Strength and Conditioning coach

Northern Suburbs Strength trainer

Northern Suburbs Strength Trainer

As an experienced personal trainer I have over the years learned and forgotten so many exercises that I feel sometimes I suffer from exercise overload. Continuous professional development has allowed me to keep the good and discard the unnecessary (It’s part of being a trainer).  Why bother performing 18 exercises when sometimes half can be more effective. It’s unfortunate that the fitness industry is always looking at ways to keep people entertained as opposed to keeping them fit.

It is with this experience that I hold my ground on what works and ignore the other sales orientated stuff that is served up by the truckload. I stick to what works and continue to improve on the fundamentals. So when you mix up only elements that work together it’s a win-win situation as a trainer and for client deliverables. The following is a basic template of just one of my plans that works a treat.

Please note that nutrition also plays a major apart in any well balanced program. What I cover here is the stuff that burns the calories, plenty of them.

One of my current mixes of exercises to get my experienced clients to perform during a session is the one where I call it the nasty 3. It’s quite simple in application and somewhat challenging when you commit.  It starts off with 3 solid core exercises followed by double kettlebell complexes and finishing you off with various boxing punch out / Heavy bag drills.

Depending on where client’s current strength and conditioning is, it’s quite easy to fine tune the effect with the right choice of resistance and kettlebell weight. For example if you have been using the 16kg kettlebells then jump to the next increment which is 20kg you are in another world of pain. You see traditional Kettlebells only go up in increments of 4kgs. (Evil laugh) I tend cover whatever energy you have left in the boxing section with the focus pads.

It’s part of the fun.

Core first

The exercises work well in providing a solid and somewhat challenging core routine.  The added benefit is that the limbs are sufficiently warmed up once you have completed the core work.  By then you should be well and truly “switched on” The reason these work well is due to the core being worked first and given the basic movements performed the whole body is being utilised to support the exercise leaving you prepared for the workload ahead.

  • Torsinator 5 sets of 10
  • Lying leg raise (holding stick)
  • Medicine ball throws (old school)

Kettlebell

The next component is the Kettlebell complex that involves only double kettlebell work. It’s important to point out that the clients who work with the doubles have already an establish base of strength, experience and fitness in working with kettlebells at my premises, so be warned if you are not proficient on the kettlebells. Get some instruction before you jump into the doubles.  Locating an RKC Kettlebell instructor here would be ideal.

  • Double Kettlebell Press
  • Double kettlebell Squats
  • Double kettlebell swings
  • Double kettlebell cleans

Boxing Workout

When it comes to boxing the benefits associated with this discipline can basically stand on their own when it comes to delivering  strength, fitness, movement and an absolute calorie burn. I like to incorporate the Boxing element with my clients as a great finisher to the more weight bearing movements. It allows us to flush out the tightness created with weights and gives me an opportunity to finish of the session on a high.

In addition I usually gauge how much energy my clients have and leave them with nothing with the proper use of focus pads.

  • 3 rounds of Skipping (keep a solid tempo)
  • 3 rounds of bag work (working at 80% exertion)
  • 3 x rounds of Mitt work (intensity at my discretion)

The above approach with my more seasoned clients allows up to basically mixing it up while still focusing on 3 vital areas of conditioning. That is Core, Strength & Cardio. This simple plan can also be used with my other clients with an emphasis on one element ( say Kettlebells) work in one core movement and introduce them to boxing. Either way it works out well.

The importance is to ensure the client receives a solid workout where you manage them to the end. Not smash them. It’s about making the session more effective. Not a beat down.

Remember thus is full body strength and conditioning workout. (GPP)  Not a sports skill workout. We are training the body to cope with whatever activity you follow. Be it running an obstacle course, trail running, Afl or rugby. Getting the body prepared will go a long way in the enjoyment of your chosen activity and even increase you skill training time.

Apart from being effective all over body workout it becomes just as dynamic when it comes to calorie burning. You will not be disappointed.

As we like to ask ourselves here, how many calories will I burn today?

All of them!

Strength and Fitness program

Strength training Mill Park

Most of the times when people are seeking to get fit and “back in shape” they often neglect the importance of getting stronger. You see by getting stronger all the other variables will sit on top of an already built up strength base and set you up to build a better fitness( cardiovascular) engine , be structurally resilient and with an understanding of movement you are well on the way in achieving your goal of “getting back into it”.

It pays to have a plan.

For the people who chose to ignore the strength component in their general fitness goals and think “I’ll just lose the weight with cardio”, you will simply be a smaller version of yourself and most likely be weak, have an ordinary immune system and not be strong enough to perform normal every day activities. To just do cardio and starve will leave your body depleted and not feeling too good and you will most likely go back to old habits.

Not everyone has to own a 100+kg deadlift, bench press or squat, however neglecting your strength is more of limiting factor in promoting a more active and healthier body and lifestyle.

