Thursday, July 31, 2008

Was working out of the office this evening

Well for a little while anyway.

See if you can pick the odd man out in this photo?

The guys loved there fitness work...they were almost begging me for more.

I hate it when actual rugby training gets in the way of fitness work.

This is as light as the tackling most things in's all about getting your technique right.

Then the Pottsy totally upstaged me...he dropped a knowledge bomb on the backs...he's trying to explain tackling to a bunch of guys who are better known for their fantastic taste in clothes and for watching on for most of the game while the forwards do all the hard work only to swoop in after all the hard yards have been to score the tries and get all the glory.

He might as well be talking to a wall.

Naturally I would love to blog more...but I'm going to go out and supervise the lads while they have a couple of Diet Cokes in farewell to Frank the Tank who is leaving for the sunnier climate of Chester, England.

You've got to be Bold to be Beautiful

Had two new clients start today...two lovely ladies...hang on....ladies makes them sound old....two girls then....but that makes them sound really young...two women or two chicks...whatever you prefer. They've basically come for some fat removal and I intend to thoroughly de-fat them. I'm talking about the removal of 'bingo wings' and the creation of a 'single arse'...instead of a 'multiple arse' that goes from knee to mid back. I haven't talked about my 'normal' clients much but I realise some people reading this that might be more interested in the 'personal training' side of things. Basically as I said before...I don't do personal training...I've been there and done that and have no interest in it any more. But I do still have a lot of private clients...the thing is they do what all the athletes do...they show up. I write their programs and they train in the gym with all the other athletes.

These two....let's just call them Lisa and Laura to protect there anonymity are going to do 4 sessions a week. Monday to Thursday. They are going to come in...warm the prehab and mobility work that they need to do then they are going to go at it. They'll do 10 minutes of some sort of traditional cardio either of the steady state of interval variety. Then do a block of 15 minutes of weights...this will be 1, 2, 3 or 4 exercises done either as straight sets or circuit style work. This will be followed by another 10 minutes of the same style of work that they began with and then more weights then more cardio.

So their training template will look like this:

Warm Up + Mobility + Prehab Work
10 mins - Cardio = Bike, Treadmill, Rower (steady state or intervals).
15 mins - Weights = Straight sets or circuits of 1, 2, 3 or 4 exercises.
10 mins - Cardio = Bike, Treadmill, Rower (steady state or intervals).
15 mins - Weights = Straight sets or circuits of 1, 2, 3 or 4 exercises.
10 mins - Cardio = Bike, Treadmill, Rower (steady state or intervals).
Then whatever cool down and stretching I think is necessary.

They are doing a month of this...we'll reassess at that time how they are going. They were thinking 3 months but basically if I don't think they are serious or that they aren't committed or putting in like everyone else then they are going to get sacked and they can go back to their personal trainers. I also have their before girls when you read this be sure you understand you have 2 choices....either 1. You can work your arses off both figuratively and literally...and then we can sit down and decide whether we want to show off and post your pics of before and after and gloat....or...2. You can waste my time and not work your arses off both figuratively and literally and I will stalk you like a tabloid paparazzi and get some pics of you in as unflattering and embarrassing poses and positions as I possibly can and post those. So basically it is going to be down to you two how this works out for you.

On another note
There was a particular moron online who was commenting on the poor push up form of one of my athletes doing cut a long story short...this particular athlete was with me doing his rehab after suffering from Parsonage Turner can google it yourselves but in short he suffered severe wasting of his lat and a lot of associated lat and shoulder dysfunction. Basically the guy was lucky to be able to do 'a' push up let alone one with full range of motion.

I think you can see for yourself the damage that was done?

Keep in mind that this is after we've done a fairly significant amount of work building him back up.

Anyway...this particular discussion with this idiot in particular got me thinking...usually it just makes me laugh...that the internet really is full of complete imbeciles and I should know...because I'm one of them. More to the point that people really don't know what they are talking about. They look at videos on the internet of people lifting and comment on 'form'...that this person has crap form and this person has great form...but what are you really looking at? I mean I could if I wanted 'stage' every single video I put up. I'm a good enough coach that I could make every single video perfect...I mean every push up, pull up, clean, squat, deadlift...every single exercise I could coach and modify to the point that it would take some serious exercise 'lab coating' to pick it to pieces and find fault. I could carefully select every single exercise video I put up and only upload the ones that are actually perfect...if people seriously think that is what I do or that this is what this blog is about than some people are even stupider than I thought....and believe me...I think a lot of people on the internet are pretty stupid so that takes some doing.

Two things came together in this single thread on this particular forum...1. That the form of my athletes was poor and therefore I was by extension a crap coach and 2. Another poster was trying to make the point that all I care about is how I am 'perceived' and that all my posts are all about me 'marketing myself'...keep in mind...this particular person is also so idiotic as to think I was posting to promote all my non existent books...and that my whole 'online persona' was a carefully constructed fabrication...that I was trying to 'present' myself as someone 'who doesn't care what anyone else thinks'.

Now in answer to these 2 points.

1. That my athletes like all athletes do some stuff perfectly and some stuff that is a mess...I tend to show as much of both as I can because usually I use the camera for coaching feedback rather than to have something to post...for is an athlete making an absolute mess of his 2 reps on his box squat with 180kgs.

This is not an 'instructional video'.

This was a mess so what we did was take 5 minutes break and did it again...this time perfectly...actually...not perfectly...that's a stupid thing to say...he did it much better.

In short I am not making a training manual or video detailing the perfect execution of exercises...these are just videos of training...simple as that.

2. If I stopped this blog tomorrow and I stopped posting on forums on the internet do any of you want to take a guess how much effect this would have on my annual income? I can't wait for you to get back to me so let me tell you. If I stopped blogging and posting my income would only go up because I would probably be forced to do more work and hence I'd get paid more. The only income I get is from coaching or from coaching consultancy and approximately less than zero of that comes in anyway shape or form from the internet. If anything my blogging and forum posting probably has a bigger negative effect on my income because people realise before they actually come and pay for coaching what an arsehole I am and I don't get that first months payment out of them before they come in and train and find out for themselves.

So anyway...I better get back to work.

Oh and here's some not so great and far from perfect 100kg cleans with Darcy falling forward a little...maybe I will only put up bad lifts and poor form for a least I'd get a lot more laughs out of some of the idiots I encounter online who have never coached a day in their lives but think they know everything about everything especially when it comes to training and coaching.

Perfect? No...but do people really think he doesn't know that?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates

I've been busy working on my marketing, promoting my books and constructing my online persona...or that's at least what I've been told that I've been doing. I am going to do a proper update tonight...might even have a rant if I have the time and energy.

First I want to say well done to Jessica who tested today and added 10kg to her Bench Press and 15kg to her Trap Bar Deadlift. She's worked really hard since she started with me way back on the 20th of June and unbeknownst to her she's going to start working even harder. For a 15 year old girl she has a fantastic work ethic....and by fantastic work ethic I mean she doesn't argue with me and does everything she's told when she's told...which is the most important thing in my book.

The rugby lads have started back on the pitch this week. I am going to video some of the contact sessions so you guys that aren't acquainted with rugby get an idea of what is involved...I really wish I had the camera with me yesterday. The things I wished I'd captured in no particular order are as follows:
1. Goodser getting smashed walking innocently walking back to get into position by Colm who was struggling with the idea of toning down his tackling at 80%.
2. Chunky who due to the fact that he was struggling with the idea of how to ramp up to 80% had a can of whoop-ass opened up on him by Cookies.

