Episode 34 – The Steel Mace & Functional Training with Archie Kabalkin

The strong savvy cyclist & triathlete podcast

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Human Vortex Training and Menachem Brodie present The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast where we talk strength training, physiology, psychology, tech, and much more, to help you get fitter faster and stronger in and out of your sport. Giving you expert insights, talking with other leading experts. And now, your host, world leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie.

Menachem Brodie:

Welcome to this episode of The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast. In episode 34, today, we’re going to interview and talk with Archie who is the owner of AI Fit here in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel as well as … We’re going to talk about the steel mace. AI Fit is the official home of Human Vortex Training here in Israel. Anybody that’s flown in to see me has become very familiar with this facility. They do a fantastic job. Archie is a wonderful, wonderful fitness professional and he and I have been known to sit in… Sit down and talk and just get into these discussions and even some professional arguments about best approaches, ketogenic, intermittent fasting. He shares with me the latest research that he’s seen and we talk about the different aspects of training and I’ll share with him why it’s different for women and how that needs to change.

We have great productive conversations. I haven’t seen him nearly as much as I would have liked last couple of months. If you follow here on Instagram @hvtraining or on YouTube @hvtraining, you know that I had a torn meniscus back in March and I broke my leg back in August. I actually haven’t seen too much of Archie since I’ve been at home and working on the recovery, but this is a fantastic tool that you are really going to enjoy. It really exposes a lot of the weaknesses and imbalances that we have as cyclists and we hear Archie talk about it towards the middle of the interview before our little commercial break or our little break for those who ask for it so that you can find your spot again. You’ll hear that it’s very front of the body dominant and I’ll talk about how you need to balance doing rows and hinges and deadlifts.

It’s really a great tool with caveats and that’s one of the things I love talking with other fitness professionals is you get to hear their perspective. And hopefully by this point, you’re starting to hear a number of trends that are coming from the professionals and this not planned. This is just a culmination of what I’ve learned the last 23 and a half, 24 years of coming together and other fitness professionals speaking to you and telling you, “Hey, this is what it takes to be successful.”

Archie is a fantastic mind. We’re going to get into the interview here in a minute. I just want to do two housekeeping items. Number one, the Strength Training for Cyclists Certification is going to open January 26th, so just under a week from the release date of this podcast. If you’re not already on the Insiders List, you will save a hundred dollars on the regular price if you sign up for the Insiders List now. To sign up, head on over to the Human Vortex Training website and just click on the courses then go down to the Strength Training for Cyclists Certification and just put your name into that newsletter form and make sure you click the box for this strength training certification. Number two … Well, actually we’ll do 1A and 1B. 1B is I’m about to release a 12-week strength training ready for you with video instruction weekly focus program. It’s going to be released to the HV Training newsletter first, which is going to be tomorrow, Wednesday, January 22nd, and then to the public the end of the month.

We also have some other stuff going on. We just released our Foundations of Strength Training for Cyclists Course, which is a two-hour course geared to anybody, so not just coaches, but those of you who are just starting to learn about strength training. It’s two hours in length. It’s $47. The beta testers who went through it had actually said that they would pay anywhere between $150 and $300 but I wanted this information out for…. And accessible for everybody, so if you’re interested, message me, Brodie, B as in boy, R-O-D, as in dog, I-E @HumanVortexTraining.com and I will send you over a link to be able to sign up. We haven’t put it out for the public yet because we want to get in the hands of you, the listener. You, those who are in the HV Training newsletter first before we go out and open it to the public. That’s just as a thank you for everything that you’ve done, for the support, for your questions, and for being a listener here.

And that leads us to item two of housekeeping and that is please like and share, give us a five-star rating and a couple words over on Apple, iTunes, whatever may be, wherever you download this episode from, as well as make sure to hit that subscribe button and send me questions. I’d like to hear them. Just now putting together the rest, we have about eight to 12 weeks open here in 2020 for viewer or listener questions. I really want to hear from you what questions you have or you have suggestions for professionals that you’d like to hear from here on the show. That is all for today. Again, Brodie as in boy R-O-D, as in dog, I-E @HumanVortexTraining.com. Let’s jump over to the gym in our first in-person interview with Archie and talk about the steel mace functional training, what is it actually and how to improve yourself as an athlete.

All right, we’re here today at our first in-person interview. We’re here with Archie at AI Fit. I have my own story of how I found AI fit but I’d like to introduce you guys to Archie. Very smart individual, he owns Leaner After 35, which is a fantastic company to follow on Facebook. Also has a website and a bunch of different products. But today we’re going to focus a little bit more about functional training and working in a gym and what is functional training? And we’re also going to talk about a very cool tool called the steel mace. And this is something that Archie is very passionate about.

Archie:

Oh yeah. Oh yeah, baby.

Menachem Brodie:

But we’re going to cover a lot today and the idea is to give you guys an idea of what functional training really is, how Archie became a gym owner, why he decided to open a gym here in Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv, or outside Tel Aviv in Israel. And what his vision was for the whole functional training because it’s a real functional training gym. It’s not just giving random classes, unlike, “Oh, you’re functional training.” It’s like, “No, no. There’s some progress.” Welcome.

