You are on page 1of 65

Master Training for Master Athletes - Part 1

by Juan Carlos Santana | Date Released : 16 Jul 2003

So you still want to rock with the young guns, but the
years are coming hard and fast? You are not alone,
and you have more at your disposal than you may
think! We are living in miraculous times, times defined
by technologies that not only add years onto peoples
lives but add more life to those years. Today, we are
feeling younger and living longer. The urge, time,
means and desire to stay active and competitive is
prevalent among many within the middle aged and
even senior population. Whether once an athlete or
taking up a sport for the first time, the master classes
in many sports are seeing an enormous growth. What
is really alarming is that many master athletes are
still competing at the national and world level. This
means some of these 30, 40 and even 50 year olds
are giving the Olympic hopefuls a run for their money.
As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon now to see
athletes competing into their late 30s and early 40s
on the worlds stage of athletic competition. So
why is this happening? What factors play into our
ability to tap into the fountain of youth? This article
series will cover some of the lifestyle, nutritional and
training strategies we have used at the Institute of
Human Performance (IHP) to allow our not so young,
ocean loving seagulls to still sore with the eagles. The
first part will deal with some general
recommendations, ideas and concepts. We will also
offer a basic example of the program most master

athletes can use as a template. In the second part of


the series, I will share with you my 40-pound journey
into the USA Judo Masters Championships.
IHP is located in sunny and beautiful Boca Raton,
Florida, a coastal community with an affluent and
mature population. The city is a haven for sports 12
months out the year. There are leagues, clubs and
national organizations that support just about every
sport you can imagine, from deep diving to snow
boarding. If you can imagine it, we have a club for it.
Most clubs will hold some form of event that will allow
the participant to show their stuff. Therefore, training
the master athlete has become one of the things for
which we've become very well known. So what makes
our training so different? One simple word: ATTITUDE!
Most of our master athletes are just like you or maybe
just like your parents: between the ages of 35 and 50
years old, who played high school or college sports
and is heavier then they were when they were playing
those sports. They have careers, businesses, families,
little time and all of the other concerns that make
their way into excuses. All have some daily physical
condition, from your nagging aches and pains to your
chronic health issues. Some control their ailments with
medications, and others see aggressive training and
competition as their lifeline and method of avoiding
medications. All of our clients could see their
shortcomings in the genetic pool as excuses as to why
they cant do some things, but they dont! They focus
on the one reason why they should do it!

When the aches and pains show up, we do the


intelligent thing: we refer to our PT department. I have
never been part of the industrys push to try to turn
trainers and coaches into therapist or corrective
specialists. We believe in being great at what we do:
kicking people's butts without causing injury. We let
our physical therapists do what they do best: assess
and provide a diagnosis and plan of attack. Once they
have that plan, our trainers take and launch it with a
deliberate and progressive vengeance. We have all of
the love and understanding for our clients but no pity
on their conditions. Here is the short and skinny on
our experience with the aches and pains of our master
athletes and all of our clients for that matter. Most of
the aches and pains we see are related to being out of
shape. The master athlete is still trying to participate
in activities and at levels of a much younger
population. So, our first order is to get our master
athletes in the best shape possible. If after addressing
all of the issues set forth by our PT department we still
have aches and pains, then we will learn to live with
them or forget about pushing the envelope and
competing. Even young athletes ache everywhere
when they push the performance envelope. What
makes you think a master athlete wont? If you want
to be pain free, then walk, mediate, do some tai-chi,
chill and just watch the tides come in and out. If that
is not for you, then shut your pie-hole and train hard.
Its that simple.

General guidelines followed by IHP physical therapy


include:
1.Identify cause of trauma or symptom
2.Reduce or eliminate the source of trauma or
symptom
3.Eliminate symptoms or reduce to a controlled
level
4.Increase functional capacity to a level where a
symptomatic activity is no longer symptomatic
Many master athletes and middle aged people in
general have weight issues. They usually are way
behind on new nutritional and supplement
developments. Although we do research, are a wealth
of knowledge and work with the top people in the
industry, our clients still see us as their coaches and
not the place they turn to for sound nutrition
advice, supplement ideas and
recommendations. Referring out the nutritional
component associates you with a very powerful
sphere of people and keeps you out of that ugly
controversy we read about so much: whether coaches
should even mention well-published, efficacious
supplemental strategies. We always refer all
nutritional cases to anti-aging expert, Dr. Allyn Brizel.
Dr. Brizel is an absolute monster on supplements,
hormonal therapy and weight lose. I first referred to
him with no ulterior motive; it was simply the best
things for my clients. However, since then, this is what
has developed:
1.We have grown to be friends and occasional
training partners.

2.We have developed an incredible cross referral


system and larger circle of influence.
3.Our clients are delighted to have the best care in
both aspects of fitness and wellness.
4.Both of our businesses have a more powerful and
professional look and feel.
All of our clients who have made the commitment to
their goals and followed Dr. Brizels advice have
achieved the weight and look they wanted. But 24/7
nutrition is not easy, and many will just accept how
they look rather then go through the sacrifice
necessary for change. OK, now that we have taken
care of the this hurts and the I wish I looked 17
again issues, lets look at some of IHP training
approaches.
Dr. Brizel's general guidelines for weight reduction:
1.A daily consumption of about 10 calories per
pound of bodyweight when sedentary.
2.A daily consumption of about 15 calories per
pound of bodyweight when training light.
3.A daily consumption of about 20 calories per
pound of bodyweight when training hard (e.g.,
two a day).
4.About one gram of PRO per pound of body weight
when cutting weight and training hard!
5.Most fats from fish oils and flax seed oil.
6.All low glycemic carbohydrates.
Note: These guidelines are then tailored to the
specific profile of the patient as delineated by
physical examination, blood work and individual
preferences.

Whether we are working to get someone out of pain or


optimizing their performance levels, our attitude is the
same: Hurt in practice, so you dont bleed in battle.
Performance is often a battle of wills and has little to
do with skill. The one standing at the end wins.
Therefore, we make a concentrated effort to create
people mentally capable of enduring the pain of
superhuman efforts. Seasoned adults have survived
and dealt with challenges and adversities that would
cripple a younger person (e.g., birth, death,
responsibilities, divorce, relocation, financial despair,
etc.). We use the mental toughness and discipline that
only many years of life can provide to make up for the
physical decrements that this same longevity brings.
With metal toughness on our side, we can bring on the
pain of training.

Our professional clients compete on weekends as if their lives


were on the line. Here one of our competitive tennis players
practices on his rotational mechanics.

