Home Posts tagged "Weight Training" (Page 2)

FFL Week 6: Not Even Worth Discussing

My fantasy football team was beyond bad this week, scoring a whopping 73 points. I'm trading all of them away for a bag of beef jerky, a car wash, and Joseph Addai's soul (for getting injured after only two carries). Congrats to Brian on a good win - but moving on to something more uplifting: military men getting strong halfway across the world. I just received this feedback from a US soldier deployed to Iraq: “Eric, I finished you Maximum Strength Program, and wanted to give you my Packing and Moving Day numbers. My numbers aren't as good as I would like, though. I got sent to Kuwait for eleven days and was working 15 to 18 hours a day five days, with one day of rest before Moving Day. Here are the numbers: Body Weight: 176lbs to 181lbs (+5lbs) Broad Jump: 82” to 91” (+11”) Box Squat: 385lbs to 440lbs (+55lbs) Bench Press: 295lbs to 315lbs (+20lbs) Deadlift: 335lbs to 375lbs (+40lbs) Chin-up: BW+115lbs to BW +135lbs (+25lbs)* "Thanks for the program I'm pleased with the results, but I probably could have done better if I were in Baghdad and not in Kuwait. I can't wait for your next book. Thanks again. Rob” Thank YOU for what you're doing, Rob. Me writing a book pales in comparison to the efforts guys like you are putting in overseas.
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Maximum Strength and Interval Training

Q: I do intervals as part of hockey training, which is basically year-round – but especially now in pre-season. In Maximum Strength, you use a pattern of high-medium-very.high-low training stress for weeks 1-4. Would the interference with intervals that you talk about decrease if I do interval work mainly during the medium and low intensity weeks? What is your experience? A: I certainly wouldn't increase the volume of the intervals during the medium and low-intensity weeks. If you do, you simply negate the effects of the deloading period; it’s still stress on your body. Instead, I'd just keep the interval work constant and make all your training stress fluctuations occur within your weight training. That said, interval training isn’t necessary year-round if you are a hockey player. Check out my Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual for more information on that front.
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Random Friday Thoughts: 10/3/08

1. I took Thursday off from blogging. I typically do HIB (high-intensity-blogging), so sometimes it wipes out my CNS and I need 48 hours between blogging sessions. While the "blog deload" was not featured in my Art of the Deload e-book, it is an important consideration in any blogging athlete's program. 2. Truth be told, things were really hectic in the life of EC with the introduction of the new e-book. Additionally, it was an overall busy day at Cressey Performance. For those of you who aren't familiar with CP, it's the facility I co-founded to fulfill my lifelong dream of having my name on a t-shirt. 3. I just confirmed that I'll be presenting at the Major League Strength Coaches Performance Clinic in West Islip, NY on November 8-9. If you train or rehabilitation baseball players, you definitely need to check this event out. For more information, CLICK HERE. 4. The good thing about being busy is that I don't actually have time to contemplate how hopelessly mind-numbing PETA's actions are at times. Seriously, they actually wrote Ben & Jerry's a letter insisting that they switch to breast milk for their ice cream. Once they get some confidence, I'm pretty sure they'll make a pitch to have cookies 'n cream and Reese's Pieces surgically inserted into the providing mothers' fun-bags. I haven't had ice cream since high school, and while I do crave it at times, the thought of munching on frozen ta-ta juice just doesn't make me want to revert to my old ways. 5. My grandparents celebrated the 60th anniversary of their engagement on Wednesday. Unlike putting breast milk in ice cream, this is an awesome accomplishment, folks. Talk about the two ends of the human emotion continuum... 6. In the quote of the week, Danny (CP client on Warp Speed Fat Loss) checks in with: "I find myself watching Bear Grylls - the guy on 'Man vs. Wild' - and instead of merely being fascinated with his ability to stomach eating a raw sheep's heart that he just cut out (or skunk loins he seared) - I am kind of wondering how it tastes and how it would fit into my meal plan. This is ridiculous." Incidentally, if you ask me, they both sound tastier than breast milk ice cream. 7. Check out this great post from Tony Gentilcore on the women of Cressey Performance. Tony will continue to live vicariously through each of them until he gets his first 135-pound bench. 8. Mike Robertson is in town this weekend to do some scheming, lift some heavy stuff, and check out a seminar up in Andover with me. 9. I have some video clips to upload, but I've got a bunch of stuff to do, you'll just have to settle for the greatest sportscaster of all time. BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!
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Detailed Review of Maximum Strength

