Darin Davis Fitness
Categories: Exercises and Protocols

Training with Rings

  • Why You Should Use Rings for Your Workout (Calisthenic Movement)
  • How to Start Training on Rings – Tips for Beginners (TrainingPal)
  • Build Muscle Rings Edition (Fitness FAQs)
    • Most important factor in building muscle is total volume. Better to have more overall volume (total reps with time under tension) split over multiple sets than 1 or 2 sets to failure.
    • For chin ups, hold at top for 3 seconds and eccentric down for 3 seconds. Contract back as hard as possible.
    • Ring dips: Lock elbows at top and externally rotate rings to activate triceps. 1 sec hold at top, 3 second eccentric.
    • Rows: 1-2 sec hold at top, 3 second eccentric. Allow shoulder blades to relax at bottom. Keep gluts engaged, pushing hips forward.
    • Shoulder push up (pike push up on rings). Good regression of hand stand push up (harder than pike push up on floor). Externally rotate rings at top.
    • Rear delt fly. Smaller muscle groups (such as on the back of the shoulder) respond better to higher rep training.
    • Tricep dips.
Categories: Exercises and Protocols


  • How You Can Use Hypertrophy to Grow Your Muscles (Men’s Health)
    • “Hypertrophy is the enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells. Not to be confused with hyperplasia, the process of increasing the number of cells, hypertrophy is the process of increasing the size of the cells that are already there…Hypertrophy can be thought of as a thickening of muscle fibers…”
  • Should You Be Lifting to Failure (Men’s Journal)
    • If You’re Trying to Get Stronger, Don’t Lift to Failure
      • “When you’re training for strength, that usually means you’re lifting heavier weight in a very low-rep range.”
    • If You’re Trying to Get Bigger, Failure Is Key
      • “If you’re trying to achieve hypertrophy, or get bigger muscles, you’re going more for training effect than big weight…Training for size is an even mixture of lifting weights, lower rest intervals, and employing methods to ensure fatigue.”
      • “Include eccentric failure sets in your size workouts, and tack them on to a final set of your strength workouts, and you’ll get bigger and stronger in no time.”
  • Can’t build muscle with calisthenics? Here’s why (TrainingPal)
    • To build muscle once you are able to perform a certain movement, you must make the movement more difficult (which promote hypertrophy) not increase the number of reps (which promotes endurance).
    • To make the exercise more difficult, add weight
      • a weight vest = good for push ups, squats, calf raises
      • waist weight = good choice for higher loads; pull ups, chin ups, dips
      • ankle weights = good for pull ups, dips
      • keep reps between 6 and 12
Categories: Exercises and Protocols

Caduceus Healing Staff

The historical meaning of Caduceus refers to the Greek myths of a staff carried by Hermes (messenger of the gods) as well as the staff of Asclepius, the Greco-Roman god of medicine.

It is also the name of the CST shoulder mobility protocol included in TACGym.

Double Lift Up Front

  • The longer the staff the better.
  • Overhand grip, thumb underneath
  • Shoulders packed, elbows locked, no thoracic bend
  • exhale overhead
  • 5-10 reps or 30 sec

Double Rear Lift Up

  • 3:30
  • Overhand grip (thumbs outside) and thumbs underneath
  • Don’t lift scapulas; activate lats
  • Stand straight; don’t bend forward
  • Max range is forehead; any lower is just auxiliary

Double Side Lift Up

  • 6:15
  • Hold staff with ends pointing forward and backward (perpendicular to hips)
  • 8:25 – Yoga is more challenging to the tissues (fascia) because it is closed chain because of contact with the ground; movements are very predictable. Compare with tai chi which is open chain; movement is unpredictable.

Double Row

  • 9:15 Start
  • Alternates the two side lift ups
  • 9:45 – First three exercises are joint mobility. Now add local circulation. Effort within the restored range.
  • 10:30 – Exhale down into the swing. In joint mobility, exhale into discomfort/range. In dynamic flexibility, exhale into effort.