Archie:

As-salamu aleykum. Thank you. Hi, guys.Thank you very much.

Menachem Brodie:

We’re sitting up here in the offices, people down there with the kettle bells, a couple of guys doing Olympic weightlifting and steel mace here. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to functional fitness.

Archie:

Yeah. My story began from Russia actually. Was graduated from the university at the [inaudible 00:06:50] at the 2000 and came to Israel. I have a different degree in the Physical Education. It’s actually all my life, I engaged with exercises and in some periods more, in some periods less, but anyway sport is my life. And at the university I actually did gymnastic and basketball. Yeah, so to pass the exam just to get a degree. It was fine and when I came to Israel I just become a personal trainer. For like 7, 10 years and after that I just do some businesses in Moscow [inaudible 00:07:42] it’s not in sport field but it’s IT business and we still have some companies there. And right now almost a year ago, I had this opportunity to buy a first gym at Israel. It’s called Metro. It was built before almost 40 years. Originally, supposed to at Israel and I believe even Arnold Schwarzenegger was in this place.

Menachem Brodie:

Really?

Archie:

We have… Yeah, yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

I know Sergei was a big bodybuilder for a number of years.

Archie:

Yeah, yeah, Sergei was a … Yeah. I had this opportunity just to buy a gym and I did it. And it was like regular gym, machines, cables, you know all these we call it bodybuilding stuff and I decided to change it. Because in Israel, like I see it now, it’s like two big fitness fields, let’s say business fields, it’s like a regular gym when you have a lot of machine, cardio stuff and a little bit functional vaults, couple of, I don’t know, tires and maybe Power X for deadlift. It’s like tiny, tiny part of regular gym. And right now in Israel, to be famous local gym like you pay 100 shekels and you can use it every day. A lot of people will come working out in this place but [foreign language 00:09:08] we call it.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s like the 24-hour Fitness-

Archie:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

You pay 10 bucks a month kind of thing.

Archie:

Yeah. Anyway, and the other field is CrossFit. CrossFit is become very famous in Israel. And I think those are couple of problems. The first one, the qualification of the trainers. Okay, we don’t have those kind of qualification for staff working out with people, so we see a lot of injuries in Israel. And powerlifting is not exactly as seen of our country. But right now we see some movement in people become very, very interested and engaged with powerlifting, weightlifting, and I believe there is CrossFit. CrossFit is famous and people like CrossFit, a lot of adrenaline, a lot of testosterone, so these are very, very nice.

When I bought the gym, I decided to change it between CrossFit and regular gym. AI Fit, you call it, become functional training, we combine powerlifting and regular functional training and a lot of stuff like steel mace, kettle bell, ropes, tires, platforms, and I don’t know, boxes and regular stuff of every fitness box. Right now it’s kind of very special place in Israel because it’s not a gym and it’s not a CrossFit box, it’s in the middle. It’s interesting and people like it.

Menachem Brodie:

And that’s one of the reasons why I came. I came when it was still Metro Gym. But I came for two reasons. One was because I had a friend who wanted me to help him get in shape. So I said, “Okay, fine, you know what, I need a new gym.” I was working out as a CrossFit trainer at CrossFit Tel-Aviv.

Archie:

The atmosphere always was very, very nice in this place.

Menachem Brodie:

Always.

Archie:

You remember you, you remember me, I always was working out in this place like almost five years before I bought this place. I know this place, I know these owners before. Was nice place before.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah and-

Archie:

This is my plan. I just changed a little bit the equipment and bring different atmosphere, different fitness wind, it’s called.

Menachem Brodie:

And that’s what I was going to say. I worked at the CrossFit Tel-Aviv. [inaudible 00:11:25] actually brought CrossFit to Israel. He was doing cross around the beach, wind up… Adi Rotem, two-time world champion walked by. I was working there and needed somewhere else because as a trainer, you know you start your own workout and people… They mean well, they don’t mean to interrupt you, but you have an hour and 10 minutes exactly to get your workout and shower and eat and they always ask questions. And Sergei had built such a fantastic… Like you said, it’s the atmosphere, and you’ve managed to continue that. You didn’t alienate people, you are asking me and a couple of the other people come in, “What type of equipment would you like? What are some things that are important to you? The other trainers here.” And that’s something that I think is very unique about you, is you genuinely care-

Archie:

Yeah, because it’s nothing about money for me, I mean, for now. Like I see it, it’s like a kind of toy but really nice toy. I want to engage with people, I enjoy to get this attention from the people. And enjoy to bring the new stuff to Israel and just to be different. Maybe this is the main idea, to be different. From the business perspective and from the personal perspective.

Menachem Brodie:

My impression is and I may be completely wrong here is just having been around you when we’re filming the stuff for Leaner After 35, Fitter After 35. Get Lean After 35, sorry. I don’t have my usual notebook here, but one of the things that was unique is that you genuinely listen to people and you generally just love fitness. You don’t care if someone’s deadlifting, you don’t care much… You want them to just come on the door, have a good time while they get in shape. And that seems to be the number one thing for you is, fitness should be fun, it should be challenge and hard but it should also be fun. Because I’ve come in sometimes and you’re playing with the mace and it was like, “He’s just making stuff up [crosstalk 00:13:00].”

