Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Life Sport and the lessons/relationships, a reflection

I have had the great blessing, fortune and insight to do much of what I wanted to do in life. And, today I sit with more clarity than ever before on what this means, past, present and future tense.

Here is a list of ‘I have done this’ Individual
Squat 440 below parallel
Deadlift: 550 lbs
Bench press: 385 lbs
KB Pistol: 48 kg and a rack 32/28kg
KB Military press (strict): 52kg
Pull-up 114lbs
Barbell Military Press 215 lbs
Run ½ marathon in 1:39
40 meter dash 4.5 secs
100 meters: 10.7 secs
Mile 6:02
¼ mile 61 secs
Throw a football 60 yards
Throw a baseball 280 feet in the air
Grab a basketball rim (I am 5 feet 5 inches)
I have studied Aikido, Kenpo and Taekwondo (as well as Shamrock Submission Wrestling, Boxing and Jujitsu for the purpose of coaching in the sport)

Team or Sport
Completed a professionally in a number of adventure races covering between 20 to 60 miles (including a first place finish in one race and an overall 2nd in the Series)
Played college Rugby and ‘a few pro games”
Played Spring football at Junior College
Played Semi Pro baseball

The funny thing is who cares, not you and you should not. This for me is not about bragging rights or look at what I have done because there are many who have achieved more and better than me.

What all this signifies to me is how much I have enjoyed my life and also how much I have learned and experienced through these ‘I have done this’ in my life stuff. These experiences have helped me evolve my level of understanding of how I Be in this world and what I want to do with my life, here, now and in the future.

Truly, I could have done much better than I did in everything up there had I put the time, effort, dedication and discipline necessary to focus and achieve. Instead, I excused myself many a time due to fear of failure, lack of discipline, pure laziness, chasing girls, partying with the guys and just learning about myself, through study and examination.

There may be a classical method or a better way to learn and study yourself than I choose, but for the most part I created this path given what I had, knew, etc. I have no regrets, I have no issues with the path I have traveled in life, for I now sit in peace and clarity with a sense of understanding about all this stuff and my life to this point. Moving forward I have a clear path in terms of conscious awareness on how I plan to move and live.

I know what I know and with this awareness I empty my cup so I can continue to grow, experience and learn through self-study, inquiry and examination. I look forward to interacting through discussion with others on topics of life to explore and discover.

These experiences above are just to name a few and there are many whom helped me along the way, and in so many ways. Many of you may read this and I want to name each of you but the list is long. From little league, to high school, to college, to my adult sport experiences as a athlete and coach I am forever grateful and extend my thanks.
So many of you are such an inspiration too many others and great people, athletes, coaches, etc.

Today I sit and reflect on life, sport and my experiences because so much of my life, so many of my experiences and valuable lessons have come through sport and the people I have met along the way. I am an athlete, always have been and always will be. I am a jack of all trades, one who has dabbled in so many wonderful things that have led to so many riches in experience and community. Maybe I am a master, maybe not but I do not care because I would not trade it in for this is my life and I am grateful.

Life is what it is for each person in their own way and meaning. It is not for me too say, but for me life is about the experience, firsthand and the lessons, people and relationships you make during those moments. Off to experience life Joe’s way ;-)

Gratitude

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why you are Perfect and Not

You are perfect, yes you! Why because you are you and no one else. After all who is the ideal, someone cast in that role like a movie. I am casting you as the lead just as I cast myself. There is nothing to be obtained or achieved except for you to realize you are perfect. You act according to what you think and this is what we are told to do. So in terms of the current methods of accomplishment, achievement, goals you are doing exactly what you think is right to get 'there'. You may tell yourself otherwise, yet another example of you doing as said you are supposed too. They said so, so you do. I challenge the they of this world. Who the heck is they and why are they 'right' and their way 'right'. Just maybe they have it 'wrong' and you have it 'right' or at least someone else.

I contend we all are perfect especially if you believe we are a creation of God. Would God make imperfection and create in 'his' view what he thinks is perfect to be so flawed? Maybe we need to stop thinking and following and wake up to our existence and realize we are perfect as we are. Does this not mean there is nothing more? No, more comes with each moment and are perfect way is constantly evolving. Time is a continuim, so all is evolving and changing in every moment. But in this moment you are perfect. Why should you let someone else convince you otherwise unless you know they are perfection and the one to emulate. In that case I understand, but perfection does not exist and perfect does and it is you!

Finding Inner Peace

I have found inner peace, I have discovered this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this great place on the journey of life. Since I have touched this place that for many is a void or a no Mans land of the impossible, I aware of the enormity of the happening. I am also aware of the necessity to create practices that allow me to remain in this state of being. It is when I move out of inner peace to a state of discord, whether it be frustration, questioning, lack of contentment with my life that I am take/make the time to delve deeper into my practices and meditate (sit in quiet and stillness just breathing).

For inner peace and contentment are places I like to be, states I wish to live consciously moment by moment and I grateful to have discovered this as I grateful for moments of discord which in turn strengthen my resolve and practice/awareness!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Prescription for Health and Wellness

This is the Readers Digest Version:
Exercise:
*Find something you enjoy doing.
*Get some professional help to understand how to safely and effectively perform what you enjoy.
*Be consistent. It does not matter how much time, effort, etc if you are not consistent.
*Be feasible and realistic. There is no magic pill or answer, make it a life long journey and success will come.
*Move your body, anyway you can.
*Care for your body and do not neglect it.
*Remember you are creating health, so do things that allow you to accomplish your goal.

Nutrition:
*Most important aspect
*Eat Organic
*Eliminate sugar from your life as much as possible.
*Eliminate Gluten & white flours (buckwheat and brown rice flour are great substitutes)
*Eliminate processed oils. (Use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)
*Prepare 90% of your meals.
*Eat your vegetables and fruits.
*Stay out of the middle aisles in the grocery store.
*Get to a farmers market and buy locally produced foods.
*Learn how to read a label (less ingredients equals higher quality of food (in general).
*Eat fresh deep water fish; 100% grass fed beef; chicken that is free to roam and organic; eggs under the same conditions as chicken; wild game
*You do not need milk, instead use almond milk (which is easy to make 1 cup almonds soaked for 4 to 8 hours, 2 cups fresh water, a pinch of stevia (if you want for a bit of sweetness), and a dash of vanilla (same rules as stevia).
*Soak your oats, beans, lentils, etc, this will release the enzymes which are key for health.
*Eat for health and you will have plenty of energy, lose weight/body fat, and be physically, emotionally, mentally healthier
*Create time for pleasure foods but enjoy your foods and drinks sparingly and in small quantities (we all are human and enjoy a glass of wine, slice of pizza, etc. but just be aware and do not binge). You are going to do this anyways so I might as well share my 2 cents :-)
*Fasting is a good, educate yourself on how to fast properly and allow your system to rest and detox (www.warriordiet.com is an excellent resource).
*You are what you eat, so choose lean, clean, strong foods with vibrant colors and who themselves have been raised, feed, breed, in a healthy and responsible manner.
*Do not skimp on food from a financial standpoint, you will just end up get less value for less value and have to eat more to get what you are intending too. You pay for what you get!


Mental/Emotional/Spiritual
*Find time each day to meditate or pray. Make sure it is in a quiet place.
*Learn Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, or some other method of calming practice.
*Listen, Listen, Listen to everyone, everything and do so with an open mind and heart (no judging allowed).
*Love yourself and others
*Respect yourself and others
*Act with kindness
*Think before you speak
*Ask yourself how you want to be treated when responding to others.
*Smile
*Do not take it personal
*Everyone has their own story and lives their own life and often we are acting how we know best
*Right and Wrong is a grey area considering we only know what we know.
*Do not Judge yourself or others....you only know what you know and the same goes from them.
*Ask questions to learn.
*Respect your differences and others.
*Anger nevers gets you anywhere.
*Be right or be peaceful, chose peaceful you will feel the difference.
*What the heck you right about anyway? So what if it 75 degrees outside and not 77 degrees.
*If you have to be right then have your facts, if it is a matter of opinion keep it to yourself because most people have their own...respect each others opinions.


The list of each of these can go on and on and the details and descriptions would help to offer greater insight. Life truly is much more simple than we make it out to be. All this stuff that is available seems to make things a bit more challenging to figure out. The funny thing is the answers are right in front of our face we just have to open ourselves to the beauty of the world. Instead of being cynical be peaceful and joyful, look at the world and people around you as good, beautiful, amazing, unique, exciting, full of possibility and potential, full of opportunity. Smile, laugh, share, listen, love, be kind!

See, to me you all our great people, who I am so fortunate to be able to communicate with and share ideas, no right, no wrong just an open form where we get to learn and grow together. I get to share my experiences and you yours and hopefully we evolve in the process. I am grateful for your eyes, your ears, your thoughts, feelings and emotions. I want you to succeed and achieve your own personal legacy and I want to be there to share with you in whatever way your successes.

Have a blessed and beautiful day/life

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sustainability

Sustainability...this is the last on an original article I wrote called the 12 commandments of health and wellness. This came after the fact and thus is the 13th Commandment. I was reminded by my friend Franz about this concept so I am reposting....

This is the 13th Commandment or at least one of them. As I contemplated the other commandments and through an interaction I had with one of the great inspirational minds of our or any time I felt that this principle was integral to long-term success. All too often we operate in extremes, going through ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and valleys. And as necessary as this is in some cases, this variability tends to have a hazardous effect on our health and well-being.

