Oliver was considerably smaller than many boys his age, especially compared to his rivals. He had also never been to gym!
- Initial – No gym experience, moved well, however lacked power and speed.
- Stage 2 – Perfected his technique for key lifts such as deadlifts, front squats and power cleans, increasing the weight lifted very gradually over a period of months, focusing on core, glute and hamstring strength, stability as well as overall mobility
- Stage 3 – Increasing the weights and power output without injury or issues from growing pains.
- Next Goals – Represent Australia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games
Oliver Before Clean Shred
Despite competing competitively for many years Oliver had never stepped in a gym. He strength experience was limited to some general, infrequent body weight exercises.
In order to keep Oliver’s body together whilst going through growing pains we made sure to build a strong base and only introduce new movements and weights when it was ready.
- Poor stability and activation
Despite Oliver’s ability to move really well and with good mobility he lacked muscular activation which resulted in lots of little ‘broken chains’ through out his body. This resulted in poor stability which didn’t appear to be a problem on the surface, but once he began lifting heavy weights may have resulted in injury.
- Solution – We began by building a strong base of pillar strength and mobility. This involved many squat holds, hang holds, kettle bell squats, banded exercises and core strength. We also began introducing Oliver to technical lifts, simply teaching proper technique before introducing weights. We progressed Oliver only when his body had sufficiently adapted to the current load. This allowed all his tendon, ligaments and muscles to adapt properly and the keep the risk of injury to a minimum. Starting with the foundations of dead lifts, power cleans, snatches and front/back squats we developed a really solid base over the next 6 months.
Oliver has made massive improvements to his strength, power, stability and mobility. In particular, his glute strength has given him greater stability for single-leg exercises and functional movements. This has transfered into his running. Some of the improvements he’s made this past 12 months are listed below:
- 1.57 500m row → 1.35 500m row
- Never having done power cleans → 75kg 1RM power clean
- Never having done front squats → 90kg 1RM front squat
- Never having done deadlifts → 110kg 1RM deadlift
- Qualified and competed at the Australian Junior Championships
- Aiming to recover from a recent bout of glandular fever and prepare to make his debut in 2019 at the Australian Opens Athletics Championships. He also has his eyes set on the 2022 Commonwealth Games.