Posted on

Principle Based Training: Strength

1) Safety First (2) Strength has a greater Purpose (3) Tension is Strength (4) Relaxation is Strength

5) Perfect Technique (6) Long Rest (7) Simple (8) Sinister

Strength Principles

If you follow these principles you will ALWAYS progress.

Because you will always have in the back of your head the reason you are training – making motivation a non-issue.

These principles should help construct your notions of how you workout (i.e. hardstyle, long rest),

and also guide you to a more holistic way of training and care taking of your self (relaxation/recovery).


1) Safety First

  • This includes personal space, choosing the appropriate weight, location and equipment.
  • It also means not training yourself to a point were the risk of injury becomes greater than the benefit received from the exercise.
  • Pain = NO gain (usually) – I am always reminded at this point of some Paul Chek says : “Train, don’t Drain”


2) Strength has a greater purpose

“Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the samurai… worshiped strength.
Because it is strength that makes all other values possible.”
(Enter the Dragon)

  • Strength is a SKILL; that means it can be TAUGHT, and that you are either GOOD at it or BAD at it – you are either strong, or weak. Being GOOD at something is valuable, but aspiring to be better is even greater.
  • Train strength because it carries over into everything else you do in the world : be it physical or mental.


3) Tension is Strength

  • This means HARD STYLE : you must learn how to utilize your bodies tension in order to improve your performance. This is achieved through certain tension techniques.
    • including: 1) make a white knuckle fist
      2) drive heels into floor
      3) crush a walnut between your Glutes
      4) squeeze the Abdominals
      5) utilize power breathing
    • the next step is knowing when to use them, that involves some strategy on your part.
  • Without proper abdominal bracing (tension) your risk of injury increases.
  • With proper abdominal bracing you can literally do anything you want (except fly).


4) Relaxation is strength

  • The other side of the coin of tension is relaxation and thus also the other side of Strength.
  • This includes proper rest between sets and appropriate recovery between workouts.
  • If you CANNOT relax (if you CANNOT exhale with an audible sigh of relief) you need to figure it out… Without Relaxation you will always have elevated cortisol and low testosterone levels (which is harmful over long periods of time).
  • Relaxation is also a Mobility Principle: along with breathing and patience; if you lack either of these it is now wonder why your strength and mobility goals seem so unattainable no matter how hard you try. You are trying too hard!


5) Perfect Technique

  • Every Rep. Every Set. Every Time…. technique, technique, technique : when you start a new training program or learn a new skill the first few weeks of improvements is predominantly NEUROLOGICAL. Only then will muscular adaption starts to occur.
  • Similarly once you train yourself past the stage of muscular adaption, almost ALL progress becomes neurological and technique based again.
  • Attention to technique while training (and having a coach provide correction/feedback) will fast track your road to strength – all the while SAVING YOU FROM INJURY.
  • INJURY PROOF YOURSELF by training with good form. The human body CANNOT perform perfect reps while under a high amount of metabolic fatigue – which brings us nicely to our next point….


6) Long Rest

  • Proper rest intervals are critical : serious strength training requires 3-5 minutes and even up to 15 minutes rest between near maximal lifts.
  • I go deeper into this subject in a previous post entitled : ‘Training Considerations: Rest, Set Type and Mental Management’
  • Pavel confirms everything I mention in his article ‘Long Rests: Russian Science to the Rescue’
  • A final reason to rest long and to keep the sets short (20-40sec max), is what Al Ciampa says in the above article, namely :

    “If you let the “burn” in the muscle rise too high, you literally destroy the mitochondria, the very thing you tried to build”

  • the last tip I have for you comes from a source I cannot remember but it goes:  “Don’t confuse Strength and Conditioning with Conditioning and more Conditioning”


7) Simple

  • For building impressive strength use the KISS principle.

