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10 mad workout plan

coffin nail workout plan

by arron guyett
12 mad recovery

exercising while sick. get better faster!

by daniel markert
13 mad nutrition

proper nutrition, speedy recovery

by jon celis

14 mad workout

outdoor training with henkules

by henk bakker
16 mad rehab

a 5 step formula for injury prevention



by john cintron
17 mad recovery

the keys to recovery


by lance brazil
20 mad methods

off day? time for the sled

by travis janeway
21 mad recovery

everyone gets hurt, not everyone comes back

by doug fioranelli
24 mad training



lessons of the road dogs

by john wild buckley
28 mad methods

the long road to lisbon

by dave hedges
32 mad mobility

masters of recovery: hip mobility

by john wolf

36 mad mobility

masters of recovery: king pigeon



by aaron cruz

38 mad mobility

masters of recovery: wrist mobility

by erik esik melland
40 mad method

masters of recovery: med ball workouts

by jim romig

44 mad prehab

prehabilitation for hip health

by donica storino
46 mad movement

not all falls are fails

by anthony eisenhower
48 mad prehab

the top 6 exercises for shoulder health

by dan henderson

4 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

other content
6 contributors
8 gear guide



Published by My Mad Methods LLC
Mark de Grasse
Henk Bakker
Lance Brazil
John Wild Buckley
Jon Celis
John Cintron
Aaron Cruz
Anthony Eisenhower
Doug Fioranelli
Aaron Guyett
Dave Hedges
Dan Henderson
Travis Janeway
Daniel Markert
Jim Romig
Donica Storino
John Wolf
Onnit (

elcome to the 21st issue of My Mad Methods

Magazine, an edition focused on recovery, prehabilitation, and long term fitness through
unconventional means. As a recurring theme, and a basis
of many of the fitness philosophies we profess, recovery
is an essential part of unconventional training, so the
focus of this issue should come as no surprise (or it may
be surprising that we didnt do it sooner).
One of the biggest differences between unconventional
training and traditional fitness programming is our core
objective of fitness longevity, which we define as your
bodys functional ability over a lifetime. Unlike short term
goals like A Bigger Chest in 6 Weeks or Massive Arms
in 90 Days or the ever-popular 6-Pack Abs in 30 Days,
we dont really care about any of the crap. Can you achieve
those results? Yup, if you follow correct programming
and diet, but thats not really the point. Aesthetics are a
complete bi-product of functional gains.
In order to be functional, you must keep training and
progressing indefinitely, meaning that you need to avoid
injury and/or recover from injury as soon as possible in
order to get going again. That is why we think that you will
enjoy every one of the articles in this issue. They focus on
more than recovering from catastrophic injuries, they also
include avoiding injury in the first place through proper
training. If you make a real effort to incorporate these
guidelines into your regular training, I have no doubt that
the long term benefits will be nothing short of amazing.
We appreciate your feedback and contributions to both
the magazine and the website. If you have suggestions
for product reviews, new training methods, workouts,
or cool stuff in general, wed love to hear them! Go to or send me an email directly at
If you need more help learning the techniques and exercises
featured in this issue, please consult a professional. We
have an online database of both unconventional trainers
and gyms, so check it out and get moving!
As always, good luck with your training.

cover shots
Cover photos taken by Erik
Esik Melland of John Wolf
(front), Aaron Cruz (back), Jim
Romig (right), and Erik Esik
Melland (left).

DISCLAIMER: My Mad Methods Magazine is

a My Mad Methods LLC Publication. My Mad
Methods LLC (MMM), as publisher, does not
endorse and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the safety or
effectiveness of either the products and services advertised in this magazine or the training
methods or other techniques discussed or illustrated in this magazine. The publisher makes
no representation or warranty concerning the
legality of the purchase or use of these products, services and techniques in the United
States or elsewhere. Because of the nature of
some of the products, services and techniques
advertised or discussed in this magazine, you
should consult a physician before using these
products or services or applying these exercise
COPYRIGHT: 2014 My Mad Methods LLC.
Material in this publication, including text and
images, is protected by copyright. It may not be
copied, reproduced, republished posted, broadcast, or transmitted in any way except for your
own personal, non-commercial use. Prior written consent of My Mad Methods LLC may be
obtained for any other use of materials.

letter from the editor

Issue 21

Mark de Grasse is the founder and owner

of My Mad Methods, an organization
(online community & published magazine)
dedicated to unconventional training
methods like kettlebells, sandbags, battling
ropes, macebells and more. Mark is a
certified trainer, but spends most of his
time travelling the country interviewing,
taping, and learning from the the top
unconventional trainers in the industry.
Mark is the editor, graphic designer, writer,
and photographer for My Mad Methods
Magazine, a publication with subscribers in
over a dozen countries. Mark also manages
and designs, an
online resource for unconventional fitness
(including exercises, workouts, articles,
trainer & gym directories, etc.) and online
community with thousands of members.
Find out more about Mark at:




anthony eisenhower

Brood 9 Martial Arts

Head instructor Anthony Eisenhower has over 15 years of experience studying, practicing and teaching martial arts
including Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Coju-jitsu, Capoeira, Kenpo Karate, Gung Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Pankration.
He competed in full contact Kickboxing, Pankration and MMA. Anthony also performs stunt and fight choreography
for music videos, commercials and various film and television projects; past projects include Alias and Mighty Morphin
Power Rangers.

henk bakker


Henkules Home2Gym |

I work at the Department of Justice in a Special Response Team to ensure safety against dangerous detainees. I had different forms of training such as combat, endurance, and strength training. My job now is group leader/mentor preparing
detainees for their return to society. I have over 20 years experience in strength training. I try to motivate and inspire
people who want to train in an unconventional way. The unconventional training tools are facilitated by my sponsor
Schmitt Anchors & Chaincables at

john cintron


Cintron Athletic Training LLC

John Cintron is a certified personal trainer under the International Sports Science Association and owner of Cintron
Athletic Training LLC. John has practiced Thai Boxing and Brazilian Jujitsu and has been training since he was 13 years
old. What makes John different from any other personal trainer out there is he has trained with just about every piece of
equipment thats out there, and has found that if you combine Barbells, Dumbbells, and Bodyweight exercises, and use
them as your primary tools, it will make you a strong athlete, bodybuilder, or just get you in great shape.


daniel markert

Army Infantry Officer, California National Guard |

Daniel Markert is a career Army infantry officer currently serving in the California National Guard. He has served in
combat in Afghanistan and in advisory missions in Ukraine and Nigeria, as well as numerous domestic emergency response missions for security and humanitarian relief. He is a certified TACFIT Field Instructor.


aaron guyett


Aaron Guyett, a Marine Corps Sergeant and Innovative-Results Gym owner, specializes in Warrior Training. With his
warrior heart and mind, he delivers tactful, strategic, and uncompromising results to our nations finest military, federal,
state, and local agents, preparing each warrior physically, mentally, and spiritually for their highly specialized and arduous
missions and tasks.

john wild buckley


The Orange Kettlebell Club

John Wild Buckley CSCS is the Owner and Head Coach of The Orange Kettlebell Club. He has competed all over the
United States, Japan, Singapore, and Russia. He has coached students to ranks as high as Master of Sport in both Biathlon and Long Cycle. He is Proudly Coached by Denis Vasilev. He lives in Oakland California and gets told what to do
by Nazo.

dave hedges


Wild Geese Fitness / Wild Geese Martial Arts

Dave Hedges is the founder, owner, and instructor of Wild Geese Personal Training & Combat Fitness and Wild Geese
Martial Arts. Dave has a certification from the IKFF, hes a National Level Kettlebell Coach under Vasily Ginkos IUKLIKSA, a 2nd Dan Ed Parkers Kenpo, 1st Dan Wado Ryu Karate, Instructor Doce Pares Multi Style Systems, and also
a Security Consultant. He uses his experience and expertise to get people into shape using kettlebells and other unconventional methods and gear.

6 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

dan henderson


The Australian Institute of Kettlebells (AIK) |

Dan Henderson is the owner of The Australian Institute of Kettlebells (AIK). AIK educate trainers and coaches worldwide with accredited courses in kettlebells, battling ropes, powerbags, mobility and MMA conditioning using powerbags
and kettlebells. Dan has an honours degree in Human Movement and is IUKL Level 3, IKFF Level 2 and IKSFA Level
1 qualified. He has trained all over the world with many great coaches and specialises in kettlebell and battling ropes

john wolf


Wolf Fitness Systems | Evolution Kettlebell Groundwork |

John is the owner and founder of Wolf Fitness Systems. He has spent the last decade searching out and training with the
very best in the business to formulate the continually evolving Wolf Fitness Systems methodology. John feels that learning from the best is an important to the development of both him and his staff. As a result, he has been influenced by
many great coaches and movement systems. As a result of his continual learning process and personal practice John has
also developed a movement and training system of his own. It is an integration of kettlebell training and ground based
movement training called Evolution Kettlebell Groundwork.

jim romig


Wolf Fitness Systems | Med Ball Athletic Conditioning

Jim is the resident combative conditioning expert at Wolf Fitness Systems. As a Mixed Martial Art athlete and grappling
coach Jim has a great understanding of the practical application to many of the movements he teaches. As a result of his
background in combative athletics and his passion for medicine ball training he has developed a conditioning system that
integrates the two called Medicine Ball Athletic Conditioning (MBAC). This conditioning system is great not only for
fighters but also anyone who would like to train like one!


aaron cruz

Wolf Fitness Systems | Fit2Flow

Aaron is the in-house restorative movement specialist at Wolf Fitness Systems. He takes great pride in making sure
people get an effective dose of joint mobility and decompression exercises at every session while also making sure that
the workouts stay fresh and challenging. He would have to make sure to do that to keep his nickname...The Hammer!
Through delivering mobility and flexibility focused programming at our studio Aaron has come to develop his own information product called Fit2Flow. A bodyweight movement system that integrates mobility and flexibility training with
high intensity intervals.

erik esik melland


Wolf Fitness Systems | Warrior Mode

Erik...also known as ESIK is the resident multi-media artist at Wolf Fitness Systems. Erik is an artist in every sense of
the way. He has been a vocal artist for several bands since the 90s, has developed a following for his photography and
video work, and has developed a very innovative upper body conditioning system called Warrior Mode. Since joining the
team Erik has demonstrated great growth in his coaching along with all of the other artistic contributions. Stay tuned
for more from him in the near future.


donica storino

Bell Bitch | Bell Babe | |

Donica is a Certified Performance Enhancement & Physique Transformation Specialist, a NFPT (National Federation of
Professional Trainers) Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of Bad Ass Training & Gym. She teaches several strength
and conditioning disciplines including Russian Kettlebells, Olympic Weightlifting, Body Weight Conditioning,Integrated
Flexibility & Joint Mobility. She holds certifications in Elite CrossTraining (The Underground Gym),NFPT, IKFF CKT
Leve l and Level 2, RKC Instruction, Master of Sport, CMS,Underground Gym Olympic Weight Lifting and Kettlebells.
She also competes nationally in IKFF competitions several times a year and has received six gold medals.

jon celis



Jon Celis is an elite fitness professional who specializes in real world fat loss. He holds a degree in Kinesiology, expertise
in nutritional counseling, and is one of the few professionals in Southern California to hold the prestigious Russian
Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) certification. This has led to his emergence as a lifestyle triple threat combining fitness, nutrition, and science.

