Home 2008 January (Page 19)

Newsletter #2

In this update, we’ve got a review of Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes by Shirley Sahrmann, and an interview with Mike Robertson.

With seminar appearances, helping our guys get ready for the NBA combine and individual team workouts, and my ordinary three-times-weekly trek to South Side, there isn’t a whole lot of new stuff to report in the “online world” of Eric Cressey. I did, however, have an interview with Stuart McGill published at T-Nation yesterday; check out some great information from the world’s premier lower back pain researcher in Back to McGill.

In spite of the low-key online scene, it’s shaping up to be an exciting spring and summer; I’ve got several individual and joint-venture projects on my plate for the months ahead, so definitely keep an eye out for exciting announcements at EricCressey.com in the months to come. Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!

Product Review: Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes

It seems only fitting that one of my first product reviews be devoted to what I believe to be one of the greatest resources available for coaches, trainers, physical therapists, physicians, and everyday weekend warriors with a desire to understand human function and dysfunction. In Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, Shirley Sahrmann provides a breath of fresh air to those who are tired of following the medical model of care by simply treating symptoms. Instead, Sahrmann proposes countless functional tests and corrective exercise interventions aimed at treating the causes of the problems rather than the compensations that emerge after dysfunction has emerged.

This book has profoundly impacted the way that some of the industry’s greatest minds train their clients and athletes and themselves. To be blunt, Shirley Sahrmann has likely forgotten more than most physical therapists will ever know. If you’re serious about your own education, and have the best interests of your clients and athletes in mind, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this classic.

An Interview with Mike Robertson

In light of all the projects on which we’ve collaborated, a lot of people seem to have come to the conclusion that Mike Robertson and I are the same person. I guess that’s what we get for co-authoring ten articles together and co-producing the Magnificent Mobility DVD. I figured that the best way to clear up any confusion about our unique identities would be to interview him. If it helps, read the text below aloud, and use a Midwestern drawl for Mike’s voice, and a pseudo-Boston accent for me. If you’re a visual learner, you might want to alternate an Indianapolis Colts hat with a New England Patriots one at the same time.

EC: Hey Mike, thanks for agreeing to do this. I know you like the back of my hand, but our readers don’t. Fill them in a bit on your background; I’m sure you get questions all the time about how you got to where you are. Who inspired you?

MR: Wow Eric, there’s been so many people along the way, to name just one or two wouldn’t really be prudent. However, if I had to name a few people that have significantly impacted the way I view and approach training and nutrition, I’d have to say yourself, Alwyn Cosgrove, Dave Tate, John Berardi, Mike Boyle, Joe DeFranco, Jim Wendler, Ian King, Stuart McGill, Bill Hartman, and Shirley Sahrmann.

As you can tell, I’ve got everything from physical therapists to elite-level strength coaches, but all have taught me something or significantly influenced my thinking in one way or another. In fact, I think you need to learn from as many disciplines as possible to truly understand how the body works.

EC: What frustrates you the most about this industry?

MR: Two things about this industry really annoy me. They are:

1. People who have no business training people for athletics. These people know who they are; whether they are PTs that “wanna’ be” strength coaches, to strength coaches who just don’t know what the hell they are talking about, these people piss me off. They typically get by with either “smoke and mirrors” training, or by yelling incessantly at their athletes to “work harder.” While this may sound contradictory to my next point, running your athletes into the ground doesn’t make you a good strength coach; it makes you a schmuck.

2. Lazy people. This can include people who are too lazy to train themselves, people who are too lazy to keep learning, or people that feel like others should help them “catch a break.” I have no sympathy for people like this: I firmly believe you create your own destiny by doing the right things and busting your ass.

I always say that I could write a killer training book about training hard (the REAL key to success) and no one would buy it. Why? People who are already training hard know it’s the key to their success and my book isn’t going to make a difference. People that aren’t training hard are going to think I’m full of s**t and that it’s their training or diet habits that are holding them back. In other words, they always find some other factor that’s the cause for their failure.

Simply put, hard work is the difference between people of similar abilities.

EC: What’s a typical training week look like for you?

