Today’s muscles: tomorrow’s joints? (RT please)









  1. Athletic durability is NOT the same as athletic ability or looking amazing.
  2. The endless pursuit of bigger, faster, and stronger often leads to creakier, achier, crabbier
  3. While exercising for improved appearance and performance is well defined, improving and PRESERVING athletic durability is not…until now. Let’s get to it.

Athletic durability as I define it here is pain free movement. If you can do something without pain and in confidence you won’t get hurt, that qualifies. Pain free movement doesn’t result principally from strength (surprised me when I found out.) Getting stronger doesn’t make your more durable (although it will make you perform better). Pain free movement results from great bio-mechanics (think posture, but instead of a snapshot, a video). Great bio-mechanics result from smooth fascia and good muscle memory. Foam rolling, neuromuscular therapy, active release technique, rolfing, are all iterations of positively effecting the fascial web of the body to promote pain free movement through improved bio-mechanics. Of course, I feel my approach is the most user friendly of them all, as I drew from all that expertise.

Bottomline? Once you can deadlift twice your bodyweight, knock off 15 chin ups, and bench your bodyweight for 8 reps you are plenty strong for most anything. Don’t chase big weights in the gym and test your limits or you will find them the old fashioned way…rriiippp! Shift your focus to preserving your durability, rather than finding your breaking point. Most, yes most, badass athletes and bodybuilders traded todays’ muscles for tomorrow joints, not realizing that it would be a problem. To find out how to avoid that outcome, attend my workshop; live or virtual. 


The problem of Joint Pain: solved! #1 (RT) #GetSome #DueDiligence

Hello, Mario here, this is what you need to know: A simple, safe solution to joint pain is know gelatin. Just mix 1 tablespoon daily into a liquid or shake and drink it on the spot. It provides collagen, a building block of fascia. Think of it as nutrition for your joints, hair, skin, and nails. As you know, I’m big on execution of simple repeatable tasks that make a difference…this is one of them. Try it for 1 month, and stay on the lookout for more. And Re Tweet for god’s sake…don’t bogart the good stuff.

gelatin set up

The problem of water quality and security: solved!

Hi, it’s me Mario, and this is what you need to know:

The water coming out of the tap is suspect at best, and bad at worst. It also is vulnerable to contamination, for instance, in an ecological disaster. For those of you who are already convinced this is a problem, I will get to solutions below. For those of you who aren’t convinced, some simple due diligence on youtube about water quality, fluoride, pesticides, birth control pill run off, and hormone disruptors in the water will give you some information to make up your own mind. NO, I’m not going to give you the links. Get off your “ass” and do some homework.

Ok, now for the people who already know that water quality is a problem, and are ready to take action, here are the solutions:

Several independent studies has shown the berkey filtration system is consistently the #1 most effective at cleaning your water. The active pieces of the system are the elements (black) and flouride filters (white). They can be set in a container like the berkey light (blue), or the stainless steel big berkey. For $250 to $300 you water will be as clean as it can be! The difference between the two units is the durability of the plastic vs the stainless steel, and also the big berkey can configure 4 elements/filters to clean the water faster. That’s it. If cost is an issue, you can obtain your elements and filters only, and make your own tank system from plastic containers. No, I don’t get paid for recommending berkey (although I should look into it). It’s what I bought and use.

And don’t forget your shower! Berkey also has a solution for that as well.


This is the number #1 thing I recommend to people when they want to begin healthy habits. Organic food doesn’t mean much if your water is compromised. Get this done. Here is the Patriot Nurse on youtube expounding on why. Next time I will add in some information on how to infuse your newly purified water with life force energy! pf2_sm_01


Hex Bar Deadlifts and Swings: Yin & Yang of whole body lifts






When sustainable results that deliver tangible advantages in the real world are a must, it’s necessary to carefully chose what exercises you invest your time and effort in. With all of the options out there in the realm of fitness and weight training, making best choices can be overwhelming. Never to fear, I will make it simple for you. To deliver:

  1. An attractive, lean, sculpted body
  2. Real world high performance fitness that translates across many activities
  3. Low bio-mechanical requirements and easy learning curve…

Look now further than the hex bar deadlift and kettle-bell swing.

Why the hex bar deadlift and not the barbell deadlift? Simple, the hex bar is easier to learn and easier on the joints. Why the kettle-bell swing and not a barbell power clean or snatch? Same reasons. Unless you are a competitor in powerlifting/weightlifting/cross-fit etc. I no longer see the point of dong the riskier, harder to learn barbell versions of these lifts. Time matters, and long learning curves along with higher rates of injury equals less time getting the results.

