Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Optimal Protein Blends - for carnivores and vegetarians alike

The following post offers some quick suggestions for tuning your protein types to optimize uptake depending on activity.

Carter Schoffer once explained to me why different kinds of proteins are a good idea, rather than using the usual Whey Protein Isolate by whatever company. The reason that has a lot to do with it (if i'm reflecting this correctly) is absorption rate matching to task.

After a hard training session when the muscles are crying out for amino acids, a fast digesting protein is a good idea. For vegans, gemma or pea protein seems to have the best profile. For dairy-ok folks, hydrolyzed whey has the best profile - better than isolate.

For protein during the day and over night, when you want to slow down the absorption rate, and have a more steady state feed of protein happening, slower absorbing proteins.
For vegans, hemp protein is a slow digesting source. Here's a resource comparing different protein types, too. (if that link goes awry, here's another).

For dairy-ok folks looking for anytime protein, casein/milk blends are a good idea. Especially if you follow Precision Nutrition's of protein and greens with every feeding, and need the convenience of say a Super Shake during the day, this second protein variant is great to have.

You can shop for protein powders that pre tin these particular blends. Or you can custom mix the blends you want at (there's also a There are several advantages to the TP approach. One of them is experimentation: you can order a pound of any kind of blend you'd like or any flavouring you'd like and not be stuck with a ton of it.

For instance, Luke Neilsen recommends this blend for a great anytime protein.
Milk Protein Isolate - 30%
Micellar Casein - 30%
Whey Protein Isolate Cold-Filtration -40%
It's recommended to include the aminogen protease and i prefer the BSL flavouring system but there again you can use any flavour/sweetener combo you'd like.

The price works out to 1-3 dollars a pound LESS than Metabolic drive, Evopro by Cytosport, or Propeptide.

Now if you do want to use pre-packed blend, i'd recommend (aka - they have excellent prices, good shipping, and frequent 10% off offers for returning customers. They're also very fast at responding to customer queries.

For the blends and customer service, TP is hard to beat. They also do some bulk supplements as well, so it's worth comparing prices regularly between and TP.

If you do order from trueprotein, you're welcome to use my discount code as well for 5% off your next order. The code is MCS110 - you'll enter it at the end of the order cycle.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bones and Pistols: a start at B2D responses to readers' queries

This post provides a summary of what research suggests about what we can do to enhance bone strength - and especially when we can do it. It also includes a preliminary review of Steve Cotter's Mastering the Pistol DVD. All because of what b2d readers want to know :)

A little while ago, i asked b2d readers if there were any topics of particular interest to them they might like to know more about. Ron asked about Why Hardstyle (implicitly perhaps as opposed to GS?) - a part of a reply to that is in a recent post on early impressions of GS training which may or may not help Ron's quest.

One of the other queries was from supercat strongman Adam Glass on bone strength:
A few weeks back i posted a question relating to the subject of bone adaptation to stress- a law was recited back to me by several members. I would like to see some more information on bone growth-specifically how i can increase the resulting thickess and researched methods of enhancing bone strength.
I've been fascinated by bones ever since i had to study about bone formation for the CSCS certification. It's a topic i find rather overwhelming because SO MUCH is going on in bone. So rather than try to get into the intriguing complexities of bone development and growth, i've restricted myself to Adam's question.

A more detailed discussion of his question is over at geekfit. That seemed a more appropriate place for the article as it has finally given me something i've been looking for: an unequivocal imperative for desk jockeys in their 20's to get working out. Working out now for future ease from pain and disability may be about as exciting to think about as pension planning , but the results are in: bone loss is inevitable, and the best cure is prevention rather than treatment.

If you're interested in the topic, there's lots of detail and referenced research over at the article on geekfit, but let me quote the summary here:
While studies have mainly focussed on post-menopausal women, bone health - in particular bone mineral density - is a concern for both men and women. The best cure for bone loss is prevention rather than treatment, and the best approach for this prevention of inevitable bone loss is to bank it up with extra BMD work in childhood, youth and young adulthood. The best approach to do this loading is with resistive force work: power training, stop and start sports.

Nutrition is critical for bone building, but will not cause bone building any more than simply eating protein will cause hypertrophy. While we still don’t know what the optimal prescriptions are for optimal bone mineral density building, all the studies looking at this effect show that doing nothing is the worst approach; better to do some fast load bearing activities - but not over doing it, or one may have the opposite than desired effect with microfracturing the bones beyond repair.

