Monday, June 30, 2008

The Red Dragon

I just want to say that I was really pleased tonight. Fergus has worked his hole off this last 7 weeks and he got the returns tonight.

He tested last on the 6th of May and his results were as follows:

Weight - 107.2kg
Height - 196cm

Bench - 95kg
Pull Ups - 4reps
Push Ups - 33reps
Inverted Rows - 24reps
Squats (100kg) - 11 reps

He tested tonight and his results were as follows:

Weight - 108.8kg
Height - 196cm

Bench - 110kg
Pull Ups - 11reps
Push Ups - 48reps
Inverted Rows - 30reps
Squats (100kg) - 15reps (I stop the test at 15reps)
Trap Bar Deadlift - 220kgs


I know the forms not great...Fergus knew his form wasn't great...get over it...we don't train like that...but in testing I just want to see it get up.

As I explained to him early this month he's in danger of looking and performing like an athlete.

I'm going to leave the rest of the stuff I was going to post till another day...I want Fergus to actually tell people a bit about how he found his program. What he liked and what he hated and I also want to know how he thought he was going to get on in his testing tonight.

I'm glad that he did really well because he turned up...did what he was told...and did it the way he was told to do it...he doesn't only hear what I tell him but he actually listens....which makes my job sooo much easier. Aside from the fact that he is the worst DJ in the gym he's been a real asset.

If you think this thread has turned into bit of a 'love in' let me give you an idea of how things usually work...Hugh and I were discussing Goose's results. I was saying how impressed I was with his Pull Ups...I said 'I am not really one for giving....' as I paused to look for the right word Hugh jumped in to help me out and said 'Encouragement, praise, incentive, reassurance, help...' before he could continue I managed to say...'...easy reps in testing'.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not every coach can be this good

I'd like to congratulate Darren.

He tested on the 11th of May and recorded the following:
Weight: 93.7kg
Bodyfat: 18.6%
Bench: 110kg
Pull Ups: 8 reps
Push Ups: 55 reps in 60 seconds
Inverted Rows: 25 reps in 60 seconds
Squats: He managed 15 reps with 95kg's easy and was I stopped him there.

He tested again on the 26th of June and recorded the following:
Weight: 94.2kg
Bodyfat: 15.4%
Bench: 100kg
Pull Ups: 6 reps
Push Ups: 38 reps in 60 seconds
Inverted Rows: 24 reps in 60 seconds

At this stage I stopped the testing...I didn't even want to imagine what he was going to deadlift...I'm actually surprised he was strong enough to carry his own bag to and from the gym.

The only thing that could of made his testing better would be if he'd managed to get fatter and lighter.

At this rate he should he recording negative scores by the end of the year.

I don't even know where to start.

This week has been a nightmare technology wise. I'm sitting here with my laptop...which Damian thankfully tidied up...he thinks that it's performance may have been hampered by the 3,000+ errors he found on it along with the 7000+ registry errors...I don't know though...I still say that the problem was voodoo.

Anyway...so while the laptop is back up and running decently I'll spend a bit of today catching up on the last weeks fun and games.

Fresh Meat
Firstly I want to welcome all the new recruits that started this week...the guys and the gals. I think after Wednesday's testing and Friday's training session the new guys may be spending the weekend wondering what they've got themselves into...don't worry guys...it gets much much worse.

A new member of my family

As close as I'm planning on getting to having a baby.

I know you guys don't care about this...but you just have to sit through it as the price you pay for reading the blog.

Testing
Every week I try to find some way to test/torture the guys for my own amusement...it is power, strength or endurance orientated. I tend to cycle the types of tests...mainly so they keep coming to the gym rather than laying at hope shaking and crying under their bed covers.

This week's test was on the Concept II rower and has left some players in need of psychological counselling. Everyone who came through the door had to get on the rower and empty themselves...it was 6 efforts of 30 seconds endeavouring to cover maximum distance with each effort with 30 seconds of recovery between efforts....sounds easy enough?


I don't think this guy thought it was easy?

What I look for here is the first time...I want to see a real expression of power...some have it and some don't...if you don't have it...you need to get it. Then I look at the forth time...to see the drop off and the total distance covered. I think a great score is around 200 on the first and over 1000m's in total.

I won't post all the times...but I'll give you some of them.

Fanj and Damian set the standard...now I'll get the excuses in for the boys before they start bitching and moaning...firstly...Fanj has red hair...enough said...and Damian is old and well past it...need I say more.

Fanj - 204, 181, fell out of the boat...he came off the rower...we considered giving him an adjusted time...I was happy with that...as the time chosen of 170 left him 2 metres short of my total, 166, 160, 163 for a total of 1040 metres.

Damian - 202, 187, 180, 176, 171, 175 for a 1091 metre total.

Just to give you an idea of the different type of athletes and their capabilities.

Power:
Chops - 197, 150, 151, 151, 152, 153 for 955 metre total.

Endurance:
David - 171, 168, 160, 159, 158, 155 for 972 metre total.


I don't think these guys left much on the rower?

I'll leave it to the guys and gals that did the testing to tell you what they thought of it. I've plenty to say about the testing but I'll let you guys take a look at the results posted and see what you think yourselves.

Their a Concept II's everywhere...have a go at it and let us know how you get on?

Random Questions and Comments
Adrienl said...
Hi will
I have been reading this blog for a few weeks now but just finished a review of it so i knew what was posted. Now the questioning will begin (i have quite literally a whole page full of questions, so you may want to set a daily limit or something)
Just so we know i am 18, live in Sydney and want your job, and yes i do train, myself and a cricket team in the summer.
So first question, why no straight bar deadlifts, as of this moment. What advantages does the trap bar dead have over the straight bar variations.


I think Hugh covered this question pretty well in the comments section but if you have any other questions fire away.

gmoney said...
aye bro, what kinda trainin do ya'll use to get ya push-ups up real good like that? can ya post some video for me? i been tryin real hard to get em up but they're stuck at 40 in 60 seconds and i just dont kno wat to do.


