Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mugger BEAT UP by MMA Fighter

Thug Pummeled After Attempting to Mug Chicago Man Who Turns Out to Be an MMA Fighter

One convict will think twice before attempting to mug anyone again.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 24-year-old Anthony Miranda allegedly pulled a gun on a driver in a parked car on the Southwest Side of Chicago Friday night.

The thug ended up with two black eyes and a gunshot wound to the ankle.

The intended victim…turned out to be an MMA fighter.

The Sun-Times reports on the Cook County man who now faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm, a Class X felony:

“After getting some money, he ordered the driver out of the car, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.

At some point, Miranda’s attention was diverted and the victim was able to grab control of the gun and the two wrestled.

During the fight, Miranda accidentally discharged his gun, shooting himself in the ankle, Mirabelli said.

The victim, who told police he’s a martial arts expert and ultimate fighting champion was able to pin Miranda down until police arrived. Police arrived to find Miranda with a face full of cuts and two black eyes.

Miranda had originally asked the man, whose name the police have yet not released, for lighter.

December 5th, 2011

Tactical Urban Defense Testing
Today, after 8 sessions of 1 and half hours each of training to defend against gun, knife, blunt weapon, chokes, multiple attackers, and various other forms of assault, I tested against 3 experienced Mixed Martial Arts Instructors who relentlessly and aggressively came at me with various weapons and attacks for 5 minutes. I had a to put together everything that I have learned from the course, Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, and movies... Yes you can learn from Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris movies. It was physically and mentally taxing. But when attacked you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to come out of it it ALIVE. You may have to gauge the eyes out of your attacker or take his life. You need to have the mindset ingrained into your psyche that you will do whatever it takes to survive. Because if you give up, you are giving up on your family, your friends, and your future. You cannot give up. You must fight until the end. I highly recommend that everyone signs up for a self defense course and/or takes up Mixed Martial Arts. It is a great stress reliever and confidence booster.


Quote of the Day
"Fatigue makes cowards of us all." ~Winston Churchill
Song of the Day

Friday, March 30, 2012

Feeding the Planet starts with your city

Captain Planet + Batman = Ben Chera

READ about Urban Farming Around the World HERE
Get involved HERE!


Muay Thai Kickboxing for 1 hour (worked with a newbie so did not get to work hard)
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (wore GI aka thick karate uniform) for 1 hour
Gymnastics - completed 100 Handstand Push-Ups throughout the day (wall facing)
Urban Farming for 2 hours (not hard)
Nutrition - intermittent fasting until 1:30 PM

Quote of the Day
“Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
― John Wayne
Song of the Day

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Westside Strength Training

Westside Strength Training
Upper Body Max Effort
Rack Bench Press (3.5 inches above chest) with Fat Gripz worked up to a 3 Rep Max (3RM) of 260 lbs
Weighted Chin-Up worked up to a 3 RM of 65 lbs added to body-weight
Lower Body Dynamic Effort
All repetitions performed as explosively as possible (30 sec rest between sets)
LinkSumo Deadlift for 12x2 at near 50% of 1RM (1 rep maximum) 205 lbs
Box Squat with mini bands for 12x2 at 50% 1 RM at 135 lbs

Intermittent Fasting update
Current body-weight this morning was 194 lbs down from a steady weight of 197-200 lbs. I had done a 16 hour fast (not eating) on Wednesday. Intermittent fasting seems to be a good way to restrict calories for fat-loss. I don't feel deeply hungry or enslaved by not eating. It is actually sort of liberating. I will continue to fast when I am able to without overdoing it so that I don't negatively effect performance. Apparently Intermittent Fasting can help me lose weight (adipose tissue aka fat), live longer, not get cancer, and make you a millionaire! Well all claims except the millionaire part are backed by some research and happy people who have successfully lost weight and controlled their weight through implementing this nutrition protocol. No longer are we enslaved to eat 6 small meals a day people. FREEEEEDOMMMM!
Watch "Ask Paleo Expert Robb Wolf anything" video HERE

CrossFitters, maybe he has a point...Link

Quote of the Day
"By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination."
Christopher Columbus
Song of the Day
Society - Eddie Vedder


Track Sprints
10 x 100 meter MAX speed sprints (about 14-15 seconds)
2 x 100 meter backwards sprints (about 25 seconds)

Mountain Biking

50 minutes of rolling hills (single track and rocks) in Wissahickon Park
hit jumps and felt death knocking

Elements of Perfection - Pt1 - Dirt from Whistler Blackcomb on Vimeo

Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Clinch Sparring for 30 minutes

5x3 minute rounds with 30 seconds rest

Ami James sparring with Thiago "Pitbull" Alves from Billy De on Vimeo.

Quote of the Day

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes
Song of the Day
Changes - 2Pac

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Minimalism Allows No Excuses

Al Kavadlo: author of "Raising the Bar" and "We're Working Out, a Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness"

According to Wikipedia, Minimalism, "...describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features." Exercise is no different. It is the art of getting the utmost from the minimum. To strip away the inessential to find out what is left. It doesn't mean "simple", it means fundamental, basic and essential.

