striking

ETT Exercise of the Week Ep. 3

IT’S BACK! The ETT exercise of the week is back and better than ever. We just purchased a brand new Mac desktop here at the ETT compound to assist in all our video production so expect more ETT videos coming your way on a regular basis. This video is a great ETT exercise, which for all you newcomers combines a striking technique with a body weight exercise. ETT exercises are total body exercises that allow you to perfect your striking techniques while you build strength and burn calories. I love incorporating these exercises into my HIIT workouts and they are an essential part of all ETT group training sessions. If you live or are visiting the Tampa Bay Area, you can attend a FREE ETT group training session next Sunday, April 26th. Check out the ETT group training event page on Facebook for more details.

There’s Always Enough Time

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your holiday. Shannon and I are hosting her parents for Easter brunch, which means we had to do a lot of prep work yesterday in order to get ready. Shannon took on the cooking responsibilities while I tackled the cleaning. By the time we finished all the grocery shopping Saturday afternoon, it was 5pm before we could get to our respective duties. In addition to our late start, I realized I had yet to complete my daily workout. I decided to employ my multitasking abilities and incorporate my workout into cleaning the house. Here’s how I accomplished both tasks simultaneously:

The Clean Sweep Workout (2mins of cleaning followed by an exercise for specified # of reps; repeat till house is clean)

  • Sweep floors/Knee Strikes (50)
  • Vacuum carpets & rugs/Push-ups (25)
  • Swifter floors/Prisoner Squats (25)
  • Clean bathrooms/Jab+Cross (50)

Even though I stopped every 2 minutes to perform an exercise, I was able to complete my cleaning in less than an hour and a half. I also burned 416 calories in the process! That means a few extra cadbury eggs today for yours truly. Hopefully this post helps you realize that you always have opportunities to burn a few extra calories, you just have to look a little harder to find them. Speaking of looking a little harder, I’ve got some eggs to find. Enjoy your holiday!

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Girl Power

This past Sunday’s ETT group training session was truly memorable. We had perfect weather conditions and four willing & eager participants. Four willing & eager FEMALE participants. I put emphasis on the all female class not only to call out the “men” that decided to sleep in, but also to highlight the importance of women learning basic striking techniques. It’s important to know how to properly punch, kick, and/or knee someone if you ever have to physically defend yourself. However, I believe the confidence and reassurance of knowing how to strike is much more valuable to adult women than to adult men. Recent statistics and advertising campaigns have highlighted the vast problem of physical and/or verbal abuse perpetrated against women worldwide. I am confident that empowering women with knowledge of the striking arts will help them understand that they have the ability (mentally and physically) to defend themselves from victimization. I know that ETT or workout programs similar to it will not solve the issue of abuse against women entirely, but through personal experience I know that it is a step in the right direction. I have been fortunate enough to train with female fighters, train under a female instructor, and am engaged to a woman that has known how to defend herself from a young age. All these women have two things in common: they know how to fight AND they don’t take crap from anyone. 11008522_1621292938104552_4390300908723624768_n

A Change Will Do You Good

I love interval training because it allows you to complete multiple exercises from different disciplines in the same workout. You could do an upper & lower body workout, a push & pull workout, or a sport specific workout. I combined treadmill sprints with striking combinations in the workout below in order to train toward my fitness goals. Periodic variations in your workout plan will keep you engaged and dedicated to reaching your fitness goals.

ETT Exercise of the Week Ep.1

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Elemental Training Tampa (ETT) exercise of the week. An ETT exercise combines striking techniques with a strength building body weight exercise. This week’s ETT exercise combines a jab-cross-hook-uppercut combination with 2 lunges. Feel free to use any punch combination, but make sure you’re practicing proper technique regardless of what strikes you perform. After the punch combination perform 2 lunges that match your fitness level. I suggest practicing your lunges in a mirror to ensure proper form. Check out the video below for more helpful tips on how to perform the ETT exercise correctly. Incorporate this exercise into your next high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout or use it as a warm-up before your next weight training session.

