Improve Shoulder & Upper Body Health NOW!

  1. Chin Tucks x 10

  2. Chin Tuck + Ext Rot. x 10

  3. Chin Tuck + Flexion x 10

  4. Lower Trap Activation 3×6-10 L/R w/ or w/out weight

  5. Half Moon Neck Stretch 20 L/R

  6. Trap Stretch 3x20sec L/R

  7. Lat Stretch + Rotation 20-30 L/R

Mix all these in before you hit your typical warmup and you will start to feel significantly better.

Make want to learn more about evaluating athletes? Check This Lecture Out!Sports Performance Seminar

Jump Training…Are You Doing it Right?

At Freak Strength we train a wide variety of athletes who play a wide range of sports. Since we’ve opened we’ve gotten a large female population coming through the gym…mostly volleyball, soccer, and softball with a few track athletes in there as well. Now we know that no two athletes are the same, and that holds true when one of the differences between the two is male and female. However…I have noticed an exception in a lot of cases to that “rule”.

 

The exception is when it comes to jump training. We have found that a large portion of our athletes have no idea how to jump. “How can that be?” you must be asking in shocked amazement. “Everyone can jump” you’re probably saying. And you would be correct…technically everyone CAN jump, but are they doing it correctly with proper technique? More importantly how are they landing?

 

Attaining more female athletes has given us the opportunity to hone in how we train all our athletes when jumps are involved. We’ve noticed even our male athletes are having issues with knees caving in both in the jump phase as well as the landing phase of the action. So what do we do?

 

Well for starters we don’t just have our guys jump without building the base. Just like you would with any movement, whether it is squat, bench, deadlift, we make sure our athletes are ready to jump. We build their eccentric strength to enable them to absorb the forces necessary to stick a good landing. We build their maximal strength to ensure they can apply higher forces and improve their capacity for a high rate of force development. We also ensure they have the mobility necessary to perform a good jump. Then we break the action down and ensure each part the movement is performed efficiently. We don’t progress until the athlete shows mastery.

 

This seems like common sense, no? But so often I see video’s of athletes performing jumps with terrible form and it makes me cringe. Does it look cool to have your athlete perform a 50 plus inch box jump? Sure does. But what good is it really if that athlete ends up injured eventually performing the action in a game setting because you never made sure they knew how to jump? So many people are focused on the end result that they ignore the little things. Any wonder why RG3 has had knee issues?

jump

 

It’s not sexy to spend time with an athlete making sure their knees don’t cave in during the take off portion of a jump or during a landing, but it may help keep them playing and at the end of the day…THAT’S YOUR JOB! Make your athletes understand why it’s important and they’ll buy in. Don’t just have your athletes perform jumps, have them perform them correctly…train smarter!

Have you had knee problems? Are you rehabbing from injury? Come check us out. Our whole staff can help you get back better and stronger. We also have the NY Giants Asst. Head Athletic Trainer, Steve Kennelly, on staff and he is a master when it comes to ACL rehab and post rehab training.

Genetic Control

 

 

Is there such a thing to have a gene to control SEVERE muscle pain?  And also do we have genes that will enhance your ability to metabolize food faster?  And is there something we can do to enhance that?

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chameleon-2Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a geneticist nor am I a neurologist; I’m simply a meathead that loves to learn.  There is a gene that controls and regulates pain.  There are disorders where people do not have the capability to actually feel pain: Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP).  Though you’d think it’d be beneficial, it’s actually pretty dangerous.

Similarly, this goes for stress as well.  There are people that can tolerate stress better than others.  Bulgarians actually selected their lifting candidates based on their ability to handle & adapt to stress.  This is a big reason why they were able to succeed utilizing a highly intensive lifting protocol.  They picked the right group of athletes to train.

Both of these things – much like many other things have the ability to be influenced.  We all have genes to do something, we just need to learn and understand what it takes to “unlock” them or express them.

For instance, I have a friend who is 6’1″.  His mother is 5’4″ and his father is 5’6″.  I asked him how that’s possible?  And he explained to me that his father was brought up as a peasant.  The genes were there, they just couldn’t be expressed due to malnourishment.  His father was a product of his environment & circumstances.

