View Full Version : Need help balancing a beginning program
Hi all, I've been working with my 10lb Clubbells for about a month now, just trying to get a feel for the ballistic and grinding movements. My goal right now is GPP, general slow strength. I figure this is a good starting point as I am not very fit nor involved in anything requiring SPP. I plan to focus on this goal for 4 weeks. The advice in the CST Manual is to do basic Grinding exercises, executed slowly. I have decided to begin with a set/rep/exercise scheme of 5/5/5 all the while keeping the exercise session to around 30 minutes, 5 times per week. By the end of the 4 weeks I believe that my set/reps should be up to 8/8. Also, I use my Clubbells at the easiest grip. My goal is by the end of the 4 weeks to use them at the medium grip. After the initial 4 weeks of an actual program, I figured that I should incorporate Ballistic exercises. I want to try and balance this workout equally between my upper, mid, and lower body. I thought the following exercise would be a good start:
1. Bottom up Press
2. Shoulder Cast
3. Armpit Cast
4. Front-Squat (Is this a flat-footed squat with the Clubbells at a shoulder park?)
5. Lunge (I know this is a Ballistic exercise, but I couldn't think of any other way to balance out my lower body work out.)
Will this set of exercises adequately cover the majority of my body or is there other suggestions any of you might have? I feel like it may be weak in the chest and calves. All thoughts or suggestions are most appreciated. Please tell me if I need to be more specific.
01-14-2004, 07:24 AM
I figure this is a good starting point as I am not very fit nor involved in anything requiring SPP Ryan, look up my article in CST Mag called "The End of GPP." Sport Specific Training is only one small aspect of SPP.
Think GPP = Work Capacity and SPP = Work Sophistication. If you relate this to the maxim of practice rather than training (synaptic facilitation or GTG in Pavel-speak), then SPP regards skill refinement.
However, with that caveat for future reference, everything in your proposal reads well.
Don't worry about chest and calves. Because you're training horizontally, and if you pay attention to the high tension development technique of gripping the toes into the ground, your calves will get all the work they'll ever need.
The Armpit Cast performed appropriately will nail your chest like no other. Check out my article "Growing with the Flow" (in volume 1 issue 9) to see chest development from the Armpit Cast (actually it's from the Swipe and Mill). Just remember that if you're grinding to fully flex the pecs once you crest the shoulder and move to Order Position. This will also help you keep your elbows inward (a nuance missed by most people which if ignored may result in tendonitis.)
I suggest you also go max isometric at the final component of the exercises: 4-5 seconds. Combining the slow grind with the isometric hold will shoot your strength through the roof.
For grinding slow strength, substitute the Leverage Press instead of the Bottoms-up Press. The increased perceived effort will increase tension production more than the stabilizing effects of the BU.
The Front Squat can be performed with Clubbells in Shoulder Park, but if you feel that you need an additional lower body workout, throw in the Four Corner Balance Drill from Warrior Wellness. Otherwise, you should throw in Sumo Side Steps, which involve a Swing catching the Clubbells in Shoulder Park on your way down to a Flat-foot Squat (each time you swing, you step laterally in a wide stance - alternating legs.)
This should make for a good 8 week GPP cycle.
Keep us apprised of your progress.
Thanks for the reply Coach; I'm going to move over to the Program Log thread from now on. I believe I understand what you're saying; it's refinement of movement in conjunction with strength gains to make a more efficient, coordinated body. It seems the entire nervous system is stimulated and grooved! A couple of questions, though....
1. In trying to follow the 30 minute protocol set forth in the CTCS Manual, I could only do about 2 sets of 5 of each of the 5 exercises. The sets were performed with very little rest inbetween them. I can't imagine doing them faster. Should I go over the 30 minute mark or reduce the sets or reduce the amount of exercises? Or is there something I am doing incorrectly?
2. In the Front Squat with the Clubbells at Shoulder Park: Can I let my heels come off the floor, or will the weight of the Clubbells put too much of a burden on my knees? I tried it in my last workout and did not feel too much strain on them.
As an aside, I have to say that the Clubbells are the most interesting, motivating, effective, and fun tools for personal development I have ever used. I my first few weeks alone I have noticed more increased strength than with other systems used in the past. I always want to pick them up and swing them; there's something about them that connects me to something vital inside myself. Perhaps it's the Knuckledragger within, beginning to stir from his long slumber...
01-14-2004, 09:25 AM
It depends on your goals, but in general - reduce the amount of exercises. Concentrate on skill development.
Tension in your knees may go under your proprioceptive radar until too late. Reduce the depth of your squat so that your heels remain touching. Prime your movement by working bodyweight only Flat-foot squats before and after each session. Work to RELAX (exhale) to release the tension.
Keep up the good work and keep us advised on your progress in the Training Logs section.
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