Big Fat Bar and a Kettlebell

Rushing out the door on break, it’s challenging to know how much of a workout we can get. We need to keep our muscles moving & our blood flowing, and a few rays of the sun’s very own Vitamin D might be just the thing we need. The temptation to skip eating altogether is all too real, but not a very good idea. These muscles, this blood, this skin needs nutrients.

A couple of portable tuna pouches later we find a park with a big fat pull-up bar. Parks like these are more common than one might suppose, you just have to be willing to look & explore. My find is a real beauty off of Pharr Rd in Buckhead, less than 3 minutes from where the day’s work is happening. Frankie Allen Park . . . funny name, nice space and fat pull-up bars.

Anyway, we’re here for the workout, so let’s get on it so we can get back to it.

3 rounds: 

  • 1 SLDL each leg
  • 5 Swing/Snatch Duets (R/L) 
    • The Duet is 1 Swing, 1 Snatch = 1 rep 
  • 2 Bar Hangs :30 seconds apiece 
    • Rest 30 seconds between each hang

It is a fast workout, and you find that the hangs really tax your grip for the next round of Swing/Snatch Duets. Some might be tempted to increase the reps, but there really isn’t a need. Stick with the plan and let the plan work for you.

A regular pull-up bar will work, but the fat one is a cool find, and a different way to attack & develop forearm strength needed for high-rep Snatch & Swing sessions to follow. Work with what you have.

Semper Fortis & Anchored in Movement


Fran on the Beach 092617

Imagine you’re on a beach and you’re itching to do Fran . . . not sure how this became an itch, but it could happen, and did. There wasn’t a pull-up bar, and I didn’t have a 95lb bar for Thrusters . . . hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Luckily, I had a sandbag . . . and miles of undisturbed sand. There were some bystanders at the shoreline, but they were looking the other way, and all followed the same footprinted path to get there . . . so I could suffer through 6 minutes & change without someone asking me why the hell I was doing that. The question often comes up, and I never really have an answer. These things are things we do, or don’t, I’m not sure if “Why” matters to those who don’t.

Anyway, my son & I took the bladders out of the sandbag, maybe 30-ish pounds a piece, and ran relays with them. Carry one down 25 yards, drop it, do 10 Air Squats, sprint back to repeat twice more. Our times were good, the warm-up was good. Now, for Fran on the Beach:

  • 21/15/9- Sandbag Thrusters/Push-ups 

The cool, (and by ‘cool’ I mean frustrating) thing about Squat Cleaning the Sandbag is that if you don’t get under it fast enough, or if you line up too far back, you’ll likely fall on your butt. Well, that’s according to a friend, anyway . . . <wink, wink> Definitely a good practice for getting under the bar.

Give it a shot, let me know how it goes!

Don’t forget, the CraseFit Kettlebell Workshop, hosted by Barbella’s is tonight . . . don’t miss out!

Semper Fortis & Anchored in Movement,


What’s More Important Than the Goal?

It’s a fair question living in an unfair set of answers. We make the goals, for better or for worse, and we let them take over our lives, for better or for worse.

Think for a minute, what is it you want? Lose weight? Gain more muscle? Those are the most popular, but only on the positive side. What about negative goals? You know, those things we want to change or drop from our lives? It might be said that the two coexist, the negative & positive goals, but let’s leave that notion aside. Our focus is focus, and rightfully so.

The reason our goals take over our lives is because we view them as outcomes. What is the outcome we want? We might ask ourselves how to get there, but as soon as we find a quick & easy way, we’re off to the races & headed towards failure.

What if we made a grand & noble attempt to enjoy the process of our goals? Focus less on the final destination and live in the series of moments that take us closer & closer to our goals.

Say your goal is to move to Santa Monica and open the most successful Kettlebell gym in the history of the planet. There’s nothing wrong with that goal, is there? Okay, today is Wednesday, and I’m super proud of & pumped about this goal . . . assuming that it’s mine, of course. I need to be out of my house by this weekend so that I have plenty of time over the weekend to get all my stuff across the country to California, find a place to live and some studio space for my new gym, and be ready to roll out on Monday morning. All of our best goals get saved for Monday . . . Why not mine?

Most anyone can look at my goal & subsequent failure and easily elaborate on where & how I went wrong. I could probably reach my goal, but only if I understand that it takes a lot more time & preparation than I was willing to take. Agree?

Let’s say that I’ve been binge watching TV for the past two years. Yeah, every waking minute . . . sometimes insomnia even reminds me that something else is on that needs my immediate & ocular attention. But wait, I want to run a marathon next month. How likely am I to get myself in shape to not only finish, but not-die as well? Say I miraculously do . . . then what? I’ll probably spend the next several months “recovering,” aka, not doing anything even remotely physical . . . then become the poster-child for how running doesn’t really help people lose weight because it didn’t work for me. It’s a popular story, we’ve all heard it before & will again.

Both examples are outcome based goals. My happiness depends on the outcome of these goals. I cherry-picked these otherwise really great goals for myself, then let them ruin me . . . all because of my approach to them. The goals didn’t fail, but you can figure out who did.

Unless I win the lottery, and a very big one at that, the Santa Monica dream is likely a lengthy one. Agree? I need to sell my house, which probably means going through & taking inventory of strengths & weaknesses of my house on the marketplace, then addressing those to make sure I can maximize my potential. Then, I probably need to find a place to live and a studio to rent. It might help if I did some more research . . . Santa Monica might be cornered with Kettlebell gyms, or the city might have an indefinite freeze on business licenses for new gyms . . . anything could be the case, but I have to find out what.

Not that we’re ever 100% prepared to take on & soundly conquer our goals, no matter how much time we spend developing a healthy plan. Still, it is in the preparation, the process where we are likely to find the most enjoyment and success. Often enough we learn that working towards a certain goal led us down a better & more successful path . . . or, maybe we just learned more about ourselves along the way than we ever would have had the goal been dumped directly in our laps.

Whatever it is deserves & craves the process. Fat-loss doesn’t happen all of a sudden on Monday, so don’t beat yourself up on Tuesday for some skewed perception of failure. Take time to learn what works for you & what doesn’t. Any success story you read is someone else’s success story. We can borrow from their process, but their outcomes will never be our outcomes, their process will never look like our process.

In fact, your individual success story has yet to be told . . . it might resemble another one out there, but your story is unlike anyone else’s in some shape, size or manner. Meanwhile, some other person you may or may not have met is waiting to be inspired, motivated or encouraged by YOUR story. It isn’t the outcome they are waiting for, it is the process that will inspire their heart or motivate their mind to find their own way. Be the light at the end of someone else’s tunnel.

Enjoy the process of your goals, the ups & downs, the daily successes and the minor failures . . . each of them are moments that teach us something about ourselves, and ultimately help us. Dreams are meant to be big, too big to be contained by Mondays or New Years Days. Our dreams are more than just the summary, just the synopsis . . . our dreams are the process by which we get from here to there. Start moving, keep moving . . . life is movement.