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 7

gear guide

gear guide

Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO

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The Hyper Vest PRO is a revolutionary type of weighted vest that features a
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My Mad Methods Coupon Code: MMM


Hylete Cross-Training Pant 1.0

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Do you have an innovative fitness product, supplement, or other item? It could be featured here!
Contact us at

8 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014



Ready for shoulder and grip mastery mixed in with some hardcore
mental toughness? Then you cant beat kettlebells & Battle Ropes!

coffin nail battle rope workout plan
























coffin nail battle rope workout plan

strength workout #2 (s2)

Each set is done with equal work to rest ratio (60-90% effort): Week
1 - 20 seconds on/20 seconds rest, Week 2 - 30 seconds on/30 seconds
rest, and Week 4 - 40 seconds rest/40 seconds rest
A: Kettlebell Snatch - 10 sets of 5 reps each side
B: Kettlebell Jerk - 10 sets of 5 reps each side
C: Battle Rope Kneeling Up & Down - 3 sets
D: Battle Rope Lateral Shuffles - 3 sets

coffin nail battle rope workout plan

power workout #2 (p2)

Focus on one exercise at a time for 10 sets (100% effort, Give everything
you have for each set with speed, power, and focus!):Week 1 - 10 reps per
set (approx. 30-60 seconds of rest), Week 3 - 20 reps with 60 seconds of
rest per set, & Week 4 - 25 reps with 60 seconds of rest per set

coffin nail battle rope workout plan

power workout #1 (p1)

10 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014


endurance workout #2 (e2)

strength workout #1 (s1)

Focus on one exercise at a time for 10 sets (100% effort, Give everything
you have for each set with speed, power, and focus!): Week 1 - 10 reps
per set (approx. 30-60 seconds of rest), Week 2 - 15 reps with 60
seconds of rest per set,Week 3 - 20 reps with 60 seconds of rest per set,
and Week 4 - 25 reps with 60 seconds of rest per set
A: Battle Rope Tsunami - 10 sets
B: Battle Rope Sidewinders - 10 sets
C: Kettlebell Jerks - 10 sets of 5 reps each side


Perform as a Circuit (50-75% effort): 6 Rounds for Week 2; 8 Rounds for

Week 3; and 10 Rounds for Week 4.
A1: Seated Rope Pull - 1min
A2: Standing Lateral Pull (Across the Body) - 1min
A3: Standing Hip Hinge Pull (Through the Legs) - 1min
A4: Plank Pull - 1min
A5: Unilateral Overhead or Rack Carry - 1min

coffin nail battle rope workout plan

Each set is done with equal work to rest ratio (60-90% effort): Week
1 - 20 seconds on/20 seconds rest, Week 2 - 30 seconds on/30 seconds
rest, and Week 3 - 40 seconds rest/40 seconds rest.
A: Kettlebell Long Cycle - 10 sets of 5 reps
B: Battle Rope Snakes - 3 sets
C: Battle Rope Sidewinders - 3 sets
D: Battle Rope Kneeling Up & Down - 3 sets
E: Battle Rope Cyclones - 3 sets
F: Battle Rope Stagecoach - 3 sets


coffin nail battle rope workout plan

endurance workout #1 (e1)

Perform as a circuit (50-75% effort): 6 Rounds for Week 1; 7 Rounds for
Week 2; and 8 Rounds for Week 3.
A1: Battle Rope Alternating Waves - 1min
A2: GS Swings - 1min
A3: Sidewinders - 1min
A4: Kettlebell Rack Hold - 1min
A5: Stagecoaches - 1min
A6: Kettlebell Overhead Fixation - 1min

Aaron Guyett, owner of Innovative-Results and Marine Corps Sergeant

knows what it takes to build true endurance, strength, power, and mental
toughness. He has combined his extensive experience training clients and
soldiers with the amazing performance possibilities provided by Kettlebells and Battle Ropes to create this hardcore unconventional training
workout plan that will take your physical and mental capabilities to their
limits! Get ready for real strength, power, and endurance!

A: Kettlebell Snatch - 10 sets of 5 reps each side

B: Battle Rope Rainbows - 10 sets
C: Kettlebell Long Cycle - 10 sets of 5 reps each side

by Aaron Guyett

For more information about

Aaron Guyett, go to

aaron guyett




so, you think laying around doing nothing will make your flu go away?
Think again! Find out how and why you need to exercise while youre ill.

njuries and illness can quickly sideline your training and set back your
physical and psychological development. Studies about willpower have
shown that established routines free our
discretionary capacity for non-routine
decisions. So, injuries and illnesses that
prevent physical training disrupt these
routines and can be a significant source
of collapsing our willpower in other areas of life.
Reducing the likelihood of injury and illness is
the purpose of joint mobility drills, compensatory stretching, and of cycling training intensity
to prevent overtaxing the neuroendocrine system and suppressing the immune system. This
pre-habilitation is the value of programmed
training instead of cocktailing workouts with
the belly burner of the month workout.
Usually I train on a four day mini-cycle during
my periodized major training cycles:
Day One: Low Intensity Joint Mobility Routines & Walking
Day Two: Compensatory Stretching or Yoga
Day Three: Strength Conditioning
Day Four: High Intensity Metabolic Conditioning
What do you do when you are injured, ill, overstressed, overtrained, or de-conditioned from a
break in training? If you require medical treatment, obviously you incorporate the advice of
your medical professionals. Short of this, I revert to the active recovery training of joint mobility and yoga, particularly drills that involve
ground engagement. This is especially important
for any athlete to do when they are sick with the
common cold or seasonal flu.

active recovery in action

While deployed overseas a severe flu virus

spread through our forward operating base. People were knocked out for up to a week with high

fever. I eventually became ill and was confined

to quarters for 24 hours with a fever as high as
Mind you, this is the kind of fever that saps all
energy, forces the whole body to ache, and gives
you uncontrollable shakes. I had been training
a bodyweight program, TACFIT Commando by
Scott Sonnon, on the aforementioned four day
The first night I slept 12 hours straight, got
up to use the latrine, drank about a liter of water, and then I did 20 minutes of the TACFIT
joint mobility. I crawled back under my poncho
liner and slept for another 12 hours. Then I did
20 minutes of the TACFIT yoga cool down
stretches and grabbed a small breakfast of eggs.
Back to bed. I awoke, updated my facebook
status, watched a movie, and then did another
round of joint mobility. Back to sleep.
This went on for another 24 hours. Then, I
was back in the fight. I kept hydrating and eating light, no sugar, no grains, lots of fruit, vegetables, and water. For the rest of the week I just
stuck with joint mobility one day, yoga the next.
After a week I was back into the four day wave
hitting medium and high intensity on days 3 and
4 respectively. I was the fastest one on the team
to recover and get back to work.

why active recovery works

When you are sick, the body needs both rest

and recovery. But remember, recovery needs
movement. The lymphatic system supports
your immune system by moving cellular waste,
lymphocytes, and T-Cells throughout your body
through a series of one way valves. The pressure
for this system is generated by your movement.
The glands themselves benefit from the movement and compression by improving blood flow
and mobilizing the interstitial fluids into the lymphatic system. For joint mobility exercises I start
at the neck and work down and out to all the

joints, ten rotations in each direction.

Stretching out the muscles and connective
tissues removes residual tension and the stiffening effects of the collagen applied to the
interstitial spaces in the myofascia. Extended
bed rest or other sedentary positions while sick
(laying on the couch, binging on Netflix?) accelerates this stiffening.
Daily, or every other day, yoga can compensate for this. Combined with breathing exercises, this accelerates your recovery. An excellent tension release routine that incorporates
joint mobility and ground engagement is Scott
Sonnons Recuper8. Available for free at www. this restorative program has a
lot of ground contact, so you get compressive
and massage effects on the lymphatic system
as well as joint mobility.

sample workout

Perform a session of 15 minutes seated meditation in the evening before bed (not laying down;
get comfortably but firmly seated).
1. Concentrate on your exhale through the mouth
pulling the belly in toward your naval. Inhale
through the nose as you relax the belly-pull of
your exhale.
2. Start with 5 counts: exhale, pause, inhale, pause.
Perform this for 5 minutes.
3. Then, lengthen the exhale to 8 and 13, while
keeping the 5/5/5 of the rest. Perform for 5 minutes.
4. For the final 5 minutes, lengthen your control
of the pause after the exhale to 8 and then 13.
(When thoughts, plans, ideas, concerns, emotions,
even bodily aches attempt to intervene, return to
your internal concentration and narrowed focus
on your breathing.)
Fifteen minutes will improve the quality of your
sleep; thus, accelerating your positive adaptations
from your exercise and nutrition. In the case of
being sick or injured, you will recover as fast as
your body chemistry allows. For a more detailed
explanation go to and get
the 19 page book and video demonstration.


The final piece of continuing to train while sick

or injured is to continue meditative breathing.
Ill leave the benefits of the mental conditioning for another time and place. The physiological benefits, particularly to the immune system,
are well documented. (http://www.ncbi.nlm. Most
significant is that total T cells and its T-helper
subset were significantly higher in those test
subjects that regularly practiced meditative
breathing. That means your immune system
is more effective. I have recently added this
breathing routine posted by Scott Sonnon to
my daily practice.
When Murphy strikes and sets you back,
either injury or illness, continue your routine
to maintain discipline and preserve willpower.
Just ease back into active recovery, lubricating
the joints, releasing the tension on the connective tissue, and massaging the lymphatic system. Throw in the restorative breathing for the
final touch on stress reduction and supporting your immune system and you will be back
fighting in no time at all. w
by Daniel Markert

For more information about

Daniel Markert, go to



you want to recover faster from injuries and hard workouts?

Then Its time to examine what you eat!

ood is nourishment for your body.

The healthier you eat, the better
your body will respond, function,
and recover. Heres the scoop on nutrition and its role on recovery from a serious injury, a broken bone, or even from
one heck of a workout!

injury is inflammation

It all starts with inflammation. If you were in a

car wreck (GOD forbid), the immediate pain and
swelling that you experience is a sign of inflammation. Your immune system works automatically and extremely hard whenever your body is
injured or traumatized, releasing enzymes into
the blood to repair any damaged tissue. So in
short, your immune system controls the degree
of inflammation that your body may have.
In this case, inflammation is a good thing and
is absolutely necessary for your body to heal. But
inflammation can also be a bad thing if is selfinduced through unhealthy nutrition.

nutrition's role in inflammation

Recovery is only enhanced through nutrition!

Unfortunately, most people dont realize that
healthy nutrition speeds a healthier and faster
Food can either be pro-inflammatory or
anti-inflammatory. The goal is to have an antiinflammatory diet that is loaded with vitamins
and minerals and devoid in sugar, chemicals, and
Food products (often confused as real foods)
that are pro-inflammatory will disrupt your
bodys natural balance, adversely affecting the
process of healing your body. And it just so happens that these pro-inflammatory food products
are pretty much everywhere because they are
fast, cheap, and easy to make. Some examples of
pro-inflammatory foods include: cereals, bagels,
fries, chips, pastas, cake, cookies, and in most
cases, any type of wheat product (like breads,
muffins, and crackers). Some popular and very
common ingredients that can help you identify whether or not the food you are eating is
pro-inflammatory are: gluten, various forms of
sugar (i.e. sucrose, maltose, and dextrose), high
fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame, stevia).
Lets pretend, using our previous example,
that you were in a car wreck. As mentioned, you
would have inflammation (swelling and bruising)
from the impact. However, eating pro-inflammatory food products would stress your immune
system and cause it to work over-time. When
this happens, your immune system is weakened
because it is focused on healing not only your
injury, but also the inflammation caused by the
food products that you are eating. Your immune
system is fairly resilient and can do a lot, but giv-

ing it more work to do is the last thing you want!

Like anything else you can exhaust your immune
system so it is crucial that you eat a healthy and
anti-inflammatory diet especially during recovery.
The key to a speedy recovery is to keep inflammation down as the immune system works
best under healthy conditions.

injury is inflammation

As I stated in the beginning of this article, food

is nourishment for the body, so feed it what it
needs especially when youre trying to recover.
It should now be clear that when you are hurt,
you will need the absolute best nutrients for
your body to heal. These nutrients should come
from lean meats, organic vegetables, and healthy
fats. Optimal nutrients dont come from Cinnamon Toast Crunch, blueberry bagels, or Olive
Garden pasta. Your body wants, needs, and deserves pure food.
proper nutrition, speedy recovery

anti-inflammatory foods

Grass fed beef


Wild caught fish

Low Fructose fruit: blueberries, strawberries, apples
Healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado, macadamia nuts
proper nutrition, speedy recovery

pro-inflammatory foods


Conventional beef
Soy in excess
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Nuts and seeds in EXCESS
Deli meat in EXCESS
Wheat in most cases

Dont take your nutrition for granted, especially

if you are injured and want to get back into
the game. I always tell my clients, nutrition is
medicine for the body, give it food that makes it
feel good! Eat pure, make it tasty and I hope to
see you at the local farmers market! w
by Jon Celis

For more information about

Jon Celis, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 13




ready to build real functional strength

and conditioning? Then its time to head
outdoors in the netherlands!

love the benefits of outdoor workouts because you are not tied to a
particular dimension of space. In
most gyms you have to deal with artificial lighting and air conditioning, but
when you train outdoors you can do
your exercises in the fresh air while
getting your vitamin D from direct

different weather

With outdoor workouts you have to deal with

different conditions, such as rain, wind, heat,
and cold. These conditions can actually enhance the benefits of your workout by subjecting you to the realistic situations in which
you might apply your functional strength and
performance. Rather than a cozy and ideal environment, youll need to deal with the changing demands of the outdoors which will make
you uncomfortable (just like real life).

different surfaces

Weather isnt the only consideration when

training outdoors, you also have to deal with
different and uneven surfaces, ensuring that
your body has to work harder to stabilize each
movement. Every step you take is like hitting
the reset button on your body; there will be
no flowing through your set when youre
outside! Again, what more functional benefit
can you hope for your training than to allow
you to perform on less-than-perfect surfaces?

different oxygen

shacklebell farmer walk


Not surprisingly, training outside provides

your body with more oxygen; something that
will help you get through your endurance drills
at a higher performance level. Rather than
breathing in the toxins that may have built up
in your well-insulated home, each breath you
take will give you the oxygen you need to perform. Better yet, you will feel the difference
of the open environment on a mental level,
allowing you to push your limits (just like your
limitless surroundings as compared to the indoors).
If you are going to train outside and it is cold
or wet, make sure you perform a good warmup to stretch your muscles and prevent injuries. After an outdoor workout, make sure you
put on dry and warm clothes as they will keep
your muscles warm.Dont fret the dirt youll
accumulate on your body during your outdoor
session; it can be cured by a shower, but the
result of the outdoor workout will remain.

anchor pull

anchor carry

henkules outdoor challenge

anchor pull (15m)

In this exercise, pull an anchor (or other unwieldy piece of equipment)

towards you through a long rope or chain. You will be utilizing all of
the muscles in your body, especially your back, shoulders, biceps, and
grip. Youll also be using your legs, especially your hamstrings and
calves, while youre pulling in order to stabilize your base. I pull the
anchor until it touches my feet, an excellent exercise for endurance
and strength!

shacklebell farmer walk (30m)

The Farmer Walk challenges your grip, back, and all the primary muscles of your lower body. Hold a heavy Shacklebell (or heavy kettlebell/
dumbbell) in each hand and walk about 30m, making sure you keep
your body upright. Dont lean forward, backwards, or to either side.