Double Guard Cast

  • 11:00 Start
  • Begin as side lift up. Front hand lifts over head like opening a helmet visor. Staff ends parallel to ground with front and rear hands in reversed positions
  • 13:04 – The greater your mobility, the greater your ability to express power.

Monkey Swing

  • 13:30 Start
  • Staff stays behind head throughout. Start and end with staff vertical at either side.

Alternating Shield Cast

  • 16:00 Start
  • Guard Cast to Monkey Swing to opposite side Guard Cast
  • Begins slowly as a mobility exercise and as speed increases it becomes a dynamic flexibility exercise.

Single Perry Cast

  • 18:40 Start
  • Goal is to move the elbow to body center line
  • Try to keep all fingers gripped on the staff
  • Resolves tendonitis in the elbow

Double Perry Cast

  • 21:45 Start

Alternating Perry Cast

  • 24:15 Start
  • With external rotation, we don’t want to just push on the accelerator but also remove the emergency brake.
  • Goal of the Double Perry Cast is to remove the brakes on external rotation so that we can pull effectively. If we have range of motion on external rotation, that is what allows us to have expressible power to drive forward.
  • Use the staff in the middle of the tricep as a fulcrum.

Single Elbow Screw

  • 26:25 Start
  • The farther behind and across the back, the greater the benefit you’ll get.
  • We use the staff to restore natural range of motion. Don’t want to stretch the ligaments. Unnatural ranges of motion distort the shape of the ligament.

Double Elbow Screw

  • 29:10 Start
  • Pool que motion starting with underhand grip.
  • Feeling burning, pins and needles, shooting pain is referred nerve pain. We can challenge the tissues but not the nerves.

Alternating Elbow Screw

  • 31:10 Start
  • This is the most difficult and challenging exercise in the program. Do it last, after all other exercises.
  • Shoulder screw is an open chain exercise and thus doesn’t go as deeply as we can with a closed chain exercise.
Categories: Exercises and Protocols

Pull Ups

Mercola Article

  • Closed kinetic chain exercise (as are squats and pushups) in which one part of the body is fixed to something solid like the ground or a bar.
  • Excellent, lengthy, detailed article

Three Science-Based Tips to Increase Your Pull-Ups (Jeremy Ethier)

  • Strengthen the prime movers
    • Scapular pull-ups. Target the lower traps
    • Kneeling lat pull-down. Strengthens the lats and the core, as well as the biceps
    • Inverted row. Strengthens the lats, core, arms and mid-traps. Progress this by lowering the bar and/or elevating your feet to get your body more horizontal.
    • Band-assisted pull-up. The closest exercise to the pull-up itself.
    • Negative pull-ups. Work up to a 30 second descent, which will translate to huge strength gains in actual pull-ups.
  • Protocol (goal is 10-12 pull-ups) 2x / week:
    • Scapular pull-ups: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Banded pull-ups: 3 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Kneeling lat pull-downs: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Inverted row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps (lower angle to progress)
    • Pull-up negatives: 2-3 sets (goal is 30 sec descent)
    • Add 2 “max pull-up” sets to the beginning of these workouts and also to 1-2 of your other weights workouts during the week

Four Pull-Ups You’re Never Even Seen (Gareth Sapstead)

  • Resistance bands don’t match the strength curve of the pull-up
  • One-arm eccentric ring pull-up
    • Start standing with bottom of ring at collar bone height. Lower with one arm; opposite arm folded across belly. Return to standing by pulling up with both arms.
  • Rack pull-up
    • Elevate feet on a support to unload partial body weight; no other body part touching the ground
  • Seated pull-up
    • Start in seated position under the bar, arms not quite fully extended overhead.
    • Hold legs in L-seat position throughout the rep.
    • At bottom of rep, relax momentarily before next rep.
  • Kneeling pull-up
    • Adjust the height of the bar based on where strength is lacking. E.g. with the bar set to around head height and over time progress to the bar higher up, eventually progress to arms fully extended overhead.
  • Adjustments
    • Increase difficulty by holding a medicine ball between the knees or wear a weighted vest.
    • Drop set: Perform some reps loaded with additional weight. Reduce the additional weight and perform more reps.

