Bullet Points and a Brew 1/24/17

It’s another week of getting after it! I’m a week or so deep into a finger strength and strength training program, playing with ways to optimize how a session flows. I’m really happy with how things are going.

 

I head down to Atlanta on Thursday. I have the opportunity to be an assistant instructor at a StrongFirst kettlebell certification. I’m excited to see some old friends, make some new ones, and welcome newly-minted SFG instructors. Selfishly, I will get to witness some amazing coaches instruct and I can’t wait to learn from them. It’s gonna be a great weekend.

Let’s get into the bullet points

The Bullet Points

Foam rolling can be a waste of time. It can also be a huge help with improving mobility and movement quality. Which effect will it have on you? That depends on whether you do shit correctly. Dr. Rusin breaks down some of his favorite foam rolling drills. I stumbled across some new variations that I have implemented and immediately felt a benefit. There’s a lot of useful information in this article, so you should read it.

I was lucky to meet Chris at a PlanStrong event this past summer. He just posted the first article of a TEN part series exploring the Turkish Get Up. It’s something you should definitely follow. The Turkish Get Up can be a complex, intimidating movement. When someone owns a Get Up of 100+ pounds, you should probably hear what they have to say. Check it out, and follow along for what I’m sure will be a fantastic package of information.

I thought this was an interesting discussion. People have done some weird things to get better at a sport they love. Enjoy a thread filled with humorous answers, shenanigans, and an interesting idea here or there.

The Brew

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So Happens It’s Tuesday, The Bruery

The Bruery has a famous “Day of the week” lineup of big, boozy stouts that include Black Tuesday, Mocha Wednesday, Peanut Butter and Thursday, etc. So Happens It’s Tuesday is a rarely seen part of that line-up. Why? Rumor has it that this variant was victim of a large scale infection during the brewing process, probably with lactobacillus, a bacteria used to sour beers. Hence the name. SHappens I‘ts Tuesday. S.H.I.T. Get it? Anyways, I stumbled across a bottle a while ago and decided to crack it this past week. Yep. Mine was infected. However, it was still pretty damn good! The beer had plenty of the roasted malt character you’d expect from a stout, with a nice sour bite from the lactobacillus. The tartness didn’t overwhelm the stout characteristics, but blended with them quite nicely. Also, there was no hint of booziness from a beer with a reported 13+% alcohol content, another nice cover-up due to the tartness. I wouldn’t drink it everyday, but it goes to show that “infected” beers might still be tasty.


What’s Happening

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

It’s the new year, and a lot of people are building out their strategy for training in 2017. I can help. If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs, you can find more information here.

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training is held Tuesdays at 6:15 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you are in the Chattanooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I also teach a class for folks who are more familiar with kettlebells on Thursdays at the same time. We will dive into some more advanced kettlebell movements and concepts, and push the intensity up a bit more than Tuesday. There will be no class this Thursday, the 26th, because I will be out of town.

You can check out the calendar and register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

Bullet Points and a Brew 1/17/2017

Winter in the southeast. Schools close due to the cold, yet a week later it’s 70 degrees. Typical. All in all, I had a good weekend. I got some climbing in Sunday and Monday, doing a bunch of moderates I hadn’t tried before. It’s always a good day when new boulders are done.

Bottling day! It's been a while since I've sprayed myself in the eye with beer.

A post shared by Paul Corsaro (@paulcorsaro) on

Saturday, I bottled an Imperial Coffee Stout, so soon my own beer will make a debut on this series. It should be interesting. Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

Landmine exercises aren’t seen super often these days, but they can be super beneficial for overhead loading patterns, training the trunk musculature, and just providing some new stimulus in training. Check out some of these variations.

Motivation is awesome. It’s easy to crush your training session because the psyche is high. What happens when the psyche is low? A great article.

If you want to squat a whole bunch of weight, then the back squat should be your number 1 choice. If you aren’t a powerlifter, you should explore some other varations as well. Different positions and squatting patterns can be beneficial for performance in interesting ways. Here’s Mike Robertson demonstrating some really powerful, and perhaps unconventional ways to squat.

