Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Martial Power Workshops

October 31, 2010

Owning a dumb body is like owning outdated software. Close to useless. Only worse, cos with your own body you’re talking serious or TERMINAL hurt.

And in competition or in conflict, a dumb body spells danger for you and danger for your buddies. You’re a walking liability.

Well, what if there was such a thing as a “Smart Body?”

smart body—programmed with state-of-the-art neuro-software guaranteed to rocket your power, strength and speed far beyond its original capability?

And what if you could get hold of these neuro-software secrets yourself and:

IN YOUR VERY FIRST DAY, INSTANTLY GAIN
A 30% OR GREATER INCREASE IN YOUR STRENGTH AND POWER!

Can you imagine? The same day you learn them—secrets that make you immediately 30% stronger and faster.

For the first time in Australia I will be running workshops specifically for martial artists, combining Pavel’s world famous hard-hitting combat secrets from the Russian Spec Ops with his gold standard Russian Kettlebell system.

Learn:

  • Why the mastery of progressive calisthenics is the secret to raw strength and power through the forgotten art of bodyweight training.
  • Discover how a simple push up can double your punching power when done correctly.
  • The futility of gym machines and the charade of high rep low weight bodybuilding training when it comes to power and speed.
  • Unlock the 6 rules for power packed push ups and the hidden benefits of this lost exercise.
  • 15 secrets to impeccable squatting and how the bodyweight squat will do more for your kicking than barbell squats.
  • Discover the magic of GTG – Grease the Groove – to develop crushing power using the RKC principles of strength.

Combine this with the RKC system for kettlebell training to learn:

  • Understand why mastery of the kettlebell swing will give you stamina and resilience.
  • Learn how to recruit the powerful lat as a core muscle, to protect your spine and add power to your punching and kicking.
  • The concept of rooting and how to use it to increase your striking power.
  • The two hundred year history of the Get Up and its uses for combat sports.
  • Develop simultaneous mobility and stability to develop awesome power.

These two workshops are being run for the first time ever in Australia in Brisbane and Melbourne on December 18 and 19. Due to the amount of information contained these are five hour workshops running from 10am to 3pm. For more details see the website, for Brisbane click here and for Melbourne click here.

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Kettlebell Muscle

July 23, 2010

I am very excited about some of the new products that have just arrived at Dragon Door Australia. We’ve now got copies of Pavel’s Relax into Stretch book and DVD as well as The Naked Warrior DVD. But what I am most excited about is a new title from Master RKC Geoff Neupert titled Kettlebell Muscle.

Geoff has tremendous experience in building slabs of muscle in a hurry. With extensive background in Olympic weightlifting and as a Division 1 NCAA strength and conditioning coach, he has been working with athletes his whole life. The book is based on Javorek’s work with complexes. For anyone who doesn’t know what a complex is I will fill you in – its like a circuit, but you do it without putting the weight down. Initially Javorek used these with an Olympic bar to warm up athletes quickly and efficiently. One of the side effects of performing multiple lifts without setting the bar down is high amounts of lactic acid production. Research from a number of sources clearly shows that high levels of lactate plus incomplete recovery equal huge increases in Growth Hormone production, an essential element of both fat burning and muscle growth!

Geoff has made great use of this phenomena in Kettlebell Muscle. The workouts are short, sharp and tough. I have been following this program for a week, along with several other RKCs and some advanced clients and we all feel the same way about this book – its awesome! For me, having been on a steady diet of low rep, high volume pressing prior to RKCII this book is exactly what I need. They say that the best program you can be on is the one that is opposite to what you are doing right now. Well, given my last workouts were taking 1-1.5 hours to complete and using a single, heavy bell and Muscle takes somewhere between twelve and twenty minutes and uses double bells it fits that criteria perfectly.

The book isn’t filled with useless information either, which I quite like. Geoff could have easily padded the book out to many more pages by adding in pictures and tips on the lifts used. Instead, given the number of resources out there on that information already he covers them in basic detail with good, large pictures to help fine tune your form. Remember, this isn’t a program for beginners anyway, so it is assumed that you have these lifts dialled in before attempting to do them in this program. It comes with a program that runs for two, six week blocks. The first six weeks is complexes only, the second involves chains.

