Posts Tagged ‘seattle strength coach’

The Hardest Workout Ever?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I know many of you remember that one workout (maybe it there was more than one), even if it was 10 years ago, when you gave it everything you had and you threw up heavier shit than you ever though possible and you did it faster than ever. 

As Dan John states in his book Never Let Go, out of five training sessions one will be great, one will suck, and three will be the trainings that you get in, get it done and get out. Every once in a while though you will have “that” training session where you just got nuts and it you couldn’t repeat it if you tried a hundred times. (more…)

Built For Show

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I respect the hell out of anyone that does the “extra” to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

Nate Green took a bank loan out to go to go to a couple of seminars three years ago (how many people tell me they can’t afford it, I understand but if you really want it then you do the “extra”) and today he has a contract with T-Nation, has his own book deal, is on the advisory board of Maximum Fitness and owns his own gym. Shows you that things happen when you take continuous action, dedicate yourself to a goal and walk the talk. (more…)

Random Thoughts

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I try to get these out on a Friday but I have been noticing that it’s always before or after. I guess the title should be random thoughts on a random day:

1. I have been quite busy with training, especially with the return of Matt Fields from the Tampa Bay camp (he played for Vero Beach this year). He is motivated and driven as ever and this off-season we are going to take his performance a step further from last year. Last year he made some incredible gains at Hocevar Performance (talk about strength and speed gains) while also going from 20% body fat to showing up at the Tampa Bay training camp at 10.3%. (more…)

Single Leg Vertical Jump

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Single leg vertical jumping is a very useful thing. I know many basketball players that have a great vertical of two feet but not anywhere close while jumping of one foot. Hopefully I don’t have to explain how important an explosion and elevation of one foot is, when it come to gametime. I will take Lebron James as an example, as the majority of his dunks are of one foot while driving towards the basket. Since you are running it is faster to take of one foot rather than square up and jump off two feet. 

Every type of jump has its advantages though. Jumping off two feet is more effective for rebounding because you will ussualy box out and go for the rebound straight up. Instead of choosing one or the other become good at both. The reason I am talking about it is because I have had the question come up lately and today another player and friend of mine asked me this:

“Is there a way to improve my one foot jumping to equal it to my two foot jump? I would like to have the ability to elevate from one foot of the drive!”

Now, this player has a very good vertical of two feet but not nearly as close that of one foot. So whats the catch? Well, here are some things that will explain and help you improve you one foot vertical: (more…)

5 Training Mistakes of Basketball Players

Monday, October 6th, 2008

When I was younger I played basketball almost all the time and I mean I played a lot. I also tried every program to increase my vertical, 40 yard dash, agility and ball handling skills. Basically I was always doing something to improve my game. Does it sound familiar?

I also had coaches telling me I should run all the time to stay conditioned, take it easy with the weights so I don’t get bulky and become slow, and to top it all off we would have a 3 hour practice every day(later on in my professional career even 2 a days with 3 hours of basketball specific training). I wanted to improve my performance so much that even back then I started reading books, manuals, you name it, just to improve my game and my performance. A lof of the information I read was contadicting what some of the coaches were telling me, especially when it came to strength and conditioning! I did a lot of the strength training on my own but I also had to do the team training as there was no way of getting out of that and I also wanted to set an example of hard work for my team. Many times I ended up overtraining and had sub-par performance and nagging injuries, but I was still a lot better of than some of my team mates, as they had season ending and in some cases career ending injuries.

From all the knowledge that I have accumulated through the years of study and implementation of strength and conditioning and my experiences as a basketball player from the high school to the professional ranks, I am going to give 10 tips that are essential for basketball players to improve their game and their physical performance in the off-season. Learn from my mistakes and from the mistakes of others and take your game to the next level: (more…)

Crazy Training

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I love training in a great atmosphere as it pushes you to new heights. When I train I like to shut everything out and go nuts! For me training is not just important because of my performance goals but it is also a release from the stress of life. How do you train and what does it mean for you?

I was just going through some videos on youtube and found a video of myself doing some chin ups when I was back home in Slovenia. I co-own a training center with my brother and my good friend and when I was there in March we would close the gym after the group training, put on some Jay-Z/Linkin Park and just go nuts.

Subtitles are yet to come…..


As you know I just attended the Ryan Lee Bootcamp and I can’t tell you what an even this was, but not to get off point here,  I met Zach Even Esh (The Underground Strength Coach) who I can definitely associate with as he is also nicknamed “The Wild Man” and he gets after it himself and with his athletes just like I do.

Next time you train, shut everything out and have crazy intensity in your workout, I gurantee you will feel more confident than you have in a long time. Let me know in the comments how your next training session went.

