Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Training Discussion

After chatting with Matt about training I thought I would make a post specifically for training discussion. Tomorrow night I'll edit the title here and just call it 'Training Discussion'.

So if you want to discuss training choices or program design then post your stuff here and we'll jack it up and take a look under the hood and see if it's a goer!

I know I said I'd only update once a day...but I thought if I just slipped it in here that no one would really notice...and desides everyone knows I'm a liar any way.
I couldn't help it...I was emailed this link last night and thought the guys and girls that I put through some of our stuff would get a kick out of it.

5 paragraphs down under the nice ladies in the pretty frocks...it's you guys...you're famous...and now you can't say to me 'Why is it only us that have to do this?'...because now people all over the world (well..in Boston anyway) are sharing your pain.

27 comments:

Matt said...

Thanks for opening this area up Will. Cutting to the chase...

I have a person, lets call him Matt for arguments sake ;) he is attempting to add some LBM currently. At this time he would normally be in season for soccer (football) but due to a few things is unable to play this year but still has performance there as a loose focus. He also boxes recreationally and staying fit is a high priority for him. Also he is vain and likes being lean - currently very lean @ high8-9%BF though this is up from his previous training block where conditioning was hte only goal and lifting was maintenance only. Current Stats: 5'11, 76kg, 8-9%BF

During this conditioning phase, he was training a lot. Mon/Wed/Fri were fullbody lifting with 3-4 main lifts done heavy at 3x4-5 then a finisher of high intensity circuits (BW stuff, DB swings, burpees, jump rope etc) done for 15-20min. In the evenings on Mon/Wed/thurs and Sat monring boxing for 60-90min. Tues/thurs/sun mornings were dedicated conditioning sessions. generally 30-45 high intensity interval/circuit style work.

So thats the recent training history. A hand injury halted a good deal of this (mainly the boxing but the rest was held constant) and now he is looking for some growth.

New program is upper/lower 3x a week in ABABA fashion.

Lower:
Dead Lift/Leg press (alternating each session) 4x5 then 1x10
Leg press/Cambered Deadlift (alternating as well) 3x10
Bulg Split Squat 2x8 SS w/
Seated Calf Raise 2x12 SS w/
Cable Crunch 2x10
Cycling post lifting for 30min. 30-45sec done at good resistance (RPE=7/10) 60-45sec done easy (RPE= 3/10) with 5min cool down inc in the 30min

Upper:
Hammer Chins 4x4 1x10
Dips 4x5 1x10
Seated Row 3x8 SS w/
DB OHP 3x8
Bicep 1x6 > 1x10-12
tricep 1x6 > 1x10-12 dropsets

On tues/thurs/sat it is either active recovery for 40-60min pending mood or HIIT on bike or a high intensity circuit style workout (30-40min) or steady state cardio done moderate inesnity for 40-50min. I am trying not to put high intensity stuff before or after leg days to aid recovery there.

hand still hasnt healed 100% so no punching as of yet but a pretty high activity level outside the gym and will be incorporating some boxing likely thurs evening/sat morning when its ok.

Sample week was:
Sun: rest
Mon: Upper
Tues: High intensity circuit
Wed: Lower DL focus
Thurs: AR
Fri: Upper
Sat: HIIT
Sun:AR
mon: Lower Leg Press focus
Tues: SS cardio 50min total (30min row, 20min elliptcial)
Wed:Upper
Thurs: HI circuit or AR
Fri: Lower DL
Sat: Hi circ or AR pending thursdays
Sun: Rest

While growth is the focus, conditioning is still a priority.

Does the lifting seem enough volume? previously found good strength gains on low reps 3-4x3-4.

Conditioning seem over the top? Work capacity is quite good as you;d imagine from the previous program but tyring hard not to let an addiction of sorts to High intensity work be detrimental to strength.

Comments would be appreciated. Been running this for 3 weeks or so now and had some strength gains and some slight weight increase. Still quite lean. Weigh in is in about hour actually.

Thanks a lot,
Matt

Will Heffernan said...

