WOW is all I can say – for the past couple of months I have been working with my partners at Precision Athlete to put together one of the most interesting kettlebell seminars that New York has probably ever seen. This past weekend we held the Doc and Dane Show at the Fighthouse in NYC. There is more specific information about Dr. Cheng and Kenneth Jay on the link at the top of the page, for now I really want to talk about how it all went down!
Day 1 – Dr. Mark Cheng A.K.A. “Doc”
He held the entire class in a state of awe teaching us the latest techniques in functional movement science. Its really thruogh events like this one that you understand that the kettlebell really is just a tool, the movement is really the key.
Doc hammered home the finer points of the KB movements, I mean he literally goes over details that you would not even think about. Really it is the fact that he has been able to take what used to seem to me were complex movements to teach, and be able to teach them to an 8 year old just as good as an 80 year old. He truly is gifted when it comes to giving cues and making people understand exactly what it is you want them to do.
To put this in perspective, the class was a mix of quite a few beginners and quite a few very advanced people, some chiropractors, and some physical therapists mixed together. Doc was able to get EVERYONE on board and performing the exercises with correct technique at the same time! It was truly a sight to see.
He definitely finished us off at the end with a Goblet Squat and Swing workout, and made us all earn our dinner!
Every time he comes around he graciously shares his wealth of knowledge, and it is a true honor to have been able to see him speak again.
Day 2 – Kenneth Jay A.K.A. “The Dane of Pain”
This was my first time seeing Kenneth Jay speak, so I was truly excited to hear what he had to say. Little did I know what I was in for! From the beginning of the morning the whole day was just a blur of joint mobility drills, lectures on the latest scientific theories of strength and conditioning, a ton of KB snatches and presses, new uses for jump stretch bands and a super slooooow squat routine that had the whole class gasping for air! The attendees definitely knew why he earned the title “The Dane of Pain”!
These guys were both incredible, the energy each brought to the room was outstanding. The chemistry between them as speakers kept us all going all day long!
By the end I was physically beat, and mentally bursting at the seams with new information . . . how could you expect anything less when Doc and Dane come to town?
TAKE AWAY POINTS FROM THE DOC AND DANE SHOW –
1) His description on mobility and stability really stood out and he made the points crystal clear. On top of that, he has a great analogy about how your body starts to think that your butt is your foot when you sit too long. Check out his blog post here for the details – Does your butt think its your foot?
2) Up on the white board for the whole day they left up this salient point –
“SAID Principle – The body ALWAYS adapts to EXACTLY what it does!!!”
I mention this because it is a principle that I think many strength coaches and trainers take for granted. We all know what it means, but how many of us actually apply it? The point is much deeper than you think.
Doc and Dane literally hammered home this point throughout the weekend, I left with a whole new understanding of the SAID principle and what how to effectively apply it. Since then, I have seen dramatic changes in form with most of my clients just by applying these techniques over the last few days!
3) “No foot stability will compensate and rob mobility. The lower back will be forced to move more often.” Doc Cheng
The arch is the strongest structure in architecture, as it should also be one of the strongest structures of our physical bodies. The support that is created from the foot will bring strength and stability all the way up the musculo-skeletal kinetic chain.
We spent a good part of the morning discussing the foot and its importance in movement quality – yes, the foot is THAT important!
4) Towards the end of the day, we got into squatting technique, since the class was so mixed some people were having trouble getting deep. Usually this is due to quad dominance, or tight hip flexors, or both. It was at this point that Doc blew my mind with his quad domination elimination solution – he put us through 2 very vigorous stretches that made most of the class feel their hip flexors for the first time! All of a sudden – PERFECT SQUATS!
The Dane of Pain:
1) I did not know he was an Olympic strength coach AND a neuroscientist, Kenneth is actually studying for his PhD in neuroscience!
2) He brought up the point of the nervous system and that it is THE governing system of not only our bodies but our entire lives. The nervous system controls everything from how we move to how we react emotionally to certain stimuli.
3) One of the most impressive parts of the day with him was all the joint mobility drills he ran us through. I had just recently started learning about joint mobility, but I did not know how instant the feedback was!
4) “Tai-Chi Movement – move slow, deliberately and with intent.” – he said this various times throughout the day. In order to learn a movement, or even to make sure you even have the correct movement, make sure you can do it slow . . . how slow? Try a bodyweight squat, 1 rep – 2 minutes on the eccentric, and 2 minutes on the concentric, then you will know if you really “own” the movement! (insert evil laugh here!)
5) Finally, Kenneth is the master at teaching the press and the snatch. We went through his Viking Warrior Protocol – and we all survived – a little winded, but we made it! His press techniques are just as awesome as his snatch techniques, it was great learning these from the Viking himself!
It was a fantastic weekend! I give the most humble of thanks to Dr. Cheng and Kenneth Jay for coming to NYC to drop their knowledge and school us on the real techniques to help people move better.
Looking forward to the next time!