When we start, begin, change, transform, learn and/or add something to our lives we must evaluate how it fits into the grand scheme of things and how it will serve. In this process it is critical in my feeling that we ask if this will be sustainable. We need to identify if what we are doing, how we are acting, and the way we are thinking are sustainable.

After all, I ask if you really want to continually start or try something all the time? I am against experimentation, not at all and in fact this part of the experience and part of the process of identification. However, I do feel it is important when you are going to take on a new ‘experiment’ that you have an idea of the reasoning and you go through the ‘scientific method’.

Again, the purpose behind life is to find a health and happy medium, a place where you feel balance and thus stable. Acquiring more for the sake of your ego does not truly serve you or others for that matter and in many ways makes keeping it all line that much more challenging. This will require more time, more energy, more effort and probably more stress.

Working to keep up an image, a lifestyle, an idea that drains you and distracts you seems to be more harmful and good. How much is enough? Take time to think and look at what is happening around you

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Living Our Truth

Why do so many choose living a life less than their desired? I ask myself this question as I determine the direction I wish to travel. In order to help plan my route I asked myself what are the key elements that I want on the course and how do I wish to be/live my life while traveling the paths I walk.

The most important was to live my truth, be my authentic self, regardless of anyone, anything, any society created way. Shoot, this my fricking life, no one else. I have no one to impress, no one to please, no one to be anything for. In fact, I am the person who wants people in his life who are living their truth, their authentic self. As long as they are being true to their being, their spirit I am down with it, and it is the same for myself.

After all, when it is all said and done, how do I want to remember my life, that is key too me. I sure do not want to sit with regret, and wishes on what I could have done, would have done, should have done, etc.....I want to know that I went out and lived my according to my truth and did the best I could day in and day out to follow this path.

I hear of so much pain and suffering in life and see many struggling to get through it. I feel I have the ability to transcend this (I have suffered and felt pain in my life, I choose to not do so unless it is beneficial to my truth, my authentic self and essence) and it is my responsibility to myself and others to live my best life
according to my truth, no other dogma, philosophy, doctrine, etc.

People, this is life, we are living and we do have choice. Stand up and do something with it, whatever it be, do so with your truth in heart and being authentic to yourself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Mountain that lies ahead

Sitting at the base of the mountain I look with great excitement at the journey ahead. I am reminded to take it one step at a time, one breathe at a time and to enjoy each and every moment along the path I move. I walk open to the possibility, exploring along the way. Certain points on the journey I stop and take the moment to sip and savor the experience, taking in the views, breathing the fresh air, reminding myself what it is I am doing, I am being right here and now.

At points along the path I run into various challenges, some prove to be obstacles, some prove to be puzzles, others choose to be risks worthy of taking. It is in these and every moment that I take time to be the observer and contemplate the natural flow of what is necessary in that very instance. I look at the present and beyond to see how it will all fit together. I realize I only know my current place and I realize my next step as I move in the direction I take conscious choice action and create my reality.

I am reminded all along the path to be open and free of false realities that my mind create in anticipation of something I 'think' to be there or lie ahead. My mind at times jumps ahead to all the possibilities and starts creating alternate stories/realities which can and often are exciting if not interesting. But again, I am reminded that what is real is what I am living in the moment, all the other things are what they are, stories and alternate or potential realities.

So, I continue on the journey to what I think is the top of the mountain, the peak that I so excitedly took in while sitting peacefully, meditating prior to my journey. And as I continue to move with each step along the path I am aware that my path is a constantly evolving experience. I smile as I reflect and take time to meditate and again come back to my breathe, my movement and all the surrounds me in the moment.

Where, what, when, why, how, who, how much, how often are all questions that are continually being answered and at the same time are unknown. In the moment I am aware, I am conscious of the 'answer' to these questions. However, I am also present and conscious with the reality, that the questions and the answer may indeed change and in every case they have.

The mountain is many and there are many peaks to observe, many mountains to set foot upon. Whether I reach the peak, climb every mountain, answer every question, etc. is not of essence too me. What is of essence is living the moment, taking advantage of this life I live, creating my realities to the best of my abilites and living my life to the fullest extent and enjoying each and every second with unconditional love, gratitude, peace, compassion, happiness, freedom, willing and open, inquistive, adventurous, singing, dancing, laughing, smiling, healthy, gracefully, humbly, and with great honor and humility.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

35 years later

Here I Be, 35 years to the day I was born to this life.
Here I Be as fiscally poor as ever.
Here I Be as peaceful as ever.
Here I Be in Harmony
Here I Be as wise as ever ☺
Here I Be as happy as ever.
Here I Be living the best life.
Here I Be applying to college again for a PhD or MSTCM
Here I Be practicing the Art of Living Daily
Here I Be as free as ever to Be.
Here I Be smiling a Big Smile
Here I Be as relaxed as ever.
Here I Be laughing as deep as ever.
Here I Be Spiritually, emotionally, physically ‘balanced’
Here I Be looking at life as a glorious playground to Be as I see/feel in the every moment
Here I Be enjoying the moment
Here I Be at peace with past, living the present
Here I Be conscious of my great fortune and blessings
Here I Be relationships plentiful and abundant
Here I Be honored to have the wonderful blessing of so many wonderful relationships
Here I Be living in abundance
Here I Be living a life of more with a life of less
Here I Be in gratitude
Here I Be in compassionate
Here I Be unconditionally loving my inner being, essence and authentic self
Here I Be enjoying every breathe I take
Here I Be sitting in contentment with the present
Here I Be taking steps along the path of life, living the journey
Here I Be an explorer, living the present adventure, planning the next adventure
Here I Be many things to many, but always Being me, whatever that is and means
Here I Be a yoga teacher
Here I Be a meditation teacher
Here I Be a student of life, living, laughing, loving, and the journey and beyond
Here I Be laughing at me writing this Here I Be stuff
Here I Be conscious of the fact that life is always in constant motion and change
Here I Be conscious that this is the life, the one, the moment
Here I Be conscious of the fact that I am the one and so are you
Here I Be Here I am
Here I Be knowing that I do not know
Here I Be nothing
Here I Be empty
Here I Be satiated
Here I Be me
Here I Be peace inside me
Here I Be a being on this journey called life
Here I Be another step along the path
Here I Be singing, dancing, playing
Here I Be

Monday, November 16, 2009

Learning to play the edges

An important practice in life is learning to play the edges. The art of playing the edges requires a conscious awareness at all points and times. In living consciously we can choose our actions and therefore play according to what, how, when, where we need to be in the present moment. This will allow one to flow with the currents of life and be aware of where they are in the moment and be prepared for how to act as they continue to move forth in our daily lives. Life is constant movement, the tides, the winds, the light, is all ever changing therefore the edges are constantly shifting. Understanding this empowers conscious choice action and enables playing the edges of every moment according too what is and not what we wish it too be.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Powerlifting Basics and Key Points, by Joe

Powerlifting Movements

Squat

1. Low Bar Position
2. Wide Leg
3. Use Box as aid
4. Increased hip flexion
5. Knees perpendicular to floor

The purpose of this squat is to train the hips. Therefore we use a box, a wide stance, and a low bar position (across the shoulders below the upper traps).

Pull yourself into the box by using your hip flexors. Keep the shins perpendicular to the floor which places the load in the hips and leads to a greater forward bend with the back….your stomach will pretty much rest between your legs. Make sure to keep yours eyes up which will help keep your spine neutral. Also, be sure to pull the bar through your lats down into your body creating a strong back.

Breathe deep and push against the belt as you squat. Make sure your breathe in through the nose. Hold the breath to create internal pressure and stabilize the spine giving you additional strength. Exhale at the top as you come out of the box.

Once you touch the box, relax your hip flexors slightly erecting your body count one one thousand and re-engage your hip flexors exploding up through your hips.


Conventional Deadlift

1. Feet Hip Width (tighter COG)
2. Greater emphasis on hips and back
3. Arms outside legs
4. Shoulders/Arm pits over bar for leverage…different leverage than sumo
5. Great for improving Clean

Start with a legs hip distance apart and hands grab the bar in a double over or mixed grip (over/under) position. Shoulders over the bar, arm pits in line with bar and bar touching the shins. Stay tight and compact and imagine that you are wedging yourself into the ground.

Once you set engage the lats linking your arms to the shoulders and the bar to your body and take a deep breathe through the nose to the belly bracing your core against a belt (imaginary or real), keep your head up and eyes forward to make sure you keep your back in a neutral position.

To begin the lift push your feet into the ground driving through your hips and legs as you explosively lift the bar of the gorund, grazing your shins as it travels beyond your knees and you pull your hips through making sure that your hips, knees and shoulders all finish at the same time.

This is a single movement and all major parts and joints involved should start and finish the move at the same time. Do not be lazy in the hips or back, making sure to keep a strong neutral spine, lats tight, core engaged and hips aggressively extending in an effort to lift the bar off the floor.


Sumo Deadlift

1. Wide Leg Stance, toes out to accommodate
2. Less Hip Flexion
3. More Leg Drive
4. Arms inside hips

Wide stance with toes turned out so the knees and toes can track properly (knee should point in same direction of middle toes). Place hands on bar shoulder width apart and shoulders slightly over the bar for optimal leverage. Sit in your hips as you pull the bar up your body sliding along the shins. Make sure to lock the shoulders into the sockets connection the bar, arms,and shoulders to the upper torso and more importantly making the body and bar all in piece and connected to the ground.




