Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April 1st Special!!!

We are offering our April 1st special again this year. Our 2011 model is new and improved. Don't miss this opportunity. Get one while they last.

We’ve all had that feeling. Some days it seems that the weights are just nailed to the floor. In the past this has been the cause of many ruined workouts. But, NO MORE!!!!

With our new Gravity Busters you never have to suffer a poor workout again!!!!

Under the wrong conditions, excess gravity tends to collect on plates and even over lifting areas.

As most experienced lifters know, removing excess gravity from plates is a fairly simple process. Merely spin the plates rapidly in a counter-clockwise direction and the excess gravity spins off rather quickly.

However when a gravity pocket develops over a platform that is much harder to deal with, UNTIL NOW!!!!

We are Introducing our new line of Gravity Busters. For only 12 easy payments of $19.95 you can have one of your own. They are available in school colors. The Red Model is extremely popular at the University of Utah.(Gotta love them Utes)

Merely plug in the Gravity Buster and move it rapidly around the affected area. You can feel the excess gravity breaking up. Now you can get back to lifting heavy weights without the pesky excess gravity.

We have an economy model for those on low budgets. Available only in white for a one time cost of $49.99.

Send check or money order to:
Gravity Busters
PO Box 552
Kayenta, AZ 86033

Below is a graphic example of what can happen when a gravity pocket moves in over a lifting platform. Luckily it moved in after the weight was lifted in this case, but the effects are obvious as the weight is returned to the platform. A Gravity Buster could have saved a lot of pain and destruction.

Hurry, Available April 1st only!!!!!

Don't let this happen to you!!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Good Wisdom

It's not often that someone gets to meet a real hero. When I was in high school, long before youtube or even videos; I taught myself to throw the discus by looking at an article with sequence photos of L.Jay Silvestor in the now defunct Athletic Journal. This was even before copy machines (at leasts in my neighborhood) and I would go to the school library as often as I could, just to study the pictures. Imagine my excitement when several years later I walked into the BYU weight room and there was L. Jay himself lifting and coaching. I found him to be not only a world class athlete, but a world class person who led and taught a balanced life. He was a great influence on me and now has also been a great inspiration to my son and daughter as they throw at BYU. Below is a nice brief documentary type of tribute done in his home state of Utah. You may also recognize the young Viking warriors in the clip.lol

Monday, March 21, 2011

Force =Mass X Acceleration

A fascinating video with great application to throwing. This is the 2nd segment of a 5 part series. Take 10 minutes to watch it. Around 6 minutes or so is a feat that has a great application for throwers. Watch the other segments if you have time. Very interesting if you haven't seen it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A great tribute to Dr. John Patrick O'Shea, a true pioneer in the promotion of strength training for athletics and life. This is from Daye Halling,my friend and one of Dr. O'Shea's students.

Beagán agus a rá go maith.
Say little but say it well.

Happy St. Patrick's Day
“Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet” .
I’ll be lifting hard and wearing a bit of the green today for Dr. John Patrick O’Shea.

'Tis glad I am and glad I'll be
That you like knowin' the likes of me!

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way,
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

May the leprechauns be near you
To spread luck along your way.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

May the most you wish for
Be the least you get.

May your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.

May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight.

Happy St. Patrick's Day
"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand."

Best Always,

Dr. John Patrick O\'Shea
Ed.D. (2000-2004)

For more than five decades, Patrick O'Shea was a strong advocate of strength training and a scholar of strength physiology. His interest began in a YMCA in Detroit, Michigan and ended in a gym in Corvallis, Oregon. Whether as an Olympic style lifter, coach, researcher, teacher, author, or cyclist, Patrick promoted the benefits of strength training.

Three of those decades were spent at Oregon State University in the Exercise and Sport Science Department, where he rose to the rank of full professor after obtaining a doctorate at the University of Utah. Patrick taught a variety of classes including exercise physiology, physiology of strength development, orienteering/backpacking, and mountaineering. He also mentored over forty graduate students as their major professor. A researcher at heart, Patrick conducted extensive research in the areas of strength physiology and anabolic steroid use. As an outgrowth of his research, he developed two new training concepts: functional isometrics and interval weight training. To promote his research findings, Patrick staged many strength and conditioning clinics and served as a consultant on strength training methods for several organizations.

Patrick authored three books: Scientific Principles and Methods of Strength Fitness (considered the Bible of strength training), Quantum Strength and Power Training, and Quantum Strength Fitness II. A prolific writer, he wrote over 200 research and lay articles published in trade magazines and professional journals.

For his many years of contribution to sports science, Patrick was awarded the Oregon National Strength and Conditioning Association's Distinguished Service Award, the NSCA President's Award, the posthumous NSCA Alvin Roy Memorial Award, and was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame.

