Spartan will be back in So-Cal with their Sprint and Beast race Spring of 2018 May 19-20. This is a great race to help you with your 2018 strength and endurance goals! Let us know when you sign up so we can get you on our training plan.
As coaches, if we hope to create great athletes who have a chance at being successful for the long haul, our programs must be based of Long Term Athletic Development.
Just like a baby must learn to roll over before crawling, crawl before standing, stand before walking, and walk before running, athletes need to build a foundation for elite level athletic performance before they can reach their maximum potential.
At Performance Strength Lab we don’t believe in quick fixes, we believe in long-term athletic development and healthy eating habits for performance. In this article we are going to discuss improving your athletic speed.
Speed for athletes isn't even about training. It's about development.
Much like you wouldn't expect to earn a Bachelor’s degree or Masters degree in just six weeks, optimal and lasting speed improvements don't come in a short period of time either.
They aren't the result of training on high-speed treadmills.
They don't come from jumping into plyometric exercises either.
The essence of creating maximal and permanent speed and agility is based on a developmental principal that involves slowly improving all of the biomotor abilities: strength, flexibility, and power.
You see, with the human body, increases in one biomotor ability will lead to increases or improvements in all of them. That is especially true for athletes.
This may seem odd to you. After all, you have been inundated by coaches, trainers, and the media telling you that to get the specific results you want, you must train specifically for them. Yoga for flexibility. Weights for strength. High-speed treadmills, ladder or cone drills, and plyometrics for speed.
Nothing could be further from the truth, while specific training methods have their place, none of these are relevant until the athlete has the fundamentals mastered and the foundation in place.
People always ask me the same question -
“Coach Beckerley your athletes are fast and agile, but we rarely see you do the normal kinds of speed training that other trainers and coaches do. How is that possible?"
So... here's my little secret.
We make sure our athletes move well and are strong.
That's our secret.
Seems fairly easy, doesn't it?
But think back to our conversation about biomotor abilities. When you increase the level or ability in one of them, you increase them all. Increases in strength will DRAMATICALLY increase the force output (otherwise known as speed) of an athlete. Strength helps an athlete initiate movement and overcome barriers like gravity. Strength allows an athlete to drive and use the ground as propulsion.
This, by the way, is the fundamental difference between actually running and running on high-speed treadmills. A strong athlete can accelerate through the ground and create their own momentum. On a high-speed treadmill, the ground is coming at the athlete, which means that creating force is not necessary. Which one do you think is more beneficial?
While many trainers and coaches knows the fundamentals of movement quality and strength are important, the problem is that most trainers and coaches DON'T know how to train athletes with this in mind.
Strength is the key. So at Performance Strength Lab we first assess and correct movement with the Functional Movement Screen and then we build the solid foundation of strength. We develop a long-term training plan, systematically building each day to help ensure peak performance for specific events. The earlier an athlete comes to us the more likely they are to reach their goals. We understand the desire to run a marathon in 8 weeks, or complete an ironman in 12 weeks and we help athletes do this, but our most successful athletes understand like anything else in life to reach their full potential they must embrace long term athletic development. This allows them to not only become their best athletic selves, but also be able to enjoy athletics far into life.
You may have some questions about this topic after having read the article...
If you do, don't hesitate to call, email or text anytime!
The PSL Long Term Athletic Development model provides us with a pyramid of performance, where the base of the pyramid is movement, which acts as the foundation to all that follows. Without the foundation of movement in your program design, there will be many limitations and risk of injury. After movement Strength is the second part of your foundation. Then moving up the continuum, speed and power then last specialization skills. It is no surprise if the foundation isn’t developed early the later skills will be compromised.
Octavio has come a long way since last year and he will be taking on his second Ironman 70.3 in Victoria in June. His dedication to training is second to his dedication to his wife and family!
In my profession I speak to a lot of athletes on a daily basis. Many come to Performance Strength Lab to help them reach goals in their adult sports, others come to us who have had a past injury they don’t want to have repeat itself as they start training again. There are also athletes that come to us injured so we can help them improve their strength so they can be competitive again. I was speaking to a female runner a few days ago who suffered a bout of over training last year, she was not a client at the time, following the more runs I do each week the better, she also did not include any strength training. I discussed with her my coaching philosophy for athletes and that is to train so you can continue to enjoy your sport and be active throughout your whole life. I am an endurance athlete myself and I know for a fact our life is a ultra-marathon it is not a sprint and we must be patient with our training and ourselves.
It is unfortunate but all athletes who train specifically for a sport and do not cross-train are at risks of overuse injuries at some point. Injuries caused by overuse can occur in any repetitive activity (e.g., running, cycling, swimming, throwing, swinging). However, most overuse injuries result from a weakness or imbalance. A well-designed, properly supervised strength and conditioning program can prevent injuries by reducing muscle weaknesses and imbalances, and improving sport-specific movement patterns.
Looking specifically at runners Sports Health reviewed 238 research studies in 2009 revealing, running injuries are less a matter of foot mechanics and more a result of weak hips and the lack of stabilizing forces resulting from that weakness. According to Brian Hickey Ph.D., and exercise scientist at Florida A&M and top masters runner and duathlete, one of the problems that can ensnare a longtime runner is that distance running alone does not recruit all the muscles in your core and hips.
