I personally enjoy this type of training pushing heavy weights, moving explosively and getting the heart rate up whilst still trying to maintain good form.
Read on for this week’s news…
Oxygen Health & Fitness
A staple exercise in most Spartan programs has been the Trap Bar Deadlift. The Trap Bar configuration allows you to step “inside” the barbell rather than behind it, changing the lever length when lifting and significantly reducing the amount of sheer force on the spine.
For the majority of the population, getting into a good deadlift position with a straight bar is can be a challenge often requiring a lot of patience and mobility work. This is especially true among the desk-jockey type guys who spend eight hours a day practicing lumbar flexion and posterior pelvic tilt.
However, in trying to achieve maximum back extensor and hamstring recruitment, then the straight bar is a better option. The hamstring’s primary role is to bend the knee and extend the hip when you’re bent forward. While this does occur during a trap bar deadlift, it’s to a lesser degree than during the straight bar version, which keeps most of the load on the hip joint, rather than the knee and ankles.
Known as the posterior chain, it’s is the most influential muscle group in the body. The glutes, hamstrings, and lower back tremendously affect your athletic prowess – they’re the prime movers of forward propulsion. So in the interests of power and athleticism, it’s on to the straight bar deadlifts in this program.
Tighten the lats before takeoff. Retract the shoulder blades down and back not just back. When some people pull the shoulder blades back they inadvertently use their upper traps to pull creating tension in the shoulders/neck. We do want to create tension but we want it behind the armpits in the lats.
I’m so stoked for Richard who has battled injury and time off training for around 18 months in the lead up to starting Spartan this year. He was often injured/in pain and despite seeing chiros/physios etc his lifelong dream of completing a marathon seemed doomed. However he has now completed two this year and we can’t keep him still. Awesome Rich!
To put Jamie’s time in perspective, go out and run just 1km and do it under 4 and a 1/2 minutes. It won’t be the fastest that’s ever been run but you will have to work for it, depending on your ability. Now do that at the same pace for 41 more kilometres and it will make you realise just what a great effort his time of 3 hours 11 minutes is. You’d think the big guy would be taking a well earnt rest but I got the above text from him this morning saying he can’t wait to get back into Spartan training!
Strength transformation of this week goes to Geoff McIntyre. Geoff has always been a cardio guy, he can run like the wind and he enjoys it. For a long time though he also wanted to work on his strength, particularly upper body. Over the past few months he has made some great upper body progress with Chin Ups by moving his way through the Purple band and Incline Presses have jumped 10kg in a matter of 2 programs. The legs have developed along the way also with a Deadlift of 140kg on the Trap Bar. Not a bad effort especially considering tall guys aren’t exactly bui8lt for deadlifts!