29 January 2010

Travel Week

Take the weekend to rest up and recover. I will be traveling all next week, so below you will find the complete training schedule for next week. Do not jump around, complete sequentially as prescribed. Enjoy!

Monday's Training Session:

With a continuously running clock, do 2x burpees the first min, 4x the second min, 6x the third min, 8x burpees the fourth min, etc. until you cannot complete the RX'ed number for that minute. When you can no longer meet the RX'ed number start over at 2x burpees. Continue cycle for 60 minutes.

Tuesday's Training Session:

5 Rounds
Find a heavy object (stone, weight, sandbag, child, etc) and overhead lunge 50 yards
Then bear crawl 50 yards
Then sprint back to your object

General Physical Preparedness
Wednesday's Training Session:

5 Rounds
10x Clapping push-ups
20x Grasshoppers
30x Box jumps
40x Mountain climbers
50x Jumping jacks



Friday's Training Session:

21-15-9 reps of
L-sit pull-ups

28 January 2010

Work Capacity

Friday's Training Session:

Utilizing a standard deck of 52 playing cards complete the following:
Diamonds = Burpees
Hearts = Pistols
Clubs = Horizontal pull-ups
Spades = 1 min. plank

Notes: Cards are face value, all face cards are ten, aces are high! All spades are 1 min. plank no matter what number is turned over. Complete entire deck without rest. A pistol is a single-leg squat.

I am a firm believer that swimming is a life skill. Not only can knowing how to swim save your life, but you may need to save someone else's life at some point - be it your son or daughter, a friend, or a complete stranger. Considering this, swimming sessions will begin to be incorporated into our weekly training. Our aim is to develop and maintain a level of comfortability in the water environment whether submerged or swimming on the surface. Utilize the ocean, a lake, river, or local pool to accomplish the training. Get wet, adapt!

27 January 2010

Active Recovery

Get outside, move around! Do some light jogging, get in the water for some laps or take the time to stretch. Hydrate!

26 January 2010


Wednesday's Training Session:

Complete 1 set of maximum reps for the following exercises:
Deadlift 135/75 lbs.
Deadlift 225/135 lbs.
Deadlift 315/185 lbs.
Front squat body weight
Bench press body weight

Notes: Rest as needed between lifts. If a load is too heavy record as 0 reps and skip it. Warm-up sets are recommended. Post loads and successful reps completed to comments.

The purpose of today's training is to test your overall strength endurance. I want to see how much work you can do in a single set under a predetermined load. Watch your form and stop as soon as it starts to degrade. There is no rest during the set for the deadlifts; however, as long as you are supporting the load for the front squat and bench press you may pause in between reps.

25 January 2010


Tuesday's Training Session:

3 Rounds
15x Clean and Jerk 2x 50/30lbs. kettle bells or dumbbells
30 yards walking on hands
20x Sledge hammer hits left side
20x Sledge hammer hits right side
100x Air squats

Minimalist Training Session:

3 Rounds
15x Burpees
50 yards walking on hands
15x HSPU
50 yard broad jump
75x Air squats

Why are we training to walk on our hands? How is this functional and applicable to daily life? Well developing this ability, to walk on your hands under control, is essentially a fun and highly effective way of building tremendous core strength, shoulder strength and stability, balance and coordination, and spatial awareness. We are trying to keep things constantly varied, which in turn keeps our bodies guessing. Handstand walking allows us another method of strengthening the upper body without anything other than our body weight. If you cannot currently walk on your hands, perform handstand push-ups instead. If you're not there yet, hold a handstand against a wall for time.

24 January 2010

Work Capacity

Monday's Training Session:


21-15-9 reps of:
Overhead squat 115/75 lbs.
Burpee pull-ups

This workout is named in honor of my wife Courtney, who on top of a full-time job additionally runs her own business, serves in our church's children ministries, among other positions and yet still finds time to throw down and stay strong.

22 January 2010

Rest Day

Take the weekend off! Have fun, get outside breathe fresh air. Don't train at all though. If you missed a session earlier this week let it go, next week is just around the corner.

