You’ll never actually “be ready”
You either WILL or you WON’T.
Life is actually pretty binary.
You’re either doing it or you’re not.
So jump on in, headfirst. That thing you REALLY, TRULY are aching to do - that’s what you should make happen. Let this be your sign. Go do it.
There will be obstacles along the way, bumps, distractions, diversions. Those are there to check and affirm HOW BAD YOU WANT IT.
Life is happening for you, but only if you make it happen. Don’t get caught up in waiting for “the right moment” to start making your dreams come true.
Let’s have a most excellent week 🤘🏼
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I have done some squat variations but rarely feel it in the right cheek. Ugh.
Rbka here. I am in gym regularly now. Just frustrated with trying to feel something working in right thigh and glute. Any advice would be appreciated! Tyia
The FitBunch was born with the purpose of helping others with limb loss bridge the gap between rehab
Operating as usual
You’ll never actually “be ready”
When you do a press... but then you realize you’re supposed to be front squatting. Ope.
“Quarantine” has been a time for all of us to call audibles on our training - for many that means having gone from a full commercial gym to a sort of bodyweight & minimal equipment setup. I’ve been somewhere in between, with a barbell, about 200lbs of plate weight, 30lb dumbbells, parallettes, a medicine ball, and an ab mat. All that I’m really missing is a bench and some uprights, both of which are staples of my training. I’ve changed things up to accommodate and maximize use of the equipment I have access to for the time being. I’ve also pushed myself to do some things I otherwise wouldn’t be doing, like these front squats. My workouts haven’t looked the same, but I’ve never stopped looking for ways to challenge myself - whether that’s trying something new or revisiting something I’ve not done in awhile. I’ve worked on some “Olympic-style” lifting like dumbbell cleans and sn**ches, and sn**ch grip high pulls and that’s been a change of pace as well. I won’t claim to be an expert on these things, but I’m working hard and pushing myself. I have some fun with each workout and there’s definitely excitement in having a new use for an existing space (and thanks to for the equipment rental!) - When I’m able to go back to the gym, I’ll pick up with similar training to what I was doing pre-shutdown, adjusting loads based on how I feel right then in that workout. I don’t think I’ll have lost a significant amount of strength, but will consciously account for time off in my loading and won’t be upset if I’m not hitting the same numbers as X weeks ago.
Just staying focused, never quitting.
There is another side to “all this s**t” and we’ll see it soon enough. You haven’t come this far, to only go THIS FAR. Keep pushing. We got this 💪
I don’t give yoga enough credence, honestly- but lately I’ve really been digging the following flow.
I like to start with the “Joint Smoke” into “DaFuq is Happening,” followed by “Bye Bye World” and concluding with “Boob Honk”
Try it on your own and let me know how you feel!
Stubbies for yesterday’s Third Bay Box sesh. Farmer’s walks and overhead carries down & back up the driveway! Few things more functionally-useful in this world than being able to pick up & carry something heavy for a given distance! These are great for grip strength and core/obliques. Adding in the slope of the driveway made this one a little more challenging, too. If you’ve only got one dumbbell (or other modality- get creative here!) single side training is beneficial and provides a unique challenge as well. 💪
Even though is now temporarily ceasing studio operations, we were happy to be ahead of our time in offering sessions with appropriate social distancing in mind.
Top: yesterday. Bottom left: 2 months ago, bottom right: last month. Kathy came to me with a mission to get stronger and improve her bone density in light of a recent osteoporosis diagnosis. As an auxiliary goal, she also wanted to improve her posture. We’ve been hard at work for the last two months, and I’m proud to say she’s well on her way! For reference, in the bottom left photo, she was using a 26lb dowel rod to work on her deadlift, bottom right is 15lb dumbbells, and top is a 45lb traditional bar. Progress doesn’t come overnight, there’s no magic pill or “one weird trick” to meet your goals, and anyone trying to sell you such a solution is not on your side. Quality fitness training does not need to be fluffy; sure, it’s fun to have a million ways to perform a given exercise and keep things interesting, but at the end of the day what matters is making continual, discernible progress towards the things YOU want to accomplish!
Just out here tryna get dumb-strong instead of just plain dumb, so I played with this deadlift and farmers carry combo today. My biggest takeaway from time spent training is that you should be able to find enjoyment in the challenges and solace in the knowledge that you’re changing both body and mind to become stronger and more resilient. No matter where you are in your journey - lifting 5lbs or 500lbs - you got this! 💪 stay headstrong my friends.
