Archive for “Workout” Tag

The Difference Monitoring Can Make: Part 3

Top Two Ways Monitoring Can Make a Positive Impact

In part 1 and part 2 of this blog, I discussed three things: why we monitor, considerations for monitoring and how we monitor at the high school level.

In this blog, I am going to outline the top 2 ways in which monitoring can be applied to make a positive impact in your program.

#1: Relationships

FootballRelationships are paramount at any level, but especially at the high school level. High school age athletes are very impressionable, and it is a great time to have a major impact on their lives.

Different monitoring methods present the opportunity to ask questions and develop deeper relationships with your athletes.

Here are some example question scenarios:

  • I see you slept 4 hours? Is there something going on I can help with?
  • Your academic stress was rated high yesterday? Is school pretty tough right now?
  • I see you rated practice hard yesterday. Are you feeling sore?

Simple questions like this give great insight into where your athletes are physically, mentally and emotionally.

Pro Tip: Using these techniques have always allowed me to get to know my athletes on a deeper level, and help meet them where they are from a training standpoint.

These interactions with your athletes should be a daily ritual for you as a coach.

#2: Training Adjustments (Off the Script)

Monitoring allows the coach to make educated decisions on what the training day should look like.

There is a time and a place to push through adversity, but it is not every time you train. There must be an ebb and flow to your training.

We use an APRE/RPE method to account for readiness that I detailed in the blog Monitoring Part 2 – Monitoring Tools that Every Coach Needs.

Volume, intensity and exercise manipulation can also be used to help reduce stress in a session.

Pro Tip: Here is an example on how we adjust training volume that would be used to account for the fatigue of the athlete.

Original Workout

Power Clean 6×3
Front Squat 5×5
DB Bench Press 5×10

Adjustment (Off the Script) Workout

Clean Pull 4×3
Front Squat 3×5
DB Bench Press 3×10

Pro Tip: Here is an example on how we adjust training intensity that would be used to account for the fatigue of the athlete.

Lift Volume Original % Adjusted %
Power Clean 6×3 60, 65, 75, 80, 85, 90 60, 65, 75, 75, 80, 80
Front Squat 5×5 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 50, 55, 60, 65, 70

Conclusion

Monitoring is only valuable if you apply the information that is collected to benefit your athletes in a useful manner.

The takeaway for monitoring is to make the data you collect work for you in order to make a positive impact on your athletes on a personal as well as physiological level.

I have outlined two ways in which monitoring is extremely beneficial in a fast-paced high school environment. Frequent personal interactions with your athletes will yield large results in the long run, and monitoring presents regular opportunities to make these interactions happen.

Training adjustments that were outlined can be applied to any facet of training including the weight room, speed development or your conditioning program to meet your athletes where they are on any given training day.


About the Author: Fred Eaves

Fred EavesFred Eaves
– Ed.S, M.Ed, CSCS, RSCC, IYCA, USAW, USATF
– BIOFORCE Conditioning Coach Certified
– 2015 NSCA H.S. Strength Coach of the Year
– 2013 Samson Equipment & AFM H.S. Strength Coach of The Year
 

Beat the Heat To Keep Fit

 

exercising in the heat for young athletes tips

Exercising In The Heat Can Be Beneficial

 

By Phil Hueston

 

Ok. So it’s hot. Really hot. But you still want to get your exercise in. Is it safe? You’re asking “How do I know when to go out and play in the summer sun (and heat)? How do I know when I should stay inside and exercise in the AC? Or should I bag it all and just hit the pool?”

 

There are risks and benefits to exercising in the heat. More risks than benefits, I’m afraid, but we’ll talk about both.

 

First, the benefits.