What’s a chain? A chain is a movement that is made up of other movements. Think of Clean and Press, or Clean and Jerk – two moves that are built into one single move. So, where the first 6 weeks is tough, the second 6 weeks takes a step in a whole new direction in terms of difficulty. Given how hard this initial week is I am not looking forward to the last 6 weeks!

In addition to this great book, and because I think it deserves its own workshop, I am going to run a workshop centred solely around the book. I am running two workshops in Melbourne on August 7. The first is a beginner workshop teaching the fundamentals of the Swing, Get Up and Squat. I will then be running a second, advanced workshop to teach the movements necessary to perform the workouts in Kettlebell Muscle as well as how to best perform the double lifts, what weights to use and how best to plan the rest of your training around such a demanding program. As a further incentive to attend, for those who book both seminars you’ll receive a copy of the book as part of the package! The first workshop is $200 and runs from 10am to 1pm, the second runs from 1pm to 4pm and costs $200 also. However, if you are attending both and book them together the cost will be $380 and include a copy of the book free! For information call me on 0412 658 434, or email at andrewread@dragondooraustralia.com

The Iron Icon Speaks

June 17, 2010

Anyone who reads a lot of Pavel’s work, particularly his early books like Power to the People and Beyond Bodybuilding as well as his newer, more in depth book on strength and power training Power to the People Professional will have heard of Marty Gallagher.

Marty is an icon in the iron game. He has competed at World Championship level in Power Lifting and helped coached many others to the same level including such greats as Kirk Karwoski. As well he has spent a great deal of time around the bodybuilding scene as he was Editor for Flex for some years. In short, the guy knows his way around the gym. In Pavel’s own words “When Marty speaks, I listen”. When you get a testimonial like that from a guy like Pavel you know that the person in question is a master in their field.

His new blog post is straight to the point about an issue that is slowly killing our society – the increase of oestrogen compounds in our food, the over eating of processed foods and the lack of movement in today’s society have all contributed and Marty takes aim and fires at them all. You can read about it here: http://marty.dragondoor.com/

Marty’s book The Purposeful Primitive is an excellent source of all of Marty’s wisdom and experience in the iron game from how to train like a champion, how to eat, the mental aspect of performance as well as anecdotes from a life in the trenches of strength training. Shaun Cairns, Senior RKC called this book “One of the best books on strength training he has ever read” and I have to agree with him. I have read my copy cover to cover and find that along with Enter the Kettlebell and Beyond Bodybuilding to be a source of never ending information and knowledge.

Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist

May 27, 2010

One of the very great privileges of being an RKC is being able to attend events that are only for RKCs. One of these is the Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist course. This course was developed by Grey Cook and MRKC Brett Jones to support the RKC system.

While there are many similarities to Grey’s original Functional Movement Specialist course, the CK FMS is far and away a better course. For example, the FMS course is a one and a half day course. The CK FMS is four full days from 8am to 5.30pm. On top of that there is a bigger testing protocol to pass ensuring that CK FMS graduates are of the highest calibre trainers around.

The breakdown goes like this:

1. Become an RKC. This alone will put you ahead of the vast majority of other trainers around. The depth of movement skill taught as well as the application of that movement is what sets the RKC apart. The RKC is about movement first and foremost. This is why I think many people in the fitness industry are really missing the big picture when it comes to functional training. As Grey Cook says “Functional training isn’t about what the training looks like or the implements used, its about whether or not that training improves performance”. Pavel’s RKC course is devilishly clever in its approach to training and has almost nothing to do with the kettlebell at its deepest levels. If you don’t believe me then you should head off to an RKC to see what the hell I’m talking about. Alternatively, you could sign up for the course and check it out for yourself.

RKC Instructor- Get Certified

2. Once you’ve become an RKC the process shouldn’t stop there. While many choose not to further their education much after passing the rigorous course, there is so much to learn, and the Dragon Door system has so much to offer, that you could study endlessly for years and still have much to learn. The great question is really “What will give my clients the best results with their training?”

The first place to start is with a book called Super Joints. Super Joints is the starting point for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that it is an easy system to follow, promotes joint health and range of movement as well as helping to rebuild lost motor patterns at the smallest level (at the joint). The systematic approach is easy to follow, the pictures are simple and the whole process itself takes about 5-10 minutes to conduct. With my clients we start every single session with a Super Joints warm up. I have used many approaches over the last few years and find that this is the easiest and fastest way to get my clients ready for the real training to come.