Smythy...the body of a finely tuned coach and former professional athlete.
3. Joey asking Smythy ('d realise he was a coach if you looked at him...we are pretty much all built the same) hopefully just before the conditioning work was going to start what time it was...he had to be somewhere at 9.00pm...Smythy, knowing what was a foot he assured Joey that he had plenty of time for conditioning work...whether he did or not...there are some thing's they can't teach you about coaching.
4. Chops during his conditioning work doing a very good impression of Forrest Gump.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I know you are all sick of Pull Ups

But I don't really care.

Grisso tested today...I actually videoed his push up test but accidently deleted it when I was trying to edit it...this was mainly due to the fact that I am not very bright.

So he tested on the 1st of July and his results were as follows:

1st of July
Weight: 87.6kg
Bench: 110kg
Pull Ups: 9reps
Push Ups: 53reps
Inverted Rows: 20reps
Trap Bar Deadlift: 170kg

Then tested this morning.

28th of July
Weight: 87.8kg
Bench: 115kg
Pull Ups: 11reps
Push Ups: 63reps
Inverted Rows: 33reps
Trap Bar Deadlift: 190kg

I think he should be pretty happy with that...I am...he's basically just been on a transition program to get him back and ready for his actual program. I want to get his playing weight up over 90kg during this next phase of training before his training camp in France.

I'm posted these 2 videos...I really wanted to be able to put them on a split screen and sync them so we could have a Grisso vs Grisso Pull Up competition but I'm just not that bright and don't really have a clue how to do it...maybe you can just do it on YouTube yourself...just press play at the appropriate times.

I was actually laughing looking at the videos because if you look in the background of both videos you can also see how well Chops month of training has gone.

1st of July

28th of July

I was just wondering?

Does anyone know how I could put 2 videos together so that they can be synced and played side by side? Drop me an email if you do.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The athletes appearing in the following post are actually paid actors

I'm still laughing about the posts I read this morning. I've finally been 'found out'...I should put a disclaimer out the front of the gym and on the blog to protect myself from a lawsuit.

Note: The text, images, videos, athletes, sweat, blood and tears that may appear are works of fiction and may or may not represent reality.

I'd say this actor wished he was working at a children's party today or maybe doing a commercial for toothpaste.

Logi was calling an ambulance right after his session...he needn't of worried...the ambulance guy was right outside keeping an eye on him.

Naturally that's not his own sweat that he's bathed in.

This actor did well considering he usually earns his dollars as a body double for "Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson".

I put these actors through their paces this morning.

Bike 10 mins - 5mins Level 5..then increasing a level every minute at each minute interval.
1A 3 Pull Ups
1B 10 Push Ups
1C was done by Logi and Tank so while Logi did his Pull Ups and Push Ups the Tank was bridging and then swapped over...they did as many circuits as possible in 15 minutes.
Bike 10 mins - 5mins Level 5..then increasing a level every minute at each minute interval.
2A 10 reps Bench Press
2B 10 Reps Inverted Rows
2C 10 Barbell windscreen wipers...once again done as a 15 minute circuit.
Bike 10 mins - 5mins Level 5..then increasing a level every minute at each minute interval.

So an hour of work and well done.

Would you want to train after these guys?

Patrick did his testing today...we are going to start a body building phase next.
Results as follows:
TrapBar Deadlift - 100kg
Bench Press - 60kg
Pull Ups - 1 rep
Push Ups - 32
Inverted Rows - 15

Oh...I forgot...apparently none of my athletes squat to depth either!

Not sure how much deeper this guy can go?

A quick apology

I just wanted to apologise to you all...particularly anyone that has asked me any questions here or via email. I was just reading on the internet this morning that apparently I never answer any direct questions...this came as a bit of a surprise naturally as I thought I was actually trying my best.

I also don't apparently do any work with any real athletes...I know this will surprise some of you reading this...especially those of you that consider yourselves real.

I've been told that the facility isn't real...the athletes aren't real...oh and I forgot...I also don't train or have never trained any Olympians...I know some of you will find this extra surprising considering many of you have actually trained with them...but apparently none of you are real either so what would you know.

Anyway...I have to run because I have to go and test and coach some of you non existent athletes at my non existent facility this morning.

I hope you all accept my apology for avoiding your questions and misleading you.

P.S: I also found out that according to the masters of the internet...none of your records or achievements count unless there is video footage of it so you are all just going to have to start all over's not my rules...I was told that nothing any of you have done is 'real' unless it can be shown on the world wide interweb.

Kira said...
apology accepted :)
Thanks...that puts me at ease.
I'm amazed at the amount of negative shit you get sent!
I'm glad I do...because if some of the people making these comments agreed with me or supported me I'd probably give it all away and kill myself out of desperation and disappointment at where my career had led me. I hope they always disagree with me and rubbish me because that will always reassure me that I am doing the right thing.

I spose your blunt writing style might piss some people off.
You think my writing style is should try getting coached by me...then you'll see blunt.

Did someone really say that you're athletes aren't real? LOL. That means you've got a pretty elaborate ruse going on :)
Yes, I've had that lots of times. Along with stuff like the time that someone who emailed me and said that I had stolen photos for my blog off someone else at Along with the videos I stole...these would be the ones I stole that I actually appear that one out? I get lots of that favourites are the ones that start off this way....'I don't read you blog but....'. I have one guy that doesn't read my blog that emails every couple of weeks just to tell me that along with a detailed explanation of all the things that I am doing wrong.

We were discussing this morning how extensive and detailed my deception I even manage to get apparently fake athletes to mention me in their biographies and in national's really some caper I have going on.

I didn't even know you were training elite athletes when I first started reading your blog.
Apparently I don't???

I actually read your rants because I find most of what you say useful and your writing style is pretty bloody amusing. . .
I need to make more time for ranting...I did a lot more before when I was working less....damn all this fake working eating into my internet ranting time.

The fact that you probably know what your talking about is just an added bonus :)
Now even I wouldn't go that far.
July 26, 2008 10:36 AM

ian said...
Will said...
but apparently none of you are real either so what would you know.

Which reminds me - can you send me an eMail with the list of questions I have to post up on your blog.
Don't put your stupid questions down to really will ruin my reputation.
July 26, 2008 10:52 AM

Jonathan said...
The rulez of the interwez are like fight club and your breaking the rules!!!
I need to get that rule book.
What will happen first? You reach ultimate gurudom or I get JAKT? By the looks of it I seem to be ahead.
You are miles ahead...and that says a lot.
July 26, 2008 12:24 PM

Michael Sullivan said...
I can't sing, dance or act but all of my training is fake and I am fat. Can I be in a fake training video on your fake blog? are just the sort of person I'm looking for...particularly to stand next to me in videos.
July 26, 2008 5:05 PM

ian said...
Will Said... are just the sort of person I'm looking for...particularly to stand next to me in videos.

Is that to make Michael look like an athlete and thinner?
Definitely to make me look thinner.

By the way, is Irish Lifting near your facility? If I manage to get to Dublin I might be able to visit.
I never been out to check out Mick's warehouse but if and when you do we'll take a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
July 26, 2008 8:10 PM

Friday, July 25, 2008

You should sign up for this

Lyle McDonald has a good newsletter. You can sign up for it here. In the latest one there is a good feature article on Warming Up and it's worth reading.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm huge in Brazil at the moment

...well I think it's Brazil.

Musculação Integral

I get top billing on their blogroll at least.

