Sunday, February 23, 2014

World Training Center update: February 2014

World Training Center update: 

So far training is even better than the weather.....even in comparison to current Iowa conditions. 

Its good to confirm on what we've been doing very well w/ at grit gym. Being regarded as a "rare coach" and "ahead of the game" by Coach Dan Pfaff himself, said very nonchalantly in plain conversation but was great to hear. And most of all, learning what we can tweek and improve upon at Grit Gym in the future. Not to mention the increased network of resources thats come of this week. 

Im having a blast.

So far I've laughed and learned something new everyday. If you can do that everyday, you're gonna be just fine.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Top 5 for Parents of 7yr old Athletic Prodigies

After countless questions from overbearing parents about their 7yr old "athletic prodigy", I have come to many conclusions. 

So what are top 5 things parents should encourage 7yr olds to do If they want their kid to be a superstar athlete, in my opinion? 

1) Watch the edited versions of: 


    Kickboxer, 

    Bloodsport, 
    all Batman movies, 
    the first four of The Rocky series
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (original 1, 2,and 3), 
    Rudy. 

And not just for their awesomeness. 


Then reenact scenes in back yard. 

2) Learn to use a compass

Then go on an adventure alone in nature. WITHOUT a cell phone. They'll be fine while learning to rely on their self. 

3) Wrestle w/ their friends and rough house w/ their uncle (this is my job w/ my nieces and nephews). 

Anyone that says wrestling isn't the greatest sport for general athletic and psych development obviously has not wrestled. 





5) Turn off the screens. 

If I had a tablet, computer and cell phone when I was 7 I'd be stuck in them all the time too.

I'd have missed out on climbing trees, catching frogs, being covered in mud, getting lost in the timber (I believe the rest of the world calls it 'the woods') and having to find my own way home, fighting w/ my best friend, making up w/ my best friend, being John Elway in the back yard, hitting imaginary home runs, winning the olympics in the back yard, glueing random pieces of wood together and calling it art, cutting myself w/ my dads tools trying to "make stuff", watching my dog stalk and catch an animal, falling out of trees (kids that fall typically have less fear of heights than kids that didn't attempt), building "forts", crashing my bike, etc, etc. 

We live in arguably the best time of human existence for a child to grow up (outside of pollution and food), IF and I mean to put emphasis on the word 'if".....If parents will get out of the way, and/or allow it. 



His words, "Adam, Let's lift with our shirts off."

Every 7yr old in the world knows more about life than 99.9% of adults, it's us that can take a lesson from them. 

This isn't meant to sound preachy, it's a perspective. But these are probably the most common things I say w/ my nieces and nephews: 


     "Well, what do you think?"

     "What's over there?"
     "Let's find out." 
     "WHOA!!" 

The rest of the time I'm mostly listening and watching w/ curiosity to see what they're gonna get into next. 

Point is to let little Johnny BE little Johnny.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Case AGAINST Olympic Lifting for Baseball


If Olympic lifting continues in the baseball community, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in baseball pitchers will become what the ACL has become for female basketball players. 
The UCL is a ligament on the medial side of the elbow, right around the "funny bone" area. It has importance because it's what is known as a ‘Zone of Convergence’. All the muscles and tendons from the hand and wrist flexors come to meet at this one area. The UCL gets beat up during repeated stresses like heavy gripping, the layback-acceleration-deceleration of the arm during throwing and from heavy valgus stresses that we will cover shortly. 

See the layback and stress that'd put on an elbow? 

Olympic lifts and certain kettlebell exercises for baseball athletes not only lack the desirable training medium that youth athletes need but they are irresponsible and detrimental to BOTH of the pivotal pieces that I and GRIT GYM stand for. 

Grit Gym started with 2points of emphasis. 

