I've had this conversation with several members recently and wanted to share one of my comparisons to help people understand how to burn calories more efficiently. Now a days, a lot of people don't have more than 30 mins to an hour that they can dedicate to exercise with the demands of work, family, and a social life.
What if I told you that's ok? What if I told you, you don't need to spend more than an hour at the gym doing cardio or running for miles around town?
Think of your body as a car, and gas as calories. Calories are used by our body as energy to perform any and all functions of the human body from breathing, digesting food, to exercising at the gym. Lets face it we NEED calories to survive just like our car needs gas to start and take us from place to place. In regards to this article we are going to focus on calories/gas as it relates to their roles during exercise.
Cars get better gas mileage when driving on the highway (at a constant speed) versus city driving (starting and stopping). Why is this? It's because when we start and stop our car has to generate enough power to put our car in motion only to slow it down again. For example, it takes more energy to create power to put an object into motion versus sustaining an object in motion. In turn, when it comes to exercise you will be able to burn more calories by revving up your engine (spiking your hear rate) and letting it come down only to rev it up again (vs. setting your car on cruise control for a longer duration similar to getting on the treadmill and setting your speed at 6 mph for 30 mins).
By setting your body on cruise control your heart rate will peak temporarily, then plateau and stay at a consistent pace as your body finds the most efficient way to conserve calories (energy).
The point I'm trying to make is that we want to burn calories unlike we want to burn gas. We want to rev our engines(increase our heart rate) over and over again to burn calories more efficiently. Some great ways to do this are lifting weights, performing circuits, and various intervals.
At Swagler Strength & Performance, our Bootcamp, Tabata, Core & Cardio, and Strength & Conditioning classes all have various ways of incorporating this same theory. If you're trying to lose weight, burn body fat, and cut down on the time your spending at the gym, try increasing your intensity or your workouts, not the duration. If you're training for an endurance event or race that is different however, interval training still has its place for endurance training; we will save that for another article.
The best way to implement this theory is to invest in a heart rate monitor and use it to monitor your heart rate. Make sure to pay close attention to how high your heart rate is getting in order to track how your body is functioning during your workouts.
Our society is built around the idea that more is better. This concept or idea has overflowed into training and training for sports.
Athletes, especially high school athletes want to do whatever it takes to play college sports and potentialy pro. If they can train twice a day, seven days a week, then they will. Is this really the best method for athletic development and success?
When it comes to strength training a lot of programs have four day a week workouts. The four days are broken into upper and lower body days to allow rest from the previous day. For example, doing a four day a week split- you are training your upper body 2 days a week and lower body 2 days a week which totals 104 training days for those muscle groups. However, if you did three Total Body workouts a week you would train all muscle groups 156 times a year; 52 more times than a four day split.
So with that being said you can train less days and get more accomplished?
Yes, just think about it when in athletics do we only use our upper body for a practice or game?
So why would we train that way? Training our body as a whole best prepares our body for the demands of our sports. It also allows us to develop better agility and coordination by using multiple muscle groups and joints at once. This also requires more mental focus and elicits a more favorable training response for improved performance.
Cutting back on your days of strength training not only allows more rest but also allows more time for skill practice/development. Help make the most of your athletes time and energy by maximizing their workouts.
For more information regarding training for sports and overall athletic development contact Jamie at, Jswagler@SwaglerStrength.com
Has the summer derailed your workouts? Are you afraid of what's going to happen when you try to get back in the gym? It's OK because we have you covered!
Everyone wants to work hard and push themselves to new limits; sometimes this comes at a cost. Many feel that if they are not sore, they didn't have a good workout or didn't work hard enough.
In reality, who wants to be sore all the time? Why do we gauge our workout based on our DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)?
As a trainer, I do NOT want my athletes being sore all of the time. If I have a soccer player that is so sore from her workout that she cannot perform at her best on the field the next day, I am doing more harm than good. Soreness can be a byproduct of a strenuous workout but it shouldn't be the goal of each workout.
