Archive for February, 2012

The Kobayashi Maru…

Posted in Articles on February 28, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

What? Are you serious? You’ve never heard of The Kobayashi Maru.

What next your gonna tell me you’re unfamiliar with the Gordian Knot?

Well if you’er not familiar with the name I’m going to have to explain it to you or this whole post might go over your head. The Kobayashi Maru is a Test. Actually scratch that, The Kobayashi Maru is THE TEST. if we all think back to what we learned from Billy the Kid in Young Guns, “You have to test yourself every day, gentlemen. Once you stop testing yourself, you get slow. And when that happens they kill ya…” Billy was wise beyond his years. But not wise enough to not show his back to someone he couldn’t trust. But what he said about Testing yourself is true.

Now as I said, The Kobayashi Maru is THE TEST. The big one. Well at least the reference should apply to whatever you Test or Task you may be placing before yourself.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this Test, it’s actually from Star Trek. If you rolled your eyes when you read that move your keyboard or labtop forward and take a pen. With that pen draw an X on your table. Look at it really hard. I mean until you feel cross eyed. Then slam your face down hard. Because you deserve that.

Star Trek was Rad son. Captain Kirk was a Bad ass that wondered the galaxy picking up more hot alien chicks then guys that got blasted wearing red uniforms. If you don’t like Kirk you probably don’t like Han Solo either, which means you’re not much of a scoundrel and Testing yourself is something you only do through Words with Friends. Another trip to that X on your desk is probably called for right now.

We’re talking original outlaws here, real OG’s. You gotta give Star Trek it’s props.

I’m getting off topic. The Kobayashi Maru was a Star Fleet Test. The objective was simple. A civilian ship called The Kobayashi Maru was disabled in the Klingon Neutral Zone. The ship was sending out a MAYDAY call. Now any Starfleet ship entering the zone would be in violation of the Organian Peace Treaty. The Test called for the ship under the command of the cadet captain being Tested to decide whether he should give the order and attempt the rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew. Now the test involved being knowingly outnumbered by Klingon Birds of Prey. Giving the order and attempting the rescue pretty much lead to certain death. But by not giving the order, death was certain for the crew of the Kobayashi Maru.

In all the years the Test had been in place no one had successfully rescued the crew of the Kobayashi Maru. It was considered a fouls errand to retake the test after failing it. Everyone failed the Kobayashi Maru.

Quite simply put, the Kobayashi Maru was designed to place cadet captains in a place where no matter what they did it wasn’t enough, to accept fear, to acknowledge that there were somethings out of your hands. The Kobayashi Maru was a No-Win Situation, it’s that simple.

Unless if you don’t accept that.

Somethings should stick out in your mind through cinema history.The finally chase scene in last of the mochians. Bodhi telling Johnny Utah that he was “Just waiting for my Set…” And when Captain James T. Kirk told it how it was.

Kirk was the only Cadet in history to pass the Kobayashi Maru. It was impossible but he pulled it off.

And how?

Simple, when asked Kirk dropped some knowledge that would would stick with my at any point in my life when I was Testing myself. “I don’t Believe in a No-Win Scenario…” Gangster.

But how did he do it? Outside the box thinking that’s how. He did what no one else every did.

He Cheated. Hello, I compared him to Han Solo, Scoundrel anyone? Kirk wouldn’t accept the No-Win Situation so he rewired the test simulator so he could Win. Cause that’s what winners do when the game is on the line. They want the ball.

So what does the Kobayashi Maru have to do with today post, everything. My own personal Test has been much more simple as of late. I’m trying to do good by all those that follow what the I/C does and at the same time I’m trying to spread the good word of Kettlebell Sport. It’s funny because everywhere the Club goes to compete or I go to Coach we’re meet almost as outsiders. At Crossfit competitions, we’re looked at as kettlebellers. At Kettlebell meets we’re looked at as crossfitters. And don’t even get me started on Olympic Meets. We had more exceptance at the one powerlifting meet I coached at then at the Oly Meets we’ve attended.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder but Elitism isn’t a good thing. I’ve been involved in odd sports my whole life. Martial arts to wrestling, wrestling to rugby, rugby to god know the laundry list of shit I’ve been up to the last 5 years. But pretty much all of my sports had low attendance factors. People didn’t usually want to come watch that shit. But when they did it was awesome. When people wanted to talk to you about and get to know more about what exactly it was you did it was fun.