New York State Of Mind

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I write this 6 days and 7 years after my trip to New York to attend Junior College upstate (Binghampton) and play basketball. It’s a long time since then but at times it doesn’t feel that long…….

For those not feeling like calculating, my first day of college was going to be September 11th 2001. I never made it to school that day as my plane was in the air and ready to land 20 minutes after the 9/11 attacks happened (for those that lost loved one’s – THEY WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN). Without describing all the chaos… plane ended up landing in Nova Scotia where I stayed around a week in a military camp before being set to go to New York on a bus. That was the beginning of my college experience in the United States and believe me it was only the beginning!

I will tell more life stories later and only if you’re interested. Seriously though, New York grew on me and it is till this day one of my favorite cities in the world (and I’ve been many places). It brings back many memories some bad, some good, but all of them just part of the dough that makes Luka Hocevar. I am glad to be back and at the same time attending Ryan Lee’s Bootcamp which is a fitness event with some of the best people in the industry speaking on a variety of topics (there’s tons going on).

So while in Queens, NY, waiting to pick up my brother from the airport (he is coming to the seminar with me), I drove by a park with some monkey bars and couldn’t resist not getting in a quick workout. To top it all off the sun was out and it was in the high 80′s, it felt like back in my college days when we would play basketball on the courts around the city. On this day my partner in crime was Jeff Jowers who brought his TRX system with him (we will be writing an article for about or use and programming with the TRX system), which made for a little extra spice in the training.

Suspended Push Ups

TRX is a great tool for working out anywhere……it also useful for hmmm (use your imagination)

Here is our workout:

- Bulgarian Squats on TRX x 10 reps/each leg

- Suspended Push Ups on TRX x 20 reps

- Roll Outs on TRX x 12 reps

- Face Pulls w/ TRX x 15 reps

Going through the circuit for 20 mins straight and then finishing off with a 100 varied chin ups/pull ups (sets of 4 with 10-15 seconds break in between sets). This was a great workout and it gave me crazy good energy!

Playground Pullups

Ruff Ryder workout…….whether you get it or not!

I love New York! I also tend to get my Brooklyn accent back when I hang around the city……….

One thing I was dissapointed about was not having enough time to visit Joe Defranco’s gym (one of my biggest influences in strength training). I hope I will be able to make it before I leave back for Seattle!


The Push Up

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008


Shoulders hurt on the bench? Load the push up

I have already talked about how much I love using push ups our strength training programs. There are so many different push up variations that can serve for different purposes.

The push up is a closed chain movement (hands fixed in contact with the floor) and it allows the scapula to move freely so it is really important for shoulder health and can be used with athletes that have shoulder issues and cannot perform overhead pressing movements and bench press variations (open chain movement – scapula does not move). Above there is a video of a loaded push up which allows to work on strength in the lower rep ranges (push ups are not just a higher rep exercise). We had a couple of athletes that had trouble with doing any pressing movements but did great with these push ups (it is important to keep your elbows close to your rib cage and prevent iminging the shoulder).

On another note, the push up is one of the best “core” exercises (or whatever we call it nowadays). Research shows that the push up with elevated feet has a higher activation of the external obliques and rectus abdominis than almost any other exercise. So next time you ask me when we are doing “abs” you know what’s going to happen……

Random Thoughts

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

1. When treating ankle sprains most people resort to the RICE treatment, which means Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. I am not completely against this, as I will ice the ankle for the first two days to reduce the swelling. After that I will start actively rehabing the ankle and try to get as much movement out of it as possible. I like to go a little more agressive than ankle alphabets, and use Jump Stretch bands to actively stretch and strengthen the ankle. You try to get as much range of motion as possible without pain (uncomfortable is acceptable). This is also a great movement to strengthen the ankles before they get sprained (which is the better solution). The reason behind this is that this way we promote pumping the blood into the ankle which in return elicits faster recovery. This is not just some theory as I have had great success with this method. I have to thank the original “band man” Dick Hartzell for this great information. I guess this one isn’t so random since I have to apply it as I have sprained my ankle (eversion sprain at that – more uncommon)v two days ago which SUCKS.

Don’t let the age fool you, Dick’s the real deal…..

2. Baseball pitchers should do less, and with less I mean almost no distance running. I haven’t done any long distance running with my pitchers in years. First off I would ask which component of pitching involves long distance running? I don’t want to hear the whole “baseline of conditioning” argument either. Some of the reasons why you should start eliminating long distance running if you are a pitcher: negative effects of stretch shortening cycle, reduces strength and power production, decreases mobility, concerns with immunity and endocrine systems. Honetsly you should read more about this from the genius himself Eric Cressey here and here.

