Bullet Points and a Brew 5/17/17

Bullet Points and a Brew 5/17/17

Hey there. Remember me? I’ve been AWOL due to some busyness and some laziness. Time to get back on track and start putting these out. I was able to get on a rope for the first time this year this past weekend. I was able to sample two different crags for the first time. I’m always amazed at just how much rock is in this area. I’m truly lucky to live in an area that’s covered in sandstone.

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The Buffet Wall. Photo: Bob Butters c/o Roots Rated

In terms of performance, I’ve got a long way to go endurance-wise. I’ve been putting in some basic work, and had faint hints of some fitness, but the weekend was a big motivator to really get after it. Speaking of getting after it, let’s get after some bullet points.

The Bullet Points

There’s a reason Dan John considers a loaded carry one of the fundamental human movement patterns. Not sure about that? Read this article, and start carrying stuff. You may learn something.

If you aren’t recovering adequately, you’re not getting stronger. It’s as simple as that. This article had some interesting videos that describe some science behind recovery, and some novel ways to address how you recharge for your next training bout.

This article came out a couple weeks ago and I immediately tagged it as an article for one of these posts. Mark Anderson has been climbing and coaching for a looong time. There’s gold in these here lessons. Go find it.

The Brew

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Beer Geek Breakfast, Mikeller

Mikeller is a microbrewery based out of Denmark with a really interesting mode of production: They’re a gypsy brewery. They travel around and make their beers in various breweries. It’s an interesting concept, and apparently doesn’t affect the quality of their beer, as this one of the more highly rated stouts around. I’ve always been on the lookout for this one, and it finally appeared at one of the bottle shops around here.  (Thanks Sigler’s!). It pours an oily black with a finger of tan, thick, bubbly head. A very roasty aroma fills the room almost immediately, lots of malts and coffee. It’s roasty and rich, with a Russian Imperial stout-ish malt character in the taste, with some present but subtle coffee. It’s definitely different than the coffee bomb that is your standard coffee stout. The taste finishes out with a pleasant bitterness. On the palate, it’s as good as it gets for a stout, with a thick, velvety mouthfeel. It’s a delicious beer that lives up to the hype. Coffee and stout fans will enjoy this one immensely.

That’s it for this week.


What’s Happening

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Strongfirst Kettlebell User Course

I’m excited to announce that the Strongfirst Kettlebell User course is coming back to Chattanooga! On May 27, Senior SFG Delaine Ross will be at Scenic City Strength and Fitness for an 8 hour workshop breaking down fundamental kettlebell skills. These skills lay the foundation for a lifetime of effective kettlebell training, so this course is not to be missed. You can find more information here.

Coaching

I deliver efficient and effective programming that gets the job done without demanding too much of your valuable time. I have some open spots for distance coaching, so if you are interested, please apply. 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.

Social Medias

Like what you’ve read? Want to find out more? Like the Facebook Page and share with your friends!

Bullet Points and a Brew 3/15/17

Bullet Points and a Brew 3/15/17

Back at it! It’s been a couple weeks since the last edition, and they’ve been enjoyable ones at that. A couple weeks ago I headed out to Arkansas to do some bouldering at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. I was blown away by the rock quality and quantity. I can’t wait to go back!

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Corey crushing “Jeff’s Prow”

 

 

 

 

 

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Hard moves and bullet orange stone. “Orb Weaver”. Photo: Oz Song

After that, I was lucky to have my brother come down for his first taste of the amazing bouldering in the Chattanooga area. The weather held out for some great days at the staple areas of Stone Fort and Rocktown. I was happy to put down a long term project “The White Face” at Stone Fort on Saturday. I’ve been playing with an experimental hangboard protocol and have been really happy with the results. The fingers are definitely feeling stronger and it seems to be a pretty sustainable system for long term development. I’m putting together a piece detailing the concepts, so be on the lookout for that.

The bouldering season is winding down, so it’s go time to try and put some final things down before the temperature rises, the harness goes on, and I get way too pumped and fall off holds I shouldn’t. I’m psyched! Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

Movement strategies, fractals, neurodevelopmental sequences, and how “opposite” patterns aren’t all that different. Cool stuff here.

Climbing is hard. If you recover well, you get stronger. If you don’t, you plateau or get hurt. This article detailed some implements that can be useful to optimize recovery and continue to improve.

I like deadlifts. That’s not a secret. I think a deadlift variation is one of the most effective movements a person can do for health and athletic performance. Kevin Cann breaks down two of the most popular variations.

