Archive for December, 2012

Show Me Strength’s Reads of the Week, 12/30 edition

Posted: December 30, 2012 by showmestrength in General

As the sun sets on 2012, there are no shortage of inspirational, motivational and informative reads this week! We especially enjoy the number of “year in review” type posts from many in the field including Mike Reinold (13 Ways to Dominate in 2013: The Best Articles of 2012), Eric Cressey (Best of 2012 Videos and Best of 2012 Articles), and Mike Robertson (The Top 10 RTS Posts of 2012). These posts provide a great framework to reflect on the year and to prepare for a even better 2013! Here our our top reads of the week and also some highlights of our top viewed articles of 2012!

1) Nate Green- The 3-Minute Breakfast in a Bowl

It’s amazing how many times Chad and I will hear from younger athletes we coach that they “don’t have time for breakfast.” Well, you can bet that is one of the first things we try to fix as we coach a younger athlete. There really is no excuse, especially after watching this quick advice from Nate Green.

2) Bret Contreras- How to Eat like a Man!

Bret does a great job of breaking down how to gain proper nutrients in simple terms. We all know that the wealth of knowledge out there on nutrition can become overwhelming at times. When should I eat my carbs? Should I even eat carbs? How do I justify my craving for 6 egg omelets when the whole world is telling me that my heart is about to explode if I do?

3) Dean Somerset ( Stretching Doesn’t Work

Dean describes the problematic mechanisms associated with traditional “static” stretching and lays out a great program for getting yourself beyond having the limited “mobility of a clam.” Using examples of adductor tightness, he further describes how “foam rolling” works, the purpose of active mobility after rolling, how to use “traction” exercises to increase mobility, and how to do it all in under 15 minutes of fun! Your former clam-self will thank you!

Show Me Strength’s Top Posts of 2012

1) The 3 Biggest Mistakes Kids Make While Playing Catch And My Solutions 
2) 5 Moves to Get Ready in a Hurry
3) What I’m Thankful For in 2011
4) Monday (Well actually Tuesday) Mental Musing- How Ice Baths, 4 a.m. Mountain Runs and Cheat Days can take your game to the next level
5) 1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar Review, Part 1
1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar Review, Part 2
1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar, Part 3
6) 2 Lessons for Up and Coming Baseball Players 


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Inchworm bug

Every once in a while we athletes find ourselves in a predicament. A very depressing, shameful predicament. Of course, I’m talking about the times when no where in sight can we find weights or a weight room….Sigh

I’ve even found this to be somewhat of a common occurrence in professional baseball. A fact that most people can’t seem to put their head around. I’ll often say to friends who have a more outsiders perspective of the game that not only does professional baseball view training with weights as only “somewhat” important, we as professional players are only “sometimes” allowed or “sometimes” given an opprotunity to be around or in a weight room. My friends and peers are always baffled since their view of baseball, rightly so, is a sport that should require players to train hard, eat right, and stay in shape. More on that topic in a future article..

no weights no dates

In this post, I’m going to show you a mobility/stability/strength exercise all rolled into one that I’ve come to love for my younger athletes, who just like me, are sometimes in the absence of weights.

To give you a little background on where I first thought to share this post…

I teach a strength and conditioning class for athletes ranging from ages 9-13, most of them haven’t even seen a weight. This gives me a unique opportunity to teach them basic movement patterns that will translate well when they stumble into a gym someday.

Often, I deal with a large group of kids, about 15-25, in an open space with no equipment. It’s then my job to coach proper form on the exercises I deem appropriate, to the best of my ability, all the while keeping them interested, and getting them a solid training effect.

During an hour-long group session, I normally space it out with an extended dynamic warmup starting stationary and transitioning into variations that have them move down the length of the floor. For example knee hug to overhead lunge walk. From there, we get into some quicker pre sprint plyometric movements, then sprinting, and then the bulk of the time is spent on getting stronger. I have to keep in mind these kids are super young, so this is the most critical part of our sessions together.