Athletes and non athletes, old and young, can be quickly taught high to hex deadlift and swing. They are primal movement patterns, one a high tension strength move (the yin), the other a high power explosive move (the yang). Each is scalable to any level of ability and can be programmed to pursue any goal.

Want to build muscle? Hex Bar Deadlifts performed in the german volume/soviet bear approach of:

  • Selecting a weight you can perform 10  perfect reps with and:
  • Perform 10 sets of 5 with it on 90 second rest intervals (due diligence for details)

This will deliver big time (provided your nutrition matches) quickly and safely.

Burn fat & build stamina?

  • Select a kettle-bell 1/3 the weight used in your soviet bear routine and
  • Perform swings in sets of 20, work/rest fashion, for 15 minutes

I could go on, but the point to hammer home is if you train for results outside the gym, these two lifts will deliver the most return on your investment of time and effort with the least risk of injury. As always, the hidden key to minimizing risk of injury is fascial integration: Click the image to find out why.



Skyscraper Sprints: fat burning 10 minutes at a time!

When results matter more than entertainment, go for the biggest bang for your buck, time, stairs-456and effort. Stair climbing/running is a time tested way to achieve exceptional legs, stamina, and burn fat…fast!!! We refer to them as skyscraper sprints because:

  1. It sounds awesome
  2. …and I forgot number 2!

However, in reality we don’t use a skyscraper, and we don’t necessarily sprint either. Even a modest pace of climbing stairs two at a time with a hand on the railing will work much better than any cardio machine. Got a sore joint that doesn’t like two stairs at a time? Go one stair at a time and smooth out the fascia in your legs until the joint pain goes away.

The key to skyscraper sprints is safe execution. The stairs must have rails, and your hands should always be within their reach. Your shoe laces should be double knotted, the stairs dry, and while you may go full speed up the stairs you always walk down one stair at a time WITH A HAND ON THE RAIL. No music in your ears; pay attention to what you are doing, this is an exercise in concentration too. Seriously, no injuries…do not fall. Stairway_in_ford_plant_in_LA_from_HABS

A consistent repeatable way to perform skyscraper sprints is to chose a distance: I suggest 3, 5, or (gasp) 8 flights of stairs…no more! Perform your routine in a work/rest mode for time: believe me 10 minutes is plenty. Ease into this: figure on 5 sessions before attempting your best effort. At a pace your can control, move up the stairs 1 or 2 at a time, hand within reach of the rail, paying attention to your balance and what is around you (like other people). That is your work phase. Coming down the stairs is the rest phase, as you will NOT being attempting to go fast, but to go carefully.

It isn’t necessary to go full speed/power in order for this to work. Skyscraper sprints, when performed 2 steps at a time, are a hybrid strength/power/cardio exercise and highly functional and effective even at a 70% pace. Your focus is not on how many stairs you can cover, it’s on safe execution, and how the exercise will make you look, feel, and perform better when it’s over. You can climb the stairs with a walk, run, or leap, but only with utmost safety!!! Morons who get hurt because you are reckless…you know who you are!! Stop it!

Use what you have: only have 3 flights of stairs? Great! Use them! Have 10 flights of stairs? Great! You have options: chose a different height each time. A no frills approach to lower body fitness is to do skyscraper sprints 3 times a week, alternating heights each time and one step versus two steps, and throw in some corrective exercises for your lower body if needed. You will quickly burn away excess fat (if you combine with diet), become a cardio machine, and do it without the impact of jogging on your joints.

The case for the Mama Bear: The 20 gauge shotgun is best for home defense.

mama bear

SPOILER ALERT! If you just wanna cut to the chase & buy the best value in home security here you go:

Get the Mossberg 500 field combo in 20 gauge (12 gauge if you can’t resist a bigger boom) They are often on sale at Big 5 sporting goods. Search the web for a coupon. Okay; now that the what to do it covered, here is the why:

There is perhaps no faster way to create a dispute among like minded people than to ask the question of a most suitable firearm for any given situation. Most people are fiercely loyal to their preferences, blindly so. What follows here is an attempt to reverse engineer the question in order to arrive at a list of priorities by which to define one’s best answer, an answer likely to be applicable to most people’s situations. So let’s get to it, but first…

If you agree that your life (body), liberty, and property belongs to you then it follows that you must accept your responsibility to protect them. To agree and neglect to provide for that protection is a dereliction of your duty to yourself and your family. Law enforcement is a reactionary deterrent, at best. Stop expecting other people to wipe your butt, protect your ass, and handle your personal business, because your protection is your responsibility.