Check out StrongFirst Simple and Sinister: a strength and endurance program that will prepare you for literally ANYTHING

  • Simple because the exercises themselves are easy to learn
  • Simple because you use only a hand full of exercises and you get really good at them.  Furthermore, as your technique improves, the greater the training effect becomes.


8) Sinister

  • Sinister because training for strength is HARD WORK!
  • The individual movements themselves may be ‘simple’ – but the combination of maintaining technique and speed while fatigued (and still using heavy weights) demands that your body adapt.

check out Simple and Sinister at the StrongFirst website:

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister


If you follow these principles you will ensure progress.

Have fun with this information and explore what works best for you.

If you get confused or just don’t know where to start / what to do  –  that is when you need to get a coach.

These principles are useless unless there is a goal or end product in mind.


> if you enjoyed this post, share it with someone who you think would benefit


Martin Colangelo

“The Better Movement Specialist”

Stay Strong my friends!



Posted on

The Anatomy of FLOW (HAPPINESS and FLOW series #2)


The Anatomy of FLOW

Control of consciousness determines our quality of life – This much we know.

So the question is,

How do we learn to control our consciousness?

*Before we get into this, note that: knowledge of how to control consciousness has been known for thousands of years – the issue is that every time the cultural context changes,  the information must be reformulated to fit the new cultural context. For this reason, control over consciousness cannot be institutionalized – “there is no way out of this predicament except for an individual to take things in hand personally.”

> the goal of this article is to help you contextualize Flow and its relationship to Happiness <

FLOW can be achieved in as many ways as there are individuals who care to try.

YOGA – achieves FLOW through mental and physical discipline

ZEN – achieves FLOW through cultivating constant spontaneity

BUT – the intended result is the same:

To free the inner life of an individual from the threat of chaos or entropy.

START – by understanding the limits of consciousness

This is what is meant by ‘limits’ of your consciousness – Obviously, you cannot do things like understand 3 conversations at once…


  • Well in the first place, you cannot really truly ‘multitask’
    • What happens is your attention simply flips from one subject, to another, and back again -which effects efficiency and reduces performance of the tasks at hand.

Some nitty-Gritty information on neural processing speeds:

  • 7 bits of info can be processed at any one time
  • 126/ second
  • 7,560/minute
  • ½ million/hour
  • 185 billion/lifetime (75 years @ 16hours of wakefulness)


You ARE able to collect the info from 3 different people talking to you simultaneously.


You would have to put out of consciousness ALL other thoughts and sensations.




Attention selects the relevant bits out of the millions of bits of info available to you at any one time

Attention retrieves the appropriate memories, evaluates the situation, and then chooses the best thing to do – based on the information at hand.

A healthy ability to Focus Attention is one in which consciousness remains under control until the task at hand is completed – despite external distractions.

This skill of attention – whether under direct control or not – determines the contents of one’s thoughts and therefore assists in the creation of who we are.

But what if I cannot ‘pay attention’?

  • What is “I” anyway? – “I” is the thing that decides what to do with your attention.
  • The “I” / The Self, directs attention.
  • and Attention determines the self and the contents of thought (as discussed earlier).
  • Paradoxically; The Self directs attention, while attention determines the self.


Information coming upon your nervous system will either:

  1. Create disorder and get you wound up


  1. Reinforce goals and increase enjoyment, thus freeing up attention which can be focused on making a task at hand more efficient.

FLOW occurs when threats are eliminated and disorder is straightened out.

The battle is not ‘against the self’ – but against the entropy that brings about a disordered mind / consciousness.

Automation: a blessing and a curse

The nervous system is extremely efficient at ‘chunking’ bits of information such that a task that once took 10 units of effort will only need 8 units of effort to complete the next time, maybe 5 the next time and so on and so on…. this process allows some high achievers to execute intensely complicated computations or movements with seeming ease and grace.


Habits can either “good” or “bad”

A good habit is to respond with compassion and to treat others with dignity.

A Bad habit is to respond to a task with dread, rolling your eyes as you curse under your breath.

