Friday, 12 September 2014

December Seminar

The Coaches: 


The Venue: 
Commando Temple, 
Resolution Way, London SE8 4NT,
0208 127 4545
The Commando Temple is the obvious choice for holding this weekend of strength education. In the words of Steve Maxwell, “you’ll struggle to find a gym in the world that is better equipped!” The Temple is a multi-disciplined strength space with a team of top coaches, specialising in all areas ranging from weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman, Calisthenics and a number of different martial arts. Rob’s vision is for The Commando Temple to house elements from the very best training systems known to man; all under one roof

Michaela Breeze (MBE) is a British Olympic Weightlifter. She retired in 2010 after an outstanding 18 years career on the international weightlifting stage, only to come out of retirement to compete in this summers 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she won Bronze and set a new Commonwealth Games Snatch Record.

Michaela’s career highlights include:
  • representing Team GB at 2 Olympic Games 
  • medalling at 4 Commonwealth Games for Wales including Gold & Silver in Manchester, Gold in Melbourne, Silver in Dehli in 2010, where she was also the Captain of Team Wales. 
  • Michaela was awarded MBE for her Services to Weightlifting’ in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. 

In addition to focusing on her own weightlifting career, Michaela invests a great deal of time in coaching an inspiring youngsters to engage in sport.

From 2003 to 2014, she has produced 19 international weightlifters who previously had no weightlifting experience. Michaela has 11 years’ teaching experience as well as strength and conditioning experience in coaching athletes across a range of sports, developing their strength, power and overall sporting performances. She has worked with Tom Daley in his build up to winning a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games and Tonia Couch, one of Britain’s most successful 10m platform divers.

What you will learn from Michaela:
Michaela Day 2:

Snatch and all the assistance exercises including:
  • overhead squats
  • snatch balance
  • hang snatch
  • snatch from blocks
  • squat snatch and power snatch.

Clean and jerk – lifts and derivatives including:
  • hang cleans
  • clean from blocks
  • power cleans
  • squat cleans
  • power jerks
  • split jerks 
  • push press

Michaela will not only run through all of the above names exercises, she will break down the technique and explain coaching points. Participants will be expected to take part where possible practically as well as work with others to identify common errors and methods of correction.

Sabina Skala 

Sabina is originally from Poland, her sports background is kayaking where she competed on national and international level. Sabina has trained under numerous world’s top coaches and is still investing her time in constant research and improvement. She has featured in Men’s Fitness, The Guradian, she also appeared on Super Human Radio and has written for various websites on the topic on s&c for Combat sports. She has taught at seminars and Expos in UK and worldwide (including Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Holland) alongside the likes of Mike Mahler, Brooks Kubik, Andy Bolton and Dan John.  

Sabina’s spends most of her time working with pro MMA as well as top BJJ and Judo athletes, however her stable of clients also includes triathletes, polo players, climbers, dancers and military personnel. She has also successfully trained top male models. On a day to day basis she works closely as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with Balance Physiotherapy Clinic that specialises in Sports Injuries. 

As a former competitive athlete Sabina believes that each is truly responsible for the performance potential and that we all are capable of limitless possibilities when we put our mind and hard work to it.  

Sabina Day 1

The role of the correct pelvis position in designing an effective strength training

In many cases the lack of progress in strength and power training is a result of postural and structural problems, which when solved result in rapid increase of strength and power. 

The pelvis is the major link between the spinal column and the legs. If this link is poor the power output is lost and we won’t be able to perform at our best.  Whilst performing the multi joint, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, strict presses or any athletic whole body movement like jumping, kicking etc the forces travel through the whole body. If the pelvis is not in the right position the signal gets lost and it may result not only in the inability to generate the amount of force the body is capable of but also in inability to perform the lift safely. 

Making sure the pelvis is in the correct position through the lift (the position will change depending on the phase of the lift) is paramount for every athlete and trainer. Before loading the bar, you have to make sure that your client’s structure enables them to position the pelvis correctly.  

