Tagged as: strength and conditioning

The Neglected…

 
When you go to the gym there is a plethora of things to do. From box jumps to clean and jerks, how do you pick which one to do next? Even with all of these other great movements, there is one we all seem to neglect. This oh so simple exercise is so great, one sport pretty much requires that the greatest athletes who participate in it also become a master of this exercise. One long piece of string attached to two handles has endured the times but is far to often over looked. So ladies and gentleman, let’s get together and bring the JUMP ROPE back to life.

Conditioning, speed, weight-loss, agility, coordination and really nice calves are a few of the benefits of jumping rope. So if people who use it can benefit in those areas, how come more people don’t use it? Simplicity, that’s what it is. The jump rope is so simple that people believe it is not effective. In a world of efficiency, it is crazy to believe that we look for the most difficult ways to get fit. From machines that need instructions just to use the, to one and a half hour long DVD workouts, our mindset when it comes to fitness is, the more and crazier it can be, the better the results will be. Where has simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness gone?

If you want to get stronger, find a coach who will introduce you to barbells and kettlebells. By introduce I mean someone who will wed you with those things. Getting stronger means getting under a barbell and putting in work. No need to go crazy on the next state of the art machine. Just simple be coached to lift and train properly. You want conditioning? Go to a track and run sprints or grab a jump rope and start jumping.

Don’t get caught up in machines and madness Keep it simple, keep it smart, and keep it effective.

What does “universal scalibility” even mean?

katie DL Final

 

 What is a scale?

In a world of “Universal Scalability”, what does it really mean to scale a movment?

By: Coach David de Leon

 

When it comes to training a group of individuals, it is very important for a coach to understand that each athlete has his/her own abilities and deficiencies. Why is this important? Because when it comes to strength training and conditioning, the coach must be able to adapt the training method in order to reduce the risk of injury while still allowing the athlete to get the most out of their training. The ability to do so is even more important when the training is not one-on-one, but in a group setting.

Many gyms use the term “universal scalability” very loosely. The way I have seen it interpreted is “just go lighter”, which is more of the uneducated coaches form of scaling. A true scale is made when the coach understands the deficiency or compensation being made by the client, and provides a different form of the movement in order to reduce the clients risk of injury while still getting the benefit of the specific task.

Here’s an example from the gym last night at OTL: In one of our evenings classes we have two clients whose deficiencies relate to lack of mobility and lack of midline stability. The movement? Deadlift. Which is a great example because it is so feared, but yet is one of the safest and most beneficial lifts of all time.

 

greg DL final

 

When the weight taken from the ground (starting position), these two athletes tend to lose midline stability or have trouble properly setting up for the lift. The fix? It is not lighter weight. Instead we increased the height of the starting position of the lift. This height change allows the athlete to properly and safely set up for the lift. The decrease in range of motion does 3 main things: 1) Decreases the risk of injury especially as weight is increased 2) Allows the athlete to “feel” the proper set up/movement 3) The fix correlates with the athlete deficiencies which should have been found during an assessment prior to them starting training. This ladies and gentlemen is a scale. The same muscles are being worked, the athletes risk of injury is decreased and the scale relates to the problem. Most importantly THEY ARE GETTING STRONGER!

Yes, over time you can make your way back down to a normal start position as the athlete fixes their deficiencies. But simply telling them to “go lighter” will never fix anything. And believe it or not, injury can occur with light weight if the proper technique and set up still aren’t there.

So what really makes scaling universal? It is the ability to get the same result using a means that is safer, in correlation with a clients deficiencies, and allows for progress in a movement over time.

This is easily done at OTL because our focus is not to make our clients elite. It is to fulfill them with a life of health, wellness, activity and most importantly longevity. When the focus is only how hard/fast/heavy can you go, we lose sight of what it means to build someone up, over time and without injury, to be the strongest and most conditioned person they can be.

Be it elite, or just to live a healthy life, coaches must understand their athletes and truly care about where they are and where they want to be.

Until next time, scale properly and reap the benefits!

 

The Losers Limp

 keyth on rings

 

The “Losers Limp” is a term from a speech given by Zig Ziglar. It is a description of the moment in time when a player on defense is being outrun by the ball carrier on offense in football. The “Losers Limp” comes in play when the defender realizes he has been beaten by the ball carrier and instead of just taking the loss, he acts as though he has pulled up and begins to limp off the field, giving him the excuse of getting beat because of this short lived muscle pull. As the player returns to the field on the next play we realize this pull was more of an excuse than an actual injury.

The Losers limp is prevalent in all realms of life and it is not really an injury, but an excuse. Everyday people all around the world have their own losers limp as they find a way to get out of the challenges in life instead of facing them head on. The life of setting goals, and chasing dreams is not one everyone is ready to take on. Hardships will come and only a few will be physically and mentally ready to take on those battles. But the few who decide that nothing can stop them will reap tremendous results.

