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  1. #1
    Moderator BrotherIron's Avatar
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    Odd Object Training...

    Slowly but surely, it seems the age of bosus, swiss balls, and so called function training you see at your local LaFitness is finally starting to die. THANK GOD! People are waking up and realizing that this so called functional training isnít living up to the hype. So you may be asking yourself, whatís next? To get strong, lean, and functional, you must squat, deadlift, press, pull, and carry weight.

    What form of training has all of these qualities? You sure as hell wonít find it in some class using a step-up and some pink dumbbells. You will find all this in strength training, Strongman to be exact. You might ask, Why canít I just use dumbbells/barbells and How does this make me any stronger or bigger?Ě

    Iím not saying drop barbells and dumbbells from your training regimen. Iím suggesting adding Strongman Training into your training routine because it will compliment your lifting. What makes Strongman Training effective is that is changes the dynamic of the lift to stimulate new muscle recruitment and motor pathways. Since you train your muscles in a similar manner with odd object training, you can expect a high level carryover into your other lifts. In the famous book Dinosaur Training, the author, Brooks Kubik states, You feel as sore as you do because the bags (sandbags) worked your body in ways you could not approach with a barbell alone. You got into the muscle areas you normally donít work. You worked the heck out of the stabilizers.

    You may ask for scientific evidence to support these claims. Unfortunately, I donít have any. I have World Class Strength Coaches who have used these concepts for decades. Research is just now confirming what the Great Paul Anderson knew about training and implemented ages ago.

    Using odd objects in training isnít reserved for just the old time athletes. Allen Hedrick, the head strength coach at the Air Force Academy, has been using this type of training for years. He has written and lectured on using odd objects often in the form of water filled kegs to increase performance and decrease the risk of athletic injuries.

    But, applying the concept of specificity, it makes sense that training with a fluid resistance is a more sport-specific method of training as compared to lifting exclusively with a static resistance because in most situations, athletes encounter a dynamic resistance (in the form of an opponent) as compared to the static resistance. Further, because the active fluid resistance enhances the need for stability and control, this type of training may reduce the opportunity for injury because of improved joint stability.Ě

    This sounds good for an athlete, but how would someone who just wants to become big and strong benefit from using odd objects? First we need to define odd objects. Many different types of odd objects can be used such as logs, stones, sandbags, and kegs. For the purposes of this write up, weíll stick with sandbags and kegs. These two implements are incredibly versatile and very inexpensive. They donít take up a lot of space so they can be used by those lifters who are restricted to the room they have for training. Water-filled kegs and loosely filled sandbags have a lot of movement about them. When lifting either of them, you must adjust to the constant motion. Sandbags will constantly change shape as you lift them, and kegs will have weight shifts, especially as they gain speed. Both provide a different stimulus and are very effective.

    In the classic days of strength athletes, lifters were a collection of strongmen, bodybuilders, and weightlifters. It was unusual to see a lifter classified as only one type of athlete because the various disciplines seem to complement each other well. We should learn from what these amazing athletes were able to attain, and use their methods to the fullest potential. For example, lifting kegs and sandbags is perfect for those lifters who want to increase arm size and poundage. Doing so can improve grip and hand strength and greatly contribute to deadlifting, benching, pull ups, and pressing more weight. It can also improve arm and forearm size as the famous George Jowett showed us. Jowett displayed 19-inch arms without doing any bicep curls.

    Lifters who want strong back and shoulder muscles would find keg and sandbag lifting the perfect remedy. When trying to shoulder, zercher, press, or clean odd objects all the muscles of the upper body are used. Lifting heavy versions of these odd objects is not possible without heavily involving the whole body.

    The infamous core also receives some of the most effective stimulus with strongman training. Many people have said they have a strong core, but when asked to demonstrate their strength, they fail miserably. Sucking in your abs while balancing on a Swiss-ball or lying on the floor does not get the job done. However, sandbag and keg lifting are brutally effective because as you try to lift the odd object, you must try to maintain proper posture.

