Home Posts tagged "Dean Somerset" (Page 7)

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 2/12/13

Happy Valentine's Day Week! While I love all my readers and appreciate your support, I won't get all sappy on you today.  Instead, our recommended strength and conditioning reading will focus on getting jacked and crushing good food.  What's not to love?

Strength Training Program: What to Do If You Can't Squat Deep - This was a guest blog I wrote over at Men's Health earlier this week. If you don't have the mobility to squat deep, don't worry; I'll give you some alternatives to ensure that your lower body strength training doesn't suffer.

Limit Protein to 20g Per Meal? - This is an old blog post from Dr. John Berardi, but I've had two separate athletes ask me about whether the body can only "handle" a certain amount of protein at each meal.  As such, I thought it'd be a good time to reincarnate this excellent write-up.

Smart Overhead Pressing - This was a great post at T-Nation by Dean Somerset.  If more people would follow progressions like this before jumping into overhead pressing, we'd have a lot fewer shoulder injuries in the weight training population.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/13/12

Here's this week's list of recommended strength and conditioning reads:

When to Wear Minimalist Shoes - I thought this was a great post from Dean Somerset on a hot topic these days.  Dean, like me, is a fan of the New Balance Minimus.

As an interesting little aside to this, last week, I had a chance to preview the newest version of the Minimus (due out in December), and they're absolutely awesome.  Cool colors, awesome design, super durability, and great fit. I'm excited to rock them.

The Most Overlooked Continuing Education Opportunity for Fitness Professionals - My experience out at the Area Code Games reminded me of this old post of mine, as I had an opportunity to interact with kids from all over the country on the baseball field.  The athletes and clients you encounter can teach you a ton.

Glutes Gone Wild: Part 2 - Silly name, but good article from Ben Bruno nonetheless.  There are some exercise variations in here that we use quite often at CP.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 5/29/12

Here's this week's list of recommended strength and conditioning reading for you:

Research: Gaining Hip Rotation Without Stretching - My UCONN buddy Mike Irr wrote up this excellent research review, and did an equally solid job with discussing implications of its findings and recommendations for future research. 

Why Nobody Except Your Mom Reads Your Fitness Blog - The popularity of my business partner's guest blog (here) reminded me of this post I wrote last year.  I think you'll find it to be entertaining!

Scapular Stability and Push-ups - Dean Somerset wrote up an entertaining, video-packed post on how push-up variations fit in with your scapular stabilization programs.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 1/24/12

Here's this week's list of recommended strength and conditioning reading: How Much Strength Do Our Athletes Need? - I thought this was an outstanding piece from Rob Panariello at Bret Contreras' blog.  It's a question I've asked myself a lot over the past few years, and Rob does an excellent job of discussing how the answer is likely different for every athlete. Paula Deen's an Idiot - On the surface, this blog post from Dean Somerset seems to be a rant on this outrageous example of hypocrisy with respect to Deen's announcement that she had Type 2 Diabetes.  While that would have been spot-on, Dean kicked it up a notch when he busted out some great statistics to show that her "it was my genetics" argument was bogus.  Wildly entertaining; well done, Dean. What a Puppy Can Teach You About Resistance Training Progress - I came across this article while I was searching for another one in my archives. I wrote it shortly after we got our dog (who is now about 1.5 years old), but the message still resounds.

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 2011: Product Reviews

I've already featured the top articles at EricCressey.com from 2011, and now it's time to highlight the top product reviews I did at this site in the last year. 1. Metabolic Cooking - This was the most popular product review I did on the year for a very simple reason: everybody needs to eat!  And, the folks reading this site prefer to eat "clean" - and Dave Ruel did a great job of making this easier and tastier with an outstanding recipe book to which I still refer every week.  I made two posts about the product: Metabolic Cooking: Making it Easier to Eat Clean with Healthy Food Options A Must-Try Recipe - and My Chubby 4th Grade Pics! (this is the best chicken fingers recipe in history; try it!)

