Sunday 27 June 2010

Saturday's sloppy slip up

I was away on holiday for a week and I got back home at around three thirty on Saturday morning. The Leinster Open was on a few hours later in Crossfit Ireland and it was great fun, but my lifting was not the Mae West--108/132 which is roughly 90% of my best. I had not touched a bar in nine days and I was finding it quite difficult to focus my mind. I still enjoyed myself though and was happy to see everyone again. I am really looking forward to the next two months where I can train to my heart's content and continue setting up and establishing East Coast Barbell. By the way, I am setting up an ECB youtube account and will publish my four part interview with John Broz on it and switch over a few of my other interviews also. Here is the first part of John's interview:

I have talked about Pat a few times now, but I have neglected to discuss his training partner. Rob Adell is a 94kg lifter who is training with the Average Broz club; he is around 97kg and is about 5"7 in height. I have never met anyone like him physically: he is like a mutant shark in human form. The man is a perfect fit for the 94kg class and with his background of heavy lifting since he was 12 and his lifestyle, weightlifting is a match made in heaven. The first assumption that jumps to mind is that he is using, but when you realise his lifestyle and fanatical devotion to nutrition, my opinion evolved.

Rob is only 19 and he does not drink, smoke or eat junk food of any kind. So when people jump on the bandwagon and assume him and Pat are using, they are using a mind set that is completely alien to both athletes. People cannot understand their lifting and this means they try and work out in their minds how THEY could do it and gear is the only way they can imagine it. Of course I will not preach how these guys are using steroids or not, but what people need to understand is that there are far more important things to understand. The problem is that Pat's and Rob's brains do not work like ours. In Average Broz gymnasiun, Rob's lifting is treated as a tragic Greek drama: so much potential that has come nowhere near realised due to the main protaganist's conscious decision to ignore the calling of fate. Neither Rob or anyone else in the gym are anywhere even remotely satisfied with his lifts. Now that Rob has decided to focus on lifting and not football, we will see his results sky rocket.

When he was 17 years old he had Cleaned either 180kg or slightly less after little over a year of training. Himself and Pat started training at the same time and Rob was actually making better progress than Pat, but he was still playing football and actually hardly training with John for about a year. He is back and we will be hearing a lot more about him soon. In an interview I will show when Blogger stops being a stubborn 8 year old girl who just got her first Barbie taken off her on Christmas day so that she will eat her dinner, he was so tired from his week's training that he was practically a walking zombie and was not nearly as articulate as he would be normally. I will put up the rest of John's interviews over the next few days.

Friday 18 June 2010

Friday's fare thee well moment

Here are the latest installments from my series of interviews where I talk to Pat Mendes, who is training to become Olympic champion. He discusses the physical and mental process of his journey and hopefully you will enjoy watching it.

When people discuss Pat, the issue of steroids is raised every time and what is not realised, is just how much time, effort and dedication have gone into his training. Pat has put everything in his life on hold for the last two and a half years in order to become a world champion. Everything that we take for granted in life such as going out with friends whenever we want, college, romance and even the feeling of vitality every day-- these things are not applicable to Pat. He has dedicated his life one hundred percent to achieving his goals. There is no luck in this equation; every fibre of his being is invested in becoming Olympic champion. Can people like us relate to this? No. Pat's progress is one of the major reasons that people assume he is taking drugs, as is his lack of competing in a tested competition in the last year and a bit. As I said before, it is not my job to explain his and John's decisions and quite frankly, it is none of my business either.

Aside from the fact that Pat is simply a really nice guy, the main reason I conducted these interviews with John's lifters and the equally hard working lifters in California Strength, is so that we can change our perspective on what is possible. Glenn Pendlay and John Broz have dedicated a major part of their lives to the sport as have the lifters I trained with. They are professional lifters, but their mindset is different and Pat's is almost even more intense again.

I will be away for the next few days on a non weightlifting holiday. I can't remember the last time I went without a week of training, but I will rest up and enjoy it. I will be back the night before the Leinster Open on June 26th and I am really looking forward to competing and enjoying myself. When I come back I shall finish off my series of interviews with a John Broz four part finale.

