Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Week of a Strongman

Here is the breakdown of my last day of training.
Saturday was my event day and the last heavy day before the contest.
100' Yoke Walks- worked up to 710lbs in 45secs
Stone over Yoke 52"- 280lbs 5x5
Front Squats- 3x10 185lbs
Swings- 3x12 75lbs
Prowler Pushes 6x 1min rest
I did the prowler just to lose some for the show. The yoke for the show is 625lbs for 80' I wanted to go a little heavier and farther than the show just so I know I can nail it. The stones are great for my upper back strength which is a weakness of mine. We have to load kegs at the show, which I have never done so I hope it goes well. I put in front squats to help develop my quads because my initial pull for my deadlift is lacking. Hope you enjoyed my prep week for the show. Now it is time to deload and focus on the task at hand.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Week of a Strongman

Today is my last ME Upper Body day until the contest. I did a lot of volume today after my main lift just because I was training alone and I did not want to push it to much and get hurt this close to contest. Here it is...
Swiss Bar Incline Press- 5x5 275lbs
Db Bench Press 2x Max reps 105x 25, 22
Inverted Rows w/ Feet Elevated- 25x, 20x, 18x
CG Fat Bar Bench- Strip Set- 225x5, 205x5, 185x5, 145x4 x2
SandBag Rows-4x20- 180lbs
Seated Cleans 3x12x20lbs
Rear Delts- 3x10x20lbs
100 Band Pushdowns
100 Band Pull Aparts
GHR Abs 3x12 w/ 20lbs Med Ball

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Week of a Strongman

This is my breakdown of the training week.
Sunday- Upper Acc.
Monday- ME Lower
Tuesday- Off
Wednesday- ME Upper
Thursday- Off
Friday- Off
Saturday- Strongman

My current weight is at 220lbs and rising. I am trying to get to 230 within a month.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Week of a Strongman

Today was my Max Effort Lower Body day. This is my last heavy squat before my competition. Today was a good day because I made all my prescribed lifts. If I was missing my weight's this close to comp time I would be in some serious trouble. Here is the breakdown of today's workout.
Box Squats- 80% of 1rm 5x5 @425lbs
Zercher Squats- 185x12, 225x10, 245x10, 265x10
I kept this pretty light today because we hit a lot of sets of the box squats. These have a great carry over to my log press and really help to strengthen my quads, lower and upper back.
Split Squats w/ 40lbsChains- (Bar Weight) 95x10, 115x8, 135x8
We have the chains suspended through the whole squat this really helps bring in your stabilizers and helps you focus on keeping your abs tight.
GHR w/ Mini Band- 4x15

Pretty self explanatory, trying to bring up my hamstring strength.
Average Band Crunches and Side Bends- 3x20

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Week of a Strongman

I am doing something new this week. I am going to take you through a week of my training in preparation for my strongman show on March 13th. It is the 4th annual SW Florida Strongman in Fort Myers. I did this show last year for my first show and took first place; I plan to do the same this year. This is my last heavy week before I start to turn it down and deload for the show.

Today is my upper body accessory day, it always varies but it will consist of a lot of upper back and either some over head pressing or regular bench pressing.

Log Clean & Press- 165x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x5, 245x5
This is my overhead movement; I did overhead this week first because I performed CG bench press on my max effort day last week.
Barbell Rows- 135x15, 185x12, 205x12, 225x12
I am really trying to bring my back strength up and build some mass, so I am doing a good weight with more reps.
I superset my next couple of exercise, just to finish up the workout a little faster.
JM Presses- 95x15, 135x12, 155x10x2
Inverted Rope Rows- BWx15x4
These are great exercises to bring up triceps strength without putting a lot of stress on the shoulders. The rope rows are good for building up grip strength and upper back and lat strength. The rope is 2in thick.
Face Pulls w/ Average Jump Stretch bands- 4x15
Face Pulls w/ Monster Mini's 100x
Hammer Curls w/ slow eccentric- 35lbs x12x3
Just adding more volume to my upper back and hammers has a good carry over to the log.
Finished up with a core circuit.
Med Ball Twist, Ab Wheel, Knee Raises 3x10

If you have any questions about anything I did or why I am doing it this way feel free to ask.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What is Best In Life?

I feel as a strength coach, business man, father, and husband you have to find this question out. You have to set your goals and attack them to create your idea of the best life or what is best in life. I have found that a key component to this is organization and the mindset to be the best.

To organize one's life is to make it more simplistic and easier to maneuver. In business it is to as Michael Gerber says "work on your business not in it". You go to work to create a better life not to make it more stressful and complicated. In order to do this you have to have everything organized by making your job so simple that if you wanted to go on a week long vacation, you can have somebody run the gym with no hiccups along the way. You can do this by making manuals for everything you do, so if there are any questions and there will be, that person can just look in the manual for the answer. This part of your life is called making things easier, so you can focus on the important things like growing your business or spending more time with your family.

Everyday I hear people say I can't do that, so they settle for this. If you are going to set a PR on an exercise and before you even start your prep sets you say I can't get this than you know what you deserve to have that weight crush you and it always does. You have to visualize everything in life if you want to accomplish it. The more you think about and the more you see it in your head the more likely it is to happen. You want see yourself succeeding in every aspect of life, you have to have the mindset to be the best and not take no for an answer. Go after what you want in life and have the mindset that it will happen and you will conquer it and guess what you will. To many times I see people put themselves down or doubt themselves and those same people will be stuck doing the same thing for the rest of their life. It's time to be different, to separate from the pack. Start setting the bar high and telling yourself you will reach it and get rid of the stuff that is bringing you down. The time for change is now. What will you do?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Strongman Series-Yoke

The yoke is a great test of strength and mobility. It will allow you to see if your athlete has a strong back, weak core, or poor ankle mobility. You can load this up with heavy weight and do picks, or set it up to do runs of distance; you can also add these at the end of a workout and perform medleys for a finisher.