If you want to do improve your push ups we approach it in different ways...it is really dependent on an individuals strengths and weaknesses. To give you a practical example...ROK when she started only did push ups on her knees and when I got her to do a 'proper' push up she couldn't do a single full chest to ground and a press to elbow lock out. What we did was work on her shoulder stability and control, improve her maximal strength, improve her upper body athletic balance and did a lot of push up variations...just about all of which were done sub maximally...I will email her and get her to tell you how she found her program...she's 16 and a basketballer so has to overcome the disadvantage she has with regard to push up of her relatively long levers...she tested on Monday and banged out 52...she's almost doubled her push up totals after each of her training cycles at each of her testing days. I'm not trying to be evasive when I say this but what we did is what coaching is all about...applying the appropriate methods, loads and variations at the right times in the right sequence. There isn't actually a 'best' way to improve your push ups. If I was pressed I'd say improve your maximal strength, do a lot of shoulder stability, mobility and control work, do a heap of sub maximal push up variations to accrue some significant volume.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We have lift off

I have my new computer...thanks go to Damian who sorted it all out for me and to Mark at HP who came through with the goods when I was ready to head down there and go absolutely postal.

Anyway...suffice to say...normal service will be resuming tomorrow hopefully.

An example of what I have to work with

This is why I tell them not to try and out think me.


This is what one athlete did with the diary I gave him.

Sorry the blog is such a dead end street. I was promised my new computer would be delivered yesterday...so naturally I'm still waiting. The battery charger for the camera has also decided to pack it in so no more vids until that is sorted out either...I'm really getting the shit end of the stick technology wise.

The good news is that I just bought this.


The worlds most impractical yet fastest commuter.

I should of taken more test rides though before I bought it.


I really didn't get the most out of my test rides.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Girls...be careful of your ovaries when you do push ups.

I've been laughing all morning...one of my athletes is just back from a training camp...one of her team mates warned her not to do push ups like the boys do because she'd damage her ovaries. That is one of the best ones I've heard in a good while.


James love square dancing...so I thought I'd get him jakt for it.


I'm thinking of inventing a tennis based martial art...James will be my Bruce Lee.

ROK tested today...poor dainty little 16 year old girl that she is...I wasn't expecting much out of her...because as we all know...weight training for girls is bad...and I was scared for the whole session that her ovaries would fall out...luckily she made it through OK and by OK I mean pulled over 1.5 times body weight on the deadlift (almost time to call Chad Waterbury and see if I can get her in the UFC), benched 45 kgs up from 37.5kg, did 52 push ups...that's sternum to hand and elbows locked out...thankfully I think her reproductive organs made it through the test in one piece...this was up from 34 reps last time, 13 inverted rows...up from 0 last time...I think those progressions I blogged about might just work...who'd of thunk it...but still no pull ups...but it was her closest 0 yet.


100kg...I accidentally wrecked the vid of her lifting 110kg...don't tell her because she'll kick my arse.

Not bad since it seems most of her other coaches I think would rather her be at home playing with dolls so she doesn't hurt herself....either that or running miles and miles...to 'get fit'. Sometimes I just don't know what to say.

As an aside I keep getting told on the internet and in emails (I'm thinking of starting another mirror blog just to post my hate mail on...it is way funnier than anything I could actually come up with) that I don't know what I'm doing and that I'm full of it and that none of my athletes are real and that none of them have actually done anything even if they were real...firstly...this will come as big surprise to a lot of athletes...secondly I just thought I better tell you guys in case you take me too seriously and actually try out for yourselves anything that has been blogged here and accidentally get fitter, stronger or leaner and then you'd be left terribly confused and disorientated about how the hell it happened...apparently the people you should really be listening to are faceless cowards who won't even post under their own names that spend 8 hours a day on-line pontificating about training and generally telling and showing everyone how brilliant and witty they are and how crap everyone else is...I just thought it best to inform you...after all...that's what this blog is all about.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Come to Ireland for your warm weather summer training


Captain Courageous doing his sprint training...Dublin, Ireland style.

As has been the case recently...I don't know how long my laptop is going to be cooperative for but I will post while I can.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

All the kings horses and all the king men couldn't do it...but I could.

DOK was in for testing today...he's a 17 year old basketballer who has basically had a 2 year off season as a result of 2 knee reconstructions...he came to get put back together again.

First testing session on the 06/05/08 he's 193cm's tall and weighed in at 92.0kg.

Squats - 2 reps
Bench - 85kg
Pull Ups - 4 reps
Push Ups - 43 reps in 60 seconds
Inverted Rows - 25 reps in 60 seconds

Today...20/05/08 he's still 193cm's tall...pretty disappointed in this actually...I thought all the basketball training I had him doing would make him taller. But he did weigh in at 95.0kg.

Squats - 11 reps (+9 reps...just in case you can't count)
Bench - 95kg (+10kg)
Pull Ups - 6 reps (+2 reps)
Push Ups - 54 reps in 60 seconds (+11 reps)
Inverted Rows - 32 reps in 60 seconds (+7 reps)

Now I have his strength almost where I want it I am going to condition the hell out of him even if it kills him.

Questions:
Pat Hodgson said...
Will - just two things:
Firstly your blog is the blog I'd write if I had the time...
maybe you should write it...at least until Monday when my new computer is supposedly being delivered.and secondly, as a boxing coach, I'll be incorporating many of the effective (read painful) gems you bring to light...I'm always glad to be able to share the pain around...it seems unfair to restrict it just to my own athletes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blogging while the blogging is good.

Start of Rant
Note: Just wanted to let all those athletes that have got 100+ reps on their push up test know that I am scrubbing all your scores....apparently what you did was impossible...I know...I know...I was as surprised as you all are to find out that what you did was impossible. So from now on I think we better all stop at 60 reps so we don't make all the internet 'fitness enthusiasts' feel bad about how pathetic they are.

This was one of my favourite quotes:
More than interesting, maybe not possible. I can imagine someone with great muscle endurance and light bodyweight getting 100 in 2 minutes, but 117 in one? I did 100 in 4:48 and I'm no slouch by any means, but I do weigh 210-215 lbs. depending on time of day. I definitely hit a wall on the last 20 or so and slowed down considerably.

