You Think This Is a Game?
Y’all, I cannot make this stuff up, seriously, everything I find in the gym that ends up on this blog is real. This is partially why I take pictures to log the goofiness I show you it is legit. The next three winning moments in this weeks, “How to Ruin a Gym” literally took 1.5 weeks to see / experience and nothing is off limits as you will see shortly.
Stealing, its fine, no really….
First up this week, I’ll shoot you over to NBS owner David Allens blog kicking off the festivities of gym destruction! We actually give you some Ideas on how to do this, free advice is always appreciated right, even if it’s not good advice?
The Fresh Maker
We all appreciate bodily cleanliness including fresh breath but, if you cannot figure out how to use your pockets due to a malfunction or walk over to the trash can I’d rather you have stank ass breath. Every rep I waste on cleaning up behind you takes away from my total and if you are lazy enough to allow this then I will take it as you are trying to sabotage my gains, see how this can spiral out of control?
No one is Safe
You think I have borders here at the gym on who I go after, you are out of your mind! I have been here a long time; cleaned bathrooms, cut floors, done ALLLLLL the grunt work for a short period of time. Employees try and keep this place clean, except for those who don’t. That’s right everyone is a target, this gets me going just as bad as someone who is too weak to put their weights up and leaving them on the equipment. People got to eat but fail to put it up, now that I post this I am sure I will screw up and leave mine out with everyone waiting to jump on me, or not, cause like putting your weights up, I do that shit! No one wants to see food on the floor any more than a dead spider, bug or gutted out roach.
As people, we adapt and learn which allows us to progress. Well, some of us. Others fail to change and thus fail to progress. Either way, when we implement what we have learned (often through failing), we identify certain variables as the cause of the failure and change those variables. Then we see if success can be achieved. But success usually comes after a change is made. As we get older and have more experiences, we can foresee change coming and adapt in preparation for it. This is why I love EliteFTS’s mantra: Live, Learn, and Pass On. It reminds us that not everyone has to make the same mistakes. The one area I struggle with the most to change is my mental state, both when prepping and while competing in a powerlifting meet.
My focus during these different periods is similar, one is just a little more intense than the other. The closer to the meet I get the more serious I become. This has shown to actually aid me in getting TO the meet but not getting THROUGH the meet. If you are a competitive athlete, you know staying healthy leading up to the big game can be just as hard (if not harder) than the big game itself. We push ourselves to the limit and things can break along the way. For me, my mental state needs to be in a place of enjoyment and “fun” when doing a meet to feel good and have everything hit on all cylinders. This is one of the reasons I started doing “prep meets” on the suggestion of an Elitefts Teammate 2 years ago. Since then I always get a “prep meet” programmed into my training with another larger meet (the actual goal) to follow it.
Currently, my prep meet will be at NBS Fitness where I HOPE to be able to hit all my second attempts as third attempts in preparation for my main meet in California on November 12th. This will be a drastic change for me in preparation due to some new variables: travel and lodging, on top of usual variables like competitors and weight cut. All of these things will challenge my mental state, so this Prep Meet is just as much of a tune-up as it is a mental buffer for what is to come. Understanding the process of strength and playing the strategy game of choosing attempts to get the desired total is something I need more practice at anyway.
During the next month, I am going to be focused on enjoying the progress that my friends and teammates have made. Regarding my own strength levels, I need to focus on the positives rather than remembering what is still lacking.
A little insight into the barriers I worked on during this meet, you may be surprised what they were, it was not the weight.
How Did This Happen
Since the introduction, we have had plenty of examples of ways to ruin a gym. Let me remind you that these scenarios listed are things we would kind of like to NOT see when coming into the gym, just to be clear. We are going take a look at equipment that has been broken or ruined due to misuse, I will attempt to paint a picture on how I think the incident ended up happening.
Broken, Snapped and Torn
Bands get ran through like water here at NBS, every day we find them either lying on the floor, ripped, or shredded. Now in all fairness the new style that came out we have had the past year was not as durable as the originals, however, the originals have been ordered again and should do a little better of a job holding up against abuse.
1- Leaving bands on machines while still under tension.
We have a lot of ways to set up bands on machines to aid in strength. Just as weight is difficult to put away so are bands once they are already set up. Last week I came in and saw brand new red bands doubled up and left on the Hack Squat machine, this is a great way to make them loose their elastic quality.
2- Dropping bars with safety rails up
Although the safety rails are in place this does not mean bail and let the bar fall from it’s highest point and crash into the rails. Since the gym has been opened we are now up to 2 bars that have been bent, now normally this is something you would think is normal in a gym, let me inform you it is not for this equipment. These Texas bars are rated to hold 1200 lbs without breaking!!!!! There is one person that comes to train at this gym that can stress a bar that much and he has never broken one. We have had a Texas bar bent by way of sumo pulls in the power rack and we can only assume someone was trying to look cool and just dropped his “heavy weight” after each set enough times to make a bar bend.
Just recently we found out football bar bent, dead center in the middle of the bar, this almost seems like it was calculated and the only assumption we could make was someone was doing overhead press or pin presses and was letting the bar fall to the rails with a lot of weight on it several times.
3- Leave Texas Bars outside
Yes, that is correct, perfect storage for metal is exposing them to the elements. This method of storage allows them to get coated with rust and protects the inner part of the metal, it also feels really good on the hands, smells good as well.
Every one of us at some point in time has walked into their work place and just looked and said, “what in the actual F***?”. Whether it be in your current job, or past job, some job you have been in this has happened. Some of the scenarios you literally have to think about all day until you come up with your own conclusion of how and why it happened. Here at the gym, we see whacky stuff every morning coming into the gym, sometimes even when we are not paying attention while in the gym, turn around and just stare in awe of what currently is in the process of happening or the left overs of what happened. This mini series will entail 3 examples per blog of stuff that has accumulated over the weeks so we all can share in the laughs
YOUR POSITIONING SUCKS
My poverty bench is so comical it could have its own stand up show and make a killing. Seriously, it would sell out the FedEx Forum. My current goal is to hit a (measly) 400lbs bench on the platform.
Over a year ago I completely changed my bench setup and stance, which got me to a 400lbs bench press in training but never on the platform. I have been chasing this goal for 2 years now and I have decided to completely change it up AGAIN in hopes of reaching my goal. After making minimal to negative progress 3 meets in a row (over a year time frame), I decided it was time for a change. It is too soon to tell if the new approach is working.
Some bench sessions feel good, others feel terrible. Consistently inconsistent. But I am sticking with it through the next competition. You have to know when the time is appropriate to make a change.
Think of it like a science experiment. You need to complete the whole thing to see the result. If you stop and change things mid-way, you can never be certain about the results you get. Say you finish Week 4 of an 8-Week program and decide it’s not working, so you do your own thing the last 4 weeks. What if you hit a PR at your meet? Which 4 weeks of training was effective, the first 4 weeks or the last 4 weeks?
It’s important to remember that the process that allows you to reach one goal will not be the same process required to get to the next goal. In other words, what gets me to a 400lbs bench press will NOT be the same strategy I need to get a 405 or 410 bench press. I find great humor in social media posts where someone hits a new PR and announce the next meet they will hit a 20-50lbs heavier PR after their next training cycle. It is neither logical nor reasonable to request that of your body. You can’t count your chickens before they hatch, and the top lifters in this sport realize that it may take YEARS of hard work to get that next 5-10lbs PR.
FIX YOUR HEAD
A lot of great things happen in powerlifting, but so do bad things. The long-lasting phrase, “it’s not IF you get hurt but WHEN” is a very real thing in competitive sports. When an injury arises, you have to be willing to change your game plan and change your mindset. I had a defeated mindset all of 2016 in powerlifting and that lead to some struggles on the platform. Frankly, they are not all fixed and it will be a long time until they are. Doing the same things over and over won’t get me there.
My mental focus on meet day is something that is lacking. I allow that negative voice in my head to get louder as my attempts come near. After talking to a few great lifters, this is normal. Great lifters, however, are able to quiet that voice and not acknowledge it. Personally, I tend to let it take the microphone and start singing. I attempted to add meditation to my game plan. Unfortunately, I was trying the wrong kind of meditation and it just made me tired the rest of the day. I found there were different forms of meditation that could be done prior to a stressful activity that I should have been doing.
CHANGE needed to be made after realizing my mental state was off and this was one of the several things implemented to initiate that change. All in all, change is not bad, it is actually necessary to grow and increase your potential in just about any area you can think of. Nothing stays the same forever. Everything adapts. Everything changes.
It is less than a month away, everything you have spent your free time training for is finally here. Just reading that most people will get a slight feeling of anxiety which may also build over the next few weeks the closer the competition gets, and the heavier weight you start moving. Although I am by far an expert in this sport we call powerlifting here is a few things I would like to remind you about leading up to this meet.
#1- You cannot out train recovery
This time during your peak you are trying to break your body down and push it to the limit. This pushes you further into a fatigued state which will be reversed by the tapering of training and loads the last two weeks before the meet. Yes there is a science behind training and that is one of the fun parts of my job, seeing a result of something I prescribed, then adjusting according to the outcome.
#2- Risk reward Factor
These next 4 weeks this is very real, fighting off one’s ego to hit a PR in training, doing all accessories when you feel sick or you are just wrecked from a long day at work. #2 leads back to #1 and if we cannot get our bodies to walk the line of fatigue then bringing it back to be primed for the meet we have done ourselves a disservice. Follow the program set out for you and do what is called for, anything extra now can only hurt you.
#3-” Nothing you do today will make you stronger, everything you do today can make you weaker.” – David Allen
training is a progression which gets us strong over time, not all at one time. Nutrition aids us in getting to a goal over time, not all at once. So keep the progression of your training positive and increasing, try not to fail reps or have a massive form/mental break down. If this happens you have failed to follow #2 thus failing #1 as well. So try to keep #1-3 in your head during these next 4 weeks and hang on for the ride that is powerlifting on the platform, where strength peaks beyond what you previously thought possible
I’ve heard this question often the last 2 weeks and it hurts my heart to say no (seriously it does). I enjoy making people squirm, reading the regret on their face for asking me before I even make my first casting pass on the way back up their leg. The face then turns into confusion as to try and comprehend how they are supposed to “squat” with these damn things wrapped so tightly there is no blood flow to your calves. To that, you will hear me bark out, “don’t be scared of the wraps, USE the wraps and push into them!!!!!”. I would suggest people either find someone they trust to wrap them as it saves a lot of energy, or learn how to properly wrap yourself so you are not relying on others to take your squat. With many of these questions being posed to me, I am going to share with you the style of wrap I like to use when squatting along with my opinion on what wraps are good for certain lifters.
- Beginner: EliteFTS Heavies (2 black & 2 white stripes) Metal Grey or Black
- Beginner (1-2 years)
- Medium – Fast Speed on decent: EliteFTS Heavies or Patriots
- Slow – Medium Speed on Decent: EliteFTS Kraits
- Intermediate (2-8 years)
- Slow Decent: EliteFTS Super Heavies
- Medium Decent Speed: EliteFTS Kraits
- Fast Decent: EliteFTS Super Heavies or EliteFTS Kraits
This is how I wrap my knees
Have you ever heard the cue “wedge into the bar” when hearing someone coach? If not you have not heard a damn thing said at NBS Fitness, it is a “staple cue” that many of the heavier squatters use along with a variety of others. This cue helps set the bar on your shelf which is made by muscles in your upper back. Ok cool, so why does the title mention bench? Have you ever heard the cue to wedge your back in during a bench, probably not, which could also be why you look like Gumby trying to hold weight over you.
It is now an ongoing thing that I get cussed out by Dave Tate every time I visit the S4 Compound, I’m like the step child that always messes up and gets scolded. So after my lashes, I just sat like a fly on the way and see him coach others, the last trip to the compound for the team UGSS he coached many lifters on the bench press and I picked up a few new cues. Now, these cues did not make my wedge into the bench pad but I decided to try it to implement Dave’s cues after my walk out which I was having trouble with. My Lats kept adjusting and I would slightly slide cause I did not have enough pressure pushing into the bench pad so learn from my #PovertyBench to not make the same mistakes.
To implement, after you set your feet in position BEFORE YOU DRIVE YOUR BACK INTO THE PAD, I want you to grab the bar with both hands. Now, I want you to push against the bar (needs to be a loaded bar) forcing your body to the bench and hold it there. Once you have yourself pressed in nice and solid THEN drive with your legs wedging your arch into place and locking your lats and loading your triceps and lats in preparation to un-rack the bar.
- Set up
- Push against loaded bar until upper back is pressed into bench pad
- when you cannot push any harder start leg drive and wedge (pin) back to the pad
- keep triceps and lats loaded and ready to un-rack
- keep this position the whole time
Stay tuned for article and video soon
Why your training must change over the years.
When it comes to the true definition of a powerlifter I am still a novice in the sport. It has been five years since walking my scrawny ass through the front doors of NBS fitness, starting with only a map (training program) down a road leading to strength. This “map” was bias toward squatting, benching, deadlifting, and at the time over-head pressing – which no longer happens – to direct me towards my goals. Over the last five years many things have come and gone but the main lifts always stay the same, here is what has to change to allow the progress to persist.
HOW YOU NAVIGATE TRENCHES
There is a phase in powerlifting where nothing comes easy, this is the time where good names fall into the abyss, burn in the fire, or decease to be remembered for anything in the sport. Years 5-9 are where you are in the trenches fighting for it and finding out what truly works. What works must change with time, change with ability, change with goals and without these changes you can only cash in so many times before that form of currency no longer is valid. This can be closely correlated with a business, particularly the NBS facility, that has changed over the years and I hear both ends of the spectrum. Some like it some do not, but one thing remains the same, there is still the best damn equipment to get better so shut up and get better or stay out of the way. What does it mean to navigate the trenches? It means that you will fail 100% guaranteed but need to be resilient and adapt to what that failure was. If you are unable to do that, this sport will chew you up and spit you out.
Have you ever eaten something you enjoyed so much that it starts to loose its flavor or degree of “aahhhhh thats good”? the same thing happens when training for strength and it is closely correlated with your training age and your current abilities. My first program was a basic 5/3/1 program and I progressed, I bet Id still have progressed till this day on that 5/3/1 STYLE of program but I would not be where I am today without the change in programming, not to mention, I would not know many aspects of different programs without experiencing new styles. As a resume some of the programming styles that I have experienced are as follows: “5/3/1”, “Concurrent” Block periodization, “Triphasic”, and currently “Gaglione Strength”. All these programs are drastically different but aid in the same thing. So how does this give diminishing returns? the program itself does not, it is the individuals that I see running THE EXACT same program over again that do not adjust percentages, numbers, and movements to aid their strengths and weaknesses. These individuals do not understand how to reflect on success (or failure) and implement the proper training protocols to adapt.
PROGRAMMING & TRAINING AGE
Training age will also have a significant impact or programming change, for the first time ever I had a training day removed from my program the closer I got to a meet. My coaches reasoning entailed risk > reward factor and I was under heavy weight that my body needed to recover from, while in a caloric deficit. All are variables that require change, as your training age increases – and actual age for this reason – the intensity of one’s loads increase, certain programs may not be sustainable for individuals as higher levels do to volume required under such heavy weight. All of these aspects are made easier with a coach (in my opinion) that can give you feedback without your own thoughts stepping in the way.