Bench Press

1. Engage your lats and retract your shoulder blades
2. Lift your rib cage and keep lifted throughout movement & do not round your shoulders at all!
3. Push yourself away from bar and into bench
4. Crush the grip and bend the bar as you press
5. Push in a straight line, bar comes to lower part of chest (nipple area)

Bench Press in powerlifting terms is a lat and triceps exercise. Prior to performing the move be sure to set your shoulder blades into the bench creating an arch in your low back. Note: tight your glutes and press your feet in the floor to prevent your low back from compressing and to give you additional pressing power due to the whole body being tight and engaged.

Get help with the lift off bringing the bar over your chest, check that your lats are engaged, shoulders pinned back against the bench and chest/ribcage lifted.

Lower in a controlled manner to the nipple area pulling the bar into your chest, then press explosively from the lats and triceps pushing yourself away from the bar and into the bench…stay arched and make sure not to round the shoulders as you press. Remember the bar travels a straight path up, once locked out either repeat or set the bar back onto the rack.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Speed & Agility Course for Young Athletes

Los Gatos Fitness
Presents
Speed & Agility for Young Athletes
8 week course….only $299
Tuesday & Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m
NOTE: No classes on December 29th and 31st

Essential to athletic success is speed and agility. The difference between being fast and top end speed is in the proper mechanics, core strength and overall body strength and awareness. This 8 week course is designed to teach the athlete proper mechanics of sprinting/running and movement. The course will develop the athlete’s ability to take their strength and conditioning and turn into on field speed and agility.

The Basis of the Program

➢ Learn the proper biomechanics and anatomical application of sprint and running mechanics. This includes drills, games and sprint conditioning
o Top End Speed- it is important that he possess the ability to run straight ahead as fast as possible. Top End Speed will be taught and developed by improving running mechanics and enhancing stride frequency and stride length.
➢ Learn the how to stop, cut, turn, react and accelerate in all directions, straight ahead, laterally, backpedaling, etc. This will include drills, games and conditioning
o Change of Direction- It is essential that an athlete possess the ability to change direction in a smooth and fluid manner with minimal loss of speed, balance, and power.
o Short Area Quickness
o Did you know most lower extremity injuries occur when suddenly stopping? Learn how to properly decelerate being able to suddenly stop or slow down while being in control.
o Acceleration- The ability to generate quick leg turnover.
➢ Maximal strength and acceleration ability are closely related. Spend time developing maximal strength through traditional means like squatting and utilizing derivatives of Olympic lifting movements. This is open to all athletes who enroll in the concurrent strength and conditioning program on Monday and Wednesday.

Joe Sarti, kinesiologist & exercise physiologist, is a highly regarded expert strength and conditioning coach. He has coached athletes such as Frank Shamrock, San Jose Razorclaws of the IFL, college athletes, etc.. His experience is vast and deep with knowledge of kettlebells, power lifting, Olympic lifting, odd strength lifts, yoga and more. Joe is an accomplished athlete having competed in professionally in sports such as Rugby, Baseball, Adventure racing, mountain biking, and events such as the Tactical Strength Challenge, The Beast Challenge and more.

Strength & Conditioning Course for Young Athletes

Los Gatos Fitness
Presents
Strength & Conditioning for Young Athletes
8 week course….only $299
Monday & Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m.
NOTE: No classes on December 28th and 30th

Strength is the foundation for all athletic movement including speed, power, explosiveness, etc. This program is designed to teach the young athlete the foundation building a strong physique, work ethic and mentality toward performance in sport and life.

The Basis of the Program

➢ Learn how to prepare for peak performance. This includes both the mental and physical preparation for peak performance. Simply put it is the combination of both mental and physical preparation and practice that differentiates the great performers. It is one thing to perform in practice, another to perform on the field, platform, etc. You will learn how to make/take your daily practice into the real deal!

➢ Learn how to perform safely and effectively and how to see the physical movements beyond just the basic tenants too the deeper side of what/why each move will help you perform at your peak levels. It is one thing to know proper form and technique it is another to use the bodies systems, its anatomy, physiology and the biomechanics to their full potential. Movements included are the squat, deadlift, clean, bench press, military press, etc.

➢ The course gives you information imperative to the development of the key aspect of peak performance, Internal Strength. For strength is not an external action but an internal state of being. Our true peak performance in life, practice, relationship, sport, etc. depends on our internal strength and state of being.

➢ This course teaches you how to work from the root and inner being to the branches and external being. By implementing these principals you will notice with consistent application and new found state of being and therefore human performance.

Joe Sarti, kinesiologist & exercise physiologist, is a highly regarded expert strength and conditioning coach. He has coached athletes such as Frank Shamrock, San Jose Razorclaws of the IFL, college athletes, etc.. His experience is vast and deep with knowledge of kettlebells, power lifting, Olympic lifting, odd strength lifts, yoga and more. Joe is an accomplished athlete having competed in professionally in sports such as Rugby, Baseball, Adventure racing, mountain biking, and events such as the Tactical Strength Challenge, The Beast Challenge and more.

Kettlebell Seminar of Unique Proportions

Crossfit Unlimited
Presents
The Russian Kettlebell for Enhanced Performance
December 5th, 2009, 10 am to 1 pm…..only $75

Why you need to attend this seminar!
1. You are serious about getting in shape (leaner, stronger, firmer, toner, fitter) and want to learn how to get the most out of your workouts in the least amount of time.
2. You are a beginner and you want to ensure that you learn the proper technique to maximize your progress and avoid unnecessary injuries.
3. You want to learn about the benefits of kettlebells in a fun environment.
4. You want to be lean (decrease body fat and maintain or increase muscle density).
5. You want to be stronger.
6. You want a strong heart (cardiovascular strength and conditioning).
7. You want a strong core, strong and tight hips (glutes), tone and strong legs and arms and a nice set of shoulders with a strong back.

What you will learn about Kettlebell Movements:

Swing
*How to use the hips, maximizing power and performance

Snatch
*How to improve & train VO2 Max and maximize your athletic ability

Military Press
*How to increase your press strength

Squat
*Why the Front Squat is the ultimate ab/core developer

Clean
*How to move the bell with effortless effort

TGU
*Increase strength and stability of the shoulder and core

Joe Sarti
Joe is a highly regarded expert in strength and conditioning. He has coached athletes such as Frank Shamrock, San Jose Razorclaws of the IFL, college athletes, etc.. His experience is vast and deep with knowledge of kettlebells, power lifting, Olympic lifting, odd strength lifts, yoga and more. Joe is an accomplished athlete having competed in professionally in sports such as Rugby, Baseball, Adventure racing, mountain biking, and events such as the Tactical Strength Challenge, The Beast Challenge and more. Learn why he is one of the best in the business.

For more info go to www.fitnessjoe.com or email joe@fitnessjoe.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Russian & Bulgarian Training...Dr Mel Siff

http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-33719.html

Subject: Russian & Bulgarian Training

We often seem to revisit the topic of specificity of training and a
comparison of the methods used by the Russians and Bulgarians, so I would like to share comments made to me in Russia some years ago by Prof Alexei Medvedev, former world champion weightlifter, coach of the Russian national team and current Head of the Department of Weightlifting at the State Central Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow.

We were discussing (through an interpreting friend) this very issue of Bulgarian vs Russian training methods. He shared many insights with me, including the different methods of quantifying training intensity and periodising weightlifting for different classes of lifter, but this one short comment stood out at the time:

Standing there in his dimly-lit office with his hand on my shoulder, Prof Medvedev said:

"Why do you think that the Bulgarians have so many injuries?" He went on to comment on the typically long years of top-level competition by Russian athletes, their higher average age at the Olympics and their lower injury rate. He added that a certain Bulgarian coach had been contracted to work with teams in China and before long the increased injury rate and drop in consistent form had ended up in his being dismissed very quickly (actually, he used a rude gesture with his arm to show exactly what the Chinese felt about that coach!).

To add to this debate from the other side of the fence, my weightlifting coach for several years was a top Bulgarian lifter who had trained with Abadjiev and Spassov, as well as all the famous names in contemporary Bulgarian lifting and he had very definite views on the Bulgarian system, both good and bad. In explaining what athletes are expected to do in Bulgaria, their coaches told them that if they became injured or painfully overtrained, then they obviously weren't good enough for top level competition!

With great satisfaction, he added that if a nation with a total population of only one big American city could place so often in the top few nations at the Olympics, then something serious must be wrong with American training. That was his simplistic analysis! (Anyway, that was before the last Olympics). No results, no use for anyone! Bulgarian athlete - no results - no place for you!

At first I thought that this philosophy is unduly harsh, when I realised that it is not all that different anywhere else in the world. The Chicago Bulls start losing a few games in basketball and in no time, the fans are baying for blood. In world soccer, the scene is no different, nor in American football. Win most of the time and the fans are deliriously happy - lose one or two and all the armchair experts and team owners are ready to sacrifice coaches and players.

So, when one examines the so-called Bulgarian system, one cannot lose sight of the different cultural systems governing the sport. One cannot simple take a philosophy, training method or lifestyle (or even foodstuff) from one country and hope to apply with equal success anywhere else.

Anyway, a lot of this talk about 'Bulgarian' and 'Russian' systems is somewhat of a misnomer, for, as Medvedev emphasized to me: "There is no such thing as one Russian system - we have many coaches and guidelines and each coach is allowed to develop his own system. It is the Americans who are so
rigid , not us - they want fast foods, fast formulae and fixed programs that are easy to apply".

