9 Quick Tips To Help Keep Your New Year’s Resolution To Work Out

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 by admin

If you are one of the many who made a resolution to start working out this year, here are some tips to help you stay on track.

1)   Make your goal realistic.  Don’t make your goal going to the gym 5 days a week at 5 am when you haven’t been to the gym in 12 months and you aren’t a morning person.  Instead make your goal attainable.  Go to the gym 2 times a week at a time that works for you.

2)   Put your workout on your schedule.  Block that time out.

3)   Workout Partner.  If you have trouble keeping your self accountable, work out with a partner.  You have a better chance of not skipping a day because you don’t want to let your partner down.

4)   Ease into your workout.  Don’t go crazy on the first day of your workout that you are so sore you can’t move the next 3 days.  This will just discourage you from continuing.  Take it slow and move your intensity up gradually.

5)   Get Support.  Tell friends and family.  Don’t keep your resolution a secret, they will be there to support and motivate you.

6)   Reward yourself.  If you stick to working out twice a week for a month treat yourself to something you enjoy.

7)   Chart your progress.  Keep a workout log.  This will help you see your progress.  Set short term goals because they are more achievable and will help keep you motivated.

8)   Don’t beat yourself up.  If you miss one workout it isn’t the end of the world.  This won’t help you reach your goal.  Just don’t let it turn into missing 2 or 3 in a row.

9)   Stay on Task.  It takes about 3 weeks for a new activity to become a habit and 6 months for it to become part of you.  Success won’t happen overnight.  Be patient and persistent.

Hopefully this will help next year so you won’t be making the same resolution.

Is my child too young to start speed and agility training?

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014 by admin

I hear this question from parents all the time.  Is my child too young to start speed and agility training?  The answer I tell the parents every time is No.  It is never too young to start.  You want to start training your child the correct running technique,  deceleration technique, and the proper way to change directions as early as possible.  This will help prevent bad behaviors early.  The child will learn correct form and will learn by repetition and muscle memory.  It is just like any sport a child plays, the earlier they learn to swing a bat correctly, shoot a basketball correctly, or throw a football correctly they will become better at it.  As a coach it is easier training a younger athlete the correct techniques than an older athlete because they don’t have as many years of improper technique.  It will also help kids avoid injuries due to improper technique.

How High School Athletes Get and Keep Their Edge

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by admin

As high school sports continue to become more competitive, more athletes are taking part in year round training programs in order to keep their competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve. It is important to structure training programs in such a manner that athletes reach their peak levels of performance when it is most needed— such as during tryouts, the first game of the season or the playoffs. The focus of workouts should be adapted to the needs of each athlete in order to maximize the efficacy of the fitness regimen. 

Continued Training Maintains Endurance and Readiness

Athletes that train through the offseason have the advantage of being fresh and prepared when training camps begin, allowing them to compete for the top positions on the team. Those who take two to three months off simply cannot begin training at the same intensity that more prepared athletes are able to and a yearlong routine that consists of sixteen week cycles allows athletes to prepare for the moments that they will be required to exercise at peak intensity ahead of time. A machine that has been neglected for months develops rust and loses lubrication and the human body acts in a similar manner— while muscle memory makes it possible to regain the speed and strength that an athlete once possessed, it still requires time and the proper progression in order to return to that level of intensity.

 

Training Progression with Shifts in Key Focus

More important than strength, weight or power is form because proper mechanics are what prevent injuries that set an athlete back or keep him or her off the field. During the first phase of training, athletes should not be concerned with the amount of weight that they are able to lift and are actually encouraged to lift low weight at more repetitions in order to learn proper form. This develops training habits that support the next stages of training, which are strength and power.

During the strength stage of a training cycle, the athlete focuses on continuing to maintain proper form while adding weight and reducing reps. This continues into the power stage, where even more weight is added for fewer reps, and is designed to bring the athlete to peak strength at the end of the cycle— when peak performance is required. The cycle might end with a week of rest before beginning again in order to allow the body an adequate amount of time to heal.

Training during the offseason is an important aspect in keeping an athletic edge and also allows athletes to perform at levels of intensity that their competition simply cannot keep up with unless they have trained in a similar fashion. The offseason can be used to gain an advantage through this cyclical training method.  Then, during the season, you want to continue to work, but focus is back to proper form and less intensity in order to not lose your hard work leading up to the season. 

 

Keys to a Healthy Diet

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by admin

Dieting is a controversial topic and there are as many opinions on the subject as there are fads being circulated on the internet and in popular magazines. The truth of the matter is that while some fad diets may allow you to lose a few pounds initially, the only path to sustained and lasting weight loss is through a lifestyle change. It is unreasonable and unhealthy to lose more than about two pounds a week, which means it really does require a commitment to see long lasting results. Every person has different dietary requirements that must be considered when planning your meals but there are some guidelines you can follow that will help you shed pounds and keep them from coming back.

