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The 2017 Arnold Sports Festival weekend has come and gone. Unfortunately, I did not attend the event this year. I have been very active over the previous 15 years at the Arnold as a competitor, judge, speaker and running the Grip Gauntlet with my brothers. It sounds like I really missed out on some great lifting at the USAPL venue. The weights that are being squatted these days are unbelievable. The greatest squats I ever saw as a competitor were in 2010 at the IPF Worlds in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Poland lifter, Daniel Grabowski, and Russian lifter Oleg Gagin both squatted 981 lbs. Needless to say, I was crushed that year in the squat, but I did manage to pull myself into the Bronze Medal with an 881 lb. deadlift. This year at the Arnold, Ray Williams squatted 1052 lbs. raw and Blaine Sumner squatted 1113 lbs. in gear. These kind of squats were unheard of until the past couple of years. Next year I am going to make it a point to get back to Columbus. Too young to stay home and miss all of the action!
I have been working with the Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) Volleyball Team this winter. I am helping them incorporate the two day/week training program that I have used with other speed/jumping sport athletes. They are a very successful program and finished ranked number 2 in the National Division 2 rankings last year. They are an extremely athletic group. It did not take very long to teach all of them the various components of the workout. The training program is designed to help increase vertical jump and overall strength. Both days are started with a warm up/mobility circuit that includes Spiderman’s, Bulgarian split squats, speed ladder, box jumps, overhead squats and kettle bell swings. The main lifts include squat cleans, front squats, box squats, deadlifts, and bench press. Additional assistance exercises are added at the end of the workout. So far, things are going well, and you can already see some changes in strength and explosiveness.
I have been training hard and trying to get back some good base strength for some future competitions. The bench press training is going well, and I am gaining strength in the squat. The heavy kettle bell swing experiment is continuing. We will be ordering some heavier ones soon! The annual Jackals Gym Grip Contest is in the near future. I have been training the grip at the gym, and have a set of GHP Grippers at home that I have been working regularly. This is always a fun event and we have a number of past members travel quite a few miles every year to participate in the contest and a barbeque that follows the event.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB along with BetaTOR and BetaATP products, available at your local GNC Store, to supplement your strength, energy and recovery needs. These products are essential for any athlete that wants to train harder and recover faster!
Brad Gillingham, CSCS