Senior RKC Mark “Rif” Riefkind posted this on his blog. It got me to thinkin’. Arnold was the single most influential fitness figure in my young mind from the earliest years I can remember until, well, I read The Russian Kettlebell Challenge. The guy had some swagger, and some size on him, which was amplified by the smile he always wore, content like a statue, knowing that what he did for a living was lift weights. Say what you will about his Gubernatorial savvy, the guy had it made for many years. And while these days I search for safe and effective methods to bring strength and health and sexy parts to my clientele, rather than the ‘traditional’ aim of straight up cosmetic exercise, I remain one of the million kids who was turned onto bodybuilding, and ultimately health/fitness, by the Oak. I used to own a copy of the movie this clip was taken from. It was titled “Pumping Iron” and followed the lives of 4 bodybuilders, Lou Ferrigno and Frank Zane, to name two, en route to the , I believe ’76 Mr. Olympia. Spoiler ALERT! Arnold wins. I passed it on and never was it seen again. If you have not seen this film, go to it. Do it, DO IT NOW!

>This weekend was tough for we North easterners. It was raining. Men. Today’s 0600 Kettlebell Class at the Summit in Chester Springs PA was three gentlemen. Last Saturday 1000 class was two men (the 0900 class saw a dozen folks getting their swing on). This evening, I followed up on an offer to perform a kettlebell demonstration at a martial arts studio in Coshohocken PA. Of the 17 who trained this eve 14 were men, young and old, from Grandpa kettle to Lil’ Johnny Meddle. Unreal. I teach at fitness facilities and perform In-home Training. When the weather permits, and if you live in the Atlantic Northeast you know what I mean when I say “Who the hell knows what that means?”, I teach at parks and empty fields. 85% of my clients are women. Through Brian Petty RKC I linked up with a local Emergency Response Team (tactical unit comprised of officers from a dozen local police departments in Chester County PA), and on to a local fire rescue company. Mostly dudes. But these last few days have been solid. I enjoy training a group of ages and sexes both various and sundry, but a crows of dudes brings back the feeling of training with other young Jarheads so many years ago. In 9 days I will have been discharged from my beloved Marine Corps for 5 years. Which means it will also be the 9Th full year following my entry in to USMC recruit training. After the RKC Sarah and I are flying to California, and as we saunter south to Baja California, we’ll pass through my previous, and only permanent duty station, of Camp Pendleton.

Woah, that was a tangent. It’s late and I’m listening to a sick, SICK Tool play list.
If you have the means, put on Lateralus, both album and song.

I have designed quite the grim looking snatch workout for next week’s RKC weekend. it is NOT looking good for the participants. They’ll just have to earn, as they always do.


>I finally, after almost 6.5 years of spouting (First chance I have I’m going to get the Hydrostatic weighing done, but blah blah blah [insert excuse]). Well, a client of mine found a guy who does it locally, and that guy ended up driving his dunk tank up to the gym I maintain a membership with. Well, I did it. And, I sent the gentleman about 6 people as well. He gave me discount as a trainer. I told him that was nice.

So I’m not bummed, but I do need to shed some body fat. Wait, let me back up. let me tell you why I started working out in the first place.

Haverford Middle School, crica 1991. Clad in black Nirvana T-Shirt and Chuck Taylor’s, a young, not quite innocent Eric Williams Jr. gets dumped by his first girlfriend because the “guy up the street has such a nice body”. For the first time ever I examine my own physique. Not yet of hairy body parts and certainly still of the virginal persuasion, it becomes clear to me that muscles = chicks. I have very little muscle and have not yet kissed a girl. The quest begins. All winter long, I grapple with the idea that though I am a “Rocker” and not a “Jock”, I need to lift weights. So, in between bouts of playing air guitar in my basement and stealing cigarettes from my dad, I perform bent Rows, push ups, jumping jacks and sit ups on the dirty, crowded floor of my grandmother’s basement (my family were working poor, we lived with my Mom’s Mom, Rest In Peace NANA!) Well, after one summer of sweat and
effort in my subterranean hangout, I gave up. It turns out you can get just as many, if not more girls, playing in a band, as you can playing football.

Haverford Senior High School, crica 1995. A tall and emotionally stunted Eric “Willy” Williams asks his JV lacrosse coach “Why did McCarthy beat me out for the starting position?” Coach sez, I smoke too much dope, have no weak side stick handling ability, and I am terribly out of shape. UGH. Back to the gym. This time it lasts for about 18 months. After high school I cannot afford a gym membership so I get my strong on while delivering kitchen appliances. Yes, 20 cubic foot refrigerators are heavy. My truck partner is an amateur, drug free body builder who gives me all the knowledge in the world to lose weight. The USMC recruiter said, and I quote “You smoke too much dope, you have no Military Bearing, and you are terribly out of shape. Start running 3 miles a day, and lose 35 lbs. by August.” OK!

So my truck partner helps me understand what good nutrition is, and I start pounding water like a madman. Running, push ups, sit ups. All that shit. Father’s Day 1997, violent car accident on the freeway at 0430. Myself and two buddies ejected from Jeep while doing 90. Roadrash all over my backside, 2 broken scapulae, a broken clavicle, and some cracked ribs. Not sexy. 4 months on the couch eating Chef Boyardee and watching the X Files on VHS. Just imagine how your physique would look. Yikes, right?

I entered the United States Marine Corps recruit training depot at Parris Island, South Carolina on 26 April, 1998. I ended my active service with an honorable discharge on 26 April, 2002. Today is 17 April, 2007. Health and fitness has been a part of my life since the day I got dumped. Whether as a means to achieve a selfish, cosmetic goal, or as a means to reach others and teach them the discipline that my Marine Corps taught me. It is IN me, as the commercials say.

So at the Fitness Wave site, I weighed in at 269 lbs, with a body fat of 13.7%. Higher than I wanted to be, but I didn’t cry about it. My lean body mas is, get this, 232 lbs. That is than most human beings weigh. Also, I have my health, my home, my family. And in these times, when learning institutions become slaughter houses and the war we’re fighting has either divided or united this nation (I’m not sure), I’m thankful for everything.

So in order to lose about 1+ pound of fat per week I need to consume 3800 calories per day. I broke that # down 40-30-30 style (Proteins-Carbs-Fats), and it looks like some pretty hefty eating. My problem is portion control. I can’t stop once I start. I eat healthy food non-stop. We shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, all that shit. But for me, dinner is 3 tuna steaks and 4 cups of rice. I’m working on toning it down a wee bit. Also, with the high rep kettlebell training I’ve been doing lately, my metabolism has been revved a bit. In the week since I got dunked, I’ve leaned out a bit, and given up caffeine almost entirely (again). I’m motivated to stay on track by the number 3800. Shit, there are people out there, MEN, who would get sick off of 4000 calories a day. I need to honor that idea, and keep the fork at bay.

Next time around I’ll detail how my first post-USMC relationship went horribly sour and I lost 7 pounds in two days! Yeah! Just kidding.

And now, a moment of silence. Don’t ask what for, just turn the radio down, bow your head, and say thank you.

For you are alive.