14. Jeep YJs and Fabrication

14. Jeep YJs and Fabrication

I know, I know, this is supposed to be a site about training and developing the ability to adapt.

What does fabricating a glove-box out of scrap metal have to do with anything?

Having the ability to adapt entails many things, such as forward thinking, mental plasticity and versatility. It includes the ability to improvise when what is needed is not at hand. It includes problem solving.

The list is a mile long.

Some people have it and some just don’t seem to get it.

In this case, metal fabrication involves many processes:

Forward thinking.
Measuring and calculating.
Design and layout.
Cutting or shearing.
Forming or bending.
Machining (of which drilling is a part).
Welding and problem solving throughout the entire process.
Physically and mentally manipulating various materials and tools.
Grinding, filing and finishing.

Then there is the issue of not having the right tool or tools or material to complete a particular part of the process, and this is where creative thinking and improvisation comes into play.

Developing new skills, facing new experiences and working through the whole challenge helps a person become more adaptable.

You’re forced to think on the fly.

Well, not the bug buzzing around your head!

Some people get stumped if they don’t have a particular tool or the know-how to do something. They’d just as soon as leave it to someone else to figure out.

Or pay them to do it for them.

Really, it’s no different in the training and nutrition world, lol.

Sometimes it’s better to pay an expert, but basic skills can carry over to many things.

So learn basic skills.

You can never go wrong if you invest in the right tools for building things and learn how to use them and in taking care of your mind and body.

As a mechanic once told me:

“The only difference between an expert and an amateur is the expert knows how to fix his mistakes.”

Everyone makes mistakes and for the most part it’s how we learn, at least until we get smarter.

Hopefully we’ve gotten smarter.

Some things we can learn by observing the mistakes others make so we don’t have to go down the same bone-headed path.

But some things must be developed though use.

By-and-large, facing challenges is a good thing.

We just need to be sure it’s not some life-threatening challenge because of our own or others irrational thinking and poor judgement, lol.

So why the video on building a glove-box for an old Jeep?

Well, for one thing it may help others who are in the same predicament.

It’s an opportunity to teach some persons how to use different tools and handle different materials.

It may help someone else get more creative as they watch the video, maybe even coming up with a better way of doing things than the way I did.

It’s a challenge for me to do something constructive that I haven’t done before.

It’s an opportunity to get creative, use my imagination and adapt and improvise in this particular environment.

All I’m doing is using basic skills and adapting to this particular challenge and this helps me become more valuable in helping others.

Some people may look at it with the view of “the more things I know and can do, the more capable I am and the less I need to rely on others.”

Well, that can be true, but that’s the wrong way to view it.

That’s an introverted way of looking at things.

Better to think outside of ourselves, because the more we can do the more we can help others.

Because if something happens to our family, friends or neighbors, the more capable we are the greater the chance we can do something to help.

And if all of that is just too complex, making things is just plain fun, lol.

Below you’ll find the video link.  It’s long and detailed and its Part I of, hopefully, just two parts.

So I suggest grabbing some pizza, lol and your favorite beverage. Hope you enjoy!

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcyNWcDp43I

13. Kettlebell Swings and a Corrective

13. Kettlebell Swings and a Corrective

Well hopefully you noticed that last week I forgot to post up a new article and video.

My apologies for that, it was a major brain fart on my part. So, moving onward and upward let’s jump into today’s topic.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of arguments about various styles of KB training, mainly those who train in GS (Girevoy Sport) and the RKC School of Hardstyle KB training. Now I don’t have any bones in either camp and have nothing to gain from jumping in on heated discussions about this stuff.

Now I know some persons feel that heated debates are a good thing.

I don’t.

The issue is, as soon as someone starts getting loud and more dogmatic in trying to make their point, what happens?

The arms fold across the chest or the fists clench, if not physically, they do mentally.

And once that happens, both parties are only concerned with making their point and trying to get the other party to concede. The discussion goes nowhere but downhill and nothing is learned or shared that is of mutual benefit, because neither person is really listening.

It’s like two people sitting in a canoe facing one another and both paddling toward the other.

It’s just a lot of splashing that makes both people look silly and gets neither party anywhere. No headway is made.

Me, I’m not here to argue.

So why am I even bringing this up?

Well, as with many things, when it comes to the world of eating habits and training methods a lot of people on various forums are burning up the lines with heated arguments. So, thinking about what follows may in a way provide a little food for thought about other issues in the training world.

So let’s see how this goes and look at an example.

When it comes to GS vs Hardstyle, the entire debate comes down to:

“What’s the right tool for the job?”

What is your goal, what is your purpose for training in that style?

You want to compete in GS, well then train in that style.

You want to learn a broader range of skills that are not corralled into a contested sport, well then follow Hardstyle.

Here’s the thing: once a method of training and the movements that are involved becomes a sport, the training now becomes influenced by the rules of the sport.

