Friday, September 28, 2012

Maximize Your Strength & Conditioning In Short Time


 To get the biggest benefits in your strive for strength and conditioning, you learn to maximize your efforts with the best intentions. This doesn’t mean you go hardcore everyday, you want to have great recovery as well, maximum effort doesn’t mean going the hardest or the fastest, it means putting in the effort to where you're efficient and consistent with your exercise and your recovery. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the gym, at home, at a park or on the road, building effort with great intention become your greatest asset.

 Now a lot of trainers don’t always start out with giving their “pupil” a foundation and just throw them to the wolves and hope they make it out alive meaning they just have go all out all the time and believe it or not that can lead to injury, complications to your organs, brain trauma and too much too soon. The number one rule for starting out no matter what you want to do is build a foundation. This helps find where you’re at and where you want to keep going. I understand what it’s like to jump in and just hammer it out and expect results in two days or less, that’s the arrogant thinking, the key is patience. Set goals to improving, this is called Progression, it’s like Math, you don’t jump to calculus on the first day, you learn arithmetic, than multiplication, than division and so on and so forth.

 A great way to understand your goals to maximize your workouts is to learn to harness the power within yourself. From the mind to your organs to the outer body, using your power source from within will tell you to stay strong or keep off. Whether it’s Deep Breathing or learning to control your adrenalin, inner power is much stronger than your outer appearance.

 Cardio is an overrated form of conditioning that not too many people quite keep up the aspects of what they really know. If you’re running on a treadmill for 45 minutes, you’re working your body but at the same time, you’re diminishing your real lung power. Not saying cardio is bad but in my opinion, if you’re training hard and you’re out of breath after a couple minutes hell even a few seconds, chances are you’re building much stronger lungs than you would running for quite a bit. Anaerobic exercise makes you far stronger in the shortest amount of time than aerobic exercise because the difference is one gets you out of breath and the other keeps your breath going. Both are good but rarely anyone uses both when mostly they use one or the other. Using both in different workouts makes you a machine.

 To maximize your workouts, you work as many muscles as possible at one particular time. Basic principles train the muscles at their peak levels and the basic exercises are Sprinting, Presses, Pulls, Squats and Grip all of which give you the foundation to build levels of strength and conditioning you never imagined having and all work multiple muscle groups. Isolated exercises don’t have the luxury of making you very strong, you’ll only get strong in one particular area and neglect everything else. It’s like a kick ass looking salad, you don’t just put lettuce here, tomatoes there no you put croutons, beets, lettuce tomatoes, carrots, nuts and dressing so it’s all mixed and matched TOGETHER!!!

 Don’t just throw all your eggs in one basket meaning in this case don’t just put all your effort into one workout and you’re don’t for the day, spread your exercises around so your energy levels are always there and when you have that big workout, do it with a vengeance and after, rest and cool off. Again your day is not done yet and there are people out there who don’t have that amount of time to do one big workout, if they can go for it but for those who have very little time, could spread out their exercises throughout the day so they can have that sense of accomplishment. Make the effort to exercise as best as you can no matter where you are.

 To get great benefit, you need tools to help you along the way. If you got weights, do them when you have the time, stuck at a red light in your car, do isometrics by pushing and pulling on the steering wheel, got a ton of room to train, move around like a wild animal, only have a short amount of space, do push-ups and/or squats. These are all things you can do to help you keep in mind that exercise is key to keeping a long and healthy life and you make the effort to do something. There is 24hrs in a day, use the free time you have whether it’s a couple minutes or whatever and do something, you don’t have to do much to get a ton of benefit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wizardry By The Beach


 It’s one thing to be apart of something that sparks your interest, it’s another that when you’re interested in something and you’re near the sandy beaches of San Diego it’s a whole different ball game. Strength Training is a tough thing to do once you get a hold of it but at the same time when you’re having fun with the guys that will push you and maybe make you laugh, it’s all that much sweeter. The presenters at the Wizard Of StrengthWorkshop will blow you maybe literally out of the water down at the 619.

 Now contrary to popular belief, a heavyweight or super-heavyweight athlete is said to have not very much endurance and if he’s strong, he’s one strong S.O.B but in reality those myths are not only not true one man has both and it’s off the charts. That man is my friend Bud Jeffries. At this workshop he will teach you the much hidden secrets of how to achieve superhuman strength and endurance at the same time. I know what you’re thinking “how the hell is that possible and why should I listen to a guy who looks like he can’t even run a lap let alone a mile?” Well I thought the very same things, till I witnessed first hand what this beast of a southern man can do. His strength is well known throughout the Physical Culture world but his endurance is even more impressive as he can swing a kettlebell more than an hour at a time, do presses like nobody’s business and does it all with a smile on his face. Endurance is a key for long sessions in a workout and in life and he’ll give you a hell of a way to do both, I guarantee it.
 
 
 

 You know in the sci-fi fantasy world, there are aliens, flying ships that are the size of a major city and my personal favorite, there are the Jedi. The Jedi are a peaceful set of warriors that help bring the knowledge of the force, oh I’m sorry you already knew that forgive me but again, maybe you think it’s just make believe and no one has real knowledge of a force-like concept. Wrong again. The one man I can think of that has the ability to achieve super levels of strength and speed in the blink of an eye and can knock you on your ass from a few inches away is the man known as GarinBader. It’s not surprising you might be skeptical about a man like that, but once you learn his journey and understand what he believes works it’s pretty much listening to Obiwan Kenobi in a sense. He has made his living soaring through stages across the glob, dazzle with magic and spectacular music that will make your jaw drop but his true calling is teaching YOU how to build super strength and blazing speed within minutes.
 
 

 Physical Culturists come and go and they have their purpose and leave you with things from a different perspective but one man that has revolutionized Physical Culture in the last few years is a man I’ve known for a long time and every time he comes up with something or training something fierce with him, he just makes it all look awesome, even when he throws back his hair every and now and then and that’s The Renaissance Man Of Physical Culture Logan Christopher. His ideal for mind power and conditioning has been proven by top experts in the field of Kettlebell Training, Hypnosis, Superfoods, Hand Balancing, Bodyweight Training and Feats Of Strength. Not many guys can claim all these attributes but he has and what he offers at this workshop will make you think twice about what you’re already doing and giving you the tools to become something beyond your own capabilities.
 
