Archive for July, 2009

MBSC Internship with Sam Leahey: The Beast & The Little School Girl!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 by mboyle1959

     We all know them. We’ve all seen them before or at least heard of them. They prowl around the gym roaring like lions. The sound of thsoe roars echo through the squat racks. You know, the guy who’s a BEAST in the weightroom, but when it comes to his kitchen status he’s a little school girl! He/she busts into the weightroom with vigor and tenacity, attacks the weights like an animal. But when it’s time to cash in on that hard work and reap the rewards, his nutritional skills are less than desirable. The reality is he eats like a little school girl and trains like a beast! His strength and mass levels reflect this poor nutritional lifestyle. He has every nutritional supplement known to man but good ol’ meat is far from his kitchen. The fur on his neck rises up high with only a thought of the squat rack as his blood begins to boil. This beast can’t wait to put the chains around his waist for heavy pull-ups, but somehow eating the flesh of another animal doesn’t seem that exciting to him. His bond with the iron reaches into the depths of his soul, and the chalk on his hands is as refreshing as the morning dew on grass. This type of individual can’t wait until the next opportunity to lift heavy things. His grunts that come with every rep are existential cries for the true meaning of strength. Every workout his bond with the iron grows like a lioness’ bond with her cubs. His prey is the iron plates that he tosses around like rags.

     Though some may claim steroids or other means, it’s a safe assumption that he who possesses beast status in the kitchen has the size and strength gains indicative of that. Often times, the biggest guys at the gym have the best nutritional habits. Put simply, you can’t out train a bad diet! The mesomorph believes the opposite is true, while the ectomorph is left wondering why he’s still weak and skinny. Neither have heard of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs.

     I can think of so many people who get fired up for bench pressing and “get after it” when it’s squatting time. Their mentality towards deadlifts is rooted in the heart of a lion, but it seems meat eating is going to GNC and buying some crappy protein supplement because “it’s the same thing”. Their little school girl eating habits are as intimidating as a 185 bench press and a 225 deadlift. I can honestly say that throughout my college career only a few times have I reached beast mode in the kitchen and eaten like an animal. My ectomorphic hardgainer self always had excuses why I didn’t make tons of food and eat for performance to get the results I greatly desired. I attacked the weightroom with maximal Sam Leahey intensity, but my intensity in the kitchen sounded like a cat meowing rather than a roaring lion. I knew I needed to get my nutrition game up if I wanted to be as strong as possible. For the last 4 years I ate in my school’s cafeteria and finished off whatever my roommates left in the fridge, but I never attempted to cook for myself. Why? I didn’t know how and thought it’d be too big of a process to start learning. This was all before the greatest internship in the world with Mike Boyle. Thus far my life has taken a turn this summer and I’d like to share it with you now.

“Necessity is the mother of all invention”  –  Coach Jeff Oliver

Ollie

 Coach Ollie, a wise man and a “big deal” if you know what I mean

     When Coach Ollie first said the above quote to me last spring the lights came on and the ah-moments just started trickling down. So much so that I decided this summer would be the first time in my life I would learn to cook for myself. Yes, at the ripe old age of 22 I have decided the time has come. I took Coach Ollie’s statement to heart and MADE myself learn to cook by showing up at the intern house this summer with nothing but a credit card for food and supplies. It’s been almost 3 months now and I must say, COOKING IS SO EASY!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I wish I hadn’t been so intimidated and tried cooking before. Admittedly, I’m still at lion cub status in the kitchen, but I can hear the roars of the pack slowly approaching.

YoungSimba

Sam’s beast status in the kitchen before MBSC internship

 

Lion

 Sam’s beast status in the kitchen after MBSC internship. . . hopefully. . .

      Working nearly 60 hours a week as an intern has unfortunately made training for football take a back seat a couple times. But what’s so amazing are my training results. I weight more now than I ever did in my life! Hmmmmmmm. . . could it be that my animal like approach to the weight room carried over into the kitchen? Have I finally eaten decently enough to gain the muscle and strength I was waiting for? Maybe so. As with any new life change I realize I have much to learn in this new realm. I still could do better and eat more but I’m laying a foundation this summer. Overall though I feel as if cooking is here to stay and my strength and mass gains will continue to come as the quality of my nutrition increases. Check out this video to get the inside scoop on how im finally learning to cook for myself . . .

