Home Strength Training The Tale of Two Leopards: An Excerpt from The Quick and the Dead

The Tale of Two Leopards: An Excerpt from The Quick and the Dead

21 min read

The Quick and the Dead Book Cover

The antelope was grazing, oblivious of the
beautifully camouflaged cat stealthily closing in. The predator flowed like
mercury, hugging the terrain.

It was a busy day in the savannah, however solely
one pair of eyes was monitoring the leopard. My good friend George had put in his time
in Africa preventing poachers and he knew easy methods to see with out being seen. Recently
he had been entertaining himself timing massive cats’ hunts.

The blurry spot in the tall grass grew to become a
straw-colored streak. The antelope made a determined run for its life, a run
that was blissfully brief. The panthera leaped. Her jaws, highly effective sufficient to
crush thick bones, closed on her prey’s neck.

It was over in 16 seconds. The proud hunter
stood tall, surveyed her environment the means a giant boss would, and made a
temporary “fast and loose” victory dance. Then she picked up her dinner, which was
greater than herself, and climbed a tree with it.

“It can be such as you climbing a tree holding
me in your tooth,” commented George, who has good 50 kilos on me. And that was
no feat for a leopard that may climb with carcasses 3 times her body weight.

Leopard carrying her prey up a tree

Then George instructed me of one other leopard hunt
he had witnessed, very totally different from the first.

The male cat didn’t have it straightforward. Age was
taking its toll and one of his entrance paws was contaminated. A thorn was wedged in
it, a standard hazard to alpha predators in the wild.

He additionally made his kill, however, as he was
slower, he needed to work tougher and longer to convey the antelope down. Then he
was unable to get to a tree quick sufficient to stash his cat food—and was attacked
by a pack of opportunistic hyenas.

The tom fought exhausting and effectively and the hyenas
ran off with their tails between their legs. George stopped his timer at 4

Luckily, the hyenas didn’t return.
Exhausted, the previous tom lay panting on the floor. Can you even think about a cat
panting? It is beneath the dignity of a cat.

Finally, the previous leopard received his dangerous breath
again and dragged his dinner to the security of a tree.

Just a few months later, George watched the identical
leopard retire to a cave to die. That is what they do.

Earn Your Leopard Spots

The second leopard hunt exemplifies the
mentality of at the moment’s “high intensity interval training.” Dramatic, inefficient,
pricey. I like the previous cat’s robust type, given his circumstances of age
taking its toll—however his heroics should not one thing to emulate on a Wednesday
evening at the fitness center.

In distinction, the Quick and the Dead routine
(Q&D) was impressed by the first cat. Not a single set exceeds the period
of her ferocious 16-second kill. Power undiluted by fatigue just isn’t heroic; it’s skilled.

The Q&D protocol was designed to
maximize your efficiency at a lowest organic price—and to go away you recent
and in a position to carry out at a excessive degree, bodily and mentally, at any time.

You will get highly effective. Very highly effective.

While energy is superior for its personal sake,
training it in a selected method additionally delivers a variety of “what the hell
results.” Muscle hypertrophy. Fat loss. Endurance. Anti-fragility. Anti-aging.

Plus, Q&D will allow you to make
higher strength positive factors in case you are additionally lifting.

Q&D generally is a minimalist’s stand-alone, whole training methodology. Or make a high quality addition to any athlete’s routine.

Q&D doesn’t beat up the body and takes
solely 12–30 minutes per training session, two to a few occasions per week.

Q&D was designed to attenuate detraining when circumstances drive you to put off or in the reduction of. If you get a hare-brained concept to take a complete month off all training and then return to your boxing class and fake you by no means left, you’ll undergo lower than anticipated.

Real Results

A US particular operator I’ll name “Mark” is
an achieved boxer, wrestler, and powerlifter. His strength has enabled him
to remain in the battle into his mid-40s. Then he added a Q&D swing and pushup
plan to his training—again when it was referred to as “StrongFirst Experimental Protocol

I have accomplished the six-week 033C template. I did it as a warm-up for my powerlifts three days every week, all the time for 30 minutes. I seen a pace improve in all my powerlifts and ache aid of all of my accidents.

I additionally discovered a rise in endurance whereas doing
combatives. And as my hips developed extra explosive motion, my pace got here up,
creating elevated placing energy. The massive recreation changer I seen was my hip
motion in grappling. I’m able to maximize drive by way of explosive hip
motion, coincidentally making me much less drained.

I’m extra environment friendly with vitality by driving my hips and
getting “heavy” on my opponent. Combining that drive with leverage has me
launching massive dudes like youngsters. By getting my hips beneath and driving up
versus utilizing my arms and again throughout takedowns and throws has made me extra
environment friendly and explosive.