The following is a basic yet effective two day workout that will deliver an honest all over strength base that is complimented by a 3rd running day. Keep in mind that with the use of Kettlebells you are still getting an adequate dose of cardio. Take my work for it it’s just the way the humble Kettlebell works. The running is what works well with any weigh management program and delivers you more than an adequate fitness base. Don’t neglect it as the longer you leave it the longer it will take to get.

Strength training program

Day one

(2-5 sets and 3-5 reps each)

  • Barbell back squat
  • Kettlebell front squat
  • Double kettlebell clean
  • Barbell Military press
  • Kettlebell double press
  • Kettlebell push press

Day one will cover the lower body/core with the traditional and effective Barbell squat while the double kettlebell cleans will sort out the posterior chain recruitment. The front squat with the kettlebells delivers more in recruiting the core and clearly gets the job done. The upper body is looked after with the military press and once again in working the double kettlebells the shoulders will be broad and resilient when you can manage the workload with an effective (pressing movement ) technique.

Day two

(2-5 sets and 3-5 reps each)

  • Barbell dead lift
  • Barbell upright rows
  • Barbell bent over rows
  • Chins
  • Barbell bench press – flat
  • Barbell bench press Incline
  • Barbell bicep curls

Day two will finish off the full body workout in working the hip hinge joint with the ever reliable and dynamic Deadlift. With the addition of the upright row and bent over rows the barbell will leave you fully worked (pulling movement ). The chins will take anything left you have in working your back. Add in the bench press with the flat and incline option and you have covered the upper body (Pushing movement).  Any program would be lost without the humbling barbell bicep curl. If you have anything left in reserve.

Strength based cardio reserve

Day 3 run

You need cardio remember? A 1-5 klm steady run as a beginner will do you good. It should be your minimum cardio base and should only be a shorter distance that you can manage and will complement the two day weight program nicely. It will allow you to get into a steady tempo and start to burn some extra calories and keep the weight under control. The message here is to be committed and stick to a program that will deliver a balanced return- a leaner, fitter and muscular looking body.

Remember a body that has a bit of muscle can burn more calories than one that doesn’t.

To cap it off all of the above is the active component in getting results. If would be dismissive if me if I didn’t include the element of nutrition and how much of an effect it has with any fitness/strength and well-being program. Neglect your nutrition and any results will be slow and minimal. Managing you nutrition is not always about weight loss, for some it’s about performance. As the saying goes, Junk in = junk out . Don’t be that person!

The above was just a basic (not to be confused with easy) start up program that takes up only 3 days of your week. Alternatively you can (with time permitting) treat it as 3 days on and take the fourth day off. It up to you, when you have committed to it for 4-6 weeks the results will be obvious and you will need to tweak it further.

This is where a personal trainer can assist you and ensure you are achieving results.

Strength Training with Oly lifts

Strength with Olympic Weightlifting  

When it comes to understanding and appreciating Olympic lifting it’s not just a matter of just doing the snatch, clean and jerk and you are done.  For the committed individuals who solely pursue this dynamic sport as their choice in exercise, it about learning all the intricacies that go along with the improvement of these 3 technical lifts. The fun part goes with learning the semi competition lifts, related exercises and the always important Strength exercises, add in some remedial lifts and the associated stretches and you have plenty of scope when it comes to learning and improving your Weightlifting for performance for fun, Fitness and Strength.

For the crew at Claudefit Personal Training it’s a matter of implementing the exercise that go towards the overall results for my various clients. We sometime incorporate the semi- competition lifts and sometimes we are kept just as busy with the related strength exercises.  For others who are possibly working out for sports performance, training in their local Crossfit boxes or they require more of a technical understanding the approach is different but still technical in that we break down the lift a bit more ensuring awareness of current strength levels and possible limiting factors such as flexibility and range of motion, basically a swat analysis on your body.

The following is a sample of a direct process in working toward the snatch for beginners to the more experienced in getting some conditioning in within a learning process. It ensures that the individual is able to move through the exercises and establish where they are at. No point in putting someone under load when they can’t even press the weight above the head.  So there is no way they will be able to catch it when they “give it a go” without understanding it first.

The session takes a top down approach form the point of the catch and works down toward the bottom position.  Most recreational trainers who concentrate on the leg and hip thrust don’t pay attention to the overhead position as they will work it out later. This is often what happens with no coaching or in commercial gyms where it’s something cool to try. Unfortunately the shoulder structure is not sound enough, stable/ flexible to appropriately accept the catch.

I’m not keen to test out my flexibility when I don’t know whether I can hold it first!

Weightlifting – The Snatch progress

Barbell Standing Military press – Without a doubt the shoulder press will let the individual know exactly where their absolute strength lies and can from this exercise alone establish range and lockout strength. The ability to hold onto the weight above the head with the shoulder blades elevated should also provide feedback on stability. A classic lift as the first exercise in this progression. As a stand-alone the Military press is an excellent exercise for upper body (shoulder) development.

