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Archive for February, 2010

Triathletes, do we need to train so much?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Triathlon training at any level takes time, and lots of it. Professionals may train for up to 30-40 hours per week, and novices right up to age groupers will often put in between 4-25 hours per week depending on their circumstances. But is all this really necessary? Do we NEED to train for that long, or is alot of what we are doing, purely JUNK MILES? Is there a better way to train?

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I’ll be clear on something right now: The purpose of this post is not to try and change the way you train, or to rubbish any other method of training, rather, it is to encourage people to have an open mind when it comes to training for triathlon, and to let you know just what I’m up to right now in terms of training, following my week in Florida.

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During the mentorship program, in one of our final lectures, we got talking about swim training, and in particular, why it is that a sprint swimmer will put in so many hours and miles in the pool each week, when they are training for a race that lasts less than a minute. Do they really need to spend so long training? After all, a 100-400m track athlete doesn’t spend so long training, and we are all humans, so how is it beneficial for a sprint swimmer to train for so long? Would it not be more beneficial to have shorter, more focussed workouts, and more rest in order to allow proper recovery and reduce the risk of injury and over training? After all, how many swimmers (in particular children who are overtrained) develop shoulder, back and hip problems? I don’t know the exact figure, but it’s alot! We then spoke about marathon running, and again, is it really necessary to put in 40-80 miles a week, or would it be more beneficial to have shorter, more focussed workouts, with a bigger emphasis on recovery? After all, you make your improvements while you recover.

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We then touched on triathlon, and again the same things came up. Is it NECESSARY to do so many hours? Has ANYONE ever experimented with far less hours, but a much increased quality of training at the expense  of junk miles? If you’re training for a long race, do you have to train for as long as the race (or at least each discipline) will take you? If you’re training for Ironman, that could mean putting in 2+ hour swims, 8+ hour bike rides and 5+ hour runs. No not every session, but you get the idea I’m sure. What I’m also sure of, is that there HAS to be a much better way to train. Step up Juan Carlos.

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At the end of the mentorship program, a few hours before we were flying back to the UK, I sat down with JC to get his thoughts on Ironman training, and in particular, to help me reduce my own Ironman training volume. Now, as well as the fact that I’m 100% sure that there are more effective methods of training for triathlon than are currently being utilised, I’m also recovering from a shoulder operation which has sidelined my swimming for 12 weeks, cycling for 8 weeks, and running for 11 weeks. On top of that, I work a long hours (much like you), and juggle a girlfriend, friends and family at the same time. Right now I have just 18 weeks to get into the best, injury free condition of my life in order to knock the 45-60 minutes off my Ironman time at IM France on June 27th (that’s my personal goal for the year).

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JC is a huge lover of all things sport and fitness, and was more than happy to look at my proposed training program, and after checking out my program, subsequently decided to slash my training hours by about 40%, and ‘play around’ with intensity a little, as well as introducing some pretty exciting new techniques. We then came up with a plan of attack. A structure was formed, followed by specific phases, and I spent much of the long flight home planning out each individual session. What we have come up with is something that has NEVER been tried, or at least documented, within the industry, and could well be something that will help triathletes all over the globe to achieve their goals in less time, with more recovery, and increased performance.

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What methods are we employing?

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Well…..there have to be some secrets right?! All I can tell you is that a couple of methods could, and probably will, raise a few eyebrows in the triathlon world, but both JC and I are extremely confident that what we have devised will work, and when it does, we are going to be ready to transform the way many triathletes go about their training, leaving you with more time, more energy, and better performance.

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From now, leading up to June 27th, I’ll be posting regularly on here letting you know how the training is going, the results I’m seeing and everything else….except of course the program! So keep your eyes on this area, and feel free to add your own comments ;-) Before you leave, checkout this video of myself and JC talking about the plan right here

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Wish us luck!

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Andy

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Day 5 on IHP Mentorship Program

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

One word.

WOW

It’s extremely hard to explain just how amazing this past week has been. Mind blowing stuff, and capped off this afternoon with the most intense, and stimulating lecture I have ever experienced. I’ll take you back to the start of today.

