Q: I have a big multi-day race coming up. What should I do about my strength training? I was planning on stopping it altogether about 2 weeks out. Do you think that is a good plan?
A: I would not stop strength training, strength is the foundation for every other physical attribute and letting it erode is going to negatively affect everything else. You can do a de-loading week where you train relatively hard two weeks out and then the last week you cut back on your weights by 40-60% and “de-load” the workout.
Q: James, I have just started week one of the Combos program having only purchased my own set of dumbbells last week. I am going to do a three day program and i have been looking around the internet for dumbell programs to do on alternate day which may be more body part specifc, not that i feel yours is not. I wish to do strength training and toning for summer.
A friend at work who used to strength train used a system of Chest and Biceps one day. Back and Triceps another and then shoulders another with a rest day inbetween. I am not sure if this is now a primative method given advances in the understanding of strength programs. Using his method i designed a seven day plan. Could you advise me if this is too much for a week workout. Thank you for your time.
A: More is not better, better is better. The program you described is a bodybuilding program that is designed to get you bigger, not more athletic. Including it in your overall workout won’t really help you much.
If you do the DB Combos workouts 3-4 times a week you’ll be getting more than enough quality exercises to make a huge impact on the program. If you add extra stuff in you can screw up the results I intended. Just trust the program and follow it as it is laid out.
Q: I have tendonitis and it looks like all my enthusiasm has gotten the better of me as my right forearm is pretty cramped up right now and, out of fear of making it worse I don’t want to get back on the bike for awhile. Is there anything you can recommend to prevent this from happening?
A: Tendinitis is a sign of repetitive overuse and the real culprit is usually not in the elbow joint. The first place to start looking is at the shoulder joint, particularly in the rotator cuff and upper back. You want to work on getting trigger points out of those areas and make sure that they are functioning properly to secure the shoulder joint. Use a tennis ball against the wall and lean into it with your upper back to dig into that area for trigger points. Here is the URL for a video demo of a great exercise to start doing 3-5 times a week:
Hope this helps…
Q: I bought your program in the past couple of months and I’m having problems with my lower left back. I feel really stiff in my left hip and lower back. I was wondering if you had any insight on my problem.
A: You are not driving with your hips and are instead leaning back when doing lower body exercises. You have to keep your weight back on your heels and drive through your heels, squeezing yout butt cheek(s) as hard as you can. Get tall at the top, if you don’t get tall you will end up leaning back. Low back pain stems from poor glute function so if it is stiff and sore then you are not squeezing your glutes hard enough. Try backing off the weights a bit as if you go too heavy you end up bypassing your true weak link (the glutes) and instead just crank into your dysfunctions (using your low back). Hope this helps…