Side note: A cool book to read on the topic of genetics is: The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

Certain reptiles do the same thing.  People have pets that need to maintain a caloric restriction otherwise they grow too big.  The more you feed an animal, the larger it will get.  If you keep its calories down, then the animal will  aim to survive knowing that it can only get “x” calories/day and will figure out a way to adapt to the environment & circumstances.  So rather than growing at a rate where it cannot sustain life/size with that diet, it stays small so it can live efficiently within it’s means.

For any kind of adaptation to occur, there needs to be exposure.  That’s all training is.  We are exposing our bodies to a stimulus in hopes that it will adapt a specific way – Bigger, stronger, faster, thinner, fatter, thicker, etc.  The key is figuring out the right amount of stimulus – and that’s what we do as coaches.  We attempt to identify a persons ability to adapt to certain stimuli to make them more optimal at what they want to do.

 

Click Here To Get a taste of the evaluation process I put people through:

Sports Performance Seminar

 

 

Food For Thought

Saw this post on facebook this morning: https://www.thedodo.com/recently-spotted-103-year-old–547381307.html

JumpingOrca

 

A little food for thought: According to this article, orcas that are born in captivity last 4.5 years until they die. They just found a killer whale that’s about a hundred and three years old. Why? Because it’s able to roam free. It’s not restricted by its environment.  Not a huge shocker.  Think about how depressed people get in the winters.  Why?  We don’t go outside at all.

Couple being trapped in a cage with stress and it’s a recipe for misery.  It’s no surprise to me that people that are inside all day long want to kill themselves. Look at Cornell, school has a few suicides/year.  Maybe it’s a self destruct button. Maybe we should take a lesson from this. Maybe we shouldn’t be keeping ourselves indoors or trapped in captivity and we’ll lead healthier lives.

If you’re at a desk or trapped inside when you read this, stop what you’re doing and take a walk outside for a few minutes.  Do it without your phone while you’re at it.  I’ve personally noticed after a 10-20minute walk with nothing but mother nature stimulating me I come back to my normal tasks with more focus than when I left.  Give it a shot, I promise it’s worth your effort.

Eccentric & Isometric

As many of you know, in order to intern for me I require two readings: The Charlie Francis Training System and Triphasic Training.  The reason I require these two books is I want all my interns to understand why I perform certain training methodologies at certain points in training.  There’s a rhyme and a reason as to why I do what I do and exactly when I do it.

Recently I’ve actually been getting a lot of emails, messages and phone calls from certain coaches, interns and even athletes saying, “oh you use that triphasic stuff right?” And the answer to that is yes.  I implement different aspects of triphasic training from Cal dietz’s book but I’m not a triphasic guy.  I’m not an eccentric guy, I’m not an isometric guy, I am a coach that utilizes and implements specific aspects of training methodologies during what I think is the right time of the athletes training.

If the athlete doesn’t need to improve the eccentric qualities of the muscle and tendon, then we will not perform eccentric work. The same thing goes for isometrics. However in my experience, most athletes do need to improve eccentric and isometric qualities.  Which, honestly is most athletes at some point in the course of training or performing their sport.

What I’ve noticed is if you have an athlete that’s not injured it’s likely that they’ve never really played a sport.  But if you have a client that’s not injured or has never been injured, then eccentric work really won’t have that big of an influence on their gains or their strength.  This is because there’s nothing to repair, there’s no tissue that they need to elongate or realign, there’s no tendonous tissue that needs to become stronger because it hasn’t acquired any kind of serious injury. And the same goes for isometrics.

Now, in my opinion if you haven’t been injured then you haven’t played a sport. In other words every serious athlete is fighting some kind of injury at some point in their career, if not constantly.  This is why I consider isometrics and eccentrics an invaluable tool to utilize during the training process. And this is why some of you may see it constant in my programming.  But make no mistake I do not implement them when they are not needed.  My goal throughout the training process is to utilize everything as minimally as possible while getting the maximal stimulus from it. I don’t scratch unless I have an itch and I don’t dance unless I hear music, nor should anyone else.

Do not waste energy or overuse a stimulus.