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Strength training: extreme challenges

You can’t exactly train for this:  Put half an apple at one end of a HavAHart trap, close up that end.  When the 30 pound big sucker groundhog who has been chomping your azaleas runs in the other end and gets trapped, now you are about to have an extreme strength challenge.

You don’t want to leave the groundhog there all day until help arrives.  So, you pick up the whole thing, trap and groundhog, a total of about 50 pounds, put it in the trunk.  Drive it a goodly ways away and let the groundhog out, picking it up out of the trunk again, of course.  (You can’t make this stuff up, the woman weighs 115 pounds and her best exercise is kneading bread dough.)

Or maybe you can train for real life if you train with someone like D.C. Maxwell, or Ernesto Weiss, and/or get some tips from your Rolfer if you insist on doing your own program.  Both D.C. and Ernesto teach functional movement in weight training.  If you are resilient enough, they will teach you kettlebells.  If you need to start slow, they start slow.

The art of building up to strength training, when you have been injured or have not done any ever — or for a long while, is best done with someone who can keep you from re-injury, or injury.  With me, you will usually start really slow if you have been injured.

One’s body tends to build connective patterns as it is used; so if you are building, i.e. strength training, into a hurtful structural pattern, you will cause increased trouble.

When coming back from a grievous hurt, I like to have folks be able to walk at least 30 minutes at a good clip for several weeks before they start doing something more risky.  Maybe you will need to swim or bike depending on your injury.  I do coach folks on what flow and strength looks like for their special structural and functional requirements, during the Rolfing sessions.  Then if they care to work out, I help them find someone who can guide them.

Ernesto brought in this problem recently:  overcome a shoulder injury and be able to do 100 kettlebell snatches in less than 5 minutes by his 5th session of the standard basic 10 series.  

Unimaginable. Needless to say, I can no more do this than I can play the Mendelssohn concerto on the violin.

However, it was apparent how the shoulder was not riding in its socket, and that more flow in breathing and more extensional movement would help in repeating this over and over.   Stay tuned to the Russian Kettlebell Challenge for how this turns out!  (

Here are these 2 folks’ contact numbers if you are feeling like some fall workouts:

*D.C. Maxwell, in Center City, Philadelphia, 215. 901-227

*Ernesto Weiss, HKC, NSCA-CPT in Philadelphia suburbs, area code 610. 348-4068

You can’t go wrong with either of them.  Have you had experience with kettlebells or strength training?  Know another good strength trainer? Want to share?

This Post Has 3 Comments
    1. Yes, it is amazing looking.

      Another trainer who is excellent:
      Saul Benamy in Havertown. He has good knowledge of structure and does great work with young people, too.

  1. Last week Ernesto Weiss passed the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, did 100 of the kettlebell snatches in 4 minutes 47 seconds!
    Congrats, Ernesto!

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