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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  :)

NYC PCC, New Battling Ropes Certification, Neuro-Grip Challenge Paperback, Pistol Squats and "Wushu" Pistol Squats

First off, there's way too much for one blog post (there's such a backlog over here that it's not even funny). The NYC PCC was last weekend at Crunch gym's flagship location in the middle of Manhattan (and next to part of the NY Marathon, too!)

NYC PCC Al Kavadlo, Danny Kavadlo, Adrienne Harvey, Julie Briggs

As always it's a huge honor to teach alongside the Kavaldo bros, Al and Danny at a PCC. And this time, we were also assisted by Crunch Gym Master Trainer, Julie Briggs (pictured above to my right) who did a great job her first time ever assisting at a PCC!

While after the workshop on each day I basically got back on the computer to work and work, it was still fun to be in NYC if even for just a few very very focused days. Long overdue for a more "social" trip to the city, the last time that happened I got to check in on a ton of fitpro friends, record podcasts for you and more.  Definitely overdue for that. There's an "order of operations" going on at the moment, and a master plan, so while there will be some waiting involved on your part, know that there's a plan! HAHA!

Also, I was going to write up an NYC PCC highlights and recap here, but was invited to create one for the official "channel".  Will link you to it when that's live - there will be some specific cues and things you can use in it as well that were mentioned and discovered at the workshop. ...Possibly including the infamous yet transformative cue a few guys got from me which is, "Ok, so... I'm going to hit you in the tummy, ok?" Don't worry, there will be context.

Speaking of certs, I am super excited to hear that Dragon Door is now teaming up with Battling Ropes creator and legend John Brookfield to offer a two-day Battling Ropes course and certification right down the road from me in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina! PLUS, Jon Bruney will be there to teach as well. I already signed up and hope to see you there as well.

Inside pages of Jon Bruney's Neuro-Grip Challenge Paperback
Speaking of Jon Bruney, his Neuro-Grip Challenge book is now available in paperback! :) I've included Neuro-Grips in my training ever since trying them at the Neuro-Mass photoshoot back in 2013.  The current version of the grips is fantastic. I recommend them and the book whole heartedly (and not just because I'm in it either, it's great stuff and applicable to more fitness levels than I'd previously thought!)

One of my clients today brought up that she enjoys the challenge of single leg work... Turns out she already had a decent pistol squat from some previous training. But, we dialed it in just a bit and now it's nearly picture perfect, and for reps. It's funny how much the pistol squat is a combination of tension management, mobility, and a particular level of strength. Even though she was now able to do them for short sets without an issue, after a few rounds I taught her the "wushu-pistol" (which if you have the mobility for it is a slight regression) to add into the mix.

How to do a "Wushu" Pistol Squat

While it looks good on Instagram, here's why I consider it a regression if you have the requisite mobility:

  • It eliminates the need to strongly contract the quad of the straight leg. This is useful for when you want to keep working on the movement pattern after your quad has had quite enough of holding itself out straight--or if you are still building the necessary strength for it to hold itself up.  (If that second condition is the case, work on creating a lot of tension in that leg and you may surprise yourself...  more on that later.)
  • It brings MORE weight forward which automatically works as a counterweight.

WARNING: Remember it's a variation, and shouldn't be used as a crutch! If you're able to do a "wushu pistol" then with time and practice, a standard pistol squat is well within your ability! Go for it!

And remember, this won't be a regression for everyone - without the necessary joint mobility, it likely won't happen! In that case, and because the book is a game changer, check out Convict Conditioning for a full set of lead up steps. I'd had to figure out pistol squats before Convict Conditioning with a combination of resources including Pavel's classic, Naked Warrior and a few others. I'm in the process of writing my unusual path to the pistol with exercises for you, in fact!

Here's a video about it and a couple other regressions to use at an intermediate, intermediate-advanced level:

How's your training going??


Dragon Door Hand Picked Resources for Optimal Living

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Here's an eBook of workouts I created for an exclusive NYC private gym (kettlebells, calisthenics, sandbag) along with options for customization and coaching!

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