The Brew

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Tart Cherry Wake ‘N Bake, Terrapin Beer Company

The base Wake ‘N Bake is one of my favorite seasonal releases. It’s easy to find here in the southeast, the oatmeal adds some silkiness, the coffee character is strong, and these qualities make it quite the beer. Terrapin came out with a tart cherry version as one of their limited releases. A touch of sour added to one of my favorites? Sign. Me. Up.

The beer pours black with a tan head that fades to a bubbly ring around the glass. A Strong coffee aroma with a slight tang wafts up from the glass. The flavor is more of the same..strong coffee and roasted malts, with a subtle tartness that rides underneath everything. A nice tweak to an great base beer. All the thumbs up.

 


What’s Happening

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

It’s the new year, and a lot of people are building out their strategy for training in 2017. I can help. If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs, you can find more information here.

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training is held Tuesdays at 6:15 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you are in the Chattanooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I also teach a class for folks who are more familiar with kettlebells on Thursdays at the same time. We will dive into some more advanced kettlebell movements and concepts, and push the intensity up a bit more than Tuesday.

You can check out the calendar and register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

Bullet Points and a Brew 1/9/17

Back at it! I’m back in Chattanooga, and ready to get back into my normal routine of things. It was a great vacation, and I got to sample even more of the amazing climbing surfacing on Maui, but now its time to get back to work.

I just finished my first training session. It was a good one, full of heavy lifting, some kettlebell snatches, and some loaded carries. I’ve got a fingerboard in the mail, and I’m psyched about its portability. I’ve got a bunch of ideas in my head on how to utilize it, and can’t wait to try it out. Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

I posted an article last friday detailing some tweaks I’m making to the yearly scope of my own training. I’m a big proponent of the view that if my viewpoints don’t change over time, I’m not doing a very good job to educate myself and get a little better every day.

Climbharder, Reddit’s climbing training related subreddit recently had an “Ask Me Anything” conversation with climbing coach Will Anglin out of Colorado. It’s a cool format, since any user can post a question. Check it out and read through it. There’s a lot of good information in there.

“Little and Often Over the Long Haul”

That quote sums it up. No technical training information in this one, but a great glimpse at the mindset required to sustain training for a lifetime. Not a year, not two years, but the philosophy necessary to continue getting a little better throughout your lifetime. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep a physical lifestyle until I’m dead. I don’t feel like being broken in my later years.

We all know stress is bad. Actually, it isn’t. David Dellanave gives us a more subtle overview of how stress relates to us and our training. I thought it was more nuanced than alot of the standard (yet still mostly accurate) analogies of stress I usually see. It was an interesting article to me, so I thought I’d share it.

The Brew

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City of the Dead, Modern Times Beer

A cool aspect about taking a vacation is the access I have to a different distribution for craft beer. Modern Times is a brewery out of California and they have a very interesting take on barrel aging. This beer wasn’t aged in any barrels, but the coffee they brewed the beer with was. I’ve never had a barrel aged coffee bean before, so I was curious as to how it would end up in the glass.It pours black with light tan head that fades to thin bubbles and a ring around the glass. Aromas of coffee and some roasted malts waft up when the glass is filled. The taste is full of sweet, chocolaty flavors and strong coffee with some faint vanilla and bourbon. It’s a really nice take on barrel aging something. It’d be interesting to see this approach taken with an Imperial stout, as the coffee did dominate the flavor of this export stout variation. However, it’s unique, without losing the characteristics of a barrel aged beer. Worth seeking out.


What’s Happening

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

It’s the new year, and a lot of people are building out their strategy for training in 2017. I can help. If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs, you can find more information here.

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

I’m teaching two kettlebell classes at Scenic City Strength and Fitness.

An entry-level class that emphasizes the foundations of safe and effective kettlebell training is held Tuesdays at 6 pm. It’s only 10 bucks and spots will be limited to ensure a great experience. If you are in the Chattanooga area and have always been curious about trying out kettlebells, it’ll be tough to find a better opportunity.