This Week on StrengthCoach.com

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2009 by mboyle1959

First up this week is the second article from Mladen Jovanovic called Planning the Strength Training. Mladen is a European strength and conditioning coach and long time site member. Scott Vass, another site member from Canada, was nice enough to forward the article to me. This is a long and incredibly detailed article. What is more amazing is that English is not Mladens primary language. Please note, there may be a few errors in syntax and grammar.

The remainder of the week belongs to Nick Tuminello. As I have said many times in these emails, I really enjoy Nick’s work. Over the past month Nick has sent me a lot of material. Nick is always willing to share articles he has written for other sites and I appreciate that.  First up is Fundamentals of Nutrition and Fat Loss. These are Nick’s views on nutrition. After that is How Strong are Your Glutes, a piece originally written for Figure Athlete.com. Previously I have spoke about and I believe posted a video of Nick’s unique ideas about glute isolation. If there is one muscle we might want to train in isolation, it would be the glutes.

Video of the Week

Video of the week is also from Nick. Nick has a great series of videos discussing ways to improve your shoulder prehab.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at www.strengthcoachpodcast.com.  Anthony always has great info and great guests. 

Also make sure you check out www.strengthandconditioningwebinars.com. Anthony has archived  a bunch of webinars on the site so you learn any time day or night without ever leaving your house. I think both Nick Tuminello and Charlie Weingroff added webinars this week.

Hope you enjoy the week.

 

Michael

Handicapping the Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, CA

Posted in Random Thoughts, Seminars, Training on July 24, 2009 by mboyle1959

This is the third and final article handicapping the speakers for the Perform Better Summit. On July 31st the best in education for strength and conditioning, rehab and fitness professionals continues in Long Beach, CA. If you don’t get to one of these every year you are making a huge mistake. The biggest complaint from attendees is that with four sessions going on at one time it is tough to choose. It’s tough for me too but, just like you I have to choose. The schedule up on the Perform Better website has changed slightly. The new schedule is at the end of this article.

Here are my recommendations for Long Beach: 

Note- I will almost always choose lectures over hands-on. Just my opinion. I go to learn, not to get exercise.

Friday July 31st

9:45-  For the first lecture I recommend you go see Bill Parisi. Bill’s talk on networking will set the tone and have you ready to make friends all weekend.

11:00- The toughest hour of the first day. Michol Dalcourt is one of the most interesting speakers here but Martin Rooney and Rob Rogers are also always good. However, I will be listening to the legendary Vern Gambetta.

1:00- Mark Verstegen is a personal favorite. However, I think I want to hear Brett Jones. I might make an exception and tell you to see a hands-on

2:15- Robb Rogers , Michol Dalcourt, Vern Gambetta and Martin Rooney? Another very tough toss up. I think you’ll see 4 rooms with about 100 people in each.

3:30- If you want to open a facility or business go see Mark Verstegen. If rehab is your thing see Lenny. I might go to Brett Jone’s lecture.

4:45- Thomas Plummer runs unopposed. Do not head to the bar early. The beer is free at 6. Thomas always makes you think.

Saturday August 1st

8:30-  Lots of choices. Maybe a toss-up here. I think you’ll enjoy whatever you pick.

9:45- Another tough hour. I’m going with a wild card here. Go see Robert Dos Remedios.

11- This is an easy choice. Come to my lecture. I won’t disappoint you, I promise. If you saw me already at a one day you have lots of choices.

1:00- This is a tough choice.Todd Durkin’s Going for Greatness is very motivational.  My hands on will take you through some great ideas for clients who are overweight or in pain.

2:15- Another tough call but when in doubt go with Dos again.

3:30- My choice, Alwyn Cosgrove. A really funny but, to the point presentation. If you attended a one day and have already heard Alwyn, check out Rob Panariello, a real smart guy we don’t get to hear often. I’ve heard Alwyn so I’ll be at Rob’s.

4:35- Q+A. Don’t say Chris Poirier doesn’t deliver. Get your questions answered at the end of the day, great opportunity.

Sunday June 14th

8   Todd Wight, Pete Freisen and Jason Brown? Wow. Throw in Diane and again, I think you’ll see 4 full rooms. If I’m still in town I’ll be listening to Pete, another guy like Rob Panariello we don’t hear often enough. If you are torn between Jason and Todd, go to Jason’s hands on and listen to Todd at 11.

