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Saturday, October 30, 2010

NEW SCHEDULE...and the importance of goal setting

Saturday's Pain Clinic was awesome.... below is a picture of Garret's "mangina" face

Hey guys....we are going to a new schedule to better accommodate you all. Here's the major changes..instead of the standard classes being offered at 7pm, they will now be offered at 6pm across the board (Mon-Thurs). We will offer an additional class at 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays. We are only doing one intro class per week at 5pm on Wednesdays. We are starting the new schedule this Monday...

Monday -
6:00pm - 7:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning 
7:00pm - 8:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Tuesday -
6:00pm -7:00pm -Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Wednesday -
12pm - PSKC Running Clinic with Ann Marie
5:00pm - 6:00pm - Kettlebell Intro 
6:00pm - 7:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Thursday -
6:00pm -7:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning
7:00pm - 8:00pm- Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Saturday - 
11:00am - noon - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Also we are starting the Block program at PSKC (Carrie was the brainchild behind this, such an awesome idea). If you are a regular you get your own block in the what is the block for?
It's your block to write and/or decorate accordingly, it's your way to take ownership of the club and your goals..(you can see the extent of my artistic skills). More importantly it's a visual reminder and historical record of your performance related goals. The key word here is "performance related"...I don't want the BS "lose 10 lbs" goals...I want the goals that will make you better at life...becoming stronger, faster, tougher...those are the goals we want achieved and up on the blocks. 

Every day you come in it's a reminder to keep working hard until you reach your goal. Once you reach your goal, you put a * beside it with the date you achieved it, then it's onto your next goal...after my muscle up it's now onto deadlifting over twice my bodyweight. There's nothing that would make me happier than to see a bunch of grey cinder blocks, scribbled on like an insane asylum...all historical records of people reaching their goals.  


Friday, October 29, 2010

Changing the Schedule..Again

It seems earlier in the evening is a better fit for we are in the process of changing the schedule again to better accommodate the members. Instead of offering the standard class times at 7; we are considering moving them up to 6. So this means Mon-Thursday we will offer class at 6...Monday and Tuesday we will also offer at 7pm to help split the numbers up. Also we will only be offering the intro class one day a week, still nailing that day and time down. I'm still waiting on feedback, so stay tuned over the weekend. We will start the new schedule this Monday. Tomorrow the Pain Clinic will go down at 11am.  

Not being a good writer is a blessing and a curse...not knowing you're a good writer, however means you can recognize good stuff when you see it. I bring you Station HERE .. this guy has a great gift. Below is a and enjoy. I will see you all at 11am on Saturday....


I remember a poster.

A simple picture, with simple words.

Let reality be the grindstone on which you sharpen your hatred.

Better yet, your fear.

Your will.

You must be willing to smash your dreams and grind them into dust, a fine grit on which to hone your tools. The better for cutting. Cutting past the bullshit. cutting past excuses. Cutting to the heart of the matter. The reason we push. The reason we suffer. The reason we refuse to glide through life on the well worn path. The reason we choose the hard. The hurt. The wrench.

because f@#k him. F@#k them. That's why.

We work hard because we know we don't have to. We are angry because we know we could roll over with a whimper and people would tell us that its ok. We work hard as an act of revenge upon the pieces of ourselves that want to be average. We work to become more than what we are.

We work our tools. Flesh and soul. Fear. Anger. Love. Compassion. Parts of a whole. Tools we learn. Tools we use. Strength and flexibility. Power and endurance. Speed. Agility. Of body and of mind. Parts of a whole. Pieces. Reflections of the work we have done. Of the promises we have made, and the ones we have broken.

We work to take responsibility. To claim our birthright. To remove the useless material. To grind down the conditioning that was forced upon us. To hone our sense of self, and learn to respect the edge. This tool requires a deft hand. requires patience and restraint and the willingness to act at the required moment without hesitation.

This is why we work. This is why we fight. This is why we push. The pain. The hours. The price we pay. We are all creatures of our own making. We are dealt a hand, for better or worse, but it is how we play that exposes us for who and what we are. Our choices, not our gifts.

It is about definition.

And when the time comes, when the moment has consequences, we can stand and face them. Face them with the knowledge of a sculptor. Of an artist who has touched every piece. Who has handled and honed. Who has shaped each part with purpose. With knowledge and perspective. We can throw ourselves into the challenge, and regardless of the outcome, grow.

-the station.
raise the bar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


When Portsmouth was home to business and industry...a strong community. Not the festering wound of weakness and ineffective leadership that it currently is...
Sometimes "the man" aka my real job requires me to travel. It sucks because I'm away from you all at PSKC...but based on all the feedback I'm getting, you guys may not want me to come back due to how awesome Mo has been doing... :)

But the one thing I do look forward to while on being at CF Legion, my adopted home.