Some of you may know already that I am starting up an athletic performance centre and weightlifting club in Bray. It is going to be called East Coast Barbell and it is around 20-30 minutes from Dublin, depending on what time of day one is travelling at. We shall be opening up around the beginning of July, so my summer shall be dedicated to training as hard as I can and turning East Coast Barbell into one of the best training centres in the country.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Wednesday's withered lifting

I am now back home after my weightlifting odyssey in the States. I trained today and it went as swimmingly as I could have hoped. I was weak as a kitten, but it was nice seeing Wayne and Zag again. I was telling them how jet-lag was not a problem--and then I trained...Uh oh. Here is a link to my first interview taken from my stay in Average Broz gymnasium:

For the first time since I started this blog, I am not sure about how to write about the experience because it went beyond weightlifting. I learned a lot in regards to weightlifting in both California and also in Vegas, but I really enjoyed myself in the process and it was in meeting so many interesting, fun and genuinely nice individuals that will make my trip a powerful and indisposable memory. What people don't understand is just how generous both the guys out in California are and John Broz is out in Vegas. I have spoken about Glenn and David out in San Ramon in length, so I will focus more on John in this post.

People's perceptions of John lack both accuracy and credibility. Some people think of him as an extremist and that all his lifters use enough gear to help them fly. I refuse to be naive enough to igmore the possibility of drugs, but people fail to realise it is simply an opinion, not a fact. There is a difference. Last year, I met John Broz by complete chance and after training in his club, I thought it would be fun to interview a man who loved weightlifting and strength even more than I do. John has dedicated most of his life to both and is incredibly passionate in helping his lifters as well as other people who ask for his help. I have visited on two occasions now and my good friend Cathal Byrd--don't tell him I called him that: it is embarrassing for us both--has also visited him:click here to read his report.

Both of us found him to be a generous and genuinely top guy who is a charismatic character in our sport. I can see how he can rub some people the wrong way with his brash manner in dealing with the USAWA, but he is a man who will do anything for his lifters and he has always strived from day one to set international standards for them; he has deliberately avoided most local and national competitions which bucks the trend to get competition and platform experience. It is not my place to explain his actions and I will not presume to answer for him, but there are answers that that go beyond the presumption that Pat Mendes and Rob Adell are taking copious amounts of steroids. Sometimes an assumption is made that says more about the people making it rather than the intended recipient--the temptation is to use the word "victim" but John and Pat are certainly no victims; they have made their decision and are happy to face the consequences.

I still do not really know how to relate my experience. John helped me technically and I spent a good bit of time both with him and his lifters. People ask me about him and the first thing that comes to mind is that he is just a really nice guy who I get on well with. How great a weightlifting coach will be decided in the future and this is a challenge that he seems to revel in; many of his lifters make similar gains, but with Pat and Rob the starting points were different. Pat walked into the gym with a 230kg Back Squat and a 200 odd Bench Press. Both himself and Rob had been weight training since they were thirteen, going as heavy as they could. This kind of training and "genetics" are incomprehensible to most people. Most people assume that without gear, training twice a day is impossible over the long run. In my interview above, Jessica is plainly not using and she maintains this schedule despite having an injury history before taking up the sport. Sometimes expectations set from the beginning alters a person's thought process and therefore their mental and physical ability to learn. All good teachers and coaches know this. Irish expectations are too low. We all know this and this is why we are making a collective effort to improve.

Over the next few days I shall release my series of interviews that I took with different people who train in Average Broz so that an overall perspective can be gained and not just a focus on Pat and John. Are you going to be one who makes an easy assumption or are you going to think for yourself and reflect on more than numbers?

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Tuesday's trip report

I just got back home and I have a lot of things to do. The good news is that I got a lot of cool interviews that I will be putting up over the next few days and while I was in Vegas, I also took a few with John Broz and Pat Mendes. Here is an interview with Donny Shankle, who is simply awesome--even more so than Murph, which is saying a lot. Here it is:

A weightlifter that all the boys in California spoke very fondly of is James Moser and here is a video of him Snatching at the Arnold's two years ago.

All the guys are looking forward to him returning back again--he is currently in jail--and hopefully all will be well.

I will write about training in Average Broz over the next few days. I will be away again on Thursday--not for weightlifting though--and I have a lot of things to get sorted before I leave, so, till the morrow. I hope you enjoy Donny's interview.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Thursday’s talent hotbed

Everyone only trained once today and even at that, physically I was a broken mess. But, I was one happy weightlifting camper and I still really enjoyed our session. Caleb ‘s back was still hurting and he kept it light and snappy; after all the hard work he has put in, I really hope he stays relatively healthy for the Junior World’s next week in Bulgaria. He has put the hard yards in and he deserves a break. Donny and Jon Power Snatched and Power Clean and Jerked. After their vicious session the previous day, I could see they were hurting a bit, but they still got on with it.

