Thursday, June 28, 2007

Getting started into the FMS...

Start with Athletic Body in Balance by Gray Cook -this book will lay the philosophical basis for screening and introduce you to the self screen.
Then the Advanced Functional Movement Screening DVD set will run you through the seven tests, how to score them and how to implement Corrective drills.
The testing kit makes it easy to perform the tests on clients or groups so it would be a good investment.
The poster set is meant as a handy reference guide to testing, stick work and corrective drills for the seven tests. (Lots of information here)

Hopefully that will answer some questions re: which materials to look into for the FMS.
Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

FMS information...

After my presentation at the RKC Level 2 this weekend there was a great deal of interest in the full day and a half FMS workshop so here is some information on the coming trainings...
Indianapolis, IN July 20-21
Boston, MA August 24-25
Phone registration - 800-556-7464

RKC Level 2 - Wrap-up...
What a great weekend! Pavel lead the show off on Friday with a detailed teaching of the 5 Level 2 drills and continues to amaze me with the depth of knowledge and techniques he has available.
I had the first half of the day on Saturday and presented a 2 hour lecture on the Functional Movement Screen and some neurological based strength training information. This was followed by a 2 hour practical section where the attendees were able to learn some immediately applicable screening and corrective strategies.
Kenneth Jay presented a great talk on cardiovascular adaptations to KB exercise and how to maximize the cardiovascular effects of KB training. Then the attendees had a practical demonstration of the theory. ;)
Sunday got off to a start with a wonderful presentation by Andrea DuCane on working with deconditioned populations. Great tips and techniques for starting off in a very basic manner and progressing to more advanced moves.
Rif followed with a talk on length/tension relationships - what they mean and how to find them and how to address them (foam roller and other techniques). Staying "neutral" and plumb is so key.

All in all there was a huge mountain of information provided the attendees and I was very happy to be a part of it. The attnedees themselves were great - Wonderful to see familiar faces again and spend time with old and new friends.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Held hostage by NWA and the end of the second - three week squat cycle...

NWA was kind enough to cancel my flight home last night and leave me stranded in Minneapolis over night costing me another vacation day and missed appointments - I have a hard time believing that there wasn't any way to get me home last night but they were unable to find an option. "Schedule change" - they said - Well my schedule didn't change! Travel really sucks at times!

But they finally did get me home this afternoon and I was able to fit in some training:

Squats 405 x 4,4,4,4,4

Bench with doubled over Monster Mini bands - 225 x 2,2,2,2,2

This was the end of the second- three week squat cycle and now the knee wraps go on and the weights get a bit heavier - should be fun!

I will be returning emails and phone calls tomorrow - time to eat and sleep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Training today:

Squats 455 x 2,2,2,2

And that was it! Really feeling the lack of sleep, a very busy schedule and a really bad telephone book tear today.

A friend of mine wanted to see a telephone book tear so I grabbed one from home and decided to have a go at it - well it turned out to be a toughie and I had a fight on my hands. Took a good bit out of me and I was already feeling the band squats from Monday and such... so it made the squats today all that much more interesting.

But it went pretty well - as soon as the video is uploaded to youtube I will post it here (one set of 2 at 455).

Off to the RKC Level 2 tomorrow - will post if I can but probably going to be a very busy time.

Have a great weekend
Video of 455 x 2 squats - belt only:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pics of my Band squat set up and today's training:

Squats 365 + doubled over mini bands x 2,2,2,2,2
Bench 325 x 1, 315 x 1+(negative and assisted concentric)

Pressed for time and that is all I could fit in - 325 wasn't pretty (drifted back a bit far but was an OK rep) - the first rep at 315 felt very good.
Squats - on the squat cycle I am on it called for 365 x 4 sets of 6 reps but I changed it to a band squat day and will be keeping the bands in on this day of the three week cycles.
Recovery and Sleep and Bands...

I finally logged some serious sleep time on Saturday night into Sunday and then gave it all back last night while trying to finish some DVD editing and preparations for the week ahead. My inability to say no and ending up taking on every project that comes across my table doesn't mix well with trying to have a "life" and spend time with loved ones and friends. Which means I will be turning down projects and opportunities in the future and seeking a better balance for my professional and personal lives.

Bands - I have been asked - "what is the point of training with bands?" What do they do for you? Well in the most simple terms they are a form of compensatory acceleration training but also much more. The band (when set to add resistance) is trying to pull you into the ground on the eccentric portion of the lift and then you have to turn around and "beat" the band to the top of the movement on the concentric portion of the lift.
It is a method of increasing the tension, speed and difficulty of a lift without increasing the bar weight. But working against the band certainly ends up increasing poundage on the lift.
For me it has dialed in and improved my squat form and speed from un-racking the weight to completion of the lift and the same for the bench (overloading lock-out and keeping me driving into the bar).
There are probably more scientific explanations about force vectors and variable resistance over ranges of the movement but I simply like to think of the band trying to crush me on the way down and having to "beat" the band back to lockout. It places you under increased tension while having to produce more bar speed - two very good things!

