Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Books of 2010

I hope everyone is having fun over the holidays. I was at home in Stowe, Vermont enjoying the snow and winter wonderland and getting in some good snowboarding.

(Ahhh home sweet home..... but freakin cold)

I am very excited for 2011 and have started to list out some goals that I will finish in the next couple of days, and I hope you do the same. Remember to make them specific and to track them throughout the year to see if you are actually progressing. Most new years resolutions are forgotten after 6 weeks but it's up to you to make it go longer.

Last year I made a goal of reading/listening to 50 books in 2010. If you knew me when I was in high school or college you will know this is a huge accomplishment for me as I was the kid who found a way not to read the whole book. By my third year in college I would only buy 1 book a semester, I was good at saving money.

(My college thought process ^)

Now I have realized the important of self improvement and constant learning by reading. Below is a list of my favorite books in 2010 that I read.

1. Goals! by Brian Tracy- I read it, gave it to a friend to read, and then found the audio version in the library and listened to it! It brings up questions that you must ask yourself and gives you a great plan to get thing in action.

2. The Alchemist- Such a great story. It's a contemporary classic that is short and a great read. Helped put in my mind that you can do whatever you desire.

3. Talent is Overrated/Outliers- Geoff Colvin and Malcolm Gladwell each wrote a book that shows how people develop skill and why the best are the best. Over the past year I've realized it's less about genetics and more about how you developed as a child and how hard you work over time.

4. Who moved my cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson- A great short story that helps you deal with change. Do you respond or react?

5. The E-myth- If you have, want to, or are starting a business this is the first book you should read.

6.Never Let Go by Dan John- Shares his principles that every trainer/coach should follow.

I am going to continue this goal this year to 50 books again. If you drive more than 20 minutes a day you should listen to audiobooks (go to your library to rent for free, and bring a book with you at all times because all of those 5-10 minutes during the day that you are waiting for something can equal a book read every month!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Core Exercise Progression- Rollouts

Trainers and strength coaches always get asked what should they do for their abs or core. One of my favorites is a rollout. A rollout works the anterior core, AKA the abs you see (or want to see) in the mirror. It also targets them without flexing at your spine, which can lead to low back pain and dysfunction.

I want to give you a proper progression to work from. If you haven't done these before, PLEASE don't jump to the hardest variation. Just because you can rep out 60 sit ups in a minute doesn't mean you will be good at these. This challenges your body to resist extension and maintain body control which is a completely different movement than traditional core work.

Progression #1- Rollouts with a physioball

This step is critical! Most people jump to the ab wheel and just aren't strong enough yet. Try a big physioball then work your way down to the smaller one. Sets of 8-12 should be fine.

Progression #2- Ab dolly roll outs

Try your elbows first because the level arm is much shorter making an easier transition to the ab wheel.

Progression #3- The Ab wheel (got a bad rep because people didn't do progressions 1 and 2)

Make sure you are not letting your low back or hips sag! Keep your stomach and glutes tight. Try and get up to sets of 12 touching your nose to the ground


Progression #4- Unilateral Rollouts with ab wheel or valslides(furniture movers)
The first video is a guy I trade ideas with in Boston, Ben Bruno, doing them with Valslides on turf with 80lbs weight vest (he's freakin' strong!) You also get a one arm push up and some anti-rotation work.

Here is another great version from a couple guys with a hand wheel.

(just don't do this in a spandex suit please)

Last one is one I was messing with with medicine balls. Its very challenging and demands a lot of your core and arms.

Remember start with the beginning and don't jump progressions until you have earned the right to. If not it can lead to injury but give them a try and let me know how it goes!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Youth Battle of FMS.... Fundamental Movement Skills Vs Fine Motor Skills

In today’s VERY competitive world of sports, kids are being pressured at a very young age to be highly skilled. Coaches are pressured to develop athletes at a much faster rate, which can often be detrimental to long-term athletic development.

Either that was a personal record or someone soiled themselves

Istvan Balyi coined the term “Peak by Friday,” meaning that parents and coaches try to prepare young athletes for the upcoming game, rather than teaching them the fundamentals of movement and athletics to succeed long term.

For some reason, a lot of parents these days feel their kid is the next child prodigy ready for an “elite” program that will ensure their kid will play collegiate or professional sports. I do have that program it’s called “Denial for Parents.”

Lets say I am a volleyball coach. You bring me your 7 year old and want to me to teach her to perform a jump serve (probably in under an hour). I then have the young grasshopper perform a regular warm up and see that they have problems skipping, hopping, and throwing, which we would agree are fundamental movements. Now the parents wants me to teach a fine motor skill that involves coordination of multiple limbs, timing power, etc. Meanwhile little Timmy can’t coordinate his legs and arms together to skip correctly.

Kids need to learn these fundamental movement skills like skipping, hopping, throwing, striking, sprinting before we introduce a skill that requires a lot of coordination and focus.

Remember it's harder to do this as we get older

How can you do that? I know what you’re thinking; an intense program ran by a ex world champion. Actually playing on the playground, gymnastics, martial arts, movement games (red light green light), ball games, etc are fine. I know this seems like a far-fetched idea to let kids just play instead of intense training at a young age. But ask yourself if you pressured a kid to solve an algebra equation and they weren’t very good at basic arithmetic, do you think they would enjoy math and want to get better?

