T Nation

Coach Davies-the Soccer Saga Continues

Hi Coach. In the last soccer training thread we had I posted a couple of questions but the thread must’ve gotten lost in the shuffle. I have started the Renegade Rope Work yesterday. I only did four of the six sets (all I could muster for first time), and I am not using any of the pushups/dips in between as I’m doing German Body Comp on the training days. I also considered using Don Alessi’s rope intervals from Meltdown training in conjunction as I need some type of high-intensity sprint intervals playing soccer and all. I want to get a little more functional with my training. I’ve substituted reverse hypers and glute-ham raises for the various leg curl exercises called for in German Body Comp. I’m also considering replacing my back squats with hack squats (the real ones) as I have only done back squats literally for the last three or four years. I have no idea how much weight to use for them. I would also like to incorporate front squats too. Currently I do barbell split squats on Monday and back squats on Wed. Can I do both front and hack squats (4 sets each, on different days) without overtraining? Also, can you give me some specific exercises to throw in as well that will be more sport-specific? I have been varying my ab work, using exercises from Ian King and Paul Chek. How often and what exercises would you recommend for my purposes? Abs are a bit of a weak point and I want to correct this. I look forward to hearing from you…thanks again!

Good to hear from. I never did figure what happened to this post either but its nice to hear back from. I like your enthusiasm but you will find your answers much easier if you define our function or purpose of training. Movements needs to be simpler and more multiple joint movements for maximum performance on the pitch. I would not suggest the Split Squats on Monday and Back Squats on Wednesday. Within your training, performing Front Squats in conjuction with the Clean (from classic floor position) and Hang Position. Further leg work could be incorporated through Snatch, Power Snatch as well. As far as abdominals, since you are aware of they are a weakness, you need to attack that. I think your training needs to be balanced within flexibility (range of motion), agility, linear speed and strength (both of speed and endurance nature). I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Thanks so much for responding, Coach. I feel I’m starting to fall into the trap of having my cake and eating it too. Before I got talked into playing soccer again, I was just beginning a cutting phase with my training and diet. I definitely want to drop some bodyfat while maintaining the LBM that I have for a primary goal…that is why I was doing Poliquin’s German Body Comp training. I do feel that with the short rest intervals and the higher repetitions this is helping my cardiovascular base. I have really grown to enjoy rope work…I’ve never done any before. I have been looking into the snatch as well. Have never done them so I want to make sure I completely have proper form down before I just throw them in. The beginner phase of Poliquin’s program calls for deads on Friday…would I be better off substituting the snatch? I’ve been on it for three weeks so it’s about time to change it up a bit anyway. If my teammates were remotely serious about doing well (to say they’re not really into it is an understatement), I would primarily emphasize being completely sport-specific. Ideally I would like the primary goal of dropping approx. 6-8 lbs. of bodyfat (currently I’m 5’7, 170 and approx. nine percent b.f. measured with Lange medical calipers) while maintaining my existing lean muscle, which I know how to do easily. At the same time, I would like to see reasonable improvement on the pitch, so my problem is trying to figure out how to balance it all out. Right now my biggest weakness is cardiovascular endurance but I have been adressing that with the rope work the last 10 days, utilizing your Renegade routine along with Alessi’s six sets of as fast as I can go for 60 sec.

Coach Davies…I just finished my second game of the season and I am absolutely thrilled with my performance compared to the last game. We lost, but I scored six of our thirteen goals, and not only was my cardiovascular conditioning much better, but I showed a few flashes of the old me. This is attributed solely to you and your assistance as I have done absolutely no ball training whatsoever…only the rope work and the substitution of some of your exercises into my German Body Comp program. I wish I could repay you as you have restored my love for the game. My goal now is to improve every game. Thank you so much!

Similarly, I played my second game of the season last night. We won the first 6-5, and I scored 2 of my best goals ever, playing out of defence! It was one of the best games I ever played, and I only had one and a bit weeks of rope work under my belt. Last night, we lost 12-2 (I scored 1 this time). I played as a striker, so it was hard to really shine given amazingly poor service and being double-marked. While I didn’t play as well as I did in the first game, I noticed a lot of positives. Firstly, my cardiovascular conditioning was excellent! Now when I do the 6-round rope workout, my CV system doesn’t suffer a bit - its a walk in the park in that respect. However, what really takes a beating is my lower legs - they are ground into nothing by the end of the workout. Unbelievably painful =) Any ideas here, Coach? In the past, the day after a game I’d be in a bit of pain and have to avoid working out. However, this morning I was able to complete a rope workout despite having played around 15 hours earlier, the evening before! So recovery is the second major benefit I’ve been experiencing. The ability to take in lots more food and the nature of the training is gradually priming my body. That said, I still need to lose probably 3kgs (7.5 pounds) to be at the body composition where I feel my performance would be maximised. Basically, apart from the obvious praise regarding these training methods, one question comes out of this: should I be feeling so sore in my lower legs when I’m skipping? If not, how can I solve the problem? Cheers for the help, and well done “Little Diego” - I can relate to everything you said quite well =)

And a “well done” right back atcha, BB. Too bad you and I weren’t on the same team. We play 5v5 counting the keeper, and today we only had two subs, with two of our best players out of town. I’m the only one on the whole team who makes an attempt to stay in shape…five of our players were out all night getting all liquored up, and we played at 10 this morning. VERY AGGRAVATING! I can’t even imagine attempting to play hung over and sleep-deprived. I totally love the Renegade rope work, and like you I’m amazed at the difference it’s made in only a week. Man if I only knew about all this stuff when I was on scholarship at Briar Cliff, or even in high school for that matter. Best of luck the rest of the year!

