Welcome Back….

I have to welcome back my good friend Richwho just started training with us again this week. He has had some issues with injuries and had to take some time off from training hard. His first session back you could see how happy he is to be in that environment again….

No let’s get something clear first, I would put Rich in the category of "washed up  meatheads" (if you don’t know what that means then figure it out or email me) and the guy has been through just about everything physically possible: WWF wrestling stint, kickboxing champion, being shot, car accident that left him in a comma, etc…..I really could go on for a while here believe me, but regardless of all the obstacles and injuries, he has kept himself in great shape (he is 40 years old, or somewhere around there…..he always changes the number).

The point I am coming to is that your body is a temple and to say that you are losing your fitness because you are getting older is a bunch of b.s. and it is just a bad excuse! At the same time it hurts me to see all these young athletes who do not have the work ethic and believe things will just come to them. Tons of potential, but no heart or desire to fulfill it!

Come to Hocevar Performance and if you do not bring it a 40 year old will destroy you. Guaranteed!!!

"Washed Up Meathead" pictures will follow soon……

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Train Your Back or Else!

I guess training your back is still the long forgotten art. I have been keeping track of the people that have did a freeweight or bodyweight back exercise in the gym in the past three days and I have to say I could count them on my fingers (for the record I have 5 fingers on each hand).

Everyone is still on the "mirror muscles" program and asking me why they have hit a plateau. And let’s not mention the fact that the amount of pressing that is going on, is causing an imbalance in the body that already has a crappy posture. If you were perfectly balanced (nowadays very rare) you should be doing a 1:1 ratio of pulling and pushing exercises. Considering that the posture of the average person is very messed up from leaning forward the whole day, it should be more like 2:1 or more for pulling compared to pushing.

 It also seems that people believe that having a sharp pain in the shoulder is just a part of lifting weights….and fighting through it makes you tough. The tough part is paying for shoulder surgery instead of training smart!

The point I am making is start training your back, actualy how about you start training all the muscles on the backside of your body, from your calves up to your neck, and see what will start happening: busting plateaus, better posture, a reason to dance when the "shake that ass" song comes on….

By the way, for all the athletes out there that want to get faster, at the football combines studies have showed that the fastest athletes also had the best relative strength when it came to doing chin ups/pull ups. Coincidence? I think not! Stop doing bench presses for a month and get your back stronger and let me know what happens to your performance.


Maybe you should do a couple more of these

Does no one want a "six pack" back?

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How To Improve Athletic Performance?

Improving athletic performance is in high demand and athletes continualy ask how to better their strength, speed, vertical leap, agility, etc… The question that needs to be asked first is: "Where is your leak"? What I mean by that is that everyone has inefficiencies and weaknesses (leaks) that stop them from taking their perfromance to the next level. Without figuring out what they are, we are just guessing and possibly spinning circles in our training.

Before I continue, I would like to point out that many athletes and coaches take the conditioning route when it comes to improving performance - this is a short term solution. This route will improve performance short term but will in no way yield long term results, as it can also flare up some underlying problems that already exist. Taking this route is like putting a bucket to catch the water from the leak (a quick fix). The bucket of water will get full and overflow and then we are in real trouble……

We have to find the cause of the leak (the hole in the roof) and fix it. Taking steps in this manner will give us short term results and most importantly long term success. The type of training that addresses these underlying problems and the one we should be focused on is neuromuscular training. Now, let’s look at what could be causing the "leaks". Here are the major shortcomings that could be holding you back from taking your perfromance to the next level. Find your leak (or leaks in most cases) and find the right guidance and training that will fix them:


Definitely a form of maximal strength training....

You guessed it, it’s maximal strength training…..

Poor maximal strength and relative strength (it is in first place because I have yet to train an athlete that was too strong and the majority are actually weak)

- Injuries that require rest and rehab (high volume conditioning training will only reinforce bad mechanics and poor technique which will lead to compensation patterns - this is only good if you are looking to get injured)

- Carrying too much body fat (I think this one needs no explanation, but the sad fact is that I see athletes that are overweight all the time because they eat like crap and think they can just go hard in practice and stay in great shape)

- Poor strength - speed and/or speed - strength

- Lack of explosive strength (this would also be considered rate of force development - how fast you can apply the force into the ground)

- Lack of reactive ability (you may be strong but lack reactivity so you cannot keep up with your opponents on the field/court)

- Lack of mobility and dynamic flexibility (thjs is one of the most underrated issues! Athletes need dynamic mobility and almost never focus on it)

- Structural imbalances

- Technical flaws

Training reactivity or tripping over the mat?

Hopefully this list will open your eyes and make you look at yourself and think about the underlying issues that are holding you back. Also, this list should have you realize that playing one’s specific sport year round doesn’t improve the general qualities that are key in athletic performance. Spend the off-season and work on these issues and then see where it takes your perfromance! 