 

Benefit #1 – No snow. Ok, just kidding. The first benefit of exercising is in heat that you will definitely break a sweat. This is really only a benefit if you intend to sweat, of course! Sweating is good for the body in several ways. 1.) It is a very efficient way to remove toxins from the body. Sweating helps clean the toxins out of your body, helping to somewhat lighten the load on the kidneys, liver and other “clean-up” organs. 2.) Sweating is said to be moderately beneficial to cardiovascular health. When we begin to sweat, our heart and lungs work a bit harder to take in and distribute the oxygen needed to cool blood and keep organs and other body components cool. This contributes to improved cardiovascular strength and efficiency. 3.) Sweating can make you more beautiful (or handsome.) Sort of. See #1 – sweating clears toxins. The pores of the skin are often clogged with toxins, so when you sweat, you clear them out and let them “breathe.”

 

Benefit #2 – Improved stress levels and management. Exercise helps manage stress under just about any circumstances (except, of course, gladiator competitions and being chased by a tiger – very stressful.) Benefit #1 may contribute to the increased stress management when exercising in the heat. Sweating more is said to trigger endorphin release sooner during and after exercise. No conclusive proof of higher endorphins in the heat yet, but there IS something to be said for how great you feel after a good sweat and challenging exercising in the heat.

 

Benefit #3 – Muscles tend to warm up faster. It just makes sense – higher temperatures lead to more blood flow faster. Since that’s a large component of how muscles warm up, heat helps.

 

Benefit #4 – Enhanced fat loss. While the majority of weight lost through sweating is water weight, heat helps in fat loss, too. Higher temperatures help heat the body. This makes fat more “fluid,” for lack of a better term. Essentially, it becomes more easily transported in the blood, making it available for use as a fuel.

 

Benefit #5 – This benefit is a bit more specific in nature. Apparently, training in high temperatures can improve athletic performance at lower temperatures. According to a University of Oregon study, the results of which were published in the October 2010 issue of The Journal of Applied Physiology¸

 

“Heat acclimation improves the body’s ability to control body temperature, improves sweating and increases blood flow through the skin, and expands blood volume allowing the heart to pump to more blood to muscles, organs and the skin as needed.” – Science Daily, October 25, 2010.

 

The study was conducted on cyclists and found that their performance improved by 7 percent after only 10 heat acclimation exposures. Doesn’t sound like much until you think about what a 7% reduction would mean for Lance Armstrong’s fastest Tour de France time. In 2002, Armstrong finished in 82 hours, 5 minutes. A 7% improvement in that time would make it 76 hours, 21 minutes. 7% indeed.

 

So heat offers some unique benefits relative to exercise and the results you can expect. However, there are risks. So before you go hopping on the bike or grabbing your barbells, let’s make sure you know what they are.

 

Risk #1 – Increased Cardiovascular load. In the heat, your body tissues increase in temperature, often beyond the normal range for average temperature exercise. In response, blood is sent to the skin to cool the body. Add to this the fact that sweat doesn’t readily evaporate (how we cool off) and the job is tougher. This leaves less blood available to travel to muscles. That makes the heart work harder, stressing it.

 

Risk #2 – Heat Cramps. Less blood to muscles means higher risk of cramping. Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions, most often occurring in the calves, quadriceps and abdominal muscles. While the skin and body temperature may feel normal, the muscles themselves may be firm to the touch or even somewhat swollen.

 

Risk #3 – Heat Exhaustion. In this dangerous situation, your body temperature may rise to 104 degrees. It may be accompanied by nausea, headache, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, fainting, and cold, clammy skin. If no action is taken to alleviate it, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke.

 

Risk #4 – Heatstroke. Your body temperature reaches more than 104 degrees. This is a life-threatening situation and must be addressed immediately. Without immediate attention you risk organ failure, brain damage or even death. While the skin may be hot, your body may stop sweating, preventing cooling from happening. Confusion and irritability may ensue. Seek medical help NOW!

 

Beware the warning signs. Know the warning signs of heat-related illness or conditions. Muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness and confusion are all signs that it is time to stop, cool down and re-assess the exercise session based on the risks.

 

How to get the benefits without needless risks. You can enjoy the benefits of hot temperature exercise while minimizing the risks.

