Remember that pressing ebook that I promised you way back when? Well, me being the stubborn donkey that I am have sought to create the PREMIER GUIDE to the press ever put together, sparing absolutely NO DETAIL in giving you the power to unleash your full pressing potential! These kinds of things take some serious time to create! I have well over a THOUSAND hours into the creation of the piece of literature that has become "Changing the Archetype: Big Pete's Ultimate Guide to Becoming Iron through Full-Body Pressing." Close to 50 pages of knowledge and personal experience in crafting a body that is capable of pressing the BEAST for multiple reps, and execute a double clean and press with 40kg bells for a set of 5.
The ebook is currently in post-production, with the creation of a series of videos on everything from proper alignment of the feet and ground contact to proper neck position throughout the whole press. The book is also going through an intensive editing process by the one and only Pat Flynn, RKC and chief instructor for the Killing It With Kettlebells Certification.
The Book will be released in THREE AVAILABLE PACKAGES:
Option 1: "Changing the Archetype" ebook PLUS my FREE report "Programming the Archetype," a minimalist program that will give you the STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE that you need to reach any pressing goal! This program will feature techniques from the beginner to advanced level of pressing, from human walking stick to amorphis beast level, everyone can benefit!
Option 2: "Changing the Archetype" ebook, the "Programming the Archetype" program, and an EXCLUSIVE, HANDS-ON, ONE-ON-ONE SEMINAR entitled "Backwoods Gold: Big Pete's Backyard, Down Home Pressing Seminar." In this seminar, I will take you through all the drills, philosophy, and subtle nuances of the press from the ground up, providing teaching points and feedback that you can either use yourself or give to your clients. I go through the most common pressing errors to make you become a more dominant presser.
Option 3: You get everything from Options 1 and 2 along with two personal, one-on-one coaching calls with yours truly. You get to sit down for two one hour long sessions and pick my brain about anything you so choose: business, website development, technique critiques, my favorite fishing holes...anything!
Here, once again, I am making the first three chapters of my ebook available for your download. Just Enter your Information Below!
First Off, I apologize that I didn't get a picture of this one, but here it is...Ingredients (Serves Two):
- 6 approximately 1 inch thick filet mignon/tenderloin steaks
- 2 16oz packages of high-quality uncured bacon strips (I prefer Nueske's Applewood Smoked), seperated
- 1 half bottle Koop's Brand Arizona Heat Mustard
- 1 tblsp coconut oil
- Metal or wooden skewers (if wooden, soak in water before using at least 30 minutes)
- Salt and Pepper
- Salt and Pepper steaks appropriately, wrap with one strip of bacon around the outer edge, wrapping snugly but not tightly, skewer the bacon onto the steak through the seam created by the bacon wrap, through the middle of the steak, and out the other side. Repeat for all steaks, set aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan until it flows easily, braise steaks on all sides to required doneness (don't forget to lay it on its side and crisp that bacon). Here is a pretty good guide for steak doneness:
- After cooking to desired temperature, take meat off the heat and allow it to rest while you complete the topping. This step is crucial for retention of flavorful juices, so don't just dive in right away!
- Prepare your topping by cutting the remaining bacon into approximately 1/4 inch strips and frying them until crispy, about 8 minutes. Put into a mixing bowl with the mustard, stir until well incorporated.
- Top steaks with the mustard mixture and enjoy!
First off, let me apologize for not posting for a while. Life has shifted into the fast lane and is moving like some psycho driving that indestructible death-bringing car from the movie Death Proof...
Graduating from college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, getting a new job working corporate security for BMO Harris (along with the training that has gone with it), and the shift into 8 hour night shifts paired with nearly 12 hour days has sapped much of my time away from me lately.
All that aside, I am happy to be back sitting down with you all this evening as I sip some iced black coffee to reveal to you a little wager that I made recently...Something so diabolical that I swear that, should I loose this wager, far more than my dignity with be shattered and in a pain only described as pure hell fire.
To caveat this statement a little bit, I was listening to the brilliant mind of Tim Ferriss in his address to Google on the "Authors at Google" segment dedicated to the 4-Hour Chef, a book that I gave away to 3 lucky subscribers some time ago. I would highly recommend that you watch this, because Tim Ferriss knows what he is talking about in the realm of meta-learning.
In this little symposium, if you noticed, Ferriss talks about pain as a motivator, citing a website that you can write a check to an organization that you hate with a passion (in his example, the KKK) and, if you don't meet your goal, they send the check off. If you do meet your goal, the check is voided. I got to thinking on this point...Problem is that I am quite a poor college student who just came into a car payment, the insurance to go along with said car, and student loans are going to be calling here in about 5 months.
I got to thinking...What could a poor soul like me put on the line that would cause me pain if I failed at my goals? I have done something before in my life that has made me suffer immense pain throughout my entire body...and I have been stupid enough to do it twice:
The Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin' Challenge. The company describes the sauce merely as: "Keep away from your eyes, pets, children: The hottest sauce we got. You'd BETTER-BE-READY BLAZIN." I can truly attest to the fact that this challenge is no joke. It will burn up both your mouth and your intestinal linings like nothing else you have ever experienced...I described it as suffering from the fury of the hell fires generated by a thousand suns. Anyone undertaking this challenge needs both a gallon of milk afterwards and prayers to God to grant him a cast iron colon. So, with that on the line, here is what I must achieve by September 1st in order to avoid the internal hell fire:
Now, what gets measured gets managed, so I will put more still on the line. In the coming days, I will be investing in these:
- Loose 2 full pants sizes (go from 40 waist to 36 waist)
- Do 1 Pistol Squat (1-legged squat) on each leg
- 15 full range of motion pullups before failure
Putting another $50 dollars on the line to assure my success by buying a pair of fight shorts in a size 34 waist, I hope to do a bit of overachieving...
I will do my most diabolical workouts in order to achieve this goal, ala SWAT-Style that I have previously mentioned in my posts, with some added twists. Make sure to Subscribe Above for my personal workout program that I will use to achieve these goals.
