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Old 07-29-2009, 03:02 PM   #11
mark williams
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ended up taking a couple days extra due to working late but had a good workout today. I read through Barry Ross's Underground... book and am going to give it a go for 6 weeks and see how I feel. It seems to divide people a bit, but it makes sense to me and it also fits with someone who doesn't have the time to do 2-a-days and hours of drills etc... best case scenario is it really is the holy grail of speed training, worst case is it isn't the best but gives good bang for buck.

Here was my first attempt...

Warm-up/Agility
-bosu ball work
-5-dot agility drill warm-up; time: 2.50

Push
-Bench Press
1x5 @ 100kg
1x4 @ 105kg
1x3@ 110kg
1x3 @ 115kg
1x2 @ 120kg

Deadlift with plyo
-Deadlift (superset with 1 rd of 4-side box plyo) 5 min rest between sets
1x5 @ 120kg
1x4 @ 125kg
1x1 @ 135kg
1x2 @ 135kg
1xf @ 140kg

Extras
-Belgian Split Squats
1x5 @ BW
1x5 @ 20kg
3x5 @ 40kg

Core
Ab45's
3x5x5seconds

Ob45's
1x3x5seconds

Notes
-5-dot drill was very slow (3x slower than I want to get to within the next couple months) but about twice as quick as first few attempts. Miles better on each portion, but left leg still lagging. Think it's as much confidence as anything.
-Bench press was ok, there was a bit more in there I think but no spotter so a bit hesitant to over-do it.
-Deadlift was strong, went for 140kg because the pull on 135kg was pretty strong, but only got halfway up. Grip was an issue. Left knee tendon felt the ploy jumps but from the 3rd set it loosened up nicely. I like the combo. Was very strange waiting 5 minutes between sets though.
-Split squats felt very strong but will keep at this weight for this week.
-Core work was pathetic! First couple of reps on both the Abs and Obs were easy but suddenly the strength went and it hurt!!


I'm due to start rugby training on Tuesdays from next week. I will pick and choose the drills etc that I do in training, and look at throwing some intervals in at the end if possible.

The routine that is forming in my head having read Ross's book and now that I need to lose a day for rugby practice is looking like this:

Mondays - off
Tuesdays - rugby practice (+Litvi's or intervals to finish)
Wednesdays - DL protocol with BSS as extras and core work.
Thursdays - DL protocol with jammer extensions as extras and Litvi's to finish
Friday - off
Saturday - DL protocol with BSS as extras and core work.
Sunday - DL protocol with jammer extension as extras and Litvi's to finish.

Comments, feedback - particularly from those with experience of Ross's program for sports speed - is, as always, very welcome.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
mark williams
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Agility
-bosu ball work
-5-dot drill; time: 2.44 (PR)

Push
-Bench Press
122.5kg x 2
120kg x 2
117.5kg x 3
117.5kg x 3

Deadlift with plyos
-Deadlift (superset with 1 rd of 4-side box plyo) 5 min rest between sets
140kg x 3
140kg x 2
135kg x 1
130kg x 2

Litvi's
-Powerbag Clean Squats Litvi Sprints 8 x clean squats, 35m sprints, walk back repeat...
5 rounds; time: 6.16

Notes
-5-dot improved again, best time which I think was mainly due to the left leg portion improving after the first rep.
-There's more in the bench, probably an extra rep on most sets, but lack of spotter means I have to hold off.
-Deadlift was a great surprise! Turns out I cocked up by pyramiding up to the top weight, so started in reverse and 140kg flew up! 142.5kg next time out.
-Plyos felt sharper too compared to yesterday. Still plenty of room for improvement though and tendon feeling it now.
-Litvi's... what can I say. I love and hate them in equal measure. I'm timing to make sure I don't slack on the walk back (it's a purposeful march after the first round... a purposeful stagger by the last). Footspeed felt great, almost too fast for the rest of me? That's the sensation but I'm pretty sure it's just my co-ordination not quite being there yet.

