It makes sense for me to compile a list of movements I have been testing and training lately, especially as they have been selected and modified to improve my physique as well as resolve pain.
In addition, I will answer a question posed to me via Facebook regarding kettlebell certification.
“Should I go to the Russian Kettlebell Challenge certification?”
I waited about five days to answer this man’s question. Of late I am aware that if I verbal player hate on the RKC, as I did with Crossfit for so long, that I will likely regret it down the line, and will then feel a need to restate my position. And while I have strong feelings about the RKC, as well as some wonderful memories and experiences directly resultant from my time with them, I am going to tell you now, MR, that you do not require an RKC cert to function as a qualified kettlebell instructor on this planet.
I can teach you a more adaptable testing and training protocol for Kettlebells for far less coin and with the potential for continual results.
The downside is that no one has heard of the Authentic Strength Kettlebell University and you will not be able to meet Pavel through training with me. If that is what you desire.
However, the upside is that for 2G you’ll get the maximum effective application from the minimum effective amount of information. Truly, unglamorous yet directly applicable to any branch of the factor tree sprouted once kettlebell training begins.
“I already have an HKC and the IKFF certs, should I go to the RKC?”
Good heavens, no. Connect data, rather than collect data. That’s what yer ole dad here is all about. Presently, anyway.
“What caused you to leave the RKC? I heard you could make serious coin teaching for them?”
Yes, I once made almost 10g in one day. I felt like the longest dick in the dicktionary. But alas, I do believe that the RKC is a broken system, as most systems become.
The feed forward tension and RKC hallmark of power breathing as well as the lack of scalability for the drills allow little growth from the user, as they are not beginning their kettlebell training from where they ARE. Rather, they are going TO someone else’s starting point and forcing themselves into a box, from which the answer to any questions posed by an “inability” to perform any exercise is to see a Functional Movement Specialist for some corrective exercises.
Now, the people who run these teams are all smart and educated cats, yet i feel as though what I can teach you is a more direct route with greater availability and adaptable situations than what The Russian would teach you.
And in Case you did not read the previous posts, I am grateful that Pavel gave me the chance to teach in front of over 1,500 people in only 4.5 years time. And Pavel will always remain someone I respect and consider one of my greatest influences. His knowledge of powerlifting and flexibility are nearly unmatched, and his generosity is staggering.
But my “Kettlebell U” is the bomb shit, son!
I’ll see you at the enrollment desk.
Part II: Resolving pain and developing shoulders that stop traffic:
Press press press, all day long, press press press while I sing this song.
I thought that lateral raises were for beauty queens and that reverse flyes would turn my external reproductive organs internal.
Oh no! I’m turning into a pussy because I have physique goals.
Well, I let someone else’s views on physique transformation distort the value I placed on it, and I concerned myself largely with pressing, pistoling, and doing a pull up with a 106lb kettlebell for about two years.
If you know nothing about me, here is the abstract:
Boy grows up with poor nutrition and develops self image “issues” related to a lack of muscularity and leanness. Boy remembers the movie Predator and how Arnold appeared as though he could kill an alien poacher, smoke a cigar, decimate central American mercenaries, and get wet with Maria Conchita Alonzo just because he had mad beef all over his bones. Boy discovers weight training and never looks back.
So when I entered the RKC school of strength, and the premium was placed on how strong you are rather than how u look (which is cool, totally cool) I told myself that vanity should shift to “I can outpress anyone in my weight class” rather than “I came to party, and your girl is lookin’ at me”.
It ended badly for me.
So now, as pain decreases via frankie Faires’ work with me and my continued work on said path, I feel pretty good. Good enough to branch out and test stuff that will build the beef I desire and hopefully have Hot Stuff out in the twin cities hollering at me for drinks and dancing. Hell, I would even go to her house an do chores if that’s what she wants.
“Hi, I’m Rico the yard slave, would you like me to take my shirt off while I rotate your soil?”
Yeah, it could be like that.
In conjunction with the desire to build more powerful looking arms and shoulders comes the need to resolve the pain in my neck.
Abstract: boy gets into four car accidents in six years, three wrecks, two jeep wranglers eviscerated, and only once was I behind the wheel. Boy twists his ankle after fast roping out of a helo and then walks funny with sprained neck for about a year. Boy hurts daily, boy wants to die sometimes it hurts so bad. Boy has wonderful friends and has not given up.
So when the pain in my neck resurfaced in January, I did not freak. In hindsight (always clearer) I decided that the pain resurfaced so I could fix it.
Last summer was all about resolving back pain and hip pain and getting strong again after hernia surgery.
I considered myself cured (like a dumbass) even though I had not been positioned to resolve or deal with neck pain since I began Gym Movement Protocol.
So now I am resolving that pain. Everyday I learn more, I feel “gooder”, and I see more into my future. For example:
I am going to eat Mexican food this week. Ask me how I know that?
Two goals. Bigger pipes and cannonball shoulders, and reduced/resolved pain in my neck. Two destinations, one road?
Is it possible? As sure as I will drink Don Julio and eat carne asada this week, it is POSSIBLE. And it is likely. A few things that it is surely not are:
B) Beyond me
C) A minor matter
It’s my life. I’m committed to asking people for money to make them look better.
Gotta live it like that.
Shoulder and arm hypertrophy:
Triceps pressdowns, various grip positions and attachments to the high cable station.
Strongergrip.com red rafter curls
Forearm curls and extension work, usually testing with an Olympic bar.
Dumbbell shrugs, unilateral, with our Fat Grip attachment. Different body position for left and right, performed at a moderate pace.
Dumbbell lateral raise for my right arm and a caption for my left arm. Unilaterally trained, present ROM includes me beginning the movement with my arm abducted slightly from my body, and raising just a wee bit higher than my shoulder. These feel great.
Partial range handstand (wall-stand) push ups. To get an idea, I kick up into a wall stand and press with the shortest ROM possible. Hands are not symmetrical. My right hand is elevated about .5″ and off my body just a bit.
Pain resolution: Neck
One handed deadlifts, using a stirrup handle and a loading pin.
2″ vertical bar deadlifts, not always testing well.
COC gripper work.
One arm kettlebell swings on the right side, from an asymmetrical stance. No power breathing or feed forward tension.
And to note something that I am not doing anymore, which may or may not have added to my neck pain, is reading as much as I can.
I feel that holding a book at eye level and reading is ok, yet looking down to read a book in my lap or even reading in bed may have really jacked me up.
And there you have it gang. Some serious and less than serious thoughts on what I’m into and what I’ve learned.
And for the guy who asked me another question on Facebook, the answer is yes. I am for real about Lady Gaga. “The Fame Monster” record from 2009 is like her Led Zeppelin II. It’s quite something.
Peace from the east (coast)