Friday, August 28, 2015

Uncut Review Of C-Mass

Haven't written a review in quite a while on this bitch so I thought I'd share some insight into a course I humbly loved looking into....Paul Wade's C-Mass course, you know that book with the bad ass Kavadlo Brothers on the cover, yeah that book.

What does C-Mass stand for for those playing the home game; it stands for Calisthenic Mass, in plain English means building insane muscle using only your bodyweight. Now really how the fuck does that happen? Isn't this a contradiction that only skinny dudes and guys that can't afford a gym membership only do Bodyweight and isn't Bodyweight Training mainly for Gymnasts and those who do Zumba classes? Believe it or not guys, you can get pretty fucking big using your own body. Just to be clear, I'm not talking the grotesque type of muscle mass you see on roided shit for brains bodybuilders with a gut the size of New York and arms bigger than Sally Field's head and it damn sure isn't about having a back that makes North Dakota look small; it's about realistic muscle mass that is functional, useful and looking like a real old school athlete or muscle builder (pre-1950's).

Paul's brand of humor and non-sense bullshit is the heart of this book and he gets down to the nitty gritty with very few scientific outlooks but more based on experience and letting his readers know in plain English what the real stuff is all about. He's no scientist or doctor, hell the guy has been in the joint but yet he's honest about what has happened and what inspired him to how guys can get huge using the body as the ultimate weight. I for one admire his views on building real muscle and how you can do it without drugs, supplements or machinery.

Now with the guys on the cover Al & Danny Kavadlo, they bring the soul of this book with their smiles and plethora of tattoos (Danny takes the cake as the most tattooed bodyweight guy I've ever seen). Some people gave these two guys shit because they're not "big" in the sense of what the book was intended to apply as but yet in my blunt opinion; they are pretty big for guys who only do Bodyweight, yes they're most likely under 190 or more but that's the amount of weight most muscle guys back in the early 20th weighed; guys like Charles Atlas, Bobby Pandour, Eugene Sandow and let's not forget pound for pound the greatest muscle control masters Otto Arco and Maxick. Shit I admire that amount of muscle on guys like them. I have them beat by nearly 100 pounds and can do gnarly stuff from a bodyweight stand-point.

What's amazing about this course in and of itself is a true testament and hope that with the right tools and the more muscle being used in a single exercise can constitute a great physique. For over 10 years the majority of my training is pure bodyweight and I can attest that it is possible to be big and use nothing but your own body. All I can really say is once you apply these simple techniques you're gonna need a new freaking wardrobe so be forewarned. I give this book on a scale of 1-10; it goes to 11. It's one of the most unique books on building realistic muscle mass and staying as healthy as possible with the only side-effects being increased metabolism, higher testosterone, burn off fat like butter to a fucking frying pan and it can only be limited by your imagination. Get massive shoulders doing presses like Handstands, close-grip push-ups, Dips and others and getting cannon-ball biceps from pulling movements like Pull/Chin-ups, Rope Climbing, Aussie Pulls and Bodyweight Curls and let's not forget an insane mid section from Levers, Knee Pulls, Dragon Flags, Human Flag, Hanging & plenty more. Learn The Commandments with a Vengeance, study the old-timers he mentions and keep an open mind.

Here's the link to C-Mass: How To Maximize Muscle Growth Using Bodyweight-Only Training

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Workout That Tortures The Entire Body

Every now and then I do workouts that are just fucking worth sharing because they are that good and it can make anybody humble when you feel yourself shaking like a damn earthquake. I don't normally talk about my workouts in full detail just bits and pieces about how I feel. Last night however, holy shit it felt amazing but insane at the same time. I love Bridging; it's by far the best method for stretching and strengthening the spine, hips, midsection and neck. This workout consisted of 5 exercises that just hit you hard with a fucking vengeance, still think Bodyweight Exercises are only good for endurance and short gymnasts? Try this on for size and to warn you I'm over 250 lbs.

Wall Walking X 10

(On The 11th Rep) Wall Walk & Touch Chest To Wall 10 times

Wall Walking (W/ Reverse Push-up or Gymnastic Bridge) X 5

3 min. Front Bridge

3 min. Back Bridge

My legs were shaking trying to hold the bridges and still held em for the amount of time. This workout is particularly used by those in MMA or Wrestling (Not WWE) but if you're interested in getting in shape this will be incredible for any routine. Being able to lengthen the spine releases incredible energy that gives you the juice you need to keep your structure healthy and secure from injuries. It opens up channels in the body that most exercises can't. Think how strong your midsection gets from doing this kind of training; you stretch the obliques because of the automated contraction from Wall Walking and your legs get a hell of a workout keeping you stabilized in the bridging exercises.

