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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  :)

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Stress Buster: A Two-Part Workout For Kettlebells, Sandbag, and Pull Up Bar

Ultimate Sandbag Overhead PressStill finding the time to tell you about the adventures of the past few weeks (wow this is getting embarrassing!!!) BUT in the mean time I'll share with you a really fun workout from last week.  It was first intended as a stand alone for home, then a friend wanted to meet up and just blow off some steam after work with a little "cardio".  Put together this combo is a neat collection of strength/skill practice then a slightly SSST-inspired cardio "finisher".

Either piece can be a workout on its own, but it was a fun thing to do together.  It's very adjustable depending on what weights are chosen and which pull-up, push-up variations are used.  I chose standard pull ups (with the low rep range it was another good opportunity to practice the very high pull ups I've been into lately... there's a devious plan for those btw), and standard push-ups (very strict with feet together).  I used a lighter Ultimate Sandbag (the Power shell) since when I use the bigger/heavier one I tend to like to flop it on the floor for that satisfying thump sound... not always appreciated by downstairs neighbors... The kettlebell used for the low rep swings/squats was the 22kg I tend to keep by the couch.   For the cardio portion, I walked down to my friend's house and we did that part outdoors. We used her 12kg kettlebell and 25lb Power Ultimate Sandbag -- more about that later.

At home, I started with 5 rounds of the following with as little rest as possible:

A Challenging Workout For A Time Of Less Thinking

Zach Even-Esh Book and Warmup

There's a lot more to write and a lot more adventures to share, but I wanted to put this little workout here to tide you over.  It's an appropriate interlude since it was designed to help out on a day when I figured that at least one member of the kettlebell small group (including myself) would be experiencing or approaching "decision fatigue".  It's just that kind of week, so when I get that feeling its time to stack the deck in the favor of good outcomes and default situations of an optimal nature.  Also wanted to choose something that would "self-scale" to everyone's abilites and energy levels.  Since the people showing up all really know what they're doing, I can count on them to know when to really dive in, and when to back off.  This workout allows for that nicely.  This sort of workout was originally inspired by some of the workouts Mike Krivka has in Code Name: Indestructible some of which are smart/sane versions of AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workouts.

Intermediate to Advanced Kettlebell Circuit Workout From Favorite Moves!

Kettlebell favorites workoutAfter a last minute sudden location change (rain poured down from NOWHERE a full 2 minutes before small group), we carried on with the full workout you see here -- I'll also write it out in case the little graphic is too difficult to read for any reason. Also, clicking on the image will make it full size... which is huge.

With the inclusion of the 5 minutes, 100 snatches after a significant warm up, you'll notice that this kettlebell workout clearly isn't for everyone--as written.  Possible alternatives include 130 one arm swings with an appropriate weight, praticing snatches in the same time period but without a hard rep goal, or for a beginner 30:30 - thirty seconds 2 hand kettlebell swings, thirty seconds rest for the five minutes.

As for the circuit itself, the kettlebell deadlifts can of course be done with any weight kettlebell you have handy which is appropriate.  Also, instead of archer push ups from Convict Conditioning, you can choose whichever push up variation is difficult for you at a rep range of 8-10 (but note that we are only doing 5 push up reps per round).

This one was surprisingly a lot of fun and a nice way to get in some practice on a whole lot of kettlebell favorites.  Lately our training has featured a lot of weighted carries, which are fantastic, but it was nice to get back to some of the basics and some of the benchmarks like the 100 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes test right there near the beginning of the workout. I was pleased to see that my own progress had rendered that formerly formidible test to be not a big deal.  In fact I was hardly taxed by it, and it used to practically destroy me just a few years ago. I think this is somewhat due to improvements in general conditioning but also the reality check of the SSST workouts we had been trying earlier this year. 

A Challenging But Oddly Stress-Relieving Workout

The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning by Zach Even-EshThis fun challenge I wrote up for a friend and I became a neat strength endurance challenge of the "accidental cardio" variety (in places).  I've been gearing up for Zach Even-Esh's Underground Strength Coach workshop in Orlando, and essentially using that as an excuse to come up with more "General preparedness" workouts inspired by his book the Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning.  Not to go too far into this next subject, but as a lot of these sort of workshops are usually attended by a bunch of guys, I make it my personal responsibility to be super prepared as to not be needing any special treatment.   I take great pride in that sort of thing and NEVER want to be the reason that a workshop is slowed down. Gotta be able "to hang" as "they" say. Right?

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Kettlebell, calisthenics, maces, battling ropes, sandbags, these workouts are for whatever you have--or don't have!

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NYC Workouts Notebook

Here's an eBook of workouts I created for an exclusive NYC private gym (kettlebells, calisthenics, sandbag) along with options for customization and coaching!

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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! 

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