MR: Since I had my knee scoped last June, my training has been all over the place. I was approaching (or exceeding) all my previous PRs this past December, but my body had taken on numerous compensations from the surgery. Even though I don’t feel like I rushed back into things whatsoever, between the surgery and the actual injury that caused it four months earlier, my body was getting very good at doing some very bad things.

Over the past few months, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up my posture and recruitment patterns so I can get back on the platform stronger and healthier than ever before. My current programming looks like this:

Tuesday: Lower Body (typically ME work)

Thursday: ME Upper Body

Friday or Saturday: Accessory Lower Body

Sunday: Accessory Upper Body

I’m currently performing a specific mobility circuit that Bill Hartman gave me on a daily basis to re-groove my squat motor pattern and get it back to where it needs to be.

EC: Now, your wife is a dietician; how has that impacted the way you eat and approach nutrition with clients and athletes?

MR: Well it’s definitely impacted my wallet and my waistline; when I met her I was a svelt 170 pounds!

Seriously, though, I’ve always been interested in nutrition, but she has the amazing ability to meld the science and the practice. She’s an amazing cook to begin with, so she has the ability to take the right foods and actually make them taste great. I think too many people think that “healthy” food has to taste like garbage, and that’s just not right. Maybe someday I’ll actually convince her to put all her recipes into an e-book for publication.

Also, I think if you’re serious about training and don’t take the steps to cover your nutritional bases, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure. Whether you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, Olympic lifter, strongman, or just someone who wants to improve your physique, you have to respect the power of nutrition and supplementation. If you don’t, please don’t expect to see exceptional results in the gym.

EC: Name five people you feel everyone should see speak.


1) Alwyn Cosgrove

2) Dave Tate

3) Mike Boyle

4) John Berardi

5) Anyone who knows more about your profession than you do (even if they don’t have the same outlook as you)

EC: How about books and DVDs? What are your top ten library “must-have” choices?


1) Supertraining – Mel Siff

2) Science and Practice of Strength Training -Vladimir Zatsiorsky

3) Functional Strength Coach – Mike Boyle

4) Professional Fitness Coach Program Design Manual – Alwyn Cosgrove

5) Magnificent Mobility – Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson (These guys are geniuses…or so I’ve heard!)

6) Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance - McGill

7) Precision Nutrition - Berardi

8 ) Gourmet Nutrition - Berardi

9) Parisi Deceleration Method - Parisi Speed School

10) Charlie Francis FAST Seminar Series

EC: If you had to pick five things our readers could do right now to become better lifters/athletes/coaches/trainers, what would they be?


1. Start getting some soft tissue work done!

As Mike Boyle says, “If you aren’t doing something to improve tissue quality, you might as well stop stretching, too.” I firmly agree with him on this point, and while it may cost a few bucks, it’s going to help keep you healthy and hitting PR’s. This could be as simple as foam rolling, or as extreme as getting some intense deep tissue massage or myofascial release done. I’ve tried it all and all of it has its place.

2. Don’t neglect mobility work!

Ever since we released our Magnificent Mobility DVD, people are finally starting to see all the benefits of a proper warm-up that includes dynamic flexibility/mobility work. However, just because you understand the benefits doesn’t mean squat if you aren’t doing it! Take the time to get it done before every training session, and even more frequently if need be.

3. Understand functional anatomy

Again, you and I (along with many others), have preached this for quite some time, but I’m not sure enough people really understand how the human body works. Hell, I think I do, and then I get into some of these intense anatomy and PT related books and find out tons of new info! Along these same lines, if you don’t understand functional anatomy, you really have no business writing training programs, whether they’re for yourself or for others. That may sound harsh, but for whatever reason people read a couple copies of Muscle and Fiction and think they can write programs. I’ve fixed enough broken people to know that very few people can integrate the functional anatomy into what amounts to functional programming (and no, that doesn’t include wobble boards, Airex pads, etc.).

