How Weightlifting Gave Me Patellar Tendonitis | The Cloudfoot Diaries #65

Now that I have your attention, this post should have been called ‘How I Gave Myself Patellar Tendonitis’.
Why?
Because it doesn’t really matter what the sport or activity is, if you’re body has a weak link, it has a weak link. The straw that breaks the camel’s back can represent any discipline. Shit, it can even be bending down to pick up the mail off of the floor. Where there are weaknesses, there are heightened probabilities of those weaknesses being exposed whenever you move the body around. Especially, if like me, you are a moving human who enjoys moving through new planes and axes and exploring just what is possible.

Patellar Tendonitis Diagram

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Revisiting Sprinting and APRE Front Squats | The Cloudfoot Diaries #52

sprinting

Day 1 of the ninja blueprint programme is done and I’m happy with its contents, duration and programming, however, not so enthused by the DOMS it has caused right at the beginning of the week.
Allow me to elaborate…

Here is Day 1 :

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Combining Gymnastics with Weightlifting – The Weekly Programme | The Cloudfoot Diaries #51

turtlesSo here it is; the ninja-athleticism blueprint experiment. A combo of gymnastics and weightlifting, for someone who wants to maintain a social life, part-time job and sanity.

Note: this is a self-experiment, aimed towards me, programmed towards achieving my own goals and open to many a changes. 

I have based this programming on the idea that I need to do weightlifting 3 times a week in order to: progress with the skill, increase my weights and not stagnate. And similarly with the gymnastic-related goals, at least twice a week is needed in order to make gains and not fall behind.

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Competition results and Bulgarian lycra | The Cloudfoot Diaries #49

Last week I harped on about my training and the tapering process I was undergoing for my first weightlifting comp, held at Locker 27 last weekend. The whole day was a wicked event and my tapering plan had worked, as I hit two new PB’s in both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.

However, that doesn’t mean the perceived demons of failure were absent and the challenge of channeling one’s nerves, yet again, becoming one of the prime prerequisites for outdoing yourself…

Here’s how it went down…

BWL6

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Competing in a Spiderman costume | The Cloudfoot Diaries #48

My first weightlifting competition is tomorrow and I’ve decided to compete wearing a Spiderman costume. Everyone seems to have all the gear, all the lycra, all their packages showing. I thought I’d chime in with my own addition…
Nothing like psyching out the opponent with a bit of superhero madness.

amazing-spiderman-2-morphsuit-2

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Pondering the requirements of a personalised training programme | The Cloudfoot Diaries #47

megabacksquat

With the global new year’s resolution craze under the title ‘health and fitness’ being somewhat viral each and every January, I have been thinking lately about my own goals and the requirements that need to be present in my training programmes for 2015. Whatever your physical goals are, the information is out there on how to attain it.

For me personally, my quest towards ‘Ninja status’ continues. With a new found interest in the sport and methodology of Weightlifting coming in the latter part of 2014, and a continuing desire to achieve the most ridiculous of gymnastic holds, a key question for me when designing and researching the available methods on how to achieve this was; ‘How can I combine gymnastics and weightlifting together, into a week-by-week programme?

Taking that question a step further; ‘What are my physical goals for 2015?‘ and ‘How can they be implemented in to the same programme, as a semi-professional athlete?

pantplanche

Planches in your pants are a must

These are important questions to ask yourself for your own training. Following people’s programmes is a great idea, as long as they aim to deliver the same sort of results that you are striving for. Too many people out there fall for the Men’s Health Bullshit Special, that rarely addresses real weaknesses of the individual (or has a built-in methodology on how to do so) and is founded upon achieving often unrealistic goals that are based on fads and mass-marketable appeal. You know turd is in the air if your workout can’t be completed without buying the author’s supplement inventory.

One of my favourite pastimes is digging around the internet, researching whatever it is I’m interested in. In this instance, combining gymnastics with weightlifting isn’t really talked about other than within the realms of Crossfit, which doesn’t interest me beyond the programming side. I’m more psyched for movement enhancement, a state of flow and ninja prowess, than I am increasing my capacity to that of an engine.

The Chinese Olympic Weightlifting team are renowned for combining gymnastics with weightlifting, except they are all juiced to rafters from aged 11 meaning they can recover overnight and go again, for years on end. I’m not taking steroids, so I have to bare in mind I’m realistically not going to be able to match their training standards, however much I might think I’m superhuman.

olympic-lifting-backflip

Programming is everything. The highest quality results don’t surface from the ‘I’ll just feel my way through today’s improvised workout‘ anymore. Scientific programming produces the best of the best; just look at the Soviet’s gymnastic and weightlifting record (science combined with ruthless political agenda no doubt, but still science nonetheless).

Programming yourself is tricky, however. It’s hard not to over complicate the template and to be brutally honest about where your weaknesses lie.