A commonality amongst a young group of athletes is the fact that they are generally very unstable physically. Chances are if I ask them to take a lunge step forward, their knee will cave in or something just won’t look right. If I ask one of them to do a push-up, my bet is they have trouble moving through the whole range correctly. Same goes for the other big movements like an overhead squat pattern. Nearly all kids lack the strength or stability to move through these very basic patterns correctly.

So what is stability? As Charlie Weingroff, a world-renowned doctor of physical therapy, and strength coach puts it, “Stability is control in the presence of change”

With this “stability” trait that athlete’s need so vitally, it’s gotta be my focus to train this in the younger groups who need it so desperately.

So with that, here is that exercise you’ve been waiting to hear about.


I first use this for the part of the warm-up when we move down and back the length of the floor. It’s a movement we could do in place, but to make it more of a challenge, I like to move with it.

inchworm exercise

There are a few different variations of the inchworm, but for the most part the benefits include:

Shoulder strength and scapular mobility

Core strength and activation

Hamstring and ankle mobility

HOW TO COACH– The biggest issues I see when people are trying to execute the inchworm are….

a.) moving too fast- Tell them to slow down, pause briefly after each step, and hold that push-up position a little longer.

b.) not staying tight- Unstable clients will tend to move more side to side, constantly losing that key “control in the presence of change”. Cue them to stay tight through their core, keep that chin tucked, and squeeze their glutes as often throughout the movement as possible. These should help them clean it up.

Here are a couple of variations..

-This girl adds in a push-up for good measure…an extra strength component.


-Here is one of my strength coaches, friend, and badass in general speaking terms, Tony Gentilcore, performing an inchworm complex. This would be for a more advanced athlete.


Of course it sucks not being able to go move heavy things around the gym. But if push comes to shove, just whining about it won’t get you better. We as athletes need to be like chameleons, and thrive in any circumstance thrown at us. In a baseball season you aren’t always going to be around a gym, but it’s still your job to stay in shape, stay as healthy as possible, and be ready to roll each day or night. This exercise, the inchworm, is a great tool to add into a strength routine or a warmup if you’re at the gym or at the field, or in some random city with nothing but a 7/11 and a ballpark.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Follow us on Twitter here and our Facebook page here!

Monday Motivational Reads!

Posted: December 24, 2012 by cmrodgers100 in General

Be your own hero pic

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Nelson Mandela

Some of you may be dreading the holiday season. You may be overwhelmed with things to, places to go, and people to see. I get it. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the chaos of things that we think “must get done” that we forget to enjoy the people we are around and the everyday blessings around us.

Hopefully we can all take some time this holiday season and really enjoy what family, friends, and the amazing world around us have to give us in this life.

Matt and I here at Show Me Strength sincerely wish you guys the best over the holiday season. Thank you so much for your support! Now here are some great motivational items that we hope you will enjoy.

1.) Random Musings: Acknowledging the Present Moment by Jordan Syatt– I think this older post by my friend Jordan is very fitting for this holiday season. Even though we have so much to accomplish, it’s really important to slow things down and work on living in the present while truly enjoying the journey.

Follow Jordan here

2.) The Hero Handbook by Nate Green– This is one of my favorite reads ever. Nate gave this gem out for free on his old site, with the intention of making everyone who read it more healthy, strong, efficient, rich, happy, wealthy, and whatever other synonyms for awesome there are. You must download this! Highly recommended if you are interested in optimizing your lifestyle in a positive way.

Check out Nate here

3.) What Is Your We? by Martin Rooney– When talking about becoming a better person, sometimes we need to evaluate ourselves objectively to get to where we want to be. Our ideal body, job, lifestyle, or whatever goal you want to achieve takes work. Work needs action steps. Martin breaks it down pretty bluntly for us here and gives us a plan of action we can think about and follow.

Follow Martin here

4.) The Goal Snowball by Alwyn Cosgrove- This post is short and sweet, but does not lack a clear message. Many people fail around this time of year when they start a new workout out program, start a new diet, or make significant lifestyle changes. They fail because they never picked up the momentum of success in the first place. Alwyn has battled through some very difficult obstacles in his life, and by no means overcame them overnight. He developed a snowball of successes, failures, knowledge, and strength to knock down each goal. Here’s how you can too.

