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Yellow-Jumpsuit
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive(9)

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:29 pm

PAGE 2 CONTENTS


10. KettleBells by Dousey

11. Why I Work Out When I Don’t Have Time To Work Out by BSW

12. All You Need for Conditioning is Your Legs by Strongmanmikebruce

13. Jefferson Isn't Dead by Strongmanmikebruce

14. Speed--An Article For The Fighter by Yellow-Jumpsuit

15. Grip Strength Class by Dave Lemanczyk

16. Weightlifting Belts by Multiple Members

17. Passion and Desire by Fitness_Freek

18. Shoulder Health by FeelGood and other members.
















KETTLEBELLS

By Dousey

Following is an article that was written as part of the accreditation process for level 2 Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association.

There are some pictures, a graph and some tables within the article that i have just not been able to successfully post here. If you wish to view the article in its entirety then it can be viewed at this link

http://sites.google.com/site/westernket ... ts-athlete" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Whilst the article reports on the benefits of kettlebell use for MMA athletes the information within can be applied by anyone to their own training

Its a long article but i think its worth the read. Any feedback welcomed

Anecdotal use of Ballistic Kettlebell Exercises in the Power Training of Mixed Martial Arts Athlete

This article examines the kettlebell drills we have adopted to improve the conditioning and more particularly the power of some of the MMA athletes training at South West Vale Tudo (Bunbury, Western Australia).

South West Vale Tudo has been operating for approximately 12 months. The club attracts amateur and professional combat athletes and general fitness enthusiasts. The age of the participants ranges from 14 to 40 and they all present with varying levels of fitness, skill and commitment.

A brief history of kettlebells is provided and the sport of MMA is surmised. With the focus of the article being on kettlebells and associated power benefits a review of strength qualities and their importance to the MMA athlete is presented.

Core kettlebell exercises from the ballistic set are reviewed in a textual and video format, enhancing the readers understanding of the drills described. The benefits of each of the lifts to the athlete are identified.

Finally, some examples of how kettlebells have been incorporated within the strength and conditioning program have been included as have the results of the testing that has been conducted so far.

Kettlebells

A ‘kettlebell’ or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. Traditionally the weight of kettlebells was standardised into units known as poods (1 pood = 16.3 kg).

Kettlebell use has been recorded as far back as the early 1700s. A solid ball of cast iron was used as a weight/measure, primarily in the agricultural industry, to enable standardised commercial trading.

Current day kettlebells are constructed of either steel or iron and are available in sizes ranging from 4kg through to 64 kg. They are also available in two styles; traditional (generally iron construction) & sports (steel construction). The sport style kettlebells, used for girevoy sport, in which kettlebell lifters (or gireviks as they are traditionally known) lift kettlebells for time; do not differ in size from lightest to heaviest. The size of the traditional style kettlebell increases as the kettlebell increases in weight.



Figure 1: Sport style (the two kettlebells on the outside) and traditional style kettlebells.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport where bouts, of between 2 to 5 rounds of 3 to 5 minutes, are held in either a mesh wire cage or a boxing ring.

As the name suggests MMA is a mix of the many combat arts. Therefore the MMA athlete needs to be proficient in a wide variety of fighting techniques; categorised as striking (feet, hands, elbows and knees) and grappling (clinches, pinning, submissions, sweeps, takedowns and throws) which encompasses wrestling and submission fighting.
The MMA combatant must be a physically well rounded individual. Maximum strength, power, endurance & flexibility are all critical physical attributes and no one area should be neglected. It is also essential that the athlete develops sound mental and technical skills in conjunction with strength & conditioning.

Generally fights are ended by way of knockout, technical knock out, submission by physically tapping or verbally tapping out when a competitor does not wish to continue and unanimous, majority or split decisions via judge’s scorecard if a bout runs its scheduled distance.

Strength Needs Analysis for the MMA Athlete

Before going any further, as this article introduces kettlebell drills for the development of power it may be prudent to address the sub qualities of strength and how they relate to the MMA athlete.

Maximal Strength is the total force one can exert under voluntary effort. In a competition the athlete may need to lift and throw, physically restrain & move or manipulate the joints of an opponent, all of which require the ability to exert influence over a resistive opponent. For the MMA athlete max strength is essential.

According to Enamait (2006) Max strength training will recruit fast twitch motor units leading to advantageous neural changes that increase the firing rate of said motor units, increase the recruitment of additional motor units and improve the overall coordination and synchronization of motor units. This ability to recruit powerful fast twitch fibres will enhance the power potential of the athlete.

There are however concerns regarding the negative influence that excessive max strength training may have on speed. Enamait (2006) refers to a study conducted by Verkhoshansky that verifies ”…that excessive maximum strength training can hinder speed strength and technical skills in boxers (1977) ” and a reference by Mel Siff to a study by Filinov “…which established that excessively heavy strength training can diminish the force and speed of a boxers punches (Siff, 2003a)”

Enamait himself states that “While max strength is an important pre-requisite to explosive training techniques it must not become the sole method of training” (Enamait,R.2006,p.29.) Max strength training must therefore be carefully manipulated within the overall training program by the strength and conditioning coach..

Reactive Strength is a concentric contraction following a rapid eccentric contraction. The MMA athlete will utilise this strength quality during striking combinations, throwing and in grappling situations.

Reactive strength utilises the stretch shortening cycle (SSC). This cycle begins with the storage of kinetic energy during an eccentric contraction, as the muscle lengthens under tension. When a concentric contraction immediately follows the eccentric phase the ensuing contraction utilises the stored energy therefore producing a stronger concentric phase.

Strength Endurance is the ability to sustain effective muscular contractions over an extended period of time. The vast majority of MMA contests are scheduled for 3 x 5 minute rounds, with championship bouts scheduled for 5 x 5 minute rounds, therefore strength endurance is a vital component within the overall strength & conditioning program.

Power is the ability to exert force quickly and Baker (2007) suggests there are three types or zones of power; ballistic, maximal and explosive.

In ascertaining the difference between the three qualities Baker explained further (D Baker personal communication, Feb 10, 2009). “Think of a curve. If max power is the top part of the curve, then ballistic power is on the left, on the way up and explosive power on the right, on the way down”










Power Zone Curve


Max Power



Force
Production

Ballistic Explosive
Power Power




0% 50% 100%
Resistance

Figure 2: Power zone curve highlighting the variants in resistance of the three power zones as suggested by Baker

Speed Strength or Ballistic Power is the ability to express significant tension in minimal time. Speed strength is essential for striking with the hands, feet, elbows and knees and for overall speed of movement when attempting to throw, submit & shoot in on and take down an opponent.

To train this power quality speed needs to be high therefore the level of resistance needs to be low (20-40%).

Max & Explosive Power are very similar sub-qualities. “Verkhoshansky, (1977) considered explosive strength to be the strength quality most characteristic of athletic activities” (Cited in Enamait,R.2006,p.23.) This is true for the MMA combatant predominantly when grappling and attempting takedowns and throws or to move an opponent when in the mount position (top) or from a defensive position on the back.

In training, max power is the point at which the highest force output is achieved and typically occurs with resistance levels of approximately 50%. Explosive power is applied to heavy resistances anywhere between 60 & 80%.

Power Endurance can be defined as the ability to sustain application of power over long time periods. From beginning to end, the MMA athlete must be able to generate sufficient power. Being faster and more explosive ensures the athlete can overpower and outwork their opponent for the duration of the event.

Other Physical Needs

Flexibility

Flexibility is the range of movement (ROM) at a joint and can be categorized as either dynamic, static, ballistic or passive. MMA athletes need good levels of flexibility as joints can be forced past their usual ROM at great speed by opponents when grappling and during submission attempts. Of the four categories dynamic and ballistic flexibility are probably the most important in a competition situation however static and passive stretching should be used regularly in training cool down and recovery.

Energy Systems

Leith Darkin covers appropriate energy system training for combat athletes extensively in his ASCA article “Fighting Fit” volume 12, 2004, No 3

Why we Chose to Focus on Power Development

Locally, many local clubs and their respective coaches still follow traditional fight training methods. Their athletes complete long distance runs, they train twice a day, 6 days a week whilst working full time, and follow hypertrophy type training programs (if any strength training at all) all of this while trying to cut weight in the lead up to fights. We wanted to offer our athletes a strength and conditioning program that met the specific needs of the sport, giving them a distinct advantage over their opponents.

Whilst it cannot be argued that all sub qualities of strength should be considered crucial attributes for the MMA athlete it was clear to us that power is of the utmost importance, Bompa, T (1995) states, “Maximum contraction, reaction time, and the ability to exert powerful movements at the highest frequency and in the shortest period of time are all dominant abilities for athletes in many sports, and as such are primary factors in enabling athletes to achieve high level performance” (p.5). This is definitely the case in MMA where the main objective should be to overpower, out strike, outwork and overwhelm the opponent, finishing the contest as quickly as possible. The athlete needs to be able to produce explosive movements from the opening second to the last second of a contest (which may be 25 minutes).

Once the decision had been made to focus on the training of power we needed to determine what would be the most effective training stimulus. Much of the literature we reviewed suggested Olympic lifting as an effective training modality. The following table presents the results of a study conducted by Garhammer (1993) and it quite clearly states that the Olympic lifts illicit the greatest power outputs















Power Output
Garhammer (1993)

Garhammer, J.J. A review of the power output studies of Olympic and powerlifting: Methodology, performance prediction and evaluation tests. Journal of Strength and conditioning Research 7:76-89, 1993. (Cited in Smith, J. 2006, p.14.)

Furthermore Baker, D (2007) states “True Power training exercises are exercises that entail acceleration throughout the entire range of movement (eg.olympic lifts, jump throws, squats, etc)” (p.25)

Considering those references and the contention by Bompa, T (1995) that “High intensity training, like power exercises, results in the quick mobile[s]ation of greater innervation activities, the recruitment of most of the motor units and their corresponding muscle fibres, and in an increase in the firing rate of the motor neurons (Schmidtbleicher, 1984; Gollhofer et al., 1987. Cited in Bompa T. 1995). This increased innervation produces considerable improvement in the development of power” (Bompa,T.1995,p.5) we chose to use the Olympic lifts and secondary assistance exercises to improve the power production of our athletes.

Due to our regional location (Bunbury, Western Australia) suitably equipped training facilities were non existent so we had to set up our own facility from scratch. A lifting platform was built, accreditation was sought and the essential lifting equipment (Olympic barbell, collars, bumper plates and racks) was purchased.

Not long after we began Olympic lifting we recognised some logistical issues and a few of those follow

• Cleans, snatches and jerks are certainly effective in stimulating the triple extension, beneficial to many movement patterns associated with MMA, however they are very complex and require excessive time to teach their intricacies. We noted the following difficulties with our athletes

 The Olympic lifts are very complex & technical lifts that require instruction from an experienced coach, someone who can give the correct cues at the appropriate time and can recognize and address deficiencies in movement patterns.

 To ensure optimum power development, bar trajectory, muscle recruitment and to reduce the risk of injury the positioning of the body over the bar in the set up is crucial. This requires many hours of practice and again coaching from an experienced coach is a must.

