Coach Thib's road to be less bad at 46

I have been training more for performance for the past few months. At first, it was mostly to improve for fighting (boxing, martial arts). I started doing both to spend some cool time with my son Jayden (5 years old). Jayden is a carbon-copy of myself, but that comes with being introverted, intellectual and not tall LOL.

He was already doing lots of sports (soccer, baseball, gymnastics) but I thought that learning to fight would be the ultimate tool against being bullied. So he started doing karate, which he loves and is really good at.

I decided to go with him, so that we would share an activity.

Then we started boxing classes.

Me being me (excessive by nature), I decided to orient my training specifically to improve boxing.

But then Jayden’s training (he was been training since he was 4) really took off. He is VERY technically efficient in the clean now, pretty good on the power snatch, learning the split jerk and front squatting over body weight for reps.

This has led me to go back to my original love: the olympic lifts…

… Only to find out that my mobility was completely gone. Well, shoulder mobility. My lower mobility is still good.

I’ve been spending the last two week improving my shoulder mobility. I can now do overhead squats and snatches. I’m also working on my clean front rack. But this might take longer as I seem to have a calcium deposit inside my elbow which reduces flexion.

Tomorrow I’m starting actually “training” (the past two weeks were mostly for mobility and relearning the movements).

I’ll use a program I designed called the BOSS system, which stands for “Bunch Of Skilled Singles” and it’s probably the weirdest training system you’ve ever seen (I wrote an ebook about it, I’ll try to make it available for you guys for free. I’ll let you know if I can make that happen).

It’s essentially a periodized approach (10-weeks cycles) where only sets of 1 rep are being used. But LOTS of them (especially in the accumulation phase).

For example, tomorrow I’m starting with 60 singles at 75% spread over 3 exercises. I know that it sounds crazy, but keep in mind that the load is fairly easy. This is just to maximize technical mastery (avoid loss of speed and technique due to fatigue). And when you think about it, 20 x 1 on an exercise isn’t more volume than 4 x 5 and pretty similar to 3 x 6.

That means 20 x 1 for each exercise. The lifts for tomorrow will be:

Back squat (I add 40lbs per side on weight releasers)
Power snatch
Military press

Sometimes, if I have the time, I’ll add a second smaller session while my son trains, and I’ll do some low stress bodybuilding work modified in a way to benefit the olympic lifts.

Can I get back in semi-decent form on the olympic lifts? We’ll see. I’ve spent a lot of time doing bro training and neglecting my mobility. But who knows.

I’ll be adding three Metabolic Drive shakes (2 servinges each) to my day. I have those about 10 minutes before a meal, to reduce my appetite during the meal itself.

I’ll also be using a mix of Surge Workout fuel and Mag-10 pre and intra-workout.

Oh yeah, I’ll be going hard on the curcumin to help my beat up shoulders and elbow!

12 Likes

Here are why I decided to go with singles (besides the fact that it’s what I like to do!)

I’ll be posting the other 7 reasons starting tomorrow, at the pace of one reason per day.

So come here often (questions and comments are welcome).

9 Likes

This is awesome! My 4-year-old has started to show a little interest in working out. I have a 15-20lb med ball that he will lift onto my jump box to mimic my sandbag lifts. We skate, swim, and play baseball but the martial arts would be a great sport to take part in with your young one. Interested to hear how it goes as well as the BOSS training.

1 Like

Awesome! That’s one of the first things that Jayden did when he started out at 4. He started with Atlas stone lifts with the med balls, Zercher carries with the med balls, jumps of various kinds and DB farmer’s walks.

Then he proceeded to do a squat progression:

  • Wall sit
  • Wall squats (back on wall)
  • Wall air squats (facing the wall, toes about 3" away from the wall)
  • Wall Goblet squats (facing the wall)
  • Goblet squats
  • Front squats
  • Back squats (although we still focus on the front squat)

A year later, his clean (full clean, lifted from the floor to the full squat position) is becoming VERY good and he is power snatching decently too.