 

 Being mobile is a element of training that many neglect and don’t always see it as a way to train for strength, health, flexibility and agility but yet it’s one of the top keys to achieve all these levels and more in your life not just physical training. Chuck Halbakken is the man that will teach you the insider secrets for powerful mobility and strength in the tendons and ligaments that will help achieve a level of power you have never imagined before. A former Motorcross rider and a authority in the strength feat of Card Tearing, he knows what it takes to have great mobility and flexibility to build strength even the smallest of places, he understands that even the little things make a huge impact and he will give you ways to create all of that. I have witnessed what he does and to me it’s nothing short of incredible. It’s never too late get a hold of great flexibility and movement that won’t tire you or hurt you. It’s that damn good.
 
 

 All of these presenters have a way of teaching you the very foundations of having levels of strength and power from every possible angle and they give it in ways no one can teach. No matter what you have learned, take it with power and vigor and let them help you achieve what you always wanted. Being open minded is a key to learn things from a different perspective and if you’re one of those close-minded people who think nothing of this than stop reading this right now. Use your mind like a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as possible because you never know when you’ll be able to use it and be prepared for it. These are the best in the world at what they do and it’s very unlikely you’ll see this group of guys again in the same room presenting, grab your seat and be sure to bring a friend with you, he/she’ll get a kick out of it too. You will leave that workshop a changed person and for the better.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Building Power And Might The Old Fashioned Way

Ladies and Gentleman, this guest post is one I've been waiting years to finally put up and today's guest is the man that got me my start in the Physical Culture world, a man who's faught his way back from a back injury to bcoming one of the strongest pound for pound athletes in the world today. You know him as the Garage Warrior but also in our circle of friends he's known as the Duke. I give you Mr. Tyler Bramlett.....



The Top 11 Things You Are Doing That Will Prevent You From Being Super Human

 

By Tyler Bramlett

 It’ is well known in strength circles that the abilities of men in the past far exceed the abilities of even our strongest men today. Why is it that with greater technology, better understanding of the human body and a firm understanding of biochemistry we are becoming weaker and weaker?

 In this article I want to identify the top 11 things you are possibly doing every day that are preventing you from getting stronger, living longer and looking good naked.

Let’s get started.

 

# 1 – Not Lifting Enough Weight

 You may think your lifting heavy, but compare yourself to the weightlifting legends of the past. Guys like John Grimek, Henry Stineborn, Arthur Saxon, Eugene Sandow and Herman Goerner. Can you curl 200lbs, how about strict press 300lbs or more? In the days before squat racks Henry “Milo” Steinborn could pick a 550lb barbell off the ground lean it onto his shoulders, perform a set of squats and then return it to the ground. Can you do even 50% of this?

 If not you may need to focus on lifting heavy more often. Try to get as close to these following numbers as possible and you will be considered a strong man. 600lb deadlift, 500lb squat, 400lb bench press, 300lb clean and press, 200lb curl, 200lb bent press, 150lb one arm snatch. Go test your maxes in these 7 lifts right now and see how far you are from world class!

 

# 2 – Not Doing Enough Volume Training With Heavy Weights

 Lifting heavy is crucial, but in order to get good lifting heavy you must also practice with heavy weights. I was having a discussion with my good friend Logan Christopher recently and we both agreed that the biggest hole in both of our games was training hard moves for high volume.

 Now, this doesn’t mean repping out to failure but rather taking a challenging movement like pressing to handstand or clean and jerking 85% of your max weight and repeating it over and over again until it becomes easy. Take any move you really want to be good at and choose a challenging weight or progression and practice it over and over until you master it and it feels easy!

 

# 3 – Not Doing Enough Bodyweight Strength Training

Almost every great strongman of the past did some form of bodyweight training. The great wrestlers of India used bodyweight training to build their great strength and endurance and many of the old time strongmen used bodyweight training to bulletproof their joints and make them stronger and livelonger. So, what should you focus on?

 Here’s my top 5 bodyweight movements, handstand progressions, bridging progressions, hip and leg strength drills, pullup progressions and abdominal progressions. What are these progressions? Check out #4…

 

# 4 – Not Using Proper Movement Progressions

 The basic principal behind movement progression is that you should always be making the movements you are working on harder and harder. A simple way to think about this is in gymnastics. You don’t go for the iron cross on the first day, instead you follow a intelligently designed movement progression mastering each exercise along the way until you are the proud owner of the iron cross. For more info on this check out a new product I created called the warrior warm up a 5 step guide to mastering movement.

 

# 5 – Not Staying Flexible Enough

 Flexibility is highly underrated in the strength world of today. Very few strong men I meet have a good degree of flexibility. In fact the only 2 that come to mind are Pavel Tsatsouline and Bud Jeffries. If you can deadlift over 500lbs and do the side splits, ignore this section, otherwise listen up!

 In order for you to stay lifting in your older years, you need to build flexibility. Being flexible will reduce your chances of injuries and keep you moving for longer and longevity is the name of the game. Stretch daily and make sure you work on the following 5 stretches; Pike Stretch, Gymnast Bridge, Front Splits, Side Splits and Downward Dog.

 

# 6 – Not Doing Enough Variety (Or Doing Too Much Variety)

 Old timers all had their pet lifts, but that didn’t stop them from practicing other moves in hopes to build their balance strength and coordination. This one is quite simple. Master a handful of moves, write down 5 different things you need to accomplish before you die and work on those 5 huge goals as often as possible. From there have fun, cross train and enjoy trying different movements. This way you can have your focus but still practice variety.