I also teach a class for folks who are more familiar with kettlebells on Thursdays. We will dive into some more advanced kettlebell movements and concepts, and push the intensity up a bit more than Tuesday.

You can check out the calendar and register online for any of these classes here. Each class is 10$. Hurry, because the spots fill up fast.

3 Ways I'm Changing My Training in 2017

3 Ways I'm Changing My Training in 2017

I’m about to be back in Chattanooga after a vacation, and I’m psyched to get back after it in terms of coaching, climbing, and my own training. I always like to reflect on the past year and see what’s changed in both my training and philosophy concerning physical preparation. I’ve learned a lot the past year, and am taking on some new challenges this coming year. How does MY training plan reflect that? Let’s take a look.

1. An Increased Focus on Finger Strength

I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to climb at a fairly competent level without doing a whole lot of targeted finger strength. The last year or two, I’ve learned that as climbs get harder, holds tend to get smaller (a big surprise, eh?). One of my main dislikes about finger training  was the amount of time I perceived a dedicated block of finger training would take. One of the “big rocks” of my training philosophy is efficiency. I’m not a fan of sitting around and doing only one movement. I (wrongly) thought that this approach was how the majority of hangboard training sessions would go. Enter Integrative Strength Training.

I’ve heard this approach mentioned multiple times by Steve Bechtel over at Climb Strong. It’s a unique way to keep your sessions flowing, and reduce monotony. Most importantly, this method utilizes the endocrine system to  make strength gains. At it’s most basic, this approach combines a heavy strength exercise, a finger strength exercise, and some mobility work. A session involves rotating through these movement categories instead of just hitting straight sets of one movement, then moving on to the next one. The first grouping of movements I will be playing with include deadlifts, fingerboard work, and some upper body T-Spine and Glenohumeral mobility. I’m excited to see how it goes.

I’ve kept my description of this approach extremely broad, because I still have a LOT to learn about it. I learn by doing, so I hope to not only develop strength through this approach, but also gain some knowledge. If you want to learn more about Integrated Strength Training, check out this podcast.

stevebechtelpowercompanyclimbingpodcast

Power Company Podcast: Integrated Strength Training w/ Steve Bechtel

2. Putting Heavy Shit Overhead

I think a heavy shoulder press is one of the best shoulder health movements a person can do. If they do it correctly. Also, someone once told me the secret to happiness is lifting heavy shit over your head. I want to be really happy, so I want to lift something really heavy (for me).

I’m going to be training for my StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor level 2 Certification in April. It’s about that time to dive even deeper into the world of Kettlebells, applicable strength, and tension. The strength test for this qualification is a 1/2 bodyweight single arm Kettlebell press. I need to press either a 36kg (80lb) or 40kg (88lb) kettlebell depending on how much I weigh come April. I plan on training for the 40 kilo, because why not take the opportunity to get stronger?

My strategy for this goal will involve around the concept of variability. The Soviet weightlifters of the past hold an incredible number of records and competition wins. The training system they used wasn’t as linear as some other schools of thought. When viewed with an EXTREMELY broad brush, one of the golden rules of that system was that one’s training load should vary at least 20% from session to session. That doesn’t mean it always needs to increase. In fact, depending on one’s training experience, the wavier and more varied the load, the better! (within reason).

I personally handle heavier sets with low reps better than higher rep sets, so it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of 1,2, and maybe 3 rep sets (and not in that order) if I’m feeling froggy. Maybe I’ll throw in some fingerboarding and turn it into more Integrative Strength work. Who knows…

3. Sport and Region-specific Conditioning Work

My endurance sucks. Part of it is due to the fact that I boulder 90% of the year. The other part of it is that I rarely spend an adequate amount of time training my aerobic energy system. Looking back, when I’ve tried to develop my endurance, I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time addressing my anaerobic performance and neglected the aerobic energy system. In 2017, I want to balance that out a bit more. It is hard to train a weakness. It’s not fun, and quite humbling. I would really like to climb some hard sport climbing routes in the fall, so I plan on staying disciplined and getting after some of my weak spots.