How pathetic...fancy actually putting that up even if it was true. So all of you guys that saw Conor and John test saw the impossible...I suppose we should let John Ryan know that his score is getting scrubbed...I think we should draw straws...or maybe send one of the Under 20's that hasn't met him and doesn't know that he 6'6'' and 260lbs or so that his 105 in a minute is no longer going to stand...maybe we should have recorded it at the time for Ripley's Believe It or Not?

This was the really good bit:
I did 100 in 4:48 and I'm no slouch by any means, but I do weigh 210-215 lbs.

1. I'm actually wondering if we should get Rebecca to do it and record it because I'm thinking she would kick this guys arse?

2. Maybe we should make this a test...anyone that can't beat it should be kicked out of the facility till they can beat it....don't worry...I don't think there's anyone that couldn't beat it any time of day or night.

3. I think someone should actually let this guy know....actually he is a slouch.

End of Rant

Just trying to get some stuff up while I can.

I've been in the process of making at least a dozen posts only to have my machine fall over...this may yet be another one.

We had a rowing challenge...we have a couple of different challenges every week...last night it was a fatness challenge...a battle of suprailiac skinfolds...anyway..the other night it was a 500m Concept II race...here are the results.


Rowing Challenge Results.

Here are the winning splits...just to show that it was legit.



Damian Griffin's splits/results.

Plate Twisting
This is the first time James had done this exercise and he didn't do a bad job at all. You should try it...I like this exercise for a lot of reasons...it sort of combines a 'wall sit' without the wall...I like the resisted rotation...it is a great way to load the trunk. We pull the shoulders blades back and down and keep a good tight lower back arch.
As the athletes get better we both increase the loading and hold the plate further from the body...try it and tell me what you think.


Single Sided Trunk Twists.


Double Sided Trunk Twists.

Michael Sullivan said...
Well done Fanj. Only 2 seconds behind Damian.

Fanj,

Did you do a lot of conditioning work before this rowing test or does it just come naturally? This is a serious question.


Fanj is a good all round natural athlete...which I find quite annoying to say the least.

Ian said...

Some fantastic times in amongst the list.


What can I say...I'm a coaching genius. In truth I have a lot of good athletes and they work really hard for the most part and they get the results they deserve.

Will...I did the 150m and 500m time trial earlier and the results are in:

150m: 28s (100m - 18.8s)

5 minute rest

500m: 1:40.8 (100m - 18.6, 200m - 18.8s, 300m - 19.6s, 400m - 21.1s, 500m - 22.8s)

After the 500m time trial it felt like a red hot poker had been thrust through my throat...the fact I lived to tell the tale is a result as I do very little cardio conditioning let alone rowing which I have never done much of.


I can see a lot of rowing in your future.

Although I have the 2km time trial to do what do the above figures tell you...if anything :)

I want to see your 2km time when you do it...and I'll tell you what I think then. I hate online training but we'll work out a program for you and we can test again in 6 weeks or 8 weeks time.

Also, a problem I had...especially during the 500m time trial...was that in my effort to go as hard as possible my backside was lifting off the seat a bit and I found myself having to re-adjust which cost me quite a few seconds. I am obviously doing something wrong...maybe something about my technique...but niot sure what. Any ideas?

I'll get Damian to post some links to a technique video...there is a guy named Xeno Muller that actually reads the blog...maybe he can post the videos or some plugs to his DVD's here.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on plyometrics?


I get asked this question a lot...usually by people who already know what my answer is...I don't have a problem with plyometrics...they're a tool. Depends what you are looking to get out of them. Give me a specific example and I'd be happy to tell you what I think.

Damian Griffin said...

None of us knew about this test. No one was training for it. ps its a 3 second gap !!!


If I told you guys every time I was going to spring a test on you then the place would be empty on those days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Check this out

Concept II World Rankings

You should recognise the first name on the list...it's this guy.



Everyone who came into the gym tonight was thrown straight on the rower...no stretching...no warm up....just grip it and rip it. We will have to post a proper row I'll record it from start to finish as it should only take 1 min 15 secs or so from start to finish.

I just got emailed this:

The blog link is not working. That site is offering the recorded times for this season only. Anyway I did a search about and the quickest time I’ve found is these rankings going back to 2002.

500 1:14.5 40 Dwayne Adams H M USA 2006

500 1:14.8 30 Graham Benton H M GBR 2004

500 1:15.3 25 Jose Luis Sanz Ortega H M ESP 2005

500 1:19.1 31 Damian Griffin H M IRL 2008

500 1:19.5 53 Stan Vegar H M USA 2008

See if I can slip this post through without my laptop realising.

Ian was asking about how Patrick was going so I thought I'd post this and Patrick can chime in and tell you how he thinks he's going.

Patrick Crawford - Phase II
Session 1
250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Leg Press (2 w/u) 6 8
Natural Reverse Hyper 3 12
250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
1A DB Floor Press 5 8
1B Chest Supported Rows 5 8
250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Lying Tricep Extensions 3 8
Bicep Curls 3 8

Session 2
1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
Trap Bar Deadlift (2 w/u) 6 8
Seated Leg Curls 3 12
1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
1A Pulldowns 5 8
1B Push Ups 5 10
1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
Cable Bicep Curls 3 8
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 8

Session 3
Exercise Sets Reps Intensity
8 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Step Ups 5 5
45 deg Back Extensions 3 12
6 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
1A Swiss Ball DB Chest Press 8 5
1B DB Rows 8 5
4 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Bridging (secs) 3 45

Patrick Crawford - Phase III
Session 1
300m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Reverse Lunges (each leg) 3 8
Push Ups & Row 3 8
300m/45sec recovery 10 sets
1A Alternating DB Press 5 8
1B DB Rows 5 8
300m/60sec recovery 10 sets
DB Overhead Tricep Extensions 3 8
DB Bicep Curls 3 8

Session 2
1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m with 60sec recovery
Squats 3 8
Seated Leg Curls 3 8
1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m with 60sec recovery
1A Pulldowns 5 8
1B Push Ups (elevated) 5 8
1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m with 60sec recovery
Cable Bicep Curls 3 8
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 8

Session 3
10 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
DB RDL’s 3 8
45 deg Back Extensions 3 12
8 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
1A Military Press 5 8
1B Barbell Rows 5 8
6 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Bridging (secs) 3 60

Sheman...part girl part incredible hulk.
ROK is going great guns...this was her last set of 5 at 90kg's for 3 reps.