Archie:

Yeah, absolutely. You have to love it, you have to love it, because people ask me why… I mean, how to workout every day, how to tweak your meal and difficult from diet perspective, from the mental perspective, from the physical perspective. But I really believe their motivation have to become inside of you, so you have to love it. Some think in physical activities, some think like deadlift press, clean, whatever. I mean, squat, something.

Menachem Brodie:

That was one of the big reasons I want to have you in this podcast is because you get it. You really get it. Fitness is a journey, it should be individual, it should be something that means something to the person. And I think a lot of cyclists and triathletes have this idea that they have to do X or Y. Can you share with us, kind of what you would think for someone who’s coming in, maybe, they’re coming from Pilates on the reformer or they’re doing an endurance sport, maybe hiking, rocking, cycling. What would be something… What would be the two or three things that are important for them to hear coming in a door here at AI Fit about their strength training and fitness should be?

Archie:

My gym, I believe, I really believe could give you some really good opportunity and different equipment to improve your physique. This is the main reason for the professional or close to pro athletes. This is the reason, by the way, why pro athletes from basketball, like you would bring your clients and different coaches would bring their clients to here because we have the opportunity from a commitment perspective to give all the possibilities to work now, to bring to another summit from a physique perspective. I believe this is the many reason and the other reason because I don’t give a shit about T-shirts, so you can working out without it. Without it is the big stuff in Israel. Because in the regular gym, you can working out without T-shirt and you have to wear your shoes and in my place, I don’t give a shit about so feel comfortable, enjoy.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. No shirt, no shoes-

Archie:

No.

Menachem Brodie:

Great service here, I suppose.

Archie:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

I do not partake in the shirt off. To answer your question, yesterday, you asked me, “Menachem, why are you… You put on a couple of kilos.” Let’s cut the crap, it’s not because of my knees because I didn’t do what I needed to do.

Archie:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s the honest truth, right? We all have excuses. I walked out of here, I was like, “I just lied to him and I lied to myself. Why am I lying to Archie? He’s just trying to help.”

Archie:

No, we have discussed this stuff in the past about diet. We really like the ketogenic lifestyle really. Let’s call it low-carbs diet. Low-carb. I really believe that this is the very important stuff, very important to control your macros. Maybe in the first place when you don’t… I mean don’t realize the signals your body send you from diet perspective. But obviously if you gain weight so something wrong with your diet. Usually, the kind of processed food and carbs, it’s not… I mean, I don’t believe that actually just calories matter, so I believe there’s a lot of factors and depends on build your body composition. I stay lean almost three years on low-carb diet style, lifestyle. It’s almost keto. I really like it, I become a fit adapted after almost two, three months when I started, so I feel great, a lot of energy. I don’t measure my ketones. I did actually some research about my blood sugar. It was very interesting to understand how body behave when I eat some particular foods. So-

Menachem Brodie:

This is what I mean by you take it, like you look at a full picture. Let’s talk a little bit-

Archie:

I’m trying.

Menachem Brodie:

About cyclists who come in or triathlete. Because they tend to think that they’re in great shape. And I think you and I have been in fitness long enough to know they may be cardiovascularly in great shape, but a lot of us, myself included, when I was riding at first, is I was like, “Oh, I burned 3,000 calories so I can eat 3,000.” What would be one of the first things that listeners at home can kind of… That you would guide them to. If you’re riding your bike, let’s say, in the park for an hour and a half, two hours, you’re doing a structured workout and you want to add strength training. What would be the first thing they need to think about nutritionally to make sure that they have the energy available? And that they’re starting to decrease their fat mass?

Archie:

Look, I don’t think I’m the person that can give advice about nutrition because I’m not a professional, but anyway, you need to adjust from the first… First of all, I believe in to adjust your energy requirements against your energy, how you call it? Energy-

Menachem Brodie:

Expenditure.

Archie:

Expenditure. Maybe the first place is to understand what is glucose tolerance. I mean… What I mean by that if all carbs that you eat, if you do carb load, load carbs and different strategies just to boost energy into your body. If you feel good with the strategy, if not, you just need to try different strategies. For me is to cut carbs or cycling carbs and to do intermittent fasting, of course, I really believe in intermittent fasting. For me, it’s like almost two years I do it and I believe this is the main reason why still stay lean. I mean, I behind 10% body fat.

Menachem Brodie:

If you guys can’t see but Archie is really lean. That was the first things you notice about him-

Archie:

And I’m 41.

Menachem Brodie:

41?

Archie:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

He’s lean. He’s got a great smile and the thing is that you don’t have that ego that exudes. You’re very confident.

Archie:

No.

Menachem Brodie:

But you’re not, you know, “Who are you?” And that’s a true mark of a professional, I think. It’s to have that knowledge and like you said, “I’m not the right person to answer this, but in my experience.” I think that’s really important. One of the reasons why the people who come here get such great service. That Sergei was the same way.

