Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Throwing Article

This is an article about Sarah Grimm, a Utah thrower.

Utah Utes track and field: Sarah Grimm throwing way to NCAAs
By Mike Sorensen

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:43 a.m. MDT
SALT LAKE CITY — For someone who didn't even take up the sport until her senior year of high school, Sarah Grimm has come a long way as a hammer thrower.

Grimm will compete this week at the NCAA Regionals in Austin, Texas with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA championships the following week for the second straight year.

She has an excellent chance, ranking No. 4 in the country this year in an event that most people don't know the first thing about. If she finishes in the top 12, she'll move on to the national finals June 7-12 in Eugene, Ore.

"I think they're all pretty good," she says of her top competitors. "It's always hard to tell, but those who are mentally strong will do well, and I feel I've gotten more mentally strong this year."

Grimm didn't even start competing in the hammer until she was 17 years old, but thanks to hard work and good coaching, she could be a contender for a national title in the next couple of weeks.

At Jordan High School, Grimm was a javelin and discus thrower, finishing second in the state meet in the latter event. During her senior season she was working out one day with some friends, who urged her to try the hammer throw, which isn't a regular event in high school.

"They said, 'you should try it,' and I liked it," Grimm said.

So she headed down to Utah Valley University the next year and then transferred up to Utah in 2007. Since coming to Utah, she's improved dramatically, going from a throw of 150-4 in the '08 MWC Championships to a school-record best of 207-2 this year.

For those who have never watched track and field meet or not paid much attention, the hammer is the event where an athlete spins around several times on a small ring inside of a net before throwing, with both hands, a metal ball attached to a wire a couple of hundred feet onto the field. It apparently gets its name from old-time competitions when an actual sledge hammer was thrown.

While the men's hammer throw has been around for more than a century, the women's hammer throw wasn't included in the Olympics until 2000.

At 5-foot-10, Grimm isn't small, but by hammer-thrower standards she below average in her size.

"It's about technique, being able to relax and having good footwork," Grimm said. "Strength is certainly a factor, but not the main factor."

Longer arms are an advantage as is a strong core. Then there's quickness, of all things.

"Quickness is important — you need to be quick with your feet, going from heel to toe in the ring," she said. "It's how quick you can get your feet to go in the ring and get (the ball) to go in the correct orbit."

Grimm gives much of the credit to her success to assistant U. coach Tapio Kuusela, who is in his ninth season as the throws coach for the Utah track and field program. In his eight seasons, the native of Finland has produced three MWC champions, six national and 11 regional qualifiers, and his throwers have set 16 school records.

"The biggest thing is having a good coach," she says. "Coach Tapio adapts to whatever naturally fits your style."

"I'm very proud of Sara," Kuusela said. "We have systematically tried to improve as the season goes along and be ahead of last year's marks. We have gotten better at each meet, sometimes it doesn't show in the marks, but we have improved our technique and consistency."

As for this week, Grimm said she would love to finish in the top five, but as long as she makes the top 12 she'll be happy and try to make her mark at nationals.

e-mail: sor@desnews.com
© 2010 Deseret News Publishing Company All rights reserved

BYU Throwers

Following is an article that appeared in Deseret News, Utah's daily newspaper. It is nice to see throwers being recognized.

BYU track and field: Cougars a strong-armed bunch
By Dick Harmon

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:43 a.m. MDT
PROVO — The javelin throw tears up an athlete's body like no other track event, as ligaments, muscles and tendons clash in an awkward, twisting stress mess on every throw, tosses that require tremendous speed within a few steps. It can wear a guy down and break him apart.

That's why BYU's Chris Reno took a couple of months off after the indoor season. He didn't throw at all until the Mountain West Conference championships in Albuquerque earlier this month. With a couple of throws, he won the league title. One of his throws sailed within 15 feet of the awards dais, where people turned and looked in horror with visions of impalement.

Reno is part of a unique group of BYU throwers who head for the NCAA West Preliminary this weekend in Austin, Texas. This may be the most talented group of Mormon athletes ever assembled for throwing events in a national track meet.

"What they've accomplished is remarkable, said BYU track coach Mark Robison. "They've been here a long time. They were here as freshmen; they went on missions, so they've known each other for a long time. They're very close, they've got great chemistry and they're hilarious when they get together."

Reno, packing a javelin at a recent practice, didn't hesitate rubbing it in as he met up with shot-putters Leif Arrhenius and Daniel Lawson, preparing for a photo shoot. "I'd rather be carrying a spear than a that big heavy ball," said Reno.

