Monday, March 25, 2013

How We Are Different.

Exercise, and specifically weight training, is something that is just a part of my life. I basically eat/breathe/sleep this stuff and I spend most of my time thinking about it too. With that being said, my goals are one of the things that make me different than my clients...

Most of my clients are coming to see me to correct imbalances, lose weight and get stronger. They really just want to "get in shape" and have no specific goals relating to performance. This is great and still allows me plenty of room to achieve fitness milestones with my clients.

The athletes I work with at BU are there to improve their on-field performance, but are still limited by the constraints of being a University athlete and student. Doing certain things with a team sport athlete being trained in a group setting just isn't a good idea.

When it comes to training myself, though, I can do pretty much whatever the hell I want to do. I've got the knowledge, capability and desire to do just about anything to myself. I know how to prepare for it, I know how to execute and I know how to recover. I still play volleyball competitively, and my main goal is to get as brutally fucking strong and powerful as I can.

When I train both gen-pop clients and collegiate athletes, I follow a very well-rounded program. There is a ton of warm-up and mobility followed by some bi-lateral strength movements followed by accessory lifts that are often uni-lateral in nature. There is a bunch of core stability work and hopefully some conditioning at the end. My programs involve bands, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sleds and cables; all of the good stuff found in any well stocked weight room. My clients learn to move well with just their own body and with an external resistance. We lose weight, regain mobility, relieve pain and get stronger. It's a beautiful thing.

For myself, however, things are a little different. My training has been simplified more and more over time. There was a time when I did Show and Go where I spent equal amounts of time on everything. My training following that was much of the same type of balanced training. As time has gone on, however, things changed. I rarely use cable machines or dumbbells. I don't even use kettlebells that often. The brunt of my work is done with a barbell in my hands. I deadlift, clean, RDL, snatch (a lot), and squat even more (front squat and high bar back squats). I do pressing exercises (both on the bench and overhead) but don't really like them. I don't do pull-ups often enough, though. The majority All of my single leg work is done when pushing a sled for conditioning. I squat, hinge, push, pull, carry and O-lift for 95% of my training.

I don't really mess with too many stupid exercise variations that won't have a direct effect on my performance in sports or my "competition" lifts (clean, snatch, squat, bench, deadlift). Those are the metrics by which I measure my success; if they keep going up, it's working.

Honestly, I hardly do any core work now either. The amount of time I spend with a bar on my back, in my hands or flying up over my head takes care of that. Plus, I've put in a fuckshit ton of time doing planks and Pallof Presses in the past, so I consider myself pretty squared away.

Is this the perfect training program? By no means, but it's what works for me right now. I have spent enough time doing mobility that I don't have a lot of restrictions; those that still exist I address. My core is plenty strong and I just don't really have that many imbalances. Guys like Dan John, John Broz, Jim Wendler and Wil Fleming have it right, as far as I'm concerned. Lift heavy, lift fast and then do it again.

It doesn't take much to achieve your goals; just some good ol' fashioned hard work. Have a great day, and go lift some heavy shit!


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