Friday, August 31, 2012

Training - Functional Endurance with @W10performance

I am always keen to mix things up, trick the mind and keep the body guessing. (Not a quote from that sad man, from the film Dodgeball). I have worked a few times with the guys at W10 Performance and always rated their set up. Its a small bespoke set up, where hard work is the order of the day.

Before I started back at wasps I decided to go back down and get beaten into shape by the @W10Performance. I was put through a punishing power endurance workout that is brilliant not only for conditioning, but getting used to working at a high intensity level. It’s the same kind of full body workout you get, from ball carrying, tackling, getting to your feet and competing for the ball. So great rugby specific work. Its constant and challenges you quickly.

Try and enjoy, I will be working with them on and off through the season. You are all welcome to go down and train. There is a link at the bottom.

W10 Conditioning / Power Endurance Workout
4 sets with 2mins rest in between.

Session 1

Warm up

Ensure to do a 10 minute warm up before hand like a jog on the treadmill and stretch before and after thoroughly. Get some good dynamic movements in. you can do the mini band warm up as well do get a good glute burn.

  • Back rolls
  • Leg swings
  • Spiderman’s
  • Up and down dog (yoga moves)
  • Dynamic calves
  • Quad stretch

You can click on the exercise for a thorough explanation and demonstrations of the exercise as well as variations depending on your skill level.

I haven’t put weight values in, as you need to work to the range you can achieve and repeat.

You can do normal deadlift, but this hits a different area and easier to do.

Chinsx 5 
You can change grip each set. I would start with wide over hand, as they are the hardest and work back, to neutral grip

Do normal pushupsif you can't complete the Spiderman push-ups 

Walking Lunges with dumbbells x 5 
Trying to keep good technique and touch your back kneed on the floor. The more you do the more you will open up.

Dips x 5 

Power Row x 5 
Try and use a cable machine for this, you can use a versa pull.

Prowler 20m there and back. 
You want to aim to have some weight loaded on it. 
*Push at the upright end of the prowler one way, and then returned at the low end the other

I am becoming a massive fan of the prowler as you get a good leg pump, and it saves your knees from some of the harder more compound movements. It’s also very functional and destroys the lungs.

Prowler 20m each way, with a lighter weight, get your partner to strip it while you take a second.
*Repeated as above 

Sprint 20m

Walk back 20m to get your breath back!

Rest for 2 mins and repeat. It’s naughty and creeps up on you.

*NB What weights I use are relevant to me and only a guideline. Ensure that you use a weight that allows you to complete your set correctly and with proper form before increasing your weights.

You will hurt the next day, and even worse the day after, but remember that the pain means you have worked HARD! Learn to embrace the pain because it means that you are going to get results.

Many thanks to JC at W 10 Performance for a brilliant training session. 

You can follow him on twitter @w10Performance and check out more about his gym and training here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Training - Functional Training with Legacy Fit

I have been lucky enough to train in some cool places and with some top people.  This time in Miami was no different. Through my training partner and missus @fitnesskitchen, she managed to get us a training session with top fitness guru and conditioning wiz, @Manningsumner.  We are currently on holiday in Miami and he is the man to know. Manning has trained loads of NFL players, and NBA stars, so as this lot are seen as the ultimate athletes in their sports, we thought lets get some of his magic and get him to put us through his paces.

We arrived at the legacy fit compound, a complete purpose built training area, with indoor facilities, running sand pit, a horrible hill climb (luckily we didn’t do this) and indoor sled and running track weights racks, battle ropes, you name it.

The gym was full of tough looking guys, in various states of training. Manning met us with a big smile. It’s always good to have a trainer who actually looks like he trains himself and has the skills to pay the bills. I can never take someone seriously who talks a good game but looks like a fat tank. Manning is a lean mean training machine.

The session was as follows.

Warm. Up

-       2 shuttles there and back on a 30 meter track
-       Heavy med ball walk, holding it under the chin there and back x2
-       Farmers walk with heavy kettle bells in each hand. There and back x 2
-       2 more shuttles there and back x2
-       Short dynamic stretch then into it

Session 1

Part 1 - Medball, 6 mini hurdles x 3 sets.

Set 1

  • -       5 Medball slams into the ground with heavy no bouncing Medball. Good squat position.

  • -       Then straight in sideways mini hurdle runs, one foot in each section, as you hit the last space, you go back the other way as quick as you can.

  • -       Pick up Medball and repeat again for another 5 slams, then sideways stepping.
  • -       Do this once more, so three rounds continuously in one set.

Rest in between these sets while your partner is working.

Set 2

-       Same Medball slams, side shuffle, but when you reach one end, you do 5 down and ups and then back through hurdles to Medball slams. You repeat this through 3 times continuously that is set 2.
Rest while your partner is working

Set 3

-       Medball slams, side shuffles, but when you reach the end this time you get into a bear crawl stance, on your hand and toes, back flat. You then crawl backwards towards the other end of the hurdles where the Medball is. DO another 5 slams and repeat through the ladder, slams and the crawl. 3 times continuously.

Rest while your partner works.

Part 2 – weighted sled pulls and exercises.