 

# 7 – Always Working To Your Max

 Working to your max or working to failure sends your body a very distinct message. It says you are always close to failure or even worse in a bodybuilders case you are failing to lift this weight. The easiest way to get discouraged and lose momentum is to fail when you are exercising. So follow this simple rule…

 Never fail on an exercise, always leave when you have succeeded. I know from personal experience how many different times I thought I could add juts 5 more lbs to the bar and then failed. Take your PR’s and walk, that’s the bottom line!

 

# 8 – Not Using The Best Movements

 Obviously some exercises are better then others, if this wasn’t the caste then every dumbbell benching meathead would be all around strong rather then looking like he has toothpicks for legs. Pick exercises that work the whole body and work them hard. From there train your weak links (usually the hands and core) and you are good to go.

 Here are some of the best exercises you can choose to master; snatches, clean and presses or jerks, deadlifts, squats, bench pressing, dips, handstand pushups, pullups, bridging gymnastics, bent presses, etc. Look to the exercises that used to be done in the 1800’s to find a comprehensive list of awesome drills you should use

 

# 9 – Eating Low Quality Foods

 Fueling your body poorly will hinder you from making any real progress. The old timers ate piles of high quality natural food and did nothing else. So fuel your body with high quality organic foods and focus on eating the foods with the most bang for the buck.

 Here are my favorite muscle building foods: Organ meats (liver, kidneys etc.), bone broths, all meat, fish and eggs, all veggies, some fruits, nuts and seeds, high quality grass fed dairy and superfoods like pine pollen, goji berries and more.

 

# 10 – Not Focusing On Recovery

 To sustain hard training you also have to be an expert at recovery. Many of the strongmen of the past did this for a living. Meaning they woke up, lifted weights, practiced bodyweight movements, worked their grip, ate good food and then rested, stretched, got massages, took cold baths and slept as much as they could.

 If you want to be strong healthy and recover well from your workouts, make sure you stretch, get periodic massages, sleep well and focus on how well you are recovering. Someone once told me that there is no such thing as overtraining, just under recovering, I believe this!

 

# 11 - Ignoring Your Internal Energy

 The shaolin monks probably are one of the best examples of mastering their internal energy or life force. Their focused meditation allows them to perform superhuman feats of strength and endurance. You need this too!

 In order to build your vital life force and increase your ability to perform the impossible I highly recommend a minimum of 10 minutes a day collecting energy. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a seated meditation. You can instead go for a walk (preferably barefoot), and breathe deep, imagining your are inhaling white light and then exhaling all the bad stuff.

 Guys like Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher are mixing meditative practices and energy work within their training to enhance their strength and power. Try adding in 10 deep breathes before each heavy lift and see what it does for your overall training.

 Well, there you have it, the 11 things I see that could be holes in your game. But I don’t want to leave you empty handed and feeling depressed because you don’t measure up to the men of the past. So here is what I want you to do so you can get the best results from this information.
 


1.      Identify which of the 11 things you are weakest in
2.      Write a plan to change that weak link and apply it for 21 days
3.      Revisit this list and identify the next weakest link
4.      Write a plan to change that weak link and apply it for 21 days
5.      REPEAT!
That’s all there is too it, Good luck!
 
Tyler Bramlett is the creator of www.garagewarrior.com a Blog dedicated to helping people get stronger, live longer, look good naked, find your purpose and live the life of your dreams. He is a highly knowledgeable expert in performance based training, nutrition, psychological motivation and he is the author of The Warrior Warm Up which can be found at www.thewarriorwarmup.com



Friday, September 21, 2012

The Unknown Benefits Of Handstand Training



In the world of Physical Culture, a lot of things come and go, some things work, some don’t and others just have a way of taking things to a whole new level and one way to look at is looking at the world upside down. In training of the handstands, this teaches you to look at things from a different perspective and I mean this literally, when you hold a handstand either up against the wall or free-handed, you have to teach your body how to use it from a very different light. Think about it while you read this.







 It’s not easy at first to get into a handstand, believe me I know how you feel. At first it seems scary, like waking up in a different place and don’t understand where you’re at. With practice, you learn to shut that off and become comfortable in your new surroundings. Eventually when you hold a handstand, you will find out right away that you can’t be very loose otherwise you’ll fall. Keeping the body tight is essential to your progress. Holding the position isn’t just an exercise, it’s a test of will.

 Tighten up the body in a handstand is the foundation for Hand Balancing and when you hold it for a period of time, you’ll find out about the benefit of increased blood flow to your body especially in the brain. Flex your body in every position, point your toes, flex the calves, squeeze the legs together, tighten your torso and press your hands into the ground as if you’re going right through it. What this teaches is to use the body as a complete unit, powerful, strong and tight like a steel rod.

 Practicing on the wall is a start and whether or not you aspire to be a gymnast or an acrobat but the most important thing is to keep your body relaxed while in a flexed position. I realize that sounds like an oxymoron but yet you will soon understand the concept that holding the position itself brings great benefits to your body, making it strong and shrinking fat and building muscle while increasing strength in your tendons and ligaments.

 I’m giving you this tip not to progress to handstand push-ups which you should eventually progress to but to teach you the value of Internal Power meaning you’re strengthening the body from the inside out. Isometric Handstands bring blood flow into the body meaning stronger organs, increased flow to the muscles and strengthening the very things that help hold the body together meaning bones, tendons and again ligaments. This is what I like to call Isometric Practice, fusing the mind/body connection to build strength in every form of your body both internally and externally.

 I realize I have repeated a few things here but a lot of people don’t see how certain things work and a lot of people think that if you want to get stronger, lift weights, ok let’s test this theory, you picked a few barbells and dumbbells and you worked them hard, now test yourself in the handstand and see how strong you still are. I bet you, you won’t last more than a few seconds. Strength does not always mean picking up the most weight or how big your guns are and it certainly doesn’t matter how you look. Strength in different arenas gives the body variety of what it can do, it’s not just meant to pick up a weight, hell even in the old days of Physical Culture men and women didn’t just lift, they wrestled, did gymnastics, were circus performers, entertaining strongmen all these things and yet were strong and many different areas and sometimes lifting weights had nothing to do with it.

