Shoulder Mobility and Stability Work

Sorry for the delay in getting around to the next part/post in the series on taking up fighting. I’ve actually just been busy with my real work this last couple of weeks but I have some time off this week and I’ll get a new post up dealing with the considerations, issues and options with regards to physical training for martial arts.

I thought I would put this video up to buy some time and because I’ve had a few emails about why shoulder mobility and stability work is important and some of those issues are discussed in this video.


The other thing I don’t hate is Leg Pressing

My philosophy is to always use the right tool for the job. The problem I see with a lot of coaches is that they arbitrarily throw away a lot of tools. For example…how idiotic would you have to be to…I don’t know….let me try to think of some examples off the top of my head…imagine a hypothetical coach who doesn’t let his athletes back squat…or maybe Olympic lift…when the only tools you have a hammers every problem they see ends up looking like a nail.

On Saturday I was testing some basketballers…one of the lads had recently had surgery on his patella tendon to alleviate a tendinitis issue. Now as a part of his recovery he was told to squat…and he has been. How squatting is fine…PROVIDING you actually know how to do it.

Here's the player in question in the bottom position of his squat

Here's the player in question in the bottom position of his squat

Now…for this player…with the issue he has had…and with the technique he has…squatting is the LAST thing he should be doing. Now I won’t go into a big diagnostic of squat technique here….that’s not what this blog is about…but what I do want you to look at is the bar. Specifically I want you to look at the bar position in relation to his hips, knees and ankles. I also want you to take a look at the angle at his knee…keep in mind his hips aren’t even close to parallel…at proper depth the acute nature of that knee angle would be even more extreme. Forgetting everything else about his technique….he’s putting an enormous strain on that patella tendon. Also, considering the advice he had to ‘squat’ was given to him so that he’d build up his quad mass….squatting for him…the way he has been is all kinds of shit advice.
This was me just showing him the difference in our techniques

This was me just showing him the difference in our techniques

So look at the two of us in relatively the same position and look at the bar position in relation to my hips, knees and ankles…then as you did before…look at my knee angle in comparison to his? What do you see?

Now this player doesn’t train with me…him and his team was just in for testing. My advice to him….drop the squats and leg press instead. Leg Pressing will maximise the amount of good ‘stress’ that he is placing on his leg muscles….which is after all the reason he was told to squat in the first place. He will put a much less severe load through his damaged patella tendon…leg pressing in this case is the right tool for the job…even if the guy does have a physique like a nail.

Look at the knee angle here relative to when he was squatting

Look at the knee angle here relative to when he was squatting

Squatting or Leg Pressing? Which do you think is going to maximise the loading that he can safely use to stimulate his leg development? Which do you think is going to put the most stress through his damage patella tendon?

Sarah is coming tomorrow…I’m so excited I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep…

…that’s OK though. I’ll do what I always do…crack open Lyle’s book on Bromocriptine and I’ll be out like a light before I get to end of the first page.

Lyle’s Seminar
I am really looking forward to this weekend. Lyle and Sarah are coming to Dublin tomorrow. I’m going to be the ‘hostess with the mostest’ and whip out to the airport to pick them up during my lunch break….don’t worry though I’ll be able to fit some time in for some food. Then I am going to take them out to the gym so they can get their ‘pump on’ while I watch, talk, eat muffins and drink coffee…you know…the usual. I know Lyle will want to get a workout in before the seminar on Sunday so his ‘gunz’ will be at there awesome best.

The seminar will kick off on Sunday at 10am at St Mary’s College Rugby Club on Tempelville Rd, Tempelogue. If you are looking for directions I will save you the trouble…we’ll be here.

Lyle sent me the seminar today and it looks great…I am going to study it and look up all the big words so on Sunday I can look like I understand everything he’s talking about. This is basically what he’s going to cover:

Module 1: Overview of Basic Nutrition
Just a quick look at the basic components of human nutrition. Just to make sure everyone is on the same basic ‘background’ page.

Module 2: Overall Daily Nutrient Requirements
An examination of day-in, day-out nutrient reuquirements (energy, protein, carbs, fat) for different types of athletes.

Module 3: Around Workout Nutrition
Optimizing intake before, during and after training to enhance performance, decrease fatigue and improve overall adaptation to training.

Module 4: Modifications for Different Goals
A look at how to modify all of the information that has come before for goals such as mass gains, fat loss, maintenance of bodyweight (with improved performance over time), and recomposition.

Module 5: The Wrap Up
This goes over supplements and all the other odds and ends.

The presentation runs about 83 slides long…I was going to send out handouts by email but what I am going to do instead is just put handouts together and give them out on the day as I don’t want attendees getting over excited and passing out…I don’t want to be responsible for that.

If you need any more information just let me know otherwise I’ll see you guys on Sunday morning.