Follow Alwyn here

andddddd our training song of the week! (A little mix of heavy and festive!)

never stop learning

These reads of the week come from a selection of the gurus from whom we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to personally learn from. Their continued contributions to their respective areas is no accident and inspirational to us; they continually challenge themselves to learn more and evolve as scientific progress dictates, even though they already practice on the edge of discovery. Please take a minute to catch up on some of their contributions!

1) Developing Young Athletes by Mike Robertson– Once again, Mike frames this tremendous discussion through his life experiences as a young athlete himself, a father to a young daughter, and a strength coach of many young athletes.

Follow Mike on twitter here

2) Shoulder Adaptations Over the Course of a Baseball Season by Chris Beardsley and posted by Mike Reinold– In this detailed research review, Chris thoroughly covers the whole host of issues which manifest in the throwers arm over the course of a season. These are the major reasons why we care so much about proper training and preventative care! Mike, the Boston Red Sox Head Physical Therapist for years, also shares his insights on the review.

You can follow Mike here and Chris here

3) Should Baseball Players Bench Press? by Tony Gentilcore– This is an article we are so thankful was written in such detail! Just this week, I was asked by one of the athletes I coach, why we don’t do bench press for 45 minutes like his football playing high school friends. Well, this post by Tony could not have come at a better time and I know I will be referring people directly to this article often!

You can follow Tony here on twitter

4) Invincible Immunity by Eric Cressey– A post from 2009 that we were recently reminded of and is very fitting considering the high impact that the flu is expected to have this season (as long as the world doesn’t end first!). A well researched and presented reminder of things you can do to get healthy and stay healthy!

You can follow Eric here

Show Me Strength’s Posts of the Week

Check out our posts from this week including the Monday Motivational Reads, a post from Chad about Throwing Progressions from the Ground up and Matt’s surprising review of why you might not want to use a weighted bat in the on-deck circle after all.

Thanks for reading this week!


Babe Ruth often seen swinging 3 of his 36 inch, 40-47 oz bats!

A major event in any youth baseball players career is that moment when he or she takes that first practice swing using a coveted bat weight/donut/or other heavily marketed weighted bat contraption.

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 2.13.31 PM

At that moment, one feels like a Greek god, Hercules on Mt. Scopus, as one joins the ranks of those professional baseball players one places up on that pedestal. If they swing them, and blast mammoth home runs, then I should do the same, right?

Well, contrary to almost universal baseball wisdom, bat weights might not actually carry any weight at all when it comes to preparation, and in fact, you might actually be doing more harm than good!



We want you to be aware of the actual science behind the training to limit those rather unfortunate swings and misses. Below we review two research papers which demonstrates the effect of swinging a bat weight on subsequent swing velocity.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(5): 1566-1569, 2009.
Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California

19 male recreational baseball players, with high school or junior college experience minimum, were asked to complete a general warm up routine and then placed into 3 test conditions: a light bat (LB)  group (33in/ 9.6oz), a normal bat (NB) group (33in/ 31.5 oz) or a heavy bat (HB) group (33in/ 55.2 oz).   Participants were asked to take 5 warm up swings, each of which was recorded for bat velocity, and then following a 30 second break, completed 5 maximal swings with the normal bat.

ResultsScreen Shot 2012-12-21 at 11.01.10 AM
The authors found that warming up with the light bat was significantly faster than that of the normal bat or the heavy bat.  However, they found that when testing the post warm up velocity when participants returned to the normal bat, the light bat warm up group and the normal bat warm up group had statistically significantly higher swing velocity.

Authors Conclusions
The authors conclude that during a warm up in which a player is trying to increase subsequent bat velocity, they should warm up with either a lighter or normal bat.  Using a heavy bat is discouraged because it appears to reduce swing speed upon returning to a normal weighted bat.