Pronated Face pulls (Jeff Cavaliere)

  • improves your posture, shoulder health, and correction of small muscle imbalances
  • 3 sets of 12-15 high quality repetitions
  • forearm held at 90 degs from upper arm
  • upper arm parallel to the ground
  • hands lead backwards before elbows
  • at full contraction backwards, extend arms up to engage upper traps
  • by using rings, the difficulty can be increased by leaning further back (increasing the angle of the body from vertical) when performing the exercise

Common Pull-Up Mistakes (Jeff Cavaliere)

  • Incorrect hand position. Should be shoulder width apart.
  • Pulling down instead of pulling hands together. Should feel chest muscles engage.
  • Body loose instead of rigid, resulting in energy leaks. Point toes (engage calves), lock knees (engage quads), squeeze gluts, engage core (legs forward).
  • Limit range of motion. Should go all the way down without unpacking the shoulders.
  • Elbows flared out to side instead of angled forward (engages lats more).
  • Back rounded instead of thoracic extension.
  • Reaching up and out to get chin barely over the bar instead of driving chest to bar.
  • Not using drop sets to continue reps after failure. Use a band or inverted row.
  • Programming pull up at end of workout rather than at the beginning.
Categories: Exercises and Protocols

Push Ups

Mercola Article

  • Excellent, lengthy, detailed article
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who can do at least 40 pushups within 30 seconds have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the next 10 years compared to those who were only able to do fewer than 10 pushups.

Push Ups & Dips for Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (Calisthenic Movement)

  • “Almost every push up or dip variation trains all parts of the pushing muscles and you can only change main focus for specific muscles.”
  • Keep elbows in to avoid stress on the rotator cuff
  • Anteversion/flexion = arms move from back to front
  • Adduction = arms move outward to inward
  • Dip technique and variations
    • Hand position: wide (focuses on chest) vs narrow (focuses on triceps)
    • On rings, turn rings out at extension to strengthen rotator cuff
    • Bulgarian = on rings
    • Korean dip = body in front of straight bar, hands behind back with pronated (under hand) grip; or ring turn out dip
  • Push up technique and variations
    • Hand position: wide (focuses on chest) vs narrow (focuses on shoulder and triceps)
    • Pseudo-planch: lean forward with shoulders in front of hands; focuses on shoulders
    • Bulgarian = on rings
    • Sphinx push up = movement is restricted to forearm extension from the elbow; strong focus on triceps; floor or rings
    • Pike: focuses on shoulders
    • Hand stand: focuses on shoulders

How to hit every muscle with a push up (Jeff Cavaliere)

  • Chest activation
    • Squeeze up (isometric adduction)
    • Rotating push up (relative adduction) for chest activation
  • Tricep activation
    • Pancake push up (sphinx)
    • Cobra push up
  • Front deltoid activation
    • Modified planche push up
    • Push away press
    • Pike push up
    • Handstand push up
  • Middle deltoid activation
    • Bodyweight side lateral raise (relative abduction)
  • Back activation
    • Sliding pull down push up
    • Thumbs up push up
    • Back widow
  • Leg activation
    • Glute/ham (Nordic) raise push up (eccentric loading)
    • Ham curl push up
    • Rolling squat push up; more of a conditioning combination movement
    • TKE push up; knee extension causes quad contraction
  • Core
    • Cliff hanger push up
    • Black widow knee slide push up
Categories: Food and Nutrition

Vitamins and Minerals

See Orthomolecular News Service.

Vitamin B

  • B vitamins are water soluble, you can take them anytime but if you take it with food it may theoretically reduce any GI upset associated with vitamins

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C and Coronavirus: Not a Vaccine, Just a Humble Cure
  • Censoring Evidence on Vitamin C
    • “Vitamin C is essential for a properly functioning immune system.”
    • “In high enough doses, vitamin C is actually an antiviral.”
    • “Pneumonia and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is what kills COVID patients. You can also get pneumonia from a cold that just gets worse. It happened to me many years ago. I had a severe cold, I didn’t take care of myself and I got double viral pneumonia. So I decided to do what Dr. Cathcart did— I took 2,000 mg of vitamin C every six minutes I was awake. I had a high fever and I was coughing. In three hours, my temperature came down three degrees and my cough stopped. This is exactly what Klenner and Cathcart reported in their medical papers.”
  • New York hospitals treating coronovirus patients with vitamin C, New York Post, 3/25/2020

