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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:41 am 
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I'll try the med ball tonight, see what it's like. Can't imagine it would phase me though as the pipe is brutal, but I can compare it to an average foam roller.

The tennis ball shouldn't be overlooked. And you can progress from this as well. It's hard to believe when you first use it, but the tennis ball starts to get boring. By boring I mean painless. YOu can progress to something harder liek a Lacrosse ball or baseball. I have a field hockey ball, it's about the size of a tennis ball (slightly bigger) and it's solid, no 'give' at all in it. That's brutal too.

Also, a friend of mine came round to my house the other day and proceeded to hand me a drum stick. Not the chicken kind, the drummer kind. With the drumstick, you can get in at your upper traps / levator scapula. You can get some one else to do your fore arms or wedge part of the stick somewhere and do it your self. And ít seems to hit parts of your adductors that the pipe can't get to.

I love foam rolling. It's almost like an addiction.

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:42 am 
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You guys would do that foam rolling to get the knots out right? Wouldn't that hurt though? Obviously it does and since I'm too "hard" for my woman to rub maybe I should try and get one of those foam rollers. Not a bad idea.

Peter whats it like living there? You bike everywhere right? Crazy.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:59 am 
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It does hurt, but it hurts good... If you find a knot, which you find loads of when you first do it, it's really sore and tender.. You need to press your self onto the foam roller and rock back and forward slightly, as if your ironing it out. When you get rid of knots it feels amazing. Some knots are so bad that you just won't get rid of it in one sitting.

Ever had a sports massage? Not the nice, relaxing kind, but the one that feels like the therapist is trying to kill you? They use everything from thumbs to elbows to hammer away at your muscles. The experience is painful but as soon as you stand up you feel great.

Well, foam rolling is the poor mans sports massage...

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:50 pm 
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John - it's really nice here, actually. Some things are really expensive (supplements, weight training gear, etc.) and the gyms are like the most healthy clubby places in the US, only moreso. Houses are hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and are thin-walled and flimsy (but earthquake-safe, largely). But the food is good, the people are nice. It's not terribly hard to make enough money to live on as a foreigner, getting a visa is the only hard part. I really like it here. I miss the US a lot, and it's hard being so far from my family, but it wasn't too hard to adjust to living here. It's a nice country to visit, too - easy to get around and safe.

KPj - did you try the med ball yet? I think it works pretty well, but if it's really worth the extra money for a foam roller I'll spend it. But I've been rolling on my med ball, and I get massage treatments about twice a week for my specific trouble spots. It's not as hard as a sports massage, but works quite well, and it's covered by my insurance. $3.50 for a visit with a 15 minute waterbed massage, 15 minute electronic massage, and 10 minutes of hands-on trouble spot work from the massage/muscle worker guy. I get lots of tips for my squat form and workout from him too, he's a former powerlifter.

And he depresses me, too. His gigantic 11-year old son deadlifts 100kg for reps, squats 90kg for reps, and benches 70kg for singles and weighs 50kg. Gah.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:07 am 
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pdellorto wrote:
And he depresses me, too. His gigantic 11-year old son deadlifts 100kg for reps, squats 90kg for reps, and benches 70kg for singles and weighs 50kg. Gah.


LOL. I know what you mean. I thought I was reasonably strong until I went and watched a PL competition a few weeks ago. What an eye opener. Let's just say i'm not competing until I can beat the women that topped my weight class!

And some of the 16 year old boys that were there who looked like they were up playing computer games all night and there dads dragged them in! They were all DL'ing 100-140kg, and didn't seem interested. That's not far off a lot of guys I know that weigh 90-95kg, quite cut as well, BB types. These boys looked like they've never touched a weight in there life.

It's good motivation / inspiration. I actually witnessed a 75kg guy DLing 280kg. Amazing.

Anyway... I tried the med ball for foam rolling. It was quite good, but awkward, I kept falling off it at first and found it difficult to press my self into it. I would say the intensity is on par with the blue 'all foam' ones and that for ease of use it would be worth getting it. However, if I were you I wouldn't buy the orange Reebok one. Without having both in front of you it's hard to imagine, but there is a big difference.

With the Med ball and a tennis ball you could definitely get the job done and with the manual work your getting, I would say your pretty much covering the 'soft tissue quality' aspect...

KPj


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:20 am 
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Thanks KPj. I kinda figured. I actually got the idea for using the med ball for that from Rob Iszra from Crossfit Morris County. He said he found it was better than his foam roller for his shoulders, so I figured, what the heck. I think it's much easier to use than the tennis ball. The ball always rolls up my clothes into bunches around it, squirts out when I move to far, etc. The med ball is much easier for me.

