Speed, agility and quickness, that is what SAQ stands for. Many parents and coaches want me to train this in their athletes. However, after the age of 12, 90% of your natural coordination is already developed. That means you can only get another 10% increase. However, if you get stronger, especially in the posterior chain, your speed will increase greatly. I have an agility ladder sitting in the corner of the PIT. It is collecting dust. If those things worked, you would see world class sprinters using them. They don’t, they know better.
Also, make sure you implement fat bar training whenever possible. Grip has so many potential benefits to getting stronger that it deserves an article by itself. I did heavy db rows the other day with my trustee Fat Gripz and my forearms still feel like they are about to explode. I always have my athletes train grip and will continue to work more fat bar training into the main workout. More on this later, gotta run, peace! -K
I got back to my heavy lifting this week after a down week. It felt good to lift heavy. I squatted 505 on the box squat and to be honest, I could have gone a little heavier, but stopped because the bar was bending a lot and that made me a little nervous, lol. The point is, you need to push yourself. I am not competing in anything, yet I know how important it is to get better every time I step into the PIT. Lifting is a mirror of life, if you are getting better, you are getting worse. There is no staying the same. Use your workouts to fuel your life, put some extra poundage on the bar and even get scared during your training, it does something that is not describable by words.
It is very important to schedule in recovery weeks into your program and for you coaches out there, your athletes programs. You should not try to go balls to the wall every workout. This is part of the art of being a good coach. Today marks the 5th week of my own current plan. I have been breaking records literally every week! However, this week, I am not hitting the heavy stuff. I am getting a touch of a cold and I know that the CNS has to be carefully monitored. But I find that every 4th to 5th week should be more of a repetition week (hypertrophy, recovery, bodybuilding) and then get back to it. Now instead of squatting 500 this morning, I put 135 on the bar and squatted it for 3 straight minutes! The video will be up on the site tonight or so. I am not sure how many reps I got, but I am pretty sure it was more than 50! The point is, I got plenty of blood to the lower body and I have not been training for strength endurance at all, but I have been getting strong as hell and to make my point even more clear: STRENGTH LEADS TO ENDURANCE!!!! Peace-K
Friday I had a really intense lower body workout and yesterday I did a big time back workout at Rutgers University with 2 other strength coaches. We really went at it! Today I played a little pick up hoops first thing in the morning. Why I am telling you this? Because I had to take this into consideration when designing today’s upper body workout. For starters, I started outside with a sled doing backwards sled drags. This helps facilitate recovery in the quads by way of the fact that there is no eccentric muscle contraction-the part of the exercise that is known to cause the most muscle damage. I did this to bring more blood and nutrients to the area which will help in the recovery process. I have mentioned before that the bike is a nother good alternative for lower body recovery. Secondly, I did an explosive style pushup instead of dynamic bench and I really focused on traps/upper back and some triceps. The whole point of this post is that sometimes you need to design your workout with what needs to be done in the overall scheme of things. If you asked me on Friday what my Sunday workout will look like, I usually have only a partial idea. Something to think about….
I was out in the early morning hours this morning on the local high school football field doing my sprints. I will be doing my conditioning on the mornings that I don’t lift as it compliments the program nicely. This morning I did two 400 yard sprints and two 300 yard sprints. That adds up to be 1400 yards. Then on the way home, I remembered something that strength coach, Dan John once said….he never has his athletes do more that 1200 yards in a workout. Now that does not mean to go jog 4 laps and call it a day. I can think of hundreds of different ways to perform a volume of 1200 yards total that would make you puke just thinking about (puking is never the goal). So three 400s would have been a little more appropriate this morning. This weekend it will be shuttle runs (300 yards, 4 times, give it a try and let me know if you survive). Now, this is not set in stone, but a good way to start out. Once you become a beast, we can up the volume for a few weeks at a time. It depends on your sport and goal too. But doing eighteen 110 meter sprints for a football conditioning test is plain stupid. Many college teams do this and I have no idea how it correlates to the field. Anyway, that is besides the point. Stick to the protocol for now. Check out coach Dan John’s DVD here (highly recommended):
I figured that many of you will be trying to lose some bodyfat now that January 1st has come, but you may not have the best plan laid out. Treadmill? Good luck with that. Elliptical, same thing. Take a look around your gym and notice if the people on these machines have changed their physiques at all during the past decade. If you go the ‘normal’ route, you are going to wind up just as fat and probably have sore joints. Slow, long distance training is terrible. Yes, I said it. And before all the distance athletes start emailing me, if you are competitive distance athlete, then obviously you have to train this way (not nearly as much as you think though), but for somebody trying to get in shape and get ripped, it is terrible. I can go on and on about this, but instead, I will highlight a much more effective strategy that will only take 4 minutes per day at the end of your workout. Tabata is a Japanese researcher that found a way to improve people’s aerobic and anaerobic threshold in a short time. And a very nice side-effect is the Post Exercise Oxygen Debt that it will cause, which means you are going to attack your body fat stores. The protocol is 20 seconds of sprinting with 10 seconds of a light jog, repeated for 8 bouts or 4 minutes. It is extremely tough and hard to do. If you live in the northeast and aren’t one to go out in the hours before dawn when it is 10 degrees, then you can follow this protocol in the weight room, with an exercise that uses a ton of muscle, like the front squat (thanks Dan John:)). Try it and get back to me, or email me if you want to know more. I’m getting sick of typing for the day.
