Monthly Archives: February 2013

Elevation Masks: Elevating the Suck

My good friend Michael Sawyer was kind enough to let me borrow his Elevation Mask a while back and I just hadn’t gotten around to trying it out.  Finally, I decided today was a good day to give it a go.  It was quite the experience.


My workout today consisted of:


5×5 Deadlift

5×5 Bent Over Row

3×10 Zercher Sandbag Goodmorning


30 Sandbag High Pull/Burpees for time followed by

30 TRX Atomic Pushups for time.

I wore the mask for all of the exercises and only took it off after all my sets of a given exercise were finished or if I absolutely had to get more oxygen.  All in all, it made the entire lifting session exhausting.  My heart rate was through the roof for the entirety of the workout.  I would NOT recommend this product for someone with a low to moderate amount of cardio.  This is for higher level athletes for sure.

Also, for anyone who has asthma like myself, you’ll experience similar feelings to an asthma attack if you really try to push the envelope.

If you’ve got the base amount of conditioning in, I would definitely say give this a shot.  If nothing else, it will add a new variable to your workouts and hopefully spice things up for you. Enjoy!!


“Make your weaknesses your greatest strengths”


Mixing It Up: Music Choices

I’m not sure about you guys, but when I hit the gym, I try to do everything I can to maximize that day’s workout.  An integral part of that for me is my music selection.  Whether I am working on my Oly lifts that day, power lifting, WODing, etc etc etc I have certain bands that flip the beast mode switch for me and send me Super Saiyan.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorites in hopes that maybe I can broaden your musical horizons, or at very least get you busting out a few more reps,  lifting a few more pounds, or burn a few more calories than yesterdays workout.  So here they are!

Power Lifting:

For power lifting, I find slow to mid-tempo stuff to work best.  It’s got to be heavy and it’s got to be angry.

Bands to Check out: The Acacia Strain, American Me, The Abominable Iron Sloth, Bongripper (check out Hail and try to tell me you didn’t start to bob your head to the beat)


Anything I do at high intensity for time has to have some fast, loud and heavy music accompaniment. These bands are great when you need the tempo to match your work output.

Bands to check out: Terror, Trap Them, Converge, Disfear

General Good Stuff:

The Minor Times, Extermination Dismemberment, Devourment, Bacchus, Cursed


Got some personal favorites? Share them with the rest of us so we can check them out!

Clean Progressions

Hey guys!  A couple weeks ago my good friend, Marc Balistreri, and I recorded a few instructional pieces for you.  Here’s the first one in the series detailing some simple progressions you can practice in order to learn the clean.  Have fun and enjoy!


“Make your weaknesses your greatest strengths”


“Maximum Output @ Optimum Efficiency”


Today’s topic can be utilized in almost every aspect of your life.  Whether it be on the job or at the gym, that goal is to complete the workload in the best way possible.  That’s where my little slogan, “Maximum Output at Optimal Efficiency” (trademark coming!) stems from.  Let’s say, for instance, you work a desk job and you have to complete a huge stack of paperwork before you can go home that day.  Theoretically, if you got it done early, your job requirements for the day would be fulfilled and you could head home.  So tell me, are you going to go about it with a slow, cumbersome approach or are you going to figure out a way to streamline the paperwork to get it all done ASAP.  I’m pretty sure 10 out of 10 people would agree, streamline is the way to be.  In order to achieve maximum output, you must optimize your efficiency.  This will allow you get it all done in a timely fashion and head home.

Now let’s take this slogan to the gym.  Same idea.  If you want to have the best workout you can, you need to make every moment as efficient as possible.  No wasted energy, no wasted reps.  Crossfit has this philosophy on lockdown.  Everything they preach is geared towards moving the human body in the most efficient manner to maximize the individual’s output.

Although I am suggesting working in the most efficient way, I am in no way advocating laziness!  Remember, we’re talking maximum output here.  You are cramming a huge workload into a small time frame (in the office or in the gym, follow my ramblings with whatever mental picture best helps you understand!) and therefore you must be willing to stay on task, on point, and strive to achieve.  Efficiency is not an excuse to cut down your work intensity.  Keep your intensity at a high level with optimum efficiency and you will see tremendous results!

Make Your Weaknesses Your Greatest Strengths

So tonight, for those of you who were able to make it to my conditioning class, I shared a personal story about how I realized too late something I should have worked on more.  I asked you all to try to think of at least one facet of your MMA game that you know you avoid because you aren’t that strong with it and share it here under the comments.  This is your chance to get it off your chest and allow myself and your fellow brothers here at Fusion to help you make your weaknesses your greatest strengths.

Below is a cover photo I made that you are all free to snag and use as your cover photos on facebook if you like!