Because of the critical effect of bone loss post our alas early peeking in life, it’s great to know that we can bank up bone for future benefit by using it regularly and vigerously - at least a few times a week. If you’re reading this, you’re not too young to start the deposit, no matter what gender. Use it or lose it seems to be increasingly a way of describing our entire physiological system, and that is certainly the case with our locomotive, protective, rather magnificent living skeletal system.
The Butt
Another topic posed by Jason was to write the next phase of the Bum as the Path to Sveltness . In that geekfit article i argued that since the butt hosts the largest muscle in the body, working it will have a big bang for the buck.

The Pistol and the Butt
As a preview to more descriptions of butt oriented effort, allow me to come back to the Issue i've been having with the Pistol. The pistol must be one of THE ULTIMATE butt working body weight moves, but i've been focusing on the weighted pistol. Adam gave me some great advice for slingshotting with a kb which i have tried with great pleasure and fried my legs too boot, and Irontamer David Whitely has volunteered to look at a video of my (pathetic attempt at) weighted performance. Rannoch suggested i look at Steve Cotter's Pistol DVD, and i owned a skepticism of any more sets of instructions. But then two things happened.

  1. after cold reflection i thought, my body weight pistols just suck too much: i don't "own" as the expression goes - the body weight pistol. So how get even heavier and do a weighted pistol. To me a weighted pistol is the bell is in the rack - not being used as a counter weight. Maybe no one else cares about that, but it's where i'd like to be. So i decided to get back to basics and focus on just getting more reps. back to the drawing board.
  2. i was at a recent event where the very rannoch recommended dvd was just sitting there, on sale. So dear reader, i bought one.
Another Pistol DVD?
Mastering the PistolWhat i am looking forward to doing is a detailed review of the dvd once i've had a chance to work through it to "master the pistol" - which by Steve Cotter's definition is 10 body weight pistols on each leg.

One may ask (as i did ) why one would need another Pistol DVD since there is already Pavel's most excellent Naked Warrior which teaches both the one arm push up and the pistol, and includes variants of each.

One may ask the same question about why would anyone do another kb instructional dvd after the excellent book/dvd "Enter the Kettlebell"? And this is rather the same question as why are there a dozen textbooks all teaching stats? Part of the answer may be that different teachers/writers/coaches convey the same topics in different ways, and at different times, different approaches may connect more effectively than at others.

Alternative Approaches
Right now, after working through some of the Cotter DVD, there is a certain appeal to the approach. Rather than working pistols by working the same move on progressively lower boxes, there are a series of supporting drills and levels in the DVD.

The DVD provides:
  • flexibility exercises
  • balance work
  • strength prep work
  • three levels of actual pistol practice prep
  • doing those 10/10 pistols
  • variations of pistols (including weighted)

Again, i'm not saying that one approach is better than the other. For my mental state right now, the Mastering the Pistol DVD seems a closer fit.

And here is where there may be a kind of philosophical difference between the two approaches. Cotter's focuses on drills and routines to build up the strength ultimately to execute the pistol as effortlessly as one might get up from a chair. In other words, the progression on the DVD implies that if you do all the preliminary levels, the end result will be the 10/side pistol.

Pavel's approach seems to be more about learning how to generate tension to succeed with movement. He does not quantify number of pistols done to master the move; rather he demos the types of moves that should be possible once the particular strength technique is mastered. The same technique is to be applied starting with the highest box necessary to do the move down to finally the fully in the hole bottomed out posture to do the move.

Naturally there is overlap between the two: Cotter uses progressively lower boxes as parts of his series, too, but again, there seems a philosophical difference especially with regard to the role of tension. That's not a bad thing; it's just different, and i think in a good way for me as a pistol trainee. I like more information.

To Boldly Go...
What i don't know is how Cotter developed his program, any more than i know how Pavel developed and tested his: did each of them test their approach out with 10 newbies to see what worked? Or did they just draw on their experience to say "this seems like a reasonable program to help build up the muscle skill necessary for this move." Dunno.

What i do know, is that, like having a couple texts on say statistics (and i have more than two because it's a topic that drives me crazy so the more insights i can get into ANOVA calculations the easier i breath) to get different material AND to get different perspectives on the same material, it seems there is much to learn from both.

So i'm flagging Cotter's program up as something that looks like an interesting plan to follow to build into the pistol - it even uses Adam's sling shot in level one (thought without the kettlebell :) ).

What it also confirms for me as i work through Level 2 is that, regardless of approach taken, it has been the right decision to get back to basics: to master the bodyweight pistol first - with perfect form for perfect reps (a focus in these moves) - before getting into the weighted variety. It may put off my Bete challenge, but c'est le gare.

