Friday, February 16, 2007

Learning from the best

Thursday night I met up with my good friend Jay Ferruggia in NYC. We were planning to meet up together and catch up with Alwyn Cosgrove and our friend Sean Hyson from Men's Fitness.

Since I am not out and about much, my venture into NYC was pretty fun, as I forgot my way around the city and maneuvered through unplowed roads and heavy traffic, I was psyched to head out and meet my friends and YES, I needed a beer or two! ha ha

Of course, we spoke business, but we also spoke training.

We spoke about full body workouts, overuse injuries (my busted shoulder which has certainly been aggravated heavily through high rep overhead work combine with not enough mobility and soft tissue work), getting results, what happens if you don't get results, super compensation, Zatsiorsky, Hummers (the truck, not the sexual aspect, well.....never mind....), dating, sex, having to go home early, life as a bartender, moving out of state, opening a gym, hard core gyms, BJJ, MMA, UFC, making more money, science of training, is there a science of training, f**k the science of training, communicating with your athletes, being part of the team at Elite, Underground gyms being more popular than we really know, hard core gyms which closed down because they mistakenly marketed to a fitness crowd, inner city gyms, bodyweight only training, the love of iron, diet, influential coaches and much more that I have already forgotten!

Talking about training....

How long do your workouts really need to be to get results? BIG results?

Or, how much effort must be put forth to derive the gains you want?

I am going back to my roots where I was a fan of the way Dorian trained, and yes, it was for bodybuilding, but, with regards to gaining serious strength, the shorter workouts always worked best for me.

This may not hold true for you though, only self experimentation will tell the truth.

This can work for power development, strength and muscle development and even endurance. I start out with a heavy movement for strength or a moderate weighted movement for power, then work a heavy strength move and then finish with a fast paced circuit for muscular endurance.

Like this:

First, warm up as necessary

The workout....

1A) barbell hang clean 5 x 3 - 5 reps
1B) glute ham raise 5 x 6 - 10 reps

2A) double KB front squat 3 x 6 - 10 reps
2B) bent over barbell row 3 x 6 - 10 reps

3A) plyo push ups (slap hands on chest every rep) 3 x 10
3B) squat jumps 3 x 10
3C) 2 hand HEAVY DB swings 3 x 10

4) finish with a fast grip and ab circuit

5) foam roller, med ball and stretching for 5 - 7 minutes if time allows - sometimes this is done before and / or during the workout as active rest

It doesn't even take this much to gain strength, power and serious muscle. It can be done with much less for sure!

Dedicated to your success,

Zach Even - Esh

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How to use a dummy and throw your best friend

How to send someone in the air...

This video of Greco Roman wrestling gets me hyped up big time.

My first love was always wrestling, and it still is.

I love the constant attacking and the hand to hand combat.

Look at how long some of these guys have to work to get a throw or to resist a throw.

It shows the need for SERIOUS static strength, absolute strength, speed strength and strength endurance!

There are many ways to develop the power and strength required for wrestling and judo. I will outline only a few, as I said, there are MANY!

First of all, for power, throwing objects is an excellent method and ofetn overlooked, or perhaps forgotten.

I don't care what you throw: stones, kettlebells, med balls, d balls, dumbbells, sandbags or a training dummy.

The release of the object is what makes this a power movement. This allows you to fully exert without concern of slowing the movement down at the end of the rep.

You can throw rotationally, push pass, scoop toss - two arms or one, any angle will work.

Start with some momentum such as twisting your body, squatting down or stepping into the throw....or.....throw from a dead stop, no momentum at all - excellent for developing starting strength.

Notice I mentioned you also need strength to develop power.

Strength is a trait that carries over to other traits, it is part of your BIG foundation, without great strength you might be limiting your speed / power.

Now, you have always seen those training dummies in the wrestling rooms, right?

What do they do with the dummy?

Throw him, maybe perform set ups and penetration shots....not much more

Here's other uses for the training dummy:

  1. zercher carry
  2. zercher squat
  3. zercher lunges: forwards, reverse, walking
  4. shouldering (from the ground, rip the dummy up onto your shoulder, alternate shoulders every rep)
  5. shoulder squats
  6. shoulder lunges
  7. shoulder split squats
  8. backwards drag (double underhook under the arms)
  9. walk and squat - use either a zercher or shoulder carry, every 10 steps stop and perform 3 deep squats
  10. bear hug pick ups - dummy lays face down, bear hug the dummy and lift him up, same way you would watch someone lift the strongman stones - and YES, hyperextension will occur here, just be smart and safe with how far you go

Now, next time your buddy wises off to you, you should be well prepared to throw him in more ways than one :)

These are good times!

Dedicated to your success,


PS - Don't forget, we've released The Underground Strength Kit in E Book Format, it's more than HALF off the physical Kit! Get yours by clicking HERE.