Mark Olson: May Athlete of the Month
Mark Olson came to DSC at the end of January looking to learn how to use a barbell and for help updating his “70s workout plan.” His general goals were to incorporate strength training into his fitness routine, which also included road cycling. He also wanted very much to achieve an unassisted dip, as well as an unassisted pull-up. At that time, he was using machines at the local gym, adding weight assistance to try and increase his strength. I was excited to get started with him, as he seemed very dedicated to the work he was putting in at the gym – as evidenced by his meticulous notes and the program he essentially developed himself.
After our consultation and movement assessment, we set up a few personal training sessions at the beginning to introduce him to back squatting, deadlifting and strict pressing. These were the main strength movements his programming would consist of, plus tons of accessory work and bodyweight movements. Over time, we built up his dip and pull-up strength using bodyweight negatives (focusing on a 3-4 count eccentric or count down) and eventually adding weight to the negatives. He got his first set of 5 unassisted dips within the first 6 weeks, and his first pullup less than 3 months into programming!
Mark has been realistic with his training and goals, and we’ve recently adjusted to add in more conditioning to help him with fat loss, while maintaining his recently gained strength. While he may not enjoy it during, he’s becoming more familiar with burpees, rowing and airdyning. He overheard Coach Sarah tell her teens class that if you have a smile on your face, you can get through anything. So, you’ll most likely see Mark with an ear-to-ear grin while suffering through his training!
Get to know Mark Olson:
DSC: What’s your favorite activity outside of the gym?
Mark: Probably reading. On the weekends it would be napping.
DSC: What’s your favorite exercise or movement? Least favorite?
Mark: Favorite – cycling. Least favorite – usually anything beginning with EMOM.
DSC: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Mark: We’ve enjoyed lots of places but last fall my wife and I went to Quebec City, Canada and that was very relaxing and wonderful.
DSC: Pizza or ice cream?
DSC: Who do you consider to be the three best musicians in history?
Mark: This is tough. For current popular musician – Adele (but I can’t listen to her too long or I get depressed). Keith Jarrett – jazz pianist. Andrea Bocelli – singer.
DSC: Would you rather live for a week in the past or the future?
Mark: Hmmm, I guess the past. There are several times I would like to have seen events unfold.
DSC: What’s your favorite book that you’ve ever read? Favorite movie?
Mark: I don’t really have one favorite, but I guess I’ll say Look Homeword Angel by Thomas Wolfe. I really enjoyed his writing and it still sticks with me. Lots of great movies, Bridge of Spies I recently saw and I thought it was excellent in every way.
Mark is a Program Design client with Coach Jamie Martin. He works out three days a week at DSC, and cycles on his off days.