Core de Force REVIEW – Day 25 – Agility Power + 5 Min Core on the Floor

I’m still on my mission to sub in bonus workouts and make this last week less mundane. Today, I subbed in Agility Power for Dynamic Strength. Similar to the prior agility workout, this is just Joel on his own. Now that I’ve done a workout with just Joel, and a workout with just Jericho, I can easily say that Joel is a creampuff compared to Jericho. She anihilated us in MMA Kick Butt.

I do enjoy agility ladder work. It improves your coordination and speed, and you REALLY feel it the next day. Note – you don’t need to buy an agility ladder – just tape or chalk off some blocks on your floor, and you are golden. The whole idea is to give you boundaries/targets to hit while you are moving. Having those visual cues gives the training a focus/purpose. Otherwise, you are just moving your body w/o a goal.

I REALLY liked this workout. I definitely see myself dusting this off outside of the program some day in the future. It was quick, semi-challenging, and fun. It felt like a down and dirty agility session that maybe got cut from Asylum (since, you know, it didn’t kill you). Only a small percentage of the moves had any loose connection to fighting technique. I kind of liked that. It was just, “…hey, here are some agility skills – DO THEM…” Seeing Joel train in an environment outside of martial arts made me want to do LIIFT 4 even more. He seems like he’d be a fun trainer on his own and w/o a themed workout.

Move of the day: Hop Squatch (sounds like an IPA I should brew in the future)

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

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Core de Force REVIEW – Day 24 – MMA Plyo + Core Kinetics

For some reason, I was sweating buckets at the end of today’s workout. It is 12 rounds, which is one of the longer in the CdF universe. And, adding on 15 minutes of core work at the end puts it just over an hour. Maybe I just worked a little harder today than in workouts past – who knows…

In terms of “form,” I think I’m at the peak of my kick performance in this workout. My roundhouses/sidekicks/snap kicks are pretty decent, but, most importantly, my balance is strong. I really take it to heart when Jericho says to go, “…up, in, out, in, down…” I’m not just swinging my leg up all willy-nilly; rather, I’m focusing on each part of the kick and staying centered/balanced the entire time.

In general, I’m a fan of single-limb movements that push your balance threshold (single leg dumbbell deadlifts are a great example), so I’m giving these kicks the same treatment. Kind of like in yoga when you transition from crescent pose to warrior three – I’m being very deliberate in the move and focusing on staying rooted with my plant foot, and keeping the move compact and without wasted motion. I know that sounds like a lot of gobbly-gook, but try this…

  1. stand upright
  2. lift your non-dominant knee to about hip height
  3. hold for 5 seconds
  4. slowly extend your lifted leg over a 5 second count
  5. hold your extended leg out for a 5 second count
  6. retract your extended leg for a 5 second count
  7. put foot down

Were you able to do it? Did you feel all of that shaking? With practice and focus on balance work like that, you can get better at it. Your tendons/ligaments will thank you. I used to twist the hell out of my ankles on a regular basis. Once I spent a few years doing plyometric work and also doing single leg work, I haven’t twisted an ankle since. And, I’ve been in plenty of situations where I probably should have.

Move of the day: rear slashing elbow, rear knee, SUPERMAN PUNCH

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

Continue reading Core de Force REVIEW – Day 24 – MMA Plyo + Core Kinetics

Core de Force REVIEW – Day 23 – MMA Kick Butt + 5 Min Core on the Floor

I did this workout on Sunday. Saturday was a busy day, I had to bottle what should hopefully be an awesome Breakfast Stout, and I had to spend a few hours cutting the grass since it was 65 degrees F outside. That’s right – last week of November in the midwest, and its mid-60’s outside. I was rocking a short sleeved shirt and shorts and just mowing away. It was an awesome day.

