Have Belt Will Travel, Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving

So with Thanksgiving being last week I didn’t make any new posts. Why? Well let’s be honest, we should probably just spend our time with our friends and family over the holiday and not reading (poorly) written blog posts about training (also being on our phones during dinner). So, just because I was on the road is no excuse to not do any training. The key here is to keep in mind to get in the basics and the rest will take care of itself. Meaning, I’m not worrying about getting all of my assistance work and various other work. I am however, going to be sure that I hit my big lifts. So the week went initially as: squats (Monday), military press (Tuesday), deadlifts (Wednesday). After this things had to shift due to travelling.

On Thanksgiving Day I was lucky enough to get to train with an ex student of mine (Cam) who has a nice garage gym that he has built in Louisville. We did bench press and other types of assistance work. Cam is personal training people out of his home gym and prepping to compete in powerlifting. The guy has a great work ethic and good grasp of training. He literally made the wooden squat rack by himself and the rest of the gym he is doing correctly by slowly putting everything together in a piece meal fashion. He benched with me and has good strength. He is just starting to learn how to pause so the big thing we worked on was developing tension and thinking about “winding up the spring” in the bottom of the bench. He also is real slow on lowering the bar on his chest, but simple practice and time will improve this and keep him from wasting energy on doing a ten second eccentric. Introduced him to occlusion training which I’m experimenting with right now and all I’m confident with saying about it is it hurts (read burns).

Cam training trying out the occlusion work in his garage gym
cam gym
Cam’s squat rack that he made. 

I then hopped in the car and drove the five our so hours back to STL to see my family. Due to my hips really hating me for sitting in a car so long when I got out my little sister and I did some hill sprints in our parent’s back yard to just move and rationalize the stupid amounts of calories that we would be eating that night. This was really just done to loosen up the hips and have some fun. Did some full squat stretches at the end and various other mobility.

Friday morning went with my little sis to pick up Cue (pseudonym), an athlete I coached when he was in high school who is equal parts strong and intense to train at another high school in downtown STL with the Vulcan brothers. This was a great time with my sis squatting, Cue hitting some light Olympic technique work, the Vulcan brothers both hitting great squats, and the older Vulcan brother’s girlfriend (ginger) hitting some solid squats. My sis is as per the usual had great technique and looked strong. Nothing really to say there other than keep it up. The younger Vulcan was letting the bar roll on his back a bit when he squats and we worked on having him think about shrugging his shoulders back as opposed to up to make him more stable and stronger in his squats. The older Vulcan is strong as hell and did some super maximal partials that the only thing for him to work on was to mimic his normal technique with the partial squat and not change his technique to allow him a better partial lift. You see this a bit with board pressing in the bench press where people will flare their elbows out wide to just lift a bit more, but are not mimicking the full range movement so carryover will not be as great. Introduced the brothers to occlusion training and they both seemed to hate it so that was a fun finisher.

Training at the high school gym with the Vulcan brothers trying out occlusion here.

Saturday was an old man’s football game at a local high school which was fun to see old friends and run around some. This game is entertaining for me since I was never a good athlete in high school, but now that I still train and such I’m actually a decent athlete in the game. Always good to get out with a group of folks and play a contact sport. I didn’t get to do my typical training today due to the time constraints of a wedding later in the day, but that is what happens on vacation.

Sunday up early to help a cousin of mine move in to his condo. Good guy that always helps out with the rest of us so this was fun and only mildly perilous a few times. Went and drove back home and saw my brother in law for a few before heading to go coach that night and hit a few light sets of push ups and pull ups there to rationalize my existence along with stretching out.

So this was the basic rundown of my travels for thanksgiving. Big thanks again to Cam and the Vulcans for having me out to their gyms. Always fun to train with my little sis and see other old friends. I find the key when on the road to make sure that you prioritize your training to the morning so you have the rest of the day to spend with family. That being said, I do have an advantage that my family expects me to go off and train at one point or another during the day. I’ll put another post up this week about what I pack with me when I go on the road to train.


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