Martial Arts & Kettlebell Master, Phil Ross becomes a Certified Bodyweight Specialist. In the first ever Bodyweight Strength certification conducted by Master of Sport Pavel Tsatsouline (the man responsible for bringing Kettlebell Training to the US), held in St. Paul Minnesota October 13th and 14th, some 60 participants were in attendance. The students were training in the progressions of mastery of the Bodyweight Strength Development and Master Phil Ross was one of the 15 participants to pass the exam and receive certification upon the course completion, earning the title of Bodyweight Strength Specialist. Master Ross, getting set to celebrate his 50th Birthday this October, was the only participant over the age of 40 to receive certification. He will be launching his “Fit and Fifty” program and posting YouTube clips adding more training tips to his active Phil Ross channel
Below is a write up regarding some training benefits from the training:
Naked Warrior Certification/Workshop: Phil Ross, RKC Team Leader, 8th Degree Black Belt
The workshop consisted of an incredible amount of extremely useful strength and balance developing techniques as well as strategies. The progressions to the specific tasks were particularly relevant because you are gaining useable, practical, applicable strength while you are learning strength skills. Some people may never be able to execute a one arm push-up, pistol, an L-sit pull-up or handstand push-up, but they will achieve significant strength gains and improve their lives through their strength practice.
People may think that if they can’t do a one-arm push-up, there’s no need to train in this fashion. That would be akin to telling a runner not to run, because they will never be able to run a sub 10 second 100 meter sprint. Nonsense, incredible strength and body linkage is developed with body weight training and that results in improved performance in strength, kettlebell training, weight lifting, sport, martial arts and daily life. If a student is able to perform a pull up and 20 two-legged squats, they will certainly be able to carry a bag of groceries up a flight of stairs.
Results are achieved by consistent, intelligent training patterns. Exercise discipline in your training. Build slowly and do not skip any level of the progression. That may result in “gaps” in your strength and prevent you from attaining the highest level of proficiency. Achieving real strength does not occur overnight, it’s a process. Quick gains lead to injury and rob one of their potential. Strength is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long process, but the results can last a lifetime!
Never Say Die
You hear it all of the time “Never Say Die”. You see the athlete in competition, whether its MMA, a Grappling Match, a Track Meet or a Football game – the sport does not matter, only the actions that lead to the end result. The participant is behind and it seems as if all is lost and then the tide shifts and the athlete that appeared to be done for surges and emerges victorious.
Everyone wants to win. Wanting to win is not the hard part. Sacrificing everyday in your training, your eating habits and ignoring distractions; that is the difficult task. You need to make your training your priority – no room for excuses – make it to your workouts and push yourself to get better, stronger and faster. Excuses for failure are common, find a way to succeed.
How does this happen? How does one develop this “Never Say Die” attitude? Can it be developed? Or is it only in certain people?
There are certain people born with an innate inner toughness, but if it’s not cultivated, they burn out and lose it over time. Others seem to develop, grow tougher and more resilient over time. How is this done?
There is one sure fire way to develop this Never Say Die attitude, Train Hard. Yes, the more that you sacrifice and persevere, the more you become committed to succeed and less you are able to tolerate failure. There are many times when a combatant is in a scramble, they could easily give in and let their opponent win, yet they do not allow this to happen. The time, effort and pain endured in training comes through and they “dig deep” into their soul and put forth another effort. Training with purpose will not only harden your body, but your mind as well.
When you are training, think to yourself “What is my opponent doing? Is he training like I am? Is he sparring those extra rounds, running that additional mile and performing those few more reps? Is he pushing through the pain?” You will never be able to answer those questions, until after the contest. The best chance of success that you have is to train to your best ability and don’t make excuses for not training.
The more that you put in, the more that you will be prepared to win. Take the Samurai for example. They were in Life and Death Battles. If they lost, they were dead. In order to win, they needed to have supreme confidence. They developed this confidence through their daily training regiment and discipline. The tenants espoused by the Samurai are ones that we can base our training on to develop our Never Say Die attitude.
As Always – Train Hard & Train Often.
My Best Friend: Are you a fitness enthusiast that takes their running shoes on trips, only to feel uncomfortable road running in unfamiliar areas? Are you tired of endlessly waiting for cardio equipment to free up at your gym, only to feel like a hamster running on a wheel? Do you love to run outdoors, yet shy away from putting on five layers of under-armor and sweats on in order to brave the sub arctic temperatures?
Well, let me introduce you to my “Best Friend”, the jump rope. You can take it anywhere, you do not need much space, it does not matter what the weather is like outside, you do not need expensive equipment ($2.00 to $20.00 for a rope, my favorite costs $8.00) and you can vary the routines and movements to keep it interesting. My Grandfather was a boxing trainer in Paterson, NJ back in the 30’s, 40’s and into the 50’s. He instructed me on how to jump rope as a teenager as a means to improve my foot speed and endurance for wrestling and football. I then began to realize the incredible benefits of jumping rope.
If you jump rope at a good pace for 5 minutes, it’s equivalent to running a mile! The coordination of your hands and feet moving in rhythm with each other is essential for a fighter. All of my martial arts classes begin with 3 to 5 minutes of jumping rope. In addition to the coordination development, jumping rope is an incredible means to warm up the body.
