Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paleo Diet as Type II Diabetes Intervention

For this post, I am going to share a link to some European research comparing the effects of two diets on Type II Diabetes treatment.

Happy readin'

Comments welcome.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Windmill for Grapplers and Pre-Hab

Some suggestions for Windmill training:

-Weight isn't important at first, and for many trainees, is never that important. The benefits come from functional active stretching for the TFL/IT band

-Focus on lateral hip movement. Like back squatting or RDL'ing, you need to focus on pushing your hips horizontally first before worrying about anything going 'down'. And just like those other movements, if you're good about the hips going to the side, well then you'll likely find yourself headed down without trying

-Once full ROM is achieved (palm on the floor) then start adding weight. Generally 1/3rd total weight up top, 2/3rds in the lower hand

-Placement of the weight and type of weight greatly affects training effect. More weight up top places the emphasis on shoulder stability, whereas heavier weights in the bottom hand turn this in to more of a squat/dl type of training. The further the COM of the object from your grip or the longer the lever arms away from your grip the more challenge you'll get in balance and grip.

-You don't have to limit yourself to one type of implement: Some of my favorite objects to do the windmill with include dumbbells, barbells and plates (held like a waiter's tray)

-There are a variety of protocols you could use to train this lift. Some of my favorite are PTTP, 3-5 rule and maximum effort style protocols. Pavel always recommend this be treated as a low rep, high weight type of movement, and I basically agree.

Give them all a try, but for the sake of simplicity, start with 10lb dumbbell or the like and get it right! You'll thank me later. Leave comments.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Front Squat Work Out

I Wanna ROCK!

Coconut Milk is seriously sweet.

So the can in the video is "Mae Ploy" brand coconut milk, and its ok. I bought it for $1.75 at my local chinese grocery store, and it's 19oz total (big).
It has seven servings, each serving consisting of about 1/3 cup.
17g F (12g Saturated)
3g C
10% Iron
No real sodium or cholesterol

For a hard core ass Paleo shake, my recommendation:

6oz Coconut Milk
3-4 TBS frozen Pineapple
1 drop vanilla extract
2 Eggs

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Starting the Hand Stand Push Up... On Rings


There, so with your attention. I will now proceed.

In Crossfit, we are usually talking about something like this:

Diane from Jesse Hickey on Vimeo.

I don't know Jesse, but I applaud him. Got a cool looking place, and some decent squats.

In Gymnastics, we are usually talking about something like this:

This kid is just beast!

My favorite are these:

At least as far as a WOD goes, you need the wall or something in order to maintain balance and focus on speed.
Which I think is why/how the HSPU as done on RINGS actually works. It's just no one is strong enough to do them.

Well, this guy is:

Anyways, if you've been following the blog for a while, you know that I have been working for a while on my parallette handstand, and my handstand push up. Well, sucking as I do at pressing, I have still got a long way to go. I let it slide for a little while, bringing up my jerks and my bench press instead, which can't hurt.
Why I have not been working on is the rings. At first I wasn't sure how to get up. I started with the band assisted handstand, and stepped up to the rings:

Handstand Push Ups on Rings from Full Circle on Vimeo.

I eventually figured out how to do it right; Something I had learned a year or two ago from Jeff Tucker and from Jim Bathurst: The forward roll. This position is traditionally used by gymnasts to start what they call the 'press to handstand' which is frankly, the easiest way to get in to the handstand...

Forward Roll Entry from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Just goes to show you; you can reinvent the wheel, or you can read the instruction manual. It's up to you!
Now that I know what I am doing, I also know that you have to be seriously strong as shit to do a single press to handstand or a push up from the handstand. My bodyweight is around 160, my press is about 130lbs. Not great. My bench is likely about 210 and my jerk is 195-235 depending on starting position. I am no where near getting my first unassisted HSPU on the rings (or parallettes for that matter). The wall and short ROM ain't so bad. The P-lets... i can start but get stuck. The rings? I don't even move. I don't stir. Whatsoever.

I know what I need to work on!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sometimes I am surprised

Hey everybody!