AS EASY AS YOUR WARM UP
Just as exercises give you a diminishing return when done for an extended period of time so will your warm up. Coming into the gym and having a routine is fine but your body is resilient and can potentially (more than likely will) adapt to the warm-ups you are doing. They will become easier because your body is “educated” in the ranges of motion you are playing in and the movements you repeatedly do to get there. As your main lifts go up you will begin to find certain movements either do not feel good or, “just do not do it for you anymore”. This is why we have an NBS Fitness youtube channel which gives you numerous general warm-up variations to implement before training. General body warm-ups are fantastic for all ranges of fitness goers and depending on how competitive you are in a particular sport your warm-ups will become more specific to the movement of the day towards the end.
I have mentioned to people a lot lately that I struggle in deadlift in a competition because I am always gassed. I usually have not trained deadlift after heavy movements in training, until now. I am stoked about how training has been going lately and 2x a week I am deadlifting and squatting on the same day, here is how some of the training looks!
welcome to my experiences of battling ego, poor mindset and fear as I attempt an 8RM and fall drastically short!
Don’t be Camera Shy
If you are like me, explaining things via text can be difficult. Important bits of information can be lost in communication if the message is misinterpreted. This is amplified when trying to give instructions to clients who need explanations or form breakdowns and technique cues. For one thing, the coach is not actually seeing the movement to give precise feedback. A great way to communicate with clients and athletes is to utilize technology that we all have access to: the ability to record video.
Benefits to recording training
Not only does recording video allow for your coach to view your session, it also gives the lifter a third-person viewpoint to review technique as well as a secondary training log. You may ask, “what do you mean a training log?” A properly-kept training log will include notes about how you felt that day and any changes you (or coach) made during the session. With video, you can see:
your ACTUAL setup (not just how it felt)
if it changed (intentionally or not) between subsequent reps or sets
if it was different then the week prior
how you handled the weight that week
how much weight you lifted
All of theses variables will aid you in strength and movement progressions weather you are an athlete or lifting for enjoyment.
Lost in Translation
A common movement cue that gets lost in translation is hip hinging to squat. Describing how to hip hinge can be difficult, especially for clients who may have never hip hinged properly before. A very basic explanation of hip hinging found on Google: “A hip hinge is a movement (flexion and extension) through the hip joint, keeping a neutral spine and the knees slightly flexed”. If you are not sure if you hip hinge well, that explanation isn’t much help. Here is my attempt to explain a hip hinge: “A hip hinge is a movement where your spine and hips move together through a front to back motion with no exaggerated flexing or arching of the spine.” Now although that is a different way of describing a hip hinge, it still may mean nothing to someone who is not sure they are hip hinging properly. Here is a video with a little more information (explaining flexion and extension) but following my previous text description of a hip hinge:
Putting it Together
Once you get over being camera shy, video will be the quickest way to get more accurate feedback from your coach who may not be able to aid you in person. There will be less breakdown in communication, visual aspects of movement can be discussed and seen paired with text decreasing frustration as a client. Now focus can be re-directed to implementing cues and getting stronger rather than deciphering what someone is trying to say. So get those camera stands, make the ugliest lifting face you can, and get strong.
Its that time again athletes where we dial in our training and peak our strength to show it on the platform and put up a fight against the bar!!! Are you ready to take that step, have you planned out your training to lift the most amount of weight at the meet? If not, DONT WORRY, I have structured a training program to aid you in dialing in your strength for this meet! You will be able to experience all that NBS has to offer using specialty bars, chains and bands in an educated way to peak your performance at a discounted rate!!!! Hop on the NBS Website now to set it off!
Where do I start, sigh, here is a quick re-cap. I came to this gym (NBS Fitness) thinking powerlifting was dumb, who wants to be good at only three things, fast forward 5 years and I’m only half way decent at three things ….
David Allen took a chance on me as a front desk staff member, no pay, just training as payment. I say for a long time at that desk and got the opportunity to train with him. I was also fortunate enough to have him pour a TON of information into my tiny brain. I had no clue what I was doing and did 90% of what he prescribed wrong, yet he still kept pouring into me. David also introduced me to EliteFTS, hard not to, everything in the damn facility is EliteFTS (for good reason). The moment I found out what EliteFTS was and their mantra I wanted to be a part of it. Without David this sponsorship probably would have never happened and for that I will always be grateful. He put me in a position to learn, understand, and teach in a way that I could be “on their radar”. This company watched me develop for over 3 years while being mentored at NBS.
Lets skip forward to the good stuff, this past weekend! I was brought up to train along side my fellow team members, mostly athletes, but a few coaches as well. I went up knowing I was not going to be going crazy on the weight and that was ok with me. I still made it in a bunch of the media video bombing EVERYONE but, it was because I was helping. My sole purpose (planned in my mind) going up there was to listen, learn, and try my hand at coaching some of the best in the sport. To put this in perspective, just about every athlete in that building is stronger than I including female athletes. The chance to coach elite athletes is different, they are very in tune with their setup, stance, movement, and exertion. What does this mean, it means they don’t like to change shit a lot, they exceeded elite levels doing their current style of lifting so having someone suggest something different throws a wrench in training.
I had the opportunity to have one of the strongest 220 lifters IN THE WORLD give me a chance to give him bench advice…. yes thats right, bench advice. As you know my bench is terrible, I do however know proper mechanics and see inefficient movement patterns. The difficult part to this is addressing it then CORRECTING IT. All to often we see the issue being addressed but nothing to correct it. I ended up aiding a handful of people on bench (all who bench more than I) and squat. The most satisfying thing in the world as a coach / mechanic is seeing the face of an athlete who finally got it and feels something completely different!
I may not be the greatest programmer, personal trainer, Lifter, coach or salesman but, I am a technical lifter and have a gift of making this become “stupidly easy” for me to understand and explain it to others. I will never be on a board debating what methodologies are better suited for (insert sport here) but will be the first in line barking proper technique to anyone who dare touches a barbell weather I like you or not.
The Best Post Meet Recovery Ever!
We always talk about taking a break after the meet to let our bodies recover. For those of you who follow this advice, you understand why. Those that do not implement this will understand one day. For me personally, when I finish a meet I don’t have motivation to even get under a bar to move a bunch of weight. I had my battle and either won or lost. This time after the meet is to either lick my wounds and figure out what went wrong or enjoy the success and allow repairs to be made to my body (because there was damage done). Following my most recent meet, my recovery was completely different and I think it aided me more than it ever has before.
This past meet took a toll on me mentally and it was hard for me to shake. This was the first time I decided to take a trip right after a meet. I figured it would work well since I would not be occupied with intense training. Not only was it a “trip” it was an international trip which I have never done. This caused a bunch of mental variables that removed my focus completely from powerlifting and training. One could say it was the complete opposite end of the spectrum from training. I was not worried about working out, food measurements, and prepping for a heavy or light training day forcing myself to bed early. What I was worried about was making my flight on time, did I have my passport, what this trip was going to be like!
Training for powerlifting causes me to create poor habits over time when under heavy loads. I begin to walk with a waddle due to my inability to keep my posterior pelvic tilt fixed and keep from externally rotating. The ironic thing is, I walk like this because it is the most comfortable but it doesn’t actually fix anything. One could say it’s making it worse. In real basic terms, I could not even walk properly.
So tucking my tail and walking without a waddle was a large focus during this trip. It took so much focus because it actually hurt to walk properly. To give you an idea of this “struggle,” when I was visiting Japan we averaged walking 5 miles a day; that’s roughly around 15,000 steps. I am not going to lie, when I start addressing my compensations, other areas begin to hurt because I was guarded and locked into a poor position for so long. By the end of the 5th day, I could physically feel my strides and hip position were better, my waddle was decreased and I felt much better… JUST BY WALKING!
So after finally returning from my trip, (and the additional recovery from jet lag), I think this was the best post meet recovery I have ever experienced. I am ready to get back to training with weight. I can tell my base needs a lot of work and hopefully will fix more lingering mechanical issues along the way.
Remember, you cannot out-train recovery, and you cannot sustain maximal strength 365 days out of the year, so look into taking a break after a meet and enjoy what we have been blessed with on this earth.
So I came across this idea while watching a discussion on social media between several EliteFTS team members. A few of them in particular I check up on because the information they share pertains to either my work or common interest’s. Since my work is in strength and conditioning, you all are a part of NBS, and you stumble to my page to see the information I share I feel as though you may get some good reads checking out others I keep tabs on.
Brandon Smitley: Part of team EliteFTS (athlete) and puts out a lot of information on “how to’s”. Every so often he will come up with a new exercise variation which is awesome and he usually does a “pick of the week” where he highlights the best articles (in his opinion) which are always helpful.
Vincent Dizenzo: Team EliteFTS (Coach). Vinny has been on the team a LLLOOOONNNGGG time and has many accolades in the strength realm. He is currently, and has been for the past 3 years, losing weight and is almost down to 198 from 300!!! He shares his successes, struggles, and helpful information. He is also a bench expert in my eyes.
Nate Harvey: Team EliteFTS (Coach) who is the head strength and condition ing coach for Buffalo University. He prep’s a lot of throwers for the school and I have a current client who throws so I have been following his recent stuff pertaining to that.
Casey Williams: Team EliteFTS (athlete) he has been through a bunch of tough times and gives good insight how to deal with struggle. He and Yessica (also EliteFTS) have launched a youtube series, “coupled in strength” that shows the good and bad times of a relationship where both parties are int the strength and conditioning field.
Ben Pollack & Joe Schillero: Team EliteFTS (Coach & Athlete) both have very good information when it comes to mental preparedness in training and outside of training. I struggle with mental focus when attempting heavy lifts and struggle with composure after missing lifts and how it affects me.
Hope you all can gain knowledge from what these people share as I have in the past.
The first Tuesday of every month the staff of NBS Fitness sit down in the “Upper Room” and learn something presented by a co-worker. This past continuing education session came from “Gunshow”. For me this little lesson came a little to late as she discussed, how she structures “cardio” for athletes focusing on (in order) recovery, energy system management, and progressive overload in aerobic work. Taking those things into account during a Max Effort (ME) day or a Dynamic Effort (DE) day will determine the type of cardio you do.
Now the sport you play will drastically determine this cardio prescription. I was informed that because of build and the heavy movements powerlifters and bodybuilders partake in sprinting without some kind of resistance is not the best idea in the world. Sprint training should be done with a hill, prowler, or sled. Powerlifters and bodybuilders are not masters at running mechanics so the way we move and produce force have a tendency to cause “timing issues” during leg and hip flexion and extension where we are not used to there be a load at that range or lack of load at said range of motion leading to injury.
I had my first experience with this while on vacation. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was on the menu and I had the “bright” idea to do sprints after the workout. I have not sprinted straight up since I played soccer (over 6 years ago) and felt there was no better time to do it then now and have a fun competition with my Girlfriend who thought I was as slow as a turtle. I became that turtle after my second attempt at my 10 seconds of max effort work right when I got to speed, felt a mini pop and it was done. By the way, trying to decelerate while hopping is SUPER SKETCHY, so from knowledge bombs and personal experience if you are an avid lifter who mainly stays under weight and want to implement HITT I would suggest talking to an educated coach prior to attempting sprints.
*Technology has allowed us amazing opportunities.
– Booking a plane ticket
– Taking a plane across an ocean in less than one day!
– Giving humans the skills to land said plane (nerve racking)
– Communicating with people who do not speak your language (not even a little)
– Giving us directions to amazing views and experiences
*Grateful for good people
– Fiends willing to drop off and pick you up from airport
– A girlfriend who takes me out of my comfort zone and gets me to a different country
– Kind human beings that show hospitality to you visiting their home.
– For cleanliness (Japan made every place in the US look dirty)
– Great minds to come up with things like train/subway systems, super cars, sky scrapers, ect.
-Food (especially the stuff from home)
– A training facility that has amazing equipment
– Military and how rough their work schedule and living conditions are while forward deployed
– my own car
– my own room
– large appliances
My mind is obsessed with powerlifting and every aspect that goes into it. This haunts me. It can take focus away from other areas. But it also allows me to correlate random things to explain powerlifting in a better way. I was sitting in church and we were talking about vineyards and the growth of fruit (before you get all upset, I am not going to press my religious views on you). The Vine-keeper / gardener has many duties when tending to their crop for it to produce fruit. The more my pastor went into depth on the vine-keeper’s role, the more my mind was identifying the similarities with strength training.
Vineyards produce fruit which shows in the form of a grape. But what is fruit? Is it just the product of the vineyard that will always “just happen?” Fruit is actually a byproduct of “too much life (sap).” When the vine has this overflow it produces things that we want, fruit. If a plant is left to its own processes, it would rather grow more green leaves, shoots, branches, and vines All these are important features of growth without producing fruit. So what has to be done in order to produce and abundance of fruit on a vine, PRUNING!
This hit me like a dumbbell falling on my foot! So many people try and follow their favorite lifter’s style of training, make their own adjustments to a random program, never take helpful advice, or never ask for any. More often than not, people need to prune their objectives in training to produce more “gains” in the long run. I am not talking about small gains, I’m talking about the abundance of gains produced when grown properly, pruned properly, and cared for properly. The abundance of fruit produced at the end of a season in a vineyard correlates directly with the end-goal of training (a powerlifting meet, bodybuilding competition, etc).
So how do we go about pruning? Pruning needs to be done to both bad things and GOOD things in training. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to training. For instance, if you have a supplemental lift that you are good at, STOP DOING IT. Prune it out of your training and do something that does not come easy to you. Just like the vine, you have limited total resources. Channel them into things that produce fruit.
Prune out extra workouts when you are beat down from variables OUTSIDE OF THE GYM like WORK, RELATIONSHIPS, INJURIES, and LIFE! Some of the pruning that has helped me as an athlete over the past year is detaching myself from the gym and training. I think about this stuff all the time. Getting lost in a book or a movie has done wonders for me to distract from the mental stress and anxiety I GIVE myself over training. Naps are probably the greatest thing ever. I pruned two hours of my day to get at least a 20-60 minute nap in before training. I use the rest of the extra time to warm up slowly and efficiently prior to lifting. My energy, mood, and training have all drastically improved.
If you don’t tend your training like a farmer tends his crops, your time and effort won’t yield results. And complaining about it is like the farmer yelling at the vines to make fruit.
Most people blame their training when really they need to prune it and recover better by adjusting life variables to set themselves up for success in training.
Here is the video of my rant recently out back of NBS as I came in Sunday afternoon to do my GPP and all of the equipment was left exposed to the elements and soaked through with rain. Many got a good laugh out of it so enjoy:
Here is my article write up on EliteFTS. Take note of the five lesson’s I learned, some of them being beginner mistakes that came back around.
Pouring Into Broken Glasses
This is part 3 of a 3-part series on “pouring into broken glasses,” which is a metaphor for how information is spread within the fitness industry.
In Part 1, we looked at the differences between how one is educated as a fitness professional vs. the realities of being a personal trainer.
In Part 2 we dove a little deeper into how to navigate within a universe of misinformation.
In this final installment, we’ll take the perspective of a trainee.
