Interval training—the key to your best workout and physique

 

It’s How, not What:  Results in less time with less boredom and whining

Researching articles on how to create the most effective workout routine, I found almost 50 million net hits for what it the best workout and 74+ million for best exercises.  The repetitive responses not only came up short as a compelling plan to inspire action but left me feeling dazed and confused, and I’ve coached and competed for 20 years!

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The fashionable advice is to do a workout you like and will do consistently.  Wait.  First things first.  Even if I like the activity or sport, what’s going to kick my buns to do it consistently?  How can I face the same workout again?

Wait, pick me!  I know!  NOT doing the same workout again, right?

Sort of.  Just change the what to how, and you are golden.

You can adhere to almost any training modality if you consider how you do the workout.  It gives you a break and can make a difference in both your consistency and fitness.  What are key roadblocks to working out?  Boredom with the same old thing or lack of time.  So how do you switch it up to get the job done?

Insert interval training.  

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Quite simply an interval is a period of time between events.  Remember high school PE class where the only folks who cared about fitness were the PE teachers and a few kids with running genes?  If you couldn’t run a straight mile, the minimum effort expected would be to run the straights and walk the curves four times.  Intervals!  You could grudgingly complete this approach as it was a whole lot easier than running the straight mile and it didn’t take forever.  More rest, less whining.  Same distance?  You bet.

WHY INTERVALS?

Intervals have potentially large effects on exercise capacity with small time requirement.

Intervals are quick, effective, and easy to self-regulate for all fitness levels, goals, and disciplines. YOU drive the time of effort and rest, although you probably don’t want to bring an air mattress and pillow.  YOU determine how strong or energetic you perform the work, or effort, that particular day.  Intervals let you accommodate your life stuff.

Besides motivating you to do the workout, Intervals provide gobs of benefits:

1)   Leaner body—Research shows  significantly increases both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.  The more aerobically trained you become, the more fat you will use during subsequent exercise sessions.  You decrease body fat percentage and improve body composition.

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2) Calorie burn—Studies also indicate interval training is significantly more effective than performing the same total work at a steady-state pace (moderate intensity continuous exercise.).   You will burn more calories since the number of calories used per minute is much greater at a moderate to high intensity than at a low intensity.

3) Explore new activities or sports—If you are doing a new activity or a move you have little interest in but think might be good for you, moderate intensity interval training can be more pleasant than long-haul training.  You could get your feet wet without devoting time to lengthy sessions.

4) Longevity—If you add intervals to your distance routine you may be surprised how your form and enjoyment improve, allowing you to better avoid overuse injuries.

HOW DO I DO THEM?

Beginning or re-starting running? your intervals may be walk/brisk walk/repeat for any length of time you choose.  Try fartlek, or speed play.  I like to use easy-fresh-good as my triad to play with speed.  I can move up or down the effort ladder depending on my mood.  Stairs and hill repeats?  Great interval training to boost your force, power.

Lifting weights?  Great news.  First you are going to look fabulous and feel invincible.  Second, strength training is innately a series of intervals.  Lift a few reps, rest, and lift again.  I’ll bet you thought muscle heads lacked grey matter.  Debunked. We lifters don’t do anything continuously:  the work may be challenging at times but it is over quickly!

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Swimming?  Bring toys and do fast 50’s, switching from a swim to a pull to a kick.  Do a nice easy 50 in between, focusing on your form and the length or power of your kick.

As with any training approach, if you want more results over time your body will change or improve only when you force it to.  We have to trick the boss, the mind.

Intervals make this trick simple.  Just switch up your work/rest times.  For example, if you’re somewhat out of running shape, initially your 90 seconds might be walking and your 30 seconds brisk walking.  Once you get more fit, your 90 seconds might be jogging and your 30 seconds sprinting.  Want to increase the weight you lift?  Make the rest longer.

Note that the above approach increases one thing at a time only to avoid injury.  If you increase speed on the effort, keep rest the same.  Once that feels comfortable, push outside the comfort zone again and cut the rest in half.

YOU are in control, so enjoy that feeling and stay in the game with intervals, the no-whining training antidote.