    To train the components of trunk strength, heavy, slow, and explosive movements can be used. Sandbags have long been a favorite training tool of wrestlers and combative athletes. In John Jesseís famous book, Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, he states,

    The use of heavy sandbags and their large circumference forces the lifter to do his lifting with a round back instead of the traditional straight back lifting with a barbell. It is this type of lifting that truly develops a strong back. It develops the back and side muscles in movements that are identical to the lifting and pulling movements of wrestling.Ě

    Sold? Good! Lets learn how to implement odd objects into your training, specifically sandbags and kegs. You could use sandbags and kegs exclusively for one or two workouts a week, and utilize them in classic exercises like shouldering, clean and press, and Zercher squatting,

    Even though using odd objects exclusively is an option, I prefer to integrate them into barbell and dumbbell lifting programs so that I can take advantage of the benefits of both lifting styles and achieve a more complete training program.

    Here is a three-day program demonstrating how easy it is too combine odd object lifting with barbell/dumbbell work. Enjoy!

    Day 1:
    ~Barbell back squat, 5 sets of 5 repetitions, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Keg clean and press, 5 sets of 5 repetitions, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Good mornings, 4 sets of 10 repetitions, rest 60 seconds
    ~ Chin-ups, 4 sets of 10 repetitions, rest 60 seconds
    ~ Keg bear hug carry, 2 minutes for 2 sets, rest 120 seconds

    Day 2:
    ~ Bench press, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Sandbag snatch, 15 repetitions, rest 60 seconds
    ~ Step-ups, 3 sets of 12 each leg, rest 60 seconds
    ~ Zercher squats, 4 sets of 6 repetitions, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Farmers walk, 2 sets of 90 seconds, rest 120 seconds

    Day 3:
    ~ Deadlift, 3 sets of 6 repetitions, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Keg shouldering, 3 sets of 5 repetitions each side, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Towel/rope chin-ups, 4 sets of 6 repetitions, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Sandbag shoulder get-ups, 3 sets of 6 each side, rest 90 seconds
    ~ Carrying medley, 1 set: sandbag Zercher, carry 50 yards; keg shoulder, 50 yards; barbell overhead walk, 50 yards

    Oh, did I forget to mention that this style of training is amazing for losing body fat in no time!

    Kubik, Brooks (1996) Dinosaur training: Lost secrets of strength and development.
    Jesse, John (1974) Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, Athletic Press.

    There are 2 kinds of pain in life... The pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Your choice...

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Sicwun88's Avatar
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    As a stone Mason by trade I know tht this is true!
    I can be training hard & heavy and not be tht sore in days to follow!
    Yet when it comes to work and all the stone & material is dropped in an area where it has to be moved closer to the work area
    It becomes a total different type of movements & muscle groups involved!
    Which will definitely have you sore the following days to come!
    Alot of heavy carrying which is similar to ( farmer walking) thru out the day, overhead presses,pause & hold, and side to side movements,
    Tht you wouldn't experience from regular training Technics!
    So I can see from experience how this type of training can be beneficial!

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    DEADlifter (09-09-2020)

  5. #3
    Member Maxmaximorum's Avatar
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    I totally agree but I also love the swiss ball. A swiss ball filled with water that sloshes around is like an unbalanced atlas stone. Especially outside if you can throw one around.
    I actually prefer a swiss ball for dumbbell press. I have done 110s off a swiss ball. It is certainly much easier to get the weights in place but the movement itself I just like the feel of better on a swiss ball.
    I also love kind of pummeling a heavy kettlebell to one shoulder and then doing an unbalanced situp on the swiss ball. Almost like you try to knock yourself off the ball so you have to stabilize the weight going down.

    Bosu I have never found much use for other than standing on one for a bit to stretch out your ankles. A wobble cushion is better for that though.

    I love sandbags and especially the bulgarian bag. I would be shocked if bulgarian bags don't become standard gym gear in the next decade. It still hasn't really much left the wrestling room.
    Last edited by Maxmaximorum; 07-16-2020 at 06:13 PM.

  6. #4
    Moderator-San Jin's Avatar
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    Title of this thread sounds like a porn category.

    We cannot chose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.

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    HollyWoodCole (09-01-2020)

  8. #5
    Elite HollyWoodCole's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jin View Post
    Title of this thread sounds like a porn category.
    I was really expecting to see FD's stretching protocols in here. Bummer.
    Unicorn Hunter Level - Expert

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  10. #6
    Senior Member Tiny's Avatar
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    I feel like if we're not careful we're going to be doing manual labor in your yard because you've convinced us it's a new training program.
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