Our initial look at “pouring” into others ended with the statement, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. So how do you ensure you’re getting the right information from a reliable source?
Finding a Gym/Trainer
Because of the internet, it’s easier than ever to find a gym in your area. But just because a gym is geographically close to you doesn’t mean it’s the best place for you to train.
When you do a search for trainers or fitness facilities, which are the first ones to pop up? Usually, facilities that have an understanding of business and know how to reach their audience. These gyms will be popular and successful, but keep in mind that being good at ranking high in Google searches is not by itself an indicator that a gym/trainer is qualified.
Look for some key things on their website, like certifications and degrees. This should be high on your checklist. Do not settle for just any certification. Make sure it is issued by a recognized governing body, not a weekend course any high school athlete with a half decent build can BS their way through. Make sure the trainers have bios with detailed information about their background and what has brought them to helping others in their fitness journey. Does the facility require an educational background in the industry and/or an internship? Do they require certain skills to be learned so everyone at the facility is on the same page? Lastly, when you reach out for more info, who calls/emails you? Are you being contacted by a sales rep or a trainer? If you reach out for training, you should be called back by a trainer. If you reach out for pricing and class information you should be contacted by a manager or the coach of the class.
Visiting Your New Gym
When you walk in, are you greeted by a sales associate in a private office or by front desk staff willing to show you around? Does the atmosphere when you walk in make you want to train? Or does it feel like you’re hanging out at the smoothie bar, coffee shop, or tanning salon? One of the biggest things I would say to look for is if the staff is interested in what YOUR needs. If you walk into a facility as a client looking for personal training, you should be introduced to a trainer. This interaction should give you a sense if the trainer has passion for what they are doing.
Plain and simple: the trainer should want information from you prior to your session. If they are thorough, you will fill out a questionnaire so the trainer or coach will know about your current health, any concerns (such as past injuries), and your goals. During your session, you should be taught how to move safely and with proper technique before adding any weight. The biggest sign you are being “poured into” properly is that your TEACHER is able to explain something to you in terms YOU understand clearly. If you are unable to comprehend what is being taught, it is the trainer’s job to use his/her understanding of movement to help you grasp the concepts. If your trainer has you jump into exercises right away without proper instruction, that should be a red flag.
Let The Pouring Begin
Once you’ve connected with the right facility and the right trainer, pay attention to the environment as you move forward.
This is where networking, resume, and daily conduct comes into play. If a trainer comes up to you during you training session and offers to help you, they are showing they have a vested interest in you being there. When you have a question on safety or form, the staff should stop what they are doing and help (or direct you immediately to someone who can).
Lastly, when other members of the facility interrupt their own training to offer a spot (or yell in your ear during a lift), you know you are in a quality environment where the pouring out of knowledge and support is mutual and equally beneficial. When we invest ourselves in the success of those around us, we create a community of strength and friends.
Me and the majority of people who put content out on this page have dedicated themselves in growing their education towards their field of expertise. That being said if you are reading this chances are you have access to some very smart minds regarding training, rehab, business, life balance and the list goes on. So with that being said,
What are some questions that people should be asking, but aren’t?
- How do I (insert any freaking exercise you can think of)
- can you watch my form
- how do you set up bands and chains
- how do you use this equipment properly and the most efficiently
- what are some HIIT ideas
- why do I suck at this lift
- how do you balance training and everything outside of training
- how do you deal with injuries and training
- Can we schedule a session
- how do I activate (insert muscle) properly
- what do you mean by (insert statement)
- where do these go so I can put them up
- where is the chalk
- how do I join the powerlifting team
- how do I go about getting programming
- what kind of shoes should I wear
- how do you stay healthy while constantly being under weight
- who sits in the office upstairs and never comes down (not serious)
- Annie, is gunshow really your last name (serious)
- Angie, are you a good roller skater?
- Bobby, did you used to run a lot?
- Ryan, do you even lift?
The NBS Fitness staff all rolled to Columbus Ohio for the EliteFTS Sports Performance Summit a few weeks ago. One of our highlights on the trip was being able to train as a team together in the EliteFTS S4 Compound, here is what speed deadlifts looked!
Pouring into Broken Glasses (2)
Now that we have been formally educated by a recognized institute (Part 1) and continue to learn from others while building more of our own theories, next we need to weather the storm of attempting to actually teach people. Trainers and coaches are nothing more than teachers, and athletes and clients their students. If you do not understand your teacher, you will not enjoy your lesson. You may fail the task at hand and, even worse, get injured. So, as teachers, if we cannot get through to our clients, it’s our fault. It’s important to understand that students need to be taught in different ways. But what happens when the students are not receptive to the information? Or worse yet, they reject the information and decide to teach themselves or look to unreliable sources? These are the toxic-filled and/or “broken glasses.”
For every broken glass you run into, chances are you will find two that hold a little bit of the information. So your odds are pretty good. You will easily be able to tell who the Broken Glasses are, as they share certain characteristics. Some will disagree with every ounce of water you pour into them by giving excuses or rebuttals to disprove the information being given. Others will go around and talk about themselves, “back in the day,” offering advice that helped them in the past, despite a lack of recent progress. My favorite of them all are the ones who will ask questions repeatedly to different people on a topic, then either implement the improper information or do nothing that was suggested. Yet they keep asking week after week.
So how do you deal with Broken Glasses? The answer is simple, you pour into more glasses.
In fact, pour into every glass you encounter. It creates camaraderie, a network, a strong COMMUNITY of people willing to help one another. If one member helps someone squat just a little better and opens their eyes to a better way of moving, it could prevent an injury to their back, or a muscle tear in their leg. It’s literally changing someone’s life. All because someone took the time to pour a little bit of themselves into someone else. Soon there will be many full glasses who you can keep pouring into. Over time they will pour into you in ways you might not expect.
The knowledge that was poured into me by the owner of NBS Fitness, its staff, EliteFTS and many others has aided in some of the greatest relationships I could have ever asked for. The lives I have been able to help in this industry through clients, teammates, and members far exceed anything I could have ever accomplished in the medical field as a nurse. So as your journey continues in fitness, do not hate or be frustrated with the broken glasses. They will fade away or, hopefully, repair their cracks and filter out the toxic information. Focus on and find all the empty glasses that are looking to be poured into, and you will foster a strong community of knowledge and support.
New style of training will always offer new experiences, this particular program has dynamic work aka “Speed work” which is suppose to be done explosively, this is known as working speed strength. The fun stuff comes when after the initial sets there are “up sets” programmed where the numbers jump up drastically and you are prescribed to still move the weight “fast” not explosively. Now we are in the realm of working something called strength speed. I really like how these are set up, I enjoy wrapping on squats because I have learned to use them very well. Moving heavy weight fast is also a good feeling so here is how the dynamic effort day with up sets went down for me.
Just a quick update on how training is rolling currently. I will be participating in the NBS Fitness powerlifting meet April 8th, prior to that I will be attending the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus Ohio to aid NBS Teammate Garret Blatnik and the rest of my EliteFTS teammates as well. My training right now is slightly rocky as I am training around two adductor strains that have been troubling me for, going on three weeks now. Here is some of my latest training!
After weeks of social media post’s about resolutions and new physique / strength athletes wanting to make a name for themselves. Then hearing a bunch of goals being talked about in the gym I began to pay attention and take note, we are now four weeks past this initial observation and, well this is what I think.
Pouring into Broken Glasses (1)
Back to School
An education in Exercise Sports Science is largely comprised of memorizing muscles, understanding movements, and practicing tests to apply to subjects in a lab setting. You learn the scientific theories behind testing as well as the protocols themselves, which test for specific values. Most of this information is straightforward, similar to the medical field: If the test results are outside of the normal, “something is wrong.” This information is a wonderful foundation for students to begin constructing their own theories and putting into practice what they have learned. Once you leave the school setting and start to navigate your way through the fitness industry, it can be very interesting to see where you settle in this business. These are a few things I have learned to accept in the fitness industry that may help coaches, trainers, and clients progress a little more smoothly.
What Do Clients Really Need?
Attempting to apply the black-and-white guidelines set in school into the private sector industry for strength and conditioning is a challenge when fancy lab equipment is not available. Clients don’t want VO2 Max values anyway. They want to get healthier through weight training. Programming for athletes is one thing, but what about a client who has never played sports in their entire life and can barely move properly? You revert to your education. You remember Kinesiology, how the body moves. You remember flexion and extension, and how every limb moves properly with individual muscle contractions. So we just place an external load on the client and start training, right? Nope. Back to square one.
Start with bodyweight squats. Squatting the load of one’s own body is drastically different than squatting with an external load (barbell). While one’s education in Exercise Sports Science is helpful in many ways, teaching these progressions takes a good eye and understanding of how the body needs to stabilize a load properly. Just like a good squat, this skill requires its own progression, perfected over countless repetitions. So what would a progression like this look like? It would start with the understanding of basic body position from the floor all the way up the chain of the body: feet, knees, hips, torso, chest, shoulders, and head. We have clients complete reps of the movement, focusing on keeping proper positioning and correcting when these positions become compromised. Understanding why a movement and position becomes compromised takes hours and hours of training, seeing hundreds and thousands of people doing the same movement. Repetition, repetition, repetition. This is how an aspiring strength coach and trainer develops his craft as a mechanic of movement to aid people in becoming better. As coaches we also rely on continuing education from mentors and other professionals in the industry that share our passion for making people better versions of themselves. This is the first phase of pouring into glasses. If the young coaches stand the test through the trenches, they will be glasses half full and ready to hold more information.
As we transition (just like progression in movement) from school to practical strength training, we will see how to maneuver through the basics of working with a client and breaking down some barriers of movement like we talked about earlier. We must then move forward to attack the barrier of knowledge and (mis)understanding from fads in the fitness industry that ultimately keep people further from their goals. This will basically be debunking toxic information previously poured into clients that erode their “glasses” and could potentially cause them to break. Knowledge in the fitness world is a powerful thing, but so are people who know just the right amount of “buzz words” to make themselves sound knowledgeable. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” as they say.
After a three week wave of Dynamic Effort (DE) lifting this week was called “DE” but it was to set a 5RM. I was prescribed to use wraps and I do fairly well when I am allowed to incorporate them into my training. I have never taken this weight for 5 before (the most was 2 res without wraps). The greatest part training was the reps were not all high, the weight moved fast, and I had more in me. This set was roughly equivalent to 700lbs for one rep in the amount of exertion I put forth with is a good sign since I had more in the tank for sure. We are roughly 2.3 months out from the meet!
We are deadlifting! here is a day in review of all the deadlifting that was going on!
My portion can be sen here on my EliteFTS blog
My client Mike using chain’s (his video portion was taken over a 2 week phase as he pulled sumo and conventional). The NBS powerlifting team is getting after it with sumo pulls for ten rep’s! watch for the break down’s and commentary to potentially fix deadlift issue’s!
This vlog is due to my increase in reading. As I was making my way through this business book my mind went to training and correlated the two. This is what my random thought’s and rambling lead to!
This video came by request from my blog on EliteFTS. This is in addition to my elite article which can be found here: External Rotation
– Knees out is misinterpreted by many lifters
– Glute activation must be initiated and sustained to keep external rotation throughout the lift, going down AND coming back up.
– Feel the bar in your feet, twist into the floor, do not let feet “roll” outward.
– without external rotation our femur jam’s into our hip joint decreasing the ability to open hips thus decreases our ability to stabilize our trunk and back affecting the way we transfer force.
How to Use Bands and Chains for Accommodative Resistance
The concept of accommodative resistance can be explained as “the increase of resistance while lifting through a range of motion” (Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing. (2012)). This can be accomplished by using bands or chains to increase tension/weight at the lockout of a lift or a decrease in tension/weight at the bottom end of a lift. In meathead terms, the closer the bar is to the ground (or other connection point), the lighter it is; the further from the floor, the heavier it is. So with these very basic principles in mind, we are going to discuss how to set-up bands and chains for the “big three.”
Depending on your height and limb length, these can get tricky. The goal with chains is we want AT LEAST one or two links dragging on the ground when we are locked out (top of lift) and all of the links on the floor in the bottom position of the lift. There are different rings on the EZ Bar Loaders which allows height adjustment. The ends of the chains are held together by carabiners which can be used to fine-tune the length by “choking up” chain links (for shorter lifters like myself). This will take some, “test and tuning” while dialing in the proper height.
At NBS, each chain weighs about 20lbs. This means that there is a tangible amount of weight being taken off the bar and added to the bar with each rep, so be sure to check with your coach and see if they are worried about the actual chain weight or number of chains before just slapping them on. Always work up to your working weight while using chains. A bad training day is waiting to happen if you work up to your top set THEN add your prescribed chain weight to the bar.
Let’s get this out of the way on the front end: bands suck. They suck really bad. The amount of strain on your CNS is greater with bands than with chains and you can potentially ruin your world if you create an over-excess of band tension. There are probably a dozen different ways to implement bands but we will stick to a novice/intermediate introduction and setup.
One major difference between these two forms of accommodative resistance is that bands add a percentage of weight (resistance) through tension. We never want the tension to fully leave the bar at the lowest point. This means we always have an added form of resistance working against us in addition to the bar weight. So to set these up, we will need two pins placed at least 2 holes apart. We will start the band on the pin (which will be directly under our bar path) we will call this “pin 1”. Run the band from pin 1 back toward’s “pin 2” which will be the pin furthest away from us and our bar path. After wrapping around pin 2 come back to pin 1 wrap under then directly up to the bar. Be sure to check with your coach as some have different ways to set these up.
As always, ask an orange shirt if you are not sure how to implement the equipment. Better safe than sorry. Do not try and figure out the “weight” bands add to your lift, you will hurt to many brain cells, and the calculation will still be a loose estimate at best for your social media video. Implement these tools for awesomeness and watch your strength increase. Last but not least, PLEASE don’t leave these forms of accommodative resistance laying around the floor of the gym after you finish training. If you’re are strong enough to use them on a lift you are strong enough to put that shit away!
here is the full Vlog!
How do you know when to Hire a Strength Coach?
#1: If you doctor warn’s you of health issue’s that can be improved through exercise
#2: You lack energy, motivation, and education about “working out”
#3: You feel like you are making no more progress
#4: You are not sure what the majority of the machine’s do at your facility
#5: You find yourself asking a lot of question’s to a lot of different people
#6: If you hurt (debilitating) after training or a full body movement
There are many training program systems for strength athletes and different theories are applied within these systems. With so much specialty equipment out there, people tend to get lost in what to use and more importantly how to use it properly. In this installment in our “Specialty Equipment Series” we are going to look at products that aid an athlete by providing mechanical assistance when performing the lift. Since this equipment is often misused, we will focus on how to use them properly.
Because “they can make you dance.” …or give you assistance by taking a percentage of weight off the bar. For instance, when using bands for a REVERSE BAND setup, the stretch of the band aids the lifter out of the hole in the squat, off the chest for bench, and off the floor for deadlifting. Sounds pretty easy and basic right? Not so fast. People often overlook how quickly the band assistance changes through the range of motion. That “help” goes away REALLY fast. When bands are implemented this way it does not take load off the bar at all times, the assistance the band gives will vary depending on the height of the bar. The lower the bar, the greater the stretch on the band, and the more help you receive.
