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Functional Muscular Endurance for Athletes

With the hoopla surrounding Olympic lifting, plyometric training, and speed development, it’s rather easy to forget about the importance of developing endurance for your sport. While establishing maximal strength and power development are integral pieces to your performance training puzzle, they won’t serve you well if you cannot sustain your performance throughout competition. Muscular endurance is the ability of muscle or a muscle group to produce and maintain a given force or power output for a prolonged duration. With the exception of pure power sports, such as Olympic lifting and field...

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What is Coconut Water and Is It Healthy?

Find out what's in coconut water and how it compares to your favorite post-workout sports drinks. What do Matthew McConaughey, Demi Moore, and Madonna have in common? (Hint: it’s not an affinity for model husbands/lovers/baby mommas or a history of shirtless behavior.) Answer: All three have bought into the recent coconut water craze. Literally, bought into. Madonna recently invested $1.5 million in VitaCoco, the independent coconut water competitor to Zico, which sold a minority stake to Coke, and O.N.E. which currently has a distribution deal with Pepsi. So congrats, Madge! You can...

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5 Tips to Ensure Better Results

Improving the way you look and feel starts with commitment. Getting into better shape doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t necessarily need to run suicides or do hill sprints everyday to lose weight, just as you don’t need to squat and bench five times a week to get bigger. You do however have to be consistent. Being consistent requires not just having guidelines, but sticking to those guidelines regardless of the circumstances. It means eating well, exercising regularly, and doing a few additional things to put you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Below is a list ...

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How Unhealthy is Chinese Food?

Everyone knows Chinese food is loaded with fat and calories, but just how unhealthy is it for you? Chinese food in the US is illustrated best through a single dish: Crab Rangoon. Deep-fried, made with artificial seafood, and filled with distinctly non-Chinese condiments (um, cream cheese?), Crab Rangoon epitomizes the downfall of Chinese cuisine in the West. Unfortunately, despite the threat fake Chinese food poses to our health and our taste buds, this stuff runs rampant across the country, and admittedly, is sometimes just what we’re craving on a lazy Sunday. But, as always, it doesn’t...

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Water and Proper Hydration for Peak Athletic Performance

Are you drinking enough water? Peak athletic performance starts with a solid understanding of hydration. While every athlete knows staying hydrated is essential to peak performance, few fully understand how much water they should drink, and when. Many unknowingly struggle with when to decrease their water intake, and when to step their water intake up. By “water” I mean “total water” — the term for all the fluid that goes into the stomach and keeps the heart pumping at the optimum rate, distributes nutrients throughout the body, lubricates joints, and regulates body temperate by helpi...

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19

Apr 2017

Reading Power

Knowledge is power and these books can help you break mental and physical, PR's. Eventually, we all coach ourselves. It could you be because you’re now out of organized sports, or you’re hitting the limits of what a pre-written program can do for you. You might even find yourself coaching someone else. Whatever the reason, you need to be smart enough to handle this responsibility. To get you up to speed, here are the books I feel are exemplars of their kind. They’re all texts I regularly return to, whether for my own lifting or to help with articles, and have recommended them to dozens ...

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Does Sushi Fit Into Your Diet?

Japanese people aren’t fat. So that makes sushi, and Japanese food, good healthy food, right? The Japanese are arguably one of the healthiest societies on earth. They pretty much blow the US out of the water in terms of life expectancy (86 years in Japanese women versus 80 years in Americans) and at 3%, they boast the lowest obesity rate in the world (the US rate is ELEVEN TIMES that!.. No wonder we need so much help in dieting!) So logically, you would think that a night out for some sushi or ramen might have a beneficial effect on those abs you’ve been cultivating all winter long. Well,...

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Visualization For Better Performance

Believe it or not visualization techniques can improve your strength training and athletic performance. Here’s how. Preparing for any training session or competition is undeniably important. We’ve all heard a million times how important it is to get a proper warm up in before doing any athletic activity, but what people fail to talk about is the mental component. Today we’re going to discuss how getting mentally prepared is just as important to your athletic success and goals and getting physically prepared. Ready? Let’s do it. It All Starts In the Mind What you think about and how y...

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Silverback Training and Nutrition Wisdom

When the big men at the gym talk, you should listen. Just about every gym has a Silverback—a grizzled manbeast who looks like he could bench a Buick and can get the whole gym’s attention with a few warm-up sets. He might have a pro card, played major college ball, or a freakish powerlifting total. Whatever their background, Silverbacks have trained long enough to see trends come full circle, and they’ve got the core principles of getting bigger and stronger down to second nature. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a strong fellow performing a great lift or technique that I’d forgotte...

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The Best Power Endurance Combos for Wrestling

These three combos deliver the trifecta: strength, endurance and improved athletic performance. Does it really matter if you have the stamina to last the full 6 minutes if you get overpowered and thrown to your back in the first minute? Does it matter if your bone crushing power runs out by the 3rd period? Across all weight classes, wrestlers are stronger, more powerful, and better conditioned than ever before. Which means if you plan to really compete, you’ll need a level of strength and power that can endure the full 6 minutes. To get there, I’d advocate you pursue power endurance tr...

