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Messages - Rafe

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My working definition when is "the discipline of developing the capacity to overcome obstacles using your body, and developing the self through overcoming obstacles" that is my best attempt to translate the inchoate philosophizing of the founders and provide a workable goal to orient training towards.

More and more though I think what I see actually being practiced in the parkour community is "the discipline of the developing the self through interacting with obstacles." The emphasis for most people far more about personal development, creativity and finding interesting ways to play and interact with the environment then it is pursuing effective capacity.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Parkour in nature and types of trees?
« on: August 14, 2012, 04:21:19 PM »
I haven't had a chance to train in tree's all over the world but here are my observations.

Here in the northwest, the best parkour tree's are Red cedars that have been raised in parks, having plenty of space and light allows them to crown that is send out limbs right at the based giving rich environment to trian in. The primary tree's  I move in in this video are red cedar this spot is in seattle its called volunteer park

Also good are the the true cedars like cedar of lebanon, and deodor cedar the also tend to send very strong branches out low on the tree I haven't yet found a great spot for them but have seen them show up in lots of parkour videos.

Through out the american southern regions live oaks provide awesome training spots like you can see in jeremes sanders video here thats in san antonio another area well worth visiting.

Not sure what kind of trees are in edward medard park but they are awesome thats another sport worth visiting

European oaks create awesome parkour spots as well the best spots I know for them are in cambridge seen in this phil doyle vid at 2:10

The top spot I want to go for natural training is fontainebleau in france there are good tree's there looks like beach and oak and what really makes the spot is boulders you can see it in this video

Finally I would be remiss not to mention my favorite local natural spots which don't have great live trees to train in but have lots of areas with fallen tree'sm  log jams on creeks, and boulders that are awesome. These are whatcom falls and larrabee state park which are very inadaquetely shown in these very old videos of mine

General Discussions (Competition) / Re: A.N.W women
« on: August 14, 2012, 03:44:54 PM »
Its not sexist to acknowledge that men and women have different capabilities its just realism. In sport there is a persistent approximately 10 percent gap in performance between elite male and female athletes that stopped converging 30 years ago, in all sports that have high level of participation of both sexes. Women are smaller, they have more body fat and less muscle mass, they have lower levels of testerone which helps build muscle and strength as well as potentiates the nervous system for explosivesness. The reall gap in performance between males and females may actually by wider because almost everyone at the elite level of sports is on PEDs which work better for men then women because they are derivatives of male hormones which women are more senstive too.

I think only one women has made it past the jump hang on ANW I think this is largely due to weight and height they can't depress the trampoline enough to get a good bounce and then are not tall and long enough to grab the net. There are definitely female athletes who could do so, a good female pole vaulter could probably make the jump hang fairly easily being selected for decent size plus lots of strength and speed.

The other issue with Ninja warrior is the biasing of the of athlete pool, that is to say there are hundreds of male athletes every year representing a wider range of different levels of athletiscm, size and physical background against a dozen or so female athletes.

All of the top female competitors like Luci Steel, Natalie Strasser, and Janine cundy so far have been smaller girls I doubt any of them is over 130 pounds. A girl who was similarly athletic to those three but 5^8 and 150 would probably have better chance on that obstacle.

Being in a good position to roll is not about being lower to the ground it is about being slightly over rotated having the control to tuck fast and open up is important whether you want to to stick the landing, step out or roll. Tucking the knee's to the side of the body instead of against the chest allows a faster spin not a slower spin in gymnastics its called cowboying and you will see almost nobody who can do a triple back without a cowboy.

As far as your front flip your not setting effectively your jumping up and coming down into your take off which results in less of rebounding action then keeping the hip height as level as possible(in the case of going up on to an object the hip height just before the feet hit should not be any higher then the hip height just before your take off). .

You are also trying to look over your right shoulder as you tuck don't do this especially not before going into a roll. Your roll needs a ton of work you are rolling straight down your spine as you come up have and the have the wrong leg extended this is good roll tutorial

My suggestion for getting ideas on what kind of equipment to build and how to run a good gym is to visit the gyms that are allready out there, before we opened PKV I took two weeks to travel to the monkey vault in toronto and Apex movement in DC and would have gone to Primal fitness if I could have as well.

