At performance Strength Lab our coaches prescribe progressive exercises that meet the athletes ability and help them develop the strength and technique needed to perform the full movement.
Great day for team PSL today at Ironman 70.3 Superfrog! We took first place in the relay with a strong swim start by Clare McKenna, fast bike leg by Coach Mark, and strong run finish by Coach Joe Beckerley. Also congrats to Mariano and Michael with strong finishes in the individual race!
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.
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
Almost all physical activates incorporate force (or strength), speed, or flexibility or some combination of these elements. Strength exercises involve overcoming resistance; speed exercises maximize quickness and high frequency; endurance exercises involve long distance, long duration, or many repetitions; and flexibility exercises maximize range of motion. Coordination exercises involve complex movements.
Of course, the ability to perform certain exercises varies from athlete to athlete. However, success in training and competition is usually determined by athletes who strive for perfection in their training through determination and planning of periodization.
7 Performance Strength Lab Laws:
1. Develop Joint Mobility
2. Develop Ligament and Tendon Strength
3. Develop Core Strength
4. Develop a Stable Body
5. Train Movements, Not Individual Muscles
6. Focus Not on What Is New But on What Is Necessary
7. Periodize Strength and Training in the Long Term
These laws are why our athletes consistently set personal best and reach their athletic goals.
Do you want to improve your cycling speed? Be more comfortable on your bike? Be able to ride farther? Burn calories and lose unwanted weight? Learn to train smarter? If you answered yes to one of these questions this class is for you.
We have a great 8 weeks of workouts lined up. Sign up today and I guarantee you will improve your cycling. We have 4 experienced coaches all USAT certified.
Are you not seeing the training gains you hoped for? Not getting stronger, not getting any faster. Let me quickly explain.
Physical Capacity, Things we count! Endurance, Speed Stamina, Agility, Strength, Quickness and Power.
A lot of us don’t achieve our training goals. We go to the gym without guidance and do a killer hour workout without much gain in strength. We run multiple races a year without improvement in speed. Sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with our work or our efforts. Maybe we’re not aiming in the right direction.
If you are looking to improve your performance. There is more to it than just getting in the hours. An example is for some athletes they may just not move correctly, or stability and mobility are lacking and when we correct this, they immediately see huge performance gain. Other athletes are not taking a systematic approach and don't understand what the proper steps to training are. Another athlete may be sabotaging all his or her work with bad nutrition. Is this you? Are you stuck and not improving, feel you are training hard and not seeing your desired results? It is time to get a coach.
At Performance Strength Lab we take a 4 step approach with every client. 1. Movement Screen 2. Consultation 3. Train 4. Follow-up. We aren’t just a gym. We are multi-disciplinary experts who help you succeed.
To schedule an appointment with us today click HERE
There are three basic elements to the Olympic lifts' (snatch, clean and jerk) benefit to athletic ability. The first: the improvement of knee and hip extension power (power is the combination of strength and speed; we can also call this explosiveness) and rate of force development.
The second element is the improvement of an athlete's ability to safely and effectively absorb force or decelerate. This is trained to some degree with basic strength work such as squatting, but the nature of receiving the barbell in the Olympic lifts is far more ballistic and more similar to the demands on ground-based athletes with regard to stopping, changing direction or absorbing the force of colliding opponents.
The third element is the collective improvement of kinesthetic awareness, fundamental athletic motor skills centered around the hips and legs, and the precise and consistent control of body positions and movement.
No other exercises provide training for these things to the same degree, particularly so efficiently.
All athletes must possess a set of physical skills and characteristics specific to their sport and occasionally even more specifically to their position with that sport. These skill sets can vary broadly among sports and athletes, but few athletes will not benefit from improving strength, particularly in the lower body, speed, explosiveness and the ability to safely and productively absorb force.
Here at Performance Strength Lab we are USAW Certified (USAW is the official governing body of Olympic Weightlifting in the United States) and we are here in East San Diego County to help you learn and master the Olympic Lifts. Contact us today for a Free Success Session so you can see if we are the right coaches for you.
Every client starts with an initial assessment with our certified athletic trainer and certified functional movement specialist. The assessment allows us to ascertain the appropriate starting point for your training. This may include corrective training or private training sessions prior to joining any group or team training option. Then, we progress you through your training and re-assess your progress when it’s appropriate. At Performance Strength Lab, we aren’t a gym. We are multi-disciplinary experts who help you succeed.
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