This forces the training to become more specialized.

It has too; otherwise you could never drill the technique of the contested movements enough to win in a contest. You would train in too broad a concept to be able to develop the technique to win in that sport.

Does GS training have other benefits outside the sport?

Well sure it does.

But the whole idea is to train GS so you can compete in GS.

In order to compete in any specialized sport and contested event you have to make compromises in other areas.

The RKC Hardstyle method of training is more about using the KB as a tool to teach concepts and principles that can be used in other areas. It’s not about developing technique in which to compete in RKC Hardstyle Sport, because there is no such thing.

It’s more about developing skills and strengths in a wider variety of areas that can readily improve performance in a wide range of activities.

For a person looking to develop GPP the RKC Hardstyle method of training is a great fit.

If this is still tough for some to handle, look at it this way:

GS is like learning to race a vehicle on a track. The vehicle is not street legal. It is designed for one thing and that is racing on a track. Each racers car has to fit within certain tight parameters.

This is basically like the GS style of KBs and training. Each weight increase in GS KBs is the exact same physical dimensions. Thus, when you train with a 16kg KB its physical size is the same as a 24 or a 32kg KB.

This helps engrain technique since there is no adjustment in spatial feel (or whatever you want to call it) from one KB to the next other than the feel of a heavier load.

With RKC-style KBs each weight increase also carries a bigger physical dimension. Thus, it will feel a bit different. Try KB cleans with a 12kg KB compared to a 16, 24 or 32kg KB and this is readily apparent.

Because of this, each increase in size of RKC KBs even hits a different area of your forearm and body, for example, when you rack the KB.

Thus, at each weight increase, the body is forced to adapt and broaden out a bit in its skill for that particular movement. Not only must you deal with the added load increase but also with the larger diameter of the KB and the handle size and the length of the KB from top to bottom.

Because a larger KG is also longer it has more leverage against your body as you go up in size.

If someone is looking to develop greater GPP and is looking for a greater skill transfer to other things, RKC Hardstyle is the ticket when it comes to KB training.

Hardstyle KB training and the specific KBs used in that style of training is more like getting your license to drive a truck or car on the streets.

It has far reaching applications because the vehicle can be a work truck, a commuter, grocery getter, family run-about, a weekend amateur race vehicle, etc. The vehicle can be a four cylinder car, a four-wheel drive V-8 powered beast or a tricked out Corvette and everything in between.

There are a lot more unknowns or scenarios to take into consideration along with traffic signals of various sorts.

It involves dealing with traffic coming from different directions, dealing with road hazards like sleet and snow and sand and all sorts of intersections, varying degrees of road surface conditions, hills, curves tossed together, being on the lookout for animals and humans walking across the road, etc.

Learning to drive on the streets often exposes a person to areas unknown and roadways and even conditions that are unfamiliar.

So, GS is like racing where everyone is basically driving the same vehicle going the same direction on a groomed track, which often has been pre-run, whereas Hardstyle is more like driving in everyday life.

We might say, in a general sense, GS is specialist and RKC Hardstyle is anti-specialist.

GS is like James Bond and RKC Hardstyle KBs is like Jason Bourne.

James Bond operates primarily in a set of laws wearing dapper clothing and swilling martinis whereas Jason Bourne operates outside that in a much more chaotic environment, making do with a 4 cylinder beat-up old car wearing a sweater with holes in it.

GS fits within Dan John’s Quadrant 4 with, for example, other things like Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting or the 200m in track & field.

Whereas RKC Hardstyle fits in more with training that would be used for developing qualities expressed in Quadrant 1 P.E. class at lower levels and at higher levels in Q2 with things like Rugby or the NFL because the training must prepare one for much more chaotic environments.

So what do you want to prepare for?

Do you want to race on a track or do you want to be prepared to go pretty much anywhere your wheels and engine can take you and deal with whatever is around the next bend?

Training with Hardstyle KBs for a GS race would be detrimental and would hinder progress in GS.

Almost anyone in GS would recognize this fact and agree that the best course of action is if you want to compete in GS use GS style KBs and GS style training techniques.

However, conversely…

The whole point of this is what is your goal or purpose in training?

For most people it is not competing in GS.

So if you are confused about this, hopefully it clarifies things a bit. Pick your poison and carry on and disregard those that may try to convince you that GS is the best way to train with KBs.

Well maybe not, maybe Hardstyle is the best way.

Then again, maybe not.

When it comes down to it, diet and training is a highly individual thing. Some people thrive on vegan diets and carbs. Others do not.

Some people need a structured and officially contested sport to train toward, others do not. Some people like structure and others enjoy operating spontaneously in more chaotic environments.

And some people are oblivious or could care less about either, lol.

It’s just the way it is and neither science nor archeology changes that fact.