4 Likes

Continuing on with the reasons why I like singles:

2 Likes

I find martial arts to really help with focus, concentration, and discipline.

I think that kids should be involved in as many sports as possible, practical and financially doable. First, each sport develops specific motor skills as well as social skills and physical capacities. But also because that increases the chances of finding something that the kid enjoys.

And it’s a bonus if at least one of the parents can do it with the kid. Jayden often trains with me, we do karate together and boxing with my wife and I. My daughter Madyson is a bit too young for most organized sports (2), but she does gymnastics and dance. The dance classes are parent-child classes. So she goes dancing with either my wife or I. She has also shown interest in soccer (she always comes when Jayden has practice and she always kick and play with the ball).

I want Jayden to start BJJ next, but the youngest they accept is 6, so we have a year to wait.

I believe that a kid should do:

  • One team sport
  • One body control sport (gymnastics, dance, figure skating, judo, BJJ)
  • One fighting sport (boxing, karate, judo, BJJ, wrestling, etc.)

And ideally an individual, non-fighting, sport. But that is not possible for all.

4 Likes

Today’s workout (Jan 1st) is:

Squat (with an added 40lbs per side on weight releasers) 20 x 1 @ 75%
Muscle snatch from mid-blocks (knee-high) 20 x 1 @ 75%
Seated shoulder press 20 x 1 @ 75

I’m aiming for a pace of around 1 set per minute. I’d like to get the session done in 75-80 min including weight changes and warm-ups. Will report on that later.

Not that I do mention doing singles at 80% or more. But this is an introduction phase where my goal is still mostly technical improvements. I prefer to start lower and let the high volume provide adaptations for now.

EDIT (writing this as I’m about to start): I decided to try to do it as a circuit (with some rest between stations) to make it less boring (20 sets of a single exercise can become mind-numbing sometimes)

I’m using the squat as my warm-up… I’m ramping up very gradually, so I might take 6-8 sets to get up to my working weight of 335 before every one of those sets I’m doing a shoulder stretch for 20 sec and 10 reps of external rotations/DB Cuban presses.

NOTE: It’s my first time back squatting with a bar in about 10 years. I’ve been using a safety squat bar because I just couldn’t back squat because my shoulders were so tight and cranky.

I’M WEIRD.… This is what I’m listening to when training.

I’m actually not watching the video, I just like to hear the noise of the bars dropping, makes me feel like I’m training in a weightlifting gym like when I was younger.

I’ll stop commenting as my warm up is over.

OBSERVATIONS: While the actual “workout” portion of my session (the work sets) lasted exactly 61 minutes (right where I want it to be), the whole session lasted about 85 minutes because I had to warm-up a lot to be able to hit my positions. This will likely get better with time.

I also forgot how much the shoulders are actually involved in the back squat. I got used to the safety squat bar, which allows the shoulder the stay relaxed. But with a bar on the back, not only are the shoulders challenged from a mobility perspective but they have to hold the load much more than the safety squat bar. How much will that impact delts development and overhead strength remains to be seen.

4 Likes

Here’s the 3rd reason why I like doing a high number of single rep sets:

4 Likes

January 2nd

After my workout yesterday I felt like I was systemically inflamed. It’s a weird feeling if you never had that. It’s like all my joints and muscles are stiff and very sightly sore… in fact, it’s more of “tinglyness” than soreness if that makes sense.

Because of my still stiff shoulders, the movements create muscle damage not just because of the load but also because of the forced stretch. But on the bright side, this means that I’m stimulating my joints, tendons and muscles to adapt by increasing mobility.

I fully expected to be too sore to train today. I took a pretty good dose of Micellar curcumin, not expecting it to be enough to get rid of the whole inflammation. Surprisingly, I woke up this morning with shoulders that feel a lot better than they should feel!

Here s my plan for today, I’ll provide update as I’m doing my workout and upon it’s conclusion.