So, I was thinking about some of the ideas I had about covering my favorite pulling training, and it occurred to me...
Whenever I see something that is really popular all of the sudden, I am often surprised. Well not surprised. I think that I am like "That's nothing to freak out about: we've all been doing that for years."
Then I realize that maybe I don't know what a lot of people are doing. Or what their not doing. Hehe... There's a great article a few months back about Donald Rumsfeld's 'unknown unknowns', and not to get all philosophical on you, but maybe I don't know what you don't know. Maybe you don't know that you don't know it. Whatever the case, there's probably stuff you want to read more about.

So what is it?

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE: Post your thoughts to comments. I like figuring out how to manage the long term training of athletes that have a WIDE VARIETY of physical demands placed on them. So, I like looking at how to handle the the training load and volume of a grappler who's got to go to BJJ 4 times a week, and Judo twice a week, and he lifts 2-4 times a week and there's no set 'season'. I want to know 'enough' about powerlifting, weightlifting, plyometrics and conditioning such that I can prepare someone like that widely and broadly. I like doing it with KBs, barbells, rings, parallettes, bags, dumbbells, bodies etc.

What do you like? What should we cover more of on RCPC?

Leave your thoughts in comments.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pulling for Grappling: PART 2

Hey everybody.

So I am back to talk again about training for grappling, specifically more about horizontal pulling strength. If you didn't read the previous post, here's the deal; pulling is exceptionally important for joint health, injury prevention and in grappling it's a primary mover for a large number of skills. Frankly, it's one of the few sports where pulling is straight up more important than pushing.
So, also in the last post, we addressed developing conditioning and volume base for pulling training, with one of my favorites, the RKC High Pull. Check that post out HERE.

For this post, we're still talking the same movement patterns, but now we are going to talk about different energy systems. Anyone who has trained with me or talked shop about athletic development with me knows that I basically think that strength is the basal bio-motor ability for all other motor abilities. IE, endurance is no more than some percentage of your max strength repeated. True, some are more efficient than others (make use of a higher percentage of max) but at the end of the day, (listen to this) greater absolute strength implies a greater capacity for endurance.
SO! What you gotta do is, you gotta get STRONG. Like GO-Rilla strong. Like rippin arms off in the middle of the match strong. Like "Honey. I broke the door knob again." strong.
In my experience, there are many ways to make BIG gains in strength, but the best by far is the barbell. Incremental loads, universal accessibility, ease of use. The benefits of the worlds most popular strength tool go on and on.
The bench press is king of horizontal pressing. But it doesn't really have a perfect antagonist. Bent over rows with a barbell come with some impediments to training; if you want to pull more than you push (for many men, in excess of bodyweight) you have to have incredible low back strength and stamina to hold the correct positions throughout the set. Few do. They just end up doing shitty and dangerous rows.
A friend of mine, Gant Grimes, turned me on to the 'Pendlay Row', named after wrestler, olympic lifting coach and equipment manufacturer Glen Pendlay. The Pendlay row is a dynamic, explosive rowing movement that actively incorporates the muscles of the shoulder joint, shoulder girdle AND the low back in a coordinated and functional manner that allows both for a more practical ease of use as well as greater weights to be lifted. WIN WIN.
Here's what it looks like:

The key with the lift is to start light at first, and build up your technique. Eventually, you will get to a place where your Pendlay row will start to rival your bench press (~70-100%).
I would treat this as a very low volume lift mostly, with shorter sets. Pavel's 3x5 rule works nicely here, or use something like Prilepin's chart or Westside formats (DE or ME) to really build it up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pulling for Grappling

Hey Y'all.

Hope you been doing good. Been a little while since I really put a lot of quality posts around here, but I am back at it. Schedule permitting, expect to see me put a new post at least weekly, if not more frequently.


So, now that's outta the way. PULLING FOR GRAPPLING?

So, I do Judo. Did Judo. That was where I started. Not a lot of Judo to choose from in my new town (the RVA). But there sure is a shit-ton of BJJ. So that's what I been doing. Mostly Gi stuff, b/c my Judo prepared me better for that, and I am a little apprehensive about strangers sweating on me THAT MUCH, so not a lot of No Gi for me. Secret time, I love no Gi, I just never seem to have free time when those classes are.

