Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Monday's - The Funk and Soul Edition

What's good everyone. Time for another playlist. Last week I was in Chicago for a workshop. I had the chance to visit Rebell Conditioning. They were listening to the Gap Band station. Made me think about taking it back to the classics for this weeks playlist. Without any further ado

1. The Boss - James Brown
2. Move on up - Curtis Mayfield
3. Flashlight - Parliment Funkadelic
4. The Big Payback - James Brown
5. Pass the Peas - The J.B.'s
6. I Get Lifted - George McRae
7. You Dropped a Bomb on Me - The Gap Band
8. Mary Jane - Rick James
9. Enjoy Yourself - The Jacksons
10. P-Funk - Parliment

There you have it. 10 tracks that are sure to put the funk in your next workout. Unless of course you wear smelly gym clothes all the time. Then you have a different funk.

Pharaoh out!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music Monday's - Guest Playlist from Tom Foley of 510 Kettlebell Zen

It's Monday and that means another training playlist from a fitness professional. This week it's RKC/SFG Tom Foley of 510 Kettlebell Zen. Tom is also a good friend and fellow member of the OGKC (Old Guys Kettlebell Coalition). Here's his bio

BIO: Thomas "*Billy Ho" Foley  spreading the kettlebell love as in the 510 (Oakland, Oaktown, Oaksterdam, The Town)

Appreciation for physical culture & music have always been an underlying theme throughout my whole life. I think it all started with 70′s classic “Rocky.” Soon thereafter my brother & I were pressing our Sear’s cement/plastic-covered weight set for our own “strongman,” contests. Other than that, all the activity a kid could ask for was found right outside our front door; pick-up baseball, football, tag, bicycling, swimming,  running were the order of everyday. PE classes in elementary school were a reality. Climbing ropes to the ceiling, chin-ups, pull-ups, wrestling, flag-football, kickball, dodgeball and monkey bars were the norm. Nautilus, Universal,  free weights, & yoga all followed. It wasn’t until my early 40′s that I discovered the kettlebell. Little did I realize at the time how much of an impact this “cannonball with a handle,” would have. Two years thereafter, September 11, I became certified to become an instructor of Russian Kettlebells (RKC).  My goal in 2013 to to attain Level II status with Pavel's new group StrongFirst! I teach 10 small group kettlebell classes per week in Oakland CA at SOL Performance and ProAction Athletics. Connect with me on Twitter @510kettlebeller

Here is my Dirty Bakers' Dozen

1). Rock on Hanuman - MC Yogi  - Need to ease the folks into the session. 
2) Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix - Set a PR with my bottoms-up press listening to this...15min of shredding guitar work
3) Overpowered by Funk - The Clash - Rapper Futura 2000 shines
4) Leave Home - The Chemical Brothers - I have three sons and this is one of their favorites...'the brothers gonna work it out.."
5) God's Son - NAS - time to get down and dirty with some double front squats & clean & presses!!
6) Love Bites - Judas Priest - a nod to my heavy metal daze \m/
7) King of Rock - Run DMC - Devastating Mic Control extraordinaire
8) Low Self Opinion - Rollins Band - raw power from a man who loves to move iron
9) Wake Up - RATM - "Flip" like Wilson with my kettlebell cues
10) California Love - Tupac Shakur - from Oakland to Sactown, the Bay area & back down, Cali is where we put the mack down!
11) Hold it now, Hit it - The Beastie Boys - white boys CAN jump (see *Billy Ho)...and rap!
12) Sexmachine - James Brown - "Get-up, get on up!"

13) C.R.E.A.M - Wu-Tang Clan - need I say more?! "dolla, dolla bills y'all" $$GETMONEY$$
My dude! Thanks for the playlist and thanks for the #GETMONEY shout out. Be sure to check him out on Facebook at 510 Kettlebell Zen.
Pharaoh out! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music Monday's - Guest post from Nicole Gendel

 It's Monday and that means more music! This weeks playlist comes from Pilates instructor Nicole Gendel. Here's her bio.

