Friday, January 30, 2009


We are headed off on a short cruise to the Bahamas this weekend! Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's GBA workout

28kg BUP x15 singles per arm.

2 singles of 40kg BUP. First time I have gotten 2 in the same day.

40kg snatch:

8 sets of 4/4

12 sets of 3/3 beginning at the top of each minute.

That is 136 reps total, up from 120 on Monday. Toasty.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My Strength focus right now is on getting a Bottom Up press with the 48kg kettlebell. and I decided to do a variation on the Steve Justa singles routine that Pavel talks about in Beyond Bodybuilding.

I am determined the correct weight by taking my of 1 rep max (40kg) and using 70% (28kg). The justa program has you doing singles at 70%, starting with 3 singles and adding a couple of singles worth of volume each day of the week. Next week add weight and repeat.

The problem here is that I don't have 7 days a week to dedicate to this. So I decided on a 5 day cycle of singles. Also I am not going to walk straight up the ladder with the reps, I am fluctuating them. The range is from 9-15 singles per workout.

Today I was talking to Geoff Neupert about training and the stuff each of us are doing currently. In addition to the singles stuff, I am doing snatches for explosiveness and conditioning. Multpiple sets with a farily heavy weight. Yesterday I did 20 sets of 3/3 on the top of each minute with 40kg. The plan is to do a lot of snatching while waving the volume and load.

Add in the TGU, steel bending, card tearing and other feats of strength I am practicing and you have what Geoff and I decided is an excellent routine for General Bad-Assedness (GBA), which is like General Physical Preparedness (GPP), except better.

You can have GPP and not have GBA. If you have GBA, by definition you are prepared, so you have GPP.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photos from Brett Jones, MRKC Atlanta workshop.

Here are a few pics from Brett's trip down south to Delaine Ross' Condition Gym:

Little Miss Hardstyle Sara Cheatham, Sr. RKC showing how the pullup is done. Dig the scarf!

Brett Jones, MRKC gets his windmill on.

Group love. Photos by Mandy Whitley Photography.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thoughts on the Warrior Diet and my own shortcomings

I posted a youtube clip in August to keep myself accountable to 100 days on the Warrior Diet. Things went well for several weeks then I went off track a bit. The problem wasn't the schedule, which I really like, it was my tendency to make lousy food choices, especially when I am dealing with problems. Yes kids, the Iron Tamer is an emotional eater.

What sorts of problems? Well, the fact that I was told I shouldn't swing or snatch during my meniscus rehab affected me in 2 ways. 1st and most obviously, those drills are my big calorie-burners. Not being able to do them OR having a suitable replacement took a toll on my activity level.

More than that though, I was pained by having these activities denied me for my own good. That slight depression, combined with seeking comfort in food and the abundance of holiday junk fare is not a good combo.

I put my focus on tearing cards (which improved tremendously) and working toward a 40kg Bottom Up Press. My error here was excessive volume in the BUP. For some reason, I cannot handle the same volume in BUP as I can in standard KB C&P. ( A valuable lesson in retrospect) My suspicion is that it has something to do with the massive amount of nervous system activity in the hands. Neither of these activities is a huge calorie burner and falling short on my BUP quest just added to the sadness.

Fortunately, my video plan worked, even when I didn't feel like I wanted it to. I continue to recieved emails asking about the WD, why no update, etc. This post is the answer. Simply, I slacked off. More accurately, I CHOSE to slack off.

All is better now, and since the beginning of 2009 I have been steadily dialing in the WD. Physically, I am stronger now than ever. I am snatching and pressing the 48kg with more authority than ever. My 40kg Bottom Up Press came quicker thant I thought, once I dialed in the correct volume. On a whim I deadlifted 500lbs this week, despite the fact that I haven't practiced the deadlift in over a year and that is 25lbs short of my absolute best ever. And I feel lighter, mostly because I am.

I feel good. Very good. Thanks to everyone who has emailed me and asked. I vow more regular updates this time. I am ready to rock.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3 KettleBell Body Shapes?

You are going to get a laugh out of this. I usually ignore blatant stupidity unless asked directly. Well, I was asked directly. Once in a while something comes along that is so utterly ridiculous that it leaves me at a loss for words. This ain’t one of those times.

I received several emails about this. Apparently Ryan Shanahan of KettleWorx “The Global Leader in Kettlebell Fitness” (which is trademarked BTW) has seen fit to write an article about the “The 3 KettleBell Body Shapes” and to cite the Iron Tamer as an example of the “Hardstyle Body”. Now I am fine with that, except that he uses it as an insult to me and the Hardstyle system to sell his laughable “Kettleworx” product.