So, there you have it...Succeed or face intestinal death!
There are some very interesting things coming as well from me here at Ol' Timey Strength Secrets, but only for those that are Subscribers!
Those who subscribe above will be privy EXCLUSIVE CONTENT from my daily workout logs, food logs, workout videos, talk-back with Big Pete about your fitness questions, and much more! Subscribe at the Right!
Welcome to Big Pete's Kitchen Recipe Series, where I take all the Bitch Ass-ness out of your current comestibles and bring them up to a Herculean level of flavor by giving you recipes that even the stankest ass redneck could understand. I personally love to eat in a non-bitch ass kind of way, choosing to eat my meat red, juicy, and covered in some good sauce...There is a plague going around the college campus that I am attending. This sickness is known as Meatless Mondays, which, aside from sounding completely and totally asinine, leave me to wonder how incredibly dumb that really is. Some animals exist and cease existence for my own eating pleasure, so instead of Meatless, I say go Meat-ful son!
Our first recipe in the series features only what it should: two kinds of the best meat on Earth, ground beef meatballs and bacon! You are not truly a man unless you buy that grass fed, organic beef and that uncured bacon though, cuz we don't dumb ourselves down with those bitch ass hormones or preservatives. Here is your recipe, it can feed as many as you see fit, but here is how I did it. We don't mess around with that noodled spaghetti...that's for the weak, we use bacon as our pasta...tastes like death, if death tasted good. We make our own meatballs too, cuz store bought is for those that wish to be inferior, and no one wishes to be inferior here at Ol' Timey Strength Secrets. So, I give to you...
Recipe #1: Non-Bitch Ass Mansketti with Homemade Meatballs and Cholula Sauce!
- 3.5lbs of Uncured Bacon Strips (I prefer Nueske's Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon)
- 4lbs of Grass Fed, Organic Ground Beef (I used the only Grass Fed I could find, 85/15)
- 4 3-finger pinches of the following spices: Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, Ground Mustard, Black Pepper, Salt
- Cholula Original Hot Sauce to taste
1. Get your bacon going in the pan. We want it slightly browned but not crispy so it still has the consistency of noodles, if you do the whole batch at once probably 10-12 minutes on high heat. Drain strips on a plate with several layers of paper towel. Rest.
2. Assemble your meat balls by putting all the beef and the pinches of spices into a large bowl and massaging and punching that mix like you're a Chinese masseuse. When you are satisfied with the mix, form into rather large balls, like that which hang from an aggressive young water buffalo in Thailand. Fry these up in a pan with 1 tbls of coconut oil until brown on all sides.
3. Assemble your paleo spaghetti fit for Hercules himself, putting down a layer of sexy pig belly strips, cover with those balls that would make any lady cow blush, and smother it with that Cholula Sauce. Devour.
There you have it, simple, quick, and one hell of a man's meal. Next time you think about making weak-ass spaghetti, think again and fire this up. Don't want your wife thinkin you are some sort of inferior man, now do you? Give this a try and comment below.
Invariably, if you have been around the world of fitness and the workout culture for long enough, you have more than likely heard some rumors about supplementation. There are thousands of different people and products pulling you in a thousand and one different directions to the point where your head starts to spin. It seems like every other day fitness supplement and other drug companies are pushing forth the next "magic substance" in the war to better ourselves. If you are not careful and don't read between the lines like many Americans refuse to do, you could end up paying for nothing but sugar pills and a lot of false hopes.
Why have we created such a culture based around a tsunami of pills, powders, and goos? I have said this before, but instant gratification is simply part of human nature. It is id versus ego...manners versus mannerisms...nature versus nurture. Our intelligence and human reason in this regard can save us from misery, while our animal instincts pull us ever closer to our demise.
Being the English major that I am, I am quite a fan of Shakespeare. He speaks upon human beings taking too much "liberty" with their actions and not using enough reason when making decisions through his character Claudio in Measure for Measure. Lucio, a character who indulges in much sexual liberty and is quite fond of the drink, sees Claudio in chains being led to prison. When Lucio asks Claudio why he is in restraints, Claudio responds in a very interesting way. He says,
From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue, —
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane, —
A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die. (Measure for Measure, 1.3)
Like Claudio, we are all essentially bitten in the ass by our very human natures thirsting after something quick, something easy to help us gain what we want. We want the "Instantly Sexy/Beautiful/Muscular/Beastly" Button, whether that pill, goo, gel, or other funky substance is going to end up killing us or not is simply irrelevant.
Mr. Yuk and poisoning aside, I and many others have bashed our culture in one way or another on this point repeatedly, but the fact still remains that it is a major part of our culture. People want instant gratification, it is simply inevitable...and the marketing geniuses of the world know this!
Let's look at some of the most common forms of fitness advertising and at some of the products that they feature...
This ad tells me essentially NOTHING about the product, but things are going on in my brain already that may potentiate some to buy the product, in that the woman featured is marvelously attractive. Our brain sub-consciously makes the association between that woman, her body, and the product. We think "oh, this woman got this way by using said product, so I should buy this product as well..." Let me tell you, I have tried thermogenics in the past (when I was young and stupid mind you)...My heart rate was through the roof, I had jitters, and my body constantly felt overheated. Associations be damned, some of these products will seriously f you up!
While there may well be some good little bits amidst the seemingly endless product placements in these magazines, a cover can reveal the kind of people that buy these things...
You can truly come to grasp the psychographic that these editors and marketing experts are trying to reach here. I can judge that their target market are people that want what the people in the magazine have and they are gonna tell you how to spend a lot of your hard-earned money on ways that are supposedly proven to work (although many of these substances have not been evaluated by the FDA).
Yeah...I was shocked the first time that I heard that too...And, since many of these products haven't gone through the rigorous evaluations of the FDA, they can pretty much make whatever claims about said product that they want with complete impunity! With no agency holding them accountable aside from maybe the police if someone is killed by their product, they run buck-friggin-wild like some real-life Gordon Gekko.