Both these habits can form WITHOUT ATTENTION i.e. without conscious knowledge or intention (a subconscious process).

One must be ever vigilant in clearing their consciousness of these habitual ways of being, moving, seeing, thinking and interacting with others and their environment.

As we age, the less automation the better – The more of our daily life that is automated, the quicker one follows the biological and social patterns generated by society to their – very literal – end.

On a different note,

Time spent in leisure i.e. free from obligations – typically consists of us using the brain/body as little as possible. This lack of use is disturbing because it in fact hinders progression of skills and decreases the likelihood of FLOW.

If one’s skill is not consistently challenged, the likelihood of FLOW decreases. And if certain skill goes unused for a long enough period the body LITERALLY begins to shut it down, i.e. Use It Or Lose It = You ‘Age’.




Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”

– Blog Author

Owner / Instructor @

*contact me for a free consultation


Posted on

(almost) Everything You Need To Know About FAT…

In the past, we were urged to banish that four-letter word…

 … from our diets and from our lives – whenever possible.

So naturally, we switched to low-fat foods…

But the shift didn’t make us healthier! This is because we cut back the healthy fats as much as we cut back the harmful fats.

FATS …. almost everything you need to know:

You may well be wondering: “isn’t fat bad for you?”

Response: your body needs some fat to survive.

>It’s the body’s major source of energy.

>Fat is required for proper absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

>Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves.

>It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

However for long-term health some fats are better than others….

…. Not all fats were created equal.


Good Fats include:

  • monounsaturated and
  • polyunsaturated fats.


Bad Fats:

  • industrial-made Trans Fats.


Saturated Fats – fall somewhere in the middle.


All fats have a similar chemical structure: a chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms.

What makes one fat different from another is the length and shape of the carbon chain and the number of hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon atoms.

Seemingly slight differences in structure translate into crucial differences in form and function.

Bad Fats

The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. When vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen and a heavy-metal catalyst such as palladium, hydrogen atoms are added to the carbon chain. This turns oils into solids. It also makes healthy vegetable oils more like not-so-healthy saturated fats.

Early in the 20th century, trans fats were found mainly in solid margarines and vegetable shortening (. As food makers learned new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, they began appearing in everything from commercial cookies and pastries French fries.

Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol.

Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. – in fact, trans fats can harm health in even small amounts:

for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.

Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Today, these mainly man-made fats are rapidly fading from the food supply.


In-between Fats

Saturated fats are common in the American diet. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease, but what is saturated fat? Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.

The word “saturated” here refers to the number of hydrogen atoms surrounding each carbon atom.

The chain of carbon atoms holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible — it’s saturated with hydrogen.

But is saturated fat bad for you?

A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body.

For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.

Further analysis shows not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease.


Good Fat

Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. They differ from saturated fats by having fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid. There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats.

When you dip your bread in olive oil at an Italian restaurant, you’re getting mostly monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature.

Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.

Although there no recommendations on monounsaturated fats many experts say to replace saturated and definitely trans fats. 

Polyunsaturated fats.

When you pour liquid cooking oil into a pan, there’s a good chance you’re using polyunsaturated fat. Corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are common examples. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they’re required for normal body functions but your body can’t make them. So you must get them from food. Polyunsaturated fats are used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats:

> omega-3 fatty acids
> omega-6 fatty acids

Both types offer health benefits.

Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and improves the cholesterol profile. It also lowers triglycerides.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke.

In addition to reducing blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising.

Evidence also suggests they may help reduce the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies linking omega-3s to a wide range of other health improvements, including reducing risk of dementia, are inconclusive

Omega-6 fatty acids have also been linked to protection against heart disease. Foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils.


WELL – there you go!

almost everything you need to know about FATS!

Take care folks




Co-Owner / Instructor / Author @

Contact us Now for a Free Consultation*


Posted on

How to Become an Extraordinary Person (HAPPINESS and FLOW series #1.2)

How to Become an Extraordinary Person – Continued:

“Improving Quality of Life”


Having a ‘complex’ personality is always a Bad thing.