 

Log your Meals and Snacks

It may seem tedious and require precious time you feel could be spent on other tasks, but it is a proven fact that dieters who keep a journal of what they eat throughout the day are less likely to overeat and more likely to make healthy meal choices throughout the day. The most common complaint people have is that they have been dieting and exercising but still don’t see a difference on the scales while the reality of the matter is we often underestimate the quantities of food we eat. Keeping a log or journal allows you to track your progress and pinpoint those bad decisions you may be making so that you can substitute healthier foods the next time.

 

Don’t Skip Meals

When you eat a large meal, any energy that is not initially used immediately after digestion is stored as fat, which is why it is more effective to eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day rather than two or three larger meals. Skipping meals may also lower your metabolic rate by signaling your body that there is a longer period between feedings— causing your body to hold onto more energy, which is always stored in the form of fat. Steady and consistent eating patterns fuel your metabolism by making your body work throughout the day to break down food for use and you will find that you have more energy available during workouts if you eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of fewer large meals.

 

Vegetables and Fruits are Staple Items for Any Diet

Fruits and vegetables are not only rich in many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs but are also an excellent source of fiber. Fiber aids in weight loss by cleaning your system during digestion. Imagine having microscopic brushes cleaning your intestines every time you eat and removing harmful toxins and fats that your body may otherwise hold onto. The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits also break down slower, meaning that you do not get a rush of energy followed by a crash and your body holds onto less of the energy because of the prolonged rate of absorption. 

Your diet is the most important part of your weight loss plan because it is the easiest way to create a caloric deficit. Remember not to deprive your body of the things that it needs to thrive and not to expect results overnight. Losing an average of one to two pounds per week makes it far more likely that you will keep the weight off than if you drop it faster by following a fad diet.

 

 

Can Speed Be Learned?

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by admin

When evaluating natural ability, it is important to consider that while every athlete may start in different places in regard to talent, athletic skill is not simply “God-given”. Most motor skills are learned and in many cases, lack of proper training may result in children learning the wrong habits— which will haunt them later on in their high school and college years when they are competing against athletes who have learned the proper mechanics. Raw talent isn’t something to be discredited, but if your child is not fast now, that doesn’t mean he or she cannot be taught how to use mechanics and form to even the field with the faster athletes on the field.

 

The Relationship between Form and Performance

It has been proven that something as simple as teaching an athlete how and when to swing his or her arms while running can improve his or her overall speed by as much as twenty percent. That is a significant improvement and has absolutely nothing to do with the child’s raw ability or natural talent. Training a child on how to lift and lower his or her feet quickly, how to start and stop suddenly and how to make the most effective strides will ultimately give him or her the edge when competing with others later in life. Conversely, the lack of such training can impede your child later on when late bloomers begin to catch up to or surpass his or her “natural abilities.

Speed and agility training specializes in teaching proper form and mechanics not only to improve performance but to reduce the occurrence of injuries that can set the athlete back. In most team sports, coaches simply do not have the time to make speed and agility training a priority and choose to focus on strength and conditioning as they relate to the specific sport. This is why it is important to train your child in speed and agility off the field in order to teach and improve these skills.

 

Giving Your Child a Head Start

If you begin teaching children about speed and agility early on, they will have a greater advantage later due to the correcting of poor habits and establishment of healthy ones. Speed can definitely be learned if taught by the right trainer and if this weren’t the case, professional athletes wouldn’t need to constantly train in order to improve their own speed, agility, strength and endurance. Remember that natural ability gives you a starting point and that investing in additional training is what allows athletes to become faster, stronger and more agile. Therefore, if your child is currently running behind the pack, do not fret or lose faith— everyone can be taught how to improve their speed and level the playing field and that knowledge may actually give your child the upper hand years from now when he or she is up against another child for the same position on a team.

Adding Weights to Lose Weight – How Cardio Isn’t the Only Way

Posted on: March 29th, 2014 by admin

It has been drilled into our heads repeatedly over time to the point that anyone who is looking to shed some pounds has one word come to mind— cardio. If you want to lose fat, you need to focus on cardio because cardio is what burns the calories. This approach is extremely shortsighted though and it is hard to believe that cardio is the only form of exercise that can keep us in shape. If that were true, why do professional athletes spend so much time with free weights?