Even if you are a beginner and you miss on your jump, keep moving your feet. To learn how to jump, here are a couple of tips:
1) Play some music that you like with a good beat. You should put together a playlist for at least the same amount of time that you want to jump for. Use your favorite, upbeat songs & make a mix. Or, for those with obsessive, manic personalities, repeat the same song as an extended version. This also helps you jump rope longer. You basically fool your self into NOT thinking that you are jumping that long.
2) To initially get your timing, watch as the rope hits the ground. That’s when you time your jump. It may take a few weeks to get your timing, but keep working, it will eventually happen.
3) If you are still having issues, try putting the rope in one hand and jump up and down while rotating your wrist. This will help you to find your timing.
4) Remember the less movement of your arms, the better. Your wrists are the primary focus of the rotation. Try also to keep them in the same spot, approximately at the level between the bottom of your chest and the top of your hips. This does not hold true when you are doing more advanced movements, like crossing the rope or double jumps.
5) You do not have to jump very high. You only need to jump high enough to allow the thin rope to pass under your feet. Get your rhythm and all else will fall into place.
If you’d like to workout the rest of your body, try performing push-ups and abdominal exercises in a rotation with jumping rope. You can start with 100 jumps, 20 push – ups and 30 abdominals. Start with 3 rotations and then increase to 5. You may also execute additional push – ups or abdominals. What a great way to start the day!
Victory Favors the Prepared!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach me at HYPERLINK “http://www.philross.com” www.philross.com.
Muscle Confusion: Hype or Reality?
Since the advent of the P90X video series, the notion of “Muscle Confusion” seems to be on everyone’s lips and has replaced conversations of Core Based Workouts as the main concern for fitness enthusiasts. We’ll tackle the notion of the elusive “Core” in another blog.
Muscle confusion has been a very popular training method for many, many years. Yes – the P90X does a good job at leading you through your daily routine, but the program does not take into consideration the varying degrees of fitness, athletic ability, age and other stressors that the potential customer base may possess. I am not here to bash the P90X series. On one hand it has inspired many people to lose weight, get in shape and improve their lives, on the other hand many people have become injured while using it. I have personally worked with several clients, of various ages, that came to me after doing the PX90 series and incurring injuries. People have injured their backs, knees, hips and shoulders.
If you read the book by Arnold Schwartzeneggar: The Education of A Bodybuilder. I read this book in 1978 and it had an incredible impact on me. While attending the University of Maryland I participated in a workout session with the Barbarian Brothers, Peter & David Paul. They were filming of the movie DC Cab with Mr. T & Gary Bussey. My friend’s dad owned the Gold’s Gym in Wheaton, Maryland and he invited a few of us guys down for the workout session. The book by Arnold, the workout session with the Barbarian Brothers and countless other strength and fitness athletes have always stressed “Varying the Workout”, “Shock the Muscles”, “Change your Routine”. That is the only true way to stimulate growth and achieve higher levels of fitness.
Why is it so important? Why can’t I just stick with my set of exercises? Why can’t I simply run the same amount and the same route every time? Why – because the body gets stale with the same routine. You need to “force” the body to respond to varied loads and/or movements. Soreness from your workout should be the norm. If you do not experience soreness on a regular basis, you are not developing. If you have hit platues with your strength or your times running or find that you are dreading training; you need to varying your routine. Not to mention the fact of repetitive stress injuries that the same routine breed.
When you do your roadwork, you need to vary the terrain, the distance and the level of intensity that you run. Example: If you run three times a week, session one, do a 3 mile mile run at 80 percent your capability. Next session, do interval training or what runners call the “Float”. Go to the track and run a 200 hard, then at 50%. Do this for several laps, in accordance to your fitness level and ability. The third session of the week, go for a long run at an easy pace, 65 to 70%. This is just an example for one week. I’ll address running programs in more detail in future blogs.
Kettlebell Training: Lends itself to Muscle Confusion better than any other method available. Personally, I know several hundred movement variations with the Kettlebell. There are also a plethora of workout delivery methods with a Kettlebell. Complexes, Chains, Powerdure, 4×8’s, Combined Kettlebell and Body weight routines, Scrambled eggs, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility, Explosive Power Focus. One of the differentiators with Kettlebells, is that you have the ability to either focus on one of the phases of training or mix and match the methods in any combination that make sense or that keeps your workout interesting. You also need to employ the various levels of intensity to your workouts. You can’t go 100% every workout. This is another subject that I will cover in greater detail in a future blog. Hey – I have to keep you coming back for more!
Yes – Muscle Confusion is a reality and has great merit, but it’s not new or revolutionary – It’s just simply good.
Train Hard & Train Often!
Blog Post: 4/18/2011
Strength & Conditioning: Two essential components, not only to success in martial arts and athletics, but in life. The Human Animal was not meant to be a sedentary creature. We were designed to run, jump, climb, lift and carry, not to sit on our behinds for endless hours playing X-box or Madden 2011.
