Truth Not Trends: CONDITIONING

1. Because of the specificity of energy demands, varied muscle contraction dynamics and general body stress and fatigue, playing and practicing your sport should be a priority when it comes to physical preparation. As they did in the good ole days, you CAN play yourself into shape. It’s “sport-specific”
and still true today. That stated, following a sensibly-designed conditioning program can further prepare one for the rigors of competition provided it “fits” with all strength training activities and practice sessions and does not over-stress the body’s recovery systems.

2. Like strength training, a legitimate conditioning activity must a) create an overload on the (energy) system(s), b) allow adequate recovery / adaptation time, c) be progressive relative to the variables of running intensity, volume, distance and bout work / recovery times and d) be performed on a regular basis.

3. All other factors being equal, running speed can be improved if one a) gets stronger, b) stays lean and c) practices the skills of running.

4. Purported “speed drills” that do not replicate exact sprinting body mechanics (same speed, muscle contractions, angles of force output, etc.) may not transfer to improve speed. Again, the principle of specificity states that to become proficient in any activity, the activity itself must me practiced exactly. Anything “almost” or “close” is NOT exact. Therefore, general drills such as high knees, skips, bounds, box jumps, or other slower-moving actions (relative to all-out sprinting speed) can be used, but more as a part of a dynamic warm-up routine.

5. Being in good condition is also a part of a sound speed-enhancement program. Simply put, if you’re fatigued you cannot run at your maximum speed potential.

6. Straight-line sprinting ability does not correlate to lateral or backward agility or the ability to react and change directions based game / contest situations.

7. All energy systems – ATP-PC (immediate), Lactic Acid (short term-high power) and Aerobic (long term-lower power) – are activated at the onset of any activity. What determines which system is relied upon the most is the intensity and length of the activity.

8. You don’t have to jog for 30-45 minutes or keep the heart rate in the “aerobic zone” to ultimately burn body fat. Shorter, higher intensity lactate threshold work actually gets you more bang for the buck, since it burns a lot of calories. Also, post-exercise fatty acid mobilization from the adipose (fat) tissue is accelerated after demanding, high intensity work.

9. One can improve lactate threshold and VO2 max with a variety of training regimens: short and long intervals, fartlek runs and continuous runs using various running speeds, distances, volumes and work-to-rest ratios.
10. Genetics also play a role in conditioning: those endowed with a high percentage of the slow / type 1 muscle fibers may possess better endurance and recover faster than those with more quicker-to-fatigue fast / type 2 fibers. On the other hand, predominantly fast/type 2 people may run relatively faster but take longer to recover between bouts, all other factors being equal.

TAKU’s NOTE: This weeks article courteousy of my friend Tom Kelso.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

“The Legends of Strength” Follow up

First, for my regular visitors, let me apologize for not adding any updates in the last few weeks. I have been doing a bit of running around the country which included visits to Ohio, Washington D.C., New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey.

I was in Ohio for one reason, The “Legends of Strength” clinic, organized, and hosted by Kim Wood. This event was awesome. It started on Friday night and Kim Wood spoke about the History of Strength Training in Football. Kim is a walking encyclopedia of both football and strength and conditioning knowledge and history. We all enjoyed the evening as Kim colorfully detailed the progression of strength training in Football from the early days up to the present.

Saturday morning started out with excellent presentations from two, top NFL strength coaches Dan Riley* and Mark Asanavich. Both of these gentleman were top notch, but I must say that for me, the highlight of the entire event was hearing Mark Asanavich give his clear and concise discussion of strength training which is Prudent, Productive, Practical and Purposeful. I highly recommend that if anyone ever finds that they have an opportunity to hear Mark speak, make sure you do not miss it.

Kim Woods son, John Wood gave brief talk on developing Functional Hand strength for sports. This is a subject that John knows a lot about, having closed the Iron Mind Captains of Crush # 3 gripper, when he was just 16 years old. Former Michigan Strength coach Mike Gittleson discussed techniques for developing the muscles of the head and neck in the safest and most efficient manner possible.

