Posts

Missing Lifts & Lessons Learned

Not any time soon will you find me as the poster child on how to handle a missed lift.

Like you, I have my bad training days.

I’ll miss a lift, throw something, say a few words I’d never say in front of my daughter, pout a little ….eventually process why I missed the lift, digest it only to try again.

After reviewing some of my failed lifts, it made me realize as a gym owner, as an athlete, and as a coach I need to share this with my members.

Some of them I look back on and find hilarious.

But it shows that even as a coach we go through the same struggles each day as our athletes.

All to often social media is filled with the highlight reels of accomplishment, but not the struggles and failures that got us there.

As if it diminishes the achievement. When honestly it just reflects humility and shows we’re all the same.

Missing a lift can cause a serious mental block for the next attempt. How we deal with that missed lift can impact future lifts.

Record your lifts, to have something to reflect back on. Share it with friends, coaches, or send it to me. So you can learn a lesson from that missed lift, to improve and learn how to deal with it in the future


 

Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength

 

Strength!

We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


 

Deadlift For Grip Strength : Which Grip Should You Use

I never trained to improve my overall grip strength through grip strength training exercises. I was lucky enough that the strength training I completed, indirectly and adequately strengthen my grip as well.

This is not true for all, some may need that supplemental grip strength training.

I’ve posted videos before about exercises I find beneficial to directly improve your grip strength. Most frequently when I’m approached about this topic, everyone refers to the deadlift to improve their grip strength.

You’re not wrong…

But how are you using the deadlift?

There is a vast difference between using the deadlift to improve overall strength gains, and using a deadlift to improve grip strength.

On top of that, what grip are you using?

If you’re using the deadlift to improve your overall strength gains, then by all means use any grip or straps you need to complete the lift safely.

After all we’re testing your deadlift in this scenario not your grip strength.

If you are using the deadlift to improve grip strength, I would highly suggest a double overhanded grip. And doing sets to failure or just a few rep shy of failure.

Getting that deep burn in the forearms, that you simply can not hold onto a bar any longer.

Overhead Press : 1 Easy Tip To Push More Weight

I could not believe the difference in the videos!

This video just started out as a simple and effective drill I like to use, I wanted to share with my gym members to also improve their overhead position.

Then during the editing process I needed to go back and pull some of my old lifts to compare for contrast.

The differences was simply astonishing!

Now, there have been many hours of practice, drilling, and maybe a few kicks and screams going into the process.

As you can tell the end result is very visible.

It’s a simple drill, we’re just strict pressing (or military pressing) from the receiving position of our jerk.

I had a terrible problem of not maintaining midline stabilization during my earlier lifts in which allowed my chest to travel forward, pushing the barbell out in front of me and having to finish the lift pulling the barbell back overhead.

It happen in almost every lift I did.

Once I started implementing this drill, it drasticly improved and fixed my overhead position. Since the drill is not happening at lightning speed, it allows you to visibly see any imbalances occurring in the lift.

I do this drill every day before moving weight overhead!


 

Belt Squat: The Back Squat Substitute

There is no movement in the weight room more natural to humans than squatting.

For some setting weight onto the back of the shoulders can cause anxiety, failing the lift before its even started.

For others, there could be some lower back or shoulder issues not allowing you to squat.

Belt squats are a little different, its going to be a different feel, but it will work. Not every gym has a belt squat machine, so like any good lifter we adapt with variations.

The belt squat provides us with a variation to increase leg and hip strength without loading or damaging your back.

The weight pulling at the hip can also provide traction for the spine.

I get a hip pinch form time to time, and when I do I switch from barbell squats to belt squats, which help clear up the issue.

The greatest benefit for the belt squat is it will allow you to load the lower body without loading the spine.

I will also use these as a primer before squats on some days, just to get everything tight before the barbell.


 

Killer Grip Strength Exercises For Jiu Jitsu

I’ve worked so closely with Nick “Chewy” Albin  these past 8 years, I’ve listen to countless of his podcast, videos, lectures, and his ever so elegant rambles.
Almost all of his seminars, social media, and in person I’ve witness a trend of questions.
One that sticks out the most is “How Do I Improve My Grip Strength”?
The obvious answer is the most clear, which is just do Jiu Jitsu.
You could say I do a lot of training, doing so indirectly trains my grip.  I would never recommend to someone to directly train your grip.
Why?
The overall benefits of directly training your grip is small compared that of indirect training it will receive from compound exercises to focus on overall strength, power, and conditioning.
Now, if you feel individually you NEED to work on directly training your grip to improve strength there are a few recommendations I may have.
I would like to add I would not do these until the end of my workout, and maybe 1-2 days a week.  You’ll be working with smaller muscle groups and can easily be stress to the point of overtraining.

Doing these three exercises will compliment your grip when doing Jiu Jitsu, but ultimately you will need to develop that grip strength through Jiu Jitsu.