Say what you want and all you haters can talk junk about Crossfit. My personal opinion is that is awesome...although we are not a Crossfit Affliate and don't subscribe 100% to their method of training as we are more of a kettlebell specific facility (kettlebells will always be my true love and bread and butter). I still have a lot of love and respect for what Crossfit is doing and getting people to break away from the conventional gym mindset. Also, had I not been introduced to Crossfit while serving in the Army, I would have never been introduced to my addiction to kettlebell training. Not to mention that my kettlebell certification is through Jeff Martone owner of Tactical Athlete and Crossfit's kettlebell guru. So you can obviously see which side of the fence I stand on...

But to me the most critical thing Crossfit offers is a sense of welcoming community. I've been to a couple of Crossfit Affliates across the country and I've yet to run into an asshole or had a bad experience. Now granted, some are better than others...I'm just lucky to have found an awesome place like Crossfit Legion. My ass has thoroughly been kicked this week...but that's only a part of it. In addition to being smoked, I've met and trained with some pretty awesome people (Shana, Kirstin, Henry, Justin, Natti, etc..) and they're always happy to see me when I drop in...can't thank you guys enough!

This sense of community is exactly what we offer at PSKC....

So how and why does this sense of community exist and why are assholes almost non-existent at PSKC and Crossfit Affliates? Very simple...the fact is this style of training is tough demanding work; where it's impossible to have egos.

There might be a couple "one hitter quitters"...guys/gals who come in..get annihilated, get out liftted and out performed....get embarassed and leave. That is the best thing...we are very anti-dousche bag. If you're looking to flex in front of the mirror...we ain't for you. Hell, we don't even own mirrors. If you're not looking to dial in...focus..bring the intensity...empty whatever you got in the the absolute best you can be on that given moment in time...we ain't for you either. We don't want your weakness, the Life Center will gladly take your money...I won't.

Another important factor is the common bond shared amongst the family at PSKC. We all suffer equally...yes weights, times, and exercises are modified and scaled accordingly but we all bring the same effort. We all go through the same hardship...TOGETHER. That's why some pretty awesome friendships have developed within our walls. You might be a stranger coming in the first day or two..but if you come back and give all you will forever be welcomed here. You are exactly who've been looking for.
Those who remain...those who come in day and day out, week after week...are the people we want...this is the COMMUNITY we need back in Portsmouth. A community of tough minded, physically and mentally strong, fun loving people...this is what Portsmouth is in dire need of....for far too long Portsmouth has been dominated by weakness and inaction. I don't think you will find anyone to argue the fact that Portsmouth has steadily been on the decline the last 30 years...the town is dying of weakness. It's time to stop bitching and start acting...

Let these workouts awaken your spirit to the fact that you don't have to be imprisoned by the walls of your own self-limitation. Within in your skull lies the strongest muscle in your body...but it must be stressed and continually tested to become become better. As Mark Twight always says..."the mind is primary". Once you learn to release the parking break from your mind...the world is yours to take. But you must always subject yourself to constant challenges and struggle...only then you will know you can overcome then.

Let these workouts carry over into your personal stop living life passively. Let them be a vehicle to something greater...something that will help yourself and help others around grow a stronger community. You can choose can choose can choose action..or you can choose inaction, but you will always have a choice. Choose, your family, your COMMUNITY...all are in need of strength...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real Food

Today we focused on strength by going heavy with double kettlebell thrusters coupled with Pullups...

Here is a vid of UFC fighter Diego Sanchez going through the similiar movements while being coached by kettlebell great, Steve Maxwell. Although the purpose of Diego's work was conditioning, you can still see how the movements work...

Then everybody went through a nasty finisher of swings and box jumps..

100 swings/10 box jumps
75 swings/20 box jumps
50 swings/30 box jumps
25 swings/40 box jumps

Brutal and ugly....keep coming back for more guys. Tomorrow the whole workout will be focusing on kettlebell strength with a little rope climbing action.

PS...look who made Crossfit Legion's HERE

What should you eat?...REAL FOOD. Below is copied from Mark's Daily Apple click HERE

It’s Time to “Get Real”

Dear readers, it’s time to get real.

I realize that most of you probably don’t think you need a lecture. You may not need any further motivation. You’re eating good, whole foods, getting daily exercise, and things are going well. For the most part, Grok gazes upon you with twinkling, approving eyes. But what of newcomers? What of the average doughy citizen happily bumbling along in blissful ignorance, unaware that his or her dietary habits and devotion to Conventional Wisdom might actually be counterproductive to those goals implicit in all forms of life, great or small? Survival, contentedness, and prosperity. Surely he deserves a harsh check of reality.