I really dont know what to say other thank you. It is an honor to have helped in some manner and its great to hear of your renewed love for such a tremendous game. So - how can we take it up even higher. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Our game is played indoor and is also 5v5 including the keeper. Likewise, the large majority of my team don’t pay any attention to exercise, let alone nutrition. Sure, I’m not the most gifted with the ball at my feet, but I’m not afraid to admit that I run myself into the ground when on the pitch. While I’m considerably fitter than my teammates, I leave the pitch equally exhausted which says a lot about comparitive work rates! Obviously you’ve got talent on the pitch and some skills - shown by a scholarship to play - I’m jealous, because I’m more of an aspiring athlete playing the game (only started as a 17 year old two and a half years ago!) and sometimes struggle skills-wise.

I think we need to start “back to basics” here - I need you to get work on your flexibility and abdominal work. Please email me and we can get you rolling. In faith, Coach Davies

Well after today’s inspiring performance, I am beginning to rethink my primary goal. I am definitely all for incorporating the good stuff into my program (snatch, hack/front squats, etc.) I still got a little winded at times today, but it was a dramatic improvement from last week. I still would like to drop another 6-8 lbs. of fat while maintaining LBM, but I really want to get my explosiveness back and gradually improve my endurance to an extent too. I was once the fastest player on the field, and that was w/o any real sport-specific resistance training/rope work. Even though I’m going to be 29 in December, I feel I have potential to be better than when I was 18 as I had a horrible diet and didn’t know “squat” (pardon the pun) about proper resistance training. Even though I’m a soccer player by nature, I want to have somewhat of a bodybuilder physique…I don’t need 18 inch guns or anything, but I want people to be able to tell that I definitely put some effort in the weight room. I also need some specific advice on ab work if you would be willing to help me.

To Big Bruva, you deserve a lot of credit. I have been playing since I was seven years old (a late bloomer by European standards). I think it’s awesome that you only started at 17 and it sounds like you’re doing rather well. Footwork, speed and a rocket shot have always been my attributes, but I have always had lousy endurance and my defensive skills definitely need some work.



Sorry, took me so long to respond. A couple of non-stop travel days. Where do we go from here - I would like to make sure you are following a solid flexibility program to start off. Then we build forward into training specific for your sport. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Don’t apologize, Coach D. I am so appreciative that you take the time to answer my questions. I await your responses anxiously, but never impatiently. I am an Ian King disciple, so I always make sure that I perform adequate stretching. In fact, on my off-days from weight work I usually spend a min. of 30 min. incorporating various stretches, plus what I get in pre-workout and pre-game. I’m really getting the competitive fire back after a decent outing last week. So again, if there’s any way I can get into solid cardiovascular fitness (getting better by the day), drop a bit of fat along the way yet maintain the buffed look as much as possible, I’m game for virtually anything. Many thanks again!

I guess the next stage is looking at exercise selection within multiple joint movements, GPP and SPP. Have you used any Olympic movements or there hybrid movements. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Hi Coach. I’ve never done much Olympic lifting, but I do want to incorporate them into my routine. I am particularly enthused about the snatch, and I’ve been reading up on it so I can have a good understanding of proper technique. It seems the power snatch would be a little easier to learn, but I’m for whatever will give the most bang for the buck. I’m also planning on putting cleans in there too…I’ve done these before and I think I have the form down. I’ve been doing back squats for way too long…I’m going to try either hacks or front squats for a change. Push presses are pretty self-explanatory so I’m sure I won’t have any problem with them. Now the question is how to sequence everything, how often, etc. Also where I’m assuming the rep scheme will be lower than what I had been doing with German Body Comp, how will the fat loss be? I’m guessing this is where the cardio comes in. Diet is impeccable by the way. All carbs come from broccoli/cauliflower, oatmeal, fruits, and I eat various sources of protein such as cottage cheese, eggs, whey/casein blend, chicken, red meat. I want to make sure I’m consuming adequate cals with this high-intensity stuff…right now I’m on approx. 2400 using John Berardi’s Don’t Diet approach. LOVE THE ROPE ROUTINE!!!

Just arrived home from our third game of the season, which we lost 8-4. On a personal note, I played a solid game. I was responsible for three of our four goals which was nice, but I absolutely despise losing! For the first time ever I’m beginning to feel really explosive and quick on the pitch. With a few less pounds around my torso I’ll be even more fleet-footed. I’ve pulled up with a decent amount of soreness in my right hip. This despite good stretching throughout the day and immediately before the match. I’ve got an ice-pack on it as I type. Apart from that minor concern, everything is going well and I can’t wait until my next game which is on Monday. Coach, I’ll be in touch re: the injury concern. Cheers =)

Hello again Coach. Well, I have talked a buddy of mine from the soccer team into working out with me. He is a former Nebraska football player so he has some experience with the Olympic lifts which will be nice. He is also going to be playing semi-pro football as well. Anyway my question is, my split is going to be changing. We are going to lift on MTTh or MTTHF. Could you give me some suggestions on how to split up the lifts I am going to be incorporating? I did do push-presses and hang cleans yesterday…quite a workout I must say. I hope you have a most happy Thanksgiving, and thank you again for all your help. Also, would it be more convenient for me to email you personally? Thanks! LD

That schedule will be great & having a 'Husker along to help will be tremendous. Your training goals will be different but you will many areas that you can assist each other with. The major lift’s that he will need to assist you with are the Clean/Power Clean (from both Floor & Hang position), Snatch/Power Snatch (from both Floor & Hang position) and the Push Jerk/Press. Each of these lifts has many hybrids off of it (ie Overhead Squat - Snatch / Front Squat/Clean) so please make sure you take time learning the lifts properly. If you wish to email me, I will be happy to send you a flexibility program for your usage. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies