Friday, June 11, 2010

Powerlifting Workouts

Week 1
Dynamic/auxillary Bench
Bar 225 with chains 3 reps x5
Kb press: 97lb/1 for 5
Pullup with chains 35 lbs 3x5

Wk 1
50lb band

Box jump 44inch max
45 inch 3 single failures

Bench 225/3x8

455 including 50lb/side

Week 2
Bench press with band 50lb/side

Military press
Band 50/side

Pull up
35lb kb 3x3

Day 2

Day 3
Bench Press

1 Board

Day 4

Deadlift, 4 inch box
Hammie tightened up, passed

Kb Military Press with 50lb band and 16kg bell
2 reps x 6sets

Pull-up BW

Week 3
Bench Press with 50lb/side wrapped in a V so much more tension
36lbs of chain tension (18/side), 135 on the bar
one set with 25lb plate at bottom of chains..FAIL estimated to be WAY TO HEAVY, LOL
one set with 10lb plate at bottom of chains..FAIL estimated to be 350 total
3 sets of doubles no plates, just bands, 135 and chains

Day 2

Military Press (explosive)
32kg (KB) 5x5


Day 3
2 Board Bench Press

Straight BP

BW: 5x5

Friday, May 07, 2010

A First....Semester Life Reflection

Here I am again, Europe! Oh how I love thee. What really is on my mind is how I got here. In particular how I have spent the last 4+ months of my life, literally changing my course of direction and taking on a new challenge and eventually evolution of my 'career'. So, one semester of Med School is in the books and it is more than I ever imagined in so many ways. I have to say it lit a fire under my butt as I was lingering a bit in terms of direction and truly not satisfied with where it seemed I was going.

I knew I needed to evolve and challenge myself, to really take advantage of the gifts I have been blessed with and take responsibility for my life. So, I contemplated and applied for my PhD program but as the days grew closer it dawned on me that there was something more I could do and that would enable me to make a larger direct impact on the health and well being of people. So, I applied and got into Med School within one month and now here I sit in Paris reflecting on my path yet again.

Many things confirm within me that I am on the path, the 'right' path for me, including the sheer amount of time I invested into my studies which are key to success in Med School but if I did not feel it I would not be as eager to put other things aside to make this happen. The best part is the fact that it is reflected in my performance and my grasp of the information and my desire to spend my free time deepening my understanding. It is clear that this path will open doors to new worlds and opportunities. This path will lead me too a new way of looking at myself, people, nature, health, well-being, community, relationships, etc.

Throughout this first semester I had many internal challenges learning how to keep the balance and the harmony that I felt leading up to the start of school. It was far from easy and in this way made the experience that much more rewarding. Also, it gave me a great appreciation for the challenges that we face balancing our lives and all our desires, demands, have to's, need to's, etc. I have much great compassion for the difficulties that lie in our paths, the obstacles that make maintaining our own optimal balance and alignment possible.

Now, that the stress accompanied with the semester is thru I have the time and will take the time to reflect, reevaluate, and breath. And, in doing so I will work to improve upon this last 4+ months and my life overall and apply what I am learning and lead by example.

Europe here I come!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unconditional, A Reflection on what it means too me :-)

I have been taking time to reflect on my philosophy of unconditional love and coming to a deeper understanding of what ‘it’ means. So, here is what I have come up with so far.

First, for me it is relative to each individual and what is their personal truth, personal essence. Basically, what is it that you want, need, ‘desire’ that brings you love, happiness, contentment, peace, harmony, smiles, etc. How do you define yourself and your life and what is it that makes you tick. This can be relative to any particular circumstance, situation, relationship, etc. Again, it is defined by the individual, you.

So how does this work for me is the question I have asked myself. Well, I have certain way I live and want to live, this includes, studying (deepening my understanding for personal and professional purposes); practicing things I enjoy like yoga, outdoor adventure sports, martial arts, etc; traveling international and for extended periods of time (some of these are solo, some are accompanied it just depends on what I feel my spirit, soul needs at that time); and so on. Therefore to love me unconditionally is too embrace these and the myriad of others things that define my truth/essence. And, the key is that I give that right back to the people whom are in my life, whether it be a partner, friends, colleagues, family, clients, etc.

The key is that in asking for a person to love me for who I am and respect, embrace, support, and encourage this, my spirit I must give that back, unconditional. You may say that is conditional, the fact that there are these supposed ‘terms’, i.e. this is who I am, so accept me as such. I cannot argue with that but I will say this, it is based on respecting and honoring each person, their truth, their essence, their spirit and no projecting myself, what it is I feel is the way they should live their life, etc…..JUDGMENT free!