We will look at 

  • Looking at 2 different cases of pelvis positioning in reference to any postural problems
  • Excessive anterior pelvic tilt (APT) – how to recognise it and going through mobility drills to fix it
  • Excessive posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) – how to recognise it and going through mobility drills to fix it
  • Addressing APT and PPT in designing effective warm ups for strength sessions
  • Addressing APT and PPT when performing big compound lifts – squats, deadlifts, presses etc
  • Having the tools to train your clients to move fast, explosive and lift heavy safely & effectively 

Sabina Day 2

Strength continuum – considerations for s&c coach when designing training plan for athletes / clients

It’s often not what we do in the gym but what we do outside the weight room that determines the outcome of the training. This is especially the case when we train athletes, but also applies to regular office workers who train for “fun” or to simply “keep fit”.  Knowing where your clients are in the Strength Continuum concept is essential in designing effective training program, ignoring it -  is a straight way to fail. 

  • Continuing from Day 1 
  • Looking at strength continuum and the place of your client in it (theory) 
  • Sample strength and conditioning programming for an explosive/endurance athlete (MMA) and for an endurance (pro triathlete) – differences, considerations in programming (theory)
  • Considerations for female athletes 
Rob Blair is the Founder and Owner of The Commando Temple  

Having spent 8 formative years as a Royal Marines Commando, and spending time on the front line, Rob soon learned the importance of keeping both body and mind not only strong but also healthy, and since leaving the military has invested heavily in both time and money in educating himself extensively as a strength coach, athlete and therapist. 
Over the last decade, Rob has competed in numerous super-endurance races, ranging from triple marathons and mountain challenges, to a 69 mile stint along Hadrian’s Wall. He is a strong advocate of using kettlebells (having trained alongside some of the best kettlebell coaches and athletes in the world) and other forms of strength training including Strongman and Calisthenics, to armour-plate the body in preparation for such challenges. 
In recent years, he’s set his mind on conquering a number of feats of strength in the grip world, and at the time of writing, Rob is a current British and World Record holder in grip sport for his weight division. He aims to have closed the Captains of Crush 3 Gripper and to have bent the Iron Mind Red Nail before the year is out.

What you will learn from Rob:

Rob Day 1:

Rob competes regularly in the world of grip sport and will be showing you how to develop a coconut cracking pair of mitts! 
We use our hands for complex tasks every day and as an athlete or coach wanting to improve yours, you may have already found that during large compound exercises (deadlifts, pulling movements, farmers walks, and various calisthenic movements) the weakest component is often the grip.
You are only as strong as your weakest link.
The old time strongmen knew all too well the importance of developing both hand health and strength! 
You will learn...
-Wrist, hand and elbow warm ups for optimal performance.
-Body weight ‘Strength Stretching’ for the wrist and hands. 
-Sledgehammer and Mace (Gada) work to build iron wrists! Your own personal wrist straps.
-Thick bar exercises and Circus Bell drills for thumb domination!
-Pinch your tendon and ligament strength to build resilience through the phalanges and create ‘iron clad’ fingers!
Rob Day 2
There are many, many forms of stretch therapy, trigger point release, tool assisted massage, paleo movement ninja monkey activation therapies around
Rob Blair assisted by The Commando Temple’s Head Calisthenics Coach, Fitsz Dubova will be manoeuvring through this movement vortex.
We will show you soft tissue release, joint manipulations and three dimensional stretches to grease movement patterns like a boss!
Stop working against your own soft tissue and start activating your CNS for strong, fluid movement...the way nature intended.
You will learn...
-Joint manipulation and soft tissue release to remove the brake on your foot and ankle complex...squatting, running, jumping and playing without the pain.
-Crawling, rolling and playing to keep you on the right side of niggles and pain! Do these to bullet proof your rehab/prehab protocol.
-Passive Tool-assisted Psoas release to De-load the Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex. Save hundreds of £££ every year by not visiting soft tissue workers and massage therapists again (Rob originally trained as a Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist)
-All of the above involves as little bull###t as possible, loads of results driven content and stuff that works real time!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

WPU Strength Club: October Session

After a summer break we are back for the first time for the next Wild Physique Unleashed - WPU Strength Club.  October the 13th at Crossfit Bold HQ will feature a special guest strength & Conditioning coach who will be running an Olympic Weight Lifting clinic.