Barbell back squat – With most sports the ability to generate power from the hips and legs can only begin with one of the pillars of strength. The barbell squat will add muscle quicker than any of the other available movements that tries to replica this fundamental movement. When it comes to pure strength the squat reigns supreme. It is why we work on this movement. All others exercises will be supported by leg strength. Remember it starts from the floor/ground.

Overhead squat – The overhead squat has many benefits. For the Olympic lifts the ability to apply this movement is critical in both holding a weight above your head and be able to squat down to the floor. A typical gym squat to parallel doesn’t cut the mustard with Olympic lifting. You need to be able to get down low. The overhead squat will let you know where you are at. Performed with a barbell or PVC pipe alone is enough for the beginners and is a nice warmup for the more experienced. Work this one well.

Pressing Snatch balance – When we get to this exercise we are now starting to work on a more weightlifting specific movement. It basically requires you to hold the barbell behind you as in a back squat position (feet  wider) and then in one slow movement lower your body into a deep squat while the barbell is maintained at best as possible in the same position. Think pushing yourself away from the bar here. The end of the movement should be the same as the bottom position of the snatch. A great movement to get that flexibility happening and with a bit of weight, a great muscle builder.

Heave pressing snatch balance – The next progression is similar to the previous one in that you are now working on a much quicker execution of movement. That is to drop at speed. One for the more experienced that will clearly challenge you.

Snatch Balance – The last one with this simple progression (not easy) is performed with the feet beginning in the pulling position with the barbell in the back squat position. The next step is to take a slight dip and then explode into the snatch position in quickly dropping and landing in a wider leg position. Once you have worked through the previous progressions this one becomes a bit of fun.

It’s Playtime

Once you have had enough of the technical work and practiced the particular elements that you are not too comfortable with (and got better) it’s time to work through the more dynamic and powerful varieties the snatch provides. The first two exercises allow you to with limited technical application power through the movement. The Muscle snatch is a great start as it rewards the stronger guys and girls who don’t quite have the technical and movement down pat. Next is the popular Power snatch where you’re starting to drop under the bar and it’s where you begin to appreciate the overall movements of this great exercise (eg; positioning, leg drive and hip power). At this stage the return on investment for pure strength, conditioning and power output should be sufficient for most, particularly the athlete wishing to reap the benefits for their sport. The last and most technical of the three is the Snatch which is more dynamic and is the true end results of the traditional Olympic lifting style. When you are performing the classic Olympic Snatch properly you’re most likely, flexible, experienced, well-conditioned and clearly one strong individual.

Overall al of the movements have an enormous benefit, it’s up to you to work through in a safe and progressive manner in reaping the rewards. The importance is to first get the patterning done and correct any deficiencies before you go all out to grip and rip the bar off the floor in becoming, a fitter stronger and more conditioned practitioner.

Strength and Conditioning (Part 2)

Strength and Conditioning

The second part is to add value to the previous two mentioned strength building methods. The following refers to the next phase relating more to the conditioning aspect with the use of a Kettlebell, why you have to run and a reminder why you should monitor your nutrition. Let’s keep it simple and practical. You should have plenty to keep you busy with your own sports specific skill work I’m sure.

Barbell supremacy for strength training

The two approaches to delivering results have been for a long time the tried and through methods of a sound conditioning program but are not the only ways of getting results. The barbell has for a long time been heralded as the one piece of equipment that has over time been replaced, copied , watered down ( via machines)  and often been challenged, yet it still serves as the only way in getting the job done for the serious types. The following exercises will certainly be of benefit in incorporating in most strength and conditioning programs. Here’s a sample of you can do with only the barbell.

Military Press – Basically this is a standing shoulder press performed with a barbell.  It’s regarded as the prime mover in getting those old fashioned broad shoulders happening and is also one of the assistant exercises in both the Weightlifting and Powerlifting methods. A must have exercise wit any program.

Bent over rows – When you have been working out for a while and have developed great core stability and know how to fold the hips back, this exercise is one of the primary back builders that is a favourite with the bodybuilding crowd. The Lat pull-down has often been used as opposed to this movement due to its ease in application. Within a true strength program why not use them both!

Front Squat – Another exercise that is one of the fundamental movements in the weightlifting method. On its own it’s a great leg builder that promotes a more upright posture and give the core a workout in stability of the upper body. A fantastic option if you don’t want to back squat.

Barbell complex – I thought I might as well sneak in this particular approach to barbell work. It’s generally for a bit of mental conditioning and is a sure fire way in getting the heart rate up. Can be done with a lighter than usual weight and it will be up to you how many repetitions you can handle . A great one to incorporate with a training buddy. You basically have to perform 3-5 reps and then straight away move onto the next movement. Give it a try and see how far you get. Eg: 5 x bent rows. 5 x cleans 5 x front squats, 5 x military press – repeat.

