Fall 2019

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Jack Cambra and Fifty Barbell

A Case for CrossFit

Celebrating Unconventional Training at MaceFestTM By Frank DiMeo - pg 9 Holiday Dieting Survival Guide By Jim Hallinan - pg 51

By: Christophir “Smitty” Smith

Barebones Home Gym Equipment List By Mat Woods - pg 60 Editorial Advisory Board Randall Strossen, Founder, IronMind Enterprises Diana Young, Financial & Media Consultant Nick Nilsson, BASc Mad Scientist of Muscle Roberta Greaves, Editor Graphic Editor/Director: Kellie Kilgore Graphics, LLC Photography: Naomi Greaves Brian Tait



Avoid Bicep Tears AND Build a Bigger Deadlift!

Uncoiling the Weck Method

By: Tom Meehan

By: John Greaves III


By: Riccardo Magni

48 3

The Home Gym Quarterly Published by Garage Gym Life Media, LLC

John Greaves III Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Roberta Greaves Editor Kellie Kilgore Graphic Design Editor 3330 Cobb Pkwy. Ste. 324 Acworth, GA 30101 Email: john@garagegymmagazine.com The Home Gym Quarterly is published quarterly: January, April, July, October Subscription rates for four books are: $14.99 USD Single issues are: $4.99 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews. Cover Design: Kellie Kilgore Graphics Charlotte, NC


Welcome to the final issue of 2019! It seems like just yesterday that we were releasing the Winter 2019 issue and a lot has happened since then! This has been a wild ride and I definitely had my doubts at times about whether or not we were doing the right thing. But this year has been full of opportunities as well as challenges. We not only got to tell the stories of some awesome home gym owners from around the world, but I also had the privilege of interviewing several people who I admire in the world of fitness. One of those people is Coach Dan John and you can read my conversation with him in this very issue. I’m also grateful for the people who have come along on this journey to lend their talents to our mission. From long time contributors like Rob Brinkly, who gives you tips on staying active during the holidays to nutrition coach, Jim Hallinan, who contributed his first article for us this issue on maintaining your fitness during the winter months. This seemed like the craziest idea ever when we started. After all, magazines are supposed to be dying right? But because of each one of our subscribers, I know that this is not a lost cause after all. As a small token of gratitude, I’m not only making this issue free but I’m also giving you all a free copy of “Deadcember” by Daniel McKim. In our interview for the Summer 2019 issue, Dan talked about all of the PRs that people had made with this program and he graciously provided it for me to use as I saw fit. I can think of no better way than to use it to say thank you to each of you. In addition, going forward, we’re going to let those who want to showcase their products in front of a home gym audience, support the cost of producing this magazine. That means, not only is this issue provided free of charge to you, the reader, but every issue going forward. Thank you to each of you for supporting this dream and I pray that you all have a happy and joyful holiday season! See you next year! John Greaves III Editor/Publisher 5


Christophir Smith is a online performance coach and the host of “The Garage Gym Coach” podcast. Smitty has coached a variety of sports including wrestling, weightlifting, cheerleading and gymnastics over the past 19 years. He’s worked with a broad range of individuals whose goals ranged from fall prevention for elderly patients to weight loss interventions in pre and post bariatric surgery patients, to general physical fitness for our firefighters, police, EMS, all the way up to National level weightlifting competitors. Smitty found Crossfit in 2008, and has been enamored with its simplicity and efficacy ever since. You can follow him on Instagram @garage_gym_coach and listen to his podcast The Garage Gym Coach on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Google Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher or Libsyn.

ROB BRINKLEY Rob Brinkley will celebrate his 10th year as a personal trainer this year. He began his fitness quest in a Mid-West basement circa 1993, starting with calisthenics, then moving to bodybuilding, powerlifting and more recently, he has adopted kettlebell training. Although Rob has done bodybuilding competitions, five half marathons, and a strict curl competition – mostly, he prefers to keep fitness simple. Rob helps busy people simplify their fitness in person in Fort Worth, Texas and at www. simplify.fitness with online personalized training.

RICCARDO MAGNI Riccardo Magni is a hardcore garage gym athlete and strength coach with a competitive background in track and field, powerlifting, strongman and Highland Games. Riccardo currently competes in Armlifting. He is one of the co-hosts of The Grip Guys podcast as well as the Secretary General of Armlifting, a husband and father to three kids. You can follow him on YouTube at Riccardo Magni and Instagram @riccardomagni1.

MAT WOODS Mat Woods has been involved in the powerlifting and personal training industry for over 15 years. He has been a competitive powerlifter and personally trained clients of all backgrounds and abilities. You can follow his workouts and tips on Instagram at @ redbeard49. 6


Tom Meehan has over a decade of experience in the fitness industry training athletes from homemakers to professional MMA fighters and members of the Special Operations community. He has recently achieved his Associate’s degree in Exercise Science from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Tom is a combat veteran of the United States Air Force, serving six years as a TACP/ JTAC, completing two combat deployments, one of which was featured in the documentary The Fighting Season by Ricky Schroder. Currently, Tom lives in Navarre, FL and works as a military contractor. He spends his off time working out in his garage gym, hanging out at the beach and playing with his dog, Ruger. You can follow Tom on Instagram @ TJM275 and YouTube at TJM 275.

DERRICK CLARK, SR. NASM-CPT Derrick Clark, Sr. is a Philadelphia based personal trainer who trains primarily in his basement laundry room. Derrick is the host of Busy Dad Meal Prep on the Garage Gym Life Media IGTV Channel. He also regularly contributes videos to Technique Tuesday for Garage Gym Life Media on IGTV. You can follow him on Instagram @mr.clark_sr.

SUZY DESHIELDS Regular photographer contributor Suzy DeShields is a former NCAA collegiate gymnast and the founder and photographer for Lind and Love Photography, which serves Dallas and surrounding areas in Texas. A garage gym owner of two years and never looking back, Suzy enjoys CrossFit, yoga, and anything else involving movement and fun with her family on a daily basis! You can follow her fitness and nutrition pursuits at @barbelleinspire on Instagram, her photography at @lindandlovephotography on Instagram and contact her at suzy@ lindandlovephotography.com.

FRANK DIMEO Frank DiMeo is an Underground Strength Level 2 Coach, a Vintage Strength Coach Level 1 and the owner of the Cave gym in Sarasota, Florida, along with a home gym enthusiast. Frank is the Mace FitÂŽ Coordinator and MaceFest TM Coordinator. He is a Veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne 7

JIM HALLINAN Jim Hallinan has been a high school teacher since 2001 in southern New Jersey teaching Health and Physical Education to 10th grade and 12th grade students. Jim proposed, developed and implemented a one year curriculum on Nutrition and Fitness. He has a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science (Teacher Education), M.Ed. in School Leadership and a M.S. in Exercise Science & Sport Nutrition. Jim’s certifications include Certified Sports Nutritionist through the ISSN and Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition. He is also a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer. You can follow him on Instagram @jimmynutrition.

BRIAN TAIT Brian Tait is a strongman competitor and the owner/operator of Dude With A Camera. Brian’s passion is to portray strength sports especially the sport of strongman in a positive light. An Australian native living in the United States, Brian has photographed multiple strongman competitions in the United States including, Central Georgia’s Strongest Man, Music City’s Strongest Man, World’s Strongest Man 2019 and Giants Live North America. You can follow him on Instagram @dude_with_a_camera.


Celebrating Unconventional TM Training at MaceFest By Frank DiMeo 9

Steel mace and club enthusiasts traveled long distances from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to the Cave gym in Sarasota, Florida to celebrate the next wave of fitness. It truly was two days of learning, learning, feasting and fun. Who would have ever expected this in a little “hole in the wall” warehouse gym full of used and homemade equipment? The amount of knowledge shared was not limited by how many square feet the gym was. Day #1 consisted of five presentations: Valerie Pawlowski (Vintage Strength Training) Brad Hutchins (Maceworxx) Frank DiMeo (Mace Fit®) Don Giafardino (Adex Maces & Clubs) ‘Lyonel Lumarque (LyonStrong) https://www.instagram.com/p/ BwxHKVzAaD2/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_ link


The camaraderie was “through the roof ” as was the excitement level. Everyone had a blast! https://youtu.be/_ffqDL4w9Zg

Day #2 started off with a flash mob at beautiful Siesta Key Beach.

https://youtu.be/Kp0Vjgrk9t4 https://youtu.be/9KhPxKyFTAw

https://www.instagram.com/p/ BwzcgjvA6In/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Later that day, we had a special guest stop in, Strongman Bud Jeffries, a longtime friend and mentor of mine.


After the flash mob, there was a panel discussion/Q &A, followed by another great lunch at the Cave. We didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry or lose valuable by having to go out somewhere for lunch.

The feedback on this event has been extremely positive! So how do we top this? I don’t know, it went so well. Come to MaceFest 2020 next May 16-17 and find out.