So, what is your goal, what job are you trying to accomplish?

Remember, your goal does not have to be setting a world record, winning a medal or trying to constantly set personal records in some sport.

What tool (training implement, program, eating habit) best fits what you want to do?

There’s your answer.

For more on this and a great way to correct a squatting swing see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8VIiZRVD9o

12. Breathing Life into Kettlebell Swings

12. Breathing Life into Kettlebell Swings

First off, the planet breathes and right now it’s not breathing too well.

Some people may feel global climate change and global warming are just part of a natural cycle of our planet.

Others feel that global warming is caused or at least exacerbated by human activity.

Regardless, hotter summers are becoming more the norm.

We often look at the things we are concerned about in our training, such as our program, nutrition, recovery, etc. and try to figure out how those things impact our results and how we can tweak them for the better.

Yet, how often do we think about our training environment and how it affects us?

Because, to tell the truth, our environment, which includes the temperature, does have an affect on our ability to adapt to the training we engage in.

If we think the temperature is such, and then barely get through our routine because of the heat, it’s going to be harder to recover from that training session.

Because not everything is as it seems.

See the video for more info on this.

Moving on, let’s look at how we may choose to breathe during our KB training.

Specifically, how a person breathes for Girevoy Sport (GS) and the Hardstyle RKC method of breathing for KB swings.

We won’t delve into double breathing patterns that may be used during Cleans or Snatches, as we’re going to keep this on the simple side of things.

Part of my prompt for writing this and filming the video is because of the numerous videos I’ve seen wherein people ask for some help on their KB swing technique.

Thus, they post a video so people can critique their form.

The critics that are trying to help often point out many good things, such as:

“You need to hinge in the hips, don’t round your back”

“Plank your body at the top of the swing”

“Use the lats to help brake the KB at the top”

“Wedge or drive your feet into the ground”

It’s all good stuff that can help a person hone their KB swing technique.

But often I notice an almost complete lack of any mention about the persons breathing.

Everything else can be pretty good technique-wise, but if the breathing is incorrect for the goal or gets out of sync or falters, the movement falls apart and doesn’t have the power it should.

This can also needlessly expose a person to an injury.

Without breath there is no movement.

I’ve seen videos with people switching breathing patterns while in the middle of a set or rep. I’ve seen people breathing through the mouth while doing KB ballistics.

They look like a fish out of water gasping for air.

It makes me cringe.

There are two types of breathing patterns used in the KB world while training ballistics:

1. Anatomical match breathing and
2. Bio-mechanical match breathing.

Hopefully, if you watch the video below, things will become a bit clearer for some people and I’ll even give you an easy way to remember how the patterns work.

Enjoy and feel free to share the link with others:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRp5MT6pHOw

11. Variety: The Meat of Life

11. Variety: The Meat of Life

Of course I know the saying is: “variety is the spice of life”.

And when it comes to adding spices to food, a little goes a long way.

The same could be said of adding variety to our training, that a little goes a long way.

This is very true in some instances.

In other cases having more variety in training is a very good thing. For some people, variety in training should not be merely something like a little bit of spice added to their food.

For some people, variety should be more like one of the portions of a main dish.

Some would say training should be focused on the big-bang-for-your-buck exercise movements. You know, things like cleans, snatches, power cleans, front and back squats, overhead press and bench press, etc.

Those are the meat and potatoes of training for most people.

And then variety is like adding a bit of salt to the food.

This is the way to go for many people, and yet, others could certainly gain from much more variety in their training.

Basically you would take one of the main dishes, like meat, and switch it out for more variety, so variety has a bigger share on the plate.

Why would someone do this?

Well there are a lot of reasons, a few  of which I talk about in the video link below.

If someone eats the same few foods all the time, there is a pretty good chance their body is lacking  certain key nutrients. This compromises their immune system, ability to recover and grow and creates other health issues.

If someone does the same job over and over, often the result is repetitive use injuries.

If someone uses the same move in chess, after a few games it gets pretty easy to figure out what they are doing and then catch them in checkmate.

Sitting for too long has been proven to be a major health crisis, in case you didn’t know.

In many areas of life, variety is actually a very healthy thing.

Yet for some strange reason, having variety in training is frowned upon.

However, how much variety a person includes in their training will depend on their individual circumstances, their personal needs, goals and also on whether they play in some professional sport.

Often, people get caught up in one particular training camp and that’s it.

They can’t see past the end of their nose or the end of their guru’s nose.

When it comes to using the body physically, and don’t ever think anything is happening but this during training, people have become aware that a singular activity done repeatedly isn’t such a good thing.

It’s like a framer working in construction.

Often, after years of swinging that 28oz framing hammer they start having issues in the forearm and wrist.

Yet if you look at a general construction laborer he usually doesn’t have such issues.

Why?