Rant about sugar pill pushers aside, I am here to attempt to help you remedy the situation that many of us in the fitness world come across. When I help with classes at TNT Performance Training or simply attend class, one of the first questions people start bombarding me with is what is my supplementation plan or should they buy this or that.
Before I dive into what supplements I truly believe in, let me talk about my philosophy on supplementation...I suppose that you could call me somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to appreciating the finest goos, gobs, and globules that grace our fine market and choose to get much of what I need from whole foods. I choose a diet of green, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower) paired with organic, grass fed protein options such as chicken, beef, or fish. I also tend to indulge in clean carb options some of the time like sweet potatoes or berries. I tend to cook a lot of my proteins with high saturated fat content oils such as coconut oil and grapeseed oil. The cruciferous veggies provide me with necessary vitamins and nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and the B complex vitamins. The veggies also provide me with a source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which helps with digestion and colon health.
The organic, grass-fed protein sources provide me with an amino acid profile without giving me the nasty hormones and, in my opinion, providing me with better flavor and quality than the regular stuff. A diet high in protein also creates a higher thermic effect in the body, allowing for more sustained fat burn and higher metabolic rate. Being cooked in a high saturated fat oil that is not hydrogenated also adds many if not all of the essential fatty acids (EFA's) necessary for the body to function that come from our diet.
What my grill might look like if I were cooking a meal or two for myself
My philosophy as far as adding supplements to this plan is based around what a supplement SHOULD do...What I mean is this: SUPPLEMENT MEANS IN ADDITION TO, NOT INSTEAD OF! You should try to get whatever you can out of whole food sources, but, when you can't is when you should supplement. EATING A GOOD DIET SHOULD ALWAYS BE YOUR FIRST SOURCE OF WHAT IS NECESSARY!
That being said, if you are here and you don't have your diet dialed in, set about doing that before you would ever begin starting a supplement plan, and also (I hate to sound like the commercials here but this is important) consult with a doctor before starting supplementation or adding a new supplement to your plan. I can not possibly know how all bodies work and what you might be sensitive to, so get some advice.
This list is by no means exhaustive because research in this area is constantly expanding and I may add or subtract things from my personal plan as I see fit. So, without further adieu, I give you my recommended supplements for just about any goal type...
1. Whey Protein
I cannot overemphasize the importance of instituting a supplemental source of protein into your supplement plan. The essential amino acids (EAAs) contained in massive amounts within this powder have been proven to have such benefits as reducing the likelihood of muscle cramps and balancing blood sugar levels (leucine and isoleucine) to promoting bone growth and calcium absorption (lysine). Your body really cannot have too much of these essential amino acids because, since they are hydrophilic, they will be purged from your body through #1 means.
Whey protein also provides a very interesting double whammy punch when paired with an intermittent fasting plan. Whey protein pulse feeding (taking in 20-30 grams of whey protein every 3-4 hours) allows the body to get carbohydrate energy through a wicked process in the body called gluconeogenesis. Basically, your body takes amino acids and turns them into glucose for energy (this is why those who love the ketogenic diet must down fats like crazy due to this fact). This means that it will replace muscle glycogen (basically stored muscle sugar) rather rapidly and aid in the recovery process. Great thing about this process is that insulin spike is minimal, meaning that our fat burning hormone (glucagon) can keep working at full bore while we are simultaneously replacing lost muscle glycogen. Since your body will only take what is necessary for energy and the replacement of muscle glycogen from the whey protein, you get the benefits of working out in a fasted state while keeping an energy level fit for a king and a fatty acid metabolism.
The particular protein powder that I would recommend for use is called Harmonized Whey made by a company called Progressive Nutrition, which takes protein from free range, grass fed cattle in New Zealand. This protein was introduced to me by my good friend, Pat Flynn. The cattle from New Zealand are also raised without hormones, including rBGH and includes other ingredients such as Colostrum, which is an ingredient in the first milk from a female mammal, that is said to promote growth hormone production and has been linked to neurogenesis or the creation of new brain synapses. Tastes kinda weird and is pricey for how much you get, but totally worth it!
My second recommendation as far as supplementation goes is to invest in a good multivitamin that helps to supplement your vitamins, nutrients, and possibly even some of those amino acids or essential fats that you missed in your whole foods plan. Let's face it, you probably don't take in all that you should even if you try with things like iron or magnesium, but you can get some more from these multivitamin supplements. Multivitamins are also a way to keep a low dairy, low carb diet but still get the same benefits that you would get from dairy such as calcium as well as many of the vitamins and minerals found in fruits without the added fructose. All around, you can't really go wrong with a solid multivitamin.
I currently take GNC's Mega Man Sport Vitamin supplement, but you can't really go wrong with a good multivitamin of any brand.
3. Fish Oil
The third supplement to add to your plan that I would recommend would be a good fish oil. Fish oil supplements provide you with Omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, which have been shown to promote joint, skin, and brain health and help to promote a healthy heart. Fish Oil also promotes the body's anti-inflammatory assault on free radicals, helping to aid in muscular recovery as well as total health.
I personally invest in GNC's Triple Strength Fish Oil 1500 and highly recommend it.
That is pretty much it for me for generic supplementation. It depends on my current goal if I want to add anything such as a creatine pre-workout supplement or something like CLA. Let me know what your goals are and I will point you in the right direction...honest advise, no bullshit.
In other news, Liz and myself had a very strong showing at the Tactical Strength Challenge at TNT Performance in Wauwatosa, WI. It is a national competition where participants get points based on max weight deadlift, max pullups, and max kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes. Here are some highlights...
Ahh College Spring Break...a time given to college students to recharge the batteries, get out of Dodge for a few days, and then return ready to finish the last half of Spring semester. Many months on the stair stepper making sure that your butt will look fabulous in that new Victoria's Secret bikini that you spent at least $100 on. Don't want that kind of stuff to go to waste...
Gentleman pump up all year round in the gym simply preparing to act like the biggest peacock jackasses on the beach. Trying to put a few million pounds on the bar and doing those curls for the girls.
