CM Teammates – NEWS FLASH – former SEAL Teammate, Chris Cassidy, landed today after being the 500th person in space (and one of only a couple of SEAL astronauts)! I first met Chris at SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV)Team TWO in Virginia Beach. I had just completed my first deployment as an SDV Platoon Commander and Chris was just arriving from BUD/S (SEAL basic training). A quiet, young professional who never boasted of the fact he was honor-man for his SEAL class – a rare accomplishment for an officer. Chris assumed command of my swim-buddy’s platoon – Stew Smith – as the Dry Deck Shelter Officer of Task Unit ALPHA.
My most vivid memory of Chris, besides his quiet professionalism, was his response when I asked him what his SEAL Team goals were – his response, after a little coaxing, almost as if he was embarrassed to state them out loud, was he wanted to be an astronaut. Not just any astronaut, he wanted to be a SEAL astronaut.
CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS – MIKE CHARLIE – your mission is complete! Today is a great day for Chris and another reminder that you are only limited by your dreams and your courage to pursue them!
CHARLIE MIKE - ALDEN
Friday, July 31, 2009
Here's Andrej, the creator of the flutter kick/Perfect Counter workout. Location: Baza 20, a WW2 historic site near Andrej's hometown of Novo mesto.
Teammates, where in the world are you pushing 'em out and pulling 'em up? Send your pix and story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
CM Teammate Luciano wanted a legs workout for those cases when you don't have access to a gym. Here's what Stew does when he's traveling for leg days.
"Option #1 - run 2-3 miles but in between each 1/2 mile I stop and do.
squats - 25
lunges 15 / leg
heel raises - 25
Option #2 - if not comfortable with running around a strange town or gym does not have a bike, treadmill, etc... do the same leg exercises but run flights of steps.
I like to run 5 flights of steps / stop and do above leg PT - repeat 4-5 times. Then I go back to my room and do ab exercises in between leg stretching.
Stew Smith CSCS
Alden's USNA and BUD/S classmate and pal for more than 20 years (ouch)"
Teammates, Tom Rancich (another SEAL pal on the 20 year plus plan) had the following advice for Luciano: Lunges, squat thrusts, 8-counts, flutter kicks and his favorite---running the stairs of the hotel. My advice is to do the 8-count Body Builder Perfect Pushup workout. If you have a good travel workout for legs, comment here or at email@example.com.
CM -- ALDEN
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
CM Teammate Andrej developed a new use for the Perfect Counter! He uses it to count out his flutter kicks.
"Flutter kicks count. I put the counter beneath my left heel and I touch it with every rep. I then divide the number by two to get the correct four count number. The Perfect Pushup counter is just awesome.
When it comes to Perfect Pushups, I am currently at 78 in 2 minutes while my twin brother (above) is an amazing 89!!! In two minutes, and we still have room for improvement. What makes the counter so valuable to me is that I know every number counts and I don’t accidentally “cheat” myself.
About PPU chart levels. I see those numbers as a guideline, a way to praise yourself once you reach it and then evolve to another goal. And I am sure many users see it as a motivational tool and their motivation might drop once they don't have a score to catch. I would put 80+ as a next level and the last one (it’s a must!) should be a number that Navy SEALs get. Now that would be a real motivational tool and what a great feeling once you get to that number (I am guessing it's around 100-120)."
Thanks for weighing in Andrej!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Graphic courtesy of Andrej
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
CM Teammates – a special thanks to all of you who have contributed input on improving our next generation of workouts for the Perfect Pushup and the Perfect Pullup. As soon as the next round of workouts are complete, I’ll make sure they’re posted and downloadable for your sweating pleasure.
In the meantime, I'll be posting some of your routines on CHARLIE MIKE, so keep 'em coming!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Monday, July 27, 2009
CM Teammates – BRAVO ZULU* to Mark Buehrle for achieving the PERFECT Game last Thursday, 23JUL09, as the pitcher for the White Sox. Mark’s achievement last week made him one of only 6 players to have ever thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game and only 3 guys (Mark, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax) have won a world championship, thrown a no hitter and a perfect game.
CONGRATS Mark, from a team that knows how hard it is to reach Perfection!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
* Navy SEAL-speak for awesome job.
CM SEAL Team blogger: Stew Smith
Milo P asked CHARLIE MIKE: "I would like to ask you if you could advise me on the following challenge: 15 pullups and 40 pushups, three times through in 6 minutes. Could you, please, advise me on a training routine to accomplish this in 3 months?"
