I recently shared a few short videos to Instagram of some Russian boxing and wrestling training from the 1980s. In the time since, I’ve seen the videos shared all over social media. I’ve also seen loads of questions about where the videos originated. With that in mind, I’ll use this entry to share links to the full versions. The boxing training video is over 19 minutes, and the wrestling training video is over 16 minutes.
Below you will find a link to each full version (labeled Additional Viewing), along with the abbreviated one-minute Instagram clip.I. Russian Wrestling Training
Additional Viewing – Russian Wrestling Training
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Feb 19, 2018 at 4:56pm PSTII. Russian Boxing Training
Additional Viewing – Russian Boxing Training
Pictured above, you’ll see NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton running hills as he often did. Walter Payton ran hills to condition himself for the grueling demands of the National Football League. There were no ulterior motives. He wasn’t seeking attention or approval from those around him. Instead, the goal was simple. Become a better athlete on the field.
Effectiveness vs. Attention Seeking
Times have certainly changed. Training is no longer just about physical improvement, but instead an attention seeking contest. Never before have I seen so many exercises invented. Unfortunately, new rarely equal better. And I don’t say this to suggest that there won’t be opportunities to improve on the past. I’ve just been around long enough to know that such instances aren’t nearly as common as some would like you to believe.
Listen below as I share some additional thoughts on the subject.
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Jan 31, 2018 at 4:24am PSTEffectiveness vs. Popularity
I’m sure some readers are thinking, “Yeah, but...
Over the years, I’ve written numerous articles related to hand-eye coordination training. As stated before, such work is beneficial to athletes from all sports. More recently, I’ve also discussed how coordination training can be useful on lighter days to help avoid physical burnout. There’s still another benefit that I haven’t focused much attention on however. Challenging your coordination with a new skill is useful in preparing you to deal with the inevitable frustration that accompanies the learning process.
Whenever I demonstrate coordination drills, I’m typically greeted with humorous comments from viewers who joke about what would happen if they tried the drill. What everyone needs to realize though is that we’ve all looked foolish at times when attempting a new skill. For instance, I’ve not only dropped plenty of balls while juggling, but I’ve also dropped plenty of f-bombs in frustration. It comes with the territory. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. And no one is immune to frustration.
A post shared...
Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted short clips to Instagram that shared wisdom from legends such as Masahiko Kimura, Dan Gable, and Fedor Emelianko. Each of the videos was trimmed down to one minute per Instagram guidelines, so I’ll use this entry to share links to the full versions.
In addition, it’s worth noting a similarity that exists within the stories. Although each individual is unique, one theme that’s universal to all is a simple, yet hard style of training. Complexity was nonexistent. There were no magical secrets, but rather extreme examples of hard work and discipline.
I. Fedor Emelianko
Additional Viewing – Fedor’s Training
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Jan 18, 2018 at 12:55pm PSTII. Dan Gable
A few months ago, I posted a short clip of myself running hills and skipping rope in boots. In the time since, I’ve received a plethora of questions and comments about the video, so perhaps a short entry is warranted. When I posted the clip, I wasn’t suggesting that everyone abandon their running shoes in place of boots. I was simply demonstrating something that I’ve done on occasion for many years. I didn’t invent the concept though. Many great fighters ran in boots to increase the challenge to the lower body. As for examples, former world champion Marvin Hagler was one of my early inspirations (pictured above).
Running and Skipping Demo
Before I elaborate on why I occasionally train in boots, here’s the brief video that I referenced before. As you’ll see, it’s not much different from many of the conditioning videos that I’ve shared in the past. The only difference are the steel toe boots that I’m wearing.
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Ever since I wrote about turning 40 last year, my inbox seems to a magnet for questions about injury recovery and prevention. Apparently, much of the world assumes that once you hit 40, the body begins to deteriorate, and you become plagued by injuries. If you know me though, you won’t be surprised that I disagree with what much of the world assumes. My approach to training has not changed at all since I hit the big Four-O. In fact, my last year of training was quite productive despite a hectic schedule that included several trips back and forth to Europe as a boxing coach.
The Year in Review
Before I share my thoughts on injury prevention, here’s a quick look at life in my 40s. I can honestly say that I don’t feel any different today than I did 10+ years ago. I still train just as hard as I always have.
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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of hill sprints. You’ll be hard pressed to find a conditioning exercise that’s more effective than regularly running a steep hill. Hill sprints aren’t just physically beneficial however. There’s a mental aspect as well that is worthy of a discussion. Don’t just take my word for it though. In the video that follows, you can hear Walter Payton (one of the greatest athletes ever) summarize the benefits of hill sprints in a few short words.Walter Payton on Hill Sprints
Long time readers of the blog have likely seen me reference Walter Payton before. He was one of my early inspirations. The short clip below actually comes from a video that I’ve shared in the past. I’ve trimmed it down so that the real message can be conveyed quickly and conveniently. Pay particular attention to what he says about being humbled by the hill and how there is no winning when you continually set new goals.