 Despite many of the athletes being outstanding athletes in their chosen sport some have presented with poor basic motor skills and proprioreception making the instruction of lifts such as squats difficult, let alone the highly technical Olympic lifts

 Due to the fighting stance many of our athletes have an exaggerated kyphotic curve through the thoracic region. The upper back needs to be mobile to successfully complete Olympic lifts.

 Many of our athletes are managing injuries at the shoulder joint (as a result of submission attempts) and have poor shoulder mobility. Shoulder mobility is essential in completing the Olympic lifts, particularly the snatch.

 Many of our athletes are managing injuries at the elbow & wrist joints (as a result of submission attempts) and the positioning of the wrists and elbows during the catch/front squat phase of the jerk was proving to be too stressful on those joints.

 Olympic lifting can lead to fatigue of the central nervous system and we couldn’t afford to create any more fatigue than was already being experienced by the athletes due to regular fight training

 Our athletes are already trying to master many of the technical skills associated with MMA and the attention to detail with Olympic lifting lead to information overload

 With limited time and space (we only have room for 1 lifting platform) we were only able to train a couple of athletes at a time

• MMA requires power production for up to 25 minutes and Olympic lifting sets are generally 1- 6 reps

• A high percentage of our athletes, both amateur and professional, work full time in the local mining industry, working 5 - 6 x 12 hour shifts a week.

• Most athletes have family commitments.

• With MMA requiring proficiency in numerous disciplines our athletes are completing between 3 & 6, 1 – 2 hour sport specific training sessions per week.

• Athletes may be required to take a fight at 2 – 4 weeks notice so they need to be fight ready at all times. It was therefore very difficult to include Olympic lifting in the overall program

It was just too difficult to effectively incorporate and master the technicalities of Olympic lifting so we decided to use alternative methods and equipment, eventually settling on kettlebells and sandbags.

Safety Considerations

Before the kettlebell drills are introduced the issue of safety needs to be addressed. With any form of resistance training there are inherent risks, perhaps even more so when using kettlebells. The dynamic nature of many of the kettlebell drills results in the kettlebell being moved through great ranges of motion at speed and the following guidelines should be followed.

In the exercise descriptions to follow there are video clips of an athlete training in bare feet. We prefer our athletes to adopt no footwear as we believe it enhances the feel of force production from the ground through the heel and our athletes compete bare footed. There are however risks associated with this practice with the major consideration being the dropping of a kettlebell onto an unprotected foot. To reduce the risk of injury it is recommended that kettlebell lifters wear some form of protective footwear. Shoes with a hard flat sole are preferable as they still allow loading of the heels and a connection with the training surface.

Many kettlebell drills require the user to lift the kettlebell above their head so the kettlebell should, where possible, be watched at all times. If a lift is executed incorrectly and control of the kettlebell is lost no attempt should be made to recover the lift and the lifter should just move out of the danger area as quickly as possible. Failure to do so may result in serious injury to the head

Some kettlebell drills (one arm swing, high rep sets) require the user to throw the kettlebell from one hand to the other. There are obvious risks associated with this practice and a clear 360 degree training area should be established around a user. This is of particular importance when training a group. Every user must be in a position where they can see the other users in the event of a kettlebell going astray.
If training outdoors the lifter should position themselves so that they do not look directly into the sun when they watch the kettlebell move overhead in case they lose sight of the moving kettlebell.

The training surface should be stable, flat and non slip. When training outdoors a grassed training area is preferable so that in the event of a kettlebell being dropped property and the kettlebell are not damaged. For the same reasons a matted area is preferable when training indoors.

The handle of the kettlebell should be constantly assessed for wetness or oiliness and a towel should be kept on hand to wipe the kettlebell at regular intervals.

The Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebell drills are generally divided into two groups, ballistic and grind movements.

Ballistic movements are high intensity movements requiring explosive & reactive strength, stability & coordination. Dependant on the exercise, the set & rep scheme and the weight of the kettlebell employed the ballistic set can assist to develop strength, strength endurance, power, power endurance, grip strength endurance, energy systems conditioning and dynamic flexibility.

The ballistic movements “… demand force production, reduction and redirection, often all being trained in the same drill” (Ravensdale, Minos, Kourbatski 2008 p25). A fighter will apply this pattern constantly during a contest e.g. grappling and forcing an opponent backwards, reducing force as the opponent resists and then redirecting force to throw the opponent, all in maybe a split second.

Grinds require the application of maximum tension whilst performing whole body movements using strength, flexibility, stability and coordination whilst under tension. Exercises from the grind set include the Turkish get up (TGU), the windmill and pressing.

Initially our athletes are introduced to the basic movements – double hand swing, one arm swing, cleaning & jerking. We include TGU and windmills to develop shoulder musculature in preparation for the snatch and split snatch. Then, as the athlete becomes proficient with those basic movements we progress to some of the more complex movements, high pulls, snatch, long cycle clean & jerk (LCC&J), split jerk and the split snatch.

Swings
[Insert swing video here]

Swings form the basis of all kettlebell ballistics exercises and all of our athletes are required to master the double hand and more particularly the one arm (OA) swing before moving on to some of the more complex ballistic exercises such as the snatch and the split snatch.

The kettlebell swing is a hip dominant pulling exercise requiring the use of the large muscles of the legs and back resulting in the development of powerful hip, knee and ankle extension and improving strength and power of the posterior chain as a whole. This movement pattern has also been a useful exercise to teach elastic loading (SSC) of the posterior chain, therefore improving reactive strength.

The triple extension stimulates the movement patterns associated with some of the throws, take downs and wrestling moves seen in MMA and the loading of the posterior chain teaches and develops the athletes’ ability to effectively generate and transfer power from the ground through the legs, hips, torso and arms.

When performed correctly the lifter will need to brace through the torso and this bracing should be taught as an integral part of the lift. Fighters brace repeatedly in competition so this is a valuable component of the drill. Additionally bracing will protect the lumbar spine during the eccentric phase of the ballistic skill set.

We use the swing as a tool to target ballistic power and strength and power endurance, completing sets for time or for high repetition counts with a light kettlebell (12-24kg). To target max and explosive power a heavier kettlebell (up to 32kg) is used adopting lower rep schemes.

The swing is used during the warm up, using kettlebells of 12 or 16kg in weight, for sets of 10-15 reps, and these are alternated with general mobility drills. We have found that this enhances the athletes focus on extension of the lower body joints whilst mobilizing the joints in preparation for striking and kicking drills.

Bands are sometimes employed to provide an alternative training stimulus. Looped through the handle of the kettlebell and with the athlete standing on the band, swings or deadlifts are performed, creating greater resistance throughout the concentric phase of the movement. By using the bands more force is exerted later in the range of movement. “This enhances the rate of force development and increases the power training effect” (Baker,D.2007,p.29)

[Insert Band Resisted video here]

Baker (2007) also suggests that this improves technique when applied to snatch pulls. We find it assists in improving the technique of athletes that struggle to complete triple extension, fully engaging the muscles of the lower posterior chain.

Variants

• OA swing
• Double kettlebell swings
• Walking kettlebell swings
• Jumping kettlebell swings
• Alternate arm kettlebell swings

Clean

[Insert Clean Video Here]

It is essential that the athlete master the clean as it is used to move the kettlebell from the floor to the rack position, the platform from which many other dills are completed. It is primarily taught by us as a supplementary exercise with greatest application during the warm up. However it is also an effective conditioning tool, particularly for improving the conditioning of the novice lifter whilst the technicalities of some of the more complex lifts are being mastered.

The clean improves the athlete’s ability to brace and absorb shock from external forces. As the kettlebell/s is pulled into the rack position the athlete should brace against the impact of the kettlebell on the upper body. This particular movement will also assist to develop the strength of the connective tissues of the arms and wrists, useful when considering the forces that may be applied by an opponent during a submission attempt.

One of the often overlooked benefits of the kettlebell ballistic set is that when performed correctly they teach the athlete to relax whilst working against external loads. The clean is a useful drill in this regard. Once the kettlebell/s is cleaned into the rack position it can be held in position for time. The load of the kettlebell on the chest provides external resistance to the respiratory muscles. The athlete must then focus on maintaining a relaxed state whilst under load, a position they will often find themselves in during competition, with an opponent either lying on top of them when in the mount position or in side control or pushing them up against the cage.

Variants

• Single cleans
• Double kettlebell
• Hang clean (we use this drill with a heavy kettlebell to target max & explosive strength)
• Dead clean (we use this drill with a heavy kettlebell to target max & explosive strength)
• Alternate clean

Jerk

The kettlebell jerk targets the legs, arms and shoulders and, as per the clean, will test the respiratory muscles when the kettlebell is resting in the rack position between repetitions.

An effective jerk technique requires a rapid triple extension (ankle, knee, and hip) during the first drive phase immediately followed by a rapid triple flexion during the dip and catch. It is therefore effective for developing generation of power and the transference of force from the lower to the upper body in a coordinated manner. Of some difficulty is the mastering of the extension of the elbow joint coordinated with the rapid flexion of the lower body joints, during the dip and catch, this requires great coordination and proprioception.

The jerk also has the additional benefits of developing power through the arms and shoulders whilst improving stability and flexibility at the shoulder joint.

Variants

• Single arm
• Double arm
• Split jerk - The split jerk provides all of the benefits of the jerk with the additional benefit of stimulating the nervous system to develop the explosive power necessary to drop and drive into the takedown position.

[Insert Split Jerk Video Here]

• Long Cycle Clean & Jerk - By combining the clean and the jerk (known as the Long Cycle Clean & Jerk) we can employ an exercise that recruits a vast number of motor units, effectively training the entire body. A heavy kettlebell lifted for low reps (4-6 reps or 30 secs) targets max power and a lighter kettlebell lifted for high reps (up to 3 minutes) targets ballistic power and strength and power endurance.

Snatch

[Insert Snatch Video Here]

The kettlebell snatch is a progression of the one arm swing whereby the kettlebell is moved from between the legs to an overhead lockout position. Due to the increased range of motion and the overhead lockout there are additional benefits in utilizing the snatch

• Greater motor unit recruitment
• Greater development of power to move the kettlebell to the overhead lockout position
• Strengthens and stretches the shoulders
• Teaches the ability to absorb ballistic shock
• Requires relaxation whilst resisting external loads
• Improves grip strength & endurance
• Trains the lower body and stimulates the muscular and joint actions associated with striking, kicking, throwing and taking down an opponent.

Due to the impact on the shoulder musculature no athlete progresses to the snatch until competency has been achieved in one arm swings, high pulls, Turkish get ups & windmills. When the athlete is proficient in the afore-mentioned exercises with a 20 kg kettlebell they are progressed to the snatch.

Variants

Dead snatch
Hang snatch
Split snatch (reviewed below)
Double kettlebell snatch
Alternate kettlebell snatch

Split Snatch

[Insert Split Snatch Video Here]

The split snatch stimulates the movement patterns associated with the take down, teaching the athlete to accelerate, be fleet of foot, rapidly change level of attack, move under a weight and then contract hard to brace against the impact of external forces.

As in many combat situations one leg is behind the other and stability is required to remain upright. Reversing the movement, jumping from the split position and “catching” the weight can also be effective in the development of bracing.

