Friday, March 20, 2015

Change of Plans

This is what I was about to write to my coach, Kris Allison, so I thought I would post it here as well.  Kris please shoot me an email with your input.  Thanks Dude!

OK so even with more eating of protein and lifting hard I've settled in at around 160 lbs.  Though I'm starting to move poles again, nothing big and certainly not a decent grip height.  I'm getting a push off at 10'6" and my grip is well under the bar at 11' and 11'6"  I'm trying to gain weight without the fat but that's a slow process. 

SO, Kris I'm thinking about returning to the "List" -  The reason is that my start mark (list mid mark) for 8' IS my full run from where I can jump 11' each day.  The list brings you into the box much faster, with a lower grip, which believe it or not, rapidly moves you to bigger poles.  Since I can't seem to move big poles and I'm not getting my run back before I'm too tired, it seems the list would force me to do both rather safely and in a fun way.  Thoughts Kris!!  Thanks!  Bubba

Judas Priest - "Victim of Changes" -


  1. Bubba... I understand this problem as I too have dropped a lot of weight. This past July I was around 188 and now am just over 160. When I do occasionally jump, I now start on a 14' 160 from 12 steps when I used to grap a 14' 170, and it's difficult to wrap my head around why I have to grip so low on such a tiny pole to get in.
    That being said, I think jumping The List is a good idea for several reasons. 1, on the lower grips (9'10 for 8'0 running from 33'), in order to not blow thru you have to virtually walk down the runway but then jump up with a solid body and get hands to hips as fast as possible. Each increase in grip will require you to gradually ramp up the tempo on the run but still hit solid body hips-to-hands. When you can no longer get to the takeoff without reaching, back up a stride and continue. 2, the gradual progression of it won't allow you to force bad positions and sacrifice good technique just to try to move the pole, so you'll actually be hitting the pole harder, but doing so from a relaxed position to a completely contracted position in the shortest amount of time (ie: power). When we run with tension and try to force pole speed, we actually compromise pole speed. 3, the grip to bar clearance ratio will require efficiency of the swing and movement on the pole, so when the grip does climb back up to where you need it, you'll still be efficient, where once again, when trying to force a round peg into a square hole (ie: force a big pole to move) we tend to lose handgrip efficiency.
    Bottom line: it's a good plan because of the progressive ramp-up and "must-do's" with regards to technique. I hope you'll stay the course and get back to where you left off, even if it is on smaller poles.
    Good luck dude!

  2. Edits: "grab" not "grap" and "9'10 from 32', not 33')

  3. Also bear in mind the "getting to know you" effect that you once had me do about 14 or so years ago... on 9'10/32', you can't use a pole that bends as a bending pole shortens/lowers your grip and would blow you through. You have to do this on a big pole, and again, as you progressively ramp up the grip, eventually that pole will begin to bend (or more like "twitch" at first). Add a little speed and a little more grip to the equation, and that bend smooths out so that you're no longer in "no-man's land" and by passing through it, the jump becomes easier and easier. Soon enough, the transition from straight pole to bending pole will require bigger poles, and there you are, back to where you want to be!

  4. What I've starting doing again with my kids is "max-gripping" them from 2, 4, 6, and 8 steps. We start with a low grip, like straight up reach on the pole plus 7 hand-widths above from 2 steps (not lefts). Every time they can go down the middle but stay upright (no swing) and stay behind the pole, they go up a hand and back a few inches. We do this until they either can't go straight down the middle, or even get rejected (but don't let go of the pole and learn to land on their feet safely - good skill to have!). Then, we go back a stride to 4 steps with the grip they failed on from 2, and repeat the process till failure. Then on to 6 steps, repeat, then again at 8. What begins to happen is the same as the list... the pole begins to bend, and often times, a pole that they needed 12 steps to vault on is now usable from 8 or 10 steps. The grip may even equal or be higher than what they were on from the longer runs. Now they ease back into those longer runs, but are on bigger poles and higher grips. Then come the PR's! So much fun to have that level-change after grinding away getting hit by big unbending poles for an hour. We don't even work swing or turn as you have to stay behind the pole to get in. The cool part is that the swing and turn are even better when they get to that full vault stage because they've enhanced their takeoff so much. A great side-effect!

  5. ALL great information. I was actually thinking of starting this process on my smallest 4.15/165. Sounds like that matches up with where you're going Very excited t start tomorrow. Thanks man! THAT is why you've been my coach forever!!