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TomRocco's Training Journal


Hey guys, i am currently keeping a journal on a smaller forum, but i would like as much feedback/critiquing i can get so i am going to start up a journal here too.

Heres a brief background of my training history and other relevant stuff.

-always overweight until 7th grade i went from 170lbs with very high BF percentage to 120 lbs. it was intentional weight loss- i changed my diet radically and i was playing basketball every day.

-started lifting during the summer of 8th to 9th grade- i started because i wanted to get my vertical up for basketball

-cut from basketball fresh/soph year. throwing coach asked me to do spring shot put/discus. i loved the sport but wasnt the greatest- threw about 90 tops in disc and 35 in shot put.

  • worked very hard at it over the summer from soph to junior year. i also became serious about lifting- i went to the gym about every day and did 2-a-days. last summer was the first time it was 100% clear i lifted. i started really seeing results and people started making comments about me lifting.

  • im now a junior in high school. school is the most important thing to me. im doing spring track and field and doing excellent in throwing. ive come in 2nd twice and 3rd once (and im throwing against seniors too). discus ive seen a great improvement. came in 3rd and 8th in the 2 meets weve had.

Here are my current PR's/stats
Height: ~5'9" or 5"10
Weight: ~170 lbs

Squat- 365 x 2 @~165
Deadlift: 385 lbs x 4 @ 165
Bench: dont focus on this very much- i dont bench very consistently- 185 x 3-5 reps i think is my PR
Pull Ups: BW + 90 x 2-3 (@165)
Chin Ups: BW + 100 x 3 semi-cheat reps or BW + 90 x 2 perfect reps (@168)
Military Press: 135 x 3 (slight leg push on last rep) (@168)
Shot Put: 46 feet 9.75 inches with a 12 lb shot
Discus: ~140 with high school discus

My goals for now are to keep getting stronger. i need to put some weight on since i would like to throw in college. I will post actual # goals if anyone is interested.


less than 8 hours of sleep, but more than 7 i think. woke up without an alarm or disruption. i have a meet tomorrow but its just shot, so i threw discus today at the local high school. it took me a while to get warmed up, but i wound up throwing pretty well. i was hitting 130 easily after my warm ups. they actually did the measurements for each line, so i found out i threw roughly 140 or 150 my last time i threw at that high school.


about 7 hours of sleep. had a meet today. i found out that i needed to use an indoor shot put for this meet. ive only thrown an indoor once in my life, so this was only my second time throwing it. its much bigger than an outdoor shot, so that may have affected me.

i realized i like a soft shell put much better than the hard shelled one. i feel it holds better on my neck out of the back of the circle. i only threw 45 today, but i wasnt allowed to listen to my ipod (which is usually how i focus), and i had a minimal warm up. i threw 42 feet, 44? feet, and 45 feet. my last 2 throws were with a soft shell.

I came in 2nd to last, but i later found out that about 1/2 the throwers who qualified for finals (4 of the 8) were in the top 5/6 in the indoor state championships. I was also one of the only juniors there as well. i would have needed to throw 49 to qualify for finals.

Ive also come to the conclusion that i need to gain weight. i was the lightest thrower there without doubt, probably by at least 10-15 lbs. the qualifying throwers were all at least 200, so they had 30 lbs on me.

After my meet i went to the local hs and threw some shot on my own. I hit 46 a couple times, which would have been close to my PR. My stand throws go about 41 feet.

Just a question for anyone who's familiar with throwing. One of the other team's players had a strap/wrap of some sort on his wrist. can someone explain what this is/where to get it, etc. My wrist tends to bother me in season, so maybe this can help with my stability.


about 7 hours of sleep last night. my back (right by my right shoulder blade) and my upper abdomen have been hurting "on and off" today. Right now my upper back is really bothering me.

I plan on starting some explosive work instead of weight lifting emphasis the next week or 2. i have my league finals on on the saturday after next.


about 6 hours of sleep. pretty tired today. had a good workout and no track practice (coach didnt show up).