Throwback Thursday

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Photo courtesy of Jeff Morris

This may be my favorite picture from my short stint as an amateur kickboxer. The picture was taken before the decision was read for my sixth and final fight. My trainer Amir Ardebily, the man largely responsible for getting me addicted to fitness, is taking my gloves off for the last time. I was honored to have Master Amir in my corner for all my fights and even though my kickboxing “career” was short lived, what I learned from competing in that arena will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The Community is a Reality

This past Sunday was the first time in a long time that I would describe the weather here in Tampa as truly enjoyable. Temps were in the low 70s, humidity was essentially nonexistent, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. The setting for the first Elemental Training Tampa (ETT) group class was almost too good to be true. I set up the mats while Shannon wrote out the day’s workout on the whiteboard. The post workout snacks were arranged on the table and the soundtrack for the class was pumping – I believe it was the 80’s cardio station (which ended up being pretty popular). We were visually prepared, but right before the class participants arrived a thought crept into my mind that made me wonder if I was mentally prepared. The thought was, “Can I do this?”

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I have taught fitness classes in the past where I was frequently responsible for creating the exercise format for the class. What I had planned for Sunday was nothing I hadn’t done before, but in a way it was. In the past I was simply an instructor representing a larger entity, but on Sunday I was representing myself and my creation, ETT. If I was unable to provide an engaging workout and/or atmosphere, it would certainly hurt future interest and the word of mouth I was relying so heavily on would most likely be less than complimentary. The pressure that I created for myself was a little unnerving, but the feeling only lasted a moment, because I suddenly remembered something: diamonds are only made under constant pressure. Once I came to that realization, I essentially welcomed the feeling of pressure because I knew it would help motivate me to create and lead excellent group workouts. These feelings all took place over the span of 10-20 seconds, and the thought of, “Can I do this?” quickly changed to, “I am going to do this.”

Soon after my little mental epiphany, the class participants began to arrive. Before long I had eight individuals standing in a single-file line facing me waiting for instructions. An hour of class flew by in a blink of an eye. I’m sure I flubbed some words, spoke a little too quickly, and my voice definitely cracked like a 13-year old boy at least twice, but I knew that I had led a great workout. After the training session ended, everyone grabbed some healthy snacks and began chatting with each other about the class they just completed, other workouts they had performed, races they were going to take part in and other fitness related topics. When I saw that, I knew that ETT no longer existed only online. The fitness community that I had been hoping to create was coming to life right in front of me.

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The feedback about the first ETT workout has been extremely positive and given me some good ideas for future ETT workouts. The next ETT group training session will be held on October 19th. Check out ETT on Facebook for more details. HIT IT!

The Inception of Elemental Training Tampa

fatfaceSimilar to many people my age, I grew up participating in organized sports and playing outside for fun. This trend of staying physically active continued into high school and college thanks to intramural and club sports that did not discriminate against someone with average athletic ability. Unfortunately, once I graduated from college and opportunities to stay physically active were not as readily available, my physical health and state of mind started to suffer. I was less active, eating poorly, and participating in other unhealthy vices. I was in the worst shape of my life.

Determined to change myself, I walked into a local martial arts school with the hope of regaining my physically active lifestyle. Not only did I regain my former lifestyle, but I learned something that I could never have learned simply lifting weights at a gym.

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Jeff Morris Photography

Studying different facets of various martial arts was both physically and mentally engaging, but the striking arts provided something that I had never experienced before. Punching focus mitts, kicking heavy bags, and knee-striking Thai pads not only improved my physical fitness, but also boosted my confidence, lowered my stress level, and gave me a sense of accomplishment like no other exercise regimen. The benefits that incorporating striking exercises into a complementary training program can provide ANYONE has led me to create Elemental Training Tampa (ETT). The purpose of ETT is to create training programs that combine basic striking techniques with a variety of plyometric, resistance, and core exercises to help individuals reach their fitness goals. This blog will provide ETT workouts that anyone can perform in the comfort of their home along with posts about nutrition, public fitness venues, and eventually information about weekly FREE group ETT classes. Even though striking is often referred to as a science, it’s my mission to help people master the essentials so they can take ownership of their fitness. HIT IT!