It goes beyond training your back and neck, you're really throwing your whole body in the mix going forwards and backwards, powering up the hips and it releases a great amount of Growth Hormone that enables you to enhance your metabolism, burn off fat from your neck down to your toes and increases sex drive and seriously having a healthy sex drive is something we all should strive for.

This is not a workout that should be taken for granted, develop mastering the bridges and the wall walking before engaging in this setting. It takes time and patience believe me, it took me a month just to hold a three minute back with no hands with my nose to the mat and took me a few more weeks just to press into a good gymnastic bridge. Wall Walking is fairly simple to do but be cautious and always have some kind of good padding so you don't hurt yourself. Also doing the wall walk (walking down the wall backwards until your head touches the mat) do not ever use a very wide stance, this can really put far more stress on the knee joints and puts most of the weight on them, so keep the foot distance of shoulder-width apart. Also as you get better walking all the way down consistently, decrease the distance between yourself and the wall to the point where you're walking down with your feet less than a foot away from the wall.

Have fun with this if you have the experience with bridging exercises and let me know how it goes for you. If you wish to know about Bridging in full detail check out my friend Logan Christopher's Advanced Bridging course that will take you far beyond holding a bridge. It is by far the best course out there for this specific method.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Throughout The Day

When you have a small window of time, it's important to use it at the best of your ability. Some people have jobs that last half a day or more and exercise might be the last thing on their mind but it can be done if you make the effort to do so. I knew people that have made so many excuses but never once had a "I'll make the effort" comment. Sure it takes discipline and understanding of timing and being fresh as best as possible but overall it's got to have meaning to you. Most people these days work long hours and don't have time for the gym to get in a solid hour but there are possibilities.

I learned from a friend a few years back that when you have that short window and it can be used for exercise, take it. He is always on the move and is a performer in stage shows and produces/manages many people so what the hell does he do for exercise before coming home waiting to pass out? He exercises little by little throughout the day. When someone isn't hassling him or has a window away from the laptop in his office, he does Isometrics and or a bit of calisthenics (using his office chair, desk, sidewalk if he has to) and even when he's at a stoplight on an intersection. He makes the little time he has to train his body and it's kept him energized throughout the day.

 Sometimes I have more time than most because I work for myself but there are days where I'am very busy doing articles, being with my girl, dinner gatherings, going out to places with people and traveling whether on the ground or in the air yet I make the most of what I can do throughout some parts of the day; i'll do push-ups or squats at a gas station while the tank is filling up, do some (what I call) Playful Movement or do Isometrics while someone is driving, rise up on my toes in the grocery store, do deep breathing exercises waiting in line for a movie, all sorts of stuff that is convenient and not looking too obvious. Make your timing count when it needs to be. Even do little things between commercials if you're watching TV (they suck anyway) or a small routine while you're in Bed (not doing the horizontal mambo). There's no reason why you shouldn't exercise unless you're in severe dire straits and about to die. You are your own gym and you have the ability to make things important to you, do so and make it work for you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Can You Spare A Couple Minutes

For most people it's not always simple to get a workout in when it's most convenient to you. You have jobs, pay bills, take care of kids, handle social gatherings and other things. However; if you're determined to make something happen to get yourself fit whether it's losing weight, building muscle or whatever you'll do it at the best time for you. Believe me it's not easy getting in a workout that lasts 30 min. Just last night I was occupied with my girl that I ended up training roughly around 10 or so and only did a few minutes with the Sandbell. If all you have is less than 5 minutes, than make them fucking count.

People get discouraged when they're told you need to do this or that to get in shape when in reality it's more on timing than anything else. Forget on developing some sort of training for a second, if your timing isn't working, something needs to be done, it happens; shit can run up on you when you least expect it so make an effort to get whatever time you need to train the best way you can. There are days with me where i'm busy with family, working my site or spending time with my girl and I don't always get time to do a specific length of training i'd like to do but I always give myself a window every single day even its under 5 min. Want it bad enough, make the damn effort son.