A1) Clean and Press (cleaned weight up once and pressed it overhead)
bar x 8
1) 95 lbs x 3
2) 115 lbs x 2
3) 135 x 2
4) 155 x 2
5) 185 x .5- cleaned it all right. i pressed about 1/2 way then got stuck, and i knew i wouldnt be able to strain it out so i dropped it. i went for another attempt, but missed the clean

A1) hang cleans
6) 205 lbs x 1
7) 205 lbs x 1
8) 225 lbs x 0- missed it. i wish i would have known i didnt have practice because i would have been able to rest a bit longer before this set

A2) Chin Ups
1) BW x 3
2) BW + 25 x 2
3) BW + 45 x 2
4) BW + 70 x 2
5) BW + 100 x 4- PR!- all good reps, totally locked out above the bar. i didnt do these from a dead hang though, i kinda pushed from my legs a bit.
6) BW + 90 x 2- both solid reps, done from a dead hang

Overall a good workout. i plan on maybe doing some light single leg work tomorrow, then taking the rest of the week off in terms of lifting. i will do some throwing, then next week i plan on doing light cleans and then maybe some light throwing, but at least taking thursday and friday off. championships are next saturday.


About 6 hours of sleep. horrible mood today after school. dont really know why? i was really angry for some reason. thats really not like me.

had a good workout. plan to make this my last workout of the week.

A1) Military Press
1) bar x 8
2) 75 x 3
3) 95 x 2
4) 115 x 2
5) 135 x 1- about 4-5 seconds to get up over head
6) 135 x 1- about 3 seconds to get over head
7) 135 x 1- about 3.5 seconds to get overhead
8) 135 x miss- got it to about forehead head, strained for a bit, then failed.

I did the sets of 135 very strict. instead of the usual way i do military press (un racking the weight and then starting the set), i did these reps right from the rack. So they were kinda like MIO reps.

A2) Bulg Split Squats
1) 50 lbs DB's each hand x 3 (each leg)
2) 60 lb DB's x 3
3) 70 lbs x 3
4) 80 lbs x 3

A2) BB Curls
5) 65 x 5
6) 95 lbs x 5
7) 105 x 2 + fail for 3rd

did one set of reverse curls for my wrists.

I talked to my coach today about some stuff. i was gonna do some light moving outside because it was a nice day, but chose to talk to him instead. I think tomorrow i may do some GPP, farmers walks in particular.

Heres the stuff we talked about

1- shot placement
-- he says to keep it roughly in your jaw. Some people prefer to hold it lower in their neck (like Ulf Timmerman). you dont want to hold it too far back. he says upon releasing, you should aim for the middle of the shot. In terms of release, he says that you should feel the shot loading up from the palm to the fingers, then exploding off.

He recommends doing range throwing- picking a distance (about 42-43 for me) and hitting it as easily as i can.

2- Discus
-- the key to disc is keeping my arm loose and long. he says that throwing on a humid day will kill the distance. He told me to watch Gerd Kanter to see the hip explosion and arm looseness he is talking about.

3- Pre competition throws
-- he says that upon shot, i should get as fired up as possible (not his exact words- he used the term "aroused" or something along those lines. he says competition shot has the #1 state of arousal to throw far). he says disc is different, and i may not need to psych myself up like crazy.

He says at the competition i shouldnt worry about fixing things in form- save that for practice. at meets just go and throw.


about 6 hours of sleep. maybe a little less.

didnt do much today. was overall sore. my legs were sore, along with my traps. i did a little running, then some karoakes, then then threw some discus. I also did 1 set of 9 BW pullups, all from a dead hang.

my world class coach watched me throw today. i will admit that i did not do well at all. i was maybe hitting 110. i lost alot of confidence from today. he pointed out so much stuff thats wrong, and now im conscious about it. heres the stuff he pointed out:

1) From the back of the circle, keep the discus locked back, and move with the legs first.
2) From the back, divide the circle in half. the only side i should be using is the left when facing the impact zone.
3) I dont get any torque in my "power position", and the only reason thats in quotes is because i barely ever get into a power position.
4) Keep getting my legs down. I tend to throw straight up.
5)*** Keep my right arm up from the back of the circle. ***
6) dont "fall" into the circle by moving my hips back- go out and around my right leg.