Step back and look at the big picture with youth athletics. Make athletics fun for kids by giving them the ability to perform basic coordinated movements, and I promise you they will be better at the fine motor skills in the long run.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Obviously Stressed Me Out

First off I hope everyone enjoyed Turkey Day with family and friends. Like every American, I love the traditional Turkey dinner with sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, but I was also invited to my friend Katie's house, who is of Vietnamese decent. Her mom cooked us an incredible meal with authentic Vietnamese food, including some great crab. A very interesting mix of tastes throughout the day. Then it got interesting.....

After dinner Katie had her Mother perform a traditional Vietnamese therapy on me called Cao Gio (the Chinese call it Gua Sha). Now I usually don't let people try to bruise me with coins but she seduced me through wine so I was all in. She used a balm oil and a quarter and began scraping my back along my spine and ribs. It is believed to break apart the capillaries to increase the white blood cell count, which helps with healing and stress. It is used for fevers, colds, injuries, headaches, and multiple other conditions. After seeing how red my back was I think I might be a little more stressed than I thought.

Watch the video below, there's a crazy story at the end she tells about how parents were thrown in jail because teachers thought they were beating their kids when it was just Cao Gio treatment.

Good fun though on Thanksgiving!
Here's a before and after picture. It has died down a little since yesterday

Right after she started on my spine-----> After

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sports Photography and Jakes New Show

This past week I gave my blog a little makeover as you can see. While looking through templates and photo's I remembered a photo shoot that my friend Cole Barash did a while back for his Blog call "Sports Silho." Cole is an incredibly skilled photographer. He got his start shooting local snowboarders in Vermont and since has worked for Nike, Rolling Stone, and every big snowboarding magazine out there. Here are a couple of his pictures from that shoot but check out his blog to see some great photography.

He captured movement with a different eye and style than from what I've seen. It gives me the feel of being in that mindset where you can block out all distractions and focus the task at hand.

More Pics at his Blog.

Before you go, my friend, Jake Blauvelt, has a short series of episodes coming out on Fuel TV called "Blauvelts Backcountry," that airs on November 17th (I think). Watch the teaser below, it speaks for itself. Jake constantly progresses himself and his riding to new levels.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gain 12 inches of flexibility in 3 minutes???? Kinda.....

To set up this video, you'll see my friend Matt Tosches go from being about a foot away from touching his toes to touching them in about 3 minutes or so. What I did was have him perform these exercises that re-patterned his hip hinge. The result is pretty amazing, and it will probably allow him to move better, which can reduce injuries and improve performance. If you can't touch your toes, try these 3 exercises and chances are you'll see some crazy results.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scorpions and Low Back Injuries

Here are Prone scorpions.....

Here are Supine Scorpions.....

This last one is some other low back exercises I would stay away from other than the knee hugs at the beginning.....

Avoid low back rotation, but don't confuse this with hip internal and external rotation. I still feel too many coaches are doing these exercises and they don't know why. GET RID OF THEM!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Youth Athletic Development and Why the USA is Wrong

The past two weekends the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified me as a Level 1 Golf Fitness Instructor and a Level 2 Junior Coach. Titleist has been paving the way in America for developing “cutting edge” techniques to improve the golf swing, movement patterns, and a junior developmental program that is second to none in the USA. In no way am I trying to become a golf fitness trainer, but TPI’s program can be aimed at almost any rotary sport (volleyball, baseball, softball, lax, hockey, soccer, etc). I quickly learned that being able to help someone to rotate his or her body in a sequential order is no easy task and requires a lot of attention to detail.

Even though both weekends were packed full of an unreal amount of useful information that I have already implemented into my program, the second weekend that discussed training junior’s, ages 5-12, is what really caught my attention.

I’ve discussed before in my blog about how early specialization in sports is killing kids athleticism, and TPI pretty much proved it. In the day and age where club soccer, volleyball, lax, AAU basketball teams, and year long baseball teams are dominating American youth sports, TPI says “You’re 100% wrong.” Do kids need to play these sports? Absolutely! Have them play as many of them in a year as you can! However, if you are limiting them to one or even two sports at an early age, you're the reason why they don't succeed in the long term.

We need more people to adopt a Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) approach that takes them 10-20 years to develop a mastery of a sport. Hmmmm this sort of sounds like school.....

THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS! You have 18 years to develop these kids as athletes. No 6 week program that guarantees adding 6 inches to the vertical and taking .2 off the 40 yard dash matters! At a young age have them play and develop multiple skills so when they actually have the physical literacy to play team sports at a competent level, they EXCEL!

In my previous post I talked about the 10 year/10,000 hour rule. This goes hand in hand with LTAD. Just because a 12 year old throws fast now, doesn't mean if you make him throw everyday he will throw 95 mph for the rest of his life. It usually means the opposite. It takes YEARS AND YEARS to develop mastery of a skill/sport. Yet parents think their 7 year old, who some how already knows they want to play baseball in college, is ready for intense training. Meanwhile the kid is spinning around like a top in the outfield waiting for a ball to be hit to him.

If you look at smaller countries that excel athletically such as Australia (20 million people), New Zealand (4 million people), Norway (under 5 million), Austria (8 million), and Canada (35 million), they have LTAD programs that consistently have athletes excel in professional sports and the Olympics. They understand the overall picture. The USA (300 million) hopes has such a large selection, we hope for the Tiger’s, Phelp’s, Jordan’s, etc to just sprout up and save the day. Just imagine how dominant we might be with a great program in place, but the fact we do have some many people, we think our superior genetics is what puts us over the top, and oh how wrong we are.