2. Muscle Imbalances Revealed - Upper Body - This was the sequel to the popular lower-body product that was released by Rick Kaselj et al. in 2010.  I went through and highlighted each presenters contributions to the product via four posts: Muscle Imbalances Revealed Review - Upper: Part 1 (Dean Somerset) Muscle Imbalances Revealed Review - Upper: Part 2 (Dr. Jeff Cubos) Muscle Imbalances Revealed Review - Upper: Part 3 (Tony Gentilcore and Rick Kaselj)

3. Lean Hybrid Muscle - As the review below will demonstrate, this program offered me a nice change of pace from my "normal" training when I needed to shake things up earlier this year.  It's a nice follow-up to Show and Go.  Here's my review: How I'm Breaking Out of My Training Rut: The Lean Hybrid Muscle Strength and Conditioning Program

4. Post-Rehab Essentials - Based on the fact that Dean Somerset has now gotten two shout-outs in my top product reviews of 2011, you might think that I have somewhat of a man-crush on him.  The truth is that I think Dean relates complex terms in simple terms and "teaches" about as well as anyone in the fitness industry.  Check out this post that touches on why his product has merit: 4 Reasons You Must Understand Corrective Exercise and Post-Rehab Training

There were certainly some other great products I encountered this year, but these four reviews proved to be the most popular with my readers, based on hosting statistics. We'll be back soon with the top features of 2011. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!
Name
Email
Read more

4 Reasons You MUST Understand Corrective Exercise and Post-Rehab Training

Over the years, I've probably become best-known for my writing, consulting, and presenting in the corrective exercise field.  It's become a great niche for me; I get to help people who may be frustrated with injuries, bad posture, or movement limitations that prevent them from doing the things they enjoy.  And, I'm able to have fun in the process and make a good living while doing so.

With that in mind, I wanted to devote today's piece to my top four reasons that you, too, should make a dedicated effort to become knowledgeable in the world of corrective exercise.  The timing is quite fitting, as our Functional Stability Training series (which provides thorough insights into the corrective exercise field for rehabilitation specialists and fitness professionals alike) is on sale for 20% off through tonight (Sunday) at midnight.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 4 reasons you ought to get involved in this component of the fitness industry.

1. Health care quality and quantity are changing all over the world.

The push toward universal health care has dramatically increased the need for qualified people to fill the gap between "healthy" and "injured" populations.  When more people have health insurance, but there aren't any more providers, not everyone can get access to what they need - and certainly not nearly as quickly.  Two stories come to mind in this regard:

a. A guy I know in Canada actually waited nine days to have a ruptured patellar tendon repaired.

b. An online consulting client in England who sought me out after a hip surgery reported that he had to wait three months for the hip surgery following the point at which they concluded that physical therapy wasn't going to get the job done.

While the push for universal health care in the United States is still being sorted out (and it's certainly not a topic to be covered in this blog, as I have no interest in taking this down political lines), the truth is that we've seen a "crack-down" on what insurance companies afford folks in terms of physical therapy visits for a given condition.  Very simply, physical therapists rarely have the time to do everything they want to do to get people truly healthy, so folks often have to just settle for "asymptomatic."

In the U.S. and abroad, there is a huge need for qualified personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches to step in and take the baton from physical therapists in the post-rehab setting to help improve patient outcomes.  And, there is certainly a big need for these fitness professionals to step in and help people who may move terribly, but not have symptoms...yet.

2. New expertise enables a fitness professional to tap into a new market and carve out a niche.

Roughly 85% of our clients at Cressey Sports Performance are baseball players; it's a population we've really gone out of our way to understand for years now.  Specific to the current discussion, baseball players have the most extreme collection of upper extremity injuries you'll encounter (on top of lower back, oblique, hip, and knee issues) - so demand is never lacking for our services.

This just one sport, though.  Almost every golfer experiences lower back pain at some point.  Hockey players have load of hip issues.  Swimmers have so much laxity that their shoulders are always banged up.  The opportunities to carve out a niche in a specific sport or population are endless - but you have to know your stuff first.

