Speed Training with Nick Sorensen

Nick S.jpg

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Nick Sorensen trained with AE most of his 10 year NFL career during his off seasons, beginning in June of 2002, after being drafted and released by the Miami Dolphins. That first year we worked with him for five and a half weeks prior to the pre-season camp.

After the initial assessment, we focused on improving his explosiveness, lean muscle mass, his lower core function, flexibility, sprint technique, and reminding him of the correlation between all of those things and his speed. In addition, we addressed his scar tissue needs, in the shoulders, rotator cuff, and lower legs, which inhibited muscle recruitment and performance, along with a few structural balance issues.

Nick never had an issue with body-fat ratios or fat composition, due to clean-healthy eating habits, even in the off season his body-fat was in the 6% and during the season 4%. When Nick began, his best forty-yard time was 4.41 seconds, when he left for camp his best time was 4.35 seconds.

In 2003 we wanted to make him completely healthy, muscular, and strong from the previous season's injuries. By camp with the Jaguars Nick was performing 135 lb dips, 50 lb close grip pull-ups, and 225 jerk presses, all for 3 reps. Likewise his sprinting technique was superb, with excellent angles, tempos, power, and limb placement. His best 40-yard times were 4.28 and 4.23 seconds.

In 2004 we started early as well, working around an elbow injury that he sustained at the end of the 2003 season. Although his time with us was limited due to team obligations and constraints but our goal was to increase his lean muscle mass, strength, explosiveness, over all flexibility, and muscle balance.

During the remainder of his career we worked with Nick through and around injuries to the elbow, shoulder, and lower leg, team off-season training restrictions, releases, transitions, and new team auditions. We would try and maintain all his performance qualities, muscle mass, strength, speed, power, range of motion, structural balance, scar tissue, and any minor injury concerns.

Through it all he learned to be proactive, disciplined, consistent, informed, healthier, and prepared in all phases of his self-care. Nick has been one of the fastest players on each of his teams, the Rams, Jaguars, Browns, and in the NFL. He maintained his 4.2s speed, until his retirement as a result of a neck injury in 2010.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

 

 

 

What’s Up, Albert & The 300yd Shuttle?

By James Walker, CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

In this day and age of technology (cell phones, ipods, laptops, aps, internet, google, etc) that makes gathering information very accessible it’s amazing that so much incorrect and ignorant information permeates the airwaves, internet, and newsprint spheres. And this comes from journalist or in this case sports journalists who we used to rely on for accurate information! Especially since correct and reliable information is only a phone call or keystroke away.

There are countless university exercise science professors and sports-performance-strength coaches, all eagerly ready to be interviewed by some famous sports journalist concerning Albert Haynesworth’s struggle in the 300-yard shuttle. Why can’t he pass it or how should he have prepared in order to pass the easy or hard, depending on the commentator, 300 yd-shuttle test. “He needs more cardio”, “why didn’t his trainer prepare him”, “why didn’t he lose weight”, oh yeah he did lose weight, about 35 lb, “so why didn’t he pass”, or “just because he lost weight doesn’t mean he’s in football shape”, right?

I know all of my former professors, strength coaches, and exercise specialist who have mentored me the past 30 years cringe every time they hear, read, or see the responses from all of the media experts.

The 300-yard shuttle run consists of sprinting 25-yards down and back six times touching the line with the foot in order to complete 300 yards total distance. The times may range from 56 seconds for football receivers and defensive backs to 73 seconds for offensive and defensive linemen. After completion the participant rests 3-5 minutes (3 & ½ for the NFL Washington Redskins) then repeats the test a second time. The times can then be averaged or compared to determine the athlete’s fitness level.

The purpose of the 300-yard shuttle run is to test maximal anaerobic-sprint endurance and/or conditioning. In order to attain a reliable score the participant must sprint at maximum effort and not pace themselves. The general testing populations are sports that involve anaerobic-sprint endurance like-.basketball, hockey, rugby, and soccer.

Now I must confess that when I had to take Testing and Measurement and Statistics decades ago I thought I’d never use any of it but I’ve consistently relied on and utilized the information over and over, especially administering performance assessments and analyzing training data.

All test must be valid, reliable, and objective, all interrelated values and that the measurement must measure the component that it supposed to measure; measure the component consistently; and result in similar scores regardless of the administer.

Let’s look at a quick review of those terms valid, reliable, and objective.