Now it doesn't matter if you have previous experience or not, he will cater for both, and it will be a fantastic opportunity for you to get to grips with the essential lifts, or fine tune your technique. Believe me, it will be worth the price of admission alone.

Plus we will have all the usual strongman kit to play with from atlas stones, to farmers walks to barbells and odd objects.

There are special early bird tickets available, so grab yours now.


See you in October.

Yours in strength


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

WPU Strength Club: Video Highlights

Bj Cj M Swaby

Ok, so it took me a week, but finally I got it done!  Here are the video highlights from the WPU Strength Club session.

Check it out. Looks like great fun right?

If you want to find out more about the next WPU Strength Club Session in May go to

Yours in strength


Dealing with shoulder bursitis


By Richard Aitchison

Everyone that trains seriously, competitively or otherwise at some point will realize they’re not indestructible machines and from time to time suffer injuries.
It happens to the best of us and I’m no different having had a plethora of different injuries over the years.
I could blame them on a number of things, bad form, hard sparring, wear and tear etc etc, but in the tradition of competitive pride that annoying niggle is ignored, “worked through” and inevitably becomes a fully blown “I’m going to have to take a month off” setback.
With that in mind I thought I’d tell you about my most recent endeavor in to the world setbacks.
So yes, the niggle was ignored and I quickly became aware that something was drastically wrong when I had to keep changing my training regime to fit around the increasing pain I felt in my shoulder. To the point, all pressing movements were out, any kind of pull ups were out, any bicep isolation exercises were out and I had virtually no external rotation.   
I always find seeking help with these kinds of issues a bit hit and miss. Below par therapists usually far outweigh the good and knowledgeable ones, luckily however, I had been introduced to Micheal Bordignon of Northern myotherapy previously and was very pleased when, after describing the symptoms and the inevitable “worst case scenario” talk which involved musings of a labral tear, he actually identified the problem to be bursitis.
Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the bursa sac, a small cushion of fluid between the acromion and a number of tendons including subscapularis, supraspinatus, and bicep. It helps reduce friction as the tendons 

move back and forth.
With bursitis there is almost certainly going to be tendonitis . For me, this was definitely the case. I had increasingly aggravated the bicep and subscapularis tendons to a point they were so swollen they had started to push on the bursa which then caused it to become irritated.
The pain is quite acute especially at the front of the shoulder and is easily pinpointed which is good in terms of diagnosis. The pain, although sharp and annoying is bearable, and I found in the early stages of the injury that, although painful initially it subsided during training as I began to warm up. Obviously, at this point I should have been listening to my body as it began to get worse and restrictions in my range of motion were becoming more apparent especially regarding external rotation, which at its worst was less than half of what it should be and very painful under load.
Contributing factors
After diagnosing the bursitis and tendonitis we found with a little more investigating that the fundamental reason for the occurrence was an unstable shoulder. Due to lack of development, the shoulder had dropped down and forward effectively decreasing the gap between the acromion and top of the humerus, especially when raising the arm laterally and anteriorly. It’s fair to say i had been aware of this to some degree for some time prior to the injury, however, despite my best efforts to employ good form and muscle recruitment it was a case of too little too late and I believe without the right corrective procedures it was a lost cause. 

