18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Thursday, November 25, 2010

USA's Greatest and Living Room Training 11/25/10

When I slowly rolled my aching body out of my warm bed at 6am, the thermometer read -10 degrees F. I look out my icy window to once again see white in every direction trying to glimmer some reflection of light in the darkness. Another cold snowy day in the forecast.
It seems like each day of this week has presented a different obstacle. The indoor football field I do my running workouts on has been rolled up leaving a lake of cement behind. The weight room I lift in flooded. The gymnastics gym I work out in shut down do to weather conditions. And now, of course, everything is closed for the holiday. No weights, running, stationary bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, nothing. Where does that leave you? The always amazing living room workouts fabricated only by your pure creativity and drive to be a champion.
In times like these, when all access to facilities is blocked and your preciously thought out training program must deviate, a small feeling a helplessness or sorrow can set in. Its easy to just blow it off, or even convince yourself that you need the rest. It's in those moments, call it a small lapse in judgement or motivation, where I think about the greatest American vaulters of all time. Tim Mack, Jeff Hartwig, Brad Walker, Toby Stevenson, Johnson, Huffman, and many others. They wouldn't let this day slip away. Because champions know each day is a chance to get better. I can see Jeff right now looking out the window at the snow with a 300lb python on his back doing squats until his quads give out. Toby laying on his coffee table with a surfboard buried in books on his chest benching it like there's no tomorrow.Walker pounding away at a heavy bag, hanging from his pull up bar, with visions of Hooker and Bubka burning in his eyes, the taste of records breaking in his sweat. These are the great men of pole vault, and they know the living room workout.
Rain, snow, flooding, power outage, road closers, even injury, no obstacle is to great for them, so it won't be for me. I picture them in my mind as I fight of the nausea associated with the 100's of reps it takes in the living room, to match the muscle failure much easier gained with heavy weights.

These are the exercises getting me through the week. I generally do 5-8 sets, with reps of 10-30 depending on the exercise.

Push ups (wide grip, close grip, regular, one arm)
Squats (on the homemade balance board consisting of a metal pipe and an old skate deck)
Curls (with the heaviest objects available around the house)
Pull ups, (of course. Everyone should have a pull up bar in there house.)
Dips (on the two front room chairs.)
Handstand push ups (against the wall.)
Abs, (Abs, and more Abs)
Shoulder circuits with water jugs, or my metal tube full of sand (front, lateral, diagonal, reverse fly)
Timed Core holds (60-90sec, front, left, and right)
Pull overs (with the tool box)
Single arm row (with the tool box)
Circle push ups on the pvc pomelletes, (both directions, good stuff, one of my favorites)
Single leg squats, (1 foot on the couch or chair)
Tons of back exercises
Stretching, lots of stretching

Time is a necessary commodity often overlooked by athletes. Don't let the day slip away. It's not what you didn't do, its what your not doing.


  1. I was running in some of that 8*F weather this morning and as my lungs were freezing I thought, "why am I here?" and it all comes down to some remote sense of achievement and doing my best.

    At that point it becomes a mind game... I might not be as fast, as strong, or as good as the person next to me, but I can always be faster, stronger, and better than I was before :)

    Keep at it, lovin' the blog!

  2. Glad your enjoying Kieth. That means a lot to me coming from you.