My buddy Train Atlas Strong S&C posted this V-Bar Push Up challenge and I had to jump on it! These were mega-tough, and ultimately I don't believe they have a reasonable place in anyone's training plan, but hey it looks cool right? Kind of like eating Tide Pods...
Something to think about on this lovely Sunday afternoon.
Excuses sound best to the people that are making them up. You've got every excuse in the book, and that's why nothing's changing. You've convinced yourself that everything is wrong and negative and that nothing's going to change - and guess what?!? It's not going to.
Change your mind and it will change your life. If nothing around you changes, change the things that are around you.
Just in case you thought my social media was supposed to be a “highlight reel” - lemme keeps it real with y’all here. Some days you’ll have the best of intentions, feeling great, and crank through those warmups like they’re nothing - only to wind up here. Big shout out to perfectly positioned uprights from for providing a 👌 spot 😂 - I’m able to bring the weight all the way to my chest, without stopping on the upright, but in the event of failure, the upright prevents me from being totally crushed under 385lbs 😂 😎
I can prolly count on one hand the number of reps I’ve missed in training in the last year or more- This is due to smart programming and the built-in flexibility provided by using RPE. Since I’ve been feeling generally achey lately, I’ll probably take ~3 weeks and work back towards this weight, with another 1RM attempt in about a month.
This is from Monday’s “Thirty Minute Thrashing” I gave myself. On Saturday, I shared the sled push/drag in my full length legs ( C-Leg 4) and here’s a different iteration in stubbies. I really dig sled pushes because they’re challenging, and embracing the suck in any given situation (especially a workout) is just a part of who I am.
For people with limb loss, I believe sled pushes have very relevant carryover into building the real-life strength necessary to navigate daily challenges like hills and ramps. This does NOT mean they need to be heavy, quick, or otherwise challenging beyond their inherently difficult nature. You can use light weight or even no weight at all.
The addition of the row to get back to the starting point is just a solid way to add more upper back training volume. Even though it isn’t necessarily a movement where I desire to see tangible improvement (IE I’m not really looking for adding more sets/reps/weight as part of my “core” lifts) it is a novel way of training and I find it to be fun. I would imagine that there is probably some positive carryover into the sled hockey realm as well - finding new/different ways to create overload is a big key in the world of adaptive strength and conditioning training! More to come ... 😉 💪 🦿🦿
Decided to record my top-set of “silent killers” AKA dumbbell bench press. Today was not my day underneath the barbell - was only able to work up to 245 for sets of 5 @ 8 - but I’m happy to report that this was my third set of 10 with the big boys on DB incline! Glad to have trained hard today despite not feeling the best!
💥 💪 🦿🦿
Last Friday I shared the video of me performing some bent over barbell rows in my C-Legs while using “gym mode”
While the novelty of incorporating a “new” exercise, trying out a new training plan, or incorporating something “different” into your training plan can feel exciting, it’s important to keep your goals in perspective. It sounds almost-too-sensical, but each training session should push you to get a little bit better at the things YOU want to get better at. I always want to work towards mastery of my prostheses, and strive to find/create exercises that challenge me in that capacity. But, my big-picture goal is to continually get stronger, so staples like heavy-ass dumbbell rows will pretty much always be a part of my programming. In a world where “one weird trick(s)” are a dime a dozen, and the “feeling” of doing “something” has taken on more presumed importance than actually having done something, never underestimate the impact that keeping things simple and straightforward can have. You can dilly and dally and find something “wrong” with just about anything anyone does, depending on the lens you’re looking through. How about, instead, changing the mindset to focus on what one is capable of RIGHT NOW, and using that to work towards bigger picture goals?
That’s a 100 pound dumbbell. For this portion of my training session, I set a timer for six minutes and performed as many sets of 10 as I could in the prescribed timeframe - I wound up performing 80 total reps.
Next time, I can work to increase my capacity by (in order of preference) a) performing more reps in the same timeframe, b) increasing the weight, or c) increasing the timeframe.
Tag a friend that needs to work on keeping it simple! Have an awesome Tuesday!
So today was screwed up. Not a lotta things going my way, mental health struggles, blah blah bunch of pity party bullsh*t. The one thing I was looking forward to was training this afternoon - I had about 90 minutes free for what I’d planned to be a solid session.