21 January 2010

Work Capacity

Friday's Training Session:

"Tabata Warrior"

Complete 48 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. The first 8 intervals are L-sit holds on dip bars, the second 8 are 50/35 lbs. kettle bell swings, the third 8 intervals are double 50/25 lbs. kettle bell clean and jerks, the fourth 8 are push-ups, followed by 8 intervals of horizontal pull-ups and finally, the last 8 intervals are hill sprints. There is no rest between exercises.

Notes: Substitute dumbbells for kettle bells if needed, knees to elbows can be used to replace L-sits. Use a treadmill set at an elevation of 15 and speed of 10 for the hills sprints if needed. Horizontal pull-ups are performed while lying supine underneath a supported bar - pull your chest up to touch the bar maintaining a rigid and straight body then repeat. If you do not have access to weights perform the prescribed intervals using tuck jumps to replace the swings and HSPU's to replace the clean and jerks.

I'm not a huge component in advising any sort of nutritional game plan. In my experience moderation in everything is tantamount to successful eating habits. Sure you should avoid processed sugars, simple carbohydrates and trans-fatty acids - but eliminating grains and dairy from your diet I don't know about. Here are some conflicting views on milk and dairy friend or foe, you decide what you put in your body - not me.

20 January 2010


Thursday's Training Session:

Complete 400 meters of the following as fast as possible - throw a 20-40 lbs. weight, stone, medicine ball, or other object as far as you can with one arm. Burpee-broad jump to the weight and throw it again, alternate hands for the complete quarter mile.

Notes: A burpee-broad jump consists of a burpee where the jump straight up is changed to a broad jump in order to continuously progress forward each repetition.

19 January 2010


Wednesday's Training Session:

Run for 60 mins. moderate pace.

Should not be easy, but not all out. Substitute swim, bike, or row according to your goals. Running is recommended!

Some people stand in front of the mirror and judge themselves because of their dissatisfaction in personal appearance. Sure this is a reason to make a change and increase your fitness, but with this mentality your goal is appearance based. If your goal of establishing a better fitness level is based off of a desire to "appear fit" then most likely you're willing to try fad diets, body building exercises and other superficial means of building a pseudo image of fitness. This is bullsh*t! This does not fly here! We are function oriented, we are training so that we can run, jump, climb, push, pull, twist, bend, lift, carry and throw! Training these movements under an opposable force i.e. a heavy load, cumbersome object, or vertical incline produces a fitness level far superior to any athletic mannequin you might want to self-replicate in the mirror. Train hard - results are inevitable.

18 January 2010

Work Capacity/Contact Strength

Tuesday's Training Session:

10 Rounds
30 secs. jingle jangles
30 secs. rest

10 Rounds
10x strict pull-ups
45 secs. farmer carry 60/30 lbs. dumbbells

Notes: A jingle jangle is performed by sprinting back and forth between a distance of 5-7 yards, touch ground at each side. As soon as you finish the forty-five second farmer carry jump back on the bar and begin your next set of pull-ups. If you don't have dumbbells grab something heavy in each hand that taxes your grip.

17 January 2010


Monday's Training Session:

18,15, & 12 reps AFAP
Deadlift 150% BW
Front squat BW
Left arm snatch 33% BW
Right arm snatch 33% BW

Minimalist Training Session:
18,15, & 12 reps AFAP
Sandbag clean and squat left shoulder
Sandbag clean and squat right shoulder
Sandbag lunges

Grind through which ever session you choose. Try to complete sets as quickly as possible, but maintain good form. We are training movements and if we do not train the movement correctly we are defeating the entire purpose of training. I'm not giving out prizes for the fastest time, the time element is merely a tool used for us to gauge progression. This doesn't mean slack off either, show up with intensity in mind!

15 January 2010

Active Recovery

Take the weekend to play! Go for a hike, snowshoe, swim, get outside, get fresh air. Or take more time to rest if needed, depending on your fitness level. Practice observing your surroundings and increasing your situational awareness. Just today an individual was apprehended by police for causing threat to a local airline flight here in Traverse City, MI. Being prepared for the unexpected, significantly increases your ability to adapt and overcome to whatever situtation you find yourself in. Be ready!

