awkward, imperfect & deceptively hard

You’ve heard people say, “In a perfect world_________________”

Then they fill in the blank.

Since the perfect world doesn’t exist in this life, why train like it does?

One of my favorite mentors, Zach even-Esh, often talks about training in less than perfect conditions.

Why?

Because that’s how life is lived each day.

You know, doing things when there’s not enough room, or when you can’t get a good grip, or you’re way off balance.

For instance, doing a deadlift with 200lb is not that hard for most people.

Compare that to picking up a 200lb sandbag.

Huge difference!

Look at doing a seated chest press on a machine compared to doing a standing chest press with two steel clubs.

Let’s say you are repping 100lb on the machine.

Now stand up and press two 20lb steel clubs to full extension parallel to the ground.

It’s less than half the weight but it feels twice as hard.

Even with two 10lb steel clubs it’s deceptively hard.

Just a few things to think about today,

Coach D

knee walkups for strength

At Ed Coan’s Powerlifting seminar in 2016 I remember him saying we should get strong all over.

So how does that become a reality?

Training from every angle helps.

Strongman training is a good example of that.

Mace Fit is too.

So here’s one exercise you can start the week with for that.

knee walkups

1) kneel down holding a weight with both hands

2) stand back up without using your hands or putting the weight down

You can use any kind of weight for this, like a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells held in the rack position.

A sandbag held in the Zercher position is good for this too.

My favorite is a steel mace held down by the pommel with the heavy end up.

All of these are challenging.

Do 20 reps for a warmup or finisher.

Go get ’em,

Coach D

pushups & pummeling for full body strength

Gotta love Mondays!

It’s a great day to get stronger.

Here’s a couple of exercises to kick start your week:

clock pushups

tire pummeling

Back when they had clocks with hands on them 12 o’clock was at the top.

So that’s where we start the clock pushups.

Do a rep there then hand walk sideways to 1 o’clock for your next rep.

Keep your feet at the center of the clock the whole time.

Once you get all the way around the clock to your starting place go back around the other way

doing a pushup at each hour position.

Nect get a big heavy tire and stand it up vertically.

Have a training partner get on the other side from you.

While he gives you good resistance, push hard with your right hand to rotate the tire in place.

Do your left hand next, then keep alternating.

You will have to fight your way through each rep.

Do 20 reps, then have the other person go.

Each of you go through 3 times

Anything else you do after that is dessert.

Coach D

Going heavy to go lighter, but heavier than before with P.A.P.

Now that’s a mouthful isn’t it?

This something we used at the Cave, espeically during our testing cycles.

I learned about post-activation potentiation or (P.A.P.) from Coach Travis Mash.

This helped our athletes hit new PR’s on a regular basis.

It helps prime the central nervous system for very heavy work.

P.A.P. can be used for different exercises, so here’s an example of how we used it

for back squats.

1) work up to a heavy single 90%-95% of 1 RM

2) select your target weight for a new PR

3) make it a weight you haven’t hit in the past

4) add 20-30lb to the bar beyond that weight

5) get under the bar and unrack it (do not walk it out)

6) hold it for 10 seconds

7) rack the bar

8) pull off the extra 20-30lb (have your buddies do that if they are there)

9) wait about 60 seconds

10) now go hit your new PR

This works very well.

Now you know,

Coach D

pushups & pummeling

It’s a great day to get stronger.

Here’s a couple of exercises to kick start your week:

clock pushups

tire pummeling

Back when they had clocks with hands on them 12 o’clock was at the top.

So that’s where we start the clock pushups.

Do a rep there then hand walk sideways to 1 o’clock for your next rep.

Keep your feet at the center of the clock the whole time.

Once you get all the way around the clock to your starting place go back around the other way

doing a pushup at each hour position.

Nect get a big heavy tire and stand it up vertically.

Have a training partner get on the other side from you.

While he gives you good resistance, push hard with your right hand to rotate the tire in place.

Do your left hand next, then keep alternating.

You will have to fight your way through each rep.

Do 20 reps, then have the other person go.

Each of you go through 3 times

Anything else you do after that is dessert.

Coach D

the long game vs. hacks

Just a quick thought at midweek.

Did you ever wonder why so many people don’t train

or why they quit quickly if the do start?

It’s not that complicated really.

Usually there is one reason:

laziness

Nowadays more than ever people are looking for the “hacks”, you know the shortcuts to getting in shape.

Since you are reading this today I know you are not lazy.

Truth be told, there are no hacks.

The results follow the work.

No work = no results

Your body changes when you give it a reason to.

Whether you train in Strongman, Powerlifting, Mace Fit or any form of strength training

you have to be in it for the long game.

The next step in the long game is now.

Take that step and keep going!

Coach D

pullups, dips, & weights

It’s a great day to get stronger.

One of my favorite “quick & dirty” workouts is:

warmup with Mace Fit

thick handle trap bar deadlifts

strict pullups (sometimes I will do dips instead)

finish with Mace Fit & pushups

This takes about 30 minutes.

Being able to lifts big weights is important, but being able to move your body is just as important.

Just watch Steven Coyne’s training on Instagram sometime.

He is an extremely well-rounded athlete who uses lots of weight and bodyweight.

On the other hand I have seen people who could lift massive weights but struggled to a pullup.

Ed Coan aka The Goat said to get strong all over at the Powerlifting Seminar I attended in 2016.

Don’t limit yourself through small thinking.

Remember if you over specialize you’ll get really good at that one thing.

It takes much more than that to handle life.

Coach D

Hand health tip

I bet you love to lift heavy stuff or swing heavy clubs, I sure do.

You can develop a killer grip with heavy deadlifts, farmers walks, etc.

A strong grip is essential to lifting heavy.

Pavel Tsatsouline used to say “If you can’t hold it, you can’t lift it.”

Heavy barbells, dumbbells and steel clubs all require a strong grip.

But if it’s always grip, grip, grip you could be actually harming your hands.

Think about it this way.

If you always did curls but never did any tricep work how balanced would your strength be?

The same thing goes for leg training.

You probably do hamstring curls and leg extensions, right?

So why when it comes to our hands do we only work in one direction?

Here’s the tip: do hand extensor exercises too.

One of my favorites is using Iron Mind finger bands to do finger extexnsions with.

In fact, I was just did some before writing this email.

Google the health benefits of hand extensor exercises sometime.

Today is a good day to start strengthening those muscles.

Check it out for yourself.

I’m going to do some more of my extensor exercises right after I send this email out.

Coach D

staying strong while traveling

Wow! I just got back from a whirlwind trip to New England.

It was a great trip but training options were very limited.

No barbells

No kettlebells

No mace & clubs

So what can you do?

Most hotels have some sort of fitness center.

Sometimes they just have a machine and a treadmill.

Other times they have some dumbbells.

Some have swimming pools.

They all have stairs.

Do a good recon and see what’s available.

Use whatever is there.

Remember you always have bodyweight exercises.

When you are at a rest area you have tree branches for pullups and picnic tables for dips

and stepups.

I’ve even used newspaper stands for dips.

Get creative with basic exercises.

Like our friend and fellow coach, Christine Rosi says, “No gym required.”

No excuses!

Coach D

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