Push Press – Related to the Military press and Jerk the bottom line is that it’s easy to learn, helps you lift the heavier weights above the head and allows you to use you bottom half in generating the power from the ground up . An important skill to utilise for many sports. Performed in volumes it ensures the heart rate will be left elevated for a long time post workout.

Conditioning with the Kettlebell ballistics

My favourite tool in generating the volumes in delivering many conditioning requirements. It sits well with the typical sporting movements and its effects are immediately felt.  A workman like approach that only the Kettlebell can bring to the table. Take the Kettlebell version of the snatch performed with one hand and you are on another level when it comes to an elevated heart rate and the overall effect of owning a pair of wobbly legs.

The highly rated RKC snatch test requires an individual ( male) to perform 100 x 24kg snatches within a set 5 minute timeframe, It also has to be done with a better than average technique in order for you to pass. An impressive feat that is the expected standard of an RKC Instructor.

Another way to condition is to use the complex drills that when performed with a kettlebell seem to have a natural flow. Take for example a set of double swings, double cleans, double snatch, double press and double Squat for reps of 3-5 in a continuous manner.

For  simpler and just as effective conditioning drill , for some there is no need to take it further than the kettlebell swing that activates the posterior chain and develops and excellent overall conditioning . It aids in grip strength and when done in high volumes teaches you mental conditioning – Take my word.  The carry over effect of the swing will allow you to improve on you running as it shares many similarities with running mechanics.

Add in the Turkish get up with the related benefits of mobility, the renegade rows for core development and kinetic chain connection and you are done.

Running

The simplicity of running and the overall physical and mental benefits it brings needs to be appreciated. For a conditioning program it’s an effective cardiovascular workout that you can’t do without. As they say Athletes run, Pure and simple. For general fitness benefits you can use the treadmill or go for a walk, however the reality is if you are serious about your conditioning you have to run. If you don’t know how to run, you have to learn, if you tell me you have bad knees, you should not be doing strength and conditioning work (or  get fixed)and if you have “breathing difficulties” or “not designed to run” and “hate running” you are just not fit , so run – ok?

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition you have to juggle the food intake that will allow you to fuel you work-out and need to get in the adequate quality of nutrients for recovery. In addition you have to ensure of the incoming calories for health and wellbeing. For a performance athlete you need the extra calories for a proper recovery phase and ensure that your essential Vitamin’s (B’s) are adequate. Your nutrition in recovery is important.

The weight loss nutrition is different to performance so be ready to eat a bit more, so becoming stricter should be expected. Enjoy the carbs ! Simply eating up as you see fit without a plan could potentially be causing a weight increase which is detrimental to bodyweight sports. A sound nutritional approach will go a long way in performance and keep you in good spirits. Eating crappy food will have the opposite effects.

Mobility

An important component that is neglected by many. If you are not able to get into position with no weight there is no point in putting you under loading and “working it out later” the diligent trainer should address any lack of mobility on areas such as ankle, hips, knee ,thoracic region,wrists mobility and work on improving range or positioning. No point in incurring an injury that will prevent you from you training.

No training means no improvement.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and operated out from his own private facility catering to the individual who want to take their strength and conditioning to the next stage

Strength and Conditioning (Part1)

Strength and Conditioning

When people are looking taking up a workout program most of the time they want to get lean, become fitter and put on some muscle. For others their requirement are different in that they are not so much after a general program but need additional attention to their current strength training regime and are now ( seriously)  looking at stepping it up in order to be able to perform. For current fitness enthusiast and sports participants it’s got to the stage where they are needing more specific  strength variables in adding value to their sport or simply don’t have the skill-set to properly plan out and execute what’s required to breach the gap from where they are now to where they need to be.

Whether it’s to become more resilient to take the knocks, increase their aerobic capacity or simply increase work output a properly qualified and experienced Strength and conditioning coach can certainly help out.

Let’s cover a few of the pathways available to becoming more conditioned. It depends on what type you need. For example, the requirements for a cyclist will be different to a rugby player. However both are looking at improving their performance. So what are the tools in getting the job done?

The following is an outline of the equipment required in order to be in a position where you will get to that goal. It explains the various tried and true methods that have proven over time to work out. Given this knowledge it goes a long way in prescribing through a Strength and conditioning programs on what you need to do.  Otherwise it’s just a bunch of exercises that can be done anytime with only reaping the benefits of just lifting with no purpose. Remember, this is not for recreational weight training purposes. It’s for performance.

