1 April 2003
To those wondering what on earth happened to MILFIT, I owe you an explanation. The last several months have been exhausting to say the least. Training, training, and more training. It never lets up and so I have neglected the newsletter. But weíre back and much has happened!
First on the list is the new Military Fitness Solutions video and Total Immersion DVD
entitled The kettlebell
Starter. I experienced a number of setbacks in making and releasing this video, but in the end it was all worth it. I enlisted the help of a couple of heavy hitters to appear in the video. Mike Nishimoto is an instructor at the TACP School here at Hurlburt Field and has been a great supporter of Military Fitness from the beginning. Ian Edgar is the fitness directors at NAS Whiting Field and was instrumental in making the video by coordinating the facilities, as was his partner in crime, Dan Weekly. Their latest feat is lifting a GI duffel bag full of chains to different positions. Both are superb examples of what weightlifters and strongmen are made of and my hat is off to them. In the end they helped make this video the best on the market, but then I may be a little biased! The video has received great praise from all and I am very pleased with it. It is available at www.militaryfitness.org or www.torqueathletic.com.
Speaking of video and Total Immersion DVD
, I have just the thing for those of you into grappling and mixed martial arts as well as KB
lifting. Mike Mahlerís Total Immersion DVD
entitled Mahlerís Aggressive Strength For The Mixed Martial Arts is outstanding for those interested in taking their competition performance to the next level. Be sure to check it out at www.mikemahler.com
Most recently my new line of pull-up bars debuted at the 2004 Arnold Classic show, 5-7 March 2004! These evil creations are designed to maximize tension during the pull-up. The only way to get more tension is to add weight and that can be arranged! The feed back from the Arnold was overwhelmingly positive. Pavel Tsatsouline contacted me after the show to congratulate me and he is excited to see such an evil invention on the market. Jeff Martone even ran his 88lb KB
challenge on them! Be sure to check them out at www.torqueathletic.com under the Tactical Fitness section and Nate Morrison Products.
Finally, in July, Military Fitness Solutions will be moving to Yuma, AZ. A mere 2 hours and 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, I will be in striking range of San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tuscan. For those interested in seminars, please contact me after 20 July 2004 at NJMSRKC@aol.com.
Winter Training Notes
I recently completed a winter warfare evolution in the mountains of Vermont. There are a number of notes I filed as we went along.
1. Hip flexors are often regarded as evil and so many people strive to eliminate them from their role in abdominal work. When you are carrying 80+ pounds of gear through four feet of snow, on snowshoes, hiking up a mountain for 8 hours, you had better have some damn strong hip flexors! Even the best-conditioned soldier is in for a rude awakening when he first hits the snow. But donít think you should run out and do a bunch of flutter kicks and leg lifts to target them! Remember that you were born with the neural wiring to use all of your muscles together. Train appropriately by training the movement, not the individual muscles.
2. Joint mobility drills are a lifesaver on those mornings when you wake up cold and stiff. Get up, do some JM drills, build a fire and get breakfast on.
3. The breathing patterns you develop doing high rep KB
ballistic drills is identical to the breathing you will be doing when you try to push up the pace with all that weight. Itís nice to know how to do it.
4. Your recovery time determines how quickly you can cover ground. In the winter environment this could quickly mean life or death from both the enemy and the environment.
5. Most people never face death on a regular basis, especially death from cold and exposure. If your conditioning is not up to par you run the very real risk of exhausting your body to the point where it can not create enough heat or move you to shelter in time to avoid a storm. Freezing to death as you try to make it to cover would be a hell of a way to go. But then again, when you are that tired, would you really care?
6. One word: LaSportiva! The best out of the box mountaineering boot I have used yet! http://www.sportiva.com/products/mountaineering/lhotse.html
7. High rep KB
drills will teach you how to be tight, then loose in the blink of an eye. This is essential to conserving energy on the move in any environment, especially the mountains in the winter. The less energy you expend, the dryer you will stay, and thus the warmer you will be. When itís Ė15F you really appreciate this!
8. If you think your posterior chain is strong enough, youíre wrong! Keep working on it because just when you though you were OK, you will have to carry or drag your buddy to cover or out of contact. That extra 200lbs makes quite an impression on you.
9. Many people criticize deep squats. If done properly they are perfectly safe and as you struggle to climb 60-90 degree slopes you will be glad you did them.
Stretch and Arch!
I just returned from the US Army Military Freefall Jumpmaster Course. While there we got to review film of new MFF students on their first jump. There is a lot of funny video on these guys as they exit and fail to arch their backs properly. The fact is that the key to a successful and stable freefall jump is the ability to arch. But this term can be confusing as these newbies found out. The term arch makes most of us think about bending or arching our lower back. As we saw on film over and over again, this is incorrect posture for freefall. The arch actually occurs at the pelvis as you press it toward the ground. So how does this apply to weightlifting?
The pelvis is very important in many lifts such as the squat and deadlift where the lift is not complete until the pelvis is rotated forward and locked out. In this position the glutes are squeezed hard together as the pelvis is thrust forward. This position is also found in many KB
drills and weightlifters know from experience that this is a safe position to be in to avoid injury. Most people who recreationally lift weights are not aware of this. Therefore, by incorporating this motion into lifts like deads and squats you can improve your arch in freefall.
Sometimes the problem is that the jumper has no experience in stretching his hip flexors. Try this stretch: Take a knee on a soft surface. Square off your hips and ensure that they stay squared off and vertical. You donít want to lean forward or back. This is accomplished by squeezing your glutes; this usually does a good job of aligning the hips. Place one leg out in front of the other just enough so the shin slants just a little bit away from the body. Slowly scoot your front leg forward keeping your upright posture until you feel tension in your hip flexors. Then contact every muscle in your body and try to pull your rear leg through (you wonít be able to) as you hold your breath with pressurized abs. Then suddenly release! You should drop forward an inch or so. Check your alignment and repeat until you feel you have reached your limit. Then switch legs. Shake it off a bit and try a tabletop arch or do it before a jump. You will be surprised at the results!
Living By The Motto