The pick is a great way to overload the upper back and core. By just picking the weight you will be able to put anywhere from 150% to 175% of your yoke walk weight. Pick like you would if you were squatting. Retract your shoulders, blow your abs out, and drive your hips forward. This will allow you to see if the upper back is the problem or the lower back, either way it is a great way to build a serious core.

Yoke walks are a great way to work on ankle flexibility and stabilization of the core and the back. By loading the weight and walk with it for 60' to 100'. This forces your athlete to keep his core tight and to create a huge upper back or the athlete would not even make it the first 5'. This will have a huge carry over to your squats and deadlifts. On the field it will create a solid core to allow your athletes to make cuts like Barry Sanders. Remember it is also a great ankle flexor, which is very good in rehab type settings.

If you want a great finisher to get your athletes into great shape then try adding some strongman medley's into their training. We do everything from yoke walks straight to farmers. You can also try the yoke into prowler pushes. The variations are endless, so try them out and let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Strongman Series-Tire Flips

Every coach is after the best triple extension movement possible. They use these to build speed and explosive strength. A lot of coaches use power cleans and snatches to develop this, but these moves can be limited by many things and can take years to perform correctly. The worst thing that can happen to you as a strength coach is to get an athlete hurt lifting the way you tell them to. An easy fix to this is to incorporate tire flips into their program it is the most applicable to sports out of any triple extension movement. We have our guys perform heavy sets of 3-5 reps or speed days consisting of 10 sets of 3 reps much like a dynamic day. You can also add it at the end of the workout to build up ones work capacity.

The set up is quite easy to do, but is often the thing coaches mess up on teaching. You want to get in a good football stance with you shoulders and chest directly on the tire. You will have you chin resting on the tire and your arms as straight as possible and as low as possible. You can either stagger your feet or have them even.

The next portion of the lift is the drive. You want your athletes to drive through the tire like you drive a dummy sled and DO NOT have them lift it straight up or deadlift it up that is a good way to tear a bicep or hurt your back.

After you drive the tire you will have to pop your hips up, plantar flex your foot, and drive your knee into the tire. A good way to get your athletes to get full hip extension is to have them drive there head to the sky when they bring their knee up. Once you start to drive your hips forward you want to turn your hands from the supinated position to the pronated one so you can forcefully push the tire down.

Once your hands are in position your athlete needs to run through the tire and push it down as hard as possible.

Here is a video of one of our football players performing tire flips. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Strongman Series-Farmer Walks

Looking for a great way to build core strength and ankle flexibility than the farmer’s walks are a perfect tool to add to your workout arsenal. These are great to do as a conditioning finisher or as a heavy exercise for your workout. There are also many variations, picks for time, deadlifts, walks in a straight line, walks in a zigzag, and walks down and back. Add these to your lower body day or to your strongman day and you will see great results.

The key to great farmers walk is the initial pick. You want to treat this as if it was a deadlift. Shoulder blades pinched, chest up, grip the crap out of it, and drive your heels to the ground.

After the pick you want to make sure to keep you abs tight by keeping them blown. This will help stabilize your lumbar and really give you a stable base so you can fly through the course. Once up all you do is follow the course or hold for time. Be sure to move as fast as you can, but do not try to over stride. This will cause you to become unbalanced and could cause injury.

The farmers are a great exercise to develop grip strength and a strong core. This will allow you to make sharp cuts and increase your linear speed. With a good grip it will allow you to catch easier and to be able to secure a tackle. This will also create good mobility in your ankles and will strengthen the stabilizers down there as well. This exercise is great for building huge traps that will help you in you squat and deadlifts. This is a great exercise to develop young players overall body strength and your players GPP. Hope this helps here are a few videos and variations.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strongman Series-Atlas Stones

I am going to start a mini series of why we incorporate Strongman Training into our athletes programs. I will break down the movement and explain the benefits that it has on athletes. The first strongman exercise we are going to break down is the Atlas Stone Load:
The Stone load is a great full body triple extension lift. It builds a strong back, which believe it or not is a huge limiting factor for a big bench, squat, and deadlift. It is also a great triple extension movement with little to no risk of injury and unlike the power clean it is easy to teach. The great thing about this lift is that it makes your athlete mentally tough, which carries over to the field.

World renowned strength coach Joe Defranco say's it best "The awkwardness of these events builds true ‘functional’ strength from head to toe. This enables the athlete to strengthen muscles that are nearly impossible to strengthen with traditional training.”

The initial pick of the stone load is an enormous mind game but all it comes down to is bear hugging the crap out of that thing and to rip it up to your lap. This is where you build an extremely strong back and grip. It would even be beneficial to just practice lapping it to build a strong back.

The next phase of the lift is the triple extension of the hips, knee, and ankle to get that sucker up and over the yoke bar or up on the box. The key to a successful extension is to remember to pull the stone back and the hips all the way through as if you were performing a kettle bell swing. This is were the triple extension come into play.

There are many varieties of this lift that you can perform. You can do a max effort load, loads for reps within a certain amount of time, or lift them in ascending order and heights. Another great thing about this lift is that there is no eccentric portion to it, so you will not get sore from it. It will build strength in your athletes that will translate to the football field and the weight room. It is what we like to call real world strength. Here is a quick video to prove my point.