"I knew you'd say that," said Lawson.

"These guys have such incredible drive," said Robison. "And they'll all be back because they're juniors this year. Reno has two more years because he sat out a year.

"Since I've been here, this is the best throwing squad we've ever had," said Arrhenius, who is among the shot put and discus favorites this week. His older brother Nick won a national title in the discus three years ago. His father, Anders, was an All-American at BYU 30 years ago.

"All our throwers have improved this year," said Leif. "I think we scored 74 points in conference in just the throws. That by itself would have gotten third or fourth in the MWC meet. Having six throwers score that many points shows just how good we are."

Reno said BYU just got lucky, and the timing was just right.

"This is a talented group of kids," Reno said. "The Arrheniuses have been around for years, and then Sean (Richardson) came and then Oliver (Whaley) came. We're just fortunate to have all of us come at the same time. All of us have the right attitude to train hard, and it's paying off."

Arrhenius, an All-American both indoors and outdoors, credits friendship as a key.

"We're all pretty good buddies," he said. "We like being together and push one another. We are competitive people and not only do we want to beat each other, but beat our competitors from around the country. All the throwers are returned missionaries."

The NCAA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary runs today through Saturday. The BYU men are ranked No. 11 in the nation, while the BYU women are No. 16.

The three-day event features the top 48 athletes and 24 relay teams in each event in the West region. The top 12 finishers in each event advance to the final NCAA championship meet at Eugene, Ore., June 9-12. The East Preliminary will be held this weekend in Greensboro, N.C.

Arrhenius is from Orem and prepped at Mountain View High, where he was a three-time state champion. He served a mission to Taiwan from 2005-07. In the West, Arrhenius ranks No. 5 in the shot put with a throw of 60 feet, 5 inches and No. 5 in the discus with a 195-10 effort, but has gone over 200 feet unofficially, and he ranks No. 13 in the hammer throw with a 205-11 effort.

Lawson ranks No. 7 in the shot put in the West. He is from Moses Lake, Wash., and served in the Mexico Chihuahua Mission from 2003-05.

A former prep All-American from Billings, Mont., Reno had the top high school javelin throw in the nation as a senior. He currently ranks No. 6 in the West with a throw of 240-8.

Richardson, from Silver City, N.M., is ranked No. 9 in the West in the javelin with a throw of 235-8. He served in the New York City South LDS Mission. Blaine Baker, whose javelin throw ranks No. 15 in the West (230-7), is from Missoula, Mont., and was a McDonald's All-American basketball player.

Whaley, from Kayenta, Ariz., is No. 2 in the West with a 202-8 hammer throw at the MWC championships. He served in the West Virginia Charleston Mission. In the pole vault, Chris Little, from Las Gatos, Calif., ranks No. 4 in the West with a jump of 17-9. He served in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission from 2005-07.

"At regionals, I'm not going in to try and win it," said Reno, who won the MWC javelin title with just three throws before sitting down. Tendinitis in his elbow kept him from throwing for a month and a half after the indoor season, and those throws were the first out of him in 90 days.

This week, he plans on doing the same thing — just post a number that will advance him.

This strategy is key because the NCAA has a weird setup this year. Preliminaries will be held in the West and East. The top 12 at the East Preliminary will advance, regardless of how they've done all year. A false start, a scratch or a tripped-over hurdle and a No. 1-ranked athlete could be out of the NCAA championships.

The West is everything west of the Mississippi — an enormous region. In Reno's javelin event, of the top 12 collegians in the nation, only one is in the East.

"That means a brutal West competition for the top 12 spots," said Robison.

This setup is part of a power play by the powerful SEC, ACC and Big East, all BCS conferences, whose voting power enabled them to set themselves up for more athletes at the national meet.

"I just want to post the best mark possible in the least amount of throws this week to qualify for nationals," Reno said. "Once there, I'll go for it and try and get a big throw."

Robison said BYU's throwers are unique.

"They're from small towns, scattered all over in Arizona, New Mexico and Montana," he said. "Reno wasn't bad in high school, Leif was one of the best to ever come out of high school, but the others were guys who were just kind of there.

"Richardson called me and asked if there was any way he could come to BYU. He'd thrown 204 or 205, and I agreed. Last summer, he went to Sweden and spent four weeks with some of the javelin throwers there, friends of Leif, Nick and Anders, and tried to learn some things. Now he's throwing 235," said Robison.