Archie:

We don’t lie about fitness. We don’t lie about drugs. We understand what’s going on the field, so we don’t like people to do can change your body in two months. It’s a lot of work, so if you want, let’s say, body transformation, you have to prepare yourself for the long run and you have to be ready to change your diet and to learn new stuff like to weight properly, the weight because this is really important, to change your, I don’t know, your stability, mobility, and power and all the stuff come but it really, really depends on who is the person.

Menachem Brodie:

Let’s make up a fit person. Let’s say, Vitali is coming in and he is 1.7 meters. He’s a cyclist, he also sits at a desk all day. He’s a little bit overweight, he’s 82, 83 kilos, probably around 17, 18% body fat. He’s also a cyclist, he rides for an hour and a half, three days a week and he’s never done weight training before. What would be one or two things that you would have him start with when it comes to-

Archie:

Of course basic exercises from powerlifting to weightlifting. Maybe no weightlifting but yeah, definitely powerlifting play. Deadlifts, squat, A-press, bench press, bent-over, and maybe that’s it for the first period of time. Basic exercises to improve movement and to gain the general stance of the body, so it’s like nothing better than it.

Menachem Brodie:

Now, a lot of cyclists and-

Archie:

And progressive overload, of course. You have to engage in some strategies, so from the beginning you have to mention very clear and very proper technique. And after that you need to put more weight on the bar. To gain some progressive overload, to engage some progressive overload principle and to bring this person to some new physique. And I believe three months, this guy will see some great results from the weight training. Will feel it on cycling field.

Menachem Brodie:

What would you say as far as how many days a week should he come in and lift? I know it’s very personal. You know the answer also it depends. But let’s say, he’s working five days a week, riding the bike, four days a week. Monday and Wednesday in the park and then Saturday, Sunday, out on the road, long. What would you say for someone who’s sitting at a desk 40 hours a week and is riding a bike, let’s say, 12 hours a week. What would probably be a good starting point for them here in the journey?

Archie:

Maybe twice a week. It depends on really what’s going on with the cortisol hormone, because we have to mention it because it’s really important if you’re like repair your body from one workout to the another. This is really important stuff. And if you like feel good, so you can start from twice a week. But it depends, it depends actually. If your body can hold this load from the beginning.

Menachem Brodie:

Let’s get into the difference between recovery and adaptation. Because cyclists and triathletes are obsessed with recovery but no one’s adapting. You’re talking about the cortisol, what are some-

Archie:

Recovering.

Menachem Brodie:

Yes. How do we differentiate adaptation from recovery for the listeners?

Archie:

Adaptation. That’s a good question. Recovery is… I believe the purpose of the sentence to be recovered is like to become from one workout to another. Recover is more power and to be able to lift more weights or maybe perform better. This is recovery. Adaptation is like maybe hormonal and physiological processes. What’s going on in your body. I would describe it like this.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah and that’s spot on. It’s how the body is going to adapt hormonally, neurologically, cardiorespiratorially, and metabolically to demands. Let’s get into a little bit about the steel mace.

Archie:

Yeah, steel mace.

Menachem Brodie:

He’s holding him, I don’t know if you guys can hear it. They are steel. This is his brand. He’s importing them to Israel. They’re branded for him. There’s different weights. Tell us a little bit about the steel mace. I recognize it from Kill Bill. The first one.

Archie:

Kill Bill.

Menachem Brodie:

Tell us a little bit about the mace. How you got to it and why it’s such a great piece of equipment as a warm up or as something [inaudible 00:23:34]. How do we use it?

Archie:

Okay. Let’s see. Basically steel mace, this is the long handle is the weight of head in the end, so basically, this is the weapon. And then nowadays we use it like a fitness tool. And then it became from India, I believe. It’s called the gada. Gada is like kind of working out strategy for wrestlers. It was and it is. They use it till now. And so really interesting.

I believe steel mace become popular because of one guy in US. His name is Leo Savage. And actually, I saw this guy almost two years ago on Instagram. Really caught my attention and I talked to myself, I have to learn this stuff and to working out with steel mace. Soon after that I bring steel mace to Israel, a couple of ton of this equipment, I sell it and I do classes from my gym and try to engage to light people with this equipment.

Basically, steel mace, it might be working out, not working out, warming for any weightlifting workout like weightlifters, weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, of course. And you need to just warm up your body and not in a regular way and maybe different one. You can use basic exercises with steel mace, you can working out on your hips, shoulders, of course, knees, and this way after 10 minutes, it’s not boring, first of all and looking really cool and nice and you explore your body. You understand your body, how to move it. Because if you… When you use a steel mace and you move your hand from the head of the steel mace and go down so you change the momentum. And when you change the momentum so all physique of all exercises is different and changing.

And I believe you have tried, and it’s not so easy like it look likes, but your body understand it. Your body understand it after a couple of series of exercises. From the begin, it might be like a warm up system for your sport. For your main workout.