In the afternoon, there was an opportunity fo the attendees to work one on one with the presenters. There was also a multi-lingual Q & A session in Spanish, Creole, and French. https://youtu.be/ rFXDTloNKVs A friendly impromptu competition broke out as a few of the guys faced off to swing heavy maces and clubs. https://www.instagram.com/p/ Bw2xxqTAqix/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link 11

A Case for CrossFit By Christophir “Smitty” Smith 12

Photo Credit: Suzy DeShields 13

David Epstein is a number one best selling author and recently published his latest book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Within the book, David outlines why generalists, regardless of the arena— be it sports or business, fare better in what he called “wicked” domains. The author’s point is that having a well-rounded background makes you a better fit for what is yet to come by providing you with experiences in a myriad of situations and domains. This idea is far from novel, as it is one of the major tenants of CrossFit™. The CrossFit Level 1 Training manual provides a simple but eloquent way of stating it, “You will fail at the margin of your experiences.” We believe that a general fitness program should encompass cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy, in equal measures, and is the best foundation for general physical preparedness. Further, an increase in an athlete’s general fitness can only enhance their performance in their specialized sport. I daresay that the above comments would be read as heresy and met with arguments to the contrary from a majority of strength and conditioning professionals. The arguments I hear most voiced, are: • CrossFit™ programming is too general and its broad • CrossFit™’s application to certain populations is ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst • The use of the clock leads to inappropriate intensity levels • The group mentality is dangerous • Olympic weightlifting and plyometric methods are applied incorrectly • The kipping pull-up is an abomination that leads to nothing but shoulder issues. Sound about right? The issues mentioned above have led to casual remarks about the negative side-effects from a wide range of trainers and coaches outside of CrossFit™ stating it’s inappropriate for “real” athletes. Well, I have a few thoughts. First, would you consider the 14

men and women who compete at the CrossFit™ Games true athletes? If so, then a clarification needs to be made about which athletes, or better yet, athletes who participate in which sport, even recreationally, should refrain and during what part of the season? Next, a concise argument about which particular portion of the season for the athlete should be avoided. Are we talking, in-season, offseason, or pre-season? Most traditional sports that have seasons, and during the in-season periods, I fully understand the time demands placed on athletes and the need to focus on sport-specific needs, practices, and games. However, once the season is over, a post-season rest period followed by off-season training focusing on general fitness and that judiciously addresses the imbalances created by the demands of the sport is the perfect time for using the methodology to help injury prevention by strengthening or mobilizing the weak or tight areas created during the season. What about non-traditional sports / athletes that do not have annual seasons such as combat sports or tactical athletes? Should we lump them into the “it’s dangerous to CrossFit™” category of athletes. I would argue that getting punched in the face, fighting fires, or special operations deployments have a higher propensity for injury rates than CrossFit™. Further, the nature of the general physical preparedness is precisely what’s required of these athletes who don’t know if their “sport” will require a single five-minute MMA round or a multi-day wild-land firefight on unsteady terrain with steep changes in elevation. At its core, CrossFit™ is a cross-training methodology, when appropriately constructed uses concurrent training methods and the application of nonlinear progression (NLP). These are properties of variance, which is a pillar of the program. Notice I said variance, not random. I believe this is where the majority of folks misunderstand the methodology. This is because it’s hard to see the structure and purposefulness when workouts are only seen in isolation. But, when a metaphorical

ten-thousand-foot view is applied, the nuances of the program can become evident. A dance of pushing and pulling, heavy and lite, slow lifts, and dynamic ones all help to create a fitness program that is more focused on the whole rather than the parts. Our specialty is not specializing. Now, let us go back to arguments from above and remove them, so no clock, no box jumps, no kipping pull-ups, workouts are one-on-one with a trainer that doesn’t want to use Olympic lifting, and crafted the workout programing for that specific person’s needs and skill-set. Further, that trainer diligently applies the constructs of mechanics, consistency and then, and only then, intensity, what do you get? CrossFit™, that’s what you get. You can still consistently vary functional movements at high intensity regardless of what you remove from the program. I think ultimately, the real arguments most trainers and coaches, whether they want to admit or not, is two-fold but rooted in the same place. First, the

requirements to obtain a CrossFit Level 1 certificate has a low barrier. You can earn your CFL1 over a weekend learning a wide breadth and low depth of information, pass your test and pay your registration fee (at the moment, $1,000). Secondly, because they believe the best program of fitness or sport is an approach that is tailored to the individual and their training age, injury history, imbalances, flexibility, schedule. Merge those arguments, and you get a perception that CrossFit™ coaches as imposters in the fitness arena who are taking clients away with the lure of a get fit quick scheme. Sprinkle in the fact that CrossFit™ regularly utilizes higher-level skills that not everyone is comfortable teaching, and you have a recipe to say, “real athletes shouldn’t do CrossFit.” So, now begs the question; Is CrossFit right for you? If you want to build a robust fitness level that helps build resilience to much of what life will throw at you and use your general fitness as scaffolding to elevate your specialized sporting needs, then find a qualified coach and start the journey.


Jack Cambra and Fifty Barbell –by John Greaves III

Jack Cambra, Jr. is the head coach at the best kept secret in Hawaii, the legendary, CrossFit Fifty which is based in his backyard. This home gym facility has a 100% college acceptance rate for the athletes who’ve trained there and it’s hosted strength athletes from Chris Duffin and Donnie Thomspon to bodybuilder Bradley Martyn not to mention being home base for one of the strongest powerlifters pound for pound in the world; 8x All Time World Record Holder, Stacia Al-Mahoe. Find out how he grows his gym with zero money spent on advertising! John Greaves: Jack! Man, it is really awesome to talk to you. I’ve actually been following you for a little bit, off and on, so I really appreciate the chance to talk to you, have a conversation with 16

you about your training and all the cool stuff you’re doing. Jack Cambra: I appreciate you reaching out, man, thank you. John Greaves: So you started a gym in 2010, right? Jack Cambra: Yes. I started my gym in 2010, and then we affiliated in 2012, CrossFit affiliation. But we pretty much do everything here, and that’s just been the history of the gym. 2010, and just an evolution from there on ever since. John Greaves: Were you guys the first CrossFit box on the island?

Jack Cambra: No, we were actually, I think, the fourth box here. Fourth or fifth. There was a few gyms that were here for a while. CrossFit Oahu, run by my friend Bryant, they I think were one of the first affiliates, period. I think they were in the top five or top ten. So they’ve had CrossFit here for a while. John Greaves: So let’s talk about your business a little bit. You don’t have a website, I did find you on Yelp, and on Facebook, but you’ve had so many high-profile fitness people come through over the years. So did you grow your business in the early years? Jack Cambra: Well, whenever I get into something I kind of always have this... I don’t know if it’s a theory, it’s a thing that I do, is I try to get in touch with the best of the community of what I’m doing. And just through doing that, I ended up earlier in our years when I was doing a lot more CrossFit, and I had a regionals athlete, and a games athlete, I’d

make sure to go out and visit gyms like CSA, Combat Sports Academy, in Dublin, California. Which, they just have everything under their roof. Fighters, CrossFitters, powerlifters, and just through meeting people in the community, and having conversations, it just kind of happened that way through word of mouth. I operate under home occupancy is the rule of my state. And what that means is I have a set of rules per a business, to run a business out of my house, that I have to follow. And one of them is I can’t advertise. We can’t advertise out of our gym, so that’s actually one of the rules. So social media has been kind of everything for us. I don’t like social media that much, I get stuck on it a lot, but it’s more of a necessity for my training blog, and a necessity for us to be out there at all. You know, I would never have met all the people I’ve met, I wouldn’t be here on here with you if I didn’t, if I wasn’t on social media. So 100% by word of mouth, you know, I just ended up being friends with people like Donnie Thompson, and a couple other guys that sometimes


I get a message from them, I still kind of get taken aback, like, whoa, like what? John Greaves: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jack Cambra: So I mean, just through that, and then through word of mouth from them, like Chris Duffin was just here. And the way he came was he’s friends with my friend Tanoai Reed, he’s the stuntman for the Rock and they were just talking, and then Duffin was going to come to Hawaii, to do a seminar at University of Hawaii, and Tanoai, told him hey, check out my friend’s gym, and boom, that’s how it happened. It always happens like that. It always ends up happening where just, we get lucky enough where people end up at our gym. Jack Cambra: And we have good equipment. We have good equipment, we have a lot of things that a lot of gyms don’t have. We have a lot of chains, we have a lot of bands, monolith, all the specialty bars, so I think a lot of the guys, when they come to Hawaii, they want to have the equipment, they want to have... But I mean, you can be outside catching a tan with your shirt off, too, at our gym. So I meanJohn Greaves: Yeah, get that muscle beach flavor, yeah. Jack Cambra: Yeah, you know, it gives the whole flavor. What turned out to be what I was selfconscious about, not having a roof on my gym, ended up being our marketing ploy, I guess you would say. Not really, but I mean, it became the narrative right? Oh, it looks like Jurassic Park in the background, because of the mountains, and it’s a nice place to train. John Greaves: It’s like all this stuff that people, like the buzzwords or whatever, it’s like, so you’re getting the vitamin D, you’re barefoot so you’re grounding. Jack Cambra: It is. But you know I think the biggest weapon though of being outdoors is, like the other 18

day, I ran into the house to grab something, and it started pouring rain. And I heard somebody was getting ready to lift, you know I could tell, because the kids are, “Come on, let’s go,” and it’s pouring, and then I hear the kid hitting the lift, and everybody screaming, “Come on, up, up, up!” And they hit the lift, he drops it, they cheer for him, nobody stopped. John Greaves: Nice. Jack Cambra: It’s pouring rain, it’s pouring, it’s storming. We’re actually waiting two hurricanes or something I think, it’s storming rain. It’s just yesterday, and nobody froze, and I just had to smile to myself, because I’m like, man, you know when I was standing in the house and I heard the rain, most people would be like, “Oh, I’m not going outside.” And then all my guys are outside, and they didn’t even realize... It’s such a huge advantage for competition, you know? To not be affected by something as huge as rain? And what were they doing yesterday, what lift was that? Ah... It might have been a snatch or something, but it was cool, man, that was just a really proud moment, because that’s just an added...

Jack Cambra: Like you said, you get all these added benefits to being outside that you just don’t get indoors. You just can’t.

to look cool, but because he just came home from work and that’s what he got to do before dinner is done.

John Greaves: Yeah. I got you. Well man, I really appreciate the fact that you reached out to me, and kind of opened that door up so that we could do this.

Jack Cambra: So the home gym, and being a part of it, is huge for me, because home gyms... a lot of our athletes, they get built up into the NFL because of home gyms, man. And you know, in this movement you’re doing, showing this and getting the education out, I appreciate it, and I believe in it, and it’s good. Because now somebody has somebody to turn to, to go talk to about their gym.

Jack Cambra: I appreciate you letting me be on, man, I appreciate it. You’re doing a good thing. You know, there’s the garage gym, it’s in the hearts of every Hawaiian, because our culture here as kids would be, your dad would come home from construction, and you have this little gym in your backyard. And you know, we’ve got a lot of benchers in Hawaii, man, Hawaii boys like to bench. So pops would come back, and there’s something about seeing an older dude in his jeans, dirty from construction, and his boots, getting after it. Not because he’s trying

Want to learn more about Jack’s approach to programming and his advice for how to spot B.S. coaches? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our video interviews on our IGTV channel.