And even Grok stumbles. Even the most zealous adherents of the Primal Blueprint falter, or even relapse. Maybe they start taking advantage of the office snack stash on a regular basis. A few Twix can’t hurt, right? (Every day? Yeah, they can.) Or maybe they swing by the drive-thru because they put off grocery shopping that week. (Enjoy your microwaved pseudo-meat product flanked by enriched flour patties and plastic cheese.) Hell, even I’ve made that split-second decision – half-out the door, bedecked in workout gear, mind dreading the pain to come – to put off exercise for momentary comfort.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional foray into our old ways, especially if the situation necessitates it (starving on a business trip in some far-off town with nothing but fast food joints open, or taking a day off to rest an overworked body). Just be wary of man’s unique ability to justify anything. We’ll eat vegetables chips and swear they’re healthy. We’ll order a light Frappucino and convince ourselves it’s cool (never mind that sugary sweet syrup concoction coating your mouth afterward). Call it self-delusion, cognitive dissonance, or just plain lying to yourself – we all do it, we’re great at it, it’s a coping mechanism, but it’s ultimately harmful and impedes progress in the Primal Blueprint. Because once we justify and rationalize a counterproductive behavior, we’re all the more likely to continue said behavior.
“Just one more day…”
“Just this once…”
“Last time. Promise…”

Sound familiar? When you’re promising stuff to yourself and convincing yourself that the lies you’re spewing are to be trusted (and falling for it!)… it’s time to GET REAL.
Consider this, then, a wake-up call. (If you’re diligent and secure, exempt yourself – but even then, you’d be selling yourself short. There’s always room for improvement. Thinking otherwise leads to stagnation.) A wake up call to the beginners, a wake up call to our most loyal readers. Let’s even consider it a wake up call to me, Mark, to get and stay serious about eating right and working out correctly. Following the direction of our evolutionary genetics is a beautifully simple endeavor, but it takes diligence and dedication nonetheless.
Are you prepared to re-up on the Primal Blueprint? If so, these should help you maintain composure and stay the course.
Get Real Meat

Eat real, actual meat. You want a slab of beef untouched by preservatives, by antibiotics, by hormones, and by soy feed. You want a whole roasted chicken so you can crack open the bones and suck the marrow. Eat clean, wild fish and pick out the rib bones. Most importantly, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that greasy little Slim Jim you picked up at the gas station on the way home from work that oozes slimy nitrites with every bite is real meat. Nor are, for that matter, the treated cold cuts, the bargain bin bacon that miraculously survives for months in your fridge, and that pepperoni you pick off your spouse’s pizza. Get real meat, folks.
Get Real Vegetables
Don’t eat corn (on the cob, popped, or otherwise prepared – it’s actually a grain!), potatoes (although sweet potatoes and yams are decent in moderation), vegetable tempura (don’t let that flaky, crispy batter fool you), or veggie chips (the chubby vegetarian’s best friend). And President Reagan may have once proclaimed it a vegetable, but ketchup is definitely not a good choice – it’s loaded with so much corn syrup, sodium, and other pseudo-foods that the tomato can scarcely be detected. Instead, load up on the stuff that you know to be good. Broccoli, greens of all kinds, cauliflower (mash it up for a superior potato substitute), carrots (hold the cake), peppers, tomatoes (real ones), squash, and eggplant (among numerous others) work quite well.
Get Real Fruit

And get realistic amounts of it. Fruit was a luxury for Grok, a seasonal delicacy. He wasn’t slurping sherbet-based smoothies every morning, nor was he munching on apples engineered for maximum sugar content. When you eat fruit try to stick to organic. Rather than drink juice or smoothies (albeit, a better choice), try to eat whole fruits. They’ll fill you up faster. Also go easy on the dried fruit; it’s great in a pinch and on hikes (mixed with nuts), but you’ll fill up on sugar before you notice it because it’s so concentrated. As always, berries are best.
Get Real Nuts

Lose the peanuts, the candy-coated almonds, the caramel-fudge-encrusted macadamia nuts, those clusters of candy and nuts masquerading as healthy snacks (they may have exotic spices like anise and cayenne, but they’re still covered in a fine sheen of syrup). Eat real nuts and seeds instead: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp. And please – do not eat those dried crispy soybeans.

Get Real Fat

Though that header could be easily misconstrued, what I mean is that you need to get real sources of good fat in your diet. Avoid the processed, hydrogenated (partially or totally), trans garbage. You should be eating real animal fat (lard, tallow), olive oil and fats from avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds, and good cuts of meat (eat that crispy chicken skin!). If you’ve bought into the widespread ridiculous fear of fat in favor of artificial vegetable oils, margarines, and other disgusting lab creations, you need to get real.