While serving in the Army (1954-1956), Patrick lifted competitively for the famous German sports club the TSV 1860 Club. While attending Michigan State University, Patrick was hired by "Biggie" Munn (football coach and athletic director) to set up weight training programs for his football players, perhaps becoming the first strength coach in the U.S. To celebrate his 62nd birthday, at a body weight of 190, Patrick squatted an impressive 515 pounds and dead lifted 525 pounds.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Five Lessons from Ivan Abadjiev

Last week we discussed a little about the Bulgarian mystique, or rather the blind worship that seems to accompany any program from the former Eastern block. Vainly trying to copy the workouts set for set, or rep for rep (or throw for throw) will likely only result in injury or over training. Does this mean there is nothing we can learn from these programs? No, there is plenty that can be wisely gleaned when one understands the underlying principles and applies them, rather than merely copying workouts.Following is an article from Charles Poliquin's site that illustrates the wise application of basic principles. I really liked this.
Five Lessons I Learned from Ivan Abadjiev
What a weightlifting legend has taught me about training
by Charles Poliquin
Ivan Abadjiev placed second in the 1957 World Weightlifting Championships, but few weightlifters or coaches recognize him for being one of the best athletes in the world in his prime. No, Ivan Abadjiev is known as one of the most successful, and unquestionably the most innovative, weightlifting coaches in the history of the sport. Let me tell you more.
The year after experiencing a disappointing performance in the 1968 Olympics, in which Bulgaria did not win a single medal in weightlifting, Abadjiev was appointed as the national coach. Three years later in Munich, Bulgarian weightlifters won three gold and three silver medals. And the success continued, with Abadjiev coaching a total of nine Olympic and 57 world champions in his first two decades as national coach. Such success could not be ignored, and soon countries such as Greece, Turkey and Iran began adopting what came to be known as the Bulgarian system.
Abadjiev’s greatest pupil was Naim Suleymanoglu, who won gold in three Olympics, broke 51 world records and pound-for-pound is still considered the greatest weightlifter of all time. Another of Abadjiev’s most memorable athletes is Antonio Krastev, a super heavyweight lifter who in 1987 snatched 216 kilos (476.2 pounds), a record that has yet to be surpassed. One talented athlete who just may exceed Krastev’s record is Pat Mendes, an American weightlifter sponsored by Poliquin Performance. In training this year at the age of 19, Mendes snatched 200 kilos (440 pounds). ( Pat is currently recovering from a shoulder injury and recently snatched 183 kg. at the Arnold Fitness Extravaganza) I mention this because Mendes is coached by John Broz, who in turn was coached by Antonio Krastev.
Platform victories aside, Abadjiev will be remembered as the coach who created a paradigm shift in the way weightlifters train. He started athletes at a very young age, often before they were teenagers, and trained them harder and with greater frequency than had ever been attempted before. This philosophy is in contrast to those of American medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, which in their current position paper on the subject said, “Preadolescents and adolescents should avoid power lifting, body building, and maximal lifts until they reach physical and skeletal maturity.” Depending upon the individual, “full skeletal maturity” is about age 18 for males and slightly younger for females.
Although Abadjiev’s coaching success is in the sport of weightlifting, many of his ideas are applicable to all aspects of strength and conditioning for athletic performance. Here are five of them.
Lesson #1: The Importance of Early Specialization
When Abadjiev took over as the Bulgarian national coach, weightlifters often did not start heavy lifting until well into their teen years. Abadjiev believed that younger athletes could better handle the much greater levels of volume and intensity required in his training programs, so it was necessary to start specializing in weightlifting at a very young age. As a result Bulgaria began to dominate the Junior World Championships (age 20 and under), and many of his junior lifters could compete with the best senior lifters in the world. In fact, Suleymanoglu broke his first senior world record when he was just 15 years old.
In the United States, most athletes will compete in multiple sports throughout their high school careers, and this provides an enriching experience. But as athletes in sports such as tennis (Maria Sharapova), soccer (Freddy Adu), and basketball (LeBron James) are proving, early specialization may be necessary to achieve the highest levels of athletic performance in nearly every sport.
Lesson #2: High Performance Demands Specificity
Prior to Abadjiev’s leadership, the Bulgarian national team had a base of about 19 exercises, and Abadjiev reduced that to about a half dozen and primarily used low reps with heavy weights.
Part of the rationale for emphasizing specificity in training is that Bulgaria could not provide Abadjiev with resources comparable to those of his competitors. During the ’70s Bulgaria was reported to have approximately 5,000 competitive lifters, whereas Russia was reported to have over 300,000. Without the luxury of having a large talent pool of athletes, Abadjiev had to make certain every rep of every set of every workout was contributing to their highest goals. This meant throwing out the traditional method of designing workouts using carefully planned percentages of lifters’ 1-repetition maxes.
Rather than percentages based on past or predetermined personal bests, Abadjiev’s lifters would go as heavy as possible every workout for numerous sets in a wavelike loading fashion. How heavy? Well, if an athlete could snatch 100 kilos (220 pounds), here is how the work sets (i.e., after warm-up) might progress: 90 kilos x 1 x 3, 95 x 1 x 2, 100 x 1 x 1, 90-92 x 1 x 3, 100-103 x 1 x 1, 90-92 x 1 x 3, 102-105 x 1 x 1, 85-88 x 5 x 3. Whew! And just as Abadjiev did not use percentages as did most coaches from other countries, in my workouts I simply “let the repetitions determine the load” so that the weights used are not too light or too heavy, but just right to achieve the optimal training stimulus.
If you are serious about achieving your goals, you need to focus on doing the things that will best help you achieve those goals. If you currently squat 300 pounds for 1 repetition and want to back squat 500 pounds for 1 repetition, your time would be better spent on doing a lot of heavy back squats rather than nonspecific exercises such as leg extensions and goblet squats, especially for high reps.
Lesson #3: Train Hard, Heavy and Fast
Abadjiev believed that to train at the highest intensities, training sessions must be brief. He believes that in training sessions, testosterone levels peak after about 15 minutes of training and begin to level off after another 30-45 minutes. Thus, to achieve the highest quality of training, his workout sessions lasted about 45 minutes each.
With those shorter workouts, to achieve the volume of training necessary to create continual progress, his athletes had to perform multiple training sessions per week. A typical Bulgarian schedule for a single training day might be designed as follows:
Morning Session
Front Squat, 30 minutes
30-minute break
Snatch, 30 minutes
30-minute break
Clean and Jerk, 30 minutes
Front Squat, 30 minutes
Afternoon/Evening Session
Clean and Jerk, 30 minutes
30-minute break
Snatch, 30 minutes
30-minute break
Front Squat, 30 minutes
Pulls, 30 minutes
Although such a training system is not practical for anyone who has a life, your training results will be much greater by keeping your workouts short and focusing on achieving the highest quality of work.
Lesson #4: Establish a Competitive Training Environment
“Never be satisfied. Never,” are the words Terry Todd said he overhead Abadjiev say to Naim Suleymanoglu (then Suleimanov) after Abadjiev saw him clean and jerk triple bodyweight in a training session 16 years ago. For Abadjiev, it was essential to establish a training environment that was all business and hard work. As such, he had the best athletes in his country lift together in one national training center and demanded discipline – and if someone came along who beat you, you could lose your position on the team, despite your previous successes in competition.
Applying this principle to training, I carefully select the people I train with, as I don’t want someone with a lackadaisical attitude to bring down the intensity of my workouts. I’m in the gym to produce results, not make friends. Likewise, I encourage my trainers to be all business when they work with a client, only discussing matters during the workout that directly relate to the performance of that workout.
Lesson #5: Compete, and Compete Often
Abadjiev believed that to compete well, athletes need to compete often. One example of the importance of frequent competitions was the battle between Russia’s Vasily Alexeev and Belgium’s Serge Reding. Reding was considered to be the stronger of the two super heavyweight lifters, reportedly being able to squat 400 kilos for 5 reps. However, when they competed against each other, Alexeev always prevailed over the mighty Belgium, and one reason is that Alexeev was always competition sharp because he competed frequently. Case in point: In 1974 he broke world records in seven competitions!
As such, when Abadjiev’s lifters were not participating in competitions, Abadjiev would often stage weekly mock competitions to simulate the environment of a competition so that his athletes would not lose their competitive edge. Likewise, even if your goal is something other than Olympic gold, you will find that your motivation to train hard increases if you have some type of competition approaching in which you will be judged and scores will be made public. Further, after the competition often you will find you are motivated to train even harder to do better in the next competition.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Leif Arrhenius closes out his collegiate indoor shot career with a national championship! He hits the throw of his life at the right time. Most importantly he is now the family champ, passing Dad Anders and brother Nik.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bulgarian "Secrets"

