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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

REVIEW: I will be Iron by Budd Jeffries

First off a disclaimer.  I have had issues with bud Jeffries in the past, to be honest he ripped me off when I sent off for stuff (I wasn't the only one view click here for full details of that), anyway with that disclaimer out of the way here's the write-up.
Bud wrote this book about how he lost about 120 pounds by doing kettlebell swings.
I must admit the book didn't grab me.  The first point was that Bud did a load of different things.  Yes, he did swings, but he also changed his diet, did 1,000 rep sledgehammer work, did 1,000 rep bodyweight stuff , 1,000 rep punching etc., so which worked?  Did anything work alone, in combination, if so what & was anything unnecessary?  We just don't know?
His idea is to work up to things like 1 hour of continuous swings, doing 1,000 swings without a break etc.
Bud seemed surprised he gained endurance & put it down to swings.  My first option would be that he lost 120 pounds of fat, if that didn't increase endurance then nothing will!  What impressed me a lot more was the fact that he lost so much & yet kept most of his strength, now that is pretty good going as most guys lose their strength as they lose weight, so that is a good result.
I got the impression that Bud was one of those freaks of nature & so found that doing 'stuff' made him strong & he developed amazing endurance.  Unfortunately he is what's known as an 'outlier' or outside the normal, so the 'stuff' that works for him probably won't for most of us, in my view.  He seems to be born strong, he mentions himself  that he comes from a family of exceptionally strong, robust people.  My experience would point to most people being unable to do many of the routines he supplies without a very long time building up basic strength & endurance first.
I consider the routines like this.  You could spend an hour doing swings & get some benefits, maybe very good benefits, or you could spend an hour doing a fully rounded training routine.  Which would give the best results in terms of muscle make-up, balance between muscles & physical performance?  I can't see how any one movement could compete with a fully rounded routine unless you were specifically training to do endurance swinging?
Towards the end he gives a few variations adding in other tools, a few that stuck out are:
Tire flip (or biceps remover as I'd like it renamed) let's be honest tire flipping is a fairly high technique movement, most people deadlift it up & then heave it over (you actually push forward with your torso & then use the knee to help turn it over), even guys who train with tires a lot (strongmen) know that tires done badly for even a rep can cause biceps tears & yet Bud wants you to do high reps repeatedly until exhaustion, a good way to destroy your biceps in my view.
Another odd choice is very high rep punch bag work for fighters, I prefer purposeful training.  It's like the martial arts instructors that have you doing 1,000 kicks.  You ingrain how to do a sloppy kick a 1,000 times! I prefer to learn with skill, quality practice makes perfect, reps do not matter & for a fighter learning to punch sloppily can be the quickest way to meeting the canvas in my view.  You don't need to do hours punching & punching endlessly, a round lasts a couple of minutes then you rest, then you go again, slogging away for ages won't improve that, it will just stop you learning the perfect punching form & THAT will end your match a lot more quickly than you can imagine. I'd prefer a fighter getting a few minutes of picture perfect punches, then rest, then repeat for the allotted rounds (+ 20%, so if you fought a 10 round match, you train for a 12 round encounter OR do ten rounds with 20% longer each round, do not do both at once, this leaves you enough in the tank to overpower a fading opponent), Quality trumps quantity every time in this case.  One good punch can finish a match whereas 500 sloppy punches will be brushed off.

OK those are the bad things I found with this book.  The good things are; I do like swinging, it does seem to aid the recovery & also has a good effect on the lower back of some lifters (see this abstract here for a look at loading mechanics & possible back benefits).  Bud is quite motivational & a really, REALLY strong guy who can encourage great performances from people.  He does lay out a lot of options for you to play with, just do what you are able.
One of the best bits of the book in my view was actually the end where you had a lot of different kettlebell users of different knowledge levels giving their views on swings.  There was a LOT of info tucked into those last few pages that (for me at least) was a lot more usable.  You had one guy talking about how he fit swings in to help his deadlift, another guy about how he used swings recovering from knee surgery, it was a gem of an ending in my view.  I would suggest someone buying the book got their moneys worth in those pages, & a lot more immediately useful to you unless you are already a swing machine.

Anyway having just finished the book that was my initial thoughts about it.  If you want to check out the full details click here & get swinging :-)

1 comment:

Divakar89 said...

I used Pure Vegan B12 spray.There is also a cheaper version that does not advertise vegan but says so on the label called Pure Advantage B12. The ingredients are identical.