Next up is the SlingShot. This piece of equipment was designed by a powerlifter focused on aiding bench pressers with overload training and for strength athletes dealing with shoulder or elbow injuries. The SlingShot is made out of an elastic fabric that does not like to be stretched. This allows the lifter to feel the full weight on the bar throughout the whole lift, but at the bottom you have a rubber band effect. The further your elbows pull the material apart, the more energy the SlingShot will store and snap back into the bar allowing the lifter to move more weight.
Things to be mindful of when using the SlingShot, this material will compromise your normal pressing movement pattern. Since the material is trying to go back to its original state, it is putting pressure on your elbows, promoting them to tuck. If you do not pull the material apart with your elbows, it may cause your elbows to tuck and dump the weight forward toward your stomach. Another application that can be used with the SlingShot is learning how to do a pushup. It is the exact same concept as the bench press but you are not laying down. As you get closer to the ground and your elbows go out, the material stretches and aids you in pressing back up since the material wants to go back to its original state. This is a great trick for teaching pushups to someone who has never done them before!
Be A Bro!
The last form of assistance that can be used is a good ole training partner. You can always have your training partner to aid you in keeping the bar moving even when you are no longer strong enough to move the weight yourself. No, just kidding. This means you are not strong enough (weak) and you choose an improper weight (probably because of your ego). If your training partner does this, find a new one. “And get a role model!” (Gone in 60 Seconds).
Seriously though, using a training partner as “assistance” should only be used if you fail or do not have the awesome equipment that NBS has. If you are reading this and go to some other gym, the equipment I just mentioned will give you a bigger bench. So come to NBS and get a bigger bench (…and squat …. and deadlift).
On being a new strength athlete and trying to lift and train like one of your role models:
- Their training style
- Remote programming
- Their style and setup may not be best for you
- The exercises you see them do may be too advanced
Learn how to lift
Learn your leverages and let your stance and form develop. Do not force it.
Shooting from the hip: Injuries and Set Backs
*Emotion will be tied up in set backs, failures, and injuries which is natural, it is fine.
-riding this wave and bailing on the issue is what is not cool
-doctors try and decrease pain, or repair after acute injury
Repair and Rehab is always the number one route in a strength sports injury (IMO)
Side Step and reflect
-Take a day, a week and evaluate what happened and why
-Do not distance yourself from the sport, be there for teammates
-SEEK OUT ADVICE
If you are reading this blog you have countless sources to use!!!
Make a plan WITH THE NBS STAFF that will not make you take steps backward but keep you where you are and progress you onto an onramp right back where you left off if not further
For more topics, or if you have a question you would like answered (IN MY OPINION) post it in the message section!
*VERY LONGWINDED, SORRY, DEAL WITH IT!
Check out the new training log style I am attempting. Hoping to answer more question’s and be able to give more tip’s WHILE training this way.
Here at NBS we have many things that are out of the norm, including a bunch of weird equipment that the majority of gym goers have never seen. We have more bars, kettlebells, and weights per square inch than most training facilities within 300+ miles of Memphis, TN. Did I forget to mention a FOUR time reigning master’s Olympia strongman, several highly competitive bodybuilders, crossfitters, and over 15 elite level powerlifters? There is a reason all of these highly competitive, motivated, and successful athletes come to this facility. The specialty equipment is a small portion of the reason. In this series of articles we are going to pick out flights (groups of three) pieces of equipment not readily available in a standard gym, then give you THREE ways to use each one properly including other neat ways to utilize the equipment to help you in your strength goals!
The first “FLIGHT” of specialty products we will look at are bar attachments and boards for bench pressing. The reason I decided to group these together is they are close relatives since they do similar things. May I introduce to you the EliteFTS Shoulder Saver BLACK and RED, along with their cousin the BenchBlockz, and Boards. Each of these devices decreases the bar’s range of motion on the bench press, serving several different purposes.
The Shoulder Saver Black And Red are pad attachments developed to decrease the range of motion during a bench press, which decreases the strain put on the shoulder capsule, hence the name, “Shoulder Saver.” This was a fantastic application, allowing people recovering from injury to still be able to bench press and practice proper benching mechanics without risking re-injury. This piece of equipment is also used to aid lifters in building strength in their lower, mid-range, and upper pressing positions by causing you to produce concentric force in the area of the lift you are the weakest in the bench press. As you look at both the Red and Black Shoulder Saver’s you instantly notice the difference in size. I personally like using the red application for close grip work and the black for any other bench variation. The Red decreases the range of motion (for me) during close grip bench just enough to keep my scapula from protracting which would turn off my triceps and put me in a inefficient position. During a close grip we want to focus solely on the triceps.
BenchBlockz was a fantastic invention for those who are looking to get the “biggest bang for their buck”. The piece of foam allows you to have the equivalent of a one to four board in one. This saves a ton of space and they are very convenient to carry in your gym bag. BenchBlockz can be used in the exact way as the shoulder savers, with the added bonus of decreasing the range of motion even more. This benefits a shoulder injury even more as we can make a longer safer progression back down to our chest after injury. BenchBlockz give you increased ability to isolate triceps with the four board side selected while doing close grip, less intrusive than a board resting on your chest when trying to get closer to a competition bench, and does not need the help of a spotter to use.
THE original Board Press. This is where it all came from, the “OG” of benching specialty equipment. For those who are trying to save a buck you can make these yourself and customize them with logos or designs. Boards have the same uses as the Shoulder Saver and BenchBlockz, but they are the grandfather. They require a second training partner to hold them and are still to this day preferred by geared lifters when going heavy. One of the coolest uses I have seen for these pieces of equipment is, “Tricep Hell”. This exercise uses up to three or four boards heights, back-to-back. You do a close-grip bench press starting up top with the four board, then three, then two, touch chest, then climb back up to a four board… that’s one set, (evil laugh).
So get out there and board-up to help your bench, play with different setups, ask advice when implementing them. All this equipment is here to help along with all of the NBS staff, just do not use the pads or boards improperly like shown in the video. If I see that I will encourage weights to be thrown at you.
Stay tuned for the next few articles as we look at Slingshots and catapults for bench press, bands/chains/boxes for everything, and specialty attachments for the cable system.
Along with my recent interview with BarbellShrugged I was recorded teaching them how to setup the bench press for an efficient full body lift. Enjoy a FREE video of the main points I would go over in a one on one session with a client!
I have had many learning experiences being raised in this industry by David Allen and many of those stuck. He also placed me in a position to flourish and be developed by other amazing coaches and athletes through EliteFTS who then took a chance on me and poured into me even more. All of these things have now given me a platform to share all the amazing knowledge I have been taught by my mentors who took a chance on me.
The NBS Strong man contest was taking place down on Beale Street, this contest was closed out with a car deadlift competition. There was one weight that would be used and everyone had one minute to rep the car as many times as possible. Now, I am very competitive, so this turned from a fun good time to wanting to win (prize was $100 bucks). The crowd was very alive and in the middle of an iconic street, I had a ton of people expecting me to win so the pressure was on. The bar was set high by a 275+ guy that ripped out 36 which was nothing to shake a stick at. I walked up to the bar and our gym manager, Annie Gunshow got the crowd going, I started ripping up and dropping down this car. I managed roughly 20 reps without stopping for a breath and start slowing down there. I found out in this competition that I cannot count to save my life, you will see me drop the car and unstrap in the video (at this point I thought I had won). Unfortunately, I was four rep’s off from winning, once my brain finally comprehended people telling me I had four left I went to wrap back up to finish but my time expired before finishing it out, I ended up getting 33 reps coming in second.
Why You Should Be Using Specialty Bars to Bench Press
Last month’s ARTICLE we looked at specialty bars and why you should use them for your training, particularly squat training. This month we are going to look at specialty bars and implementing them for training the bench press. Before everyone gets freaked out: No, we will not be using the same bars to bench that we used for squatting. Well, maybe one (evil voice).
Why use specialty bars when training the Bench Press?
We use specialty bars for the bench press for many of the same reasons we use them for squatting. Preventing (or working around) shoulder issues is a major concern. We will visit three different bars in this installment and break them down to be implemented into your training!
First up we have the EliteFTS Swiss Bar. At NBS Fitness we have two different styles of this bar. The first one is the standard bar that features a neutral grip, this means you are holding this bar and your palms will be facing each other (inward). Therefore this bar keeps your shoulders in ADDuction (elbows tucked into your side). Having your shoulders and arms in this position decreases the amount of strain that is put on your shoulder capsule along with pec major and minor. This bar will also force you to recruit the use of your triceps more than you are used to. There are three hand positions to grab this bar at. For smaller sized people I would recommend the innermost position. As your size increases along with shoulder width I would suggest moving out on the hand grips. If you are a beginner female, I would suggest inner most position. For a beginner-intermediate, medium-weight male I suggest the middle grip position. The characteristic of this bar is that it like to wobble just a little bit. This requires you to really lock in your lats and make sure your wrist wraps are on tight.
The second version of the Swiss Bar looks similar, but all three grip positions are different diameters. When you have a close, neutral hand position, you recruit more triceps from a body mechanics standpoint. Having a wider grip allows for an increase in grip contraction and recruits more lateral muscles in the forearm and triceps. As you progress outward on the grips, they get smaller, this allows you to focus more on pec contraction without the added variable of a wider grip. The innermost grips for this bar (shaped in a “V” pattern) allow for skull crushers, JM press, and CURL variations that hit your triceps AND BICEPS in a variety of different ways to introduce and new kind of hell.
The EliteFTS Football Bar is next, I would rate this one as the worst of the specialty bars for bench pressing. That comes from member/client feedback and also because it destroys my ego every time I use it. The personality of this bar comes from its angled grip and what it causes your wrists to do. All the grip positions are angled, similar to how a lineman would hit his opponent, (hence how the bar got its name). Because of the angle, this bar loves to wobble front to back, wreaking havoc on your wrist stability. I have the majority of my clients and teammates use the center grip on this, from my experience it offers the most stability to users (and this is still far less than a regular bar).
The last bar we are going to look at is not an actual specialty bar made to bench with, it is a specialty squat bar that some evil mind attempted to bench with one day and it offered them great results. We are going to learn how to use the EliteFTS Cambered Bar to bench! The personality and characteristics of this bar are the exact same for benching and squatting. This thing LOVE’S to oscillate back and forth during the eccentric and concentric phases. This bar cannot be used on a normal competition style bench. You need to set up on the OUTSIDE of a rack to bench with this bar so it does not hit and face savers or rails. The grip positions here are limited as the vertical rails of the bar need to be aligned parallel to the forearms allowing proper bench mechanics.
Try out these three specialty bars in your bench training to further you strength gains. If you have never used one before, there will be a learning curve but do not let them intimidate you. Just like the specialty squat bars, I promise there will be a positive transfer of strength when you go back to a normal bench bar. For any other questions please contact me at christian@NBSFitness.net or ask an orange shirt in the gym for help!
Many of you know me from NBS as a powerlifter, some may even know me as a strength coach / personal trainer. Either way is fine by me, what I hope people know most is that I have a passion to help. I say this all the time but never get sick of saying it, “I was raised in the industry” under then best values possible” and for that I am forever thankful. I was poured into by mentors and individuals I reached out to that were also raised in the industry the right way. This is becoming extinct in the fitness industry where money and spotlight will keep uniformed exercise enthusiasts in the dark and susceptible to injury or worse, to leave exercise completely, which for some could be fatal!
This past weekend I migrated back up to EliteFTS for the second time this month. It was not for me, it was not for my lifting, it was for people who were like me starting in this industry seeking knowledge guidance and advice, these things are what keep me in love with my career. This trip was different though, the location was the same, the EliteFTS Team was mostly the same, the principle of our meeting were the same but this is the first time I would be traveling up to a sponsored even as a team member of EliteFTS. This meant I was in a position to return what has been given to me when I was brought into this industry. I came to these events seeking information from team members and now it was my turn to step up to the plate and return the favor to everyone and I was ready!
My journey to this point has been fairly short in the grand scheme of things “strength” related. I would not be in this position if it were not for a handful of people that gave me endless support and a facility that at the time developed me in my ways which I will never forget. I recently have allowed competing to push my coach mentality aside and this is a balancing act I am working on. I will say after this past weekend I have a new fire lite to come full circle and have the coach take center stage again. I urge you to seek out information and ask, we have a gifted group of people here at our facility that I cannot speak more highly of and I promise it will take your experience in strength sports to a whole new level!
Specialty Squat Bars: WTF is this?
How many times have you walked into a gym and seen a piece of equipment so odd that you are left scratching your head thinking, “What the hell, why is that even in here?” We get that a lot at NBS, because we have equipment you won’t find at any other gym in the region. This is particularly true for “specialty bars,” which have become more popular as lifters see them used by high-level athletes in their training videos.
Here is a brief summary of how to incorporate them into your training.
The number one reason to use specialty bars is to look cool, what needs to be done is get a haircut to draw attention to yourself then use a bar that draws equally as much attention to yourself.
See, it works great, trust me I have been doing social experiments with this for over 2 years now.
What do we mean by “Specialty Bar?”
A “specialty bar” is a bar with design elements that alter the mechanics of the movement when compared to a standard barbell. We are not talking about a Texas Squat Bar that has extended knurling and long collars to make squatting easier in a competitive setting. In fact, specialty bars do the opposite. By adjusting the position of the weight in relation to the lifter, specialty bars actually make it more difficult to execute the movement, and these bars are only used in training (not competition).
In short, some evil mastermind looked at a compound movement like the Squat and thought, “How can I make these harder?”
Specialty Bars are primarily used in the Squat and Bench Press, but also for some associated accessory movements. For this article, we’ll focus on Specialty Squat bars.
Each of these bars are unique and have their own personalities. Since they will affect lifters in a variety of ways depending on their weaknesses, we will discuss the main characteristics of these bars and how to “prep” for them.
This bar is the least complex of all the specialty bars, it looks as though the bar has been bent over someones back and there is good reason for that appearance. This bar is mainly used for people with poor shoulder mobility and allows for a more comfortable position under the bar. The powerlifting team here at NBS like to use this bar as a transition bar coming off of several training cycles using the other specialty bars which do not resemble a regular squat bar, in other words, it helps acclimate us getting back under a normal squat bar. This bar although subtly different still has a significant personality outside of a regular straight bar, the buffalo bar we house here is known to have a slight rotation while initiating your squat (going down) and getting out of the whole (coming up). Make sure your lats are firing and you are bracing to fight the personality of this bar.
EliteFTS Safety Squat Yoke Bar aka “SS Yoke”
The Yoke bar is padded and sits around your neck and on your shoulders with handles (long or short), chains, or pads for you to hold on to which rest out in-front of you. One great use for this bar is for shoulder rehab, allowing someone with injured shoulders to continue to squat without further irritating the shoulder joint.
However, I do not think that is the main personality of this bar. The SS Yoke is well known for pitching the lifter forward during the concentric movement of your squat.
The altered center of gravity, plus the bar’s position on the neck/shoulders will challenge the lifter’s ability to stay upright. This style of bar is fantastic for helping people who struggle with keeping a neutral spine and fall forward under a regular squat bar.