Matt,

I have a person, lets call him Matt for arguments sake ;) he is attempting to add some LBM currently.
Are you? Are you really? Because from the looks of your training program it sure doesn't look like it.

I always break things down in block as in goals for the block...you can't get bigger, leaner, fitter and faster all at once...well...not without some external assistance.

I want to try with this blog and my posts and answers to give people real examples...AS was pretty lean....he was just like a lot of young athletes I see...he'd train everyday and he'd do everything...when he came to me for coaching he must have told me about 50 times that he couldn't put on weight....that he trained non stop and ate everything in site...his program as you can see went from doing everything all the time to doing 3 sessions a week...that's it...no cardio...no intervals...3 sessions a week....basically a deadlift day with some upper body stuff and a bench day with a load of squats and a full body repetition day...he's basically put on 5kgs of weight in a month and dropped body fat...isn't that what you want to do? I think you should focus on getting AB and AB done each week and nothing but active recovery/cardio maintainance. Focus on the I have a person, lets call him Matt for arguments sake ;) he is attempting to add some LBM currently. for just 4 weeks...you are not going to suddenly get unfit and see where that moves the scales and body fat to? I know you'll probably ignore me because you are mentally deranged...I've a lot of athletes like that...so I'm used to it...but eventually when they finally get sick of falling on their face and realise that they can't out think me when it comes to training and just shut up and do what they are told...things magically improve.

AS was a lot like you...I'm going to make him come here and comment as part of his therapy and tell you what he thinks about what he's doing now as opposed to what he was doing when he thought he was smarter than me.

Focus on 4 quality weight sessions a week and take it easy with everything else...if you have to....do some really high intensity stuff but do it for much shorter durations than you've outlined...believe me...you are not going to suddenly get unfit.

Matt said...

haha yeah. Guess i was hoping you wouldnt say that. Deranged I am.

I dont have any trouble gaining though and have no issues with eating more (typing b/w mouthfuls of ice cream actually). I was wondering if it would simply be a matter of eating plenty as im fresh for each session and not feeling any ill effects from the higher intensity stuff as the volume and frequency on that is waaay down.

I guess the main fear hindering things is fear of losing conditioning - cos it wasnt easy to get. Fatness (whilst a slight mental barrier) isnt the real hurdle, its the not wanting to lose fitness.

All lifts have improved from starting and i suppose i should clarify that im not looking to put on heaps of weight. Just 5kgs or so and that is at the upper end of what i'd like

Will Heffernan said...

haha yeah. Guess i was hoping you wouldnt say that. Deranged I am.
You were hoping I wouldn't...but knew that I would...but that is only because it's true and you can't face it.
I dont have any trouble gaining though and have no issues with eating more (typing b/w mouthfuls of ice cream actually). I was wondering if it would simply be a matter of eating plenty as im fresh for each session and not feeling any ill effects from the higher intensity stuff as the volume and frequency on that is waaay down.
OK...I'm going to say this evening though I know some labcoat is going to tear me a new hole...yes, eating plenty is extremely important...but as importantly...I think even though you think you are fresh and feel like you are fresh...you are wasting energy recovering from those 'extra' sessions that you could be using to grow. To bring it back to AS as an example...he could easily train every day...but that's not the point...3-4 sessions a week and eat.
I guess the main fear hindering things is fear of losing conditioning - cos it wasnt easy to get. Fatness (whilst a slight mental barrier) isnt the real hurdle, its the not wanting to lose fitness.
I just don't think that if even if you halve the volume of your 'extra' stuff that you'd suffer fitness or fatness wise and it would be more than off set by your gains lean muscle mass wise...and isn't that your goal?
All lifts have improved from starting and i suppose i should clarify that im not looking to put on heaps of weight. Just 5kgs or so and that is at the upper end of what i'd like.
I know exactly what your saying...but why take 12 weeks to do it when you can do it in 6 weeks and spend the next 6 week block 'cardioing' the bejesus out of yourself while doing and eating enough to maintain the mass and strength you've gained?

