By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Q: Why should I pay for your service when I can get a similar service elsewhere for cheaper?

A: Sometimes externals look similar but they really are not under critical scrutiny. An example wouldbe similar to this analogy. I can build or purchase a kit car that looks like a Lamborgini (a top Italian Performance Automobile) for $25,000 compared to the $250,000 of a real Lamborgini. They may appear identical but under critical testing and performance on the track the real Lamborgini does 0-60 in 3seconds, 1/4 mile in11 seconds, and has a top speed of 210 mph while the kit car does 0-60 in 6 seconds, ¼ mile in 14 seconds and has a top speed of 150mph with some luck. On the outside they look almost identical but on the track there is a vast difference.

There are many trainers and coaches who can improve performance via conditioning and strengthening programs but can or do they optimally develop the athletes potential (see our new website commentary article)? Can or have they taken someone who’s career, contract, signing bonus, and national or international ranking depends on them performing at the highest level not just taking one to two tenths of a second off of a 40 yd time. We specialize in optimizing an Athletes performance and we know that our results and success will speak for itself.

For example, AE Creating Elite individually and collectively has done that repeatedly with many athletes at the highest level. We’ve also trained and mentored some of the areas top trainers as well. Some of our clients include:

·      NFL – Derek Cox (Jaguars, Chargers, & Vikings), Nick Sorenson (Rams, Jaguars, & Browns), Ed Thomas (Panther, & Jaguars), Regan Upshaw (Raiders, Redskins), Kevin Mitchell (49’rs, Saints, & Redskins), Renaldo Wynn (Panthers, Jaguars, & Redskins), Kato Sewanga (Redskins, Giants, & Colts), Leonard Stephens (Redskins), Steve Tate (Mountain Lions),

·      Arena – Nate Daniels (Richmond)

·      Semi-Pro - Marlow Morgan (Kings), Nick Sims (Kings), Scott Woodward (Kings), Luke Treaster (Kings), Payton Lamb (Kings), Jim Adkins (Kings), Jace Summer (Monarchs),

·      Marathon – Marny Gilluly (Reebok)

Bodybuilding - Jackie Horton (MD State); Ed Taylor (MD State); Yaz Boyum (IFBB Pro).

·      MLB - Mark Tugwell (Phillies),

·      PGA – Woody Fitzhugh (PGA), Will Britt (Myrtle Pro Golf Academy),

·      USAW - Cara Heads (USA Olympic Weight Lifter),

·      Rugby – Jason Kallivocas, Ian Purcell, Raoul Socher

·      Swimming – Peter Garrett ( Olympics)

·      Triathlon – John Pellerito, Lonnie Crittenden, Chuck Sarich

·      Fitness – Mary Perry ( ),

·      Military - Amelia McDermott (USAF), Rachel Forrest VMI), Daniel Behne (USNA), Gavin Forrest (Duke/USA)’ Alex Schade (Duke/USA)

·      Law Enforcement – Bill Kelmartin (Deputy Sheriff, First Sergeant); V. Forrest (*),

·      Attorneys / Lobbiest – Bernie Dietz (Dietz Law), Jim Conzelman (Baker Hostetler), John McGeehan (McGeehan & Associates), Walter Perkins (Attorney & Inventor), Margaret Pfeiffer (Sullivan & Cromwell), Jim Ackers (Sullivan & Cromwell), Marcia Gelman (Winston & Straughn), Gloria Malkin (US Justice Dept), Ron Platt (McGuire Woods), Evelyn Hurwich (Circumpolar Conservation Union), Ken Crerar (Council Of Insurance Agents & Brokers), Mike Dorsey (),

·      Ceo’s / Executives / Business Owners / Entrepreneurs – Yvette Lawless (Living Color), Lonnie Gaddy (Entrepreneur), Carlos Gavidia (Direct Connect), Kay Kendall (Centennial), Marc Palumbo (US Data Works), Joe Plumpe (Studio 39), CW Gilluly (Comtex), Greg Farmer (Nortel), Kay Kendall (Washington Ballet Board President), David Levine (Consultant), Patricia Ghiglino Lopez (Professional Restoration), Bill Miller (Washington Post), Jean Neal (Senate Chief Of Staff), Eugene Boyd (Library Of Congress),

·      HS & College :

§  Baseball – Grant Flowers (Carolina Coastal), Kyle Howell (Notre Dame Acadamy/Wagner C), Matt Burch (Notre Dame Acadamy/Naval Academy), Brett Spencer (Notre Dame Acadamy/Lewis Clarke St U), Joe Strange (Randolph Macon C), Mark Tugwell (VA Tech), Nick Grillo (Notre Dame Acadamy/William & Mary),

