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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The F Word

"Growing up," I probably trained very similar to everyone else.  I started caring about training and working out around 1998-ish, I'm 36 so that was around 21 yrs old.  There wasn't Facebook or anything back then.... Wow, I just wrote two sentences to start this off and I've already dated myself.  Man, I;m feeling old.  Anyway, when I joined the local Ballys, I was using workouts that I tore out of Flex Magazine or something else along those lines.  No real focus other going through the to-do list and getting the work done.

Time went on and life changed, flash forward a few years...

I'm sitting in class at NPTI (Facebook Page)and Miles, Mariam, Pete and Rich are preaching "Functional training, functional movement, functional blah blah blah," and I'm kinda hearing it, kinda not... probably more not actually.
I would perform these functional exercises and I didn't feel strong and I would think "How is this going to develop a big chest or butt or anything?"  I really appreciated learning it all, but thought it wasn't for me.  It just felt easy and unfocused.

Flash forward again a few years...

I meet a guy, Jay Ashman, (twitter @ashmanstrength) at Titans that seems to train in a way i think I'd like.  My back and shoulders are a piece of crap but I'm thinking maybe I can start over again with a very grounded and strong base.  So I hired Jay to help me reset some things and even though it was just a short, 8 week run of online programming, I think it was probably the best money I've spent in quite a while.  Because in that situation and going through Jay's programs, I also started teaching a bastardized yoga class called Power Plus, where we'd use dumbbells in the middle of yoga class.  So with the training, the teaching, me getting my foundation back, training with kettle bells and suspension training, acupuncture helping things along, a new Primal/Paleo mindset and nutrition plan... something started clicking.

All of this is functional training and a  very functional, realistic idea.  All of those points above, added up to a state of mind that feels extremely comfortable.  Opening my eyes to what a Paleo diet is was probably the tipping point.  I've listened to some Podcasts that just made too much sense to ignore.

My training is now a jumbo pot of anything and everything, but very focused.  Back squats are an absolute must, as is all the major multi-joint movements, then we need to work in the stability ball work and hardcore core training, then we need to find a few sessions for kettles and suspension training, and don't forget yoga.  And honestly, all but the yoga can be programmed into two different sessions.  Again, aside from backsquats, big pushes and pulls, I don't try to crush any one particular muscle, I look to get after everything.

Example workout:
5:00 warm up of choice

Barbell Back Squats
1 set at 20 reps; 1 at 15; then 5-7 failing around 10; then 1 more of 15-20.
Form is HUGE.
My favorite move for many reasons... something feels awesome about the shoes, the belt and the hoody while grinding through this.  Pretty high up, probably 1 or 2 in terms of caloric expenditure list and recruits muscles from your arms all the way through your feet.

Circuit A
Hammy Curls 8-12
Seated Lat Pull (Neutral Grip) 20, 15, 12, 12,  
Calf Raise
4 Rounds
I love hammy curls and how they feel, plus with all the pushing and running and such, the hamstrings are forgotten about sometimes.  Lately, I've been tossing these in prior to back squats just to pre-exhaust things.
Neutral grip pull, because I like it :)  actually the typical lat pull hurts my neck pretty bad so I go for this one and this is also how I train pull-ups, again for the neck reason.

Circuit B aka Core & Conditioning
Stability Ball Crunch 50
Double Arm Kettle Bell Swing - 20
Push-Up - F
Crunch - 25
3 rounds

water and continue with Core and Conditioning
Stability Ball Knee Tucks 20
Single Arm - Kettle Bell Clean/Press 15 each
Long slow bicycle crunch 20
Squat Jumps w KB's in hand 20

Water
Finish w a very long plank, go for absolute failure.
I'll posting some "how to's" on the YouTube page very soon, subscribe now!

So if you're not yet involved in the Wednesday night class, you probably should be.
And check out the new site, still bluechipstrength.com but you can also find it via functionalfitness440.com.  Theres a page called BUILD YOUR OWN GYM! and from there, you'll find amazon links to some of the equipment I mentioned above.  I'm telling you, I highly recommend getting some of these things for your home gym.  People that have requested in home training, I tell them all "Get a kettle bell, get a stability ball, get some tubes and we'll get it going."  You really can get away with just that.

So have fun, take care and talk soon.
Peace, love and empathy,
J