Friday, December 31, 2010

10 tips to successful goals

New year, new goals, new lease on life, and all that jazz. Really, having the right mind set is huge, and some people will follow through w/ their endeavors this year and more power to you. It's take a ton of discipline to change your mind and the amazing result is how much that can change your life and your body.

But for tonight, Have a good time be safe, celebrate and remember the best parts of 2010, and be thankful they happened.

Thought this video made sense for tonight. Start everything else on monday. Btw that's the 3rd.

But if you have something you want to do this year, here are a few ways to increase your likelihood for success.

1) Tell everyone about it.

Our brains do this funny thing when lots of people know about our goals, it psychologically increases our dedication to following through. It puts more pressure on success, more people are there to keep you accountable, and then you can share your story w/ every one of them when your accomplish it.

2) Write it down and put it everywhere.

Bathroom mirror, car, desk, etc. Reminders are huge, even if you get used to them you'll still be reminded more often.

3) Make it specific.

Don't say I want tone up, or get stronger or some bullshit like that. Say, I want to Dead lift 600lbs, or I want to have 7% body fat.

For instance last year I still had yet to see the ocean. I know, crazy right. So I said before I my next birthday I'm to see the ocean. What happened, I was about to take a trip all by myself one month before my birthday to see the ocean, when some friends asked me to go to the orange bowl. Well, it was freezing cold in florida the whole week, I saw the ocean but I may as well have been looking at a picture, cause it was too cold to do anything anyway.
Yep, this happened while I was there.

4) Be realistic. This doesn't need an explanation.

5) Imagine yourself already having accomplished it.

This will not satisfy your craving for it, but will make your faith in the possibility of having/doing it, and/or will make you realize how much you need and deserve to have/do it.

6) Devote yourself to working your ass off for it. This means working smart as well.
This ass is earned

Getting on a treadmill is not hard work, and it's definitely not smart work.

7) Find and talk to people who have done what you're trying to do.

8) Get help from experts. Even Kobe Bryant has a coach.

9) Don't be a douche bag.

You can believe what you want, Karma, prayer, energy flow, w/e. But studies have been done to disprove prayer over and over again and every time the results came back w/ overwhelming proof in numbers that it works.

The studies took hundreds of patients and hospitals (some studies got specific using only cancer patients). Half the patients names were given to prayer groups across the country and half were not. The half that were prayed for showed massive improvement in their health, the group that was not prayed for didn't have any significant deviation from what was expected.

Point is if positive thoughts can help people in a hospital miles and miles away, what do you think negative thoughts can do. Plus no one likes a douche, no one wants to help a douche, and no one is going to be happy for a douche.

10) Find something that inspires you as often as possible.

Music, stories, movies, quotes, activities that rejuvenate you (maybe a walk in nature), anything that lifts your spirit and gets you going. Then use that energy to catapult yourself into your endeavor.

K, that's it. If you have another tip for keeping on track, or increasing your success put it in the comment section below.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

25 things worth taking the chance on

1. Skydive.
B/c its an experience that can only be earned one way and you'll have that connection w/ everyone else that's ever done it. Plus its a total rush.

2. Fly an airplane.
Not flying "on" an airplane, but actually taking the controls and defying gravity.

3. Diversify your Beer portfolio
If you haven't branched out yet, you need to. Beer seems to take a back seat to wine in almost every category but getting drunk in college, however there is a whole world of class and distinguished tastes beer has to offer that are passing most of us by.

Here are a few safe places to start
-Rogue, my favorite is Dead Guy Ale but I'm a fan of heavy dark beer. There are others.

-New Glarus, I have yet to have anything from them that is not incredible. (and I'm not a fan of the state of WI so that is saying quite a bit.)

-Goose Island, I personally really like Pere Jacques, but it is heavy w/ a high alc content so be careful.

-Hoegaarden, It's a very tasty beer to start the night w/ friends.

Just a side note, try any IPA's at your own risk, but up to you, they're just not my favorite.

4. Ride a REAL bull
Possibly just so you can appreciate real bull riders when you flip past a rodeo on tv. And no, mechanical bulls do not count.

