Archive for the StrengthCoach.com Updates Category

Working the Floor?

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized with tags , on April 16, 2014 by mboyle1959

This was a great article for any personal trainer from our Strengthcoach.com site

I just read a thread in the Business Forum that had advice that blew me away. I’m not sure how many readers visit the Business Forum so I’d thought I summarize some of our readers’ thoughts on working the floor in a commercial gym. The value in this advice is tremendous and the reality is, this is where many of us start our careers. If I’m guessing your are getting the benefit of 70-80 years of experience here.

Steve Head- Sport and Health Inc Master Trainer

Before you “correct” someone (assuming not in eminent danger), introduce yourself. Learn their name, and use it every chance you get for a couple weeks, then after you’ve built a bit of rapport, they are far more likely to be open, receptive as oppposed to closed and defensve, which is a far more typical reaction. ?Make it a point, everyday to meet and learn the names of 5 members. I have picked up numerous clients with whom I did this, even if it was several months later. If, when they decide on training, guess who they are going to hire? You!

T o read the rest go to http://www.strengthcoach.com/members/Working-the-Floor.cfm

Be Thankful Every Day

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, StrengthCoach.com Updates with tags , , on April 13, 2014 by mboyle1959

My family and I have had the best weekend. My daughters National Camp hockey tryouts coincided with the US Championships in Sled Hockey.  We got to meet Jen Li the US Paralympic Sled Hockey Goalie and as well as Team USA star Rico Roman. Inspiring really doesn’t do justice to these men. In addition we met our new friend Shane, a 13 year old sled hockey player from Minnesota who might be a bigger inspiration than the first two. We sometimes need these reminders about just how lucky we are. Thanks to all of the players we got to watch and meet for some invaluable life lessons for me and for my family.

 

2014-04-12 11.30.002014-04-12 11.27.02IMG_7265

Next MBSC Mentorship June 2-5

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Media, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on April 8, 2014 by mboyle1959

MBSC is proud to announce our next mentorship date. June 2nd through the 7th will be our last date until the fall. We are too busy in the summer to create a quality experience so if you are planning on attending a mentorship, plan for June.

To sign up go to http://www.bodybyboyle.com/mentorship

Starting a High School Strength Program

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on March 31, 2014 by mboyle1959

I wrote this article years ago for the NSCA Journal and now have it in the Free Articles section on StrengthCoach.com

“Frequently at clinics I speak with high school coaches who are interested in starting or improving a strength and conditioning program at their school. Most often they are looking for guidance in setting up the program and, always want to talk sets and reps . Coaches ask should I do BFS, use the Husker Program etc. etc. Much to their dismay, I generally want to discuss organization and administrative concepts because, in my experience, these are the real keys. Setup and execution make the program run not sets and reps.
If you get one thing out of this article remember this quote (author unknown).
” A bad program done well is better than a good program done poorly”.
Keep it simple, and adhere strictly to the following guidelines: ….”

Starting a High School Strength Program  click here to read the remainder

Nice Piece on Breathing Pattern Disorders from Mike Reinhold

Posted in Core training, Guest Authors, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training with tags on March 24, 2014 by mboyle1959

Mike Reinold did a nice piece on breathing pattern disorders on his blog.

http://www.mikereinold.com/2013/04/breathing-pattern-disorders.html

Breathing is the next big thing, especially if you work in the adult fitness market. I think a lot of us ex-meatheads are seeing the value of a few minutes of deep breathing.

7 Days to Ireland

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on March 22, 2014 by mboyle1959

We are seven days away from the Irish Sport Coaches Institute seminar on Saturday March 29th and, there are still a few tickets left. This will be the only time I’ll be in Europe in 2014 ( as far as I know). To grab one of the last few tickets go to https://m.facebook.com/irishsportscoachesinstitute .

Functional Training for Sports

Posted in Core training, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on March 21, 2014 by mboyle1959

My first book Functional Training for Sports was published in 2004. This year we broke 50,000 copies sold worldwide with translations in German and Japanese. How crazy is that?

PS-Hope to see lots of you tomorrow at the sold out Perform Better Seminar in Boston with Robert Dos Remedios, Nick Winkelman, and Martin Rooney.

 

BookCover

Interview Homework?

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Uncategorized with tags on March 20, 2014 by mboyle1959

My last post on A Strength Question was really well viewed so I thought I’d answer another question from a reader.

Q- Hey Mike, I have a second interview at a fitness center and the manager gave me “homework”. He wants to know what kind of program you would give this man:

34 yr old male, works construction, and has a weak core and anterior pelvic tilt. He needs to lose 15 lbs and has bad eating habits.

A- I could write about this forever but, a few tips. If a client works construction use your common sense and forget things like carries, sled pushes etc. This guy does manual labor and doesn’t need the “fake labor” we often use in training.

