Today’s show is with Lance Walker. Lance is the Global Director of Performance at the Michael Johnson Performance Center where he designs and implements performance training programming for local and international youth, collegiate, and professional athletes in all sports. Prior to MJP, Lance served as Director of Performance Training at Integrated Athletic Development, as well as having served as an assistant strength coach with the Dallas Cowboys, as well as the University of Oklahoma. Lance is also a current Registered Physical Therapist in the state of Texas, giving him a unique blend of skills and lenses by which to observe athletic performance. In looking at what makes athletes operate at a high level, we can’t go too far without looking at the actions of the pelvis and spine. As both a strength coach, and physical therapist, Lance has detailed knowledge of both the anatomy and fine-tuned function of this region, as well as more global concepts, linking it to sprinting and general strength training. For today’s show, Lance takes us on a journey of hip function, and how that function ties into sprinting and athletic movement. He goes into pelvic dynamics in the weight room (including some important points on split squatting and the hips), as well as how using horizontal resistance combined with vertical exercises can drive unique and more specific adaptations. Finally, talks about some key strength movements to achieve better pelvic function for speed and resiliency. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:30 – How Lance looks at the action of the pelvis in sprinting and human movement 19:00 – Pelvic dynamics in bilateral sagittal plane activity (squatting and deadlifting) versus sprinting, and helping athletes determine their own individual squat depth 21:30 – How a rear foot elevated split squat can create lumbo-sacral torsion that could provoke injury in the pelvis 34:30 – How to help athletes who are not reciprocal in the pelvis improve their pelvic action in sprinting, and Lance’s view on core and trunk training for athlete 38:00 – The role of hip flexors in training for speed and athletic performance 50:30 – How adding horizontal band resistance can dynamically change strength training exercises 54:30 – The idea of hip separation in fast sprinters (front knee and back knee distance) and if this is a good idea to specifically train in practice “That pelvis motion, rotation and listing, that’s my focus now, both from a dysfunction standpoint and a speed standpoint” “The body needs to set up and list the pelvis to be fast” “Optimized motion should probably be the approach, and let’s just not stabilize the tar out of it and make everything move around this stable, fictitious pelvis” “It’s like you are setting the spring so when you throw it, it abducts, externally rotates and extends, and when it hits the ground, it’s still rotating” “There was this incredible increase in pubic symphysis issues… there was this mad rush to load this split stance stuff, because, nobody hurt their back anymore, and “it’s more functional”” “Hip flexor strength is a thing!” “Just stretching the hip flexors, and strengthening the abdominal wall doesn’t help (anterior pelvic tilt) those people” “When you are doing your leg drop series, don’t put your hands under your pelvis” “(Regarding the supine leg drop test without the low back arching up) The one’s that have a lot of issues, the bottom 10-20%, chronic hamstrings, spondy, all those things, yeah that’s a test (that failing fits with getting hurt more often)” “That’s a key concept in hamstring rehab is training the hamstring while training the hip flexor” “We worked with elite distance runners at MJP,
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283: Erik Huddleston on Exercise Selection and Periodization Based on Expansion-Compression Continuum
1:08:54Our guest for today’s show is Erik Huddleston. Erik was recently on the podcast, on episode 269, speaking about important elements of squat technique based on individual frames of the athlete. After the show, I had some other important questions left over that I wanted to discuss, and also in that time, Erik has made a career transition to working in the NBA. Erik is currently an assistant sports performance coach with the Indiana Pacers and head performance coach for their G-League affiliate, the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants. He is the former director of performance at Indianapolis Fitness & Sports Training (IFAST), along with having NCAA D1 experience. When we program training for athletes, what factors are we considering when we select exercises? Do we just pick movements that are novel and random, or do we have a greater philosophy that helps us decide what types of movements to use, and when? What about timing, such as exercise selection in the training sessions coming off of, or leading them up to competitions or tough practice periods? Or, do we ever ask ourselves about what an athlete’s development level (youth vs. pro) might mean for them with the types of exercises we are prescribing from a compression and expansion perspective? On the show today, Erik speaks on organizing exercise selection based on an athlete’s training schedule (such as post or pre-competition periods of the training week, or even training year), how to use weight placement to train various athlete body types, and some critical differences in training, from an expansion/compression perspective, regarding youth vs pro level athletes. It’s so easy to fan-boy (or girl) over the workouts of “elite” athletes, but the key to good coaching is always knowing how to engage an athlete where they are at in their own development. