Sunday, June 15, 2008

Deadlifting and Kettlebelling in Mission with Jerry Nicolas

And we're off

Had the privilege to train my deadlift and squat with Jerry Nicolas this weekend. Jerry's situated outside mission, bc, canada. He has a gift: he can look at a person, see what they need and tweak their form to get immediate improvements. Like immediate. That's his guarantee: no improvement, don't pay for the session. I like that straight up approach. That's his gig: looking at tweaking weaknesses to get to better strength performance.

What i immediately liked about his approach is that his focus is to work with your mechanics, rather than try to get you to fit the so called "right" way of doing things. For instance, my left foot needs to pivot out a bit on my dead, but my right is fine straight ahead. Just going with that subtle change has helped get my heels going through the ground on the dead. So yup, immediate improvements: weights that were 90% of max were turning into warm ups - i didn't realize this until we calculated what was on the bar.

Jerry's also helped me improve my one arm push up work, so i'm a pretty happy camper.

I likewise had the privilege to introduce Jerry to kettlebells. Sadly, i couldn't get ahold of my fave Dragon Door bells in time to drive up with me from where i was in the states, so looking for a source in Canada, i was pointed to Canadian Kettlebells. Chris of Canadian Kettlebells not only had the ones i wanted in stock, he hand delivered them from outside Vancouver to Jerry's place in Mission to make sure they'd be there in time for my visit. Awesome.

Like the story with so many businesses, Chris told me he used to get these bells cast locally, but each time he went to do another run, the price went up and the quality wasn't great, so he's had to go the Off Shore route. Even so, Chris finishes the product apparently himself, and it is a good finish. For Cannuck kettlebellers, a highly recommended source.

Now, as for working with a well-experienced lifter/trainer, as a still freshly minted RKC i was sore afeared of what i could show this guy. But it turned out just great: Jerry is hugely into form and breathing, and was keen to get the technique down. We did wall squats, swings and TGU's mainly, with a quick look at the C&P, highpull and the snatch. Jerry was then keen to spend the evening with my ETK vid and today we are (a) both comfortably sore and (b) rocking. What was very cool is that yesterday, the 16 was a righteous workout for Jerry; today the 24, with that improvement in form, was, as predicted, feeling light. Strength is a skill. "That Pavel knows his stuff, eh?" (nous sommes les canadiens, vous savez?) We're kicking it Hard Style

So if you're in the lower mainland and looking to tweak your form in power lifts either for your next competition, or just to get past a sticking point in personal progress, give Jerry a shout. And even if you're not in the lower mainland, his diagnostic skills are worth the trip.

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