Home Posts tagged "Workout Routines" (Page 3)

The First Show and Go Review/Feature Film

Nick Chertock was one of the "guinea pigs" that we put through my new program, Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better.  While he's the first to admit that he's still a work in progress, Nick made some excellent improvements - and decided to make a very entertaining video about those improvements and his overall experience on the Show and Go program.  Check it out:

Let it be known, too, that the next person to come up with a (entertaining) 6+ minute video montage on their Show and Go experience will receive a Cressey Performance t-shirt on the house.

For more information on this high performance training program, check out www.ShowAndGoTraining.com.

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“Make My Kid Run Faster”

Since we work with quite a few young athletes, it’s the question I get a few times every week:

“Will you be doing speed training with my son/daughter?  He/she needs to get faster.”

In my head, I am always thinking, “No, all our programs are geared toward making athletes slower.  It’s really what we do best.”

Kidding aside, what comes out of my mouth is markedly different, as I have to explain how our training approach is going to be dictated by where that young athlete is developmentally – and each kid really is unique.

On one hand, you’ll have young athletes who have very poor mobility and stability – which equates to terrible body control.  Sadly, this has become the majority of 13-16 year-old athletes in the U.S. today thanks to a tendency toward early sports specialization and excessive computer time.

Given the crazy ground reaction forces (roughly 4-6 times body weight on one leg in each stride; or 600-900lbs for a 150lb kid) an athlete experiences during sprinting, you could make the argument that taking these untrained, physically incapable kids and throwing them into aggressive sprinting and change-of-direction drills could actually be considered very dangerous.  They simply don’t have the eccentric strength to decelerate this pounding, let alone create optimal subsequent concentric actions.  These athletes need time to develop a good foundation of strength and mobility – upon which good landing mechanics can be taught later in shorter, simpler drills.  Eventually, once they’ve developed some body control, they can make better use of true sprint training and agility work.

Or can they?

While these young athletes probably aren’t ready for being thrown into the fire in their training (closed-loop, or predictable, drills), what do they do outside of the gym?  They participate year-round in sports (open-loop, unpredictable/chaotic).

This is like recognizing that the engine on your 1979 Pinto is a ticking time-bomb and bringing it in to a mechanic for an hour a week for an oil change – only to take it out and drive it in the Daytona 500…every other day.  You’re swimming upstream.

So, the question becomes: do today’s “always in-season” high school athletes EVER get to the point that they really need much dedicated agility and sprint work?  Based on the preceding few paragraphs, for some athletes, I’d say no; they don’t need much.  Some foam rolling, a good dynamic warm-up, followed by some quick and to-the-point movement drills, and then solid resistance training should get the job done as long as they’re out there competing in their sports. 

On the other hand, while it is not a common circumstance nowadays, you do actually have advanced athletes (those with a decent foundation of strength) who may have periods of the year when they aren’t actively involved in organized sports.  These athletes absolutely do need to train with specific sprinting and change of direction work during these “off” periods of the year.  We generally program this work for days completely separate from lifting, although it can also be worked in between the warm-ups and resistance training components.  It’s of vital importance to recognize that these athletes can only make the most of these inclusions because they’ve put in the leg work (no pun intended) to make these high-stress reactive drills really beneficial and safe.

You know what’s funny, though?

The athletes who get to this more advanced stage have already gotten faster – because along the way, they’ve learned to put more force into the ground, and have improved their ankle and hip mobility.  They’ve become faster without ever spending much, if any, time at all on sprinting and agility drills.  And, once they have that foundation of strength, these supplemental movement drills actually work a lot better.

It’s like a big circle.  They build a foundation of strength, which helps them develop reactive ability.  They train that reactive ability further, and it brings them further to the “absolute speed” end of the continuum.  So, they lift heavier weights – which brings them back toward the center of that continuum, and, in turn, allows them to train reactive ability even harder because they’re running faster, jumping higher, and turning on a dime better than ever.