I hesitated to post this article. I didn't write it, but got it off of another website some time ago. I'm not sure where I got it from, but I had saved it for future reference. It seems that here in the United States we are enamored with anything that comes from anywhere else. I guess it's the "No one listens to a prophet in his own land" syndrome. Anyone with a foreign accent is a guru and anything from the former Eastern block is especially considered a great secret treasure of knowlege. Below is yet another attempt by an American to explain the vaunted Bulgarian weightlifting system. I disagree that there is any special scientific system at work. Contrary to what this author says, the Bulgarians have been on the down swing since Sydney when most of their team withdrew due to drug postives. The legendary coach Ivan Abadjiev came to the U.S. and his methods did not produce any champions here. The "secret" was selecting young athletes with natural gifts and few ways of getting ahead in their society, very specific training with no distractions, and "medicinal support". Can we learn something from the Bulgarians? Sure, they trained hard and didn't allow thenselves to be boxed in by the "proven" methods of others. They did things most thought impossible. I think it is the attitude that we can learn the most from, not the methods.
The Bulgarian Blitz
This article was written for the single purpose of exploring Bulgarian training methods as they can and should be used by your run-of-the-mill American weightlifter. Well, that and for the purpose of firing off a little rant. But, if you can get through the ranting, I promise there will be some training stuff somewhere in there...