Olympic Weightlifting Method

If your sport is requiring  the type of conditioning that will deliver explosive power then look no further than the classic sport of Olympic Weightlifting. Many of us have become familiar with these two lift by watching the Olympic Games on the television. The clean and jerk along with the snatch are what most of us enjoy viewing on the telly. The sport is much more than that, In addition to it been highly technical and within the reach of most, it is the assisting lifts and semi competition lifts within your program that allow you to fully appreciate this power building sport. The assistant exercises like the power versions of the clean, jerk and snatch are usually enough for you to develop the explosiveness for your sport; the more classic lifts are for those who wish to pursue this as their chosen sport.

Here’s a sample template for one of my client who after participating in a Crossfit class has decided to refine his technique on the weightlifting component of his semi regular Crossfit classes. He sees me once a week for PT and in addition to his own home based training attend this local Crossfit box for a bit of fun. Given the nature of Olympic lifting it’s important to keep it simple and effective. The sample workout following was performed with lighter than normal weight to allow for teaching and not overly fatigue the body.

w/up Various drill incorporating overhead extension, ankle , hip and wrist flexibility.

Clean

Clean from knee height – Skill/Cond

Power clean – explosive/core/skill

Clean Pulls – Strength of pulling phase

Snatch

Power snatch – Explosive/core/skill/catch

The high (snatch) pull – pulling skill

Snatch from hang/or floor – speed work on catch/ volumes/

Drop snatch (from shoulders) – skill (practice overhead squat)

Jerk

Jerks from rack –Skill work

Jerk dips – Strength of explosive drive/ relaxed arms/ only hips/knees forward

Push press – Strength and conditioning for overhead movement /strength

Jerk/press behind neck – stability /alignment prep for catch phase.

In regards to athlete training here’s what a an expert in the field wrote – Athletes in certain sports will benefit from just performing power snatches and power cleans and jerks initially, along with some back squats, front squats, good mornings, and presses. They do not need to learn to do the classic lifts, nor to train with great intensities. The body control and awareness developed through performance of the lighter derivatives will do a great deal to enhance athleticism, balance, and proprioception, and consequently result in a greater improvement in performance. – Bob Takano

Powerlifting method 

When your sport requires you to become one strong hombre, the Powerlifting 3 are the most superior in getting the job done – Period.  The simplicity of the big 3 in combination cannot be beat.

Bench press

The powerful bench press and its many variations is favourite by most due to its ease of learning and oblious quick results has for many years been a go to exercise for first movement to do during the week. For sports application the ability to fend off opponents or generate the strength to push away is an essential component in keeping the opponent off you or simply holding your ground.

Squats

The squat is often hailed as the most dynamic movement the body can perform as it works not only the whole bottom half of the body by also gets the core involved in linking the resistance/weight to the upper body. Keep in mind that to hold onto the much heavier weights the upper body is also required to be strong enough to maintain the barbell in position. All up, its an extremely effective exercise in delivering true results when it comes to maximum leg strength. Get your squat on and get results.

Deadlift

An equally benefiting exercise is the hip dominant pulling strength developed from the basic and brutal Deadlift. The movement in its simplicity requires you basically lift a “heavier” weight from the floor. Well sort off. Once you have mastered a basic understanding of the flexibility to get into place and the hip power and balance required it then turns into a mental game when it comes to lifting up the bigger weights from the floor. An impressive feat when watching the big boys lift!  When performed correctly with proper mechanics it a safe and fun exercise that delivers all over body strength due to the recruitment of the muscles in getting the weight up.

 

When it comes to pure strength the above three cannot be neglected. Make sure you include these in you program if you are after real results. Otherwise just do a pump class. It’s pretty clear that by incorporating either the Powerlifting or Weightlifting methods and their variants will go a long way on improving your overall conditioning. It’s just a matter of having the right mix depending on your particular needs. The common factor here is clearly the use of the dominate Barbell. Part two will cover some of the reasons why the barbell is supreme.

If you haven’t figured it out yet.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and operated out from his own private facility catering to the individual who want to take their strength and conditioning to the next stage.

Weight Training workout

Weight Training basics

One of my clients who’s been with me for around 18 months had mentioned how he used to do his Weight Training workouts in a fancy 24 hour commercial gym and would only use the available machines and would perform the very basic exercises that the gym offered. Sadly no instructors were around to assist if required either.  As a result he basically didn’t have use of Barbells to work from or help on technique. Like most he would rock up on Mondays and do the “Ol” chest and arms routine and a bit of abs. This is what most regular gym goers tend to do without a strict plan, even when their gym is properly equipped.

Currently we have been working out with Kettlebells, Barbells and Boxing , keep a focus on Nutrition and have based our program around weight loss. To date he has shifted “a lot of excess”  from his frame. So I was pleasantly surprised when he asked me to incorporate some of the more traditional exercises on one program to get a feel of how it all works out. We have over time covered the basic compound lifts for general physical preparation (as you should) but today’s workout was a bit of a variation on the basic with a bit of Claudefit experience chucked in for good measure.