…I misplaced 9 kilos and, based mostly on my visible composition, I
would say it was fats loss. I gave up sugar at the identical time, so I’d say it
is a mixture of components. My arms have positively gotten greater. 

Overall, I discovered the 033C fulfilling
and meditative. I used to be in a position to enter a circulate state
and felt I may go on eternally. After not touching a kettlebell in a number of years,
I felt this was an effective way to get issues going once more.

I have to get a bigger kettlebell!

Strong Women

Q&D is each bit as relevant to the
feminine of the species as it’s to the male. Did you already know that in a lion delight,
it’s the lionesses that do most of the looking?

Other than opening doorways for them, at StrongFirst we don’t deal with women any in a different way than males. We don’t disrespect them with any nonsense about “long, lean muscle” or “shaping the female problem areas.” So when Italian athlete Ilaria Scopece, SFG/SFB, approached Fabio Zonin for training recommendation whereas making ready for an essential competitors, the Master SFG gave her the identical 033 plan that grew to become Q&D. Ilaria weighs as a lot as a 48kg Beast kettlebell—solely she is much more harmful. Scopece is the number-three ranked skilled gentle flyweight boxer in Europe.

Ilaria Scopece, the number-three ranked skilled gentle flyweight boxer in Europe and a StrongFirst licensed teacher

Starting with 15 reps in the 30-second timed take a look at with a 20kg kettlebell in the one-arm exhausting type swing, in a number of months, Ilaria did 21 reps. That 40-percent improve would have been notable by itself, however the fighter did it with 24kg—a 20-percent weight improve.

Where in the pre-test she lifted 300 kilos
of iron in half a minute, in the post-test the woman put up over 500. For
perspective, her efficiency is similar to that of a 200-pound man doing 21
crisp and excellent one-arm swings in 30 seconds with a Beast.

But kettlebells don’t strike again.
Ilaria’s efficiency in the ring is way extra essential than her swing and
pushup numbers. Her boxing coach put her by way of a take a look at: 10 rounds, alternating
between two skilled sparring companions, each 15-percent heavier than her.

sparring with my companions, I noticed I
had even higher pace and explosiveness and I used to be in a position to preserve this for
the complete match…I had gasoline to

In her
subsequent battle, Ilaria knocked out her opponent from Eastern Europe 37 seconds into
the first spherical. Next cease—the European professional title battle. Stay tuned.

We have many nice tales like these.

Q&D: Not for Everyone

But The Quick and the Dead just isn’t for everybody.

Q&D just isn’t for newcomers. When we
examined numerous experimental plans, we found that whereas everybody improved
on Q&D, to our nice shock, skilled athletes improved the most. Fighters,
army particular operators, skilled baseball gamers, motocross riders,
and guys who may press the Beast for reps made way more dramatic progress—in
each absolute and relative phrases—than women and gents who have been nonetheless working
their means as much as the Simple normal of Kettlebell
Simple & Sinister

While this could not make any sense, we
concluded there have been good causes for this paradox.

First, Q&D training calls for a
basis of strength. Without a rock-solid midsection that comes from paying
dues to heavy steel or excessive stress, there isn’t a means of expressing one’s max
energy. As Dr. Fred Hatfield quipped many years in the past, “You can’t shoot a cannon
from a canoe.”

Second, energy is a discovered talent. A
low-level athlete appears to wish the synthetic resistance of muscle congestion
to exert towards. He or she is unable to only explode towards a reasonable
weight. As a end result, a relative newbie lacks the depth wanted to provide
the desired metabolic occasions, finds the Q&D protocol ridiculously straightforward, and
solely nets a partial adaptation. S&S, which on the power-to-acid continuum
lies someplace between Q&D and HIIT, is the excellent program for this

Finally, it’s a matter of persona.
While some people are “cats,” most are “dogs” or “persistence hunters.”
Solitary cats are masters of temporary and explosive bursts; persistence hunters
put on their prey down. Dogs really feel the burn someplace in between.

That mentioned, even in case you are not a “pure
cat,” you’ve got lots to realize from training like one—no less than as your secondary
modality. We have seen high-level athletes get glorious outcomes from including
Q&D to their endurance training.

In addition to watching out in your
health, Q&D will enhance the high quality of your life.

“Metcons” ravage your system with acid, free radicals, and poisonous ammonia. They deplete your muscular tissues’ vitality pool in a fashion much like persistent fatigue syndrome and depart your carcass sore, drained, and injury-prone. They burn you out mentally, wreak havoc along with your hormones, and make you are feeling like hell. Are you prepared to pay such a excessive value for getting “in shape”? And in case you are, say, a primary responder, is it truthful to the residents you’ll be saving?

The alternative is yours: Be fast or be useless.

Pavel Tsatsouline


Pavel Tsatsouline is the Chairman of StrongFirst, Inc.

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