Matt said...

You were hoping I wouldn't...but knew that I would...but that is only because it's true and you can't face it.

Yea i suppose it is a matter of sucking it up. I know if prescribing a LBM gaining phase for someone else I wouldnt let them do so much conditioning. But im different surely? (i know i know)

I think even though you think you are fresh and feel like you are fresh...you are wasting energy recovering from those 'extra' sessions that you could be using to grow.

Exactly why i wouldnt prescribe it to others. Guess i figured my work capacity was so high i could get away with though knowing intellectually it was too much.

I know exactly what your saying...but why take 12 weeks to do it when you can do it in 6 weeks and spend the next 6 week block 'cardioing' the bejesus out of yourself while doing and eating enough to maintain the mass and strength you've gained?

fair call and right again. Fun when we know the answer but just need a kick in the arse in to put us on the right track and stop being morons.

Ok, so hows this sound:

Sun: Rest/AR
Mon: Lower (Deadlift focus 4x5+reps on leg press 3x10+unilateral something for 2x8 + calves 2x12. Bit of cardio warm up/cool down
Tues: Upper (Chin + Dip dominant 4x4-5+ lighter rows+ OHP (3x8)some arms) Bit of warm up/cool down
Wed: HIIT
Thurs: Lower (leg press focus 4x5+reps RDL, unilateral 2x8, calves) Cardio warm/cool
Fri: Upper (OHP+Row focus, lighter chins + DB Press + arms)
Sat: SS/AR

the alternative would be keeping things the same but just swapping out the HI stuff for SS work except maybe a brief 10min type thing done HI before some SS on maybe 1 day a week.

Well a lot of time wasted getting to where i knew i'd end up but any comments on the above?

Will Heffernan said...

Matt,
Can I first say that I completely and whole heartedly agree with you agreeing to everything I said.

Secondly, I like the new split more...just before you start...write down all the gym/strength stuff on one piece of paper...and keep that...it's perfect...then write down all the conditioning stuff that you are still going do because your an idiot deep down and just won't listen no matter how much sense it makes to the logical part of your brain...and half it...and we should be fine then.

Let us know how you get on.

Matt said...

Alrighty. Done.

Lifting Upper/Lower 4x a week M/T/T/F. W= steady state rather than the intervals i wanted. Saturday shall be higher intensity stuff as i get sunday off or AR before lifting again on mon.

+ food.

Bri said...

Will-

You mentioned over on Lyle's board a while back a particular kind of bench designed for chest-supported barbell rows. I was wondering if you had one in your current gym and if you had any pictures of it...

Thanks,

Brian

Matt said...

Will,

I tried out you're under/over mobility warm up for legs today and enjoyed it. Thanks - also didnt do any cardio! Then ate cocopops, i know you know what im talkin bout

Will Heffernan said...

Brian,
I did really want one as you can well imagine...(ahhhh do you remember the fight that Aaron and I had over bench rowing and the bench row bench? I thought he was such an idiot back then...who'd of thought I'd turn out to be so right)but when I was fitting out the facility I had the building size to deal with....so every piece of equipment in there now is there because it gets used every day and because it fits. As a compromise I got a chest support row instead which servers primarily the same purpose. If you go back to the main page of the blog and scroll down to 'The good The bad and The Ugly and take a look at the 2nd of the reverse band bench video's you'll see the chest supported row just behind the spotter on the right.
Everyone uses it and they use it all the time.

Will Heffernan said...

Matt,
Good work on the over's and under's....I'm sure you looked like a complete tool doing them. I will actually do a little video for you on how I coach their execution and how I like to see them done.

How good were the cocopops? I bet they were delightful?

Matt said...

A video would be greatly appreciated. I was going to ask about the prescription for them in terms of sets/reps each way. I did 2x10 each way and felt that was enough for me (amongst some other light dynamic stuff). Pretty sure i did them quite well as it really opened my hips up - I have had issues with the glute/hamstring insertion before but this really got in there and i felt it warm up nicely.

