Tag Archives: strength skill
Have you ever heard of the Odd Lifts?
You know, ones such as the Bent Press, the Jefferson DL or perhaps the One Arm Snatch?
if not here are some links to get you started:
Okay, now it’s time to get to the point of the post.
– Three odd lifts you don’t often do that will change your body for the better.
1 – The bottom up kettlebell press
This can be done standing, seated, kneeing, sat of the floor or perhaps even in a floor press/bench press/incline press manor, which ever way you choose it will achieve the following:
– Stronger press/grip
– Muscle irradiation (more muscle recruitment)
– Take out your ego
2 – There Renegade Row
Use kettlebells or dumbbells for this. The alternating row style of this lift will help you by:
– Strengthening your ability to brace (core stabilisation)
– Work the entire upper body
– Improve balance
3 – Zecher Lifts
What is more real world than having to pick something off the floor and hold it in an awkward position? Not much, however is this is not to your liking you can swap it out for a bear hug style carry of a sand bag or something equally heavy and awkward.
You can pick the zecher lis you prefer out of the options in the link
– Overall Strength
– Fortified lower back
– A high crossover to daily living
Adding in this lifts or even doing a program of only these 3 will make some great changes to your overall body composition.
If you plan on doing the latter option here is a suggestion:
– 3 days per week or train every other day
– Heavy/Light/Medium loading protocol*
– Rest 1-5min between sets
– Eat according to your goal (gain mass or lose fat etc)
*Heavy = <25 total reps at 85% 1RM +
*Light = 75 total reps at 50-65% 1RM
*Medium = 50 total reps at 70-80% 1RM
Heavy – Zecher Lift
Light – Renegade Row
Medium – Bottom Up Press
Heavy – Bottom Up Press
Light – Zecher Lift
Medium – Renegade Row
Heavy – Renegade Row
Light – Bottom Up Press
Medium – Zecher Lift
How you add these lifts in or plan them is up to you as there are a lot of different odd lifts to choose from, just remember to add weight where you can and that consistency and progression is the key to success.
The introduction and more frequent use of ‘back off sets’ has become quite popular of late.
You’ll find you can use them to determine suitable loading for your next session, increase total TUT and even help you maintain your progress if you find your gym training time has been chopped down due to life getting in the way.
In the past this has happened several times and as such a way and to be found to get in some quality work, here is an option for you, it will take anywhere from 20-30min tops, try not to spend longer than 30min (especially if your time is limited), just focus on hard work.
This protocol will:
– Provide suitable mechanical tension for strength
– Generate metabolic stress for adaptation
– Create muscle damage for new growth
All you need to do is follow the guidelines and put in all your effort, eat the calories required for your goal (I’ve written about this previously), sleep and stay focused.
Let’s get down o the details.
– Use compound movements (Squat, DL, Press, Chin, Row, etc)
– 1 or 2 per workout (A1/A2 pairing)
– Ramp up your weights each set, start off with 5’s and work to one heavy set, then add a little more weight for a 3, then finally a little more for 1 single. The triple/single aren’t all out efforts, only the 5, they’re just for extra neural stimulation.
– Take 70% of the top 5 and perform 1 back off set of 10-20 reps unbroken
– Rest is minimal between sets, go as soon as you feel ready
– 3 sessions per week is a good minimum to cover the full body
You will be in and out in no time at all.
This short style of workout will allow heavy enough loads to trigger a host of positive things and the back of set will further potentiate this.
If you find you’re doing all of this in 20min then use the extra 10 for some accessory movements (arms, calves etc).
The protocol above is nothing fancy, it’s devised to get maximum results out of minimum time and as such leaves no room for dilly-dallying.
Life is all about acquiring skills.
Think about it.
As kids we learn to crawl, then walk, then run an jump an play which finally lead in to minor sports and activities, however the best part about all that is the sense of achievement, wether you’re aware of it or not.
We like learning new things and more importantly being good at them, training should be no different.
