Saturday, December 29, 2012

In strength, the most reps with the best volume/intensity wins?

In strength work, there are so many ways to skin a cat. There are so many ways to get to be able to move more load. But when it comes to skills (and strength is a ....), it seems that over and over what is required is to perform the thing over and over.

In strength training this over and over-ness is celebrated in what might be term the Fundamental Unit of Strength Practice: the Rep - as in the REP-etition. How many reps are in a set, how many sets for total reps. And more:
Total reps * load = Volume (mass)
(Total reps * load)  / time = Density (load/min)

everything in strength practice is factored around the rep (etition). 

Likewise In learning a motor skill (and strength is a....) there is no way around number of reps. Before we can get to a point where we can effectively correct ourselves, to have enough awareness in ourselves about a movement, we need 1000's of reps. Actually, tens of thousands. For that skill to become as basic as walking - hundreds of thousands.

Note that getting reps says nothing about load - just to learn a skill, we need reps.

In strength work, we're trying to induce a particular change: to get stronger. How 'bout that. Getting stronger requires the body being made to adapt to new loads (as best as we understand it - that requirement to grow/change/adapt is crucial to nudging strength).

In this case, where strength is a skill and we need reps to build a skill, and we need load change to nudge strength development, it seems we have a bit of a conundrum: how to blend reps (lots of reps) and load with appropriate recovery to gain skill/strength.
Total reps * load = Volume
(Total reps * load) / time = Density
Here are some of the ways i've been exploring ratios of reps with load/time for strength skills practice: looking at how to get 1000s, 100s, 10's and 1's.

1000s: rehabbing from injury; rebuilding a movement map. 

When i was doing literally thousands of reps with a band for my shoulder, i was both strengthening it, repairing it and relearning the movement of the press (and the pull - do 1000s of presses, gotta do an equal and opposite movement: thousands of pulls).

i hypothesize i was also reteaching my spirit that my shoulder WAS getting better, and that i will press again. and again and again. The adaptation here is for re-modelling everything from tissue to movement patterns. A sufficient load for a challenge in each rep, but also to enable sets of (for me) 50 to 75 to 100 at a go, with short breaks of 1-3 minutes before diving in again.

SO many reps - so many form-perfect reps. I'm trying to remodel pain free firing patterns, too. Part of the problem of an injury is that it can literally cause proper muscle patterns to get fouled up, so that the coordination of the movement is off to compensate around where pain is/has been (there is research here but i do not have the papers to hand. dang. i'll fill this in anon).

I suspect that re-injuries occur once someone says they feel better often because the feeling better is of an out-of-balance firing pattern - or a pattern where part of the muscle itself may not be firing. Re-patterning the whole movement without pain, over and over again i'm guessing in no small part is telling the body/brain that the right pattern is safe. This is a hypothesis on my part, based on my own experience and in working with folks where there muscles are in part "off" post injury and post rehab, and where cuing them to come back on contributes almost immediately to getting out of pain.

My own pain forced me to explore mega reps: it's all i could do, and colleagues i'd trusted said then do that - lots and lots and lots. They were right. Perfect form, burning it in. That's a great foundation for re-building even better strength than ever before. Really (example story).

My coaching thoughts at this point would be: if someone is learning a movement in strength and they care about it and want to excel at it then make this band work a volume day for one's training to get to the 10k point in reps. I'd also recommend working with a coach to make sure the movement getting repped in is a good one, then do the 10k. At one volume session a week, that's 2.5 months. Taking the long view for a life time of lifting, that 2.5 months for bullet proofing doesn't sound like much does it?

Think Karate Kid: Wax on; wax off - it pays off, no?

100s: Exploring a Movement with greater Load; Hypertrophy

This past year, Kenneth Jay introduced me to German Volume Training - a well known protocol for hypertrophy. Alas, i don't do hypertrophy it seems. But i do like volume training this way. For KJ, it's sets of ten with a load where the 11th or 12th rep would be failure, and not allowing full recovery between sets (30-60sec). So ten sets of ten.

I find this a very satisfying way to train for light-ish days - though that's a bit of a misnomer. Anyone who's ever done 10 sets of ten pistols per leg, bodyweight, will tell you - i'm guessing - that that's not nothing. At least that's my story and i'm sticking with it.

Ken Froese calls such 100 kinds of days "play" days - as in explore a movement - get to know it - use a weight that enables a challenge and fatigue at post 10. This kind of practice is about getting stronger, but also building up knowledge of a movement. If we want to get in 10,000 such reps to build up expertise. that's 100 days of 100 reps - that's likely 2 years for once a week volume limited to 100 reps.