I won't buy the Reebok one, even if it was as good - it's more expensive! 2000 yen for a good one vs. 3000 yen for a not-so-good-one isn't a comparison, it's a sick joke.

Anyway with the competition, maybe you should join anyway. You'll lose, but I bet you pull harder and heavier leading up to it and surprise yourself on the platform. I know from fighting that you're never "ready" but you always improve afterwards. You get a better feel for pressure, what you need to be doing, what it means to compete despite fear and nerves, etc. Worst thing is you miss a few lifts, big deal.


While I've got you - I'm working those Single-legged arched-back good mornings with a plastic bar, and I'm doing okay. My step-downs are much improved, I can "control" the step all the way down now. Any suggestions for ramping them up? Should I try a higher step for more progression, a heavier bar for the good mornings? I see to have the motion down pretty well.

Peter


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:52 am 
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The med ball is great for your upper back, the foam roller just can't get in there. As for the rear shoulder, surely the med ball would be too big to get in there? it's definitively awkward, but only at first.. You just need to find that 'spot' - the one that makes your head shoot through the roof! At a Cressey seminar, his 'cue' to find it was to go to your arm pit, and move in 2-3 inches. I start lying flat on my back, get into position, then roll over (on the side that i have the ball) until I feel some pain.. Then I start the internal external rotating thing... If that helps.

I've recently taped 2 tennis balls together to work on my lumbar erectors, too - ouch! The utensils available for soft tissue work are endless...

RE the comp - Yeah, I should just go for it. I had a set back with the knee injury though, just started bilateral stuff less than 2 weeks ago (2 months with just unilateral, so frustrating). I went to the comp in search of other clubs, as the one nearest me shuts too early for me to train in regularly. I found out you can compete as 'unattached' which is great, so I just need to join a federation and enter a comp.. I'm going to go see as many as I can, would like to see an OL comp, too. It's very inspiring - makes you stronger!

You can ad load to the step downs, but they are one of those exercises that once you've mastered it, you can just move on and forget them. Stay on top of them by doing them every now and again, but they don't need to be a 'mainstay' in your program. All your doing is teaching yourself to decelerate properly - it should carryover to your other lifts. I like to throw some sets of step downs in between upper body exercises...

With the good mornings - I went up to an empty O-bar, for 3 sets of 10 slow reps... Again, it's just teaching optimal movement patterns, so it will carryover to other exercises. When a heavier (empty) bar is relatively easy, I would just drop them. All this stuff is really just going back to basics. Once you have it all down, you can just move on. Then it's just a case of fitting more challenging single leg unsupported exercises into your program - single leg DL variations are great, i'm really liking king deadlifts just now, and pistols - well, it's the ultimate single leg exercise. You could always drop the step downs and start working on them through a ROM that you can manage i.e. down to a chair or something similar. Decreasing height a few inches at a time when it gets easy.

Another indicator is your knee - how is it? If it was still pretty much the same I would be more inclined to keep at the step downs, add DB's or like you said, try from a higher height. If it's blatantly improved then I would just drop them, do something with more of a training effect... Step UPS are naturally a good choice after step downs...

KPj


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:03 am 
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Actually, both knees kind of hurt lately. My bike is broken so I've been forced to ride in a totally different gear than I'm used to grooving in, so I suspect it's probably that. They've felt better as the days go so I think it might have been temporary.

I've got one of those tennis ball rigs set up. I asked Mike Robertson what I could do for a replacement drill from Inside/Out if I didn't have a foam roller or med ball at the gym, he said to make one of those. Works fine. I also use it to roll my feet before I do kicks, helps loosen up my legs.

I still feel pretty far from pistols, so I should probably start doing weighted step-ups, or trying deeper step-downs. My balance as much as my strength is the problem. Maybe I'll try sitting down in a "pistol" position on a chair and then standing up, and then trying lower and lower seats. Can't hurt...well maybe it can, we'll see how my knees feel after that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:59 am 
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Peter I've come to believe that pain in the knees can be erased by feet placement. My gf who I recently started training lifted one week like I showed her and her knees hurt. She showed me how she lifted and her feet were straight ahead like mine. I looked at her knees throughout the ROM and the reason her knees hurt her was because she is flatfooted.

With that being said any lift you do with your legs wether it's a step up a squat or a deadlift you need to make sure your feet are where you are comfortable either toes straight forward or slightly to the side. She went back the following week after the adjustment no pain in the knees but a hell of a workout.