What is muscle soreness and why do I get so sore?
Muscle soreness is a reaction to very small tears to your muscle fibers. These tears happen through resistance training and strenuous activities. A new workout routine can elicit this soreness due to the fact that you're introducing a new program to your body. Through a strenuous workout (sprinting, jumping, lifting) your body releases lactic acid that builds up in your muscles. In turn, this ensures that energy production is maintained and exercise can continue successfully.
TIPS TO PREVENT AND IMPROVE MUSCLE SORENESS
1. Foam Roll Before and after workouts, practice, and games. Foam rolling increases tissue quality by increasing blood flow to major muscle groups. Foam rolling before warm-ups allows the tissue to be prepped properly for activity.
2. Proper warm-up and cool down
-A proper dynamic warm-up of multi-joint movements will increase tissue temperature by increasing blood flow to the body. This will prep the body for the current workout and push some of the lactic acid out of the muscle if you were experiences soreness/tightness from the previous workout.
-The post workout cool down is equally important to do. You can follow a similar format as the warm up by foam rolling and then performing static stretches. This will help to remove lactic acid built up from the workout out of your muscles by increasing blood flow to those areas. After the foam rolling, performing stretches of holds from 20-45 seconds will help lengthen your muscle tissue, increase flexibility and to eliminate any DOMS that might occur.
3. Hydration Staying hydrated before, during, and after workouts is key to maintaining tissue quality especially while under pressure. Your muscles are over 70% water, and if we are not hydrated our muscle tissue will be compromised; which will lead to an increased risk of tissue tears, cramps, and DOMS.
4. Don't skip workouts Missing scheduled workouts will increase time between workouts and will not let your body get accustom to the stress of a workout. Our bodies are great at adapting, so give your body a chance to adapt to the new routine before taking long rest periods.
We often think the only thing we have to do is train hard but we forget about the other side of things. Just like we need to change the oil in our cars we need to perform proper maintenance to our bodies.
“I see that you signed up for the 90-day Challenge. Are you going to do it?”
This was the email that I received from Jamie Swagler, the Owner of Swagler Strength and Performance in the beginning of January, 2014. I had signed up for the Challenge, but I was still unsure so I had not fully completed the registration. Jamie’s question was a simple one, but also so complicated. If I responded, yes, then I felt like I was about to step off of a cliff. If I said, no, then I would be denying my obvious weight problem. So, the lawyer in me avoided the question and asked Jamie if he could give me more information. Part of me hoped that he would ignore my response. To my surprise, Jamie emailed me back again and gave me his cell number. This was just the first difference that I noticed between Swagler’s Strength and Performance and all of the other gyms that I had joined in my life. Jamie actually cared about his members.
The day that I spoke with Jamie I remember going into the bathroom away from my husband and our three little ones because for some reason I needed privacy to explain to Jamie that I didn’t have time to work out. After all, I was a full-time attorney, a mom, and a wife. I barely had time to shower, let alone get a workout in. There just wasn’t time for fitness or taking care of myself. Jamie’s response was as direct as his first question. He simply said, “If you can’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of everyone around you.” He was right, but I was still unsure.
On January 5, 2014, I stepped into Swagler’s Strength and Performance for my weigh-in. I had only one pair of worn-out running sneakers and two workout outfits. I immediately saw people working out and thought, ok, maybe this was a bad idea. You see the people at the gym actually work out. They lift weights. They run and jump. They sweat. They push themselves. What I didn’t realize is that the members at Swagler’s don’t negatively judge or criticize each other. Jamie must have sensed my fear because he said, “don’t worry; they are all focused on doing their own thing.”