As of late, it seems that an increasing number of people have taken to saying that the Bulgarians have lost their edge, and that Bulgaria is 'no longer dominant' in international weightlifting. I am not altogether sure exactly what results these folks are looking at. The 2000 Olympics, for example, which was about the worst meet in 3 decades for the Bulgarians, still saw 4 Bulgarian-trained lifters on the medal stand. Six students of the Bulgarian system medalled at the 2002 World Championships. As of March 2003, if one were to look at the IWF men's rankings one will find that the Bulgarians have a lifter ranked in the top 3 in ALL SIX classes that are 69 kilos and above. Not only that, but in 4 of those classes the Bulgarian is ranked number one.

So, it seems to me that in the 'ever-expanding world of the 21st century', the Bulgarians are continuing to more than hold their own in weightlifting. Especially when one considers that Bulgaria is a nation of about 8 million, while countries of half a billion sit and flounder with no lifters and no medals.

But I digress... the fact is that the Bulgarians are still good. They are better than good. And the single most important reason for their success is their training methods.

Yes, after comments about how the Bulgarians are not that good anymore come out of one side of the mouth, comments about how their training is worthless usually comes out of the other. The most common version of this old song and dance is a statement to the effect of "Oh, that routine would KILL you!" Inherent in this excuse is one of two common premises. First is that the Bulgarians succeed with their training solely because of enormous amounts of drugs. Second is that only their hand-picked genetic freaks could handle that kind of workload.

The problem with the first point is that the Bulgarians are not that high on the list of IOC drug offenders. Sure, there are Bulgarians that use banned anabolic substances. But, the same can be said for EVERY international team, and I do mean *EVERY*. The fact is that the Bulgarians dominate the middleweight classes, where excessive use of anabolics might just put a lifter over his class limit. Some countries which will remain nameless, for instance Russia, always seem to have their best lifters drifting through the 94s and the 105s on their way to being 135 kilo heavyweights. This type of situation seems much more indicative of drug use, but of course the whiners do not want to hear logical arguments. Additionally, the Bulgarian training system is not the type that would draw too heavily upon the benefits of using anabolics. The Bulgarian-type workout consisting only of a moderate number of not-quite-maximum singles imposes a heavy burden on the CNS, but if one is looking for CNS stimulation or recovery there are better places than steroids to find it. Again, contrast this with traditional training programs in the Russian regime where athletes of high sports mastery would be training on up to 80 different lifts/exercises a year, with about 25% of these done for sets of 5 reps or more, and you can see a training protocol that drastically has its effectiveness increased by substances that will increase protein synthesis and help recovery at the cellular level.

The second point, that of genetics, has a grain of truth in it. The best Bulgarian lifters have been in the system for quite some time, and have risen to the top from among the best of the best. However, one can look down the Bulgarian ranks to see if it is the 'system' or the 'individuals'. Bulgaria usually has a very deep team of lifters, so much so that they can afford to sell half of them to foreign countries. I somehow doubt that, again, in this nation of only 8 million people there are that many more 'perfect weightlifters' born than anywhere else. The other thing is, these lifters have slowly worked up to what they are doing over that long time that they have been in the system. Bulgaria does not throw its 14 year-olds into a situation where they go from doing nothing to doing 27 workouts a week where they snatch to a heavy single. In fact, many Eastern European nations that start lifters as young as 12 years old have them doing only about 30% of their training as specific preparation for as long as 3 years. It takes them a long time to ramp up to the volumes they are handling once they are competing at the world level.

Finally, as an adjunct to both points, people need to realize that the training program, as the elite Bulgarian lifters follow it, IS brutal. However, drugs are not as big a piece of the pie as they are made out to be. Neither is genetics. The Bulgarians have massages before, during, and after workouts. Do you? The Bulgarians take all sorts of herbs and 'adaptogens' and are deeply involved in legal sports performance pharmacology. Are you? The Bulgarians on the national team don't have to keep a 9-to-5, forty hour a week job. Do you? The point here is that there are many recovery factors that can come into play that do make a Bulgarian routine more accessible to their lifters than to the average American. That said, if you are willing to do some homework on herbs and learn a little bit about sports self-massage, etc., you also can reap the benefits of increased recovery.

All that having been said, I simply refuse to accept the idea that there is nothing to learn from their training. In fact, I have arrived at what I believe is a way to work *anyone* into a system that at least draws upon the same principles as the Bulgarian training methods, and have been using it with myself and others. You might never get to 'Full-on Bulgarian' status, but you can definitely make their type of workouts work for you...

Step 1: Basic Routine Template


Snatch: 3 singles, using 'Maximum Training Resistance' (use matrix)
Clean & Jerk: MTR matrix
Front Squat: 3 singles, using MTR, then 2 doubles with MTR -15 kilos

Back Squat: 3 doubles with Monday CJ MTR + 20 kilos
Power Snatch: 3 singles with MTR
Power Clean and Push Jerk: 3 singles with MTR
Romanian Deadlift: 3 triples with Mon CJ MTR + 20 kilos


Snatch: work up to true 1RM
CJ: work up to true 1RM
Front Squat or Back Squat: work up to true 1RM
[Basically this is a 'Total Day' or a simulated competition. Again, you don't want to psyche up like this is the Olympics, but you do want to 'let loose' and push yourself to darn near what your absolute max for that day would be.]

