Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coach Mike and Coach G: A Weekend At Catalyst Athletics

Putting It All Together

Cory and I just got back on home turf last night from a FANTASTIC weekend at Catalyst Athletics; I apologize for the lack of pictures, as my camera is now MIA---I have about 693 calls in to the car rental company, and 471 to the hotel.  Needless to say I'm pissed as hell at myself, but thankfully, Cory had his camera there as well. (EDIT: Looks like the car rental company found it.  Booya!)  Anyways, a recap:

Greg Everett - "Observe and Correct"
Greg knows a few things about Oly lifting.

Things kicked off Saturday morning with Greg Everett talking about coaching and correcting Olympic lifts; Greg is the owner of Catalyst athletics, author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide For Athletes and Coaches, and co-founder of The Performance Menu.  Topics covered included:
  • Overview of Olympic lifting and basic criteria
  • Types of technical errors, Conscious vs Unconscious errors
  • Proper order of correction, and when to correct
  • Common errors, fixes, and verbal cuing
Scotty Hagnas -Developing Gymnastic Strength for Non-Gymnasts 
    Scotty has mad skillz! Mad!

    Saturday afternoon was a generalist's overview of gymnastic movements by Scotty Hagnas, owner of Crossfit Portland and regular contributor to the Performance Menu; he's best known for Paleo contributions and his book, Cooking for Health and Performance.  What I didn't know is that Scotty has a fairly impressive list of credentials, including being a Poliquin International Certification Level 1 coach, and a Biosignature Level 1 & 2 practitioner. Topics covered were:
    • Overview of various gymnastic elements (handstand, front/back lever, muscle up, planche)
    • Considerations for performing 
    • Programing and integration
    • Coupling moves
    Scotty also kicked off Sunday morning going over some fantastic mobility and flexibility work, including series covering scapular/shoulder, wrist, elbow, glute movements.  He had us sprawled all over the place trying out these drills.  Expect to see some new and funky warmup drills at CFLA!

    Gant Grimes - Functional Fitness Myths, Hybrid Programming, and
    Evaluating Sport-Specific vs. Multi-Sport Needs
    Gant Grimes Owning Freddy C

    Next up was Gant Grimes, with his topic of Hybrid Programming; I didn't know a lot about Gant's background prior to landing in Sunnyvale, but he was the sneak-attack presenter of the weekend.  His "Aw, Shucks!" good-'ol boy southern drawl and wicked humor belayed the fact he has the razor sharp mind of a litigation lawyer.  Not to mention he's a high level competitor and coach in Judo.  Superstar Freddy C. from Crossfit One World helped put on a nice demo of Judo/BJJ, as you can see in the photo.  Topics Gant covered included:
    • Hierarchy of a Training Session (VERY valuable info!)
    • Various form of Strength programing (linear, Texas Method, Wendler's 5-3-1)
    • Various forms of Interval programming (Tabata, True, Sprint, HRI, Asc/Des)
    • How to correctly program metcons
    During a break, I was wandering around just checking out the equipment, and Gant came over and out of the blue started explaining the differences between powerlifting and Oly bars---this guy is a teacher at heart, and just can't help himself.  About 6 months ago, I had emailed Gant, asking him about heavy metcons for my own programming, and he had sent me a nice excel spreadsheet, without even knowing who I was.   Stand up guy?  No kidding.  My favorite presenter of the weekend.

    Dan John - Philosophy of Training and Coaching 
       Gotta read this one!

      Dan John gave us his insights and philosophies on training; he has a long history of training and coaching in strength sports and track & field, and is probably best known for his thought provoking articles found on T-nation and Men's Health.  Some of what Dan covered included:
      • Ranking needed specificity in athletics (4-Quadrant Rule)
      • Rules and Philosophies in Strength Training
      • Discussion on differences between Fitness and Health
      • Q and A on topics of health, programming, and nutrition
      Dan is an amazing and energetic speaker, and his 30+ years of training/teaching/coaching (Dan is a high school Track + Field coach) came through easily in his presentation.  I've been meaning to buy a copy of his book, and there's no doubt I'm putting it at the top of my reading cue! 

      Matt Foreman - Dividing the Barbell Disciplines: Combining Power and
      Olympic Methodology

      Matt Foreman, doing what he does best

      Capping off the weekend was Matt Foreman discussing both powerlifting and Olympic lifting, and combing the two in programming.  Matt is a another teacher by trade, specializing in Track and strength coaching (sound familiar?), and has been involved competitively in both Oly and powerlifting for years.  Some of what we covered included:
      • Video and still picture analysis of powerlifts and Olympic lifts
      • Discussion of differences and applicability
      • Combining both elements into programming.

      We also got a chance to meet some very cool folks at the seminar:
      • Andy from Crossfit Asylum, in Boise, Idaho, was our unfortunate first victim the Saturday morning.  We found him eating his Paleo eggs and fruit in the hotel restaurant, and slapped our plates down beside him and said "How's it going, Eh?!".  We then stuffed him in the back of our super-rocket Toyota Yaris, which Big G aimed (foot IN the gas), and I attempted to co-pilot, and hauled him around town for the weekend.  Andy is a Chris Spealer look-alike, grey Chuck Taylors and all, and can lift a shitload of weight. Super nice guy, but I'm thinking he's thinking we're a bit nuts.
      • Ruth and Sean from Crossfit Intrepid, in El Segundo, California, were what we call "good people".  Hell, if I didn't know better, I'd swear they were Canadian.  We had the pleasure of eating with them at Armadillo Willys, some odd buffet-style BBQ house, where we entertained them with our Canadian-isms, and got into some great discussion on Crossfit as a whole and the direction it's heading.
      • I met Thomas from Crossfit Santa Rosa on the lifting platform next to me Sunday morning at 7AM; he's a fellow firefighter and co-owner of CFSR.  We had the chance to train at Catalyst, and I have *NO* idea why folks weren't lined up beating down the door---Andy, Cory, Thomas and myself had the place to OURSELVES, along with Greg Everett giving US coaching tips.  Um, JACKPOT, anyone?  Between my clean and jerk attempts (made a PR of 199lbs, and LOTS more in the tank.  225# is doable.  THIS year.) and tips from Greg, Thomas and I shot the breeze on the differences in our fire services.  Cool dude!
      Notable Quotes From The Weekend:
          -"The GOAL is to keep the GOAL the GOAL"
          -"Hey, have you ever done 12 rounds of FGB" rebuttal, in stereo: "WHY?!?!"
          -"Tell your athletes what TO do, versus what NOT to do"
          -"What in the F*CK is a fish taco!??!?!"
          -"Conditioning is like a dirty whore: Easy come, Easy Go"
          -"Guess I shouldn't have drank all that beer last night"
          -"Do not confuse activity and effort with progress"
          -"Yeah, she's hot, but she ain't driving a YARIS"
          -"If it's important, do it everyday.  If it's not, don't do it all all"