§  Basketball - Chris Kearney (Westfield HS/Catholic U), Drake Diamond (Centreville HS/Wheaton C), Andrew Lawless (Westfield HS), Jeff Baxter (U of MD), Steve Rivers (U of MD), Ben Coleman (U of MD), Len Bias (U of MD), Jeff Adkins (U of MD),

§  Football – Cole Downer (Clemson U), Jimmy Marten (VA Tech), Luke Bowanko (UVA), Andy Lewis (Syracuse U), Zach Glatter (Princeton), Jamey McClendon (Salisbury State), Martellus Braxton (Shaw U), PJ Donavon (Hampton U), Mike Sheil (Kings C), Pat Sheil (Centreville HS/Boston C), Hassan Dixon (Naval Academy Prep), Jamie Donovan (Utica C), Jason Salter (Washington). Anthony Codero (Shenandoah U),

§  Golf – Nick Grillo (Notre Dame Acadamy),

§  Lacrosse – Jimmy Cahill (Sidwell Friends/Lehigh U), Nick Betonti (Stonewall Jackson HS/Lynchburg), Joe Britt (Fairfax HS/Penn St), Michael Britt (Fairfax HS/UVA), Robby Battle (Woodberry/Naval Academy), Kevin Mayer (Duke), Paul Moline (Lynchburg), Jay Battle (Chantilly),

§  Softball – Patti Hinko (Pul VI/Duquesne U), Elizabeth Jones (Westfield HS/St Louis U), Carolyn Jones (Westfield HS/Boston C),

§  Soccer - Chelsea Walter (Longwood U),

§  Tennis - Ariel Burke (Bullis/Townsend U), Moriah Burke (Bullis/Townsend U),

§  Track & Field - Nikki Jenkins (Fauquier HS/JMU), Julie Strange (Loudon County HS/JMU), Ishmael Williams (Tuscarora HS)

§  Volleyball – Jenna Strange (Loudon County HS/William & Mary), Katrina Kirby (Loudon County HS/Queens U), Kelsey Hrebenach (Heritage HS/U of MD), Mallory Brickerd (Loudon County HS/William & Mary), Marguerite Hanna (Azusa Pacific U), Julianne Hanna (U of N.M.), Luke Reichel (Messiah C), Nathalia Suissa (Nortwood HS/NC St),

·      Training - Yaz Boyum (IFBB Pro Body Builder & YAZ inc), Gina Fortuna (Beyond Fitness), Petr Speight (PET), Owen Browne (Master Trainer WSC), Art Tapera (Art The Trainer), Tal Cottey (Master Trainer TSI), Bonnie Falbo (Coaching Express), Christopher Dabrowski (T-Fitness), Patti Cinelli (Health & Fitness Writer, Lecturer, & Trainer), Patricia Cosby Tawfik (Anti-Aging Exercise Specialist), David Park (NASM, BIOSG), Carla Morrison (Prophecy Fitness), Bobby Mellott (WSC, Reebok, Trainer, LA Fitness Director), and many others (see www.aecreatingelite.com website).  

German Volume Workout @ Home! Part 1

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

I've wanted to write this article for some time because I think it would help give direction to those who have wanted to work out but maybe lacked direction or a facility or equipment. The German Volume (GV) workout is famous for increasing metabolic rate, natural Growth Hormone production, muscle growth, and fat loss. Since it uses a lower intensity or resistance level, it’s a great way to jump-start a fitness-weight-loss program.

The German Volume uses an intensity or resistance load that is about 60% of a 1 rep max (1RM) for that given exercise, e.g., if you could bench press 100lb for a one rep then you would use 60lb to start the German Volume. Another way to determine the starting resistance is to choose a resistance or exercise or weight that you could do for 20 reps but you you’ll only be doing 10. So, if you can do 20 push-ups that’s a perfect exercise.

Another key component of the German Volume is performing 10 reps of 10 sets or 10 x 10 for the exercise, which helps to create the volume and the physiological response, i.e., metabolic elevation, growth hormone production, muscle growth, and fat loss. For a de-conditioned person this may seem like a lot but it can easily be modified to suit their starting level. A beginner may start with 5 sets of 10 reps and add one set each week until 10 sets is reached during the next 5 weeks. Continue with the10 sets for the next 11 weeks or 16 weeks total.