He nodded in agreement when I commented: "You mean something like a sporting MacDonalds where you can drive up and get a training program off a menu without waiting?" Sad and amusing, but all too often, true in America. Why do you think that muscle building, fitness, strength training, sports, rehabilitation and health books sell best if they offer rigidly devised set exercise routines for anyone and everyone, without much attempt at in-depth analysis or individualisation?

Dr Mel C Siff

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heavy Back Squats vs Front Squats on Speed during 40m

The Acute Effects of Heavy Back and Front Squats on Speed during Forty-Meter Sprint Trials. Abstract Text:


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of performing heavy back squats (HBS) and heavy front squats (HFS) on the average speed during each 10-m interval of 40-m sprint trials. In a randomized, cross-over design, 10 strength-trained men performed a HBS, HFS, or control treatment before performing three 40-m sprint trials separated by 3 minutes. The HBS and HFS treatments consisted of performing parallel back or front squats with 30%, 50%, and 70% of the subject's 1 repetition maximum after 5 minutes of cycling. The control treatment consisted of cycling for 5 minutes. The sprint trials were performed 4 minutes after completing the HBS, HFS, or control treatments. Significant increases in speed were found during the 10- to 20-m interval for the HBS compared with the control treatment (mean difference, 0.12 m.s; 95% likely range, 0.05-0.18 m.s; P = 0.001). During the 30- to 40-m interval, HBS produced significantly greater speeds compared with the HFS treatment (mean difference, 0.24 m.s; 95% likely range, 0.02-0.45 m.s; P = 0.034) and the control treatment (mean difference, 0.18 m.s; 95% likely range, 0.03-0.32 m.s; P = 0.021). The differing effects of the treatments may reflect different levels of muscular activation or different mechanical aspects of the squat exercises. Similarly, the multidimensional nature of sprint running means that other specific exercises may confer improvements in sprinting performance during other intervals. It is suggested that coaches could incorporate HBS into the warm-up procedure of athletes to improve sprinting performance.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 9 Fundamental Exercises of Crossfit...More to Come

The 9 Fundamental Exercises of Crossfit

Air Squat

1. Hips
2. Sit Back
3. Pull Feet Apart
4. Breathe into belly button
5. Head Up
6. Feet Ground
7. Eyes Forward
8. Chest Up
9. Maintain Lumbar as you squat
10. Pull down

All squats are hip based motions. The hips are the core part of the body and the driving force of the extremeties such as the legs and arms. Begin by folding at the hips and pulling yourself back (as if toward a bench, ball or chair) and down actively engaging your hip flexors and hamstrings to do so. You should feel as if your feet are pulling apart and your toes are turning out, heels in, in a corkscrew fashion (Keep in mind the your feet will not actually move since they are rooted but the effect will take place sending a circular or spherical energy through you’re the ground into your body giving you the strength to pull down and explosively push up.

Make sure prior to the squat to breathe in to your belly through the nose and push against that belt.

Keep your head up and eyes forward which will help with maintaining midline stability and the neutral spine. In addition to help with this keep your chest up. All these aspects will help you maintain the spine and your lumbar curve protecting your back and giving deep strength to push through the air or with weight on your body!


Front Squat

1. Pull down into squat
2. HR - lying example
3. Lead with elbows - upper arm parallel with ground
4. If wrist lacks flexibility, bar onto fingertips
5. If elbows drop, you buckle/fall forward
6. Engage lats
7. Bar rests over heels, pushing through midline on shoulders

The Set-up:
Begin by placing the bar so it rests over the heels pushing through the midline of the shoulders. Note: If your wrists lack flexibility then allow the bar to rest onto your fingertips.

The Movement:
Before beginning the move, be sure to engage the lats and breathe in through the nose to your belly. Then pull yourself into the ground with your hip flexors and be sure to lead with the elbows up so the upper arm (elbow to shoulder) is parallel with the ground. If you fail to do so and the elbows drop you will lose your midline stability and neutral spine and increase the likelyhood that you will buckle or fall forward.

Remember to keep your feet active, corkscrewing the ground, this will keep your heels engaged and the weight distributed evenly throughout the foot increasing your muscle recruitment, strength, power and effciency.


Overhead Squat

1. Link Shoulders
2. Think lats, scapular depression,
3. Screw the arm into shoulder socket
4. Bar remains over base of support - midline stability
5. Crush the grip
6. Bracing
7. Pull down into squat
8. Heels, hips, elbows

The Set Up
Have the bar over your base of support which will help maintain your center of mass/gravity and thus your midline stability.

Be sure to link your shoulders to your body by engaging your lats which is done through scapular depression! This will create a corkscrew effect by screwing the arm *humerous bone) into the shoulder socket thus increasing the strength of your body! Additionally before squatting be sure to crush the grip which will help to activate your muscles again increasing the efficiency, strength and power behind the move.
More muscles working and so effectively, the more potential output of energy and force you can apply to the move

Breathe in retaining the air and brace your core again increasing the strength of your body and helping to neutralize the spine and maintain midline stability! The pull down into the squat with those hip flexors and hammies. Keep your head up and eyes forward!

Think hips, shoulders, core, and head.


Press

1. Strong Waist
2. Bar should be in line with balls of feet
3. Full body tension - lats, butt
4. Bar travels in a straight path to finish inline with the midline
5. Strong wrists help elbow lockout

The press begins with a strong foundation and comes back to the basic principles of rooting, linking through tension through the hips and legs and engaging the belly by breathing in through the nose against the belt.

The bar should be in line with the balls of your feet. Before you press breathe in, tense your body and engage the lats. You only have butt a second to take advantage of this powerful combination so do not tense and breathe until you are ready to press.

For the lats, remember to pull your shoulders down, now this will be a small but crucial movement creating a rubberband effect through a strong contraction which when released will follow with a powerful snap. The snap or the bar being pushed up must travel a straight path of motion to finish inline with the midline of the body.

Make sure to have strong wrists is an essential part of linkage and for being able to create the connection from the hand to the body through the elbows which must be locked due to the muscular contraction (I.e. tension)

Begin the move with a strong breathe through the nose, retaining the breathe, tensing the whole body from lats to core, to hips to legs, crushing the bar and using all this stored energy to drive explosively through the use of your body as a strong base from head to toe. Make sure to stabilize the bar in the overhead position linking the arms to the body, effectively linking the bar to the ground through the whole body functioning as one unit. Then actively pull the bar through the lats back to the rack position.


Push Press

1. Same setup/finish as basic press
2. Breathe
3. 1/4 squat, knee bend
4. Torso upright
5. Heels stay grounded
6. Dip-Drive-Press
7. Aggressive drive
8. Explode through bar into ground

The Set-up

The push press set-up and finish mimic the press.
The foundation needs to be strong and goes to the back to the basic principles of rooting, linking through tension through the hips and legs and engaging the belly by breathing in through the nose against the belt.

The bar should be in line with the balls of your feet. Before you press breathe in, tense your body and engage the lats (depressing the shoulder blades). You only have butt a second to take advantage of this powerful combination so do not tense and breathe until you are ready to press.

For the lats, remember to pull your shoulders down, now this will be a small but crucial movement creating a rubberband effect through a strong contraction which when released will follow with a powerful snap. The snap or the bar being pushed up must travel a straight path of motion to finish inline with the midline of the body.

Make sure to have strong wrists, this is an essential part of linkage and for being able to create the connection from the hand to the body through the elbows which must be locked due to the muscular contraction (I.e. tension)

After you breathe in and create full body tension, dip by doing a 1/4 squat knee bend, then use the energy of the squat and pressing through the ground with your heels attached to the floor aggressivly driving and exploding your body through the bar while pushing into the ground.

Keep in mind that your torso stays upright and that you breathe, tense, dip, drive and press and after stabilizing the bar at the top, shoulders actively engaged with the arm linked to your body with those lats fully depressed effectively linking the bar to the ground through the whole body functioning as one unit (hips engaged, core strong legs active, feet rooting). Then actively pull the bar through the lats back to the rack position (like the ascent phase of the pull-up).


Deadlift

1. TENSION!…
2. Engage the lats and link your arms to the bar
3. Maintain a neutral lower back.
4. Eyes Up
5. Crush the bar
6. Feel as if you are wedged between the bar and the floor (imagine trying to move a bar bolted to the ground).
7. Conventional (feet shoulder width) stance

Start with a legs hip distance apart and hands grab the bar in a double over or mixed grip (over/under) position. Shoulders over the bar, arm pits in line with bar and bar touching the shins. Stay tight and compact and imagine that you are wedging yourself into the ground.

Once you set engage the lats linking your arms to the shoulders and the bar to your body and take a deep breathe through the nose to the belly bracing your core against a belt (imaginary or real), keep your head up and eyes forward to make sure you keep your back in a neutral position.

To begin the lift push your feet into the ground driving through your hips and legs as you explosively lift the bar of the gorund, grazing your shins as it travels beyond your knees and you pull your hips through making sure that your hips, knees and shoulders all finish at the same time.

This is a single movement and all major parts and joints involved should start and finish the move at the same time. Do not be lazy in the hips or back, making sure to keep a strong neutral spine, lats tight, core engaged and hips aggressively extending in an effort to lift the bar off the floor.