If you don’t understand what I mean, check this old video I did out:

The entry level kids I mentioned earlier aren’t even on a continuum.  They are on the “exerciser/non-exerciser” seesaw.  Make them regular exercisers and build up some strength, and they wind up starting on the absolute speed end of the continuum because all they’ve ever known is running around.  They won’t run faster until you get ‘em strong and shift them over to the absolute strength end of the continuum – and that simply won’t happen if you’re just spending 90 minutes of each session with them running agility ladders and doing skipping drills.

Why then, if the amount of movement training needed is grossly overestimated, do we have so many coaches and facilities in this industry who spend hours per week on movement training?  Very simply, money makes the world go round.  In other words, you can “safely” train a lot more kids in large groups and make it less coaching-intensive on yourself if you just set up cones, hurdles, and agility ladders and tell them to go to town. Actually getting a kid strong takes more individualized cues and variety in exercise programming.  And, because strength exercises are more high-risk/high-reward, they take more one-on-one coaching – which is tough to do when you have twenty 13-year-olds and only one coach.  This is one reason why I have always said that I will never let our business model dictate our training model at Cressey Sports Performance.

So, to wrap it all up: some kids need movement training, and some kids aren’t quite ready for it.  And, 99% of the time – while it might fly in the face of logic – if the parent comments on how slow a kid is, just having that young athlete go out and run more is the least effective, most dangerous way to address the issue.

For more information on the current state of youth athlete development and how to best set young athletes up for success, I highly recommend you check out Mike Boyle's new resource, Complete Youth Training. It's on sale for $50 off through this Sunday at midnight. You can learn more HERE.

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Kelly Baggett: The 5 MOST Common Speed, Quickness and Explosiveness Problems in Athletes: Part 2

Today, we've got part 2 of a great guest blog series from Kelly Baggett.  You can find Part 1 HERE. In the first installment, I talked about several of the common problems athletes have that make them perform more like an oversized truck and less like greased lightning.  In this installment, I’ll give you some solutions to those problems.  Let’s get to it! Problem #1: Bad Feet Solution: Spend Some Time Training Barefoot. One simple thing you can do for bad feet is spend a little bit of time each week training barefoot. Your body won't let you move in a rearfoot dominant posture when you're barefoot because it'll hurt too much. As an experiment, try taking your shoes off and lightly jog a few steps down the street. You’ll probably find the ONLY way you can do it is to get up on your forefoot. Also, pay attention to which muscles you "feel" the movement driven by when you run barefoot.  I don’t recommend training on concrete regularly. but if you have access to a fairly soft surface (grass is ideal and most carpet works fine), don't hesitate to scrap the shoes for a while. Here is a video that clearly shows the difference between running with shoes on and off.

The idea is to do enough barefoot training that your feet strengthen and begin to favor the barefoot posture even when wearing shoes. Even 20 minutes once a week on grass is helpful. If barefoot training isn't an option you can always train in lighter footwear that helps mimick barefoot running. Shoes like Nike Free 5.0 or 7.0 and Vibram 5 fingers can be an option here.

Problem #2: Lack of Glute Dominance. Solution: Really Focusing on Strengthening the Glutes!

In short, if you want glute dominance, you need to spend significant time strengthening the glutes. Try this experiment. Go in the gym, warm-up and knock out a couple of sets of 10 paused manual reverse hyperextensions. If you don't have a dedicated machine, find a bench, hang a dumbell between your shins, and do a couple of sets of 10 reps with a slight pause at the top.

Now that you have a good glute pump, take a casual stroll and see if you notice any differences in how you're walking. You'll likely notice that your strides are longer and you’re better positioned to drive off the balls of your feet when you walk because your hips inherently want to extend more. That's a good thing from a speed perspective!   Strong glutes favor a longer, more efficient, and more powerful stride. They also keep you injury free. Problem #3: Lack of End-Range Strength in the Psoas. Solution: Get Strong at 90 Degrees Hip Flexion or Higher. The key for a strong psoas (and proper knee lift in sports) is strengthening the muscles that lift your knee up to 90 degrees or higher.  Here is an example of that and an exercise for that.