I just got an extremely thorough review back from a happy Maximum Strength customer. Check it out for yourself! Hi Eric, First of all, a big thank you for writing Maximum Strength. It is an awesome book and money well spent. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to get bigger, stronger and faster. Improvements [note from EC: weights are converted from kilograms): Broad Jump increased 12” from 93.5” to 105.5” Box Squat increased 55 pounds from 297 to 352. Bench Press increased 50 pounds from 220 pounds to 270 pounds Deadlift increased 22 pounds from 462 to 484 3RM chin-up increased 22 pounds from BW+44 to BW+66 (BW was unchanged) I could write a book on my verdict of the whole program, but I've just got back from Testing day at the gym and I'm shattered. The biggest thing the program showed me was that I had not been training hard enough. The training sessions in Maximum Strength were brutal and longer than I was used to prior to doing the program. My whole attitude changed. I now always dig deeper and push myself to the limit. This brings me to another interesting point. I cannot over emphasize how important the deload weeks proved to be for me. I found that midway through the third week of each cycle, I was hammered and by week 4, my enthusiasm was nil. However, after the deload week I was always firing on all cylinders and raring to go for the first week of the next phase. I understand everyone is different, but three hard weeks followed by one easy seems to work great for me. Needless to say, great product! I am ecstatic with my results and there will be more to come. Thanks, Elliot Newman Leeds, United Kingdom Find out more about Maximum Strength here.
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Random Thursday Thoughts: 9/17/08

We are publishing this on Thursday night again, as I am going to be up early tomorrow to train, do an evaluation on a pro baseball pitcher who is in town from South Carolina, and then hit the road to get to Stamford, CT in time to speak on a roundtable at Ryan Lee’s Bootcamp. I’m looking forward to a great weekend and catching up with plenty of friends in the industry – including Mike Roussell and Alwyn Cosgrove, which leads me to… 1. For those who missed it, it isn’t too late to get the EricCressey.com subscriber-only discount on Warp Speed Fat Loss. Check out this week's newsletter for more details – or just head over to pick up a discounted copy through the following link (coupon code is embedded already): Warp Speed Fat Loss 2. Still overpriced and lame. 3. Alan Aragon had a great article published at T-Nation yesterday. Definitely check it out: A Musclehead’s Guide to Alcohol 4. Anyone who can find me a good study that shows that you can isolate the vastus medialis effectively gets a gold star. If you want to save yourself a few days of frustrating Pubmed searching, you’ll give up now, because you aren’t going to find it. 5. Someone asked what I thought the best substitute for front squats would be in the Maximum Strength program if one didn’t have access to a power rack. I’d probably go with walking dumbbell lunges – mostly because it’d be funny to see someone do clusters with lunges! For the record, that was a joke, folks; lunge clusters would be stupid. 6. Some researchers say that we all would die of heart disease eventually if we “outlasted” everything else. I, on the other hand, would likely die from the monotony and pure frustration of trying to explain to baseball players and coaches why distance running is stupid. To tack a few years onto my life, please do me a favor; if you are a baseball player or coach, you need to read these two articles – and then forward them on to everyone you know who also plays or coaches. Part 1 Part 2 7. Someone asked me the other day if I thought all problems were related to anterior pelvic tilt. While it’s a big problem in athletes, I would not attribute any of the following problems to anterior pelvic tilt: gonorrhea, shingles, global warming, diarrhea, traffic jams, or that annoying cashier at Trader Joe’s who always insists on commenting on how I’m buying a lot of eggs. I do hope that bastard’s hip flexors are tight, though; he rubs me the wrong way. Michelle would probably kill him for a stupid comment like that. 8. I’ll be introducing a new product next week. While many of you might be disappointed that it won’t be the 2009 Mike Robertson Pin-up Calendar (March is the Funky Knee Surgery Scar Month; it drives the ladies wild), I’m sure you’ll be delighted with the content. This is absolutely, positively, a must-read for all personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. And, I suspect that a lot of you everyday gym-goers will like the content as well. If you aren’t already signed up for my free newsletter, sign up using the opt-in feature to the top-right of your screen (Name and Email Address) and you’ll be among the first to know. Have a great weekend, folks!
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Just One Missing Piece…

