The interaction of the individual elements when combined is greater than the sum of the parts.

1 + 1 + 1 = 5 not 3

In programming my own WTHE (What the Heck Effect) and it can be programmed…..

I personally find that a little bit (practice) more frequently yields more for me.

A little bit of just enough, but no more than necessary ensures recovery, stimulates strength/conditioning gains and makes the “big wheel” turn just a little bit.  Do this frequently enough and the “big wheel” (your body) begins moving at a faster pace than the small pushes you are giving it.

The key is consistency, you have to keep prodding, coaxing, stimulating with the right things in the right amounts with the right frequency. This is found through practice and close attention to how your body feels as well as looking at the numbers. When you feel good, the weights are going up, the times are going down…..set the cruise control and ride it out as long as reasonable.

My best response comes when I go totally instinctive, periodically checking myself with certain litmus tests which will always tell me if I am really gaining strength/conditioning.

In one of those back to back to back to basics modes. Real basic = Real Strength

Nothing fancy – just the stuff most people don’t want to do all the time, neither do I sometimes but I am making myself do it

Ab Strength – making it a priority again, putting it first on my active recovery days, starting to up the tempo, vary the movements and reduce asymmetry.  Reps under 5, want more ? do more sets or increase the weight with good form

Forearms/grip strength – including it and bombing it as frequently as possible, pulling the accessories out and using them, going overhanded in my deadlift grip just to bomb away at my grip, hitting it hard enough to make some tangible progress then leaving a little to come back with something else the next day and hit it again.   When people you don’t know start commenting on your forearms you know there has been some change. Frankly, I don’t notice except to note if they are getting stronger….and slowly but steadily they are.

Getting stronger is not easy, but it does not have to be harder than it is already.

Ab/Grip work – “the fastest way to get stronger, it is ridiculous” Pavel Tsatsouline

He is right, it is ridiculous which is why I don’t understand why more people are not bombing away. I cannot control that. I can sure do my own work and reap the benefits.  Name the movement….the abs are involved it makes total sense. I have don’t have to be sold, I have been sold on this about 7 years now.  ”Bulletproof Abs 2″ was all I needed to “get it” and I still am getting it….getting stronger that is.  It’s all there, read the book, I did and still flopping around doing those moves and they are awesome.

While you are working that core, the Breathe! - fit right in there and in the 2nd Edition of Breathe! I will be teaching how to take the fundamentals you learn in Breathe! beyond practicing the movements to integrate them into virtually all of your practice.

A word to the wise, get your Breathe! on and get your foundation so that when the next phase comes along you will be able to catch the wave.  Just like a kettlebell beginner does not start with the snatch, you won’t be ready for what’s coming if you have not laid the foundation first.  If you have laid the foundation, then prepare for strength liftoff.

This has been a time saving approach for me and my gains are consistently in the 20% range for the last 5 weeks as I have integrated this approach into my practice….that’s 20% from week to week, identical practice to identical practice.

5 weeks ago my DL was 16 or so reps in 10 minutes, this week 35 in 10 minutes – 16,18,21,25,30,35 reps or something very close to that.  DL’ing 1 time every 7-10 days.  That’s just one movement.  Learning how to take the Breathe! feeling from drill to practice and double up on my results, get the movement skill and get the Breathe! activation at the same time.

If you have 3 hours at a time to practice I salute you, with a 2 year old my time is at a premium so if I can get repeatable solid gains by stacking things together…..why not achieve in 30 minutes what you use to not be able to do in 2 hours ?  It’s a personal decision ;)

The bar or kettlebell does not seem to know how much time or how much volume I did, only if I have what it takes to lift it over and over.  Surely as that over and over happens and it feels lighter, your top end is going up, at least that is the case for me.

It won’t be long before that 315 lbs becomes a more respectable 4 wheels or 405 lbs and then I’ll start the process over.  Doing the right thing and hammering my technique, getting more speed, fewer moving parts, making it look smooth.  Just having fun and that seems to be when I work the hardest, get the most done and wind up surging.

I have connected with the idea that for me my pulls need to be in about a 10 -1 ratio to my pushes.

My pushes are improving, just having fun and varying the push bench, incline bench, pushup, military press (that one I have cooked enough for now, but I shall return).  I just tacked on 20lbs to that incline since last week during the practice yesterday and it felt light at 5-6 reps…I just stopped and banked the rest. So by the time the military press rolls around again down the road, I will videotape it and bring some shock and awe while I am still able.  That is said tongue in cheek as my shock and awe might be someone else’s warm-up weight.  I think it will at a minimum be respectable. So try not and get your gear in a wad.

Squat,Squat,Squat – Pistol, 1 legged squat, Goblet Squat, Barbell Squat hips are improving, anterior pelvic tilt is nearly gone and on the way out, hip flexors, glutes stretching out and holding their new length longer….moving in the right direction. Walking better, squatting better feeling more glute when I walk, moving better when I am in the field outside fishing, was able to drop the counterweight and pistol to a box this week without too much duress.  Not rock bottom but moving down, getting off the training wheels.  Once upon a time I did the Tom Platz thing with sets of 50 reps with a max of 275 so it is not like I am phobic about squatting.  I know what it does for you, just regaining my squat with my strong ankle with 3 screws and getting the rest of my body to accommodate that small detail. Slowly it is responding and I know that the weights are baby level but each small improvement is going to wash over to my other lifts so who cares ? I don’t.

Getting down on the floor and stretching, prying, spasming, holding, trying to remember to breathe but feeling the muscles release and starting to release faster or move further on the first pass.  Enough change for me to notice a difference in the drills I have been immersed in, so I know there is progress.

Yours in Strength,


Russ Moon

Crossfit Kettlebell Instructor and Trainer Level I


StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Level I