Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Projection: Or how to show your clients that you're not listening to a damn thing they're saying

I can't remember the exact year, but I remember wading through LA traffic to get downtown to the Convention Center for a meeting with my mentor, Gray Cook. When I'd arrived, we sat down for a quick bite at the eatery on the ground floor, where he introduced me to a Scotsman named Alwyn Cosgrove, saying "Our meeting can wait. I want you to listen to this guy."


Gray & I sat in the back of the room, and Cosgrove started to work his magic. Speaking with incredible charisma and the kind of easy confidence that only rock-solid experience can bring you, he started to explain how fitness trainers are oftentimes their worst enemies.

Cosgrove explained that there are some trainers who come into the field & think they know it all already because of their past as a competitive athlete. He shrugged them off from the get-go, saying that many of them would just perpetuate the injuries they were given as kids onto the next unwitting group of people that became their clientele.

On the other hand, another group are people who come into fitness training from whatever background and are hungry to learn more to improve themselves. Those people, he explained, were also often guilty of being their own worst enemies. They hear about some awesome training method that falls in line with their aspirations or their area of curiosity, and they hammer all of their clients with whatever it is that they've just learned or been exposed to. Those trainers, too, were also sabotaging their business reputations by projecting their personal fitness goals onto their clients.

He went on to illustrate it with a particularly memorable analogy that went something like this, occasionally slipping into his native Scottish accent...

*****

Let's say you're a recovering bodybuilder and you just got out of an awesome presentation on hypertrophy. One of your clients is a 50-year-old mum who just had her third child and just wants to lose the baby weight and be able to keep up with her other two kids. Tell me exactly why the f*** would you write a "heavy arms day" into her program. D'ya think she's gonna go up to the other mums after school, flex her biceps & go "Hey! Check this $h!# out!"?

Or do you think it's more likely that she's going to get discouraged after a while of you hammering her with workouts that make her feel sore for days and inadequate and then quit coming to you for training?

So you have to ask yourself this... Are you training your clients like YOU want to be trained? Or are you training your clients to help them meet and then exceed their goals? If you're doing the first of the two, you're not listening to a damn thing your clients said to you. You're projecting what YOU want for YOURSELF onto them. And while it might be well-intentioned, you're being your own worst enemy.

*****

My recall of the exact wording of Cosgrove's presentation is grossly inadequate, but the analogy, the profanity (which left the entire room cracking up and Gray Cook grumbling "How come women clap and laugh when he does that $h!t and they complain when I do it?"), and the essence of his message are spot-on.

If you're in the fitness field, it's a damn good idea to ask yourself with frequency whether you're training your clients in ways that excite, inspire, energize, and empower them towards their goals, OR are you projecting your training goals onto someone else and living vicariously through them while they're the ones paying for it?

Remember: Raw enthusiasm is no substitute for intelligent awareness.




If you're a fitness professional and this DVD hasn't made it onto your radar, grab it. When you've got Gray Cook, Dr. Lee Burton, & Alwyn Cosgrove teaming up to guide your programming to a streamlined process, you can't go wrong!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fit, Fashion, & Function: Are your pants f***ing up your movement?

DOC'S EQUIPMENT REVIEW:

One of the things that I've been paying increasing attention to in the past 8 years with all the traveling I've been doing is how improperly fitting clothing can contribute to decreased performance and/or health issues. I see it with footwear, with sports bras, with eyewear, and even jewelry.

For me, one of the most noticeable pieces of clothing that affect my movement and comfort are pants. When you're forced to sit for hours at a time aboard a flight, or hustling to get to your gate in time, pants that are too baggy or too restrictive have the potential to make life uncomfortable and even unsafe. I'm amazed at how many guys tolerate wearing pants that make them feel like their legs are falling asleep, probably because it's so hard to notice until they try to get up & actually walk.

