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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 House Always Wins... A Bodyweight Workout At Home

The House Always Wins Poker Chips Workout -

Used to be ashamed of this, but after hearing that some other very esteemed top instructors also had the same problem I've gotten over it.  And that's an ability to coach and count at the same time.  Seeing that the coaching part is more important, I decided to add a couple sets of poker chips to my collection of workout items.  One is this very simple plastic box of 100 chips which occasionally comes out to the park with us to help keep track of how many rounds we've done in a circuit, or if there's a "do at least x number of single presses on your own time during today's session" challenge of 10-20 chips per person.

I had a late conference call again last night, and while I hoped it wouldn't go long, you never know with these things.  Leading up to the call I needed to get a number of things accomplished.  One was that I really wanted to work on some specific bodyweight progressions to make sure they were solid for the upcoming PCC.  The version of the "Poker Chip Workout" I did last night was a little different than the one you see on the picture, but accomplished what I needed nicely (I practiced more variations of the items listed, adding in a couple of one arm push ups, things like that...) During the time between some of the more max-effort items, I managed to finish up some small household chores too - getting more done in the same time.  Can't always do that with the more focused, timed, or high intensity workouts, but it works great for bodyweight strength challenges.

Need to finally write down the reasons (and maybe you can relate) that I think programs like Convict Conditioning can be so powerful, but the short version of the "story" is that they're something you can do anywhere, and that anyone can start.  I remember coaching a lady in her 60s with some of the beginner progressions, and while she would have been appalled at the book's title, the effects of the training for her were undeniable. Recently found out that even 5 years later they are still talking about me at that gym (some of it might even be nice).

But what I like most about Convict Conditioning (the first book in particular) is that it's a clear cut way for people to start making major changes on their own time, at their own pace.  It's a way of taking control, of what might seem out of control.  While it's easy to dismiss myself and other fitness instructors, writers, and personalities with the thought that we've somehow "always been this way" it's for the most part never the case.   I wasn't always in the best shape, and until the past 5-7 years no one would have ever thought to ask "what sports do/did you play?" I've never been this coordinated before either.

I've been overweight before, not excessively, but enough to make me draw a line in the sand and say "It stops now." Even while others in my life thought I was "just fine" and were trying to derail me, I kept with it, and have arrived at a physique that is not only practical for what I do, but that I like.  I've also been able to maintain it for many years now. How many women (and people in general) do you know who can say that?

But, I have also experienced that terrible feeling of "this isn't working, will anything work?" The thing is, taking control, taking ownership, taking full responsibility was the crucial, pivotal key. Its also easier to stay on track that way, as we all know that anyone and everyone is more than happy to tell you how you "should" be doing something else. Take control, and if your program is working for you, stay on it... And be very very very wary of bad "free advice" out there in your day to day life... while many people have good intentions sometimes what works for them won't work for you.  Stay with what works for you, and keep moving forward even if it's just a shuffle right now. Consistency is key, not a 3 day "juice fast" or trendy fad.  As a proud member of the now even more forgotten gen-x, when I was a kid, "trendy" was actually a derogatory term!  How times have changed... But even now, true success with your own personal fitness still isn't mainstream, and the answers are seldom in the mainstream.  That's because you can't dress up "hard/smart work over time" or cram it into a pill.

As I said on Twitter the other day, consistency is the "big secret" the "one weird trick" the "key to success" the "just do this one thing".


Dragon Door Hand Picked Resources for Optimal Living

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In paperback or eBook!!! Pavel and Andy Bolton's awesome plan to skyrocket your deadlift progress... there's so many valuable tips in here, that you need to check out the list yourself! 

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