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1083 Route 83, Cape May Court House, NJ
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The (sometimes) Top 5 (sometimes more) Of The Week 8/2 - August 8th 2020

*Two of my athletes play in goal for field hockey and lacrosse, a position that requires plenty of side-to-side movement without a whole lot of forward to back movement. As the years go by the continuous side-to-side motion can start to cause an imbalance between certain muscles, which can lead to nagging aches and pains, and opens the door to injury.

 This is part of the reason I am not a fan of “sport specific training”. Too much of any one motion or movement decreases athleticism and creates structural issues.

 Gym work and speed work should increase athleticism, general strength, correct imbalances and aim to reduce the potential for injury.

 *It is 11:27 am on Tuesday morning and I have no idea how the rest of this day is going to play out. I have no internet, no cell service and the battery in my laptop is going to kick in the next 30 minutes and the wind doesn’t seem like its going to ease up any time soon. This is not a normal entry but I will do my best.

 Grab a rubber band at both ends and pull until it is stretched and then release the band and watch it snap back to its resting length. This snap back is the result of energy stored in the band due to the stretching action. The muscles act in a similar manner when they are stretched.

 When performing a squat, the muscles in the legs are stretched and energy is stored. When you push against the bar, the stored energy releases which helps the strength produced by the muscles to finish the lift. So you are using stored elastic energy and muscular strength when you lift.

 Based on a variety of factors, some athletes are naturally more elastic and bouncy than others. This can be beneficial on the field but it can become an issue when dealing with injuries.

 I am helping an athlete with some nasty knee issues build some strength and I noticed last night how he relies on momentum and speed when performing strength work. He tends to bounce out of the bottom of a squat and single leg exercises. He is relying on his elastic abilities, momentum in his words, to perform the reps. We need him to build muscular strength so we will start using a 2-3 second pause at the bottom of each rep, which negates the elastic response forcing him to rely on muscular strength.

 I wouldn’t have noticed any of this a few years ago and it is one of the aspects of this business I love.

 *Speaking of love, I friggin love 30-40 yard heavy sled pushes. Those unfortunate souls who have experienced them the last two days certainly do not but I think we have a new leg day staple!

 *Reasons why youth athletes need to learn how to lift.

    1) Strength is the root of speed and power. Last time I checked, those were important qualities in team sports.

    2) More high schools are creating lifting programs for their athletes. These programs are often run by 1 or 2 coaches who have a group of 20-40 athletes to watch over. Would you rather your daughter or son learn the fundamentals from a football coach with 39 other kids to attend to or a fitness professional training a group of 4-6 athletes.

    3) Improved coordination.

    4) Learn how to grind. Whether it is in the gym, on the field or in life, sometimes life can kick you in a not so nice place and you have to figure out how to pick yourself up and push back. I am not saying that learning to deadlift 315 lbs is the secret sauce of a resilient life, but there is something to be gained upstairs when you fail and fail in the gym only to walk in one day and set a new PR.

    5) Improved self-confidence. I saved this one for last because I am not sure what could be more important than the increased self esteem kids get from strength training. Nothing brings more satisfaction to me than receiving a text from a parent telling me how confident their kids become after putting some time in at the gym.

 *It is the last rep of an attempted 3 rep-max Deadlift and the bar is moving painfully slowly, your grip is giving out and every muscle in your body is screaming some very bad words.

 It is the 10th rep of a DB Bench press and your chest, triceps and shoulders are starting to burn, the rep speed has slowed but you know you have to push it a few reps further. You push until that last rep barely makes it to the top.

 These are the reps that build muscle. Sets need to be pushed until about a rep or two short of technical failure. The more of these reps you can accumulate in a workout, in a week, a month, a year, the faster you will make progress.

 The next time you find yourself ready to end a set, challenge yourself to push for 3-4 more reps and then do it again on the next set.

 

 

Last 10 Postings

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The (sometimes) Top 5(sometimes more) Of The Week 7/27
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1083 Route 83, Cape May Court House New Jersey
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