Ultimately though, the ideologies that develop with spring breakers that jet set off to super party destinations are so out of whack that I thought twice about really putting this post out there. Can this kind of cyclical attitude found within most if not all of these people really be changed? What I mean by cyclical attitude is they develop a kind of notion of short-term sacrifice for short-term gains. They are of the notion that if they work out for a few hours a day, eat one apple a day for a few weeks leading up to their trip to Panama City Beach that they will have earned the right to frolic around down there like a 4 year old in Chuck E. Cheese's.
Maybe places like Panama City Beach are like a 20-something's Chuck E. Cheese's in that they are places where 20-somethings can be 20-somethings. You can imbibe with your liquor of choice from dawn til dusk, gyrate your booties around to the finest of club beats after dusk, and get up and do it all over again the next day. Sounds like a real paradise...
But, like my father always says, "Can't ever get nothin for free..." I really do feel sorry for parents that take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese's simply because you are gonna drain your back account since your kids will inevitably want to play games there since they saw that shiny new toy on the prize wall when they walked in. They ultimately play games that charge them the equivalent of $2.25 and they might come close to getting 3 cents worth of tickets if they are lucky. You ultimately end up shredding a few $20 bills to come home with something that they can buy about 100 million units of from China. Great marketing strategy, but doesn't it kinda piss you off when you spend that much money and get nothing but a cheap plastic spider ring?
What point could I possibly be proving other than rewarding the smart capitalist and condemning the fool? Patience, I'm getting there...
The fact of the matter is that, contrary to the popular Shakespeare play, you can and do often take it with you. We inevitably often come home from Chuck E. Cheese's with far more cheap BS than we left with. NOTHING THAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS ANYMORE! Okay, maybe besides the money that you spent gambling, but that is beside the point. You will always bring something back with you from places you have been, whether it be physical (like a spider ring) or not.
You brought something back from PCB alright. Whether it be as menial as a t-shirt or as major as a burning sensation in the nether region is based on a sort of case-by-case basis, but one thing remains common. This one common thread that all spring breakers bring back with them is the reckless spirit...you simply don't want to give it up and go back into the lifestyle that is structured home life. So you continue the pattern until it becomes habit to the point where you have to duct tape empty beer bottles to your flabby belly in order to come anywhere close to that six pack you had a few weeks ago.
I am here to remedy this vicious cycle of punishment and reward! You need a serious intervention, Mister or Misses Cardio Bunny. I am going to take you step-by-arduous step into a frame of mind where you need to be in order to kick the good times aside and focus on really getting what you want health wise. You don't want to show off a hot body in PCB and not be able to have it on the beach all summer do you?
Step 1: 24-Hour Fast
Chances are you, like Homer, have just spent the last few weeks worshiping a grand amalgamation of barley, hops, and wheat simply for mere hydration. This grand little substance has since made you feel like you have a fiber bomb the size of Texas in your stomach along with a roving case of laziness and feeling lackadaisical. You probably pounded down whatever food was cheap and available, meaning that your body is now a vast wasteland of chemicals and your hormone production and central nervous system are now all out of whack. You have had insulin oozing out of your eyeballs for the past couple weeks and it is time for that all to end.
A 24-hour fast is a way of remedying your body of most of this (the fatness will be addressed in the next step) by allowing your body to detoxify itself. During this fast, you are allowed nothing but herbal or green tea, black coffee, or plain old water.
Drink as much of these liquids as you desire, since we want the water works to be fully engaged in flushing the body of toxins and excess buggers that it really never needed in the first place.
A 24-hour fast is also a way in which to reset the central nervous system balance, the circadian clock of the switch in the central nervous system, along with the timing of hormones to get you back to optimum health and vigor. I mentioned that in the week where you were eating and drinking yourself into oblivion that insulin was oozing out of your eyeballs. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas in order to spike blood sugar after a meal, which essentially transitions the central nervous system from the parasympathetic to the sympathetic nervous system. Why this is bad is that glucagon (a fat burning hormone that triggers the metabolism of stored fatty acids) is thus turned off.
For more information on the joys and benefits of the fast CLICK HERE
Step 2: Exercise with Copious Amounts of METABOLIC CONDITIONING
I can say that, if only from mere observations alone (being HKC certified aside), there are few individuals that know how to royally kick their own asses anymore both effectively and safely. Speaking from experience and observed results, no instrument is perhaps better for metabolic conditioning than the kettlebell. Metabolic Conditioning protocols will not only force your body to burn through multiple sources of energy in order to accomplish the work, but will offer you a serious amount of strength as well. Metabolic Conditioning is one hell of a workout, pulling initial energy from the phosphogenic energy system (instant power derived from stored muscle glycogen, think swinging a baseball bat) to the glycolitic (fatty acid metabolism, more of a short burst kind of energy system, think running sprints) and finally to the oxidative energy system (long, endurance style energy system burning glucose). Metabolic conditioning also prevents a nasty process in the body called re-esterfication, which pushes unburned fatty acids back into fat cells. All in all, one of the fastest, most effective ways to burn fat, get strong, and regain that beach body.
Try this three step workout, doing three sets of each complex, resting as little as possible in between (weighted vest optional but strongly encouraged :) )
Dr. Big Pete prescribes something like this 3x a week, rest a day between workouts with practicing some joint mobility or doing foam rolling on off days.
Step 3: Change of Diet and Change of Mindset
I know that that first 24-hour fast was hard, but now I am going to challenge you to do it for the long haul...as in every day. Intermittent fasting has been linked in many studies to have profound effects on fat loss, strength gain, productivity at work and play, more alertness and less grogginess during the day, and even higher testosterone levels. I am simply asking that you do not consume any calories for anywhere between 12-18 hours a day and that you do most of your workouts in a fasted state. Many studies have pointed to working out in a fasted state to increases in brain synapse development (neurogenesis), increases in both the amount of growth hormone produced and frequency of growth hormone pulses, as well as other things. At night, you are to eat a clean, preferably organic diet consisting mostly of protein and fat sources with low carbs. Look around, studies have proven that fat is necessary to maintain a healthy diet (both saturated and unsaturated fats; still stay away from that trans fat garbage though). Most of your carbs are to come from leafy green vegetables like romaine, broccoli, kale, or bok choy. Sweet potatoes are acceptable on hard training days after protein and fats have been consumed. Basically, carbs are meant to be your after-thought and should always be kept clean.
