Judging from the sheer volume of used espresso grounds, eggshells and empty San Pellegrino bottles over here, it’s easy to see that it’s been a productive weekend. (Taking the trash and the recycling out right after I post this…) But before I hop back into the fray, I wanted to share a couple things with you! As a general “heads up” (cliche I know I’m sorry) I wanted to also ask you guys what you think about the little banner graphic headings I’ve been adding to the posts here recently, please let me know if you like them or not in the comments below this post. I’ll keep doing them if you like them, but if they’re just getting in the way of your enjoyment, I need to know that too!
First of all, here’s a kale recipe which also includes a funny video (and which will include even more photos as I make the prepared-ahead version again today). Hmm I need to make sure I send the kale recipe to my folks. Dad has been crazy about kale since WAYYYY before it was ever “cool”. I can remember seeing him hover around a pot of boiling greens at my Great Grandmother’s house as a thick chunk of salt pork bobbed in there among the long since bright green greens. Fun fact – those were great greens too, but these days I tend towards less cooked and sometimes even raw (kale slaw variations are a real favorite) preparations. This particular recipe also includes a new tips section for smaller households (new census data seems to suggest that many of us are living in ones, twos or threes) and convenience. (These tips are also useful if you’re that ONE person in your household who has made the commitment to eating healthier… while everyone else refuses to change.)
Very excited to share this much-anticipated interview that went up on DragonDoor.com yesterday. I’d actually started working on Dr. Steven Horwitz’s interview some time ago, but found that the audio of our telephone interview was so dense with info that I would need extra time to best present it, organize it (I ask questions outside of a logical order sometimes, and these have to be swapped around so that the reader doesn’t want to jump through the computer and hit me in the face), and then distill it down to the most critical elements.
Even with all of that, this is basically DOUBLE the size of a usual interview, but as you’ll see the range of topics (Olympic Medical Team, major MAJOR surgery and recovery, and all the while attending and completing RKC and PCC certifications, running a successful chiropractors office and starting up a new program for injured veterans… and there’s even more than that). Obviously, there wasn’t much I could cut out there! And you’ll be pleased to know that I checked back in with him to make sure some of the particulars are up to date – and he shared even more awesome info! You’ve got to check it out.
Lastly, because I’ve been thinking a lot about an upcoming how-to video to make this next week, my well-worn copy of Paul “Coach” Wade’s Convict Conditioning is out on my desk. The much-debated, much-maligned first step of the squats section, shoulderstand squats has been of particular interest. To be honest, I hadn’t given them too much attention before now, mainly because so many beginner clients are often a little too heavy, uncomfortable with, or lacking in the coordination to get into this position right off the bat. Hmmmm, so I thought in the course of taking writing breaks yesterday I’d explore that movement some along with the idea of timed bar hangs (thanks for the idea, Tim Ferriss), and some much needed remedial work on bridges. MUST GET HIGHER. Seing some of the photos of the amazing participants at the Chicago PCC which is going on RIGHT NOW reminded me that I need to definitely keep at my mobility stuff.
What I did was a kind of fun no-weight de-load day workout. This is easily adjusted to whatever level, you can always cut back on the number of reps (I just arbitrarily chose the intermediate progression standard of the two Convict Conditioning steps, but as I have nothing to prove* I could of as easily gone for fewer reps. At one point I was tempted to go for a PR for bar hangs, then thankfully remembered why I was doing them at all – decompression, mobility, relaxation… not the Guiness Book of Records. I did however learn that the iPhone stopwatch “start” button responds to the light touch of my big toe. HAHA)
Here’s what I did (two rounds):
- Convict Conditioning “Short Bridges” (step 1) 25 meaningful reps
- Convict Conditioning “Shoulderstand Squats” (step 1) 25 meaningful reps
- Straight arm bar hang 1 minute (I didn’t swing around, but did use the time to explore how different areas of my back were feeling and generally “check in” with it)
- Slow, no weight get-ups, 10 on each side (10 in a row before switching sides)
- Plow** and Full Bridge
*Here’s another lesson from an ex-con that I’ve always loved to quote. As a creative weirdo who’s “non 9 to 5” since 2000 in Florida I’ve ended up brushing shoulders with all kinds of folks, so Paul “Coach” Wade is not the only ex-con I’ve learned a few things from (sorry Mom…) over the years. Anyway the lesson is this, “If you’ve got something to prove you’ll either end up in jail or the hospital!” To which I replied, “OMG or maybe BOTH!!!” So yeah, the “workout” example is an easy mobility kind of thing, you don’t have to do or surpass the rep range in the example above, do what’s right for you, don’t have “sumpthin’ ta prove”.
**I started doing plow on a regular basis after training with highly-regarded Systema instructor Alexandr Popeskou who suggested it as a necessary stretch for me and my constant battle with shoulder mobility. The specific problem it was suggested to solve is a tale for another day, and it is very much not related to yoga… it is a problem I hope to never have to solve in real life.