Archive for the Training Category

Can You Gain Mass With Split Squats?

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Uncategorized with tags on July 1, 2015 by mboyle1959

Got this question yesterday?

Q- With using split squats, RFE split squats, etc. instead of back squat or any bilateral lifts besides deadlift; can
you still put on mass successfully?

A- The answer to the question would be “why not”. Do you think the body knows how many legs it on?

One idea that is thrown around is that heavy weights produce an anabolic effect. Although this may be true, I don’t think there is any evidence that the heavy load needs to be applied bilaterally? Do you really think your hormones say “I’ll hold off here, he’s only using one leg”?

Also, hypertrophy in response to high volume bodyweight work can be seen in a number of examples. Distance runners tend to have unusually large calves. Speed skaters and cyclists tend to have large quads. Any female athlete that jumps or sprints tends to have great glute development.

The reality is that heavy loads are not a requirement for hypertrophy and, that light loads might actually work just as well.

In any case I don’t think the body knows whether each leg squatted 150 lbs or, both legs squatted 300. In fact, if we look at bilateral deficit, the average weight per limb might be heavier.

Thoughts?

Do Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats Cause Back Pain?

Posted in Core training, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females with tags , on June 30, 2015 by mboyle1959

I just got back from speaking at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago. In between my talks I took in Stuart McGill’s talk ( he is always one of my favorites and has greatly influenced me).

Recently Dr McGill has been vocal about Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats potentially causing back pain, particularly SI joint pain and as he calls it “pelvic ring” disruption.

We probably use the rear foot elevated split squat as much as anyone and, have not had any increase in SI joint pain or back pain in general. In fact, we switched to the split squat variations in response to back pain from heavy back and front squats.

My theory on why we don’t have back pain from the rear foot elevated split squat is three fold.

1- We use a relatively short stance. A lot of the videos I’ve seen have the rear leg quite extended.

2-  We rarely do more than 30 reps per week per leg. A big volume week for us would be three sets of 10.

3- We never put the bar in a back or front squat position. Positioning the bar this way causes a great deal of lumbar extension which could increase back stress and anterior hip stress. We always use dumbbells of kettle bells.

I think this “idea” is just that and has very little basis in fact. As much I’m reluctant to disagree with Dr McGill I have to one this one.

Early in the week I polled StrengthCoach.com members and couldn’t find one who thought that rear foot elevated split squats had resulted in either them or their athletes having an increase in back pain. Coincidence? I think not.

Thoughts?

Who Should You Take Advice From?

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Uncategorized on June 29, 2015 by mboyle1959

Brian Carrol wrote an interesting piece called Five Reasons Your Not Getting Stronger. It was pretty good and to the point.

I thought I’d analyze this part though?

Qualify the person you’re taking advice from using these 5 questions I learned from Dave Tate of Elite FTS:

1. What is his/her education and background?
2. How is/was this coach’s performance in the particular sport they’re coaching?
3. Who have they trained?
4. Have they been able to make athletes better than they were before training with them?
5. Do they practice what they preach?

If I score myself, I do pretty good on number 1, education and background.

Number 2, performance in the particular sport they are coaching? I was not very good at anything. In fact, my best sport was swimming. I played and liked lots of other stuff ( powerlifting, basketball, football) but, performance? Not so much. Surprisingly, I have a baseball worlds series ring ( played from 8 years old to 12 and stunk) and two ice hockey national championship rings ( never played). By the way, my dad one a few state championships as a basketball coach and never played organized basketball. Also, in most team sports, great players don’t make great coaches. In strength and conditioning most of the best coaches I know either weren’t very good, had a career shortened by injury or both.

3, who have they trained? I make a big comeback here. That part of my resume is better than average.

4, have they been able to make people better athletes than before they trained them? Another positive. At MBSC we have professional athletes who started with us a middle schoolers. I think this one is huge. I hate the coaches who suck up to some All Star and then take credit for him. This is sadly very common and something we go through every day.

