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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  :)

Beginner's Mind in All Things... a Workout and Notes from the Orlando Maker Faire

First off, I'm very happy with the decision to "finally get around to" ordering that 10kg kettlebell. GiryaGirlHQ now has doubles in 10lb, 8kg, 10kg, 12kg, 14kg, 16kg, 18kg, 20kg, 24kg, etc. Many of my very strong women clients and workout partners have been wanting access to the pair of 10kg, and they are just a great all-around size to work with. For advanced people, they can present a really great double bottoms-up press challenge too... So, after realizing the double 10kg kettlebells were perfect for a workout partner of mine, I wrote this little thing up, grabbed the 10kg for her and meant to get the 14kg for me, but left one upstairs, so I did it with a pair of 16kg and took my time.

Double Trouble Poker Chip workout

This"double-trouble" style workout uses the poker chips to allow for self-pacing. Poker chips for what?!  So here's the deal... I started occasionally bringing a little box (and on some occasions a big box) of poker chips to the small group class a few years ago after we all had some comically absurd difficulties keeping track of reps and rounds of things.  Then I realized that it might be fun to assign a set of one exercise to each color chip and give each participant a little stack of each color to work through at their own pace. It also was a fun experiment in human behavior as each participant seemed to apply their own personal strategies.  Some people did the exercises they liked the most first, others did the exercises they liked the least first to "get them over with" others worked down the line doing everything in the order on the workout color key. Some kept the chips in neat stacks, others mixed the chips in a large pile and just grabbed whatever was on top. SO INTERESTING! If you try it, let us know what you end up doing with your workout!

In other news, those of you following along on Twitter, Instagram and a little on Facebook might have seen a mention of the recent Orlando Maker Faire. I haphazardly mashed a lot of the media I recorded while there into a video below, but before we get to it, one of a really fun moments was their "learn to solder" station.

In martial arts, kettlebells, calisthenics, and really anything that involves practice and skill, there's often mention of the concept of "beginner's mind". It's an interesting world out there sometimes... there's a lot of people who act like they have all the answers, but yet, those answers don't always match up with the right questions.  And "well this is how I've always done it" is usually always wrong. I'm amazed at the tendency of human nature to cling to the familiar no matter how much it isn't working or doesn't work. One of the greatest things is to help someone learn a new way... Even I had thought I'd "tried everything" before learning to use kettlebells in the RKC Hardstyle way - and while I had tried a lot of things, that kettlebell method was the first that actually DID what it said it would do.

Dragon Door Freestanding Pullup Bar GifInterrupting this paragraph to show you the BRAND NEW Dragon Door freestanding pull-up bar - it's super stable (I've played with the prototype at both Dragon Door Health and Strength Conferences and put it through it's paces with no mercy - it's so stable that even the extreme lateral force I excerted with these super nasty ugly gross attempts at a muscle up didn't even disturb it--this link is to a youtube video of that occasion.) and can be adjusted for bodyweight rows, dips, neutral-grip pull-ups, and I've even seen Danny Kavadlo do a human flag on it too (I'll try that when mine gets here, rest assured!). Anyway... check it out! Seriously good value at $399 Can't wait to show you when mine arrives soon!

I love helping people learn that they CAN do things that they didn't think they could, or that the mainstream has told them that they can't. On one hand it always pains me when I see "Can women do kettlebells" or "is Convict Conditioning ok for women" in the list of Google searches leading to On the other hand I am glad that the people asking those questions are coming here and learning YES THEY CAN! and YES IT IS OK and that so many many many many other things are OK and within their reach and wonderful and please please kick out whoever in your life is telling you that you can't (even if it's just your own self-doubt... kick that out too). Went a little overboard there but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I've been soldering with bad to reasonable skill since the mid 1990s... but it's been a while and some of the most recent (7 years ago?) work outside of small repairs was related to the hap-hazard hobby of "circuit bending" (I still have one of the working instruments here, it makes such bizarre noises on purpose). So while I technically "knew what I was doing" I both wanted to get one of those cool MakerFaire pins which were the center of the "how to solder" activity, to see if I had any bad habits to destroy, and or what I could be doing better. I stepped up to the nearest available helper-person and met Brian who is on the little video below as well. I told Brian I basically know what I'm doing but pretend that I have NO IDEA... because well beginner's mind and who knows what sort of horrible bad habits I have!  Turns out Brian said this same sort of thing to someone else at another similar simple project situation, and ended up learning just a fantastic new que/trick. Which he then taught to me. FANTASTIC!!!! So I learned a few things. 1. I wasn't bad off with soldering, especially with a better iron than what I have at home for spot repairs...  2. This new trick (I need to draw a diagram for it or gesture at you to teach it) and 3. Beginner's mind is the way to go in electronics too.

That being said - here's the Orlando MakerFaire recap video I cobbled together from various sources that day:

If Maker-related technology stuff interests you, you might also like this little portal I put together on another domain. It displays cool info on a number of topics I find interesting and is a nice positive contrast from political news... in case you need a break: is still very new, so there are some things which are not perfect with it yet, so keep that in mind!!!

ONE last thing... it's like crazy awesome new stuff from Dragon Door week or something... because Phil Ross and Marty Gallagher have just unleashed their new ebook title Ferocious Fitness... and having already read an advance copy I can absolutely assure you the workouts therein are FEROCIOUS.  If you're an MMA fighter or other competitive fighter, check it out (especially since there's a lauch discount right now)


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