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures a specific component that it is intended to measure. The test should contain tasks that reflect those specific components to be measured or it’s content validity.

Test reliability refers to the degree to which the test yields consistent and stable scores over repeated trials and time. Reliability depends upon how strict the test is conducted and how motivated the participant is to perform the test.

Test objectivity refers to the degree to which the test can be measured repeatedly and reliably by various testers with minimum subjectivity.

So in spite of how you may feel about Albert and his conditioning it’s amazing that this test is used to test football players, yet alone a 300 lb lineman. Considering that the average play last between 4-5 seconds, why would you test something that last 50-70 seconds? Does this sound valid, reliable, or objective?

First of all, 4-5 seconds of maximal effort utilize absolute strength, power, and speed, all anaerobic bio-components that involve IIB fast-twitch muscle fibers and alactic-glycolytic energy systems.

Secondly, 56-73 seconds of maximal effort (actually slightly sub-maximal) utilize strength and speed endurance that involves IIA fast-twitch muscle fibers and lactic-glycolytic energy systems. The two are very different in their respective functions and actions.

Thirdly, there is another sub-maximal speed endurance IIA fiber that utilizes a glycolytic-oxidative energy system.

Fourthly, none of these are aerobic which starts to kick in after several minutes of continuous sub-maximal effort that involve slow–twitch IA muscle fibers and primarily an oxidative energy system.

In the exercise science community it really doesn’t make since. So when these experts see test such as the 300-yard shuttle or parts of the NFL combine test they cringe, shake their heads, and wonder if any of them ever picks up an exercise science journal or text.

In summary the test is not a very good indicator of anaerobic alactic power required for football. It does not make sense to any knowledgeable exercise scientist. A better test for football conditioning would involve maximal efforts of 4-5 second that are repeated numerous times with 15-30 seconds of recovery to simulate the huddle. Watch the game, doesn’t that make more since?           

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

                                    

The Hotel Workout

By James Walker, CCS, STM, Biosig, Master Trainer

 

I call this the Hotel workout but it can be done anywhere, in little time, no excuses…the hotel didn’t have a gym, the gym was too crowded, I didn’t know how to use the equipment, etc, etc…Remember at the end of the day, week, month, and year, something is better than nothing! So ‘Just Do It’!

     Perform this workout in a circuit fashion, going from the first exercise to the second and to the third, i.e., A1, A2, A3, doing three rounds for 10 reps or 3 x 10. This will helps create the volume and the physiological response, i.e., metabolic elevation, growth hormone production, muscle growth, and fat loss that’s desired.

     Time permitting you could do up to 5 circuits or rounds. This program is do-able, convenient, and accessible for you, anywhere or time, no excuses! This can be done on a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule.

Below is a brief description of a Two or Three Day Workout Format:

Day 1 – 10 reps each for 3 sets/rounds.

A1. standing bodyweight squat;  – with feet hip width apart or slightly wider and hands on waist, lower body   down towards floor as far as possible on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10 reps.

A2. incline pull up with towel or rope; - with a knot on the end (requires a secure door or rail or banister; or   wedge middle of a folded towel between door and door frame, shut, secure, or lock the door so it doesn’t open and will safely support your body weight; or wrap a towel around a rail or banister that’s strong and sturdy  enough to support your weight; hold the ends of the towel in each hand and position feet on floor close to the bottom of door or rail, lean body away from the door as far as possible, support your weight with the towel and your arms, pull body up to hands or towel on a 2 tempo and return on a 3-4 tempo. 10 reps.

A3. Lying hip lifts; – lay on the floor with your hands by sides and your feet up towards the ceiling, lift your hipsoff the floor 2-3 inches or as high as possible on a 1 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10-20 reps.

Day 2  – 10 reps each for 3 rounds.

A1. standing split squat;  – in a lunge stance with one foot forward and the other foot back, on forefoot with heel raised, lower torso down towards floor as far as possible on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10 reps.

A2. push up against a wall or on the floor; – with hands against the wall, feet hip width apart approximately 3-5 feet from the wall, lean towards the wall, lower torso towards the wall on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo;   or in a push up position with hands and feet or knees on floor, lower torso towards the floor on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10 reps.

A3. Crunch; - laying on the floor with both legs bent and hands by sides on floor, slide your hands down    towards your hips and raise your torso up off the floor 2-3 inches on a 1 tempo and return on a 1 tempo. 10-20 reps.

Day 3  – 10 reps for 3 rounds.

