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Nathan Damron’s #TrainStupid Explained Again
Last year I wrote an article letting all of you in on the programming performed by Nathan Damron. I actually love reading the comments on Reedit and Instagram regarding Nathan’s massive squat PRs. Every time it’s the exact same thing. He hits a massive squat PR or two, and then everyone jumps on the “yeah but where are the Snatch and Clean & Jerk PRs” train. Then a week or two later he will post a snatch and clean & jerk PR, and then the same people are singing him praises.
Are you guys not catching on to what he is really doing? It’s the exact same pattern each and every time. There is so much to learn from him if you guys would stop hating and just pay attention. This article is going to lay it out for you, so you can just watch the process next time.
Do Nathan and Dylan do some off the wall things that I don’t 100% agree with? Absolutely! I don’t necessarily agree with Power Cleaning 400lb cold, but I totally understand it. Champions are all a little crazy! I was the craziest! Do you really think that people who set out to do things that no one else can or will do really thinks like everybody else? They don’t! And most of you are never going to understand, and that’s ok. You aren’t supposed to, but don’t try to question them. Just sit back and appreciate the things that they are able to do.
The #TrainStupid originates from Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz. He told them that all champions are a little crazy. Of course he was right, but they took it to heart. Yah they push it way past normal. Yes they train when they are hurting. Look man if elite weightlifters only trained when nothing hurt them, they would never train. They always hurt!
Other than a few episodes, these guys train 100% correct. Let me tell you what these guys really do:
1. Their training is well thought out. They go through phases of high volume strength work followed by a week of strength testing where you guys will see the crazy squat PRs. The majority of their training leading up to a competition is blocks of waved volume weightlifting programming. They focus on the lifts Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squats, and Pulls.
They choose assistance work targeting their weaknesses. Both Nathan and Dylan are performing unilateral carries, lower back strengthening, and overhead strengthening. The goal is to prepare them for the long road ahead of at least two Olympic campaigns.
Their total volume will continue to rise in a waved manner until just a few weeks before a major meet. At that point they will taper allowing the body to super compensate from the decreased volume. The goal is for them to enter the meet strong and ready.
2. They perform 9-12 sessions per week. I am sure that those will increase over time, as they will start to adapt.
3. They NEVER miss Training! Never!
I have the best group of athletes that I have ever had at the Mash Compound. I love each and every athlete that I coach. Yes I take it personally when people make negative comments about them. These boys are so much more than what you guys see on Instagram. Here’s what I mean:
1. These guy support the entire team. They cheer for every lifter that trains with me. They don’t care if someone Snatches 70k or 170k. They just want their teammates to improve.
2. These guys help the rookie lifters to improve on the daily. They love the sport, and they just want to see it spread to the world.
3. These guys have been loyal to me through a lot of ups and downs over the past year. That loyalty has earned them my total loyalty in return.
I get it! These guys seem like cowboys to a lot of you. That’s ok! Hopefully I have given you all the other side of them. If you don’t believe me, feel free to come train with them any time that you want. The door is always open to the public.
Here’s the thing that all of you need to remember. The junior athletes in my gym (Nathan, Dylan, Tom, and Mason) train the heaviest of all my athletes. Why? That’s easy. Their endocrine systems are primed. Their testosterone and HGH are at all-time highs, so now is the time to push the limits. Of course we do it safely, but it’s definitely the time to get after it.
Everyone trains a little differently at our gym. There are a few things to consider when programming for athletes:
• Biological age
• Training age
• Athletic ability
• Individual strengths and weaknesses
Everyone is so different, and that needs to be considered when programming. If an athlete is progressing at a steady level with minimal injuries, then the program is working. If the athlete isn’t progressing, things need to be changed. We don’t accept plateaus at our gym. If things aren’t progressing, something needs to change. It baffles me when people are ok with two-year plateaus. I am not good with two-month plateaus.
Nathan and I are working on a book to explain the “Train Stupid Program” a little more in-depth. I think that all of you will be pleasantly surprised to see how well thought out that it really is. Yes there are some crazy moments thrown in there, but something truly stupid wouldn’t produce the results that he has had as an athlete over the last one year. Stay tuned for “#TrainStupid Explained”.
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