Thursday, May 31, 2007

Training today:

Squats 435 x 2,2,2,2,2

MP 40kg x 2,2,2

Pull-ups 45# x 5, 90# x 2, 70# x 3

I heard the voice of Jack Reape in my head today as I was preparing for my workout - the plan called for 430 - which meant pulling out the 2.5# plates (which Jack has painted pink to discourage their use) - and I thought "I can't do it - what would Jack say?" and decided to run with 435 for today! Thanks Jack - i think ;)

Squats are feeling very solid - today was a bit of a push to hit the heavier session so soon after the band squats on Tuesday but I felt I could do it and needed to get back on schedule.

Recovery this weekend and then squats Monday.

Here is a pic of Falling Water - it simply does not do it justice but you can get an idea.
Brilliant design and a beautiful setting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Training today...

Squats w/ doubled mini bands 315 x 6,6,6,6
Bench 275 x 1, 315 x 1,1 (hit the pins but completed the rep),1,1
The squat program called for 345 x 4 sets of 6 reps but I decided to change the program a bit to include the band squats since I feel that they are helping my squats.
Bench was good - four singles at 315 is a PR I think- I hit the pins on one rep - I seem to be having a tendency to drift back with my right arm but was able to correct this a bit on the last rep.
A very nice weekend...

Two highlights from this weekend - a visit to Falling Water (the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house) and a visit to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.

Falling Water is fantastic. Truly spectacular - I will try to post a picture later. In addition to two Picasso originals, two Vega originals, and few very famous Japanese prints - the house itself is a true work of art. Really has to be seen to be appreciated and I will be going back for more in depth tours.

The Flight 93 Memorial (it is a temporary memorial for now with a completed memorial slated for 2011) was far more powerful than I had expected. The site is very basic right now but filled with memorials, mementos, and emotion. The staff did a great presentation of the events of that tragic day and the 40 lives lost. Wreckage was recovered up to 65 feet in the ground at the impact sight and you can still see the scorched trees. The flight recorder showed that the auto pilot had been reset for Washington DC - How different that already tragic day could have been.

So - some good food, beautiful driving, and powerful sights - a very nice Memorial Day weekend.
I hope yours was great as well.

Back to the squat rack later today for an easy day of squatting.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend...

I will be out of town for some R&R starting later today and will be back on the grid on Monday or Tuesday.

I feel it is important at this time to remember that Memorial Day is a chance to remember those that have paid the ultimate price for our country. A fact which humbles me and makes me very thankful to be an American and to thrive in the opportunities provided me by those individuals.

Enjoy the weekend and have some fun!
"So what experiences prepare someone to be an effective trainer?"

This was the question (an excellent one BTW) from C.Sheridan in response to my "Base of Knowledge" post below. What experiences/qualifications prepare someone to be an effective trainer? Let's dive into that for a bit...

For me - I feel that my Bachelors degree in Sportsmedicine from High Point University in North Carolina and my years as an Athletic Trainer were primarily responsible for my base of knowledge. It gave me a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, evaluation and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, and teaching and "coaching" experience. Not a bad way to start out.
Next on the education list is a Master's of Science in Rehabilitative Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania while I was working as a graduate assistant Athletic Trainer. Now I will let you all know that the Rehabilitative Science degree is in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation - not physical rehabilitation. What does a drug and alcohol rehab degree have to do with being a personal trainer? Glad you asked - It provided me with a depth of knowledge in human behavior patterns and modification of those patterns. And accomplishing one's goals and actually implementing changes in behavior are intimately connected.

That is the academic stuff - but what is not listed is all of my "non-academic" research study and experimentation. I started reading and experimenting with training myself in junior high and has taken many forms...I have been fat (40" waist), fit, strong, weak (deconditioned), a runner, a bodyweight exercise guy, a weightlifter, a kettlebell guy, a HIT Jedi, a functional training guy, and I have been injured (surgeries etc...) and I have rehabbed myself...

During these years of personal experimentation I have read and studied voraciously - seeking to understand any and all of the techniques I was using on myself and others - a complete list would be too long and boring to go into but needless to say it includes, Pavel, Siff, Verkoshansky, Zatsiorsky, Mentzer, Cosgrove, Cressey, Santana, Cook, McGill and many, many more....

What an academic listing does not cover as well is experience - and I have had a good bit of that.
Beginning as an athletic trainer working with a wide variety of athletes and continuing into my first "fitness" position of running a hospital wellness program. While running this hospital wellness program I worked with people of all conditions - stroke, PParkinson's, joint replacements, elderly, athlete, regular Joe and Jane, heart conditions, cardiac rehab, orthopedic issues of all types, and a few things I am forgetting but you get the idea...

