Home Posts tagged "Weight Lifting Program" (Page 2)

Stuff You Should Read: 7/28/10

Here is this week's list of recommended reading: Push-ups for Baseball Pitchers - The why, how, and when. The Truth About Leg Extensions - I just remember this article being really fun to write - mostly because I knew I'd get a lot of hate mail about it.  I was right about that. Simple Asymmetry Fixes - It might be easier than you think! Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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A More Than Satisfied Female Customer

I have to admit: when I first saw this subject line for an email, my mind was a bit in the gutter! However, as it turns out, it was an awesome review of the Maximum Strength program from a female exercise enthusiast who had undertaken the program from start to finish.  Check out what she had to say: "My name is Alison Minton, I'm a 25 year old 'recreational' lifter.  I was given your book, Maximum Strength, about 5 months ago by a friend at my gym (who happens to be one of your guniea pigs for your next project).  I just finished the program today and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.  A little background: former avid runner, sidelined by unsuccessful bilateral fasciotomies for compartment syndrome in my lower legs 3 years ago, which lead me to really hit the weights.  My workout routines were getting pretty stale in the last year or so and I was getting frustrated and bored from circuit after circuit of moderately heaving lifting.  I had exhausted everything I knew from years of reading about fitness/running/lifting and realized every female fitness magazine I received was going straight to the trash.   I begged my friend at the gym for help and he gave me your book for guidance.  I've since read your and Tony Gentilcore's blogs religiously! "I know you have gotten tons of very well deserved feedback by satisfied guys who have read the book/complete the program.  I wanted to write to you because when I was thinking about starting it, I searched high and low for any information about women doing the program, and I found very minimal material in the way of feedback, tips or special considerations (if there even are any).  Even after that, I figured, what the heck, if some random guy at the gym can do this, then so can I!  So, I had my friend help me with packing day and the rest is history!  I absolutely loved the program, stuck to it like glue and got some decent results: Broad Jump: 72 inches --> 78 inches Bench Press: 100 lbs --> 115 lbs 3 RM Chin Up: BW + 7.5 lbs --> BW+17.5 lbs Deadlift: 175 lbs--> 190 lbs Box Squat: 130 lbs --> 135 lbs "I would loved to see the DL and squat go up a little more, but I did do a bit more cardio than prescribed (in the form of sprints and technique workouts, mostly) and wonder if that hindered me a bit.  My body composition also changed significantly for the better and my before and after pics totally rocked. "Just wanted to tell you that as a female 'lifter' I loved your program and the ideas/concepts that come out of the CP team blogs.  I would LOVE to see a little more encouragement to all the ladies out there!  It didn't intimidate me to find minimal feedback regarding women attempting Maximum Strength, but some women need a little more persuasion to get over the apprehension of starting a program in a book geared towards men. "Definitely looking forwards to your next book/program!  Thanks again!" -Alison Minton

Click here to purchase your copy of Maximum Strength for just $18.95.

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Stuff You Should Read: 7/12/10

Here's this week's list of recommended reading from the EricCressey.com archives: The Proactive Patient - This is still, in my eyes, one of the best articles I've ever written. The 315 Deadlift Fiasco - This article, on the other hand, pissed a few people off.  There were good lessons to be learned, though. Why I Don't Like the 5x5 Workout - While the classic 5x5 set and rep scheme certainly has its place in some strength training programs, it definitely has its limitations. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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What Could a One-Time Consultation at Cressey Performance do for You?