The next important bit of information is a hidden gem of the RKC. Many will have seen the book and DVD package entitled Kalos Sthenos, Kettlebells From the Ground Up. What they don’t realise is that this book and DVD combine to teach the single most under rated exercise in the world today – the Get Up. The Get Up is core training at its best – teaching cross body stabilisation and activation, Lat activation, open and closed chain shoulder stability, hip mobility and activation and the linking of the upper and lower extremities together to resist force and stabilise the spine. That it forms an integral part of the famous Program Minimum from Enter the Kettlebell should speak for itself. When all the Senior instructors recommend the Get Up as half of the foundation of movement and strength we should all pay close attention.

A further reason this set is so important is that it gives clues as to how to use the Get Up to assess and correct movement as well as use it as a corrective exercise. We spent a lot of time performing a variety of Get Ups and Kalos Sthenos drills during the CK FMS and I can honestly say that as much as I had an appreciation for the get Up before, and all my classes consist of Get Ups, I can see that we don’t spend anywhere near enough time on them.

The CK FMS course is built on information from Grey and Brett’s “Secrets” series. These four DVD sets contain so much information in them it is amazing. I had the opportunity to watch them all before attending the course and can say that it was time well spent. The series is based on four DVDs –ShoulderCore Training, the BacksideHip and Knee and Primitive Patterns. It is testament to the brilliance of Grey and Brett Jones as to how good the material is. These four DVD sets alone could possibly wipe out nearly every common gym based injury as well as show people a smarter way to train. The reason I found these so useful is that during the actual CK FMS course, there is so much information to be given that there is little time for slowly explaining the exercises or their reasons for use. That information is covered in depth in the manuals, but is equally well covered in the DVDs. I know that my copies will be copping a hammering over the next few months as there is so much information there I will need to go back and re watch them to get the most out of it. Well known Melbourne based Physiotherapist Andrew Lock also has copies and has been making use of them and is equally happy about the quality and depth of content provided. If only more therapists realised the importance of strengthening!

Last but not least in this chain is the CK FMS DVDs. With 15 DVDs in the set there is so much information to be had you will need many, many hours of viewing to extract all the gems of knowledge.

The benefit of buying through Dragon Door Australia is that there is nowhere else you can buy this information from locally where the seller has actually attended the course and knows the information inside out! Not only do we have RKCs and HKCs to train and use this system at our training location but with one of only two CK FMS practitioners in the country we can answer your questions better than anyone about this system, the benefits of it as a trainer, or the best ways to use it to assist your own training.

The strength of the CK FMS course is it highlights movement deficiencies in people. Not only where people have lost motor patterns, but also in discovering left/ right asymmetries. This is a huge issue as the balance of the body from side to side is an important factor in injury prevention. I’ve actually been asked to write a series of articles that are FMS based for both Blitz and Ultrafit and you’ll be seeing those articles soon as the issues hit the stands.

The result of all this, for you, is that we are now better placed than ever to answer all your training questions and get your body working better and feeling better. Don’t forget that I will be in Brisbane for seminars soon on June 19. If anyone needs an FMS assessment I will be able to provide that also at the time. For mor einformation on the upcoming seminars, HKC workshops or FMS tests please contact me at andrewread@dragondoor.com

Convict Conditioning

March 18, 2010

Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning has now claimed the #2 spot on Dragon Door’s prestigious Top 10 List, just four months after its publication—a phenomenal achievement and a great testament to the quality of its training advice.

The early adopters of Convict Conditioning have now posted 149 reviews of a title that is rapidly being hailed as an Instant Classic.