Get Real About Grains

CW likes to tout grains as “the staff of life” – the foundation for the human diet. Deep down, you know better. You know that the best alternative to grains is eating real food our bodies were designed to eat. Meat, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and fats are highly superior to grains, and they don’t require loads of processing, heating, pressing, fermenting, soaking, or any other tampering just to be digestible. Get real about the Primal Blueprint, stay off the grains for a few months, and you’ll forget all about your former masters.

Get Real Workouts

The success and effectiveness of your workout depends on the enthusiasm with which it’s assailed. Don’t half ass your sprint day at 60% intensity when you know you need to be going 100%. Don’t show up at the gym when you’re supposed to max your squat if you’re not serious about it. Use these days for rest, play or some low level aerobic activity (think long walks/hikes or an easy bike ride) instead and you’ll still be perfectly Primal. Then, when you’re ready, regroup and give it your all. Otherwise, malaise or even injury can easily set in. Get real about what you’re up for, then do it! Oh, and if you’re counting your walk out to your mailbox and back as your workout of the day you seriously need to get real.

Get Real About Your Goals

First of all, get some real goals. Get out a piece of paper (or blog, or Word doc, whatever) and figure out what you’re working toward. Be honest with yourself, and don’t expect the impossible. I am a strong believer in one’s ability to control their gene expression, reprogram their body, and become a healthier individual, but you aren’t going to sprout a few more inches no matter how many reps you do or vegetables you eat.

That said, never sell yourself short. Push yourself to the limit, and don’t use common excuses – “most of my family is slightly overweight” or “my dad never was really that muscular” or “I’m too old to start over” – to avoid making changes in your life. Your ability to seize control of your life, your body, and your health is real. You just have to do it. Ewald (Otto’s identical twin) did.

I hope all of this wasn’t too harsh. Chalk it up to a little tough love follow-up to yesterday’s “Excuses” post. I think it’s important to have a call to action every now and then. And it’s not like I told you something you didn’t know. You know these are the keys to living a long, healthy life. You know eating the right food and getting daily exercise will pay dividends – today, tomorrow, and in thirty years. Don’t relegate yourself to a future of walkers, brittle bones, sagging guts (and spirits), and doctor visits, all because it was easier to delude yourself and take the easy route. Instead, get real about your abilities, about your goals, about your lifestyle, and about your body.

Good luck!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Being Consistent..

I wonder why Coach Mo had to do 60 burpees?? Feel free to ask her the next time you see her..

Today's work consisted of a triple triplet: We combine 3 exercises (triplet) at three different stations (triple)..and we establish a time limit..

In this's 20 seconds non-stop of the 3 exercises back to back to back and you keep going for a total of 3 minutes, rest around a minute and half in between each station, then cycle through the whole 2 times.

Soo here were the triplets;

Kettlebell Swings, Goblet Squat, Push Press

Wall Ball, Slam Ball, Pushups

Weighted Situps, 1/2 Burpees, Moutain Climbers

A smoker indeed....

Nothing happens overnight...if it's worth a damn; odds are it's going to be a long grueling process to get there. But that's okay...that's what makes it so much sweeter when you get there. Am I talking about any one thing in particular? No...and yes. I will explain later. But here is my pain point...GET YOUR ASS TO CLASS.

I could not ask for a better group of people who attend PSKC. We've been at this thing for almost 2 months now, and it's exceeded my wildest expectations. You guys are awesome and it really is a pleasure to be around you all each and every opportunity I get...but I'm selfish, I want to see more of you guys.

Now, I know family, jobs, schedules, life..can get in the way of coming to the gym. And if you guys have valid excuses that is pefectly fine. And I know (unfortunately) we don't offer as many classes as I would like (I have a "real" job too)...but if/when you can't make it I hope you are at least doing something when you're not here. The point of this post is to talk to those who don't have a valid excuse, those who would rather take the easy road out and are just popping in 1-2 times a week.

You guys know I will always be honest with you...if all you're doing is training 1-2 times a week you will never see the results and the kind of performance you are capable of. At a minimum I should be seeing you all 3 times a week, if you're not actively involved in some other form of physical training. And guess what 20 minutes on the elipitical coupled with 3 sets of bicep curl doesn't constitute physical training either. The ultimate goal is to be at PSKC 4-5 days a week. Simply put after the first week or two... 1 or 2 times a week ain't gonna cut it if you want to get better. Furthermore, guess what happens when you're not at the gym fighting the good are getting weaker, slower, and softer. CONSITENCY IS KEY.

It's just like nutrition and eating are only fooling yourself and ultimately lying to yourself if you eat good 1-2 times a week and then shoveling processed poisonous junk into your mouth the other 5-6 days out of the week. You have got to make a consistent effort to eat quality foods day in and day out. Is it easier to pull into McDonalds, instead of cooking healthy meals...yes it is. But that's because you're been addicted to that crap all your life and you're looking for the cheap and easy way's like smoking in restaurants and bars.