We got to IHP bright and early this morning, and managed to get in a sneaky workout prior to the start of the days program, which really set us up for the day. The morning kicked off with a lecture from Elvin, another one of IHP’s fantastic trainers. We looked through business skills, the importance of education, philosophy, and communication through JC’s CLUEPRO model.

We then had a session with Cesar in which we went through the Fitmoves protocols. This is an excellent way to train people in small groups for an amazing aerobic and strength workout at the same time, and follows the 4 pillars of human movement also. The way it works is an aerobic exercise in the centre (such as stepping, crossovers, skipping, or a million other methods), and then one exercise for each pillar of human movement around the outside (so one push/pull, one locomotion, one rotation and one level change). This is the very same method of training that Cesar used himself prior to becoming an IHP trainer, and lost 3 stone in fat, and now stands in incredible shape. Bottom line = IT WORKS! He then took us through a few other protocols and methods of training, and threw in a bunch of cool aerobic exercises too.

After that, we had a little time off, which enabled us to get a little prep in ready for our FUnctional Training Specialist exam which we were set to complete in the evening. Following on from that, JC gave an inspirational lecture, in which he developed what Elvin had already gone through with regard to business and philosophy, and then went into the 4 L’s. Live, Love, Learn, and Legacy. To some, initially, these will just be words, but when interpreted and developed upon in the manner in which JC has done, you can see how each one has helped forge the legacy that is IHP and JC Santana. When broken down as they have been, those 4 words are all you need to worry about in business and in life, and by ensuring all 4 are as good as is humanly possible, success is there for you, whether you’re wanting to make £1 million, lose 10lbs, become a professional athlete, or simply maximise your human potential.

An hour or so after this lecture, the three of us from the UK sat the Functional Training Specialist Exam, and JC was so excited to see the results that he had them marked within the hour. The result? All passed with flying colours and we have now become the ONLY people in the whole of EUROPE with this certification, and everything that it and IHP stands for. This however is just the beginning, as the journey is longer than a week, longer than a year, longer than 10 years. But for now, what’s next is this. In July 2010, myself, Matt Luxton, and Danny Hague are coming back out here to Florida as assistant coaches for the next IHP International Mentorship. The opportunity to help other people from the UK and around the globe to gain what we have in this week is a real honor and privlige, and we can;t wait to get back out here.

Tomorrow we’re popping back down to IHP with JC to hammer some last minute training, but then it’s back to the UK, ready to give YOU, even more amazing results.

I’ll soon be posting a pile of videos from the week so that you can get even more insight into what’s been happeining here, as well as an interview with JC that we have just come back from filming.

Have a great day.

Andy ;-)

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Day 4 at IHP

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Day 4……this week is going far too fast! JC picks us up from the hotel and we head to IHP, with some Santana (the guitarist) music in the background on the CD player.

The first lecture was taken by JC, this was probably the best so far…not quite sure how they keep getting better and better but they do! We learnt about programme design and the stages required to optimise performance. With this we learnt how to adapt this to help clientele with limited time or specific individual needs.

We discussed the volumes and frequency required to train each sub section of a programme in a progressive manor. We later focused on power; this can be a combination of force and speed or amount of work done in a specific amount of time. JC shared with us some of his latest findings from the training floor about how to improve power and how to measure increases in power just using a stop watch to record time. This kind of information is not in any books, journals or any publications at present, so it is great to get our hands on this to give our clients the benefit as early as possible.

JC presented us with a very clear and easy to follow template for programme design that takes all the element of risk of leaving a particular movement pattern out of a training programme away. We then talked about the transfer from training room to outside world. JC then discussed his opinions on the need to not over emphasise the increase in absolute strength but more to develop strength you can use. For example, on a rugby field it’s unlikely that you will need to pick up more than 200Kg, so there is no need to keep striving to improve this 200kg figure, why not strive to improve your ability to pick someone up and throw them backwards. This is where the functional exercises give you the edge, transferring absolute strength into something you can use in whatever situation it may be. He is not saying that you don’t need to be absolutely strong to perform well, but when you get to this level, perhaps it’s more beneficial to work on transferring this into a powerful specific movement, rather than worrying whether you can lift 5Lb’s more!