My shoulder is still very sore from the dislocation last week, but it feels okay to do certain movements. I start out every upper body workout with shouler iso movements and I work on activating the posterior delts and upper back. I have been cutting out the dynamic days due to the stress it causes on the tendons of the joints and replacing those days with repetition days to make sure I hit the hypertrophy aspect. The shoulder feels okay to do pressing, but I wouldn’t trust it while performing a max lift quite yet, so I have been performing my max effort upper body movement with pullups and a weight belt. I also believe that I will not lose any strength in my max pressing movements when I get back to them. If you are going to push heavy, you have to pull heavy!
I dislocated my shoulder last night in my basketball game and although it popped right back into place, it is extremely sore today. This has never happened to me before, but when you get injured, you have two choices, to use it as an excuse for a break or work through it smartly. I choose the latter. I always tell my athletes that even if they have an injured limb, we are still going to train the healthy side. The way the central nervous works is crazy! If I continue to work the right side (non-injured), then some of the those strength gains will transfer over to the injured side, meaning there won’t be much muscle loss and much if any of a strength decline. I will still train the lower body just as hard, but the pushing and pulling movements will be done with a dumbell on the good side only. I will rehab my shoulder by strengthening the rotator cuff and surrounding musculature. I have already begun watching Eric Cressey’s (one of the top shoulder experts in the world) DVD this morning. I will be sure to keep you posted.
I have a confession to make, I stayed up late last night watching my favorite team (Michigan State) play some hoops against Duke. After staying up a little later than I normally prefer, I opted to stretch this morning. A great way to start the day, but not intense enough to get the blood moving. So, here is the plan…in between some of my sessions, during which there is an hour break today, I will put myself through 30 minutes of hell for the day. Again, this is to raise general prepartion and conditioning. My basketball league has been postponed temporarily which means we will have gone approximately 3 weeks without playing in a competitive game. I certainly cannot let myself get out of shape for the playoffs, when my whole game at this point in my life is based upon defense and being tougher than the guy across from me. Getting back to the topic, today will consist of Sled Dawg suicides and hammer swings on the tire, back and forth, back and forth. I will post some video on the YouTube channel highlighting this. I realize that some of you may not have access to this equipment, so improvise and use your imagination. I had the Rutgers Prep varsity team do a whole resistance workout in the second gym last week because there was temporarily no access to the weight room, and we did it all without a single piece of equipment!!!! LIVE INSPIRED!
Whats up! I will be writing an article this week, so stay tuned for that. I also had a great time with the Men’s Health Seminar in the Bronx…the video will be posted this week on my youtube channel.
My energy is great today, physically and mentally. I had a meeting with my Mastermind group this weekend in NYC and it really got me pumped. I had a great workout this morning. This week is my recovery week as I am training in 3 week waves. Every 4th week I bring it down and then fire it up again. I feel much fresher and my 300 yard shuttles this morning felt great! I had a great breakfast of Kashi, almond milk, super green food, and blueberries, a stray from the norm of egg whites and oatmeal, but it is time to switch that up as well for a while.
It is all about creating momentum and compounding interest in yourself. It is easy to do the things that make you successful and just as easy not to do those things. Most people choose not to do those things. Jeff Olsen talks about it in his great book which you can check out here:
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