I just finished eating my grass fed beef and cocoa dusted almonds for breakfast while watching some video of Louie Simmons and training at his gym. If you are new to my thinking, the one guy that I always fall back on for advice is Louie Simmons. While watching this morning’s video, Louie made the point that athletes need to be powerful over an extended period of time….
Let that simmer for a minute. I know I always do while sipping on my organic coffee on Sunday afternoons while putting the programs together for the gym. Louie hit the nail on the head. Above all, I feel that athletes need to be powerful over the entire course of their chosen athletic event or game. I don’t care much for programs that call for continual max lifts with max rest between sets. This is no realistic for most programs as time for the workouts is often limited to about 4-5 hours per week. I want my athletes to be in the same state physically at the end of the game as they are at the beginning of the game. This can be done through dynamic effort days in which sets are performed every 30 seconds to 1 minute. In the video I was just watching, Louie had his guy do 16 sets of 3 on the bench in 7 minutes!
This has applications to my Alpha male members as well. Most of them are after body composition change and strength. Try squatting in this style and tell me you don’t feel the conditioning. It is incredible. Strength endurance and power endurance are a must for everyone, in my opinion. Now, the key is, you don’t use max weights on these dynamic days. I would recommend anywhere between 40-60% of max weight. There is a time and place in the program for max lifts, but not on dynamic days!
One of my ‘go to strength bibles’ is Louie’s book below. The man is a modern day “Strength Einstein”. Get fast, get explosive!
I am having an awesome Sunday! I got to spend the day at DeFranco’s up in Wyckoff with Joe D and Smitty from Diesel Crew. This was the second part of the series of the seminar that I went to back in June. These guys are some of the leaders in the industry and I picked up a lot of cool things today! Med ball work for athletes, variations on the Olympic lifts, contrast training methods and so on. I am going to be putting this all to use this week on my men and athletes:) Lucky them! And tonight at 10 PM I have an hour consult with James the Thinker Smith. We are going to talk shop about training and all types of fun science. It has definitely been and will continue to be a productive day.
Power development and program design, doesn’t get any better than that….
I had the great chance to speak with Coach Mike from New Orleans yesterday afternoon about what the best ways to train for explosiveness are. This kind of goes right in line with yesterday’s post, so I thought I would share some more insight. Squats and deadlifts are a must in any program. How much you perform them is individual, but certainly not more than 2x per week. I would cycle the variation of the exercise from week to week as well. If you work at 90% or higher on a certain lift for 3 straight weeks, the CNS will start to regress and you will actually lose strength. I would definitely also incorporate glute-ham raises, reverse hyper extensions, rear foot elevated split squats of some variation, box jumps and sled work. Not too big of a list to choose from and remember, I would only use 3 of these exercises maximum per workout. One of the big moves, one of the posterior chain movements and possibly a single legged move or sled work. Getting stronger will lead to more power, but you must also work in sprints or jumping or dynamic squats to train the power component to the fullest. Training with a weight from 40-60% will get the job done. Also want to give a shout out to all the guys that had a killer session last night, there were 12 there in total at the 7 PM session!
I will be putting my first dvd out this summer along with an outlined program of how I am getting my hoops players to dunk with ease. Obviously these kids are gifted, but when they came to me a half year ago, they were not dunking consistently. I now have 3 players that are dunking with ease, 2 handed! That means they have had a substantial increase in their power and vertical jumps. I understand the principles of power and rate of force development and how to get my athletes to maximize their power potential. It also helps greatly that I am still and active basketball player and I understand the mechanics of the game. I will be posting video within the next week or so of my guys throwing down. I am even going to put myself through a self-experiment with going from where I am now to dunking to prove to you that it works. Win the week!
Hey, check this vid out. My boy forwarded it over to me. Not your typical motivational video, but it got me pumped as heck and I figured it would be a great way to start the week. Never question what is possible. If I told you a 5’9″ white basketball player could do a 360 between the legs dunk, would you believe me? Start challenging your preconceived ideas about what you can and can’t do. Win the day! Check it out:
You have to know by now that I feel the posterior chain is THE most important region for athletic development . I picked up a few more interesting tid bits to add to my arsenal.
