I want to congratulate you on the work you put into your combine video. Those techniques are bar none the best I've ever seen on improving performance in those events! My questions are the following: What are great times/jumps for a wide receiver? Can you perform the same bench press warm-up for a bench press max also? What would be a good warm-up for a bench presser with a 235lb max? Thanks for your time!
Glad you liked the video! We haven’t had one person give it a bad review yet! It’s great to see that all of the hard work that I put into researching those tests is helping other athletes and coaches.
With regards to your first question;
a great wide receiver time in the 40-yard dash would
be 4.4-seconds and faster.
Scouts who hold the combine tests in high regards like to see a 20-yard shuttle time that is 4-5 tenths faster than the athlete’s 40 time. Because of better coaching and more talented athletes, 4.0-seconds or faster is now the standard for the 20-yard shuttle.
Under 6.8 seconds in the 3-cone drill is considered very quick.
As far as the vertical jump is concerned; a legitimate 35” or higher is incredible.
The warm-up that you use for a bench press max would vary depending on your strength levels. Regardless of your strength levels, I always favor multiple sets of low reps when warming up for a max test. Below is an example of how I would warm up an athlete that was going to attempt a 235 lb. bench.
Set #1 – 95 lbs. X 5 reps,
rest 60 seconds
Set #2 – 135 lbs. X 4 reps, rest 60 seconds
Set #3 – 165 lbs. X 3 reps, rest 90 seconds
Set #4 – 195 lbs. X 2 reps, rest 120 seconds
Set #5 – 225 lbs. X 1 rep, rest 180 seconds
Set #6 – Max Attempt, 235 lbs. X 1 rep!
Next stop . . . 315 lbs.!
Q: How do you guys do step-ups? Do you keep the working leg on the bench during the entire set or do you take the leg off after every rep? Personally, when I keep the working leg up the entire set, I feel like I'm going to fall over and I always end up pausing at the bottom position. I like the powerful push you get when you bring the leg up to the bench for every rep. What do you prefer? Do you use both methods?
My second question - In a
Charles Poliquin article, he says the amount of weight
used for a set of 8 external rotations (elbow on knee)
should be 10% of a persons max bench. Do you think
this would apply to a pitcher? I know pitchers rotators
need to be strong, but how strong do they need to
be? Any guidelines? Great site by the way.
Most of the step-up variations that we do with our athletes involve keeping the working leg on the box the entire time. We coach our athletes to set up on the box with the knee placed in front of the toe of the working leg. (Make sure that the foot of the working leg remains flat on the bench.) The upper body is angled foreword with their chest placed over their thigh and low-back slightly arched. The leg that is on the ground should be locked out and the athlete should think about pulling their toes up in their shoe. This inhibits the calf and prevents that athlete from pushing off of the non-working leg. Our athletes pause in the top position without touching the non-working leg to the box. The eccentric portion of the lift is controlled. When the non-working leg touches the ground, our athletes are coached to reset, pause and then explode back up. This step-up technique forces the athlete to perform static overcome by dynamic work. This is a great way to improve 1st step quickness and explosive power.
Now onto your 2nd question: First of all, Charles recommends that the athlete’s 8RM in the external rotation (elbow on knee) be 9% of their 14” grip barbell bench press. I’m not trying to be a wise-ass, but these minor details will make a difference in your data. And yes, I feel that these guidelines would especially apply to a pitcher! Their external rotators need to be as strong, if not stronger, than any other class of athlete. I’ve used Charles Poliquin’s strength-testing protocols for many years and I feel that they are accurate. Give them a try and then get your athlete’s external rotators strong! They will thank you in the long run!
Will you still be training Dhani Jones now that he has signed with the Eagles? I know that he is one of your main clients and I was wondering how this works out for you. If you can’t work with him, how is the Eagles strength & conditioning program?
Thanks and congrats to Dhani on the contract!
Yes, Dhani is still training with me 4 days week as well as working with my nutritionist. This will continue until he goes to Philly for good. Obviously, I can’t be in Philly for the in-season training, but I will still be heavily involved in his programming during the season. I’m not trying to “step on any toes” with the Eagles staff, but I’ve been training Dhani for 4 years and obviously we feel that my system is working for him. He has made steady progress for 4 straight years.
We would have loved to see him stay in New York, but remember that this is a business. He signed a nice contract in which he is making more money and he’s going to a team that is very happy to have him. That’s what every professional football player plays for and trains for - a big contract and an opportunity to play for coaches who recognize his talents.
I think Eagles fans are going to be very happy with their new linebacker!
I am starting to prepare for next years wrestling season already. I will be a junior in high school. I did well at the beginning of this year until I tore my ACL. My knee is coming along ahead of schedule and my physical therapist gave me the OK to train my upper body hard as I finish up the rehab on my knee. I am also seeing a nutritionist, as I want to bump up a weight class and wrestle 119 lbs. next year.
I heard in your audio interview that you modify the WESTSIDE BARBELL workouts for skinny kids like me. Also is it more important for wrestlers to focus on rowing and pulling, compared to bench-pressing? Any help you can give me would be great. I want to kick butt next year!!
P.S. A sample program would be great!
Sorry to hear about your knee. You sound very enthusiastic about your sport. You also seem to be well educated on some of my training philosophies. Below are two sample upper body workouts that two of my best high school wrestlers performed this year. Remember that this is just a sample of one workout that I used with two high school wrestlers. It is not the “be-all”, “end-all” of workouts. It should point you in the right direction, though.
MONDAY – Max Effort Upper Body
A. Weighted Chin-ups – 5 sets of 5 reps, increasing the weight
(The 5th set should be a max set of 5 reps.)
B. Thick bar bench press – 4 sets of 6-8 reps
C. Seated cable rows, overhand mid-grip – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
D1. Seated front plate raise – 2-3 sets of 10 reps
D2. Seated dumbell “power cleans” – 2-3 sets of 10 reps
E. Thick bar wrist roller – 3 sets of 3 reps (up/down = 1 rep)
THURSDAY – Repetition Upper Body
A. Bent-over dumbell rows – 3 sets of 15-25 reps each arm
B. Suspended chain push-ups – 3 sets of 12-20 reps
C. Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 12-15 reps
D. Iso-hold dumbell shrugs – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
E. Thick bar curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
*Abdominal training was performed on lower body training days & conditioning days.
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