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What is“Malibu”?  Even though it sounds like a Baywatch episode, it’s not (although how can anything with David Hasselhoff & Pamela Anderson be bad? Acting that fine only comes around once a generation).  Malibu is a whole body workout using ropes and calisthenics created by the folks over at CalRopes.com.  

How’s it work? 
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Set your timer for 45 Sets: 30 seconds “on” (ropes) and 40 seconds off (calisthenics + rest)
        
They suggest rotating thru 3 different patterns for the rope waves – small alternating, small double, and small double 45 degree waves.  I’ve done it with up to 10 Martial Rope
patterns or as few as 2 to keep it simple (alternating vertical or double waves)

There are 3 different calisthenics – Pushups, 3-Count Mountain Climbers, and Burpees
        
In the first rest period, do 1 pushup. During the second rest period, do 2 pushups. Etc. 
Work your way up to 15 reps of the pushup, then in set 16, do 1 mountain climber during the rest period.  Then 2 mountain climbers.  And so on. IF you get to the 45th set and the 15 Burpees, you’ll be wishing you didn’t eat that Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Supersized fries for lunch.

You can check out a sample video and get a PDF of the workout here.

Why I like it:

It covers major muscle groups, UB, LB, explosive movements (burpee), and Cardio.

Other calisthenics can be added or substituted based on ability and/or interest levels.

It can be scaled according to how much time you have or your current fitness level.  If you
have less time, do fewer sets, and/or shorten the rope time. If you can’t do up to 15 reps of each exercise (which is 120 cumulative), just work up to 3, 5, 10 or whatever.  
 
You can adjust the feel/intensity by changing the order of the exercises.  For example, instead of doing all the pushups, then moving on to all MCs, then all Burpees, stagger the exercises.  In set 1 perform one pushup.  Set 2, one MC.  Set 3, one Burpee.  Set 4, two pushups.  Etc.   Or drop one exercise and pyramid reps up and down with just the Pushups and Burpees.  
 
It can be done with a partner.  Make the work set and “rest” set the same length, so while you’re swinging the rope, they’re doing the calisthenics and resting.  
  
Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it (when you’re done).


 
Last week I attended Penn State’s training program on how to deal with an “Active Shooter” scenario on campus.  Since Penn State is not a “gun-friendly” environment, I was interested in hearing their recommended approach on how to protect yourself in this worst case situation. The program consisted of a PowerPoint and video presented by a plainclothes PSU officer.  The 7 minute video was well done, a dramatization filmed on campus in the new Business Building.  

Their plan is called “The Five Outs”.  It consists of:
1. GET OUT
2. CALL OUT
3. HIDE OUT
4. KEEP OUT
5.TAKE OUT

Let’s look at each one individually.
1. GET OUT -“get yourself and others out of the area to somewhere safe”.  This makes sense. If you can identify that something has gone wrong and a bad situation is happening, don’t dally, get the heck out and as far away as you can. Distance is your friend.  Get behind cover (i.e. something solid that will stop a bullet) if possible, not just concealment (something that hides you from sight, but isn’t solid enough to stop a round). 
 
2. CALL OUT“Call 911.  Give details on your location and what you saw or heard.”  Pretty
straightforward.  Don’t assume someone else has called. Any details from multiple calls as the situation unfolds could be helpful in coordinating the response teams.  
 
3. HIDE OUT – “If you can’t get out, turn out the lights, hide until help arrives.”  May be your only option depending on proximity of shooter.  I’d re-order this step after the next one.