 It’s all about looking outside the box and using your body in ways that other things can’t transfer over. If you’re interested in Hand Balancing, practice it not just to hold a handstand but hold it and move it with intense will from your mind and your body together, you will see things from a new light you never thought of and find some unknown benefits that they didn’t teach in the course. You’ll know once you experience it, it’s a feeling you can’t get from anything else.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Making Little Things Count


Have you ever crammed for a test before whether it was in high school, college or studying for a high degree? We all one way or another have done this, you study a little and lay off for a while but just before test day, you have to get everything sorted together all at one time just to even make it there. A lot of people in the fitness world or even going to the gym have done this and where does it really lead them? They have to rush to the gym, change, get their cardio and weights in and that’ll be their workout before they really feel exhausted and out of it when they get home and have no energy. This is not the positive and productive way to exercise.

 No matter what you do throughout the day, you can get a little exercise in here and there using small effective exercises that leave you with energy instead of draining you. Think about it, when you get up in the morning, you can do a few stretches to get your day started, you can even do Isometrics when you’re in the shower getting ready, hell you can work on your grip strength while brushing your teeth. These are things to think about that you don’t need to rush to a gym and get in your workout. Spread your exercises out even at your office, even sitting at this chair at this moment, I’m pressing one arm into the chair and typing with the other; see you can exercise while working without anyone knowing it. You don’t ever have to complicate or compromise your workouts because you feel you have to go to the gym.

 We all get tired at some point during the day, what if we used that little energy we have to do a few exercises and just start bursting with energy instantly? You can even do exercises while sitting at a red light in your car, don’t believe me, test it. You’re at a red light and it’s going take a bit of time and traffic is all over the place, or it’ll take less than a minute for the light to change, grab your steering wheel at the top, bottom or sides and push or pull for a few seconds and switch positions, or squeeze it for no more than seven seconds, you just did an exercise or two that will keep your blood flowing and energy stays up.

 There are no excuses in exercising, if you can grab a cup of coffee at a Starbux, you can do a couple exercises while waiting in line. Learn to make time, your body will thank you for it, if you have a few seconds in the office, use it, if you’re sitting in a restaurant waiting for your food, use that time to do a few seconds of an exercise. There are people who say they’ll make time but never do because of their schedules, hate to break it to you but you can do it, just be willing to use when you can.

 Nobody has time for everything, that’s a fact and it’s understandable, you don’t have time for a half hour of cardio and an hour of weights, besides, unless you’re a gym rat, you won’t want to use that time because you have things on your plate you need to do  especially if you have kids. Spreading out exercises throughout the day can be beneficial to you no matter what kind of schedule you have; you don’t even need to do a ton of reps when you have the time, just do a few. Your body is a machine that needs fuel to keep you strong, like a very beautiful Ferrari, it needs water, gas and oil to keep it running right and all those little parts to keep it from breaking down, your body is the same thing, use that spare time to do something and your body will keep on running until you are ready to sleep. It’s all about looking outside the box and learning certain things that can be of use to YOU!!! Make it count, it’s the little things that make a big impact.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Help Each Other, Don’t Bully Each Other


In life there are many things that we cannot stop from happening and one of them is bullies. There have been organizations around the country including one my friend Bud Jeffries is apart of. Behind one good there’s always a bad guy and bullies just happen to be there. In the fitness world it’s no different, sometimes it’s worse and sometimes it’s just a pain in the ass. Being a bully doesn’t get you anywhere.

 I have been through it just like every other kid as a teenager and even before that and trust me when I say this; I have had certain issues about it that I can’t mention here. Some punk who thinks the world revolves around him makes up his own rules and doesn’t give a damn about the people he hurts. I’ve seen guys in the gym give a few kids a hard time because they can’t lift or pick up the same amount of weight they can. Stealing a kid’s bike or beating them because they can’t defend themselves doesn’t make you a real person, just makes you look like a punk with no morals. Overcoming your experiences with bullies isn’t the easiest thing around but with the right encouragement and support, you can a great person overcoming a traumatic experience(s).

 Ever heard of the story of Charles Atlas, some dumbass comes up and he’s all chiseled and macho as it can get, kicks sand in this kid’s face and walks off with his girl. That’s one way to look at a bully. The kid vowed to make it right and went home and began an exercise program and within a few short months went from a scrawny teen to a bonified muscle man and came back to the beach and just knocked the living hell out of his tormenter. Now I’m not saying violence is the answer because it isn’t but you can turn yourself into something beyond which you use to be. The key thing is to not change who you are as a person but to bring up the volume of whom you are, once shy but now a confident individual.

 We all have had a bully in our time whether we want to admit it or not and we all need to have that little support to teach us how to be there for others even when we hit rock bottom. Doing some training no matter what it is can build your character and your life the way it was meant to. Some people like to train so they’ll look better and look down at others and tell them they can’t do it or it’s not worth their time helping them, I’m sorry but that’s one definition of an asshole. Helping each other get past bad experiences means showing love and support and helping them cope in their own special way. For me it was becoming stronger both physically and mentally, I hit the gym and I became bigger than I ever thought but than I learned from a special group of people that taught me how to help others and give them a reason to become something more than themselves. If it takes one person, you have done right, take a group to help, you’re golden, take a community and you are reaching the mountain top.

 Bullies are really no better than we are, in my opinion, there’s no such thing as a random bully, every single one has a tragic story behind them and sometimes you can’t help them and other times it takes more than one person to straighten them out. For those guys and girls that pick on or giving that other person shit, think about what you’re doing, do you really know what they’re going through to give them that much hurt? Don’t be that person, you’re meant for more than that and that don’t mean you’re the king or queen, it means you’re meant for certain things that can make you the person beyond who you think you are. Hurting someone never has a good outcome and it doesn’t take too many words to trigger a certain amount of emotional pain let alone physical pain. Look inside yourself and find out the real reason you’re tormenting someone.

