Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of the Week WOW #39

By Coach Sabina Skala

After a warm up which consited of joint mobility and different variations of forward or back rolls (including rollin over a person, which was obviously CJ's idea :) ). After quite entertaining start, we moved to the main part of the session.
This time we did another 400 reps training. It was a "test drive" before the MIGHTY 400 reps, which will be coming very soon.

Here is what was done on Saturday:

Double snatch (2xKB) 20/15/10/5
Renegade Row (double count) 16/20/6/10
Push Up 10/5/20/15
Front Squat (KB's in rack position) 5/10/15/20

This was 1 set, we did 2 sets in total.
1st round looked like 20 x snatch, 16 x renegade row,10x push up, 5x front squat
2nd round 15 x snatch, 20 x renegade row, 5x push up, 10 x front squat

100 reps per exercise, 4 exercises = 400reps

It was quite interesting and surprising how hard push ups felt during the 2nd set...

The weights used - ladies - 2x12kg KB
Gents - 2x 16kg and 2x 20 kg

It was a hard session, I look forward to the Christmas Special this Saturday already!

Full Throttle Fitness

Saturday's 12:15 - 1:15pm
Balance Physiotherapy, 113 Gauden road, London, Sw4 6LE

To find out more join our CJS Fitness Facebook Group

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Beautiful Struggle: Kettlebells & Crohns Disease

The Beautiful Struggle: Kettlebell & Crohns Disease

Foreword By Coach Cj Swaby

I first met Jane Maddern at Body Power 2010. I was heading up part of the Team that represented The International Kettlebell And Fitness Federation, along side Rannoch
Donald, Jonathan Lewis and of course, Steve Cotter.

What struck me about Jane was that she was one of the few in the crowd of muscle men and body beautiful women that stepped up and took on the Kettlebell Competition that the IKFF and put down.

Not only did she take it on, Jane won the challenge. What was remarkable was that she was new to Kettlebells and had limited experience. What was even more remarkable was her personal journey that I got to know as I coached Jane for the IKFF Certified Kettlebell Trainer Level 1 course.

Read on and be amazed, Jane is an inspiring and phenomenal young lady and a testament to the human spirit, she is only now just realising the amazing amount of strength an potential that she posseses. In short, SHE ROCKS!

By Jane Maddern, IKFF CKT

What is Crohns Disease?

In simple terms Crohn’s disease is predominantly an inflammatory bowel disease. It ulcerates the colon or the intestines, possibly both. It becomes very difficult to live a ‘normal’ life, mostly due to the severe abdominal cramping , bleeding and diarrhoea.
Crohn’s can also attack your body’s systems in different ways. It can inflame other parts of your body including your eyes and joints, plus it has many, many side effects as you don’t absorb all you should from your food intake as it is rapidly passing through your system.

Crohn’s Disease: A Personal Perspective

This my experience. I admit , I had the typical lifestyle of getting up, no breakfast, going to work, sitting at a desk all day, coming home, watching TV and eating rubbish meals in the evening. It was shortly before my 25th birthday that I started to suffer from cramping in my abdomen. Shortly after that the diarrhoea started and it felt like for over a year it never stopped. Test would prove conclusively that I had Crohn’s disease.

This was the pattern that shaped my life for the next five years. I would take Pentasa (an anti-inflammatory drug for Crohn’s) but every so often suffer bouts of diarrhoea and cramping regardless. Often I would be in so much pain I couldn’t even stand. I would attend hospital appointments regularly to have my inflammation levels checked, which we always high. I tried to live a normal lifestyle, although there were foods I had to avoid. I cycled regularly, but my energy levels were low and I always felt drained.

Hitting The Wall

I was in my 30th year when I got really sick. It didn’t start like my other bouts; I had diarrhoea but no cramps to start with. Then came the ulcers. Firstly in my mouth, just one or two, then my whole mouth; from my tongue, throat, into my stomach, colon, intestine and all the way through my entire system. I couldn’t eat solid foods at all. It became impossible for it to pass through my body. Things got really bad. I expected my legs to become weak due to the lack of nutrition but it even became too painful to walk. In a matter of weeks I couldn’t feel my legs at all. Neither one of them. This made simple things like getting in and out of the bath interesting! My legs were black and blue, my feet and joints swollen so badly that I actually could only feel horrific pain in them but no real ‘feeling’ apart from that.

The inflammation then attacked my spine shortly after. I could not lie down in bed at all and had to be propped up by pillows. I can’t even now describe the agony I was in. My spine is now off to one side at the top and twisted near the bottom. As if all the joint inflammation wasn’t enough to cope with, my internal organs were a disaster area. I had lost three stone in weight, my hair was falling out and my finger nails fell off. I soon began to pass blood, at first just a little bit, but it soon became a scary amount. I vaguely recall an ambulance arriving to take me away, I was given blood, morphine and made ‘comfortable’.

Working It Out

I weighed about five and a half stone I don’t think I ate solid food for over three months. I just drank these foul tasting supplement drinks which were full of nutrients. I began to be able to eat again, only rice and eggs at first. Just tiny amounts. Bland foods, but WOW! To me it all tasted amazing. I chewed my food for possibly the first time in my life instead of just gobbling it down in front of the TV or running out of the house. I chewed it. I tasted it. I took my medication.
I spent three months in a wheelchair then a walking frame. Finally I progressed to cruthes, which felt like freedom! It took me pretty much the whole year to walk again, a bit longer to get the strength in my legs. I couldn’t lay flat in bed for over two years. It was impossible for me to sit up in bed in the mornings, I used to get to the side an roll out! As for my spine, well that remained painful and uncomfortable for the next six years.

I took my medication for a few years after this scare. But I hated the thought of being on it forever. The steroid I sometimes took made me feel disorientated. I also felt zapped of energy most of the time. It took all my effort just to spend the day at work and often I would come home and fall asleep. The anti-inflammatory drugs , I stopped taking about two years ago, much to the annoyance of my consultant. I found I could cope without them, still suffering from cramps, occasional bouts of diarrhoea. I would go to hospital check ups every three months, with regular blood tests that always still showed a high level of inflammation in my system. I could never take anything for the pains in my joints, as all the arthritis medication would have affected my Crohns! Further tests would show it was my entire colon that was ulcerated and nothing could be done about it.

In the summer of 2009 I had a bone density scan. The bent form of my spine (as you may have guessed) was officially given the name of Spondylosis, I also had the onset of Osteoporosis, my spine was beginning to slowly degenerate. Now wonder I was still in pain! I decided I needed to help myself.

The Beautiful Struggle: Kettlebells, Crohns & Life

I talked my best Friends into starting Kettlebell training programme with me. We started once a week, go through all the basic moves, swings, cleans, presses and some bodyweight movements. It was challenging. I’d not really done any exercise for quite some time. But, I found I really enjoyed it. It was fun and I felt like I was achieving something. Oddly I felt more energised! I bought some kettlebells from Wolversons Fitness to keep at home and started using them once a week as well as doing our Thursday sessions, which were progressing with Kettlebell Windmills, Squats and other Kettlebell exercises.

The difference was gradual, in fact it took a food few months of hard work, but, one day it occurred to me something was different, I WASN’T IN PAIN anymore in s my spine! My exercises were helping strengthen my muscles and support my joints. I was astonished, blown away that this metal ball with a handle could do so much for me. I felt stronger everywhere. My stomach was also feeling the benefit of these movements from picking up shopping and moving boxes at work. Sitting up in bed is a doddle these days, but I don’t take it for granted.

In May 2010, I was due another hospital appointment and for the first time in a long, long time i felt fit and well. My Doctor opened my folder to look at my blood results. “You have no inflammation showing in your blood?!” He asked how much medication I was taking and I replied “None!” Of course he tried to tell me I should be on the medication, but it was pretty hard to argue with the facts. The facts were plain as day. For the first time in twelve long years I had NO inflammation markers. I was singed off for a whole year.

A Miracle At Work? No. Not Really

I changed my lifestyle. I exercise regularly, at least five times a week. I eat well. Lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, and I’m not on ANY medication despite my condition. I just tried and tested things and found what worked for me. Obviously when I first tried stuff out it was just little portions. Sometimes well cooked through. Now I know I'm not as damaged inside (hopefully everything is healing, well it must because I'm not bleeding or doubled over in pain) I eat raw spinach, carrots and other raw stuff I couldn't manage to tolerate at first. This could be temporary, but only time will tell. But I can say with certainty, this is working for me. I didn't ever like what I was told at the hospital... They'd have me believe I'd not walk properly again, I'll end up with a colostomy bag!