And here's Stew Smith's answer: Sounds like you are on a 2 minute interval. So I would tackle this one by doing:
- 15 pullups / drop down immediately for 40 pushups - this will take 1 minute tops
- Take about 30-45 seconds to rest / stretch and begin set #2.
- Repeat with 1 minute rest on last one if needed.
But basically you have to be able to do multiple sets of 15-20 reps of pullups - make your workouts that. The two exercises (pullup/pushups) are opposing muscles groups so they should not tire you out from one exercise to the next.
Once you get good at this timed test with rest, decrease your rest time until you can roll through this workout with no rest at all. It can be done - just takes practice three days a week.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Here's an extreme fitness routine request from Milo P.
"I would like to ask you if you could advise me on the following challenge: 15 pullups and 40 pushups, three times through in 6 minutes. Could you, please, advise me on a training routine to accomplish this in 3 months?
I am pretty fit and currently stand at 10 pullups + 30 pushups 2 times through & 6 pullups + 30 pushups - all in 5 minutes. I can do 100 pushups in 2 minutes. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks a lot,
Stew Smith is standing by with a routine for Milo but how about the CHARLIE MIKE Teammates? What do you think Milo should do over the next three months? You know the drill: comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Guest blogger: Sean Glass, Dateline: Somewhere in the Aegean
In the last six months, my life got turned a bit upside down as my wife Kellee and I decided to move back to the United States and then spend six months traveling around the world. One of the things that has sustained me was an increased focus on physical fitness. Some of my early childhood memories are of playing soccer and basketball on teams coached by my father (being from South Africa, he knew a lot about soccer, but very little about basketball).
I played soccer from when I was very little -- with my dad as the coach we didn't lose for something like 4 straight years -- and continued through high-school and into college. Before I played at Yale, I spent a month training with Nottingham Forest, a professional football club in England. At the time, they were in the English Premier League and I trained with numerous players who had played in the 1998 world cup. It was an unbelievable experience. Not only did I get to train with such gifted players but I travelled to England by myself and looked after myself in a foreign country. I even learned to hold down a pint (or two)!
Think I'm beginning to see a pattern here! How to thrive and enjoy myself -- at home and abroad.
Picture of the Perfect Pushup mobile on a Danish modern hotel room floor.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Track how you are feeling physically.If you generally feel energetic and upbeat, then this is a good sign that you are NOT overtraining.
However, if you feel tired and burnt out most of the time, then this could be a sign of overtraining.
Another important factor that you want to monitor is your strength gains. If you are making strength gains on your major lifts on a regular basis then this is a good sign that you are NOT overtraining.
If you are not making any strength gains, or even worse, losing strength, then you are probably overtraining and need to make some drastic changes in how you approach your workouts.
And Human racers, I have some good news for you because CHARLIE MIKE puts together the "PERFECT" training system that will help you get down to the nitty gritty and dissect your workouts and turn them inside out so you can quickly develop the lean muscular body that you truly deserve! Follow this killer "PERFECT" training system and you'll have me for a training partner.
Mojo Frog aka Marcus Colburn
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Teammates -- I'm looking for you to push out the envelope for the next generation 21 Day Perfect Pushupworkout. Stronger, harder, faster, deeper, longer -- you tell me what Perfect Pushup Phase II means to you.
Post your comments here or shoot an email to email@example.com. Team Perfect is looking to amp it up!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Overtraining has been a hot topic in fitness world for the last couple of decades and there is a lot of confusion surrounding how much training is enough and how much is too much. In the SEAL Teams we had sayings like, Training is never over and Pain is good, extreme pain is extremely good.
Here are three schools of thought on overtraining:
1. It doesn't exist and the more training you do the better.
2. Everyone is overtraining and we all need to drastically reduce our training volume.
3. Some people (like myself) believe that it is an individual thing and we all react differently to training volume.
You can't simply look at someone's workout routine and tell if they are overtraining or not. It depends on the individual person. We all have different work capacities and some people can handle more workout volume than others and still make progress.
Another very often overlooked factor when it comes to overtraining is your lifestyle outside the gym. Do you have a stressful life or a physically demanding job? Do you get enough sleep?
The best way to know if you are overtraining with your workouts is to do a self-evaluation of yourself and your overall workout progress. I'll talk about that next.
But all you "CHARLIE MIKE" human racers -- here's a picture of my 83 year-young mom as my workout partner! Getting close friends and family involved is easy and makes working out more fun as you enjoy the journey towards "Perfect"tion.
