Month: March 2016

Improve Your Ability to Improve

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Raise your expectations

Gemba Kaizen is a practice of continually improving measured against a constantly rising standard by increasing positive strengths and removing inefficient weaknesses.

Gemba Kaizen (Vertical)

Therefore improving our abilities must be further viewed as an ability in of itself.  Doing the conventional things that got us to this point should be held with a bit of healthy rebellion.  i was once taught that if someone has the ability to be brilliant, lazy and driven then encourage it.  Those are the ones that develop efficiencies that others will not and can not see.  Conventional and the traditions that adhere to it eventually must be evolved to unconventional because the threshold for adaptation and change cannot be met through baseline stimulus alone.

“Unconventional training is executing a well-researched, scientifically backed program that will physically prepare you to perform in any environment, even ones unimaginable. ‘Basic’ training does just what it says, it provides a base, but to truly perform at an elite level, whether this be for competition or survival, one must go beyond ‘basic’ and strive for excellence.” – R.B. (US Army Ranger)

As heroic athletes rise through the tiers of their chosen calling, every t must be crossed and every i dotted to ensure success in more and more competitive theaters.  HERO prep from all branches of military, LEO, fire & rescue have know this and have installed many epigenetic evolutions because of the life & death manner that have to be prepared for.

“So you made it this far…Good!  You thought it was tough to get here. You did what everyone told you to do, you put in the time, maybe even some diet and food thoughts.  So now what?  Continue like you have done so far and hope that it will keep you on top?  GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!  Now you are the prey.  Everybody is coming for you and you better step it up.  What else can you do?  What are those weaknesses that you know you have but haven’t mentioned to anyone?  Yeah I know you have them, bring them out.  If you don’t honestly face all your weaknesses they will trip you up sooner or later.  Maybe talent took you this far, maybe physiological adaptations have given you an advantage but that’s over.  Search your soul, search for methods and techniques that will benefit you.  Look at the holistic picture, anything that will push you in the right direction.  Then it is time to work.  With a plan, with a coach and with a purpose.  We’ve have all heard it, after completing a Selection process…NOW the tough work begins.  It’s true…You better start the tough work ’cause they are coming for you.” – S.H. (MARSOC Raider)

Phelps vs Lochte“Somewhere someone is training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water, in austere conditions, day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn’t worry about what workout to do.  His rucksack weighs what it weighs and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him.  Your enemy doesn’t care ‘how hard it is.  He knows he either wins or he dies.  He doesn’t go home at 1700,  he is home.  He knows only his cause.” – J.M. (USN SEAL)

A recent interesting psychological study revealed that for the recent majority of recipients, an Olympic bronze medal brought more emotional satisfaction than a silver medal.  This is believed to stem from a silver medal being felt as a comparative loss to the one individual gold medal winner who bettered them versus the bronze medal winner was viewed their award as a win against everyone else in the world whom they beat to get to that point.  So if your are in HERO prep, your motivation should go without saying.  But for the rest of the world, you’ll be up on the high stages and everyone will be there to witness your performances.  What most will never comprehend is the extent that you were willing to push yourself.  Your imagination in training must be so grand that your efforts can’t help but to drive unimaginable feats.

“When your at the top everyone is physically equal. What will separate the .001 percent from the 1 percent, is your ability to mentally cope with the idea that what you are capable of is limitless.” – M.P. (US Army CAG “Delta”)


For a few chosen, your greater purpose is to bear the flag which carries the hopes & dreams of a nation with it.  Within HERO circles, carry-the-load means constantly improving, bettering yourself so that you are not a liability to the team but rather a force multiplier; carry-the-load means being being so strong that you able to help your teammates in need; carry-the-load means that you understand the vast and deep consequences of your actions in that everything that you chose to express in your heart of hearts, animated into movement, will represent people that you will never meet.  You can bear the emotions of millions of your countrymen and bring smiles to our faces in the deepest of darkest hours.

Constantly improve so that when it comes time for you to Carry-the-Load, you will…!

Veterans Day

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Train ’em Up or dumb it down?

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i’m always reluctant to use the expression “dumb it down” as i’ve found hypocritical results in this process as frustration is inevitable when we produce athletes that can’t think and consequentially perform in the arenas on their own.  At S3 by Raph Ruiz we believe in “Training ’em Up” rather than dumbing it down.  If i was an effective scholastic educator, i would strongly refrain from using the dumb it down verbiage and instead opt for the semantic phrase “help ’em understand”.  If athletes will make the epigenetic evolutionary leap from maximizing potential to elevating it, an integral component to their PIPE performance envelope is increasing their IQ at two levels.  The superficial one entails more effective prescription: activation into integration for greater cross-over education.  The deeper level entails the cultural shift of increasing the athletes’ awareness, mind-muscle connections and understanding of how every detail of training contributes to the build-up of their performance envelope.  In the end, a highly effective template helps drive athletes to develop greater creativity to express within the arenas.  Their connection strength, their fluid & dynamic display of power up on stage is a direct correlation to their level of engagement at all levels.