At Body Power 2010, I met the IKFF team, and Coach Cj Swaby from CJS Fitness. Cj Swaby coached me on Kettlebell training and encouraged me throughout the summer, and in October 2010 I passed the IKFF Certified Kettlebell Trainer Level 1. A great personal Victory for me. I could rant on forever about how to some people this all seems just a little like too much hard work and chomping down on steroids, sitting in front of the TV with a takeaway, ready meal, or a pint of larger would be a whole lot easier! But, my experience of life tells me nothing worthwhile is easy. Challenge everything!

Jane Maddern, IKFF CKT Level 1

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Hoop Dreams: U19 South East National Basketball Tournament

Hoop Dreams: U19 South East National Basketball Tournament 2010

Foreword by Coach Cj Swaby

A few weeks ago my nephew Jak Ryan-Hall broke his wrist in a Basket ball match. At seventeen years of age and a towering six foot four, Jak’s position on the team is as a ‘Small Forward’. A week later he was asked to adopt a different role, that of Team Coach for Worthing College, when the School’s teacher was unable to attend the Championships.

As team Coach, Jak headed up a bus load of seventeen to nineteen year old young men, with nothing to guide him but his own experience, a game plan, and a belief in the ability of the team around him. As a Coach I was impressed with the way Jak utilised his knowledge and experience to modify his game strategy to maximum effect, as an Uncle I am proud at the impeccable way Jak Ryan-Hall lead his team, and stepped up to face a potentially daunting challenge. Here is Coach Jak Ryan-Halls account of the U19 South East National Basketball Tournament 2010.

Hoop Dreams: U19 South East National Basketball Tournament 2010

By Coach Jak Ryan-Hall

5:30 Am. That’s the time I woke up to Coach a Basketball tournament for the first time in my life and I was nervous. I had only ever been a player before, but never a Coach. I was still excited because I still wanted to lead the team to victory. We were competing in the Under 19 South East National Tournament. As we arrived we heard that one of the favourites of the tournament, Kingston College, had pulled out. As we observed the other Basketball teams in action I thought we had a good chance at winning.

Game One: Bringing The Heat

So our first Game was upon us VS Chichester College. The game plan was to ‘Run and Gun’ because their team lacked in athleticism and we had plenty. On defence we played pressure defence on their Point Guard and normal man-to-man defence on the other players. Immediately we were causing havoc on defence. The Point Guard turned over the ball and we had our first Points. We then got a steal and had a ‘two- on- one’ situation which we finished comfortably. Our defence was strong and they barely scored in the opening minutes. However, frustratingly we didn’t either. We had good ball movement, open 3 pointers and penetration to the paint. But we couldn’t finish. Slowly the opposing team started to fight back and we were only up two points with 3 minutes left on the Clock.

I called a Time-out to stop the bleeding. I switched the offence to an isolation ‘pick and roll’ on the wing with our Point Guard and Shooter. It was extremely effective. We were left with open shots, drive to the baskets and we began to pull ahead. They couldn’t handle a ‘pick and roll’ between two players who could drive, shoot and were quick. And when they tried to bring help from the weak side it left a shooter in the corner. We pulled away with the victory!

Game Two: Getting Burned

Our Second game saw us playing a Strong Richmond team. In the game before they tore apart their opposition with offensive boards and steals. So I opened with Two Point Guards, Two Power Forwards and one Centre so we wouldn’t be beaten on the boards and with the two Point Guards, we wouldn’t get the ball turned over. It worked a treat as we scored 9 points without reply. We dominated the boards and their Centre didn’t have a glance at the Ring. Their Small Forward kept driving and was drawing fouls and knocking down his Free throws. This got our Players into ‘Foul’ Trouble so I had to make some forced substitutions. With two of our big men on the bench we were forced into a smaller line up which worked in Richmond’s favour.

With two minutes left on the clock and our starters back on the floor in foul trouble we were in for a tight finish. They moved the ball well on offence and had an open 3 point shot. They knocked it down. We were down by one. With 30 seconds left we got the ball in play quick and pushed it down the floor. Our Point guard took an ill-advised deep jump shot with 20 seconds on the clock and 14 seconds still on the shot clock. Fortunately he knocked it down. We were up one. Their Coach took a time out. I put the team in a man to man defence and told them to put themselves in a help side position if their man didn’t have the ball. I emphasised the importance of ‘boxing out’ and how we want to force them into a jump shot. We came out of the time out and there was 20 seconds on the shot clock. They kept on trying to penetrate but couldn’t find a gap. They tried posting up but with 3 big men on the floor it wasn’t working. With ten seconds left I felt their panic from the sidelines.

With four seconds left they found a shooter just inside the 3 Point line with less than a meter of space. He raised up and pulled the trigger. The ball seemed to fall for an eternity. The whole building took a breath. But the ball bounced on the ring and off again. Our whole bench were on the verge of celebrating when their Centre rose up above all of our players and got a tip in just before the buzzer. I was in disbelief. I was also mad because I emphasised rebounding. However, I hid my frustration and gave encouraging words to the team. We now needed a victory in the next game to go through to the Quarter Finals.

The Semi Finals: Out of Hell’s Kitchen

Our deciding game would be VS Queen Marys. I’d seen that they had a good shooter from their previous game so I set up a 4 man ‘box defence’ with the remaining player man marking the Shooter. This worked well as we held them to only a few points and their Shooter barely touched the ball. We were also shooting well and getting offensive rebounds. Their Coach took a time out and I was happy with my team so I kept it the same. Queen Mary’s came out with their Shooter playing the Point Guard position. He was a very Good ball handler and created his own shot. He brought his team level in points by himself. We couldn’t handle him defensively but we were knocking shots down on the offensive end. Our Shooting began to find his stroke. It became a two man game. Their player would go to one end and make a very tough shot but then Our Shooting Guard would respond immediately. The game was tied so we went to over time. With 18 seconds left the game was tied. I set up a play for our Shooter. He got open with 7 seconds but got double teamed so gave it up but got it back immediately. With 5 seconds left he was working immensely hard to get open but couldn’t. With 2 seconds left he was forced into a fade away, turnaround 3 Pointer with a hand in his face. But amazingly he made it. Our team sprinted towards him to celebrate. I was relieved. We were through to the Quarter Finals.

The Quarter Finals: The Inferno

Walking around the building I was receiving recognition for my Coaching skills and the Teams Success. We were all feeling good about ourselves and started to get confident that we could win this competition. Our shooter, Louis Harris, was receiving lots of recognition for his game winner and his play throughout the Tournament. Going into our Quarter Finals I felt confident, the team felt confident and we had a swagger about us. We knew little about our opponents Thornton. From the tip we were on the back foot. Our man to man defence wasn’t working because they were too quick for us. They were brushing our players of and also getting easy points in transition. I called an early timeout and told the team to play with more passion. We were playing as less of a team and with no energy. I also switched our defence into a ‘2-3 Zone’.

Coming out of the time out we showed little signs of improvement. Our team was paying selfishly and not utilising the shot clock but throwing up tough, early shots. The crowd was bigger in this game and the players all wanted to be the best player. I feel they were jealous of the compliments our shooter was getting. I had to make substitutions. I brought in a shooting guard and a Centre. I hoped they would bring energy and the rest of the team would feed of it. It worked a charm. They started driving and not settling for the outside jumper and the others followed suit. They stopped the transition points and we began to dig in to the lead. With 4 minutes left we trailed by nine.

A quick three points and some good defence gave use the ball and only down by six points. Our Small Forward drove and drew a foul. He knocked one of two free throws and the lead was only five points. They moved the ball well but our defence was up to the challenge. We forced them to use their whole shot clock and shoot a bad shot. We then put the ball into our Power Forward who done a great spin move to put us within 3. However, Thornton pushed the ball and found an open shooter in the corner who nailed the shot and got the foul call. With a minute on the clock and down by six I called a time-out. I set a play for two picks at the top of the key with both screens rolling to the basket.

I told the team to try and get a quick to and they play full court man to man. They executed the play in a short time. This gave us plenty of time to pull pack the lead. We then played tight defence. Thornton were trying to run the clock down. 15 seconds into the shot clock we got a steal and a layup. We were down two with 35 seconds left. All we needed was to play good defence and force a poor shot then we would have the ball with ten seconds. They ran the clock down right to the last second and pull a wild 3 pointer. They made the shot. That crushed our dreams of a comeback. We got the ball and pulled a quick shot before the buzzer sounded.