I went straight to the blocks and started Snatching from there. I worked up to a few singles with 100 and I left it there as I was struggling to maintain tension in my back due to fatigue. I moved onto Power Clean and Jerks except I lifted off one 25 as a platform and worked up to a few singles with 110kg which felt incredibly heavy despite the fact that it is usually a joke of a Power Clean. Again, the cues were to keep my weight on my heels and to really get my hips into the Clean. In the Jerk, it was to aggressively get my head through in the catch and again, to keep my weight in my heels. By the time I finished, my tank was empty and it was plainly obvious why. I am not used to lifting with this volume and intensity over the last week and this shows that instead of me being over-trained, I am very much undertrained. Of course I am not going to beat myself up over it; the wrong thing to do in my life situation would be to jump straight into doing as much as I possibly could and bury myself in a hole. Instead, I need to gradually increase the amount of volume I can successfully tolerate and in the process, improve my technique and consistency in the lifts and get stronger. It sounds simple and a sensible head will have to reign; therefore I need to take myself and my nonsensical mind out of the situation and trust Zag, Harry and Wayne.

For my last few hours in California, Glenn showed me a few different exercises to strengthen my weak back; the way he performed them was slightly different and some of them were quite similar to some of Tom Bruijen’s. They were some back raises; back extensions and some basic barbell rows and you can see two of them in the video below.

All in all, my week’s stay in California Strength proved to be an incredibly enjoyable experience. I learned a lot in regards to weightlifting technique, programming and the type of environment required for success. But just as importantly I had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time laughing my ass off. Everyone works hard in this place. Max is one of the most intelligent people I have met and has a razor sharp dry delivery. Caleb is incredibly talented, generous and was full of brilliant stories—mainly about Donny and Jon. Donny is one in a million and you shall see the interview I took with him in a few days. How a man can combine culture, a voracious competitive streak and being an old school eccentric is beyond me, but Donny pulls it off in style and it is an honour to have spent time with him. Jon is a beast and his intensity is incredible; He is only lifting for a little under three years and we are going to see some major numbers from him. There were a number of young lifters coming up the ranks that are being fostered in this environment and I know they will experience undoubted success.

Glenn and Lori were very generous and Glenn needs no obsequious rambling: his results speak for themselves. As a person, he is passionate and extremely learned. His mindset is something I aspire to as a coach and a teacher. David and Catherine were two of the coolest people I have ever met and spending time with them was a pleasure. David’s experience in weightlifting and business is amplified in the success of California Strength as a weightlifting club and as a business.

Have a look at the videos below; one is a brief look at Thursday’s training and the other is an interview I had with Jon North. As always, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Wednesday's warrior king: Donny Shankle

This was a great day's training and the inevitable happened: I broke. Training like this exposed my weaknesses and there is absolutely hiding from them. So, I did what I could and will try and fight my way through it.

In the first session on Wednesday, for the majority of it, I felt like I was about to get sick. Not good. My battery was empty and I was running on adrenaline. I started off with the Snatch and worked on doubles up to 90kg and I missed the second rep with 100. I went back down to 90 and then missed the second rep with 95 twice. Embarrassing. I went back down to 90 for a double and left it there. I thought I had nothing left to give, but then I went onto the Clean and Jerk.

In between reps, I tried to stay focused and not get sick all over the gym. I worked up to singles with 120 and I missed the Jerk behind with 125kg. I called it a day for the first session and went and had lunch and a double espresso for the second session. I knew this would be tough, but I came here to push myself, so push I did.

