Stick to the Program, Reach Your Goal
By Jeremy Somerville SFG
I work for a company called ISCO, we are a large company that has locations throughout America, Canada, South America and Australia. We distribute a machine that fuses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) together. In July, 2014, I was given the opportunity to go to the U.S. to become a Certified Instructor so I could teach the fundamentals of using our equipment safely and efficiently.
My trip was to take me to Tulsa, Oklahoma, but that wasn’t before heading to Huntsville, Alabama. Looking at the map I saw that it was only a two hour drive north to Nashville, home of country music and the Iron Tamer Dave Whitley. Before heading over I reached out to him to see if I could stop in and lift some shit. He was open to it, so on the weekend, after my duties were complete in Huntsville I drove up on the Friday, booked into my hotel which was only a few blocks from the main drag where all the bars were, headed down and had me a combination of beer and country music. Nashville is a cool place, I highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the neighborhood.
So waking up a little dusty probably wasn’t the greatest feeling one could have a couple hours before going to meet a Master Kettlebell instructor, but you know, it was what it was. Round noon I made my way to the Strength Dojo, where Dave was incredibly welcoming. For the next four hours we talked about breathing techniques and how to bend steel, but the highlight of the afternoon was being taught the Bent Press.
After a brief introduction, some technique advice, and some bell hoodwinkery (he tried to have me BP the 44kg first attempt, “Don’t look at it, just do it”) I settled in and in three attempts Bent Pressed the 40kg. It was a great feeling and super rewarding, but I was toast. I had found my 1RM for real.
We said our good-byes and I went off to finish what I was went over there to do and become a Certified HDPE Instructor. One thing lingered throughout the remainder of the trip, the feeling the Bent Press gave me when getting a weight overhead that I couldn’t lift in another manner.
When I got back to Australia, I reached out to Dave for some online training. The purpose was to dial and get good at the Bent Press. I still don’t know what the BP actually is, as Dave says it his book that it is a bunch of natural movements performed unnaturally. To me you feel like T-1000 from Terminator 2, fluid, strong, indestructible.
I worked with Dave for five months. We took that 1RM of 40kg with a kettlebell, to doing as much as 12 reps per side with 45kg with a barbell. The skinny of the program was basically a whole heap of singles, upping the total volume as weeks progressed. When 12 singles felt light, we increased the weight and lowered the volume. I never came close to failure, as I kept rest round the 5-10min mark. I wasn’t afraid to throw in some chins either.
The day I found my new 1RM was at the QKB Christmas party. Seven Fat Yaks in I was on my way to getting pissed, one of the students at QKB asked me to demonstrate a Bent Press. Even though I was a wee bit inebriated I obliged, yet in my mind I was going to take it easy. The bar when I stepped up to it was loaded with, what I perceived to be 2 x 10 plates with 2 x 5 on either side. Playing it ‘safe’, I removed the two 5kg plates, lifted the Bar vertically, took 3 deep breaths to find optimum diaphragmatic expansion and went about the lift. Whilst it felt a little awkward, I managed to perform the lift with relative ease.
What the funny part of this little story is that three days later I was on a plane flying to Perth, it wasn’t till then I realized that there were two x 15kg plates on either side of a 20kg bar. I chuckled as I realized I hit my new 1RM and I chuckled again as I realized how much I suck at math.
How did I do it? I stuck to the plan and I reached my goal. I didn’t miss one rep, I rested when required, and lifted when told. I didn’t dick round with the program, I didn’t add reps, I didn’t add exercises. I read straight from the script and it all went smoothly and injury free. In fact I felt damn awesome after each session. Now, 50kg is nothing in the scheme of the Bent Press, but it’s something to me. Hell, I performed the move drunk with a weight I hadn’t experimented with. But I put in the time, trusted the process and dialed the move.
Now, I have recently put up a video of me doing a Bent Press with 56kg kettlebell. Next week I will outlay exactly how that happened as the process as different, yet effective.
Find out more about Qld Kettlebells at http://Qldkettlebells.com.au and find out more about the Iron Tamer, Dave Whitley at http://strengthdojo.com/