Apparently 18 is too young for girls to weight train...at least that is what I was told this week...I guess that means ROK will have to stop lifting in 2 years time when she hits 18...that should be OK...because she'll be easily pulling a double body weight by then.

The biggest problem female athletes need to overcome to be successful is male coaches...and in particular the low expectations that these coaches have for their female athletes.

When I first started training ROK she did her push ups on her knees...as she was instructed by her coaches...that doesn't cut it in my gym...she does the same testing the guys do...she works as hard as they do...so why shouldn't she test like they do?

Some ones been watching too much American sport on TV

I also want to say well done to Dondon's who not only was brave enough to where a long sleeve skin tight white under armour type shirt into the gym...well he wore it into the gym and managed to with stand the ridicule and barrage of abuse for about 5 minutes before he did the right thing and covered himself up but he also managed to add 15kg to his bench press, get 3 extra pull ups, 10 extra push ups and 7 extra inverted rows...he's nursing a disc lumbar disc injury at the moment so no trap bar deadlift but a great return on his 6 weeks of hard work.

Questions:
Joel Hallström said...
Dunno what you had in mind will. I had a few questions i put in the mail I sent you.
I better go back and I will answer those for you.
But i come up with new ones all the time so...some based on todays Patrick post.
How do you perform the natural reverse hypers?

Why is Patrick doing military presses? I remember reading a blog post a while ago where you said that you havent used specific shoulder work for the last 10 years.
Things like push presses and military pressing I don't count as direct shoulder work...thing like cable side raises or DB front raises are what I consider direct shoulder work.
How do you keep track of your athletes progressions? Like how do you journal them? Do use a program or just a excel/word document?
They keep training diaries and we review them? Is that what you mean?

Mimo said:

1-You have some athletes( including yourself, if you want to call yourself an athlete) train the same movement patterns( at least similar) on consecutive days. How do you manage this? Do you like your athletes to lift away from failure point, thus not stressing the neuromuscular system as much? Or do you have them go heavy one day and just accumulate volume the other?
Yes...this is quite a good question and takes a little bit of explaining...I'm going to write a bit of a 'Principles of Training...according to Will' document as a part of a training seminar that I'm planning. I will actually post it up here when I'm finished but there is method to the madness and I don't think any of my athlete's would actually know/realise that it is supposed to be a problem/difficulty if you hadn't of blown it and let them know.
It makes sense to me, because it the real world/sports, the athletes need to exert force on consecutive days, if they are demanded. There's no "oooh, i lifted heavy yesterday, so i won't be able to play/train, using the same muscle groups, until 48hrs have passed". However, i've never seen anyone do this before, unless it's 1 heavy day and 1 technique day.
I always thought this was hysterical...I learned a long long time ago that there was a huge disconnect between what I read and what I saw...I think anyone that has worked in the area knows there are a lot of things that are different between theory and practice.

I actually think it is actually beneficial to train individual muscle groups on consecutive days...sometimes I even train the same muscle groups in individual sessions and I haven't had anyone's arms or legs fall off yet...in some rare cases some of them have even gotten jakt.


2-How do you manipulate the training sessions week to week? I mean, i like to manipulate volume,not intensity, using a "high/medium/very high/ low" scheme. How about you?
Depends whether they are doing 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 sessions a week and what their individual training goals are. Some athletes might just be doing 2 sessions a week and they might both be maximal with additional supplementary work...a heavy deadlift and bench day and a heavy squat and heavy pull up day or it could be a heavy/maximal day and an explosive day...it really just depends. I need to actually start putting up more programs and maybe it'll be a little clearer.

3- Do you load the knee drops (other than an X-vest)?
Yes, dumbbells by the side or holding a plate out in front.

4- I had more questions but i seem to have forgotten them. Next time.
This is probably a result of brain damage...does that help?

The "focused delivery" point you made today, is very very interesting, and something i have to try myself because if an athlete can't put his force in the exact movement pattern where he needs to, there will be some kind of energy waste going on. I hope this makes sense.
Exactly, and it is not that ball tossing is sport specific or a performance determining factor...it is just a demonstration of 'athletic intent' as far as I'm concerned.

Joel Hallström said...
Sweet, quick answer :) Yea exactly. What i was thinking of where how you keep track of all your athletes progressions, stength statistics and that kind of stuff.
Personally i have like 15-25 clients a week and since i do plenty of physio i have to take alot of notes on each client/patient which is very time-demanding. Usually they workout with me one session per week and then they do the other sessions by themselves and because of that they need to have their "alone sessions" written down with instructions which also takes alot of time. Some give out like pre written training logs for the athletes to fill in. Others do it by mail, some keep track of everything on papper, others use programs. Ive seen people use alot of methods but i havent seen any really good that isnt so time consuming. So after alot of bla bla my question is how do you do it?
Magic.

I'm getting taken to court

I have a 68 year old client who is going to take me to court apparently because he wants me to pay for a new wardrobe for him...he informed me today that he can't get the top button of any of his shirts done up any more...we've built a 'yoke' that is too big for his current wardrobe...I'm going to get him into a wifebeater...the solution to all wardrobe issues.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Houston, we've had a problem."

I'm having major I.T issues...I've been looking into getting a new computer...well my laptop must have heard me on the phone. It has starting playing up big time...I have a bit of a back log of stuff to log or blog or whatever the hell you want to call it....there was some real great stuff you guys are missing out on...like the best excuse I've ever had from an athlete to get out of a new program...the conversation went something like this...Me: We are starting your new program on Monday. Athlete: Will, I really can't...I'm getting circumcised. There is nothing more that I can say really...only I have marked his file as...'Unable to begin program due to unforeseen circumcision.'

