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Another Epic Photoshoot with Jon Bruney and Dragon Door in Chicago!

Almost four years ago to the day, we had the photo shoot for Jon Bruney's awesome book, Neuro-Mass. It was and still is probably the most challenging photoshoot I've ever experienced--it was two days of some of the most difficult and creative strength moves I'd seen at the time. The incomparable RKC Team Leader, PCC Instructor, and shredded ab-monster Matt Maher was on that shoot and frankly defied gravity a few times too.
Neuro-Grips and Neuro-Mass Photo shoots 2017 and 2013

The Neuro-Mass shoot was the first time I'd ever tried the now infamous Neuro-Grip pushup handles. Four years ago we only had the prototypes which if you look super close in the book you can see that they are handmade and a little rough hewn.  Then, the first generation offered by Dragon Door was cast from solid aluminum and had this crazy tuning-fork like CLANG if you happened to smack 'em together or strike them on the ground even slightly. Depending on your preferences this could be a pro or a con! Thankfully the next version (and the ones that are currently being sold on Dragon Door) were further improved, they're made from steel, the larger tubing "handle" part being heavy gauge but hollow so they aren't excessively heavy. (I like to toss them in my backpack for outdoor workouts) Since the new Neuro-Grips aren't cast, they don't have a mold mark--and that's a welcome change for high rep training!

A Chat with Wim Hof The Iceman, Poke Bowl Mania, Thrive Market, and the Give Back Box Program

The Way of The Iceman by Wim Hof now available from Dragon Door in paperbackJust a few weeks ago, I clicked a couple buttons on Skype and interviewed the one and only Wim Hof--The Iceman for Dragon Door. After only about two rings, here he was, smiling and waving from the other side of the Atlantic.  I hope that the enthusiasm in his answers comes through in the printed version for you. Wim is the genuine article, and as Scott Carney had said in his interview and in his book, it's Wim's rustic, imperfect nature that makes him that much more real. Wim is an adventurer, not a guru. And that's awesome.

I'm still not sure I'd do many of the feats mentioned in the book, but no matter how you feel about climbing Mt. Everest wearing just shorts, the breathing exercises and cold showers can benefit just about anyone. Wim continues to participate in scientific studies as well, and he hints at upcoming research in the interview as well.  I wold absolutely encourage you to go check it out along with his Dragon Door title, The Way of The Iceman which is now out in paperback.

Speaking of frozen things...

Austin Adventures with the SCC and HKC - Plus a Workout and Mobility Stuff!

Ever have one of those trips where you come back and you know you've changed in some way? This was definitely one of those!  And I mean that in a good way.  There was no shortage of adventure and excitement this past weekend in Austin, Texas.  In fact for one of the more action packed parts, I am only half-joking about exaggerating it a little and writing it up as a screenplay... I've already cast Danny Trejo as one of the villains.  Long story short, we are unstoppable.

Tao Health and Fitness, SCC, HKC Austin Instructors and Host

Back to the SCC and HKC... I led the SCC on Saturday, and Senior RKC Paul Britt led the HKC on Sunday.  The folks that showed up to each workshop (and some showed up for both) were extremely impressive not only with their physical abilities, but with their professionalism, experience, and understanding of the human condition.

The "Half and Half" Kettlebell Workout

I have a real love of heavy single kettlebell swings, especially in sets of 10. That rep range really lets me focus on the form and generate as much power as I can, then the set ends before anything has the chance to get weird. For this reason I really love this rep range for advanced beginners or even intermediate folks for regular swings, they don't have time to let a bad habit sneak in, and plenty of great quality reps get in their memory banks. So, if the kettlebells are properly chosen there's plenty of opportunity to get some near maximal moments in this simple workout. Especially when going for 10 rounds....  That being said, when I did this with a workout partner, I brought out a selection of kettlebells in case we wanted to swap heavier or lighter.  So, in addition to the 32kg kettlebell and pair of 16kg kettlebells mentioned in the example workout, I had a 24kg and a pair of 12kg, a 20kg, and a pair of 10kg. Yes, I have quite the collection... I now have enough kettlebells to open my own gym, or lead a pretty decent sized group class of men and women of various fitness levels... (yes, that's foreshadowing...)
 

The Half N Half Kettlebell Workout

Other things to consider when choosing your kettlebells for this workout: if you go lighter, then really focus on your skills, making every rep super perfect while minimizing rest/breaks.

YES! Neuro-Grips are BACK!!

Neuro-Grips are FINALLY back in stock, honestly, I was pretty bummed out that they were not available for Christmas gift giving.  But they are back now! Ever since I first tried the rough prototypes (one was even slightly not level) back in 2013 or so, I've used them in my training.  And yes, if you go to the Neuro-Grips page you'll see someone very familar in the demo photos. :) 

Here's an unboxing video of Dragon Door Neuro-Grips, along with putting a friend of mine on the spot. Thankfully he was a good sport and did a great job.  Don't let him (or me) fool you, these things require a LOT of control, proprioception, strength etc. Start easy, even if that means getting comfortable with knee push-ups, putting one leg out at a time, and Neuro-Grip planks. Honestly, those are great drills anyway even after you can do more fancy stuffl. I've become fond of Neuro-Grip burpees for a short set or two, just for the shock factor! :)  Definitely not for beginners... don't do it!!!

Anyway I'll will be making more Neuro-Grip focused how-tos for you, but in the mean time...

Let's Train in Chicago!

SCC Strength Calisthenics CertificationLet's train together in Chicago! The Dragon Door SCC (Strength Calisthenics Certification) is coming to Chicago June 3rd, 2017. Register early to save $50. Hope to see you there. This powerful one-day workshop is great for trainers looking to upgrade their calisthenics toolkit, or for serious exercise enthusiasts who want to fine-tune their own training.
 

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  :)

 

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What I'm Reading

(Including but not limited to...)
1. 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life by Matthew Sleeth, MD
2. Tools of Titans Tim Ferriss
3. The Way of The Iceman Wim Hof


(Audible Listening)
33 Strategies of War Robert Greene


Good Things

Deadlift Dynamite

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! 

Deadlift Dynamite

25% Off First Order + Free Shipping!

Check it out! Thrive Market offers all the non-GMO foods and healthy products you love at 25-50% below retail prices—all shipped right to your front door.

Thrive Market awesome offer!

Check it out! Thrive Market offers all the non-GMO foods and healthy products you love at 25-50% below retail prices—all shipped right to your front door.