Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Linear speed workout

This is the linear speed workout that various athletes performed before their lift yesterday.

Foam roll/Dynamic Warm - up

Band resisted footwork on agility ladder

Single and double leg quick hops on ladder

10yd band resisted sprint followed immediately by a 10 yd. sprint. 5 sets, 1 minute rest between

10 yard sprint, 5 yard backpedal, accelerate into a 10 yard sprint x 4 1 minute rest.

I like doing the resisted sprints in conjunction with regular sprints because it gives the athlete and over - speed feel. When they sprint with the band, I want aggressive knee and arm drive while they maintain the proper body angle. I then want to see the same thing when they do the regular sprints and the acceleration drill with the backpedal.

This is just one example of many different linear speed workouts that are done at SOAR. Notice that all sprints are kept to 10 yards.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Less is More

I have been designing strength and conditioning programs for athletes for 7 years now. Although my coaching style has not changed much through the years, my programming certainly has. I don't think that any of my programs in the past were not good programs, I just started to realize that I was trying to do to much. Athletes that trained 4 days a week with me were doing speed and agility two days per week and high intensity jumping 2 days per week in conjunction with their lifting programs. Over- training was a line that I never wanted to cross and I thought my programs were set up to avoid that. My athletes got stronger and faster - but I was not satisfied. I read and researched what the top strength and conditioning coaches in the world were doing. Some were doing things just as I was doing them, but some coaches who I highly respect were starting to do some things differently. I bought in - and it has paid off tremendously.

Athletes that train 4 times a week with me now perform high intensity jumping and sprinting/agility twice per week on Days 1 and 3. They also do their Olympic Lifting and leg work (squats, lunges, ect.) on those days as well. They do a double leg lift on one of those days and a single leg on the other day. Posterior chain work (hamstring, butt, low back) is done on those days a well. On Days 2 and 4 we only do some light agility ladder footwork and lateral hopping before they do there heavy upper body work. This gives my athletes more time to recover between high intensity leg workouts. For my athletes that train 3 days per week, the program is broken down differently but days 1 and 3 are still the high intensity days. I can honestly say that this is the most satisfied I have ever been with my programs.

Back when I was a student teacher through Ohio State, my mentor teacher John Blaine told me "Never be satisfied that you are doing the best job possible." Those are words that I have lived by and really apply to this situation. I knew I was doing a good job, but I also knew that I could do a better job. The changes really paid off when I saw a number of my high school football clients receiving All - District and All - State honors.

I would like to thank some of the top strength coaches in the world for helping me see the "light". If you would like to learn more about speed and strength for athletes, I would highly recommend searching the following names - Mike Boyle, Lee Taft, Joe DeFranco and Jason Ferruggia. One of the best things you can do is learn the philosophies of different coaches and begin to shape your own.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bench Press

It is the time of year that most high school weight rooms open up for football players....it should be open for all athletes but we will save that topic for another day. What is the most popular exercise?......the bench press of course. It was the most popular exercise when I was in high school and its the most popular exercise you see in any commercial gym.


I love the bench, but it is not the end all be all of upper body lifting. Here are a few principles I use when designing strength programs.

1.IF we barbell bench in a program, we only do it once a week. There is no reason to bench twice per week.

2. Every few weeks, we substitute another horizontal press for bench press. This keeps workouts fresh and helps eliminate plateaus. We will use DB's or mix up our grips.

3. Vertical presses such as Military press and Push press must be done as well. You must press in the horizontal plane and the vertical plane.

4. This is most important. For every press, there must be a pull. We do pull ups, horizontal pull ups, seated rows, Lat pull downs and many many others. If you do a ton of pressing and little pulling, YOU WILL experience shoulder pain. Have you ever seen guys walk around with huge chests and their shoulder rotated inwards? That is a guy that didn't do any pulling and a ton of benching. HUGE MISTAKE!

Again, I love the bench. I am all for athletes benching a lot of weight. But some things must be done to ensure the body is the strongest it possibly can be.

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