4. Train to get stronger

While I’m all for all the other stuff that goes into training (proper recovery, mobility work, soft tissue work, conditioning, etc.), I think too many people want all the bells and whistles but forget about the basics. GET YOUR ATHLETES STRONG! Here’s the analogy that I use: performance coaches are asked to balance their training so that the athlete: a) improves performance and b) stays healthy. What I see right now is a ton of coaches that focus on all this posture and prehab stuff, but their athletes aren’t really that much better anyway. You have to work on both end of the spectrum. Think about it like this: Let’s say you have this huge meathead that’s super strong but has no flexibility, mobility or conditioning, then throw him on the field. He may last for a while, but eventually he’s going to get hurt, right? You haven’t covered the spectrum. But what’s the opposite situation? We have the coach who focuses on posture, prehab, etc., and the athlete has “optimal” muscle function but is weak as a kitten. Are you telling me this kid isn’t at a disadvantage when he steps on the field or on the court? Again, you haven’t covered the spectrum. In other words, feel free to do all the right things, but don’t forget about simply getting stronger; as you’ve said, it’s our single most precious training commodity.

5. Keep learning!

I’m not going to harp too much on this one; simply put, you need to always be expanding your horizons and looking to new places for answers. There’s a plethora of training knowledge out there, and what you don’t know can come back to haunt you. I believe it was Ghandi who said, “Live like today was your last, but learn like you will live forever.” That’s pretty solid advice in my book (and hopefully the last quote I’ll throw in!)

EC: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your training and professional careers? Looking back, what would you do differently?

MR: It may sound cheesy, but I don’t look at mistakes as mistakes; I look at them as learning opportunities. First and foremost, I wouldn’t have tried to learn to snow ski at the age of 27! This little stunt has set me back almost a year of training and left me with 20% less shock absorption in my left knee. Not the best idea, if you ask me.

But, instead of looking at it solely as a negative, it’s caused me to really re-examine my own training and thought process. As well, I really dug in so I now have a much better understanding of the knee, as well as how to rehabilitate knee injuries (and what causes them). So while I could piss and moan ‘til the cows come home, the fact of the matter is I’m really not much worse off and I have a much better understanding of myself and the human body.

EC: Where do you see yourself in a few years, and how would you like to be remembered way down the road?

MR: Ideally, at some point I’d love to have a training facility geared toward athletes. Whether it’s my own or partnered up with the right people doesn’t really matter. This would not only allow me to do what I’m passionate about, but give me a solid place to train myself. Every day I train at the commercial gym here in Indy a little part of me dies.

However, I must admit I really enjoy all the “extra-curricular” stuff I do as well: writing articles, producing info products, and giving seminars. I feel like the personal training/performance coaching allows me to keep in touch with what works and allows me to affect people on a small, intimate scale. On the other hand, the extracurricular stuff opens the doors to a huge number of people, all of whom can directly benefit from the things I’ve learned. In my eyes, it’s the best of both worlds.

As for being remembered, I just hope a person or two out there does remember me! The best thing anyone can say about me is that I influenced their life or athletic career for the better. I genuinely love what I do and the people with whom I work, and I think people can feel that whether it’s me coaching them, writing for them, or speaking to them at a seminar.

EC: Feel free to use the space below to shamelessly plug all of your products and services.

MR: Well I’m sure we’ve talked about it ad nauseum, but if you haven’t picked up a copy of our Magnificent Mobility DVD, you need to get it done NOW. You’ll never look at warming-up the same! You and I also have a huge seminar coming up in June at the Peak Performance facility in NYC, and I’m sure it’s going to turn some heads as to how people evaluate and train their clients. Finally, I’m not even going to get into our “little book” until we make some headway!

Next, Bill Hartman and myself are working on a 2-DVD series and manual that’s going to cover a lot of upper body concepts that I don’t think many people have examined. Bill is an amazing PT, so I really feel this is going to do for the upper body what Magnificent Mobility does for the hips.

Finally, feel free to come check out my website and sign-up for my FREE NEWSLETTER, which is sent out monthly. You can check out my website at www.robertsontrainingsystems.com, and you can sign up for the newsletter by sending me an e-mail at mike@robertsontrainingsystems.com with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

EC: Lots of stuff on the agenda, and I’m sure that it’ll all be top-notch. Thanks for taking the time, Mike.

MR: Thanks a ton for having me, EC!

That’ll do it for Newsletter #2.

All the Best,


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Newsletter #1

We’ve got some great content in this first newsletter, including a review of Precision Nutrition and an interview with Brijesh Patel. First, here’s a quick update on what’s new in the world of Eric Cressey.

