Saturday, October 4, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The RGIII rehab debacle was concerning enough...Romo's rehab brings it to another level because the exercises he did to return from his surgically repaired back didn't adhere to basic physiology and valid testing procedures. Now he did return to play which is great but it's no wonder he's already hurting 3 games into the season.
There are very specific requirements that need to be satisfied in order to validly test and build the strength in the erector spinae. If they aren't satisfied, you aren't going to strengthening them the best way.
One of the major requirements is you must have total isolation. The femur and pelvis must be kept from moving. If they move, your hip muscles are doing the work and there's no way to tell how much of the erector spinae are working. I know I'll hear it from all the functional - core training - cross fit freaks but this irrefutable fact still remains. Another concern is Romo most likely didn't validly test his back muscles in the first place to see how strong or weak they were. If you don't conduct a valid test there's no way to tell how much of an improvement you did or didn't make.
I laughed and cried while reading this article..What I'm seeing at the NFL level is they are following generational fads in rehab and strength training. Obviously there can be an indirect effect with the exercises he did but it's not the best way.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Life is complicated these days but when it comes to working out, simple workouts done hard are the fastest way to get the best results.
1. Eliminate most isolation exercises. These are exercises that essentially work only one muscle at a time. This would be exercises like leg extensions, tricep "kickbacks" and ab crunches. Leave the more complicated stuff for later and Yes, I did say ab crunches, stay with me here!
2. Focus on compound exercises (exercises that work many muscles at a time) like squats, standing overhead presses, pull-ups, bench presses, stiff legged dead lifts, and dips. BTW --squats do far more to strengthen and shrink your waistline than crunches will ever do!
3. Do the six exercises above three times per week. Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. 2-3 sets and 6-20 reps each. And remember to do each rep slowly, I am talking four seconds on the way up and 4 seconds back down.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
1. If your goal is 8-12 reps for an exercise and you make it to 12 reps with relative ease, don't stop at 12 -- try a few more until you go to momentary muscle failure!
2. If you meet or exceed your rep goal, add on the least amount of weight you can on your next workout for that exercise. For example -- let's say you did 12 reps of 100lbs on the bench press. For your next workout, add a 2.5lb plate to each side for 105lbs. You may only do 8 reps with the new weight, but stay at 105lbs until you meet or exceed 12 reps. Then move up again.
3. It's impossible to remember all the sets, reps, weights, and exercises of every workout. Log all your workouts on your phone so you know what you have to beat the next time.
Progressing in reps and/or weights with each workout is the foundation of great results! The sad news? It's seldom understood or done properly. Follow the above steps and it'll keep you moving in the right direction with your workouts. I promise!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Butkus never did one power clean his entire playing career or life for that matter. Now a days, I think it's against the law if you don't do a power clean or flip a truck tire in a sports drink or shoe commercial. These exercises may look impressive but what are they really doing?
The mainstay for most football strength and conditioning programs, power cleans are thought to build more explosive power and training the "fast twitch" muscles. First off, fast and slow twitch muscles are a extremely complicated subject, football and strength coaches oversimplified this process for decades and understand nothing about it. A personal trainer or coach that tells you that an exercise is training the "fast twitch" muscles has no idea how the body actually works and you should run, and run away fast!
During a power clean, how do you get the weight started? Is it a smooth slow contraction where the muscles do all the work with no momentum? Or is it a sudden violent jerk? We all know it's a sudden jerk. After you've jerked the weight hard enough to get it started, you're muscles are really doing no work until the weight travels high enough until you can rotate under it and catch the weight. All the while exposing your joints, muscles, bones tendons, ligaments to an insane amount of force. Bottom line: In a power clean you are throwing the weight, you have to, otherwise you wouldn't be able complete the movement. When you throw weights, there's a high chance of injury.
Do power cleans relate to football?
Power cleans are a closed skill set, meaning that the environment is the same with the same movement pattern each time. Football requires and open skill set, meaning the environment is always changing and you have to be flexible with how you respond each time. Power cleans have no relationship or transfer to anything done in football or any sport for that matter. If your sport is doing power cleans or cross fit, then do you need to do power cleans, just find a good orthopedist.
What exercises should you do to increase explosiveness and power for football?
