Posts Tagged ‘Cressey Performance’

Today we have special guest Ryan Wood writing some cool content for us. I first met Ryan at the beginning of the 2012-2013 offseason in Boston training at Cressey Performance.  He was clearly a guy who went at it hard with his head down which I loved, so I knew eventually we would be getting along quite well. As we got into the meat and potatoes of our winter training, Ryan became a close friend of mine, and someone I could trust to train as hard as I like to. The perfect training partner.  Matt, Andrew, and I all have tremendous respect for this guy battling his ass off in the neverending fight to reach his full potential athletically. Ryan is everything we want our Showmestrength athletes and readers to embody, as he trains ferociously, seeks new information always, and consistently surrounds himself with likeminded positive people. Ryan has some cool insight, and a unique story to boot…

Ryan Pitching

Ryan Pitching

Some more on today’s author…

 Ryan Wood is a part time intern/coach at Cressey Performance as well as a personal trainer at Boston Sports Club. He is pursuing his passion of pitching at the highest level possible and played independent ball in the Pecos League this past summer. Loves heavy metal, burgers, and the phrase “BOOOOOM”

My interest in strength and conditioning began soon after my 2nd year in college. Having played baseball my entire life up until that point, I was intrigued by the value of building strength and improving my performance on the mound. When I first started out with weight training I didn’t know about much more than bench presses and bicep curls. That’s what everyone does right? I was a complete neophyte when it came to strength and conditioning and had no idea what a solid program entailed. I’m finally realizing at this point in my training career one very important lesson:

In order to truly understand how training works, you have to log time in the trenches…..

Ryan pulling heavy

Ryan pulling heavy

While I do believe reading up on things related to training will enhance your knowledge, I place more value on the “doing” rather than just the acquisition of knowledge.

The best thing I could have done for my baseball career as well as gaining experience in the strength field, was to venture up to Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I first visited the facility in late summer of 2010 and still train/coach there. The way they did things in 2010 was very progressive and forward thinking for the baseball community. With a baseball tradition so far rooted in old school methodologies, it was a breath of fresh air to learn correct training applications for improving baseball performance. Had I just read Eric Cressey’s articles online, I would have missed the bread and butter of what it means to fully appreciate in the trenches training.

During my second off season of training at CP I began going to the inservice presentations. During inservices, a member of the staff discusses a topic usually related to baseball training and performance. For me, this was part of the in the trenches training. I would absorb the material during the inservice and put it into practice during my own training.

As my interests in strength have grown, I’ve begun to appreciate even more the value of hands on the bar experience. This can apply to all facets of life as well. I recently started working as a personal trainer. I am able to pass on information I have learned to help others achieve their goals. I am fortunate enough to have done some coaching/interning at Cressey Performance. I was taught how to properly coach athletes and clients. This is just another example of how gaining hands on experience can be of great benefit whether you are trying to become a better pitcher, trainer, or general badass.

I don’t care who you are, no amount of reading about how to deadlift will actually help you pull more from the floor. You have to train. And I don’t mean just show up and go through the motions. I’m talking about training like a savage and striving for constant progress. You’ve got to sweat, bleed, and exert EFFORT. When you’re training and looking to improve your performance, effort is what counts. Don’t rely on a textbook, website or magazine to tell you what works and what doesn’t. So get out there and get your hands dirty.

Train hard. Train heavy.

RW

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I’ll keep it short and sweet for the reads of the week.  Part of the reason for my brevity is that I don’t have any bad government jokes to deliver.  The other reason is that Chad and I are busy working on a mini-project that we’re pretty excited about and want to deliver to you as quickly as possible.

Our Weekly Rundown

 

Cockiness and personal bias aside, we write good stuff here at Show Me Strength.  Here is a list of the articles from this past week in case you missed them.

Why I Failed: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

In part 1 of the series, “Why I failed,” Travis Smith offers valuable insight into a problem so many young and experienced athletes fall into: program ADD.  You’re always looking for the very best next program instead of focusing on dominating the one you already have.

Hacking Your Offseason Volume 3: Supplement Guide for Dummies

To put it bluntly, the value of supplements is largely overrated in maximizing your training.  Most don’t work and the majority of individuals’ sole focus is on what supplements they need before making sure their nutrition and recovery is adequate.  Chad gives you the bare bones essentials you need to succeed and questions to ask yourself before you go breaking bank on the latest testosterone booster from China.