This study is limited for one by the fact that only recreational players were used.  A subsequent study of professional caliber hitters should be undertaken.  Also, the study does not account for the phycological or biomechanical advantage that swinging with a heavier bat may subsequently provide to a batter.  It is also possible, and has been seen in other such studies, that the bat speed returns to normal after the first post warm up swing; however, because they averaged the post swing velocities, this is not evident.

Percept Mot Skills. 2002 Feb;94(1):119-26.
Otsuji T, Abe M, Kinoshita H.
Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan.

8 varsity university male baseball or softball players participated in this study. In each case, the participant swung an unweighted bat 5 times (control), followed by 5 swings the bat weighted with a 800 gram bat ring weight (weighted condition), and 5 more again without the weight (post-weighted condition).  Participants were given 15 seconds rest between each swing.  They conducted 3 sets of these 15 swings, with a 10 minute rest between sets.

Additionally, after the 5th swing of the weighted condition and the 1st, 3rd, and 5th post-weighted swing the participants were asked to subjectively rate both the heaviness of the bat and the relative speed compared to the control condition.  They rated heaviness on a scale of apparently lighter (5) to apparently heavier (1) and relative speed on a scale of apparently faster (5) to apparently slower (1) with (3) being equal in both cases.

ResultsScreen Shot 2012-12-21 at 11.42.53 AM
The authors found that the average post-weighted swing velocity did not significantly change from the normal control bat swings; however, there was a significant decrease in the swing velocity of the first attempted post-weighted swing.

As far as perception of heaviness and relative speed, the participants felt that the first post-weighted swing, the bat felt both lighter and speed velocity faster than the control condition.

Authors Conclusions
The authors conclude that using a weighted bat does not, contrary to popular belief, elicit an increase in bat speed.  As with the previous study, they conclude that it should not be used to increase bat speed, but may only provide a psychological benefit to the batter.  They postulated about neuromuscular cause of the decreased bat velocity.  They noticed that other studies had demonstrated that using a weighted bat may increase activation of both agonist and antagonist musculature associated with the swing pattern.

There are still limitations to this study as noted by the authors themselves and further study is needed to clarify the neuromuscular mechanisms of bat speed inhibition following a weighted swing.  Additionally, they do not go into the biomechanical changes which may occur along with the weighted bat swing.


OVERALL MESSAGE: Baseball is generally very slow to adapt to research and scientific inquiry.  While more study is necessary, these and other studies seem to conclusively demonstrate that swinging a weighted bat does not increase bat speed, at least immediately following weighted swings.  There still may be beneficial training mechanisms using a weighted bat; however, swinging 6 bats in the on-deck circle will not help you mash Ruthian home runs.  In fact, I’d like to personally slap myself in the face for doing so for some many years of my career.  I am still not fully convinced that there may be some important biomechanical advantages that swinging a bat may provide a batter, but further study is necessary.  Happy smart swinging!



Throwing Progressions From The Ground Up

Posted: December 19, 2012 by cmrodgers100 in General, Pitching, Training

Progression Pic

pro·gres·sion- The act of progressing forward or onward movement. A passing successively from one member of a series to the next; succession; sequence.

When it comes to training programs, throwing programs, and throwing sessions, the one must is that they need to be designed from the ground up. What I mean by that is simple movements and basic drills are the way to begin any sort of successful routine.

I think a good warmup routine starts with something simple such as a glute bridge or a push up variation.

I believe that a good resistance training routine begins with something on two legs like a squat pattern.

The same goes for my pitching clients. I always start with some of the most simple drills, often from the ground. This lays the foundation for a smooth and successful session. Not to mention, by the time we get into the meat and potatoes where we make most of our gains, such as pitching at full speed or a drill that might require a great deal of motor control, my guys are ready to roll.

A poorly planned session would be rushed by jumping the gun into something complex too early.

Here is a look into how I progress each one of my students, regardless of skill level. Of course we base the specifics of the drills based on the individuals needs, but simplicity always comes before complexity.


-This is one of my high school kids doing a one knee throw starting by holding a finish pattern.  The goal here is to take the legs out of the equation, only focusing on finding a consistent release point and smooth hand break. I really like this one for kids to help calibrate how the ball is coming off the fingertips. A good analogy would be “Before I ask you to run, I want to see you walk correctly.”