1. Build durability to prevent injury in the first place (Corrective Exercise)
2. Enhance athleticism to promote a better experience in sport (Strength & Conditioning)

During the catch phase of the Jerk and the Snatch (both are overhead Olympic lifts), the shoulder actually does very well and there are little significant negative affects. However, the elbow has an enormous amount of valgus stress placed upon it in an instant. This is dangerous to a baseball/softball player because the elbow and particularly the UCL are already taking a beating via overhead throwing. By the way, valgus stress at the knee is one of the main reasons that females have more ACL injuries than males.

The Clean is probably the least dangerous of the three but it's still asking the elbow to go through an extremely fast flex (think opposite of extending the arm) and be forced down by a large amount of weight, putting a huge compressive load on a very small, intricate area that also happens to be extremely delicate in the overhead sports like baseball, volleyball and tennis. As well as putting a dramatic stretch on the hand and wrist flexors that ALL connect back in that “Zone of Convergence” at the UCL on the inside of the elbow.


We can look directly at Tommy John Surgeries. 10years ago a 17yr old having Tommy John Surgery would've been considered absurd taboo. It didn't happen. 4years ago we started noticing high school aged throwers having Tommy John, and now it is commonplace.  




A huge portion of the problem is the overwhelming popularity of Olympic lifting and strength coaches’ unwillingness to look at their programs objectively enough to see that changes need to be made IF we are to keep athletes healthy. You cannot train kids today the way we trained them 20 years ago, or even 5years ago. Yes it looks and feels pretty cool to rip up a huge clean, snatch or jerk, but is looking cool for a split second what we're ultimately going for? It’s no longer a matter of having the talent to make it to the league, but also having the durability to stay healthy

I have to admit that I do support Olympic lifts. Olympic lifts are great..... for those competing in Olympic lifting. NOT any other sport. Everything we get from Olympic lifts can be attained via other means. It's basically a weighted jump, which is the last thing most kids need anyway (The biggest lack of understanding in the Strength Coaching community is the differences between speed, power, and strength, these coaches choose flashy lifts instead of what will actually get their athletes performing better and with less injuries, either because they don’t know any better or they don’t care, either way this is a dangerous coach) The catch phase of a clean also has validity and is solved with an appropriate front squat (not everyone should do the same front squat). The posterior chain and hip hinge work is accomplished with a safe and proper deadlift and/or box squat. 

As mentioned above, for competitive Olympic Lifters, those lifts are their sport as much as a football is to a Quarterback. But baseball players especially, and really any other sport, are not Olympic lifters, they are baseball players. We have to start scrutinizing the training that these youth athletes are performing because these kids that are training their butts off deserve better than to have their hard work ruin their body and their experience in sport.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Learning Tools: Slow Motion Sprints

Slow motion sprints are great learning tools. 

Young runners, pay attention to his contact and contact time. The ball of his foot (NOT toe or heel) touches directly below his body in a loaded position, ready to deliver force to the ground. DIRECTLY BELOW even though it looks as if he is reaching. This is at top speed, you are not seeing the start, which in almost all other sports is the more important part. But watch the contact of the foot w/ the leg drive that he uses to propel himself fwd. 
REACHING actually causes a runner to slow down. They are stopping themselves little by little with each step, they are wasting energy and they end up w/ extra contact time w/ the ground mostly b/c it takes them a long time to get the foot back to directly underneath the body where it can deliver force to the ground again. Ultimately wasting their speed talents. 

When running, don't reach, instead drive. It should feel like you are gliding. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dismissing the CALORIE

There was a time when I first got out of college and immediately ran into a world that DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE in the field of Strength and Conditioning, Fitness, or Nutrition (meaning that I had higher expectations for my peers). I needed a job so I took one at a corporate gym (awful idea), where it was important to kiss ass, toe the line, keep your opinion to yourself, and conform into A COMPLETE TOOL.


Click here

Needless to say, I didn't last long in that environment......IN FACT.....I got fired.....about 2wks before I was gonna quit. Kind of coincidental, but it was bound to happen. I told people the truth, or as much as I knew at the time. I wasn't willing to mislead or tell them bullshit that wouldn't help and sometimes could potential hurt their progress.