So what the fuck happen to enjoying people taking an interest in your Sport. I’m not talking about everyone. Every community has good apples and bad ones. But when the bad ones chose to act like elitist that’s when I get pissed (Ok maybe a small chip on my shoulder.)

You know a lot of people like to throw stones at the elitism that some crossfitters put out. Now I crossfit but I wouldn’t consider myself a die heart anymore. But the funny thing about it is a lot of sports wouldn’t be seeing a resurgence if it wasn’t for Crossfit. Like I said currently I’m busting my ass off to grow a following for the Sport of Kettlebell lifting. And where am I seeing the most acceptance? In the Crossfit community. Why? Because they open up to new ideas and forms of training.

So one side is starting to want to play ball. But some from the other side don’t want that. Uuuuhhhh… What?
Great now your elistism is gonna effect their elitism. Now what. Now we’re in a god damn No-Win scenario where both camps are gonna think theyre better then the other.

I don’t believe in No-Win situations.

We’re gonna keep grinding. The Clubs gonna keep doing what it does. If people don’t like it, than the hell with them. Too heavy, too light, why this, why that, too much kettlebells or not enough. Heres what I say, Fucking Enough.

The Clubs going to continue to be an ambassador for multiple sports in every arena we enter. We’ll carry our flag every where we go. We’re gonna wave it as high we can, and when we wrecks shit with classic I/C Swagger people will know where to find us.

I’m not gonna let infighting or elitism cause a No-Win scenario. Becasue I don’t believe in those. If that makes me a scoundrel then I guess I’m never going to change my outlaw ways.

Posted by: Z

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“The number of the truck that ran over your face”

Posted in Athletes on February 26, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

I was going to write an in-depth analysis of the benefits of weighted step-up and how it should be incorporated into all workouts but the Oscars are on and as a huge movie geek I have been watching coverage for amount nine hours. Time for Plan B. Let’s celebrate a hometown kid done good, Benson Henderson the new UFC lightweight champion of the world.

Henderson hails from Federal Way and began the path to the top as a member of the Decatur Gators wrestling squad. Moving on to Dana College, he was a two time NAIA All American. Henderson transitioned to the MMA scene and has not looked back. If you want to get into watching MMA I recommend you watch a Ben Henderson fight. I do not believe it is possible for him to be a boring fight. He doesn’t get tired, he does not fear submissions (hell he puts himself in positions other fighters wouldn’t dream of because of this), and he looks to finish fights. He riles up the crowd in between rounds , whipping them into a frenzy and than feeds off it.

On Saturday, Henderson went against Filer Family enemy Frankie Edgar for the title. Ben Henderson beat the crap out of Edgar, landing more strikes significant strikes in every round but one in taking the strap. He hit with punches, thundering body kicks, chokes, he even threw a fucking enziguri kick which would have killed Edgar if he wasn’t a midget and kick missed him. Anyone who thinks that Frankie won the fight, look at his face and think how bad his face is going hurt on the flight back from Japan.

And now a humble kid from the Way with a million dollar smile is the Champion of the World, not too bad.

Posted by Nickay

“This is the really real world”

Posted in Articles on February 23, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

With the start of 10th Caliber Cycle this Monday, I should be feeling a lot of different emotions but I am feeling one that I should not be feeling, worried.

The other day in the gym I had a premonition. It was straight out of the Dead Zone…you don’t know the Dead Zone? The Stephen King novel, they made a movie about it with Chris Walken, it was a TV show on USA for 3 years, still nothing. Anyway, the main character has a special power , whenever he touches someone or something he gets a peek into the pending future of the person or people associated with the item. Well when I touched the squat bar, I saw into it’s futue for this upcoming cycle and I was concerned of what I saw. I saw the bar burying people, I saw the bar humiliating people, the bar was able to make a throne of skulls from the fallen. And what caused their horrific future, lack of respect.

I have been seeing this lack of respect in the gym for the last couple of weeks. I know all the excuses; it’s deloading, I just need my body to heal a little more, I’ve done a couple cycles, we haven’t done heavy squats in a while. You need to take those excuses, bundle them into a ball, and throw it into the fucking ocean. This is a wake up call people.

Cycles are not easy people. They are grueling even when you take them seriously. Yesterday was a dress rehearsal boys and girls for this Cycle. I nearly burst the blood vessels in my eyes yesterday. Why? Because it was hard and guess what? That’s what this Cycle is going to be…. multiple times a week. This Cycle is based around Russian volume training and kettlebelling, the time to dial in on your form is not next week, it was this week. And if your form is not dialed in right now you better hope it you get it dialed in in real quick otherwise or you’re not going to make it. This Cycle is going to tax your body and if your shit is not in order your body is going to tell you to fuck off and shut down. Plain and simple.