Being strong in 90 degrees-plus of hip flexion also helps ensure optimal femur control, or put simply: it ensures the muscles high on your hip are controlling your thigh bone.

Problem #4: Lack of Mobility in Key Muscle Groups. Solution: Regularly Stretch/Mobilize the Quads, Hip Flexors, and Ankles.

Stretching the quads and rectus femoris turns off what are often tight and overactive muscles controlling the knee - and that promotes better hip dominant movement. The psoas must be strong, as I talked about earlier, but it also must be mobile enough to not negatively impact posture.  An excessively tight psoas will negatively impact gluteal recruitment. If you’ve ever looked closely at a picture of the psoas, you can see the majority of the muscle lies up above your hip joints in more of the deep abdominal region. I’ve noticed many people are both weak and tight in the psoas.  People that are really tight often have adhesions in the upper psoas. The upper psoas is hard to get to and in my experience requires a solid twist of the upper body to reach effectively. When it’s dealt with effectively, it’s not uncommon to hear an audible “pop” in your lower ab region as the adhesions release, followed by an immediate ease in breathing and increased feeling of looseness in the hips. Here is a good all-in-one stretch I recommend for the quads, rectus femoris, and the psoas:

And here is one for the ankles:

Most people should stretch daily and the more extensive your impairments the more frequently you should do so. I've had some people stretch for 20 seconds every hour of the day while others can get away with one short session per day. Many people can improve significantly simply by implementing proper mobility work for these muscles.

Problem #5: Lack of Strength and Power in Relevant Muscles Solution: Give Resistance Training an Honest Effort.

To move like lightning, you have to be able to get lots of force into the ground - and that means you have to have strength in the right places.  That means the hip extensors, knee extensors, and plantarflexors must be strong and powerful.  How do you get them strong and powerful? You must do some form of progressive resistance training.  That means some type of squatting or lunging for the knee and hip extensors, and some type of toe press or plyometrics for the plantarflexors.  You then must take that base of power and apply it into progressive sport-specific movements. Fortunately, all the specific stuff is taken care of in The Truth About Quickness Insiders System. The important thing from a longer term perspective is that you or your athletes spend time developing a base of strength through common strength exercises like squats, Bulgarian split squats, lunges, and deadlifts. That about covers it!  Hopefully you’ve found this short list of problems and solutions beneficial in your training or coaching. Stay strong and good luck with it! As you may already know, Kelly and Alex Maroko just released The Truth About Quickness Insiders System, a resource I highly recommend.  This outstanding product will be on sale at a great introductory price ($40 off) only through this Thursday at midnight.

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Kelly Baggett: The 5 MOST Common Speed, Quickness and Explosiveness Problems in Athletes: Part 1

As promised, today, we've got a guest blog from Kelly Baggett, one of the brightest minds in the field of high performance training for athletes. Today I’d like to talk a little about some of the common problems I see in athletes that prevent them from being as fast, quick, and explosive as they could be. You need a good combination of optimal movement patterns and force. Movement patterns are affected by things like your posture, muscle balance, mobility, and coordination.  Force is affected by your strength and power. You can be strong with the ability to exert lots of force, but if your movement patterns are off you won't transfer that force efficiently, and thus won't move very fast and explosively. You can have great movement patterns, but if you don't have force behind those movement patterns, you wont move very fast and explosively either - so the key is creating the balance. Now that I've talked about the type of problems, let's get to the problems themselves. Problem #1: Bad Feet For years, coaches in a multitude of sports have belabored the key, "Stay on your toes!" Although literally being on your toes is a bit of an exaggeration and is likely to lead to a trucked toe, staying on your toes really means you drive off the balls of your feet and less on your heels. Watch many great athletes when they accelerate or sprint and their heels barely seem to hit the ground. This is without any conscious input on their part. Most people are rearfoot dominant, which means they carry too much weight on their heels when they walk, run, or move in general. Moving more towards the mid and forefoot favors quicker, more efficient, less stressful movement, and also makes it easier to activate the powerful hip extensors, which have the capacity to really make you fly. If you want to be a good athlete, you need to get off your rearfoot and onto your mid and forefoot.

