Posts Tagged ‘eric cressey’

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?

A bit belated, but we have been spending time synthesizing some the great ideas that came from @showmestrength‘s attendance of the 1st Annual Fall Seminar at Cressey Performance.  We are now excited to share Part 1 of it with the Show-Me Strength community!

The packed-house day (although Hurricane Sandy promted early evacuations, not caused by Tony’s jokes) consisted of 7 tremendous talks from CP strength coaches Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Chris Howard, and Greg Robins, nutritionist Brian St. Pierre, as well as associated physical therpist Eric Schoenberg and chiropractor Nate Tiplady.

20121130-130224.jpgWhile the entire scope of the event would be too lengthy to cover fully, the hope is to highlight the overall message of the event, as well as the top lessons learned from the talks in order of presentation.

A common theme of the talks can be summarized by the quote recently offered in our last post:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein

Many emphasized the necessity of re-thinking previous methodologies, re-considering others, and keeping an open mind to new treatment and strengthening protocols. Along these lines, each of the presenters
made it very clear the need for integration, recognition, and cooperation amongst the various areas of expertise- strength, nutrition, physical and manual therapy, and medicine- in order to effect the greatest benefit to athletes. At facilities like Cressey Performance, the results acchieved speak volumes to the power of such interactions between fields of expertise.

Eric Cressey, MA, CSCS- Understanding and Managing Congenital Laxity

CP Strong

As commander-in-chief of Cressey Performance, Eric spoke of his experience training elite professional, college and high school baseball players as well as other clients.  Drawing from his ample client base, he spoke of “tightness” and how that presents especially in the baseball population.  “Tightness” presents for a variety of reasons- muscular shortness, protective tension, neural tension, previous injury, soft tissue restrictions, protective spasms, or issues with inadequate stiffness at adjacent joints- just to name a few.  Lots to consider when evaluating clients!  Here are some knowledge bomb highlights:

Recognizing the intricate interaction between stiffness and flexibility and it’s role in determining mobility
-NEED to assses each athlete individually
-some athletes might appear to be “stiff” but really just lack the ability to create the necessary stability within their range of motion in order to utilize their full physical range of motion

How to effectively use “stretching”
-important not to overdo stretching
-rarely does one need static stretching
-use static and dynamic stretching to “get long” but very important to lock that in with strength training

Brian St. Pierre, CSCS, CISSN- The Food Freakshow: What will you be eating into the 21st Century?

As a certified Precision Nutritionist, former CP strength coach, and one of the most inquisitive minds when it comes to sifting through current research and trends in nutrition, Brian spoke of concerns with the future of food, as well as some great general PN based guidelines to consider when advising clients.  Before you discount what he has to say below because of the picture, don’t worry, he didn’t suggest feeding them insects, just yet!

Interesting and controversial methods of food enrichment- Yum!
-algae farms for nutrition
-adding flu fighting nanotechnologies to milk
-genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
-stem cell beef –> not too far off in the future!
-other meat substitutes “mini-livestock” a.k.a insects
-high in protein, iron and calcium
-as population grows exponentially, we may one day resort to cultivation of insects as a source of nutrients (who wouldn’t want a insect protein shake?!?)

PN guidelines to follow
-focus on lean proteins, vegetables
-be reasonable when it comes to starches and fruits, and healthy fats
-focus on WHOLE foods!
-LOW or no calorie beverages- ditch the sugar sports drinks!

Nate Tiplady, D.C.- Manual Therapy: What we know, what we don’t know and the most effective ways to get people better

Nate, utilizing his varied background  presented a great overview of many manual therapy techniques which we have found as professional baseball players help tremendously in maintaining proper range of motion, and to help clear up mobility issues which may get in our way.  Both Chad and I have utilized Nate’s expertise for arm maintenance and it is worth exploring some of these options, as outlined below, to see if they may be of use in your training plans.

from Loghmani, MT et al. Instrument-Assisted Cross-Fiber Massages Accelerates Knee Ligament Healing; J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2009; 39(7); 506-514.

from Loghmani, MT et al. Instrument-Assisted Cross-Fiber Massages Accelerates Knee Ligament Healing; J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2009; 39(7); 506-514.

Fascial Manipulation
-utilizing treatment (applying pressure) to the connective tissue which creates a continues matrix of structural support surrounding the body

Active Release Therapy
-soft tissue/movement based massage technique
-utilizes specifically directed tension with movement patterns

Graston Technique
-patented treatment method using stainless steel instruments
-mechanical load on tissues has been shown to increase healing of tissue
(see study right which shows a comparison between MCL ligament healing with Graston (C) versus without (B) compared to a healthy ligament)

Joint Manipulation
-application of high velocity low amplitude thrust to the vertebrae or extermity joint
-goal is to restore restricted range of motion and influence surrounding structures
-not something that can be learned in a book or weekend course, so it is important to develop networks of expert professionals for clients

Finally, Nate mentioned a tremendous video about the “Healing Power of Touch” which is unfortunately a dying area.  Definitley worth a watch:

Check back for Part 2, where four more great talks will be highlighted:

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

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

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

And last but certainly not least,

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

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…)

Just like that good breakfast to start your day (and as you will see when I chronicle my nutrition later, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day), the warm up is an integral start to any proper training program.  Not only is it important to prepare the body for the training session to come, but it is also an integral part of maintaining and gaining back range of motion that has been lost.  If you aren’t warming up properly, you are putting yourself at risk!

The law of repetitive motion states that:

I- NF/AR

where I=injury, N= number of repetitions, F=Force or tension of each repetition as a percent of maximum muscle strength, A= amplitude of each repetition, R= relaxation time between repetition.  A proper warmup, among other things, will aim to increase range of motion, or amplitute, of each repetition, thereby lowering the risk of injury, I, throughout training.

Our warmup at Cressey Performance consists of (more…)