2013 is off to a strong start. I’m almost through with my first go-round of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. On the horizon is my next Spartan Race (Sprint – the shortest one) and a 10k. Very stoked that there will be a Tactical Strength Challenge happening close by. I won’t make it to the spring event, but hopefully will make a strong showing in the fall.
Today’s tune features the guitar work of the late great Wes Bryant. I had the pleasure of knowing and playing with him when we were guitar students and lived in the same dorm. He gave me his first band’s demo CD when I was just getting into heavier music and it’s been in my car ever since. Though his music is some of the most intense and complex stuff you’ll ever hear, Wes was a simple guy who loved music and people. I always felt better after just a few words with him, and I get the same feeling when listening to his work.
To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.
What to do when you don’t want to workout
The road to strength/weight loss/athleticism is often a bumpy one. One day you’re setting personal bests, and the next you feel like this guy. Obstacles come and go – most are mental. The two worst things you can do are lose momentum and quit. This doesn’t mean you need to turn into a gym rat (or whatever rodent you identify with), but it does mean if it’s important to you, find solutions. As Mark Reifkind put it, “Consistency trumps intensity; all the time.”
The hardest lift is your butt off the couch. Let’s make it easier…
What to play when you don’t feel like playing
The guitar is fickle mistress. One day you’re shredding like a coked-up Yngwie Malmsteen, and the next you sound like this guy. It takes physical and mental energy to make music and practice the craft. When you’re not at the top of your game, guitar playing can feel like a chore. Worse yet is the procrastination that eats precious string time; when playing should be the favored method of procrastinating from other menial tasks (like going to work, feeding pets, and sleep). Inspiration is nowhere to be found, yet there sits those six strings just waiting to get dirtied up.
Don’t let a case of the Mondays keep you down. Fight back against your own lazy, tired, and/or bored mind with the following ideas….
Gov’t Mule in LA – Fall 2010
For my dollar, Warren Haynes is the best rock guitarist alive. The fact that he surrounds himself with other legendary musicians doesn’t hurt either. Consider his track record – guitarist for The Allman Brothers, The Dead, David Allen Coe, Dickey Betts, and of course Gov’t Mule and the recent Warren Haynes Band. Not to mention the hundreds of guest appearances and collaborations with artists from Dave Matthews to James Hetfield.
Warren is something of a musical chameleon. When he plays the blues, you’d think he was a direct descendant of Robert Johnson. If his last name was King, he’d be right there with Freddie, Albert, and B.B. He might be the only one who can pull off jazz standards, Black Sabbath, Eagles, and Prince songs in the same set and make it work. No matter the genre, Warren’s style and sound are unmistakeable.
Today we’ll focus on the work of Warren’s most adventurous sonic playground – Gov’t Mule. Not to detract from almost 20 years worth of original material, looking at how they interpret other songs and make them their own (and often better) is a study of musical mastery and creativity.
It’s been said Gov’t Mule is the world’s best cover band. Hear why…
Pumping Nylon is famous for its “Daily Warm-Up” – the classical guitar exercise routine to refine the movements of both hands. After years of playing through it, I’ve come up with a few of my own additions and variations – here are 3…
Daily Warm-Up - PDF guitar exercise tabs
An important part of learning any musical exercise is to be able to change and apply it to your own needs. In this case, because we are trying to warm up the hands by practicing basic movements, I mutated the exercises to make them more challenging while keeping the focus on technique.
See Part 1 and Part 2 to get started.
The legs tend to get the brunt of the oh-so-good foam rollin’ pain, but the upper body gets just as tight thanks to computer-induced posture. Here’s the rundown… Continue reading
So very stoked to be seeing Rush tomorrow night that I thought I’d dedicate today’s M³ to Canada’s greatest export.
Here’s a little kettlebell complex inspired by YYZ. I like putting swings in between snatches and cleans to reinforce hip power.
Food for Thought – Success often goes along with a willingness to get laughed at. Just ask Rush or anyone running for president.
For a better understanding of why you should roll out in the first place, see Part 1.
Now we’ll go over the finer details of just how to get the most use outta that noodle.
Today’s jam comes first. Cuz it’s that good. Behold the first sounds from Parkway Drive’s new album – Atlas….
Challenge: Timed bar holds – Simply see how long you can hold on to a pull up bar. The first time might not be too hard and you might get to 1 min. Go a few more times and the fatigue builds like crazy. Shoot for a combined total of 5 min.
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”--Hal Borland
Goals are important. Training for something, anything, is better than training for nothing. After the RKC, I was left without a time sensitive goal. Timetables are the best motivators.
I heard about the Spartan Beast Race from a former Marine as he was telling about Team XTREME (more on these guys later). Because my birthday fell on a particularly boring Wednesday this year (and nobody threw me a surprise party), I decided to stir up my own excitement and signed up. I’ve historically never run more that a couple miles at a time so a 13 mile trail complete with obstacles seemed just the right amount of crazy for my taste. Continue reading