Physical Culture as an Entrepreneurship?

“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.”

– Voltaire

Physical Culture as an Entrepreneurship?  Yes, you bet.  Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be all about making money, though that is the commonly accepted meaning of the term.  I rather like to think of it as guiding an emerging idea into being, irrespective of profit margin.  Check out this take on the Entrepreneurial mindset.

And take a look at the list of presenters scheduled for this summer’s Ancestral Health Symposium in Los Angeles; that, my friends, is a distinguished who’s who of Physical Culture’s current entrepreneurial luminaries.  And of the event’s masterminds, Brent Pottenger, and Aaron Blaisdale?  Think of them as the Bill Gates’ of the Ancestral Health movement; entrepreneurs extraordinaire.

You can check-out a great interview with Brent and Aaron about the Symposium on the Whole9 blog.

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No dogma, only results.  One of the best training articles I’ve read recently comes from the crowd over at Elite Fitness. Titled Methods of Muscle (by Rick Danison), this article discusses the positive benefits of the integration of various tools and methods.  Listen, folks, there are no bad tools, and there are no bad methods —  poorly thought-out combinations of these, to be sure — but the underlying tools and methods in and of themselves simply “are”.  Would anyone think to tell a chef that basil is “bad”, or that braising is a deficient method, without first qualifying that statement?  Yet we do, in essence, the very same thing in the S&C community when we dogmatize (is that a word??  Well, it is now…) any one training method/modality at the expense of another.

Again, I had another week stock-full of extreme high-intensity “mini” workouts, utilizing a full spectrum of methods and modalities.  I seem to thrive on this type of workout scheme — but is it necessarily an Evolutionary/Ancestral Fitness approach?  Well, maybe.  Just as there was a wide range in the macronutrient content of various HG populations (based, in most part, on their relative proximity to the equator), so too, I believe, there must have been wide variance in HG energy expenditure profiles; amplitude and frequency of intensity bursts must have varied wildly.  The mainstream currently has a puppy-love thing going on with the “human as an endurance athlete” template.  And, indeed, many exhibit this phenotype today in a very natural and healthy way.  More power to ’em.  These mainstream “endurance apologists”, though, seem to ignore the vast array of purely power-leaning phenotypical examples on display all around them.  Have they never observed the sprint/throws portion of the Olympic games?  Gymnastics?  Rugby or American football?  Certain human genetic lines were obviously wired for power expression as well, but for some reason we’re lead to believe that we modern humans all stem from a persistence-hunting only “Adam and Eve”.  Now maybe I don’t have current science on my side, but I do believe it is a serious mistake to use “current science” to blinker one’s self against simple observation.

Chris Johnson as a persistence hunter??  Yeah, Okay…


Ideally, science and observation/accumulated wisdom should work in unison; too many times, though, these camps are at odds.  A mighty fine edge can be put on the blade of accumulated wisdom by using current and applicable science as a sharpening stone (Tabata-like protocols, anyone?).   But science — or more precisely, those who argue from a scientific point of view, and to the exclusion of “accumulated wisdom” — would do well to acknowledge that science, at least in the realm of Physical Culture (and exercise science in particular), hits up against some serious, serious limitations.  For example, the single-set-to-failure crowd would have me to believe that the Bill Pearl types of this world are…an aberration?  Or that Bill Pearl would have been the same “Bill Pearl” if he’d trained under the one-set-to-failure tenants.  Becoming mired in a premise while ignoring real-world results is no place to be, and this argument simply does not hold-up to my 30+ years of observation; that I have no published “science” to back my claim does not (and should not) blind me to my observations and accumulated wisdom.  Of course it does make me question, and relentlessly so, the “whys” and “hows” — but it certainly does not make me deny “what is”.  The Zen masters put it this way: do not plunder the Mystery with concepts.  That something works by way of some scientifically-yet-to-be-determined mechanism does not obviate the fact that it does, in fact, work.  The best that science can do at that point is to “hone the blade”.  No doubt a welcome and anticipated service, but no reason for me not to employ the particular tool in question now.  We’ve gone from the strop and straight blade to the quad-blade razor cartridge, and at no point has the ol’ straight blade in an experienced hand been made obsolete.  Something tells me the ol’ repetition method, properly applied, is here to stay.

Let’s look at some workouts –

Sunday, 2/6/11 –

The six-minute-and-15-second leg dust-up:

Mark Alexander, president of Efficient Exercise, called this the 19th, 20th, and 21st-century workout.  And it truly was, as I utilized CZT technology, Nautilus know-how, and plain ol’ low-tech, grunt-it-out, farmers walks.   Brief, brutal and basic?  Hell yeah.  And we’re beginning to phase-in a few of our Project Transformation participants to this type of more integrated approach as well.  This is the beauty of n=1 integration; finding the right mix for each individual, letting the story reveal itself as each participant travels down his own Physical Culture path.  For some, a CZT-based workout is all they’ll ever need and indeed, want — for others, the CZT is just another (though fantastic!) tool in the Physical Culture toolbox.

Monday, 2/7/11 –

Dynamic trap bar deadlifts – (red and purple bands): 335 x 3 x 10 sets; 15-secs between “sets”

Tuesday, 2/8/11 –

Bodyweight dips: 200 total, in every conceivable rep scheme you can imagine.  The only constant here was the drive to spend as little time on the ground as possible between “sets”.

Thursday, 2/10/11 –

Max Effort bent-over row (Oly bar): 135 x 7; 225 x 6; 275 x 3; 295 x 3; 315 x 2; 325 x 2; 335 x 2; 345 x 1; 355 x 1; 360 x 1; 365 x 1

Followed, approximately 4 hours later by –

(A1) straight bar bicep curl: 95 x 12

(A2) EZ bar triceps extension: 105 x 12

four rounds, very little rest between sets.

Friday, 2/11/11 –

(A1) power cleans: 165 x 5; 190 x 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 (emphasis speed, crisp form)

(A2) blast strap planks & pikes: 15 each round

Saturday, 2/12/11

(A1) cable “lean-in” bicep curls: 155 x 12, 7; 170 x 4+  (hierarchical)

(B1) cable incline flye: 155 x 13; 170 x 7; 175 x 3+ (hierarchical)

(B2) CZT-Vertical chest press: 5 hyper-reps

In health,

Keith