9:15- This is without a doubt another difficult time slot It really depends on your interest. I can guarantee you will enjoy Anthony Slater. Anthony is a smart young guy and a great presenter.

10:30-  This is a repeat of the morning. I would listen to Todd lecture. Very funny.

11:45- Go hear Anthony Slater. I think you will really enjoy his perspective.

Truth is, I can see why a few attendees come more than once. By coming three times I will see everything I want. You will not be so lucky. Hope my recommendations help. The full schedule is below. The 4th session is cut off. Sorry. I still you’ll get the idea. Just remember that the schedule on the Perform Better site may be slightly different.

Perform Better Functional Training Summit

July 31st – August 2nd, 2009

Long Beach, CA 

 

 

 

FRIDAY SCHEDULE

TIME LECTURE 1 LECTURE 2 HANDS-ON 1 HANDS-ON 2 

 

8:00 –  9:45

—REGISTRATION—

9:45 – 10:45 Bill Parisi 

The Art of Networking to Increase Your Net Worth 

Lenny Parracino 

Squatology

Juan Carlos Santana 

Beyond Program Design

Brian Grasso 

The Youth Obesity Solution 

11:00 – 12:00 Vern Gambetta 

Foundational Legs – Building the Athlete from the Ground Up

Martin Rooney

Training Secrets of the Warrior

Robb Rogers 

Linear and Lateral Acceleration Techniques 

Michol Dalcourt 

Movement Preparation  

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch On Your Own

  

1:00 –  2:00

Mark Verstegen

Planning for Long Term Success

Brian Grasso 

The Youth Obesity Solution 

Juan Carlos Santana 

Beyond Program Design (repeat) 

Brett Jones 

The 2 Best Exercises You’re Not Using: Get-Up & Swing

2:15 – 3:15 Robb Rogers 

Linear and Lateral Acceleration Techniques 

Michol Dalcourt 

Movement Preparation  

Vern Gambetta 

Foundational Legs – Building the Athlete from the Ground Up

Martin Rooney

Training Secrets of the Warrior 

3:30 – 4:30 Juan Carlos Santana 

Beyond Program Design

Brett Jones 

The 2 Best Exercises You’re Not Using: Get-Up & Swing

Mark Verstegen

Planning for Long Term Success

Lenny Parracino

Squatology

4:45 – 6:00

Featured Presentation (Lecture Room I)

Thomas PlummerThe 7 Habits of a Financially Successful Trainer   

6:00 – 800

—-SOCIAL—-

  

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY SCHEDULE

TIME LECTURE 1 LECTURE 2 HANDS-ON 1 HANDS-ON 2
8:30 – 9:30 Lee Burton 

The Science Behind Functional Training: PNF

Eric Cressey 

Inefficiency vs. Pathology: Why Some Athletes Break Down and Others Don’t 

Alwyn Cosgrove 

The Evolution Of Personal Training 

Robert Panariello 

Performance Training for the Post-Op ACL Reconstructed Knee

9:45 – 10:45 Gray Cook 

Understanding Primitive Movement Patterns 

Don Chu 

Neuromuscular Trunk Control in Preventing ACL Injuries

Todd Durkin 

Going For Greatness

Robert Dos Remedios 

Building Better Athletes: Getting Stronger and More Powerful Outside the Weight Room 

11:00 – 12:00 Michael Boyle 

Training Modifications For Obesity & Low Back Pain

John Graham 

Training the Multiple Sport Athlete: Gaining a Competitive Advantage 

Lee Burton 

The Science Behind Functional Training: PNF 

Eric Cressey 

Inefficiency vs. Pathology: Why Some Athletes Break Down and Others Don’t 

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch On Your Own

1:00 –  2:00 Todd Durkin 

Going For Greatness 

Peter Rouse 

Performance Based Personal Training 

  

Michael Boyle 

Training Modifications For Obesity & Low Back Pain 

Don Chu 

Neuromuscular Trunk Control in Preventing ACL Injuries

2:15 – 3:15 Annette Lang 

Designing Effective 30 Minute Workouts for Personal Training Clients 

Robert Dos Remedios 

Building Better Athletes: Getting Stronger and More Powerful Outside the Weight Room 

