Happy Sunday evening folks! I wanted to put together a quick run down of some of my weekend activities along with some video clips and tips for all of you. It’s sure to be a busy week ahead, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Saturday morning began later than I had hoped for, but it was nice to sleep in to 8:30am. Yes, that’s sleeping in. I was schedule to work the floor at my gym, so it was time to eat then pack up some clothes so I could drive up to Adelphi, lift, shower, then drive back and work. After chatting with one of the GA’s about our displeasure with the gap in applied exercise science (more on that later) I showed a professor how to do Paloff presses and chatted with one of my oldest friends Steve and his girlfriend Alex about the importance of yoga. She’s in the process of getting certified to teach, and dropped some knowledge bombs on me. As much as I hate the Y word, I’ll probably be going to some of her classes. Let me just say I can beast out a mean crow-pose to tripod headstand. Sweet.
After a slow warm-up, I was feeling awesome about my sumo deadlift. I’ve really been hammering away at that lift, and have been working on some technique tips I received from several powerlifters I contacted. They took a look at my last PR video, with 405lbs, and suggested setting up with my shoulders further behind the bar, a lower starting position for my hips to allow for more leg drive off the floor, and focusing on working through a sticking point I have a few inches below my knees. My reps felt clean and crisp, and the bar was flying off the floor. I was taking care of those points, and was happy to smoke 405lbs again. For some reason when I set up over 415 all those technique tips went out the window, my shoulders drifted forward and the bar came up then went right back down. Silly me. Here’s a video from a few weeks ago; if you have any tips or pointers, please let me know.
After taking several reps with 365lbs, I moved on to clean-grip reverse lunges, taking sets of 8 with 165lbs, 185lbs, and 205lbs, then I ran sprints ranging from 40 yards to 200 yards. (Expect several sprint related posts in the upcoming weeks.) I cooled down, hit the shower, and was off to the gym. Again.
It was packed this weekend, meaning I had a chance to help out a lot of people. I banned bicep curls for the first hour I was there, and instead had several high school students trap bar deadlift. Steve’s little brother Greg, (who is not little at 6’4″ and 280lbs) came to the gym and did some Zercher box squats, one older woman (65+) was busting out rope slams, a showed a woman with low back pain how to use the TRX squat to focus on her breath and posture, and 5 or 6 people met the Prowler for the first time. Definitely a solid day.
Even though I’m pissed I missed a lift, I am very glad that my technique pre-miss was so solid, as I have a wonderful amount of soreness in my glutes and hamstrings. It’s nearly entirely symmetrical, and has earned me awkward looks from strangers as I randomly stretch in public. Apparently it’s not socially acceptable to do single leg deadlifts while waiting in line for frozen yogurt. Whatever.
I typically use some sort of dumbbell row on days when my hamstrings are sore, because then I get a free stretch on the sore leg. I know that studies have shown that stretching does jack for soreness, but that’s okay: It still makes me feel better, and I would swear I’m less stiff. I’m not a barbell bent over row fan, but I decided to try a Fat Gripz barbell bent over row to stretch my glutes and hammies and experiment with the grips. People tend to turn barbell rows into an awkward hip extension-shrug party, so I wanted to do a little form check with it at the end of my workout when my arms were already shot. In addition to the rows, I took some rope-related video clips from the end of my workout and put them together in a video; I’m getting fancy here. Enjoy the videos, and learn why I have to replace my phone pretty frequently. This didn’t do any damage, but it sure didn’t help:
After the workout, it was off to Molloy College to play in a concert with the South Shore Symphony Orchestra. I was playing in the percussion section and we played an Aaron Copeland concert that included Fanfare for the Common Man, Appalachian Spring, and Hoe Down. The concert went really well, and I had a great time playing through the music. Check out a little picture I took at rehearsal during the week:
Our next concert at Molloy is on Saturday, Febuary 18th, at 8pm, and you should check it out if you’re in the area. We’ll repeat Appalachian Spring, as well as Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, and feature a piano soloist. It should be a great show, and afterwards we can talk about how playing cymbals on the 4th movement of the Tchaikovsky piece is an insane shoulder workout. Until then, listen to Santa Clara Vanguard crush the Simple Gifts theme from Appalachian Spring, and remember that I’m a total band geek. Enjoy the upcoming week folks!