 4. KEEP OUT – “Lock, block, or barricade the door.  Be prepared to act.”  Hopefully you have a door that locks.  Hopefully you have a solid door and/or an office that doesn’t have windows.  Yeah, I know, people love windows and the light and open feel.  But it’s very exposed from a security perspective.  If your door doesn’t lock, what can you use to block it?  In the video it shows them using a 3-ring binder to shove under the door.  The officer acknowledged that it probably wasn’t the best choice.  Here’s where I thought they had an opportunity to educate and provide/demonstrate suggested solutions.  For example, can you add a
Kick down Door Stop on the inside of your door?  What, Physical Plant  won’t approve or install it?  Screw that, who’s responsible for your safety?  Install it yourself and don’t tell anyone.  They won’t notice and if they do, deal with it. Ask forgiveness, not permission.  How about a Wedged Door stop?  Not great, but it still might slow someone down.  Shooters know that they only have a limited amount of time until the Response Team arrives, and if they want to inflict maximum damage for a bigger headline they
need to move quickly.  As seen in the Newtown tragedy, if the shooter thinks that a space is unoccupied, they move on looking for other targets.  How about a “
Big Jammer Door Brace”?  Something like this is portable, can be stored behind your door or behind a shelf and slipped into place easily.  It’s also something great to have at home or in an apartment.  
 
5. TAKE OUT – “As a last resort, take out the shooter however you can.”  If it comes down to it, fight for your life.  If you are with a group, rally them to overwhelm the attacker.  Obviously this would be more effective if you had your own firearm.   But Penn State does not allow concealed carry on campus, so if you are law-abiding and compliant, you won’t have a firearm.  What else can you use?  Hopefully you have other parts of the force continuum at your disposal, for example, pepper spray, collapsible baton, and folding knife.  Any/all of these can be discreetly kept in your desk. Too scary for you or your officemates? How about a claw hammer and big-ass screwdriver?  “Ya know, I always
seem to be hanging pictures or fixing chairs in my office and I keep forgetting to take these tools home.”  The hammer can also be used to break some windows depending on the thickness/style of glass (if you have a first floor office and can use that for an exit  point).  How about a Louisville Slugger?  I attended a conference in Louisville and everyone received a bat with their name inscribed. I kept it in my office for years, not because it was especially meaningful, but because it was easily explained (“Yeah, I’m a huge baseball fan
and this is part of my memorabilia display”) and I could use it to whack the crap out of someone if I had to.  How about a fire extinguisher?  Not only is it a good idea to have one around for obvious reasons, it’s a great improvised weapon.  You can use it to spray on someone to blind/distract, and then use it as an impact weapon.  What about heavy brass
candlesticks?   Even if you aren’t allowed to burn candles, it could still be decorative (and useful). Make a mini-shrine to Manti Teo’s fake girlfriend if you have to.  The point is, be creative.  Even in the most non-permissive environments there are things that can be stored or displayed in your office that could act as a last-ditch weapon if needed.  
  
I appreciate Penn State’s honest efforts at addressing this topic and offering this training. However, I disagree with their stance and policies regarding concealed carry.  The officer presenting the training told us that 37% of Active Shooter scenarios happen at the workplace and 17% happen in Academic environments.  They asked the class why they thought that was true. There were several ideas, like stress, a poor economy, mental
illness. I offered “Do you think it’s because they are both gun-free zones with lots of targets?” That went over like a belch in church.  At first total silence, then the officer sputtered a little bit and replied “well, there are probably people carrying concealed there even if they’re not supposed to, so it’s probably not really gun-free zones.” Huh?  Acknowledging that people ignore the signs/rules so it’s really not gun-free, so that’s not really a reason why something might happen there? With logic like that, we could all run for President (and probably win).  

The other suggestion I would make is that if the University recommendation is to get out and/or hide and wait for the Response Teams to show up, then you should try to build confidence in the officers and the response teams.  Don’t send a less-than-fit, unarmed officer in plain clothes to give the presentation.   This particular content provider had no Command Presence and didn’t really instill confidence that “Yeah, these people are in control and are the type that I want covering my back or coming to save me from a nasty situation.”  In my opinion it was a lost opportunity to build a credible presence and
comfort level in the University’s preparedness program.
 
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What’s“Metabolic Training”? Depends on who you ask.  If
you ask me, most of the time I’ll say that all training is “metabolic training” since your metabolism is always active, sometimes burning more energy, sometimes
less, and different training stresses your body (metabolism/energy pathways) in different ways.  However, a common definition of metabolic training is
“completing structural and compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout.”