3. Everybody is injured - whether they know it or not.

I've written quite a bit previously about how absolutely everyone you encounter has some kind of structural abnormality on diagnostic imaging.  This applies to lower backs, shoulders, knees, and every other joint you'll encounter in your professional career.

The importance message to take from this knowledge is that even though everyone is "injured," not everyone is symptomatic.  Rather, the ones who hurt are those who have poor mobility, stability, and tissue quality.  They're in pain because they simply don't move well.

Taking away someone's pain is a tremendous way to win them over for life - and I can assure you that keeping them out of pain when they know they should be in pain isn't far behind on the appreciation scale.

4. Structural abnormalities are becoming a part of normal physical development.

I work with a lot of 10-18 year-old athletes, and I'm constantly amazed at how we are "de-evolving."  Kids' movement quality is worse than every nowadays, as they're sitting too much and playing too little.  And, their yearly athletic calendars lack variety because of early sports specialization.

The end result is that our society has created an epidemic of injuries (e.g., ulnar collateral ligament tears in pitchers, ACL ruptures in soccer/basketball players) and conditions (e.g., femoroacetabular impingement, atrocious ankle mobility) that were much less common in the past.  Getting involved with corrective exercise education is a way to not only help understand why this is happening, but also to manage it and hopefully prevent it from continuing.

I'm speaking very broadly with respect to the need for significant corrective exercise education in order to make a difference in this industry, but the truth is that it is a subject that warrants a ton of detail.  Fortunately, Mike Reinold and I delve into this topic in great detail in our Functional Stability Training resources: Core, Upper Body, Lower Body, and Optimizing Movement. You can learn more - and save 20% through the end of the day today - at www.FunctionStability.com.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Corrective Exercise: Muscle Imbalances Revealed Review – Upper (Part 1)

Last summer, Rick Kaselj sent me the eight webinars from his new collaborative product, Muscle Imbalances Revealed - Upper Body, to review.  I was really excited to check them out, as I'd enjoyed the initial version of the Muscle Imbalanced Revealed (MIR) series.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm to watch it was overtaken by a crazy busy summer schedule and I only got around to looking it over a few months later.  I regretted that it took me so long, as I really enjoyed what I viewed.  That said, I thought I'd use today's piece to comment on my favorite take-homes from one presenter, Dean Somerset, who I thought did an exceptional job.  Be sure to read through to the end, as Rick has a great discount on the entire Muscle Imbalances Revealed series in play this week.

Anyway, Dean's presentation was a pleasant surprise for me in the initial Muscle Imbalances Revealed collection, as I had not been familiar with his work prior to the product.  As it turned out, he did a great job of delving into the fascial system, which is no easy task, considering that even the foremost experts on "fascial fitness" recognize that we still have a tremendous amount to learn in this regard.

His presentations this time around didn't deviate from that initial trend, either; I really enjoyed them for a number of reasons; here are my top seven:

1. Dean did the best job of outlining a clear rationale for foam rolling that I've seen in the industry thus far - and did so in a very layman-friendly format.  In highlighting the role of Ruffini endings - which are slow adapting, low threshold mechanoreceptors that respond to direct pressure (like foam rolling) - Dean showed that they can decrease tone of tissues in the presence of stretch and inhibit sympathetic nervous system activity.

2. Another way he made his point was with a great analogy.  Much like we have fast-twitch and slow-switch muscles, we have receptors that may act in similar ways.  On one hand, we have "fast twitch" receptors like golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles that function with the musculotendinous units.  On the other hand, we have "slow twitch" receptors like Ruffini endings and Pacini fibers that exist in the fascial tissues.  Because the muscules, tendons, ligaments, and fascial tissues are really all continuous with each other, there exists a great amount of interaction between these slow and fast twitch receptors - much like the interaction of different muscle fiber types.  They are all responsive - in both positive and negative directions - to chronic training stimuli - and sitting on your arse in front of a computer screen for years on-end.