20kg chainbell front hold (60sec)

The Front Hold is the ultimate core and shoulder exercise! Stand with
your knees slightly bent and hold the Chainbell (or an inverted kettlebell) in front of your hips. Keeping your arms straight, slowly raise the
Chainbell in front of you until it is at shoulder level and try to hold for
60 seconds. Make sure you keep perfect posture, shoulders, back, and
chest out the entire time.

anchor carry (30m)

chainbell front hold

Anchor Carrying is a very heavy exercise that will improve your

strength and endurance. Youll be engaging your core, abs, and lower
back. Your biceps are also put to the test. Walk about 30m and make
sure to keep your body upright. Dont lean forward! If you dont have
an anchor, try using a keg, heavy weight plate, or heavy sandbag instead.
by Henk Bakker

For more information about

Henk Henkules Bakker, go to




avoiding injury means more than avoiding pain, it means staying on track
with your workout program, thereby improving your results.

hear it all the time, I just had the

best workout, but I am so sore I cant
My answer is always: Wrong! you did not
have a great workout. You broke muscle tissue
and did not recover correctly! The recovery
process is just as important as the workout itself.
Let me give you some tips about how it works.
When I started making injury prevention
more important than my training itself, I got
better performance and overall improvements in
my body. Here are the 5 steps I use to proactively
prevent injury:

1. foam rolling

You must use a form roller to break up cortisol

deposits. It also has the added benefit of helping you spot areas that may be overworked or

2. band training

Working certain exercises with bands helps me

strengthen weak or injured areas, getting them
ready for the work ahead. I really enjoy them
for shoulder and rotator cuff work.

3. yoga

I do three types of yoga: a short 10-15 minute

session before workouts, a 30 minute routine on
days I work on skill work (or things I suck at),
and a 60 minute session when my body needs
to really recover because I may have overdone it
with a workout.

4. take a break

Training with heavy sandbags , heavy kettlebells,

and advanced bodyweight routines takes a toll
on you. When I start feeling run down, I go back
to basic exercises to ease my joints and muscles.

Take a break from the strenuous work for a week

or two so you can refocus and start training hard

5. massage

Deep tissue massage is the last thing I do for injury prevention. A good massuse can find parts
you had no idea were hurting. This can be really
painful but it helps. If you can go once a week,
that would be ideal. If not, I highly recommend
going every other week or once a month.
injury prevention

sample warm-up

A) Tennis Ball shoulder blade circles

B) Front Shoulder Tennis Ball circle
C) Foam Roller Arms Crossed Upper Back Rolls
D) Foam Roller One Arm upper body rolls
E) Foam Roller Side Shoulder rolls
F) Foam Roller lower back rolls
G) Foam Roller Glute rolls
H) Foam Roll on Shins rolls
I) Band Over head pull Aparts
J) Band Shoulder Rotations
K) Band Front Pull Aparts
L) Side to side hamstring stretch
M) legs apart reaches


sample injury
warm up

by John Cintron

For more information about

John Cintron, go to




There is no simple means to recovery, but there are many options for
both rehab and prehab. The key is consistency (and knowing your options)

ecovery will need to be more, if not an equal, to your practice

as you train to become an athlete. Learning proper recovery
methods will keep you in the game. Recovery can be many
different practices and topics, so you must ask yourself the question, Do you even recover. Bro?
Lets start with the most common practice known as the acronym P.R.I.C.E.
The reference to PRICE throughout the article IS in terms of the occurrence
of injury and the need to recover as quickly as possible. PRICE is an age old
practice, so why reinvent the wheel?


Generally, it is difficult to refrain from using a body part once an injury has occurred. For instance, you injure your ankle. The ankle is difficult to heal since
you need to walk to move, which correlates to applying pressure and weight.
Exercise is helpful as long as the injury is not to the point of immobility (i.e.
crutches). Use caution, be aware, and listen to your body about how your ankle
feels. Dont do anything stupid that results in the injuring the ankle further,
especially if its almost healed. An example that best illustrates exercising with
awareness can be taken from a Martial Arts stand point: the roundhouse kick.
Certain styles prefer shin while others prefer the top of the foot/ankle region
as the point of contact. While recovering, if you are kicking a pad using the top
of the foot dont go full blast, therefore causing further irritation and possible
hyperextension. Be aware and kick the pad with mental focus on protecting
that joint.


Rest means relaxing and taking some time off from focused, planned exerce.
For example, if its your knee that is injured, do upper body exercises until the
knee feels better. Listen to your body because it knows more than any doctor
out there. Resting does not mean lay in bed all day for a week. Remeber the
old saying, A body in motion, tends to stay in motion. A body at rest, tends to
stay at rest.


Icing injuries as they occur is an ancient method of healing and calming inflammation. The method of icing we use today dates back to the ancient Greeks.
Man keeps trying to reinvent the wheel with this technique using odd products.
The truth is that nothing can substitute a solid ice pack to treat immediate injuries. When do I Ice? Its simple; if the injury is immediate, you want to ice the
area as soon as possible to slow down the inflammation process. No more than
20 minute sessions are needed. Also, try 5 minutes icing and 5 minutes off of icing with some mild movement, followed by 5 minutes of icing again and repeat.


Compression is heating the area by using mildly tight clothing or wraps to create
a warming effect by trapping your body heat and providing blood flow to the
injured area. Generally, you want to ice the area for a few days after the injury
before you apply heat treatment. Heating treatments can be sport compression
t-shirts, medical bandage wraps or braces, or taking a nice warm bath. The
warm bath, in my opinion, is the best treatment option. Ointments are available
to create a heating sensation, I recommend the age old product Tiger Balm
which can be found at any pharmaceutical or sport store.


This doesnt mean that you should climb a mountain. The idea behind elevation
is to keep the injured area above your heart. The icing method applies here,
about 20 minutes. The higher you get your injured area above your heart, the
better. Elevation results in an increase of blood flow and therefore help with

lance brazil

Beyond PRICE, there are many ways to recover and

prevent injury. Here are a few.

range of motion

ROM, when used correctly, is active recovery. Using

ROM will create balance in your body; meaning to find
common ground. Balance prevents muscles in your body
from pulling or pushing, causing pain in the joints. Generally, pain in your joints is an indicator of imbalance and
mostly caused by lack of ROM. Adding stretching, yoga,
or practicing strength movements with or without weight
in ROM will keep you from chasing pain in the joints as
well keep you fresh and ready for anything at any time,

the types of stretching

All you hear in American fitness culture is Stretch! Even

so, ask most trainers how to stretch and they have no clue.
The worst part is that many trainers dont even know that
there are many types of stretches. This is going to be a
brief introduction into understanding the differences.
Promise me, if you add proper stretching methods and
these ideas to your routines, you will be a better person
than you were yesterday. Understand that you dont have
to do full splits or develop extreme flexibility to benefit
from stretching.
Here are some different types of Stretching methods
to follow. Really, no stretching method is better than the
other, but all stretch methods should be applied into your
daily practice.
Generally, passive stretching is the most common and
should be used to relax the muscles with little to no resistance. The con to passive stretching is that if you
never strengthen your body, it can lead to injury. It is to
be used mostly after a workout routine or once a week
in a series of postures to prepare the body for the week
ahead and release unneeded tension. Passive stretching
does not really provide long term effects; its mostly to
be considered for short term. So, remember to follow the
mantra, When you stretch you strengthen, and when you
strengthen you stretch, so your passive stretching can be
the most beneficial.
Active stretching eliminates force by creating tension in
the muscles. This method stimulates and prepares muscles for use during exercise. Not only does it stretch the
muscles and tissues, it also activates and warms them up.
Active stretching is the most beneficial, will create long
term effects, and supplement your recovery stage. Active
is best used all the time regardless of the time of day.
Certain disciplines such as Yoga is best to reference here.
Dynamic stretching is best understood as a combination
of passive and active stretching while using momentum in
an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of
motion. Dynamic stretching is usually done methodically,
in a controlled state, and not going beyond what you are
capable of.
Ballistic stretching is used for advanced athletes since they
understand the movements that their bodies are capable
of. Ballistic stretching forces your range of motion, especially when you have not relaxed the muscle to enter the
posture. This type of stretching is definitely not recommended for the beginner; you need a strong body first.
Many different athletes use this method just before their
sporting event to help get them into the game.
Now that you have an understanding of the different
types of stretching the next question is, how long should
I spend stretching? Flexibility has to do with mental will, a
connection between you and your nervous system. If you
tap into your mental state and visualize the goal of what

you want to achieve from your stretch, practice and you

will get there.
Next, when performing your chosen stretch posture,
holding for 10 seconds is generally for warm up, and
holding for 30 seconds or more is for development. All
stretches are to be completed with controlled and focused
breathing. Now, when you advance and are well connected with your nervous system, you may not have to spend
much time with your stretching practice. Your body and
muscle memory will be in sync, and you will just need to
visit the stretch posture for only a few seconds.

foam rolling

Foam rolling is the poor mans massage. Unfortunately,

not all of us have the funds or access to a masseuse, so
we are left with this helpful tool to assist in self massage and muscle tension relief. Foam rolling solves many
known and unknown issues in your body and can literally
unlock the muscles full potential. Foam rolling supplements both prehab and rehab stages if time is spent using
the tool.
The truth is that every person who trains will develop
imbalances in their muscles. An example of this is the
quadriceps; quadriceps tend to get used more while working out than the hamstrings do. This ultimately may result
in knee pain. Generally, once one utilizes the foam rolling
techniques they can massage out and release trigger points
in the muscles to assist with the possible knee pain.
Foam rolling will increase blood flow and can supplement stretch practice. Foam rolling can be extremely painful at first, but just be patient and spend as much time on
the area youre rolling out as much as you can. One key
note is not to foam roll your joints at all, ever. Foam rolling joints can lead to lengthening ligaments. This is not
good because ligaments are what keeps your bones together. Once a ligament becomes stretched out it does not
repair and will usually require reparative surgery. Its difficult to foam roll your joints, so dont sweat it and youll
be fine. Enjoy your poor man massage!

ancient chinese secret

DIT DA JOW (the life saver) is the greatest tool in my

arsenal. What is Dit Da Jow? Lets have some insight. In
simple, it is a mixture of herbs brewed together with alcohol to unlock healing potential. This mixture becomes an
external tonic (or ointment) to rub on your body. You can
use it for bruises, sore bones, joints, muscle fatigue, or really anything that hurts on your body. Just keep away from
your eyes and mouth (consuming may cause unexpected
Unfortunately, I will not disclose the magic recipe I personally use because I do not want to be responsible for
your actions. It cannot be bought in stores either. Usually,
in the Kung Fu arts, there are many recipes depending on
the family and traditions; I recommend you search for a
Kung Fu master or a skilled Chinese herbalist if you want
to get a hold of this magic stuff. I simply mentioned Dit
Da Jow so you may become aware of its existance and
research it on your own.

final thoughts

What we must understand at the end of all this is that no

one is perfect; perfection is an illusion. Injuries will occur
and can be great learning experiences. Injuries will give
you a sense of wisdom to be better and its all about how
you handle it. Using the techniques described throughout this article could be a great start and finish to your
athletic injury problems. The final step, when it comes to
recovery, is to have faith in the recovery of whatever your
injury may be. You will heal in no time when your mind
and body work together. w
by Lance Brazil

For more information about

Lance Brazil, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 19




some days you need to recovery, but that

doesnt necessarily mean no work out! find
out why you need some off-day sledding!

enjoy doing mobility work and spending time getting warm and loose before
training, but there are days that I awake
aching and barely able to utter a coherent
grunt.These are perfect days to pull a sled!

why use sleds for recovery?

There is no eccentric component to sled pulling,

so it wont make you sore. You can work hard with
little risk of overdoing it, as long as you pay attention to volume. Its extremely versatile, scalable, and
activates everything. Best of all, afterwards your hips
feel mobile and your body feels integrated and ready
for almost anything.
We use sled pulling as a warm-up, but Ive spent
entire training sessions pulling sled. You can pull
forward, backward, laterally, and from the hips,
shoulders, or arms, starting light and working up to
an all-out beastly effort.

where to get a sled?

travis janeway

Now you may be wondering... where do get a sled?