What an academic listing also does not cover is who you have surrounded yourself with and who you can learn from...which is an area where I am very fortunate. Over the years I have had the fortune of meeting, learning from and developing friendships with some of the best in the business. I will not list names and name drop but I have been very fortunate in this area and it is a VERY important area. Your "circle of influence" is a huge part of your personal development due to the honest and professional feedback you can receive that your other friends and family cannot provide you.

So what experiences prepare you to be an effective trainer?
A combination of academic learning, personal experimentation, personal development/research (continuous learning), professional research and experience, and networking/"circle of influence" are all "required".
And this doesn't touch on the "x" factors of personality and intuition.

Does it have to be academic - No - I know people without an ounce of "book smarts" that I would trust to train my family. And I know people with reams of book time that I would not trust to train my dog (if I had one). This is where the ability to apply your knowledge makes all the difference and the x-factors of personality and intuition come into play.

Does it have to be a "certification"? NO - certifications are an indicator - not a guarantee. A certification is the minimum level of knowledge necessary to hold the cert. So it depends on where that minimum level has been set - for the RKC it is set high - for some multiple choice study at home certs - it is set low - it just depends on the group providing the cert.

So the take home advice - Study, read, research, experiment and network - rinse and repeat....

And that is a VERY long winded explanation of what experiences and qualifications prepare someone to be an effective trainer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Squat cycle Day 2...

Squats 405 x 3,3,3,3,3

MP 40 kg x 1,1,1
Pull-ups +25# x 5,5,5

Felt very solid on the squats - belt at three holes instead of four.

Feeling good

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bench and Upper and some conditioning...

These are hard days for me to get excited about since I am just not a huge bench fan - I love the efficiency of the movement (one big press for the upper body) but just don't like it all that much and as Marty Gallagher put it "You are just not built to bench" - words to listen to.

Bench with doubled mini bands - 185 x 3,3,3,3,3,3,3
Floor Tricep Ext. - 95 x 6, 115 x 4,3,3, 95 x 6
Sternum Pull-ups (bw) x 5,5,5
Alternating sets of Swings and bupees -
40KG swings x 10,10,10,10,10
Burpees x 10,10,10,10,10

I might actually be forgetting some of my workout -which means it wasn't important ;)

Foam roller, stretch and recover today and Squats on Thursday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

15 week Squat cycle begins...

Squats - 365 x 5,5,5,5,5
40KG MP x 1,1,1,1,1
Pull-ups BW x 5,5,5,5,5

I wanted to add in some MP for shoulder health and needed to work some extra bodyweight pull-ups as these have felt a bit off recently. Squats felt great - Thursday will be more interesting.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Base of Knowledge...

I believe that knowledge is not power - Application is power - but you have to have the knowledge base to apply in order to have the power that can result.

Maybe a bit of splitting hairs but I know people with lots of knowledge without the power to apply it who are just as dangerous as those without the knowledge. And I know people with very little knowledge who are all too willing to apply and are very dangerous. Either through it's misapplication or through a lack of - knowledge is an itegral part of any profession.

Why bring this up?

1. My AFPA presentations, 2. A conversation with a client today, 3. Franz Sniderman's blog
1. My AFPA presentations - which went very well and included a great many people actively seeking to expand their knowledge - were interesting because it is a look into the personal training and group exercise industry. During my presentations I include a great deal of information from Stuart McGill, Vladamir Janda, Pavel, and many other current names in the fitness industry (Cressey, Cosgrove, Santana etc...) and when I would ask a room of 100 people if they had heard of McGill or Janda - one or two hands would go up.

The two most important names in back health, training and research and 2% of the crowd had heard of them!

This in my mind reflects a lack of base of knowledge (which at least was filled in this case). But what if they hadn't been there to study?

2. I had a conversation with a client today where he was relating a conversation with an othopedic - the orthopedic was saying that he loved trainers because they send him 50% of his business.

Lovely to hear - and sad but true.
In an unregulated industry where 200 question multiple choice tests are the standard we are bound to run into people who are not really ready to be a part of a profession where people trust you with their health and well-being.

There are 400+ certifying bodies and thousands upon thousands of "certified" trainers - very few with an appropriate base of knowledge. Scary!

3. Franz Sniderman had a blog a couple of entries ago was excellent. He was relating the story of attending a cadaver class and being somewhat surprised by the difference between what he/we think things look like and what they actually look like. Your sciatic nerve is the size of your thumb. Your ulnar nerve is the size of your pinkie. Your Psoas mucle is larger than your forearm. And as Franz discussed - your adductor magnus is huge. And it is hard to understand fascia until you have seen it in place in the body. And Franz already knew his anatomy.
It is just different live than in a book.

