Q: Joe, I wanted to thank you and your crew again for giving insight into your training philosophy and methods. Ben was particularly helpful in refining my box squat and bench form, as well as showing me some shoulder work my older clients could do.
I am currently in the same place you were 10 years ago, reading everything, going to seminars, and getting more confused by the minute. The difference is I am 52 and this is my second career. I don't have 10 years to get un-confused. Thanks for knocking a ton of years off my learning curve. It will always be a case of the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, but at least I now know the right direction to go.
Please let me know if you decide to hold any more seminars. I'll be there.
A: Dan, Thanks for the positive feedback. It was a great day and we enjoyed doing it.
Although we are in our VERY busy season right now, we are making plans for a MEGA-seminar in April. If we can pull this one off, you won’t want to miss it. Possible speakers include me, James Smith, Michael Hope, Eric Cressey, Buddy Morris & Charlie Francis. Stay tuned…
Q: Your website is incredible. I’m a former powerlifter and competed at 3 world championships in the bench press in the junior 220 class. My best bench was a 501.5 at 217. This was before the shirts got way out of control. I actually trained in a manner very similar to your westside for skinny bastards approach. Speed work was killing my shoulders and my bench was stuck at 420 for over a year. I started doing some repetitiion work on my usuall speed day and the rest is history. Just thought I would pass it along since you have had similar results with it.
I’m now involved in arm wrestling and was wondering if you have ever trained one or would be interested. We rely mainly on pulling strength from the lats down to the finger tips. Could the westside for skinny bastards be set up for an arm wrestler? Thanks in advance and good luck with your business, looking forward to hearing from you.
A: Austin, Hell yeah I’ve been involved in the training of arm wrestlers…that’s actually how I got started. As a young kid, I would beg my dad to go to the gym with him. At the time I was too young to train, but he would bring me to watch. During this time, he was training himself and one of his friends for arm wrestling tournaments. (This is where I learned a lot of sick & twisted training techniques at a very young age.) Anyway, my dad was actually New Jersey State Champ 6 years in a row and he took 3rd in the World during this time. So needless to say, I know a little bit about arm wrestling.
From an early age I realized that arm wrestling technique definitely reins supreme. After the technical aspect of the sport, I noticed that most great arm wrestlers had huge biceps, forearms & upper backs. If you wanted to tweak my Westside for Skinny Bastards template for arm wrestling, here’s one example of how you can set it up…
Day 1 – ME Upper body (Perform a chin-up, row or curl variation as your ME exercise most of the time. Occasionally, you can perform a dumbell bench press variation.)
Day 2 – Lower body strength training (If you’re only focus is to become a great arm wrestler, you don’t have to kill yourself on leg day. I do suggest you train legs, though. I’ve seen too many arm wrestlers have upper bodies that resemble a bodybuilder and legs that look like an ostrich!)
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Rep Upper body (Perform a chin-up, row or curl variation as your Rep exercise most of the time. Occasionally, you can perform a dumbell bench press variation.)
Day 5 – Grip training – I suggest performing 3 grip exercises on this day. (Vary between crushing grip, supporting grip, wrist flexion/extension, ulnar & radial flexion, direct finger strengthening, etc. Check out deiselcrew.com for some grip workout ideas.)
George DeFranco training in his garage in 1979 on an arm wrestling
machine he made out of car springs & garage door springs that were
attached to a car shock that was attached to the ceiling!
George DeFranco (right) doing damage to some poor guys arm
Q: Hey coach, some of us who read T-Nation a lot were pretty upset that
the reporter who covered the SWIS Convention did not post the highlights of your talk. We know how busy you are, but would you be willing to post your highlights on your website or on t-nation?
A: Rich, Thanks for the support. In defense of the reporter who covered the SWIS Symposium, there were 3 quality presentations going on every hour. Needless to say, I’m sure he had a lot of tough decisions to make that weekend. Below I will give you some insight on my presentation. Obviously, I can’t review everything from my 90 minute presentation, but this outline should give you some idea of my philosophy about the REAL way to improve speed…
The title of my presentation was The Best Speed Development Program – Sprinting Problems; Strength & Flexibility Solutions
A. There are only 2 ways to make someone faster
B. Who’s the fastest at the grade school level?
C. How trainable is stride frequency?
D. Who’s the fastest at the high school, college & professional level?
E. How trainable is stride length & how do we improve it?
F. Biomechanical differences during different sprint phases
G. Economical Strength Exercises
Hopefully this outline helps,
Q: Joe, Can you post a sample skinny bastard diet to go along with your program? I’m a 16-year-old kid preparing for next football season. I’m 6’1", 162 lbs. It’s hard for me to eat breakfast because I still take the bus and I’m always running late. Plus the school lunches are gross and unhealthy. I don’t know what to do. My dad bought me a box of 50 Met-Rx shakes. They don’t really have a lot of calories, but can I use them?
Please help, coach!!
A: I don’t mean to be rude, but before I help you out I want to get something off of my chest…in your email, you come off as lazy. If I’m wrong, I apologize. By saying “it’s hard for me to eat breakfast because I still take the bus and I’m always late” …that makes me wonder how dedicated you are. My 1st response to you is, “Stop running late and wake up earlier!” Seriously, I hate when kids tell me how bad they want to gain weight & then I spend the time to help them and they complain to me that “they don’t have time” or “that’s a lot of food”…boo friggin’ hoo! If it were easy, everyone would be jacked. If you want to be a skinny bastard the rest of your life, don’t listen to me…if you want to get bigger & stronger, read on…
Although I don’t like writing online diets for kids I don’t know anything about, I will give you a sample diet that we use with many of our skinny high school kids. This diet is very practical, inexpensive & easy to follow. The only supplements that I would recommend to start are a meal replacement shake, protein bars & protein pudding (I actually consider these 3 recommendations food, not supplements). These act as “fast food” for high school kids who are in school and aren’t allowed to eat or drink in class. Here you go…
This sample diet is as easy as it gets. If you follow this diet in conjunction with my WS4SB template, you WILL get big & strong. The only question is, “How bad do you want it?”
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it big & strong…or something like that…
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