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In December of 2010 I released my Clubbell training program, the Clubbell Mass Evolution. A full 3 month training program with a specific focus of putting on lean muscle mass using clubbells.

“Clubbells are now my true love when it comes to any kind of free weight training system. The Clubbell Mass Evolution was a truly enlightening and fabulously fun way to get trained in them, thanks to Shane Heins of Gymnos E.”   -N.G.-

While the feedback I have gotten from those who have used it has been great, I have had a few people write in asking where they might find more before and after pictures. They really like the philosophy and the approach. They just aren’t seeing what the outcome actually looks like. And they feel they need to see the physical “results” to motivate them to take the plunge.

“I just started Cycle 2 today…oh.my.god. I love it! I love the rhythm, the flow. I’m seeing changes in my body, too….  I feel like my metabolism has been turned back on and revved up….Even though I still have cycle 3 to go, I can honestly say that I already feel stronger than I did after 3 months of personal training linear-style.”  -S.D.-

And you know what? Totally fair question. I also really appreciate their honesty. The before’s and after’s is an interesting one. I had my beta testers  for the program take before and after pictures. And while it wasn’t dramatic from a picture stand point, there were changes. But I’d decided not to require them to go on a strict diet (which most other

programs that show before and after’s do, because you cannot get those types of results without it.) I actually provide a nutritional guide with the program. It’s not a pre-prescribed diet, because for the majority, those don’t work. So it’s geared to helping everyone systematically shift their eating habits, in a way that allows them to find the “diet”, or way of eating, that works best for them ,while providing a means to helping them achieve continuous, sustainable progress.

“The nutritional guide to Gymnos Evolution’s “Clubbell Mass Evolution” is the most sensible 11pgs on nutrition I’ve read in a fitness product” -D.M.-

But I wanted to see the results people got from just incorporating the program itself into their life (as very few will actually undergo the whole kit and kaboudal off the bat.) This is fitness for life.

“This program accentuates Clubbell skill acquisition, immensely. I have been able to try and succeed with some of Coach Jone’s ballistics now. Encore! Encore!”  -M.S.-

What have the results been? All the ladies who have done the program have only gained a few pounds (if any), but dropped good amount of body fat. They get a shift in their body composition, firm up and feel really strong. So they are obviously happy. Consistently, the guys so far writing in are gaining between 6-12 lbs after 3 months. But that also includes a drop in body fat, change in body composition and feeling stronger. Another major point of feedback is feeling back, shoulder and hip imbalances getting corrected (more mobile and pain free).

This is what I want people to connect to with CBME. To gain the benefits of putting on lean muscle mass (it doesn’t have to be in excessive volumes) in a way that enhances their life, rather than causes frustration and disappointment, deflating their efforts to continue. Instead, to gain strength. To feel capable. To be mobile and pain free. To give them access to other interests and pursuits. To be excited about their fitness. To be inspire by it.

“I was doing a clubbell workout out on the back deck, near the squirrel feeder, and this squirrel was watching me intently. I went back out later, the clubbells were over under the feeder, and that squirrel had experienced some CLUBBELL MASS EVOLUTION!

Loving CBME! Phase 1 is a great workout, and really looking forward to the wild variety in the coming stages!”  -M.L.-

Yes, it is a specific lean muscle mass building program. That’s how it was designed. But this program is simultaneously a “mass” evolution. It’s is an evolution for the masses in how we look at gaining that lean muscle. That’s its intention. And with that shift, I anticipate more people (the 85% who normally don’t see those results) actually seeing the gains. Even I myself have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have gone through and either completed or are in the middle of completing the program (all 3 months), from start to finish. That’s not common, especially so soon after release.

 “So far, really enjoying the CBME.  I’m using it with a small group of women who have worked with me for several months and are familiar with clubbells – but unfamiliar with the volume.  Two of them are in their seventies!”  -J.K.-

Getting into the before and after pictures starts to automatically shift the perception back to what we’re used to seeing. And I’m hesitant to unintentionally set up that trap for people to fall into, with expectations that they may or may not achieve, not because of the program, but because of their perception of what they think they should be looking like (and the reality of what they will have to undergo to do so). By taking that away, there is an increase in the percentage of people who are seeing it thru to the end (that includes 7 women! 7 WOMEN undertaking a MUSCLE MASS BUILDING program, not including those in the above mentioned class), which then does bring them the results and feeling great while they’re at it.