Breaking the Cycle of Mediocrity

Mediocrity consumes our lives.  Break the cycle today.  Create your legacy.

The Interwebz Reads of the Week:

 

Pitching Performance: Understanding Trunk Position at Foot Strike Part 12, and 3 by Eric Cressey and Matt Blake

Pitching is the fastest motion in all of sports with the angular velocity of the shoulder rotating upwards of 7200 degrees per second.  There a lot of pieces that are required to make this explosive transfer of energy as biomechanically efficient and explosive as possible.  In this article, Eric and Matt do an excellent job of dissecting the delivery from all ends of the spectrum including a great discussion of the interplay between functional anatomy, core stability, and how they interact to produce the different deliveries of pitchers. In parts 2 and 3, they offer a list of drills and progressions to maximize mobility and biomechanics to aid in creating the most efficient delivery possible.

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Boosting Recovery: Solutions to the Most Common Recovery Problems by Kurtis Frank

There are so many articles across the interwebz (thank you, John Romaniello) that are solely dedicated to training.  What exercises do I do to get bigger pecs?  How can I increase my squat max?  All these are well and good but they’re irrelevant unless we nail the other half of the equation… optimizing recovery.

Kurtis Frank of Examine.com, an impressive website dedicated to tackling the world of research involved in supplements and nutrition, does an excellent job thoroughly dissecting all the information you need to optimize your recovery.  From nutrition hacks to utilizing supplements that reduce stress, everyone stands to benefit from this article.

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Is School the Easy Way Out by Jonathan Goodman:

Is school your safety net?  Is it protecting you from the uncertainties of the real world?  Is it the place you run to when you’re afraid to take a risk and chase your passion?  Jon offers an interesting perspective to all these questions in the hope that you will use his deconstruction to ask the bigger question which is what do you really want out of life?

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You need surgery.

Those are the three words that every athlete prays they never hear.  Aside from the onset of depression that ensues from being on the DL,  for most, facing surgery forces deep introspection.  It goes far beyond whether or not you’ll be able to play in the near future.  Instead, it forces the athlete to ask what if?  What if worked a little harder could this have been avoided?  If I didn’t half-ass my mobility drills every day could I have made that cut more efficiently?  Or if I fueled my body like an athlete should would I have had more energy in the 4th quarter when I got hurt?  This thought process can consume you because there is no game tomorrow or next week to rectify the situation.  It’s natural for athletes because when you’re injured that’s all you’re left to do…or is it?

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Surgery and injuries suck.  Clearly.  I’ve had my fair share (three) and I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed any part of rehabbing.  However, at the same time, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have to go through surgery and the grind that it takes to get back (I didn’t pitch in a meaningful game post Tommy John for 20 months). I had my moments of introspection and it forced me to grow up in a hurry.  My training and nutrition up to that point had been fueled by my learning in bro science.  Daily max effort squats?  Sure thing.  Pizza, post workout?  I was carb back loading before I could spell insulin.  I was forced to educate myself but the most important lesson didn’t involve discovering what loading parameter would have the greatest carry over to generating force in the sagittal plane or what nutrient timing would maximize protein synthesis.  No, not even close.  It was this:

No matter the circumstances, there is always an opportunity to get better. 

Time never stops so why should your injury stop you in your pursuit of getting a little bit better that day?  If you don’t, there are far too many individuals in the world with the same exact goals and dreams as you and you will get passed.  I promise you.

So you have a torn elbow?  What’s stopping you from building thunderous quads and an ass that makes a statement?  Sure, you may not be able to comfortably buy a pair of jeans but do you want to squat the house or what?  Broken leg?  Since when do you need a leg to build slabs of beef on your lats?

The answer is you don’t.  Right now, I may sound like a lunatic or a person that would consider training even on my deathbed and both of these statements may have some truth to them but I speak from experience because I lived the two situations above.  I may have pushed the limits, but I’ve never front squatted more in my life than during the first six months of my elbow rehab.  My best 1 RM on chin-ups was 5 months post-surgery.

Was that the smartest thing?  Probably not but that’s not what’s relevant here.  The point is that nothing, not even a surgery or injury should deter you from getting after it and chasing your goals.  Obviously, there are special circumstances, but I have seen an athlete hobbling around 10 days post-ACL repair destroying his upper body, so there aren’t many.

