Coach Rod’s Training

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Coach Rod Root Training


Tell us what you are trying to accomplish with your training and nutrition right now.  What are your goals?

My training and nutrition goals are very much geared toward athletic performance, specifically Olympic weightlifting.  This requires explosive strength, coordination and great joint mobility.

Olympic weightlifting competitors are divided into divisions determined by body mass, so it is important for me to eat very clean in order to maintain a low body fat percentage.  It is in my best interest to weigh in with as much “functional” body mass as possible on competition day.

I follow the Paleo eating principles, eating only whole foods, with just a few exceptions due to the volume and intensity of my training.  My goal is to end May weighing  170 lbs. at less than %8 body fat, putting me at the heavy end of the 77k weight division.

My training goals are to set personal records by the end of May, shooting for a 115k Clean and Jerk and a 90k Snatch.

Why did you choose this goal?  What motivated you?

If you happen to know Wil Fleming, you know he loves some Olympic lifting.  This dude lives on the platform. (Seriously, he just built one in his basement!)

I was introduced to Olympic weightlifting by Wil about two years ago.  I first fell in love with the complex mental challenge of the lifts, and then the athletic results they delivered.    I’ve often compared Olympic lifting to “golf with heavy weights overhead”.

The lifts (the snatch and the clean and jerk, read here for more info) are so technical, each session is stimulating both mentally and physically.  When the repetitions and practice all come together for a huge PR (personal record), the feeling is magical!

As much as I love lifting for personal fitness and development, I really became engulfed when I realized how conquering the lifts myself enhanced my ability to coach and mentor the athletes I train at Force.

I consider the Olympic lifts the “pinnacle of human athletic movement”, and teaching them requires some serious time on the platform and under the bar.  If I had to pick only one lift to make an athlete better at his or her sport, it would be one of the Olympic lifts.

If I’m going to hold such high regard for the discipline, I had better be decent myself, right?!

Tell us a bit about your training program and why you set it up that way?

I train 5-6 days per week, depending on my schedule and my recovery.  I use a product called BioForce HRV to assess my daily “readiness” to adapt to a training stimulus.  This is the future of smart training technology for both athletes and the general fitness population.

Every morning I take about three minutes and lay in bed with my heart rate monitor strap and an adapter for my iPhone.  The BioForce app then gives me a score and a “readiness rating color”: Green =  my nervous system is recovered so train hard, Amber =  my nervous system took a hit (not a bad thing) so dial down the intensity and volume today, and Red = WHOA! Take a day off!

The goal is to eliminate overtraining and get the very most out of my time in the gym.  More lifting and harder training doesn’t always equal better results, training smart and maximizing the value of your training time does.

I squat in some variation almost every day.  As a result, I’m having trouble fitting into some of my jeans from last year!  My daily lifts also include some combination of Olympic lifting variations.

Do you use a coach or accountability system to help you?

Wil designed my current program and helps me with technique when I’m feeling stuck in my progress.  It is very hard for me to follow a training program designed myself!  I think it is human nature to emphasize and train strengths while neglecting the weak links.  Wil took the time to map out the exact weights I use during my training session based on my current personal records, so there is no guess-work.

The weights I’m able to lift at the end of the training block and my BioForce HRV Scores serve as my accountability system!

Tell us about your nutrition program and why you are following that strategy.

One thing I’ve realized thus far in my coaching career is that eating for optimal performance and eating for overall health and wellness is the exact same thing.

With that being said, I take care of my body and eat only real foods.  If it doesn’t have “parents” (proteins) or if it doesn’t come from the earth (fruits, veggies, nuts) I know I probably shouldn’t eat it.

I try to respect my training needs by loading lots of healthy carbs (sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash and pumpkin are some of my go-to’s) only after an intense training session.  This maximizes my recovery and muscle tissue regeneration and helps me stay lean.

What supplements do you take?

I try to keep it very basic when it comes to supplements.  If there is no research behind the product, there is no way I’m putting it into my body.

I take:

-Carlson’s Finest Liquid Fish Oil (about 3000-4000mg per day)

-Nature’s Answer Liquid Vitamin D3 Drops (about 4000iu per day)

-Creatine Monohydrate

-BioTest BCAA Powder

-ZMA (Zinc/Magnesium supplement for sleep and recovery)

What is your daily routine like?

8:30 AM: Wake up and test BioForce HRV

9:00 AM: Breakfast (eggs and spinach)

9:30 AM: Check emails and spend at least an hour reading or studying training materials

10:30 AM: Design training programs for the athletes at Force

11:45-12:30PM: Make calls or emails to parents of the athletes

12:45 PM-3:00 PM: Workout and post-workout nutrition immediately after

3:15-9:30PM: Coach athletes at Force

10:00 PM: Dinner and valuable personal time with the significant other (and our awesome Bulldog Caesar)

11:30-12PM: Bedtime

Anything else you want to share?

While Olympic lifting is an awesome way to train explosive power and improve athletic qualities, it takes an all-around approach to see long-term changes in your body and in your abilities.  There are no shortcuts to optimal performance– Nutrition, recovery, quality coaching, and the proper managing of the training process are all equally important parts of the performance puzzle.  If you neglect one or more parts, the others suffer.


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