Only after competency is achieved with the snatch does the athlete begin to use this drill. It requires great athleticism, coordination and proprioreception and because of this we are very selective with the athletes we select to use the drill.

Those that have progressed to this exercise have reported fatiguing quickly and this is to be expected with a drill that maximizes neuromuscular facilitation, therefore the rep scheme employed should be carefully managed.

Generally our set and rep scheme has been per the following

Sets Reps Resistance Power quality Rest

3-5 3-6 per arm 32kg kettlebell Max/explosive 2-4 min between sets

3-5 6-8 per arm 16kg kettlebell Max/explosive/ballistic – dependant on athlete ability 1-2 min between sets

This exercise is programmed as a stand alone drill and is performed before any conditioning or circuit style training is undertaken. The focus with this lift is maximum acceleration with minimal pause between reps to ensure minimal loss of power.
Variants
• Split snatch from the dead position
• Double kettlebell split snatch

Incorporating the Kettlebell Exercises

We use swings, snatches, jerks and cleans for timed sets of between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. Using varying work to rest ratios and appropriate loads we can target strength endurance, power endurance and max and explosive power whilst also targeting the anaerobic energy systems. Rest periods are determined by the existing fitness level of the athlete and the goal of the training session.

Strength Quality Duration Energy Systems Load

Strength endurance 30 secs to 3 minutes Lactic →Aerobic 12 – 20 kg (24kg with advanced athletes)

Power endurance 30 secs to 3 minutes Lactic →Aerobic 12 – 20 kg (24kg with advanced athletes)

Max Power 10 – 30 secs ATP-CP → Lactic 20 – 32 kg

Explosive power 10 – 30 secs ATP-CP → Lactic 20 – 32 kg

OA variants can also be used with the athlete alternating from left to right hand after each rep or after a designated number of swings (i.e. 5 swings left (L) hand switch to right then 5 swings right (R) hand). This movement of the kettlebell from hand to hand requires hand eye coordination and sound focus.

We have also adopted circuit style sets where floor based and standing exercises are mixed up to condition the athlete for the physical demands imposed by moving from the floor to the feet as this is generally the way a fight will pan out.

Example 1

“Gunslinger” – 45 seconds work 15 seconds rest with any combination of exercises

2 – 3 x

DH swings
Push ups
KB clean & jerk L
Band side outs
KB clean & jerk R
Sprawl
Rest 1 – 3 minutes dependant on athlete level of conditioning & programming considerations (i.e.: in fight training, current cycle)

Example 2

OA swing L 30 secs
* Swiss ball wall get up 30 secs
OA swing R 30 secs
Jacknife push ups 30 secs
DH swing 30 secs
Hover 30 secs
Rest 1 minute

* the athlete crouches with their back against a wall and attempts to rise while a swiss ball is forced down onto their torso

Example 3

Snatch L 30 secs
Band resisted bear walk up and down mats 30 secs
Snatch R 30 secs
Sledge on tyre 30 secs
OA Jerk L 30 secs
Band resisted bear walk up and down mats 30 secs
OA jerk R 30 secs
Sledge on tyre 30 secs

Example 4

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes

Forward Sled drags 20 metres
OA Swing L x 10 reps
Backward sled drag 20 metres
OA swing R x 10 reps

Example 5

5 x

*Rotational sled drag with band x 4 reps L/R
TGU x 4 L/R
Rotational sled drag with band x 4 reps L/R
Kettlebell shot put x 4 L/R
1 minute rest

* A band is attached to the rope that is fixed to the sled. The athlete starts facing the sled. The athlete, holding the band in both hands, pulls the sled toward them while rotating, similar to the movements associated with a judo throw

Example 6

Tyre on Sledge x 10 L/R
Plate push x length of mat (plate on floor forces the athlete to adopt a very low hip position)
DH swings x 20
Crocodile walk length of mats
Rest 30 secs -1 min

Example 7

Wearing MMA gloves

30 secs kettlebell rack and strike pads (L)
30 secs crocodile walk
30 secs kettlebell rack and strike pads (R)
30 secs swiss ball wall get up
30 secs all out pad strikes
30 secs band outs
Rest as required

Example 8

Combination drills

OA swing → Clean → Squat → Jerk → Snatch → switch hands → repeat for reps or time

These workouts target strength & power endurance and the athlete works the 3 energy systems. Lactic acid will build up and the athlete needs to learn to cope with this. Where possible the workouts meet the up down demands of the sport.

Training Considerations

We have taken great care to ensure that the load is such that the athlete can perform reps with sound technique. For most of our athletes that has meant a kettlebell of either 16, 20 or 24kg.

We have been very careful with the number of ballistic exercises we prescribe as some of our athletes have reported feeling more fatigued than usual following regular loading of the posterior chain, (particularly when their focus in the past has been purely hypertrophy, anterior training). From a conditioning perspective we limit the use of posterior chain drills to 2 sessions per week, however we do use them regularly at low to moderate volume and intensity in warm ups.

In future we intend to introduce more double kettlebell work (double kettlebell swings, snatches and jerks), kettlebell squat jumps and throws with some of our advanced athletes.

Testing

We have used the following tests on a monthly basis. Testing has been regular since June 2008. A summary of the results is provided here

5 minute snatch test to assess strength & power endurance

Test protocol
• As many hand changes as the athlete requires
• 1 rep = lockout overhead
• Record total reps
• Although not encouraged the athlete is allowed to put the kettlebell down

Max rep double hand swing test to assess strength & power endurance

Test protocol
• As many double hand reps as possible – no time limit
• 1 rep = swing to chest height
• Record total reps
• The test ceases when the athlete puts the kettlebell down

5 minute OA Jerk Test to assess strength & power endurance

Test protocol
• As many hand changes as the athlete requires
• 1 rep = lockout overhead
• Record total reps
• Although not encouraged the athlete is allowed to put the kettlebell down

Broad Jump Test to assess power

Test protocol
• The measurement is taken from take-off line to the nearest point of contact on the landing (back of the heels)
• Athlete completes 3 jumps
• Longest jump in centimetres is recorded
• Test is conducted indoors on mats

Vertical Jump Test to assess power

Test protocol
• Double foot take off
• Athlete extends arm and marks wall to indicate starting point
• Athlete jumps and marks wall with chalk at highest point of jump
• Distance between starting point and highest chalk mark are recorded
• 3 attempts are made
• Test is conducted indoors on concrete floor

4 or 8kg Kettlebell Shot Put Test assess power (Darkin, L http://www.martialartsandsportscience.com.au/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Test protocol

• Athlete completes 3 shots/tosses per arm
• The athlete assumes an orthodox fighting stance with the kettlebell held in the right hand and against the cheek then switch to left hander stance
• Athlete is encouraged to put the kettlebell in a manner similar to punching
• Feet remain stationary

This test is a recent addition and to this point it has only been tested on 2 occasions with minimal improvements recorded.

Future testing – Kettlebell Power test

Some alternative testing options have recently been suggested (D Baker personal communication, Feb 10, 2009) “You can do the whole swing, just attach a line/string running off a drum (a tape measure will do) to the bell. Whatever is pulled off the drum, will give the distance.

Measure the lift distance x weight of bell x 5 reps and then divide by time for the reps, you can get a comparable measure.

e.g. 1.5 m x 320 (32 kg converted to Newtons) x 5 reps = 2400 J / 7 secs = 342 watts”

We plan to incorporate this test immediately.

Note on test results: Prior to the development of the current strength & conditioning program most of our athletes have never been involved in a structured strength and conditioning program. 2 athletes have been involved in a structured program since January 2008 with the remaining 6 involved since June 2008. There will be obvious improvements due to the fact the athletes were previously untrained in this area, however the benefits of kettlebell drills can not be overlooked.

Overview

It is clear to coaching staff and athletes alike that kettlebell drills have improved the power of striking, kicking, takedowns & throws. Not only has power production improved so to has strength and power endurance, range of motion, grip and torso strength and overall athleticism.

The technicalities of the kettlebell lifts have been easier to grasp than true Olympic lifting and this has made it possible for us to facilitate the appropriate training stimulus and maximize gains from the time available.

The equipment is mobile and it requires little space to use, allowing us to train and monitor more athletes at any one time. We can cater to the specific needs of the individual by tailoring exercise prescription to suit i.e.: an advanced athlete may perform snatches for 1 minutes each hand whilst an intermediate athlete is performing high pulls for the same time and the novice cleans

The mobility also means we can schedule outdoor training sessions, taking the athlete out of the atmosphere of the gym training environment. This has kept the athlete fresh and motivated during periods when training volume & intensity in the gym is high and monotonous.

The physical and mental demands of combat sports are high, high rep kettlebell drills and complexes mentally and physically challenge the athlete. Many of our competitive athletes have commented on the improvement in confidence leading into fights as a direct result of the conditioning undertaken.

Whilst they are not the be all and end all that some would have us believe, kettlebells have certainly become a valuable and versatile tool in our MMA equipment chest.

References

Baker, D. (2007). ASK Dr Dan; Using Bands and Chains to Increase Explosive Strength and Power. Strength & Conditioning Coach, 15(3): 25-30

Bompa, T. (1995). Power Training for Sport. Plyometrics for maximum Power Development Coaching Association of Canada: Ontario, Canada Mosaic Press: Ontario, Canada
Darkin, L. (2004) Fighting Fit. Strength & Conditioning Coach 12(3):
Darkin, L. Increase Your Punching Power. [Online]. 2006. Available from URL: http://www.martialartsandsportscience.com.au/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Enamait, R. (2006). Never Gymless. An Excuse Free System For Total Fitness. Ross Enamait: Connecticut.

Garhammer, J.J. A review of the power output studies of Olympic and powerlifting: Methodology, performance prediction and evaluation tests. Journal of Strength and conditioning Research 7:76-89, 1993.

Ravensdale, R., Minos, B., Kourbatski, P. (2008). Australian Kettlebells Certification Manual 2008 Australian Kettlebells: Melbourne

Smith, J. (2006). Advanced Kettlebell Training – The Final Chapter The Diesel Crew

About the Author

Jamie Douse is the volunteer strength & conditioning coach at South West Vale Tudo, a mixed martial arts/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club. The club attracts both professional and amateur competitors. He is a very poor competitor himself.

He is an accredited Australian Kettlebell Instructor and regular presenter of kettlebell workshops in Western Australia.

His full time employment is as a lecturer, delivering Certificates III & IV in Fitness at TAFE.

He also holds accreditation
• Level 2 ASCA
• Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Federation Power Sports Coach
• Certificate IV Fitness

Original Topic: http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=47223
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive(10)

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:32 pm


Why I work out when I don’t have time to work out.
BY BSW

Lately I have been extremely busy, literally running my own business full time, working a 2nd job 15 hours a week, working out daily, leading a full and rich family life. I feel, honestly, like a juggler with 5 to many balls in the air.

I literally and in every way have more work than I have time to do. Everything on my plate right now is under a deadline that I may not meet. Yet I am making myself take one to two hours a day and go train, and even do fitness related things like my research and writing this.

I want to address something. Working out is an act of self interest, but it is NOT an act of selfish self interest. It is enlightened self interest.

I stop what I am doing, and go force myself to work out no matter how great the temptation and deadlines and external pressures not to, because working out gives me what I need to actually survive, and thrive, in such a busy chaotic life.