With the diet and exercise program must also come a change of mindset. I admit that there will be some people out there that are reminiscent of turkeys drowning themselves in a rainstorm by staring, mouths agape, at the sky. I am hoping that you, all my readers here at Ol' Timey Strength Secrets, are not like those turkeys, nor would I expect that any of you have stooped to that level since you are here.
To some people though, proposing anything that even remotely goes against the norms of common thinking is simply ludicrous and should be discarded as simple hogwash. Mark Twain once said that, if one ever finds himself as part of the majority, one should re-evaluate their stances.
Some people will inevitably ask me "Well Pete...why do three workouts a week and get only meager results when I could do 5 or 6 and get more?" Well, aside from slaying your nervous system, I can simply say that a man named Dan John, an expert and a man far stronger than I said he got the greatest results training both himself and his athletes 2x a week. There is diminishing returns to worry about. It isn't all about what you put in is what you are going to get out anymore...Before I get on a rant, I'm gonna stop myself...
Just trust me, stay the course, do everything I say, and you will get the body of your dreams in time for beach season. I would personally burn my HKC certificate in front of you, pack my bags, and leave this behind if you didn't.
~Big Pete HKC, always a man of my word
Life for me, I am sad to say, is quite hectic as a last semester college student looking to slide seamlessly into my career in law enforcement. As an English-Liberal Arts student, I feel like I am being crushed under the weight of novels and papers that loom over me like storm clouds raining sentences down upon my head. I am busy preparing myself for interviews, going to interviews, and filling out applications for police departments that I would like to be employed with someday. I run this website and write my upcoming ebook Changing the Archetype daily, while also holding down an internship with the local sheriff's department. It seems, my friends, that there are not enough hours in the day and I may run the risk of running myself into oblivion.
Yet, I would say that my life is rather easy-going and I would say that I am relatively free of excess stress. How is it possible to do with so much on my plate? Well, you got somewhat of a hint with the title of this post, but I am going to take you through MY OWN PERSONAL ROUTINE OF HOW TO REDUCE EXCESS STRESS that is robbing you of your sanity, causing you depression and worry, and may well be robbing you of your health.
To tell you the God honest truth, we do all need SOME stress in our lives in order to function properly both physically and mentally. Think about a life sans any stress whatsoever...No looming deadlines, no incentives at work, perhaps no work period. We would all frankly be quite miserable turds laying in the same position for all of our life, not wanting to create the stress of movement. Basically, we would turn into ice cream sucking, pancake munching, lazier versions of Jabba the Hut.
We do need stress in our lives because it ultimately makes us strive to become better human beings, making us seek knowledge, become stronger, and generate the hormones that we need in order to protect us from the things that are out there to hurt us. The body's response to stress is often known as the "fight or flight" response. Here is a little insight in pictorial form, since I have explained this in depth before as well as to not spew too much biological knowledge and loose people in the science...
This biological response may well have helped the human race to survive for a few centuries in order to become the dominant species on Earth, protecting us from what wanted to eat us at one point...
Where stress becomes a problem is when is occurs over the long term. The stress hormones flood the body, causing consistently elevated blood pressure, indigestion, muscle soreness, and the immune system does not function as efficiently as it should. We become irritable, depressed, shadow versions of the people we used to be...dependent solely on caffeine and fake smiles to take us through everyday.
High School health class lesson aside on the specifics of stress, I feel that the techniques you, me, and everyone else is taught to employ during that time like progressive relaxation, meditation, and some other destressing voodoo techniques are both ancient and ineffective in dealing with stress when used on their own.
Without any further ranting, here are my 5 Foolproof Tricks to Remove Excess Stress!
1. LIVE FOR TODAY, NOT TOMORROW
Sounds much like a Buddhist maxim that no one really understands, but harnessing this principle is the key to reducing excess stress. I'm not saying to not look to the future where your goals lie, I am simply saying that you need to focus on what needs to be done at the present moment rather than what is worrying about what is coming the next day. Call this prioritizing if you should so choose, but just getting done what you need for the next day has always been the way I have approached every college class I have ever taken. I tell people that I am perhaps the only English major that has had his head buried much rather in living life than stuck inside reading a book that I don't have to read. Seriously, if you are a college student reading this and you are wasting your time reading a book that will make up less than 10% of the test questions, STOP READING THIS POST, GRAB SAID BOOK, AND DISPOSE OF IT! You are wasting your time, my dear friend.
It was my LIFE in college that taught me, not my books
2. STOP WASTING SIGNIFICANT TIME ON INSIGNIFICANT THINGS
Getting back to my comment about reading that book that takes hours of your time, but there are only 4 questions out of 100 on the test for the class. Seriously? I would rather take the 96% on the test rather than waste away 6 hours of my life reading a book in which the teacher may well pull basic knowledge questions. Why waste six hours finding this knowledge when you could find the same thing on Sparknotes in about 10 minutes? When it comes to your God-given time, I would argue that it is all about quality, not quantity. Tim Ferriss writes about that in his book The 4-Hour Chef, in that learning things need not to be a chore. Maybe this is why I gave away that book...Hmmm...Anywhere, here is Mark Limbaga, only natural-born RKC in the Philipine Island Chain:
Thank you for the review and shout-out Mark, your readership is appreciated and keep up the good work...but for now, back to our discussion...
So yes, I am saying that you should be quite the frugal son of a bitch with your time, because, quite frankly, no one chooses to waste it but you. I would rather enjoy life than doing mindless tasks that will take me nowhere and benefit me quite little in the long run. A Sheriff's Deputy once told me that if you don't use your time to get better, than there is no ROI (return on investment) for your time here on Earth!
