Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Want Success in your Training? Follow a Plan

This might sound obvious but if you want training success follow a plan and stick with it for a while. We live in a time where there is so much information available that it so easy to become overwhelmed. The term "Paralysis by  Analysis" comes to mind.  New trainees (and older more experienced trainees) often don't see the results they want because they do not have a plan and they have no consistency is their training. I am guilty of this as well.

Here is a Simple Blueprint for training progress:

1) Clarity of Purpose!

What is your goal? What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to gain muscle mass? Get lean? Perhaps you want to increase your Squat, Bench and Deadlift numbers.  Or maybe you just want to be able to play with your kids without getting overly fatigued. Whatever your short term and long term goals are, be CLEAR!  You cannot successfully arrive at a destination if you have no clue where that destination is.  This principle has to be number one because without it all other factors don't matter.   So once again....clarify your goal.

2) Find the Program that Fits your GOALS

Ok, congratulations! Now that you have your goal, time to find the best program to get you there.  If you are reading this blog it's likely that you have been exposed to kettlebell training and currently use them. Great. There are so many good programs out there right now by Pavel and other instructors that you really have no excuse on not achieving phenomenal results from your training. Here are a few that I would recommend:

For Fat Loss I would recommend the following programs:

Master RKC Geoff Neupert  created an awesome fat loss program called : KETTLEBELL BURN
The Results people have achieved on this program have been nothing short of incredible.

Revolution Kettlebell Fat Loss Program (Shameless plug of  our product...he he).
This is a 12 week nutrition and kettlebell training program designed to get you to lose fat and improve your lifestyle habits. The principles we teach in this program serve as a long term foundation for long term permanent changes.

For Muscle Mass / Strength and  Power Gains I would look into the following programs:

 This the program that I am currently using and so far I have put on 7 pounds of lean body mass in less than six weeks. Based on double kettlebell movements I couldn't recommend this program enough. Brilliant yet simple programming will get you strong and pack some muscle on your frame.

This program is based on Geoff challenging Complexes which put multiple exercises back to back which creates some serious systemic stress and metabolic disturbance.  This program has been getting people all over the country (and world) crazy strong. If you want mass and strength both of these programs will get the job done.

For people wanting to prepare for the RKC Certification try the following:

This program get you good at the basics: Swings , Get Ups, Presses.  I personally think all KB enthusiasts should go through this program at least once before they do any of the other programs I have mentioned here.

For people wanting learn the best in CORRECTIVE EXERCISES I recommend the following products:

Kettlebells from the Ground Up DVD and Manual - A must have if you are serious about moving well and functioning at the highest possible level.

Hats off to Gray Cook and Brett Jones. Where would  I be today without the SECRETS SERIES of DVD's;


And the list goes on and on!

3) Pick the Plan and stick with it!!!! 

It's that simple folks. Decide on the plan, pull out your calendar and flat out get it done. Commit to at least 3 or 4 months with a plan and do not waiver. I truly now see and understand that RESULTS will come with persistent, consistent work. It's like Dan John says,"Champions are built on punch the clock workouts." Half the battle is just showing  up. Plan your work and then WORK YOUR PLAN!!!!

The only thing that matters is consistent effort in the same direction. Remember that you cannot get good at all things at the same time. Having a lot of variety in your plan means that you will be really crappy at a lot of different things. Not cool! Focus, buckle down, and follow the plan already!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Power of INTERNAL FOCUS during your training

Everyone wants results when they train. Scratch that! Most people want results YESTERDAY!!! People are inpatient when it comes to training because they expect immediate results. Now I'm going to agree with most that RESULTS are very important but I think there is a deeper underlying issue at work here. We can get so focused on the result that we forget about the PROCESS and the immense benefits of cultivating a PRACTICE.

 Much like a martial art (internal focus), I would argue that 99% of the fitness enthusiasts out there are focused on EXTERNAL and outward principles. The longer I train, learn and experience,the more I have seen the errors in focusing on the external......the weight of the load, how you look in the mirror, how ripped your abs are. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with looking your best and having lean abs because we all want lean abs.  But until one cultivates a PRACTICE of internal focus during their training, I believe long term health, strength and vitality are impacted in a very negative way. I thank and credit Pavel and the RKC for helping me cultivate these principles.

I would even say that I have spent most of my training career focused too much on external goals and have focused less on the internal mastery aspects of skill, breath control and postural alignment.   Developing skill in these areas takes many years and perhaps because I am older now I now have taken more of a long term approach toward my health and training.