Gray Cook 

Understanding Primitive Movement Patterns 

John Graham 

Training the Multiple Sport Athlete: Gaining a Competitive Advantage 

3:30 – 4:30 Alwyn Cosgrove 

The Evolution Of Personal Training

Robert Panariello 

Performance Training for the Post-Op ACL Reconstructed Knee 

Annette Lang 

Designing Effective 30 Minute Workouts for Personal Training Clients

Peter Rouse 

Performance Based Personal Training 

4:35 – 5:00

Q & A with Presenters in Hands-On 1

SUNDAY SCHEDULE

TIME LECTURE 1 LECTURE 2 HANDS-ON 1 HANDS-ON 2
8:00 – 9:00 Diane Vives 

Small Group Personal Training is the Future of Training 

Peter Friesen 

Isometrics: The Fastest and Safest Way to Build Strength

  

Todd Wright

Vertical Core

  

Jason C. Brown 

Kettlebell Training for Fitness and Sport

9:15 – 10:15 Greg Rose 

Quick Screen to Identify Weak Links in Rotational Athletes

Kelli Calabrese 

How to Run Profitable Boot Camp Sessions 

Chuck Wolf 

Flexibility Highways 

Anthony Slater 

The Art and Process of Coaching 

10:30 – 11:30

Todd Wright

Vertical Core 

Jason C. Brown 

Kettlebell Training for Fitness and Sport

Diane Vives 

Small Group Personal Training is the Future of Training 

Peter Friesen 

Isometrics: The Fastest and Safest Way to Build Strength 

11:45 – 12:45 Chuck Wolf 

Flexibility Highways 

Anthony Slater 

The Art and Process of Coaching 

Greg Rose 

Quick Screen to Identify Weak Links in Rotational Athletes

Kelli Calabrese 

How to Run Profitable Boot Camp Sessions 

*****Speakers Subject to Change*****

This Could be a Problem

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2009 by mboyle1959

From the Stonehearth Newsletter

According to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health men who drink four pints of beer a week could be increasing the risk of needing hospital treatment during their lifetime, a study has suggested. Researchers studied 5,772 Scottish men for up to 35 years. They found those who drank between eight and 14 units a week were more likely to be admitted to hospital than those who drank fewer units or nothing. That is the equivalent of four pints of beer, eight shots of spirits or eight small glasses of wine.

The men, from Glasgow, Clydebank and Grangemouth, were all aged between 35 to 64 when they were recruited between 1970 and 1973.

Drinkers were also likely to be kept in hospital for longer than people who drank less or abstained, according to the research by the universities of Glasgow and Bristol, which has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

 

This looks like bad news for me, Alwyn Cosgrove and Coach Dos.

MBSC Internship with Sam Leahey: Positioning while Coaching

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2009 by mboyle1959

     This week’s coaching revelation comes by way of another “big timer” at MBSC. His name is Coach Brad Stoffers the Great. Throughout the summer I’ve been privileged to work side by side with him and get his constructive criticism on my coaching development. This week he offered up a gem in terms of my ability to optimally handle a group of athletes at once. Allow me to explain. . .

BradCoach Brad Stoffers. . . another one of those “big timers” at MBSC

     There we were out on the tennis courts as I was taking the group through dynamic warm-up. Provided there was enough room, I typically would line up my athletes along the singles or doubles line and proceed to carry them through drills all at once. My rationale for this setup was the time factor involved. I knew if everyone did the drill at once we could get through the warm-up faster.

Initial SetupThe initial setup for taking athletes through warm-up drills across the tennis court 

After I had them in position, I would demonstrate each drill accordingly, and they would perform the warm up in the width of the tennis court, continuing on for about 8 drills like high knees, skips, spidermans, buttkickers, etc. Here’s where it gets interesting though. I found myself having to weave through the athletes as they came across the court trying to coach every person at once. I would see Billy on one end of the court not doing something right and then Susan at the other end doing something entirely different than what I said. Surprisingly though, I didn’t mind it at all. I guess I liked the rush of coaching on your feet and having to pace up and down the court quickly. Plus it was pleasing to me how fast we got through the warm-up. This was my normal routine, but this week Coach Brad called me over for a little mano y mano. “You got to think a little more about coaching positioning,” he said. “This method is ok, but for beginners especially you’d be better served to have them go in lines of 3 or 4 at a time, so you can pay more attention to each individual person”. To him the time factor wasn’t as important as the individual coaching each athlete would get using this “new” method. So, I called up headquarters, readjusted the battle plan, and attacked it the next day with the following setup.