Without working out, I would be dead today. So I refuse to turn my back on it for anything short of having my life depend on it.

Working out is what enables me to function at my best, every day, all day, for my clients, and not tire out and get groggy after lunch like I used to, giving less than my best the rest of the day. Now you get my best, any time, day and night, because I bust my ass in the gym and have energy to spare as a result.

The spill off into daily life is incredible and without a doubt the greatest contributing factor to the happiness not only of myself, but those around me.

I used to weigh over 335 pounds, and had to carry that with me everywhere. Sure, I didn’t go and waste two precious hours a day in the gym. Instead I just wasted a little bit of time, here and there, due to lack of energy and drive, every day, all day. I would walk slower, need breaks climbing the stairs, even think slower!

Now I can run 5 miles anytime I feel like it. Do you know how much easier it is to keep up with a 3 year old when you have the endurance to run 5 miles? The same applies to having a slightly younger girlfriend ;)

Now, I can dead lift over 360 pounds, bench press over 230 pounds. Does anyone truly think I have wasted my time in the gym when I am carrying the entire grocery shopping trip worth of bags into the house in one walk? When I lift up the couch with one arm, easily, to fetch a lost toy?

I can do a full out jog 100 meters PUSHING A CAR. Do you know how easy that makes it to push a shopping cart through deep snow in the winter? To push a shovel through frozen snow to clear it away? To push a car out of the ditch?

I can squat over 300 pounds! And if you are thinking “so what”, I have a three year old that LOVES it when I toss his mom over my shoulders and give her a helicopter ride. And between you and me fellows, she likes it too ;)

Is it any wonder I am no longer lazy? Everything in life is simply far easier to do, and all because I go and waste an hour or two day in the gym.

When people ask me for help, be they my clients, my family, my friends, they get every ounce of me. Not only do they benefit from me being “100 percent” there, but they benefit from the past two years of hard training I put in at the gym.

Help me move my fridge? Be right over Jim! Help me push my car out of the snow? Be right over Sarah! Shit, call me FIRST, not LAST, I LOVE to help people these days! Not only do I get the satisfaction of doing someone a good turn, I get the reinforcing feeling of all the work in the gym paying off.

In my business I charge more, and I get more, because quite frankly, I am worth more!

Please people, start working out! You won’t improve the world by yelling at the TV! You can improve the world FAST by improving your own situation within it first.

This is written for all you people who say you do not have time to work out. And if that is you, I am going to give you some really, really bad news right now. It’s a bunch of shit, and everyone knows it, no matter what they say to your face or how accepting and understanding they are when you make your excuses.

If you are saying you do not have time to work out, and to be healthier and live longer for those you love, then you are subscribing to the philosophy of “I can’t” rather than the philosophy of “I will find a way.” Find a way!!!

Find a way because it will be the difference between bouncing your grand children on your knee, or your great grand children. Find a way because it will delay you needing that bed in the old age home by decades. Find a way because it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in every single way, especially in ways you did not expect.

There is a singular beautiful feeling you get when you know you are powerful and sturdy. A fearlessness that puts you back in the right mindset to accomplish even greater things. Whatever you do in life, you will start doing better. That is priceless. That is wealth right there! True wealth. Inner wealth.

Yes, I work out, and yes, it delays work on everything else that is an “urgent” thing, but I find a way to make up the time because I am powerful, refreshed, full of energy, alert and flexible of mind.

Cheers!

Original Post:http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56862
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive(11)

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:48 am


All You Need for Conditioning is Your Legs
BY STRONGMANMIKEBRUCE

Many of you may be thinking, This guy is out of his mind? Only need your legs? Come on!
I know that there are many great training methods that we can use to get in great condition. I also
understand that the training methods have evolved over the years.
BUT.......Have any of you ever wondered why many of the top, old-time fighters from yesteryear ran
every morning?
Back in that time period there wasn't any plyometrics or running with a shoot, treadmills, elliptical,
versa-climbers etc. Many of the top gents would rise up early in the morning and hit the pavement for
some roadwork. And yet, these men were able to box or wrestle for 15 rounds or more.
“I know for a fact that the great Wrestling champion Lou Thesz would run on the beach for at least 3
miles 5 days per week.” [Quote from Mark Fleming, Lou Thesz assistant coach for Lou's wrestling
school many years ago in VA]
Many wrestlers and boxers used what was available to them at the time. Boxers ran, usually
much more than 3 miles, hit the heavy bag, speed bag and double end bags along with plenty of
sparring.
Wrestlers would do the same along with lots of mat work, perfecting their techniques for hours on end.
I decided some months ago that I wanted to get back in wrestling shape and started running 2 days per
week @ 3 miles. I had not run in years, as I had mainly been focusing on my Strength training.
All I can say is that first morning was a wake up call for me. After all the time off from conditioning
and many hours put in performing Deadlifts and Zercher Squats my legs and lower back "Blew Up".
The lumbar region of my back tightened like that of a steel cable, my legs filled up with so much lactic
acid that they felt like I was running in Concrete. My chest felt like I was getting squeezed by a
giant snake as I tried my best to get my breathing down. And to top it off I could not finish the run, I
had to stop and walk a little to gather my composure and recover.
That was very depressing for me as I had never fell out of a run in all my years of training or my time
spent in the USMC.
As I sat on the wall of my house I thought running is one of the best Conditioners we can do. It is a
master of body weight conditioning. That morning I felt so out of shape that I felt like I could not get
out of my own way if I had to. I started thinking what happened if I had to run somewhere to get help,
or if I had to escape from an assailant?
Page 2
All You Need for Conditioning is Your Legs
Being big and strong is one thing but if you do not have the "WIND" to carry out your
intention......you’re done.
This motivated me to continue running, increasing my runs to 4 times per week.
Some of the benefits of running are
 No equipment needed.
 You can run anywhere at any time.
 Running will Lean you out, everywhere on your body.
 Running is a great way to drop weight.
 If you have excess fat around the middle running will help reduce your fat.
 For me running early in the morning gives me quiet time to reflect on my goals to
accomplish and plan for the day.
 And most importantly running helps build our most important muscle for living and that is
our Heart.
I keep my run at 3 miles and occasionally run up to 5 miles. As my conditioning has improved I try
and run faster and try to beat my prior time. After about 2 weeks of running I noticed that my legs
were finally building up the muscular endurance needed to enable me to push harder on my run.
I noticed, for me that my lungs adapted rather quickly, and my weight has dropped to 196# from 212#.
My waist went from a 34 to a 31 and I feel great.
Many people say running is bad on your knees. I don't necessarily agree with that. Buy a good pair of
running shoes and start off slow, preferably on a soft surface like grass to warm up your knees. Then
hit the pavement. I don't see any reason why you would have problems.
If you have any prior knee or back problems then see your personal physician before starting a running
a program.
There are many ways to train our bodies to get in condition but sometimes all you have to do is take
a step outside and hit the road to a leaner and healthier you.
Keep The Faith,
Mike "The Machine" Bruce

Original Topic:http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56956
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive(11)

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:56 am


JEFFERSON ISN'T DEAD

BY STRONGMANMIKEBRUCE

I'm sure all of you have trained, or at the very least, tried the deadlift at some
time in your training. It, along with the barbell squat, is often referred to as the
KING of all exercises.
There has been a debate for a long time as to which one is the KING.... the Squat
or the Deadlift.
I believe the Deadlift is the champ. When you deadlift it's just you and the bar on
the floor. There is no momentum to assist you when picking up the weight from
the floor as there is in the barbell squat. Thus, I choose the deadlift, in all it's
variations, to be KING.
That's right, I said variations of the movement.
There is the conventional style - where your feet are roughly shoulder width
apart; some lifters prefer lifting with their heels together. Then there is the sumo
style, where your legs are spaced very wide - to the point where your toes almost
meet the inside of the plates on the bar.
Another form of deadlift, not commonly used much nowadays, is the Hack lift. In
this movement the bar is set behind you and you will pull up from the floor, just
as you would in the conventional method where the bar is in the front of your
body, feet shoulder width apart. This was very popular back in the early days of
lifting before the Hack Squat sled was invented. And of course, we then have the
various partial pulls from various heights in the power rack which assist in making
you stronger in your deadlift from the floor.
But, there is also a style of deadlift that has been around for a very long time that
is hardly ever used today. It is sometimes called either the Straddle lift or the
Jefferson lift.
I have been training for 23 years and in this time I had never tried this great
exercise. I have not performed the deadlift on a regular basis for 3 years now. I
recently decided to give it a go again to reach a goal that has eluded me since
2001.
The Jefferson lift is performed by straddling the bar, meaning that you will turn
your body and have one leg on either side of the bar. You will be facing one end
of the plates and the bar will be between your legs, hence the name straddle
deadlift. This particular style of the lift felt very uncomfortable to me as one hand
will be in front of your body while the other is placed behind you. I also want to
point out that by placing one hand behind you and one in front gives your body a
slight twist. Because of this you will need to then reverse the grip and place the
hand that was behind you in front of you and the hand that was in front behind
you. You can do 1 set of repetitions one way and the other set the other way. This
will create balance in the body.
Image
Image
Jefferson Straddle Deadlift
Another style of this exercise is to walk to the bar till your shins touch the bar.
Now step over the bar with one of your legs, keeping both feet pointed in the
same direction. Now you will get into position [ you can go with a really wide
stance, or a shoulder width stance and use either an over/under grip also called a
switch grip or use a double over hand grip].
And finally we have yet another variation of the lift sometimes called the Fighting
stance deadlift. This style of the deadlift has you step to the bar, step over the bar
with your preferred lead leg and place your back leg behind you. Since I am left
handed my right leg will be forward, over the bar and my left leg will be behind
me. The difference here is that the foot of your rear leg will be slightly angled to
the side. My hand position will be my right hand outside my right leg and my left
hand will come down between my legs almost touching the inside of my left thigh.
Image
Image

The Fighting stance is the style I prefer. I like it because my body is not in such a
twisted position, I feel less emphasis on my lower back, I get a lot of drive off my
back leg which, in my opinion, has great carry over for all the grapplers out there
that shoot double/single legs. I also feel this stance improves your takedown
ability by making your penetration step that much stronger as your lead leg takes
much of the load in the lift.

Pay close attention to your body as you know it better than anyone else. The
mechanics are pretty basic,
Keep your lower back as flat as possible, DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK!
Lean back as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep both feet flat on the floor.
I like to keep my head tilted back as I believe where the head goes the body
follows. This will assist you in keeping proper form. When you get to the top of
the movement lock your legs and drive your hips forward. Control the weight on
the way down and repeat for prescribed repetitions.
One important key when using this style is to find a stance distance you feel
comfortable with. For my stance, I line up the middle part of the bar [the
knurling] directly between my legs, centered with my chin. I find this to be the
most comfortable for me and this is where I feel the most powerful form for
maximum pulling power. Play with the placement of your feet and find what works
for you.
This old-time exercise is becoming one of my favorites. So much so that I will
continue to implement it in my training. If you are at a plateau with your normal
deadlift then give this style a try. I believe you will be quite happy with the
results.
Keep The Faith,
Mike "The Machine" Bruce
Original Topic: http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56942
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive(13)

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:35 am


SPEED-AN ARTICLE FOR THE FIGHTER
Image

All information was sourced from Warrior Speed by Ted Weimann and from my own mind. I highly recommend buying the book if you want a detailed analysis of speed and how to train it. It covers everything that could possibly relate to improving your speed. However, this also means, it covers things that you probably already know, such as weight training and ways to relax. This article sifts through that and concentrates fully on Speed as is. I don’t need to tell you how to lift weights and I am sure you can find out your own ways of relaxing. Buy a book on meditation or better yet, buy Warrior Speed.