Vitamin D

Categories: Exercises and Protocols, Health


Autogenic Breathing

  • Technique:
    • Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of 4 (4 seconds = one-thousand, two-thousand, three-thousand, four thousand)
    • Hold your breath for a slow count of 4
    • Breathe out through your lips for a slow count of 4
    • Hold your breath for a slow count of 4
    • Repeat until you feel your body and mind relax
    • Note: Expand your belly (diaphramatic breathing) first, then chest
  • Tactical Breathing – A concise explanation of the technique popularized by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
  • Also called “square breathing” or “box breathing“.
  • Have you tried box breathing (Mercola, 6/29/2020)
    • Triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to help manage stress and improve relaxation
    • Involves nose breathing to slow over-breathing and raise CO2 levels to balance oxygenation
    • Nose breathing raises production of nitric oxide, which offers antiviral benefits. Consider the four-minute Nitric Oxide Dump (developed by Dr. Zach Bush) to promote blood flow and normalize blood pressure
    • You can easily assess your body’s tolerance for CO2 at home, using a technique developed by Dr. Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko. “Control pause” (CP)
    • When your shoulders lift during inhalation, it’s called vertical breathing. Correct breathing causes your midsection to widen and is called horizontal breathing (diaphragmatic).

Resilience Breathing

Be Breathed

Wim Hof

  • Wim Hof breathing tutorial by Wim Hof specifically mentions making the body more alkaline
  • This Smithsonian Magazine article says the same thing: “Some previous research has shown that this exercise makes Hof’s blood more alkaline, since it becomes saturated with oxygen.” The previous research referred to in the article calls the technique “cyclic hyperventilation and breath retention”.
  • “I am familiar with the Wim Hof technique in activating the parasympathetic nervous system and increasing mitochondrial biogenesis but not aware of the pH balancing effect of it.  I will have to read it. I am a big proponent of the Wim Hof technique.” Dr. BH (functional and integrative medicine)
  • Doctor Dissects the Wim Hof Method
Categories: Systems

Avoid Rebounding


Dear Son,

I just had a visitor and she told me about her rebound exerciser trampoline and her routine. She referred me to a book called “Rebound Exercise for the Millennium” by Albert E. Carter.  She says it is good for taking toxins out of the cells.  Her trampoline is made by <some company>.  Have you heard of this?  Give me some feedback.

Love, Mom



My first reaction when I read your question was: “Sounds unnecessarily risky to me”.  Jumping on a (mini-)trampoline requires a well-developed sense of balance on an unstable surface.  Even with good balance, accidents happen and a fall can result in a very serious injury.  At best, “rebounding” (jumping on a mini-trampoline) is a mild aerobic exercise.  Aerobics (raising your heart rate) is of limited value because what we need is joint mobility and functional strength – the very things CST programs like Intuitive Daily Double help develop.

I did some searching and was hard-pressed to find much in the way of reviews. Almost all the search results are promotional in nature.  However, I did find this: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/ask-well-is-rebounding-good-exercise/ which confirmed my initial reaction.

In my opinion, rebounding is a fad with some dubious claims by its inventor.  Stick with the proven approach of building pain-free mobility and functional strength like Daily Double.


Post-Script: I spoke with a retired nurse who loves her rebounder. She described her experience has positive with respect to improving lymphatic flow. However, she still has significant joint point throughout her body and general mobility restrictions. I showed her one of the IntuFlow mobility exercises for the wrists. After doing the exercises for a period of time, she reported experiencing relief ftom her symptoms, so she expressed interest in learning the full IntuFlow program.