I’ve been busy at T-Nation, publishing two articles in the past month. Be sure to check out Six Lost Lifters to see if you’re missing the boat on some aspect of your training mentality, and Seven Reasons You’re a Weakling to see why the weight on the bar isn’t increasing for you. Also, next time you’re in the grocery store line, you can also find a quick-hit piece from me on Page 25 of the April edition of Men's Fitness magazine.

You all might be interested in checking out an interview I recently did on Super Human Radio. I'm the second interviewee on this installment, and we discussed the rationale behind our recommendations in Magnificent Mobility. You can find it by scrolling down to the March 4 interview here.

The Magnificent Mobility DVD craze is really catching on, as coaches, athletes, and ordinary weekend warriors from around the world continue to send positive feedback to Mike Robertson and I on a daily basis. Check out what some of the best of the best have to say in their Magnificent Mobility Reviews.

If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you’re missing the boat. Mike and I might not be the most marketing-savvy guys in the world, but you can bet that we understand functional anatomy and injury prevention and rehabilitation. You can pick one up at www.MagnificentMobility.com.

Product Review: Precision Nutrition

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dr. John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition system, I definitely encourage you to check it out here.

I have to say that I was absolutely astounded at HOW MUCH you get for only $97! Think about it; you’re going to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for an hour with a personal trainer, and chances are that you might even regress during that time period due to that person’s lack of education and experience.

I’ve recommended a lot of JB’s products to my clients, friends, and family members. It’s impossible to deny the fact that this is some high-quality stuff that can benefit EVERYONE; I haven’t heard an unfavorable review yet. I use my Gourmet Nutrition e-book all the time, and the No Nonsense Nutrition DVD is the perfect thing to turn on the light bulb over the head of clients and family members who need to get with the program. Regardless of your experience level, Precision Nutrition really does offer something for everyone.

To be honest, I think that the “Gourmet Nutrition” e-book ALONE is worth $97. However, with the Precision Nutrition package, you get a ton more for that same price; check it out for yourself here before this special ends and the price goes up.

An Interview with Brijesh Patel

It seems only fitting that I kick off the interviews with one of the guys who played a large role in getting me to where I am today. When I arrived at the University of Connecticut, I was a little unsure about where my graduate school experience would take me, although I was leaning toward becoming a hardcore geek and doing loads of research. Then, I met Brijesh and Pat Dixon and hit it off immediately with both of them.These guys really took me under their wing in my first few weeks on campus. Pat gave me the tour of campus, and Brijesh took the time to chat with me about anything related to training, nutrition, and life in general. Perhaps most importantly, these two guys brought me into the UCONN varsity weight room to train, and it was there that my love of coaching really went to a whole new level.

The day I met Brijesh, he invited me to come to watch him coach the baseball guys the next morning at 6AM.I showed up without thinking twice. The passion “B” displayed for coaching and his complete control over an indoor track full of 25 college guys were really remarkable – especially since he did it in a very mild manner.B isn’t one of those coaches who needs to scream and yell at you all the time to make you better, and I’ve really modeled myself from his example. Perhaps most impressively was that every one of those players was wide awake at the crack of dawn; they were anxious to be coached by a guy whom they obviously respected tremendously as someone who could get them to where they needed to be. That was a little over 30 months ago, and my coaching career has absolutely skyrocketed since then; I owe a lot of this success to B.

EC: Hey B, thanks for agreeing to do this. Some of our readers might not have heard of you (and it’s their loss), so let’s try to bring them up to speed. Fill them in a bit on your background, what you’ve got going on now, your pets, favorite color, whatever.

BP: Thanks Eric, I’m honored to be one of your first interviewees and would love to help out a fellow Husky and a Husky fellow.

EC: I was a husky kid long before I went to UCONN. That’s what they used to call us fat kids when they didn’t want to hurt our feelings.

Mom: “You’re not fat; you’re just husky. That’s why you need to wear elastic jeans and sweatpants all the time.”

Little Eric: “What does “husky” mean?”

Mom: “It just means that you play hard, honey. Now wipe the cotton candy stains off your face and try on these Bugle Boys.”

I digress, but not totally. You were a “husky” guy before UCONN, too, right?