If anyone wants to get a workout in bring your gear…I’ll watch, eat muffins and drink coffee.

In other news
Paul had a light day today training wise. He’s a senior footballer. His training schedule goes as follows:
Monday: This is his heaviest day weights wise…it’s his strength day and we’ll do some easy conditioning as well.
Tuesday: An easy prehab day…tidying up work basically and a lot of trunk work. This is because on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s he has club training in the evening.
Wednesday: This is the most intense day…this is the day we do all our dynamic/power work.
Thursday: The same type of training as Tuesday’s just a different focus.
Friday: What we do on Friday’s depends on whether he has a Saturday or Sunday game. If it’s a Saturday game then it’s a rest day or light conditioning and some mobility and flexibility work. If it’s a Sunday game then we’ll do some high intensity conditioning work and some circuits.
Saturday and Sunday: Are either match days or rest days…I’m sure you get the idea.

So any way…today being Thursday was a relatively easy day. It went something like this:
Warm Up on the bike for 10 mins to get his sweat on.
Vertical Band Pull-A-Parts, Chest Supported Scap Shrug and Inverted DB Shrugs for 3 sets of 8 reps
1A Pull Ups – 10 sets of 3 reps
1B Elevated Push Ups – 10 sets of 10 reps
2A Ab Roll Outs – 5 sets of 12 reps
2B Natural Reverse Hypers – 5 sets of 12 reps
Single Leg Knee Drops – 5 sets of 5 reps on each side
Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls – 5 sets of 12 reps
High-Low Woodchopers – 3 sets of 8 reps on each side
Standing Ab Pulldowns – 3 sets of 15 reps

I am sure you’ve noticed by now that I video a lot of stuff in the gym…I don’t do this for this blog…I do it because I use it as a coaching tool. A tiny fraction of what gets videoed goes up on the blog in fact. One of the ways that I use video is to go back and look at athletes doing really simple tasks as you saw recently with Barry’s Band Pull-A-Parts. The single leg knee drops are another that I look at. You can take a look at this and maybe tell me what you see?

Just want to wish Barry all the best tomorrow in his fight

He has trained well. Did what he was told and has improved his conditioning immensely…that is no guarantee of success but it sure as hell helps. You can see how much his fitness has improved just by looking at the heart rate data from the sessions that we use as markers. I generally always have a marker sessions on top of the fitness testing that all athletes do so that I can measure an athletes progress. What that session is made up of is dependent on the sport. In Barry’s case he had a condition and weights circuit session…you can see all the details here. He made enormous progress and I couldn’t have been happier with what we got out of him. He was weighing in at 79.6kg yesterday morning which puts him perfectly on target for a 77kg weigh in this afternoon at 5pm…he hasn’t had to to do anything drastic to make weight which takes an huge amount of pressure of a fighter. The thing that I’m most pleased with though is that we’ve tidied up a lot of the issues that we uncovered in his initial screening…they’ve not been completely fixed…that’ll take more time…but they are definitely much much less of an issue than they were. I cut together for comparison some really straightforward footage of Barry doing band pull-a-parts early on when we started working together and from yesterday. I’ll let you judge for yourself whether you think there is an improvement.

Cheaters never prosper…except in our gym…where they always end up on top

The girls have been doing some good work over the last few weeks. Tonight’s session looked like this:

5x2mins cardio + stretching
1A Hurdle Steps
1B Scap Push Ups
1C Over’s & Under’s
1D Scap Pull Ups

Single Arm DB Snatch – 2 w/u sets of 8 reps, 5 work sets of 5 reps

Box Squats – 2 w/u sets of 5 reps, 5 work sets of 3 reps

Plate Shifting – 5 sets of 4(2.5kg) + 4(5kg)
Band Pull Ups – 2 w/u sets of 12 reps, 5 work sets of 8 reps with 5 sets of 8 elevated push ups.
Torque Press – 4 sets of 8 reps + 30second isometric hold.

Now the form isn’t perfect…but I can live with that…you learn by doing…not by talking every exercise to death. I know a lot of coaches seem to have a problem with DB Snatches…I think the main reason for this is because one particular coach who makes his name by being a contrary has a problem with them. That aside I’ve always liked them and have never had any problems with them.

Practical Principles of Sports Nutrition and Fat Loss – Sunday April 5th
The seminar will be on Sunday the 5th and it will cost €55 as stated…there seemed to be some confusion there. If you want to help make this seminar a success feel free to take the link from the actual seminar thread and post it anywhere and anywhere you think it might be of interest to people.

Shoulder Stability and Prehabilitation Variations
These are a couple of the many, many things that I meant to post last week that I ran out of time to do.

The Bet – Update
Remember that bet from back in November? The one where these guys bet me I couldn’t bench 180kg’s…which I did after 3 whole weeks of training. Well here’s where it stands at the moment.

