Looks Like Tarzan, Plays Like Jane

“Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.” I first heard this line from Dan John a few years ago.  It’s the ultimate turn of a phrase that lauds performance over appearance based trainingI should point out that the line is pretty sexist. Its intent is not to minimize the contributions of women but to highlight the inherent physical differences between most men and most women. Specifically, it refers to an athlete who looks great, has a model physique, but can’t perform on the playing field. I saw this first hand during the photo shoot we hosted here at the gym this … Read More »

This is Not the Greatest Workout in the World…

This is a tribute…To say that the last four weeks have been busy is a bit of an understatement. Mental Meat Heads in NYC, moving the Alabama Waldorf School, and then the Fund Sharing Meeting in Milwaukee, all in three subsequent weekends. I managed to get in my main workouts every week, but I was definitely off my schedule. For at least two of those four weeks I only got in two lifting days and a hike or two. Not the six movement days I’ve been used to. This week was my first week back to original form.I changed a … Read More »

The 10,000 Swing Challenge

Last weekend I was in New York for another Mental Meat Heads workshop. I came home inspired to start my own 10,000 Swing Challenge.Enter your text here…I’m somewhat of an evangelical and I care deeply about what I do. I think my industry has a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the welfare of our entire society. I also think we squander that opportunity.Mental Meat Heads is an attempt to change that. I host an on-line forum on Facebook for the exchange of ideas and bi-annual workshops across the country to showcase in practical ways how we can … Read More »

#Noshirtnoshoesnoshame

I’ve noticed this new thing in my Facebook feed lately. Friends of mine, specifically female friends of the yogic persuasion, have been posting pictures of themselves in various yoga poses wearing naught but a sports bra and yoga pants. It’s all part of an Instagram project started by two yogis, Thea Pueschel and Melissa Scott, set to run July 1st through the 10th. It’s entitled #noshirtnoshoesnoshame and its purpose is to combat the pervasive body shaming our culture indulges in. At first blush I was like, “Hooray!” I mean, who doesn’t want more female bodies adorning their Facebook feed? It’s … Read More »

On Being a Grown Up

Hey there, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yeah, I know. We’re six days into it, but this is the first time we’ve talked since the holiday and the new year is, in my opinion, something worth noting. It marks a starting point and has all the freshness of a new beginning. It’s the point many of us approach with a sense of, “This year I’m going to [insert resolution here].” Regardless of what we aim for our resolutions boil down to, “This year I’m going to do something different.” Sometimes we do. Often, we don’t. Why is that? Simply put. Change is … Read More »

At a Loss…

Hey there, I’m truly at a loss. I’ve purposefully waited a few days to let the dust settle, but my community here in Birmingham has suffered yet another terrible blow. For the second time this year we’ve lost someone dear to us. I’m trying to tread very carefully here. Both of the friends I’m speaking of were greatly loved. Their advocates are fiercely loyal — and with good reason, these were beautiful souls who greatly enriched the lives of those who knew them. And yet, from where I stand, they both left with time to spare. Philosophically I stand upon a paradox. I believe … Read More »

Crisis and Opportunity

Hey there, Within the personal development and self-help communities is the cliched concept that within every crisis lies an opportunity. This idea is oft supported by the Chinese chracter for crisis which, it is pointed out, contains the character for opportunity. Not exactly the most empirical of supporting data, but it’s a nice concept, and in the midst of a pretty shitty situation most of us will grasp at anything to make us feel just a little bit better. On the whole, however, I feel that as a guiding principle of life it bears out. Of course, my ability to discern … Read More »

Fixing What’s Wrong with the Fitness Industry

Hey there, If you’re a part of my gym or have been on this list for any length of time, you know I’m a huge promoter of my good friend and fellow movement enthusiast, Chip Conrad. Chip really is my brother from another mother. Over the past few years we’ve gone from hosting him and his workshops here at Agoge Fitness Systems to hosting workshops together all across the country. Chip and I combined are the force that spearheads Mental Meat Heads. One of the many things that we try to promote thorugh Mental Meat Heads is something that we … Read More »

The Brazilian Get Up Test

Hey there, Back while I was in Sacramento for Mental Meat Heads 7 we discussed the importance of getting down onto the ground and then getting back up again. Dan even built a fun little warm up that involved nothing more than getting down and then getting back up again. Only he found ways to increase the challenge each time. Ask me about it in the gym, I’ll be more than happy to share it with you. The inspiration for this came from a recent Brazilian study. The gist of which is that in populations between 51 and 80 predictions … Read More »

The Benefits of Vitamin D

Hey there, I ran across this article today and thought it might be of interest to you. It came to me by way of Dan John (wow, did I just name drop there?!) and therefore, in my mind carries, just a touch more credence. It also gives me an opportunity to let you guys know I’m working on another Mental Meat Heads workshop with both Dan and Chip. This time we’ll be in Austin, Texas and it’s scheduled for early April. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop and let you know when the registration page is up. … Read More »

​How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Kono Lecture

​I’m sitting here somewhere around 30,000 feet over the Midwestern United States trying to make myself as small as possible and resisting the urge to play harmless, yet embarrassing, pranks on my sleeping seat mates. (I’m pretty sure I could stack at least three or four cups on the tattooed dude next to me before he fidgets again and sends them flying.) I’m on the last leg of my journey home, Las Vegas to Birmingham, and about an hour into the flight. Oh good, drink service, time for another club soda. Not too much, though. It’s a total pain in … Read More »

Mo’ Better Lifting

Don’t look to set PRs in the gym, set them on the platform. That’s very much a competitor’s outlook on training but it holds merit for all trainees. A big mistake I see happening in the gym is seeking out big numbers – now. I get it. We all want progress. We all want to get stronger. Moving more weight evinces that progress, so why not lift the heaviest weights we can handle? The case is made here in an exploration of what we mean by “handle.” Most often “handle” is interpreted to mean complete the lift, i.e. move the … Read More »