 

How to Lose Weight with Free Weights

Cardio is extremely effective at burning calories while you are exercising but what many people are unaware of is the after burn created by the use of free weights. After burn is the caloric burn that occurs after you have exercised and your body recovers from the exertion on your muscles and the oxygen depletion that occurs during your workout. You can burn more calories after a workout than you burned during the workout due to the after burn effect.

Cardio workouts get your metabolism working for about eight to twelve hours after the workout but free weights have been known to cause after burn effects for days after the initial workout. The reason for this is that free weight exercises tear more muscle tissue than cardio does due to the exertion placed on the muscles during training. In order to repair these tears in your ligaments and tendons, your body must use stored energy to promote the healing process and that results in an after burn that lasts until those muscles are fully repaired.

 

How to Maximize the After Burn Effect

Before you take this information and run off to find your dumbbells, keep in mind that there are always ways to improve the efficiency of your workouts. In the case of weight training, it is to focus on muscle groups rather than isolation. Isolation workouts are great for building strength in one or two muscles, but the true way to create the after burn effect is to work entire muscle groups at a time. Your time is better spent on muscle group exercises because you are getting the benefit of multiple exercises in one movement— and because more muscles are being worked in each exercise, the after burn is more effective and lasts longer.

Examples of weight training exercises that work entire muscle groups include squats, lat pull downs, bench press or deadlift— to name a few. Keep in mind that you will need to allow your body ample time to heal after weight training and should rest the muscles you have exercised for a day or two before training them again. This healing period is a great time to incorporate cardio into your routine, because cardio has benefits of its own as well.

Try to incorporate multiple forms of exercise into your training routine when you are trying to lose those unwanted pounds. By constantly switching things up, you will avoid some of the plateaus that are common among training regimens that are focused only on cardio or only on weight training. Adding variety will also keep you from falling into the monotony of the same routine and will keep exercising fun and interesting so that you are motivated to keep challenging yourself.

How Speed and Agility Training Can Prevent Injuries

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by admin

While it is impossible to prevent every single sports injury from occurring, it is a common misconception that many of the injuries sustained by athletes are due to chance or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Habits play an instrumental role in preventing and limiting the severity of injuries and proper training allows athletes to develop muscle memory functions that will ultimately prevent injuries by putting their bodies in safer positions when changing direction or sustaining an impact. Speed and agility training provides athletes with the needed skills to be able to react the right way in milliseconds when placed in a situation that could potentially lead to injury.

 

Athletic Multitasking

 While agility is defined as the ability to make quick starts, stops and changes in direction, the end result of training agility is that athletes are able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously and seamlessly. For example; a wide receiver must be able to track the trajectory of a football while changing direction in order to be in position to catch the ball while competing with a defender. Once the ball is caught, another burst of speed and direction change is required to run down field in order to add yards onto the catch. This entire process could take a second or two and there are multiple ways that poor mechanics or body placement can lead to injury during this time period.

 

Most athletic programs focus on strength and endurance training and fail to incorporate speed and agility training due to the belief that athletes either have natural talent in these areas or will never develop the speed and agility needed for certain positions on a team. The lack of focus on speed and agility results in the development of poor habits that can lead to severe injury. Speed and agility training focuses on movements that are performed in situations that require split second decisions, leading to better decisions and proper form.

 

How Form Can Lead to Injury

Improper form can cause or exacerbate injuries by putting the body in an awkward position— putting strain and pressure on vulnerable joints and muscles. Safe and healthy movements can only be trained through repetition because athletes are unable to process the conditions on the field and come to a conclusion on the safest reaction in less than a second. These decisions need to be programmed ahead of time so that the reaction is instant and the athlete maintains proper form through the entire process.

 

Speed and agility training has applications for every sport and position played because poor form can cause injuries regardless of whether the position played requires exceptional agility or speed. All athletes can benefit from learning safe and effective motor skills that allow them to change direction, start and stop, or to maintain speed with proper running form. In the event that an athlete is not receiving such training, it is advised that speed and agility training be added to his or her regimen to teach him or her proper form and healthy habits both on and off of the field.

 

Supplementing Our Diets – Nature vs Bottle

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by admin

Drug stores have dedicated entire aisles to supplements and consumers are drowning in a sea of extracts, oils, powders and capsules while trying to find the supplements that suit their needs. Athletes of all backgrounds often find themselves seeking the latest “performance boost” in the form of a powder or pill. Do supplements provide all of the benefits that they profess to, however? When should you consider using them?

 

The Purpose of Supplements

As the term suggests, supplements were initially designed to be an addition, or supplement, to a diet that is lacking key minerals or vitamins. In a fast paced society, we have begun to take whatever short cuts we can in order to keep pace and this has caused us to reach for whatever quick and easy food is available while we are on the go from one place to the other. As a result, we leave our bodies lacking many of the nutrients that they are desperately craving. This is where supplements were supposed to come to the rescue— they fill the void and allow us to continue making poor choices without regret— or so we think.