We need to drop the club sports that play all year round and go back to playing multiple sports, especially for kids under the age of 12!

One last question for parents and athletes who think I might be wrong. Do you want to peak at age 12 or in college and beyond?

For more info on LTAD check out to learn from the Godfather, Ivan Balyi and/or check our TPI’s 20 minute presentation here….. Click on the parent presentation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lateral Movement Drill

Sorry it's been so long everyone! Here's a great drill I use for teaching lateral movement. Give this a try. You get a lot of good work here working on the shuffle. Stay low and get a good push off the back leg. Make sure you stick the landing and don't make it sloppy. If it looks right, chance are you're doing it right with this exercise. Very self explanatory but can really help you improve multiple aspects of movement.

ps. sorry its so small we held the camera the wrong way..... click on the youtube link to see it a little better. but you'll get the point and i'll get better at make videos

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pre New Years Resolution

Alwyn Cosgrove recently sent his newsletter out talking about how Oct. 1st is the start of the final quarter of the year. Alwyn is an incredibly respected strength coach, trainer, and business man as his gym is rated in the top 10 in the country. He mentions how you have 13 weeks until the New Year, where resolutions are made, then usually broken in 6 weeks. I wanted to relay this message to those who I'm in contact with

However you can make the choice right now to finish a goal you set at the beginning of the year, or get a head start on next years. Fat loss? If you lose 2-3 pounds a week for 13 weeks that is 25-40 pounds by the New Year. Strength gain? Get after it and try to see a 5% increase. Get Faster? Find a coach to help you knock off a tenth of a second off of your 40 or 100 meter dash. If you have a HUGE goal that will take time then try and dent into it the next 13 weeks.

If you already know what your going to do for a New Years resolution why not get a head start now? Don't dropped the ball waiting for the ball to drop. Then carry that momentum into the new year.

If you have no idea on what you want as a resolution pick up Goals by Brain Tracy or create a bucket list. See if you can knock off a couple before the end of the year or at least get plans ready.

I recently knocked off one on my list of skydiving. Holy $#*! talk about an adrenaline rush! It's something I would suggest to anyone who doesn't have heart problems. It puts you in an uncomfortable, and very uncontrollable situation. Something that everyone could use in their routined and controlled lives.

Don't use the holidays as an excuse and go get something done!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Wisdom and Inspiration

So I have committed to writing more on this blog and posting something once a week. This week I just wanted to share some videos that really make me focus and appreciate what I have.

The first one is a compilation of interviews with Will Smith, aka Fresh Prince (top 3 greatest TV shows ever). Now at first you might laugh in your head and say what the hell can Men In Black teach me about life, but just listen to the way he approaches his life and career.

The second video just makes you appreciate what you have and how much we complain about our laziness. Macy McMillin has cerebral palsy and gets after it in the gym! So next time your complaining about how tired you are from work and life, throw this on and see how you feel after. Get rid of your excuses you make for yourself and just get it done! Also a lot of respect goes to the trainer Jay Glaze who obviously has a tremendous passion to help people as he has thought of some great ways to challenge Macy. We need more soldiers like him.

The last video is one of my favorite stories. If you're a basketball fan you've definitely heard this story of Jason McElwain. If you have seen it then watch it again, it gives me goosebumps every time I put it on. Such a great story of how sports positively improves peoples lives everyday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The 10/10,000 Rule

Expert is a term that has lost respect over time. When you think of an expert, you think of a highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable person. They have the ability to take something complicated and make it easy. They have practiced their craft so much that it looks almost automatic and effortless. They can adjust and react on the fly because of a fundamental base of principles and skills. This is most definitely applied to athletics but can go way beyond that.

People love to say these people have an incredible genetic gift, they get lucky, they were in the right place at the right time, they knew the right people, etc etc. Well as Gary Player once said, "The harder you work, the luckier you get." Ooooooh how right he is.

True experts in their field typically have followed the 10 year/10,000 hour rule. They have worked on their craft for endless years before anyone knew who they were. They meticulously prepared for when an opportunity arose that would be ready. All of that deliberate practice and preparation allows them to react on the fly in a split second decision.

Now many ask about Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Lionell Messi, and other athletes who are at the top of their sport at an early age. Well Tiger's dad taught him gold starting around age 3, and he wasn't an elite golfer under age 19-20. That is around 17 years. Lebron started playing basketball as a young kid, and he wasn't in the NBA until age 18.

Now some will say these guys just are genetically gifted and it was pre-determined. Yes, you can't teach 6'8", but Lebron also has a TREMENDOUS work ethic. Tiger also had a ridiculous appetite to improve his game. These guys didn't fall on top of the mountain, they climbed there.

I feel their are a couple reasons that athletic all stars have developed as they have.

1. They've had damn near perfect development on athletic skills starting at a young age. There are peak periods when certain skills can develop faster than others. This has to do with playing MULTIPLE sports throughout their life, and understanding what to emphasize.

2. Deliberate Practice: Here is my key point and what separates good from great. If you've read Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, he talks a lot about this topic. The best at what they do will deliberately looked at what they actually need to practice on and put their complete mental and physical focus into that. It is constantly looking at what needs to be addressed and improved on. There is no "going through the motions." This however is not easy and can only be sustained for 4-5 hours a day.