Being Extraordinary (as we have been using the term) is the result of two basic but essential mental processes: Integration and Differentiation.


  • Movement toward uniqueness or specialization – and towards separating oneself from others. A self that differentiated (and not integrated) may attain great individual accomplishments – but runs the risks of being mired in egotism.



  • Union with others, ideas and entities beyond the self. Without integration, a fully differentiated system would be a confusing mess. However, an entirely integrated person will be connected and secure, but lack autonomous individuality.


A complex self is one that succeeds in combining these opposite tendencies.


How FLOW increases HAPPINESS:

  • The self becomes more differentiated as a result of flow:
    • overcoming challenges inevitably leaves a person feeling more capable and skilled.
  • Flow also helps integrate the self:
    • in a state of deep concentration, consciousness is unusually well ordered.

Flow allows us to receive the best from both of these worlds! and thus dramatically improve the quality of our lives.


Improve your ‘Quality of Life’.

2 Strategies>

1>Try to make your ‘external conditions’ match your goals.


2>Change how you experience these ‘external conditions.’


#1 is very challenging to do – for altering external conditions does  not always improve existence.


#2 since how we feel about ourselves is based on the quality of our experiences – in order to improve one’s ‘quality of life’ – one must inevitably improve the quality of their ‘experiences’

And there are many, MANY ways to go about doing this ….


Before We Go Into the Many Ways to Improve ‘Q of L’,

Let us discus the difference between Pleasure and Enjoyment.

Why? I hear you ask…

Because Pleasure and Enjoyment are much different things ***


Ø  Enjoyable events occur when a person has not only met prior expectation or needs – but has gone beyond and achieved something unexpected.



Ø  A feeling of contentment achieved when your consciousness believes expectations set by our “biological and social conditioning” have been met.


*** and because Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create new order within consciousness – whereas Enjoyment or Flow can.


The Phenomenology of Enjoyment, or FLOW:


  • Must we have a chance of being completed (appropriate skill level).


  • Must be able to concentrate.


  • Task must have clear goals


  • Must provide immediate feedback.


  • “One acts with a deep but effortless involvement that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life. “


  • There is an increased sense of control over one’s life.


  • Concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger.


  • Sense of time is altered.


Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety; when the challenges are balanced with the individuals capacity to perform. This occurs when the difficulty of a ‘game’ is kept constant – a fine balancing of challenges and skills – THIS yields the maximum of enjoyment, and increase in the quality of one’s life



Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”

– Blog Author

Owner / Instructor @

*contact me for a free consultation

Posted on

“Homogenized Milk” – Nutritional Roulette (prt6/8)

Nutritional Roulette



  • Homogenization: a process by which a substance is mechanically altered by being heated and pressed through a filter at high temperatures.
  • Molecules end up so small they can by-pass the intestinal track and get absorbed directly into the blood stream!
    • Interfering with cardiovascular function and arterial lining


XO – enzyme xanthine oxidase

  • Released by mechanical process (only 50% removed by pasteurization)
  • Linked to inflammatory and immune diseases


Cream Line

  • Prior to WWI milk was Non-Homogenized: a thick line of cream was at the top.
  • A bigger “cream Line” meant a better product (more calories and fat etc)
  • NO Cream Line means no idea of product quality

Homogenization requires Pasteurization within hours (or else it will spoil)

However, the reverse is not true.

Pasteurized Milk does not require Homogenization.

= done to increase production and profits

IRONICALLY, Pasteurization will kill the very enzyme (which is naturally occurring in milk itself ) which allows lactose to be digestible by the human body.


Stay tuned for PART 7!

Martin Colangelo – Blog Author

& Owner / Instructor


Contact us for a FREE consultation

Continue reading “Homogenized Milk” – Nutritional Roulette (prt6/8)