I'm also big in war zones too Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Crumlin, Sudan...I hope I'm not training terrorists...or at the very least not passing 'training secretz' to the enemy?

Someone was asking about a ful frontal...of that band stretch that is

Part stretch and part intelligence test.

I thought I'd chuck this up here with this video since it is related.

Not really done exactly right...but you get the idea.

What coaching is all about

Joel Hallström said...
Could you give some examples of what kind of supplementary work you use for getting the deadlift to new numbers?

This is a great question because it gets straight to the point of coaching and what makes one coach different and or better or worse than others.

Warning - Mini Rant to Follow could ask this question of coaches and pretty much get the same answer from all of them. I mean I could give you the 'stock standard' answer to this question myself. I could say something along the lines of 'heavy ab, hamstring and lower back work' and that is the equivalent of telling someone that they would fix their diet by eating more fruit and vegetables...actually scratch that...I think I read something along the lines of 'fruit being the reason that people are fat' the other day so maybe that isn't a good example. But anyway this is one of the reasons that I don't really write articles and why this blog isn't about me giving everyone 'training secrets' because on a whole all that stuff is rubbish. I've not seen two people respond the same to training let alone ALL people respond the same way to training.

I've female athletes weighing in under 50kg as well as female athletes weighing 100kg+. As well as male athletes from 60kg to 125kg+. They range in age from 14 years old to masters athletes I work with who are....lets just say 65+ years of age to be kind. They vary in height from just over 5 foot to just under 7 foot. So in all you really think I have a 'general' list of supplementary exercises? Or that they need the same supplementary exercises to improve their deadlift. Being a good coach is all about being able to look at athletes and to 'know' what they specifically need to improve. Along with the ability to 'know' of it is working.

Now I am not having a go at Joel...the question is a good one...I get asked it a lot in all variations...last night I was asked by an athlete who has only recently started with me what exercises he could do to improve his bench. My answer to him was in parts but basically boiled down to...'I don't know.'. The reason being that first we have to improve his technique then I need to see him performing consistently so I'll 'know' what he needs to do to improve it. The answer I could of given him was similar to the 'stock standard' answer for the deadlift. I could of said 'floor pressing, board work, tricep and back work'...but that is a crap answer.

Johnny for example has improved his bench because he has done a load of back work and shoulder stability and mobility work. His deadlift has improved because while we were waiting for his knee surgery he did a lot of lower back, heavy ab and hip extension work. The thing being that the selection of exercises and how and when we did them were the important bit and that is the only bit that can't be explained in an article or post.

Any way...I just saw some of the comments re the lighting/video darkness. Here's a couple taken literally 3 minutes apart.

This is a little on the dark side...but don't you think it makes out training look mysterious?

This just doesn't look mysterious or top secret at all.

Another quick question?

What's your feeling on the videos? Should I continue to embed them in posts or should I just provide a description and a hyperlink to the video in the text of the post?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Strongest fake fat cross country runners ever

Johnny tested tonight fresh from fat camp.

He benched first..warmed up with a few reps at 60kg. Then a couple of sets of 5 at 100kg. Then a single at 140kg and 160kg and then 170kg. His technique is better than but still a mess. His bench has a long way to go but he'll have the biggest bench in Irish Rugby by this time next year if not before for whatever that is worth.

170kg...and about bloody time too.

He did 7 pull ups. This is his 3rd test since he has been training with me and he has gone from 2 to 4 to 7 this evening...he missed 8 by what would have been the wobble of one of the many chins he had before fat camp.

Then got 59 push ups in 60 seconds and 28 inverted rows in 60 seconds.

Which like I said pretty much what I'm looking for. 1.5 times body weight on the bench, 8 pull ups for the over 100kg class and I want 45-50 push ups and 25-30 inverted rows. I also want a double body weight trap bar deadlift...he gave me a bucket load more than that as you can see below.

310kg looking reaaaaallllllly easy.

The new lads are making steady improvement as well. I'm looking forward to them testing again at the end of their 6 weeks because I think almost all of them will improve at least 50% if not more.

Who doesn't love floor pressing.

What if I told you they were all cross country runners?

Kira said...
Are the dudes being tested rugby players?
Absolutely...Johnny and Chops are both props and Logi is a 2nd row.

and what's your take on the ultrasound thingy?
It looks excellent and am I very seriously considering buying one. It seems really quick and easy to use and incredibly consistent. It gives you a depth on fat and muscle. It is really something that I would like to get more experience with...I'll keep you informed.

John said...
Great work Will, that 220Kg looked easy. They are impressive gains. How long had it been between tests?
Good question...I will ask Chops. I think he did 4 weeks with me...the fat camp for 2 weeks so 6 weeks in total.

Joel Hallström said...
Maybe you should just not read those emails and instead read and respond to the emails you get from us that think you are great... :)
Anyone who knows me knows that I really love that stuff...I'm actually powered by hate...anyone who's been coached by me or worked with me knows that it doesn't bother me in the slightest. As for your soon as I get all the dates sorted we'll be ready to rock and roll.

Denise said...
Ill even admit it myself you can really see a difference...well in Jonno and chops...sorry Logi.
That is really harsh...just because Logi managed to lose more in the 1st week than either of the lads lost in 2 isn't his fault...though the fact that he managed to put on more weight in the 2nd week than either of the lads lost in 2 maybe at least partly his fault.

I also have to say well done to Chunky
I think out of all the lads on Fat Camp he's probably made the biggest visual change. He started a day behind the other guys and unfortunately I forgot/didn't get time to get 'before' photos on the day he started.

Day 1 - 119.5kg
Day 7 - 116.7kg
Day 14 - 116.3kg

I also want to say well done to Nasher.
For slightly different reasons...he didn't train with us...he did his own program and training.

Day 1 - 106.8
Day 14 - 106.7kg

Total loss of 0.1kg...although I think he went to the toilet just before he weighed in yesterday.

Frank the Tank also did well...he didn't have as much to lose as the rest of us.

He went:
Day 1 - 94.0kg
Day 7 - 93.5kg
Day 14 - 93.0kg

So that is this episode of the Fatathon all wrapped up.

Someone asked about Cookies shoulder work.
Here is Chopper doing what is either 'max effort band work' or 'band work cardio'.

Apparently Johnny's fatness isn't real?

I've been told that Johnny hasn't really lost weight...that he was just sticking his gut out or being 'fat on purpose' whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

Here are the shots from the other side.

Before...maybe that is my problem...I'm not actually fat...I'm just being fat on purpose?


I've had other mails saying it is no big deal and from others saying that they could do a lot better and their athletes could lose heaps more...that's great...I'd love to see it. Like I is two weeks of training and 'better' nutrition not ultra strict dieting.

Chops tested yesterday. He banged out a 40kg PB on his trap bar deadlift improving from 180kg to 220kg...and as you can see in the video he had a heap more in him.

In his last test he pulled 180kg.