“Ultimately you want the hip to act like a second foot, “Hickey says. “you want to engage and recruit those larger muscles. If I run with my hips I will be engaging and using the hips, the hamstrings, the quads. When I engage those larger muscles, the lower legs are then just along for the ride”
To do this most effectively, Hickey recommends lifting heavy weights to wake up dormant muscle fibers.
"We typically only use about 50 percent of human muscle in our day-to-day lives. But let's say a car flips over and traps a loved one. The way you're going to lift the car off him is with a surge of adrenaline, recruiting all of your muscles and lifting core-to-extremity. You're going to light up a ton of motor units. The light switches are going to go on."
By lifting heavy weights as a part of your training program, Hickey says, you turn on those light switches in the deeper muscles and the core, enabling a flow of power from your core to your extremities, which improves stabilizing forces down the kinetic chain.
We use the example of running here but this is true with all sports! A proper Strength and Conditioning program for athletes you perform workouts designed for sports performance rather than just fitness. You train movements and your entire muscular system.
Better Sports Performance
Outside of simply building muscle and improving coordination, strength training has a large carryover in an athletes sport of choice. Developing more power and enhancing related motor skills help athletes perform with a competitive edge. An example, numerous studies have looked at the effects of soccer training versus a combination of strength and conditioning along with soccer training. In all studies, only the players in the latter group improved their vertical jump. There were no improvements in the soccer-only training group.
Improvements in Self-Esteem and ConfidenceImprovements in self-esteem and confidence are important and often overlooked. Gaining a mental edge is often the difference between performing your best and turning in a subpar performance. By mastering exercise techniques, setting personal bests and achieving goals, athletes can build confidence through strength training.
Better HealthKeeping active enhances the athlete’s immediate health and can establish good behavior that lasts a lifetime. Finally, strength training can help lower cholesterol and has a favorable effect on blood lipid profiles, making it ideal for fat loss and weight maintenance in overweight individuals
Weightlifting literally transforms athletes in a way that no other training does or can. The results can be truly spectacular, but are never less than dramatic for those who train seriously and regularly. From building up a body that is weak and undersized, helping someone lose weight and get into better shape, or rehabilitating injured and ill bodies, weightlifting simply has no equal. Nothing else is even close. Whether you want to get stronger, become more explosive, get faster, grow bigger, lose weight, become more flexible, improve your balance and coordination, or just become involved in a sport that you can practice throughout your life and continually hone your skills, weightlifting has the answer.
Coaches Tip: Strength Builds Confidence
At Performance Strength Lab we don't only help people get stronger, eat well and perform better. One of the number one things we help do is build confidence. Confidence in your ability and what you as a person can accomplish.
We do this by helping you first build a solid strength and endurance foundation. In order for something to last and meet the challenges that are coming your way it is necessary to start with a great foundation. We help you master the basic exercises including squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull ups and should press. We work with you to schedule your workouts, we plan your workouts for you, help you set goals and we measure your results. We measured results today and had a lot of personal bests!
Each of our workouts have a purpose, they are fun yet challenging. As you progress your confidence level will increase and you may find yourself doing exercises a lot of people don't do like Olympic lifts, sled pushes, pulls and box jumps. Our coaches will help to ensure your success!
We do exercises that are athletic. We do this because we believe adults and youth can be athletic throughout life. By being athletic you transform your body and yourself. The best way you are going to transform your body and yourself is by training in a way that forces you to work on as many muscle groups simultaneously. These are athletic multi joint movements. These exercises over time will build confidence as your body is pushed beyond its comfort zone and is forced to perform at a level that you may not be used to. You will also experience this confidence the next time you do a triathlon, run an endurance race, play a round of golf or a game of soccer.
Pretty soon you will be lifting objects over your head, throwing heavy balls, jumping more, eating healthy, your posture will improve, you will have more energy, you will be confident in yourself and what you can accomplish. This confidence will spill over to every part of your life including family, education and work. So Through Strength We Build Confidence.
Contact us today for a Free Success Session to Ignite Your Fitness!
Coaches Tip: Include Plyometrics In Your Training.
Plyometric training improves running and cycling performance for endurance athletes by allowing muscles to produce more force with less energy. Well that is also why it is great for all sports including soccer, golf, track and field, football, baseball and any other sport you enjoy playing.
At Performance Strength Lab we include Plyometrics in our programing weekly. Some great Plyometric Drills you can start doing include:
Jumps In Place: Squat Jump and Tuck Jumps
Standing Jumps: The vertical jump and jumps over barriers are examples of standing jumps.
Multiple hops and jumps: These include zigzag hops, jumping rope, jumping in and out.
Bounds: Bounding drills normally cover distances greater than 90 ft. It is an exaggerated movement with greater horizontal speed than other drills.
Box Drills: Box drills use a box to jump onto or off or both.
Depth Jumps: Depth jumps use gravity and the athlete's weight to increase exercise intensity. Depth jumps are stepping off a box and immediately jumping.