Photo Credit: Mark Twight

Dan John I first saw Dan John in an iconic photo of him dragging a sled WHILE carrying a loaded military surplus duffle bag through the snow outside his home. That photo later became the cover of his popular book on training, “Never Let Go”. Dan John is both a theology professor and a former All-American Discus Thrower, high level Highland Games competitor and American Record Holder in the Pentathlon.

At 62, AFTER double hip replacements, he celebrated his daughter’s wedding by turning cabers. As a coach he’s trained champions at every conceivable level from high school athletes to the pros. He knows Spec Ops personnel and most of your favorite fitness personalities know him by name. Over the years, I’ve become a fan of Coach John’s work, buying his DVDs, books and going so far as to post his standards for 21

High School and Middle School Athletes in my home gym as a reminder of what the minimum expectation for a trained athlete should be in the weight room. If you’ve never read any of his extensive body of work, you can start at any of the links we’ll put throughout this interview or visit his website or podcast links that I’ve provided at the end of the interview. For now, sit back, relax with your favorite beverage and enjoy. John Greaves: You posted recently on Instagram that you still have trouble explaining to your mailman what you do for a living. Do you think you could go back in time and explain it to young Dan John and that he would understand? Dan John: You know, I think he would. I had a career that I loved, and I didn’t want the man telling me what to do. I know it sounds kind of funny and cliché-ish, but it’s true. One of the things I guess that’s always helped me is that that’s been one of my North stars, one of my guiding lights, is this idea that I have this love. I truly have a passion coming from the Latin “to suffer”. I’m willing to suffer for strength and conditioning, for performance sports, for training in particular. I’m happy to sit through long meetings. I’m happy to spend a lot of time thinking about something simple or complex. So I think when I was young, and if I’d sat little 21 year old Danny John and say, “All those sacrifices were worth it,” in fact I’d probably tell him, “Embrace the sacrifices,” because that, long-term, is what’s going to make you able to follow your dreams. And they’re not sacrifices; they’re just choices. John Greaves: I mean, that makes sense because your career path wasn’t linear and maybe no one’s career path ever really is. Dan John: Arthur Schopenhauer, the philosopher about a century ago, said, “When you go walking through life, it seems like you’re in a series of collisions. But, when you hit a certain age, you look back and you realize that it’s an absolutely straight line.” And I think what happens, most people don’t 22

realize that— like there’s a phrase, “Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous,” which I’ve always thought was very interesting. I’m 62. I’ve been lifting weights since 1965, coaching since ‘79. When you get a chance like I’ve had recently to look back, you realize, and again, from a martial arts tradition, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. That’s absolutely true in my life. But, the problem is, and this the key to performance also, everybody tries to rush it. I remember when Coach Maughan told me in 1977, “The key to being a great discus thrower is lift weights three days a week, throw the discus four days a week for eight years.” And the problem is, I tried to lift weights six days a week and throw eight and try to get done in four. That’s not the way it works. You’ve got to wait those eight years, those 12 years, those 10 years, whatever it takes. John Greaves: Mark Bell said recently, “Strength is like a tree and you plant seeds and in the beginning all you see is that you’re watering this dirt. All you see is you’re pouring water on dirt. But then, slowly but surely, you start to see it and you never really know where the branches are going to go but it all goes back to the seed that you planted way back when, and you had to water for a while without any visible or tangible evidence that any of this stuff was working.” Dan John: That is exactly it, but of course, that’s also the hardest lesson you’ll ever learn in life. And we use this example in theology and sports all the time about the seed. Now, the seed is your DNA, the soil is your local geography, and I write about this in my book, Now What. I’m kind of proud of it. You can’t see my hands, but I’m making a series of concentric circles and I have, you can even say six concentric circles, but what I know at 62 is based largely on what’s in rings one through 10, 10 through 20, especially 20 to 30, and then 30 to 50 are the big thick rings in my life. That’s when I really started to learn and the mistakes people make. I mean I’ll go online and someone will tell us that they’re one of the elite fitness leaders and they’re 22 years old or 21. It’s like, “How can you be a leader in the field and you’re barely even, if you

went to college, a college graduate?

Fundamental Human Movements] plus one.

John Greaves: I mean, honestly, it seems like everybody who does this is like standing on the shoulders of, this is such a cliché too, but all this is standing on the shoulders of those who went before—

John Greaves: Okay.

Dan John: Yeah, but that’s true with every field. Yeah. John Greaves: I mean, to me, the easiest way to demonstrate that you get a concept that nobody has gotten before is to go back in the past and just see how somebody, maybe a hundred years ago, was applying the same something that’s eluding everybody now. Does that make sense? Dan John: So in our field of fitness and performance, I think it’s okay to say, “Okay, listen, we were absolutely right about this in Hackenschmidt’s book, The Way to Live in 1910.” How did we go away from that concept? See, I’m with you on this. When Bud Winters was working with the pilots in World War II, the fighter pilots, and then adapted those concepts to track and field, he was absolutely right. And then, we immediately threw it out the window until it was amazingly discovered by the Soviets who just stole his work. So, this is our field in a nutshell. We forget every gem along the way, and we’re constantly looking. John Greaves: That is one reason why we emphasize in our magazine learning across disciplines. So just because you do yoga, doesn’t mean I can’t learn anything from you and just because you do obstacle course racing and I love yoga, doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from you. You know what I mean? It’s like everyone just starts to go back to physical culture, being able to do what you call, the fundamental human movements and just stop worrying about labeling themselves with “I do this.” Or, “I’m a this or that.” Dan John: For clarity, I have five [of the

Dan John: Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat, Loaded Carry, and then everything else. John Greaves: And then everything else. I’ve seen it like broken down to Vertical Push, Vertical Pull, Horizontal Push, Horizontal Pull. Dan John: Well, here’s the case. Real quick, John. Do most Americans need more upper body work in the weight room? John Greaves: I would say no. Dan John: Right, they need to work on the Hinge, Squat, and Loaded Carry. And then, for most people they need to work actually on the Hinge and the Loaded Carry. If you want to be an athlete, you better maintain your Squat, your mobility, flexibility, positioning, relative strength. But what makes you great are the Hinge and the Loaded Carry, and that is the great insight that I came up with in my life, at age 47 when I had the best year of my life as a discus thrower and Highland gamer. John Greaves: That’s when you broke your wrist, right? Dan John: No, that would have been three years after I broke my wrist. John Greaves: Okay, that’s when you discovered Carries, so you’re like, “Oh, I can’t grab anything, so let’s figure out something.” Dan John: According to my wife I’m like a dog, if I don’t work out it gets ugly. So I started having the Loaded Carries and all of a sudden I’d get, because my right wrist was fine so I could throw, and I’d be at Highland games and people would ask me if I’m on drugs and I’m like, “Hey man, lifetime drug free, shut up.” And I would tell them, “Well, I carry weights in 23

each hand, and I’d put a sled on, and sometimes I put a backpack with farmer bars in a sled.” “Okay, but what do you do?” “I just told you what I do.” “No, I mean sets and reps.” “Well until I get tired or bored and then I go in, and I come back out and do it again.” “No, no, seriously, what do you really do?” “I just told you.” “Well what about bench presses?” “Well, I’ve got a broken wrist.” “Well, what about this?” “I can’t, I’ve got a broken wrist.” It was hilarious to watch them in disbelief. And of course, now, 2019, everyone’s like, “Oh, of course. I invented that.” Like people who said they invented the Goblet Squat, after I wrote an article. A guy told me one time he actually invented the Goblet Squat and I go, “When?” He goes, “2009.” I go, “Really? Because I had an article on it in Men’s Health in 2003. So, it’s weird that you had the same exact name for the same exact move six years after an international magazine published it. But you’re right, you must have invented it.” John Greaves: I could talk about what we were just talking about all day, but let’s move to this: I hear a lot of coaches complain that it’s hard for them to get clients because the general public is constantly bombarded with people who understand social media algorithms better than someone who’s a coach. You know what I mean? It’s like, you spend all your time learning how to coach, they spend all their time learning how to market. Dan John: Well, you can’t worry about it. A buddy of mine one time found this Muscle & Fitness and it was from 1987. It was kind of funny because we were looking at these body builders and I couldn’t tell you any of them. Who are they? Where’d they go? So, we are an industry that has always rewarded the new, the sexy, the flashy, the shiny. Always. And yet, when you get right down to it the answers are always the obvious. That’s true in every aspect of 24

life, you’ve got to first learn the alphabet, then you string it together into words, then you string that into sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books. That’s just the way it is. Math, you’ve got to learn to count first, then add, then subtract, then multiply, then divide, then you add on complexity to that. We all know that’s true, but when it comes to human bodies ... We used to call them snake oil salesmen, and it’s just been true forever. If you go and you’re on YouTube, the old Jack LaLanne videos, they’re all black and white, and he’s with his dog, and he’s in his jumpsuit. He talks with the audience about nutrition, he talks to the audience about exercise. It’s all right and it’s ... and we can’t do better because that’s the simple truths of life. But we can’t help it because there are genetic superstars and the truth is, if you don’t have a sixpack when you’re 21 that’s your fault, not mine. When I was at Utah State when I was 21, I was 7.9% body fat at 231, because I was 21. I could go out and do all kinds of stupid things, wake up after four hours of sleep, Olympic wrestling or the discus hammer, and shot, and be fine. And, I could repeat that, and repeat that, and repeat that. Well, at 61, 62, you don’t do that anymore, and that’s kind of the key, I guess, what I’m trying to get across. These online gurus, and I read their stuff because sometimes it’s interesting, but really? It’s tea made out of mushrooms? That’s the secret? And now a whole bunch of them are pushing taking LSD to open their minds up. I’m like, “Are you telling people to take drugs?” And what’s going to be the truth is drink water, eat your veggies, eat your protein. It’s true today and it’s going to be true 1,000 years from now. Absolutely you need the essential fats, of course carbs are going to have to come in in an intelligent way, but if you eat enough vegetables you’ve got that covered. You’ve got to go for a walk sometimes, you’ve got to sleep eight or nine hours a night. It’s a good idea to probably meditate or have some quiet time, read good books. Lift weights three days a week. None of that’s sexy or sparkly, but it’s all true. John Greaves: Because you brought up read a good book, one of our contributors, Robert

