Exercises You Can Do With The Iron Gym

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I’ve been meaning to post something like this for a while now. Of all the Youtube videos I’ve posted, the original Iron Gym video review I posted a year back has been the most popular by far. In an attempt to do more of what works as well as to document some of my workout here’s hopefully part 1 of what might be a series of videos.


Ever since I saw this crazy video:

I’ve been obsessed with front lever pullups. I can’t do one yet, but I’m working up to that. My first goal was to be able to lift myself into that position. I’ve gotten that far and now need to work on holding that position with proper posture. As a martial artist I think it’s important to build core strength. Exercises like these are great for that.

Popularity: 15% [?]

5 Animals Conditioning

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I’d like to share some of my training tips. Here’s an exercise/game/race that I came up with to help strengthen the body and help with wushu training. I have the kids do it in kids class and the adults seem to like it too. Not only does it help improve basics but also contains some upper body workout as wushu sometimes tends to be very lower body oriented.

The 5 Animals:

  1. Seal Crawl. The Seal Crawl is the only exercise that needs any kind of special equipment. It is designed to use the upper body. All we need is a kicking shield which we put on the floor smooth side down. We lay our shins on it and make the legs limp like dead weight and use our upper body to move across the floor. If a kicking shield is not available, we can substitute this exercise with the bear crawl which is basically running on all fours.
  2. Frog Jumps. Frog jumps are pretty common in wushu training. If you go to China, you will see that the professional teams do these to improve their jumps. Key here is to go all the way down and jump as far as possible. This is a lower body workout which gives our upper body a quick break before the next exercise.
  3. Crab Walks. Crab walks develops speed and the upper body. It’s easier if we fall into the next step instead of lumbering slowly. Again, we alternate between upper body exercises and lower body.
  4. Duck Walks. Duck walks are another set of exercises that develop the legs. We can have the arms behind the back but I prefer to have them help make the move more balanced and more natural. Make sure that the buttocks are low to the ground.
  5. Spiderman Crawl. Ok, technically this is not an animal style. It’s a superhero mimicking an insect but it’s still a great exercise and very challenging. Crawl as if you were Spiderman crawling up a wall. The torso and hips must be low to the ground. Elbows and knees must not touch the ground. That is the challenging part and will really work the upper body and core strength.
    1. The way I usually do this is to make it a game between 2 teams. Wushu class is usually divided into 2 rows anyways so each team is a row. It’s a relay race where everyone has to do each exercise and when the first person in a row is up again, they go to the next exercise. Before each race the teams agree to a “punishment” for the losing team. Usually it’s monkey jacks or push ups. I also try to level the playing field by pairing up people that are close in skill level or body ability. This also makes it more exciting.

      I’m always looking to improve these conditioning exercises so any more “animals” tips are welcome.

      Popularity: 5% [?]

5 Questions with a Professional Rugby Athlete

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Some of you readers of my blog are fitness buffs so this one’s for you. My friend Scott “Beaver” Jones of the Chicago Lions happily agreed to do 5 Questions for my blog.

Tells us a bit about your background and how you came to be a professional rugby player
I was an All American my last two years at University of Tennessee and then decided to move to New Zealand after graduation to gain more rugby exposure. I returned to the states after 4 months and moved to Chicago where I was recruited to play for the Chicago Lions, one of the most prestigious clubs in the US, with aspirations of making the USA National Rugby Team. Mission Accomplished in 2004 when I was invited to tour with the US Eagles to play against Ireland and Italy.

Is the life of a professional athlete all it’s cracked up to be? What are some of the perks? What’s are some of the drawbacks?
Is it all what its cracked up to be? Absolutely, the pride that you have singing your national anthem in front of screaming fans is one of the best moments ever. Its also fun signing autographs for young fans even if they have no idea how worthless my autograph actually is, but it is nice putting smiles on their faces in that moment.

Perks? Of course the obvious is the travel and the tons of sports gear. In addition to that there are police escorts and it really is something to remember. One time in Dublin, the traffic stopped and the people on the streets were all curious of who was in the police escorted charter bus, pretty cool. We also got to eat dinner with US Ambassador to Ireland.

Drawbacks? Travel to all of these places is amazing but there is little time to enjoy because it is all business with practice twice a day and little freedom with tape reviews in between sessions.

Could you describe to us your training regimen. How often do you train? How long do you train? And what do you do (training wise)? Also tell us a bit about your diet.
Training and Eating heading into World Cup Trials? Everything was intense. We sent all of our workouts via heart rate monitors and all food intake into Boulder CO headquarters. I would train 5-6 days a week and the majority was once in the morning consisting of cardio, abs, core, balance and once in the evening consisting of speed, strength and power. As far as the food, i would eat a lot. Generally start off the morning workout with a protein shake and then have fruit and veggies along with protein bars prior to a healthy sandwich and veggies for lunch. I would have another snack(protein bar, peanut butter sand) before evening workout and then protein and or pasta for dinner. I cut out alcohol, junk food(as much as possible) and caffeine. I consistently drank water or gatorade throughout the day.

Could you give us some tips for us non-professional athletes to stay in shape?
Stay in shape tips for non professionals? Ideally get get in some physical activity at least once a day but knowing that can be hard I would go for walks, jog, gym(15 min cardio doing intervals of 30 sec on pushing yourself and 1 min off regular pace then go to weights but make sure you alternate with weights and get your heart rate up with star jumps or clap push ups or up downs(you will be surprised how hard it is when you have to get on the ground and then back up 5 times in a row.) situps, etc… Stay hydrated and stay away from fast foods another thing I failed to mention I gave up during training. Always eat all three meals a day and try to supplement with snacks in between about every couple hours.

For more information on the USA Rugby Team and the Chicago Lions, go to:

Popularity: 3% [?]

Incredible Feats of (Core) Strength

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With the P90X all the rage at the Roundarch office, it’s motivated me into a fitness frenzy. However I’m not partaking in that program. I AM interested in developing my core strength and am working towards various skills that require core strength. As such, I’ve been scouring YouTube for examples of the kinds of skills that impress me. Here are a few.

Side Lever Pulls

Planche Pushups

Handstand Pushups

Front Lever Pullups

Parkour Core Conditioning

Popularity: 3% [?]