We want to thank Michael and Carrie at Eastside for hosting us this weekend. Eastside S&C continues to show their dedication to getting people strong. I have one of their girls in motion during her 132kg squat but missed the opportunity to photograph her 140kg squat. Nice work Rosanna! Thanks to everyone who helped contribute to a great weekend.
I have some pictures but Tom C will post his when he gets a chance (don't nag him, he'll get it done.) Thanks to all of you out there who spent the weekend with us, we'd like to hear about your experience. I know Tom talked about it a bit and Catatonic (with his "muppet hair)" was there, let's hear about it guys. Everyone worked very hard at listening and applying the methods but I want to give special props to Dr. Barb who was so determined to do it all this weekend and to do it right. She is awesome.
We want to thank Scott Stanford for the ginormous Honeycrisp apples and acknowledge Shauna's awesome feat of grip strength when she broke it in half. Since Tom talked about Bigg Matt's 130kg press reps, I'll throw in a pic (incidentally, you can guess our nickname for Matt Reynolds after seeing Bigg Matt, Tom. He's Lil Matt which is also pretty funny for someone who weighed 280 at the time we met him to be called 'Lil' anything.)
OH! The food of Redmond is always top notch. This year we headed over to Matt's Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge who took very good care of us and loaded us down with oysters, bacon, and lots of good beverages. If you're in the Redmond/Bellevue area, I highly recommend it.
The seminar was definitely awesome. Awesome. My only regret is that I didn't get to go out to dinner with everyone because I had to go home to coach my brothers through their session for the day.
I've already written quite a bit about my experience at the seminar and I have several posts in my log about specific personal issues that I had corrected. I also wrote a few paragraphs about my general experience out at Eastside and I'll copy/paste that one here for those that are interested:
All in all, I got exactly what I paid for and a bit more. I'd highly recommend the seminar to anyone. I improved my conceptual understanding of the material, my ability to teach it, and I significantly improved my form on literally every single lift.
To my surprise, squat was probably one of my best lifts, technically speaking. I really only needed to slow down and stay mid-foot. Nonetheless, I got my grip issues sorted out and found a way to carry the bar lower. This should translate to more poundage and less time off due to tendonitis.
For the press, I got a completely new grip and found out that I wasn't really laying back even close to enough. I smoked 60kg, which isn't really impressive, but I should be moving up in the very near future.
I greatly, greatly improved my deadlift setup. I have been pulling completely wrong. Hips have been too low, knees haven't been out, and I haven't been using my quads to break the bar off the floor. It was all low-back. Stef had me make some very minor changes and it is completely different. Deadlifts PRs on the horizon.
About power cleans, well, when you set a 10kg PR and hit a weight 20kg over your current 3x5 power clean, and then you do that weight 5 times, it is safe to say you've improved the lift, no?
I applied the grip change from press to my bench and got myself to touch higher on the chest. This should reduce the moment arm between the bar and my shoulder. I think both my press numbers are going to go up in a hurry.
While the form improvements were awesome, I got a couple of things that completely changed my perspective about lifting forever.
First, and though I kinda didn't like the idea yesterday, I've begun to realize I need to calm the fuck down and focus on technique more. I obsess over this shit too much and I get too hyped for my sets. I need to focus on technique far more. Technique, technique, technique. I've got to retrain myself to be more like Coan and less like Captain Kirk. I have to credit Juli for recognizing this and helping me to get on the right track in this regard. Like I said, this is going to completely change my approach to training. The funny thing is, I actually cut way, way down on my antics at the seminar because I didn't want to look absolutely ridiculous. At my place, there would be shouting, dancing, jumping around, and all other kinds of fun stuff. I am fairly sure that taking on a more focused psychology will translate into better training results.
