Thursday, July 31, 2008

Perfecting your Golf Game with the Perfect Pushup

Recently I participated in a best-ball golf tourney and brought along the Travel Perfect Pushup. My teammates gave me all kinds of flack about pushups hurting their golf swing…until they tried it. We dropped before every hole and did a set of pushups – some did 5, some did 20 – but we did it before every hole. It didn’t hurt my golf game (which isn’t saying much), and actually improved theirs on the back nine (where their game usually suffers the most). We enjoyed the 19th hole even more.

If you’re a golfer try knocking out 5 per hole to start with. As you get more comfortable with it, ramp up the reps per hole to 10 – 15 - 20 and so on. Let me know if this improves your game.



Operation Pull Your Own Weight

Rick Osbourne is guest blogging today on his "radically simple solution to Childhood Obesity".

At the Risk of Pointing Out the Obvious...

1. Show me 10 boys who can do pull ups and I'll show you 10 boys who are not obese. *

2. Show me 10 girls who can do pull ups and I'll show you 10 girls who are not obese.

3. Show me 10 families full of members who can do pull ups and I'll show you ten families who don't worry about obesity and all the related problems.

4. Show me an elementary or a high school full of students who can do pull ups and I'll show you an elementary and a high school who've won the war on obesity.

5. Show me a school teacher, administrator, or a school board member who can do pull ups and I'll show you a school teacher, an administrator, and a school board member who are all setting great examples for the kids in their schools to follow.

6. Show me a company (say McDonald's) full of employees who can do pull ups and I'll show you a company that's healthy, energetic, productive, and inexpensive to insure.

7. Show me a police department whose members can do pull ups and I'll show you a police department who doesn't worry about the relationship between cops and donuts.

8. Show me a group of childhood obesity prevention experts who can do pull ups and I'll show you a group of childhood obesity prevention experts who walk the walk.

9. Show me a town, a city, a county, a state, or a nation full of citizens who can putt their own weight (physically and otherwise) and I’ll show you a town, a city, a county, a state, and a nation who’s not only won the war against obesity, but who’s capable of resolving complicated, 21st century problems on all other fronts as well.

10. Show me a group of people who understand what you've just read here and I'll show you a group of people who are unconfused and ready to rally around "A simple, easily implemented, easily documented, and affordable solution to childhood obesity."

And Then, With a Straight Face...

1. Tell me why obesity prevention is so complicated and confusing that we're unable stop it from growing like a California forest fire raging out of control?

2. Tell me why every gym teacher in America agrees with the claim that kids who can do pull ups are never obese, yet so few take the time to teach their kids to do pull ups and to become obesity beating heroes in their own local communities at the same time?

3. Tell me why America's Surgeon General has named childhood obesity prevention his TOP PRIORITY yet to date has provided no actionable answers to the problem?

4. Tell me why the future and life quality of millions of boys and girls will be undermined and sacrificed by low self esteems due to ongoing battles with obesity?

5. Tell me why a charitable organization like the Robert Woods Johnson foundation has dedicated $500 million dollars over the next five years to defeating childhood obesity, yet after year one (one hundred million spent) they have so little to show for it?

6. Tell me why we're spending countless billions as a nation on obesity related illnesses?

7. Tell me why people in high positions simply fail to act, even when the obvious is pointed out to them?

8. Tell me why common sense is so uncommon, and why the obvious is so hard to see?

9. Tell me why we continue to think that the emperors are wearing beautiful and stylish new clothes when they're obviously standing stark naked in front of everyone, for anyone - with open eyes - to see?

10. And if this is true of an issue like childhood obesity prevention, doesn't it make you wonder how many other blatantly obvious solutions to crucial problems are being completely and totally overlooked and ignored by our so called authorities, our so called experts, our so called leaders?

*Substitute any sufficiently challenging functional acid test (i.e. dips, rope climbing, rock climbing, hand stand push ups, superman push ups) in place of pull ups and the results will inevitably be the same.


Rick Osbourne is a Chicago based writer who currently serves as Executive Director of Operation Pull Your Own Weight, an informational web site that's dedicated to naturally immunizing kids against obesity for a lifetime without pills, shots, or special diets. If you're interested in a simple solution to childhood obesity, then check out either or any time. Osbourne can be reached via email at

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meet Rick Osbourne: A Man On A Mission

Tomorrow Rick Osbourne, the inspiration and driving force behind Operation Pull Your Own Weight, is guest blogging on Charlie Mike. His mission is to eradicate childhood obesity. His solution is simple. Inoculate kindergarten kids on up through the power of the pullup: they will never be obese if they can do a pullup and they will have bragging rights because of their physical prowess that will carry them through life. They'll be strong, proud and in charge of their own body. That's the mission of Perfect Pushup too -- take charge of your body and you can take charge of your life. Rick, I'm so pleased the Charlie Mike team will get to hear from you: HOOYAH!!