A1. standing good-mornings;  – with a hands by ears and elbow out to the sides and feet hip width apart, keep chest up and shoulders back, push hips back as far as possible and bend torso forward towards the floor (bow position) on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10-20 reps.

A.2. seated dip between chairs; – position your body in a seated or semi-squat position between two chairs of equal size with body supported by each hand on a chair seat or with your back and hips over the edge of the   bed with hands by sides on bed for support, the legs and feet are out in front on the floor, lower the hips & torso down towards the floor as far as possible on a 3-4 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10 reps.

A3. Side hip lifts; - lay on one side supported by elbow and forearm against the floor with your feet slightly straddled (one forward & one back), raise your hips up off the floor as high as possible on a 1 tempo and return on a 2 tempo. 10 reps each side.

Remember take your time and don’t sweat it. Even if this is easy or only takes 10 minutes at the end of the week, month, and year you will have done much more work and burned many more calories as opposed to doing zero!   Each round should take 2 -3 minutes, followed by a 1-2 minute rest period. The entire workout should take between 10-20 minutes depending on the length of your rest periods.

     ‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Nine - Nutrition & Supplementation 101 Con’t

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Nutrition Con’t

d) Fats - consist of all oils from flesh, nuts, and plants including: butter, margarine, mayonnaise, vegetables, borage oil, flaxseed oil, CLA oil, GLA oil, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, egg yolk, turkey, and pork, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Intake may be between 15-30% of total food intake, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Intake should be .3 gm (.4 gm if under 10/14 % body fat for males/females) per lb of body weight. So a 150 lb person take 45 gm per day and a 200 lb person 60 gm per day. The exemption to this is supplementation with omega 3 fish oil. We recommend taking 5-35 grams of omega–3 fatty acid such as Krill, salmon, omega 3, GLA, CLA, EPA, DHA, or EFA daily.

 

·      Eat lean choices of beef, pork, chicken, and lamb (cut off and discard extra fat)

·      Dietary fats are essential to the body and help to carry the fat-soluble vitamins.

·      Fats provide energy.

·      Fats surround and protect certain organs (heart, kidney, and liver).

·      Essential fatty acids help the liver to transport and breakdown fat and cholesterol.

·      Essential fatty acid help fat loss.

·      Essential fatty acid such as DHA help cognitive or brain function.

·      Essential fatty acid such as EPA help reduce inflammation and promote a healthy heart.

·      Choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, peanut oil, or oil with instead of trans-fats.

·      See vitamin function of A, D, E, and K.

e) Vitamins - consists of A, B, C, D, E, and K and are found in the foods that we eat, except D, which is also produced in the body with the help of sunlight. We recommend taking a daily multivitamin supplement to assist in your training.

 

·      Vitamin A found in fish oils and converted from carrots (carotene) helps tissue growth and repair, RNA production, and protects certain membranes from infection.

·      Vitamin B found in vegetables and animal tissue they help provide the body with energy, convert carbohydrates into glucose, metabolize fats and proteins, and aid in nervous system function and nerve health.

·      Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables helps to heal tissue, form red blood cells, fight infections, reduce allergic reactions, maintains connective tissue, replenishes adrenaline, and protects vitamins B, A, and E against oxidation.

·      Vitamin D found in animal tissue, plant tissue, and fish-liver oils, and is produced in the body by exposure to sunlight, helps in the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus, the development of bone and teeth , and nervous system function.

·      Vitamin E found in whole raw seeds, nuts, soybean, and cold-pressed vegetable oils, helps prevent vitamin A and other fatty acids from breaking down with other substances into harmful toxins, protects tissue, cells, and certain vitamins from aging, oxidation, and destruction. Enhances the endurance of heart, lung, and muscle cells.

·      Vitamin K manufactured in the intestines with the presence of certain milk related bacteria and in kelp, alfalfa, green vegetables, yogurt, egg yolks, fish-liver oils, safflower oil, and blackstrap molasses, helps blood to clot, carbohydrates to be stored in the body, and the liver to function normal.

f) Minerals - consist of calcium, chlorine, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, chromium, iron, selenium, vanadium, etc…There are at least17 essential minerals that the body needs. Some are found in the body and others in foods. We recommend taking a daily multi mineral supplement.

 

·      Minerals are necessary for many mental and physical abilities.

·      Minerals are in bone, teeth, tissue, muscle, blood, and nerves.