There you have it. Pretty simple, eh? And who could complain about that volume or frequency? If you cannot handle the above workout schedule, then you have some serious recovery issues. You may want to consider retiring from weightlifting and taking up cross-stitch, or something else less stressful.

Now, one of the important concepts here is that of "Maximum Training Resistance." This is what some of you may have heard referred to as a 'daily max' before. The definition of the MTR is "the maximum resistance that can be overcome one time without a strong effort of will or emotional stress." This is key in this program, at least as I have it structured to work for the individual. We want to use the MTR so as not to burn out the nervous system. Thus, on Mondays and Wednesday, the singles in the classical and power lifts must NOT be 'balls to the wall, my youngest son is hanging suspended over a Judas Cradle' type of lifts. They are 'I can walk up to the bar and pull this weight' lifts. Of course, you have to toe the line. Also, you have to learn whether you are missing lifts because you are actually working above your MTR, or because your form sucks. For me, it is an issue of pulling in the snatch and clean and the drive in the jerk. If I am pulling the bar high enough to snatch it or clean it, and driving it high enough to jerk it, I don't feel that I have exceeded my MTR, whether I am making the lifts or not. If I am missing my snatches out front, it is likely just because of my crappy first pull and lack of a full shrug, and not because I am going too heavy. As a lifter progresses, he will learn exactly where that line is.

At the start of the program, Mondays and Wednesdays only will be done using the 'MTR Matrix'. This matrix will appear at the very end of the article, and I will place appropriate comments with it.

Step 2: Adding a Session

Alright, the first step beyond the basic workout on your way to becoming a Bulgarian. What is it? On the middle day of the week, you are going to do 2 sessions. The session you have already been doing will be the AM session, and the following will be done in the PM:

Snatch 80%/2 (3-4 sets)
CJ 80%/2 (3-4 sets)
Snatch Pulls 3-4 sets of triples with a weight 10 kilos over what was used for the snatches
The issue here becomes on what day of the week are you able to add a session. So, if you can do an AM and PM workout on Thursday, that becomes your 'middle day', and you are now lifting Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. Though, if adding an AM (or basically just a session 2-3 hours earlier in the day) session is a big stumbling block, continuing on with the progression of the program might be next to impossible.

The other issue here is when to take these steps. That, I am afraid, is up to the individual lifter and/or his coach. I would say that once you have been 'through the matrix' a couple of times at each and are able to keep making progress, add the next step. Your body is ready for the challenge.

Step 3: Adding a Day

So, you have added a session. A few months later, you should be ready to add a fourth day. What previously would have been the M, W, F workouts, respectively, will now take place on M, Tu, and Sat. What do we add in? On Thursday, you will do a workout that looks exactly like Monday's. That wasn't so hard, was it?

Step 4: Adding a Session

You have now been lifting 4 days a week, twice on Tuesdays. Your hair has gotten a little longer than is stylish, and you tend to wear t-shirts bearing '80s slogans that were not even cool in the '80s. It is time to move on...

You will add an AM session to Monday. (with the previously done Monday session moved to the PM, or done second) What will that AM session look like?

Snatch: 85%/2 (3-4 sets)
CJ: 90%/2 (2-3 sets)
Back Squat or RDL to MTR
Step 5: Adding Two Sessions

This is it. The final bump in the road. It may have taken you a year and a half to work through the prior steps. You now can answer your cell phone between the clean and the jerk portions of the lift, and you got a new driver's license that says "?a?C?/4??" instead of "Dave Smith". You are ready for the final step in truly becoming a Bulgarian...

What is added? It's simple, really. On Thursday you add an AM workout that looks the same as Monday's AM workout, and on Saturday you do the following workout (though it is more of a CNS warm-up than a workout) in the AM:

Back Squat 80%/3 (3 sets)
Power Snatches: 'light'
Power Clean and Push Jerk: 'light'
So, there you have it. You now do 8 workouts a week. Craziness? Hardly, if you have added the steps only once you were ready. Not quite as extreme as the Bulgarians? Think again, because you are now using almost the exact same routine that the Bulgarian team has been doing since new Head Coach Plamen Asparukhov took over for Abadjiev in 2001 and reaffirmed the Bulgarian team's commitment to staying in line with IOC doping regulations. You now train just like Boevski and Jeliazkov, so good luck and go lift like them...

*The MTR Matrix

This is basically a system of volume/intensity progression that was used by the old Bulgarian regime that has not fallen out of favor. You can play with and rearrange the weeks as you like, but my preference is to go A-B-B-C-A. Some people can handle A-B-B-C-C-A. Try different things and see what works for you.

Also, to start with a lifter is probably best off basing the entire mesocycle on the MTR that was used during the first week. So, the weeks will just build upon each other. As the lifter becomes more comfortable with the system and his own capabilities, however, he will become more in tune with what his true MTR is on any given day, and during weeks B and C, respectively, will basically just do a second wave and a third wave back up to that weight irrespective of what MTR was used during week one.

