Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pull Ups: How To and How Come

Pullups: How to and How Come

Another article for Hub pages!  Actually this turned out to be my 100 Hub.  I've been writing on Hubpages just over a year now and to hit 100 feels pretty good.

So for this article, I take a look at the ins and outs of the pull up and a few progressions on how to get there if a pull up is currently beyond your reach.

Let me know what you think, click the link!

Pullups: How to and How Come

Saturday, November 13, 2010

101 Kettlebell Workouts: Intervals and Tabata

Over on Hub Pages I just published a Hub looking at High Intensity Interval Training and the Tabata Protocol and how that plugs into Kettlebell Training.  With it will be a video from YouTube of my most recent Tabata Workout using the Kettlebell Snatch.
Feel free to take a look and a gander:

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

40 Days

Doesn't seem like a long time does it?  Trust me, it's not.

Here's what I'm working on.

Recently I got a CD called Mantra:  A Practice for Power, Peace & Prosperity.  In it is a challenge to practice Mantra for 40 days.  Mantra is energy.  It is vibrational sound energy that can be used to stimulate growth, awakening, healing, abundance, peace, and transformation among many other blessings.

This 2 disc set talks about what the Mantra is and what it is not.  What I enjoyed most about it was that there is no Dogma, no preaching, no "rules".  There is a constant encouragement to find what works for you and an invitation to practice in a way that best meets your needs and helps you with whatever it is your working on in your current situation.  From there, Niurka and Larisa Stow guide you through several options on how to practice Mantra.

So, why 40 days?  Well, here you will find yourself listening to two women talk about a practice that is considered by most a Hindu or Buddhist practice and when it comes time for the 40 day challenge, they mention Jesus.  That's the level of tolerance and wisdom behind this CD.  It's all good.  They've taken "religion" out of the equation and instead aligned themselves with finding a way to connect with Source.  Source can be so many things for so many people.

Now, I accept the challenge and since there are no "rules" here's the plan.  I don't have any beads (yet) and the most sacred space I have that I can be in twice daily unfortunately is my car.  The real job has me in the car twice a day for at least 15 minutes both ways.  I have examined and isolated what I want to focus on in my Mantra.  In a nutshell, I want to clear a path for myself and get out of my own way while attracting more abundance, prosperity and freedom in my life.  This sounds like a job for Ganesha.  Which brings me, an Irish Catholic Registered Republican, to another miracle hidden within this CD on Mantra and a sidebar.

There is one true Source, one true God, but many paths to God.  God speaks to us in many ways.  Your challenge is to be open enough to listen and hear.  What if the Hindu gods/deities are really just reflections of our own conscientiousness?  Hmmm...  just be with that for a moment.  If you're a Christian or like me, a Catholic this is important to realize.  This isn't about worshiping an Elephant or a woman with four arms.  It is about getting in touch with ourselves and our own divinity  Remember, God mad man in His image.  Look how different and unique man is!  Yet, somehow genetically, we are all so similar.  We are all part of his divine creation and it is the uniqueness of all religions that affords each citizen of this planet the opportunity to experience the divine.

The plan will be to listen to and sing/chant along with the Ganesh Mantra from Larisa Stow's CD Reaching In.  I will do this once on the way to work and once on the way home from work.  On my days off I'll do it on my way to training (exercise) and after training.

40 days.  There we go again.  Jesus was in the desert for 40 days.  Noah had rain for 40 days.  Moses?  40 days on Mt. Sinai.  The whole tribe was in the desert for 40 years.  40 is a significant number.  It is where habits are formed and clearly 40 is associated with transformation, enlightenment and discovery.  So 40 days it is. 

And with that in mind and considering that this is a blog dedicated to Inner Strength through the development of the body I will also lay out for you my 40 day exercise plan as well.

Physically the last 5-6 months have been a strain on my body with Periodontal surgery in July my system has been rocked.  I've been up to a lot of Qi Gong Recharge and Super Joints.  Kettlebell training has been sporadic.  Last week I had a cold, this week I'm ready to return to regular activity.  That cold felt like my body releasing the last bit of negativity from the surgery and it's now time to once again play full out as Niurka puts it.