This morning I made the intuitive decision to train earlier than usual cause I got a big day of swimming, going to a movie and having a day of just me and my Spider Monkey so I did deep breathing exercises, hindu pushup stretches, deep squatting, a couple exercises with my Thor Hammer and an isometric exercise specifically for the abs and that's it. Took me roughly 10 min. maybe more but I made it possible regardless of what my day ended up being, at least I did something. So don't make those fucked up and whinny excuses that you don't have time, make it and don't be bitching.

Spare yourself a couple minutes if you need to but remember, make it important to you and only you. You have the power to make your own choices, be open minded and instead of complaining, embrace the time you have and make it your bitch.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Weighted Vest Is Your Best Friend

Dear Bodyweight Maniacs,

Don't you just love doing kick ass stuff using nothing but your own bodyweight? So do I. Just the feeling of being free to do all sorts of exercises and workouts that just hit the fucking spot man. A few favorites of my own would be Handstand Push-ups, Animal Movements, Pan Squats (which is from the Pan Program, DDP Yoga and even a few Pull-ups here and there. A lot of us get a bad rap that bodyweight training is only good for endurance and not enough to do to get crazy strong; personally I beg to differ since i'm a big dude and the majority of my training is using my bodyweight. So with that in mind, what can we do to add resistance?

For those playing the home game, bodyweight exercise does have it's pros and cons like every damn method but it certainly doesn't bring just endurance to the table. If we considered on building crazy strength, how can we add resistance if it's using your own body? For those that have the answer thank you for your understanding but yet there are other ways to add resistance.....

Slower Reps

Time Under Tension

Higher Difficulty Of An Exercise

& My personal favorite since I've recently added it in is the use of a Weighted Vest.

Now does using a weight vest count as doing the same with weightlifting? It's a both yes and no answer and i'll tell you why...Yes because it's adding weight to increase the density but no because it's not the same as using a barbell or dumbbell. You're increasing your bodyweight to a higher degree in which you bring a level of intensity throughout your movements. Some people like to do lunges, squats, jumping, sprinting and push-ups/pull-ups which is all awesome but for me I use it to amplify my animal styled training to increase growth hormone and cut my workout almost in half to get greater benefit without injuring myself. I never go to failure or put so much stress on my joints that it's fairly painful. I'd like to be as pain-free as possible.

Although I enjoy slamming down a fucking cool sledgehammer and toss around the Sandbell and play with the cables but all in all, bodyweight exercise is my general past time and I've never really needed anything to get big and strong; at 250+ I can do plenty of push-ups, multiple reps in pull-ups, can do 100 hindu squats in under 5 minutes and have held a free standing handstand plus a push-up to boot. It's all about what you want to make of yourself. I'm in awe of the gymnastic style training and the Barstarzz in NY and around the world but I'm mere a basics guy who makes the best of doing things for a man who shouldn't be doing shit like this.

A weighted vest can be your best friend if you progress the right way. One day I plan on training in a 100 pound vest but for now i'll stick to a 20 lber. That keeps going as it is. Be mindful and think old school. You won't move as fast as you usually do but after some hard, rough training and taking that sumbitch off you'll feel like you can walk on air. May I also warn you it is not recommended you train in a vest in hot shit weather, just walking in that thing is a bitch, I've walked over a mile wearing one and lost tons of water weight because of it, also hungry as hell. If you plan on training outside wait until it cools off a bit or limit the amount of time and bring a good gallon of water.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Iam Not Oh Wait Yes Iam An Animal

It's easy to get confused in the fitness world...Told to do this or that, lift weights to get stronger, do cardio like your life depended on it and tons of other crap. The truth of the matter is it boils down to your intuition. What is it you want to learn? Why did you get into it? Does it help you with your goals or help establish a creative side to you for training? I don't give a rat's ass about most of the junk that's out there. I live doing simple things and staying away from a spiffy gym as much as possible. Living the way of the Animal is part of my philosophy and there's nothing like moving in the way of a wild and powerful creature.

Over this past week or more I have worn a 20 pound Vest throughout most of my workouts from walking to jumping, playing and doing animal moves. It is a very powerful tool to use and one I highly recommend. Wearing this bad boy has given me some kick ass training to the point where already I have lost around 5 pounds and moving much faster and have built up quite an appetite (like I didn't before). Being animalistic is fun, layed out in simple principles and training as minimal as possible. Sure I mess around with a sledgehammer 1-2x a week but that's beside the point. You've got to enjoy your experimentation and looking forward to those sessions where it looks like torture to the untrained eye but to you it's another day at a fucking awesome office in the Bahamas.

