Strength Band Gear

I want to tell you guys about some very cool equipment. Its based upon resistance band training.

No 1 is the “MASS SUIT” this can provide up to 70 lbs of resistance to most sports including sparing, running, even swimming.

mass suit

mass suit

mass suit

Yeah thats pretty damn cool and it can of course be used in addition to a weight vest. Unlike a weight vest this sucker will not cause knee & joint wear over time. But hey why not add the 70 lbs to your weight vest session any way ?

These things are expensive coming close to $300 new – but I’m gunna get one this summer anyway from

The mask by the way is a breath or respiration trainer – there are several brands available and most are much less obtrusive than what you see on that guy.

The other place to get “fancy” resistance band gear is Again very expensive – especially if you have to pay foreign shipping but some great gear. The range is big but below are two examples.

vertical jumper

power pushup

power pushup

There are a few books on resistance or strength band training these days. The Resistance Band Workout Book & Strength Band Training are on Amazon & there is a good ebook from this site for $7

Kettlebell swing challenges 2500 in an hour, 10000 in a month etc

The swing is a great exercise for when you are stuck indoors. Its quiet – even silent. So if its the middle of the night & you need a quick exercise fix its ideal. Its also a great cardio workout.

Many folks soon learn that Kettlebells are not like regular weights. With Kettlebells you can go for volume in a way not possible with a barbell & dumbbell.

The guy in the video above is Rob Russell.

Here is a guy doing 6000 swings in under 2.5 hours

His form is fully lame ass though – can you really call that a swing ?

Here’s a good PDF program to get you started

I think Swings are the fundamental Kettebell exercise – certainly the easiest but nothing is easy once you get beyond a few hundred reps.

The Kettlebell Long Cycle

Wow the Kettlebell long cycle rocks. This is the clean & jerk done with two kettlebells for 10 minutes continuously. You don’t put them down but can kind of rest in the rack & overhead.

Of course it means there is no real rest for the full time. The top guys do this with two 40kg KB’s which is diabolical. I’m a beginner on long cycle but I really like it. I like it even more than one arm snatch.

I do get a better endorphin hit off snatch though.

long cycle

This exercise is deceptively difficult. You may watch these guys doing it and think yeah I can do that. Well straight off the bat I doubt it. Here is a video of one of the sports top athletes passing out at 214 reps.

That’s Sergey Rachinskiy a top world champion.

Here is a good video showing proper form…

Here’s the main man Steve Cotter giving some long cycle instruction…

Finally a nine week program training long cycle 3x per week

60 year old athlete with body of 20 year old

Cycling for Knee Strength & Rehabilitation

I am doing 3 months knee rehabilitation before I get back into my special forces style weight vest training. That kind of training will reveal any weakness & for me it turned out to be knee’s. Not surprising when doing 3 heavy long marches each week So if you saw my prior post on it I found a bunch of knee rehab programs which I am doing every day.

Luckily I have found the best exercise of all is the stationary bike. Which brought to my attention a German sprint cyclist at the Olympics. This guy is getting in the news because of his bodybuilder level thigh development.

cyclis legs

cyclist legs

thigh legs development

big legs

cyclist big thighs

By incorporating weights & sprint training on a stationary bike the knees can be strengthened particularly by increasing development of the internal quadriceps which is often a cause of knee pain – when the quads are too weak in relation to the required load on the knees.

Where to get 20,000 Calories for $20.00

Ho ho ho a weeks worth of calories for a 230 lb lifter for $20.00 I hear you shun.

Well as of this week I am doing it. For twenty bucks I can get 2 litres of Virgin Olive Oil and 10 lbs of spuds.

Haaa – body building just got cheap.

Throw in some meat, eggs, fish, veges & fruit and that’s it – CHEAP HUMONGOUS FOOD !!!


Olive Oil

Warrior + Paleo +Anabolic Diets

For many years I was around 13 – 14 stone. Muscular, young and with an excellent blood profile for all markers. I never have even seen let alone used steroids.

When I was a teen I was anorexic and a drug addict. I was 6 stone at 16 and nearly died. Body building saved my life. I doubled my weight in six months from 6 to 12 stone. This was a phenomenal ego boost.
Any way when I was about 27 I was introduced to a high starch diet. Again a massive gain in muscle occurred.