How do you do that? Well, unfortunately you’re unlikely to find much in the way of relevant scientific or laymen’s information specifically delving a great deal into this topic. That doesn’t change the fact that there are no shortage of gimmicks out there that promise this. There are even products like jumpsoles out there designed to make you move on the balls of your feet. The problem is the verbal cues and training aids are relatively worthless because most people don't have the inherent muscular recruitment patterns and strength to move in this posture naturally. If you have to think about it or force yourself to move a certain way it's generally not gonna be very effective. The key is optimizing your muscle development and movement patterns so your body inherently takes an "on the balls of the feet" posture without you having to voluntarily force yourself to get in that position. When that happens it'll feel natural and efficient. I’ll talk about how to do that in the next installment. Now let’s get on to some of the other problems. Problem #2: Lack of Glute Dominance When the hip extensors are strong, they tend to "want" to drive your movements a bit more than someone who's glute deficient. Generally speaking, walking, running, jumping, and most other athletic movements can be driven primarily either from the muscles acting on the hip or the muscles acting on the knee.

When referring to muscles that act primarily at the hip, I'm referring mainly to the glutes and psoas. Muscles that act more at the knee include the quads, rectus femoris, and tensor fascia lata. When movement is primarily generated from muscles acting higher on the hip, it promotes a more efficient and less stressful movement pattern. When movement is primarily generated by the muscles acting on the knee, it tends to promote more rearfoot dominant movement as well as knee pain, hip pain, and a ton of other common problems. Guess which pattern fast and slow athletes favor, respectfully? Have you ever noticed that really fast athletes often hardly even look like they’re trying? They’re quiet and effortless when they move. Slower athletes often sound like a bull when they move. Their feet SLAP the ground like a pancake and you can hear their tension a mile away. A large reason for that discrepancy is one group is using their hips to drive their movements while the other group is using their knees. Knee dominant movement is typically inefficient, loud, and it often hurts. Hip dominant (glute driven) is quiet, fast, and smooth. Problem #3: Lack of End-Range Strength in the Psoas The psoas works in concert with the glutes to control the femur from the hip. A strong psoas promotes optimum hip and foot mechanics. Everyone has heard coaches yell, "High knees, high knees!!" Some athletes inherently run with high knees while others barely lift their feet an inch off the ground. Those who don't do it naturally aren't really helped much by the cue. The psoas is the muscle responsible for raising your knee up to 90 degrees and above from a standing position.

When the psoas is weaker than the rectus femoris and tensor fascia latae you will have a more difficult time getting proper knee lift when you run, and also, due to the influence on the posture of your hips, also be succeptible to overuse injuries like IT band issues, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. Problem #4: Lack of Mobility in Key Muscle Groups The quads, rectus femoris, ankles, and hip flexors often tend to be tight. This favors improper/faulty movement and prevents the optimum transfer of power through the lower kinetic chain. It also favors common injuries like patellar tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. If you’ve had knee or foot pain, chances are you have at least one of these mobility impairments. Anyone that has considerably increased the muscular development of their thighs will have a tendency to lean towards having tight quads. That's not to say that muscular development of the thighs is a bad thing by any means, but one must pay attention to mobility. Problem #5: Lack of Strength/Power in Relevant Contributing Muscles This is the simplest problem of all - and also the one that will arguably have the biggest impact of all. It encompasses the "force" part of the speed and quickness equation. The more force you exert against an object, the faster you can move that object. In the case of speed and quickness, the moveable object is your body and the object you're applying force to is the ground. The problem is most people are too weak to be explosive and quick. I’ll give you all the information on how to address and fix that and the other problems in Part II of this article series - which will run tomorrow. Tomorrow (Monday) at midnight, Kelly and Alex Maroko will be releasing The Truth About Quickness at a huge introductory discount.  I've reviewed the product and can say without wavering that the information it contains is outstanding; this resource will make for an excellent addition to any coach or athlete's library.  For more information, head over to their early-bird discount page HERE.

