T Nation

Feed the Wolf

How we got here: I was a two sport college athlete, an All-American, and spent three years playing internationally. I coached at the D1 FCS level for a year before returning for a double master while working in the athletic department. Sport and training always been a part of my life.

Last week I stepped on the scale and it say 249! wow, that’s not gonna work. I played at 234 (yes exactly)so figure that’s my fighting weight, the goal is to return to that and it starts now.

I guess this is a way to keep myself accountable, have some fun and have an outlet for a few training, weight, sport and life ideas. Let the fun begin.

Training History: High School: had a great guy who volunteered his time with our team. He was a competitive powerlifter and held records in the masters category. He was actually a deadlift specialist but I never did them (will come back to haunt me).

Big lifts: chins, dips, bench, seated press, squat, lunge, leg press, arms, abs- basic but I got bigger and stronger and learned to enjoy it. College: was at a HIT school. Say what you want I learned a lot. I gained 30 lbs, learned what REAL hard work and toughness is and valued the importance of putting in a solid days work.

I credit those guys a ton with making me the person I am today, teaching me intensity and creating a work ethic at makes me laugh about ‘hardcore’ workout videos on the web. International: Got an introduction to O-lifting and reintroduced to squats. Noticed that with not squatting for 5 years in college and never having a deadlift base my lower back sucks (still an area I need a ton of strength work on)if I every want to bring up my lifts.

Overall, not world changing or bad just more tools in the tool box during this period. Also got introduced (i know its evil to say in this neck of the woods) Crossfit. Honestly I think it has its place, I wouldn’t do it as a stand-along program but its great for conditioning. Its funny complexes are awesome but crossfit is bad.

You take a workout like crossfit, put it in a rounds format with rest intervals to match the sport and your a progressive MMA trainer. Point is, for increasing workload and if programed right, a little condition work like that.

Guess that’s where I’m at right now. I have access to a university varsity gym so have cool toys, bungees on the wall, sleds, tires, hurdles, plyo boxes, med ball, kettlebells, fat handle DBs, Olympic platforms and bumpers, Glute-ham, etc. Original idea was to go with a 5/3/1 type program but start real small on max.

Currently, just taking the next few week or month to get my workload back up. Figuring on doing some jumps, throws, rowing, KB stuff and reintroduce some form work on the major lifts. Kinda workout ADD but just increasing my work volume, my workload, and get shoulder and low back ready to put in work on the next phases.

Workout Wed
PVC roller and Dynamic Flex - Spent a long time here, still sore from Monday and Tue

Seated Box Jump X 3 @ 42in + Medball slam X6 @ 20lbs
-Feet planted no rocking, need to get explosive again. Kept slams light speed work

Behind the Neck Push-Press 5X5 working up to 225
-Focus on being strong and stable at lockout, held each for 2 sec. Just need to get used to feeling the weight up there and feeling solid

Pull-Ups 4 X whatever felt good (only 6 to 8 reps)
-This has always been a bad upperbody exercise for me. Need a concentrated effort to get better.

Reverse Hyper 4 X 10 @ 90

Battle Ropes X 10 Min
-No Sets, Reps or Rest Interval yet. Just go as hard as possible and rest as needed alternating 7 patterns. Just need to lay a workload foundation.

Feel pretty good this morning. Had a bit of a dieters headache last night before bed but no worries. I think the Revers Hypers helped workout a bit of the lower body soreness. Upper back is talking to me this morning but in a good way. Nothing seems to work my upper back like having some weights overhead. Love the ropes, if you have access you got to use, so simple yet so brutal.

Dynamic WarmUp/Flex

Easy Cardio day (same as Tue)- 30 min ‘rolling hills’ on stairclimber, No Hands (why no hands? its WAY harder and my coach used to always make us do it that way). This was really just to stay active, and break a sweat in between lift sessions this week. Will start intervals next week.

Thoughts on Weight:
Why 234? well that was my playing weight and figure its a good place to start. I plan on getting to there and I will adjust for next phase. As an athlete, I always had a strange relationship to weight, I just got so in-tuned with how my body felt on the field. From a physique standpoint the mirror don’t lie and I preach that, forget the scale. But I think it may be different for the field/track/court. I got up to 241 one off-season and felt like I couldn’t run as well, footwork skills were down had lost some explosiveness, so I lost the lbs. As I got older, and played at a higher level, even a couple of pound and I could notice a difference. Get sick dropped to 231 for a game I felt light in contact, not as strong.

I think this is a thing a lot of people don’t get, I call ‘performance point’(and admittedly my opinion base on playing and coaching experience). In most cases there a two very different weight points when you ‘look’ your best, and when you ‘preform’ your best. I may ‘look’ better at 250 with big rip-shit neck, traps, and shoulders I may ‘look’ better at 225 and its all hawt abs and cover boy. To actually preform, at a D1, international representative level, the weight was 234 for me. Its a hard concept for a lot of people to come to grips with but I 100% believe in it. Too many people just try to ‘get big’ or ‘lose weight’ so they can be better next year. For the true ‘this is how I pay my bills’ athletic performance, you have to find the performance point where you can execute your sports requirements(run, hit, move, be quick, be fit, be strong) the best. This can be way different then the weight you ‘look’ the best at.

Missed the weekend, was off with friends and had no access to to the net.

