Thursday, April 30, 2009
For more information or to register by phone: 610-459-1933
For more about PMA click here
Hope to see you there...come early and check out the school...it's a great facility!
Monday, April 20, 2009
There are many ways to perform a Get Up. The variations can make the lift simpler or more difficult...depending. Most of the the last eight years that I've been doing Get Ups, I've considered it a kind of "full body press"; a heuristic core movement that informs all other pressing, grinding, high tension lifts. Because it seemed to me that it was very difficult to actually realize many of the benefits of the Get Up without achieving a certain level of resistance, I gravitated towards versions of the movement that safely allowed more weight to be used. While I consider myself a technical nit-picker with my athletes and clients and require mastery of movements without (or with very light) resistance before moving up the load, the goal with the Get Up had always been to improve the feedback the Get Up provided via increasing resistance. A Get Up with 32kg kettlebell just gets your attention differently than a 12kg Get Up will. It's hard (although not impossible) to volitionally activate the core musculature without a certain amount of resitance to work with and against. It's even harder to anticipate just how much core activation is possible without increasing the load.
That was the Get Up for me until recently; a kind of low tech, primitive, initially intimidating movement that really worked the core, improved shoulder mobility, stability and strength and gave clients a powerful, new confidence to use and enjoy when working with weights overhead.
Now here comes Gray Cook and Brett Jones with their production completely deconstructing the Turkish Get Up: Kettlebells From the Ground Up, The Kalos Sthenos; a DVD and manual ( the manual was put together by Mark Cheng) . They have taken the lowly Get Up and transformed it from a mere strength exercise into a kind of mini-Functional Movement Screen. So instead of thinking only about "how" to get up off the floor to a standing position with a weight held at arm's length throughout, they have introduced the "why". They have designed an "ideal" pattern for each of the 7 phases of the ascending portion of the exercise to objectively screen the quality of the movements. In addition they offer corrective stretches and resistance movements for any imbalances that present while learning the Get Up. This version has some real challenges and a "speed bump" move intentionally placed in a key transition specifically to make it harder and more revealing.
The result is, you won't likely ever use as much weight with this version of the Get Up, but simply adding more weight is not the point. Gray and Brett talk a lot in this and other projects they've done together about not adding load to dysfunctional movement patterns. This version of the Get Up is specifically designed to identify and give you an opportunity to correct dysfunctional patterns. Other versions are not so instructive. Should you decide to go back to versions that are more conducive to heavier loading, your corrected patterns will allow you to do this with a decreased injury risk and an increased quality of movement that will facilitate even better results. The idea is not that the Kalos Sthenos version is intended to replace other Get Up options, but rather to provide a standardized set of movement patterns by which to measure, correct and improve movement quality... even so, it's a darn impressive looking Get Up when done well; hence the sub title, Kalos Sthenos, which is Greek for "Beautiful Strength" and is the root of our word calisthenic.
I don't use this blog much for product endorsements...but this DVD and manual is a must have...I've only just started working with it myself and I have a lot of work to do!! Even if you never add weight, the movements and corrective exercises are worth the price.
You can order here: Kettlebells From the Ground Up, The Kalos Sthenos
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
22 year old Master of Sport, Pavlos Giorgiadis, completes 180 reps Snatch (in just over 9 minutes), 32kg/70lb with 1 hand. On his lunch break. This is not an actual competitive event so there are no official records on it, but no one can recall anybody doing more 32kg snatches than this with one arm.
According to sources, Pavlos a mechanic by trade, trains on his lunch break and after work. A world class effort produced training within real world constraints.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Slow and steady won't win the race...but after cutting the footholds for fun, I took a whack at cutting a block. I've been strength coaching several Stihl Series professionals the last couple of years but the events are so technical (and dangerous) with the exception of the axe throw and a few singlebuck crosscut saw cuts I hadn't really given any of the events a go.
Mike Eash, one of my trainees and a world record holder in this event, shot the video and coached me sufficiently that I finished with all my toes still on my feet. I think he must have edited out some of the more embarrassing mis-hits. The video is much, much shorter than the actual time it took me to get through a block that a pro could cut in a minute or two...if that long.
I'm not in bad shape, but this was a cardio gasser, even at the slow pace I was cutting. My back and hammies are still tired today.