Now lets break down 10 years/ 10,000 hours. 1 year--> 1,000 hours/52 hours = 19.5 hours per week. 4-5 hours 5-6 days per week of intense, deliberate practice. That is how you can become an expert in your field. So if you truly want to be respected as an expert, and be seen at great in what you do, it is a GRIND! Put the proper work in a results will come. I know i have not yet put in the time to be considered an expert, and will not claim I am. But I know I'm on the right path.

I highly suggest reading Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, it will change the way you think about the "genetically gifted."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sugar is Poison!

I recently was turned to a video on Youtube called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Dr. Robert Lustig, from UCSF, talks about the truth and dangers of sugars, especially frustose. As everyone knows obesity and weight has plagued our country and now world for the past 30 years or so. Coincidentally High Fructose Corn Syrup was introduced to the United States in 1975. It is a very cheap substance and if you ever look at lables it is in EVERYTHING!

Beyond all the biochemistry and reactions, it makes food taste good but is a chronic hypotoxin that creates many of the same diseases we see in alcoholics. Including hypertension, heart disease, liver failure, pancreatitis, etc etc. It gives your brain the feeling of starvation while you have ingetsed plenty of calories to create a full feeling. You then ingest more cause an excess of calories that mostly go to fat. This constant cycle can't be erased by just excercise. The worst part is that it is an addiction that is very hard to break, similar to alcoholics. We just don't see it in the short term.

Dr. Lustig tells about the reasons HFCS has infiltrated our food at such a high rate. 1. It tastes good.
2. Nixon wanted to win an election in 1972 and was worried about fluctuating food prices. So he made them all cheap.
3. HFCS is CHEAP! It causes the average American ot now consume 141 lbs of sugar/year.
3. The popular Low Fat Diet in 1982, made food taste bad. Instead they substituted it with HFCS. Hmmmm..... low fat yet we all got fatter since.

He goes on an on about this in detail and I suggest you watch it (link below), or watch fellow SDSU grad Sean Croxton's summary on Underground Wellness channel.
But i'll give you a review on things you can do to become a healthier person and limit sugars.

1. Get rid of all sugar drinks.... so you pretty much have water and milk (and tea's).
2. Eat carbohydrates with fiber. Sweet potatoes, fruit, whole grains, vegetables.
3. Wait 20 minutes before you 2nd helping. The "full" feeling sometimes takes a while.
4. For kids, and in my opinion now adults., "Buy Screen Time." I love this method that you must be active for an hour for every hour you get to watch tv and you must pay in advance.

Please watch the video and get sugar out of your diet! Spread the word!
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
Sean's Summary
Theres also a article over to the right about sugars in my favorite Links. READ IT!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jogging..... you probably will hate me after this

Awwwww running. Some swear by it, others worship it, and many won’t even think about it. This may offend you if you live by running but please remember this was written after doing my homework and working with athletes and clients. Running is a very vague term that has two categories it can be broken into.

Sprinting is a form of running at a constant speed and fluid motion. Sprinting is often very short, very hard and tiring work. It is a very powerful movement, used in every popular sport. Most all time great athletes tremendous speed and power through their legs.

Jogging (or yogging with a soft j) is what we think of when someone says “I’m a runner.” Jogging is the slow long distance that we see in a small number of Olympic events and also the weekend marathon that causes traffic jams and street closures. Even worse you DRIVE to the gym to workout on a freaking treadmill! Unless the weather is ridiculous, go outside!!!!

Since 1968 when Dr. Kenneth Cooper said long steady state aerobic work was best, we’ve seen triathlons explode, running groups turn into herds, and the physical therapy profession develop. Jogging has somehow become the go to exercise for everything and I DON’T KNOW WHY! Personally it is incredibly boring and time consuming. Now if you love to run because it is a passion I am not saying to stop. Anything that you love continue to do, but remember it does not cure the common cold or any cancers. OK maybe I’m being more negative towards jogging but here is why.

First think of your goal of your exercise. Common goals are fat loss, rehab, increased sport performance (strength gain, endurance, power, flexibility, etc), weight gain, and stress release. It also could be a combination of all of these. Now lets see what jogging can do for these goals.

Fat loss: As much as runners magazines will claim the number of calories it burns, long slow distance is actually one of the least efficient ways to burn fat. Countless studies have come out to show proper nutrition mixed with high intensity interval work and strength training are most efficient for fat loss. If you don’t believe me check out Alwyn Cosgrove’s Afterburn system, and see his before and afters. I don’t work with too many fat loss clients but seeing what he does and his ACTUAL results, I train fat loss clients the same way.

Ladies your choice of the ripped muscles guys vs Skeletor

Rehab: 70% of joggers are injured in an average year. Ok, yeah football players might get injured once a year, but how many people do you tackle when going for a jog? Unfortunately I may tell you your life story of the past 5 years right now if you jog. Jog for 2-5 months, get some sort on injuryà go to physical therapist (but still run secretly) and get treatmentà feel better one morning so make up for lost miles you go on a loooong runà hurt again…. Back to the physical therapist, and repeat.

Most become injured so often because they run to be fit instead of get fit to run. You need a base of strength and that comes from…. Dun Dun Dun…. Strength Training. It sounds ridiculous I know, but adding in some sprints and weights twice a week might help you be a better jogger if that’s what you desire. Thinking "I need to start running to get back in shape" should be, "I should get back in shape so i can go running."