One intention of this program is to make it do-able, convenient, and accessible for the participant to do in their home or when away, that doesn’t require a facility or a membership or any expensive equipment. To be most beneficial this program should be performed four times a week. This can be done on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule or a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday schedule.

Download the German Volume Workout @ Home! Part 1 Excel spreadsheet to record your workout.

Below is a brief description of terms followed by a four-day workout example.


  • A.1 & A.2 – rank or order of the exercises performed together; also called superset e.g., perform a set of 10 reps for exercise A.1, then does a set of 10 reps for exercise A.2; rest 15-60 seconds and repeat the sequence until all 10 sets are completed.
  • Repetition (rep) – is each time a movement of an exercise is performed, either singularly or consecutively.
  • Set – a group of reps performed together followed by a brief or long rest interval.
  • Tempo – is the rate or seconds that it takes to performed the rep, this regulates the movement, enhances muscle fiber recruitment, reduces injury, and controls the amount of time under tension (TUT) of the muscle; Tempo or TUT is expressed numerically i.e., 302; 302 equals 3+0+2=5 seconds of TUT to perform one rep or 50 seconds of TUT to perform 10 reps (or one set of 10 reps); 402=6 seconds of TUT for one rep or 60 seconds of TUT to complete 10 reps.
  • 3 is the negative muscle contraction of the movement and is the lowering phase when pulling or pressing; e.g., lowering down in a squat or push up.
  • 0 is the middle phase of the movement; e.g., top or bottom position of a squat or push up.
  • 2 is the positive muscle contraction of the movement and is the raising phase when pulling or pressing; e.g., raising up in a squat or push up.


Four Day Workout Example:

Day 1 (Monday) â€“ 10 x 10

A.1. standing bodyweight squat; tempo 4/302  – 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 to start position on a 2 tempo.

A.2. incline pull up with towel or rope with a knot on the end (requires a secure door or rail or banister); tempo 4/302  – 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 and hands to chest on a 2 tempo and return to start position on a 3-4 tempo.

Day 2 (Tue or Wed) â€“ 10 x 10

A.1. lying bent knee hip lift; tempo 4/302 – lying position with feet on the floor or elevated on a step or chair (more difficult), knees bent 90 degrees, raise hips and torso up towards the ceiling as far as possible on a 2 tempo and return to start position on a 3-4 tempo.

A.2. push up against a wall or on the floor; tempo 4/302  – 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 to start position 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 to start position on a 2 tempo.

Day 3 (Thur or Fri) â€“ 10 x 10

A.1. standing split squat; tempo 4/302  – 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 to start position on a 2 tempo.

A.2. prone arm push & pull with furniture slider or 8” x 12” piece of card board; tempo 4/302  – in a prone push up position with hands on top of slider or cardboard and knees on the floor, push slider away from the body as far as possible on a 3-4 tempo and pull in to return to start position on a 2 tempo.

Day 4 (Fri or Sun) â€“ 10 x 10

A.1. standing good-mornings; tempo 4/302  – 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 to start position on a 2 tempo.

A.2. seated dip between chairs; tempo 4/302  – position your body in a seated or squat position between two chairs of equal size with body supported by each hand on a chair seat, the legs and feet are 1-3 feet out in front, lower the hips & torso down towards the floor as far as possible on a 3-4 tempo and return to start position on a 2 tempo.

Remember take your time and don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning especially if you haven’t worked out in a while. Start with 5 sets of 10 reps and gradually build up to 10 sets over a 5 week duration. Each set should take 50-60 seconds followed by a 15-60 second rest period. The entire workout should take between 20-40 minutes depending on the length of your rest periods. This workout can be done for about 16 weeks for the beginner.

Next in Part 2 I will outline a four-day example workout for those of you who have some home equipment i.e., physioball and dumbbells.

In-Season Strength Training: Part Two

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

In Part One we defined in-season training and listed the first two objectives when designing a program including exercise selection and energy system needs of the athlete. In Part Two we are discussing the remaining components that determine an athletes program, including rep range, weight load-intensity, muscle fiber type, and  work volume consideration.

An intertwined objective to consider when determining the athlete’s program is choosing the correct rep range, weight load-intensity, and muscle fiber type that’s needed to improve their performance. A blocker or outside hitter in volleyball will need to develop and recruit their fast twitch fibers, so doing between 1-6 reps, with 95-80% of their one rep max (1RM), for their phasic muscles will accomplish this. Similarly, a running back in football will benefit from the same intensity and rep ranges. Now these values can vary depending on the age, maturity, health, and genetic make up of the athlete but explosive power is the important component.

