In 1974 IronMan Magazine published an article by a young Ken Leistner detailing the strength training programs that his football trainees were using. The article emphasized high repetition squats and hard work on a relatively brief program. This type of training appealed to me. I always felt a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment upon completing a high rep set of squats or deadlifts. After a hard high rep set of hip and thigh work my workouts had to be brief and relatively infrequent. Training in this manner (especially when one trains alone) the trainee has to be extremely motivated. Through the years Dr. Ken’s articles and unique ideas helped to inspire me to maintain this difficult regimen of training.
Dr. Ken is surely the most prolific writer in modern Iron Game history. I would venture to guess that he has written over 1000 articles for strength publications such as Powerlifting USA, The Steel Tip (his own newsletter from the mid-eighties), Muscular Development, Hard Gainer, HIT (Hard Training), Milo, Dino Files and others. His hard hitting, tell it like it is writing style is refreshing.
In this article I’m going to write about a few of my favorite training tips that Dr. Ken has written about over the years. I might have modified some of the techniques but the original suggestions came from Dr. Ken’s articles.
This method involves selecting a weight for a particular exercise that will allow the performance of 10-12 reps to absolute failure with good form. Rest exactly 1 minute and do a second set to absolute failure with the same weight. The majority of trainees will fail on the second set with approximately one half of the number of reps completed during set one. Strive to exceed 50% during set 2 while maintaining perfect form.
This is a technique that I might have changed. I can’t find the original article but this is the way I do it now. Select a weight that will allow you to complete 20 reps in perfect form. Perform 10 reps and rest exactly 1 minute. Complete your second round of 10 reps and again rest exactly 1 minute. During the third bout aim for 10 reps in good form. Of course if you have anything left push on to failure. For most people set 3 will be a difficult challenge to reach 10 reps. What you are doing in effect is taking a weight that will allow 20 good reps. Instead of pushing for 20 consecutive reps you are aiming for 30 reps with 2 rest intervals. This technique provides variety and a nice psychological change of pace from pushing each set to the absolute limit.
FIFTY REP SETS
Your editor has written about and utilized this method extensively. I really like this method for the Hammer leg press (one leg at a time). Simply select a weight that will allow the performance of approximately 25 good reps. After completing as many reps as possible hold the weight out at leg’s length. Rest 15 seconds while breathing deeply and then continue on in subsets until 50 reps are completed. This is extremely tough and I would only use it as a change of pace challenge on an infrequent basis. A typical set might consist of 25 reps followed by 8, 6, 5, 3, and 3 for a total of 50 reps.
NEGATIVE LEG PRESS
These are an old favorite of mine. Again a little goes a long way. These can be very intense so just use these on a very infrequent occasion. They are also very effective. I’ll have a trainee do a hard one leg set on the Hammer leg press (approximately 20 reps on each leg). I’ll give them a short break and then load another 25-30% more weight on the movement arm. I’ll help them lift the weight to leg’s length then have them lower the weight very slowly (8-10 seconds per rep) initially. The set is terminated when the trainee cannot maintain a 3-4 second negative. The trainee must constantly breath in pants during each rep and strive to touch the movement arm to the rubber stop at the bottom as lightly as possible. It is surprisingly easy for the spotter to help the trainee lift the weight back to leg’s length for another rep. I caution the trainee not to squeeze the handles and remind them to breath rhythmically throughout the set. The trainee should strive for 6-8 good reps.
This requires setting up 3 stations so the trainee can move from one to another immediately. Work one arm at a time starting with the left. Start with the seated Hammer gripper (any other gripper will work). Utilize a weight that will allow approximately 15 good reps. After completing the gripper move as fast a possible to kneeling reverse shot wrist curls. Kneel at the side of a bench with the forearm resting palms down across the bench.
The hand and shot hang off the edge of the bench. Start with a 6 or 8 lb. shot for these and go to absolute failure. And then move to anvil pounds to complete the series. Grasp a standard rubber mallet in the left hand and strike the anvil as many times as possible in 1 minute (strive for over 100 strikes). The rubber mallet will tend to rebound. Maintaining a tight grip on the mallet requires intense concentration and it will work the hands and forearms in a unique manner. Make sure the mallet does not twist excessively or it could fly out of your grasp. Repeat the above sequence for the right arm.
The above techniques are just some of my personal favorites. It would require a book to cover all the creative and innovative training methods that Dr. Ken has written about over the last 25 years.
Many of us, including yours truly, have experienced this at one time or another. The fear of failing can be immobilizing – it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore prevent us from moving forward. When we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, we’re likely to miss some great opportunities along the way.
Below are three methods/philosophies that I commonly implement to manage the fear of failure:
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic Philosophy founded in Athens. It concerns the relationship between fate and freedom. Stoics believe that remaining calm during suffering can help overcome destructive emotions and build self-control though reason and truth. The following are the ideals of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of the most famous stoics:
- Immediately recognize what is out of your control.
- Fear, anger, and all other emotions are personal choices, regardless of outer circumstances.
- Live a life centered on principles, not wealth, awards, or power.