This stepping back to perfect the bodyweight variant seems necessary. And as Pavel claims in the Naked warrior, doing the Pistol is a testament to strength, movement and agility, so why not get it right? Right now, it feels like Cotter's circling around and up to it program may be right for where i'm at.

I'll look foward to a more complete review when i'm done the progressions and see where that lands me relative to "mastery."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Address Movement; Address Pain: Z Health R phase Certification

In the Staley/Tsatsouline Strength Seminar, Pavel tells the joke of the weight room: "How many of you have had shoulder injuries? Anyone who hasn't raised their hand, can't." Tweaks, injuries, low back pain, gamy knees, all seem to be part of the athlete's oeuvre. Despite this, athletic coaches have shied away from tackling pain. Most certifications, from the CSCS to the CK-FMS, encourage coaches to refer pain to the appropriate specialist. So i was very surprised when i read the seeming emphasis on addressing pain as a core part of the Z health Certification.

The Blurb for the ZHealth RPhase certification includes, as rationale for seeking out this cert:
  1. You have chronic, nagging injuries that inhibit your own performance!
    (How can you hope to help others to optimal health if you aren’t there yourself?)
  2. You’re totally frustrated with ‘cutting-edge’ exercises and programs which yield minimal results in pain-relief or enhanced performance for both you and your clients!
    (Nothing’s worse than wasting time, money and effort learning a new set of protocols only to see pitiful, or even worse, NO results.)
  3. You’re tired of losing good clients because of injury, poor performance or loss of motivation!
I can think of no other certification i've seen that focuses on pain relief and learning about offering pain relief in a trainer/coach context. Isn't that where we, the humble trainers/coaches, are supposed to punt to the skilled therapist trained in working with pain as the main reason their clients come to see them?

The "punt" is exactly what we learned too in the CK-FMS: if in any of the three tests for pain or if in any of the 7 screens induce pain, punt - get thee to a medico, PT or other well educated practitioner of manual therapy. And that seemed right proper, too.

But as i practice more ZHealth (here's an overview of Z), have the opportunity to coach more people, and read more about brain plasticity and about the nervous system, i've started to understand better a very foundational principle of ZHealth discussed in the certification: address movement; address (an awful lot of ) pain. This understanding also seems to be what sets ZHealth apart from other more general joint mobility work: it's focus of joint mobility work as a path towards improved movement/function and consequent pain relief.

This is not to say that other systems of joint mobility do not enhance function and potentially reduce pain, albeit perhaps less directly/systematically. I am not aware, however, of other joint mobility approaches that look at movement so diagnostically and associates specific movement work with addressing movement issues. There is a well-considered mapping between poor movement and exercises to enhance performance by restoring or improving that movement along full range of motion in the way joints are supposed to move.

What comes out of this correlation between movement assessment and work to improve movement is that there is a strong correlation between poorer movement and a heck of a lot of tissue-based pain. Address the movement issue and the associated pain seems to be addressed as well. In having read now some of the sources that inform the Z approach, this connection just makes so much sense. We are SO interconnected: physiologically, chemically, psychologically.

So while it sounds on the one hand like Z pracitioners are dealing with PAIN right at the top of the charts, Z practice is about movement and the processing systems that come into play with movement: joints, muscles, and especially nervous system receptors - including those in vision and balance. That's cool. It's movement (and turtles) all the way down.

In ZHealth (hereafter referenced as simply "Z"), there are a few basics
  • never move into pain
  • anything can cause anything
  • the site of the pain may not be the source of the pain
  • poor movement is often the source of pain: address the movement, and address the pain.
Now some folks have had issues for instance with "never move into pain" - particularly around the issue of Foam Roller use (please see Mike T Nelson's identity setting post on why there are some issues with foam rollers). A little light reading in the nervous system, however, shows that nociceptive pain (generally, pain in tissue) is a complex set of neurological actions that triggers a consequent set of chemical reactions that sets off tons of stuff of other responses that all say "problem" and "protect." This protection may mean making an area more sensitive so that less stimulus causes more pain; or it may have the opposite effect such that more stimulus (inducing pain) is needed to get an effect. It would seem sensible, therefore, that far from wanting to trigger those kinds of responses, we'd want to find approaches that achieve what many call "release" without further inducing trauma. I just speculate here, based on what i'm able to parse from these texts. And also from what i've seen in practice.