The book also goes into detail on the exact physiological processes of the body and mind, explaining about muscle fibres, the different systems and all that jazz. I touch on this sort of thing lightly but you are reading this to get to the crux of the matter. To expand your knowledge, buy the book.

Right, now that I have plugged the book 3 times in fewer than 3 paragraphs, the actual article can continue.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a fighter, you definitely want to be fast. A faster fighter is always a better fighter. The more speed you have, the more chance of success. So, you seek to increase it, but how? Is speed limited by genetics? The unfortunate answer is yes. Genetics definitely play a significant role in a person’s speed. Some people are naturally fast. However, there is no reason to give up. One important point to remember is no matter how fast or slow you are now, you CAN get faster. If we left everything to genetics, nothing would get done and we wouldn’t improve. Forget genetic limits and concentrate on improving your own abilities to the max. Where your max is, is irrelevant.

Types of Speed
Now, speed isn’t just about how fast my hand moves from A to B.

Speed is defined as “swift or rapid movement; quickness in moving from one place to another; the rate of movement”.

Fighting speed, however, is more than movement. There are three areas of speed you need to think about:

1. Physical Speed—this is affected by muscle structure, shape and metabolism. To get fast at a movement, the training must be specific. Getting fast at kicking a football won’t make you faster at kicking a person. General training will build general responses. If you want to specifically get fast at throwing a jab, then you can’t just concentrate on hand speed, you must be specifically work on the jab speed.

2. Psychological Speed—affected by mindset. It is about analysis, decisions, confidence and experience. Once the analysis is complete and the stimulus has been recognized, categorized and evaluated, you can select a desirable response, if any.

3. Perceptive Speed—everyone’s brain receives information from the eyes at the same rate. Interpretation of information depends on numerous factors.

These three areas of speed combine to act as your response. The equation goes as below,
Perception > Neurological relay (NR) > Analysis > Decision > NR > Action.

Increasing one of these areas of speed will in turn increase your rapidity of response or action. Increasing all three will give you the highest rise in overall speed. I.E. the speed it takes to see an opening, select an appropriate strike and apply it quickly.

Neurological relay cannot be enhanced through training. Drugs have not been shown to increase NR; the time figures are involved minimally in the equation. Speed of information transfer from one neuron to another can be increased through repetition. Due to its current great speed, the increase is not significant. More importantly, repetition allows the transfer to occur automatically. This increases co-ordination and fluidity. These are companion qualities to speed.


As a test to illustrate a point, stand facing a partner with one hand outstretched. They will hold their hand up, about 18 inches away. Their task is to hit your hand before you can retract. The time delay between action and opponent's reaction is unavoidable. If your natural reflexes are roughly equal, it is virtually impossible for you to move your hand before your opponent hits it. This is because the time it takes to pass through the above equation is not as fast as their equation; they have already completed most of theirs. Everything being equal the fighter who initiates the attack will be the winner; as a result, they will appear faster.

SOME QUICK SCIENCE—MYELINATION
Practice makes perfect.
No it doesn’t, perfect practice makes perfect.


These statements are very true and backed up by science.
Myelination.
It is the result of repetition training. When a new stimulus is introduced, a complex pattern of neurons is activated. This is now a programme.

Myelin coats the connections between the parts of the neurons that send and receive impulses from each other. These parts are called dendrites. The first time a programme is created and the connections are initially made, myelin is secreted. Each time it is repeated the coat becomes thicker. This makes it easier for the impulses to bridge the gaps between neurons. This is why constant practice is in order to make a technique work and to make it work at its best including its speed.

Science lesson over.

DETRIMENTS TO SPEED
Tension
How many times have fighters or athletes been told to stay loose? Tension will slow you down. But what is it? There are 5 types that will affect your speed.

1. Static tension (muscles carry tension all the time. Some is stress, some posture, some balance and some protection)

2. Clothing

3. Flexibility

4. Stress

5. Temperature

Static tension is physiological safeguard. It’s one of the body’s built-in protective measures. There are physiological loopholes to circumvent it in times of emergency. For example, when falling, you can catch yourself with one leg. This is a sudden forceful contraction following a sudden stretch of the muscle (plyometrics). This happens when the mind senses danger and signals the muscles to act at near max to prevent a more serious injury.

You can do little to change the levels of static tension. Plyometrics work to increase the amount of voluntary control you have over the force of contraction and level of relaxation of antagonistic muscles. More on them later.

Flexibility plays a vital role. Being tight in terms of flexibility produces tension.

If your hamstrings are tight, the quadriceps must apply some of their contractile force to overcome the resistance of the hamstrings. This means, not all their force is being used for the intended action. Less force equals less speed and less power.

If you haven’t already, check out my previous article on flexibility to overcome this problem. Click the articles link in my signature to go to the archive. It is the 4th or 5th one, I believe.

Stress holds tension in muscles, mostly in the neck and shoulders. The amount is much lower in the biceps and other muscles. This tension will significantly slow you down. Coaches will shout at you to relax. Have you ever found when sparring or desperately trying to win, you are defeated at every turn? This is because your stress of the situation is tightening your muscles and also clouding your mind.

Temperature affects tension as the body shorts the oxygen supply to your limbs when cold. It does this to conserve your vitals. Less oxygen means less energy production which, yep-you guessed it—less speed.

So, the first step to increasing speed is to reduce your tension. As stated, static tension can’t be altered. However, the use of plyometrics gives you a bypass to this preventive measure. Flexibility can be changed and it is not hard to do so. Learning to relax and control your mental processes will combat stress. Sufficiently warming up and not fighting people in the Arctic will be your solution to temperature issues.

AGE
Age will inevitably slow us all. Flexibility and the neuromuscular system decreases over time. This decrease starts at around age 55 and picks up at about 65. However, the flexibility you have at the point can be maintained proficiently into your 60s. It just requires more time and effort.

LAW OF INERTIA
An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.

Keep your hands or body moving. Also, if you have reacted wrongly to an attack, don’t give up. You can modify a response quicker than you can scrap it and initiate another. Fluidity is king.

Constant movement will also make it harder for your opponent to perceive your intentions/attacks.

Talking of perception-----



PERCEPTION

Perception is the time it takes you or your opponent to realize that an action is about to be taken or has been initiated. As well as increasing your own perception, you can also decrease your opponent’s through deception.

Having control over mindset is vital in the quest for speed. This includes your opponent’s as well as your own. If you are unfocused, stressed, nervous etc, this will no doubt affect your speed and your overall ability. A clear and open mind is a powerful one. Consequently, this knowledge can be used to gain an advantage. The exact qualities that you don’t want clouding your mind are what you want to cause your opponent to feel.

To increase the value of perception in a fight, you need to learn to pick up on minor cues. If you intercept an attack before it has even begun or struck just when the opponent is vulnerable, you will appear lightning fast. This is regardless of the actual rate of movement. This will be improved through association/response training. This is what is known as telegraphing. Learn to spot and dissect telegraphs while quickly applying a response will drastically heighten your game.

You can pick up on these subtle clues by sight and sound. A list of possible cues are found below,
0 Foot movements
0 Knee movements
0 Leg tensing
0 Hand movement
0 Hips/shoulders
0 Leaning
0 Eye and head movement
0 Facial expressions
0 Tension

When sparring, set yourself a task to look for certain cues. You can also review footage of past fights and try to guess a fighter’s next move.

At the other spectrum of this is learning how to change your opponent’s perceptions. This is deception.

DECEPTION
Deception will increase your speed by lengthening your opponent’s perception time. If the attack was not seen, it was effectively very fast, regardless of the speed it travelled.

Principles of deception
1. Hide movement within movement
2. Cause distractions
a. Misdirect attention
Double attack—
--High/low
--Hand/foot
--Use eyes, fakes.
b. Interrupt focus(confusion)
--Shouting, smiling, winking and mumbling.

A bad and unavoidable part of the way our brains work is we have to analyse what we sense. If an opponent mumbles something, we naturally think “what did he mumble? And why?" You need to be aware of ways of deception so you can exploit them as well as dismiss them when applied to you. When fighting, you have to restrict your thinking to the task at hand and to the fight. Tell your brain that the facial expressions and the words do not matter. Note this is not a good tactic for street encounters but purely the mindset for competition.

Misdirecting attention involves the use of feints and switching areas or types of attack. Punch while kicking, hook to the body then head, jab high then low, kick low and cross to the head, fake a hook and cross. You get the idea.


Examples of feints:
0 Half attacks
0 Head snap
0 Lead foot stomping
0 Partial steps
0 Torso snap
0 Hip shoulder/twists
0 Bending of the knee
0 Shouts

Feints are especially effective in combination. Take a short step, shout and throw a half jab then roundkick to the body.

DISTANCE
You can also be deceptive about the distance between you and your opponent. The eye is easy to fool. Moving your hands closer to your body makes you seem further away as does leaning back. The opposite applies by making you seem closer.

Closing the distance can be tricky but by using the first principle of deception (hiding movement within movement), you can make it easier. You can lean back while stepping your rear foot forward. Moving your rear foot is less likely to be picked up than your lead. You can also line your lead leg up in front of your rear then move it forward. This temporary move will provide the cover to move forward.

WEIGHT TRAINING AND SIZE

I won’t dwell on this too long as you can get better detailed information elsewhere. Bottom line, a stronger you will be a faster you. Weight training increases fibre size, a bigger fibre will produce more force.

In regards to weight gain: If you lose weight without losing strength, you will be faster. If you gain weight without strength, you will be slower. If you gain weight and strength, you will most likely increase speed of lunges but decrease strike speed.

Heavy weights are best used to increase speed for lunges as the legs contain the largest muscles and have to move the greatest weight. The arms, however, don’t need to move a considerable amount of weight, so the muscles are smaller. But, increasing the size of them will result in more weight having to be moved so they will be slower.

So, when designing a weight training programme, you need to work out the fine balance between how much size you wish to possess and the resulting speed. Standard, correct weight training will increase your strength and power but you may have to sacrifice some speed.

Don’t for a second think that weight training will slow you down though. That is not my point. My point is, weight gain will slow you down, yet you can still be fast. Just like a bigger you will always be a stronger you—a smaller you will always be a faster you. They are just rules that we have to live by. The thing is to make the best of the cards you are dealt and work out your future game plan. If you have no qualms about weight categories then shed the pounds while maintaining your strength. If you like your current mass, implement speed and heavy weight training. If you want to be bigger and faster, eat, lift and be aware you won’t be as fast as you are now. Unless, you have minimal strength now, so your force production is low therefore your speed, the added weight (if it’s muscle/strength) will make you faster.



