Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hardcore Upper Body Training

To say things have been busy and hectic is a HUGE understatement! I hate to miss giving you great updates so I took advantage of my time training to share with you all what I like to do in training. Being busy is the life of a great coach and many of your clients. Maximizing results is a combination of picking the right exercises and the right formula. Check out this upper body workout that has allowed me to keep my strength from my Strongman days, but has kept me without all the aches and pains a lot of my competitors get!

Big news! We are coming to Orange County for an action packed day October 17th at the Premier Koh Physical Therapy Clinic! For more information email Davis Koh at:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

She Was The Toughest Person

Honestly, when I was planning to write this blog on Friday I had no idea the turn it was going to take. You see, I have been waiting for three months very excited to see Sandbag Fitness Systems get a very big article in a popular fitness magazine. Unfortunately, I was bummed not only to see us left out of the article completely, but we weren't properly credited for a picture of our "Ultimate Sandbag" either. Many of you were very kind with very generous words of encouragement, but I was still a little ticked off.

The more I thought about it the more I could hear the voice of my stepmother in my head, "ok, so what are you going to do now?" For most of my life my stepmother and I were very close, mostly because she was extremely no nonsense. Not because she didn't care, but she herself had to overcome so many obstacles in life that she didn't know anything else but telling it how it was. I remember when I had to retire from basketball too early. A dreamed dashed, but she didn't want me to feel sorry for myself, but rather wanted to know where I was going to put my energy. 

It wasn't tough love, but an amazing ability to keep perspective on things. That is what I thought about after being disappointed this week. Every day I am fortunate to help so many people that little setbacks are no big deal, don't dwell on things that are so negative. 

Her inspiration went a long ways with me. I have worked with professional athletes and elite military personnel and I would say they would all consider my stepmother the toughest person they would meet. She wasn't a hardass, quite the contrary, she would help a stranger she met just minutes earlier if she could. However, she was determined never to have life's challenges keep one from reaching their potential. 

This came to be very true when she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer ten years ago. Finding that the cancer was in bones and organs the doctors only gave her a few months to live. My stepmother had other ideas, even though she was told she had only months she was determined not to get beaten by the disease. Not only did she live more than a few months, but she fought so hard for seven years till the disease finally did win. 

During those seven years though she just didn't sit around feeling sorry for herself, she became one of the strongest advocates nationally and locally for women with breast cancer. In fact, one of my very first speaking engagements was at a local fundraiser she was running, many, many years ago. 

It was always amazing to me that she was so eager to help others even though her own health was failing every day. Even though her body was failing her, it was incredible that her spirit never was. 

My stepmother was a tremendous supporter of mine, although I am not sure if she always understood what I did. Yet, I do remember when she was so proud that she could snatch a 3 pound dummbell ten times without being exhausted. I knew one day that my family would be without her, but I did always want to do something to embody her spirit. 

For some time it has been a challenge just to educate people on sandbag training. However, since we have made such great progress it has allowed us some unique opportunities. One in particular was to come out with a special pink sandbag. This bag was designed with my stepmom in mind. I wanted to do something that allowed us to give back in the same way she gave back every day. 

That is why, with help from a good friend, we are working with the This is a Phoenix based organization that helps single moms living with cancer. From now till the end of October I will be giving 20% of sales of our pink bag to the Singleton Moms organization. I want to raise money, a lot of it!! I hope you will take time and work with us. 

I realize in this day and age people are hooking up with all types of charities for business reasons. I truly hope after hearing my story that you will see that this is very dear to my heart and will invest in not only a phenomenal fitness tool, but those that need help as well.


Purchase the Pink Sandbag: Click Here

Here are three workouts that demonstrate our Pink Sandbag is not for the faint of heart!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The New Age of Group Fitness

I went into great detail last time about the fact we have to evolve or perish! That means everything from our training methods to our business models. As renown strength coach, Alwyn Cosgrove, states, the future of fitness is in group training. How you structure your group training models can vary greatly. Sure, lots of methods work from large bootcamps to smaller semi-private training models are all means to help both the clients and instructor enjoy the coaching processes that much more. Let's face it, coaches and trainers get into the industry to help people, but if you are so exhausted from the extreme long hours of one on one training, how much benefit are you providing your clients?

It is great that many coaches and trainers have found that group training is the way to go for longevity, however, just as with one on one, group training can be good and very bad! Planning far ahead and having a strong training philosophy is key in making these programs a long-term success. That is a major reason that I love The Ultimate Sandbag so much. The challenges that face a coach working with a group are numerous. From working with various ability levels to teaching fun and innovative exercises, the work is actually much more, fortunately so is the payoff!

I find that educating people on the versatility and power of these programs is of the utmost importance. That is why two weeks ago I was in Long Beach for the Perform Better three day summit. With some of the top names in attendance (Mike Boyle, Robb Rogers, Alwyn Cosgrove, Eric Cressey, etc.) you couldn't help but learn something helpful.

I did as well especially when I got to speak with many of the coaches, both who were lecturing and those in attendance. One in particular was Cameron Hedges of Results Fitness. Cameron is the head of group fitness at Results Fitness and has been implement our Ultimate Sandbags for some time. Listen to how Coach Hedges implements our Ultimate Sandbags and get a sneak peek into my presentation on the proper use and programming of sandbags.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You Evolve or Die

Well, without getting into a big debate over evolution, this is one of the basic principles in our world. Now, you can talk in terms of Darwinism or heck, just the sporting world! No, don't doze off yet! This isn't a lecture over Darwinism or a debate on evolution, it is rather a fact that our current world faces including myself!!!