Workouts 1 & 3

SuperJoints to warm up
Goblet Squats 16kg bell and Pumps 3 sets of 5
Practice Movements 1-5 with Indian Clubs while alternating 1+1 TGU with 32 kg KB
12 minutes of Snatches with 24kg bell (workout 1 go for it, workout 3 medium intensity or plug in Tabata protocal)

Workout 2 (EDT)

SuperJoints to warm up

20 minutes of alternating: 
Clean and Squat 24kg 5+5
Pullups 5

15 minutes of:
Ring Push Ups 10
Chest Expander 10

Hanging Leg Raises 5 sets of 12

Workout 4 (EDT)

SuperJoints to warm up

20 minutes of alternating:
Clean and Press 32kg 3-5+3-5
Box Pistols 3-5+3-5

15 minutes of:
Bulldog Swings Man Maker style

Hanging Leg Raises 5 sets of 12

I'll train 4 to 5 days a week.  I'll monitor fatigue, eat right and often and practice my Mantra twice daily.  40 days.  This adventure will set forth Sunday 11/7/10.  Sunday really is the first day of the week as far as I'm concerned.  I don't know if I'll be able to check in with this blog everyday, but I'll make it a point to continue journaling the experience as I go through it.  You are all welcome to tag along!  In my last posting, I put forward this challenge.   If you'd like to read the last post for an idea as to how this all started, CLICK HERE.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Tao of The Kettlebell - Verse 12

The five colors blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavors dull the taste.
The chase and the hunt craze people's minds.
Wasting energy to obtain rare objects
only impedes one's growth.
The master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
He prefers what is in to what is without. 

I haven't visited with the Tao since June.  Lot's of things have happened for me and now seems like the best time to continue on in my journey to understand the Tao a little better while understanding myself though it.  With a little bit of luck and inspiration hopefully you too will find a pearl or two of wisdom for your own life as the Tao speaks to us all.

This twelfth verse of the Tao challenges us to go inside ourselves to find the answers to our questions.

"Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them."
                                                          -Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars

To put too much weight on the physical senses can impair judgment.  Deep down, under the voice of the ego lies the inner voice of conscience.

"Always let your conscience be your guide."
                                                        -Jiminy Cricket

How often people enter the fitness craze and ignore the inner wisdom for the promise of a quick fix.  How often do we find ourselves looking for the magic machine or wonder pill that will transform our bodies into that of a Greek statue with little or no effort.

The effect of a good diet and exercise program goes far beyond the consequence of how you look naked.  In a recent blog post by Eric J Moss, he discusses the difference between training for yourself and training for the mirror image.  Which is more rewarding ultimately?  He called the blog, "Survival of the Sexiest/Fittest".  In it there's a great analogy about busting hump for 6 months to look good for your ex at a reunion only to find they didn't show.  HA!  Instead, Eric suggests to train for you.  Eric trains for the love of training and his appearance, as mentioned, is a consequence of the training but certainly not the prime motivation behind his training.  

For the love of the game.  Would Tiger Woods golf for free?  Would Kobe still play ball if he grew up in Timbuktu?  Would Dhani Jones play Football for free?  I'd argue yes.  Because their income is a consequence of their love for the game.   So it must be for you, the fitness enthusiast.

The chase and the hunt craze people's mind.  Wasting energy to obtain rare objects only impedes one's growth.

This can apply to so much, but we're talking strength, conditioning and health here so let's stay on that.  The Bowflex is the worlds most expensive coat hanger.  The Ab Roller is the thing you trip over when you come home after a night of drinking.  The Shake Weight got turned on by mistake an shook it self under the bed one day while you were at work until the battery died and now you can't find it.  Your 8 Minute Ab video tape collects dust because you haven't have a VCR for how long?

The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision.

Yes, as Eric put it, we are social beings and unfortunately the opinions of others have meaning.  But keep in mind, If you're in a room in front of 100 people, you'll have 101 opinions of you.  Which one is most important?  The challenge is to release the ego and realize that you are not your reputation or what others think of you.  You may not even be what you think of you based on what you think.

You are a divine being having a human experience and as that, train for the love of training.  If you don't love training, you're on the wrong type of training.  Find something physical that you love to do and do it often and let the mirror, scale and the look on your ex's face be a consequence of your effort and not the motivation.  Eric and I have a deep love and passion for Russian Kettlebells.  What's yours?

Allow things to come and go...  look within...  and what is without will not be an issue anymore.

Challenge for you!

40 days.  Cover the full size mirror, toss the scale, find a physical activity you love and for 40 days journal your experience with said activity.  Call it a training log.  Eat well.  Listen to your conscience and look within.  See what happens in 40 days.  You'll be different and for the better.

Are you up to the challenge?

In my next post I will reveal my plan for my 40 days... and also talk about why 40 days.  Stay tuned!