Nicole Gendel stands out on stage.  Her recent work in Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Requiem, staged at California State University Long Beach, is the result of years of preparation and most of all, passion…
Born in Visalia, CA, Nicole has been dancing since the age of four.  She attended Dance Arts, a local dance academy through high school.  As a student at Redwood High School she was part of the school’s elite troupe, “Dance Force,” and balanced that activity as a flutist in the marching band, ultimately becoming its drum major.
Graduating with a major in Dance with the Science Option at California State University, Long Beach, Nicole has studied with Susan McClain, Lorin Johnson, Keith Johnson, Sophie Monat, John Pennington, Andy Vaca, Holly Johnston, Regina Klenjoski and Sharon Kinney.  Being mentored in the narrow field of Dance Science by one of the world’s leading authorities, Ms. Karen Clippinger, Nicole consistently uses her knowledge to enhance her own art and that of her peers.
Her intimate involvement in CSULB’s dance program extended to the costume shop where she worked as seamstress for three years under the leadership of Ms. Liz Pelster.  During her academic career Nicole received numerous scholarships and awards from the Dance Department and University.  Upon graduation, she was honored to be named the Outstanding Graduate from the College of the Arts at CSULB.
Losing no momentum, Nicole’s summers have been spent at Summer Lee Rhatigan’s San Francisco Conservatory of Dance where she had the privilege of working with Bobbi Smith, a member of Ohad Naharin’s Batsheva, Elke Schepers, part-time ballet mistress of the Netherland’s Dance Theater, Chiharu Shibata, Alex Ketley, Christian Burns, and Claire Granier.
Nicole is living in New York and working to join a dance company.

The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition - Axwell Remix
Rihanna – Diamonds
Kanye West – All Of The Lights
M83 – Midnight City
John Legend – Green Light featuring Andre 3000
David Guetta – Titanium - feat. Sia
OutKast – B.O.B.
Muse – Uprising
A.M.X. – You Made Me Change My Number (Remix) - DJ Break
2Pac – Changes - (Explicit)
The Format – The First Single
French Montana – Pop That - Explicit Version
Michael Jackson – Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Single Version
Jay-Z/ Linkin Park – Numb/Encore - Explicit Version
Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out
Kanye West – Blame Game

Thanks Nicole for the playlist. 

Pharaoh Out!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Music Monday's - Guest post from Kareem Collins of Witness Fitness Performance

Hope everyone is staying dry on the east coast during the hurricane. This weeks playlist is brought to you courtesy of Kareem Collins. Kareem is one of my closest friends. We worked together in the same gym for 7 years. Bad Boys for life! Here's his bio

Bio- Kareem Collins
Personal Trainer/ Group Exercise Instructor- 8yrs New York Sports Club
Group Instructor/ Community Program Development- 7yrs Long Island University 
Level 1 USA Track & Field Coach, USA Weightlifting Coach level 1(Olympic Lifting Technique), Boxing Coach, FMS(Functional Movement Screening), Spin(Indoor Cycling Instructor), American Red Cross Life Guard, Swimming Coach, Youth Exercise & Sport(Sports Clubs For Kids)
Currently involved with assistant coaching at Long Island University. I'm working my way into assigned coaching.

Witness Fitness is a current independent project that is based on Personal Training and overall Physical Development
Distributor for independent company called Advocare(Performance/ Energy/ Weight Loss)

Take Action Music.....
1.Beef with me- 50 Cent Power Of A Dollar
2.Dump- Jada Kiss
3.Get Busy- 50 Cent ft. Kidd Kidd- The Lost Tapes
4.Death To My Enemies- 50 Cent- Before I Self Destruct
5.*Renegade- Eminem & Jay-Z*
6.99 Problems- Jay-Z- The Black Album
7.Whatchu Want- B.I.G. & Jay-Z- Biggie Duets 
8.H.A.M. (Remix)- Kanye West ft. Jay-Z & Busta Rhymes
9.The Worlds Greatest- DMX
10.Where My Dogs At- DMX- It's Dark And Hell Is Hot
11.*Victory- B.I.G. ft. P.Diddy & Busta Rhymes*
12.I Go Off- Beanie Sigel- Broad Street Empire
13.B Boy Stance- Beanie Sigel- Broad Street Empire
14.Jada Kiss- Something Else (Remix)
15.Slaughter House- Back On The Scene 

My dude! Thanks for the tracks. As the title suggests, Take Action Music! If you're in Manhattan on Friday's go take Kareem's 12:15 boot camp class at the 48th & 2 NYSC. You know he brings that FIYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Pharaoh out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Music Mondays - Guest post from Sarah Miller of SpiritFire Fitness

This weeks playlist is brought to you courtesy of RKC instructor Sarah Miller of Spiritfire Fitness. Here's her bio:

RKC certified kettlebell trainer Sarah Miller has spirit & fire to spare and she intends on sharing it with YOU! A life-long athlete & devout vegan, she has dedicated years to honing her wholistic fitness regime thru self-education and personal trial & error. After 6 years of "courting the kettlebell", Sarah took the leap & earned her RKC certification. SpiritFire Fitness was born 6 months later in January 2012. Motivated by the desire to help others unleash the raw power within, her classes incorporate yoga & mindfulness with kick-ass kettlebell training that will leave you wondering 1) "What the hell just happened?!" & 2) "When can I come back for more?". And thus, the journey continues...