It didn’t just chose the title of today’s post by picking a cool movie quote, I chose it because it applies to this conversation. Play times over boys and girls, lets get to work.

“Breath Dog, Breath…”

Posted in Competition on February 19, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Well it’s about time I sat down and got some work done on here.

This last weekend marked a special occasion. The I/C not only traveled back over the wall(how we in the P.N.Dub like to refer to going to Canada), but we traveled over in numbers. I have always enjoyed my trips to Canada and have found that we have large Club support group up there. It’s nice to be able to just get away sometimes. Coaching pretty much runs my life when I’m in the States, and even though all my trips over the border have been work related the time away never seemed to seem much like work.

Sadly with the Crossfit Open kicking off today and that train rolling right into the Clubs kettlebell season I’m not sure when I’ll get another chance to make a trip to the Great White North. 

So a few months back when the idea of running a Kettlebell Meet in the North Vancouver area was brought to me I gladly jumped at it. The idea of a meet was brought to me by an athlete named Jodi who runs a gym in the North vancouver area that I was doing some private online Coaching for. Jodi is planning on trying to rank her CMS in the coming season and felt a warm up Meet would be a great way to test out her new skills.

Aside from the fact that I love lining up competitions for my Team this Meet ment more to me then that. I’m not alone in trying to bring Kettlebell Sport more main stream. There are a whole lot of others out there trying to get more people involved. I just happen to the opportunity that some don’t. I’m not simply a kettlebeller. I love the Sport don’t get me wrong. But do I solely train kettlebells? No. Does my program solely train kettlebells? No.

No, we are a hybrid program. And we use our love of kettlebells to better ourselves in all areas. Be it Crossfit competition, weight lifting you name it we use Bells to better ourselves for it. It’s a labor of love trying to get the Crossfit community more then any other involved in Kettlebell Sport.

But our goal with this Meet was to expose local area gyms to what we loved. The Club traveled from Seattle to North vancouver. We had 8 athletes make the trip to compete. We had 3 Judges make the trip as well. All of the Clubs athletes payed a fee to compete. All of the Club judges spent the day there to support the growth of the sport.

All of the Proceed from the Event went to Jodi Boates Athletics and Crossfit North Vancouver. The Club took no money for setting up and running the event. The goal was for our two Canadian friends gyms to take the money raised and get kettlebells for their gyms. I take pride in knowing that the I/C is doing what it can as little or small as it is to support the growth of Kettlebell Sport.

What I’m also proud of is the performance put on by the Old Country athletes  that went to represent the I/C.

The first person I’ll mention may not have found herself ontop of the podium this weekend but found another level in her game. Jamie is one of my Kettlebell Girls. Don’t get yourself wrong shes still a stud Crossfitter but she has defiantly  found the tenacity in herself to excel at both Sports. Jamie made the trip with the competition Team this last November  to take place in the IKFF Nationals for Kettlebell Sport. She achieved the Rank of Candidate for Master of Sport there and has been debating how to go about seeking her next goal of Master of Sport(well maybe she hasn’t but I’ve been planning it for her). So When we decided that two of the events for the Total would be 5 minute unlimited hand switch sets I decided it was time for her to use the 53# Bell for her Jerks.

Jamie proved she was up to the task putting the bell over her head 61 times in her first Sport experience with a 24kg Bell. This wouldn’t put Jaime in first place for total points. Yes, she could have earned more with a lighter bell, but she has now been there with that bell. And I’m sure she set up what will be great run at her Master of Sport rank in the Long Cycle with the 53 when the  Kettlebell season rolls back around. I say Jamie walked away with the Swagger Award of the Meet.

With that  said lets talk about the Champions of the Day!!!

You can use the word “Dark Horse” loosely sometimes. And when you talk about the Clubs very own Michelle Beckman that loosely term applies. Chelle is a powerhouse athlete. I’ve seen her rep out squat ladders that went 2, 4, 6 and then 7 at 225 pounds. The girl can move weight. She hardly every complains, always asks “smart” questions and loves to do the prowler for some damn reason.

What Chelle also did this weekend was GO TO TOWN on the 44# kettlebell. In her first every time on the platform she performed 95 jerks in 5 minutes. She would rock the same weight in the half snatch and be like a bull in a china shop while she stomped the 5 minute Long Cycle/Farmers Walk event. She did everything she was told to do and found herself taking first place in her first outting in a Kettlebell Sport inspired event, I was very proud of her.

