NJ Seminar with Joe DeFranco & Zach Even-Esh Review (Part 1)

Day 1

What does it take for this California guy to leave his 67-degree weather and travel across the country to the cold part of America?  Well only the best seminar this year (maybe in the last five for me) hosted at DeFranco’s training facility in beautiful, but cold, Wyckoff , New Jersey.  It was there that 20 eager students soaked in the knowledge and the philosophies of two of the countries leading strength and conditioning coaches; Joe DeFranco and Zach Even-Esh.

Yes that is snow on the fab rental!
Yes that is snow on the fab rental!


I had to take the red-eye Friday night and I got into Jersey around 6:30am, plenty of time to get my bags, my rental car, and figure out how to get to Wyckoff which was estimated to be only 40min. away.  New Jersey might be known as the “Garden State” but I am also giving it the title of “The Most Difficult State to Drive in State.”  It seems that all you can do is make u-turns to get to the other side of the road, I swear that I only turned left once the whole time I was there.  I got lost too many times to count and I always had to drive further than I wanted to go.  It was challenging but after driving in that state I was ready for anything they were going to throw at me during the seminar.


When we get to DeFranco’s gym we did a quick meet-and-great and Zach tells us to get ready to workout.  Zach takes us outside and does our general conditioning warm up consisting of:

Ø      Forward jog

Ø      Backward jog

Ø      High knees

Ø      Butt kicks

Ø      Forward skip

Ø      Backward skip

Ø      Side shuffle

Ø      Single leg bounds (non-dominant side first)


He also told us he likes to do some short burst sprints as well, but we were in a big group and pressed for time so we skipped them.


Back into the gym we were told that we would either participate in a Max Effort (ME) upper body workout or a Dynamic Effort (DE) lower body workout.  I chose the ME upper and we then broke into smaller groups.  We proceeded to do a more specific warm up for the workout we chose.  For the ME upper we did the following:

Ø      Mini-band pull aparts             2sx10r

Ø      Mini band standing flyes         2sx20r

Ø      Push ups                                2sx15r


Zach was in charge of the ME upper body group and he gave us the workout followed by some words of motivation.  Our workout consisted of:


A1) Reverse band bench press                 [work up to] 5RM


B1) Max push ups (with two chains)         3 sets


C1) Fat bar lat pulldown                           3sx10r

C2) Miniband pull aparts                          100r (total, allowed to do multiple sets)


D1) D. bell speed shurgs for time              3sx1min (those sucked!)


E1) Band tricep pressdowns                     100r (total, allowed to do multiple sets)

E2) Zottman curls                                     3sx10r


Needless to say it was a killer workout for everyone and we all had fun and a great sense of accomplishment when we were done.


Joe DeFranco took DE lower body group and they did the following:


A1) Box jumps                                        15 total [single jump] reps


B1) Bulg. split squats (front foot elevated) 3sx8r


C1) Band good mornings                          3sx15r

C2) Hanging knee raises                           3sx10r


D1) Prowler                                             Two groups 15 yards apart, high bars down, low bars back, 10min 


Well there you have NJ special workouts of day one.  Stay tuned for the next installment.