With the emergence of the information age we are simply inundated with data on everything. It is almost impossible to escape with smart phones becoming a life wire to the internet and its advertising. This increases our options but it also clouds the decision making process. If you didn't really know or understand about exercise before, you are really confused now.

Enter the minimalist workout. This is literally nothing new. It is what your dad did in WW2. It's probably what you did if you are my age in high school athletics. Currently we have to have some sort of marketing slant. They call this method, old school, urban fitness, prison workout or body weight culture. I don't like to romanticize things but there is nothing wrong with a bit of sizzle to get you to remember. It is simply exercise using your body weight in a progressive format to gain results in muscle size, strength and endurance.
Several people of note have organize human movement into exercise categories. I have high respect for all of them and this is not a pissing contest. This involves wisdom, vision and minimalism.
Jon Hinds of Monkey Bar Gym divides movements into, Pushing, Pulling, Squatting and Running. He has a sub category of planking or core work.

Dan John, Legendary Strength Coach and a man who has been seen in a Kilt, says there are five movements. Hinging, Squatting, Pushing, Pulling and Carrying.

Paul Wade, author of Convict Conditioning, uses his Big Six. Pushups, Pullups, Squats, Leg Raises, Bridges and Handstand Pushups.

As you can see,.. there is little variation with exercise,.. experience,.. and wisdom.

Let's take the simple example of Convict Conditioning. How can ANYONE have any excuse about equipment, methods, driving to the gym, workout clothes or results with the simple progressions of Convict Conditioning? It takes you from a grossly weak or unconditioned condition to an elite level with over ten stops for six different exercises.

Remember the answer to most questions can be remarkably simple and this case it is. Find out how the body moves, use the tool of progressive resistance and employ a program with record keeping that measures improvement and is alignment with your goals.

While this article may seem fueled with testosterone, let it be known that the same movements are perfectly acceptable for women. There is no "women's exercise" or "men's exercise". There is just exercise. Genetics determine body proportion and neurological efficiency. Hormones will determine male or female. The science of exercise will determine how far you can go with safety and sanity.Link
Check out Convict Conditioning HERE!

This content was provided by reverse magazine (blogspot)

Check out Al Kavadlo's website for in depth tutorial videos on how to do minimalist training. "We're Working Out!" HERE

Metabolic Conditioning
10 rounds
10 american kettlebell swings (50 lbs)
10 turkish sit-ups with 35 lbs kettlebells overhead (5 per side)
10 second plank hold
Completed in 15:15 minutes
Grappling (Jiu Jitsu without uniform) for 1 hour working on the pendulum sweep, arm bar, and takedowns
Boxing Sparring for 3 x 5 minutes rounds (minimal rest)

Quote of the Day
"Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful." ~Charles Darwin
Song of the Day
Shaggy - Angel

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blue or Red Pill?

The Matrix is based on a philosophical question posed by the 17th Century French philosopher and mathematician RenĂ© Descartes. One of Descartes’s most important theses was intellectual autonomy, or the ability to think for oneself. For Descartes, this entails not just having a “good mind”, but also “applying it well”.

Everything I have accepted up to now as being absolutely true and assured, I have learned from or through the senses. But I have sometimes found that these senses played me false it is prudent never to trust entirely those who have once deceived usThus what I thought I had seen with my eyes, I actually grasped solely with the faculty of judgment, which is in my mind.

Descartes was therefore suspicious of his percepts, the knowledge he obtained through his senses, and all his own beliefs. He became convinced that one must use one’s mind, rather than one’s senses, to obtain information about the world. In the system of knowledge constructed by Descartes, perception is unreliable as means of gathering information, and the mental process of deduction is the only way to acquire real knowledge of the world.

What is your reality? Most likely it is wrong. In my opinion, it is up to you to create your reality. Whether its a reality of long days at a desk of hard work and waiting to die or its a life of accomplishing great things that actually mean something to you that will give you joy to live a life worth living. If you are trapped in the Matrix maybe its time to get out. Maybe you need to hire a personal trainer, call him Morpheus, to help guide you on the right path (fitness plug). What you need to do is to eliminate negative self talk immediately. Talk good about yourself to yourself and cool things will happen. Look into the mirror and smile. You need to love yourself and become comfortable with who you are at the very root of your soul. Everyday your goal should be to become just a little MORE AWESOME. Try to be better than yourself, no one else. Your problems are most likely really not that big of a deal so STOP making them out to be. If something is holding you back, STOP IT! You want something, go and get it!