 

Remember these guidelines for exercising in the heat:

 

1. Know the temperature – Be aware of weather forecasts and temperature expectations. Generally, temps or heat indices over 100 are signs that you should take extra caution when exercising. Reduce the intensity of your session or use a shorter duration during these situations.

 

2. Get adjusted and acclimated – Increase the intensity of your exercise over time, say 1 to 3 weeks. If you’ve been working out indoors or in climate controlled areas, start with a few short (20-30 minute) session in the higher temperatures and work up from there.

 

3. Know your limits – High heat is not the time to “jump back in” at full effort if you’ve been slacking off or exercising at low to moderate intensity. Also, stick with what you know while adjusting to the heat. Familiar exercise types allow you to recognize your limits – which will be tested in warm temperatures faster than in moderate ones.

 

4. Hit the fluids – HARD – Drink more fluids than you think you need. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. By then it’s too late – dehydration is beginning. For sessions longer than an hour, sports drinks may be a better choice because of the sodium, chloride and potassium they can replace. Choose drinks with lower sugar contents. Avoid alcoholic beverages during hot weather activity.

 

5. Avoid the mid-day sun – Morning or evening are best. Even better – a brisk swim.

 

6. Dress right – You may think your solar sweatshirt and the hot weather are a great way to drop a few pounds, but it’s really a recipe for heat related illness, even heart attacks and strokes. Light, loose fitting clothes in light colors are best. Think about a hat – especially those of you (me too) who are bald, shave our heads or have thinning hair.

 

7. Have an alternate plan – Go climb or run some stairs in an air-conditioned building. Exercise indoors in the air-conditioning. It’s okay, the weather will cool off and you’ll be outside again soon.

 

8. Know your risks – Be aware of any medical conditions that might be made worse through heat exposure. If you aren’t sure, speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program in hot weather.

 

9. Sunscreen, baby – Because sunburned skin doesn’t cool off as well as healthy skin.

 

So the temperature has climbed into the high whatevers. Don’t let that stop you from “getting after it.” Just get smart about it and you’ll be able to benefit from exercising in the heat and your hot weather workouts while avoiding the potential dangers.

 

 

Modifications to Training Programs For a Young Athlete on the Spot

 

Young Athlete Programming Modifications

 

By Wil Fleming
 

When I first started training I figured out quickly that the best coaches developed
programs ahead of time. They approached each session with a clear picture of their
goals for a young athlete and designed a program that would accomplish those goals.
 

As I began coaching I knew that is something that I wanted to do as well. I want to
be a coach with a clear vision and purpose, plan for everything, and get results with
my athletes.
 

In my “eye test” for other coaches, making training sessions up on the spot is one of
the things that leads me to believe that the trainer or coach is not going to make it.
 

Creating a workout from thin air leads me to believe that my athletes are going to
get better results and dominate their athletes.
 

Recently though I had an athlete with an unexpected limitation in their program that
took away her ability to do many of things that we normally do in training. After a
surprise surgical procedure she was unable to clean, snatch, squat, etc. (Literally
everything I like to have my athletes do).
 

Being that she is a track and field athlete, in the middle of her season, just taking
time off from training was not going to cut it. I literally had to come up with a
program on the spot.
 

I was able to do it, and have her produce the best performance of her career in the
weeks following because I came up with training sessions that fit in with the rest of
her program. Her daily training sessions were extremely modified but were in line
with the goal of this phase of the program.
 

How was I and the young athlete able to do this?

 

1) I had a clearly defined goal for training. In this scenario the young athlete was in the
middle of a strength phase for her track and field season. By having this goal laid
out I had a rep range and set range that each exercise could fall into. By having a
goal laid out I was able to select movements that could fall into this rep range.
 

2) I have a pre-determined programming system. In my program each day
follows the same general order of exercise.
 

1—Explosive
1A—Explosive assistance (Oly lift pull)
 

2A—Bilateral lower body (Push or Pull)
2B— Core (Anti-Extension)
 

3A—Upperbody (Push or Pull)
 

3B—Unilateral Lowerbody (Push or Pull)
3C— Core (Anti Rotation)

 

There is some variation to that set up based on the athlete and the time of year, but
in general that covers it all. In the case of my injured athlete replacing exercises was only really replacing movements. If a particular exercise was going to cause pain
then I knew that I needed to eliminate it, and replace it.
 

