Cassandra "the mini-beast" La Madrid
Client in the spotlight- where Team Omega athletes are featured that have accomplished amazing feats of strength or physical transformation
Cassie and her fiancé Colby have been my training partners on and off for three years now. Cassie became a Team Omega athlete to work on proper nutrition, fueling one of the hardest working athletes I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
Cassie is a stron(wo)man competitor, powerlifter, occasional crossfitter, super active athletic phenom. Once upon a time at just 97lbs standing maybe 5’ tall she squatted over 300 pounds. Cassie recently hit a 115lb log press, 350 yoke walk, 150lbs per hand farmers in competition as well.
To fuel the mini-beast we had to make some adjustments primarily to her macronutrients. Cassie likes to keep a very lean physique. First thing was to lower protein from 2g/lb bodyweight to 1g/lb bodyweight to make room for other macros. Primary protein sources come from animal protein, whey, and select dairy products. I substantially increased her carbohydrates primarily in the form of rice, oats, lentils and a little bit of fruit, to fuel her activity level. Fat was set at 20%-30 of total caloric intake and adjusted for satiety. Cassie eats five meals per day with different macros on training days and non training days.
Secret tech includes dark chocolate for cravings, power coffee (protein coffee), and probiotic yogurt. Supplements are kept to a minimum but vitamin d for hormones+ and caffeine cycling to promote lypolisis during activity. Cassie's body-weight is unchanged but noticeably leaner and more muscular. Most importantly her lifts are improving across the board.
It’s a pleasure working with you Cassie and I appreciate all of your dedication!
Theory of General Adaptation Syndrome in relation to training advancement
It is time to turn up the science meter and tackle the monster that is strength program design. Following is a topic that entire books have been written about; therefore it is my goal is to synthesize enough information so that we can analyze popular strength programs and ultimately create our own without rewriting the book. In part one I will discuss General Adaptation Syndrome and its implications for novice, intermediate, and advanced level athletes.
The theory of General Adaptation Syndrome is that repeated exposure to stress at sub-lethal levels creates tolerance of subsequent exposures to the same stressor. To set this theory into motion a stress must be applied to the body, the stress in our case being strength training. Following the stress the body responds in a manner specific to the stress. In the case of strength training; inflammation, soreness, and fatigue are produced if enough work was done to disrupt homeostasis. A transient period of reduced force production immediately follows the stressor. The athlete is actually weaker than before the session. If this was not the case an athlete could simply stay in the gym and lift endlessly and continually improve.
Following the stressor the body must respond through expression of gene activity, alterations in hormone production, and increases in protein metabolism and synthesis. This phase is known as recovery. The bodily reactions to the stress are again specific to the stress encountered. Sufficient stress and recovery from the stress will cause an adaptation specific to the stressor, creating a tolerance for it. An insufficient stress will require no adaptation from the body but may still utilize precious resources. The amount of time required for recovery varies depending on the severity of the stress, trained recovery abilities, and an athlete’s ability in relation to their maximum potential.
If too great of a stress is applied the body will be unable to effectively adapt causing exhaustion, decreased ability, and taken to the extreme, death. In relation to strength training, a stressor of too great in frequency, load, or for too long may cause exhaustion.
I was speaking with Matt Reynolds at a conference and one point of discussion encapsulated my entire philosophy of training. Matt Reynolds states that “training and everything in life should be simple, hard, and effective.”
Effective strength training is simple and hard. To take it one step further, effective strength training is also heavy in relation to one’s ability. Simple because complex is unnecessary distraction. Hard because easy does not work. Heavy because light weights do not create strength.
As Matt discusses, most people want simple and easy. Simple and easy does not work. Those who are looking for success often choose complicated and easy searching for “secrets” to success in the absence of effort. Without effort there is no success. The ambitious choose complicated and hard. Complicated and hard may very well work but it is definitely not the efficient path.
If you want to be successful with strength training perform the basics as if they were complex. Seek to master the fundamentals. Work hard, be consistent, and continually drive forward. If you want to be strong lift heavy. Leave the Barbie-bells to the simple and easy folks and commit to lifting heavy in relation to your ability.
Transform your training to be simple, hard, and heavy and achieve results beyond expectation.
Welcome to the first edition of client in the spotlight where Team Omega athletes are featured that have accomplished amazing feats of strength or physical transformation.
I began with Sheri after being released from her previous trainer for not be willing to commit to twice weekly. Sheri was preparing for a deadlift only competition with a goal of 300 pounds. Pretty strong goal given Sheri is in the over fifty crowd. Within the first session we worked up to a solid 250 pounds with relatively good form. A solid base, but only weeks away, we had to put in some serious work. Sheri being dedicated as she is, nailed workout after workout hitting 300 easily a week before competition. At competition Sheri smashed a 325 pound deadlift to win first place in her bracket with tears in her eyes.
Sheri had the iron bug and we moved forward to create a more well-rounded athlete. Sheri began with a squat under 100 pounds and a bench press around 75 pounds. We forged ahead together and through trial and error Sheri transformed into one of the strongest masters athletes I know. I also learned a lot about my quirky client and her readily shared embarrassing stories. Thank you Sheri for introducing me to the terms “Swass,” “Switties,” and “Swesticles.” Apparently lingo for sweaty anatomy.
Here is Sheri at the APA world championships. We are always here for you Sheri!