– The second of part of my throwing sessions are commonly in the stride position. Notice it’s still not a complete pitching delivery. We are slowly working towards that point. Just like any good thing, a good throwing session is a building process. I’m asking my athlete here to do something slightly more difficult, but not anything quite like the demand of pitching full speed off a regulation sized mound. Here, my main goal for the student is to start bringing in some leg drive that transfers efficiently through the hips. I want my athlete to get into a position that closely resembles a full stride towards home plate. In the past, I used to teach these drills with the lead foot at a 45 degree angle, but after seeing how much better guys seem to finish on-line, and how much less they seem to fight their front side to get through their hips, I opted to completely externally rotate that lead foot for all stride drill variations. Here is Danny Baldino showing us one of them.


There are a few things graven in stone that must happen before we get to this point in a throwing session.

1.) My pitcher must feel ready to throw at full effort. He has warmed up adequately from both a dynamic warmup and a “ground-up” throwing progression.

2.) My pitcher has shown sufficient improvement on weaknesses at both the ground and stride stages of our throwing program.

3.) My pitcher has thrown all of his pitches and has a decent command of all of them. His fastball is always the number one priority.

So my student is loose, has challenged himself in various drills from the ground to standing, and knows where the ball is going. It’s time for the fun stuff. Early on in a pitcher’s offseason, I definitely won’t have them throwing off a mound, as arm strength needs to get to a point that warrants us to do so. What can we do instead? Take your students weakness and find a drill or cue for him to work on as he throws a light bullpen session from a flat ground area, not off a mound. Danny has a tendency to rush his delivery to home plate, so I use a simple crossover drill with his front foot crossed over top of his back foot to challenge him and force him to engage and stay on that backside from the get-go. Here is a demonstration.


After I feel like we have made some solid improvement in the areas of weakness, our throwing session will end for the day. There is no question that even if you have something well thought out on paper to execute, each of your throws will surely have a direction, an intent, and a purpose. Notice I like to set up cones. I use them to make sure my pitcher is lined up not sometimes, but every single time. To me if you don’t take care of that, it’s a careless throw, especially for a younger pitcher who doesn’t have good awareness yet.

In review:

When embarking on a game of catch, teaching a pitching lesson, warming up to pitch, or even going through a detailed throwing program, start slowly, preferably from one or two knees, then move into something more athletic like a stride drill that promotes proper transfer of power and works in an efficient direction. Finally, get into your most demanding drill or bullpen session. From my experience as a player and instructor, this is how to consistently make quick progress day-to-day while throwing.

Did you find anything here helpful? Let us know in the comments section.

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Monday Motivational Reads!

Posted: December 17, 2012 by cmrodgers100 in General

make things happen

Here is our list of some great motivational articles from this week. I hope everyone had a great week and weekend and is ready to kick some ass this week! Lets get it rolling.

1.) It’s Ok To Be Ambitious by Chad Howse– This is one of My favorites from Chad. Once we realize our passion, forget our hangups, leave our bullshit aside, and finally give attention to the tasks that deserve our energy and commitment, life can free up in a way we could have never had imagined. That’s my take from this article. It’s obvious with all the incredible content that Chad puts out constantly that he has taken this quote from Steven Pressfield to heart…(one that he posts in this blog)

Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundamental of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.

2.) A Couple Videos From Arnold Schwarzenegger- After reading the book Total Recall, a memoir of Arnold’s incredible life thus far, I developed a much greater respect for the dude. Sure he’s made some terrible decisions that have affected and tarnished his reputation, but looking at some of his positive qualities a bit closer, I realized Arnold is a guy who doesn’t let obstacles get in his way, he just crushes right through them. Here are a couple examples of his undaunted determination to succeed in whatever he decided to pursue.