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Wednesday Randomness: Back in Action!

1. I'm happy to report that I not only survived our wedding festivities, but that Anna actually said "I do" (actually, "I will").  Kidding aside, it was - without a doubt - the single best weekend of my life; we had an absolute blast. 2. For those who are wondering, I did, in fact, eat the cake (actually, I ate a lot more than just cake; we had a sweet buffet):

3. Speaking of cakes, my fiancee wife had an extra one made in the shape of a dumbbell with our initials on it.  We're both bummed that we never had a chance to try a piece, but at least it looked great - and hopefully some people enjoyed their slices.

Enough with the wedding stuff, as these aren't even the wedding photographers pictures - and you are probably more interested in me talking about lifting heavy stuff and the like!

4. Brian St. Pierre - who happened to be in attendance at the wedding (like that transitional material?) - just had a great article published at T-Nation that I think you'll really like: 10 Forgotten Muscle Building Foods.

5. A while back, I contributed on an article by Bret Contreras - and it was just published yesterday.  Check it out: The Best Assistance Exercises for the Three Big Powerlifts.  It's a good one if you are wondering which strength exercises will have the most carryover to squat, bench press, and deadlift.

6. I have an AWESOME interview lined up with Kelly Baggett for later this week.  Kelly and I go back quite a few years, and he's one of those guys that I always learn something from when we connect.  If you are interested in athletic performance improvements, he is a great guy from whom to learn.  He actually did a interview at this site a while back, if you want to check them out: Baggett of Tricks: An Interview with Kelly Baggett: Part 1 Baggett of Tricks: An Interview with Kelly Baggett: Part 2 Kelly recently collaborated with Alex Maroko on a product called The Truth About Quickness, and it came out really well.

7. Last, but not least, if you are a Red Sox fan (or any sports fan, for that matter) and didn't see this on ESPN last night, you missed an awesome hour of television.  I had goosebumps the entire time.

You can find TV listings for its replay HERE.

Sorry for not having any unique "EC content" for you today, but we're doing all sorts of post-wedding stuff - from unpacking, to writing thank you notes, to

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CP Intern Blog by Conor Nordengren: Up the “Ab Ante”

Today's guest blog comes from current Cressey Performance intern, Conor Nordgren. We’ve all heard those stories about the training regimens of celebrities and how they do 500 crunches first thing in the morning and 500 more right before bed to get that perfect six-pack of abs.  Many of you have probably also seen that infamous video of T.O. performing crunches while conducting an interview with reporters.

While exercises like crunches and sit-ups can bring out those abs and sculpt a nice six-pack, is this the safest method to train the core? Top strength and conditioning coaches like Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Mike Robertson, Mike Boyle, and Jason Nunn have recently written and talked on the subject and say that it is not. As an intern at Cressey Performance, I’ve been exposed to a ton of programs and not a single one of them has included a crunch or a sit-up. Here’s why: If you’re familiar with Mike Boyle’s joint by joint approach to training, you know that the lumbar spine requires stability as opposed to mobility. Think about the execution of a conventional sit-up: what is your lumbar spine doing? That’s right, it’s flexing. The lumbar spine is not designed for a great deal of movement (whether it is flexion or extension), let alone repetitive movement. Our spine as a whole is not meant for a ton of flexion or extension, either. While you may “feel the burn” in your abs when performing a set of crunches, you are essentially training spinal flexion. World-renowned low-back researcher Dr. Stuart McGill says that we have a finite number of flexion/extension cycles in our back until injury is caused. That number is different for every person, but the bottom line is that by performing exercises like crunches and sit-ups, you’re increasing your risk for injury with every rep! Dr. McGill has actually done experiments where he’s put pig spines in a crunch machine and after a certain number of crunches, or flexes, spinal disks explode. Crunches and sit-ups also promote a kyphotic, or rounded back, posture. Visualize someone in the top position of a crunch or a sit-up. Now, keep that visual of their upper-back, but picture them standing up. Hello Quasimodo!