Basically - get some bands and use them. If things go well I will post some pics of my band squat set up later today.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Training today:

Squats - 425 x 3,3,3,3,3

DL with doubled mini bands - 315 x 2,2,2,2,2

And called it a day - still feeling the 5x5 on Monday and a lack of sleep is making this weeks training a little tougher than it should be. DL with the bands was interesting - I doubled them around a 100# plate and then took the two strands of the band over the bar outside of the weights (I'll try to get a pic next time) - felt pretty good - just gotta play around with it.

Otherwise - I'm doing well. Just need some sleep.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Squat breath vs. Deadlift breath...

During my deadlifts last week I realized that I had confused my breathing set up from my squat to my deadlift - not a great idea. But these are the things that happen when you don't practice a lift consistently enough.

For squats - since the bar is held across the back above the center of gravity - setting the upper back and wedging the chest underneath the bar is so important and there is a different breathing set up for this. The breath is initially deep into the belt but then up into the chest. This is part of the wedge and upper back setting and bar position (low bar). This setting of the breath and upper body assist in taking the load of the bar properly along the spine and provides a stable platform from which you use the legs and hips.

For the Deadlift - since the bar is held in the arms below the center of gravity you want to set the breath low into the diaphragm and belt and "pre-compress" the chest and abdomen to take the load of the bar. This means that when you begin to drive from the legs and hips the already compressed abdomen and chest will "link" up and support the weight that is hanging from the arms and being lifted through the body.

So I had confused my set up breaths and I rushed my set up at the bar by gripping and "dipping - gripping - and ripping" without being fully wedged and prepared for the lift.

This is the concept of Strength as a Skill in action - without practicing a lift or movement you will "lose" parts of that skill. So it is back to the deadlift bar for me! (at least once a week)

Monday, June 11, 2007

A highlight reel from the Danish RKC May 2007 -
Some Kettlebell, Juggling KBs, Bending, Tearing, etc...Loads of fun - Enjoy!

Training today:

First day of the second - three week cycle of the squat routine:

Squat 385 x 5,5,5,5,5

Bench w/ doubled mini bands 225 x 2,2,2,2,2

Squats felt good - and the bands on the bench felt very good. More on the blog soon re: breath set up for the DL vs. the Squat and bands.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Off to the RKC...

Leaving shortly for the June RKC - I will post if I can but back on the grid on Monday for sure.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My first DL in a few weeks - quick at the lockout but hey...

Bench and DL today:

Bench with Doubled over Mini bands
205 x 3,3,3,3,3,3

DL worked up to: 495 x 1, 545 x 1, 565 x 0, 495 x 1

Bench felt good - couldn't have done this a few weeks ago - I remember my first band bench day and 205 with the bands felt pretty darn hard for a double - so I am pleased with todays bench. Me thinks the bands are good!
Need to put the DL back in the rotation - felt really good on 545 (which is over 95% of my max) but when I went for a 5# PR after not having deadlifted in quite some time I realized that my set up was bit off (mainly my breath) so I need to groove my DL a bit and be able to ride my squat increases into my DL.

I will post a couple of pics of my band bench set up.

Monday, June 04, 2007

End of the first three week cycle of the Squat Routine...

Squats 385 x 4,4,4,4,4

And called it a day - this is what being lazy over the weekend and lack of sleep will get you!
And I looked back at the squat cycle and realized that I had performed an extra set of squat my last workout - but more is better - right?

Overall feeling very good - just low on energy due to lack of sleep and need to hit the roller and stretching over the weekends and not be such a lazy ass.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A look back through the training log...

A question on the forum got me thinking about my training log so I decided to take a quick look back through it since I started squatting.

March 29, 2006 - my first squat workout (3 sets of 3 reps @ 315) - What is of note here is that I had not been under the bar to squat since injuring my back during a bad squat attempt in March or April of 2003 which resulted in L5-S1 laminectomy in Sept. of 2003. So stepping back under the bar was a big deal for me.

It is now June 2007 and I am in the midst of a 15 week squat cycle to begin prepping for the AAU World's in October in Orlando, FL. My gym max is 495 (which I am confident is actually a good bit higher at this point) and I am aiming for 525 or so in Orlando.

So in the 14 months since I started squatting (1 to 3 times a week)- I have maybe taken 4 weeks off from the squat. And the only "special" exercise I have implemented for it has been the addition of Jumpstretch Bands (mini bands). Consistency is the key - hard work, cycling of volume and intensity and squatting. My only "gear" has been a PL belt. I have focused on grooving my form and squatting to legal depth on every squat.

I am much stronger as a result of my time under the bar. Thicker and a bit heavier (volume + heavy = weight gain) which may have me looking at competing in the 198's. (But we shall see) My deadlift has climbed without focus on it (we will see where it is this coming Wed or Thursday). And I have discovered that I really love to squat!

If you are not keeping a training journal - you are making a HUGE mistake. Whether on line or in notebooks you must have a record of your efforts.

Another Gem from the DD forum today - SSGlass posted about how an abbreviated program of Clean and Press and Swings was all you needed for your "fitness" routine. And I would mirror this in the PL world - Squat if you want to improve your squat, Bench to improve your bench, and DL to improve your DL - Consistency is the key!

Simple doesn't mean easy!

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