Rhodestown

TAGS: personal training, powerlifting, strength training, strength coach, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell, training

You stated on your log that you’re “shutting it down” for now. For people who haven’t been following your log lately, can you talk about what led to this decision and what your plans are now?

"Shutting it down" means that I'm backing off for a while. I've had a nagging hip/groin problem for about a year. I've been able to manage it pretty well with physical therapy, stretching, and proper warm-ups. Now, I'm dealing with another problem on the other side. My low back is getting pretty bad and my quad is numb and tingly. This, obviously, is not a good thing. It's only going to lead to more injuries. As I looked back through my training, I realized that I had been training around the injuries and not getting any stronger. On top of that, because I was in pain all the time, I wasn't having any fun in the gym. If it's not fun, it's not worth doing. So, I'll be rehabbing and getting myself back in the game.

I'll be training raw for the next three months. My goal is to rehab the back/groin/hip and whatever else may be ailing me. I want to go through a true off-season and make some progress. I'd like to pack on some muscle and get a little thicker all around. With this will come some added strength. My training will change slightly. I'll still be doing the compound movements, just not necessarily training like a powerlifter. The overall goal is health, strength, and fun.  After that, I'll get back into training for a meet. As of now, there are no plans to compete any time soon.

What’s going on at Southside? Has anyone from the gym competed anywhere lately? Have you guys come across any new methods or techniques in training that you’d like to share with the readership?

We talked at length with Chad "The Chad" Aichs, Rob Luyando, and Ryan Kennelly about training. I know Vincent and I will start to implement some of those ideas as soon as we get back in the gym. This might be a future article.

We also had a few of the younger guys who competed back in mid-August. Josh Flores came back from a near compound fracture of his forearm in May of 2007 to bench 515 and deadlift 550. His best bench pre-fracture was 550, so he's really got his head screwed on right. He'll be competing again this fall, so we're looking for some big numbers from Josh.

We also have Karsten "Double D" Luca, who did his first meet in August. He lifted raw and benched 265, missed 290, and pulled 450 at 22 years-old. Double D was a college football player who started training with us about a year ago, maybe less. We have him on a program right now getting him in better shape and prepping him to start using the gear by the end of the year.

Both Josh and Double D won their weight classes, and Josh got the Best Lifter award. It was a great day.
What do you actually do for a living? Do you mind telling people where you work, and what sort of clientele you work with?

I work at The Fitness Edge in Greenwich, CT. I work with the rich folks in America. I train everybody, from the 12 year-old middle school athlete to the 60 year-old businessman. And yes, I have a few soccer moms, which is nice.

I use a whole bunch of different training methods to beat these people up. Everybody squats, deadlifts, benches, overhead presses, and does pull-ups. I modify when necessary, but everything is based around those lifts. My athletes do my version of the 5/3/1 method that I stole from Jim, sort of. I focus a lot on strength and flexibility with my clients. I put the responsibility of cardio on their shoulders. Most of my clients spend a lot of time sitting behind desks or on planes, so there are all kinds of back issues I deal with. Come Christmas time, my bonus is usually pretty good.

Who's going to win the National Championship, and why? Is Alabama for real? Is Penn State back?

I have many "favorite" teams in college football. I really like the powerhouse teams because as a former college coach, it takes a lot to keep your teams at the top. That being said, I thought USC and Florida were the best teams in the nation. WRONG! I also thought Georgia was one of the best, as well.

Penn State looks great, as well. I think the Big 10 sucks this year, so that will help them. I don't see another team that can keep up with them. Maybe Michigan, but with the new coach and new offense, it's going to take them some time to get things in sync..

Right now, I think Oklahoma and Alabama are the best teams that have the best chance to pull off the big one. As a side note, my alma mater is 4-1 and in danger of making a bowl game for the first time since my graduation in 1998.

I'm cheering for Alabama to make it to the National Championship game. There's still a long way to go.

Al Davis calls and offers you the head coaching job with the Raiders. Do you take it?

Yup! My cousin owns 25% of the team, so that's gotta count for something. Al Davis was a great owner, but clearly, he's on his way out.  He needs to hand over the reins. I'm not sure that Lane Kiffin was the savior.  A 33 year-old head coach in the NFL is crazy, in my opinion. Not to say he won't be great. His dad, Monte, was/is a great defensive coordinator. When I was at Richmond, we went down to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to learn a few things about the 4-3 and 4-3 over defense. Back on topic. Any chance to coach in the NFL is a blessing. I think the right situation has to arise. Mike Shanahan didn't do much in Oakland and look what he's done in Denver.

It's probably going to be a while until you're competing again, according to your log. Any parting words? Anything people can learn from the rough time you've been having, health-wise?

I've learned a lot from this. I've always been the guy, like most of us, who says that I'll just work thru it. Walk it off, rub some dirt on it and it'll be fine. Listen to your body. It'll tell you what it needs. When lifting isn't fun, it's time to figure out what you can do to make it fun again. Don't be stupid. Go to the doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, whatever. Stretch, condition, foam roll - do whatever you need to do so that you can enjoy training. We don't make enough money to be tough and work thru it.

I am also looking forward, as I stated earlier, to going through a real off-season where I can get into shape, get healthy, and really make some progress. I really believe this is going to teach me a lot once I get through it.

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