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-Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple
Entries in Mark Twight (3)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 16:33 | by Darryl Edwards
300 Seconds with Mark Twight
What was the inspiration behind the 300 'test'?
I was responsible for getting the actors and stuntmen prepared for their roles in the Movie '300'. Part of this was the process of these guys becoming 'Spartans'. The director Zack Snyder and I decided we needed to have a graduation exercise.
This was the original challenge:
25 x Pull-up +
50 x Deadlift @ 60kg +
50 x Push-up +
50 x Box Jump @ 24 inch box +
50 x Floor Wiper @ 60kg +
50 x KB Clean & Press @ 15 kg (single arm) +
25 x Pull-up
Of the 35 people trained only 17 were invited to take the test. The criteria was that they were not only physically capable, but that the seeds were sown psychologically. They had to be scared and unprepared, a recipe of fear. It was designed as a test not a workout, to assess certain characteristics - for example how do you deal with stressful conditions?
Would you change anything about the original 300 workout?
The only change would be to increase the Clean & Press to a 20kg (44lb) Kettlebell (KB).
Other variations are the 300 Heavy which uses an 85kg (187lb) deadlift/floor wiper with a 24kg (53lb) KB Clean & Press and the 300 Heavier which uses a 100kg (225lb) deadlift/floor wiper.
What is the Gym Jones' philosophy?
"Find the problem, fix the problem." As simple as is needed, but as complicated and as individual as it needs to be.
What are your views on linear vs non-linear periodisation?
Linear is better suited for specialised sports, it works for those areas and is proven to do so. Non-linear periodisation works for generalised fitness, a fighter or for sports people that need a more rounded approach. But this won't allow you to peak on the day.
Darryl's addition: An athlete that requires hypertrophy, power, strength, strength endurance and cardiovascular endurance for example would work on a non-linear route of periodisation and the phases would vary based on what factors are most important.
What is the importance of nutrition to well-being?
The foundation on which everything sits.
Is Gym Jones a Crossfit with non-linear periodisation?
Hell no! Gym Jones is not a program. For example if a fighter has a strength and conditioning issue and is losing due to a lack of conditioning we can help. If they are losing due to technical deficiencies, then they should focus on those skills. The gym, programming or artificial training is always secondary to sports specific practice and sports performance.
We train people for specific objectives, we don't compete in the gym. The gym is not our sport. Time should be spent wisely, and often it is better placed working on sport specific characteristics.
For people performing at the top of their game. Their fitness level is usually good enough. We provide a maintenance level only. The fitness channel (the ability of improved fitness to better sports performance) is diminished. Some training has to be cyclical to peak for competition.
The type of programming and planning provided is to support activities outside of the gym. Those things decide what we should be doing. This includes smart rest, recovery, changes in intensity, periodisation and avoiding burn-out.
Your favourite exercise?
Darryl's Addition - This workout is 30 sec work, 30 sec static hold at the top of the press. (Repeated for say 4 rounds). The rest is taken during the work part of the interval, aiming for as many reps as possible.
Your favourite workout?
Tears & Power, the exercises are arbitrary but it is a 4 x 4 matrix where the idea is to structure it so people are confident in the 1st round but by the end find it psychologically very difficult.
Darryl's Addition - "I will post an example Tears & Power workout in the near future."
Who is Big Jim? (the guy on the T-shirt/website)
A piece of art commissioned by a comic book and crime scene illustrator of me. A representation of "Two Hands Anyhow" . A traditional strongman lift called the Bent Press.
What is your favourite quotation?
"Get it done now, because you're not going to live forever" - Mark Twight.
The individual who has inspired you the most?
Bruce Lee, the consummate example of someone who put his thoughts into action.
Final question: You get the chance to go back into time and can make one decision involving your health and well-being - what would it be?
I would go back to the age of 21 and make the decision to have my broken ankle fixed. I made a short-term decision not to get it fixed so I could continue to climb, rather than taking the long view. In hindsight not the right thing to do.
Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 20:56 | by Darryl Edwards
60 Second Interview: Mark Twight (Gym Jones)
Who are you?
Mark Twight. Founder of Gym Jones. A searcher, I want to learn how to do things. I put everything into climbing, the gym and now road biking.
What is fitness to you?
The ability to do a task. The task has to be defined. Personally, right now it is the economy and efficiency of working between 20 minutes and 10 hours.
What are your goals?
To learn and to improve.
What is one of your main concerns in relation to public health?
Obesity. An unwillingness to work hard. This is across the board. Not just in health but everywhere. People want the result without the work. There has to be some work for any outcome.
What is your favourite meal?
What is your favourite exercise/activity?
Riding my bike (it's also my least favourite activity).