January 11, 2020

The Physical Training Instructor (PTI) branch of the Royal Marines Commandos is the only military establishment left in the western world that includes Indian club training as compulsory syllabus. Being in the heavy weapons branch of the Corps, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn to use them until near the end of my six-year service. Up to that point, club swinging was perceived to be off-limits. They were only something that the “club swingers” of the PTI branch had the right to use.

After shoulder surgery in 2008 (following a riot-training accident), I was sent from Plymouth to London for a consultation with one of the country’s leading shoulder specialists. After a thorough assessment he informed me that I should forget my aspirations to jo...

December 4, 2019

I want to beat the odds and spend the final decade of my life being physically capable enough to be self-sufficient. I want it to be a freak accident or old age that gets me in the end, instead of some chronic disease. In order to enjoy this able-bodied lifestyle what should adults of all ages be physically capable of?

The Essential Five For All Humans

1. Walk a mile carrying a bag of groceries.

2. Climb a flight of stairs without needing to hold onto the handrail.

3. Break a fall then get back up again.

4. Pick up a baby (or a French bulldog in my case)

5. Move quickly out of the way of incoming danger (scooter, bus, skateboarder, cyclist, runner, car, etc.).

I want to add one more to this list, which you may or may not agree with. Considering the roo...

November 19, 2019

The snatch is the most explosive, athleticism-building lift within the Hardstyle system and in my opinion, in the entire world of kettlebell training. A lifter who regularly snatches experiences clear and unmistakable positive effects in their daily lives and other training modalities. It lives predominantly in the hip hinge movement family, with elements of pull and anti-rotation. 

The definition of a snatch is a swing that ends in the overhead position because all of the same mechanics of a swing exist in a snatch. For the most part, bad snatch technique exists in the presence of poor swing technique. This is why it is not optimal to attempt learning the snatch without at least a few months of good swings in the bank.

Despite the profound b...

October 24, 2019

If you’ve recently signed up for an Ironman, or are contemplating it, this is for you. 

Finishing this monstrous feat will be a lifetime achievement that you’ll always look back on with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. You might even burst into tears of emotion as you cross the finish line! Signing up and not finishing might hang over you like a dark cloud for many years. Don’t assume you can just rock up and rely on good old guts and determination. Finishing this event will take many months of hard work to build the required level of conditioning. It’s one of the most time-consuming goals you could possibly commit to because in order to build your energy system and endurance you just have to put the hours and miles in every week.

Let’s...

July 17, 2019

A light-hearted guide covering the most important principles of all kettlebell training, as previously published HERE on the Kettlebell Kings blog.

1. Thou shalt not try to hammer a bent nail. Rate movement ability above load lifted. Attempting to build strength, power or endurance on a frame that doesn’t move well leads to long-term failure and injury.

2. Thou shalt not wear a lifting belt, unless you’re a GS athlete performing the jerk or long cycle lifts. Learn to use the lifting belt you were born with. The diaphragm, pelvic floor and transverse abdominus create more tension, intra-abdominal pressure and stability than a belt ever can.

3. Thou shalt not shrug the shoulders. Power comes from the hips during ballistics and from the lats during gr...

March 26, 2019

Along with swings, get-ups are one of the highest value exercises we coaches have available. Swings and get ups complement each other like mature cheddar cheese and a good full-bodied red wine. If the only training you did for the rest of your life involved just swings and get-ups, you’d be able to apply yourself to almost anything, albeit maybe a little bored.

Once you own the technique, I encourage you to try the movement with as many different loads as possible: sandbags, barbells, dumbbells, buckets of water, etc. Kettlebells are particularly good because they allow the wrist to remain neutral. This facilitates a stronger and more stable shoulder. The center of mass of a kettlebell sits on the outside of the forearm, away from the midline, ma...

March 19, 2019

As featured in the Kettlebell Kings blog

A light-hearted guide covering the most important principles of all kettlebell training

1. Thou shalt not try to hammer a bent nail. Rate movement ability above load lifted. Attempting to build strength, power or endurance on a frame that doesn’t move well leads to long-term failure and injury.

2. Thou shalt not wear a lifting belt, unless you’re a GS athlete performing the jerk or long cycle lifts. Learn to use the lifting belt you were born with. The diaphragm, pelvic floor and transverse abdominus create more tension, intra-abdominal pressure and stability than a belt ever can.

3. Thou shalt not shrug the shoulders. Power comes from the hips during ballistics and from the lats during grinds. Shoulder shrug...

February 25, 2019

In part one I offered some tips about how to address the major influencing factors that affect people’s movement ability. These take place outside of their exercise sessions. Now I’ll share some insights about how to help your clients’ movement within their sessions. Firstly, let’s define movement. You may have broken it down differently, but I view our ability to move as being comprised of three trainable components:

BALANCE + STABILITY + MOBILITY = MOVEMENT

BALANCE: When I say balance, I mean motor control, proprioception and coordination. “Balance” is more relatable to clients and less of a mouthful. It’s the ability to assess and react to the physical environment then coordinate and control movement. All movement and performance is increases w...

February 14, 2019

Seeing as this blog is for fitness professionals (or very eager everyday exercisers), I don’t need to begin by selling the importance of human movement as a pre-requisite to all other forms of physical training. But before the meat and potatoes, I’ll start by offering some simple movement assessments that everyday people can self-administer.

January 1, 2019

A tongue-in-cheek guide to help business owners or the self-employed achieve Commando productivity and destroy their to-do lists.

It took me a long time to let go of the Corps, but nowadays I’ve well and truly embraced being a civvie. I occasionally wake up and spend the first few of hours of a school day binge watching Game Of Thrones. I have a haircut that resembles the top of a pineapple. I’ve also adopted the Californian greeting of hugging everyone as a superior (and more hygienic) alternative to hand-shaking. To lead a stress-free life and make time for high-quality leisure I often apply some principles I picked up in the cream of the British military.

1. Prepare to be bumped in the night

To earn the coveted green beret and become a proud Boo...

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