"A" Week: Predicted MTR -20kilos for 2 reps, Pred. MTR -10 kilos for a single, MTR for 3-4 singles.

"B" Week: Perform A week progression, followed by MTR -10 kilos for a double, MTR -5 kilos for a single, and then MTR +5 kilos for 2-4 singles.

"C" Week: Entire B week progression performed, followed by a double with MTR -20 kilos, another double with MTR -10 kilos, and finally 3-4 more singles with MTR plus 5 or 7.5 kilos.

So, if you were doing a simple A-B-B-C-A progression over 5 weeks, and you found that your snatch MTR was 100 on the first Monday, for the next 5 weeks your Monday snatch workouts might be as follows:

Week 1: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4)

Week 2: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (2-4)

Week 3: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (2-4)

Week 4: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (3), 80/2, 90/2, 105 (2), 107.5 (2)

Week 5: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4)

At this point, the lifter would start over, this time likely using 105 as the MTR for the first A week in the mesocycle.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ten Shocking Facts about America’s Health & Diet.

Some interesting facts I read....kind of scares ya a bit

Ten Shocking Facts about America’s Health & Diet.

Written by: Charles Poliquin

1. There in the US, right now, 72 million obese people. I repeat obese, not overweight. Basically the combined population of Australia and Canada.

2. In 2010, one American out of ten is diabetic. In 40 years, it will have climbed to three out of ten. Thanks to the cereal, low-fat eating propaganda endorsed by the U.S. government.

3. The average American eats 200 grams of sugar per day. So basically a cup a day. Their body often does not show it, however, by age 30 they are paying the price by manifesting insulin resistance.

4. Baskin Robbin’s Large Heath Bar Shake – Yahoo! Health, ranked it the unhealthiest drink in all of America. It contains a whopping 2,310 calories, 266 grams of sugar and 108 grams of fat!

5. In the United States, pesticides laden, genetically modified (GMO) soybeans, are known to be of the leading causes of downstream pollution which severely damaged marine life all the way from the start of Mississipi river to the so-called “dead zone” of the Gulf of Mexico.

6. When you eat non-organic grapes and its subproducts like juice and jellies, you are consuming an extremely toxic pesticide called sulfuryl fluoride.

7. If you eat non-organic apples and their by products, you are most likely consuming Thiabendazole.

8. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that the average American diet contains about 5.8 grams of trans fat daily. University of Maryland researched Dr Mary Enig demonstrated in 1978 that the increased cancer rates were directly associated with total fat intake and vegetable fat intake but not with consumption of animal fat.

9. As early as 1934, a German pediatrician who had emigrated to America, Dr. Hilde Bruch was startled of how fat Americans were. That was two decades before the introduction of Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s to the American lifestyle

10. Protein only represents a mere 11% of the calories that Americans consume. Does not take a math genius to figure out that the other 89% come from fat and carbohydrates.


Friday, March 4, 2011

The Problem With Training Like A Weightlifter.