I actually stopped him from doing another as he had a full training session afterwards and I also want to 'look' like the coaching genius I am when he smashes his PB again at the end of August. He improved his bench from 110kg last test to 130kg and added 1 pull up over last test. Took his push ups from 30 ish to 49 (not 50...sorry get what you get...I don't make the rules....actually...wait a second....I do.) and his inverted rows from the mid teens I think to 26. I don't know what more I'm supposed to do with athletes...making them leaner and stronger I thought was a pretty good start....apparently not. Have not had a single 'well done' or 'great job' and that's cool because it is actually my job. Instead what I get is a dozen or so mails saying that 'I'm not all that' and that unnamed others could do much better....all this from people who 'can't be bothered' to read my blog and have 'no interest' in what I have to say but still take the time to email me and tell me what they think? I don't get it...I'm sure they won't read this....seeing as they never bother reading the blog but I just thought those of you who actually do read it would think it was funny all the same.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Fatathon went as well as I planned....naturally

I brought Steven Carroll in to put the Bodymetrix body composition ultra sound and software to the test...well I wanted to make sure of the lads body fat measurements as well as ensure none of the bellies they were sporting weren't the result of an unplanned pregnancy.

There is no where to hide your fat from sound waves.

As you can see...some of us had more fat to try and hide than others.

I shouldn't let some of my female athletes test with the's bad for their confidence.


After - I think you'll agree that there has been a significant decrease in the amount of muffin top overhang?

Chops did well...the secret according to Chops is no carbs after 3pm except for the 2 nights a week at which time he gets completely plastered! Well...who am I to mess with success.

Day 1 - 120.9kg
Day 7 - 119.8kg
Day 14 - 117.6kg

So a loss of 3.3kg. I think that is 1.5kg off each love handle and 0.3kg of his neck.


After - I know what you're thinking...what has that fat bastard got to smile fairness I think for two weeks work....10 training sessions and anything but strict dieting...he can afford a smile.

He's got 3 weeks worth of strength work and field conditioning to do and if he isn't under 115kg's by then he'll have another 2 weeks of fat camp...that'll wipe the smile off his face. I intend to have him playing at a lean and hard 112-115kg come the start of the season.


After - At least Johnny won't need that girdle any more.

Day 1 - 122.5kg
Day 7 - 119.2kg
Day 14 - 117.9kg

So a loss of 4.6kg

Johnny's program is going to be similar to Chops only he has a little more gym based conditioning to do as he is still continuing his rehab some recent knee surgery.



Day 1 - 122.9kg
Day 7 - 117.8kg
Day 14 - 121.2kg

Did you see what happened there...Logi was the hot favourite to take the title after week 1...he was pretty mad about his 2nd week of dieting...actually....can it be called dieting when you actually put on more weight than the other guys lost? He was so mad at one stage I thought he was going to have a stroke. Then I saw this photo and thought he already had.

Logi was so mad that he gave himself a little bit of brain damage...or so it appears.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You'll be happy to know that I'm injured

I was training last night...I know I know...what was I thinking. Any way I benched some and then pull upped some and was going to squat some...warmed up..thought all was good. Walked the bar out of the rack and basically almost passed out and quickly re racked the bar and sat down. I thought I just had some sort of lat caramp...something happened to my back...but it wasn't my back. Anyway to cut a long story short...I went home from work last night in pain and woke up this morning feeling like I had been smashed in the ribs with a baseball bat...I just thought I'd share that with may just be the weirdest injury I think I have ever had.

The Fatathon Continues

These guys shirts were actually light blue and light grey when they started their session.

Can't wait for the weigh in on Monday to see how the guys went with their two week fat loss cycle. I think the changes in the guys are pretty visible even if they disagree...I think in the coming weeks the lads will be breaking out the wife beaters and belly tops.

The last time a vein was spotted on this guy was when he had surgery.

The way their weeks have worked is as I said before...2 pure strength days, 2 strength/conditioning days and a pure conditioning day.

Today though Johnny and Dave (who is definitely not part of the fatathon) had a good session. Their workout was as follows:

Shoulder Prehab Work

They say you can't be too rich or too thin. I can't be too jakt or have too good a shoulder health.
Bench Press - 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1. If Johnny and or Dave read this maybe they can put the escalation in the comments section.
Strict DB Row - 3x15
Band Face Pulls - 5x8
Heavy Ab Pull Downs - 3x20
45 degree Back Extensions - 3x20

The other lads were outside doing a speed and agility circuit.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I was on the road tonight

I was working in another facility tonight testing an Irish Superleague Basketball team.

We did a spider test or 150m test...whatever you want to call it...after you finish it people call it a lot of different things...none of which I can print here.

It is 6 30 second efforts with 30 seconds recovery run back to back. Lanes are laid out with markers at 5, 10, 15, 20 & 25 metre intervals. At the whistle you race out to the 5m line and back then out to the 10m line and back and on and on it basically have to cover as much distance as possible in 30 seconds basically. So if you make it all the way out to the last cone and back that is 150m. I really like this test for field and court sports because It gives me a lot of information in a really short time.

João Mimoso has left a new comment on your post "I was on the road tonight":

It's funny that i have the same test for my Basketball team. Only i don't mark the floor and count the last crossed line(baseline,free throw,mid,free throw,baseline. If they finish just 1m before the next line->boo hoo
Mine is the that whether you just cross one line or get within a foot of the next line you get the distance covered to the last crossed line. I've had guys want to punch me in the head after just missing something like 3 consecutive lines by inches...I say 'want' to punch me because very few actually have the strength afterwards.

For are some results from this from a basketball player tonight and one from a footballer late last week.

1. 135m
2. 125m
3. 115m
4. 115m
5. 105m
6. 110m
Total = 705m

1. 155m
2. 145m
3. 115m
4. 105m
5. 100m
6. 95m
Total = 715m

Actually...before I tell you what I get out of it...what do you get from these results?

Anyway...before we discuss this test...can I just say I'm a little disappointed. Out of the 8 guys that did the test only 2 of them threw up afterwards...if you are really 'putting in' on this test vomiting is usually the inevitable result.

After the the testing finished I gave them some quiet time before we went over the results. Then we headed up to the gym to do their 1RM bench, pull up repetition, push up and inverted row testing.

I had to laugh when I went into the gym...the place was a mess...good facility...not well managed...well basically from the looks of it not managed at all. I thought the sign was a nice touch. Obviously whoever manages the gym rules the place with an iron fist.

I don't think people really understand what this sign means?

Before that it was business as usual. The Fatathon is going well. I can't wait till the weigh in on Monday afternoon. I know the guys are doing well because the amount of abuse I've been receiving has been steadily ratcheting up this week. I mean above and beyond the standard abuse I receive normally.

The guys had a strength session tonight...Chops, Chunky & Little John the 3 merry men did the following:

10 minutes on the bike
2 sets of 8 reps of hurdle steps each side
2 sets of 8 reps of single leg hip pop ups
Trap Bar Deadlifts - 3x8, 3x4 & 3x2...they went 100kg+ for the 8's, 160kg+ for the 4's and 180-250kg for the 2's.
Elevated Split Squats - 4x8 each leg.

Natural Reverse Hypers - 3x25.
Incline Barbell Press - 3x8, 3x4 & 3x2. If Little John checks this or Chunky maybe they could tell you what the went for each progression...I know Chops won't tell you because he is a) too weak from dieting to even type. b) too busy thinking of how many ways he'd like to kill me.
Blast Strap Inverted Rows - 5x10
45 degree Back Extensions - 5x10
Bike - 10 mins

Q&A...otherwise known as Questions & Abuse
Michael Sullivan has left a new comment on your post "It's all about Pull Ups these last couple of days":

Will Heffernan said...
No kicking off the bottom but I don't mind you kicking at the top...and it has always been the same.