I have no basis for judging another person, I am far from perfect but at the same time perfect for where I am at currently, Here & Now. What does this mean, it means that I am here, I am now and I am who I am and I know that is where I am to be, after all I am here and I am now. But I know this, I am evolving why because I am always learning, experiencing, observing, witnessing, interacting, reflecting, meditating, and plain and simply living my truth according to who I am in the present (which is a collection of years of ‘things’).

I have been blessed and fortunate and truly feel that I have come to a place where I have this current understanding which I am able to practice daily and I know I am continuing to learn how to be unconditional, how to love all life unconditional and truly appreciate and sit in peace with gratitude and compassion for all that life is.

The cool thing is I realize that every moment is an opportunity for something and I do my best to be conscious of this and take these opportunities and make the most of them.

Unconditional, what is it that makes you who you are and who you be, that is the person I want to know and share/learn from and with.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Dao of the Kettlebell

The Dao, aka Tao of the Kettlebell is quite a interesting phenomena. Think Yin and Yang, Earth and 'Heaven'/sky, Hatha or Ha (sun) and Tha (Moon), etc.

The kettlebell has a way, a free flowing pendulum based energy in movements like the Swing, Snatch and Clean and an up/down, in/out motion in all movements. For instance, in the military press we are pressing/rooting our bodies into the ground while at the same time pulling our shoulder down, keeping it in the socket as the arm reaches to the sky. This is an equal and opposite action and somewhere between these two is a harmony and it is our ability to maximize the principles and our bodies to achieve optimal harmony within the movement.

As we move the bell we must remember the bell moves for us if we take advantage of the physics and principles behind the movements and the bodies role (i.e. full body/whole body movements). We must learn not to fight ourselves or the physics but learn to move with and flow with, while taking the shape of the movement.

Let the bell work, relax and trust your knowledge and ability and this goes well beyond the Kettlebell....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pavel and The RKC, a debt of Gratitude

I have been swinging the Kettlebells for 8 years now and been certified for 5. Throughout my time as a trainer/coach I have attended numerous certifications. And with The RKC put on by dragondoor in town this week I still have to say that it is the best hands down certification I have attended. I learned more in those 3 days than any other cert. I was fortunate to be there in the early days when you had the likes of many rises KB 'stars' emerge and this is evident in the various certifying groups available now days. But, I have to say there is a reason the RKC is what it is and it comes down to the man who is teacher/master of us all, Pavel Tsatsouline. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to him for bringing this to our attention along with John DuCane.

I am not a Team Leader, Senior, or Master in the RKC system so when I speak I do so with the Wisdom and awareness around where the root of the KB movement arouse and who are the founders and fore fathers of such movement. Plus, I respect Pavel far more than just the KB, he is wise well beyond this and truly is a complete package and his whole system is reflected in this. Many of us have and do ride his coat tails and stand upon his shoulders. Because of this the Kettlebell and the industry of strength, conditioning and personal training is evolving to new heights and putting out high quality instructors.

Unlike other certifications I have attended, the RKC tests your knowledge and makes you perform and demonstrate your ability before you earn your stripes and this is essential for the quality behind the work we do in the world of fitness.

The RKC is a great step or addition to any trainers, athlete, coaches toolbox.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Swing!

The Swing:

When I think of the human being and the human body I see the amazing beauty that we all share and at the same time the unique aspects that distinguish us from each other. Through the 15 years I have been coaching I have had to opportunity to study many different forms and theories/practices behind human movement practices and observe an inordinate of people performing these practices through my coaching or other observational opportunities (i.e. certifications, videos, sporting events, etc.).

I have trained with some well versed coaches and observed countless number of swings in my time as a kettlebell instructor, 5 years this April 2010. And through that time I have constantly evaluated and reformed my teaching of the movement. What I have learned is that there is specific principles that form the foundation of the Kettlebell Swing and no one does it better than the RKC, as Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons says about the Westside Method, ‘often imitated but never duplicated’ and this is the case with the RKC swing.

However, as a coach I am sometimes confounded how we try to put people in a box when teaching a movement, assuming that all people move and operate or can function in the same way, as if there is one and only one answer. And based off of what I know and understand about the human being and more important the human body, this is indeed not the case. Principally speaking things such as keeping your spine straight, rooting your feet, linking your body, moving through and from the hips, moving the kettlebell in a pendulum based motion, maintaining center of gravity are all key points that I believe all Kettlebell swingers should employ based on the concept of what a swing is.

The point is that everyone has a unique anatomical structure comprised of different length of segments, various muscle length/tension relationships, various strength/weakness relationships, etc. and these all need to be taken into careful consideration when teaching and making adjustments of any particular movement. As a coach it is imperative that we understand the logic behind any movement and more importantly then be able to apply our understanding to our students and teach/coach everyone for what they are, an individual. We must look at each person and be able to identify how we can best help them based on their goals and advise them appropriately treating them as an individual.