 

Research sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657417/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17414804

SECRET TO RE-START OR BOOST YOUR TRAINING

Take the ice bucket challenge to defy age, complacency, and being ‘fit enough’  

One day it hit me, or maybe it hit my client.  We were having usual gym talk about how to get abs and butts, when one of us mentioned Ernestine, a woman who knows no boundaries when it comes to fitness, aging,  or pushing limits.

At age 83 Ernestine is the oldest competitive female bodybuilder who can cause much younger competitors to weep as she brushes them aside to climb the podium.

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A self-proclaimed pudgy, middle-aged woman who hated her body and felt ‘too prissy to exercise,’ Ernestine (third from left) decided one day she wanted mastery of her health, so she ventured into the gym.  She messed up her hair and broke a few beloved nails, and everything changed.

Ernestine had slapped down the challenge.  Could we reclaim and even surpass our prior fitness power and ability? It left us feeling like, ‘Damn, YES!  Why not a bodybuilding show?’

It doesn’t have to be a bodybuilding show.  Choose some form of movement that excites you—perhaps something you don’t know much about or haven’t done in awhile.  Follow this two-fold comeback plan:

  1. WANT to become better and more skilled at that movement.  Know that one decision affects your life.  The rest of it, all of it. Once you decide, forget dabbling.  GO ALL IN.  Decide what that something is and then say good-bye to wannabe or used to.
  2. MASTER that movement, all of the skills involved.  Make it yours, and take no prisoners to get it.  Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction, so stay strong and flexible (in all ways!).  Be prepared to go it alone.

Susan B. Anthony, another icon who made a lone wolf move that changed the face of women’s rights, coined it:

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‘She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.’

I chose to do triathlons over a decade ago.  Why?  Because others were doing it I guess.  They looked so cool.  Of course I discovered I had to learn to swim and re-learn cycling.  Since I was now ‘in,’ progress was going to require time and intensity, particularly intense focus.

I searched for months for a swim coach, invested countless 30-minute sessions to learn how to prevent myself from drowning, and stumbled through another year of half-baked swimming to finally complete my first race.

At the end I wasn’t at the bottom of the bay or the last to finish!  And everything changed.  My life changed in a great way.

Now the vogue blogs and articles about making a fitness comeback are boringly similar:  make it a habit, start slowly and in steps, pick a buddy, make it fun, mark your calendar, celebrate successes.  Forget about it.

Those things may be a fallout of but won’t create mastery, the crux of excitement and positive change.  You are the the master:  you create yourself.  It may be lonely sometimes but you will feel more alive than ever.

“No one is really going to help you or give you direction. In fact, the odds are against you.” Robert Greene, Mastery

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We have set out to become masters of the bodybuilding piece of the fitness universe, taking our bodies to as great a point as they can be (here we are at one month IN).

Follow us in our journey to over-45 mastery:  Instagram, dusty.roady; Facebook Excel Fitness; blog excelfitness1.wordpress.com or bodybuildinggoals.wordpress.com

The Secret to Win the Race in Athletics and Life

Look at life as athletes do

KISS.  Keep it simple stupid.

I haven’t been writing blogs as faithfully as I wanted to, so I pulled up a simple but what I feel is an excellent and efficient way to address all of your goals and challenges in life.  It isn’t rocket science, and you can borrow from what we athletes practice.

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  1. Win the day
  2. Run your own race
  3. Strip away the noise and get to the signal (focus)
  4. The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
  5. 90% of success is between your ears:  believe in yourself
  6. Get some swagger in your stance

 

Dusty Roady

Coach, owner

Excel Fitness

IF YOU AREN’T SQUATTING IN YOUR STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM, START. NOW.

From a coach, athlete, and woman with a world record in the squat, you will gain everything and more by doing squats as part of your strength training program.  Squats are your best friend.

f you’re looking for a powerful way to boost your overall fitness and get some serious results — fast — from your workout routine, look no further than performing squatting exercises.  The squat is a key part of virtually everyone’s routine, as it’s relatively simple to perform, requires no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere.

Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose or compound exercise, which hits many muscle groups and gives you a more efficient workout in less time. Squats build muscle and strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and posterior leg muscles.  They also and strengthen tendons and ligaments in those invaluable knee and hip joints as well as weak stabilizer muscles.

And bonus!  Squats require core strength and stability, making them one of the best abdominal exercises on the planet.

Once you get the form, it’s a breeze.  You SIMPLY mimic sitting down in a chair and getting back up. That’s it. It is simple, requires no equipment (just weight when you are ready), and can be done pretty much anywhere. Squats are a key move to help you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance.

Focus first on form as form will do the work for you.

1. SQUAT starting position

Focus more on your upper body. Keep your torso as upright as possible to reduce the stress on your hips and back. Before squatting, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold them, and keep your chest up. If you are using weight, lift the bar off the rack or put the weights in your hands.  Keep your weight on the heels.

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2.  SQUATting down, or eccentric motion (control and keep rhythmic)

Inhale, bend first at the hips, push the booty back, and sit down until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or less if you are not yet comfortable with the move). Weight is still on heels.  Feet are about shoulder width, toes pointed of choice.  Keep back neutral and weight on the heels.

Keep head level, maintain natural “S” in spine, squat until and make sure knees point in same direction as toes.  Do not lift heels off the ground as you descend.

 

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2.  SQUAT power up phase

Return to starting position by squeezing gluteus and thighs to extend legs back to standing. Keep your upright position, and lift gaze up slightly, maintaining neutral spine. Feel like you are pushing your feet into the floor, and exhale on the way up.

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When you can perform the movement with perfect form, start adding weight and lower reps accordingly.

You can squat without weights, with dumbbells in both hands, holding one dumbbell at your chest, or even holding a med ball. I am using the Olympic bar which is 45 pounds.

Squats are a functional, real-world exercise.  This is one exercise that should be a part of virtually everyone’s routine, as it’s relatively simple to perform, requires no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere.

In summary, this simple but beautiful move

Builds Muscle in Your Entire Body

Makes Real-Life Activities Easier

Burns More Fat

Helps Maintain Mobility, Balance and Bone Density

Helps Prevent Injuries by Improving Flexibility 

Boosts Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run Faster 

Tones Your Booty, Abs and Entire Body

You can’t lose!

So You Want to Be a Personal Trainer

7 Secrets to Deciding if Personal Training is For You

I recently landed a position as a PE teacher in a local high school.  It is a great opportunity, despite the extra needy, at risk, high risk, low achiever, non achiever and just don’t give a darn kids whose parents enable and expect them to get A’s.  I have a lot of great experience and coaching/athletic background to offer the kids, which means absolutely nada to them.

This got me thinking about my real gig in life as a personal trainer, athletic coach, and competitive athlete.  Teaching may be tricky and even the personal training field has its challenges.  For those of you thinking of getting into this arena, here are a few things to consider.

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1. Patience

You will need this in large amounts for two phases.  First, do you have the patience to get people to ‘come around’ to understanding the value of what you do and why they need it?  Remember we are not our clients 🙂   Secondly whether you venture out alone or initially with a company patience equates to virtually no income, which is what you will have.  Pick a time in your life you can float for at least 6 months to a year.  If your company tells you just a few months, you may want to find another outfit to work with as about a year is more realistic.

2. Knowledge

You need to understand the human body, including anatomy, physiology, and basic human movement.  Even if you get your certification (the big 4 these days are ACE, NASM, NSCA and ACSM) the course material doesn’t give you a firm hold on the nuances of movement that will hook your clients.  I probably got more from community college courses on anatomy, physiology, and even EMT study, but pick your poison.  What will offer your client MORE if they work with you than a cross-fit trainer?  This may be sacrilegious but I stand my ground that true medical knowledge win out over AMRAP and way-too-fast powerlifting methods.

3.  Walk the walk

Do you really understand how to look at and listen to somebody with a goal and understand the biomechanics and body dynamics they are looking for to develop an appropriate program?  Do you know periodization, progressive overload, and program development?  Do clients jobs require hunched-over shoulders that would require rows/chest openers?  Do they understand push/pull philosophy to balance the body?  Do you?  Get dialed into the current research and continue research throughout your career to give clients a reason to come to you vs. anybody else.

