February 8, 2016
Best Post Fat PR.
In other news, I got my top 20 tracks of 2015 list down to 30.
September 4, 2014
I decided to take the majority of August OFF from training. It drove me crazy. In 9 years, I never willingly took time off but I honestly got to the point where I was over reaching into other parts of my life, including business and coaching. The weights weren’t moving and I lost my drive so I figured it would be best to take care of a few things outside of weightlifting, including my mental health. It’s not easy trying to separate yourself from something that is part of your identity but I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the position I was in. It’s not like I had more time on my hands but I did make it a point to do a few things for myself including some hiking and I even began practicing yoga (I’ll write more on that later).
This is my first week back to real training. I’m the same as I was a few weeks ago except a little weaker, happier and more focused on my own training. I found out on Monday that I’ll be competing at the Caffeine & Kilos Invitational on Sept 20th so basically I have 16 days to get back to full strength. I’m actually really excited. I’m not contest ready right now, but I feel like I can bounce back pretty good in a few weeks given my renewed focus. This meet was a really special one for me last year. It basically turned my weightlifting career around. After the 2013 Nationals, I thought I was done. All of my efforts were focused on Cecily and the rest of the team and I was getting more and more comfortable with taking a back seat and just coaching. I lost her and a few others so I once again felt the drive to show my skill through my own lifting. The rest of the year was the best training cycle I ever had. Since then, it’s been a delicate balance of focusing on myself and the team but we’ve really grown a lot and I couldn’t be happier with our progress.
I’ll take as much video of my training that I can over the next 3 weeks to document my progress. Just yesterday I was able to hit my 85%s for 5 singles each. I expect to be able to hit my 90%s tomorrow. I’ve decided to stop doing yoga temporarily though it’s something that I’m going to continually include in my lifestyle. I’ve got one more outdoor adventure planned for this month. It will be an overnighter but a really mild hike so it shouldn’t take too much out of my legs.
Here’s my lifts from last year. Credit goes to Hector and his badass camera for getting some great shots.
May 26, 2014
After this week, the team and I will again shift focus. Most likely we will only be squatting 2x per week but we’ll be getting even MOAR reps with the lifts. I might even add some pulls in as well.
May 5, 2014
Sorry, I’ve been a little behind on my posting lately. The team and I have been busy (which is a good thing). A few of us did a meet this weekend which I’ll probably be posting a video of (with commentary). It was a big one for me as a coach.
Jen qualified for Nationals; which is huge because she’s been competing for at least a few years so I know she’s had her eye on Nationals for a long time. I’m glad I was part of that final push to get her to the next level. I’m not taking anything away from the work she and her earlier coach did before she joined up with me. It’s relatively easy to make a good lifter great if she comes in with a solid base.
Emelie is one of my longtime lifters and has stuck around to really reap the benefits of her training. She’s now lighter and stronger than ever. She officially snatched 10kg over bodyweight yesterday in competition (84kg woo!) and walked away with a meet PR clean and jerk. She’s only been lifting for around two years and I’m excited to see what kind of numbers she’ll be lifting in two more years.
Cameron, our club president had a rough meet but honestly, his numbers from yesterday are consistent with what he’s been hitting in training. We’re currently trying to problem solve what’s limiting the higher numbers. He looked awesome after he came back from a weekend seminar with Jacob and Don McCauley so we know he’s got a lot more in the tank.
Paige, one of my newer lifters has been working hard trying to adjust to a new training system and new technique changes. She came to me already VERY strong (she can fsq 100×3) but also pretty raw when it comes to the lifts. She ended up with some meet PR’s but we’re both excited to see what she’ll be lifting in 6 months.
Dean and I had some issues with miscommunication and I ended up not seeing him lift. But he took it as a good training meet and hit some good 90% lifts that are mostly consistent with training.
Until I post the video from this weekend, here’s another training video with one of my all-time favorite tracks on it.
April 20, 2014
The gang and I have been very busy lately with all the GAINZ and competing that we’ve been partaking in. Just yesterday I coached eight lifters in one session at Hassle Free Headquarters (Sacramento). I had to change the system that use while counting attempts for lifters simply because there was too many of us. It worked out well. I think I’ll use this new system again whenever I have 4 or more lifters in a session.
It’s really simple.
1) I’ll group lifters together based on the numbers they’re lifting (2 or 3 to a group). These lifters will then be assigned to a bar/platform.
2) On one sheet of paper, I’ll write down the warm up sequence of each person in that group with the corresponding number of “attempts out” next to their sequence.
3) I’ll then run back and forth like THIS from the card table to the warm up room shouting how many attempts each lifter is out and leave it up to them to load and lift their weights at the correct time.
The hardest part about this is making sure everyone is on the same page with what this actually means and that they pay attention to the bar drops on the competition platform to keep count. For instance, if I yell to Dean that he’s 17 out and he takes his next weight at 15 out, then he needs to wait 2 drops on the platform before he lifts his next weight.
