Bruce was always concerned with efficiency and effectiveness in the martial arts, strength training and movement, in general. Aside from being well-read into his books regarding philosophy, martial arts and nutrition, Bruce read tons into Kinesiology/Physical Education and Physiology.
Here’s a small slice of Bruce’s training that would be a great template for all Strength Seekers involved in the martial arts, Strength Sports and Bodybuilding and general fitness.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
On any given day, you can probably catch me walking or hiking, between the hours of 5-630a. Mainly, it’s to start my day off with Movement; to energize; to awaken and really to clear my head and plan.
That particular hour, when the streets are silent, the sun is still down and my mobile, email and social media aren’t shouting my name, I find my own personal space to plan and organize my thoughts, training objectives and entire day, really.
But what about walking as actual “training”; exercise and physical activity?
Sure most of the crowd is either running or marathoning , but then there’s the other school of “cardio” and “conditioning” that entails daily Intervals or work capacity.
However, the misconception and haphazard thought is that if it isn’t nearly making you puke, it’s really not worth doing.
I love and stand behind Interval work a lot, especially for fat loss and body re-composition goals, but whatever your goals – always ask yourself the ‘why’ behind doing your Hill Sprints, Tabata Barbell Thrusters or Burpees. It’s probably because it’s more effiicient for fat loss, it taxes your anerobic energy system and trains and primes your lactate capacities. These are GREAT THINGS TO ACHIEVE and carryover onto the field or real life! Nonetheless, all fancy physiology and textbook jargon aside, this high intensity stuff is really your greatest bang for your buck and actually spares muscle tissue (True Story, Bro).
On the other hand, if you do all of this high intensity stuff merely because you like pushing yourself to sickness or near/actual unconsciousness as your goal, then you’re something else.
Walking, on the other hand, is slow.
But does this movement have any value for us Strength Seekers?
Of course it does! It complements all of the high intensity training and rigors that we put our body through on a near daily basis. Don’t forget, friends, these “high intensity” Tabatas, Hill Sprints, Band Runs and WODs beat the crap out of our nervous system. Tons of damaging and stressful, chemicals/hormones are released during these activities, too – some with short term effects, some with long term effects that don’t show up until decades later (Again, True Story, Bro).
Should we stop, then?
We Manage; we complement.
I, therefore suggest to do like I do…walk.
I strongly encourage Walking…a lot more actually, than its cousins — The Jog or The Run or the Marathon as your Fitness Pursuit. It’ll be the perfect Movement to complement your High Intensity Work; it’s low intensity. REAL low intensity. No fooling.
For further reading on walking, visit:
- “Why We Don’t Walk Anymore (Plus a Primal Health Challenge)”
Now Get outside….Move Fast…Move Slow…Run or Walk…Lift or Crawl. Whatever you do, just Move.
Movember is just around the corner, and if you’ve spotted me at the head of your class, or in a one-on-one setting, just the same, then you’ve caught my face-fur harvesting in progress. This lack of contact with my razor, is all a means of setting the groundwork for Movember, when I’ll be raising funds towards Prostate Cancer Research, as well as doing everything in my power to create an awareness towards men’s health. My moustache, during this time will literally and symbolically, change the face of Men’s Health, while creating awareness and solidarity surrounding the matter.
One of the initiatives in this year’s Movember 2013, is “MOVE“.
MOVE is pretty much a call to arms for all Mo’Bros and Mo’Sistahs supporting the Movember Movements. It demands that each and every one of us, literally “Move” – in all forms.
In other words, it’s physical activity; it’s MOVEMENT; something that will make all of our lives that much better in quality and hopefully, longer.
I, therefore challenge all of you, men and women Strength Seekers out there to get off your asses at some point for duration of Movember and Move.
Watch the video below for details + Stay Twuned to all of JD Training’s Social Media for tips and propaganda surrounding this very important Movement next month…
Evolve or Die.
There was a time when I found a lot of value in Bench Pressing; all sorts.
On the one hand, I admire the dedication, obsession and perfectionist mentality of bodybuilders and how they pay attention to the slightest detail, imbalance and weakness in their physiques. They strive to hit every damn angle of their chest, delt, triceps and quads. Let’s not forget the outer biceps heads, of course! Can’t forget those. I mean rightfully so, it’s an aesthetic sport.
