Friday, March 28, 2014

Clips from random people at my commercial gym: funny and sad at the same time

I will keep adding clips on this post. This is all about all the stupid stuff we see everyday in a commercial gym. For a lot of us, we have no other option to have access to a barbell, enough weight and a rack. Instead of hitting my head against the wall everyday, I thought it would be more fun to secretly record some of the jewels and share them on my personal blog. I know, I are welcome!

It's the second time I see an old Asian dude doing some weird ... I can't even call that exercise!

Wow! It's a decent weight by commercial gym standard and he even knows how to get up from his sited position. I guess throwing weights on the floor help him to feel like a real man.

This is a classic scenery in any commercial gym. Girls.... you probably don't even have a good time at the gym. Either get in, do something productive and get out or go for some other productive activity like walking.

For those unfamiliar with the bench press, you either have a hard time to push from the bottom position or to lock out at the top. This guy solved everybody's problems, just avoid either! 

Ah, the sissy deadlift.... atrocious form and ridiculous weight, agreed! Now watch the clip below.

He coaches her, but her form is better than his! I almost told him he should let her coach him, but I didn't dare...

Full screen and look at the guy on the bench. What kind of a ROM is that?! Really?! The guy was puny if this is even necessary to add, lol!

This one seriously needs coaching. The video doesn't really show how rounded his back is pulling all that 65lbs off the floor. His grocery bags are probably heavier.

Whatever this is, this skinny 175lbs guy doesn't need that before a couple of years of heard training.

This is what happen when you superset everything with no break. The standard push up might get too easy too fast, but it's a great movement pattern builder when done correctly.

Let's call this one the classic! If some powerlifter have seen a correlation between biceps curls and their 300+ bench press, I'm pretty sure this is not the guy's story! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bunch of videos from last practices

Turns, speed and directions +Audrey-Anne Bouchard 

Swing out drill: changing focus

Balboa drill: swivel +Vivianne Carrier 

Balboa jam practice

Balboa drill: transition with basics +Julien Gosselin +Sarah Jacques 

Balboa drill: transition lollies and Out & ins

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My first impressions on side presses and zercher squats

In my last  attempt to stick to a program, I’ll give my impressions on those two movements after my first 5 practices. I remember that I tried the barbell side presses when I started strength training over 2 years ago and you know what? I’m still just as weak as I used to with them. Of course, my coordination has improved and the movement feels a lot better, but the weights I used were very similar than before. Despite what we say all the time about the synergy between the lifts and all, I’m now very convinced that strength is very specific and working on so many lifts kept me from improving faster. That last thought makes me wonder about skills transfer into the sport as well, but a better mobility, stability and the ability to create tension when needed are all obvious results of my past years training. Though it comforts me in my decision: to alternate 2 simple presses every 2 weeks should work better for me.

I did not expect to feel that press just as much in my upper back as in my front delt and pec. Once you understand the awkward slightly twisty forward upper body position, it feels like a  natural biomechanically position to press something overhead compared to the strict press for example, 1 or 2 handed, and it’s harder to jerk it. Moreover, I look pretty cool in my commercial gym balancing a barbell overhead with some mullets doing dumbbell curls all around me. It’s funny how people give you the space you need when they are scared for their life…. Food for thoughts!

The Zercher squat rocks and sucks at the same time. How is that possible? Well, it hurts quite a bit, somehow bearable,  and, compared to the back squat, it just doesn’t go away. The big upside, especially if you do it with a wider stance, is that it mimics a deadlift with the weight placed somewhere else. Plus, because of the awkward placement of the weight, it forces you to create tension in your upper body which, with the principle of irradiation, contribute to create more torque. I now understand why it is one of the few squat variations, with the box squat and the pistol, praised by Pavel.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Promess to myself: I will keep this program for the next year at least

I’m getting back to my roots and start a basic PTTP template: 2-4 exercises, 5 days/week, 2 sets, 5 reps, maybe a 3rd set for the press, 3-5min rest. I will use a 4 block of 3 weeks approach, 12 weeks total. Once every micro-cycle, usually around the 12-13 workout, I will test my strength with a 5-3-2 reps scheme, still keeping 1-2 in the the bank.

Block 1
-Squat variations. I want to keep this variation as close as possible of the deadlift
-Side press (barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell)
-20-40 KB swings
-Ab roller

Block 2
-Conventional deadlift
-Dips (rings or parallel bars)
-20-40 snatches
-Leg raise variations

Block 3
-Deadlift variation (sumo, snatch, saddle, behind the back, etc.)
-Side press (barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell)
-Pull ups 10-25 reps total between sets
-Ab roller

Block 4
-Conventional deadlift
-Dips (rings or parallel bars)
-20-40 snatches
-Leg raise variations

I won’t plan the three weeks poundage, but try to remember Pavel’s words on it, something like lifting with no emotion and going heavier as I grow stronger leaving 1 or 2 (in my case 2 is a good reference!) in the bank. I must strive for perfect form, make that workout repeatable and make sure it brings my dancing up and not down.

I decided to switch from 2 to 3 weeks approach, because of the variety of movements, which I assume will slow down my progress, but I'll do it anyway for the sake of variety. The 2 weeks model would have worked fine with 2 identical blocks. Boredom is a bitch and, after those 2 years experimenting, I know I need to change some variables or I'll go crazy.

I choose the Zercher squat as my first squat variation, not because I like it more, but because I bought those elbow sleeves a couple months back and never had the chance to try them on. It still hurts! I guess I’ll get used to it.

I also tried separate my workout in 2 with half the exercises I can do home and the other half at the gym. It helps to keep my fresh and makes it easier to manage my schedule.