The afternoon session was around three hours later and I started off with Snatch singles and worked up to 100 and I got 105 on the second attempt. I missed 107.5 and after looking at the video, a little part of me died inside. Training outside my usual comfort zone and with volume that I am not used to has pushed me beyond anything I have had so far in my brief weightlifting adventure. I have learned a lot and watching these guys push the envelope every day is both inspiring and is also shows what clean lifters are capable of. However, in an environment like this, your weaknesses get exposed and there is absolutely no hiding place—nor would I want one. My back was rounded worse than a five dollar hooker’s. What has always been my weak point was now kicking my ass and there was very little that I could do about it. I had my moment where I looked at the video in horror and was both embarrassed and appalled. Then Glenn had me do Snatches from a block of two 25’s instead and I did what I could; I was now in a position where I could get proper leverages and I worked up to four singles with 105 and had a good workout. I always knew my back was weak, but my weaknesses in conditioning and my posterior chain were so ruthlessly exposed out here that there is no going back to what I was doing. Quite simply I have to strengthen my back, glutes and hamstrings which is of more immediate importance than squats right now because I am not struggling coming out of Cleans; it is rather keeping proper positions is the problem. When I am fresh and rested, it is not really a problem, but when I am tired, those muscles fatigue the quickest and let me down. I need to sort this out and I will.

After my Snatches, I moved onto the Clean and Jerk and I worked up to singles with 100, 120 and 130. I Cleaned 135 and missed the Jerk. I was irritated with my Cleans, so I went back down to 120, Cleaned it and Jerked it three times lowering it down each time. This felt like the most functional ab exercise I have ever done and it allowed me leave the training hall feeling like I had achieved something I had not done before. Around an hour later, I squatted with Donny and Back Squatted doubles up to 150 and then went for 5 reps with 160kg. I only got four though and two on the second attempt. I then went back down to 150kg and got 5 reps with that. Job done and day over; I was as tired as I have ever been in my weightlifting odyssey, but facts that I already knew were hammered home in as blunt a manner as I actually needed. If I don’t work on my weak points, I will remain weak.

Here is an interview with Glenn Pendlay and hopefuly we can all learn something.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Tuesday's tactile takeover bid

Tuesday was supposed to be a light day where we did doubles with relatively light intensity. They did not feel light. I felt beat down and I was doing a Power Snatch with a Hang Snatch working up from 50 for a few, 70 for one or two, 80 and then 90 for five doubles. They felt like they were 110 and Jon felt just as rough except his doubles were with 130kg. Embarrassing....

When I moved onto the Clean and Jerk, I worked up to Clean doubles with 110 for five doubles and finished on 120kg. My timing felt a lot better even though I felt weak as a kitten that just fell out of a tumble dryer. It was one of those sessions where you just have to power through and get on with it. Glenn had me focus on staying back on my heels, keeping the back as tight as possible and getting quicker elbows. I knew this was coming: weights that are usually light Power Cleans feel like 90%+ full Cleans where you have to grind them out. The Snatches were the same: rough as a bear's arse and and Murph's stubbled chin. Even though my positions were not as optimal as I would like them to be, the rhythm of my lifts felt more consistent, particularly the second reps where I had to rely more on technique.

I can feel the nervous system straining; the body is not that sore but the fatigue is creeping up in different ways: positions are harder to achieve and maintain as is mental focus; the adrenaline you feel being in this kind of electric atmosphere is at odds with how you feel physically but you are buoyed up; Jon is howling at you--Donny is making his Southern gentleman remarks that inspire but with a double edged sword, cause hilarity and a cacophony of chaos. Glenn lords over the process with a concise and accurate delivery of instructions and directions while David plays the yin to Glenn's yang. The only thing I have been mising is Caleb's intensity--he is injured. I cannot describe the atmosphere any better than this.

Here is another interview I did with Max Aita. He discusses his experiences training under Ivan Abadjiev in greater detail and his Oscar Wilde witticisms shine through to boot. Enjoy:

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Monday's malicious doubles

I woke up with a tight back and posterior chain in general after a day off on Sunday. I expected this, but after a little warm up and stretch, I felt better. There were two sessions yesterday and it was extremely demanding, but very beneficial.

In the first session, after around fifteen minutes I felt a little better and after going up to a double with 100, I hit 110 for a single on my second attempt. I went up to 130kg in the Clean and Jerk, and even though these are not heavy weights, I had never hit high intensity weights so early in the morning. Glenn had me focus the most on staying back on my heels rather than falling onto my toes which would cause me to leave it out front. He repeatedly said that the biggest thing I need to work on in my lifting is consistency--Wayne Healy also told me the same thing several times--and that if I am going to make mistakes, that they should be the same mistakes every time. One of the issues in my lifting is that I am not doing the same thing every time. With the Cleans, he also had me focus on staying back on the heels and timing the catch so that the bar was racked at the same time as my feel landed when I got under the bar. I was pulling the bar, planting my feet and then letting the bar fall down on me. The more I focused on it, the better I got and the Cleans felt far more comfortable. My Jerks felt pretty good also. John was training with me that morning and he was feeling pretty rough, but he turned it around massively in his second session.