Mojo Frog aka Marcus Colburn
Monday, July 20, 2009
Teammates, last week I asked, "what's your definition of Extreme Fitness and how do you get out of YOUR comfort zone?" Here's what Jim had to say. "I totally agree Alden. Although it may be really uncomfortable pushing oneself for that extra rep or mile it really gives you a nice feeling of accomplishment (at least it does to me) in the end.
My personal fitness goal is staying SEAL fit. I'm into running, at least 10km at a 7 min/mile pace, calisthenics, and swimming or spear fishing.
I've done 4 cycles of Stew Smith's "Grinder PT" e-book, (it's really intense), and I still keep searching the internet for innovative ways to spice up my workouts.
Getting beyond one's comfort zone is hard and usually should be done with at least one person standing by in case something goes wrong, but so far I think I've done pretty well on my own.
Recently I came across some very interesting workout videos on YouTube which I'm sure will push most people beyond their limits. The channel is called "xtremeoutdoorfitness". My regards to Mike Brower and his buddies for the awesome workout challenges they've posted so far.
CHARLIE MIKE Jim! ALDEN
Spear fishing photo taken at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The Fall of The Human Intellect by A. Parthasarathy – An Indian philosophical approach to how the mind and intellect work; ways to use this knowledge to improve learning and focus; and how to use your intellect to control stress and improve productivity. Reviewer: Mark Friedman
Two choices from Coach Marty Heilman: The Four Agreements by Juan Miguel Ruiz, 1997. I live by this book -- it's like my Bible. The Four Agreements are ...
(1) Be Impeccable With Your Word.
(2) Don't Take Anything Personally.
(3) Don't Make Assumptions.
(4) Always Do Your Best.
Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life by Mark Verstegan, 2004, great functional fitness book.
Sean Glass, Around the World in Perfect Form
Non-fiction: Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman - Written by the founder of Positive Psychology, it helps gives you a baseline understanding of what has been discovered about happiness since this field was launched by Dr. Seligman and his colleagues.
Fiction: First Family by David Baldacci - just finished reading this and it was a fun, fast paced read. It was the first title I read on my Amazon Kindle too :-)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Teammates -- Lone Survivor is the go-to book for the CHARLIE MIKE round-up!
Riveting firsthand account of a SEAL team fighting for their lives in the mountains of Afghanistan where a single, very lucky survivor lives to recount the story. Mark Friedman
Best Spec-ops (let alone SEAL) survival mission I've ever heard about. Alden Mills
Awesome. Best one to date for me. Stew Smith
After years of training folks to help them take control of their bodies, you’d think they’d understand by now that weather is not an excuse to stop your fitness regime. Winter weather should actually be the bigger excuse for not working out but the motivation of a “clean slate” (New Year’s) always wins out. Don’t get lulled into complacency this summer – TAKE ACTION! Most importantly, take action that’s FUN! One thing's for sure, if you can’t figure out a way to link pleasure with your activity, then you’ll be hard pressed to turn your activity into a habit.
Summer is the best time to create new calorie-burning activities that don’t resemble regular fitness routines in the slightest but can be much, much better for you than going to a gym. So what am I talking about? Who’s up for body-surfing or hiking a mountain or a group bicycle trip? Are you a parent? Perfect! Grab the little monkeys and take’em on an adventure in the woods, hunting for frogs and turtles. How about river rafting or even a tubing experience?? The point is GET OUTSIDE and get moving!
After all, what’s the point of building a better body if you can’t use it?! You are only limited by your willingness to try new things, and I guarantee you that if you do exactly what you did last summer -- and you weren’t happy with your body by summer’s end -- then your results will be much the same, except you’ll be a year older! Do not miss out on the best weather of year – TAKE ACTION and make it FUN Action! Do this, and New Year’s Day this year will be a time to party, not a time to make resolutions for a better body!
CHARLIE MIKE - ALDEN
Body surfing Photo courtesy Newport Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau
CM SEAL Team blogger: Marcus Colburn
Let's think about this...your body is mostly water. Water covers 2/3rds of this planet. If you're getting thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
Stay clear of all other types of drinks and drink lots of pure H2O! Regular plastic bottles get old and can cause foreign bad juju to harm you whereas bottles made out of more permanent materials (like steel) can be washed and won't leak bad juju into your blood stream!
We used to have a saying in BUD/S (because water is so heavy). Whenever someone tried to lighten their load by carrying less water, we just said when they complained, after they were warned to bring more water, "Are you thirsty? DUDE, IF YOU DIDN'T BRING IT, YOU MUST NOT NEED IT."
Summer is here and it gets wayyyyyyyyyyyy hot. So keep up with your fluids. Stay strong and ready!