Until I got a text from a client, “We still on for 4 today?” Well, s**t. I forgot to book his session, and the messages prior (from last week) confirmed I’d said 4pm was a great time for our workout on Monday. Well, damn. No good training session after all. Down the rabbit hole we go- “Well, guess I’ll just skip it today, since I’ll only have like 25 minutes” “Yeah, that’s not gonna be enough time to get in a good session”
Then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. I started thinking, “Holy sh*t dude - you can’t possibly live your life with that mentality and expect to be anywhere different in a year, five years, ten years...” and “If you let your clients tell you that, you’d look at them like they’re crazy...”
So I went into the gym, didn’t say a word to anyone, ran downstairs to strap on my stubbies and get to work on today’s (unplanned) sesh - “It ain’t much but it’s honest work” as I loaded 135lbs on the bar, banged out 6 deadlifts, (one reverse curl) and 6 overhead press for 6 rounds. Not a lot for deadlifts, but OHP in stubbies is WAY tough (meat feet folk: picture having no ankles and your feet are 1/3 the size - as you lift your bodyweight over your head for reps 😂)
Anyway. The take home here: get over yourself and just do it. The things you’re trying to accomplish aren’t just going to show up on your doorstep begging you to make them your own, and some days, a little effort is all it takes to move the needle in the right direction.
To anyone weighing roughly 175lbs: if you’re lying there motionless, I should be able to drag you out of a burning building, as long as your weight is, you know, evenly distributed and whatnot 😉 😂 I kid, I kid- but there is a bigger point here.
said I should try sled pulls in prosthetics. I’ve done plenty of pushes, but never pulls, because they’re quad-dominant, and that’s a muscle I simply don’t have
I really didn’t want to post this video initially but I think it has a good point... I preach proper preparation and planning preventing p**s poor performance, and that’s why I do things like this. Does this demonstrate much in the way of prosthetic proficiency? Not really- they’re mostly just pivot points for my glutes/low back to get to work on the pull, and function as normal in the push. Would I much prefer doing this in stubbies, or with a TRX attached and an upper body pull? Yep, yep. But, in a situation that called for it, I know I’d find have to find a way. Performing in the gym gives me confidence to go out in real life knowing that if I had to do something crazy to, say, save a life, that myself and the human I was attempting to help would at least have a solid chance at making it out alive. Training isn’t life or death, but if you treat it as such, you’ll be that much more ready when the time comes. 💪 🦿🦿
So here’s something I’ve never tried before... bent over barbell rows in in my C-Leg 4. Gym mode allows me to keep balance while standing by limiting the amount of flexion in the knees and also providing more resistance than walking mode.
The weight (65lbs) wasn’t an issue, but keeping balance on these was definitely a bit of a challenge, so I went a little higher volume, with 5 sets of 8.
There are inevitably going to be trade-offs when trying out movements like these in prostheses, but keeping oneself in a creative mindset is absolutely 🔑 in the world of “adaptive” training. Oddly enough, I felt these in a way I’ve never felt any other back exercise, despite being able to go markedly heavier on other back movements (pulldowns, cable rows, dumbbell rows, etc).
What other exercises would you love to see adapted for use on prostheses? 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 Lemme know!
The Echo bike has become a much-loved staple in my current training, especially as I don’t have consistent access to a ski-erg and am pretty tapped out on battle ropes.
The type of progress depicted here is what I love to see - the top set of photos is AVERAGE work over a 4 minute ARMS ONLY Tabata, and the bottom photos are MAXIMUM work over the same period - difference was about 3 weeks between efforts. I hit the bike once every 7 days, so probably 2 other training sessions between photos. Either way, we have average power production increasing from 213 to 254 Watts (about a 17% increase), max power from 498 to 514 (about 3%) and a distance increase from 1.10mi to 1.15mi in the same timeframe.
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. 💪
Early 🦅, meet 🐛
Mark’s up and at ‘em kicking ass and taking names with a phenomenal workout to start the day.
WHERE YOU AT?!?
I’m still looking for a 1-2 new clients who want to start their days like Mark and make 2020 the year they finally stop saying “I’ll do it” and start saying “I’m doing it!”
If you want in on the fun, slide in my DMs and let’s get a session in!
That look when you see God at the top of rep 3, but push through to 6 😬
I’m only training barbell OHP once every other week now, as sort of a maintenance phase. This was set 5/5 and 175lbs definitely hit the mark of 8.5-9/10 RPE.
