Tuesdays with Jason.

January 31, 2014

Tuesdays are usually a shorter session where I’ll have the team do variations of the lifts and complexes, followed by general strengthening.  Here’s what happens when you add manly posturing to the equation.


Last Days Here.

January 28, 2014

So I’ve been busy over the last 3 weeks or so working on a new team training video and I’m super pumped on how it came out.  But I’m even more pumped about how hard the team has been working over the past 6 weeks.  We’ve seen a lot of progress, both with squats and the lifts.  I can’t help but be proud of everyone’s hard work.  I reorganized training and it seems to be paying off.

(If this link doesn’t work, I also uploaded it to my vimeo account HERE.

I’d like to note that the song is actually titled “Be Forwarned” but apparently the correct spelling is “forEwarned.”  Anyways, if you hassle me about it, you’re a jerk.

Also, after I uploaded the video last night, I stayed up late watching “Last Days Here,” a documentary about the man behind the music that you hear in the video.  It’s the story about, Bobby, a man frozen in time, dealing with his inner demons through drug use, essentially wasting his talent and never realizing his true potential.  A record enthusiast discovers his work, finds Bobby and helps him get his life together.  Like most other films about a strung out musician, it’s hard to watch and often frustrating.  But I couldn’t help but root for the guy and Pentagram, one of the greatest undiscovered rock acts from the 70s.  (Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending.)

Double Bodyweight.

January 26, 2014

My little brother got some time on Supertraining TV recently for hitting a big PR front squat.  I’d like to clarify that the weightlifting team currently front squats once a week and back squats twice a week.  But he hasn’t listened to me since like the 3rd grade so he’s kinda been doing his own thing.

Ben’s Quick Tip #2.

January 23, 2014

Actually, it’s just an opinion.

Johnson&Johnson is the absolute BEST brand of athletic tape you can buy.  It tears easily, contains just enough adhesive and has the right amount of “give.”  Buy in bulk so you can save yourself a few bones.

So here’s a little update for you guys regarding my FREE snatch technique clinic on the 9th.  We’re definitely going to have a full house and my rusted anvil of a heart just can’t turn people away.  So here’s how it’s going to go down.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that not everyone attending is going to want to touch weights and especially not want to work up to a heavy single like I usually have people do at these things.  THAT’S OK.  There is STILL benefit to observing the teaching process and learning what to look for when other people lift weights.

I’m going to begin the session like I usually do at seminars and explain to everyone my training process.  This is all the boring stuff that no one wants to hear but it is literally the most important stuff I have to say.  Learning to snatch competently is just one part of the equation.  The other part is how you go about making improvements to it through training. I’m not going to claim that my process is the BEST process but it has produced a few national caliber athletes in a relatively short amount of time.

I will then break everyone up into groups.  These will probably be BIG groups since there will be approximately HELLA people there.  Our lifting space can only safely accommodate so many lifters a once, so I will explain to you the ground rules and lifting etiquette at that time.

We will then walk through a step by step process, breaking down the individual components of the snatch and then piecing it all together at the end.  I’ll either have myself or one of my lifters demo what we will be working on, I’ll give you a few landmarks to watch out for and then we’ll break for a few minutes to practice in our groups.  You will essentially be coaching each other and we will be floating around making sure everything looks good.

At the end, 20 people or so (sorry, that’s all that the platform can handle if we maintain an efficient rotation) will take the full snatch to a heavy single; NOT NECESSARILY A MAXIMUM SINGLE.  I will be lifting as well so you can see that I actually know what I’m talking about and it’s also helpful to see what it’s supposed to look like.

Then we’ll get a big ass group picture and then eat hot dogs and Diet Pepsi.  There’s going to be a good crowd, so if you wanted to bring anything like chips and dip so we can all hang out afterwards, I’d appreciate it.

The Bottom.