Some non-specific conditioning protocols I like

-Kettlebell Snatches: 15 seconds on, 45 seconds off, alternating hands each round.

-Loaded Carries: All sorts of variations and intervals, but the goal would be to stay around 4-7 out of 10 intensity wise, and making sure there is adequate recovery.

Deep 6 Complexes: Skill practice, and being able to complete complex techniques when fatigued.

 

Some climbing-specific things I’ll be doing

-Playing with some low intensity hangboard intervals or repeaters

-4 x 4’s

-Feet on campus board intervals, with a simulated rest

I used these last spring and they really helped with recovery and climbing through a pump. Start on the lowest rung of a campus board, with your feet on the kick board. Slowly climb up and down the board, making sure your feet stay on the kick board. Simulate foot movements if you want. Once your work interval is over, put your feet on the ground, but keep a fraction of your weight hanging from a campus rung. 1/2 of your rest time is spent “shaking out” on the rung. Adjust the weight you’re putting on the rung to ensure you are recovering. The second 1/2 of your rest time is off the board, normally resting. I started with a 1 set of 5 intervals and worked up to 3 sets, with a 5 minute rest in between sets.  

As always, perfect repeats and technique drills will always be part of my training. Skill comes first, all the other details are built on proper technique.

Without a plan, you’re just randomly trying to throw things at a wall and see what sticks. Figure out what you want to address, and figure out what you need to change. Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of madness.

How are you going to prove your sanity in 2017?

 

Bullet Points and a Brew 1/2/17

Happy new year everybody! It’s been a good week on the island of Maui. A bunch of family time, relaxation, and food. January is going to be a busy month for me. I’m assisting at a StrongFirst kettlebell certification in Atlanta at the end of the month, and I’m stoked to reconnect with some friends, do a little bit of teaching, and a lotta bit of learning. It’ll be a good time. Today, I’m headed out to do some sport climbing on a new wall being developed here on Maui. The last two times I’ve been to the islands, the burgeoning climbing community has been super welcoming and open with their areas, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the stone! Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

Dr. Weingroff is at the top of the list of people who influence me. His blog posts aren’t super frequent, but always full of information. Sometimes, the information is wayyy over my head, but usually there are always some good pieces to pull out. In this article, he takes a simple question about a plank and delves into movement technique, the art of cuing, tension, and a bunch of other concepts related to the plank and trunk stability. I highly recommend this read.

First off, I don’t treat pain. Not my scope of practice. If you’re in pain, don’t see a trainer or someone with a weekend certification that allows him or her to make believe that they are a shitty physical therapist. Ok. Rant over. Just because I refer pain out and don’t deal with it doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting to me. It’s a really cool topic. A sweet video from the folks over at Modern Manual Therapy.

It’s the new year, and it’s time to look forward and start building our training plan for 2017. I always like to sit down, and I create my plan. It’s perfect. I’m gonna get so strong. And then life happens. Schedules get crazy. It’s easy to let all of the planning fall by the wayside and call an audible. Here are some ways to NOT do that.

The Brew

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Liquid Breadfruit, Maui Brewing Company

One item out of the infinite number of cool things about Maui is Maui Brewing Company. It’s a huge facility and they have up to 24 different beers of their own available for sampling, awesome food trucks outside, and plenty of games to play. I’ve never had this limited release of theirs and was intrigued, so I picked it up. It’s brewed with breadfruit and toasted papaya seeds. It got some bready malt flavors, hints of orange, mango and papaya, and a faint toastiness, I assume from the papaya seeds. For a higher-abv beer, the alcohol is hidden quite well. A good one.


What’s Happening

Mailing List

I’m playing around with a newsletter. It will contain article alerts, special content promotions, and offers exclusive to subscribers. You can sign up here if you’d like. It’s completely free.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

It’s the new year, and a lot of people are building out their strategy for training in 2017. I can help. If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs, you can find more information here.

Kettlebell Classes

No kettlebell classes this next two weeks, as I will be out of town, but they will resume when I return. You can check out the SCSF schedule here.