SO: In physically preparing for grappling, you gotta be functional, well rounded and have a good combination of power, strength, endurance and straight up cardio. If you have two or less, you gonna have troubles. In developing strength and power, there's plenty of literature regarding GREAT tools for hip extension power, like the squat, the deadlift, the olympic lifts and so on. There's guys that write whole books on the bench press. But what about pulling? Can't ever forget, grappling is a sport of controlling distance, and sucking people in to take away space, and using your upper body to pull is a big part of that. YOU GOTTA HAVE THE PULLING! In fact, every smart coach is going to tell you, if you can't pull a little more than you can push, you're going to fuck up your shoulder eventually.

Well, thanks to Greg Glassman, we all know the pull up. It's everywhere. No escaping it. But that's on the vertical plane. SHIT. If you have some BJJ match where you gotta reach up, grab some dude and pull him down or yourself up to him, JOIN ANOTHER TOURNAMENT! This one ain't right.

All kidding aside, vertical pulling is awesome, but what we REALLY need to address is horizontal pulling. So, over the next couple of posts, I am going to go over my favorite training tools for horizontal pulling for grapplers.

The first one is the RKC High Pull (RKC HP). Thanks Pavel and other senior RKCs for making this one a standard with good KB coaches everywhere. Jason C Brown has one of my favorite KB videos of all time where he shows how the teach the Snatch by learning the high pull first. It's great.

First off, the High Pull is built off the swing: if you can't swing (one handed or two or two belled) you don't need to be reading this post. Get your ass a coach and start with the basics!

Second: It's the one-handed swing that really matters, so this is an 'intermediate' move in my book. The RKC HP requires grip endurance, shoulder and elbow joint stabilization, good swing mechanics and all that implies, as well as strength and power in the shoulder joint and shoulder girdle. It's a coordinated, functional WHOLE BODY pulling movement that is at least 60% hips and only 40% arms. You hear me meat-head? It's not just your arms. Like everything in Judo(and thus in life) you gotta learn how to use your hips to minimize the work and maximize the results!

Take a LOOK:

The RKC HP also offers a lot of variety in training: you can use one KB or two, you can use the same weight, or two different weights, and finally you can vary the weight, the reps, the sets, the rest and more.

The key is to develop a plan for the energy system you need to develop, and work backwards from there. As a BJJ white belt or Judoka, your matches are 5 minutes. So having enough gas to blast through six minutes is 120%, it's overkill.
So here's what you do:
-build up to six minutes of work step by step
-then start taking away rest
-then start adding weight and playing with higher intensities

You can build up the total volume of work to six minutes in a variety of ways, but my favorite method is like this:
Monday: do 3 big sets
Wednesday: do 5 medium sets where the total time adds up to slightly more than Monday
Friday: 7 sets, again, total is a little more
the following week, you can start off where you left off Friday, or slightly less.

Example: you try out your KB, and you can do 25 reps on the strong hand and 20 on the weak hand. Here's what you do:
M: 3 sets of 15 (~150-200 seconds depending on height)
W: 5 sets 11
F: 7 sets of 9
Maybe give yourself 2 minutes rest between sets
next week start with 3 sets of 18-20
once you get up over the hundred mark, start reducing the rest time or get a heavier bell
Since this is low intensity, and high volume, you can use it as assistance work to other focused upper body strength training (talk about that later) as cardio after other training, or simply on it's own. These workouts will take about 15 minutes tops.

Try that out, see if that doesn't increase your wind, as well as reduce the fatigue you feel in your arms after a long roll. It's great for grip fighting endurance. GREAT.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mark's Daily Apple

I have been spending a LOT of time on MDA (for the insiders...).

Sometimes I am on the blog. But my favorite way to use MDA is via my iPhone!

there's an app for that.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I am totally mesmerized by this.
Watching this guy re-assures me that an emphasis on Sutemi Waza is not crap judo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Difference

PolyFace Farms is probably known by many, due to the iconic Joel appearing in last year's Film, Food Inc.
Well, someone did a micronutrient comparison of a PolyFace Farms egg and the standard egg you buy in the grocery store. Polyface's eggs are laid by pastured chickens whom have never consumed any type of drugs and have lived on an entirely natural diet.

Here's the numbers below:

Polyface eggs really are the best in the world!

