Monday, May 19, 2008

We had our first casualty



This is was happened in the gym tonight...only instead of water picture a huge pile of dumbbells and instead of a hurdle picture a 42 inch plyo box...it's always the last rep that gets you.

As is my want...I'm going to drag this post out over the next 2 or 3 hours. I want to answer some of my homework questions because I think they are interesting and also give you an update on HH's program. It was heaving in the gym tonight...we are already having to make plans to expand the facility which is an excellent thing to be forced into before we're even finished putting the finishing touches to our new HQ.




















Oh my God...did anyone else just see that mouse?

HH did a session tonight...warmed up and and worked on his hip mobility...then front squatted a heap of triples, did some high rep RDL's...poorly at first...but got better...he has hip, glute and hamstring issues that we are going to hammer away at over the next few weeks. He then did some heavy cable lower ab curls and then worked up to some heavy 5RM's on his rack pulls...still haven't decided exactly how I'm going to put his program together...but as soon as I know...you'll know.

Homework Questions

From Ian:
Hi Will,

Reviewing Johnny's next 4 week training cycle the things that stick out for me are...

low volume vertical pull (neutral grip pull in session 1)


Yes, well spotted. I don't really do the whole vertical pull, horizontal pull, vertical push and horizontal push stuff in the way that most do...I'm trying to think of a way to put this that isn't going to lead to more confusion...can I ask a question instead....if I'm standing and have my arms extended directly in front of me...as in...I have my arms in the horizontal push position...if I start raising them up towards an extended vertical push position at what angle do I leave horizontal pushing and start vertical pushing? Is it 45 degrees? If I raise them 44 degrees from the horizontal push position is it one group of muscles working and after another 2 degrees at 46 degrees of elevation past the horizontal is a different set of muscles working? What about vertical pulling and horizontal pulling? Where's the line drawn...what about the exercise in the video below...is this vertical or horizontal pulling?


Horizontal or Vertical Pulling?
I've seen plenty of articles about equalising volume and I know some people take the sets and reps and multiply it by the load...but seriously...do you not think this is a little extreme? I do look for 'balance' but I am a little more general. To give you another example...Johnny hasn't done any vertical pressing at all....none...but do you think he couldn't if I asked him to?

So to actually answer the question...yes, the vertical pulling is low BUT he is getting plenty of other back 'stress' that will have the 'effect' that I'm looking for from all the chest supported, DB and inverted rows he's doing along with the stress on his lats doing the heavy snatch grip rack pulls he has in Session 3. Does that make sense?

low volume vertical push (no strict vertical pushing but you've got incline DB oress in session 3)

Like I said...if I have them do this at 46 degrees does that count as vertical pushing?

high volume of both horizontal push and pull...more push volume than pull

Can I just say...one of the reasons that I like push ups is not for the horizontal pushing but for the scapular stability and control element.

low volume quad dominant...actually no volume...or have I missed something glaringly obvious? :)

low volume hip dominant...just the DB RDL's and rack pulls


I know you cleared this up in your later post...yes, this is all about the knee.

I'm not really asking any questions :)...just observing...high volume of upper body work against low volume lower body.

As an aside, I think the reason I'm not asking anything specific is because I tend to ask questions about little things like...why 5 x 15 of this, or why this exercise in particular, or why pair these two exercises and do straight sets of these...and I'm wary of being seen to be not looking at the bigger picture. So without asking you to go through the program line by line, what is the main train of thought...the big picture if you will.


I like supersetting accessory work for 3 reasons...1. I gets the work done faster. 2. It is quicker. 3. It takes less time.

The blast strap stuff targetting scap stability I guess?

Absolutely.

The thing that really strikes me is the shear volume of work...5 sets of 10, 12 or 15 reps...and I still can't tell what kind of loads you would prescribe for each set relative to 1RM. Johnny is a chunky guy...already carrying some bulk.

Most of these guys have quite a young training age...I would say most of my beginners and less experienced trainers probably do triple the volume of some of my advanced trainees. You'd think it would be the opposite wouldn't you? But the more experienced trainees actually KNOW how to empty the tank...a lot of these guys don't as of yet...they'll learn though...so for now I make up for that fact with repetition and volume...if they trained more intensely I'd give them less to do...but they don't...so they get it heaped on and I get to stress them through volume rather than intensity...does that answer your question?

3 comments:

Matt said...

Well as hilarious as that video is, hope the injured party is in fact not injured - unless there is video of the stack... then it is worth it

Will Heffernan said...

I sooooo wish I had it on video. I was so sure it was going to me that would be the first to fall. It was hard, ugly and one of those falls that was as painful to hear as it was to see....there is something about the sound of the human body coming into contact with a variety of oddly shaped and stacked yet extremely hard inanimate objects.

ian said...

if I'm standing and have my arms extended directly in front of me...as in...I have my arms in the horizontal push position...if I start raising them up towards an extended vertical push position at what angle do I leave horizontal pushing and start vertical pushing? Is it 45 degrees? If I raise them 44 degrees from the horizontal push position is it one group of muscles working and after another 2 degrees at 46 degrees of elevation past the horizontal is a different set of muscles working? What about vertical pulling and horizontal pulling? Where's the line drawn

I think the movement classification isn't perfect...but it's a good start...and I think it gives some indication as to which movements...and muscles...are more dominant in a given plane.

yes, the vertical pulling is low BUT he is getting plenty of other back 'stress' that will have the 'effect' that I'm looking for from all the chest supported, DB and inverted rows he's doing along with the stress on his lats doing the heavy snatch grip rack pulls he has in Session 3. Does that make sense?

I can see he is getting stress in the back...but I figured that the higher volume of rows would give a lot of stress to the mid traps and rhomboids...and the rows less stress to the lats than the pulls since the pulls over more ROM...extension from full extension. But then...I wouldn't want to labour the point and I think I understand your point about creating the stresses you want to create the training effect you're after.

one of the reasons that I like push ups is not for the horizontal pushing but for the scapular stability and control element.

I'd really like you to cover this scapular control issue in more depth. What training cues are you using with the athletes...when is allowing movement, or restricting movement, of the scapula the right thing to do and in which circumstances?

Are you a fan of the pushup plus?

Most of these guys have quite a young training age...I would say most of my beginners and less experienced trainers probably do triple the volume of some of my advanced trainees. You'd think it would be the opposite wouldn't you? But the more experienced trainees actually KNOW how to empty the tank...a lot of these guys don't as of yet...they'll learn though...so for now I make up for that fact with repetition and volume...if they trained more intensely I'd give them less to do...but they don't...so they get it heaped on and I get to stress them through volume rather than intensity...does that answer your question?

This is the sort of answer only an experienced coach can give and it is insights like these I like...since it explains some of the thinking behind the program design.