What makes a great soccer player is his/her ability to not only see the field and make conscious decisions; rather, the ability to use ANY part of the scoring region to fire off a hard, accurate shot. Single leg dominance is a huge limiting factor in shooting (or even crossing). The drill is literally one I’ve used to create a better plant step in my right foot and open my hips better when kicking with my left. What I’ve noticed is creating that stability in the non-dominant side has made my left become a much better leg and almost as good as my dominant right foot. Give this a shot in your drills/warm-ups.
Point, Blank. Period.
I knowâ€¦I knowâ€¦youâ€™re probably wondering, â€œwho the hell does this new kid on the block think he is telling me I do not NEED to squat, bench, and deadlift?â€
Wellâ€¦you donâ€™tâ€¦orthodox that is.
Â Let me explain:
I was on the phone with my broham, JuiCy Deen, as we spoke about his bodybuilding program I put him on for 12 weeks. The one great thing about two meathead fitness professionals with a brain and a desire to change the way conventional thinking is done for bodybuilding is we train hard, we train aggressively, and we train SMART.
When we discussed his needs, limitations, and wants, he made it quite clear when he said something along the lines of, â€œDO NOT GIVE ME STRAIGHT BAR PRESSES!â€ Lol, ok, not that aggressive but yes, he was very adamant about it as it caused some issues during some lifts. Fine, dumb bells it is. Well, with poor or lack-luster mobility, deadlifting is probably the last exercise you will want to execute, as it requires incredible ankle and hip mobility. Last but not least, squats(as you know them)â€¦again? Necessary? No.
AESTHETICS IS WHAT WE ARE CHASING!
Nothing irritates me more than someone who says to me, â€œoh, you know, gonna do a little chestâ€¦a little backâ€¦.some legs.â€ WHAT THE F*** MAN!? If you want to grow and look better, you need to train the muscles! SETS ON SETS ON SETS! Now, Im not talking about overtraining BUT when we train for bodybuilding, itâ€™s more about volume, time-under-tension, and exercise selection more so than load is concerned (As I can come up with a general exercise list for all muscles, that would be out of the scope of this article. I will be focusing on the â€œBig 3â€ replacements).
People feel the ONLY way to get big legs is to throw a bar on your back and squatâ€¦well, I was one of those people until I felt I had a hernia (which luckily is wasnâ€™t) but I backed off squats for a few months. I said, â€œscrew it, Iâ€™ll do some other leg workâ€ so I went with more lunges, more step-ups, and more split squats with the occasional leg extension machine. The end result, MUCH bigger legs and in fact, better hip mobility. What happened next? When I decided to hit the squat bar, PRâ€™d about a few weeks after my hernia scare. There are TONS of ways to directly load the quads without the bar on the back. I might sound like Mike Boyle but hey, Iâ€™d rather listen and sound like him then sound like an asshole who still canâ€™t lift.
Try: Bulgarian Split Squats, TRX Pistol Squats, Single-Leg Leg Press (my personal favorite), lunges (variations), step-ups (variations)
In a society where our posture is pure garbage and shoulders lean in further than a junky on a sidewalk, we still want to bench. I donâ€™t understand. How about trying the many push-up variations from bands, to chains, to suspension trainers? Let the scapulae live! The bench is purely an ego lift. It really is. Side note: not for nothing, BOUNCING heavy ass weight [or what you would consider heavy] is only the precursor to broken ribs. If you canâ€™t control it, you shouldnâ€™t do it!) Anyway, the reason why I find the bench overrated is #1, from a common sense point, itâ€™s a closed-chain exercise. With aesthetics, we are shooting for symmetry, right? Well, this might be new to some of you but you have a dominant and non-dominant side. When two hands are connected to the bar, one side is bound to fire off harder to compensate for the weaker side causing what? Unbalanced sides. Dumbbells are the only smart choice for presses as you are only as strong as your weakest link. Let the weaker side play catch-up. On top of that, using a straight bar is a little more problematic than dumbbells when it comes to shoulder health. If you love lifting, itâ€™s time to put your ego to the side and make smarter choices, not ego choices.
Try: Flyes(variations), push-ups (variations), and if benching is a MUST use dumbbells.
AND NOW, THE KING OF KINGS!!! THE ULTIMATE TEST OF STRENGTH AND POWER!! THE DEADLIFT!