Each day, on my drive to work, I pass a series of traffic lights right where Rt. 16 in Somerville/Cambridge enters into Rt. 2, a pretty major pseudo-expressway here in Greater Boston. Without fail, at each traffic light, homeless folks will pace alongside stopped traffic with a cup in hand, asking for change (I'd say it's competitive among all of them, but the truth is that they seem to have a system mapped out, as there is always someone new on each corner daily). The locals have grown accustomed to it, and judging by the fact that these folks are there year-round, they make enough to get by. The other day, a gentlemen strolled past my car while I was stopped at a red light. He had the normal sign ("Homeless, Sober, God Bless") and the customary Dunkin' Donuts cup for change collection. However, he was also wearing a Yankees hat in the heart of Red Sox country - and in an area of knowledgeable/perceptive people (Harvard and Tufts are within a few miles of this spot, as a frame of reference). That hat couldn't be helping his cause... Here was a guy doing almost everything right (well, at least in the context of being homeless and asking for change), but he was missing out on a single crucial piece of the puzzle. It isn't all that different from most folks' fitness programs. You'll see people all the time have all sorts of stuff right: plenty of motivation, a good diet, a great training environment, top-of-the-line equipment, you name it. Then, they're missing out on something seemingly small, but hugely important. Maybe their back hurts because they're wearing cross-trainers when they deadlift (shifts the weight forward too much). Or, maybe they haven't implemented strategic deloading effectively, and are all banged-up or have hit a plateau. It might be poor exercise selection, too much or too little volume, or poor exercise technique. It's analogous to spending hours trying to figure out how to do your own taxes, and then overlooking a huge deduction you could have written off. You not only have to consider that you have physically lost money (the extra cash you paid to Uncle Sam would be your injuries and/or lack of progress); you also have to recognize the opportunity cost of your time doing taxes (efforts in the gym that didn't pay off). It would have been cheaper and more fruitful to just hire an accountant in the first place - just like you'd see a lawyer if you needed a contract, or a doctor if you needed surgery. For some reason, though, people have been conditioned to think that they can figure out exercise on their own. Just getting active is similar to understanding how to balance your checkbook. However, exercising safely, effectively, and efficiently is more along the lines of filing a tax return when you're self-employed with three ex-wives, 14 kids, and two company cars you want to write off (that's not me, for the record; I don't even have a goldfish, let alone 14 kids). What I'm saying in a not-so-concise format is that it's okay to outsource here and there. For a long time, I refused to put out articles and books/manuals that featured comprehensive programming, as I was all about how things need to be perfect for each individual. Eventually, though, after a lot of requests from readers, I broke down and found a happy medium when I wrote my Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual; it is a choose-your-own-adventure type of book where you tested yourself on some athletic qualities and then followed one of two programs depending on the time of year. The feedback was fantastic, and I realized that a lot of people were better off with an educated generic template than they were coming up with their own programs. That's why I was open to the idea of writing Maximum Strength when my co-author Matt Fitzgerald approached me with the idea. Effectively, we integrate comprehensive strength training, mobility/activation warm-ups, energy systems work, deloading, nutrition, supplementation, and quantifiable pre- and post-testing measures. For the majority of folks, these programs - with some minor modifications - do the trick. For others, more advanced strategies are necessary. Some folks see personal trainers, physical therapists, or orthopedists. I do a lot of online consulting work in the corrective exercise realm, helping folks who have chronic aches and pains that don't necessarily qualify them for physical therapy because they don't interfere with activities of daily living, but do act up with weight-training or sprinting, for example. I also work with a lot of folks who have just been discharged from physical therapy and need to figure out how to effectively transition back to "normal" training. So, with all this said, don't ever hesitate to outsource. Chances are there are people who outsource to YOU because you're an expert in some capacity where they need help.
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Random Friday Thoughts: 8/29/08

1. As you probably know, I haven't been updating here quite as frequently of late, but fortunately, it's with good reason. The summer's winding down, so we've been getting our fall schedule all squared away with the high school guys - plus some local college guys at programs that don't have organized S&C programs. Additionally, all of our minor leaguers are in the final few days of their seasons right now, so coordinating with them and a few agents has been a priority right now. Fortunately, though, there are also some exciting things in store for this blog... 2. Basically, we're going to be combining EricCressey.com with EricCressey.Blogspot.com. So, my blog will be available directly from EricCressey.com. In the process, we have to transfer a ton of content - but the good news is that the finished product will look a lot more professional and organized when all is said and done. In the meantime, thanks for your patience as we make this switch. 3. I was chatting yesterday with Doug Carroll, a great hitting coach with whom we work. Doug played professional baseball to a very high level in both the Mariners and Devil Rays organizations. We both agreed that one thing you’ll notice in the majority of high level athletes is that they really don’t give a crap what anyone outside their family thinks of them. I think that if more people approached their lifting with this mindset, we’ve have a lot more people who were really big and strong. Interestingly, this closely parallels my approach to internet forums - and, thus far, ignoring what the haters say has been a great decision. 4. Never forget that you don’t have to leave the gym exhausted for the session to be considered productive. Take a 300-pound lineman and have him run five miles; he’ll be completely exhausted by the end of the session. He’ll also be slower, more likely to get injured, and definitely more likely to want to kick your teeth in. 5. Something you might not know: there are estrogen receptors on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that – along with several other factors – make females more susceptible to ACL ruptures. The cyclical nature of estrogen and progesterone markedly influences ACL strength via fibroblast activity – so at certain times of the month, the ACL is more likely to tear. The ACL may also be predisposed to dramatic mood swings that make everything your fault, fellas. 6. I had a new article published yesterday, in case you missed it: 5 More Common Technique Mistakes. 7. I got two separate bills from Comcast in the past two days for a total of over $314. Do you think they read my blog, or is their billing system simply as hopelessly inadequate as their customer service? 8. Someone asked me yesterday, "Are single-leg leg press a good unilateral leg exercise? I hate lunges." Sorry, dude; single-leg leg presses don't count for anything. 9. I'm working on a detailed write-up on my views on running for pitchers right now. I think it'll open a lot of eyes - if I ever get time to finish it! I also have a new e-book in the works that I think will open a lot of eyes. 10. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone.
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Maximum Strength and HIIT Sessions