4. Know the mechanisms that best work the body

Show clients the value and time-saving features of multijoint, compound, and complex movements.  Think movement over muscles (or muscle groups) and show clients how to get the most bang for the buck

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5. Problem solving

Clients will come to you with specific problems and goals so be prepared to be an analyst and problem solver.  You will need creativity:  how will you translate and transfer the information into another persons’ needs and current abilities?

6. Group Training

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If you are training Groups, can you stay out of their way and they out of yours?  How will you orchestrate them?

7. Real-world experience

Circles back to walk the walk—talk the talk only when you have walked the walk.  I can ensure trust and confidence in my clients who want to learn to lift most effectively because I am a world-ranked powerlifting who trained 6 days/week for years with an Olympic-contender coach.  Do you have clients put their feet up on the bench for presses?  Do you put weights under the heels of clients on squats to ‘hit the muscles differently?’  Then you are doing a disservice to clients.  And if that doesn’t make sense to you, do the research.  Do you know which stretches are contraindicated?  I see folks doing them regularly.

Be the expert.  Be the advocate.  Be the example.  Be the motivator.

FITNESS OR COACHING CHICKS NEED TO FIND THEIR BRILLIANCE TO DRIVE SUCCESS

It’s much more than the best exercises, sets, and reps

Do you want to be successful as a fitness coach? Try the following approach:

Describe three things that you are brilliant at doing in business. I came up with the following:
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  1. I develop trust and an ideal coach/client relationship. I learn everything I can about my clients and let them know how I can help them improve and help themselves. I let them know I have lived the competitive and fitness life so I know the journey.
  1. I employ the power of objective observation. I demonstrate not only a uniquely skilled ability to teach, train, coach and work exceptionally effectively with adolescents and families, but also a keen knowledge of the human body and an awareness of human development, both physical and psychological.
  1. Communication is key. I have well-honed qualities as a communicator and the distinction of my interpersonal skills. All clients will communicate differently, but I am able to communicate with each one. I touch each person I engage.

A successful coach will inspire, motivate, and lead. For example, as a former world-ranked athlete (and I still hold the deadlift record!), I have demonstrated unparalleled leadership skills since my high school years. I bring those skills to each task I confront, whether in-school coaching or in my own practice as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach.

Inspiration stems from finding a key to the positive in each person with whom you come into contact. You will need a genuine interest in people and a positive respect for others. This allows you to enhance the ability of others to achieve the most of which they are capable. The effective coach is encouraging, humane, and appreciative of a person’s strengths while bonding with others to enhance their ability to improve their weaknesses.

Finally it is character. You need to display unquestionable honesty, pronounced integrity and keen judgment. For example, my values are rooted in her appreciation of the ability of others to progress and develop. I can unique motivate others with my unlimited energy, and am able to touch the core of even the most alienated and withdrawn client/athlete/student. I don’t wait for those most in need to come to m, but rather seeks them out, taking initiative to catalyze those who often would not step forward to move beyond and help themselves. I am an advocate.

Feel the same way about yourself? Then you are on the road to excel as a coach.

 

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING FOR TRIATHLETES—BOOST PERFORMANCE AND AVOID INJURIES

Align the Body and Balance Muscle Groups

Triathletes are targets for overuse injuries. We swim, bike, run, and repeat. This repetitive stress to bone and soft tissue can produce damage at a greater rate than the body can repair.

Many of us often also have misalignment issues beginning from the pelvic or other anatomical region, which are normally due to muscular imbalances. This can come from something as simple as standing over time with weight balanced primarily on one foot. I know—I am doing it as I type!

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Fortunately these issues can respond to a proper, periodized strength and conditioning program, which can help keep injuries away, improve function, and get you faster and last longer during training and racing.

