Skip to main content

How to get started . . . .

I routinely get messages from people who want to be powerlifters, weightlifters, throwers, or other things involving advanced athletics.  If they want to work with me, I always ask them a series of questions revolving around this central concept:  Where are you now?

This was 2015.  She's still working on squatting better.  
In other words, what are you currently doing?  Are you strength training?  Training at all?  Playing a sport?  How is your diet?  What are you eating?  When are you eating?  How much time do you have to train?  What is your job?  Are you in school?  What is your stress level?

It is impossible to plot a course if you don't know where you are starting from.

The next thing I do is very clearly tell them what steps we need to take.  There are usually two very basic steps to take and my new client has to be willing to devote a lot of time to both.  These two things are:
1.  Learn and practice the specific skills involved in the sport or activity they want to train for.
2.  Introduce or continue with basic strength training to help prevent injury.

It really is that simple.

My powerlifters learn how to squat, bench, and deadlift with good technique (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.

My weightlifters learn how to snatch and clean and jerk (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.

My throwers learn how to execute their specific throws with good technique (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.

See what I did there?  Its the same for losing weight, playing lacrosse, gardening, or playing the piano.  Practice your skills and keep your body strong.  Strength training throughout life will strengthen your weaknesses and protect your spine and joints.

Anyway, if you are strength training with machines, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sacks of dog food, or sleeping children, keep it up.  And when you are ready to learn how to do it better or different, find a good coach to help you.

***If you are interested in training for Highland Games, you can find some information and some training documents I wrote and presented at Highland Games clinics in 2016 and 2017:  http://www.throwshagshag.org/training/


Popular posts from this blog

Next Level

So, there are those of us who work out regularly to look and feel better and improve our general health.  There are those of us who just like to lead active lives and enjoy nature and the occasional physical activity.  And then there are those of us who like to challenge themselves to push past our perceived physical limitations and see how far down the rabbit hole we can go.  While this last one is certainly an admirable pursuit, as are the other two, I must say it is the one I most commonly see go sideways.

If you are contemplating taking things to the next level with your training, you must first sit down and realistically assess what you are about to take on.  Next level training is not just about pushing yourself in the gym, but also managing your personal life, your recovery, and your expectations.  It also means knowing when to go low and slow and when to go hard.  The most common mistake a lot of people make is that they think next level means going harder all the time.  But,…

The Highland Games

Last summer, I became intrigued by the idea of learning how to throw heavy things.  As a weightlifting coach with unfortunate limb ratios for competitive weightlifting and a few friends who compete in Highland Games (and blather on incessantly about how awesome it is), I was excited to see if throwing might be a good outlet for my training.  I'm relatively strong, can produce a good amount of power, and have long limbs.  However, I am also relatively small compared to most throwers and therefore do not have a mass advantage.  That leaves me with mostly strength and technique as my assets.  Not yet knowing how to throw and not having a coach other than you-tube was going to make the technique part a bit of a challenge.

I didn't really intend to compete in the Highland Games, just use the throws to keep my training fun and set some backyard PRs, but then a friend of mine in Texas decided to host a Highlander.  A Highlander is a hybrid Highland Games and Strongman competition a…

Training for the Warrior Dash

Over the past couple of years, obstacle course races such as the Warrior Dash have become insanely popular.  Since I first posted about training for the Warrior Dash, I've gotten a lot of inquiries from clients and other trainers about how exactly one should train for the Warrior Dash or similar short distance obstacle course races.  I've heard people tout everything from Crossfit to P90X to not training at all as being the best way to train for one of these races, but I believe there is a middle ground that can serve far more people, especially beginners, without getting too extreme or requiring a lot of equipment.  Obviously, the best training protocol is tailored for the individual, but with a little information, its relatively easy to tweak a program for your own needs and fitness level.

The first time I saw a video of the Warrior Dash on Youtube, I thought to myself, "Those people are crazy."

I also thought, "I want to do that".  
I watched a few mo…