The second session was quite frustrating as what I wanted to work on--consistency--did not play out like I wanted. In the Snatch, I worked up to doubles with 100 and 105 and I was unable to get it with 110. I worked back down to 90 and I hit my sharpest Snatches with 90 and then 100. The timing and speed felt great, but I could not translate that afterwards. So many doubles.....

In the Clean and Jerk, I did doubles again trying to work on my technique and my consistency. I worked up to doubles with 120, 125 and then I could only get one rep with 130 and 135. I worked back down to 120, hit 125 again, hit another single with 130 and then the bar fell back on me on the second rep. I went back down to 120 and ground out three of the hardest reps of my life, but I got them. I was so frustrated with myself for not going under the second reps of my few attempts with 130 and 135kg. It felt horrible to feel like I was lacking the necessary testicular fortitude and I needed to hit my triple with 120 just to show myself that I could do it. So many doubles, but when you have John North screaming encouragement and Glenn Pendlay sitting there in judgement, you can push it that extra bit. Now I simply need to get a double with 130kg which should not be a problem considering my max single is 147kg. Frustrating, but you have to start somewhere I guess.

Have a look at this video and let me know what you think. John had an insane session with countless doubles in both lifts and he was sore and beat up today. There is also a nice interview with Max Aita and I think many of you will find it fascinating. He trained under Ivan Abadjiev and Steve Gough and he has had a lot of experience in this sport:

Saturday’s stipulations

I woke up feeling better than I thought I would. My back and postural muscles were tired and a little stiff, but otherwise I was ok. The Saturday workout usually comprised of pulls and squats mainly, but Glenn changed it around on the day so that we focused more on the classical lifts and squats. As I said earlier, he was telling me to stop doing any Power Cleans and Power Snatches because they are getting me to overpull the bar, causing a sloppy and awkward catch, particularly in the Clean. After a brief warm up, we started with Snatch doubles and did two doubles with 50, 70, 90 and then I did one with 100 and for some reason could not get another with 100 so I dropped back down to 90 for five doubles and then went up to 95 for my final double. I was working on getting a consistent rhythm in my lifts and getting under the bar quicker. Donny and John did five doubles with 130 as did John as Glenn said afterwards, despite the intensity being pretty light, he was moving well and his technique was consistent.

After the Snatch, we moved onto the Clean and Jerks and I did around three double with 110, two with 115 and then I finished off with 120kg. I do not do Clean and Jerk doubles often, but they are quite demanding and after every set, I could feel myself getting more and more consistent. Glenn had me focus on tightening my back as much as I could, getting my feet out in the catch and like the Snatch, getting under the bar far quicker. Normally these weights feel very light, but doubles are very tiring and obviously this makes the second rep in particular feel a lot heavier than it actually is. John was doing doubles with 130 and after his big workout the previous day, along with his jet lag from his trip back from the Pan-Am’s, he was feeling very rough. For his final set, he jumped up to 150kg because that is what Donny was doing and he made this look better than any of his 130’s. These guys compete against each other and that is one of the reasons why they keep improving—this is the case whenever Irish lifters train together also. A competitive environment is a vital component to a successful training program.

The guys had a 45 minute break and then went back to squat. After a brief lunch, we went back, but the owner of the gym, David Spitz along with his lovely wife, took me out to experience the joys of San Francisco in a memorable day, so I skipped squats. I’ll have to make up for the missed lifts, but something tells me that should not be a problem...

On the Sunday a few of us went to the beach to chill out and rest up. I had a short interview with Caleb Ward and hopefully you shall enjoy it.

Friday 4 June 2010

Friday's fortuitous Irish weightlifter

After a fifteen hour journey, I arrived in San Francisco airport and got in at the same time as Glenn and Jon who were returning from the Pan Am championships where the US placed third in the team event. Luck showed her face at the start of my trip and I was able to get a lift to San Ramon with the other guys. By the time I got back to where I am staying--David Spitz and his wife are amazingly gracious--I had only slept three hours in the previous two days. I had gotten my third or fourth wind, so this meant that although my mind had turned to mush, I was bizarrely alert. My body clock did not know its arse from its elbow and I ended up waking up at five fifteen in the morning and I could not get back to sweet precious sleep.