Screen Shot (Core Connecion Cplx 1)

Core Connection Complex 1

Cross-Body V-Ups, Snow Angel Sit Ups to Manually Resisted (Accentuated Negative) Lunge Position Centerline Holds.  The next step is to take all of this activation and push that into a big, strength developing primal(s) that is a directed contributor to specific athletic skill that the athlete is sharpening.  Finally, systematically & progressively perform the skill over & over in as many different and variable modes as possible while protecting the integrity of posture, positioning & perfection of that aforementioned skill!  For instance the Core Connection Complex 1 into heavy Bb Walking Lunges, give ’em sufficient rest then various Bounds-to-Go Fast Sprints!  The fight will be in building and re-building a culture that has allowed “not knowing” to not only be acceptable, but cool.  If we continue to dumb it down, that’s exactly what we are going to continually get.  The beauty in over-achievers and hyper-high performers not knowing how they do the things that they do is not in stupidity or even aloofness.  It is in the awe of the whole being so much more than the sum of the parts.  1.0 + 1.0 + 1.0 for a simple athlete does equal 3.  But for the highly engaged and driven athlete who is constantly elevating potential, 1.9 + 1.9 + 1.9 equals 5.7.

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Shades of Awesome

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Elevate the expectations that we have for ourselves

Extreme Dynamic Display!

Dynamic Display of AWESOMENESS

The experiences that i’ve been blessed w/ during a long career can be summed up w/ what i’ve grown to refer to as “Shades of Awesome”.  Do an on-the-line search, Google any exercises or movement.  In this case i researched ‘extreme oblique strength’.  A broad spectrum of offerings ranged from your basic side-lying floor crunch to this epic level of “1-upmanship”:

Human Flags

Karen et Dominic – Les drapeaux humains – The Human Flags – France Incroyable Talent 2014 saison 9

Whatever we do and no matter how good that we get, there is someone out there doing something so awesomely-unfathomable that it pushes our own imagination of what is possible and what can be done. This requires an insane laser-like focus and an obsessive level of engagement in training to get to this point.

Constantly elevate the expectation that you have for ourselves. If we’re average, get good. If we’re good, get good-er and great. If we can consider ourselves among the great, then we’re ready to dive deep into unconventional and prepare ourselves to do something magical!

Over the length of my career i’m also bombarded with “i can’t do that because of my…” which turns the gears into two paths of thought.  One is to offer a solution for adaptation or alternate modes.  The other is to offer subtle motivation in the form of the Butterfly Effect.  Whether we chose to accept it or not, this rippling effect is clear and present.  Somewhere down the line, the thoughts and feelings that exist in our head and hearts will drive our actions.  Not in empty words and promises, but in these actions will others see and learn from.  If you happen to be performing on big stages, then the obvious holds true.  Somebody that we will never meet will be inspired by what we do.  But we also often forget those nearest to us.  Our athletes, our peers, our spouses, our children and grandchildren.  What we do in their eyes is often the greatest of inheritance that we can pass along.

We will go into further detail in our next two series, Kaizen and Epigenetic Changes.

Slick'd (White No BG)

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The Devil & Success is in the Details

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If engagement levels dictate carry-over success, then conventional wisdom should always be challenged, driving a shift in our mental approach is imperative.  We must deal with the positive & negative reactions of everything that we do.

Tyler & Ryan

“Conventional wisdom is often times more convention and less wisdom” For many reasons, the application of the T-Spine Lat Pull Over not only rivals but exceeds the Vertical Pull Up as a foundation for amphibious athletic development. Barring personal orthopedic considerations, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the implementation of either into comprehensive and systematic training systems. But to dig deeper, just like all exercises, higher levels of engagement lead to greater cross-education benefits into accelerating specific skill acquisition.

In order for athletes to increase in both volume and/or intensity, there is great temptation to EXCESSIVELY shorten levers in vertical pulling, which is completely contradictory to amphibious success. These include but are not limited to again EXCESSSIVE lordotic (low back) curvature, femoral rotation & abduction, shoulder girdle protraction/anterior tilt/elevation, upper thoracic spinal flexion and cervical extension to reach the chin over the bar. Some of these apply to V-Pulls as well T-Spine Pull Overs, but the temptation is real and it is overwhelmingly great.

The algebraic self-check for efficacy dictates that we always ask ourselves: In the heat of the moment of each and every rep, am i dynamically displaying strength while maintaining the essential posture & positioning that my skill and sport require for me to be successful?  We always have to put our athletes in positions to be successful in the weight room that connect to success in the arenas. Streamlining can’t be thought of only as an in-water skill, but an emulsifier for all program design/application, a complete philosophical shift and way of life.

