[Q&A] Jaden Washington: Cal Strength Junior Member or Captain America?

[Q&A] Jaden Washington: Cal Strength Junior Member or Captain America?

If Cal Strength were the Avengers, Jaden Washington would be Captain America. He’s polite, well-mannered, works hard, and always does the right thing. Jaden is representing Team USA at the IWF Junior World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan this week and I thought it would be fitting to do a little Q&A with him.

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Hand Care 101

Hand Care 101

We’ve all been there. Some days our hands are just raw from training. After training 4 to 6 days a week for 5 years on top of a full time job where I’m constantly washing my hands, I’ve managed to take pretty good care of my hands so that I have minimal tears or discomfort when I’m lifting. Here are a couple tips that have helped me along the way.

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A Super Food Shake to Decrease Inflammation, Boost Immunity and Aid Digestion

A Super Food Shake to Decrease Inflammation, Boost Immunity and Aid Digestion

Sometimes, you just need to feel healthy and drink something green. I started this healthy shake to help me feel more energized and hydrated throughout the day with hopes of consuming a few more nutrients and vitamins as well. After doing more research, I’ve found that the ingredients can help combat inflammation, boost my immune system, and help with digestion!

Full Recipe Included

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Setting Goals For Your Next Weightlifting Competition

Setting Goals For Your Next Weightlifting Competition

I had recently spoke with a couple of new Olympic weightlifters and I had come to realize that after competing in one or two meets, they had no idea what their goals should have been prior to going into the competition! Goal setting is a critical part of competing and should never ever be overlooked.

Here are 5 examples of important milestone 'goals' to help you in setting goals before your next weightlifting competition.

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Mobility For Athletes: Calves and Ankles

Mobility For Athletes: Calves and Ankles

The calves and ankles are an often overlooked area when warming up for your training session. They are neglected and traded for the popular hamstrings and hips, but this is a critical mistake that can hold back your athletic performance. Mobile and flexible feet, calves and ankles serve as the base for bottom position stability in your Clean, Snatch and Squat.

Demonstration Video Included!

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The Squat Jerk: What does it take?

The Squat Jerk: What does it take?

Leg strength, leg strength, leg strength... and great shoulder mobility and terrific overall stability.  These three things are required for anyone who looks to compete in Olympic weightlifting using the Squat Jerk technique. What the Squat Jerk may remove in technical complexity (compared to the more common Split Jerk), it more than makes up for in brute strength and physical requirements.

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Preparing for the Open with Rachael Stull

Preparing for the Open with Rachael Stull

During my preparation for the 2016 Open, we needed to increase strength while maintaining my metabolic capacity, and the solution was adding The Barbell WOD programming to my training arsenal. The Barbell WOD provided a spotlight focus on my Olympic weightlifting while still allowing me to recover enough to complete my daily Metcons.  The strength that I gained as a result of the programming has had a huge impact on increasing my 1RM's in the Olympic lifts and building CrossFit-specific strength in barbell cycling.

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Building the Barbell WOD Program

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Knowledge: Scientific and Practical

While our programs are grounded in good science, we also rely heavily on our own evidence based reality.  This is a reality that has been forged from working with athletes across a breadth of various sports with a wide range of training ages and abilities. We take a scientific approach and blend it with this practical knowledge to form the fabric of the Barbell WOD.  While the basis of our program may on the surface look Soviet, there are some very noteworthy departures.  

Click here to join the Barbell WOD Program on TrainHeroic

We use Block Periodization models leveraged from some of the most well known coaches and researchers such as Verkhoshansky, Roman, Medvedyev and Bondarchuk.  We then combine the traditional block methodology with a Percentage + Progressive Overload (PPO) strategy developed here at California Strength.  Using the PPO strategy to drive intensity and training consistency is especially useful when combined with implementing a large range of exercise selection.  

Over the years we have found that allowing our athletes to achieve continuous success (small and consistent PR’s) in a variety of exercises yields long term interest and helps to drive motivation.  Achieving success during training is imperative to the long-term success of our athletes and with the wide range of exercise selection used in our programming, these PR attempts come often with the implementation of non-competition exercises ranging from hitting a double in the Low Hang Snatch to a 5 Rep Max Back Squat.  Having a wide variation of complementary exercises allows us to consistently operate at the edges of one's ability.  This high degree of varied exercise selection combined with the PPO strategy helps drive skill acquisition while guarding against overuse injuries and neural fatigue.   

Applying this method to the Barbell WOD has shown to not only provide a structured approach for those who may find themselves jumping from program to program in the past, but also the blend of exercise selection and Percentage + Progressive Overload challenges its members while avoiding an inevitable burnout or plateau that comes as a result of unstructured programs.

Anchor Dates and Feedback

Taking into account the principles above, we begin to build the Barbell WOD program by structuring our annual goals and Anchor Dates.  The goals of the Barbell WOD have always been to improve technique and movement through building strength based on structural balance ratios.  Anchor Dates like the CF Open provide the timeline used to structure each Mesocycle in order to be ready when it counts in competition.  

Athlete Feedback is a useful tool for all coaches but tracking this feedback and then applying it to your program can be a challenge. We are able to use the analytics and tracking features in the TrainHeroic App to gather data from the entire Barbell WOD community. Decisions made from this data allows us to combine input from past experiences, past athletes, and past successes and failures to use as cornerstones for improving the Barbell WOD programming with every cycle.  As people continue to join the Barbell WOD, our Feedback data expands and we are able to zero in on exactly what our athletes need in their programming.

A quick look at Dave’s book shelf inside California Strength..

  • Supertraining by Yuri Verkhoshansky and Mel Siff

  • Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance by Inigo Mujika

  • The Snatch, The Clean And Jerk by R.A. Roman and M.S. Shakirzyanov

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE BARBELL WOD PROGRAM