BP: Yes!  This is kind of a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short so I don’t bore any of your readers. I was always a “bigger” kid growing up, and had trouble participating in many sports because of my disadvantageous size. I went out for football my freshman year in high school and vowed to lose enough weight so that I would have the opportunity to play more. At my peak, I weighed 225 lbs (standing in at a whopping 5’4) with probably a body-fat of 30% (and that’s being generous).

I did a complete overhaul on my diet, began to exercise every day, and read anything I could get my hands on regarding training, and nutrition. I ended up going a little over board and lost 90 lbs in six months. I was then introduced to the weight-room and fell in love with it. As a high school senior, I knew I wanted to be involved in athletics in some way and what better way than athletic preparation?

EC: Sounds all too familiar to me; how did you take the next step and get into coaching?

BP: I went to the University of Connecticut and volunteered in the varsity weight room in my second week of school. I began by simply observing and asking questions and each year I gained more and more responsibility. By my senior year, I was given two teams to train and coach on my own, which was an unbelievable opportunity in itself. This worked itself into a graduate assistant position at UConn for another year a half. Along the way I was fortunate enough to complete internships with Mike Boyle at his professional facility, and with Jeff Oliver at the College of the Holy Cross (where I presently coach).

EC: Mike and Jeff are both great mentors; who else inspired you?

BP: There have been a number of people that have inspired me in a number of ways. I really admire all of the people that I have gotten to work with over the years, namely: Jerry Martin, Andrea Hudy, Shawn Windle, Teena Murray, Chris West, Moe Butler, Pat Dixon, Mike Boyle, Ed Lippie, Walter Norton Jr., Jeff Oliver, Liz Proctor, Charles Maka, and anybody else that I forgot.

I would also like to mention that people that have really shaped the industry and been willing to share their own knowledge: Everybody at T-Nation (Cressey, Robertson, TC, Waterbury, Shugart, Thibaudeau, Berardi, John, Cosgrove, Tate, Poliquin, King, and many others), Louie Simmons, Robb Rogers, Vern Gambetta, Mike Boyle, Paul Chek, Juan Carlos Santana, Mike Clark, Mark Verstegen, Charlie Francis, and all the other great minds and coaches in the field today.

EC: What frustrates you the most about this industry?

BP: The number one problem in my opinion is the lack of “open-mindedness” of coaches, and self-proclaimed “gurus.” This may be hard for some people to believe, but there is more than one way to get it done (create a strong, lean, mobile, and injury-resistant athlete). I was asked a question recently about who I don’t really like in the industry, and I don’t think I could actually answer that question. If you take the time to listen to what people say, you’ll find that everybody has something to offer. We need to get over our egos and realize that you could learn something from somebody – even if it’s how NOT to do something.

EC: Describe a day in the life of Brijesh Patel – coaching, training yourself, you name it.

BP: I typically wake up by 5 am (I push it to 6 am on the weekends; I know, I’m a rebel!), have a couple cups of coffee and am out the door to work. I like to train in the morning before it gets crazy in the weightroom, so I’ll usually train for about 90-120 minutes. I’m not training for anything in particular, so I try the programs I write for my athletes. This benefits me because I can see what is realistic and what works and what doesn’t before I try something out on my athletes.

The rest of my morning consists of catching up on emails, writing programs, speaking with coaches, helping out athletes who may come in to make up workouts, and reading up on articles. Our afternoons are extremely busy with teams coming in every 30 minutes, and this lasts from about 2 pm to 6 pm. If you want to check out weightroom efficiency, feel free to stop up to Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Then I’ll usually do some personal training or group training with high school kids (which I think is the best time to start training).

EC: The “knowledge is power” mentality is something I’m going to reiterate in each of my newsletters; it’s often been said that you should be reading at least one hour per day if you want to make it anywhere in life.With that said, one question that everyone I interview will have to answer is “What are ten books that every aspiring coach should read or watch?” We’re even going to make it easy on readers by providing them links to these books and DVDs. You’re one of the most well-read guys I’ve ever met, B; what are your top ten?