Brophy – €75 (Paid)
Nasher – €25 (Paid)
Jimmy – €50 (Paid)

Bushy – €100 (Unpaid)
Penguin – €75 (Unpaid)
Logi – €75 (Unpaid)
Killer – €25 (Unpaid)
Louis – €25 (Unpaid)

I can’t believe it’s not butter…

…but even more than that I believe that it’s not Wednesday rather than Friday.

Barry’s Morning Session

Today was a tough session. The intervals were shorter and harder than last week but the strength conditioning was easier and yet harder at the same time. I know that sounds stupid but its true. Hopefully Barry will chime in and give you his impressions of the session.

The session was as follows:

10minute warm up on the bike.

Mobility and Stability Circuit – Hurdle Steps, Leg Swings, Over’s & Under’s and Hip Pop Ups for 2 rounds.

Bike Intervals – 2 minutes easy riding then 30 seconds at over 100rpm followed by 30seconds easy spinning for 10 bouts. The thing that makes this hard is that I control the resistance on the bike and make it ‘as hard as it needs to be’…early on that meant Barry pushing at as high as level 16…and that’s hard…most of the bike work we do is at level 5. 

Mobility and Stability Work – 3 sets of horizontal band pull-a-parts and scap push ups.

Conditioning Round 1 – Dumbbell Floor Press, T-Push Ups and then a jab, punch, body shot and hook to the head combination. He had 45 seconds of work time and 15 seconds transition between each exercise. What we were looking for today was quality. I wanted the floor presses to be hard but for him to take plenty of time between reps and try to be as explosive as possible off the ground. The t-push ups were just intended to be nice and smooth and controlled and then to have him focus on throwing nice crisp shots on the pads.

This was followed by another set of bike intervals that were the same as the ones above and then onto round 2.

Conditioning Round 2 – Trap Bar Deadlifts, High Step Ups and then body kicks. The intention here was the same as round 1. Making sure the deadlifts were of high quality, the step ups were as controlled as possible and the body kicks were of a high quality.


This session will make your heart do this!

This session will make your heart do this!

Online and or Distance Personal Training

A lot of the athletes that I coach don’t train in the gym with me all the time. I have athletes that I work with that are located all over Ireland and some of them are in the UK and still others are constantly on the move. I received an email the other day asking about how I manage to do this sort of work and if it is the same as training people face to face. Well naturally online or distance coaching whatever you want to call it isn’t the same as coaching in person but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do as good a job as I can manage. If you go to my YouTube account you probably see about 200 videos or so. There are actually a LOT more videos up there that you can’t see. Videos like this one….

This is a video for James that normally would be ‘Private’ in that James can see it and I can see it but no one else can. Same with all the videos from the seminar. The attendees can see them and if you aren’t one of them then you can’t. It is the same with all the other guys and the couple of gals…they can see all the public videos along with the private ones that are just for them. They send me videos of their training….the stuff that they want me to see because they have questions about or the stuff that I want to see and then I send them videos like this one back. 

So in answer to the question… know online or distance coaching isn’t the best….but that doesn’t mean that it has to be bad.

Andy’s Program

I’ve decided not to write Andy off…actually…I was never going to write him off but I know that being famous on the interweb is about creating drama. Andy has ligament damage…maybe more…suffice to say there will be no moon walking for at least 4 weeks.

It gets uglier every day...Andy and his ankle that is

It gets uglier every day...Andy and his ankle that is

So what we’re going to do is at a bare minimum 4 weeks of bulking. We’ll do 4 main sessions a week…we might slip in some extra submaximal sessions as well. 

Watch this carefully because it is incredibly complicated

Week 1
Session 1
Warm Up – 10mins
Mobility & Stability Work
DB Rows – 2w/ux12, 5×8
Blast Strap Push Ups – 5×12
1A Standing Ab Pulldowns – 4×10
1B Side Bridging – 4x30sec
Arm Work
Natural Reverse Hypers – 5×12

Session 2
Warm Up – 10mins
Mobility & Stability Work
Seated DB Press – 2w/ux8, 5×5
Pulldowns – 5×8
1A Hanging Leg Raises – 4×10
1B Front Bridge – 4x60sec
Arm Work
Back Extensions – 5×12

Session 3
Warm Up – 10mins
Mobility & Stability Work
DB Floor Press – 2w/ux12, 5×8
Inverted Rows – 5×12
1A DB Sit Ups – 4×10
1B Seated Woodchoppers – 4×10
Arm Work
Natural Reverse Hypers – 5×12

Session 4
Warm Up – 10mins
Mobility & Stability Work
Pull Ups (weighted) – 2w/ux8, 5×5
Arnold Press – 5×8
1A Lower Ab Curls – 4×10
1B Kneeling Oblique Pulldowns – 4×10
Arm Work
Back Extensions – 5×12

Ian had a question about rest periods