·      Minerals assist in brain, heart, and nervous system functions as well as the building of bones and allowing physiological aspects to occur for athletics and everyday movement activities.

·      Minerals enhance muscle response, transmit messages and assist in the nervous, digestive, metabolic, hormonal, and endocrine systems. They also help in the utilization of nutrients from food.

·      Minerals help maintain water balance throughout the body and blood and tissue ph balance.

 Nutritional Summary-Recommendations:

1.    Daily water intake should be between 75-140 fl oz depending on your body weight and climate conditions.

2.    Daily protein intake should consists of a variety: beef, buffalo, chicken, exotic meats, fish, lamb, lean pork, shellfish, turkey, etc, and be between 150-400 gm depending on your body weight and goals.

3.    Daily carbohydrate intake should consists of mostly vegetables, especially leafy and green ones but reds and yellows also and some nuts and fruits, mostly low glycemic ones depending on your composition and may be consumed freely with little restriction if consumed without heavy sauces and oils.

4.    Take a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.

5.    Take a daily multi-mineral.

6.    Take a omega-3 fatty acid supplement and vitamin D3 supplement.

7.    Take the post workout shake or meal – it is extremely important for muscle and strength development, recovery, and hormonal balance, which may be in supplement form for optimal absorption. Try to limit protein/carbohydrate supplement to the post workout meal.

8.    Learn to eat a variety of real foods, the proper type, time, amount, and portion, 4-8 meals per day.

9.    Protein-amino acid supplementation may be used during certain circumstances, meals, during workouts, or after workouts.

REFERENCES–

  1. Paul Chek– “The Golf Biomechanics Manual”; “Scientific Back Training”;
  2. Charlie Francis – “Training for Speed”.
  3. Jurgen Hartmann and Harold Tunnemann –“Fitness and Training for All Sports”.
  4. Michael Leahy – “Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Management System”.
  5. Richard Magill – “Motor Learning Concepts and Applications”.
  6. Charles Poliquin – “Modern Trends in Strength training”; “The Poliquin Principles”; “Manly Weight    Loss”; “Winning the Arms Race”.
  7. Mark Guthrie - “Coaching Track & Field Successfully”.
  8. Jonny Bowden - “living the Low Carb Life”.     
  9. Mario DiPasquale - “The Anabolic Solution”; “The Metabolic Diet”.   
  10. Harvey Newton - “Explosive Lifting for Sports”.    
  11. Steven Fleck & William Kraemer - “The Ultimate Training System - Periodization Breakthrough!”     
  12. Bill Phillips - “Sports Supplement Review”.                                                                     

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Eight - Nutrition & Supplementation 101

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Nutrition and supplementation is probably one of the most underutilized and misunderstood proponents of training. Proper implementation could dramatically impact regeneration, recovery, healing, muscle hypertrophy, super compensation, strength, power, mood, energy, and overall progress, Part eight reviews the elementary components of nutrition and supplementation.

 1. Nutrients - are components of food that nourish the body by providing energy, rebuilding cells, and regulating metabolic functions. They include: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

 2. Supplements - are nutrients that is prepared as a pill, powder, or liquid used in conjunction with the food to supply adequate or additional nutrient levels.

 a)    Water - is the most abundant substance in the body (60% of body weight). Intake should be about ½ of your bodyweight in ounces per day and up to 66% in the summer or when it is warm or if you are doing endurance workouts.

·     Water is essential to transport nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates throughout the body.

·      Water is necessary for electrical impulses for optimal muscle contraction.

·      Muscle consists of 50-70 % water so sweating causes cooling and dehydration.

·      1-2 % of bodyweight loss in water may cause 7-10 % decrease in endurance performance and a 5-6% decrease in strength performance.

b)    Proteins - consist of all flesh foods, including: beef, chicken, eggs, fish, lamb, legumes and rice, pork, shell fish, tofu, turkey, protein bars, and powder supplements. Intake should be 30-50% of total food intake, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories. For muscle weight gain intake 1 grams per lb of bodyweight. If there is no increase in muscular weight after 2-6 weeks slightly increase your intake by 10% increments for the next four weeks or until you find your correct amount, up to 2 grams per lb of bodyweight. When not training or just trying to maintain current muscle mass try consuming (.8) gram of protein per lb of bodyweight.

 ·   Protein is essential to build muscle tissue, maintain muscle, repair the body, increase metabolic rate, and manufacture antibodies and hormones.