At 5 feet 2 inches tall, I weighed in at 250 lbs and having 43.7% body fat and approximately 254 overall inches. I was morbidly obese and basically two people. I had given birth to three beautiful babies in the span of five years and after each tough pregnancy the weight had just increased. I had never weighed more than 150 lbs in my life prior to having children, but here I was at 250 lbs. I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror while Jamie took my measurements, but Jamie was unbelievably kind, and simply said, “there, the hard part is over.”
I saw the friendly face of Michele Westfall as I was leaving, who also was there for her weigh-in. She introduced herself and smiled. In that moment, I was so mortified by my weight and measurements that Michele’s friendliness gave me hope in a dark moment. Little did I know that she and the other members of the 90-Day Challenge would help me tremendously in the next few months and become such wonderful friends.
I went home that evening and scrubbed our kitchen floor for a long time. What was I doing? I was happy. I didn’t need to do this Challenge. I was married to an amazing man who loved me at any size. I had three beautiful children and was a successful attorney. I didn’t need to change my life. The problem was that I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore. I was winded just walking up one flight of stairs. It took effort to roll over in bed at night. I could no longer wear the high heels I had so much fun wearing when I lived in New York City. I couldn’t enjoy running or playing with my kids. All my energy was spent sitting on the couch. So, maybe I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was. Maybe I wasn’t the best I could be. That night I went to bed and cried.
The next day I walked up to the gym for my first 30-60-90 class. I stopped short in front of the door and took a deep breath. I almost turned around and walked back to my car. The gym was filled with members working out, who just scared the life right out of me. I wasn’t one of these people. They were fit. I was horribly unfit. But, I stopped myself. No, I wasn’t going to run away from this. I had
earned this weight by giving life to three little people and if anyone had a problem with that, then they weren’t worth my time.
I made my way to the back room of the gym in a blur to find Trainer Tim Guzalak waiting to start his class. Tim would become another great friend and coach in the months ahead, but at that moment, he just asked “has it been a while since you have worked out?” It was obvious that I had not worked out in a very long time, but like all of the trainers as Swagler’s, Tim was kind and welcoming.
That first 30-60-90 class was intense. I originally thought, how hard could it be? To do an exercise movement for 30 seconds, then another for 60 seconds and a final movement at 90 seconds, couldn’t be difficult, could it? Well, do those three movements for two rotations and, then repeat at three other stations. Yeah, it was intense. I was almost sick by the end of class, but I was determined.
That first week of the Challenge, it took everything I had just to get through the class warm-ups, let alone not throw-up after the work-outs. Thankfully, Tim helped me scale all of the exercises so that I could still workout. I started pushups against the wall because I couldn’t do them on my knees. I did planks, but for only 10 second intervals. I jumped rope, but took lots of breaks in between jumps. I managed wall sits, but for only 20 seconds at a time. I could barely squat down.
I wasn’t fit after that week or even the first month. I was sore as hell and out of breath. I remember asking another member and friend, Chelsea Winslow, how to handle the soreness. She told me to keep working out because it would actually help with the soreness. That just seemed nuts to me, but Chelsea was incredibly fit, so I gave it a try. She was right. By stretching out my muscles and continuing the workouts, the soreness lessened.
In the midst of these first few weeks, I had started the meal plans, too, that Jamie provided to us through Evolution Nutrition as part of the Challenge. The meal plans were perfect for me because they were based on my specific weight and measurements. These plans also took the guesswork out of what I should be eating or how much I should be eating. And, surprisingly, I was never hungry. If anything, more times than not, I was overly full of food. The downside, of course, was that I had some terrible sugar withdrawal, but by the end of that first month, I felt good.
Another part of the Challenge included weekly meetings with other members of the Challenge to discuss our successes and/or challenges faced during the week. I will forever remember meeting Carolyn Scanlon, Barb Speno-Walsh, Kathy Sage O’Rourke and Kim Quigley in those first weeks. Like Michele, Carolyn, became a wonderful friend and great fitness partner. These women were wonderfully friendly and made me feel comfortable in my own skin, despite the fact that I wasn’t. Our first homework was to set small, achievable goals for ourselves, so I got to it.
