Chris Caracci’s The Mind in Battle

I used to do Chris Caracci’s exercise tapes. Caracci, a former Navy Seal, would frequently pepper his workouts with tips about how the mind controls the body. He’d have you doing pretty intense calisthenics and at some point you had to decide whether to let your body tell your mind to quit or your mind to compel your… Read More »

Progressing with 5×5

The clearest exercise instruction I’ve ever gotten is from Pavel Tsatsouline. 3-5 exercises for the whole body, 3-5 days between exercise sessions, 3-5 minutes between sets, 3-5 reps. 3-5 sets. What made it even more clear was a YouTube video from Elliot Hulse. Something like, Do these four exercises and be really fucking strong: squat, deadlift, chin, dip.… Read More »

Kung fu stances for strong, springy legs

Your legs will feel amazing with these exercises. Every step you take will feel better. You’ll bound up stairs. Your feet, ankles, and knees will get stronger. Your legs will become more flexible. You’ll feel a connection to the ground you’ve never felt in your life and your balance will be incredible. Sound good? It is. And it’s… Read More »

Steve Cotter’s Tech Neck Solution

Keeping my shoulders open is still a challenge. In 2004 I tore my left pec, and that has altered my left side. Working at a desk since 2003 has rolled both shoulders forward. Looking down at a screen hasn’t helped, either. It’s a common condition—head forward, shoulders rounded forward. One of the teachers who I used to follow… Read More »

5×5 ish training notes and video

I’ve been keeping it simple: 3-5 sets, 3-5 reps, 3-5 exercises. The main exercises are deadlifts, dips, squats, and chin ups. In that order. I was doing this two days per week, using a thickbar for the deadlift, for about 3 months. Lately, I’ve changed the second workout to incorporate some overhead pressing and soon some t-bar rows.… Read More »

Taking a rest—a good thing

Push, push, push. Seems to be the American way. Push, push, push leaves no time for relaxation and reflection…and integration. How can you integrate what’s been learned without pausing to let it assimilate? In training this is called the back off week. It keeps you from overdoing it. It’s like this: three weeks on, one week off. The… Read More »

How fast do you need to progress?

I used to always increase the weight in my lifts. The problem is that muscles react fast, but tendons and ligaments don’t. So, inevitably one day I’d realize I’d done some damage and then I’d have an injury and have to recover. Gradually, over time, I’ve learned to dial this urge back. What’s the point of lifting more… Read More »