From a motor learning perspective, we actually need hundreds of thousands of reps to get to a place where they are as unconscious in their performance as a skill like walking. If we think about sports like tennis where someone is swinging swinging swinging with the raquet, forehand, backhand, slicing, dicing - they may have an advantage of getting to those high reps sooner, eh to "own" that movement?

Now there is *some* suggestion/hypothesizing that load *may* cut down some of the number of reps required in terms of learning - why? because more muscle fibers and so more nerves will get involved in learning that movement, and so movement learning *may* be slightly accelerated. But what's the ratio? 2reps at 90% is worth 5 at 85%? - not quite ready to go there.

 What does seem clear is that adding load/challenge can accelerate a learning insight, but that we still need to rep that insight in for the patterns to become autonomic.

10's: Getting to the Heavy Stuff

I have found in my own practice that i value volume like crazy but that i also require time for heavier loads in my strength practice. This is why my particular approach - what i really enjoy - is a volume day and a load day when working on progressing a lift. The heavy days mean usually three rung ladders and some singles work. I may end a 90min session with 25 reps total.

Now that is not a lot of reps. But it's in the zone of Prilepin's table (and how to use it) for a heavy practice in the 80% zone. Prilepin is something power lifter Fawn Friday turned me on to (pointing to this youtube summary in particular). It's been very good - the table - for generating some two dozen world records, apparently.

Prilepin's Table
So, if the volume days let my nervous system get used to the movement, then the load days let my body figure out how to add one more element to the practice: load.  The body has to fire up more muscle fibers; there may be in fact different firing patterns with load; different timings; different balance. So getting experience with a heavier load - and getting reps in - means a different kind of training. If we want volume, we need more recovery.

Distributing the load across time is where the protocol known as Grease the Groove can be handy - grabbing those challenging reps whenever the opportunitiy presents itself.

What i have found however, is that when i'm initially working up to a new load, i need that full workout before hand - it's a warm up or something - that initially i cannot just step in and get a rep with a 20 or with a 24. I need time for it to become familiar (or perhaps you're saying that's me just becoming stronger. strength is a .... )

1's: singles - the beauty of the One in Ten Thousand. The Goal. 

In the workouts with the 10s of reps rather than the 100's i also value the singles. I'm not sure if that means i do a kind of double Prilipen: sets of 1-3 reps (usually three rung ladders), then heavier singles. Sometimes the first rep of a ladder is the heavier load, that i can do for a single, then loads i can do for triples.

For instance, today it was: first rep of three rung ladder (which is effectively a single) was 22kg, then the second and third rungs (2 and 3 reps each, or double followed by triple) were with a 20kg.

Then at the end of the work out, i did a few singles just with the 24. These 22's and definitely 24s are the ones of which i can only do after getting in ladders of 20s - so far.

Of course when we get to singles we add in another version of the Rep - the One Rep Max, or Intensity.
( Current Lift / One Rep Max ) * 100 = % of 1RM 
The "% of 1 rep max" is what's used in the Prilepin table, above.

Double Prilepin Workout? What's surprising to me is that my heaviest lifts -at or approaching a 1RM -will come at the end of a long workout - an hour or so in like with that 24kg press. I may only get one rep here. or a few. They're exciting.

These singles suggest that all the previous working sets are a kind of warm up?  I dunno - as said - it seems like a kind of double Prilipen - the 80% workout followed by a 90%+ - does that make sense?

I have tested this repeatedly where i have tried a new load earlier in the practice session and not gotten it; tried again much latter, and voila. Beautiful.

What is happening here? Shouldn't i be more fatigued by this point? it's not like i've been pulling any punches with the work done to that point? Fascinating. But i enjoy it and it seems to be working.

Reps: Beyond the Lift - keeping mobile

At some point, we can talk about Reps, in terms of building movement, and being more than just about strength. there we might discuss other aspects of our practice where we need reps - for energy systems, different planes of movement than the forever sagital.

But for today,
this article started with the observation there are so many ways to skin a cat - to get a lift - easy strength; waving loads; german volume training; periodization etc etc.

There are more programs than sense, are there not? 
How decide?  

So, a question: if in music, chess, sport (like soccer or tennis), programming, the most reps leads to the best results,

In strength training - does the person with the most reps, the best volume, simply win?  Follow up question: win not just for now, but consecutively?