Would you consider this good posture? Of course you wouldn’t (well, hopefully not). So why would we want to reinforce it? James Porterfield and Carl DeRosa have written that the core musculature is primarily designed to transmit force, not to produce it. While crunches and sit-ups are promoting flexion of the spine, our core should instead be trained in preventing movement. If we train our core to be rigid and prevent movement, the stronger it will be; this translates to more overall force production throughout the whole body which will allow for bigger lifts. Sounds pretty good, huh? Thanks in large part to Mike Robertson, we’ve been introduced to four acceptable movement patterns that should be utilized when training the core. They are anti-rotation, anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion, and hip flexion with a neutral spine. While there are several variations of the following exercises, here are some of my favorites: Anti-rotation: Tall Kneeling Pallof Press – the kneeling version really forces you to use your glutes and your core, since your quads are taken out of the picture (this exercise can also be done on a cable machine). Anti-extension: Ab Wheel Rollouts – progress to band-resisted or off of a box for added difficulty. Anti-lateral flexion: Waiter Carries – can also be done with a kettlebell. Hip Flexion with a Neutral Spine: Prone Jackknifes with a stability ball – you may find this to be one of the more challenging movements, so really focus on keeping that core tight! Some of you may have a hard time imagining your workout without any crunches or sit-ups. You might be skeptical that the above exercises may not get you the results that you desire. Well, Tony “The Situation” Gentilcore performs these movements on a regular basis, and when he voluntarily and superfluously flashes his abs at us interns every day, let me tell you, I could wash my clothes on those things! But seriously, change is hard and not an easy thing to accept. However, the good thing about change is that it can be for the better. I’m not demanding that you immediately stop performing crunches and/or sit-ups; that choice is yours. It’s my hope that you think about how you’re currently training your core and ask yourself if this is the most optimal, functional, and above all else, SAFEST way to do so. This may help to keep you injury-free down the road so you can continue hitting the iron hard. Conor Nordengren can be reached at cnordengren@gmail.com. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
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Stuff You Should Read: 10/5/2010

As you read this, I'm probably in a post-wedding stupor somewhere in Maine - but luckily, I had the foresight to take care of blog posts for Mon-Wed before I departed for the big weekend.  With that said, check out today's list of recommended reading: Troubleshooting the Scapular Push-up - Here's a video-based blog that goes over a common technical mistake on this population scapular stabilization exercise.  It also leads right into another great blog: A Quick Fix for Painful Push-ups. Consumer Reports on Dangerous Supplements - Here's a great blog by Dr. Jonny Bowden that talks about Consumer Reports' September issue, which highlighted the most dangerous supplements - and those that it recommended. An Interview with Dr. Charlie Weingroff - This is an excellent interview that focuses on the foot, and Charlie doesn't disappoint; he is a machine when it comes to kicking out great content. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter:
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High Performance Training Without the Equipment: Installment 1

Based on feedback on Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better, one of the most popular components of this strength and conditioning resource has been the exercise modifications section.  This section features recommended modifications for everything from mobility deficits (e.g., can't squat deep without rounding the back) to equipment limitations (e.g., no cables or squat rack).

That said, I know it's never possible to use a single chapter to cover absolutely every equipment modification one will encounter, so I wanted to get a series going here that highlights some quick and easy substitutions that you can use in your strength training programs.  To that end, here is the first installment of High Performance Training Without the EquipmentToday's focus will be what to do in your home gym if you don't have access to dumbbells.

If we're talking about regular bilateral dumbbell pressing, the modification is quick and easy: just use a barbell, and get your variety by using a collection of floor presses, board presses, full range-of-motion presses, and various inclines and declines.

