Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

The Problem

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:  many strength and conditioning programs for girls aren’t very good. And this is a shame because it prevents many young women from fully realizing their athletic potential, potentially costing them college scholarships. For whatever reason, the majority of training programs for young women seems to be more oriented towards traditional “speed and agility” work, with less of an emphasis placed on overall strength and power training. So basically, lots of cones and ladders and TRX, and not a lot of squats and deadlifts. This is a mistake.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

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As Mark Rippetoe points out in this T-Nation article, there is a big difference between Training and Exercising.  In a nutshell,  Training is the process of following a progressive program that is designed to increase an aspect of fitness over time. The aspect of fitness most often associated with training is strength, but people can train to improve power, speed, and endurance as well. In contrast, Exercising is what happens if your workouts don’t progress over time, or if you do randomized workouts with no attention paid to progression of key exercises, If your program isn’t planned with an emphasis on progression, you’re not Training. You’re Exercising. And you need to stop, because Exercising is bullshit.

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Although the sports world has largely accepted strength training as an effective way to improve sports performance, there are still a few hard headed old-schoolers who refuse to believe that increasing strength will improve athletic ability. This is a ridiculous notion. Baseball coaches seem to be the most reluctant group to acknowledge the benefits of strength training. Often, this is due to the incorrect beliefs that lifting weights will make you inflexible (it won’t), or hurt you (it won’t if you do it right). But some coaches simply don’t believe that weight lifting will improve any aspect of sporting performance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask Bo Jackson.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask this weakling named Bo Jackson.

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 The Basics Of GPP

Many lifters and athletes make the mistake of only training the movements or lifts that specifically impact the unique demands of their sport. For instance, some powerlifters only perform deads, squats, and bench press, with assistance exercises designed to increase only those three lifts. And some athletes only perform exercises that are designed to increase their running speed, swing power, or whatever else their sport demands. This constant over-specialization is a mistake, and such lifters would do well to integrate GPP training into their programs.

General Physical Preparedness (or GPP) refers to the body’s ability to react and adapt to unfamiliar physical stimuli in any situation. By training to increase GPP, we improve our base level of strength and body control, which in turn can lead to improved performance on the field and in the weight room.

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Every time I evaluate a new client, the first thing I do is run them through a posture and movement screen. Basically, my objective is to evaluate how the athlete stands, and how they move. This gives me a jumping-off point when prescribing corrective exercises and mobility/soft tissue work. When evaluating a baseball player – especially a pitcher – the first thing I look at is the shoulder girdle.

Pictured: the shoulder girdle

More specifically, I’m looking at the scapulae – the flat bones that sit on either side of the thoracic spine. One of the most reliable indicators of future shoulder and elbow health is scapular positioning. Ideally, the scapulae should sit right up against the ribcage and glide smoothly across it. But with throwing athletes, what we often see instead is this:  (more…)

Check out my latest article published on T-Nation.com – Contrast Training for Power and Explosiveness

t-nation squat

As a catcher, your primary job is to catch the ball when it is thrown to you. Your job doesn’t stop with just catching the ball, though. All catchers should be able to effectively frame pitches, which consists of catching the ball in a way that makes pitches look good to the umpire. In order to frame pitches well, you need to possess strong forearms and wrists capable of stopping the ball’s momentum and making the glove go where you want it to.

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http://www.stack.com/2013/07/14/in-season-baseball-workout-tips/

deadlift

goldberg

Every guy wants to be biggest,‭ ‬strongest dude in the gym.‭ ‬Developing your shoulders will not only make you look like a badass,‭ ‬but it’s an easy way to pack on weight and increase your overall upper body strength.

There are several muscles that attach to and originate from the shoulder,‭ ‬but for the purposes of this article,‭ ‬we’ll be focusing on the the two biggest superficial muscles of the shoulder‭ ‬-‭ ‬the deltoids and the trapezii.‭ ‬The trapezius muscle serves to laterally rotate,‭ ‬elevate,‭ ‬and retract the scapula,‭ ‬while the deltoids abduct,‭ ‬flex,‭ ‬extend,‭ ‬and medially and laterally rotate the humerus.‭

3‭ ‬Categories of Shoulder Exercises

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Here’s 2 exercises you can add to your program that will increase your strength on the deadlift by strengthening your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Incidentally, these are the same muscles that make you run fast, so not only will you get better at deadlifting, you’ll get better at sprinting and playing sports too.

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