Make one!
There are many commercially available sleds that
work just fine, but I would rather spend the money
on food! Assemble an old truck tire, a U-bolt, and a
towing strap and you are in business. Old truck tires
can be found for free at any tire store. You can purchase U-bolts (stainless steel) at a hardware store for
about $3, and almost any sturdy cordage will work.
I like to use a 2 towing strap because the 2 width
does not cut into my hips the way a rope would.
Simply drill some holes, install the hardware, attach
the strap to the bolt, wrap the other end around your
waist, and start walking.
TIP: When drilling the holes into the tire for the
U-bolt, be sure to put them toward the top of the
tire tread. If you put the bolt in the middle or bottom the tire will tend to lift when you pull it, reducing the contact with the ground and the friction
making it easier.
Aside from the cost, friction is the key advantage of using a tire over a commercial steel sled.
Steel sleds slide along the ground easily, requiring
more weight for the same effort. But a tire grips the
ground, particularly when the ground is hot and dry!
When selecting a tire, bring a tape measure. Measure the diameter of your weight plates and pick a
tire that the plates will sit on top of without falling through. For stacking plates, use a branch with
a Y in it or make something from scrap that will go
through the hole in the plates, but wont fall all of
the way through. If you dont have plates, mount a
box on the top and load it with rocks, kettlebells, or
pretty much anything heavy.





s an athlete or active individual,

many of us are not fortunate
enough to avoid The Piper that
looms around, waiting for the chance to
catch up to us one day and demand our
payment for playing so hard.
Ive personally been involved in Martial Arts
& Fitness for over twenty years, ranging from
studying, fighting competitively, sports, stunts,
teaching, coaching competitors, and finally running my own facility. Through that time Ive
had the opportunity to train with an enormous
amount of amazing (and not so amazing) people
and still continually strive to seek out the answer
to the question: What makes a good martial arts
Yes, when you play hard, sometimes you
have to pay hard and deal with injuries. Many
individuals are lucky enough to only incur minor
injuries that do not require surgery, and simply
require rest and some alternate form of activity
for a few weeks. Some of us will not be as fortunate, and require more time off, spending time in
physical therapy and possibly even surgery.
After the initial shock of injury subsides and
you have dealt with your less-than-ordinary injury, your athletic life does flash before your eyes
and certain questions begin to fill your head:

what to do with your sled

I always start light and add resistance (weight)

as my hips loosen up. The distance is up to
you and how you feel on a given day (but 50
yards should be plenty). We do most pulls with
a 55lb tire and a 45lb plate. If the road is dry,
wet, or even snowy, you will require more or
less weight. For recovery, the goal is to work
hard but not to exhaustion.

sample training

Forward Pulls - Focus on each step as a single

effort, not using momentum. Think drive
each step.
Backward Drag - Keep the knees in line
(tracking) with the toes.

Will I be able to compete again?

Side Drag - Lunge sideways in one

direction up and back, facing the same
direction so you get both sides. You
may need to go lighter for these.

Will I still have the strength and speed

to do so?
How long am I going to be out of commission?

Variation Drag - A trip up with the

strap over your shoulder and a trip
back with the strap in your hands
pinching your shoulders back with your
elbows at your sides.

From here, you should be ready for almost

any type of workout, or you can begin mixing
things up and doing some sport-specific
conditioning while pulling sled.
Farmer Carry Drag - With the strap
around your hips, farmer carry and
kettlebell rack holds are your bread
and butter.
Odd Object Carry Drag - Med ball
and sandbag carries get brutal and are
reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger
pushing the grinding wheel in Conan.
Press & Row Drag - Pressing and rows
with the straps make these types of
movements extremely full-body. Press
the strap(s) out in front of you then
reset for another press by walking
forward. Same for rows.
Hand Over Hand Pulls - If you have a
stout rope, attach it to the sled, load it
up, walk out to the end of the rope and
hand-over-hand, pull the sled toward

sled tips

I dont recommend any overhead carries

because with the resistance of the sled at
your hips, maintaining a load overhead in
good alignment is almost impossible.
Bear crawls and sprints are phenomenal, but may be too much on recovery
days, so be sure to check in with how you
are feeling that day, as these can get a bit
No matter what variation of sled pull you
do, keep your body in an anatomically neutral position, especially the spine. Before
you pull, tighten up the mid-section like
you are bracing for a punch to the gut and
stay tight while working. Keep your chest
up, head neutral and shoulders back. Enjoy!
by Travis Janeway

For more information about

Travis Janeway, go to

As a former competitive athlete, and having

been in this position a few times in my career,
I have experienced these feelings several times
and headed down the long comeback trail starting with surgery and then recovery. For major
injuries, surgery is often the fix but only the tip
of the iceberg. The recovery process will determine whether or not you get back to your activities in a timely manner and whether or not you
perform at a high level once again.

physical therapy's role in recovery

The typical protocol for a severe injury that may

or may not require surgery usually involves a
stint in physical therapy. Most physical therapy
programs are a great springboard towards progressive recovery and aide in getting you back on
track with the therapists primary concern focusing on restoring range of motion (ROM), functional use of the injured joint, and rehabilitation
of minimal strength needed to maintain those
two aforementioned qualities.
Rehabilitation is a long road with the typical
severe injury, requiring anywhere from five to
twelve months until full recovery is achieved.
As great as physical therapy can be, its protocols usually only last a few weeks to two months
at the most based on the doctors prescription

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 21

and what your health insurance will cover. What

starts off as a bright and shiny journey down the
yellow brick road of success can lead you into
the dark void of a partially rehabilitated joint
and the consummate question of: What do I
do now?
This article will give you several tips on how to
continue your progress after your physical therapy sessions end to ensure that you are on the fast
track to physical freedom and well on your way
to regaining your athletic glory.

habitual progression over

continual digression

As trite as it may sound, life after therapy leaves

you fending for yourself. Whether you like it or
not, your next steps towards recovery are solely
dependent on your inherent will to succeed. At
times, you may feel lost and overwhelmed, but
you have to set those feeling aside and keep
moving forward.
If you cease forward progress in rehabilitation, not only will you most likely never fully
recover, your body may get worse over time. If
you are not able to eventually use your injured
joint for what it is intended for, the body will
attempt to compensate by using other joints and
muscles which will in turn leave your body more
susceptible to other injuries around the currently
healthy joints and muscles. This, of course, can
lead to even more debilitating injuries in the future.
You must also realize that the trials of everyday life apply to injuries as well. It may initially
feel like you are moving at a snails pace with
your recovery, taking a step backward after going two steps forward. It is critical that you focus
on the positive gains you make. Taking the occasional step back due to pain, mild swelling, and
muscle tightness is okay, as long as these effects
are short lived and overall long-term progression
is made.
Remember to dedicate yourself to getting
over your injury, make a habit of getting yourself even stronger than before, and soon you will
find yourself better able to perform all of the
activities you want to.

taking physical therapy with you

After your physical therapy sessions get the ball

rolling towards recovery, it will eventually become easier to discern what is working and what
is not. Like I mentioned earlier, the primary goal
for physical therapy is to restore lost Range Of
Motion (ROM) due to the injury and/or surgery
and to establish a baseline level of strength. Mobility within the injured joint should be a primary concern for a new injury, and proper ROM
should be established and maintained within the
first year.
For these reasons, you should choose mobility drills that have previously worked best for
you during physical therapy and continue to use
them during your next stage of training. Mobility
drills are great to add to the beginning of your
training session because they can act as a warm
up in conjunction with your rehabilitation movements.

low load & high reps:

remedial strength training

When your ROM increases and you are inching

closer to getting back to full range within the
classic strength training movements like squats,
deadlifts, and bench presses, there might be one

22 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

problem: your strength

has not caught up yet.
Remedial high repetition strength training is a
necessary means towards
your goal.
High rep work should
consist of low loads
(i.e. light weights) and
have the end result of
strengthening the joints
and muscles throughout
a larger ROM. For these
types of exercises I am
a big fan of using bands
for their distinct ability to
accommodate resistance.
With resistance bands,
you are able to further
your ROM within the
movement while still performing a rigorous workout using the movement.
Simply stated, as the band
gets stretched more with
your increasing ROM, the
greater the resistance will
For hip and knee injuries, band training provides strength and stability within the joints.
Band Terminal Knee Extensions and Lateral
Walks both strengthen and stabilize the muscles
around the injured joints.
Band work can be slightly tedious, less entertaining than your favorite lifts, and sometimes
time consuming. If I am pressed for time, I will
perform more sets on the injured side versus
my stronger side. I will typically do three sets on
my injured side and one on my good side to allow time to get all of my other lifting in. For
shoulder injuries, rotator cuff work (internal
and external rotation), front, lateral raise, and
eventually overhead motions are a great way to
strengthen the shoulder at the various angles it
needs to be mobile and strong.

the next step: isometrics

Yes, this Old School staple is great at building

strength during your recovery process. Isometric
training is simply finding a position and staying
in that position for a certain amount of time
while you build tension in the muscles and eventually fatigue. Isometric training is angle specific, meaning you get stronger at the angle you
train at and it has marginal effect at other ranges.
The most common form of rehabilitation for
the hips and knees are wall squats. Therapists
have their patients sit in a squat position with
their bodies close to the wall in case they need
support. Initially, this exercise is done at a shallow angle and as the mobility and strength increase, it can be taken to a lower position.
After therapy, you will want to add some more
advanced isometrics like lunge position isometrics and even standing single leg isometrics. One
of my favorites to train hip and knee stabilization is the Single Leg Standing Isometric where
you add band tension around the working leg
making the hip and knee muscles contract and
work harder to maintain a stable position.
Upper body isometrics are not as common in
the physical therapy setting but are also quite effective in regaining strength. The first types of
isometrics to start to strengthen the shoulders
would be simple weighted holds with dumbbells

or kettlebells. I would start with a light front or

lateral hold and then progress to overhead.
The second phase of isometrics would be a
closed-chain type like a Push Up or Dip position. These are much more aggressive because
of the compressive force on the shoulder where
the hand is in contact with a stable surface.
I typically like to perform isometrics at the
end of my workout because they can be a bit
taxing on overall strength, so it is better to do
them with what you have left rather than drain
your energy at the beginning of a workout. Use
a time range that is comfortable for you, usually
a 10-30 second interval is sufficient.


Being injured is never fun and the thoughts as

well as the processes involved in rehabilitation
are a daunting task. After your initial physical
therapy, it is imperative that you always keep
moving forward. Adding some of these intermediate and advanced training tools will help
you get back to where you were before and may
even make you better than you were before. So
remember: stay focused and determined, and go
out there and make it happen! w


upper body


lower body

by Doug Fioranelli

For more information about

Doug Fioranelli, go to




when it comes to kettlebell competition, getting enough rest is paramount,

but what do you do if youre constantly flying around the world?

olby, Nazo, and I have travelled all over the world together
to train, study, teach, and compete. We have travelled light
and heavy. Sometimes we teach quick one day workshops
and other times we produce much bigger events like the Japan
Kettlebell Championship. One thing remains the same though,
wherever we go we lift, and when we lift, it means something to
Training for Kettlebell Sport is not like any other training I have ever done.
Growing up I would go to the gym for a workout whether I felt good or bad
and more times than not I would leave feeling pretty good; I would get my pump
(hey, it was the 90s!). Things are different now though, and when I train I have
to hit my numbers.
When you train for Kettlebell Sport there is an ebb and flow to the programming. Each session feeds off of each other and when I am really training well
my progress is clear and I can allow myself to be happy. When I have a bad set,
maybe because I was on a plane (or in an airport) for 30 hours and then a train
for 30 hours more, my head will twist into knots and every doubt I have ever had
about my lifting comes rushing to the front.
Im not getting any better
Ill never be any good at this
Im too old
Im too fat
Im too weak

The time you spend under the bells is time dedicated to managing these
thoughts. The longer you do this, the louder they get and the better you get at
managing them. This is my favorite thing about this sport. At some point you are
going to have to go down into the basement and clean it up.
So, the reason I bring this up is because it is the worst thing about traveling
and training or traveling to compete. As soon as you get off that plane, or train,
or out of that car, you have every reason to think you wont hit your numbers.
The reasonable thing to do is rest. Maybe go out to dinner and adapt to you new
environment. Even though your program says to train today it would probably
be best to put it off until tomorrow when you are stronger, right?
I have done extensive testing on this and I can honestly say that right after
some grueling travel I have had both the worst training sessions of my life and
the best.
What? No way dude? That sounds like BS! Its true. I have learned that if I am
rolling with Dolby and Nazo for days and days and I am tired and cranky and
basically unmanageable in every way, and I am unhappy and dont want to train, I
start to make excuses. The main excuse is that I wont hit my numbers because I
am so tired, and nobody wants to miss their numbers. However, if I am meeting
the group, especially for the first time, I start to get excited. Even though nothing
has changed about me physically, I get pumped up and I want to train. I have set
many personal bests in moments like that.
Why? I surrendered to the training. Training is what we do. When we get together we can feed off of each other and produce excellent results.

lesson #1: set yourself up to succeed

Jason and I flew to Eastern Siberia in February 2011 to train with our coach at
the time. We were very nervous and we really wanted to get the last run on our
program in before we left Jasons house for the airport. We had about two days
of straight travel ahead of us (because Chu-Hus like us go the long way!), but
we still had to get that run in (so 1am we would be on the road running and at
3am on our way to the airport). Its hard to sleep in a middle seat in coach when
you are 66 and 300+ lbs, so lets just say I would have traded that run for sleep
1,000 over. Lesson learned.

lesson #2: don't be dumb, budget your rest

8 hours of sleep before you leave will pay off more than a last minute late night
workout that leaves you hungover for a long trip.
Away games make you prove it. Its fun to compete at home where you can
sleep in your own bed and drive to the meet, but if you are really looking to test
yourself you need to hit the road. You will learn a whole lot about competing the

john wild buckley

first time you can only get squid eggs for breakfast, or when there is some crazy techno mobster/
hooker party in the room next to yours when you
are way too nervous to sleep anyway. If you forget
your shorts at home you know where to get them.
If you forget them on the road ne povezlo tebe.
Nerves? Lack of sleep? Beds too small? Toilet is the size of a hat and wedged in the corner?
These things got ya down? Are you looking at your
plate and thinking Thank you so much, I am so
honored to be here and you guys are great but I
really, really dont think I can eat that?

lesson #3: bring some familiars

Jason will eat anythingANYTHINGbut I always bring along something I know I can eat. For
me, its meal replacement bars. I know, I know, not
ideal nutrition but when my choice is a Big 100 or
a bowl of fermented fish guts, I go Big 100. Thank
you very much.

lessons in action: when are we?

