I got a note from a friend yesterday directing me over to the Dragondoor forum.
Dragondoor is the website of a fellow named Pavel Tsatsouline, who introduced kettelbells to the American public. Pavel has some interesting stuff and I have found some value in what he has offered. I much prefer kettlebells to dumbbells, though I have to admit I find clubbells even more to my liking, but that is very much a personal preference.
There was a discussion going on about using my friend Scott Sonnon's Flowfit program in conjunction with the Dragondoor material. I find such discussions useful as a rule, as much good knowledge can be gained through use of the dialectic.
Personally I think Flowfit is one of the most useful programs that someone who follows Pavel's kettelbell work can use. Most of Pavel's stuff tends toward to the linear, using high repetition and heavy weight for development. Flow fit, on the other hand, moves the body in every possible direction in each session, What Scott calls
The Six Degrees of FreedomThis compensates for the constant long repetition of simple movement quite nicely, and if one is intelligent about things you can get something of the best of both worlds.
Heaving: moving up and down
Swaying: moving left and right
Surging: moving forward and back
Pitching: tilting up and down
Yawing: turning left and right
Rolling: tilting side to side
I was enjoying my reading until I came to this post
Pavel is a Russian Beast compared to Scott"Dang", I thought, "It must be a Republican".
Pavel's skinier but he looks super tough. I don't know. Scott looks supersoft. But when I use my 2" handled clubbells it adds size to my shoulders and arms and serious size to my forearms. I want a 45lb clubbell to play around with but when I look at Scott's physique it's discouraging. It looks like he's gone downhill physically(gotten soft in the can among others) since all the yoga stuff.
Lately we have heard much about the Right Wing Authoritarian Personality in politics, but this particular aberration is one of the most ubiquitous in every field of human endeavor. I suspect that this sort of mentality is also one of the core causes of trolling such as we see here on the net.
Rather than joining in on an interesting and fruitful conversation, this fellow had to sycophantically parrot the "media image" material, much in the same way that other sorts of fundamentalists use religious slogans to create a "group-think" collective.
If I were a Freudian I would make note of the sexualized language the the guy uses. Right wing Authoritarian types want to submit to "Authority", this is found often in a certain repressed type of individual and leads to a sort of unhealthy, sublimated eroticism manifesting in their thoughts. Hence describing Pavel as a "Russian Beast" and the focus on Scott's "can".
The biggest problem with this sort of psychological focus though, is its near complete replacement of any sort of objective reality with the "group social mythology". In this case it is Pavel as the "Russian Beast" who is the ultimate "alpha male". As a good Beta, the fellow who wrote the post in question cannot allow any "challenge" to his Alpha's supremacy, so talking about value in someone else's work is a major threat, hence the "snarl language".
If one were to look at the real difference between Scott Sonnon and Pavel Tsatsouline, physically speaking, one thing stands out to me. Because of the training philosophy that Pavel uses, he tends to carry a good deal of residual muscular tension. This is because of his use of pressurising and irradiation of tension to produce force. That extra tension can fool the uninformed into thinking a person has a better physique than is actually the case.
Scott, on the other hand has very little residual muscular tension when at rest. This gives the appearance of long smooth muscles rather than the striations of hypertension. What has happened I think is that we no longer really understand how to look at some one's body and see it for what it is. I suspect it is because we have been overly affected by the image of the "body builder".
Which brings me to the point of this entry, what you can do is worth more than how you look.
Here's the thing, If Batman or Daredevil were real, they would train like Scott Sonnon.
Take a look at this clip, it's one day out of a 28 day cycle. What you see is not just moving a heavy weight in one track to force hypertrophy.
This sort of exercise program produces not only strength, (which it does in spades), but also coordination, balance, endurance, flexibility, suppleness, speed, and so on. In other words, if you were looking to be someone who could do, rather than just "look" then this is how to go about it.
If this is "super soft" then that's what I want. I know that Scott can go through any of Pavel's exercise routines and at the very least match Pavel rep for rep, pound for pound, but I don't know that the reverse would be true. The dragondoor material, though superior to conventional bodybuilding, is still two dimensional, the CST material is of a different level all together and requires much more of you than just being able to "move heavy weight".
So if you want to move like Batman, being at home in all three dimensions, mastering complex tasks that require being strong, fast, supple, balanced and coordinated, then perhaps you want something more like Scott's 4x7 program.