3) I have exercise progressions and regressions. When it comes to replacing
exercises this is key. All exercises that we program fall into one of the
categories above. Olympic lifts were difficult to perform for my athlete so I
was able to fill the explosive training slot with medicine ball throws. Bilateral
Quad dominant exercise was limited so we substituted heavy sled pushes.
 

By having a programming system, and with a little thinking on the fly this
athletes training did not miss a beat. After performing her training in a modified
fashion for 3 weeks, this young athlete is back to full strength and has equaled training bests in
lifts she was unable to perform for the past 3 weeks.
 

Without the 3 keys to programming above we would likely be starting behind
where her training was and would be playing catch up for the rest of her season.
 

 

Non-Programming Elements of a Great Youth Fitness Program

 

Creating a Great Youth Fitness Program

Youth Fitness

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Non-Programming elements of a great Youth Fitness program

 

That sure is a mouthful for a title. Maybe the meaning is quite self evident or maybe it is a little more veiled. Either way I think that these elements are essential to making your AR successful and helping you to develop great athletes.

 

What do I mean by “non-programming” elements?

 

Sets, reps, exercises, and their order are all the things that you put on paper when you are putting together their training program., those are the traditional “programming elements”. There are things that don’t end up on paper that can make your program successful though.

 

Those things that don’t end up on the whiteboard or workout card are just as important to the quality of your program as what’s written down. They create the environment in which your athletes train.

 

Coaching
This is first. It really should always be first. Great coaching can change the way athletes think, can improve technique, and can inspire. Each day in your AR you should seek to instruct, teach, and inspire each athlete. In fact in my training sessions I aim to do these 3 separate things with each individual I encounter. Your interactions with your champions will be deeper and more meaningful if you approach each athlete with these 3 things in mind.

 

Communication
The way that we communicate with our champions is very important. Maximum uptake of information is dependent upon how we choose to transmit ideas to our athletes. I like to communicate training technique in a “do this, don’t do that, do this” way (first popularized by the AMAZING John Wooden). In essence I tell each athlete how we should do a movement or piece of a movement, then give them 1 way to not do that movement, and then repeat using different cues how to do this movement. For instance in the hang clean if I am verbally communicating technique I might say “Get full extension in your hips. We don’t want to leave your hips behind the bar. It might feel like you are going onto your tippy toes” I communicated the same point to the athlete in 2 different ways and let them know what the improper way to do things might look like.

 

Fun
We hear about fun all the time, but what does it look like? In my AR it is often impromptu competition between athletes or between athletes and coaches. A quick game of wall ball, with rules made up on the spot, as we wait to warm-up. A race with a sled, or relay will do the trick as well. Impromptu feels better than planned, and we try to do something like this everyday. Fun makes communication easier and coaching easier and is the underlying note to creating a great environment for your youth fitness program.

 

I cannot remember who said it to me but I was once told “A horrible program implemented well, will always out perform a great program implemented poorly. ” The non-programming elements are what makes this true, those things which create the environment. If poor programs in a great environment can do well, imagine what a great youth fitness program (your AR program) can do in a great environment (your AR).

 

 

 

Youth Fitness and Politics… I Never Expected This

youth fitness

Mixing Youth Fitness & Politics doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

 

But today, I’m taking a chance and risking a lot.

Here’s the thing, I’m fed up, overwhelmed by stupid and entirely annoyed.

 

But all at the same time, I really don’t know which side of the fence I sit on.

 

I sat glued to the TV playing absently in the background of my gym during a workout last week.

 

The opening sentence of a commercial caught my attention:

 

“The government thinks my child is fat, so decided it wants me to pay for that!!”

 

Yup… I was listening HARD after hearing that.