Update: I seem to be winning the battle with my laptop so hopefully I will be able to do a proper update this evening. Till then keep the questions coming...that's just for Joel, Mimo and Ian who I think are 3 of the 14 people who read my blog...but it is quality of reader not quantity of reader that counts.

Updated Update: I spoke way too soon...my laptop is fighting back and it is totally kicking my arse. Anyone who wants me to be forever in their debt can check out www.dell.ie and find me the best possible deal on a desktop computer in the €1000-1400 range which will give me the best bang for my buck because I think if I don't get a new machine in the near future you guys will be able to revert to checking out the blog on a weekly basis. So feel free to email me or post the links to your recommended machines here because I'm going to get one this week before my laptop suffers permanent system failure. I'm hopefully going to be able to post a full catch up post tomorrow because their is a back log of stuff to get up and I know I have plenty of 'homework' questions to answer...so till then...make yourselves useful and find me a good machine and monitor that will handle the graphics associated with the interweb and my blog postings.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm bored with James already...how about you?

CBD- B said...
hey will, for someone like james - a tennis player - do you test for any left vs right imbalances. assuming he is stronger on the dominant side, do you then try to rebalance the imbalance (is that even a term) or accept one side will always dominate and try to tackle any issues as they arise?

also any difference in how you tackle energy system work for a tennis player? matches could last for hours, and possibly multiple matches in a day (esp if playing doubles as well as singles) and maybe every day for a week at a time for big tournaments



Part of his warm up today.

I was accused this morning of giving James too much air time. The reason this has been the case is because he's on court twice a day he trains early mornings and because a lot of my athletes either work for a living or get up only just in time for lunch it is a bit quieter at that time.

Anyway...to answer the questions.

1. Yes, I'm looking at left right imbalances...you've heard of split personality...well James has a split physicality...he has a good left side and a smashed up right side...ankle, knee, hip, wrist. We'll do two things if nothing else over the next couple of months we're working together...we'll iron out the injuries and address the imbalances that are contributing to them.

2. We will definitely be taking care of the conditioning side of his game. I have a plan forming in my head and to put it all down in writing would take hours but just keep reading along and you will see it unfold.


Can you guess which hand this guy plays his tennis with?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I promise I will make it up to you

Been busy this week but I will do a big update tonight...it will have everything...amazing physical feats, tragic and painful accidents, poor coaching, physical deformities, questions will be answered and ridiculous statements will be made...you know...the usual.

I was asked about ankle mobility work...well here is James doing some this morning...this post still isn't finished so I am going to throw it in here so people don't miss the rest of the stuff.


Ankle Mobility Work


This blokes arm is totally jakt.

Med Ball Slams

Brophy and Sexton both throw like girls.

In fairness though we've got some pretty tough girls.


She-man putting the lads to shame...give it a go and see how fast you can do it? I know James will want to lift his game after he see this.

James did his first proper session today:
Bike - 5 mins
Med Ball Lunge/Trunk Rotation - 3 sets of 8 on each side with the 5kg med ball.
Overhead Med Ball Squats - 3 sets of 10 reps with the 5kg med ball.
Box Squats and Box Jumps - Sets of 3 reps on the squats and 3 reps on the box jumps.


James doing box squats for the very first time. He's an elite athlete with novice skills which makes him particularly interesting to coach.


Does it make me a bad person just because I get so much joy out of my athletes hurting themselves?


Just to show that he can do it well and it wasn't all pain and agony.

DB Floor Press and Lying Med Ball Chest Throw - 5 work sets of 3 reps of each.


DB Floor Press and Med Ball Throw.

Pull Ups and Med Ball Throw Downs - 5 work sets of 3 reps of each.
Then we did a lot of stretching...and when I say we I mean James just groaned a lot as I bent him into various pretzel like shapes.


When I do sometimes break them Fergus is always there to put them back together again.

I'm going to post all of Rammer's work sets on his Trap Bar Deadlift. All the sets were done at 160kgs. Basically I use video a lot when coaching. I think it really helps athletes to be able to see what they are doing as well as seeing what other athletes like themselves are doing.


First Set.


Second Set.


Third Set.


Forth Set.


Fifth Set.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I love getting them fresh off the production line

I had a new project walk in today...James plays a bit of tennis and he is going to be seeing a lot of me over the next couple of months.

Today was our first meeting and we got straight to work. I want to post these up because I know already that he's one of those athletes who is going to really get stuck into whatever I give him.

We will be testing tomorrow morning...in 5hrs actually and I'll write his program for the next couple of months after we see where we are at. This morning we basically just had a bit of a look at him so I could see what I had to work with.

I'm not going to say what I think...you have a look at him and let me know what you think he needs?


We did some hurdle steps.


Going left to right.


Going right to left.

So what do you see so far?

We did a lot of ankle mobility work...it wasn't great either...but we'll sort that out as well.

Here he is doing some single leg knee drops...I can't keep my big mouth shut...this was his third set and I'd coached him through the previous two sets but some of his issues are still apparent here?


Single leg knee drops.

Then we did some blast strap push ups and inverted rows. I'm not going to pack the blog with videos but I thought I'd throw this in as James has a pretty common condition in athletes in single side dominant sports like tennis and golf.


Blast strap push ups.

I know this is cruel...but I just can't help myself.


James doing some plate shifting for the first time.


Some clapped out broken down old man doing some plate shifting.


Do you think this guy was in a hurry to get his last set over and done with?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A bit of everything today

Firstly...I am crap at dieting...more about that later.

Secondly...thank the lord that Ian is back and posting questions otherwise I wouldn't have the opportunity to crap on endlessly.

ian said...

Hi Will,

After a couple of weeks away it is good to be back catching up on the blog.

This latest entry is golden with so much good stuff going on...the detail and video really helps me to see how the session was structured and how the athletes performed. More of the same please.

Couple of questions...