The training modalities and intensities of the master


athlete are pretty much the same as for younger
athletes. The only difference is the recovery. We have
seen master athletes cut the volume of work so they
can train regularly, and we have also seen them train

hard but less often. Both approaches work. I


personally prefer training hard and less often versus
lowering the training intensity. The reason for this is
that intense training more closely mimics competition.
Therefore, I never have to go into uncharted waters
during the competition. The way we see it, our clients
go into the competition knowing they will outlast
anyone. Knowing they can take their opponents to
pain thresholds they have never visited is a great
weapon. IHP sends all of its master athletes out with
this weapon in hand. Lets look at some of the
protocols we use.

In between the hard stuff, active recovery


can be as simple as practicing your sport
mechanics on a single leg or with the nondominant side. Here one of our competitive
golfers practices his drive on a single leg.

The following blueprint has been successfully used by


our police department and master athletes to get
them in shape for their events. We can make slight
alterations in the program to make it very specific to
the event for which they are preparing. Remember,
this is just a blueprint to give you a feel of what a
program may look like. We have mixed some
traditional modalities (i.e., free weight or machine
equivalent) with some stability, balance and metabolic
runs. We assume the person has had some time off
and is coming into the gym not knowing too much
about functional training. So we start with some
familiar moves and slowly convert the training to a
more aggressive and eclectic approach. We also
assume that putting on muscle is part of the game, so
we have some standard hypertrophy exercises. We
love Free Motion as machine alternatives to the free
weight exercises. Towards the end, you will see the
metabolic demands really kick up with the sprints and
metabolic runs (300 yard shuttles). We use the
NordicTrack Incline Trainers when doing indoor
metabolic work.

One of Boca Ratons


finest works on
hamstring and glute

Two Boca Raton police

strength with a stability

officers get ready for

ball bridge.

their yearly challenge.

Feel free to perform this program as circuits. For


example, after the warm up, perform exercises two,
three and four as a circuit. Then perform exercises five
and six as a circuit and finish with the core work as a
circuit. This approach allows one to finish the program
faster and adds a bit of cardio to the game. You can
also mix a traditional exercise with a core and a
balance to create circuits that allow for better focus
on one traditional exercise at a time. This hybrid
format is very popular at IHP, and we call it the tri-plex
scheme (e.g., a traditional exercise, a core exercise
and a balance exercise). Our hybrid protocols allow us
to use stability and balance work to serve as an active
rest between the big bangs of strength work. Our
athletes live on our hybrid programs.
The tempo of our hypertrophy and strength work is
controlled but dynamic. I think that too much has
been made of tempo work. A couple of people cited
some research, and everyone jumped on the wagon
without ever questioning who was driving it. I have
used tempo work and do not find it any more or any
less effective than the dynamic tempos we use at IHP.
Id rather have my clients get the work through
additional reps as apposed to taking five to 10

seconds to do reps. Personally, I suffer from training


ADHD. This means I fall asleep if you slow things down
too much. To me, slow tempos are flat out boring. If I
want someone to do 30 seconds of work, Ill rep them
for 15 with a load that will force them to finish in
about 30 seconds. Using challenging loads for the
appropriate rep range will not allow the weight to
move faster than one and a half to three seconds per
rep. We do make sure that the eccentric gets the most
amount of control. When working heavy loads, the
drop has to be right or injury will result. A controlled
eccentric takes the longest part of the rep and
ensures safe training. The concentric can be powered
up much faster, as long as you take a bit off the top. I
know what you are thinking this guys is nuts! Maybe,
but I can only speak from my experience.
Personally, my legs have never been bigger than
when I was doing six leg cranks in a row with body
weight once per week (508 speed reps in under 10
minutes). This bodyweight protocol uses speed to load
the muscle, and the tempo used is as fast as you
can. Our clients see excellent hypertrophy with this
speed/power protocol. I have kept my bench press
within 350 to 375 without benching. I have used our
metabolic chest protocols to keep our clients' bench
press numbers relatively high without tempo work or
even benching. Finally, the bodybuilding we do at IHP
is for the purpose of moving the body. So if I have the
option to develop sufficient hypertrophy through a
power model as opposed to a slow tempo model, I

choose fast tempo/power every day of the week (and


twice on Sunday). I have read the research on
activation thresholds, motor units and fiber types. I
understand the science and everyones desire to
adhere to it, but I personally dont have the time for
science to explain all of things I see working. So I
respect everyones opinions and their preferences, but
I will not blindly adhere to one way of doing something
when many different and effective approaches
exist. Tempo training is one of those things.
The recovery between exercises and sets is
dependent on many variables and the focus of the
cycle. If you are performing exercises in succession
(e.g., all squat sets in a row), we like the one to
two minute rest. I prefer to get more rest and use
heavier loads. If you are performing a hybrid circuit,
then we just slowly walk from station to station so all
exercises are completed in one to two minutes. In a
strength phase, we may slow down the rhythm of the
session. If the goal is to break some records, then we
get after it and use complete recovery. If we are in a
power endurance cycle, then we will power through
with minimal (i.e., incomplete) recovery.
The set and rep schemes are also very flexible. For
example, if a beginner starts a four week cycle in a
two to three set scheme, we usually go two sets the
first week, two sets the second week, three sets the
third week and three sets the fourth week. If the set
scheme for an advanced person is two to four, then
we can go two, three, four, four on successive weeks.

The rep scheme runs inverse to the sets for all


strength moves (i.e., as sets increase, reps drop).
Dont take all of this as the ONLY way to do it. Stay
free with the program. Shake it up a little and make it
taste right! When doing stability work and metabolic
runs, we increase reps to add volume and increase
stability endurance and functional capacity. For
example, we will go 12, 10, eight, eight if we want to
concentrate on strength during the hypertrophy cycle.
If we want more volume and hypertrophy, we will use
a 12, 12, 10, 10 rep scheme during successive weeks.