5. Fat. Eat it for gods sake, it's healthier than sugar.
Here's something to start w/

Duck Fat Potatoes
-1lb small red potatoes
-4 tbsp duck fat ($3 for 7 oz from a specialty supermarket or

Over low heat, melt duck fat in deep skillet w/ tight fitting lid. Raise the temperature. Rinse/wash potatoes, place in colander. Transfer to skillet (water + hot fat splatter, but this will also create cooking steam). Cover, shake skillet to coat potatoes. Cook until golden brown and tender (about 18min), season w/ coarse sea salt and black pepper.

And keep this dish for after a workout, your body will accept the carbs better during that time. Refilling your glycogen stores that have just been depleted, rather than having a glucose blood rush, cause then the pancreas produces insulin to pull the glucose out of the blood in an attempt to regulate glucose levels (which is a good thing) but then our bodies store it as fat (not such a good thing).

6. Blow hole diving
B/c it'd be phenomenal.

7. Downhill ski/snowboard a level far beyond your skill.
Yeah it's dangerous but so is shaving your balls.

8. Smoke an expensive cigar.
(not on a regular basis)

9. Try eating raw oysters.

B/c once you get past it looking like a bugger they are actually extremely good, but think how hungry the first person was to suck down one of those.

10. Perform a true 360 cookie in your car

Right now it's perfect in the midwest, cold w/ snow on the ground. Otherwise, find a gravel road and believe can be done.

11. Play tackle football past the age of 25
You're not too old unless you think you're too old.

12. Learn to surf
Whats the worst thats gonna happen, you get eaten by a shark, scrap your knee on the board surface, or develop a sweet and sexy new skill.

13. Take 15 minutes to savor a good glass of scotch
The point of drinking is not to get "slammed", and if you're going to drink you really should develop some kind of appreciation for what you're putting down your trap.

14. Get a heckler at a sporting event to sit down and keep his mouth shut.

15. Learn to do a flip off the diving board.

16. Scuba dive
Don't blow up your lungs.

17. Brave some second hand smoke w/ an old guy.
They are the best story tellers, and the stuff they did when they were young would put kids in juvie today.

18. Get off the beaten path in another country.

19. Take care of a toddler that isn't your own for 6 hrs.
It is an amazing exercise for developing patience and to instill safe sex practices. It's also nice for that little kids parents to have a chance to do something besides change diapers, do laundry, clean, and do anything w/ more than one hand at a time.

20. Do something that scares the shit out of you.
If you can do it regularly even better. For me its walking into a dark room. I'm very seriously afraid of the dark, so it's a regular game of "am I brave enough?". But don't be locking me in any dark rooms, I'll seriously put a hole in the wall.

21. Go somewhere for a week or two w/o telling anyone where you went (and if you can get away w/ it, don't even let them know you're leaving.)

22. Peg the speedometer.
You only have to burry that thing once to say you did it. Believe me, you'll feel like you're about to start flying and those dotted lines are gonna look like a solid line.

23. Bungee jump

24. Sleep in a tent for one week, w/ no radio, internet, or cell phone.
Preferably in the Rockies, w/ a cute girl that doesn't need make up, and enough food, beer, and fire wood to keep you warm each night.

25. Smoke pipe tobacco w/ a pipe inside your house (not repeatedly). It'll smell amazing for a week.


-Stay casual, calm and confident, walk up, half smile and say "Hi", to a girl that (you think) is way out of your league. Best done after watching "40 year old virgin". The conversation that follows could ensue the story the two of you get to share for the rest of your lives. Sometimes a girl's personality matches her face and body.

And if not, who cares, you had the courage to do it, and that's respectable.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

So the title was an attempt to be "politically correct" but really I have no clue.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Kwanzaa...w/e you celebrate. Really we're all gonna end up celebrating some form of a misconstrued event that I hope at least started out w/ good intentions. I mean who knew that when this all started to cover pagan rituals, it'd turn into a commercialized monetization juggernaut that would rule little american boys' and girls' entire winter, and drain every one of their parents. Just kidding, well to a point.

I know I'm a bit of cynic, but really I think christmas is great. I also may get tired of the commercials and carols, but really the exchange of money is a great thing. It's how our economy runs so why not.

This year is interesting I have a 5 year old niece and a 2 year old nephew who are completely into santa. Just like every other kid their age. So I'm getting this view of how awesome they think it'd be to find santa in their house tonight.