I think I’ve come full circle – from bodybuilding training in my teens – to this whole “functional training” in my twenties and back, now at the ripe age of 31. I now have a greater respect for all who train, because in all honesty, we’re all just trying to move – runner, bodybuilder, sprinter, MMA fighter or Strongman – we’re all simply following our passions. That said, Stop Trolling! I promise, I’ll at least to tune back my own trolling of the running community as much as I can. I Promise.
Getting back to bench pressing – if you’ve spotted me training sporadically over the last few weeks, then you’ve come to realize that I’ve thrown Bench and Dumbbell Pressing back into my own training. No, it’s not a Powerlifting style bench, off my toes, back arched and bar-to-sternum – where I’m trying to engage my entire body for the Strength benefit of it.
It’s been near-absent over the years from my training because I simply felt that the cost-benefit ratio of the movement wasn’t worth all of the shoulder stress it was placing on my body. Fact of the matter is – I had to reboot, re-tweak and ultimately, re-learn my approach to this beneficial Movement that’s essential to any bodybuilding/hypertrophy phase of training.
These modifications included: emphasizing and being more self-aware of engaging and pinning my scapulae to the bench, packing my shoulders full-time into their sockets and experimenting with both hand distancing on the bar and pressing depth.
One important hack that I’ve been given the head’s up by was from a Strength Seeker out of Fuel Fitness, named Chris Fiacco.
Bench. Squat. Dead. Some Pulls on The (Chinup) Bar Overhead and of course Military Press.
Anyhow, being an avid reader of T-Nation, Chris put me up on a few hacks that he stumbled upon, originally penned by another well-known Chris with the last name “Thibaudeau” (aka Tibs/Thibs). It’s regarding the bench press and placing a 25 pound or 45 pound Weight Plate underneath the foot of your barbell or dumbbell bench while pressing.
Read the original article at: “The Flat Bench Press Screws You Up!“.
This simple hack changes the angle of bench by 1.5 to 1.75 inches – declining you. This slight decline differs from the regular flat bench, because it takes a TON of stress off of your shoulders and emphasizes your Chest in a horizontal pushing motion. Unlike the traditional deep decline bench press, where you’re often hooked into knee pads and heel secures of foam, you’ve been given the added value and luxury of using some leg drive in your bench off the earth, a more secure and strong bench press – borrowing from the pages of Powerlifting theory.
I like it. I use It. It saves my shoulders and builds my pecs.
Do it for aesthetics-sake. I did. I won’t judge.
Evolve or Die.
The problem with our thinking is that we see too much of the hurdles and effort required to achieve all of the above.
In saving money, we believe that we have to save 100s or 1000s of dollars at a time. We feel we have to pay just the same amount of cash, effort and attention towards our debts and loans.
The same can be said for health and fitness-oriented goals in life.
If we’re overfat, seemingly “unfit” or lacking in core strength and range of motion, we view the climb in all of its entirety.
Before even getting started, we mistakingly forecast and waste our time looking at the pitfalls of weekend junk food binge eating, birthdays and cake, late nights spent during overtime at work and lack of time to prepare food, that are ahead. We think of the cost of “healthy groceries” and where that money might better spent towards. We look at the early hours we’ll have to set our alarm clocks to, just in order to get up and reach the gym to actually exercise and train. We then wonder, “what’s the point?…why even bother?…”
Fact of the matter is, this is what I call “Getting Ready (To Get Ready) Symdrome”.
We’re taking too long expecting perfect conditions, circumstances and alignment of the stars to start doing what we ought to be doing immediately.
Friends and Strength-Seekers, whether it’s landing your dream career or vacation or having that perfect healthy, fit and capable body, just get started on the path NOW. I mean physially, actively and aggressively — start ACTION now.
It sounds cliche, but Nike had it right with their marketing campaign, commanding you to “Just Do It.”
A dollar a day counts and goes way further than waiting for that perfect time to suddenly find $10,000 in your bank account.
Cutting back just 1/2 of your grains at lunch and dinner, replacing them with whole, natural foods, like fruits and veggies or even quality protein, will have tons more of an effect than trying to buy the most perfect organic, free-range, hormone-free, sustainable groceries, supplements, cooking utensils, books and classes en route to eating “clean” (whatever that Hell that means, nowadays).