 Role models are a sketchy topic; we have role models in sports, entertainment and in our community but do we really understand the term Role Model? A Role Model is a person you look up to and want to establish yourself as because they give you hope and a reason to do the thing you love to do. In my opinion, there are very few role models out there that are as important to that person than who they really are. I have had role models my whole life starting with the sports I use to watch, I wanted to be like Michael Jordan or a Barry Sanders and even wanted to be like Dr. Dre believe it or not because I was going through a Rap phase at the time. As I got older, I started understanding who my true role models are and they are the very same people I mention in article after article after article, these are the men and woman I want to mold myself after and build myself in a way that is similar to what they preach.

 Being helpful goes a long way and it’s important to establish that presence of strength and being there for the people that matter most. The first to remember though is in order to help others you must establish by helping yourself and learn from people that support and love you for whom you are not what they want you to be; who you want to be is up to you. Once you have conquered this, than you take your first steps by helping those who need that support and love, that doesn’t mean spend your whole life trying to save everyone but help out every once in a while, build a foundation. Find your way to help someone and teach them strengths you have created and teach them to build their own. That’s a real person, not some punk who wants to make everything his, it’s not ethical and it’s not right.

 

Off Topic: There are still tickets available to the Wizards Of Strength Workshop in San Diego, CA and we have a new book waiting for you by the Nebraskan Wildman himself Steve Justa.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Astounding Strength & Grace Of Acrobats & Gymnasts

 
  Ever seen Cirque De Solei or something similar and even Gymnastics, than you know how cool it is to see these world class athletes fly through the air with grace, power and beauty. Just having the speed and the strength to pull off certain moves is just incredible and you never know what comes next. To me Aerialists are one of the most powerful people pound for pound in the realm of Acrobatics.




 There have been debates who have the strongest this or the strongest that, you got big arms than you have some serious upper body power, powerful legs you can either squat a lot or run like the wind but yet the Core is what separates the men from the boys. Your torso carries the most power and strength in your body next to your legs being the strongest. When it comes to athletics, gymnasts have pretty much the strongest core in the world. Think about it, how do they fly through the air, hold hand balances so perfectly and move around on their upper bodies as if they were legs?  If they didn’t have strong torsos, everything else would be gone in a snap. Now some people think Bodybuilders have strong abs but in reality, it’s just the opposite, not all of them but most have very weak torsos to do anything basic let alone incredibly superhuman. The stronger your Core is, the rest of your body is strong, this doesn’t mean do nothing but crunches and sit-ups and leave everything else out, it takes the whole body to work together.
 
 

 One of the most kick ass shows I’ve ever witnessed was in Las Vegas where there was a vampire show called Bite. This show featured smoking hot and beautiful women, jaw dropping dancing & acrobatics and heavy metal that was just as powerful as the performers themselves. During one segment, a man who was pulled from the audience gets bit by a vampire, turns into this incredible monster with a shredded body that you need to see to believe, becomes consumed by the powerful bite and begins to take hold of a chain hanging down, wraps around his arm and begins to fly and twirl in the air like a madman and reaches down and with one arm picks up a woman and bites her as well. I can’t tell you the rest of the show but I can assure you that same actor has powers in real life that even he can teach you how to grab a hold of.
 
 

 An important aspect to keeping the body fit and ready for anything is to keep the blood flowing throughout the day. Doing small little exercises can have a huge impact on your level of strength and power beyond belief. Even the most experienced gymnasts and acrobats do some form of exercise throughout the day because during practice or even rehearsals, they have to be in top shape otherwise they can lose their spot on a team or worse be out of a job. Learn to use your time for these little things and big changes will come. “You don’t have to do much, for doing a lot” Karl Gotch.
 
 

 Practicing Hand balancing is the most basic component in both acrobatics and gymnastics because what some teach Bridging in wrestling, Hand Balancing is one of the first things taught in those areas of sport and entertainment. Hand Balancing isn’t for everyone I understand but there are those who want to learn it and get good or even great at it. At the same time, how cool would it be to have the strength to hold yourself up in Handstand and move around just like a gymnast or an acrobat? You don’t have to be a either one to get great benefits from this type of training. If you want to practice it, than look no further from my friends Logan Christopher and Ed Baran.
 

 

 In both acrobatics and gymnastics, the number one rule is to keep the body strong in every movement and by that I mean the whole body from your head to your toes. You will learn how to keep the body tight and strong because being loose anywhere can spell disaster or you’ll just not be able to do even a basic exercise. Learning to use your body in complete unison builds awareness and strength in ways nothing else can match. Anybody can lift a weight one way or another but you can’t hold yourself up in certain positions without the whole body working together.

 You may never aspire to be a Gymnast or an Acrobat which is perfectly fine, yet you can still have the great benefits and a strong & powerful body once you learn the basic elements of using your body as a whole package and become stronger than the average person. You don’t have to be a world class athlete to find world-class or even superhuman results. All that matters is you make your exercise fun and enjoyable and if you have children, let them exercise with you or teach them to exercise; this builds power and confidence within and helps build character. Have fun and make it worthwhile, even if you have only 5 minutes in the day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Muscle Control For Arm Wrestling





You’re on the table, arm is locked and loaded for the match of your life, muscles contract and you’re ready for battle, ready, set and go.Muscle Control is one of the best forms of conditioning your body to contract and relax whenever you want. You can use Muscle Control for just about anything, even lifting an imaginary weight. In an arm wrestling match, it’s not just how strong you are or if you have the biggest arms on the planet, it’s the ability to contract the muscles needed and the strength of your tendons to keep your opponent at bay. Imagine yourself in a match and you’re teaching your body to use the specific muscles needed and eventually it becomes a full body contraction.

 The key thing to understand about Muscle Control is using the Mind/Muscle Connection that incorporates your ability to think into the muscles you want to use for whatever you want to do, in this case learning to Arm Wrestle. Now it’s important to do some Arm Wrestling training while working on Muscle Control but for now I want to teach you how to think so you can train smarter, not harder. Practicing various tension levels gives your body an opportunity to learn how to contract, the harder you contract, the less reps needed to move, the lighter, you can move more.
 