1-4 weeks General


Hypertrophy and Intro to
Function/power
KEY

ABC - Right side, left side and


center

OH - Overhead

BB - Barbell

SB - Stability Ball

DB - Dumbbell

1A - One Arm

FM - Free Motion machine

1L - One Leg

Exercise

MONDAY (Hypertrophy)

Sets/Reps

NOTES

1. Weighted Skip

1-4 weights x 20

rope circuit

jumps

2. BB Squat

2-4 / 8-12

3. BB Bench Press

2-4 / 8-12

4. FM Cable Row

2-4 / 8-12

1-4 lbs

5. Standing OH
Dumbbell Press

2-4 / 8-12

6. BB Curl

2-4 / 8-12

Prone knee
7. SB Knee tucks

2-3 / 10-15

tucks

Progress to
8. SB Bridges

1-3 / 10-15

one leg

9. Treadmill

2-3 / 1minutes- 6

1: 2 work:

(inclined)

mph, 10-20%

rest

WEDNESDAY (Function stability and power)

1. Warm up (Choprotation-PNF)

Med-ball Chop
2 / 10 each

protocol

2. Anterior reach
warm-up

2/10-20

Progress to
3. Squat Jumps

2-3 / 5

weighted vest

2-3 / 72 total

Attached

4. Dumbbell Matrix

reps

protocol

5. Reclined Rope

2-3 / 8-12 or

Progress to no

Pulls or Climbs

climbs

legs

6. SB Push-Up
Progression

Progress from
2-3 / 8-12

SB

Progress to
7. SB Leg Curls

2-3 / 15-20

one leg

2-3 / 5-10

2-4 kg MB

8. MB Throws
(chest)

9. Treadmill runs
(track runs optional)

2% incline for
5-7 minute run

distance

FRIDAY (Hypertrophy)

1. Weighted Skip

1-4 weights x 20

rope circuit

jumps

2. Deadlift

2-4 / 8-12

1-4 lbs

3. Incline Dumbbell
Bench

2-4 / 8-12

Stabilize with
4. 1A DB Row

2-4 / 8-12

free arm

2-4 / 8-12

Use Barbell

5. Alt DB Upright
Rows

6. Alternating DB
Curls

2-4 / 8-12

Progress to
7. SB Hip lifts

2-3 / 10-20

one leg

Progress to
8. SB Skiers

2-3 / 10-20

one leg

9. Treadmill

2-4 / 30 sec-6

1:3 work:

(inclined)

mph, 10-30%

rest

*Each major lift is performed heavy (i.e., close to


failure) once per week. The other day 60 to 70
percent is used to train.

Anterior Reach
warm-up
One leg balance
with an opposite

SB Skiers

arm reach

Roll from side to

forward

side

Reclined rope pulls or climbs Simply


climb a rope

5-8 weeks Peak Strength/


Develop power
KEY

ABC - Right side, left side and

OH - Overhead

center

BB - Barbell

SB - Stability Ball

DB - Dumbbell

1A - One Arm

FM - Free Motion machine

1L - One Leg

DAY

Sets/Reps

NOTES

MONDAY (ST)

1. Warm up (Choprotation-PNF)

Med-ball
2-3 / 10 each

Chop protocol

18-24 add
2. Box Jumps

2-3 / 5

3. Standing DB Push

vest

Perform

Press

2-4 / 3-6

4. BB Squat

2-4 / 3-6

explosive

5. Incline BB Bench

2-4 / 3-6

Bodyweight

6. Bent over Row

2-4 / 3-6

7. Knee tuck + skiers

2-3/ 10-20 of

Use two legs

combo

each exercise

non-stop

Bridges+leg

2-3 / 10-15 of

Use two legs

curls+hiplifts)

each exercise

non-stop

9. 300 yard shuttle

2-3

1:3 work:rest

8. Triple threat (SB

WEDNESDAY (Function stability and power)

1. Weighted Skip rope

1-4 weights x

circuit

20 jumps

1-4 lbs

Progress to
2. Squat Jumps

2-3 / 5

vest

3. Gary Grays DB

1 / 72 total

See attached

Matrix

reps

protocol

1-3 / 84 total

See attached

4. Leg Crank

reps

protocol

5. Reclined rope pulls

2-3 / 8-12 or

Progress to

or climbs

climbs

no legs

6. MB Explosive Crossover push-ups

2-3 / 8-12

7. MB throws (OH, Side


and Back)

2-3 / 5-10

2-4 kg MB

8. Treadmill runs (track

7-10 minute

work optional)

run

For distance

1. Gary Grays DB

1-2 / 72 total

Use 5-10 lb

Matrix

reps

DBs

FRIDAY (ST)

2. Weighted Vertical
jumps

2-3 / 5

3. BB Deadlift

2-4 / 3-6

4. Flat BB Bench

2-4 / 3-6

Use Barbell

Stabilize with
5. FM Cable row

2-4 / 3-6

free arm

6. Triple threat (SB


Bridges+leg

Use two legs

curls+hiplifts)

2-3 / 10-15

non-stop

7. Knee tuck + skiers

2-3/ 10-20 of

Use two legs

combo

each exercise

non-stop

8. 300 yard shuttle

3-4

1:4 work:rest

*Each major lift is performed heavy (i.e. close to


failure) once per week. The other day 60-70% is used
to train.

9-12 weeks Peak Power and


Power Endurance
KEY

ABC - Right side, left side and


center

1A - One Arm

DB - Dumbbell

SB - Stability Ball

1L - One Leg

OH - Overhead

DAY

Sets/Reps

Notes

MONDAY (Power Endurance)

1. Weighted Skip rope

1-4 weights

circuit

x 20 jumps

1-4 lbs

Use Med ball


2. Leg Cranks

3-6 / 84

3. Alternating MB Push-

2-4 / 10-20

or Vest

ups

4. Alternating Band Pull


(rotating)

2-4 / 20

5. Alt Curl and Rot Press


(DBs)

2-4 / 10-20

6. Sit-ups

1-2/ 45 sec

BW+10%

7. 300 yard shuttle

3-4/300yrds

1:3 work:rest

8. SB Triple Threat 1
Leg

2-3 / 10-15

WEDNESDAY (ST and Power maintenance)

1. Warm up (Choprotation-PNF)

Med-ball Chop
2-3 / 10 each

protocol

1 min
2. BB Squat (super set
#1a)

between
2-3 / 5

exercises

2-3 min
3. Box Jumps (super set
#1b)

between
2-3 / 5-8

supersets

1 min
4. Bench Press (super
set #2a)

between
2-3 / 5

exercises

2-3 min
5. Explosive push-ups
(super set #1b)

between
2-3 / 5-10

supersets

6. Pull-ups (or lat

1 min

pulldowns) (super set

between

#3a)

2-3 / 5

exercises

2-3 min
7. OH Med ball throws
(super set #3b)

between
2-3 / 5-10

supersets

Various
8. Cable rotations

3-4 / 10

angles

9. Incline Trainer runs

10-15

Run for

(track optional)

minute

distance

FRIDAY (Power Endurance)