January 19, 2014

So over the past 3 weeks, I’ve gradually begun ramping up my focus on the lifts.  Squats are still the priority and the team is doing a fantastic job working though the eight week squat program I set for us.  It’s nothing crazy: 1 day of front squats and 2 days of back squats, 1 intensity day, 1 volume day.  We’ll most likely do another 8 weeks with the focus being primarily on the back squat and then transition towards front squatting and lowering the rep schemes.  I’ve come out with a few rep PR’s on the FSQ including 190kgx5.

Here’s my first decent heavy day of lifting since the American Open.

Snatch Stimulus Package.

January 17, 2014

What?  Let me explain.

I’ve decided to host a FREE snatch technique clinic at my gym on Sunday, February 9th.  That’s right, FREE.  So if you’re in the area on the 9th and want me to save you a spot, hit me up and pay me a one time fee of $FREE.99.

But why?  Aren’t these things usually really expensive?

Yup.  And they’re a great way for a guy like me to supplement my income but it’s not how I survive.  The TEAM and my GYM are how I survive.  That’s my bread and butter.  That’s what I’m good at.  My goal with this is to reach out into the fitness community, people who I might not normally see, and showcase what I’m good at and what my weightlifting team is all about.    I always tell people that you don’t just go to a 3 hours seminar and gain all the tools you need to compete at the national level.  Learning how to perform the lifts competently is just one piece of the puzzle.  The rest is training.  And if I get one person that sees this and is interested in my style of training then I’ve just improved my team environment, which makes it more than worth it to me.  Additionally, the best athletes aren’t always the ones that have the money to fork over for an Olympic weightlifting technique clinic.  I’ve taken five lifters to national meets so far and probably just ONE of them ever attended a lifting seminar from anybody.  Im not knocking seminars.  I plan to keep hosting them in the future (for not free) and I think that they’re a great way to gain insight from people with experience; the key word being experience.  There’s a whole lot of trainers that have their USAW level I cert but not a whole lot of them who’ve been participating in this sport since 2005.  I’m not claiming to know everything about weightlifting but I have found a way that works for me and my team.

So, like I said earlier, if you want me to save you a spot on the 9th, get in contact with me.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’m gonna buy a a bunch of refreshments and hotdogs for afterwards, so if you feel like eating and drinking something besides hot dogs and Diet Pepsi, feel free to bring it.


Ben’s Quick Tip #1.

January 15, 2014

If you’ve got the opportunity to lift double days, Do the majority of your stretching, foam rolling and mobility work in the morning so you can come in the evening session hot off the blocks.  Personally, I can hardly bend my knees in the morning when I wake up and I my joints feel like they’re made of rusted iron.  So I’ll stretch before AND after my first session.  If you’re the type that can loosen up after taking a few sets with the bar, then maybe just after the first session would be best.

Holy Diver.

January 9, 2014

So I had myself a little bit of fun today putting together a little video with collected training footage.  I actually lost a lot of good stuff because I’m not all that great with technology but I figured I hadn’t made a video in a while and I really wanted to throw some DIO on.  I doubt anyone will enjoy this as much as I did while making it.

The team is currently going through a “general” phase with their training.  I’m mixing things up and trying to cover all our bases as far as lighting ’em up with the squatting volume, including more upper body strengthening and drifting away from tapping into the 90% range for the lifts.  I’m reorganizing how I program squats into our schedule and I have to say, I’m pleased with the results so far.  Personally, I’m trying to address my weak points and at the same time trying to actually GO OUTSIDE and give my mind (and my shoulders and neck and low back and hips and knees) a rest.  I plan to do a little hiking/camping and might even include some gear reviews in my content in the future.  Just for fun of course.  I’m obviously no expert outdoorsman.

1) Arcade Fire-Afterlife.  

These folks put on a great live performance.