Coach Jak Ryan-Hall Sends Word

Although we didn’t win the tournament I feel it was a fantastic experience. Coaching ten 17-19 year old boys wasn’t easy, but once they understand you know what you’re talking about they respect you. I feel that any player wanting to improve their game should try and get some coaching experience because you learn certain aspects of the game you may not appreciate as a player. It also helps you leadership skills. I believe that this experience has helped me become a better player and am glad that I have done it. As a result of my performance Coaching the U19 boys team, I have been asked to coach the U19 Girls team in the South East National Basketball Tournament on December 9th 2010.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 38 (Workout Of The Week)

By Coach Cj Swaby

Its been a long while (well, since the summer) that the "j" in CJS Fitness represented at the Full Throttle Fitness Class, but this week school was in session as Physical Education Teacher and Strength Coach, James "The Real Deal" Bower, put the class through their paces. Here's how it went down.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW#38

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Section One: James Bower
Four bodyweight stations, working in pairs on each station.

1)Pistols (one leg squats),
2)Handstand push ups,
3)Tuck plyometric jumps over hurdles
4)Rope climb.

Alternate back and forth until each person has completed 10 sets on each station. Perform 3 reps per set.

Sounds simple right? try it!

Section 2: Coach Sabina Skala

Jacobs Ladder

10 swings 1 travelling burpee
10 swings 2 travelling burpees...etc up to 10 swings 10 travelling burpees

There isn't much to this one really, but the pieces sums up coach Skala perfectly. Simple, but brutal!

We threw a few other things in the mix at the end of the session , check out the video below to see what else we got up to.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW #38 (Workout Of The Week)

Monday, 29 November 2010

McKenzie Fit V CJS Fitness

McKenzie Fit V CJS Fitness

Mayhem At Thames Cross Fit

When Andy "Iron Mac" McKenzie told us he was coming to London and wanted to play, we couldn't miss this great opportunity, so I called up Jay over at Thames Cross Fit to see if he was up for getting in on the action.

Thames Cross Fit is a little gem hidden near West India Quay and Canary Wharf. Its a nice space with all the toys needed to forge elite fitness. The coaches Jay, Jane and Jami are welcoming progressive coaches. Luckily for us Jay said yes, so on Friday 25th November at 7pm, we held the now infamous McKenzie Fit V CJS Fitness "The Lock In Session". The format? One hour, three coaches, twenty minutes each. Here's how it went down.

Section One: Coach Cj Swaby

Warm Up: Joint Mobiliy & Dynamic Movement

Mixed Circuit Training (MCT)

45 seconds work: 15 seconds change over x 5 stations. Complete 3 rounds of the circuit.

Exercise Menu

1) Bear Crawls (back and forth)
2) Dead Hang from bar
3) Kettlebell clean & Press (change hand every 3 reps)
4) Depth Jumps into precision land
5) Burpees

With everyone now thoroughly warmed up, Iron Mac arrived on cue to deliver a tasty bodyweight bedlam!

Section 2: Andy "Iron Man" McKenzie

Partner Bodyweight Drills 1:1 ratio for work/rest

Power/Speed Jumps- Partner A sits on floor arms straight level with shoulder and legs slightly apart. Partner B 'power' jumps over the first arm then x2 'speed' jumps over each leg and then one more 'power' jump over the other arm. This is 1 repetition- Carry out x4 reps then change over and each person repeats for 4 sets (partner on floor maintains good posture throughout).

120 seconds Rest

Bridge/Crawls- Partner A holds high arch bridge with only fingertips and feet in contact with floor. Partner B 'Power' Jumps over A and then crawls under partner- small movements only hands and feet in contact with floor. When clear they carry out a burpee jump back over and repeat then change- this is continuous for 4 minutes.

120 seconds Rest

Hang Tough/MacPress Up (MPU) and Jump Squat (JS)- Partner A Carries out x10 JS, x8 MPU, x6 JS, x4 MPU and x2 JS. Partner B Hangs on bar and each time partner changes exercise he/she has to carry out a controlled hanging leg raise (toes touching bar). Each person carries out 3 rounds each. If at anytime the person drops from the hang, the reps start back at x10......
Finished off with rope climbing skills- the right way!

Section 3: Coach Skala

Tag team - working in pairs

Partner A 1: 250M ROW
Partner A2: Overhead Kettlebell hold x 2 HOLD UNTIL A1 FINISHES THEN SWAP & REPEAT

Other pairs keep working until A1 and A2 have finished

Pair B:

Partner B1 - burpee to pull up
Partner B2 - plank

Pair C

Partner C1 - squat jumps
Partner C2 - wall sit

Partner D

Partner D1 - Medicine Ball Chest pass to wall & Catch
Partner D2 - plank

Partner E
Both Partners - macpees (Burpee with an overhead clap when in the bottom position)

Job done, we congratulated each other on a session of blood sweat and tears and much fun. Cross Fit Thames is a fantastic space and if you are in the Canary Wharf area you need to check this space out. Got it? Good. Once again a BIG Thank you to Jay and the crew at Thames Cross Fit. We're looking forward to the next "Lock In Session" coming to a venue near you - we'll keep you posted.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Full Throttle Conditioning WOW # 37

It took me 3 days to recover after training we did last Saturday. It is hard when you do it, but it doesnt promise that you will need such a long time to shake it off. If you are going to give it a go, please bear in mind - you need to make time for recovery, so I would recommend trying it out a just before your REST day.

Here it goes:

Warm up -

Joint mobility

Work Out - 100 reps of each in total

It works out:

Thrusters 20 - 15 - 10 - 5
Renegade Rows 16 - 20 - 6 - 10
Double Swing 10 - 5 - 20 - 15
Burpee to push up 5 - 10 - 15 - 20

1 round looks like - 20 thrusters, 16 renegade rows (double count), 10 double swings, 5 burpee to push up

This was 1st set

Then - a bonus :), set number 2:

Thrusters 5 - 10 - 15 - 20
Renegade Rows 10 - 6 - 20 - 16
Double Swing 15 - 20 - 5 - 10
Burpee to push up 20 - 15 - 10 - 5

Ladies used 2x12kg KB, gentelmen 2x16kg +

Cool down

Row and deck squats

Job done!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 36

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 36 (Workout Of The Week)

By Coach Cj Swaby

There are somethings in life that just seem to go well together, Batman and Robin, Bonny & Clyde, Usain Bolt and 100 metres, fish and water, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a spoon, kettlebells and Steve Cotter, Rannoch Donald and simple strength, 'shell' tracksuits and the 80's; while other things, for their own good, should be kept FAR apart. Coach Skala and Cj Swaby are such examples, because when we get together carnage ensues. What seemed like a good idea for a session at the start, suddenly became apparent that in no uncertain terms was what we proposed a 'GOOD' idea. I guess you live and you learn right?

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 36
Warm Up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Main Session (led by Coach Cj Swaby)

Double Kettlebell Front Squat x 10
Double Kettlebell Swing x 10
10 Box Jumps x 10

Cycle this x 3 with NO rest. This equals 1 set.

Complete 3 sets with 3 minute rest between sets. This totals 270 reps.

Section 2 (led by Coach Skala)

Tabata Hybrid: 20:10 x 10 rounds per station.
x 4 stations in total.
1 minute test between stations.

1) McKenzie Burpees
2) Sprints
3) Bear Crawls
4) Stair Sprints

Cool down, stretch and Grid to close.

There was an eerie silence that loomed over the session this week as we attacked this session. If you want to know why, try this session out. You'll soon see!

Full Throttle Fitness Saturdays 12:15pm -1:15pm,
Balance Physiotherapy 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6LE

£15 per class or £10 VIP
For updates and VIP list follow us on FACEBOOK

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of the Week WOW #35

Last Saturday's session surprised me greatly. It was supposed to be a decent power endurance session, demanding on the day, but everyone should have been ready to train on Monday (providing Sunday was a recovery day). Sunday felt good and I had a strength session scheduled for Monday. And... the Saturday's training caught up on me, Mondays training had to be changed to recovery airdyne ride. I spoke to Ash, she had the same experience. The session really kicked in 2 days later.

So here is what we did:

Warm up - joint mobility

Continue the warm up with 3 rounds of 20x hand to hand swing, 10 x snatch (per hand)

Then - training:

6 rounds of (men used 2x16kg KB, girls 2x 12kg KB)

10 x clean and jerk (use 2 KB's)
10 x renegade row (double count)
5 x push up (on KB's)
5 x double swing
5 x push up
5 x double swing
10 sec L-sit
10 x MacKenzie's burpees (Thank you Iron Mac!)

Rest 1 min every 2 rounds

rest 3 mins

4x 30/30 frog hop
Rest 1 min

4x 30/30 split jump

3 mins plank hold

Cool down

Designing the session I have to admit I didnt really think much of it. However to my surprise, it was much tougher than I expected. This is why I love training so much, after all the years, you still cannot be sure about the outcome.

Have a go and enjoy the feeling 2 days after :D


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Colette Morrow V CJS Fitness

Coach Cj Swaby

It was the 26th September; a grey, wet Autumn Day. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times it....ok ok I was just playing. I strode purposefully, with ticket in hand to the Tabacco Docks in London for the International London Tattoo Convention.