Oh, its tomorrow, or yesterdaywhen the hell are

Jason and I were scheduled to compete 3 weekends in a row, across the dateline, in three different
time zones and climates: Japan, Hawaii, and Texas.
We were with Nazo in Japan and were running
the Japan Championship; lots of bells and mats,
banners, flags, trophies, medals, etc. We had to
set it all up, run the meet, compete, and break it
down (with the help of our awesome friends) in
24 hours.
We had just gotten off of the plane and we
were at it. That was some hard ass work, but when
it was time to get up there and compete we did.
We are lifters. Before we are coaches or promoters or businesspeople we are lifters. Speaking for
myself, I want to lift. I want to be a part of this
whole thing. I cant just watch other people lift
and not have fun too, so I did. Ran out of gas on
the snatches but did pretty well on the jerks. I was
disappointed, but that is the normal condition of
a GS lifter at my levelhit a personal best, still
really disappointed.
We taught and worked conventions all week,
then set off to Hawaii.
The only ticket we could find/afford that
worked with our schedule went Tokyo/Los Angeles/Hawaii. Seriously. The plan was to leave Japan
at 4pm Friday, arrive in Hawaii 2pm that same Friday and compete at 5pm after the 20 something
hour flight. We were pretty pumped up! This was
something we hadnt done before and we were curious about what it would do to us physically. We
were so ready.
Our flight was delayed 30 minutes. We landed at
LAX and rushed through the airport like animals
and they closed the gate on us. We could see the
plane. It hadnt left yet but they wouldnt let us on.
We missed it. We let our friends down. It was horrible.
We got into Hawaii after a 7 hour layover and
taught that weekend. Jason and I did our sets as
planned during our breaks but it just wasnt the
same. We wanted to compete so badly. What
would that have felt like?
Tuesday we were off to The North Texas Open
at Full Throttle. We got there a few days early and
got to have a few training sessions before the competition. We got to sleep in nice beds and eat good
food. The meet went really well and I hit a few
competition personal bests. We had been on the
road for over three weeks and we were lifting better than ever. I can tell you how we did it.

In the sport we say that if

you dont lift, you dont get it.

surrender to your training

I do my best to hit the numbers on my program because I know how they work together. But sometimes,
for whatever reason, I cant hit the number. That is all
it is, some reason. No blame, no explanation; it just
happened. Accept it and move on. Practice this every
time you lift.
Find the best in every set. Maybe you went longer
than ever. Maybe your technique was better than ever.
Maybe you couldnt finish the time but you went faster than ever. Maybe it all went to shit on you and you
didnt quit. Count how many times you wanted to put
the bell down and didnt, make it the most times ever.
In the sport we say that if you dont lift, you dont
get it. Thats because it is the practice that changes
you. It is the ritual of failing and carrying on. It is
about managing suffering and enjoying every little
success. It is about spending time getting to know
yourself under the bells. If you practice this you will
be able to get on the platform and lift because you
know that the next 100 reps you do are just an extension of the 100,000 reps you have already done. You
have been tired and sore before and had great days.
This will be one of those days.

a sample of road dog travel training

Here is a week of kettlebell sport training that I did getting ready for a tournament when I was on
the road. The programming is only with 24kg bells because it is hard enough to find those and I
didnt want to get greedy and try to find heavier weights. This was over a period of 3 weeks spanning
19,000 airmiles.
Workout 1








Easy pace


As needed

Snatch (left)


Easy pace




Snatch (right)


Easy pace


Workout 2












As needed








Easy pace



Workout 3










As needed
















final word

Oh, and one more thing; if you ever find yourself feeling jetlagged in Japan, you can go
wrong with Lime Chu-Hi. I have done extensive
research on this. w


by John Wild Buckley

For more information about

John Wild Buckley, go to

Use the code MMM25 to receive

25% off your order

He appreciates
the risks involved
with big bike
riding and had
spent good money
on a helmet. That
was cash well
spent as his head
hit and glanced
off the post.

dave hedges



A catastrophic injury doesnt mean that you cant compete again. Learn one mans astounding comeback.

hat Im going to lay out in this

article is a case study, a story
of one mans return from catastrophic injury. Its not a prescription for
you to follow, hopefully youll never experience what Seb did, but even still, it is
absolutely critical that you follow a plan
that is tailored specifically to your needs
with collaboration from professionals.
I hope that Sebs story helps motivate
you on your road back to fitness.
As I write this, Seb is in final preparations before he flies to Lisbon, Portugal to take part in
the European Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships for the second time. The first time he
took part was in January 2012 where he took
bronze in his category as a Blue belt. It was his
first major event having only taken part in a
small handful of local tournaments prior to Lisbon. So, to come home with a bronze was an excellent achievement, although he fully intended
to go back in 2013 and do better.

that tournament was not to be.

Sebs success in Jiu-Jitsu was largely down to the

attitude and passion he brought to the mat. Hes
like an over enthusiastic 90kg puppy. This same
passion is also clear to see when hes lifting and
when hes out on his motorbike.
In August of 2012, Seb was riding home after
a good session on the mat when he took it upon
himself to try his jiu-jitsu out on an unsuspecting lamppost. Unfortunately, the lamppost had
a better double leg takedown defence than Seb
Joking aside, hed lost control of the bike and
hit the post at speed. He appreciates the risks
involved with big bike riding and had spent good
money on a helmet. That was cash well spent as
his head hit and glanced off the post. He was
knocked out and concussed, but the helmet took
the brunt, undoubtedly saving his life.

his knee was not so lucky.

He hit the post hard with his legs; the left knee
taking the impact. He smashed bone, tore tendons, and ripped ligaments. His lower leg stayed
attached only thanks to his leathers.
The accident happened on August 11, 2012.
He was in surgery on the 30th where the doctors
did what all the kings horses and all the kings
men couldnt; with 31 stitches, 6 screws, and 2
anchors, they rebuilt him. Both the ACL and
PCL were torn. The lateral collateral ligament
was fairly okay; it survived by snapping the portion of the fibular it attaches to clean off.
He spent the next three months pretty much
immobilised, which is harrowing for any physical human being. By December, hed regained
enough mobility with the aid of a huge brace
and a pair of crutches that his wife was able to
talk him into coming back to the gym.

the start of comeback

He called me up to see if he could come in and

if I could help him get back in shape in time
for the Europeans just over a year away. Without

hesitation, I told him to get in and wed do what

we could.

the ladder

At the time he couldnt load the leg at all, so we

didnt. Instead, we suspended him by putting
him on a simple program of Chins and Dips using the ladder method. If youre unfamiliar with
the ladder protocol, its simplicity itself, even if
it sounds complicated. Most kettlebell guys will
know it as the program from Pavels Enter the
Kettlebell book.
Do one rep of the first exercise, then one
rep of the other.
Now do two reps, then three, and so on
to the top number. Once achieved, start
over at 1.
We start with 3 rounds up to 3 reps, this
is written as (1,2,3) x 3.
Each week add another ladder to a max
of 5, so (1,2,3) x 5
At this point, start adding rungs to
each ladder, so (1,2,3,4) and eventually
Once we get to (1,2,3,4,5) x 5, we reset
to (1,2,3) x 3 but with added weight.

Structure the week with a hard day (all out effort

that will set the pace for the remaining sessions).
On the Medium day, do one less ladder, and on
easy day, two less. A 5 week period may look like:





(1,2,3) x 3
(1,2,3) x 4
(1,2,3) x 5
(1,2,3,4) x 5
(1,2,3,4,5) x 5

(1,2,3) x 1
(1,2,3) x 2
(1,2,3) x 3
(1,2,3,4) x 3
(1,2,3,4,5) x 3

(1,2,3) x 2
(1,2,3) x 3
(1,2,3) x 4
(1,2,3,4) x 4
(1,2,3,4,5) x 4

Obviously, it may not be that smooth; you may

get the first ladder (1,2,3,4), but fail during the
second, (1,2,3,2). This is fine, the following
week, try to complete the ladder and dont advance until you do.
Because of the high frequency here, it is vital
that you train with an exceptionally high level of
quality control, terminate a set the instant that
form breaks down.

floor work

This was followed by some floor based work

taken from Pilates to keep the hip mobile and
core stable. We mostly did side lying leg kicks,
circles, and lifts. For conditioning, we got out the
battling ropes and used a variety of intervals all
performed while sitting on the floor.
Every few weeks Seb visited the hospital
physio, which we both agreed was a waste of
everybodys time. But without clearance from a
medical professional, I wasnt going to touch his

andy the physio

By the time May came around we were getting

impatient. We now only had 8 months to get
him ready for the Euros. Thankfully, I have a
friendly Physio who specialises in knees. Top
Irish physio, Andy Watson is one of the most
knowledgeable people I know; Id been trying
to talk Seb into seeing him since he came back,
but in May he finally took my advice. Hes never
looked back.
Andys treatment is fairly aggressive, hes used
to working with athletes of all types so his focus is getting people back in the game. This is in
stark contrast to the hospital physio who merely

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 29

wants you to be able to walk to the toilet unassisted. He immediately told Seb to lose the knee
brace and crutches and start walking. He also
prescribed Single Leg Box Squats (also known as
Box Pistols), 30 per leg, every day.

time to work the legs

Now that we had opportunity to get to work

on his leg, we started to see a light at the end
of a very long tunnel. Each day Seb came in he
opened with a lower body maintenance program
I gave him followed by the 30 Box Pistols per
leg. The maintenance program looked like this:
Roll the sole of foot with hockey ball.
Roll and stretch the calves.
Roll the thighs.
Roll and stretch the glutes.
Static glute bridge with band around the
knees x 30s / cobra stretch x 3 for three

After a few days of doing this daily, the foam

rolling became completely pain free. Id say that
he probably has some of the best tissue quality
in my gym!
A few more sessions with Andy and we were
given the green light to work his leg with more
intensity and to add in agility work to regain both
his confidence as well as reactive strength.
This was our cue to add to the training program. We kept the three upper body days and
added two lower body days.
Lower Body Day 1:
Off-Set Kettlebell Squats
Lower Body Day 2:
Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts

curing the limp

We also stumbled upon a way to make him walk

without a limp.
There were many landmark moments along
Sebs journey back, but when we tried out a Bottoms Up Farmers Walk we were both extremely

30 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

A big problem with coming back from injury

are the small habits we develop. Seb had quite
naturally developed a significant limp to protect
his injury. A limp he needed to train out of himself before the movement pattern became a default. A mere 12kg kettlebell held upside down
had the power to eliminate his limp.
By concentrating on balancing the kettlebell,
he forgot to limp. We caught this on video; I
took a close up of his feet as he walked and on
playing back I asked him, If you didnt know
that was you, would you say that the person in
the clip was injured? His answer was, No, he
looks fine.
Double whammy! Not only had we shown
him that he didnt need to limp, but wed realised
that he didnt need to change his identity to that
of an injured person; he was still a fully functioning human animal.

time to jump

Next we had to get him jumping. We started

with jumping up onto a very low step. After a
few weeks it was time to jump down. Seb was
understandably nervous. Id set him up on a 3
inch platform over our judo mats. He stood
there looking down as if he were looking into
the Grand Canyon. All we needed him to do
was drop off and land with both feet, but the
thought of it had him sweating and pale.
Physically he was more than able; hed been doing Box Pistols every day for 6 weeks, so he had
strength. The problem was purely psychological,
a barrier that he had to break if he was ever to
make a full recovery. After a few tense minutes
he jumped. He landed. There was no shooting
pain, no snap, no knee collapsing under the impact. He landed.
So, we got him back up as quick as possible and
did it again, before he had time to think. Then
we did it again and again. We did it twice a week,
gradually dropping from something higher and
higher. Then we had him rebounding onto another box. Then, we had him jumping rope.
Then we pulled out the agility ladder. Heres a
conditioning set we put him through once per
1: Inverted Row x 10
Run through the agility ladder and back
2: Push Up x 10
Run through the ladder with a different
footwork pattern
Repeat continuously for 20 minutes.