3. Dean noted that fascia carries an electrical charge that is never off; it’s just "on" at different levels.  Certainly, it's far more "on" with exercise than at rest - and it's the reason that contractions can last for hours post-exercise.  If you have an individual who isn't able to tone down (pun intended) that contraction in the post-exercise period, you're likely dealing with someone who'll have chronic movement impairments.  If this electrical charge is always present, it can ultimately alter movement to the point that joint structure can actually change (think of the reactive changes in an acromion process, as an example).  Appropriate training enables one to get the benefits of exercise without creating negative long-term adaptation in this regard.

4. What is appropriate training for fascial fitness, though?  Dean cites the same seven components to an appropriate program that I outlined here, but he does so with a very valuable qualifications: adequate hydration status is absolutely crucial to making the most of any training status.  Repeated stretch bouts during the warm-up period allows for more water content for the fascia; each successive stretch improves hydration to allows for better elasticity and tensile strength, which in turn provides better joint stability and force production.

5. I like guys who solve problems.  I love using spiderman variations in our warm-ups, as they are great hip mobility drills.  Unfortunately, though, they don't always look so hot when you have someone with poor thoracic mobility trying to get their elbow down to the inside of their thighs.  Many folks will wind up rounding over - which is certainly not ideal.  Imagine Quasimodo doing this drill and you'll get what I mean.

Dean's solution - which provided me with a "why didn't I think of that?" moment - was to bring the thigh up to the torso.  In other words, do the forward lunge component onto a 12-inch plyo box so that folks can get the hip mobility benefits without compromising thoracic positioning.  Sweet.

6. I thought Dean did an excellent job of highlighting that it can take years to improve fascial fitness substantially.  Super-immobile individuals usually take years and years of either sedentary lifestyles or terrible training habits to get to that point, and unless they're ready to dramatically overhaul their mindsets and daily habits, it can be like swimming upstream when correcting bad posture.  Be consistent when addressing these limitations, but also be patient.

7. I love the fact that he commented on all the normal roles of the core - force transfer, resisting movement, returning from a position outside of neutral - but also highlighted that optimal core function is essential for optimal respiratory function.  Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that we use a lot of specific breathing drills, so I was glad to see a bright dude in the industry backing me up on this one!

This is really just the tip of the iceberg with respect to not only Dean's two presentations, but the entire Muscle Imbalances Revealed - Upper Body package, which also includes webinars from Rick Kaselj, Jeff Cubos, and my business partner, Tony Gentilcore.   I'll highlight a few more of my favorite takeaways in my next post, but in the meantime, I'd strongly encourage you to check this great resource out for yourself.

To sweeten the deal, Rick has put the entire Muscle Imbalances Revealed product on sale for $210 off the normal price through tomorrow (Friday) at midnight.  It's a fantastic deal on a product that I highly recommend - and one that comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, plus several cool bonus features (including two interviews Rick did with me).  Click here to check it out.

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

Name
Email
Read more

Why Nobody Except Your Mom Reads Your Fitness Blog

I got an email from Dean Somerset a while back asking if I'd be willing to write up a post for his blog about how I built up a popular fitness blog myself.  I thought it over, and while I like Dean and enjoy reading his blog, I really didn't think I was the right person to write such a piece.  There are folks who are much smarter when it comes to behind-the-scenes stuff that goes in to running a blog - from Wordpress updates, to HTML formatting, to SEO optimization.   And, there are certainly folks out there who have monetized their blog far better than I ever will.

That said, I do feel that there was one incredibly valuable point I should make to the aspiring fitness bloggers out there:

If you don't have good content, your blog won't get consistent traffic.  It's really that simple.

I started this blog in early 2006 with really no idea what I was doing on the technology side of things.  I loved my job and was passionate about teaching - and writing gave me an avenue through which to do it.  Sometimes, I wrote about what I knew well, and sometimes, I wrote about topics where I wanted to improve - and researching them and teaching them to others was the best way to get better in these areas.  Before I ever hired someone to make my site look pretty, I'd built up a solid following of people who knew me purely for my content, enthusiasm, and accessibility to readers.