For nearly 20 years, I have experimented and participated in some of the most ridiculous workouts and exercises imaginable; I have bled, I have sweat, nearly passed out, ran yards after yards, push-ups until my chest felt like it was going to explode, lift heavy ass weight and have even bent a few bars and spikes in my time but I'am convinced through it all nothing has had me burn more fat, tire me out quicker and had incredible adventures than doing Animal Movements. They are the reason why I love exercise and fitness in general, they are the key to successful bodyweight training and nobody can tell me any different. We are meant to move like our animal friends in the jungle, we bleed like most mammals and we have urges in our DNA that are meant to move and process the gifts of adaptation and utilizing our brains to their full potential.

We are the planet's ultimate animal yet everything we take is for granted and have lost many of what our ancestors were bred to do. We can adapt better than most animals yet society and the media have us become more weak, afraid and feeling like we are supposed to do things like everyone else otherwise being different is something to be ashamed of; fuck those people. I was told most of my life that I didn't have a chance to do anything great or be able to become super strong yet I've reached far higher than they thought. Don't attract bullshit, attract what you love, having positive influence in your life and grabbing the bull by the fucking horns brother. Adapt to what attracts you with positive affirmation and love. Animals hunt for survival, play as cubs to get ready for the dangers ahead so you must hunt for success, play to get better at training and be the best you can be. Like a Wolf there is a pack somewhere that wants you in the gang or you can go solo and kick major ass from there. Become wild, show off your Animality and power up your body by moving like a wild animal in the jungle.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bodyweight And The Hammer

My training consists of different things and some of them are heavy to move and others are just plain me doing killer bodyweight stuff at my size. I'm not big on moving barbells and dumbbells anymore even though i'll do them on occasion yet the only weight I really like moving these days is my Epic Sledgehammer. I get my cardio basically from using a heavy hammer and going through a deck of cards. When I'm not using the hammer, I do push-ups, animal movements, pulling movements, Gymnastic Abs, VRT and other bodyweight movements to tickle my fancy. Being minimal is pretty intense as it is.

My range of motion will never be like the guys on a DVD or in a book. That doesn't mean it it's terrible, it's actually pretty good. When I do my push-ups, I start from the bottom and only go up maybe 3/4 of the way because I do have a thick upper back and shoulders so I adjust according to how my joints and muscles feel in a particular ROM. I still put in quite a bit of effort and even not always shooting for high reps, I focus best when it comes to form. On the hammer it's a little different; I don't go all the way up on a full swing and for good reason, the hammer is ridiculously heavy and you have to adjust to how you stabilize your core and the way you lift the hammer otherwise you can seriously hurt yourself. I have never had major injuries with the way I move and the way I keep a lid on how my methodical my form is. It's quite maddening once you really train with me.

Most of my bodyweight workouts are pretty low impact meaning I don't do very much of plyometrics or kip while doing pull-ups. I do from time to time do little jumps like in my animal movements but not to the point where i'm coming down hard on my feet, I do have scars and it's not fun having metal in your legs so don't expect me to do 100's of squat jumps and jumping onto boxes taller than Danny Devito. I like the low impact stuff since it still gives me that sense of being throughout the movement and it's still tough but not hardcore like some maniacal crossfit freak. It keeps a good solid foundation for my ankles, knees and upper joints in the arms and shoulders.

I do get people asking me from time to time how much I lift and that i'm not build for a bodyweight guy. I'm in the 250+ lbs. range and the majority of my training is pure bodyweight. The big reason why I have stayed massive for many years is because I do have a big appetite, no I don't eat food enough to be in the 5 digit range but I can chow down with some decent dudes in the fitness world, no where near like big strongmen or guys in the NFL but i'm telling ya, a buffet with me is just the tip of the iceberg. I like being big for the most part, it hasn't affected my joints or overtaxing my muscles; I recover quite well and eat plenty to feel good. You can be big and do bodyweight; Great Gama did it and others so there are people out there that just because they're heavily muscled doesn't mean it's from weights. I practice my training very methodically and when I'm hungry I eat brother. Remember, life is what you make of it and however you choose to do things, they will turn out the way they were meant to. Slam that hammer and use your body like a real machine, not using useless junk that cost more than your wardrobe.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hit The Deck You Filthy Animal

As you all may know, a favorite set of exercises is based on mimicking Animals. Wait I forgot, for those that don't get the title it was inspired by words used in the first two Home Alone movies where Kevin is watching a trigger happy dude take out a couple people using the words "Filthy Animal" in the dialogue that you may remember. Anyways back to the article; animal movements are just incredible for building muscle, endurance, growth hormone and plenty of power in your veins. One workout I decided to try on them is using my deck of cards. The following way to train in this workout is very simple, all you need is a good deck and a 20 sided dye (you can find one as an app on your iphone if you don't have a dye on hand)....