Sumo Deadlift High Pull

1. Seamless
2. Use the energy of the deadlift to pull against
3. Vertical Bar Path
4. Push through ground
5. Don’t shrug
6. Pull with elbows
7. Pull bar apart through hands

With a wide stand deadlift, drive the pull of the bar off the ground from the hips extending. This will begin the movement of the bar on a vertical path and create a float. The float is key because it will make the bar feel lighter and lessen the load and effort of the upper body. It is important the upper body is not the prime mover, in fact it is the hips and legs and the upper body assists. The motion should feel seamless, which will truly make this move more efficient and therefore much easier to perform when doing reps.

Some key points to remember with the upper body is to avoid making this a shrug motion (where the upper traps rise toward the ears) and instead pull the energy created from the hip drive from the elbows while pulling the bar apart with the hands creating additional muscular contraction.


Med Ball Clean

1. Chest Up
2. Pull down
3. Grab Ball
4. Stand up
5. Pop Hips
6. Release Ball
7. Pull Down
8. Catch Ball
9. Seamless
10. No shrug
11. Do not accentuate

The "C's"of The Lifestyle Movement

The Lifestyle Movement

You must make change happen by committing with intent, creation of new habits and taking control of yourself and the process.

Control = Time Management and Change Process

Create = Healthy Habits

Challenge = Take it and Make it happen

Change = Philosophical approach/ Habits

Commit = To your intention and the process

Consistency = Daily practice

Chaos = It is a theory not a practice, your practice is to stay in your state of grace and be grounded

Choice = You make the choice, you have control and you must commit to the choice and take the challenge to stay consistent and grounded in the chaos

C = Your success!

Complete = You are complete and that comes from showing yourself the unconditional love that only comes from within and

Monday, October 05, 2009

Kettlebells, Speed & Power

10 seconds flat, 4.4 or less forty yard dash, 36 inch + vertical jump, is all about power, strength, speed and the ability to produce force. For an athlete with specific goals of increasing power, strength and speed it is crucial to have a strength and conditioning program that addresses these goals. The program must include work in the gym using specific Olympic lifts, power lifts and other supporting exercises to increase and better both the athlete’s strengths and weak points. Learning the techniques and acquiring the skills of the Olympic lifts and power lifts is challenging and can take years of practice and hours a week in the gym along with a knowledgable coaching staff. For athlete’s time and timing are crucial to success since there is a limited lifespan in regards to peak performance and a limited amount of time in each day to do what is necessary for training to peak and perform.

This is where the Russian Kettlebell, an all around, compact tool, filled with power, strength, and speed in one cast iron ball comes into play. The kettlebell with all its beauty and benefits wrapped into one small, dynamite and explosive package is a full body, explosive core and hip based, fast and powerful strength and conditioning tool.

What makes the kettlebell unique is the relatively small learning curve for learning the same Olympic lifts and the fact that the workouts are intense, effective and short in duration and with results that are amazing if not spectacular. Furthermore, the exercises incorporate movement specifics such as stabilization, range of motion, unilateral training, rotational pattern training application of tension/relaxation principles and the key combination of functional movement strengthening. The key difference and benefit being the unilateral training which cannot be achieved with a barbell and due to the shape of the dumbbell which cannot mimic the same dynamics of the physics of the kettlebell due to the displacement of the weight.

Therefore, the athlete looking to increase speed in the 40 yard dash, 100 meter sprint, jump higher, and/or accelerate off the line or floor would be wise to incorporate the kettlebell. Learning how to perform and execute the swing, snatch, clean, clean & jerk, front squat, push press, etc. would teach the athlete how to apply and direct force through the use of their hips, core and legs in a coordinated movement pattern leading to increased functional output. In addition moves such as the turkish get-up, windmill, and deck squat all effectively train the core from varying angles while increasing strength, flexibility and stability. These factors are all integral to the highest level of performance on the track, field, pitch, or in the gym.

Based of simple physics the bell moves in a path and range, which optimizes your bodies function while maximizing the results. The proof is in the pudding and it is difficult if not impossible to find anything comparable to the kettlebell for producing the results with such a minimal learning curve and in a short amount of time.

The kettlebell is a great addition to any strength and conditioning program for any athlete desiring functional improvement on the field. In fact, many professional teams and athletes as well as collegiate sports programs use the kettlebell in their programs. No wonder why, with the kettlebell you can take and transform your body into a compact, powerful, strong and explosive piece of machinery. The rewards are enormous and the risks are little to none.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Whole and The Parts...are you achieving optimal performance?

The parts are only as good as the whole and the whole only as good as the parts. Make the parts work as a whole, in synchronicity and harmony/balance and the whole will perform optimally.

Lets take a look at the human body. It is an integrated machine that best functions and when all its part are working together in unison and under optimal conditions. Now, this is not something we see on an everyday people as most of us operate in an imbalance state systematically and muscularly. The challenge with this is the undue stress that this places on other areas that now have to pick up the slack for the areas that are out of tune. The beauty is the human body is amazing piece of machinery that is able to adapt, improvise and overcome. However, this can mask great issues and lead to bigger challenges along the way and then we are like a dog chasing our tail. Thank goodness for modern medicine and its ability to help us out of these challenges.

However, we should, for the most part not need to rely on medicine and other things to save our asses. Instead, we should focus on creating the balance in our life and lifestyles that minimize the likelihood of things being out of tune and us living an unbalance, unharmonious life.

Taking a look at the body and the muscular system many of us move with an imbalance that affects our posture, our physical performance and can lead to pain, discomfort and injury. Much of this is due to pattern overload, or doing too much of the same movements. From the Taoist perspective and yoga perspective this is often associated with too much Yang energy or activity and too little Yin energy or activity. Ok, in laymans terms ☺ and in relation to movement and pattern overload, examples include running, cycling, weight lifting through the same movements patterns and often for most without any rhyme or reason. This action will create an interesting environment and it can be deceptive

So, what many of us will notice is an increase in performance, i.e. better time, stronger poundages lifted, etc. But there is silent inhibitors working in our bodies, which comes about due to the improper planning and strategy related to our own programming choices. These is known as reciprocal inhibition, CNS fatigue and poor neurological function hormonally and muscularly. Despite the improvements we truly are failing to gain the optimal benefits because our system on the whole is suffering from improper function due to dysfunctional parts.

Therefore, in order to perform at our optimal levels we need to be in an optimal state. This requires an intelligently designed system that is uniquely arranged for each individual and based on human performance principles such as Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Nutrition, and basic lifestyle of the individual. Adding the Yin will help with much of this and in practical terms this means adding recovery principles such as sleep, rest (off days), nutrition too meet the demands of our lifestyle, specific stretching, some form of meditation or quiet time where we can focus on calming and de-stressing, etc.

Thoughts??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yoga's effect on the evolution of my body & mind...

What is going on with my body? I mean, WOW things are really opening up and the ease and strength in which my movement is progressing and flowing leaves me in awe and is making me take notice and look into the deeper layers of this change.

First, I have been doing very little lifting, with some push-ups, pull-ups, swings and presses literally here and there since August 14th. During that time I have been basically doing yoga nearly everyday with a rest day once every week and sometimes not.

So, here is my observations

My posture is better than ever doing to better length tension relationships or should I say my body opening open across each joint, finding a better muscular balance and therefore length tension relationships.

My body is finding neutral through learning the deeper skill of movement and this is due to muscles releasing and opening thereby releasing the neural inhibition factor allowing greater muscle recruitment from the agonist muscles and a more efficient recruitment of motor units through the agonists, anatagonists, synergist, neutralizers and stabilizers.

I am training my body in each plane of motion and through various movement patterns creating strength, core stabilization and strength, neuromuscular efficiency and it is obvious in the performance

Now, as the body's strength develops in yoga it leads to great flexibility and deeper openings. This leads to the ability to open the lungs more and therefore deepen the breathe and thereby quieting the mind which enables me to sit longer in the pose, breathing deeper into the stretch and literally working the parasympathetic nervous system creating relaxation through action.
Serum and Sukam are the sanskrit words for steadiness and ease which is a 'goal' of yoga as a practice.

The internal systems of the body and mind and breathe are evolving to new levels and all sorts of tangible and intangible things are happening. Anatomically, Physiologically, and Psychologically things are opening and I am really in awe

Ok, that is a stream of consciousness reflection, I am going to take more time to observe this and give a better explanation but this is a start...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

General Principles of Movement

General Principles of Movement

1. Root
2. Link
3. Tense
4. Brace

It all starts from the ground up therefore it is essential that you learn how to root yourself to the ground. Your foot has mechanoreceptors that provide essential feedback to your body helping you perform at a higher level. This being said, it is important that when lifting you use either flat soled shoes like chuck taylors, olympic lifting shoes or bare feet. This will enhance your ability to feel the feedback and increase your performance.

Creating linkage is another key point and can only be optimized in accordance with rooting. We have to look at our body as it is, a collection of segments connected by joints. In order for our body to operate at its optimal levels we need to connect the segments through the joints forming linkage. Simply put, imagine a beam supporting a wall that has a kink in it, it will eventually fail to hold the wall up because the link will be compromised.

To effectively link we create tension, another key principle. We do this through muscular contraction therefore never locking out the joints but instead optimizing our muscles ability to perform through enhanced output of our muscles ability to fire through tension and thus linking our segments. In Crossfit we are not training bodybuilding, we are training athletics and in athletics we use our whole body to perform, not individual segments.