The question that I'm wrestling w/ is what would I do if I woke up in the middle of the night and "santa" was in my house?

How many houses to you suppose get robbed by "santa" every year? Idk but I bet it happens.

I'd love to know what you think.

If this happened I'm pretty sure I'd think I was getting robbed, and wonder how he got in.

Anyway, it's snowing like crazy here. Have a good one, get a workout in before the big meal, use the sample I gave a few days ago.

This workout will let you utilize the food instead of storing it as fat.

And this is just one of my favorite christmas movie scenes

Sportsmanship and recent ridiculousness

Because of events in the news the last couple of weeks I think it's about time some of us coaches start talking about sportsmanship.

It's been a couple weeks now, but this guy really should be ashamed of himself. Parents out there should feel lucky that he choose to coach pro athletes instead of your kids cause this is NOT the kind of person that should be in the position of "role model". But he made his statement, and as far as his press conference....give me a break.

Personally I find it hard to go to a youth football game at all b/c of what I see from the crowd. But to a point, I can empathize w/ a parent or fan disagreeing w/ calls from coaches and referees.

However, I still strongly hold the general opinion that parents and fans are not on the field so they should keep their mouths shut.

But this guy is a coach, and a strength coach on top of that. A strength coach sees athletes more than any other coach, all year long, up close and personal. Your strength coach should be like a mentor (I know that is what I hold myself to as my athletes' coach), a person that our kids should be able to look up to and come to when they need advise or w/e else.

And then we have players fighting each other. Yeah, a team should be like a family and my brother and sister and I used to have epic battles where we beat the hell out of each other, but this stuff, in a public place. These guys need more pride in their school and themselves along w/ more character than to throw a fit like this. It doesn't take a man to throw a fit or a punch. A 2 year old can do that. It takes a man to compose himself and resolve matters his own way, even if it does mean punches at the very least take it outside.

When some of the dolphins players were interviewed about the jets strength coach, what they said that stuck w/ me was that behaviors and actions roll downhill. The were attempting to say how Coach Rex is dirty and that attitude is infectious and affects the other coaches and pretty soon affects all the players.

We as coaches are in an incredible position and we have not only an opportunity but a responsibility to be the best PEOPLE and COACHES that we can be in order to provide a model that our athletes can learn from. I don't mean that to seem like I'm saying we have to be goodies that tow the line all the time, that's far from what I think kids need.

The right role model isn't always what you think

If we are the best people that we can be that will trickle down. Our kids will learn from our best qualities if we let them show through. The really amazing part that I've found is how much I end up learning from them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's w/ all the baby makin?

On to a subject I definitely do not consider myself an expert in. For some reason lately I've noticed an influx of pregnant women. Maybe I'm just getting to "that age", but the last time I remember noticing this many pregnant women I was 5 and my mom, 2 aunts and some family friends were all pregnant at approximately the same time. Scary stuff. But non the less I've always found this subject interesting in terms of exercise. How much should a woman workout while pregnant? How intense? What exercises? Etc....

In all actuality the exercise game is in infant stages in comparison to other activities human beings have been doing throughout our existence, so no matter who you are, exercise during pregnancy is almost completely uncharted territory.

A few of the things I know, is that:
1. men envy women because we cannot give life, and that's a pretty amazing deal.

We'll also never have to go through labor, so when it comes to talking about our "tough glory days" of football and wrestling, we might as well just shut up when the moms walk in the room.

2. Pregnant women are not to be messed w/.

Right now happens to be my older sisters third pregnancy and I don't know if it's hormones, entitlement, or stress but holding my tongue is an almost constant activity.

3. Pregnancies are nothing to mess w/ in general.

That's some precious cargo and it's fragile so this subject should be taken very seriously and given tons of thought and research.

Cassandra Forsythe is doing an interesting deal on her website right now though, in regard to exercising preggers, and these are her first two interviews.

Some of the stuff I read today

Typically when we feel relaxation is the last thing we need it's actually the time we need it the most. This is especially true during the holidays and I doubt very many people feel like dropping any more cash but a massage would probably go a long way on your way to the hap hap happiest christmas since...

