Home Blog (Page 2)

Two Decades in the Gym

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been lifting weights seriously for a full two decades.

For 13 of those 20 years, I’ve been a gym owner. I’d conservatively estimate that at least one training session per week over those 13 years has been me solo in a 6,000-15,000 square foot facility. That’s about 700 training sessions I’ve logged without another person in sight.

There have been days when I’ve pulled 650 pounds by myself, and others when 405 pounds felt absurdly heavy - but I always showed up. There have been 5am grinders and midnight madness. I’ve trained when I was excited about something, and also when I was irritated about something else.

What are the points?

1. Showing up consistently always pays off, even when the 10/10 training sessions seem to be overshadowed by the 3/10 debacles. And, as my buddy @benbrunotraining often says, most of your training consists of the 7/10 sessions in the middle.

2. Intrinsic motivation is probably the most overlooked facet of long-term training success. If you’re waiting for someone else to motivate you, your plan isn’t good. You have to be willing to embrace the suck by yourself and view extrinsic motivation as a bonus when it comes.

3. A lot of people fall in love with the destination when they should be enjoying the process. My training has been as much about trying out new exercise and programming strategies that might help our athletes as it has about my own fitness goals. And, it’s served as an important time for me to gather my thoughts and work through challenging decisions.

Here’s to the next 20 years.

Happy New Year!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

The Best of 2020: Podcasts

We launched the Elite Baseball Development Podcast in 2019, but 2020 was the first full year we had it available. In all, we released 41 episodes in 2020 - and I learned a ton from some great guests. That said, here are our top five episodes from the year:

1. Optimizing Rotational Power with Dr. Greg Rose - Greg talks about evaluating and training rotational power across multiple sports. We also delve into programming and coaching strategies, and long-term athletic development in different athletic populations.

2. Mobility Methods with Dana Santas - Dana speaks about how to fine-tune methods of improving mobility. She also highlights common mistakes baseball players make when implementing yoga.

3. Helping Hitters to Higher Ground with Doug Latta - Doug contributes some great thoughts on hitting set-up, mechanics, and approach.

4. Speed Training in Baseball with Lee Taft - Lee discusses baseball movement competencies and how to coach them. CSP-MA Director of Performance John O'Neil takes the lead as a guest host.

5. Tackling Controversial Throwing Topics with Mike Reinold - In this episode, Mike and I take on two controversial topics in the world of managing throwers: the sleeper stretch and weighted baseballs. Mike and I collaborate to discuss whether they belong in your training and rehabilitation programs, and if so, how?

We're back to the regular EricCressey.com content this upcoming week. Thanks for all your support in 2020! We've got some great stuff planned for 2021.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

The Best of 2020: Guest Posts

I've already highlighted the top articles and videos I put out at EricCressey.com in 2020, so now it's time for the top guest posts of the year. Here goes…

1. Progression Strategies for Back Hip Loading - In this article, Cressey Sports Performance - MA pitching coordinator Jordan Kraus shared some strategies for improving back hip loading in the pitching delivery. Once you read it, however, you'll recognize that these strategies are universal for progressing this important competency for any rotational sport athlete.

2. Arm Care: Why Are We Still Talking About Down and Back? - Eric Schoenberg, who serves as a physical therapist at Cressey Sports Performance - Florida, discusses one of the most misunderstood cues with respect to upper extremity health.

3. Taking Proteus Motion for a Spin - Last December, we brought in a new technology - Proteus Motion - to Cressey Sports Performance – Florida to try out for the offseason, and we integrated it at CSP-MA shortly thereafter. It goes without saying that we found some excellent benefits, and in this guest contribution, physical therapist Tanner Allen elaborates on them.

4. 4 Training Principles to Make the Most of Your Speed Work - With so many people getting outside to sprint in light of gyms closing during the pandemic, it was a good time for CSP-FL coach Derek Kambour to reflect on important training approaches to help them all move efficiently.

