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Old 06-30-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
Blair Lowe
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 593
Default My latest experiment- teaching young boys basic WL with PVC, etc

For some reason, I've got it in my head to teach my boy's team how to manipulate themselves with the basic lower body lifts.

Today I ended up using jump ropes for lack of proper width sticks ( our extra empty wood rails are too thick for their hands ). We stretch it taught and treat it like a stick but we ended up using it for OHS instead of BS ( though we did go over a squat with the hands behind the head and elbows out- very FS-ish ).

Most of my boys have stalled progress with working the SingleLegSquat or Pistol whether the free leg is in front of them or simply hanging down ( by standing on a higher surface/beam ). I had one boy who was able to do about 10 on either leg but this was also a boy with far better balance than any of my current monkeys and is currently on hiatus. As well, his VJ and sprint speed and form were better than the other guys. One of my strongest boys has either some weird leg mechanics or just some enforced motor patterns that were never corrected before I came on and it's been a struggle to fix them since then. They are slightly better but still crappy in general.

We have gone through the partial ROM SLS and those are fine but I have come to believe they all have poor balance issues which may be aided by this supplementation. We have been working on wall squats or goblet squats during conditioning but I will be adding this basic squatting to our warmup. We may also incorporate Burgener drills. I'm not exactly sure the mechanics of the clean or snatch may be worth looking into at this point but I'm planning on the Burgener WU at least besides the 3 basic squats and it's good to learn how to pop the hip. I think they'll find it more fun and a different change of modality than just doing depth drops and deck squats and SLS.

An interesting note today is how it went. Besides 2 distractions that mucked up a lot of it, a couple of the boys had a helluva time with them due to actually requiring concentration and focus. Two brothers seemed to do well, but it's hard to say with the older one since he is not as interested in physical activity while his younger brother is a machine during workout.

While I have taught people how to squat before ( adults ) this was much more of a challenge, especially due to our age. I'm trying to get the go to bring some actual weights in as I think they would be really jazzed if they see me snatch or clean BW or close to. I don't really have racks yet to BS heavy but I'm sure one of those beams will suffice.

In lieu of bars because I still don't trust them, I'm planning to build some weighted PVC bars with sand and putting caps on them with glue and duct taping them just in case so sand doesn't get everywhere. Sand should be cheap while lead shot probably isn't.

In case the Team Program Manager gives me any guff or the owners do- I've prepared by stating that the Russians and Chinese are known to teach their gymnasts to squat besides training many of their WL in gymnastics at the developmental stage.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:48 AM   #2
Steve Liberati
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Blair, thanks for sharing. Have you considered starting your own blog?
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:47 AM   #3
Derek Simonds
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Really good thoughts on using the basic WL movements with gymnasts. One thing I can add from personal experience with my own little gymnast is DL'ing. He just flat out loves it. In fact I have to limit him to when he can do it. I started him DL'ing with his William Bar (5KG) from Pendlay off of blocks. Currently we are in a race to see who can get to a double BW faster. Since I am the one controlling when he lifts I might have a small advantage

For whatever reason any boy I have ever had in my gym wants to see how much he can pick up. Might be something universal in there somewhere?
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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Old 06-30-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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All young boys want to see how strong they are, and if you get them before they get infected with benchpressitis, the two universals are how much they can pick up and how much they can lift over their head.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
Blair Lowe
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Most of all my boys love picking the weight bar looking things and putting it over the head and getting my recognition like our floor parallettes that have blocks on the sides as anchors.

Another thing is also how my boys love picking up their moms and telling me about it.

One of the boys knows about the OL as he watched them in 08. As far as I'm concerned, BP is ultimately useless for gymnasts besides for ego purposes like spitting and peeing for distance.

I've considered starting my own blog, but I"m pretty lazy about starting it. I've got an idea to start one for the gym I'm at and posting training clips and in gym footage but I'd like to come up with a media waiver first ( one of my old gyms had parents sign them ). I post on my Myspace occasionally but just haven't really gotten into blogging as I have a hard enough time pushing myself to keep up my workoutlog.

Tomorrow I think we'll go over DL again warming up with OHS.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
Blair Lowe
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OHS was ok today. However, one boy has noted his muscles have been sore since Monday and the only thing I can think of is the OHS. Bare in mind, we were merely doing them with jumpropes stretched taught. However, he is also one of the weakest boys who has a very low tolerance for difficulty/pain/discomfort.