Picture used with permission of Dreamstime.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And why should you care? Two good questions and ones that I asked myself when examiner.com contacted to me to write about the subject. They felt I was the “perfect” writer (no pun intended since I created the Perfect Pushup) because of my Navy SEAL background. On the surface it seems logical – former Navy SEAL writes about Extreme fitness. I know a few things about suffering through Hellweek or 1000 situp sets or 20 mile runs with 40lbs on my back or 5 mile open ocean swims in 55 degree water, but honestly, how many people really care about that, let alone would actually do it in their normal fitness routine? There’s only two kinds of folks that I can think of – sadists and those trying to be Navy SEALs.
SEAL training is certainly not for everyone and it’s not designed to be for everyone, BUT the lessons learned in SEAL training can be for everyone. Though the workouts above sound so extreme they might be considered ludicrous, to all of us going through SEAL training those workouts just pushed us a little further than we had been the week before – they kept us out of our comfort zone. Of course we started training at a certain level of fitness and then each week our instructors pushed us a little more. For example, our first open ocean swim was a mile, then it was a 1.5 mile then 2 miles – then 3 miles and so on…this methodology was applied to every element of our training. Had you told me before I started training that I’d be doing a 20 mile run with 40lbs on my back or 5.5 mile swim I would have laughed at you. But once you started pushing yourself a little more each week, the extreme became the norm, not the exception.
Let's define Extreme Fitness – extreme fitness to one person could be doing ten pushups when they couldn't do a single pushup last week or it could mean doing 120 without stopping. The concept I shared with you yesterday is that Extreme Fitness is "Get Out of Your Comfort Zone" fitness.
Teammates, I want to hear from you! What's your definition of Extreme Fitness and how do you get out of YOUR comfort zone?
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Monday, July 13, 2009
Extreme fitness is another way of saying “get out of your comfort zone” fitness. Set your goal just a little out of reach and go for it! If you never push yourself, you’ll never get better at anything you do, whether it’s trying something new or strengthening your muscles. You should care about extreme fitness because it’s about learning a mindset to help you push your boundaries in whatever you do. Your success in anything you undertake is directly linked with your success at controlling your body. In SEAL Team our number one weapon’s platform is our body, first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.
In your life, your body is your experience platform: how your body performs in large part dictates the experiences you can enjoy, from climbing a mountain* (like I did a few weeks ago) to body surfing a wave to bicycling with your children. Each of us has our own goals for our body and what we want to do with it, but a funny thing happens when you achieve a goal: you set one a little harder than the last one because your confidence is stronger…and there’s no going back! Just ask Lance Armstrong!
It becomes a wonderful addiction that can propel you to living a life that you might have felt was unattainable. It was unattainable because you focused on the end goal, not the first baby step. Would you try to do to a 5.5 mile open ocean swim before completing a 500 yard swim? No! Whether you apply the concepts of extreme fitness to your body or other areas of your life is your business, but one thing is for sure, we’re all going to die, so why not get the most of life while we can? I say Go For It!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
* aerial photo of Mt. Whitney courtesy of National Parks Service
Friday, July 10, 2009
Guest bloggers: Dr. Karin Anderson and Julie Erickson
Nonfiction: Secrets of a Former Fat Girl by Lisa Delaney. While I'm not in love with the title, this book really changed a lot for me. It made me realize that my relationship to food is not like that of other people, and that's okay. It's a whole new way to look at yourself, your body, fitness, nutrition. Everyone always says "you shouldn't diet, you should make a lifestyle change," and this book really showed me what that meant. And written by a smart, funny, normal person.
Fiction: Yann Martel's The Life of Pi. I can't say why, I just loved it. Fiction is much harder to pick from, because I read so much of it. I don't think I could even limit myself to one page, not to mention one title. For hilarious fun summer beach reading, pick up The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner by Jill Conner Browne. She is a Southern evil genius, and I am quoted on page 161.
Scar Tissue is the autobiography of Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for my favorite band of all time, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s a harsh eye-opening look into the world of the drug addicted vocalist, struggling to deal with fame, success and the lifestyle and temptations that go with it. It made me love this incredible band even more.Running With Scissors is the early-life memoirs of Augusten Burroughs’ very untraditional adolescent life. It’s hilarious and disturbing but very entertaining. Read the book before even considering seeing the motion picture adaptation. He also has his adult memoirs in print, Dry, which details his struggle with alcoholism.
