Monday, April 25, 2011

Dynamic Warm-Up

Short post today.  Sample dynamic warm-up.  Start taking the time to prepare yourself properly for your exercise/activity of choice!


Knee Hug -2- Lunge x6ea
Inverted Hamstring x6ea
Quad Pull x6ea
Handwalks x5
Lunge -2- Instep x6ea
Ankle MOB x10ea
Wall Squats x8
90/90 Active Stretch x12ea
Hip Crossover x12
Cook Hip Lift x8ea

Repeat 1x Through

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30/30 Interval Workouts

*These circuits are designed to integrate strength and metabolic training.  If performed correctly, they will help to build lean muscle mass  and decrease fat mass.  I really like these workouts because you can adjust the intensity by the time of the intervals or the weight used for each exercise.  Also these workouts are very time efficient, you get a lot of work in, both resistance and cardio, in a short amount of time.

*For each exercise, I have provided a suggested weight, please use good judgment however about how much weight you use.  In these circuits I would rather you use a lighter weight with perfect form that allows you to maximize the amount of reps you get in an interval.

*The "30/30" circuits that I have included require that you perform the given exercise for as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.  Typically the circuits have 10 different exercises.  So one time through takes ten minutes, but for most I have you repeat the circuit 2-3x.

*Ways to increase intensity of the workouts provided include...
        1.  Not resting between the whole circuit as indicated in the first three levels.
        2.  Instead of doing 30seconds work and 30seconds rest, you can go 40/20.
        3.  Try to push the amount of reps you get in each interval.
        4.  Increase the weight used for each exercise.
        5.  Perform a whole extra circuit.  (3x Through instead of 2x Through)

*As always please make sure that you adequately warm-up prior to performing the circuits and cool-down and stretch following the workout.

30-30 Primer

30-30 Level 1

30-30 Level 2

30-30 Level 3A

 30-30 Level 3B

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keep Training: A Powerful Statement

"Keep Training,"  that is what I tell myself everyday and what you should be telling yourself as well.  It may sound simple, but that saying alone has gotten me through injuries, weight gain, weight loss, performance plateaus, self-doubt, and periods of low motivation.

It does not matter whether you just like to train for training sake or you are an elite level athlete trying to perform on the field.  Your mind set has to be positive and you must always tell yourself to "Keep Training."  Some of the best performers can become complacent because they feel as though they have reached the pinnacle of their sport/profession.  That complacency leads to failure in the long run.  If you want to be great at something and continue to improve throughout your career, you must adapt the philosophy of continuing to improve and to Keep Training!!!

I watched the Brady 6 documentary last night on ESPN, and while I have never been a huge Patriots or Michigan fan, I really like Brady's story.  Here is a guy that had to push through a lot of adversity through college and his early NFL career, but had the confidence in himself and the wear-with-all to keep training his body and mind so that when his chance came, he could capitalize on it, which he did.  He could not control what the coaches did or that Bledsoe was going to get injured, but he could control his preparation and training regimen and that is what he focused on.  Moral of the story, don't focus on things that are out of your control, and continue to keep training no matter what.

The fact of the matter is that no one is ever going to be at their best all of the time.  Injuries happen, doubt slips in, and a downward spiral may ensue if a negative outlook is adopted.  When things like that happen, tell yourself to "Keep Training."  If your upper body is hurt, train your legs; if your legs are hurt, train your upper body; if you can't do anything physical, train your mind. 

Just keep trying to get better, never get complacent.  Do not worry about what others are doing, you are not them.  Keep training and working hard on every part of your game.  Do not worry about the things you cannot control and train the things that you can!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Faster Recovery from Training: Foam Roll, Lax Ball, Massage Stick

I have said it in my blogs before, but I think that one of the sports that is most behind the eight ball on applying strength and conditioning principles is rock climbing.  My interest in the sport over the years has grown exponentially in large part due to the unique combination of skills it takes to be successful.  It is a challenge training and programming for climbing because you are constantly juggling power, endurance, flexibility, balance, and strength.  That is perhaps why I care for it so much, but at the same time it drives me nuts, no one trains appropriately for it and more importantly nobody recovers appropriately.

So I threw together some vids of easy, inexpensive ways that climbers can recover from a day at the crag or a hard indoor training cycle.  A foam roll, lacrosse ball, and massage stick is all you need to help your body's tissue recover quicker and help improve your muscle quality.  More importantly these items are easily transported and can be used just about anywhere.
Perform each of the exercises in the series as you deem necessary.  Some areas may be more painful and thus require more time.  You can use these exercises before, during, and after a workout. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ring Exercises, Variations, Progressions

I love the rings for variations on pretty much anything, they are a great tool for building upper body strength.  Male gymnasts possess an amazing amount of upper body strength and balance and the rings are predominantly an exercise of pure strength.  Recently, the use of rings and other suspension devices has come into vogue for the general population as well as athletes.  My driving force behind this post was the amount of horrible form and poor progressions being implemented in commercial gyms as well as my local climbing.  Shout out to Active Climbing!  Vids will be coming soon, but for now here are some stills and variation/progression ideas.

Ring Push-Ups


Adjust Difficulty by adjusting the height of the rings.  The higher the rings, the easier the push-up.  
3sets of 10-12reps

Ring Fall-Outs

Adjust Difficulty by adjusting the height of the rings.  The higher the rings, the easier the fall-out.  Keep Abs tight and do not let your low back sag towards the ground.  Cup your wrists to engage core and back musculature.

Can make harder by...
  Widening your hands as you fall out
  Falling out and making a wide heart shape with hands
  Extending one arm at a time
  Extending one arm and making a heart shape with the other

Depends on variation used, but 3 sets of 6-8 is usually good.

Inverted Rows

Start with perfectly straight body and row up to where your hands are even with your chest.

Can make harder by...
  Elevating feet on a box
  Holding the up position for time

3sets of 8-10reps 

Tucked Rows

Get into a tuck position, with back relatively parallel to the ground with arms straight and then maintaining the tuck position, row your body up.
3sets of 4-8reps depending on strength levels

Piked Rows

Get into a hanging piked position, with back relatively parallel to the ground with arms straight and then maintaining the piked position, row your body up.
3sets of 4-8reps depending on strength levels.

Horizontal Muscle Ups

Start with Rings at arms length while lying on the floor,  pull up and get one elbow over the ring and pause, then extend arm and muscle up.  Keep your body straight the whole time.

Can make harder by...
  Elevating feet on a chair/box.

3sets of 2-5 each side

Monday, April 4, 2011

Front Lever Progressions

The Front Lever

When I first started climbing I was instantly attracted to this exercise and after trying and failing many times, I made it a goal to be able to do this exercise.  Well after some research, hard work, and experimentation, I am now able to pull a pretty decent front lever.

I have worked with many different athletes thus far in my career and feel as though this movement can be trained and performed by a variety of athletes other than climbers and gymnasts, but it takes proper progressions to get to that point.  And yes, I know body proportions will make this movement much more difficult for some to complete, but the gentleman above (John Gill) was over 6'2 and was said to be able to hold a front lever for over 30s while holding a conversation.

Here are some progressions to experiment with, along with some suggested set and rep schemes for each exercise.  Still working out the kinks of this whole video making and posting so bear with me until I get it on lock down!  Part 2 will focus on other progression schemes as well as some advanced front lever variations.