Now I notice how wide spread this little anomaly is now, which actually makes it NOT an anomaly. But it can be better. The standard right now is that if you can sell and motivate then you make money, and this somehow makes you an authority. This is sad.

GRIT GYM has sold based on it's expertise from the day of it's conception, and continues as such to grow as a leader in this area.


If there is one thing I've somehow done a good job of in my continuing education, is the recognition of BULLSHIT, and the dismissal of such. When I talk to other people that do what I do, I usually end up laughing, and the majority of it is at their bullshit.

This video is to clear up the first bit of bullshit I ran into when I got in an argument with the staff at that first "Club".

COUNTING CALORIES IS BULLSHIT




This will become a series and we'll get into the more controversial lies that you've accepted, and that you will have a hard time believing me about. 

For instance why NOT to eat breakfast. Mmmmmm.....wouldn't that blow your mind if that happened to be true......?

The best is yet to come. 



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bit About the Hamstrings

In this installment we go into why/when we do or do not stretch the hamstring. Here I'm staying away from the differentiation between dynamic, ballistic, or static stretching. It's unnecessary for the purpose of this post.

What you need to know is that "absolutes" are extremely rare. The answers almost always lie somewhere in the middle. Some people will need their hamstrings left alone almost all the time, and some will need their hammies worked on often. It completely depends on the individual.



Our main focus during the screen and assessment that tells us what we need to know concerning the hamstring almost always comes from:

  1. The alignment of the hip: anterior/posterior/neutral pelvic tilt
  2. The symmetry between the flexion and extension patterns of the Right and Left leg
    1. Asymmetries are actually the 2nd biggest predictor for injury, the 1st being pre-existing injury
  3. It has NOTHING to do with a sit and reach, that is a low back test, not a hamstring test

When Stretching the hamstring, where the majority of the world goes wrong is using a touch the toes or a sit and reach approach, both are terribly incorrect with regard to the hamstring. Yes they do have a place, even though it is rare and should only be used in assessments such as the SFMA, which is an incredible way to look into what's going on with a person in pain. Practicing these movements and stretches is an entirely different deal.

When stretching the hamstring, we want to support a proper spinal alighment. In order to improve this stretch use a towel under your low back.


If I were to show you my other leg in this video you'd see why I need more work on my right side and less on my left.

Keep in mind that most people actually need very little hamstring stretching, and the ones that do usually need quite a bit of it. So it's going to be a good idea to get assessed in order to adjust your actions with your needs.

Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Live INCREDIBLE for over 360 years



It is important to consider what he says about the age 14. 

Around 14 is the 2nd phase of development for humans, the first being around 7 when school starts (when we are institutionalized). 

It is here that most of us stay for the majority of our lives (it satisfies one of our highest purposes, to create life to ensure continuation of the species), unless something traumatic happens and/or we go to a huge ambitious journey of emotional/spiritual growth. 




This journey can happen in many ways. One is already mentioned, it is the school of hard knocks. The 2nd is through deep spiritual practice (but christianity and many of our religions are screwing it up by using 'guilt', which is the opposite of 'grace'). And/or we can be courageous enough to immerse ourselves in learning and challenging ourselves w/ deep psychological practice w/ a coach and self learning.

In common terms, this takes tons of courage, and tons of commitment to ones self IN ORDER TO KNOW ONE'S SELF (this scares the shit out of 99.99% of people, people fear what they don't understand and 99.99% of people do NOT know who they are).

Resistance to this is simply fear, and not facing this is succumbing to that fear. Also, Negation of this is a simple projection of such. 99.99% of people are subject to this. Just how it is.

The ONLY way to BE INCREDIBLE is to take that 

journey. To learn.




Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bullshit of Goal Setting

What are you doing TODAY?

When talking "Goals" in today's world, the cart is almost always put ahead of the horse.

