I did not

I worked out today

I did not go beast mode

Screenshot_20170209_195327I did not crush

I did not smash

I did not slay

I was not sweaking buckets

I did not go heavy or go home

What did I do?

I breathed

I moved with purpose

I aligned

I focused

I practiced integrity of each rep, each set

I came out feeling stronger

Feeling better

I felt elated

I felt like a winner

I did it

So can you

The snatch-22 protocol

In January of 2015, I was struggling to complete my snatch test requirement to formalize my SFGII certification.

I tried various approaches but always seemed to run out of steam and time towards the end. Frustrated and feeling hopeless, my friend and teacher, Piers Kwan saw my post on facebook and sent me a message that he may have something that just might work for me.

With roughly 9 days to go before my deadline, I took the leap of faith, followed his program and got to work.

Withour further adieu, I will show you what my template looked like

*note that as a bare minimum, you need to be able to snatch your test sized bell for 10/10 on the minute for 3 minutes or at least get to 80+ in 5 minutes before beginning this protocol

Day 1 and 2

44 snatches unbroken if possible (11/11×2) total 3 sets so you’ll total 132 snatches. Get ample rest between sets so you don’t build up too much fatigue

Perform a lot of gentle Original Strength resets (breathing, rocking and rolling variatons are awesome too

Day 3

More gentle OS, lots of rocking and slow baby crawls, visualize your snatch test roughly three times

Day 4 do 66 snatches (11/11×3 ideally) per interval do two intervals total.. Get enough rest between intervals

Day 5 More gentle OS, take a light walk or swim, more visualizations

Day 6 Test

This approach literally got me the pass at the buzzer, which was all I needed.

A few months later, another SFG candidate needed help and Piers used a similar approach but used a more step cycle approach which kinda looked like this:

Week: 1 11/11 on the minutex2

Week 2 11/11/on the minutex2

Week 3 11/11 on the minutex3

Week 4 11/11 on the minutex3

Week 5 11/11 on the minutex4

Week 6 11/11 on the minutex4

Week 7 deload to 11/11 on the minutex3

Week 8 test

There are many more combinations to this approach but the main concept is by doing 22 snatches (11/11) you expand the comfort zone and the typical (10/10) rep scheme used becomes less demanding

Feel free to give this a try, I would love to hear your feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning thru the process

The abundance of information nowadays has served as a double-edged sword. It has both made it easy to acquire knowledge, yet it has also made things more confusing to the novice and average gym-goer.

For the veterans and old-timers, one glaring similarity I have noticed is they are all aware that you gain not only strength, but knowledge (and oftentimes, wisdom) by engaging in the process.

Its very easy to get lost and caught up in various approaches and shiny objects. However, by immersing yourself and consistently doing the work, you will find out what will work for you (both what works good, what works better and what works best) along with things that are not for you. That is why there is such a saying “wisdom is acquired thru trial and error”

In reality, you only need to know this: What works best for you (and the battinf average of what works best for your trainees if you train others) Everything else can already be considered “entertainment”

Stay strong and grow strong

 

 

Regrouping, resetting

With 2016 almost coming to an end, We can all look back on the challenges we had, We can definitely reflect and say, 2016 was definitely a challenge and a blessing.20161223_121722

New presidents elected for the Philippines and the US, surprising deaths of many celebrities, earthquakes and storms, These are just a few things that make people say 2016 was definitely a rough year.

In my case, I can definitely say it was somehow bittersweet. I got a lot of firsts and a lot of blessings.

I got to attend a strongfirst instructor course as an assistant

I got to attend an Original Strength Pro Reset course thanks to the kindness of my OS family

However, as things seemed to be ramping up to a storybook end, this year on classic fashion threw one major curveball. The gym where I have been teaching for almost 10 years came to a sudden halt and had to close (story for another time) and it can definitely shake and stagger anyone in all aspects.

As what I have learned from my teachers in strength and movement, its also about being able to dust yourself off when you fall down and quickly “reset” (see what I did there?)