5. Sandbag Training for Baseball Players - We've been using sandbags a lot more in our training these days, and it's largely due to the influence of physical therapist Dan Swinscoe, who delivered an awesome inservice to our staff on the topic. Here's a guest post from Dan that highlights the how and why of using sandbags.

I'll be back soon with more highlights from 2020.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

The Best of 2020: Strength and Conditioning Videos

With my last post, I kicked off the "Best of 2020" series with my top articles of the year. Today, we'll highlight the top five videos of the year.

1. Birddog Rows -This is one of our favorite horizontal pulling variations. Check out this great write-up on the drill from CSP-FL Director of Performance, Tim Geromini.

2. Half-Kneeling Kettlebell Windmill - This drill comes to you courtesy of Cressey Sports Performance coach Derek Kambour. The Half-Kneeling Kettlebell Windmill is an awesome full-body exercise that delivers several important benefits. Learn more in this write-up.

3. Adductor Slides - This is an awesome exercise for adductors that are both long and strong. Check out this full write-up to learn more about how we use this drill.

4. Bottoms-up Kettlebell Arm Bar - The Kettlebell Arm Bar is an awesome exercise that delivers several important benefits, but we've admittedly taken some time to warm up to it. Learn more here.

5. Bowler Squat to J-Band Y - This exercise is the brainchild of physical therapist Eric Schoenberg, who works out of Cressey Sports Performance – Florida. When I first saw him implementing it with a patient, I immediately thought, “How have I never thought of it?” It actually combines two of my favorite exercises: the bowler squat and the J-Band Y. In doing so, we get an awesome arm care exercise that integrates single-leg balance and hip mobility. Learn more here.

I'll be back soon with the top guest posts of 2020!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

The Best of 2020: Strength and Conditioning Articles

With 2020 winding down, I'm using this last week of the year to direct you to some of the most popular content of the past 12 months at EricCressey.com, as this "series" has been quite popular over the past few years. Today, we start with the most popular articles of the year; these are the pieces that received the most traffic, according to my hosting statistics.

1. What Do You Think of XYZ Method? - Often, I’ll get inquiries where folks ask what I think of a specific method. It might be yoga, Crossfit, Pilates, or a number of different disciplines. These are always challenging questions to answer because there are actually a number of variables you have to consider - and that's what I cover in this article.

2. Accidental Strength and Conditioning Success - I often joke that some of the biggest training successes of my career came about when I was trying to develop one athletic quality, but actually wound up accidentally developing something else that yielded a great return on investment. Medicine ball training might be the absolute best example of this.

3. Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training - Installment 36 - This series is among my most popular, and I was long overdue for an update.

4. Efficient Programming, Better Warm-ups, and Combination Exercises - This feature outlined some programming principles you can employ when designing strength and conditioning plans.

5. Variation Without Change - For long-term training success, there are certain exercise categories that have to be mainstays. However, underneath those broad categorization schemes, there are a lot of opportunities (and a great need) for variation.

I'll be back soon with another "Best of 2020" feature. Up next, the top videos of the year!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Evaluating and Developing Championship Players with Shaun Cole

We're excited to welcome pitching coach Shaun Cole to this week's podcast. The 2012 NCAA Pitching Coach of the Year, Shaun has tremendous experience across scouting, player development, and baseball operations across college, professional, and international baseball.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Billy Wagner

We're excited to welcome retired MLB pitcher and current Hall-of-Fame candidate Billy Wagner to this week's podcast. We cover a range of topics, including how Billy was overlooked during recruiting/scouting; how he developed elite arm speed; and what training techniques were key for his durability. With him now involved in the coaching realm, Billy comments on the status quo and direction of the game, and reflects on the adjustments he's made to transition from player to coach/mentor.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tyler Kinley

We're excited to welcome Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tyler Kinley to the latest podcast. A self-described "Red Shirt All-American," Tyler overcame a number of injuries in his early career to eventually become a 100mph arm with one of the best sliders in baseball. In this conversation, he shares a collection of lessons he's learned along the way.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

You can follow Tyler on Twitter at @TylerKinley30.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Diving in Deep with Proteus Analytics

Today's guest post comes from physical therapists Will Waterman and Tanner Allen.