 

Watered Down Nutrients 

Anything that has been processed simply cannot compete with fresh food. We often waste money on vitamins and minerals that need to be absorbed naturally by purchasing them in forms that are incompatible with our bodies. The act of processing fruits, seeds, vegetables and oils into supplements changes their form and in many cases, our body rejects the new form the minerals or vitamins are introduced in and we simply do not digest them. An example of this is that iron supplements in pill form often pass through our intestines before they’ve had the opportunity to be absorbed.

 

The claims on the bottles may actually be true and the supplement may have a marked benefit on our health or fill a void in our diet, but we miss the mark because we don’t receive the nutrient in nature’s intended form. For this reason, it is always better to find out how we can get those nutrients naturally and in the event that we simply cannot do so, we must know what form the supplements need to be in for proper consumption. Taking the time out of our days to plan healthier meals that provide for all of our health needs is far more time efficient in the long run than relying too heavily on magic pills that may be providing no real benefit.

Don’t Kid Around When it Comes to Exercise

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by admin

It isn’t stressed enough how important exercise is for children, but the message preached it often of the benefits of exercise in general and not what kinds of exercise provide the greatest benefit. The release of consoles that incorporate actions into gameplay has given people the false sense of security in thinking that these games cover all of the bases. Activity of any kind is better than encouraging a sedentary lifestyle of playing video games and watching television but it is important to know what activities are most efficient and beneficial.

The heart is an extremely important muscle and deserves to be exercised on a regular basis. Any activity that elevates heart rate and develops endurance is extremely beneficial to children. Running sprints or long distance, bicycling and even walking are all good sources of aerobic exercise. Training the heart early on in children’s’ lifetimes will help them later on when they approach team sports and will establish healthy exercise habits well into adulthood.

Impact exercises are known to strengthen bones and the best time to do so is while a child is still growing rather than later on in life. Actions such as skipping, hopping, jumping rope or some forms of dancing can help develop the bones as these types of actions require the body to adapt to the impact on joints and bones. Later in life, the same types of exercise can be problematic for athletes who’ve not taken good care of their joints and bones or who have been injured. For this reason it is extremely important to promote activity in children that will promote good bone health throughout their lives.

Most exercise will strengthen muscle but others focus on strength directly. When children are younger, all strength training should be done with their own body weight and they should not be encouraged to lift weights until they are older and have developed proper form. Traditional strength training examples that use body weight only are pushups, pull ups, lunges and sit ups.

Many of the activities that children participate in combine all three of these forms. Children with different goals or needs may need to focus more in certain areas than others but it is important to include some form of aerobic exercise in any regimen to develop endurance and a healthy heart. Most importantly is to encourage children to find activities that they enjoy so that they are motivated and it doesn’t seem like work to them.

Bottom line, get your kids out playing!  They will likely be hitting on everything they need if they are just doing things they enjoy and staying active!

Quick Feet

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

We have all heard someone say it before— “that guy has quick feet.” Most of us translate the statement to mean that the person is fast but to believe that is to get off on the wrong foot when it comes to speed and agility training. Being fast requires the right combination of foot work, form, coordination and agility. The ability to get one’s feet off of the ground quickly is merely the first step in a process that athletes must go through with each step that they take.

Proper Form

Improper form causes many sports injuries and may impact performance and speed. Foot speed alone is the ability to lift the feet off of the ground and then to return them back to the ground quickly, but the length of each stride a runner makes and how he or she transitions from one step into the next contributes to his or her overall speed on the field. Training athletes on proper form is similar to making sure that a machine is well lubricated and that there is nothing in the way of the gears that could grind it to a halt.

Speed and velocity training helps athletes develop coordination, balance, agility, form and power. Accelerating, decelerating, changing direction and maintaining speed are all steps in the process and breaking down each part of the process into fundamentals identifies problem areas and helps athletes develop good habits and lower their risk of injury. It is easy to just tell an athlete to “run fast” but focusing on all of the areas of skill that affect each stride is a much more effective strategy.

 

Getting to Basics

Velocity trains athletes on basic concepts in order to correct any underlying issues that may affect balance, increase the risk of injury or inhibit an athlete’s ability to perform at his or her full potential. More advanced concepts are not effectively covered until athletes can master the core skills required to exhibit flawless form, accelerate quickly, maintain speed, make cuts and stops and do so with minimal risk of injury. There is a lot of work that goes into quick feet on the field but our aim is to cover each step of the process and develop good form and safe habits so that athletes can reach their full potential and continue to make running fast look easier than it really is.