You have no excuse.  If you want it bad enough, you will find a way.  It’s that simple.

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I was fortunate enough to have Eric Cressey and the team at Cressey Performance in my backyard.  I showed up to his facility 10 days post-op and we immediately started to get after it.  I met the prowler for the first time and it won.  It won a lot.

It’s important that you find your own Eric Cressey.  Find someone in your area who can address your weaknesses through intelligent programming.  If you’re injured, it’s probably because you have some compensation patterns that put you in that position.  Find someone who has a firm understanding of functional anatomy who can train around your injury and still address your weaknesses.  Find a balance.  If I had to do corrective exercise drills all day, I’d go insane.  Lifting heavy shit is corrective exercise.  Learn how to get after it in an intelligent manner.

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Whether it’s surgery or just a minor injury, trust me when I say that if you play any game long enough, you will get banged up.  There are two roads you can take.  Either you can be like some athletes and use your injury as an excuse to take time off from training or you can use it as an opportunity.  An opportunity to honestly asset your weaknesses and fix them.  If your nutrition held you back, correct it.  If you’re weak and your nervous system efficiency is terrible, find someone who you can consider an expert in the field and become powerful.

Some people will tell you that their goal rehabbing post surgery is to get you back to the level you were before.  F*** that.  My goal in any situation, torn elbow or not, is to come back better than before.  If you want to be successful, you have no choice but to chase that.

It’s ultimately your career.  Whether your goal is simply to start on your varsity team or play sports professionally, every day, every situation is an opportunity.  You will encounter adversity.  How you respond will dictate how far you go in your chosen sport and in life.

Which road will you take?

Happy 2012 from Show-Me Strength!

The New Year always brings new years resolutions and goals- that time of the year where many attempt to change their habits but more often than not, revert back to their own previous ways. The first step to seeing a resolution or goal through is to put it in writing and get it out there to friends and family who can help guide you and hold you accountable if need be. Here are a couple great New Years articles to inspire you and your business for 2012:

My Resolutions for 2012- Tony Gentilcore
10+ Ways to Rock 2012s Face Off- Rog Law
100 Ways to Create WOW- Todd Durkin

Instead of doing more of the same (although I do have goals written down) I’d like to do more of a reflection of 2011 and what I’m thankful for in my baseball career.

2011 was a tremendously exciting year for me as I made the transition from a released catcher/first baseman into a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization. My winding journey (more…)


This is an interview with Stanford Pitcher, Sahil Bloom.  Sahil, a Weston, MA native, is currently in his Junior year where he has compiled a 2-0 record, with a 0.55 ERA in 12 appearances.  Opponents are hitting a mere .155 against him. You can click here for his Stanford statistics and follow him on twitter (@sahilbloom).

Show-Me Strength: When in your high school career did you begin to feel like you had a chance to play Division I level baseball?

Sahil Bloom: I always knew I wanted to play college baseball, but it wasn’t until after my sophomore year of HS that I felt that dream could become a reality. My high school baseball coach, Jon Beverly, told me (more…)

When I was back home training for the week of Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit “off” in my training. Not that my lifts were that much different (albeit, I lacked the chains and some equipment that I otherwise would utilize) but what I quickly realized was missing was the training environment which is so prominent at Cressey Performance. It really makes me appreciate the importance of a motivational training environment, to give you that extra intensity.

It’s not that I necessarily need the environment- I like to consider myself a very self-motivated person especially when it comes to taking care of my training and offseason- but it’s a bit distracting to train when this is going on around you:


And no, I’m sad to say I’m not kidding. I actually saw  (more…)

Today is the first player interview conducted here at Show-Me Strength.  Throughout the off-season I will begin to profile and interview minor and major league players- asking questions on all topics baseball and otherwise….

Courtesy Jim Hogue Photos, Rollinssports.com

This is an interview with Indian’s prospect Will Krasne.  Will, a Washington, D.C. native, played college baseball at Stanford and Rollins before signging as a free-agent with the Cleveland Indians in 2010.  In his first season, he played with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Short Season A) of the New York/Penn League.  You can click here for his minor league statistics and follow him on twitter (@pinkpoloshorts).

MK: This was your first year of professional baseball in the Indians organization. You had a more interesting path than most in getting to the minor league ranks, including overcoming an injury, and some extra schooling after graduating early from Stanford.  Tell me more about your path.

WK: I really decided to take the circuitous route (more…)