In an analytically driven world, finding a way to capture coveted and seemingly intangible qualities of athletes is highly sought after. Back in January, Cressey Sports Performance - FL began looking into Proteus as a potential way to bridge the gap between training programs and objective measures (see the article Taking Proteus for a Spin). Following Proteus Motion’s release of the General Power Test in June of this year, we decided to apply this testing to CSP-MA and their college summer program in hopes of finding out what role power plays in a collection of athletic qualities. Today, we'll reviewr the results of our power testing on athletes and discoveries that may have an impact when creating and enhancing individualized training programs for our athletes.

(Right-Click to Expand/Save and View)

The Power Test report shown above is an output shown on the Proteus system’s touchscreen after 17 exercises are performed in under 5 minutes. The data is tracked for each player over time, and can also be printed, shared by email, or accessed remotely through a web login.

Before we dive in, it will be helpful to know a little bit about the Power Test listed in the video below as well as the structure of our small study and what we intended to capture. The CSP-MA college summer program consisted of 14 collegiate pitchers tested 3 times over a 6 week period (beginning, middle, and end). Normally, it would have been a longer training period and sample size, but COVID-related restrictions thinned the herd a bit and led to a shortened timeline. We looked at General Power Test reports utilizing Proteus and pitching velocity captured by Rapsodo. This 3-minute video will briefly explain the General Power Test.

The five primary goals that we intended to identify utilizing Proteus throughout this study included:

● Showing objective improvements in CSP’s training with test and retest findings
● Establishing normative power profiles that quickly help identify areas of weakness among athletes
● Finding intra-body norms for push vs pull as well as unilateral vs bilateral comparisons and imbalances
● Identifying other metrics that Proteus captures to create more specific tests in the future to further enhance its capabilities
● Identifying correlations between Proteus and pitching velocity

Following the completion of the 6-week study, we were able to collect normative data ranges for our test group sample. This allows coaches using Proteus to analyze patterns in search of the lowest hanging fruit to address in training. Through providing easy-to-digest information, this helps coaches identify outliers as well as over and underperforming athletes within a group.

In the picture below, you are able to see a breakdown of how an individual improved from his 1st session at the beginning of training to his 3rd session following completion of CSP training over the six weeks. The dotted red line depicted below represents the average scores across the entire test group, allowing for simultaneous comparison. This ultimately allows for quick recognition of areas in which a specific athlete has under or over-performed compared to their age group norms and peers.

The addition of this quantitative and analytic test of power output can then be compared with the rest of CSP's assessments to create a comprehensive view of how an athlete is currently performing, how they are improving, and which areas require further development. This comprehensive approach lets strength coaches and other healthcare professionals understand how structural and functional presentations may affect power output.

(Right-Click to Expand/Save and View)

Next, I want to show examples of interesting findings related to intra-body comparisons along with unilateral and bilateral imbalances discovered within the baseball population using Proteus.

*Disclaimer: These are based on small sample sizes, so by no means should these be assumed as a one size fits all.

1. Greater power in dominant side rotation compared to non-dominant side rotation

A unique attribute of Proteus is the ability for rotational qualities to be tested. One would think that these athletes have an increased amount of power rotating towards their non-dominant side (e.g. throwing or hitting a baseball), but our findings were the opposite. In our study, 7 out of 10 right-handed pitchers showed an average of 5.6% increased power output rotating towards their right (dominant side). After considering what could be the reasoning for this metric finding, we generated five hypotheses:

● Proteus motion is concentric in nature with the testing protocol performed in a non-counter (“non-plyometric”) fashion which does not allow the athlete eccentric loading prior to the task. With natural movements such as throwing a baseball, an athlete naturally pre-loads prior to rotating towards their non-dominant side. Due to the testing design, this could provide motor interference to what would normally be a natural movement to them
● PRI (Postural Restoration Institute) considerations, as Left AIC patterns are commonly seen throughout the baseball population.
● Years of eccentric stress from decelerating on their right side obliques improves strength on their dominant side over time.
● Limited thoracic rotation or decreased testing ROM.
● Simple fatigue as these tests were completed following max effort Rapsodo bullpen sessions.