My first goal was to be able to plank for 60 seconds. I should be able to do this. I wanted to do this. So, every day for that next week I did planks until I reached that Friday and told Tim what I had been trying to do. He said, “Ok, here, look at me. You need to take small breaths like this,” and he showed me how I should be breathing and holding my core tight. “You can do this,” he said. And I did. It was amazing. It wasn’t amazing because I was amazing or because planking is so difficult. It was amazing because I saw what was possible when someone believed that I could achieve a goal and I believed it too. For the first time, I thought, I really can do this.
Throughout February, I faced more small goals and was addicted to these small successes. I worked on doing strict push-ups and for the first time in my entire life, with Tim’s coaching, I could actually did one. I started jumping rope for 90 seconds at a time. I even started doing burpees. The first time I saw Burpees on the exercise regime, I thought, “oh god, I can’t do those, I will simply fall flat on my face!” But, as always, Tim was there coaching and actually did them with me. And before long I was jumping up and stringing them together. They were slow going, but I was doing them.
By March, 2014, I had lost about 30 lbs and oddly my original goal of losing weight had changed. My focus shifted from losing weight to being able to do all of these cool exercises at the gym. I wanted to be able to have fun and push myself more by jumping boxes, doing pull-ups and trying this strange animal called “CrossFit.” I had no idea what a WOD was, but having an ultimate trust in the gym, I took the plunge and drank what everyone calls the CrossFit Kool-Aid.
In my first week of CrossFit classes I felt that they were less intense than the 30-60-90 and Tabata classes. What I didn’t understand was that it would take me a long time to have proper lifting form and get into the CrossFit groove. This would quickly change. The day before my birthday I went to the WOD, otherwise known as the “Workout of the Day”, and it happened to be the 14.5 Open WOD. The workout consisted of a total of 84 weighted thrusters, burpees, and jumps. I originally thought to myself, well, I will just do what I can and leave it at that. That is, until I got to the gym and Jamie explained that the WOD had no set time, so you either completed 14.5 or failed. I had made it this far and wasn’t about to quit now, so I started. After just the first 20 reps, I thought I was going to cry and throw-up. I looked at Jamie and said “I can’t do this.” He looked at me calmly and said, “That’s not what your shirt says,” and pointed to a logo on my shirt that said “I can do it.” Jamie stood by me, coached me and helped count the reps for me towards the end. His confidence in me and my own determination to complete the workout held me strong that morning until 47 minutes later I had finished.
My lifting form still isn’t perfect. And burpees and thrusters are still incredibly difficult. I am still having fun trying to figure out how to properly clean and jerk, snatch and squat. I still bother Tim to give me personal training lessons every week so that I can try and give my best in the WODs. But, Swagler’s Strength and Performance helped me lose an overall 40 lbs and 4% body fat during the Challenge and brought me back to life.
I wish I could say that I won the Challenge, but I didn’t. I came in second place and was heartbroken when I heard the results. But, the same night that I heard the results I went out to dinner with my husband and for the first time in seven years, I wore a pair of jeans. So, in a way, I felt that I had won.
I truly believe that failure is not defined by being knocked down, but rather by refusing to get up again after being knocked down. So, I have kept on training and still am training now. It has been almost seven months since I received that email from Jaime. I have lost 56 lbs to date, and I can bust out double unders with a jump rope, strict pushup-ups, 2-minute planks, burpees, cleans and snatches, back squats and box jumps. I am still having fun and improving. My next goals include competing at the CNY Throwdown CrossFit Competition and the Great Race in Auburn this summer. And I hope to reach my goal of 100 lbs by the end of 2014. Most importantly, though, I am a better wife to my husband, Mike, and mom to my little ones who are only 2, 4, and 5. They eat healthier and exercise now more because I do, which is priceless.
