Monday, July 27, 2009

Prep work....a warm up for life

For the past year or so, I've done Z health R Phase neural warm up prior to workouts and bicycle rides. I try to make sure I do some Z before I lace up my boots every morning. It is a great way to start the day and I recommend.


I've been neglecting some bad movement patterns which are related to use and abuse of the body over the years; specifically some rather major injuries to ankles and back. HMMM, probably related. Thus there are some specific Z Health movements that I practice regularly. Especially when things go wrong and I lock up.

I have achieved most of my goals in the past few years and continue to improve slowly. This is not good enough. My ego says I should be better at my sports than I am right now. The largest problem is limitations and restrictions of my own body. These limitations range from flexibility, mobility and stability. Time to get busy.

I met with Master RKC Brett Jones one of the creators of the CK-FMS system that screens athletes, finds the weakness and provides corrective strategies. After a 45 minute screen, I found that I was very correct, I can't move. We spent another hour working on corrective strategies.

During the session I didn't really push anything to the extreme yet I was totally cooked. Brett was kind enough to tell me that I have enough disfunction in my body to fight just to walk. The good news is that most of the problems should be better in a few weeks.

The result of my visit is a series of exercises or movements that I need to practice a couple times per day. I actually timed it today, another 15 - 20 minutes of work just so I can be prepared for a workout. This is not a warm up it is work.

I generally like to be done with a workout in less than 30 min. GRRR, with the additional prep work, this is now impossible. It is necessary to restore function and ultimately rule the world.

Here is my prep work time break down:
Z NWU - 10 minutes
Movement prep including breathing, rolling, Bretzel, ankle mobility and strap work - 15 min.
Kettlebell prep - deadlift, swings and get ups to elbow only - 10 +++ min (depends how many swings).
At a minimum my prep work will take 35 min and I need to repeat 2x daily. This is way more than my workouts (not including bike rides).

Think about it another way. The average Joe spends about 1 minute preparing for a workout. Elite athletes spend hours preparing for their event or practice. What do you do?

Another thought. What is more important, the workout or the preparation for the workout? I do prep work even if I'm not working out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Press Technique Part 2 -- Grip

In the gym you see all sorts of crazy things. Even something like pressing is often messed up. Pay attention tomorrow and you will notice open palms while pressing, loose bodies in every single lift and many other bad habits. I admit it, I've done them too.

What does grip have to do with pressing an object?

A strong grip is a strong body. I'll break the law of iradiation into slang. It basically says that when you clench really tight the tension will move up your forearm to your biceps and triceps to your shoulder, chest and lats.

Go ahead, try it. DO IT NOW...MOVE. Try to cinch your grip without having any flex in your biceps and shoulders. It is difficult and there is still a little tension with zero effort. Use this law to your advantage. When you press or even pull, grip with a white knuckle grip. You will find you are stronger.

I delayed this post for a few weeks as I was practicing the following skills and improving my strength. Dude...I pressed more weight with more volume than I have in months.

Practice pressing with the white knuckle grip and using the pull down technique in Part 1. Add the following: squeeze your free hand while pressing and double the tension and irradiation. You can squeeze your hand, a racket ball or even a gripper. I was using my Capt of Crunch T gripper but a cheap one will be more than adequate.

Remember strength is a skill. Practice it perfectly while fresh and use only a few reps.

Next post will describe tension.