Doing it

tgu swing bells


I put the thought in ahead of time before I “do”.  There are times I will improvise within a narrow window of known non-fluff parameters.

A few wrinkles going into my program and they all support my over arching goals. No fluff.

Working on feel, alignment, movement, tension, being connected.

TGU – drills showing me every nuance of deviation from perfection and now I look at that massive pile of things to address as “bandwidth to get stronger”.  The Specialized workouts are getting cleaner, in terms of each session I am smoother in my movement at the end than the beginning, I am feeling better when I finish than when I start, the weight is feeling lighter in general due to better positions.

This process seems to take a bit longer than loading the bar or bells up on a movement you have under your belt and simply doing the work getting stronger.  On the other hand I have seen enough glimmers of what lies ahead to realize that the reflexive stability and ability to get into stronger positions will open up the clogged strength faucet.  When it opens up it isn’t going to be 5lb increases.  The rest of my strength chain is ready to do more, the weaklink is holding the entire full expression of strength up.

Reading “Movement” by Gray Cook daily and building up my pure knowledge base with regard to movement.  Initially Master Brett Jones and “Kalos Stenos” put the hook in me, I found out about Gray and now digging in. “Dynami”, “Secrets of the Shoulder”…I have my starter library on these guys going and those are good titles to have…just ask them ;)  I don’t just read the book, I systematically go through and perform the movements gaining my personal experience with the material and then working in pieces into how I teach.  The students learn the move, they learn who Brett and Gray are and why I think enough of their body of work to have immersed myself in it for 5 years or so now.   My HKC was selected solely on the fact that Brett was the Master Instructor and I wanted him to look at my TGU. I knew there were questions I could ask him that he would have an instant response – “Yes that is correct.” or “No you might want to try XXXX.”  What I wound up getting was “You get it, you are all over this.”  Very cordial man, surprised me at the end by spending a good 30 minutes privately with me 1-2-1.  The things I learned by listening, getting answers to things I knew he would be able to answer ….priceless.  Validating some of my direction was indeed “All over it”…priceless.  He didn’t say I was “perfect” he said my approach and the direction I was going was on target and that my insights/things I had learned the hard way were accurate.  The story about presses on the descent resulting in “shooting holes in the canopy of my own parachute”…which would make your descent greatly accelerate if you know what I mean ;)

So when I want some extra sauce I pull out my Kalos Stenos and perform the drills that they suggest to help you correct a specific portion of the TGU.  I don’t create a great deal, but I have an uncanny ability to identify who really knows and spend the time to learn it.  In this case 5 years + and I am still not there but this TGU emphasis led me back to FMS, Gray Cook, Jeff Martone, David Whitley and Pavel Tsatsouline.  Reviewing what they had to say, how they program, do’s and don’ts etc. how can you go wrong if you implement that groups most key points on the TGU ?  The fun part is deciding who you want to study to become part of the amalgamation.  There are other TGU superhumans I am sure this is just the particular group that I started studying over the last 9 years, so if you aren’t listed don’t get your dander up.  It means nothing except in terms of who I was exposed to that resonated with me enough to want to dig in and study.  Master Dan John has got some groundbreaking information coming out on the TGU and I have my radar set to find it. He has taught me, he is “all that and a bag of chips” and I know what he rolls out is going to be something as good as the “Goblet Squat”.  I have already tried a small piece of his new material and it is good…in fact I will doing it in about 5 minutes.  I want the whole pie ;)

Guitar players do this all the time – “Who are your influences?” Well I like – Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Alex Lifeson, Robin Trower, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Clapton….I have met 4 of this group in person and exchanged information.  It helps you learn a great deal in a short period of time. Copy what works and in the process you start developing your own “thing” that is a combination like a salad of sorts of your influences.

As I turn the corner at the 2/3 mark of the month, 2 nice PR’s so far and I can feel the improvement in movement is going to pave the way for more.   Going to stick with the specialized workouts and slightly increase the volume – instead of performing 1 specialized workout for (3-5) I am going to double the volume and either hit the same practice for 2 x 5 or spread it out and hit 2 different practices for 1 x 5.   I will try that for about 5 days and see if 3 x 5 is the magic number or if 2 x 5 is the answer.

Abs – I have eased back into working those for strength again, just focusing on being in proper alignment, being tight and keeping the reps at no more than 5. If you want more volume you do more sets

Breathe! – now daily 1-2 movements and I am feeling it already, helping some of my muscles which are sore or tender from the more strenuous stretching to heal.  I remembered I could use Breathe! to enhance my recovery and that is what made me “make the time”. 5 minutes here and there with disproportionate returns on the time investment.

 www.russmoonow  - go to my site, look to the left and you will see buttons where you can order Breathe! Realize Your Full Athletic Potential.  Czechoslovakian based method of activating deep seated muscles to enhance your ability to breathe/lift more/endure.  $19.99 the price of a Gymboss except the knowledge never wears out.

Time for my dose, 3-5 minutes worth and it is all I will want or need but my body will thank me today, tomorrow and 2-4 days from now for what I do in 5 minutes today.

Yours in Strength,


Russ Moon

StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor

Crossfit Kettlebell Instructor and Trainer


Author – Breathe ! – Realize Your Full Athletic Potential

*I offer distance coaching, video analysis, programming to students who are serious about learning and can follow a brief program on a prepaid only basis.  Satisfaction Guaranteed, Results Guaranteed – the only thing you have to lose is weakness.

Richmond, VA