3.) My Bucket List: Awesome Goals for a Thrillingly Heroic Life by Cody McKibben– Do any of you have new years resolutions? Do you write them down? How about a bucket list? Are you comfotable living an average, middle of the road sort of life or are you out there each day checking things off those lists? I can guarantee you aren’t truly happy sitting around, doing mindless work and living a safe and predictable life. I know I’m not. Each day is truly a gift, as we were made aware of this week with the tragedies in Connecticut. How can something like this not make you so thankful to wake up each day with a smile on and a passion for whatever is ahead? Cody’s bucket list is good framework to start looking at your life through a more dynamic and colorful lens.

Thats all for today folks! Kick today’s ass! And follow us here on twitter!

1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar, Part 3

Posted: December 16, 2012 by showmestrength in General

This is Part 3 of the 1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar featuring the final two strong presentations of the day from Greg “Greg Trainer” Robins and Tony “Some people confuse me for Bane” Gentilcore…

Greg Robins, NASM-CPT, RKC, CSCS- How Strong Does An Athlete Need To Be?

How can you not trust this man?!?

How can you not trust this man?!?

Greg hit the ground running as the newest strength coach at CP this past summer, and has not looked back since. A elite powerlifter, former catcher, and diesel individual, he inspires many athletes at CP and on the web through his blog, His talk clarified the various qualities of strength- maximum, absolute, relative, acceleration, deceration, speed- and offered some suggestions on how to optimally train athletes to minimize their “strength deficit.” He also spoke in detail of the various phases of lifting and what each may demonstrate to a coach about possible areas of focus for training an individual.

Strength Terms to know

  • strength– “the ability of a given muscle or group of muscles to generate muscular force under specific conditions” *
  • absolute strength– “the greatest force which can be produced by a given muscle group under involuntary muscle stimulation, for example, electrical stimulation of the nerves supplying the muscles or recruitment of a powerful stretch reflex by sudden loading” *
  • maximal strength- “ability of a particular group of muscles to produce a maximal voluntary contraction in response to optimal motivation against an external load” *
  • relative strength- “maximum strength an athlete can produce in relation to their body weight” *
  • strength deficit= absolute strength – maximal strength

*definitions from Mel Siff

Force versus TimeForce versus Time
Greg also discussed how these strength terms apply to the force versus time graph. An astute coach can recognize, by observing an athlete during a lift, where their weaknesses might lie on this spectrum.

Speed/Strength Continuum

  • interesting concept to keep in mind when programming for an athlete
  • important to keep in mind where they are in their season and off-season because programming should be specific to the time of the year for optimal performance

We wrote about the concept back last November here as we explained our off-season training at CP.

Here is a great video by Eric Cressey, which reviews this concept better than we can explain in writing here:

Training Strength Fitness

Training Strength-Fitness

  • important to consider how all the areas of training are inter-related
  • strength, speed, skill, mobility/flexibility, endurance
  • keep all of these facets into consideration when programming

And last but certainly not least,

Tony Gentilcore, CSCS, CPT- Deep Squats: Are They Worth It?tony bane

Bringing it all home with a great presentation, Tony, the co-founder of Cressey Performance, needs no introduction because most of you I’m sure already know him. In fact, the pure power of his presentation conjured up all kinds of heavy winds and rain all up and down the eastern seaboard.

Is squatting “bad” or “unsafe”?

  • it depends but generally speaking, the knee can protect itself very well
  • ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL work together to keep us together!
  • study on petellafemoral joint (Salem and Powers, Clin Biomech, 2001; 16)
    • no difference at 70,90, 110 degress of knee flexion with regards to patellofemoral joint reaction forces and joint stress
  • need to ASSESS individually to determine if an individual can safely squat

“You should just stop your whining and squat deep! Yes, deep! Like ass to grass otherwise you are a pussy.”-The famous Powerlifting Robot , as featured in the video below


  • often times, individuals have issues with their squat pattern because of issues in the ankles
  • lacking dorsiflexion will destroy the ability to squat
  • exercises to gain mobility at ankle: knee break, wall ankle mobs, multi-planar mobs, rocking ankle mobs

Groove proper patterns

  • HIP HINGE!!!
    • use hip hinge drills, dowel drills, KB swings to teach proper patterns!