- People who misbehave do not deserve an emotional reaction from you.
- Meditate daily to revive your commitment to a principle-centered life.
- Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Here are the four components of EI as it applies to overcoming the Fear of Failure:
- Self-awareness – Realize when you are emotionally stressed.
- Self-management – Recognize when to take a step back, control your emotions, and adapt to different circumstances.
- Social Awareness – Understand and respond empathetically to the emotions of others. Despite what you may be feeling, each individual is also dealing with emotional stress.
- Relationship Management – Most times, people can walk though a room without anyone noticing anxiety issues. But it is important to connect with people you trust and discuss conflicts and stresses. Close relationships are vital to success.
By far, the most potent weapon on this list is humor. Humor works for me in two ways:
- Laughing is one the best stress-relievers around. When you make others laugh, it can change the whole dynamic of the room. I find that when the group is laughing, even during an important or stressful meeting, the entire mood becomes more positive.
- Wit and sarcasm often helps me put my anxiety inside. This method works wonders in preventing me from retreating inward. Humor can keep everyone, including me, engaged in the conversation.
*One Last Note*
While the above methods have worked for me, they may not work for you. Everyone is different and deals with stress and anxiety in different ways. If you are having trouble with work or personal issues, I strongly advise you to see a professional. Many companies have Employee Assistance Programs that provide free help.
In this video I share:
1. How to wrap the wrists in a pressing movement
2. Using chalk minimally for maximal results
3. Setting up on a parallel pressing movement including backside bracing
4. Demonstrating how to do a Larsen press with a bench block
“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius
2 lg. Cans tomatoes,
1lb. burger, fried,
2 cans chili beans,
2 cans kidney beans,
1 can garbanzo beans.
2 cups tomatoes juice,
1 cup water, 1/4 c. brown sugar . Cook until bubbly. Lower heat, cover and simmer. Stir and don’t scorch the bottom…. Yuk!
Bethany took best lifter in her competition yesterday. She pulled 286 weighing 117!
Steve didn’t have the day he hoped for. He still lifted really well but no personal bests. He discovered some issues like using a power bar to deadlift in warm ups while pulling with a deadlift bar on the platform. I can’t stress enough how ignorant that is to do to a lifter if only from a safety perspective. However, he made the best of it and still pulled 560 with ease.
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The Presence Process
A Journey into Present Moment Awareness
You can dissect and analyze your issues for decades, but nothing will actually resolve them and change your life like The Presence Process.
Author Michael Brown shows us how it’s possible to experience awareness of the present moment without having to take the long, challenging path most of us usually take as we attempt to live in the “now”.
We all long to be free of our discomfort and experience inner peace. However, the attempt to get rid of our discomfort is misguided. We’re not broken and don’t need to be “healed”. Our difficulty is that our deeply suppressed emotional imprints from childhood distract us from an awareness of the present moment. Until this emotional charge from our past is integrated, our attempts to quiet our thoughts and access the peace, joy, and love that are bedrock to our being are of only limited success. Since presence is universal, it has the ability to manifest in our daily experience the very circumstances required for us to integrate the dysfunction that keeps us from experiencing the radiance of present moment awareness. We are each responsible for determining the quality of our personal experience, and The Presence Process guides us in taking responsibility for our emotional integration. It’s a way to consciously “grow up”.
If you are open about your diagnosis of mental illness, most likely you are faced with more negative feedback than positive. We are labeled as damaged goods. When I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder, there were no words of encouragement or pamphlet that taught me how to handle stigma or love myself. I was set up for failure, and I know many of you feel the same way. The following blog post is what every person with a mental illness needs to hear. It’s the truth that we are kept from acknowledging.
You are not stigma.
Self-stigma is when you are aware of the stereotypes that exist and apply it to one’s self. The negative misconceptions about people with mental illness are so heavily present in our society that it can influence our self-perception. We cannot control how the public views those of us living with a mental illness…
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With several human studies to back up the health claims, binaural beats appear to be a promising tool in the fight against anxiety, stress, and negative mental states. Research has found that listening daily to CDs or audio files with binaural beats has positive effects on:
Becoming a master at meditation isn’t easy. Binaural beats won’t work for everyone, and they aren’t considered a cure for any particular condition. However, they might offer a perfect escape for those interested in relaxing, sleeping more peacefully, or entering a meditative state.
Additional information: https://www.healthline.com/health/binaural-beats#bottom-line
I love this exercise because it is so challenging. Your stabilizers really get challenged when you let the weights dangle from the bands.
Today I am going to try to hit 225 for a few reps.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
As always warm up alot, start light and use whatever safety measures available. AND an SBD belt is pretty smart to add to the mix.
This exercise works the side or medial head of the shoulders effectively while not causing any impingement in the AC joint and clavicle.
Start light with a controlled tempo while using higher reps in the 15-30 range.
|The spacing or lack off on the left is similar to my own joint. THERE IS NONE.|
Walking was almost unbearable while sitting and standing both cause me pain. My comfort pose was laying flat on my back with ice packs but it helped me get through the last few months leading up to the surgery.
|My hip socket|
|Similar hardware in my hip now|