In relation to your fitness, what is your Losers Limp? Maybe is sounds like, “I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t know what to do/where to start”. Whatever it may sound like, you must realize it is only an excuse and you must rid yourself of it before you can truly reach your goals.

If you are having trouble getting past your limp, feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help you get past the limp and start sprinting towards your goals.

 

 

13 Things Great Coaches Never DO

 great coaches

 

13 Things Great Coaches Never Do

A post about inspired by a LifeHacker article

By: Coach David de Leon

 

1) Text during class

This is a topic that all who know me know I feel very strongly about. As the head or assistant coach, you are saying that you have chosen to dedicate your time, attention and knowledge to your athletes. They pay your bills in order to receive the knowledge you have in your head. Do not disrespect them by texting while you are coaching.

 

2)  Sit down while they are coaching

Sorry, last time I checked we were in the fitness industry. If coaching for a few hours a day makes you so tired that you must sit down while coaching, then maybe you need to get back to the fitness part. Sitting is sloppy and lazy. Why any coach would feel it is necessary is beyond me. If you think you have a great reason why coaches should sit down, comment below and let me know.

 

3)  Try to raise up by putting down

I have seen and heard coaches call their athletes all types of names or use negative reinforcement thinking it will positively affect that athlete. This is not 1950’s PE class, we know now that negativity does not bring about positivity in others. Use your coaching skills to coach and cue. Motivate your athletes and educate them in order to make them better.

 

4)  Do not read or attend seminars in their field because they think they already know it all

The fitness industry is notorious for know-it-alls. Coaches get a cert and boom that is it. From that point on they never again need to attend another coaching/training seminar because it would be impossible for anyone to give them information they don’t know. Coaches, do yourself a favor and spend at least 30 minutes each day reading about different programs or styles of training. Even if you don’t agree with it, that is absolutely fine! But expand your knowledge base and know what others in the industry are doing.

 

5)  Try to diagnose an injury

We are not doctors. Build a relationship with a local chiropractor or physician, preferably one that also trains the way you train, and send your athletes there when they experience pain. Pain is a red flag, do not act like a doctor and prescribe exercises for pain, it is NOT your job.

 

6)  Say the word, “good”, even when a movement still looks awful because they aren’t really sure how to correct it. (Remember the words: Better, Same, Worse)

The word good is the most overused word in a coach’s vocabulary. What does it really mean? When I hear it I think, “well it wasn’t great, but it will do”. Coaches should always remember the words: Better, Same, Worse. Those 3 words can easily get the point across. From there a coach can cue what was better, what looks the same and how to fix it, and re-cue in order to get it away from worse. Good is a cop-out, be better than that.

 

7)  Answer Their phone during class

I only list things that I have heard or seen happen. Answering your phone during class should be an automatic reason for an athlete to leave your gym and for you to be fired (unless it is a family emergency). One word: Unprofessional.

 

8)  Allow their athletes to be in control of the flow of class

Your job as the leader is to direct the flow of the class. You set the energy and tone in the beginning of class and continue to do so as the class goes on. When you are talking and demoing, everyone should be listening, not talking to one another. When you are ready for things to happen, they should happen because you give the direction, not because someone feels they should jump ahead.

 

9)  Allow athletes to perform half decent movements because the movement is almost good enough and don’t want to seem too demanding

If you have movement standards, and you all should, make your athletes hold up to those standards. Speed is not the important part if the movement looks bad. A standard should be designed in order to get the most out of each athlete in a safe manner. Do not let your athletes be pressured by time in a workout if they are not yet capable of performing the movement properly. Step up and correct bad movement, it is your job.

 

10)  Allow a new PR because well, it was close enough.

Would you get on an airplane if the engineer of that airplane said, “well we didn’t get everything made perfect on this aircraft, but it’s close enough”? If your athlete is going for a new pr whether it be a 1, 2, 3 or 20 rep, make them get all of the reps. It is only fair to your programming and to their advancement as an athlete. Almost NEVER counts.

 

11) Teach advanced movements to beginners without first properly teaching mechanics and technique.

No new athlete should be performing advanced lifts under load such as snatch on their first day or in their introduction course. Occasionally you will run into an athlete who just has all the mobility and strength to perform advanced movements. But even then, assess the athlete and progressively allow them to load over time.

 

12)   Allow new athletes to begin programs without first properly assessing their movement patterns, basic strength, stability and mobility.

Coaches are sometimes too quick to allow beginners to start training. It is very important that all new athletes are assessed in order for you to properly prescribe movements for where they currently are. If you are allowing athletes to begin training without assessing them, their longevity in training will be greatly diminished. Assess first, prescribe workouts second in accordance to their limitations

 

13)  This one is just one I like…Never play Brittany Spears. Ever.

Must I even elaborate?