A trend I see with "rookie" fitness bloggers nowadays is to design a spectacular site from the get-go and devote all their resources to SEO optimization, pop-up ads, Google Adwords, and the like.  Unfortunately, these efforts are sabotaged by these bloggers' poor grammar/spelling and, more significantly, a complete lack of valuable information to offer to readers.

In any industry, you look for commonalities among those who succeed at what we do.  For ease of calculating "success," let's just use Alexa ranking.   You can learn more about it (and download a free toolbar) at www.Alexa.com, but for the sake of brevity, just understand that it is a measure of the popularity of a website.  Get more hits, receive more inbound links from popular sites, and have people spending more time on your site, and your Alexa rank will go down (a lower number is better).  Google is #1, Facebook is #2, Yahoo is #3, and so on.  It’s not a perfect measure by any means, but when you are dealing in the top one million sites or so, it’s generally accepted to be pretty good. I’m lucky to be at around 96,000 right now, and have been as high as 89,000 in the past.

If you’re in the top one million or so, you’re likely doing some very good traffic – and certainly enough to monetize your blog.  My buddy Tim Ferriss’ blog, for instance, currently has an Alexa ranking of 5,953, and he’s an absolute ninja on the entrepreneurial side of things, with two New York Times bestsellers and ownership stakes in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, and several other companies.  He’s a success, in part, because every single one of his posts (and books) provides outstanding content that readers not only enjoy – but pass along to their friends.

Translating this message to the fitness industry, look at a guy like Charlie Weingroff.  He might be one of the few guys out there who understands technology less than I do, and there is absolutely nothing flashy about his site.  To be candid, it’s pretty basic.  You know what, though?  Charlie is an extremely bright (and strong) dude with a ton to teach, a passion for teaching it, and a knack for relating complex information in a user-friendly manner.  I don’t think his blog has even been out for 18 months, yet he’s ranked around 827,000.  And, he’s used his blog to make his expertise known, build a loyal following, and launch a successful product (which is outstanding, by the way).

There are several other fitness bloggers who’ve become “top one million” success stories purely with content.  John Berardi dominates with Precision Nutrition (54,000), which has been built with science, integrity, and an ultra-personal touch to great content all along.  My business partner, Tony Gentilcore (321,000) kicks out great content and entertains people like crazy.  My good friend Mike Robertson (125,000) is an awesome teacher and genuinely great guy.  Ben Bruno (314,000) innovates like crazy to build a following, and Chad Waterbury (509,000) only recently created his own web presence and has used content to quickly ascend the ranks.  Nate Green (202,000) is an excellent writer who has carved out a great niche for himself and built a great following at a young age because of his unique content.  Mike Reinold (412,000) has built a great following in a smaller internet segment (physical therapists) with consistent content featuring up-to-date research, attention to many different clinical perspectives, and a specific focus on upper extremity dysfunction.  These guys all offer something others don't.

You know who hasn’t built a big following?

  • The random fitness dudes who send Facebook friend requests to my wife because they have mutual friends – and these guys want to build their lists.  I’ve yet to meet a single one who is in the top 2 million.
  • The “fitness business guru” who emailed me four times, called my office twice, and snail-mailed me once (each of which was ignored) to try to get me to promote his product, which he guaranteed would make personal trainers “rich.”  His website ranked at higher than 6.6 million – which essentially means that he has zero traffic other than himself (and he’s probably just checking in to see if he’s gotten his first hit yet).  Instead of focusing on content (and moving out of his parents’ basement), he’s putting the cart in front of the horse and trying to sell a product on a topic (success) that he doesn’t even understand.
  • The random dude who wants to exchange links with me or be added to my blogroll so that he can improve his rankings without doing a thing, much less providing some value to me (or society in general).

The only thing that's worse than sucking at what you do is sucking at what you do and spending time and money to draw attention to it.