At Cressey Performance, we regularly have visitors in town for One-Time Consultations.  Ronell Smith came to us in December of 2009 and was kind enough to share the following feedback regarding his experience. "The term genius is thrown around far too loosely in every field. But to say that Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore are geniuses of the strength training and performance enhancement game is an understatement. I'm proof that their programming and philosophy are magical. "Before discovering Eric and CP, I was a 30-something desk jockey whose main concern was being lean while developing bigger arms and a solid chest. High reps and medium weights, however, were getting me nowhere. But after spending an entire weekend reading Eric's articles on tmuscle.com, I saw the light with his philosophy: Get strong first, and all of my other goals will fall into place. "It made perfect sense. I knew then that Eric was the guy I wanted to design my program. "The two days I spent at CP forever opened my eyes. I learned to stop working out and start training, realized what true intensity meant, and the staff helped me shore up (more like overhaul) the technique on all of my major lifts. "I arrived at CP a 6'5", 204-pound weakling with a ton of structural issues; I left  knowledgeable and confident that I could reach my goals, thanks in part to Eric's "focus on what people can do, not what they can't do" approach. "In the few short months since that initial visit, I've been blown away by the progress that Eric's programming has provided. My deadlift and squat are up over 100 pounds, my max-rep pull-ups have gone from zero to eight and my bench is up 33 percent. (See? Magic!) "Most important, however, my posture is no longer Neanderthalish, I'm stronger, faster and leaner than I've ever been, and trainers ask me who designs my workout. Not to mention, I feel healthier overall and have the added mobility and stability as proof. "Before CP, I've never considered being an online client. But these guys are prompt in answering my questions-and there are many - consistent in providing feedback, including positive reinforcement, and are incredibly easy to work with and fun. "I've spent hundreds of hours reading various coaches' training philosophies and programming - and have even tried several well-known programs over the last year - but none gave me the results that Eric's has provided. "When friends ask how happy I am with my 'personal trainer,' I say two things: (a) What Eric and Tony do is more "life changing" than training and (b) CP is the only facility on earth that I would trust to create my programming."
Ronell Smith Orlando, FL Click here for more information on one-time consultations at Cressey Performance.
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Stuff You Should Read: 7/6/10

In continuing with last week's trend of "reincarnating" good stuff from the EricCressey.com archives, here is some old, but once-again-new flavor for you. Who Needs Percentages? - This blog discusses why I don't think that using a ton of percentages in your training is a good idea - even if it does have its place here and there. The Art of the Deload - In the percentages blog, I referenced my e-book, The Art of the Deload.  As I think about it, this resource really flew under the radar.  Not to toot my own horn, but I think that at just $12.99, it's a tremendous value that just about everyone would be wise to read.  Effectively, it gives you the information you need to modify programs to fit your needs based on a number of factors (age, training history, etc.).

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The Great Eight Reasons for Basketball Mobility Training - Here's a little background on the difference between mobility and stability, plus a rationale for the inclusion of both in this remarkably underserved (and sometimes uninterested!) population.
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The Lifting Heavy Stuff Registry

As many of you probably already know, I'll be getting married this October.  And, as part of wedding preparations, my fiancee, Anna, and I (well, mostly her) are pulling together our wedding registry.  In fact, as part of our 4th of July trip, we'll be spending some quality time at Macy's picking out a bunch of random stuff that will likely collect dust in the back of cabinets until the day arrives that we opt to use them at my "I got my AARP card today" celebration banquet.  We're also registered at Crate & Barrel, Chuck 'E Cheese, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond (I'm hoping to get some of the Beyond - as you'll see here). To be very honest, June was a super busy month at Cressey Performance, and July will undoubtedly be our busiest ever.  So, the other night, when Anna started peppering me with questions about what I wanted to add to the registry, I really didn't have the brain power in reserves to make a valid contribution to the discussion.  As such, I'll probably just be getting wooden spoons and this framed, inspirational piece for the entryway to greet all our visitors and make them feel special.

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Noticing my not-so-unintentional apathy, Anna joked that it'd be a piece of cake if there was a way to register at Perform Better (or anywhere else) and just ask for training goodies for the gym - and that's when the wheels started turning.  At the very least, I figured it'd give us some blog content and reader-writer interaction as we head into the weekend. I know I'd get myself some heavier dumbbells - maybe a pair of 110- and 120-pounders - and a Buffalo bar. If you had a "lifting heavy stuff registry," what would you add to it?  Bands and chains?  A sled?  Books/DVDs? A Diamond Dave's Ninja School instructional video?

Tupperware and spice racks?  "No says I!"

Let's hear some suggestions in the comments section below.  And, until next time, have a great holiday weekend and "don't go ninja-ing nobody that don't need ninja-ing!"