Overall, great session. Rest day tomorrow, then hitting it hard on Saturday. I would like to have rested sprints at some point included but hard to pack it all in. Schedule is still a work in progress but really enjoy this routine.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:02 PM   #13
Derek Weaver
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How often are you going to schedule deloads and back offs?

The dot drill is getting pretty slick.

I remember seeing an article, I think in this forum after the olympics about sprinting and how international coaches have their runners run just a few all out sprints per year. There's something to be said for sub maximal training in all forms. Worth a look as you progress. I'll see if I can find it and link it for you.

Things are looking good.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #14
mark williams
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Hi Derek,

not sure on the deloads, haven't given it much thought! When I hit a wall on max's I'll back off to 85-90% ranges and ramp it back up after a week or so, but I don't know much about deloading. The link would be cool if you do find it.

5-Dot is still slow but definitely improving. Seriously need to dial in my diet though. I want to drop 15lbs before playing and the diet is letting me down.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:10 PM   #15
Derek Weaver
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You may want to look at Wendler's 5/3/1 as well in terms of sub maximal training. Working 90-100% is sure to cause you more problems than you'll want.

There's a training max and then there's a blow yourself out all the time max...
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:15 AM   #16
mark williams
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I'll have to look into that, Derek - I was wondering how to cycle back and take another run-up in a methodical way.

Today knee was feeling good and it struck me how just a few weeks ago, sprints or even agility work would leave me uncomfortable walking for a day or so, and unable to do another leg based session for 3 or 4 days. Now, sprints and agility might make my knee a bit uncomfortable for the morning after, but I can work 2 days in a row, take one off and be fine to hit it again. The sweet, sweet smell of progress.

Agility
Bosu work
5-dot drill; time: 2.17 (PR)

Push
-Bench Press (superset with clapping push-ups) 5 minute rests.
125kg x 3 + 5 push-ups
120kg x 3 + 5 push-ups
120kg x 3 + 5 push-ups


Deadlift with plyo
-Deadlift (superset with 1 rd of 4-side box plyo) 5 min rest between sets
145kg x 1
145kg x 1
135kg x 2
135kg x 2

Extras
-Belgian Split Squats
1x5 @ BW
1x5 @ 20kg
3x5 @ 42.5kg

Core
Ab45's
3x5x5seconds

Ob45's
1x5x5seconds

Notes
-smashed my PR on the dot-drill which was great but still a long way to go.
-125kg on bench felt easy, go to 127.5kg tomorrow.
-Deadlift is being restricted by my grip. The 145kg pull was pretty good and I felt I had another one but grip gave out. Considering getting wraps because I'm looking to develop my posterior chain, not my grip. (sacrilege, I know!)
-BSS was fine, keep at 42.5kg for all of next week though.
-Core work is a bitch.

Diet was clean, looking for circa 1800kcals, with a 40/40/30 P/C/F give or take and then fine tune in a couple weeks. Need to get back into the habit of eating clean again.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:51 AM   #17
mark williams
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Agility
5-dot drill; time: 1.59 (PR)

Speed
Sprint Pyramid
6x10m
4x20m
2x30m
4x20m
6x10m
30 seconds between reps, 2 minutes between sets

Lift
SLDL with lateral box jumps
100kg x 4 + 4 jumps each side
110kg x 3 + 4 jumps each side
110kg x 3 + 4 jumps each side

Notes
-improvements on the 5-dot again... thought it would have been slower because I was focussing more on accuracy so was a nice surprise.
-sprints were ok, took a few minutes to warm my knees up but once they were loosened up a bit they didn't give me any bother until the last rep or two. Rests were a bit hap-hazard in practice as there was a kids class going on and I didn't want to plough into any of them!
-the SLDL with plyo combo was a bit of a mess around, but really liked it. Will work on incorporating it somehow as want to make sure my hams and glutes catch up to my quads. Couldn't give it everything after the sprints but liked it.

Weight was 199lbs today, which is no more than I deserve after such a terrible few weeks diet. Clean yesterday and today - will weigh on Wednesday and see where I am then.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:13 PM   #18
mark williams
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Big day for me today... final physio session and am now discharged and officially fixed!

