Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Biggest Mistake an Athlete Can Make

What's the biggest mistake an athlete can make?

In my opinion, it is neglecting In - Season Strength Training.

In order to maintain strength that was built in the off - season and reduce the risk of nagging injury, a properly designed lifting regimen should be a staple in an athlete's year round training program. It does not mean that we have to lift with an off- season volume and intensity. It does mean that at least 1x per week, ideally 2x per week, we continue to focus on our basic strength concepts.

All it takes is one month of no strength training for the body to start DE-training......GETTING WEAKER. Let's take a baseball player for instance. My consistent clients will train with me in the fall and winter and then I don't see them until the next fall. That means the months of April thru August have gone by with no strength training at all.

What happens in July.....the most important tournaments? Uh, who doesn't want to be strong when playoffs roll around? Why spend all off- season getting stronger then abandon it completely when the most important games of the year begin?

All.... and I mean ALL athletes should be lifting weights all year round. I don't care if your baseball coach gives you some BS excuse about how it will ruin your swing or if your basketball coach tells you it will change your shot. Watch a Major League Baseball game and tell me those guys are not lifting some weights during the season. Has anyone looked at Dwight Howard or LeBron James...pretty sure those guys are lifting some weights!

An In - season lifting day can be as simple as this

Warm up

Jump exercise 3x5
Core exercise

DB chest press 3 x6
Lunge or single leg squat 3 x 6

Seated row 3 x 8
Posterior chain 3 x 8

That is all takes. 45 minutes - 1 - 2 days per week to maintain all the strength you built in the off -season. A professional like myself will be able to look at your practice and game schedule and suggest the best days to lift during the season.

Make the year round commitment to being an athlete!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tips for the Multi Sport Athlete

This summer I have been dealing with more kids with nagging injuries then ever before. After analyzing each kids' summer regimen, I found that all the kids who were experiencing these nagging injuries have been participating in summer football conditioning AND either summer lacrosse camps and leagues or summer basketball leagues. As you know, I am a huge proponent of kids playing more than one sport. However, some sports just can't be played and conditioned for simultaneously, especially if you are already prone to injury.

A good high school athlete can certainly lift for football in winter and spring months and still play lacrosse or baseball. But once June rolls around, the gridiron has to become the main focus if you want to be in peak condition when August two - a - days start. If your team participates in lots of 7 on 7 tournaments and you are attending college camps, that adds even more to your plate.

Going to football conditioning in the morning and then playing 2 - 4 games of basketball in the evening is essentially like two - a - days. A young body will be able to handle it for a few weeks, but what about an entire summer? Instead of having time for the body to recover from football training, more time is spent on the basketball court. Over the course of 6 weeks, it becomes too much for the young growing body to handle and this is where hamstring pulls, back strains and foot blisters happen . There is a reason why there are so many guidelines and parameters for football coaches to follow for summer practices.

A while back, I wrote a blog entitled "5 Musts for the Multi - Sport Athlete". I felt that this was a good time to bring it back out.

5 MUSTS for the Mult - Sport Athlete
This time of year at SOAR, I have a ton of athletes who are participating in winter lifting at school for football, conditioning and practicing for lacrosse or baseball, and trying to train with me. . Below are 5 MUSTS for any athlete who is training for or competing in two sports simultaneously. For the purpose of this article, I am focusing on those who play football and baseball/lacrosse. But, the information can be used for any athlete during any season.

1. Analyze your schedule. Put it on paper, preferably in a calender. This is the important information that someone like myself would need to see. What days do you lift at school? What days are lower body oriented? What days do you have lacrosse conditioning or skill practice? This information will help a good strength and conditioning coach put a weekly plan together for you. Once I see a kid's weekly training schedule, I suggest the best days for higher intensity training at SOAR. I also know what days should be recovery and flexibility oriented. Also, if you work out on your own, keep a log of your workouts.

2.Proper nutrition. Eat a good breakfast with whole grains, fruit and protein. Try to eat the healthiest lunch possible. If you are trying to gain weight, have some easy snacks in your locker such as protein bars or peanut butter crackers. If you are going from training right to another practice, then make sure you have a good small meal option (not fast food). Some athletes do well with a protein shake. Some can not handle the dairy during training. Know your budget and what you can eat. But absolutely do not try to train for 4 hours without eating since lunchtime. . Also, take a good multi- vitamin and STAY HYDRATED!

3. Warm - up properly - ALWAYS! If you are doing any form of high intensity practice, training or lifting, you MUST warm up. The warm up should elevate heart rate and body temperature, move all joints in dynamic range of motion, and prepare the central nervous system for full speed movement. Jogging does not accomplish this, neither does sitting down and stretching. If you are not sure how to do a dynamic warm-up, consult a professional such as myself.

4. SLEEP! At least 7 hours a night. Sleeping at study hall doesn't count.

5. Find time for yourself, family and friends. Sounds simple, but it is necessary to avoid burnout.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Football Training

Here is a few videos from our summer football training.







Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Looking to Improve Vertical Leap?

Vertical Leap and Quickness Clinic at Soar Fitness on Wednesday Aug. 3 at 630 PM. Check out the video to learn about the importance of this clinic.

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