Weight Training

Why weight train?
My reasons:
  • I feel better.
  • It appears to decrease my risk of injury from other activities.
  • It allows me to transition faster between other sports with less early season build up time.
  • It increases my overall physical capacity for other activities in a relatively time efficient and convenient manner.
  • The structured nature exposes my weaknesses and movement imbalances.
  • I find the more complex movements (Snatch and Clean&Jerk) to be sufficiently technically challenging that they hold my interest.

Hierarchy of Activity for Athleticism.
  • Do something
  • Do something regularly.
  • Do something regularly at an intensity or load you find challenging.
  • Do something regularly with structured increases in load or intensity.

At all levels:
  • Consistency before intensity.
  • You get greater benefit from training weaknesses than strengths.
  •  There is greater athletic carry over to sport and activity from learning new and unfamiliar movements or activities (“How do I do it?”) than from increasing load or intensity on movements already mastered (“How do I do more of it?”).
  •  Proper movement (do it right; “good form”)à Full range of motion (with proper form)à Increase speed or load.

Basic Human Movements
I. Squat
II. Hinge
III. Push
IV. Pull
V. Trunk Flexion
VI. Carry

That’s it. Six basic movements, with many permutations. The squat has the most carry-over to almost all other activity, and incorporates elements of almost all the other movements—if you are going to train only one thing, train the squat.

The squat and the hinge incorporate multiple joints in the lower and upper body, while the other movements recruit fewer large muscle groups. Training the squat and hinge will therefore be more taxing and take more time to recover from.

Body Position
Joints need to be held “actively” in position. That means that they are held in the middle of the joint capsule by muscle action, not resting on one side of the capsule on connective tissue. In practice, it means that the direction of force needs to be actively resisted by muscles stabilizing all load bearing joints.

Two specific positions that are repeated in many movements:
1.      Scapula retraction—the scapula need to be neutral to retracted to achieve the most stable base for overhead presses, pull-ups, dead-lifts, etc. Because the load usually pulls them to a protracted position, this usually means that the most effective starting position is an aggressive retraction.
2.      Spinal Extension—the most stable position for the spine under load is neutral: lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and cervical lordosis. Torque on the hip area from the load in the squat and deadlift tend to force the lumbar spine into flexion, so the most effective starting position is usually an aggressive extension. Hyperextension isn't good either, but is only a concern at the finishing positions or with overhead movements.

Middle joints in multi-joint exercises should usually move in a plane containing the direction of force (typically up/down in free-weight or gymnastic exercises).  This means that the elbow should flex and extend in vertical plane during overhead pressing and pulling movements and the knee should flex and extend in a vertical plane through the mid-line of the foot during squat and hinge variants.

Intra-Abdominal Pressure
Increased intra-abdominal pressure, or the "valsalva maneuver" is one of the primary ways of stabilizing the truck under load. Contraction of the back extensors isn't sufficient at higher loads, so you also need to stabilize the anterior abdomen.
Contract the transverse abdominals below the navel. This should flatten your lower abdomen as though you were “doing up your zipper.” You can also think of stopping your urine flow (“kegel exercises”) or lifting your testicles (if you have them).
Inhale into the abdomen. The chest should neither rise nor expand, only the belly inflates.
Contract the abdominals while pushing the belly out at the same time.
Hold the breath and the abdominal pressure during the rep.
This is why belts are sometimes used at higher loads: they reinforce the abdominal contraction and give something to push against.

Failure @
·        1-5 reps = strength development
·        5-12 reps = hypertrophy (size) development
·        12+ reps = endurance development.

A basic strength training protocol will involve 5 warmup sets, beginning with two @ and unloaded bar (or other very-light) weight and progressing towards the working weight, followed by 5 working sets of 3-5 reps. This is called at 5x5 or 5x3 protocol. A proper working weight is one where it is possible, but difficult, to achieve all reps in the set and all sets in the exercise.

Using really light weights isn’t lacking in benefit, but it won’t improve your strength, so if you only feel comfortable working at lighter loads, try to work on movements that stress you in other ways: where achieving proper positioning or a full range of motion is challenging.

Use a warm-up period to physically warm the muscles, enhance blood flow, increase the dynamic range of motion, and drill movement patterns which are challenging for you.

Combine the 6 basic movement types so you have one “big” movement (squat or hinge) and 2-4 of the other movements. Maintain an intensity level that allows you to complete all sets and reps with proper form and possible failure on the last reps of the last set(s). Do not rest more. Mix and match a 3-5 days / week. Work on a sport, movement, activity or exercise that is difficult for you (“How” rather than “How much?”) a minimum of one time / week.

Sport / Weakness
Push & Pull
Push & Pull

Don’t ask about diet until you have eaten breakfast –Dan John.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. –Greg Glassman.

There are lots of theories. In short, base your diet on unprocessed plant and animal products while avoid processed food, alcohol, and sweeteners. Eat enough to support recovery. If you want to gain weight, eat more; if you want to lose, eat less.
Another road to the same destination: If it has a nutritional label on it, or will keep for longer than a couple of weeks without rotting, don’t eat it, it’s not food.


Mark Twight wouldn't train Henry Cavill for the Superman role without a commitment that he would get 9-10 hours of sleep every night. All serious professional and amateur athletes that I know sleep 8-10 hours/ night.