Menachem Brodie:

Like doing… Coming in after a day. If you believe in foam rolling before, do five minutes, if you don’t believe, maybe go through basic dynamic warm up or general physical preparation like easy ride on the bike or walking or running and then taking a couple dynamic stretches and then taking the steel mace and kind of rolling through a couple flows.

Archie:

And you do… Not flows. You actually do a basic exercises. I separate the steel mace strategy in two fields. The one field is the basic exercises, so you can do like, I don’t know, front lunge, back lunge, lateral lunge, regular squats and then different archer and 360. I’ll show all these exercises and you can use these exercises, basic exercises I called. This is the one field. Then the other field you can connect exercises and you build some flow. We called flow, steel mace flow. Flow is much more difficult and it’s… Could be like a main workout for you. It’s a different approach. It’s a different expression. If you do flow, you can express yourself, you can create new movement, you can engage with your body and connect your mind to the body. This is really nice because you can’t think about anything when you’re working out with the steel mace.

Why? Because this is the weapon, you understand and you can injure yourself very, very hard. You feel some adrenaline rush when you use and exerci- when you do exercises with steel mace, so it’s really nice. I believe this is the main reason why I like it. I like it because you can express yourself, you can create new movement and you feel adrenaline like you’re working out with weights. It’s my feelings.

Menachem Brodie:

And you kind of mention what… Before we got on to recording, you mentioned something that I felt… The steel mace is two and a half feet long handle-

Archie:

It depends on what weight.

Menachem Brodie:

It depends on the weight. But it’s essentially a brother of kettle bells, or cousin, if you will. Because that’s what it really appealed to me when you brought it in. I was like, “Oh, that’s really cool.”

Archie:

[inaudible 00:28:27].

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah and I picked it up and like, “Oh, this is going to suck.” Because you really have to have that intramuscular coordination and the ability to create proximal stiffness to allow for distal motion. It exposes any flaws you have. If anything is tight or you’re not firing… For me, it was my chest was too dominant, my mid-back wasn’t firing enough. You feel that mace kind of get away from you a little bit. You’re like, “Okay, that’s kind of scary.” How would you say is a good way for people to begin with this? Is it just coming through the lunges, taking the mace a 180 degrees each flow?

Archie:

I’ll show you a couple of exercises for the beginners, but you start from the basics and to understand how to move this equipment, what is dynamic of movement? How old is the physique works? And when you understand, you can go forward. Of course, if you use it for warming up, so 360, this is the main exercise for weightlifters and powerlifters, I believe. People, even guys at my gym doing it right now before their workout and it’s really nice, I’ll show it.

And it’s not a one-size-fits-all. It really depends what you need. If your core is not engage in your… If you want to improve your core muscles, you can do exercise with your core. A lot of exercises, I mean, majority of the exercises you are doing with the mace, working on core, no question about. But you can target different muscle groups, or you can you just create a movement and you move, you enjoy, it’s kind of new fitness.

If you use flow, it’s kind of a new fitness. You can working out, I don’t know, maybe you do a couple of exercises from calisthenics field like dips, I don’t know, pull-ups, push-ups, air squat, and you’re working with steel mace in different ways and use overload principle, believe me, you will gain some muscles. You will gain some muscles. But if you use it like a warm up system, so you can use just basic exercises and to become prepared to your main workout. But we have to understand that actually steel mace it’s like upfront muscle in your body working more than in your back working less. If you work out a lot of hours, you invest in steel mace, so you just need to balance your body and to make some, maybe pull-ups, maybe bent-overs, you have to work on your back.

Speaker 1:

Want to learn more? Check out humanvortextraining.com for more on this topic from Coach Brodie and today’s guest.

Menachem Brodie:

And here we have the Russian competition kettle bells. They’re all the same size with different weights, which is fantastic. I think a lot of people don’t realize how big of… You’re essentially, when you go up with the smaller ones, it’s a whole new instrument. You have to learn all over again-

Archie:

You can’t lift it. It’s really heavy.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. And it’s frustrating because you are like, “I just did the 15 or the 16 or the 20, what the hell is going on?” But we have dumbbells, we have 175-pound tire and 235-pound tire, I think.

Archie:

Pounds, we never said pounds, in kilos.

Menachem Brodie:

In kilos.

Archie:

120 and 80.

Menachem Brodie:

255 pounds. Then we have the battle ropes, we have TRX, we have the Jungle Gym, landmine, which I’ve been using a bunch recently. Tell us a little bit more about you set up the gyms. When you walk in, the dumbbells are to the left. You walk to the monkey bars, you have about 30 meters of green open space for speed and agility.

Archie:

Yes.

Menachem Brodie:

Plyo boxes, soft plyo boxes. You said you’re looking-

Archie:

Power X and platforms for weightliftings.

Menachem Brodie:

Five of them for Olympic lifts-

Archie:

Got to be more.

Menachem Brodie:

You’re going to do seven, you said, right?