Even if there is no best plan, best program, might optimising for most reps have particular fringe benefits that go beyond the success/goal of the moment? 

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Shayne Autry, Dec 19, 2012 - in Memorium -

I'm not sure how to describe Shayne Autry. I kinda fell in love with Shayne the first time i interacted with him. This was at a z-health course - sustenance - and one of the exercises was to team up and practice active listening. Shayne and i were sitting close to each other so we teamed up. I was supposed to talk about something to do with my training and he was supposed to practice listening, reflecting and i think making some suggestions.
This photo was taken by Kathy Graves,
Shane's buddy, and fellow karate expert and
zhealth trainer/co-course attender.

I immediately felt safe starting to chat with Shayne, first because he seemed quietly self-possessed, second because of his lovely texas accent, and third, well, third, Shayne and i are about the same height. What some might call "short."
Beyond these qualities, what made me feel so sweet on Shayne is how well he listened and how well he engaged - i felt heard and like my practice was going to get better.

Shayne could also do amazing movements on the rings - there was a set hanging up where we were at - and he was lovely in his demonstration of skills, and kind in his demonstration of techniques to progress a movement. I was taken with the muscle up, and i recall how he gently and clearly demonstrated the role of the hand position in getting the muscle up on the rings.

I had no idea that this grounded guy was also a 5th degree karate black belt instructor. I learned this later - and not from him - at another course. Why i say i have no idea is that i was more accustomed to the folks who made their martial arts prowess a thing. If you're in this space you likely know what i mean: the guys with the chest forward and the shaved head whose sentences are often peppered with references to their particular speciality. This is not a critique - just an observation of how many of the folks in that space recognize each other. It's a kind of uniform. IT's not however the uniform that shayne wore - at least not where i encountered him, which was in Phoenix on courses. There you're seeing a guy in sandles, jammers, a loose t-shirt, longish hair tied back in a pony tale, beard. Everything looked relaxed, loose, compact.
When i learned about his martial arts expertise, i thought you are like columbo or the spy in sun tzu who no one would expect is the expert, the gymnast, the lethal fists. So impressed that what came to the fore was just this warm, welcoming Texan.

I can't say i "know" Shayne at all. I think i've seen him in person less than a handful of times - always at courses, but always looked forward to seeing him, hearing his voice and especially seeing his awesome smile. It just wouldn't be the same if he wasn't there.
I remember last year when i think i learned about him running his own academy thinking that ya, what a great coach - his students must be so lucky to have him teach them martial arts. And i'd again be struck with how un-pre-possessing this guy who could likely kill me faster than look at me, seemed to be.

video put together by one of Shayne's cousins

Over the past year or so, Shayne and i connected mainly over the net via posts on Facebook - he'd reply to something on one of my posts; i'd reply to one of his. Mostly kibitzing. I don't know why - we just did. It was alway a kind of Warm feeling that another human being was connecting not just with the b2d stuff, but more often the regular fb posts - not conversations - just contact - a virtual smile - acknowledgement - i dunno. Friendly and fun. I think we spoke more this way online - with these kinda  virtual buddy shoulder punches - than we did in person.

The last contact i have from Shayne is a message shortly after an FB event b2d hosted - a one arm push up progress party. Shayne sent me a direct message - first time - saying he thought he might have a way to improve my push up and to call him. Remembering his muscle up ideas, i was really excited that he was offering some thoughts here. And how interesting that he was offering his phone number for contact rather than a message contact or public post.

I'd been on the road at the time his note came in and just saw it the other day. Calling...Guess i missed him...

Then i saw the email from zhealth saying that Shayne had died and there were as yet no other details about cause of death. He was 37. 37.
I still can't parse this. Did i just miss him? Did he want to talk? Hello? Is anybody there?
Shayne, i'm so so so sorry i missed you. That's just not right. None of this is right.
What happened? What can i do?

Despite not knowing Shayne deeply, Shayne's digital greetings have been a gift in my life, and i'm feeling the loss suddenly, keenly. It's a hole around something i didn't really even know i had. It's arrival was unexpected; its departure, more wrenching than expected having reflected on what is lost and that will never be there again.

And that i missed his call seemingly offered so close to the end of his whole life - his whole life. What did i miss? Could i have been there for him in some way?
 That seems the most bitter: to have been so close to that moment and there is no "catch ya later." It's gone. Shayne's just gone.

