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.

11 comments:

mimo said...

Have you considered some type of cyclical dieting scheme, where you refeed more often? You'd be able to train hard and still achieve a big deficit at the end of the week.
The frequent refeeds actually keep the energy levels high and hunger away.

Will Heffernan said...

I've considered everything...just about. I'm not put off or discouraged..I just need to find the method of dieting that suits me the best. I had a good week and a bad week...it isn't a disaster and I will try to get things back on track this week and see how I go. I'm going to try to eat more around my training and see how that goes.

ian said...

Hi Will,

The chest supported chest shrug...I've watched the video and you'd think that'd be enough...but what are the teaching cues? I'm not 'getting' what primary muscles are being targetted.

Thanks for explaining the use of bands in the bench...it made a lot of sense once again highlighted just how an experienced coach uses a particular exercise.

Will Heffernan said...

ian said...

Hi Will,

The chest supported chest shrug...I've watched the video and you'd think that'd be enough...but what are the teaching cues? I'm not 'getting' what primary muscles are being targeted.

You should keep asking...I wish more people would ask more questions.
1. Stop calling it a 'chest supported chest shrug' you are just making me feel like an illiterate idiot...it's a 'chest supported shrug'.
2. Coaching cues...shoulders back and down. I'm trying to limit the upper trap involvement.
3. Muscles involved...those ones that pull your shoulder blades together and down.


Thanks for explaining the use of bands in the bench...it made a lot of sense once again highlighted just how an experienced coach uses a particular exercise.
No worries.

Artie said...

How do you change the band tension (using the same band)? Choke it around more times?

Artie said...

Also, could you describe the differences between the regular and the reverse band set-up? Effect, usage, etc. I have my ideas, but given that fundamentally both result in more load at the top, what is your practical experience with the two set-ups?

Will Heffernan said...

Artie said...
How do you change the band tension (using the same band)? Choke it around more times?

The bands are just looped around the safety pins and the bar and set at the appropriate height to achieve the tension and chest feel that I am looking for. Higher for more tension and lower for less obviously.

Also, could you describe the differences between the regular and the reverse band set-up? Effect, usage, etc.

I don't use the regular band set up that often. I use the bands more for assistance than resistance.

I have my ideas, but given that fundamentally both result in more load at the top, what is your practical experience with the two set-ups?

My practical experience is that I prefer reverse band to regular band benching. Does that answer your question or are you looking for something different than that?

Jonathan said...

What indicators do you use to diagnose the difference between having the strength and not having the ability to express it or just not being strong enough? Is it just something you see in the sessions? What kind of things would tip you off that someone has the strenth but lacks the mobility/stability in the squat/deadlift?

ian said...

Ok...call me a retard...but I kept referring to them as 'chest supported chest rows' because I thought that was actually what it was called and that maybe I was missing something :)

Michael Sullivan said...

I would venture that once you get done with JM that he will be the strongest Rugger out there. He's the Juggernaut, bitch!

Do you ever use the bands for squats or deads?

Will Heffernan said...

Michael Sullivan said...
I would venture that once you get done with JM that he will be the strongest Rugger out there. He's the Juggernaut, bitch!
I hope so.
Do you ever use the bands for squats or deads?
No.