Valor 3

I neglected to post these up previously.

This is Connor’s fight. The surface gave me nightmares….it was just like the Cage Contender surface I fought and lost on.

This is Rob’s fight.

I think I actually get more satisfaction from seeing my training partners do well than I do from doing well and winning myself.

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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?

Long time between drinks

Opportunities to make time to blog have been few and far between so I figure I better bring everyone up to speed.

Informed Performance – The New Gym
Due to orders from the Business and Operations Manager (from here on in referred to as simply The BOM) of Informed Performance I’ve not been able to talk about the new gym on pain of death…well not real death but I know if I was talking about it he’d bore me to death with his objections…so I’ve not been able to talk about all the great equipment we’ve bought…I mean…we are going to be able to sell tickets…because people are going to travel miles to see this stuff. Honestly…I’m amazed myself…I mean seriously…how many full on Olympic Lifting sets have you seen in real life. I don’t mean just bars and plates…I’m talking bar and plates that are used at THE Olympics…as in…on the stage at the Olympics…well when you come to Informed Performance you’ll see 8 sets…are you following me? 8 complete Olympic lifting sets…stands, platforms…the whole shebang. That is just to give you an idea…believe me…I don’t think anyone is going to believe what they see when they walk through the door. So anyway…I’ve already said too much…suffice to say that just because we’re not talking about it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening…quite the opposite…the fact that I’m not getting time to blog very much should tell you that lots is happening….and it most certainly is. There will be more news to follow in the next couple of weeks and things should move incredibly quickly after that.

Cookies Training Continues
Since I’ve had a few enquiries about his training I thought I might give you some more updates.
Monday is his heavy day….this week he did all the usual…warmed up, did some hip mobility work then squatted heavy after a couple of warm up sets he worked up through 5 heavy triples then did some supplementary hamstring work, some ab work…the some shoulder mobility work, warmed up on the bench and then worked up through 5 heavy triples followed by some supplementary back work then some more ab and lower back work the fired off his gunz.
Tuesday was a conditioning day…we warmed up in the gym then we did 5 conditioning blocks which went like this:
10 KB Squats then a sprint block…this involved linear sprinting, lateral sprinting, hard backward running, a certain amount of ‘hitting the deck’ and sprinting off followed by a walk back to the beginning where he then did 10 Push Ups and then the sprint block. Then 10 Inverted Rows and a sprint block. Then 10 KB Presses and a sprint block. At the end of his last sprint block he got 2 minutes recovery before beginning his next set. He did 5 of these sets in total and it had this effect….
Cookies Session
Wednesday was a rest day. Today we did a ‘bodybuilding’ session….Cookies, Sextoy and I did it together and it went like this:
Mixed Cardio Warm Up – 5 mins Rowing, 5 mins Jogging and 5 mins Cycling.
Shoulder Mobility Work
DB (slight) Incline Bench Press – 1×12 @ 20kg, 1×12 @ 25kg, 1×8 @30, 1×8 @35, 3×8 @40kg
Hi-Lo Cable Flies – 5×12 @ 35kg
Hanging Leg Raises – 5×10
Hip Mobility Work
Leg Press – 1×12 @ 100kg, 1×12 @ 140kg, 3×8 @ 180kg
1A Leg Curl – 3×15 @ 50kg
1B Leg Extensions – 3×15 @ 50kg
Ab Roll Outs – 5×10
Shoulder Mobility Work
Lat Pull Downs – 1×12 @ 60kg, 1×12 @70kg, 3×8 @ 80kg
Single Arm Cable Rows – 3×15 @ 35kg
45deg Back Extensions – 5×10
We pushed hard through the entire session…the rest periods were literally as long as it took the other 2 to finish their sets and we went at it from start to finish.

Who Loves Sports Technology?
I sure do…next week on Thursday the 14th of May at 11am my mate Dan Rutger is coming up from the boglands (basically anywhere in Ireland outside of Dublin) to demo some incredibly cool sports technology kit at the gym…St Mary’s College Rugby Club, Templeville Rd. Tempelogue.

Dan runs what is pretty much Irelands most experienced sports technology company Redback Biotek ( www.redbackbiotek.com ) and he’s going to be demonstrating a GPS athlete tracking system called Catapult GPS. This was developed by the Australian Institute of Sport and is now used all around the world by top teams and athletes.

