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Thread: Question about remote coaching/programming

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    Member Bulldog73's Avatar
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    Question about remote coaching/programming

    So, a quick question about remote coaching/programming: how many of you do it? Do you get actual coaching or just a program to follow? What about just paying for a program (such as train heroic? I don't mind paying for a program, but would rather have someone custom writing it for me who could take my input into account v. just spitting some template document. However, I'm not in a place where I can join an expensive club (mostly they're too far for me to drive and too expensive)

    Background: I'm a 45 yrs Masters lifter who's been training and competing in this sport for 18 yrs. I love it to the point that I can train pretty much everyday. Obviously, I have to be careful about intensity and volume to train this often. Lately, I've been struggling to make progress (have actually regressed to some degree) and have decided that I cannot program for myself because I just do too much all the time. I need more balance in my programming/training.

    Right now I figure my max BS is about 155kg, FS about 130-135kg. I would like to get my squat to 180kg+, while also working the lifts. My current best SN DL is 130kg for 5, CL DL is 147kg for 5. Best classic lifts have dropped and I want them to come back up to around 80/115 minimum by this summer (was at this level a couple yrs ago with same strength numbers). My next competition will be AOS2 in Albuquerque end of July. My end goal this year is to qualify for Master’s Worlds where I need 199kg total at 89kg BW.

    I've talked with a couple of folks about remote programming, and one guy said that after reading the above plus some info on latest programs which has brought my leg strength back up why I'm not progressing and that programming alone will not fix it. However, he didn't say what that was. Do any of you see anything as to why I may not be progressing?? This is bothering me now.

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    The true value of customized programming I think comes from having at least to some small degree, working directly, and in-person with the lifter even for a very short period. Generic programming I see very little value in. In fact, I understand people wanting to economize their programming time as a coach, but there is enough individual need in each lifter that it warrants individual and specialized instruction of skill and loading.

    Even 12 months ago, I vowed that I would refuse to provide remote coaching for people because I just didn't like being unable to real time coach someone I am responsible for - but lifters have come to me for help, and I have relented. I now might see them for a short period, and then the coaching continues online.

    If I were you, I would see if there is a good reputable coach whom you can visit, with even for a few sessions, who will then provide online support.

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    I think online programming is great. I do it and have provided it.

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    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    I think a good coach in person is ten times better than a great coach remotely. I have totally stopped working with remote athletes unless they can get up to my gym to work with me in person a minimum of once a month.

    Unfortunately the entire fitness market is trending towards online because there's no over head for coaches, and just like everything else on the internet, it's not the best of the best that rises to the top, but the best marketed.

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    I am a masters lifter, albeit a little younger (38), and have been working with a remote coach for about a year and a quarter (started in 11/17). He provides me with an individualized program, has me video any technique related lifts and I submit them to him with notes on each session. It is not the ideal situation, but for me it is the most beneficial available.

    I've worked with local coaches that worked out reasonably well, but I hit a plateau where it was obvious I would need someone with more experience and/or a better knowledge of the finer points of technique. I was lucky enough to find such a coach on this very forum that was willing to work with me. The difference is in my lifting is quite obvious, although I'm sure it would be much more pronounced and would have occurred much more quickly if I was in his area. Bottom line, you need someone with a skilled eye watching your lifts, or you will not progress.

    As far as my personal progress is concerned, I haven't made too much in the way of numbers, as the first year was more about rebuilding my lifts than anything. The difference in how I feel the lifts and am able to diagnose my errors is night and day. Now that my technique is rounding into form, we will be working on hitting some goals (95/115 as a 73) in the next year.

    I hope this helps!

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    Member Bulldog73's Avatar
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    I really appreciate all the input so far. I don't mind taking video's for technique checks, but I've done this in the past and there were no glaring issues. I won't be so egotistical to say there's nothing to improve upon because there probably is, but my point is that immediate goal is to get back to a normal.

    The main thing I'm looking for is programming, because it's obvious I can't do it myself. Once I get myself back on track, I'll be happy to work with someone regarding any technical issues I may need to improve on. For example, last night I worked up to a medium heavy paused back squat and hit a really solid 125kg single with probably about 10+ more in the tank. This was a good 1-2 sec pause.

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    I think after about 10 years of experience, the odds of making significant improvements in technique are slim and none. You've pretty much got what you got and that's it. Coaches are good at giving technical cues, cues that we've heard dozens of times, but need to be reminded of them. People tend to like that.

    Regarding programming, I think as long as a program follows the basics--specificity. progressive stressing the body, and hard and easy sessions--it can work for you. I understand that we often doubt ourselves and want to be told what to do (this happens often in the dance world) and don't want to plan out what we do.

    I think where a coach can be really good is dealing with the psychological aspects of training, almost a weightlifting therapist. Every weightlifter goes through periods where we get frustrated, make no progress despite working hard, even turn crazy , and curse the sport. Problem is that not many coaches are good psychologists.