Here are typical comments:

Master your body!
In 2 weeks, using just the beginning steps of this program, I have seen a dramatic increase in grip strength, usable upper body strength, and even noticeable changes in body composition. It’s a dynamite book, a masterful and complete program, and results WILL happen!!!Christof Harper – Davis CA

Brutal Elegance.
I have been training and reading about training since I first joined the US Navy in the 1960s. I thought I’d seen everything the fitness world had to offer. Sometimes twice. But I was wrong. This book is utterly iconoclastic.I have read virtually every calisthenics book printed in America over the last 40 years, and instruction like this can’t be found anywhere, in any one of them. Convict Conditioning is head and shoulders above them all.– Albany, NY, United States

Who should purchase this volume? Everyone who craves fitness and strength should. I’d advise any athlete to obtain this work as soon as possible.–Bill Oliver

Thank you Coach Wade for creating the perfect blueprint to build a truly functional body.
If only this book was available when I first thought it was time to start using dumbbells and barbells 20 years ago?!—Shawn Reed – Pittsburgh, PA

An UNBELIEVABLE superstrength manual
My training partner turned me onto this book. I really, really, really love the contents of this book. All the prison-based stuff aside, the method itself is something beyond belief. My mom could pick this up and start tomorrow at her own level and so could a world class strength pro! Stunning. A magical, once in a life-time training manual. If it inspires and informs you the way it did for me, you’ll gladly pay ten times the cover price, I PROMISE.—Mike C – Corpus Christi, South Texas

Beyond The Hype
I was astonished by the volume of data in this book, and a huge amount of it has changed the way I look at training altogether. I commend Dragon Door for having the guts to publish this man’s work. The book is a rare, wonderful find; the kind of jewel of a book you can really use and learn from, which only comes along a few times in your life. The book really is a complete encyclopedia of a massive and incredibly sophisticated training system. Buy, borrow, loan or steal this book, and you’ll still be reading (and using) it ten, twenty years from now. Wonderful stuff!Greg A – CA USA

I’ve packed all of my other training books away!
I read CC in one go. I couldn’t put it down. I have purchased a lot of bodyweight training books in the past, and have always been pretty disappointed. But not with this one. The information in this book is AWESOME! I like to have a clear, logical plan of progression to follow, and that is what this book gives. I have put all of my other training books away. CC is the only system I am going to follow.—
Lyndan – Australia

A must for all martial artists
As a dedicated martial artist for more than seven years, this book is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Finally this book has come along. At last I can combine perfect body movement for martial skill with perfect body exercise for ultimate strength. This book is a complete textbook on how to max out your musclepower using only body movement, as different from dumbbells, machines or gadgets. For this reason it belongs on the bookshelf of every serious martial artist, male and female, young and old.Gino Cartier – Washington DC US

Old school for the new revolution
This is a great book. The best part about this book is the 10 steps to mastery. These steps alone are worth the price of the book 10 fold. This is a MUST HAVE BOOK.—eddie sanders – Raleigh, NC USA

A Real Break-out Book on Strength Training
No doubt, the best book I have read on bodyweight training & I have several dozen on my bookshelf.—Mike – Orange,Calif. USA

Brilliant
This is the exercise regime I’ve been waiting 30 years for: easy build up, highlights weak spots without over-stressing (i.e. avoids injury), practice virtually any where, no equipment to buy or lug around, very accessibly written. Brilliant!Norman Duff – Seattle, WA USA

Really good value
Nobody is going to complain about the value of this book. As someone fairly new to training, it’s all in here, everything from warm-ups and programs to every exercise under the sun, plus guidelines on how to move forwards. Sell your gym membership and six second abs machine and buy this book. It’ll actually save you money.Tania Gould – Portland OR USA

Great tool and reminder of “total body mastery”
This is a phenomenal book and a book I bought and also gifted proudly to others, including family members, and I do like my family —Philippe Til Tomaszewski – Los Angeles, California

Finally the prison system DELIVERS!!!
As a hardcore bodybuilder and a longtime fan of strength training, I was skeptical when I first received this book as a christmas gift from an American friend of mine. But what can I say? Clear, entertaining and amazingly logical. The book will become a Classic for raw strength purists who will love it greatly.J.C. Marrin – Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

Power to the prisoners?
This book really, really, REALLY does deliver. Once I’d read page one I knew I was hooked and read the rest in pretty much one go. There was waaay too much to take in, so I’m going to be reading it again (and again) through the weeks to come. Once I got my skull round the coach’s basic idea-that body-weight work should be used for muscle and power, not stamina-the rest of the book was a real eye opener. It’s changed EVERYTHING for me. But be prepared to hate yourself for not having this book when you started your training. Another unbeleivably hi quality book from the people at Dragon Door. Well done.Chris Machin – Boulder, CO