·     Eat complete proteins (lean/low fat: beef, chicken, eggs or egg whites, fish, lamb, pork, and turkey or a good quality supplement).

·   Evenly space meals at regular intervals (2-3 hrs) four to six meals per day to increase absorption, optimize utilization, and aid metabolic rate increase.

·      Excess protein will be converted to fat if you over eat.

·      Also protein will be converted into glucose (sugar) if you don” t consume enough vegetables or foliates or carbohydrates.

·      Usually your fist size or the palm of your hand to total hand size is a good reference or 4-12 oz cooked, depending on your size and metabolism. An exception to this amount can be made for the post workout meal and for individual metabolic rate.

·    No deli or processed meats due to the low quality of protein and high fat content unless organic.

c)    Carbohydrates - consist of all plant foods including: beans, bread, fruit, grains (fiber), honey, jam or jelly, juice, lentils, pasta, potatoes, rice, soda, sugar, energy supplements, and vegetables. Intake may be between 25-40% of total food intake, depending on body composition and hormonal profile. 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories. For weight gain and post workout recovery intake may be as much as 100-200 grams if your body fat is below the10% (male) and 14% (female) range. If your body fat is above this your post workout shake/meal should be limited to 20-40 grams maximum. Once the ideal body fat is attained daily intake should be increased and rotated to manage ideal composition and fat% e.g., every 2-5 days you can consume additional carbohydrates (up to 100 gm extra) to load if needed or desired. Please use beans, fruits, lentils, natural grains (with fiber), potatoes, and vegetables (especially dark green and leafy), which are the better choices.

·      Carbohydrates are important because they supply energy in the form of glucose (sugar) to the muscle cells.

·   Carbohydrates also spare protein by preventing the conversion of protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis) when not enough carbohydrates are consumed. So this prevents muscle loss in the long run.

·      There are two types of carbohydrates simple (sugar, sodas, fruit sugars-juices, candies, etc) and complex (brown rice, potatoes, yams, beans, lentils, grains, multigrain bread, some vegetables, etc). Most of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables (particularly the green and leafy green ones), some from complex fiber group, and some from fruits.

·      Eat your carbohydrates with protein-this will give you better-sustained energy.

·      Excess carbohydrates will be converted into fat if you over eat or consume those with high glycemic values.

·      Evenly, pace your meals for optimal absorption, energy, and utilization.

·      Keep processed flours and sugars, breads, and pastas, down to a minimum of 1-2 per week or not at all depending on your hormonal profile.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Seven - Basic Sprint Mechanics

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

 If you’re not blessed to have a biomechanics coach or fortunate enough to work with a competent sprint coach, no one explains or teaches you correct sprint mechanics. Even having a speed & conditioning coach you may not receive the technical or biomechanical information necessary to improve sprinting. Instead you may get an over indulgence of volume running or gimmick training. I’m not suggesting that some devices can’t enhance your speed but they should be a supplement to proper mechanics, structural integrity, muscle fiber recruitment, and overall strength. Here are the basics of sprinting.

1. Sprint Running Mechanics – to run at a fast pace that requires a high or intense neuromuscular effort. The basics of sprinting can be summed up into three phases - start phase, drive phase, and acceleration phase.

a) Start Phase - may be from a two, three, or four point stance, requiring strength and power to over come inertia. Below is a checklist of proper mechanics:

·      Head position-should be down with chin near the collar and neck relaxed.

·      Torso position-(two & three point stances) should be achieved with the hips being higher than the head or hips raised with the shoulders slightly forward of the hands.

·      Arm & hand position-finger tips or hands should be on the line (in a four point stance) or the opposite side hand to the front foot (in a three point stance) with the other arm extended back slightly higher than the hips.

·      Leg & feet position-should be determined by the feet position close (bunched), medium, or elongated. The front foot should be approximately one foots length from the start line with a 90 degree knee angle, while the back foot should be positioned to allow a 120 degree knee angle (this is also the stronger and/or more coordinated leg. Both heels are raised with the front bearing the most weight.

b) Drive Phase - coming out of the start to over come inertia from the stationary position or stance to achieve a 45-degree body lean angle.

·      Head position-should be looking down at the ground but relaxed (the head position dictates the body or torso position).

·      Torso position-should be 45 degree lean angle.

·      Arm & hand position-should be relaxed with a 90 degree angle at the elbow and strong powerful alternating elbow drive to the rear on the backswing.