 

And here’s the gist of the message contained in the 90 second commercial:

 

Because of the rise in youth obesity, certain States within the U.S. have started adding additional taxes to the purchase of items such as soft drinks, sugar waters and certain ‘sports’ drinks.

 

Many families are against it, suggesting that the government has absolutely no place in deciding what they should or shouldn’t buy based on making some goods over-expensive with tax and therefore potentially out of budget.

 

Now… Here’s my take…

 

Politically, I want the government interfering with my life as little as possible.

 

Safe neighborhoods, freedom from crime and terrorism, clean drinking water and that’s about it!

 

I’ll take care of the rest myself.

 

So at first glance, I want NOTHING to do with specific tax measures placed on certain foods. Even the unhealthy ones.

 

It just doesn’t feel right.

 

BUT…

 

At what point is an external solution necessary in some capacity?

 

If parents continue their ignorance and/or stupidity, where will that leave their child in 10 years?

 

I’ve always considered Youth Obesity to be the most acceptable form of child abuse – and if you agree with that, then forced outside assistance is NECESSARY.

 

A child doesn’t ask to be beaten by his Mom or Dad.

 

But he or she also doesn’t ask to weigh 100 pounds by the age of 7 either.

 

And if a child was being beaten physically, as a society we would ALL want to run to the rescue of that young, defenseless person.

 

Why wouldn’t we here?

 

And here’s another way of thinking about it…

 

In many States, CIGARETTES have become an incredibly taxed purchase as a direct way of reducing smoking in both young and adult populations.

 

If they can’t afford them, they can’t smoke them.

 

Anyone complaining about that government intrusion?

 

So… I sit undecided (although leaning towards one direction).

 

What say you on this hot youth fitness topic?

 

Please, don’t be shy or brief – say what you feel:

 

 

– Brian

 

  

Training Olympic Lifting in Younger Populations

Training Olympic Lifting

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

 

How soon should you start training Olympic lifting technique in young athletes?

My answer? As soon as the athlete walks in your door. 

olympic lifts

As soon as a young athlete starts training at my facility we are either doing the Olympic lifts or preparing them to eventually perform the lifts.

 

I do not advocate loading up a bar and telling younger athletes to start cleaning and snatching immediately, but I do advocate training the technique and qualities that produce great Olympic lifts later in training. Athletes at any age must learn how to properly create and absorb force. Teaching the young athlete how to produce force from the ground up is not only important to their athletic endeavors later in life, but also serves the purpose of learning the basics of the pull in both the clean and the snatch.

 

(more…)

Training Young Athletes – Big Mistake

 

Training Young Athletes

I admit to being annoyed on my call with Brad.
 

Not by him, but by the advice he was given,
 

It’s not a bad thing to say “I don’t know.”
 

You can’t know everything.
 

But yet again, I find more examples of people who think they do.
 

Training Young athletes need specific protocols

 

And if you don’t know what those ‘specifics’ are, why not just say so?
 

How to train young baseball players is the topic of this video but you better believe that it applies to ALL young athletes.
 

I think I’m getting tired of being surprised every time I realize that our industry, at large, doesn’t know ANYTHING about working with young athletes…

(more…)

IYCA Family: Does This Make Sense to You?

IYCA is against everything you are about to hear

Because of potential criminal fallout, I’m not allowed to tell you where I saw this.

What’s criminal is the fact that this happened at all.

And the criminals in this case shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind our legal system.

But what can I say?

That’s the law I suppose.

So, with the details muddled and the offenders protected, let me tell you what happened while I was working out yesterday.

A Personal Trainer was conducting a training session with a middle-aged client.

That in itself is not a story.

The fact that I even noticed them at all was based on what I kept hearing.

Groans.

Groans of effort.

Groans of effort that eventually turned into screams.

I mean tribal screams – the kind you usually only hear from elite power lifters or world-class bodybuilders.

Rep after rep after rep, this middle-aged man was literally screaming, cursing and grunting his way through the workout.

All the while, his Personal Trainer was paying literally no attention.

