Dynamic Flex Warm Up

The video below is a great example of a Dynamic flex warm up.  It is what I teach on my SAQ® awards in order to put the body in the right state for proper athletic ability to be expressed.

If you’re involved in running around you should really be doing specific sport flexibility training, pre and post exercise.

Cluster Sets For Hulk Like Strength

Building Hulk like strength is not as easy as it sounds for everyone.  It has to be done at the right intensity and with the right intention of the mind to get strong.

Try this advanced strength training protocol to improve your strength faster than you thought was possible.

An athlete is preparing to lift a heavy dumbbell

Cluster Sets

These are used once you’ve built a really good base line of strength and are looking to take things to the next level, do not attempt them if you are new to training and have not concentrated on building a superb foundation.

So what are they?

In essence you are going to lift 3-5 reps with a weight you can only do 1-3 times!

Yep, that’s right you are going to lift more than you thought was possible.

Here’s how you do it:

Lets say you want to improve your 3 rep max.

Select a weight you know you can’t do 3 times but can do twice.

Do 1 rep and then rest for 30 seconds, once your rest is up do your second rep, rest 30 seconds and repeat for as many reps as you can or until the goal number is reached.

What you are doing in essence is giving yourself little mini breaks that should allow you to lift more reps than if you were to do them back to back.

As I said this is really an advanced protocol as you will be placing the body under more strain than it has the capacity to do in a normal set system.

 

 

 

So(chi) Proud Of Her Olympic Medal

After Sunday’s slope style winter Olympic final I had to share how proud I am of the snow boarder Jenny Jones.

If you’re not watching the Olympics or into snow boarding she won a Bronze medal!!

I worked with Jen for 5 years when I was based in Bristol (UK) and owned my own PT studio.  Where she won a number of X games gold
medals.

She is one of the hardest working and nicest girls you’ll ever meet…but never thought she was good enough to compete
at the top level….I think she proved her self wrong over the last couple of years though!

You can see some clips of her in this video….you may have to forward through some of the normal client stuff!

http://youtu.be/04JJ2b6_4ho check out the big air she gets at about 55 seconds in!

Later on you’ll see me doing some core work with her…..for those of you that have met me you’l see that I wasn’t nearly so much the silver fox
back then….it was only 2007!

A you may of heard, she has had her fair share of injuries and knee surgery, but the one thing she did was work hard on her strength training.

Strength is the be all and end all for athletic potential…period!

What you do with that strength and how you turn that strength into ‘useable’athleticism is another story.

But start by being strong….if you don’t have a strength training element in you programme put one in now…you’ll thank me for it!

If you don’t already have one you can get a couple here www.alexpoole.tv/strength-programmes

 

The Bulgarians Get In On The Action!

In my last post I ran through the Romanian Dead Lift exercise and showed you the technique video for it.

Well today we’re going to see what the good old Bulgarians can teach us.

The Bulgarian Split Squat is one of those exercises that people use different terms to describe, some people call it the rear foot elevated split squat others the rear foot elevated single leg squat, do you know what, that just takes a lot of space on my programme sheet so B.Split.Sqt does it for me!

The reason it is such a good exercise is the fact that you are using only one leg at a time to do the majority of the work, whilst the other leg supports and helps balance you but does very little of the ‘pushing’.

It is very good for sports men and women and anyone wanting to become more athletic due to the carry over to sporting situations.

Check out the video below and give them a go!

Bulgarian Split Squats

 

 

What Do The Romanians Know??

For all those people who are unsure where Romania is, it’s a little (well fairly large compared to the UK) country in eastern Europe that has popularised a a very important lift.

I’m not talking elevators here, I’m talking exercises that are going to help elevate (do you like that one) your strength and power ability.

I talked last week about the importance of the ‘double knee bend’ in Olympic lifting, and to be honest before you start to learn the Olympic clean exercise you should really know how to complete the Romanian dead lift.

In fact it’s so important we view it as a per-requisite for Olympic lifting in my Olympic Lifting courses.

Check out the video below and hopefully you’ll see why this exercise is so important but more importantly you’ll see how to do it properly.

Romanian Dead Lift Technique

‘Explode’ Your Power & Athletic Potential

I see many people posting videos of  themselves doing Olympic lifting but there is one common mistake I see over and over again.

Well I actually see some utter rubbish out there both from amateurs and other professional coaches.

This one simple change in your technique will give you the  ‘power’ to explode your athletic ability in so many activities.

Especially things like vertical jumps, acceleration and  you guessed it your Olympic lifts like the Snatch and the Clean.

What is this one under coached element…

…it’s called the ‘Double Knee Bend’

Watch the Double Knee Bend video below…the audio is a bit dodgy at points, plus I think the lens got a bit steamed up!

Just beacuse you can…doesn’t mean you should!