The constant changing in direction as you travel

through the ladder will force the athlete to use
both legs equally, especially as fatigue builds.
Even if youre not injured, its still a great conditioning set, try it yourself.

By the time the

one year anniversary
came around since
the crash, progress
was going well, Sebs
personality had fully
returned. He was
on fire and charging
headlong towards
the Euros. He was
now working Pistol
Squats without a
box, adding weight
when comfortable.
By October 2013
hed managed:
28kg Pistol Squat x reps on both legs
44kg Pull Up x 3
44kg Ring Dips x 3

getting into gear

It was time to drop the injured program and

put him on a BJJ domination program. I still had
concerns about his mobility and confidence at
odd angles, something he needed to get over as
it was putting him off his game. This when I
dropped an email out to fellow My Mad Methods Contributor, John Wolf.
Johns work is top notch and perfect for anyone in the grappling game. John sent me his
bodyweight fundamentals course which we put
into Sebs weekly routine. His week now went:
Monday: High Pulls, Deadlifts, & Floor
Press on the 5/3/1 program
Tuesday: EKG Groundwork
Wed: Pistol Squats & High Intensity
Thursday: Kettlebell Suitcase Jumps,
Front Squats, & Push Press on the 5/3/1
Friday: EKG Groundwork.

When the other BJJ lads started coming to me

complaining about how strong and enduring he
had become, I knew we were on the right lines.

the result

On January 25, 2014, 18 months since the accident, Seb performed in the Europeans. In a BJJ
competition, the fight is a single 5 minute round;
Seb finished every fight via submission within 3
minutes. He brought so much strength and power to the floor that frightened his opponents, and
in doing so, he won the Gold medal for the 90kg
Purple belt division.
In conclusion, this is not a road map for you
or anyone elses injury recovery. What this is is
one mans journey, a story of his commitment
and the collaboration of an unconventional
coach and a world class physiotherapist. Your
body and its injuries are unique to you, your
road recovery will be your own, unique to you.


progress during
the road to

by Dave Hedges

For more information about

Dave Hedges, go to

John wolf, jim

romig, erik
melland, and
aaron cruz
know what true
mobility and
injury prevention
requires. here are
a few tips from
the masters.



the simplest
tasks are
the ones
that prove
to be
the most

have found that to be true in many

areas of life. Simple things like eating
well consistently, consistently staying
in touch with loved ones, and getting
enough sleep can all become difficult
to accomplish at one time or another.
It seems like adding that simple word,
consistently to anything can all of a
sudden make a simple task very challenging.
The commitment to being a better mover
with a focus on functional mobility and strength,
rather than on simply performing movements
with more weight or more reps is another one
of those simple sounding, yet profoundly challenging, tasks. While it is very hard to quantify
movement quality, it is often too easy to measure improvement in reps or pounds. At times,
its just gratifying; who doesnt like the feeling of
setting a new personal record?
What I have found in my previous years of
chasing bigger numbers in reps or pounds, without regard for movement quality, is that you will
eventually sacrifice that which you are not aspiring towards. In a simpler way, you will lose those
things that are not within your line of sight. If
you only wish to increase the number of reps
you can perform of a certain push-up, then at
some point in time you will likely be sacrificing
technique to get those reps. If you want to move
bigger weight, and that is your only measure of
success, then you will likely do so, but create a
structure that is hyper rigid and lacks the ability
to move freely.
In short, you do not have to sacrifice your mobility in the pursuit of strength. In fact, quite the
opposite is actually true: if you wish to realize
your greatest strength potential, you need to find
a balance between these two seemingly opposing
goals: strength and mobility.
I am not recommending that you spend
countless hours working towards achieving difficult postures or mobility sequences. Sometimes

34 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

keeping it simple is best observed if we want to

get results without overwhelming ourselves. In
the mobility sequence provided in this article,
that is our goal: to keep it simple. There are only
four drills to perform which require no equipment and very little space. All you might want
to have in order to perform the drills is a wall or
a stable prop that will allow you to make small
postural corrections while performing these
drills as you will be doing so on a single leg.
Though the following mobility drills may be
easy to perform, my goal is to make sure that
you find them both challenging and rewarding.
I would like you to perform the drills in the sequence and rep scheme provided while paying
very close attention to the cues. You should find
that by limiting the amount of accessory movements, you will greatly enhance each drill in creating dynamic stability. In addition, if you are
able to effectively create the intended motion using these drills, while also stabilizing the rest of
your body, you will help yourself develop a high
level of kinesthetic awareness and coordinated
strength. By training in this manner you will also
develop the ability to better refine your positioning in various strength skills, thereby improving
the likelihood of your ability to perform them

forward leg swing

The first drill is a forward leg swing. I would

say that most of you would classify this drill as
pretty simple and easy. GREAT! Now as you
perform the drill, focus on driving your base
foot heel into the ground and lifting your crown
as high as possible to stand tall. Neutralize you
pelvic position to make sure you are not arching
your back as you bring your heel close to your
butt on the backswing. Keep your toes pointing either forward or back to avoid opening the
hip into external rotation and swing away while
maintaining your tall structure and keeping your
naval firmly fixed forward. You will be performing 12 repetitions as part of the circuit.

standing lateral lift

The next drill is just as simple but might not be

as easy since most people find that their hips are
restricted in this range of motion. For this drill
you will be doing a standing lateral leg swing, but
since I would like to avoid using too much momentum as part of the drill, we will call it a lift
rather than swing. While maintaining the same
posture we defined in the first drill, you will lift
your leg directly out to the side while prioritizing the ankle projecting upward. Actively pull the
foot back towards you, trying to create a flat horizontal edge with the lifted foot and press hard
into the heel of the supporting foot. Do not

forget to stay tall and minimize any unnecessary

movement! The rest of your body is to remain
as still as can be with the naval still fixed forward
while minimizing any spinal flexion to relieve the
hip of its duties. Perform 12 repetitions.
Now it is time to take it up a notch. While
maintaining all of the postural cues in the previous drills, the following two drills will challenge
your ability to remain stable while being challenged in multiple planes of motion. Though
these drills are not harder to grasp, they should
prove to be more engaging than the previous

leg circles

First, you will extend your leg forward driving

your heel away from you while pulling the top
of the foot back towards you. The goal is to
envision here is to touch the wall across from
you with the heel, but not the toes. This will be
the top position of the drill. From this position
you will draw a circle in front of you at approximately shoulder width while resisting any urge to
rotate the hips or torso. Perform 8 repetitions in
each direction.

lateral leg circles

The last drill of the series will take the circle we

just performed to the side. Perform the lateral
lift and hold the top position. This will be the top
position of this lateral circle. The motion should
also be approximately shoulder width from front
to back and terminate with both ankles coming
close to touching. Perform 8 repetitions in each

mobility circuit

Lets review this simple mobility circuit. You will

be performing 12 repetitions of the Forward Leg
Swing followed by 12 repetitions of the Lateral
Leg Lift. After performing these two you will be
performing Leg Circles, 8 in each direction forward followed by 8 in each direction to the side.
Perform all four drills on one leg before repeating on the other side to complete one round of
the circuit. Perform the series from 3-5 rounds
to feel the burn.


hip mobility

by John Wolf

For more information about

John Wolf, go to

john wolf

shin box


aaron cruz
king pigeon

had some of
the tightest

t was from the years of participating

in youth sports and just a lack of understanding on how to develop this
crucial range of motion. Growing up I
had many friends taking up weight lifting
with a bodybuilding approach and realized quickly that it was not for me. I simply didnt feel like I could afford to train
in a way that would make me any tighter
than I already was.
My hip mobility was bad; I remember being
introduced to various basic hip mobility drills
that would have me standing up to shake my legs
out every 5 seconds. It was hard to get past the
initial challenge of even exploring these undeveloped ranges of motion, but I was determined
to unwind the tension I had been dealing with.
I knew it was holding me back from my athletic
potential and contributing to a variety of symptoms; it really kept me from being comfortable
in my own body. I understood that being able
to develop these movement skills was important
for my recovery.
As I was exposed to more and more mobility
training, I developed an appreciation of a static
position called the Shin Box. The very first time
I sat in this position I became more aware of
imbalances in my hip rotation. After enduring
the discomfort of the position and coming to
terms with how tight my hips were, I stood up
to discover I felt a great sense of relief from that
tension. This position really helped bring my issues to the surface and at the same time helped
me effectively address them. This experience inspired me to continue learning more about mobility training.
A lot has changed since I first started on this
journey. Over the course of the last decade
I have been able to train with some amazing
coaches, picking up different insights into movement and have also had the opportunity to share
my passion for mobility training with hundreds
of clients. Through this process I have been able
to develop a systematic approach to teaching this
content that has consistently gotten my clients
and I results. Helping free people from the type
of restriction that I had lived with for years has
become a passion and focus in my coaching.
Not everyone has had success even, if they
have ventured into mobility or yoga flow training. Taking time to understand the relationship
between structure and breath is the key to allow
for seamless transitions from one position to
the next. This type of training might not resonate with everyone at first, but there are more
and more people sharing information like this
and inspiring people to prioritize movement in
their training. It would be great to see people
just as proud of their ability to transition from
one loaded position to another with strength and
ease as they are of the number of reps that they
can do in more conventional exercises.
The rest of this article will outline a move-

ment sequence I really enjoy. The sequence

starts with the Shin Box position and transitions
to Pigeon, then on to the King Pigeon.

shin box progression

If your hips are excessively tight. Laying your

knees down to either side of the Shin Box will be
too much strain on the knees and/or lower back.
So we must work on some mobility to open up
that range of motion before you begin. Here are
some drills:
Complete 3 sets of the prescribed repetitions
of both drills then re-check your Shin Box.
1) Standing Lateral Hip Root - 8/8 reps
2) Standing Open Chain Knee Circles Left leg 8 in each direction
Right leg 8 in each direction

Once you have achieved your Shin Box you

should be working to sit your back butt cheek
down. In doing so youll be opening the internal
rotation of that hip, which is very applicable to
sports and athletics. In turn therapeutically releasing tension for knees and lower back, as you
see lots of benefit from a fairly simple drill.

pigeon progression

Now that we have a good Shin Box with our

back side closer to the mat and a tall posture, its
time to progress a little further to Pigeon. The
Pigeon can be a bit more advanced due to the
extreme external rotation on the front hip and
thigh. This might be too much on the knee at
first, here are some drills to work on the mobility youll need to get into the pigeon safely and
receive the benefits. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions
for each drill.
3) Frog Stretch - 8/8
4) Elevated Pigeon - 8/8

After some good leg work in the drills I have given you, things should be releasing a bit more and
Pigeon Pose is just about ready for you. From
Shin Box slide your rear leg straight back, while
internal rotating your back hip and tucking your
pelvis. Sink into your hips by sliding your back
leg as if someone was pulling your toe.

king pigeon progression

You are just about ready for the King Pigeon!

You bend your back leg reach back..and
oh no! You cant grab the ankle, its too far and
your back is too tight! No worries I have some
drills for you to open your mid back. Do 3 sets
of 8 repetitions for each drill.
5) Kneeling Thoracic Rotation - 8/8
6) Tripod Extension Quadriceps Focus - 8/8

Now I think we have everything covered to get

you into the King Pigeon! Use these movements
that bring you down to earth to play, open up
your hips and mind along the way.


king pigeon

by Aaron Cruz

For more information about

Aaron Cruz, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 37

When I was
18 years old
I decided
to move
out of my
to pursue a
career as
a hip-hop

ip-hop music and its culture has

been a huge influence in my life
ever since. I spent a decade learning the ins and outs of the local music
scene. As a vocalist, I learned how to
make music in a variety of different
genres. At the same time, I learned how
to do photography, videography, promotions, and just about every other essential function that would be essential
for creating and promoting my music. I
learned a lot through this time in my life,
but what I did not learn was how to live
a fitness lifestyle.
My health and fitness were often the last
things on my mind. The hip-hop scene was never known for promoting the healthiest lifestyle,
and as a product of that scene I found myself
less and less fit.
To be honest, I did not realize how much
of my athleticism I had lost in the pursuit of
my music career until I decided to return to the
area I grew up in and reconnect with some old
friends. It was great to see what they were doing; they had opened an unconventional training facility called Wolf Fitness Systems. When I
saw the types of exercises they were teaching I
instantly felt inspired. Many of the movements
looked so much like break dancing that I had to
ask if that was one of their influences.
I felt really lucky to have found a place where
I could develop myself physically, and that my
physical development could be accomplished
with an unconventional brand of fitness similar

to breakdancing that fed into my love for hiphop. Not only did the movements inspire me,
but so did the way that the business grew to support my music. As I continued delving deeper
into the training I decided to fuse my newfound
passion for fitness with my music. I have since
released two fitness-inspired hip-hop albums.
The response to my fusion of hip-hop music and my newfound enthusiasm for fitness had
initially gotten mixed reviews. Many people in
the local scene thought that the two really did
not complement each other. Other people had
a false preconception about hip-hop and automatically assumed that since the music was in
that genre that it would inspire people towards
negativity or violence (without ever actually lis-

ground base grip

wrist Fold

thumb grip stretch


of wrist

38 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

tening to the music or lyrics).