We didn't really have to go over too much re critiquing the basics of the movement such as position and what not. One boy has said his knee was giving him problems last night but I do not know if it was this or something on his own time. He was fine in practice, running around or doing OHS.

Inflexible boy had a really nice taking to the SLDL keeping his head and back in nice position but we have worked these before. The others either chicken necked badly or were a bit round in their thorasic.

Maybe goblet squats next ala Dan John.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
Blair Lowe
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So it's been a few weeks since we have worked OHS really. I decided to do to it today since I remembered instead of most of our regular WU stuff ( lunges across floor and broad jumps ) for legs.

I definitely need to get them some weighted pvc because they don't understand how you can have to hold a bar over their head.

One boy has very flexible hips but couldn't get the arched back right off and totally rounded or bowed. Kinda weak but he's going on 13. Still, pretty good across the board except for the lil guy who is always a weenie.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
Blair Lowe
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Kind of digging this up.

Due to a bunch of things, this got put on the backburner. We were still working some of the basic stuff with PVC in the WU but without bars and weights weren't going further.

I managed to get my standard weights out of storage and a 1 inch bar. Because I am concerned about a bar slipping out of their hands and the height discrepancy of a 1 inch bar and 3,5,or 10lb plates; I set the starting position on top of two 6 layer panel mats. This works out pretty well.

Right now, I'm thinking of using 3 exercises mainly. The DL, using the weight for glute-ham bridges if we can't do floor glute-ham or glute bridge foreleg curls (feet in frisbee extend and contract) and OverHead hold. The OH hold is not in a snatch grip but in the grip of their HS. They will eventually have to push press it up and hold it for a duration of time.

To start, they loved it. We got a bunch of sticks and spare high bars, wood or metal to over them again with me going around and checking their form. Focusing on an overgrip (similar to HB or rings), proud chest and no hunch over.

I also need to get another bar. With 5 boys, they started to get bored waiting for turns. Spinlock collars are too slow so I need some spring collars.

The bar is a 6' bar and weighs around 18lbs. Most of these boys weigh between 50-70lbs and are 8-11 years of age.

With the sticks, we worked it from the hang position lowering down. One of the boys used the empty bar but then again he is very strong.

DL were down as singles, 3-5, sometimes 2r. I started them out with 28lbs though the weakest boy started with 18.

I let Erik (low-mid 50s) get up to 60 (he wanted to do 100 as his dad lifts at home with an oly bar) which he noted felt good without any form failure. I let Jack do this as well while the other guys stayed with 28 or 43 because they would start to hunch over.

We worked 3 rounds and Erik enjoyed showing his mom.

Some of my guys are not committed to team so they only come 1-2d/week so I figure some DL will help them to increase their strength. With the weakest boy, I am hoping it gets him stronger from bottom to top. Super flexible but not very strong. He can climb rope of course, tuck planche, and do a few skin the cats and 7 PU but his lower body and trunk strength are meager though he is a fast sprinter due to being a natural born runner according to another coach.

To note, Erik who pulled 60lbs is basically the poster child for inflexibility which is what limits his ability to SLS as his legs are all funky. Fast though with very strong tight hammies. His form was actually the best though Jack's was a close 2nd who is the runner up in the strength department.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
peace warson
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good stuff! get that squat and press on
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
Blair Lowe
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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I doubt we will be employing much of either since they are gymnasts. Some shoulder press may be good for shoulder mobility, especially Mr. Inflexible; but more than likely the danger would be ixnayed by my higher-ups unless I spotted it. I'm sure they would enjoy it though. I think the girl's team employs very low weight shoulder presses from time to time but nothing more than 18lbs.

As much as I like the squat of all kinds, I am yet to be approving it as a staple training regimen of gymnasts due to lower body hypertrophy though I cannot deny it's fantastic ability for developing overall body strength. We, however can employ single leg squatting, Pavel pistol style or with the free leg hanging down to our benefit with weight or for power, when applicable. Quite possibly FS, HBBS and more than likely LBBS or box squatting would be ixnayed as well from the higher ups.

I took a lot of shit last time at the gym by the higher-ups for doing weighted pull-ups and chins with a few of the boys (using light weights not near maxes to the use of employing spotting resistance with some of the boys) more as a benchmark day.
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