Category Archives: training blog/journal

Tune into your body

Sometimes when I ask somebody how they feel and what they feel like doing for there workout, they look at me like I’m crazy, and I know they are thinking”isn’t that your job”, well the answer is yes and no, yes because I know what they need at that point and time to help them progress toward there goals, and no because nobody really knows what you need at that moment better than you.

I am the only one in my body, only I know if I am feeling tired or powerful, only I know if I’m completely focused and in the moment or distracted by worries, only I know myself completely.

Of course we have to learn how to listen to our body to know if we are actually fatigued or just feeling a little sluggish and lazy, to determine wether we should take it easy for the day or if we need to just warm up and get ourselves right mentally.

This listening to the body, is easy in theory but hard in execution, especially when we take injuries and all the different factors like heart rate, sleep quality, work load, stress and a bunch of other factors into the equation.

But I think the most important thing is to be aware of listing to our body’s and to start trying to be in tune with ourselves, just being aware is a big step in learning to be in tune.

I like to ask how someone feels and what they want to do for a few reasons,

1. to help them begin to learn how to tune into themselves.
2. to get them motivated and into the workout to get them to feel like they have a say in there training and not just there like a slave with a whip cracking over there head.
3. I believe that we get better results when we are doing exercises that get us fired up and excited than we do by just getting through a workout, more like the feeling of excelling at something compared to just grinding through it.
4. I believe that the highest form of being a good coach is teaching somebody how to do it on there own if they want or need to, teaching them how to have a lifestyle change. When the student becomes the teacher, then the teacher has completed his task, like the old proverb ,give a child a fish and feed him for a day, teach a child to fish and you feed him for life, I think the same way applies, if you teach somebody how to exercise, eat, sleep and live a healthy lifestyle, than they can be healthy for life.
5. I think a workout should have flexibility. I don’t think it’s good to be ridged with a workout. I believe the best way is to have a workout plan but don’t be too stuck on executing it exactly, don’t fret about the reps or sets or weight or even the exercises. I like to have a good workout planed but still be able to be flexible and roll with the punches and adjust as we go, to just be in the moment and don’t give ourselves too hard a time if we have to back it down a notch or step it up a bit.

Ultimately the best scenario is that I and the person I’m working with form a perfect team where I provide a plan, then take the information that you give me by tuning in and listening to what your body tells, and putting the two together to create an awesome empowering workout.

Stay in the moment.
Dominic.

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Age is just a number.

I recently responded to a great letter from a friend concerning age related fitness and the problems with conventional gyms and training methods, this brought up some good points so I thought I would share it with you all. Thanks for the letter.

“I’m glad you found me and found out about kettlebells, kettlebells are an amazing training weapon. I like to mix kettlebells with an assortment of other things to make a powerful combination to aid us in our fight to be in top shape and to make us hardened warriors and warrior princesses.

You say that you feel like your “racing against the clock” and that your 41(like that’s old). I’m telling you it doesn’t have to be like that and I don’t believe in age being a limiting factor, age is just a number until we make it into something more (positive or negative).

I train a couple that are in there 50s and most people think they are in there 30s this same guy told me he wishes he would have known about this kind of training along time ago.

Another warrior I train is also in his 50s and was quite a bit out of shape and borderline diabetic, he is now 130lbs lighter and is getting younger on the inside and out every day, to the amazement of his doctor who said he could count the number of people who had done what he did on one hand.

Bob, a friend of mine who is in his late 70s started training kettlebells with me and is stronger and in better shape than most 30 year old’s.

Helio Gracie was doing jiujitsu into his 90s.

Randy Couture was the MMA (the most challenging sport in the word) World champion in his 40s.

Steve Maxwell (a mentor of mine) is 57 and looks better than anybody I know and consistently outperforms everybody including athletes at his seminars.

If I went overboard on that its because I believe people limit themselves more than age limits them, not that your doing that, obviously because your trying to find an alternative, but Iv seen it over again and again, and nothing makes me more upset than when someone limits themselves, because if they wont give themselves a chance then how can I help them.

You are definitely right about the same old routines not seeming to work, there not working for anyone, just look around you or even look around at the gym, everywhere, people are geting in worse and worse shape despite the hundreds of dollars spent on fitness and supplements and hours and hours spent on a treadmill at the gym.
The reason for this (especially as we mature) is the type of workouts we do and our toxin and synthetic high diets with an over supply of sugars and processed carbohydrates.