This book is fantastic
I can’t speak highly enough of this book. It is jamed packed with useful bodyweight exercise information. Nothing more need be said if you are looking to get strong and healthy for life. Every important exercise is detailed completely. It is a throughly understandable good read. In my opinion one cannot go wrong if one buys this book.Mike N. – BLF Hills, MI USA

This Is A Great Book
I have read many books over the years on physical culture-weights, odd objects, body weight, you name it. CC is the best one I’ve come across. Its a gold mine of information that will never be obsolete. I applaud John for making it happen and would look forward to any other material from Coach Wade.—Steve – Florida,USA

To purchase a copy of Convict Conditioning go here.

HKC Weekend Discounts!

March 15, 2010

With the first ever Dragon Door instructor certification in Australia being held this weekend there’s plenty to celebrate. To mark this event we’re going to have a walk in sale. 

All brand new kettlebells will be 10% off. Dragon Door make the best bells in the world – they are the only company that offers a 100% money back guarantee on their stock and are also the only company that has a five year warranty on the coating of their bells against rust and chipping. Here’s what you’ll pay: 

  • 8kg $60
  • 12kg $70
  • 16kg $78
  • 20kg $85
  • 24kg $95
  • 28kg $110
  • 32kg $120
  • 36kg $135
  • 40kg $150
  • 44kg $200

 

In addition, any kettlebells we use on the day are going to be sold for 20% off! Here’s what you’ll pay: 

  • 8kg $55
  • 12kg $65
  • 16kg $60
  • 20kg $75
  • 24kg $85
  • 28kg $100
  • 32kg $110
  • 36kg $120
  • 40kg $140
  • 44kg $180
  • Please note, these prices are only for people willing to come pick them up on the day. We will be running the course until 5pm and the bells are available either at 5pm or the following day after Shaun’s seminars at 4pm. 

    In addition to the great deal on kettlebells we will also be offering all our Dragon Door books and DVDs at 10% off too on the day of the HKC. Again, this offer is only available to walk in customers on the day. The course begins at 9am and finishes at 5pm so if you’re interested either be there before 9am to purchase or at 5pm. For details on all current book and DVD prices check www.dragondooraustralia.com 

    Training a World Champ

    January 10, 2010

    On the 8th of November, 2009, Sophia McDermott became the first Australian female to win a world championship in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At thirty years of age she has spent most of her life training to compete in a variety of sports – first was five years of ballet and tap dancing, just like any little girl. Then came her first love of gymnastics. Competing for ten years, both Sophia and her twin sister Elizabeth were top national level gymnasts. However, a separated shoulder finished off her gymnastics career and that was when her life changed completely.

     She began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Melbourne, Australia in 2000. Quickly becoming the top national level female she moved to the United States to train at Rigan Machado’s Academy before being the only girl ever invited to train full-time at the Rickson Gracie Academy. Now training at Robert Drysdale’s school In Las Vegas and as the reigning no Gi World Champ she has come a long way.

     As a brown belt she is often less experienced than the women she competes against and has sought to make the difference up with conditioning. I have known Sophia for over ten years and had the chance to meet up with her in the US in June 2009 after I completed the RKC. She had suffered another bad shoulder injury shortly before this at the World Championships.

     After speaking with her for a while it became quickly apparent that what she needed to do was find a method of strength training that wouldn’t tire her out much so she could continue her skills practice on the mat. With a standard week consisting of ten hours of BJJ plus another two hours of either wrestling or Judo this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Skills pay the bills and already having a skill deficit means that she needs to concentrate her efforts on BJJ training and not conditioning.

     As much as you’re all probably thinking that this is where I introduced her to the kettlebell and the rest just fell into place that would be wrong. In fact, I spent a lot of time giving her my reasons why she should stay away from any form of external resistance training.

     For starters, she competes right at the top of her weight class and has to diet very strictly to get under weight to compete. Adding weight to her frame would just make this harder. Secondly, with a history of shoulder problems I had a good idea that while she was very strong, she wasn’t using her body correctly. To me, there is little point in adding external resistance if the person isn’t even able to hold their body correctly. So the start of our training would need to focus on rehab for the AC joint as well as strength in preparation for the Worlds.