1. Weighted Skip rope

1-4 weights

circuit

x 20 jumps

1-4 lbs

15-20-15%
2. Vested Verts

3/5

BW

3 / 72 (15-20
3. Matrix

lb DBs)

4. Push-ups

2-3 / 25-30

5. Reclined rope pull

2 / 20

2/10 reps
6. SB Fab 5

per exercise

(Push-up, Hypers, rev


hyers, knee-tucks, and
skiers)

7. 300 yard shuttle

x5

1:3 work:rest

8. SB Triple Threat 1
Leg

2-3 / 10-15

NOTE: Many of these exercises can be found in the


PTontheNET.com Exercise Library
This plan has a little bit of everything in it and there is
lots of room for change. If you study the progressions
over the 12-weeks, you will notice the slow but steady
increase in intensity, and in some cases volume (e.g.,
runs and stability protocols). An eight week version of
this protocol made the Boca Raton Police department
a wrecking machine. Some of the most improved
officers were females.

Level of performance and training can get so high, that we


often cant tell the difference between our master athlete
and our younger competitors.

Use this program to help develop your own approach


to training master athletes, watch for the itis
problems and work around them and not through
them. This program will provide an interesting game
plan for any individual involved in an aggressive sport
(e.g., basketball, flag football, soccer, etc.). It has
plenty of muscle and a good bit of hustle.

I know I have gone against the grain on some issues


like tempo, but thats OK. Embrace change and
possibilities. Leave your self open to options. Many
people in the industry want to be
scientists, performing miraculous rehabilitations and
using $10 words. Thats cool by me but it is not me.
Im a coach, a personal trainer and a PE teacher, and
I'm happy with that. At IHP, we are great at what we
do: kicking them in the butt and slapping them on the
back. I leave the other stuff to those who like it, and I
respect them for the perspective they bring to the
industry. Now, this does not mean I always have to
agree with them on everything. I can assure you what
we are doing absolutely works. Our clients would not
be coming back if we were not delivering the goods. I
ask you to take it all in and then make up your own
mind and use what you like.
In the next article, I will share with you my own
personal journey to the Judo National Masters
Championships. I tell you about the nutritional
program Dr. Brizel turned me on to and all of the
supplements I used. The program was brutal, but
youll find it interesting how I made it work with my
travels and work schedule. Of course, lots of pictures
will be included. You know me NO BS! I will give it to
you straight and nasty. If I did it, youll know about it.
We will even cover some things people dont admit or
talk about! So stay tuned, and Ill show you why the
old phrase, Youth is wasted on the young may have
some truth to it!

This is one of my favorite ways to practice my Judo lifts


FreeMotion, Wings and 200 lbs.

THE MATRIX by Gary Gray


This circuit was designed to provide total body
training in all three planes. It is composed of a
pressing sequence (three exercises), a curling
sequence (three exercises), a lunging sequence (three
exercises) and lunge-to-press sequence (three
exercises). Each exercise is performed six times (three
per side). The total circuit is 72 reps, and a target of
1:45 to 2:00 minutes should be the aim.

Progression
1.Start with individual moves for eight to 16 reps
2.Perform each complete sequence (six reps of each
exercise)
3.Perform total circuit with body weight -- with
hand/ankle weights --DBs -- Bar
4.Perform with hand/ankle weights (not for time),
complete recovery between sets x two sets

5.Perform with hand/ankle weights (not for time),


complete recovery between sets x three sets
6.Perform with hand/ankle weights (for time),
complete recovery between sets x three sets
7.Perform with hand/ankle weights (for time), 1:2
work rest ratio x three sets
8.Perform with hand/ankle weights (for time), 1:1
work rest ratio x three sets
9.When you can perform three sets with 1:1 in 1:45
1:55 add weight (five to 10 percent)

THE MATRIX Sequences


1.Pressing sequence (18 reps)
Sagittal Overhead Press x 6
Frontal (Y) Overhead Press x 6
Cross Overhead Press x 6
2.Curling sequence (18 reps)
Alternating curls x 6
Alternating Upright Rows x 6
Cross Uppercuts x 6
3.Reaching Lunging sequence (18 reps)
Front lunges (sagittal) x 6
Lateral lunges (frontal) x 6
Rotational lunges (transverse) x 6
4.Reaching Lunging to Press sequence (18
reps)
Front lunges to press (sagittal) x 6
Lateral lunges to press (frontal) x 6
Rotational lunges to press (transverse) x 6

LEG CRANKS by JC Santana

Time

Circuit I

Speed Squats below


25 sec

parallel

24 Reps

24 (12
Reps Each
35 sec

Alternating Lunges

Leg)

Alternating 1 leg box

24 (12

push-off (lots of air over

Reps Each

30 sec

box!)

Leg)

15 sec

Jump Squat (to parallel)

12 Reps

105
second
s

Circuit II

25 sec

Speed Squats below

24 Reps

parallel

A
15 sec

Jump Squat (to parallel)

12 Reps

24 (12
B
35 sec

Reps Each
Alternating Lunges

Leg)

12 (6 Reps

15 sec

Alternating Split Jumps

Each Leg)

15 sec

Jump Squat (to parallel)

12 Reps

105
second
s

Med Ball Leg Circuit


(Use 3-7 kg ball)

Speed Squats with Push


25 sec

below parallel

24 Reps

24 (12
40 sec

Alternating Lunges with

Reps Each

rotations

Leg)

24 (12
30 sec

Alternating Split Jumps

Reps Each

with rotations

Leg)

Jump Squat with


20 sec

overhead reach

12 Reps

110
second
s

Note: You should be able to do three sets of 24


lunges or 24 squats without any pain or discomfort
before trying week one. Be sure to spend two or three
training sessions mastering the correct rhythm and
execution of each exercise in the circuit. Following the
above recommendations will avoid the crippling
DOMS that would result from trying this circuit for the
first time.

Circuit Progression - Twice a week (Monday


and Friday)
The eventual goal is to go through the circuits
continuously without a rest. This is a six-week

progression. The total volume in reps for each workout


is in parenthesis.