I started out thinking that this would be a short, to-the-point, blog, but as I now realize, that one little point was actually a very big one.  Pretty websites and behind-the-scenes tinkering are undoubtedly important components of taking an online presence to the next level, but the truth is that they don’t matter a bit unless the content that accompanies them is useful and entertaining.

If it’s not, then you’ll have a hard time even getting Mom’s attention.

Looking for more information on how to get your name out there in the writing world?  Check out some great information from three guys - Lou Schuler, Sean Hyson, and John Romaniello - who have been there, done that. They collaborated to create a great product, How to Get Published, that focuses heavily on writing success in the fitness industry.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a deadlift technique tutorial!

Name
Email
Read more

Stuff You Should Read: 3/17/11

Here are some links I'd encourage you to check out this week: Understanding Elbow Pain - Part 3: Pitching Injuries - With recent (medial) elbow injuries to Adam Wainwright and Andrew Bailey - and the fact that the high school baseball season starts next week here in Massachusetts - this article is a timely read because it talks about the causes of elbow injuries in throwing, and how those injuries may be different for a young pitcher than an adult pitcher.  The follow-up article (Part 4), Protecting Pitchers, is an important subsequent read, too. Case Study: Anterior Knee Pain in a High School Runner - My buddy Shon Grosse, a physical therapist in Colmar, PA, just got his blog off the ground and will be doing some case study presentations.  What I love about Shon is that he's not just a skilled physical therapist, but also an informed consumer when it comes to everything from strength and conditioning, to track and field, to martial arts.  You'll see this reflected in his treatment strategies.  This will make for a great regular read for up-and-coming physical therapists. An Interview with Bret Contreras - Dean Somerset interviewed Bret on his blog, and as it typically the case, Bret really overdelivered on content.  That man can write! Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a deadlift technique tutorial!
Name
Email
Read more

Dean Somerset Interviews Me – Part 2

This is the second half of an interview I did for Dean Somerset's website.  In case you missed part 1, you can check it out HERE. DS: What are the best supplements for the money, in your opinion? EC: For most folks, fish oil, vitamin D, a decent low-carb protein powder, creatine, and a greens supplement (I prefer Athletic Greens) will get the job done.  I’d add in probiotics for many people as well.  The longer I’m in this field, the more of a minimalist I become. DS: There are a lot of misconceptions and misinterpretations on core strength and core training out there. Some say you have to lay perfectly still and think happy thoughts while flexing your belly button, while other say you need to use stability balls to get anything, and other say heavy stuff on your shoulders does the trick. Also, the definition of where the core is and what it does seems to be either incomplete, or somewhat lacking in common sense, as most of the anatomical diagrams will show the core as a hollow vessel, and eliminate the internal organs from the picture. What do you consider to be important in the anatomy of the core, and what would be your go-to core training exercises? EC: I tend to fall in the camp that it encompasses just about the entire body.  We can all agree that the hamstrings probably deserve a place in the role of the core, since they attach to the pelvis via the ischial tuberosity and sacrotuberous ligament, right?

Well, those same hamstrings attach below the knee on both the tibia and fibula.  They share a function (knee flexion) with the gastrocnemius, clearly are in close “fascial proximity,” and have neural innervations from the same origin at the lumbar spine (sciatic nerve).  The gastrocnemious attaches on the calcaneus – so we’ve established “hip to foot” relationships of the “core.” Add latissimus dorsi to the picture.  It attaches to the iliac crest, thoracolumbar fascia, thoracic spine, ribs, scapula, and humerus.  That would be a “hip to arm” connection, right?

Add in the trapezius, which runs from as far down as T12 to the base of the skull, and you can argue that you’ve got a “hip to head” relationship, too.