"I couldn't be more pleased with what they've done."

He believes six of his throwers will advance this week.

"There's not a one of these six I don't expect to make it to nationals. The thing that's crazy about this meet is there aren't any places, there are just qualifiers. If you qualify, you move to the next round. All we want to do is advance. Our three javelin throwers, if they throw 230, they should advance."

e-mail: dharmon@desnews.com
© 2010 Deseret News Publishing Company All rights reserved

Monday, May 24, 2010

John Broz Quote About Lifting

My brother shared this with me...thought it was very interesting.

"NOT training everyday leads to more injuries! IF you train everyday then your entire body is fatigued. Muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, etc. When you train every other day, then the muscles and avascular tissues don't recover at the same pace. What happens is the muscles become fresh and recover but all the connective tissue is NOT. When the additional stress put on these weakened tissues (that never really got a chance to recover) by fresh muscles = injury. Lifting everyday keeps everything in a state that is equal and consistent within the system. A balance or harmony within. The fatigued muscles can't contract enough to harm the other tissues. The weak link moves from body part to body part, and in a sense is not letting the other parts max so that's when they are resting!" ---- John Broz

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Lifts-Kendrick Farris cleans 218kg

Below is Kendrick Farris cleaning 218 kg.and narrowly missing the jerk. This is world class lifting for an 85 kg lifter. Below the video clip is Kendrick's bio from the Olympic website. Following that is a clip of his performance at the 2008 Olympics where he placed the highest of any American. Early on he had a very unique and awkward looking jerk style. It was kind of somewhere in between a split and a squate jerk. It looked like he was trying to decide which to do. You can see it on the right here. He has obviously smoothed that out.
I have been to the training center in Shreveport several times over the years. Kyle Pierce, Kendrick's coach who runs the center, is a great guy and a great coach. I consider him a friend although we don't meet or correspond often. He actually applied for a job here on the Navajo reservation about 10 years or so ago then decided to stay in Shreveport. His program works mainly with inner-city kids from the Shreveport area. He has taken Kendrick and hundreds of others from the "ground up" into national and international level competitors. Kendrick is a great example of what a basic, but sound training program applied consistenly over a long period of time can accomplish. Nothing fancy, just basic exercises, variation, smart progression,(note the best lifts listed below in the bio, he is now cleaning his best front squat from less than 2 years ago) and the mind set of a warrior. More power to you!!!

U.S. Olympic Athletes : Kendrick Farris .Home: Shreveport, LA
Birthday: 7/2/1986
Weight Class: 85kg
Height: 5'7"
USA Weightlifting Club: Louisiana State University - Shreveport
Coach: Kyle Pierce
Education: Attending Louisiana State University - Shreveport
Most people don't know that... I've done stand-up comedy... I'm a father... I am a Miami Dolphins fan... I have 23 tattoos... I have an iPhone... I love Vitamin Water... I cut my own yard... and I'm a down to earth guy
Most Influential person(s) in your sporting career: My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Monica Lockett (mother) , Kyle Pierce (coach/pops) , My family & friends
Hobbies/Interests outside of weightlifting: I enjoying doing comedy, editing/producing videos, playing video games (xbox 360) , and taking showers (this is my favorite thing to do because I am away from everything and it just gives me time to really think & reflect)
Favorite Books: To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncommon, and Dreams From My Father
Favorite TV Show: Seinfeld
Favorite Music Genre: good music...doesn't matter as long as it is creative and has meaning
Favorite Food: Chef salad or Jumbo...pretty much anything my girlfriend Cooks

Olympic Teams: 2008 (Eighth)
World Championship Teams: 2009, 2007, 2006
Pan American Games Teams: 2007 (Fourth)
Pan American Championship Teams: 2008 (Fourth)
Junior World Championship Teams: 2006 (Eighth)

Personal: Farris began lifting when he was 12-years-old after his uncle, Kevin Burns, read an article in the newspaper about a weightlifting development center for young athletes. Less than 10 years after his introduction to the sport, Farris won back-to-back National titles in 2006 and 2007 en route to qualifying for his first Olympic Team. Farris set two American Records at the Olympic Games in Beijing where he placed eighth. He attributes faith in God and hard work to his success and has his sights set on climbing onto the World and Olympic podiums.