Not only was this a great event with awesome presenters, everyone there was someone worth getting to know. I met Tyler Hobson, who designs the Pendulum line of strength training equipment for Rodgers Athletics. Other notable folks in attendance were Ellington Darden, Jim Flanagan, Joe Cirullo, and Roger Schwab. Rock Oliver was there from the Unversity of Kentucky. Ben Oldham, the SEC Football Game Official and Rules Committee member. Kevin Tolbert former head S&C coach at Stanford, and now assistant Strength Coach with the San Francisco 49’ers. Also there were Ted Lambrinides from ASAP , and one of my favorite guys, strength coach Tom Kelso.

I can’t possibly remember everyone (there were probably close to 200 people there) but other cool folks in attendance were: Miami University Athletic Director Brad Bates. Mike Vorkapich from Michigan State. Aaron Hillmann from Michigan. Dave Andrews from the University of Cincinnati. Scott Savor-University of Tennessee, Biko and Denny Locascio from Sports and Field in Tampa. Baltimore Ravens Strength Staff Bob Rogucki and John Dunn. Former Buckeye National Champ Strength Coach Al Johnson, Smarter Team Training’s Rob Taylor came in from Maryland. Dir of Strength Training, Brent Rogers from the College of Mt. St. Joseph. Carlo Alvarez from Cincinnati St. Xavier High School. Ted Rath Asst from the Detroit Lions. Florida Asst Scott Holshopple. Scott Hayes from Fowlersville (Michigan) H.S. Football. Mike Shibinski, Cincinnati Elder High School’s new Defensive Back Coach.

All in all this was probably the best S&C clinic I have ever attended (and I have been to plenty). It is my understanding that Kim Wood plans on making this an annual event and I can only imagine that it will just keep getting better and better as the word spreads.

If there is another one next year, I will be there for sure.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

TAKU’s NOTE: Just in case there are people out there who don’t know who Dan Riley is, here is some*Dan Riley info:

  • 27 years as strength and conditioning coach in the National Football League
  • Integral part of three Super Bowl Championships and four NFC Championships
  • 5 years as strength coach at Penn State and 4 years at the United State Military Academy at West Point
  • Author of four books on strength training

“The Meeting of the Tribes”

Former NFL Strength Coach, Kim Wood, will be directing “the best football strength training clinic….EVER. The one they’ll talk about for years”.

Kim Wood was one of the first strength coaches in the National Football League. Hired by the legendary Paul Brown, Coach Wood conducted the strength training program for the Cincinnati Bengals for 28 years. Two of the teams played in the Super Bowl…competing for the NFL’s biggest prize. Kim had the opportunity to work with some of the game’s finest players. Now, he’s planning on paying forward… a strength clinic that will provide training information…real information….that coaches can truly use to improve their programs.

This first of several clinics/ seminars planned is titled:

Football Strength Clinic #1 “The Legends”

Kim Wood, who created the world reknowned Hammer Strength machines, has assembled a speakers list:

1. Dan Riley: 30 year NFL Strength Coach. Multiple Super Bowls. Washington Redskins.
2. Mike Gittleson: 30 years University of Michigan. Bo Schembechler’s first and only strength coach.
3. John Wood: combat grip strength guru.
4. Mark Asanovich 14 year NFL Strength Coach.

Along with the gentleman mentioned above, there will be many other first tier speakers!

Kim Wood says….years ago, the NSCA invited Dan Riley to speak at their national clinic in Kansas City. It was a big move for the NSCA because they were concerned about having a “high intensity” strength coach at their big clinic. Anyway, Dan gave an awesome, high energy slide show and presentation of the Penn State Strength Program. People were stunned. At the conclusion of his talk, Danny made an interesting statement. He said, “I’m here to talk about strength training. Let’s all get together tonight, roll up our sleeves and get to know each other…and talk about what we’re here for….Strength Training”. There was an ice storm roaring outside and everyone was stranded at the hotel. Space wasn’t provided there for all of the coaches….but 70-80 guys got together in an empty hallway and ‘talked training’ till after midnight. That’s where I became friends with Mike Gittleson. It was the best clinic that I’ve ever been to. The upcoming clinic in June 2011 at Cincinnati follows the spirit of what Dan Riley triggered in K.C.” ….Kim Wood

TAKU’s NOTE:

I will be attending this event and am really looking forward to having an opportunity to both learn from and to work closely with, these living legends in the S & C community. I will be reporting back soon to share all I have learned. For information on how you can attend this clinic…please contact: Kim Wood Mail: C/O Football Strength Clinic P.O. Box 20178 Cincinnati,Ohio 45220 Email: k38wood@att.net

Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now

I wanted to let everyone know about a very interesting e-book project, that I was recently asked to be a part of. It is called: “Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now”.