The more I wear these 5.11 Tactical Traverse pants, the more I like them. In climates as varied as wintertime Canada & summertime Hawaii, the pants have still remained comfortable wears. I don't think I've ever had a pair that looks, fits, & feels as good as these do. Regardless of how much stuff I have to load the cargo pockets with, the elastic "magazine retention bands" inside help keep the phone, wallet, keys, EDC, or whatever else from bouncing all over the place, and the 4-way stretch fabric never makes my legs or hips feel like I'm wearing a tourniquet so that my circulation is never impeded.

Photos courtesy of Fitness Ranes of Honolulu, HI

As a guy who has a bit of a caboose, slacks that are cut without the extra room in the backside make me cringe. The Traverse, however, moves with the comfort of a well-broken-in pair of sweatpants with the look of something respectable enough for a boardroom or a patient consult. While wearing pants that look classy enough to go out to a business meeting dinner, I still feel comfortable throwing a kick vertically without the fabric pinching or tearing.

Since I often have to wear the same clothing to a dinner engagement directly from teaching an all-day workshop on rehabilitative movement (a la Prehab-Rehab 101), Hardstyle kettlebell training, or even martial arts, I was a bit concerned about whether or not the synthetic fabric would show signs of "pilling" with friction, but no signs of any such wear so far. Whether teaching kneeling and ground-based movement drills on Astroturf or dropping shin kicks into a muay Thai bag, the points of hard contact still look unblemished, even after several washes. Unlike some synthetics, this blend hasn't retained odors yet, regardless of how intensely I've sweated in them.

Working on "Sphinx" position during my Prehab-Rehab 101 workshop in Honolulu with participants who came from as far away as Los Angeles & Jakarta!

To have an "all situations ready" pair of pants is quite a feat for me considering all the stuff I spend my time doing - from treating patients, to sprinting after my kids, to training pro athletes, to researching traditional martial arts, to hauling ass from one flight after another, to the rare "quiet dinner & drinks" with the Mrs! The Traverse from 5.11 Tactical leads the pack of all the pants I've ever worn.

My final review: If you live a fast-paced, active lifestyle that requires you to be on point in a variety of situations, these are worth every penny & then some! CEO Tom Davin & crew hit the ball straight out of the park on this one. http://www.511tactical.com/traverse-pant.html

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Parenthood: Building a quantity of quality

Almost 11pm on a Friday night, and I've just brought Squealie back from a training session with The Immortals Lion Dance Team in Monterey Park, gotten him showered, fed, & off to sleep.

As I browse my Facebook feed & catch up with what friends are up to, I see a couple of messages in my inbox that catch my eye. One friend is warning me not to spread Squealie too thin with "a whole bunch of commitments that keep him from being a kid", while another is asking how to get their kid into the same activity.

I figured it's probably a good time for me to explain the choices that I've made for my son as far as his extra-curricular activities. So here's my 2 cents on raising kids and deciding what activities are worth getting your kid into... which breaks down to 4 words:

HONOR THE BIG PICTURE.

And I'm not talking about THIS particular picture either!

Honoring the big picture breaks down into 4 main questions that need to be answered simply and directly:

1. Does a given activity benefit your child in the long run without needing a convoluted extrapolation for it to be justified?
This is pretty straightforward in my mind. If you're teaching your child to swim, the skill may save his/her life. If you're putting your child into soccer, the conditioning & teamwork skills that he/she will learn will be incredible. If you're giving your child drumming lessons, the understanding of rhythm and ambidexterity gives them tremendous advantages in learning and sports. If you're taking your kid to learn jewelry making (assuming he/she has expressed a real enthusiasm for it), you're giving him/her exposure to a means of expression that may well turn into a viable income stream. If you're bringing your 4 year old child to learn Klingon, then maybe you need to ask yourself whether or not you're trying to live vicariously.

2. Does the activity resonate with the set of core values that your family most identifies with and that will inspire your child as he/she grows into adulthood?
Traditional Chinese martial arts (as I was taught and as I teach my son) are HEAVILY imbued with ethics that cause a lot of cognitive dissonance with the convenient mores of modern American society, especially here in Los Angeles. You're taught to respect, to investigate through training, patience, and polite inquiry (rather than by "questioning" through blurting out & constantly jabbering away like an uninformed contrarian), and to appreciate that every motion has multiple layers of meaning (from the fighting applications, to the restorative value, to the political & historical context). This is exactly in line with the kind of values that are my soul's mission statement. I've fought to have this as part of my life, and I'd gladly give my life to defend my son's access to the profound strength that this gives.

