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  • What If...

    What you eat and drink plays such a huge role over time in how you develop as an athlete it cannot be overstated. Yet in each brief moment when we decide what to eat, it can be hard to realize the long-term implications of our nutrition choices. For athletes who struggle to eat healthier, even when they know they should, maybe it would help to see daily nutrition decisions in the context of their long-term goals. What if making healthier food choices was the difference between you having a great season, or a poor one? What if it was the difference between getting lots of playing time next season, or sitting on the bench? What if it was the difference between you ....

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  • The Bamboo Tree

    Training done properly is hard, grueling work. It is an investment in future success, and it comes with no immediate guarantees. In fact, training is much like growing a bamboo tree. To grow one, you must of course start by planting a seed, then watering and fertilizing it regularly. Despite all the time and effort put in, after a year the bamboo tree does not grow at all. Even with continued, persistent effort it won't grow in the second year either. Or the third, or the fourth. For those who stay committed and put in their work, in the fifth year that bamboo seed will sprout into a roughly 90 foot tall tree in a matter of weeks. Like many successful athletes, we see ....

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  • New Year, New Class Format

    To truly get strong you need to put time in the weight room. There are no shortcuts, no easy ways out. Busy schedules can make that a challenge for some athletes. In that light, we are testing out a new, quicker class format to kick off 2021 at select times - an Express Strength & Power class. The idea is to get a structured, challenging workout under the supervision of a qualified strength coach who can guide your training to be both safe and effective. The format will be as follows: Athletes should arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time to complete a quick 5 minute dynamic warm up and then receive instructions on the lifts the group will complete ....

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  • Pay Off Your Sleep Debt

    In 2002, Stanford University conducted a sleep study on undergraduates to determine how sleep affects academic performance. At the same time, many of the school's swimmers were setting personal best times. The connection? The athletes on the school's swim team who were setting PR's were all involved in the academic sleep study. Intrigued by the athletic impact, lead researcher Cheri Mah then turned her attention towards the mens' basketball team. She asked the players to sleep 10 hours per night for the next 5-7 weeks. At the beginning and end of the study, players were tested in speed, free throw percentage, 3 point shooting percentage, and conditioning. The research showed ....

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  • Strength Training Tweak To Lower Injury Risk

    Safely executed strength training in almost any form has been proven in study after study to lower injury risk. That's not exactly breaking news at this point However, there is a specific aspect within your strength workouts that has the greatest impact on protecting you from injury. It happens during what is called the eccentric part of your lifts. What is that, exactly? Each repetition can be broken down into 3 phases - concentric, isometric and eccentric. The concentric phase is the actual lift part where you move an object (a weight, band, or even yourself). There's also an isometric phase, which is basically the time when you change directions from lowering a ....

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  • Why Bench, Squat & Deadlift Programs Aren't Enough

    Lots of high school strength training programs focus on three main lifts - the bench press, back squat and deadlift. Certainly all three have a prominent place in building strength and muscle. There is a strong correlation to improving the weights you can lift here with increased performance in almost any team sport. But are these exercises, and their variations, enough to produce maximum athletic development? I'd strongly argue no. There are a range of other things an athlete can do during workouts to raise their probability of future success and health in athletics. Here are, in my humble opinion, the biggest areas an athlete misses by only focusing on big lifts. ....

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  • Simple Tip To Help With Shoulder & Neck Pain

    Do you experience shoulder or neck tightness after workouts, or just through everyday activities like desk work and driving? There may be a really, really simple solution to lessening the problem. Most of us type and drive in a slouched posture. This of course rounds your shoulders forward, but it also elevates them towards your ears as well. It is the elevation which causes the muscles that pull your shoulder blades upward. They activate and stay turned on throughout the time you are in this pose, creating fatigue and eventually tightness in these muscles. Shoulder (or scapular) elevation can be intensified if you do strength training with your shoulders in this ....

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  • Peanut Butter - Good Or Bad For You?

    Peanut Butter - Good Or Bad For You?

    In 1884, peanut butter was invented by Marcellus Edson in Canada. To this day it is as popular as ever, and is one of the easiest on-the-go snack foods/ makeshift meals you could ask for. Is peanut butter good for you, though? As with any other food, what it is made of provides the true answer to that question. All-natural peanut butter, I would argue, is an outstanding snack food for kids and adults alike. It provides a good amount of protein, a moderate amount of sodium (an electrolyte), along with healthy fats. How do you know if your peanut butter is truly 'all natural'? It will show exactly 2 items on the ingredients list - peanuts and salt. All the other things ....

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  • What Is The True Role Of A Coach?

    Of all the professions out there, the coaching field seems to be one of the harder ones to define. What, exactly, is the role of a coach? Organizer? Motivator? Teacher? Designated screamer? I recently came across a great definition of the role of a coach, one that I feel is as true as any you'll ever see. Strength coach and author Martin Rooney defines a coach as: Someone who takes you where you want to go when you can't get there yourself. In that sense, our roles as coaches - both in sports and on the training side - is to create the future each player desires. Sometimes that means sharing knowledge on skills, both in sport and training. Sometimes ....

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  • 7 Common Errors To Correct For Squats

    One of the most common strength training exercises is the squat. It can be done with a barbell (front & back squats), a kettlebell, dumbbells or even a medicine ball. Done properly, squats do an excellent job of strengthening just about every muscle in your lower body and core. So yeah, a pretty valuable exercise! It is also one of the most common ways people get injured in a strength training program. Not everyone is ready to squat because they may lack the necessary flexibility and core strength required to execute them properly. Yet for those that are ready to squat with a decent amount of weight, there are still a series of technique fixes you can apply to make sure you ....

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