I think I can deadlift 400lbs I weighed myself this morning, before any food or anything and I weighed 201. Is that good in your opinion? I know that's nothing compared to power lifters but yea. I think eventually I'll either compete in body building or powerlifting and then I think I'd like to be a personal trainer for professional atheletes.

Peter what's your attitude while lifting? Tell me what's going through your mind as you're lifting a heavy weight for example bench. I have a theory on weight training and the mantality that goes into it.

When I lift I'm angry I'm excited and pissed off at the weight that is holding me down, metaphorically speaking. In my mind every rep that I lift push pull through gets me that much closer to my ultimate goal. Anything less the an all out effort every day with 100% intensity is unnacceptable. I know your coming off some pretty crazy injuries/surgeries but I think our mind plays a big part in our success.

What's is your opinion and kpjs opinion on that? How old are you guys too?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:19 am 
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pdellorto wrote:
I still feel pretty far from pistols, so I should probably start doing weighted step-ups, or trying deeper step-downs. My balance as much as my strength is the problem. Maybe I'll try sitting down in a "pistol" position on a chair and then standing up, and then trying lower and lower seats. Can't hurt...well maybe it can, we'll see how my knees feel after that.


Your probably right about the step ups. I tend to think it's good to practice pistols even in a small ROM, slipped in somewhere that it won't interfere with any workouts. You can at least work on starting from the hips which is a common problem with people doing pistols - they just break at the knees, not really thinking of setting it up with the hips.

I thought it would be worth saying that, according to Mike Robertson, you should first learn to decelerate before learning to accelerate. I'm a little weary of pistols starting from the bottom (only when you can't do them from the top position). This is purely because of a PT friend of mine who can do pistols from the bottom position whilst holding a 20kg plate for reps. But he still can't lower himself from the top with no added weight... I'm not saying that I think it will make things worse, just that it could be waste of time..

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:52 am 
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KPj - I'll keep that in mind, but right now I can't come up from the bottom of a pistol very well, so I need to work on that too. Clearly bottom-up only isn't the way to go, but I figure it's another piece to work on. If I know I can come up from the bottom I'll have less concerns about going too long as I work my way down.

MOS - I'm 99% sure the knee problem was my bike. I've ridden my Giant Boulder for thousands and thousands of miles. So much so I've almost worn the teeth off of 3rd gear...so I've had to do a lot of 2nd gear riding. That's a big change and it's sub-optimal for long road riding. I'm getting used to the different feel and different push I need to ride that way (more rotations, less leg power pushing the gear down) and my knee pain is almost gone. If my feet placement was bad on DLs and squats before I'd have had knee pain before the the bike gear system started to go.
But I think you're right - bad foot placement will transfer right to the knees and hurt badly. I know that from poorly-done lunges.

My attitude is positive when I lift, but I don't get angry at the bar or rev up or anything. I focus on perfect technique, feeling the muscles work, and moving the bar fast. I don't think about anything else except the bar and the weight and moving it. When I work the heavy bag I think about destroying my opponent ("now is the time for bad intentions" - Phil Dunlap, my US-based MMA mentor who poked me into doing MMA in Japan), but even then it's "proper technique" and "hit hard" rather than anger. It's not the same approach as you, but yeah, nothing less than 100%. One thing I heard that stuck with me was "it takes 10 perfect executions of a technique to undo one bad one." I think of that sometimes when I'm lifting, too. If I do a crap rep, it's not moving me forward, it's moving me backwards.

And a 400# deadlift at 201# is just under 2x bodyweight. That's a good weight, dude! I'm only pulling 1.6x bodyweight right now. My goal is 2.5x bodyweight. Stuart McRobert proposed a standard of 300-400-500 in the bench press - back squat - deadlift - for a 200 pound guy. That's 1.5x - 2x - 2.5x bodyweight. If you can nail all of those, you're a pretty strong guy! I'm below 1x bodyweight for the bench press, theoretically just over 1x bodyweight for the squat, and at 1.6x for the deadlift. I've got a long way to go.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:18 am 
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I'm about the same as Peter when I lift - positive, focused, and trying for perfect technique. Can't remember the last time I done a 'wild rep', as I train to one rep shy of failure, and even then, I don't go beyond 'technical failure' i.e. when my form breaks down, i've 'failed'. I'm not the shouting and screaming type - "C'MON MY GRANDMOTHER CAN LIFT MORE THAN THAT!!!!!!". I don't really need to get myself fired up anymore. Sometimes I need to give myself a shake and 'snap out of it', though. I just put every ounce of energy into the lift itself. It was maybe a little different when I started training for strength in the low rep range, I would need a 5 minute psyche up period before I went for it. But now the intensity is the norm, i;m hooked. I started to getting lazy a while ago, would prefer maximal sets and sometimes couldn't be bothered with anything over 3 reps. When I get lazy, I take as a sign that I need more high rep stuff, and that's worked quite well. High and low reps are different ball games. I'm a little more wise now in the sense that i have a good balance of high and low reps. I don't even know why i'm talking about rep ranges in Peters Journal discussion.