Whether it was other artists sharing their
doubt, or critics of my artform as a whole, I
found myself determined to continue integrating my passions. This led me to developing my
first fitness program called Warrior Mode. It is
an upper body conditioning program focused
on developing off-axis pressing strength. The
movements were inspired by break dancing as
well as other hand-balancing arts.
Since the program has participants supporting
their bodyweight on their hands for 90% of the
time, it became very apparent that most people
needed to specifically condition and learn to decompress their wrists. The following three drills
are a few of my favorites for this...

by Erik Esik Melland

For more information about

Erik Esik Melland, go to

erik esik melland

med ball warm up

The three warm up drills will be done in succession for

one minute each and repeated from 3-5 rounds. The
three cool down drills should be done in the same fashion as the warm up.

will chung twist

Med balls.
I know
what youre
Who uses
med balls?

thought exactly the same thing before I started developing the Med
Ball Athletic Conditioning system a
few years back. As it turns out, med
balls can make for an unbelievable asskicking training session that provides
an enormous range of health benefits
from hand-eye coordination, developing
widely sought after explosive rotational
power for athletic performance, quicker
recovery of heart rate, and all out mental toughness (just to name a few).
Plus, who doesnt like beating the shit out of
something for 20 minutes without suffering any
legal ramifications? God knows I do. It is exactly
what I implement in my training when I am getting ready for a fight, getting others ready for a
fight, or even to get my wife and myself in the
shape of our lives for our honeymoon! Turns
out, ladies like to hit stuff too!

40 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

The Will Chung Twist is a fundamental move in the Med

Ball Athletic Conditioning system, and was brought to
my attention by none other than the man its named after
(can you guess?). It is a brilliant mobility drill that teaches
you to throw a proper cross. This hip rotation just so
happens to translate into many other sports and athletic
outlets. I added the elbow up part to prepare for the med
balls. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder
width apart and keep your toes turned out at 45 degrees.
Lift one elbow, exhale, and pivot on the ball of the foot
with your heel pointed up to the ceiling. Repeat to the
other side while standing tall through the drill and make
sure the knee you are rotating toward does not buckle out
as you twist into it.

jim romig
balancing the body for
maximal power output

Any med ball routine is not complete,

however, unless we add the specific
warm up and decompressions for before
and after training. It is a two pronged attack: bring the body into the training session with less tension through the warm
up, then use the decompression after
the exercises to bring the body back to a
calmed and less tense state than before.
Warm ups will not only stimulate the
nervous system and break up connective tissue/joint gunk, but will be similar to the drills about to be performed,
allowing for a quicker learning curve.
The decompressions, which get to use
med balls, are multi joint stretches that
address commonly unbalanced areas.
Being able to sustain intense levels of
training for a long period of time (life)
requires a plan that takes the time to
keep the body from developing too
much stress and physical imbalances
from over-training, as well as to make
sure the quality of movement is always
improving. Moving in ways that respect
the current limits on our bodies, while
also being mindful of when we arent,
is key.

lunged arm screw

The Lunged Arm Screw starts with the same stance as
the twist, but with elbows locked and hands kept higher
than the shoulders. Bring one shoulder up to your ear
and exhale as you roll it forward and roll the opposite one
back (walk like an Egyptian style) as you lower the rear
knee toward the floor, heel toward the butt. Inhale as you
come up and exhale as you repeat on the opposite side.
Imagine being pulled on by two people on either wrist
the whole time.

superhero extension
Place your knee and shin flat on the ground with the other leg out in front. With your hands clasped behind your
back, kick your shin into the ground , squeeze your butt,
and inhale as you lift your chest like a superhero, trying
to lock your elbows behind your back. Exhale, round the
back out with your elbows locked in front of you, and try
and slide your shoulder blades off your back while keeping your lower body active. Repeat as needed.

a med ball protocol

Now lets get to the routine. The protocol that

will be used is called every minute on the minute (EMOTM). This means that you will have
a circuit of three drills to complete for a predetermined amount of reps and one minute to
complete them in before you do it again. This
will be performed for 20 rounds. So, if you complete the circuit in 35 seconds, that means that
you have 25 seconds to lower your heart rate before it starts again.
The key is to complete the rounds as quickly as
possible. If you are in the middle of the last drill
and the next round starts, you didnt complete
that round and have to start the next one with no
rest. It is in your best interest to do each round
as well and as quick as possible. This means putting them together without stopping until round
is complete. Think of it this way: would it be
easier to push a car, get momentum, and keep
going, or to get it going then keep stopping it?
It takes more time and energy to stop that 16
pound med ball flying by your face after each rep
than it does to keep it going.
Since there are three drills, with no progressions or regressions, the intensity is increased
or decreased by the number of reps performed.
Pick a set number to complete, and, if it is too
easy for 3 rounds, add a rep to each drill. A really safe place to start is 3-3-3, keeping in mind
each drill is unilateral, so that means 3 reps on
each side for each drill. This will provide enough
time to get comfortable completing the round
and getting a feel for the protocol.

the med ball drills

Next, is the Alternating Lunge Knee to the Wall.

Here, stand about a foot to a foot and a half
away from the wall, take a step back and exhale
as you lower your rear knee toward the ground.
Upon returning, knee the ball with a sharp exhale and let it go so it hits with the wall at least
at chest level. Catch and repeat until reps are

Next, stand up with the med ball at your side

with your knee locked and the inside of your heel
on the med ball with hands fully clasped behind
your back. You can bend your elbows as much
as needed to do so. Sit back into a lateral squat
and reach through the heel of the extended leg
as you try and push all the air from between your
palms and lock your elbows out. Keep the shoulders pulled back and down the whole time.

mountain climbers
Once the knees are done, we get down to the
floor for some Mountain Climbers. Be careful
here, the race against the clock plays with us, and
med balls can get quite slippery. Put the med ball
on the ground and do a hand plank on it with
your hands turned out and elbows locked. Tuck
your tailbone under (like a scared dog), keep the
hips high, and pull the med ball down towards
your feet. Once youve established a safe plank,
bring those knees up quick with a sharp exhale
for each.
Once done with all three drills for that round,
try and give yourself a few long and slow exhales before the next round. This will help calm
you down and lower your heart rate. Once all
20 rounds are complete, take a few minutes to
let yourself unwind with the decompression and
reflect in the sweaty glow you will be rocking.

decompression #3
Finally, bring your shin on the ball with your
knee on the mat and your other leg in front of
you, like a lunge. From there, clasp your hands
together in front of you, elbows locked like a
volleyball player and drive your shin through the
ball. Keep tucking your tailbone and squeezing
your butt while you rotate your locked elbows as
far as safely possible across your front leg. Allow
your eyes to follow your hands.

putting it all together

Now that you are nice and stimulated, it is time

to go back to a calm and relaxed state and decompress from the tremendous amount of well
controlled stress you have just put on your body.

wall cross to squat

The first drill is the Wall Cross to Squat. Here,
you will stand with the wall at lead arm and fingertips distance. With a shoulder wide stance
and toes angled out at 45 degrees, hold the med
ball in front of your face, lift your rear elbow,
exhale, and rotate on the ball of the rear foot
as you launch the med ball to the wall (its going
to look like youre throwing a poorly distanced
cross at the wall). Once the med ball fires right
back in place, pull the rear elbow in, exhale and
pull your elbows toward the tops of your knees
as you pull your hips back and down. Stand tall
and repeat until reps are done on both sides.
One very important queue, though, is to make
sure your rear heel points up when you pivot on
that ball of the foot for your twist. Dont rob
yourself of the movement.

decompression #1
For the first decompression, you will need a box
or ledge to sit on that is about med ball height,
and your med ball right out in front of the box
so you can put your heel on it. This is a two part
drill. First, with your opposite foot flat and a tall
posture, extend your arms forward with your
shoulder blades pulled back and top of thigh active while you reach through your heel in front
of you. Halfway through, keep your shoulders
pulled down (dont shrug) as you allow your upper body to fold and go with gravity. Do one
minute per side for that one.

let us know how it goes!

If any of you had a blast doing this, or somehow

got all 20 rounds with 6 reps per drill, please film
a bit of it and send us your results at! We would love to see the
results! w


sample med
ball athletic

lunge knee to wall

decompression #2

by Jim Romig

For more information about

Jim Romig, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 41



If you plan on taking your training (and your life for that matter) seriously,
its time to consider proper hip health. These tips & Exercises will help.

adults, can affect the health of the hips. However, regardless of age, our hips are prone to injury and hip issues are common among all ages
and sports backgrounds. This statistic brings me
back to the importance of prehab training in
conjunction with and/or prior to your normal
or unconventional training program.
So, do we stay immobile and use it as an excuse to be inactive or prevent us from serious
training? Absolutely Not! I hear the excuses time
after time:

We need to toss those thoughts straight into

the garbage. It is up to you as a responsible and
self-aware athlete to train smart, and to take the
proper measures and precautions to prevent an
injury from ever occurring.

ketball court, football field, even hop on a surfboard or SUP. Since your shoulders, head, and
neck have been under constant strain, they lack
the necessary stability and range of motion to be
active in these sports without doing some sort
of joint mobility or prehab first.
Its like your morning java: you need to allow your body to wake up first (and some of
us may even require more caffeine than others).
If youre tight or lacking mobility, your body is
designed to compensate. If you continue on this
path and do not prehabilitate your body, an injury or issue in your hips, rotator cuff, and/or
elbows is inevitable.

life without prehab

breaking bad habits with prehab

I cant do that.
I am too old.
I cant move that way anymore.

ealing with any kind of injury is

not only frustrating and annoying, it also makes us question our
bodies, our training programs, and our
overall wellness. While our hips are extremely strong and are made to carry
us through lifes daily needs, it is vital to
build a proper foundation before starting any training regime or sport-specific
While hip injuries and pain are often caused
by something simple like overtraining, insufficient warm-up, or lack of joint mobility, they can
keep us out of the game for a few weeks or even
months. In other words, the hips are not something to be taken lightly. We take our bodies for
granted and often dont pay attention to the early
warning signs of injury. This is why prehabilitation is vital to our success not only as functioning human beings but also as athletes.

what is prehabilitation?

Most athletes underestimate the importance of

prehabilitation, which is warming up efficiently
or training the most vulnerable areas of your
body. Prehab is the most proactive way of
training the most-often injured areas or areas
that have recurring pain, either from extreme
stress or impact during a workout or sport. Our
hips are a prime example of this: the hips are
an area of the body that is engaged in constant
movement throughout our daily activities from
walking, running, strength training, or any of the
sports we play.
Certain health conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, both common in older

44 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

By Prehabing your body before workouts and

daily activity, you are building and strengthening,
as well as gaining stability around those vulnerable areas. The great part is that while you are
addressing those issues, your balance and joint
mobility are also getting stronger and decreasing
the probability of an injury.
These days a lot of are people throwing
around the term pillar strength or core
strength, but what does that mean?
Pillar strength is the solid foundation from
which all movements of the shoulders, core, and
hips stem. As a kettlebell athlete and competitor,
I can attest to the importance of this. Although
I am extremely strong and flexible, I have had
some issues with my shoulders and upper back.
In my sport, I use what is called a rack position. In this position, you rest the kettlebell on
your iliac crest (hip bone) and curl your shoulders around the kettlebell while deflecting. Although this position is vital in my sport (Long
Cycle and Jerk competitions), as well as resting
in the overhead snatch position, I have had issues opening up my back and shoulders in supplemental training and daily life. I was tight and
over-compensating in my other lifts due to my
stability and range of motion issues. In my sport
I was on point; however, in real life, I was coming in dead last. Why?
As technologys influence becomes greater,
theres a great many of us looking at our cell
phones, staying connected to social media, and
sitting down checking emails, etc. This type of
lifestyle causes your shoulders to roll forward
and tighten, as our heads are constantly looking
down and creating stress on the neck. So now,
right now, put your phone down and instead,
lets roll into the gym, the baseball field, bas-

Before I realized the importance of prehabilitation and movement warm-ups (following the
Fizikel Pull-Aparts formula), I was doing some
supplemental training with my Strength Coach
Zach Even-Esh from As a warm-up we did a simple yet
effective movement called Banded Pull Aparts.
At first, I thought this was going to be a fun little add-on to my usually very intense workouts.
Well, let me tell you, 10 Banded Pull-Aparts
palms up, 10 palms down, and 10 banded dislocators CRUSHED me! We only did 3 sets and it
Just to give you some perspective, I can lift

donica storino
a 32kg kettlebell (which is 88% of my bodyweight), for high reps for a long duration of
time. For this reason, I consider myself a strong
athlete. And yet, I was crushed by these simple
movements. Who wouldve thought a simple
banded exercise would be so difficult and cause
soreness for days?
It was then that I realized that I had an imbalance that my body had been compensating for,
and it was only a matter of time before my foundation was about to crack resulting in injury or
acute pain. Since then, I have made prehabilitation a part of my training before each workout
AND on off days. I have noticed increased mobility, a stronger core, and my hips and shoulders
are pulled, balled, and open.

the slippery slope without prehab

Dont forget that this is a slippery slope; we think

that we are invincible and if we are experiencing
no pain then there is no need to worry. That may
be true... for awhile. But, if you push yourself to
the extreme like I do, at some point, the cracks
in your foundation may open up causing a full
blown injury, strain, or an annoying dull pain.
My good friend Jay Tayler, founder and creator of Fizikel I AM fit40 LIFE CHALLENGE
at, is a big believer in Pillar strength
and has spent the last 20 years formulating a
how-to program and life challenge to teach you

how how to build your ultimate Power House.

