First day of Wheelie School; when your instructor crashes, too! | The Cloudfoot Diaries #73

The Yamaha RXS 100 has been praised in my circle as the only bike you’ll ever need to become a baron on the back wheel. My sensei has owned 7 of them in his lifetime and has struggled to kill pretty much all of them. Their legacy is diverse; from escaping police through the local woodland multiple times, to performing helmetless stand-up wheelies for half kilometer lengths. And when you ride one, you can’t help but feel exactly like John Connor from Terminator 2.

Yes, this is the face you will pull upon riding one.

A 98cc, 2 stroke engine with an esoteric Powerband Induction System means that once you hit 3000 revs, this bastard wants to lift faster than you can say Eddie Hall.
My sensei and myself went halves on purchasing the RXS back in July and due to her being somewhat of an old fart (1986 she was born) it’s taken us the best part of two months to get her running smooth enough to start risking our skeletal health with her.
These old bikes run on a single carburetor, arguably the linchpin in the whole combustion system. When they get dirty and clogged from years of fuel being pumped through them, they really need nothing better than a good clean ‘n’ reset. Just ask Jenna Jameson.

Day one of Wheelie School would commence at a nearby abandoned airport with very little street furniture to crash into other than old tyres and the odd line of shrubbery. Far better than practicing on the main road, as we were about to find out.

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No Gi Reflections #4 | Working with stunt performer Lucy Cork

For the best part of the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with renowned stunt performer Lucy Cork, teaching her the art of Submission Grappling spliced with elements of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

lucy cork combat

Lucy has an impressive track record considering she’s only been in the stunts game for a few years.

Lucy Cork Filmography

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No Gi Reflections #1 | Transfer of skills from Muay Thai to No Gi BJJ

Muay Thai BJJ

No Gi Reflections is my blogging series that reveals insights from my own journey with No Gi training and practice, as well as revelations and lessons from training others.

For the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of training stuntman Doug Robson of Kaskadare stunts in the basic applications of grappling; mainly No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling, down at the ever-impressive Locker 27. His background is varied, predominantly based in Muay Thai from what he’s explained to me.

What I’ve found interesting since teaching Doug is how fast he has adapted to moving on the floor once he understood the various principles of weight displacement, how to move and scoot the hips, and most notably, engaging the legs. I’ve boiled this down to Muay Thai. Why? Because I’ve recently started teaching world, european and british Muay Thai champion, Sheree Halliday, in the same fashion, and her adaptation has been very similar.

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Pondering the requirements of a personalised training programme | The Cloudfoot Diaries #47

megabacksquat

With the global new year’s resolution craze under the title ‘health and fitness’ being somewhat viral each and every January, I have been thinking lately about my own goals and the requirements that need to be present in my training programmes for 2015. Whatever your physical goals are, the information is out there on how to attain it.

For me personally, my quest towards ‘Ninja status’ continues. With a new found interest in the sport and methodology of Weightlifting coming in the latter part of 2014, and a continuing desire to achieve the most ridiculous of gymnastic holds, a key question for me when designing and researching the available methods on how to achieve this was; ‘How can I combine gymnastics and weightlifting together, into a week-by-week programme?

Taking that question a step further; ‘What are my physical goals for 2015?‘ and ‘How can they be implemented in to the same programme, as a semi-professional athlete?

pantplanche

Planches in your pants are a must

These are important questions to ask yourself for your own training. Following people’s programmes is a great idea, as long as they aim to deliver the same sort of results that you are striving for. Too many people out there fall for the Men’s Health Bullshit Special, that rarely addresses real weaknesses of the individual (or has a built-in methodology on how to do so) and is founded upon achieving often unrealistic goals that are based on fads and mass-marketable appeal. You know turd is in the air if your workout can’t be completed without buying the author’s supplement inventory.

One of my favourite pastimes is digging around the internet, researching whatever it is I’m interested in. In this instance, combining gymnastics with weightlifting isn’t really talked about other than within the realms of Crossfit, which doesn’t interest me beyond the programming side. I’m more psyched for movement enhancement, a state of flow and ninja prowess, than I am increasing my capacity to that of an engine.

