CrossFit South Rockland

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sh*t my Coach says

Coach Ivan Rojas has many sides: coach of novice athletes, strength coach to high school and professional athletes, technical miracle worker to CrossFitters, and a master orator of seminars. The side that many people do not know is his "Coach of elite athletes" side.

Coach Ivan Rojas, General Meng Yi
In the gym of Coach Ivan Rojas, there is no such thing as democracy.  The Risto Sports training hall is not a democracy; it is the United States of General Meng-Yi.  Training with Ivan is grueling.  Before any lifter is admitted to the full-time resident program, Ivan clearly lays out what to expect.

Our last lifter admitted to the program was given the following warning by Coach Ivan:
"If you come here to train, you will only eat, sleep, and train.  We are in the woods of Maine: there is no public transportation, and you will not have a car to go to the nearby beaches, cafes, or clubs.  The only amenities will be internet, TV, resting area, massages, and Chinese fire cups.  Otherwise, It is going to be tough.  You will be tired. All you will do is lift, eat, sleep, and lift weights."

Our last lifter, despite the warnings, still insisted on coming.  His lifting went up by 10kilos in 3 weeks.  However, week 5, he quit. "Why?", you may ask, because he was tired of the training.  He is the second one to do so since the fall.

As Ivan will tell you, to become a high level, internationally competitive athlete, you need atleast 500 workouts per year.  As you will see on his DVD's, athletes need to do Thousands of repetitions per cycle.  Hence, there is no such thing as becoming an Olympic Champion with out hard work.

On the other hand, for those who are mentally tough and prepared for the training, success is on their horizon.  We have an international lifter training with us for the Pan Ams and Olympics.  In 2 months, her total increased by 17kg's.  How?  Ivan changed her from a low repetition high intensity program to a traditional Soviet program with high volume and intensity, which varied from moderate to high.

In many ways, Ivan is very objective in his training methods.  He does not dole out false confidence and praises. The lifter has to earn Ivan's praises by completing work outs and hitting goals.  ie, you're not going to hear "you can do it" from Ivan on day 5.  It's a very Mister Miyagi/Karate Kid training approach: athletes must work with out question and must believe that the grueling repetitions are working. When they erase their doubts and simply come in and train, that's where the big lifts are acheived.

To do Ivan's programs, you must believe in the programs.  Only then, through your dripping sweat and aching quads, will you be enlightened.  And, then you will taste success.

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