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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  :)

Another Challenging Element to Try with Neuro-Grips, and Two Workouts

Until today, it hadn't occured to me that I'd always used the same grip with my Neuro-Grips... even at the Neuro-Grip Challenge book photoshoot... It's always been with the stem of the grip between my middle finger and ring finger. (Upper left in the photo below.)

Alternative Neuro-Grip grip positions from

The only reason I figured that out today was that I'd "buddy taped" my left ring finger to my left middle finger earlier before going outside and playing in the yard--uh, I mean working out... Now, while there's nothing especially wrong with my left ring finger, I'd jammed it pretty bad a little while ago doing some silly stuff and I wanted to just make sure it stayed in line while I did even more other silly stuff today such as throwing logs up the hill. So, if you have been only using the Neuro-Grips one way, carefully try a few of these different grips, a few of them are downright nutty!!

"It's LOG it's LOG!"

Not sure why, but throwing these logs is a whole lot of fun. When safe lifting techniques are habit, lifting, carrying, and then attempting to throw large odd objects is a lot of fun. I'm going to try a few more ways to throw them, but my current favorite is like an angled push-press from my dominant side. That seems to get the most height/distance. There's a video below showing some of that below. And yes, flip them over and check for ants and other creepy crawlies before just putting your hands all over nature stuff. Seriously...

So, here's some highlights of my time outside today including log throwing, throwing star throwing, and Neuro-Grip experiments - one of which I almost chickened out on but still managed to do. Below the video is a recap of the actual workout afterwards:

The Short and Fun "Workout":

It's log, it's log!I warmed up with some joint mobility exercises indoors then enjoyed carrying and throwing some of the short logs from down the hill. The fire pit will be rocking this weekend to be sure.

Next I decided to get out the throwing stars to focus a little more before it got too dark. I forgot that I'd done a fair amount of pull-ups the night before* until I did a short set of them on the rings. Oops.

I wanted to just do a little bit more today, and to spend some quality time with the Neuro-Grips, especially after playing with different grip patterns. I switched around the grip for each set of Neuro-Grip push-ups below.  NOW, if you're not yet doing the top rep range, or aren't comfortable with the Neuro-Grips yet (which is totally understandable, you know, I've been training with these things for over 4 years now) feel free to substitute your favorite type of push-up that you can do well.

That fun little combo felt great in the cool air as the sun set. I also earned a good 150 kettlebell swings and 42 Neuro-Grip push-ups, which isn't too bad for a short session after throwing logs around for fun :)

*Here's the workout from the night before - since I knew I'd be goofing around in the yard today, I kept the volume within a reasonable range for my current level, so I only took five chips for each color/activity. It's written out under the image below in case you can't read my awful handwriting :)

After of course some joint mobility exercises, I got out the box of poker chips and counted out 5 of each color. Choosing the chips however, I completed the following. It's always fun to see how that goes when I introduce people to these workouts, some people choose the exercises they love the most and do all of those first, some save their favorites for the last, some work down the line evenly, others choose at random. All the while I have to make sure I'm not saying, "Hmmm! INTERESTING!" out loud around the participants.

Poker chips workout

Black chips = 5x pullups (your choice of pull-ups, chin-ups or like the great suggestion from Zach Even-Esh, use a different grip for each set!)

Red chips = 5 Right, 5 Left hover lunges with or without a kettlebell. I used a small kettlebell for these to help me balance while getting the full range of motion on the exercise. Hover lunges and the movements related to them are oddly difficult for me -- even though I can do and have done pistol squats for ages!

Blue chips = 25 kettlebell swings (I chose a different kettlebell for each round, and because I knew I'd be doing more swings today)

Yellow chips = 10 right, 10 left kettlebell snatches - I used my test weight kettlebell (14kg for these)

Green chips = L-Sit for time. I made sure to hold a strict L-sit on my awesome custom paralettes from Ryan Pitts' Stronger Grip for a minimum of 20 seconds each time.

Best part? With this use of poker chips, YOU ALWAYS WIN.


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