5, do they practice what they preach? Oops, abject failure. I have not lifted a heavy weight since the 80’s and probably do far too many 12 ounce curls ( I will occasionally go heavy at 16 and 22).

Bottom line, be careful with guru’s, Dave and John are right however I would recommend that you really focus on 1, 3, and 4. Playing the sport and looking good doesn’t make you a good coach.

Interval Training Secrets

Posted in Fat Loss, MBSC News, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training with tags , , on June 28, 2015 by mboyle1959

There are two primary methods of performing interval training. The first is the conventional Work to Rest method. The Work to Rest method uses a set time for work and a set time for rest. Ratios are determined and, the athlete or client rests for generally one, two or three times the length of the work interval before repeating the next bout. The big drawback to the work to rest method is that time is arbitrary. We have no idea what is actually happening inside the body, we simply guess. In fact for many years we have always guessed, as we had no other “measuring stick”.

Heartrate Method

With the mass production of low cost heartrate monitors, we are no longer required to guess. The future of interval training lies with accurate, low cost heartrate monitors. With a heartrate monitor there is no more guessing. We are no longer looking at time as a measure of recovery, as we formerly did in our rest to work ratios, we are looking at physiology. What is important to understand is that heartrate and intensity are closely related. Although heartrate is not a direct and flawless measure of either intensity or recovery status, it is far better than simply choosing a time interval to rest. To use the heartarte method, simply choose an appropriate recovery heartrate. In our case we use sixty percent of theoretical max heartrate using the Karvonen method (see The Problem With Formulas box). After a work interval of a predetermined time is completed the recovery is simply set by the time it takes to return to the recovery heartrate. When using HR response, the whole picture changes. Initial recovery in well-conditioned athletes and clients is often rapid and shorter. In fact rest to work ratios may be less than 1-1 in the initial few intervals. An example of a typical workout for a well-conditioned athlete or client is show below.

to read the rest, click here

MBSC Summer Program Starts Monday

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on June 12, 2015 by mboyle1959

Our 18th summer program starts on Monday. It’s crazy how time flies. We still have a few spots available for late morning in both Woburn and North Andover.

PS- If you are still in school for another week you can come in the afternoon for a week or two if needed.

 

 

A Great Programming Question

Posted in MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on June 5, 2015 by mboyle1959

I received this via email yesterday and thought I’d share it. I’m in the process of writing a second edition of Functional Training for Sports ( my first book in 2004) and will clear stuff like this up…

Hey, Coach!- I’m designing my first strength program and had two questions for you:

Q 1) I am using your template for a 3-day strength program from Functional Training for Sports, and it calls for Double Leg Knee Dominant exercises on Day 1 and Day 3. I am much more in favor of single leg exercises, and there’s no shortage of Single Leg Knee Dominant exercises, so I wanted to know if substituting the double leg exercises for a Rear Foot Elevated Squat and a Split Stance Squat Progression would be okay? I remember reading that you were slowly progressing towards an ALL single leg training philosophy, but didn’t know if you had attempted it with any success yet. I am a track and field athlete, if that would make any difference in the matter.

A- We have not gone quite all the way yet with healthy athletes. Day 1 has Trap Bar Deadlift ( actually a hip dominant or hybrid) as our only bilateral strength exercise of the week.

Leading me into my second question…

Q 2) In your Advances in Functional Training, I recall you classifying Lunge-type exercises as Hip Dominant, although it can be confused with a Knee Dominant exercise very easily. If I were to use Lunge-type exercises as a Knee Dominant exercise in my program, would I risk under training a true Knee Movement, or would it not be an issue? (Didn’t quite know how to word that one )

A- Almost true. We would classify slideboard lunge as hip dominant but conventional lunges as knee dominant. I would not worry about being too hip dominant if you get Rear Foot Elevated One Leg Squats and true one leg squats once each.

Thoughts? Comments?

 

Coach James Leath on Playing Time

Posted in Guest Authors, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on May 26, 2015 by mboyle1959

This is a great piece. Please don’t credit me with writing it!