JC also shared his views on the over training culturisation that surrounds swimming and endurance sports.  He proposed that most endurance athletes train too much because they believe that because this is how it was done before, and internationally, this is how they do it in my country so this is how I must train! We need to replace high quantity with high quality. Ultimately it’s not the person who trains the most that wins; it’s the person whose training is most effective that will win!

A practical illustration of this is a swimmer who does a 30 length warm up and swims 10 x 100m and 5 x 150m sprints. If the swimmers event is 50m, then why not train at the pace you want to achieve but for shorter distances, so you know how it feels to go at that pace not at sub maximal paces over distances that aren’t even applicable to your sport.

Right that’s it for me…..tomorrow is the last day…lectures and practical in the morning, then the Functional Training Specialist exam and then a workout with JC to finish me off.

Catch you tomorrow

 

Andy

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Day 3 at IHP

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Wednesday started early with an observation of Conan Silveira, (the owner of the American Top Team) performing a fight specific workout with his trainer, Seth Jordan from IHP. This was another chance to see the triplexes (combination of 3 exercises) in action, with a strength emphasis. He was doing a heavy exercise, followed by a cable/band exercise then followed with a Stability ball exercise. All of these exercises were specific to the movements performed in MMA.

The first lecture of the day was with Griff Fig, IHP’s most senior trainer. Griff discussed the need for rotation exercises for the improvement of speed. This was illustrated with a video analysis of a top Olympic sprinter. This rotation is a result of core strength from the ground up, so implications in terms of core exercise prescription need to be based around exercises that are performed in a standing position.

We then discussed various warm ups and how to integrate dynamic movements that are specific to the movements performed in the actual working sets. Griff then highlighted how traditional exercises can be paired with functional exercises to provide the performance related gains that every client is looking for.

The afternoon session was a practical with Cesar and this was a chance for us to feel how a biplex (e.g. 2 exercises- one traditional paired with a functional exercise working opposite muscle groups) or a Triplex (e.g. Pushing exercise followed by a pulling and a core exercise) session would be for a client. I really like the triplex as it allows the fitness professional to create a great balance between  upper and lower body work and upper or lower body balance/core work. I’ve found this method of training highly effective with clients who I have used it on in the past, in particular for athletic development.

I then finished off the day with a Legs dominated training session with Cesar, based around the biplex method. I concentrated on a heavy first exercise followed by a functional exercise for the back of the core, as my abs were on fire from Tuesday. Here’s how it looked!

1.       Barbell Squats                                                      (3×12) (Heavy legs)

2.       Reverse Hyperextensions on Stability Ball            (3 x 15) (Functional back)

 

1.       Dumbell Split Squat                                              (3×10 each leg) (Heavy legs)

2.       Band Swimmers to Bicep Curl                              (3 x 15) (Functional back)

 

1.       Barbell Deadlift                                                    (3 x 10) (Heavy Legs)

2.       Band Step & Press                                                (3 x 20) (Functional chest and front core)

So this was another fantastic day, and I’m extremely excited about getting back to the UK soon to implement the new methods and principles that have been learned during this course.

Take it easy, and I’ll write again soon!

Andy

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Day 2 at IHP

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Day 2 started with a workout with JC, we did 5 exercises in a circuit, with 30 seconds work and 15seconds rest for 40 minutes nonstop! This included ropes, stability balls, grip trainers, slings, hydraulic push pulls and a lot of effort! So we were all set up nicely for the day!

The first seminar of the day was a one where we discussed the biomechanics of the core musculature and the applied applications for a number of exercises and movement patterns. Carlos, explained also, the implications when we are trying to improve the performance of various movements for our clients.

Once we had finished this we had the privilege of being invited to watch the American Top Team training. For those of you who haven’t heard off the ATT, they are Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Fight Championship professional fighters. We observed a conditioning session and talked with the fighters after the session, gaining a great insight into some different ways to condition and train for different movements and fighting disciplines and styles.