People tell me frequently that I look great and tell me that they would like to work out and lose weight, too. I always smile and think of that first very simple question that Jamie asked me, “Are you going to do it?”
Ignite360: IMG Academy's New Test for Assessing Athletes by Josh Kernen
SATs, GREs, and MCATs have been used as academic standardized testing for almost a century now. These notorious academic tests have been accepted as tools to determine strengths and weaknesses of an individual’s intelligence. So how do we determine an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to other athletes in a particular sport? The NFL has combine testing each year, but what about all the other sports? How do we know where athletes in baseball, basketball, lacrosse, or golf stand in comparison to their peers with their athletic ability? This is where Ignite360 becomes an important new addition to the fitness industry.
Ignite360 is a system that was created by IMG Academy in Sarasota, Florida. This elite training facility designed a systematic approach that tests athletes to assess their performance levels using sport specific standardized tests. Ignite360 allows athletes to determine where to focus their training and gives them the ability to compare their athletic performance to other athletes in their sport on a level playing field. These testing protocols also help coaches and trainers determine if they are making progress with their training programs by re-testing athletes on the same standardized tests.
With Ignite360, each athlete is assessed on his or her lower body power, upper body power, strength, flexibility, agility, acceleration, speed, conditioning, strength, sport specific movements, posture, and balance. What separates Ignite360 from other testing protocols is that it also tests vision, nutrition, communication skills, and the character of the athlete. The idea is that the athlete is assessed using a 360-degree approach.
Each athlete first completes nine standard tests, including broad jump, seated medicine ball throw, vertical jump, 5-10-5, 10-yard dash, 20-yard dash, dominant hand grip, 300-yard shuttle, and sit and reach. These are referred to as the foundational movements. Depending on the athlete’s sport, he or she will then be tested in three additional sport specific tests. In example, golfers are tested on spinal rotational mobility, baseball players are tested on base running second to home, and hockey players are tested in a zigzag agility test. Ignite360 currently covers ten sports specific sections with plans extend into more sports.
The next section of assessment is integrative movement, which tests the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. These tests are to determine an athlete’s execution of movement. Three tests are included to evaluate the athlete’s posture, balance, coordination, symmetry, and range of motion. The pressing squat, rotational “T” balance, and push-up opposite test are graded in relation to how well the athlete can execute these movements.
Visual ability tests are also a part of the test and assess the six basic movements of the eyes, including horizontal saccade, vertical plane movement, and convergence/divergence or near/far testing. Each athlete is challenged not only on accuracy but also the speed at which he or she is able to complete the tests. Although, coaches are not expected to diagnose problems, these tests will help clue coaches into the need for more eye-hand coordination drills or even to have athletes sent out to a specialist for further evaluations.
To complete the entire examination, athletes also complete three online standardized tests. The first test is mental toughness, which is based on a total of 35 questions to help determine an athlete’s attitude, concentration, effort, confidence, coachability, composure, and awareness. Nutrition is evaluated based on a food frequency questionnaire, which is a very simplified nutritional assessment. The results are expressed as a ratio of high nutrient/low energy density foods and low nutrient/high energy density foods. The result will give athletes a final “Diet Quality Ratio” that ultimately reflects the state of their current diet. Last, athletes are tested on their communication skills using a 25 question evaluation that assesses self-awareness, body language, humor, conversation, and interaction. Although these questionnaires may not be perfect, they are quick and easy standardized tests to help coaches determine where athletes might need improvement.
Testing athletes is not a new concept. Coaches and statisticians have been trying to find important metrics in sports for ages. One of the most commonly used testing for athletic movement today is Grey Cook’s Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The FMS is also one the most researched and tested standardized assessment for athletes. Although, Grey Cook’s FMS is a much more in-depth orthopedic assessment, it does not indicate how an athlete will perform at speed, agility and quickness drills. FMS and Ignite360 are two different testing methodologies, used for two different purposes. FMS will continue to assist coaches in determining areas where athletes need to improve movement patterns and control to reduce their risk of injury. Although, a component of Ignite360 does test for asymmetries in movement patterns, it does not break down dysfunctional movements as extensively as the FMS. In fact, some may argue the FMS should be conducted prior to Ignite360 testing.
