Strength: noun. the ability to overcome.

Training Update – What’s Working For Me Right Now

by GEOFFN on January 28

It’s all about Efficiency.

That’s about it.

Since I’ve been preparing for the birth of my son, I’ve been ruthlessly scouring my life to find out what the time wasters are, the money drains, and the energy suckers.

I have been pretty successful.

And my training now fully reflects that (ok, well, it’s getting really, really close).

I locked up my back really good because of my left hip last September during the Pavel – Dan John seminar. It was no doubt due to my travel and my unhealthy emotional attachment to Olympic lifting and my desire to still compete and prove myself to myself or whatever. (You may know what I’m talking about…)

But what I discovered after I fixed everything (back, hip, etc – which didn’t take that long) was that training for Olympic lifting is a huge time and energy suck. Just huge. No wonder it’s a “young man’s” sport. And when you get injured, dinged up, whatever, it takes even more time and energy (I guess we’d call that Attention) than you were devoting in the first place to your original desire just so you can attain that desire.

And then what I learned was that, man, I’m not going to have time to deal with this kind of crap when “the boy” comes. I’ve got to be fully available for him 1. cause he’ll need me and 2. cause I don’t want to miss out on a minute of his life – I want to be as available as I can be.

So, that forced me to re-evaluate my training. Totally.

I need goals to focus on and to organize my training around. So I picked a few – real easy ones at first.

1. Military Press 300lbs.
2. Deadlift 3x bodyweight
3. Get into grip training.

Then I gave myself a timeline. 2 years sounded right.

Then I looked at my strengths and my weaknesses.

Weaknesses –

1. Ankle mobility. Wearing the Oly shoes all the time wasn’t doing me any favors. I decided to give them up. Now everything is done barefooted. Ankle mobility has improved. Shape of feet continue to change – arch gets better and better – feet grip ground more when I walk. Nice.

2. Reflexive core stability. Sometimes this dog just goes “offline” – usually from the combination of sitting and overhead barbell work. (Hence giving up Oly…) Several key exercises are helping this and I’m getting more and more solid, and my Oly “swayback” is disappearing as my body starts to pull my pelvis underneath me. Makes for incredibly powerful Swings by the way (just in case you were wondering…).

3. Abdominal strength in the “hollow” position – or the ability to zip up. Fortunately, this is being quickly rectified by addressing #2.

These three things affect all my goals. The stronger I can make my weaknesses, the sooner they are no longer weaknesses.

Strengths -

1. Schedule. My schedule is pretty open. I train clients about 25 hours per week and then work on my other businesses the rest of the time – about another 25 – 30 hours per week. But I either work from my studio or work from home – a luxury I know many people don’t have. So I can train when I want and on my own time. This allows for increased training frequency, which works better for me – I’m much better at doing a little bit every day for a short period of time than a whole bunch of stuff at one time several times per week. So my training sessions are usually 5-6 days per week, 20 – 30 minutes in length.

2. Desire. I am highly motivated by the birth of “the boy” as we are now referring to him. So, I am much more careful and attentive to my energy levels and how hard I push myself during training. When movements slow down or just don’t “feel right” I stop and change to something else or stop altogether.

And it’s working.

I’m also investigating nutrition variations. I’m in the process of learning what is the best for me right now. I’ve dropped about 10-15lbs in the last 30-45 days, primarily bodyfat, and don’t really care. My new eating pattern allows for a better (right now) sleep cycle and more productivity during the day. Strength levels don’t seem to be suffering too much.

(One thing I have learned for sure – the WTH Effect doesn’t really work for me – in order for me to get stronger at a particular movement, I have to practice that movement. I definitely fall into the category of “to press a lot you must press a lot.”) Only a few exercises in Oly ever had an major carryover to the lifts themselves, the rest were a waste of time.

So that’s what I’m up to – the focus is all about “energy management and production” in my case. I always try to leave my training feeling physically better than when I entered, even on metabolic days. So far, everything is working according to plan.

Feel free to let me know what you’ve been up to…

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