·      Leg & feet position-feet should be dorsiflexed (toes and ankles pulled up toward the shins) with the ball of the foot (forefoot) striking the ground behind the hips. The legs should drive down toward the ground in a powerful motion (like auto pistons or punching the heavy bag) after the heel is pulled up into the hamstring area (this actually precedes the leg drive). Tighter knee angle and knee lift equals greater striking force. The first few foot strike are critical, they must be powerful and explosive (importance of leg, hip, back, & core strength).

c) Acceleration Phase - post drive phase to reach the maximum running speedwith a 70 degree body lean angle.

·      Head position-should be neutral with the chin level to the ground but relaxed (the head position dictates the body or torso position).

·      Torso position-should be 70 degree lean angle.

·      Arm & hand position-should be relaxed with a 90 degree angle at the elbow and strong powerful alternating elbow drive to the rear on the backswing. The hand or fist should automatically return into the front-swing but only to shoulder level.

·      Leg & feet position-feet should be dorsiflexed (toes and ankles pulled up toward the shins) with the ball of the foot (forefoot) striking the ground under the hips. The legs should drive down toward the ground in a powerful drive motion (focus on striking the ground under the hips) after the heel is pulled up into the hamstring area, which facilitates knee lift or a tight knee angle (this actually precedes the leg drive). Tighter knee angle and knee lift equals greater striking force.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Six - Principles Of Exercise Science Con’t

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Training principles of exercise science con’t…and concluded.

20. Time Under Tension (TUT) – is the time required to complete a rep or a set (group of reps).

·      TUT is influenced by the tempo.

·      Muscle fiber type recruitment depends on time under tension.

·      e.g., tempo x reps = total time under tension per set, 302 tempo = 5 seconds total tempo x 6 reps = 30 seconds of time under tension per set.

21. Workout Duration– the anaerobic system (speed and strength) has 30–60 minutes of optimal energy before productivity decreases.

·      Keeping workouts within this time frame will increase gains in strength and performance.

·      Consequently, blood cortisol levels significantly increase after 45 minutes of working out and training becomes counter productive.

·      Simultaneously, the bodies’ natural muscle building hormone androgen begins to drop off at this time, which will further inhibit growth and gains.

·      So anaerobic workouts within 30-60 minutes will maximize increases in muscle, strength, and performance.

This concludes Part Six, next Part Seven Sprint Mechanics.

 

Training Principles, Part Five - Principles Of Exercise Science Con’t

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Training principles of exercise science con’t…

16. Reps and Sets Relationship – reps and sets have an inverse relationship, fewer reps require more sets while more reps require fewer sets.

·      In part this based on the motor learning principle of “repeated effort”- when learning a new skill, task, or lesson the more times it is repeated the easier it is to remember or to perform.

·      Consequently this “repeated effort” or practice will increase the number of times that the particular muscle fiber type and its corresponding energy system gets used thereby making future efforts easier and the muscle more conditioned.

·      e.g., motor skill of riding a bike or learning a different language or exercise, the more the effort is repeated the greater the learning capacity.

17. Super Compensation – the amount of time required for the body to fully recover from the previous workout or workouts.

·      There should be full recovery prior to repeating the same muscle workout for the best gains.

·      This will result in strength increases of 1-2% or by 1-2 repetitions each week.

·      Optimal increases will not occur with out the proper rest, recovery, and regeneration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              18. Technique and Posture – proper form and posture are necessary for correct muscle recruitment and optimal strength gains.

·      If a movement cannot be performed with the correct technique, form, and posture it should be stopped.

·      An assessment should be made to determine the reason, so that the necessary corrections can be made.

·      Remember correct technique and posture will optimize neural drive to the correct muscles and will prevent faulty muscle recruitment patterns.

·      E.g., excessive forward lean vs. upright torso in the squat, or treadmill vs. running outside.

19. Tempo-is the pace, rhythm, and time required for each repetition.

·      Planned tempo use will ensure correct muscle fiber and energy system recruitment, and will reduce injury and faulty motor patterns.

·      Tempo is usually expressed in counts e.g., 302, 301, 30X or 402, 401, 40X, or 502, 501, 50X, that are normal but may be 31X, 512, 911 counts.

·      The first number represents the negative (eccentric) phase of the rep, usually expressed in a 2-9 range.

·      The second number usually represents the midway point, usually expressed in a 0-2 range.

·      The last number represents the positive (concentric) phase, usually expressed in a X-2 range.