I mean at all.

He wasn’t even watching.

His eyes were fixed across the gym at a couple of other Personal Trainers who had joined the rest of the people in the facility as we all watched in horror at what was going on.

Only, the Personal Trainers weren’t in shock, disbelief or concern.

They were laughing.

The Personal Trainer who was actually conducting this training session was looking at his buddies and laughing.

Rep after rep after rep.

I could go on about how poorly the middle-aged client was performing each repetition and how dangerous his movement patterns were, but that is not the point of this story.

And it isn’t where I believe the Personal Trainer erred most by not watching his client…

…This guy was turning greener and greener by the second.

And the laughing Personal Trainer, acting cool to his buddies, didn’t even notice.

And then it happened.

And anyone actually watching this freak show would have predicted it.

I did.

The middle-aged client leaps off the leg press machine (don’t even get me started on that one), and runs to the closest garbage can.

In a lucky twist of fate, he managed to pull the lid off the top just as the vomit started soaring out of his mouth.

And the Personal Trainer laughed..

He didn’t once go over to his client and see that he was o.k.

He just laughed, smirked and grinned at his buddies.

The vomit stopped, the lid was placed back on the garbage can and everyone in the gym went back to there own business.

The smug Personal Trainer walked over to the now completely exhausted and defeated middle-aged client and says – and this is not me exaggerating –

“Good job.  That’s the price you have to pay.  Let’s get back to work”

I want to end the story there and let you stew for a moment about all the things that are wrong about that situation…. But I have more to say about it in a second.

First, think of this –

I want you to realize and even internalize the fact that when the general public, our consumers at large, think of ‘Personal Trainers’, they think of you and the jackass in this story in the same way.

To the public, you and him are the same.

Here’s how the story ends.

As I’m walking out of the gym, pretty much ‘done’ with what I had just seen, I notice a sign on the front door that I hadn’t noticed when I walked in:

‘Coming This Winter – Our New YOUTH FITNESS PROGRAM’

There was a photograph of the Personal Trainer who will be heading up this gym’s new Youth Fitness program.

Any guesses who it was?

See, this is why the IYCA was created.

To actually differentiate you from Personal Training clowns like this guy.

I checked out his bio on the website, by the way.

He is certified by all those mainstream certification companies – the ones that you are certified by as well.

And because of that, the potential customers you and him as equal.

The IYCA is different. 

We are the only certification agency that actually specializes in educating you on how best to train and develop young athletes and youth fitness participants.

In fact, we do such a great job at preparing Fitness and Sport Training professionals for the endless opportunities that exist in ‘Youth’ niche of the industry, we were recently featured in the internationally acclaimed magazine, Newsweek.

Our youth-based curriculum is not ‘one’ of the certifications we offer.

It is all we offer.

And I created it so that consumers knew that you were different than idiot-boy above.

Right now, the IYCA has certified professionals working in the ever-expanding field of youth fitness and sport development all over the world:

Canada
The United States
Singapore
New Zealand
Australia
England
Scotland
Wales
South Africa

I mean, our IYCA Testimonials page has letters and comments from professional Trainers all over the world who have been overjoyed at the way there careers have changed since becoming IYCA certified.

Have a look for yourself –

http://www.iyca.org/testimonials

The Wall Street Journal reported that over $4 billion a year are being spent on Personal Training and Coaching for youths in the United States alone.

Parents are going to take their kids to fools, or they’re going to bring them to you.

It’s your choice.

‘Till next time,

“What the IYCA has done for my career is worth more than I could ever repay”

Robert Belley
Youth Conditioning Specialist – since 2005

 

 

Become certified as a Youth Conditioning Specialist today and see how much your career will change.

IYCA Certification is the GOLD STANDARD… Click here to find out why –

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

P.S. – There was a recent story in media publications all over the world showing that nearly 1 million children and teens throughout the United States alone use Personal Trainers.

Client demands are changing in the fitness industry…

Are you prepared to change with them??

Become IYCA Certified Now –

 

http://www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1