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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  :)

The Sculpture Garden Workout: Large Stone Stacking, Kettlebell Swings, Mace 10&2s, and more!

Those of you following me on social media already know I've been having a lot of fun coming up with outdoor workouts recently--and that I've found a bunch of smooth stones to play with too.  After finding a good selection of them in various weights (though I am not sure how heavy the largest one is yet, but am fairly sure it weighs a little more than I do) 100+?, 100, 60, 40, etc. I decided to make up a game-like workout that included the challenge of lifting, carrying, then stacking the stones.

Sculpture Garden kettlebell, stone stacking, and mace workout

If you try this type of challenge, safety is extremely important--both with using safe lifting techniques with odd objects, and by making sure to stay safe around stacks of rocks.  As you may notice from the video or photos, I like to stack them in daring ways, and that means I have to be that much more mindful when adding new stones to the stack or even when walking near the stack.  I also make sure to take down the stack of rocks after I'm done, I don't want them to crush a neighbor's foot or the neighbor's dog!

In the workout I wanted to accomplish a few things:
1. Full body strength challenge
2. Some conditioning, including at least 100 swings
3. Some mobility work/challenge

Using the mace was a great way to challenge the shoulders a little but also keep them from getting too tense during the course of the workout.  A lower mobility challenge along with some strength in a different vector was accomplished with the cossack squats.

There's a complete video of the workout I did below, but I also wanted to write it out for you too.

I started out with a basic joint mobility sequence, then made sure there were no ants or spiders on the rocks!  Since I wanted to do at least 5 rounds, I made sure there were at least 5 stones (for fun I stacked some extras as "cool down" after the workout).  Those of you who've trained with me in "real life" know that I like to think of workouts as being punctuated with either a movement, drill or challenge--especially since it helps me keep track. Stacking one large stone each round is the punctuation here, and rest assured I will be doing many many more variations on this super fun theme--there are so many ways to modify the workout below and endless variations. (Let me know if you need a variation or recommendation in the comments section below.)

Five (or more if you're up for it) Rounds:

  • Mace swings (heavy-ish) 10 total alternating 10&2s (see video)
  • 20 24kg kettlebell swings (use a moderately heavy kettlebell)
  • Rock pickup, carry, and stack
  • 16kg kettlebell snatches 5 per side
  • 16kg kettlebell cossack squats 5 per side
  • walk back, rest if necessary

The Stronger Grip Short Mace is loaded with about 2lbs of copper bbs which has a surprisingly heavy effect as they slosh around in there. If you're new to mace work there's no harm in going super light - there's actually a lot of value going light with maces in general too.


Dragon Door Hand Picked Resources for Optimal Living

100+ Workouts!

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Kettlebell, calisthenics, maces, battling ropes, sandbags, these workouts are for whatever you have--or don't have!

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NYC Workouts Notebook

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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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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Brand new resource with fully up to date kettlebell training information --everything from the beginner basics all the way to highly advanced techniques.  Program design, sample workouts, and all the theory you need to construct your own plan for your own training or for your personal training clients.  An absolute MUST HAVE for all current and aspiring RKC and HKC instructors. FINALLY an updated resource is HERE!

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