They say that all sports are copycats, meaning whatever system the best team ran, all the others want to start to copy. A good example is last year's Miami Dolphins. Two years ago they won only one game, last year they threatened to make the playoffs. This was incredible considering they really didn't upgrade their players. Instead, the new coaching staff implemented an unusual offense that surprised many teams, called "Wildcat".

This offense is run through the college ranks, but never seen in the pros. Knowing that the Dolphins didn't have the players to really compete in a traditional pro football offense, the coaches got creative, really creative! Although they did not go to the playoffs or win a Super Bowl, their turnaround was one of the biggest ever in the NFL. The result was that almost every team now thinks about how to implement this unusual offense into their own team's program. There was an evolution and a lot of "thinking outside the box" that allowed the Dolphins to experience success.

Where the heck am I going with all this? It reminds me a lot of what were are doing with our Sandbag Fitness Systems program. It began as a simple idea, I wanted a sandbag that met the needs of my strength program. Now it has evolved into a full blown system that goes way beyond the concept of simply a sandbag. "The Ultimate Sandbag" is now a training tool that solves movement limitations, aids in increasing performance, and is a staple in fat burning programs of some of the top coaches in the country.

This idea of evolution can also be thought in terms of our "Ultimate Sandbag" itself. As the demands on "The Ultimate Sandbag" rises, so does our design. As many of you may have noticed we have gone through many designs, specifically on our filler bags. One of the most powerful aspects of our "Ultimate Sandbag" is the function of our filler bags. Being able to change weight and be clean about it is something that truly separates "The Ultimate Sandbag" from any other sandbag like product on the market.

You will now see a new evolution on these filler bags. We recently tried two have two inserts, but that was extremely costly and did not serve the purpose we were hoping. Now, you will see one filler again, but we have new aspects of this filler that will truly allow us to evolve and keep growing the program into something the industry continues to recognize as a leader.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What About All the Others?

Is there any other industry that is so prone to flip flop behavior and ideas more than the fitness and sports performance industry? Really, between "core training", "functional training", and "sport-specific training" it seems that these popular buzz words are so popular that you can ask ten different coaches what they mean and probably get ten different answers.

One that cracks me up is sport-specific training. I love when parents want their 13 year old to perform sport-specific training! These kids have so little training background that such training is useless as they need to build a base of strength, endurance, and flexibility. Nowadays, this trend is so bad that it is having a large negative impact on their training!

Then you have another group that tries to replicate sporting movement with weights. That isn't sport-specific training, that is foolish and often results in ruining the sport skill that you are trying to improve.

There is the group that believes you should just try to get crazy strong in the weight room and this will take care of everything on the field. You know the team that brags about their bench and squat numbers, but ends up having a very average record for the season.

Then there finally is a group that shouldn't perform any strength training. Yes, in the modern age there are still coaches and sports that think strength training makes you immobile and lose your sporting skill. One of the sports is the one I grew up playing, basketball.

No, basketball players are training, well sorta! There are still a lot of players and coaches that think strength training is going to mess up their shot. In fact, legendary strength coach, Vern Gambetta, once told the story of working with the Bulls in the 80's and how upset the head coach was about the guys lifting! That isn't THAT long ago.

Of course you have those that do train, but they bodybuild, try to powerlift or olympic lift. It is as though we try to cram athletes into our strength training paradigms. A good coach can recognize not only the needs of the athlete, but the challenges they face as well.

I feel outside of football our interest in really developing strength programs for other sports is very limited. Firstly, basketball players typically have terrible leverages because of their height. Trying to force them to do the same lifts guys who average 5'7 excel in is a little crazy!!! Can they benefit from them? Maybe, but is there a better way? That is why I believe sandbags are such a terrific tool when implemented correctly. Remember the goal of athletics isn't to make your athletes better lifters, but better athletes.

Want to see an example of how powerful sandbags can be for not only producing powerful results, but problem solving? Check out today's video:

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Powerful Combination

I just came back from the Long Beach Perform Better Summit and had such a great time being around some of the great strength coaches in the industry! Those that work with the most elite athletes and those that are running the most successful training businesses. Throughout the whole weekend everyone shared innovative ideas from training to how to run a more successful training facility. 

It is funny how many are saying the same thing, just in a slightly different way. However, out of all the information shared one theme rained throughout. This was the idea that group training is the new age of personal training and coaching. The age of one on one personal training is dying quickly. I love how renown strength coach, Alwyn Cosgrove, explains why this long time used business model is so ridiculous. 

What is done in a group atmosphere? Swimming lessons with kids, martial art classes, firearms, SWAT and military training, physical therapy, and about all team training! The idea that we still have one on one sessions is absolutely ridiculous. Sounds great right? Our clients enjoy their training more, we as coaches enjoy the training and build more successful businesses. However, there is just one little problem, how do you set up an effective group training environment. 

One of the many goals in my L.I.F.T. certification is to answer this question. This is one of the most powerful benefits of my Sandbag Training and the L.I.F.T. certification, it is that they are perfect for group training facilities and can be easily adapted to these programs to provide the clients with a fun, but highly effective training result. 

There are many great coaches already having great results with this type of model. One of this is Dale Buchanan of Supreme Ultimate Fitness. Dale has created very unique programs that fall into the same mindset of the L.I.F.T. program, I highly recommend you check them out! 

Coming soon is more videos demonstrating how to organize the most unique and powerful training programs in an systemized manner. Check out our upcoming certifications HERE!