Some background: Rick Osbourne is the son of a high school coach and grew up around bats, balls and competition. He taught PE for seventeen years and for the last ten years, he's been a professional writer. His new platform is a step away from being a PE coach and teacher: he's spreading his message through books, speeches and the internet. I'll leave you with a rare joke from a man who takes his mission very seriously:

"Don't think of Pullups as hard! Our closest ancestors did them one-handed while eating a banana."



Friday, July 18, 2008

Special Operations Fitness - Common Denominators of Success

Former SEAL and fitness expert Stew Smith with his inside-operator view on Special Operations Fitness --

After spending more than a decade helping people become members of Special Operations unit in every branch of the military and SWAT Teams in federal / state / local law enforcement agencies, I have seen a few common denominators that spell success, or graduation.

Ask, "Did you think about quitting?" to any member of a Special Operations unit in the military or law enforcement and you will usually get the same answer. "NO!" Due to proper physical training your body has a better foundation to remain fit throughout training and not become injured or over trained. Here is a list of those commonalities:

1 - Knowing how to play with pain - Many graduates of these SO programs were athletes in high school or college and know the difference between injury and pain. Sports, martial arts, tough training workouts, and life in general can help you know what the difference is. But mainly graduates can suck it up when they need to and "tape it up and play" if required. This is where they say that SEAL Training is 90% mental. It is not academic mental - but mentally challenging because you have to deal with pain and discomfort on a daily basis.

2 - Team Player - Understanding what it means to be a team player is critical. Once again sports tend to be the best source for this type of aggressive sportsmanship and skills learned to assist with being a Special Operations Team member. "There is "No I in SEAL Team."

3 - Play to Compete - Not Just Survive - Go to your training program seeking to win every physical, tactical, or academic event there is. Be the best runner, swimmer, PTer, rope climber, shooter, land navigator,etc..No one is going to win them all, but if you can consistently be in the top 5-10 % of the class, you will NEVER think about quitting. This requires you to train hard for a significant amount of time - sometimes a few years of training like a madman 5-6 days a week. Understand the physical events that you will be required to do and practice those several months prior to your tryout. That means rucking with a backpack, swimming with fins, treading water with clothes, hundreds of reps of PT exercises several days a week, miles of running every week and lifting weights to balance out the body.

Here is a good story to drive this one home - When I ran my first marathon (and only)I saw a few tall, thin, guys from Kenya (I assume) stretching out prior to the start. Well, their goal for that race was to drop a few seconds off their best time when mine was to just finish and maybe be under four hours. Who do you think would have the greater chance of quitting that run? Me - the guy just trying to survive the race. Many people who quit training in the Special Ops programs go to training and just try to survive it.

BTW - I finished it and realized at 200+ lbs marathon running was not something I wanted to do again. My knees thank me for making that decision.

4 - Maturity - Most people who make it through rigorous training programs in the Special Ops world are older than 22 years of age, have a solid foundation of fitness training, a mental toughness developed through training or a challenging life experience, and a calm confidence (not arrogance). See link for more info on Mental Toughness.

As Alden says - "The Body Obeys the Brain" - Your body will be able to obey your brain as long as you properly prepare your body for the rigors of your training program. The key to making your mind tough is to train the body so it can handle pain better and recover from bouts of high intense workouts quicker.

PS - On another note - a few guys I workout with and I are trying to see if we can max out on pushups one day and match that score by using the Perfect Pushup. I use the Perfect Pushup 2-3 times a week with my workouts and typically they cut out about 50% of my reps per set. So far, I have been able to get about 75% using the Perfect Pushup of a non-Perfect Pushup max set. I maxed out at 100 pushups without shaking the arms or lifting my butt and only did 75 with the Perfect Pushup and the last 10 were not pretty ones.

Let me know if you can match your non Perfect Pushup max.

Stew Smith CSCS
Alden's USNA and BUD/S classmate and pal for more than 20 years (ouch)


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author, certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dropping Down on the USS Hornet

Here’s some breaking news Teammates – we just completed our latest filming sequence on a piece of floating history – the USS Hornet. Located in Alameda, California, the most recent USS Hornet (CV-12) was commissioned in 1943. The Hornet fought gallantly during WW II, destroying 1,410 Japanese Zeroes. Fast forward to 1969: the Hornet recovered the capsules containing the Apollo 11 and 12 astronauts. The ship’s creed is “A Heritage of Excellence” – if you’re visiting the Bay area, explore the ship and climb up to the flight deck.

I’ll leave the film details as a surprise – but the concept is to educate folks on the fact that you can take control of your body anywhere and anytime using the power of the pushup. So get yourself Fired UP and drop on down!


We're running on all cylinders these days so I really appreciate guest blogger Tom Rancich Charlie Miking for me last week. I met Tom during BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training. I was class leader of BUD/S Class 181 but was pulled out for medical reasons and rolled into Class 182. Tom was the class leader of BUD/S Class 182 – when I came in halfway through as the assistant class leader. Tom was pulled for medical reasons but I was secured. And the story Tom tells is that he was the one to get my guys into shape, thus making my job ever so much easier! And here we are, years later, and Tom's still making my job easier -- thanks brother!!