But if you're not willing to get a massage this was a decent read.

I realize how lots of this stuff sounds and it's magical hocus pocus feel, but I have a hard time hearing an argument against MINDSET and BELIEF.

Dr. Bowden also posted Top 10 Tips for Jump Starting Weightloss that was a very quick, easy and informative read.

There are all kinds of parasympathetic activity options.

1. I do think massage is the healthiest and most beneficial/effective option
2. Meditation
3. Naps/sleep
4. (I hate to say it) but yoga and/or pilates.

Anything you can do to unwind and get your head in a positive, solution based position.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yeah, I suppose I did feel like a vampire drinking my pomegranate juice out of a wine glass this morning. What can I say?

Point: Get real pomegranate juice everyday. Best suited for the morning obviously (the carbs in liquid calories get absorbed too quickly to be ingested any other time of the day.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A simple lower body break down

Your "core" muscles resist movement and stabilize every thing in the trunk. They are not designed to produce movement. Otherwise we'd have two hamstring like muscles in place of that sexy, rippled, 6 (sometime 8)pack deal.
The glutes make you move fast. Especially forward and laterally.

They also seem to be eye catching.
And according to the discover channel women prefer men w/ a nicer set of glutes as well (sorry could not find the study online). But this would make sense that through millions of years of evolution it is in our very nature to be attracted to traits linked to survival, like strength, speed and intelligence. Just saying, a guy w/ a big ass is probably going to be faster and stronger.

Could this give rise to saying "His brains are in his butt"? I wish, but I highly doubt it.

The hip flexors produce knee drive which is what it sounds like, driving your knee fwd to increase stride length and move faster.

This picture may help a bit more. They pick up your leg so you can move it fwd, a job often given credit to the quads......nnnnnot totally true, but the rectus femoris does flex the hip up to around 30 degrees so I guess you could say "kinda"....

The hamstrings help the glutes make you move fast, as well as keep your knee where it should be.
They're also one of the most blamed muscles for injuries in athletes when it's really not all their fault. Typically if the hip flexors wouldn't have been so tight, pulling the pelvis into anterior tilt, putting the hamstring in a tight elongated position and compromising the glutes ability to extend the hip the hamstring would've been just fine.

The quads help you decelerate and also help keep your knee from doing abnormal things. I should mention that although deceleration is extremely underrated it still doesn't justify direct, isolated quad work.

On a side note they are also the culprit of "thunder thighs". Not to get all body builder on you however the glutes grow posteriorly, and so do the hamstrings for the most part, but the quads grow the whole way around. So there's another reason to hate leg extensions, besides that they are worthless.
BTW you should've seen some of the pictures I just saw looking up that quad. Gross, ridiculous, and hilarious, like I'm laughing at you not w/ you kind of hilarious, all rolled into one).

The calves help us absorb initial force and vice versa promote turnover and propulsion during running and jumping. It's also the place of my favorite name of any muscle in the body (but not favorite muscle): The Gastrocnemius.
W/o these we'd be bouncing around a lot more.

This is vastly over simplified but my clients tell me all the time that I need to shut up and pretend I'm explaining things to my 5 year old niece, so there you go.

No equipment needed

It sounds like southeast Iowa is about to get snowed in........imagine that.
Anyway, since I'm a slightly cynical, realist that happens to also be optimistic, I like to think that people will still get a workout in even if they're stuck at home. So, I put this together for a friend that is stuck at home tonight.

1a) Pushups 4x10

1b) lateral lunge 4x12/side

1c) 1leg RDL's 4x10/leg

2a) Lunge hops 4x10/leg (get off the ground w/ each lunge) (or you can do jumps w/ 2 feet 4x6)

2b) renegade rows w/ no weight 4x40 total

3a) lateral Plank 3x30s/side (only your feet and one elbow touch the ground while your laying laterally to the ground)

3b) Prone Y super man holds 3x15 (basically just do Y's w/ your chest on the ground and your feet off the ground and emphasis the glutes w/ the hold)

3c) Prisoner squats 3x15 (its a bodyweight squat w/ your hands behind your head)

This workout could also be used by frequent travelers that don't always stay where there's a nice workout area. Although if it's snowing you might as well get your ass outside and start shoveling.

