What Your Training Should Be ...
The first step in developing the very basis of my approach was first making some conscious decisions on what our needs of training should be. I have stayed true to these ideas to this day and as I meet to address new athletes/teams I first discuss with them the very general goals of Renegade Training.
While each team will have specific needs, from a generalized perspective the first series of goals are as such:
- Perform in the field of competition at an alarmingly faster and more explosive pace than preconceived to be possible.
- Dictate the ebb and flow of competition and influence victory.
- Demoralize your opponent with a ruthless and unrelenting onslaught such that they not fail in today's competition but dread you on
- The schedule each year after.
- Influence and change the course of attack.
- Place your opponent in a disadvantageous situation where they are not accustomed to the pace and flow of your attack.
- Become acclimated to the fog of (war) competition where others fail.
- Commit yourself to having no limitations of how great you can be.
Print These Goals, CLICK HERE!
Now this final point of commitment might seem a little peculiar but many athletes inwardly tell themselves to ease back-greatness isn't on their horizon so they basically lose before ever setting foot on the field of competition. Although they look towards the doorway of opportunity and some politely knock on it, they eventually back down. Not my Renegades! They kick the damn thing down. Great athletes commit to absolute success without concern of failure and are focused intently.
It is difficult to really say what is the most common flaw in most training programs that I see. I tend to think what is typically lacking is range of motion, whether it be static or dynamic. But one concern that is common to both developing athletes or just your average exercise enthusiast that I would like to address is overall leg strength. Okay, I guess I didn't really stress that enough but unfortunately many people let their legs lag well behind the rest of their body's development and never really comprehend that if you can't move in a fluid and supple manner then there is little point to it alll.
Of course as we have all heard the king of all leg exercises is the "Squat" and thus consequently the cornerstone of all development. Yet typically that exercise has been approached with a less than voracious approach and often many people find a way around doing the lift and replace it with some sort of machine. Don't shy away from the squat; instead embrace it and make it a focal point.
In fact within many of the Renegade Training programs some manner of Squat, be it the Olympic, Box, Hack, Zercher, Front or Overhead is done thrice weekly. Now I recognize that many will consider this as far too intense, but they have wrongfully assumed that I am suggesting going to failure in these movements. In fact the use of modest to medium training loads in a very precise set/rep pattern can have a dramatic impact when employing this frequency of training. We are going to look into those protocols shortly but first we need to brush up on the techniques of these various styles.
Over The Years ...
As we look into these lifts we can quickly see that unfortunately the use of the Overhead Squat has all but disappeared for years, with the exception of those involved in Olympic Weightlifting exercises. And while all the aforementioned Squatting styles offer tremendous advantages it is hard to imagine one that is as taxing on the total body as the Overhead -hey this is no Leg Press station, where you sit-down to train your legs.
First time users to this method often find they are unable to complete the movement due of a lack of hip or shoulder flexibility not to mention balance and strength. So before we look at implementing a three-day-a-week Squat program let's look at this lift.
As I noted the Overhead Squat has been virtually eliminated from most training programs and relegated to O-lifting circles. And while I am a fan of and appreciate the brilliant blend of speed and power in Olympic lifting, there is no reason that the average individual cannot add this lift to his training in a safe and controlled manner. In fact I may make the argument that it might be the perfect approach to Squatting for those not married to using heavy weights. Once you begin using the Overhead Squat you will quickly see its incredible impact on range of motion of the hips and shoulders, teaching the body to work as a single harmonious unit and the demands on not only leg strength but also the entire core.
Tips To Perfect The Overhead Squat:
Let's get to this lift ... maintain concentration at all times. Start light, either with an unloaded bar, PVC pipe or wooden dowel. Use a wide grip as with the classic Snatch/Power Snatch (equidistance elbow to elbow with arms parallel to ground). Hold the bar such that from the profile it seems slightly behind your head and a virtual straight line down to your heels. This is where your shoulder flexibility will be challenged so if you have problems, be patient and it will come in time.
With a tight abdominal core begin your descent pushing buttocks back until you are rock-bottom depth, sitting back on your haunches and begin your ascent back up. Yeah, seems easy right? Now go ahead do it and you will push your development forward immensely.
As we look at each of these goals we can begin to understand that the overriding theme is that a Renegade is prepared to excel in competition not merely in testing day events. For this to occur we must follow a very distinct plan of attack of training and conditioning in what I call the pathway to greatness. This pathway is not an easy one; it has many challenges and is unquestionably a mountainous terrain. But with perseverance and commitment you will get there and stand on top.
And so if there is a message in this month's column it is that there is a pathway to greatness. Ask more of yourself. "Live The Code!"
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5 - Best
This book is 225 pages in paperback form, but can also be purchased as an e-Book that is only 5 Mb to download. In Renegade Training for Football, Coach Davies presents you with his full program for gridiron mastery.