Monthly Archives: September 2019

For The Record: Matt Furey

20 years ago, I was fresh out of the military looking for a job as a personal trainer.

I did weights and calisthenics to keep in shape, so that’s what I taught my personal training clients too.

Then I got into the competitive bodybuilding scene and lost my way. It became about muscles and not performance.

I hurt, ached and tore a bicep as well.

Luckily, due to a shortage of cash I had to take on teaching some cardio classes and my “man ego” had to make the cardio classes as manly as possible – so I called it Commando Cardio.

After a few months of burpees, chins, pushups, bodyweight squats and jumping jacks I needed more variety for my classes.

That’s when I found Matt Furey. I gobbled up everything he taught in Combat Conditioning.

You know why?

Because even though I was in shape muscularly and cardio wise, I lacked flexibility and I wanted that back bridge amongst a few other cool moves I saw out there.

I realized I didn’t have the full package and he did.

As a trainer, he was also living the lifestyle I wanted. So he became my teacher without accepting me as a student.

I’m saying all this because it’s been in the back of my mind lately that a lot of what I know – I learned from Matt Furey and sometimes people talk crap about him.

He’s just often ahead of the curve… but you won’t know that until you get to the level where you can look back and understand what’s really happening. In several areas.

It’s also been a thorn in my brain that I’m copying Matt Furey too much without directly addressing the fact that I learned so much from him while ALSO trying to teach what I’ve learned as well.

It’s new territory that’s 20 years in the making for me; to learn from great teachers, but then try to be a teacher yourself, without being disrespectful to the source.

Honestly, I’m still learning from Matt Furey and will probably even join his fitness membership site shortly.

Why? Because I’ve learned a lot from him over 20 years just from Combat Conditioning and his stretching DVDs – but he still seems to know things that I don’t and as a fan, advocate, geek and practitioner of health and fitness, you can’t ignore good information when it is so accessible in this day and age from a teacher like him.

I still do royal court every morning.

Seriously, if you look at him now, he still moves better than me and can do things I can’t do (yet) and he’s got 10 years of battle scars over me.

That is proof – when you look at a teacher, and they are shining examples of what their teachings provide – you have found gold.

Matt moves like a tiger, he is supple, smooth, fast, strong and graceful. He is also calm, of powerful mind and focused.

THAT is a teacher.


I have confessed my sins at the alter of physical movement.

I hope I have made it clear that I have learned as much as I can and will continue to learn from Matt Furey. Combat Conditioning was around before Commando Cardio. They are not the same but I’ve followed in the steps of Matt without him knowing for almost 20 years and have tried to emulate him because of his ability and expertise.

This is a public thank you and acknowledgment to one of the biggest teachers in my fitness education.

Guns and roses knew a little secret to getting it done

See, old Axel Rose had the secret in his appetite for destruction…
He knew a little fella named Mr Brownstone…
Sang a little song about him.
What’s that got to do with you?
Well Axels song is about heroine but it could just as easily apply to a solid workout routine.
Look here:
I used to do a little but a little wouldn’t do it
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryna get a little better
Said the little better than before
I used to do a little but a little wouldn’t do it
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryna get a little better
Said the little better than before
End of that bit…
Now what happens when a fella does a crap ton right away – either heroine or working out?
He messes himself up but REAL good.
What I’m saying is…
Don’t beat the crap out of yourself during your workouts.
Do enough to get energized and put some new demands on the muscles… then stop.
A hammer puts a nail in the wood. But once the nail is in, you don’t keep mashing the crap out of the wood by keeping on banging!
The job is done.
Move on.
It could take 5 minutes or 60 – that’s up to you.
See how it’s done here in this month’s Basement Barbarians newsletter – and as a bonus, I’m throwing in the full Commando Cardio program and videos for new members for free.
It’s only the first of the free programs I’m adding monthly  – each of which I sell separately for at least $47 – but for new members of the Basement Barbarians Club, it is all free.