Thankfully, the private gym (now known as the gravity chamber) where I have been teaching private classes had its door open for me (in a literal and figurative way). GI Jo Fitness has welcomed me aboard roughly 6 weeks ago and we have been building up to launch our primal core classes. A friend of mine also has opened his gym within a 10-12 mile radius of where I live and I have transferred a few students there already. Still a few rough edges to smoothen out, but with God’s help, they’ll be accomplished soon.

This year has definitely taught me that reflexive strength is also not just about how quickly your body can anticipate things as they are about to happen or as they happen, its also about being able to react mentally, emotionally and spiritually as things are about to unfold.

 

All the more reasons we need to hit the reset button frequently since life is constantly throwing us around.

Merry Christmas everyone, we got a few days to make 2016 regret it messed with us

 

 

The spark of hope

For the past two years, right before the Christmas season, Star Wars films were being shown in the theaters. If there is anything consistent that this film franchise has is that no matter how seemingly hopeless or the protagonists’ backs are against the wall, there is always that spark of hope.

The Christmas season also brings in the same, but different feeling. It brings joy and hope that our Savior Jesus Christ is going to be born.

Life often throws us so many curveballs but as long as we have faith, hold on to hope, we keep moving forward things will get better.

A fire always begins with that one spark. The spark that we all possess. The ability to be good to others and do good things. Fan this flame and we can always light the path for others to follow

 

Paying tribute

Father’s day is looming. People around the world are doing their best to make the respective heads of their household, organization etc feel special.

Not having my biological father around anymore, (he passed away 16 years ago) I often have looked at others as father-figures and people I can look up to. These teachers of mine have been generous enough to impart knowledge in varioua aspects that have helped me become a better person in this journey we call life. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Recently, I picked up a copy of the Iron Tamer’s book “Superhuman You” and one specific sentence of the book struck a chord with me:

“start looking at people who are already doing the┬áthing that you want to do and pick out the things that you like about their approach to it”

He then talks about how you can clearly see the influences of David Bowie and Madonna on Lady Gaga, yet how she still manages to uniquely express herself (pun intended for those of you who are fans of Gaga and Madonna)

Everytime I teach be it workshops, privates, semi-privates or groups, I take all the lessons I have learned from these teachers of mine yet add my own flavor to it (The resets in Original Strength from Geoff Neupert and Tim Anderson Emphasis on precision of technique by Dr. Mark Cheng, the Kettlebell-Original Strength Hybrids from Ric Garcia.. the list goes on)

Having a person you can call a father (in figure or biological) is a privilege..

Happy fathers day!

 

 

On being called a mentor, yet still wearing you student cap

Yesterday was a challenge and a treat for me. A good friend of mine who humbly asked me to take him under my wing and mentor him in my craft was in town.

Along with him, he tagged his girlfriend who he was slowly introducing the world of movement and strength to her to help forge their bond and make it stronger (pun intended)

Once they got dressed, my student asked me if I can help teach his girlfriend and I just said I will hand him the wheel and just give the necessary help if needed, I rather chose to be an observer and take mental notes.

As they went thru their movement prep, it brought me joy to see how someone who put great faith in you with an empty cup has started to grow and begin to impart knowledge with a good level of precision and insight, it also was good since it gave me the chance to see if I was using the exact same cues, pointers and if my delivery was due for a tuneup.

It was also quite a treat to be able to impart knowledge on two people in love and both into movement, with a level of conprehension since my wife and I are also in the same situation.

Thru the session I saw how two people learn various situations in what may just seem be a regular workout for most but looking at it thru a different point of view it gave me insight that any journey is never perfect and that the best we can always do is make adjustments as needed and allow it to make us grow into better versions of ourselves.

 

In all truth, I always question my readiness to be take on the role as not just a teacher but a mentor since I often feel I am still raw and lack the wisdom and character. The one thing I can promise those who put their faith in me is that I will try my darn best and let my heart guide with the help of God the knowledge I impart on you.