RELAXATION

As stated earlier, stress causes tension which in turn causes a loss of speed. As well as forgetting your own personal stresses to be normally relaxed, when fighting, you need to be fully focused on the task at hand. This is often referred to as letting go or being lost in the moment. This frame of mind is the sweet spot for fighting and any athletic endeavour. It is a Zen-like state. Thoughts come and go, you grasp nothing, and you react when necessary and let your body do the work. The better trained you are, the more you can rely on yourself to be natural in competition. The less you think, the more you do.

As with all things, there are obstacles to letting go.

Trying too hard is a common one. By our logic, if something isn’t working, we just need to work harder. In most cases, this is true. But with the mind, it is different. Trying evokes more thought which slows down your process of analysis, actions and reactions. Think of it this way; your mind is a room; your effort at being fast is a chair in the room. Your speed is how quickly you can cross the room. Every time you try excessively to be harder, more chairs are in the room. More obstacles, it will take longer to manoeuvre the chairs (thoughts/stresses) to reach the other side. A few chairs are easy to move around. This also comes back to muscle tension. Trying too hard will tense your muscles.

Worries of the past will also introduce tension. Present focus is what we want.

If you are overly concerned with the outcome then you will become tentative and your actions will be unsure. This also boils down to confidence. You should enter every fight with a 100% conviction that you will emerge the winner. You must think fast. Tell yourself you are fast. Believe you are fast. You are fast. Let go of the thought of outcome while in the fight, remember; present focus.

If you are worked up and excited instead of spontaneous and natural, your movements will be stiff.

Bottom line, you should be in a somewhat meditative state when fighting. Not daydreaming but not thinking. Just doing. Obviously, you are bound to think about things but as you progress these processes will be shortened and will occur naturally. This is why sparring is so important; this relaxed mindset is a quality that needs to be trained as much as any other, probably more so.

THE TRAINING

Finally!!!! I hear you cry.

First, I will cover a common training drill that on its own does little to improve speed.

Holding weights while striking will NOT help increase speed apart from preparing muscles for fatigue, increasing their stamina which will indirectly help your speed by raising its limit of use. Tired=slow so the longer your muscles can function at high capacity, the longer they can be fast.

This is the same with bands. What these drills do do (snigger*) is teach the body to utilize more fibres. Follow these drills with speed shadowboxing. This will reprogramme your neuromuscular system to fire more rapidly,therefore increasing speed.

Plyometrics
I am sure most of you know that this is the best way to use resistance to increase speed. I gave a brief description of what they are earlier.

Warm-ups are more essential than usual for these exercises. The intrafusal fibres register the stretch in a muscle. They are wrapped with nerve cells. When stretched quickly, nerve cells send a signal to the CNS. This triggers the stretch reflex that generates a fast, powerful contraction. The purpose is to stop the stretching and prevent injury. Warm-up means more stimulation which means a more forceful contraction.

When stretched, the fibres store energy, this increases speed.

Plyometrics should be done after skillwork but before heavy weight training. They need to be done fresh so to teach your body to react with max force. If done when tired, you are teaching your body to react at a reduced level of force. This will be detrimental to your training.

There are three types of plyometrics. Rhythm, speed and power. They should be done in that order. Rhythm plyos serve as a warm-up and are supposed to be done smoothly and co-ordinated.

EXERCISES

PUSH-UPS

Speed push-ups
Fairly self-explanatory. Don't concentrate on the stretch or contracting the muscles. Just pump them out. Only attempt these once you can pull of a high number of reps without stopping. After you can do, say, 50 reps without rest, work on doing sets of 20 as fast as you can. These serve as a good warm-up for more explosive pyometrics.

Power push-ups
On the rise from a push-up, explode up so your hands leave the ground. As you get better, try and put a clap in there. Then 2 claps. Then behind the back. Then one in fornt and one behind. Finally, master the triple clap push-up. These are demonstrated in Ross' videos. There are also a number of other plyos demonstrated in the lo-tech video. Check them out if you haven't already.
http://www.rosstraining.com/articles/budget.html

One that isn't shown is the falling push-up. Start from the knees, fall down and catch yourself with your hands in a push-up and immediately explode back up. As you progress, work these from standing.

MED-BALL

Alos shown in Ross' video were med-ball throws. These were shown to develop power. For speed, they require some tweaking. Rather than trying to throw the ball as high as you can, attempt to launch it as soon as you catch it. There are many variations to using this drill. It can be done from standing or lying. You can use one or two hands. You can use a partner to throw or drop the ball.

When doing it with a partner, tuck your elbows into your sides and extend your forearms so they are parallel to each other in front of your body. Close your eyes. Your partner will throw or drop the ball onto your arms, as soon as you feel contact, launch the ball upwards or forwards.

PUNCH BAG
Stand facing the bag, push it so it begins to swing. Close your eyes and assume a fighting stance with your elbows in and your palms open. As the bag hits your hands, absorb the momentum and forcefully push it back. The reason for closing your eyes is so you don't try and catch the bag early. This drill is to train your reaction speed and the speed at which you can use force.

As you get better, try it with one hand. This can be tricky with a standard long bag as it tends to fly around after a few pushes/hits. I prefer to use a half-bag otherwise known as an uppercut bag. This also stops the bag from hitting your legs.

Another drill is just hitting the bag with combinations. They key to this is to flow from punch to punch. Remember, fluidity is king.

STRIKING DRILLS

Hanging Paper Drill

Hang an A4 piece of paper from the ceiling. Strike it lightly but fast. The paper should make a cracking sound. Think of trying to hit it without breaking it. This was a favourite of Bruce Lee's. It works especially well for Jabs, Backfists and Foot kicks.

Partial Rep Shadowboxing

Keep relaxed and loose. You don't have to fully extend each punch. The aim is to do all strikes as fast as possible. Make sure this isn't the only way you shadowbox otherwise you will enforce bad habits of under-extending.

I believe normal shadowboxing, speed shadowboxing and partial rep shadowboxing are the best ways to increase hand speed.

OVERSPEED TRAINING

In running, a common overspeed drill is to sprint down a hill. These methods have been in use since the mid 1970s. The concept is to use an outside force to overload your force. In the running example, the force is gravity.

For punches, bands can be used. But rather than punch against the resistance of the band, you let the band pull your punch out. Attach the band to a wall. Stand facing the wall and pull the band back so as you punch the band loosens.

You can also use this band-method for speed training your lunges.

LEGS

The Hop Jog

This is basically running but striving to keep minimal contact with the floor. As soon as your foot touches, you want it to come off again. They can also be done two-legged.

The basic hop jog is a rhythm plyo.

To do a speed hop jog, height is not important. Concentrate fully on exploding as soon as you touch the floor. When done properly, it should feel more like a skip than a hop.

To do a power hop jog, start with 3-4 normal ones then exlode as high as you can off your right foot, as you land, leap of the left foot as quickly as possible. Continue these for 8-10 repetitions.

2-Legged Hops

A 2-legged speed hop is basically a broad jump but the movements are kept quick and compact. The legs do not bend much and there is minimal arm swing.

A 2-legged power hop involves driving up as much as possible while only moving forward about 18-24 inches. The knees bend considerably more than on speed hops and the arms drive up much more.

Think of power hops as a kangaroo hopping at full speed and speed hops as your attempt to hop across a hot surface without burning your feet.

You can also jump on and off boxes to advance your training. For speed hops, don't use anything over 18 inches. You can go slightly higher with power plyos. as with all these drills, all moves should be in quick succession. When you land, begin the next jump immediately.

3-4 sets of 8-10 reps(each leg if a unilateral drill) will be sufficient.

FOOTWORK

Practice it. Constantly. On its own and while striking. Learn to dance while moving. Keep up on your toes. Its just a process of thinking fast and allowing your footwork to echo the thought. Drill all ways you can move then increase the speed at which you do so, then mix it up. Set a round of just doing footwork much like shadowboxing but its shadow footwork.

Make regular use of your jump rope as well. Boxers haven't been using it for years for no reason. Skipping has many, many benefits. Helping footwork and leg speed are two of them.

PERCEPTION/AWARENESS

Sparring

This is perhaps the best tool for increasing your perceptive and awareness skills,. Get the rounds in and banish any fear you may have of it. The more you do, the more relaxed you will be. This will allow you to use your speed, as you won't be restricted by unnecessary tension. As stated earlier, concentrate on working your analytical skills as well as your strikes when sparring. Watching others spar and fight will help you develop these traits as well.

Coin Toss

Hold a coin in your open hand, palm up. Throw it into the air, then snap your hand out to catch it. Now try it with two coins. Work up to four coins. Don't try too hard. Don't concentrate on getting the 4th or 5th coin. Just "let go", be in the moment and catch one after the other. Start using just one hand. Then train using both hands.

Hand Touch

This will require a partner. Have your elbows by your side ,your hands by your shoulders and eyes closed.. Your partner will make a sound, when they do, open your eyes and strike their hand. To escalate the difficulty, have them hold a focus pad. They can place the pad anywhere. When you hear the sound, you open your eyes, judge the target, pick an appropriate strike and apply it. This is an extremely fun game as well as a useful one. You can even have two pads to incorporate combinations.

See The Ball, Catch The Ball

There are loads of variations to this one. Stand facing a wall, have a partner throw a ball in front of you. You must try to catch it as it passes in front. You must face forward, This is training your peripheral vision, your distance awareness and obviously your speed. You can modify this so your partner is behind you and bounces the ball off a wall, you can use one of those misshapen balls that bounce in random directions and throw it on the floor. I am sure you can come up with your own ways. Have fun with it. :mozilla_smile:

Enter The Dragon

Image

You've all seen it. Try it for yourself. But obviously, pull your punches. Again, cloe your eyes to take it to the next level.
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In summary, to train the legs use heavy squats. Train your calves hard. Use plyos and increase your flexibility.

The best way to increase hand speed is to shadowbox while keeping relaxed. Make regular use of plyos as well.

Perception, deception etc is trained through sparring and reviewing fights. The drills listed above will help improve your ability to spot things.

I hope this article was of use to someone. Finally, I will recommend the book one more time.

Buy Warrior Speed by Ted Weimann. :mozilla_cool:
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:57 pm


GRIP STRENGTH CLASS
BY Dave Lemanczyk

Society advances based on information that directly improves function and the capacity for function. Grip strength leads to overall human improvement because our lower arms are used in a variety of constant demand. This much should be obvious and known to the general public.

Hand Grippers

Certain grip strength specialty tools like the captains of crush grippers can be used to develop a specific type of grip strength. The grippers allow a person to improve his wrist stabilization by closing the hand into a fist against the resistance. The thumb and fingers will simultaneously close. The wrist tendons and soft tissues must be strong enough to support the force given to the gripper while stabilizion takes place. If not, sprains usually occur at the wrist.

Hand Gripper Mistakes

Common mistakes in gripper training are explosive pronation or supiation movements of the wrist. The negative pain felt is due to a persons lack of pronation and supination strength relative to their hand closing strength. When a wrist explosively pronates it's supination strength must be able to stop the force to avoid injury. Since most people ignore supination and pronation forms of wrist strength, they get hurt using grippers and cannot figure out why.

