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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Strongman Competition and Workshop

Two quick updates on Strongman

1. The first Novice comp of the year for NSW will be held on the 4th of April at Sydney Uni. Details can be found on the Sydney Strongman Society Facebook page and you can download the entry form here

2. For those who aren't quite ready to compete Jonathan Gordon and I will be running a Strongman Workshop from 10am to 1pm on Saturday the 18th of April at Sydney Uni.

The focus of the workshop will be on teaching the correct lifting techniques for common strongman events such as stones, log, farmers walk, tyre flip and more. Cost is $99 for the three hours and a lot of the profits are going back into new equipment for the strongman group so that we can expand and run more workshops and comps. Email to sign up.

Cool Links to Check Out

Just thought i'd share a few resources and websites I've found recently.

Nick is a top level stuntman, trainer and strongman and at the moment he's been advising me on training for my first strongman comp. Nick is currently training a bunch of other stuntmen as well as one of the competitors for Worlds Strongest Man 2009.

Check out his website for some wiked videos of his stunts and strongman events! Nick is Also available for training consultations and he recently told em that he's looking at doing some more detailed online coaching so if you need a program for strongman he'd be the guy to call!

Mike was one of the original Senior Kettlebell instructors in the US and way back in 2004 I got to train with him both privately in LA and then again at the RKC in Minnesota.

Mike has got some great articles on kettlebells, diet and hormonal control for maximal performance and he's also got some excellent DVDs.

I just watched his latest 4 DVD set "Collision Course" which includes over 9 hours of footage from 7 different trainers (including grip legend John Brookfield and Pro Strongman Mark Phillipi) and there is some excellent stuff there.

If you want some new ideas to sharpen your kettlebell or strength training program then I highly recommend checking out Mike's site.

Some great videos here of innovative strength and power training. I met Henry Day on one of my trips to Perth last year and he's not lying when he calls the Muscle Pit "Perths Strongest Gym"

If you are in Perth i'd recommend giving them a call but even if you aren't check out their videos.

Core Strength Videos

Over the last few weeks I've again been reminded of how important (and overlooked) core training is.

For a start the strongman training I've been doing has been absolutely hammering all the muscles between my neck and my legs. After some of the sessions I'm so sore that it hurts to breathe.

Secondly I've got a couple of new clients who have got great leg and upper body strength but who are being held back because their core is the weak link the the chain and they can't effectively transmit those forces from one end of their body to the other.

Third, I went to an excellent seminar on lower back pain by Mike Robertson (more details on that one later)

At the end of the day core strength training isn't as sexy as Olympic lifting, powerlifting or strongman but it's very important stuff. Too often people get to the end of a workout and just throw in some crunches without thinking about doing any harder core strength and stabilisation work.

So here are some new videos that I've been shooting with the guys at CrossFit Sydney showing some very effective core exercises. We've shown several progressively harder variations of each exercise so you'll be challenged no matter what level you start at.

Hanging Leg Raise Variations

Glute Hamstring Situps

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Strongman Training - Some thoughts and a new video

Ever since throwing my hat in the ring for this Strongman comp in June I've been doing a lot of thinking about strongman training, especially as it relates to guys having a go at their first comp.

So as I progress toward the comp I figure I'll make some notes about my musings and see how they work out in reality.

This weeks random thoughts

1. 5kg may not seem like a lot but in strongman it can be the difference between easy and impossible! This week I did farmers walks at 100kg (relatively straight forward) 105kg (hard but doable) and 110kg (made it a whole 8 metres!) and had the same experience of axle cleans. 80 for triples and then a bunch of missed attempts at 85kg.

2. Strongman is unforgiving of weaknesses and when you find yours you need to prioritise training. I'll freely admit that my overhead strength is crap at the moment but in the first weeks of my program I was treating mil press and push press as accessory exercises but now i've made the first exercise in each gym session an overhead lift with an additional overhead lift later in the program. No use having a huge deadlift and squat if you are going to fail as soon as the events head above the shoulders.

3. Back off weeks are your friend! Last week I was cranky and sore but a week of lighter workouts has renewed my enthusiasm for training and i'm looking forward to attacking the next few weeks of training.

Anyway here is a video of some farmers walks and stone simulator training. Stay tuned for the next video of some squat and deadlift variations i'm experimenting with in my quest to hit a 230kg / 500lb deadlift before April.

Abs, Power Cleans and Rowing

Just a quick preview of one of the videos we've been shooting with the guys at CrossFit Sydney.

This one is a series of 3 progressively harder workouts utilising the same basic movement patterns of hip flexion (knee raise, knee to elbow, straight leg raise), hip and leg extension (hang power clean, power clean, power clean + push press) and some monostructural cardio (rowing)

These workouts show how the same movements can be mixed into simple but effective CrossFit style workouts that will challenge anyone from absolute beginnner to advanced athlete.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Advanced Kettlebell Training

Once you've mastered the basics of kettlebell training there are a lot of different ways to increase the difficulty of your workouts.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on a couple of simple ways to change your kettlebell training to make it more effective for martial arts, military and sports conditioning.

Advanced Kettlebell Training #1

I'm a big fan of these types of training and I'm also a big fan of the gymboss timer which allows precise timing of these sorts of workouts.

We've just started stocking Gymboss timers so if you need one for your workouts jump across to our Training gear page and pick one up.