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Stuff You Should Read: 6/28/10

I just got back from Chicago yesterday, and am playing a bit of catch-up, so I don't have time to write much today.  However, as I was tinkering with a formatting issue on the site last night, I realized that I now have almost four years worth of archives - and that many readers haven't seen a lot of that older work of mine.  So, I think I'll be using my reading recommendations for the next few weeks as a way of bringing older (but still applicable) material back to the forefront. How to Progress Back to Deadlifting after a Back Injury - Here's a step-by-step progression we've used quite a bit with excellent success. Bench Pressing with the Feet Up? - Not a good idea.  Here's why. Lifestyle Checklists - Here's a quick strategy for getting people adherent to training and nutrition practices. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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Stuff You Should Read: 6/17/10

Here are a few blogs/articles you might want to read over: A Quick Fix for Painful Push-ups - This one comes from the EricCressey.com archives; I was reminded of it by a reader inquiry yesterday and thought I'd bring it back to the forefront, as it's valuable information. Adapting Vertical Pulls - Here's an innovative idea from Bill Hartman.  I tried it out, and it seems to work pretty well.  We'll be experimenting with it more with our new clients with shoulder pain moving forward. Jays' Odd Couple are a Mound of Trouble - This is a great - and entertaining - article about CP athlete and Blue Jays prospect Tim Collins and his teammate Trystan Magnuson. Please enter your email below to sign up for our FREE newsletter.
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Floor Press vs. Pin Press vs. Board Press

Q: I would like to know what the main differences are between floor presses and pin presses in the power rack, obviously with the same range of movement. Usually, in talking about injury at the shoulders, the advice is to drop full range of motion in the bench press in favor of floor press; does the pin press in the power rack - starting around middle point - accomplish the same thing? In a strength program for a healthy individuals, do these two similar movements have same utility? A: My experience with the pin press is that it is not as effective as a floor press or board press because the lifter isn't in a good position to appropriately "set" the scapular stabilizers to lock the shoulder blades down and back.  As a result, the lifter tends to shrug up - which allows the shoulder blades to anteriorly tilt - which can exacerbate the shoulder impingement that may already be occurring. Moreover, I believe that it is important to have a lifter lower the bar, as opposed to starting from a dead-stop.  This way, we not only teach eccentric control of the muscles acting at the shoulder girdle, but we also train the movement by learning the appropriate bar path.  Considering the number of individuals who take the bar too high on the chest and let the elbows flare out when benching, I think it's important to use movements like board presses and floor presses in lieu of the pin press.  Otherwise, we won't get rid of clowns like this.

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That said, generally speaking, I prefer board presses first, followed by floor presses, and then (if at all) pin presses.  These, of course, come much later than push-up variations and (usually) dumbbell exercises.

For more information on the specific return-to-pressing progressions that we use with the athletes and clients we see with shoulder impingement, AC joint issues, and a host of other shoulder conditions, check out the Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD Set.

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29 Reasons to Smile

I turn 29 today. And, while a lot of people look at birthdays as a reason to feel badly about getting old, I like to think of them as a reason to reflect on the cool stuff that's happened in the past year.  Or, at the very least, I look at a birthday as good blog content!  So, without further ado, here are 29 reasons I'm smiling on my 29th birthday. 1. I'm still not as old as Tony! (okay, that was wrong). 2.  Several of our high school athletes have gone off to college and been among the strongest (if not the strongest) in the weight room.  The really rewarding aspect of it, though, is that they have an appreciation for the fact that it isn't just about strength; it's about combining that strength with a host of other factors - flexibility, soft tissue quality, etc. - to stay healthy.  I just love that they are informed consumers and advocates for themselves. 3. Lincoln-Sudbury Baseball has been #1 in the state, according to the Boston Globe Rankings. We train over 30 players who are currently in the LS program, plus quite a few younger guys and LS alumni. 4. Along those lines, LS junior Carl Anderson was batting .500 with 6HR and 21 RBIs through the first 11 games.  He was also 4-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 25K in 18 innings pitched. 5.