Wee
k

Sets

Recovery

Recovery

between

between

exercise

circuit

2X
#1

Circuits

3 Min between
1 Min Recovery

3X
#2

Circuits

circuits

2 Min between
45 Sec Recovery

circuits

Circuit Progression - Once a week

4X
#3

Circuits

90 sec between
45 Sec Recovery

5X
#4

Circuits

60 sec between
30 Sec Recovery

5X
#5

Circuits

Circuits

circuits

No rec between
30 Sec Recovery

6X
#6

circuits

circuits

No rec between
No Rec Recovery

circuits

Master Training for Master Athletes - Part 2


by Juan Carlos Santana | Date Released : 18 Sep 2003

Last article we covered some of the basic concepts we


consider when training the master athlete and
weekend warrior. This issue will get personal and
specific. We will cover my own personal journey to a
better health profile, a loss of 40 pounds of fat and the
USA Judo Masters Nationals. We will talk about the
issues that face all of us trying to stay young
scheduling and time management, travel, training,
recovery, supplements, steroids, and the most
important thing keeping it REAL!
Lets first start my giving you a history profile. Many
people have called me a freak because of some of the
exercises they have seen me do in demos or my
videos. Like everything else there is lots of smoke
and mirrors in these exercises. What I mean by that is,
they are hard to do no doubt about that but they

also have a large skill component. That means all of


these exercises have little nuances that allow them to
be performed with ease. If you dont know these little
techniques, the exercise becomes almost impossible
to do. Therefore, yes, Im strong, but a far cry from
what most people think or give me credit for.
. As far as naturally athletic, I would say Im pretty
average. For example, Im not naturally fast, I dont
have a high vertical or have ever performed freakish
lifts. I can gain muscle pretty fast, but can get fat
even faster. I have terrible knees from all of the
combative pounding of the last 35 years. Everything I
have ever accomplished has come by outworking all
of the competition. I have never won any major or
national competition. However, I have always
preferred to get my butt kicked at a high-level event,
rather then enter low level competition and win. I
have always competed up and have participated in
events at the state or national level. I have always
trained with pros or national champions and thus have
had harder training sessions then competitions. As far
as Im concerned I have had the life and wear and
tear of a professional athlete for 30 years that is a
long athletic career. That is a longer period than most
athletes compete for.I have also been told that Im
blessed with genetics. That is also subject to
interpretation. Im about 59, bald and naturally
doughy
As far as health, parents are in their seventies. They
are in relatively good condition and are on some

meds. Dad takes meds for hypertension, cholesterol,


diabetes for an enlarged prostate). He is overweight
but fit he loves to move. Mom just started on
cholesterol and diabetes meds after menopause she
hates to move. Considering that both of my parents
have never lived a regimented life of proper nutrition
and exercise, they are not doing too bad. As for me, I
passed my first of 9 kidney stones at 25 and have had
Lithoterpsy twice to break up large stones that would
not pass. Im on 100 mg of allopuranol and
magnesium citrate everyday to control production. A
couple of years ago, I had to start taking 40 mg of
Zocor to control my 240 CHOL (40 mg). SO, at 44, my
health genetics seem, again, very ordinary at best!
June of last year I was concluding my heavy workouts
with my NFL guys. Since March I was training and
eating like an NFL player. I was on creatine, not
watching my diet and training heavy. What happens? I
go from 215 to about 228. By early June, my lifts are
good enough to work out with 300+ pounders and
put it to them on all the lifts. My joints were killing
me - I was not recovering with all of my travels and
pressure of a new business. I really needed something
to happen because I was on taking Vicodin and Vioxx
to control the pain at night.
One day, a man came into IHP and said he was a local
MD looking for a place to refer his patients. We talked
about what we did at IHP and what he did in his
practice. In turns out that Dr. Brizel was an emergency
medical doctor and internist, specializing in "anti

aging. He worked with some high level athletes and


many normal people just looking for that edge. When
we spoke about my situation, he implored me to get
some blood work at his office. I took Dr. Brizel up on
his offer, and he found my testosterone to be 195
ng/ml (normal ranges for a young male are 600-800
ng/ml). He suggested the use of dermal application of
a Testosterone gel to regulate the T levels and see if
higher levels would allow me to repair my constant
training aches. After four weeks, my testosterone was
up to 595ng/ml. However, my weight had climbed to
232 pounds and my joints were worse (i.e., now I
needed Vioxx and Vicodin to make the pain go away
enough so that I could fall asleep for a few hours). Dr.
Brizel did not like the fact that I was on Zocor and
tried to get it down with niacin, guga lip extract and a
variety of other supplements, which did not work over
a four-month period.
Desperate from the pain and having some concerns of
becoming a Vicodin addict, I started doing research on
androgens. I read plenty of research and spoke with
some of top scientists in the country concerning the
use of Decca and Dianabol. I spoke to Dr. Brizel, and
he was not for it, but he understood my Vicodin and
Vioxx for life or a cycle of an androgen desperation.
He offered to monitor me and run a four-week trial. He
also preferred to see me go on a four-week monitored
trial of androgens then to see me become dependent
on pain killers. This is the first time I have ever used
steroids in my life but it was either this to get better

or stop training all together. I went on 1 cc of Decca


per week, which is 200 mg, in addition to the T gel I
was using. The results: In four weeks, I shot up to 238
and did NOT get any better. My lifts started to
decrease because the pain was worse, and I lost my
mojo for training. I stopped ALL steroid and
supplement (i.e., Creatine) use after the four week
trial. The take home message here is, I dont know
why steroids did not work for me in terms of recovery
and bigger lifts. Maybe I was so over trained (I dont
think that was it) I was at the point of no return when I
started them. The bottom line is, I will not go that
route again.
After a three to four week layoff from training and all
supplements, I was down to about 230. I started back
training for about two months with no real goals in
mind. By September, I had decided that the only way
to really get back into shape was to have an end goal
in mind. I made up my mind to get back into Judo and
try to compete at the Nationals the following April, in
the 198 pound class. I started a mild jogging program
to drop weight. I started with one mile per day,
three times per week. By the second week, my knees
blew up from the little running I was doing. I had
never had knee problems until that time. After a few
weeks of dealing with the knee pain, I got an MRI, and
it showed that my knees were worn out. One knee
showed a complex meniscus tear. My orthopedic
surgeon recommended we would repair the damage
via arthroscopic surgery. Due to my lecturing