Secondly, Rip convinced me to enter meet. Soon. In fact, as soon as possible. I'm going to enter the next USAPL meet I can find. Rip made it painstakingly clear, and so did Steve with a few great examples, that the most important thing I can do is to start entering meets. This should completely refocus my training and take things to the next level. I am a ridiculously competitive person, perhaps to a fault, and I feel like meets will bring that side of me out even more.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, by chance, I decided not to go out to lunch. Mostly, this was because I had an entire box of Costco protein bars that I was eating the entire time, lol. Anyways, I saw a few people cleaning and snatching and whatnot. I decided it would be a good idea to work on my clean as well since it sucks. Before I go too far, I should point out that the girls were power cleaning basically the same weight that I was doing (and then jerking it). That sucked and definitely caused me to step up my effort level greatly. And then I saw Matt, who is a fucking giant of a man by the way, had the bar loaded up with 130kg. I figured he was going to do some lights squats or something. Nope. He pressed the shit for ten reps. At that point many things were internalized and I'm not sure I care to even vocalize them, but the bottom line is that I now have to look at my training completely differently. I'm banishing myself to the kitchen until I gain 50lbs. I don't think I'm going to be able to live with myself until I press 200lbs for reps.
Again, to reiterate, I HIGHLY recommend the seminar. Even if you have no interest in learning to coach other people, even if you feel like your form is already pretty good and you have a good grasp on the material, the people you will meet are super cool and have so much collective experience that you are certain to pick up on some things that will change your perspective about training.
If you are lucky enough to have a seminar coming by your area, sign up for it! Don't wait, do it now!
Finally, I'd like to thank Tom, Steve, Juli, Mike, Carrie, Matt, Stef, Rip, and all of the other awesome people that made the seminar possible. I had a great time and I would definitely do it again.
Damn, I'm like Rodney Dangerfield. Haha
Originally Posted by Tom Narvaez
Tom, if you follow through on your kitchen banishment, be sure and put a power rack and a bed in there. You'll need those also.
I knew that I would forget someone or make some kind of egregious error in that post.. Dammit, lol.
The commute from the kitchen to the rack is about 10 seconds. 30 seconds if there's traffic.
Thanks for the help with bench Ryan!
"I mean... that's your trailer payment for the month, ya know?!"
Yes, the seminar was totally awesome, not only for the lifting/coaching experience, but also for moments such as that remembered above. Anybody considering it, do it. Anybody not considering it, consider it. If you're serious about getting strong, this is one of the best investments you can make.
Thanks everyone and maybe someday see you again!
(Also, Matt is indeed one behemoth of a man. He was the first person I saw as I pulled up outside the gym and for a minute I really had to wonder what exactly I had gotten myself into. Of course in the end, it turns out he's a very kind and helpful man, just like the rest of the staff. Awesome beard as well.)
I wanted to comment about the seminar too.
My background is that I have been competing in strongman competitions for the last 8.5 years, and internationally for the last 5. I've done a 770 lbs squat in wraps and a belt, 500 lbs raw bench, 775 deadlift in just a belt, and a 375 strict overhead press. That being said, I learned an incredible amount of information from the seminar. Just because it is called starting strength does not mean that it is only for beginners. The information presented is extremely valuable and I think any lifter would benefit from it. Thanks to Rip and the staff for the great work.
I'll second everyones opinion on the the great worth of taking this seminar. Biggmatt is correct in saying that it's not just for beginners. On the other hand, I've been lifting for just three months (and it showed) and felt completely welcomed and encouraged by all the staff and by my fellow attendees. If you can attend one do so without a moments thought to how well you'll do. Just read the book and get familiar with some of the basic anatomy. Ask questions and have a great time. Thanks to all who came for helping me to become a better lifter. God knows my power clean can't get any worse.
The seminar was awesome, Rip and the staff are great, etc....
As mentioned already, no matter what your background you would certainly benefit from attending. If they come back in a year I will go again-It is that informative and valuable.
And yeah, Matt is fucking huge! I am 6'2" 265 and felt like a runt standing near him. I should have taken a picture with him to show my friends at the gym.