Saturday, March 21, 2015

Shogun Speaks: On the Onnit Academy L1 Certification, Part 1

    It’s been a week since I participated in the Onnit Academy L1 Certification weekend up in Renton, WA at Vigor Grounds, and I’ve been thinking about the process itself, what I learned, and what I want to do next it quite a bit. It’s a lot to talk about, but part “what I want to do next” is talking, or blogging, vlogging, basically just putting info and perspective out there, so let’s get started. I know, I know, I’ve been promising to training blog and vlog for a while now, trying to scale back time spent at the office so I have more time to pay attention to this sort of thing. It’s basically either work less or train less, and I think we all know what I think about the latter…

    Alright then, for some background, one of the goals (no, I’m totally not afraid to use that word) I had set for myself last year was to get some personal training certifications. Not to sound too head-in-the-clouds or anything like that, but one of the things I’ve been trying to do for the last couple years is be open to the universe, you know, go with my own energy, and I notice when I do that honestly, I always come back to physical training, whether it’s combatives/martial arts, powerlifting, or just general strength training. Truth be told, I’ve probably studied, read, planned, programmed, and of course, PRACTICED, as much as any CSCS or NCSA certified coach, well, RECENTLY certified, let’s say, so I figured it was probably time to get at least a little serious.

    As I’ve stated a few times previously, I didn’t really know much about Onnit other than seeing the occasional pop-up in my facebook feed and for some reason I didn’t really pay attention. Call me a snob, I think I just have an overdeveloped facebook ad filter. It’s weird, my curiosity was definitely picqued by seeing that they were working with the likes of Joe Rogan, Jason Ferruggia, and Joe DeFranco to name a few, but yeah, again, for some reason I didn’t really dig too deep. I have my good friend Brad, he of RiggingDojo fame, to thank for pushing me over the edge, as it was his sharing of the Onnit podcast with Kelly Starrett that was pretty much my gateway drug. Dr. Starrett, of course, dropped some great knowledge bombs; finding myself impressed by both the scope of the conversation and the presentation in general, I spent the rest of the day watching the Onnit Total Human Optimization Podcasts, which I definitely recommend if you’re into training at all.

    Pretty much everyone of the vidcasts is a gem in and of itself, but the one that really resonated with me was #44: Unconventional Training, Attitude, Mobility, and Your Questions Answered With John Wolf. Definitely watch the whole thing, but it was some of the comments he made at around 27:11 about mapping tension between the body and the psyche that really grabbed me. As you can probably guess, a little bell went off in my head and I thought “Wow, that’s Systema 101, ok, now you got me.” I think I’ve mentioned this a few times, but that’s really the most valuable thing I’ve taken from Systema, the tension awareness and management, so anytime I come across a system that addresses that idea, I’m immediately interested.

    So as I dug through the website, I naturally came across the Onnit Academy section and started reading a bit more about the certification. It seemed like a fairly low overhead approach, at least the L1, and I figured that since I had never done any sort of fitness/training certification courses, this might be an easy one to jump into (truth: it definitely wasn’t “easy”). I had planned on being up in Seattle the weekend they were offering the next L1 Certification, so…listen to the universe, right? Signed up, and off I went. In retrospect, it’s a little funny, I went from 0 to L1 Certified in the course of about a month, but you know, that’s cool. The river just sorta pulled me along, and there I was.

    I think I’ve rambled quite a bit, and I need to go swing some kettlebells before it gets too late, so I’m going to break this into two posts. Next week I’ll talk about the specifics of the weekend and some overall thoughts on being Onnit.

Stay Fast, Stay Strong, Stay Mobile, Stay Hungry, and remember, whenever you start questioning life, Fuck Life, Go Train.