Too many injuries, painful mornings and now PARENTHOOD have thankfully forced me to make some changes.  Now because I am father, I want to be functional enough to play with my two children as they grow up and set the example of how one can train intelligently and still see phenomenal results. I truly think that you can get very strong, mobile, agile and powerful without absolutely trashing yourself.

I have compiled a list of 5 areas I think all of us as avid students of the iron game / athletics must take seriously and apply for long term health.

1) Focus on POSTURES and POSITIONS rather than loads
I love heavy weights and think all should get to the point where they can lift some respectable loads. However, those loads should be directly tied to your ability to OWN specific postures and positions. If you don't own your Deadlift form, forget swings. Work on the DL until you own it!!!

2) Reset abdominal function by restoring DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
If you have studies any of Gray Cook and Brett Jones material this should make sense. Proper function of the diaphragm is essential to reflexive core stabilization. Fix people's breathing and great things happen. Health improves as well

Tension equals strength.  It also means slowness. Relaxation is speed, quickness and power. We need to balance both as both are essential. The RKC School of Strength does a wonderful job elaborating on this concept.  If you have more interest, take the RKC certification and get certified.

4) Work on your CORRECTIVES
Yes, find what doesn't move in your body and get it to move. What lacks stability needs to be taught to stabilize through controlled movement. Better yet, find a CK-FMS or a therapist who understands and uses the SFMS / FMS methodology. Removing the parking brakes from your body will allow you to play with your kids (and press heavier KB's too).

5) QUALITY over Quantity
This one is truly simple and brilliant. Practice great reps when you train. Seriously! Your movements should look clean and seamless. If they don't, find someone who can help teach you to get them to look great!

I know, I know. I just said to be focused on the internal and not the external. External Results will actually be much better when  you do focus on the internal aspects of training. Many people have wanted to know what I am currently training so thought I would publicly talk about it. Double kettlebell drills have historically hurt my shoulders but not anymore. My internal focus, stretching and mobility work is making a huge difference. Here is what I have been up to in my training.

Just finished my 5th week of Pavel's Return of the Kettlebell Program and I must say that I am super jazzed about my results. 7 pounds of muscle in 5 weeks ain't too shabby!

Please leave thoughts, comments, and ideas! More to come.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I learned from the Mastermind Workshop

I Just finished a MASTERMIND marketing seminar with John Du Cane of Dragon Door at the Grand Hyatt Manchester hotel in downtown San Diego. It was for many reason the most PROFOUND and life changing workshop I have ever been to. To see what CEO John Du Cane has done with Dragon Door over the last ten years is INSPIRATIONAL and when John speaks, I LISTEN.

The interaction with other TOP RKC's was worth the price of admission alone! The energy and ideas exchanged was REAL and it was INCREDIBLE!!!

  This was the first MASTERMIND workshop I have ever been to. In fact, it is the first seminar I have ever been to that was 100% dedicated to marketing.  As a professed lifetime "Non-marketer", this seminar forced me out of my comfort zone in a big way.  It also showed and taught me several things about myself:

1) I haven't valued the power of marketing (because if I had I would have learned, studies and applied the best of what's available).

2) I have no real SYSTEMS in place to grow my business and therefore LEARN about what works and what doesn't work.

3) I am ROBBING my best customers and the rest of the world of giving them the BEST OF ME!

You see, what I came to understand is that if I shrink myself, my business, my life and place it in a tiny little box, I not only rob myself of success both in internal character and external rewards, I ROB other people from getting the BEST of me, of what I have to offer them.

How and why is this information valuable for you?

Well, think about it seriously for a moment! If you have God given gifts, talents and potential that you are not using or developing, you are literally SHRINKING yourself and the potential you have to share with the world.

I don't know about you.....but life is short and I don't want to go to my death bed with all of my talents and abilities trapped in a box because I never was BOLD enough or STRONG enough to develop them and share them.

So when you look at marketing from a different changes things a bit doesn't it? Marketing doesn't have to be this boring, scary way of convincing people they need you and your can be a fun journey where you get to  share your passion and gifts with others to positively impact their lives.

What I learned at the workshop just makes so much sense. People naturally want to be lead and told what to do. We all want help and direction and the TRUTH is that we ALL NEED help and direction.

So to me, Marketing is sharing passion and knowledge and making a difference. I am not going to go into DETAILS about what was taught because that is private information but I will share and continue to share how this information is transforming my life and my business.

I leave you with this question: In what ways are you shrinking yourself and your potential because of bogus excuses, lack of discipline or just flat out procrastination???  

Look at your will show you what you value.

Part II of this post is coming soon!  Please do post your comments and feedback.