Jan 252010

One of my favorite exercises that we use with our guys is the Slideboard Split Squat. It has become a staple in our program. What I like about it is that it allows us to get great single-leg load without loading the spine.

In this video, we use the kettlebell as a way to load it. We have used a barbell, dumbbells, and 2 kettlebells to load this. With our frequent travel schedule, we will also use the Valslide in place of the slideboard on the road so that we don’t miss a beat.

Jan 192010

Here is another short article geared to the parents of young hockey players crowd:

How to Choose a Strength and Conditioning Coach or Personal Trainer

Today’s hockey players are becoming bigger, stronger and faster while becoming more fit than they were in years past.  In addition to participating in other sports, young players also are participating in strength and conditioning programs either at their school, with their team, or with private training companies that are in the communities. 

Strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers for youth sports have gone from almost unheard of to a common necessity. The business has expanded so much that there are now several training facilities within most cities.

With the sports training market becoming very saturated, there are more options to choose from when it comes to selecting one for your son or daughter.  Like any other businesses, there are some very good ones, some average ones, and some not so good ones.  What I have listed below are some quick guidelines on making a selection for a strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer.  These are based on observations and opinions about today’s hockey players and performance:  

  • Make sure that the trainer(s) has a degree from a four-year college or university. A master’s degree would be a plus. Preferably, their degree is in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Biomechanics, or another major related to Exercise and or Sports Medicine. 
  • Make sure that the trainer is certified by a reputable certification agency. For Strength and Conditioning Coaches or Personal Trainers who work with hockey players, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (C.S.C.S) certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is probably the most reputable certification.  Another good certification is any certification provided by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (N.A.S.M.). 
  • Ask for testimonials and/or references from athletes that they have coached.  They should be able to provide current or past testimonials from people who have trained with them.  If they can’t provide you with any testimonials, ask for references.  If they can’t give you any references, find another trainer.  Also, make sure that the trainer actually trained and worked with an athlete whom they say they have. 
  • Don’t get caught up in the “bells and whistles” about the facility.  Most of the good strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers out there can get results without the high-tech equipment that might be considered “hockey-specific”.  Also, they might not need a large facility the size of a Wal-Mart. 

In today’s world, it is easy for anyone to get a personal training certification from a non-reputable source and then partner up with someone with a lot of money and start up a sports training business. I always prefer an individual or company that started out with close to nothing and then grew their business by getting positive results from their athletes and clients. 

As a parent who is paying for the child to participate in a strength and conditioning program, you must do your homework when trying to choose one.  Hopefully these guidelines and recommendations will help you make the right decision.

Jan 152010

There is a current discussion on StrengthCoach.com that talks about: “Where do you find the time” inspired me to post this. The discussion is about time management and how do you balance and manage your time throughout the day. Alwyn Cosgrove, who is someone I really respect in this field, posted the following and he allowed me to post it on the blog:

Laserbeam focus:
Reconsider doing ANYTHING that does not get you closer to your goals.

I don’t watch much TV, or read newspapers, junk sites etc.

I don’t eat a meal alone, or worst case without taking reading material with me. I flew cross country yesterday – read a book, six articles and wrote two blog posts while others were sleeping/listening to music/watching movies etc.

My car has educational CD’s stacked up in it. I get 4 or 5 a month from various newsletters and just get through them. If I get an idea from one of them I take notes before I get out of the car (which may become an article/blog post).

Download podcasts to your ipod. Make use of (as Zig Ziglar called it) “Automobile University”.

Set up an idea-day once a month where you read all the newsletters/blogs/material you want to get through. Schedule that day in advance and stick to it. You’ll get through more material in a dedicated day than you will trying to grab 15 mins here and there.

Program Design: Use a template model and BATCH it. You shouldn’t be writing programs every day. Set up two appointments a week and get your “programming” head on. You’ll get more done that way.

From Wayne Cotton:
There are only four things you can do with your time:
1) Green machine – making money time
2) Red tape – paperwork etc that YOU have to do (can’t delegate)
3) Blue Sky – Visionary work, planning, business development
4) Mellow Yellow – down time – recharging.

The problem is most people mix them too much – and if you mix them – you get brown and brown is —- !

However, if you have enough blue and yellow time — you make enough green time.

Sleep quality: not enough can be said. Just like training, you can’t make up quality with volume.

And in fact – you can think of it like the reverse. Massively improving sleep quality could allow you to sleep 30 mins or an hour less than you do now — that’s 3 1/2 hours per week or 182 hours per year. That’s the equivalent of 4 1/2 forty-hour work weeks each year.

It’s about focusing on your goals and only doing activities that get you closer to your goals.

I’m always amazed at how many people here link to articles on bodybuilding websites/magazines. Don’t get me wrong – I love it — it means that the article was worth reading, but it also means I don’t have to visit these sites every day – someone does it for me

One of my coaching clients had productivity/time management issues – yet he could tell me everything that was ever printed on this forum/t-nation/elitefts etc. When we cut that out – his income jumped.

Is your activity goal-achieving or just tension-relieving?

The latter is ok – but make sure it’s an appropriate amount of time. Most people are shocked when they track their time.

Action step: read the power of full engagement.

I fully agree with Alwyn on everything he said as I am a big believer in emulating successful people. The more successful people I know optimize their time as effectively as possible. I always like learning new ways to make the most use of my time.

Jan 122010

This is a version of a complex that we use. We will use this towards the end of the off-season and we will also use it extensively in-season, especially when we play a game within the next 48 hours. I originally learned about complexes from legendary strength coach Al Vermeil during a seminar that we had at Boston College back in 2002. Al picked it up from Istvan Javorek. Al has used this as an evaluation tool with a barbell. We will do 3 rounds of this. The following exercise will be done for 6 reps each: Upright Row, Muscle Snatch, S.L.D.L., Squat and Press, and Bent Over Row.