Ashley Jones Q&A Archives Page 7

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    Hi Ash,
    My name is Kevin Geary and I am a university student from Cork Ireland.
    I met you in Ireland when you were here 2 years ago and asked did you take students on for work experience.
    You said to contact you when I had an idea of when I wanted to come over and see if you could help me.

    Since meeting you I have worked with Munster rugby for 4 months in total as assistant to the strength and conditioning coaches there during the summer months when I am not in college. I am currently working as a strength and conditioning coach in University College Cork part-time while I am in college.

    This summer,I was considering looking for international experience and was hoping for an opportunity to work with you if you were available? I will hopefully be available for the months of June, July and August.
    Any information would be hugely appreciated

    Thanks Ash,
    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Kevin Geary
    Hi Kevin, I am sorry to let you know that Crusaders are only together till the end of May and we will be unable to assist you in what you seek, the shift to domestic competition is in August so I will forward your details to our Air NZ Cup trainer, Greg Thompson, cheers, ashley jones

    1st off commiserations on NZ exiting the world cup to the the most forward pass I’ve ever seen a try allowed off. You would have beat our lot( The Poms) and we would have been spared the media fawning over lil’ Jonny!!

    Anyhow the reason for the message- my club’s pre-season for this coming summer. We adopt many if not all of the running drills that you outlined in your recent article but I feel it is in the power and explosive department we lose out to our rivals. We have a young crop of players coming through who have done little or no olympic type lifting work and I was wondering if you had any circuit type sessions in mind that we could do on the field as a squad or say split 50/50 i.e. 50 % of squad running whilst the others are on the circuit.

    As Senior players and Coaches we have discussed Sandbags, Tyres even Kettlebells/ Dumbells along with bodyweight exercises but I’d like the thoughts of someone who has probably incorporated these into their charges programmes.

    What did you find the player response to be when incorporating these too?

    Many thanks.

    G Shepherd – Leeds, UK

    PS- Must recommend “The Conditioning Handbook” by Brian Jones. Got it via Ironmind/ Milo.
    Hi there Gareth, thanks for your kind words, and I am glad that you have been able to put some of my ideas into practice, as to your current question, I think a number of options maybe useful to you:

    A circuit on the field using bodyweight exercises such as, clap push ups, tyre flips, body weight exercises, yes the Brian Jones book is excellent, also the Twisted Conditioning book, Bud Jeffries, and the best of them all Combat Conditioning, Matt Furey, DB or KB work, swings, snatches, clean, push presses all are excellent choices, the rang e of lower body plyos are useful, I usually keep the reps lowish say 3 – 6 and do multiple sets, you could set up a I Go You Go style with a partner and then sprint a certain distance and go again, have had very positive responses since this style of training is tough but motivating, hope you have some fun with it, any odd size implements work as well, say bags of fertiliser, cheers, ash
    Dear Ashley,First I want to commend you on your article describing your 5 favorite leg movements. I saw a different approach that was instantly usable to improve my lower body strength. I would like to
    ask one further question. Could you explain the differences amongst the Buffalo Bar,Safety Squat and Cambered Bar for Squats.What I would like to know in particular is the advantages of using the Cambered Barfor Squats. Thank you for your help. Elliot Zalayet.
    Cheers for that Elliot, appreciate your feedback, as to your question,
    the main reasons for using each type of bar would be as follows:

    Buffalo Bar – very rigid, minimal flex and capable of very high loads,spcefically for squatting, no other specifics other than it’s high tensile strength.

    Safety Squat – a very useful alternative to front squats which may be difficult due to upper body flexibility issues, increasing loadng a little on lower back but forces you to stay more upright, takes stress off of shoulders as well, you can also hands free self spot, although this does place a high degree of stress on the rotator cuffs.

    Cambered Bar – My personal favourite, great for removing the stress off of the shoulders, a snmall amount of swing in the bar ensures that you really have to stay in a rock solid position, an increase in loading for the lower back but this is a benefit, great to do Simmons Good Mornings with as well. Also a great variation of overhead pressing with the bar
    as well.

    Hope this helps your choices, cheers, ash
    Hi Ash

    Ive noticed in a few articles you have mentioned about splitting your lower body workouts into push/pull like you would with your upper body. What stage in the season/training would this method be best used for, and for how many times per week?

    What would a typical session look like if you did this session?

    Any chance you give examples of the exercises in each group? Some are self explained but exercises i.e lunges, step-ups single leg work were would you place them and calf raises.

    Cheers Ant
    Hi Ant, with splitting the lower body you would have all squatting based movements as one group and choose from either bi-lateral or uni-lateral movements and the other grouping would be pulling dominant movements which would be hamstring and Glute dominant, such as all your olympic movements or Dead Lifts and Good Mornings and the such like. On a four day per week off season plan, you could do upper body push and pull on say Tuesday and Friday and do a lower body push and pull on say Monday and Thursday, you could also split it down even further and do:

    Monday: Olympic Hamstring/Lower Back

    Power Snatch from Floor 12 x 2
    Power Cleans from Low Blocks 8 x 3
    Trap Bar Dead Lifts 6 x 4
    Good Mornings 4 x 6

    Tuesday: Upper Body Vertical Push/Pull

    Wednesday: Off

    Thursday: Bi-lateral and Uni-lateral squat movements

    Band Box Squats 12 x 2
    Front Squat 8 x 3
    Single Leg Sprinters Squat 6 x 4
    DB SteP Ups 4 x 6

    Friday: Upper Body Horizontal Push/Pull

    Calf work and other specialist or rehab work can be done at the completion of each lower body day, along with core movements, hope this answers most of your questions, I will have a few more versions of my Arithmetic Progressions published soon, cheers, ash
    Hi this is Dave again,

    You recently gave me a program to do but I am struggling to work out what weights I should do. Do you have any recommendations, the program you suggested was

    Squat, or Front Squat
    Dead Lift or Romanian Dead Lift
    Bench Press or Incline Bench Press
    Standing Shoulder Press or DB Shoulder Press
    Chins or Pull Downs to Chest

    Also I don’t have access to ‘boards’ so was just wondering if there are any other variations to the bench press I can do. Any Help would be great


    Hi Dave, the working out of weights is really a trial and error approach, just basically seeing what weights you can lift for the required number of reps, if it is to increase mass you are going to be training in the 6 – 10 range, so if you can get more than 6 but less than 10 you are spot on, if you can not get the 6 reps you need to lower the weight by say 15% and try again, after the first few weeks you should be more or less on the money. As for alternatives to the Bench Press, if it is because you have some shoulder issues, you can get and tightly rolled up towel and place in on your chest giving you a reference point to go to, or if you can some 2 x 4 blocks of wood they will do nicely or if you have access to a power cage, do the Bench Press off of pins set about 10 cms abover your chest, cheers, Dave and I hope that helps you out, ash

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