Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Kool-Aid Update and Intuitive Training

Some of my very good friends have gently suggested that I might be drinking too heavily of the Kool-Aid as of late, speaking metaphorically of my posts/rants on Z with regards to clients, other systems, etc, etc.

All I can say is, I can't help it: Z excites me.

I realize there may be some other systems out there that have very similar principles to Z. I understand. If they're working for you, keep using them. If they're not, you may want to try Z. Either way, I respect you. But as I said to one of my very good friends, some of these other systems may think exactly the same as Z--meaning almost identical principles. The ones I studied, to the best of my knowledge, did not. As I told him, I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

I'm excited about Z because it changed my life and it changed the way I train, both personally and professionally, in a very good and productive way.

So, on to the training.

Since I've been back on the platform, indeed, since I've recovered from my last knee incident in March, I've been more accutely aware of what I need to train and when. Bodybuilders call this "intuitive training." I believe Dave Tate has written about it before, saying that the athlete needs to listen to his body identifying weakness and strengths and then to train accordingly. Unfortunately, this can be very hard to do, especially if you are accustomed to "working hard" by getting all the reps in, irregardless of the long term cost.

The hard part about this is you have to be your own coach and your training, your workouts, are in a constant state of flux. What you think you may do, you may not. You may do more, or you may do less, based on the performance of the machine on any one particular training session. I've been told this is a very advanced way to train. It is also a very big pain in the butt because nothing is ever written in stone.

Sunday: Platform

Back to below the knees (bar started at the patellar tendon/ligament)

I haven't trained this position since February and before that, never. I never had the mobility for this particular position. As a result, it's very uncomfortable. It requires a very short 1st pull followed immediately by the 2nd pull. The timing just feels off. I didn't know where I would finish. I knew after last week's session feeling so good, I needed to unload this week and work my way back up. Training now is not so much about how much I lift each session, but how I lift it. That determines how much I eventually lift. It's all about cementing quality and correct movement patterns for the lift.

A. Power Snatch below knee: 50kg/2, 55/2, 60/2, 65/2, 75/2 x2, 80/2, 85/2 x2
I had only planned on going to 80kg here--taking it really light because of the new position. Worked up to 85kg because it felt "right."

B. Power Clean from below knee: 75kg/2, 85/2, 90/2, 100/2, 105/2, 110/2, 100/2, 105/2, 110/2
Performed 2 series with 100-110kg. Felt very fast, very good--it's all about walking away with that feeling. 120-130kg was in the bag for sure. I'll pull them out in the upcoming weeks. Maybe even 140kg.


A. Back Squats, bone rhythm focus
Rest-Pause training here: 5x1 with 30s rest between reps. Three sets, with 3 minutes between sets. Total reps = 15 w/ 120kg.
Felt pretty good. Some knee soreness, but no pain.

B. Military Press, same protocol as squats, but only 2 sets, 10 reps total. 85kg.


Back to the Complexes. Same as last week, but using a 32kg instead of 24kg. Dropped the sets by half to three, doubled the rest to 2 minutes between complexes.

Snatch x5
Clean + Press x5+5
Contralateral Rack Position Lunge x5
Row x5

These were pretty challenging. The goal will to be to get to 5 or 6 rounds here.

Overall, I'm feeling very good. Sleep has been excellent the last two nights, with last night being the best--lots of dreaming. I've been taking a combo of ZMA, GABA, and Melatonin. Good stuff. In fact, it was very hard to get out of bed this morning.

Thoughts on Squatting...

I think I'll continue on the R-P for the next 4 workouts, and then switch to 10 singles per training session. If it all works out according to plan, I should be up around 185kg nine sessions from now. I think these are really making a difference to the platform work. Some would say, "Duh!--Oly's are supposed to squat a lot to make their lifts go up." True--However, there are some who think the squats are irrelevant and all the strength should come from the classic lifts. Anyway, it's nice to actually feel the correlation. In fact, it's nice to actually be able to feel the body be able to move again.


Blogger fawn friday said...

I like to hear about your Z experience... Your enthusiasm is what has inspired me to experiment with Z through Mike N.

The biggest problem I have with the Z system is that I have no personal experience with what I can relate. I have no injuries and I have only been lifting for a couple years, so I just don't have the experience to understand a before and after effect on myself.

In yogaland there is a lot of reference to the CNS... certain postures are meant to stimulate or restore the CNS in a certain way.

So, intellectually I think Z is beneficial... I'm just not intellectual enough to be able to wrap my brain around the entire concept. Like you said in an earlier message... sometimes you get something unexpected with Z.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Thanks, Fawn. Be very thankful that you have no training injuries to draw before and after conclusions. Things you may want to look for personally could be the following: 1)increased ROM/flexiblity in yoga postures; 2) increased control and coordination in those postures; 3) increased numbers on your KB ballistics; 4) increased muscle activation on both ballistics and grinds.

I don't know much about yoga, except how to spell it ;] I'm interested in how those postures relate to the CNS. Can you post some of that info on your blog?

4:26 PM  
Blogger fawn friday said...

Don't you just LOVE ZMA? Aaron and I keep a bottle bed side... I take it like 3 nights a week, very helpful for recovery. Plus the dreams!!! I gave a bottle to the Reifkinds in April.

I will probably get another Z assessment from Mike when he returns from the I phase cert. I really want to believe in Z... I need to be consistent with the drills and document the improvements.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

Good stuff as always!

I started doing Bikram yoga about 3 years ago to help with my posture and old injuries. Bikram is about 26 postures, half "seated" and half "standing", done in a 104F room for 90 minutes. Once I got over the mentality of "push harder" to "relax into it" I did better.

Fast forward about a half year and I started doing Z and due to time had not done Bikram during that time. When I went back I made more progress in that short time than ever before. Postures had increased ROM and I could hold them for longer also.

My conclusion based on experiments on myself, is that Bikram was very good to help me recover from training. I think Bikram is great, but the increase in ROM and muscle activation from Z Health was far better in my case.

Geoff is right and I think many times we need to rethink the term "injury" as everyone has their own definition. Remember that the SAID principal states that you are ALWAYS adapting to what you are doing. This may put you closer to your goals or farther away.

I second the posting of the yoga positions!

Mike N

1:34 PM  

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