Brinkley wanted to know if you had another book recommendation because he read The Epic of Gilgamesh based upon hearing you talk about it. Dan John: Oh, yeah. Well here’s the thing. My first published article was on The Epic of Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon Anthem. So, real quick, why should you read Beowulf ? Well this is what you look for. While you’re reading it, look at the way warriors speak. And then, look at the way kings speak. In Beowulf, warriors only speak in the pure present. They don’t care about their past and they doubt they have a future. Kings, however, in Beowulf, always start off with the past, talk about where they are now, and then look to the future. So, athletes are warriors. Children tend to be warriors. Artists, there’s no question, are warriors. When you think about a musician or a movie actor, you go right back to the last movie and make a decision on how they’re doing. Kings are coaches, teachers, and parents, usually. So, in my life, I had this weird, I don’t know, I would say the bulk of my athletic career, I was also coaching. So, I was often a warrior, and I was often a

king. Last weekend we had Highland Games as part of my daughter’s wedding. John Greaves: I saw that. Dan John: Yeah, post the video of me turning the caber if you can. (We did. You can see it here.) John Greaves: I will, yeah. Dan John: One of the things, my friends would come up to me and say, “You know, you just had surgery.” “You know, you’re 62.” But I’m a warrior. When I’m picking up cabers and weights and hammers, I’m a warrior. “This will never happen again,” my brain says. Now I sit back a week later, by the way I feel great, and I slide back in. I slide back into my past, present, and future vision. Another book worth your time, of course, is The Iliad and The Odyssey. Now The Odyssey, well, The Iliad, is the study, there’s a German word for it, Furstenspiegel, and don’t worry about the translation. Furstenspiegel, it’s a book about how you’re supposed to act, and the problem Agamemnon has is


he’s not acting right, and Achilles knows it. He’s not acting appropriately. So, the whole book is about what happens when you don’t act the way you’re supposed to act. And of course, The Odyssey is the classic “sing for your supper”. Of course, Ulysses was a discus thrower, so you have to read it. So, Beowulf, Iliad and The Odyssey, and then I would recommend The Sword in the Stone, which, in my Wandering Weights I do a paragraph by paragraph study. I’ve been doing that for over a year. I’m going through the book basically by the paragraph, but The Sword in the Stone, get a good edition. Don’t get the ones with the geese and the ants story, the one illustrated by Dennis Nolan is very good. It’s by a guy named T. H. White. Terence Hanbury White. And, let me give you one more, a more contemporary, I think Frank Herbert’s Dune is well worth a read. The reason that I like Dune so much is there’s aspect of that story where, I think it’s very good for athletes, where you have to make decisions, and that’s why I like the book so much. You know, I’d hate ... this might sound like a weird one, but I’d also throw in the modern classic The Godfather by Mario Puzo. The novel is amazing, but the book has a few more stories, and the book of course ... What I like about the movie and the book, very much like Goodfellas, is you find yourself cheering for very, very bad people. It was like The Sopranos. You find yourself cheering for bad guys, and I think that’s important sometimes to read books like that. The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde would be in that category. I like those books that when you put them down you go, “Wow.” The Brothers Karamazov, of course, would be another one I would throw in. But that’s enough for now. John Greaves: Okay. Now let’s talk about some trainer stuff, because all the trainers who read this are going to get mad at me if I don’t throw this stuff in there. Dan John: Sure. John Greaves: What would be the max size you’d 26

recommend for a new trainer doing boot camps in their home or outdoors? Dan John: I’ve done 150 people at once, but they were all military so it was easier. And of course, with the American Football I’ve done much more. Actually, that’s not true, at a discus camp they were all teenagers and I had 150. It comes down to this ... Let me give you two ideas. When I’m coaching the discus, since we break down the discus into four words; Stretch, one, two, three. You don’t have to lose your mind. It’s very simple. Very easy. And then from there I can break you all into seven stations. I have seven stations, 10 stations, 14 stations, but everything is a subset drill. So, if you’re trying to teach something, I try to break it down: Big picture, and then a lot of little pictures, and then between every little picture we review, stretch, one two three, or whatever it is. With big groups I now use Gernot. Gernot is a friend of mine from Germany and his business is blowing up because he uses a very simple method. If you type in Dan John 30/30 you’ll find, I think five articles on this method. His idea is this: You go 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, for 30 minutes. Hardest one I’ve ever done is two exercises, it was brutal. The exercises were hip thrusts and then a hang, you just hang from the bar. I did that as a workout. But I can work with up to ... I had not long ago 14 people at my home gym training with this method and most of them didn’t know the exercises. I mean there’s nothing fancy, it’s like Goblet Squats, slam ball. What you do then is you pick a series of exercises and you just go through them; the best number is probably five or six. If you have six exercises you go through each one five times. If you have five exercises you go through each one six times. But listen to how you can break it down: We’re going to do a Push, a Pull, a Hinge, a Squat, a Loaded Carry, and then Ab Wheel. So you start and you’re doing overhead double kettlebell press, Bobby over there is doing TRX “T”s. Cindy is doing Goblet Squats. Larry’s doing dead lifts. I’m doing farmer walk, and Edna’s doing Ab Wheel roll-outs. At the end of the 30 seconds my phone goes beep beep beep, we stop

we move to the next station. After 30 seconds of rest you hear beep beep beep and you start the next exercise. If I’m coaching, I stand in the middle and here’s what I never have to tell people: Reps, load, all I do is coach movement. If you have two sets of pressing dumbbells or kettlebells you can teach 12. If you have three you can teach 18 at once. If you decide to go with 15 exercises you could have, by gosh a whole bunch. And all you do as the head coach is coach movement. You never once even think about anything else except proper movement. John Greaves: So, do you still operate the Murray Institute for Lifelong Fitness? Dan John: Absolutely, absolutely, and when I was in California, I had the Coyote Point Kettlebell Club, and if you type in the Coyote Point Kettlebell Club you can get a free 50 page PDF of what we did there. John Greaves: Nice, the reason I ask that is because I was fascinated when you said you have different people come in with different goals, and you make sure there’s training variety by simply having each one of them pick a movement so you never fall into a rut. Do you do that all the time?

MY $24

PURCHASE AT THE SUPERMARKET I sit in there and then when my grandkids come over, they play in it. I’ve been doing cryo for a long time, I actually have a membership to the local place where you get in the nitrogen room and you freeze for about a minute, two minutes, three minutes. We used to do it, we called it going to the beach, up in San Francisco where the waters are frigid. I have a sauna in my home. I think there’s value to a sauna, I think there’s value to cold. I think the body needs extremes, so I’m a big fan of fasting. We say in theology the fast before the feast, and I think that’s a missed point by a lot of people.

Dan John: I would say we’ve organized it, but I wouldn’t say we’ve organized it because when you organize a open-group workout it gets crazy because, like one day we had three grandmothers in their 70s show up to train with us. Well, if you’ve got a Navy Seal, a guy getting ready for a Kettlebell cert, three grandmothers, me; I mean you write that down and explain to me how you’re going to plan that you know what I mean? John Greaves: Right. Dan John: Oh, by the way, just for the reference, I offer open to anybody free workouts. Sometimes it’s five days a week, sometimes it’s once, generally about two now. A lot of it depends on my travel schedule. But the very first question is, “Hi I’m Dan, I’m 62, and my goal is to dance at my granddaughter Josephine’s wedding.” Next person, “I’m Edna, this 27

is my first time here. I’m nervous, I don’t know anything, but my doctor said if I don’t do X I won’t Y.” And the group goes around, “I’m Bob, I kill people for a living and I just want to ... “ whatever. And then I ask, “What do you guys want to work on?” And if someone says, “I need to work on mobility.” “Well, I need to work on this.” If it’s an experienced group we will all train to support that person’s need, which I love.

workout, with throws, and hip thrusts, and jumping rope. Anything that gets the cardio up and down, up and down, up and down. And then we go to breakfast and we’re all going to eat just vegetables. So, it is a true intentional community. John Greaves: Which exercises, have stayed with you that you could say consistently, since that first day 1965 to today, you’ve never gone away from doing?

John Greaves: Wow. Dan John: So, you’ve got thirteen people that day and one is getting ready for the Russian Kettlebell certification Snatch Test. Well now you have thirteen people who are going to help you in any way they can to pass the Snatch test. Which of course means we have to go over the Swing, the Waiter walk, the Snatch, so that day we’re ALL preparing for the Kettlebell cert. If you come in and say, “My back’s been killing me.” Well okay, that day we’re all going to do Suitcase carries, we’re going to do all these Original Strength movements, anything we learned from Stu McGill, we’re going to do side planks, and all these little exercises for our abs and our core. If you say, “I feel fat,” we’ll go, “Ugh,” because that means we’re going to have an inefficient exercise


Dan John: Yeah, it’s pretty simple. It was the Clean and Press. I’ve always told people, “Man if all you did was Clean and Press; Man! You would be very happy.” The Deadlift family, because you really didn’t Squat when I was young. The Squat took over in the 70s, which I still think was a mistake in some ways, but when I was young you had a Clean grip Deadlift, you had obviously the Mixed Grip Deadlift. You had the Deadlift where you straddled the bar like you’re in a lunge and pick it up. You had the Jefferson. There’s two kinds, depending on how you define Jefferson lift. There’s the Jefferson lift where you’re in the Squat stance, and the left hand is forward, the right hand’s back, and then you switch it. And then there’s the split stance one, sometimes called the Jefferson. We also Deadlifted with the weight behind

our back, which we later found out was called a Hack Squat, we just called it ... I don’t even remember what we called it, which was really different. And when I was young we still did the One handed Deadlifts, too. It’s funny, in my workshops I tell them that I learned in 1965 to put weights over my head and to pick them up off the ground, and the only thing I’ve ever added to that is, “Or just carry them.” You know? John Greaves: All right. So, you recently had surgery, have you modified your training in any way since you came back from surgery? Dan John: Well, let’s first talk about this. In my family, we have a condition called pistol-grip hips. From the day I was born, basically, my doctor told me I was going to have to have a double hip replacement. Either that or just limp terribly. It’s funny, because if a guy who’s been using steroids his whole life has a heart attack, all of his friends will come to his defense and say, “Well he had a genetic problem.” Yet, a guy like me, who literally does have a genetic problem, I get a hip replacement, and everyone thinks I’m an idiot, which one person said online. Anyway, adaptations? Yeah. Here’s the biggest one, the day before I had surgery I weighed 259. This morning I weighed 224. In six months I’ve lost, what is that, 35 pounds?

