SAME WEEK DIFFERENT GOAL PART I [training video included]

The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.

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THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: SAME WEEK DIFFERENT GOAL PART I


Coaching Log:
This week we begin a multi-part series on training through injury. In the sport of competitive powerlifting, there is a 110% chance you will be injured, and the closer you are to an elite total, typically the greater the seriousness of the injury.


There is a parallel between the tools that get a lifter to that point of elite status and those same tools, things like drive, ambition, determination and the like, that when undisciplined, can drive that same lifter into injury and out of the sport for good. I just completed a full article on this which will be posted on the EliteFTS web page and FB page soon.

But for the purpose of this multi-part series, SAME WEEK DIFFERENT GOAL, we look at WPC World Powerlifting Champion Steve Brock’s training as he maintains balance between two worlds, the world of rehabilitation and the world of competition prep. Rehabilitation as in post shoulder/bicep surgery and competition prep as he continues to work to maintain his strength and power in the lifts not impacted by this surgery. Here is a little background (in red) if you missed our introductory coaching log that launched us into this multi-part series. If you read last week’s log, then blow past the red font and onto the rest of the log below (in black font).

A little background about Steve. Steve is a pupil of the legendary Ernie Frantz and cut his teeth training at Frantz Health Studio/Frantz Gym in the early 1990’s. As a member of the Frantz Power Team, Steve qualified for then flew to Pescara, Italy to compete in the 1990, WPC Worlds, and as a nineteen year old, successfully represented his country, team and gym by ultimately winning his division. Now closer to 50 than 40 years of age, Steve is still a significant force in the powerlifting community as he still routinely squats a grand and presses in the mid 700’s, recently totalling 2,401 LBS. In my opinion, Steve falls into that ever dwindling category I like to call, “They just don’t make ‘em like they used too.” I say that as Steve has a workhorse mentality and any filming of his lifts are for the sake of technique assessment rather than the self-absorbed world of sociallookatmedia, which I've grown to abhor. For all that it can be for advertising and teaching, the ‘pay attention to me’ aspect of it is ever disappointing, but I digress….

Steve was having significant shoulder pain and shoulder mobility issues. Not your typical, “I can work through this” pain and mobility issues, but some issues that needed to be addressed medically. Steve had critically assessed this situation, then took the time to consult experts in the field. Ultimately, although Steve had been and could continue to push through the pain and deal somewhat with the mobility issues, this metal on metal approach would shorten his powerlifting career and as a master aged lifter, you want every year and even month you can get ‘under the bar.’ So after critically assessing the issues, after educating himself with regard to all of the possible scenarios, Steve acted on his assessment and had surgery to correct this issue. Having this surgery meant Steve would have to hit the pause button for a bit with his training, but ultimately, he would significantly extend the time until his powerlifting expiration date by taking the time to heal now.

This takes us to the here and now. Steve in now a couple of weeks post-ob and during the same given week he has three distinctly different goals. Goal 1: Do not do anything stupid! Do not rush and permanently mess up the outstanding surgical work that has been done to the shoulder and bicep tendon. Follow the natural time frame for biological healing to occur not the time frame you want established.  Work the rehab protocol as it was designed in consultation with the surgeon and rehab team. Goal 2: DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID! Do not rush and permanently mess up the outstanding surgical work that has been done to the shoulder and bicep tendon. Follow the natural time frame for biological healing to occur not the time frame you want established. Work the rehab protocol as it was designed in consultation with the surgeon and rehab team. Goal 3: Work around the injury in such a manner as to keep the strength and power with regard to the squat, which to a degree will play toward maintaining power and strength with regard to the deadlift.

So in a way, Steve is two lifters during the same week. Lifter one is the lifter focused on healing, and proper rehab, paying attention to the detailed plan so he can redevelop his range of motion and heal properly and completely so he can once fully healed train the way he did that got him that 2,401LB total in the first place. Lifter two is the lifter that helps lifter one stay sane. Getting to push massive weights while lifting around the injury not only works toward the goal of maintaining his 1,000LB squat strength, but allows Steve the outlet for his frustrations that come with having to hold back.

The accompanying video is a demonstration of the same week with two drastically different goals, and two versions of the same lifter.

If you are in the midst of recovery from surgery or injury, heed the path of, in this case, Big Steve because you don’t get to be this long in the tooth (closer to 50 than 40 years of age) and still squat a grand and press in the mid-700’s without knowing a thing or two. Or, you could blow through your surgical rehab, re-injure yourself and invite that competitive powerlifters’ expiration date, the one we all have, even closer. The choice is totally yours.

*Note: The Yoke bar in the right screen portion of the video is just about the best bar you can utilize if you have a shoulder or bicep injury and want to squat. The proximity of the shoulder and bicep to the handle takes a load of tension off of those areas, while still allowing the lifter to train squats with weight on their back. We have two of these at the Monster Garage Gym. I highly recommend this bar for that reason and about ten others.

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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