NJ Seminar with Joe DeFranco & Zach Even-Esh Review (Part 3)

Woke up on day two and I was feeling pretty good, not too sore other than the usual low back tightness in the morning.  Went downstairs and shoveled as much food as I could into my gob because I knew that I was going to go through a tough workout. Zach was creating it and we all know that guy likes to go big and put on a show.  Driving to DeFranco’s that morning I realized that I did not have directions from the hotel to the gym so, being the buy that I am, decided to let intuition be my guide.  Of course I got lost again….but 100 u-turns later I got there.  Yeah I know what you are thinking “Doug why didn’t you just use your GPS?”  Well I did not have a GPS in the lousy rent-a-wreck.  In fact that car did not have two operating headlights or functional wiper blades.  It did have this ice scraper/brush combo tool that I was excited to use.  I know it would get old after day three or so, but us Cali people rarely ever do those sorts of things.


Zach got us going on the warm up which he mentioned “is a good time to assess the athlete’s movements, moods and energy levels.”  I made sure I did my lunges with a faux smile. 


Bodyweight Warm Up:

Ø      Squat                                         10r

Ø      Alt. Lunge                                  10r      

Ø      Toe-touch lunge                       10r

Ø      Mini-band pull aparts               25r


Zach likes to add some abdominal work to the warm up like leg raises on the dip bars but we did not do these do to the number of people we had and the limited amount of dip bars.


Off to the workout where we broke into three groups based on how much we thought we could lift that morning.  The workout consisted of:


A1) Zercher squats w/thick bar                   5r (submaximal effort)


Miniband pull aparts, push ups and abdominals were done in between for active recovery.  


B1) Single D. Bell cleanàpush press               3s x 5r

B2) Body weight pull ups                                3s x RM


C1) [Cheat] Hammer curls                               3s x 5r (use the body to bring them up and then control the eccentric)

C2) Tate press                                                 3s x 12-15r



After another filling lunch at the Goffle Grill (I kinda miss that place) we came back and Joe asked us if there were any exercises we wanted to talk about or have demonstrated.  Joe addressed the nuances of the his famous “Triceps of Death” routine where he uses the board press to help the athletes prepare for the 225lb bench test at the combine.



He also talked about the use of his version of D. bell cleans for shoulder rehabilitation and rotator cuff injury prevention.  He has his athletes initially doing them in the seated position and when the athlete gets better then they can perform the exercise on an incline bench.


Those were just come of the highlights from the DeFranco-Even-esh seminar and believe me there was so much more.  I must say I have never been to a seminar like that before.  The idea of traveling to the place where the coach performs most of his work, being placed in their environment and asked to perform the way they want their athletes to is an experience that you cannot get from a seminar in a classroom setting.  I felt like I learned a ton of information that was easy to understand and applicable to my business right now.  I cannot wait for another opportunity like this again; it makes all of those u-turns worth it. 


Thanks Joe and Zach.


*Next post I will put up my workout I did in preparation for the DeFranco Even-esh seminar.  

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 Business No Comments

NJ Seminar with Joe DeFranco & Zach Even-Esh Review (Part 2)

After the workout was done and there was good food in our bellies from the Goffle Grill, you can check out the Goffle Grill Menu and please remember that we were at a strength and conditioning seminar not a nutritional seminar.   Ok where was I?  Yes, after we lifted and ate it was time for Q&A with Joe and Zach and it centered on their training structure. 


Joe gave a lot of insight for his in-season athletes who train with him.  Some of his key points to look at when training in-season athletes include:

Ø      Determine their current mood by asking questions to determine how to train them that day.

Ø      Cut down on the volume

Ø      Don’t do a lot of knee flexion exercises in-season especially if you are going to train them right before their practice.  Instead do leg work with;

o       The Prowler

o       The Sled

o       Band Good Mornings

o       45-Degree Back Raises

Ø      Glute-Ham Raises


Ideally get the in-season athlete in and out in 1 hour.


