If you are irritated by marketing hype, I ask you to ignore that twitch in Scott's case--he's just doing what you have to do to get noticed in the marketplace.Otherwise, some of the best, and most intelligent innovations can get lost in the blizzard, and in Scott's case, that would be a tragedy.The reason?He is quite possibly the very best fitness guy out there.I certainly think so, but can't quite separate out the fact that:
1) his stuff is a perfect evolution from flesh to spirit.
2) he is a brother and dear friend.
1)he is an international martial arts champion, and therefore he is simply incapable of creating a product that isn’t effective, efficient, and slanted toward my own interests.
2)His stuff is exotic—there isn’t anything quite like it.Therefore it appeals to the part of me always looking for “something different.”
Separate from those things, his information is just…phenomenal, useful, hyper-efficient, and no b.s.Yeah, he uses hype.But if you look at the fitness marketplace, and all of the utter crap out there, you understand that good people go broke unless they blow their own horns.
That’s the context.About a year ago, Scott started talking about his TacFit program, which grew out of FlowFit and other Rmax International goodies.If the guy had a weakness, it was that his material wasn’t organized for turn-key application.You really had to have a highly developed intuition about your body.His material was clearly sequenced for advanced athletes and martial artists.FlowFit changed that, actually teaching intuition and subjective measurement of stress/strain.In one 17-minute practice he combined all basic components of fitness and physical health, requiring no equipment.Excellent.
TacFit took this idea further, into the developmentof more advanced and intense components of fitness. He had folded about fifteen different fitness components—that I could identify—into the program, and I simply had seen nothing like it.A sample of his thinking: rather than just doing “more” reps or increasing resistance when a particular level became too easy, he increases complexity, thereby increasing neurological engagement.This was physical exercise as MENTAL challenge.Lovely.TacFit used a variety of equipment, but “TacFit Commando” was designed specifically to be used with no equipment and little room.Perfect for travel.
Scott tests stuff on his “Core Cadre,” special offers and bonuses that take his basic ideas in new directions.He ALWAYS tests his stuff on himself, coaches and friends first, never offering anything to the public he hasn’t proven.Good going.The “Mass Attack” variation was designed to slap on bulk.“ROPE” (Rapid Onset Pullup Employment) was designed to add more pulling component to the program.Brutal.Some of this was the most intense midsection work I’ve ever seen—stabilization at the same time you are working contraction and expansion.The DOMS were brutal.
And then he started talking about a kettlebell program, and I was all ears. You see, Kettlebells are the only form of weight training I’ve ever been able to stick with.No ragging on other forms—this is my own crap, not a problem with weights.Not sure why, really, but the multi-planar motions, emphasis on Olympic-style lifts done for high reps, and emphasis on whole-body motion (there is no isolation) as well as some other factors just turn me on.For the uninitiated, KBs look like cannonballs with handles on them, and are used in a variety of truly bizarre and incredibly fun lifts that have more carry-over to “real life” strength and fitness than anything I’ve seen.In fifteen minutes a day (really!) you can give yourself a whole-body workout that will shame most of what most people spend 90 minutes doing in a gym.
Love ‘em.Tananarive loves ‘em.But since I started playing with TacFit nine months ago, I’d put them aside.
Well, yesterday I finally got my copy of his program.Superb.By selecting complex, multi-planar motions, you are less likelyto “get tight” when the motions themselves are almost like yoga.But then, other motions are like MA warm-ups.Or proprioception games.Or drills to improve energy transference.Joe Wilson, one of Scott’s core advanced coaches and the kind of guy who knocks out Shaolin Monks for fun (in a good way) once told me NOT to practice martial arts.Rather, to sophisticate myself, and then just pour that sophistication into whatever art I happened to be practicing.
Well the result of working out with KBs was certainly along this line.And the result of working TacFit Commando was along this line.I did my first workout yesterday, and had to drop down to a 12 Kg weight to feel comfortable.Could feel that there were lines and angles where my flexibility/strength had holes in it.Or is that coordination/power?Or maybe endurance/balance.Jeeze, this is different.It will take another 24 hours before the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness really kicks in, but I woke up this morning after a fine night’s sleep, feeling great.And last night at Silat practice, without any stretching at all, I kicked to the head, casually.Fascinating.
Look, I’ll keep you posted.I’m still going partially on trust.But I have every reason to trust this man—he hasn’t let me down yet.And the entire TacFit progression has, so far, been the exercise routine I’ve been looking for my entire life.If this is as deep and valid, it’s going to be a helluva ride.
For the last twenty-five years or so I’ve been a lecturer, coach, novelist and television writer. For the last forty years I’ve been involved variously in the martial arts, and for all my life I’ve studied and enjoyed yoga. Not that I worked at it as hard and honestly as I should have—I’d be a combination of BKS Iyengar and Bruce Lee if I had.
After publishing about two million words of science fiction (including the New York Times bestsellers The Legacy of Heorot and The Cestus Deception) and having about twenty hours of produced television shows (including The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Andromeda, and Stargate, as well as four episodes of the immortal Baywatch), I’ve got opinions on the writing life.
After earning black belts in Judo and Karate, and practicing the Indonesian art of Pentjak Silat Serak for the last fifteen, well, I have some opinions there, as well. And having struggled to live consciously since childhood...well, those opinions are probably strongest of all.