Posts Tagged ‘power’

Client Progress – A Landmark

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

When I reopened my books to new clients in early January I was pleased to see a fellow judoka wanted help in developing his athleticism to aid his performance on the tatami.

Prior to our training sessions, we followed the usual process of a thorough needs analysis before setting some clear goals. Through movement screening, fitness testing and an in-depth look into the requirements of judo, alongside a comparison to the standards of elite judoka, we determined that the ‘biggest bang for our buck’ would be to focus on closing the gap in strength and power for our first block of training.

While the results in the table below are outstanding and a testament to how hard Stephen worked, I think the most impressive thing was seeing him power clean 90kg (3 kilos over his body weight at the time) considering two months ago he had never cleaned. A bodyweight power clean represents an important landmark in the training journey and it’s always nice to see – much like a double bodyweight squat.

Exercise 20th January 20th March
Broad Jump 2.21 2.38
Back Squat 100 3RM 130kg 2RM
Bench Press 90kg 4RM 100kg 4RM
Chins 10reps at BW 10 Reps with 10kg around waist
Cleans Needed to learn Technique 90kg 1RM (bw)

We used the reverse chain method and progressed it over the course of eight weeks to ensure Stephen’s goal of being able to power clean his bodyweight was realised. While his technique can be refined, and optimised further, it’s certainly safe and effective. All in all, great results for a guy who has trained hard. We are continuing to push on with strength and align him to the edge of his weight category (u90) before turning our focus to conditioning (which is pretty good at the moment and being maintained).

Special Announcement | Two Training Slots Available (Aberdeen)

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

It’s been a few years now since I ‘opened the books’ for personal training to the public, and I’m excited to announce that from January to April I have two 70mins slots available at the tail end of the week for training whoever is brave enough :) . Some of you will know that my full time contract has me covering a large ‘chunk’ of Scotland and the geography of the region I lead on with regards to strength and conditioning means that periodically, travelling is as much a part of the job as training athletes. That said,  I’ve had a reshuffle of my schedule thanks to a growing network of great coaches emerging in various cities and it has allowed me to spend less time on the A90 and more time doing what I love – coaching and training people to maximise their potential!

Though athletes are welcome, these training slots are available to anyone who has an athlete’s attitude and appetite for ‘getting after it’. Whatever your goal, I’ll have the right carrot (and a few sticks) to get you there. You can read-up more on my qualifications and motivation for training people on my home page.

It’s worth noting I can take three people per training slot and would fully encourage you to train with your friends, regardless of a variance in ability. That said, with group training it is important that members of the group share a common fitness vision (i.e everyone wants to improve their aerobic fitness, or body composition etc).

Please use my contact page to register your interest and request more information.

Summary

Venue |
Exclusive access to a private gym facility for our weekly session (free parking / showers and changing room space)

Blocks | 10  x 70mins sessions (maximum three people per group)

Expectation | Completion of agreed upon sessions (designed by me) outwith our weekly training slot

Session 1 | Establish the baseline (movement screen as part of the session coupled with tests appropriate for your goal)

Sessions 2 – 9 | Weekly 121 coupled with a planned intervention to achieve goals established in session 1, including nutrition guidance if appropriate to goals

Session 10 | Retest and evaluation of progress

 DISCLAIMER

 

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.

“DON’T BLAME IT ON THE INTERNET”
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”.

The Clean | Learn, Load & Explode

Friday, October 28th, 2016

We use the reverse chain method for teaching the clean to beginners. Essentially, once an athlete has demonstrated they are competent on the deadlift and front squat movement we get them cleaning from the high hang position.  This allows the athlete to benefit from the loaded jump element of a clean (the second pull) without worrying about perfecting bar path from the floor and is arguably the most important part of the clean for non-weightlifting athletes as it’s the section of the movement where most peak force is expressed. Typically, we’ll progressively load this during a mesocycle while working on our core strength lifts before progressing to low hang cleans in the next block of training.

As great as this movement is for teaching the clean to beginners, it’s also incredibly useful as a variation for an intermediate or advanced athlete. Simply load it up or use as part of a ‘clean complex’.

 

DISCLAIMER

An insight into the competitive-season | Part 1

Friday, September 16th, 2016

The competitive season can be a tricky time to get physical adaptations in players. Yet with 19-21 year old athletes on the edge of professionalism, it’s essential they’re physically better at the end of the year than where they started during the summer. Skills sessions, game strategies and weekly collisions are only a few of the challenges the S&C coach must overcome. The video below captures one of our ‘Friday Exercises’ (the jump squat), we rotate intensity on the jump squat over three weeks between 40/45/50% throughout the ‘competitive season 1′ block.

In-season we typically rely on daily undulating periodisation to get the stimulus we need at the most appropriate time of the week; without negating a players ability to perform in training or game day. Exercise selection reflects this; however, there are exceptions. For example, Fridays are our speed-strength day, yet we load up the chin-up movement on this day as we’ve observed it’s one move we can overload the day before a game without negatively impacting performance.

Monday | Strength – Speed
Wednesday | Strength
Friday | Speed – Strength

Hopefully this gives a small insight into how I approach the competitive season of a tough sport, with the view to making my athletes better.

Back-off to break through

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Changes in body composition can be tricky for athletes that are in season and trying to maintain/ develop a variety of  fitness qualities.

A go-to method I’ve used for my athletes and clients over the years that helps sneak some extra volume in without subtracting from strength or power is a ‘back-off’ set @ 70%+ in the core exercise.  I generally use between 70-85% and instruct the athlete to rep out, pulling them back for max reps depending on what week in the programme we’re on.

For example, today I completed a heavy set of three reps @ 100kg. Then took 80kg (~72.5% of my 1RM) and repped out, saving 2-3reps in the tank.

Training tip: explosive intent

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

The first time I squatted 180kg was two years ago with a belt and knee sleeves. I’ve been working through knee injuries these past few years and while I still must programme sensibly, I’m now in a position where I have an improved V02 max and an improved maximal back squat. One message I convey to all my athletes regarding improving athletic prowess is the intention to move their primary exercises as controlled yet fast as possible. Below is more recent video of my 180kg squat without any extra support, and its clear this isn’t a maximal lift for me anymore. In the pursuit of athletic development it’s important to be as forceful as possible when training with a barbell. In this example, you will see me accelerate the concentric portion of the lift through full range of motion, so much so that I do a small jump (admittedly, a very small jump) to finish the lift. I don’t often speak in generalisations; however, a good train of thought is to control the descent of a lift (such as bench or squat) and accelerate the ascent. Of course, the load will dictate how fast the bar-speed is but the emphasis is on ‘intent’.