Anyway, Peter, thought you would be interested or slightly amused to know that in a couple of weeks i'm going to be getting some one on one 'Thai Boxing' tuition. I can't wait! There's a Thai boxer in my gym, he's bulking up just now but he just about heavy enough and then he wants to focus on just getting stronger. I told him if he trained with me, i'll make him stronger and more explosive, and improve his balance etc. He doesn't have much weight lifting knowledge, right now he's training with a couple of BB types (they do know there stuff). He then proposed that he teach me the basics of Thai in exchange for that - sounds like a good set up! I've trained in a boxing gym over one summer and kept up the drills I was taught - I was getting some one on one lessons. But i've always wanted to be good with my feet, MMA and likes facinate me with how quickly you can just kick someone in the face, lol - brutal!

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:36 pm 
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KPj, that's great. Muay Thai is a lot of fun. I'm glad you're prying him away from the bodybuilders. BBers training a Muay Thai fighter for a fight is like a Muay Thai fighter training a BBer for a competition - no one cares in a MT fight if you have balanced development, and nobody wins a BB comp with black eyes and a discolored "nair" strip down the front of their shin from kicking.

Give the training a go and post about it - I got into weight training to help my martial arts, so I always look at "how does strength training help my martial arts?" I'm curious how training Muay Thai might help you with your strength goals. What does adding MT to a athletic/powerlifting routine do for it? You'll be a good test of that!

I know what you mean about lazy - sometimes I like doing low-rep ME work because it's less demanding than metabolic conditioning. Sometimes I think "Geez, I'd rather do 7 x 3 back squats than AMRAP of a barbell complex in 20 minutes." That's why I mix it up so much, and why I like WS4SB so much. It makes me work in different rep ranges all the time. Sets of 10-12? Do them. 15-20? Yep. 6-10? Sure. Max work in 3s and 5s? Sure, every workout. It gets to be a pain setting weights sometimes and changing the barbells and dumbbells around but it's worth it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:12 am 
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Just saw this on Boris Bachmann's blog:

http://squatrx.blogspot.com/2008/06/wan ... a-guy.html

Top 10 Signs You're a "Wannabe MMA Guy"

I do two of those, you can try and guess which ones if you want. ;)
I wish I could bench 135 pounds a bunch of sets, though, bleh. Stupid weakness in pressing...stupid repeated unhealed traumatic right shoulder injuries.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:31 am 
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I'll let you know how it goes. I've already started stretching my adductors / groin more frequently in preparation for it. I just know i'll get carried away and try and kick too high or something. It will be interesting to see the effect it may have on my training. I normally do sprint / agility days, so I'll swap those and see what happens. I know because of my job that it's just good to move around as much as possible, so it will at least help in that respect. I know I will probably end up with some stupid injury, but you only live once so i'll risk it!

I've been wanting to get him away from the bodybuilders. He doesn't really know much about weight training. When he came back to the gym about 2 months ago, he said he was just trying to gain weight. He had already teamed up with a couple of bodybuilder types and started training with them. I always tell people that size isn't my thing, but if they want to get stronger or healthier, give me a shout. This boy is intrigued because i'm around 28lbs heavier from when he last saw me, but I just tell him it's a side affect of strength training. He has a fight in September, and feels he's about heavy enough and now wants to just maintain or increase strength, and cut fat. If I remember correctly, his preferred weight class is about 14lbs lighter than he is just now.

One interesting thing is, the reason he is taken on by my kind of training is because through speaking with him, I say things like 'hip dominant exercises'. I emphasise the importance of posterior chain strength, being explosive, being balanced etc. When he was telling my about Thai, it was almost like the same conversation, only talking about striking and general technique and not weights i.e. Kicks come from your hips, you don't slap them with your feet... Punches come the opposite heal, and hips and not your hands / arms, things like that.

Turns out some of the exercises I do for my 'core' are the same as he gets taught in his 'other gym' - Full Contact Twists, being one..

KPj


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