New SetupThe new setup . . . much more coaching intensive with a lot less running back and fourth

     As usual, it’s the small things that come crashing down over me with an after feeling of “How the heck did I miss that?!?!? How come I didn’t think of that before????” The change was so simple, yet to me the implications were profound. Coach Brad encouraged me to take this thought process even further. So I did. When the group finally reached ladder drills I realized I never considered the focal point of my athletes. Rather, i assumed if they saw me demonstrate from one angle, they could abstractly understand the drill and put together what it’s supposed to look like from the other side. For example, if I demonstrate a ladder drill facing only one direction the lines of athletes on my left and right will see the side view of me, and the line in front of me will get the front view of the drill.

Side 1 Therefore, I realized I must demonstrate the same thing twice from 2 angles so everyone in the group gets both views demonstrated to them.

Side 2

I’d like to tell you that the results were so overwhelming that every one of my athletes did things so perfectly they all went straight to being professional athletes with a 5 billion dollar signing bonus. In reality, I noticed much more technical soundness from my athletes when I demonstrated things twice from two different angles. I had to coach less because they had a better idea of what drills were supposed to look like. 

    Continuing on into the weightroom, there’s one more aspect of positioning I’d like to touch on. It’s the idea that when you’re coaching a group in the weightroom your time is best spent on the big things rather than the little ones. For example, if my group is doing a tri-set of trap bar deadlift, physioball rollouts, and a chest stretch, my time is better spent circulating around the deadlift area rather than where people are doing the chest stretch and rollouts. In his book, Coach Boyle talks about doing one coaching intensive lift per day. This is so you can really hammer down on technique and get athletes or clients to do things right while you don’t have to worry as much about them doing the chest stretch wrong. Think of it like this: Imagine you had on a backpack full of flour during the entire workout and you poked a hole on the bottom so that it was slowly but surely leaking out onto floor until the bag was empty.  After the course of an hour or so, there should be flour ALL OVER the deadlift/bench/squat/pullup area and only light dustings around the YTWL or plank stations. With this strategy in place I can rest assured that my athletes will be competent lifters and my efficiency as a coach will go WAY up.

More attentionWho needs more attention? 

Conclusion

      As usual, I realize that at face value my examples and thoughts presented here are pretty basic and dare I say common sense for some coaches, but we’ve all heard the saying “common sense isn’t so common now a days.” These coaching strategies may seem somewhat trivial to you yet the implications discussed here have value for up and coming coaches like myself, especially when working with large groups. Sometimes, I sit back at the end of the work day and think about how group management and efficiency really play into things. It’s funny how simple my epiphanies can be, and yet they always have me thinking for hours afterward.

 

Sam Leahey CSCS, CPT

Sam.Leahey@gmail.com

This Week on StrengthCoach.com

Posted in Random Thoughts, Seminars, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training on July 20, 2009 by mboyle1959

This week we have some articles that relate directly to some forum activity. However, first up is my last Handicapping the Perform Better Summit. The Long Beach Summit is in two weeks and I can honestly say I am excited to go. As crazy as it sounds, I love the long plane ride. I charge two computer batteries and write for about 4 hours. You can get a lot done.

Vern Gambetta, Robert Dos Remedios, and Pete Freisen are just a few of the speakers I’m excited to see and hear. You can go to www.performbetter.com to sign up for this one.

Next up is another article from Patrick Ward. Stretching As Part of The Warm Up: Can We Make It Work? Patrick quickly put this together in response to an ongoing thread started by one of our young readers in England who is training for soccer. This type of stuff is what makes www.strengthcoach.com so unique. One of our “experts” pulls together a great piece on short notice that deals with a timely topic.

Last up is a brief look at what I am currently doing for warm-ups with my Boston University Hockey ( 2009 NCAA Champs) players. Another site member, Kerry in the UK, was asking about using circuits as warm-ups. We are doing exactly what Kerry has his players doing with great success. My piece is simply called Static Stretching and Mobility Circuits. I’m not even sure I can call it an article. The key to these circuits is Workout Muse www.workoutmuse.com. BJ and Topher from Workout Muse develop music for Bootcamps. However, as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for my warm-ups. Make sure to check out the site. I think you’ll like it.