It was originally developed for rowing but has now also gained wide aceptance in a multitude of sports. This is some of the stuff it does:
• GPS ; position and speed of movment of all players on a pitch – or anywhere (even when they go to the loo) !
• accelerometers (with collision intensity and event marking) – acceleration of movement or how hard players are being hit. (I so want to strap this to Nasher and Pottsy when they have their ‘Worlds Collide’ showdown)
• gyroscope (inclination – with bend down algorithm). Is the player bending down to pick up a ball or moving the trunck sideways
• magneto (gives orientation – ie is a player running backwards or forwards in direction X)
• heart rate pickup and transmit
The system can also use local trackers(antenna) if GPS is not available.

This is an open invite to anyone…if you want to see some pretty cool stuff come along…check out Dan’s site…it looks like it was designed the day after they opened the internet but he has some great kit….a lot of which we are going to be buying for the new gym.

Southside for Rugby Players

Don’t worry about the title…it’s a joke for my own amusement more than anything else.

The rugby season has come to an end…and the new one already seems to have begun. Some players are resting up, some players are getting ready for sevens, some are getting ready for yet more rugby with internationals up coming. Here is what one of the latter players is doing this week.

Monday
Maximum Strength Session
Warm Up – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.
Hip Mobility Work – You should know what this entails by now.
Trap Bar Deadlift – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
Leg Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – band pull a parts, band dislocates, scap pull ups, scap push ups
Bench Press – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
DB Rows – 5 sets of 8 reps
Cool Down – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.

Tuesday
Conditioning Session
Warmed Up then did some KB Overhead carries.

1st Block – Mixed Conditioning
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 KB Squats
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Push Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Inverted Rows
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Sit Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
Then he got a 1 minute break…we did 3 sets of these back to back then he got a 2 minute break.

2nd Block – Sprint Conditioning
10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 metres…the jog out was at recovery pace…the player turned and dropped at the line face down on the ground and placed their hands behind their head then broke off the ground and sprinted to the start line. 10m first then 20m and so on. They got a minute after each complete set. We did 3 sets and then he got a 2 minute break.

3rd Block – Mixed Conditioning
Same format as the 1st Block only all the exercises were replace by punching combinations on the pads. So 10 and 20 metre run followed by a jab, punch, upper cut and hook…10 of these the first time, 8 the second, 6 on the third and 4 on the forth. We did 3 sets with a minute between sets and 2 minutes rest at the completion.

4th Block – Sprint Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 2nd Block.

5th Block – Mixed Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 1st Block

Wednesday
Body Building Session
Warm Up – 10km on the bike…easy…25 mins at 110-120bpm.
Hip Mobility Work – Hurdle Steps, Leg Swings and Leg Sweeps
Leg Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 2 hard sets of 12 reps and 1 mental set to finish. This consisted of 140kg on the 1st set, 180kg on the 2nd set, then 220kg for the rest…squeezing out 30 reps on the last…less than 60 seconds recovery between sets.
1A Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
1B Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps
2A Ab Roll Outs – 3 sets of 12 reps
2B 45deg Back Extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – Horizontal Band Pull-A-Parts and Band Dislocates
Incline Bench Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 3 hard sets of 12 reps
Lo-Hi Cable Flyes – 3 sets of 10 reps
Band Assisted Pull Ups – 5 sets of 12 reps
Single Arm Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
3A Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets of 12 reps
3B Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Overhead Tricep Extension – 3 sets of 12 reps

Thursday
Sprint Conditioning
I had a change of plan today. Instead of doing shorter higher intensity intervals I had Cookies do longer intervals instead. His session went like this:
Warm Up and Dynamic stretch
Training Block
Sprint 150m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Sprint 50m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Cookies did 3 of these blocks back to back. I want to say well done to Barney as well who joined Cookies for this session….well he sort of joined in. Barney did the Warm Up and edged Cookies out on the first 2 efforts…was maybe 20m behind him on the 3rd effort and then gave up…outstanding lack of effort all round.

Friday
Explosive/Bodyweight Session
Warm Up – 5 sets of 500’s on the rower at 1:45-1:50 pace with 60 second recoveries
Stretch
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 40kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 50kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 60kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Blast Strap Fallouts – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Push Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Inverted Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
Turkish Get Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps 20kg
Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 15 reps

So that was Cookies training week. He has the weekend off and then we get back work next week.

James holds the most important record in the gym

0051
This is about the same as the single reading for my abdominal skinfold…but I am working on that.

Lunge Variation
I was asked about this the other day as someone saw one of my GAA players doing it in another gym and they asked them what was it for…the player in question told them they assumed it was for a unknown wrong that they had done to me. No wonder so many people in the wider community like me so much when my own athletes have always got such nice things to say about me.

Anyway…here is James doing the same 2 way cable lunge in question.

If you want to know what it does or why I use it try it and let me know and I’ll print it on cards for athletes to hand out.

Something I just saw when I was out and about on the interweb.
This is a good blog…i.e. better than mine and way more interesting.