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If you are familiar with this blog, you have likely seen me write about motivation and discipline. One of the more popular articles that I’ve written in recent years focused on how motivation was overrated. As I’ve said before, I believe discipline is far superior to motivation. Motivation comes and goes, while discipline is rooted in consistency.
Unfortunately, blog entries often get lost in the archives and are soon forgotten after they are written. With that in mind, I believe it is a good time to readdress the subject of motivation vs. discipline. Rather than writing about it again though, perhaps a verbal entry is a better way to deliver the message.
Have a listen below and feel free to share your own thoughts and comments on my Instagram page.
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Jan 9, 2018 at 7:12am PST
“Successful people strive no matter what they feel by...
I’ve recently begun to add some brief training discussions to my Instagram page. Instagram allows a maximum of 60 seconds per video so it’s a perfect platform for a quick message that’s easy to digest. If there’s any topics that you’d like to see discussed, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.
Below, I share some thoughts about the fastest way to build strength or get in shape. Long time readers of the site probably know the answer already, but it’s a message that’s often lost in an industry that is filled with nonsense.
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Jan 4, 2018 at 11:11am PST
As I’ve said many times before, there are no shortcuts, so stop wasting time looking for them. Slow and steady wins the race, so don’t delay your start in search of a miracle that doesn’t exist.
There’s no time like the present, so get your ass in gear.
“How long should you...
Speaking as a former fighter and current boxing coach, I can say without question that neck strength is imperative for anyone involved in a contact sport. Unfortunately, many athletes tend to ignore neck training until there’s a problem. That is a mistake. Rather than waiting to react to problem, it’s best to be proactive regarding neck development.
Long time readers of the site have surely heard me discuss neck training before. It’s something I take seriously and have written about in the past. More recently though, I demonstrated two neck bridging exercises to my Instagram page. Shortly after, my inbox was flooded with questions. With that in mind, I will use this entry to discuss those exercises, while also offering some additional options.
Neck Bridging Demonstrations
I grew up watching Mike Tyson perform a variety of neck bridging exercises (ex. see here). As an ambitious, young fighter, I naturally copied Tyson and began performing the same exercises. Over 25 years later, I’m still bridging, and my neck feels as healthy and strong as ever.
Two variations that I often include can be seen below.
I recently demonstrated one of my favorite power training complexes on Instagram. Following the post, I received numerous questions and comments about the pairing. With that in mind, I believe a brief follow up discussion is necessary. For those that missed the original post, I performed a one arm bench press followed immediately by medicine ball throws. This combination of a strength movement and explosive exercise is often referred to as complex training.
To begin, you can watch the previously referenced video below. I typically perform 3 to 5 reps with the one arm bench press, and proceed with 8 to 10 reps of medicine ball throws. There is little to no rest between the bench press and medicine ball throws. After benching, I basically just shake out the arms, take a deep breath, and proceed to the ball. Naturally, this combination is performed for both sides. I then rest briefly (ex. 2 minutes) and continue with another set. I perform 4 or 5 sets in total.
It’s been almost 10 years since I wrote about acquiring a large tractor tire for training. With that in mind, perhaps an updated entry will help the new readers of the site. After all, a large tire is one of the best training tools you’ll find. Tires are inexpensive (mine was free), effective, and extremely durable. I’ve had the same tire since 2008. It gets beaten every week and is still going strong. There’s no doubt it will outlive me. How many other inexpensive tools can you say that about?Finding a Tractor Tire
The easiest way to find a tire in your area is by doing a local search. For example, start with a google search of tractor tire suppliers or tractor tires near me. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a supplier in your area. Once you’ve found one, call and ask if they have a scrap pile of used tires. Most large suppliers will have a scrap pile that needs to be disposed of or recycled. Such tires are typically given away for free as long as you have transportation to remove the tire.Transporting the Tire
The only cost I incurred when acquiring my tire was that of a rental truck. I rented a pickup truck from Home Depot for one hour. The tire company was then happy to load the tire onto the back of the truck for me. The...
The New Year is here which means millions of people around the world will embark on New Year’s resolutions. If you are one of those people, I wish you all the best. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the practice however. Instead, I strive to wake up each day with the mindset that I will resolve to do better. January 1st is no different in that regard. One thing that I do at the beginning of the year though is to reflect on the past 365 days.Reflection
Rather than typing endlessly about resolutions vs. reflection, below is a brief video where I address the subject.
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Jan 1, 2018 at 3:26pm PSTSelf-Evaluation
By reflecting on the past year, you are essentially conducting a performance review of yourself. Doing so will allow you to identify areas where you can improve or should have done better. You don’t need to drive yourself crazy over whether you’ve reached your potential,...
I recently shared a brief video to Instagram about the humble beginnings of one of the best baseball players in the world (José Altuve). Following that post, I had several people ask where the video originated and whether there was additional footage. Fortunately, there is a full documentary that you can watch below. And in case you’re wondering, Altuve’s story is worth watching whether you’re a baseball fan or not.
José Altuve is the perfect example of an individual who continually defied the odds on his road to greatness. Anyone who’s ever been told that they couldn’t achieve something will surely enjoy witnessing his rise to the top. Plenty of experts wrote him off as a youngster, but he’s now a World Series champion and was recently named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.
