This month there has been some more good results from the boys at training. The above video is of Riley deadlifting 107.5kg for 7 reps. Last month I showed himdeadlifting 80kg for 12 reps. It was good to see him be able to maintain his technique with more weight on the bar. Often you will see technique improve with a lighter load but as the weight increases you see more and more things break down.
This is where individualisation of the training plan comes into play. We have been addressing Riley's leg drive out of the bottom of the deadlift and the squat through some specialised assistance work, whilst still addressing the strength of the lower back, hamstrings, and scapula retractors.
Your coach has to know what your weaknesses are and how to address them. They shouldn't just add more into your program. If they are doing this then they are just guessing as to what your issue may be. The boys are back at training now so I have had to drop the volume which means I have to identify the problems correctly and be very specific with what exercises I choose to correct them with. I can't just throw in 5 more exercises and hope it hits the right area.
Trist also took his back squat up to 92.5kg for 4 reps. Last month he hit 75kg for 8. So again it is pretty good progress under a much heavier load. Learning to brace effectively is a big thing for these young blokes as they are only 15 and haven't been lifting for very long. Again Trist has a lot of issues to work on but by continuously hammering away at them we are making progress in a safe way.
Marcus also got tested on the back squat today at training and managed to hit 130kg for 3 reps. This is a 10kg increase for Marcus in about 2 months since the club last tested. The best part for me about this is that Marcus also trained this morning and we haven't tried to peak for this. I found out today they may have some testing on so I modified his morning session slightly. He could hit this pretty much any day of the week with solid technique.
Marcus squatting 130kg for 3 today also makes me think about how much progress we can make in a relatively short time if your training is optimal. When he started training back mid way through 2016 he could not squat at all. He could barely make it to 90 degree with terrible technique and then after some general prep work he could only squat 47.5kg for 6 reps. So in 2 years of work you can see how much he has improved. The thing is he hasn't missed a week of training in that time. He has been consistent the whole way through. This is why he is getting the results. He may not be the most gifted but he is working hard and is consistent and this is why he has surpassed many peoples expectations of him.
I am very happy for the boys and proud of the hard work.
It isn't world class and they aren't in the NRL so we aren't getting ahead of ourselves, but the point is to work hard, be consistent, work on your weaknesses, and you'll give yourself the best chance to achieve your goal. If you do all you can and don't make it, so be it, at least you had a full dig. It is better than a life of regret.
This photo is of Charles Poliquin and myself after the 2013 hypertrophy bootcamp he held in Sydney in 2013. At the beginning of this class Charles told us all that whoever he thought was the best trainer of the 5 days would win an internship with him. I was already keen to learn and train with Charles but this took it to another level for me, which I needed.
At the time I had just finished another rugby league season and was recovering from a fair few injuries I had suffered throughout that year. I broke my back in round 1 that year and played two weeks later. I then broke my wrist and collar bone on the right side and played every game with them throughout the season. In the first semi final of that season I tore my right pec of the ribs, done my AC, tore my delt, and tore my infraspinatus all on that right side again. That happened about 5 minutes into the semi final and I played through it as I knew that was me done for the year and my teammates needed me.
This was only about one month after the season finished so at this point I had seen the surgeon for my wrist and was wearing one of those casts they mould but you can strap on and off. So leading up to camp I would just take it off and train then put it back on. In class I would rock up, take it off to train, then put it on in between the sessions.
Now for those of you who don't know the hypertrophy bootcamp is 5 days of 3 x a day training with Charles giving a lecture on the system and things you can do nutritionally in between each workout. Charles teaches you how to gain the most size in the shortest amount of time and the lessons I learned from Charles during the week have been invaluable.
Day 1 was arms, day 2 legs, day 3 torso, day 4 legs, day 5 remedials. By the end of day two I was buckled. The upper body workouts were very hard for me to get through but I didn't care I had that goal of winning the internship with Charles in the back of my mind so I just kept pushing through the pain and lifting as hard as I could. Dips were a nightmare, I remember that clearly.
During the camp Charles said that myself and Michael (a fellow student) had the best squats on the day. This was a huge confidence booster for me as Charles rarely says things like this and for me I could not break 90 degree in the squat at the beginning of that year due to so many issues with my hips and upper back. Meeting Gem early that year and doing the corrective based exercises she prescribed had allow me to full squat and now with good enough technique for Charles to mention. Not a huge deal in any case but to me it was.
I started the week at 84-85kg and after I finished the refuel over the weekend I was up to 92-93kg. So it was a 7-8kg gain. After a week I was back to about 89-90kg and have stayed that weight ever since, unless focusing of dropping weight for jiu-jitsu for example. I remember the boys at footy thought I was looking too light at the beginning of pre-season that year and were geeing me up about it and I said don't worry have a look at me next week. Then I came back that much heavier and they were all rattled asking what I had done. The surgeon also put me in a solid cast after the camp so I spent the next 12 weeks in that training with the boys on the field still doing skills and conditioning.
At the end of the camp Charles wrapped up and someone asked who had won the internship. Charles said "Oh Nate you win the internship". I was so happy but tried not to show it too much. That is when I got the above photo with Charles. The next year I spent about 3-4 weeks with Charles (spread throughout the beginning and end) and I learnt the most I have ever learnt in my life in that time period.
That one picture sparked so many memories for me. It was a time in my life where I knew 100% where I was going and one of the biggest reasons I am where I am today. All because of this great man. I am forever grateful.
All the best to those doing the bootcamp starting today with Carlos Castro. You will work hard but you will learn a lot and it will be well worth your investment.