February 24, 2013In The Protein ProjectBy Sean Lerwill5 Minutes

Ollie WardAs a Royal Marine Commando I learned the importance of being able to adapt and overcome the obstacles life throws at you. Well, last Sunday, Ollie was lucky enough to go and train with the England Rugby Strength and conditioning coach, along with Courtney Lawes and James Haskell. What an amazing experience right? Yes, of course, but not particularly helpful to me when I’ve written a training programme that had him doing HIIT the Saturday prior to that Sunday, a hard leg session on the Monday and a rest day on the Sunday he was down to train with them!

I knew that despite my plan to condition Ollie over the first three weeks, aiming to keep his cortisol levels low and ensure his body was able to withstand harder sessions, before taking the level up a little, there was no way he was going to be given an easy ride on the Sunday. Therefore it made sense to adapt and overcome. We ditched the Saturday HIIT session, and moved all his training days one day right; meaning his rest day became Monday, he trained legs on Tuesday, upperbody on Wednesday, rested on Thursday, then hit it hard Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Not only did this work well, it made us realise that this is actually better for Ollie. As I’ve always said, there is no one size fits all, so where I assume most people want their weekends free from training, or kept to a minimum, Ollie was actually the opposite. With the distance he has to travel to work, Ollie would rather keep weekday training to a minimum allowing him to work and travel and only have to train a couple of weekdays, then cover more over the weekend. It’s great when it works out.

Ollie Ward weight pull-upsThis week also saw Ollie’s Nutritionist Lynn Clay (Head of Nutrition at MaxiNutrition) travel to Ollie’s house and perform his second bout of tests and analysis. Despite his obvious underdog starting point, as he had far more to get rid of that his competitors, Ollie has started well. There’s always room for improvement, but despite the difficulty in terms of distance, travel and contact, he has done himself proud with the obvious time and effort he has put into both his diet and training. Lynn and I met the day after she visited Ollie to talk about the next stage of his nutritional plan. We both agreed that he has started excellently and it is a pleasure to have someone so eager to learn, listen and follow our advice.
This week Ollie and I met for our session, and as we were at the end of Microcycle 1 of his training programme, decided to try the type of training he can expect in the next few weeks as part of Microcycle 2. The picture shows the effort Ollie put in as we supersetted pull exercises for his upper back with biceps type exercises. Ollie, as I have now come to expect, was nothing short of superb, putting maximum effort into every rep, set and exercise. As I do with a few clients, I have settled into training with Ollie, which I have often found works a treat with some people. Training with him allows me to show the level of effort I require, the technique I expect to see and the tempo control I want. Ollie did not disappoint and we both left the gym floor struggling to hold our shakers.

We are both really looking forward to our next session together, although Ollie has an Olympic lifting session with Zoe Smith on Tuesday first, so I’d better get my planning and adaptability head back on to work out where to fit his sessions in this week before I see him again.