14 January 2010


Friday's Training Session:

5 Rounds
Push-press 135/75 lbs. max reps
L-sit pull-ups max reps

Minimalist Training Session:

5 Rounds
HSPU max reps
L-sit pull-ups max reps

Last push before the weekend rest - go hard, think: "Just one more rep!"

Living in today's world we take a lot of things for granted. With the daily distractions of technology: answering our cell phones, listening to our i-pods, texting, becoming deeply involved in our laptop, our attention to our surroundings is very limited. Despite the convenience of these technologies, they can become quite the handicap. Every time we put on our headphones to go for a run we decrease our ability to hear and focus on the environment around us. The majority of people will immediately react to an incoming text no matter what activity they were presently engaged in as if the words in that text were a matter of life and death. Fully involved in a computer screen you could walk by some people completely naked and they would not take notice. These are all factors that decrease our situational awareness. Our ancestors depended on having a keen sense of situational awareness. Loosing sight of what was going
on, or missing a signal that something was about to happen meant death. We need to reawaken our ability to take in our surroundings and quickly analyze what is going on, where we fit in, is there any danger, and so forth to maximize our preparedness for the unexpected. This is paramount in a world where you could get on a plane full of strangers, some of them having the intent to end your life. Start paying more attention to what is happening around you on a regular basis, make it a habit - one day it could save your life.

13 January 2010

Rest Day

I've been thinking a lot about how we can measure our gains and set a standard baseline for maintainable strength. What is usually found in other training programs is a max effort load for one repetition in the foundational lifts like - the deadlift, squat, military or bench press, clean and jerk, and snatch. If this were our goal however, we would train with the mentality to constantly increase the load in order to achieve maximal strength in a particular lift. We don't want to do this, that is not our goal! Our goal is to increase relative strength - that is a strength ratio that is proportionate to our body weight. I want a standard that is applicable to daily life encounters. What I have come up with is the following:

1. Deadlift 2x your body weight for two reps. The majority of heavy loads we come across in a day to day situation we're only going to have to lift once, if by chance you need to pick it up again you can. This is not by any means a test of strength amongst those who train to be the strongest. But remember we are looking for the most well-rounded fitness base achievable.
2. Squat your body weight twenty five times or more. This is roughly the equivalent of putting someone your size in a fireman carry and climbing five stories. The practicality of this should be obvious.
3. Clean and jerk your body weight ten times sub one minute. This is a measure of three things: your work capacity, your body's ability to produce power, and your anaerobic capacity.
4. Perform ten consecutive muscle-ups. Completing ten muscle-ups is equivalent to performing thirty consecutive pull-ups followed by thirty consecutive dips. Mastering this movement allows us the ability to pull ourselves on top of whatever we can wrap our fingers around.

That's it, work up to these goals and then maintain them. Run, jump, climb, push, pull, throw, lift, and carry for fun and for practice.

12 January 2010

Work Capacity

Wednesday's Training Session:

3 Rounds
Perform each exercise in order for a 1 min. duration, immediately move on to next exercise. Rest 1 min. at end of circuit and hit it again!
Ball slam
Push-press 75/45 lbs.
Air squat
Sumo deadlift high-pull (SDHP) 75/45 lbs.
Row for calories
K.B. swing 50/35 lbs.
Box jump 24 in. box
Deadlift 135/75 lbs.

Minimalist Training Session:

50/30 Reps of:

Air squat
Box jump
Walking lunge
Perform fifty repetitions of each exercise in order then repeat at thirty repetitions.

Focus points to key in on and remember:
1. Form follows function! Put in the time doing athletic movements, it's only natural to begin to look like an athlete.
2. You're only as strong as the effort you put in! Performance will not improve unless you put forth the intensity to bring about change.
3. We only get stronger when we rest! Rest periods are the body's rebuilding periods, abuse these and your body will burn out.
4. Stay hydrated! Water is paramount to good health.
5. Quick fixes and fast results are for idiots. Yes, I said it, it's true. Nothing is gained or learned in immediate gratification, work hard be hard.

11 January 2010

Work Capacity

Tuesday's Training Session:

Option "A"
100x Sandbag get-ups 80-100/60 lbs. AFAP

Option "B"
Race to complete 50x burpees record time! Repeat twice for a total of three rounds. For every second slower that you were in the second and third round complete that many pull-ups. Limit rest between rounds to two minutes.