The Kinetic Chain

The kinetic chain is technically open to include all connecting tissues in the body during exercise. This means pronating or supinating the wrist during gripper closing will increase the probability of training injury for reasons stated in <em>hand gripper mistakes</em>. Another common mistake is attempting to close a gripper that is beyond a persons strength capacity. There are ways to use a very tough gripper however it is definitely not for the beginner, only the advanced trainee. Even then, it still resembles a higher risk to benefit ratio. Using grippers that are way beyond strength capacity cause tendon ruptures, pull ligaments leaving joints loose, and possibly tear muscles.

Controlled Temperature Care

When sprains take place in the wrist or lower arm, adequate care must be taken which includes leaving it alone and not training until it feels the way it did prior to the negative self-induced incident. Next for a sprain, it is imperative to reduce the swelling with a compress that is a bit cooler than your body temperature. If your healthy temperature is like mine (97.0) than you should try to aim for a compress, water bag, between 70 - 90 degrees. This will help to gradually reduce swelling and not cause extreme soft tissue constriction as applying ice would. Many people have put ice directly on a strain or a sprain and found out the hard way that a minor tear can become more severe with this "therapeutic" application. I first learned of this practice from my father (a former athlete) when I was about six or seven years old. It is absolutely ingenious, works, and every single person who has ever worked off this advice healed in time.

The Functional Wrist

Speciality products like grippers do not however take the place of functional wrist development. No one grip gadget or machine could. They do help promote grip training and to give the general public something to do but are not the be all end all. The functional wrist doesn't just flex, extend, deviate, pronate and supinate as many "experts" will tell you grip training is about. Many times, the functional wrist will be performing a combination of two to more wrist movements during a specific task, as stated previously.

The functional wrist is simply what I know out wrist does. For starters, the wrist deviates, pronates, supinates, flexes, and extends. These are the documented functions of which modern copy and paste grip training programs have been based on. Generically, much of what you will find if you do multiple searches on grip strength is the same list of exercises. That is NOT grip strength development, it's called follow the follower. If you don't know how to do it, follow the leader then become one yourself. Makes sense doesn't it?

World Class Grip Strength

Arm wrestling for example combines, supination, pronation, flexion, extension, deviation, while dealing with explosive shearing force in all supporting tissues binding the lower arm and elbow. This is what I consider to be apex lower arm development at a high risk level and if you ever shake hands with a world champion arm wrestler, you will all of a sudden "get it" because you will feel it. I remember when I first "got it". I was taking classes with Mike Selearis at Hofstra University in 2002 and I latched onto that bearclaw for the first time. He was giving a demonstration on how to arm wrestle and called me out as a participant. I felt his power of which was undeniable and I have pretty strong hands myself. He was strong from every single angle and I truthfully was not. A true testament to what he had done for years to acheive an incredible strength balance and a reason why he was a champion. That individual moment would inevitably connect all the dots in my mind as to how to develop real world class grip strength. Internet gurus, false claim mystery strongmen and wanna' be real life experts have no knowledge about this type of all around strength. Only the strong do.

Creating World Class Strength

A lot of people want to know how to create world class grip strength. If this includes you, reread what I wrote in this landmark piece of strength educaton. If you reread it and still don't "get it", there is no hope for you...Just kidding. Really if you don't get it it's this simple; balance all wrist movements progressively using the right tools for the job, then being to incorporate combinations of the wrist movements progressively using the right tools for the job. My own training reflects this, the private training I provide my clients with reflects this, and if you are looking for world class grip strength, you will too.

You can progressively arm wrestle and develop a lower arm like champion arm grappler Mike Selearis (of which I consider to be one of the strongest in the world). Listen to your body and you will make incredible progres over time. There is no such thing as overnight results. Whatever path you choose, make sure you train your wrist from all angles. This is how you develop world class grip strength.

Relative Products & Services

I hope you enjoyed reading this "Grip Strength Class" education. This is the level of specific instruction I provide inside of my own professional private training, physical products (K.C. Book & DVD, K.C. Newsletter) and consultation services. My job is to help you to help yourself or your group and I am one of the best at it. I am improving the irongame, one day at a time and so can you. Ross, thank you for letting me post this. You host a great forum and web site.

Dave Lemanczyk

Original Topic:http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=57750
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:46 pm


WEIGHTLIFTING BELTS

By Multiple Members


If you feel like you want to use a belt, go for it. If you don't want to, don't. It’s not a requirement at certain poundage. It’s not going to save your lower back if you're being a dumbass. It’s not going to make your core weaker by using it. Using them for curls is retarded.

I use the belt for squat, deadlift, bench, and military press plus certain variations of these movements (e.g. rack pulls, trap bar, etc for deads). I like the belt so I use it.

If you're gonna use it, don't count on it to prevent you from getting injured and make sure you know how to use it properly.

Albino
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The evidence of many studies, done on both competitive lifters/athletes and people who have to lift heavy objects in their occupation (airport luggage handlers, and warehouse employees who load heavy boxes were studied), state that belts do nothing to prevent injury. They do however contribute a slight enhancement to performance, both in the workplace and the weight room. This is largely due to the belt allowing an increase in "Intra-abdominal Pressure" or IAP. This pressure is the same sensation you get when "keeping your core tight" on squats, deads, etc. If you increase IAP, you have an easier time stabilizing your “core,” and if you are more stable, it makes handling heavy loads much less difficult. Using a belt is simply putting an artificial layer of strong "core" muscles over the existing ones. So if you use a belt all the time, and max out at a 300lbs squat, you will more than likely miss it if you don't use a belt, and regardless if you actually get the lift, the 300lbs will definitely feel much heavier without the belt, than with the belt. This can lead to a dependency on the belt, because you’re robbing your entire body of a special type of stress that cannot be replicated simply by doing “extra core work” on the ground. Lots of guys do use belts and they are super strong, lots of guys use straps and they are super strong too, but they are still training aids, and therefore the lift that uses a belt or straps is not a true display of that athletes' strength, there isn't any getting around that. It isn't any different from using a tight bench shirt, or squat suit. You use them at appropriate times in competition or in training to enhance that session or to do some specific overload work, but overuse leads to dependency. This is the reason why I rarely allow my athletes to use belts or any other support gear (the use of gear greatly depends on the sport in which they participate, their current phase of training, and other goals). Personally, I rarely used a belt in the past when I was younger, but for the last decade, I have been support gear free. You don’t need to use a belt if you have progressively worked up to using heavy weights without it. Last week I worked up to 95% of my C+J for a single, 90% of my Snatch Balance +Overhead Squat for a double, and then I did over twice my bodyweight in a clean grip DL for multiple reps, all in the same workout, without using a belt or straps, and I’ve been back injury free for years (knock on wood). Use a belt if you want, or don't, as long as it's heavy and you're busting your ass, it really doesn't make that much of a difference.

Jordan40oz
--------------------------------------

A belt is not supposed to worn as tight as possible, that defeats the point.

To fit a belt, suck in as much as air possible in your belly, pushing it out far. Then tighten to that point. Then before you lift, say a squat for example, pull in a bunch of air in your belly pushing out against the belt. This creates the IAP (like Jordan40oz was saying), solidifying your core so your lift is stable and you are tight throughout.

By creating a solid core you are taking pressure off of your spine and such as much as possible. Thus, it should be thought of as safer.

Now, if you bring in a big belly full of air and hold it, you are still creating this pressure. A belt is a good way for you to make sure you are keeping that pressure throughout the lift.

Anything other than this is pretty speculative, IMO.

Soofy
--------------------------------------

As far as breathing is concerned there is no difference between bodybuilding and power lifting when they squat. The form and technique in the movement itself might be different and there are reasons for that but the breathing is the same.

A competitive bodybuilder who doesn't do squats is going to have a name you've never heard of 99.9% of the time. Dorian Yates is the only one I can even think of. He had to switch to leg presses as his main mass builder for legs because of an old injury. He is the exception to the rule.

The exception to the rule.

The exception to the rule.

He also recommended heavy squats to anyone who ever asked him about leg training. Because that's just the way it is.

Anyone who wants to become a successful bodybuilder needs to squat and he needs to squat heavy. If that requires the individual to wear a belt then he should and probably will wear one.

The small waist, V taper or whatever you want to call it is important in bodybuilding but not so much so that any bodybuilder with half a brain will deliberately avoid heavy squatting or use his belt as a girdle so that he can have a Barbie doll waist. Some people like to bring up Arnold Schwarzenegger here because he had a small waist and allegedly was never known to do heavy squats. He was capable of 500 lbs and regularly used 405 for reps in his training. Not outstanding numbers by today's bodybuilding standards, but standards have changed and it's still way more than most of the fictional strength obsessed haters are ever going to achieve with any of their cookie cutter programs. V taper is achieved through big quads, big shoulders, wide lats and a lean waist, not to mention decent genetics. There are some who will deliberately avoid ribcage expansion techniques because they tend to fuck up the V taper. Make fun of that all you want. But anyone out there who is deliberately trying to limit hypertrophy in his waist is a schmuck who will never win any bodybuilding competitions that matter. Fact.

Maccharles
--------------------------------------

I dunno how habitual use of a belt contributes to weak core strength. I use a belt on every working set for my squats, deads, bench, and military every single workout and my core is not and has never has been a problem. When you are properly using a belt, you are pressing your abs out against it and keeping them very tight and so its been my experience that using a belt helps me use my core MORE than when lifting without one. I have a feeling these "studies" feature people using belts improperly.

Wearing a belt does not remove core strength from a lift. If your back is going to crumble under a 400lb squat, putting a belt on is not going to save you.

It’s important to note that a belt isn't something you just put on as a fashion accessory. It’s not like Chuck Taylor's just helping your lift by virtue of the fact that they are on. You have to be actively using it.

They aren't necessary by any means. Whether they will prevent or increase the chance of an injury, well, I don't think it makes a difference and everyone here is capable of pulling up nine million studies and discussions and anecdotes about how belts either killed their best friend or how it saved their life. I can just say I have a healthy lower back and always have whether I was lifting raw or I was lifting with a belt. I can get a little more out of a lift with a belt on. I have no reason to not use a belt since I will never be in a competition where belts aren't allowed. I wouldn't rely on a belt to ensure lower back health, however. I think Vic hit the nail on the head in that regard. A belt isn't going to save you if you're deadlifting with a rounded lower back, for example.

Albino
--------------------------------------

This stuff is part of the equipment that most serious lifters will eventually have. I'm sure serious combat athletes have certain things that they tend to acquire over a period of 10 or so years in the sport. If you're involved in some other sport and lifting is simply a means to some other end and one piece of a much bigger puzzle and you would have trouble sleeping at night if you wore a lifting belt or straps or wraps or gloves or any of that stuff, don't use it. Pretty simple. The guy across the ring from you doesn't care if you squat or deadlift 50 lbs less or 50 lbs more because you do or you don't wear a belt when you lift and neither does anyone else for that matter. The guy across the ring from you probably doesn't even give a shit if you lift weights. For other people, lifting is the sport and whether they make regular use of it or not, if they're in the game for 20 years or more chances are they have a gym bag full of shit like wraps, sleeves, gloves, straps, belt, chalk, etc.