No exercise can reproduce the countless number of explosive moves you do while playing football. Whatever cards you were dealt genetically will be improved by building strength in the safest and most productive manner. In general, train all the major muscle groups by doing the basics and using the most sophisticated equipment possible. If barbells are all you got then do the following exercises along with neck training, Squats, Deadlifts, Standing Presses, Pull Ups, Bench Press, Bicep curls, and Dips will literally do wonders if done right. There are many variations but this is a great place to start. With good equipment you'll have better options.
What form should I use while lifting weights?
One of the best way to lift weights is negative accentuated training. This means you smoothly lift the weight in a slow controlled manner and lower the weight even slower. For example take 2 seconds to lift and 4 seconds to lower. Depending on the exercise, a pause should occur in the isometric position.
Workout to prevent injuries and increase performance. You'll get more than enough explosive work during a full season of practice, pre season games, regular season games, playoffs, and hopefully Super Bowl. Play fast and practice fast, take care of your body. Set yourself up to be just as strong at the end of the season. After all your body is an investment, if you don't take care of it you can't play.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Your body is an investment and you think, "Where do I focus my efforts? Do I do speed, agility, and quickness drills? Should I lift weights explosively? Are plyometrics the way to go?" You fumble around the gym, pretending to know what you are doing and hopefully not get hurt in the process. And soon football is something you used to play. Career over!
It really doesn't have to be that way if you know what to focus on. First, erase everything you've learned about exercise and working out for football. Keep it simple, get good at the basics and start by avoiding these 5 bad habits!
1. Combining skill training and strength training
The research on skill transfer is very clear...skills don't transfer from one task to the other. Skills are classified as "open" or "closed". Exercises like power cleans and flipping truck tires are examples of a closed skill, even tho you can't make a sports drink commercial without someone doing them, they have no transfer the "open" skill set the game of football requires.
|Johnny Manziel, has little transfer to the football field.|
The right approach is to build strength in safest and most productive way in the gym by doing proper weight training, then go out to the football field and practice your skill for your sport and position. This means that if you're a quarterback working on throwing mechanics and footwork, do so in helmet and pads on the football field and not on a beach in the sand with a bungee cord strapped to your waist.
2. Avoiding Exercise Machines
If you're using the best machines available (which few teams do), machines are far more productive than free weights because they give the proper resistance throughout the range of motion. In understanding the limitations of free weights you can adjust your strength and conditioning program accordingly to the most productive exercises.
3. Taking a Fast & Furious Approach
|Urlacher demonstrating how to throw weights.|
During weight training, take 4 seconds to lift and 4 seconds to lower the weight and pausing in the contracted position. When you're lifting the weight slow and controlled your muscles actually do all the work, not momentum which not only builds strength faster but is much safer as well.
|JJ Watt...great for the sport of jumping on dressers.|
With 4 preseason games, 16 regular season games, playoffs, not to mention all the camps and practices you get more than enough explosive work in. Nothing prepares you for the explosive moves on the football field better than just playing the game of football. You barely have enough time to recover from normal football life let alone additional wear and tear of explosive plyometrics.
5. Using Speed Gadgets
|RGIII...Injury after injury...here's part of the reason.|
Changes in stance, footwork, hand placement, and eliminating unnecessary movement is by far the most productive way to increase your speed and quickness. Also take time on a regular basis to practice running technique and running fast. Yes, I said practice running fast! I know it makes too much sense doesn't it?
I'll be writing in depth articles on each of these topics in the coming weeks.
Labels: Football training
Thursday, March 27, 2014
1. Whether you eat 10 times or 2 times a day, your total calorie intake over 24hrs determines weight your loss/gain. Start keeping a record of the food you eat for the first week, along with the caloric intake, and I am willing to bet you'd be surprised at what you find!
2. Be realistic with the diet plan as it relates to your food preferences. If you love bread and the new diet that says absolutely no to bread, it will never work long-term! Don't set yourself up for failure before you even start.
3. Unless you're an alien, every human being on planet earth works on a calories in/calories out to gain or lose weight. Try and make the calories you eat as healthy as you can with the right amount of calories for your goal. Stick to your caloric goal daily. It is as simple as that.
I've personally tried all the diets out there and all of them at best work short term. The important thing is to find what works for you and don't be afraid to change the plan if it's not working.
Comment below on any diet or nutrition questions that may be standing in the way of you getting to your health and fitness goals
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