I'm a BIG fan of tattoos, I've been getting inked since fifteen years of age and have about three quarters body coverage. As far as Tattoo conventions go, it was pretty good, but pretty run of the mill. I made my way down to the ground floor and was dumb founded by what I saw.

Colette Morrow on the silks. Impressive stuff. The dynamic and static strength endurance required, coupled with flexibility, grace and a good head for heights I can appreciate the 10, 000 + hours that she had put in to get to such a good level.

Recently I managed to catch up with Colette Morrow, she took some time out from her hectic schedule as she is currently performing in Love Never Dies in the west end. Colette told me a bit about her training, plus recovery strategies she utilises for her demanding training, and performing schedule.

Colette Morrow V CJS Fitness

Cj: Hi Colette, thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to do this interview. For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about your training back ground and what you’re involved in?

Colette: I'm a versatile performer, aerailist, acrobat, dancer and actress.

Cj: I First saw you perform at the London International Tattoo Convention on the Silks. So do you have any tattoos?

Colette: Bizare but no I do not have any tattoo's...think I must have been the only person there without any hehe!

Cj: Was the silk routine specifically prepared or do you have a set ‘menu’ of routines?

Colette: For the tattoo convention performance I was given the music track a few days before and did my best to choreograph a routine I thought appropriate.

Cj: So how long did it take you to get to that high standard of silks?

Colette: I have been doing dance and gymnastics since the age of 4, then at 18 I did one year intense circus training, and have been working on the silks for 10 years since. But training and perfecting is ongoing.

Cj: What did the training involve?

Colette: A lot of overall body conditioning including: sit up's, press ups, leg lifts, chin ups, exercises on a pilates ball for core stability. Also conditioning on the aerial equiptment to build the upper body strength...such as rope climbs, holding on with right and left hand only. Then dance classes (mainly African and contemporary) for cardiovascular and co-ordination. Followed by extreme stretching and flexibility....splits, back bends, shoulders and neck. Training was intense, yet satisfying when i started to feel and see an improvement to my body and skills.

Cj: I know that you are former gymnast, as well as a Street Dancer among other things – which must be physically demanding. What type of physical conditioning do you do to supplement your performance activities?

Colette: At the moment I go to the gym a few times a week (my workout consists of 20mins on the running machine, followed by free weights and exercises) I specifically train silks at The Circus Space, Old St. I take dance classes (hip-hop and jazz) when time permitting. I always do a daily 45min stretch session.

Cj: So what does your typical training week look like when you’re performing, and when you are off?

Colette: I am currently performing in Love Never Dies Musical in the West End 8 shows a week, and other various gigs I can fit in along side this. I push my body physically 6 days a week, then have a full day off on Sundays to relax and recover.

Cj: What kind of injuries are typical of your training and what do you do to you manage recovery?

Colette: The neck back and arms are most vulnerable. I get a sports massage once a month to help reduce muscle knots.

Cj: What was the worst injury that you’ve sustained while training and how did that affect you?

Colette: Luckily I have not had any serious injuries, just small muscle strains, pains, aches etc.

Cj: As a physical performer I can imagine it’s important to avoid burning out from doing too much physically and mentally. What type of strategies do you have in place to promote your regeneration and recovery so that you are always on point?

Colette: A good balance between work and play, together with 8 hours sleep per night and a healthy diet. Sometimes I do yoga to focus the body and mind.

Cj: Which one of your disciplines best expresses you as a performer, and why?

Colette: aerial hoop and silks - as I can combine elegance, sensuality, flexibility and strength with a edgy dangerous element!

Cj: What’s the most scariest thing about doing what you do?
Colette: working in the air has a big danger factor, the higher the scarier!

Cj; What’s the most rewarding thing about doing what you do?

feeling the buzz and natural high after performing. Also seeing people/audience enjoy my entertainment.

Cj: Your most memorable moment while performing?

Colette: It would have to be the Take That Tour in 2006....what an amazing experience and so much fun.

Cj: Are there any other disciplines you’re thinking of taking up?

Colette: I want to improve my acting skills.

Any goals for 2011?

Colette: To be honest I am not sure yet, any ideas anyone!?!

Cj: Colette, once again great stuff at the London Tattoo Convention, and looking forward to seeing your career sky rocket further.

Colette: big pleasure, thankyou Cj.

Colette Morrow Doing Her Thing

Pop by and say Hi to Colette Morrow at her website, or check her out in Andrew Lloyd Webbers, Love Never Dies.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 34

This time it was Coach Cj Sway at the helm, while Coach Sabina Skala was assisting Mark Twight and Rob MacDonald on the First UK Gym Jones First Degree Instructor Certification.
Even though he is preparing for the 2011 Strength & Power meet, Coach Cj jumped in the session and mixed it up with the rest of the class. Here's how it went down.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW#34
Warm up: Joint Mobility/ Dynamic Movement

Main Session:
Part A
Training Protocol: Main Session MCT (Mixed Circuit Training)

45 seconds works: 15 seconds rest/ change over
3 exercises
x 3 rounds

Exercise Menu

1) Rower: level 7 (flat out)
2) Marine kit bag Bear Hug and walk (40kg)
3 Double Kettlebell Jerk

We rested for 3 minutes then went into..

Part B

Modified Tabata 20:10

Sprints x 4 rounds
Bear Crawls x 4 rounds

Rest 3 minutes

Single arm Kettlebell Snatch x 6 minutes (alternating arm every minute).

Toasted we cooled down and started our regeneration and recovery using the Grid and trigger point therapy kit. If you don't know what they are, check out this invaluable bit of kit here.

Next week it will be Coach Cj rolling solo AGAIN as Coach Skala is of to Poland for a moments repsite!

Full Throttle Fitness
Sat 12:15pm - 1:15pm Balance Physiotherapy, 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, SW4 6LE
Join the CJS Fitness Facebook Group to keep up todate with classes and courses.

Friday, 15 October 2010

IKFF CKT Level 1: Earlsfield Boxing Club London, 2010

By Coach Cj Swaby

I had the pleasure of Steve Cotter and the UK IKFF team attending my 2nd home last week. I've been resident at Earlsfield Boxing Club for about 16 years, and will be involved with it in some way for the rest of my life. I love the place, it has given me, and many others so much over the years.

Last weekend it was the good fortune of twenty good women and men to have the opportunity of traning with arguably the best Kettlebell Coach in the world, Steve Cotter.

I'm not going to talk it up, because if you've done any of the IKFF certifications you will know what I'm talking about, and if you know about Kettlebells, you'll know about Steve Cotter. If you are among the very few who are not aware of his this man, I envy you. You have much to look forward to.

Less is more, so check out the clip below.

IKFF CKT Level One; Earlsfield Boxing Club, London 2010

Sunday, 3 October 2010

WHY I Will Be Giving Blood This Week For The ACLT

WHY I’ll Be Giving Blood This Week For the ACLT

Coach Cj Swaby

Donating blood is a very personal affair. I mean you’re giving something OF yourself. Someone you’ve just met penetrates you with a needle, draws your blood. Smiles. Tells you it’s for a noble cause. Patches you up, pats you on your back and sends you on your merry way. Nice.

How many of you propositioned your first date (within the first 5 minutes of meeting them)and ended up in a passionate all night romp at the nearest Holiday Inn? Not many right? You might be asking where am I going with this? Stay with me now.

As I Said before giving blood is a very personal affair. When a well meaning Johnny random approaches you on the street with a smile and a clip board, then introduces themselves along the lines of “ Hi, I’m Johnny Random, can I have a minute of your time? And a pint of your blood to save a life...oh and sorry, what’s your name?” You may be forgiven for kissing your teeth and walking swiftly on (while cursing under your breath).

Think back to the Holiday Inn analogy and to that crucial moment AFTER your passionate fling, when they turn to you, look deep into your eyes and ask awkwardly, “sorry, so er... what was your name?”. Well it’s a bit like that. But stay in the conversation. Who knows, that night at the Holiday Inn could be the greatest thing you’ve ever done, but you might want to coach Johnny Random on their social etiquette at the beginning. Communication is key. It’s a two way process.

So why am I giving blood? Is it a noble thing to do? Yes. But that’s not my reason for doing it. I’m doing it for purely selfish reasons. I lost my brother from complications caused by treatment to cancer. It changes your perspective on life a LOT when you watch someone you love deteriorate over three years, and drastically in the last year. Cardiac arrest at least every six weeks was common for my brother in the final year. My brother is Lynden David Hall.

In 2009 my father was successfully treated for cancer (much to our relief) and he now enjoys a happy and full life. Several friends have been diagnosed with one form of cancer or another in the past 5 years.