Will admit overall today felt horrible. it was terrible how bad i was throwing. i wasnt putting full effort in, but it was all horrible. i have tons to work on in the future.


Hey Tom:

Welcome, its great to here you're working hard at your sport and see the importance of weight training. This type of training will stay with you long after the disc and the ball gathers dust in the garage.

Best of luck to you this season and in your training.


about 6 hours of sleep. i notice that im always in a horrible mood upon arriving home from school. im always really angry, but i dont know why. i just am. maybe its because i usually fall asleep on the bus and i wake up grumpy.

didnt do anything today but eat. had a regular breakfast, then about 1.5 or so egg/cheese/bacon sandwhiches on a white bagel. had some trail mix and chewy bars in the morning. i did eat a smaller lunch though.

I also did a little bit of flexibility/skill work with BW. mainly used my stickball bat. i tried to focus on getting in the right positions. i need to learn to not "drop" my hips into the circle, but rather go "out and around" my right leg. i also need to learn to keep the torque that i build up from my pre-turn and use it at the end of my throw.

another thing i need to work on is my left step around my right leg out of the back of the circle. i have the problem of stepping too far, and getting way too far across the circle, especially for someone thats my height. I need to use up less of the circle.


Thanks for your support and encouragement. they are both greatly appreciated.


About 6 hours of sleep. had a track meet today. it went pretty well. i was done by 1230 with both shot and disc. i did great overall today. I PR'd in discus and shot.

First we threw disc. i threw about 3 warm ups- 1 stand and 2 spins. then i had three meet throws. my first one was all right, my second one was pretty good just i needed to get the discus more "level" with the ground upon my release.

my third one was great. i threw 129 and it felt excellent. foot work was down, and it had a very tight spin. the discus just flew well. i find that spitting on the disc really does help.

After disc i chilled for a little, then we had shot. i was seeded 7th. i was versing most the throwers who came to the last meet i went to (the invitiational). My first throw was a PR- 47 feet 3? inches. i knew it was gonna be a good meet.

my second throw i PR'd with 48 feet 3.5? inches. It got me 2nd place. i lost to a 50 foot throw. I am really happy about todays PR. I taped my wrist and it makes a HUGE difference. I tried taping it once from bottom to top (started at wrist and went up my forearm), but found that i cut of the blood circulation too easily.

i tried it again taping from top to bottom (from my forearm to my wrist) and found it worked out much better. My third throw felt pretty good, but i fouled- pretty much fell right on my face after the release.

I came in about 3/4 for discus and 2nd in shot. i find the difference in distance people throw outdoor shot relative to indoor is pretty big. about five of the kids at last weeks invitational came to this meet. at the invitational they all threw 50+ (with the indoor shots).

This meet i came in 2nd with a 48, with the rest being 47 or less. there was only 1 50 foot throw and he was in the invitational last week (he threw about a foot further last week).

im very happy i was able to beat some of the people who i thought were going to smoke me.

i also want to note that i wasnt allowed to use my i-pod after warmup throws for shot put at this meet. i was able to keep focused though, and kept a song in my head to keep me in the zone.


7.5 hours of sleep. first time i got that much in a while. weighed 169.0 right after going to the bathroom in boxers/t-shirt before breakfast. Happy mother's day to all. Ill probably eat a ton of food today.

I really dont know how im going to set up my training week. i have the league championships this saturday, then next saturday i have the cities. I think im going to do some light cleans tomorrow, and some light pull ups. ill do some light throwing throughout this week. i know im going to have thursday and friday off. ill try to get some some throws in monday threw wednesday.

does anyone have any comments/suggestions on what i should do this week (and next week too) in terms of training since i have 2 important meets coming up?


i also wanted to ask you guys something else. i was thinking about trying creatine for a bit- maybe like a month or 2 in order to see what results i would get from it.