Zach talked a lot about the way he structures his training sessions.  For the beginning athletes he liked to train them in phases:


Phase I Baseline

Ø      Body weight exercises (squat, lunge)

Ø      Med. ball throws

Ø      Hand walking

Ø      Pull ups or recline rows


When the athlete shows proficiency in Phase 1 they can move on to the next phase:


Phase II

Ø      Box squats

Ø      Blug. Split squats

Ø      Push press

Ø      Sled and prowler work


Zach sets up his workout days by focusing on a particular body part.  After each month and he will then rotate days two and three so people training two times a week are exposed to different body parts to ensure balance in their program.


Day 1 – Full body workout

Day 2 – Upper body

Day 3 – Lower body


If Zach chooses to have a fourth day it will be a strongman type training day.


Zach likes to train progressively in four-week blocks:


Week 1 – Intro to movements

Week 2 – Repeat week 1 workout and try to break records

Week 3 – Repeat again and try to break records

Week 4 – Full deload


Well there are the highlights of Day 1 from the DeFranco and Even-esh New Jersey seminar.  As you can see there was a lot going on in a short amount of time. Stay tuned for Part 1 of  Day 2 coming up soon.

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Sunday, December 14th, 2008 Articles, Business No Comments

NJ Seminar with Joe DeFranco & Zach Even-Esh Review (Part 1)

Day 1

What does it take for this California guy to leave his 67-degree weather and travel across the country to the cold part of America?  Well only the best seminar this year (maybe in the last five for me) hosted at DeFranco’s training facility in beautiful, but cold, Wyckoff , New Jersey.  It was there that 20 eager students soaked in the knowledge and the philosophies of two of the countries leading strength and conditioning coaches; Joe DeFranco and Zach Even-Esh.


Yes that is snow on the fab rental!

Yes that is snow on the fab rental!


I had to take the red-eye Friday night and I got into Jersey around 6:30am, plenty of time to get my bags, my rental car, and figure out how to get to Wyckoff which was estimated to be only 40min. away.  New Jersey might be known as the “Garden State” but I am also giving it the title of “The Most Difficult State to Drive in State.”  It seems that all you can do is make u-turns to get to the other side of the road, I swear that I only turned left once the whole time I was there.  I got lost too many times to count and I always had to drive further than I wanted to go.  It was challenging but after driving in that state I was ready for anything they were going to throw at me during the seminar.


When we get to DeFranco’s gym we did a quick meet-and-great and Zach tells us to get ready to workout.  Zach takes us outside and does our general conditioning warm up consisting of:

Ø      Forward jog

Ø      Backward jog

Ø      High knees

Ø      Butt kicks

Ø      Forward skip

Ø      Backward skip

Ø      Side shuffle

Ø      Single leg bounds (non-dominant side first)


He also told us he likes to do some short burst sprints as well, but we were in a big group and pressed for time so we skipped them.


Back into the gym we were told that we would either participate in a Max Effort (ME) upper body workout or a Dynamic Effort (DE) lower body workout.  I chose the ME upper and we then broke into smaller groups.  We proceeded to do a more specific warm up for the workout we chose.  For the ME upper we did the following:

Ø      Mini-band pull aparts             2sx10r

Ø      Mini band standing flyes         2sx20r

Ø      Push ups                                2sx15r


Zach was in charge of the ME upper body group and he gave us the workout followed by some words of motivation.  Our workout consisted of:


A1) Reverse band bench press                 [work up to] 5RM


B1) Max push ups (with two chains)         3 sets


C1) Fat bar lat pulldown                           3sx10r

C2) Miniband pull aparts                          100r (total, allowed to do multiple sets)


D1) D. bell speed shurgs for time              3sx1min (those sucked!)


E1) Band tricep pressdowns                     100r (total, allowed to do multiple sets)

E2) Zottman curls                                     3sx10r


Needless to say it was a killer workout for everyone and we all had fun and a great sense of accomplishment when we were done.


Joe DeFranco took DE lower body group and they did the following:


A1) Box jumps                                        15 total [single jump] reps


B1) Bulg. split squats (front foot elevated) 3sx8r


C1) Band good mornings                          3sx15r

C2) Hanging knee raises                           3sx10r


D1) Prowler                                             Two groups 15 yards apart, high bars down, low bars back, 10min 


Well there you have NJ special workouts of day one.  Stay tuned for the next installment.

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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 Business No Comments


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