The “This Sucks” Challenge

Hey – sorry I’ve been MIA for the last couple of days and not
getting out the newsletter like normal. Been swamped here –

Was in NC this past weekend for the Original Strength Level 2
workshop. Good times. (Except for the being up 23 hours part
and getting home at 3am this morning.)

And I’ve been working on some new stuff for you that I think
is going to really help you out.

After this weekend’s workshop, and looking back at some of the
things I’ve done in my training over the last 4.5-5 years, I
got to thinking –

I’ve really done a bunch of “this sucks” type of training.

Let me explain.

I was so busted up for so long that my body didn’t work the way
it was supposed to.

I basically had to forgo the exercises that I loved (was obsessed
with) and focus on exercises that identified my limitations
and removed them.

Not a popular thing to do.

And because I was so weak on these exercises and they were so
far beyond my sphere of management (the exercises I was naturally
good at) I often found myself saying, “this sucks.”

What about you?

Do you have your “pet” KB exercise that you default to?

Are there exercises you know you should be doing but don’t
because they’re hard and you only like doing the things you’re
good at?

I can tell you personally you’re handicapping yourself by
maintaining that viewpoint.

Here’s a case in point:

(You may or may not have heard me say this before…)

In the KB world we tend to frown on traditional abdominal exercises.

We think they’re just not necessary.

(True, many are a waste of time.)

And we think as long as we’re getting our Get Ups done and doing
a hard abdominal brace at the finish of each rep of our Swings
that’s “enough.”

Many times, especially if you sit all day, it’s not.

It’s certainly a start and it’s certainly much better than
nothing.

But since most of us sit on our butts most of the day, our
deep abdominal stabilizers aren’t working the way they’re designed
to.

Which means you’re “core” isn’t working to stabilize your spine
and your pelvis the way it’s supposed to.

And that means 2 things:

1) You’re not using as much energy (doing as much work) as you
could be, and therefore not getting as strong as you want to be
or burning the calories you need to to lose the fat you want to

and –

2) You’re loading some movement dysfunctions and compensations
which have the potential to eventually set you up for an injury.

So what are you supposed to do?

What can you do right now?

Simple –

Take the “This Sucks” Challenge this week.

(Here’s the “how to” video for the Dead Bugs)

Simply work yourself up to doing 3 sets of 20/20 (that’s 20 each
side) of the Dead Bugs during your workout. You can do them before,
during – between sets – or after, or even at other points during
the day and see if you don’t almost immediately increase your
power output on your KB exercises.

Key points:

– keep your lower back flat on the floor for all the reps
– no excessive breath holding
– don’t use high tension techniques like bracing or breathing
behind the shield
– don’t go to exhaustion

I’m betting these will be a real challenge for you.

Sure, you’ll say “this sucks” while doing them, but you’ll like
the near-immediate improvements you’ll see in your regular KB
work.

You may be wondering how much this “sissy-looking” exercise can
really help you out.

A couple of years ago at the last Summit of Strength, I showed
this to Big Mike Sousa. He shook like a leaf doing just 3 reps
per side and was sweating like he’d just done a 10-minute snatch
test.

They were THAT challenging for him.

Then a few minutes later, he turned around and pressed a PR of
52kg in one hand.

Who knows, might happen to you too…

Gotta run – 7 inches of snow to shovel out of the driveway.

Fun.

Geoff

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