In addition, we need to take the skills imparted upon us by top notch organizations like the RKC and then take that information and apply it to the community, people and individuals. As coaches, teachers, athletes, we need to remember it is our job to serve the individual, even in a group setting and to do so within their abilities not any box. Take the foundation and apply with discretion. Safe and effective, with the principles of the movement and the individual working together

Friday, February 12, 2010

Doctor, doctor

The question was posed, do you have any concerns about being a doctor in clinic? and before I could answer the admission director looked at me and said, 'probably not'. Truth be told, nope. How cool it is to be on this journey to put myself out there and challenge my ability to learn and comprehend a whole new terminology all in an effort to be able to serve my future clients health and wellness needs to the best level possible.

Yes I want to be the best, not in comparisons to others but in comparison to myself and know that I put my best foot forward. And no I am not concerned because I am in control of my destiny barring any unforeseen things but all things being equal I have the keys to the car and I can do what I want with it. I am eager to learn, study, explore, research, practice and become the best I can. What an awesome journey and I stoked to be here and now and I look forward to being the best doctor possible and that will be determined in large part by my efforts over the next 4 years and my future clients health and wellness.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Speaking and LIving Your Truth

Yes, I feel at ease with how I live, how I travel this world, this journey, this path, my life. Some may call it confidence, others cockiness or ego, others stubborn, others ignorant but truthfully I do not care. For it is our duty to live our best life within what we know and understand at that present moment. Am I content yes, am I stopping, heck know. Everyday I go out exploring, observing and learning in an effort to evolve because I understand there is more than one way to get to the same goal, in this case living ones truth, essence or best life.

There is many ways to the same spot, point, destination and I want to explore as many as possible and enjoy it along the way. I cannot tell you whether my approach is a good idea for you but I can say it is working for me as I have continued to grow and evolve and I am excited with each step on the journey, eager and curious and with a smile and a compassionate heart filled with gratitude and awareness around my many blessings.

good, bad or indifferent I do not see much worth arguing or debating but I see plenty worthy of observing, witnessing, learning and appreciating. All the people I encounter, the experiences I live are worthy of an opportunity and I am humbled daily by the beauty of that and those that surround me and offer so much just by their sheer presence. We may not do, act, feel, think, see, smell, taste, talk, the same but to me that is of no relevance it is the fact that we all have our way and we can learn from observing and witnessing without judgment on one another. You may feel right and think I am wrong, so be it, it is a beautiful thing that you have your way and me mine and I fully respect and appreciate that which makes us all unique.

The ability to share, to see through a compassionate lens of life, to be open to the moment and what is being presented and to be aware of the beauty of life and be able to talk/share without judgment is a wonderful blessing.

Live and speak your truth and shucks if you can show me a better or alternative way and it makes sense to the way i process things I am open, love to learn and explore.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Paying Homage

I stand here today on top of the shoulders of all those who have stood before me and opened the doors for people like myself to explore the avenues of life in which I have traveled. It is because of others that so much opportunity exists and this extends to a myriad of different aspects of life. But for the purpose of self reflection I could not help but think of the people who created the pathways in which i travel, from the thousands of years of history in Chinese Medicine and Philosophy, to Krishnamacharya and his students like Iyengar & Jois (ashtanga); people like Pavel in Kettlebells, Simmons in Powerlifitng, Ueshiba in Aikido, and then my teachers like Reifkind. The list goes on and on beyond these more modern day people in the history of these various 'things'.

Whatever we do, whereever we are I believe it is essential to have an idea of history and how it enables us to be where we are. Beyond what they did, it was why they did, how they did, etc. Many of the greats did this more than to benefit there personal wealth and well being, but more to advance society or these 'things' to help others.

Yes, I am selfish and self absorbed, wanting to learn, study, explore life but the best part is all this self centered stuff has enabled me to live my truth, my essense and contribute/share in compassionate and loving way as a teacher, educator, coach, mentor, friend, listening ear, and soon as a doctor and in the end be a contributing member of society. And, I thank all those who have stood before me on all levels for making this possible and for all those who currently continue to create opportunities and contribute to the growth and evolution of all things/beings.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some more reflection and application of TCM

To no surprise my education in the Traditional Chinese Medicine is making me re-think and re-evaluate the concept of health and wellness. The concept of Yin and Yang is the primary basis of TCM and reminds me of the old adage, 'everything in moderation' or you can think of it as balance or harmony. Keep in mind this is dynamic and is dependent on the constitution of the individual. However, the basic premise is 100% applicable to all human beings relative to their constitution.

I cannot argue with the idea of homeostasis as it is thought in western terminology and achieving a balance in the body. Of course, there is little in western ideology that is about Balance and harmony, everything is pretty much 'balls to the wall' and I am sure guilty of this adage.

But, since I started practicing daily meditation, and more specifically Mindfulness and my yoga practice I have been noticing gradual changes in my constitution. Nutrition plays a large role as does proper rest which fortunately I get plenty of but in reality it is no coincendence as I begin to delve deeper and learn more about TCM philosophy.