Archie:

Yes, yes, yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

And we also have the-

Archie:

I want to engage this area because we’re very really strong community of powerlifters here. A lot of guys coming to this place to learn this stuff because we like to weight weights.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. And it was nice to come in when you guys shifted over, I started dropping weights and you’re like, “Yeah, that’s the sound of music.” Because before people are turning around like, “Holy Crap! Why is the weight dropping?”

Archie:

Yeah, yeah. It’s not as it was my neighbors, but we can still manage so it’s okay.

Menachem Brodie:

But you have some really strong guys in here. I’m working with, he actually accidentally bent the racks with the rack poles doing 275 off the racks. But you also have-

Archie:

We have a couple of pro guys in different fields. In jiu-jitsu, we have a number one in Israel. He’s name is [inaudible 00:33:08]. And we have a powerlifting champs in our gym [inaudible 00:33:14] soldiers actually. People like lift a lot, so we know how important it is to bring the new, not the new, the appropriate equipment for them. I really want to support this powerlifting community.

Menachem Brodie:

And that’s important because-

Archie:

And they use steel mace now.

Menachem Brodie:

And that’s important because they seem to understand and to connect. And I think that’s a huge advantage. Working with Alba for the last couple of months, it’s a big advantage. It really exposes a lot of-

Archie:

When you’re new, when you long and you pattern, you actually you change your brain. You change your connection between brain and your body. It’s going to be… You become more effective from the physical perspective. This is the main reason why our pro athlete want to just become better, to build a better physique and to make a better performance. And different patterns, movement patterns can improve you. This is the reason why people like running… Still looking for some new style because new style can change you.

Menachem Brodie:

And that’s the thing that I love about this is it’s not just powerlifting. I haven’t mentioned all the cardio equipment you have. You have the self-powered treadmill back there with runners, right? And you also have the stand up skis here. I mean, this is stuff that I personally haven’t been using because of my meniscus but it’s something that I think a lot of people forget. It’s those… The four pillars of athletic progression, they’re muscular, cardiorespiratory, metabolic, and then… What am I forgetting? Cardiorespiratory, muscular, metabolic, and hormonal. You’re able to hit all of them. It’s not just the powerlifters gym because when you walk into a powerlifters gym, you know it’s a powerlifters gym. It smells dirty and-

Archie:

I believe functional… Yeah, the functional, the purpose of functional to do whatever you want without machines. This is the [foreign language 00:35:13].

Menachem Brodie:

Main purpose?

Archie:

This is the purpose of, maybe the meaning of the sentence to become functional.

Menachem Brodie:

And I think that’s important because a lot of cyclists and triathletes think of… And I’m just talking-

Archie:

You can do just your own sport. I do it from my Soviet system. I was grew up and growing up and I know exactly what’s going on in Russia. If you want to be number one in your field, in your sport, you have to engage a different strategy to improve your bodies, so the weightlifting, the resistance training become one of them. In different fields, it doesn’t matter what you do, so resistance training and now there’s this functional training. Functional patterns, functional weightlifting. Even weight- Old-school weightlifting can improve you really, really drastically, you said?

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah.

Archie:

You can achieve much more result.

Menachem Brodie:

And I think that’s the challenge. And when we talked about Vitali being our potential cyclist coming in, you start with the basics. And so many cyclists have just focused on leg press and lunges and maybe squats and they usually get injured. We had Doctor Stuart McGill on for a pair of episodes a while ago and the number one place that cyclists get back injuries… Sorry, one of the top places is in the weight room because their upper body just does not… And the spine is not ready to be able to deal with those forces.

And that’s another thing I really like about the mace is that it allows you to put different forces onto the spine and some of them feel kind of similar to cycling, like going up a hard hill, where you are working, the bike is bringing that mace over to the other side for the front lunge. You’re doing a lunge with a lateral movement while you’re trying to control with the upper body. And I think that is a great thing that it’s familiar, but it’s also something that applies to so many other different things in your life and in whatever sport you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be cycling or triathlon but powerlifting, they’re so… When you’re dominant, but when you start doing non-linear stuff, they look like drunkards.

Archie:

Yeah, absolutely. You have to improve your neuromuscular activity, possibilities. And you can’t do it if you do the same stuff every day. It doesn’t matter how hard, you just need to learn new stuff and new movement and create new patterns in your brain. This is the reason why people are looking for the new movement and yeah, steel mace is one of them.

Menachem Brodie:

What would you say to the listeners out there that want to come in? Like what does it look like to come in for a day? Membership price. Obviously, listening two years from now, 2021, the fees will be different, but is it a monthly membership? Is it a drop-in fee? Like how would it look for some-

Archie:

Monthly membership. We manage it really, really simple like a monthly membership and you buy it and you working out and you can use classes and you came from 6:00 AM till 12:00 PM and the gym open and weekend we’re almost open in Shabbat. Come and try and try us.

Menachem Brodie:

Tell us more about the classes because I know that I’ve seen you. I’ve been warming up and somebody just comes in and asks you and you just jump into like an impromptu class. But there are also specific steel mace classes and kettle bell classes-

Archie:

Basically, classes are functional as well. Kettle bell, steel mace, intense HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, and so these kinds of stuff.