It’s basically a variation on the Chest and Back routine with the addition of Gymnastics rings for on overload under fatigue and the use of the Deadlift and Kettlebell swing for an all body effect. Arm training was at the end after core and ensured that we worked ‘the guns” until they could not Lift anymore.

Focus : All a bit of fun while still getting the job done.

Chest: Incline Barbell press, Flat barbell Press and Gymnastics rings presses.

Back: Barbell bent over rows , Chins and Gymnastics ring pulls

Full Body: Deadlift and Kettlebell swings

Arms: Barbell Bicep curls and lose grip bench press

Core: Hanging Knee raises

Mobility: Included all the stretches and target areas as required.

It’s Strength Training

The above approach was to get in those two large body parts of the back and chest with a 3-5 rep max for 5 sets. The rest of the additional exercises where with a lighter loading and took it to a range of 8-12 reps. All for a bit of serious fun really. The session was then complimented by the ever reliable Deadlift with the classic 3×3 and chucked in several Kettlebell two handed swing 20×5 just to get the heart rate up – yeah we succeeded. Given the nature of the workout we were always going to cover arms and worked them to failure. If you had noticed the arms were certainly incorporated as assistant muscles with the previous movements. Core was taken care of with the Hanging knee raises with a mention of the Deadlift and bent over rows for the bracing component in the core work.

As always we finished off in recovery with related body part stretches and full body mobility drills to prevent any stiffness from becoming a hindrance This very basic (not easy) covers the upper body and gives the arms a more than effective workout. It’s not exactly bodybuilding as we focused on both strength and conditioning. For those who want the bodybuilding approach you need to go to a bodybuilding gym. Not a 24 hour commercial Gym.

The message is to plan well for you objectives. For general physical preparation, just cover all the major movements and incorporate some cardio, sort out you food and you are well on the way to results. For other who have particular need on strength and conditioning on a more specific level I suggest you speak with someone who knows how to program you workouts.

Claude Castro has been the owner of Claudefit Personal Training for 8 year and has over 35 year of practical application. Can be located on  www.claudefit.com.au

 

 

Olympic Weightlifting for Crossfit

Olympic Weightlifting for Crossfit

The Olympic Weightlifting movements are made up of only two major lifts, however in the process of becoming as efficient as possible to allow you to lift the heaviest as possible you have an array of options in relation to breaking down these two unique and dynamic lifts.

The clean and jerk and Snatch are the two dominant lifts that you can perform for absolute power transfer that also have an enormous carry over effect in several of the power sports and are a staple of the Crossfit training practiced by many during their famous WOD’s. I myself at Claudefit Personal Training use the power version of these lifts in relation to building up a power base for my clients who practice martial arts, play AFL, Rugby and in the past taken on the rigours of American football we call gridiron. In addition my ladies group fitness class

The following plan ( in point form ) is just a sample of the work that goes into teaching the members at my local crossfit Craigieburn box in relation to the snatch and other specific lift and strength related exercise. Add in some mobility drills you are well on the way in getting a grip on how to perform the Snatch. Or at least be armed with a bit of knowledge in practicing these exercises with a safe and technical approach.

After a warm up that involved a series of total full body mobility drills we covered the following:

Bottom positioning cues                                                                                   

* Feet Hip width apart

* Chest is inflated

* Upright position (chest inflated)

* Hips Higher than Knees (80-100 degrees angle)

* Shoulders over and in front of the bar

* Arms straight and elbows out

It’s important to emphasise the set up and ensure that all participants are able to ask question if they are not sure. Given the various skill levels it allows for the less experienced and new members to get a solid understanding of the basics.

Progressive exercise for the snatch.                                                                                 

Full Snatch from Hang (knee Height)                                                                                                    

* Enhances the ability to accelerate the bar in the second pull

* Skill at receiving the bar

* Top of thigh /lower / explode up

Power Snatch                                                                                                   

* Emphasis on explosive phase

* Accelerate as much as possible

* Avoid pushing head forward (promotes hips going back)

* Lower than 90 degrees it’s not a power snatch

Snatch/High Pull

* High transfer into power production

* When comfortable (more experienced), done at maximum speed

* Start position of snatch (wide grip)

* Pulling straps can be used

Snatch Shrug                                                                                                     

* Start up on thighs

* Emphasis on the final explosive phase of the snatch pulls

* Heavier weights

* Power rack/Blocks required

* Shorter range

* Straps required

Drop Snatch                                                                                                      

* From chest

* Drop into snatch position

Once the class was able to be taught these progressions, given the time to practice, and allow for question time, we simply moved onto the strength exercises related to the question asked. Most of the lifts performed by participants related to their own needs.  At Crossfit Craigieburn we are proactive in a high level of client deliveries so question time is important in allowing member to find the exercises most suitable to them that will best help them out.

