“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”
-Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2
Giving up control in any aspect of one’s life can be incredibly uncomfortable. However in the right hands, it can take one to new heights never yet achieved. The following is a first hand account and an inventory of my personal experience with relinquishing control in my greatest passion, my physical performance. It details, even in a very short time, how vast the progression has been since joining the Old Country Iron Club. My teachers always told me “If you can’t see change, or feel change, there is no change” with respect to physical performance. This demonstrates that when one trusts and follows the I/C process, not only does one see change, you see results.
To preface the results that I’ve seen so far following the I/C program and the coaching of Zach Filer, I want to introduce myself. My name’s Lincoln Smith, I’ve been full time fitness coach for over 8 years. I’ve been weight training since age 12, a competitive athlete my whole life including football, wrestling, MMA, powerlifting and bodybuilding. I have a BS in Exercise Science, blah blah blah. Growing up with 3 brothers, we’re naturally very competitive with one another, this of course carried over to fitness.
Over 2 years ago I was introduced to the sport of fitness aka Crossfit, I immediately fell in love with it as a sport. As a method of training, I saw many fundamental holes in the logic. Their way of programming was to not program. What? Were the Russians wrong? No overload and deload? No macro cycles and micro cycles? NO PERIODIZATION? This made no sense to me. For the unfamiliar, periodization is a fancy word for planned changes in a training program to elicit some increase in strength and conditioning and to avoid plateuing. Crossfit had changes alright but it wasn’t planned.
At the time I had finished my last year bodybuilding and was done with it forever. This is when I started to play around with creating my own Crossfit training program. I’m a fitness coach right? I can figure it out on my own. This is when I was introduced to Dr. Skylar Pond. I asked him “where do you train?” answer with no pause. “The Old Country Iron Club, the best Crossfit gym around.” I started following I/C training log and found what I was looking for, a real Crossfit program.
After achieving a modest 22nd place at my first Crossfit competition of which I trained completely alone, I knew it was time to seek coaching. My first week at the I/C was lot like the first week of wrestling practice; keep your mouth shut, listen to your coach, work hard, repeat. This was the first time since high school that I had someone other than myself programming for me; but I knew in order to become better I had to train with those that were better. I always knew that the best coaches had coaches. Now I was putting it to the test.
My first major notice was that there wasn’t any deadlifting, at all! When I was powerlifting, deadlifting was my favorite lift. We always joked by saying “If your not deadlifting, your not training.” Having strong hips and longer arms, I had a natural build to deadlift effectively. I noticed that most, if not all the heavy hip hinging movement was replaced with kettelbelling. I knew from my studies that deadlifting frequently takes a tremendous toll on your central nervous system and can take weeks before you’re fully recovered neurally, from one heavy deadlifting session. After one month, I noticed something remarkable, I was recovering faster! Before joining the I/C, I deadlifted at least once if not twice a week. Now, I wasn’t broken down or overly exhausted from training, and yes I had become stronger in the process. The result was pulling a PR of 500 lbs, a 20 lbs PR from six months before.
Conditioning of course was something I became more acquainted when I departed bodybuilding and started training for Crossfit. Crossfit is normally made up of random smatterings of metabolic conditioning workouts or metcons, this was always very difficult for me to program for myself. Being a bigger guy who likes to lift heavy all the time, running, rowing, gymnastics or anything resembling any of them was not in my wheelhouse whatsoever. What I saw and experienced through the properly programmed metcons was another remarkable finding, increased Vo2 efficiency, lactate threshold and general work capacity.
Lastly, Snatching and muscle ups; the two banes of my existence since starting to practice Crossfit competitively. What I noticed and experienced in the program was loading and deloading, rep progressions, barbell complexes, tempo lifting and skill transfer exercises; everything I learned in school and from accomplished Eastern bloc strength coaches was now re-applying to Crossfit via the I/C. The result was a lifetime PR on my Snatch and Clean, and my first muscle ups weighing in at 245 lbs. I was always taught that one can only judge the effectiveness of a training program based on the results. To accomplish all of the above in only two and half months, I can say with 100% certainty, this program is effective.
Since I started coaching, I knew that as athletes progress and become more advanced; their progress is less dramatic as time goes on. Renowned strength coach Dan John says “I’m not interested in the program that teaches a novice trainee to increase his broad jump by eight inches, but show me the program that teaches an advanced trainee how to add two inches, and I’m in.” I thought my days of making dramatic leaps in performance were over. I’ve seen greater results in the past two months than in the previous year combined. It all just started with trusting the process, not questioning, not debating, just trusting and doing. After sharing in my moment of my first muscle ups with the man who introduced me to the Old Country Iron Club, Dr. Skylar Pond, he summed up the program perfectly. “We man the gas pedal, Zach takes the wheel.” Amen.
About the Author: Lincoln graduated with a BS in Exercise Science from JFK University. he’s been a full time fitness coach for 8 years, as well as being a former competitive wrestler and bodybuilder. Lincoln has a wealth of knowledge on many related topics that he will be sharing with us here in future post on Old Country Strong.
Posted by: Z