“Day 10. High intensity day. Workout B. Still using the 15s for Barbarian lunge, Duck, Drop and Drive and Figure 8 Shield Cast. The figure 8 is still clumsy. Need to work on the form more. Good and intense workout today. Really needed this to lift up my spirit.”   -T.J.-

Of course, that being said, you can’t just talk the talk without showing SOMETHING. So there is the journey of my Beta Testers:

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4jU9tMs0kg

Founding member of Gold Medal Bodies and CST International Education Director Ryan Hurst:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI8HpBoak8g

Here’s mine:
Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t4EW0Xt3ek

“All I can say is AWESOME WORKOUT!

I’m a military officer with 23 years of service….B.S. in physical fitness, been certified as an Army Master Fitness Trainer and at one time certified with the American College of Sports Medicine…..I have been a paratrooper and served as a reconnaissance platoon leader, military police company commander, and have worked with foreign governments training their personnel in VIP protection….I have been an operator my entire time, and physical fitness has always been a top priority – especially functional/tactical fitness – and I think I have the experience and knowledge to know what works (and this does).

At 42 years old, I’m always searching for programs that keep me at the top of my game to compete with the younger generations. Thanks for providing an awesome program that will definitely occupy a place in my own personal workout sessions.”  – R. –

So I will continue to NOT use before and after pictures. Because this is an evolution. A mass evolution. And I am far more interested, moved, inspired and motivated by the experiences people have had and the stories they share. To me, they speak so much more honestly to the journey many of us are on and what we are truly looking to have access to in our lives.

Dare to Evolve,
Shane.

For more of these stories, you can find them at the Clubbell Mass Evolution. Have one you’d like to share? I would love to hear about it.

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I want to take a moment to weigh in on Scott Sonnon’s newest TACFIT project: Tactical Gymnastics (TACGYM).

TACGYM

Now I don’t normally do “product reviews” here on the blog, though I’ve been wanting to share more about the programs I’ve found to be most effective for developing optimal fitness, health, performance and longevity. Because our physical well-being is part of the whole. And I’ve found addressing our personal evolutions can sometimes feel easier when we have something tangible to grab onto. A source that gives direct feedback that we feel and can connect to right away, ie: sweat, fatigue, the struggle of moving objects through space, etc.

I’m a very physical person. Always have been. That physicality has been a major part of my process of growth, my forge for unveiling the deeper recess’s of my capacity. That is why I became a health professional. Because while I care about your fitness, I care more about your journey to accessing the greatest heights of your potential. And it is through the physical gateway I know how best to serve.

Okay, back to TACGYM. I’m not going to give the play by play of what’s in the box and what you get, in terms of materials, for your investment. There are others out there that give GREAT reviews in that capacity. Far better than I ever would. That and you’ll see everything that comes with the program when the official page goes up.

I’m going to weigh in on this, the newest in Circular Strength Training’s TACFIT armada, as a practitioner of these materials and from the background of a CST Head Coach and TACFIT Team Leader.

Now being the National Director for Canada and on RMAX’s International Education Committee, there’s potential for this to be seen as extremely biased. And I’ll be honest, there is some biased here. It can’t be helped. I’m a fan of the system. It’s why I’ve stuck around as long as I have.

Circular Strength Training

But here’s why. Circular Strength Training (CST) is the most complete system for health, fitness, performance, well-being andlongevity I have ever come across. And I’ve explored quite a few different modalities. I’m not saying that it’s the only thing out there. Or that others don’t have great benefit. There is so much out there and so much cross over. In the end it really does come down to what connects with you most, if it’ll get you moving. But as a COMPLETE system, taking in the greatest aspects of our health, that have the greatest, most effective impact, I have met no equal. And I have seen it’s impact first hand, not only in myself, but in so many around me who have taken the plunge.

And TACGYM, as a program of that system, is no exception. The tactical focus of TACFIT is meant to take the health-first performance benefits of CST and apply it to the needs of the tactical community; police, military, firefighters. The individuals who serve in this capacity are among those who face the highest degree of stress and intensity in their occupations on a day in and day out basis. A level that has long term effects on their health. And as it turns out, we all face, on a daily basis, higher levels of stress than ever before in history. So not only is it beneficial for tactical responders, it’s beneficial for u all.