But wait! The journey just ain't no fun unless you dance! And you can't dance unless you got good music. Now, you may think you can't dance when you train hard, but I beg to differ. Gotta stay loose to balance out all that effort, people. What good is a big muscle if you can't move it? What good is a nice ass if you can't shake it? Bob & weave, float & sting - "relaxed tension" is the name of the game. And so, just as in my life & my training, I follow my intuition, & without further ado present to you my "Off the Top" playlist. Let's Flow!

 1) So Far To Go - J Dilla (feat. Common & D'Angelo)
2) Adorn - Miguel
3) Break My Heart - Estelle (feat. Rick Ross)
4) Make Me Proud - Drake (feat. Nicki Minaj)
5) Don't Say Nuthin' - The Roots
6) Rude Boy - Rihanna
7) I Get It In - Omarion (feat. Gucci Mane)
8) My Chick Bad - Ludacris (feat. Nicki Minaj)
9) Teach Me How To Dougie - Cali Swag District
10) All The Way Turnt Up - Roscoe Dash (feat. Soulja Boy)
11) Bad Girls - M.I.A.
12) Ni**as In Paris - Kanye West & Jay Z
13) Mercy - Kanye West (feat. Big Sean, Pusha T, & 2Chainz)
14) Work Hard, Play Hard - Wiz Khalifa
15) Desire - Pharoahe Monch
16) Celebrate - Common
17) Refill - Elle Varner
18) Tiger - Emeli Sande'
19) So Good - Pharoahe Monch


Thanks Sarah! You've given me some joints that will be in my rotation fa sho! Please be sure to head over and like Sarah's Facebook fan page Spiritfire Fitness.

Pharaoh out!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Music Monday's - Guest post from Ashleigh Kast

Excited this week to have fellow RKC II instructor Ashleigh Kast of Rock the Bells Kettlebell School providing this weeks playlist. Here's her bio

Learn. Lift. Run. That's what Ashleigh Kast wants to do. In that pursuit, Ashleigh has gathered numerous certifications, workshop hours, and some really great expert friends. To help her clients maximize their strength gains, she has muscled through RKC I and II Russian Kettlebell Challenges. To get them moving better, she implements the FMS Functional Movement Screen. And to help runners get faster, Ashleigh has studied sprinting and mechanics with Olympic and collegiate coaches. In her spare time, Ashleigh trains for triathlons, strength challenges, or power-lifting gains, depending on the season. No matter the year or current focus, she considers herself a runner at heart. 

When I'm lifting heavy, I need a playlist that fits the tone of the session. #1 It must have a serious message. As Pavel says, you can always tell a real educated weightlifter by how they handle themselves between sets. Quiet, contemplative, anticipating the next set. #2 It must be confident. A chick who deads over 200 pounds at your average box gym tends to get some looks. Ok let's be serious, a never-ending line of bewildered stares. and #3 It's just gotta sound good. Here are some of my past and present go-to's.

1)Atmosphere - YGM
2)El-p feat Killer Mike and Despot - Tougher Colder Killer
3)Kanye West, Jay-z, Big Sean - Clique
4)Das Racist - Power
5)Uncle Murda feat French Montana, Jeezy, Rick Ross- remix to Warning
6)Killer Mike feat T.I. - Ready Set Go
7)Jay-z feat Swizz Beatz - Ultra
8)Styles p feat Rick Ross and Busta Rhymes - Harsh
9)Santogold - Creator
10)Talib Kwelli - Get By

Thanks Ashleigh! I think a few of these will make it into the rotation! Please check out and like her Facebook Fan Page Rock the Bells Kettlebell School

Pharaoh out!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music Monday's - Mash ups part 2

2 weeks ago I posted 9 Mash-Ups for the Music Monday's post. Decided to add a few more tracks to the listing. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of the playlist posts. I have a few other fitness professionals that will be contributing guest blog posts. On to the music

5. 2 Pac vs Lynyrd Skynyrd - 2 Pac's Hold on ,be strong with Lynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama

4. Notorious B.I.G vs Frank Sinatra - Biggie's Juicy with Sinatra's New York, New York

3. Jay-Z vs Linkin Park - Jay-Z's Big Pimpin with Linkin Parks Papercut

2. Linkin Park vs David Banner - Linkin Parks Papercut with David Banner's Like A Pimp

1. Jay -Z vs Jimi Hendrix - Jay-Z's 99 Problems with Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child

Monday, October 1, 2012

Music Monday's - Jay-Z aka Hovaerobics

Funny how things change. 6 years ago, I never would have made this playlist, as I wasn't a Jay-Z fan. Times change and I have an appreciation for his music. Part of it has to do with being a throwback to the 90's hip hop era. Part of it has to do with me not being able to vibe to most of the music out today. The term "Hovaerobics" was coined by a friend and fellow instructor Carlos Davila when describing an entire Jay-Z playlist. Here's 10 tracks that can go in a playlist.