Boxing-Took up Muay Thai about 6 months ago with brother. Back at school have no formal training so just hit the bags

General warm up
2 X 3 min rounds of shadow work
25 min of skill work
-Started basic! 25 of each strike (left jab, straight right, left hook, so forth)
-Slowly built to 2, 3 and 4 punch combos
2 X 3 min rounds @ fight pace
2 X 3 min rounds shadow work cool down.

Thought of Day:
I believe the same principle is true for body fat % as is true for weight above. The body fat you look the best at isn’t the same as what you might preform the best at. The dietary restrictions and increased training load to drop to 5% BF may be counter productive to ultimate performance.

Now I fully believe a lineman going from 25% to 18% will have increased performance but will the tole of extra cardio and dieting to get down to 12 % help him as an offensive lineman?
When I was coaching outside linebackers in college I really noticed this and developed the idea their may be a look % and a play %. I had some guys around 9 or 10 % BF who in the off season got down to 5 or 6 % ‘for the ladies’ and it hurt their energy and strength output. In short, they looked better at 5% but played their best at 9.

**NOTE THIS IS NOT!! AN EXCUSE TO TRAIN LIKE A CHUMP AND BE FAT AND LAZY!!**If your over weight by all means get lean. If your a physique athlete get your BF% as low as possible, kill it. Purely performance wise, is their a line where it becomes counter productive for ultimate game production? I think so


PVC Rolling
Dynamic Flex

4 X Plyo Split Jumps @ 12in Box X 6 + MedBall Overhead Soccer Throw @ 30lbs X 4

Front Squat - 7 Sets all 5’s working up to 275;
*5-8 FacePulls with Blue Band between each set, just whatever felt good

Giant Set X 4
-Push-Up with Bumper Plate on Back @ 25kg X 10
-Single Arm Bent over KB row X 12 Each
-Back Extension X 10 - 2 sec hold at top

Bike Sprints - 20 sec GO, 40 sec active recovery X 10.
-Sprints were both speed and resistance increase

I’m so garbage right now, my work capacity is terrible, I was tired after this! Guess you got to start somewhere, just keep on the grind.

Crazy big week so I was MIA. It was homecoming so besides all the alumni-give us money events. We had huge numbers of recruits in from all sports. Got to show off campus when its jumping with people and school spirit.

As for training: Wed was an off day(not totally planned but ok in current set up); Thur- Muay Thai again- love it. Fri Weights as follows

-PVC Roll
-Dynamic Warm-Up/Flexibility
-Seated Box Jump, Feet planted no rocking. 3 X 3 building up height; 3 X 3 @ 46 in
-Chin 3 X reps, leave one in tank; 1 X max reps plus a few extra with Kip
-Seated DB Shoulder Press- 2 X 8, 2 X 6 @ 85; I use the Black Iron Fat handle DB’s their
awesome, stress the grip and are just beastly for pressing movements
-Sled Work @ 65 KG worth of plates- done in 50 yard trips 4 X
25 yard Walking Lunges with sled attached to waist belt(really forces you to push through front foot and go forward to drag weight instead of moving more up with DB),awesome exercise. Undo belt, turn around, grab straps. 25 yard backward drag with row.
-Unweighted Reverse Hyper 2 X max Reps
-Kb Snatch @ 55lbs, 3 X 10 each arm straight through for conditioning.

Monday back in the gym

PVC Roll- I normally do just HipFlex, IT and Glutes. Did calves today-think I’m more sore from this then the workout.
Dymanmic Warm-Up/Flex
8 X 10yd sprint- felt heavy and to much food from this weekend so used this to activate nervous system and get myself going

  1. Front Squat 6 X 5 working up to 275. Hips were tight and just felt ‘off’ backed down to 225 and did set of 10 trying to ‘grease the grove’

2a) 4X Bumper plate push-up @ 25kg X 10
2b) 4 X Cliffhanger Pull-up X 8-4 each way. Grab bar at widest point, pull forehead to right hand, back to middle, pause, to left arm

3a) 4 X KB swing @ 70lbs X 10
3b) 4 X KB Single arm row @ 70lbs X 10 each

4a) 3 X DB Floor Tri. Extension @ 40lb X 10
4b) 3 X Unweighted ReversHyper X max reps

Been MIA like a sucker! Pretty sure the point of this log to keep myself accountable-so I just stopped writing. Anyway, I applying for a new job which is going quite well, phone interviewed last week and they bringing me down for the final round this Friday! Knock that out and life will be nice.

Lift From Sat.

-FatBar Standing Press 10 X 3 @ 185 (that is assuming the bar is 45 lbs, most fat bars weight more but its about progress, not trying to slip the extra 15 lbs in my log to seem strong and cool)
-Hammer Incline 4 X 6 @ 4 plates a side
-T-Bar Row 4 X 6 @ 6 plates
-DeFrancos Seated DB Clean 3 X 12 -First time doing these just needed an upper back change of pace
-FatBar Curl 4 X 6 + 1 X max reps drop set
-Abs- Various crunches and stuff pulled from Rooney’s MMA writing till I was beat.

Random Thought of the day: Working in the athletic department I have laundry services through the equipment room and access the staff locker-room. If I get this new job, I’m gonna have to do that extra laundry, training 5 or 6 days a week adds a lot of extra clothes! Plus, they soaking wet and smell, and you got to get them done fast. That might be the thing I miss most if I leave here- free training gear laundry, hahahaah.