If you have been visiting our site over any length of time, you may be asking, WHAT?? Yes, we've said many times that throwers should train like lifters. I want to state unequivically that I believe that any athlete should strive for technical mastery of the lifts, equivalent to that of a weightlifter. I don't think that is too much to ask and would benefit any athlete. Having said that, training the lifts as means to an end of throwing farther (or performing any athletic activity) and training to lift more are two very different goals. Following is an article by Bob Takano, a top American weightlfting coach. I know Bob, having met him at weightlifting clinics and meets over the years. He knows his stuff and has written many articles, made numerous presentations, and coached many athletes including Olympians (male and female) in weightlifting. The advice he gives to a discus thrower in this article points out, to me, a common problem when those with a focus on training lifters attempt to train throwers. The fact that throwing itself is a resistance training activity is often misunderstood by those without first hand experience. I placed a few comments thoughout Bob's article. My main disagreement is that he places too much emphasis on the lifting work and not enough on actually throwing. His periodization model is also skewed towards lifting success, not performing the throws. That is the problem with training like a weightlifter. I am interested to hear what other think.
A Throwing Macrocycle
By Bob Takano—Member, USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame
"The impetus for this article came in the form of an inquiry from a thrower named Nathan in San Diego. He was interested in a program designed for him to improve his marks in the discus. I wrote back and explained to him that I am not terribly thrilled about a train-you-by-mail situation, but that I could offer some general provisions about program planning that would help him to peak at his culminating competition on June 26, 2011.
I agree with Bob and this and handle such inquiries in the same way.
Nathan provided me with the following information about himself. He is 6’4”, 255 lbs. This is his 8th year throwing the discus with a PR of 178 feet. He has been Olympic lifting for 6 years, mostly doing the power snatch and power clean. His best clean is 137.5 kg. At the end of July, 2009 or thereabouts he suffered a slight shoulder dislocation while receiving a snatch. Currently he is recovered and in the process of incorporating snatching movements back into his training.
Given this information, which is far short of what I would need to find tune the training, I proceeded to develop a general map of his training in the final 12 weeks leading up to his peaking event. I am assuming from the data available that he is in his 20’s with a reasonable background for training. I am also assuming that he is very familiar with, if not immersed in an athletic lifestyle.
The article itself is divided into two major categories. The first is concerned with an overview of general concepts involved, while the second is dedicated to the variation of component dosages.
This section will provide information on the design of the training as seen through the major components. The three major components are General Physical Preparation, Strength Training (Weightlifting) and Discus Technical Training.
General Physical Preparation (GPP)
This domain of training should be familiar to the experienced athlete. It is composed of sprinting, jumping and general training activity that will add to the training load on the body. It should be performed with the most explosive movements initially and then proceed through to activities of lesser speed.
It should provide some fatigue of the organism in general and enough specific work that local circulation is increased in order to facilitate the circulation of endogenous secretions later in the cycle. This training may include, in addition to sprinting, two handed throwing and jumping drills, athletic games played on appropriate surfaces.
The timing of these activities must be considered so that they do not fatigue the organism prior to explosive strength training, or the proper execution of discus throwing practice.
It is my opinion that in the case of programming for throwing, that execution of throwing practice should be the sole consideration. Some of them may be performed early in the day so as to provide a means of arousing the body, followed by a break before heavy neural activity is required again.
Strength Training/Olympic Lifting
It will be assumed that the athlete in question has a functional technique for the performance of the snatch and clean & jerk.
Unfortunately that would be a poor assumption in most U.S. Collegiate programs.
The training must be divided up into two categories. The first category is composed of mandatory exercises that will be pursued throughout the entire cycle. These exercises are the snatch, clean & jerk, power snatch, power clean, power jerk back squat, front squat and bench press and dumbbell flyes. The second category is made up of the following auxiliary exercises: bent over rows, Russian twists, standing twists while holding the barbell. This is too many lifting exercises for a thrower in my opinion. Of course they could be used throughout the training year, but not in the same time period when throwing time needs to be premium. I especially do not agree with the standing twists as we covered in earlier posts, twisting is not rotation. I would dispense with the flys also, though some may disagree. They will be employed primarily during the two preparation mesocycles.
Personal records should be reached or closely approached during the competition mesocycle in the first category exercises.
Discus Training
A certain amount of each week’s training should be devoted to eliminating technical errors. This should be done under the eye of a supervising coach. If this error elimination training can be done early in the cycle, it will be of utmost value. Some training should be practiced with heavier than standard disci to build strength in the muscular throwing chains, while a certain percentage of throws should be performed with lighter than standard disci in order to develop speed components in the muscular throwing chains.
During the Competition mesocycle, the number of non-standard weight throws should be diminished and replaced with more throws with the standard discus.
No specific argument here, just that this throwing practice should be the center focus that drives everything.
There are many who would not agree with me, but, I am not sure that this common periodization model can be applied to throwing. I am not sure that high volume work has any impact on increasing distances. It seems to me that quality of training is of utmost importance. Once the basics or throwing technique is mastered, what is point of submaximal throws? (Which is what you get when you try to throw too many) Also, fatigue alters technique. Certainly there is need for variety over time, but I'm not sold on the idea of increasing work capacity to increase maximal performance in an explosive and technical event such as throwing. The goal is not to see who can throw the heaviest weight a set distance, but who can throw a set (and relatively light) weight the farthest.
The training needs to be properly periodized in order to insure that the body is functioning at peak proficiency in the culminating event. This require a 12 week training program or macrocycle. Each week constitutes a microcycle. The microcycles are grouped into three mesocycles of four microcycles each.
The first two mesocycles are preparation mesocycles, while the third one is a competition mesocycle. Each mesocycle is described in greater detail in the following sections.
Each mesocycle is determined by the amount of work performed, its character and its effect on the organism. The GPP, if performed at a consistent pace, can be measured in the amount of time required. The strength training can be measured by the number of repetitions performed at intensities that will elicit a speed/strength response. The technical discus training can be measured by the number of throws, and the proportion of throws in each of the weight domains.
Preparation Mesocycle 1
This training “month” will be composed of Weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4. All three components should be involved. It is assumed that the athlete is injury free at the beginning of Week 1.
The training load for Week 1 should be large.
The training load for Week 2 should be very large.
The training load for Week 3 should be low.
The training load for Week 4 should be maximal (at the end of this fourth week the athlete should be sluggish, have diarrhea, and experience waking up several times a night.)
Restoration, nutrition and adequate rest are extremely important at this juncture.
Preparation Mesocycle 2
The training load for Week 5 should be medium.
The training load for Week 6 should be maximal.
The training load for Week 7 should be low.
The training load for Week 8 should be maximal.
The overreaching state should be in place for much of this four week period with the worst coming at the end of Week 8.
Competition Mesocycle
The training load for Week 9 should be large.
The training load for Week 10 should be medium
The training load for Week 11 should be low
The training load for Week 12 should be minimal
The GPP should be greatly diminished. The discus technical training should be restricted only to throws with the standard implement. The strength training should eliminate the category 2 exercises.
Can we really plan our training to peak on a specific day? Can we afford to have sub maximal trainings in throwing practice for extended periods of time?
The following concepts need to be kept in consideration as the routine is followed and modified.
General Adaptational Syndrome (GAS)
The goal of the two preparation mesocycles is to apply such stress to the normal homeostasis of the body that the endocrines will respond by secreting a cascade of hormones structured to return the physiological functioning to normal levels. If training is properly designed, the oversecretion will continue into the competition mesocycle and enable the organism to function at a much higher level.
The other factor that must be included in the approach is the emphasis on proper restoration throughout the two preparation mesocycles. If proper restoration is not included, the maximal weeks will not be attainable.
Physical Size
Discus throwers are always much larger than the average person and Nathan is no exception to this rule. When an organism increases in size, the number of capillaries per unit volume of tissue does not keep pace with the increasing size. Hence all biochemical reactions take place at a slower rate because the influx and efflux of materials is diminished.
At certain points the training may have to be modified to deal with this relationship. The lowering of training volume will have to take place, but it must be done at the correct point in the course of the macrocycle.
A very important point. Large athletes need more recovery than smaller ones.
The older the athlete, the sooner the overtrained state is reached given the same training protocol. This is a consideration for future applications of these training prescriptions. A program that works very well this year may have to be altered by diminishing the volume several years down the road because the older athlete simply does not restore at the same rate.
I can vouch for this from personal experience.
Restoration refers to the daily hygienic and extraordinary practices undertaken to return the body to its normal resting state. These include adequate sleep, daily non-training activities, nutrition, the timing of eating, bathing, contrast showers, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna, athletic massage, nutritional supplementation, cryotherapy and any other relevant modalities.
Failure to engage in some form of restoration each day of the first two mesocycles will inhibit the ability of the athlete to achieve the maximal volumes in Week 4, 6 and 8. The post training therapies should be rotated to achieve the best results. They should also be used, but with less frequency during the competition mesocycle to prepare the organism for the ultimate result.
General Physical Preparation Dosage
At this point in his career Nathan should be expected to be familiar with the exercises and activities that will provide him with stimulation in his training. Each session can include a series of short sprints, some jumping exercises, some kettlebell training, or games that involve running, jumping and general athleticism. Longer sessions can be made of two or more of these modalities.
Each session should last from 15 to 30 minutes.
During the mesocycles 1 and 2, two to three sessions of GPP should be scheduled per week. They may be performed early in the day and then followed by a rest before beginning the weight training session.
Two sessions can be scheduled for Week 9, and then they can be discarded for Weeks 10—12.
Strength Training Dosage
The first category and second category exercises should be performed from Weeks 1 through 10. During Weeks 1 through 8, the repetitions per set for Category 1 exercises should be as high as 4 with weights in the 60% to 85% range. Category 2 exercises can be performed with 5 to 6 reps per set.
During Weeks 9 through 12, the only Category 1 exercises to be performed should be Snatches, Power Snatches, Cleans & jerks, Power Cleans, Bench Presses and Back Squats. The reps should be 1 to 2 per set with intensities from 80% to 100%.
The number of training sessions should be 3 to 4 during the very heavy and maximal microcycles of mesocycles 1 and 2. During weeks 10, 11, 12, the number of sessions per week should be 2 to 3 with a lower total number of repetitions, but higher intensities.