I worked with a client recently who complained of knee issues - sufficient to keep her away from squatting and even swinging a kettlebell with joy. After an assessment, we worked intensely on getting elbow circles (a Z movement) working. I was happily taken aback at seeing her the next morning saying that the pain was gone. Just. Gone. I've heard other Z coaches say they've had similar results with knee issues, and i've heard Eric Cobb talk about how quickly the body can adapt - but to see it yourself - well, it's impressive.

What Z focus on movement also means with respect to pain is really to break the site is the source mentality. The neurological focus may raise the question, based on nervous/chemical/tissue responses, if someone's shoulder is sore, is adding more stimulus directly to that area necessarily the best approach from a nociceptive perspective? Might that just keep irritating an area potentially? Yes the limb will need to be worked - our bodies are also very much apparently use it or lose it organisms - but is that where we start? Z would say, (i belive), look at the overall movement. Now it says a whole lot more about taking someone's history and so on, but in terms of the Big Picture, if anything can cause anything, why think addressing the site (alone) is the best or only place to begin?

What Z practice is showing me (and i'm only speaking for myself here, at a very early level of Z work) is that it's harder to rationalize training people in sport (or any other endeavor involving movement) without knowing more about what's happening in our bodies holistically as we train. What is going on in the brain as we practice? what is going on in the nerves and muscle fibers as we learn particular habits of movement? How does this patterning relate to either the Perfect Rep in particular or more general well being and ongoing ability to perform?

Knowledge about the interconnectedness of all the systems in the body - muscle, bone, brain, nerves - is actually pretty new. From the research new ideas in just how plastic we are at repatterning - how adaptable - has only really been pouring out of research over the last 10-20 years, depending on area. Eric Cobb's work in Z seems to be right at the cutting edge of that research - i've written before about how that connection to bleeding edge neurological science informs Z and why i personally like it because of that grounding. I've talked about this as the Engineering of the Science behind Z- translating the findings of science into practical applications of Engineered technology. The advantage that Z has again in this translation process is the increasing number of Z certified pracitioners and their clients finding out how well this tekne works.

A key part of this tekne is helping the person move themselves better - this self-movement as opposed to being moved by another - is also grounded in leading edge science, neurology.

So while i don't say to clients "wow, i can heal your pain" - if someone says "i have this pain" or "there's a bit of a tweak here" i can say "let's see how you move." So far, because of this integrative approach of "anything can cause anything" i've been able to work with more people, and more kinds of people, more effectively - and often more quickly and happily, too.

If you've been thinking about doing a Z certification, please contact Kathy Mauck and Z directly ( and let her know mc suggested you connect to find out how to make this work for you. The cool thing about Z is that there are also real people on the other end of the web page/email/phone. They'll help you make accessing a z cert work for you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

GS kettlebelling First Impressions

If you've touched a kettlebell, you may be aware that there are a few approaches to KB practice. One has come to be known as "hard style" taught by Pavel Tsatsouline, and certified RKC's (like myself). The RKC approach also refers to itself as a "school of strength." It's this approach i've been using in the Perfect Rep Quest.

The other style is usually called GS (for Girevoy Sport) or Kettlebell Sport.

The main difference between the two styles seems to be technique and goal. In Hard Style, with its focus on strength, there is a consequent focus on generating tension for power and strength. The technique is to generate tension to move a heavy object a few times. Alternately, the GS approach seems to be (i stress seems as i am new to this GS country) to focus on endurance for performance over time. This is not to say that strength is not a part of it - men compete with shoving 2, 32kg bells up and down in the clean and jerk for numbers in time. But the sport is really to see how many times that weight bell can get pumped in that move in that time.

So the technique to manage this is about optimizing efficiency rather than tension - endurance strength rather than power strength. In this respect the style of the key moves is different to support these distinct goals.

This weekend, i had the opportunity to learn GS style from Steve Cotter under the auspices of the new IKFF CKT certification hosted by Simple Strength's Rannoch Donald, and using the newly demo'd London Kettlebells competition bells with most welcome highly indestructible paint job.

The main thing i take away from this right now that it's another way to think about applying these oh so versatile fitness tools. Pacing is a nice idea. Going for time is the way i was trained in x-country running: forget about speed at first and go for time. That means taking as much recovery *within* a set as needed to complete the set. Recovery is not doing nothing: it's active. In an overhead squat cycle, the rest may be at the bottom of the squat with the bell still locked out on top, or it may be while standing. In the jerk, it may be bell up top or bell in the rack. So you're holding/balancing/maintaining weight, but it's not in motion. You haven't put it down is the thing.