I am sure you have been to tempest but if not make sure to go. You should also make an effort to come to Parkour Visions, Apex movement, Origins parkour, White lotus, Primal etc.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: always sore
« on: June 17, 2012, 09:20:40 PM »
If you are abnormally sore after doing even minor training, it basically means your recovery systems are not working properly. This could be for a variety of reasons, the simple ones if you diet or sleep are messed up that will decrease your recovery capacity. General life stress can decrease recovery capacity as well. You might be overeached after a period of hard training need to back off for a bit. Finally emotional stress like the end of relationship can be expressed as physical pain or can amplify signals of physical pain.

Short version, make sure your getting a good amount of protein, animal fat, omega 3 fatty acids, and green vegetables if you have been intentially limiting carbs upping starchy carb can be helpfull the best source is sweet potatoes. Get 9 hours of sleep in a cool dark quiet room if at all possible, try to go to bed before midnight.  Then find coping mechanisms for any life stressors.

The grip on the minimus is ok. I have the trail version which has a pebbled outsole which is dumb and messed up the grip for good month for me before it wore off. It grips real well on rails, and the wood in our gym and smoother concrete more porous concrete and rock is not very good, the suck in the wet. Overall I would probably give them a 3 out of 5 on grip maybe 3.5 when I really want grip I use my 5.10 daescents but I have adapted to the lower grip for the most part.

Looks like a decent trainer more cushion then I prefer but shouldn't mess you up to much, let me know how the grip is I need a trainer with more cushion then my minimus and vibrams for doing acro on concrete(landing a front flip drop on your heels on concrete is no fun in true minimalist shoes).

Also your shoe salesman sounds like an idiot.

Here you go Alec, I assume this is what your refering. Ido is awesome you should explore his youtube channel and his old blog.

More ideas on barefoot training here.

Any time you are running in traditional running you shoes you are actively destroying your natural biomechanics simple as that. Get a shoe without a wedge heel and with sufficiently minimial cushion to feel the ground.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Do you know Kinobori?
« on: May 17, 2012, 03:34:29 PM »
Funny the second video featured is me, I have never heard of Kinobori. In the end its doesn't matter to much the name is not what matters. Movement, training effect and intent of training are what does. Training in nature is incredible valuable.

I have never gone into strictly ketosic dieting, my understanding is its actually impossible to truly ketosic and also high protein because of gluconeogenesis. I a cut 2 years ago from 212 at approximately 20 percent bf to 195 at 12 percent.

I was between 90-125grams of carb per day, with a 16 hour daily fast and one 24 hour fast per week. It was the leanest I have ever been  however at the end of the cut i started getting chills and my adrenals got pounded I ended having a panic attack and 3 months after the cut tore my achilles tendon. I have since been making sure I get plenty of potatoes or sweet potatoes.

How closely the stress, temperature regulation and achilles injury are related to the diet protocol I have no idea but if was to utilize a low carb procedure again I would take my temperature daily and carb up if I saw it decrease, I would look into thyroid supportive sups and I would do it cyclically 6 weeks on 2 weeks of 6 weeks on 2 weeks of something like that.

I know Ido portal on the other hand reports having had amazing success on 75 grams of carb or less for 9 years or something like that now. He recently put his blood tests up for people to see. I got a chance to train with him for a week in february and I can attest to the volume of training he puts in and the minimum of carbs he eats.

So as always your results may vary.

Another interesting approach would be Stephan Guyenets low reward diet protocol check out

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: What shoes to get...
« on: April 24, 2012, 03:32:24 PM »
For running, yes, they can help you.  It's a matter of form more than anything else, though, and minimalist shoes get people out of bad habits quickly.

For parkour I advocate something with cushioning.  There's a lot of jumping.

Running is the core of parkour if you are running poorly it will have bad effect on everything in parkour and the same things that mess up running form about heavily padded shoes mess up landing, and jumping technique as well.

I do agree that for certain techniques and enviroments a more cushioned shoe is beneficial then what you would want for flat land running.