Next Friday: Summer reading suggestions from Rick Osbourne, Mark Friedman, Sean Glass and Marty Heilman. Teammates -- any recommendations you'd like to share? Post your comments here or mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Guest blogger: Chris Horner, Perfect Athlete Ambassador
Hi, my name is Chris Horner, and I am a professional road cyclist, racing for the Astana Cycling Team in 2009. I’ve been using the Perfect products since the end of 2008, and have achieved the best fitness of my career at 37 years of age. I grew up in San Diego, California, and started riding at the age of 13. I’ve now been a professional cyclist for the past fourteen years, racing all over the world, including three Tour de France races.
Currently, I am preparing for this year’s Tour de France, training with 7-time Tour de France champion, and my Astana teammate, Lance Armstrong. I am in the process of recovering from multiple broken bones that I have sustained in crashes throughout the season.
The Perfect Pushup has become my tool of choice for strengthening my upper body for better performance on the bike. It targets the muscles that are integral for racing, but not exercised on the bike. Because of the multiple injuries that I have sustained this year, the extra core conditioning that I have achieved while using the Perfect products has allowed me to recover more quickly and stay physically balanced on the bike while coming back from injury.
By incorporating the Perfect products into my stretching and core strength exercises, I have been able to gain an extra edge on the bike, using my upper body strength to support my legs at key moments and give myself a little extra boost when I need it most. The extra muscle has given me more strength, and helped to burn more fat, making me leaner than I have ever been in my career.
If you want to train like a professional cyclist, check out my Exercise Routine (which I do each morning after breakfast):
Situps: 25 reps, coming all the way up to the knees
Perfect Pushups: 15 reps, close position
1 minute of leg lifts: Do 10 reps of one position then switch (toes face out, toes forward, heels out), continue for 1 minute. Keep legs straight and together for all leg lifts.
Front plank: Hold for 1min 45sec
Situps: 25 reps
Perfect Pushups: 15 reps, wide position
1 minute of leg lifts: same as above
Left Side plank: Hold for 1min 45sec
Perfect Pushups: 15 reps, with handles placed halfway between shoulders and stomach in a regular width position
Right Side plank: Hold for 1min 45sec
Situps: 25 reps
Chris Horner, Spring 2009
Update: Chris is not racing this summer in France. He'll be competing 26JUL09 in the Chicago Criterium, the same day his Astana teammates ride into Paris on the last day of the Tour de France. Stay tuned.
* Photo credits: CC used with attribute crediting Graham Fisk.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Guest blogger: Mark Friedman, President, Perfect Fitness
In March, we donated Perfect Pushup Originals, Mobile Units, and Perfect Pullup handles to the Marines of HMX-1, better known as Marine One. This is the helicopter squadron responsible for flying all US presidents since Dwight Eisenhower back in the 1950s. The 700 Marines and contractors in the squadron have put the equipment to good use, helping keep themselves fit on their base in Virginia, and during their many deployments around the world. We recently received some cool pictures taken at their base and from an undisclosed hanger. In one picture you can see a cargo box carrying the presidential seal. Very cool! This is our way of giving back to the people who serve and inspire us.
For more info on HMX-1 link here.
Perfect Fitness is proud of its support of the US military, and local fire and police agencies. Late last year, we made our biggest donation ever to the US Navy. Now every ship in the Navy fleet carries Perfect Pushups. We love reading emails from crew members telling us how much they enjoy adding the Perfect Pushup to their workouts. If you have a story and/or a picture, we'd like to hear from you at email@example.com.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Teammates -- Are you Fired UP to reach up and pull up some Perfect Pullups when you see these Marines? They are "Get Ripped" in action.
HOOYAH to this Marine Unit, currently deployed in Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with the Counter IED (roadside bomb) section. Teammates, here's a picture from a few months back showing them working out with the Perfect Pushup Mobile Units.
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
p.s. If you are serving overseas, send us your pictures and your story and let us share it with the CHARLIE MIKE Teammates -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
To all those Perfect Swim Buddies out there – you know who you are (those that help others stay motivated or provide suggestions) – you guys define what a swim buddy – covering each other’s six.
We spend a lot time at Team Perfect designing, testing, building, and rebuilding product to make it as Perfect as possible for you, but at the end of the day, the product is only as good as what you do with it. Put it under the bed and you’ll get the failure you’re looking for – but create a simple system for using the products and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts in more ways than you can honestly imagine.
The key is helping folks stay motivated – after all, it’s all about attitude – the one thing you can control – and you swim buddies are helping turn attitude into action, and my teammates, there’s nothing more important than that!
BRAVO ZULU and CHARLIE MIKE to all you current and future swim buddies out there!
NEWS FLASH: Teammates, check out the review of the V2 on Crunchgear!
Cartoon used with permission of Dreamstime.