Paleo Challenge 2012: Day 15

So I thought it would be good to explain the type of training I'm doing while in the midst of this Paleo nonsense. As noted, my knee is in rough shape, so the exercises I love most (snatch, clean & jerk, squats) are out of the question. Even the power variants are somewhat off limits because of the impact and force the knees absorb. It's a major bitch.

There's a classic expression that rings true for many gym-goers: You cannot out train a bad diet. And this very true for the most part. For me, I realized early on with enough consistency and heavy resistance training -- in my case, Olympic weightlifting -- I could still keep an acceptable physique without having to watch my diet or do any conditioning whatsoever.

Shirtless lifting in Puerto Rico is mandatory.

I mean, I'm no Devin Maier, but this video was taken during a time when Taco Bell and KFC's Double Down were staples in my diet. Food quality was unimportant to me. And hey, I still looked alright. A little too skinny if you ask me. Now, I'm getting older, my knee is messed up, I have ongoing shoulder issues due to poor mobility and inactive lower traps. I can't currently do the O-lifts and my genetics may finally be saying, "Fuck you, dude, stop eating like an asshole."

This past January, I visited Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. Eric Cressey is a very popular strength & conditioning coach, lecturer, author, and major dude who is smart as shit. He works primarily with baseball players and is known as "the shoulder guy" but he has an array of athletes that go to him for help, including my cousin Murphy Smith:

This turned into a 624' homerun.

Eric did an initial assessment on me and then developed a program to address my problem areas. It's a four day split that includes some big lifts (trap bar deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, push jerks, chin-ups), an array of corrective exercises, a lot of very innovative core work, and a very thorough warm-up & mobility routine. The program incorporates a lot of supersets, focusing on hip/glute work, horizontal pulling, unilateral work, and basically getting the correct muscles to work properly. Here's a sample from Day 1:

A1. Push Jerk; 4 sets; 4 reps
A2. Prone Depression to Extension; 3 sets; 6 reps/side
B1. Standing 1-arm Cable Rows; 3 sets; 10 reps/side
B2. 1-foot Leg-elevated Push-ups; 3 sets; 4 reps/side
C1. Crossover Reverse Fly; 3 sets; 10 reps
C2. Reverse Crunches; 3 sets; 8 reps

Eric knew that my goal was to eventually get back to Olympic lifting, so he included exercises like push jerks and high pulls. One thing Eric does to ensure people don't skip their corrective work is to superset it with their major lifts. So rather than sit around and rest, you're actively working on muscle imbalances/weaknesses.

It's a very interesting program and far different from what I'm generally used to. Only one heavy barbell per session, despite normally doing 2-3 with Olympic weightlifting. Most people who partake in the Paleo Challenge are usually doing CrossFit sessions of heavy lifting and high intensity metcons -- not this dude. This program has minimal conditioning, which I prefer. And with the detailed warm-up routine and corrective exercises, I'm hoping this program improves my mobility, posture, and positioning in the O-lifts.

This would be nice.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know that you are back on track prepairing for olympics. It is necessary to have a good trainer and to follow a good exercise and diet program to regain your strength for the sport.