In the world of training one thing I’ve discovered is Bear Hug Carries and Farmer Walks, or any Loaded Carry right now, I can’t yet do. Adding the weight on has been a struggle, so the best thing I can tell you for a total hip replacement is the Prowler. The Prowler done in a slow marching style with a nice explosion into the ground. You bring the foot to the ground, then kind of pop. You kind of drive hard off the big toe through the glute; That is a miracle worker for total hip replacement. The other thing I’m doing, of course, as always, I have a personal trainer so three days a week I go in and he trains me. We focus on the big movements, so three days a week we do basic, kind of a more modern, functional warmups with half Turkish get-ups, the Bret Contreras influenced glute loop and the mini band walks, and I do some Goblet Squats. I mean, to me it’s normal, to some people it’s amazing. Then I have a quick little core thing I do, generally two movements. One from the Plank family, and one medicine ball throws back, to back, to back,

Dan John: One of the things people forget when you work with clientele, if they’re in pain or injured, they’re going to have inflammation problems, and pain problems. I mean, I was self-medicating. I mean, this is the first time I’ve been out of pain since 2008. Now that’s 11 years of pain. I had popped the left hip at the Pleasanton Highland Games and I know it, in fact someone near me said, “I heard a pop, what was that?” And I looked over and they said I had this really weird look in my eyes. I said, “I think that was my hip, I don’t know.” So, I’ve been in pain for 11 years, so once I got out of 24/7, 365 pain, my body had a chance to relax. The cortisol went down. So, if you’ve got clients in pain, getting them out of pain through surgery or correct intervention is probably more for them than five sets of two, or drinking some magic solution. 29

to back. Two days a week I’ll focus on the pull-up, and then kind of a big, general three-piece back, to back, to back, to back circuit, and then arm work because they think it’s hilarious that I love working my arms because never in my whole career, I never did it. At the end of the day it’s more Goblet Squats and Deadlifts. I mean, there’s nothing fancy about it at all. On Thursdays I always do an hour of Tim Anderson’s Original Strength, and on Tuesdays I do Buns and Guns. That’s our traditional Tuesday, Thursday workouts. Buns being lots and lots of hip thrusts, Goblet Squats. Some real serious hip flexor stretches, just work your butt hard, and then we play around with arm work on the TRX for a little bit, and then we call it a day. John Greaves: Okay. I noticed that you mentioned Tim Anderson’s stuff multiple times. I’m a big fan of how he talks about restoring your vestibular system through crawling. And I love the fact that you don’t get married to any one specific training system. You mention the TRX, you mention Original Strength, like I said, about Tim Anderson. I love the crawling that he does because you get some people who are like, don’t want to do yoga, so whatever reason, religious reasons or whatever. I love what Original Strength does, it gives you some options. Dan John: See, the only thing I care about, John, is does it work? That’s what’s great about being a track coach is if you do something and there’s an improvement, by tape measure or timer, you’re right. Even if it’s stupid, you’re right. That’s why I was such a big fan of Loaded Carries, because my discus went farther. That’s it. There’s no, when someone says, “Where’s the research?” I don’t care about the research if the discus went farther. They look at me like I’m stupid and look at them like they’re even stupider. It’s like, “Dude, the discus went farther.” If it goes farther, or you go faster, it’s right. Hey man, I first saw the hip thrust at the 30

Olympic training center in 1984, I ignored it. I saw it again in probably the early 1990s when it was called the bridge, I ignored it. And then one day Bret Contreras, in a hotel hallway, showed me the hip thrust and I was like, “I was an idiot. I could have been doing these for, almost sneaking up on 40 years now, and I ignored it, and I’m an idiot.” So, sometimes you have to be very careful about your own ego. John Greaves: There are a lot of kettlebell certifications out there. For the benefit of kettlebell novices like me, let’s close by clearing up some of the confusion. What’s the difference between HKC and RKC? Dan John: The HKC, Hardstyle Kettlebell Cert, is a one-day course focused on the Goblet Squat, Swing and Turkish Get Up. I enjoy teaching it and, for most people, this might be all you need. It’s a day where people get exposed to the key movements. The three-day RKC, Russian Kettlebell Certification, and the word “Russian” seems less apt through the years, adds the Snatch, Clean and Press to the Big Three. It’s clearly more difficult, but many have life-changing moments during the weekend. John Greaves: Nice. Awesome. Well, I could really talk to you for hours, but I promised you that I wouldn’t do that, so I’m not going to. Thank you so much for taking time to talk to me. Dan John:

Okay, no problem at all. Glad to do it.

You can learn from Dan John by clicking on any of the following links: The Dan John Podcast Buy Dan John’s books Subscribe to Dan John’s Wandering Weights Newsletter



Uncoiling the Weck Method By Tom Meehan

Photo Credit: Bryant Mayberry @bryantmayberrydesign 33

In the race to optimize human performance, one man is charging at the entire fitness industry with the speed of a locomotive, challenging everything we thought we knew about athletic potential. That man is David Weck, and he wants everyone, including his 80 year old mother, to use the WeckMethod. So what is the WeckMethod and how can it make us better? To find this answer, I spoke to Mr. Weck directly, and here is what he had to say… Tom Meehan: Okay, first question – could you please provide us with a brief overview of the WeckMethod? David Weck: Okay, great. So, WeckMethod is first and foremost the pursuit of optimizing the locomotive function, which, by proxy, requires you to understand and optimize the Martial Function so that we are realizing the fullest expression and capacity of the human being – mind, body, soul, spirit, whatever, to optimize the function of fight and flight in the animalistic sense so that we’re able to use our bodies to perform the most basic, fundamental, functional movement the best we possibly can. And what WeckMethod essentially is, is these rites of passage, these training modalities and strategies that have this both sides utilized effect and it borrows from sort of the eastern philosophies of yin and yang to simplify objectives and master the polarities. Tom Meehan: So how does that work? David Weck: We invest a lot into what we call the softer side of training. And really, everything begins with the ropes. We use the ropes by what we call rolling them without jumping through the rope, or without jumping over the rope. And what happens when we do this is four fundamental patterns will emerge from doing this and it creates this alternating bilateral, replicable, motor movement that allows you to, now, use the motor and sensory cortices that are sort of the intentional movement, where you say, “Oh, I want to do this, so I figure out how to do this”. Click here to watch a sample ropes drill the RMT 34

Dragon Roll David Weck: We take the rope and master these four patterns, which anybody can do— there’s no impact and you can make it as taxing as you want to metabolically. But you basically create this muscle memory where you’re able to fill in this forever connected, overhand and underhand figure eights, supination and pronation, the full articulation of the spiral dynamic that is throughout your body. It’s the design, but unless we are literally organizing and moving the hands and the fingers, in a certain way, then you are not operating with full range of motion. David Weck: And what we’re done is, we’re uncovered the distilled essence of locomotive rotation. It was side bending. It’s the lateral movement in the frontal plane with the S motion, that sliding motion that turns out to be a figure eight once you put it in the burden of gravity. David Weck: Because you’ve gotta prop yourself up. But the first move is still a side bend. You know, whichever side you bend to, the other side makes progress forward, and you’ve spent no energy. And by setting that objective we’re gonna optimize the locomotive function, fundamentally, as our number one objective, to enhance all things physical. David Weck: So, what I’ve done is, I’ve discovered it for locomotion. I invented the BOSU ball, I worked my butt off, and then it was mailbox money for so long, with an intensity that is psychotic. Because you don’t discover what I know by conventional means. You have to feel it to know it. You have to study the martial science and then measure your locomotion because those are the only thing that you can count on. David Weck: And what I did was, I carved out this little niche called push hands [kung fu] where you’re not striking or grabbing and tackling or wrestling or any of that stuff, you’re just trying to move the other person— you’re just trying to move them and control their center of mass. And I got very, very good at it.