schedule, surgery was set for January. That would give


me 12 weeks to rehab before my competition.
Between September and January, I got in great shape
using the upper and lower body elliptical (the program
I outline in this article), judo practice and the great
diet and supplement program Dr. Brizel had me on. I
dropped 20 pounds between September and January
using four to five week hypertrophy, strength and
metabolic cycles (see training charts). I showed up in
great shape for my knee arthroscopy.
The day of the surgery, I asked my doctor to go into
both knees and get all of the cleaning over and done
with. He agreed, but said rehab would be difficult on
both knees simultaneously. I said I would deal and he
agreed to the bilateral knee arthroscopy. When I came
out of the surgery, he said that he had some good
news and bad news. Good news my menisci just
needed some cleaning. They were still in tact. Bad
news I had 60 year-old knees and would soon need a
knee replacement if I keep up the pounding. I said,
No problem, Ill be a good boy and find ways to train
without pounding my knees.
By January, Dr. Brizel had been trying to get my CHOL
down with various supplements. He tried everything
he knew and still nothing under 240. His work with a
few compounds allowed him to design a plan of
attack. It needed to be safe and effective. He decided
to put me on Zetia to improve the effectiveness of the
Zocor. He also put me on Avodart, a prostate
medication that blocks the formation of DHT and

raises testosterone levels. I also started using Test 1, a


dermal gel that has been shown to be seven times
more anabolic than testosterone. Dr. Brizel and Tom
Incledon designed and tested T1 with very promising
results.
After my knee surgery in January, I started the
MONSTER SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM OUTLINED BELOW.
By April, I was down to 200 pounds.

MONSTER SUPPLEMENTATION
Arthritis - Weight loss - MEDS

JOINT FORMULA
1.Wobenzyme - (4 caps) - twice per day
2.MSM - 3 grams (3 caps) - twice per day
3.GLUCOSAMINE 1000mg (1 cap) - twice per day

WEIGHT LOSS, anti-oxidants and recovery


supplements
1.Nutrient 950 (multi-vitamin and mineral) 2
capsule twice per day
2.Flax seed oil 14 grams - (Tablespoon) with
shakes

3.Super EPA fish oils 1200 mg - (2 caps) - twice


per day
4.PureWeigh - FM (Taurine, Green tea and DHEAAcetate-7) - (1 cap) - twice per day
5.LIPOIC Acid 100 mg - (1 cap) twice per day
6.Acetyl L-Carnitine 750 mg - (1 cap) twice per
day
7.Red Wine Extract and
Diindolemethane 200mg and 200 mg - (1 cap)
twice per day
8.Free BCAA 3 gram twice per day (on empty
stomach)

Meds (Cholesterol, kidney stones, prostate


and testosterone levels)
1.Zocor 10 mg - (1 cap) once per day
2.MAG Citrate 150 mg - (2 caps) twice per day
3.Zetia 10 mg (1 cap) - once per day
4.Allopuranol 100 mg - (1 cap) - once per day
5.Adovart - .5 mg (1 cap) once per day
6.Ergo Gel 4 sight application twice per day
I did such a good job of pre-habilitating my legs for
surgery, I was back to normal two week post-op. I was
dragging and pulling tires for leg strength (see my
PTontheNET.com article Extreme Training for the
Average Joe and Jane). We were doing metabolic
sprints on the Versa Climber for cardio, long Elliptical
runs for calorie burning, Judo for technique and our
Hybrid program for strength and power (well get to
that soon). From February to April, I went into the
zone. I did not miss a workout no matter what. When
traveling, I would go to the hotel gym or nearest other

gym, to get my cardio in. I would wake up early and


get my training before my flights and train on
Sundays to make up for workouts.
When traveling, I packaged my supplements and did
not miss a feeding. If I couldnt get to a real meal, I
would do a liquid meal. Food came into my body every
2-4 hours. Due to my busy schedule, I could not get
regular meals in. I used two scoops of Isopure protein
powder at work as a meal. At one time, my schedule
got so crazy I did not have the time (or the presence
of mind) to make the shakes of Isopure. I was turned
on to the Extreme Smoothies by VHT (170 cal, 35 g of
PRO, 5 g of carbs and 1 g of fat). These ready to drink
cans were what the doctor ordered. I would drink 4-5
everyday and have a huge salad with a lean meat at
night. This nutritional approach is NOT your normal
approach but my life is not your normal life.
However, this nutritional approach allowed me to get
regular feedings, over 200 grams of protein, great oils,
lots of veggies and fiber, lots of water, and with no
suffering.
OK, now for the cool stuff the TRAINING. I
separated my post-op phase of training into a 12week format (i.e. late January, February, March and
April). Three phases: Hypertrophy (i.e. training base),
Strength and Power/Metabolic. Over the years, I have
grown to understand and appreciate the effectiveness
of various training styles. Throughout the last 7 years,
I developed a Hybrid system of training, which
incorporated the best of the best. It combines the best

of the traditional lifting, power development,


metabolic training, stability and balance training
performed as a circuit.
After my surgery, I worked out eight to 10 times per
week: two strength days, two power/metabolic days,
two to three Judo classes and three to four long cardio
bouts (800 to 1000 calories/workout) per week. While I
was traveling, I got in the cardio. I even did two of the
same workout in one day to make up for airplane
time. By weeks end, all workouts had to be
completed. No that is not easy or comfortable. No
that is not normal. But, you know what? We all want to
drop 20 to 30 pounds, grow hair, grow taller, become
beautiful, have boobs and smaller butts. Well, guess
what? Thats not normal. You want normal? Look in the
mirror and learn to love it baby, because that is what
you normally look like. You cant get extraordinary
results with an ordinary effort! So, if you want
abnormal changes (look at my pictures that is a very
abnormal transformation), then you will have to live
an abnormal life.

November 1
2002

March 21 2003

April 16 2003

230lbs - 19.5%

208lbs - 12%

200lbs - 9%

The hypertrophy cycle went on from January 27th to


February 14th. I made this phase only three weeks
because I was in decent shape, plenty of muscle and
just wanted to expand my training base. The first
week, I went for three sets of 12 reps. The second
week, I went three sets of 10 reps, and the third week,
I went for four sets of eight reps. As I have said
before, I dont do the tempo stuff we just prefer to
use more weight and move a bit faster. We believe
tempo will take care of itself when we start loading up
the bar. Remember, we train performance
hypertrophy not aesthetic hypertrophy. That is, we
want to be big enough to kick ass the rest is beer
and peanuts. We rest enough to recover between
exercises but never sit down. The entire workout takes
about 45 to 55 minutes. If you take more then
that, you are BS-ing.
You will notice I do not have any leg exercises on the
strength days. That is because my knees are shot. The
squatting with 400 and lunging with 225 days are over
for me. Therefore, I pulled heavy tires for leg strength
on my power/metabolic days. Pulling and pushing
does not hurt me knees, it gives me one hell of a
pump and makes my legs stronger during pulling and
pushing. My power/metabolic days are my easy days
and I can even do this workout before or after my Judo

classes. During the hypertrophy phase, power is not


an emphasis, neither is metabolic conditioning. For a
week at a glance see the charts below.