Note from EC: we've effectively eliminated the last point (fatigue) as a consideration in the extensive testing we've done in our professional baseball players this offseason. The differences have been just as pronounced (if not moreso) in this population, and without a bullpen before testing.

2. Greater power in non-dominant side lateral bound compared to dominant side bound

In this example, imagine a right-handed pitcher being more powerful in his lead leg compared to his dominant right leg (his drive leg in pitching delivery) with a frontal plane movement like a Heiden. This group showed a 4.5% bias in power on the non-dominant leg (i.e., right handed pitcher was better pushing off from the left to go to the right).

One hypothesis might again be explained by the Left AIC pattern as described by PRI. Many athletes are subconsciously unaware that they tend to jump off of their left leg when going for a layup, jumping for a ball, or cutting for example. PRI explains this as a consequence of the L AIC pattern, as those with that pattern tend to be more comfortable in LOADING via standing or landing on their right leg and tend to be more proficient with EXPLODING or launching movements off their left leg. PRI explains this as a common implication of the Left AIC pattern, which is a pattern of being over lateralized on the right side in the frontal plane. This finding might be an indication of that pattern, as most of the athletes were biased towards having more power jumping off of their non-dominant left lower extremity. Greater sample sizes in the future will help us confirm or deny this finding.

3. Unilateral pressing and rowing movements are more powerful than bilateral variants by 4%

The likely reasoning for this finding is the rotational sport athlete’s ability to tap into the transverse plane component of these movements. Since Proteus Motion utilizes 3D resistance, the athlete is not confined or restricted by specific planes of motion (frontal or sagittal) as they are in other traditional training methods (e.g., shoulder blades being pinned down on a bench). This allows for proper scapular protraction and retraction to take place throughout the test.

In the picture below, you can see an example of points 1&2, of a right-handed pitcher showing both qualities.

Besides intra-body comparisons, we also looked at comparisons of Proteus data to pitching velocity to see if we were able to identify what movement qualities may translate to throwing performance. We used Rapsodo to capture pitching velocity, and then cross referenced it against all metrics that Proteus measures, even those not provided in the General Power Report (which only provides power data and does not give breakdowns of acceleration, deceleration, and other metrics). Whadiscovered was that average dominant side acceleration in (m/s2) had a strong correlation with pitching velocity showing a R-value of .76, and P-Value of .003 during Session 3 testing. This was an intriguing finding and one that has started future planning of a potentially better and more specific baseball related Power Test.

Dominant Side Acceleration = Average Acceleration of all dominant side movements except using non-dominant trunk rotation instead of dominant side.

In conclusion, here are the key takeaways the team has learned this summer and how we plan on implementing our findings into future iterations of CSP tests:

1. We can use Proteus for benchmark testing to help us identify areas of weakness or strengths in each athlete. This information can help to quickly adapt individualized training programs to improve training efficiency and outcomes.

2. In addition to measuring power in (Watts), we want to incorporate acceleration (m/s2) into our future readings and reports as well as provide a comparable metric across different resistances. This can be extremely beneficial for coaches when tailoring programs for individuals to allow for appropriate starting points along the strength/speed or speed/strength continuum (e.g., medicine ball movements and weight best suited for the individual).

