Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Combination Training

Doesn’t that almost sound like Cross-Fit? Combining different elements into one method of training? Well, in certain cases you don’t need to lift a barbell than go do pull-ups.

 Creativity starts with your imagination and builds on what you have. I’m telling you from experience and practice, going to the gym isn’t your only option anymore. If you really looked around, you can workout in just about any type of place. If you lived in the woods, you can use nature to make your biggest benefit, tossing rocks, pushing boulders, swimming in the lake or climbing trees. If you lived around an industrial park, you can find little pipes to pick up, lever 2x4s, push-ups on the rails, finding a few rebar and see if you can bend them. Combining different things with what you have can create your own workout without ever touching a barbell or a machine.

 I have been training mostly bodyweight for years now but every now and then I like to use a few things like for instance a workout I did the other day consisted of a towel, Phonebook, my Thor hammer, a 10 pound sledgehammer and my lifeline chest expander. These things alone gave me a hell of a workout, one exercise I did for a combination is holding the chest expander in a one-arm press and with the other hand did swings with my Thor Hammer. In my opinion, books with exercises just teach you a certain type but yet don’t always give you something to combine them with, some do but most don’t so you’re left with “The hell else can I do”, simple, use your imagination and before you know it, you can come up with exercises that can never be found in a book or on a DVD.

 One of the best combos I’m learning right now is combining isometrics with a moving exercise but how does that work? Well remember I told you the about the Chest Expander and the Hammer? You can learn all sorts of combos especially the kick ass stuff here by my man Bud Jeffries. You want to hit as many muscles at once as possible and learning these combos with Isometrics isn’t just building physical strength but teaches how to use your brain from different angles of the left and right side.

 Doesn’t matter if you’re into bodyweight, weights, kettlebells, feats of strength or a combo of all four, hitting your muscles and tendons from as many angles is a key for foundational development as it helps hit sticking points and plateaus and the more muscles being used the better because isolated movements are more prone to cause injury as oppose to multiple muscle groups working to keep your body in unison. Some people see isometrics as isolation but in reality they haven’t done they’re homework very well. Steve Justa once told a story of Bruce Lee holding a 3-5 lb. ball, he’d hold it in his hand and hold his arm straight out, doesn’t seem that hard it’s just a shoulder exercise that works the hand just a tiny bit since the ball is extremely light but here’s where it really gets fun, do it for 8 hours straight, what seems like an easy shoulder exercise will turn into a hard fought battle for the entire body and who’s going to be the bitch at the end of that exercise, you or the ball. Never assume certain things will be easy.

 Remember the phonebook I used in my workout the other day? Well I didn’t rip it in half, sorry to disappoint you because the damn book was wrapped in duct tape from cover to cover and everywhere in between, it was giving to me a few years back from my friend Logan Christopher and ever since I had it I used it to do isometrics to rip up phonebooks for real and to say it’s helped me rip over 1600 pages in one shot would be just the tip of the iceberg. Combining this exercise and moving on to pulling down a tree is just another day at the office for me but it gives me super strength and makes my body feel like a steel rod of one unit of power.

 Using what you have can create endless possibilities for you if you open your mind and expand beyond just a regular exercise. You can turn just about any basic exercise into the most advanced exercise on the planet in a heartbeat, it all begins with your ability to imagine and put it into action. Also put some emotion into it and your results will surprise you by 10 Fold, I’m not joking about that. I have learned the best exercises don’t come from a gym, a book, a DVD or a class, the best exercises come from your own take on them and believe me when was the last time you did a isometric hold while swinging a Thor Hammer, highly unlikely ever. Learn from your own experiences and combine the best you have learned and mold them into something only you can come up with. When you do that, you’ll learn the secrets of true and creative Combination Training.

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