- The spinal erectors/low back must be strong! They are part of the ‘jumping muscles’, the reason being, almost all sports involve going from a static position into a dynamic position and the low back muscles have been highly correlated to this in studies. If you have strong low back muscles, you can take off and accelerate much quicker.
- Magnesium deficiency has been linked to hamstring pulls. Another reason why Magnesium is at the top of my list when it comes to supplementing!
- Most athletes neglect the posterior chain, not realizing this is a huge potential area to add some muscle mass to and not realizing they are like a sleeping giant if their posterior chain is not being trained properly.
Nothing too fancy, but a few reasons to start or work harder on your posterior chain training! -K
I am not talking about weighing yourself. Anyone that knows me knows how little I value weight loss, I only care about fat loss. But that is a different topic for a different time. This goes back to the Kinetic Energy training that I spoke about earlier in the week. If you took a scale and jumped on it, your weight would momentarily read much more than you actually weigh because of the force of gravity acting with your body. This is Kinetic Energy, energy that is quickly lost through absorption. The same theory applies to training for athletics, especiallyl explosive sports like basketball and volleyball. You need KEAT (kinetic energy accumulation training) in your strength and conditioning program if you truly want to be the most explosive you can be. If you implement accelerated eccentric components to your training and get your body fat in check, you will be suprised at just how explosive you are capable of becoming. As a side note, any athlete that is above 8% bodyfat would be considered fat in my opinion. I will touch on this more tomorrow. -K
Kinetic energy is stored energy that can be used immediately. In lifting, there is term know as Kinetic Energy Accumulation Training (KEAT). There are different ways to achieve this build up of kinetic energy. It is also important to know that the faster the weight comes down, the more KE is built up, meaning more strength and power development. I directly attribue this type of lifting to increases in my vertical jump. Look at a vertical jump, the faster you go into the load up phase or descent phase, the more KE and the higher your jump. I hope you can see why this is needed in training athletes such as basketball and volleyball players to name a few. Chains are great for KE training as well as super bands. The bands are a little more advanced. They both work by accelerating the bar on the way down, building up more KE and in turn allowing you to lift heavier and more dynamically. Chains and bands also work with the natural strength curve. This basically means that we are stronger at the top of a lift, which is a reason why most machines are poorly designed-they start you at the bottom of the lift which is your weakest point. Anyway, KE training is a great tool to use in your training. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me an email or post a comment.
I am sure by now if you have been reading my posts that you know how big I am on training the posterior chain. This means for both getting bigger and more explosive for athletics. Here are a few more reasons why:
- Athletes participating in sports requiring sprinting movements (such as basketball and baseball) will improve their stride length dramatically with the regular use of the reverse hyper.
- The hamstrings are fast twitch muscle group, meaning they should be trained with no more than 8 reps and they require plenty of rest.
- In the vertical jump the posterior chain contributes up to 80 percent of the power output.
- Sprinters achieve excellent hamstring development because the hamstrings are one of the primary muscle groups used in running. Sprinting also requires extreme force production and because the athlete leans forward during the start of a sprint, the fast-twitch fibers of the hamstring must contract with maximum intensity to propel the body forward.
These are just a few things that I picked up from reading some of Charles Poliquins book.
This is kind of an off shoot of a big hit article which I had titled Box Squatting for Bodybuilding. While doing some more DVD watching of Louie Simmons this morning, he drove the point home even more of why box squatting is crucial if done correctly. Basketball is a sport of power and explosiveness, often having to change direction and jump all in one motion. Here are the reasons I love box squattin for my athletes:
- It teaches the athlete to squat to the correct height. They have to actually sit on the box squat. What normally happens when squatting is that as the weight gets heavier, the athlete doesn’t go as deep. Continue to drop the height of the box 1″ until the athlete gets just below parallel.
- It builds powerful hips, thighs, glutes and lower back muscles. These are the most dominant muscles in sports and the ones that are responsible for 60-70% of your vertical jump ability.
- The box squat involves static overcome by dynamic (posterior chain) and relaxed overcome by dynamic (obliques and hip flexors). Being able to explode from a standstill is crucial to almost all sports, especially in basketball.
The list could go on, but I will save that for another article. I have been incorporating dynamic box squatting into my routine for the past several months and I am now able to dunk with ease. Keep in mind that I am 29 years old, 6′ tall and 220 lbs. Peace!