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upper body strength programming

Fri, 12 May 2017 13:03:02 GMT

Hey Wes, big fan here! Really like your uploads and keep up the good work man, it's amazing! I'm a track cyclist specialising in sprints, but after so many crashes and dangerously close calls, I decided to take a break from it and got into oly lifting. Cal Strength is a really good motivator and helped me a lot, I watch every vid. Still priming my technique, spending quite a bit of time with low weights to practice but I think it's alright and I hit the positions consistently. I don't have issues with leg power and explosiveness, as a cyclist squat was a main thing for me anyways. However I have major issues when it comes to the overhead stuff. Had a labrum repair surgery 2 years ago and haven't been doing much overhead lifting since then. My question would be, how would you programme upper body exercises/assistance stuff for someone with significant leg power-upper body power differences? I have no issues snatch high pulling like 225lbs, but even 100lbs overhead feels like a massive load. (don't laugh haha) I currently do around 2hr sessions with first half oly lifts a nd practice, variations, pulls, then second half squats and presses/upper body at the end. I feel maybe if I leave squats for the very end, upper body gets a bit more focus so can improve better. Any tips/ideas on programming or magic exercises that can help me? Feel like I'm hitting a wall, there's no point pulling the bar high if I can't even hold it above my head. Thanks in advance dude, and keep up the work!

Wes Kitts
Sun, 28 May 2017 19:41:18 GMT

Sorry for the delay! I've been out of town the past 2 weeks and wasn't able to get my responses done! Usually we rehab injuries in this order: Repair - Range of Motion - Restabilize - Restrengthen After 2 years I would think that it's fully healed, but it's very likely that range of motion and stability haven't been completely reclaimed and that's leading to a significant strength imbalance. In order to address these issues we definitely need to add some work to your routine. Before your workout I would suggest adding starting with a light upper body warm up to get the blood flowing. Jump rope, push ups or both should do the trick. Warm tissue is flexible tissue after all. From there some shoulder activation work would be next. This would include things like band pull aparts and scap retracts. A quick google search on shoulder activation and you'll have tons of options for activation. Find exercises that focus primarily on shoulder movement and upper back bracing. Also make sure you're always bracing your core and upper back with good posture when you do this portio n of your warm up. It's important that this practice carries over to your movements while you're lifting. After the activation you can do any and all static stretching necessary for your workout. I would concentrate your efforts on the delts, pecs, last, and traps. This routine should take about thirty minutes. During your workout, since the joint should be fully healed, you should be able to do anything you want for the most part. Always avoid anything that causes pain of course, but otherwise go nuts! One thing you need to look out for is asymmetry in your movements. If you see or feel asymmetry, take some weight off and try to find balance. For your Olympic variations try out some Snatch balances and overhead squats to acclimate your CNS, muscles, and joints to more significant weights overhead. Add some static holds in the overhead positions to give you some more time under tension as well. Learn to use internal rotation, your traps, lats, and scapular retraction to support the weights. Take your time adding weights to these movements and work up slowly, listening to your body and learning about the weakness in your shoulder. This will give you more information about what you should focus on during your warm ups. Finally I'll list some appropriate accessory work that should give you some nice results. You can do this at the end of your training before your last bit of mobility work. Most of these movements can be done with a scap retract and should be. Do these for 3 or 4 sets of 8-12. -DB, BB, Cable Rows + scap retract - let your arm relax between reps, retract the scap, then row. Stirct , controlled reps and probably a 2 - 3 second count on the row and on the release -Hanging Scap retracts -Ring Rows -Farmer's Carries (1 and 2 Arm variations) -DB Shoulder, Incline, and Bench Press - Front, Lateral, and Rear Delt DB Flies - Pull Ups / Lat Pull Downs This should be a great start for getting back on track! Let me know if I can be of more help!

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:18:48 GMT

Hi Wes! Thank you so so much for the tips! I've got confidence and better stability overhead, and been making good progression! Really appreciate the help, thank you! Keep lifting heavy and best of luck at PanAms!