercise to exercise, just practice the basics. Look at young animals in the wild whether it be a baby bear cub, tiger, chimp or a bird. They don't build their bodies by running to the nearest gym to pump some iron, they learn to survive by practicing and…