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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  :)

Clutch Flag Mini Tutorial and Video!

Clutch Flag Video Tutorial Convict Conditioning Volume 2Recently, a friend of mine asked about the grip for the clutch flag.  Given that this interesting move is one of my favorites to coach, and one of the most difficult to describe in just words (typing or even on the phone!) it seemed like a good idea to make a video.  But before we get to that, I wanted to mention a little bit of backstory.

Quite a while ago, even before the PCC Workshops came into being, I had picked up Convict Conditioning Volume 2, a sometimes misunderstood book.  The following is the main source of confusion (at least the one that people most often express when asking me about CC2) and my hopefully helpful opinionated answer:

"Wait... so Volume 2 means I have to wait until I've completed the Master Step of all the Big Six exercises in Convict Conditioning 1, right?"

NO!  Good news! Vol 2 kind of "fills in the gaps". While I would wholeheartedly encourage the absolute beginner to continue focusing on his or her strict basic program for a good while before mixing it up with Vol 2, it is not necessary to have completed every move in CC1 to the master step.   For most of us human beings, some of those moves will come faster than others, and some may take years.  Realistically we will hopefully all be finely honing those moves for a lifetime.  For example, while I recently discovered that I can do a few legit 1 arm push ups, I will be making them better and better over time, getting my stance narrower, etc. 

That being said, the simple 3-item mobility "Trifecta" warmup concoction in Vol2 is worth the price of admission alone--and it is good for all levels (assuming you have read both books, and undertand how to regress/progress the moves to your maximum benefit--yet another reason to stick with the basic program in CC1 for a while, you'll learn a ton from the experience of it.  Humbling yes I know, but that's what makes us tough, right?).

So in summary, Vol2 isn't the next step, it's an overlapping supplementary volum that filling in the gaps -- mobility sequence, side chain training (lateral stuff like flags!), really cool and practical approaches to extreme grip training, etc. etc. I can go on and on about this stuff of course.

Which brings us back to the flag.  When I first got Volume 2 I was immediately obsessed with the flags, and soon was able to do a clutch flag after reading the book and more than a little bit of trial and error (mostly error at first) before finding the best grip and approach.  I gave myself some weird bruises on the inside of my upper arm that I hope the video below will help you avoid because 1. they hurt and 2. they're unsightly in a way that makes people act concerned (and that's never a good thing).

While the clutch flag only takes a fraction of the strength needed for a full on "human flag" aka "press flag" it is not necessarily an easy move for most people.  There's some interesting neurological weirdnes with being sideways without your feet on the ground.  You will also need to really keep your side chain tight.   Forget those goofy 1980s aerobic side crunches this is a whole different universe.

The video below was done very quickly and in one take, so keep that in mind.  I'm able to hold the clutch flag for time and love to practice it here and there, having held it for long periods in the past, I find that I am more able to pop up into it more reliably.

Anyway, I hope this video helps you and that you consider checking out Convict Conditioning Volume 2 in the near future if that's appropriate for you.

Should also add that the Clutch Flag is one of my absolute favorite moves to coach at PCC workshops too -- because most people in attendance will have most of the required strength to do the move with just a little bit of adjustment (mental or physical).  And it's really fun to see people do it for the first time they're usually surprised (because it is a very strange feeling).  The tips in the video are just a few that I like to give people, these are the ones for the more common issues I've seen in the past.  Be safe and have fun--don't do too many of these right at first either!


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