The Chinese Olympic Weightlifting team are renowned for combining gymnastics with weightlifting, except they are all juiced to rafters from aged 11 meaning they can recover overnight and go again, for years on end. I’m not taking steroids, so I have to bare in mind I’m realistically not going to be able to match their training standards, however much I might think I’m superhuman.

olympic-lifting-backflip

Programming is everything. The highest quality results don’t surface from the ‘I’ll just feel my way through today’s improvised workout‘ anymore. Scientific programming produces the best of the best; just look at the Soviet’s gymnastic and weightlifting record (science combined with ruthless political agenda no doubt, but still science nonetheless).

Programming yourself is tricky, however. It’s hard not to over complicate the template and to be brutally honest about where your weaknesses lie.

Considerations and requirements for my own programming were as follows;

  1. Increasing my Snatch lift from 63kg to 70kg and Clean and Jerk from 90kg to 100kg.
  2. Increasing Front Squat 3RM from 90kg to 100kg.
  3. Progressing along the seemingly infinite path towards holding a Planche and Front Lever.
  4. Mobility exercises that develop my own mobility weaknesses and progression towards achieving the splits (in time); ankles and hips mainly.
  5. Gymnastic movement progress – notably the roundoff and basic tumbling.
  6. Intrinsic prehab exercises to help prevent injury as much as possible.
  7. Training 6 days a week whilst somehow still having a life
  8. Increase my lean muscle mass – body weight increase from 82kg to 85kg.
  9. A basic metabolic conditioning component (I’ve noticed stagnations in my strength and recovery progress without including this)
  10. Each session can’t really exceed 90 minutes in length. I have friends. Honest.

The above are scheduled in for a 12 week block. Programming beyond this and I tend to lose focus. 12 weeks also allows you to tell what is really effective and what is rubbish.
Of course, the appropriate deloading and recovery protocols are included – 12 weeks straight up is not a wise move.

So how do exemplary sessions look like taking the above into account? In what order do each of these requirements exist?
Here are some ideas;

Option 1
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training (Handstand progressions / variations)
Sprints / Plyometrics
Strength Training 
Stretching

Option 2
Warm up 
Low Intensity Skill Training 
Weightlifting
Metabolic Conditioning
Stretching

Option 3
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training
Weightlifting 
Gymnastics Static / Dynamic Strength 
Stretching

Option 4
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training
Gymnastics Static / Dynamic Strength
Accessories
Stretching

Option 5
Warm up
Gymnastics Class 
Stretching

The reason for the skill training being placed directly after the warm up is because this is when your nervous system is freshest. If you’re progressing through a technical movement or hold you do not want to be attempting to reinforce the motor pattern after you’ve exhausted yourself. Fresh is best. Low intensity is important, too. From the resources I have found, it has been suggested that if you use a high intensity before your main work begins, you’re at risk of fatiguing key muscles that you’re going to need for proper progression later. A lower intensity progression is a wiser move as it allows you to still reinforce a position without it tiring out stabiliser muscles too early.

Also, with so many considerations to include in a session, time management is key. Throwing the skills in early as part of an extended warm up, each and every time I train, means I’m getting in the mileage without realising. Productivity!

So how does this all fit in to a week’s schedule? That’s the next post…

Resources
Gant Grimes Hybrid Crossfit PDF
Greg Everett – Olympic Weightlifting
Christopher Sommer – Foundation 1 and 2
Eric Cressey – Show and Go

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Harry Cloudfoot is a slackline instructor and stunt performer based in London. You can follow him on Twitter or read his other Cloudfoot Diaries here.

 

 

Cloudfoot’s T.V. Commercial Debut | An Insight Into Backflips For Cash

In October 2014 I landed my first T.V. advert as a stunt-double for moustached Mr. Reed, the notorious lead character for jobs board megalith, Reed.co.uk.
January 2015 saw the commercial go live, so now that I’m legally allowed to make some noise about the event, I thought I’d let you in on what it’s really like to backflip over people, in a suit, for cash…


CloudfootReed2015

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