Video of the Week

Video of the week is another look at the Rotational Inverted Row with the TRX.  I know we had a few versions from Dewey Neilsen a few weeks back. This one illustrates the hand position we talked about in the Podcast after Dewey’s videos went up. I prefer this style ( moving from internal rotation to external) as it is very “shoulder friendly”.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at www.strengthcoachpodcast.com.  Also make sure you check out www.strengthandconditioningwebinars.com. Anthony has archived  a bunch of webinars on the site so you learn any time day or night without ever leaving your house. I recently recorded Understanding Sports Hernia for the site. Anthony also said Frank Dolan’s webinar was excellent.

Hope you enjoy the week.

 

Michael

Hanks Big Adventure Part 3

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Nutrition on July 16, 2009 by mboyle1959

If you’ve been reading this blog you might already know about my good friend Hank Morse. Hank is a Boston radio personality who has lost 123 since he began training at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning about 16 months ago. Hank just finished walking the Kona Half Marathon in Hawaii to benefit the American Stroke Association. Hank has become our biggest supporter a walking advertisement for what we can do for “real” people. His recent blog post is below.

7/6/09 Blog

I just got back from Hawaii and one sweet trip. I walked the Kona Half Marathon on the Big Island of Hawaii on June 28 and completed one of my biggest goals yet since my big weight loss adventure began.

Just as a refresher, I’ve lost 123 pounds, from 375-252, since I began working out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester in May of last year. If you ever decide you’d like to improve your health and with it, your overall quality of life, Mike Boyle is THE guru of strength and conditioning. www.bodybyboyle.com. He is a life changer. The pro athletes train with Mike, but your average person can, too. The  nice thing………they get the same attention as the pros. Everyone is the most important person when they work out with Mike and his staff.

So……I walked a half marathon in three hours, 34 minutes, walking in honor of my mother-in-law, Janet Greenway Evans, who died from a series of strokes almost 23 years ago. I never knew her, but my wife and family struggle everyday without her.

I’ve been paying attention to my health for 14 months and with guidance, encouragement and some dedication to improving my well being, I’ve gone from struggling to walk 100 yards to completing 13.1 miles. Mike said I’d be stunned at what I could do if I committed to his program and he was 100 percent right. I can’t even explain the joy I’ve experience since losing the weight and “getting back into the game”.

Top 10 things from my trip to Hawaii

10. Didn’t need a seatbelt extender on the plane.

 9. My waist didn’t spill over the arm rest onto the passenger next to me.

 8. Went to the pool in a bathing suit and no shirt.

 7. My size 40 shorts are getting loose.

 6. Went snorkeling with turtles and brilliantly colored fish.

 5. Didn’t feel out of place amongst a group of fit people.

 4. Walked 13.1 miles.

 3. Actually starting thinking about possibly running the 13.1 miles next year

 2. Completed a goal and saw it through, start to finish.

 1. Raised about $10,000 for the American Stroke Association.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my effort. Each and every one of you made a difference in someone’s life.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2009 by mboyle1959

First up this week is a great piece from Pat Rigsby. It was actually an email he sent out to his list and was posted on his www.patnickandjim.com blog. It’s simply called Pat Rigsy on Getting Things Done. I think for many of us time management is a huge part of success.

Next up is a piece from Teena Murray called The Cardinal Way. Teena is an excellent strength coach and runs a great program. I asked her to contribute an article a few months ago describing their program philosophy at Louisville. I think her piece is exactly what this site needs.

Last up is another piece that will make you think called What Ruins Running. The article, written by Christopher McDougal, originally appeared in the Boston Globe and is based on Chris’s book Born to Run. To learn more about the book you can go to the link below. Chris was also a guest on a recent Strength Coach Podcast. 

Video of the Week

Video of the week is a Standing Diagonal Lifting Pattern. Gray Cook obviously likes diagonal patterns as corrective exercises. We also work on these in progressions for strength. This a “phase 2” exercise.