     In Hardstyle we are taught to pack the shoulders – to always work as if we are trying to stand with good posture, no matter the position we are in. This packing of the shoulders, or pulling the shoulder blades down and back creates space in the AC joint. With a history of shoulder impingement it was important that we work on ways to keep the shoulders healthy to withstand the stresses of daily training. This was going to be accomplished by creating better thoracic movement by integrating some Z drills into her warm ups plus getting her back to basics with her strength training.

     Taking direction from the Naked Warrior I taught her how to hold a push up position while keeping her posture tight with shoulders packed in. She was quite surprised at the difference in feel for how it should feel versus what she had been doing her whole life. Once she had mastered the static hold we added in movement just as described in Naked Warrior– action in both directions, pulling down to the bottom of the push up and then pushing the floor away on the way up while maintaining the packed shoulder position. At this point I could see light bulbs clicking on and off in her head as she came to realizations about the way she created movement. Not only that but with her posture held correctly she was able to work pain free!

    Once she had come to terms with only being able to do a few push ups at a time we went to work on full body tension. She has now gotten so good at these push ups she is able to do one arm push ups!

    Her full training plan actually follows a template set out by Kenneth Jay in
    Viking Warrior Conditioning
    . She performs three main exercises – one arm push ups, pistols and chin ups. She performs each of these twice per week over the course of three workouts. So workout one may be push ups and chins, workout two chins and pistols with the final workout being push ups and pistols. Sets and reps are kept low to minimize fatigue and muscle soreness. She performs three to five sets of 3-5 reps per exercise. The chin ups are performed explosively with a slow negative.

    While I’m speaking of Viking Warrior Conditioning I’ll also add in that it’s my secret weapon that I’ve used this year with many BJJ competitors. However, not many of them are able to use kettlebells well enough, and with my time limited when I work with them, we have replaced snatches with either sprawl/burpees or squat thrusts. In Sophia’s case we used squat thrusts (and hill sprints on alternate workouts) as I didn’t trust her to be able to keep good shoulder placement during such a fast movement. We followed the same interval sequence as in phase one of VWC – 15:15 going for a maximum of 20 minutes. With tournament BJJ matches for brown/black belts only lasting ten minutes this would give her adequate conditioning.

    She was amazed at the level of conditioning she was able to attain with such a limited training plan. None of her workouts exceeded thirty-five minutes, including the conditioning part, and she was able to fight through all her matches with plenty of gas in the tank. Her bodyweight stayed low while retaining the strength necessary to move her opponents around.

    It may seem too simple to be effective, but then that’s the sort of comment I’ve come to expect from using Hardstyle methods with my clients. The funny thing is, that while others may question the training, few can argue with the results! There are plenty of people who claim they get remarkable results with their athletes and claim to train big names. But Sophia is Australia’s only ever BJJ world champ, and she trains chooses to train with the best – Dragon Door Australia. Don’t make the mistake of using someone inferior for your combat sport preparation.

    Merry Kettlebells!!

    December 27, 2009

    I hope everyone has had a nice Christmas.

    I got the opportunity to have a sleep in – a rare treat for any trainer – plus play with my brother’s kids for the afternoon. There’s something magical about kids on Christmas that makes the whole thing worthwhile. And while they got piles of presents from us all I can’t help but feel that I got the best present of all…

    Kettlebells!

    Dragon Door Kettlebells in Australia!

    200 authentic Dragon Door kettlebells

    You see, on Wednesday the 23rd I received the first shipment of Dragon Door Kettlebells from overseas. It may have been 38 degrees. We may have had to haul 1500kg pallets 150m down the street to get them to our car park and we may have had to carry 4500kg of kettlebells upstairs, but it was all worth it!

    We now have in stock everything from 8kg up to 44kg. In fact, we have 200 kettlebells now in stock.

    Unfortunately, with every good news has to come a little bad. The bad news is that shipping hasn’t been finalised yet so customers outside of Victoria can’t get them immediately. But anyone living in Melbourne will be able to come by and pick up whatever they want.

    Anyone really serious about strength and kettlebell training needs look no further than Dragon Door Australia – with kettlebells, Pavel’s books and DVDs and now with the HKC – we are the number one supplier of authentic hardtsyle products and training in Australia.