Sport Performance: Many ball sport athletes think their endurance should come from a good 5-7 mile run. Ok now in all ball sports the average sprint is 3-5 (maybe 10 on a long play) seconds with walking in between. If you don’t think so watch one player throughout a soccer game. Yes a LITTLE bit of steady state endurance training might help but not running constantly. Your body adapts to what you do, so if you run slow long distance, you actual become slower. Train fast be fast, train slow be slow. Fast isn’t a 6 minute mile when your sport(s) require you to all out sprint for a fast break. If your sport is cross-country or long distance track, adding some strength will keep you healthy throughout your grueling season. Also if you love to compete in endurance competition, research the training regime of a guy named Emil Zátopek. It probably will make your head spin.

Stress Reliever: Ok you got me here. Jogging can be a great stress reliever for many people. This is the part where I say the cliche, “just do what you love.” It’s true though, but try punching a bag (or human), slamming a med ball, or competing in some athletic event. If the “runners high” is something you need though, please do so. The only other time I may see you is on the freeway.

My opinion is that going for a jog is for very few people. Like me, I feel many people enjoy fast games that are fun, hence why over time we invented games like tag, basketball, soccer, football. Instead of take 10 minutes to go fetch the sugar at the neighbors house and back. Even if you do love to jog, adding sprinting, strength training, and ball sports can be very beneficial. First ask yourself what is my goal for exercise? If running fits the bill by all means go ahead. If you love to jog, please continue, but first ask what you are trying to achieve and what’s the best way to do that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reduce Injuries or Increase Performance?????

If you’ve trained for a sport chances are a coach has said (and I’m guilty of this too) “This is going to save you from a ______ injury.” Saying this can lead to players, parents and coaches to believe the training program won’t set them apart from the next player, and that you're just “maintaining” (I hate that word). I know their first priority is to keep their athletes healthy. Which is 100% correct because if you get hurt because of a bad training program that might bump your bench up an extra 5 lbs, I’m pretty sure no one will care. The next goal after that is to improve your performance in your desired sport(s).
<<<<(Can't really prevent that no matter what program you do) But are they really different? If I can limit your injuries, essentially that means you now move more efficiently, you are stronger, and more powerful. If I make you a better athlete chances are that you move more efficiently, are stronger, and more powerful. Hmmmmm…… I think there’s a connection here.

They key to this is progression. Athletes must be put in a situation where they do not try to become a professional athlete in a day. This is the coach’s responsibility to make sure they go on the right path that will lead them to long-term success. The last time I remembered you have to go to pre-school, elementary school, middle/high school, college and grad school before you become a doctor. Now we see coaches trying to push kids through ridiculous workouts and they probably can’t even do 10 REAL push ups yet.

^Don't think this guy made it to any pro league.^

A great example that comes to mind is plyometric (jumping) progressions. I love single leg hops. There’s a great progression where for 3 weeks (twice a week), they will hop in place or onto a small box. This limits the distance they have to go down and all we do is focus on landing. They we progress to jumping over a line of cones (no more than 5) and every time they have to stick and hold the landing for a 1 count. Once they prove they can do this consistently, I will progress into a little bounce in between cones. Last they can continuously jump over each cone for max height and distance.

If I were to throw them into the continuous hops, I’m guessing a couple of the kids will experience knee pain or might roll and ankle. If you establish a base to get them strong, not only will those injuries go away, they will jump higher because they’ve gotten stronger and their brain can tell the muscles how to land and take off more efficiently. This will lead to faster cutting, higher jumping, and more speed.

In six weeks he gained 200 lbs of muscle because of 1 secret lift!

Injury prevention is just smart progressive training. Increasing sport performance is just smart, progressive training. Realize, not matter how badass your workouts are, if you're hurt and can't play.... NO ONE CARES! Don’t get caught up in programs that promise results in a ridiculous time period. If they do you might want to have your physical therapist and or doctor’s number put into speed dial.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nutrition.....K.I.S.S. it Goodbye!

I haven't discussed nutrition as a major topic but now is always a good time. Nutrition is the major key when it comes to seeing results, and seeing them fast! However, for how important nutrition is, it's often over complicated. People worry about all the wrong things and it's time to change.

In a previous post I talked about getting healthy and not losing weight, and that is what proper nutrition is all about. The focus often goes onto quantity and not quality. Counting calories is about as useful as rinsing your apples when you smoke two packs a day. You can eat 2,000 calories per day but if it comes from Hot Pockets and Cheetos it doesn't really matter.

The main thing I've realized with nutrition is that people don't know what's healthy but whether or not someone has the self discipline to eat healthy every day. Cheap, fast, tasty food is at every corner tempting you and it's easy to give in "just this one time." That soon turns into daily and that habit spirals downward. Getting back to good nutrition takes a lot of self control and commitment. My suggestion is like everything else, if you have a goal write it down everyday and put it where you can see it. Some people write it on a note-card and keep it in their pocket, others put it on the refrigerator. Whatever works for you it's about daily commitment toward a goal that you want.

Once you get your mind right and priorities straight now its time for what to eat. Kelly Johnson coined the phrase, "Keep it simple stupid (KISS)!" Eating vegetables, lean protein, fruit, nuts, and other natural grown food is all you need to worry about. As a tip for grocery shopping, stick to the outside of the stores where the fruits, veggies, meat, whole grain breads, and dairy products are. Going in the isles only leads to processed muffin toppers. If you wonder what to check for on the labels, the main things I look to limit are saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, sodium, and high fructose corn syrup (which is in everything!). The more you keep those 5 out of you're body the better you will feel and look.

