Training According to Sean
In the past, we had Mike doing the newsletter, talking about the importance of eating big and training big. Then Paul gave us a little insight on getting some explosion into the mix with plyometrics and sprinting, as well as other complex movements. Let's face facts. There isn't a whole lot else to write about for what we do. So I'm going to look at what I consider the core exercises for building a strength athlete's body. I'll let Gord talk about techniques for throwing.
You're on a desert island, trapped for Heaven knows how long, and you get all the food you want. You get one thing there with you, dont ask for a supermodel, a television or anything else. You ask for a squat rack and the weights to go with it. And the eternal debate goes on: How low do you go? My answer: as far as you can. With some, their bottom position means they can sit on their ankles. Others do not go so far. You have to go as far as you can. Train the fullest range, and you will get the fullest benefit. Train half...well, you do the math. And weight? This is a massive exercise. Period. So load it up. Keep proper, tight form, and keep the weights moving up. There are 60 year olds squatting 600lbs. You have no excuses.
You fooled the guy who put you on the island. When he gave you the weights and the rack for the squats, he gave you enough weight to deadlift with, too. Treat every rep like a single. Right from the floor, tighten your back, push with your legs, then straighten up. Drive your head to the sky. Anyone who says this is bad for your back is an idiot and should be ignored. Like any other body part, if it is worked hard, and properly, your back will only become stronger. And (this is a personal thing) don't use straps. If you can't do the weight, including the grip, then you can't do the lift. Itís a compound exercise. That means it hits a lot of things, including the grip. And as any of us know, especially throwing the 56#, grip means a lot.
Sorry, Mike. Although, for all of his derision, I know Mike is doing high pulls, which are essentially the same thing, without the finish. These build you the big snap you need. The explosion Paul was talking about before. The important part is to do them properly. I'll see what I can do for the explanation. Start with a tight back, knees bent, essentially in a deadlift position. And then you do just that, deadlift the bar to your knees. Don't jerk it right off the floor, just get it moving. When it hits your knees, jump, shrug, then pull. Not with the arms. Those should be loose, nothing more than chains from your shoulders to the bar. When all the other motions are done, and the bar is accelerating close to your body, then you pull with the arms and bring the bar under your chin, and to rest across your shoulders, not your chest. Your feet should hit the ground at the same time as the bar hits your shoulders.
You knew I'd hit this one. Its the one every mirror athlete, and pseudo-gym guy in the world will ask you about first, if they hear you are a strength athlete. "How much do you bench?" Ok, it drives me nuts, but that's probably because I bench like garbage. But this one packs on mass on the chest, and the delts as well, both big muscles for the stones, and the weights for distance. Like everything else, train heavy, but train proper. Bouncing the bar off your chest does noone any good. Control down, touch and explode up. Get the drive in there. Donít squeeze it up, -throw- it up. Work the explosion into the movement. Remember, it may be a pretty boy exercise, but we're trying to build useful muscle here.
This is essentially the seated or standing version of the bench press. One of the hardest things to do is lift big weight over your head, but it is one of the most impressive, as well as useful in for the games, for the big shove in the stone puts, as well as the stone lifts we seem to have a tendency to do. Same as with the bench, lower it in control, then drive it up up up. Remember, the stone isnít pushed out 40 feet, its -launched- 40 feet. And the snap with the shoulders is the last component of that drive, the last acceleration. Try to make it the fastest. Another good way to add to this, is to use push presses. Now you just try and get your legs into it. Drive with them, and your back, extend fully, -then- carry the acceleration upward by driving with the arms. A very good power move.
I was actually going to try and write something about tricep kickbacks, but I couldnít bring myself to do it. Here is a highly underrated exercise, however, for building some big strength in the tris and chest, this one goes a long way. The thing to do though, is not to let your body drop too fast. Its down slow, then explode up. And use weight attached to your body. Try to aim for working up to your own body weight hanging off you. This one will do for your upper body what squats do for your entire body.
Well, I think Iíve covered the major ones. I could ramble forever on these, finding additional exercises to cover specific events, but you could do a lot with what Iíve just covered right here. Remember your rep scheme, too. Doing these movements so light that you can get out 10 or 12 reps is almost useless in a lot of areas. Never underestimate the value of a set of 5 , or even triples, doubles and singles. Just remember to maintain decent form. Train hard, train safe. Thatís where your strength will build.