·      e.g., a 302 tempo for an arm curl, starting position at the bottom with the weight in front of thigh, a 2 count is performed while the weight is curled up to the shoulders, a 0 pause at the top or midway position,  a 3 count is done while lowering the weight to the start.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Four - Principles Of Exercise Science Con’t

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Training principles of exercise science con’t…

10. Overload and Progressive Loading – neuromuscular adaptation occurs as a result of progressive amounts of overload or in other words your body adapts to progressive small amounts of stress (fictitious Greek wrestler Milo carrying the calf until it’s a full grown bull).

·      This adaptation is optimal when the progression of stress or overload is gradual and in small increments of 1-5% of the working intensity level (also called the Kaizen Principle of constant and never ending improvement by increasing in small increments over a long period of time).

11. Over Training - is caused by constant training that does not allow adequate time for recovery, regeneration, or super compensation to occur.

·      Symptoms may include irritability, increase in injury, healing time, resting heart rate, normal blood pressure, illness, change in mood and appetite, decrease in immune system and performance.

·      In addition to excessive inflammation, scar tissue formation, over compensation of other body parts, soft tissue strain and tear, bone fractures, and a weakened level of strength and conditioning.

·      Example-scar tissue, traps or hamstring or calve, get volunteer

12. Periodization or Periodized Training - is a pre-planed training plan, which consists of short or long-term cycles (days vs. weeks vs. months), with changes in the workout at regular intervals.

·      By manipulating your training variables, such as variations in exercises, reps, sets, and weight load intensities you will maximize your progress and motivation, and help to prevent plateaus, injuries, and over-training.

13. Posture, Stability, and Synergist Muscles – are muscles that assist the primary (larger) muscles by helping to hold a position to achieve the desired action. This help is called synergist.

·      e.g., when sprinting the ankle dorsi- flexor muscles and the toe extensor muscles put the foot in the correct position prior to the foot strike.

·      The synergist may also assist in achieving a particular action.

·      e.g; in elbow flexion the arm biceps may get assistance from the forearm brachioradialis muscle.

·      Often these muscles are the smaller muscles and/or the secondary actions of neighboring muscles.

14. Reflex Inhibition –when a muscle is injured by repetitive use, trauma, faulty motor patterns, imbalances, or scar tissue, the central nervous system shuts down the neural drive to the muscle (turns off the muscle) to protect it from further injury.

15. Rep and Set variation – rep and set ranges should be varied for each training cycle (2-4 weeks for advance trainees, 5-8 weeks for experienced trainees, 9-12 weeks for intermediate trainees, and 13-16 weeks for beginners).

·      This will allow total muscle and strength development and will reduce overuse syndromes.

·      For example a muscle hypertrophy workout cycle: cycle One - 6 reps x 6 sets; cycle Two - 12 reps x 3 sets; cycle Three - 8 reps x 5 sets; and cycle Four - 10 reps x 4 sets.

·      For example relative strength or power workout cycle: cycle One - 5 reps x 5 sets; cycle Two - 2 reps x 8 sets; cycle Three - 4 reps x 6 sets; and cycle Four - 1 reps x 10 sets.

·      The rep ranges should be based on your objectives, whether for relative strength and power or for hypertrophy strength or for muscle endurance, whichever need is the priority.

·      The set ranges will help determine and influence the conditioning of the muscle fibers trained.

 ‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Three -Principles Of Exercise Science Con’t

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Training principles of exercise science con’t…

7. Muscle Balance – each muscle action or group has an opposite muscle action or group (agonist vs. antagonist).

·      e.g. triceps vs. biceps, must maintain a mutual balance in strength and flexibility to function properly.

·      In performance activity the antagonist muscles may act as a brake to slow down acceleration e.g. the elbow flexors act as a brake to the elbow extensors in a punch, so they need to be strong to perform this task.

·      Demonstrate-a throw or punch or sprint.

8. Muscle Fiber Type and Energy System – there are two basic muscle fiber types, slow twitch (IA) and fast twitch (IIAo, IIA & IIB). Each muscle fiber type has a corresponding energy system that supplies it and determines its action and performance parameters.

·      Slow twitch (IA) utilizes oxygen (aerobic) as its primary energy source, 3 minutes or longer duration and has an intensity threshold of 25% or less of the persons strength capacity and is used during postural and endurance activities.