Strength Exercises                                                                                                         

* Overhead squat            * Lift offs

* Front squat                  * Romanian Deadlifts (second part of pull) snatch and clean

In finishing off the session we quickly went over the remedial drill that particular class participants needed. With the use of the Kettlebell the job of opening up the hips and working on the overhead extension finished off a productive and rewarding class

Remedial                                                                                                           

* KB – Goblet squat

* BB/KB Overhead shrugs

* KB – Overhead stretch

* Hanging knee raise (decompress spine/ core/ hips)

Claude Castro is owner of Claudefit Personal training located in Mill Park. Is a Level two Weightlifing coach with the Australian Weightlifting federation and currently taking the Crossfit Weighlifting class held at the newly establish Crossfit Cragieburn.

Gone Crossfit

Weightlifting for Crossfit

I have recently been offered and accepted a position as Weightlifting coach for one of the new and very exiting Crossfit premises out in Craigieburn. I’ll be looking after the members with technical and programing requirements in order to prepare them for their own competition within this new brand of fitness.

If you don’t know what crossfit is and are an active exercise participant, you might be mistaken for someone who has been in the dark ages. Crossfit has literally taken over the fitness world and is now a major player in the states and other parts of the world in relation to this style of training and let’s not forget to include their ever-growing participant base. Add some local and regional competition to establish who the best is an all of a sudden you have a juggernaut called Crossfit.

It so big now that we now have the crossfit games that have an enormous television viewing audience and Is now regularly been held in Australia for qualification into the overall championship held in the states.

My humble part will be simply to add value to the current members who are looking at brushing upon their Olympic lifting technique, look after the members who are looking at competing or simply want to learn how to properly and safely perform these dynamic lifts. I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of adding value to the crew at crossfit Craigieburn.

Olympic Weightlifting

In Olympic weight lifting the core exercises performed are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both these exercises are very difficult to perform and require extensive adherence to detail when applying the techniques, assistant exercises and related stretches.  In relation to more sports related training both these lifts and their variations have been highly regarded as “the discipline” to incorporate with their explosive movements in adding clear benefits with both high end strength levels and power output. With sports such as AFL and the rugby codes it has obvious benefits.

Olympic lifts should be prescribed when the individual has progressively developed significant relative and absolute strength to capitalise on the speed and full body movements required to gain maximum returns. I look forward in preparing the member out in Craigieburn in relation to these lifts and other associated strength exercises.

The classes are held of Friday evenings and are from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and are suitable for all.

Hope to see you there ready to get strong and powerful.

Happy lifting.

Claudefit personal training is located in Mill Park in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. Contact detail can be located via the website www.claudefit.com.au

 

Running Strength Program

Running Strength Program

Over the last 3 years I’ve been a fairly consistent runner and at the moment I’m having a good time running during our Melbourne winter months and will keep this up as part of my basis of keeping my bodyweight in check ,still staying strong and as a Personal trainer hold an expected level of fitness while staying injury free. Currently I’m running 40-60klm a week at 79kg.

So how do I keep myself reasonably strong, fit and unbroken with all the running I do? I’ll outline a typical week of training and hope this can help you out. You can adjust according to current fitness levels. The workout template for the winter period is going to be quite simple and will support my running base. Naturally this will be altered over time and most likely change post winter heading towards the warmer months where ill increase the volumes. So basically this is my running strength program.

Here’s a typical week of training. Please note mobility and flexibility Drills are done during workout.

Monday:

2xKettlebell Military press 5×5

2xKettlebell Cleans 5×5

2xKettlebells Squats 5×5

2xKettlebell Swings 5×10

2xKettlebell SLDL (works the Glutes directly)

Hanging knee raises 5x 10

5klm recovery run

Tuesday: 10 klm run

Wednesday: 10 klm run

Thursday:

Barbell Bench press 5×5

Barbell deadlift 5×5

2xKettlebell renegade rows

5klm recovery run

Friday:

10klm run with client (6:15am start)

Saturday – Free day of mobility drills with a light Kettlebell

The Turkish Get Ups are done with a kettlebell that will not put too much pressure on me while I move. So it depends on the day on how my body feels that will determine the weight used. Remember you need to use the right tool for the job and not always the “heavy one” The  Goblet a squats for me are quite strenuous at the beginning and end up feeling the best once I’ve warmed up and finished a few sets. You only need to do 3 reps per set at most, keep the hips open and stay in the bottom position and you are done. In finishing off with the single bell Kettlebell Swings it’s just a matter of complimenting the previous two exercises and during winter goes a long way in keeping you warm. Add in a foam roller and the above exercise and you most likely feel you might need a run. Most of the time it’s enough for me and don’t need to run. Only if I’ve for some reason I had to make up some klms I did get in during the week

Sunday – 20klm run with running buddy (6:15am start)

The long run is basically a great calorie burner and allows me to own a solid running base over the winter months. It also keeps me with a reasonable fitness base for the running events myself and clients do.