Too much weight training in my opinion, this close to throwing season.
Discus Training
Multi-weight discus training should be performed through Mesocycles 1 and 2. The number of underweight and overweight throws should diminish during weeks 8 and 9. Training sessions should be measured in number of throws. After week 9, all throws should be done with the standard weight implement.
The number of practice sessions should be in the 3 to 5 range during Weeks 1—9, and then diminished to 3 to 4 during weeks 10 and 11, and only 2 during week 12.

Not enough throwing practice in my opinion.
This article is meant to supply guidelines for the planning of training for an experienced discus thrower with competent technique in throwing the discuss and performing the snatch and clean & jerk. Optimally the entire twelve weeks should be laid out first in a spread sheet, and then at the end of each week evaluated with modifications made for the next week.
If possible the athlete should evaluate the training with the assistance of an experienced coach who understands the concepts of overtraining and periodization.
Most athletes have a good understanding of proper training. The weak area is usually the implementation of restoration. Restoration is not always readily available to many athletes and they may have to go to a separate facility to achieve it. Just remember that the function of restoration is to increase the frequency with which molecules collide in the muscles of the athlete."
Sounds like a biology teacher, but I'm not sure I buy the molecular collision idea.

Any athlete can benefit from Ivan Chakarov's squat style, although his frequency and loading is probably beyond what any non-weightlifter should attempt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fountain of Youth, One More Time

This is so great, I couldn't resist it. My Father is going on 77 years old and rides a Harley Road King. My Mother passed away several years ago due to cancer.
What do you live for?