Any time you read a so-called ‘expert” saying things like “Your Body Shapes the Way You Move It “ and “Different kettlebell training methods result in different body shapes”, it is a sure sign they haven’t got a clue about human physiology and are trying to rip you off with bogus exercise methodology.

He goes on to say: “As you can see the Russian or Hard Style of Lifting Kettlebells definitely makes the body stronger, more powerful, and bulky.”

Right…… Sara Cheatham Sr. RKC, Mark Cheng RKCTL, our Chief Instructor Pavel, and myself should all have the same body type, since we all train Hardstyle. It is also interesting to note that I am about 50lbs smaller and MUCH stronger than I was before learning and practicing the Hardstyle principle. I repeat: I am smaller and stronger than before I began using this system that Ryan claims will cause “bulking”.

Here is some science for you Ryan: Your “Body Shape” is determined by your GENETICS and how you FEED it, along with how you train.

He demonstrates his complete and utter lack of knowledge of Hardstyle with this one sentence: “This (hardstyle) system is also restricted to only a few basic movements – Clean & Press, Snatch, Swings, Get Up and Pistols done while using Heavy Kettlebells for Low Reps.”

Hmmmmmm……on my Full Body Power DVD I teach at least 25 different variations of various exercises. In the showreel video he put in the article I do KB juggling, bent press, Sots press & more. My score in the best-ever Secret Service Snatch Test is 260 reps in 10:00 and I can get 220 24kg snatches in 10:00 anytime I want. That is hardly a heavy weight for me, nor are those low reps. And I am Hardstyle.

How about this gem: “KettleBell Conditioning combines a complete cardio, core and resistance workout in each training session for whole body fitness.”

The implication here is that Hardstyle does somehow does not give a total training effect or provide conditioning. Tell me again what your Secret Service Snatch score is Ryan?

He uses video to show both male and female Kettlebell Fitness Body types. The male body example is a former member of the RKC who had that build before he ever touched a kettlebell. The females are fitness model types who I am fairly certain also looked that way before touching kettlebells.

The truth is in the results. Hardstyle is about strength. It is about conditioning. It is about resilience and mobility. It is about performance. It is not just about “…a body shape with toned and defined muscles that look great on the beach” although it can certainly produce that.

Ryan, feel free to go ahead and market your ridiculous method of using kettlebells, but please do three things:

  1. Get your facts straight about the Hardstyle principles before you denounce it.
  2. Know that you can only rip people off for so long before they figure out the truth.
  3. Leave me out of it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

And here we go

It was fun while it lasted, but the holiday season is OVER and it is time to get started on a brand new year. This time of year EVERYONE is on fire with the fever of setting new goals. Statisically that will last about three weeks, then the masses settle back into the deadly "comfort zone".

Why? Failure to achieve a goal happens most often because we give up what we really want for what we THINK we want right now. Consistency over time produces results. It is really that simple……………… and that difficult. Set your goal, develop your plan and get to work consistently implementing the plan.

I'll use myself as an example. I want to be stronger. Great, but that's pretty broad. I'll use a specific strength-related goal of mine---Bottoms-Up Pressing a 40kg kettlebell--- to illustrate the following points.

1. Commit your goals to paper-Writing them down by hand is the first time you take action and the goal stops being just an idea. I have done this.

2. Review your goals daily. It does no good to write them down and forget about them Keep your list of goals accessible, so that you can review it several times each day. Frequent reminders will help to keep you on track. I'm on it.

3. Be specific. Set exactly the goal you want to achieve and the time frame for it. Here is what I wrote down: "I am bottom-up pressing my 40kg kettlebell by Feb. 28th 2009." Notice the deadline and the way it is framed in present tense. Doing this with your goals will program your mind to believe it has already happened. How can you fail at something that has already happened?

4. Be realistic. Begin by setting small, attainable goals that will propel you into future success. If I was BU pressing a 16kg today, 40kg in a few weeks would not be realistic.

5. Focus on the short-term goals and the short-term changes in behavior. Doing this will cause you to automatically reach your long-term goals. My daily and weekly plan has goals related to specific pressing and grip related things. Added up they get me to the 40kg destination.

6. As you achieve your goals, make updates to your list to continually challenge yourself. After I get the 40kg, the next step will be something a little more challenging. I am not sure yet whatthat will be. Maybe 48kg BU press. Maybe something altogether different.

What do you have planned?