EliteFTS Cambered Bar
This guy is a shifty bastard (pun intended). The weight sits almost 2 feet lover than where it normally sits on a straight bar. However the bar sits on the lifter’s back in the usual place. What does this mean? Coming up out of the hole, this bar will shift or wobble back-to-front repeatedly if you are the least bit unstable.
There are several ways to make this wobble more evil just by where you hold your hands on the bar. Off the top of my head I can think of four different positions: The lower horizontal bar where the weight sits, which may cause you to push and pull exaggerating the wobble more. The hybrid grip, grabbing where the lower horizontal and vertical bar portions meet which is where I grab and feel the most stable. Grabbing completely on the vertical bar portion which causes you to have chicken wings and lastly the upper horizontal bar which would mimic a squat bar. Now, grab the upper horizontal bar at your own risk as this leaves you with utterly no control over what the cambered bar wants to do on the way up from the hole, you have no way to stop the “wobble” you are just there for the ride.
EliteFTS Spider Bar
This black widow is the unfortunate offspring of the EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar and the Cambered Bar molded into one. It’s the worst of both worlds. When shooting out of the hole, this bar will throw you forward (the SS Yoke genes), then rip you backwards (the Cambered Bar genes), all while you are trying to get your shit together and figure out what the hell is going on.
Why do we need them?
Each of these bars causes the lifter to get thrown out of position. By training at a mechanical disadvantage, the lifter’s body will adapt to the de-stabilizing forces the bar exerts. Over time repeatedly using a bar that throws your body all over the place will teach you to become more stable. When you return to a standard barbell, you’ll be a stout, efficient, land-mass that transfers force through your body like a laser-guided missile into the barbell which pushes bitch ass weight around!
There are plenty of styles and ways to use these bars to aid you in your strength progression. Let the staff at NBS help you understand and utilize everything our facility has to offer in your strength journey. Although these bars can be assholes, they are here to help you become better, so don’t be afraid of them. Respect them, learn them, and master them to increase your squat and your overall strength!
So what really happens at the Compound?
This past weekend my powerlifting training partners and myself made a trip up to EliteFTS. The trip was predominantly for the team to see the company that NBS Fitness has teamed up with to aid in educating and providing best equipment possible for us to train on. Although EliteFTS does that for many, this trip was much more than that. Dave Tate, the owner and CEO of EliteFTS, was kind enough to stay and personally coach our whole team in the S4 Compound when no one else was around. All the guys were exposed to media coverage and will be in a pretty sweet movie ALONG with hands on coaching from one of the greats! This is something many do not get to experience and we were spoiled to have the opportunity. Shopping for EliteFTS stuff online is fun too, whats even better is shopping in their warehouse which the team was able to take part in.
This trip was a huge blessing for me as well, two staff members at EliteFTS wanted to update my profile as they are all of the athletes getting new content. To my surprise I was interviewed and asked questions particularly to my career as a strength coach which will be captured in a video. This in and of its self is something I could never afford to pay for, will be seen by hundreds and captures me in a light that no one really sees of me outside of lifting as a coach. This company has given me a fantastic platform to reach nationally and internationally expanding my coaching abilities and the knowledge I love to learn and share.
I am overly humbled and blessed to be given the opportunity to represent EliteFTS and they keep going above and beyond for the people that represent them. I was given a sneak peak at just my updated profile picture, it now has me foaming at the mouth to see what is in store for the video they made of the NBS Fitness Powerlifting Team’s visit!
We are on Wk7 of our training which is masterminded by the owner of NBS David Allen. Day one went really well for me as the weights are getting heavier and this is the time I get into game mode. We are 7 weeks out!!!!
So you just did a powerlifting meet. Now what?
There are many potential answers to this question. Here are my suggestions, compiled from conversations, methods, and opinions from fellow coaches and athletes, many of whom are far more knowledgeable than I am.
Take some time off from under the bar.
This is especially true for beginner and amateur lifters. Some lifters with more experience will do “prep” meets gearing up for their “main-focus” meet.
In that case, after your “main” meet, I highly suggest taking time off, i.e. AWAY from powerlifting movements entirely.
Powerlifting meets take a lot out of you. Between the excitement of the meet and the heavy weights, the body does not brush this elevated stress in just 1-2 days (even if PED’s are at play). Your body cannot sustain balls-to-the-wall performance demands year-round. There are some athletes out there that push themselves for extended periods of time, but you can only out-run physics and biology for so long.
During your deload, I would suggest reflecting on the whole training cycle leading up to the meet. What went right on meet day? What went wrong? Figure out everything that you feel aided you, from your very first training session through your last training session prior to lift day. Determine what exercises you liked and which ones you felt did not aid you. These are the details that will make you a better, healthier, and smarter competitor. Write them down!
#3 Ease Back In
Lastly I would ease back into training, what our team usually implements is a General Physical Preparedness (GPP) phase that entails very low intensity and high volume movements. There will be a lot of unilateral exercises, and many High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions that go along with this. This is what builds the base of the “pyramid.” If I was to ask you, “what is the only way to build a bigger pyramid?” the answer would be, “A bigger base!” The peak of the pyramid is when we compete. That is the pinnacle of our training, everything else leads up to that moment. This is why it is very important to have a large base (foundation), which is built with GPP.
Don’t go straight back to training heavy.
Maybe you were dissatisfied with your meet-day performance and want to get back to training heavy right away. I would suggest re-evaluating your strategy.
Injury is bound to happen if you push your body during a time when it is recovering from repeated attempts at (or above) maximal loads.
Whether you’re embarrassed or on a mission to “never let that happen again,” an injury won’t help you reach your goals. Take the damn week off.
Don’t keep eating like you’re trying to make weight.
Unless you didn’t cut any weight or adjust your nutrition significantly, your approach to food should change after you’ve competed.
During recovery, your body needs food (aka calories), so give it what it wants!
Just as with heavy training, maintaining a nutritional “peak” is not sustainable. No one can stay on the same food regimen their entire lifting career. Your body adapts to whatever you feed it, so find a nutritionist and have them aid you in recovering from your meet.
Change your eating habits back to a more “normal” regimen. Even if powerlifting is your top priority, you have to figure out a balance. When the meet is over, shift things back in alignment with a progressing lifestyle. It will not set you up for failure for your next meet, I promise.
Don’t dwell on the negative.
If you have a bad meet, you must acknowledge it, but ultimately move on. Learn from the mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Focusing solely on the negative will create toxins in your mind which will set you up for failure getting prepared for you next meet. Or worse, it has the potential to torpedo your whole lifting career if you can’t get past that mental state.
Lastly… Enjoy life!
Help others and pass on what you have learned. Let your experiences add to their tool box of information. Take a step back from the bar. It will make you respect the sport and want it that much more!
Take the time to broaden the base of your pyramid. Build a solid foundation.
Once you’ve got your strong foundation, you will be ready to put your body through the next set of challenges.
So the NBS family is made up of a bunch of people who are quick witted and love to talk trash. They have gotten very good at it over the past few years. I have come up with a “Quick Chart” trouble tree for people to refer to when they ask themselves, “have I made it yet?”
#1- Double Body weight Squat / Deadlift? if yes, 2 point
#2- 1.5x Body Weight Bench? if yes, 1 point
#3- Do you weigh 200lbs? if yes, 1 point
#4- Do you have an elite total? If yes, 1 point
#4.2- Do you have an elite total but answered no to #3? Sorry denied
So to answer everyones question, “Have I Made It???”, if you can tally up 6 points you made it!!!
soooooo……. better luck next time
Many people have reasons why they are in a specific career field. Many people know a days get a job by way of connections, through pre planned schooling and hard work, others sometimes fall into a career that they stick with. Some like their job, others love their job, and the most rewarding is those who have a passion for their job that will always pay back.
Two weeks ago I ran the NBS Fitness Youth Camp. We had very few kids to sign up but had a blast for the whole week learning how to move, then implemented what we learned in obstacle courses. This camp was a time to work on the basics that many coaches and parents disregard. Specificity for kids can be a terrible thing, it can increase potential for injury and make them not like a sport as much as they used to.
Below is a note given to me after the Camp concluded by a father and his son. The fact that the son had a blast and the father recognized and appreciated the teaching’s that were implemented is not just a good feeling but reassures at least one student is on the right path to success in movement and implementing it for sports. Things like this is why I do what I do, it has been instilled in me to “Live, Learn, and Pass On” (EliteFTS) through the way I was raised in the fitness industry and it is the most rewarding thing possible.
Training for me since the XPC finals has been interesting. Dealing with the drive to get back under a bar, getting some stuff taken care of outside of the gym that has been neglected, and just getting back into competitive mindset. Well, finally back on track and a new game plan set in place. I have been using our massage therapist Yvonna along with our sports therapist Tyrell who both have keep me pain free since the start of this training cycle. For those at the gym that do not know I have felt with extreme tricep pain from squatting under a straight bar keeping me from training bench. There have been times where bench was skipped for weeks due to pain. Specialty bars were used for entire training cycles to decrease arm pain for a hit or miss training session on bench.
For the first time in over a year I am training under a straight bar (multiple times a week) both squat and bench and do not have debilitating pain. I will say the therapy is not comfortable but it is working and for that I am thankful. From a technique standpoint, I have reached out to EliteFTS teammate Casey Williams who has been aiding me in my setup and bench form. You wonder why I am changing so many minor things on me and other people? Its because I have someone much more knowledgable than I guiding me. Here is how my bench went this week on medium day.
Today Joe flips the script on me and got me good with his diss while interviewing him for member mashup
Online programming is a useful tool in the strength world that everyone on a fitness journey may benefit from. This ranges from the unexperienced to elite level athletes through out all disciplines. Annie did a great job of explaining how to get the most out of online programming in her recent article . After several years of practicing and being around other great coaches who program online, here are my reasons for choosing online programming.
Online programming is perfect for the fitness enthusiast’s that have a particular goal and understand their way around a weight room but need guidance reaching their goal, online programming is definitely for you. Whether your goals are powerlifting, physique, or sports related, having a coach who can program you to “peak” for your desired discipline will be key. Having more variables of your training controlled by professionals makes preparation for competitions much easier than attempting to do it yourself. General fitness clients that are training to stay fit or lose weight who have been with a trainer before can also greatly benefit from online programming. There is an art to this aspect of the fitness world and some are really good at it while others can keep you from progressing. Due tot his be sure to research the individuals you are looking into taking the reins of your training.
Another reason for choosing online programming is if you have found a fitness professional that you look up to and agree with their training methods but live far away. There is no better way to form a working relationship and a better understanding of a particular training method than someone who implements the style of training you want to test out. Many of my teammates at Elitefts have different training methods who’s professional services I would like to seek out in order to experience their programming and learn from it to help expand my professional skill set as a coach. Make sure you continue with the program long enough and give the progression a chance. You may not have instant success swapping over because it is a new style of training. Too often I see people swapping programs only after four weeks, this is silly and a dis-service to yourself.
Individuals who have a very busy schedules are another perfect fit for online programming. They can make time for the gym but not consistent enough to meet a personal trainer or decipher program methods to fit your goals. As stated in point one, this takes the thinking part out of training. You can get your mind ready to train and not worry yourself over things like, “should I go heavier, was that the right choice, eat…” Online programming allows more flexibility of the time component than personal training.
Online programming may be the key to unlocking hidden potential that an experienced coach can pull from you. Be sure to seek out styles of programs you have researched and would enjoy to learn more about and watch how much time is saved when you leave this aspect of your training to an experienced coach!
So David and I have been talking about running a youth camp for about eight months and this week it finally kicked off. This is just the start of what we have planned for the future endeavors here at the new NBS Fitness facility. A few things to take note of, these are kids ranging from ages 8-15 years of age. Typically we do not load younglings until around the age of 12 and within our current group we have two over and two below that cut off point. With that being said not a lot of loaded compound movements will be implemented into this camp.
So one may ask, “what then can you possibly do with kids and call it strength and conditioning?”. My answer to this is, teach the kids how to move! The majority of kids now a days do not know how to move, our group struggles with movement patterns that any adult would ASSUME they should be able to do. For example, I had to teach 3/4 of my class how to properly skip …. SKIP!!!! They straight up did not understand the movement pattern. Do you have any idea what that movement is the base for? SPRINTING!
So this week we will be working on full body movement and coordination, lower body strength, upper body strength, and finish with a game implementing everything including conditioning. I will share the workout progression I have set up for them in my next few blog post’s. Here is how day one ended playing Hurdle Tic-Tac-Toe. This game was awesome as it forced the kids to move quickly, change direction, be teammates, and think quickly while on the fly!
Monday was the start of our training for NBS Fitness’ September Meet. Owner and Coach David Allen has us running a very technical Triphasic program that I am excited to see the progression from.
Talking to pete and talking shit
While on vacation I got to take a field trip to the infamous Monster Garage Gym!!!
Caught up with Josh Cossar mid set for a member mash up!
Michael Waltermeyer is not new to powerlifting. He has previous experience but has been out of the game for over a year prior to this meet. Michael attempts to balance a crazy schedule as he is in school to be a nurse anesthetist. He busted his tail to make training sessions and pushed himself, during the process he lost a little bit of weight, gained some muscle and felt overall pretty good going into the meet. We decided not to do a water cut due to his stressful schedule. Post meet Michael decided to join the dark side again and hop on the NBS Fitness Powerlifting team, welcome, again.
Michael’s last meet, as stated above, was over a year prior to the “King of Spring”. Although it was in a slightly lighter weight class you can see significant progress was made while dealing with a hectic schedule and if you see him in person put on some good muscle as well. He had a very successful day, and posted a new total PR in the 198 weight class. His next meet he will be set up for success to increase his total and drop a weight class to join me in the 181’s.
Best lifts prior to meet:
Squat – 485
Bench – 295
Deadlift – 485
King of Spring Results:
Squat – 560
Bench – 320
Deadlift – 495
Hannah has been a client of mine for 2 meet cycles prior to this one (almost a year). She too is in school and has the challenge of making it all work and come together on meet day. This meet was a bit of a surprise for us both as we originally were just going to have her to a mock meet (perform three attempts on one day during the week at the gym to test her strength) instead of the meet due to her school schedule, scientist field work stuff, and presentations. Toward the end of our training she found out a bunch of stuff was cancelled so she decided to dive into the meet which was not a big deal, she was on course to do well.
Hannah was coming off a rough meet prior to this one where she did not hit all of her numbers that were projected in our training, as well as, a few minor ailments that kept her from deadlifting the style she was comfortable with. This meet was a very big come back and confidence builder. She decided not to cut weight and just roll into this meet with a clear conscious and focus to finish and hit numbers to giver her a better total. She ended with PR’s in all of her lifts resulting in a 35lb PR total! This girl has been through all the up’s and down’s in training and it is fun to see her pull it all together!
Best lifts prior to meet:
Squat – 230
Bench – 110
Deadlift – 230
King of Spring Results:
Squat – 245
Bench – 115
Deadlift – 245
Marc came to me very close to competition time asking for programming. Although this is not the most ideal scenario we still made it work. He has an athletic background as a competitive hockey player which aided him in self motivation and having a competitive mindset. We did not have much time to build strength with Marc but we were able to peak his strength for this meet. No matter the result, as long as he made it through the whole meet the day would be successful as this was his first.