I think that may be the dumbest thing you have ever said and that is saying a lot. What the feck is the point of the test if a little cheating is OK?
OK...the problem is that I don't/can't do all the testing for all the athletes I work with. A lot of them train at a lot of other facilities and I was getting huge discrepancies in testing results so I basically ended up saying no kicking off the bottom to stop the kipping. I will take the criticism on the chin. I know it isn't perfect.

Why not bounce the bar off your chest when benching,
They do.

use knee wraps when squatting,
Never seen a single athlete ever squat with wraps in Ireland in nearly 10 years.

Dan John hump the bar for inverted rows?
I better not video any of the inverted rows then in that case.

When we tested in Utah you said each pull up had to done from a dead hang and kicking was not done by any of the people testing not even you.
I know...but that was just because it was a group of elite athletes.

I would like to put in a formal protest to the testing committee and would like to revise the testing numbers I submitted. Add 3 pullups to my score, 4 inverted rows and 25kg on squats.
I will lodge your application...wait to hear back from us before posting again.


Adrienl has left a new comment on your post "I was on the road tonight":

hi will few questions on the testing
1) what type of flooring and footwear was used (eg grass or hardcourt)
Tonight it was on court.

2) Are these results the best worst or middling for what you would expect? (i say a bad middling based on my basketball team)
Tonight's results weren't great...but it was their first session of pre season so we'll see where they go from here.

3)did the athletes pace themselves in any form or was it just go hard from start to finish?( i would think the 2nd option)
I want them to go flat out from start to finish. I want to see the best first score they can get then they should just try and survive from there.

Adrienl has left a new comment on your post "It's all about Pull Ups these last couple of days":

Will thanks for that and a few more if you don't mind
1) so the athletes just do the full testing then go home correct?
Some do and some don't...but yes, when they are finished testing I am done with them for the day.

2) also with athletes who have a long offseason eg (4+months) do you ever see the need for a deload or does the changing of focus( eg stregnth to fitness) provide it for you? If the former how would you be implemnting them after a strength or fitness type stage?
I have no idea what the hell you are talking about...but let's just say yes, as I'm in a generous mood.

3) do you ever bother deloading your normal people or do they not really warrant it due to the lower intensity?
Non sport related clients you mean?

just realised that deloads cost you money so maybe you never bother with them ;)
thanks again for your time and patience.
Actually I do...and yes, it does cost me money.

The other thing I was asked about today and yesterday were supplements

I am not the expert on this...far from it. My experience with supplements have been pretty basic...basically Dan Fouts who is an avid reader of the blog turned me on to Muscle Milk and I never looked back.

I am actually going to see if Lyle McDonald has some summary or recommendations that I could post up here on different supplements...what they are good for and how you should use Lyle...if you have something like that could you email it to me? If you don't I'll just have to rip off your stuff and post it any way!

If you train at our facility you know you can talk to Hugh about whatever you need...if you are just a blog reader and are based in Ireland then I suggest you go to Irish Lifting and get yourself sorted...Mick loves to hear from customers and if you get anything from him make sure you email him everyday and thank him or just say 'Hi' because he loves getting email. This isn't a paid for advertisement. I actually BUY my Muscle Milk from him...which is ridiculous...I should really be a sponsored lifter or something and get it all for free...if only I lifted and didn't look like a fat mess and if it wasn't for the fact that I look more like an example of the dangers of taking too much Muscle Milk when not training. So before anyone else asks me where they should get've been told. Now at least I can say just check out the blog.

Speaking of which...Check out the becoming my get out of jail free card...any time any asks me anything these days and it is dumb or I just can't be bothered explaining it I just say...check out the's brilliant...and anyone who actually reads it knows how hard it is too find stuff on here so if they come back to me and say they couldn't find it I can just say....look harder.

I was asked today about whether I knew of any good journals...

...and it made me realise that I don't. The NSCA coaching and research journals used to be be quite good but has completely gone off the rails over the last few years.

There are also very few consistently good training and coaching websites out there...or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough? If anyone has any good training or coaching websites that would like to suggest then post them in the comments section here and we can vote on what we think is adding a link on the blog has to at the very least be better than this 'Pull Up' blog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's all about Pull Ups these last couple of days

Well Pull Ups and questions from Adrienl

Adrienl has left a new comment on your post "I haven't plagerised the answers to these question...":

thanks for answering those questions will, just got a few more
1) i haven't yet seen you use a jump before a strength exercise so would you say this is a more advanced exercise and what would you be looking to acomplish through it? (eg give strength boost through more explosiveness or get better at pushing through fatigue)
That's because I actually need to have a full time cameraman and blog writer in the gym with me because I actually have to work and don't get to capture the best action unless it is quiet.
It isn't necessarily a more advanced exercise. It is just different...when it next appears in a program and I remember to do so I will film it for you. I never do jumping before or after lifts while the athlete is 'really' fatigued.

2) in regards to testing are these planned out weeks ahead(the athletes therefore knows they are coming) or are they announced on the day?
They are planned out before in that athletes will know when they have a testing week. They do 6 weeks between full tests and at the end of 3 weeks have a mini test. Which is a 3RM box squat, repetition effort bench at body weight and a 3RM pull up....I have written about this are obviously not paying attention to what I write....don't worry though...neither am I.

3) what is the average time between testing for athletes and after performing the tests do they just head home or do they do extra work?
See above.

thanks again and don't hesitate to tell me if i am getting annoying

No problem and you are getting annoying. Don't let that stop you asking more questions though.

I just wanted to post Rammer's because he did pretty well in the over 100kg class today.

He had a pretty good day testing wise with a PB on the bench, pull ups and deadlift.

I haven't plagerised the answers to these questions I swear

Sami has left a new comment on your post "In a bit of a funk this afternoon so blogging to d...":

Will said,
Then what I do is to start manipulating the distances, sets, reps and recoveries so I can increase the distance and hence the time that near maximal intensity can be maintained. I then go back to closer to the original distance used and repeat the process with less recovery..

Will, how do you figure out the total volume?
It is a carrot and stick be honest (which by inference I never am) I do it by feel and experience rather than to a formula. I was talking with some athletes yesterday about the fact that I somehow manage to make each conditioning session session just painful and yet not impossible. I was trying to explain how I try to coax athletes to 'fitness' without them actually realising it...the reason they never realise it is because sessions are always hard but for different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because of the intensity...sometimes it's the volume...other times it is the reduction in recovery. This is what coaching is actually about...having a feel for your athletes and what they can handle. I actually know a lot of them better than they know themselves and this is demonstrated clearly every time I ask them to do something and they give me 'that look' and say 'Will I can't do this.'...and then I make them do it and they do. I don't get it wrong very often. This is the thing isn't it. This is the bit they can't teach at University and that you can't learn from books. So in short to answer your question on how I figure out the total short...I don't actually know...or more to the point...I don't know how to explain it to you.

-Where to start?
Be them too little and them being able to do it hard and fast is better that giving them too much...less is always more....except of course when more is better.

-When upping the distance do you reduce the number of sets to keep volume roughly constant?
I usually manipulate it so they do more but without them realising it...I have a special way of describing sessions to always make them 'sound' easier than they are...just ask any of my athletes. The ones that have been with me for years are excellent at doing the mental calculations to work out total volume, total estimated session time and total recovery time before I even pause at the end of my explanation.

-or let the volume grow? How much? Is there a cut off point?

This is really dependent on what you are training for as in what you are trying to improve and the sport for which you are training.

ian has left a new comment on your post "Apparently I only train rugby players":

BTW...Mike Robertson has stolen your catchphrase, "If you are not assessing, you are guessing." Saw it on his blog.