On the other hand the cross-country runner may require 15-20 reps or more, at 60-70% of their 1RM to improve their muscle endurance but may benefit from the 1-10 rep range at 75-95% 1RM to help with 100-400 meter surges or sprint finishes. Several of the top Olympic middle distance runners employ this method in their training.

Either of these athletes may require a different rep range and intensity level to address their individual structural needs. In general if their tonic or postural muscles need work a rep range of 8-15, at an intensity of 80-70% of 1RM, may be required. The specific needs of the individual will always be the most beneficial to them.

The last proponent to consider is the appropriate volume of work needed to maintain and/or improve ability without over-training. The primary focus during the season should be the development of the necessary skills, ability, and strategy needed to perform the sport or position at the highest level. The secondary focus should be on maintaining and/or improving power, strength, and conditioning that was developed during the off-season. Usually most in-season practice is devoted to game preparation, sports skills, drills, strategy, tactics, plays, and related task. Therefore most of the repetition and conditioning will come from those activities, so strength related training only needs to occupy about 10-15% of the athletes total weekly time. That can be accomplished in one or two sessions, with consideration given to adequate recovery time before the day of the competition. Ideally the strength training should enhance practices, skills, abilities, and performance, while reducing the injury potential.

Likewise, practices shouldn’t injure the athlete or hinder their strength training but allow for mutual improvement, or a complete synergistic relationship. A big mistake often made is to abandon strength training during the season. This will usually start to gradually impact performance or increase injury potential after about 14 days. The athlete may start the season strong, fast, powerful, explosive, and energetic but within a few weeks will start to exhibit weakness, slowness, sluggishness, or tiredness.

Coincidently, the residual effects from strength training may last up to 10 days; so training a muscle group at least once a week or every 7 days will allow maximal recovery and strength gains. Often world-class sprinters require up to 7-10 days to fully recover, after running a personal record.

So a cheerleader who practices about 10 hours a week, excluding a 3-hour Friday evening game, at 10% of her weekly practice time the strength training would require about 1 hour to complete. Depending on equipment, facility, scheduling, etc, the 1-hour time could be divided into two 30-minute segments as to minimize time away from skills practice. This could be accomplished with a 30-minute strength training session on Saturday (the day after the game), followed by another 30-minute session on Monday or Tuesday, which would also give plenty of recovery time prior to the game. Each session would be comprised of 4 strength-power exercises for 4-8 reps, times 2 sets; and 2-4 structural exercises for 8-15+ reps, for 1-2 sets. The exercise selection could be different for each session to target various or specific muscle groups as well.

As you can see the exercise selection, energy system, rep range, weight load-intensity, muscle fiber type, and volume all comply with her in-season strength training needs. The exercise selection should depend on her individual needs and ability level. Likewise, considering the amount of impact and repetitive stress related injuries that cheerleaders accrue i.e., sprains, strains, twists, pulls, fractures, and soft-tissue adhesions, this would help to address those concerns. Not to mention the additional strength to help with the skills execution.

In conclusion, the benefits of the in-season strength training far out-way the time, cost, injury potential, and other factors involved.  The correct, safe, and scientific approach should consider exercise selection, energy system, rep range, weight load-intensity, muscle fiber type, and volume to best address the athletes in-season needs.

In-Season Strength Training: Part One

Welcome back from a seemingly very short summer. I decided to take the summer off from writing but am always thinking of articles or topics to write about. Since it’s the start of the fall season of sports I thought in-season training would be a interesting topic to explore.

First of all, in-season strength training is the training that’s performed during the season, not prior or after the season. I get asked from athletes all the time “What should I do during the season”? I think many athletes and coaches struggle with how to determine the correct amount of work that’s necessary to maintain what the athlete has spent the entire off-season developing. Hopefully, the athlete prepared during the off or slow season! For athletes the off-season is the opportunity to really recover, regenerate, grow, develop, and mature. We live in an era were almost all sports have evolved into year round participation, so it‘s become difficult to balance and to avoid over-training.

Over-training should be a real concern for athletes and coaches alike. Over-training can lead to illness, repressed immune system, injury, muscle strains, pulls, and tears, decreases in performance, speed and strength, depression, inability to focus and concentrate, formation of soft tissue adhesions, tight & shortened muscle tissue, structural imbalance, insomnia, suppressed testosterone and growth hormone production, irritability, and mood swings. These are just some of the more apparent symptoms and conditions.