Contest strategies aside, I’m extremely proud of all my lifters. They’ve been killing it. Definitely no cupcakes over here. The progress the’ve been making lately is due to their relentless work ethic and adherence to my program. No one who pays me for coaching thinks that they’re too cool to follow the program and when there’s an injury or restriction, we’ve been able to work around it. We’re definitely building up the number of lifters that will come with me to national meets. But it’s been a fun process lately and I’m proud to be taking part in it.
April 11, 2014
I suppose I’m a little bit late on this post considering I posted this video over a week ago.
Earlier this year (17 weeks ago), I implemented a more organized way to include squats into our weightlifting program, called simply “The Midtown Squat Cycle.” I am very pleased with the results not only from my team but myself as well. I now plan out squats in 8 week blocks that work in conjunction with our 4 week lifting schedule (after all, this isn’t a squat team, it’s a weightlifting team.) The program itself is nothing fancy. I incorporated both “daily max” style workouts and percentage based workouts. Rep PR’s were emphasized just as much as 1RM PR’s. One important thing to note is that when I wrote the excel spreadsheet, I borrowed an idea from Jim Wendler and automatically subtracted 10% of the lifter’s absolute max to account for ego and bullshit. My reasoning is that I wasn’t so much concerned about increasing the squat as much as I was concerned with increasing the quality of the lifts. This also gave me a little more room for error when I chose the rep schemes. The last 16 weeks have been more back squat and volume biased. Now we’ll be shifting towards more of a traditional front squat-centric program. The majority of my team showed improvement, some more than others. Jean’s front squat went from 155 to 180 and his back squat went from 180 to 206. Obviously, he’s relatively new to our training process, whereas Cameron, one of my veteran lifters went from 180/195 and 195/205. My squats went 225/235 and 270/285. Honestly, my goal for the year was to back squat 280, so I’m mostly just happy that I made it through my BSQ heavy singles injury free. I doubt I’ll squat that heavy the rest of the year. We’ll now be entering phase 3 of our squat schedule that I have given the title of “The Ulfberht.”
February 11, 2014
Sooooo I’ve been SUPER busy over the last 3 days. I don’t even want to talk about it. Here’s just one thing that happened.
February 8, 2014
I got a question the other day about where I draw my inspiration for my training videos. I was always pretty decent at making art and often that’s how I would find acceptance amongst my classmates. So art work and comics were always a big thing for me. But believe it or not, I didn’t ALWAYS want to become a great Olympic lifter. I started Olympic lifting my senior of high school and before that I wanted to become great at playing guitar. Believe it or not, I was actually in a band while in high school. And before that, I wanted to become great at skateboarding. Yup, skateboarding. I still remember when Tony Hawk pulled the first 900 when I was in like 6th grade. So when I was a kid, I would watch skateboarding tapes. And to the youngins’ reading, I’m talking about actual tapes that you put into a VCR. I always felt that even if you weren’t into skateboarding, you could still sit there and be entertained by videos of guys launching themselves down flights of stairs set to music. A lot of the segments had set themes or a certain mood and the music played almost as much of a role as the actual skaters. Sure, they could’ve made informative videos breaking down step by step what hey were actually doing, “Yeah bro, I like totally didn’t hit full triple extension on that kickflip right there” but that would’ve been insanely boring and would’ve taken all the sexiness out of skateboarding. I keep this in mind when I’m making “music videos” and try to follow the same aesthetic that I enjoyed while watching skating videos when I was a kid.
February 5, 2014
I hit my first back squat above the 600 mark today. I think it’s save to say I’m starting to rebound after feeling so run down earlier this week. Don’t lie, I know you were worried.
Also, who in Sacramento has a scanner that can accommodate my 11×14 inch drawing I just posted? I wan’t to scan it in black and white and throw it on a T-shirt.
January 28, 2014
So I’ve been busy over the last 3 weeks or so working on a new team training video and I’m super pumped on how it came out. But I’m even more pumped about how hard the team has been working over the past 6 weeks. We’ve seen a lot of progress, both with squats and the lifts. I can’t help but be proud of everyone’s hard work. I reorganized training and it seems to be paying off.
(If this link doesn’t work, I also uploaded it to my vimeo account HERE.
I’d like to note that the song is actually titled “Be Forwarned” but apparently the correct spelling is “forEwarned.” Anyways, if you hassle me about it, you’re a jerk.
Also, after I uploaded the video last night, I stayed up late watching “Last Days Here,” a documentary about the man behind the music that you hear in the video. It’s the story about, Bobby, a man frozen in time, dealing with his inner demons through drug use, essentially wasting his talent and never realizing his true potential. A record enthusiast discovers his work, finds Bobby and helps him get his life together. Like most other films about a strung out musician, it’s hard to watch and often frustrating. But I couldn’t help but root for the guy and Pentagram, one of the greatest undiscovered rock acts from the 70s. (Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending.)