Now with increase in cancer incidence, chances are someone I know or SOMENONE dear to YOU, will be diagnosed with cancer. Watching someone you love DIE is no joke, because that’s what we’re talking about here. LIFE or DEATH. If you don’t believe me just ask Beverly De-Gale . If by donating blood I can improve the chances of survival for someone I LOVE or PREVENT someone else and their family going through the same traumatic experience that hit my family, then my time on this planet would have been well spent, and adds value to my existence (I have the right to feel quite smug and will enjoy doing so).

On an even more selfish note, if by donating blood I help to sustain someone elses life it somehow enables me to make sense of my brothers loss of life, and serves towards the healing process. I’m sure Beverly and Orin would agree. It’s doubtful whether I would be so active about cancer issues if I had not been directly affected by it, it’s also questionable that without the affect of cancer on Daniel De-Gale's life, whether Beverly and Orin would have even established the ACLT.

Don’t wait until someone YOU LOVE or know DIES before you make that step to donate. It will be FAR too late. You could BE that difference. BE SELFISH. Do something amazing this week. PUT DOWN THE EXCUSES AND PICK UP A PURPOSE! - donate some blood. And we promise, we’ll ask your name first!

I will be donating on Thursday 7th October – Come by and say hi!

Training Day: Gym Jones FDI 2010 Prep

Coach Cj Swaby

Training Day was a simple concept evolved from the minds of CJS Fitness. Executed in conjunction with some of the UKs leading Coaches. Four workshops. Four topics. Four Coaches. One purpose. One location. One day.

Topics Covered were

Squat Therapy : Master Your Movement For Freakish Strength
Coach Sabina Skala

Calistenics: Utilising Your Bodyweight For Peak Performance
Andy 'Iron Mac' McKenzie

Kettlebell Clinic: Clean & Jerk - Sustaining Your Work Capacity
Cj Swaby

Deadlift As Functional Movement
Chet Morjaria

Our aim was to bring together UK based coaches to deliver informative and practical workshops aimed at other forward thinking coaches, and elite fitness enthusiasts. Covering a braod but linked range of topics that would give the participants practical skills to accelerate their own training or people they train.

This Training Day was Gym Jones FDI focused, ahead of the certification in October 2010. Check out the clip below to get a feel for what we got up to.

Training Day: Gym JOnes FDI Prep 2010

My section focused on Double Kettlebell Clean & jerk. Looking at the finer points of technique that will enable you to sustain your work capacity. Patcipants had used different 'styles' of kettlebell lifting but were open to Coaching. Teaching the Clean & Jerk in an hour is a tall order and one that stretched me as a Coach, given the constraints every one did acceptionally well.

Andy Mckenzie, winner of the Strength & Power Meet 2010 told me what his intentions for the Bodyweight workshops were,

"My aim for the bodyweight-conditioning element of the workshop was to look at 3 key areas’; simple mobility drills that work and are equally easy to remember without it becoming a ‘floor dance routine’. In turn maintaining the emphasis on joint mobility when employing partners in body weight exercises." He went on to say,

"The second area was looking at static strength as part of the training process and also creating whole body tension when carrying out any bodyweight movement. 60 seconds of press ups with ‘Power’, ‘Static Hold’ and ‘Rep it out’ will challenge anyone" Just have a look at the video if you believe bodyweight training is not demanding.

Training Day will be Touring the UK in 2011. Each Training Day will have a different emphasis and consist of difdferent talented UK based Coaches - but some Coaches will be standard features. We will keep you updated about developments.

In the words of Iron Mac McKenszie,

"I enjoyed meeting and learning with different coaches with equally varied interests and backgrounds. The format of the workshop is a great way to gain experience in 4 disciplines with the right amount of information to take away and actually use."
True Andy. True.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


Running towards the Hampton Court with Chris and Michael

I am not a long distance endurance athlete - not any more. Actually after 30 miler I did last year, I swore never to run more than 10km in one go. And yet, last Wednesday I ran 25 miles and thoroughly enjoyed it - all thanks to one AMAZING MAN - CHRIS MOON. In aid of Barnardo's (Believe In Children) projects, Chris took on a challenge to run 1000 miles within 30 days across the UK.

Last Sunday, my friend Ewan, who managed the 1000 challenge, asked me if I would do a leg with Chris on Wednesday. I didn't hesitate for a second and jumped on a chance to meet this remarkable man. I wasn't disapointed.

So who is Chris Moon? Chris is a former army officer. He's survived kidnap by the Khmer Rouge guerillas in Cambodia, was threatened execution, worked for a charity clearing landmines in Asia and Africa, was blown up in a remote minefield in East Africa and lost his right leg and lower right arm. Chris survived against the odds and ran the London Marathon just within a year of leaving hospital.

Since then he has completed a number of ultra endurance events, including the Marathon des Sables (137 mile race across the Sahara dessert) and Badwater the 135-mile continuous ultra through Death Valley to the mountains.
He's taken parties to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and run the length of Cambodia to raise funds for charities assisting disabled.

Ewan has arranged for me to meet Chris in Guildford. The plan was to start running around 11 am and reach Shepherds Bush in London by 4.30pm. Sitting on a train to Guildford I had mixed feelings. On one hand I couldn't wait to meet Chris, on the other I was nervous and worried I wouldn't be able to complete the whole distance. All the worries disapeared the moment I started talking to Chris. He proved to be an incredibly charming man with a wicked sense of humor.

Chris, Saba & Ewan

The run was FUN! When I say fun, it doesn't mean it didn't hurt. Last 3 miles were really hard. Not being used to such a distance I must admit I did struggle and only Chris' presence kept me going. I remember when we met our support crew in Kew, the only thought I had in my head was "Please dont give him (Chris) any more sugar, he will speed the pace up again"... Well... and he DID!

Chris was really happy by the end of the run, he said that his pace was much faster than the day before. He told me it was thanks to running with us - good runners. Two guys, who run with us were definitely good runners - Michael, triathlete from Canada, who was supposed to run with us only to Hampton Court but continued till Kew (Mike you are a hero! :) ) and Rob - a marathon runner, who joined us in Hampton Court. Me ... I wouldnt even call myself a runner, and definitely not a good one.
I just said - ... if you knew what was going through my head during the last miles... I just kept going because I had you by my side and would be dead embarrassed if I stopped. Thanks to Chris, I didn't give up. I was proud to wear my Gym Jones t-shirt and I every time I looked to my left I saw a MAN running next to me, who represents all I value in Gym Jones so much.
Chris Moon is an amazing person, one of those people, who when you meet, you know you will remember forever. He is a charismatic, courageous man with incredible physical & mental strength plus he made me laugh to tears.
To find out more about Chris Moon, visit his website
Chris has done an epic thing for a great cause. Support Barnardos, any donation can make a change!
Ewan Ross - my dear friend :), thank you. Ewan will be starring in a new movie with Sean Bean and Danny Dyer. I believe the premiere is in January 2011. Ewan's story is worth a full blog post. Here is a short article about Ewan from the Independent.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Full Throttle WOW - 31

Last Saturday was interesting. I was tempted to do one of the Gym Jones workouts (louder than 10) for some time. And... I wanted to do it in a race format. When you race against others, the temptation to cheat to win gets really big. The question is - do you really feel like a winner, if you win a race cheating. I didnt watch or check on the guys, as I trained with them. The rules were simple, ball slam - low catch, push up - chest to the floor, swing.
I do trust everyone did everything with a perfect form.

Gym Jones workout - Louder than 10


11 rounds of:

5x ball slams
10x push ups
15x kb swing


4 rounds of:

30/30 means 30sec effort /30sec "rest" in a compromised position

30 sec of push press with 2x7kg or 2x8kg D/B'S, 30 sec hold the dumbells overhead (elbows locked)

then 4 rounds of:

30/30 squat, rest in squat position

then 4 rounds of:

30/30 ball slam, rest - hold the ball in front of you elbows straight



Tabata 20 sec on/10 sec off - 4 roundson each station

Sprints, burpees, frog hops

Then 3 mins plank

Job done!


Friday, 24 September 2010

GYM JONES - 7 days in Utah

Rob makes sure Jenny Raff hits the target on the airdyne

Every time I visit Salt Lake City and train at Gym Jones I appreciate more and more every second I can spend there... and I know I will be coming back for more.

I was asked a lot of questions about the training there. The common concept is that those Superhumans train there 7 days a week, 100% effort every day, up until they pass out and cannot do anymore. Being honest, this is exactly what I thought when I went there first time in December 2008. I couldnt be more wrong.

The training in Gym Jones is hard but what is more important - it is intelligent and structured. Some of their athletes train there 3x a week, some 2x a week, etc, they do not train 7 days full out. Not every session ends up with people crawling out of the gym, actually they do not do that very often.