2 questions- would you guys recommend/advise it or think its a good idea?

2) how do i persuade my parents into letting me get it? I could probably sneak it, but i really wouldnt want to do that.


Im having a tough time persuading my parents. my dad went online and of course found different cases where something dangerous happened its root was claimed to be creatine. I dont think this is happening unless i sneak it.

Anyway, about 6 hours of sleep last night. Kinda tired today. Had a very solid workout. last one for the week. I have the championships on saturday and i couldnt be more excited.

A1) Clean and Push Press
1) bar x 1-2 cleans + 5-6 overhead presses, 75 x 1-2 cleans, 2-3 presses
2) 95 x 1 clean and 2-3 presses
3) 115 x 1 clean and 2-3 presses
4) 135 x 1 and 2-3?
5) 155 x 1 and 1
6) 165 x 1 and 1
7) 185 x 1 and .95- i JUST missed completely locking the weight, literally by 1 inch max. My elbows were at about 179 degrees. This is a PR for me because its the highest ive pushed 185 over my head. my cleans felt very explosive today, a positive sign.

A2) Pull/Chin Ups
1) BW x 3 PU
2) BW + 25 x 3 PU
3) BW + 45 x 5 PU
4) BW + 45 x 5 CU
5) BW + 45 x 5 PU
6) BW + 45 x 5 CU

I did these reps very slowly. i paused at the bottom of each rep and stretched the lats. didnt want to overload the CNS with extremely heavy weight today.

I had throwing practice today as well. didnt take it too hard because of the weather and because i dont want to burn myself. I found out i was throwing a 6.25 K shot, so thats about 14 lbs. Im upset that this happened. I wasnt throwing it too bad. it was just funny because i was throwing like 35 feet with it and usually i throw like 40 or so and my coach was like man whats going on. it wasnt like i was putting a lot of effort in so i barely realized it was too heavy.

i also had gym today and played basketball. It was fun.


first time i got to bed before 12 in the past month. I got about 7.25 hours of sleep. felt pretty good today. I had discus practice. i am not putting very much effort in. i threw about 110 on average today. Prior to my throwing i did a little light lifting. I only did it to get a little external rotation work in. dont want my shoulders to blow out in the last week of the season. I did a controlled tempo on the rows.

A) 1 shoulder circuit with 5 lb DB's- Reverse/Lateral/Front raises- 8-10 reps exercise done as a triple set.

B) BB Rows
1) 95 lbs x 10- overhand grip- focused on back and keeping good form
2) 95 lbs x 10+? - same as about- threw in some wide and underhand grip as well

Threw about 10 disc. I need remember to keep my right arm up. another thing i want to note- my world throwing coach told me out of the back, i can get my left knee "up" and that im too straight legged. i gave it a try here and there today.

My traps and back are both sore today. i wont workout again this week and then throw tomorrow and at the meet.

i also want to mention that my coach also wants me to go on a more "throwers" workout. I need to boost my bench up, and hes going to teach me to snatch. Right now, i know that my upper body is weak. i feel if i can get my military press to about 160, and my bench to 225 for reps, then i should at least be at "base level" strength.


not much sleep about 4-5 hours. im so sick of school. Today was a good day. i did some conditioning/mobility work and some throwing. nothing intense. I did a little jogging and walking, some rolling on my lower body with a body stick, and some foam rolling. We threw shot put today. i threw a few stands and a few glides. i threw 45+ today 2-3 times which is good because at a meet chances are those throws would be 50 (i wasnt going 100%, we throw uphill slightly, and psychologically im nowhere near as hyped.)

I found that when i go right into my glide from standing in the back (ie- standing straight up with my shot put in my neck, then just dropping down, kicking back, and throwing, all in one fluid motion) i throw pretty far for not putting in much effort. if i get 2 quality throws in on saturday, on my third throw ill try this method to see if it works well. i think that the speed and momentum i get will definitely help with distance, as long as i hit my positions.


