Training Update – What’s Working For Me Right Now

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…

21 comments… add one
  • Jason M Jan 28, 2011 @ 10:54

    Goal #1: Restore mobility to right shoulder/Press pain-free

    Following the SMART model for goals, I really don’t have a way to MEASURE my progress here. I can’t just arbitrarily assign a number to how I feel when I press. I saw that a lot of the FMS material/DVDs are pricey and I am on a bit of a budget, but I’m open to all suggestions. So, Geoff or anyone else, I am open to suggestions on products articles to help with this.

    Goal #2: One-arm press half-bodyweight

    I’m already very close to this. In fact, I feel like if I had the right sized bell in front of me, there is a good chance I could do it. I pressed 32kg for 6 solid reps at 155 lbs bodyweight. But before tackling this, I want to nail Goal #1.

    Goal #3: Gain 20 lbs of useful weight

    I was in the best shape of my life at 165 and just want to taste what it’s like to be heavier. For me personally, it’s all a matter of nutritional discipline. I eat great and have always had single digit bodyfat levels. It’s just a matter of eating MORE.

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 21:01

      Jason – I’d just bite the bullet and get your first FMS DVD. You get what you pay for. You can either struggle along trying to cobble together bits and pieces of information from blogs, articles, and websites, or you can save your time and energy and go straight to the source and get to your goals faster. It’s all about priorities, my friend. You have good goals though.

  • Dominick Uguccioni, RKC Jan 28, 2011 @ 11:54

    There is just a wealth of information in this blog; it has been very useful to me and my personal health and fitness as I transition careers and am required to spend a lot of time in an office setting.

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:59

      Glad to be of help, Dominick.

  • Melissa Klundby Jan 28, 2011 @ 14:04

    One of my goals is a 3xs raw bodyweight pull also. I hit the 2.5x’s bodyweight mark in November. Any chance I could pick your brain on your training to reach that goal? Thanks!

  • Bevan K Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:05

    Hi Geoff

    I along with my training partner have just completed your KB Muscle program as of yesterday… awesome stuff, I found it very challenging and rewarding both physically and mentally.

    I have been training with KB’s for around 18 months now and will be attending the HKC in Melbourne Australia in March 2011 to further my education and refine my skills with the KB’s further.

    I am completely sold on the benefits of training with KB’s and look forward to progressing through the HKC and eventually the RKC when it first comes to Australia.

    My focus for the next 6 weeks will be on preperation for the HKC in March….loads of swings, TGU’s and goblet squats !!

    Thanks for all of your assistance via your blog, it provides plenty of insight into how to train smarter and more efficiently.

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:58

      Bevan – glad you liked KM. What were your results?

      You’re going to love the HKC.

  • Jedd Johnson Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:17


    Let me know if you need any assistance with your grip training. If you bring up your hand, wrist and forearm strength / stability, you will be amazed at how much your lifts go up. I’m talking explosion, buddy.


    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:57

      Jedd – I’ll be calling you soon my man!

  • Billy Meyer Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:55

    Progress in density, intensity, and strength… pain free. Not forgetting the details, the simplicity that got me where I am. And like you, listen to my body and react accordingly – even if that means…. ugh, stopping what I’m doing. Ulitmately, about a year from now RKC baby!!

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:56

      Sounds like you’re trucking right along Billy. Keep training smart!

  • Chance HKC Jan 28, 2011 @ 20:42

    About to finish phase 3 of Burn 2.0 (thank you), but I must admit I’ve done a bad, bad thing . . . . instead of the prescribed finishers I’ve been doing the Viking protocols. But it works for me. Also greasing the groove with Mr. Johnson’s grip training techniques.

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:56

      Chance – Glad it’s working for you. I’ll be in Chicago – hope to see you there.

  • Chance HKC Jan 28, 2011 @ 20:44

    oh and considering RKC Chicago.

  • Christopher Taylor Jan 29, 2011 @ 0:48

    what is the Oly you keep referring to?
    Thanks for everything!

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:55

      Christopher – “Oly” is slang for Olympic Lifting.

  • David Frost Jan 29, 2011 @ 8:13

    What are you going to name “the boy”.
    How about Ryan Kasey (RKC) Neupert
    or Kyle Ben (KB) Neupert
    : )
    Good luck with “the Boy”!

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:54

      Ha – David – that’s funny!

  • James Jan 30, 2011 @ 9:12

    Chuckling at Davids comment…I think for me when my boys were born I was more into the being there thing too. I concentrated more on intervals get pumped and cardioed quick then stretch and cool down. Gave me more time to play daddy lol. Now since they are grown sets of what feels good swings cleans pulls and snatchs do good for me.

    • GEOFFN Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:54

      Hey James – those are some good ideas – I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing – but most likely where I can when I can for the first couple of months…

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