Accepting that responsibility for self protection entails more than buying a home defense weapon and burying it in the closet never again to see the light of day. Self protection is an ongoing martial discipline: of mental awareness, of muscle memory, and forethought given to tactical decisions within the scope of the terrain (i.e. your home). As a rule of thumb: every dollar you spend on a home defense weapon should be matched by an hour all adults in the home spend in the practical use of it. Get a home defense weapon, and get trained.

Generally, men are more capable as both aggressors and defenders. However, women need self protection just as much as men do, and both have the responsibility of providing protection for their children. This implies that the weapon used for home defense should be calibrated to the capacity of women as they are weaker and will have trouble handling “guy sized stuff”. Weapons of war are a poor choice for home/family defense, because men fight in war, not women. Get a home defense weapon the women in your life can use too.

Alright: to the topic of home defense. The goal in home defense is to stop aggressors, not kill them. If stopping aggressors equals using incapacitating force or merely deterring them to run away, the goal of home defense has been achieved. As always, the compass of protecting life, liberty, and property is the true north self defense, not the impulsive urge to retaliate against aggression with vengeance.

Step 1 in my view is a course on situational awareness and a tactical appraisal of your home. By far the greatest asset anyone has in self defense is a well trained awareness and tactical mindset. As unpleasant as many find it to contemplate things they find distasteful, mature adults plan for possibilities and eventualities. Ever heard of an estate plan? It’s what mature adults do. How about potty training? It’s what mature adults do. Grow up, create a home defense plan.

Step 2 is to chose your home defense weapon. We have several considerations here. One of them is cost. Rather than obtaining an arsenal, we need one tool for the job of home defense that every adult in the home can use. Another is stopping power. This tool has to be able to incapacitate aggressors immediately. This tool has to be easy to use, because under stress fine motor control degrades.  This tool needs to be as accurate as possible within the parameters of home defense (not as accurate or as powerful as a sniper rifle). The versatility of the tool is a plus as well, and if it’s scary? That helps. So, this tool needs to be inexpensive, effective, easy to use, accurate, versatile and scary. Guess which tool best fits the bill? It ain’t a handgun. Its the 20 gauge shotgun.

For cost, stopping power, ease of use, accuracy, versatility,  and intimidation, the 20 gauge shotgun beats any handgun.

Handguns are expensive, have weak stopping power, are not easy to manipulate, harder to aim, and not versatile. Why have one? They are portable and concealable. My choice for a handgun is a compact 9mm. Handguns are backup weapons, hence the term sidearm.  Also the cost of a quality 45 ACP or 44 Magnum is well north of $500. A good 20 gauge shotgun can be had for around $300. A 45 ACP while generally considered the most powerful, practical handgun delivers about 400ft lbs. of force depending on ammunition. The 44 Magnum, an impractical sidearm for personal defense, delivers 750 ft lbs or more. Buckshot from the 20 gauge shotgun has about twice the stopping power of the 44 Magnum, with far less felt recoil. Skillful use of handgun requires practice, and the 4 inch barrel compromises accuracy.

The 20 gauge pump shotgun is strong enough for a man, but manageable enough for any woman (something that cannot be said of the 12 gauge shotgun), and easier to manipulate than a handgun under stress. With an 18” home defense barrel (get a 26’ hunting barrel as well) and good sights, the 20 gauge is more accurate than a handgun. The pump shotgun also is more versatile than any handgun; you can load them with birdshot, buckshot, slugs, bean bag rounds, flares, and more.

So for cost (cheaper than a handgun), stopping power (twice that of the 44 Magnum), ease of use (for men and women less recoil), accuracy (18″ barrel better than 4”), and versatility (different loads, interchangeable barrels for home defense or hunting) and intimidation, the 20 gauge in my view is first purchase when considering home defense. The best choice is my book is a Mossberg 500 field combo, with interchangeable hunting/home security barrels, rifle sites, 5 round magazine tube, with side saddle and a tactical light. Make sure you have ear protection for everyone is the house, and a way to secure your home defense weapon when you are away (not just a trigger lock). Frontsite is a great place to get trained. 

When I am asked, “What is the best handgun for home defense?”, my answer is, “The 20 gauge pump shotgun, because it’s strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.” (Picture of the Mama Bear Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge with a 26′ hunting barrell, sling and side saddle.) (Guys: I know mostly you will be reading this and considering this information’s applicability to the women in your life, if you prefer the 12 gauge, a mag pull stock and low recoil 8 pellet remington 00 buck will approximate the sizing and recoil of a 20 gauge. Test it out. )