Had the green light to go rugby training tonight, but not full contact for another 4 weeks so went along this evening and... knee held out fine

I will admit I was nervous and was too aware of foot placement and where my knee was while going through ruck and maul drills, but I hope this will lessen and disappear over the coming weeks - I can't be thinking about anything but smashing the other guy when I start full contact again or I will get hurt.

Looking back at the session, my fitness was good enough for training but not for matches (expected) and running on grass and at various angles and paces was more demanding than the straight line stuff I've been doing at the gym but the twisting, turning and cutting I was doing (albeit at 70-80% pace) would have been impossible without my new ACL so I've got to "believe" I'm pretty much healed up.

I will be sore tomorrow, not just on my knee - but I am expecting the tendon to be stiff as the shearing forces of stopping and starting were more extreme than I've been used to. Overall, though, I'm very pleased and looking forward to going again on Thursday (if I've loosened up enough) or next Tuesday if not.

I will have to alter my training schedule to incorporate once or twice a week club training, but will stick with the Ross training system for speed, and the Litvi's for that "able-to-sprint-while-shagged-out" fitness.

Current thinking for the training schedule is as follows...

Monday - Off
Tuesday - club practice + Litvi
Wednesday - Ross session + core
Thursday - club practice + Litvi
Friday - Off
Saturday - sprint session (sprint pyramid)
Sunday - Ross Session + Litvi

This would effectively mean, 3 lots of conditioning; 1 pure speed workout; 2 lifting workouts and 2 off-days. I'm looking at making a Bulgarian Bag for Litvi's after rugby practice and would like to move the sprint pyramid out of the gym and onto a field when the weather suits. I would have liked 3 lifting days but 2 club sessions a week knocks that on the head - I think 2 rest days will be necessary.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:09 PM   #19
Nick Hunter
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Replied to your post on my log.

Are you really 5'3"? What are you doing in the centers? What league/division do you play in? You're a halfback in disguise!

With regards to your question about rugby specific lifting, when I was training in New Zealand my coach (a former Commonwealth Games competitor) put it succinctly: "Rugby players need to put weight overhead." He was not a fan of bench press, and thought overhead movements were better both for the specific demands of shoulder and arm strength for rugby, and for the health of the shoulder girdle. He also advocated front squats as the main squatting movement. His reasoning was this: balance is important, but the power and strength required in most rugby situations comes off the balls of the feet and moves weight that is forward of the body. Thus, not only were the olympic lifts, front squats, and overhead presses better when grouped for creating success regarding each movement, but they were tailor-made for rugby. Heavy deadlifts were not nearly as important to him as heavy cleans, because the deadlift was a slow, dragging movement done off the heels, whereas the clean was a lightning fast extension from the balls of the feet. Etc...
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:53 PM   #20
mark williams
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Thanks for the feedback Nick. Half-back in disguise is about right! I ended up playing centre at my last club because the scrum half there was excellent (and the captain!) and I had enough speed and strength for the crash ball, but not the bulk for hooker. Giving some thought to the scrum half situation though (but I'd miss crash ball too much!)

I hear you on the cleans etc... having sat down this evening and gone through last night's training session and felt my bodies feedback (ie; aches), I've started to remember the specific demands of rugby and will come up with a program that reflects this. I think cleans and front squats will have a role in that.

The heavy deadlifts are part of a speed-training program (Barry Ross) and are something I will be keeping, if not for the speed element, then at least because a self-respecting rugby player should have a good lower back! I also like the combining of strength movements with plyo's.

My main concern is to get the fitness and speed back asap. By dropping some of the pork that has accumulated while being laid up (25lbs over 'fighting weight' at the moment) I'll be serving both... my speed will increase because my power:weight ratio will improve and fitness will improve as I'll be carrying less around the pitch with me. I might start throwing in some steady state cardio to help increase this process and then drop it as soon as the weight becomes acceptable.

I went for a short run this evening to shake the aches off after last night, and should be ok for another session tomorrow with the club. I'm away for a few days after that and will start the next chapter in my return from Monday.

I also did some deadlifts, and pulled 145kg for a double so improvement on last time out.
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