Then Sunday happened. I did this workout up in my living room as an afterthought just before football started (since Baby Breaking was down for a nap). While I’m doing this workout, there is a BLIZZARD happening outside. That is right – a BLIZZARD. The temperature never peaked its head above 30 degrees F all day long. Can’t tell how many inches we got due to the 50 MPH winds. How nuts is that? Also, even though the Eagles managed to win a game, I still didn’t make it through the mid-afternoon game – I was so sick of football due to my Fantasy teams imploding. Week 13 is going to mean a lot in terms of playoff seeding and just making the playoffs in general.

On a side note – I made a great keto pizza crust (cheese, butter, almond flour, coconut flour, garlic powder, egg) that I turned into a pesto pizza. The downside is it sat in my stomach like a brick and I kept burping up pesto throughout the entire workout. Lesson learned – don’t eat pizza before a workout. It’s kind of disgusting.

Today’s session was odd – Jericho led the class on her own. And you know what, this workout was TOUGH. Maybe Joel is the buffer to keep her from destroying us. Her “spikes” in this workout were overall more intense than the prior workouts to date. Lots of irregular push ups. At only 9 rounds, this workout came out of nowhere to get me sweating like a monkey. Rounds 5 through 8 repeat rounds 1 through 4, BUT, she adds on some extra work to the first move (for example – she makes you squat before you kick). That is what gets you going. In total, this workout is one of the hardest of the program.

Move of the day: leg check, lateral plyo push up (because it was the hardest move so far)

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

Continue reading Core de Force REVIEW – Day 23 – MMA Kick Butt + 5 Min Core on the Floor

Core de Force REVIEW – Day 22 – MMA Mash Up + Core Kinetics

Man – it is easy to not workout on Thanksgiving. I was so close to just bagging it and starting to eat/drink. We were hosting Thanksgiving, so I was already up early, and had been cooking/cleaning for a majority of the morning. But, once everything was under control, I saw the clock, and part of my brain said, “…c’mon man – you have plenty of time to get a workout in – don’t be a wuss…”

So, I got my Vans on and went downstairs to press play.

I’ve said in prior posts that I’m ready for this program to be done, so I’m using this final week to sub in comparable bonus workouts from Core de Force for workouts that I’m completely bored with. Today, I subbed MMA Mash Up for MMA Plyo.

Overall, MMA Mash Up was quick and to the point. It combined a majority of the stuff we’ve done to date, and mixed it into a similar pattern (skill work for a minute, spike for 30 seconds, repeat). Round 3 is the oddball – no spike. Round 6 is three moves for about a minute each (the last move is like 35 seconds due to transitions and instruction). In general, I don’t mind the 27 minute workouts in this program – they cycle through moves, do it relatively quickly, and you get a little sweat going. I could see myself doing something like this again on an non-program day where I just feel like punching and kicking.

I still ended up doing Core Kinetics despite the fact that I HATE IT. That was quite the mental war that went on. The little devil in my head told me that I just completed my workout, and I should go eat and drink. Then, the little angel in my head told me that it’s just 15 more minutes, and you want to follow the recommended work in the calendar. I probably would have felt like a slothy piece of garbage if I didn’t do it, so I weighed that against the 15 minute core hellscape that lie ahead. You know how this ends.

I grabbed my yoga mat, and pressed play.

I guess that is all life really is – just get up and press play. The rest just takes care of itself.

Side note – at the end of the workout, Joel tries to convince you that you should add some Core de Force apparel to your wardrobe.

Sorry Joel – that will be a HARD PASS.

Move of the day: rear snap kick + switch snap kick

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

Continue reading Core de Force REVIEW – Day 22 – MMA Mash Up + Core Kinetics

Brew Day – Breakfast Stout – 11/11/18

It’s football sunday again. My Eagles are the night game against the Cowgirls. We get to display our new weapon (Golden Tate). I hope they find a lot of interesting ways to deploy him.

I’m a huge fan of Breakfast Stouts. Especially, if the stout has coffee in it. Founders is one of my favorites, so I used a recipe from BYO that was a Founder Breakfast Stout clone, and make a couple minor grain changes. I recently drank my last Founders Breakfast Stout, so, rather than buy more, I decided to handcraft some.