Marc has been training the “big three” lifts for quit some time but never structured to prep him for a meet. his best gym lifts prior to the meet stood at:
Squat – 330
Bench – 245
Deadlift – 435
So these numbers are what we based his training off of. I implemented principles of Prilepin’s chart when peaking Marc which resulted in him putting together a 1005 total @ 165
King of Spring Results:
Squat – 350
Bench – 240
Deadlift – 415
Now to some of you reading this you may say, “well that looks like a failure since his numbers went down”. This statement usually comes from individuals who have never been on the platform at a meet. Competition day changes everything you think you know about powerlifting. The way everything feels is different: weight, body, wraps, bar, platform, bench. All of the variables are changed from when you train, hell, you have an entire crowd watching you on top of three judges looking at your every move. So at the end of the day Marc made it through and took all his attempts. I recall him coming up to me after missing his last deadlift and mentioning, “I am completely smoked”. This is a normal feeling after performing several lifts in the 95% + range while being judged.
With all that being said, I congratulate Marc for finishing his first meet and posting an official total to build off of for next time!
Kenzie Stewart had a fantastic day, she accomplished something very few can, an elite total at her very first competition. An elite total is a pre determined amount of weight combined between your squat, bench, and deadlift for each weight class. It is a milestone in powerlifting to show your strength levels at your respected weight class. She actually increased her squat attempts than what we pre determined cause she was feeling strong on meet day, possibly due to her deload which I had to be a gosh dang police officer and make sure she wasn’t training the week prior to the meet. She had to make minor adjustments to make weight, thankfully she was not too anxious and followed instructions well to have no issues dropping a little water the day prior to weigh – ins. Kenzie has an interest in all strength sports and has a light background in crossfit and weightlifting. During her peaking phases kenzie was breaking personal records of her prior gym lifts 2 weeks out from the meet which was awesome for motivation and momentum. She walked away with a 705 total @ 132 body weight
Best Gym lifts:
Squat – 235 (without wraps)
Bench – 135
Deadlift – 245
King of Spring Results:
Squat – 280
Bench – 150
Deadlift – 275
So two weeks ago NBS Fitness hosted our first federated meet under Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) federation in our brand new facility (right behind the old one). I had the privilege of programming four lifters in preparation for this meet. NBS Fitness members; Kenzie Stewart, Michael Waltermeyer, Marc Piantedos, and remote client Hannah Hayes. Everyone had a great day, this was Kenzie and Marc’s very first meet so regardless of results everything was a “base” for further progress in a meet. All of their lifts were made official in a federation and both made personal record lifts which beat their best gym lifts prior to programming which is a win by itself.
Now being a coach it was kind of a rough day as I could not fill my role completely for them as I was judging the competition. Advice was given when possible and I aided them when they had any questions to ask me. Unfortunately, because of everything going on, sometimes questions and help did not always happen when it should have. Mid way through the competition my coach took over and you will see me in pictures and videos be yelling at my clients and verbalizing cues from the judges seat. This is possibly unprofessional but, as i said, the coach came out.
Stayed tuned for write-ups of each of my athletes that competed!
Every career has rules that one follows. The rules may be set in place by procedures you have to follow to do your job properly or by a boss, who knows that certain guidelines gets the job done the most efficient. During my development as a strength coach and a personal trainer one rule always was repeated no matter where I turned, “never hurt your athlete / client.” Now to some this would be a no brainer but let me tell you something, many people in this industry put their clients at risk in many ways on a daily basis. This is not the main point of this post, thats a whole other topic.
This log is to admit I committed the Cardinal Sin of strength coaching and I allowed my client to get hurt. I will follow that statement up by saying, it was not severely but it made us modify training the next several sessions. Injuries have the potential to happen when strength training every time we step under the bar and it is my job to have an eye to prevent that. It was a wake up call to me that no matter how much I have developed over the years I still can screw up by failing to see all the variables and signs during a compound movement. So next time your training partner or client is taking a lift that is out of their comfort zone (no matter the weight) just remember the potential for error.
Many of you may know when people arrive by their car, it is something people correlate friends with. Prior to getting balls deep in strength training and powerlifting I was a big car guy, my first degree is in Automotive Technologies. A deal was presented to my by my pops concerning a 2008 G37s that I could not pass up so I picked it up. I instantly started to modify the car and with modifications comes the tuning process to make sure the car works properly with all the new additions to air intake and air flow.
This process took about 1.5 weeks total (just like online nutrition / programming) where I needed to record data, send it to a professional, get it “tweaked”, then upload the adjustment into my car. This process is known as “remote car tuning”. I have decided to show you the process that it entails.
When one decides to make the plunge into the competitive world of strength sports there is a process which all lifters could care less for and that is the task of making weight. There are several approaches to weight cutting depending on the federation you are competing in. We are not going to focus on those variables today, we are more concerned with the process of our own Bobby Scott’s struggle to make weight the night before weigh-in’s.
Bobby called me about 9pm Thursday night, he disclosed to me he did not care to spend $25 to sit in a steam room. I offered him out bathtub to sweat out the weight, this was more appeasing to him than spending money to embark in a process he has never done before. We turned up our hot water heater to make sure we could keep refilling the tub with hot water (we already have scorching hot water to begin with).
Once he arrived we threw him on the scale and he weighed 187.6, I kind of laughed and silently said, “we are gonna have some fun tonight”. Long story short we had Bobby hit up around three rounds of baths and got him to around 183 before shutting it down and letting him sleep off the rest. Teammate Brett and I stayed up to make sure bobby did not die in the process and keep his mind off the suck of the hot baths (he was already food and water depleted for several hours so dehydration has set in and there is a potential to fall out).
I decided to take a video and share the moment with everyone, Bobby did end up making weight at 180.6 so our efforts on top of David’s prescribed water cut worked perfectly.
Strength sports have many variables that can make or break an individual’s progression, reputation, and enjoyment of their sport. Some people believe that in strength sports it is only the individual who is responsible for the lift. They believe it is all about their mindset and that no one else can aid them in that. Personally, I don’t agree with these statements. The importance of a team in the realm of strength sports is vital. A team will help keep you accountable, form a bond with others and coach you to becoming great!
•The push “accountability” factor
Many people entering the fitness realm have an issue with making themselves show up (this is a major reason people hire personal trainers). The team aspect of strength sports offers this in the most hardcore way possible. When you do not show up a pillar is missing, the machine does not run as smooth and you affect the rest of the team’s training session. If your team is made up of stronger humans and they expect you to be around, you’re damn sure that will be motivation enough to show up even if you are injured. Beside the fact of not wanting to let your teammates down (who could eat you for a meal) the progression you will see being around like minded athletes will be unstoppable, that is if you just stick it!
Having teammates to aid you in your progression as a strength athlete is a key to success. There will be stronger, more knowledgeable teammates in your facility allowing for more experienced advice concerning your strength movements. This will develop you as an athlete in a well rounded manner and allow you to seek out teammates to aid you in strengthening your weaknesses. Learning all these things makes you a more vital part of the team and puts you in line to help the next generation of strength athlete.
• The bond created from a team
To anyone that has been an athlete on a team you know the bond I am talking about. To those who have not, I would like to paint several pictures from my experiences being on a team and observing other teams in strength sports. Imagine four individuals that would drop what they are doing to aid you in a personal accomplishment, literally save your life if an exercise goes wrong, celebrate your birthday and other accomplishments outside of the gym with you. These are the things that come naturally to athletes in strength sports because the majority of people drawn to them are passionate for other’s success.
So next time you have the chance to be a part of a team in a strength disciplined sport, I urge you to take the experience head on and participate. I promise you will learn something (whether it becomes more than a hobby or not). You will develop self accountability, become stronger, learn how to coach others, and create a bond with some of the most supportive human beings that walk the planet.
This is how my Saturday went!
So as mentioned in one of our earlier episodes David started scaring people and it requires a skill. Sometimes no matter how random you are there are certain people who have been made one to many times and the owners wife “Dr. J Bean” is no exception. I tried my best to get her but her call out in this weeks video of “NBS Mixer” is funny, enjoy!
Have you ever gotten the pump so good you start seeing veins trying to flex and show off for you? Its a good feeling, it is like you are looking at a “road map” of gains to a particular body part. To me as a strength coach I greatly appreciate progress, it makes me love what I do so much more. Training someone to be bigger or stronger is like renovating a house, or detailing a car. When you get to the end result it is amazing, and the process was worth it especially when you look back at the journey. This particular client has been with me for quit some time, I actually went to nursing school with him. We ended up staying in contact and he sought me out and trusted me with his training. He ended up running “a stack” teaming up with David for his nutrition and me for his programming / coaching and the results are awesome to see. Check out our final set of the day with seated bicep curls with chains and try to follow the “road map”.
So my Basketball Athlete has been making a ton of progress is bench press and deadlift, his squat is lacking and we are addressing these issues right now. I currently having him follow a “Tier System” style template to allow him to learn and be more comfortable with all the compound movements we like to implement at NBS Fitness. As we discussed before this client and his brother predominantly use their backs in the squat and deadlift. The video below shows him with a slightly curved spine, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as his spine STAY’S in the same position throughout the whole pull we are not in danger of injury. His back is not in a severe arch, just slightly in flexion. We become susceptible to injury when we start with a braced since and during our pull our since gets pulled into flexion, in other words, the amount of movement the spine goes through under load is how we get hurt.
What needs to be worked on: My athlete has an issue setting his shoulders, his only issue’s in these pulls would be the ability to set his lats and take the slack out of the bar. He gets pulled out of position as his shoulders get rolled forward which makes his lockout’s much more difficult.
The Fix: lot’s of Lat. work
Ok so we have covered that strength coaches can sleep anywhere, this suggest’s that we are often tired, which is not necessarily a false statement but we have good reason to be. Usually we can blame being up early in the morning for clients / groups, going Hard As a Mother (HAM) during training, and staying late for clients. One could also argue that we burn energy way to often by having fun and goofing around during slow hours (or busy hours) well, all the hours, during the day when the energy comes to us.
David has started an ongoing trend here at NBS where he scares the shit out of you when coming into the gym, now that the cat is out of the bag, it will happen to you eventually when you least expect it. The best thing to do is just accept that it will happen eventually. Usually jumpy people are the best and who better to show an example of this other than Jen Moss, she was suppose to be a part of “Member Mashup” but she is a little wuss and practically started crying when I tried to make her give me an introduction. Do not worry we will get her on and I will make it even more random and embarrassing for her.
Dropping a member mashup on Matt during warmups for his training session!
Please say hello to Matt Fike:
So April 30th is one of about 6 big days on the calendar for NBS fitness. If you have been keeping up to date with what the facility has going on you are aware we jus hosted our first strongman meet for the year that went off with a bang.
That meet is shortly trailed by our Powerlifting meet in about 4 weeks, and there are many members and coaches involved in this meet and here are some of the deadlift highlights of last week.
Live, Learn, and Pass On
Ok so as this video states, I have been asked a lot recently to handle lifters and wrap knees lately. Apparently a select few coaches and members have acquired a reputation for wrapping knees well, unfortunately, these people are either running the meet or already have committed to wrapping several competitors.
I made this video today to show you the way I liked to get wrapped. Many of you have seemed to appreciate when I implemented this method of wrap during a heavy squat. Hopefully this video allows you to be able to wrap yourself and better understand why I do it this way.
So I kicked off this new installment of, member mashup, with this brave teammate who decided to stat training with me. I dropped the interview on him directly after our last set (which was brutal).
I introduce to you, Aaron Fleming:
So we currently have a member of the month that goes on, but many of you may not realize we are past 250 members. This mashup will be me randomly dropping in on members and doing an on the spot interview asking a few questions allowing others to get to know the rest of the NBS family!
I will find you, and I will ask you, so beware
There is A common theme / story among most strength coaches if you ask them about their development period getting to where they are today. In the strength and conditioning world that story is grinding with little pay (if any during an internship) and working some messed up hours. There is an amazing special ability that is learned from this make or break process if you can stick through it long enough and make a career in either the collegiate or private sector. What is this special ability you may ask? It is the ability to take a nap gosh damn anywhere you want to that is not hostile.
Now, I threw hostile in there because sometimes head coaches (who also have gone through what interns do) love to F*** with you when you are trying to sleep, so a safe environment needs to be found. I have put together three easy steps to determine a safe napping environment for all interns, trainers and anyone who is not a head coach or gym owner who ruins this sacred time.
1) You need to be in a place no one can see you so shit like the above picture cannot happen. Anytime someone has the ability to snap a picture, the picture itself is the best case scenario. You are one click of a button away from being recorded and someone trying to scare the living shit out of you!
2) Be somewhere no one can physically touch you. When this step is broken you are asking for trouble, and this trouble can have lasting affects when attempting to take a nap. Make sure the area is clear of dense rubber objects, bands, chains, and mother F***ing cattle prods (no seriously its a thing and it is no fun)
3) Best bet to dodge all hostile environments, set up a booby trap so that your attempting prankster will never mess with you again (not really). The most effective way to defend against this sleep abuse it to live within 5 min of the facility you work at. This allows for the gain train of ZZZZZZZ’s to never be taken and you are on top of your game.
oh and Bobby, “gotcha bitch”.
To anyone that read this title and saw bobby’s picture expecting him to pass out on a deadlift, ya’ll are wrong and should be ashamed.
Today we are going to look at my only athlete, who’s main focus outside of the weight room is basketball. His muscular strengths right now is his back which, unfortunately, is his downfall as he compensates every movement by attempting to recruit his spinal erectors (back) to finish movements. This athletes brother trains with me as well, and both rely on their back’s during compound movements. I am convinced it is due to poor posture caused by way to many video games (no seriously, all they do is play video games).
There are many pieces to the puzzle to correct this and in the video that will be shown below you can visually see how he relies on his back once the weight gets heavy. This is however a great improvement from what it once was. We have been progressing him down from a box to 1) teach him proper glute and hamstring activation but also to open his hips (externally rotate) allowing him to keep a more neutral spine. The main reason he is going into flexion here is because it is at his top end and he like to get all giraffe like on my and have his knees bow in.
All in all he had a good day, got a weight on his back for reps he has never done before, and his confidence and body is stronger because of it.
Early morning session are something I have not done in awhile with clients as I was prepping for the 2016 XPC Finals at the Arnold (you can find my write up w/ video of this on EliteFTS). Now that it is over, I am really focusing on how balance all my plates. One of the shifts in my focus is towards work and my clients needs. This involves making myself available more during the day and several of my clients needed to meet early in the morning, although I am not a big fan of this, I feel more is able to get done during the day. I am able to read more (continual education) and address administration task’s, such as, catching up with online programming, having personal training clients pre-programmed, and scheduling out my week.
My early morning clients goal is general strength gain, we are finishing up our second four week Hypertrophy plan before moving him back into a strength phase. This client in particular has poor posture, I am convinced it is from being at school all day and, when at home, the majority of his time is spend playing video games (in a hunched over position) which was admitted to me. During this hypertrophy phase I made him pay extra attention to the proprioception of his back musculature, so during upper or lower back exercises I make him verbalize to me after every set where he is feeling the tension. Below is a video of us using the 45 degree hyper, now we just talked about back muscle activation, and although we were using the 45 degree hyper for glutes and hamstrings, you can see him wanting to allow his back to go into flexion. So this video is predominantly being shown so you can see me coaching him OUT of his poor posture which wants to take over this movement.