The below study from Mother Earth News compares Polyface Eggs with the USDA standard egg:
  • Polyface Farm vitamin E: 7.37 mg
    USDA vitamin E: 0.97 mg
  • Vitamin A: 763 IU
    USDA vitamin A: 487 IU
  • Beta carotene: 76.2 mcg
    USDA beta carotene: 10 mcg
  • Folate: 10200 mcg
    USDA folate: 47 mcg
  • Omega-3s: 0.71 g
    USDA omega-3s: 0.033g
  • Cholesterol: 292 mg
    USDA cholesterol: 423 mg
  • Saturated Fat: 2.31 g
    USDA saturated fat: 3.1 g

These numbers are taken from their website.

If you care about Vitamin E or Omega balance (you should) this data is pretty impressive. Not everyone is in a position to fork over $4/dozen (as is the average price for such eggs at farmer's markets) but to me I believe that it is well worth the price. I will pay twice as much to get 7x as much Omega3's. That's a no-brainer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bike Muscle Up

Monday, June 28, 2010

VCU Strongman

strongman group trying to start up at VCU.
presumably, topics would mostly include lifting and implement training, often at VCU's new rec center as well as The Weight Room, a local powerlifting and strongman facility.

If you are a VCU student and interested, check it out on facebook.

Contact is Alex Foxworthy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


MuscleDriver still has both 25lb Kraiburgs AND Do Wins listed as 'blowout' sales.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First WOD - Richmond Affiliate Gathering

Here's the break down for the first WOD for
the Richmond affiliate gathering
June 26th, 10am

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pendlay Technique Plates

Check around; That's retarded cheap. I haven't tried them yet myself, but I am fairly confident that if Pendlay is putting his name on it, it's pretty competitive.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Compare Vimeo to Youtube?

Sumo DL Retest from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Sumo DL Update

Just finishing my adaptation of Pavel's 'Pins to Pillars' program, which is mostly hypertrophy and back squatting. Added 5lbs to the squat, 10 to the bench and 10 to the DL with only a little high intensity strength work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank you TS

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reverse Band Benchin'

After Klint tempted me to test my max out, and after having had a good day working 185x4, I tried this, in the hopes of having a good size 'average weight' and a little bit of TUT with supramaximal weights.

Dug it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CSCS Exam completed

I completed my CSCS exam this morning, and though I am not allowed to see my scores I was given confirmation of my passing score.

I am fairly confident that I did well, as you are allowed 4 hours to complete the exam, and with instructions and a bathroom break I was done in about 80 minutes...

In a few weeks I will be able to submit my diploma (oh, and also receive a Bachelor of Science degree in the process!) and make it official!

Thanks to everyone that has helped me, kept me in the game or reinforced my academic progress with all the practical experiences I have gained over the last few years...
coaches and instructors with whom I have worked with directly in the last couple of years that have contributed substantially to my growth as a coach:
Pavel Tsatsouline
Jeff Tucker
Tim Kontos
Ryan Horn
Chris Lawyer

And thanks to my clients! You're why I get up at 5am.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Training Partners Wanted!

Experienced heavyweight powerlifter seeking training partners:
4 days a week, has a training facility very well equipped, seeks experienced training partners for spotting, board holding, hand offs and monolift operation etc.

Please contact me if you are interested:

or click the mail me link below

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Men's Track at VCU

The guys from men's track finishing their workout with a few box jumps.

Final height was 60.5"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Get some shoes!

is selling Do Wins for $69.

the sexiest o lifting shoes ever worn

They are selling the York Squat Stand for only $209.

you will never see a better stand for less: o lifts, squats and bench, with plate storage to boot!

Take a look at York's basic barbell, a 1000lb'er at 30mm (perfect for basic powerlifting) for $165

back to basics

Cap Bumpers are on sale, as is all their track and field stuff.
There's just a crap load of stuff on sale. They now have all the Pendlay stuff in stock too, so maybe it's worthwhile to just see what's new. They have competition style KB's now too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Deadliftin in the Garage

Decided to do a little retest of my max DL.
Starting a program built around DL's, Power Snatches and LOTS of Push Pressin'.
Got the Power Snatch up to a wopping 137lbs. Push Press is good at about 150lbs, and now the Deadlift...

Friday, March 12, 2010

March at school

What do they know about partying or anything else?