So no i don't know really how do describe Shayne in any kind of deep knowing way to tell you any part of his story; i can't witness anything else about him, beyond these glimpses of someone who seemed to be a warm and generous human being, someone i'd trust as a coach, and recommend to anyone else who might be in his area, and loved in these exchanges where the words weren't important; it was just the contact, the presence. It occurs to me how potent this contact has been - what a gift.
Of all the folks i know, he's one of the few who so regularly reached out to just make contact - and never asked for anything back. I realise thinking on this how rare that kind of contact is, and how delightful, how priceless. It's amazing to me, i think, that such quality can shine through, be so potent, even with so little quantity. That's powerful isn't it? That is a kind of testimony to person. A proof that he was here. Will be remembered warmly and missed deeply for at least these gifts.

For those who don't know Shayne and may be wondering why i'm using this blog to talk about Shayne, please allow me to offer this: i think it is important to recognize that a really good member of the health and wellbeing community is gone. That someone who helped shape a profound aspect of people's lives be recognised for this work.

WE are so few of us famous but still profoundly affect the lives around us and so out of repsect should be named, honored, noted, remembered. Shayne Autry stepped here.

I'm glad to have known him even to this small degree, glad to be able to tell you about him, sorry i can't introduce you to him, but hope you will raise a glass this holiday to the good folks who have tried to make our lives better - and even not knowing him - take my word for it if you might - that he's worth remembering in that toast too.

Miss you, Shayne.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

al kavadlo: raising the bar on using the bar - dvd review

Pull ups rock, right? They are a fundamental, do anywhere, super core, righteous bodyweight exercise. They are the foundation to so many other things of goodness, too, in self-strengthening skill work. Despite this, if you walk into any room (including a gym), the number of people who can do a full tactical pull up (palms facing away, neck to the bar, straight pull without momentum) will be, it seems, vanishingly small.

But don't worry: Al Kavadlo of We're Working Out Youtube  fame is here to help, with a DELIGHTFUL DVD called Raising the Bar on pull ups and all moves (including levers and dips) related to pull ups - and bar work.

In fact, this video is so engaging you'll enjoy it if either (a) you already do pull ups - and are interested in getting into their variants like muscle ups or one arm chins (b) you have no intention of doing pull ups or (c) you know people who would like to do pull ups and haven't quite cracked it yet. Anyone you give this to will find something delightful in it.

And Yes i said "delightful"- a couple times. You may ask: can something mc just called "delightful" be taken seriously as a grrr me do pull ups grr type product. Well yes, indeed. And that's part of the delight. You can grr if you wish (Al's brother Danny who demos the movements, too, puts out some of that grr - just so you can do that vibe, too). Or, as Al makes clear from his own presentation, no grring required to be serious about our practice.

Smiling AND doing a one arm
hanging V-sit? What's not
to love? Feel inspired?
Personally, if someone's smiling while doing a one arm pull up,  that's just gosh darn inviting, don't you think? Like, if a guy's all RRR and looking super intense doing a dip it's like "that's super hard ---- oooo - i dunno if i could do that." Whereas seeing Al, the vibe is totally "wow, that looks like fun. i'm gonna give that a go."

And towards that go getting, Al K. puts out a good series of progressions for each of the movements described and illustrated.

[Update: interview with AK about raising the bar now posted - Jan, 2013]

The DVD itself covers
  • Pull Ups - about a million varieties for all levels - from beginner to advanced like the archer pull up
  • Dips - again, both progressions to get started with the move, and then to move on up
  • Various intensifiers like hanging leg raises - again with progressions - L sits, V sits
  • Hand stands - from wall assisted to free standing
  • Muscle Ups and Levers
  • One arms - of course - one arms.
  • Practice - putting these movements together for developing strength and skill - Al and Dan
  • Walk about - a great section of this vid is the proof that bar work is available in all sorts of places - and considering how constantly New York is under construction, the opportunities there to grab a scaffolding bar and pull up are celebrated. 
Frame of Reference: DVD as Bar Progress Resource 
There is a bloody lot of material on this DVD. It's over 50mins long, and feels very rich. An imagined use is as a reference for progressions. For example, someone working on getting a pull up may watch chapter one to get all the ideas about hand position and progressions, and then dig into a particular progression for awhile, knowing that once they get that step, the next one is there to study, such as simply playing with grip position - chin, pull and neutral variants. 

If one's focus is hand stands or levers or muscle ups - just go to that chapter and run the well considered progressions.