And this doesn't even scratch the surface of interactive live anatomy - co-contractions, joint mechanoreceptors, GTO, Joint capsules, neurological factors, psychological factors - all go in to the mix and make living, moving anatomy a whole 'nother ball game.

So the base of knowledge is of great importance and needs to be continually developed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jet lag, fatigue and getting things rolling again...

WOW - the past three weeks jumped up and knocked me for a loop! I have been trying to recover and get back on top of things but not quite getting there. I should have scheduled a day off after this travel in order to recover better but figured I'd be good to go - live and learn.

Fatigue is a funny thing - at least this type of fatigue. Once I get up and moving it isn't much of a physical issue - it is a mental fatigue. Like the fact that it just took me three tries to spell "fatigue" correctly! ;)
This is something that only sleep can help with and I haven't been recharging like I should. And my diet has been for crap. Nothing like travel, socializing and mental fatigue to knock you off your path!

So - it is time to quit complaining (I'm sure those of you who know me are really waiting for that day!) and get back to work.

A quick recent discovery - The naked juice drink - Green Machine - lots of great stuff in there and seems to be helping me muddle through this period of bad food and lack of sleep. Can't wait to see if it helps when I am sleeping well and eating well.

Another one - I did some rolling of my feet with a lacrosse ball yesterday - after being reminded of the fascial connection from the feet to everything else in the body - felt good and it seems that the rolling and trigger point work has really helped me get through this travel and work without any aches or pains.

Next week the 15 week squat cycle begins! Fun, fun, fun.... ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Travel - Travel - Travel...

I am back off the road - should have been off the road on Saturday but due to a comedy of errors in Myrtle Beach I ended up not getting back home until midday on Sunday. (8+ hours in the MB airport due to late flights, mechanical issues, and a "challenged US Air staff" - fun, fun,fun) So I am road weary and tired but otherwise doing well.

My presentations for the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals and Associates - a group of over 60,000 in 15 countries) went very well. In Myrtle Beach I was presenting on Joint Mobility, Flexibility, Strength training, and the Functional Movement Screen. These were very well received and the atmosphere at both Ocean City and Myrtle Beach was open and it was obvious that those attending were really seeking to continue their education.

One of the highlights of the weekends was getting to meet and spend time around Todd Durkin. Todd is a great individual and great trainer and their is a lot to be learned from him.

Otherwise - I am home for a couple of weeks before a busy June takes me back out on the road again. Travel at this point is a necesarry evil - the allure and "fun" of travel left me long ago and the "excitment" of visiting different cities loses it's luster when you realize that you are in that city to work and provide the best service possible - not sight see. In the end - as it almost always does - it comes down to the people you meet and/or spend time with while traveling and in that regard I am very fortunate.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Quick training today:

Squats - doubled mini bands
315 x 3, 365 x 2, 405 x 2, 365 x 2, 405 x 2, 365 x 2, 405 x 2, 315 x 2 paused

Hammer Strength Row - 135 x 6, 160 x 4, 135 x 6
weight listed is on both sides (Right side 135 and Left side 135)

One Arm push-up x 5, One arm One leg push-up x 3

Off to Myrtle Beach tomorrow - back on the grid on Monday.
Back from the Danish RKC -

The "Danes of Pain" - Tommy, Kenneth and the Denmark crew put on a great weekend.
Well planned and well executed - it was a fantastic weekend!

Team Jones was a collection of 14 Krav Maga instructors and students from Hugary and one Krav Maga instructor from France - only about three that could translate so it made for an interesting weekend of instruction. But we got it done and done well. The base of instructional knowledge that the Krav Maga people brought in made it easy to connect their newer Kettelbell Skill to the established teaching format for Krav Maga. So a bit of non-verbal, simple english and translation and some hands on guiding and they did great.

And the total 56 attendees did great - I am always amazed by the Cert weekend and the experience it provides. Truly amazing.

So - some jet lag and many hours later I am back in Pittsburgh and getting ready to fly off again tomorrow to Myrtle Beach for another AFPA conference. In on Thurday night - present twice on Friday - Twice on Saturday morning - and back in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Ah - the glamorous life of travel and presenting... ;)

I will hit a quick training session today and then off to the airport tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quick workout today:

Squats - 405 x 2, 455 x 2, 485 x 2, 455 x 2, 405 x 2

Close Grip Bench 225 x 8 sets of 3 reps

A few swings but nothing else of note - 485 x 2 is a PR and a great way to head off to Denmark for the European RKC!

I will be off the Grid until next Tuesday but will be back with a full report.

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