3. Stretching the lumbar spine (a.k.a. low back) is not necessarily a good thing. Most people I hear complain about low back pain always tell me that they stretchthe low back to relieve the pain. Even though the strecthing may feel good at that moment doesn’t mean it is good overall. It is kind of like a rash, when you scratch it, it feels good but after you get the infection and immflamation – not so good. A big reason people have back probelms in the first place is because they flex and extend at the lumbar spine which is intended to be stable. A better idea is to improve hip mobility/flexibility, stabilize the lumbar spine and activate the glutes (also know as your butt). So next time you want to stretch your back, rather do some hip flexor stretches, planks and glute bridges.


4. I love pushups and they are a great movement for people with shoulder issues (if done right). Push ups are a closed chain movement and the scapula is free to move, unlike the bench press. You can load push ups with weighted vests and also plates (more advanced) to get work done in different rep ranges. Many athletes I see in the gym are struggling to bench a bar with jaffa cakes on each side and they don’t work on their push ups. You should be able to do 40 crisp push ups before you ever pick up a weight.

5. Im excited about the trip to New York and Connecticut in a couple of weeks. I will be attending a fitness seminar with some of the top people in the business concerning fitness business and training. Not only is more than worthwhile when it comes to the knowledge gained but the networking is incredible. I will be able to interrogate some of my mentors and believe me I will take notes for days. What’s just as exciting is that I will see my brother who will meet me in New York and join me for the seminar. Haven’t seen him in a while so this will call for some catching up and good times in general.

6. On a similar note I hopefully will be able to meet up with some of my friends and fellow players from when I played in upstate New York. I will again revive my Brooklyn accent and start every sentence with “whats good?” If that’s not exciting then please tell me what is……

Olympic Lifts, How Useful Are They?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

What is olympic weigtlifting? It is an expression of strength-speed at it’s finest. Moving heavy weights with high rates of force. Because there is a high load and high speed of movement the power output in weightlifting exercises far exceeds the conventional strength lifts as the bench, deadlift and squat. Using these lifts will cause specific adaptations when training our athletes. Here are some numbers to showcase power outputs with different exercises:


Exercise                                      Absolute Power (W) (maximum effort during comp. for 220 lbs man)

Bench Press                               300

Squat                                       1100

Deadlift                                   1100

Snatch Second Pull                    5600

Clean Second Pull                      5500

Jerk                                          5400 

As you can see there is quite a significant difference in power……

As a sidenote: Olympic Weightlifters have some of the highest (if not the highest) average vertical jumps of any athletes recorded and they do not specifically train to improve their jumps. Take it however you want to take it.

Olympic Lifts

We could say he has decent jumping ability, right?

As I mentioned in a previous post that I have started using more olympic lifts in my training (that does not mean the training of all the athletes I train), let me first explain what are the main exercises that fall under this category: the snatch, the clean and jerk. But there are also derivatives of these exercises that I would put under the same category as they also require a great power production and have the extra benefit of being easier to learn for most people (a little about that later on). These exercises consist of the clean pull, snatch pull, jerk (split, regular), push press and others.

One thing I failed to mention is that the main olympic lifts are quite hard to learn as they are quite technical and there is a big learning curve. I think that it would be great if every athlete had the time to learn these lifts but in reality I ussualy only have months in the off season to get the athletes in top physical shape and there is not enough time to teach the lifts. The good thing is that we can use the derivatives of the olympic lifts such as the snatch pull and the clean pull or the jerk, as they are much easier to learn.

So it is obvious that the olympic lifts have benefit…….but with a cost. First of there is a high technical mastery involved with the lifts as we mentioned earlier. There is no need to introduce such lifts in the weight room when the athletes already have sport specific skill work to improve on.The O-lifts also place great stress on the glenohumeral joint (shoulders), which makes them very risky for overhead athletes (baseball, volleyball,…) and also football players as their shoulders take a beating (no need to compound that in the weight room).

Am I confusing you with the for and agaist thoughts? I do have mixed emotions to tell you the truth, but olympic lifts will only stay in my programs and a limited few athletes that had a high level of proficiency before they started training with me (and even that for limited blocks of time). I will be using some of the olympic lift derivatives bit otherwise I can teach athletes simple alternatives such as jumps, medicine ball throws, box squats that produce all of the same measurable results. The goal is to produce the best prepared athletes while utilizing training means that produce the best results at the lowest cost.

Box Squats

Box Squats – they work too!! 

I also have to take into consideration that I train multiple athletes at the same time which makes use of the main olympic lifts even less efficient. I will continue to admire the sport of olympic weightlifting and learn as much as I can from the athletes and coaches but I at this moment in time I will use the main lifts scarcely as I have found a more efficient way to help athletes fulfill their potential.

If I confused you with this post then oh well……take what you can from it. I believe that we should all mold our training style from learning as much as we can from the best in the world. Bruce Lee once said: “Absorb what is usefull, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

I might come across something that changes my mind though……