After years of struggling to gain weight my muscle exploded & I got up to 220 lbs pretty easy. But as you should know a high carb diet also packs on more fat. For the first time in my life , while I was muscular and athletic, fat actually became a health concern.

no steroids

At 44 & 230 lbs 20% body fat it still is today so a few weeks back I decided to try Paleo Diet. I have been on Warrior diet for quite some time & that diet has helped keep my belly fat at bay some what. My hope was that Paleo could take me down to 10% body fat and maintain my muscle mass – or even increase it.

I have done Paleo for 3 weeks now so I can fill you in.

PRO: If you want to weigh around 180 lbs give or take 20 lbs then Paleo will work for you.

CON: If you want to be big and muscular Paleo wont work – its too hard to get the required energy intake to be say 220 or more lbs.

PRO: It is great being on a healthier nutrient profile

CON: I have felt very low in energy during many workouts

PRO: I lost gut fat fast

CON: I lost muscle size too (was it visceral fat ? – I don’t think so)

My verdict on Paleo – I will continue to shun dairy and grains – but apart from that this diet is for skinny men – not me.

OK so I will keep the aspects of Paleo I know are good. No dairy (except for whey, casein, colostrum) & no grains.

My experiment has led me to “The Anabolic Diet” which I read about before but never tried. You can do this diet while sticking to most of the Warrior & Paleo principles. Just that on Anabolic you add more fat during the week & you carb load on the weekend.

I am just starting Anabolic Diet – I know it has similarities to the Ketogenic Diet & BodyOpus Diet

Ok so I know already I am gunna end up with a Hybrid diet that suits me. I will keep you informed of the results.

Books you want…

warrior diet

Warrior Diet
Anti-Estrogenic Diet

paleo diet

Paleo Diet
Primal Blueprint

anabolic diet

Anabolic Diet
Ketogenic Diet
Body Opus

Body Opus

OK there is enough reading & Dietary information there for you to experiment for a year and find the right mix for your goals and body.


Lessons from extreme military athletes – Joint Centric Training

Hey why not look at Military training to learn a few things about our physical limits. Lets take a look at some Special Forces training and figure out the weakest links in our bodies so we can build the strongest possible foundation for excellence.

special forces march

Factoid: The most common injury on the battlefield is concussion

From Will Brinks blog:

“This study revealed that physical training caused 50% of all injuries, and 30% were linked to running. Injuries resulted in 10-times the number of profile days (lost work days) as illnesses with the leading reason for outpatient visits in our Group was for musculoskeletal disorders.

The locations of affected musculoskeletal conditions in descending order include: back/neck (31%), ankle (10%), shoulder (10%), and knee (10%).”

It was interesting to note that in other army units studied, musculoskeletal injuries are more common in the lower extremities (e.g., knees and ankles) but in SF, upper extremity injuries (e.g., lower back, upper back, shoulders, etc) are more common. The authors theorized “This may be due to the slightly older average age of our Soldiers versus conventional units, in addition to the cumulative effect of repetitive micro trauma from airborne operations, combatives training, wearing heavy body armor, and carrying heavy loads.”

    Aside: I can tell you right now as an ex Infantry Soldier – Its from wearing a very heavy pack which is put on and off all day long – for training purposes you are better off wearing a weight vest.

Stew Smith says “Pain is not an injury” –> LOL neither is a scab if you’re hungry I guess.

But Stew is not a dummy, From his site…

The most common of knee injuries is Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or commonly called “runner’s knee.”(link and Iliotibial Band (ITB) (link For most people these injuries are classified in the “over-use injury” category.

In fact, the nick name for ITB at SEAL training is “I Tried BUDS” due to so many students failing out of training with this over-use injury. PFPS can occur in avid runners as well as people who decide to go running for the first time in several months or even years without proper training prior to running again. It is also important to rule out other knee problems when knee pain occurs and not assume every pain as “runner’s knee” for you could be suffering from a knee injury that requires surgery.

Usually, if your knee injury involves ligaments or cartilage, surgery is required and can be relatively quick with a speedy recovery thanks to the latest in arthroscopic surgery techniques.