3. Does the activity reinforce key lessons in the other activities that the child is into?
I could very easily create a justification for enrolling my son in a ballet class. It teaches incredible body control, precision, and discipline. The only down side to it, in my mind, is that there's a cultural aspect that he needs more exposure to understand and appreciate in the Chinese martial arts & lion dance that will teach him some body control, similar precision, and discipline, but with the added benefit of learning a cultural legacy and a tactical tool (should the need ever arise in the future).
Also, for me, as a Chinese-American, there's a bit of a cultural bias here. Squealie is enrolled in a Mandarin Chinese immersion school, I teach him a bit of traditional kung-fu at home (bouncing back & forth between Mandarin & Cantonese, depending on what style we're working on), he takes Chinese lessons on Saturdays at the "local" Buddhist temple, and he's very recently become involved with the Immortals. It's not hard to see how those activities overlap with each other.


4. Is the activity different enough that it gives the child variety without being disconnected from his/her other activities?
Considering that Squealie's also doing basketball twice or thrice a week, he gets exposure to dynamic teamwork situations, as well as throwing/jumping/sprinting movement patterns that he wouldn't get as much of in martial arts.
He also usually 2 days/week of the kids' class at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts, where the kids are taught directly by the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto himself. While the curriculum isn't focused on forms or rigid discipline, a STRONG emphasis on practical application is inculcated from day 1, and the character & attribute development that occurs in the class is undeniable. While it's non-Chinese martial arts there, it's gives him a different entry point into the same end goal as what I've been teaching him, thereby allowing him to respect and appreciate multiple approaches to the same problem.

Now for the one factor that helps tie all of this together... LOVE.

You need to love your child enough to engineer your life in such a way that you can spend time with him/her in a manner that reinforces the values that should be taught by their instructors. If you're thinking that it's enough to throw your mileage, money, and mouth behind whatever activity and don't put forth the CONSTANT MINDFUL EFFORT to provide your child with consistency, you're just as much of a problem in their life as the "bad kids" that you're hoping they avoid.

Live with ethical authenticity, and you'll lead with inspired integrity. 

The road to raising a good, anti-fragile child isn't easy and is very often fraught with frustration. But understand that the consistency you put in now is key to their understanding of discipline and strength of character in their years to come!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kettlebells, Corrective Exercise, & Honolulu - Hardstyle Hawaiian Time!

That's right, folks! It's been a LONNNNNNNG time comin', but Doc's finally coming back to Hawai'i and bringing the Power of Pavel & the Goodness of Gray along with him!


I'll be teaching my first workshops on Oahu this coming June 7th & 8th at the newly opened Fitness Ranes on Beretania in Honolulu!

1213 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96814  (808) 398-4931

But who are these workshops for?? Who can actually do them safely? Who's invited? And what will I get?

1) NEWBIES: For those who've never touched a kettlebell before, but want to see, feel, and understand the safest methods to train with this old-school Russian training tool that will get you stronger, kickstart your fat-loss safely & effectively, and training in the metabolic sweet spot while minimizing your chances of injury, this is the perfect intro.

Why? Because if there's one thing that I pride myself on, it's training people to have a solid grasp of fundamentals.

Whether you're a total beginner or a seasoned pro, the key to performance lies in safely refining the basics, and that's where Doc's delivery shines!


Instead of no pain, no gain, it's all about NO PAIN, NO PAIN when I teach!


2) KETTLEBELL INSTRUCTORS: For those of you insiders who've been following my work with the RKC/StrongFirst Hardstyle kettlebell training crew and earned your instructor certifications, don't you worry! The insights you'll gain will help you supercharge the stuff you already know & take it to the next level. Ask almost any instructor who's already attended any of my workshops, and I'll guarantee that anyone worth their salt took away far more game-changing goodies than they were expecting!