You know what fads have come and gone but there is one gym fashion I never understood…

It was 1998 and I’d just started training clients…I’d had a call from a new client saying she would like to train with me.

So we met at the gym for a chat and she arrived (having dropped her kids at school) wearing a bra top and tight full length leggings….…but with a bright lime green g-string on top!

 

You know the saying “just because you can doesn’t mean you should!!”

Believe me she was not the right person to be putting out that look…give her credit she had some balls….

….well she didn’t actually have balls, there wasn’t anywhere she could hide them in that get up!

But here’s my point, just because you see an athlete doing a certain exercise it doesn’t mean YOU should be doing it.

What most people forget is that an athlete has usually been doing a certain level of training for years and they have conditioned their body to do that exercise.  You need to condition your body to deal with the stress and strain you are about to place upon it with these types of ‘athletic’ movements.

Jumping straight in to do these doesn’t make sense…especially not to the body, and the body is far smarter than you are!

It usually ends in injury…a period of no training, which in turn leads to the body becoming de-conditioned.  If you then try and jump back in at that level again, you’ll be on a downward spiral that is hard to get out of.

So what’s the answer?

Use your brain…think logically, you need to work up to this type of training.

Olympic lifting has become really popular recently and that’s great, especially as I teach other fit pros courses in it, but what I teach on the course is that your client has to be able to pass some ‘prerequisite’ exercises before they start with Olympic style exercises.

For instance, if you can’t overhead squat then you shouldn’t try doing snatches!

Be smart, your body will thank you for it in the end!

 

White Men Can’t Jump

Wesley Snipes certainly showed Woody Harrelson up in that 1992 film….wow is it 21 years old!

It has been well reported in the literature that doing Olympic lifting is one of the best ways of improving your vertical jump and therefore if you play a sport that involves vertical propulsion then you should partake in at least some Olympic lifting.

Just check out this video below, Olympic lifter versus long jumper (who have pretty good vertical height in their jumps) versus free runner.

Study after study has indicated that Olympic lifting is probably the best way to enhance your vertical jump ability and not only that but your ability to sprint and accelerate.

So not only will Olympic lifting make you a better athlete in sports with a dominance of vertical work (basketball, volleyball etc) but it will make you quicker and accelerate faster….it’s a simple way of improving your athletic ability and it’s fun too….I like it in particular because there is a skill element to learn.

If you’d like to learn how to use the Olympic lifts to become a better athlete then check out my starting programme 29 day Power Clean Mastery **Click Here**

Over-Training v Extended Sessions

My friend and natural physique competitor Ian Graham asked a great question on facebook the other day.

Ian’s question -

If training less frequently and for shorter periods of time is generally referred to as the MINIMAL DOSAGE EFFECT, is over-training or training for longer durations of time and more frequently considered over-dosing?

Personally I don’t think so. If training is the MEDICATION, then we need to look at the condition being treated and select the correct strength dosage (intensity range), the frequency the medication (training) is being used and choose the appropriate dosage amount (volume).

This will come down to looking at each person individually, as well as their current condition, their “MEDICATION” history, their goals, lifestyle, etc and then we can go from there and properly advise how to administer the MEDICATION!

Thoughts??? I have a lot of knowledgable trainers on here, so I expect some solid contributions on this one!

My Response -

I think that there is a difference between over-training and training for longer durations. Over-training manifests its self with signs and symptoms that are negative to the development of the body. Where as longer duration training is just a different type of stimulus. It also depends upon how much volume you do in that extended period.

For instance the Bulgarian Olympic lifting team used to train for 6-7 hours in one go, however that is only because they considered a rest of 30 minutes or less as being the same session. Plus they were doing 1-3 reps, 7 sets in 30-45 mins so their rest between sets was quite large.

If you look at the training that a Tour de France athlete has to do, it might be considered over-training for some but necessary to adapt the body to that level of stress for others.

I definitely think that in people who haven’t steadily increased their training volume over years i.e. people who overreach and go from low to high volume with out a transitionary process, are at risk of over-training.

But as you say it really depends on the individual, their current training history/level, their previous levels and what state their hormonal profiles are in, whether they are getting enough correct sleep and nutrition to recover from said sessions.

My personal belief is that unless you are a pro athlete who can be monitored by top level medics/coaches or an individual training for a specific endurance event then you probably have no right trying to do it to your self….at what point does the law of diminishing returns kick in?

Sign Up for Ongoing Support

I’m streamlining all my emails and information that I’m sharing with people so if you’d like to receive more info from me then I am only really focusing on two groups from now on:

1. If you’re a Fitness Pro and want up to date info and cutting edge training techniques.

2. If you are an Athlete (or want to be more Athletic) and want to increase Strength, Speed & Power.

That’s all I’m doing from now on, no fat loss, no general fitness and muscle building…..sorry, if that’s what you want, I’m no longer your man!!

Best wishes
Alex