Roll the dye to get an animal

flip the top card to get the reps (Face Cards=15, Ace=20, Joker=50)

Get through the deck as best as possible

At best this shouldn't take you more than 30 min. but if you're a beginner than do what you can but believe me you will sweat and you will need a shower and water after this workout. Animal Exercises can be brutal so do what you can according to your level and the amount of recovery you need. I did it just over 20 min. and I was soaking wet needing water and a cold shower. It's a lot of fun and it's creative. No need to do a strict set/rep scheme just do the deck and the reps will come to you, make it interesting.

If you have kids, get them involved with you, it'll be a fun experience and they'll get a kick out of playing it like a little game. Training is an adventure, not a punishment. So in the spirit of Home Alone I leave you with this loving note...

I'm going to give you to the count of 10 to get your lazy, yella no good keester on that deck before I pop you a barking order to give me 50 push-ups....1...2...10...........Hit The Deck You Filthy Animal...And a happy workout.

For you wild and crazy Bodyweight Maniacs don't forget to register for the Progressive Calisthenics Certification Workshop ran by Al & Danny Kavadlo. Upcoming Workshop is going to be in Amsterdam Sept. 11th-13th. Get your tickets now before they're sold out.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Getting Certified And Train Anywhere

For over ten years I have been fascinated by Bodyweight Training. The type of fitness that can be done anywhere, anytime and have the adventure of a lifetime. The ability to gain power over your own body without needing too much to do some crazy workouts is mind-blowing in itself. You don't need to drive to a gym or walk no further than your bed to get some good ole exercise in. Bodyweight Training goes beyond just your typical push-ups, squats and sit-ups; it can take you on a roller coaster of great proportions that can aid in gaining flexibility, strength to body ratio, a usable progression system and getting insane endurance and not to mention a hell of a physique with the right strategies.

What if you were able to learn how to progress through your training and accomplish goals, hit over plateaus and gain a small nudge? Would you let a master teach you how to do all that and more; there are two kick ass brothers who can get you there that are not only masters of the Bodyweight Art but have taken it to a level where they make it some of the very best training you've ever been through period. I'm talking about the Kavadlos Al and Danny. These two masters will show you beyond the crap that has been fed to you about Calisthenics and treat you to a world where anything is possible; learn how to do one-legged squats  with ease, pull-ups like a true master and revitalize the push-ups you wanted to do when you were a kid and add in some kick ass Hand Balancing to boot. Danny is clear cut on how to develop solid rock hard abs and it has nothing to do with sit-ups or crunches, he takes you beyond that; Al is sharp on the key elements on helping you master the push-up in a very unique way and many other Calisthenic Exercises.

Being able to train anywhere is a gift but what if you can bring that element to your personal training clients? If I were a full-time trainer I wouldn't be teaching the typical gym crap most do today; I want to teach my students realistic training that gives them the power to develop their bodies that is functional, real muscled and move with such grace and strength. That is the true mark of a trainer. The best way to do so is to get certified and take on your clients in a new and unique way that will bring you more clients, make better money and give them what they always craved; RESULTS!!!

Workshops are held all over the world but it's important to not just go to get certified, they won't hand out that paper to just anyone, you literally have to pass their tests in order to be rewarded so get your ass in gear my friend. Here are the current workshops available at the PROGRESSIVE CALISTHENICS CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP

Amsterdam (Haarlem), Netherlands September 11 - 13, 2015

Chicago, IL, United States September 18 - 20, 2015

San Jose (Mountain View), CA, United States October 2-4, 2015

Oslo, Norway October 16 - 18, 2015

Guatemala City, Guatemala November 13 - 15, 2015

Padova, Italy February 5 - 7, 2016

London, England April 8 - 10, 2016

Which one will YOU be at???

This won't be your typical Bodyweight Training Course, these guys are the real deal and they will help you the best way possible so don't be an ass walking in there like you own the place and just getting certified just so you can say you passed the Kavadlos, you will be tested and you will learn the very best from them so take notes, participate and get ready for the ride of your life. Happy Trails and kick ass in in your journey.