Specifically, the muscles around my scapular, mainly subscapularis and infraspinatus were the culprits, to a lesser extent teres minor, supraspinatus and the superior portion of my trapezius were involved also. Underdevelopment due to wrong muscle recruitment in this instance can really highlight how important initial programming is. We know it only takes a few repetitions to properly program a correct procedure but can take hundreds to re-program a bad one which, essentially, I’m having to do now. ‘Start as you mean to go on’, I believe the saying goes.
Proprioception - the ability to sense the position and location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts.
For rehabilitation to be successful I had to employ the use of a series of proprioceptive exercises. Contrary to what seems like popular belief amongst some therapists (I say this from experience), rotator cuff exercises involving internal/external rotation on several different planes was not an option .Because of the position of my shoulder the very movements involved in said exercises would have only served to aggravate the tendons further.
I see proprioceptive exercises as a way of isolating the specific muscles or groups of muscles affected, obviously to increase strength in the area but also to get good mental connection and therefore efficient motor unit recruitment, so when you’ve reprogrammed how a certain muscle should contract through a certain range, recruiting those muscles through more advanced movements becomes second nature.
The exercises prescribed for rehabilitation, a combination of isometric contractions and movements under contraction, target the muscles of the shoulder girdle to strengthen and reposition it in such a way that it effectively increases the gap between the acromion and humerus relieving pressure on the bursa and tendons and allowing the inflammation to settle.
So, a few things to highlight, obviously being aware of imbalances in muscular recruitment and development, and any other issues with anatomical positioning could help in self assessing potential problems. Admittedly, this injury probably could have been avoided altogether and as it is I’m now in my fifth month of dealing with it.  Also, I feel I should mention again the importance of seeking a good therapist to work with, a lot of the time I have spent dealing with this issue was because of bad advice that was detrimental to the healing process and its fair to say that since working with Michael I have made more progress in the last month than at any other time.


Monday, 29 April 2013

WPU Strength Club May Session

The W.P.U Strength Club had a great inaugural session.  If you want to get involved in strongman style training in london, the booking for the May session is now live.

Sunday May 26th down at the W.P.U Strength Club HQ, Crossfit Bold will be another day for strongman style strength training and challenges for the brave hearts.

Guys and girls, all levels welcome.  Spaces are limited to ensure quality training and access to all the kit.  You can book your spot by clicking the link below now

See you in May, any questions please do get in contact via the link above.

    Yours in strength


Darren grafting on the Olypmic Platform
Hannah mastering the Zercher Squat.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

DeadLift Dynamite

Deadlift Dynamite? That's what I'll be needing if I am to win the deadlift in the southern area qualifiers for Britains Natural Strongest Man (BNSM). Last year, my friend and strongman athlete Richard Senewald knocked out 12 reps at 230 to take joint first. Impressive right?

7 Weeks out and here is where I am at the moment.

Got some work to do. As I'm sure you know, There are only certain products I recommend, they have to be of quality, and have to add value. The same goes for the other Strength Coaches I work with.  Luckily I've worked with some of the best, including world record holder Andy Bolton.Think I might give this a go to fine tune my technique, strength and endurance.  Lets see what happens...

Andy Bolton in action......

Some of my training toys have arrived at Crossfit Bold where I am currently training, so piece by piece everything is falling into place.

Friday, 5 April 2013

8 Weeks Out

Cj M Swaby

I thought I'd set myself a challenge. I was becoming comfortable being comfortable and I thought that with the start of the WPU Strength Club, I had better lead by example. So I did.

I'm 8 weeks out. On June 1st 2013 I will be competing in the Southern area qualifiers for  Britain's Natural Strongest Man in the U105kg  category in Oxford.  This will be my second competition.  I've got that nervous excited energy in the pit of my stomach, and looking forward to getting into the arena.

I am currently 96/97kg and my strength is currently off the mark. But come 1st June I am sure it will be.
Do you want to know what the event involves?  Well here it is?

105kg Log lift for reps
230kg Deadlift for reps
110kg & 130kg Farmers Walk

Olympic Bar to overhead. Maximum weight wins (no continental cleans)

Plus medley to finish.

Too easy right?  Each week I will be blogging about my training down at Crossfit Bold and Energie Gym in Fulham leading up to the competition.  I'll certainly be reviewing what I learned from the legendary Andy Bolton.

Bricking it? Yes.
Excited? Sure bloody.