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Showing posts with label strength and Conditioning coach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strength and Conditioning coach. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Strength Coach Podcast Featuring: Zach Dechant- Movement Over Maxes- Episode 248

"Hit The Gym with a Strength Coach" Segment
Zach Dechant, Senior Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning at TCU, author of Movement Over Maxes
We spoke about:
  • Sport Specific Training
  • Pitcher Training
  • 3 Big Mistakes in Programming
  • Conditioning
  • Working with the Overhead Athlete
  • Concepts from his new book Movement Over Maxes

Monday, January 7, 2019

Strength Coach Recent Forum Discussions A Must Read For Every Coach, Athlete, Parent, Fan, etc.,


The following are 3 of the recent forum discussions from Strength Coaches, Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors and more at Anyone is welcome to join and learn from these conversations. You can Join today for just $1! Click here and start learning. 

"Does anyone know anything about the product “Inner Armour Sport Nutrition” it’s 1330 calories per serving with 50 grams of protein and 260 grams of carbs. 

One of the football coaches of a high school team where I train one of the players told the players that it’s mandatory for them to take this product twice a day. They have to meet in school every morning and drink one and after every practice". .......Join to keep reading.....

"Hi Coaches,

I know this question may fall in the "it depends" category, but what's the minimum amount of plates that you usually have per rack?

Our racks have space to store 45's, 35's, 25's, 10's, 5's and 2,5's. We work with clients from high school to professional level"......Keep reading......

"Hi all,

Happy New Year! I recently had a parent ask me to contact each strength coach on staff of their daughters "college list". The girl plays AAA hockey and is 14 years old. I do appreciate the ambition, but also want to respect the process and truly believe that if you're good enough the schools will find you.

I wish it were the case that I knew all the coaches on staff of these schools personally, but that is simply not the case. I want to respect the parents request, but having a hard time distinguishing between helping optimize any athlete I train recruiting experience, and what is overkill. "........... keep reading......

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Strength Coach- Recommended Article- Maximal unilateral leg strength correlates with linear sprint and change of direction speed

Anton Arin, Daniel Jansson and Kristian Skarphagen
Somebody sent me this yesterday so, I thought I'd share it.

Join to read the full study here......
It is a constant problem for coaches, fitness coaches and strength and conditioning coaches to select exercises that are best suited for their sports. Earlier research on sports has examined specific qualities in general training and is now progressing towards more complex and sport specific qualities. When training for a specific sport, one of the main tasks is to analyze the specific sport in terms of movement patterns, intensity and which type of strength the sport require. More studies regarding sports specific training are still required. Sport coaches around the world suggest different advice for optimal training for a specific sport and it requires scientific research to confirm or reject the various proposals. Unilateral (one leg) training is gaining popularity in sports. There are few scientific studies made in this field today and there is a need for evaluating different unilateral training, such as intervention studies and correlation studies, to assist sport coaches find exercises with a high transfer value to each sport.
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 Intermittent sports require different activities such as change of direction, forward and backward running and lateral stepping ability. Intermittent sports are often performed unilaterally with the power and force development on one leg at the time, for example in running sports where one leg at the time is producing push-off acceleration force. The authors of this study discovered that, despite the increased interest for sport specific training, research on unilateral resistance training is lacking. We therefore decided to investigate two major and different intermittent sports in Sweden, soccer and ice-hockey, and the transfer value between unilateral leg exercises to CODS and linear sprint.

 This study have been inspiring and challenging for us and hopefully it will contribute to increased knowledge on unilateral training. Along the way, we have had good guidance and this we are grateful for. First of all we would like to thank our participants which made this study possible. We would also like to thank Jonas Enqvist for useful guidance, interesting discussions and the help with the testing equipment. Rolf IdegĂ„rd at Friidrottens Hus for the great hospitality during the testing procedures. Finally we would like to thank our supervisor Phd. Jesper Augustsson for appreciated advice and review of the study. This study was granted by Riksidrottsförbundet (RF)...... Keep reading.....

This is another example of why I always say "read the study".

