Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Full Throttle Conditioning Workout of The Week (W.O.W) # 18

By Sabina Skala

Another training alone, without my right and (sometimes left) hand CJ, who was assiting Steve Cotter in Birmingham (it was better excuse than last time, when he chose to get himself occupied with giving kisses of life to dummies at Health and Safety course).

The session didnt disappoint though, we had some new kids on the block and ... they did pretty good job!

Warm up - joint mobility

Then 10 rounds of:

10 x KB thruster (light load)
15m bear crawl
15 m burpee to broad jump

Rest 4 mins after completing all 10 rounds

Then 10 rounds of:

5 x plyo push up
10 x kettlebell renegade row (left and right counts as 1)
15 x double kettlebell swing

Variation for Colin (who was injured, but very brave!)
10 rounds of:

10 x ball slam
10 x renegade row
10 x heavy bag flip
Rest 4 mins after completing all 10 rounds

Then 4x body weight squat (30/30)
30 sec squats 30 sec "rest" in a compromised position (thighs parallel to the floor)

+ team game

Cool down

Interview with Mark Twight of Gym Jones - part 2

Sabina: How has the gym evolved since you have opened?

Mark Twight: The beginning was humble, if a few egomaniac climbers getting together could be described as such. We borrowed space, borrowed, built or bought the gear second-hand, and pooled the collective training knowledge we earned over decades of climbing at a very high level. We added some different ideas (I refuse to call them new) and let the whole thesis marinate, recording what happened along the way. Later we dropped the climbing emphasis because it was too limited: climbers are notoriously narrow-minded and think themselves special, though physically the sport is no different than many others. We began working with MMA and jiu-jitsu fighters and a whole world opened up. The good ones rose to the surface and, in a push-me pull-you relationship they became the subjects of my experiments for the next couple of years but also my teachers. Not in the sense that I do jiu-jitsu but by providing intelligent, organic feedback and explaining the demands of training and competing I learned how to best prepare them for the sports.

The pressure-cooker nature of an invitation-only gym combined with the work ethic and expectations of its leaders allowed only the most resilient to survive and thrive, which produced obvious results. Some old friends recognized that what was happening to our trainees in both the physical and psychological sense tied in nicely to their own project, which was the movie “300”. When the stunt coordinator and director invited me to prepare the cast and crew for the film I declined. When Lisa threatened to divorce me if I didn’t do the job I reconsidered. I also realized that – whatever I believed about the movie business and its values – the project was no different than preparing an athlete: there is a starting point and an objective, the trainer or coach must define the path and guide the individual along it, pushing, cajoling, coaxing, tricking and modifying the path as needed, all the while respecting the strict working conditions and the deadline.

Many state that we used this means or that method to achieve the objective, and then claim to use the same means. Then comes the pitch, “if you want to unleash your inner-Spartan pay me and I’ll train you to get that same look …” The fact that a couple of hundred thousand clients using the same means are still overweight and out of shape proves these copycat trainers have missed the point. Or those means are either irrelevant or misused.

That project taught us that training means and loads must be applied to individuals. One size does not fit all. We learned that progress depends on leadership – and you better lead from the front. We practiced and proved that hard work and discipline produce results beyond the physical, that confidence derives from overcoming difficulty, from controlling one’s behaviour, from The Struggle.

Every result comes at a price: if you just go through the motions you are rewarded with a shallow or empty prize, if you do mindful, hard work the result will be genuine, and satisfying. Pay the entry fee. Take the ride. If you train 1000 hours per year you might have a shot at the world champion. If you give training 200 hours of casual attendance you can’t expect the same. In 2004 we hoped the shortcuts being marketed by a particular fitness company would produce the meaningful results they claimed. Our own testing and experiments proved those shortcuts didn’t lead where we wanted to go and it changed the nature of our project forever.