3. READ A BOOK!
Perhaps this is the English major coming out of me, and I know that I said before that you would be far better off burning most of your college textbooks as a fire starter for a romantic evening with a significant other than you ever would be trying to gain any practical knowledge from them, but I digress...
True literacy is something that we are losing as a society, and literature as an art form has truly taken a dive in our society. It may just be me, but I look at many of the world's greatest minds (Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill) and they are all extremely literate, extremely knowledgeable people that love a good book. Think about it...When under oppressive and/or trying times ahead, people write books to state a philosophical point about something that, while not really evident on the surface, paints a picture of interpretation for the reader. Think of books like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird being many childrens' first exposure to the concept of race. Think too upon Edmund Spenser's epic allegory on the virtues in The Faerie Queene and on the many plays of Shakespeare that are written about the trappings of human nature in plays like Othello or Hamlet or Julius Caesar.
If you haven't ever in your life, attempt to wade through some classical or even some modern fiction, maybe a few chapters a night or an hour before you go to bed. You will be surprised what it can teach you about the nature about how those around you think, move, and have their being. Literature is what could be considered the POOR MAN'S PHILOSOPHY in that literature packs philosophical meanings and messages into a well-defined, easy to swallow pill that we know as a story. Before I rant too long and let my English major dork side take over, just pick up a book and read it!
4. GET A HOBBY AND PRIORITIZE IT!
Seriously though, I hear a lot of people out there that genuinely love doing something, whether it be camping, hiking, playing computer games, shooting guns, and other truly fulfilling hobbies. In conversations, they go on and on ad infinitum about how they had that one massive catch while fishing with their friends or how that met this genuine 10 at the bar and took her back to his apartment...
Funny thing happens though when I ask them how often they do it...They simply scratch their heads and say something like "Not for a While" or "Once or Twice a Year"
Seriously people...and you say you enjoy something? What good is liking to do something but never being able to do it because you are always "too busy" or something else gets in the way? It is not enough to simply say that you have a hobby anymore...
There is a classic line from a song that is the theme song for the show Guys With Kids...It goes like, "Life is How You Live It..."
To keep this point concise and to keep me off of rant mode, you need to fit your life around what you love to do, not fit what you love to do around your life. If you wanna do something, make it happen! PERIOD...END OF STORY! There is great empowerment in taking that much control over you life. Not saying that respecting superiors at work and taking care of business are not important, but sometimes you need to live for you. Set up your own rules of engagement.
5. TAKE A MENTAL "TURN-OFF"
In 2013, we live in a very instant, very on the go type of world where much of what we do is expected of us on a moment's notice. We are constantly plugged into the world, whether it be via smartphone, tablet, internet, newspaper...you name it. You could easily know what is going on in a majority of the world at any given time in about two minutes. They are actually beginning to say that Twitter is becoming on the fastest and most credible news sources on the face of the Earth.
Technology in and of itself is not what I am talking about here...It is with the dawn of technology that we are able to build the civilizations that we have over about the past 200 years. Technology alone can be credited with prolonging life, putting food on our table, and providing us with the necessary information rapidly to live out our daily lives. What I am trying to get you to do is to CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD FROM YOUR DIGITALLY PLUGGED-IN LIFE ONCE IN A WHILE
! Truth be told, I have never owned a smart phone, tablet, or anything that has access to wireless internet other than my laptop (which I have no desire to lug around with me for instant information's sake). When I leave my desk, I am essentially leaving the world of plugged in media behind me. Trust me folks, that email/newsfeed/facebook update/tweet can wait a few hours...
Unplug...take a walk, seek to notice things you haven't noticed before.
BONUS: 6. LEARN TO APPRECIATE SILENCE
Not to get overly religious, but in one of the classic Christian hymns, it states, "I will come to you in the silence..." We as a culture have become so consumed with constant noise that we have forgotten what it feels like to experience the sound of silence (ala Simon and Garfunkel). We have essentially created ourselves to be a race of extra-oriented introverts that lack any form of the communication skills that people have that came a mere 10 years before us. What I mean by extra-oriented introverts is that people want social interaction...that is just human nature, but the means no longer coincides with the end. WE BARELY TALK TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE! Some of us would even hold that we have lost the ability to have a structured, intelligent conversation. We have so effectively brought the world to our doorstep that we have essentially locked the door behind it and thrown away the key! Why interact with the world when we can have the whole thing with menial effort? Want to know Donald Trump's #1 secret to wealth? Want to know how the man simply made millions with this one simple sentence? Well, here it is in two easy steps:
- Learn to STFU and Listen!
- Realize that real, FACE TO FACE conversation is what is most valuable, and learn how to do it effectively!
So, I challenge you...Call up the person you are texting, facebook messaging, or Skyping. Seek to negotiate terms of salaries, contracts, and other agreements or negotiations in a face to face, sitdown style meeting. Teach yourself out of being an extra-oriented introvert!
Let me start off this new post with a bit of a disclaimer: I have nothing against Gray Cook, Brett Jones, and the Functional Movement Screen System that they have created. I know bits and pieces of it and institute some of what Gray talks about in the videos that are out there on the internet. I also thank Gray for creating a comprehensive system of judging the qualities of both mobility and stability.
With that being said, the world has begun to see a lot of people who taught around thinking they know a thing or two about how human beings are meant to move, but actually have little to no idea of what they are doing. I will admit that I suffer mildly from this, although I am better off than most since I do my homework on the subject; attempting to at least understand somewhat of the physiological jargon which is being spewed in my direction. Basically, I wade through it so that you don't have too...
That being said, there is a lot of stuff that you could really do without if you either don't have the patience, the time, or the money to invest in something as monumentally expensive as spending a weekend getting your FMS certification. Not to bash it, it is by far one of the most worthwhile endeavors that any trainer or individual can undertake if they want to learn something about human movement. But, I am also a realist when I say that most people want something for comparison with human movement that is effective, will tell even the slowest of all rednecks something about the movement of the body, and show relative inconsistencies in those movement patterns that can be corrected.
With that being said, one of the cheapest, most effective, and something i rely on heavily when I am gauging the relative mobility, stability, and relative proprioception is a proper Turkish Get-Up!