THE IDEAL PROGRAM will improve muscle balance around all joints and create a more stable power center (core/pillar/trunk) to better transfer energy from limb to limb. Strength training provides neural changes affecting the muscle recruitment and frequency modulation of motor units. This is a fancy way of saying that joint stability improves when all motor units are firing to produce the optimal contractions in the muscles surrounding the joint.

For example, the ever-prominent Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS—that thing running down the side of your legs) of runners and cyclists might be alleviated, or staved off in the first place, by increasing hip abduction strength with a routine that targets the glutes.

Five Ways to Develop the Ideal S&C Program

  1. Have An Expert Watch Your Form

Regardless of the sport, have someone watch and suggest corrections to your form. This analysis can be the basis of developing a developing a program to enhance biomechanics.

 

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  2. Choose closed-chain exercises: movement vs. muscles
    Think of the various joints of your body that are activated during a movement as a chain. If the movement were running, then the chain would start with the joints in the foot, followed by the ankle, knee, and hip, and then up through the opposite shoulder. SWIMMING. Your hand enters the water, flexion at the elbow creates the “catch”, then push that arm parallel to your body to your thigh. This movement can be reproduced with your hand pulling down on a cable pulley attachment, a closed chain exercise with the hand providing the contact force. Make sure you are performing the same body rotation you would in the water.
    A closed chain exercise promoting strength for running may be a one-legged squat (aka lunge) with the foot producing force directly to the floor. In contrast, the open chain exercise may be a seated leg extension where the foot is not producing any force therefore leaving an “opening” in the chain.

Closed-chain exercises help strengthen muscle groups rather than single muscles and helps the muscles to work together.

  1. Muscle Balance—Think Push/Pull

If you perform a chest press (push), follow it with a one-armed row (pull). This will enhance your stability and improve muscle alignment. The ‘big’ exercises (coined compound/complex) often combine push and pull in one movement so you get more bang for the buck.

  1. Get a Bit Jumpy

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Plyometrics, which are literally defined as measurable increases, are jump training exercises that improve sacral and spine stability while improving hip, knee and ankle mobility as you squat. Landing on your feet from a jump strengthens and stabilizes your sacrum, spine, hip and other joints as they all work together to absorb shock and reduce your risk of injury.

Stand on top of a stack of aerobic steps or a similar sturdy platform with your legs hip-width apart. Bend your legs and jump down from the step about two feet away from your origin. Land gently on the balls of your feet, keeping your feet hip-width apart. Do not round your back or move your knees together when you land. Turn around to face the step and repeat the exercise for two sets of six to 10 reps.

  1. Focus on body alignment

Another thing to look for while performing your exercises is body alignment. Make sure you are not shifting your weight so that you are leaning to one side. Pretend you have a line bisecting your body and try to keep both sides “balanced”. Again, this will enhance your body’s ability to stabilize itself.
Even the strongest athlete can benefit from continued stability training since studies have shown strength gains can be lost quickly, usually within weeks. It does not have to consume too much time, as my clients usually finish their strength workouts in 30 minutes, twice a week.

Stay strong, stay aligned!

 

Contact me at dustyroady@gmail.org with any questions or comments. I am happy to chat with you about your current program and if it may need some changes or updates.

 

 

BEST EXERCISES TO PREPARE YOU FOR ATHLETIC AND OVERALL FITNESS

Functional Pillar (or core/power center) Conditioning

A strong base of fitness is crucial for sustained practice of individual technique and participation in a skilled, safe manner in competition. Athletic fitness training must be separate from skill training and geared directly to strengthen and prepare your body specifically and efficiently for the desired sports goal.

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Functional conditioning is simply strength training movements that have a high carryover to work and sport. The exercises will have a relative timing profile similar to the activity, like a squat has a similar timing profile to jumping. The exercises are specific, mimicking the recruitment of muscles and of joints of the task/sport or ability lacking in an athlete’s body.

The fitness secret for all successful ball players is functional core conditioning.

At every level these players need a strong center of power to be successful on the field or court. Core stability and power are vital to prevent injuries, correct posture. and ensure more efficient and functional (i.e., practical, usable) movement patterns.

