Monday, April 10, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

I get many repetitive questions each day as you can imagine, from people looking for advice, so I wanted to show you my favorite 2 questions.

Question #1 – Weight Training:

One of my favorite questions is always:
“ I work with 13 year olds (or I have a 12 year old daughter or 15 year old son or ____ you
get what I mean) and these kids need to get stronger. I have them bench pressing and squatting already, what other lifts do you recommend since they are so weak?’

OK, here is my problem. The general conditioning of most athletes, especially younger athletes, is horrible. If you have an athlete of any age level that is ‘weak’, the first thing to focus on shouldn’t be in the weight room. I think we need to back up and work on the foundation of each athlete. I think weight training is a must to improve speed and power (although it is supplementary), but why are we so worried about rushing athletes into the weight room?

Let’s focus on core work step one. Abdominals, low back, hip/glute work is essential. Having a strong core is going to make your body more stable and help you generate the power from the rest of your body more efficiently.

Next, when it comes to strength training, we should be thinking about body weight exercises to get there. How many people have you seen that can’t perform a correct push-up or even a proper body weight squat? Exactly, too many.

Some coaches and athletes get too excited about how weight training can improve their speed & power and skip over the most basic (and most important) components of conditioning. Instead of worrying about what the greatest weight training exercises are, let’s first put our athletes in position to be able to benefit from weight training. If my athlete can bench press 350 pounds but can’t perform a rotational push-up, or squat 500 pounds but can’t do a 1-leg squat (pistol)
to save their life, then I have failed as a coach.

If you follow Athletes' Acceleration's Complete Speed Training ( program at all, you know that I focus a great deal on conditioning and preparing our athletes. I still believe in weight training (it's in the CST program
too), but general strength is also a staple in my program.

Let’s get back to the basics and focus on the general strength and conditioning of the athlete to create a strong foundation.

Question #2: Nutrtion

My other favorite question is that I got over the weekend but this question is also pretty frequent:

“What type of supplement do you recommend that I use to get stronger and faster, is their type of whey protein, creatine or anything else I should use?”

Now this might seem like a serious question to them until I ask them first what they had for dinner last night, what they had for lunch, and for breakfast.

Here was his response:

Dinner: fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy

Lunch: I got out of school early and got 2 JBC’s at Wendy’s
(a JBC is a Junior Bacon Cheeseberger and if you coach high school athletes
you already knew that)

Breakfast: Ohh, I woke up late and didn’t have time for breakfast.

Now, I didn’t make up this response, nor is it unusual nutritional habits for today’s American youth. People are willing to spend thousands of dollars a year on supplements but can’t take the time to eat an apple. How about trying to wake up 5 minutes earlier to make breakfast or even attempt to eat something from each food group? This isn’t rocket science to come up with a balanced diet but people are getting lazier each day. Our society needs an easy button for everything.

People are just looking for me to say take this pill and you’ll get stronger and faster and you don’t need to change your current diet. They are pretty much saying that ‘I am too lazy and I don’t want to put in the effort it takes to make improvements’. Again, let’s just get back to the basics in everything we do and stop looking for the easy way out, please.

For people that are looking for actual nutritional structure and not just the latest pill/supplement then check out:


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