You also need to realize that under-training will be key. Make this guy so sore he can’t go to work and you lose a client. Make sure to explain this so the client realizes that you understand the demands of his job. Explain that you need to ramp up over a few weeks.

Also, this guy may have a weak core and anterior tilt because of all the flexion he has done for work. Think hip mobility and core stability. Definitely no flexion for this guy and hopefully some easy extension in warm-up.

As for the 15 lbs, nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Again, as we talk about often, learn to speak construction worker. What is breakfast like? Coffee and a bagel? How many breaks do they take? Does he pack a lunch? When he understands you have put some thought into this he will become a fan.

The big changes are

1- Good, high protein breakfast

2- Food packed for breaks

3- Food packed for lunch.

Hope this helps.

 

 

Hang Clean Teaching Progression

Posted in MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on March 5, 2014 by mboyle1959

Almost fifteen years ago I made a VHS tape called Teaching Olympic Lifts to Athletes. Thousands of coaches and athletes have used the progressions over the years to learn and to teach their athletes to Olympic lift. The progression has been so successful that we never really changed. I still send people back to that old VHS. About five years ago we discontinued it and put the same info on a new DVD called Strength and Power for Sport.

Two years ago I watched some Glenn Pendley video on Youtube and changed step 1. The video below demonstrates the changes.

 

Training for the 40 – Repost

Posted in Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training with tags , on February 26, 2014 by mboyle1959

The following is excerpted from a piece I wrote previously and is used with the permission of http://www.strengthcoach.com

Training for the forty yard dash is an interesting process and has become a near obsession in football. The reality is that most athletes are looking to reduce the forty-yard dash time by as little as .1 to .2 seconds. In order to accomplish a one to two tenths of a second reduction I have always advocated training for the first ten yard segment of the forty yard, as this is the area of greatest potential change.

In fact when training athletes for the NFL Combine I have never had an athlete run longer than a twenty-yard dash. Our athletes routinely have gone to the NFL Combine without ever having run a forty-yard dash. To some this may seem foolish but I prefer to view the process as both intelligent and cautious. Athletes rarely injure themselves running a ten-yard dash but often seem to incur muscle strains from repeat forty-yard dash attempts.

In fact, in a race that takes from 4.3 seconds to 5.3 seconds to complete at the elite level, the first ten-yard segment takes the longest time and by default is the easiest to impact. Ten-yard dash times range from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds.

Each proceeding ten yard segment taking roughly 1 to 1.1 seconds to complete. By simply improving performance in the ten-yard dash, we can easily take off the elusive .1 seconds that so many athletes are looking for. In fact for most elite athletes the forty-yard dash is actually a test of acceleration and not one of speed. I believe we mistakenly use the term speed when in fact we are referring to acceleration. When we say an athlete has great speed we actually mean that he or she has great acceleration. In the famous Ben Johnson versus Carl Lewis races top speed was not reached until the 60-meter mark. This means that the athletes continued to accelerate for a full 60 meters. An athlete that runs a 1.5 second ten yard dash may be capable of a 4.3 second forty yard dash. However, the athlete may run a 1.5 second first ten segment and 2.6 second twenty. This means that the acceleration pattern is as follows:

0-10 1.5 sec

10-20 1.1 sec

When looking at the chart above it becomes glaringly obvious that the initial segment takes 1.5 times the length of the other three. As a result it is obviously the segment most apt to be altered.

Think about this. The forty-yard dash should be run in approximately seventeen steps. Simple. An athlete with a normal stride length will measure out at about 7.5 feet. This means that a reasonably good sprinter will cover 15 feet, or five yards, every two steps. I believe the big key to the forty yard dash is to get the athlete to develop stride length in the first ten yard segment by pushing, not overreaching. Why seventeen? The first five-yard segment should take three steps; the remaining seven segments would take two steps each for a total of seventeen steps. Is seventeen the magic number? No. The key is to teach athletes to push, not reach and to minimize stutter steps. We try to get our athletes to master three steps for five yards and five steps for ten yards and, to do it without a reaching action. We continue to emphasize that stride length is a function of back-side action-reaction and not front side reach. We teach lots of push with no emphasis on stride length from the front side mechanics. In fact we never do B-skip type drills, as I believe they teach improper mechanics and are not appropriate for forty-yard sprinters.

Here are the keys to the first ten yards.