The book was compiled and edited by Fred Fornicola, and is a collection of more than 40 individuals from across the country who have shared how they have fine-tuned their strength and fitness regimen to suit their goals and needs. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is some “old farts” catalog that discusses “this injury or that one.” And it certainly isn’t a “poor me” attitude that these contributors focus on as there’s very little mentioned of what cannot be done any longer. To the contrary, this compilation has a very strong focus on what CAN be accomplished. These individuals are not to be deterred by age or contraindications as they have found and established desirable goals and have stopped trying to put the “square peg in the round hole” as they’ve grown through the years. Sharing their fitness program in these pages is, to say the least, inspiring and thought provoking. There is much to glean from these contributors and when you think there’s no hope, read through these pages, knowing that no matter what, strength and fitness can and should be for a lifetime!

“Exercise has been part of my life for more than forty-five years. It is far more important for me and all adults to participate in meaningful exercise to help maintain or possibly improve the quality of life. For some adults it is difficult to find the motivation and easy to understand evidenced based information. “Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now” should provide both the information and the inspiration to help get you started or find new ideas to add to current exercise regimen.” – Dan Riley

“We, the Baby Boomers and seniors, are the fastest growing demographic in America. Building and maintaining vibrant health and fitness benefits us individually, of course, but also collectively as a nation. “Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now” takes a look at how some of us “just do it” at any age.” – Logan Franklin

“It’s still unusual for people to be training diligently and hard in their middle to older years. So much of the available information and materials are geared toward people just starting to train or for serious, but younger people. I thought by being involved in this project I would gain a lot of understanding about how people have stayed motivated and adapted their training as they’ve become older. At the same time, I wanted to contribute my own experiences to this project because I believe they can be helpful to others”. – Richard Winett

TAKU’s NOTE:

To find out more, visit Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now or if you want to get your hands on a copy of the book A.S.A.P., email Fred Fornicola at fredfornicola@gmail.com. The cost is $10.00.

Lower Body Blast

This week features another awesome workout from my friend, coach Tom Kelso.

Sometimes you want to get in the gym and really just crush it. The following workout will be both extremely challenging as well as highly effective. If you are looking for a tough workout, look no further. This workout features targeted lower-body exercises, combined with total body intervals.

Productive lower body workout combined with intervals:
Med. Ball squat-to-press :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Leg Press x 10-14
Burpees :45 on/:45 off x 3 sets
Barbell Squat x 10-14
Mountain Climbers :20 on/:20 off x 6 sets
Single-Leg Leg Press x 8-12 each leg
Versa Climber 1:00 on/:30 off x 3 sets
Stiff-Leg Dead Lift x 8-12
150 lb. dummy or other object drag/push :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Dumbbell Wall Sit for time
Leg Curl x 10-14
Completion time: 35:00 – 45:00
 
Do your best, and try not to get sick…
 
PAU for NOW
 
TAKU

DEVELOPING A SPORT PERFORMANCE PROGRAM

SPORT PERFORMANCE PROGRAM IDEALS
By Tom Kelso

The goal of a sports performance program is to maximize physical qualities needed for optimal athletic performance and injury prevention. Simply put, athletes want to perform at their best from start to finish each contest, over an entire season, and throughout their playing careers without incurring injury setbacks. Many programs that address this can be complicated, time-consuming, and unproductive, but a sound program simplifies the process by focusing on the alterable physical qualities to assure time-efficiency and measurable results. The bottom line is following a sound program makes sense and optimally prepares you for the rigors of competition.