Set 1

  • -       Weighted sled or prowler with 20 kgs on it. Start on one side, and perform 20 dynamic mountain climbers, 10 on each leg. Focusing on good leg drive and flat back.

  • -       As soon as you finish the 20 mountain climbers, push the sled as fast as you can over 25 meters.

  • -       Turn round and use the other end of the sled (this grip maybe lower but no problem) perform 20 more dynamic mountain climbers, then push the led back up the track 25 meters.

Rest while your partner preforms the same routine.

Set 2

  • -       Perform 10 press-ups on one end of the sled then push it down the track 25 meters.

  • -       Turn to the other end and perform another 10 press-ups and push the sled back up the track to the other end.

Rest while your partner goes.

Set 3
  • You need the same weighted sled but with a strap or handles attached    Same weight on the sled, but this time you have hold of the straps, and are back peddling down the track. 
  •  Once you are over half way, your partner says go and you drop the straps, and in a good low body position, sprint back up the track from where you have come from.

Rest and partner goes

-       Same as the first part. Back peddle then when your partner shouts, drop the straps and sprint forward.

Part 3 – battle ropes and sprints.

Set 1

-       Get a large double battle rope; get into a good athletic squat position, chest up. Start with alternating mini waves. Move the rope up and down in each hand. Do this for 20 seconds

-       As soon as 20 seconds is up, drop the rope and sprint 25 meters.

Rest while partner goes

Set 2

-       Same battle ropes, this time outward circles for 20 seconds. Once done drop rope and sprint with good form 25 meters. (If a small gym, there and back to make distance)


Set 3

-       Double up and down battle ropes for 20 seconds, drop rope and sprint.


Part 4 – sandpit running, or field. Do this together with your partner at the same time if you have one.

The pit we used is roughly 35 meters long.

Sprint out halfway, back to the start, then right to the end of the pit and back to the start.

Rest 45 seconds.

-      This time back pedal to the middle, sprint to the start, back to the end and then back to the begging.

Rest 45

-       Last rep is all the way to the end, and back to the beginning.

Then watch your girlfriend spew, as you collapse in a heap on the hot Miami grass and roll around in agony.

Once you can stand, get a recovery drink in and lots of water.

Enjoy. This was one of my best training days every. If you are in Miami get down to Legacy fit and work with @Manningsumner.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Training - First Session Back

Upper body Starter Session.

So it is time to stop lying around and start back in the gym and get on with some training for a massive, start of season with Wasps. Whatever happens after three weeks of not training, or doing a few bits of jujitsu, knee rehab, I am going to get mega DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Which means I walk like a duck, and have even more of an arrogant strut than usual.

There are different approaches to getting back into training but mine is to ease my way back in. I like to strip the weights right back, and approach everything with excellent technique. I try to focus on a really good warm up, getting the body moving properly again, before I start. Ill do this before every session to get  it going again, until I am fully back in to rugby training. Then ill switch to my mini band warm up, as detailed in my other blogs or other dynamic warm ups.

The easiest session to do, to get back into things, is an upper body routine. I have slimmed down a bit since the end of the season, which isn’t a problem, but I like to be a certain weight during the season, so decided on a bit of hypertrophy session with the missus. She is a budding fitness model and loves training like I do. Which makes things easier. Check her twitter and blog out @fitnesskitchen.  Size isn’t everything as shown by Bradley Wiggins’s pipe cleaner legs, vs. the German riders transformers quads in the London Olympics. Wiggo smashed everyone; like he did in the Tour de France It’s the same in rugby as power and skill are the order of the day. But size does play a part in confidence, injury protection and body function, but its not the future or something to be obsessed with.

Be careful and seek advice before you try and perform any of the below. Never go beyond your means,  and alter things to your level of skill and experience.

Upper Body Hypertrophy

Warm up.

Bike, treadmill, jog – get the heart going for 5 mins.

Then pick up some small dumbbells and go through the following routine with 6 reps on each exercise. Do them at a medium pace.

  • Lat raise
  • Shrugs
  • Bent over row
  • Shoulder press
  • Bicep curls
  • Chest swims
  • Bent over flies.

Go through these once, then do a dynamic stretch routine, things like
Chest opens, arm rotations. Back rolls.

Then repeat the list above once more through, and finish with any stretches you need.

Session 1

Main lift

Bench press- 3x 10 reps. With 1 min rest between sets.

Try to have great form here, by taking the bar right down to touch your chest in a 3,2,1 count and then come back up.

Do three sets of this and then go onto the next exercises.

Ancillary exercises – good for size building. These exercises are performed in a 10-12-rep range x3 with 15 seconds rest.

  • ·      Press ups, wide hand placement x10, and narrow hand. X5
  • ·      Lat raise 10
  • ·      Dumbbell Flies x 10

Main lift 2

Bench pull or seated row. 10 reps x3
Rest a 1 min in between the 3 sets.

Same as the bench press, regarding form and rep speed. The eccentric part, i.e. the lowering is just as important and the concentric

Ancillary exercise - 10-12 reps x3 with 15 seconds rest.

  • ·      Shoulder press 10
  • ·      Bicep curls 12
  • ·      Triceps pullovers. 10

Finish these off and then get protein in quickly. Have a good stretch, lats, and chest.