    I hope you all have a safe and happy new year and I look forward to meeting you, training with you and supplying you with all your hardstyle needs for 2010.

    The First Step

    December 14, 2009

    Confucius said that “Even a journey of a thousand steps begins with the smallest step”.

    In the world of training most people skip the first step and try to go directly to something fancy, fun and impressive looking.

    So much of our training life is spent trying to gain strength and fitness, but is it what we really need? Most people could really benefit from gaining some extra movement skill, joint mobility and flexibility first. What good is loading up a squat if you can only squat half depth with poor form?

    And so the continuum of training should be: mobility, stability, strength and then finally conditioning. If I could liken it to a car imagine having a car with bald tires, wheels out of line, no brakes and dodgy suspension. Then we drop a new engine in the car and take it to the track. It’s great going in a straight line but what happens when you arrive at turn 1 faster than you’ve ever been before with no brakes, wheels wobbling all over the place and a car that won’t steer?

    If that is your body you wind up hurt.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to put new tires on your car, get the wheels balanced, new suspension and a full service before dropping a new engine in?

    In the realm of training, learning how to stabilise a load is pretty much the first thing that is expected of a client. As soon as anyone, whether they are in shape or not, enters a gym they are expected to lift weights. But if someone isn’t able to stand with good posture, or walk with the body held in good alignment then how can they be expected to keep proper alignment when lifting an external load?

    Andrew Lock, physiotherapist to the stars has said that bodyweight training is like the primary school of physical training. Without developing these essential skills that we can use for the rest of our lives everything else we do is compromised. As Grey Cook says “there is no point stacking fitness on dysfunction”.

    If bodyweight is essential skills and similar to primary school then barbells and dumbbells are like high school. A big step forward. But again, if you can’t achieve a full controlled movement, pain-free with just bodyweight what point is there in adding load? So while resistance training is a great tool it is a further step up the chain.

    The final step is university level movement skills. And this is where kettlebells come in. By having to be balanced in an extra plane they create a much bigger demand on postural awareness and dynamic balance. Where barbells and dumbbells only have to be lifted against gravity which only works straight up and down, the kettlebells has to be balanced in a forward and backward manner because of its pendulous nature.

    So the very first thing people should do is to take a look at well thought out bodyweight training programs. One of the best known bodyweight training books in the world is Pavel Tsatsouline’s Naked Warrior. This has been the number two best seller on Amazon.com’s fitness books list! It’s available now through Dragon Door Australia. Don’t waste another second on performing training that your body is ill prepared for. Learn the secrets of full body tension, muscle irradiation and how to protect your spine and shoulders during dynamic movement.

    Contact us now or visit the website for more details.

    We. Are. Live!

    December 3, 2009

    I hope Bruce Buffer, announcer for the UFC, doesn’t mind me stealing one of his catch phrases!

    After months of work I am proud to say Dragon Door Australia is now up and running. You can check out the new site here at: www.dragondooraustralia.com We will be selling all of Dragon Door’s products here in Australia as the official distributor down under.

    Already in stock are Pavel’s main kettlebell books – Enter the Kettlebell and Return of the Kettlebell (both book and DVD for both). In addition there is his non-kettlebell books such as Beyond Bodybuilding, Power to the People and Marty Gallagher’s modern iron classic Purposefully Primitive. We are also stocking Andrea du Cane’s smash hit fat loss kettlebell workout for women Kettlebell Goddess and the brilliant Grey Cook/ Brett Jones masterpiece Kettlebells From the Ground Up, plus Master RKC Kenneth Jay’s scientifically backed Viking Warrior Conditioning.

    While we don’t have all the Dragon Door products in stock yet we will be getting them soon. If there’s something you’re after just let me know and I’ll add it into the next order.

    In addition we expect our first shipment of Dragon Door kettlebells to arrive just in time for Christmas! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on a pair of the best bells in the world again! There’s something just innately better about using a bell that has the RKC stamp of approval on it. Everything about these bells is designed as Pavel intended – to be the ultimate hand-held gym. From the non-slip finish to give better grip to the rust proof coating to the size of the bell and thickness of the handle – don’t be fooled by local imitations!

    Feel free to drop by the site, or to email me if there is anything you’re looking for but we don’t have yet. I can be found at andrew.read@dragondooraustralia.com