The high school athlete says "I want to be a state champ". 

Well that's great, but you're not playing for the state championship today. It may be the first game of the season and if that athlete's head is in the last game of the season s/he isn't going to play up to potential in the current game, s/he is on some level preoccupied w/ the last one that s/he hasn't earned yet.

Don't do this. It's good to have goals, but until there is a plan behind them, and this plan can be day to day, until then those goals will be BULLSHIT

The point is to do the ABSOLUTE BEST that each athlete possibly can to develop their body, mind and skills everyday and this will take care of the goal. It'll release the athlete of fear that only holds them back, allows them to remain in the present solely focused on the task at hand that is to develop their ability or to dominate w/n the current competition. It'll also allow for excitement in preparing for as well accomplishment to this instead of fear (there's a big difference between the two).

Start by taking action on what you can do TODAY. Just like the past cannot serve you other than what you've learned from it, the future hasn't happened yet, it doesn't serve you in any other way than your PREPARATION for it.


Preparation would be to include all things necessary to build ability: Strength and Conditioning, Psych, and Skills. So is the body and mind right as well as have skills been honed as best possible?



Athlete1: is obviously very good as seen by his/her ability levels, however falls short of best possible preparation. This doesn’t mean s/he lost the competition, it means s/he isn’t best possibly prepared for it. This has to be okay. In going for the outcome s/he has gained something incredible IF s/he gave it ALL. Then there is nothing more s/he could’ve done AT THIS TIME. Now s/he KNOWS s/he did his/her ABSOLUTE BEST. That’s true success and victory regardless of the outcome. Trying to do better than your best is a set up for failure. 

This is how an athlete lives on the edge, and every athlete should live on their edge. 

Athlete2: is obviously very good. His/her progress best sets him/her up for competition. Both athlete’s have the same responsibility in their competition, just so happens that Athlete2 is best prepared. Both require their ABSOLUTE BEST every single day. 

These reminders in your pocket, goal setting, and PRESENT preparation are all about focus. There are two relevant questions to ask yourself.

Where are you?
This reminds us to be Present. 
The 2nd question gets us focused to the task. 
What are you doing TODAY?









Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Farmer Strength, Ninjas and Being INCREDIBLE

In order to watch this, keep in mind that a Bovine animal will grow
around 3lbs/day in the firstyear, and a pig will grow around 2.2lbs/day.

It'll make sense when you watch. 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Yogi's vs Lifters vs Desk Jockeys vs THE FREAKS




These are spectra. Everyone sits somewhere on these, between your ultimate strength and weakest or between the furthest degrees of stiffness and mobility. It’s categorizing people to learn where we need to be and what means of exercise we should tend to in order to promote the best athlete (strong, efficient, fast, durable) that we can be (everyone has an inner athlete, age and ability level are irrelevant).


Everyone should be reaching towards the middle and doing more of the same won’t help. It is necessary to do what is opposing and usually what does NOT come natural. We must practice, this doesn’t mean immerse, but practice what we are not good at performing. Naturally mobile people will excel and therefore tend to enjoy yoga b/c they are good at it and will end up doing more and more of it.

People w/ a certain amount of “natural strength” (I use this loosely b/c it doesn’t exist) will gravitate towards lifting b/c they’re good at it. These people are typically on the more stiff and wound up (psychologically) side that could use the mobility, relaxation and breathing patterns of yoga. This is true and the same for the yoga person that needs the addition of strength work (actually more so than the other way around, even if I’m slightly biased, science agrees).

The desk jockey needs to do something that’s off his/her butt. And the genetic freak has just happened to luck out (h/e remember that ‘natural’ strength doesn’t exist). Unless they are too mobile, then this goes to the “stability spectrum” that I’ll explain next time. I happen to be one of these too mobile/strong/ freaks and it can raise a whole new host of issues that I’ll get into later.

Until then, do what goes against your nature or comfort zone. That’s where the magic is.