Beginning with your foundation, Jay focuses on
Pillar Strength, Movement Prep, Prehab, Core,
Hips, Shoulders, and physioball exercises, and
thats just for starters.
Ill let you check it out for yourself; there are
so many layers to the Fizikel formula and I assure you, you will be able to live a better, stronger, and pain free life when it comes to being
Fizikel (physical). I myself follow this program
in conjunction with my competition programming (from my Coach Ken Blackburn) as well.
Following this methodology of training I am
able to workout and endure a high volume of
work capacity injury free. I have built a very
strong body foundation, through which my
strength comes from my Pillar (walls), and my
endurance and power (roof) which gives me the
stamina to endure the workout or task at hand.
We know the hips support the pelvis and have
more musculature attached to them than any
other joints in the body. This is the bread and
butter now. Its super important that we make
sure our hips are strong, balanced, and exceptionally mobile.

sample exercises

Here are some example exercises for our core,

hips, and shoulders:
1) Reverse Hyperextention
2) Reverse Crunch
3)Knee Tucks
5) Hip Cross-Overs
6) Lateral Rolls
1) Hip Cross - This will develop the power that
comes with your hip rotation.
2) External hip Rotation - This works the outside part of the top hip.
3) Supine Hip Stretch - Stretches the outside
of your hips.
4) Hip Flexion Quadruped Rocking - This opens
up and frees your hip capsules.
5) Quad/Hip Stretch (Side Lying) - Opens up the
muscles in the front of your hips, allowing for
increased speed and reduced chance of injury.
More physioball exercises - Y, T, W and
Las well as push-ups.

hip strength & mobility

workout #1

Perform this circuit 3 times.

1) Lunges - 8/8
2) Bodyweight Squats - 10
3) Banded Pull-Aparts Palm Up - 10
4) Banded Pull-Aparts Palm Down - 10
5) Push-ups - 10
6) Single Leg Glute Bridge - 30-60sec
7) Banded Lateral Walk - 8/8
8) Bicycles - 30
9) Oblique Cruches - 10
10) Medicine Ball Rotational Throw - 10
11) Slam Ball - 10
hip strength & mobility

workout #2

Perform 10 reps of each exercise to prepare for movement.

1) Sumo Squat
2) Hip cross over
3) Reverse Lunge with Twist
4) Quad/Hip Stretch (Side Lying)
hip strength & mobility

workout #3

Perform this circuit 3 times for Physio

1) PB Knee Rucks - 16
2) PB Back Bridge - 20 sec holds
3) PB Hamstring Curls - 16
Perform this circuit 3 times for Strength.
1) KB Swings - 20
2) Reverse Hypers - 16
3) Wreslters Twist - 16/16
4) Goblet Squats - 20
Perform this circuit 2 times.
1) PB Push-ups - 16
2) PB Sit-ups - 20
3 )Pull-ups - 16

by Donica Storino

For more information about

Donica Storino, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 45



everyone falls at one point or another, but not everyone needs to fail while doing it. learn to fall correctly!
ou know youve done it; youve
the shoulder roll
been walking down the sidewalk

without a care in the world, when

something happens (and usually nothing
spectacular) and you trip, fall, twist your
ankle or hurt yourself in some other
way. This happened to me on many occasions, especially when I started doing
a lot of active sports. I didnt understand
how to catch myself, so whenever a fall
would happen, Id become rigid and
brace for impact and naturally scrape
or bruise myself. I figured this was just
natural, and if you get injured a little bit
it will heal and youll be fine.

a history of falling

the catch fall

This basic fall is either when you are falling forward and catching yourself, or after a turn and
slip, still catching yourself in front of you.
Begin on your knees, with your body as
straight as possible.
Get your core engaged and extend your
arms out in front of you.
Let yourself drop forward and catch
yourself with your arms extended.
While catching yourself, lower into a
push up, but come all the way to the
Turn your head away from the ground
for protection.

Knowing how to fall is a giant aspect of injury

prevention. Learning how to catch yourself, roll
with things, or move more fluidly in these situations will help you prevent injury whe you fall
(and you can look pretty cool doing it).
For example, years ago I was riding my skateboard, having fun with friends, and not doing
any tricks at all; just using it as a mode of transportation. I wasnt really paying attention and
slammed the skateboard right into a curb. I went
flying, tucked my chin, and performed a Shoulder Roll on the pavement and got right back
up with no scratches at all (besides my pride of
Using the basic Shoulder Roll, I was able to
prevent what could have been a nasty injury. It
was in my muscle memory and so my body knew
what needed to be done. Once youve learned
some different ways to catch yourself while falling and practice them, they go into your muscle
memory and you will be able to prevent the majority of injuries that come from simple falls.

get ready to fall with style

Here are a few simple ways to fall with style!

Once youve learned these movements and practiced them, you can be confident knowing that
a little fall will be handled with ease. If some
more major falls occur (especially if you are doing things like trail running or combat sports),
these drills can help you build up the muscular
strength necessary to relieve some of the minor
injuries that might occur during your training.
The best thing to do is practice these for a
few minutes each day. For the Shoulder Roll, you
do need a little more space, since you are covering a greater distance, but the others can be
performed in any small, square area.

46 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

Once you can perform 10 of these in a

row with no issues, try and leave your
hands at your side and fall forward and
try and catch yourself.
After you are very comfortable, you can
try the same sequence from standing.
Before you do, that make sure to be either on grass or a padded floor.
This fall also helps you build up core,
shoulder, arm, and hand strength so it
can be used in place of push ups during
a workout.

the sprawl fall

This fall is similar to the Catch Fall, but is a little more dynamic. This is similar to a Sprawl in
MMA, but you will be catching yourself at the
end. Think of movies when someone pulls the
feet out from under another person.
Begin from a standing position.
To start, lower yourself into a squat and
touch your hands to the ground, then
shoot your legs behind you and lower all
the way to the ground (basically a Sprawl
or Squat Thruster movement).
Make sure you turn your head away from
the floor for protection when it nears
the ground.
Once you are comfortable with performing that quickly, try speeding everything up so that all the movements flow
This is a very dynamic fall, so make sure
to be on a mat, grass, or some type of
padded floor when you are trying it faster.
To help alleviate some of the pressure on
your body, turn one of your hips towards
the ground when you shooting your legs
back and you will make the fall smoother.

This is a very dynamic way to flow through many

types of trips or forward falls where you have a
little more space to work with.
Start in a lunging position with your right
knee up and left knee on the ground,
keeping everything else straight.
Tuck your chin (keep this position the
whole time) and plant your right hand
down near your right foot.
Shoot your right leg straight back behind you and follow it with your left arm.
Roll over your left shoulder while pushing a little with your right arm to give
you a little more momentum.
Continue rolling and catch yourself in
the same position you started in.
Once you are very comfortable with
that, try it from a standing start.
While standing, simply bend yourself
down into the starting position, but add
a little more momentum to make the
roll faster.
Make sure to try this on grass, pads, or
mats for protection. Also, make sure
your chin is tucked the whole time, protecting your head and neck
not all falls are fails

workout pyramid

Perform each of the exercises for

the desired rep amount from the
pyramid, then rest 1 minute and go
onto the next rep amount.
Strict Push-Up
Catch Fall from the Knees
Squat Thruster
Sprawl Fall
Shoulder Roll
by Anthony Eisenhower

For more information about

Anthony Eisenhower, go to

Knowing how to
fall is a giant
aspect of injury

anthony eisenhower




shoulder impingement is a common nuisance for people who regularly

exercise (and especially those that dont). perform these movements for
proper shoulder health.

here are a plethora of brilliant overhead exercises using

unconventional equipment.There are dynamic exercises
such as the Kettlebell Press, Barrel Throw, Sledgehammer Vertical Swing, and many many more.The problem is that
many people cant do these movements repeatedly and regularly without the risk of developing shoulder impingement.
One of the problems is our modern day seated posture where
we resemble hunchbacks with rounded shoulders and backs.
Shoulder impingement is common and many people experience it. It is
painful and can limit your capacity to complete a lot of movements. It can
even make daily tasks such as washing your hair agonising. The good news
is that it is largely preventable with a routine of regular myofascial work,
stretches, and exercises that alleviate imbalances that regularly occur. The
aim is to undo the damage of our seated lifestyles.
What exactly is shoulder impingement? It is the rubbing of the tendons
and bursa against the acromion process of the scapula. The key indicators
are pain when raising your arm overhead or lowering it from overhead, or
general soreness in the shoulder or arm.
Shoulder impingement will generally be a result of a muscle imbalance.
This includes a general weakness of the lower and middle trapezius, serratus anterior and external rotators, coupled with tightness of the upper
trapezius, external rotators, pectoralis minor and levator scapula.
A routine that includes soft tissue work around tight muscles, stretches
for short muscles, and strengthening for weak muscles is essential.

pectoralis minor release with internal rotation

stir the pot (pictured above)

The external rotators are not only weak but they can get super tight and
provide a great deal of discomfort if they are left unattended. Again, this is
not an exercise for the faint hearted. It is a hard core release that has made
many grown men cry.
Lay on your side and position the massage ball into the posterior
capsule on the side you are lying on.
Have the lying arm parallel with the shoulder.
With your other arm, grab the elbow of the lying arm.
Pull the elbow back and forward and around so the ball is releasing
different spots.
You can position the ball in different areas within the capsule by
sliding the body and then repeating the stir. Do at least a couple of
minutes of stirring on each side.

kettlebell upper trap release

This one is an absolute killer and will have you screaming for mercy the
first few times! All you need is a massage ball, a wall and a tolerance to pain.
Position the ball in the belly of the pec minor. This is the groove
next to the shoulder.
Place your hand behind your back.
Roll the ball downwards and slightly inwards and try to locate trigger points.
Essentially, you control the amount of pressure. You can increase
the amount of pressure by pushing your body harder against the
ball. You can decrease the amount of pressure by pushing your
body away from the ball.
Submit yourself to this abuse for at least a couple of minutes each

48 / mymadmethods t february/march 2014

The upper traps are quite often over active and this can be a major cause
of shoulder impingement. The kettlebell makes a terrific massage tool because of the weight and the surface area of the handle. You will need a
buddy that likes inflicting punishment.
The person getting released needs to sit on a bench and hold the
bench/box.They should hold the bench with the side that is getting
The person sitting should tilt their ear to their neck.
The person applying the release should move the handle in different areas and search for tight spots.

serratus plus with kettlebells

This exercise is great to fire up your serratus while also enhancing your
shoulder stability.
Position two kettlebells into the lying safety position.
Press both kettlebells overhead into a full lockout.
Extend this lockout by reaching as far upwards as possible so your
shoulders leave the floor. The kettlebells should still be travelling
Pull your shoulder blades together so the kettlebells move downwards.
Repeat the motion 10-15 times.

kettlebell row
thoracic extension

Last but not least we have the Kettlebell Row. This exercise is great for
middle and lower traps as well as enhancing thoracic extension. The key is
to take your time and ensure that the upper traps are relaxed. You also want
to ensure the shoulder is not rotating forwards.
The back leg should remain non-flexed (no bend in knee) and the
front leg should be bent at the knee approximately 45 degrees.

This exercise should be a daily ritual. You will immediately feel taller after
doing this for just a few minutes.
Place the powerbag (or roller) on the floor and position your back
over the bag. Ensure it sits on, or just underneath, the shoulder
Keep your hips off the ground.
Reach behind and grab a kettlebell by the horns.Your arms should
be straight so the kettlebell needs to be positioned an arms length
Slowly drop the hips to the ground and pull your hips down. The
lower your hips, the harder the release will be.
Do not compensate the movement through the lower back or
sternum. Watch these carefully; if the hips and sternum rise too
much then cease the stretch.

Bend forward at the hips, keeping an arc at your lower back.

Pull the shoulder blade back and lift on a 45 degree angle with the
elbow tucked in close to body.
Keep the raising and lowering phase steady.

So, there you have it A routine that will lead to enhanced shoulder health
so you can do plenty of brilliant overhead exercises pain free and through
a full range of motion. The key is to do these regularly (at least times per
week) and you will also see improvements in your strength and overhead
positions. w
by Dan Henderson

For more information about Dan Henderson, go to

february/march 2014 t mymadmethods / 49