 

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at www.strengthcoachpodcast.com.  Anthony has great interviews up with both Chris McDougal and Dan John Also make sure you check out www.strengthandconditioningwebinars.com This is another great educational vehicle that Anthony Renna of the Strength Coach Podcast is developing. Anthony has archived webinars on the site so you learn any time day or night without ever leaving your house. I recently recorded Understanding Sports Hernia for the site.

Hope you enjoy the week.

 

Michael

 

More Sam Leahey on Building Relationships

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2009 by mboyle1959

MBSC Internship with Sam Leahey: Part 2 of Building Relationship in The Weight Room & Part 2 of Explaining The “Whys”

     To be quite honest, I thought the people who would most appreciate my blogging would be fellow MBSC interns and a few others that know me personally. But apparently my perspectives are farther reaching than I assumed. I’ve gotten some great feedback in my inbox as well as people commenting on the blog, especially regarding the last post. So much so that I decided to elaborate even further on my coaching resonations and allow my blabbering to continue on. Below is part 2 of building relationships in the weight room as well as part 2 of trying to explain the “why’s” to everyone instead of actually coaching. It’s not as much content as before but more of a “finisher” on the topic at hand.

More on Building Relationships

     I began this week by remembering the big lesson from last week. I made it a point to engage in small talk more frequently WHEN APPROPRIATE and tried to find out more about the athletes’ lives outside the gym. Honestly, I found a new passion for learning more about other people’s lives beyond the barbells and slideboards. Beyond the rusty iron (shiny iron in MBSC’s case) I discovered how much people actually enjoy other things besides strength & conditioning (NO DUH, SAM, YOU STINK’N DORK!). As it turns out, my athletes were more inclined to do what I said the more I talked to them about things other than the workout. I didn’t want to get too carried away, so I slipped it in between sets and during transitional times between circuits or conditioning. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference in responses I would get between athletes with whom I planted friendship seeds and those with which I did not. Take this basic example for instance. . .

Situation A – Trying to coach two people when no one knows each other’s names and you previously didn’t take any time to learn about his/her life outside of training.

Coach Sam: “THROW THAT MED BALL, MAN! COME ON! HEY YOU! PUSH THAT BARBELL UP! YOU GOT IT!”

First Athlete’s Response: “I guess I’ll throw this ball harder because I know it’s the right thing to do, but not because he said so.”

Second Athletes’ Response: “I’m pushing this barbell as hard as I can guy, leave me alone!

Situation B – Trying to coach two people whose names you know and they both know your name as well. You’ve also talked to them before the workout to see how their feeling, what sports their training for, and what their goals are for the summer.

Coach Sam: “THROW THAT MED BALL, BRIAN! COME ON! HEY, CHELSIE, PUSH THAT BARBELL UP!”

Brian’s Response: “He better watch out because I’m about to put a hole in the wall with this med ball!”

Chelsie’s Response: “You’re right! I got this! GRRRRRRR!”

The only difference was I knew and addressed each athlete by name, and we had built a little foundational relationship beforehand. I’ll be the first to say this is as generic and simple as an example gets, but it gets my point across and I’ve found this to be pretty realistic actually. I’m starting to realize it’s just that simple sometimes. Call people by their names and make sure you talk to them about something other than training and good things happen!

     When I began helping Coach Boyle at BU with his hockey team the same concept applied. Yet it was a different “progression” if you will. The group was mainly comprised of freshman with only 4 seniors. I thought about my own college athlete experience. As an upperclassman I had been working hard for 4-5 years, and the people who’ve coached me the most and earned my respect were the actual staff members, not interns. That said, I wouldn’t appreciate some intern coming in my senior year and telling me what to do. So I decided purposely not to coach the upperclassmen hockey players at BU. I focused completely on the freshman since they needed the most help anyway. This went on for a 2 workouts. I brought the best coaching energy I could to the freshman and pretty much ignored the seniors. I think they realized this pretty quickly after the first workout. BUT GUESS WHAT?!?!? After only the second workout EVERY LAST ONE of the upperclassmen came up to me and introduced themselves, asked where I was from, and yada yada. A couple actually said they appreciated having me there! What? I didn’t even coach them. I quickly realized that by me respecting their seniority and not attempting to order them around THEY in turn took the initiative and started building a relationship with ME! WOW! I didn’t even have to do anything this time. I’m sure in time the next step will involve them being welcoming of my coaching, but for now I’m pleased to have build a good report with all the athletes on the team. As time goes on the dynamics of coaching a group of individuals becomes more apparent to me and I’m realizing every day that it’s not as simple as blowing a whistle or starting a clock. Knowing how to win friends and influence people is critical!