Although I obviously love the conclusion, what the study doesn't say is that unilateral strength correlates better than bilateral strength. Still great stuff but, we need to make sure we read all the lines while we attempt to read between them.

Page 4 and 5 do present some studies that show that Change of Direction ( COD) does correlate better with unilateral strength than bilateral. This would seem obvious as change of direction relies strongly on unilateral braking/ stopping ability.

strength and conditioning coach, Abs Agility Balance Bicep curls Box jump Calf raises Core strength Deadlift Eccentric strength Endurance Leg extensions Olympics Pushups Skiing Speed Split squat Strength Training Speed Training, 

Monday, November 12, 2018

StrengthCoach: Three Years Working in European Football...What I Will Take with Me. Part I - Sport Specific Observations

Ed Lippie

On the evening of May 30, 2015 I sat in Terminal E of Boston's Logan Airport waiting to board a flight to Rome, Italy, wondering if I had made a monumental mistake in taking the position of Head Performance Coach for AS Roma in Italy's Serie A.
This decision meant moving my family across the Atlantic for an adventure fraught with more than the usual amount of uncertainties. Yet, three and half years later, with my feet firmly planted back in the USA, I am happy to report that the decision produced one of the most professionally and personally fulfilling experiences of my life to date.
In the paragraphs that follow I will discuss what I thought were the most important lessons from my time at AS Roma. 
Movement Is a Skill
For those of us who have worked in the field for any significant length of time, we have likely developed a good eye for movement. For Performance Coaches it is one of the ways in which we evaluate athletes on a consistent basis. The quality and efficiency with which an athlete starts, stops, changes direction, and performs general and sports specific movements alike, provides important data points in their profile.
Having seen and tested many athletes spanning half a dozen professional sports over the last twenty years and noting the vast discrepancy in the quality of the movement, I have come to firmly believe that movement is a skill, and like any skill, it can be improved when the right type of training and coaching is applied.
Yet, there seems to be a prevailing thought in the European soccer community that once a player reaches the top level he or she no longer needs to be coached in the finer points of movement. However, in my experience many top-level players have achieved top level status through incredible technical skill and talent that effectively hide significant movement deficiencies.
The majority of these players have never been exposed to quality movement training as they get transferred from one team to the next. This is starting to change at the academy level of many large clubs but needs to continue to evolve and be applied at every level, including the top levels, even in small doses as part of the warm-up or team gym sessions to reinforce high quality movement patterns that produce better performance and mitigate the potential for injuries. From what I have witnessed, the biggest objection to integrating movement skills training into practice sessions is lack of time.....Join to read the full article....
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Thursday, November 8, 2018