1. Training for Speed, by Charlie Francis

2. The Egoscue Method of Health through Motion, by Pete Egoscue

3a. Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities, by Mike Boyle

3b. Functional Training for Sports, by Mike Boyle

4. Science and Practice of Strength Training, by Vladimir Zatsiorsky

5. Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman

6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff—and it’s all Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

7. Science of Sports Training, by Thomas Kurz

8a. The Black Book of Training Secrets, by Christian Thibaudeau

8b. Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods, by Christian


9. Modern Trends in Strength Training, by Charles Poliquin

10. Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard

I think these are a good mix of practical training that works, and personal development that will aid you in becoming a better coach.

EC: If you had to pick five things our readers could do right now to become better lifters/athletes/coaches/trainers, what would they be?


1. Seek Knowledge - To become the best athlete/coach/trainer/person you have to go out and seek to learn from the best. This knowledge can come from self-help books, business books, college classes, seminars, videos, the internet, you name it. Just go out and learn.

2. Listen to People - This is a huge problem for all people. We all judge people and shut them and their ideas out based on what we think we know about them. When we actually take the time to listen to what somebody has to say, then and only then should we really judge. If it works for somebody else and not for you find out why it works for them…don’t be quick to judge.

3. Train - There is nothing more frustrating to see than coaches who don’t do the programs that they write.How do you know if it works? How do you know what it feels like? How do you know if it’s too heavy, too light, too much or not enough?

The only way to find out is to do it. The program may look great on paper, but if it’s too much and you can’t recover from it, what’s the point?

4. Balance - Balance is a general word that refers to how we should do everything in life. If we do too much of any one thing, something else is going to suffer. For example, if we spend too much time at work our family and social life are going to suffer. If we train our internal rotators too much with excessive volume our external rotators are going to suffer and leave us more susceptible to shoulder injuries. If we eat too many carbohydrates, our insulin sensitivity is going to decrease and increase our chances of having type 2 diabetes. We need to have balance in everything we do in our lives: work, family, social life, training, and nutrition.

5. Coach People, not Athletes - The more experienced I get in this field, the more I realize that I not only coach athletes, but coach people. As coaches and trainers, we can have a profound influence on the people with whom we work. We need to realize that we are not only helping an athlete achieve their goals, but also helping them to become better people. We are teaching them what they can do mentally and physically, how to focus their mind, how to stay positive, how to make changes in their lifestyle, how to reduce stress, and how to lead a healthier lifestyle. We run a summer program for high school kids and the biggest changes we see in them are their confidence levels. Parents always remark on how our coaches have been a positive influence on their children.

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Veronica Jutras (former HC women’s basketball player and Be Athletic Camp Counselor)

EC: Great advice, B. On a semi-related note, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your training and professional careers? Looking back, what would you do differently?

BP: Boy, where do I begin? My first mistake could have been all of the long distance training I did to lose weight when I was in high school. I’m positive that that training killed my chances to make it to the NBA (other than the fact that my genetics weren’t the greatest to begin with). Side note: I haven’t grown much since high school, either.

As I mentioned earlier, being close-minded and not seeking enough knowledge were the biggest mistakes I made. I thought I knew enough and didn’t believe in what other coaches did. Because it didn’t make sense to me, I closed them out and thought they were bad coaches. I didn’t seek to understand their perspectives or what they were looking to accomplish. I also stopped seeking out new information for a while and became content and comfortable. I soon realized that this was not a quick ticket to become a better coach or a better person. I know now that to become better, I have to try and learn from everybody that I meet. The only way to do that is to ask questions and seek to understand their perspective.

EC: Where do you see yourself in a few years, and how would you like to be remembered way down the road?

BP: In a couple years, I imagine myself as a head strength and conditioning coach at a university. I would like to run an excellent program that is respected by my peers, and produces quality professionals. I ultimately want to be known as a good educator and teacher. I really relish the opportunity to work with interns who are eager to learn and become good professionals. Another thing that I hope for is to have a lasting impact upon all the athletes with whom I work. There is nothing more satisfying than to know that you have helped somebody become a better person.

EC: I think it’s safe to say that you’ve already accomplished more in your 20s than most coaches accomplish in your lifetime, and there’s no doubt that you’ll continue to be a force on the performance enhancement scene for decades to come. That said, feel free to use the space below to shamelessly plug all of your products and services.

