Debate

The Mental Meat Heads group on Facebook has been a hotbed of activity this week and it’s gotten me very excited. At just over 700 members this group has been a labor of love for the past two and a half years. I started the group after our first Mental Meat Heads Workshop, in January, 2013. I wanted to create a forum where like minded fitness enthusiasts and professionals could share ideas, debate concepts, and, thereby, elevate the industry as a whole. Over time our ranks have steadily increased. My partner in all of this, Chip Conrad, has been a… Read More »

AFS Powerlifting Team

The Agoge Fitness Systems’ Powerlifting team is now in its second week of training. At present there are nine of us on the team, five men and four women. We’re following a program laid out for us by Hugh Morgan and Bob McKee, two national level competitors who were lifting during the 70s and 80s. Hugh and Bob shared the platform with such lifting greats as Paul Anderson and Bill Kazmaier and, now in their 70s, are still able bodied and healthy enough to coach programming and demonstrate technique. We are very honored to count them as part of our… Read More »

Pretty is as Pretty Does

Hey there, I’ve had this conversation a couple times over the past few days and I thought maybe it was time I had it with you. The gist of it is as follows: The primary motivation for most people coming into the gym is — make me pretty. Both men and women approach exercise with the primary goal, spoken or unspoken, of making themselves more attractive. Young people want to be sexually viable and to attract a mate. Older people if they have mates, want to maintain what they have and, if they’ve lost one, want to maximize their chances… 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 »

Heart Rate Monitors

Hey there, One of the many new ideas I brought home from the last Mental Meat Heads workshop was the value of using a heart rate monitor in my workouts. Normally I eschew any type of measurements that lend themselves towards distraction, at best, or obsession, worst. The main focus of your training should be the training itself — what you’re doing right here, right now. But the heart rate monitor adds a level of feedback that can actually enhance that experience rather than detract from it. Why? You’ve probably heard me talk before about the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic… 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 »

Happy Birthday (to me)!

Hey there, And a Happy Birthday to you as well, if today happens to be your birthday. I already know I share a birthday with a few cool people: Beau Bridges, Kirk Douglas, Dame Judy Dench, John Malkovich, Donnie Osmond (did you see the video for Weird Al’s White and Nerdy? That alone makes him cool.), Redd Foxx and, I just learned, Simon Helberg (he plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.) I’d be equally proud to count yours as a fellow December 9 birthday. Don’t worry though, I’m not scheming for gifts or accolades. Really this is just… 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

​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 »