The testing is just the starting point for the Ignite360 system. Once the testing has been completed, athletes can then move onto the Ignite Performance Training. This is a systematic training approach to improving the athlete’s ability based on the initial evaluation. The Ignite Performance Training progression has three layers which include “Train to Improve,” “Train to Gain,” and “Train to Perform.” Each layer of the progression becomes systematically more complex and challenging for the athlete. Different overload variables are used to challenge the athlete as he or she progresses. The methodology was developed to improve the athlete’s balance, athletic movement, and strength.
As a physical therapist and personal trainer for over a decade, I feel this is one of the best programs in the industry for coaches and trainers. This program was developed to teach trainers and coaches how to improve their athletes based on what IMG Academy has been doing for over thirty years. A history of producing athletes like Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Freddy Adu, Nomar Garciaperra, Glen Davis, and countless other professional athletes is a testament to their success. Although most athletes will never have the chance to train at this world class facility or have access to the legendary coaching of IMG Academy, they may be able to have a small glimpse into the rigorous testing and training these athletes undergo by working with trainers who have been certified through Ignite360 at IMG Academy. It’s tough to argue against IMG Academy’s training methods with such a successful historic track record of elite athletes.
What is it? Carbohydrates are one out of three macronutrients (the others are fat and protein). Carbohydrates are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; thereforeyou will often see CHO as an abbreviation for the word. Carbohydrates can be classified as either simple or complex:
Sources of complex carbohydrates include grains such as wheat, oats, barley, rice, and corn; tubers (potatoes and yams); and the legume family with beans, legumes and peas.
Why is it important? Simply stated, glucose is the form of sugar that the human body uses for energy, therefore all forms of carbohydrates must be broken down and converted to glucose. Glucose travels through the blood stream to provide energy to cells. If there is not a demand for glucose it can be stored in muscles and the liver, in the form of glycogen. Therefore, when the body does need this stored glucose, such as during intense exercise or training, the glycogen is available to provide this needed energy.
Not only are carbohydrates used to fuel exercise, they also are needed to fuel daily activities. Fat and protein can also be used for energy by most of our cells, except for the brain. If carbohydrate intake is inadequate the body will break down stored fat into an alternative fuel know as ketones, a process called ketosis. Elevated ketones in the blood cause the blood to become acidic, a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.
In addition, with an inadequate intake of carbohydrates, the body can make its own glucose from protein. Gluconeogenesis is the process in which proteins are broken down into amino acids and then converted into glucose. The drawback is that if amino acids are being used to produce glucose, they cannot fulfill their role of making cells, repairing tissues, etc.
How much do you need? The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for carbohydrates is 45-65% of total daily calorie intake 1. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the carbohydrates consumed should be primarily fiber-rich whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Likewise, foods should be consumed and prepared with little to no sugars and/or caloric sweeteners2.
Information from Evolution Nutrition
Lauren Rezende MPH, RD
1. Make Your Body Your Machine: No body part is an island. Try to pick a pen off the floor using just your hand. It's impossible. You also need your legs, core, shoulders, arms, and neck. Yet for decades 'experts' have sent us to weight machines to train isolated muscle groups. The body is an interconnected chain of muscles and should be trained using movements that challenge all of them in every plane of motion. Forget the machines. Make your body your machine.
2. Think Outside the Gym: Use your imagination to create functional training environments wherever you are. Playgrounds, parks, garages, basements, hotels rooms, stairwells, sidewalks, and city streets can be highly effective training grounds. When you embrace training anywhere, you squash any excuse you have not to train.
3. Stand up to Train: The average American already spends 21+ hours a day sitting or lying down. So forget about machines that support your body and instead make your body support itself (as it was designed to do). Training while standing helps us to perfect the movement patterns needed to achieve optimal physical performance. The is functional training.
