Archive for December 2011

Steve Cotter’s Extreme Strength is Released!   1 comment

On my most recent trip to San Diego, I had the honor and true pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Steve Cotter. Steve is truly the “real deal” — a person of quiet strength, great sincerity, and absolute commitment to his discipline. Steve has now released his new 12-week “Extreme Strength” program, and I am here to say that this is worth checking out!

Scott Sonnon on Meditation   Leave a comment

Scott Sonnon recently authored a succinct meditation exercise that can be used as a warm-up for physical training. You can read the original text HERE. I am reproducing it below:

Meditation does not need to be complicated, and has concrete, scientific explanations when approaching it from the perspective of proprioception, in particular mechanoreception (the three senses of kinesthesia/movement, skeletal/position and force/tension). To reconnect your awareness to what’s actually occurring within your body, perform this short meditation before you warmup for your workout. And then make your warmup specific to the tension you detect.

1. Stand comfortably in a relaxed position with arms held at your sides.

2. Beginning at the top of your head, move your awareness down the front of your body as though your mind were making a mold of the front of your body. Continue down to your feet, creating your “mold” and checking for areas that feel particularly tight.

3. Repeat this process down the back of your body, then down the left side, then down the right side.

4. Beginning at the top of your head, feel down the inside of your body from head to toe, again searching for areas of tension or pain. These are the areas that you will focus on in the flows that follow.

5. The last step is to focus your awareness on the totality of the “mold” that you’ve created. You will now use a breathing method to help enhance your proprioceptive awareness of your surroundings. This breathing method is only used during this stage and should NOT be continued into the actual warmup and workout. When performing any exercise, adhere to the guidelines of exhaling through the effort phase of any movement.

6. Breathe in. As you do so, feel like you are sucking the mold into the core of your body. As you exhale, expand the mold out 360 degrees around your body a few inches past your skin. This actually represents the “reach” that your proprioception projects as a result of a combination of sensory awareness (thermoreceptors, chemoreceptors and electromagnetic receptors; as well as the impact of wind, barometric pressure and other external impact upon mechanoreceptors.)

7. Inhale again, sucking in, and exhale further out than last time. Each time that you exhale attempt to reach out further from your body. Use this “extending of the mold” to feel out into your surroundings in as tactile a manner as possible.

8. Initiate your warmup with this new state of inner/outer-enhanced awareness, and adopt specific warmup drills to release the tense areas you detected throughout your meditative diagnostic.

Mikko “Doc” Paunonen’s Functional Workout   4 comments

Here is an interesting video demonstration of “functional training” from Mikko Paunonen in Finland. Mikko demonstrates some pretty impressive skills integrating kettlebells, a Swiss Ball (or “Fitball”) and BOSU Balance Trainer. As Mikko declares, “If you woke up one morning and think that training with bosu or fitball are boring, here’s some ideas to work with fellas.” That all said, the demonstrations of balance with awkward manipulation of weight require extensive gradual training to build maximal strength and skills. I am sharing them because they are impressive feats of skill, but I do not recommend them for anyone. They are extremely risky and there are better and safer ways to build the involved strength and skill. If you injure yourself training, then your training is over, and you lose! Be a winner, not a loser!

Mind Fitness   Leave a comment

Great River Fitness uses exercises from the mind fitness training strategies developed by Joel and Michelle Levy and other sources. “Mind fitness” means having a mind that’s fit for insight and action in daily life, work and other operational situations as they arise. Research shows that mind fitness training improves perception and awareness, memory, resistance to stress and trauma, personal health and performance, as well as self-confidence and life satisfaction. Joel and Michelle Levy have refined their strategies over decades of working with diverse groups, including the U.S. Army Special Forces. I recently came across an article by Joel and Michelle Levy that explains mind fitness and am enthusiastic about sharing it with you! You can read it HERE.

Good Morning! Let’s get outside to train today!   Leave a comment

Posted December 24, 2011 by Tom & Nicki Delaney in Uncategorized

Navy SEAL Mark Divine on Creating Space in Mind   Leave a comment

Navy SEAL MArk Divine sent me a compelling reflection in an e-mail, and I’d like to share it with everyone. You can read it below or the original version at Mark’s blog HERE:

This morning, in our Warrior Yoga training, we had a discussion about creating space in your mind. What does that mean?

Oh how I would love to rewind the clock and have a “do-over” of a few significant events in my life where things did not go well. The primary reason the thing, whatever it was, did not go well, was because I did not create space in my mind. I leaped from stimulus to response. I drew an immediate, and wrong, conclusion. I suffered from confirmation bias, was torpedoed by a subconscious belief, or allowed my emotional body to do the talking. The result was a personal disaster. My guess is I am not alone with this syndrome.

Creating space in the mind would allow a few moments to step back mentally from the stimulus to filter, analyze, feel and synthesize an appropriate response. As I consider the situations I would “do-over,” that response would often be silence, or no-action.

How do we begin to create space in our minds? How about a “3 breaths rule?” In any situation where you are feeling stressed, emotional or uncertain, pause and take 3 deep breaths before you respond or react. You may find that the space that 3 breath moment creates effects you for an eternity.

Scientific Demonstration and Explanation of Mindfulness Training Benefits   Leave a comment

This post is in follow-up to my recent post covering Alice G. Walton’s article in Forbes concerning the physical and mental benefits of Yoga and mindfulness training. Walton also authored two very good articles for The Doctor Will See You Now that cite experimental studies of the benefits of mindfulness training, as well as some observation of the mechanisms by which mindfulness training alters brain structure to produce the observed mental benefits. You can review these articles HERE and HERE.