Archive for November, 2016

Power Clean Clusters from Blocks

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Admittedly, I’ve become somewhat of a weekend warrior. As I’m often coaching in the evening I’ve found it difficult to get any consistency and therefore momentum with Judo in the last couple of years. Sure, I can do conditioning or lifting most days and slot it around my schedule, but I can’t slot Judo class around MY schedule. The truth is, the hardest grapple I’ve had these last two years is finding a regular training slot for Judo practice.

To that end, I’ve looked at the weekends as a way to try and get some momentum back on the tatami and this past weekend reflected that. I enjoyed some Saturday conditioning followed by two newaza/ bjj sessions on Sunday.  I went to sleep last night fully prepared to wake up with the aches and pains that every Judoka is familiar with; the cut feet that stings in the shower, the staved finger from an over eager grip and the stiff knees from ‘basing out’ on those grafty butterfly sweeps. What I wasn’t prepared for was the pain when I breathed in/out or coughed. I’m no medical professional, but something certainly wasn’t (and isn’t at time of this post) right with my ribs.

Anyways, there was still training to be done! I was a bit beaten up and sore, but in the grand scheme of things – who cares?! I have a regular Monday lifting session which is purposeful/ planned and part of a bigger vision, so there is no way I wanted to miss it. I simply took a little longer on my warm up, then ramped up to my ‘working sets’ on my exercises with the mindset that I will listen to my body, yet will be aggressive with the lifts and give them my best shot. To my surprise, once I got going I was able to achieve the planned numbers for the day despite being sore during my bracing phase of the lift.

Mondays are currently clusters on the power clean from blocks. Specifically, today was 120kg singles (3 x 3 with 10-20s rest/ 3mins).

The takeaway message: you’re not always going to arrive at a training session fresh and feeling fantastic. Sometimes you’ve got to talk yourself into achieving the goal of the day and gauge how you feel and how your body is responding after an aggressive warm up.

Obviously if you’re unwell or injured you should seek a medical professional prior to exercise as per disclaimer. The advice I follow and give to my athletes when they are not 100% (but not injured) is: “warm up, ramp up to your working sets, then we’ll talk”.

An insight into the competitive season | Part 2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Though my athletes are in-between the ‘train to compete’ and ‘train to win’ phase of the Long Term Athletic Development Model, they are never to old for FUNdamentals.

The guys are in the depths of their competitive season and can easily become stale, demotivated and stagnant when it comes to their physical preparation sessions. As an S&C coach you’ve got to read between the lines and get a reading on how your athletes are feeling. This can be done in several ways. For example, wellness data collection (forms / subjective feedback) or a battery of morning monitoring tests (assessing neural fatigue, muscle tightness and providing objective feedback on readiness to train). We use both subjective and objective feedback with our athletes, although today the best indicator I had for readiness to train was being a human being! Simply paying attention to the mood of the group and intuitively understanding that we ain’t getting anything productive done today until the shackles of the previous nights fitness drills were shook off.

As I’ve alluded to, this morning the guys seemed somewhat ‘flat’ and I needed them to ‘get after it’ as this is their heavy day and they are at the intensification stage of an in-season wave. We introduced some simple competition today to create an atmosphere and get the guys going for their heavy lifts.

The clip below shows Round 1 of 6, serious hats were on until the final rope race where the victor claimed some brand new kit.

This slotted into the end of our warm up and worked a treat at getting the guys smiling and wanting to train hard!

Athletes want to compete!