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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  :)

Bizarre But Useful Kettlebell Workout: The Puppy and the Beast v2.0

Tested this one with an advanced friend... it's actually the 2nd version and I like it the best so far.  We had a couple of odd social type interruptions but overall it went very well (and it got rid of my headache). 

Also, I have now seen in public doing swings with both the smallest kettlebell and the largest kettlebell that Dragon Door makes... hence the name of the workout, as we've nicknamed the 10lb micro-kettlebell the "puppy" since the 48kg, 106lb kettlebell is officially called the Beast.  This workout has a portion that is a really interesting brain-twister where you perform swings with a VERY light kettlebell then a very heavy one... its one of those where you are learning something which is not always easily expressed in words, but that you can feel happen.

Here's what we did:

Primal Move warm up (or joint mobility), the Trifecta, then a funny "you crow, I headstand, let's see who can stay up longest" faux contest.   I'm into the elbow headstand as presented by Al in Pushing the Limits right now, and my friend is rocking the crow big time.

Then it was time for 4-5 rounds of....

  • 10 10lb "puppy" swings (form on these is absolutely critical to the point of the workout... look, feel, and intention.)
  • 10 48kg "Beast" swings (or other appropriately heavy kettlebell, my friend opted for something a little lighter than the beast.  Also, when I Swing the beast, I don't worry about trying to get it way up to chest height, it might get there eventually, but I mainly focus on a STRONG hip snap and glute engagement.  To Swing very heavy, form is absolutely critical for safety AND to even get the kettlebell to GO... especially when as in my case you only outweigh the dang thing by 20-25lbs)
  • Active rest run/walk out and back about 25-30 yards
  • 10 Push ups (choice of difficulty... I chose Neuro-Grips for the first 4 rounds, then knuckle push ups for the final set of 10.  Again, form being critical, crummy push ups don't count in my world.)
  • Active rest run/walk out and back about 25-30 yards
  • 5 "ab wheel" roll out and backs... we do these from the knees for now... for now...
  • Active rest run/walk out and back about 25-30 yards
  • Heavy(ish) kb presses 3 on each side (example, I alternated rounds with 20kg and 18kg kettkebells)
  • Active rest run/walk out and back about 25-30 yards
  • 1 get-up per side, kettlebell or item of choice.

We finished up with a little more Primal Move then the same sort of crow/headstand "contest" and I was amused to find that my focus had improved by leaps and bounds... enough to PR in the length of time in an elbow headstand.

By the way...  if you haven't already seen it, Al Kavaldo's new book Stretching Your Boundaries is very worthwhile... not "just another stretching book", Al has curated a list of useful stretches for the calisthenics enthusiast (or beginner, or instructor, or advanced practitioner... you catch my drift...) with not only how to do them, but WHY to do them and what exercises they'll assist.   It's really great if you're finding yourself "stuck".   It's also presented in a fun way, which is a rarity among books that approach things which sometimes cross over with yoga...


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