10. Public Service Announcement
9. Lucifer
8. Big Pimpin' feat UGK
7. 99 Problems

6. Can I Live?
5.  I Just Wanna Love you
4. Money, Cash, Hoes feat DMX
3. Takeover
2. Renegade feat Eminem
1. Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Did I miss a track? Feel free to add it in the comments below.

Pharaoh Out!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Music Monday's - Mash ups

This week a list of some mash ups. Some are known, some pretty obscure. All are solid tracks to fill u a workout playlist. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below or on the Facebook page. Enough yappin', let's get to the tracks!

9. Ludacris vs Limp Biskit - Luda's Move with Limp Biskit's Nookie!

8. Biggie vs Joan Jett - Big's Hypnotize with Joan Jett's I Love Rock n Roll

7. Linkin Park vs Mobb Deep - Linkin Park's In the End with Mobb Deep's Got it Twisted

6. Jay-Z vs Linkin Park - Jay-z's Dirt off Your Shoulder with Linkin Park's Lying from You

5. Tupac vs Survivor - Tupac's Holler if you Hear Me with Survivor's Eye of the Tiger

4. DMX vs Nirvana - DMX's No Love for Me with Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit

3. Mobb Deep vs Jimi Hendrix - Mobb Deep's Shook Ones vs Jimi Hendrix's Foxy

2. Eminem vs Disturbed - Eminem's Til I Collapse with Distrubed's Down with the Sickness

1. Biggie vs Led Zepplin - Biggie's Dead Wrong with Led Zepplin's Whole lotta Love

There you have it 9 mash ups to add to a workout playlist.

Pharaoh out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Music Monday's - Just Blaze

This week the featured artist is super producer Just Blaze. No fancy intros, just the tracks this week. I have a feeling what the theme for this week's classes will be, FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIYAH!!!!!!!

10. Dynomite - Rhymefest
9.  Show me What You Got - Jay-Z
8. Just Fire - Cam'ron feat Beanie Siegel, Memphis Bleek
7. I'm Talkin' to You - T.I.
6. Church for Thugs - Game
5. The Champ - Ghostface Killah
4. C'mon Baby - Saigon feat Jay-Z
3. U Don't Know Remix - Jay-Z feat M.O.P
2. Breathe - Fabolous
1. What We Do - Freeway feat Jay-Z, Beanie Siegel

Here's a Spotify playlist with these tracks and more Just Blaze

Take these 10 tracks put them in a playlist and #GETMONEY
Pharaoh Out

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music Monday's - Guest Playlist from DJ AmRo

What's up everyone this week a special guest contributor, DJ AmRo is providing this weeks playlist. Here's his bio:

DJ AmRo is a DC bred DJ residing in Los Angeles, CA, who spins hip hop, R&B, top 40 and a little '80s music. He has had his own radio show for almost two years and has been DJ'ing in venues since early 2009.

A music lover since birth in Washington DC, grew up listening to all types of music. Has been following and watching many DJ's for a very long time and recently began to play in public out in Los Angeles. Has a unique style blending in many different types of music of various speeds. Not afraid to throw in a slow jam here and there. 
He enjoys playing soccer and this is a playlist he uses to get ready for game day. Also included is a link on Spotify

Wavin' Flags - K'Naan
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - Shakira
One Mic - Nas
All About You - 2Pac
Paid in Full - Eric B & Rakim
Flashing Lights - Kanye West & Dwele
Last Night - Keyshia Cole & Diddy
Tired of Being Stepped On - The Click
Love Come Down - Evelyn Champagne King
I Keep Forgettin' - Michael McDonald
Do Anything - Mary J. Blige
Always Be My Baby - Mariah Carey
I Gotta Be - Jagged Edge
It Kills Me - Melanie Fiona
Be sure to like his fan page on Facebook - DJ AmRo Fan Page

Pharaoh Out

Monday, August 20, 2012

My RKC Anniversary and what the RKC means to me

Team Dan John at the San Diego RKC August 2011

I always struggle with what to write. I think this is a good time to let it ride. With what's going on withing the RKC community this past weekend I'm going to give it a shot. 