StrengthCoach-Pre-Practice Complex Training/PAP

Pre-Practice Complex Training/PAP

Sean SkahanStrength and Conditioning Coach- Minnesota Wild

I believe that in-season strength training is critical to the overall health and success of both the team and the individual player's during the hockey season. We try to get in as many strength training sessions as we can even though our schedule isn't the most in-season lifting friendly. It is not uncommon for us to train immediately after games and on practice days 2 days before games. 
One belief that I have always had is that our players should not strength train on the day prior to a game day. 
I believe in insuring that our players are fresh and ready to go physically when the puck drops. This is something that I have always done and, I believe it to be a successful application of the right amount of strength training during the in-season period.
Recently the league mandated that there has to be 4 days per month where players have a complete day off. This means there are several times when we may have a day off, followed by a practice day, and then a game day.   There have been times when these practices have occurred. I have always felt that I wished we would have done something else prior to practice other than some soft tissue work and a dynamic warm up.  These types of practices (post off day) can be a little harder from a work-ethic perspective as sometimes the coach feels that he needs to increase the intensity to prepare for the upcoming game.
What we have started to do during the past few seasons is implement a low-volume circuit that consists of complex training/PAP. 
Complex training is the pairing of a higher load strength exercise with a biomechanically similar plyometric movement. 
PAP (Post-Activation Potentiation) is the activating/excitation of the nervous system as a result of the strength exercise.  For example, complexes can consist of pairing exercises such as front squats/hurdle hops and bench press/med ball chest passes. 
The sessions take place when our players come in before practice after a day off with a game the next day.  Although we will institute of phase of complex training/PAP during the off-season program, we previously haven't done it too much in-season.   
What we have seen is that our practices have been done at a higher pace and players seem more prepared when doing this type of circuit prior. 
Whether we call it  “activation" exercises or something more scientific- is not a great concern as long as we get something out of the workout.  The most important aspect to me as a strength and conditioning coach is hearing positive feedback from our players. I realize that it's ok to try different concepts during the season because the in-season phase can get very monotonous.  It also allows me to get more time with our players.  I believe that this is important from a culture perspective as it is another opportunity for our players to train together. 
It's important to note that our in season complex training is nowhere near the volume and intensity of what we would do during the off-season program. 
For example, in the off-season, we complex the front squat with hurdle hops. Our front squat load would be for 5 repetitions for 3-4 sets with 5 hurdle hops done immediately after each set.  Although we will use some higher intensities during our standard strength training sessions during the season, we won't go near that same intensity and volume during these in-season sessions.
Here is an example of what we have done:
Foam Rolling
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Strength Coach-Looks Like More Support for Barefoot/ Minimalist Shoes

Presented on US Sports Net By!

Michael Boyle - October 27, 2018

This study seems to support the idea that, as Phillip Beach likes to say, "shoes are sensory deprivation chambers for the feet"

Foot strength and stiffness are related to footwear use in a comparison of minimally- vs. conventionally-shod populations


The longitudinal arch (LA) helps stiffen the foot during walking, but many people in developed countries suffer from flat foot, a condition characterized by reduced LA stiffness that can impair gait. Studies have found this condition is rare in people who are habitually barefoot or wear minimal shoes compared to people who wear conventional modern shoes, but the basis for this difference remains unknown. Here we test the hypothesis that the use of shoes with features that restrict foot motion (e.g. arch supports, toe boxes) is associated with weaker foot muscles and reduced foot stiffness. We collected data from minimally-shod men from northwestern Mexico and men from urban/suburban areas in the United States who wear ‘conventional’ shoes. We measured dynamic LA stiffness during walking using kinematic and kinetic data, and the cross-sectional areas of three intrinsic foot muscles using ultrasound. Compared to conventionally-shod individuals, minimally-shod individuals had higher and stiffer LAs, and larger abductor hallucis and abductor digiti minimi muscles. Additionally, abductor hallucis size was positively associated with LA stiffness during walking. Our results suggest that use of conventional modern shoes is associated with weaker intrinsic foot muscles that may predispose individuals to reduced foot stiffness and potentially flat foot.


As bipeds, humans have evolved dramatically different feet from other primates1. One of the most distinctive features of the human foot is the longitudinal arch (LA), whose anatomical scaffold is created by the conformation of the tarsal and metatarsal bones, and which is reinforced by numerous soft tissue structures that span the plantar surface of the foot......... Join today to read the full report....

Monday, October 22, 2018

Strength Coach-Olympic Lifting Compilation

Michael Boyle - October 22, 2018
Olympic lifting is another topic that gets lots of forum discussion. As has been our recent trend, I wanted to pull together some of the best articles and videos on the site related to Olympic lifting in one easy to find file. [Full articles and teaching/coaching material available to members]
This first one is very old but is my absolute favorite:
Teaching Olympic Lifts- Josh Bonhotal ( former Purdue S+C coach)