Maccharles
--------------------------------------

ORIGINAL TOPICS:
http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=51646
http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54202
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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:21 pm


PASSION AND DESIRE

By Fitness_Freek


3 Weeks, 5 days till the most important moment of my life. My thoughts leading up to the world championships on goal, and life…
Most nights I sit on my mattress in a basement and just stare off into space. Thinking about how I will look in Vegas, what will come of it, what did I just get myself into, what am I going to eat afterword’s. The I start thinking about the last 25yrs I’ve spent on this earth, the choices I’ve made, all the mistakes, retaliation, all the bs. Most of the people I knew growing up have taken a total different course with their life, and when they look at me from the outside in, they/you might see a 25 yrs old with no wife, no kids, 3 jobs, sleeps on a futon mattress in a basement of his cousins. But what you don’t see is the passion and desire to be the absolute best I can be.
People tend to always ask me, how do you do it, why do you do it. I have tried to answer this question 100 times, and nothing can explain how, or why other than 2 simple words. Passion and desire to be the best I can be. Still it may seem funny to most people, for someone to go to a gym, train, eat properly, to just sacrifice so much, all for a few short moment under some lights, on a stage, and having a panel of judges tell you that you look good or that you suck. Seems strange right? Well let me tell you, the normal course of life that most people take, absolutely freaks me out.



You see I have always put it oh so nicely, that I’m just a skinny white boy from columbus. Anyone who knows anything about Columbus, its all about one thing, buckeye football. Now I don’t like football and I sure am not going to waste my time watching it if I have zero interest. Hey if its your thing, great, have fun, but to me its strange on how people can get so excited and put in so much effort to watch a other people run up and down the field. I remember as a kid being so confused why everyone did the same things. I saw older friends, and family members do the same thing. Work/school during week, weekend was beer drinking and watching sports. Few years go by, get married have kids, get fat, bitch about life and their job. To me that’s a strange pattern. I knew I wanted to strive for something different. After years of trying different things I came across it.

I can pin point the exact moment my life flipped upside down. I was about 21 sitting in my apartment, reading a magazine and saw a flier for an all natural show. So I went and saw it, and decided that’s what I wanted to do. This is my chance to do something to better myself, and compete.
Now first getting started into the sport I really just wanted to build muscle and show off to the people I use to know that I wasn’t just a skinny kid anymore. Of course along the way I forgot about that. Got past all the silliness of caring what everyone else thought. Something else was brewing inside. A deep passion and desire to be the absolute best I can be. Let me tell you something, it’s not what the judges think, or what everyone thinks, or trying to chase some pipe dream. It’s about overcoming, overcoming the obstacle of going against someone who has great genetics, of poor income that you can’t buy all the food you really need, overcoming the fact that you have probably pissed most everyone around you off, overcoming the late night cravings of food, or a flavored drink. It’s been about setting out on your own path that you want. F*k everyone else, because its all smoke and mirrors man. While walking off stage, no matter what any of the judges or people may say, there is one thing that no one can ever take, that you were the best you could be that night. No award, or high five is worth the self-respect earned.
This sport is more than a sport. It’s a complete lifestyle. Makes you view life itself different. Everything we eat, drink is timed for a specific reason. It never really stops, all day, all year, even if our off season we don’t stop. It’s a constant battle with yourself and how far you can push yourself. Do you really want to be the best you can be? Or do you want to try it, go through the motion, get your butt kicked on stage, and then make excuses? Much like life is…Cuz really life is a stage to.
Now some of you may have read this and thought well bodybuilding/fitness is not my thing, I think what you guys/girls do is nothing but showing off, all show no go, you wouldn’t last in my world, bla bla bla which is fine, I really don’t care, but all I’m saying is, all I’m saying is, don’t just go through the motions of life. Even if you have a simple goal, or desire, go get it. If it’s big then step up and handle it. If it’s a 5K race, turn into a pro athlete, hit a certain fitness level whatever it is, suck it up and do it, f’ all the bs…but that’s just me keepin it real, you got a problem with that?

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Skinsfan28 wrote:My two minute challenge would be lasting two minutes with Hobby's mom. That's for you Yellow. (That's what I yell after every orgasm)

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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:18 am


SHOULDER HEALTH

BY FEELGOOD


I've read logs and posts about various shoulder problems, including mine, and so I have compiled together a bunch of links to sites and videos that helped me. Maybe it can help you.

#1 - Self adjustment based on the shoulder being compressed. As silly as this might sound - try this! I think it helped me since I sleep on my shoulder a lot. I also tried it pulling away from elastic bands. Really feels great and I do it before, during and after workouts, recovery days - whenever.



#2 - Horizontal pulling. I thought that I was efficient by just doing pullups (a vertical pull) and not doing any rows (horizontal). Over time this could definitely cause a shoulder imbalance.

(BRAINDX)Where most people go wrong…

The lack of extension exercises in extension/hyperextension is the part where most people go wrong with routine construction. Extension in this plane requires two things that most people neglect to develop strong scapular retractors, posterior delts, and external rotators.


Manna – Image

This is why I highly encourage everyone to start training manna if at all possible. It has done wonders for my shoulder health and strength as it effectively balances out a lot of the pushing work.

Most routines are also so pushing heavy that there is very little pulling work as named above. These need to be kept in balance to ensure that strength and muscle tension/length issues at the shoulder do not develop.

IDOPORTAL
The go-to place for shoulder prehab, highly recommended.



SLIZZARDMAN
Another good resource:



OTHER STRENGTH EXERCISES
- I highly recommend the back bridge and the crab walk in all directions can also be very useful. Like the manna it seems to be a horizontal push away from the body but in the opposite plane of a bench press.

On the full back bridge progressions I would recommend trying them using a wall (back to wall) because probably flexibility more than strength is the issue. As far as the crab walk - not sure there is a proper form. When I do bear crawls I like to also be doing the crab walk as a complementary move. Doing them sideways, forward, backward seems to hit various areas and that's always good.

Image
Image


- This handstand guide probably helps the scapula: http://www.dieselcrew.com/how-to-do-a-hand-stand

Image
Image

- Inverted Pullups also help a great deal (you will also get the funniest looks when you are upside down) and messing around with parallel bars in general:



Divebombers are also a great exercise for developing range of motion for the shoulders, scapula and lower back.

Other Tips for Shoulder Strength and Health
(DAVID_001)* Replacing BB bench press with DB bench press. (Can be an intermittent or permanent replacement, depending on your preference. For some reason, the BB bench press tends to crank-up my shoulders pretty badly, despite following widely available technique cues. I don't appear to get the same problems with DB forwards pressing.)On unilateral bench I messed up due to the range of motion allotted with a single dumbell and my form... elbow was high around shoulder.. thats a no no on bench and pushups. Its like asking for shoulder problems.

So please nobody do chest moves with elbows at or above shoulder level.

* Replacing BB overhead press with DB overhead press. (In my own experience, overhead BB pressing is not as problematic as forwards/"horizontal" BB pressing. Still, my shoulders appear to be particularly amenable to single overhead DB presses. Again, this can be an intermittent or permanent replacement, depending on your preference.)

* "Horizontal" push on a suspension system. (A great shoulder stability enhancer in my opinion.)

* "Horizontal" push on two small medicine balls or "partially squidgy balls". (Another great shoulder stability enhancer in my opinion. Second place to the suspension system variant though in my view.)

* "Horizontal" pull performed on a pull-up/chin-up bar. (The "in air" version is done by "leaning right back"; while aiming to keep the abdominal area, hips, and as much as is practical, the lower-body, "up high". A "feet on block" version is of course possible, but I personally do not feel as deep a contraction in the shoulders with this. It could be a useful starting point though.)

* Front plank; side planks; back bridge. All very "tight" / with deep contractions in the shoulder area and lats.

(YELLOW-JUMPSUIT)*Skin-the-cats. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is where you hang from a bar or rings with straight arms. You then pull yourself up slightly as you swing your legs through the gap above your head and down towards the floor. Basically, think of it as doing a backwards somersault while holding onto something overhead. Not only are these great for shoulder health but they help provide the strength for gymnastic lever work as well. And, they are fun.

DIESELCREW
These diesel routines specifically the face pulls really targets some potential imbalances.

DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab - Face Pulls:

DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab - Scarecrows -
DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab - 45 Degree Shrugs -
DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab Protocol -
DieselCrew.com - Ultimate Two Minute Shoulder Warm-up -
DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab - Skiers -

PAIN FROM DIPS


Quick tip for dipping: do not dip with the shoulders "hunched forwards". You are putting your shoulders in a position which increases probability of injury of you are doing so. (Connectedly, I fundamentally disagree with the concept of "hunched forwards dips for greater chest emphasis". Some call these "chest dips". I don't like them, and and have found them injurious.)

Instead, try this: contract the lats, upper back, and shoulders very tight. In terms of mental cues, keep the shoulders "contracted + down-and-back".
----------------------------------

Here are some cues for "shoulder-pain free" (or, at least, "lowered shoulder pain") dipping.

Set-Up:

* Climb up to dipping position.
* Place hands on bars.
* Inhale and tighten the body.
* Grip the bars tight and straighten the arms.
* Let legs hang straight -- in fact, press the legs perfectly together, similarly to a gymnast. By this point, my guess is that you will be surprised at how stable you are.

Movement:

* Lock-out *upwards* first of all. This might seem strange to you, but try it. Press the shoulders "down and away" from the ears (a Pavel cue) by tensing the lats and pecs *very* tight.
* *Then*, lower yourself *under control*, keeping the legs straight and together.
* Get to *your natural* bottom position, and *do not go further*. Stop at that position for a short moment (i.e., there will be no "pre-stretch" or "bounce" out of the dip under this way of doing dips).
* Press-out, back up to the top again, exhaling under control (think "tsssss"). Again, be sure to contract the shoulders "down and away from the ears" via tensing the lats and pecs *very* tightly. At the top, you should be fully exhaled, but still tight, and ready to inhale and repeat.

The aim is for "perfect reps" -- to build basic strength throughout the movement -- before ending the set, perhaps a rep before muscular failure. The aim is *not* numbers of reps. (Moreover, the chances are that your reps will decrease, if you are counting them.) Needless to say, the above cues mean that you are *not* doing explosive dipping, which lots of people, in my experience, cannot do without messing themselves up via as little as a second or two of unmindfulness/lack of concentration on each set. Over time, that can become a cumulative problem.


If you still cannot do the dips without pain inside the shoulder, I'd bin them and focus on shoulder stability work. At the very least, focus on movements that are known to enhance shoulder stability instead of the movements -- and the means of performing them -- that have taken you to this point.
SHOULDER PAIN FROM DIPS TOPIC:http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59156&start=0

#4 - Other links.

RossTraining
Prehabilitation Info!!!! - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58515&hilit=manna
Shoulder issues - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=55030&p=739255#p739255
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Skinsfan28 wrote:My two minute challenge would be lasting two minutes with Hobby's mom. That's for you Yellow. (That's what I yell after every orgasm)

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Re: Member-Created Articles/Posts Archive

Postby Yellow-Jumpsuit » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:51 am

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Skinsfan28 wrote:My two minute challenge would be lasting two minutes with Hobby's mom. That's for you Yellow. (That's what I yell after every orgasm)


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