Anytime you hang out with Laree, it is a great weekend…

Just back from the “Perform Better Three Day Functional Training Summit.” Laree Draper, my fine editor, organized everything for me and I came away very happy. First, Chris Poirier puts on a first class event and there were 650 participants. It was nice to run into a bunch of people from the RKC community and a variety of people that I have met here and there in the past.

I finally met Mike Boyle. As some of you may remember, I made a note a while ago that I was reading, and impressed, by Mike’s new book. Well, I got an odd email that I “must like the smell of Mike’s farts, too.” For the record, I still haven’t smelled one and, well, I guess I will just have to wait. Mike’s presentation was fabulous and I can see why people listen to him. He really unpacked a lot of the mystery of warm ups and convinced me with logic and research to bring static stretching back into my work. Now, I have been doing it, lots of it, but I like his approach:

  1. Roll
  2. Static Stretch
  3. Mobility Work

I will see if we can add it to our group meetings.

I hadn’t seen Josh Henkin in a while and his sandbag and strength workshop was a nice way to see someone understand that piling more and more is not always a good solution. He had some excellent ideas about insuring that when you add this and this to a movement, you have to back off on something else. A rare voice in the field!

I really did luck out with Stuart McGill. Stuart is the go to guy on lower back stuff. In fact, he is amazing. I love his balance about something that is controversial, he gives the right answer: “It depends.” After his session, we both sat down to work in a quiet room and got kicked out for something. So, we just sat and started to talk. I asked him if it was possible, as I assert, that I blew my stomach out squatting heavy. He pondered then had me stand up and he checked. Well, I was right, I have a condition (like a pregnant woman!) called diastisis. So, quick picking on my about my beer belly, it is a condition! It is going to take a little while to fix, but at least I know the route.

He also gave me some excellent insights into my hip issue. It seems I have a “Scottish Hip.” The leg moves square across with my ancestors and it is the reason I was off the charts in Quarter Squats and very average in deep squats. Saying this, it is also the reason I popped my left hip. Stuart, like many others over the weekend, gave me some great ideas to work with it. I have that dreaded “Gluteal Amnesia” in my left butt cheek, but he had me hinge over, put my hands outside my knees, squeeze out, THEN fire the butt. In just 24 hours, I seem to have much better control here. More on my butt later (lucky you)…

Also at the clinic was current American Record Holder in the discus, Suzy Powell. We had never met, but we had a ton in common, go figure. I was very interested in some of the things she tried through her career and, my dear friends, it was amazing to talk to her. Her AR throw, on the web somewhere, has lots of little tricks from the martial arts traditions, that are easily missed. I am going to give a few of her ideas a real run. There is a lot of things out there to consider in sport and when you get it right, things go well.

So well, you stop doing them!

I also got a chance to meet John Brookfield. Considering his physical feats, he is a fairly normal looking guy. Then, of course, he took a 20 foot piece of steel and twisted it so it could fit in a Federal Express package. Normal is not what it seems!

If you get a chance, look at the work of Robert Yang. I think he nailed it in the nutrition talk and it reminded me of the importance of priobiotics (or whatever, the stuff you get that is fermented and good for digestion…like kimshee) and the real need to think about foods you crave.  Look him up on the web.

Thomas Plummer did a very interesting talk. He took the top points from many fitness experts and laid it out for the audience. Becoming famous in this field is about passion and integrity AND not being a generalist. His energy and sense of humor really made a great talk. If he is talking, go and listen.

Finally, I met Gray Cook. This guy is as amazing as Brett Jones has told me. He worked on Laree and me (damn hip!) and just amazed us both with his assessments and manual work. The guy is not only dynamic and brilliant, but just a great hands on clinician, too. For all of you, do High Kneeling Haloes. Yes, Dan Martin…you will be doing this. If you don’t know, ask.

So, I’m tired and stinky and learned a lot…

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