Teaching Olympic Lifts

Joshua Bonhotal
Posted on August 30 2010
The biggest mistake I have seen in teaching Olympic lifts is rushing to get to the full movement, whether from the hang or the floor. I understand there are certain situations where there is pressure from sport coaches or elsewhere to have the athlete snatch/clean right away or at least very early on. Still, these movements require a high degree of technical proficiency and as such a great deal of patience in going through the appropriate progressions. If you don't possess the time or expertise to teach Olympic lifts so they are skillfully performed, don't Olympic lift. In that case, the athletes will get much more out of jump variations and medicine ball throws. To rush into the movement would be like trying to teach someone calculus before they have learned algebra. The athlete simply will not be prepared and is unlikely to ever display a high level of technical mastery.
When teaching, I prefer a top-down approach. To me this makes the most sense because you are gradually increasing the complexity of the movement by starting with smaller amplitude and progressing to a larger amplitude movement. The first things the athlete needs to understand are positioning, rhythm, and bar path. For this I like the Javorek snatch complex (6 reps each - high pull/muscle snatch/goodmorning/squat-to-press/bent-over row). This particular complex breaks down into parts the prerequisite movement patterns required to snatch. I will immediately precede the snatch complex with an OH ball squat to start to get the athlete comfortable receiving the bar overhead. On the next training day I will put in clean combos (4 reps each - muscle clean/front squat). Again, the muscle clean allows them to learn the starting position, technical rhythm, and bar path which includes them understanding how to get their elbows through into the racked position. The front squat is a necessity to prepare them to receive the bar in later phases. I like muscle cleans/snatches initially because it teaches athletes positions, rhythm, and bar path without having to worry about receiving the bar. Less to think about, less to screw up. 
Once the athlete has demonstrated a high level of proficiency with the snatch complex, I will progress them to snatch combos (3 reps each - prop snatch/snatch balance/OH squat). The prop snatch is really just an impulse from the high hang. It teaches them to propulse the bar and feel the impulse as it brushes high in the thigh, while also teaching them bar interaction. The snatch balance again teaches them bar interaction, to press themselves under the bar catching with hands and feet together. Lastly, the OH squat of course prepares them to receive the bar overhead. Once they have mastered snatch combos, you can get into snatching. I prefer going off the blocks so they have a consistent start position each time. I will start them from the high hang, moving to mid-thigh in the next phase -> above the knee -> below the knee -> mid-shin -> floor. Of course, progressing below the knee requires a high degree of skill, so many athletes won't get there due to a lack of training experience and/or time you are able to work with them before their competitive season begins.  Keep reading......
Olympic Lifts- Too Hard to Teach? - Michael Boyle ( just a quick video)
Video of the Week- Teaching Olympic Lifts- Patrick Ward ( Director of Sports Science, Seattle Seahawks)
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strength and Conditioning coach, personal fitness trainer, Athlete Body composition Body weight Build muscle Caloric intake Calories High-protein diet Lean muscle Lose fat Lose weight Macros Protein Resistance training Strength training, 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

StrengthCoach-Take Five: Training Doses and Dosages Depend! On….

Pat Van Galen 

Take Five:  Training Doses and Dosages Depend!  On….                      

  1. The Individual: Dig Deeper as the client Ages through the Stages!!  Delve into ……

  • Training History [Hx] and Training Age [formal S and C]
  • Athletic, physical labor and physical activity Hx [upbringing] - physical competency AND ‘wear and tear'
  • Perceptions, attitudes and mindsets towards ‘the physical'
  • Medical Hx, MSK Hx, surgeries, MEDS, family Hx and longevity
  • Body composition, body fat distribution and metabolic health
  • Build-Frame: lanky-stocky, tall-short, slight-substantial, and Somatotype: Endo-Meso-Ecto-Morph [Clydesdale-Quarterhorse–Thoroughbred]
  • More thorough and appropriate screens, assessments and evals!

  1. The Individual: For WHAT ‘physical' purpose am I [the client] training? To be able to DO what? To have the foundation, function and capacity to ………

  • build a buffer so my chances of injury are lower when I wakeboard and play soccer …..
  • have the stamina to be able to engage in my recreational and leisure-time pursuits …
  • have the strength to take care of my disabled parent…..
  • continue to compete in ……….
  • have a body that ‘works for me'....  no specific physical purpose, but I want to ….. see #3.....