Menachem Brodie:

And are there set hours? Or is it something like a-

Archie:

Always evening.

Menachem Brodie:

Okay.

Archie:

We have a… This place, this gym, AI Fit, majority of the hour is open like open gym, so you can come and working out and we have coaches here. And if you want use classes so be my guest, you are welcome.

Menachem Brodie:

And you guys have a ton of Olympic weight plates, 20, 5, 10.

Archie:

Yeah. You can load your barbell as high as you want. As much as you want.

Menachem Brodie:

You can actually lift. But if you don’t have good form, he’s going to help you out. What would you say are the two things with the instructors that you have here? Because I do notice that there… Owen is a strong first kettle bell certification, which I love. Hopefully Mark Rife can join us here.

Archie:

And a physiotherapist, how do you call in English?

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. Physical therapist.

Archie:

Physical therapist. And Gilad is our coach and captain of rugby team, Israel rugby team. And then we have Yula, she’s a kettle bell queen from Russia. We have guys who understands the functional training. This is a very important because people came, let’s see, around us those couple of regular gyms with cable machines. People come to us and try different stuff and then I have to just support the high quality of the gym, high quality of my team. Really happy I have all those coaches here because people have some high qualifications in this field so understand this stuff.

Menachem Brodie:

Very much. And like as we’re sitting here actually, Owen was out there practicing his Turkish get-up with I think 20 or 24-

Archie:

Yeah, yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s one of those things where the instructor-

Archie:

You know when I become a trainer in Israel and like was almost 20 years ago. Turkish get-up was like, “What? What is kettle get-up? Deadlift, don’t do deadlift. Not good for you. It’s not good for your knees.” In majority of the places in Israel… This is the same agenda. This is the same agenda. You can’t lift weight because you can injure your body.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah, which is, I think it’s asinine and it’s so stupid-

Archie:

It’s stupid, absolutely.

Menachem Brodie:

If you’re doing it with poor technique-

Archie:

Not professional from the beginning. Not professional.

Menachem Brodie:

If you do have a poor technique, then yeah. That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with CrossFit is that in other gyms I-

Archie:

Even… Let’s say honestly, even in poor technique, there is almost any case in the world you can injure your back when you do deadlift. Almost any case in the world. I mean, I checked it. Nobody dies from deadlifts and squats.

Menachem Brodie:

Right.

Archie:

You can break your legs, yes, but you don’t die.

Menachem Brodie:

And there’s so many different things that go on with that. One of the reasons I fell with CrossFit is a lot of the other gyms I looked at, that I interviewed at, I was like, “Can I do workout today?” And then the person who interviewed me was like, “Why are you doing that? You’re going to hurt yourself.” I’m like [inaudible 00:41:58]. I’m doing a basic hang high clean, what are you telling me? It’s a basic human movement. You need to do it explosively, don’t drop the weights. Don’t drop the weights, I kind of get because people get scared. But it’s so… For me, it’s infuriating. It’s very angering to have somebody tell me that I’m… Yes, if you think I’m going to hurt myself, okay tell me that. But be open to having a conversation because I’m curious. What are you saying? I firmly believe in, and I think you do as well, we can always learn from everybody.

Archie:

This approach is really, really famous in Israel so I really hate it and why… Maybe one of the reasons why I would like to build a gym differently, with different approach. If you want to lift weight, fuck it, lift weight. If you want working out with a T-shirt, so it’s okay for me. I mean, enjoy your workout and have to be fun, okay? If you want to be consistently in this field so you can’t feel like some limitation around you and the majority of the places in Israel, so yeah, it is.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s not just Israel. I mean, in the States, it was the same thing.

Archie:

Maybe I don’t know because I-

Menachem Brodie:

I mean when I was there, I worked out at a good community center that were very progressive. We had the best Olympic platforms in the city outside of the professional teams and universities. But also you have to have your shoes. That was for insurance purposes. I get it. But here, where do you see kind of fitness field in Israel going? Because I see it really starting to pick up quickly in some areas.

Archie:

Yes.

Menachem Brodie:

But there’s some underlying thought processes that are from the 1970s, 1980s and you’re teaching one thing but then you’re practicing less. Where do you kind of see-

Archie:

It’s a really good question, Menachem, because I see a lot of problems but demand problem is like become… The CrossFit become in Israel, the CrossFit become is like different field that hates the [inaudible 00:43:48] fitness strategies fields. If you’re not doing CrossFit, it’s like you do nothing. And this is one problem. I like CrossFit, I like doing CrossFit. And basically, CrossFit, I like CrossFit. I like engagement and I like adrenaline, I like intensity, I like all these stuff. But if you just… They don’t do deadlifts and I don’t know… I mean the approach is different, like the butterfly pull-ups, that’s it. I mean, if you just advise to this guide to make it a regular pull-ups, they don’t listen. They don’t understand. Even steel mace, when I bring the steel mace in couple of places in Israel, CrossFit boxes, they don’t understand it. They don’t understand it because… Sadly, but this is happening right now, so its become… CrossFit has become really closed for CrossFit community and not open-minded people. I know a couple of places in Israel actually was built from the beginning like far, maybe 10 years ago, CrossFit boxing pull on for example. Its like open minded guys.