Just don't end up like this

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Get your athletes moving

Different athletes have different needs. Some athletes need more activation than others, some are tight as drums and need to work on mobility, some are biomechanic train wrecks and need an overhaul, there are even kids that have grown too fast and forgotten that their hands are connected to the rest of their body. This is where a strength and conditioning and playing multiple sports throughout the year becomes pivotal in the development of an athlete.

We know that specialization at an early age is detrimental to long term performance and health. Athlete's simply break down when they pitch too much. The best player on the team pitches the most innings and games during the year and gets ruined before his time.

Until 15-16 years old kids need to be exposed to as many sports and physical activities as possible, especially before the age of 12. The need to wrestle, play baseball and football, ride a bike, ski/snowboard, skateboard, roller skate and/or rollerblade, play basketball (although I hate to admit it), go swimming and learn to do a flip, they need to run around, climb trees, get hurt, have a physically demanding job like construction or landscaping, etc...

They need to be active and it doesn't have to be competition or even organized. Play catch in the backyard, hang a rope from a tree, sneak onto a driving range at night w/ a baseball bat steal some balls and see how far you can hit them. Obviously the last one is a stretch.

But in all honesty I grew up where every time you stayed at a friends house you had wrestling matches after dinner every night. Why do you think Iowa is so good at wrestling. This was great for our coordination, body positioning, and all around real world strength, the basis of any great athlete.

Get your kids moving.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I've changed my mind again.

Weighted balls for pitchers:

I used to think what's the point, you throw a ball and catch a ball who cares what it weighs, don't mess w/ it. I also used to feel like swinging a heavy bat a few times before I went up to the plate helped me swing a little better. Although it may have psychologically made the bat feel a little lighter and more comfortable in my hands (increasing my ever expanding ego at the time) we now know that it did little to nothing for my actual hand and bat speed.

We know this w/ training as well. Taking BP w/ a heavy bat isn't going to help bat speed. And really I think it's probably going to mess w/ your mechanics a little bit and/or throw off your timing when you get in the game.

On the other hand, research shows that throwing w/ balls slightly above and below the standard weight of a baseball can improve arm speed. Weird. I made fun of those weighted ball sets when the first showed up in catalogs years ago.

Little side note for overbearing parents, not every kid needs to be using weighted balls. For some pitchers it's useful once in awhile but only when it's necessary. And it's not something you do everyday, nor is it something you start doing w/ everyone of your little leaguers. Be smart. These are people you're dealing w/ and you can screw them up way easier than you can help them.

Weighted balls have their place, but wont replace a solid strength and conditioning program or proper mechanics. Just one more tool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beyond conventional upper body work

There’s something to be said for doing upper body closed chain exercises. Beyond Pullups and pushups.

Football players, wrestlers and sports that involve your eyes listen up. The two sports where I see athletes getting the greatest gain from this are the previously mentioned sports but from an experiential standpoint walking on your hands, standing on your head, doing wheel barrels are invaluable to performance and under appreciated.

I’m not saying it needs to be a cornerstone of your programming but an athlete that can walk on his hands is going to have excellent shoulder stability, incredible core and upper body strength, as well as amazing overall proprioception an kinesthetic awareness and in the case I mean his/her awareness of and body control. It also has huge ability to increase hand eye coordination and reactive ability.

When I was a freshman in high school I dislocated my shoulder and cracked the growth plate. It was a bad deal. My scapular stabilizers were terribly weak, and I had horrible scapular winging. Eventually physical therapists made me crawl w/ my hands on a treadmill to work on this. Does this sound like a wheel barrow race?

Think about, what do we do before we walk? We crawl, there is a physiological reason for this. For one we don’t have the balance, strength and coordination to walk yet, but that is the point. Our bodies must learn to move and react in a complete different fashion than we are used to.

Now think of grappling and pumbling. Both are mainstays in wrestling and football (blocking). Both are affective for a reason, much like walking on your hands can be.

Try it out w/ your athletes. Pick one day and do it for 4 weeks, make a competition out of it. Let me know how it goes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tip of the day

Tell yourself you're a BAD-ASS constantly.

There is NOT a successful athlete that has a defeated attitude.

Get your head right, step up to the challenge, and always move forward.