Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rested, Re-focused, and Ready ...

I know it's been a couple of week since my last post, but I needed to take a bit of a break. Nevertheless, after attending Steve Maxwell's Bodyweight and Joint Mobility Workshop in Las Vegas this past weekend, I feel rested, re-focused, and ready to kick some ass! But, before I get ahead of myself, I'd like to thank everyone for sending their condolences about my father's death. Also, I'm in the process of answering old emails. So, if you've emailed me and I haven't responded, keep an eye out for a response this week.

Steve Maxwell is the real deal!

Guys, I know that many of you, like me, buy DVDs from various strength and conditioning coaches online. We watch their videos and wonder how they are in person and if they really know what they're talking about. Well, after less than 10 minutes into the 6 hour workshop, I knew that Coach Maxwell, as I'll refer to him, must be related to Evander Holyfield because he is definitely the Real Deal!

Rarely do you find a person who not only has the book knowledge of his craft, but also has the practical, in the trenches, experience that Coach Maxwell possesses. He's a great teacher also. Ok, let me walk you through some parts of the workshop. Coach first took all the participants through his joint mobility exercises, which he expands upon in his Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility Exercises, that hit every joint in the body. And when I say every damn joint, I really mean it. There were times that I wasn't sure if I was in a workshop or playing a game of twister!

After a break, Coach then started with his Maxercise bodyweight exercises that are pretty brutal, but in a good way;) We alternated from working our upper body to the lower. No muscle group was missed, and, from the soreness I felt the next day, I have muscles in places I didn't even know about. Oh, and he practices what he preaches. Every exercise/movement in his system was shown to us at three different speeds before he had us follow him, usually for a certain amount of time. Watching Coach, a 55 year-old man, go through the exercises was a workout in and of itself. His endurance and flexibility are incredible for a man in his 20s, let alone his 50s.

I'm still digesting the great amount of information that he presented this weekend, but one thing Coach mentioned really stood out in my mind. He basically said that before the love affair American men had with having large pecs and bulging biceps, they used to workout because they wanted to be healthy. Health was the main reason why folks wanted to workout. How your body looked was secondary to the overall goal of being healthy. Now, this isn't to say that physical culturist of back in the day didn't care about how their bodies looked; it's just that they realized that if you worked out correctly, with the proper nutrition (of course), then your physique will follow suit. How many fat guys do you know who can do pistol/one-leg squats and one-arm pushups?

I'll be sharing more about the workshop and the folks I met in Vegas (i.e., Mike Mahler and Josh Henkin) in future posts. But, I will say that attending this workshop has opened my eyes even more to the benefits of building strength and losing weight using only your bodyweight. Fellas listen, unless you are interested in becoming a bodybuilder or powerlifter, there is no need for you to ever pick up a weight to develop a strong and chiseled physique. Don't fall for the hype that you see everyday on TV and in the muscle mags. Bodyweight exercises have been around since antiquity, and they have clearly stood the test of time for a reason: they are effective!

I thought that I'd leave you with a picture Coach has up on his blog that was taken from the workshop. Below he is showing us how to do the Dragon Walk; my face looks blurry because I was in the process of falling on my ass! LOL!

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