And at just 27 years old, he’s really just getting started.Big Dreams – The José Altuve Story
If you are unable to view the video above, please try this link.
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth
Following my last entry, I had several people ask to see additional exercises that can be performed with a suspension trainer. With that in mind, I put together a short clip showing some of my favorite movements. As you’ll see, I included a mix of push, pull, and core exercises. I also added a weighted vest, which isn’t necessary, but offers a convenient way to increase the difficulty of any bodyweight exercise.
Suspension Trainer Exercises
As you can see, you don’t need an elaborate gym to achieve a quality workout. My suspension trainer is nothing but a pair of cam buckle straps and playground ring handles. And while commercial options do exist (see here), it’s important to recognize that you can do quite well with an inexpensive pair like mine. I’ve used the same straps and handles for many years and they are still as good as new.
A post shared by Ross Enamait...
Earlier this week, I shared a short video of a homemade suspension trainer that I made many years ago. After posting the clip, I was surprised at how many comments and views it received. After all, my suspension trainer is an old piece of equipment that’s been featured on this site several times before.
For example, here’s the exact tool from a 2010 post.
The suspension trainer is nothing but an inexpensive pair of cam buckle straps and playground ring handles. It’s nothing fancy, but it is still going strong and gets the job done. And the fact that it can still attract some attention is refreshing in an industry that always seems to be pushing something new or different.
Same Sh*t, Different Decade
Although fitness trends seem to change faster than the seasons, my own approach to training has remained fairly constant over the years. Very little has changed. The suspension trainer serves as one of many examples. It worked for me 10+ years ago and continues to work for me today.
Following a recent hiatus from the blog, I’m happy to report that I am back in America and will return to updating the site again this week. I apologize for the recent inactivity but fortunately it was for good reason. Over the past few months, I’ve been busy in training camp preparing former Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor for her first world title fight as a professional.
Thankfully, the hard work and sacrifice have proven worthwhile. Last week, Katie captured the WBA lightweight world championship with a dominant performance over two-time champion Anahi Esther Sánchez at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. It was a tremendous night and exciting fight as evident in the highlight video below (also available here).
Katie Taylor World Title
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support!
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot
Long time readers of the site know that I’m a fan of the sledgehammer. Swinging a sledge is undoubtedly one of my favorite power and conditioning exercises. It’s not something I keep to myself though. Every athlete I’ve ever trained has spent time swinging a sledgehammer. That’s how much I believe in the tool.
And although I’ve written about different facets of sledgehammer training before, there seems to be a new crop of readers here who aren’t familiar with my past work. With that in mind, it might be useful to revisit some topics that haven’t been discussed recently. To kick things off, I will start with a brief discussion about interval training with a sledgehammer.Sledgehammer Conditioning
It’s worth noting that the sledgehammer can be used to develop power just as it can be used to build endurance. If the focus is power, your rep range will naturally be lower. Fatigue isn’t part of the equation. Instead, you should strive to get the most out of each individual swing. In other words, you aren’t rushing to finish the set. You are putting as much power into each swing with no concern over time.
As your focus shifts towards conditioning, you will naturally swing the sledge for higher reps or longer intervals. I personally don’t get too carried away with lengthy rounds though. I prefer to keep the sledgehammer moving at a rapid pace. As for ideal work-to-rest ratios, one...
Over the years, I’ve often highlighted the importance of consistency. I never stray too far from the exercises that have benefited me the most. I’m not about to abandon a valuable movement just to say that I’ve included some variety. On the contrary, I enjoy a more subtle approach. I’d rather vary how I perform a useful exercise instead of constantly seeking out new movements.
One exercise that I’ve often used to highlight my approach to variety are rollouts with an ab wheel. If you are familiar with my work, you have likely seen several rollout variations. Yet, after over 20 years of working with an ab wheel, I’m still uncovering different ways to perform the exercise. And while that might seem irrelevant to you, I believe there’s an important lesson to discuss. In short, it’s never too late to uncover new ways to improve.Rollouts for Time
There is no denying that rollouts rank at the top of my list for beneficial core training exercises. Rollouts have been invaluable to me over the years. I’m still discovering new ways to benefit from the movement however.
Most recently, I have begun working with rollout variations for timed rounds. One example can be seen below (pardon the loud music).
Long time readers of the site have likely seen me swinging a crazy looking weighted ball. It was almost 15 years ago when I first demonstrated my homemade tornado ball. In the time since, the same tornado ball has been featured briefly in numerous videos (ex. here). Most recently, I filmed a short clip of myself swinging the tornado ball over the weekend. As expected, a plethora of viewers commented by asking where I purchased the ball or how I made it.Tornado Ball Training
For starters, you can see the most recent video below. Notice how I work one side and then the other (similar to how one would swing a sledgehammer).
A post shared by Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) on Sep 2, 2017 at 10:43am PDTInstructions
While I’m sure there are commercial options available, my homemade version has lasted over 15 years. It also weighs over 25 pounds. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that most store-bought versions would be...