Getting your ass up, actually, better yet – Jumping your ass out of bed, into your car and starting your Joint Mobility Work at the gym before your training session will kick start your day. Get FIRED UP.
Refer to this post, constantly.
The Mind and Body work together; synergistically and symbiotically.
Every horse starts wild, before they’re trained to pull a carriage.
It’s what I promote during your low and high points of training,
Stop getting ready to get ready. Stop being paralyzed while wasting time to analyze.
Start Action Now.
Small pieces of the puzzle everyday add up and create the bigger picture, friends.
Evolve or Die.
Smack dab in the middle of Marathon and Running Season, I thought I’d take a moment to pay respect to Emma van Nostrand, the 18 year old runner who passed away at this weekend’s Goodlife Marathon.
She was very athletic, her parents were runners (her father just completed the Boston weeks ago), she was part of the high school running club and she was very physically active in soccer, basketball and other activities. Emma was exactly what all of today’s youth should be doing — Moving.
It would be great if all of today’s youth followed in Emma’s footsteps and I commend her for her dedication towards physical training and passion towards movement. May she Rest In Peace; her life was taken away far too soon.
Her tragic death has been all over the news during the last few days and brings up questions that I’ll let you think about, just the same:
I’m through with knocking running. I mean if you’re a runner, and running is your sport, your passion, your journey into movement and pushing the limits of physical performance,
However, when the world starts pushing a running movement where Marathons are the trendy thing to do; and running a run every month is the goal to train towards, daily, that’s where I take up issues.
When the general population starts taking up running as a means for general fitness; as the easiest, cheapest and effective method of fat-loss or strength, as a means to increase bone density, ward off obesity and manage diabetes, then I have a hard time nodding in agreement or better yet, in acceptance with running.
Below is an interesting TED talk that I came across that postulates if we were really “Born To Run”?
Have A Strong Day.
The latest craze in fitness tends to be pushing high volumes, training to barf and training to seek and find soreness.
Although the tools to obtain these goals are indeed often, “functional” per se, how is being out of commission and promoting dysfunction in movement, body and mind really functional?
Recently, I caught a small preview clip of two of my most well-respected instructors/rehab specialists/Movement Purveyors – MovNat’s Erwan LeCorre and Physical Therapist, Gray Cook, sharing dialogue together in a preview clip of a DVD previously released.
From that small snippet, I realized that even the giants whose shoulders I stand on, share the same perspective with me – More is not Better, Better is Better.
Treat Strength as your Journey, not your quick-fixed instant gratification.
This is what training should be; progressive, skill-based and smart.
After all, any fool can use brute force to move a weight, but not everyone can do it intelligently, effectively or efficiently.
Here are the two conversations that struck chords with me:
Instead of giving you answers or my interpretations on the matter, I’m leaving them open-ended for you to lessons away from.
Because you have access to these great surmountable challenges call stairwells.
Stairs are a great tool when it’s raining outside, too slippery and icy to do hill runs outdoors or whenever you want to get creative with your Movement Fitness during your lunch break or early and late hours of the night.
Physical Culturist (and hero of mine), Steve Maxwell agrees.
In his article, “Stairway Conditioning“, Steve not only gives you a sample workout or two that you can do with stairs, but also explains how adding something simple, like a crouched position or rotation to moving up and down a flight or 20, really makes you re-think the misconception that “simple” equals “easy”.
Check out the article and re-think your stairwells, Strength Seekers.
I’ll end off with Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” – a great song to stair climb or crawl to.
You don’t need a fancy gym or tons of equipment to get your Strength-On.
When I think of of hypnosis, i think of pendulum clocks, cheap ugly suits and greasy haircuts. I think of people moving around like chickens in gymnasiums and others barking like dogs on all fours.
I’m wrong and outdated in this area of thought.
Here’s a great video that you can use, related to hypnosis, our subconsciousness, physiology and outlook.
The hypnotherapist here provides you with a short and effective exercise that you can use immediately to help you not only understand between the mind and body; our psychology and physiology, but also help you achieve an optimal state of mind. This mind state and really, “body state”, will have you achieving your fitness, nutritional, relationship and financial goals.
If I shared it, I felt it was life-changing.
It just might save your life.
On Getting Started.
Stop Getting Ready to Get Ready.