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Strengthen Your Weakness - “Deck of Cards” Training

A creative way to improve upon some of your weaknesses is by performing a deck of cards training session utilizing bodyweight exercises. I tend to do this on unscheduled training days to work on some movements I want to improve and also strengthen some weaknesses. This way I can get in extra volume without wearing myself out too much. I tend to do this with my athletes so that there is a competitive environment, as we will compete to see who can get the most cards before the deck runs out. It can get quite crazy and the intensity is high.

The “Deck of Cards” training session is performed as follows: Grab a deck of cards and assign a certain exercise that targets your goals for the session to a suit (ex. heart - dive bomber push ups, diamond - squat jump, etc…..). Flip a card, the suit indicates the exercise and the number on the card represents the number of reps perform. Be sure to take out the 2,3 & 4 cards. The face cards represent 10 reps and the aces 11 reps, jokers mean 1o reps of each exercise. You can change the rules up and make it more or less difficult. Today our “extra” training session included:

Hearts - One Hand Push Ups (alternating)

Diamonds - Pistols (alternating)

Spades - Chin Ups

Clubs - Bodyweight Rows


Needless to say I got a lot of face cards…..


I really like rhe “Deck of Cards” training sessions. They get me working on my weaknesses but also allow me to enhance performance in areas I am already strong in. No matter what, always strive for improvement! Ask yourself honestly: Are you as good as you can be, as you want to be? Now, do something about it!

Till next time…….

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What Is Your Weakness?

You are only as strong as your weakest link, especially when it comes to athletic performance. So can you honestly say that you are focusing on and improving your weaknesess?

A good friend of mine who is also a great basketball player had never really payed much attention to strength training, mobility, basically enhancing performance through other areas other than the actual sport specific training. I had warned him that it is a mistake and that it would hurt him in the long run but he replied that he has never had issues and that he was feeling fine and playing well. This was all true, but all the dysfunction adds up……

This year he has had multiple injuries and he is dealing with a a chronic injury that is putting his career on hold. It is all a result of years and years of repetitive movement, minimal, un-serious off season training and not paying attention to his weaknesses. This is actually making me emotional just talking about it because I love this guy (he is one of my best friends) and I feel for him but he knows he needs to get his mind together. It is not too late for him but it has literally taken a full season out of his career (and hopefully not more). I know of players that have had to end their career because of similar issues!

Don’t let that happen to you no matter what your profession is! Make your weakness your strength and continue to amplify the strengths that you have. Yeah, I know it’s hard but do you want to be mediocore or do you want to be great, do you want a short carreer where you ask yourself if you could have done more or do you want to look back at all the great things you have achieved giving it your all and not letting things happen by chance? If you are not willing to bust your ass then you shouldn’t be reading this anyway!

What is your weakness? How are you going to make it a strength?

Teddy Roosevelt once said: “You can’t choose your potential, but you can choose to fulfill it.” You can’t fulfill your full potential if you are not working on your weaknesses!

P.S.  Sometimes it takes someone to help you identify your weakness and also help you fix it. Be open to constructive criticism, it wil only help you out.

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Strength and Performance Training “Environment”

Its late at night and I have been waiting for the right time to start writing this blog because I am the type of person that always feels everything needs to be perfect. I’m trying  to get out of bad habits so even though it’s not perfect, it is time…..

I am all about reseacrh and the optimal way to train when it comes to strength and performance, but there is nothing that will beat a great training environment! I went away from that for a while and trained by myself (also because there weren’t highly motivated people around me…..and I made the mistake of not seeking them out). I stuck to the program and pushed myself as hard as I could (at least I thought) and I did get good results out of it, slowly progressing towards my goals. You might be asking what’s wrong with that? Nothing, if you are ok with good. That doesn’t do it for me and I knew something had to change.

An opportunity presented itself when three younger guys (a high level athlete and two other very athletic individuals )sought me out to train them. Little did I know this was a great opportunity to take my training to the next level. Our first session was meant to be a lower level of intensity session where I would join in to show and explain exercises, intensity, concepts……..and it turned out to be the best training session all four of us had in a long time. After, that the decision was made that we will train together three times a week to take it to the next level for each of our goals.

Bottom line here is, that deep down inside you know whether you are training at the level that will get you where you want to be and you have to be honest and call your own bluff if you’re not. Are you really giving it your all? Did you leave your session knowing that you left nothing on the plate and if it was your last training that you could look back and say you would have done anything different? Who do you train with? Where do you train?

Where and with whom you train is one of the most important factors for improving in any given field and if you are an athlete you need  to find and enviroment that will propel you to another level of performance.  Ask yourself, are you in the environment that will give you that “extra”? Surround yourself with people that are stronger, smarter, more motivated and more succesful than you, give it everything that you have and see what will happen…… 

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