How do you do that? Typically by incorporating large muscle groups at high intensity with
little rest.  You can use bodyweight, barbells, dumbbells, KBs, sandbags, medicine balls, and/or ropes. I like incorporating the 2” x 50’ rope into some “metabolic” sets at the end of a workout.  The 2” rope weighs between 35 – 50 lbs., depending on whether it’s a Poly-blend (lighter) or Manila (heavier), so if you swing that bad boy for a little while,
you know you’ve done something.

A couple options to get you started:
1) Alternating or double waves, a rope end in each hand, other end anchored.
2) Bear crawls while dragging the doubled rope between your legs, forward/backward
3) Vertical Bursts – rope is extended to its’ full length and you try to send a wave to the other end repeatedly. It helps to have the other end anchored with a friend or heavy
sandbag
4) Slams - using the doubled rope from step 1, focus on slamming the rope down, not on
creating a wave.  Coach Nick Tumminello likes these better than Medicine Ball Slams since they require you to drive the rope back up which makes them more efficient for metabolic
training.  Check out his article here:
Medicine Ball Slams: Why they’re Overrated & 2 Better Exercises 

Any of these rope exercises can be combined in a sequence with other implements or exercises to create a metabolic circuit and get you heart rate jumping.  I like sequences of 3-5 exercises (more than that and I get confused in the cardio fog about what I’m supposed to do next or which rep/set I’m on), 8-10 reps each, a short rest 30-45 sec after completing all the exercises back to back, then repeated 2-8X.  The number of cycles depends on your goal (you do have a goal don’t you?) - is today a light day, heavy day, “rest/active recovery” day? Scale it for what you’re trying to accomplish with your current training.

I know you’re thinking “It’s a rope, how hard can it be?” Give it a try. Then let me know.


 
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Achieving a New Year’s resolution (or any other goal) is
relatively simple to do:

1) Decide what it is you want (ex. better reverse punch; smoother disarms; Gain/Lose 20 lbs; run a mile in 6:30; a new Ferrari or BMW or Yugo).

2) Figure out what steps, no matter how small, that will lead towards that goal.
3) Do it

Well if it’s so simple to do, why don’t more people do it?  
 
Because it’s simple NOT to do.

It’s much simpler to eat too much quick, crappy food than it is to plan ahead and have the ingredients on hand to make something healthy or have made enough over the weekend to pack in lunches all week.

It’s simpler to come home from work and crash in front of the Tube with your favorite beverage (“Oh, I drink Diet” – bully for you) than it is to work-out or stretch or read.  
 
It’s simpler to sleep in on Sundays instead of getting up and going to the church of your choice. 

The people that are successful in achieving their goals, in any category, are the ones that have more successful self-talk.  I’m going to steal a line from a recent Martin Rooney article, to continually ask myself: “Am I headed in the direction of better?”   Is what I’m doing right now, leading me closer to or taking me farther from any of my short or long term goals?  Is this making me a better Husband, Father, Volunteer, Employee, Martial
Artist, Fitness enthusiast?  
 
If I can’t answer that question with an affirmative “Yes”, then it should not surprise me if I’m having trouble achieving my goals. 

So, I have two recommendations:
1) Ask yourself this question a lot: “Am I headed in the direction of better?”   
2) Always be able to answer “Yes”


 
A quick note to start off 2013 on the right track. 

I have a confession to make.  I need to do more pushups.  I know, I know, we all do.  But I feel bad when I don’t work them into my regular routines.  But after 30 years of punching, my shoulders aren’t as forgiving as they used to be and higher volumes of pushups seem to aggravate them more often than not. 

So over the Christmas break I decided to invest a hard-earned  $0.99 for Martin Rooney’s Pushup Warrior” app for my iPad.  It includes 120 pushup variations, 60 workouts, a Pushup of the Day feature, and quick, short videos that demonstrate the variations.    I’ve been a Martin Rooney fan for years, like his “Warrior Cardio” book, and anything else he writes. 

I may not get to a new variation every day, but I plan on using this app throughout the year to add some pushup variety to my workouts, maybe as a starter or finisher, and just force me to get some more reps on the ground.  Check it out; I think you’ll like it.