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11

Apr 2017

Performing the Renegade Row

Improve your core strength, mix up your work outs, and sculpt your guns in the process with renegade rows. The buzz word in the fitness industry for quite a while has been the word “core.” There is no doubt that a stronger, more stable midsection is something that athletes need. The question is how to go about achieving this? Are you going to lie on your back and do billions of crunches, reverse crunches and exercises of that nature? Or is there a more effective way to train as an athlete? I believe there is. Personally, I typically do not prescribe any sort of spinal flexion in ...

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Performing the Power Clean

Increased strength and explosiveness starts with the power clean. Power cleans are a fan favorite amongst strength coaches throughout the county because very few exercises are as effective at increasing your power production and strength. Now, just for clarification, a power clean is from the floor without a full squat in the end. The movement emphasizes triple extension (hip, knee, and ankle), essential to jumping higher, running faster, or throwing a blocker to the ground. Would a visual help? Check out the below. As you’ll quickly realize this lift works a variety of muscle, making...

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10

Apr 2017

5 Minute Dynamic Warm Up

Don’t have the time to warm up? With this quick, dynamic routine you can throw that excuse out the window. In order to effectively prepare your body for activity, a proper warm up is crucial… we all know that. But if you’re not a college athlete (or even if you are and don’t want to take 15 minutes to warm up) what can you do to get ready in as short a timeframe as possible? Good question and here’s the answer. First off, throw all of that static stretching you learned in middle school out the window because that’s not going to do anything for you. Static warm ups involve sitting on yo...

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Power Training for Torque and Obliques

Medicine ball exercises to increase your power, explosiveness, and overall core strength. The best way to improve torque and rotation power is through medicine ball training. Theoretically, each movement should begin with the lower body generating power, transferring it through the core, and redirecting it into the medicine ball with maximum force. Unfortunately, the biggest mistake I see with medicine ball rotational throws is guys (and girls) trying to go too heavy. If the ball is too heavy, you can’t be explosive and will, rather than your lower half, force your upper body to do the wor...

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Top 5 Exercises for Explosiveness

If you’re looking to get more explosive the five complexes in this workout are a great place to start. And… BOOOM Goes the Dynamite! Whether you’re a sprinter or a scratch golfer, being explosive is a part of every game. Your muscles must fire with maximum effort throughout a competition. That means that when you’re in the weight room, your focus has to be on anaerobic exercises that increase your explosiveness, or for the scientists out there, your rate of force production. The toughest part of this article is citing just 5 exercises, so I’m going to cheat and introduce complexes. C...

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Everything You Need to Know About Carbohydrates

Whether you’re an athlete or you’re just trying to manage your weight, here’s everything you need to know about carbohydrates. We’ve all heard the terms carb counting, carb loading, and carb cycling, and constantly see advertisements for both low and no carbohydrate food products. We're constantly being reminded that carbs stand between us and those last five pounds. But even though the carbohydrate craze has died down some, there are still many new food products and meals appearing in grocery stores and restaurant menus for the, “carb conscious”. Before you decide to go low carb or at...

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Standing Press Assistance Exercises

If you’re looking to improve your standing press, these upper body exercises are a good place to start. As I said in my last installment, the overhead press is a man’s lift. It’s not for the weak hearted, and neither are the assistance lifts for it. So, for those of you with the stones to get under the bar, grind it out, and learn how to press well, here are a few assistance exercises you should add to your training program to help you handle big weight. Of course, none of the assistance stuff will help if you don’t do the movement right, so learn the movement before doing anything else. ...

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04

Apr 2017

Training Terminology Tips

Before you can really build lean muscle mass and gain strength, you have to learn the lingo. Learning the language of training is part of its price of admission. To get you up to speed, here are a few of the trickier words and phrases you’re likely to come across en route to getting bigger, faster, and stronger. Abduction vs. Adduction Abduction is moving your limbs or digits away from the center of your body (or hand/foot in the case of your fingers and toes.) Going into a split is an extreme version of leg abduction. Bringing your legs together in the opposite manner is an example o...

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Straight Bar Vs. Trap Bar Deadlifts – Part 2

Addressing which version of the deadlift is better for your training goals. In Part 1 we discussed the main differences between deadlifting with the trap bar vs. doing so with the straight bar, and also examined the primary muscles recruited through each pull. Part II will touch on some of the training implications - aka the, “How does this affect ME?” question. I like lists, so what follows are, in list form, some key points surrounding each deadlift variation. The Trap Bar 1. I previously stated that the trap bar tends to be easier to learn how to deadlift with, and while I still st...

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What is Acai And Does It Help Burn Fat?

Acai a fruit most of us have never seen, touched, or tasted in its natural form. But will the acai diet help you lose weight? For those of you who haven’t fallen victim to Haagen Dazs acai ice cream, Absolut berri acai, or Jamba Juice acai smoothies, here’s the deal. Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries are deep blue fruits that come from Acai Palms in the Brazilian Amazon. The berry’s flavor has been described as tropical, bitter, chocolate-y, and earthy, and it is rarely eaten whole due to its high seed and indigestible fiber content. Instead, the berries are plucked and juiced for pul...

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