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Move over Shark Week, here comes PR Week!  Everyone meet Larry. Larry is one of the “OG” here at MSP Fitness, being a long time member of 5+ years.  He started out in our group program but soon identified some specific lifting goals that would only be reached through individualized training, so he transitioned to our EC (Exclusive Coaching) program where he’s been ever since.

Larry2Prior to training with us at MSPF, Larry was a long time student of the iron, with years of Powerlifting under his belt. When he approached me back in 2012 with wanting to move to EC, he sent me this email skillfully illustrating his more focused interest in getting back to the his roots. “It’s become pretty clear that an endurance athlete I am not, so I would like to focus on my strengths which just happens to be strength.” As a coach, there is nothing more enjoyable than working with someone who has crystal clear goals. Larry was that client. Now the challenge was to find the best path to get him there.

Stricken with small setbacks here and there, tweaks of the body, and a more serious emergency gall bladder surgery at the end of 2014, he will be the first to agree that his path to where he is today was not straight by any stretch of the imagination. Which, in my opinion, makes his recent PRs (Personal Records) even that much more sweet.

LarryThe challenge is that while you might think you can learn everything you need to know from all the “experts” out there on the internet, or download an ebook “How to get a 550lbs Deadlift in 50 days”, I am here today to tell you that the only true path that works, is the unique path of the individual.  I will also say that adding 50lbs to a 200lbs or 300lbs Deadlift is far more linear and straight forward than putting 50lbs on a 1/4 ton Deadlift. Regardless of what plan you use, be it Conjugate, Linear or Undulating Periodization, or something else, when it comes down to it you MUST have a plan and train the individual, learning along the way what works, as well as what doesn’t, for that person’s unique needs.

So what is the secret to his success? The answer might surprise you. It was prioritizing his recovery.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.08.07 AMYes, the single most important element to his success was prioritizing his ability to recover from his training. Larry isn’t 20 years old any more, sorry Larry 🙂, a full time professional with non-consistent work hours sometimes forcing him to be up at all hours of the night, or intermittently being called in to work at all hours of the night, or weekends…it was paramount that he was appropriately recovering from his training, and that we find that right balance between work, and rest.  What’s important to understand is that while yes, you can generally infer that a younger person is able to recover from a higher volume of training, the big takeaway is that regardless of age, sport, athletic background, etc., if you’re not monitoring and prioritizing recovery for everyone you’re coaching, you’re not doing right by your athlete/client.

I’ll be honest here in that for months I got it wrong. Programming too much volume from which he wasn’t fully recovering, with the end result being I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted and was expecting.  Through communication, observation, and testing, I learned and adapted the programming for Larry by stripping more and more OUT.  We went from 4 days a week of training down to 3.  Scheduled proper deload weeks, added more variation in volume and intensity, along with some active recovery Z1 (Zone 1) aerobic work. In the end finding a solid training plan that was keeping him healthy, allowing him to feel fresh and ready to train.  We worked closely together, evaluating his readiness each day he stepped into the gym, ensuring that he worked smart and calculated. This plan offered us a solid 5-month run of nose to the grind stone training, following the plan to a “T”. His consistency and patience paid off in spades with these awesome PR’s

He earned every pound of it and I am so happy for him. Check out the videos below and join in me in congratulating him on a job well done!

– Written by Michael Pilhofer (MSP)

If you are in the Minneapolis / Twin Cities / St. Louis Park area of Minnesota and looking for a dedicated coach to help you with your specific fitness goals, look no further than MSP Fitness! Our qualified coaches, along with a top of the line facility allows our clients to pursue fitness in practically every direction all under one roof. So if you want to improve your squat, add weight to your dead lift like Larry, or just get stronger and looking good during process, MSP is the place for you! CONTACT US TODAY!

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