Decent night sleep with about 7 hours. we didnt have school today really. we had to be in regular time, but we went for a class trip to a theme park (Six Flags). It was so much fun. i had an amazing time. if anyone goes i highly recommend buying a "flash pass". i went on like every ride (one of those rides 2 times, and another 4 times).

In terms of diet, it wasnt terrible, though not great. I ate fried chicken strips for lunch, and fried chicken again for dinner (not much selection for lunch, and no selection at dinner). i stayed away from fries though. i also had 2 small cups of icecream, and 1 large frozen strawberry lemonade (because i love them there).

I was walking around all day, so i probably burned a ton of calories. I know that i will not have a voice tomorrow due to screaming (not because i was scared- all in pure fun).


good night sleep last night (about 7 hours) and 2 nights ago (8 hours!- it was a school night too!)

Had the championships today- threw a big PR at 135 in discus and took 4th. i was in 3rd the whole way until a teammate unleashed a great 145 throw as his final throw. I didnt score points for shot- i came in 6th or 7th. i was incredibly angry with my performance. i threw like 46'5, which is no where near good. my release was not feeling good at all. I couldnt have been more angry at my performance today. i was so upset. i guess its motivation to work harder for next year.


Got into bed by 11 last night, but probably didnt fall asleep until 1130, so about 7.5 hours of sleep.

Had a decent workout today. I didnt feel very strong. i also didnt listen to my typical music which usually pumps me up. today was more of a relaxed day.

Threw discus today at practice. it was overall pretty bad. my first throw is always good, but then it goes down hill from there. i keep on losing my balance at the end of the throw. i dont know why. I had one bad mishap where i fell flat on my face right into my arm. it knocked the wind out of me.

I also want to mention that today we found some very nice shot puts and an awesome discus. im excited to start using those.

A1) Push Press
1) Bar x 5 (MP)
2) 95 x 3
3) 115 x 3
4) 135 x 2
5) 155 x .5, 1- was actually pretty tough- probably didnt get enough leg push
6) 155 x 2
7) 135 x .333 (military press attempt), 95 x 6 (MP)

A2) Chin Ups
1) BW x 3
2) BW + 25 x 3
3) BW + 45 x 3
4) BW + 75 x 2
5) BW + 90 x 3- pretty easy. i rested my feet at the bottom so i may have cheated a bit.
6) BW + 105 x 4- again, not too tough. i probably gave a bit of a push off to get to the top of each rep.

overall i felt kinda lethargic and slow. ill probably do some lower body tomorrow and take the rest of the week off.

also want to note something. today i did some BW glides in the shot circle and they felt pretty good. i dont get why i did so poorly on saturday. im having a hard time dealing with these poor performances happening over and over. Its hitting my self esteem a bit as well. i know that im going to work hard, it just stinks to end a good season in such a poor way.


Decent night sleep - ~8 hours. maybe 7 and 2/3 hours. I worked out today and then threw indoor shot because it was disgusting out.

I had gym today and we played some basketball. didnt go too hard. just broke a light sweat.

A1) DB Rows
1) 70 lbs x 3
2) 85 lbs x 3
3) 100 lbs x 5
4) 100 lbs x 5

A2) BB Curls
1) bar x 6
2) 75 x 5
3) 95 x 4
4) 95 x 4
-- Rested about 1 min after 4th set then did 9 piston curls with 35 lb DB's, supersetted with 10 reverse BB curls, supersetted with 10-15 fatbar reverse curls.

A3) Bulg Split Squats
1) 25 lbx each hand x 5
2) 40 lbs each hand x 5

Practice went very well today. indoor shot felt good. i definitely feel pumped for saturday's meet. My form felt good today. my best throw hit the very bottom of the wall in the small gym.

i think that the times i have release problems and i feel im pushing off my thumb are the times when i release too "low" and "straight" opposed to "up and out". Basically, need to angle my throw up more on the days this happens.