Stew also says, the lower back is the most common injury area and you should always balance core exercises with lower back exercises like hyper extensions, flutter kicks, etc.

And more from Stew on pain:

Many graduates of these SO programs were athletes in high school or college and know the difference between injury and pain. Sports, martial arts, tough training workouts, and life in general can help you know what the difference is. But mainly graduates can suck it up when they need to and “tape it up and play” if required. This is where they say that SEAL Training is 90% mental. It is not academic mental – but mentally challenging because you have to deal with pain and discomfort on a daily basis.

Aside: In war – you can’t take a crap.

Factoid: Lateral ankle sprains are the most common injury in all of sports, and are examined in the emergency room more than 500,000 times per year. They are typically classified into one of three grades that indicate the level of damage done to the supporting ligaments.

Factoid: The most common injury for female basic trainees is femoral head and hip fractures … This not just for Special Forces, but for infantry in general.

So basically what do you get out of that information ?

Here’s what I get. Most of us train in two ways. “Muscle Group Training” or “Exercise Regimen Training”. Neither of these would be classed as functional training. Athletes of all walks are guilty of this training trap.

Let me explain. Lets say you are a body builder. They are avid “Muscle Group” trainers

Upper Legs
Lower Legs

And subdivisions of the above – then exercises are chosen to match these specific muscle groups or body parts and a training program is designed around that. The system works in many respects and almost all of us follow this system in some way. Many athletes in other sports will still train in this way but just skewed to their sport.

Next up is “Exercise Regimen Training”

Power lifters for example train…

Bench Press
Dead lift

Then they select sub exercises to support that regimen. Swimmers train a swimming regimen, runners a running regimen. The list is a long one. Probably more athletes train an “Exercise Regimen” system than “Muscle Group” although there some overlap.

Again I too am guilty of this and enjoy my sports.

OK so what happens when you get all of these fit people and stick them in the military ?

They break.

Military selection is designed to find weakness – and they will find it. Why?

Because people do not train functionally. We don’t set out to build our anatomical foundation. Physiological foundation yes, most athletes are masters of aerobic and or anaerobic fitness.

Where we are failing is our anatomy – our joint system.

How about “Joint Centric Training” ?

This is a third paradigm in fitness training.

How about breaking it down to strengthen & condition the weak links in your anatomy…

Lower Back

It doesn’t sound like sports does it ? No – it sounds more like physiotherapy. Stop and take a look at how the Special Forces guys break. Its not because they are not fit or strong, its because they did not strengthen their joints.

I’m 44 this week and hitting andropause has made me pay attention – these same injuries hit the elderly. Masters athletes are an oddity because we don’t train in this way. Most older athletes will never build this anatomical core. Many will hit a serious injury and that’s it – end of career.

So the bottom line is that an aspect of your training should be “Joint Centric” to build a foundation of “Anatomical Fitness” – just as you do Aerobic & Anaerobic training to build a foundation of “Physiological Fitness”.

Also “Joint Centric” does not mean Yoga & stretching. There is much more to it than that including special massage & strength training as well as stretching.

Adding this regimen will take you to a new level of physical capability that most of us have neglected – quite by accident.

special forces

Finally: here is a post on strength along the same lines

Warrior + Paleo Diet

I started Warrior Diet a couple of years back & it took me from 30 – 20% body fat. Now I am 230 lbs and 20% fat I want to get down to 10 – 8%.

To do this I am combining Warrior and Paleo – as on just Warrior I was still wolfing down huge amounts of dairy like yoghurt & milk plus lots of potatoes.

Yoghurt & potatoes are probably two of the best weight gain foods when combined with a healthy diet.

Now I have cut them and all grains – my waist has immediately shrunk in just 9 days. I have lost a few KG too but that is not my goal.

My goal is to maintain at least 100 kg body weight but alter the composition to 10% or there about body fat. I don’t want to go below 8%.

I also don’t want to lose muscle mass so I will build up on Kettlebell Complexes and heavy basic deadlifts, squat & bench. I also am getting some whey.

All along I am doing my knee rehab also. Hopefully in 2-3 months my body will be ripped and my knees strong enough for hard core rucking again.

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