The core is key for creating the linkage of the upper and lower body. Also, it is key to protecting the spine and maintaining midline stability and a neutral spine. This is done by inhaling in through the nose through the diaphram and deep into the belly (think belly button) thus creating a strong core. A good way thing to imagine is pushing your core against a belt as your breathe. This air will add volume to your core much like sticking a pencil in mud making your spine stabile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

We must stop playing games with our hearts and minds, the hearts and minds of others. We as a single organism with an ecosystem of organisms must realize that our actions influence the way the whole organism functions. Just think about the concept of 6 degrees of separation, we all are connected so we must embrace the reality that each one of us somehow impacts another. Therefore it is crucial for the conscious evolution of society that we stop acting in fear, anger, frustration, out of pain, retaliation, for the benefit of ourselves at the expense of another, living and acting a lie and telling lies to others, etc.

How delusional or deluded our we too think that acting in these ways truly benefits us and others. What if we started to look beyond the notion of survival of the fittest & beyond the notion that we are individuals and stand alone entities? What if we started to see the connections, the synchronicity that all of nature acts and flows? What if we really tapped into our hearts and freed our minds from the Chitta and actually started to communicate with unconditional love, love from within us and our authentic nature and state of being?

The mind is a powerful tool and because of its power we have to remember that we have the ability with our actions, thoughts, feelings, emotions, words to influence the minds of others and ourselves. For those of us who are unable to quiet our minds and the Chitta these things mentioned above can wreak havoc on us and others.

The heart is a beautiful organ and a beautiful place to come from. It must be cared for not only through physical exercise and nutritional means but also through the cultivation of love within and the expression of that love to all things, unconditionally and for the benefit of others and by enjoying the breathe of life which cultivates blood and oxygen into our tissues feeding us the nourishment we need to be able to enjoy the experiences that touch our very existence.

The way we are acting in this world, the way we be in this world leaves much to be desired. We are willing to do ruin people, relationships, countries, the environment, the health of the people all for gain, most of which is material in nature be it land, $$$$$$, borders and power to influence, direct and make the rules which tend to benefit the few in lieu of the whole.

So, it begins with me, it begins with you and I will do my part and that is a start and the cool thing is I know others are being and acting with a similar intention and this is a step.....

Principles of Training Part 2

Principles of Movement Part. 2

1. Principles Continued
2. Midline Stability
3. Neutral spine head to toe
4. Body forms straight line
5. Support a roof
6. Active shoulders
7. Depress shoulder blades
8. Linking arm through shoulder to the body
9. Engage lats
10. Creates full body tension
11. Butt
12. Quads
13. Feel feet merge into ground in a corkscrew fashion


A key principal in movement is maintaining Midline Stability. It is essential that the spine is in its natural (S Shape) position otherwise known as a neutral spine. The body must for a straight line. As you will see and learn in the video, optimal performance, optimal efficiency is dependent on geometric angles or position and optimizing physics.

Your shoulders are active which involves a scapluar depression of the shoulder through the engagement of the lat muscles. This will increase the strength through linkage of your arm to your shoulder and the shoulder to the rest of the body. In addition, through this linking process you will enhance your performance due to the fact that you will be able to utilize the rooting effect and the ground through optimal energetics. Imagine your are a coil and that all your energy compresses the coil and when released gives you the strength and power to explode through the movement.

This activation of the lats, with the breathe into the core, the rooting of the feet and the contracting of the glutes (should feel a slight tuck under) which in turn contracts the quads thereby deepening your rooting effect by driving your heels and foot on the whole into the ground in a coil (corkscrew effect) giving you maximal muscular contraction and strength.

Less is more in training, which is contrary to popular belief. But, what is often lost is that what training really is aimed at doing is improving the Central Nervous System ability to produce movement in the effective, efficient manner required for the sport or movements you perform. More quantity and less quality with poor recovery and rest and a poorly designed system will lead to poor performance. The reality is most athletes never perform to their potential because of inadequacy in the training.

The foundation for success on the mat, on the field, in the gym, in life is done in the preparatory work day in and day and paying attention to every little detail. A well rested, well feed, strong program design, intelligent athlete will get more out of their abilities than a gifted athlete with a poor approach/training program.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Principles of Training Part 1

Principles of Training

1. Quality over Quantity
2. Practice the things that make you better at your sport.
3. Less is more
4. Skill/Technique over Effort
5. Wave your program design
6. Rest and Recovery is #1

As an athlete, especially multi-sport athletes the demands are high and over training is easy. Therefore doing too much of anything will lead to Central Nervous System fatigue and overall decrease in ability and benefits reaped from the training. You are far better off to establish short, high quality workouts where you are focused on improving the skills, techniques, forms that relate to your sport. You do not need to do a lot of work too get all the benefits of any of these strength and conditioning tools. Instead focus on determining what works for you, design a plan that will work with your scehdule and allow you proper recovery and listen to your body.

Are you overtraining?

When is too much, too much? Well physiologically speaking the Central Nervous System can only handle so much. Just, think all professional, collegiate and amateur athletes work based on a periodized program design. Why, simple put there is a natural intelligence in which your body operates with and violation of this will lead to eventual things such as injury, a decrease or poor progression, burnout, etc.

Your CNS, brain, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, organs and hormones can only handle so much and when you consider how poor most people eat, the lack of sleep and stress that accompanies the typical or average person you can see that overtraining and constant high intensity, high output work is not the most intelligent way to train and for that matter treat/care for our own organism.

Are you performing at your peak, are you aware of the signs of over training, are you being deceived, what do you know about the physiology of human performance? Ask yourself these questions as you design your program and train your body/brain/human organism

I can go on but these simple physiological facts and questions are meant to help you take a deeper look at your practice of optimal living/performance.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From External to Internal

For years I have been an 'athlete' competing in a number of sports and events as well doing all the training behind what it takes to maximize my physical human performance. Through those years I have 'accomplished' many awesome personal and team oriented feats, here is a small sample

Squat 440
Deadlift 550
Bench Press 385 (425 on Smith bench)
Beast Press, Pistol, Snatch, TGU, Pull-up
Scored touchdowns, tries, baskets, runs and even one games with my performance
Ran a 4.5 40
Ran a 10.7 100
Ran a half marathon in 1:39
Spent 5 seasons as a competitive adventure racer, winning a race in our category and coming in 2nd for the season
Won a league championship

So I think you get the point, I have had a lot of really cool experiences in the world of sport and physical fitness. During this time I studied, observed, practiced the art and science of living, human performance, human movement, philosophy, psychology, etc. and through it all I found myself looking for more.

In the recent years in an effort to build and extend my ability to reach a larger community I started practicing yoga in addition to all my other activities. When I first started yoga I did not understand what yoga was and what and how influencial it would be on my physical progression. As my practice grew and became more regular I noticed I recovered faster, moved better, felt better and became stronger. And I was asking myself how I am I doing less in the weight room, out in nature but still performing beyond where I was, setting more PR's?

The obvious answer was my deeper understanding of training principles, program design and just years of building up. And these are true indeed. But what I began to understand sometime ago (within the last year) that my yoga practice and more important my meditation practice was really changing the course of my life and more than just physically. Because of this awareness I began to spend more time studying and more importantly practicing, to the point where my main and daily practice of my art and science of living became my yoga and meditation practice. And what I also observed was that the 'yogi's' I was meeting who had a simliar approach were people that seemed to be in a place closer to what I was seeking, that 'something more' place.

So, I just went and spent 2 weeks teaching, practicing and truly observing and reflecting/meditating on 'Yoga' During this time I lifted no weights, did no running, etc. and I went with intention of doing push-ups, bodyweight squats, pull-ups and some running. But, I decided I would just 'give my body a break' and just focus on yoga.

Now, I am back and finding that my body, my yoga meditation and breathing practice and my state of being have evolved, transformed, changed. My yoga postures (asanas) are deeper, more open and that has created a gateway for my lungs to open therefore deepening my breathing practice and making the poses 'easier' and my strength in the poses stronger and therefore the chitta, which is the mind distracting thoughts, are quiet and if anything I am more present in my pose/practice.

What I realize is that I am shifting from a focus on the external strength and demonstration of stuff and moving within, to the inside and strength that comes from that 'place'. The thing is by doing this my body is opening, my mind is free, my heart beats smoothly and with gentle ease, and spirit is grounded and my soul has found its true mate, the love that is me for I am love and you are as well.

Strength, which is a broad based term is from the inside and it will manifest in expression which is what people see and that comes in the form of external expression but when people are present and conscious with you they see it is coming from the inside, out.

Now, when I do movements like kettlebells and bodyweight 'strength' stuff I do so because I am exploring the human body, the internal art of the movement associated with these actions/devices. However, I have no attachment to the outcomes, the numbers, the weight used, the this that or another. What I am curious of is how this is developing me and enabling me to be a better student, coach, teacher, human.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Art of Living in Peace

In times like these, where we are working 60 hours a week, watching prices increase in gas, values of our homes and land fall, the availability of material goods increasing and thus our desires for more mass consumption, and having homes where both parents work full time jobs and the kids being raised by the nanny, one must sit back and question what is it that defines me and my legacy.

Is our legacy defined by he or she who dies with the most toys; is it defined by our career or job title; is it defined by where we live and how many square feet our home is; is it defined by the car we drive or the clothes we wear; is it defined by our relationships, our ability to be good role models for our children and others?

Reading a piece today by Dr Wayne Dyer, he speaks of the Tao and Lao Tzu’s perspective on what it means to live peacefully. And according to Tzu, the Tao and Dyer living peacefully is not about acquisition of more material good, how many hours a week you work, the size of your house, etc. it is about contentment and realizing that life is about your relationships, your experiences and the unconditional love you bring into each and every person and situation.

