With a relatively low key long weekend, I’ve been able to catch up on all my blog readin’  (even finding some new stuff to read!!) So here’s a recap on what I found really interesting and of a high quality (I know, I know, objectivity at iots best!!)

1) Mike Reinold (if you havent heard of him) is a physical therapist and athletic trainer. Part of his work includes working with the Boston Red Sox. Anyways earlier this week, Mike began a new blog series on patellofemoral pain. If you are not a trainer or of a similar field to Mike AND/OR do not get giddy about anatomy, then his stuff may not be for you…however if you DO enjoy learning some anatomy, you can’t go wrong with Mike’s blog. What the series has looked at so far is why PF pain is so misunderstood when it is so common, and where is the pain really radiating from (and why).

Click the link (…if you dare…??) >>PF Pain and more!!!

As a trainer, I believe reading things from folks with this sort of background is a great addition to my knowledge and skill set in that it let’s me know about issues so that I can know when I have to refer out to someone else. Also if someone is post-rehab and I’m training them, I shouldn’t just be guessing about how to (hopefully) keep them out of rehab/from going back to it.

2) Adam Ringler is a masters student at Michigan State specializing in strength and conditioning while interning with their strength and conditioning department. I’ve recently started to converse with him, so upon checking out his website, I found not only a clean looking site, but also several great blog posts on the front page! His writing is very clear, concise, and that all important skill of making things seem simple without giving a “dumbed-down feeling”.

Check out Adam’s site HERE

So thats it from this weekend. Let me know if you’ve found Mike’s and Adam’s sites useful or interesting — and of course if you guys have been reading some good stuff which I havent mentioned, throw that down in the comments section below!!

If you have tomorrow off, ENJOY!!


New week, new blog post

March 9, 2009

picture courtesy of Canadian Press

picture courtesy of Canadian Press

Since we have such a creative title for today’s post, here’s another random list of whats been going through my head over the weekend:

1. The World Baseball Classic started again over the weekend (I love baseball, I just don’t get the point of this thing or the timing of it). Canada and the US faced off in what is becoming a very good rivalry. In the end, the US squeaked out a 6-5 win, however as anyone who saw the game will tell you, it was a very exciting game with a playoff atmosphere. Since I love playing baseball, watching it can bore me pretty easily, however this game really was THAT exciting…we don’t get many Jays games that are that exciting anymore :(

Another cool thing was Canada’s big hitter that game was Joey Votto of the Reds, a guy I played against in my early high school years (he was a few years older than me). Even back then I remember everyone — my coaches and my older teammates talking about how well he could hit! Its nice to see an Etobicoke boy makin his mark!

2. The Pallof Press. If you haven’t tried it, try it! I was skeptical about how much I would feel it working my core, but I gave in on Thursday and now I’m kicking myself since I haven’t tried it sooner. It appears to be a great exercise to bridge the gap between more advanced side planks and plank variations. More on this after I’ve used it for long enough to notice an effect.

These videos were made by Kevin Larrabee, host of the Fitcast, and the guys at CP. If you want/need more great exercise demos check them out on the Fitcast Youtube channel (free promotions for ya Kevin! If only I had 50,000 readers maybe I’d have some bargaining power to get something out of it :P) In all seriousness they have great video quality and Kevin has gone through and added the coaching cues so you know what to be aware of

3. Started plyos in my program last week. I’m not sure if I mentioned that in a post last week, but it adds another dimension of this performance-based training that I’ve been trying out since December. Starting to really use and learn how to program things like plyos, med ball throws, and the olympic lifts has lead to a lot of trial-and-error, so come next off-season I feel that I’ll be much better off with a lot of the basic experimentation out of the way.

4. Yesterday night I was reviewing and giving feedback on a training program for a figure skater (practicing some program design for SST), and after about an hour I had over 2 singles spaced pages typed up…why can’t writing my school assignments flow that easily?

5. Got an upper body session today. This is something I’m strongly considering changing since I would rather a young athlete lift lower body before upper body every week…gotta walk the talk!

Alright guys thats it for today!


In all honesty I wasn’t going to blog today, but something blogworthy surfaced. To give you guys the abridged version, I just came back from my “elite athlete training” class lab. Today’s lab was about heart rate/lactate threshold training so it involved a 30 minute warm-up “jog” followed by some aerobic & anaerobic intervals (6,4,2 minutes with 90 secs rest between repeated twice). So that was absolutely insane fun!! Right now I’m typing this at my computer feeling some residual soreness in my feet/ankles and knees (also fun), and all in all, I think it was a good and useful experience.

Here’s why:

The vast majority of sports that utilize strength and conditioning as a method of physical preparation for competition are strength or power sports which need high force output usually in a limited amount of time followed by a rest period of some length. Until now, my education (both academic and practical) in fitness/training athletes has led me to believe that for these sports, there is a better way to get the athletes in shape. Looking at cost/benefit ratios, my thinking is that I don’t want to subject my athletes to any risk that doesn’t even resemble the nature of their sport.

Thats all well and good that part of my training philosophy is that, but then what made this lab useful??

It re-affirmed my beliefs about proper training for these athletes! You see, I hadn’t done any sort of long distance running or aerobic intervals like this in probably years (besides a lab or two in the lab couple years). This is important because I learn best by doing so having an experience actually re-affirm my training philosophy or not is a lot more powerful than just gaining the knowledge through reading or listening.

If I experience something, it also tends to make me a better coach since I can relate to what the athlete is experiencing — another plus.

With all this said, I’m not against aerobic training or aerobic intervals, etc…I’m just against these things when they’re the wrong tool for the job. After all you never hear of cross country coaches having their athletes run repeat 100m dashes, but in strength and power sports, its still common to hear of coaches that prescribe long slow cardio.

Thats it for me this week, have a great weekend guys!!


I was in the gym the other with my buddy who I played baseball with since I was 12 or so. He’s always been bigger and stronger than me as well as being the better baseball players. From some of my recent posts, you know that I definitely want to get stronger, so I’m finding it to be a real advantage to train with him while we’re both home over the holiday break because he is motivating me to try and push myself by lifting heavier weights.

He also has an interest in training so naturally we discuss it quite a bit, especially since he is still training for baseball. Anyways while we are training together, we agreed to follow his team workouts.

One of the things he says his coach stresses is improvement — which makes sense; improve strength, speed, muscle mass, flexibility, etc should result in improved sport performance.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but should improvement be tops above all else. Should improvement trump training quality — in terms of execution?

Personally I’ve learned to be a technique guy. Sure I want my athletes to improve (or else I need to start looking at my programming if they aren’t), but the improvement is achieved by emphasizing quality over quantity. This goes back to the whole exercise needs to improve performance while minimizing injury risk, both short term (in the exercise session) and long term (injuries occuring in sport).

Just my opinion.