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    Member Blairbob's Avatar
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    Obviously we missed each other at AO3. I mean, we should have met up seeing as I how I dominated my age group and weight class with that cut. I mean, maybe you too could get a shiny 3$ medal like me if you did my programming (and survived). And I jerk better than Marshall but he's old AF compared to me and I'm a bigger jerk

    From what I remember, you never got around to posting videos of yours. I'm sure they are up somewhere now in the USAW AO3 archive.

    II've gone through your log and there are a lot of sessions where you will Snatch 60ish yet CJ 90-100ish. It's hard to say unless you just have shit OH mobility or bad shoulders. And you're no spring chicken. 90/120 is Sn 75% of your CJ. 75/111 is even way less and 80/115 isn't much better.

    On paper, your CJ was inline with your Sq if you CJ 120 off 160 ( I can't say shit seeing as I've done 110 off 175 lately and 118 off 191 [or 180x3.

    So unless your Sn depth is just around parallel or less or bordering PSN/Split Snatch depth, my guess is your Sn technique either is lacking or your mobility is (which at 45 who knows how much better it can get).

    While I know they aren't exactly close, why not go visit Shahin or my buddy at EVCF once a week at least? Jeremy is no spring chicken either nor is Augie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog73 View Post
    So, a quick question about remote coaching/programming: how many of you do it? Do you get actual coaching or just a program to follow? What about just paying for a program (such as train heroic) . . .
    I'm a bit older than you and probably ~1.5 weight classes lighter, but I have WAY less experience (started this WL thing a few years into my 40s). . . I'm still going to offer my opinion in long essay form: remote coaching stands a chance of working. . . if you can see that coach live at least 1x/month (ideally 2x/month) over the first 6 months or so. The tiny movement issues that reveal key areas of weakness or correctable technique are often missed on the screen. A bit over 1 year into my WL experience, I decided to get a coach; one with decent experience training national-level lifters and significant experience training lifters of diverse age & experience levels (age groupers to masters). I got three live, in-person sessions where he watched my lifts and my strength movements, made some technique recommendations and then designed a program fit for both my technique inadequacies (as a self-taught beginner, I obviously had way more of these than you do -- if you even have any that are really correctable) and my need to build strength generally and WL-position specifically. After that, for ~9 months, he probably saw me "live" around 1x/month. His observations on what I was successfully correcting and not correcting, as well as his monitoring of volume & intensity to build strength as demonstrated in BS and FS, were very useful. Programming shifts every cycle were driven by what he saw in person and what I wrote down in my training logs. In these first 9 months, 90% of my training still occurred on my own (largely in my garage), but increases in my total significantly outpaced those that had occurred over my first ~15 months in the sport. . . probably due to delayed-onset, beginner "technique gains". However, these technique gains were driven not just by specific assigned training variations of snatch and C&J, but also by small changes in the way I squatted . . . lining up a BS form and tempo better suited to develop WL-specific strength, together with nailing down intensity x reps x sets schemes that fit with two issues I believe plague all old(er) folks -- joint issues and need to preserve speed when building strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog73 View Post
    . . . do any of you see anything as to why I may not be progressing?? This is bothering me now.
    So, assuming that someone with your experience might not be able to get much out of an on-line coach, or even a remote coach that you see 1-2x/month, lack of progression may have to do with training environment and how you use it. In my opinion, it behooves you to train in an environment with other at-least-somewhat serious lifters and at least 1-2 qualified coaches/instructors, and to take in, with a critical (and self-critical) eye & ear all that comes from that environment. After taking in A LOT of external input and reflecting on all successes/failures, you -- especially you, as an experienced lifter -- should be much better positioned to lay out your own plan for success. As for myself, after the above-mentioned 9 months of progress, I hit a wall and actually started to get worse. I hit a master's nationals total in Dec 2017 -- a pretty mediocre feat -- and then didn't get w/in 7kg of it for the next 3 comps. I was somewhat bothered by this because not only was I continuing with this coach, but I was now training at his facility (opened in summer 2018 and decently close to my home). So I started to really take advantage of the environment: not just this coach, but also all the other lifters around me who offered thoughts on x, y or z. I took inventory of these comments, looked at what had worked over these now-15 months and what had seemingly not worked (or had stopped working). I also looked at some of the on-line "pre-packaged" programs I'd followed over my first 12 months of self-coaching (a smattering of Catalyst stuff and some Torokhity stuff). Armed with this, I put together my own program. I told my coach about this, told him what I was trying to accomplish (technique wise and strength wise), got his thoughts, and got him on-board to keep an eye on my movements and monitor speed on strength lifts. After a bit over 3 months of this -- and a lot of input from those with whom I train -- my total (granted, only a training total) has made significant improvements and I just feel like I am moving everything faster and snappier. I won't be able to make it out to master's nationals this March, but I'm hoping to go to one of the AO comps and go for an old-folks' worlds total (190 at 81, unless I drop to 73 which is unlikely).
    Last edited by mb_here; 02-10-2019 at 10:24 AM.

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