What is a chest supported chest shrug?



A chest supported shrug.

Both atheletes in this session were performing reverse band bench. What factors determine your use of bands for athletes, as opposed to changing such things as sets, reps, speed of lift, grip widths, decline/incline...etc etc?

This is actually a quite difficult question to answer even though it is quite clear in my own head as to when and why I use reverse band benching. One of the reasons that I started the blog was to deal with the fact that I know that I'm actually rubbish at trying to articulate my ideas and training philosophies. I tend to get too excited and my mouth has trouble keeping up with my brain...as anyone who has had the misfortune to see me present will know. Now I'm saying this because if my answer here isn't clear or isn't what you were looking for just ask more questions...because it is not that I don't want to or can't answer them...it is just that I am crap at trying to get my thoughts across.
I'll start this way:
1. Reverse band work isn't something I do with everyone...unless you are reasonably advanced and by reasonably advanced I mean benching for example over 1.5 times your bodyweight I wouldn't bother.
2. It is something that depending on the goals of the training cycle that I would usually use not more than once a month.
3. One of the reasons I like it is because I see a lot from it. The band tension is set up to basically take nothing off at the top...so at lockout you are locking out what is loaded on the bar...this is always going to be well over 1RM. A few of the good things that come from this is that it improves athletes confidence...and you can ask any of my athletes that do it...Johnny for example is holding 220kg at the top...his 1RM is 165kg...how much more confidence do you think it gives him when he is under a 170kg 1RM attempt knowing that he can actually 'handle' 50kg's more? The other good thing is because it is supra maximal loading you see things you wouldn't pick up at lesser loads...take a look at the videos below...this is Dave missing 2 attempts...the first he misses a little on the right side...the second when he is more fatigued he misses a lot worse on that right side...the last video is his attempt at just 5kg less and it is after those first 2 attempts so he is even more fatigues and he gets it as clean as a whistle. Now, if we hadn't of been doing this...I wouldn't see it...if he didn't do the blast strap push ups...I wouldn't see it....if he wasn't doing the band pull a-parts...I wouldn't see it. If he just stretched his pecs and shoulders, did some heavy bench and some standard push ups...I wouldn't have seen it. Dave is strong enough to lift what he missed on...he just doesn't have the structural stability and coordination to display the strength he has...if he works hard and tidies that all up he'll hit some serious numbers. Same with Johnny...I haven't added 30 kgs to his bench while we've been working together...he was always strong...his technique was crap, his stability and mobility were crap...he did what he was told and worked hard and tidied that stuff up(he still has a lot of work to do) and is starting to demonstrate his real potential.


Dave's 1st miss at this weight.


Dave's 2nd miss at this weight.


Dave's 3rd attempt..just 5kg's less and no sign of missing.

This is the whole point of what I'm going on about...programs aren't worth anything...as I've said before...they're just recipes in the best cases and just lists of ingredients in the worst cases. That's why I don't care who has my programs and why I'm always happy to give them away...because unless you can coach like me you won't get the results I do...it is what I think is the funniest about all the books, articles and products in the strength and fitness communities...most of them just aren't worth the paper they are printed on...and I can't wait to produce one with all my top secret and best producing programs...anyway...I better stop now before I completely go off on a rant.

What I'd rather talk about is how useless and hopeless I am at dieting. I dieted hard and stupidly in the first week and not so hard yet just as stupidly in the 2nd week. As with last week I wanted to use today to discuss what I've learned, what went well and what went poorly.

1. Dieting hard didn't work for me...mainly because I just ground to a halt...I hardly had the energy to work let alone train.
2. I think I will actually do better eating more moderately and just training harder and producing my deficit that way.
3. I did lose a lot of fat in that first week so I think what I'm going to do now is to try to do 3 good hard weeks of training with a moderate diet and then back off the training for a week and try to diet hard for a week and see where I end up.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday morning session

We trained after watching the Ireland vs Combined Pacific Islands text match from Wellington, New Zealand...I think there were actually a couple of Kiwi's in the CPI team...good on them I say...New Zealanders have so little else to look forward to. Most importantly even though they lost by 21 points to 10 Ireland beat the spread (+16)and as we all know...that's all that matters.

Johnny and Dave trained together and the session went like this:

Warm Up - 10ish minutes of walking.
YTWL's - We did these as complexes and as straight sets.


Done straight rather than as a complex on his last set.


The best way to improve your lifts and performance is to not get injured.

Horizontal Band Pull A-parts - 3 sets of 8 reps.


Johnny hasn't been doing these long...but I suggest you look at both the videos at the same time.


I mentioned Dave's poor control...this is him trying really hard to do a good job.

Vertical Band Pull A-parts - 3 sets of 8 reps.


You can see the same thing going on here...watch them both together if you can...and by the way...Johnny's control isn't great by any stretch of the imagination.


But it is still better than this...I'll be sure to show you video's of him doing these well when he adds 10kgs or so to his max.

Chest Supported Shrugs - A few sets of 8 reps.
Med Ball + Reverse Band Bench Warm Ups - Throws then bench worked up from 80kg with Dave finishing his warm ups at around 120kg and Johnny at 140kg for triples.


Med ball tosses and straight into his bench warm up.


We did a good few sets of this warming up.

Reverse Band Bench - The lads did 3 heavy work sets of triple then 3 heavy singles with Dave finishing at 160kg...I think and Johnny at 210kg.


Missed 5kg heavier than this on the right side...he'll fix that though.


Doesn't matter what you take off the bottom....still weighs a heap at the top.

Chest Supported Rows - 2 warm up sets and 3 works sets of 12 reps.

Blast Strap Push Ups - 5 sets of 8 reps.


You can see the stability/control issues here again.

Inverted Rows - 5 sets of 8 reps.
Med Ball Slams - 3 sets of 10 reps with the 5kg medicine ball.