It doesn't matter if you've trained with another kettlebell certification group or not, I'm not putting people on blast. My whole goal is to give you more tools to help keep you, your clients, and/or your patients moving, feeling, looking, and performing better.

Considering that people will likely be coming from all over the islands, this could very well be the perfect networking opportunity for you as well to hook up with other trainers, physical therapists, and potential client referral sources! In addition to all of that, you get a special discount! Scroll down to see more!


3) BEACHBODY COACHES: It's been a few years since Tai Cheng has been released, but don't think I haven't heard your requests for a kettlebell training program! While Beachbody has yet to formally approach me to put one together, I've continued to teach for my personal teacher & mentor, Pavel Tsatsouline, as a Senior StrongFirst Girya SFG instructor.


In spite of the lack of a specific program in the Beachbody library, kettlebells and the "Hardstyle" training method have still attracted the attention of mega-coaches like Mike French (pictured above), who even trained hard & earned his instructor certification!

The kettlebell is the best weight-training device that I've found in my decades in the fitness, martial arts, and strength & conditioning industry. Its versatility in terms of space, variety of exercises, and benefit is damn hard to match!

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down towards the bottom of this post & register! If you're an active Beachbody coach, you just might get a nice discount off your registration!

4) PAIN MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS, REHAB DOCTORS, & PHYSICAL THERAPISTS: There's a reason why I got into kettlebells in the first place.... I was injured.

I couldn't run, I couldn't sleep through the night without pain, and I couldn't train without suffering for days afterwards. 

What changed all of that?... The methods that both Pavel & Gray Cook used to re-train my body got me back to where I could sprint right out of a seat, sleep through the night without my arms & hands going numb, and back to where I could move with power & confidence instead of the fear that the smallest movements were going to set off another injury.

The progressions we're going to go through with both the lifts and the Prehab-Rehab progressions are designed to get you moving better, feeling stronger, and suffering less. This stuff is the soul of what I do in my clinic in SoCal for everyone from the professional athletes to the person recovering from an injury post-surgery. For those of you who are medical professionals & movement therapists, this is some of my very best stuff, and I'm giving it to you!


WHAT IS DOC CHENG GONNA ACTUALLY BE TEACHING US?!?
I'm gonna be peeling back the stuff that everybody takes for granted to a level where even the most experienced look at what I'm teaching & have to stifle the urge to scream "Holy $h!#!!!!!"

Like I said before, if you understand basics, everything else is easier, safer, better, & lasts longer. So I'm kicking off Saturday with Hardstyle, High Detail & peeling back the ballistic hinge to reveal the essentials of restorative joint alignment & power production, and then changing gears to bring it down to the ground with the Secrets of Strength - The TGU Unlocked. 

Now this is way more than the workshop footage you may have seen that I did with IDEA on Kettlebell Rehab. This is breaking down what it really means to optimize, showing the value of the finer points, and re-educating your body in a way it's probably never experienced before!

"But I already know the Swing & Get-Up! Saturday is gonna be boring!"

Yeah, I thought so, too, when I went to my first RKC. As a personal student of Pavel's, I didn't think that the Swing or Turkish Get-Up would be even worth a mention as far as stress to me. Some of you may have heard that the Turkish Get-Up is one of my favorite exercises, so much so that I wrote the book (literally) for Gray Cook's Kettlebells from the Ground-Up DVD. But when I went through the RKC for the first time, a tall Danish fellow named Kenneth Jay, who was then a Senior RKC, called me out in front of the group for corrections on my Get-Up technique. Because of him giving me insights into how to look at something I took for granted for months & months, I ended up learning TONS more about the Get-Up, eventually becoming one of the world's authorities on its execution. 

If you think it's all about the high bridge, you couldn't be more mistaken!

During the Saturday session, I'll break down the TGU's 3 layers of benefit as a movement screen, a corrective exercise, and a strength & conditioning tool so that you understand how to address a multitude of people by applying a wonderful tool in a bunch of ways that are tailor-made to your audience & help you create strength that you never knew you had while improving your 1RMs!


