Thursday, May 15, 2008

I know I said I'd only update my blog once a day...but I'm over that.

I got them following email this morning from Matthew Perryman:

I lose the internet for a few weeks and you sell out? I knew it was coming.

Good reading though, I figured it'd mostly be drunken insults and incoherent ranting.

Here's a question for you if you want to tackle it:

When you've got a particular strength goal in mind, say the bench press or deadlift is lacking by 20-40kg off what you'd like it to be, how'd you go about setting up your cycles for that over time? What I'm getting mentioned awhile back that you had a guy that had just benched around 150kg and you expected him to hit 180kg in the near future -- what kind of setup are you using to make that happen? I've got a good idea of what you'll say, I think, but I'd like to see you actually flesh it out.

Firstly, let me just say that Perryman doesn't have a clue what I'd say...if he did...he'd have a blog like me and not a stupid website.

Secondly, these are the sort of questions I want for this blog? Because this is exactly what I want to do. If you ask me a question I'm not going to give you a lecture on muscle physiology or nerve innovation...we all have copies of Supertraining (some people I know have even read it) and if you want that sort of information you can get works pretty much everywhere in the can use it to get those answers as well.

I'm also not going to give you a break down of differing training philosophies and methodologies or any of that crap. I'm going to tell you and show you exactly what I ACTUALLY do and I'm going to give you the details of where we start and where we finish the training cycles. I want to show you the people actually doing the work. I want to discuss the issues and problems that arise in planning and implementing a training cycle...because we all know...sometimes life gets in the way...and we'll deal with that as well. I'll show you where we end up at the end of a training cycle and also answer any questions that get posted about anything to do with the training cycle along the way.

Now I know some of you are sitting there saying to yourselves...'Will...why the hell are you crapping on about this in your blog you idiot?'...the reason I'm doing it is because I want anyone who does happen to read it to know where I'm planning on going with it. I'm not going to write articles or publish research reviews...and some of the questions like this one that Perryman asked is not going to be answered in a nice pretty fashion.

I'll lay out the can follow it's implementation and I'll show you the results.

I'd also like feedback from anyone who's reading this regarding what it is you think I should show along the way. I'm undecided as to the best way to get things across?

Here's what I'm thinking...I'll give the stats and background as I have to in height weight and testing scores at the start...layout the program and then test at the end. What I'm fuzzy about is what people want to see between the start and the finish? Do I actually post some of their key sessions? What they did and how they went? Do I give a weekly update? Do people want to see them performing key in see examples of their set and reps so you can see what their form and execution is like? What about the that something people are interested in how I coach the lifts? I'm planning to try a bit of everything anyway and try to figure out what works best as far as conveying the information that people might find interesting. I'm just saying...even people tell me what they want...that might speed up the process and give a bit better structure to how I get information across?

So it is up to you guys....if you want to sit back and read the blog and just let it develop into the inevitable 'train wreck' that we all know it will in all likely hood it will become then that is fine.

If on the other hand you want to get into the 'lets give him rope to hang himself' mindset then that would be even better.

The way this blog develops or doesn't will be as much in the hands of the people who bother to read it as it will be mine. I'm OK with either...I just think it would be better if people actually said what they wanted to see or know about.

Anyway...the reason for this post is that I got a call last night from an Irish Colleges Rugby representative player. The purpose of the call was discuss doing almost exactly what Perryman was enquiring about....he wants to get his deadlift and squat up...this guy is already a great athlete with a extensive training history...I've never worked with him before other than to have given him a little advice in the past...I've never written a program for him before or coached him so we are starting off fresh. short...I thought this might make a good 'project' for the blog? So...if you are interested in this...let me know what you want to know?


Cormac said...

This sounds great, use the athlete!

Do I actually post some of their key sessions?
What they did and how they went?
Do I give a weekly update? Do people want to see them performing key in see examples of their set and reps so you can see what their form and execution is like?
What about the that something people are interested in how I coach the lifts?

Ben said...

yes to all as well, particular emphasis on teh coaching aspect though ie:

1. what it is you are looking for from session to session. we all know what the goal will be and ways of getting there, but what you are looking for on a day to day week to week basis (where things usually get fuzzy) so that you have an idea of wether they are on track to reach the goal, and what changes you make on the fly where to cut back where to add etc etc if that all makes sense

2. how you get the guy to go through with the plan, you write the plan and he has to do it, but how do you coach him through the plan and what makes that different from you just emailing me a plan and me going away and doing it and retesting in a month... again if that makes sense

sorry its late

Artie said...

First off, yesterday was a low point in the blog's life with this holding back crap -- I almost HAD TO WORK instead!!

I was thinking why I like the blog besides your style: at least for now, the possibility to peek into actual work in progress on a daily basis with written and video'ed accounts is great. I mean DeFranco posts a few seconds of clip twice a month, but it' not the same.

Q: do you experience shoulder issues with bar benches, how does that factor in?

mimo said...

Hell yes to all aspects of practical coaching. I think we are all fed up with theory(i know i am), when the interesting part is "how do i make this work?".

I'm interested in knowing how will you plan the blocks for the athlete in question.As in, will you use the 4 week blocks and test between them, or, since your after a particular goal, will you extend the time frame?

I could see myself using 2-3 blocks focusing on squatting(testing at the end each to see what's going on), then, take advantage of the possible overlap and pursue the deadlift.
This is very symplistic,of course.

DVSkike said...

Screw the once per day BS. I like where this is going. Someone who actaully trains athletes posting interesting ideas without self important assgrabbery No Shit.This may be a first. Carry On Will.

Paul said...

posting a key session a week and a weekly update would be awesome.

also how you would balance maintaining conditioning for rugby while increasing that guys squat and DL.

ian said...


I want more, not less, so post as and when you feel like it.

PMDL's question is one I had thought about posting too, because you almost made it seem that improving a bench press by, what, 30Kg in a matter of weeks was a given. For some people, that's a big ask.

Will Heffernan said...

Thanks for the feedback...I will just keep on ploughing on and I suppose we can modify it as we go.

Funny you should comment on 'my style' someone commented in a mail that I had no style....I had to explain that having no style WAS my style.

Also I will definitely go over the shoulder issue re benching...that is post worthy and I'll do it in my detail and give you my thoughts on it.

Re the bench press is a case by case basis...JM is a strong lad...who thankfully for me had really bad technique and some major weaknesses and imbalances...all I've really done is tidy him up and iron out the problems and enabled him to properly express his strength...he just makes me look good.

Matt said...

Would love to see how you plan to approach the training of said athlete. initial strategy, markers you look for tha will necessitate changes/alterations to the plan and means of assessing progress mid program

Will Heffernan said...

I'm all over it right now.