What is the end goal? What are we all trying to accomplish with our lives? We go to work. We establish friendships. We, try to be good people. We start families. We all just want to be happy - right? Have you ever wanted something so bad, you just had to have it; and then if you did get it, it wasn't as cool or fun or all that special as you had initially thought. That's because it is what it is, not anything more. We are training without an end goal, but rather a continuous goal that is to be as physically and mentally prepared as possible to adapt to, to overcome, or to defeat whatever challenge, obstacle, task, or situation is placed in our paths. In order to accomplish this we must be constantly aware and vigilant of our surroundings, our relationships, our own intentions, and most importantly the reasons behind things. Always remember as stated in the beginning of this blog : "The efforts of man are in vain without purpose." If we know our purpose, we can fulfill our purpose. Have you ever asked yourself what's my purpose?

10 January 2010


Monday's Training Session:

Option "A"
Find a hill long or short, with a fairly steep incline and run up it as hard as you can, then jog to the bottom. Repeat as many times as possible in 30 minutes.

Option "B"
Locate a set of stairs or a stadium where you can safely sprint up and down with at least twenty stairs in a row. Run 5x sets of up/down stair sprints, do 25x push-ups and repeat for 30 minutes.

Option "C"
Complete maximum rounds of 20x step-ups and 10x box jumps to a 24'' box in 30 minutes.

When people claim that there is only one solution to fitness or one training implement that works they are lying to you. Truth is that with the right understanding, attitude, and intensity the majority of fitness equipment and concepts will get you into a better physical state. We however, want the best bang for our buck. We are looking for the simplest, most efficient, time saving, best resulting avenue to train. The thing to consider though is that everyone is different and therefore different things work better for some than others. So choose your poison and go hard. Remember, somewhere someone else is doing the same training and they're giving it their all, if they can do it so can you it's just a choice.

09 January 2010

Keep it simple...

Two words:

Keep moving!

Move forward towards a goal...
Move forward in your relationships...
Move forward in completing abandoned projects...
Move forward in challenging yourself to new things...
Move forward with your plans...
Move forward towards conquering your fears...
Move forward always with hope, courage, and determination!

08 January 2010

Rest Day

Take the weekend to rest, recover, and let the body rebuild. Drink plenty of water and stretch out. Here are some words to ponder and think about over the next couple of days, post comments on your thoughts:

We don’t really ever own anything. We have things in our possession, but those things are just left in our care for us to make use of wisely and profitably. Everything we have can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye - be it materialistic objects like: money, cars, a home, tools, equipment, any sort of luxuries, to precious things like our very health and life.

The only things we own are our choices. Character – what we are made up of – is also our own, but only because it is the culmination and definition of our choices and is also created out of our choices. “They can take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom,” is an expression of choice. They can’t take our freedom because we have the choice - which is a freedom - to die rather than live under tyranny.

In understanding this the reality that possession is a trust and one not to be taken lightly is revealed. Blessings like free time and a savings account as well as other commodities and amenities that are not essential to our survival should be appreciated and used wisely to avoid their loss or unfruitful waste. Everything in our possession now, is a blessing given to us by God. If we are abusing these blessings and wasting them, he will take them away and give them to someone else whose choices are revolved around much wiser decision-making.

07 January 2010


Friday's Training Session:

As fast as possible:
30x Clean and Push-press @ body weight

Minimalist Training Session:

On the minute for thirty minutes complete:
3x Pull-up
6x Clapping push-up
12x Jump squat

Today's sessions are about going the distance. Anyone can accomplish something when they are fresh and feeling good. We want to train the mind and body to continue to excel past discomfort and fatigue. These sessions start off fairly easy, but require you to continue to grind through to the finish. They are designed to develop an understanding that even small steps will take you to the end as long as you keep walking. Here is where discipline will shine and be forged!

06 January 2010

Active Recovery

Stretch, hydrate, run, swim, bike, climb a tree! Do some physical activity that you enjoy. Keep the blood flowing, but relax Friday should work you over. Take a rest day if needed.