This is the anniversary of the weekend that changed my life forever. On this day last year I was on day 2 of my RKC weekend. Tired, hurting, questioning myself, sun burned (yes black folks do get sun burned ;) ). I wanted to quit. But looking around the field I saw about 100 others who were tired, hurting and questioning themselves. I thought about how good it would feel to finish. I did finish and it led to meeting great new people and took me to many different places.

My obligatory Pavel pic. What a story here!

News came out Friday that Pavel was leaving the RKC. Folks started drawing lines in the sand. Mass chaos and confusion. What next? Why did he leave? What does this mean for the future? Folks started changing their profile pics to pics of them and Pavel. I have 2 Pavel pics. The one above exactly 1 year ago today. I ate way too much during lunch and drank 2 Gatorade's.  Bad combo. I got asked to demonstrate a TGU sit up. Of course my stomach was churning and upset. Trying not to fart in front of 100 folks while doing a exercise with good technique in front of the Chief is true pressure!

It's true that I found the RKC because of Pavel as most of us have. But that wasn't the reason I went to the RKC nor was it the defining moment of my RKC. I went to learn, to better myself and to be a better coach for my students/clients. What I learned went way beyond the 23 hours of the RKC weekend. What I learned went way beyond the hardstyle principles taught at the RKC. The RKC weekend is rewarding, challenging, inspirational, humbling, gratifying and a ton of other "ings" you want to throw in there.

ROP last July, got great feedback via Youtube!

I learned that putting up a video on YouTube, you'll get feedback from other RKC's. Shout out to Joe Sansalone, Joakim Bom and Thayne Shatah who gave me tips about my technique. I learned that this RKC community continues to give back. I learned that I look forward to each and every workshop to see my "brothers and sisters". Yes my brothers and sisters. The RKC is different than other certifications. We truly are a family. At times dysfunctional, but a family. At times we don't agree with one another, sometimes we don't like one another. But that's ok, because it's that way in all families.

With my extended journey brother Dave Clancy!

A family that when you're in another city, you can call up a fellow RKC and #getmoney! A family that supports one another from several thousands of miles away. This is the RKC! We are the RKC! Each one of us has a story to tell. Each one of us has people to inspire and lead and learn from. Do we stop learning because of a business decision between our "parents"? No! We owe it to ourselves and our students to continue learning. I'm not in a position where I need to draw a line in the sand. I'm not a distributor, team leader, senior or master. I haven't sat fireside with Pavel and hashed it up about life. I have sat in a few hotel lobbies and hashed it up with great folks like Tom Foley, Laura McNally, Karen McDowell Smith, Paul Lyngso, Mike Souza, Tim Shuman, Huon Urquhart, Petra Feit and Phil Earley. I've had lunch with Aleks Salkin and John Scott Stevens in Omaha and celebrated my birthday at dinner with Jason and Sheena Nold, Scott Iardella and Tristan Phillips. I've had "Coka Cerro" with Peter Lakatos and Joakim Bom in Italy.

I love this photo. This was at the start of the RKC II in Italy. The national anthem of each country represented was played. Not the entire anthem! Ten seconds. Language barriers aside everyone there had a common bond. RKC! Let us not forget that.

What does the future hold? I don't know. Hopefully it means continuing to see many of you and meet those of you I haven't met yet. Hopefully it means that we continue to learn and grow. I hope to see many of you at future RKC events and new workshops from Pavel!

Power to You!

Pharaoh out!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Monday's - LL Cool J

This week I'd like to take a look at LL Cool J songs. LL has always been one of the most fit rappers in the game. So we'll take a look at 8 tracks throughout his career that you should have on deck the next time you're in the gym.

8. Rampage - EPMD feat LL Cool J - This was in LL's "I can't be seen in features" phase. He would lend his voice to tracks yet wouldn't appear in the video. Strictly old school braggadocios hip-hop.

7. Shut em Down - from the Any Given Sunday soundtrack. With a hook like ,"YOU CAN'T HOLD ME, GET OFF ME!" how could you not be ready to crush the competition!

6. I Shot ya remix feat Fat Joe, Foxy Brown, Keith Murray and Prodigy - A posse cut at it's finest. The 90's was all about the remix and this track shows why.

5. Headsprung - The track isn't one of LL's best, but it was around this time that he was featured on the cover of Men's Fitness and in Muscle and Fitness.

4. Rock the Bells - A timeless classic from a young James Todd Smith.

3. 4,3,2,1 feat - Master P, DMX, Redman, Method Man and Can-I-Bus. Only LL could start a battle with someone on his own track. This track started the beef between him and Can-I-Bus.