Considerations and requirements for my own programming were as follows;

  1. Increasing my Snatch lift from 63kg to 70kg and Clean and Jerk from 90kg to 100kg.
  2. Increasing Front Squat 3RM from 90kg to 100kg.
  3. Progressing along the seemingly infinite path towards holding a Planche and Front Lever.
  4. Mobility exercises that develop my own mobility weaknesses and progression towards achieving the splits (in time); ankles and hips mainly.
  5. Gymnastic movement progress – notably the roundoff and basic tumbling.
  6. Intrinsic prehab exercises to help prevent injury as much as possible.
  7. Training 6 days a week whilst somehow still having a life
  8. Increase my lean muscle mass – body weight increase from 82kg to 85kg.
  9. A basic metabolic conditioning component (I’ve noticed stagnations in my strength and recovery progress without including this)
  10. Each session can’t really exceed 90 minutes in length. I have friends. Honest.

The above are scheduled in for a 12 week block. Programming beyond this and I tend to lose focus. 12 weeks also allows you to tell what is really effective and what is rubbish.
Of course, the appropriate deloading and recovery protocols are included – 12 weeks straight up is not a wise move.

So how do exemplary sessions look like taking the above into account? In what order do each of these requirements exist?
Here are some ideas;

Option 1
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training (Handstand progressions / variations)
Sprints / Plyometrics
Strength Training 
Stretching

Option 2
Warm up 
Low Intensity Skill Training 
Weightlifting
Metabolic Conditioning
Stretching

Option 3
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training
Weightlifting 
Gymnastics Static / Dynamic Strength 
Stretching

Option 4
Warm up
Low Intensity Skill Training
Gymnastics Static / Dynamic Strength
Accessories
Stretching

Option 5
Warm up
Gymnastics Class 
Stretching

The reason for the skill training being placed directly after the warm up is because this is when your nervous system is freshest. If you’re progressing through a technical movement or hold you do not want to be attempting to reinforce the motor pattern after you’ve exhausted yourself. Fresh is best. Low intensity is important, too. From the resources I have found, it has been suggested that if you use a high intensity before your main work begins, you’re at risk of fatiguing key muscles that you’re going to need for proper progression later. A lower intensity progression is a wiser move as it allows you to still reinforce a position without it tiring out stabiliser muscles too early.

Also, with so many considerations to include in a session, time management is key. Throwing the skills in early as part of an extended warm up, each and every time I train, means I’m getting in the mileage without realising. Productivity!

So how does this all fit in to a week’s schedule? That’s the next post…

Resources
Gant Grimes Hybrid Crossfit PDF
Greg Everett – Olympic Weightlifting
Christopher Sommer – Foundation 1 and 2
Eric Cressey – Show and Go

IMG_8120
Harry Cloudfoot is a slackline instructor and stunt performer based in London. You can follow him on Twitter or read his other Cloudfoot Diaries here.

 

 

Preparation for my first weightlifting competition | The Cloudfoot Diaries #46

Preparation is well under way this week for my first weightlifting competition. With just ten days notice, and thirteen weeks of lifting experience, I have been invited to enter the ‘London University Series 2‘ beginner weightlifting comp, held at no other than my local human performance lab, Locker 27.

Here’s how I’m training this week to ensure I lift the most amount of metal on the day …

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Cloudfoot’s T.V. Commercial Debut | An Insight Into Backflips For Cash

In October 2014 I landed my first T.V. advert as a stunt-double for moustached Mr. Reed, the notorious lead character for jobs board megalith, Reed.co.uk.
January 2015 saw the commercial go live, so now that I’m legally allowed to make some noise about the event, I thought I’d let you in on what it’s really like to backflip over people, in a suit, for cash…


CloudfootReed2015

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Cloudfoot applies for the Fire Brigade | The Cloudfoot Diaries #44

Torn between the rogue lifestyle of insecure unemployment,  and the desire to eat in clean clothes, I decided to send off an application for a job – gasp – with the London Fire Service as their Fitness Advisor.

firebrigade

For those of you following my own training militancy, you get no points for guessing how I would train those fuckers and what they would end up looking like in 36 weeks of being succumbed to my sadistic methodology.

I filled out the form half-knowing that an institution wouldn’t hire a man with no address and  a derivative of cummulo-nimbus for a second name. Hence the slightly passionate, yet tongue-in-cheek tone.

Here’s what I sent them:

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Next day soreness and thoughts on Specificity | The Cloudfoot Diaries #43

domsDelayed Onset Muscle Soreness, DOMS or Domåge Frais as it has been recently termed by myself, is that feeling you get the next day after training – when you sit down, it hurts. When you stand up, it hurts. Doing anything, hurts. That’s what you get when you haven’t trained for a while, at all, or you’ve tried a new method that has shocked your muscle into a sore mess.

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