Category Archives: Fun

Wild Ninja

This past summer, I had the awesome opportunity to work with Kevin Glenn of the Wild Nature Project and a group of young teens during the Wilderness Ninja Camp.  The kids spent an entire week out in nature, putting up a shelter, exploring the local flora and fauna, playing Jedi Master (which you have to see to believe – it’s super fun), and lashing together this obstacle course.

I took everyone through some basic jumping, landing, crawling, vaulting, and rolling progressions over the course of the week.  We played “Caged Lion” and a special version of Capture the Flag, and, of course, spent a ton of time on the course itself.  Here is a little sample of some flow:

If you are in Bloomington, IN and have a kid that loves being outside, you absolutely have to reach out to Kevin.  His programs are excellent.  If you want your kids to learn more Ninja skills hands on, check out my Ninja Academy classes at Force.  If your whole FAMILY wants to learn and play together, then stay tuned for my upcoming project. 🙂

OS Play – August 23rd in Bloomington, IN

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OS Play is coming to Bloomington, IN on August 23rd!

This is our second OS Play Course EVER!   This 4 hour course will be all about playing (obviously)! We will teach you games and concepts that you can implement into your own training or into programming for your clients, students, patients, or athletes.

We’re going to rediscover the superhero in each of us through play – you’ll learn why play is important, how play can fill in the gaps in your current fitness program (or even replace it), how to start your own ninja academy, and experience tons of games old and new to get you started.

For more details, feel free to contact me using the link in the top bar up above, or check out the event page:  http://originalstrength.net/event/os-play/

140 Character Philosopher

I recently hit 1,000 total tweets on my Twitter account, freefitguy. It spurred me to go back and look at how my thoughts have evolved over the past 3 years.  Some things my thoughts have shifted on, while others still struck a chord with me.  I hope that something in here will strike a similar chord with you and serve as some small inspiration for your day.

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Train at the edge of your ability regularly, but at the edge of your capacity rarely. #freefitguyacademy

One of the best program minimum systems out there – @Mark_Sisson‘s 3 rules: move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, & sprint

Spending time in the proper progressions and teaching perception will yield stunning results in the long and short-term.

OVERcoaching is often the result of UNDERpreparing your athlete/client.

Change the movement environment, change the movement behavior.

Top 2 ways we can help prevent ACL injury in female athletes via ortho surgeon – Teach landing mechanics and help them get a “fanny” #TLAG2

You must change your perception to change your reality. While the first is difficult, the second is impossible without it.

New poster I want in my gym: “Fatigue is not the goal. Getting better is the goal.” #lessismore

Performance does not guarantee health. #TrainLikeAGirl2

@JoelJamieson knocked it out of the park with his presentation. “Stress is stress whether perceived or real.” #stressmanagement #TLAG2 Continue reading

Coaches Corner: American Weightlifting with Greg Everett

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This past weekend I had the chance to watch a screener of the upcoming American Weightlifting: A Documentary.  This film was a passion project by Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics, one of the premiere weightlifting facilities in the United States.

The film itself runs about two hours, and takes a detailed look at the state of Olympic Weightlifting in this country and the inherent struggles the United States faces to becoming successful on a worldwide stage.  We get to hear from experienced coaches, see a ton of footage of both modern facilities and ‘original’ gyms, and marvel at the dedication of the athletes.  The film feels episodic – like a survey course of Olympic Weightlifting rather than having a specific theme.  Perhaps my favorite parts were learning more about the history of weightlifting (see: Father Lange of Notre Dame) and watching one of the young US phenoms, D’Angelo Osorio, go through a weightlifting competition.  I would love to see a full documentary just following one of these athletes some day!

I was lucky to have the chance to ask Greg about the state of Olympic Weightlifting in the US and what the future holds in store.  Here’s what he had to say: 

Matt:  What motivated you to film this documentary, and what do you hope the film will accomplish for the weightlifting community?

Greg: “I thought it was something that needed to be done for the sake of helping the sport grow and recognizing the people who keep it alive, and I was fairly confident that no one else would be jumping on the task any time soon. Really I have no business making a movie, having no experience, no training, and no money, but the reality of the sport is that those are exactly the kind of circumstances we’re operating in much of the time. I think that despite it not being the greatest achievement of filmmaking, the way in which it was made is important part of the message it conveys, namely that we need to put in the work and find ways to get things done no matter what kind of disadvantages we’re facing.” Continue reading

A Simple Trick to Improve the Efficiency of Practice and Reach Your Goals

Freefitguy Handstand

I finally had a chance to sit down and read “The Practicing Mind” by Thomas Sterner while on a plane to Ireland.  This is part of a kick I’ve been on recently on how to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of practice.  Not only do I want to improve my ability to learn new skills quickly, I want to be a more effective coach as well.  I only get to work with people three hours a week, max.  It is super important that these sessions be as successful as possible, and that the new movement patterns “stick” with clients long outside their time with me.

Though there are several lessons to be learned from this book, the one that stuck with me the most is this:  Maintain your focus on practice in the moment, not comparing yourself to your end goal.  This produces short-term satisfaction and long-term success.

Searching for Bobby Handstand

I saw immediate feedback with my quest to master the handstand.  I realized that I was falling into the trap of wanting the handstand so badly, that my practice suffered.  Every day was a failure because I hadn’t reached my end goal – a solid freestanding handstand.  As soon as I switched my goal from “I want to do a handstand” to “I am going to practice a handstand for 5 minutes today”, my practice sessions took off.  Now, every time I spent 5 minutes working on a handstand, I was a success. Continue reading