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Today’s workout:

That’s it above. Take these exercises and make up a workout…

Snatch practice.

KB Lateral Clean and Snatches

Extended arm Club Cleans

Shoot Burpees.


The man above is Ido Portal, and I had the pleasure of participating in one of his empowering workshops at an inspiring Emeryville gym called Athletic Playground. He’s gaga over movement in similar ways to us here at Bodytribe, but with a different release for it. Through various disciplines he has a dialog with gravity using just his bodyweight, and it’s an impressive dialog, to be sure.

How’s your relationship with gravity? With the space around you? As I repeat ad nauseum, my tiny trainer brain likes to keep things simple, so a child-like understanding of relationships helps me identify with my own relationships, in this case with strength and movement (my inter-human relationships, under the same microscope, hold similar revelations in terms of accuracy, but these lessons are too humbling for even modest little me to reveal here).

Although I’m a shades-of-gray man myself, categories can still have their place in the educational process. Maybe between the categories we can draw a line and view the whole thing as a spectrum (I know, I know… stop with the spectrums already). But first let’s identify the categories.

Domination and submission aren’t exclusive to the basement dungeon at the Power Exchange (kids, don’t click on that link without your parents permission. Oh, and stay in school!). These seem to be the pendulum points that ANY of our relations swing between regularly. Now let’s fall painfully into the training-as-a-metaphor-for-life pool and discuss our relationship with gravity, space, strength and movement by using these three categories as relationship totems:


At one end of our spectrum would be the yearn to dominate, to control, to conquer and be total boss. This is a place of ego and insecurity and serves no purpose in the growth or sustaining of the tribe. Waving from the other side of the long dinner table would be submissiveness, often unconscious. Who openly admits that they’re too scared or too lazy to put the effort into stepping up their game a notch?

Then there’s the holistic center, what could be called healthy dialog, the place where we give and take evenly. We listen as much if not more than we talk. We learn as much if not more than we teach (or think we teach…. c’mon, most if the crap we spew during conversations serves no more purpose than to get attention). We move forward on our paths due to the high quality of information exchange.


This Saturday we’re going to work on creating a healthy dialog with gravity and the space around you. A healthy dialog is an understanding of when to assert and when to release power, so within our training we must have respect for our space, for gravity and for our body. Attempting perpetual domination will crush you as thoroughly as being completely submissive (not even getting off your ass to workout). By always trying to CONQUER movement, whether it be a battle with a big ass bar or straining to master a yoga asana , your lesson will be a swift and painful one. A healthy dialog is an understanding of when to assert and when to release power, so within our training we must have respect for our space, for gravity and for our body. We assert ourselves against out limitations while knowing it is a temporary victory and only educational if it is balanced with humility.

Lack of range of motion is a submission to the space. The holistic relationship is the healthy dialog with the space. Use what you need for health, strength and longevity. Any more is excessive. This will be the focus of this Saturday’s Movement Meditation class from 10-noon. Learn your limitations and then open a healthy dialog with them to increase your awareness of your body and have a greater freedom of movement.

Mobility = ability

And since Ability is my definition of Strength, mobility equals strength. If you are limited in your freedom to move then you are limited in how strong you can be.

Movement Meditation. This Saturday from 10-noon. $5 suggested donation for Bodytribe members, $15 for non-members.

Also this saturday, for anyone you might know who is even the slightest bit curious about what we do, drag ’em to the WTF is Bodytribe workshop at Noon on Saturday.



I’ve been perusing gyms in the Chicago/Milwaukee area (I’ll be there in early July, playing music and visiting extended Bodytribers Andy and Tyler) and 95% feature machines, machines, machines, including many pictures of treadmills.
many pictures of treadmills (or elliptical machines, or whatever the heck this woman is holding).


That gets people excited about a gym? Imagine what you could do with a building like this? Where are the ropes and rings and lifting platforms and tumbling platforms and climbing walls and big ass tires and other toys that could utilize this space so much more effectively?!! What a tremendous waste of space. Spend a futile moment playing find-the-squat-rack. You’ll lose. There isn’t one (the half rack doesn’t count).

So far this place looks promising, so maybe I’ll get to throw heavy things around while I’m there. If anyone knows a good place in the Chicago/Milwaukee area with an Olympic lifting platform that I can play with on my on schedule, let me know.


A few shirts still available. $20 each.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Dean

    Monkey Bar Gym is in those parts, Madison to be exact

  • chip

    I might stop by there anyway, but from what i can tell, they don’t have platforms. I gotta get my oly lifting on, as I’ll be competing just 2 weeks after I get back.

  • ultrafknbd

    The Ido Portal workshop sounded incredible – as did Movement & Meditation workshop which I regrettably missed. *sigh*

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