·      Fast twitch oxidative glycolytic IIAo utilizes glycogen (anaerobic) and oxygen (aerobic) as its energy sources and is strength endurance oriented, 2 to 3 minutes in duration and has an intensity of 25% to 60% of a person’s maximal strength capacity.

·      Fast twitch glycolytic IIA utilizes glycogen (anaerobic) as its primary energy source and is strength oriented, 13 to 30 seconds in duration and has an intensity of 60% to 85% of a person’s maximal strength capacity.

·      Fast twitch phosphogenic IIB utilizes creatine phosphate (CP) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (anaerobic) as its primary energy sources and is explosive-power oriented, 1 to 12 seconds in duration and has an intensity threshold of 85% to 100% of a person’s maximal strength capacity.

·      Examples: 25-50 mile race vs.800-1500 meters vs. 200-400 meters vs. 50-100 meters sprint.

9. Muscle Receptors and Sensors – within the muscles there are various receptors and sensors (proprioceptors) that perform specific tasks e.g.,

·      vestibular receptors- measure balance and equilibrium;

·      muscle spindle- measures change in muscle fiber length and change in muscle fiber speed;

·      Golgi tendon organ- measures the range of motion (rom) or stretch in muscle tendons;

·      Ruffini receptors- measures the position of the muscle and joint in relation to space;

·      Pacinian corpuscle- measures the tension and pressure within the muscle fiber and tendon.

·      All of these sensors relay information from the muscles to the spinal cord and/or to the brain or central nervous system. In turn the appropriate muscle response occurs. 

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’

Training Principles, Part Two - Principles Of Exercise Science

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

There are quite a few scientific principles that apply to training. I will list some of my favorites that I use daily.

1. Central Nervous System Training (CNST) – is made up of the brain, spinal cord, nerve pathways, and sensors to the muscles and organs.

·      The impulse or signal to the muscles from the spinal cord is called neural drive, involving motor or efferent neurons, nerve fibers, motor units, motoneurons, and muscle fibers.

·      Things that interrupt and obstruct neural drive are poor posture, improper form, flexibility and strength imbalances, nerve injury, and scar tissue.

·      Demonstrate-ROM with proper vs. poor flexibility, seated rotation or elbow retraction

2. Critical Drop Off (CDO) – after the first set If the rep number drops by more than 2, e.g., from 6 to 3 reps or 20-30%, the particular exercise should be discontinued.

·      This drop off indicates neuromuscular exhaustion so stopping will prevent over training, reduce the possibility of injury, and allow the super compensation process to begin. So move on or continue with the next exercise.

3. Exercise Variation (EV) – by varying the exercises for each cycle over training and muscle imbalance can be significantly reduced.

·      For example during workout cycle one a flat chest press can be performed and for workout cycle two an incline press can be done.

·      Exercise variation may include changes in exercise selection, or changes in hand, foot, limb angle, or body position, and in apparatus type.

4. Faulty Muscle Recruitment (FMR) and Loading Patterns – faulty muscle recruitment occurs as a result of performing a task incorrectly and may be caused by:

·      Scar tissue present within the muscle which impedes its ability to function normally.

·      A muscle imbalance that effects the neural drive to the muscle.

·      Using too heavy a load so that the appropriate muscles can not perform the task.

·      Continuing to train while not addressing any of the previous issues or several other factors.

·      Remember how you practice will influence how you play and perform.

5. Faulty Loading Patterns (FLP) and Muscle Type Response – stability muscles also known as postural or tonic muscles tend to shorten and tighten under faulty or improper loading.

·      Their composition seems to be mostly slow twitch or IA type fibers.

·      While the dynamic, explosive, or phasic muscles tend to lengthen and weaken under faulty loading.

·      They seem to be made up of a predominance of fast twitch IIB and IIA fibers.

·      This is the general rule but some muscles may have dual roles and have a composition of several fiber types.

6. Muscle Action Response (MAR) – most muscles will be comprised of both fast and slow twitch fibers, however the percentages or ratios will vary based on genetics, and muscle group but training will affect it’s development.

·      E.g., fast vs. slow ratio may be 40:60 or 50:50 or 60:40 or 70:30, this will determine your athletic preference and possible physical training potential.

·      Muscles that flex joint angles like the arm and leg biceps tend to be comprised of mostly fast twitch fibers.

·      While muscles that extend the joint like the leg quadriceps and lower back erectors will have a greater endurance capacity.

·      Remember this is the general rule, individuals need to be tested to determine their specific muscle response.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’