Long Axis V-Pull

Long Axis V-Pull

sDb T-Spine Lat Pull Over.png

sDb T-Spine Lat Pull Over

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Stealing Glory

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Agony of Defeat & Bitter Vindication

Alysia Montano losing to 2 doper at the London Olys

“Years Later, Bittersweet Victory for Alysia Montaño”

New York Times article by Christopher Clary

800M Womens’ Final at the 2012 London Olympics.  Three years later, 1st finisher Ekaterina Poistogova & 3rd finisher Mariya Savinova have been stripped of their medals.  They are part of a national ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Independent Commission published allegations of systemic and state sponsored doping within Russian athletics.  The implications are far reaching and the extent may never be fully grasped for decades.  Russian world champion Lovchev is among 17 new doping cases from last year’s 2015 World Weightlifting Championships.

‘Inside the Games’ article  IWF (Doping)

Maria Sharapova recently admitted to taking a performance enhancing substance (Meldonium, an endurance enhancer) for the last 10 years.  To what advantage will be debated till the end of time as her list of defeated opponents will always question the final results and ask themselves “if only”.

Maria Sharapova (Meldonium) Les Carpenter’s article ‘The Guardian’

These are a few recent moments in sports history of the PED guilty and their unspoken victims.  It goes without saying that the ones who chose to play by the rules, who are committed to participate with a commitment to integrity are the biggest losers.  In this day and age of high tech “performance enhancing substances and gene doping” the limits of cheaters’ potential has become limitless.  I’ve had many, many open conversations with athletes that are committed to participating with integrity.  There is always hope that those who are choosing to turn their back to true spirit of competition will be caught and proven guilty.  But there are two things that must be evolved in order to continue fighting the good fight.  Firstly, there must be an understanding that cheaters are not after the medal; they want to steal the glory.  Even if they are proven guilty after the fact, the brief moment with their faces in the sun can never be given to its rightful owner.  Being handed the well-deserved medal 3 or 4 or 10 years after the fact is a bitter pill to swallow, which is often internally rejected.  Along with this glory comes the fame, the fortune through endorsement deals, the incentives and the perpetual springboards for future successes outside of sports that escapes everyone else.

Secondly, every integrity-driven athlete should push to the fore front of their motivational mind and assume that they will be competing against performance enhancing substances.  This will lead to the acceptance that competitors who may not be contenders are now major players and the gifted will now perform super human feats.  This means that your successes will be in the minute details.  Every single variable that can be improved upon must be tinkered with and sharpened.  In training we know those guys that leave the line or wall early.  It drives us nuts and we go after them to catch them and to show them that “cheaters never win”.  This turns out to be a great training tool as it develops our sense of psychomotor urgency and the development of increased speed that comes with it.  In the context of this paper, PED users proverbially get off of the line earlier in terms of years.  In maintain a competitive field, greater efficiency as much as greater power must be called upon to not only catch up, but to surpass them.  There won’t be any greater feeling in the world knowing that you are the best in class, beating others’ attempt at all costs.

Cross every “t” and dot every “i”

Train Smarter…Train Harder.

The Sword & Soul is born & bred. You inherit a weapon, the expression of your kinetic creativity. Yet only through blood, sweat & tears can your warrior’s soul be refined, a psychomotor wisdom that drives your very actions. When a sharp sword is wielded by hands of a wise soul, then limitless freedom abounds to shape their own destiny.

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Political Correctness helps to…

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Suppress Potential

PC Leads to you sucking!

Link to article by Jessica Stillman (Contributor,

My blatant insensitivity to perceived irrelevance has just been proven by science to be a great tool at avoiding the pitfalls of political correctness, which suppresses potential.  In many regards, my lack of sympathy often gets me labeled as a jerk.  i have never been one to stand on a base of negativity that i’ve personally built.  Yet many hard chargers like myself will admit that the incessant complaining of others only fuels our fires, spring-boarding our performances above their perceived despair.  “The more that they complain and the worse that they look, the stronger that I get.” Dr. Seth Gasser often war cried as he pushed feats of performances left only for the imagination of the average man.  Complaining has always seemed poor utilization of efforts as i’ve always flashed an askanced look when told that i should vent to release built-up emotional tension because i’ve forever felt that it is a complete waste of psycho-motor ammunition used to destroy barriers.


[a·skance (ə-skăns′, a·skant, ə-skănt′) adv. 1. With disapproval, suspicion or distrust]

“…complaining is bad for your mood and the mood of your friends and colleagues, but that’s not all that’s wrong with frequent negativity.  Apparently, it’s also bad for your brain and your health.” states Jessica Stillman in her recent article about being negative and the trap of venting in order to make you feel better.

In summation, click here to watch the famous “Jackwagon!” Geico commercial featuring:

Psychotherapist R. Lee Ermey


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S3 Askanced (Black on White)