And to keep a run on the “Bull in a China Shop” theme you have my brother Nickay. Nickays barrel chest and coors light hat arent the usually in the Kettlebell Sport world. Nickay is also not know for being the most “technical” of lifters. Nickay is a piledriver. He is gonna get the job done one way or another. But apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks. The Nickay that showed up this last saturday was cool and calculated. Two words I never thought I’d apply to Nick if he wasn’t in a court room(thats right bitches not only is he a horse but he’s smart as fuck too) performing his day job as a lawyer.

Nickay put on a clinic, one that I was very proud to watch. He represented the Club and our methods outstandingly. He took the 70# kettlebell for a ride over his head a 105 times and went over a 100 in the half snatch with the 53 as well. He
took 1st in both events and then sealed the sweep taking the top score in the 5 minute Long Cycle/Farmers walk ladder. I’m proud of you brotha, we’re gonna tack some rankings behind your name come kettlebell season.

The event was great. Athletes from different areas and experiences came together to compete and move iron. Their friends came to support them and watch what exactly was going at a “Hybrid KettleBell Meet.” I don’t know when the wind will blow me back over the border. With the schedule I keep events like this seem to get further far and between. I do know that when I do find myself up north that there is always a place for me and the Club.

Thanks for hosting us guys, hope the new kettlebells treat you well.

Posted by: Z

“Now, Do you Believe in Rock and Roll…”

Posted in Articles on February 16, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

No Rant or indepth post today. Today we’re saying goodbye in our own way.

Pals

Posted By: Z |:|:|:

“Let this be our Final Battle!!!”

Posted in Competition on February 14, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

In honor of this weekends first I/C Kettlebell Total, I decided a little premeet hype was in order…

How else to do top Heman and Skeletor? Why with Kettlebell legends Sergey Rachinskiy & Denis Vasiliev going head to head in a 40kg Strong Sport set.

Game…

Posted by: Z

“So what do you need? Besides a miracle….”

Posted in Articles on February 12, 2012 by oldcountrystrong

Big things on the horizon for the I/C…

We are a week and a half out from the kick off of the official Crossfit Games Season starting with the world wide online Open. A large number of the Clubs Competition Team will be taking place in this years Open along with a number of those using the Program outside of our Seattle home base.

To all those that will be participating this year representing the Red, Black and Grey we’re rooting for you.

BUT…. The great thing about Old Country is we aren’t simply a Crossfit program. We arent a program that slows down because some of those involved are in season. What about those not competing in this year Games Season? What about our Raw Strength athletes? What becomes of our Hybrid Kettlebell monsters? And who will tend to the flock of Badasses that turn to the Club to produce a program that fits their needs?

Well they should feel like a kid coming up on Christmas….

What am I talking about? Squats… Lots Of SQUATS…

We are two weeks out from a fuckin milestone for the Club and anyone who has endured the pain of brute force training.

Who is Ready for Caliber Cycle in its 10th Edition

February 27th we will be pulling out all the stops. We talking about some gritty back to basic training. Well “Basic” if you have happened to reside in the former USSR. Once again as we have  in the past the Clubs going Russian. Which mean one thing… Volume Training.

Maybe you’ve survived Russian Volume Training before. Let me tell you it’s nothing like where we’re going next. Unless you get up in the morning and see this guy in the mirror. Chances are your gonna need Vodka, Milk and Pickle juice to come out the other side on this one. We are talking about the same kinda Volume Training that put Big Johnny Winters Front Squat up to 425 in six weeks. Going up Fifty pounds in 6 weeks is ridiculous.  The man almost locked out 445 that same night mind you. But we arent going out front with our squats this time, oh no. We’re looking to super charge the engine. We’re placing that bar back on our backs and digging in.

Four weeks of Squatting THREE TIMES a week folk. Follow that up with a weekly triple dose of I/C style Kettlebell training and Complexes and nobody is knocking your gloves down. (Click Here)

Shit will get real my friends. To take place in this Cycle come Febraury 27th make sure to have a current Max on the Squat AND Zercher Squat to percentage of for the four week loading phase.
Zercher Squat Huh?
Well it wouldn’t be a Solid Iron Club Cycle with out bucking the Tiger on tradition somehow right?

Mark your Calendars cause there isn’t time to play catch up on this one folks. To any of our out of State or Country Iron Club faithful feel free to email me at oldcountrystrong@gmail.com with questions leading up to this installment.

Who’s Ready?

Posted by: Z