Medicine Ball Drills: Throws and Catches
For more information about including Plyometric Drills in you training to improve your athletic force production contact us today.
Want to run faster, jump higher, and increase your explosive power for sports? If so you must be STRONG!
There has been a vast improvement in the overall speed, size and power displayed in all sports over the last 10 years. Athletes are by and large bigger, stronger and faster then their predecessors of yesteryear.
Strength training has made the single, most positive contribution to this type of improvement.
Today strength training influences every athletic program in the country, no matter what the sport - male or female. Athletes now find it necessary to lift weights and participate in conditioning programs to better prepare themselves for the competitive rigors of the athletic season.
The Importance Of Muscular Strength
It has been proven that athletic performance depends either directly or indirectly on qualities of muscular strength. The primary function of the 600+ muscles in the body is to contract in order to cause movement in body parts. Only muscle can cause movement.
The stronger your muscles and the more forceful the contractions are in relationship to your own bodyweight, the faster you will run, swim, bike, the higher you will jump, the farther you will throw and the harder you will hit. It's that simple! Not to mention, having a basis of muscular strength is important to avoid injury.
Maximum strength is the backbone upon which all other strength qualities lie. You'll hear me talk a lot about being fast and the importance of speed, power, reactive ability etc.
All of these qualities of strength are important, but truthfully, unless you have enough raw horsepower in your engine you won't be going anywhere or doing anything in a hurry! In this case you can think of horsepower and maximum strength as being synonymous.
While only powerlifters and Olympic lifter need to maximize and demonstrate maximum strength in competition, all athletes need to develop maximum strength as a foundation for other such as explosive strength, reactive strength, strength endurance, agility and others.
For this reason, absolute muscular strength must first be brought to optimal levels and simultaneously blended into strength that you can use for your sport, or "functional" strength.
Improving basic absolute strength has long been the most efficient way to improve speed, agility, jumping ability and explosiveness in sports. In fact, Romanian strength and periodization specialist Tudor Bompa suggests that "No visible increments of power or speed-strength (force x velocity) are possible without clear gains in maximal strength." Why is this?
Well, if you increase your strength, you also increase the amount of force you can generate. All things being equal the more force you can apply in a movement (each foot contact during a run, power in a cycling pedal stroke, amount of force you apply when you jump, throw, etc); the faster you'll move, the higher you'll jump, the farther you'll throw etc.
Start training Maximum Strength with Performance Strength Lab today.
Performance Strength Lab has been approved by the United States Weigtlifting Office as an official USA Weigtlifting club in the Southwest Pacific Region. Our coaches have the advanced qualifications, all coaches also have passed a background test.
The Unmatched Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting Training for Sports Performance
The kind of training performed by Olympic weightlifters not only improves their strength, power and skill enormously, but it has unmatched benefits in terms of helping athletes in other sports to develop strength and power – qualities that can be used with great benefit on their respective fields of play. Regardless of the benefits of the Weightlifting movements, every benefit can be equally detrimental when not performed correctly or under the supervision of a qualified coach. The benefits of the weightlifting movements are as follows:
Ground Based and Functional: Weightlifting is ground based and involves the kind of lifting, throwing, jumping and striking motions that characterize most sports, from baseball to the martial arts. Weightlifters learn to generate force while standing on their feet, largely by driving upwards against the ground. The weightlifting movements and the ground based motions it incorporates not only contributes too, but are the foundation of power generation in the vast majority of sports.
Multiple Joint Actions: The weightlifting movements require the body to innervate muscles spanning over several joints in a specific order. Weightlifting movements trigger the filing of muscles from the largest to the smallest which mimics the demands of other sports such as a pitcher throwing a ball or a golfer swinging a club.
Develops the “Core” and Kinesthetic Awareness Simultaneously: The sport of weightlifting develops a sense of proprioception or kinesthetic awareness, which is an understanding of where an athlete’s body and the barbell are in space. The gains in proprioception due to weightlifting have a profound effect when transferred into other sports leading to greater balance and force production.
Generates Both Hypertrophy and Neural Adaptations: The progressive resistance applied by weightlifters generates an increase in muscle fiber diameter known as hypertrophy. Unlike bodybuilding movements and repetition patterns which can develop hypertrophy that outpaces improvements in muscular function. Strength improves not only as a result of hypertrophy, but also from neural adaptations such as improved inter and intramuscular coordination, motor unit recruitment, and firing
Enhances Flexibility: Age old myths about being “muscle bound” notwithstanding, weight training performed through a full range of motion, such as those performed during the execution of weightlifting movements, actually increase flexibility. In fact, weightlifters are among the most flexible athletes in all of sport, clearly demonstrating unusual flexibility in their ankles, hips, spine, wrists, and shoulders.
Improved Ability to Promote Force Attenuation: Weightlifting does not only involve lifting and throwing heavy weights, but it involves “catching’ them overhead or on one’s shoulders. Consequently, weightlifters develop the skill and physical conditioning to receive external objects such as heavy weights and bring them under control safely and efficiently.
Are you ready to Ignite your training? Contact us today!
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