I was traveling down from North Jersey a couple of Thursdays ago along the NJ Turnpike on my way to the Pavel/Dan John seminar, thinking lots of thoughts. (Some of them I’ll keep to myself, thank-you-very-much.) I had spent the afternoon talking shop with my coach, Alfonso, and then stopped in to see Zach Even-esh and grabbed a couple of slices of pizza. (By the way, there is no better pizza in the world than Jersey pizza…)
Both Al and Zach have different methods – much different methods actually, but one things for sure, they both get results with their clients. And so does everything that gets put out by Pavel and the other various Dragon Door authors. But the key is, you really have to use what you have in front of you.
I don’t know about you, but I am, or at least used to be, distracted by bright, shiny things – the latest new workout techniques, rep and set schemes and loading parameters, and especially anything with the words “Russian,” “Soviet,” or “Bulgarian” attached to them. (Know what I mean…?)
But lately, things have been different.
I’ve narrowed my strength training focus. I’m really focused on packing on muscle and strength simultaneously. Yes, I’m still focused on the Olympic lifting, but at a heavier weight with better (and proven) leverage to lift the bigger weights. But in those training sessions, especially with the pulling and the squatting, I’m focused on pretty much one particular area.
My midsection. Or, more particularly, my abs. I used to lock down my thoracic spine and hold the air in my lungs and chest. Not a good strategy for lumbar spine health. But I used to brace my abs hard on all my pulling and squatting. And guess what? I got pretty good and strong from doing it.
I’ve been re-reading Power To The People! lately. (If you don’t have it, shame on you. You’re a bad person and I know you probably kill kittens in your spare time. Really… Kidding…) Just this morning while waiting for an appointment I was reading the entire section on the abdominals and “power breathing” for strength amplification (p.60-67).
It really hit home because, as I mentioned, I’ve really been focusing on this area in my own training. And my numbers have been going up every week on my lifts. Like clockwork. Might be something to that…
So, if you’ve been slogging your way through your kettlebell workouts, but haven’t been seeing any noticeable improvement recently, why don’t you change just one thing – only one.
You might be tempted to change your kettlebell workout altogether. Don’t. Change your focus to your breathing, more specifically, breathing into your abdomen and the connection between your abs, your breathing and your strength. (Don’t know what that connection is, find it on pages 60-67 in Power to the People!)
Then, like me, you’ll start to see your numbers, and more importantly, your results, improve once again.