Records Held:
American Record in the Clean and Jerk:
202 kg (2008 Olympic Games)

American Record in the Total category:
362 kg (2008 Olympic Games)

Best Competition Snatch: 160 kg
Date: August 15, 2008 @ 2008 Olympic Games

Best Competition Clean & Jerk: 202 kg
Date: August 15, 2008 @ 2008 Olympic Games

Best Competition Total: 362 kg
Date: August 15, 2008 @ 2008 Olympic Games

Favorite Competition Lift: Clean & Jerk

Favorite Training Lift: Clean grip dead lift

Best Squat: 260 kg

Best Front Squat: 217 kg

Best Power Snatch Single: 142 kg

Power Clean Single: 172 kg

International Competition Best: 2008 Olympic Games

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Peaking- Competing with a Warrior Attitude

This is the time of year when the scholastic and collegiate throwers here in the U.S.A. are trying to get the best throws of the year. Being able to summon your best performance at the right time is a very individual and inexact science at best.
Not long ago I had a short conversation with one of our legendary American throwers, Dr. LJ Silvester, and he expressed the opinion that peaking for a single competition was not a realistic goal. He said that the best one could do was to train smart, stay healthy, and give it your best each day in practice and competition. When you feel good, train hard. When you don't, back off. In his opinion there are too many factors in life to try to control and reach an elusive optimal level on a given day. Just do your best under the circumstances, whatever they may be.
While I am not against a long range training plan (and I don't think he is either), I have to admit that my experiences as both a coach and athlete validate his opinion. While I have studied and applied the periodization models that are part of the "body of knowledge" based on science and research,the real life process of training and competing is much more art than science.

It is my belief that you should begin training with an end in mind. It is vital to have a goal to train for. Long range planning includes infusing variety and progression into training.
But can even the best designed progam insure success in competiton? Of course not. Feeling ready to compete is very individual. Many benefit from more rest prior to major competitions. Last year in an article in the Arizona Republic newspaper, Ryan Whiting mentioned that he did no weight lifting the last 2 weeks of the season. Yet there are others who prefer to lift the morning of a competition, although this is usually very light and quick work like hang power snatches with 50-60%. I have seen athletes who could sleep under the stands or on the bleachers until minutes before their event, while others were "wired" and nervous before a PR performance. I have had great performances when I was rested and also when I was under stress and tired.
There is a cliche that says, "Success is when preparation meets opportunity." Preparation should be a constant process, we can't always control when the opportunities will arise. A Warrior attitude does not acknowlege fear of failure. Warrior attitude is having the mindset of competing in the moment. When I was a teenager, we used to cut school early on Wed. afternoons and hitch a ride across town to workout in the Allegheny Mountain Gym (which was in Les Cramer's basement) Once I showed up with a bad cold and mentioned it to him that I was not feeling good. He told me that I should have a great day then because you are actually stronger when you have a cold. Low and behold I squatted more than ever that day. I really believed for years that having a cold made one stronger. It wasn't until years later that I found out that he was full of it. Still, the lesson was not lost on me. The mind is powerful and what you believe can affect the reality of a situation. Do not get so dependent upon a routine or program to the point that it dictates your performance. Poor nights sleep? Tell yourself that you don't need sleep. Sore? Tell yourself that you throw better when you are sore. Weather bad? Tell yourself that it gives you an advantage because your opponents will let it bother them. In the mind of a Warrior, every obstacle can be used to their advantage. The bottom line is that smart preparation is desired, but competitions are decided in the moment. Prepare smart, then compete like a warrior.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am not sure which of these feats is most impressive.

A Warrior's Focus- The Haka

Image result for haka

There are many ways to prepare for battle. Each Warrior Culture has it's own as we mentioned in an earlier post "Navajos Raid Las Vegas". The Maoris of New Zealand had their own warrior culture that survives today. The Haka was a part of their prepartion and when done right, can be very stirring.
This how it should be done.
Many American football players have tried to adopt the Haka, but just don't quite get it. We dare you to watch this and not be inspired.

Where There Is A Will.......

Image result for weightlifting images from rio 2016
"Grit" is the most important quality for success in almost anything.

I love this video. It is worth a few minutes to watch.No excuses, just finding a way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jerk Supports Revisited

At the first of the year we posted some videos and descriptions of some overhead support expercises that we like and feel are under appreciated and under used by many strength and power athletes. We were gratified to see Jim Schimtz post a similar article on the Ironmind website this week. Below is his article and a great video of Kendrick Farris, an 85 kg. class American lifter doing a Clean and Jerk with 211 kg.(This only about 7kg. off the world record) Kendrick uses the power jerk style rather than the more traditional split style. On limit lifts he drops extremely low under the bar into what is termed a squat jerk. Very impressive. Kendrick trains in Shreveport, LA. Check back on this site to our January 2010 posts to see the original article with some demonstration videos of how to do these great exercises.

