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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  :)

Outdoor Workout - Repurpose Your Local Fit Trail!

I'm technically "between programs" right now as I figure out the next strategy other than the usual general physical maintanence, get stronger, etc.  That plus having too much fun with the Convict Conditioning progressions (got past my mental barrier with the walking down the wall bridges, and of course am now totally addicted to doing them), and being introduced to MovNat a couple weeks ago had me thinking that it was time to "take it outside."   And while other parts of the country/world are experiencing a dismal gray slush or oppressive rain, here the weather was gorgeous and absolutely perfect for a day in the park.   This past week a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted to find a fit trail and "climb on things" and that was all the encouragement I needed.    Besides, I wanted to help her with her kettlebell Swing, and let her try out the Battling Rope my classes have been enjoying so much.

Fit trails are so much fun - and you can really do a lot with them - I decided to carry along my trusty 16kg Dragon Door kettlebell the whole time we were there, thankfully the fit trail is in a loop so you can start and end at the parking lot.   Being as I've decided to never cut weight again for the RKC Snatch Test (Read why here: Strength Trumps The Scale), I carried it around with us because of that whole bonding thing.  Also, I wanted to do some random swings, pistols, presses, snatches etc in between our fit trail fun. Besides, my friend needed to work on some swings too.  And an extra 35lbs switching hands whenever isn't that big of a deal anyhow - especially after we drank all four bottles of Beyond Organic water.  They really need to make bigger bottles - sorry guys, but we can work up a thirst down here in Florida.

So here was the basic plan - we started with the pull up and parallel dip bar station - where my friend knocked out some of her very first real-deal pull ups ever - can't tell you how proud I am.  I practiced some pull ups, straight leg raises, and a few of the things from MovNat involving pressing up from the top of the bar. We then did dips, L-sits, and generally climbed around like a couple of crazy kids.   Next was a stop at the "monkey bars" station where we took turns traversing the monkey bars - each bar, skipping a bar, changing directions etc. and super setting with kettlebell swings, pistols & snatches.

a few 10ths of a mile down the trail we found some ab station things (large platforms with a raised bar) - which were great for dragon flag practice, straight leg raises, and interestingly enough - push up variations - make them easier by raising your hands, or harder by putting your feet up on the bar!   And more kettlebell swings, snatches etc - then a longer walk to the balance beam area - where we traversed them forwards, backwards, standing, on all fours, etc.  And my friend discovered that she has excellent balance!  Between all this, more swings, squats, some bent press practice, then it was back to the car to drop off the kettlebell and swap it out for the Battling Rope.

Using a small piece of rope I carry with it, we attached it to a tree and proceeded to make a big racket - crushing leaves and of course laughing too - so much so that we attracted the attention of a woman pushing a baby carriage who decided to give it a try too.  She quickly saw how fun (and heart rate raising) it was.   After taking some funny mid-air pictures, it was time to eat...   That's right... steak and guacamole!!!

While we were walking etc, my friend and I had some great discussions - as adults, some of us have lost touch with the essential element of non-competitive "play" and how it can not only contribute to our fitness, but how it can relieve stress and bring us closer to friends and family.   Our "workouts" don't always have to focus on duration, PRs, reps, time intervals etc. sometimes its just good to go out there and figure some things out - work around obstacles, find hidden strengths/abilities and of course unknown weaknesses to work on as well.  Have you experienced joy in your workout lately?  I recommend it!

How can you use found items like a fit trail to mix up your workout?  Let me know what you try!


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