Presentors: Al and Danny Kavadlo - Awesome combo
One of the many unique and compelling aspects of this DVD is that while written, produced and edited by Al Kavadlo, his trainer brother Danny joins him to show a slightly different body type approaching the same movements. And if you've followed any of Kavadlo's We're Working Out Vids, it's interesting to see Danny's New Look - a great complement to Al's. 

The Brothers Kavadlo in Raising the Bar.
So the video gives us two different bodies doing the moves individually, and then shows them carrying out the moves in sync. Now that's FUN! 

Synchro Rollovers

These guys are both inked up pretty intensely - but they look very distinct even here. It's very interesting. The ink is also - i think - why when they do their work shirtless it doesn't feel like they're showing off - being buff studs. It feels like they have their ink on. Dunno - it just works.Very urban: the ere art fits in with the art/graffiti around them. Definitely city boys. This is real. I'll come back to that realness in a sec. In the meantime, a brief overview of the work through which the Kavadlo bros take us with the bar.

HUGELY accessible and CHALLENGING across all levels.
It's no small thing to create a DVD that works for beginners to advanced and all the spaces in between. Al's achieved this though. There will be very few people in the population who can say to each move on this vid, ya i got that i own that, Next. And even those few souls will appreciate the presentation of the material. When they get folks coming to them to say "how do you DO that??" you can now say - you brave people - 'Well here, check out Kavadlo's Raising the Bar - i know i did!"

Duel Dipping
DIPS There's a nice logic to the chapters on the DVD too - after pull ups, we get Dips - a great triceps focused, full on body movement. If you think you know everything about dips - on parallel bars or rings, have you experienced the Korean Dip on a straight bar? The plyo dip? of course - there has to be a plyo dip. There's even psuedo cycling while dipping in case you don't think your core is getting enough attention.

HANGS: No Pull Ups Required Speaking of which - here's where all sorts of hanging leg variants come into play - including awesome progressions.  The cool thing about these hanging variants is that we do not have to be pull up masters to do these: can we hang from the bar? 

How to hang is covered in the video - and believe me there is technique here so as not to stress the shoulders. Hanging is kinda a misnomer i think - that sounds really slack - but a good hang sucks in the shoulders - the back is nice and active while the core is also working and then from that hand we get some leg work. 

Aside, a wish: If i had my way - or enough money to have my way - i'd have pull up bars installed everywhere - starting with my campus - attached to buildings, and posts driven into the ground. Everywhere pull up bars. And the verticals can be used for human flags, and shinnying up and down

ADVANCED From basic pull ups, we get (bien sur) advanced pull ups - all sorts of playing with hand/shoulder combinations - that not only are a whole new workout place with pull ups but explore new positions - slightly below the bar; above the bar - all over the bar. Sweet stuff. 

MUSCLE UPS And yes for those at the ten bodyweight pull up place (i just hit that this fall - happy happy - let me say again, getting lean makes pull ups suddenly easier - go figure) - then there's a thumbs up to work the Muscle Up on a bar - or what looks really lovely - on parallel bars. 

Then as with each chapter, we get some sequences on how to put these variants together into some nice working funky combos. 

Wall-supported Hand Stands for Shoulder Strength:
The push to the Pull up Pull
Balance the bod - HAND STANDS Here's one step off the bar to doing some inversion orientation. Why? doing pulls, gotta counterbalance with some pushes - ain't nothing like handstands for this. Now i like to work shoulder stand press ups every day, but i cannot get that balance thing yet so i imagine i shall back away from the press ups to balance and maybe hand walking - why? it looks COOL! - and see someone go from a frog stand to a hand stand (yes that's in here) - well that's on my "i couldn't do that" - but thanks to this DVD i'm thinking - well - i can practice that. Already one simple tip from Al in this section improved my frog stand times immediately - like wow. 

But the biggie here? Kavadlo cares (i can see that as a t-shirt slogan). Really - we do pulls; we need pushes. So while not on the bar it supports the bar. In balance. Very nice, don't you think? Don't you want this video even more now because it's so thoughtful? 

Bench Levers towards Bar levers - and still Smiling
LEVERS? well, you can do them on a bench or a bar - hence being on this DVD - they're bar movements. And personally? i've now hit the wall - from this point i'm watching for pleasure as opposed to practice - maybe next year at this time i'll be ready for this part of the DVD - and isnt' that cool? Like i said: lots of room to grow. 
That said, Skin the Cat is in here - as a progression - and i've been doing that since i was a little kid so i guess i have a wee bite of this - towards a real back lever - so goodness - maybe not quite a year away...