Actually, Mike and Will have stolen that phrase from Alwyn - it's on his website. I don't know where he got it from though :)
I bet I stole it before either of those two.

Will - since ROK's knees are veering inward I can see how some coaches might have ensured the load was much reduced - even just to doing bodyweight box squats - until the knees travelled more correctly. Any thoughts?

Yes, plenty of thoughts. Firstly, like I said...this problem 'was' much worse. Have we got it 'fixed' no..not yet. I work with athletes some of these 'coaches' you mention...I put coaches in brackets because a lot of these 'coaches' don't actually have any athletes and just write about training rather than conduct it. I will talk about this issue because it is an important one. Have a look at this guy.

He has a lot of scap control issues and a load of strength imbalances...what you are talking about leaves a couple of options...I could stop all his training and correct every single imbalance and problem he has...just as a side note...I don't have a single professional or semi professional athlete that doesn't have to 'nurse' some sort of imbalance or injury...and as a side side note...if I ruled out every player that wasn't completely fit to play two things would happen...1. None of the teams I work for would have players to take the field. 2. I would be beaten to a bloody pulp.
Back to Cookies and I could stop all their training and just address all their imbalances or I could do what I always do...train them appropriately and address their issues through training. ROK started squatting the bar with difficulty and deadlifting 40kg and now she's repping with 85kg and pulling nearly twice bodyweight and along the way we've improved her knee issues hugely. Cookies did his testing the other day and nearly PB'd on his bench, did 11 pull ups, 60+ push ups and 30+ inverted rows and pulled near double bodyweight. I've seen and heard the arguments regarding the point you are raising in this question...I just completely disagree with it. My first priority is to reduce these guys likelihood of injury and optimising their performance...I think I can do both at the same time.

Adrienl has left a new comment on your post "Apparently I only train rugby players":

Will with regards to 1)athletes performing the supersets of a strength exercise and then a jump or medball throw are you looking to train them to be explosive under fatigue or utlising the reducing of the resistance to allow for greater explosiveness?
We do both those things.

2) would you ever look at utilising the jump before the weight exercise and what type of situation would this be?

3) with regard to the training of sports such as baseball or cricket how much conditioning work would you do(as the sports consist of sprinting and then a long rest) and what would it look like?
No matter what sport you do...being 'fit' never hurts.

4) a weird one but have you ever read inside sport and would you be willing to have a look at some of the training programs they are publishing detailing the weeks of professional athletes? they just seem off ( eg a rugby player doing PILATES!!!! for his legs this was timana tahu)
A lot of athletes succeed in spite of their training not because of it.

5) when doing blast strap pushups how much lower or higher should the reps be compared to regular floor pushups
We go hands to lower.

Okay that's it for now (just gave you your next blog post if you want) again thanks for putting yourself out there and talking to a kid like me.

You keep asking questions and I'll keep answering them.

All the power must be in the hair

The red heads have been running riot. First Fergus then Fanj and now Hogie just smashing the place up. Hogie had a good 8 week block of training and I don't have my results book in front of me but off the top of my head...added a few kilograms of quality..his bodyfat is the same as it was when he started. He added 15kg to his bench...and would of added more if Fanj hadn't sabotaged him by using the Jedi mind trick on him. He got 19 pull ups...well done Hogie...with Hugh out of action that could stand as a record for a while.

He thinks he was robbed...after looking at it in slow motion several times...I think as always...I was generous.

He did about 60 push ups and did 34 inverted rows in 60 seconds. Hogie has a back issue that we are nursing him through so even though he wanted to deadlift I didn't let him. A lot of the lads are heading off to the US this week I hope they have a great time and don't destroy all the hard work they've done.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Apparently I only train rugby players

The truth is the majority of work I do is with rugby players. This season though is actually the first season that is the case. I work with lots of athletes from lots of different sports...Rugby, Gaelic Football, Hurling, Basketball, Tennis, Athletics, Football, Martial Artists and Boxers. This is as well as the individuals I train who are just looking to get in shape or lose weight. The athletes I coach in all shapes a sizes.

Some are big strong and aggressive.

While others are basically just little girls.

Basically I'll coach anyone who walks through the door and the athletes tend to pick me rather than me picking them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I was talking with some athletes who just started with me the other day

What we were basically discussing was how they got seemingly so strong so fast. Now before you start thinking I'm blowing my own trumpet...I was actually explaining that it had nothing to do with me. What we were discussing is that when they started I did what I usually do and have them do 2 'induction' sessions...this is just to give them a bit of a feel for the facility and to have a bit of a poke around. Then they do their testing just like everyone else.

Anyway...back to my point. One of the lads was saying that he basically did for reps what he did for 1RM in testing on the bench. The reason this happened is because when he loaded the bar he neglected to take account of the fact that the bar weighed 20kg's. Now he's only been doing 3 sessions a week for 3 weeks now. Put quite simply he has not gotten 'stronger' in 3 weeks...well not significantly anyway. All that has changed is his ability to stabilize and control the bar. What has gotten better is his ability to express his strength. If we tested him now I'd say he would do close to 50-70% better. Now I ask you he actually 50-70% stronger? Of course not.

Why am I talking about this I hear you ask....or more likely you are probably saying...what the hell is this idiot going on about now...or words to that effect. Well the reason is that I think experienced even elite lifters and trainees forget this fact. Say you are stuck at 100kg on your bench...or that you can squat and RDL 60lbs more than you can getting stronger the answer? What most lifters try to do is to keep trying to smash their head against that brick wall. They keep piling on the weights and think to themselves that it is just a matter of training harder, training more or trying harder...have you been there and done that? It isn't always a matter of getting stronger.

Sometimes improving your control, flexibility, mobility and stability are more important in enabling you to better express your strength.

This guy will test this week after only a month of training...and he is going to smash his previous scores. Is he significantly stronger? I doubt it. Is he better able to express the strength and power that he has? You bet. More importantly that better expression of strength and power means increased km/h on his serve and improved court speed and agility. Do I care that he'll add 10kg's to his bench...not really...too me what it is more of a sign of him being able to control and apply the strength that he has in a focussed and specific way.

I am soooo out of the loop

If you want to know why I'm not part of the fitness biz...other than for the obvious reason like the fact that I am barely literate, am a terrible public speaker and have a propensity to cut my nose off to spite my face when it comes to interpersonal skills or more specifically my complete lack of them...then read this.

Is plagiarism the new internet business model.


Is plagiarism the new internet business model - Part II.

I just realised how funny my link to Lyle's book appears now:

Lyle McDonald's Books - Everything I've stolen in the area of nutrition. If I've told you how to lose weight... it was from here... if you've got advice on bulking up... also here... if you are seriously interested in nutrtion and sports performance... don't talk to me unless you own them.

Why can't every one just use my disclaimer...this is something they should feel free to copy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In a bit of a funk this afternoon so blogging to distract myself

I'm just trying to tidy up my homework stuff as well as getting back to do all the stuff I said I'd do that I haven' in no particular order.

Michael Sullivan has left a new comment on your post "Slowly getting back on top of things":

I want to increase my deadlift but not quite sure how to go about it. I can squat about 80 pounds more than I pull. RDL about 60 pounds more than I pull and good morning about the same as I pull. What this means to me is that I need a bit of eccentric loading to potentiate the eccentric portion of a movement. Is this a predisposition that can be remedied and if so how?