 

 

A shot of super

Recently I have been chatting with my friends in the strength game and have seen both strength discovered and strength regained. Hearing and seeing this is always amazing to say the least.

One of my good friends Dongwook “Moose” Yoon, and I were talking about superheroes and in the conversation, he said that in his wishlist was “to discover the super soldier serum”

I am sure all of us have that goal or something similar. Be it the super soldier serum, Tony Stark’s armor, the gamma blast that turned Dr. Banner into the hulk or whoever superhero you aspire to be like, its hard-wired into us that we seek to be more, to be super so to say .

Now, while we do continue on that search, hear me out. I honestly believe we have had it all along. We are all implanted with the vagus or compassion nerve which enables us to be kind and to help those in need in whichever way we can. By learning to press our body’s reset button thru movement, we unlock hidden abilities such as being able to recover faster from our daily tasks, we manage to build or discover strength which makes us able to do “super” things..

Now, while “super” may be relative, allow me to elaborate a few examples

A person being in pain able to move without restrictions.

A mother who can now effortlessly carry and play with her child. I am sure that she is now more than “super” in her child’s eyes.

Being able to enjoy every single training session not worrying if you will break..

This is but a short list of things you can do with a shot of “super” which we attain through pressing reset and reclaiming our original strength.

And here’s the best part, its for everyone.. We do not need to be volunteers for a lab experiment, come from a bloodline of royalty or be born a genetic anomaly.

Breathe better, cross midline, activate the vestibular system and do contralateral movements. These all unlock the superhero powers within us.

So as 2015 draws to a close and 2016 is beaming on the horizon, I invite everyone to engage in movement and reclaim your superpowers, your ability to move without restriction and engage life full-throttle

 

Permission to Fail

Just recently, One of the supposed all-time greats in her sport, former UFC women’s bantamweight champ, Ronda Rousey suffered his first defeat in the octagon.

It caught many people by surprise and critics, keyboard warriors everywhere smelled blood and quickly pounced on that moment of weakness and hurled criticisms left and right.

Sure, we finally saw Rousey was “human” as my wife put it and we saw holes in her game. But you see, this is the beauty of it. Once you can see areas that need improvement, one can begin to work on them.

Its so easy to criticize setbacks and failures yet we often forget that the greatest have suffered numerous setbacks themselves.

Failures and setbacks will always be part of the learning process. By accepting one way or the other, everyone will experience this in some form now allows us to work harder and progress.

So whenever we see anyone experience setbacks, perhaps its best we just give words of encouragement, allow them to dust themselves off and get back on the saddle.

“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war” – Donald Trump

 

 

 

Halloween from a different lense

Every year thousands of thousands of people dress up in various costumes during halloween to either live their childhood dream of being a superhero or a princess, or to be a monster and let that inner wild slef loose just for that day.

This year, halloween is looking quite different for me. Yes, I still dream about being a superhero and being able to defeat the bad guys and save lives but its now in a different reality.20151030_094503

As seen above are a few of my superhero shirts, notice one of them is a bit different? About 8 weeks ago I was given the privilege of attending an Original Strength workshop in Singapore and got a lot of eye openers and realizations along the way.

All of the attendees went home with a ton of knowledge but for a few like me, it felt like I was given an additional task.. To help “save” people in the form of helpibg them regain lost movement, help them regain their resilience and most of all, the confidence to be able to say the words Carpe Diem with full integrity and go full throttle in their lives.

So for this year, yes I will still be wearing a superhero shirt of my choice but this time, I also have a different vision since it is my belief that anyone who is an Original Strength alum, up to the leadership level is granted the privilegr of being a superhero in real life.

It may be as being as simple as being confident with your newfound resiliency you can now be the husband, wife, parent your family deserves or be a hero to others by guiding them to discovering their own strength.

So with that being said, I do encourage everyone to begin by digging deep inside their hearts to find that inner strength bureid in one of the corners of our hearts, seek guidance and wisdom from God (the ultimate superhero in my book) and find that reset button which will allow us to once be again strong enough to conquer our world.

Happy Halloween everyone