If you have and questions or information you would like to see please comment or email me!
So a lot of blogs will strictly be about training, methods applied, and rants. I am going to attempt to bring different angles to everyone interested in checking out NBS Fitness and getting to know the trainers. Ill be brining you along for the ride of what goes through my head with goals for clients, how a strength coach helps others reach their goals, and ways that I attempt to learn after graduating.
A background on individuals being trained, currently I coach:
1 Basketball Athlete
3 full throttle clients who are doing hypertrophy trying to get bigger
1 busy client balancing general strength training and jujitsu
1 older client focusing on making life easier outside of the gym
2 clients doing general strength training
I will have many videos just being goofy and including you on my journey to be the best Strength Coach I can be.
As mentioned in my last log post, I traveled out of town to watch the last weekend of horse races in Hot Springs, AK. this past Saturday.
Training had to be put on hold since there was to much crammed into one day. I was kind of irritated at first but, it is off season and I am working on balance between going full throttle in training, grinding hard working, and spending time with friends and family outside of the gym.
Today was a surprise to me as I was told, “we are going to HIKE Pinnicale Mountain”. I have not done any type of cardio since two days before the XPC Finals so I figured this would be good for me. Little did I know that this would be no hike at all, hence the name Pinnicale MOUNTAIN.
This “Trail” leading up to the summit got steep real quick, real quick, like zero to one hundred real quick. I was not ready (Kevin Heart voice) and 15 minutes into our climb my calves were destroyed and my heart rate was sky high. By the time we got half way up the mountain we were straight climbing rocks that were spray painted in the “suggested climb” direction, I kept laughing cause I thought this was going to be a hike and I was DYING. All-in-all I am very glad I did not train yesterday and very happy for the decision to mountain climb.
Today the Legs and Delts got … TRASHED
After coming back from Elite I am feeling really strong and good about how training has been going. This is the last week of this Block and I am being smart and going to attempt to move everything efficiently on moderate days and smash weight on heavy days.
Buffalo or Cambered Bar Squats 5×1@ 535
Sumo deficit deadlifts 5×2@ 545
Laying Hamstring Curls: 3xmax@ 30: 17-15-12
45 deg Hyper: 3×15 BW+ Red
Banded Pull Throughs: 3×20@ Blue Band
Glute Bridge: 3×20@ 90
SS Yoke box squats +chains: 3×2@ 500 + 120 in chain (reps 1-2 decent 3 was terrible)
SS Yoke (no Buffalo) Bar Good mornings out of chains: 3×2@ 315 w belt
Str8 Leg Deadlifts: 3×10@ 315 (rough)
Short Bar RB 45 Hyp 1×15@ 35 (skip other sets, “Spot” was closing)
Landmines: 3×10@ 25
Kneeling Band Crunches 3×15@ (skip other sets, “Spot” was closing)
We and David rolled up to Ohio for the EliteFTS Sports Summit Presentations. There was an overload of knowledge to say the least, presentations started a little after 8 (and other than lunch and a few 10 min breaks) through 7pm. Friday night upon arrival we trained at JL’s “The Spot” Athletics and closed it down. Sunday though was THE day where I was allowed to accompany David to train at THE “Compound”. I was fortunate enough to train along side Dave Tate, Buddy Morris, Joe Schillero, and of course David.
It took a few minutes to get used to the Metal Catapult and my last set ended up being the best.
Sling Shot Bench press 2×2@ 455
Cambered Bar OH Press 3×10@ 25’s
Sing. Arm Cable Lat. Raises 3×15@ 17.5 (diff. Cable setup)
Meadows Rows 3×15@ 25
Db Pull Overs 3×10@ 60
Kneeling Banded Crunches: 3×15@ grey
Todays training was much better and more explosive than last week which I am very pleased with. Next week should be fun as the sets and reps will be lower than the previous weeks.
Monday (medium intensity main, high volume accessory)
Buffalo Bar Squats 4×2@ 510
deficit deadlifts 4×3 520
Laying Hamstring Curls: 3×10@ 35’s
45 deg Hyper: 3×15@ BW + Red Band (doubled)
Banded Pull Throughs: 3×15@ Grey
Glute Bridge: 3×15@ 90
Sling Shot Bench press 4×2@ 405
Cambered Bar OH Press 2×10@ 25’s
Sing. Arm Cable Lat. Raises 2×15@ 20
Meadows Rows 2×15@ skip
Db Pull Overs 2×10@ 50
SSB +chains 4×2 475+120 in chain
Buffalo Bar Good mornings out of chains 4×2@ 275
Str8 Leg Deadlifts: 2×10@ 275
Short Bar RB 45 Hyp 2×15@ 35lb bar
GHR Twists: 2×10@ BW
Kneeling Band Crunches 2×15@ blue
My beloved tricep bicep pain has returned!!!!! yay…. (gun to head). I recently disclosed my rough weekend, but I hardly believe that is the cause. This exact time last cycle training with the triphasic program this began to occur. My only explanation is we started on a “closer to normal” squat bar (buffalo bar) and my shoulder mobility was not as good as I thought it has ben getting. With the dynamic movement and the strain on my shoulder I presume that is where the pain is coming from. Shoulder mobility efforts will be be increased to every day!!!
Incline Bench Press: 5×2@ 275 (pain)
Neutral Grip DB Bench Press: 5×3@ skip (pain)
Str8 Bar Ext: 2×15@ 140
Standing Behind Neck ext: 2×10@ 70
Face Pull: 2×15@ 80
Snatch Grip Bent Over Row: 2×10@ 145
I am still not recovered from this weekends poor sleeping and food choices. It has in my opinion, trickled over to todays training. It was supposed to be moderate, but the squats were definitely just plan hard. Finished the workout but it was not the way I wanted it to go.
Buffalo Bar 5×2 (use a different bar than last time)
Sumo (Back) deficit 3 mats deadlifts 5×3 (medium intensity, very explosive) 500
Laying Hamstring Curls: 2×10@ 35’s
45 deg Hyper: 2×15@ BW+20lbs
Banded Pull Throughs: 2×15@ Black Average
Glute Bridge: 2×15@ 80lbs
I went out of town friday for a valentines day wedding for my cousin. I attempted to drive back sunday and come straight to the gym and train, this was not optimal and neither was the food I ate or the sleep I acquired over the weekend. This was a very hard training session, also very disappointing, Jim almost had to save me twice.
3 Board Bench Press w/chains 2×1 375+80 in chain barely
OH Press: 135×13-11-8-7
Rear Delt Destroyer- 80(40) 40(40) 20(10) 5(10)
Austin V Bar pullovers: 90x 22-20-17-15
Pull-ups: BW x 15-10-8-6
So prior to this I was worried where my strength was at. Today was a good day and a confirmation that I am progressing for sure!
Spider Bar +chains 3×1 (use your comp stance) 530+120 in chain
Opposite Stance Deadlifts w/chains off 3 matts: 2×1 585+120 in chain
Pin Good mornings: 4×10@ 185
Reverse Hypers: 3x(15-13-11)
Swiss Bar Bench Press 3×2 (4 second isometric) 285
Bench Press into Pins 3×1 (5-6 second isometric) (set pins about 1 or 2 below lockout) (use 80-85% of max bench) 305 (slow)
2 Tricep Exercises
Rolling tricep Extensions: 4x (18-13-13-10) @35
Standing Overhead Tricep Ext: 4x (15-12-8-7)@2×110-2×90
2 Upper Back Exercises
Pendely Row: 4x (20-18-16-14) @ 155
Pronated Chest Pulls 4x (20-18-16-14) @110
this week starts the last week in the Isometric block! then on to Dynamic accumulation!
Cambered Bar Squats 3×2 (3 second isometric) 465
Above Knee Iso Deadlift Pull 2×1 (5 second isometric) (comp stance) 545
-RDL’s against rails 4×15-14-15-12 @225
-GHR 4×15 @ BW +10lbs
-Weighted glute bridge 4×25 @50lbs
-KB Swings 4×25-25-20-20@orange
3 Board Bench Press w/chains: 3×1@ 365 + 75 chain
OH Press: 4×10 @135
Rear Delt Destroyer- 80(40) 40(40) 20(10) Arms(10) one time!!!
Austin V Bar pullovers:4×15 @ 70
Pull-ups: 4×10 @BW
So programing calls for 120lbs in chains at the top which is 6 chains total (each chain = 20lbs). Unfortunately I am short as hell so each chain goes from 20 to 12 lbs at lockout. so I added chains to 8 chains total and we did the math (after) and I still fell short of prescribed weight needed in chains, was around 65-100 lbs. Lesson learned. I made damn sure I had all 120lbs of chains working on my deadlifts today though
Spider Bar + chains (use your comp stance): 4×1@ 500 + 8 chains (about 95-100lbs)
Opposite Stance Deadlifts w/chains off 3 matts: 3×1@ 505 + 120 in chains
Pin Good mornings: 4×10@ 135 (pin 17)
Reverse Hypers: 4×15@ 180
Reverse Crunches: 4×10@ BW
Standing Rope Cable Crunches: 4×15@ 60
Last week I failed my last rep on my last set. This is a medium intensity day so I decided to stay at the same weight and we are tapering every week so I also dropped off one set (4×3 instead of 5×3). It was a good day and the weight was moving well.
Swiss Bar Bench Press 4×3 (4 second isometric) 265
Bench Press into Pins 4×1 (5 second isometric) (set pins about 1 or 2 below lockout) (use 80-85% of max bench) 300
Rolling tricep Extensions: 3×15@ 30
Standing Overhead Tricep Ext: 3×10@ 110
Pendely Row: 3×10@ 165
Pronated Chest Pulls: 3×15@ 100
Buffalo or Cambered Bar Squats 4×2 (3 second isometric) 445
Below Knee Iso Deadlift Pull 3×1 (5 second isometric) (use your comp stance) (use 80-85% of max deadlift) 525
RDL’s against rails 3×10@ 165
GHR 3×15@ BW
Weighted glute bridge 3×15@ 80
KB Swings 3×15@ Green
Had a few issues with chain length today that David straightened out for us. Benching with chains gets a little technical since we want all the chains to reload at the bottom. The day went well for me and stallion tricep pain!
3 Board Bench Press w/chains: 4×1@335+ 4 chains
OH Press: 3×10@ 1×115 2×135
Rear Delt Destroyer 2x-80(20) 40(20) 20(10) arms (10)
Austin V Bar pullovers: 3×15@ 80
Pull-ups: 3×10@ BW
So this week I pretty much screwed up my training by letting my ego get in the way and not follow programming protocol. Days one and two are suppose to be medium intensity which for the past several weeks (even after being told) I get caught up and go too heavy. This caused me to miss a lift on Wednesday. Lesson learned and starting today I will be making it a point to follow the programming prescription to a “T”. David is an amazing programmer and I am doing nothing but hurting my potential come April. Today was Max Effort (ME) squats, and I ended up going too light! So I went to heavy on the moderate days and ended up going to light on the heavy days. As stated before “lesson learned” next week will be on track and there should be some crazy numbers being thrown around come Thursday for you guys.
Squat non comp w/chain (comp stance): 4×1@ 440+4-6-8-10 chain 1×1@ 490+6 chain
Opposite Stance Deadlifts w/chains off matts (use 3 mats per side): 4×1@ 495+4 chain
2 Low back exercises 3×10-15
Pin Goodmornings: 3×10@ 110 (low straps on Mono)
Reverse Hyper: 3×10@ 180
2 Ab exercises 3×10-15
Reverse Crunches: 3×10@ BW
Standing Rope Cable Crunches: 3×15@ 60
Benching wit long pauses is one of the crappiest things I can think of….
Swiss Bar Bench Press 5×3 (4 second isometric)@ 265 (failed last set last rep)
Bench Press into Pins 5×1 (5 second isometric) (set pins about 1 or 2 below lockout) (use 80-85% of max bench)@ 295
Rolling tricep Extensions: 3×15 @35
Standing Overhead Tricep Ext: 3×10 @100
Pendely Row: 3×10 @185
Wide Neutral Pulldowns: 3×15 @130
Today started the first day of our Isometric Mesocycle. This means we will be doing a lot of holds and presses/pulls into pins. Today was brutal and I was sore before I even made it back to the house. I need to step my recovery up to gain the most out of this schedule.
Cambered Bar Squats 4×3 (3 second isometric)@ 425
Mid Shin Iso Deadlift Pull 4×1 (5 second isometric)@ 515
1)RDL’s against rails 3×10@ 135
2)GHR 3×15@ BW
1)Weighted glute bridge 3×15@ 75
2)KB Swings 3×15@ black
This was the last day in our eccentric mesocycle. This whole past week was the highest intensity used during this cycle, that resulted in people being helped up from the hole after their 5 SECOND decent’s and struggling more on the high 90%+ days as you will see in my training video today during Floor Press.
Close Grip Floor Press: 4×1@ 335
1) Klokov Press: 3x (10-10-7)@ 135
2) Single Arm Rear Delt Flys: 3xmax@ 25 (20-16-16)
3) Heavy short bar front raises: 3xmax@ 50 (15-15-12)
1) Pulldowns 3xmax@ 130 (22-16-15)
2) Single arm lat Contraction 3xmax@ 100 (15-15-15)
3) Str8 Bar Lat Pullovers 3xmax@ 110 (15-15-12)
Incline Close Grip Bench 2×2 (5 second negative): 285 (spotter help on 2nd rep 2nd set)
Neutral DB Floor Press 2×2 (5 second negative): 140 (spotter help on 2nd rep 2nd set)
3 Tricep Exercises 3xMax:
1)DB JM Press 3×15@ 35 (19-15-14)
2) Seated behind head Tri. Ext. 3×15@ 90 (16-14-12)
3) 1.5 Tri. Ext. 3×10@ 110 ( 15- 12-12)
3 Upper Back Exercises 3xMax
1) pull ups 3×15@ BW ( 20-12-12)
2) low row 3×12@ 90 (18-15-15)
3) Face-Pulls 3×10@ 80 ( 16-16-12)
This week starts the last of our Eccentric Mesocycle. All the weights will hopefully be heavier than when we started 2 weeks ago.
Yoke Bar Box Squat 2×2 (5 second negative) (set the box below parallel)@ 375
Cambered Bar Wide Stance Good mornings 2×2 (5 second negative)@ 335
3 Hamstring exercises 3xMax
1) Partner leg drops: 3xmax@ BW (9.5-7-11)
2) Seated banded hamstring curls: 3xmax@ light blue (27-25-24)
3) TRX Body Curls 3xmax@ BW (20-17-20)
3 Glute Exercises 3xMax
1) Pull throughs: 3xmax@ 100-120 (20)
2) Rev. Hyp. Long strap feet out: 3xmax@ 125 (15)
3)BW Hip Thrusters: 100
Last week deadlifts beat me up pretty bad as I attempted to pull 565, it took 9 seconds to lock it out. I came back this week and was able to knock it out 4×1 so in on the right track. Front squats went well, I got psyched out on 2 attempts dropping one and not getting up on another. Ended well with 425 for 3×1. I was unable to do ab work today as prescribed on training plan due to my lower back being blown up and clients.
