Fat Loss Happens on Monday, book with Josh Hillis

A few years ago, I wrote a blog about my good friend, Josh Hillis, and his program “System Six.” I had been asked to teach an “All Girls” weightlifting class and I was a little unready. I got calls from moms worried that I would make their daughters “all muscley.” Oh, yes, that happens all the time: someone trains and ends up looking like an elite female bodybuilder. It might take up to two weeks to look like that! (Sarcasm. It’s not just for breakfast).

Josh shared with me “System Six” and as I read it, I realized that, frankly, I knew nothing. The idea of easy workouts and food prep as a Hard Day (!!!!!) just amazed me. So, I decided…when Josh talks, I lean in and listen.

When I asked him later about publishing it, he was certain it would be too hard to do. Laree Draper came to the rescue and she came up with an idea for the the two of us to co-author a book.

The other day, it arrived. I was stunned by the depth of it. You see, as you go through the editing process, you begin to get lost in things like “there/their” and “to/two/too.” This book, in its finished form, is a joy. Again, NO ONE seems to grasp the simple message of fat loss that Josh offers, but, you know, he is right. I acknowledge him as my master when it comes this part of fitness.

As always, Laree’s products “overdeliver.” My job in the project was to discuss some of the issues related to fat loss and I am very proud of especially that first chapter. Laree notes that the audio version picks up a lot of the emotion that seems to walk with this journey.

On Target Publishing is quickly becoming the place where the best and brightest of the fitness industry come to publish. The whole category is worth your time, but find the new book here.

Here is what I said about Josh maybe six years ago now:

I’m not sure how you get it and the product isn’t finished yet, but Josh Hillis knocked it out of the park with his new six part system on fat loss. I spent time with Josh in November (I think) and I came away with lots of insights about fat loss. Josh has discovered that its own best clients (those who got their body fat down to “rockstar” levels and, more important, kept it there) didn’t necessarily work harder…

And, you should think about that. What held body fat down (and superb athletic performance up, by the way) isn’t smashing your face against the wall. Yes, there is hard work, but more important is “smart work.” Josh discovered that his best people had a basic level of strength. As I tell everyone, after I heard Brett Jones say it, absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is what you can put in the glass. If you have a thimble of strength, you can’t make a single bad nutritional choice to stay ahead of fat gain. If you have a barrel of strength, you can make a few more mistakes!

Josh’s new program is unique…no question about that. He uses two simple tools to measure that you are staying on track and one of them is simply some strength tests (and so is the other, really). He also advocates a food journal, of course, as this is Josh’s signature in this community: Have a food journal! But, as I discovered with my personal trainer, Buddy Walker, you need someone to help you hold yourself accountable to it. It’s a game changer for me, by the way.

There is more. I was honored to be credited by Josh for one of his ideas and I think the idea works seamlessly with his other five. If fat loss can be made simpler, well, I want to see it. It is an amazingly simple toolkit and it is not filled with gimmicks. It is real. It is simple. It is true.

Josh has three pdfs with the program and the workouts are very good. I took his advice and eased off a bit on some things and, well, I am following his advice here. The workouts are very good and the videos are funny and informative.

I like Josh. I have always liked him. His influence on me might not be noticed by many, but simply count the number of times I reference him in a typical workshop (a lot!).

System Six is a game changer. It is very good and I am going to be stealing these ideas for a long time.

Get it here: Fat Loss Happens on Monday

Intervention, the book

Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer

You have two choices:

  •  Be lucky enough in middle school, junior high or high school to be taught basic body movements and step-by-step instructions in the Olympic lifts, powerlifting, mobility, flexibility, kettlebell training & tumbling
  • Apply Intervention

For most of us, it’s option two.

Five Principles

Here are the answers, but the questions are the real keys–

  1. Strength training for lean body mass and joint mobility work trump everything else.
  2. Fundamental human movements are… fundamental.
  3. Standards and gaps must be constantly assessed.
  4. The notion of ‘park bench’ and ‘bus bench’ workouts must be applied throughout the training lifetime.
  5. Constantly strive for mastery and grace.


Continue reading

Gray Cook, Dan John & Lee Burton Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums DVD…Ready to Ship!!!

This past year, I have talked with Gray dozens of times trying to hone our vision of taking our initial assessments then seeing if they “hold” over load and movement. At the Perform Better Summits, we practiced our craft and refined our message until we were able, under Laree’s guidance, to film the ideas at Long Beach.

It’s here, finally. The DVD….and it is loaded with stuff.

There is a ton of information and it ships right away.

Get it here.