We’ll just train it with crunches, though, right??? I don’t think it’s as simple as just memorizing the anatomy of the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine; it’s about understanding the complex, functional relationship among all the muscles and their tendons, the ligaments, the fascia, the nerves, and the bony structures to which they attach.  Things are more complex than we try to make them – which is probably why a lot of people have chronic back pain that goes misdiagnosed and mistreated. While much of the industry has gone to the “don’t move the lumbar spine” end of the continuum, it’s really not that black and white.  It – like any other body segment – should have some movement.  The problem just becomes when we add load to that movement.  And, more specifically, things get dangerous when we add load to the end range of that movement.  Going into full lumbar flexion with an 800-pound deadlift isn’t going to make your intervertebral discs very happy, and not controlling violent extension and rotation during an athletic movement like swinging or throwing could very well leave you with a stress fracture, oblique strain, or spondylolisthesis at some point. That said, there should be movement during daily activities; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to tie our shoes, and my puppy wouldn’t be able to lick his unmentionables for twenty minutes every night before he falls asleep.  When we start adding resistance, crazy velocity, and high volumes to the equation, though, we change the game.

To that end, I’ll continue to train anti-rotation and anti-extension exercises in the gym because the favorable outcomes we’ve seen with this approach have been tremendous.  If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. DS: Chewing tobacco: help or hindrance?? EC: I’m probably not the best one to ask.  I dipped once when I was about 18 and booted a few minutes later – and then felt miserably for about four hours afterward.  It wasn’t one of my finer moments. DS: I had a client who I was training for hockey a few years ago, and he forgot to go to the washroom for what I like to call a "pre-game." During the middle of his heavy squats, while I was spotting him, he, well for a lack of better term, he "released," and had to go change his shorts. Any training blooper highlight moments from CP? EC: Honestly, there are too many to list!  Most of them take place when our pro baseball guys are just shooting the breeze in the office.  Throw in a British golfer, pro boxer, or Ironman competitor, and you get enough people from different walks of life to make any conversation memorable and absolutely hilarious.  To that end, we actually have a quote book in the office; it’s got dozens of pages of stupid things that have been said over the past three years or so. DS: Who is the bigger prankster, you or Tony? EC: I’m not sure that I’d say that either of us are huge pranksters, but Tony is definitely the brunt of a lot more jokes at CP.  We always joke that every 2-3 months, we have a “Tony Moment” where he learns about something and is absolutely blown away to find out that we had already known about it for months. That said, the CP jester is definitely our pitching coordinator, Matt Blake, as some of these videos show:

DS: You have a lot of people looking up to you and aspiring to hit the level of professional success that you've been able to attain in a relatively short period of time. Who do you look up to so that you're continuously motivated to push and achieve more? EC:  That is a tough question to answer because my goal has never been to “be” someone else.  If I was to blindly follow someone else’s steps, it wouldn’t be the career I had in mind.  So, I feel like if you are going to be successful in what you do, there has to be some degree of innate motivation in you. That said, I look to a lot of people for inspiration. My father owns his own business and that had a more profound impact on me than you could possibly imagine as I opened my own facility.  Without even knowing it, he taught me that your business problems are your own and that you never make them anyone else’s problems.  And, give your employees autonomy, and as long as you’ve picked the right people, they won’t let you down. My mother is a high school teacher and administrator – and is pretty much the Mother Teresa of my hometown.  Over the years, I’ve watched on numerous occasions as she has fed some of her students who couldn’t afford to eat.  I’ve gone to the grocery store with her countless times – and it always takes an extra hour or so because she runs into so many grateful parents and students she’s dealt with over the years.  She established the first International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum in the state of Maine at her school.  She didn’t have to do any of this; it wasn’t mandated by her salary, and it certainly isn’t something a lot of other teachers do.  She taught me that your job has to fulfill you in some way far more significant than money, and that good will never runs out. My grandparents were married for over 60 years before my grandfather passed away this fall.  They taught me that family comes first – and my wife and I have had many talks about how they educated us on how a marriage should work. In the industry, there are quite a few people I look to for advice.  Alwyn Cosgrove has taught me a ton about how to run a business.  Mike Robertson has been a guy with whom I’ve collaborated a lot – and we’ve both gotten better in the process.  I look to guys like Bill Hartman and Charlie Weingroff as very bright individuals who simply enjoy learning for the sake of learning – and that’s something I enjoy. Pat Rigsby is a guy who has shown me more about how to balance all of life’s demands – from family time to various business endeavors. I could go on and on, but the point is that I draw inspiration from a lot of sources – both intrinsic and extrinsic. DS: You've stated that for baseball player, olympic lifting and vertical jumping aren't really necessary as the sport doesn't require it. Most trainers gave you hell, but you stood your ground and proved them all wrong. What other concepts have you brought to the table that have helped re-form many common misconceptions about training and sports development? EC:  It’s funny; right after I published that piece at T-nation about how power is “plane-specific,” I got an email from a researcher who was studying the exact same thing – and finding preliminary data that completely verified what I’d said.  Sometimes, research is out there to validate what we’re already doing. Whether I’ve made people changed their thought processes or not, a few things I’ve tried to bring to the forefront are: 1. The Difference Between Inefficiency and Pathology – We’ve always been taught that if an x-ray or MRI tells us that we’re structurally out of whack, then we’re screwed.  The truth is that all of us – even when we’re asymptomatic – have structural issues on diagnostic imaging.  The people who are in pain are the ones who don’t move efficiently on top of these structural flaws.  I see this every day with the pitching shoulders that come through my door; I assume that they’re all “broken” and that we are just managing them to avoid them hitting a painful threshold.