If we're talking about either unilateral or alternating dumbbell pressing variations, then try out the 1-arm push-up.  You can make the exercise easier by performing it off the pins in a power rack - and as you get stronger, gradually move the pin down lower.

On the "flip side," you can obviously use barbell rowing variations to replace dumbbell rowing variations.  One that I particularly like is the 1-arm corner row, in lieu of the 1-arm DB Row.  You just stick the end of a barbell in a corner.

Or, you can just do the 1-arm barbell row - which requires a ton more grip and forearm strength to keep the bar from tipping.

Of course, there are plenty more options in this regard; your imagination is your only limit!

For more exercise modifications like this - as well as a comprehensive program in which to include them - check out Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better.

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Strength and Conditioning Programs: How Hard Are You Working?

Everyone likes to think that they bust their butt all the time in their strength and conditioning programs. The truth is that deep down, we all know that we dog it sometimes. Nobody can give 100% every single day (or 110%...ever; I hate that adage). Along those same lines, here is a pretty amusing study that shows just how much your mind can get in the way of the efforts you SHOULD be putting out in your workout routine.  Researchers had three groups each perform ten 6s sprints on a cycle with 24s rest between sets.  The first group (control trial, or CL) knew they were doing ten before the session.  The second group (deception trial, DC) was told they were only doing five - but then informed that they had five more to go after the fifth sprint.  The third group (unknown trial, or UN) weren't told anything; they were just stopped after ten sprints.

When researchers examined the total work performed over the first five sprints, they found that the deception trial group was 6.5% greater than the control and unknown trials.  The others had paced themselves because they knew the ending was further off.  People are going to pace themselves and hold back a bit whenever you give them a reason to do so - so plan accordingly in your exercise prescriptions. What's one way to work around this if you aren't being coached in-person? Make yourself accountable to a program. There is a tendency to want to skip the last set or strength exercise when you design your own programs, but when you're answering to someone else's program, you're more likely to stick to it. Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better is a great resource to check out in this regard.  Just ask James Cipriani, a personal trainer who used the program to kick his own personal gains up a notch: “I just read your recent blog post in which you mentioned sending Show and Go testimonials.  Well…it would be a travesty if I didn’t give you a shout out. “I’m a personal trainer myself.  And after over 23 years of training myself and 16 years of training others, to say I grow “bored” with conventional weight training programs would be an understatement.  I first trained to augment sport (football), then I got into powerlifting, and really became addicted to it when I started bodybuilding.  I competed for eight years in the sport and did very well.  But…I outgrew it.  Yes…I was bored.

“I, like many others that I train, look to other sources to not only motivate me in my own training (mentally more than physically), but also to broaden my horizons as a trainer.  That is what led me to purchase your Show & Go program.  I have to say, Eric, it is the most comprehensive, integrated program I have ever used.  From the warm-ups, to the strength exercises, to the stretching, to the cardio enhancement….my strength, flexibility, conditioning, and muscularity all improved ten-fold.  And my bodyfat level went noticeably down without me tweaking my normal diet.  I even had nagging shoulder and low back pain that inhibited me from doing certain movements that are now gone.  I was able to deadlift weight I haven’t been able to use since my powerlifting days.  Plus, a couple of the core movements you include are ones I have never seen or done and I loved them!  I now use many of them with my own clients. “One last thing to note…I very rarely get through a 16 week program.  I tend to grow bored and need a different style of training.  That never happened.  Not only that…I am starting a second go-round this week of it with a few of my own personal tweaks to it.    Great product, Eric!  Thank you so much!” James Cipriani - CFT, CSCS, NS Brookfield, CT

Click here to check out Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better for yourself.

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The Regular Guy Off-Season Strength Program

Pop quiz, hotshot. You need to add some plates to the bar and pack some meat on your bones. You've got precious few weeks to accomplish both, but only have four days per week to train. What do you do? What do you do? I've asked this question to myself countless times and only recently have I come up with what I believe is the most effective method. Forget total-body training. Forget upper and lower splits. The trick is to, well...I'll get to that in a minute. Continue Reading...
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LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
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