The modern accepted version of the Turkish Get-Up was actually put together and standardized by Gray Cook and Brett Jones, the creators of the FMS. A properly executed Get-Up literally utilizes almost every joint and muscle group in the body, and often reveals some of the standard imbalances that we can then structure drills around.
It will be far better if I showed you rather than told you:
Liz did a get-up too...while not the greatest in the world, she is miles from where she began with it. Here she is:
Well, there are a few things that I would like to point out with Liz's TGU that I didn't say in the video, for the sake of her stopping in mid-get up and giving me the death glare of a woman possessed that would instantly turn me to stone.
- As I pointed out in the video, Liz's heel is coming off the ground at various points in her get-up. This is bad news and could be resulting from a real myriad of factors. It could be an issue of motor control (aka her ankle just doesn't want to do that), which can be trained out through diligent practice. It could be that something up-river (mainly, in my observations, her knee) that is causing a trickle-down biomechanical nightmare that ends with her heel off the ground.
2. Liz's knee is a big issue that we work on over and over again when drilling the getup. Liz's knees like to magically bow in, which causes her to place most of her balance upon the "blade" of the outer foot. This is bad for balance, bad for rooting, and bad for core activation in the roll.
3. Liz doesn't get enough hip depth on her windshield wiper position (the position right before the lunge either up or down) and this is paired with a poor opening of the thoracic spine and poor shoulder packing.
If you see anything that I have missed, please feel free to hit it up in the comment section. I AM OFFERING ONE COMMENTATOR A CHANCE OF A LIFETIME!
1 LUCKY COMMENTATOR ON LIZ'S GET-UP WILL RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY 30-MINUTE VIDEO TECHNIQUE CRITIQUE WITH ME ON ANY TECHNIQUE YOU WANT!
This will be like having me do a personal training session with you from the comfort of your own home! I value my time with personal training at $100/hour, so that is a $50 VALUE!
I would like to share a testimonial with you from one of our lucky 4-Hour Chef winning contestants, Ryan Toshner. Ryan is an FMS, RKC II, SFG II trainer, who is also my mentor."Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general."
- Mark Rippetoe
I first met Pete a couple of years ago. In the time that I've known him, I've learned that the word "strong" is a great description for a number of his personal characteristics…
The first characteristic that "strong" describes is his will or commitment. Every story must have a starting point, and that point in this story is a time when Pete tipped the scales at 400 lbs. Now I met Pete well into his weight-loss journey (at just under 300 lbs), but I've also seen him continue to drop pounds like a bad habit. Today he's down over 140 lbs from his starting point. (Think about that for a second… That's the weight of a fully grown woman!) And he's done it by being committed to finding and willfully following effective training methods and eating habits.
Not simply satisfied by losing weight, Pete set his sights on earning the HKC kettlebell certification. This is the part of the story where his resilience and determination -- the second area defined by the term "strong" -- shined. Pete's technique on the basic kettlebell exercises tested at the HKC was decent when we first met, but they weren't quite "passable" caliber yet. Pete asked for and received a lot of constructive criticism on his technique from a number of RKC-certified instructors (myself included). Much of the feedback would have made most people retreat into the safety of their own shell… Pete, however, accepted the feedback with an open mind and thick skin and made the appropriate adjustments. The end result was the receiving of a certificate stating that he'd passed the HKC course…
Which leads me to the final way that "strong" describes Pete: his physical strength. At the time, successfully completing five pull-ups was a requirement for passing the HKC; that's no small feat for someone who still weighed over 270 lbs at the time. But he trained for the task, and as the HKC certificate states, he accomplished it. Not stopping there, in the same weekend Pete also strictly military pressed a 105-lb kettlebell with one hand… twice in a row! Either of these feats by themselves is relatively impressive, but accomplishing both of them together requires dedication and persistence in a training method and a VERY strong body.
To sum up: Pete knows his stuff. If you want to get strong, implement his suggestions. If you want to drop some pounds, implement his suggestions. If you want to be "harder to kill and more useful in general", you owe it to yourself to implement his suggestions.
- Ryan Toshner, CK-FMS, RKC II, SFG II
Feb 28, 2013
I will get to the topic and title of this post in due diligence, but first I must kind of set the background, give a briefing if you will...
Early in my life, my friends will tell you that I experimented with the ideas of my future career far more often than I did my homework. It would seem that every other day I would come up with a new idea of the life path that I would take. One day, I would want to be in the kitchen all my life as a chef, while the next I would wander down the road of emergency medicine as an EMT. I had quite the wild imagination as a youth.
Perhaps that grandiose notion of what I wanted to do with my life followed me all the way into college, where I went with (originally) a double major in English Literary Studies and Secondary Education. I found out rather swiftly that I really didn't care to be at the mercy of a bunch of smart-ass teenagers for the rest of my life. I actually kept my English major (I have been asked by many people in my new career path if there is something wrong with me or if I lost a bet).
Truth is, although I will tell you that I regret it some of the time, I really do enjoy my English degree and it will probably help me in the long run. I found out though, early in my sophomore year, that I would not want to be a desk jockey for the rest of my life (hopefully, with what you have read so far, you can agree that that would be a bad fit).
So, I did some soul searching and ultimately settled on policing. I, like the rest of America, saw the movie SWAT with Colin Farrell around this time.
I became instantly enthralled with the concept of being a SWAT officer...Kicking down doors and dragging the baddest of the bad to somewhere where they can't harm society anymore. Playing with some really bomb-ass toys. Getting to be considered the best of the best of the best.
I don't know about you, but I was always told in my athletic career that if you wanted to beat the best, you must out-train the best...And SWAT trains on a whole new level!
ENTER SWAT-STYLE FITNESS
See, what I realize is that to be part of such an elite team of police officers (which is my current goal), I would have to do a little bit more than fantasize about about what I saw in the movies...
I WAS GONNA HAVE TO PUT IN THE SWEAT EQUITY TO EVEN HAVE A CHANCE TO GET MY COVETED SWAT TITLE.
