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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

General Fitness / Re: Questions about dips/body symmetry
« on: July 24, 2012, 11:52:01 AM »
There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding here.

Eternal rotation at the shoulder in a dip position will result in the humerus moving closer to the body elbows wide will actually result in internal rotation at the shoulder.

However even with elbows in the shoulder can default into an internal rotated position. An internally rotated shoulder position results in compromised biomechanics and impingement of the brachial nerve IE muscle up elbows.

Keep the elbows fairly close to the side and focus on external rotation at the shoulder imagines imagine trying to break the bar by rotating the palm away from the body and intiating this motion from the shoulder, feel the tight back and down position this creates do not lose this at the bottom of the dip.

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.

General Fitness / Re: Increasing your vertical
« on: July 13, 2012, 04:43:19 PM »


The only real athletic events where genetics play a significant role is the huge role is extremely short anaerobic or extremely long endurance events. Prime examples are 100m and marathons where west african genetics tend to dominate the short, and east african genetics dominate the long.

Maybe I am misreading you but I strongly disagree with the statement genetics  play a large roll only in a few sports. Genetics is a huge factor in elite performance its just that racial differences in genetics are not as a big factor.

Anyone stepping to the line of any major olympic event has a very select set of anthropomorphic, and neurological factors optimized to that event.

Gymnasts have very different anthropomorphic characteristics then sprinters, and both are completely different from swimmers.

Most everyone can probably get decent at sprinting or gymnastics or swimming but only a very small handful will be close to Olympic level and none will be elite in even two of those three.

General Fitness / Re: Increasing your vertical
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:57:41 AM »
I'm not African American if that's what you mean   :P :P

I did not see the stickies yet but I will. Thanks for your help

I see the smilies but just feel like its important to point out there is allot more genetic variation then race and while different races do seem to have different athletic profiles it probably less of an effect then most people imagine the top five long jumpers and high jumpers in the world this year are all white.

I think the most profound finding is variability of response, I am pretty convinced by the food reward theory of obesity put forward by stephan Guyenet however I have found that I have shifted to a lower body fat set point since lowering my carb intake independent of calorie restriction. Its not massive between 1.5-2 percent but going from the healthy to athletic BF range is big deal for someone like me.

At this point I advocate a real food diet, starting with paleo as a baseline, adding in agricultural foods depending on tolerance experiment,  with macro ratio's and sups only for performance optimization with an n-1 one philosophy.

Individual variability is huge, Creatine is one of the best supported sups out there, aside from a couple pounds of water retention I had absolutely no noticeable response to it. On the other hand phosphyidyl serine has shifted my entire circadian rhythm by 2 hours.

General Fitness / Re: Optimal Strength Ratios?
« on: June 29, 2012, 04:36:56 PM »
The time overwhich you can absorb the force of impact is heavily impacted by technique and biomechanical chareteristics more flexible athletes are able to continue distorting under load longer and there be able to lower peak impacts. So the time component is variable. Second if we model the magnitude of GRF at impact as 560 N, thats not the whole story, how does that translated to N of shear force at the knee how does having a 16 inch shin effect that vs one that is only 12 inches how how is affected by having 25 degrees of range of motion at the ankle vs 15.

I am not good at actual computation but I think we tend to use simplistic physics in kinematics that just aren't sufficient to describe what is really happening.

Improve your force production. your rate of force development, your controlled range of motion and your technique and you will find out what you can do performance wise but trying to back enginner the physics around what you want to achieve I think your physics are going to have be allot more deeply developed.

General Fitness / Re: Optimal Strength Ratios?
« on: June 29, 2012, 01:44:33 PM »
The truth is we don't really no what is strong enough or how to measure strength in a way that is directly applicable to given sport movement that isn't that sport movement.

Strength performance is quite complex something like a leg press something very simple boils down to maximum potential muscular tension. An athlete that is able to exhibit more tension is stronger. But even on leg press its dependant on anthropometrics, the same amount of tension generated by a muscle result in different effects when translated over the proportions of the long bones.

Someone with longer levers has to produce more force to move the same amount of weight but has the ability to produce more momentum at the end of the the lever. So ideal strength ratios as measured by a squat is not comparable for a guy who is 6^4 with a 40 inch inseam and guy is who is 5^10 with a 30 inch inseam I have no idea what Usain bolt squats but I doubt he will ever approach what ben johnson squatted.

Jumping high and running fast are reliant not just on maximal muscular force but efficiency of the stretch shortening response, ability to relax and contract muscle completely in rapid sequence, and co-ordination of all angles of the limbs to elicit the optimal angles of force generation. The motor patterning involved in squat and deadlifting is very different from that required for jumping, up to a certain point adaption in heavy lifting drive performance in jumping past a certain point there are diminishing returns. Where the point is variable based on the athletes inherent antropometric, neurological, and muscle fiber characteristics.

Decide what your goals are find the excercises that help them and keep doing them until the stop helping. If you vertical increase 5 inches going from a 200 to 300 pound squat, and 3 going from 300-400, but doesn't improve past that then focus on maintance of that level of strength and look for other tools to improve that capacity.

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

General Fitness / Re: How to get abs
« on: May 04, 2012, 06:02:17 PM »
I am feeling pedantic so i want to point out the other side to the abs are made in the kitchen rule. I

If you want abs like this
Thats 50 percent diet 50 percent genetic.

The 50 percent diet thing is you have to have the right diet to get your abs visible the 50 percent genetic is the shape of the abs once revealed I had a gymnast I worked with who was 7 percent bodyfat he had 7mm on his abdominal pinch test he did not have a six pack he had 2 abs that was it that was all he would every had he simply lack the horizontal segmentation that most people had. My business partner has 7 abs instead of the normal six or eight. People have varying numbers of segments symetry of segments and size and shape of segments, in addition differences in fat patterning means your results may varry.

On the other hand if you want abs like this Thats 25 percent diet, 25 percent genetics, 25 percent working your ass of in the gym and 25 percent taking ungodly amounts of PEDS, HGH in particularly is useful for this look.

This has been rafes pedantic service announcement of the day thanks for your time.

General Fitness / Re: School sports
« on: May 04, 2012, 05:49:16 PM »
Thanks guys! I was thinking that track & field would definitely be useful, especially since I know a lot of people here have a background in that, but I wasn't sure if I get to pick what events to train. Now that I think about it that thought is kind of stupid, but I didn't want to get stuck doing long distance running instead of sprints.

The School will definitely try to focus you on the events the think you can excell at but I think you should be able to pick your events if you stick to your guns you just might not be able to compete them if there are better people in the same event. You also may not be seen as a team player don't know enough about high school to really say.

That said, if you do it for PK run the 110 hurdles and do the triple jump, those to will offer epic levels of transfer.

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