What Would Alvin Do?

So I just got done with a meeting this afternoon and was gearing up to work in the office for a few before training and in walks one of the cheerleaders I work with here at Eastern. Good kid, freshman, works hard and I enjoy working with him (though he does need a haircut).  He stops in my office and asks if he can borrow a stapler from me for an assignment he has. I’m fine with it and he then informs me that he is going to do some training after this over at the student rec center. I’m also about to train myself in the athlete’s weight room so I’m getting my mind right accordingly. He leaves and I go back to work for a minute and wrap up some work.

I get done with working and change, I head down to the athlete weight room to train. I step in the room getting my mind right to do the work I need to do. Then I think to myself: What would Alvin do? (WWAD). At that point I grab my bag and walk over to the rec and find Sean who is warming up the bench and we proceed to go train together.

Benching: I do a 5×5 on bench and had Sean instead does a 5×3 since his technique was off a bit (flaring his elbows out too much and cocking his wrists), but his aggression and intensity is where it needs to be. We superset these with body weight low rows, since we want balance in the shoulder girdle and he is already a bit slumped forward from lots of pressing like most young guys get. (Look at the posture of most gym bros and you can see the internal rotation and forward slump, definitely not a good thing). Between each set we took at least two minutes rests since the bench and low row stations are on opposite sides of the gym along with we spotted each other.

Supplemental lift: We then move on to dumbbell incline pressing with a neutral grip (changes the emphasis to more shoulder and tricep work which carries over more to the stunting in cheerleading)) super set with chest supported rows holding the movement at the top for a second. Altogether did five sets of ten reps on both movements. This was done more up tempo but still having to walk across the gym, no spotting each other and trying to move quick between each.

Accessory: For this he did pushups with chain resistance and I did weighted dips, since his body weight relative strength is not quite there yet and this was done more as a finisher. We superset that with one arm barbell rows sometimes referred to as meadows rows. Just a total of 4 sets of ten on both, that wrapped up the training for the day and both of us were definitely a bit gassed, but we took a selfie on the way out of the gym. The sets of this movement were done back to back since we set them up right next to each other.

Yesterday (October 23, 2015 I did some training at the rec center with a few students. Two of which are powerlifters and one is a body builder (ex-football player). We did some deadlifting, specifically sumo style, and here is my critique of the training session and what I saw from each. First off what I look for is good posture/position on the floor (back flat, ramp like posture, low hips, knees out and in line with the feet). From there watch the first movement off the floor, make sure they hold position (back and knees) and the chest and hips rise and close to the same rate possibly the chest come up a bit faster and then push the hips through at the top to lock.

Hitter: body builder with good athleticism, no real crazy limb lengths, good generalist build. This was literally the first time he had ever done sumo deadlifts. Made the typically rookie mistakes of taking a grip and stance that was too wide for his body so his range of motion would be larger than necessary along with knee valgus (knees buckling in). fixed his set up and worked up heavy enough to start to see some technique breakdown, which is he had great leg drive (speed off the floor), but not enough back strength in general so that he would be able to get the most out of that form of deadlifting (his back rounded here). This could be also caused by not enough mobility so he is fighting his own natural tightness as a means to get in a good start position on the floor or simply not enough strength.

Trivium: stocky powerlifter that is another good general build for lifting. He has done some sumo work, but is mostly a conventional puller. He did a great job, but kept having knee valgus on the pull, this can mean that he either didn’t have enough groin flexibility or he is not pushing out in to the floor and using his hips. Just tested his flexibility and he seemed a bit tight, nothing too catastrophic but it will take a bit of training to enhance the mobility to give him a better start.

Mulling it over: powerlifter with long legs and short arms so the start position for this lifter will always be hard. Still beat up from a meet that they did two weeks ago, so the goal was to go light, but they are the type that won’t back down (problem with powerlifters in general, but that endears me to them). Due to the hip tightness their start position the entire time was flawed, as we kept working on increasing the ROM (range of motion) in the hip by warming up and stretching they still were setting up with their hips too high and doing more of a straight leg DL with a sumo stance. Strength was good, but mobility is just poor (for obvious reasons that are very fixable) and when we did force technique they complained about no strength off the floor. This happens due to neural inhibition when you are a bit beat up (think about trying to grip something hard when your hand or wrist is hurt).

Me: deficit sumo, I pull from a narrow sumo position (Ed Coan style) and this felt pretty good for me. I still need to work on sinking and opening up the hips more with this, but felt good. It was great training with partners again and that definitely helped bring me up.

After the main movement we then went on to assistance work. The goal here is work movements to build the weaknesses. This is a bit controversial for some, but I like it with my training. My leg drive off the ground is crap as is my upper back strength so I did deficit snatch grip deadlifts. I did lunges because I want to get better with them, and gravity boot sit ups for both ab strength and back decompression. For Hitter I had him do the same as a means to just trying out the movements. Trivium did deficit pulls with a normal grip due to mobility issues for getting in to that low position correctly. Mulling it over we had do deficit sumo light with an emphasis on knees out and not even focusing on pausing on the floor, but feeling out the mobility and greasing the groove.

Good training day and I had a lot of fun with them. I know this write up might be a bit quick and or confusing. If you read this give me some feedback on your thoughts on this post and if you would be interested in doing more of this.

I told him to look off in to the sun, and we both did so very literally.
I told him to look off in to the sun, and we both did so very literally.

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