Reebok CrossFit Frankston
On How To Train
By Donny Shankle CPT
“Patience leads to perseverance.” - Anonymous
Having a template when you go into the gym makes things much easier. Think of a template as a sort of map. On this map you plug in all the different places you want to go or rather where you want your focus to be. A good template is easy to understand, prioritizes the lifts, and is designed to eliminate clutter.
The snatch and clean & jerk are on top followed with the squat and additional back exercises. Overhead and abdominal work can also be any other additional exercises you enjoy e.g. plyometrics. The larger lines are for the names of the exercises you choose and they do not all have to be used in a given training session. Remember this is just a template and you plug in what you plan on doing for the day. The smaller slots are for the number of sets you do for the given exercise and these are filled in with weights lifted and reps performed. On the back of the template write out the date and time of the session. Personal best SN and CJ should be rewritten on the front at the top left corner. This is something you should do everyday to remind you of what you are trying to beat. Now let us look at a few examples of this template being used and identify what the weightlifter is trying to correct. As we look at these examples you will begin to see a training mode and a specific understanding of how to apply training philosophy daily.
30 MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED BY THE WEIGHTLIFTER
By Donny Shankle
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. - Philippians 4:8
Never Focusing On Your Conditioning (29)
Conditioning is an often overlooked part of training. Weightlifters who give a little extra attention to their conditioning will be able to pull off that one extra lift when it is needed to win. Unfortunately, all people get to see from weightlifters is the few seconds in competition it takes to do a snatch or clean and jerk. The amount of work which goes into those few seconds, however, is awesome. A typical session in training can last anywhere between less than an hour to over three hours and is repeated multiple times a day. During this training heavy weights are being moved, consistency is being ingrained, and speed is being emotionally applied to each repetition.
The training by itself teaches you so much about weightlifting. This is why I believe having the discipline to get in the gym and fight everyday is so important for the beginner. Not only are you building muscles, but you are strengthening your competitive drive and work capacity. As your muscles grow the weights need to go up. This means you have to put in more repetition to get to your new maximum. Basically, the stronger you become the harder you have to work. Think about a world class mile runner. Initially, he had to be able to run that mile in under six minutes, then five, and eventually pull off what was thought to be impossible and run it in under four minutes. Now the envelope is pushed even further to the point where a four minute mile has become slow. A great and then greater amount of work needs to be put into that athlete in order to condition himself to win.
Quite often, through sheer disgust, the weightlifter will take large jumps in his training just to viciously break himself out of stagnation. He does this to establish belief in himself and to show his courage. Once this is applied more training and repetitions at weights near maximum are put in to establish timing, conditioning, and precision in order to get to and lift successfully the personal record weight being attempted. He is adapting himself to this new weight and eventually the process will repeat itself in order to get to an even greater weight. This goes on for years and gives you an idea of the amount of conditioning required to lift very heavy weights. It came as no surprise to me a few years ago when I decided to test myself on the mile run and ran it in under seven minutes at two hundred thirty pounds bodyweight. At the time I was used to training nine hours a day and pushing myself over periods of grueling months. What is seven minutes on a treadmill compared to that?
The weightlifter who goes into competition and puts in a six for six gold medal/personal record performance has busted his ass in the gym and deserves to win. He has acknowledged that the stronger you get doesn't mean you can relax a little, it means you have to put in that much more effort - because you can. That is, of course, unless you just want to end up like the rest who could have gone further in their career, but in the end took a knee to fatigue. Adding in additional exercises is one way of increasing your conditioning and that is why in chapter four I listed over sixty exercises for you to do. Another way is to increase the amount of days per week you train. Getting in the gym and focusing on other elements in your lifting like footwork, timing, speed, and consistency are ways to constantly push the body without pounding it into the ground. While you are focusing on these other elements you are inadvertently improving your physical and mental conditioning.
I do not believe in Sunday training inside the gym and never have. You must get out of the gym and learn to train your mental focus separately by way of meditation, study, having a hobby (weightlifting is not a hobby), listening to music, artistic creation, etc. Strengthening mental focus goes back to mistake number twenty and having something else in your life that you enjoy. You should look forward to having Sunday off, and if you do not, then you are not training throughout the week as hard as you could be. Put in that extra repetition in the gym at a lighter weight just to keep that heart going. Go for a short walk before or after training. Push yourself a little harder on consistency and perfection. Work with someone who's conditioning is better than yours and keep up with them. Clean up your diet if there is room for improvement there. The added attention on your conditioning will pay off big dividends when the clock has less than a minute on it and you are up for your final attempt to win.
