A visit to the Rifstonian Institute and the San Jose RKC...
After an early flight on Thursday I had the opportunity for a session under the experienced and expert eye of Sr. RKC Rif at the Rifstonian Institute - and what a session it was - Rif, Pavel and I spent a couple of hours coaching each other through squats, bench and deadlifts (I was the only one squatting and benching and Rif coached but didn't lift). This is what I miss so much in my own training - experienced and critical coaching to keep progressing - there is only so much you can do on your own.
First up - Squats
I have been having some "issues" with my squats not feeling quite dialed in and I found out why... I have been reversing the "treat your light weights heavy so your heavy weights feel light" by mentalling feeling that I had reached a certain "level" with my squats so that certain weights should feel "easy". This lead to several things - not enough tension at the lift off, breathing pattern being off, not loading the hips enough etc...
So I spent some time getting my upper body tension set before I unrack the weight (lats, lats, lats) and having my breath coordinate with this and not losing IAP - while setting my hip angle and loading my hips while maintaining upper body tension through the lift.
What a difference!
405 x 2, 455 x 1,1,1, 405 x 1, 315 x 3 paused
Second - pulled a couple of DLs
worked up to an easy single at 495 just to have Pavel and Rif evaluate my form and it looked good so I moved on to Bench.
Third (and the lift I most needed help with) - Bench
Where do I start? I have a saying for the teaching of the swing -"there is a difference between swinging a kettlebell and knowing how to swing a kb" - well - there is a HUGE difference between benching and knowing how to bench!
I thought I was getting tight at the start etc... but I had a lot to learn.
First up - getting my arch and getting the lats set
Second - loading by pulling the bar down into the lats
Third - using the lats as a base to press from in addition to pressing from the feet
(did I mention lats?)
Results - 275 for a few singles which felt like an empty bar - very different. Then hit some close grip with 225 working on the same feeling in the lats but finally hitting some triceps.
Then hit 315 x 1,1,1 - which felt very good once I hit my set up and breathing correctly
Now I can't wait to bench!
San Jose RKC
The first RKC in the USA outside of Minneapolis - roughly 89 attendees and a great facility!
A big thanks to Chris Holder and his staff at San Jose State University - what a great situation - many of them are RKCs and great strength coaches to boot.
The Dragondoor gang was there and of course made the weekend flow easily - thank you.
Pavel, Andrea DuCane, Myself, Rif, Doc Hartle, Sara Cheatham, and Michael Castrogiovanni were ready to put a hurt on the San Jose "victims" and we did ;)
I had a tremendous team of RKC hopefulls that really made huge leaps in improvement - I was a very proud instructor at the end of the cert.
On Saturday night Tyler Bramlett and Logan Christopher brought out a bag of phonebooks and steel and we had an improptu grip session.
I finally learned the Dennis Rogers style of phonebook tearing thanks to Tyler - and I really like this style of tearing.
Got to do a little bending and some sledge levering etc... It was a great way to finish up the night.
Thanks Tyler and Logan.
We continue to learn and progress the RKC School of Strength!
Not sure if I will hit a training session today but we shall see...
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