At times I have been accused of playing my favorites. Let me be very clear:

Yes, I do play my favorites.

Here is the reality. I am a youth coach. Before you stop reading let me also say I believe it is very important everyone plays in youth sports. But this is not the NBA and I do not have to play my best players in order to keep my job. A benefit of coaching youth sports is there is less pressure to win, and as a coach I can focus on player development without worrying about getting fired. Ask the average youth athlete why they play sports and I bet they would say because it’s fun. Maybe they will say because they get to hang out with friends. Maybe they like the coach. Rarely will they say it’s because they like to win.

If I have a win-less season as a 5th grade football coach and every athlete wants to play again the next year, was I successful? That actually happened to me. In 2013, we lost every game; we were defeated. And we made sure every player played in every game. Every Monday the whole team showed up ready for another week. At the end of the year party, I was brought to tears. I asked the team who was going to play the next year. Every single athlete raised his or her hand. I just happened to run into one of those athletes last weekend at his lacrosse game. (I am not coaching, but I hear a whistle and I cannot resist). You know what we didn’t talk about? Losing every game. I asked him what he remembered about the season and he said, “It was a lot of fun, and you let us play tag at the end of practice.” He thought it was fun. He played a lot and yes, he was one of my favorites. Keep in mind we lost every, single, game.

At the beginning of every season I hold a parent meeting where I present my goals for that season. They include character development, skill development, tons of encouragement to take chances and lots of high-fives. Notice: winning is not on that list. It doesn’t need to be. When you keep things simple and kids are learning and improving every week, winning is a by-product. And let’s not fool ourselves; the scoreboard at a youth game is for the parents and the coaches, not the athletes.

So yes, I play my favorites.

Here are six things I look for in an athlete to be on the starting roster:

Punctual:If a kid is late to youth practice, it’s the parents’ fault. Being a parent is tough and getting all their kids to practice on time is just not always possible. I’ll never punish a kid for being late to youth practice, as long as when they come in they jump right into the drills and get to work. However, if a high school kid is late to practice, it’s the athlete’s fault and that athlete is running.
Committed: I appreciate when an athlete is trying to juggle two sports, but most of the time it is unnecessary. When a player shows up to practice, I expect them to be ready to practice, not exhausted because they just got done with travel ball practice. When you commit to a team for a season, see it through. I do not believe a young athlete should specialize, a subject I have written about before here and here.
Adaptable: The game is on Saturday and I get a call Friday night that a kid got in trouble at school and they won’t be at the game the next day. Now I need someone to play a position they may have never played before. Being adaptable is an indispensable attribute for an athlete.
Aggressive: As a coach I do whatever I can to keep game assignments simple. I tell an athlete, “This is your position, and these are your two options. Pick one and go all out. If you pick the wrong one, it’s okay, just go all out.”
Growth Mindset: This TedTalk by Carol Dweck talks about how what someone believes about their ability to learn actually affects their ability to learn! She contrasts a growth mindset with a “fixed mindset” and proves that anyone can learn something new if only you believe you can and then work smart about it.
Confident: Confidence is something that builds over time. If my team is in week-three of basketball practice and my athlete is still afraid to shoot the ball, then we have a problem and we need to fix it. It’s okay, it’s youth sports and it will take time to build confidence. However, if the athlete is afraid to shoot the ball because her parents will be disappointed that she missed, then I have a problem with the parent and that is a whole other issue. Don’t mind me, I’ll be on the sideline ecstatic that she shot the ball regardless of the result. You know what that does? It shows her it’s okay to shoot and she will most likely shoot again. She is bound to make it eventually.
These are the attributes all coaches look for in an athlete. Ultimately they are developed or under-developed because of the parents. Teach your kids to have these six attributes by modeling them yourself. Remember, most kids do what they see us do, not what we tell them to do.

Please forward this to someone you feel it will help, or if you received this from a friend, click here to sign up .

Until next week…
James Leath
San Luis Obispo, Ca
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