This physical training we are conducting is paramount to our health and well-being. Becoming stronger, enduring longer, pushing harder, all-in-all increasing our basic body kinetic functions is our goal. However, we cannot stop here, limiting ourselves to one dimension. A well-rounded individual is not only physically fit, but mentally apt, emotionally mature, and spiritually and morally sound. Next week I will begin to include articles, videos, and challenges to encourage and stimulate the honed character and mindset of the disciplined. We should all strive to improve ourselves continuously in all areas of life. It is in times of suffering and hardship that we are forced to grow and mature. Think about it: What change stems from contentment and satisfaction?

05 January 2010

Work Capacity

Wednesday's Training Session:


6 Rounds
25x Burpees
15x Deadlifts 225/115 lbs.

Minimalist Training Session:

4 Rounds with 80-100/60 lbs. sandbag
6x Deadlift
6x Cleans right shoulder
3x Get-ups right shoulder
6x Deadlift
6x Cleans left shoulder
3x Get-ups left shoulder

Today's session is in honor of my good friend Dace Coombes. Serving as a helicopter rescue swimmer instructor where he must maintain a constant level of superior fitness training individuals to do a very arduous and sometimes perilous occupation, he still finds time to train and maintain fitness to dominate Ironman triathlons.

04 January 2010

Contact Strength

Tuesday's Training Session:


300 Step farmer carry with 2x 100/60 lbs. dumbbells.
Every time you put the load down complete:
1 min. left side bridge
10x clapping push-ups
1 min. right side bridge
Immediately begin the carry again.

Minimalist Training Session:

6 Rounds AFAP
25 yd. sprint out 25 yd. sprint back
Static hold with arms extended out to
side holding 2x 15/7 lbs. dumbbells
for 30 secs.
25 yd. sprint out 25 yd. sprint back
Dead hang/L-sit from pull-up bar for 30 secs.

"Velcro" was designed with one of my best friends in mind, John Valcore. Truly, a beast when it comes to mental discipline
and leaving it all on the line, John once hacked his hair off with a Swiss-army knife in the middle of the woods, because it was inhibiting him from riding hard on a single-speed downhill session.

These sessions may seem difficult at first if you are new to this type of training. The key is consistency as well as your development of the mental discipline necessary to push your body as hard as possible through each session. Don't worry about your weight, don't dwell on how your body appears! We are training movements key to survival and daily adaptation. The side effects of you letting go and giving it your all will be very noticeable in about a few weeks. A favorite book of mine that emulates a society of mental discipline is "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield; pick it up if your looking for some inspiration.

03 January 2010

Work Capacity

Monday's Training Session:

"The Twins"

As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) in 12 mins.
10x K. B. Swings 55/35 lbs.
5x Up-downs
5x SDHP 75/55 lbs.

Rest 5 mins.

AMRAP in 12 mins.
5x Pull-up
7x KTE

Minimalist Training Session:

AMRAP in 20 mins.
5x Pull-up
7x KTE
9x Dips

Work capacity tomorrow, limit rest as much as possible. You should be moving through these circuits continuously until the clock stops. Post rounds completed to comments. Also for those of you following the minimalist training sessions check out this site: DIY - Home-made Gym Equipment

"The Twins" is dedicated to Destan and Caden, sons of Jon and Beth Ardan, who collectively recently learned how to climb stairs continuing on in the explorer spirit!

Notes: Substitute a dumbbell for the kettle bell swings if needed. An up-down is a sprawl immediately followed by springing back to your feet for one repetition.

02 January 2010

In nomen de...

I've decided to name some of the sessions in order to establish an easy identifier for future reference. Some of our training sessions are unique and worth returning to later. This will also allow for us to test our individual progression. Certain sessions will be named after people that inspire me or who have proven their mettle in a "Survive This" situation. There are some good workouts coming down the pipeline. Keep training hard!

01 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Stretch and hydrate.

Training flexibility falls into our definition of fitness in that it allows for a greater range of movement. If fitness equals your body's ablility to control movement, then maximum range of movement can only further enhance that control and most definitely should be trained. The majority of weekend sessions are now going to be devoted to flexibility. Dedicate time to stretch out or practice yoga.

Flexiblity Training