Where Tactical Gymnastics fits in is the integration between the very effective recovery methods within CST, more specifically the bio-mechanical exercises from Sonnon’s original Body-Flow* , and the unique application of protocol, movement selection and tactically specific preparation, to be able to adapt and improvise in the face unknowable challenges, of TACFIT.

*If you were to look at stretches, yoga or gross motor movement, it’s the movement in between the movements. The transitional keys to unbinding and accessing flow in all degree’s we are meant to move. For an example, check out Sonnon applying it here.

This is HUGE. Because that is TACFIT’s paramount objective: recovery. To learn to recover as fast as humanly possible, from within the range of heart rate max, without the aid of external expensive, state-of-the-art equipment. Rather tapping into the most state-of-the-art machine we have available to us, our Body. Because when it comes down to it, it’s not about who’s bigger or faster or stronger. It’s about who can recover faster. He who recovers fastest, wins.

And that’s not me just saying that because I drank the Koolaid. It’s me saying it because I’ve experienced it. Over and over again. I’ve been taken to my very edge and recovered faster than I ever have before having worked at that level. And then taken to the edge again. And again. And again. Where I could just keep going each and every time, working at my max. And I have helped others do the same. Think about it. You could be the biggest, the strongest and the fastest. But if you are unable to recover to come back and perform at near top performance, the one who can is going to do it again. And again. And…well you get the point. And they are going to leave you in their dust.

This is not just applicable to sports or athletes or tactical responders. It applies to all of us as well. How many times have you found yourself facing a challenge, a “Beast”, in your life that stopped you dead in your tracks? That blocked you at every turn, seeming near impossible to get by? A challenge, that you weren’t expecting to face, but took months, maybe years to get past? To recover, so you could get on with your life?

Being able to train in this manner for your physical development automatically translates into your mental and emotional development as well. If you train (with all the benefits of getting bigger, faster, stronger, fat loss, etc) in a manner as such, you will begin to recover faster mentally and emotionally as well. Think what that starts to mean for you in your life, if you can get through that pit of quicksand in weeks instead of years. In days instead of months. Moving you forward, faster from one stage of growth to the next. What does that mean for your life and the potential to live it in a manner we all, deep down wish to? To it’s greatest extent.

The thing is, attending to the recovery from the training (which is paramount, no matter what program you train in), is the most challenging for us. It’s always easier, ironically enough, to dive in to the deep end and do the “hardest” part, running ourselves ragged. We don’t last long, but it’s what we gravitate to. Where it takes more self motivation to get off the couch to attend to our active recovery.

This is where TACGYM has bridged the two. Taking movements that will continue to release bound up tension by moving us outside the limited ranges of the “box” that much of our life is lived in. But turning it into a training approach we are more apt to undertake. On top of that, developing everything we’ve talked about above. Not to mention having fun. This is one of the gifts of Circular Strength Training and all it’s incarnation’s. It lets us tap into such a high degree of movement sophistication and complexity, that our nervous system is constantly excited, constantly wanting more. Would you believe, that’s one of the biggest keys to youthful vitality and longevity. And having the progressive levels of sophistication, that is one of Scott Sonnon and CST’s trademarks, you too can get there.

As part of the launch, Sonnon has given out a Free book and video teaching you what is required for TACFIT’s Spartan Challenge : “Defeat the Beast”(an example of what you from Tactical Gymnastics). Give it a try:

*offer is now over* (but you can take a look at my example on Youtube and give it a try).

For the TACGYM product itself you can go straight here.

You can also follow along as I take you through what it is like to undergo the challenge itself. Tough. Just remember, included is a regression level to come in at. It’s not about doing what everyone else is doing. It’s about daring ourselves to face the “Beast”, wherever it may present itself. Enjoy. ;D

Dare to Evolve,
Shane.

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Last week it started….
The next few months are about going deep into the forge….

This journey only having just begun….

To wrought all that is unnecessary by hammer and heat, that it might unveil more of what lies within….

With my tool of choice….
Via my system of choice….
Where I begin will not be where I finish….

Time for an Evolution….


Dare….


Shane.