I use RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) to gauge my lifts (and encourage my clients to think in the same contexts) because it allows a degree of subjectivity to otherwise objective measurements (weight/sets/reps). On a scale of 1-10, one being “chillin’” and ten being “I may die,” I generally prefer to keep overall session intensity in the 6-8 range, saving the maximal efforts for the most important movements (the areas in which I want to see tangible improvements). Adding a subjective component to objective measurements allows me to account for variability in day-to-day performance. We can flip RPE to imply “reps in reserve” (or the number of reps one may have left “in the tank”) as a difference from 10 - an 8-9/10 RPE would imply that I may have 1-2 reps left before failure. Whereas a percentage (IE 3 sets of 5 at 85%) seals you up to more “hard” numbers, RPE allows you to account for how the lift felt right then/there. If I set the prescription as 5x6 at 80% and consider my 1RM to be 205, that means I’m lifting 164lbs in my working sets - but say I come in and am feeling pretty fantastic (as I did today) - putting that 165lbs on the bar “seems” “easy” across all sets and next thing you know, I’ve essentially coasted through the most important part of my training session. Instead, I say, “165 felt like I could’ve easily squeezed out another 2-3 reps,” put an extra 10lbs on the bar, and come back that much stronger next time. On the flip side, if I come in say “HOLY COW, 165lbs feels like a - GET OFF OF ME,” I can call an audible and decrease the load to something more in line with my desired intensity for the session. All that’s injured in this case is my ego, which is easily repaired through a few mirror selfies 😂
Of course, this approach isn’t for everyone, but I encourage everyone to gain awareness of how their training feels in a given set and move forward from there.
Tag a homie that needs RPE!
“Ur RaNgE oF mOtIoN iS sHoRt BeCaUsE u DoNt HaVe LeGs”
“WoUlDnT tHaT bE mOrE oF a RaCk PuLl SiNcE uR sO sHoRt?”
Some of y’all have had meat-legs your whole life and it really shows.
A couple of weeks back, I shared a video of me performing some trap bar deadlifts. That video got reposted by and a few other pages - I gained a few new followers and it was really a neat experience to get in touch with a slightly more expansive audience of clinicians and rehab professionals. Of course, though, trolls were abound and inquiring minds wanted to know - “Is this guy picking up the moderately heavy weights with his short prosthetics (Stubbies) ACK-CHU-ALLY deadlifting?”
Let’s turn the tables - Does it REALLY matter? 😂 I’m not competing against you, or challenging a world record attempt. I’m just a dude with no legs trying to help others who’ve been dealt similar hands (and, of course, non-limb different humans too) reclaim their lives, become their best, and get jacked AF in the process 💪🦿🦿💪
So here it is, for your viewing pleasure, a traditional deadlift for my 5th set of 5 at 185lbs, with an added 3-1/2” deficit to silence the haters 😂 PS my hamstrings and 🍑 were on fire 🔥 after this session 😂
I muted this video because I respect that you may not want ALL of the grunts I vocalized during this AMRAP at what I’d say is ~77-80% - 315lbs. My all time best with 315 is 12 reps, but considering where I’m at in training right now (and this workout being the day after my hockey tournament) I’m stoked to have gotten 8. For this bench day, I actually worked up rather quickly - 2 sets of 10 with the bar, a set of 8 at 185, a set of 6 at 245, a set of 5 at 285. After completing the AMRAP, I went down and hit 3 sets of 4@8 with 275lbs. 💥 Let’s keep turning it up baby!!! 🚀 🤯 💪 🦿🦿
Not really sure what happened to the video here or why the lighting is all wonky (there wasn’t a fan in the room 😂)
This is from one of my hotel workouts in Ireland last week. Being given a limited set of dumbbells and a bench, I had to figure out some way to crank up the intensity (see: burpee to handstand push-up 🙃) but also wanted to challenge myself outside of the “traditional” movements I usually select. So I opted for this weird “offset dumbbell row from high plank” and it got me thinking...
Exercise selection is meaningful insofar as training time is valuable and a resource you can’t make more of - so it stands to reason that we should pick movements that will make us better at the things we want to excel at. In the quest to get stronger, I personally prefer selecting exercises (and controllables) with the most visible carryover to my goals - keep it simple, silly.
Sure, the exercise posted in the video was challenging, and there may be some positive adaptations gleaned from regularly incorporating such a movement into my regiment (to be fair, my selection of this movement was not entirely arbitrary and there are some useful underlying training principles at work here)- but does the exercise REALLY contribute to my overall goal-set, or is there something else I could be doing that would be a better use of training time? The world may never know... 😉 Just something to think about as you scroll your social media feeds and take a gander around your local fitness facilities. Keep it simple, don’t convolute the process or get lost in the minutiae - good training doesn’t need to be complicated, should be fun, and constantly move you toward the things you want to accomplish (in the most efficient manner possible)
😊 💪 Tag a friend that needs to read this 🦿🦿🤯
🎶 🎶 Now walk it out, walk it out, east side walk it out 🎵 🎶
HAPPY MONDAY AND I AM SO GLAD TO BE BACK!
