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