The practice of someone watching the clock for you gets to be a little meditative. Focus without boredom. "1 minute - great"...."2minutes...."

IT's very much a different head space than the more GRRR of hard style.

I've heard some argue on various fora that the GS approach is superior for health and well being and longevity. Ok. Show me the research that says this is so. That shows for instance long distance runners are healthier into old age than power lifters. It's not clear to me why we'd need to get into a this style is better than that style. I would be very keen though to see real data about how/why these different approaches may favour different types of health issues.

Without that evidence, well we're just whistling dixie.

In the interim of such claims being certified, it is clearly established that GS is a sport in a way that hard style is not (this point is not in contention, i think :)). As such, for hardstylers too it may be fun to think about translating that hard style grr attitude into a competitive realm. Double 32 C&J'ing for time/numbers, gentlemen? For women, i learned that in the US, it's snatching, jerking or "long cycle" clean and jerking with one arm, and a 16. Though it seems gals use 24's in Russia. Nothing wimpy about that.

Indeed, part of the rationale for going long (in time) with these weights is that really, how big a deal is it to press a big ol' kettlebell once next to a powerlift with a barbell? Ok, put that way, ya a single kettlebell lift ain't that big, relatively speaking (pressing a 24 is still a big deal to me, OK? but i get the point). So what else can you do with a "lighter" weight? Er, press it again? and again?

So to aid the Sport aspect of this repetition approach to kb's, like olympic bars and plates, they're all a standard size. Many folks have spoken about the rationale for this standardization: the only thing that changes is the weight. There's something appealing about working the groove of a move with the same shape, whether an 8 or a 28. It is interesting to train and groove with one weight, and go up to the next with exactly the same form. It's cool.

The form initially seems a little freaky - bending back and curling over the bell, resting on the hip etc. Hence the benefit of proper instruction to learn how to do this without herniating a disk.

BJ Bliffert, RKC, told me about GS over the summer - and that if you're thinking about it, start lighter than you're used to working with in RKC style. From my brief experience to date, he's right. Because of the time element, greasing the groove, getting the form is a big deal - it's a whole new muscle pattern to learn and become efficient with. And brain theory would say it's also a whole new bunch of neural maps to put down. So as always with the perfect rep, looks like high volume low(er) weight is the way to go.

Right now i'm not sure exactly where the GS approach will fit into my training practice life, but i do really like the idea of timed sets as a component of that. Cotter talks about these as a mental discispline practice, not only a physical discipline to stay in there. Getting the mix of weight to time is then important - and is certainly where i was at with the timed sets we did on the weekend: balancing challenge of effort with tenacity of focus to keep going wihtout burning out. It was enjoyable in a rough kinda way.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about this as flow
: being in the space of something that is sufficiently challenging to keep you engaged, but not pushing you beyond your skills; using them without overloading them and so going into stress/startle mode. This is not to say that GS has a lock on flow with kettlebells - just that you're likely to find it there if you have the time to learn the technique and the opportunity to connect with someone who can teach you - so you do get the tech- nique, and do hit the flow. Right now the practice - learning the skill is part of a flow, too.

Right now, it seems like the IKFF is reaching out to as many continents as it can find, and there are a growing host of IKFF certified CKT'ers (also like me) out there. That said, i'm gonna be practicing the form a whole lot more for the time being to get it. I got the sense there was way more technique happening than we were explicitly taught. so for the nonce, i'm just working the sweep, the repose, the sweep, the repose, checking my grip checking the handle in the hand and again.

Initial impression? i don't know martial arts, but i hear that most martial arts types learn many styles. In a similar vein, i'm really glad to have had the opportunity to learn a new style, and now have the opportunity to think about how to take this new learning into my own physical practice.

(thanks to ken blackburn for the source image)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i just C&P'd the 20!

ok, so not a deep post this; just personal celebration.

i just clean & pressed the 20k on the right side. first time. a bit of hip to get through the sticking point but not a ton, and the thing is it went up otherwise unassisted.

This is a big deal personally - had almost thought it wasn't gonna happen. Gives me hope that the 24 is not quite as far out of site as i'd thought it might be.

y'all go get your PR's too!

happy dance time

-later: the 20 on the right feels a bit right now like the 16 did on the left before i got the clean figured out: planets must align, everything be just so to get it; it's not consistent.

