Training Log 3/4

Maybe once a month or more realistically once every couple of months, if I’m feeling good, I push it a little bit and try to get some heavy-ish singles in to see where I’m at.

On Friday I worked up and did a bunch of snatch singles. If you’re unsure of what that is, there are videos below.

Meaning, doing some heavy snatches or clean and jerks (or any exercise really) shows me a few things:

What are my strength levels like?

I’m certainly not trying to bust any PR’s when I do this. I am however, trying to see if I can get reasonably close. This tells me that I’m at least maintaining strength. Right now, I am happy with maintaining strength because I am really more focused on building endurance  and improving my aerobic capacity. For this reason I don’t go heavy as much.

I was happy to have tied one of my best snatches and felt comfortable on my 2 attempts at a 10 pound PR. What I mean by comfortable is that I wasn’t scared of the weight. The last time I tried it I wasn’t even able to get it over my head, this time I did, but just couldn’t lock it out.

I’m not big on fighting the weight here though. I don’t need to grind anything out to get a true max. Frankly, I don’t care why my real max is. I just want know that I am improving, slowly.

How’s my technique? 

I love the olympic lifts because they are so technical. This could be an entire blog post in itself, and probably should be some day. I like that they make me think, assess an adjust accordingly. They are something that even Olympians say you can never master. I like tinkering and trying new things and working on things to make the lifts smoother.

Going heavy can tell me if my adjustments are working. If they don’t have carry over to improved performance that aren’t working. It’s that simple.

How’s my mobility/movement?

This is the biggest category, building off what my technique looks like. A few things I consider here:

How do I feel the next day? If I’m sore, that’s fine, what I want to know is if anything is going to hurt? If it does, there is a movement fault somewhere leading something less than optimal, especially on a complicated movement like a snatch.

How’s it look? This is as much about technique as mobility. Do I have the capacity to get into the correct shapes? Yes or no. Am I stable in these shapes? Yes or no. Which ones do I need to work on.

I always film these lifts so I can analyze them. I had a big revelation from this  today. As you’ll see below, on the two lifts that tied my personal best, I stepped forward to complete the lift coming up from the squat. That step happened because I shifted to my left side and basically squatted with one leg. Now, I have something to work on. I’m going highlight exactly what I am going to do to fix this weight shift that’s happening in a upcoming post.

This is why sessions like this are important though, to discover things about yourself and to make improvements.

 

 

Training Log 3/4

Training Log 3/3

Mobility/recovery day yesterday.

I trained pretty hard Mon/Tues/Wed, so today was a day to take it easy and sneak in a lot of mobility work throughout the day. Pictured here are some of the drills I did with GAIN client, Scott.

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Banded distracted hip extension. Working on mobilizing the hip flexors and grooving hip extension without lumbar extension. x50 oscillations in and out/side ~3 mins keeping butt squeezed the whole time!

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Banded pigeon mobilization. If you have trouble sitting cross-legged or feel tightness on the outside of your hips when squatting, this is a great way to improve hip flexion and external rotation. 2 mins/side

 

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Wall facing squat. 3×5

The idea here was that we just improved a lot of ranges of motion. We used the wall facing squat to “map” the new ranges and work on getting the range of motion from the hips and not by over extending the back. This simple drill is very effective.

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Working on the posterior shoulder with some distraction and soft tissue work. This is a new one that we were playing around with. I didn’t get to do it for too long, so I’ll play around with it today before I go overhead in training.

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My new favorite thing to do. Called “body-tempering,” created  by powerlifter Donnie Thompson. The concept here is that when a muscle is stiff, or there is tone to it, meaning is won’t totally relax, we can force it into giving out and relaxing by putting some heavy weight on it.

So far, we have only done quads, but have had great success with it. When I squat frequently, my quad tendon, right about my knees, tends to get achy, 5 mins/leg on this clears it right up.

The key to this is breathing and patient. The better you breath, the quicker the muscle with give in. Try this out now and see how much of a difference you feel. Can be a dumbbell or kettle bell or anything with some weight that you have laying around the house.