Remember back in the "good ole days", when people could light up and inhale cancer in a public setting a few years back? That's all we knew, so it really wasn't that big of a deal because we were conditioned to the second hand smoke and wonderful smell of chemically enhanced carcinogens. But have you traveled to a state where it's still legal to smoke in a bar/restaurant recently? You almost can't breathe when you walk into the place..then the smell gets embedded in your clothes, hair, skin...and you think why in the hell do people do that? You honestly feel ill...Why? Because now you are accustomed to breathing healthy air...they way it should be.

It's the same way with what you eat and how you exercise. If you give yourself 2-3 weeks of making a hard and honest effort to eat clean and exercise intensely...I guarantee there is no way you can go back to the way you used to live. Eating that chemically processed shit will make you feel sick, heavy, and weak. I know from me. On my cheat day (days as it has been recently), I go full throttle...then I always end up cussing my idiot self for having done it.

The same for exercise, if you've come to a few classes you guys know what it is to truly work hard, and when the workout is all said and done...and you're laying on your back in a pile of shaking know without a doubt you accomplished something.

Now I want you to imagine going back to the way you used to "work out"; or go watch people in a conventional will think...there is no way I'm going to do a circuit of machines and then read a magazine for 20 minutes. Like I are the only one who is fooling yourself and you're the only one who is ultimately responsible for what do you need to do? Very simple....


You've got to be consistent...will it be hard work, bet your ass it will be. But that's the beautiful part about it...that's exactly the kind of people we attract at PSKC. Its what will make each and every victory so sweet and worthwhile. If it was easy...would there be any worth attached to it? To have the've got to have the sour.

Very soon we are going to start tracking goals at the gym...whether it's your first pull up...swinging the 88 pounder...first ring dip...whatever...we're going to start asking and then start tracking. The only way to reach them is through consistent hard work...we'll be there with you every step of the way...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A look inside PSKC

A look inside the walls of PSKC and a little bit of what we are all about...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

America's Military..10 years at War

Great crew this morning for the weekly Saturday Pain Clinic. We broke out some new tricks and subjected everyone to 4 X 6 minute partner suffering stations of:

Sandbag Getups 2 X weak and strong side
Partner 2 completed kettlebell waiter walks

Burpee Broad Jumps X 8
Partner 2 completed traveling slamball

Swings X 15
Partner 2 dead hang

Goblet Squats X 10
Parnter 2 completed plank knees to elbows
And to think Primetime almost didn't make it this morning
Mac, executing text book form at the top of slamball

A perfect example of the new warrior class in America..

Since it's the weekend and we have a little time to think; I came across this great article (click HERE) that discusses America at War in the 10th year. It's very similar to the 5710 post....(click HERE). Please take a little time to read the full article, I will copy and paste pieces I found interesting below...

This is an Army that, under the pressure of combat, has turned inward, leaving civilian America behind, reduced to the role of a well-wishing but impatient spectator. A decade of fighting has hardened soldiers in ways that civilians can't share. America respects its warriors, but from a distance.
The consequences of this unique milestone in American history are many -- the rise of a new warrior class, the declining number of Americans in public life with the sobering experience of war, the fading ideal of public service as a civic responsibility.
But above all, I think, is a perilous shrinking of common ground, the shared values and knowledge and beliefs that have shaped the way Americans think about war. Without it, how will soldiers and civilians ever see this war and its outcome in the same way? Are those faded "Support the Troops'' magnets enough to guide us through what is likely to be the murky and unsatisfactory conclusions and aftermaths of this era's conflicts?

Take a look and read the rest of the will be well worth your time. The good news is that once these soldiers are finished with their military careers, they will return to the civilian world and provide the kind of leadership and experience that towns and cities across America are in dire need of right now.

 These men and women are amazing on their 3rd, 4th, 5th deployments and reenlisting for more. Why? Ask them why....before you form your opinion of the war(s) through listening to politicians or the these men and women out and ask them. The ones who have and do live it...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday's Recap

We started with 5 people attending the intro..great to continue to see the new faces getting introduced to PSKC. Big props to Eric, Aaron, Amy, Jill, and Luann. It was great having you all.

Then we instructed everyone on the turkish get up. It can be somewhat technical to learn, but everyone got through it and learned to stay tight, focus on the bell, and tie their body together. It was great to see some of the veterans rock the 70 and 88lb bells...big congrats to Shep, Garett, Dave, and Monica.

After spending some time learning and executing the TGU. We went into the finisher:
3 rounds of:
4X TGU weak and strong arm
40 swings

The point wasn't to end in a heaving pile of sweat (that was yesterday), but to learn how to execute the TGU under physical stress.
Attempting the 115 barbell get-up. Didn't quite make it, but it will come soon


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Big thanks to coaches Dave and Monica for kicking ass while I've been out due to my real job. Rest assured I've missed you all tremendously and I'm and hungry to get back to PSKC!