I advocate training barefoot for warm ups and light training, using a minimalist shoe for general training and then using somewhat padded but still basically zero drop shoe for big techniques, the five ten daescent and Puma Cabana racers are good compromises between biomechanics and padding.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: What shoes to get...
« on: April 20, 2012, 09:32:07 AM »
The addidas and Inov-8 are not a good choice if you want to transition to barefoot and better gait, the vivo, minumus and merrell trail glove are all good options, and for your price range the best choice is the asics tigers.


I'm not in it for the sake of doing it, I'm in it for the sake of using what I was given. Stop being tool and go where people want/need your help, because, clearly the first time you didn't get the fact I didn't want/need your help. I'm frugal, I wouldn't pay for a personal trainer, I wouldn't pay for this system, and I wouldn't pay you to help me.

I couldn't care less about helping you, but many people read these threads and its important that good information doesn't get drowned out by nonsense.

Insanity is a poor method to help you with your goals Ryan. All the hype you put up on top is simply innacurate.

For instance.

Plyometric is not simple explosive exercise it exercises designed to develop the efficiency of the stretch shortening cycle and to utilize the stretch shortening cycle to improve force production.

The drills involved in their plyometric workout  are not appropriate exercises for developing explosive power at best its anaerobic endurance work.

This is a complete waste of time for explosive power.

The upper body work is similarly ill designed and not have intelligent rest effort balance to stimulate strength development.

As far as your core, there is the function in which case flutter kicks and all that nonsense are simply not that effective compared to l-holds, planche work, planks, compounds lifts, hang leg raises etc.

Then there is the appearance which is result of percent body fat and abdominal hypertrophy. This is not hypertrophy work and won't help you there. Depending on metabolic profile and training age this may have moderate fat burning effects but leanness is primarily about diet and genetics, the most effective way to effect body fat is not the every popular anaerobic endurance work its the true high intensity work like all out sprints with full rest or true heavy weight lifting.

So insanity for your goals

1. f
2. f
3. d+

The only thing Insanity is really good at making you better at is insanity, same thing for P90x or any similar products.

A better program

Sprint 5x40 yards 5 minutes rests in between each set 3xper week
Deadlift, Squat, Pull up and Dip 3x5 or 5x3 with 2 minutes rest between sets(longer rest is better for explosiveness but shorter rest will increase fat burning) with linear progression or texas method 3xper week
Hang leg Raises 3x10 and ab wheel roll outs 3x10 for "Core"

Food no grains, no sugar, no processed foods, base each meal of lean meat and potatoes or sweet potatoes with no seasoning(lowers reward value) and green vegetables.

Step 1 Go to general fitness forum
Step 2 Read the stickies
Step 3 Stop doing stupid hyped up fad workouts and construct a real routine that actually has something to do with your goals

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: ORIGINS Parkour and Athletic Facility
« on: March 23, 2012, 08:44:08 PM »
Those boxes look nice and sturdy, super looking forward to coming up and seeing your facility looks super promising.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Achilles Tendon
« on: March 14, 2012, 12:30:40 PM »
You need to examine your achilles if you see any swelling or nodules in your tendon you need to see a doctor imediately. Development of a nodule in the tendon is sign of tendonosis which will result in a ruptured achilles if it is put under continued strain.

There are variety of reasons your achilles could be tight or sore. If you just recently switched to a mid-foot/forefoot gait you maybe still be over striding, overstriding results in shin splints when your heel striking but achilles and calf problems when your forefoot/midfoot striking.

You may also have limited mobility due to wearing shoes with an elevated heel. Your SI joint could be out of place. Your hip flexors could be tight asymetrically there are of course more possible reasons. The only person who can tell you is a appropriate medical professional  in person.

However most docs are actually not competent whether there allopathic, chiropractic or PT. If they tell you to stop running and just prescribe pain killers and Ice and don't look in depth at your biomechanics then they don't really know what they are doing and you need to find a better doc. Ken Kao aka Pkchiro from the Colorado scene is good resource for helping you find a good doc.

Achilles pain is very worrisome, the achilles is strong enough to hang a car from but if your habitually abusing it due to effective leg length discrepency, duck footed landings and take offs or over striding, you can cause the tissue to become disordered and that can be very big problem.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: How to fall.
« on: March 02, 2012, 12:46:01 PM »
How did you miss this one. Great seminar from Amos Rendao of Apex movement.

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