 

 Another key ingredient to using Muscle Control is another version called Isometrics. This gives your body something to learn on how to contract from different positions. In Arm Wrestling, you need to pull down from different spots in order to increase strength for that position. Pulling power is the thing that separates the men from the boys in an arm wrestling match and you have to be able to use your body from all sorts of directions. Whether for 6 seconds or for 3 minutes an isometric contraction brings in that powerful energy that keeps you strong and tight.

 Contracting on commend can be one of your biggest assets because if you’re in a match and you’ve used up enough power to where he’s about to go down, you bring in that extra source of power that just blasts his arm into the table. Practice this when you train, whether with cables or weights or even just on Muscle Control alone, learn to use your mind to find the right timing to contract and relax when needed to. Don’t always waste energy contracting so hard that you’ll pull a muscle or rip your arms out of your socket; Muscle Control takes practice and listen to your body.  You are strong both inside and outside and with practice, you can get stronger, learn to focus and imagine how strong you want to get, you’d be surprised what will come out of it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hammer Conditioning


 



 There are many ways to get in awesome shape, you can use your bodyweight, work with weights or better yet use cool tools that are not only awesome looking but you’re getting more bang for your buck than you can imagine. Ever heard of training with a Hammer? Of course you don’t, you’re either one of those people that goes to a gym, play around with a few machines, work very light weight and call yourself in shape or you’re one of those guys or gals that doesn’t get anywhere no matter what you do and you just quit at the drop of a hat. I’m here to tell you that getting fit is not only a cool thing to do but it also keeps you energized and have a zest for life you didn’t think existed. The best fitness advice anyone can ever give you is to have fun with what you do. Training with a hammer, better yet a Thor Hammer gives you that mystical feeling that you’re training like the warriors of generations past.
 
 

 Training with this particular tool can give you great possibilities to train with, most of them involve swinging but the main point is when you work different areas while consuming your exercise using your whole body as a unit, you will find yourself having off the charts strength and conditioning that only a few ever know about. Even training with a sledgehammer is a cardio workout that will have you gasping for air if you do the exercise right. One of my heroes named Slim worked in a Rock Quarry for many years, doing labor for as long as 12-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week cutting and destroying rock with a 16 pound sledgehammer. Now 16 pounds doesn’t seem like a lot of weight but when you’re smashing things for hours on end, you’re using your whole body and it makes cardio machines look like a cake walk. If you had a tire or half tire, along with a hammer, try hitting it like a guy working at the Quarry, do it for 5 minutes and tell me if you’re not breathing harder than you would doing 30 minutes on a cardio machine.

 I would bet if you had just a hammer and a tire, which would be the only equipment you need to get a cardio workout that will leave you with sweat, strength and overall fitness in ways that can only be explained by experience. A great course I have practiced off and on is to me one of the only if not the only course out there that gives you tips specifically using hammers is my man Bud Jeffries’ DVD Hammers and Maces from his Alternative Conditioning series that has a plethora of different ways to work your body into the ground. Hammer training is another look at what you can do to get in awesome shape, up until a few years ago, there weren’t many places to learn this kind of stuff, now guys in the NFL, MMA, WWE and even in Olympic training have found the Hammer swinging style are using it to get their athletes in incredible world-class shape.
 
 
 
 

 Ever seen the movie Thor? Ever wondered what it would be like to have that much power and strength using that cool ass looking Hammer? Well you can get your hands on your own Mjölnir and feel what it’s like to swing that little son of a bitch and learn the golden keys to Super Muscle and Superhuman Strength. Conditioning this way is a lot more fun than just pulling down a machine that really won’t do much movement wise and just going for a stroll on the cardio machine, this way teaches you how to use your stabilizing muscles in other words your Core and work your whole body as a whole. Look at it this way, because of it’s structure it helps you figure out how to stay balanced and helps you learn certain muscles needed for certain swinging movements. Hell one of the best exercises I’ve done for a few hundred reps is using it like the Kettlebell swing and I think it’s much harder than the regular KB swing because the hammer is longer and the handle is thicker. Also if you had a tire, you can have a glimpse of what a blacksmith feels like by whacking the hammer. If you don’t have the movie Thor, I suggest you get yourself a copy which you can find on the right hand side of this blog under Physical Culture links below the Incredible Hulk series and film.

 Another side of training with a Sledgehammer and Thor’s Hammer is using them in the old tradition of India’s training program which dates back hundreds of years using them in the style of Wrestling called Kushti. This traditional style of training consisted of the Mace (which you can use with the Sledgehammer) and the Gadas (you can use with two sets of Thor’s hammer) which they swung and worked different muscles to get in shape for Wrestling. Now you don’t have to be a wrestler I’m just giving you a history lesson along with a perspective of what you can do with these tools.
 

 

 Having fun with your exercise is a golden key to great fitness and strength training and nothing looks cooler than a hammer, it represents strength and even having one in your hands just has a mystical feel to it, like you’re apart of something special. It’s not just a workout, it’s an adventure, and you can even pick exercises out of your own imagination. Think of some of the workouts you can think and imagine in a time where you had the power to destroy anything you wanted, in one workout, you’re John Henry and pounding spikes into the train tracks, the next workout, you’re in India over 100 years ago, exercising outside in the wrestling pits before your match and destroying your opponent, another workout would be you’re working at a gold mine in the old west, smashing rock to find that treasure of gold and after so many powerful whacks, you have found that gold and you’re jumping for joy and even you can imagine being Thor smashing the Frost Giants and conquering a battle over monsters and demons.

 These are things to think about when you’re training and you should never walk into a workout thinking it’s going to suck, be creative and use your imagination; it’s one of the biggest keys of all time. Make it interesting and use it to your full advantage and give it everything you have, it could last a few minutes or last over an hour, hell you’d get so into the workout that you lost track of time because you had fun doing it, that’s the beauty of it. Give yourself a chance to shine and Hammer your way to glory on your terms.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Put Your Back Into It


Stretching the spine and back muscles is one of the most important aspects of Physical Training and that’s because the spine gives us that electric charge from the brain to the cord itself. You can get injured with a broken wrist, I’ve had my legs broken and had my ribs nearly crushed but having a broken back if worse a broken spinal cord, the chances of coming back are slim to none. Keeping yourself flexible in that area gives the rest of your body that power and supercharged.