Others trained...but they complained about all the air time that Johnny was getting on the blog so even though I was going to give them the chance to expose their athletic prowess to all 12 of you regular blog readers I decided not to shoot or discuss them in not so silent protest.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I meant to include this in yesterday's update

These are Gus's rowing times from 4 weeks ago listed first with his times from yesterday listed second. I'm not even going to bother adding them up...you can see he has torn time out of all his splits. He's trained well this last month and I think you can see the fruits of his labour here. Well done Gus.

200m - 41.6 vs 35.8
400m - 1:20.4 vs 1:16.7
600m - 2:12.2 vs 2:02.0
800m - 2:58.5 vs 2:50.6
1000m - 3:52.2 vs 3:36.3
200m - 47.8 vs 38.4
400m - 1:28.9 vs 1:23.0
600m - 2:17.3 vs 2:08.1
800m - 2.58.7 vs 2:54.1
1000m - 4:03.6 vs 3:40.2
800m - 3:13.9 vs 2:50.8
600m - 2.27.0 vs 2:07.5
400m - 1.21.8 vs 1:21.4
200m - 45.2 vs 35.8

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Just got this email...well not exactly this...but you get the idea.

I've 'blogged' Patrick before...he's one of my washed up meatheads/former players. He's really got stuck into his training and has done everything asked of him...sure he's bitched and moaned a bit...as they all do...but did it all anyway.

Here are his results from his medical...I like this sort of news...because it is important me...I want my clients and athletes to live long and prosperous lives...mainly so I can retire in the manner I've become accustomed to.

Before Training Programme

April 2008
Blood pressure: 141 over 92
Resting Pulse: 72 beats per minute.

12 weeks of conditioning and weight training. He's done his 3 days a week and hasn't missed a training session.

June 2008
Blood Pressure: 120 over 70
Resting Heart: 55 beats per minute.

Here's the program he started out with:
Session 1
Rower - 150m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Single Leg Knee Drops - 5 sets of 5 reps each side.
Rower - 150m/45sec recovery 10 sets
1A Inverted Rows - 8 sets of 5 reps supersetted with
1B Push Ups - 8 sets of 5 reps
Rower - 150m/60sec recovery 10 sets

Session 2
Rower - 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery
Single Leg Box Squat (BW) - 5 sets of 5 reps each side
Rower - 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery
1A Pulldowns - 5 sets of 8 reps supersetted with
1B DB Shoulder Press - 5 sets of 8 reps
Rower - 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery

Session 3
Rower - 5 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals
DB Reverse Lunges - 5 sets of 5 reps each side
Rower - 4 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals
1A DB Chest Press - 8 sets of 5 reps supersetted with
1B DB Rows - 8 sets of 5 reps
Rower - 3 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals

Here's his current program:
Session 1
Rower - 250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Leg Press (2 w/u) - 6 sets of 8 reps
Natural Reverse Hyper - 3 sets of 12)
Rower - 250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
1A DB Floor Press - 5 sets of 8 reps
1B Chest Supported Rows - 5 sets of 8 reps
Rower - 250m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Lying Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 8 reps
Bicep Curls - 3 sets of 8 reps

Session 2
Rower - 1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
Trap Bar Deadlift (2 w/u) - 6 sets of 8 reps
Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps
Rower - 1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
1A Pulldowns - 5 sets of 8 reps
1B Push Ups - 5 sets of 8 reps
Rower - 1000m, 750m, 500m, 250m with 45sec recovery
Cable Bicep Curls - 3 sets of 8 reps
Cable Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 8 reps

Session 3
Exercise Sets Reps Intensity (%1RM)
Rower - 8 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Step Ups - 5 sets of 5 reps (each leg)
45 deg Back Extensions - 3 sets of 12 reps
Rower - 6 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
1A Swiss Ball DB Chest Press - 8 sets of 5 reps
1B DB Rows - 8 sets of 5 reps
Rower - 4 X 500m with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Bridging (secs) - 3 sets of 45 seconds

My Homework Assignment


This is a single leg knee drop.

I'm going to put together a 'Scars of the Stars' post over the next few weeks...I collected a few snaps tonight...here are some random samples of the material I have to work with.


This guy made a God awful mess of his leg...on the plus side...he tells girls that it's a 'shark bite' which I've been told has worked well for him.


This guy had exploratory brain surgery...they found nothing...making him a perfect candidate for a career as a professional rugby player.


This guy 'high fived' a guy so hard after scoring a try he snapped his hand off.


This knee was had an arthroscope on it...obviously he actually must of had 3 or 4 I'd say...can't be too careful.


This is one of several broken necks...I mean seriously...what are the chances of breaking your neck twice? So he is free to continue his rugby career in the knowledge that he can't get injured worse than he previously has been.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's nice to get out

Had a half day...of half evening tonight...which ever way you want to look at it and took a GAA session after leaving the gym at 6.30pm rather than 9.30pm. I was annoyed that I forgot the camera because I am going to start recording drills and sessions to post. One of the things that I think very few courses/seminars do well is actually the bit that the majority of people are the most interested in...that being...what can I actually apply to my training or the training of others. Who actually really cares about the chemical structure of lactate dehydrogenase...I want to know how I can get it working. So what I'm going to do is to show actual sessions...so you can see the session plans and how they were actually performed....much more interesting than the interconversion of pyruvate and lactate with concomitant interconversion of NADH and NAD+...see what I mean...I don't know how you felt reading that but I almost went unconscious just writing it.
So...anyway...no video tonight but I will have bits of Friday's session taped hopefully if I can find a cameraman and the weather cooperates....here's what we did anyway.
We did the following:
Warm Up & Mobility Work.
Then intervals on a 10m by 10m square...player on each corner. On the whistle the ball is hand passed and the player who passed the ball runs around the cone of the player he passed it to and back to his own....and round and round the ball goes. Emphasis on sympathetic passing and fast delivery.
The intervals went like this - 15, 30, 45 with 30 seconds recovery between intervals. 3 block of there are done together back to back. Followed by a 2 minute break. We did 3 sets of these and when I say we...I mean they did 3 sets of these while I yelled and blew my whistle (god I love blowing that whistle). We took a 2 minute break and then did 10 of the following...the players stood with a leg either side of a centre line with a line 5 metres either side. They did 10 seconds of prisoner squats followed immediately by a 10 seconds isometric hold in the power position. On my whistle they then alternated between breaking left and right running over the line to one side...both feet over and placing one hand on the ground...then back across the centre line to the other line...both feet over and placing one hand on the ground...then accelerated and decelerated to a dead stop in the power position on the centre line. I gave them 30 seconds recovery then we went in the opposite direction....5 each side and 10 obviously in total as I said. They then had 2 minutes recovery before getting back on their squares and then finished with 2 blocks of 20, 40, 60 seconds effort with 30 second recovery. 2 minute rest. Then the last 20, 40, 60, 20, 40, 60 second efforts with recoveries. The boys really dug deep and went at it hard. It was their first session on the pitch since their last match 10 days ago so it was a good blow out. Friday's session will be much more technically orientated with a lot more emphasis on power and agility.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'd like to bring a little gayness into everyone's lives