I MEAN...LOOK AT THESE GUYS!
*WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM DETAILS ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, THE INEXPERIENCED, OR YOUR AVERAGE WEEKEND WARRIOR*
So, I seriously thought to myself after doing some homework what a program would be that would set me above the rest of the people dreaming of M4's and Stage VI armor...We will use an EXTREMELY high intensity interval style of training using calisthenic exercises, kettlebells, barbells, and some other fun stuff...HERE ARE THE GROUND RULES:
- Since SWAT trains in full gear, so will you...45lb or greater weight vest is to be worn AT ALL TIMES
- In SWAT engagements, rest is a privilege...30 second rest MAXIMUM between each round, unless enumerated in the complex
- Learn how to man/woman up under pressure, SWAT don't make excuses...
Dan Gable, famous wrestling legend, once said that "Once you've wrestled, everything else is easy." Dan, however, did not have the horror of going through this program...guaranteed, this bastard will thoroughly kick your ass!!
Think I'm playin'? Think this isn't for real?
I challenge all my readers out there to try this workout then, and get back to me with how hard you got bitch-slapped into reality:Warmup: 5 rounds continuous (ie no rest)
15 Weighted Vest, Ass-to-Grass Squats--Superset with Weighted Vest Pullups until failureComplex 1: In The Trenches
Another 5 round complex, 30 sec rest between rounds
Men suggested to use 24kg bells...Women suggested to use 16kg bells
8 reps Double Kettlebell Clean and Press
8 reps Double Front SquatComplex 2: Firefight at Night
Since your legs are probably completely smoked by now, time to work the upper body a bit...Set the clock for 15 minutes, this is a duesy!
Keep the same bell size used for previous complex
20 Kettlebell Swing Burpees, preferably within 30 seconds (so...get em done)
30 second Goblet Squat Hold (Hold bell fully standing out in front like doing a goblet squat)
30 second rest
If this wasn't enough, I have an exit charge of 5x30secs of Hardstyle Plank with the Weighted Vest.
Rest as much as you want with this one.By the way, rest no more than 2 minutes between each complex
Like Pat Flynn's Great Destroyer
, I see this workout as my piece de resistance...my entrance into the creme de la creme of the Ol' Timey Strength Secrets Community. So, if you welcome a challenge, try it out! I challenge you to it, in fact. Let me know how it goes in the comment section!
Changing the Archetype: Big Pete's Guide to Becoming Iron through Full-Body Pressing is nearing completion and I am very excited to release to you the most comprehensive, detailed, and well-researched undertaking I have ever dedicated myself to. The methods and philosophy that are contained within this book are ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS in your pursuit for a press that will have you pushing heavy objects over your head with the greatest of ease. You will come to know pressing techniques and philosophy that many people ignore until they realize that they are being ROBBED OF THEIR TRUE PRESSING POTENTIAL.
Through the use of the techniques enumerated in this book, I have gone from struggling to press a 24kg (~53lb) bell to being able to press the BEAST...the 106lb, 48kg bell for multiple reps on both arms.
So, without further adieu, here is an insider, chapter by chapter look, at what this ebook is all about and how you can go about Changing the Archetype:
Chapter 1: Why the Press?
- In this chapter, I talk about why I chose to write an ebook on the press, and why I consider it to be one of the best primal movements for gaining total body strength. Together, we delve into human evolution and a discussion of the basic understanding of what it means to be a bipedal creature (one that stands on two feet), and how the press fits into those patterns.
Chapter 2: Defining the Archetype
- In this chapter, I begin by defining what is considered common, healthy practice with the press. I debunk many of the common theories of the muscle magazines along with turning up my nose to all the bozos who really have no idea what a press should and should not be. Sun Tzu says that to conquer one's enemy, one must know thine enemy in entirety...and therefore we must define what is NOT proper pressing before we dive into what IS good pressing.
Chapter 3: Roots, Bloody Roots
- In this chapter, we begin to discuss what truly makes a proper press that will create total body strength by beginning (very literally I might add) with the ground upon which you stand and, believe it or not, your feet. We will talk about the allusive concept of rooting, and I discuss the most basic, but yet most crucial philosophy you must employ before even picking up the weight! We will find out how people are ROBBING THEMSELVES OF POWER BEFORE THEY EVEN GET STARTED, SO YOU DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES!
Chapter 4: Stanky Legs, Awakened Booties
Moving up the body, we discuss the roll of the legs and glutes in the equation of the proper press. I talk about AWAKENING THOSE GLUTES THAT HAVE BEEN ASLEEP FOR FAR TOO LONG as well as why proper firing of the glutes matters. I also introduce another simple, yet effective strategy to make sure
Chapter 5: The Core of the Matter
In this, the longest chapter of the ebook, I revisit one of the things that I addressed in Chapter 2 when defining the archetype of the modern day press as an isolation exercise. I hold that the core, not the arms is the basis for all things heavy press. We discuss the concept behind the deep, inner core, diaphragmatic breathing, and a technique so well hidden away by pressing officianados that, using this concept, I WAS ABLE TO PRESS 48KG'S OVER MY HEAD WITH EASE! This secret so revolutionized the way I think about pressing that I have used it time and again with clients who, just using this one technique, have sky-rocketed past previous PR's!
Chapter 6: The Super Muscles
Master SFG instructor Mark Reifkind once called the lats the "super muscles" when they get involved in a proper overhead press. In this chapter, I weigh in with my two cents worth about proper lat activation throughout the press to both explode your numbers, exponentially increase your limit strength, and keep your shoulders safe.
Well, there you have it...the rundown of Changing the Archetype...BUT I AM FAR FROM FINISHED WITH THE BENEFITS OF THIS BOOK!
With the book, you will also receive 3 BONUS CHAPTERS on Pressing Variations, My Thoughts on Bilateral Overhead Pressing, and Programming the Press
We here at Ol' Timey Strength Secrets are 100% committed to your fitness and nutritional success. We hope that this ebook helps you reach your ultimate pressing goals!
~Big Pete HKC, founder and chief author