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Today I saw a great video by my good friend and fitness professional/physical culturist/life liver, John Sifferman. He was performing CST’s Prasara Body-Flow to soothe his two week old son. Yes, while holding him. If you have Facebook, you can come check it out on my “Wall”. It was great to see and reminded me of a post I wrote a couple years ago on the old blog, Gym Jane, and felt it was still very relevant. So reposting it here for you today. Enjoy!

“Isn’t it great watching a baby, or young child, learn to move? It always seems to bring about such joy, laughter andamazement in those of us adults watching.

The other day, I was putting myself thru a session of training specific movements from Scott Sonnon’s Body-Flow: Freedom From Fear-Reactivity materials.  This stuff is great! In a nutshell, overcoming our blockages due to fear of making mistakes or facing the unexpected, thru movement exploration. Most of these specific movements are also basic components for Prasara Yoga.

You might wonder how relevant doing some movement exercises are to emotional blockages. The next time you head out, go for a walk, to work,  shopping or social gathering, take a moment to be aware of how those around you are carrying themselves, physically. How they are standing, walking, reaching, sitting. What you will most likely see is a wide array of variations. Then take a moment to reflect on the perceived state of mind those individuals are in. I know you can’t know for sure, this is just a little exercise. But you will most likely be able to infer quite a bit, just from the way people move. Even with friends and family, you can see the difference from day to day, depending on their mood. That’s because our body expresses physically our mental, emotional and  spiritual  states. Those states of being start to build habitual patterns of movement, which often develop into restrictive patterns of movement.  Then because we are limited in our movement and trigger pain when moving outside of that range (a positive survival mechanism from our body to help us identify what needs attending to), it starts to conversely affect our mental, emotional and spiritual states. Thus begins the cycle.

So by going thru specific movements that challenge our range of motion and habituated movement patterns, in a space that is meant to allow for mistakes to be made andunexpected events to occur, we create a break in the cycle. Why start with movement? Take a moment to think about how many times you’ve said ” I’m going to change  (habit), now.”  Now think about how “easy” it was to start and follow thru. Or about the amazing, immediate “results” and “success”. Okay yes, I’m being cheeky. But really, it’s dang hard! We can all relate how often we go thru that, if not on a daily basis.

To start with movement; a physical, tangible practice that doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking, just a get down on the floor and start doing it, start playing, provides an opportunity to successfully release blockage, with tangible results. And although the movements may appear simple at first (and don’t make any mistake, they are), you will probably be very surprised at how bound up, tense and hesitant (read: afraid) you are to allow yourself to  perform them. There’s that fear thing. You’ve now just stepped out of merely performing physical exercise and stepped into the arena of unhinging, unblocking, unbinding….everything.

So there I was, doing my Body-Flow practice, with my sons Olee (3 yrs) and Will (6.5 mths) taking part. Olee immitating me and spontaneously creating his own movements, rolling all over the place. Will, army crawling around at surprising speeds, and learning to move forward once he’s gotten up on hands and knees, followed by subsequent face plants. And both are doing it with the biggest smiles on their faces. It reminds me this is supposed to be fun. It reflects that we are all in a similar stage of physical discovery. Wait a sec…..that means for me it’s re-discovery. I’ve had this already. And therein lies the difference. They are just going with the flow, allowing it to lead them thru the process of unlocking their innate gifts. I’m actually a step behind, as I’m having to first learn to get out of my own way, to remove the walls and obstacles damming up my natural gifts and abilities to just go for it.

“Body-Flow is not something to be acquired, but rather something you will learn to avoid interrupting.” -Scott Sonnon-

Go for it, start the crawl, get out of your own way. You may be surprised to find what has already been there all along.”

Dare to Evolve,
Shane.

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Update on going through the process of a major physical transformation. In my case, building 36 lbs of functional, lean muscle mass to hit 190 lbs. For those just joining me on this journey, check out the initial post for the motivation behind it all.

Since the last update, it’s been all bodyweight training with Circular Strength Training’s  TACFIT Commando program. Most dynamic bodyweight program I’ve ever come across so far.

Was at 168 lbs. Went up to 171 2 weeks in. Then dropped back to 168 by the end of the next 2 weeks. Have found a correlation though. Sleep. For that second two weeks I was getting about 5 hrs a night. Now, I can function fine on that, but if I was expecting to grow any, I needed more recovery. Because my training didn’t diminish.