Arcade Fire has been consistantly one of my favorite bands since 2006.  The thing is, I’ve never instantly been in love with a record they’ve put out, my least favorite being their sophomore release, “Neon Bible.”  Usually what happens is I’ll be wrapped up in a particular mood or emotion and I’ll happen to put on the record, something I’ve listened to a dozen times by this point, and it will strike a chord (an emotional chord, bro!).  Their new album was no different for me, although I was very much looking forward to their collaboration with James Murphy as producer of the album.  Arcade Fire will often write songs that deal with heavy emotions but packaged in raw, uptempo tracks fit for the dance floor.  Earlier tracks featured almost indistinguishable yelling rather than singing and “4 on the floor” dance rhythms making the often melancholy subject matter digestible in a very uplifting and therapeutic way.  They’ve since calmed down and refined their approach, but Arcade Fire’s best tracks will still often follow this basic aesthetic.

2) Kvelertak-Bruanne Brenn  

I LOVE John Baizley’s artwork

It takes a LOT for me to get excited about a metal band nowadays.  These guys did it.  Congrats.  I actually already sent the band their official pair of alongthlelinesof commemorative jean shorts.  I haven’t heard back from them yet.  Kvelertak is a Norwegian metal band that takes a page from a variety of influences, most prominently black metal and punk rock.  They burst onto the scene with their self-titled release in 2011 and quickly developed a buzz in both the metal and indie rock worlds, with generally favorable reviews.  Most often times with contemporary metal acts, the decision is made to pursue either a campy or overly serious tone, appealing to both parties within the metal scene.  Kveletak was successful outside the scene because they work outside of traditional metal archetypes and their no apologies approach to having fun making music.

 3)  Kanye West-Black Skinhead.

(Sorry, I couldn’t find any images of Kanye on the internet.)

This track is the closest thing to a single on the new Kanye album and the fact that it’s titled “Black Skinhead” should tell you about how concerned Kanye was with creating radio friendly singles.  While I find it interesting that he deliberately plays the anti-hero in an attempt to rebel against the pop culture audience that he loves pissing off, it’s even more interesting that it further solidifies his place as a pop superstar.  The fact is, that once Kanye stops doing ridiculous shit, he stops being relevant.  Anyways, the track is a banger.

4)  Deafheavan-Dream House.

“Bro, do you even… oh wait, you’re good because metal.”

This group generated tons of crossover buzz this year on their post-metal release, “Sunbather,’ one of my favorite albums released this year.

5)  Classixx-All You’re Waiting for.

Party jam of the year.  See?

6)  Daft Punk-Giorgio by Moroder.

“Ben, you WOULD pick a favorite song off the new Daft Punk album that wasn’t the single.”  Seriously.  This track, to me, embodies what the new album was all about, which was to pay homage to the disco influences that made Daft Punk’s electronic music so great.  But more importantly, the studio musicians on this track absolutely kill it.

7)  Smith Westerns-3AM Spiritual.

Seriously, I feel like I should be stealing their lunch money not sobbing in public with my headphones on.

I have a hard time listening to music like this made by people younger than me, but god dammit, these guys just nailed it.  If you’re into that reverb soaked beach boys sound with heartbreaking lyrics, you’ll like this.

 8)  Nine Inch Nails-Came back haunted.

“BRO, do you even… hey, you know what? He actually might.”

A lot of bloggers are too cool to include Trent Reznor on their list.  Not this one.  While Reznor will probably never capture the same amount of appeal that he did in the 90s, it’s cool to see that he’s still learning and trying new things after all these years.  And you know what, he’s still got the pipes to accompany the production.  I am definitely interested in where is music career takes him next.

9)  Nail-God’s Cold Hands.

Just brutal.  So brutal.

10) Youth Lagoon-Mute.

Youth lagoon is a musical project of a 23 year old Ohio musician, Trevor Powers.  His first record, a home recorded, sparsely produced project drenched in reverb boosted Powers’ project to indie buzz band status in 2011.  On this album, the project is given a production makeover with wonderfully strange results.  I really love when this song shifts gears into a sort of a drugged out breakdown.  Great music for chillaxing which is a mixture of both chilling and relaxing for those who aren’t in the know.