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Highland Games Training

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  • Highland Games Training

    Well the off season is winding down for me and its been a good one!! Have gotten strong as an ox again and it feels good. Have had a few too many injuries to heal the last few off seasons so it was fun to not have any to worry about healing and I could just work!

    Its time to start up throwing again so I headed out to Cali and worked with Ryan Vierra. What an experience for me. He showed me what I had failed to see in my own program and that was: Yeah its great to be strong as an ox but I got to be able to transfer that strength to my throws. Funny that I can do that in all of the athletes programs I design but not in my own. I have to work on my flexibility in a few key areas like rotational, hips, and shoulders. He gave me 300 drill reps per day to do without an implement in addition to my throwing and some good solid ideas on my weight training. Its nice that he suffers the same as I do when strength training in that he too loves to lift and get strong. My weights will center on squats, snatch, squats, snatch, some jump shrugs with my trap bar from Sorinex as well as shoulder presses with it too!!! Maybe a few explosive inclines and cleans for fun.....and lots of jumps added to my 300 drill reps!!

    So now the fun begins as does my road to Pleasanton and the US Invitational Championships and any other big game I can score an invite to.

  • #2
    Ed -

    What's the easiest throw for strong, but maybe stiff and maybe even slow, guys to get started with?

    A while back, Ryan was going to set up a training center - is he doing that now?


    • #3
      I'm learning that none of them are!!! I'm thinking my weight over bar and caber are the only throws that didn't suffer over the last couple seasons.

      Its been a fun learning experience as I am wanting to change sports and do more of my highland games and start a little Masters Track and Field throwing in my off season. I took for granted my ability to stay athletic no matter my training but fell into the pit of not having my training planned out. I have my training log and have been going over it seeing the "error of my ways". At 49 it seems that the explosive nature of my body has been the most effected by this. I got a Tendo Unit from Bert Sorin and have been using it to insure I am maintaining speed on the bar for the olympic lifts. The majority of my training are the olympic lifts for obvious reasons. I have always done my squats deep and heavy. We'll see how it all plays out.

      Ryan is making some awesome plans at his ranch. Wanting to turn it into a training facility for throwers, all throwers from highland games to track and field. He is passionate about the training and so knowledgable but is always reading anything he can researching to be a better coach and athlete. Just watching him coach his throwers and listening to him you know he loves what he does!!


      • #4
        Great to hear you are on a good path Ed. Yes, I can relate to losing speed. That really is my focus for the throws training right now. Getting more mobile and losing some unneeded pounds will be key to getting the speed back up. Can't wait to hit some games this year. Maybe we will cross paths again some day.



        • #5
          Cheers to ya Bill I hear you on the unwanted and unneeded pounds!!! I've dropped 25 and still have a few more to go. I hope to be on the same field as you sooner than later it has been a while for sure. Last time was 05 MWC where I tore my achilles. My goal is to be good enough to get invited to Loon Mtn!!! Was talking to Ryan and if you need any shaggers for the Pro World's let me know...then if anyone can't play on the Masters side I'm there!!!

          I've talked to several athletes around my age and found the same thing in regards to explosive power diminishing unless you keep working at it. So I'm snatching more often than I'm cleaning and that works well for me with my shoulder and wrist injuries. Its funny that I have absoutly no problems with the snatch and over head squats but doing cleans makes me hurt for several days as I cannot rack the bar very well. Any suggestions?? I still hit some decent weight in the behind the neck push press and am going to build stands to drop on instead of my traps!!! I've done these since I was a kid and have hit +400 on them many times.


          • #6
            Hi Ed,
            I feel better with some weight off, how about you? As for the cleans hurting your wrists, maybe sticking to speed cleans with not as much weight and focus on high pulls. Mike Z has that problem so I showed him how I put a piece of 3 foot 3/4 inch pvc pipe in the hole of my power rack that corresponds to the height of your clavicles. Do high pulls outside the rack and touch the pvc (which is flexible) each time. You don't get the proprioceptive training as you do when catching a power clean but you still get the same explosive pull that is high enough to let you know you could have racked the weight.
            Keep training hard Ed.



            • #7

              Can you shoot me an email please.

              [email protected]


              • #8
                Hey Bill I feel great with the weight off and really want more off!!! I looked over my training logs going back a ways and found I was much stronger and explosive at 265-70 than I am at +300. I also had less injuries too. I was about this weight for a while but the last being in 02 so its not like I was a younger man then...I was already 40. Guess its a great thing to have those training logs as I do.... some all the way back to when I was about 14 and too many lost over the years. Fun and intresting reading.
                I use the pvc stick as a gauge but not that high. The clean grip tears up my shoulders sometimes so I prefer to stick to the snatch grip or a grip in between them. Why so high of a pull? I do love the sound of the benifit of the catch phase!!!! I preach it all of the time to anyone that will listen. Its weird that I can catch the power snatch, over head squat and do a full squat snatch but the clean no matter where I catch it kills me. The lower the catch the more it hurts I do however enjoy the split cleans still....I'm old enough to know them all to well.

                I am training hard that's for **** sure and loving the way I feel....its gonna be a good year!! Drop me an email if you can please...I have some questions for you. [email protected]


                • #9
                  Hi Ed. Well if you can catch snatches more power to you! As for catching the weight I agree 100% that there is benefit in catching the weight.

                  I will send you and e-mail soon. Bill


                  • #10
                    My highland workout

                    Mon. wake up at the crack of noon, drink a half gallon of some calve raises while mowing the lawn later that day.

                    Tues off

                    weds. go to Ryan''s gym , heckle him for 20 minutes, then do some cleans, pushpress,squats, incline press.

                    Thurs. off

                    Fri. overeat and sleep most of the day.

                    sat ...take last place in the aggregate...but come in on the weight for height after everyone is out ( no spin either ), and turn both cabers.

                    this worked for many years, ...hehe


                    • #11
                      Weight loss and competing

                      I too have dropped a tremendous amount of weight in the past year. Went from 278 to 222. I feel great, but I don't know if I have the weight behind me right now to throw very well. I am a B level thrower, but I still give up about 60 pounds to most of the other competitors. I am just getting back to power movements, and I hope to restart my throwing program so I wonder how the weight loss will affect my techniques and distances. Hopefully I can get quicker...
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