As usual, with an OTP product, you get tons of extras:

  • Video Duration: 131 Minutes, 2 discs, includes—
    Live workshop video
    Drill Progressions PDF
    Workshop presentation slides
    PDFs of the lecture transcripts
    MP3 audio files of the lectures
    Dan’s Goblet Squat Instruction PDF
    Bonus lectures from movementlectures.com

If you don’t know about Loaded Carries…really?…here is some information:

Loaded Carries

There’s something I’ve discovered that does more to expand athletic qualities than any other single thing I have attempted in my career as coach and athlete.

There is no question that tapping into the right movement can radically change an athlete. Famously, I went from 162 pounds to 202 pounds bodyweight in four months when Dick Notmeyer graciously insisted that I squat deep and often. Even though I was stronger in the bench press than most mortals, my lack of squatting kept my bodyweight in a range more appropriate for a skier rather than a discus thrower.

A few years ago, I worked with Ted. Now, Ted’s issue was interesting: he was a fairly solid powerlifter (Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift) and very good at the two Olympic lifts, the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. In other words, folks, he was not a wannabee, a beginner, a neophyte, nor a internet warrior. Ted was the real deal

When he came to visit with me for a week, there wasn’t a ton of stuff I could help him with in the weight room. A point here and an idea there and I was pretty much finished. So, being finished, we went outside to what some people used to call a “finisher.”

“Would you rather do carries, walks or sleds?,” I asked.

“I have never done any of that kind of thing.”

Good. I thought. I can help. Within seconds of his first attempt with the Farmer Bars weighing 105 pounds a piece, he was a stumbling drunk. Of course, in a few hours after several drinks and lots of discussion, we both would be that way. He could pull hundreds of pounds off the floor, but didn’t have the stability, the cross strength, to handle more than a few feet with the bars. We tried a heavy carry with him and he was gasping for breath from being choked by having to squeeze the 150 pound bag and move around. Literally, his human “inner tube” had almost no range past five seconds.

Yeah, I can help.

A few weeks later, I get “that” call: “Dan, you’re a genius (Humbled Coach blushes, but nods knowingly). My deadlift has gone up (low 500s to high 500s) and I am just thicker all over.”

I’m not surprised: again, in my career NOTHING has been a game changer liked “Loaded Carries” in my coaching toolbox.
I break the carries out into three (actually four, but you will see the point) categories:

    Weights in the Hand.

These are the simplest and most recognized: simply, grab a dumbbell and kettlebell and walk away.

The One Handed Carries:
Waiter’s Walk: the weight is held with a straight arm overhead like a European waiter in a café. This is usually the lightest of the carries and does wonders for shoulders.

Suitcase Walk: Like moving through the airport, grab the weight in one hand like a suitcase and walk. The obliques on the other side of the weight will want to have a discussion with you the next day.

Rack Walk: Usually done with Kettlebells, hold the bell in the racked position which is the weight on the chest, like a clean. This is a fairly remedial move but it can teach an athlete about how the abs work.

Two Handed Carries:
The Press Walk: this is simply a Double Waiter’s Walk but the bells take on lives of themselves as you move. Do NOT do this to failure, it looks dangerous because, well, it is dangerous.

Farmers Walks: The King of Carries. Go as heavy as you can with bells in both hands like a Double Suitcase Carry. This can be done really heavy or for great distance. My favorite variation is really heavy for a great distance.

Double Rack Walk: Again, a learning move, but it is a great way to teach the athlete to breath under stress.

Cross Walk: Waiter’s Walk in one hand while doing the Farmers Walk in the other. It’s a very interesting way to teach the athlete to lock down the midsection during movement.

Bags

This group includes backpacks, sandbags, or weighted vests. Personally, I prefer still the old duffle bag or field pack. Go to any grocery store and buy either water softener salt or salt for deicing. For about five to ten dollars, you can get 150 pounds of salt. Sand works better in many situations, but I always used the deicer on the driveway during the winter which served the dual purpose of training and safety.

The basic bag carries are simple: Really it comes down to either “backpacking” or holding the weight over the shoulders like a squat or bear hugging the weight. The backpack or vest set up is ideal as it leaves your hands free.

Bear hugging is a great training tool as the weight is not unlike Zercher Squats so the internal pressure is building, the breath is choked off by the weight on the chest and squeezing this hard to just hold it is adding to all the problems. All in all, just nothing but fun.

Sleds

I also include pushing cars, going up hills (forwards and backwards), and all the various new pushing devices available in good gyms now.

It’s simple: hook up a sled either with a harness or weight belt and tow it away.

Each of these moves works well alone. Combining them makes them worthy of note. Farmers Walks with 105 pounds in each hand with a 150 pound backpack and dragging a sled is one of the most difficult things I have done in my life. Obviously, some combinations don’t work as well as others (Crosswalks and Overhead Walks of any kind are usually epic failures when combined with something else).

