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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  :)

A Short But Fun Underground Strength Inspired Exercise Break... After an Adventure!

It's been an interesting weekend... getting a lot done, maybe a little too much because as the sun started to go down today I found myself wanting to go outside and play for lack of a better term.  Some may refer to this as a "workout" but considering what I did and how fun it was I think it was more like a slightly more grown up version of playing in the yard.  Unfortunately, it got a little too dark outside for me to shoot a video of it. Thankfully with the timing and the holiday weekend, I had a big chunk of the parking lot to myself. I am NOT the weirdest neighbor here by a long shot so it would have been ok if someone saw me.  Many of the people in my neighborhood are active in some way--we have a guy in his late 70s who regularly practices Convict Conditioning style push ups on the railings, there's someone across the street who does sledgehammer training, plenty of kayakers, stand up paddleboarders, cyclists, etc around here so my antics are pretty much par for the course--except for when I climb things and leave little footprints in unlikely, oddly far-from-the-ground places...

Yesterday, my local friend Tim Shuman and I went on a quest for a giant tire for flipping*.  I'd recently made room for one in my storage area and tape measure in hand and the promise of a delicious BBQ lunch, it was pretty easy to talk Tim into helping me with this interesting errand.  We went pretty far out into the boonies south of the airport and met up with a really cool dude with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a backyard full of giant tires.  After flipping several of them for fun, I picked out one that was a reasonable weight for myself and the people who train with me who might be interested in it.  This tire also fit into Tim's truck and my storage closet.  Wins all around.  We drove it back here and much to the amusement of one of my neighbors, rolled it right into the storage area.

Then we ate half of Pig Floyd's... this wasn't everything I ordered by the way:

By the time I got back home, there was plenty of work to be done, and when I was ready to take a break it was pitch black outside, so I took an exercise break indoors, and continued working on my "workbook assignments" of the day.  By the way, today is day 10 of the workbook and already I can tell that my chess problem solving, l-sits, and general shoulder mobility have improved. I've really been enjoying working on the little chess problems while I try and wake up in the morning as well.

Anyhow, after banging my head against a CSS issue (no I don't want to talk about it) for a little bit too long, and then going through some of the workbook stuff for the day, I realized I had not had enough of an "exercise break" yet and needed to blow off some steam.  While taking out the recycling I happened to notice a lot of people are out of town for a three day weekend so there was plenty of space.  Stealthily I rolled the tire out and collected a 14kg kettlebell (the weight for my weight class for the RKC Snatch Test**), and an Ultimate Sandbag "Strength" bag that weighs about 50lbs.  In theory the tire is about 350lbs which normally is "about right" for me to flip with confidence and without having to put a knee into it.  I had already warmed up indoors with the CC2 Trifecta and other drills. Also, I planned to do a little more training here and there through the night (low rep weighted pull ups, bar hangs, handstand stuff) so I kept things simple and more focused on having a good time and getting to know this tire.

First, I'd left a 40kg kettlebell in front of the tire to make sure it stayed put, I decided to give it a few swings before rolling the tire out, and collecting the other items.

I did 5 rounds of the following with as little rest as possible:

Amusingly enough I was having so much fun that each round seemed to get a little easier and I ended the workout by "traveling" the items back to storage on the last round: I flipped the tire towards the storage, then rolled it away, I snatched the kettlebell 10 times then walked with it overhead half of the way back, did the other 10 snatches and walked it back overhead the other half of the way.  I did the last 5 sandbag clean and presses then carried it back overhead as well.   I need to hose the tire off because apparently it had a lot more dirt on it than I remembered. Oops.

*Tire flipping is a lot of fun, but it's important to use correct form for it, and to recognize that it's not really for everyone, especially not at the beginning. Coming at it from practicing other things like heavy kettlebell swings, deadlifts of all sorts, heavy carries etc is a good idea.  You want to have a strong midsection or "core" (I like to use the "strong midsection" phrase because sometimes people just associate "core" with "abs" and thats just the front part.)  Zach Even-Esh has a great explanation and short coaching section for tire flipping in his book, The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning.  I was first coached to flip tires a long time ago by another Central Floridian, and noted strongman, Bud Jeffries.  Most recently I got some great pointers from Zach at a workshop where I was one of the smallest people (by far) and the only one there to represent the ladies... so uhhhmmm the default tire was a weeeee bit heavier than one I'd normally flip, so that really was a challenge given the extra speed and power I would have to generate to even get it high enough to get my knee into it and push it over. But I got it, and I hope that the extra cues I needed to make it happen will be helpful for some of the other coaches' clients and students.

**This weekend was the RKC Workshop in Tallahassee and when there's an RKC workshop nearby I like to make sure and do at least one workout with at least 100 snatches in it as a show of support and congratulations.  It's just a fun thing to do :)

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