I want to see this...any chance of a video?

ian has left a new comment on your post "You can never be too safe...":

Hi Will,

After posting my rowing time trials a few weeks back...150m/28s – 500m/1:48.8s – 2Km/7:55...could you outline what jumps out at you from those figures and how they would shape up any program you would develop...bearing in mind you haven’t seen my technique or know my goals though I am very similar to Patrick. I saw your analysis of recent tests and can see that power is an obvious concern in the 150m trial.

This isn’t me touting for a I’m actually following Patrick’s Phase...I am in much need of conditioning work and I was curious to see how I would get in mixing the rowing with the strength work. I’ve just finished the first 2 weeks and already I am feeling great progress with the rowing conditioning.

Have you got Patrick on Phase 4 yet?...I know you’re looking at adding some size and I was interested to see how you keep the mix of volume and intensity of the rowing for this phase.

I was discussing this with a basketball coach today...not rowing but conditioning in general. I generally do the opposite of what most coaches do when it comes to conditioning. What you usually see and hear about is the typical an aerobic base, the do speed endurance and then speed all know the deal. My view is that you need speed first otherwise the speed you are enduring is 'slow' and that is easy to come by. This all comes back to my 'look at all the fatties finishing fun runs and even marathons' argument/statements. What I try to do is to develop acceleration, power and speed first...the reason being that I think these attributes are the hardest to are these attributes that separate the good athletes from the bad, the great from the good, the elite from the great and the best from the rest. So improve these first then I try to improve work capacity after that.

I'll put this really simply and generally first and then if we need to or if people want to we can talk specifics after that.

I'll use the rowing example because it's an easy one...and I'll use Ian as an example. His best time for 150m was 28 seconds. The first thing I'd do is work out how much recovery he needs to perform sub 30 second 150's consistently for say 10 sets. Is 30 seconds enough? What about 45 seconds? Is it a minute? Say it is 30 seconds...what I would do then is to try and accrues some high intensity I might have him do 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 30 seconds recovery. Then I'd give him 2 minutes rest...recovery but probably not complete recovery...then 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 45 second recovery and see if he could still do it...then give him another 2 minutes...then I'd have him do another 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 60 second recovery and see if he could still do it. Are you following me? By the should try that and give us your results...the CII will record all the details for that as a session...try to do your best times on all of them and post them for us. This is basically what I did with the lads early on...some of them caught me snooping...some of them didn't but what I then did was to adjust all there sessions so I could have them perform as many sets as possible at near maximal intensity. Then what I do is to start manipulating the distances, sets, reps and recoveries so I can increase the distance and hence the time that near maximal intensity can be maintained. I then go back to closer to the original distance used and repeat the process with less give you and example...some of the lads have been through a process where when they started the were doing those sub 30 second 150's with the recoveries I suggested to Ian...they worked up in distances as high as 500's before coming back to sub 30 second 150's with as little as 20 second recoveries. Last year during a normal training session I had 3 guys do a 2000m time trial...this was during a session mind you...the three of them would of all have been in the Top 10 in Ireland in the Indoor Rowing Championships and all have made the Top 20 in the English Championships if I remember might have actually have been the Top 15. These were not rowers...these were guys that had actually not done a 2000m time trial ever before. Like I said...I don't care how it works...only that it does...only an idiot prepares for a marathon by going out and running 42km every day. I'll leave it at that until someone asks some good questions.

I'm chucking this in here because I know you are all too lazy and disinterested to read the 'comments' section.

ian said...
Will said...
So I might have him do 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 30 seconds recovery. Then I'd give him 2 minutes rest...recovery but probably not complete recovery...then 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 45 second recovery and see if he could still do it...then give him another 2 minutes...then I'd have him do another 10 sets of sub 30 second 150's with 60 second recovery and see if he could still do it. Are you following me? By the should try that and give us your results

Will - on July 5th during session 1 I managed this:

31.0 !



Not quite as you requested as I did the strength stuff in between.

It is actually written to be done just that way. To combine your strength work with the near maximal effort conditioning intervals.

Without prompting I actually made it a goal to go sub-30s for each 150m - I was slaughtered at the end of the session - and it seems coincidental that the rest periods was probably about spot on for me.

So you think that is a coincidence? You really don't have any faith in me at all do you?

Thanks for posting your comments - that helped clear a few thoughts I had.

As usual...I've no idea what comments you are referring to but glad to be of help anyway.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Rats was a skinny little S.O.B...he used to behave like most little guys. He'd whine & moan about how training damaged his hands...he spent more time looking at himself in the was embarrassing...well today Rats finally became a man.

I feel so proud.

Try to ignore the fact that I can't spell bulimia.

So much for him not being able to put on weight!

MIke Robertson doesn't like my posts.

Mike you can kiss my.................! Only joking...I like can check out his blog.

The Fatathon continues...with the obvious results.

Here's an example of what some of the lads and myself had today.

Session 4 - Conditioning
Rower - 6 sets of 300m with 1 minute recovery
1A Step Ups - 5 reps per side
1B Pull Ups - 5 reps
1C Bridging - 30 seconds
*Done as a 15 minute work block...and many circuits as possible...Johnny, Logi & myself got through 7.
Rower - 6 sets of 300m with 1 minute recovery
2A Straight Bar Deadlift (100kg) - 5 reps
2B Bench (60kg) - 10 reps
2C Med Ball Sit Ups - 10 reps
*Done as a 15 minute work block...and many circuits as possible...Johnny, Logi & myself got through 9.
Rower - 6 sets of 300m

As I said...this seems to be the most common use of the treadmill these days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

OK...I want to go back a little

Kira was talking about Muay Thai training and what I thought of it and the fact that a lot of it seems counter intuitive by today's standards and what we know about strength and conditioning. Basically stating what is the 'standard' training method in Thailand and the fact that by current standards Kira thought it could be done better or improved. Kira also noted that it was the way that most 'champions' in the sport trained. I think I mentioned boxing and the use of 'road work' and the fact that people often mention to me how stupid and inappropriate they think it is with what we know these days of training 'specificity'. The fact that basically all 'champions' still do it seems lost on these people.

I want to blend a few things together here...firstly one of the reasons I started this blog is because 1. I am a terrible writer...and it seemed like a good way to practice...and to annoy people along the way. 2. I find it really difficult to articulate my views and thoughts on strength and conditioning...and it seemed like a good way to practice...and to annoy people along the way. The second of these points hit home tonight when Cookies & Killer asked me in the middle of their intervals why I had put so much effort into getting them bigger only to start breaking them down running the arse's off of them. It made me realise a couple of things...1. How much faith athletes have in me to put their training and by extension to some extent their sporting careers in my hands. 2. How poorly/badly I get across to them why I have them do what I do. That isn't good...not on any level...I will add that to the list of things that I need to improve upon.

Now I'm going to step out onto the thin ice here now and mention the post I made about know the one where bunch of people got their panties in a twist and everybody told me that I didn't understand what I was talking about...well anyway...what I was talking about was peaking in team sports and the fact that everybody involved with teams is preparing their teams as best as they can and they are all obviously trying to do the best they can. They are all trying to 'peak' their teams to win the championship/final/series...but obviously somebody wins and everybody else loses.

Are you all still with me? What generally happens next is that whatever the winners did is now best practice...Michael Jordan did this...the New York giants trained this way or that...I had some one mention to me today that some NFL team in the US is doing their entire pre season with have the champion team who did all their weight training with machines...the other team in some other sport who did nothing but Olympic lifting...only to be beaten by some other team who's training revolved around power lifting etc etc etc.