Cocopops were (and always are) glorious. I went crazy though and mixed in some cheerios. Wise move. If both are good, together they are great - just like my vodka+guacomole

Bri said...

Ah, I see it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

As a recreational athlete, I am looking to improve my conditioning while maintaining relative strength and lbm (both of which I am happy with and do not want to add to at this time).
During the summer, I play basketball and flag football quite frequently (once or twice a week). While the competition is not anything like high level collegiate sports, it is very good and I am always looking to compete at my highest level. I know doing well is very much dependent on actual skill level, but I want to be well-conditioned for the games.

Goals: Improve conditioning, maintain strength, and lbm.

Current training split looks like this:

Weight Sessions (Mon/Fri)

Monday:
Warm-up: 10 min on Bike
Mobility: Over-unders, leg swings (side to side, front to back), Scap-pushups…
Db bench press: 2 or 3 warm ups followed by 2x5,1x8
Cable row: 2 or 3 warm ups folled by 2x5,1x8
Front Squat:2 or 3 warm ups followed by 2x5,1x8
Core work: Weighted Crunches and weighted back extensions, 2x5-8
Arms: Db curls 1x8, Reverse curls 1x8, Push-downs 2x8
Conditioning: Inverted Rows x 15, Pushups x 15, Goblet Squats x15
repeat 3x

Friday:
Warm-up: Same as above
Mobility: Same as above
Pull-ups: 2 or 3 warm-up sets, 2x5,1x8
Over-head press: same
Deadlift/Rdl: same
Arms: Db curls 1x10, reverse curls 1x10, close-grip dips 2x10
Core: woodchops/reverse woodchops
Conditioning: band-assisted pullups x15, db over-head press x15, pull-throughs x 15, repeat 3x

Tues/Thurs: Tempo Runs
30 Secs(75%) 30 secs(walk)continued for about 20-25 min

Saturday:GPP
Warm-up: 5min jog, jumping jacks
Mobility: Arm circles,leg swings, etc. (10 min max)
Some type of mixture of keg carries, push-ups, band rows, squats, burbees, jumping jacks, with 1 min work/rest ratios
Cooldown: 5-10min jog/walk then stretch

Wednesday: Active Recovery, 20-25 min bike ride, low intensity

Sun: Off or maybe a leisurely walk

Two or three times a week I do the 20 min program, from the Yoga for Regular Guys book that Shaf recommended at BR.com

Question: Would it make any sense to make one of my weight workouts more explosive? Such as speed bench, squat, deadlift, etc.

Ok, everyone please feel free to have at. I am a relative neophyte when it comes to this stuff, so please feel free to tear it apart (that’s why I put it here). However, if you are going to bash my program, do me the favor of suggesting how to make it better. Thanks.

-Andrew

Artie said...

Have you guys ever done Cosgrove's Leg Matrix? Do you have any times? Thanks

Will Heffernan said...

Andrew,
Your program looks fine...how's it working out for you?

Artie,
We were doing stuff the lines of 'Alwyn's Leg Matrix' long before Alwyn ever 'invented' it.

But no, we never time it.

Anonymous said...

Its working well, or at least from what I can tell. Aside from my from weekly basketball or football games I dont have much in the way of assessing how I am progressing. After seeing what you do with your athletes, I am considering doing some of my conditioning work on the Concept II at my gym as it might afford me a way of tracking progress on a session by session basis. With regard to strength and lbm, everything has stayed constant. The more I think about it though, perhaps I could start focusing on achieving the "benchmarks" you have for your athletes, i.e., bench,deadlift, squat, compared to their weight. Aslo, working on the number of push-ups and inverted rows I can complete in a minute. This might make my strength training more goal-oriented, which, would be nice, considering maintenance is somewhat boring. My goal is to be a "good athlete", I know that is a vague term, but you mentioned in one of your posts about trying achieve this with your athletes and then letting their coaches work on the more sport-specific stuff. Anyway, thanks for your response. Your blog is really interesting, I enjoy seeing what your athletes are doing and to see the specifcs of their training.