 That electrical energy in your body is really at that cord that’s in the middle of your back and the stronger it is, the stronger your body is. It connects to everything from your muscles to your nerves, all the way towards the brain where it all brings the rest of the body together. There are many ways to stretch the back but there are those that actually teach the wrong way and don’t realize that they can get hurt doing some of these things. Do your own research and you’ll see what I mean.

 One of the best exercises you can do for your back is the Bridge. This exercise alone can help bring that powerful charge in the spine into a level of strength you couldn’t have imagined before, you can do this in the Wrestler’s Bridge (aka neck bridge) on the head or the Gymnastic Bridge (wheel pose for you Yoga maniacs). There are many ways to do the Bridge and you can even do certain athletic moves while in those positions.


 
 
Another part of the body that many neglect is your neck. Your neck is a series of muscles and tendons that help hold your head up and held up with the muscles of the back. You see everything has to work together otherwise we’d be pretty awkward looking. Too many people forget to work the body as a whole but you have these wackjobs as experts in the gym telling you to do this for this muscle and that for that muscle, it’s all crap. When you work on the whole body but focus on a specific part, you get a different perspective on what it takes to work the body as a complete piece.

 Quite arguably the greatest Catch Wrestler of all-time Karl Gotch taught his students that if you want to be a complete wrestler, you must first learn the bridge because it teaches how to work the body in unison and it’s one of the best forms of Physical Conditioning. Now you don’t have to be a wrestler or a world-class athlete to do this stuff, with the right instruction and the will to practice, the majority of people can learn this stuff. There’s even Bridging in Yoga if you haven’t figured that out already and Yoga is one of the most popular forms of training.

 Like I said before, you don’t have to be a wrestler, gymnast, Yogi or another type of Athlete to understand and learn how to keep your body specifically your back and spine in great shape and it’s a great time saver. You don’t need to do cardio or an hour of weights to get in awesome shape, you can if you want but I can assure you from personal experience and from a couple I’ve trained, working exercises that target the back and neck while using the while body will get you breathing harder than an asthmatic finishing a 10 second sprint.
 
 Your body will become a fitness machine and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes a day. At 240+ lbs. I can hold a wrestler’s bridge for three minutes anytime I want and can hold quite well on the gymnastic bridge and am in better shape because of these exercises than I ever did when I was training with weights in my teens. I’ve even become stronger in the weights through some of this type of training and I’ve kept getting stronger every time I go to the weights without touching them for months at a time. Not saying this can happen for you but with practice and learning different things, you’ll be surprised what you can do outside of that type of training. Keep your back strong and spine stronger, it’ll thank you in the end, I guarantee it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How To Feed Your Vampire Strength


 

Being a fan of vampires ever since the Blade films has had me gotten me quite anxious as to how they have their powers, from reading books to watching the films to learning Physical Culture there has to be some way to have that type of power. I realize some of you aren’t vampire fans and don’t like seeing someone being bit on the neck and have blood gushing out but come on, in some cases you got to look outside the box and lurk into the mystery, romance and fierce power of The Creature Of The Night.

 When I’m talking about Vampires I’m not talking about that Twilight crap, sorry but as much as I love coffin rising dead bites, Twilight just never cut it with me and will never understand it. Back to the task at hand, having that Vampire Strength and power just has an aura of unbelievable proportions and to obtain it is not that far of a reach as you might think and it doesn’t take being bit on the neck to get it, if you don’t believe me look to my man Cees de Kok who knows a thing or two about being a Vampire.

 
 
To get a perspective, vampires need to feed off of blood to stay immortal, keep away from crosses, garlic and holy water, for the real world, to keep your powers from slipping, moving your body throughout the day doing little effective exercises that don’t drain you but feed your energy and power and staying away from people who give you that negative energy, people that don’t believe in what you’re doing and also people who think they’re better because they have some kind of “expertise.” A vampire has the wisdom of centuries, knows every little trick about strength, stealth and combat, in your mind, clear out all the crap that you think won’t work and be open about it. Cees has been an athlete all his life and has knowledge in Acrobatics and Gymnastics that most trainers will never comprehend therefore if he knows what goes into being ready for anything, people should stop and listen.

 In regards to sleep, every creature needs it, even vampires. Sleeping helps the body rejuvenate itself and helps you bring all that energy back when you get up in the morning. Now I realize some of you don’t always sleep very well and some have trouble even getting out of bed but if you’re willing to learn, I would think some of you can find a way to teach your mind to tell your body that “When I wake up, I’m going to be ready, be strong and be energized.” Have you ever heard of a vampire who was an insomniac? Didn’t think so, he’d have to be very sneaky to find a way to stay out of the daylight if he wants to stay up but for the most part they’re pretty much dead during the daytime (pun intended). Look at it this way, in your mind, when you go to sleep, you’re building your superhuman powers, when you wake up, you’re as strong if not stronger the day before.

 Every little thing counts. When you learn to exercise throughout the day, you’re feeding your energy to increase your alertness, strength and fitness, do not do so much it drains you, doing tons of reps on every exercise is not always the thing to do, putting in too much can make you weak, it’s like a vampire taking in too much blood when he/she feeds, take too much, it could die. Whenever you can, sneak in an exercise and just do enough to wear it gets you fired up, you can even do it when you wake up or when you’re ready for bed. You do have power beyond belief and to harness them, we must use our minds and our bodies together in unison to create that perfect harmony and consistency just for you. Find your inner Vampire and learn to use the powers already within reach, it’s only a matter of time before you have been bitten, risen from the dead and have new, profound strength and monstrous power that nobody can take a hold of. Have you been bitten yet?  