Recipes For Getting Stronger
By Donny Shankle CPT
“Diet is the most important factor.” - Anonymous
1 Chopped Medium Yellow Onion
1 Chopped Medium Carrot
1 Chopped Celery Stick
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Cups Beef Broth
1 Can Finely Diced Peeled Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Diced Mushroom
1 Finely Chopped Jalapeno
1 Can Diced Green Chili
Cumin (to taste)
Chili Powder (to taste)
1/2 Chopped Red Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Sea Salt
4 Bay Leaves
3 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2lbs Ground Beef
2 Cans Drained Pinto Beans
In a large pot prepare a rue by saute'ing your onion, carrot, celery, garlic and olive oil. Once you can smell all of these ingredients add your beef broth and can of tomatoes. Turn your heat up to high and add the rest of your ingredients with the exception of your ground meat and pinto beans. Stir and after five minutes bring the heat down and let simmer to develop flavors for about twenty minutes.
While ingredients are simmering brown your ground beef, then drain the fat, and add with the rest of your ingredients. Finally, add in your pinto beans and let all of it come together covered for another 15-20 minutes more. Serves about four weightlifters. Enjoy.
ON LEARNING FROM THE MASTER
By Donny Shankle
“...be the rabbit and go maximum all the time.” - Ivan Abadjiev
I continued working that job for about a year as well as putting in mediocre training. It killed me to drive past the Olympic training complex each day and not be a part of it. Eventually, a friend of mine encouraged me to drop everything and give training with Ivan a go. I made a phone call to David Spitz who generously gave me the chance to come out and train, put in my two weeks notice, and packed up my belongings. The factory I was working for had just offered me a permanent position, but I figured I would be a fool not to take advantage of this opportunity. I was so excited to get the chance to start over again that I left Colorado as fast as possible. After a long drive through the snowy Colorado mountains and arid Nevada desert I found myself in beautiful California again. I have always liked California since my time in the service and always wanted to go back. Driving through the Bay area was a new experience for me which only added to my excitement. Once I pulled up to the driveway in Benicia, CA at the garage gym/house Ivan was teaching at, I remember opening up my truck door and saying a little prayer to myself before knocking. I asked for strength in body and patience in mind, to learn all I could in this new place I had never been before, and from someone I had only heard stories about.
I walked through the front door and was greeted by Ivan walking down the stairs eating an orange. I was wearing a tank top and the first thing he did was walk up to me and grab me by the arm saying, “Ahhh, beautiful muscles.” Later on I would train under another famous coach who would tell me I had to much muscle and proceed to pinch my stomach fat saying, “Why this for?” All coaches have their own way of doing things I guess. Some like muscles and some don't. However, all coaches I have noticed appreciate hard work and guts. The next thing Ivan did was grab me by the hand to check and see how long my thumb was. Long thumbs on a weightlifter are an advantage if you have them because they give you a more secure hook grip. He patted me on the shoulder and told me in broken English he was excited to have me training with the other guys there. I thanked him for taking the time to teach me and after shaking his hand he went back to his room. I was starving and exhausted after my drive so after I had introduced myself to everyone I ate and fell fast asleep to prepare for training in the morning.
On How To Train
By Donny Shankle CPT
“Patience leads to perseverance.” - Anonymous
Positives beget positives. This is a basic understanding in psychology. Positive feedback keeps you going and allows you to believe you are capable of more. Without this reinforcement you will stagnate in your training. So, it is vitally important you become a master at many different exercises and rep ranges even though the carryover may not always be entirely directed at the SN and CJ. Internal achievement is what you are after. It is only by being motivated within and working hard that will lead you to an external reward.
These external rewards (gold medals, team placements, broken records), however, never mean anything compared to accomplishing hurdles in your training because, it is the tumultuous fight you overcame which made all of that other stuff even possible. Know this – everything is possible so long as you continually believe nothing is impossible. Breaking barriers daily in your training will eventually cause yourself to believe you are a goddamn superman. Once you believe that the rest is history as you steadily begin to kick ass in competition. Even these wins in competition sire further wins causing your ego to grow even more. Keep that drive going and your whiteboard will eventually become the all time best board. Your philosophy towards training, therefore, should be to always improve and avoid comfort zones or comfortable training by consistently going after positive reinforcement (PR's). Any other type of training to this idea must be considered subordinate or secondary.