Like, I’ll push a 250 pound guy around. I literally will. David Weck: Because I have the soft. Anything he pushes on disappears. And now I just flank his forward force ‘cause he’s not connected to my center, which means he is not substantial. His next action can do nothing to me. He misses, because he’s not on my center, he’s not controlling me now. But I’m on his center, because I feel it, I know it. And so now I just push him around. Tom Meehan: That might lead into the next question. So what’s the biggest mistake you see people making when they begin training in the WeckMethod, and what would be your advice to help them avoid those mistakes? David Weck: The biggest mistake people are doing is not training WeckMethod. If you’re not trained in the ropes, if the ropes are not under your belt, you are not optimized fully, physically or mentally. I’ll prove it to you. Take 30 days, roll the damn rope. Do 100,000 reps, and now you tell me, how much better you feel physically and the creative power that you’re able to ignite. It’s like jump-starting the engine. You realize that if you could keep your mind on track, you would

be winning, if you didn’t let your mind wander for thoughts that aren’t productive, you’d be winning every single one of us, right? David Weck: How the hell do you keep your mind on track when you feel like shit? How do you keep your mind on track when the bill is not paid? How do you keep your mind on track when all you get is negative feedback? How do you do it? How do you do it when you just feel like shit, you’ve been beaten down? You pick up a goddamn rope and you start rolling the thing, you harmonize, you get the blood flowing with the oxygen, and you get ready to kick fucking ass. That’s what you do. David Weck: Just like Rocky, what’s the best scene in Rocky? It’s the fucking workout. That’s why, when you’re 15, you go home, you get the bench press out and you start lifting at 11:30 at night after you see Rocky Three! Tom Meehan: Yeah, and I’m from the Philadelphia area, so I understand that reaction from watching Rocky. So, for those of us that work out at home, sometimes with limited experience and limited equipment; where


would you recommend that they begin with the WeckMethod? David Weck: You begin with the rope. You don’t even need to buy our rope. You know, there’s no excuse, just get a rope. Any rope, and just do the patterns, okay, and use that as a- what we call a prime ... So do it for a few minutes until you feel the flow, be Sugar Ray Robinson. Emulate the boxer without jumping through the rope. You’ll never emulate them if you try to jump the rope – they’re better than you. David Weck: But if you don’t jump the rope, you’re going to be better than them at rotation. Better than the fucking pro boxer at rotation. Do that as a prime, and you also put it in as productive recovery. You don’t even have to change what you’re doing. Swinging your kettlebell, doing your pull ups, doing whatever. Okay, you’ve gotta rest sometime, don’t ya? All right, pick up the rope and make use of the time by programming your body. The motor and sensory cortices are gonna educate the cerebellum and the lower brain, the lizard inside, and it soon will become muscle memory. And if you do enough reps with the rope, you take that corded dial phone and you turn it into a wireless phone, your hands go where they are together, and they cooperate anywhere in space with your body weight, your core to the floor, fully engaged, substantial, so that if you’re gonna throw a punch, you’re gonna land it. David Weck: Gravity is our friend and there’s nothing we can do to fight gravity anyways, so don’t bother. You fight the ground, okay? It’s so simple. And the way that you fight the ground is you punch down when you run. Here’s what you’ve gotta do. You’ve gotta meet the ground with your foot, and then in between the time when you’re gonna do that maximum load, when the event’s gonna happen, when the collision happens, when mother earth and you collide with maximum force, the instant before that, you drop both fists down, you punch the ground hard. And what happens is, you now beat the ground with the punch, and now you’ve used your muscles to go down, and now you use your bones 36

and your tendons to go up. David Weck: So, it’s just force transmission, where if we call it up is free, and it’s real, and it’s true, and it’s pure bliss. Uncle Weck is 49 years old, Uncle Weck has a replaced hip. He’s so damaged and beat up from all the- you know, crazy stuff and football he did for eight years. David Weck: That he has no right to be bopping around better than anybody. He doesn’t have the right to be like, how the hell does that guy move that way? Tom Meehan: And so that leads into the next question a little bit as well. Is there a certain fitness program that would benefit more with the WeckMethod? And by that I mean a lot of our subscribers, have busy lives. They’ll do the Street Parking program, which is more of a Metcon, crossfit style. But, at the same time, we have people who do a more power lifting centric style, or even those who do strongman. So is there one style over another that would benefit more from the WeckMethod? David Weck: It is so wonderful a question, because what we can do is we can literally WeckMethodize anything to give it a plus one factor that makes it better. So you’re a powerlifter, well you can model yourself after Donnie Thompson if you want, who uses the BOSU ball and WeckMethod, (Watch a video of the coiling core) in very specific ways that allows him to lift heavier weights, safer. Okay? So it’ll work for them. And so that’s one end of the spectrum. David Weck: It’ll work for the person who just, you know, silver sneakers. If, you know, you’re active aging, you’re 78 years old – WeckMethod has to work. You get more return. So it works for any workout you do, you WeckMethodize. And anything you do will be better when you know the ropes and the coiling core, that’s the distilled essence of locomotive rotation. The coiling core will make you stronger and better

at everything. There’s not a thing on this planet that it doesn’t come underneath to support and enhance. All things physical – all things.

Weck Reflections

Tom Meehan: So next question – for someone like myself, who has injuries to include lower back issues, would they still be able to attend one of your courses without limitation? Or, would there be a little bit too much risk of trying to develop that coil for someone who has a lower back issue?

On July 31st, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. David Weck about the Weck Method. Prior to July 31st, I, admittedly, didn’t know much about Mr. Weck. Like many others, I knew him only as the “Bosu Ball Guy.” So, when I had a chance to hear about the Weck Method from the man himself, I was all aboard (locomotion train pun intended).

David Weck: Well what’s wonderful is the way that we work with WeckMethod is we are always both sides utilized. So the way that we train the core is, we train it proximally, you know, from the spine itself, and the lats, and the ribs and the pelvis and the shoulder, so that’s all concentrating the coil at the center, and that’s the foundation. But if we have a situation where there’s an injury, a surgery, a problem where it’s acute, where you just don’t want to move your spine, now we have a solution. We don’t teach you to brace your core and hold against resistance when you’re hurt like that because you just…here’s the thing about back pain, all right? That people don’t know, but it’s true and it’s weird, all right? David Weck: Some people will treat it as an emotional condition. John Sarno, the doctor, says, “There’s no such thing as physical issues that’s gonna cause pain, it’s all in your head so come to these meetings and you’ll be cured.” And what happens? People go to the meetings and they get cured. All right, okay, it works. Even though the theory might not hold water all the way, right? Now, what about this guy? Oh, well this guy does that. McKenzie does this and that other thing; they all work - including doing nothing. If your back hurts, if you’re a UPS driver and you throw your back out, you hurt for, you know, three weeks, and then guess what?

After speaking with Mr. Weck, I decided that his ideas on locomotion and the coiling core were very worthy of exploration. So, per his recommendation, I began to “roll the rope” as part of my warm up routine. I began with very Side Swipes, very basic rolling of the rope from side to side. It didn’t take long for me to realize how stiff I was! I utilize a jump rope frequently, but apparently stringing together double unders doesn’t automatically translate into having rhythm (sorry, fellow CrossFitters). However, things are slowly changing. For example, my hips are beginning to loosen, which feels great for my lower back. I also feel slightly more rhythmic with my daily movement, both in and out of the gym. I’m now beginning to practice the Dragon Roll. It may be too early to tell what benefits really lie up ahead but, for now, I’m going to keep on rollin’.

David Weck: Doesn’t hurt anymore, right? So what we wanna do is, we don’t wanna measure ourselves by, like, oh, you know, can we help someone who is, you know, so low on the functional spectrum that that’s 37

our standard now? If we wanna have something universal, you have to make everyone better. Not just the people who can’t do it yet, right? And so what our solution is for the proximal issue of, like, an injured spine, is you move your hands in figure eights. And now what happens is your entire core is literally coiling by the fascial connection of your hands. And so the more precise your figure eights are ... David Weck: Now, all the little, intricate muscles in your body are subtly reacting to this fluid balanced, harmonic movement of the hands. And that’s how you train the core and do a little more, and do a little more. And now your body weight reaches the floor. And there’s no pain. And because you went to that trainer, he braced your core all the time, you’re walking with your head in the middle, you’re in pain, your back is lighting up with a little micro, extra trauma from, you know, the imbalance it has to correct in the moment because it has to. It ain’t gonna let you fall if it can help it.


David Weck: My 80-year-old mother is a sprinter, okay? She does five sprints every day. A sprint is defined as running faster than you could sustain. You can’t run a mile, you’re sprinting. All right, good, pressure’s off, just have fun. Now, don’t warm up, please don’t. Go out, take your pro pulsers, because you’re gonna double down pulse, because these are gonna feel easy, right? I want you to have fun when you’re doing this. I want it to be super easy and practical so you can get this workout done in less than five minutes for real, because you’re a regular person. You’re not gonna exercise if I try to give you more. Tom Meehan: And that’s actually a really good segue– so our target audience is mainly people my age, your age – late 30’s, 40’s, busy lives, moms and dads, kids, who work out at home. Not high profile athletes and not aspiring to be; have very limited vacation – Why should they fly out to California to see you and to spend time with you when, they may not look at a certification as “Oh, I want to go teach it.” They just might want to get the knowledge. Why do they want to come out to talk to you?

David Weck: Great question. Great question. So the person who you describe who’s not elite and stuff, there’s no need to come out, that’s fine. You just go follow Chris Chamberlain, @SavageProtocols on Instagram and you go to WeckMethod.com, seek out a WeckMethod qualified coach, just learn from online. If you’re a professional into fitness, you have no choice, you have to get qualified. You’ve gotta be able to do it, and do it correctly. And because it’s so simple, we can get you correct such that when you’re a WeckMethod qualified coach, you can teach another human being to be measurably better in minutes, 90 minute timeframe, that’s our running clinic. You can make them a fundamentally better runner for the rest of their life. Tom Meehan: Right. So even at the most basic, fundamental level of what the WeckMethod teaches and incorporates, the average person would still get that benefit of not just running, but overall feeling.

David Weck: Oh, no, no. You see, that, yes, and you’ve brought up a great point. You see, running has gotten a bad rep, okay? Running has suffered. Because running sucks, for more than 9 out of 10 people. All right? With athletes, young athletes, running in practice is punishment, okay? So that’s what it is. And for an adult, it’s holy shit, my knees hurt, I can’t run anymore. Okay? That’s what running is right now. So if I went to Starbucks and I said, “Hey, you know, 10 people, I can make you a better runner.” Nine of them are going to say, “I don’t care.” And the other one’s going to say, “Eh, I don’t care either.” David Weck: So, it doesn’t- that’s not the way- it’s true, and it’s the foundation, but it’s all things physical. And check this out. We have fundamentally transformed the basics of baseball. You now steal bases and run the bases differently. Distinctly differently. If you look at Hunter Pence, then the announcers on TV are already starting to talk


about it. What’s- what’s he doing? We’ve never seen anybody ... Delino DeShields, Jr, is the fastest man in baseball, he’s a 10th of a second faster because of WeckMethod, and Brian Murphy, his coach, who’s WeckMethod qualified, one of our best. A 10th of a second faster, in 10 yards. David Weck: One of the fastest men in the world, and now he is- by ESPN or whoever the hell else did the video or whatever, they counted his time. And he’s 1.7 feet per second faster than the next guy. And he wasn’t that fast, he was still fast, but he wasn’t that fast before we got our hands on him and gave him the helping hand of the WeckMethod, right? So this is unprecedented. I’ve invented a product you run faster carrying weights than you do without now, that is not supposed to be true. Physics, physics. How on the distal lever, the fulcrum is too long, you’re gonna swing it slower. Yeah, no kidding, Sherlock. We don’t swing. David Weck: We double down pulse. (Click here to 40

watch the Double Down Pulse) There’s never been another running instructor in the history of ever that has said don’t swing your arms, shoot them both down, pulse them down, jolt them down, create force. Fight the ground. Tom Meehan: So just kind of parting shots is there anything else you want our readers to know about the Weck Method? And is there any upcoming news you can share with us? David Weck: Okay. The biggest news ever is that WeckMethod is coming underneath your feet. I’ve invented, my greatest product ever, it’s called Weck Steps, and they are the most transformative training tool in the history of ever. We make transformation in your first exposure. It eliminates collapse through the feet, and it gives you the balance of a Tai chi master just by standing on these things. And I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It is better than too good to be true. And it’s coming.