- Is the athlete moving quickly or does he look like he is moving quickly? What does this mean? Many athletes come out of the start with great turnover and go nowhere. They remind me of the Roadrunner from the cartoons. Wheels spinning and going nowhere fast. Often these guys look fast and run slow. Generally these guys are fast twitch athletes who do not like the weight room. The great accelerators often look slow coming out because they are producing great force and minimized steps. Running is all about Newton’s First Law. Action-Reaction. Force placed into the ground produces motion forward, very simple. The start is clearly not about turnover or frequency but about force into the ground. This is the reason there is such a strong correlation between vertical jump and forty-yard dash times. Vertical jump is simply a measure of Newton’s First law. When an athlete applies force into the ground, the ground applies force back in an equal and opposite manner. More force, more vertical displacement.

- Have you timed your athletes for a 10 and 20-yard dash? As I said in the previous paragraph I’ve seen slow guys with lots of turnover and very little movement? Try being objective versus subjective. Time your athletes not just in the forty, but also in the ten and twenty. 1.5 sec hand held is fast. 1.8 is average for a ten (adult male).

- Next, video the ten yard dash and the twenty yard dash. See how many steps it takes an athlete to run ten and twenty yards. Don’t tell the athlete to cut down steps, simply tell him to push the ground as hard as possible. Simply telling an athlete that you are counting steps will cause over striding. You want to see how many steps it takes. This will tell you if you have an athlete who is moving his feet but not applying any force. A good sprinter will run the 10 in 5-6 steps and the 20 in 9-10 steps.

- Also look at the video and see the first step. Does the athlete gain ground? A good indicator of a powerful start is that the foot taking the second step does not touch the ground while the front foot is still on the line. In other words, after step one you should not see two feet in contact with the ground. You will be amazed at how many guys simply step out of the start instead of pushing out of the start. Just as we confuse speed and acceleration, we often confuse first step and first push. A quick first step does nothing. It is the push that creates the action-reaction, not the step. What you want is great push, not a great step. This also relates to stride length. Stride length is accomplished by great forces placed into the ground, not by things like knee lift.

- Another great indicator that the athlete is beginning to understand powerful starts is when the athlete appears to be falling forward out of the start, almost out of control. I tell my athletes to drive themselves out of the start so aggressively that they almost fall flat on their face. I cheer if they look like they are going to fall. That shows me great aggressive push.

- Time each test three times. Either average all three or take the middle, throwing out the high and low. You don’t want to record a mistake. Electronic timers don’t make mistakes unless there is a malfunction. Throw out scores that are obviously wrong.

Start Tips
- Weight is on the front hand and foot. This is not track. There is no block. The back foot can be minimally helpful.

- Hips are low, don’t raise the butt. You can’t push out from straight legs.

- Never take instructions from a track coach on forty technique. They are used to blocks, you don’t have them.

- Eyes are between the hand and foot. Don’t look up. The head should be in a normal anatomical position

- Weight should be so far forward that if you don’t run, you would fall.

Start Drills
1. Dive Starts- have the athlete dive into a crash pad from the start position. This is a great drill for teaching first-push power

2. Timed 10’s- I love timed tens. I try to watch the start and count the steps. We use a Speed Trap timer and don’t watch the clock. We will time every week, sometimes twice a week. A few rules.

• Tell the athletes only three attempts per day. This leaves time for the athlete to ask for “one more” at least twice. I really want to time five reps but, always tell them three.

• Try to get the athletes to forget about the timer and concentrate on the technical things you want done. Big push out of the start, great hip extension etc.

• Please note: – the use of a timer is an excellent way to reduce anxiety about being timed. My athletes are very comfortable about being timed by the time the Combine or Pro Day comes around. It also should be noted that many athletes will choke and revert to old patterns as soon as a timing device is presented. Timing early and often allows the athlete to see the changes in pattern like stepping out of the start or stuttering. The timer also generally reinforces that these behaviors are slower, not faster. Frequent use of the timer does what the book The One Minute Manager calls “catching someone doing something right”. We focus on execution, not time. Great execution will lead to better times, which will ingrain proper habits.

3. 3 for 5, 5 for ten (this is a tough drill as you will constantly have to emphasize that stride length comes from push, not reach, be careful with this drill) I view this as an advanced drill and one that must be monitored constantly. Success is not accomplished by number of steps or strides but quality of strides.

4. One Leg Starts- this is another great drill to teach the athlete how to use the front foot in the start. Simply ask the athlete to run a series of timed tens using only the front foot. This will teach the athlete how to focus on exploding of the front leg. Often our athletes will move from abysmal at this drill to being able to run as fast as from a three point start.

Just a reminder, these drills will improve what you already have. They are teaching drills. The real key to speed lies in increasing force production. To really improve speed these drills and cues must be combined with a lower body strength and power program that emphasizes maximal strength. Don’t underestimate the value of force production in the forty.

Another reminder, if you really want to understand speed, pick up a copy of Charlie Francis Training for Speed. Charlie Francis hits on basic concepts in a way no one has before or after. In spite of any perceived scandal Francis is still the best sprint coach of all time.

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