Look for some other former SEALs to step up and share some great fitness and motivational advice: like my Swim Buddy Stew Smith (check him out on my blog roll).



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Where in the World is Charlie Mike?

I would like to thank Mr. Mike for the opportunity to be a guest poster on his blog. Charlie, it really is an honor to be invited to post.

Okay—just kidding—as we all know, Charlie Mike is the phonetic shorthand for Continue Mission—and that is what I am here to do as Alden’s buddy—help you all Charlie Mike while Alden is off getting soft---err, I mean—spending some important family time. So first topic—the buddy. Since being featured in Doug Waller’s “Commandos” I have been asked thousands of times, “What does it take to be a SEAL?” Well, I believe that any question can be answered with a long, well thought out reply or the truth---and the truth is that there are only two things it takes to be a SEAL---Never quit and never leave your buddy. That is it. You can layer a foot of honor, commitment, courage, strength, patriotism, desire, blah blah on top of it—but the bottom line is Never quit and Never leave your buddy.

Never Leave your Buddy: In 2001 my friend Neil Roberts found himself alone on a mountain in Afghanistan fighting incredible odds. He did not make it. Sometime after that a few SEALs, retired and active, officer and enlisted were commiserating and a retired Captain said what we were all thinking----“He should not have been alone.” Now that he was alone was an accident—a happenstance of battle, but what that Captain was saying and what everyone understood and agreed with—was that anyone worthy of the Trident would be willing to give their life for the opportunity to be on the mountain with Neil so that they could give their life there—and not let Neil be alone. So—who is your buddy? Okay—well, let’s not over think it—you got buddies everywhere—use them! Your spouse, your kids---when I was on staff at Newport one of my best buddies in the PT world was the towel guy. He was a retired guy and just like shooting the sh!t with people and he was funny----so sometimes when I didn’t really feel like working out—I would just go talk to my buddy----and he would hand me a towel and—well—can’t just hand it back, can you?

But the other thing is never forget---that you HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN BUDDY!! We all have a dialogue running in our head---and if you are honest with yourself—some of it is not very nice to you. I have had friends and clients tell me things that they think about themselves and I’ve said “Do you know what I would do if someone said that about you while I was in earshot---I would break their f’ing nose” (I am not as refined or politically correct as our friend Alden—I should probably take a lesson from him, but---naaah) So think of the things that might make you a good buddy to someone else----supportive, kind, always there, kind, prepared, kind, ready to work, kind, non-judgmental, kind, truthful, kind, honest, kind---okay well you get the idea---do not beat yourself up—it is the worst trap in the world—be kind to yourself but be honest and truthful too---that combination will do more for you than anything (except the Perfect Line) especially if you use it to NEVER QUIT!

Never Quit---everyday you do some things you want to and a bunch of things you don’t want to---but you don’t quit. Same with physical training---the airwaves are full of people selling stuff and systems---but what they are really doing is selling hope. But let’s just say we are good buddies to ourselves—and we have some other folks looking out for us—like Alden—now what does never quit mean? It does not mean working out four hours a day—although that is cool—it just means that at every turn, do something good for yourself---park a little farther from the mall, do some yard work—or set a day aside to kick the snot out of yourself with the Perfect Pushup or the Rev or a 50 mile bike ride----see—the circle is—I am honest with myself—I am kind to myself---but I am not letting myself off the hook---because part of being kind and being honest and not quitting is saying---it is better for me to (sweat, run, walk, drink water etc etc) and thus I am going to do it.

So—one last thing—a good friend of mine—a civilian—once told me while I was still in “Well, it is easy for you—you get paid to work out.” He was correct----and that caused me some amount of problems when I retired. All of the sudden I had to make time to work out---and I wasn’t always very good at it—until I realized how crappy I was feeling—and here is the deal---a swim coach told me when I was about 13----you’re trapped in this lifestyle forever (I was swimming about 16000 yards a day----well I blew him off on account of being a teen—but after 8 more years of swimming, then a career as a SEAL his words suddenly had credence—I was trapped in a lifestyle that insisted on being fit, being a good buddy to myself and never quitting—worked pretty well for me----what lifestyle do you want to be trapped in?


Guest blogger Tom Rancich is the CEO and co-founder of VRHabilis, an employee-owned, service disabled veteran owned small business. Tom and his partner, co-founder Elliott Adler, provide military range management, remediation and emergency response as well as other government and federal contract services. VRHabilis stands for Veteran Run Work (habilis being the Latin word for work). It provides a venue, through the use of adaptive technology, for disabled veterans to compete for government contracts.

Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership, team building, program development and strategic vision.

Alden Mills and Tom Rancich served together in the Teams. Tom has been a guest blogger and “on-line” coach for the Perfect Pushup team many times over the past few years: this is his first guest blog on Charlie Mike.