At the end of that month, I had a week off and got lots of sleep. Low and behold, at the end of that week, 173 lbs. End of May has me rounded out at 170.5 lbs, with an approximate body fat percentage of 10%.

Now is the culmination of all the factors I’ve put in place to launch into some major gains. This month is going to be specifically geared towards my goal using CST’s TACFIT Mass Assault program. There will be lots of food. Lots of sleep. Lots of muscle;).

Here are the updated pics:

For this month I’ll also be vlogging on a pretty regular basis. Starting with Day 1 of 28. Bring it on!

Dare to Evolve,
Shane.

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So as you know, this last fall I’d decided to undergo a major physical transformation to better understand the challenges faced when undergoing said goal:

Transformer, More Than Meets the Eye! and  The Goal.

Following through with an update to see where things are at after 5 months.

Starting off at 160.5 lbs, I then dropped to 154 lbs shortly thereafter upon falling very ill. That was the lightest I’d been since high school. So this changed my already adjusted goal (of gaining 29.5 lbs to reach 190 lbs) to needing to gain 36 lbs of lean muscle mass. The combination of a relapse and low energy kept me from being able to eat much, as well as from training appropriately for the first 2 months.

Now I’d already begun eating only 3 meals a day, so that was in place. I just needed to slowly increase the quantity I was taking in. Then their was increasing the training intensity and load to stimulate the growth. Early January was the start of gearing that up. I was back up to 161 lbs and I’d begun training with RMAX International’s:TACFIT Program (Yes, this is still Circular Strength Training). Awesome program and something I look forward to offering those I train.

After that first month, my appetite was back in full swing and my training was grooved to begin hitting it harder. With 2 months of solid eating and training , I am now up to 168 lbs. A gain of 7 lbs over the 3  months ( for a total of 14 lbs) and now back to my normal range of 168-170 lbs. Here are the pics as of April 7th:

For my next two training cycles (next 2 months) I’ll be training with a bodyweight only program under the TACFIT umbrella: TACFIT Commando. That’s right….Going Commando! Now that things are on track, I’ll start updating this journey a little more frequently. Speaking of which….

If you are as yet unaware, I’ve started a Dare To Evolve Youtube page. Figured I’m already going through this transformation, might as well go through it with those who are doing it as well or provide a space for anyone wishing to take part. Whether that transformation is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

I’ll be much more frequent there with the updates (once a week at the least), so by all means feel free to follow along. Actually, check that. Don’t just follow along. Come along. That goal you’ve been thinking to yourself for the last year you’d like to tackle? Do it! There’s no better time to start then now.

Dare to Evolve,
Shane.

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Far too often, at least in Western society, the focus of ones goals is on the end results. And the value of the work put in to get to that result is based on what those results yield. Yet we don’t always reach our intended goal.

Does that diminish the journey towards that end? Just because we don’t get where we had hoped or what we did achieve was deemed by others to be less than satisfactory, does that make the learning, the triumphs, the tests, the failures and the discoveries along the way obsolete? Of course not.

If anything, the journey holds for us the treasures of greatest value in a quest for riches, not the chest of gold at it’s end. The magnificence of a storm builds for days and weeks, drawing on all the elements of the earth in conjunction with one another, performing essential process’s to life. The thunder and lightening are merely the show.

This excessive focus on the intended success of one’s goals cultivates a culture fixated on failure. Yep failure. Even though we’re all zoned in on what level of success we will achieve, we will fail far more often than we succeed. It’s just part of the learning process. Required for our growth. And so we see far more failure, which we have learned over years of conditioning, as negative and to be avoided.

But what came of all those hours and days, weeks and months, the years, that you put in? What amazing revelations, inspirations and actions were made along the way? How did what you encountered evolve the original intention of the journey, for the better?  Embrace the journey and the “failures” that come with it.

As a part of my own embrace of the process, I’d like to share a Prasara Yoga Flow I created, “Thor’s Hammer” Flow.  It’s still in the process of refinement and I had thought to share once it was completed. But that was with my gaze looking towards its end. To really delve and gain what I may from the process of its creation, I need to embrace the process and all its “imperfections” (and let you in on it:).

Embrace the journey….

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