 

 

 

Training Log 3/3

Training Log 3/2/16

IMG_7246.jpgA1. barbell overhead press 5×10 – 65

A2. zercher reverse lunge 5×5 – 95

B1. overhead squat 2×15 – 65

Quick and easy since I had a little time to kill during the afternoon. Overhead presses felt good. They were a test for my shoulder that has been acting up a bit for the past week. Mobility today – quads/hip extension tonight at home.

Training Log 3/2/16

Training Log 3/1/2016

Tuesday March 1, 2016

A1. box squat 8×3 – 135

A2. various hip mobility drills in-between sets. was recovering 1-2mins between

B1. walking db bent over row 3×8 – 50

B2. farmers carry 3xlap – 50

C1. jumping over things with Harrison – 5 minutes

2 hours later: did 8, 50 yard sprints with some high school lacrosse platers

Then hoped in with a client during his circuit of:

  • Backwards sled push 4×40 yards
  • Rack pull 4×8 – 185
  • Kb rotational inverted row 4×8 – 25
  • Suitcase carry 4x20y
  • Stir the pot 4×8/side

Overall, very active, productive day of training. I did the box squats because I was feeling sore from some high rep squatting over the weekend. That combined with the long row yesterday my hips were a little off.

I like doing box squats as a hip reset. They really make you focus on your positions and groove a really nice squatting pattern. I try to throw them in when I’m feeling a little beat up and I know that moving around more will help. This certainly did the trick, when I ran the sprints my legs felt great. I had a good stride and was happy with how it felt.

Jumping has been something that I have been trying to mix more of in. It helps me “stay athletic” and I feel good doing it. My friend, Harrison is a freaky athlete so it’s nice to screw around and jump over stuff with him for a little change of pace workout finisher.

Training Log 3/1/2016

Can’t Stick to a Workout Program?

website 6 (1)You probably just haven’t found something that you like, something that actually works and makes you feel better. Someplace that you feel comfortable doing something that gets you results instead of promising them.
Same goes for you “not a gym person,” people. You’ve only been to bad gyms. Where there isn’t a comfortable atmosphere and nice people.
Gyms don’t need smoothie bars, saunas and basketball courts. None of that makes you better. None of that increases your level of fitness or your body’s capability to move. Since you probably haven’t been to a non-stereotypical gym, you might forget that since this isn’t a stereotypical gym, it’s not like that here. We aren’t like those other places on purpose.
So, this is a warehouse, without a fancy front entrance, a tiny office and no showers. There aren’t any TVs or even any traditional cardio equiptment. What we do have though, is knowledgable coaches who want to help people move and feel better. We care that you improve, get stronger and we make the process enjoyable, so you stick to it this time.

 

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Preventative Care

I started college with one requirement in my career choice: I wanted to help people. I knew if every day I had the opportunity to positively impact someone, my day would be fulfilling.

With some advising and research I decided on Health Management and Policy. There were good career outlooks, plenty of jobs, and I was in a prestigious program. However, as I started the curriculum and delved deeper into the world of the healthcare industry, two facts became evident.

 

1. The US healthcare system as a whole does a poor job at keeping the population healthy.

 

2. I wouldn’t be helping people directly as an analyst creating charts to show how many people died from lung cancer in Wyoming from 1970 to 2004.

 

These facts did not sit well with me. I could see where this career would lead and it terrified me. Unmotivated, and with the help of a few other college distractions I  proceeded to fail virtually every class I had in my junior spring.

 

The next fall, through mutual friends, I got in contact with Justin and Gain Strength and Conditioning. Truthfully, at first, I viewed the job as an opportunity to improve my own training at a great facility. This was  short sighted.

A year later, I can tell you that I have managed to find a job helping people in an area that the US healthcare system largely fails to address despite its importance: preventive care. At Gain we strive to teach all of our members how to train and live healthy, happily, and pain free, every day.

Places like Gain are vital to improving the health of communities in the future and I am confident we will have that very impact in the Portsmouth area.

That’s something I can wake up for in the morning.

-Alex

Preventative Care