But the interesting thing to me, is that this time i *know* - or am at least pretty certain - that it's a technique issue now rather than a strength issue. So perhaps the same approach that worked for the 16L will work with the 20R, eh? to get that dialed in. (for those who haven't been following this, it's all part of the "perfect rep quest series")

Never imagined strength would be so rich a skill/experience.

update: Feb 28, 2009
second 20k single - less hip and faster going up this time.
will miracles never cease!

update: Thurs. March 26
third C&P in dressing gown after breakie

update Friday March 27
fourth C&P in dressing gown after breakie.

hmm, a pattern?

have tried on other occasions before and since (like today March 27 - no go). Technique? New Moon? what??

update easter monday April 13:
recovering from a vicious cold, jet lagged, back from two weeks away and zero 20k attempts (no such thing available), popped it up once after breakie and ONCE AGAIN after lunch. no warm up no nothin' just up and then up.

that's 6 C&P's and the first double in one day.
i was gonna try for a third, but wanted to have a 100% success day.

May 2...
i haven't written down each c&p since the above - there haven't been that many :). Maybe one or two a week. and not on the same days.

But today, after a 5 min RKC snatch test prep (98 - personal record, and honestly was not killing myself, this is not the TSC; even saying that, there's a long way to go to double that for a GS event) - yes AFTER that, i did 5 C&P singles. Pauses between them: doing z health shoulder work. But there they were. Later that evening i snuck in one more. It wasn't until i went for the 7th that that was it.

What changed?

May 3...
after a vo2max row (rowing is very similar to snatching), i had a miss with the C&P - that usually spells zero for the day, but went back after recovery; did 1 C&P followed by a second complete press. hmm.

One thing that has changed - besides i'd hope the natural process of muscular adaptation: attitude. In keeping with what i've been learning in the Sedona Method about effortless this that and the other thing, i thought i'd try effortless pressing. That doesn't mean not tensing muscles as needed etc, but it's i dunno, perhaps a state of mind that lets the work happen without getting all fussed or psyched or something about it.

I don't know what to say other than, the day i approached the C&P of the 20 with that attitude is the day i got 6 singles, and the next day got 2 presses non-stop. Maybe it's just coincidence that on that same day the muscular strength was just there. but we'll see. this is something i plan to test in going for the 24.

it's a drag to need to wait a few days before doing heavy pressing again... drat that recovery.

May 31 - post RKC Denmark 09 assisting, post zhealth I phase.
Pavel gave me some hip flexor advice at the Cert to drive the clean more to awesome effect, and Eric Cobb gave me some great stance and eye work to get through the sticking point, with an eye towards the 24. Result: get home and I'm up to 9 C&P singles with the 20. We'll see when that 24 comes down (which means goes up, of course).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weighted Pistol Puzzle

I own i have been frustrated by the weighted pistol. My body weight pistol is not a car wreck. On a good day, can even do that lovely hold your toe with leg outstetched while going up and down. But the weighted version - any kind of weight - is a challenge i canna crack. I wonder if part of this is the way a woman's center of mass is different from a guy's?

Anyway, i've finally been places where i can set up a rig to give adam glass's advice a go:

  • hang a band from something (adam suggests within a power rack/cage) to be able, effectively, to put one's butt in a sling to help with that get up from the ground sticking point.
The rig certainly enables me to get back up (no probs getting down :) ) for a few reps at a go, do right, do left, break with fast and loose or zhealth and come on back - which may indicate there's just enough support for now. I got my "high" volume in with this today with a 12. BUT i think what i might try is using this rig with a lighter band for singles on the heavy day.

If you're just looking to get your body weight pistol happening, there are two sources: the best freebie is at Beast Skills. (i think the person's first name is Jim, but it's actually really challenging to find his name on his site!)

The best book/video on building appropriate strength/tension techniques, also featuring how to get a one arm push up, is Pavel Tsatsouline's Naked Warrior.

If you've had trouble with weighted pistols, and have found techniques to break the cycle and get success, please share.

I'll let you know how the sling shot technique progresses.
Feb 25: update here and prelim review of Steve Cotter's mastering the pistol

Friday, February 6, 2009

quick update

Hi folks,
just a quick update to say i've been on the road for over the past fortnight, just catching up. I'm sorry for no new posts in that period, and appreciate your patience.
Coming up in the next week or so:
bone mineral density and thoughts on enhancing it (for adam), how bands might bust plateaus, and vitamin d: how do you get enough? what is enough? no really.
see y'all soon.

mc - back where the UK seems to feel the ice age was too long ago to remember how to shovel. i sense there'll be ample time this millennium to rekindle those skills.


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