The objectives to consider for in-season strength training should be, what are the demands of the activity, sport, or position? The considerations should include the exercise selection, energy system, muscle fiber type, rep range, weight load-intensity, and work volume.

The first consideration is the exercise selection, what exercise does the athlete need to improve their performance, including structural needs?  Upon observation or assessment does the athlete have any postural, structural, muscle imbalance, or movement flaws? If so they need to be addressed. Next, does the athlete need muscle specific strength, power, or endurance to optimize their performance? Again, indentify and address those needs.

For example a lineman in football with issues of jamming their opponent off the line may benefit from rotator cuff and scapular strengthening exercises. A sprinter who has difficulty starting out of the blocks may benefit from deep squats or platform dead lifts. While a midfielder in soccer with stride issues might require split or single leg squats or lunges to best help their ability. Obviously there are exercises that all individuals may benefit from that enhance their athletic ability i.e., jumping, quickness, stopping, change of direction, which can be determined during the athlete’s tryout or assessment phase.

Another example, cheerleaders who are subjected to high levels of impact force from tumbling and landing need strength through their legs, spine torso, and arms to absorb and displace the stress, in order to prevent and reduce injury to those areas. The stronger the muscles the better the stress and energy displacement.

The second consideration might be, what energy system is used by the athlete in their particular sport or position?  So whether it’s anaerobic energy needing fast twitch muscle fibers or aerobic energy requiring slow twitch muscle fibers, the energy system determines how the athlete should train to enhance their ability. For example a volleyball player needs to react quickly and jump for short bursts, interspersed with periods of waiting. So their energy system is more anaerobic and requires high energy phosphate compounds like adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), creatine phosphate (CP), and carbohydrate-sugar compounds i.e., glycogen, or a combination thereof for fuel. Whereas a cross-country runner will need more endurance with occasional surges of speed, requiring primarily oxygen, fats, and glycogen for fuel.

In Part Two we will examine the necessary rep range, weight load-intensity, muscle fiber type, and work volume requirements of the athlete.

Does Exercise Science Matter?

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Does exercise science matter when training? First of all, what is exercise science? Exercise Science is the study of human movement and the related biological responses. Movement becomes a science through precise study, analysis, and documentation of exercise and sport type activities. It involves biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, and health and constructs usable principles from this science into training. Well what are these principles of exercise science? There are many exercise science principles. In this article I will list and briefly describe 10 scientific principles of training, in no particular order.

1. Super Compensation is 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.

2. Periodization – 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.

3. 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 and energy system type utilization 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.

4. 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.

5.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 and injury.
  • e.g., excessive forward lean vs. upright torso in the squat, places undue stress on the knees and lower back regions.

6. 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.

7. 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 muscle may get assistance from the forearm brachioradialis muscle.
  • Often these muscles are the smaller muscles and/or the secondary actions of neighboring muscles.

8. 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, increases in injury, healing time, resting heart rate, normal blood pressure, illness, and changes in mood and appetite, decreases in immune system and performance.
  • In addition there may be excessive inflammation, scar tissue formation, over compensation by other muscle groups, soft tissue strains and tears, bone fractures, and a weakened level of strength and conditioning.

9. Overload and Progressive Loading – neuromuscular adaptation occurs as a result of progressive amounts of overload or in other words your body adapts to small progressive amounts of stress (the 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).

10. Central Nervous System (CNS) – 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.
  • The central nervous system response is extremely fast and gets better with repeated efforts but happens instantly, e.g., picking up a pencil vs. picking up a 50 lb dumbbell. The CNS instantly determines if the task can be completed, what muscles to recruit, and how to perform the task. It knows the difference between the weight of the pencil and the 50lb dumbbell even with your eyes closed by touch and feel.
  • Things that interrupt and obstruct CNS neural drive are poor posture, improper form, inflexibility, strength imbalances, nerve injury, and scar tissue.

These are just a few of many scientific principles that can and should be incorporated into a training program. By incorporating them you will achieve results at a much faster, safer, calculated, predictable, and repeatable outcome. Look for a trainer or strength coach who understands and employs principles such as these and you will be on your way to new gains in strength and a different outlook towards training.

References: J. Hartmann & H.Tunnemann, Fitness and Strength Training for All Sports; Lippincott-Williams-Wilkins, Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Assessment Techniques; Thomas Baechle, Essentials Of Strength Training And Conditioning; Vladimir Zatsiorsky, Science And Practice Of Strength Training; Charles Poliquin, Poliquin Principles; Carol Oatis, Kinesiology-The Mechanics & Pathomechanics of Human Movement.