HYPERTROPHY CYCLE (3-5


weeks)
1.SB = Stability ball
2.AirX = Balance pad
3.HOB = Hands on ball
4.1l = One leg
5.1A = One arm
6.DB = Dumbbell
7.BB = Barbell
8.GM = Good morning
9.DL = Deadlift
10. UB = Upper body
11. Blue exercises are performed for sets and
reps indicated.
12. Black exercises are performed for sets
indicated on the blue exercises, for 10-20 reps (or
seconds for balance exercises).

Monday

DB CLEANS 3-4X5

____/___,___/____

SB Neck (Front/Side)

____/___,___/____

Airx 1L Balance

____/___,___/____

DB Pulls 3-4x5

____/___,___/____

SB Neck (Back)

____/___,___/____

Band Rotation (2
blue)

____/___,___/____

BB Inc Bench-3-4X812

____/___,___/____

SB Prone Rolls

____/___,___/____

SB Reverse Hyper

____/___,___/____

Row-3-4X8-12

____/___,___/____

SB Skier

____/___,___/____

SB Hyper

____/___,___/____

Dips to Failure

____/___,___/____

Tuesday
1.Tires 100-150yards in 25 yrd pulls
2.MB Throws 5k
3.Scoop 2x10
4.Rev Scoop 2x10
5.Chest 2x10
6.Rot 2x10

Thursday
DB SNATCH 1A
3x5

___/___,___/____

Head Harness

____/___,___/____

HOB SB P/U

____/___,___/____

GM/DL- 3x 8

____/___,___/____

Pulley Rot

____/___,___/____

UB Fitter (Lateral)

____/___,___/____

Pulldowns -3-4X8-12

____/___,___/____

SB- Roll out

____/___,___/____

SB- 1L Bridge

____/___,___/____

FLAT BENCH-3-4X812

____/___,___/____

SB Hip Twister

____/___,___/____

DB 21S

____/___,___/____

Recline Rope Pulls

____/___,___/____

Friday
1.Tires 150-200yards in 25 yrd pulls
2.MB Throws 5k
3.Scoop 2x10
4.Rev Scoop 2x10
5.Chest 2x10
6.Rot 2x10
My strength phase went on from Feb 17th to March
7th. As with the hypertrophy, I was plenty strong and
just wanted to make sure I would not lose any
strength while dropping the rest of the weight needed

to make the 198 lb. weight class (about 17 pounds). I


figured 3 weeks would be plenty of time to peak my
strength. On the power exercises, the first week I went
for 3 sets of 5 reps, the second week I went 3 sets of 4
reps, and the 3rd week I went for 4 sets of 3 reps. On
the strength exercises, the first week I went for 3 sets
of 6 reps, the second week I went 3 sets of 5 reps, and
the 3rd week I went for 4 sets of 4 reps. These are not
hard-set numbers, but general guidelines. If I felt like
flooring it, I would go as heavy as I wanted. If I felt I
needed a little more recovery between heavy days, I
would go a little lighter. As a rule of thumb I took it to
the hole on each lift only once a week. At 44, my
body was still able to recover with that amount of rest
between heavy poundage's.
The power and tire drag days get a little heavier and
slower in movement speed. The intent to move fast is
still there, but the weight of the tires and medicine
balls are such that the actual movements get a bit
slower. Thats OK it is the strength phase and power
is still not the main concern. Although much tougher
then the previous cycle, this day can still be pulled off
before or after a Judo class. Below is a week at a
glance of the strength cycle.

STRENGTH CYCLE (3-5 weeks)


1.SB = Stability ball
2.AirX = Balance pad
3.HOB = Hands on ball
4.1l = One leg
5.1A = One arm
6.DB = Dumbbell
7.BB = Barbell
8.GM = Good morning

9.DL = Deadlift
10. UB = Upper body
11. Blue exercises are performed for sets and
reps indicated.
12. Black exercises are performed for sets
indicated on the blue exercises, for 10-20 or reps
(or seconds for balance exercises).

Monday
DB CLEANS 3-4x35

____/___,___/____

SB Neck (Front/Side)

____/___,___/____

Airx 1L Balance

____/___,___/____

DB Pulls 3-4x 3-5

____/___,___/____

SB Neck (Back)

____/___,___/____

Band Rot (2 blue)

____/___,___/____

BB Inc Bench -34x4-6

____/___,___/____

SB Prone Roll

____/___,___/____

SB Rev Hyper

____/___,___/____

Row-3-4x4-6

____/___,___/____

SB Skier

____/___,___/____

SB Hyper

____/___,___/____

Dips to Failure

____/___,___/____

Tuesday
1.Tires 100-yards heavier 25 yrd pulls
2.MB Throws 7k
3.Scoop 2x6
4.Rev Scoop 2x6
5.Chest 2x6
6.Rot 2x6

Thursday
DB SNATCH 1A 34x5

____/___,___/____

Head Harness

____/___,___/____

HOB SB P/U

____/___,___/____

GM/DL- 3-4 x 3-5

____/___,___/____

Pulley Rot

____/___,___/____

UB Fitter (Lateral)

____/___,___/____

Pulldowns -3-4X4-6

____/___,___/____

SB- Roll out

____/___,___/____

SB- 1L Bridge

____/___,___/____

FLAT BENCH-3-4X46

____/___,___/____

SB Hip Twister

____/___,___/____

DB 21S

____/___,___/____

Recline Rope Pulls

____/___,___/____

Friday
1.Tires 150yards lighter pulls in 25 yrd sprints
2.MB Throws 7k

3.Scoop 2x6
4.Rev Scoop 2x6
5.Chest 2x6
6.Rot 2x6
Now, we come to what I consider the most important
part of the training program, the power endurance
and metabolic phase. This is where you peak
explosive power endurance and get in gut wrenching
shape. This is where you sweat so much in practice
you dont bleed in battle. The power phase is pretty
easy to follow in terms of directions. I perform 5 reps
of traditional exercise (in blue) with moderately-heavy
weight (i.e., a heavy five reps but not to failure). I then
take about a minute of rest, before performing an
equivalent, unloaded exercise as fast as I can. This
coupling allows me to charge up my CNS without
fatiguing my muscle. The result is the power output of
the unloaded exercise goes through the roof! I follow
that coupling with a short rest and a rotational core
exercise of some kind. I take about a 1-2 minute rest
between each circuit. These are not exhaustive
training sessions they just peak power. Because
these two lifting days are not as hard as the other two
days, I now do them on Judo days.
On the power endurance and metabolic days, things
are a little different. These days are sometimes what
nightmares are made of. The whole idea of these
training sessions is to take your body to a place where
no opponent will take it; maximal efforts are the norm.
We will get the body tired and then ask it to move
quickly and with high power outputs. We start with