Even though our lives do not require the same amount of physical exertion as our ancestors, our lives are extremely busy and stressful with little time left for ourselves and our fitness. How do we achieve optimal fitness levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle with growing responsibilities and diminishing time alloted for ourselves?
Enter the Kettlebell.
Why Kettlebells? “I lift weights, it’s the same thing”. Yes and a Big “NO”. Yes, kettlebell training is a resistance exercise; but no it’s not simply lifting weights. Most of our conventional weight training exercises come from several sources: Body Building, Power Lifting and Olympic Lifting. Yes, there is a cross over of strength and conditioning from these methods of training, however the main goal of Body Building is to create larger muscles and a symmetrical shape, Power Lifting and Olympic Lifting are designed to increase strength – for specific lifts – not for athletic performance.
Kettlebell training increases durability, flexibility, strength, endurance and athletic ability. Through the techniques of “rooting” for strength, explosive hip pop and lock, core engagement on virtually every exercise, the practitioner achieves levels of fitness and performance never before attainable. The kettlebell is a handheld gym and replaces conventional barbells, dumbbells, cardio equipment, hand grips, weight machines, ropes, cable and bands. This is not to say that there in anything wrong with the other methods, it’s only that the same or better results in more aspects of fitness will be accomplished through the proper employment of kettlebell training in a shorter amount of time and space. For example – you will need a full rack of dumbbells to perform a workout that would require only three kettlebells.
How is this Accomplished? As a weighted exercise implement, the kettlebell is more akin to the unwieldy sandbag than to the commercialized dumbbell. The center of gravity (COG) of the kettlebell is about a good half foot away from your hand. With this displaced COG, the central nervous system (CNS) simply has to require more muscles groups to wield the awkward object. Curl a dumbbell, and feel it get LIGHTER as it redistributes its weight on top of your wrist and elbow when you pass 90 degrees. Curl a kettlebell of the same weight; you will actually feel it get HEAVIER, because no such shift in COG occurs. You’ll find yourself actually having to brace not only your entire arm to control it, but your abs, glutes, and your OTHER arm as well. When you employ various grips and motions, you are able to increase the effect even more! By recruiting your whole body for the kettlebell, you’re doing a full body workout with a as opposed to the muscle isolation when using a dumbbell.
Our lives are exceedingly busy. Time is a commodity that we can ill afford to waste. There are many occasions when we only have a small window of opportunity to train. You only have 35 to 45 minutes to train. You have to get your workout in. You’ve worked very hard to attain your level of fitness and you want to keep it. What can you do?
Here’s a great workout combining body weight and kettlebells. It’s call the 100’s Workout. Begin with warming the body up very well. Jump rope for 2 or 3 minutes, employ 5 to 7 minutes of stretching and other various warm-up techniques. Do three rotations of Deck Squats (10), Push-ups (25) and Abdominals (30). Now you are ready for the 100’s Workout.
There are several ways to do this workout. I’ve done anywhere from 3 to 5 exercise, depending on the available time and the chosen set of exercises. This is something that you’ll have to decide for yourself and how you are able to perform on a particular day. In addition, the amount of weight that you use makes a difference. Obviously – the higher the weight, the harder the workout.
Following are some examples:
100 2 Hand Swings, recover, stretch.
100 Bottoms-up Squats, recover, stretch.
100 Kettlebell Snatches, recover stretch.
You should be able to accomplish each exercise in 5 to 6 minutes with a 2 minute rest and re-hydration period in between. You should be done with this section in a total of 20 minutes. A light stretch and you are finished and on with your day.
100 Hand to Hand Swings (50 each Side)
100 Single Rack Squats (Change every 10 reps, 50 each side)
100 Dual Jerk Presses- It is best to do them in sections – VERY difficult to perform 100 of these in a row. You will most likely need 3 to 4 sets in order to complete the 100 repetitions.
You should be able to accomplish each exercise in 5 to 7 minutes with a 2 minute rest and re-hydration period in between. You should be done with this section in a total of 23 minutes. A light stretch and you are finished and on with your day.
Use your imagination and try other combinations of exercises when you do your 100’s. It’s a great deal of fun and yields a phenomenal workout.
As always: Train Hard & Train Often!
Learn from one of the country’s top Kettlebell Authorities – in the privacy of your own home! Master Trainer Phil Ross, RKC Team Leader, Author of several kettlebell manuals, Star of the Advanced Russian Kettlebell Workout Video and trainer to many fighters, athletes, celebrities and physicians has made available your guide to learning the Basics of Kettlebell Based Training.
The system employs body-weight exercises, flexibility, plyometrics and the most revolutionary fitness tool in the world – The Kettlebell. The kettlebell exercises as presented are from the teachings of the Father of Modern Kettlebell Training, Pavel Tsatsouline’s Hard Style Kettlebell System. Phil Ross is part of the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) Training Team.
Over 22 Exercises explained in Full Detail, Warm ups and Body Weight Exercises,a 45 Page Electronic Manual &12 complete Beginner Workouts to get you on your way to Ultimate Strength & Fitness!. All for ONLY $49! (Special Introductory Price)
www.kettlebellking.com Click & follow the links to order.