That being said, there are plenty of exercises that people will avoid like the plague not because of a legitimate excuse but for the fact that they’re not good at the moment and it brings their ego down a peg of three.
If we take squatting for example.
A squat is something everyone assumes they can do, nay, they expect they can do, so when someone tries and struggles or perhaps fails to execute it with any good form they get disheartened and start to avoid the movement, usually opting for leg press or machine work.
Squatting is a skill, much the same as pressing, deadlifting, running, jumping, throwing and so on. The only difference is how quickly a person can learn that skill (major injury or medical reasons aside), some take longer than others but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it.
Something I’ve noticed in other people as I’ve gotten older is just how lacking in resilience they are. If something doesn’t happen instantly or go their way from the start they get pissy, make excuses and give up, bot a good trait to have.
Have I ever had the above attitude?
Yep, more times than I’d like to admit, however there’s no sense in lying about it so I might as well learn from it instead.
The main lesson I took away was this; thing take time, some more than others but everything comes with a cost of your time. You just have to pay it, if you really want to achieve anything that is.
I understand how frustrating it can be when things don’t go your way, oh and before you start thinking “I don’t agree with that.” stop, it’s human nature to get the hump when we don’t get what we want, just accept it, no one is here to judge you and if they are then let them, it literally has no effect on your life unless YOU allow it to.
Will you do something for me? Or more aptly put, will you do something for yourself.
Write down 3 skills you want to achieve.
Next, look at each skill and write down what you need to be doing to acquire that skill and HOW you’re going to achieve it.
Lastly, start working towards them.
Don’t give up, almost everything can be learnt/achieved if given enough time, you just have to want it bad enough.
Give this post a read, it should take 5min and you will improve your deadlift.
Considering you’re all intelligent people I’m sure you’ve heard to the Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC) and the role it plays in movement.
*A nice link for those who want some more science on it: http://www.scienceforsport.com/stretch-shortening-cycle/
*Here is the lay version: think pulling back and elastic band to store potential energy and then releasing it (kinetic energy is the result). “to shorten muscle you must first lengthen it”. Where you are right now do vertical jumps… Good, now do it without first bending your legs in to the starting position (preventing and pre-stretching of the muscles used for the jump)… Doesn’t really work, does it.
I want to talk about its relevance in lifting weights and how you can use it to improve your deadlift (all will become clear, trust me).
If we look at the squat and the bench press, they both have one thing in common that is missing in the deadlift.
Do you know what it is?
A loaded eccentric start to the lift (bar on your back/in your hands), this helps you create tension and the potential energy to overcome the required force on the concentric portion of the lift from being in the hole, where are the deadlift starts on the floor and you’ve got no real help. It’s you VS the bar and unless you’re a well trained lifter who understands how to use the SSC or at least prime your body by creating tension (pre-loading) in the required muscles yo’ll find you can’t even shift the bar from the floor.
I’m sure you’ve seen many great dedadlifters such as Eddie Hall, Ed Coan, Richard ‘The Ant’ Hawthorne, Andy Bolton to name a few, have a certain something about their set up. You know, when they pull against the bar taking the slack out (getting tight), followed by a brief pull down (or 3 in Andy’s case) and then effortlessly hoist it off the floor to victory. This pre-lift routine is their way of firing up the muscles required, creating tension and utilising the SSC to help them generate the force required to overcome the inertia and lift the weight. (This is harder to write down than I anticipated).
Here are some videos, watch for the points mentioned above:
The reason for this post is a simple one. I see a lot of people fail to do the following in the deadlift:
– Take the slack out of the bar
– Get tight (create massive amounts of tension/pre-load muscles)
– Not utilise the SSC
*Obviously a correct individual set up is required, if you don;t have those hire a coach and get the foundations, then refer back to this.
In Dynamite Deadlift (written by Pavel Tsatsouline & Andy Bolton) they cover a lot of great info and give lot’s of tips. One that Pavel has given throughout the years is to set up to the brain the deadlift and from standing PULL yourself in to your starting position from standing to create more tension (remember tension = force).