THAT ALL SOUNDS WAY COOL! BUT WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY???

Sunday's all about Subtle Strength. Developmental sequence training is something that the badasses in the rehab, chiropractic, osteopathic, and physical therapy worlds have been paying attention to for a while now. Most of the fitness world doesn't even have this stuff on its radar yet, but it's the best kept secret in terms of low-risk, high-reward fitness & rehab training, especially when paired with the human performance GPS known as the Functional Movement Screen

This material is what forms the basis for my Prehab-Rehab 101 DVDs, which were recently released by MovementLectures.com & have been blessed by some incredible praise!



So you need to be a medical guru to attend or understand the material on Sunday? NO WAY!

This stuff is going to be taught in a language that EVERYBODY can understand. I'm not big on geek-speak. I'm big on everyone going home with as much USEFUL information as they can possibly apply successfully.

The coolest thing about the Prehab-Rehab progressions that we're going to cover on Sunday is that they're NOT just for the injured or weak, just like they're not just for the pro athletes. The progressions we'll go over are for EVERYBODY, and as soon as you see how to break them down & get the most out of them, I have no doubt that they'll become part of YOUR TRAINING sessions!

How will we measure improvement? Simple! By revisiting the lifts from Saturday, the Sunday progressions will show you how much better you move & perform. That's a built-in gauge for you to not only see how well you're doing, but a great way of communicating that benefit to your clients!

GIFTS!
OK... Now that I have your attention, people who register for BOTH Saturday & Sunday will receive a special swag bag with some of my favorite goodies inside!  EXPIRED as of 5/19/14. Since we didn't change the price for the early bird special on 4/26, we're just gonna do away with the swag bags for any registrants who are signing up between now & the workshop date.


REGISTRATION DETAILS

You can choose to come just on Saturday or Sunday, but the best value for your dollar (and your training) is going to be for both days. These are EARLY BIRD PRICES & will go up on April 26th at midnight! Once we sell out the limited number of spaces, no more will be opened. 

Why the limited number of spaces? Because I want to make sure that I get a chance to work with EVERY SINGLE PERSON during the course of the day. This isn't about me showing you a couple of cool moves & just leaving you to struggle with an assistant. I want you to leave having the experience of working DIRECTLY with me! 

Also, Fitness Ranes isn't some big-box gym where you're just one of the nameless crowd. This is a special place, and you're going to be one of the first people in there to learn some potentially life-changing stuff. So it was a big honor for me to be invited to teach there by Bruddah Chris, and I want to make this something special for all of you!

Just go to the drop-down menu of the days you want to attend and register based on your affiliation! We will be checking IDs & require proof of either RKC/StrongFirst instructor certification OR active Beachbody coach status for those of you who are planning to enjoy those discounts.

YOUR BEST VALUE - Both Saturday & Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2014


Registration options

But if you can only make it to one day, it'll be an honor to see you and a pleasure to work with you or either of these days!

Saturday, June 7, 2014 only: 12noon - 7pm


Kettlebells Fine-Tuned workshop (Saturday June 7th, 2014)


Sunday, June 8, 2014 only: 9 - 12:30pm & 1:30 - 5pm


Prehab-Rehab 101 workshop (Sunday June 8th, 2014)


I'll be looking forward to seeing you there at Fitness Ranes - 1213 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI!

Much aloha,
Doc

Sunday, December 1, 2013

No pain, no gain? How the toughness mindset can be our worst enemy in the long-run

Toughen up.

Man up.

Suck it up.

No pain, no gain.

Try harder.

Push yourself.



We've heard all of these words of "encouragement" for years. Regardless of your sport, your workout, or your occupation, there are times when the going gets tough, but the tough get going.... and oftentimes keep going past the point of health.

I spend most of my working hours in the field of clinical pain medicine. I see what goes on behind the scenes with high performers. And I see what happens when hard chargers tune out the warning lights for too long.