BP: Robb Rogers, Shawn Windle, and I make up S B Coaches College (www.sbcoachescollege.com), an internet education business committed to bringing you the latest information about the methods used by top-level strength coaches to prepare their athletes for competition. Whether you are a sport coach, strength coach, or athlete, we will provide you with products and information that will help you and your athletes achieve new levels of performance. You will find hundreds of inspirational and motivational quotes in our coach’s corner, thought-provoking tip of the months, information-packed newsletters, easy-to-understand articles, PowerPoint presentations that we have utilized, and high quality CD-ROMs and manuals for sale.

Readers can contact me at bnpuconn@hotmail.com

EC: Thanks for the time, B!

BP: Thanks Eric, I really appreciated and enjoyed this opportunity.

That’s all for this first newsletter; thanks for tuning in. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me an email at ec@ericcressey.com. If you have a friend who you think would like our newsletter, please feel free to pass this on and encourage them to Sign Up.

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The Campaign of Fear

Does Mike Huckabee have Chuck Norris in mind for his vice-presidential candidate?

This might be the single-most intelligent political strategic move in history: scare the voters into supporting you! Let’s look at a few comparisons between the GOP candidate and his potential roundhouse-kick-dealing running mate:

Mike Huckabee has voted to cut taxes 94 times in his political career. When tax season rolls around for Chuck Norris, though, he mails in blank tax sheets and a picture of himself crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has never had to pay taxes.

Huckabee is a Baptist minister. Norris, on the other hand, was actually the fourth Wiseman. He brought baby Jesus the gift of ‘beard.’ Jesus wore it proudly to his dying day. The other Wisemen, jealous of Jesus' obvious gift favoritism, used their combined influence to have Chuck omitted from the Bible. Shortly thereafter, all three died of roundhouse kick related deaths.

Huckabee is pro-life. What many people don’t know is that Chuck Norris is, in fact, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Not even unborn children can escape his wrath.

Huckabee has played the guitar in numerous public appearances. Chuck Norris’ first public performance ended in disaster, though. His first appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” never aired because it opened with an eloquent roundhouse kick to the face of his partner.
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Cressey’s Bag of Tricks

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So You Want to Be an Elite Athlete…

Q: I want to ask for some advice on transforming my body so that I can become an elite athlete.

Current Stats :
Age - 17
Height - 193cm
Weight - 85kg
Gender - Male

My goals are :
- Increase speed and vertical leap
- Get bigger and stronger
- Increase flexibility and range of motion
- Improve endurance level
- Keep body fat percentage low
- Improve basketball skills (eg shooting, passing, dribbling)

The sport that I compete in is basketball. I do MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) as training and for fun as well.

What sort of training should I do considering what my goals are and what sports I am doing?

I have done lots of research on athletic improvement but there is so much information out there and it is hard to know what information I should use. None of the countless number of training books and programs I have bought tailors specifically to what my goals are either; I’ve read DeFranco, Cosgrove, Ferruggia, and Baggett.

A: 1. Recognize that you cannot ride two horses with one saddle. It's very difficult to develop endurance and maximal strength/power simultaneously, but at your age, it's still likely a possibility. Strength endurance is dependent on maximal strength, so if you get stronger, you'll automatically improve endurance-wise regardless of what endurance-specific activities you do.

2. There are many ways to skin a cat. DeFranco, Baggett, Cosgrove, and Ferruggia are all good friends of mine and all of them get results. Additionally, there are hundreds of other coaches getting results - and all of them are using unique programs. What you'll find is that we all agree on the 90% and play around with the leftover 10%. And, what you’re also find is that no matter how well written a book is, it’ll never cater to your specific situation perfectly.

3. A large portion (probably 75%) of my athletes are your age, and I have an appreciation for what it takes for you to compete at the next level, if that's of interest to you. Right now, focus on becoming a better ATHLETE before you work overtime becoming a better basketball player, MMA fighter, etc. Can you jump rope? Can you do a clean push-up? Can you even skip? How about sprint mechanics; are they good? If you're like most of the kids who walk into Cressey Performance on Day 1, the answer is NO - and we need to backtrack a bit.

If the answer is YES, you need to take into account your injury history and some performance testing. In my Off-Season Training Manual, I talk about tests to determine whether you need more strength, more reactive work, or a combination of the two. Generally speaking, basketball guys are a lot of the strength component with some lower volume reactive work at strategic points in the off-season.

Eric Cressey
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