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Core exercises build bio motor (life movement) skills to improve strength, power, endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance, agility and speed. A proper functional core program trains athletes for common movements and for preventing common injury. The objective is to keep players on the field or court and keep them healthy.

The core and its role in ball sports

The power center or core is the trunk musculature*, which is highly involved in all major movements in virtually all sports. In baseball and softball, the trunk plays a key role in the generation of rotational power, essential for powerful hitting, throwing, and pitching.

The core muscles help control movement of the torso, breathing, and balance. If they aren’t in the best shape, other muscles have to help out, taking more energy away from playing and winning ball.

Core stability

Core stability* is the ability to contract the lower deep ab muscles to help support the trunk in dynamic and static positions.

Core conditioning differs from traditional abdominal training in that it is an integrated and complete approach to train for function and performance versus aesthetics alone. We want to retrain stabilizer muscles* to contract in the right pattern and at the right intensity to meet the high demands ball places on them. 

Functional core conditioning

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Every action in virtually every sport and activity requires a complex combination of body parts and muscles working together. To achieve top performance, every body part and the interconnected muscles must be used together in seamless synchronization.

Functional conditioning trains the body as a unit. Each muscle is trained to contribute to functional movement pattern versus to act in isolation. Functional exercises** focus on the contribution the nervous system makes in sports. Each exercise must maximize movement efficiency and performance, thereby reducing the waste of energy and maximizing its transfer from the lower body to the upper body.

Functional training addresses 3-dimensional movement: multi-directional, multi-planar. It is proprioceptive enriched and activity specific for speed and agility.

For example, the #1 baseball and softball injury is to the shoulder after ball release. So we must integrate the shoulder into the entire kinetic chain and train the muscles of opposite glute that stabilize and decelerate muscles of posterior rotator cuff.

The goal is to keep players on the field or keeping you in the best condition for a strong and healthy lifestyle.

*          rectus abdominis (six-pack)

external obliques (turn torso side to side)

internal obliques

transversus abdominis (deep ab muscle)

erector spinae (lower back)

email me at dustyroady@gmail.com with any feedback, questions, or suggestions for your workout program

 

COACHING STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING FOR KIDS (and adults)

How to Run an S&C Program To Facilitate Success in Your Sport

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Success = opportunity meets preparation

Most youth coaches and volunteer parents know their sports inside out. They run efficient practices, paying attention to form, fun, drills, and competitive opportunities. Where the coaches usually need help is to design and include strength and conditioning (s&c) effectively in their sports programs.

You don’t need a different s&c program for each sport. Almost 95% of all sports deal with movement, and training players to move better enhances their performance and athleticism while reducing risk of injury. When you make better athletes they have the opportunity to be better players.

The s&c program creates a strong base of fitness and is geared to strengthen and prepare players specifically and efficiently for the desired sports goal. It increases motor skills and fitness levels. Essentially s&c extends your athletic program.

You may need to include an s&c expert whose role is to facilitate the coaches to prepare the athletes to succeed on the field.  If you are responsible for your s&c program, following are a few tips.

  1. There are two major parts of your training world that you need to focus on everyday: core and flexibility for best results and more efficient training.
  2. During the training week focus on 5 trainable attributes: speed, power, endurance, strength, and agility (timing and tempo). Always work on improving body mechanics.
  3. Make the program appropriate, safe, and progressive: pay attention developing each player as both an athlete and a person.
  4. Athletes, especially between ages 8-20, have different biological and gender adaptations to training volume and intensity in the development of key muscular and energetic components (physiological energy systems) that will have the greatest impact on their competitive performance. Aerobic fitness does not increase much for boys and girls between ages 8-13, but boys ages 14-16 and girls ages 11-13 show greatest increase in aerobic fitness, reaching max at age 19 (girls 17). The training plan will consider these factors.
  5. Emotional age is important: readiness for a program depends on your player having a desire to participate, a belief that it is worthwhile, maturity to closely follow coaching and instructions, and discipline.
  6. Design a periodized program that varies in intensity and volume throughout the year, with the lowest volume and highest speed in season.