Friday, September 7, 2012

Becoming A Monster




I don’t always lift barbells and dumbbells but when I do, I want to feel like one of the legendary Old-time Strongmen from generations past. Back in the day before cardio machines and the chrome and fern palaces of Cosmetic Bodybuilding, if you wanted to be fit and strong, you busted your ass in the gym or wherever you wanted to workout. Training in the gym like at York Barbell or sunny Venice Beach, you put in workouts that made you come back for more. Back then, you had guys that were monstrous not just in size but just as equaled strength and fitness.

 Today has become a billion-dollar industry where supplements roam wild, machines are cranking and some of the free weights are left to dust unless someone happens to pick up anything about 50 lbs. or less. It’s a bit of a shame that once was the pinnacle of developing super strength and fitness has just become not so super and hardly any real functional strength developed and fitness that just confuses everyone. If you picked 10 people out of a gym, and asked them who John Grimek, Otto Arco, Arthur Saxon, hell even maybe Reg Park, bet you dollars to donuts that not one of those 10 people know who they are. That’s the majority of fitness goers today, no sense of history and would rather look good without a shirt on than have that plus being super strong and healthy.

 One of the best things I love about Physical Culture is that you can learn to do things out of the norm and make it a habit to use and use given secrets that have worked for well over 100 years and still make great progress. Very few people you’ll find today that share that thread of knowledge and understand the values of historical training that can be used today. One of these few is to my knowledge one of the most powerful men on the planet that just by listening to him, you can learn things you never thought existed, and I’m talking about Mr. Super Muscle himself, Bud Jeffries.

 

 An idea that Bud brings to the table is not new but to most people today, they would think it’s from a different planet and that’s using weights in a circular fashion. Conditioning in circles is a relatively cool concept where whether with bodyweight or using a dumbbell, you learn to use exercise in a clockwork type fashion. This type of training from a different perspective can aid in your conditioning workouts, now I’m going to let Bud tell you about that because he’s got more in his brain on it than I do.

 You know that fishing line “Catch & Release”? What if I told you, you can do that same concept using a Barbell? Most people can’t fathom putting up a weight in the air and catching it, it just seems doesn’t it, but its fun. Being able to catch a weight takes balance, concentration, strength and agility and that’s just a few of things you need for Functional Fitness. Conditioning in this manner puts your mind to a different ideal and to train like this for a period of time takes up the whole body from your neck to your toes and that’s just the beginning.

 Another style of training to becoming a monster in the gym or if you’re a garage gorilla, is the concept that made many athletes back in the day including the Iron Master himself Arthur Saxon, was One-Arm Training. How would you like to have so much strength that while you can lift plenty of weight with one arm when the majority of people can’t do it with two would be awesome wouldn’t it? Another great strongman of the past who made One-Arm deadlifting an art form was Hermann Görner. This type of training teaches how to balance and coordinate your body into moving weight from an odd angle or position.

 You can learn all this and more from the man that has single handedly lifted more weight and conditioned his body Drug-Free than almost any other strongman to date and that’s my boy Bud. Monster Conditioning will change your way of thinking about lifting weights in a way you have never seen before and if you believe there are no secrets in weight lifting, guess again people. You’re in for the ride of your life and take your training to a level that makes most bodybuilders and pumpers look like chumps.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting In Shape While Gambling


 When was the last time you heard about doing that? When you gamble, you usually sit at a table or a slot machine and sometimes you stand at the Roulette wheels. Now this might be the most interesting and very unusual way to stay in shape while money is being won or lost so let me give you my take on it.

 Billions of dollars are being put into thousands upon thousands of slot machines and being thrown down on the tables just edging for someone to get their ass kicked or get rich and possibly come out even. Now think about this for a moment, there’s another set of dollar making business that people waste their money on and that’s the typical chrome and fern commercial gyms that they put a few bucks down and don’t bother showing up and their bills get rung up. The difference is, you can win at Gambling but in the gym you have to earn your body and that’s where most people give up and just drop the gym all together.

 If you live in places like Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Coeur D’Alene or the eastern parts of Washington, there are a few places to go to put your betting money on. I can bet you can get in shape while at the casinos and no one will ever know. This is no way of saying, you should workout at a casino because come on, as funs as it would be for you, there are others who don’t give a damn and will walk away from you. This is just a simple suggestion to use to remind your muscles that you can do something in between pulls on the machine or doing something while playing the cards or the wheel. Let me give you an example, you sit at a slot machine, doesn’t matter what it is (unless it’s that kick ass Wheel Of Fortune), you can do Isometrics or Muscle Control while you play. After your first pull, squeeze the lever as hard as you can for 10 seconds, that’s it, than you play and while those things are spinning you can press your hand against the side of the machine. See you just did a little of exercise.

 One of my favorite types of training is from the Charles Atlas course and doing self resistance exercise. After I do a turn on a machine I would do curls by resisting one arm against another and after do another turn, than I would do something like squeeze my feet down on the ground to build some tendon and leg strength. Don’t waste your energy just sitting there like you just threw your house away, if you want to play a little bit, why not give your body a chance to do some work, in a small twisted way, you’re paying money to exercise, plus if you win, it makes things that much sweeter.

 To me Gambling really is a waste of time and there are people who are addicted so bad with it that they end up losing everything. This is for those that want to put a few dollars down and have a little fun with no reason to overdue it. It’s like exercise, if you overdue it, you can get hurt, when you gamble and you’re putting too much into it, you can hurt your mental state and I better hope you never have to use a loan shark and get your legs broken, that to me for yourself is adding insult to injury, literally. If you want to have a little fun, why not give your muscles a run for their money and use small but effective exercise which you can learn where no one will ever know you’re doing them. I know what it’s like to win big and lose just as bad so hopefully you never have to go through losing a bunch of money. There’s time for fun and there’s time to just walk away, like exercise, you can only do what you’re body is capable of and there are times when you just need to catch your breath and call it a day, gambling might be a bit harder but it’s the same thing, if you’re losing and its not helping you, walk away and move on or just get out and go home. Be safe and get your exercises in my friend.