Another great way to stay lean and healthy is to drink zero calorie liquids. This pretty much means water and tea. I also like organic or raw milk even though it is 2-3 times more than the typical carton. Fruit juices often are from concentrate and contain TONS of sugar, so limit to one glass a day. If coffee is also apart of your daily routine, start to ween down to one MAYBE 2 cups a day. If you eat right, that energy you get from caffeine will come through your meals.

Some other nutrition essentials. EAT BREAKFAST! It is a sumo wrestler technique to skip breakfast so their metabolism slows down. That means increased fat and weight. EAT MULTIPLE MEALS! 3 big meals a day is in the past! Eating 3 moderate meals with snacks, increases metabolism and energy. For athletes, PRE AND POST WORK NUTRITION! Either keep a snack ready or invest in some whey protein for immediate kick start to recovery after your workouts will do wonders. All the hard work will mean nothing if you don't give your body what it needs to recover for the next day.

Whatever your goals are, in the end food quality will triumph over food quantity. Losing weight? Gaining weight? Increase sport performance? Increase energy? It all starts with eating better, then you can get into the details of how much. If you don't believe me, I challenge you to eat right for a week and see how you feel.

So in the end add more veggies and lean protein and avoid processed crap and you'll probably get better results. Most of your focus should be on your goals and what you want to achieve. Your mindset and attitude toward your goal will be the real way to achieve the results you want, not counting calories.

Any other nutrition questions feel free to drop a comment or email me at

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Observation of a Friend

This past weekend I had a chance to relax in Bellingham, Washington with a couple good friends, Kristin and Jake. I got a break from the city and it felt refreshing to jump in a river, go hiking, and be in the mountains for a couple days. Jake is a professional snowboarder and naturally I love talking to him about what he does for a training program, how he takes care of his body, and his overall mental attitude toward the sport and his career.

The snowboard world isn't known for there heavy training regimes and hitting the weights like football or baseball players do, but Jake has been very proactive in finding a good training program that will keep him healthy and improve his riding. While visiting, he was picking my brain for ways to stay healthy and also showing me what exercises he already does. Jake's business is his body, and he realizes that he has to take care out of it if he wants a long and productive career. Eating right, staying strong and in shape, and maintaining the right focus is all something that he improves day to day. He has committed to constantly getting himself better everyday instead of trying to find the newest fad that might be a quick fix. As Zig Ziglar said, "The elevator to success is out of order but the stairs are always open."

This commitment is also evident in his business success. He is always looking for something a little better and is committed to progressing his riding to the next level. This relentless mentality led him to get a small series on Fuel TV that will air this winter. He also has his own board, and outerwear series that will also come out this fall. This has come from years of hardwork and a passion and love for what he does. He sets goals and works until its his. I also have noticed he has put very good people around him and rides with guys that will push and improve his riding.

If you look at the really successful athletes, business men, or people in general, you will see a similar trend to Jake's mentality. They work at their craft everyday, and constantly progress. There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes, and no secret devices that made them what they are. It's a mentality that everyone can get into, but you need to be willing to put in the work. No excuses, write down your a goal and go get it!

Oh yeah, if you talk to Kristin (one of my best friends and his high school sweetheart) shes probably responsible for it all.

Heres a couple videos, 1. of jake doing a awesome gainer off a 25 ft cliff, and next is me trying to be acrobatic off a rope swing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

1st Grade Calculus

First of all..... HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!! I hope all of you get to enjoy a couple cold beers, greasy cheeseburgers, and good friends and family. It is truly a great holiday, and there's nothing like it here in San Diego.

Recently I've been reading and listening a lot of Brian Grasso's work. Brian Grasso is a fantastic coach and leader who is leading a movement to create a more active and healthier lifestyle for our youth. He is all about developing are youth to have fun when exercising and to develop overall athletic skills rather than specialization. Last year I was fortunate enough to meet Brian briefly and also hear his presentation on youth athletics. One funny and insightful analogy has stuck with me since then that I will mention later in the post.

In today's world of highly competitive sports, people come enamored with the next prodigy. Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Sidney Crosby, and now Bryce Harper are all incredibly gifted athletes who started at a young age and put an unreal amount of practice hours honing their craft. Then it gets published in a book or Sports Illustrated and now every parent has their kid in golf lessons and on AAU teams at the age of 6 seeing if their kid is next. What these parents don't realize is that these guys are absolute genetic freaks and would probably be good at their sport no matter when they started. These guys are also fantastic overall athletes who can play multiple sports, you just only see one, and for one of them their are probably 100's if not 1,000's of players who burnt out trying to specialize that early.

Early specialization of athletes is killing overall athletics. Kids today often play one sport 3-4 seasons. The kid might love the sports but if you were like me one week you were a professional football player and the next week you were a fireman. Parents often have selective listening and hear their kid loves to play baseball, and now the rest of their life revolves around the sport. The problem is with this is that kids aren't small adults, they are KIDS! They want to play games with their friends and ride bikes.

Say your kid was very good at math and liked it as well. Would you take him out of english, history, science, and P.E. because he said he liked it? Oh and since he's good we can throw him into calculus in 1st grade because he's gifted and will pick it up. NO! Kids need to develop their whole body and mind and that young age when they are just sponges. Let them participate in multiple activities and keep it fun. This was the analogy that has stuck with me ever since. It is so basic yet so right on (chya brah!).

The analogy between parents trying to create the next Lebron and school is perfect. You get down the basics at young ages and let them develop everything at once. Then as they get older and find what they really love, they have all the tools in their tool box rather than just a hammer. I've had some of these crazed parents come in talking about all of the stuff their kid is doing and all I can think of is they will burn out and peak before they even turn 18 and resent the sport they should love playing.