Then we headed back to IHP and we discussed Body weight training circuits, both indoors and outdoors. Cesar, one of IHP’s top trainers, discussed the design of some awesome circuits for improving agility and body composition, which will be an invaluable reference tool for when we get back to the UK.

We finished the day with a brutal session of short but very intense sprints towing a 150lb tyre! Look out for pictures and videos soon!

Speak soon!

Andy

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DAY 1 at IHP in Florida

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

So here we are at the end of day 1 of our IHP mentorship, and we have started with a bang.
First up was 2 hours with the great man himself, JC Santana, discussing the IHP philosophy and the 4 pillars of human movement. This basically defines the way in which we move and emphasises the need to train movements not muscles. Something which I have been implementing with Procision Fitness for quite some time now, since first learning about functional training and studying the work of JC Santana and other top professionals from the field of functional training such as Gary Gray and Grey Cook.
Locomotion- being the way in which we move
Pushing/Pulling
Level Changes-moving the bodies center of mass
Rotation

These 4 categories enable us as fitness professionals to design functional training programmes for clients in order to enhance human performance and movement. The 4 Pillars also allow us to assess muscular strengths and weaknesses and gives us the necessart info to implement progressive training exercises and protocols for anyone from elite ethletes to the elderly. We then spent an hour with one of IHP’s senior trainers, where we looked deeper into functional assessment methods, addressing posture and correct techinques for key movement patterns.

The day then moved to a practical element where we were observing and taking part in the UFC Fighter training circuits , getting to rub shoulders and train with some of the top fighters in UFC, including Cole Miller, a recent winner of the best submission in the UFC. It was great to see the 4 pillars in action and at the same time as you see a young tennis hopeful and an OAP using the same philosophy, but with different exercises and intensities.
The end of the day finished with a Professional volleyball circuit. This was a circuit that was designed to really improve all aspects of strength and conditioning needed for beach volleyball. These included an integration of some of the more succesful traditional exercises, with some of the latest functional exercises really mimicing the movements in the sport. So plenty of jumps, chops, twists, turns and upper body power work.
Tommorrow morning is going to be a real treat, 7:30am doing some nasty training with Matt, Joel, Danny and Carlos Santana, followed by another amazing day at IHP.

Catch you all tomorrow.

Andy

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Weymouth personal trainer heads to IHP, Florida

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

So, I’m currently in my hotel room with my good friend Matt Luxton from Functionally Aware Fitness in Boca Raton, Florida, at the end of the first of what will be 7 amazing days.

 

We are out here with another 2 fitness professionals, Joel Proskewitz and Danny Hague, about to embark on a journey with the worlds leading functional training expert, Juan Carlos Santana, right here in Florida at the Institute of Human Performance

 

The reason for our trip here is to be part of the first ever international IHP functional training mentorship program, and to become the first people in the UK to gain qualification as an IHP Functional Training Specialist, while working with the no. 1 man in the industry.

 

For those who do not know about JC Santana, check out his bio here http://ihpfit.com/component/comprofiler/userprofile/jcs.html for some info into just why he is one of, if not the, most sought after fitness experts in the world.

 

Through completing the mentorship and qualification, we will spend 5 intense days (more than 40 hours) working with JC and his top trainers. We will be gaining first hand insight and experience into his world renownd training protocols and systems that he has developed over an amazing career spanning for well over 30 years, and now implements with everyone from world class athletes to CEO’s, to stay at home mums and rehabilitation clients.

 

This mentorship is going to enable myself, Matt, Joel and Danny, to further enhance the services we provide our clients with day in day out, helping them get better results, faster and even more effectively than ever before. The knowledge that we will be acquiring here really is priceless, and is going to be invaluable for us all to provide the highest quality of service and performance to our clients.

 

Over the next week, I’ll be writing a daily blog, detailing exactly what it is we have been going through here, so you can gain just a little insight into what is to come in the future of Procision Fitness, and Matt’s Devon and Cornwall based organisation, Functionally Aware Fitness.

 

Enjoy ;-)

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