Pain is something we all need to learn to deal with, to control, to suppress. When you're in a life-or-death struggle, your little hangnail shouldn't be on your radar. When you're competing for an Olympic gold medal, a sore muscle or blister shouldn't be testing your commitment to giving your absolute best. When you're in the middle of fighting off an assault, you shouldn't be wallowing in the sadness of the breakup you just went through (unless it's to quickly tap into the anger that'll kickstart your offense). There are undeniably situations where forcing yourself to train through a mental block can create positive physical adaptations that improve long-term performance.

But when you're trying to sleep and diffuse, throbbing pain is robbing you of the ability to rest and recover, when you can't even bend down to pick up a child's toy without suffering sharp pain, when getting in & out of your car makes your breathing more shallow because of a twinge, when you need to use alcohol or pain killers or antidepressants or other substances just to be able to "function", something's VERY wrong.



What's the solution?

The solution is & isn't an easy one. We need to learn, apply, and constantly improve our self & contextual awareness.

Self awareness has a few fundamental components that need to be developed and habituated:

  1. Posture - Having the ability to align your body for maximum efficient power, a.k.a. joint alignment
  2. Relaxation / Engagement - Having the ability to take your muscles deeper into disengagement and maximal tension. This includes breathing, vision, and other seemingly non-athletic activities that we often take for granted and never bother to optimize.
  3. Range of motion - Being able to take your body parts through wider ranges of movement with ease and without pain


Contextual awareness deals with our ability to apply our self awareness in different situations:

  1. Load - How well do we align, engage, relax, and move (ROM) under load?
  2. Endurance - How long can we align, engage, relax, and move under a given load and for how many reps?
  3. Adaptation - How well do we align, engage, relax, and move under a given load, for how long, and for how many reps while dealing with different challenges (such as hunger, noise, emotional distraction, physical discomfort, etc.)

If we lack the contextual awareness to see that we reflexively deal with some sort of noxious stimulus (or stimuli) by unwittingly sacrificing posture, using improper relaxation/tension, or losing range of motion in certain patterns, this is where "toughness" gets in the way of health & performance.

It's great to be tough, as toughness is one of the attributes that feeds endurance. But when you start substituting stubbornness for toughness in the hunt for performance, you're actually pulling your performance ceiling lower and covering up the "check engine light" with electrical tape, so to speak. This makes finding a solution to the pain/performance paradigm more difficult.


It's a great quality to be driven to succeed. It's a fatal flaw, however, to be so committed to driving yourself (and your clients, students, etc.) "forward" that you're unable to adapt your programming in ways that honor safety as a part of performance.

Be flexible in your approach, in your programming, in your intensity, and in your mindset for the purpose of perceiving and LEARNING how to get better, safer results. Don't just slow down or speed up & expect that things will get better. Don't just use lighter weights or go heavier and expect that things will get better. Be observant and sensitive to how your body reacts to any given program, load, or challenge.



Too little stimulus, and no positive adaptation happens. Too much stimulus, and a negative compensation develops. So when you're spending time working off those pounds from the Thanksgiving weekend indulgence, make sure to listen to your body, to double and triple check your technique (and work with a skilled trainer if you're not 100% sure about proper technique), and to push the envelope of your capacity without tearing it.

Train perceptively.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Teaching Resources - The Doc Cheng list

The last few days, since making my new YouTube channel more active, I've been getting more messages from people asking for what reference material I have available.

Admittedly, I'm THE WORST when it comes to remembering what I've done. I'm always looking forward to the next multimedia project that I need to prepare for, thinking of the next workshop I need to pack for, and constantly struggling to steal minutes here & there to better my own understanding of the material that I love (which is also what I teach).



So this morning, before spending some training time with Squealie & hopefully bolting out the door to steal some time learning from Martin Wheeler, I tried to put down the most complete list of training, rehab, & educational references that I've been part of to date. 

First on the list is Tai Cheng
This program, that I put together in cooperation with Beachbody, the producers of P90X & Insanity, is the first program in their catalog that emphasized quality of movement over quantity. Instead of a "Fit Test", Tai Cheng starts with a "Function Test". Throughout the entirety of the program, movements are taught in a very precise, step-by-step fashion, leaving nothing to guesswork. Even the footwork patterns are done on a grid, allowing you to double check at every step along the way.

