This past weekend I stuffed my gym bag full of my finest mesh shorts, picked up my buddy and intern, Justin Assadinia, and pointed my Saturn Vue toward Hamden, CT. After five and a half hours, lots of head banging and the occasional Lonely Island Dance party we arrived at the coveted Ranfone Training Systems. We journeyed forth to take in the Rings and Power seminar presented by Chad Waterbury.
When we walked through the open garage door, the music stopped, everyone started clapping and Mike “Don’t Call Me Grey Wolf” Ranfone met me with a “Fury, you son of a bitch!” handshake.
The black arm is mine.
This being my second trip to RTS this year, I was excited to see the transformation that the facility was going through. To prepare for seemingly endless business growth and for big time seminars (such as the one I’m about to describe), 2,000 square feet were added to the already over 4,000 square foot facility. Mike, Scott and Sergio make moves—it’s man shit.
Here’s the expansion pre-fabrication. The stage was set for a great weekend.
On to Mr. Waterbury and the rings!
The sadistic-looking exercise pictured above is called “skin the cat”, and it’s great for shoulder mobility. It’s one of the big exercises Chad taught us—along with the muscle-up, front lever, back lever and hand-stand push-up. Being the typical “pick stuff up and put it down” meathead that I am, each exercise presented me with a serious challenge. Luckily, though, Chad had great progressions for teaching each move. Check out the picture below—I was his guinea pig for teaching the progression into the ring handstand push-up.
I’m pretty sure that I was upside down for five minutes. Fortunately from this angle you can’t see my thinning hair and power alleys.
While teaching each progression, Chad offered great coaching cues and qualifying criteria. As he said during the seminar, “you can’t shoot a canon out of a canoe.” There’s no sense in progressing on to advanced ring exercises if you can’t master the basics.
Beyond the rings, Chad offered a lot of practical tips that are immediately applicable. He talked a great deal about the role the lats play in spinal stability and provided some great exercises for improving lat stiffness. I’ve already applied some of his principles with my clients.
Mike and the guys at RTS offered a great venue to take in a seminar—their hospitality was top notch. Each attendee left with a goody bag that included a sweet RTS t-shirt and lunch was provided on the house.
After Day 1 of the event we hit Modern Pizza on State Street in New Haven—and son of a bitch did we hit it hard. It’s the only pizza that I’ve ever had in New Haven, but it’s the best pizza in New Haven—because I says so.
We capped off the night with a few drinks and some dude stuff at a local drinkery. It’s the best way to be awesome after a day of doing tricks on rings. I will, however, leave you with a word of warning. Never, under any circumstance, allow Mike Ranfone to buy you a martini. Stick to the beer and the beam.
It was a great weekend. The rings demonstrations were awesome and RTS is a great place to check out. I can’t wait until Charlie Weingroff stops by RTS at the end of October. I’ll definitely be there.
If you’d like to check out Chad Waterbury’s Rings and Power tour, the next stop is in Gilbert, Arizona at Funktional Fitness on October 6th and 7th. Check out the rest of the dates here.