Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Five Things I Learned from Doug Hepburn

Great advice from a strongman legend

by Charles Poliquin

Long before anabolic steroids became a common shortcut in the Iron Game, there were several amazing athletes who achieved Herculean levels of maximal strength. Their formula for success contained the optimal mix of principle-based training, sound nutrition, adequate recovery and a drive to improve. One such athlete was Doug Ivan Hepburn.

Hepburn was born in Vancouver, Canada, on September 16, 1926. Born with a clubfoot and cross-eyed, Hepburn took up weight training when he was 15 and overcame his disabilities to become incredibly strong - by age 18 he could squat 340 pounds, bench press 260 and curl 140. Many strength historians argue that at his peak Hepburn was the strongest man in the world. Here's why.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Five Lessons I Learned from Pierre Roy by Charles Poliquin

Although the Eastern Bloc countries, especially Bulgaria, have gotten the most press about their weightlifting methods (and, unfortunately, their drug suspensions), in Canada Pierre Roy is considered one of the most accomplished weightlifting coaches of the past several decades. Case in point: He coached two athletes at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, one being Jacques Demers. Demers won the silver medal over Dragomir Cioroslan, who went on to become the head weightlifting coach for the United States. Pierre also coached several more athletes who competed in the World Championships, such as Denis Garon, who clean and jerked 490 pounds as a heavyweight, and more than 50 athletes who competed in the Canadian Championships.

Roy is a man of a few words but is very precise in what he means. Like all geniuses, he simplifies things and loves to use principles to dictate training orientation. Here are five lessons that he impressed upon me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another split

Pulled this from a collection of Glen Pendlay writings:

I've even seen people who after a while on a 3 day a week program, switched to a 4 day split, doing squats and pressing exercises on Monday and Thursday, back and pulling exercises on wed and Saturday. I don't see this as retreating from the principles of the 5 by 5 at all. you are STILL working your whole body, or very nearly so, every training day. squats work the back, they work everything... and deadlifts or stiff legged deadlifts work the legs, not as much as squats, but they still work them. this is in fact the favored program of mike stone, probably the best ex phys guy on the planet and former head of sports science at the Olympic training center.

the main thing is to go about it in a systematic way.
one of my lifters, josh wells, who made the junior world team in 2004 in weightlifting, and can jerk close to 400lbs weighing around 180lbs as a teenager, did this program about a year ago in his "off season" to try to gain some general strength.

Monday, squats (5 sets of 3), push presses (3 sets of 5) then glute ham raises or reverse hypers

Wednesday, snatch pulls (5 sets of 2), powercleans (5 sets of 2), chin-ups (5 sets of 10 with extra weight, hanging from a 2" bar)

Thursday, front squats (6 sets of 2), push jerks (5 sets of 2), military press (3 sets of 5), then glute ham raises or reverse hypers.

Saturday, powersnatches (5 sets of 2), clean pulls (5 sets of 5), barbell rows, (5 sets of 5)

obviously this is geared toward Olympic weightlifting.... this is just as representative of the 5 by 5 training style as the simpler 3 day programs... because we did it systematically, sets across instead of failure, gradually moving the weights up, gradually adding then subtracting volume of training to force the body to adapt

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Splits and Programs

There seems to be a rough division between those who split train and those who do whole body workouts - the first being bodybuilders, the second strength athletes. But I've also noticed some fine examples of elite lifters/strength athletes who break things up, sometimes just for parts of their training years.

Here's a quote from Derek Poundstone, a super-strong guy who had the 2008 WSM in reach before slipping on the final atlas stone:
What is your current training split like?

Monday is shoulders, traps and abs, Tuesday is arms and cardio, Wednesday is usually off, Thursday is lower body (squats and deadlift), Friday is chest and back every other week and Saturday is Event training with CT Strength. (link)

Dan John offers his world famous One Lift A Day (OLAD) which I read as the feral child version of split routines, ancient in origin, and clearly un-sustainably intense... I've yet to try it, though I have done a spontaneous one-lift-day (just back squats) and it was great. Hard work that for some reason, that day, was exactly what I wanted.

I posted masochistically appealling hybrid of Dinosaur and Westside before... there's two routines in there that are pretty full body but interesting in the break up.

Of course a classic split like push/pull is still sort of full body if you are doing lifts like deads , cleans, rows, presses, and squats.

Only so much time but so many choices...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

LBH Schedule Updates

There will be no weightlifting at LBH on Friday, April 3rd.

Weightlifting will start late (~7:00PM) on Monday, April 6th.