I think that the most important lesson I have learned from Rob MacDonald this time, is that intelligent training doesnt mean that your athlete (or yourself) has to get dead tired, it means that they have to get BETTER. Being a chronic overtrainer I struggle to back off training on most of the occasions. With all the injuries I have sustained during the last year, it was obvious that something was wrong with my training and recovery (or lack of it) etc. Rob has pointed out on numerous occassions that I was overtraining. However I refused to acknowledge it and continued training the way I did. I remember he said in April that next time I would come over to Utah, Jenny (one of the girl fighters he trains) would be much stronger than me and I would end up being injured and weaker. And ... unfortunately he was right. Just a week ago - here I was - recovering from back injury not being able to lift moderate weights and losing airdyne race against Jenny. She got much better over the 4 months, me...I just got....more injured. We all make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them.

After meeting some of you guys coming to the Gym Jones FDI in London, or speaking to you on the phone - I know that you expect some hard core training during the 4 days. I can promise, you will have a chance to taste the intensity of GJ training, but what is equally if not more important - listen to what Mark Twight and Rob MacDonald will have to say. There is a lot to learn from those two.

PS. I actually did a training session that almost made me pass out. If you want to try and have got an access to an airdyne - enjoy!

10 mins airdyne (15 sec hard/15sec less hard - not easy)

10 mins rest

5 mins airdyne (15/15) faster pace than before

5 mins rest

3 mins airdyne (15/15) faster pace than before

3 mins rest

2 mins airdyne (15/15) faster pace than before

2 mins rest

1 min airdyne (full out)

1 min rest

30 sec airdyne (full out)

30 sec rest

15 sec airdyne - full out

Probably collapse (however Rob MacDonald would not allow you to lie down, sit down, lean against objects or people - you would have to walk around and try to recover).
Stay strong and smart with your training!
:) Sabina

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 30

Full Throttle Fitness WOW#30 (Workout Of The Week)

Reunited after some time apart. Cj Swaby, fresh off Steve Cotter’s CKT 2, and Coach Skala back from Gym Jones in Utah – this was a double impact session designed to test your mettle. Coach Skala led the bodyweight warm up, with Cj Swaby hitting home with a devilish double kettlebell piece. Not one to be out done, Coach Skala hit the lower quadrant with a squat session that left all with Bambi legs. Back for the second time Coach Cj Swaby finished off with tabata sprints and partner carry drills. Here’s how it went down at Full Throttle Fitness at Balance Physiotherapy, London.

Warm Up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Section 1: Cj Swaby

Round 1

Split Group into two groups. Group A and Group B
Part A)
Double Kettlebell Snatch x 10 (Men 20kg+ Ladies 12kg+)
Then straight into....
Part B)
1 Minute Steady State Jog (Group A)
1 Minute Warrior Star Jumps (Group B)
Switch over after 1 minute.
This equals 1 round. Complete 3 rounds. Job Done

Rest 5 mins

Section 2: Coach Skala

Single Arm Over Head Kettlebell Squat x 30
Burpees (with a press up) x 30

Then 20 of each, then 10 of each.

Rest 5 mins

Section 3: Coach Cj Swaby

The Finisher

Tabata Sprints (20:10) x 4 Rounds
Partner Carry x 30 seconds
This equals 1 round. We did 3 rounds in total. Awesome effort from all those involved. Full Throttle returns next week, come and join us – be inspired.

Full Throttle Fitness
Balance Physiotherapy, 113 Gauden Road, London, SW4 6LE

Saturday, 18 September 2010

IKFF CKT FMD Level 2 Edinburgh 2010

Coach Cj Swaby

I love Edinburgh. It’s a great city. Beautiful, friendly with a rich sense of history. The training on the other hand was brutal, inspiring, challenging, and of an excellent standard.

Rannoch Donald of Simple Strength hosted the IKFF CKT 2. I’ve trained with Steve for about four years now, and each time I train with him I learn something new. This is a testament to Steve Cotters ability to see a familiar thing with fresh eyes. Always seeking to discern the finer details that create solid ,enduring foundations. This weekend was no different. Double Kettlebell work was the order of the weekend. Jerks, Snatches, cleans, Front Squats, variations and assist lifts, exercise programming and more. I’ve worked with double kettlebells for sometime but still managed to absorb a wealth of information on the IKFF CKT level2 . It was intense but great fun.

A supportive, dedicated, hard working group was in attendance. One that gave blood and sweat to furthering their knowledge of Kettlebell training. In the case of Gavin Moreton this was to prove to be literally, as he hung in there and proved his metal on the double Kettlebell Jerk test . The DMC crew defined the word team. Relentless of their effort and support of each other throughout the course. A testament to head coach Davie McConnachie Ray Wilson of Kettlebells Aberdeen, was well, Ray Wilson. Doing what he does best, focused. Intense. Hard working and hysterical . It degenerated into a comedy fair towards the end of Sunday, but we all blame Gerry Higgins of Raw Fitness.

Speaking of which, Gerry managed to put me back together again after Steve Cotter had broken me. Not only is Gerry an excellent Strength & Conditioning Trainer, my body was in bits after CKT 2 and Gerry’s sports massage skills played an integral part of my physical recovery . If you are in Edinburgh check this man out. Thanks Gerry.

Kirsten Tulluch represented in the overhead squat, handling double 28kgs like they were cup cakes. I had the pleasure to train with some inspiring people, and managed to forge some lasting friendships and reinforce others. Thank you to all in attendance (including thosenot mentioned) for bringing your A game. To Rannoch Donald for hosting the CKT 2, and Steve Cotter for elevating the standard of Kettlebell Coaching in the UK.

Check out the International Kettelbell and Fitness Federation.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

My Mate Dave: 'El Gringo Loco'

'The reasonable man adapts to his surroundings, the unreasonable man adapts his surroundings to suit him." - George Bernard Shaw

Ordinary people doing ordinary things. Thats what its about. These 'ordinary every day' people have every reason not to do what they do. But they choose a different path, to go beyond and challenge their comfort zones. To grow a little, inspiring others along the way.

Meet Dave Rogers, a father, a husband and entrepreneur, also known as 'El Gringo Loco'.

El Gringo Loco

Cj: Hi Dave, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. Recently you competed in your first white collar boxing competition. Tell me how you got involved in that?

Dave: CJ , first of all it is an honor to be interviewed by you, thank you. I became involved with boxing, first by using kettlebells to lose weight(weighed about 225lbs when I started Kettlebell) and then by reading a book “White Collar Boxing” by Jonathan Ogden. I immediately fell in love with Kettlebells, because in 20 minutes 3x per week, I could get a weight resistance, cardio and core workout. Also, I could do this in my home. I lost 20lbs my first 6 weeks.

Once I started researching Kettlebell workouts and practitioners, I found Kettlebell for combat DVD’s on the web, as well as Kettlebell for combat video’s on YouTube. I bought a heavy bag for my garage, and at the same time found threw reading John Ogden’s book, that not only did I love Kettlebells and hitting the heavy bag, but it could lead to a goal of participating in a white collar fight, in front of a live audience. I also learned thru initially hitting the heavy bag and trying to jump rope, that this is INTENSE exercise, and I had much work to do. I then bought a speedbag, double end bag, and treadmill for my garage. After 3 months of training, and getting my weight to 180 lbs from 225lbs, I decided to go to a boxing gym and workout.

My initial training session were brutal. It took many private lessons and much encouragement from the staff and boxers at Jabb Boxing in Chicago to continue. After 3 months, I started sparring with my trainer. He was very nice it turns out, and went light on me. In the beginning, the reality of boxing was extremely overwhelming. My trainer was in much better shape, good hit me at will, and could dodge my punches and attacks with ease. However, I found another beginner, and we decided to spar. We made a pact, that we would go light. At the end of the second round, after I felt good because I was hitting him with my jab, he threw a looping overhand right that landed square on my temple, and out went the lights. I fell into the ropes and they stopped the sparring session. I was depressed, and became afraid to get back in ring, as I had a terrible habit of dropping my hands. I slowly quit going to the boxing gym and then stopped altogether for 3 months. I was depressed, and felt defeated.

I was still working out, and was helping a friend train for a natural bodybuilding show, and thru our conversations he said, “You need to go back to boxing and train and do that fight”. After his bodybuilding show I did just that. This time I was much smarter, and only sparred with trainers or guys in the gym I knew.

Cj: How did you prepare for the fight?

