Saturday, 29 February 2020

Gold and Silver at Abu Dhabi Continental Pro Jiu-Jitsu Competition

Gold and Silver at Abu Dhabi Continental Pro Jiu-Jitsu Competition

Simon Chandra Gold at Abu Dhabi Continental Pro 2020
Congratulations to Simon Chandra on winning gold yesterday at the Abu Dhabi Continental Pro Jiu-Jitsu Competition.
It was a good start to the year for Simon, as this was his first competition of 2020, and he had to go up a weight division as there was no one to compete against in his weight class. Simon weighed in at 66kg and then ended up fighting in the 73kg weight class. This is a great effort to win a gold going up a weight class in this event, especially when you consider you can weigh in the day before the event. So, some competitiors in the 73kg class could be closer to 80kg come the time of comp. With Simon, we were at the correct weight, we didn't do any water cuts or anything like that. 66kg is the weight he walks around at. It was the plan to just be at weight and not do any type of cut, which in the end turned out really well for Simon, even though he had to go up a class. Probably just shows that if your jiu-jitsu and strength are good, body weight itself doesn't mean all that much (up to a certain point).
Marverick Santos and Nathan Waters SJJA Crows Nest Feb 2020
Marverick Santos also come home with a silver medal yesterday. Like Simon, it was a huge effort having to go up a weight class as his opponent for the day ended up being heavy. Due to this Marverick had to go up to the 85kg weight division, after weighing in at 76kg.
Again, we didn't use any water cuts or anything like that. This is his every day weight. He would have been fighting guys who weigh around the 90kg mark or even slightly more.
So to get a silver medal in the adult black belt division is a great achievement.
This is also the first time Marverick has followed a nutrition plan or done any structured strength training in the gym. We have only worked together for about 1 month now, and speaking prior to and after the event, he said he felt really good.
I am excited to see how much he progresses over the course of this year.
SJJA won a fair few medals on the day as always. We are very happy for the team and all the hard work everyone puts in.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Bench Press PR - 140kg x 2

Bench Press PR - 140kg x 2

Pretty happy with my session today ending my 6th set of bench with 140kg for 2 reps.
My session went like this: 115kg x 4, 120kg x 4, 125kg x 4, 130kg x 4, 135kg x 3, 140kg x 2

I had the goal of benching 140kg for a single back in 2013 and it has taken me this long to achieve. It isn’t because I am lazy, inconsistent, or changed goals, nothing like that. It is simply because I kept getting injured (in league and then jiujitsu) and every time I got close would almost have to start from scratch.

In that time, some of the bigger injuries I had:

* Broke my back (L3 transverse process). Finished the last 20 minutes of the game and played two weeks post doing this.
* Broken wrist
* Broken collar bone (I played the whole season with the broken wrist and collar bone, so that set me back a long way. I spent 12 weeks in a cast post season)
* Tore my pec off the ribs, done my A.C, tore my infrasprinatus, and tore my delt (semi-final, finished the game out after doing it in the first half)
* Tore my pec off the ribs again the following season (finished my career due to this)
* Had 3 screws put in my hand
* Had a few disc bulges flair up
* Tore a right quad muscle off
* Ruptured my top left ab
* Tore my hamstring
* Ruptured my adductor and conjoint tendon

This is on top of an injury list twice as long as this one prior to 2013.

So, while it is far from being a world class bench, I am happy for sticking in there and achieving my goal.

As bad as the injuries have been, they have given me a lot of practical experience about program design, rehab, and technique. Shit you can’t learn from a book. Most people will never experience this type of learning and for our young athletes, and clients, thankfully so.

What are the main reasons for this amount of injuries? I’d say the extreme over training and weaknesses never addressed early in my career. From that, the 30 plus cortisone shots I have had, and then also all the compensations I have made over the years training around and playing with all the injuries.

At the end of the day, what happened, happened. I am just trying to be as good as I can be.

From this, I have learnt many lessons, ones that I can use to help prevent my clients from going through the same types of things, and help them reach their full potential.