The Brew

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Bible Belt, Prairie Artisan Ales

A collaboration between Prairie and Evil Twin Brewing, this stout is inspired by Prairie’s Bomb! and Evil Twin’s Aun Mas’ Jesus Stout. Both are fantastic beers, so I was excited to try a spiritual blending of the two. It pours black with a brown head, and the aroma immediately starts to fill the room. The aroma is full of coffee, chocolate, licorice, and some smoke. The flavor is big, smoky, and roasty. Chocolate and coffee fill in the back middle of the flavor and a subtle heat is present after the swallow. For a 13% beer, the alcohol is very well hidden. This one is a winner.

 

That’s it for this week.


What’s Happening

 

Tactical Strength Challenge

We are hosting the Tactical Strength Challenge again at Scenic City Strength and Fitness! It will be held April 8th all around the world. Six weeks out! The three skills tested are a max powerlifting-style deadlift, strict pull-ups or flexed arm hangs depending on your division, and a 5 minute snatch test. It’s an awesome event and a lot of fun to push your limits and cheer on everyone else. If you’re interested, reach out to me ASAP so we can answer your questions and get your registered! You can register here.

Strongfirst Kettlebell User Course

I’m excited to announce that the Strongfirst Kettlebell User course is coming back to Chattanooga! On May 27, Senior SFG Delaine Ross will be at Scenic City Strength and Fitness for an 8 hour workshop breaking down fundamental kettlebell skills. These skills lay the foundation for a lifetime of effective kettlebell training, so this course is not to be missed. You can find more information here.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in coaching, I can help. I offer strength training, Functional Movement Screen consulting, performance training, or some combination of these programs. I have three open spots for distance coaching, so if you are interested, please reach out ASAP. These spots will fill up. 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 2/28/17

Bullet Points and a Brew 2/28/17

It’s that time again. It’s been a good couple weeks after a bout of traveling. I was able to get out a week or so ago and put down a boulder I’ve been working on for the season. Apparently the deadlifts, swings and hangboard work have been paying off, because this boulder felt easy. That same day, I made some progress on some other blocs in the field, so hopefully I’m going to get back out there soon and continue to get after it. I’m heading to the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas this upcoming weekend for the first time, so it’ll be sweet to check out a new boulderfield!

Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

Last week, I posted an article that morphed from what was going to be a quick write up on some readiness concepts into a glance into my philosophy concerning training. I believe you should be able to get after it and do some moderately strenuous work with little to no warmup. If you can’t, you need to start investing in some time to build your readiness. Here’s how.

I really respect people who approach training with a patient and practical approach. Steve is one of those guys. This was a great piece detailing some of his philosophy behind finger strength training that also contains some actionable information to utilize immediately in your training. That means it’s well worth the read. So do it.

Foam rollers are loved. Foam rollers are hated. They work. They don’t work. Whether you love them or not, they’re here. I personally use foam rollers for some light warmup work and to turn the volume down on some muscle tone, if that’s what I feel needs to happen for a productive session. Some proponents claim foam rollers can do pretty outrageous things. This was a cool article that reviewed research concerning the various claims the foam roller camp makes. Go get ya some science.

A strong overhead press can be a game changer for shoulder health, even for athletes who only pull downwards (ahem…you know who you are). It needs to be done correctly though. This article breaks down some common flaws when pressing and some ways to clean it up. It goes into detail about the tall kneeling position, which I love for a lot of movements. Putting heavy shit over your head is awesome. Make sure you do it right.

The Brew

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Raspberry Halo, Cigar City Brewing

When it comes to stouts, Cigar City has some good ones. Marshal Zhukov’s, Hunahpu’s and other stouts they brew are some of the most sought after and well reviewed beers in that style. Because of that, I’m quick to grab any stout of theirs that pops up on the shelves. It pours black with a light brown head. It’s got a nose full of roasted malt and faint raspberry, which becomes more prominent on the back end. Flavor is heavy roasted malt and your standard rich chocolaty big stout flavor. A very subtle raspberry is present if you look for it, and just like the aroma, it becomes more prominent on the back end. It’s kind of nice! A lot of raspberry beers are heavy handed and come off as artificially sweet and not well balanced. This one is subtle and shows a touch of restraint. I dig it.


What’s Happening

Facebook Page

I finally got around to creating an official Facebook page. It’s in its infancy, but hopefully some cool things come out of it. I’d appreciate if you went there and clicked the ole “like” button.