-Andrew

Will Heffernan said...

Its working well, or at least from what I can tell. Aside from my from weekly basketball or football games I dont have much in the way of assessing how I am progressing.
You really should find a way...any way...whether that be a 2km time trial on the rower, 10km bike ride on the bike...I'm sure you can find something that you can do every month that mirrors your training goals in some way?
After seeing what you do with your athletes, I am considering doing some of my conditioning work on the Concept II at my gym as it might afford me a way of tracking progress on a session by session basis.
Absolutely. If you're not assessing you're guessing. Assessment of any sort gives your training a focus.
With regard to strength and lbm, everything has stayed constant. The more I think about it though, perhaps I could start focusing on achieving the "benchmarks" you have for your athletes, i.e., bench,deadlift, squat, compared to their weight. Aslo, working on the number of push-ups and inverted rows I can complete in a minute. This might make my strength training more goal-oriented, which, would be nice, considering maintenance is somewhat boring. My goal is to be a "good athlete", I know that is a vague term, but you mentioned in one of your posts about trying achieve this with your athletes and then letting their coaches work on the more sport-specific stuff. Anyway, thanks for your response. Your blog is really interesting, I enjoy seeing what your athletes are doing and to see the specifcs of their training.
Glad you are enjoying it as much as I'm enjoying that other people are finding it annoying...it's a no lose situation for me.

Anonymous said...

Will, I wasn't really sure where to post this, so sorry if its in the wrong place.
I was just wondering what you have your athletes do for stretching/flexibility work. You commented on the mobility stuff done before their training but what do you have them do with regard to static stretching?
Thanks.

-Andrew

Will Heffernan said...

Andrew,
I prescribe flexibility work if its needed. I'm a 'if it ain't broken...don't fix it' kind of guy. In that I don't mind people having bad flexibility so long as it is bad all over and I don't mind it being bad as long as they have enough functional flexibility for their sport.
A case is point...Fanj...who posts here just finished a very targeted flexibility routine...he got noticeably quicker...as in...people noticed he was quicker and commented...I will see if I can get him to come and post what he did and how he found it effected him.

Anonymous said...

Will,

That makes sense. Thanks.

-Andrew

FANJ said...

Andrew

As will mentioned me in his last post i had a flexibility problem in my hips and quads so it was affecting my running. I play on the wing in rugby but i wouldnt be the fastest winger in the world more a shane horgan type player big strong and fairly fast. i have always had a short running style so i wasnt getting a full range in my sprinting. My dad and I met with Will to talk about it after a few tests he knew the problem straight away and made a progam for me. it consisted of different stretchs for my quads and hip. I might get Will to put up a video of the different stretchs. we set a goal to get my stride long in 4 weeks in that four weeks doing my special warm up b4 weights and pitch training we got about 8inches plus on my stride and even to the extend that the paper in a match report called me the "Quick Darragh Fanning" which was a first for me it also improved my game by giving me more cofidence to take people on the outside etc. we still have some of the movement training in my latest progam and hope to get another inch or two over the summer. if you have any questions this just ask and we may get a video done tonite in the gym!

FANJ

Will Heffernan said...

Fanj,
Great work...this is exactly what I want this blog to be used for...to put people directly in touch with athletes such as yourself.
We'll do exactly what you suggested this afternoon/evening at training.
Well done mate.

Anonymous said...

Fanj,

Thanks so much for all the detail. I'd love to take a look at the stuff you did, so when you and Will get a chance to film and post it please do so.
Thanks.
-Andrew

Mike Newk said...

Did you guys ever post the stretching program/video that fanj used? Its easy to get lost here.

Will Heffernan said...

Mike Newk said...

Did you guys ever post the stretching program/video that fanj used? Its easy to get lost here.
I didn't do it...I will put it on my to do list...actually I will just try and remember it because I don't actually have a to do list.

Sami said...

I think your to do list is stil missing this stretching program?