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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

Ask GiryaGirl: Confusion with HKC, RKC, SFG, Photoshoots, Grab n Go Foods

This has been the week for very meaningful conversations. In addition to many messages, emails, and phone calls with friends and fellow instructors/trainers and aspiring instructors, I've conducted over 5 very intensive interviews this past week (and this week isn't nearly over yet). I can't wait for them to be ready to share. Some of the personal stories are inspiring to say the least.  But I don't want to give anything away just yet.     Many of the non-interview conversations brought up a number of questions that more people may want to hear answered, so I'll address them here too!


I'm confused about this whole RKC and SFG thing, is something going away? Is something replacing something? Are my certifications still valid?! WHAT?!?!?!?!? *insert random freakout here*


Great news! Nothing is going away!  RKC and HKC are continuing, you may even notice that there's been a few more RKC workshops scheduled in the near future - some of which are limited to 25 participants (small class size = more individual attention.. hmmmmmm tempting.).  HKC continuing as well.   SFG = Strong First Girevik(?) and is the kettlebell certification from StrongFirst, which is Pavel's new organization.   As you may have seen there's a lot of hub-bub and bizarre speculation going on online for the past few weeks, months, uggh feels like forever.   Thing is - some folks are making it into an "us vs them" thing and that's simply not necessary.   StrongFirst is new and so far seems to have a somewhat different philosophy and outlook from Dragon Door.   Take that how you will.   One will appeal to some, both may appeal to others, end of the tale= it's all good.   Your RKC and HKC certifications are as valid as ever (assuming you are keeping up with your recerts every 2 years as you should be anyway), and you'll need to check with SF about the details of their program, but at least for a while, they are honoring your certs over there.   It's not "converting" or "replacing" it's "adding."    My advice is to follow your heart.


That's nice... so what are YOU going to do, GiryaGirl?


I've actually thought a whole lot about this, and the answer may or may not surprise you, depending on how much we hang out, or how obsessively you stalk me online.   I'm sticking with RKC and Dragon Door - and not just because I write interviews for them on occasion.  Notice the little yellow box and the phrase "Hand-Picked Resources for Optimal Living."   While I think that strength is of course incredibly important, I don't necessarily place it above everything.  For many years, I've sought a healthy lifestyle with balance (literal and figurative definitions), efficiency—and optimum performance physically AND mentally.   All of the resulting practices I constantly research are required to be sustainable for the long term, and must not result in injury (no question, I will bail on a lift if it starts going wrong).  As I approach the ripe old age of 36 (I'm being sarcastic about "old age") in a few months, this is ever more at the helm of my thoughts.   Yes, strength is very important and is something I work on all the time.  On any given day, and at a bodyweight which fluctuates between about 125-128lbs, I can press the 24kg (53lbs) kettlebell on my right and left sides, as well as do a pistol (1 leg squat) with it on both sides (as I did just for the heck of it yesterday morning).  Get ups, same thing.   I haven't tested it in a while but I was also able to do a get up with a 28kg kettlebell a few months ago.  I Swing the 48kg, 106lb "Beast" kettlebell for reps without qualms.  Muscle ups without a kip, got it recently from a dead hang - they're ugly but they're happening.  So yes, strength is important to me, however I'm also very much interested in mobility practices like Primal Move, the pin point screening from CK-FMS, my tai chi/qigong practice (which has existed in some form since 2000), all the great calisthenics approaches, and various other topics.   I also like to try some strange things from time to time, and maintain an open mind (sometimes disturbingly so).   I'm not saying that this isn't happening other places, but I have seen the track record of Dragon Door and have full faith that they'll be continuing in a direction that's very much in line with my own philosophies on training.  

Looking forward to what the future holds for everyone and I am still and always will be friends with you all, regardless of the path you choose.   I'm not an "us and them" person by any stretch of the imagination.  NEXT!


I saw a couple of pictures with you in them that are supposidly going to be in an upcoming book from Al Kavaldo, how do you prepare for a photoshoot like that?


I prepare for a photoshoot by finding out what they want to shoot, if I need to bring any particular outfits (if they want something other than black that means I have to go shopping haha). Also, I make sure that I'm able to perform the moves they want.   Then I pack a bag and go.   That's it.   I don't change anything with how I eat or train, unless I need to dial in a skill or two.  I'm in what I call "perpetual maintenance mode" with a tendency to slowly crawl towards greater skill and strength.   This is not the norm for the fitness industry.  The people you see in women's fitness magazines often diet way down for a shoot, and then might be photoshopped into oblivion.  To each their own, but it's not my style - and I'm sure you won't find my "style" in mainstream mags anyway...(Question #2 on this other post explains the hairdo)  In my world, I feel like I should be able to roll out of bed and be reasonably presentable as is, or within 5-10 minutes—before makeup and including my questionable kung-fu looking pajamas.  Also, if I tell you I can do something in terms of strength or skill, it means I can do it under a variety of conditions.  Fortunately I don't hold anyone else to these sort of standards, but before you nag me about being too hard on myself, know that I have ever-evolving, self-designed systems which make all of this happen with relative ease.


I'm a student/parent/entrepreneur/etc. (or some combination of all those things) and therefore am making excuses for eating crummy things.   All the recipe books I've found have recipes they call "simple" but have so many blasted ingredients that I end up spending too much time and money, and then... might not even like the dish.  I need some grab n go options!


You are in luck!  On this recent trip to Ohio, I was really happy to see that not only had Cibo Express in the airport terminal kept up their supply of unusual and interesting snack bars, but that they'd added things like 2 packs of hardboiled eggs (including packets of sea salt and pepper), various cheeses, nuts, fruit and more.   If you're in an airport, find one of these - its easy and fast.    Apply the same logic for snacking on the go when you're at home.   Often on the weekend I'll hardcook a half dozen or full dozen eggs - grabbing 2 or 3 with black coffee is a nice simple breakfast I genuinely enjoy.   Bags of mixed nuts (if you have portion issues, get those 1/2 size "snack bags" from ziplock and measure out your own grab n go bags using a food scale.  Do this while the eggs are cooking for extra credit.  Sometimes I'll just eat a whole avocado sprinkled with salt, pepper, and lime juice... I cut it in half and eat it right out of the skin with a spoon!   Sometimes I just eat them this way plain too.   On Mondays, I typically cook up a large quantity of ground grassfed beef - and season it a particular way - maybe it's taco meat for example - at that point I add salad items and it's a meal.  I save the rest for a different meal later - I sometimes start with diced sweet potato or mixed vegetables, mostly browned in a pan of coconut oil - then add the crumbled beef, mixing to reheat and combine.  Served with guacamole, that's a favorite regular meal.  This recipe can be assembled almost anywhere - the items don't really need refrigeration from morning until lunchtime or at your hiking destination!   There's some more ideas buried in the holiday tips article, and in the cookbook and strategy guide I've been working on for you.

Hope all that helps - and please send me more questions! :)



 Adrienne - You're awesome!  Thanks for the rocking Q&A & clarifications (and for being sooo helpful in countless ways). 

Keep up the amazing work!



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