Front squat 20 x 1 @ 75%
Muscle clean from blocks 20 x 1 @ 75%
Inertia shoulder press (starting the movement from pins at shoulder-height) 20 x 1 @ 75%

Workout lasted 65 minutes, most of which was the actual work. The reason for less prep time is that I kept this workout lighter (went lower than 75% on front squats and clean) just to work on my front rack, which still sucks. So it was essentially one big loaded stretching session.

2 Likes

Reasons 4 and 5 why I love singles

2 Likes

January 3rd

Yesterday my son Jayden (5) hit a milestone with a 1.5 bodyweight deadlift. We are not even trying to go heavy on that lift, I’m using it mostly to teach him to avoid early arm pull in his clean.

I should receive his new bar and squat stand tomorrow. Right now he has the Rogue OSO mini bar, which is great but lacks room on the sleeve. When we use the technique bumpers (so that the bar will start at the proper height for a snatch or clean) there is no room for adding more weight and that’s too light for his cleans and snatches.

The new bar is the Rogue 5kg technique bar. Which is has longer sleeves so it should work well.

The squat stand is designed for kids so it will allow him to do squats without me having to put the bar on his shoulders.

My own training this morning will be:

Back squats; using the weight releasers again (+40lbs/side), but instead of doing a slow eccentric with them (like Monday) I will go down to just above parallel, hold for 3 seconds, then finish the eccentric. This will allow me to overload the “catch” position of a power clean/snatch. 20 x 1 with 75% on the bar and an additional 80lbs on releasers.

No-feet power snatch from blocks 20 x 1 @ 75%

Behind the neck snatch press 20 x 1 @ 75%

More comments to follow.

4 Likes

Coach - this is great! I love reading how your son is doing as well!

I have a couple quick questions, if you don’t mind:

  1. How do you mix the Mag-10 and Surge Workout Fuel? Are you throwing them into the bottle together, or maybe you’re having some Mag-10 before you train and Surge intra?
  2. Do you have any “rules” around the secondary bodybuilding work you sometimes do to keep it from getting excessive (I will personally take any excuse to do too much)?

No real question around the Curcumin, but it was a great reminder to take it after basketball games and see if it helps my old knees recover!

Thanks!

I take the MAG-10 about 20 min before training (just did this, as a matter of fact) then I’ll drink half the Surge Workout fuel before starting my workout and the other half throughout the session.

3 Likes

Maximum 3 exercises for 3 work sets each.

1 Like

Awesome - thank you! Looking forward to continuing to follow along.

1 Like

January 3rd (continued)

Workout is done and was longer than usual, but for a good reason: Jayden lifted with me (although he did his own workout).

He did:

Power snatch from the hang, 2 x 5, 2 x 3
Deadlift 5 x 5
Clean + front squat 3 x 1 + 4
Floor press, 1 x 8, 2 x 6, 2 x 5

I’m happy because my overhead mobility was markedly better on the snatch and even setting up for the squat was easier.

I must have lost 5lbs of sweat LOL

3 Likes

Just received. Rogue KS-1 kids squat stand for Jayden. I’ll be doing a review about it soon, along with one on the OSO mini bar and the Rogue T-5KG technique bar.

4 Likes

Reasons 6 & 7 why I like singles

1 Like

Some videos of Jayden test driving his new squat rack.

Did some front squats, floor presses and (for the first time ever) military presses.

Overhead lifts are more challenging for kids that age for three main reasons:

  1. At that age, the head tends to be out of proportion with the body, so it’s a bigger “obstacle” when pressing

  2. Young kids are hypermobile, and thus hypo-stable, especially at the shoulder joint

  3. Motor skills are not super well developed at that time and overhead lifting requires more motor skills than most other movements



I’ll be training later than usual for work reasons, and Jay will do a second session along with me, focusing on the olympic lifts.

11 Likes

This thread is badass.

2 Likes