Posts Tagged ‘Eric Cressey’

Thoughts and…Some More Thoughts

Monday, June 1st, 2009

1. First of I would like to congratulate a couple of Hocevar Performance athletes. Armin Basic won the state dicuss meet with a throw of just under 176 feet and then finished second in the shotput with 57.8 feet, both were PR’s!

Matt Fields (Charlotte Stone Crabs) had a great couple of games, hitting 3 home runs and having 7 RBI against Clearwater this past week. He is among the top 3 in the league in HR’s and RBI. Watch out for Matt as he is one of the most powerful hitters in the game!

2. I go through a bunch of books, manuals and dvd’s related to training and I thought I would start reviewing some of the good one’s I watch (yes, unfortunately I go through some crap as well). I just got done watching Robert Dos Remedios CHAOS Sport Speed Training and I have to say its really good. It gives the rational behind the training in a lecture format and shows tons of examples. If you play or coach basketball, football or any other sport that requires speed and agility and is unpredictable, then this DVD will definitely help you improve performance. (more…)

The Art of The Deload – More Than Just Training (Part I)

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

As I write this post I am going to be upfront and honest. I admit that I need to work on “deloading” in more than one area of my life. Part of the reason I’m writing about this subject is because it helps me practice what I preach a lot more. I can’t count the times I have not had a deload when I should have, whether it came to training, work, relationships or life in general.

Years ago I actually had real OTS – overtraining syndrome (and I’m not talking about the “overtraining” you hear so many people whining about when they’re tired and sore for a week) to a point where I couldn’t sleep, had no motivation and felt depressed most of the time. I was in labs getting tested all the time and all they could tell me was that my body shut down from all the stress (physical and mental). It took me months to get back to training on a normal level. All of this was because I had trained non stop and lived life a 100 miles per hour without having any type of deload. (more…)

Nuggets Of Training Wisdom

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Every week I get to read a number of articles, newsletters, journals and gardening magazines (only the first three are relevant to this post) and I get to digest a lot of information. Sometimes I see things that I shouldn’t do, sometimes I just find confirmation in the things that I am already doing and there is always something new that opens my mind to something I should be doing or incorporating into my training system. So here are some nuggets of wisdom:  (more…)

Random Thoughts

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I try to get these out on a Friday but I have been noticing that it’s always before or after. I guess the title should be random thoughts on a random day:

1. I have been quite busy with training, especially with the return of Matt Fields from the Tampa Bay camp (he played for Vero Beach this year). He is motivated and driven as ever and this off-season we are going to take his performance a step further from last year. Last year he made some incredible gains at Hocevar Performance (talk about strength and speed gains) while also going from 20% body fat to showing up at the Tampa Bay training camp at 10.3%. (more…)

Just Get Strong(er)! Relatively Speaking….

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

I tend to observe athletes a lot nowadays, whether it is on the court or in the weight room. I have noticed that there are more and more weak athletes. When I talk to them, many tell me that they want to get stronger for a certain sport, yet they seem to use methods reserved for bodybuilding and putting on a lot of mass. Now there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with putting on more muscle but we have to make sure that the muscle is going to be functional and carry over to improvement in prerformance. What many athletes fail to realize that the primary goal should be improving relative strength (in quite a few instances putting on mass is a must also……and they do go hand in hand if you train right). Relative strength is the strength to bodyweight ratio. I will give you an example of two athletes as this will explain things easier:

Athlete A:  weight 250 lbs, 500 lb squat

Athlete B:  weight 175 lbs, 437 lb squat

In this case everyone would say that athlete A is stronger, which is true in a way…….he is absolutely stronger, but he is not relatively stronger. Athlete B can squat 2.5x his own bodyweight while athlete A can squat 2x his bodyweight, which shows that the former has better relative strength. I am pretty sure that athlete A has better performance on the field/court! So how come more athletes (and trainees in general) don’t use more relative strength methodologies? Most of it stems from myths and misconceptions that get passed down from coaches, trainers, even the “huge guy” in the gym, that have always done it a certain way so that is the way everyone should do it.

Olympic Rings

I would say that this is a good example of relative upper body strength. You may bench 400 lbs, but you sure as hell aren’t doing that!

When it comes to these situations I always advise for the athletes to start lifting in the lower rep ranges (heavier weights, 1-5 reps) so that their body can also start making neural adaptations through which they will become stronger and also create more potential for growth (when I mention that I know it should raise the interest for those that were looking at me crooked when I mentioned the lower rep ranges). That does not mean that you will be lifting strictly in the low rep ranges, as it is important to lift through different rep ranges depending on your sport and also the goals you are trying to achieve. That is why I love the conjugate method of periodiazation (Conjugate training means to “couple” – you are combining training methods to develop different abilities simultaneously, for example…..strength, speed, functional hypertrophy).

Another way of improving relative strength is by reducing body fat percentage and putting on some functional muscle which would in essence lead you to around the same bodyweight yet with more horsepower. I was discussing some nutritional strategies for athletes here.

Now I know some of you are thinking why should I put all this focus into improving my relative strength when my sport requires a lot of aerobic or anaerobic endurance, agility and/or power. Where is the catch? The fact is that maximal strength is the foundation for all the other attributes! For this explanation I will use an analogy from Eric Cressey’s (genius) Off Season Training Manual.

Imagine you represent two different athletes with an 8 oz glass (Athlete A) and a 4 oz glass (Athlete B). For the sake of this discussion, the size – capacity – of the glass is our maximal strength. In essence, the more strength we have, the more specific physical attributes (fluid) we can put in our glass. These attributes include power, strength, endurance and agility – all of which can be limited by insufficient strength.

This is a shortened version of the example but I hope that you get the point – improve your maximal/relative strength and stop lifting pink dumbells.