2.  I'm Bad - Aside from the Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse baseline, this track screams I'm better than you and you can't do anything about it.

1. Mama Said Knock You Out - Obvious choice here. No explanation needed.

There you have it. Did I miss something? Feel free to add your tracks in the comments section below or on the Pharaohs Army Fitness Fan Page

Pharaoh out

Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday's - Basketball songs

I've decided to move the weekly music post here to the blog. This way I can add video links. Missed the 1st 2 Music Monday's? Here are links:

Week 1 - Top 10 Nas tracks to workout to
Week 2 - Sharon Shiner's SPIN playlist and class profile

With this years edition of USA Basketball taking the court, I decided to post 7 basketball related tracks.

7. Public Enemy - Rebel Without a Pause
"Simple and plain, give me the lane
I'll throw it down your throat like Barkley"
If you ever saw the round mound of rebound in his early days, you knew this was true.

6. Ice Cube - It was a Good Day
"Get me on the court and I'm trouble, last week messed around and had a triple double.
Freaking brothers every day like MJ, I can't believe today was a good day"

5. Monstars (B-Real, Coolio, Method Man, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes) - Hit 'em High

4. Juelz Santana - The Second Coming.
Nike Basketball, nuff said!

3. Jay - Z - Lebron freestyle
Jay-Z gets into the "beef" with LeBron James and DeShawn Stevenson. C'mon Son!

2. Biggie Smalls and Heavy D - Jam Session
They managed to name every hot player in the league at the time.

1. Kurtis Blow - Basketball
Ok, forgive the dunks on the 5 foot rim. But otherwise the obvious choice for number 1.

And, in my opinion, in the best of 7 the Dream team would beat this years USA Basketball team 4-1.

Pharaoh out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My 40th Year!!!!

I cant believe what a year this has been. I started this blog exactly 1 year ago on my birthday. It started off with a picture of my mother and I way back on my 25th birthday. I didn't know what the year had in store for me. Looking back, it was one of the most amazing years of my life. 

So many new experiences, places traveled, new people met, challenges faced and goals achieved. My 40th year began with me completing 10,000 kettlebell swings. It was just the beginning. Less than 30 days later I traveled to San Diego to participate in the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor Certification (RKC). I met amazing people, was inspired by them and was inspirational to them.

Still this was just the beginning of my year. Here's a list of my experiences

July 22, 2011 - 40th birthday, 10,000 swings
August 2011 - IDEA World Fitness Convention in L.A.  Attended the RKC August 18-20. Got stuck in Hawaii  August 21- September 4th (harsh life I know)
September 2011 - Combine 360 Certification in Sarasota Florida
October 2011 - attended the CK-FMS in St. Paul Minnesota
November 2011 - attended the Ageless Body Workshop & RKC 2 prep workshop
December 2011 - began training for RKC 2 in April 2012, with a program designed by Mark Snow
February 2012 - attended the Essentials of Elite Performance Workshop. Trained with Mark Snow in Omaha. Switched to the RKC 2 in Italy. Attended the TRX Rip Trainer Certification in NYC
March 2012 - attended the Easy Strength Seminar in Reno Nevada. Attended the TRX Level 2 Certification in NYC 
April 2012 - attended the MovNat 1 day workshop in NYC
May 2012 - Trained with Mark Snow in Omaha. Attended the Kettlebell Athletics Certification in NYC
June 2012 - attended the RKC 2 in Vicenta Italy. Attended the Marketing Mastermind Seminar in San Diego. 
July 2012 - joined the BNI Dream Team. Attended the Maximum Impact Barbell Seminar in San Jose on my 41st birthday.

While writing these experiences, I'm overcome with a variety of emotions and feelings. I'm thankful for every single person that has been a part of this eventful year.  I'm looking forward to new challenges,new goals and meeting new friends in my 41st year! Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

30 days left until RKC 2

1 month until level 2 in Venice. Time to make the final push towards my GOAL. I recently returned from a second week of training with Mark Snow of SG Human Performance.

I've hit my press (44kg/97 lbs) once in practice. I just need to duplicate it on June 15th. My pullup is coming along. I hit a 20kg (44lbs) pullup in practice while in Omaha. It was actually my best pullup to date. Slow and steady I'll work my way over the bar with the 24kg (53lbs). The pistol, ahh the pistol. I have a love hate relationship with the pistol. It loves to torment me and remind me of my limitations and I quite frankly hate it. It's probably why I include them in my boot camp classes. Seeing others have success with achieving the pistol gives me hope that I'll get there. Some of you have seen me do a few in class. Yes, but sadly, those don't count. I can do them with a counterweight but, I can't wear my Nike Frees for testing.