ON UNDERSTANDING STRONG
Discovery to Mastery
By Donny Shankle
He who does not work – does not eat. - John Smith
I have learned a few of things from experience that are guaranteed. Three of which are: actions speak louder than words, do not try to reason with unreasonable people and, there are no free lunches. Each of these guarantees were explained to me long before I had to undergo the lesson but, I guess some things stick better when they are learned firsthand. Courage speaks to me when I think of taking action instead of hiding behind words. Wisdom is what I hear when reason is challenged by incompetents or third parties who believe they know better than everyone else. Lastly, and probably the most important lesson to learn early on, is you must work for what sustains you.
A strong work ethic is a must for anyone who desires to be more than what everyone else expects them to be. It requires taking an interest in – you. The harder you work the stronger you will be to grasp opportunity when it presents itself. Many hours turn into days in the gym. Days turn into months and months eventually turn into years. During this process you have to stay focused on improvement by working hard. Reaping the benefits of what you have sowed requires you to dig and plow the earth alone, because nobody is going to do it for you. The coordination in body and confidence in mind to clean and jerk a winning weight does not come easy. The very best weightlifters work hard each and every day to become champions.
It does not matter what you want to become great at, having a strong work ethic is required for any committed endeavor. If it is business that sustains you then you have to put in the hours. If it is a sport like weightlifting you enjoy then you have to put in the sweat. If it is teaching young people that gives you a feeling of accomplishment then you have to put in the hours of study. None of this is new to anyone, but a little reminder when given at the right time goes a long way.
"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." - Ecclesiastes 9:11
You are now within steps. “RECOVER!” Bring your feet together and all of your actions will have come to a climax. All commands and virtues are felt tightly en masse. Your heart skips a beat with a feeling that I can only liken to vibes of joyous accomplishment. The joy and exhalation here during the “recover” are incomprehensible unless you get in there and feel it for yourself. Upon completion of a winning snatch and clean & jerk, you will radiate with a confidence found only in heroes.
After the weightlifter has moved into the “split” command he is still not finished. He has one last effort. The labor of bringing together the feet in alignment consummates the clean & jerk and it is only then you have done everything you can on your part. When you are in the “split” bring your lead foot back to center first and then follow up with your rear foot to center after. Keep shrugging up hard, it is not time to relax until you see the white lights or hear the buzzer. You will maintain the best balance bringing your feet together this way but at this point in the lift, I do not want to confine you. Just “recover” my friend, you did it.
With your triumph, the weightlifter abandons forever the concepts of laziness, unworthiness, idleness, passivity and hesitation. With your body in line with the bar it is now just a matter of getting recognition from the judges, waiting for the “down” signal, and following the bar down to show you have complete control. Now you are able to feel the greatest virtue man can experience which life has to offer. Joy in what you do, joy in how you live, joy in the manner you fall in love, joy in the chance to be remembered, joy in every breath you take, joy in being a great person. Joy in life is all any man or woman should aspire to feel. You will not feel joy trapped within yourself alone in the dark. You will not experience joy on your knees or cowered behind previous failures. Joy is being within warmth and light during the day so when you rest at night it is with peace. Living a life in the pursuit of joyful achievement with feats of strength, or anything you set your entire mind to, will also bring joy to others. When you bring your feet together and show control the sunrises from now on will last longer, kisses will feel softer, and the confidence which flows through your veins is something you will take with you today, tomorrow, and eternally.
It was my intent to not just teach you technique but also to relay to you a message which cannot be instructed by people who have not done it. I only want the most from others and know the kind of endurance of spirit it takes to become a great weightlifter. No technical approach will, on its own, produce the sought after end of winning. The means to win lies within the individual alone who has the nerve to confront Herculean trial. Uniqueness does not lie in humility but in pride and thunderous ego at the moment before you. Know you are special and remind yourself every day of the perfection you have worked hard to achieve.
On a closing note, I want to stress I take nothing from the men and women who have patiently instructed technique so weightlifters can comprehend what is happening during a snatch and clean & jerk. However, for me an overbearing technical voice zaps the throbbing palpitations of my heart and lowers me to an approach in my training only necessary for beginners. Eventually, the weightlifter, especially the great weightlifter, must approach training with the initial reasons he started, for the love of being strong and the chance to risk all.