Now that we have a little more mat space, it's time to get down (or up I should say) with some turkish get ups. If you had to choose only one exercise you could only do for the rest of your life, you'd be hard pressed not to choose the get up. There's nothing that develops full body coordination and strength quite like the old school get up. Not only is a great full body strength exercise, but it's truly amazing for its rehab capabilities especially for the shoulders.

We'll spend a fair amount of time drilling this movement down for the beginners as the veterans will be spending some time trying to reach new heavy rep maxes. So come ready at 7pm to learn one of the best full body movements there is, you won't be disappointed.

So get ready for tomorrow by doing some homework today.  Take notes from Jeff Martone, as he shows you how.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday's Success...

Chris at the end of the workout
Father Daughter Burpees..

Around 20 people showed up for a great workout and donated over $500 was raised for the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund. It was a partner workout in the "you go, I go" format (e.g. partner 1 must complete all reps as partner 2 rests). So here's the breakdown
3 rounds of
21 wall ball
21 jumping pullups
21 weighted situps
21 moving planks

*Also you had complete 2 X around the block farmers carry during the workout
*At the end of the 3rd round you and your teammate completed 21 burpees together to finish it out

21 reps of everything represented the age that Steven unexpectedly passed away.

We were fortunate enough to have Steven's father Mark Hunter at the gym to watch and support everyone through the workout. Thank you guys very much for helping out!!

We are all geared up for another great week of training, can't wait to see you all again!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund Workout

Unfortunately I did not have the privledge of knowing Steven Hunter personally. However, fortunately a good friend of mine (Kevin MacDonald) did, he was one of Hunter's good friends in high school. I asked him to provide a little information about who Steven was and what he was all about. The below passage is directly from Kevin...

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future".
            Steven was the epitome of living life to the fullest possible measure, at any time he could be into ten different things. He was a man of many faces and, all those faces had his big toothy smile on them. Steven was an extremely generous and caring person; he didn’t want anybody to be left out of anything. He had a huge heart.
            I consider my friendship with Steven Hunter a highlight of my life. Steve and I knew each other since 6th grade but, we didn’t become close until around our senior year at PHS. Hunter convinced me to drive across the country (Portsmouth to Utah and back) with him and 4 other guys crammed in a Jeep Cherokee on the last week of school. The plan was to have 4 guys do it, all I said was that sounded really awesome, and before I knew it he wanted me to go. He didn’t care how much room there was in that jeep, he was going to get me to come along. That’s just the type of person he was. When I look back at everything that has happened I am so grateful to Hunter for making room and dragging all 5 of us across the country. In his short time here he touched many people either as Captain Trojan or himself he was sure to make you laugh and smile.
            The line from Horace could not fit any better. The loss of Steve was very hard for his close friends and to this day whenever there is a group of us together his name always manages to come up and a smile comes across everyone’s face. Steve is still with all of us.  

Thank you Kev. The workout will begin promptly at 11am at the gym. We are opening our doors to the public, the workout will not be very technical but it will be tough. The workout is free however, I only ask you donate whatever you feel is worthy to the cause. A big thanks to Lara and Kelly for championing this cause. The workout on Saturday is supporting their marathon fundraiser for the Steven Hunter Hope Fund
 All donations go directly to the Steven A Hunter Hope Fund (click HERE), . more importantly it goes directly to the kids of Portsmouth City Schools. 
"The goal of the Steven A Hunter Hope Fund is to establish a perpetual fund for the benefit of the students of the Portsmouth City Schools with financial needs. Poverty can have a devastating effect on the ability of children to learn and achieve. The fund provides for shoes, coats, clothing, school supplies, college entrance exam and ACT/SAT fees, lab fees, field trip/excursion fees, tutoring, limited eye or dental exams & treatment, etc. "
So come prepared to honor Steven's memory, donate money, and train as if it was last day.

Getting after it..

the men of Troy getting introduced to burpees
A great day at PSKC. Big thanks to Coach Rhea of Portsmouth's basketball team..he brought the boys down to work on their explosiveness, teamwork, and mental toughness. To show what kind of coach Coach Rhea is, he was right there alongside his kids training with them, the epitome of leading by example. It was an honor to have those kids in the gym, I look forward to working with young men again. As long as you keep putting forth the effort you all did tonight, you will always be welcome.

warm up - the calm before the storm
After finishing up with the Trojan basketball team, we went right into the regular 7pm madness. We did a Blue Falcon type workout, but changed it up a bit by cutting the rounds in half but making everyone cycle through twice.
3 total minutes of pressing combined with overhead lockouts
The end result looks something like this....