Dave: I did much preparation for the fight. I sparred and trained technique with my trainer 3x per week, lifted weights with light reps once per week, did a conditioning workout once per week with Burpees and Kettlebell, and ran 3 to 4x per week. In my sparring, my trainer picked people for me to spar whom were 6’3 to 6’5, because my opponent was 6’4. The training was the most grueling training I ever thought I could possibly go thru. As the fight drew closer, I added to the intensity by doing hill runs, and having 3 or 4 “gym wars” where I sparred extremely hard with other gym members, which resulted in 3 different periods of black eyes, and 1 period of severly bruised ribs. Also, when my training was going poorly, I would seek out advice from the pros in the gym(Jabb Boxing and several seasoned amateur fighters. Also, 2 weeks from the fight, I did meditation and tai chi exercises for 1 hour per day, EVERY day. This calmed me in sparring, and helped me deal with the anxiety of the unknown. I WAS REALLY GOING TO DO THIS.

Cj: I understand that you have a family and run a business, how did you juggle all your commitments with your training?

Dave: I sat down with my wife, and told her that I was going to have to give up an entire summer, and that meant spending time with her and my six year old daughter. My boxing gym was 1-2 hours drive each way, depending on traffic, so juggling that with job and family commitments was the most difficult part of training to do this.

Cj: Did you ever think - "Why the hell am I doing this?"

Dave: CJ, many, many times I said “Why am I doing this”? The first time I went (5) 3 mintues rounds of hard sparring with my trainer, I would say, why am I doing this. Once I was sparring a 26 year old, 6’5 guy from Sweden, and he was killing me with his jab/cross. I really had doubts, until the gym owner came over during the session and yelled, “Slip his jab, get inside and rough him up to the body”. This was a major turning point, because I was thinking what the hell am I doing this for?

Cj: What kept you going?

Dave: What kept me going was the support of the gym, the people I have told publicly that I was doing the fight, and daily communication with my friend from NY, whom had competed in powerlifting and bodybuilding. This individual knew about sacrifice, and helped me stay motivated. His name is Phil Sichhart. I had always been a sports fan, and a boxing fan. I really wanted to make my dream of being a participant vs.being a paying customer at a boxing match come true. My father was a HUGE boxing fan growing up, and we always watched the fights on TV together. He passed away 11 years ago, and the fight was on August 19th, his birthday. That really kept me going. Also, knowing a journey of this nature had to have benefits on the other side. My wife was extremely supportive, and I even had my daughter shout encouragement while training in the garage at home. Once during a grueling heavy bag session she yelled “ Give him a bloody nose Daddy, knock him out Daddy”! That was inspirational.

Cj: What was the hardest part about the preparation and training?

Dave: The hardest part was the sparring 3x per week, and the injuries incurred, and driving up to 3 hours every evening in addition to the 2 hours I spent at the gym. I love the atmosphere of the gym. Also, getting enough rest was difficult, because my job demands some travel and working late a few days a week, preparing for customer meetings ect.

Cj: What would you have done differently?

Dave: That is a tough question. I think being more courteous to my wife, as the stress of the job, upcoming fight, and the training and diet necessary definitely made me very moody.

Cj: How did you prepare mentally coming up to the fight - were you nervous?

Dave: I listened to positive affirmation and guided imagery tapes every night, before going to bed. I also tried to stay calm, and meditate. The meditation 2 weeks before the fight was crucial. Also, I took some satisfaction that I was in the best shape I could be in, given the circumstances of my age(44) and the fact that I had a family and a very demanding job. Plus I had a great trainer, whom knew how to calm me and get the best out of me, Carlos Castaneda. My buddy from NY flew in and stayed with me 2 days before the fight, another friend made me a positive imagery tape, describing exactly how the fight would go. I listened to this every night as well for a week. My friend of 25 years came up from Indianapolis to go to fight, and was there pre-fight. I really had a great team.

Cj: Talk me through your experience on fight night, you know, the walk from the dressing rooms to the ring. To the sound of the first bell sounding. Did it live up to your expectations?

Dave: Fight night was very exciting. I was the 5th of 15 fights, which was good. I met my opponent, we talked, and that put me at ease. It was his first fight two, and we wished each other luck. I sat in a room upstairs in the venue, with all the other fighters. It was everything I hoped it would be, it was me preparing to fight in front of an audience, and I had 30 friends and family all sitting ringside together. I hit the mitts and started warming up during the middle of the 3rd fight. My buddy from NY, Phil said to me right before we walked out for the fight: “ Remember all the times in your life you have been put down and hit, and had to take it, TONIGHT YOU GET TO HIT BACK. Now stay focused and remember your training” My entrance music was Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones. Getting in the ring, having my gloves checked and talking to the referee was surreal. I told myself, now is the time to have fun. The owners of the boxing gym all told me guys get so nervous they cannot perform. I tried my best to stay calm.

Once the fight started, I slipped his right jab, came inside, hit him with a couple jabs, a right cross to the body and a left hook, and he went down 15 seconds into the fight. My adrenaline spiked, like WOW, he is going to be pissed. The second exchange was almost exactly the same and he went down again. Round 2 I knocked him down again with a left hook. Then, with a punch I had really been taught by one of the pro’s at JABB, one week before the fight, and my regular trainer, I hit him with an uppercut when he lunged in, and he went back and his eyes roll in his head. The fight was stopped, and I could not believe I had won.

Cj: What tips would you give someone who was thinking of training to compete at White Collar Boxing?

Dave: My tips would be, spar 3x per week, with one of those being intense. Make sure you are in shape, you must train for 3 months, even though the fight goes so fast, have a trainer you REALLY TRUST, and meditate so you can execute come fight night. Finally, as hard as it is to do, try to enjoy the experience, without too much attachment to the outcome. I decided that 1 week before my fight, that win/lose or draw, I wanted living out my dream to be fun.

Cj: Which Boxer, present or past, inspired you most while you were training?

Dave: 2 boxers: Muhammad Ali and Roberto Duran. Ali, because of his quote: “The fight is not won in front of the crowd or the bright lights, but on the lonely roads running and in the gym hitting the heavy bag, when no one is looking. Also Duran, because of his toughness. Boxing is a tough sport, and it definitely takes a certain mindset, that I am still working to obtain.

Cj: I've seen the massive transformation in you over the years to this point Dave and I think its inspiring, whats next for El Gringo Loco?

Dave: My goal was to do a White Collar Boxing match, then learn Brazilian Jui Jitsu. 5 days after the fight I joined the Uflacker BJJ Academy, and still plan to box 1 to 2 times per week, in addition to BJJ. Who knows, maybe I will do one more fight, Yikes.

Cj: Dave, keep up the good work and thanks for speaking to us. Any last words?

Dave: CJ, as you know, you were the catalyst for all of this, with your visit to the states, and getting me started on Kettlebell. I am honored to call you a friend, and thank you for starting me on this journey. Cheers, Dave

Monday, 6 September 2010


This time there is no video - Sorry.

Sabina couldn't film as she led the session and participated in the training herself. Truly missed CJ was away in Cape Town plotting a new fitness project in South Africa. The whole session was based around kettlebell and body weight drills, which are always FUN.

Joint mobility warm up

Main session:

4 rounds of:

1 min of double KB swing to renegade row
30 sec sprawl

1 min of 2 x KB alternate cleans
30 sec push ups

1 min of double KB pull over
30 sec bear crawl

1 min of TGU
30 sec plank

No rest until all 4 rounds finished

Rest 4mins

then - partner drills
10 rounds of: 20 sec work 10 sec rest

P1 - rolls
P2 - jumps over the rolling partner (jumping position is - all force)

5 rounds of
20 sec work 10 sec rest

Deck squat

Then rest and stretch and JOB DONE!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW #28

So with Coach Cj Swaby at the helm for this one - we kept it nice and simple. After a thorough warm up by Coach Sabina Skala, here's how it went down;

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Main Session

Double Kettlebell Jerk x 45 seconds

Tabata Sprints 20:10 x 8 Rounds

Repeat x 3 Rounds

The Finisher

Mixed Circuit Training

45 seconds per exercise : 15 second rest for change over x 1 round

1) Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch (change every 4 reps)
2) Burpees off the medicine ball
3) Marine Kit bag hold and walk
4)Rower - Full Throttle

A simple session, but a very demanding one. Try it. You might like it.
After that we cooled down and stretched out.

Full Throttle Fitness
Saturday 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Balance Physiotherapy 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6LE

10.00 GBP with text 15.00 GBP without

Txt list: 07903 210 510

Thursday, 19 August 2010

London 2012 : The Greatest Farce on Earth?

By Coach Cj Swaby

As of today there are 701 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic games, and 741 until the para olympic games. Its being billed as the greatest show on earth.

Now I'm not even going to go on a rant about the amount of tax payers money that is being used versus private spending. Thats a whole different blog post all together. My issue is a little bit different.

London 2012 offers to provide job opportunities, indeed on their website they state,

"We're recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce for once-in-a-lifetime roles." Awesome. Good stuff.

London 2012 promises to deliver a "four-year celebration of culture will feature inspirational projects and events across the UK." Again, fantastic.