     Back to MBSC. The next thing I realized in the whole building relationships theme was that I naturally took more time to invest in the lives of the older athletes: asking them what year in school they were, what colleges they attend or want to attend. I caught myself actually just coaching the kids I worked with instead of trying to show interest in them as people with identities. So I readjusted.

     In one case, I was coaching a group of young kids and on the walk over to the conditioning area, I made sure I went through everyone’s name aloud and asked them about what they did last weekend for the fourth of July. Then as we began doing drills, I showed them how excited I was to coach them by showing passion and energy. In return, they gave me the same energy back with big effort, screaming, and hollering! Our group got pretty loud, and other coaches and groups’ starting staring at us wondering what the heck was wrong with everyone. Believe it or not I had them yelling “HOO-AHH” after every rep of speed drills they did. The energy was so awesome that morning, and I made sure we carried it over into the weight room. I got a better response from the kids than I did from the older groups! I’m almost convinced that if i didn’t talk to each person individually before the workout they wouldn’t have reciprocated my energy the way they did. Though not fail proof, this technique has the potential for big returns as child athletes might personally invest more in their workouts. I stepped out of my comfort zone of college athletes and found commonalities with and showed personal interest in a demographic I normally wouldn’t. This technique is integral to succeed in coaching people from backgrounds different than one’s own.  I’m sure I’ll see this concept manifest itself more and more as my coaching career progresses.

     Furthermore, though the equation isn’t always this simple, I’m finding it’s a great starting place for this young coach:

Plant Relationship Seeds + Good Coaching = Positive Responses from Athletes!

One of the comments from last week’s blog penetrated my coaching thought process so much that I want you to read it also:

Sam,

In my mind the number one thing in coaching is the coach-athlete relationship, something you are clearly learning here and getting a great grasp on. In other groups (non-pro), a lot of what the athlete’s will remember from the summer is the relationships they have made in the process (probably because this is easier to grasp than the great coaching you are giving them). Keep up the good work on both and I think you will continue to have rewarding experiences.

Coach Brad Stoffers

This is so true. When I read that bolded line above I couldn’t stop thinking about it all night! The fact that the number one thing influencing them was their experience and NOT me telling them about the “whys” of their training lead me to seek out even more information on the topic. . .

More on Explaining the “Whys” of Training

     In fact when I was speaking with Coach Boyle this morning he said something similar to Coach Brad – “most athletes don’t care about the “whys” of their training. They care about the experience they have and the results they get”. This was actually a surprise to me at first, I guess I thought everyone was like me, having an overwhelming passion for knowing why I’m doing Y,T,W,L’s and why I’m doing interval training instead of steady state cardio. Coach Boyle again had to set me straight – “when you try explaining internal/external rotation to them all they wanna know is if it helps their bench press or not!” At Athletes Performance I’m told the first thing athletes try and skip out on is the education component, which is about a 5-15 minute block where they’re educated on their training and its implications. I’m not suggesting this is a good thing or that we should all together stop educating our athletes. It was just sort of surprising to me that the “whys” were not as important the mass majority of athletes as they are to me.

 bench

 

“I don’t care about increased intra-thoracic pressure, engaging the lats, or the scap-packed position! Just tell me how to get more plates on here!”

 

So all in all my current thought process is this: (1) Build relationships (2) Provide top quality coaching (3) Begin to educate the athletes on the “whys” that are pertinent to their goals. We’ll see how far this takes me and what changes I make to it as time goes on. As I said, this week’s post is a finisher/icing on the cake to two previous blog posts. Thanks for all the feedback and I encourage all your comments below in case there’s anything I’m forgetting in my thought processes.

Sam Leahey CSCS, CPT

Sam.Leahey@gmail.com

Using the Hang Snatch

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Training on July 10, 2009 by mboyle1959

This is a great piece of video talking about why we have begun to prefer the Hang Snatch to the Hang Clean. It’s another 50% off idea. Great power development, less load, less back stress.

 

Click here to check out the Stack TV interview at MBSC about the Hang Snatch.