30 days left, time to #getmoney

Pharaoh out

Thursday, March 8, 2012

RKC 2 - The Decision. I'm taking my talents to Venice, Italy!

No the above isn't a typo. For a month or so I've toyed with the idea. I was excited about RKC 2 next month in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was looking forward to meeting Dave Clancy, Linda Elizabeth Mertens, Kevin Knapp, and others. I was looking forward to participating side by side with my coach and friend Mark Snow and doing the shooting stance with Jason Nold. I was looking forward to learning from Brett Jones and getting to meet Jeff O'Connor.

But I had doubts. Prior to my trip to Omaha I hadn't slept comfortably in a bed in 2 years, due to my herniated disc. With the recent flare up of my back, my very wobbly pistol with a counterweight, was gone and, produced pain everytime I tried it. My heaviest press was a 36kg far from the 44kg I need for level 2. Last, I'm 15 pounds heavier than my "game shape" and my pullup was terrible. I had zero confidence. While in Omaha, Mark asked me, "which do you want to do"? "When you say St. Paul, I see you get nervous and tense." "When you mention Italy, you get more relaxed". Everyone needs a coach and my coach had me pegged.

With that talk, I made the switch. I've made progress in my pistol training again and, hit a PR in the press! I hit a 32kg bottoms up press last Saturday and a 40kg military press on Tuesday. I've also got a new program from Mark to work on. This and the extra 90 days gives me the confidence that I'll be successful in June. Hmmm, guess it's time to get Rosetta Stone!

The Gun Show at the RKC 8/20/11

This post is also about goals. I wasn't proactive enough with mine. I let my own doubts get in the way and built excuses. I tell clients you should have a goal, take before and after pictures. The photos from the August RKC were posted the day after I made the switch to Italy. This photo reminded me of what "game shape" looks like. This photo was months in the making. This photo is what I need to get back to. Time to GET MONEY!

Pharaoh out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A week of learning!

A week of programming!

I was in Omaha, Nebraska last week with Mark Snow of SG Human Performance . Getting ready for RKC 2, I asked Mark to design my program. This visit was to go over some things, and assess my readiness for RKC 2 in April. I was also there to attend the FMS combo workshop. I did the CK-FMS back in October, so this was a review for me. I was fortunate to be an assistant for the first day of the workshop.

First things first, I'm jacked up. Having to list your injury history, and then look at them on a white board for a week, can do that to you. After looking at my injury history, SFMA and FMS score I said to Mark, "If I walked in and asked me to train me, I wouldn't do it". "I'd be scared sh#tless".

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and went straight to the gym from the airport. Being on 2 planes (the second one might as well have had a single propeller) I felt really stiff. I grab a foam roller to un-glue some things. Of course "Dad" walked in and I got scolded. SMR work has an effect on your movement screen so we put it off until Wednesday morning. Instead Mark did a SFMA assessment and some trigger point therapy. One word, OUCH. It did pay off, as there were several triggers in my neck that needed to be addressed. The rest of the afternoon was spent going over correctives, deadlifts and power swings. There was constant assessing going on. Some drills would work, others would cause pain. One corrective in particular (Kettlebells From the Ground Up 2) worked everytime. After dinner I went to my room to sleep.

Ah, the sleep thing. I have a herniated L5 - S1. I haven't slept comfortably in a bed in over a year. Most times I sleep in a recliner, since it's one of the few things that don't irritate my back. Going to certifications, workshops and seminars is always tough. I was hoping this trip would change some of that.

Wednesday morning, I wake up with no back pain. Hmmm, something must be working. I went to the gym and got my screen in. 13/21. Not where it needs to be, but a major improvement from the 5 I had in October. My lowest score, a 1/1 on rotary stability. Of course with my back the way it is, it was no surprise that was the low score. A few drills to see if we could bring that up, as well as some Kalos Sthenos TGU and armbars. I also got a neck massage to release some of the triggers in my neck and pecs. Some kettlebell drills and correctives rounded out the morning. The afternoon session was a few circuits of goblet squats, swings, bottoms up presses, weighted pullups and pistol progressions.

