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Fitness Corner: Hammer routine

Texans strength and conditioning coach **Dan Riley** writes his popular Fitness Corner column for Riley and assistant strength and conditioning coach **Ray Wright** will continue to post selected answers to your questions throughout the year. Join in by shooting over an e-mail to ****.
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This Fitness Corner video features linebacker Kailee Wong performing our Hammer Indy 10 – 8 Routine. This video was shot ([


]( during the last week of our 2003 season on Monday morning (the day after a game).

We have a total of 12 different upper body routines. Six of those routines are 10 – 8 routines. I have published the template for our 10 – 8 routines in past installations of the Fitness Corner. Our players perform the same exercises in the same sequence. The only difference in these routines is the equipment used. Our 10 – 8 routines include the following:

  1. Dumbbell 10 – 8
  2. Hammer Indy 10 – 8
  3. Hammer MTS 10 – 8
  4. Nautilus Nitro 10 – 8
  5. Smith Machine 10 – 8
  6. Nautilus Xpload 10 – 8

The exercise sequence includes the following:

10 reps – Hammer Indy Bench Press

Rest 90 seconds

8 reps – Hammer Indy Bench Press

Rest 90 seconds

10 – 12 reps – Avenger Pullover

10 – 12 reps – Underhand Lat Pulldown (performed immediately after Pullover)

Rest 90 seconds

10 reps - Hammer Indy Incline

Rest 90 seconds

8 reps – Hammer Indy Incline

Rest 90 seconds

12 reps - Hammer Rear Delt

10 – 12 reps – Hammer Indy Seated Row (performed immediately after Rear Delt)

Rest 90 seconds

12 reps – Rotator Cuff External Rotation

Rest 90 seconds

12 reps – Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Rest 90 seconds

10 reps – Hammer Indy Seated Press

Rest 90 seconds

8 reps – Hammer Indy Seated Press

Scott MacKerron shot the video. During the filming Kailee performed the prescribed number of reps for each exercise listed above. Scott edited the film and included just a couple of reps of each exercise.

In past installations of the Fitness Corner we have stressed the importance of in-season training. It is during the season (first day of training camp until the last game) that players need to experience the benefits of getting stronger. It does not make sense to work hard in the off-season and then place little emphasis once the season begins.

When coaches talk to me about their off-season program I tell them I'm only interested in what their players do during the season. That is when players need to be protected and perform at a high level. Your in-season strength program is your program. Our in-season program mirrors our off-season program.

It is a major adjustment for some of the players we get from other teams. It requires a major commitment to come into the weight room the day after a game and exert a near maximum effort. If a player exerts less than a near maximum effort during the season he will experience a rapid loss of strength and lean bodyweight.

Kailee Wong possesses the mental and physical discipline to train hard every workout. Remember, the workout you are observing is after Kailee has gone through six weeks of training camp, played in four preseason games and fifteen regular season games.

Some players are pretty sore and beat up the day after a game. I periodically modify a routine to create variety (and sometimes out of necessity). During this routine we modified several exercises.

  1. Hammer Rear Delt – Instead of twelve normal reps Kailee performs eight 8-second reps. We use a stop watch to sound off with an 8-second cadence. In a smooth and deliberate manner Kailee spreads the eight seconds out from the starting position to the muscles contracted position.
  1. Rotator Cuff External Rotation – Eight 8-second second reps instead of 12 normal reps.
  1. Hammer Lateral Raise - Instead of performing Lateral Raises on the Hammer Lateral Raise machine, we substituted Dumbbell Lateral Raises (with manual resistance). There are specific structural requirements needed to develop a muscle through its' full range of motion. Direct resistance and rotary resistance are structural requirements needed to develop a muscle throughout its full range of motion when performing any single joint exercise. A dumbbell is a versatile tool but a dumbbell is structurally limited when performing any isolation exercise. Therefore when we use a dumbbell to perform lateral raises we include manual resistance to accommodate the need for changing the angle and the amount of resistance. As Kailee fatigues he reaches a point where the weight of the dumbbells is too much for him to raise. At that point he drops the dumbbells and we continue the exercise with the weight of his arms and some manual resistance. Eventually he reaches a point where the weight of his arms (extended) is too heavy for him to lift. At this point he bends his arms (shortening the length of the lever), which allows him to continue the exercise and complete twelve repetitions.
  1. Upon completion of his upper body workout Kailee performs Neck Extension and Neck Flexion manually, Lateral Flexion on a neck machine, and Seated Shrugs.

Some coaches ask me, "How come your players do not train explosively?" I tell them on many exercises our players do train explosively. Observe Kailee when he performs the Hammer Indy Bench Press, the Indy Incline, and the Indy Seated Press. At the transition point from where the weight has been lowered to the point the weight is being raised (we call this the trigger point) we are literally telling him to "explode," "jerk it," "throw it," He is trying his hardest to raise the weight as fast as possible. I learned from my Motor Learning professor that it is the "neurological intent" to raise a weight fast that develops explosiveness, not how fast the weight itself is lifted. Kailee's neurological intent is to try and raise the weight as fast as he possibly can.

A big thanks to Kailee Wong.

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