FULL CIRCLE: ONE ARM PULL UPS:  And then, way out there, the sinecure of bar movements, the sex on a plate, he's so fine movement of pull ups: the one arm.

When i was but a grad student, twenty something, training with the x-country team, every once in awhile the guy who worked the desk at the uni gym - forty something very craigy and lean and fit - would come into the gym and pull a few one arms in his t-shirt and sweats. I can't think of one gal there who didn't swoon just a little bit. Somehow a 20 year old doing that just wouldn't have had the same effect - not that there was a 20 something in the gym who could do that. mm mm mm.  You know the difference in the second real star wars where Luke goes after Darth Vadar and whips out his light saber and then Darth brings his out, slow and controlled? That sorta thing. Nothing says experience like a well executed, controlled, slow, strong one arm pull up. But i digress.

The brothers Kavadlo present a set of progressions and variations for this movement too. For instance: can we hang from a bar, one armed - no shoulder stress? How get that full range of motion practice? They have solutions there too. 

Presentation: Excellent
The filming, editing, presentation of this video is EXCELLENT - Kavadlo produced and edited the whole thing. The music, as with his We're Working Out vids is his own, too.

You know how most DVD's are filmed inside in a studio and they just have that kinda contrived vibe to them?  Well, Raising the Bar  is NOT a studio DVD. This whole thing takes place outside, in the real, mainly at Thomkin Square Park in NYC. It's a real space where Al actually works out and children play and sirens scream.

Nice use of camera angle to show position on pull up
But also unlike a lot of single camera health DVD's that more or less set up in front of the athletes and that's it? One angle throughout - well, Al's thought about the shots for these moves. We see the move from the whole body; we get shots close up; we get shots from the top of the bar. And it's done so well, we don't notice the cuts to get the shots because they just feel logical in terms of conveying what we need to see to understand the movements.

Even the audio has been well-considered. Good audio on site describing the moves, and voice over the particulars of the movements for good attention to detail.

I mentioned the body art and how the guys fit in with the environment they use in the vid. Urban and real. This real-ness is another delightful and compelling part of the video - and another reason why i recommend it so highly - these guys walk the talk. They completely embody what they're talking about, they demo it, and you know from this presentation is not only part of what they do themselves, but what they have rather a lot of reps coaching others to do, too.

HIGH TRUST If you're interested in coaching fitness, this DVD is a masterclass in presentation. If you're into learning these moves, this is a presentation you can trust. Getting both of these attributes in one package? Goodness.

Aside 2: What's on the Feet?? yes that's Al Kavadlo movin' in some sweet Xero Shoes (review)

Recommendation: Buy and Give Raising the Bar

buy it for about 16 different reasons - just buy it - for yourself and for someone you love

As said, there is nothing not to enjoy in this DVD. The case for its purchase, as i hope i've made above, is pretty clear whether we're interested in bodyweight practice ourselves, or helping folks casually or professionally, this presentation is a gift. As a class in how to make an instructional video - pretty nice work there too.

BUT wait, there's one more reason: Al Kavadlo has been giving it away on YouTube for years now. If you want to learn how to do anything bodyweight from a dragon flag to a Human Flag, he's there with his zippy happy We're Working Out videos. My sense is that buying Raising the Bar is a nice way to give back and to say "thank you" to Al for all those freebies. Not only does the purchase become a thank you, but we still get all this great content. A bargain, a value, a gift.

the human flags in the real - no special equipment required

Summing up. I can't think of when i've been this impressed with a package - especially since really Al K. put the package together himself - this is his vision of what Raising the Bar should be. Plainly he's attracted a swell crew and willing publisher to support that vision. Again, the biggie for me is the realness of the presentation as well as the friendliness. We can smile and make progress; we can make amazing progress with our bodyweight alone; we do not need a gym. What the workouts together show is that we do need each other - or do well when we can help each other.

Nice nice material, nice presentation, nice story. Great model DVD. Enjoy - and if you really want a kick, put Raising the Bar in someone's stocking this holiday. And if you think it's too late to get the physical copy, order it and stick a pic of the cover into the stocking so they know it's coming.

In an upcoming episode of b2d, we'll have an interview with Al K about the making of Raising the Bar, and some of his fitness philosophy. Really cool, nice guy on top of the talent for training modelled here. In the meantime, while you wait for your DVD to arrive, check out Al's website. Interesting cool articles there too.

Best of the Season Getting To, On, Up and Raising the Bar.

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