Monday, April 12, 2010

Grip & Rip 2.0 - Essential Tools For Training Awareness

Mindless Training

Have you ever driven somewhere and, after arriving, have no recollection whatsoever of the trip there? You look at the map and assume you must have taken a particular route, but you remember next to nothing about the weather, the traffic, your car, your physical state, the music on the radio, the landmarks, or pedestrians. Training is often like this. We train without any real awareness and yet we attain the goals we set out to achieve. Later, when we try to duplicate our success, we have less than stellar results, because the only thing we have to guide us is a list of exercises, sets, reps, and percentages that, without a rich context, are simply abstract, historical facts that we cannot use to inform our present training in any meaningful way.

We all know that the variables of volume, intensity, density, technique/movement quality, exercise selection and order are things that vary and may be adjusted according to need and goal. But, how? Add the stress of living to the mix and, without a competent guide, most average trainees get hopelessly lost. So, seeing no options, they choose a "cookie-cutter" approach, template, or system and then they train and hope. ...and when that doesn't work, they search for something new. The "endless seekers" are many.

The fact is, that although old training logs and experience can be invaluable, they will only be helpful if meaningful, and even then, if your present condition is unlike it was on a previous journey, then you will have to strike a new path. Mindless slaving away in a general direction might get you there, given enough natural talent, or if the journey is a simple one, but trickier turns and switchbacks and heretofore uncharted territories will require a greater sensitivity to conditions, both external and internal.

Mindful Training

If you are looking for help on your training journey, then I would like to introduce to you the new DVD produced by Adam "Unbreakable" Glass, and Brad "Nitro" Nelson: "Grip and Rip 2.0".  "GNR 2.0" features three hours of footage shot at a February workshop. It is an amazing collection of strength and conditioning programming knowledge, for coaches, athletes, trainers, and trainees alike.

(Not) "sweating Jack Daniels"

Content of the 2-DVD set covers the deadlift, pressing, grip work, diet and fat loss, and programming with the Gym Movement (TM) protocol. The mastery Adam and Brad demonstrate and their illustrative and varied examples make the material as entertaining as it is informative. Adam does not mince words, so if you are easily offended by rough language or are insecure with your own chosen training path, then some segments will be difficult for you... but you should heed what they have to say.

"Listen to your body" is a hackneyed expression, but beyond a checklist of overtraining symptoms, NO ONE gives a step-by-step approach to how to actually do it. Usually, the only time we truly listen is when we are sick and/or in pain. In our training, we are focused. But focus, though necessary, is not sufficient. Good athletes have focus, yes. But, great athletes have awareness; awareness of self and context. The tools that Adam and Brad present are tools for greater awareness.

"Biofeedback" is not new but, to my knowledge, few training approaches use it for programming. The approach given is simple and easy to implement. Although I have some questions as to the validity of certain tests in specific circumstances, I have no doubts of the genius of the material given. The intelligent use of biofeedback will reverse engineer what great athletes already know intuitively - when to push and when to back off, and when to hit the showers early so that they can come back and kick some ass tomorrow.

With this DVD, Adam and Brad have truly propelled themselves into a very special category of teacher. They have moved from simple consumer-merchant of the strength and conditioning world to artisans creating new content for the rest of us to ponder and enjoy and use for ourselves and our clientele. Copies of this DVD were limited in the first release, but I anticipate more to be available soon as final editing is completed. Check back here and at Adam's website for updates.

"I don't cycle the way I walk to the car. ...I walk, and I get there." - Adam T. Glass

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