Q: My question concerns the combination of your Maximum Strength program and HIIT workouts. Comments I have read by you indicate that HIIT training is detrimental to progress in your program. Could you explain why? Thanks for all that you do. A: Give this article a read; it should answer your questions: Of course, some things change if you are a guy who is more focused on getting lean, maintaining/improving cardiovascular fitness, or conditioning for a particular sport that warrants a lot of interval training. It's the give and take between maximal strength and performance in some other discipline. There are a lot of elite strength and power athletes who couldn't run a mile in under 12 minutes - or even finish a mile at all! These are the folks who either a) have to keep body fat levels in check with diet, lifting, and very low intensity supplemental activity or b) not worry about body fat levels much at all, as strength and power are the name of the game. For more information, check out Maximum Strength.
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Maximum Strength Review at the Fitcast

Hey Gang, Kevin Larrabee posted a really thorough review of Maximum Strength at The Fitcast. To pick up a copy of your own, head HERE.
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Random Friday Thoughts: 7/25/08

It's that day of the week again, folks. Here we go... 1. Last night, Dan Toledano hit a 405 bench - his first 400+ pound bench. Congratulations, Dan. If you keep this up, you might actually get around to kicking that Star Trek fetish and meeting a girl who has all her teeth and is interested in your for more than just your Jedi Gym training background: 2. Speaking of bench presses, I got a question the other day about whether I thought that wrist wraps interfere with forearm hypertrophy. I doubt it, if you'd just using them to bench and possibly squat. For me, the benefit completely outweighs the cost, as the diameter of my wrists is right about six inches (that's small, folks). So, for me, the wraps allow me to stay healthy for the long haul - even they don't offer too much in terms of poundage increases. You can find some great wrist wraps at APT. 3. If you want to laugh like crazy - and don't mind the occasional rattling off of obscenities, here's a great blog from Cressey Performance client, Michelle Elwell. I could just post a hyperlink, but I'm not going to lie: the title is worth typing out: http://www.michellethinksyoureanasshole.blogspot.com Michelle is awesome - definitely one of our favorite clients. Yes, it's because we're afraid to not like her, but that's not the point. Read, laugh, and if you're one of the a**holes to which she's referring, clean up your act, a**hole. 4. There is some awesome feedback on some tremendous results from a Maximum Strength follower HERE. You can pick up a copy through my website. 5. Here is a great read about how saturated fat isn’t all that bad – and how low-carb diets outperform low-fat diets (again!). 6. Great quote from Mike Boyle: “Soft tissue work, whether for chronic muscle strains or for tendon issues, is like weight training. Treatment is actually a stimulus. In effect, what the therapist is doing is irritating the tissue to produce a chemical response. The chemicals produced are what begin the healing process. This why soft tissue work is often painful and can leave you feeling similar to a workout the next day. According to Dr. [Donnie] Strack, soft tissue mobilization (think massage) stimulates the formation of fibroblasts, which help take immature, and randomly aligned Type 3 collagen (found in tendinosis) and changes it back to a stronger, more parallel mature Type 1 collagen. In other words, massage changes the quality of the muscle fibers.” For those of you who don’t know, Mike Boyle heads up what is definitely one of the best information sources on the ‘net for those interested in strength and conditioning and fitness. They have a 14-day trial offer in place for just $1 – so I’d definitely recommend checking out StrengthCoach.com. You really don't have anything to lose. 7. I got my act together and organized all my baseball content in one place. You can check it out HERE. 8. As a surprise birthday present for my girlfriend, today, I’m taking her horseback riding*. She rode a lot when she was younger, and hasn’t been since she was a teenager. I, on the other hand, have never been on a horse, so it’s safe to assume that when I get on that critter, I’m totally screwed. I doubt that powerlifters and horses get along, so send some good vibes my way – and put in a vote for me for boyfriend of the month. *Honey, if you actually read my blog, you could stop asking me what the surprise is by now. Don’t worry, though; if I had to put up with me all the time, I probably wouldn’t read this blog, either. Have a great weekend, folks.
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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series