This I might take flack for but hey, the court of public opinion can be harsh and I accept it. Opinions are like assholes and everyone has â€˜emâ€¦and some smell worse than others. I think itâ€™s safe to say A LOT plays into the deadlift. Hip mobility, ankle mobility, strong core, proper hinge movement, maintaining a neutral spine, yadda yadda. With all things considered, wouldnâ€™t you just want to spark muscle hypertrophy in a safer manner? Now, I will say this, I DO deadlift BUT not for aesthetics. Itâ€™s a great lift of strength. Aesthetically, you can train the glutes and hams far more in depth by targeting them accordingly. Itâ€™s why when JC switched from trap bar deads to Romanian deads, I allowed it in the program.Â Why? Hypertrophy is the name of the game and loading the hams and glutes directly is what we want to do. Now, before you throw Molotov cocktails at me, if youâ€™re training for power and STRENGTH as it IS different than training for hypertrophy, then deadlift until the cows come home. What this is meant to offer is alternatives for those who want and/or NEED something more than deadlifts.
Try: Romanian Deadlifts (RDL), Sumo Deadlifts (variations), Cable SL RDL, Glute-Ham Raises, Barbell bridges, barbell hip thrusts
Now, the big 3 are just that. BIG EFFING LIFTS. That said, power lifters and people training PURELY for strength would without a doubt NEED these exercises (especially for competition). For your average Joe and Jane, are they necessary? No.
Remember, there is a difference between a NEED and a WANT.
1) â€œMan, I worked so hard to get this position! Does the boss know I tried so hard? Why couldnâ€™t he see my efforts?â€
2) â€œUgh, Iâ€™m sick of this! I go to the gym, I work out. I eat healthy. Why can I not lose weight?â€
3) â€œMy business is struggling. I have no help. I swear, this location just sucks. No one knows Iâ€™m here.â€
We hear things like this all the time. The kinds of remarks that make you feel bad for that person but at the same time, you have to ask that person, â€œwho do you hold accountable for your actions? Do you blame yourself? Everyone else?
The fact of the matter is, is you have to look at your remarks objectively and truly ask yourself:
1)Â Â Did I present everything I knew to the boss with clarity? Was I concise? Did my previous work hold enough weight to keep me in the running? Were you not as prepared as you would have liked to have been?
2)Â Â How consistent was I at making time to go to the gym? Have I been following the program from your trainer? Am I REALLY eating the way I should be?
3)Â Â Am I advertising properly? Does my business look immaculate? Does my business provide excellent customer service?
â€¦WHAT CAN I DO TO GET BETTER?
Learning how to see the problems you have is the first step to get the results you want. You need to be honest with YOURSELF more so than anything or anyone else.
Take Action Towards Success
What makes a successful person? For starters, you are going to fail. Period. Without failure, there is no success. Thatâ€™s life. I have to quote Rocky when he said this to his son,
â€œâ€¦it ainâ€™t about how hard you can hit; itâ€™s about how hard you can GET hit and keep moving forward. About how much you can take and keep moving forward. Thatâ€™s how winning doneâ€¦â€
Learning how to rebound from failure is the road that leads to success.
Success isnâ€™t about the cars, the designer clothes, the multi-million dollar home, success is about being at peace with yourself, your life, your relationships, and having positive energy in all facets of life.
How does one create success? Well, there isnâ€™t a perfect formula but what I can give is some helpful tips that can help lead you to that road:
#1: Write Down Obtainable Goals Each Week.
I learned this one from my friend and coach Frank Pucher. If you know what needs to get done or what can be done to mark a week â€œsuccessfulâ€, write it down and when you feel you have â€œnothing to doâ€, refer back to your list. There is ALWAYS something to be done. â€œView it and Do it!â€
#2: Fix You Weakest Link
This closely ties in to #1. Frank tells me, â€œLou, you are only as strong as your weakest link.â€ What is the hardest aspect of your life that is hindering whatever goal you have? Come up with a couple different solutions. â€œTACKLE IT!â€
#3: Blame Yourself
Really. I learned this especially moving out of my parents house and living on my own. As an adult, you can work all you want, play all you want, virtually do ANYTHING you want. The choices YOU make will ALWAYS have consequences both good and bad. The only person you can blame at the end of the day is yourself. No one else.
Make It Happen
My clients KNOW this is my phrase. I say this to them so often that it now gets repeated back to me before I can say it. Itâ€™s the truth. We can lollygag, procrastinate, half-ass our work, but the truth of the matter is, do not expect results from the work you did not do. When you (in the case of the 3 examples):
1)Â Â Take constructive criticism. Ask the bosses objective opinion so if the opportunity comes you are ready.
2)Â Â Plan your week ahead and making the gym a priority as you would any other important appointment. Do the work your trainer gives you. Take your nutrition seriously.
3)Â Â Educate staff on customer service. Knowing your customers and advertising to them.
You will likely do one thing:
1)Â Â SUCCEED
Louie Guarino is a trainer out in the mean streets of Hoboken, NJ. Besides being incredibly handsome and charming, he has a passion to make the non-believers in to believers that they too, can achieve all goals in life, if they just make it happen.
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