By a circular route we came back to what worked when I began training for climbing: simple and attentive and aware, hard and smart effort, and personal honesty regarding it. If the client claims he or she is doing the work but results don’t manifest we know the client is lying. That hasn’t changed either.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Mark Twight answers your questions (part1)

With the upcoming Gym Jones FDI Certification, we have received numerous phone calls and emails. Most of you asked the same questions therefore we thought that you should hear the answers from the MAN HIMSELF. During the next few days I will be posting a record of my interview with Mark including tips of how to prepare for the UK Certification and what is expected from Gym Jones Affiliate.

Today Part 1.

SABINA: Mark, from my experience with Gym Jones I know is that it is a very unique place. The atmosphere of your facility is very hard to recreate anywhere else. Your athletes seem to have no need to be motivated, training at Gym Jones is a motivation itself. What is the secret?

MARK TWIGHT: We often say (and sometimes shout), “you become what you do.” What you do and the way you do it is largely dependent on environmental influence so we also state that, “you become who you hang around.” If there is any secret to what happens at Gym Jones it depends on the quality and character of those who train here. On any given day I can walk into the gym and have my performance affected by one of the best rock climbers in the world, one of the best cyclists in the country, any number of national and world champion jiu-jitsu players. How could I possibly give less than everything to my own workout? When the people around me are digging deep into their own souls to wring out more energy or a last blast of will power I too am driven to push against my own limitations.

Many who train here depend on fitness to protect them in the sport or work context: climbers, fighters and grapplers, soldiers, paramedics, skiers, etc. They work harder to prepare themselves than someone for whom a lack of fitness carries no consequence. And this hard work and attention rubs off on those around them.

The first point of our training philosophy is that the mind is primary. Most coaches and athletes agree that top performance in any sport is “90% mental.” If this is the case then why do those same people place so much emphasis on physical training? Because physical training is easy, and produces incrementally measurable results, while mental training is hard and its benefits are elusive. On top of this, psychological management of the athlete is the most difficult aspect of coaching. Few have the talent for it. We do and we use it.

Of course it is natural that someone who is physical and depends on the physical for self-actualization or to make a living also emphasizes the “merely” physical in his or her training practice. But when all of the top players have roughly the same physical fitness and skill what separates the winner is psychological.

Few are willing to practice shaping the mind to the point that when let free the mind itself drags the body and the whole toward a distant point shining brightly with mankind's potential. Due to commercial pressures and a reductionist practice that emphasizes only the win/loss record the era of the philosopher coach is waning. If the only outcome of the Gym Jones project is to keep the idea of the philosopher coach alive I will be satisfied. Happily, the project has produced many other good results since its inception in 2004.

In short, the motivation you noticed at Gym Jones is produced deep within the individuals then concentrated in an environment best defined by its extremely high expectations.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Full Throttle Conditioning Workout of the Week W.O.W #17

by Sabina Skala

Full Throttle is getting stronger and stronger every week. It becomes more difficult to surprise the guys with the training and the expectations are high. Plus this week we had a special guest coming from Spain :). He is a great coach, so I felt double of the pressure to deliver a good session.

Warm Up - joint mobility
2 rounds of:

15m bear crawl, jog back
15m burpee broad jump, jog back
15m frog hop, jog back

Workout (tag team):

1 min of:
T1: kettlebell renegade row
T2: mountain climber
1 min rest (repeat 2x) - 5 min in total on the station (including rest)

Move to:
1 min of:
T1: Heavy bag flip
T2: Crescent Swing
1 min rest (repeat 2x) - 5 min in total on the station (including rest)

Move to:
1 min of:
T1: Kettlebell Snatch
T2: 10 sec hand stand, 5 push ups (as many rounds as possible within 1 min)
1 min rest (repeat 2x) - 5 min in total on the station (including rest)

Move to:
1 min of:
T1: sprawl
T2: kettlebell dead clean
1 min rest (repeat 2x) - 5 min in total on the station (including rest)

Then rest 4 mins

7 rounds of
30 m lunge
30 sec wall sit

The last set of 30 sec hold became a competition of who would hold longest. Again, Kat was an Undisputed winner, she stopped after 5 mins, only because she didnt have anyone left to compete against. To everyone else - great effort guys! You rocked it!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Lucy Miller's Boxing Blog: Uno Mas

Coach Cj Swaby

So we're three weeks in to Lucy's six week boxing program. Considering she's had only three sessions with me, Lucy's progress has been very impressive. Give me another three weeks and I'll have her fighting on a Mayweather V Pacquiao under card. No, seriously.