If I have to listen to someone tell me one more time what the All Blacks do in training I might just go postal. Every time I here someone mention this I immediately know that they don't actually have a clue about training and or coaching. I feel the same way every time someone comes to me and shows me the pre season program that was given to their team....and this happens a lot. I mean I have athletes in the same team who are 125kgs and others who are 70kgs and everything in you think you could write a program that is perfect for all of them? I couldn't. One that was right for the guys who need to lose fat and those that need to gain lean muscle mass? Actually...if you can...send it to me.

You see this all the time an aside...can anyone tell me who this NFL team is that is doing their entire pre season primarily with kettlebells? Think about I use kettlebells in training with 'some' athlete...'sometimes'...are you telling me that they are the perfect training apparatus for everyone? That every player on that NFL team is going to benefit equally from kettlebell training? Give me a break.

Same with the All Blacks...if every team were to run endless 150's will they all win World Cups? Sorry...bad example...the All Blacks have only won one World Cup...and that was years ago. Once again supporting my point that I made in that post about periodisation...the All Blacks throw enormous resources both human and financial into peaking for a World Cup and the last one they managed to win was a couple of decades ago...yet everyone keeps telling me that they are the best team and the best players and best coaches in the world? What am I missing? Are they the best players and coaches in the world or not? Which is it? is late now. I'm going to post this now so people can tell me I'm an idiot then come back and finish this post tomorrow.

Now where was I?
Firstly I can't believe I didn't get any Kiwi hate mail...but that is probably because they don't have the internet in New Zealand yet so I shouldn't be too surprised.

I've seen lots of guru's do there '10 Things I Know' articles...and since apparently I supposedly aspire to gurudom...or so I was told today...I thought I better get with the program. Now...I don't know if I actually know 10 things...I'm just going to start at 1 and play it by ear after that.

1. There is no such thing as a perfect program.
2. There is no 'best' training methodology.
3. There is no best set and rep best training frequency or volume.
So what do I know...I hear you ask.
4. In the majority of cases athletes that complain about 'over training' are really suffering from 'under recovering'.
5. Coaching is a cross between science and need to understand the science...I mean understand it...this is different from knowing the names of muscles and their origin and insertion etc...I mean ACTUALLY understand also need the artistic flair to apply it. There is a reason that most graduates of sport science end up getting a job in the construction industry. It is the same reason that if I went to university to study art instead of sports science I think everyone who knows me knows the only thing I'd be painting is houses...and that's if I was lucky.
6. There is no best training methodology for a particular sport...only effective ways for individual athletes to train. This is where a lot of mistakes are made...if someone wants to get good at them Lance Armstrong's program is not the best way for them to achieve that...if someone wants to get into MMA...doing GSP's program is not the best way for them to achieve that.
7. There is nothing new in training and nutrition but the way that the information is expressed and communicated is definitely unique and stealing other peoples work is a no no...unless you want to make boat loads of which case it seems like it is definitely the way to go.

Once's way passed my bedtime...I'll come back to this post tomorrow and see if I can make it to 10.

How does a 2.7km sprint sound to you?

Well that's what Goodsy, Cookies and Killer did tonight. We warmed up (as usual...whenever you see me use the word 'we' just assume I mean 'they') and then the lads did a 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m and 25m out and back sprint...for a total distance obviously of 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m & 50m. They had 10 seconds recovery at the end of each individual sprint. They then got a whole 30 seconds at the completion of those 5 sprints. They did 6 of these back to back and after 3 minutes rest at the completion of all 6. They did 3 sets of these. Well done I said to you there are a lot of athletes walking around in a dreamland if they think anything we've done so far this year is 'tough'.

Sometimes the place is so busy the photos look like one of those where's Waldo images.

Don't tell me...tell Jonathon

If you want to make suggestions regarding the layout or design of the blog email Jonathan (he can insert and edit his name to make it link to his email address). I want him to regret offering to help me out right from the beginning so it isn't a surprise later on...please make the 'subject' line...'Suggestions regarding the greatest blog in the world.' so he doesn't get the emails mixed up with the rest of his work.

Fat Camp
The lads were in for their conditioning session this morning...they loved every minute of it.

This seems to be what the treadmill is mainly used for these days.

They jumped on the CII and did 750m, 500m and 250m with 60 seconds recoveries and then 5 all out 100m efforts with 40 second recovery between efforts. They took a 5 minute break and did 5 sets of these in total.

Forgot to include this yesterday.

I get this look from athletes a lot.

One thing at a time

Kira asked a question...well actually asked the same question a few times...I just didn't get around to answering it.

Kira said...

Juat reposting a question. . .

I just got back from training Muay Thai in Thailand. If you don't know, muay thai is like kickboxing, but you can grapple standing up and also use knees and elbows to strike.

A fight is 3min x 5 rounds with 2min rest in between each rounds.

The average fighter in Thailand would fight once or twice a month.

Okay, so my question concerns training (particularly frequency & duration).

A standard training routine for a thai fighter is . . .

two 3-4 hour sessions a day (morning/late afternoon), 6 days a week.

a typical session would be . . .

5-10km run
skipping (1/2 hour)
warm up dynamic/passive stretching (1/2 hour)
bag work (1/2 hour)
pad work (1/2 hour)
sparring or grappling (1/2 hour)
bodywight exercises (1/2 hour)
cooldown (1/2 hour)

Whilst I had a good time over there, I thought their training wasn't really ideal for the event they're training for. That being said, ALL the champion fighters have and do train this way.

What are your thoughts on how they do things? Are they training right? Are they succeeding in their sport IN SPITE of their training?

If you were coaching a thai fighter, what would be the basic strategies you would use?

I just realized I've asked a shit-tonne of questions. Sorry about that . . . any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


I get this question asked of me a lot...not this exact question but a variation of this theme...that is...why do boxers still do miles and miles of road work? Or about successful rugby teams doing 150's back to back or 400's etc. Take any sport and you'll find successful teams and athletes doing stuff that seems counter intuitive based on what we 'know' now.

Firstly I'm going to make some generalisations in no particular order just to kick things off before I come back to this later on today.

1. Be careful of research...researchers start off with a premise and it isn't any surprise when they often come back with results that support their hypothesis. You need to be able to interpret and get from research the 'take home points' a coach don't get bogged down in the details. I was discussing this with an athlete yesterday...take the post workout it good to get some carbs and protein after training? Yes. Will your muscles explode and atrophy if you don't get some carbs and protein within 30 minutes of training? No.

2. When looking at research or training programs or always have to filter it through your field of reference. Once again...I was discussing this with an athlete yesterday...he was quoting a paper he read stating that static stretching reduces maximum power by doing static stretching alone the best way to prepare for max effort exercises? No. If I stretch static stretch my pec and tricep prior to my 1RM bench will I lose 30% of my best total? No.

3. Lots of athletes succeed in spite of some of their training methods not because of them. Another athlete was mentioning the fact that some NFL team was doing their entire pre season weight training with kettlebells. Is this the perfect way to prepare for the season? No. Is it the worst? No. Will anyone be able to tell the difference? I doubt it.

4. A lot of training methodologies help psychologically as much as physiologically. Is a boxer running 5 miles in the morning going to be better conditioned for fighting? Perhaps a bit. Will it hurt? Not much. Is it the best way to condition an athlete to fight? I doubt it. If they believe they are better prepared because of it will it help. You bet your arse it will.

I could go on and on...and you guys know I will but I actually have to go to work...more later.