Whether we realize it or not, we are creatures of habit and thrive on routines. I’ve been out of mine for the last...almost two weeks, and even with the stresses of filling my schedule, creating more new content, and just getting “real life” back online, I’m just happy to be moving back towards normalcy.
Speaking of routine, if you’re living with limb loss (or any other impairment), you should be practicing incorporation of movements that mimic the challenges you face in real life, into your own training routine. Whether you’re in the gym or not, these walk outs are a great way to drill getting down to & up from the floor. I added a lil push-up in there because variety is the spice of life. These function not only as phenomenal fitness training (trust me a set of 5 is probably adequate for just about anyone... or maybe I’m out of shape from not training so hard while out of town! 😂)
There’s a lot happening here, and I’ve posted various iterations of this exercise previously, but practicing even a portion of this movement can be a perfectly functional place to start before progressing to the full thing. That may mean simply learning to “trust your prosthesis” and bending to touch the floor, or even starting on the floor on your belly and working up to an “all fours” position. The possibilities are limitless, but the goal remains the same - regain function, reclaim independence and kick life’s ass!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by burpees 🙋🏼♂️
Take today’s challenges and punch them in the face. Keep moving forward no matter what.
I’m traveling this week and training’s taken a backseat, so you’re getting last week’s vid - still love y’all though. Here’s 290lb for my 4th set of 6 on the low-incline. I tend to favor low-incline bench pressing over a steeper angle because it feels better on my shoulders. I wanted to train today, but unfortunately the gym at the hotel was closed, ironically due to the holiday 😂 Oh well, sometimes things don’t go to plan, and that’s okay. You’ve gotta be ready to roll with the punches and call audibles when necessary. I’ll be in first thing in the AM, and have some new content for y’all then! 💪 🦿🦿
You can bet I was feeling these ab wheel rollouts using my stubbies! These are an awesome anti-extension exercise that takes a good deal of control to prevent the hips & lower back from dropping at the end-range of motion. I was probably a little more cautious than necessary on these, keeping my hips just a little high, but that may have been due to fatigue from filming a handful of other videos the same day 😉 😂 I went to demonstrate this movement for a client the following morning and it was an absolute groaner. Hope everyone’s having a great Saturday! I’m traveling right now and probably won’t be as “plugged in” as usual, but will continue to get some new content your way in the coming days!
Bummed out? Chin up, it’s Christmas! (Ayyy!)
bonus video because I’m not waiting till next Christmas to share 😂 Hope everyone has had an awesome holiday!
Y’all know the had to get in some conditioning before celebrating six pound eight ounce baby Jesus’ birthday! Whatever flavor of belief you subscribe to, remember to enjoy yourself and make meaningful memories with the ones you love most! Life is too dang short to do anything but love every moment. However you’re spending this holiday season, I hope it’s the best one yet. 😎 🤘🏼 🦿🦿
Something to think about on this lovely Sunday. The concept of ableism forms a giant split in my brain. On one hand, I grew up “like this,” being stared at, strangers asking questions and making assumptions about my physical capabilities. I’m used to it, and part of me really doesn’t care because it’s just been a “fact of life” - I can’t change how others are going to act, but I can change my reaction, etc. Plus, any chance to engage and educate around limb loss/limb difference IS a good one, right? Well, maybe. On the other hand, what business is it of anyone’s “what’s up with the legs?” and why, because my “disability” is readily visible, does that entitle someone to egregiously inquires “what happened to you?” I don’t have the answers to these questions, because there are none.
Humans are curious, but we also tend to behave ignorantly toward those who are different than us. Typically, it’s internalized to a point we can’t even recognize it- or if we do, our biases cloud our judgment and we can’t see WHY it can be perceived so negatively.
I’ll admit, I have tendencies that err on the side ableist - though my intent is always with the empowerment and fulfillment of one’s potential in mind. I don’t THINK it’s a bad thing at all, but I’m sure it’s upset someone at some point - you’ll be ok, though 😉
The big takeaway here: just freaking THINK before you open your mouth to someone, especially about something so personal. Get to know the person and honestly, if they want to open up to you, they will. If it’s so important to know the story behind someone’s physical situation, at the very least build some rapport, express deference, and be the most respectful version of yourself that you can sum up before asking.
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