Let me give you a typical training week example of how we sneak in Loaded Carries. This is currently what we are doing at my gym:
Monday

Naked Get Ups
15 Swings/5 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (RKD)
15 Swings/4 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Right
15 Swings/3 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Naked Get Ups
15 Swings/2 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (LKD)
15 Swings/I Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Left”
Subtotal:
Hinge: 75
Squat: 15

Two Times
25 Pelvic Tilt
5 Double Kettlebell Front Squats
15 Swings
Mini-Band Walk
Farmer Walk

Pull Ups: 3-2-2-2-1
One Arm Press: 1-1-1-1-1

Two Rounds of
TRX T x 25
Ab Wheel x 5

25 Pelvic Tilt
10 Swings plus 5/4/3/2/1/ Goblet Squats

Push: 5
Pull: 60
Hinge: 230
Squat: 40
Two Loaded Carry Variations
Four Sixth Movements

Tuesday

Naked Get Ups
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/5 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (RKD)
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/4 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Right
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/3 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Naked Get Ups
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/2 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (LKD)
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/I Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Left”
Subtotal:
Hinge: 125
Squat: 15

Three Circuits:

8 x T-Y-I Row
5 Ab Wheel Roll Out
Hip Rip R/L

Pull Ups: 3-3-2-2-1
One Arm Press: 2-1-1-1-1

Three Circuits
TRX Biceps Curl x 15
TRX Triceps Extension x 15

Bear Crawl-Bear Hug with Judy x 2

Push: 6 (45 Extensions)
Pull: 83
Hinge: 125
Squat: 15
Loaded Carry: Two Variations
Four Sixth Movements

Thursday

Naked Get Ups
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/5 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (RKD)
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/4 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Right
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/3 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Naked Get Ups
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/2 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (LKD)
Hip Thrusts x 10/15 Swings/I Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Left”
Subtotal:
Hinge: 125
Squat: 15

Pull Ups: 3-3-3-2-1
One Arm Press: 2-2-1-1-1

Double KB Press
2-3-5-10 (Finish all twenty reps before moving on to the Hip Thrusts)
Between sets do Rocks, Hip Flexor Stretch and be a general nuisance
Hip Thrust x 25
Goblet Squat x 10
Suitcase Carry
Three Total Rounds. Round One: Light Double Presses. Round Two: Heavy Double Presses. Round Three: Medium Double Press

Push: 67
Pull: 12
Hinge: 200
Squat: 45
Loaded Carry: One Variation
Four Sixth Movements

Friday
Naked Get Ups
15 Swings/5 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (RKD)
15 Swings/4 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Right
15 Swings/3 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Naked Get Ups
15 Swings/2 Goblet Squat/March in Place
Stoney Stretch (LKD)
15 Swings/I Goblet Squat/March in Place
Windmill Stick “Look Left”
Subtotal:
Hinge: 75
Squat: 15

Pull Ups: 1-1-1
One Arm Press: 1-1-1

Mini-Band Walk with Black
Double KB Front Squat x 3
Waiter Walk
Double KB Front Squat x 3
Farmer Walk
Double KB Front Squat x 3
Light Bag Carry
Double KB Front Squat x 3
Medium Bag Carry
Double KB Front Squat x 3
Heavy Bag Carry
Double KB Front Squat x 3

Two Rounds
TRX Triceps Extension x 15
TRX Biceps Curls x 15
KB French Press x 15
Barbell Curls x 15

Push: 3 (plus 30 Extensions)
Pull: 3
Hinge: 75
Squat: 33
Loaded Carry: Six Variations
Two Sixth Movements

Weekly Numbers:

Push: 81 (Plus all the Extensions)
Pull: 158
Hinge: 605
Squat: 133
Loaded Carries: 11 Variations
Sixth Movements: 14 Variations

Obviously, on Fridays we focus on the Loaded Carries, but notice how each day has some Farmer Walks, Bear Hugs or Suitcase Carries dropped in for “fun.” The correct answer to “how often should I do Loaded Carries” is “how often do you train?” For us, at our gym, we strive to do the fundamental human movements every day.

Now, the load and volume are not always going to be the same. Sometimes, it is just a few like in Friday’s workout when we only truly do three pure presses. But, this is how we incorporate this concept from the great wrestler, Dan Gable: “If it is important do it every day. If it isn’t important, don’t do it at all.”

If you think LCs are important, start doing them. Ease into them and slowly add load and time or distance. Strive to master each movement with a quiet tall head, a picture perfect posture and a simple stable gait.

Don’t expect anything from the first few days, but notice the chance in body composition and general conditioning. We feel these are a game changer by simply doing them.

It remains the single most game changing thing I have ever added to my training and the training of all those I work with in the field.

Here’s where you can learn the new tips Gray Cook and I presented in Long Beach.