By all means push your kids to be great and do active things, but think of it like school and teach multiple skills that could improve them in the long term. Sports like swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, soccer, basketball, etc. are fun and will develop overall athletic skills that they can use when they decide to narrow it down to their favorite game.

Below is another great article written by a journalist is Seattle that I think every parent should read.
Parents in Sports

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Don't lose weight.... Get Healthy!

Everyone loves to ask the question, "How can I lose weight?", "I need to lose 10 pounds, can you make me a program?", or my favorite "How can I lose the fat right here in this section?" In my head countless sarcastic statements are flowing that I have learned to hold back but believe me I am laughing in my head.

After holding back for about 5 seconds and gaining my composure I have now learned to reverse the thought process from don't lose weight get healthy. A major reason to change this way of thinking is that if you think fat loss, you're putting negative thoughts in your head saying that you're fat. In my point of view it will be harder to stay disciplined to your goals because of the negative self image. If you think healthy, you think more positive thoughts and everything will revolve around an image you visualize in your head of you as a healthier person.

If you think that you need to lose weight, your goal revolves around losing weight and that's it. This is where Fad diets have come in to help you lose weight in the wrong, short term ways, while taking a lot for your money with it. If I'm ever need of money I think I might make one of these up and write a short book showing how on the water and cucumber diet you can lose 87 pounds in 16 hours. Back to the point. By just trying to lose weight, it's more likely that you will not create a habit of exercising and eating right but rather just achieve the goal then revert back to your old habits. Then it's a recurring cycle that really won't help you in the long run. If you end up going the "I need to lose weight" route, at least switch it to I need to lose fat. If you cut your calories down to 1500 per day but it's all from 2 donuts and coffee, thats like a cigarette smoker saying they'll stop smoking for 3 days but end up throwing in a couple dips and thinking its helping.

If you become healthy and have a desired look in mind, the fat loss will follow and the habit of eating right and exercising will be ingrained in your brain. You will more likely keep the weight off and have more energy everyday. You can still write down a desired weight you would like to be but keep in mind if you start eating right (vitamin enriched=bullsh*&T) and exercising consistently (walking around the block 3x a week doesn't count) your goals will follow.

The hardest part is holding yourself accountable and staying committed, but visualizing and writing down a goal for your self will get you there much faster than complaining to your friends you need to lose 10 pounds for beach season (it's already mid-June).

Any questions or comments email me or post below!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Less shoe support=More foot support

Ankle braces, ankle taping, and expensive shoes that are specifically designed to protect your foot from injuries are actually doing the opposite. These protective barriers are limiting your foot that has 26 bones and 20 muscles in each foot. That is over 1/4 of the bones in your body and a very high number of muscles for such a small area. That probably means it's pretty important.

The goal of these contraptions is to limit injuries, right? Putting a brace on is similar to putting on a flimsy cast. If you've ever had a cast removed after 6-8 weeks, that area it covers is often very weak and immobile. Why would you put a light cast on all year long unless there is an injury? It makes no sense to give your 10 year old daughter ankle braces and high tops for her first volleyball practice when she's never had an injury. Let your feet move and strengthen and there will be less injuries throughout one's career.

Lets look at some of the most elite athletes in the world, NBA players. NBA statistician Harvey Pollack found out that players missed 64% more games due to ankle and foot injuries than 20 years ago! The main difference between now and then has to be the stuff they put on their feet. Shoes today come out with more and more technology more for marketing reasons than functional purpose. Adidas claims to have a computer chip that conforms to the ground and your foot for $250 a pair. If you like wasting $250, give it to me and I'll gamble it in Vegas, chances are it's gone in 10 minutes. Why do these companies keep coming out with more technology? If Nike came out and said they were wrong and you actual need less technology and support to increase foot strength and support, how much money would they lose and what would it do to their rep?

This past year Kobe Bryant asked Nike to design a low top shoe because he felt he could have more stability and strength in his foot to get through the long season. People were shocked about this but it makes sense if you just think about how the body works and gets stronger, the more you ask the body to do by itself, the more it will adapt and get stronger.

Last I will give you a statistic comparing the number of injuries from soccer to basketball players. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System said in 2006 that there were an estimated 529,837 injuries in basketball with a majority being in the ankle and foot area. Soccer only had 186,544 injuries. Soccer players will often refuse braces and tape, and wear cleats that are as light and thin as possible. Yeah they might not jump as much but your telling me slide tackles don't cause ankle injuries? Their feet and ankles area strong because they actually use those muscles when they cut and move.

Now if you get injured (which does happen no matter how strong your feet and ankles are), wear a brace or tape to get you through games. What i'm saying is that if you are healthy please wear low top training shoes and no braces. I personally wear Nike Free's and some nuts like to go as far as wearing the Vibram 5 Fingers. If you can sneak some barefoot training in your warm-up or while squatting or lunging even better. The overall message I want to imprint in your brain is to set your foot free and allow it to do what it's made to do!

Friday, May 28, 2010

How Much is your body worth?

One of the best strength coaches in the world, Mike Boyle, wrote an article once asking how well would you take care of your car if someone told you at age 16 that it would be your one and only? Chances are you would religiously look after every aspect of that car to make sure it lasts forever. We only get once chance with the body we have, and we often do not look after it or take care of it. We constantly drive our bodies at 100 mph and fill it with the cheapest gas.