    1. The Individual: WHY am I [the client] training?  Beyond the ‘physical'…..

    • To have the energy, vitality, vim and vigor for the things that I need to do, want to do, and enjoy doing.
    • To keep all of my family traditions, travel and vacations going for generations to come.
    • To give me the confidence to just to do things automatically without worrying about injury.
    • To live an active life for as long as I can ‘where'I want to live it.
    • For the structure that training provides to my day and my life.
    • For that sense of accomplishment and sharpness of mind that training gives me.
    • To better deal with the dis-stressors and curve balls of life.
    • To help me stay ‘on track', since I quit drinking 20 years ago.
    • To keep an aesthetic physique and control my weight.
    • To age ‘younger for longer' with healthy bones, joints, muscles, heart, circulation, body fat, etc.
    Keep reading.......

Sunday, September 23, 2018

StrengthCoach-Conditioning Young Athletes

Michael Boyle

We get loads of questions about conditioning so, as I've been doing the past few weeks. I'm trying to pull together some of the best articles on the site that relate to conditioning
Optimal Tempo Training- Derek Hansen
12 Week Conditioning Sample- Michael Boyle
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strength coach, strength and conditioning coach. bodyweight workout, Strength and conditioning coach, Athlete Balance Family Fitness Goals Gold's gym Gym Meal plan Parker egerton Personal trainer Sports Team bpi Weights, 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

StrengthCoach - Why The Rock?

Michael Boyle

My daughter's video caused a little tempest in a teapot on my Youtube Channel. She's proud of her strength and so am I. To be honest I am more proud of the way she attacks the bar than of her strength. Every time we post a clean video we get the same questions/ criticism. Some politely ask "why the rock?". Others are not so kind and call us out on our execution of the lift. Because the topic comes up so often I figure an explanation is in order.
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First, let me explain the evolution of the rock, or the shift, or the scoop depending on your choice of name. My athletes have been performing the hang clean in this manner for over twenty years. To be honest, initially I never taught it. It just happened. Our better lifters soon realized that trying to hang clean a heavy weight from a dead stop was difficult. Many began to rock or weight shift. They also began to hang clean a lot of weight. For a few years I simply let the lift evolve and at numerous points in the eighties and nineties had 30 football players hang cleaning over 300 lbs. Not bad for 1AA football.
A few years later I made the foolish mistake of listening to my critics. They said that rocking was wrong and that we needed to stop. Like a good coach I agreed and vigorously coached my athletes. I forbade them from rocking. The results were simple and obvious. Our numbers dropped and dropped a lot. One of my athletes actually came up to me and said "nice job you've managed to make us all weaker". His hang clean max had dropped from 370 to 340. ( Please note- this players vertical increased 12" in 4 years from 20 to 32"). I was conflicted. I just wanted to do what was best for my athletes. However, no one was injured rocking and, everyone could lift more weight. I began to do some analysis of the situation and came to the conclusion that rocking was a normal part of both athletics and of Olympic weightlifting.
I can remember reading Carl Miller's Olympic Lifting manual in the early 80's and reading about "double knee bend". Boy do I wish I still had a copy. My first reaction to the concept of "double knee bend" was to think it was impossible. However, after watching lots of good Olympic weightlifters on video it became obvious that it was not only not impossible but that every great lifter did it. Watch some video in slow motion and you see it. In order for the bar to clear the knees the hips and knees extend. After the bar clears the knees, the knees actually flex or rebend to move the hips into position. In the jump portion of the lift the knees extend again. The cycle is extend-flex-extend. This has been referred to as rocking, scooping, or double knee bend. In any case, it is real and it happens.
The rock you see in our Olympic lifts is this same action. Weight shifts back to the heels, knees extend. Weight shifts forward, knees flex. Hips explode and hips and knees extend. What we are doing is what every athlete does to create maximal explosive power. Watch the vertical jumps at the NFL Combine. What do you see? Rocking, pre-stretch, weight shift. Call it what you want but it is the best way to produce a powerful, maximal effort. I have always said, damn the critics, full speed ahead. I have lots of females cleaning 135 lbs for reps and the majority of my hockey players hang clean between 250 and 320. Am I wrong? You be the judge. Healthy athletes, great clean numbers, great speed improvement, great vertical jump. Where do I go wrong? As Lee Cockrell says in Creating Magic, what if the way we always did it was wrong?
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Attention All Personal Fitness Trainers and Strength Coaches!