Tom Meehan: Do you have an ETA on that? When can we expect to see that? David Weck: Just a few weeks, and I’m gonna launch the very first version. And that and the ropes is what spreads WeckMethod all over the world. It will become something we have never seen before in terms of the scope and magnitude and positive benefit for humanity itself. Right? And I subscribe to this belief that we’re reaching a point where the machine gets so smart that it becomes almost, like, just completely dominant over the human being, and it’s either gonna win without mankind, or it’s gonna win with mankind. And my preference is that mankind wins with the machine, because there’s no stopping it now. And we don’t wanna stop it. David Weck: And I want, more than anything else, I wanna be able to look down from heaven and I wanna be able to see my grandkid’s grandkids thriving and living better than I did, and that’s my number one goal in this life, is to have a hand in

making sure that happens. For more information about David Weck and the WeckMethod, you can visit www.weckmethod. com. You can also follow him on Instagram - @ thedavidweck @weckmethod as well as on Facebook. WeckMethod home website: www.weckmethod. com Video Reference Links WeckMethod Youtube links 1. Coiling Core: coiling core 2. RMT Rope: Dragon Roll: - There is a series of 17 RMT Rope videos, but this is one of the motions he was referring to https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=J25_41nPFLo 3.Double Down Pulse: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=1nXXJ4xP8Cg



On Location at Music City’s Strongest Man...

Photo Credit: Brian Tait 43


Yeah, you take a lot for granted. When life hums along, you don’t think twice about the things that can bring your life to a screeching halt. Maybe that’s why you don’t worry about your joints–until you have a problem. But when you do, serious joint issues can not only keep you out of the gym, they can make doing the simplest things a whole lot tougher. That’s why we created a fast-mixing and delicious powdered version of our multiple award-winning, time-tested joint supplement, Animal Flex. Think of Animal Flex as “insurance” for your joints, and take a scoop to keep things running smoothly in the gym… And in life.

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by Anna Cameron, NASM-CPT My name is Anna Cameron. I live in the good old Sunshine State of Florida. I’m a mother of four, a wife and full-time employee so quick HIIT (High Intense Interval Training) workouts come in very handy for me in order to get a quick burn and build some muscle! Try the routine below whenever you’re away from your home gym this holiday season, whether that’s when you’re traveling to visit loved ones or even during your lunch hour at work. (If you decide to do this DURING the office Christmas party, be sure to get pictures and tag me on Instagram! Don’t worry, I won’t judge!) Rest 45 seconds on/15 second rest. Minimal to no equipment needed. The Routine 1. 6 mountain climbers into 6 high knees 2. Alternating jump lunges 3. Around the world pop squats (aka in/out squat 46

jumps) (band optional) 4. Forearm Plank Crawl 5. Regular crunch into V-Sit Up 6. Star Jumps (unweighted or use an optional resistance band) I am a NASM certified personal trainer and love helping others reach their fitness goals. I host weekend bootcamps where we have an amazing workout and lots of fun. I love sharing workouts and nutrition tips as well as special moments of real life! You can find me on Instagram at @its_jus_anna or on Facebook at Workd Up Fitness. I would love to hear from everyone. Learn more about how Anna built her business later in this issue.


Avoid Bicep Tears AND Build a Bigger Deadlift! By Riccardo Magni 48

Bicep tears are a problem for some people as the weight of a deadlift increases. A lot of people, especially on social media, use straps for their pulling but they find out that their deadlift in a contest decreases once they switch from the straps to either the hook grip or the alternating grip. The good news is that there is another way: by increasing your double overhand deadlift, you strengthen the grip, the muscles of the forearm, and the biceps. All of this is done in the same plane as the regular deadlift. The transfer is immediate. Using the methods in this article, I was able to raise my double overhand deadlift from 419# to 480# in 4 months. My grip strength increased, my back strength increased, but my bodyweight did not. Let’s read more and find out how to do this. Before figuring out how to increase your double overhand deadlift you need to take a good look at your physique and try to figure out what your leverages are for the deadlift. Some people have very long legs and long arms; for those people to deadlift is the easiest of the powerlifts. Typically, those people might have weaker muscles, but the anatomical leverages can help make up for the weak muscles. Other people have shorter arms and shorter legs; sometimes these people have stronger physiques, but their leverage isn’t as good for deadlifting from the floor. Note: As far as pulling sumo or conventional, simply try both. Some people will naturally prefer one to the other because of their leverages, but some people will find when testing both stances that one of them can be considerably stronger than the other one. If you are not sure, experiment. If you have a contest coming up, pick one and go with it! Now that we have the leverages and the stances figured out, it is time to talk about how to train the DOH DL (double overhand deadlift). Since the grip can fatigue quickly, I recommend doing all of your warm-up sets for deadlift DOH. Your grip strength will increase quickly in the first month or two. Be patient and make small, frequent increases. Let’s say

shorter arms and shorter legs; sometimes these people have stronger physiques, but their leverage isn't as good for deadlifting from the floor. Note: As far as pulling sumo or conventional, simply try both. Some people will naturally prefer one to the other because of their leverages, but some people will find when testing both stances that one of them can be considerably stronger than the other one. If you are not sure, experiment. If you have a contest coming up, pick one and go with it!

that your best deadlift in a contest in 405# and your

Now that we have that the leverages the stancesfor figured out, it is time to workout dayandcalls 4(345# x talk2).about how to train the DOH DL (double overhand deadlift). Since the grip can fatigue quickly, I recommend doing all of your warm-up sets for deadlift DOH. Your grip strength will increase quickly in the first month or two. Be patient and make small,warmups frequent increases. for Let’s say that your best deadlift in might a contest in 405# and your workout that Your that workout look like: day calls for 4(345# x 2). Your warmups for that workout might look like: Weight in Lbs repetitions 135 5 185 3 225 3 275 2 315 2 And then the working sets of 4(345# x 2).

And then the working sets of 4(345# x 2).

Consider the exact same warmup, except double overhand. Most likely the 405# deadlifter will be able to lift 275# the first time they try it. Probably going to 315# in week #2 is not a good idea. I suggest instead trying Consider the with exact same except double 280# and then continuing the workout. Over warmup, time, you will get stronger.

overhand. Most likely the 405# deadlifter will be

But what if you can’t get the 275#? What if you use straps a lot and your grip is not so good? You need a able to lift 275# the first time they try it. Probably plan.

going to 315# in week #2 is not a good idea. I suggest instead trying 280# and then continuing with the workout. Over time, you will get stronger. But what if you can’t get the 275#? What if you use straps a lot and your grip is not so good? You need a plan. One way to get the job done is to do a few extra sets on the same day as deadlifts as down sets. Using the above workout, the lifter could do 3(225# x 3) after the 345# worksets. The next week they could do 3(235# x 3), and then during week #3 the lifter could 3(250# x 2). During week #4, I am quite sure that the lifter could pull 275# DOH. Another idea would be to do the same sets and reps, but as a light day. It could be done opposite bench press or overhead lifting as a superset or it could be a standalone exercise, maybe as a warmup for back and biceps (if that was a combination that the lifter was training). A third idea for the DOH deadlift would be to make it the focus of a session, as in a separate training day. This is what I do because it is necessary for the sport of Armlifting.


This is what I do because it is necessary for the sport of Armlifting. A sample cycle might look like this

Week #1

Test 1 Rep Max

Week #2

4 (80% x 3)

Week #3

4 (85% x 2)

Week #4

3 (90% x 1)

Week #5

Retest 1 Rep Max

Now back to the title, about the biceps. Lifting double overhand while deadlifting causes the body to rotate less during deadlifting. This is why deadlifting with the hook grip has become so popular over the last 10 years. Strengthening the biceps and forearm attachments can really allow the lifter to put more energy into the lift. Less wasted energy equals more pounds on the bar.

Now back to the title, about the biceps. Lifting double overhand while deadlifting causes the body to rotate less during deadlifting. This is why deadlifting Good luck in your quest to pull bigger and bigger deadlifts. I hope that some of these tips help you achieve with your goals.the hook grip has become so popular over the last 10 years. Strengthening the biceps and forearm attachments can really allow the lifter to put more energy into the lift. Less wasted energy equals more pounds on the bar.


Good luck in your quest to pull bigger and bigger deadlifts. I hope that some of these tips help you achieve your goals.

Holiday Dieting Survival Guide By Jim Hallinan


So, the holidays are right around the corner and you are a hot mess trying to figure out how to handle it since you just started “dieting”. The reason I put that in quotes is because I hate “diets”, but I’m a big fan of being in a deficit to lose weight, (but we all know you mean fat, because who wants to lose muscle?!). Being in a deficit simply means eating fewer calories than you burn and is the only way to lose weight.

progress already being made towards your goals, it’s important to have a strategy to implement to “Survive the Holidays”.

There are many strategies to eating fewer calories and you’ve heard them all: intermittent fasting, keto, low carb, paleo, vegetarian, zone, Mediterranean, etc. Every “diet” works because it puts you in a deficit. For example, when you go keto, you restrict carbohydrates, which will inherently cause you to consume fewer calories and lose weight. But, once you’ve been doing keto long enough, and you discover putting butter on, and in everything, you end up taking in more calories, and the progress stops.