Lower Body Max Effort
Back Squat worked up to a 3 Repetition Maximum of 245 lbs
Deficit Deadlift (3 inches up) worked up to a 3 repetition near Maximum of 345 lbs
Upper Body Dynamic Effort
Bench Press at 50% of 1 rep max (135 lbs) with mini bands (about 20 lbs x 2 of resistance for 3 reps of 12 sets with 30 seconds of rest
Olympic Lifting
Power Cleans for 3 reps of 5 sets (5x3) at 185 lbs
Kipping Ring Muscle-Up for 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 repetitions! (I finally was able to string 2 reps together)
Freestanding Handstand work (check out the video below)
For the next 6 weeks I will be focusing my training on strength by doing the conjugate system of Westside Barbell, the world famous powerlifiting gym. I will also be implementing track sprints and working to improve my times in the 100, 200, and 400 meter distances. I will keep working hard on my gymnastics skill training. I will also be watching my diet very carefully and take photos of everything that I ingest for 1 week starting tomorrow. Sticking to paleo style eating of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. I will also be planning fasting periods, once weekly for 24 hours. I will drop some body-fat to improve my body composition aiming for a bodyweight of 190 lbs (at 197 now). I will continue to train Mixed Martial Arts and work hard to make improvements. I will go Mountain Biking as often as I can. I'll be going rock climbing soon. I will go for long cycling rides and long runs every once and a while to increase my endurance but will not overdo it.

Quote of the Day
"Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true."
Napoleon Hill
Song of the Day

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Fight for Air Climb 2012

Today, myself and four friends participated in the Fight for Air Climb event! It was a grueling run up 50 floors and 1,088 steps! The cause was for the American Lung Association to raise money for research and awareness for the 35 million Americans who suffer from asthma, lung cancer, and other lung related diseases. After running up those 50 floors we get a feel for the lack of breath that these people have to suffer through. I highly recommend stair running whether you're trying to lose fat, build leg strength, make your butt look better, and increase work capacity/conditioning ability. Watch a video on a Fight for Air Climb event: HERE.

LinkBen (me), Jake aka Pussy-Hands, Lee aka the sexy gymnast, and Jon aka J-Meezy (Rob Boyles left before pic was taken)

Quote of the Day
"All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?"
Immanuel Kant
Song of the Day
Heartbeats - the Knife

Friday, March 23, 2012

8.5 mile run and Gauntlet Kickboxing

8 and 1/2 mile run

Muay Thai kickboxing for 1 and a half hours
3 rounds of 4 minutes on banana bag working leg and body kicks then agility drills
The Gauntlet: 100 straight punches, 50 rear push kicks, 100 straight punches, 50 front push kicks, 100 straight punches, 50 jump switch rear push kicks, 100 straight punches, 50 jump switch front push kicks, 100 straight punches, 25 rear body kicks, 25 front body kicks, DONE!
then band resisted push kicks/jump switch push kicks and sprints
How to do the PUSH KICK

Fight Club Generation: Mixed Martial Arts - NY Times

Evolution of Psychology and Emotions

Quote of the Day

· "We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers — Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." ~ Charles Darwin

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Setting Fitness Goals
Write them down and then do it. Don't do your best! Winners don't do their best, losers do. Winners do THIS! There are 12 modern tools to help you reach your goals... Not so fast, I am not talking about 6 minute abs or the "shake weight." I am talking about ways to almost force yourself socially to succeed. Check it out HERE. You have to be willing to make sacrifices for these goals. But ultimately it will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. And make you a better, more effective human being capable of taking on tasks like sitting in a chair without making it collapse, picking up the trash without throwing out your back, saving your child from getting crushed by a rock, or defending your loved ones from a violent assault. All are impossible without a certain level of physical fitness. You can keep popping your pills and living forever while not being able to perform basic human tasks or you can decide to make a change in your life. Its all about taking the first step. That step is writing our your goals. The more specific the better. (CROSSFIT VIDEO)

Viking Warrior Conditioning 15:15
70 rounds
15 seconds of kettlebell snatches (35 lbs)
15 seconds of rest
performed 7 repetitions for each set with one arm (switched hands after each round/rest)
490 total reptitions!!!


Fitness – (by May 19th)


Current weight/reps/sec



Back Squat

265 lbs

+60 lbs

325 lbs


405 lbs

+50 lbs

455 lbs

Bench Press

265 lbs

+35 lbs

300 lbs

Overhead Press

165 lbs

+20 lbs

185 lbs

HSPU (wall facing)

13 reps

+7 reps

20 reps


1 rep

+5 reps

6 reps

Weighted Chin-Up

85 lbs

+25 lbs

110 lbs

Weighted Dip

130 lbs

+40 lbs

170 lbs

100 meter run

14 sec

-3 sec

11 sec

200 meter run

32 sec

-5 sec

27 sec

400 meter run

1:21 min

-11 sec

1:10 min



20+ rounds



Less than 5 min


30 fluid consecutive kipping pull-ups

20 unbroken double-unders (not alternating)

30 consecutive 95 lbs thrusters

Handstand balance for at least 7 seconds

Box Jump higher than belly button height

Plank hold for 5 minutes


Complete 20 mile adventure race

Mountain bike race

Smoker (sparring tournament - Muay Thai Kickboxing/Boxing)