Additionally, I also worked in 4 basic foam rolling progressions and many of the strength, flexibility, and breathing exercises that are part & parcel of old-school Tai Chi as I was taught by my father & other masters. 

Instead of trying to come up with my own style of Tai Chi, I wanted to break down the first section of the Yang style Tai Chi large frame long form in a manner that would be digestible to western audiences who were more attuned to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata protocols. So while Carl Daikeler wanted to name the program Tai Cheng with the Cheng referring to my last name (鄭), I named the program after one of the most important achievements (also Romanized as "Cheng", but written as 成) - health. 

Next up is the Kettlebells from the Ground Up DVD series 1 & 2, which was fathered by my mentor, Gray Cook. Gray & Brett Jones appear in the first DVD, while I authored the manual. Brett, Jeff O'Connor, & I appear in the second part of the series - The Advanced Progressions.

In these DVDs, we cover the Turkish Get-Up inside out, upside down, and from every possible angle that you can think of, dispelling some of the myths behind the exercise, and giving you the peelbacks that allow you to get more benefits out of the exercise with less risk.

I've also done the Kettlebell Warrior with DragonDoor. While this footage didn't hit the market until waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay after it was shot and some of the information in there was rather dated, it's still got some of my better teaching cues for the fundamental RKC/StrongFirst kettlebell lifts and shows the carryover for martial artist & combat sports.

Also, there was the Kettlebell Rehab presentation that Doug Nepodal & I did a few years ago for IDEA Health & Fitness Association at their Los Angeles convention. We took the two fundamental lifts of Pavel Tsatsouline's Program Minimum and taught them in great detail, tying in rehab principles along the way.

There are also a few podcasts that I've done for MovementLectures.com which are available for download. Some of those also feature my brother/colleague, Dr. Jimmy Yuan. Simply go to the MovementLectures.com site & type in Cheng in the search field to find some of the talks & podcast lectures that I've been honored to be part of.

I'm sure that I'm forgetting something, and hopefully folks who've recalled some other resources that I've been part of will chime in on the comments below. In the meantime, I hope this off-the-top-of-my-head list will steer you towards some material that will do you & your clientele/patients a world of good.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans' Day, the USMC, & Arnold Schwarzenegger - A vignette

Yes, I know I haven't blogged in ages, and I promise that I'm getting back on the wagon with this. ;-) But considering that yesterday was the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and today is Veterans' Day, I wanted to share a particular experience with you.

Over the years, I've been blessed to meet & work with a lot of really cool people. If you've followed me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you have an idea of what I'm talking about. It's a crazy life for the child of immigrant Chinese from rural Delaware, and there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't shake my head in wonder, tripping out on how life has turned out for me.

Thanks to one of my dear friends, I was fortunate enough to bring my son to meet Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the unveiling of his latest Muscle & Fitness cover on Venice's legendary Muscle Beach.


While we were waiting in line, there was a young Marine standing right behind us who'd just come back from deployment. I spoke with the young man about his experiences overseas, and he was telling us that meeting Arnold was one of the most momentous experiences of his life. He went on to talk about how Schwarzenegger's story motivated him and inspired him through some of the most difficult parts of his tour of duty. Holding an older digital camera, the young Marine asked if I'd take a picture for him when he got to meet Arnold, to which I gladly agreed.

When Squealie & I had just finished taking the pic above, the Fire Marshall and crowd control quickly shooed us out. I looked back at the young Marine with regret & disappointment at not being able to take the picture for him. 

I'd found out later that thanks to Gov. Schwarzenegger's right hand man, Daniel Ketchell, the young Marine was indeed able to meet his hero and snap a pic with him... much to my relief. While that certainly put a smile on my face, Ketchell later told me that Schwarzenegger then took the time to handwrite a note of personal thanks to the young Marine in appreciation for his service to our country.

That left tears of pride and joy streaming down my cheeks. 

Veterans, you are the front line of a fight that makes our way of life possible. As I count my family's blessing on a daily basis, I count you among them.