Naturally this is a base program and can be altered as time goes by, as I need to increase the running kilometres or add in a couple of well-paced 5klm runs for added strength.

The bottom line is that I’m kept strong, fresh and injury free and my bodyweight is in check.  Like most I Just need to keep an eye out on the food intake over winter!

The best part is I’m getting out there in the cold and having good time.

Happy running

www.claudefit.com.au

 

 

Running for fitness. Claudefit Running Events

Running for fitness

Over the last 18 months the team at Claudefit has been actively participating in several running based events that help us all with keeping ourselves motivated with our own fitness, strength and weigh management goals. If it’s a dose of cardio fitness you are after then provided you are not injured running should be you go to exercise.

These events allow the participant to feel they are part of a team. We all meet up at our “chosen spot” prior to event. It amazing how much support you get in pumping you up to successfully complete the event of the day. It’s good to know you have the support of others when you are about to take on and finish doing your first 5klm, 10klm or even half a marathon.  We all do our separate events and always wait for the last one before we move all on.

It’s the way we do things.

For a brief example of the various types of even I’ve outlined the ones we have actually run and have already registered for the remainder of 2014. This year will be our second one. So I guess it makes us somewhat experienced.

Claudefit running events

Neon run – This fun run was the first one for us. It was a night light run around the banks of Albert park lake. Lots of music and other goings on. However a good first time and a leg stretcher for the more experienced. Great first event in getting us to start the year.

Tough Mudder – This challenging muddy run is basically a 20 klm obstacle course. Its designed surrounding the Phillip island race track where running along the waterfront and undulating trials with the added challenges that the obstacles bring is kind of tough. The more experienced runners see this is a major challenge. We generally get a good group. Start running now for 2015!

Mothers Classic Day – The first of the big Melbourne fun runs where various distances are on offer (no mud here) around the scenic and popular Tan track . You can go at your own pace for the distance you have signed up for. Great for those who wish to participate in pure running with the masses.

Run for the kids – Similar to Mothers days where you pick the distance and enjoy the day out with you teammates. Another wonderful event that raises a great deal of funds for a children’s charity and  a fun day out.

Spartan race – This one in particular is of interest to me. Plain and simple it is a race over 7klm over paddock, obstacles, water,mud and hill runs. It’s hard,it’s fast and a lot of fun. one for the stronger runner.

Stadium stomp – If you are looking for something different with you running try this event. It’s basically running up and down while traversing across the famous MCG stands in covering over 7000 steps (for the long run). A shorter version is also available. For me it’s really cool to be running within an empty looking arena with fellow runners. One of the best view from the top! A true test for the running muscles.

Salomon trail run – For something new were going to tackle both the 12klm and 6klm versions of this trail event. This is going to be held in my own back yard, The Mill Park Blue lake (the gorge) park offers runners the true trail running experience across creeks, the Aussie bush and an abundance of fresh air on offer. What a great opportunity to simply run a trail. No bitumen, no fumes and no obstacles.

Run Melbourne – This time we are back on the roads of Melbourne hitting the bitumen over our selected distances. Most of the crew here like to take on the 10klm as is takes you around the Botanical gardens and over the Anderson street bridge on your way to Birrarung Marr. A nice scenic view for those who take the time to check it out. I doubt it of you are pushing the pace! for me a primer for the last event.

Melbourne Marathon –The last of the major runs with a similar approach in getting around the Yarra precinct , Botanic gardens and flying down St Kilda road in heading towards the best finish line of all . The magnificent MCG. That’s right, we are back at the G for one more viewing. As its the last one I encourage all to go all out and get the personal best. There’s  few of us who have this one marked for this very reason. to get the PB.

Why we run? Well that easy, running is the basis of everything we do, it’s what gets the job done in a pure cardiovascular improvement. And in my business of fitness it a given for those who are able to run. For those who are injured and unable to run due to other conditions other alternatives are available, however the adaptation to running the body receives returns an enormous amount in benefiting you with Weigh Management, Mobility goals and generally hit that feel good factor.

Try a 5klm run at pace once you are conditioned and tell me otherwise?

The other benefit is the workload (for you ladies in particular) is your butt gets in all that running. As my colleague Andrew Read describes “The glutes really only activate when running, jumping, or moving up inclined surfaces, being almost completely inactive when at standing or walking. Not only does the butt provide much of the power for running, but it also has a role in stabilizing the upper body during running”

Compliment the running with a General physical preparation approach and you are doing what’s necessary in becoming fitter, stronger and more mobile.

Feel better, move better and look your best.

 

Claudefit Personal Training has been operation since 2006 and has over 25 years of own practical experienced.

Now based in Mill Park I’m able to offer various training options.

Book A Session Today!