I think the troops are starting to worry...the diet is taking it's toll...had a bad day today diet wise and instead of eating the 'wrong stuff' I basically hardly ate at all...very stupid indeed. So at training I barely had the energy to yell, curse, ridicule and demean...in other words...I just wasn't myself...I think me being quiet has them more worried than when I'm manic.

Not a big update today as have an early start...I was made aware of a correction to the results that I posted yesterday...Andy's previous best bench was actually 120kg not the 125kg I stated...so it was basically a 15kg improvement in 6 weeks along with a 7kg weight gain with basically no real increase in body fat...along with a HYOOGE increase in inverted rows which I know Andy was pleased with as I think he was sick of me shaking my head with shame or mocking him every time he got under the bar to do a set in training. Once again...well done Andy...5 more kg's to go before we lean him down to a fit and flying 100kg back row for the season start.

This made me laugh...it was probably the gheyest thing I've seen in a gym since I was in that bath house on 'Gorilla's in the Mist' afternoon at the gym in San Francisco during gay Mardi Gras week. I can't believe I saw it but I admire the cooperation and togetherness of these members of the red headed oppressed minority community.

Monday, June 2, 2008

It is actually starting to feel like summer now

Nothing like rowing on a see of asphalt to brighten your day.



















A photo of the two things I love...no...not that idiot...my bike and my CII's.

Andy Smyth tested today...Andy had been struggling to put weight on for ages...any way...I won't go on...here are the results:

Weight:
Previous - 93.4kgs Today - 100.7kg
Body Fat:
Previous - 19.0% Today- 20.1%
Bench:
Previous - 125kg Now - 135kg
Pull Ups:
Previous - 12 reps Now - 10 reps
Push Ups:
Previous - 45 reps Now - 50 reps
Inverted Rows:
Previous - 13 reps Now - 25 reps
Trap Bar Deadlift:
Today - 200kg

I've just realised how hard it is to search the blog for details...I will find when exactly Andy did his last test...I think this cycle was 6 weeks ago...promise to get back to you on that one.

Good improvement and pretty much as I predicted...here's his program.

Session 1
Warm Up & Mobility Work
Deadlift (3 w/u) 8 3
Reverse Lunges 4 8
Bridging (secs) 3 60
1A Incline Bench Press 3 12
1B Chest Supported Rows 3 12
Torque Press 4 8
Chocolate Milk (L) 1 1

Session 2
Warm Up & Mobility Work
Bench Press (3 w/u) 8 5
Push Ups (mini band) 3 15
Side Bridging (30 secs) 6 30
Squats (95kg) 1 100
Seated Leg Curls 3 12
45 deg Back Extensions 5 8
Chocolate Milk (L) 1 1

Session 3
Warm Up & Mobility Work
Chins 5 8
1A Inverted Row 5 12
1B Push Ups 5 12
Roll Outs 5 8
DB Hammer Curls 3 8
Lying Tricep Extensions 3 8
Chocolate Milk (L) 1 1

Others tested as well but they were all testing for the first time so when they test next I'll give you the details.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Reflections of a fat man

I knew I said I wasn't going to make this blog about me...but I think we all knew that my ego would eventually get in the way.

Quiet day coaching wise today so not much to report on that front...so instead I thought I might jot down some thoughts on how my diet and training went this week with regard to my project.

1. I read Lyle's Rapid Fat Loss Handbook...twice in fact...made my notes and did my calculations and got my supplements (vitamins, minerals & fish oil caps). I planned my diet out and was good to go.

2. Life then precedes to get in the way and make a mess of everything I spent so much time planning.

3. I'm going to try and put a better structure to my diet this week as I didn't really adhere to Lyle's guidelines in his handbook as well as I wanted to.

4. This is what I did wrong:
I didn't get enough protein each day.
I had periods where I went too long without eating anything at all.
I didn't plan ahead properly and unfortunately left myself in a scenario where I had to make food choices which were basically...'the best I could do'...type situation.
I didn't get enough green vegetables or salad.

5. This is what I did right:
I did create a big deficit.
I took caffeine and that really helps...I don't think I could diet without it...basically I took 200mg when I got up, 200mg at 12pm and then 200mg at 4pm an hour before training.

In short...I've definitely lost fat...I think my scale weight will be down about 5ish kilograms or about 10lbs...obviously that isn't all fat...but a good proportion of it is...we'll see tomorrow at the official weigh in and my photoshoot.

My plan this week is try to get into a proper routine with my eating. I'm thinking I will basically eat a standard daily diet...as in breakfqst, lunch, pre training and post training. Then have a free meal on Thursday after training and Monday after my weekly weigh in and training session have another 'free meal' of some kind. Before I decide what to do next I want to see where my scale weight ends up after another 'proper' week of hard dieting. Then what I'm thinking now is that I either go to a more moderate diet while continuing to run a deficit for 2 weeks or 3 weeks followed by another 2 weeks or 1 week of hard dieting. I'll get to 8% and I don't care if I have to bore you all to death in the process...to save you some misery though I think I'll only give a single update on how I'm going and do that on Sunday nights and leave the rest of the training and nutrition details over on my post in the athletes blog.