Program components:

1. Progressive strength training. The benefits of increasing muscular strength are numerous. Increasing over-all body strength will improve your potential to exert maximum strength, explosive power and muscular endurance during competition. It will also assist in improving running speed, agility, body composition (body fat levels), and injury prevention. I utilize a variety of intensity-based protocols for both in-season and out-of-season programs.

2. Sport-related conditioning. Fatigue can inhibit maximum skill performance and increase the risk of injury, especially in the latter stages of competitions and important contests at the end of the season. Being in top condition is therefore vital. A good program addresses the energy demands required for your sport by using various interval runs, speed &, agility drills, and sport-specific activities to improve your ability to work at a high level the entire contest. Numerous methods can be used to get you “in shape,” but the closer you can replicate work demands of your sport during conditioning training, the greater the transfer to the sport.

3. Flexibility. All other factors being equal, applying muscular force over the greatest range of joint motion can improve power output during skill execution. Therefore, maximizing one’s inherent flexibility can be beneficial. One’s joint flexibility is contingent upon skeletal muscle origins and insertions, body composition, and to some extent activity level. Some athletes are quite flexible while others are not. Whatever your level, it can be maximized by emphasizing full range of motion strength training exercises and performing basic pre- and post-workout safe static-stretching exercises. An inordinate amount of time spent on static stretching is normally not necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

4. Nutrition. Nutritional intake can have a significant impact on your performance potential as it can both positively and negatively effect body composition, energy levels during training and competition, and the ability to grow muscle and build strength. Following a sensible nutrition plan is therefore very important. A sound program offers advice and guidelines for adhering to a proper food intake plan to optimize your training results. If one eats sensibly from healthy products obtained at the local grocery store, it will augment their training and recovery so expensive nutritional supplements are really not necessary.

Benefits of the sports performance program components:

Strength training:

> Increased muscular strength
> Increased muscular power
> Increased muscular endurance
> Increased muscle size
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk

Conditioning:

> Improved endurance
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Improved reaction/quickness
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk

Flexibility:

> Improved force production potential
> Improved skill execution
> Reduced injury risk

Nutrition:

> Maximizes muscle strength
> Maximizes muscle size
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Improved endurance
> Assists in recovery time

TAKU’s NOTE:

This weeks article courtesy of my friend Tom Kelso. Visit his newely updated web-site for tons of great information and some of the best books in the industry. 

1. THE INTERVAL TRAINING MANUAL:
2. THE STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT ENCYCLOPEDIA:
3. TRUTH, MYTH & REALITY

Slow and steady?

By now, almost everyone knows that I am a big fan of brief, intense, and efficient training methods for both strength and conditioning. In my opinion High Intensity Strength Training, with maximal efforts, and minimal rest periods, is the ultimate tool to achieve Super fitness.

For years I have been recommending intense interval style training, as well as high intensity circuit strength training, to my clients who are trying to lose body fat in the shortest time possible. This style of training is the ultimate means to drive metabolic cost and maximize caloric expenditure.

This week we look at some interesting research that support these ideas:*


Examining Matched Acute Physiological Responses to Various Modes of Exercise in Individuals Who Are Overweight

James E. Clark

Purpose: To perform match comparison of 3 different exercise programs: traditional continuous endurance training (ET); mixed-intensity interval endurance training (MI-ET) and circuit-interval resistance training (CRT) programs, to determine which of the three programs provides greater benefit of exercise in individuals who are overweight.

Conclusions: The MI-ET program spent a greater percent of training time within a favorable training zone than CRT and ET programs.  The MI-ET and CRT programs produced greater caloric expenditure than the ET program, with no statistical difference between the MI-ET and CRT programs.  Although the CRT program produces the greatest overall caloric expenditure, the MI-ET program produces measures that provided significantly greater benefit of exercise for the 3 programs of interest.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH:  If you want to maximize energy expenditure to facilitate fat-loss, choose more intense interval-type training and/or circuit strength training as opposed to walking on a treadmill or running at a low-level continuous pace.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

* Thanks to my friend Tom Kelso for sharing the awesome information he has at his home page.

P.S. (click on Tom’s name above, so that you can drop by his sight, and explore for yourself).