4. Train in 3-D: Back-and-forth, up-and-down movements like pull-ups, sit-ups, squats and the almighty bench press have long been training staples. But like and sport demand that we be able to twist, bend, jump, run, dive, rotate, and roll in every direction. Building a truly strong, fit, healthy body that can do those things requires training it to excel in every plane of motion. Want a functional body? Train in 3-D.
5. Mix Ingredients Thoroughly: Perfecting the 'training dose' in the training equation means varying the duration, intensity, and frequency of workouts. Mix it up within workouts, from training session to training session, and over the long haul. Take rest days every week and 3-5 days for active recovery once a month. Then mix up with the ingredients and start again. It will keep training fresh and deliver better results. Listen to your body and customize your mix.
6. Know When to Walk Away: Overdoing it leads to diminishing returns. Optimizing your training might actually means stopping when it's too much for your body. If you're throwing up or passing out, you're wasting time and forcing your body into deficit it won't recover from quickly. The effects of training are cumulative. You can't make massive progress in your appearance or performance with a single training session. Push hard, but know when to say when.
7. Tune Into Your Workouts: We're all familiar with the scene: rows of elliptical machines facing televisions. That might be a great way to train an army of fragile mechanized zombies. But functional training should mirror the activities you perform in life and sport and those activities take some focus and attention. When you train, wall off your mind from distraction, and focus on the movements and your goals. When you train, train consciously. Master your mind and stay tuned to how your body feels.
8. Form is Function: Movement of the foundation for strength, endurance, balance, mobility, flexibility, and fitness in general. Learning to execute movements with proper form builds the base of your training pyramid. Without sound form, all of your hard work will eventually collapse in on a weak foundation. You get injured. You miss workouts. Focus on learning and executing the appropriate form and movement pattern for every exercise in your training program every time you train. Never apply greater intensity or resistance to any movement until you're confident you've first mastered the correct form.
9. Something is Better Than Nothing: Busy? Of course you are. Between balancing work and family there will always be times when you think you don't have time for a workout. But that's only if you cling to the rigid belief that training has to take place at a certain time or place for a particular duration. Let go of this perfection fantasy and wake up to the fact that you can train anywhere for whatever snippet of time you have. Doing something still advances your goals.
10. Recover Like You Train:
Human performance hinges on this equation:
Training Effect = (Training Dose + Nutrition) x Recovery.
No matter how well you train and eat, without proper recovery (sleep, naps, and reducing stress, etc.) you're just spinning your wheels. If your recovery is a 'zero,' your results will be zero. Eight hours of sleep is a good starting point, but you should experiment and find your own magic number. The harder or longer the workout, the longer you need to recover.
*TRX Tips from 2011-2012 Catalog, TRXtraining.com
Hundreds of thousands of high school athletes workout or "train". You might think they mean the same thing, however they are completely different. So you must ask yourself, "Am I working out or am I training?" How do you know the answer? Ask yourself, "Am I lifting just to lift and push weights around or am I training with a purpose to become a better athlete?" As an athlete you must understand and know the demands of your sport and, with that knowledge you must train accordingly. Athletes require a lot for example an athlete must be strong, mobile, agile, flexible, conditioned, well rounded, and coordinated just to name a few attributes of a good athlete. Can you take on all those attributes by just lifting weights? No, you can get stronger but what about the other important characteristics of an athlete. However some lifting programs are better than others, but that's another conversation. Your training program should transfer onto the field and/or court otherwise your just lifting. Make sure your training is taking you closer to your goals outside of the weight room.
