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    Garage Strength — shot put

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    Bulking for Throwers

    Bulking for Throwers
    Throwers are heavyweight athletes, that’s just a fact. Most of us have always been the big kids in our class, and we were lucky enough to find a sport that uses our size as an advantage. Since we all know that mass moves mass, if we can increase our mass, we should be able to throw farther, right? Well, as you may have guessed there are some considerations to be made when thinking of putting on weight.

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    IAAF World Championships London 2017

    IAAF World Championships London 2017

    I arrived in London on the evening of Wednesday, August 2nd.  As soon as I got into the city, I was driven by the IAAF group to my hotel where I met with Alex Rose and Jeremy Dodson, Somoan athletes, Alex being my discus thrower.  Alex decided he wanted to throw that Thursday, one day before his competition, while my shot putter Tim Nedow decided to throw at the same time as Alex because he wanted a day off before his competition on Saturday.  My third athlete, Nik Arrhenius had decided to take Thursday off as a rest day and a chance to the see the Olympic stadium.  I was quickly reminded that I was there to coach, NOT to sit in awe of all the popular throwers with whom I study their technical work in the circle.  

    The training session went very well.  Alex was throwing with Martin Kupper and Whitney Ashley, while Tim had the circle to himself.  Alex took two non-reverses, followed by four full throws.  The cues to move his weight around the left and to finish forward seemed to put him in a great position.  On his third and fourth fulls, he smashed them over 64 meters and we decided he was in perfect shape to cut the session and mentally prepare for the next day’s qualifying.  

    Tim took three stands, 5 half turns and then 10 full throws.  He had a big stand well over 17 meters, a few halves over 18.50 while his best full throws were peppering around 20.30, consistently over 20 meters with every throw.  We focused on getting his right down with an upright posture, his left leg rotating to the corner and then staying grounded as long as he was comfortable on the finish.  He was in excellent qualifying shape and we figured he would need 20.10-20.30 to qualify (boy were we wrong).  

    They stretched out, took some Earth Fed Muscle and then headed back to the hotel for some dinner and excellent cheesecake! At the hotel we saw Tom Walsh, some of the best Kenyan runners and one of the French discus throwers.  It was at this point I realized I was starting to view these individuals as competitors, not as the great athletes they are.  

    Part 2 of this series will include analysis of the qualifying competitions!

    Are you an athlete or coach looking for top quality training advice. Check out the Garage Strength Elite Seminar August 17-18, 2017.

    Check out the Power Festival Page, and sign up for the Shot in the Dark meet!

    Dane's Favorite Shoulder Saving Movement

    Dane's Favorite Shoulder Saving Movement

    Shoulder Strength and Mobility for Injury Prevention

    I train a lot of Olympic weightlifters, shot putters/discus throwers, wrestlers and swimmers.  All of these sports HAMMER the shoulders.  We do a significant amount of pressing, a large amount of pulling and of course a plethora of overhead work.  This leads to some serious stress on the upper back and shoulder girdle.  What is my favorite movement to “prehab” this area?

    The external rotation!  Lately, I have been seeing a ton of weird machine exercises to target external rotation and to help with shoulder health.  This leaves me completely befuddled.  The seated DB external rotation is easy, cheap and very, very effective.  It is also easy to vary the movement by slowing down the eccentric and altering the rep range.  Contrary to most recommendations, I prefer to keep the rep range a bit lower.  I have found much of the shoulder girdle responds well to higher threshold training, basically using the range of 5-8 reps.  In the video below, you can see me demonstrating a seated external rotation at 2:38.  Use them for 4-6 weeks and your shoulders will be ecstatic!