Femoral Acetabular Impingement

  • need to be aware of FAI
  • may limit an individuals ability to safely squat but if they can’t squat there are plenty of ways to get and stay strong!
    • single leg work, deadlifts

warning: this video features some rather colorful language- not recommended for the faint of heart

“There is simply no other exercise and certainly no machine that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.”
-The Powerlifting Robot

We at ShowMeStrength would like to thank the Cressey Performance Staff and Presenters for the invitation to attend along with all of the other attendees, from whom we continue to learn with and from!

Show-Me Strength’s Reads of the Week

Posted: December 15, 2012 by cmrodgers100 in General

Kid reading

Often times the internet can absolutely destroy our productivity. Time can seem to pass by at lightning speeds when we are just casually searching through random websites that are in no way making us better human beings. It’s a sucky feeling to say the least…

Every single one of us is guilty of it. Cruising Facebook for much, much longer than we should..putting off our most important tasks until the very last-minute. I don’t know about you, but it makes me irritable, and dissatisfied. It also leaves an empty feeling when I’ve wasted precious minutes or hours investing in such meaningless stuff…because as we know or say we is short…fact…..

There is a bright side to this story though. Out in the world there are people living their dream to the fullest each and every minute. There are people living exciting, meaningful, and inspirational lives. There are people making a huge difference in other people’s lives and building a lasting legacy for the betterment of humanity. This stuff doesn’t make feel irritable, empty, or dissatisfied. In fact, just the opposite.

So when I do end up getting on the internet nowadays, I try to either read about these awesome people, learn something from these people, or share some wisdom or advice of my own. That way if someone happens to be randomly and mindlessly surfing the web and comes across our site, they are making themselves into a little bit better of a person than they were before they visited.

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins

There are positive changes, negative changes, and no change at all.Which one will you work for in your life?

With that, here are some awesome reads from some awesome folks who do awesome things.

1.) Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef; An interview with the President of the Grassfed Assosiation, Dr. Patricia Whisnant by Chris ” The Kiwi” Ashenden– Chris is the co-founder of Athletic Greens, one of the most researched and thoroughly pure supplement companies out there. I take everything they offer. They make a delicious greens drink, fish oil, vitamin D, and BCAA’s. They are all incredible and top of the line. Anyways, Chris is obviously extremely well read in regards to nutrition, and this interview, which dissects the differences between the cows who graze on what they were meant to graze on in the pasture, and cows that are fed a manipulated diet, is very interesting. Worth a read if you enjoy eating your fair share of beef.

Follow Chris on twitter here.

2.) Baseball Strength Training Programs-Are Dips Safe and Effective? by Eric Cressey- This (among any of Eric’s baseball content) should be a must read for any baseball player unsure about proceeding with a strength and conditioning program to get ready for a season. So many times will you see a pitcher going through football style workouts to achieve optimal strength gains, but many of those movement patterns, programming schemes, and exercises in general can be a huge detriment to progress. Dips are a popular exercise, so make sure you do your homework, which EC has already done for you here, before you get started doing silly stuff in the gym.

Follow Eric on twitter here.

3.) Player Interview with Miami Marlins Reliever, Steve Cishek by Jay Kolster– If you’re a baseball player, who better to look to for advice than an established Major Leaguer? Steve is an incredible guy who trains alongside us at Cressey Performance. He is extremely hard-working, hasn’t had anything just given to him, and is very thoughtful when it comes to sharing what has led to some of his early success in the big leagues. Jay, current CP intern, does a fabulous job of asking insightful questions about his training.

Follow Jay on twitter here.