FYI – you can’t get in the membership site right now though. It will take a couple days for my payment provider to approve the new price.
Get Gritty, Move Greasy
Raymond Burton

Babies and dads know how to eliminate shoulder pain

Babies and dads know how to eliminate shoulder pain – here’s how I know…

The other day I was watching a dad and a baby having a moment at the local playground.

I like to go there sometimes to get a workout in while getting some free vitamin D.

The little one was more of a toddler I guess. I don’t know ages that well since I don’t have any kids of my own.


It occurred to me that toddlers and dads know more than most of the trainers out there about how to eliminate shoulder pain – not only that but also…

Knee pain.

Dads shoulder press babies out to the front, elbows tucked in.

Toddlers squat full and deep, knees far out in front of the toes.

These are things that you DON’T see in the weight room because sophisticated trainer types feel they know better than the human body when it comes to how it should move.


Now that I’ve been trainer people for over 20 years, I realize my arrogance.

Arrogance about how I would know how to move better than yoga would tell me – a thousand year old study in movement.


That I would know how to squat according to my personal training manuals and that thousands of years of programming put into the genetics of a baby… that I would know how to squat better – knees behind toes, weight in the heels, only go to parallel…

Well that leads to a lot of pain eventually.

But it’s reversible.

Anyway, you can learn this all yourself if you watch animals, babies, dads and moms playing with kids…

The lessons are there.

They are also in the Commando Cardio program on the website at

Get gritty, move greasy

8 Things every man should be able to do…

“Every man should be able to save his own life.”

That’s what I read going over my “History Of Fitness” books this morning.

Every once in a while I crave lifting heavy and being a super bodybuilder again…

Then I read things like this from the past…

“He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity.

He also should be able to chin himself a reasonable number of times, as well as to dip a number of times, and he should be able to jump a reasonable height and distance.”

Such simple requirements. But can you do them?

They don’t require a gym membership or long hours of training to acquire. They make you feel better instead of beating you down and you can practice them every day if you want to.

I just thought that this was important information to share with you.

This as well…

Last night I was ordering pizza (yes I was) and I saw the Mille-feuille. It’s my go to desert. But then I thought about my ability to chin, jump, run…

And I remembered what else I read in my history lesson…

“If a man is of the fat, porpoise type, naturally he cannot do all, if any, of these things; he has nobody to blame but himself, and his way of living that has brought his body into its condition of obesity.

It has happened many times that there should be a fire at sea or on lake or river; should one be half a mile or more from the shore, he would be mighty thankful to realize, were he compelled to jump for his life from the fire, that he could swim that distance and reach the shore in safety.

Suppose one were in a burning building and he had to lower himself hand under hand down a rope or down an improvised rope of bedclothing tied together to reach the ground in safety; he again would be thankful a thousand times that he possessed the strength and endurance in his arms and coordinate muscles that would enable him to save himself. Such things never may happen, and let us hope they do not; but what has happened always is possible to occur again and, in fact, always is happening to some one.”

You never realize how important basic life skills are until you need to call on them.

And that’s why when the urge to go back to my weight room, bodybuilding days pulls at me, I ask myself…

“How high and far can you jump? Can you pull yourself up over a ledge to save your life?”

Now that’s important training.

I MUST be able to be good at those before I consider putting time and money into feeding showy muscles.

And that’s why I created Commando Cardio and the monthly Basement Barbarian club.

Get gritty,
Raymond Burton

The young guys are strong without trying but….

That doesn’t mean us older guys can’t get stronger.

Especially where it matters most.

The stuff that can save your life. Stuff like:
being able to sprint
Pulling yourself up over something
Jumping up onto an elevated surface about waist height
Getting down to the ground

When I was in the army it showed me what really mattered as goals for survival. Sure, maybe you need to pick up the rear end of a truck some day… but more often, you need to jump over a creek or puddle.

That’s what I’m doing. Ow with commando cardio and the basement barbarian club. Creating a monthly resource where you train for life extension and quality.

Strong, fast, lean and flexible… with the go power to drop the hammer all day.

If you haven’t tried commando yet, check it out:

Get gritty my friend,