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Craig Brown
05-29-2009, 01:31 PM
Strength Rituals- Bodytribe Fitness DVD review

Chip Conrad owns a little gym in Midtown Sacramento. Itís an Olympic Weightlifting-Powerlifting-kettlebell-strongman gym in a storefront pretty close to the State Capitol. Itís also an art gallery. They have HUGE parties there for Sacramentoís Art Walks. They flip tractor tires (and beat the shit out of them) in the parking lot behind the gym. That is what was going on when I dropped in for a visit last year: Chip was training a pretty, dark haired woman who was attempting to bludgeon a giant tire to death with a club. Itís that kind of gym. The kind with statues made of old mufflers behind the hydraulic squat rack. The kind with Barbie dolls being Ďfriendlyí with each other (like I said, itís an art gallery) and where dogs and cats roam freely.

I did a small kettlebell session, and Chip introduced me to the leverage clubs. We talked a bit about music, and more about philosophy. This is a gymthat made me think about moving back to California, just so I could train there. Itís that cool. So this review all with whatever salt you got: Iím WAY into this scene.

Iíll be up front: I love this DVD. I canít think of anything that Iíve seen that comes close. Good, sometimes great information on training with barbells, sandbags, kettlebells, leverage clubs, tires and your own body. However, it is the whole approach to training that is what makes this DVD special, and it really is special. Shot home-movie style at Bodytribe, on the beaches of Maui, in the woods, on a lake, and in various industrial settings that look like maybe they wouldnít want you to be doing weighted burpees on their big concrete things due to liability issues.

Chip shows real people doing real work: bent press, two-hands anyhow, dead lifts, Turkish Get Ups (sandbag/barbell mainly- HEAVY TGUís), a huge variety of push ups (and the best push up info Iíve ever seen- Iím stealing parts of this section to use with the folks I train) and pull ups. Sled drags, some mobility work (more mobility to come in another DVD later). Covers max effort lifts, repetition lifts as well as a good number of GPP combos. Hell, thereís a little section on Dan John, and righteous praise given to Jim Schmitz and Tommy Kono.

There is a great deal of thought on how things go together, as well as how to change things that you put together. Good work on how to figure out what YOU want and how to get it. If you have read Chips book (Lift With Your Head) you will know he sees things a little differently. While I really like his book, this DVD set is on a whole other level. Set is two disks, run time over three hours. Five stars.

Check out their site at:

http://physicalsubculture.com/

DVD page is here:

http://physicalsubculture.com/dvd/

Presale price is $45.00 until June 3rd, then goes to $55.00.

Craig

Patrick Donnelly
05-30-2009, 09:14 AM
I can't comment on his DVD, but I will say that Chip gave me some very helpful advice regarding the bent press. He seemed like one of the few guys on YouTube who actually had a clue how to do it, so I sent him a message there and he was very nice about helping me.