But the majority of the places, they’re really closed and never, never, never, never accept different working out style. If this is the one… This is the one problem and that’s the problem we still open regular gyms in Israel, local gyms with a lot of machine, with a lot of cardio machine but no weights. This is the trend actually continuously I will see it on the market. My purpose is to actually open a CrossFit, not CrossFits, I’m sorry, a functional training gym. My next gym will be in Tel-Aviv I really believe, it will happen soon. I like to be in the middle of between CrossFit and the regular because I feel like people want something different and can get it.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s not just here in Israel. I mean, that’s something in the States. We’re seeing more open in the States but also Israel is behind in some things and ahead in others. But there are a number, like I have a client that I see every morning and he’s moving to a new building. He has apartment here so he’s moving to a new one. He’s like, “Oh, the new gym is going to be great. I saw all these equipment.” And I said, “Did you see regular weights?” He said, “I saw a couple-”

Archie:

Couple.

Menachem Brodie:

“Dumbbells.” And he’s like, “There are still in boxes, but I don’t know, there are all these machines.” And I said, “Dan, it doesn’t matter about the machines, machines take up space but they don’t teach you how to move.”

Archie:

Absolutely.

Menachem Brodie:

They’re built for someone who’s 1.65 meters, male, [crosstalk 00:46:42] has exactly this measurement.

Archie:

Actually, I don’t hate machine but I don’t like machine like the main purpose of your workout. Machine could this additional stuff but not the main. I believe in old-school. I believe in Schwarzenegger style working out and I believe in calisthenics is good, I believe in movement. And I really like volume working out and intensity working out and you can mix it. Do whatever you want with your body if you feel good, then it’s okay for me.

Menachem Brodie:

And I think that’s one of the things that is great when you-

Archie:

But when you go to our gym, you can’t do it.

Menachem Brodie:

Right. And that’s the thing is that when you meet great coaches, you can recognize that because they understand there’s a time and place for everything. There’s a time for back extension machine. It’s going to be once in a thousand hours, but there’s a time for it. And the thing that I really love here is just, again, the atmosphere, how you look at things. You’re always curious. That’s the one thing is I realize you’re always learning as well like-

Archie:

Because I care. I care.

Menachem Brodie:

And I think that’s important for people that want to look for a gym. And I strongly encourage all of you here, if you’re looking to travel to Israel or you live here, 73 Herzl. It’s downstairs to the right. So 73 Herzl. What’s the name of the little side street up here? I can never remember.

Archie:

[foreign language 00:48:02].

Menachem Brodie:

[foreign language 00:48:03] maybe. [foreign language 00:48:04] and Herzl.

Archie:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

It’s right down the stair, right around the corner. Ring the doorbell when you guys get here. There’s showers, there’s lockers that you can bring your own locker. You guys also have locks.

Archie:

Yeah. We have locks.

Menachem Brodie:

We have… You do have two cable stack machines.

Archie:

Yeah.

Menachem Brodie:

One is the regular, one is the 45-degree angle. It’s not like you don’t have some of the machines. It’s like-

Archie:

It’s like 80-20, maybe nine to 10.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah, that sounds about right. Yeah, 80-20 is about right.

Archie:

Yeah, Pareto principle is always principles. Always good.

Menachem Brodie:

Yeah. I guess to wrap it up here Archie. What would be the one or two things you really want the listeners to take home and remember about fitness and about the gyms here?

Archie:

About the fitness, I believe, I mean, I’m not a guru. I’m just a regular guy and I think you just need to find your own way to improve and become better and become a better version of yourself. If you’re pro athlete, you need to engage just resistance training to improve your physique, you improve your performance. If your main… If you do resistance training, so you need to engage with different approaches like steel mace, kettle bell, and maybe to put attention a little bit more on your movement and connection between your mind and body so it can improve your performance as well.

About my gym, I would be happy to see the guest from the outside in Israel and to share some knowledge and engage with different people, so my gym is always open and that’s it.

Menachem Brodie:

Where can folks find you on the internet and Instagram and Facebook?

Archie:

Yeah. AI Fit. A-I-F-I-T.

Menachem Brodie:

A-I-F-I-T on Instagram, on Facebook-

Archie:

Google Maps.

Menachem Brodie:

Google Maps. Make sure you guys are checking it out. When you come in, let them know right on your form that you heard it through The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast. Archie, thank you so much for taking time out of your day.

Archie:

Thank you, man.

Speaker 1:

That’s it for this episode of The Strong Savvy Cyclist and Triathlete Podcast, with world-leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie. Don’t miss an episode. Hit that subscribe button and give us a review. For more exclusive content, visit humanvortextraining.com. Or get the latest expert videos from Coach Brodie on the HVT YouTube Channel @hvtraining. Until next time, remember to train smarter not harder. Because it is all about you.

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Menachem Brodie

Menachem Brodie

Coaching since 2000, Menachem Brodie has been working with athletes in a number of settings, and a broad variety of sports.

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