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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  :)

Setting Personal Records in the garage with Coach Tim Shuman, RKCII

Did I get your attention with that "double beast press" tag there?   Before you start calling me out, I wasn't the one who did it, Tim Shuman did.  The double "beast" kettlebell press is something that he's been working on for a while - FYI those kettlebells weigh 106lbs EACH, so... yeah... and before you get all "I lift more than that on a barbell, bro" remember kettlebells are different... the weight is off center and you've got to work to keep your wrists straight (something I'm always having to remind people about - but its a good thing), independently stabilize the shoulders, not to mention the grip is a whole different ball game.  After doing presses on each side (to the tune of a total of 20) with the giant beast kettlebells, he decided it was time to try it with both at the same time.

Thankfully, I had time to get it on camera - and its a great picture - 2 big kettlebells overheadTim Shuman RKCII Double Beast Kettlebell Press and a giant grin in the middle.  After more pictures for his new website, an impromtu instructional video for one of our RKC facebook friends and another kettlebell demo video from me (OMG he made me wear a PINK SHIRT in it!), we got into a little Q&A discussion for my contined training for the RKC level 2 next month.  (BTW, some of my friends keep making "scientology" jokes when I mention I'm "going for level two" it's very funny and I need to make up some silly come backs for this as it keeps happening*).   In addition to learning and practicing the new exercises for RKCII, I've decided to attempt the Iron Maiden Challenge (the women's version of the Beast Challenge).  But before we get to that, the exercises I will be learning/refining/being evaluated on at the RKCII are a bunch of my favorites: the Pull Up (YES!!!!!!!!!), the Pistol, the Windmill, Viking Push Press, Clean and Jerk, and the Bent Press.  The Bent Press is pretty much the signature Tim Shuman exercise, so I want to be absolutely certain that I represent my coach well on all of them, but especially that one.  Tim has developed a custom training program for my RKCII preparation and study, and so far so good, adding in bits here and there to help with the Iron Maiden Challenge.  

The Iron Maiden Challenge: Using perfect RKC form, do one of each with a 24kg kettlebell (53lbs): Pistol, Weighted Pull Up (kettlebell hangs from a dip belt), Press (overhead, one arm, you choose arm!)  The guys' version is the same thing, but with the 48kg (106lbs) kettlebell.


For a very very long time I have struggled with the 24kg press - only last month discovering that it was possible first on my left side - working up to both sides about a week after that - then today, after a slight wrist angle correction, I was able to clean and press the 24kg on both sides with much less issue than before.  Now to get it burned into my head so that it's automatic when everyone's watching during the challenge.  I'll get there.  If there's one thing I am, it's determined.  The pull up with the extra 24kg still hasn't happened yet, but each time I try I get closer and closer.  The plus side is, anything less than 24kg added feels like a breeze and that's something surprising.  The pistol (one leg squat exercise) plus a 24kg kettlebell passed the Tim Approval Test, so I feel really good about that.  BTW, you know, I'm really small, right?  Like 5'3.5" 123lbs small... hoping to be the smallest woman to pass the Iron Maiden Challenge.

So today was a big day for both of us - and it was really hot today, but being in the shade with a big fan and a lot of sports drinks with ice kept us both going without a problem.  Tim also just received a big order from Greens Plus (I am also set up as a reseller with them) and shared a giant tub of the Greens+ New Zealand Free Range Whey with me.  That plus the other items I have arriving via FedEx tomorrow will pretty much have me stocked up in just about darned near everything.   Need to put more product reviews on this site asap.

 Tim Shuman RKCII Bent Press Squat Style Demo

 Tim rocking the bent press with two stacked kettlebells!!!

*Another testament to the effectiveness of the Dragon Door RKC kettlebell method is that I am not a "joiner-inner" or one of those people who readily jumps on board with whatever is popular at the moment.  However, this RKC stuff is the real deal and you have my absolute word on that.  If you don't believe me, I'll be posting more pictures of my formidibly toned abs here soon - just don't laugh at the farmer's tan. And ladies - I'm able to comfortably and flatteringly wear the dress I wore under my cap and gown for college graduation in 1999 today.  Arguably it looks better on me now.  So yes, VERY serious about this Dragon Door stuff!!


Dragon Door Hand Picked Resources for Optimal Living

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What I'm Reading

(Including but not limited to...)
1. Oh, Florida! Craig Pittman
2. The Cat from Hue: A Vietnam War Story John Laurence
3. On Camera Coach Karin M. Reed

(Audible Listening)
10% Happier Dan Harris

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