Couple a things…

It looks like we have secured a location for Oklahoma’s first Olympic Weightlifting meet since 2006.  We have no firm date yet but it looks like it will be in February.  As soon as we finalize all the details I will post the specifics here.

On a personal note the SCBC went to Crossfit Exile last night.  It was my first session back after an extended layoff from the oly lifts due to some shoulder issues.  I’m was very pleased to have snatched 230lbs and clean & jerked 300lbs.  These were both PR’s for me.

I’m beginning to see the importance of flexibility and mobility, especially in the shoulders.  For the past few weeks I’ve been using a few exercises to keep the shoulders healthy.  I picked up some bands from Elite FTS.  The Pro Mini and the Micro Mini.  After a quick warm-up (2 minutes) of kettlebell swings (appx. 50) I move straight to shoulder work with bands.  I usually run through 20 reps each of the following: band pull aparts behind the neck and in the front, face pulls, front raises.  Next I move to a PVC warm-up similar to the Burgener warm-up that includes shoulder dislocates and behind the neck presses.  This really doesn’t take long at all and I feel like I benefit greatly from these exercises.  So if you have a problem area, or for pre-hab in general, you should find a few exercises to run through at the beginning of your session.

Also, I’ve heard the term for quite some time about “packing the shoulder.”  I never really understood it until today when I read Dan John’s article.  This whole article is gold but this is what he says about “packing the shoulder:”

So, the million dollar drill, get ready: Grab the tag on your shirt for me, you know, the one on the back of your collar. For most guys, Welcome to the Packed Shoulder!

I’ve heard of the packed shoulder but never really knew how to get there.  But today while sitting at my desk I followed Dan’s drill and instantly got it.  You can really feel the shoulder “packing.”  One of the keys to being a great coach is great cues and Dan certainly has them.

So that’s all I got.  I think Jeremy has something planned for the site later this week.


A Man for All Seasons: Four Seasons Template Overview for Heavy Athletics

Four Seasons WOD Structure
The heavy athletics philosophy embodies a variety of disciplines and methodologies. In order to combine powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongman, Highlander, and other competitive fitness events, heavy athletics must account for a constant struggle between specilization and transition in its identity. Concepts such as Louie Simmons Conjugate System are an important first step in this direction.  At SCBC we’ve distilled these concepts down to their primal roots and developed a four seasons approach to training that acknowledges the primitive origins of athletic specialization and works within that framework, much like The Paleo Diet defers to anthropological theory as a guide for modern nutrition. More on that later.

Here we present an overview of the daily structure of heavy athletics programming and commentary on the motives for the ordering and emphasis of the workouts. The template for workouts in this program is compartmentalized specialization, meaning WODs are segmented into skill-specific components that build on each other in order to maintain important skills while emphasizing and developing others. In this format, workouts run between 40 min and 90 min, with fully 1/3rd of that being warm-up, mobility, and cool-down. The frequency of these workouts is high (4 to 6 days/week) and varied in both focus (posterior vs. anterior) and load (55% vs. 70% vs. 85% vs. 100%) as well as emphasis (see Comment).
In keeping with the Four Seasons philosophy, the length of each component is highly dependent on the “season” but it will always fit the order and structure of this template.  Regardless of the season, every session will have portions dedicated to skill / explosive / dynamic work, then strength building or maintenance, and lastly some form of conditioning.  In Oly season the explosive work will expand while strength work will be limited and conditioning will be little more than an afterthought.  In powerlifting season the strength work gets priority.  In the lead-up to a strongman meet much focus will be placed on muscular endurance and general conditioning.  Highland training will see throws in the explosive segment along with Oly movements, but little conditioning. CrossFit and sport training would pull the emphasis toward work capacity and speed drills. But, in all of these seasons and scenarios, the individual components of the Heavy Athletics Four Seasons template remain intact and vital despite the shifting priorities.
General Warm-up (5 – 10 min)
The general warm-up consists of jogging, rowing, cycling, agility drills, jump rope, calisthenics, or other simple movements designed to elevate body temperature, prevent injury, and gradually transition the body into an active state.
Mobility Work (5 – 10 min)
After a proper warm-up, the athlete will work to improve range of motion, target imbalances, and improve positional integrity through a progression of mobility exercises. Band stretches, foam rolling, and other mobility drills work here. See and for ideas.
Specific Warm-up (2 – 5 min)
Determined by the focus of each workout, the specific warm-up transitions the athlete into a stressed environment through a series of related movements preparing the body for dynamic effort. This may simply be barbell work and warm-up sets.
Hi-Technique (10 – 45 min: Seasonal)
The working portion of the WOD will always begin with explosive, compound movements, typically in the form of Olympic weightlifting, jumping, sprinting, throwing, and other bursts of speed and multi-directional, complex combinations. Hi-Technique movements denote a heavy emphasis on technique and dynamic positions that progress through a sequence as the movement develops (snatch, shot put, etc). The athlete should be both physically and neurologically fresh for this portion of the workout as focus, timing, and body control are essential.
Strength Training (10 – 40 min: Seasonal)
At this point the athlete will segue into the slow lifts with higher rep schemes and loads. The goal here is to develop full-body, functional power through compound movements and powerlifting variations, such as squat variations (front, overhead, back, split, lunge), push/pull sets in various planes of movement (horizontal, vertical, lateral), Pendlay Rows and Lying Triceps Extensions. Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program works well here.
Conditioning (5 – 45 min: Seasonal)
Replacing the traditional MetCon is the Heavy Athletics Medley rooted in hefty, awkward, brute-strength challenges that cultivate immense core and grip strength as well as body control and overall muscular capacity. This portion of the workout emphasizes volume, endurance, and struggle while still focusing on specific skills (carry, throw, drag, push, climb, flip, etc).
Cool Down (5 min)
It is vital that the recovery process begin immediately with ample hydration, quality nutrition, stretching, and rest. Athletes should focus on muscle quality and recovery every bit as much as muscle training. This means that muscles are stretched, massaged, rolled, hydrated, fed/supplemented, rested, recovered, balanced, and injury free.