Who am I or is anyone for that matter too say what is right and what is wrong for another. But, through personal experience I have lived so called both sides of the coin and I find living in unconditional love, living without attachment to possessions, titles, $$, and instead living by building relationships, experiencing life and giving of myself freely, without condition, and bringing love (which is what we all are inside) with me everywhere I go is the true art of living peacefully. This is my truth, this is my authenticity, this is my ‘reality’, this is for me what is in life.

Peaceful Living and The Art of Living in Peace too you and yours

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life is in Constant Motion

Life is in constant motion, ever changing. We must learn how to live with this fact. Understanding that change is a fundamental element of life is essential to our success. Why? Simply put I often hear people say how difficult change is and/or impossible. Well, change takes work, it takes a willingness and openness to all possibilities. It takes a curious mind, one that is willing to explore and learn the how, what, why’s necessary to make and implement the change.

Life is simple, just not easy. We constantly construct stories, dramas, theories, etc. that have little to no validity except that they prevent us from living our best life and interfere with the things that matter most, like reality.

Life is about relationships and relating. Not only too people but to things such as nature, matter and truth. You cannot ignore this fact, so learn how to improve your ability to relate and your relationships.

Stop judging yourself and others. What good does it serve? People are just like you, doing the best they can with what knowledge they have and in context of their experiences, which form their perspectives.

We were not born with the skills, abilities, tools and techniques necessary to succeed in this life. We have to learn these things and that never stops. Just because you are out of high school, college, or a millionaire does not mean you stop learning, growing and improving.

For the most part you are where you are due to the choices you made and actions you have taken. So, you are the master of your domain, the controller of your life path and journey. The wisdom lies within, so open up and listen and act accordingly.

Some things are just plain and simple out of your control, so let go and manage the things you can, yourself, your thoughts, your actions. Use your wisdom and intelligence and if you are not certain, then seek someone who has done it and learn what you need.

We all are a grain of sand and each grain is essential to the success of each other. Therefore, you are a member of a larger community, known as planet earth. Remember that your actions, choices impact others on a multitude of levels. Do your part!

Life is about what is, not what if, especially if the what ‘ifs’ are impossible ideas, etc. like being 6 feet when your 5 feet, or never having had your heart broken.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So I am headed to Costa Rica to be the assistant at Marianne Wells 200 hour yoga teacher certification program. What an honor, I am so humbled and grateful. This is an amazing opp/experience.

I am digging teach yoga and learning about the internal process/journey and deepening the layers of the mind, body, soul and spirit. I feel an amazing peace on this journey and so blessed.

I apologize for not posting more stuff here, I have been using Facebook due to the simple fact it seems everyone is there these days and it is so easy to share. I will update in Costa Rica

Peace and Gratitude to each of you
joe

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Is, Is!

Nothing is perfect or imperfect, it truly is. One must deal with truth, act in authenticity and be in peace with the reality of existence! Things are as try appear, there is no masking what is with inorganic notions of what maybe.

To dream of and wish for something is a wonderful concept but it should come
From what is possible not a what if that is hypothetical in nature with no essence of truth. For example if u are an adult and short in stature but wish u could be tall, well that is not real, not plausible. But if u wish for peace, happiness, a material good, something that u can create and make happen, that is potentially available then that is a what is not a what if.

All too often we do not like our reality and wish it could be different and in many if not most cases it is possible. For the most part it is our choices that have us where we be, in our what is state, and it is our choices and our acting on these choices that can help us to create the state of being in which we wish to be.

If ur reading this it is because u have the power and ability to choose, u like me are fortunate to be in this position. For that reason alone we must with compassion, gratitude, grace, humbleness, humility, respect and non ego/ non attachment make the most of this ability and freedom to choose to live our best life.


Gratitude,
Joe

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Squat PR of 440 Video

video

My Journey to 440

So, it started in February at 185lbs and culminated with a PR of 365 in late March with my good friend Johannes spotting me on his visit from Germany. Not bad for 6 weeks. Now, previously, in 2007 I did a 4 week cycle with Mark Reifkind when we were training and I was able to do 307 for 3 sets of 3. So, I was not surprised by this March PR.

I took all of April, May and the first half of June off of squatting due to mainly traveling and teaching abroad. I was able to workout but nothing like when I am home at the gym in terms of weight, etc. Instead it was bodyweight squats, pull-ups push-ups, core work, running and some yoga.

Come middle June Kai and I enter an 8 week training cycle, squatting using the Westside principles (to some extent with respect to Westside) we tried to imitate the best we could using the box, dynamic method with bands and a 3 near max workouts over the 8 week period one in which Kai and I both hit 405 for 2 singles.

So, today, 8 weeks later I came in and did the full below parallel squat of 405, 425 and 440 leading to 2 PR's. There is much too attribute to the numbers and the most important is to exploration of the body, movement and training regimen. Always, studying learning and listening to whats going on, it all came together, like it should (in my opinion).

So, for not having a lot of actual squatting experience I am stoked and I thank people like Louie Simmons of Westside, Mark Reifkind for helping me back in 2007 and Kai and the rest of the Lab crew for working with me to explore how we can get smarter, stronger, more technical and skilled and thus establish PR's on a consistent basis...the journey continues and truly the number is irrelevant.

For me it is the journey and the learning, sharing, experiencing, challenging, practicing, playing, exploring, and the fact that I can, we can do this and we are taking advantage and working together to achieve and improve day in and day out.

PS: please check out Facebook where I post many of my articles these days, including "the lab, exploring human potential" fan page and "Joga, Yoga with Joe Sarti" fan page and of course my josephsarti profile.

Thank you for your support and interest!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Simplicity

Bruce Lee's take on Simplicity

In JKD, one does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.
Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation. Jeet Kune-Do is basically a sophisticated fighting style stripped to its essentials.
Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It's as simple as that - no fuss, no mess. In other words, when someone grabs you, punch him. To me a lot of this fancy stuff is not functional.
A martial artist who drills exclusively to a set pattern of combat is losing his freedom. He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing. It leads to stagnation because the way of combat is never based on personal choice and fancies, but constantly changes from moment to moment, and the disappointed combatant will soon find out that his 'choice routine' lacks pliability. There must be a 'being' instead of a 'doing' in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression.
To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.
In building a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiselling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions. Thus, contrary to other styles, being wise in Jeet Kune-Do doesn't mean adding more; it means to minimize, in other words to hack away the unessential.
It is not daily increase but daily decrease; hack away the unessential.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Train smart, work smart

It is all in the brain and the mind, this is the leader of the body. The stronger the neural pathways and the better/clearer they communicate with the muscles and systems of the body the better the integration and subsequent movement/coordination of your body and the 'stronger' and more efficient and effective you will move.

This being said it is essential that when you train/practice/move you do so at the highest quality and with the most perfect state possible. This means operating in a state of fatigue, while good for certain things at certain time is NOT and I say NOT!!! the best or most optimal state to strengthen the neural pathways that truly help determine your success in movement! This means training/practicing/moving smart with awareness and learning how to move at the most optimal level, this means ramping up slowly and remembering that it is a journey. So, take the time to learn and study of the moves and how in particular your body performs and responds to the movement patterns.

Training is not all about effort, kicking your ass, burning calories, being lean, how fast, how much, how often, how, what when, why it is truly about attention to detail, preparation, a deep understanding of the intricate nature of the combination of systems that work together and how they work together to make things happen. This is why people like myself exist. I am not training your body, I am training your intellect, your intelligence, your mind and if you pay attention and give feedback combined with proper rest and nourishment and with that will power, the sky is the limit!

Train smart, work smart...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

As I practice, explore, observe, move, train, and learn in my daily life I find myself looking inward through my outward actions and expressions. I continue to expand and progress in all areas of my life as I put intention, attention and compliment that with application. And as a student who explores for the purpose of being a better teacher and coach amongst many other reasons I find myself stepping each day into a new level of understanding and contemplation related to what I do.

I have been reflecting specifically on something Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” And as I stepped under the bar the other day I took time to meditate on this concept knowing that I have ‘strength’ and I have ‘physical capacity’ but it is truly my will that is going to take all that practice and preparation and help me to go beyond any perceived limitation that I may have or anyone else may have for that matter.

This brought me back to a particular day when I was going for a PR, the first of its kind and with only 3 weeks preparation. And I remember my coach and others saying that did not believe I could do what I said I could. Based on what I had done up to that point and with the limited training I had I understand why they would think this way. But what they did not know and what I and maybe a few others actually knew is what was/is inside, what my will is, what my real strength is. Because strength is not only a measurement of numbers which will give you tangible feedback but like Gandhi says strength is something truly deeper, beyond the minds eye.

So, as I stepped up that day back then and again the other day and I did what I knew I was capable of and successfully completed my PR attempt. For me it was not about the number but more about the internal make up of my being and how all the deeper mental, emotional, spiritual and physical training has made me feel capable of doing anything that I put my mind and intention into! This moment, these moments are affirmations behind my practice and approach and truly that of the masters whom I learn from.

There are probably many reasons I am at this point and have come to this point in my life to have this deep inside believe that anything is possible, that there no limitations, only the ones we and society place on ourselves…and here is what I say to society, thank you but I do not accept your limitations so please just know that you can keep your gifts and share them with yourself or better yet join me in believing anything is possible!