2. The Concept of Long-Term Athletic Development Beginning with Strength – This is an area where I’ve tried to lead by example with our training model at Cressey Performance.  I’m not interested in running a group of 20 14-year-olds through a bunch of agility ladders.  If we want the best long term results and safety, our #1 job in a youth population is to improve strength.  Sure, they run faster, jump higher, and throw harder – but they also decelerate better and change directions more efficiently.  You can run all the "quickness drills" that you want with a young population, but the truth is that you’ll never improve speed or agility unless you teach them to put more force in to the ground.  It’s like polishing the hub cabs on a car with no horsepower; you’re studying for the wrong test. Unfortunately, there are a lot of facilities out there that are just about finding a training model that allows one to run a ton of kids through the same program without much concern for the actual benefits to be gained (or lack thereof).  I’m not interested in babysitting. 3. The Differences Between Flexibility and Mobility – This was a key portion of my contribution to the recently released IYCA High School Strength Coach Certification. Mobility refers to the ability to reach certain positions, whereas flexibility refers to just one factor (joint range of motion) that affects that ability.  Mobility is also dependent on stability, the foundation for which is neuromuscular recruitment.  When we test flexibility, we’re talking about isolated testing of relaxed muscles/tendons.  To be blunt, we’re ignoring the nervous system.

Mobility encompasses multiple joints and therefore likely involves fascial contributions to movement, whereas flexibility may only involve 1-2 joints and may therefore minimize the impact of fascia on an assessment. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we can easily assess mobility in a general sense – but determining the cause of limitations is more challenging.  Flexibility, too, is a quick assessment – but correcting the limitation discovered doesn’t guarantee that movement quality will improve. 4. The belief that there is always something you can do to get better, regardless of injury – I’ve never been a fan of doctors and physical therapists telling injured patients to “just rest.”  First off, rest alone is rarely the answer.  Just as importantly, though, this recommendation ignores the fact that there are endocrine, immune, functional, psychological, and social benefits that are still to be derived from exercising.  When I’m working with clients who are injured, I feel that it’s my job to show them what they can do and not just what they can’t do.  And, there is always something you can do to maintain a training effect. 5. Weighted baseballs might actually be safer than traditional 5oz baseballs – and at the very least, they can be a beneficial training addition. This article sums it up quite well, so I won’t reinvent the wheel.  A lot of people can’t believe it when I saw that we used weighted balls, but the results have been nothing short of fantastic. These are just the few things that came to mind right off the top of my head.  I’d like to think that there are more! Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a deadlift technique tutorial!
Name
Email
Read more
Page 1 5 6 7 8
LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series