Five Thoughts from Nick Grantham

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Five Thoughts from Nick Grantham

While in the UK earlier this year for six days, I had a chance to really get to know Nick Grantham, one of the brighter minds you’ll encounter on the other side of the Atlantic.  Nick was a great host – and is also an outstanding coach.  Here are a few insights he offered for our newsletter series:

1. The Power of Myofascial Release: I never realized something as simple as a tennis ball or foam roller could have such a significant impact on my athletes’ ability to train. If you want your athletes’ muscles to be in optimal condition, I strongly recommend that you get them to foam roll before the training session. Why? Check out what Mike Boyle has to say on the matter, and if you want to read about “the body’s bubble wrap,” get a copy of Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers.

2. Supersets: Not in the traditional sense. During the past twelve months, I’ve started to superset remedial exercises into the main training stimulus (e.g. A1: Squat, A2: Ankle proprioception jumps. This is a very time effective way of training and it means that I know for sure that any remedial work that is needed is actually getting done. In the past I hoped my athletes would take care of business. Now I know they do – and it’s transformed the quality of training.

3. Pool Work: The pool is not just the domain of the swimmer. I use the pool all the time for athlete coming back from fitness to develop cardiovascular conditioning, strength, proprioception and balance, flexibility and even speed and power (yes you heard me correctly SPEED and POWER). In fact, don’t wait until you are injured to find out the benefits of water workouts. I strongly recommend that athletes competing in sports with high impacts (pretty much everyone) should spend some time unloaded. The pool is great – especially during the competition season – as it allows you to train without the same stress on the musculoskeletal system.

4. Back to Basics: Too often we think about the 2% that will give our athletes the edge. We get so caught up searching for the 2% that we forget about the other 98%! This holds true for training and is certainly true for one of the most neglected areas of training: recovery. If you are jumping in and out of cold baths and wearing the latest compression garments, but have a crappy diet, an average training program and poor sleeping habits, get a grip because you are wasting your time. Get the basics right first, the 98%: eat well, train optimally and rest, and THEN think about getting clever.

5. Aqua Balls!: I discovered a great use for the stability ball; I filled it with water! Stay with me; this makes it a very unpredictable training tool. We have used it to great effect when rehabbing shoulders. Pressing and holding patterns are taken to a whole new level when you have a ball in your hands filled with seven liters of water! I first saw this when I was visiting the rehab centre for the Birmingham Royal Ballet; I saw the principle dancers lifting the ball overhead and thought, “I can use that with my athletes.”  And there you have it: the AQUA BALL!

About Nick Grantham

Nick Grantham is committed to helping athletes optimize their potential through the provision of individualized, athlete centered strength and conditioning programs.  Specializing in the area of fitness training and athletic preparation, Nick has helped numerous athletes achieve their goals through his unique understanding of sport science and athletic preparation. Nick began his coaching career at the Lilleshall Sports Injury and Human Performance Centre where he worked for the British Gymnastics Team. Since then he has continued to work as a strength and conditioning coach, successfully implementing his innovative training strategies. Nick has trained many of the countries elite athletes, including Olympic and Paralympic finalists, World, European and Commonwealth Games medalists and professionals in a multitude of sports, including Netball, Cricket, Hockey, Skiing, Professional Football, Rugby League, Rally Driving, Boxing and Ultra-Endurance Running. Nick has become recognized as a specialist in athletic preparation and has helped athletes of all levels achieve their personal goals and ambitions.  For more information, check out

All the Best,