See you guys Saturday at 11 for the Steven Hunter workout

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Week So Far and Henry Rollins..

What happens when you mix chalk, kids, and kettlebells....

Trying to do a better job of keeping up with the here is my attempt to recap the action so far and provide some good info.

Monday's focus was to work heavy kettlebell swings, we got warmed up by introducing partner spike swings

Then we also worked on rope climbing here is some home work to reinforce what you learned. It's all about the foot lock:

After the heavy swings and rope climbs...we finished with a 12 minute AMRAP of:
8 X kb clean & press each arm
16 X air squats
10 X hindu pushups
* 2 X Gate Sprints were thrown in for good measure. The below photos show how effective the clean and press can be...

Tonight was about working through a double kettlebell complex that involved 6 reps of the following without setting the bell down:

After that we set the clock for 2 minutes and tried to see how many reps of the following movements could be performed
Box Jumps
rest 2 min
Bear Crawls
rest 2 min
rest 2 min
rest 2 min

Very potent if performed with an all out sprint mentality....

Finally, to go along with the nutrition post from a few days ago, I bring you Henry Rollins and his rant against McDonalds....if I could possess half the intensity and half the intellect of ole Hank I would consider myself a very lucky man

As those who know me, know I'm a big fan of Rollins' music and spoken word. I may not agree with him on every issue, but one thing I will never fault him on is his intensity for life. Below is one my Rollins' passages..

IRON, from Details Magazine
By Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.


When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me "garbage can" and telling me I'd be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn't run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn't going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you'll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn't think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn't even drag them to my mom's car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.'s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn't looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn't want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn't know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn't say shit to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything. That's the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can't be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn't ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you're not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn't see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you're made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it's some kind of miracle if you're not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What to eat..

Full Disclaimer:
I'm not qualified and/or smart enough to tell you what to eat. But I'm smart enough to know where to get the info from, so the purpose of this post is to provide the websites to you so you can learn for yourselves. More importantly, in order to avoid sounding like a hypocrite, I fall off the wagon more than I should when it comes to eating clean. However, my dietary habits have evolved significantly over the last year, and my performance and general well being has increased (and the pant size has decreased).  So when you see getting my chicken wings and Miller Lite on, it will make sense in the context of this "diet".

On to the business:
Have you ever picked up and read the "ingredients" on the stuff you shovel in your mouth? Odds are you can't pronounce it and you don't know what it is. This includes so called healthy meals like Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, any other crap out ask yourself this question. Why the hell would you physically ingest something you don't know what it is?

This lifestyle is not about a "diet", the word diet assumes it's a short term thing you will suffer through and give up at a later date. What I'm looking for is to change the way you look at food and how you eat. Let's face it, if you take a look at the American Diet, it's made for convenience and it's made to be cheap. It's caters to the increasing growing numbers of fat, weak, and lazy people in this country.
So what we should we eat...the answer is very simple. ALL NATURAL FOODS.

Here is your rule of thumb to follow; if you couldn't kill it or pick it...don't eat it. Very simple. The only problem is that if you are like me, you are addicted to the poisonous crap you've been fed your entire your life. And that's exactly what it is an addiction. You're addicted to sugar above all, and it will take time to kick this thing in the ass. So you're going to have to do your research and arm yourself in this fight.

What I prescribe is more along the lines of the Paleo/Primal/Caveman way of eating. Click HERE to start your journey into what the Paleo diet is.

Mark's Daily Apple is another great resource for following the Primal way - click HERE

Finally, here is a motivating website to start a 30 day challenge - click HERE

In closing here are some general tips to start out...

1) Change your food quality. Stay on the outsides of the grocery store and stick to it fresh, all natural, and organic foods. If you eat crap, you look like crap, and perform like crap, you will be ill.

2) Eat meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Try to eat them together at every meal. God provided these things to the earth for you to eat. Don't really think God wanted us to bathe in high fructose corn syrup and various other cancer causing agents...but it will always be your choice.

3) Don't starve yourself.  If you're maintaining an active lifestyle you need calories...but you need QUALITY calories, not empty calories. Eat until you're full, but don't gorge yourself, you shouldn't be walking around feeling bloated.

4) Drink water, then drink some water. How much water, lots of it. When you pee, it should be clear.

5) Stick to the 80-85/20-15 rule...try to eat clean 80-85% of the time. But allow yourself to cheat 15-20% of the time. If you truly stick to it, you might think you want to eat cake, chicken wings, and donuts...but you will feel sick afterwards. Saturdays are my cheat days...and I cheat like I train..with a crap ton on intensity and fun. I always pay for it come Sunday/Monday, but it allows me to reset and remember why I eat healthy.