Weighing in light for this time of training, chilling around 189 lbs.
Front Squat 3x @ 425
Opposite Stance Deadlifts off matts 3x (use 5 mats per side): 565
3 Low back exercises 3xMax
Reverses Hypers: 3xmax @ 60 (20- 7- 5)
Banded 45 Deg. Hypers: 3xmax @ thick orange ( 5- 2- 0)
Banded Good Mornings: xmax@ light grey band (back blown up and hurting)
Awesome training day! After chilling at the front desk for 4 hrs cleaning the gym and helping clients I was ready to rock. This enthusiasm was generated by the pre planned training time that 80% of the powerlifting team committed to for my sake, because I had to work the morning. It felt like the original team with a lot of noise, good lifts, and intensity!
Close Grip Floor Press 4x @ 330
1) Klokov press 3×10 @ 10
2) Single arm rear felt 3×15 @ 25
3) Straight Bar Raises 3×10@ 65
1)Pulldowns 3×10 @ 30
2) Single arm lat Contraction 3x 5 @ 100
3) str8 bar lay pullovers 3×10@ 130
I felt great today because I actually ate a meal including all macronutrients 1.5 hours before training, amazing what nutrition does!
You will all enjoy watching me struggle during deadlifts today. I get a lot of comments saying I make it look easy when I deadlift, well you will see a 9 second deadlift in the video so enjoy.
Front Squat: 4×1@ 405
Opposite Stance Deadlifts off mats use 5 mats per side): 4×1@ 565-555
Reversew Hypers: 3×10@ 230
Banded 45 Deg. Hypers: 3×15@ BW
Banded Good Mornings: 3×15@ light grey band
Partner Reverse Planks: 3×1 min@ BW
Decline Crunches: 3×15@ BW
Incline Close Grip Bench 3×2 (5 second negative) 2×2 @ 280
Neutral DB Floor Press 3×2 (5 second negative) 2×2 @ 130
1)DB JM Press 3x 5 @ 35
2) Seated behind head Tri. Ext. 3x 5 @ 90
3) 1.5 Tri. Ext. 3x 0 @ 90- 00- 0
1) pull ups 3×15 @ BW
2) low row 3×12 @ 90/side
3) Face-Pulls 3×10 @ 80
Still messing up my “moderate intensity” day. Ended up going to heavy…
Yoke Bar Box Squat 3×2 (5 second negative) (set the box below parallel): 475-490-480
Cambered Bar Wide Stance Good mornings 3×2 (5 second negative): 315
1) Partner leg drops: 3×10 @ BW
2) Seated banded hamstring curls: 3x 2 @ light blue
1)Pull throughs: 3×10 @ 100
2) Rev. Hyp. Long strap feet out: 3×15 @ 90
My ADD got the best of me today and I recorded all my presses but nothing else. I will make a full video come the end of this week to show accessory work.
-Floor Press 4×1 @ 315
– Klokov Press
– single arm rear delt fly
– single arm cable rows
Days later in the week are more max effort oriented.
-Front Squats 4×1 @ 365 (I was a puss, should have done more)
-Deads off 5 mats opposite stance (conventional for me) 4×1 @ 545 too slow
– Reverse Hypers
– 45 Deg. Banded Hypers
– partner planks
– Reverse Crunches
First time benching in…. Almost 2 months. No pain, no soreness, no stiffness. This is why I swear by GPP and the programming by David. He knows what works and what keeps lifters healthy and in the game. Having massage and PT on staff also helps.
Incline Close Grip Bench 3×2 (5 second negative) – 275
Neutral DB Floor Press 3×2 (5 second negative) – 125’s
DB JM Press 3×12 @ 35
Behind neck tri extensions 3×15 @ 80
Pull ups 3×15 @ BW
Low Row 3×12 @ 70’s
Back under the bar again today, which means back to updating my log for those who follow along (which is roughly 3 people). It was good to finally be back under some weight and increasing the intensity quite a bit.
-SS Yoke Bar Box below parallel 5 Second eccentric: 3×2 @ 475
– Cambered bar GM: 3×2 @ 295 ( I wussed out on this and did not go heavier)
– Partner leg drops: 3×10 @ BW
– Seated Banded Hamstring Curls: 3×12 @ Blue Band
– Pull through’s: 3×12 @ 90
– Reverse Hyper, Long strap, Feet out: 3×15 @ 90
This brings to a close another training cycle and another chapter in many’s journey of gaining strength. In reflecting back on the last several months I would like to state how much of a blessing it is to have a coach that brought this training facility and this quest of strength to the table.
David Allen has been nothing short of an extraordinary coach who has pushed every individual within the walls of NBS Fitness.
This past cycle leading up to the meet we as a team attempted a new way of training which I became fully on board with after reading and understanding the training method. It helped every single one of our lifters become more powerful (some more than others). That being said I would like to personally thank David for giving me the knowledge and tools to be able to reach another stepping stone in the fight towards becoming the strongest in my class.
Now onto the meet recap. My meet started out pretty rough as I have still a lot to learn about mental readiness when it comes to calming myself for squatting. My nerves were so high and my mind was not in the right place that I actually missed my opener that I have done several times this past training cycle. at that moment I feared and was prepared to have one of the worst meets of my life. Thankfully that was not the case as I hit my second attempt (same weight as my opening squat) and moved it very well, it got my mind set right. I then hit my third attempt (very ugly) and started gaining momentum.
Benchpress was going to be the main factor determining whether I had a great meet or not. The stars aligned and I had no tricep pain throughout warming up and as my first attempt rolled around the pain was still not present. All the variables were in my favor and I went for a bench PR and I got it.
My momentum was now very high coming into deadlifts which I enjoy the most. I had one thought in my head which was a cue David gave me “keep your shoulders back to make my lockout easier”. That’s exactly what happened when coming up to my third attempt. Although it was a rough start off the floor my lockout has never been easier at the weight that I attempted.
I came very close to winning best lifter of this competition which I’ve never done before. It was lost to another world class lifter and I am not upset about it in the slightest. My new total puts me ranked in the top three all time 181 raw with wraps division.
Dead lifting was up-and-down today as I was attempting to set my back better. Last week I missed 625 due to a hitch. I ran into some weird balance issues when the weight got heavier and I was setting my back, probably improperly. After my first Miss I ended up bailing on overthinking my back setup and just pull. I finished a clean 625, which was a PR! But unfortunately missed an even greater PR of 640 due to a poor set up. I’ll get it at the meet though
Today was a big day for The NBS fitness powerlifting team. I believe there is a total of five personal records made during today’s training session. One thing I have noticed is that the majority of the team members do not know or understand what to attribute their success to. Some attribute it to people others attribute it to their self and how they felt on that day.
To those that follow my posts I would encourage you to look at the process, enjoy the process, and understand the process.
Today I was one of those five who hit a very big personal record and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the extremely professional coaching offered here at this facility. Our head team coach as one of the most gifted minds when it comes to understanding training and how to implement it. It is not A coincidence that there were several personal records broken after one macrophase of a new training style implemented by our coach. Nor is it a coincidence that because of our coaches skill he is part of one of the top educational companies in the sport. So to gym members and team members alike look back at the process, and understand where the success is coming from, give credit and enjoy your new acquired strength.
635 wrap HUGE PR (20lbs)
Bigger squats to come at the meet.
Between dead lifting and squatting I really can’t tell you which movement I like more. It would end up being a week to week decision. This week in particular I was sick so squatting did not go so well which really had me excited for today’s deadlifting as I was programmed to hit a new personal record (PR).
No I was still sick during this time but the cold was on its way out so I was feeling a lot better. This is one of the variables that I am blaming for me not focusing on all my cues today. Right from the get go warming up I was not taking any slack out of the bar with my back, it was all coming from the tension build in my legs. This gave me no problems at submaximal weights but during my last three lifts you can see how it affected my lockout. Before next week I have two days that I can work on my shoulder and upper back tightness through dynamic work using chains and bands.
My final left today was at 625 but I personally did not count it because it was a hitch. This would’ve given me a new spot on the gym record board but I am not going to take it until it is cleaned up. Next week I will be sure to have more shoulder tightness and clean this pull up then hopefully going for a bigger pull afterwards.
Of all the skills that go into Powerlifting, upper body pressing is by far the most difficult and underdeveloped compound movement for me personally. This is a combination of a physical and mental barrier which started mid last year when I got shooting pains through both triceps. I have struggled to consistently be able to bench and have ended up pulling together a benchpress just prior to eat meat which is not how I like to do things. This training cycle is no exception, my triceps felt great the first two blocks then with one minor spotting mistake I made the pain came back instantly.
He triphasic training method has done amazing things for my benchpress movement unfortunately due to the mental barrier of my injury I had my first miss during this phase. On a high note I have consistently two weeks in a row bench pressed my last competition Max so even with injury I have not lost any strength in this lift which is a win.
385 – miss
So this past Saturday 11-1-14 I came down with a crazy cold that resided in my respiratory system. I could not breath very well and I had a deep painful cough with a ton of crap coming up. Well after a 13hr sleep party Saturday night and a 10hr sleep party Sunday night Monday rolled around with this infection still hanging on. It was time to go to the doctor, and I got the typical shpeeeeel but was hooked up with a “sinus cocktail”. They spoke highly of it so I was all in as I was determined to train this Monday night.
Fast forward a few hours and I don’t feel any relief and it is time to train. For those who are confused by my headings I am 2 weeks out from a meet and we are in the middle of gauging all of our attempts. The ironic thing is, whenever I talk to someone about attempts I will always tell them, “you should be able to hit your opener even when you are sick”. So I am going to eat my words tonight and do just that, I was programed to hit 615 (which is lower than I want my 2nd attempt to be) however being sick I was not even planning on hitting that tonight. first squat I took with wraps was 530, no issues, it was my second wrap at 585 that I lost complete focus on what I was doing and “helicoptered the weight” turning sideways. Now don’t worry kids I was able to correct it and finished the lift but it was super ugly and strained my really good, I was mind f’ed for sure. After talking to a few people and being told to suck it up by my coach I went for another attempt at 600. I cleared my mind, focused on one issue I have been having which was keeping my upper back stable and it all came together. I will admit it was slow but remember I am sick as heck and already had a train wreck of an attempt so needless to say this was a huge confidence booster and step forward. There was no question about depth as I went lower than I possibly ever have and the weight never stopped moving. Next week I hopefully will be recovered and throwing on at least 30-35 more lbs to take another gym record spot in the 198 section as I am not yet down to 181 (floating between 188-190 in the mornings).
Bar x2 x5
135 x2 x5
265 x1 x3
370 x1 x3
600 (suppose to have done 615 I think I made the right call)
165 + 40 in chains
315 + doubled over red bands
As we draw closer to the competition hosted at NBS, deadlifts are by far the most comfortable for me and it definitely shows. Tonight was a great training day for me as my set up was feeling great and my speed was fast. I had much more in me than when I stopped, but I am saving that for the next two weeks to get an awesome PR for the gym record board in the 198 class spot, and possibly go for an even greater PR in the meet.
265 + 50 in chains 6×3
Skipped cause truces were tender from squatting.
So today was a great training session. The last month my triceps have been causing me excruciating pain. I have not benched well or anything heavy the last few weeks because of this. This exact same issue haunted me till the last few weeks of training before nationals. Well, here we are again a few weeks out from nationals and I am NEEDING to get some heavy benches in.
I have been consistently seeing our massage therapist and teammate Yvonna (if you need recovery massages this woman’s skills are seriously amazing). Along with minor help from NBS’ member and house PT Taylor, and Jason a member also skilled chiropractor I have made it onto a recovery track.
Today started out with nerves but as the weight got heavy and no real pain was present I pushed it. I ended with my third attempt I hit at nationals months ago. My program called for a 10 lb PR but I was tired, the last set was slow so I shut it down. I will wait to recover and come back next week and hit a new PR which should set me up to do very well in the next SPF meet.
Speed Deads w/ chains
6×3 @ 315 + 60 chain
Speed Squats w/ bands:
6×3 @265 against monster bands
My triceps are still hurting but I was able to follow today’s programming when I called for dynamic benchpress however I did not make it as fast as a typical speech session.
I was not impressed overall in my performance to squat today. For some reason I could not focus on on my cues properly and my last lift was above my opener from my last meet but not where I wanted to end the night.
Tonight was the first night we had wraps on. I am using new elite FTS krait wraps which I hope had something to do with my form breakdown as I wobbled in the hole from not pushing back on my last heavy squat. I plan to come back next week focused and ready to break these wraps and more and possibly hit a squat PR.
If anyone is curious what Powerlifting is about please come out to nbs fitness on November 22 as we are hosting Memphis’ only powerlifting meet in the area.
So after months of training feeling great my tricep injury reappeared very quickly and I have been unable to bench heavy for going on two weeks. My squat and dead lift however are progressing quite nicely. This is the last week of our training prior to getting in the wraps in doing more sport specific training when it comes to squat bench and deadlift.
This is the heaviest I have ever gone without wraps before and I feel good about that even though they were only singles.
My dad left form is slightly off as my T spine is not as flat as I would like it but with the speed that these moved I am okay with it.
This is one of the few training days I am able to partake in due to the return of my tricep issue (we assume shoulder impingement and bicep garbage). It ended up being a great training day with teammate Porter and Jim helping me. My triceps started giving me problems Mid way through squats but I was able to finish. I knew deadlifting would make them feel ALOT better which is exactly what happened.
Squatted 505 for 3 sets, this is the most I’ve ever squatted raw for this many sets and the next 2 weeks this will just increase and add to the PR’s. Deadlifts felt good, two sets felt fast my first set was slow as heck buck my back and hips felt strong.
A1-Squat: 3×1 @505
A2- DB Jumps: 3×3 @40
A3- Speed Squats: 3×3 @285 +5 chains
A4- Banded Jumps: 3×3 w/ orange bands
A1- Deads: 3×1 @575
A2- Speed Deads: 3×3 @315 + 4 chains
Opposite Stance Deads: 3×6 @315
Bumped the weight up on the paused SSB Squats and on the awful deadlift holds. This workout is HARD.
SSB Paused: 4×2@440lbs
Deads : 4×1@505lbs
All Accessories 3×8
-Goblet single leg box squat @ 50lbs
-GHR Hypers @ Grey Band
-Goblet Paused Band Abductions @ orange band and grey KB
-Trunk Rotations on GHR @ 10lbs
So I have been MIA with my logs for about the past week. Interning in the collegiate setting and at NBS FITNESS is a balancing act I am working on.
Our workouts are the same as the previous week. Our main movements and supplementary movements do not change. Our main work is only increase by about 10-20 lbs depending on the lift.
Here is last weeks SSB Squats and Deads
A1:SSB 4×1 @ 480
A2:box jumps 4×3
A1:Block (mat) Deads: 3×1 @ 550
These were dl garbage as I was slow and my T spine was giving up.
A2:Leg press throws 3×3 @ 6 plates
GHR: 3×6 @ 25lbs
Wide stance Paused RDL: 3×6 @ 225lbs
Long strap rev. Hyp.: 3×6 @ 90lb
Landmines: 3×6 @ 35 lbs