I arrived at the gym for around 9.30 and started my work out around forty five minutes later. Caleb is still coming back from a back injury and held back from lifting heavy, preferring to wait for the afternoon session. Donny decided to take the day off training as he is still fatigued from the Pan-Ams, as was John, who took the morning session off. Max was coaching a client and squatting also. I felt pretty rough warming up, but after each lift I felt better and better. I worked up to doubles with 80, 90 and 100 and then jumped to a relatively easy single with 110kg. I decided to leave it there as the afternoon session was later and I did not want to jump the gun. Glenn enquired whether I was going up again and I decided to move up to 115, but I did not have the mental power to switch it back on again, so I left it there a little embarrassed. I worked up to a Power Clean and Jerk with 120 and saved it for later on.

I chilled out for several hours with a few of the guys and came back to lift at 4.30 that evening. I was not feeling too great in the second session and when I realised it was half twelve at night at home, I understood why. I was not feeling sharp like I was earlier and although I worked up to a single with 110kg, I left it there and went back down to 90 for a double, then 100, then 105 and on the second attempt, I got a double with 107.5kg for a pb—it was 105kg. I then went up to 110kg and I missed the second rep around six times in my quest for a double with 110. I was so close my last two sets in particular, but as Glenn said, my first attempts were getting better and the tank was empty for the second attempts. Donny and Glenn kept telling me that I was overpulling the bar and this was causing me to be slow under the weight. Also, because there was an element of fear with the second rep—it felt far heavier on the second rep due to fatigue—this was also another reason for me being a little slower under the bar. This mental aspect is something that I will get better at the more I do heavier doubles.

I then moved onto the Clean and Jerk and I worked up to 130kg and it felt pretty nasty. I went back down to 115kg for a double and then up to 125 for a double. On the second or third attempt, I got 127.5kg for a double and it required every ounce that I had because on the second rep my brain was screaming at me not to go under the Clean and to leave it be. Thankfully I gutted it out and eventually got it, but it was purely a mental exercise and this was something I had to do. I had never done so many doubles in my life and even though I was feeling a bit drained and lethargic, I was able to get through it because of the unique atmosphere in the gym and among the lifters.
John North hit a pb double in the Snatch with 145kg and it was actually better than when he hit it with a single. He started of doing singles with Caleb Ward and Donny Shankle. Donny was taking it easy after his last competition in the Pan-American championships and along with Caleb hit 150 and then 155, but Caleb re-injured his back on 155kg. John North hit 145 on the second attempt and then missed 151kg in a death defying lift. He went back down to 120 for a double, then did 130, 140 and hit his 145kg double. He wanted to go back down to 130 and start up again on singles, but Glenn stopped him. This guy has a big engine on him and he is great to train with. He worked up to a Clean and Jerk with 170 and then hit a 175kg Clean and finished off with some doubles with 150kg.
Friday is their big workout day so they put everything into their classical lifts and leave squatting for the following day. I was happy to leave it there for the day and eat an awesome barbeque in Glenn’s house. Nutrition is vital for recovery! Here are a few of the lifts from the day. I was trying to focus more on my own lifting rather than be an overwhelmed puppy that runs around sniffing everything and tripping people over.

Thursday 3 June 2010

California Strength summit

I will soon be on my way to California Strength for a week's worth of training and learning and I can't wait. Everything is settled and ready to go and after Glenn and Caleb travel to the Junior World's, I will fly to Vegas to train with John Broz and his lifters over there. I am not going to lie: this will be an immense trip and even though it will leave me destitute for most of the summer, I know it will be worth it.

As always, I will document my trip in an extravagent amount of detail and yes, there is a strong chance I will over-analyse things. Thankfully this will accepted before hand, so be patient with me. I have been so insanely busy over the last week that for the first time ever, I can officially say I had no time to train. I will be over in the States for 10 days of training and considering I had a competition on Saturday as well as being very fatigued in general, the few days rest will suit me fine.

John is very eager to do another interview, so if you have any questions that are reasonable, post them in the comments section and I will see if I can fit them in. As soon as I have something to say, I will get on the blogging bandwagon and as always, your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated. It is brilliant when people can engage in a dialogue when they are coming from different directions and as long as we respect each other's right to have their own opinions, we might actually learn something. Till next time.