Under the watchful eye of all those in attendance at NKD Ambition Studio in Oxford Circus, we gloved up and got to work. After an initial warm up we recapped everything we had covered in the previous weeks. Attack with straight shots (lead and right hand to head and body) plus active defenses (the "Stop" and the "Salute"). Once Lucy had found her groove (and remembered to protect her chin!) she slipped into transition from defense to attack with a slickness reminiscent of the mighty Lennox Lewis. This week we added an evasive defense manoeuvre known as the "Bob and weave". It didn't take long for Lucy to pick this up either.

We recapped all that we had done in the boxing part of the session and went head on to the conditioning section. This week we shook up Lucy's metabolism with a sweet dose of MCT (Mixed Circuit Training) combining Kettlebell exercises, power bag moves and body weight exercises to full effect. Buzzing from the session we parted ways, ready to rumble the following week. Follow Lucy Miller's Boxing Blog with CJS Fitness online at Health & Fitness Magazine.

Lucy's Boxing Blog

Conditioning For The Modern Gladiator

The Strength Company
have teamed up with CJS Fitness to present this exclusive one day workshop with fitness industry leader, JC Santana. Fresh from delivering the renowned MMA Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach course at SENI expo 2010 at the Excel centre, JC Santana will be once again sharing his extensive knowledge for personal trainers, coaches, fitness warriors and fighters.

JC will give you a non-stop training workshop, showing you what he uses to get his athletes to the top, clients in shape and IHP the reputation it has!

JC Santana brings his unique and renowned training methods to this 4 hour practical workshop. His no nonsense approach to training has made him one of the world's most sought after coaches and presenters. If you value learning from the best, then this is NOT TO BE MISSED! Presented in association with CJS FITNESS.

Date: 1st June 2010

Venue: Optimal Life Fitness Training Centre: 174 - 176 Hither Green Lane, London, SE13 1QB. Click here for map

Time: 12pm - 4.30pm. Registration to start at 11.45am

Price: 80.00 GBP


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Full Throttle Fitness W.O.W #16

Coach Sabina Skala

Another Saturday without Cj. At least this time he had a good excuse. At the time we were going through our training, Coach Swaby was following his dream. Not everyone knows, but he always wanted to be a Marine. Last weekend... he had a chance to feel like one. He fought a true battle (the bruises and cuts were proudly presented later on) running a 10k race with 20kg backpack. We were very proud of him!

Coming back to Full Throttle - the group on Saturday was very strong, hence the workout had to be accordingly demanding. And... it claimed a few victims

Training plan:

Joint mobility warm up
Team challenge:
sprint, forward roll, sprint and bear crawl
(every person repeated the drill twice)


Man Maker / Squat jump ladder
10 - 1
looks like:
10x man maker 10x squat jump
9x man maker 9x squat jump
8x man maker 8x squat jump
etc down to 1 man maker 1 squat jump

8x 20/10 tabata sprints
2 mins rest
4x 20/10 tabata sprints

Everyone has put a great effort. It is always a great fun to work with this group and the new faces didnt disappoint either. I look forward to the next training already!

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

£15 or £10 with VIP text

Just For Laughs.....

Sometimes we can take life too seriously. While we are not condoning the behaviour in the video clip below, and are well aware of the hazard implications - it still made us smile. As one person commented on youtube,

" She's awesome! And on top of that, she doesn't give a flying f**k about what others think, which is more awesome by itself. Plus, of course, she's burning 10x calories than that other boring people :)."
- tbilisi45

Thanks to Gavin De Souza over at Personal Steps Personal Training for bringing this to our attention. Ladies and Gentlemen.....