I’m excited about the coffee additions – I’ve always only added a cold brew to the keg – this is my first time actually boiling with the coffee and adding grinds into the secondary. Should be a blast! The wort was crazy sweet, and the sample I tested before putting into the fermenter was pretty amazing – great depth of flavor there, and OMG THE COFFEE! It’s a shame this won’t be ready for Thanksgiving – I have a feeling that people will enjoy this a lot.

The Recipe:

Breakfast stout

Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):

  • 75 minute mash
  • Hops at 60, 30, 0 min
  • Coffee and chocolate at 0 min
    • Let brew rest for 30 minutes with 0 min additions before cooling

Target numbers:

  • Pre boil SG: 1.066
  • 1.65
  • OG – 1.085, FG – 1.016

This will be bottled once it reaches its final gravity.

Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).

Brew day notes:

  • Date: 11/11/18
  • Stovetop BIAB setup
  • Total time (including cleaning): 4 hours
  • Brew day beer of choice:
    • Homebrew – Chicory Dry Irish Stout and El Hefe
  • Brew day A/V stylings of choice:
  • Actual OG: 1.093
    • Exceeded expectations – NICE!
  • Final OG: 1.024
  • Final ABV: 9.2%
  • What went well: pretty much everything
  • What went bad: I knocked over my stainless steel hop holder and spilled some Cacao and Coffee at 0 min. No biggie – just had to run through a strainer into the fermenter.
  • Fermentation notes:
    • 11/17 – added .66 oz of ground coffee
    • 11/20 – drew a sample at 1.024 (about 8 points to theoretical FG)
      • Coffee aroma, coffee/chocolate taste, slightly sweet. VERY DARK
      • Remembering that I was 8 points over my target OG, so not sure how much further down this will go.
    • 11/24 – bottled! Tastes amazing!


Have you ever brewed this style beer before? Please let us know about your brewing experiences. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share. Thanks!

Core de Force REVIEW – Day 20 & 21 – Agility Strength + 5 Min Core on the Floor & Active Recovery

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy some good family and good food. We’re hosting part of our family this year, so Mrs. Breaking and I got up early to get moving on the food. Turkey should be ready to roll in 3.25 hours! Going to squeeze in a workout (day 22 – post coming later) on CdF before I gorge on food and drink.

Rocking a 2-fer on this post.

Day 20 called for dynamic strength and 5 min core on the floor. I seriously needed to try something different. So, I looked at the deluxe workouts, and subbed in Agility Strength for the Dynamic Strength workout. This was a nice change up because I got to dust off my old agility ladder from the Insanity Asylum days, and start moving my feet around. Some of the agility stuff called for you to still be in your fighter’s stance while you move up/down in the agility ladder. It was a little funky at first, but if you start slow and build up speed, you’ll get it. Overall, I enjoyed this workout, and would do it again. The agility ladder was a very welcome addition to the arsenal. I wouldn’t not have minded if this was a 12 round workout. As with any agility ladder workout, your own pace will dictate how hard you work. I’d recommend that you start slow, get the rhythm, and then try going balls to the wall to spike your heart rate.

Day 21 was Active recovery – nothing really new to report here. If you want to see the cadence, check it out here…

Side note – did something goofy to my left arm the other day when I was foam rolling (actually, lacrosse ball rolling). I must have gone too deep when I was rolling my left tricep, and irritated the radial nerve. Once I stopped rolling, my hand was all cramped/gnarled, and was very slow to respond to movement cues. It eventually worked itself out, but the lesson learned with personal massage/rolling – don’t get too crazy. Listen to your body. Know the difference between muscle discomfort (the sweet spot for rolling) and utter destruction of your body.

Move of the day: step crossover

Check out the rest of the Core de Force workouts HERE.

Continue reading Core de Force REVIEW – Day 20 & 21 – Agility Strength + 5 Min Core on the Floor & Active Recovery