Most athletes these days are very reluctant to train during their in-season because they think training during their sport will only make them more sore and more tired and unable to perform at their desired level. What most athletes do not know is that training during their in-season can actually help them recovery more quickly and help them maintain all the strength, speed, and power they worked hard for in the off-season. Here are three of the biggest reasons why athletes should continue their strength and conditioning during the in-season. 1. Most athletes and coaches assume that by just practicing and playing their sport that they will maintain their strength, speed, and power. However, research has proven this false. Researchers in Boston (Faigenbaum, et. al. 1996) studied the effects of detraining (taking time off after training) following a eight-week strength program in boys and girls aged 12. They found that the detraining resulted in a statistically significant loss of upper body (19.3%) and lower body (28.1%) strength. Another study done in 1998, (Val Schneider, et. al) studied detraining effects in 28 college football players during a 16 week competitive season. Players were tested before and just after the end of the season. Post-test data indicated significant decreases in upper body strength, flexibility, lower body power, and agility. So if you stop training in-season, you are going to lose strength, flexibility, power, and agility.
2. Most athletes are constantly sore and tired during the in-season, usually this is due to the fact most athletes do not know how to recover properly. During the in-season athletes are most vulnerable to injuries too, so in order to stave off injuries, strength, flexibility, and movement skills need to beat their best. Athletes should integrate many methods to promote faster recover and prevent injuries. These range from dynamic warm-ups, to specific stretching and myo-fascial release, to prehab and rehab exercises. This way you can prevent injuries and recover faster from any that happen.
3. Since most athletes play a sport year-round. If athletes take the in-season off from training they will never be training. Learning the fundamentally correct movement skills for speed and agility, and strength and power is an ongoing process. Most athletes that haven't trained before have developed bad habits that will increase the likeliness of injury or decrease performance, unlike a computer, we need to run the correct program thousands of times to make it permanent. During season, the focus is on performing well and getting the job done. If we aren't focusing some time on proper mechanics, those old habits will take hold again.
So in conclusion, training in-season will help maintain strength, power, agility, and flexibility, it will help reduce injury and increase recovery, and help you keep performing at top levels without developing bad habits. Although the training in-season should not be as intense of the off-season, training should still take place if you want to perform at the next level.
-Abby Jorgensen, Yahoo! Contributor Network
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One big piece of preventing ACL tears is to focus on both the ankle and hip joints, strange as that may seem. Knees basically go where the ankles and hips send them, so 'prehabilitation' measures focus on those areas.
For the ankle, it is crucial that young athletes limit the amount of side-to-side movement that occurs in that joint. Either during one leg standing postures or when running, the more their ankles roll the better the chance it will push their knees either in or out during faster-paced athletic events. Kids who tend to roll their ankles a lot may be much more susceptible to knee injuries when they get bigger, faster and stronger in their later years.
The hip joint needs to both be flexible and strong to function correctly, making it a little harder to train. For the flexibility side, stretches that specifically target the hips may be needed for those with limited ability to do a deep squat. Very young athletes (ages 11 and younger) are almost never in need of these, but once the teenage years approach and growth spurts really kick in, more stretching may be warranted.
Strengthening the hips can be tricky, because most athletes with weak hip muscles have learned to move in a way that shifts the stress to their stronger leg and back muscles. You'd think a basic exercise like a squat would work the hips very well, but not for those who are leg-muscle dominant already. Isolated strength for the hip muscles plus relearning other exercise patterns, such as squatting, must both be done to stabilize and protect the knees.
Just as important in this equation is for young athletes to learn how to move properly. Being able to efficiently absorb the force of gravity when landing on a jump can lower your ACL tear risk substantially, and is relatively easy to learn for most focused and dedicated athletes. In addition, controlling momentum during stopping and cutting movements will further decrease your risk. These skills tend to take much more repetition to improve on, but it certainly can be done.
Although it is true that the younger someone starts improving these skills the better chance it will lower their future injury risk, it is never too late to build the strength, flexibility and movement skill required to keep your knees stable and safe.
SOURCES: British Association of Sports Medicine,
Jamie Swagler,Performance Coach at Swagler Strength & Performance.