You aren’t done until you decide you are.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Two Years Post Pec Surgery - Andrew Thornton

Two Years Post Pec Surgery - Andrew Thornton

Andrew Thornton has been training with me for about 18 months now after coming to see me following pec surgery. He has made great progress, losing over 30kg, and also getting back into lifting pain, and injury free.
Andrew Post Pec Surgery
He wrote a nice post on Facebook the other day, so I thought I would share it as it is good to show that you are never done until you decide you are. He could have made excuses and decided to take it easy, but he chose to get back into training and improve his health.

"It’s been 2 years to the day that I had surgery repairing my ruptured pec tendon.
I had been weight training for quite a few years and not seeing the results I wanted and still putting on weight gradually each year. I decided it was time to seek some expert advice with the rehab on my pec and also to start trying to get the results I was after in the gym.
I had a chat with Nathan from THP (and after chatting and finding out he had suffered a similar injury and was still lifting weights) I was keen to learn more about there training program.
Since beginning with THP 18 months ago I have realised there is so much I didn’t know about weight training and diet (that I thought I knew). The variety in the training programs and the accountability that comes with weighing in and the skin folds each fortnight keeps you focused on your goals.The varying programs and the constant guidance and correction in technique and making the required changes in eating have been crucial.
I would recommend anyone that has had an injury or is having issues with weight loss or if they are not seeing the results they are after in the gym, come and speak to Nathan and Gemma and they will get you on the right track. #TotalHealthPerformaceCentre #THP #TeamTHP #TotalHealthPerformance"

Andrew before starting with THP

Andrew getting back into lifting post pec tear

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

What's the Difference Between a Neutral Grip & a Pronated Grip DB Row?

What's the Difference Between a Neutral Grip & a Pronated Grip DB Row?

THP Total Health Performance Watson Dumbbells
Yesterday I wrote about weakness in the the scapula retractors being a limiting factor in the front squat and mentioned that we perform all different types of rowing exercises to help strengthen the upper back.

From this, the question was asked "what is the difference between a single arm DB row with a neutral grip compared to a single arm DB row performed with a pronated grip?

The main difference between these two exercises is that the lats are used more with the neutral grip whereas when you perform the exercise with a pronated grip, you work more the scapula retractors.

We use both variations regularly. If you want to target your scapula retractors more specifically, then opt for a pronated grip with the elbow out.

I like to use single arm work as the dumbbells allow you to use a greater range of motion than with a standard barbell row, you can also correct left to right discrepancies over time, and it requires more stabilization.

Using a thick grip, like those on our Watson Dumbbells, can also challenge the grip and help recruit more motor units.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

2 Things Limiting Your Front Squat

2 Things Limiting Your Front Squat

Two common problems I often see in the gym in regards to correct performance in the front squat are:

  1. Tight scapulae re-tractors and
  2. Weak scapulae re-tractors

If your infrasprinatus and teres minor are too tight you will struggle to grip the bar correctly,
it will be tough to keep your elbows up and in, and will have a hard time staying upright in the front squat.

To correct this problem, we can get some quick results with our performance sessions, or you can go and see a good soft tissue practitioner. On top of this, some correctly programmed mobility exercises will help. Our exercise physiologist, Gem, takes care of this for all of our clients.

Whilst you are working on correcting these limitations, you can use straps to help keep your elbows high whilst performing the front squat. But don't use these as the solution long term. Make sure you try and correct the problem, which is often the tightness in the shoulder. It will help reduce the risk of injury to the shoulder.

Rounding of the upper back is a common problem in the front squat. This can be due to fatigue or just a lack of strength in the upper back muscles. We don't front squat for more than six reps, as fatigue of the scapulae re-tractors becomes the limiting factor (another tip I got from Charles Poliquin that has served me well). I still do see some rounding of the upper back at times when athletes are performing heavy front squats, so this is a clue that they need more work on the strength of these muscles.

All types of rows are used to help address this issue. Seated rope rows to neck, single arm dumbbell rows, bent-over barbell rows, all sorts of variations are used.

Strengthening the upper back will help all lifts, not just the front squat, so it is worth the time putting in the work. You will find your bench press and deadlift will improve and just the general health of your shoulders will be better.

Hope this helps.