Today people always love to find ways to avoid taking care of your body the right way. When you are not satisfied with how you look, people will look for the quickest, easiest short term solution. Buying designer jeans that fit to your new "curves", liposuction, tucks, lifts, plucks, and anything else plastic surgeons can do is like turning up the radio when your hear a funny noise coming from your car. We also look at the luxuries that people indulge in with cars, jewerly, fancy dinners, shoes, etc. Yes you feel cool when you put it on, but people don't think your a better person because you wear Louis Vuitton clothing.

My challenge to you is to eliminate 1-2 of these luxuries that your really don't need or could cut down on, and invest back into your body. Join a gym, hire a knowledgeable trainer, sign up for a team, or all of the above. If you COMMIT, you will see results. Please get some guidance though. You can find good trainers in a small group setting from $30-50 a session. Do that 3 times a week its around $90-150 a week, or $250-$600 per month. Sounds like a lot at first, but how much is your car a month. You'll probably trade that in 2 years from now. You can't trade in your body no matter how fast science is advancing. Look at other luxury expenses like going out to eat, shopping, and cool new gadgets. Lets say you spend $5 a day at Starbucks, 5 days a week ($25). You can make your own coffee (or switch to green tea) and that pretty much pays one of your sessions every week but would get through your day without a vente frapp with soy milk, 3 shots of espresso and no gluton whip cream right?

What I'm trying to get through to you is to really look at how much your body is worth. Look at all the money you spend on materialistic things, yet you often neglect the one thing you can never trade in. It might be hard at first but once you commit to some sweat and hard work, you get a self of accomplishment and efficacy that can't be bought on ebay or even if you have the surgeons from Nip/Tuck.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No More Situps and Crunches!!!

This is my first video, with many to come. This will give you some exercises for your core that will train it they way it was designed to work. I will try and limit further videos to 3-5 minutes i got a little carried away this time but I hope you enjoy.

This is the 2nd video where Bill (13 years old) performing elevated rollouts.

Remember to start basic first then build strength. Any questions post a comment here or email me at

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Quickness Under Control"

"Quickness under control is the most valuable physical aspect of any sport" John Wooden

John Wooden is one of, if not the best coach of all time. I re-discovered this quote recently and have decided to base my philosophy of training around this idea. In any sport whether it's tennis, basketball, golf, etc. you must be under control. This goes for both physical and mental realms. Physically you must manage your center of gravity (COG). While training or playing your sport notice where you feel out of position and where you could adjust your COG. Mentally you must stay on an even keel to stay in control. Don't get caught up in the hype or with your emotions. Preparing mentally with a game plan will help to keep you focused.

Quickness often determines the level you can reach. Now don't confuse speed with quickness. Raw speed means how fast can you run in one direction such as the 40 yard dash and 100 meter dash. These are very irrelevant to sport since you often have to change direction. Quickness is characterized as explosive acceleration from a stationary position (Twist, 1997), often based off of reaction time. This is associated with the ability to start, stop and change direction. Physical quickness can be developed by improving power, strength, and movement efficiency. Mental quickness is also a skill that can be approved through experience. Learning to make smart decisions at a faster rate can separate a good player from a great player.

All four factors, physical quickness, mental quickness, physical control mental control are integrated to create the athlete. If you are physically quickness improves, the game slows down a step improving your mental control and ability to make solid decisions. If your mental quickness can improve, your ability to control your body will increase because your decisions are made at a quicker rate allowing more time to get control over your body. All factors integrate together, but find your weakest link out of the four and own it. My guess is if your weakest link improves the other factors will improve as well without even addressing them specifically.

This Quickness Under Control philosophy can only work if you train movements. You must focus on movement and don't be afraid to push beyond your comfort level while practicing. Stay in the realm of control but don't be afraid to put your body in a state of discomfort. My friend Alan Stein likes to say "Temporary Discomfort leads to permanent improvement."

Come back next week for a video about core training and why sit ups and crunches are some of the worst way to train your abs!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fitness Panel

Last night I was apart of a fitness panel for Beverly Hosford's Mesa College's Fitness Specialist Certificate Program. Bev was my instructor for "Leading Group Aerobics" at SDSU, which was a class I thought I would blow off at first but ended loving it because Bev taught me how to teach. The panel consisted of myself and 5 other women in the field who represented different areas in the industry and all had a different story and point of view. The one common thing I saw between the 6 of us was that we all had a tremendous passion, worked our butts off and believed building relationships is #1. So many times in the fitness industry people argue over what the right way to do something is but in the end if you don't make a connection with people, your knowledge is just information trapped inside your head. I suggest reading a book by Dale Carnegie called "How to win friends and influence people." It has a corny title but Dale Carnegie was an amazing business man and wrote this in the 1930's and the information feels like it was written this year. Its a short read and reminds you of things you should work on constantly that will make you a more well rounded person.


Hello everyone,

I started a blog to share information, experiences, and techniques I use with my clients and athletes that you could learn from or use with your workouts and goals. There will be a TON of information on weightlifting, core strength, mobility, fat loss, and myths that need to be clarified. I will be posting videos on specific exercises I have my athletes and clients do, that you can use in your workout. I will also share stories and experiences that inspire me to become GREAT at what I do. If you have a topic you would like to be covered please feel free to comment on this blog or email me at Your feedback is greatly appreciated it.

Come back every week for something new!
Coach Wheel