By Jim Schmitz
U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team Coach 1980, 1988 & 1992
Author of Olympic-style Weightlifting for Beginner & Intermediate Weightlifters Manual and DVD

Jerk support and jerk support and recover are two exercises that I think are fantastic and yet not utilized enough. I first heard about them in Strength & Health magazine some time in the early 1960s. York Barbell Company had developed its power rack and was promoting its many uses, from isometrics to partial lifts. I go to many weight training and weightlifting facilities and see many modern power racks and none of them look like the old York power rack: 8' tall with 6" between the support racks. I wonder why? Anyway, let me discuss the jerk support and jerk support and recover.

The jerk support is done by placing the bar in the rack at just above your head, maybe an inch or two above; if it is your first time I recommend 2 inches above your head. As you get better at it you lower the starting position, but not any lower than your head. You use your clean and jerk grip and your feet are hip- to shoulder-width apart. Squat directly underneath the bar with your arms extended and locked out directly above your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles. Your arms, head, body, hips, and ankles must be directly in line under the bar in what is called the power position. The power position is the position where you catch or receive your power snatch and clean: approximately a quarter squat. Tense or tighten up all your muscles, and then stand up by pushing up with your arms and down with your legs. Practice a few times with a naked bar; then start adding weight. It will surprise you how wobbly you are at first. When you are fully erect, hold the weight for 2 seconds or so: the bar should be directly over your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Lower the bar under control and repeat.

The jerk support and recover is different from the jerk support in that you start from the jerk split position and then recover to the standing position with your feet in line directly underneath the bar. You are trying to simulate your actual split jerk recovery; it won't be exact, but come as close as you can. Get your jerk grip, set your feet in your split position, and make sure you are directly underneath the bar with your arms straight and locked directly in line with your ears, shoulders, and hips. Tense up your muscles as in the jerk support and slowly and deliberately recover, bringing your feet in line as you stand up. This is actually quite tricky and has to be done in small steps: front foot comes back a little, back foot comes forward a little, front foot back a little more, and then the back foot comes forward and should be in line with the other foot. This may not be done as you would normall recover, but it is still very beneficial. This exercise really helps you develop control of the barbell over your head and will help you save record jerks.
The first few times you do the jerk support and jerk support and recover you will be all over the place. It's quite comical and always gets a smile and a laugh from first-timers and those watching. My 8' York imitation rack is only 6" between the supports and you are not supposed to hit them or slide up them—you are supposed to lift the weight without touching the racks, but everyone always hits the racks the first few times. I used to say that for every time you hit the racks you buy me a beer, but I had to stop that as I could never drink that much beer.

I recommend that you master the jerk support before going on to the jerk support and recover. I would also recommend that you only do the jerk support or the jerk support and recover once a week. Also, I like to have my lifters do the jerk support for 4 weeks then switch over to the jerk support and recover for 4 weeks then repeat with the jerk support. For reps and sets, I like 2 reps working up to a training weight and doing 3 sets of 2 reps. For example, if you clean and jerk 140 kg, you might do the following in the jerk support: 110 x 2, 130 x 2, 150 x 2, 160 x 3 x 2. For the jerk support and recover: 100 x 2, 125 x 2, 135 x 2, 145 x 3 x 2. You will handle less in the jerk support and recover as it is a more difficult movement. Also, how much weight you are able to lift will depend on the height at which you place the bar: the higher up the more weight.

I'm very surprised that I don't see more lifters and strength athletes do these two exercises. When you hold a very heavy weight over your head, every muscle in your body has to work, from your nose to your toes. The benefits are tremendous for developing tendon and ligament strength without the risk of injury as you are moving the weight a relatively short distance in the safety of a power rack. I do have to say there is one downside and that is loading and unloading the barbell. It's a fair amount of work lifting all the plates up and over your head and putting them on the bar and then taking them off. Maybe that's where you get all the strength development.

Enjoy and have fun doing the jerk support and jerk support and recover. I'm sure by doing them, IF you clean it, you WILL jerk it!
It's nice to have someone with the credibility of Jim Schmitz to concur. Remember, you saw it first here on HASKE WARRIOR STRENGTH.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Olympic Training Center Experience

Here are some pics and videos from a recent trip I took to the OTC in Chula Vista