Sometimes The Goofy Stuff Works

I’ve been very “non-Party” in my strength training methods lately.

I’ve been using reps in the 10-20 range for non-ballistic exercises.

In fact, I must confess, I even like them.

There, I said it.

But really, it’s not the exercise or the rep range – it’s the outcome, or the result.

I’ve struggled to keep myself together over the last year or so – literally, not figuratively. I’ve felt like I was coming apart all over – the middle, my hips, my shoulders. And I’ve been implementing some very old school stuff I used to use with my athletes at Rutgers 10+ years ago.

I’ve given back in to the idea, wait, the necessity of core stability and core strength. And it’s very immediate and necessary effects on your ability to lift heavy stuff from the floor to over your head. And how your body will shut down, shut off, shut up – I’ve heard this all before – if you try to force the weight to go up, down or wherever.

So, although it may appear goofy, I’m doing things that I haven’t done in 10+ years.

  • “Lower” ab raises – old-school bodybuilder style
  • Calf raises, ballet-style
  • Higher reps strength work

And I know this stuff is working. Yesterday, I tossed around the 24kg for sets of 10 on the snatch.

It felt like a 12kg.

And I think these concepts are worth investigating for all of us – challenging our belief systems, which sometimes limit us. They limit our progress, our opportunities, our vision, our hope, and of course our results.

What goofy stuff are you willing to try to break your limitations?

6 comments… add one
  • Donovan Worland Mar 1, 2010 @ 13:35

    I like a method from karate that I mixed with Russian leg training, similar to a Maxwell drill. Before swings I make sure to scuff the ground like a horse or cat with my foot. Feet together, raise foot, extend gracefully so that control of the hip and ankles is the focus and do it with breathing. I change the rate based on the breathing, swing breath is kicking speed, slowly controlling the air results in the practicing leg moving slow. I do this with both legs a few times until I feel like my lower hub is ‘screwed in’ a Pavel once put it an article. Gotta’ get goofy!

    • GEOFFN Mar 3, 2010 @ 10:59

      Donovan – Yeah, It’s amazing how we all have little drills or exercises that really help us “dial in” what we’re about to do. It’s also amazing that they don’t all work for everybody. Keep up the “goofiness.”

  • Russ Moon Mar 2, 2010 @ 16:26

    Weird – I’m doing two of your three.
    Lower Abs – slow bicycles and flutter kicks (going back to my Airborne days) until they wake up and activate, but daily.
    Calves – never stopped
    Variety days – not often I’m sticking to my TGU’s and 15:15 snatch or swing regime for another month…..I really like going “down the rack” (dumbell lingo) with single kettlebell exercises. (Deadlift, Goblet Squat, Clean) Beast, 32kg,24kg,12kg…touches on Escalating Density…you down size instead of going to failure, you rack up the tonnage in good form.

    • GEOFFN Mar 3, 2010 @ 11:02

      Russ – Have you tried some hip flexor stretching or foot mobility work before the ab work? For me and a lot of my clients, that gets the abs fired up much more quickly.

      “Down the Rack” really helps you keep the volume up necessary for skill mastery and growth without burning you out (when done correctly of course…)

      Keep it up!

      • Russ Moon Mar 4, 2010 @ 10:35

        Currently using : pg. 13 KFTGU drill 1 opposite knee to Press Hand
        Therapist has me on foot balance board – that helps
        Neuro Rehab guy taps receptors on different parts of my body while I balance and it “tunes” the activation of the various muscles…I thought that was cool, I could feel the ripples going through the nerves when he did it..never would have believed it if I had not felt it AND it worked.

        Down the Rack – thank you for validating that is solid, it felt good and seems to incorporate many of the core principles, but I wasn’t sure. Now I am.

        Appreciate your transparent sharing.

  • Mike T Nelson Mar 3, 2010 @ 13:54

    I will do whatever I can to challenge my own belief systems. This must always be backed up with action.

    Who else will?

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

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