They even have a whole bit about education,

"... you can find out more about programmes, initiatives and opportunities that have been created especially for children and young people.

We want all of these opportunities to spark their imagination and enthusiasm for learning, helping them to realise their potential and engage with other young people right across the globe."

Now, you may be wandering what exactly is my problem? Well its this minor detail. Considering the level of child and adult obesity in the UK (and in the west), plus incidence of health related disease, plus inactivity levels; am I the only one who finds it a bit concerning that Mc Donalds (yes, McDonalds) is an offical partner of London 2012?

Mixed messages? Nope. Unfortunately, I think the message is very very clear.

Have a look the website here if you haven't already.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Full Throttle Fitness WOW # 27: Let There Be Cake!

This was a special sesison. With James Bower being released from duty over the summer as his role as Physical Education Teacher, he was on hand to help deliver an awesome sesison. The 'J' in CJS Fitness was on point and not taking any prisoners. And avid fan of mixed martial arts, and known to be seen lurking in the depths of London Shoot Fighters, his part of the session was MMA Conditioning based. Here's how it went down.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW#27 : Let There Be Cake

Warm Up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Main Session
MMA Conditioning Based Circuit:

5 stations x 1 minute each = 1 Round
Complete 3 Rounds

Exercise Menu

Marine Kit Bag Slams
Burpees (Any variations)
Kettlebell Snatch
Bear Crawl
Dumbell Farmers Walk (Heavy)

After this brutal piece, Coach Cj Swaby topped it off to put the icing on the cake, keeping it simple.

Double Kettlebell Jerks 10 reps x 5 sets (20 second rest between)
Double Kettlebell Front Squat x 10 into box jumps x 10 x 3 sets (30 seconds rest between)

We cooled down and stretched out. Where did the whole cake thing come into it? Watch the clip below. Here's a hint - it was James Bower's and Coach Sabina Skala's birthday earlier in the week.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 27

Full Throttle Fitness

Saturday 12:15pm - 1:15pm

Balance Physiotherapy, 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6LE

10.00 GBP with VIP text or 15.00 without.

Join the list: 07903 210 510

Monday, 2 August 2010

Meet Matt Owen of Project Deliverance

Photo #1: Matt Owen performing a depth jump at Project Deliverance. Depth Jumps are an integral part of "Shock Training".

I met Matt Owen during my first ever visit at Gym Jones. Matt was probably the youngest athlete attending the seminar, but hell, he impressed us all!!! We have stayed in touch ever since and I am sure we will hear about Matt very soon - both as a great athlete and S&C coach. I always enjoy talking to Matt and sharing training ideas with him. Last time we spoke, I asked him to answer a few questions for the CJSFitness blog. This is an introduction to Project Deliverance. You will find more training related posts from Project Deliverance here soon.

Sabina: What is Project Deliverance?

Matt: Project Deliverance is a gym located in St. Louis, MO. where we train high school, collegiate, (a few) professional athletes, and anyone who is willing to work exceptionally hard in order to improve themselves. We began in 2007 after my freshman year of college. Myself and a few of my friends, who had just graduated high school, needed a place to train in order to prepare for the next year of competitive sports. We combined our resources, bought some gear, and set up shop in my garage. We discovered Gym Jones a few weeks prior and spent a lot of time observing what they did for the cast of "300" and also the athletes they train. To say the least, it motivated us to be better individuals and athletes. So we began training. It wasn't the smartest system, mind you, but we did see a lot of tremendous gains in terms of power endurance and conditioning. After that first summer back in 2007, I decided that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Since then, I have graduated from college with a degree in Exercise Science, been honored to be the first "real" intern at the Gym Jones facility, and learned all I could from some of the best coaches in the industry. Our training has become smarter, more effective, and has attracted more and more athletes each year. We plan to be in a facility operating full time in about a year and a half. Our future looks extremely bright, and our athletes are very young, ambitious, and motivated. Everyone here is trying to attain a high level of success in their sport

Photo #2: Nate Oatis, an Amateur Mixed Martial Artist, trains hard at Project Deliverance two days a week..

Sabina:How does your training schedule look like at the moment?

Matt: At the moment, I am just coming off a De-Load period from my time at Gym Jones. Maximus and I trained for about two weeks straight during that time, and I was very tired last week after I returned. My training will be directed at increasing my strength and power production for the Long Jump event in track and field next year. Last year was my senior year on my track and field squad, but I feel that I still have a lot of potential in the field of jumping. I only have three years of Long Jumping under my belt at this point, and I made some great improvements during last indoor and outdoor track seasons. However, I still have some weaknesses that I need to address in order to be a very good jumper in the next two years. The good news is that I have a solid game plan to address the issues that need improving. I need to generate more power off of the board. This will be accomplished by making use of the Clean and its variants, which worked very well for me last season, and also improving my front squat strength. The Soviets successfully used Shock Training (Depth Jumps) to increase the power production of their athletes. This is a technique we use regularly here at Project Deliverance for recruitment and power production. In terms of this current month, I am performing a foundational period with a slight power emphasis (two extra power sessions) to address the demands of the Long Jump.

Photo #3: Nick Orf, a collegiate discus thrower and Project Deliverance athlete, warming up at the University of Florida last season.

Sabina: Are we going to see you at the London Olympics?

Matt: Every athlete dreams about going to the Olympics and competing with the best in the world. I am still a relatively young jumper and need to remember my place on the food chain at this point. Most of these athletes that will be at London have been in their sport since they were young children. I have three years under my belt. It is possible that if I have a breakout season this year and next year, I would have a long shot at the 2016 or 2020 games. It's a long shot and is very ambitious, but if we do not set our standards high, then we end up selling ourselves short. I am not going to rule anything out at this point. In terms of my short term athletic goals, I think developing the gym here at Project Deliverance is going to take precedence over my athletic career at this point. I will still train hard, fully commit, and put the required hours in, but competing at that high of a level seems almost unreachable for me. Only the gifted few will ever see the Olympics in their careers. That being said, I love what I do and will be happy just training, competing, and improving every single season. I have a great coach who was an elite triple jumper in Bulgaria. He was a mere 30 centimeters away from qualifying for the Bulgarian Olympic Team. He said it was an insurmountable gap to close. I don't want to end up being that athlete who sold himself short and is left wondering what could have been had I went after my dreams. So in answer to your question: Not the London Olympics. But I am still very young in my sport and we will see just how far I can go... Literally.

Photo #4: Brad Summers trains at Project Deliverance three days a week and ships out on November 1st for Navy EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) training. He has spent two years training with us and is well equipped for all the challenges he will face during his basic training.

Sabina:Tell us about your last visit to Gym Jones?

Matt: Wow. Where to start? It was an incredible opportunity and I am blessed to have learned from such great teachers, Rob MacDonald and Mark Twight. I remember reading Mark's writing when I was 20 years old. It gave me motivation and direction for my career. It was fitting for me to come full circle and finish at the place that pulled me into the industry to begin with. I assisted Rob "Maximus" MacDonald with a number of clients that passed through the facility. We trained military personnel, athletes, fighters, and performed seminars for a number of attendees. It was a great time of learning for me. In terms of training, I trained with Rob and Mark on a weekly basis. Mark trains a sponsored group of athletes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I had the pleasure of working in with some of the best athletes in the gym. They always bring a lot of energy to the gym. It was just a lot of fun. I attended the Gym Jones Intermediate Level Programming and Practical Application Seminar as well during my visit. This is the second step after attending the Fundamentals Seminar. This intermediate level seminar provided me with a wealth of knowledge in terms of programming, scheduling, and evaluation for my athletes. We are already reaping the benefits here at Project Deliverance. I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone who is serious about coaching and training. The training protocols that we learned from Gym Jones just make sense and have proven to be effective in each of my athletes. I was also able to meet and reconnect with a lot of fellow coaches, athletes, and trainers. My good friend, John Frieh, who is also a part of Project Deliverance, was able to attend this seminar as well. John lives in Portland, Oregon, is an accomplished climber, and trains athletes in his spare time. My last week at the gym was spent training many of Rob's athletes under his watchful eye. I was evaluated on each session and improved as time progressed. I felt that my ability to train people of different temperaments really improve during my visit. Rob MacDonald really has a talent for adapting his training personality to fit the diverse personalities of his athletes. He is a great teacher, and I look forward to returning for a longer period of time to attend the Advanced Program Design and Theory Seminar and spend more time at the gym itself. I can't convey enough my thanks to Mark, Lisa, and Rob for allowing me to train in their house for those two weeks. It is always a humbling experience to be around the best of the best.

Photo #5: The original 2007 Project Deliverance Crew. The oldest amongst us was 20 years old. The youngest amongst us was 14 years old.

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