Jan 062014
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aipa project x island athlete

The Aipa Project x Island Athlete

Hats can increase your strength by 8% but by wearing a snapback and backwards, geniuses have found it to increase strength up to 15%.

As much as people praise the squat, its counterpart doesn’t get much…THE DEADLIFT.

This past Aloha Friday, I joined in on a training session with strength coach and friend, Aaron Luther, of Island Athlete.  He and I are working on a project together because we both have a strong passion of how strength and fitness can develop an individual physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Maybe it’s bro-mance but there really is a true connection.

The night before I asked him what was on the menu for the session, he mentioned Deadlifts.  I told him he had me at ‘Hello’.

For me, deadlifts have always been an exercise that I feel is the most functional lift as well as one of those lifts that tests your manhood.  The deadlift has always been an exercise I’ve wanted to be a beast on.  My goal has always been to pull 500lbs.  I’d be happy with that.

It’s simple.

Weight on the ground —-> Pick up the weight.

If you are looking to gain overall strength, the deadlift should be in your routine.  The deadlift is a compound movement that uses all your major muscle groups.  And like I’ve said many times, exercises that use multiple groups of muscles calls for more energy to perform.

The strength gains from deadlifts are so awesome that it can help you in every day life, especially during physical labor such as picking up a load rice bags or moving a couch.

For those who are looking at packing on muscle mass or building some nice curves, the deadlift is a must as well.  To execute the movement, the primary muscles used are the glutes, hamstrings, and spinal erectors.  Simply said – your calves all the way up your back are working together.

I love exercises that incorporate your posterior chain because 1) it makes your butt and back look damn good and 2) it improves athletic performance.

Caution: As much as I think deadlifts are awesome.  Like any exercise, if you don’t know how to perform them correctly you can easily injure yourself.  Make sure you have a qualified coach to teach you, or start off with lighter weight and work on your form.

Back at a house in Kaimuki…

The founder of Island Athlete, Aaron, welcomes me with an interesting training session.  He has his equipment set-up in the drive way, and has everything you would need; squat rack, barbell, bumper plates, kettlebells, bench, and other toys.  The training session he programmed for the day was:

Warm-up: 3 Rounds
8 x Good Morning
4 x Rock Bottom Squat Jumps
200 m run

1) 8 Rounds
3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1 x Deadlifts
3 x Peanut
20s Bow Stretch

2) 10 Rounds EMOTM
5 x Ball Slams
50 m Sprint

3) 2 Rounds
50 m Overhead Plate Carry
10 x Superman w/ 3 sec hold
Vinyasa Complex

I enjoyed the switch up in my training, plus he scheduled in deadlifts.  The guy knows a way to my heart, but also probably knows I need to work on my deadlift, but so does everyone else.

The 10 rounds of 5 Medicine Ball and 50 meter sprints, kicked my ass (could you tell at the end of the video?).  I quickly learned that my endurance is pretty weak sauce, but I always knew that.  He mixed in durability work to hone in on key parts of the body such as hips and shoulders.  One of the exercises I know I’ll be working on is the Bow Stretch.

Island Athlete is going to do big things and I’m sure our collaboration is going to cause a ruckus in Hawaii’s strength and fitness circle.  His training style is different and fresh.

One of his neighbors came by and asked, “You guys do crossfit?”

I wanted to tell him, “Hell no!” but instead I just smiled because it could be mistaken for it.

Coach Aaron has a militaristic training philosophy inspired by Rob Shaul at Military Athlete and Jake Saenz and Tod Moore over at Atomic Athlete.  Simply put, it’s a far cry from Crossfit.  There are different training cycles, progressions, and fitness assessments and tests.

Be on the look out for future projects coming up between The Aipa Project and Island Athlete.

Until then…start deadlifting with your snapbacks.

Aloha and Be Kū!