AT THE CORE

Addressed in point 1. (above) here is an example of a progressive and comprehensive core workout progression. All can be done out on the field or in a gym without equipment. Follow them in this progression for best results, particularly as power is preceded by strength:

  1. Core stabilization

Curl-ups

Side bridges and planks

Superman

Wall sits

  1. Core strength

Push-ups (can begin against a wall)

Squats

Lunges

  1. Core power (elasticity)

Overhead medicine ball toss

Ice skaters

Cone agility sprints (5-10 reps)

Teach your athletes to climb, crawl, sprint, and jump with moves like those below:

Pull-ups

Jumps in place

Hops

Bounding

Box drills (avoid depth jumps)

Jump squat

Dip

Band rows

Bear crawl/crab walk

Forward and backward sprint

Lunge

Squat (king-3 count down, 3 count up)

Jump rope

Have a great season!

Email me at dustyroady@gmail.com with any questions about your programs

* exercises (as push-ups and jumping jacks) to develop strength and flexibility that are done without special equipment

 

 

A TWIST ON POWERLIFTING, THE FOUNDATION FOR OVERALL STRENGTH AND ATHLETICISM

The point where physical meets emotional/mental strength

A decade ago a nice, buffed trainer in Gold’s Gym approached me and asked if I would consider powerlifting. After I determined he wasn’t hitting on me, my next thought was ‘Huh?’ What is powerlifting?”

Naturally curious and one who doesn’t like being left out, I said ‘yes.’

Those questions and my answer launched a journey that changed my life, body, and perspective on what it means to participate in athletics at a regular-guy level. In high school I was on the track team (4 x 400–no podium finishes to say the least) and was cut from the cheerleading squad, which pretty much comprised my athletic profile to date.

The WHAT

The powerlifts are the squat, bench press, and deadlift. We can all do these core lifts with or without much weight. Done properly, each is a full-body exercise requiring driving power from your lower body through your upper body. The lifts provide absolute structure and discipline in your lifting routine and strengthen nearly every skeletal muscle, including legs, back and upper body.

Powerlifts are the foundation of any good strength and conditioning program. Whether you compete or not, powerlifting sets you up for the ultimate test of tapping into and developing physical, emotional, and mental strength. It also naturally improves your body composition—lean and mean!

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The WHY

Powerlifting is fun, rewarding, and empowering. It increased my confidence and opened the door to the possibility if I approached the lifts with excellent coaching and one step at a time, I can do it. My mind never wandered from that belief, both in lifting and most other areas of my life.

About a decade ago while warming up in the Sports Arena in Disneyworld FL, I knew I had a world record on the line.  I stepped up to my loaded bar I knew it would incorporate every fiber of my being to execute the move. I had prepared my body and emotions to take control and perform. I wanted it. I set the last piece in place, letting my mind take over and allowing my body do what it knew how to do. In a ‘zone’ moment, I pulled up 308 pounds in my deadlift, which I had started only a few months ago at 65 pounds.

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The HOW

The key is to develop a progressive, safe program with strictly perfect form. Find a qualified, credible coach who can train form while educating you in grip style and position; use of sumo vs. conventional stance; and the most commonly used auxiliary exercises. I found a team to train with, which is also a great option.

With expert guidance your progress will be consistent from the start and you will see steady gains. Every little gain will motivate you to keep training. The benefits of powerlifting cross age boundaries, as kids can begin with body weight and most adults can lift at least the bar.

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You can do other sports or activities in tandem, as lifting will not require much time. You can dance, run, box, participate in football or baseball, in conjunction with your lifting. Despite some talk that powerlifting can reduce your effectiveness in your sport, know that every professional or competitive athlete in major sports now lifts weights. And the powerlifts are part of those programs.
Powerlifting contributes to your growth and development, while decreasing risk of injury. After I broke some world records in lifting, I decided to tackle the endurance world in triathlon. My physical and mental strength translated to my success as a ranked triathlete with no injuries in over 16 years of racing.

Being strong is just plain fun. The bragging rights for PR’s (personal records) are an added bonus on social media!

Email me with any questions about powerlifting or setting up an effective training program

dustyroady@gmail.com