Hopefully you got yourself better by reading what these guys had to say. They are out there making a difference. Are you?

closer to dreams

See you soon…Follow us here

1st Annual Cressey Performance Fall Seminar Review, Part 2

Posted: December 11, 2012 by showmestrength in General

Cp excellence phrase

This is part 2 of our review of the Cressey Performance Fall Seminar…

Eric Schoenberg, MSPT, CSCS- Out with the Old: A new model for preventing injury and improving performance in the throwing athlete

Eric, as a practicing physical therapist in the Boston area, understands fully the complex nature of the shoulder in the throwing athlete, with special emphasis on the proper mechanics and timing shoulder functions. He importantly grasps the Shirley Sahrmann concept of “Movement Systems” gaining traction in the strength, conditioning, baseball, and medical worlds. For too long, many believed that in dealing with an issue in the shoulder or elbow, that one need only treat the shoulder or elbow itself; however, it is evident that issues which present in the shoulder or elbow often times originate from improper movement elsewhere down the kinetic chain “system.”

Modified Nagi Disablement Model
-interesting change to the Nagi Model
-original model: pathokinesiologic- The disease or injury causes the movement fault (i.e. Shoulder impingement causes insufficient scapular upward rotation)
-modified model: kinesiopathological- Movement fault causes “disease” or injury (i.e. Anterior humeral glide causes Bicipital Tendonitis)

Overuse Injuries aplenty
-high school athletics account for more than 2 million injuries annually
-overuse injuries account for half of all middle school and upper school injuries -in MLB, injuries cost teams $487 million in 2011 ($16 million/team)

Deliberate Practice
a topic which we have discussed here
-Talent is Overrated book

-Great performance is determined by deliberate practice
-Corrects faulty movement patterns, works on addressing weaknesses, specific, mentally exhausting, individualized, results in drastic improvement over time
-daily habits important à think about how much more time is spent outside of the gym or in physical therapy, important to be aware of posture and motor function as much as possible when not specifically addressing the issue

Issues with Traditional Throwers Ten/Band programs
provides good activation of musculature, though too much before throwing could lead to fatigue
-doing them with improper mechanics is not going to improve injury, in fact it will exacerbate the problem
-important to do them with proper mechanics a.k.a. deliberate practice of proper timing mechanisms

“You get what you train principle”
-this is the crux of our goal in presenting this information to the baseball world
bad movement (dysfunction) + strength= increased injury risk and decreased athletic performance
corrected movement + proper training = decreased injury risk and optimal athletic performance

Chris Howard, MS, NSCA-CPT, CSCS- Program Design Considerations for the Young Athlete

Chris, a long time trainer, nutritionist, and massage therapist at CP, specializes in training the young athlete. He spoke on a wide range of issues pertaining to developing programs and coaching for the youth athlete including the role of education, physical development considerations, benefits of strength training in the youth population, assessments, proper progressions, and sample programs.

Role of Education
-importance of maintaining a positive, friendly, and encouraging attitude à set the athlete up for success not failure

-advice for presenting a new exercise

  1. Name the exercise
  2. Explain the exercise
  3. Demonstrate the exercise
  4. Have athlete perform the exercise
  5. Observe
  6. Discuss further changes to technique but do not overload the client with hundreds of cues to think about

-if an exercise is too difficult, regress to build base for future progression while maintaining a successful experience for athlete

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
-Chinese proverb

Developmental Considerations
many of the bones are still in active development

  • Proximal Humeral Growth Plate- 19 years old
  • Distal Humeral Growth Plate- 10-16
  • Proximal and Distal Radius- 12-23 yrs old
  • Clavicle- 22-25 yrs old
  • Scapula- 22 yrs old

Benefits to youth population
-increase muscle strength and endurance
-injury prevention
-improvement in sport performance
-increase bone strength and density
-improve confidence and self-esteem

myth: strength training causes stunted growth or increase in injuries à forces experienced by youth athletes during proper strength training is actually less than the forces they experience during competition

Exercise Progressions
bodyweight first à add resistance
– slow and controlled –> increase velocity
-limited range of motion –> full range
-simple –> complex
-bilateral –> single leg
-sagittal plane –> frontal and transverse

-went through the progressions of the main movement patterns: med ball overhead and rotational, deadlift, squat, single leg, horizontal press, horizontal pull, vertical press, vertical pull, anti-extension core, anti-rotation core
-too many to list here, but very interesting and informative to consider when designing programs

check back soon for part 3 including great information from Greg Robins and Tony Gentilcore!