Workouts need to be short, intense and work the body as a whole emphasizing strength, endurance, cardio and mobility but most importantly intensity, in order to shock the body and activate the fight or flight instincts.

The problem with long “slow burn”(treadmill, jogging,aerobics) workouts is that the body adapts easily and plateaus, making it almost impossible to make progress.

The other type workout, (weight and machine lifting) fails to get us in shape because isolating a few muscles every workout and working them with breaks in between sets dose not put our bodies in a heightened state, dose not work our bodies as a whole(creating a chain with weak links) , dos not work our heart and lungs to the max and again takes to long ,once we work out for more than 45 min our bodies begin to break down and we produce less growth hormone, instead our bodies put out a chemical that breaks down muscle like the muscles of long distance runners, (they look like anorexic skeletons).

We can get a great workout in 15 to 45 min if the intensity is right.

The other big problem is our diet, we eat too much processed high toxin, high sugar foods.

We mix starches and combine food poorly.

And we never give our bodies a chance to catch up clean up and purge out toxic build up because we are constantly eating, piling on more work for our bodies. (fat cells are often just the bodies way of storing toxins because it doesn’t have time to purge them).
So your right”the same old” things don’t work, but the good news is there are other things that do work, and they are allot more fun too!”
Stay Warrior Strong- Dominic

The Weak Link.

The Kettlebell is our best weapon for combat against the weak link because of its ability to force our body into positions were we can not rely on our strengths.

During a kettlebell workout our body is forced to work from many different angles and planes and the center of gravity is continually changing.

Another aspect is the increase and decrees of momentum, during a snatch for example we have to accelerate the chunk of steel using our hips, legs, core, back and whole body while controlling the arch with balance and stabilizer muscles then slow it back down and stop it at the top using core and whole body to control and stabilize then reverse the process and repeat, that’s one rep.

Keep in mind all this twisting, swinging, off-balance, changing of plane and pull of gravity, accelerating, decelerating, bending pulling, pushing, locking and unlocking joints, changing altitude, muscle flexing and relaxing is done with balls of steel with a handle and usually using one hand and side at a time making balance all the more challenging.

The advantage to this is it forces us to use our bodies as a whole instead of  relying on strong bulk muscles to perform a motion of very controlled very limited movement, like the bench press were your body can hide weaknesses by compensating for one side and relying on the bar to keep things together.

Kettlebells also force us to think about the movement, concentrate on the task at hand and stay in the moment.

This “being in the moment” helps us recognize and feel our weaknesses and deficiencies, and as we say, the first step to fixing something is to find it, recognize it, and then we can choke it out!

So let’s get to training so we can find the  link.

Finding the Missing Link.

Our bodies are made to function together as a whole, one piece relying on the other, think of it as a Swiss watch, a Spartan phalanx(the warrior’s shield’s interlocking to protect his brother at his side, moving together as one), or as a chain .

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

OK.

So lets look at a body builder, who is incredibly strong, has huge biceps and chest muscles, but might only pick up heavy metal objects from one position using perfect form and using his legs and biceps.

But what about his stabilizer muscles, muscle endurance and central nerves system?

This applies, not only to a body builder, but to a runner or a cyclist or anyone not doing full body exercises.

The body builder might be very strong in a perfectly controlled environment in which his arms and legs can do there work. But how often are we in a perfect operating environment in our athletic life (Brazilian Jiujitsu, Ice Hockey, Baseball,etc.) or our day to day life?

This is what we hear so often “I’ve been lifting and getting in shape and then yesterday as I was getting out of my car at the grocery store BAM my back popped and now I can barely limp around”.

Why dos this happen?

Well because the body builder’s(and I’m just using body builder as an example)legs, arms and chest make a strong, heavy, titanium chain that’s strong enough to pull up a tree stump, but in that chain somewhere, is a link made out of aluminum foil, and in this case the weak link was the stability and mobility muscles of the back.

Our job’s (mine in particular) is to find that missing or weak link in our bodies.

So like a General in the Spartan Army, we closely inspect each warrior to make sure that their is no weakness in the phalanx, so that we can then operate with strong and balanced harmony, making ourselves almost invincible and bullet proof.

Next we will take a look at the best weapon or tool used to find our week or missing link.

The Kettlebell.