Categories: General

Joovv Interview with Dr Mercola

Notes from Joovv Interview with Dr Mercola

  • (00:00) Walking on the beach
    • Ken Cooper book on aerobics (main endurance, running) in 1968
    • At that time, exercise wasn’t used for therapy. Std medical advice for someone who had a heart attack was bed rest for 6 weeks.
    • Focus on cardiovascular activity is counter-productive; many elite endurance athletes suffer cardiovascular problems (because you can exercise too much)
    • Better to move throughout the day
    • Had incapacitating low back pain that nothing helped until stopped sitting all day and started moving
    • Started walking on beach and taking vitamin D.  During winter, walk at solar noon; in summer walk at 9AM.  Get negative ions from the ocean. Read 150 books a year.
  • (04:00) Grounding not good in high EMF environment because it makes you into an antenna and attracts EMF
  • (05:30) Levels of EMF are 1000x higher than in house
  • (06:00) NFA 1000 for body voltage measurements
  • (07:55) Acousticom2
  • (10:46) Don’t sleep with your cell phone on near your head
  • (12:00) dangers of blue light
    • Dermatologist advice to wear sun screen is wrong.
    • Importance of vitamin D.  Best from the sun.
    • Blue light is very efficient because it doesn’t generate heat.
    • Wear blue light blockers
    • Iristech.co – screen blocker
  • (15:30) Photobiomodulation (PBM)
    • Studies show clear biological benefits of certain frequencies; better sleep, more energy, less stress, decrease DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
  • (18:00) Three most important things to improve your health
    • drink clean water (not tap water)
    • eliminate processed foods
    • movement throughout the day (don’t sit or stand all day)
    • timing of eating: compress eating window to 6-8 hours, 16 hrs a day not eating; metabolic benefits because at 16 hrs you start to deplete many of the sugar stores (glycogen in the liver), trains the body to access fat stores
    • 5 day water fast, once per quarter; profound benefits for metabolism
  • (22:00) books coming out
    • Super Fuels – deep dive into fats; difference between omega 6 and 3
    • Keto Fast;  fasting is a powerful detoxification; everyone is exposed to chemicals just going outside; not enough just to live cleanly; need to detox regularly
  • (23:30) Easy Water
    • Structured water – question value of drinking it, rather need to be exposed to infrared light or heat to structure the water in your body; infrared penetrates deeply; sun, near-infrared heat lamps, Joovv device
    • drinking water isn’t enough in and off itself; the water has to get into the cells, so drink water with electrolytes; use creatine to improve intracellular hydration; Creatine Monohydrate (microcrystaline, very fine powder that dissolves in warm water); if the creatine doesn’t dissolve, it will cause metabolic challenges to the kidney
  • (29:02) Health journey
    • Started in 1968 with running.  Lots of mistakes: Low fat, margarine, sugar
    • Went to med school.  Classmates were there to treat disease, I was there to get people healthy
    • People should have the freedom to kill themselves, not pass laws trying to force them to be healthy
    • It’s usually pretty simple stuff
    • We’re exposed to 10^18 more EMF radiation than 100 years ago.  Foolish to believe there won’t be some adverse biological consequences.  Most people didn’t have cell phones 15-20 years ago.
  • (32:00) Travel
    • Increase use of molecular hydrogen, CBD oil and magnesium.  Activates ARE (Anti-oxidant Response Enzymes) genes.  Addresses the oxidative stressors (the mechanism by which EMF/cell phones cause damage).
    • Use a sleep mask to block out the light.  Ear plugs.
    • Developing an EMF tent to block electrical and radio frequency fields
    • Unlike houses, commercial buildings have code that requires electrical wire to go through metal conduit.  Primarily for fire safety but more expensive.  The metal pipe blocks the fields creating your own little Faraday cage.  So in a hotel room, unplug everything.
    • Florescent lights are worse then LEDs because of the broader spectrum and more powerful electrical fields.
  • (39:00) Exercise
    • Two workouts each week with personal training moving heavy weights.  Other days just movement.  Pull-ups for nitric oxide dump (videos on Mercola’s web site).  Vigorous exercise of big muscle groups releases nitric oxide stored by consuming beets and arugula.  Thins the blood, lowers blood pressure, improves immune function, anabolic stimulant (builds muscles).
    • Sit-ups, push-ups; swim in cool water gives dopamine rush afterwards.