Put That Fitness To Use!

chris poppe and 5k

 

If you are an athlete at OTL, I want you to quickly add up the hours per month you are in the gym. Now multiply that by 12 to get a rough estimate of hours per year you train. Put that number on a piece of paper. Now add up the hours per year you spend outdoors hiking, biking, playing catch, competing in local 5k’s, 10k’s or even marathons. I am going to assume that your hours per year training highly out number the hours per year actually doing. What do you think about this? I don’t believe it is a bad thing to train often, and it most cases the training greatly out numbers the work, but personally I would like to spend a lot more time outdoors and would really love to see all of you do the same. So why is it important, and what can we do?

My number 1 hope for all OTL athletes is to be injury free, have full range of mobility, to have the strength to perform daily tasks safely, and to be able to run, jump and fall safely. However, I believe it is essential for everyone to find something outside of the gym to participate in that demands some type of athletic ability whether it be for fun or for competition. Why, you ask? Because it is a great way to gauge your current fitness level, it gives you a goal to strive for, it brings out whatever competitive drive you may have, and most importantly it gets you around a community of other like minded individuals.

We here at OTL are fortunate to live in Austin, Texas as it is the home to many things outdoors. With the activity level of our city, there is really no excuse why you cannot go put your fitness to use. But, if you are still having trouble finding something, here are a few I can think of off the top of my head….

1) Find trails in Austin or your surrounding area for hiking/biking

2) Go to lake Austin or Town lake and rent a canoe, paddle board, or kayak and explore the waters

3) Take a trip to Hot Lava obstacle course on Burnet Rd. You just have to go to find out….

4) Run Lake Austin Trails.

5) Take a swim in Deep Eddy or Barton Springs pool

6) Sign up for a local 5K that benefits a charity you like

7) Compete in local CrossFit competitions that match your current fitness level

Those are just a few of the things you can do to get started. I am sure you have a list of things you can think of as well. So, to help your OTL friends and family out, comment below and share your favorite things to do outdoors. Even better, find a partner within OTL and get signed up for a local event! The last thing you want is to be in great shape, and never use it to enjoy all life has to offer.

Have a great day, enjoy the cool weather, and lets get our bodies moving!

 

PS…Pictured above is Chris Poppe. Before his move to Houston, Chris came to OTL wanting to get back to his old high school running days. He had put on over 30lbs since then and was far from his goal. But, he signed up for local 5k’s, then some outside of the city, then one in St. Louis and in no time he not only hit his goal weight, he was hitting 5k pr times as well. Set your mind to what you want, and make it happen.

3 Ways to help guarantee results

nutrition, hydration, sleep

 

3 Ways to Help Guarantee Results

Do and keep track of these three things in order to help you get the results you want from your workouts

By: Coach David

 

For the past month I have been posting homework on the whiteboard. The homework consist of a short workout or exercises that can be done at home that has been programmed to add to what you are doing in class. Although usually a workout, lately the homework has been 3 words that are instrumental in order to get results. Below I will quickly list and discuss the 3 words with a quick overview of how/why you need them to help you get results!

1) Nutrition: This is a no brainer. Whether you workout or not, your nutrition is essential in providing you with the nutrients you need for everyday energy and rebuilding of muscle fibers after a workout. If you are new to healthy eating, remember to keep it simple to start out: Lean meats, dark leafy greens, fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, and some fruit. Avoid breads, grains, pastas and legumes. Don’t overwhelm yourself or you will eat your way into disaster. For a more focused and individualized approach to losing body fat or gaining muscle, you can speak with coach Courtney Carlisle. She is our in-house Pump and Shred coach. She can help recommend a meal plan that will better fit your individual needs.

2) Hydration: Many who suffer from fatigue, headaches, lack of energy, or those who may not be seeing results must go back and begin to track their hydration. Your body needs water in order to perform its daily functions. Many times we are so focused on work or other daily tasks that  we forget to pay attention to how much water we are taking in each day. Our suggestion is 1 gallon per day. For some this may be too little, but rarely is it too much. Separate your water drinking throughout the day and a gallon ends up being much easier to handle than you may think. Avoiding proper hydration will leave you and your results on the back burner. So drink a lot of water, then drink some more!

3) Sleep: I will be the first to admit that of these 3 key components to fitness success, sleep is the one I lack the most. For some it is early mornings and late nights, for others it may be sleeping disorders. Whichever it may be, you must find a way to take control of your sleep. It is our bodies time to recover from our workouts and daily routines. Unfortunately we do not allow ourselves to shut off everything and just go to sleep. A tired body is one that is not productive. If you have early mornings, find a way to get to bed sooner. Evaluate what it is that is keeping you up and find a way around it. When it comes to results, getting better sleep will allow you to get them faster and will make your day better overall.

Are there more components to your fitness success? Of course there are. These are just 3 that I believe are at the top of the list. If you have chosen to put your body through the rigors of a workout, you must fuel with the best fuel and let it rest as needed.

Did I miss something? Feel free to comment below and add components to fitness success that I may have missed!