I give thanks to meditation and yoga practices for helping me to solidify these neural pathways that I am developing in my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical make-up along with the spirit of the breathe of life and certain people who have inspired me along my path. I have made a choice and so can you! I choose to live a life without limits, borders and boundaries, to go beyond the minds eye to set/establish new paradigms!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Yoga will make you a better athlete period!

*Yoga is about breathing, that is the critical element. More importantly it is about breathe connected to movement. And as an athlete learning how to breathe, learning how to control respiration, learning how to deepen the breathe providing the body with more oxygen per breathe, slowing the heart rate, controlling the stroke volume, etc. Linking breathe and movement, saturating your body with O2 will only help you perform better, longer, and stronger.

*Yoga is about union and for the purpose of this topic it is the union of mind and body, breathe and movement. It is the ability to connect all systems of the body and help them to operate and the highest levels of efficiency and therefore effectiveness leading to a more integrated and fused approach to movement and a more relaxed state of mind within the movement. Yoga will make your mind and body move with more grace, more steadiness, more fluidity, more control, balance, power, speed, endurance, agility, flexibility and stability.

*Yoga will strengthen your body, your connective tissue, your structure and integration, your muscles, your breathe and your mind

*Yoga will increase your range of motion, your flexibility, your stability and your natural anatomical posture increasing your bodies ability to function at the highest level.

*Yoga will help you learn how to meditate for the purposes of relaxing your mind and slowing down all things going on around you. It will ground you admist chaos and in all sports there is chaos at all times, but it is the athlete who can slow things down and act ahead of and according to what is going to and what is in fact happening at the same time. Calming the mind, creating a stillness and understanding of the fluctuations of the mind is integral to all aspects of life and athletics is just one example arena.

*Yoga is an athletic form of movement and stillness. It teaches one how the body functions and how to address its own personal needs. There is not a person out there who could not benefit from this and athletes who know more about their body and their needs related to sport and life thereafter are in a much better position to be health and fit to perform.

*Yoga is a way to stretch and enhance flexibility, open the deep aspects of the bodies connective tissue, enhance range of motion and a part of the prehab, rehab, restorative, regenerative and recovery process. The difference is it is an complete integrative system of health and wellness that is far beyond what most people do and think when it comes to stretching. After all, flexibility and creating the openness and range of motion in the body is far more than just about folding forward in a standing or seated position to stretch the hammies.

This is just the basics, a little stream of consciousness related to some of what I have observed due to yoga in myself and others. I am not the only athlete or coach encouraging athletes to take into consideration the addition of a yoga practice. It does not have to be a 90 minute practice but it is one you should learn from a teacher such as myself who can analyze your body, your sport and see how it fits.

I do know this, it is my most important practice and it is the difference in my practice and ability. My mind and body function at a much higher level and this integration means I operate at a higher level of sequencing, fusion, function and action making it much easier for me to move and to do so with precision, coordination, strength, power, speed, endurance, agility, balance and other factors that define the athlete.

Do not take my word for it, try it and find out yourself!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

System Principles and Adaptation

The Keys to any successful system is a strong and grounded set of principles and concepts and it is ability to be adapted to a given set of situations and circumstances.

As a student of systems, including Iyengar and Astanga Yoga; RKC and GS Kettlebells, Bodybuilding, Athletic Training, Westside barbell Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting (newest), Crossfit, Paul Chek, multiple nutrition systems (including Warrior Diet, Zone, South Beach, Mediterranean, etc.) and so much more it is my understanding of the roots principles and concepts of these systems and the ability to take them and apply them to the individual and put them into a progressive program that allows for success physiological, psychological adaptation all while keeping the goal(s) in mind and the present moment. (My opinion based on 14 years of study and practice/experience).

What I often see is people being beholden to a particular system and not truly understanding what it is about the system that makes it tick. The challenge is these often are the people teaching the system not just the people practicing it (i.e. the students). The dissemination of information is critical to the understanding and progression of any system and the people operating within the system.

Therefore it is essential to understand/learn the key principles/concepts of the system and then how to apply them across a large bandwidth keeping in mind that versatility/adaptability is a neccesity because in order to progress we need to understand all the variables present in the moment and keep in mind that a system with strong principles will stand the test of time and the present because it is able to adjust accordingly and still be in a constant state of progression versus digression.

What also must be kept in mind is simple logic and science that up until now has not proven to be anything but truth (absolute I am not sure, but as it stands, truth). For example concepts in physics, geometry, algebra, and even more specific to the world of training and athletics things such as General Adaptation Syndrome, Law of Specificity, F= MxA, and so on.

We operate in a world filled with information, ideas, thoughts, theories, systems and interpretations/perspective/points of view but often we forget there is a foundation, a platform for which any thing constructed is built upon. There is room for adaptability, just look at the human species throughout time and this obvious. But we must not forget the basics principles and concepts in which a given system is built upon and we must learn how to implement with as little as bias as possible, as little ego and attachment as possible and keep in mind that we have to be able to adapt to the given moment with the basic principles in mind/action.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Hero Figure & moving beyond

What began as a way to ‘help’ a friend turned out to be so much more. Yes, lets play with this idea of help. That is what I do, I ‘help’ people through teaching, coaching, educating, motivating, supporting, listening, advising, and so on. I am a Hero, yep you heard it right, I have through the process of helping my friend ‘edit’ her amazing book, which is soon to be published, discovered through this process my role play in life.

The Hero, I will not give it away because I cannot even do the justice my friend Aimee does in her description of and explanation of the Hero but it is safe for me to say and Aimee verified that I indeed am the Hero.

Now, in the book Aimee refers to the Hero in terms of the roles we play in our ‘romantic’ relationships. And, yes, I have indeed been this person in all my relationships and what to me by bigger surprise is that I not only play this in my romantic relationships but also my life on the whole, just look at my profession.

My process of transformation out of this role begun long ago and is still in process. Through my self study of eastern philosophy, my personal experiences and the lessons they have taught (a big debt of gratitude to all my romantic partners for helping me in this), the coaching program at ITP and the introduction of meditation and yoga I have truly seen my transcendence of the Hero role.

This is not too say it does not appear here and there, but it is too say that I am aware (because of Aimee’s writing/book) what I have been in the past and what and how I have conducted myself and I have been able to ‘label’ or at least identify in words exactly what it is, the Hero.

I knew I was doing things that were not conducive to living my best life and I knew I wanted to change, evolve, shift, transform these. Now that I am armed with more information I have a great understanding and can take it too the next level. I know that Aimee’s book will help many people and I am one of the fortunate souls to be blessed to have read the book and be able to directly interact with the author!!!, how awesome is that!

Awareness is one thing, action is another and developing practices that help one to take action are essential. My meditation and yoga practice have truly begun to transform me on levels that I knew were possible but was not yet able to reach. These two practices have helped to me to put the pieces together and take myself to new heights, new boundaries, borders, and push beyond my self imposed limits conscious or unconscious, patterns and/or complexes.

The process is a journey, a lifelong one. I continue to move on the continuim and flow in the direction that my paths take me. Understanding who I am, what I am, how I am, how I be, etc. has been a catalyst putting me in the position I reside currently and will move toward in the future. My curiosity, exploratory nature and adventurous spirit puts me out in the world and gives me the opportunities to challenge myself to go beyond fear, to go beyond ego, to go beyond the false fa├žade and inspire and motivate myself to be what I be!

I am grateful for people like Aimee, who are taking and sharing their life experiences, their educated opinions and bringing them to the people with the intention of helping people evolve and grow beyond their current status and in the process help evolve the consciousness of all society. I am in training myself, working on developing the ability, skills, to share and exchange with people in a way to help evolve the consciousness of all society.

The reason I am here today is that I am transcending the Hero and it is through all my experiences and my curious nature that I am in a position to do so. I am approaching my role with humility, humbleness, compassion, gratitude, unconditional love and as a person who knows a way or 2 to transform ones self. I am a living example of this and that definitely enables me to be in a place to share these ways.

I used to think I could change people, that I could be the difference, the reason, the purpose behind their desire and execution of their transformation. I used to want to be the ‘hero’, the one who healed people. Well, the fact is you are the only one who can help, heal, transform, etc. yourself. I can give you information, support, motivate, inspire, educate, teach, and coach you but it is you who takes and makes the conscious choice action to push/explore/establish boundaries, borders, and limits.

This awareness helped me too understand on a deeper level what it meant to be in my position, to serve my role in life. It is not to be the hero, it is to be a leader by example, transforming myself and doing all the things I offer in my services for myself. Of course, the other side that I do is I take/make the conscious choice action for myself and show myself the way I feel best suits me.

I am no healer, I am no hero, I am just like you a human being doing my best to live this life to my full potential and beyond. I am here to lead by example and challenge conventional wisdom, traditions and test the limits, borders and boundaries that we understand to exist. And through this I am here to inspire, motivate, coach, share, teach, educate, support, listen, love and serve all the people whom I encounter as they wish and within my essence.

The answer is there, it is within you! It is up too you to discover this answer and I encourage you to do what you need. And, I want to extend my gratitude and love to Aimee for inspiring, motivating, coaching, teaching, educating, supporting, sharing with me! You are a leader and you are doing so by example and I must have learned something in life, to surround myself with great people doing great things (and if you are reading this that includes you).

My gratitude to all whom have and continue to touch my soul, spirit, life and challenge, inspire, motivate, coach, teach, educate, share, support, love me!