Sunday, December 29, 2013

End of cycle

I tested 3 of my lifts after 5 weeks (lift/initial weight/final weight): 
-Press/105x5 ladders/135x1
-Floor press/155x5 ladders/185x1

Body weight 192lbs
Fasted state

Final thoughts

As expected, the high frequency did wonders for my squat, even beyong my expectations. 315lbs was my goal, but I didn't really believe I could do it. I'm getting closer from my long term goal of squating twice my body weight. Pavel was right again: greasing the squat patern without squating is enough. 

Despite the clearly good results from the ladders, 1 different lift per day is not the best idea for an swing dancer. I've been sore until the tapper week and had to be extra careful with the aerial pratices all the time. From all my testing, I concluded that the following protocol was the best for me: 
-Pick a weight I think I can handle for 4-5 reps
-Start with a 1, 2, 3 ladder for up to 5 ladders
-Switch for a 1, 2, 3, 4 ladder or add a ladder to the previous one
-Switch for a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ladder when ready
-Once I can do a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 x 3 ladders. add 5 ou 10lbs and start over

Also, my time in the weight room was too long. I don't my lifting some weight 5 days a week, because I'm already at the gym to dance and I feel better afterward anyway, but I like to keep the work under the 45min line warm up included. 

The only lift that did not increased was the weighted chin up with Fatzgrip. Perhaps because I hated it or my initial weight was too heavy, but I sticked at +20lbs and added some insignificant reps. 

I've been so impressed with the dips! I haven't done those in months and they made me realize the poor mobility of my shouilder because of my shorten bicep tendons. It took me 3 weeks and over 150 reps of them to finally feel alright. Because it is soo easy to cheat doing dips, I don't they are worth using as a 1RM kind of lift, but rather to support the other lifts and my scapular mobility/stability. 

I will definitely keep the 5 weeks template, but I'll get back to somthing similar to the RKC clean & press routine, picking up one press and one pull I can use in a ladder structure. 

Floor Press



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Perfect gift

Muscular atrophy is something anybody can avoid. I convinced my 64 years old dad to start training earlier this year and I bought him the perfect gift for Christmas: a 35lbs kettlebell. Going to the gym is not exactly his idea of a good time and he likes to keep his sessions short. He is ready to invest 2 days / week on his health and has been consistent so far. He started to work on body weight exercises before, but the kettlebell, even just for the swing, is a major add on to his routine and will shorten his sessions even more.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Videos random

In this drll, +Julien Gosselin and +Sarah Jacques are working on 3 moves: swing out, under arm and full bring in. The objective is to keep the groove of the dance all the time which is probably the most typical sticking points among intermediate dancers.
Now the focus is on the free arm. I gave them few ideas and they are tring them out. Swing dancing is about finding what is right for you and that ask for some experimentations.
Front squat rules! Very uncomfortable at first, it forces thoracic expension and the shoulders and wrists moblity. Plus, like most posterior chain compond movements, you can ge pretty strong with it evn wihtout any other exercices in you rroutine. My typical progression would be wall squat, goblet squat, front squat and finally back squat. 
The hang man is a weird variation from the Manhattan Routine. Fortunately, I practiced those plenty in Balboa, so now I'm trying to do them wiht the Shag groove.
Last attempt of the day with the Manhattan routine.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Videos of the day

The Ab Roller is on of my favorite full tension ab exercice. It forces your lower abs and your buttox to work together and keeping your structural integrity. After seeing this clip, I focused on squeezing my buttox even more. 

Enjoy! +Vivianne Carrier weight almost 130lbs, even if she looks 115lbs max. Muscles are deceiving!

We keep working on the Collegiate Shag for the next week and a half. This routine by +Tony Fraser is one of the best way to start dancing Shag. It gives you a decent starting pack of classic moves and the general groove of the dance.

Tapper week

This is my 4th week and the hard work is over....kind of! I reduce my reps to 3 for my squats and snatches and do only one ladder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of my upper body work. I try to use the same weight I've used last week, even if that feels super easy which is the purpose here anyway.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last practice before the gig and Collegiate Shag exercice.

Vivianne made a lot of progress learning this routine. 2 weeks ago, she still couldn't make the Around the back aerial. 

Single time Shag vs Double time Shag : 1st Shag practice with Vivianne. Is there a better way to face the challenge of this dance than trying this basic exercice. Beginner and advanced dancers alike are going to mess up!

Random weight training videos

1 hand dumbell snatch: the weight is increasing and the Fatzgrip really makes the difference.

Janda sit ups: I'm getting used to those weird sit ups and I almost don't need the band assistance anymore.

Bent over rows: I wanted to double check my alignement which isn't that bad. The weight is increasing as well.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Choose your words wisely

I will stop using the word workout  to talk about my strength training. It sounds insignificant, but there is a huge difference between exercising/ working out and training/practicing. Practicing my strength is an integrated part of my dance training now and it is just as important as any other part of it.

Therefore, I keep track of my data and I need to watch progress over time, if not I have to make adjustment. In the fitness industry, they call that principle progressive overload which I think applies for any skills. Statu quo  is only possible once you got really good at something. We all know some dancers who used to be at the top in 2006, but somehow still manage to place in that one competition they go every year even if they don’t practice anymore. It works with dancing, strength, music instruments, languages, sports, name it! The minimum effective dose can be really low just to maintain something you can do.