Every day the framer pounds nails, for the most part, framing in walls and roofs. That’s all he does, it’s his specialty.

Yet the general construction worker may dig footers for a week. Then it’s on to wheeling loads of concrete. Then the next week he’s helping the framers. Then after that it’s work installing the roof sheeting and working inside and helping do the wiring and then laying up sheetrock. Then painting and cabinetry, etc.

The variety keeps one man from having as many negative issues because his repetitive work is broken up by days or weeks in-between doing the same task.

Whenever we train, it’s the same thing, we’re using our body to accomplish a job, a task.

Sure, when new on the job (in this case using exercise to build our body) we’re learning a skill and it takes proper instruction and enough proper repetition to ingrain the skill.

But once the skill is ingrained it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t require as much time in the training schedule, and thus, allows expansion of our repertoire.

And to believe that a general construction worker is not as skilled in his work as someone who only performs one part of that job all the time isn’t 100% true.

In a competition to frame up a wall, certainly the framer will beat the general laborer. Yet the GL can install framing just as well as the framer if he’s conscientious and diligent in his work.

So yes, a trainee who lifts in a variety of ways can indeed execute a beautiful Clean and Jerk or back squat or bench press at weights appropriate to their training.

It doesn’t mean they are going to beat the other person in their chosen pet lifts, but that’s not his or her goal.

And we should remember that any type of movement we are doing in training is still using the body physically, just like physical labor at a job.

So why the thinking that a person can bench press three times a week for thirty years and not have issues?

In fact, many people, over a period of years, do end up having issues from spending too much time doing the same exercise movements.

It might be because of a genetic issue. We’re just not built to handle that movement that well on that particular exercise.

It might be because we injured a body part and that movement is no longer good for us, but we stubbornly refuse to give it up.

It might be because our form and technique isn’t as good as it should be and we just don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late.

Or it might even be that our skill is good enough, but we constantly push that movement so much, it just plain wears our body down in a particular way.

It’s like runners who get into their 60’s and just won’t quit, even though their knee cartilage is shot and their feet are a mess.

So, unless there is a very specific need to repeat an exercise movement for years in training, changing things up and adding variety and experimenting and exploring different methods of training the same body can be very beneficial.

Thus, for many individuals not into competition, I believe that variety should not be like a spice thrown in haphazardly as an afterthought, but it should actually be one of the main dishes, like meat.

The video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_dxEaeAoUs

 

 

 

 

 

10. The Poor Man’s Landmine

10. The Poor Man’s Landmine

Well, here we go!

Last week we talked about some questions Mike Prevost reminded us of, or perhaps those questions were new to us. In either case, they are great questions to use in determining how we can streamline our training processes.

The right questions can help us eliminate answers that don’t apply to our situation.

Too many answers overcomplicate things, especially if those answers have minimal or no effect on the outcome.

It’s like a person seeking advice about losing weight and then asking questions about what clothing attire would work best and whether they should wear cross-training shoes or go barefoot.

Sure they’ll get answers, but not answers that will really help them achieve their goal.

What’s the right tool for the job of losing weight?

Proper nutrition in the right amount is tool number one.

Tool number two would be inefficient exercise.

What’s the right job for the tool of inefficient exercise?

The job of inefficient exercise is creating a larger expenditure of energy which equates to heat being produced.

In case we don’t know this, a calorie is a measurement of heat. It is the metric counterpart of BTUs, British Thermal Units, though to simplify, the former is regarding heating up one gram of water one degree Celsius and the latter 16 ounces of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Thus, all food is a bundle of potential heat units.

We’ll stop there, because I could go on about this.

So we can see how Mike’s two questions can help a person zero in on what will help them reach their goals.

We won’t jump into inefficient exercise right now either, because that will change as a person gains skill in a particular movement and is a discussion for another article, lol.

Guess maybe I opened a few cans of worms in this article, lol, but remember: worms are good for fishing.

In line with the title of this article, often people want to train a particular way but may lack the necessary tools for that job, way of training or exercise movement.

We might want to learn the Olympic Lifts, but if we don’t have access to a barbell things will not go too well.

Learning how to improvise with what is available to us and adapting to our circumstances or situation can help us overcome whatever challenge we face.

Challenges come in all shapes, sizes and levels of difficulty.

With that in mind, take a look at the video below and you’ll see how we can improvise a Landmine to use in our training.

This can open up new methods of training or allow us to determine if we want to invest in buying a manufactured Landmine.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to explore something out of the ordinary to help us determine if it is useful for our particular needs and wants.

Often, we won’t even realize we have gaps in our skills or abilities until they are exposed at a time and place not convenient for us.

Better to find those missing gaps or lack of skills in the controlled training environment, rather than when it really counts during competition or while at work or on some recreational trip out in the middle of nowhere.

Here you go, The Poor Man’s Landmine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCgS05EiVUM