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Enough said.

6. A reader sent me a great article in response to my Is Pitching Velocity Really that Important? Blog: Change-up has become Great Equalizer.  Awesome article! 7. CP athlete and Toronto Blue Jays prospect Tim Collins has 32 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched.  Opponents are hitting just .206 against him.  He also made a surprise cameo in the office at CP the other day on his only off-day of the month and hung out for the whole afternoon.  Tim, one of our college prospects, and I all went over to watch a high school game in which a lot of our guys were playing.  It's pretty cool to see pro and college ballplayers coming back to watch high school kids' games when it's usually the other way around!  It makes me really proud of the camaraderie we've built among all our clients at Cressey Performance. 8. A buddy of mine is involved with Humblecock clothing (www.humblecock.com), so he sent me some free goodies.  I like this stuff!  I passed out a few samples to my pro guys and they loved it. 9. Brian St. Pierre, our first employee at Cressey Performance, is unfortunately leaving us at the end of this week as he returns to school to do his master's degree.  While we're really bummed to be losing him, I can say that I'm really proud of how tremendous a job he's done for us since early 2008, when we first hired him.  He's improved tremendously as a coach and really turned himself into an industry leader (actually just had his first article published at T-Muscle HERE).  It's funny how good things happen for great people who work hard.  Check him out at BrianStPierreTraining.com. 10. Recently, a local scout informed me that the Massachusetts baseball class of 2011 was ranked as the 5th best in the country.  In other words, our juniors here in little ol' Massachusetts are competing with the likes of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina - where the populations are not only bigger, but they can also play baseball year-round.  Whoever said that early sports specialization was necessary to compete with these big dogs doesn't understand development at all.  While the Southern boys are having Tommy Johns and labral repairs in the winter, our guys are training their butts off and attacking things with a specific plan. The results?  At Cressey Performance alone, we have eight juniors verbally committed to play for Division 1 baseball programs - including Virginia, Vanderbilt, Boston College, and UCONN.  And, there should be at least a half-dozen more on that list by the time everyone signs national letters of intent this fall. 11. Head over to Amazon.com and check out the reviews on Maximum Strength HERE.  This sucker is getting more stars than an astronomy textbook!

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12. It gets even better than that.  In the next few months, I'll release a new product that'll blow the doors off of what I did with Maximum Strength.  If you liked Maximum Strength, you'll LOVE this one.  Subscribe to my newsletter at the right of this screen to be among the first notified. 13. Awesome!

By the way, when I was watching this video on YouTube, one of the recommended videos was Will Ferrell's 2003 Harvard Commencement speech.  It is absolutely hilarious; talk about a way to make a graduation actually interesting!

14. In the past few months, I've gotten invitations to present in both St. Thomas and South Africa.  For those of you who prefer visual representations of how sweet this is, please take note (respectively):

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We still have to plan our honeymoon soon as well, so it's going to be a very sunny year for a couple of Bostonians!

15. It's getting to be that time of year when pitchers come in and act all surprised that they are hitting homeruns now.  It just goes to show you that when you get more athletic, a lot of things fall into place - and not just in terms of pitching!  Rotational power is rotational power; the hitting just requires more hand-eye coordination. 16. I've got my own office now!  Unfortunately, it's still buried under boxes and clutter from the move, but it is nice to know that I have a little bit more organization coming to my life soon!

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17. I am pretty darn proud of the Cressey Performance website.  It's a huge improvement from our old one, and I'm psyched to have an online presence that reflects how much hard work we put into making CP a special place to train. 18. CP athlete and San Diego Padres prospect Will Inman has a 3.03 ERA through 38.2 innings pitched in AAA.  Opponents are hitting just .221 against him.  For those who aren't familiar with the Pacific Coast League, this is the single-hardest league in which one can pitch at any level of professional baseball.  There are small ballparks and insane winds that turn pop-ups into 450-foot HRs.  Will is doing awesome and we're all really happy for him; it's a lot of hard work rewarded. 19. This one really cracks me up.  We uploaded this video of CP athlete Sahil Bloom back in October of 2007, and it's become the second most popular of all-time.  The funniest part is all the 13-year-olds arguing in the comments section about how this is "just good for football players" and how they all throw 97mph at age 13.