3. Measuring the difference in output of an individual between using non-counter movements (which is currently how the General Power Test has been performed) vs counter-movements such as plyometrics. We can then compare the ability of the athlete to create elastic vs reactive qualities of movement. By allowing for small eccentric loads while transitioning between movements during the amortization phase, we can assess different metrics of power and acceleration of a plyometric and compare it to pure concentric drive when there is no or low loading phase present. Prior to Proteus, coaches relied heavily on visual observations and movement patterns to differentiate plyometric and concentric biased movements. Proteus will assist and enhance coaches targeted interventions specifically for upper body and core movements.

Overall, the summer study that Proteus and CSP MA performed had huge success in identifying the progress of players, improving target metrics for specific populations, and enhancing testing qualities. On average, athletes had a 25% improvement on the General Power Test from Proteus between sessions 1 and 3. Pitchers also improved on 3+ mph on their fastball velocity on average following their six-week training camp (84 -> 87 mph). Proteus Motion offers a lot of different benefits for both short term and long term development of athletes by capturing objective data throughout an individual’s strength and conditioning journey. Proteus provides CSP a unique way to objectify future evaluations, program development, readiness testing, and monitor training and rehabilitation.

*If you’re interested in learning more, visit www.Proteusmotion.com and follow them on Instagram @ProteusMotion to stay up to date.

 About the Authors

Tanner Allen received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in 2019. After graduating, he completed an Internship at CSP-FL in the Fall of 2019, and recently joined Diamond Physical Therapy inside of Cressey Sports Performance - Florida. Tanner also serves as the Baseball Performance Manager at Proteus Motion. He enjoys working with athletes of all ages and backgrounds on a continuum from rehabilitation following injury all the way through sports performance training. He graduated from Valdosta State University in 2015 with a degree in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Will Waterman, DPT is the Director of Performance and Sports Science at Proteus Motion. He previously worked as a physical therapist for over 10 years in a variety of clinical settings, including Stanford Hospital and D1 athletics at DePaul University. He is an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS), is Postural Restoration Certified (PRC), has a Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) from the Ola Grimsby Institute, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He completed his doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2010 and his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Georgia in 2007. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he and his wife now live and work in San Francisco, CA where he serves as a primary resource for Proteus Motion on the West Coast.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more

2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales!

Just like everyone else on the planet, I'm offering some great Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We're just going to kick it off a week early so you have time to sort through it all! From now through next Monday (11/30) at midnight, you can get 25% off the following resources by using the coupon code BF2020EC at checkout.

These eight resources can be purchased through my secure website:

Sturdy Shoulder Solutions - My most recent product release delves going into a ton of depth on some important topics with respect to upper extremity evaluation, programming, and training. Learn more HERE.

CSP Innovations - A collaborative effort by the Cressey Sports Performance staff about a variety of topics. Learn more HERE.

The Specialization Success Guide - A great resource for those looking to pursue strength gains on the big three (squat, bench press, deadlift). Learn more HERE.

The Ultimate Offseason Training Manual - This was the first book I wrote, and it's stood the test of time because of how much of the writing was based on principles that'll last forever. Learn more HERE.

Understanding and Coaching the Anterior Core - A presentation that will bring you up to speed on an important aspect of core training for health and high performance. Learn more HERE.

The Truth About Unstable Surface Training - This e-book covers one of the more controversial topics in the training and rehabilitation worlds today. Learn more HERE.

Everything Elbow - A quick presentation that highlights the key aspects of taking care of throwing elbows. Learn more HERE.

The Art of the Deload - A special report that helps you sort through various approaches to deloading in training programs. Learn more HERE.

And, these two resources I co-created with Mike Reinold can be purchased through his website:

Functional Stability Training (includes Core, Upper, Lower, and Optimizing Movement) - We cover everything from assessment, to programming, to coaching cues, to bridging the gap between rehab and high performance.

Optimal Shoulder Performance - This is a great "primer" on the basics of the shoulder.

Remember, just enter BF2020EC to get the discount.

Enjoy!

Read more
Page 1 2 3 4 270
LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series