Correctives

This is the eighth of a set of excerpts from the Intervention DVD.

Correctives. Now, I went through the CK-FMS course and I always love asking the basic questions at the end. The basic question is this, ‘Where is everybody getting knocked down on?’ And I love Gray Cook and he tells me completely, ‘Well, with the active straight leg raise and the shoulder mobility drill, everybody screws up.’ Shoulder mobility is when you touch like that. That’s pretty good, right? Not so much…I have thoracic immobility.

In fact, every time you put a quarter to the thoracic immobility research fund, it comes to me. This is thoracic mobility. I don’t have a lot. Active straight leg? I need to do active straight legwork every workout. I need to work on my thoracic mobility. Do I do it? No. Why not? Because I’m a strength guy. If I’m in the weight room, I want to move weights. You are not going to see me over there rowing on foam rollers. Why? Hello…I’m me. Now the guy next to me has a 2-hour workout and they foam roll for an hour and a half and then they do this…phhhhhh, ahhhh, phhhhhh, ahhhh, phhhhh. My good friend, Pavel, has a point. Stop—with the correctives. You’ve got to lift weights.

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And it leads us to now designing programs for most people. It’s the 80-10-10 rule: 80% of what most people do should be in their sport. If 80% of the time your basketball players are doing their thing, they should be playing basketball. 80%. So if they’re training…if they have 10 hours a week to train…I’m not good at math but we’ll pretend I am…that means that they should be playing basketball 8 hours. How many hours do you have in there? Very good. I tell you…academically strong school you’re at. There you go. If you have a fat loss client, 80% of their emotional effort should be food and food journals. I’ll tell you…by the way, what diet works? Correct. They all work. Adherence is the million-dollar question. By the way, they all work.

I always love it when they do these great studies and they find out, ‘Yeah, this works, this works’, and then they try to figure out why it works later on. It’s like, well, because every diet works. Every food lifestyle works but if I kill you 5 days a week, you’re not going to have any…call it what you want…self will, free will, karmic energy…to comply to the diet. So on the way home, you’re going to stop by that place that’s green and…you know…just look…’I’ve earned this’…and you’re going to load up with all those calories. You know, a lot of books have come out in the last six months. In fact, the last six months with diet and exercise books has been really an interesting time. I have been trying to keep up on all of them. One of the things that makes me laugh is that they will talk about how…the one book talks about if you sit and watch TV, you burn up 100 calories an hour. If you treadmill, you burn up like 127. It’s some ridiculous amount, like, how can you ever outrun that bagel you ate after you worked out? You can’t.

There’s a famous bagel that is in Salt Lake City. I don’t know if they still sell it. Everyone says that I am lying when I say this. It was an 1100-calorie bagel. It was a chocolate chip bagel. Everyone says, ‘That can’t be true.’ Well when you go to that place that’s green and sells coffee and they’ve got a little thing that’s this big that’s 470 calories, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that three times that would be way more than 470. So 80% of your karmic energy on a fat loss client is on your food journal. Josh has great advice about the food journal. He says that you need to spend 15 minutes a week going through it.

By the way, I have actually hired someone to make me go through my food journal. It’s true. When I meet with my personal trainer, the first thing he does is that he goes…and he circles…he says, ‘You know, you eat pretty good’ and I’ve noticed that every time he said, ‘You eat pretty good’, my body weight goes down and I look better in the mirror. I am wondering if I stop keeping a food journal if I’ll return to where we started. You follow my point? I know…I keep a food journal because I know that Buddy is going to look at it. You need to have a food journal buddy. But all of my energy…Isn’t it a lot to keep a food journal? You know what? I am going to say ‘no’ but ‘yes’ because there are all of those moments that it’s like, ‘You know, I don’t want to write that down. Nah, I gotta write it down.’ You know?

10% of your time in the weight room should be getting stronger. Hang on, I’m not done and the other 10% of your time is correctives. Here’s my issue with correctives. Everybody thinks that correctives are simply this, ‘Ahhh’ and they are. That’s very important. ‘Ahhh.’ If you’ve never done a loaded carry in your life, Farmer Walks are a corrective. Now, we will start to unspill why you all came here today.

This is how intervention works. I am drawing a circle. This is going to be very confusing for some of you. How was that by the way? Was that pretty good? Thanks. I don’t want to brag. I see the amount of time that the athlete has as a circle. By definition then, what percent of that circle should be to my strength and what percent should be my correctives? So half, right? This is time in the weight room. Sorry – time in the weight room.

I get this athlete who has a 600-pound bench press……and can do 9 pull-ups, probably needs more…he sort of gets that zero out-zero out…but the athlete also needs to do foam rolling and thoracic mobility work. How am I going to get him to do it? This is one way to do it and I really believe in it. You divide their training into their strong points and their correctives. Half of the workout for this young man might be bench press. What? Yeah…and what do they do between rest periods on the bench press? Correctives. What kind of correctives? Well on this side it could be the mobility work.

Now we also said that this athlete had an excellent pull so we will do…so in half of the time you have in the gym which could be as little as two hours a week, right? Right? By the way, two hours a week is not bad. You can get a lot of work done in two hours a week – a lot of work done. Once you’ve organized everything else, all of a sudden two hours is a lot of time. Of course, if you are doing bench press, incline bench press, decline bench press, incline dumbbell bench press, decline dumbbell bench press, then maybe you need more time because I don’t know how you are going to get all of those movements in the squat and still be able to walk. I don’t know how you can do it. On the other side are those things that I perceive as weaknesses.

Now here’s the rule if there is a rule: hinge, squat, loaded carry. During the rest periods of a hinge if they are patterning, they don’t do anything. Why would I think it’s okay for Josh between sets of bench press to do corrective work? Because he knows how to bench press. He’s good at bench pressing. It doesn’t take him a tremendous amount of energy or will. He likes to bench press. So when I let him bench press, he’s like, ‘Yeah, I don’t mind bench pressing. I’ll bench press.’ So between sets of bench press, I have him do mobility work. I have him do those correctives that he may need to do. Good.

All right, so here’s what’s going to happen. You two are working out together. Just don’t even…I want you to pretend that you’re bench pressing and I want you to roll your hips. Okay, let’s go. Come on. You’ve got 5 sets of 5—two heads. I want you to go heavy today. Is that too heavy? Did you spot him? He just did a set of 5 with 305. Good job. Rob, you’re up. Would you mind rowing that? Your rowing back was hurting the other day. Would you mind doing that? You see…keep going…this is actually good. I know that I can get these guys when they are doing the exercises they love and are comfortable with…I can push them to the correctives. How do I know that? Because these guys…they love to bench press. But instead of sitting around between sets and playing touched-you-last, we are actually on hands-on here…good job…wait, wait…that’s too many reps…ease up, ease up…you are going to be sore tomorrow.

Now I have all kinds of other tools here. Thanks, Rob. Josh, just stay up for a second. This is the patented thoracic mobility exercise…okay…lay on your back and put this right in the middle of your back for me and lay on the ground like that…yeah…go…so I’ve got this thoracic mobility thing that I do which actually has helped…yeah…he just made a really loud noise…so now just lay so that your whole body lays flat on the ground…yeah…lay your chest…keep laying…isn’t that just awful? This is awful…but see…but see…if I said, ‘Josh, come 10 minutes early and do these’… Josh: No way. But see now as his coach, as his trainer, I’m working him with his strong point and then attacking those correctives that he needs. This way, we’re getting the double dose. If he needs to do leg flexibility work against a post or something like that, I can get him to do it between the things that he loves to do. Sit up. Can you sit up now? Good work. Good work.

Now so what I do is that I then begin to organize our whole training program with this notion that…and by the way…I do…this is the better way to go…have the toys…the things that they like are toys first…the fun stuff first. Trust me. These are all going to feel like finishers here. Do you guys know what a finisher is? It is a real rough way to…this is all going to feel like a finisher here. Then you let those movements that they work on by themselves to allow the load to go up—the intensity, the focus to go up—and that is how…that is one simple way to get people to do what they need to do. Divide the work time in half. If the athlete is going to work out 20 hours a week which is not unusual for, like, an elite thrower, that is four workout sessions a week.

So how are we going to do that? So now, what I’m going to do for you now is that I am going to show you the pattern I would use for, like, an elite thrower. This athlete is a very, very good discus thrower. She has never done a loaded carry in this person’s career—ever—gets injured…of the last 5 seasons has been injured 3 times doing things like jumping exercises and bounding. How can I have an immediate impact on this athlete? Can anyone give me a quick one real fast? Help me. Come on.

‘Loaded carries?’

Loaded carries. Very good, young man. By the way, having this athlete simply do loaded carries instantly changes the athlete overnight. So the athlete asks me for a training program. The biggest problem I have with this athlete is that even though she is a tremendous discus thrower, she’s a little light in the joints. She is not…she is not…big jointed. Very good athlete. Very mobile. Very fast. She needs to gain some strength but can’t handle a ton of load.

So, how did I do that? Well because she needed strength, I put her on the rule of 10 for almost everything. So let’s just look at…real quick…let’s…okay…so the exercises that I was going to have her do are bench press…we did trap bar deadlifts…front squats…Farmer Walks…and Getups. Ahhh. Getups. It has been sitting here up all day. I used to break out athletes into doing, you know, one-arm work and one-legged work and rowing…Now I just have them do Turkish Getups. So the Turkish Getup is the answer for most athletes for everything else. If you really want to make them harder, do a Turkish Getup, go for a waiter walk, do a Turkish Getup, go for a waiter walk. Just do that for an hour and then call me if you need anything else. I’ll get right back to you.

So, how do we work this out? Well, I knew this. I knew that this athlete needed to get stronger in the easiest way I knew…the easiest way I know how to get an athlete stronger is to have them do the movements that we want them to get stronger at…what I decided was that 60% of the workouts would be two sets of 5 and 20% of the workouts would be 5, 3, 2, then 10% of the workouts would be 6 singles and 10% of the workouts would be one set of easy 10.

What I did was that I worked it out this way – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday…this is important so hang in there…two sets of 5 – two sets of 5—5, 3, 2—two sets of 5—two sets of 5. That’s week one.

Week two—two sets of 5—6 singles—one set of 10—two sets of 5—5, 3, 2. And the rules on this are pretty simple. Two sets of 5? That’s like your 3rd warmup. It’s ah…if you’re a 315 bench presser, that’s your 185/205. The whole program is this.

If I’m benching 185 and it feels like this and the speed feels like that and three weeks later 205 feels like 185, then I have gotten stronger. I have gotten stronger. So we had her do this for bench press—5, 3, 2…you try to get that heavy double…you have to make all of the lifts. This is the test. Six singles is an easy workout. You just do—do weight, add weight, do weight, add weight, do weight, add weight. It’s not the max…this is as heavy as you want to go. One set of 10 is tonic about 40% of your max and 5, 3, 2.

Doing this program, I think…many of you might know this story…I did this program. My lifetime bench—inclined bench press record—was 300 pounds and Pavel put me on a similar program to this on the 22nd, a workout, by myself, in my garage, in Utah so it was about 30 degrees, no spotter. I benched 315 for a double by myself. I beat my lifetime best by 15 pounds in a double with no spotter. When I did this experiment with the thick bar deadlift, my thick bar deadlift, and you know how thick that one is, my thick bar deadlift PR was 265. When I did this program, I got it up to 315. That’s stunningly stronger stuff.

So she also does the trap bar deadlift. Her numbers are off of the charts now – front squats, Farmer Walks and Getups. At the end of two weeks—because pretty balanced, pretty good athlete—on Day 1, we do a left-handed symmetry workout. Do you guys remember that? Suitcase walk, dadadada…right? Day 2—push jerks 5 sets of 2 and Litvinov’s three times. Can anyone guess what Day 3 might be? There you go. You guys are good. Day 4—push jerks 5 sets of 2 and Litvinov’s three sets. That’s week 3. Week 4 is this. Week 5 is this. Week 6 is this.

We are missing one or two small things. She would do her correctives during this workout though she would do her correctives here and leave these two parts free because she is strong here and these are the issue. Do you see how you put all of this stuff together for an elite…for an elite athlete? That’s how you put all of this material together for an elite athlete.

What percent of her time should she practice her sport? Eighty.

Yeah.

Click here to see some of the preview clips from Intervention.

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