either the matrix or leg cranks (see Part 1 of


this series) to exhaust the lower body. Then we
perform fast sprints with the tire pulls/drags. This
works on those hard driving or pulling movement in
the middle of a match. We move on to some ladder
drills for foot speed and agility. This gets us used to
quick foot movements when you are dead. The
medicine ball throws are light and explosive. Here we
work on the explosion needed during the set up of a
throw. Finally, we end up with Versa Climber or 50%
incline sprints. One of the metabolic days, we use the
Versa Climber and try to crank out 120-130 reps in 30
seconds, rest 30 seconds and repeat. The other day
we will either run 300-yard shuttles using a 1:3 work
rest ratio or run incline sprints on the NordicTrack
Incline Trainer. On the incline trainer we will do 10
repeat of 10 second runs at 6 mph with a 40-50
second rest period. It does not sound like much, but at
about 7 seconds everything shuts down and it takes
everything you have to finish 10 seconds especially
after about 4-5 repeats. See the chart below for a
complete look at the week during the power-metabolic
phase.

POWER / METABOLIC CYCLE (3-5


weeks)
1.SB = Stability ball
2.AirX = Balance pad
3.HOB = Hands on ball
4.1l = One leg
5.1A = One arm
6.DB = Dumbbell
7.BB = Barbell
8.GM = Good morning
9.DL = Deadlift
10. UB = Upper body
11. Blue exercises are performed for sets and
reps indicated.
12. Black exercises are performed for sets
indicated on the blue exercises, for 10-20 reps (or
seconds for balance exercises).

Monday
DB CLEANS 3X5

___/___,___/____

Box Jumps

___/___,___/____

SB Neck (Front/Side)

___/___,___/____

DB Pulls 3x5

___/___,___/____

Vertical Jumps

___/___,___/____

SB Neck (Back)

___/___,___/____

BB Incline Bench-3X5

___/___,___/____

MB Chest Pass

___/___,___/____

SB Rev Hyper

___/___,___/____

Row-3X5

___/___,___/____

Plyo Rope Pulls

___/___,___/____

SB Skier

___/___,___/____

Tuesday
1.Matrix x 2 1:2
2.Tires 100 yards in sprints
3. Ladder 5 drills x 3-4
4.MB Throws 3k
5.Scoop 2x10
6.Rev Scoop 2x10

7.Chest 2x10
8.Rot 2x10
9.Versa Climber 10 x 30 sec. 1:1 work/rest

Thursday
DB SNATCH 1A
3x5

___/___,___/____

Rev Scoop

___/___,___/____

Head Harness

___/___,___/____

GM- 3x5

___/___,___/____

Explosive Band
Pulls

___/___,___/____

Fitter Lat

___/___,___/____

Pulldown (Sim) 3X5

___/___,___/____

MB Slams

___/___,___/____

SB- 1L Bridge

___/___,___/____

FLAT BENCH-3X5

___/___,___/____

Explosive MB Pushup

___/___,___/____

21S

___/___,___/____

Friday
1.LEG CRANKS x 2
2.Tires 100 yards in sprints
3. Ladder 5 drills x 3-4
4.MB Throws 3k
5.Scoop x10
6.Rev Scoop x10
7.Chest x10
8.Rot x10
9.Incline Trainer 10 x 10 sec. 1:3-4 work/rest (@
50% grade, 6 mph)
My power-metabolic phase concluded on the 9th of
April, leaving me 10 days to recover and tune up. I
had a quick power workout on the 14th just to keep
my powder dry. I managed water intake and got in a
few sauna suit cardio sessions to rid my body of the
last bit of water. I left for the nationals on the 16th,
weighed in on the 17th at 197 and competed on the
19th. They give the Masters a little more time to
recover from making weight. I competed at about 208.

Moments from the Trenches of


Training

Flipping and pulling tires

Explosive rotational
Box Cleans for

training for my

explosive power.

throws.

Pulley Suplexes for picking up opponents and gently


placing them on their heads

Notes from the Trenches:

1.During the last week of March I blew an umbilical


hernia during a demo at a Perform-Better seminar.
The doctors decided that it was OK to train and
compete with a brace. I used the brace in
training, but competed without it.
2.I used braces, pads and taping on my knees
during competition just in case. I knew I had
pressed it pretty good after surgery so I figured
that every little bit would help.
3.I dehydrated 5 pounds during the last 48 hours.
Not too bad considering the 48 hours I had to
replenish!
4.My hernia surgery was scheduled for a time after
the Nationals sometime in May. When the
surgeons went in, they found a triple hernia. The
hernias were repaired with a mesh and Im back
to dragging cars and flipping tires.
The Nationals were an absolute success in my eyes. It
was my first judo competition and my first time
competing in a grappling sport in 25 years! All I
wanted to do was to come back safely and be able to
continue to work. I wanted to compete to the best of
my ability and not lose to conditioning or strength. I
accomplished all of that! I got a buy in the first round
and won my second round match with a beautiful
counter I had been practicing for four months. My
third round match was a close loss to the guy who
ended up winning the division (a little more
experience, and I would have won it). My fourth round
match for third place was with the defending
champion, and he sent me flying an absolute perfect

throw. Im now practicing that throw for next year.


Remember causitive cures - if it caused the
problem, eventually it has to be part of the cure. So
technically, I tied for 4th out of 16 places.

Facing off with an opponent

Me getting some - from


last years champion!

Me giving some!

The entire experience was phenomenal, and I would


not change it for the world. My family was with me, we
experienced Vegas and enjoyed our time together. I
competed well and came back in one piece. What
more can you ask for?

The family at the Nationals

At the end of it all, it is all about the trip, not the final
destination. It is about working for it and not merely
wishing for it. It is about walking the walk and not just
talking the talk. Its about living your own life and not
living it through someone else (i.e., your kids). It is
about competing against your personal best and
nobody else. It is about self discovery, personal
growth and the triumph of the human spirit. You only
go through this life once. How do you want to be
remembered?