My job as a Nutrition Coach is to guide people towards their goals, whether it be weight gain, weight loss, and/or performance reasons. We can never be 100% accurate when trying to track how many calories we burn. Granted, apps that track are simply estimating, and are shown to overestimate by a significant amount. But without them, most people underestimate how many calories they think they are consuming. Here’s a rule of thumb: Everything that we put in our mouth adds up and every calorie is equal. With that being said, not every calorie we consume will treat our bodies the same, but that is for another article. Everything I do is evidence-based practice and if I can teach people how to become more accurate with their tracking, then we can really find out some answers as to what’s going on. Through tracking, we develop awareness of our habits. After enough time tracking, you develop habits to hit your daily goals, and those habits follow us when it comes to times where tracking is not an option, like vacations, holidays, and eating out at restaurants. With the holidays coming up, and 52

Because everyone is in a different place, I can’t tell you exactly what to do, but I will give you some guidelines, and tips, that I give all my clients.

If you have been making good progress, or just starting a new plan to lose weight, enjoy the holiday meal. You can go into Thanksgiving for example, with 3 different strategies: 1) Track everything you are eating that day, and have your friends and family criticize you the entire time, while you hate every moment of your time together. 2) Be mindful of what you are eating, while enjoying not so healthy foods. Being mindful means that you will focus on eating the protein sources, veggies, and fruit options while having smaller portions of high calorie side dishes. Have a little bit of each, not a lot of each. Have a taste of some of the desserts, not another entire dessert meal. You know it will weigh you down, and you won’t feel great afterwards physically and emotionally. This is a great way to enjoy everything without over-indulging, as well as practice mindfulness habits. 3) Eat whatever you want, as much as you want, however you want, etc. If you go into it with strategy 2 or 3, I suggest going extremely low on carb and fat intake prior to meeting up with the family, because you know the meal will be high in fat and carbs.

But here is the most important part… MOVE ON after that day!

GETTING BACK ON THE WAGON AFTER A BINGE Maybe don’t weigh yourself for a few days afterwards if it will cause you stress. Do NOT go into deprivation mode after that day to “make up for it” as this can lead to disordered eating. MOVE ON from that day by not keeping leftovers if you are hosting, and not taking leftovers if you were visiting.

continue to move in the right direction. I actually enjoy weighing myself after a holiday of eating garbage to see how high the scale got, then see how many days it takes to get back down. Who cares if you didn’t hit your weekly weight loss goal? Aren’t you in this for the long haul? Don’t you want to enjoy life while getting to your goal? Maybe by next year, you won’t even want to eat all the stuff that you used to be in the habit of eating! The goal is to get to a healthy weight, maintain that weight through healthy habits, and live a fruitful life! When it gets to your December holidays, repeat the above. Enjoy and MOVE ON!

• Throw out the half-eaten bags of chips. Throw out the extra mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and various pies and ice cream! • Get a bunch of “to go” containers to send everyone home with a meal so you don’t have to worry about getting your Tupperware back! They will appreciate it.


Throwing away the leftover food is not a waste of food! This is a huge lie we are told! My mother always said how people are starving out there, so clean your plate! Whether I clean my plate or not, they will still be starving and being a glutton in the face of their hunger doesn’t seem very nice. And if that’s your mindset about other people’s hunger as your reason for eating, then load up those “to go” containers with meals and give them to the homeless the next day! The biggest problem people have with surviving the holidays is that one day of bad eating turns into three or more bad days. The scale skyrockets and people get discouraged and quit! End that day and MOVE ON! Get right back to eating the way you were eating before the holiday and watch the scale


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Busy Dad Meal Prep By: Derrick Clark, Sr. Photo Credit: Suzy DeShields

Summer Veggie Mix This recipe is very versatile. It’s great for a low carb dinner, as a side dish to go with any meal, or as a snack. I call it a Summer Veggie Mix because this a quick and easy recipe that is great for summertime cookouts! Most family barbecues do not have macro friendly options. Rather than stay home, you can take this veggie mix with you to replace high calorie side dishes.By the way, this goes great with my tilapia recipe! INGREDIENTS 2 cucumbers Grape tomatos 1 container Red onion medium to large Balsamic vinegar Salt Pepper Garlic powder ( optional) 54

MACROS Serving size 280 grams 68 calories per serving 3.5 grams protein 16 grams carbohydrates O grams fat COOKING INSTRUCTIONS Chop cucumbers and red onion into small pieces Place in bowl or container Add grape tomatos Salt and pepper to taste. Add two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Mix and refrigerate for about an hour. Then enjoy!

Tasty Tilapia I love tilapia because it’s high in protein, easy to digest and it’s a great low-calorie, high volume food. Which means you get more food for less calories!

25 grams protein 0 grams Carbohydrates 2.5 grams Fat

I like to eat my tilapia with a cup of Jasmine Rice. Also, if you’re on a low carb diet this goes well with my summertime veggie recipe!

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS Pre heat oven to 420 degrees F Spray pan Place tilapia into pan Season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, Old Bay and Cajun seasoning. Cook for twenty-minute intervals until the fish is golden brown. Let it cool for about five minutes and you’re ready to eat.

INGREDIENTS 4 oz tilapia Old Bay Seasoning Salt Pepper Cajun seasoning (optional) MACROS 120 calories per serving


Tortilla Turkey Breakfast Wrap INGREDIENTS 1 tortilla 130 calories 1 slice fat free cheese 25 calories 2 slices of fat free deli Turkey 25 calories

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS Pre heat pan medium and spray with non-stick cooking oil Place tortilla on pan then cheeze then Turkey Cover and cook for 5 min Cook until cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown 180 calories total for recipe




Don’t let the holiday season wreck your hard-fought gains! Here are a few ideas to keep you on track: - Put out fruit &/or nuts & seeds snacks before the pastries come out. - Host a friend or family member at your home gym. - Sign the family &/or group of friends up for a Turkey Trot. - Just go for a family walk/hike wearing Santa or Elf hats. (My in-laws do this every year. People honk, wave, smile at you – you are bringing joy to many.) - Give the kids a sled ride, preferably uphill. Pro Tip: You are going to need to recruit MANY adults for this. Once you pull a kid up the hill, all you will hear is, “Again! Again! Can we do it again!” If you don’t have a “sled”, a wagon works well or you could get creative.

I hope your holiday season brings you joy & more time with your friends and family! 58

Photo Credit: Suzy DeShields



In the age of rampant social media usage, the appearance of “extra” home gym equipment always seems to appear in a lifter’s picture or uploaded lift video. By “extra” equipment, I’m referring to gym accessories such as bands, chains, specialty bars, etc. Depending on the home gym size, makeup, and the goals of the lifter, there is also the possibility of having other large pieces of equipment such as leg press, lat tower, glute-ham raise platform, bench rack, and so on. Here’s the question: Is any of it necessary? The short answer is no. However, depending on the goals of the lifter, some pieces may be more practical to have on hand than others. For example, a crossfit style lifter will not find a ton of practically with a powerlifting style bench rack. That same lifter might find med balls more beneficial than a lifter who follows a pure hypertrophy approach to training. The original crew at Westside Barbell trained without any bands, chains, or specialty bars. The equipment that created the strength monsters of that gym is the same equipment listed below. What is necessary to make progress in the gym with limited space and limited budget? I know lifters can make progress without any equipment at all, but this list is based on “physical” equipment needed to outfit a home gym. 60

Here are my five items that are necessary to make the most progress in a home gym: Disclaimer: This list is based on the starting of a conjugate method program, but all pieces would carry over to other programming methods or sports training other than powerlifting. 1. 7’ Olympic barbell – In my opinion, the purchase that should not be made quickly or lightly. A cheap and inefficient bar will give you the wrong results on the big lifts, usually ending with disappointment and a purchase of a superior bar. Find one that will handle WELL over the weight you will potentially lift. Some barbells are built specifically for deadlifts or squats, so choose one that will be able to be used on multiple lifts. Take the time to research and find the bar that will fit you and your individual goals. Depending on the barbell purchased, some plates might come with it but if not . . . 2. Olympic plate weights – Plate weights should be the easiest “physical” item to acquire as they are readily availabile at garage sales and online at Facebook Marketplace, Let Go and Craigslist. Yes, you can buy plates new but the plates don’t have to be pretty or shiny, so I would suggest buying used to save money. Hardly any of my plates match and zero are new, but they all do the same thing regardless

of look. (Besides, if it really bothers you, you can repaint them to make them your own.) No need to acquire a thousand pounds of plates at first, just buy enough to challenge yourself during the training sessions and then build up from there as you get stronger. 3. Power Rack – The size and characteristics of this item will depend on the lifter’s goals and space availability. These can be outfitted to include band pegs, attachments, weight holders, and so on. I recommend a full power rack rather than the half rack, just due to the variations that can be performed using the pin settings. 4. Flat Bench – A cheap bench will leave you in a bind, no pun intended. For variety, the bench can be adjustable, but don’t get hung up on needing all the available adjustable angles. Some older powerlifting gyms will prop a flat bench up on a wood box to get the incline angle needed. Research the max weight on the bench and buy one that is going to last the test of time. Number five is not a physical piece, and it’s completely free!

5. Ability to learn – Performing movements seen on social media or the internet without learning the reason why they are being done is like trying to drive an Indy car because it looked “easy” online. Stagnant training gives you stagnant results. The only way to keep making progress is to learn more than one way to train and to perfect the craft of training. What worked for you as a teenager with no responsibilities may not work while training in your late 30s or 40s along with providing for a family and holding down a full-time job. Read training logs, articles by reputable coaches/trainers, try new techniques, etc. to gain more knowledge. The most overlooked trait in some lifters is the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses. With more knowledge and exposure, you should be able to spot weaknesses in training and correct the inefficiencies much more accurately. About the Author Mat Woods has been involved in the powerlifting and personal training industry for over 15 years. He has been a competitive powerlifter and personally trained clients of all backgrounds and abilities. You can follow his workouts and tips on Instagram at @ redbeard49.






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