6) The only supplements you really need are fish oil, and you need lots of it. Why? Click HERE

Bottom line is your health is your responsibility and your choice. The workouts will only get you so far, but take the toughness you're learning in the gym and put it to use with your food choices. It's not complicated, but that doesn't mean it's easy. After you do this religiously for a month, I promise you, you won't want to go back to the way you used to eat.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week in Review...

Ann after 10 minutes of kettlebell snatches, we don't encourage ripping of the flesh. But what we do encourage is Ann's attitude of fighting through the rest of a workout with a ripped callus. 
Another great week in the books at PSKC and we'll end properly at tomorrow's weekly Saturday Pain Clinic at 10am.

Monday's action consisted of:
15 seconds of work/ 15 seconds rest for 8 minutes at each station of:
KB Snatch weak hand/stronghand
Slamball and Box Jumps
Wall Ball and Mountain Climbers
Ashley immediately after her last rep

Tuesday and Wednesday we needed to honor those who have sacrificed so much for us...for more info please see the 5710 post on the blog....

Yesterday we finished up with skill work on ring dips and tire flips, followed by setting the clock at 2 minutes and performing the following:
20 swings
10 goblet squats
10 V-Ups
5 Pushups

The faster you got done, the more time you had to rest. At the end of 2 minutes, the clock started over and you had to repeat it all over again. We did this for 18 minutes.

Tomorrow will be the standard partner suffering Pain Clinic format...we will start the enlightenment at 10am, so we can all watch the Bucks at noon. Remember next Saturday, October 16th we are holding a free workout for the Steven Hunter Hope Fund. This is being championed by PSKC members Lara (aka Lil L) and Kelly (aka Diesel)...the workout will be free and open to the public. We only ask for donations for the cause, we are trying to reach a goal of $500...please give. know I got to leave you with a little something. I picked this up from the Underground Strength Coach, Zach Even-Esh. What excuses are you still making in your life?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


5710...what does this number mean to you?

Okay, now ask yourself one of these questions

  1. Name 2 people from the cast of Dancing with the Stars.
  2. Name 2 people from the cast of the Jersey Shore
Could you do it? Could you name more than 2 from each? 

Now go to this website..Faces of the Fallen

5710, that's the current number of fatalities from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Now here's the most important question. Can you name 2 people from that list? What do you know about them? Have you talked to their families? Have you hugged them, cried with them, thanked them for their son/daughter's service? How has their loss impacted you or your family? Honestly, have you even noticed? We are a nation at war, but has this impacted you at all? 

After listening to Brad McKee at The Disposable Heroes Project ; it motivated me to do a similar workout at PSKC to honor the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives and who have been wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. How do you honor sacrifice? You sacrifice give the only thing that is worthy in order to try and feel, to understand....their suffer, plain and simple you suffer. You put your mind and body through torture in order to try and touch a small piece of what our wounded men and women go through on a daily basis. You honor sacrifice with sacrifice...plain and painfully simple. 

Here is how we suffered..
5 rounds of:
Block Run
40 step ups
25 knees to elbows
25 swings
25 burpee pullups 

It was long, it sucked, some puked, some physically shed blood and a few tears...all suffered but everyone made it through. Not all workouts are like this and nor should they be. Typically we are laughing and cracking jokes at the gym while working hard. But sometimes, serious lessons need to be provided. When some started to get tired, to want to quit...they were instructed to look at the board where 5710 was boldly displayed...they didn't quit on you, so don't quit on them.
Preston after his last burpee, finishing the workout
One of the toughest women on the West Side, Tonya...showing what it means to suffer

How can you help? Go to these websites and please give to the following organizations

Or any other charity that offers help to our wounded and/or deceased veterans. But more importantly, take time to research and learn about those young men and women who have lost their lives so that you may live in the greatest country in the world...

If you know of a wounded and/or deceased veteran, please post their story in the comments. Let their memories live...honor them always. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Class Schedule

Scenes from Saturday's Pain Clinic
No one messes with PRIMETIME! (aka Ann)

Due to the demand, we are adding some classes to the schedule in order to accommodate the growth and switching some things around. So, on Mondays and Wednesdays there will be an additional class starting at 5:30pm, so you'll have your choice of attending either the 5:30 or 7:00 session on those days. We are moving the intro from Mondays to Tuesday and still having an additional intro on Thursday. Starting tomorrow the schedule will be as follows.

Monday -
5:30pm - 6:30pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning
7:00pm - 8:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Tuesday -
6:00pm -7:00pm - Kettlebell Intro
7:00pm - 8:00pm- Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Wednesday -
12pm - PSKC Running Clinic with Ann Marie
5:30pm - 6:30pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning 
7:00pm - 8:00pm - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Thursday -
6:00pm -7:00pm - Kettlebell Intro
7:00pm - 8:00pm- Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning

Saturday - 
11:00am - noon - Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning