Paused Chain Front Squats

Paused squats of any kind are great for building strength in your core, along with other stabilizing muscles.  Use a stopwatch for consistency and to really force a good pause.

Chains or bands are often used to help build strength to blow past your sticking points.  As you stand in the squat, more weight is added as the chains come up off the floor (more tension is added with bands).  Combining pauses with chains kicks everything up a level.  Give it a try.

Video demonstration

The First Competition

Yesterday, Three of our athletes competed for the first time. All of them performed great, with many personal records tied and surpassed! All of them are new to the sport. This was a great time to enter a meet. There is always anxiety when performing in this setting. It’s important for an athlete to experience this early on, when there is less pressure on how the athlete will stack up against their competition. At this time, it’s all about feeling what it’s like. This is nothing like training in a gym. The competition setting is a great place to hone your skills in overcoming anxiety, using your nervous adrenaline to your advantage, and to learn to focus when your mind is all over the place – a time to build mental strength.

There are other athletes at different levels of skill doing great and having a bad day. There are many teaching points that can be reviewed after the meet. This is the time where the athlete can learn to appreciate having a coach working with them – counting attempts, talking them through this crazy time and, yes, slapping them silly when needed (you’re welcome, Pete). Even though the lifting is an individual effort, the team’s emotional support can have a great impact on the athlete. All these little things are experienced in competition.

After the competition, celebrate! You trained hard and you put it on the line. No matter how long you are in this sport, immediately after competition, the athlete’s mind is racing with all of the things he/she wants to improve to do better the next time. Don’t be too self-critical! We are always hardest on ourselves. Listen to your coach! This is a great time to evaluate your performance and plan to improve it. Do you feel angry about your performance? Use that energy positively, put in more effort, but in a smart way. Hone your technique. The great lifters, lifting what seemed to be ridiculous weight on that platform, didn’t start yesterday. They put the time in and worked at it. There are no shortcuts; you will have to put the time and effort in also. It is absolutely worth it!

Nick, Heather, and Pete – you all rocked it yesterday. You all fought through the challenge and I couldn’t be prouder as your coach. Your teammates and family were there to support you and felt the same way. Ready for the next one?

Change isn’t always bad

We have loved our home at Shelly’s Xtreme Fitness.  Unfortunately, they were forced to close.  While they re-group, our team has found a new place train – Huge thanks to Mandy & family.  We also welcome Mandy to the team!

Our Cuppa Joe singlets are in! Four of our team members will be trying them out at their first meet @ Lost Battalion Hall!

At times of extreme change, it is up to you to decide how to react.  You can let it beat you down, or you can dust yourself off and find another way.  If success was easy, everyone would be successful.  It also wouldn’t be so meaningful.  When you work hard at something and are really challenged, success tastes so much sweeter.

Train hard, train smart.

Shoulder Work

It’s important to keep your shoulders healthy.  Here’s a routine I learned from Dr. Kobrin (Chiropractor) about 20 years ago that is still relevant.  He used this while working with the NY Jets.

He advised doing this routine at a time opposite your workout, on its own.  For instance, if you’re working out in the morning, do this at night for time – 30 seconds to 1 minute per exercise.  This hasn’t worked with my crazy schedule so as an alternative, I do it at the end of a workout for 10 reps per exercise.  It’s a great routine to work your shoulders/rotator cuff.  Remember to keep the weight light – especially if you’re doing the timed version.  There are a lot of small muscles in your shoulders.  This exercise will help with mobility and strengthening the shoulder girdle.

Kobrin Shoulder Routine
Dumbbell laterals
Bent over dumbbell laterals
Hail Caeser’s
Kung Fu – rotate wrists until your knuckles touch
Rotator

 

Greetings

Welcome! This is where I would like to share my passion for weightlifting. The first thing I would like to do is thank everyone who got me started and has supported me through the years.

I guess I should start with Stimpson’s House of Nutrition in Poughkeepsie. They referred me to my Coach and friend, Jim Hanlon over 15 years ago. Jim is a great coach who is the most incredibly generous person I know. He is also a very knowledgeable and skilled coach. My education started with him.

I must also thank:
Tony – a terrific friend, workout buddy and the former Empire State Games Hudson Valley Coach/Weightlifting Chair who turned over those hats to me and continued to support me after I took over. I miss the games.

Leo Totten/East Coast Gold President/Former Olympian – Our team leader and head coach, along with my ECG teammates/Coaches – including Jim Storch & Mike McKenna. Of course, the rock star attached to ECG is Mike Walters – the most amazing masseuse I have ever known!!!

Rob Arroyo – A good friend and Master’s teammate who has joined me for the last few years in competition and supported & inspired me to greater efforts.

Joe Triolo and my friends at Lost Battalion Hall – Joe’s been a great friend and helped me win the 2015 National Master’s Championship.

Additional shout outs to: Dave Miller of Fortius Weightlifting, Osman Manzanares of Nashville Weightlifting Club, Carlos Rivera, and to the next generation of lifters who inspire me to keep going and to share what I’ve learned, like: Nick, Flavia, Jonathon, and Jared Fleming and anyone else I might not have mentioned here.