You want to learn, network and grow as a professional.
Is it even possible in such an intimidating environment filled with so much conflicting information?

It's Overwhelming Out There...
Anthony Renna, host of The Strength Coach Podcast
I can remember when I first started out as a trainer, I couldn't believe how much conflicting information there was about Strength and Conditioning and Personal Training! 
I was trying to absorb as much information as I could but it was pretty confusing, I wasn't sure who to believe or who I could trust.  The internet was (and still is) filled with snake oil salesmen padding their resumes (amazing how many people claim to have worked with pro athletes and Olympic champions) trying to make a buck selling “magic” training formulas.
The peers I had been working with in my big box gym seemed to be mostly concerned with their own bodies, and trainers who had been there the longest were not interested in teaching anyone that might be their competition. 
They certainly weren't interested in learning anything new.  I wasn't sure where to turn. 
A lot of trainers face the same problems:
  • Overwhelmed by all of the information on the internet
  • Waste too much valuable time searching for answers to questions
  • Take a chance and overpay for DVD's that end up over-promising and under-delivering
  • Get books that are outdated with authors that you can't get in touch with for questions
  • Have no one to connect with to talk about industry topics
  • Can't find good mentors to help with advancing in their career
It's frustrating!
According to many sources, the career "life" expectancy for trainers is anywhere from 1-3 years.
They end up leaving the business for good.
I know, I was at that point. 

I really felt all alone in my pursuit to become a better trainer.

Enter the forum.
Coach Boyle was someone who had been already been working in Strength & Conditioning for 20 years, working with all kinds of athletes at Boston University, the Boston Bruins, the US Women's Soccer and Hockey teams and lots of pro football players. 

He was still in the trenches, which is important for me when I am looking to learn from someone.  Fitness business expert and frequent contributor Alwyn Cosgrove likes to say, “Been There, done that, still DOING it”.   That's Coach Boyle.
I had just read his first book, Functional Training for Sports, and his philosophies and methods really resonated with me.  His work made sense.
Coach Boyle started his own forum to be able to answer so many of the questions he was getting and it was filled with strength coaches who had been working in high schools, colleges and the pros. There was so many amazing discussions about every topic and situation imaginable in S&C.  It was incredible.
I found a home...

A Place to
Learn From, Network and Connect with
a Community of
Trusted, In-the-Trenches Coaches

  World Renowned Strength Coach Michael Boyle  (Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, USA Women's Hockey and More!) 

Coach Boyle has created the Greatest Community of Strength Coaches in the World from:
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Canada Basketball
  • USA Hockey
  • Seattle Sounders
  • Arsenal FC
  • AS Roma FC
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Quinnipiac Univ.
  • Univ. of Mass. Lowell
  • Union College
  • New Jersey Devils
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Anaheim Ducks
  • and so many more!
This is the BEST place to learn, grow and network with the BEST Strength Coaches in the World.

It's the ONLY place to have access to Coach Boyle, he's on the forum Every Day!
I started to interact as much as I could on the forum, learning from all the experienced coaches that were on there. 
When I went to conferences and workshops, I was able to network, meet and become friends with so many like-minded coaches because I had already been connecting with them on the forum. 
I became a better, more knowledgeable coach, inspired by the incredible S&C community and their willingness to share knowledge and experience.
That little forum really grew and Coach Boyle had the opportunity to expand into what has become, with hundreds of articles, videos, programs, and webinars.   Of course, the forum has grown into something really special, with categories that include Advanced, Beginner, FMS, High School, Business, Critique my Form, Nutrition and more. 
Coach Boyle is on everyday answering (and asking) questions.
It's the only place anywhere to have full access to him.

Imagine a place...

Where you could go to get the latest info on everything Strength & Conditioning and training and interact with some of the best Strength Coaches in the World!  
Welcome to
It really has become “The Best Source for Strength and Conditioning Information”
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