The Pharaoh demonstrating the TGU with Mark Snow at Midland University

Thursday morning I go with Mark to Midland University, where he teaches 2 classes. In his first class, he covered the active straight leg raise and shoulder mobility. Many of the student athletes in his class had some issues. Hopefully, they take the things they are learning in the class and stick with the correctives. After class, SMR work and some kettlebell drills. I'd been having some trouble with the snatch and couldn't figure out why. Mark pointed out I wasn't using glutes. I started to tighten them up and the bell flew up. Something I've known, but needed someone else to remind me. As I've said before, everyone needs a coach, and this week proved it for me. In the second class, Mark taught the students the TGU.  Tons of learning going on at that time. Students, starting to understand how their bodies move (or don't move). The TGU is truly a fascinating exercise, as it requires good movement and stability. It also points out weak links. That evening we went to the event center to set up for the FMS combo course. In all of this my dude Kareem was stuck in Chicago. He was coming in to take the 3 day combo course. Snow in Chicago cancelled his flight and he was on stand-by. Luckily, he made it to Omaha (I think he hired a farmer to bring him in on a crop duster).

I didn't do any training Friday - Sunday. That was for the FMS course. You can always learn something new, even when you've taken a course before. At the CK-FMS, we did more correctives with the kettlebell. During the combo course we did a lot of correctives with the Gray Cook band. There was some R & R as Kareem and I went to a hockey game (oh there were some funny stories with that). We also had a chance to play Buck Hunter (if the Zombie apocalypse occurs, I want a Glock), and learned the Nold Shooting Stance. It was amusing, and actually similar to the shooting stance of soldiers in World War 1.

Before going to the airport Monday, I went to the gym for another training session. One of Mark's new students, Rhonda, thanked me for working out when she was there. She said it was inspiring.  I thanked her, because it was inspiring to watch her. I told her that somewhere in NYC, there is a woman who wants to learn about kettlebells. She may have a similar story and I would be able to share that.

As I said, it was a week of learning. Learning about myself. Learning about the FMS. Learning different approaches to teaching classes. Learning the NoldMy friends laughed when I said I was going to Omaha for a week. With all the learning I did last week, how could I not have gone to Omaha?

Pharaoh out!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

90 days until RKC 2!

Wow, 3 months away. I remember sitting in my hotel room in Hawai'i last August a few days after the RKC (I know tough life). I looked at the Dragon Door schedule and saw the dates. I signed up without a second thought. Still high off the experience of Level 1 I made the purchase. Dave Clancy has been doing a countdown on Facebook. The countdown started about 6 months ago. Complete with days, hours, minutes and seconds remaining. With the date fast approaching, my palms just started sweating.

My training has been good to date. Going to the CK-FMS in October got me to address some issues I had with my body. No not the "does this kettlebell make me look fat?" kind of issues. But the issues of a 40 year old that has been lifting, running, jumping and throwing things since high school.  Doing correctives isn't meant to be fun, it's meant to keep you doing the "fun" things. Thanks to my coach Mark Snow I have correctives built in to my programming. Even better is I've started to include them in my Small Group classes (shhh don't tell them it's good for them, I've been sneaking them in!).

Still the plan is to be in St. Paul in April with my fellow RKC's. It will be nice to put a face and voice to several of the people I only communicate with through some form of Social Media. It will be good to share ideas with fellow RKC's on programming, class structure and running a facility. I can't wait to learn from passionate and knowledgeable RKC's. It will be good to fire up the group, not that I know anything about firing up groups of people.

Do I have doubts? Hell yeah I do. The half body weight press, with my shoulder history worries the heck out of me. A solid pistol with my crappy ankles worries the heck out of me. But that is the beauty of it. If I don't try, then I'll constantly say, what if? If I don't get the press or pistol in April, I have 90 days to complete the tasks. 90 days and more knowledge and tools in the arsenal. Plus if I truly don't think I'm ready for April, the next RKC 2 is in July in Italy.  Can you say extended vacation?

So what does this mean for the next 3 months? Smart training, no distractions, a grumpy Pharaoh (of course I'm never grumpy), nervousness, excitement and learning.

Pharaoh out!

Monday, January 2, 2012

What's going on?

Been a while since I've posted anything, apologies. The past few weeks I've been following my program in prep for the RKC 2. I've also been looking forward to new workshops and certifications coming up. Things I'm looking forward to in 2012 are

  1. Z-Health 3 Essentials of Elite Performance in Austin, TX
  2. Training with my coach Mark Snow of sghumanperformance 
  3. FMS level 2 workshop in Nebraska
  4. Easy Strength Seminar in Nevada
  5. RKC level 1 and level 2 in Minnesota
  6. VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!! Location TBD
  7. Art of Strength Development Course in Rhode Island
  8. TRX Sports Medicine Suspension Training Course Level 2
All of these workshops/certifications are going to add to my tool box and help me become a better coach. There's always a possibility of attending more workshops/certifications. 2 of the certifications I attended last year (CK-FMS, Combine 360) were spur of the moment decisions (so happy I made them). What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Pharaoh out