One of the funny things is I have been able to increase or maintain my strength and fitness levels (even with long breaks/layoffs, over 3.5 months on my last layoff and by doing less volume and work and more quality. I am aware that I am highly trained and this means I can get away with less and get more due to physiology. I can give examples but the numbers and not nearly as important as the actual reality of what is happening.

On a larger scale, I am putting things together in a more balanced manner, not over extending in one area or another and feeling great while continuing to progress even at the ripe age of 35. Much more to come but I do not want to jump to false conclusions about my understanding of TCM, it is quite intense and deep in nature with a ton to learn but safe to say it is very logical, truly open to the flow and moving in accordance with nature, which is far smarter than the human if you ask me :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

First week of School in Traditional Chinese Medicine

One week is in the books and so is my nose. There is much to learn and study in Chinese Medicine and I am a eager and willing participate. The first has taught me many things, such as:

*I am in the right place, this is a field for me to endeavor to excel in serving the needs of patients and the field of complimentary, alternative and integrative medicine.

*It is coming to me and quickly, the basic foundation of principles and concepts Chinese Medicine is steeped in sing a sweet tone too me.

*Philosophically speaking, the basis of Chinese medicine is rooted in Yin and Yang. This is the basis of Taoism and this is a philosophy that I comprehend well and enjoy exploring. This makes learning about the Chinese Medical system of function much easier.

*Additionally it is based on the Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) which are essential to life and living. I am a man of nature and one who spends time in the surrounding of the elements of nature and understand the interdependence.

*This medicine is not magic, not mysticism, but truly a medicine with sound basis and a long history to stand upon. It has and continues to evolve and has the ability to help in many cases the body return to its normal function and rid dis-ease.

*I will be traveling abroad at some point in my studies to live and study in China, to gain expereince and a understanding of the field from the 'motherland' of TCM. I want to learn more about the culture, history and language as well to better understnad the practice of TCM in living an healthy lifestyle.

More to come on all this but I am honored to be in a position to study, learn, and eventually practice this fine medicine and contribute to the health and well-being of patients whom I will treat, as well contribute to the medical field.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

If you allow and are open, life will provide you with amazing opportunities and experiences. Some may feel scary, some may feel exciting, some challenging, some life changing, and some daunting, but they are there for us for a, if not many reasons. We can ask all sorts of questions as to what, why, who, when, how, where, etc. and in due time if we take them and even if we do not many if not all these questions will be answered and provide you with clarity.

As of this past summer I had no plans for doctoral school or medical school. But I was open and exploring myself throughout 2009 and looking into many avenues of things, directions to go. Traveling and spend plenty of time on the road in foreign lands with friends, new friends, strangers, and by myself gave me plenty of opportunity and experience to answer some of the ??'s, many of which I was not actively asking.

As summer turned to fall I had my applications in for my doctoral programs, however not 100% convinced but still open and eager and thus knowing it was time to move and challenge myself to new endeavors I was looking forward to the new road. And before I knew my status at either of the schools I applied I put out and inquiry and did some research on TCM (traditional chinese medicine).

I remember in high school I thought about Medical School, Western Medical school but a video on the struggles, trials and tribulations was quite discouraging and thus Business school. And during business school studies I earned a Massage Certificate and began work at my cousins Integrated Medicine Center which had Acupuncture, Herbology, Tai Chi and much more. I inquired about TCM back then but realized I would need many more years of schooling which I thought I wanted no part of.

Well, 15 years late here I am, much has happened in my life since then and now I embark on a new road, which will work nicely with all I have learned, practiced, studied and done for the past 15 years. As the Founder of the school said, I am on a great path and at a great place in the time for the advancement in the medical world. There is a growing trend toward Western and Eastern practices being used as complimentary practices.

Well, I glad to be in line to be on the front lines of the progression of health and wellness in this world. So many opportunities and experiences are awaiting and this new path will bring much personal and professional growth. So glad to be open and free to breathe and live this life and all that it brings.

Day 1 of TCM begins in 12 hours.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In the moment

As I prepare for med school I am aware that a large part of time will be dedicated to my studies, more so than ever before. Although I realize that I truly do not know exactly what this means in terms of direct time, I am aware that some of the many things
I have enjoyed over the last few years will be more difficult o achieve since so much more of my time will be occupied with school.

So I sit and think how much I appreciate the time I have had but also have I have under utilized this freedom to do and go as I please. For instance, leisure reading will take a backseat to school books; full yoga classes, weight lifting, running, etc. That I could do each day will be much more difficult to be able to do; and the list goes on.

This is not about regret but gratitude and the realization that the time is always now and it is imperative to live life to the fullest becuase some day aspects of your life will evolve and some thing may be more difficult to come by with such ease.