Tactical Strength Challenge

We are hosting the Tactical Strength Challenge again at Scenic City Strength and Fitness! It will be held April 8th all around the world. Six weeks out! The three skills tested are a max powerlifting-style deadlift, strict pull-ups or flexed arm hangs depending on your division, and a 5 minute snatch test. It’s an awesome event and a lot of fun to push your limits and cheer on everyone else. If you’re interested, reach out to me ASAP so we can answer your questions and get your registered! You can register here.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in coaching, I can help. I offer 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 2/13/17

Bullet Points and a Brew 2/13/17

Yeah, yeah, I missed last week. It wasn’t intentional, but I just never got around to it. All my fault, and here’s to more consistency starting NOW!!! (until I get inevitably get sidetracked in the near future one week.) It’s been a great couple of weeks. First, I had the opportunity to assist at a StrongFirst Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor certification. In addition to having the honor of helping some amazing people through the transformative weekend that is the SFG certification, I also was able to refine my coaching skills, pick up new info nuggets for use in the future, reconnect with old friends, and meet some incredible people. It would be an understatement to say I’m still fired up from the weekend, even 2 weeks after the fact.

Image Above: The entire Atlanta SFG Crew! Candidates and Amazing Coaches. I was lucky to be a part of it. Photo:Craig Marker

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StrongFirst Leadership, Team Leaders, and Assistant Instructors. A Group of Incredibly Knowledgeable and Strong People…and myself!

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Team Shlosser! I had the honor of working closely and learning from this group throughout the weekend. Photo: Craig Marker

I was also able to sneak in a trip to San Francisco to visit my brother. No climbing or training, but some great beer and a great time out in the Bay Area. I’m back in town and dialing in some coaching, some training, and some climbing (if it ever cools back down again and stops raining).

San Francisco, it's been real. Golden Gate Bridge hiding in the background.

A post shared by Paul Corsaro (@paulcorsaro) on

Let’s get into the bullet points.

The Bullet Points

I sat down with Kris Hampton of Power Company Climbing back around Christmas to discuss movement quality. I don’t think there is a case of “perfect form” for everybody. Individual differences matter. Correct form for a certain individual may not apply to the next person; however, I do believe there are some common principles for certain movements. We dig into some of those principles on the podcast.

Who has tight hips? Everybody, right? Well…maybe. Everyone enjoys stretching their hip flexors, or at least attempting to with horror shows such as this.

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Anyways, Dean Somerset explores some hip mobility concepts in this article. I share a lot of his stuff, and that’s OK, because it’s good stuff. Check it out.

Why do you exercise? Is it to supplement an active lifestyle? Or is it to replace activity in your lifestyle? That distinction is important. Gray Cook explores this dilemma, and also includes a video of some old dudes climbing at an age I hope I’m continuing to climb as well. Insightful, slightly philosophical, and straight up awesome, this article is a must read.

It’s often overlooked, but the Serratus Anterior is a crucial muscle contributing to shoulder health. Willow gives a brief intro into some of the functions of the muscle, and provides a couple interesting progressions to play with.

The Brew

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Frootwood, Founders Brewing Company

So, Founders is releasing a line of new barrel aged beers this year. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This is the first one that’s come down the line, or at least the first one I’ve seen. It’s a cherry ale aged in bourbon barrels. Very interesting indeed. It pours reddish with a hint of brown with an  off-white bubbly head. A cherry-forward aroma rises out of the glass, subtly influenced by bourbon. It’s a really interesting flavor with a lot of cherry, but the bourbon mellows it out, so you get a strong cherry-flavored beer without it tasting too sweet or like cough medicine. A nice bourbon aftertaste lingers. I really enjoyed this one. Haven’t really had a beer quite like it. If you see it, grab a bottle or two. It gets my seal of approval..like these:

This place gets my seal of approval.

A post shared by Paul Corsaro (@paulcorsaro) on

That’s it for this week. See y’all next week.


What’s Happening

Tactical Strength Challenge

We are hosting the Tactical Strength Challenge again at Scenic City Strength and Fitness! It will be held April 8th all around the world. The three skills tested are a max powerlifting-style deadlift, strict pull-ups or flexed arm hangs depending on your division, and a 5 minute snatch test. It’s an awesome event and a lot of fun to push your limits and cheer on everyone else. If you’re interested, reach out to me ASAP so we can answer your questions and get your registered! You can register here.

Nutrition, Performance, and Strength Coaching

If you’re interested in coaching, I can help. I offer 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.

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.

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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?