SLOOOOOW AND STEADY [Includes Training Footage]

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.

MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.



Coaching Log:
Aesop was a Greek fabulist….a fancy way of saying an individual who creates or tells fables….and is probably the most well known of all the storytellers. You probably know more of his fables than you realize, and there are many commonly used phrases today that originate from those fables.

As we are familiar with the fables we are familiar with their phrases, and the vast majority can in fact be traced back to Aesop. Aesop was born way, way back in 620 BC, and although this is a long time ago, I am betting that you know more of these fables than you might realize, one being The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.

You know this Aesop fable. The short version is a man and his wife have a goose and it lays just that, golden eggs. So, the couple wrongly assumes that there must be a huge lump of gold inside the goose, so they kill it to get this lump of gold. Then they realize, wow, no gold lump and it hits them that instead of getting a little bit of gold each and every day, they royally screwed the pooch and they get no more gold at all. As with a great fable, and with Aesop being a great storyteller, you can apply that lesson to many things in life.

For example we all know powerlifters that train with common sense, going 80-85% the majority of the time, getting strong(er) and strong(er), then hitting 90-100% toward the meet date. They make steady strength and power gains every single year, or they attain a little gold each day. Others go 110% all of the time and end their career with a major injury before they could even become a name in the sport. Those lifters killed their goose wanting all the strength, all the gold at once and powerlifting just doesn't work like that. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Ed Coan. But for now, back to Greece.

Similar to this story is the Tortoise and the Hare. As with the GTLTGE fable, Aesop again, in simple terms, shines light on the mistakes of human nature. You know this fable too, but probably don’t even remember where you learned it from. You have your braggadocious hare who is making fun of that slow tortoise. The tortoise gets ticked off and bam, challenges the hare to a race. You know the rest, the hare is all cocky and is so far ahead of the tortoise that it takes a nap only to wake up and realize the tortoise wins by going slow and steady.

So, slow and steady is our theme for this week’s coaching log. The reason for the long intro is to illustrate that half of the mistakes we make as humans or for our purposes here, powerlifters, have been made since the dawn of man. These mistakes are nothing new, they are made daily and they will continue to occur. Slow and steady, the lesson of the tortoise and the hare was written during Aesop’s life which ended way back in 564BC, yet and still, you see these mistakes played out to this day, every day.

So we are in Part III of a multi-part series on training through injury. As we stated when we started with Part I, 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. In Part III, SLOOOOOW AND STEADY, we continue to follow the rehab training of WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Steve Brock’s training as he maintains balance between two worlds, the world of rehabilitation and 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.

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 socialookatmedia, which I have 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.

As we mentioned in Part II a few weeks back, during the training week, Steve has had 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. 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. 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.

This week is week 10 post surgery. Week one was literally getting the swelling down from the surgery and working to get a portion of his full range of motion back.

As Steve has been around the block a few hundred times since he began his powerlifting career back in the early 1990’s, and he knows of this situation he is living in, that, SLOOOOOW AND STEADY does win the race. Because he knows this, he is not in a hurry to set the world of powerlifting on fire, as eventually he will again. Because he knows, the concept of this Aesop fable, he knows that rushing things a few months earlier than they are ready to be pushed puts him at undue risk. Makes no sense pushing up the training a few months when there are years of powerlifting in front of you. This is the power and wisdom of internalizing, SLOOOOOW AND STEADY. The fact of the matter is,we know this concept but the vast majority of the time unless you internalize the meaning, you will re-injure yourself and game over. This week was a new benchmark for Steve, as he was pressing out 315LBS for sets of ten. Steve does not get caught up in comparing his current post-op 315LB RAW bench to his 800LB pre-surgery shirted p.r. because he is too experienced to make that rookie mistake. Instead, Steve is comparing this week to last week and last week to the week before and that week to the week before and so on and so on and so on.

In the supplemental video we look at Steve’s training with a clip from week one and some clips from this week’s (week 10) training. SLOOOOOW and STEADY might sound to some like a child’s story created by a man who lived centuries ago. But those who are looking for “the secrets” to powerlifting (people are always looking for secrets), well, here is a secret my friend…..if you are a true competitor in this body violent sport we call powerlifting and you simply go ahead and blow off slow and steady, you might end up as one of a thousand, shoulda, woulda, coulda’s that talk about how great they might have become. And while they are making excuses, the powerlifter who heeds these stories is making progress.

Aesop’s fables have existed this long for a reason. Heed the morals and enjoy the victories along this journey we love, this journey that is the sport of powerlifting.

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

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