The funniest part is that Sahil is now pitching consistently over 90mph - and doing so at Stanford.  He's 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA through six outings in his freshman year. It's amazing that he's had this success just "training for football!"

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20. The past year has brought some collaborative efforts for me that have been absolutely tremendous in not only enhancing my productivity, but also educating me (and my readers/customers).  Matt Blake has brought a great new dimension to Cressey Performance with his pitching instruction and video analysis, and to EricCressey.com with his blog contributions.  Nate Tiplady has been a huge addition to our programs with the Graston and ART services he provides to our clients.  It was also great to collaborate with both Mike Reinold and Bill Hartman on projects for the first time, with Optimal Shoulder Performance and Assess & Correct, respectively. At the end of the day, you are only as strong as your network, so I'd encourage you all to seek out collaborative efforts with other professionals who complement your skill set as well. 21. Slacker.com.  This thing is an awesome source for music; I listen to it all the time when I'm at the computer writing programs. 22. Just got this feedback from a very happy Optimal Shoulder Performance customer: "Awesome job on the Optimal Shoulder Performance DVDs with Reinold. I just finished watching them this past weekend (I need to get a life) and I found them extremely educational and helpful. I really thought the information you both provided complimented each other well. There were some variations to some movements that I will definitely be implementing into some of my programs." While the financial side of things with product sales is nice, the thing that I actually enjoy the most is knowing that the information we're putting out is helping people to improve their bodies and stay out of pain.  It's even better when I know it is helping a fellow fitness professional or some rehabilitation specialist, as it means that they're taking that knowledge to help more people beyond just themselves.  At the end of my career, I really want to be known most for the always putting my athletes first and always doing my best to contribute to the body of knowledge.

Click here for more information on Optimal Shoulder Performance.

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23. On Tuesday morning, I had an absolutely terrible training session.  I felt weak the entire time, and couldn't even stomach a shake post-training.  About an hour later, every joint in my body hurt and I had a raging headache.  That night, I was in bed early and was pouring sweat in my sleep. I almost never get sick.  We are taking once every 3-4 years.  My attendance is so good at work that my business partner, Pete, has to force me to take days off.  Surely, there is something to the idea that regular exercise and proper diet reduces one's likelihood of getting sick - and this is certainly demonstrated in the reduced absenteeism Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling a ton better.  It turned out to be a really productive day.  This little experience reminds me that taking care of your body doesn't just prevent you from getting sick; it also helps you to bounce back quickly when the unavoidable illness happens. 24. CP athlete Danny O'Connor looks to run his professional boxing record to 12-0 this weekend at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.  A huge CP contingent will be out to support him.  Danny works his butt off five days a week at CP in addition to all his boxing training, and deserves all the success that comes to him.

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25. Chris Howard is the newest addition to the Cressey Performance staff, and we're excited to have him on board.  A former CP intern, Chris went on to massage therapy school and is now a LMT - on top of his CSCS and master's degree in nutrition.  Needless to say, we're lucky to have a guy who brings so much versatility to our facility. I especially like Chris right now because he's motivated me to brush up on my anatomy knowledge since he just retook it all in school! 26. Bill Hartman is in town for a seminar at Northeastern this weekend, so it'll be a nice birthday present to catch up with him.  He's joining us at CP today for the day.  His blog is always full of good stuff, but chatting with him in person is even better! 27. Tony Gentilcore wrote a great two-part series called "It All Starts in the Kitchen."  There are some great tips in there for those of you who might struggle on the diet side of things.   Check out Part 1 and Part 2. 28. One of our pro baseball guys told me to check out the "Baseball Made Easy" series on YouTube, and it's absolutely hilarious.  Check a few of them out:

29. I already knew I had the greatest girl in the world, but when she took me to a Sox game last night for my birthday for the third year in a row, I was reminded once again!  Here we were last year - when I had more hair.

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LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
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