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, Inside Tracker, and Lost Empire Herbs. For 25% off of an Inside Tracker order go to info.insidetracker.com/justflysports For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to lostempireherbs.com/justfly. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:28 – How to organize training based off of periods of “expansion” and “compression” 11:42 – How Erik quantifies what players are experiencing in practice and games from a “expansion/compression” perspective, and how to give them what they don’t have then, in a gym setting 14:54 – Exercise selection principles that help athletes optimally reset in their “off” days 21:55 – How to adjust exercises to help them ramp up to a game or competition situation 24:20 – What a pre-season training load looks like compared to in-season in professional basketball 29:00 – What pre-season training looks like in high school sports where athletes have a lot more time to prepare without high volume sport loadings 34:41 – Situations where more compression will help an athlete, vs. situations where it will potentially hurt an athlete 39:25 – How to set up training for “pylon” shaped individuals to help their reversal ability in jumping and athletics 46:20 – How “flipping the pylon” of the torso, and having wide shoulders impacts squatting selection 52:06 – How the shape of one’s torso impacts the types of plyometric exercises that players should utilize 54:46 – How to prescribe jump programming to individuals who have a hard time yielding in their movement relative to the ground 59:10 – How to approach plyometrics and jump training for youth athletes vs. elite athletes who are already at a relatively high level, and playing jump oriented sports constantly “Keeping player assets on the court is the most important part of my job” “Give them some of what they don’t have that they are getting from the training and the basketball stimulus” “I have to assume that the vast things that are occurring on the court are output driven… that’s where we get into that com...
282: Randy Huntington on Special Strength, Reactivity, and Building a 4.07s 40-Yard Dash
1:32:11Our guest for today’s show is Randy Huntington. Randy is a track and field coach, who has spent his recent years as the national track and field coach for the Chinese athletics association and has over 45 years of coaching experience. Huntington is rated as a USATF Master Coach in the jumps, has been the coach for many world-class athletes over the years, including eight Olympians and seven World Championship Team members. Mike Powell and Willie Banks set world records in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, while under his tutelage. More recently, Randy has had tremendous success coaching in Asia, a capstone of which has been Su Bingtian, who recently set the Asian 100m dash record of 9.83 seconds at age 31. En route to his 100m record, Su broke the world record in the 60m (as a split time) with a 6.29, which converts to around a 4.07s 40 yard dash. When a teenager, or relatively untrained individual takes a few tenths off of their 40 yard dash, or drops a half second in the 100m dash over several years time, this is a normal and natural occurrence, and isn’t something that really demands digging far into. On the other hand, when an already elite athlete, who is at, or slightly past their “prime” years, moves into their 30s and smashes sprint records, this is something that is truly worth putting a close eye on. On the show today, Randy Huntington speaks on some of the training elements that helped sprinter, Su Bingtian achieve his recent results. Randy goes into his views on special strength training for speed, particularly on the level of the lower leg, and speaks on the use of banded and wearable resistance in speed training, as well as some nuts and bolts on resisted and sled sprint work. On the back end of the show, Randy gets into training the elastic and fascial systems of an athlete, and how to optimize an athlete’s elastic response to training in plyometrics and beyond. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, Inside Tracker, and Lost Empire Herbs. For 25% off of an Inside Tracker order go to info.insidetracker.com/justflysports For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to lostempireherbs.com/justfly. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:02 – What’s been happening with Randy in his last 4 years of coaching, particularly with Su Bingtian and his success 12:24 – Some of the big training elements that helped Su Bingtian get down to 9.83/6.29 from 10.0/6.50 in his time working with Randy 18:37 – Using banded and wearable resistance methods for improving speed and “bridging” the gap between the weight room and the track 25:58 – Randy’s advice for using sleds/heavy sleds in training 32:59 – The “train your frame” system and the importance of body proportions and structure on optimal sporting events for athletes 37:01 – How Randy uses sleds for contrast training, as well as concepts on wave-loading and how many sets in a row to utilize 40:25 – The importance of elastic energy in athletic performance, and how under-estimated the elastic contribution to performance is, as well as how important dynamic elastic ability is for running endurance 50:44 – The nature of the advanced spikes and track surface used in the Tokyo Olympic games, and its impact on athletes 55:04 – Randy’s take on optimizing the elastic and fascial systems of an athlete, as well as a chat on ground contact times in plyometrics 1:06.28 – How improved foot strength played into Su’s improvement in the 100m dash, as well as in various portions of the race, as well as how Randy trained Su’s foot strength 1:08:26 – The role of harmonics and resonance between one’s foot/body and the running surface, especially in the course of a 100m dash race 1:19.56 – How to increase the eccentric rate of development in standard exercises, such as a partner pushing a partner down into an exercise 1:28.
281: Logan Christopher on Critical Mental Training Concepts and Athlete Learning Styles
1:05:57Our guest for today’s show is Logan Christopher. Logan is a strongman, author, owner of Legendary Strength and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs. Logan previously appeared on episode 111 and episode 187, where he discussed mental training in depth, as well as the “6 layers” of strength. Logan has also written several books including “Mental Muscle” and “Powered by Nature”, both of which I have found impactful reads. Logan is a master of using the natural machinery of the body, our mind, and our environment to help us reach our highest potential as humans. An interesting saying you hear over and over again is that “the game is all mental”, or it is “90% mental” by many elite athletes. Although there are general physical standards to be successful in many sports (think of the body type of a runner or a jumper, or the long arms that are very helpful in making it to the NBA) it is impossible to overlook the role of the mind, especially in elite performers. Perhaps one’s genetic structure can help one to “get in the door” in the sport they are most suited for, but it is always going to be the mind that allows them higher levels of success. On the show today, Logan talks about many facets of both physical and mental training. He starts with an important facet of coaching we haven’t gotten much into before, and that is on the language a coach uses to describe exercises, and training in general, and how these can impact training outcomes. He also speaks on specific learning styles that can also be used in one’s visualization routines, as well as his take on the use of analogies and imagination in athletic skill performance. Logan also goes into elements of old-school strongman training, as well as a quick take on why testosterone has dropped across the world over the last 50-100 years by a substantial margin. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:40 – Talking about managing training in context of holding back and achieving balance in order to have continual progress 11:10 – How the language a coach uses in the course of a workout can impact the outcome of the training (especially on the level of over-training) 14:25 – The four learning styles, and how to leverage these learning styles for better training results 20:40 – How to specifically optimize the auditory learning style in training 23:10 – How to approach strengths vs. weaknesses in terms of the four learning styles and physical training 32:00 – How analogies, as spoken about by Nick Winkelman, can be effective for athletes in light of Neurolinguistic programming philosophy 33:40 – How imaginatory ability impacts one’s physical and athletic abilities 39:10 – If Logan could pick only one mental training tool for himself now, and then 10 years ago, what he would utilize 43:10 – How much mental training Logan does now that he has over a decade of mental training under his belt 50:10 – Some old school strongman lift performances from the past that haven’t been touched in the last 50 years 55:25 – Speaking on the link between breathing and strongman training 59:10 – Why testosterone has dropped so much in the last 50 years “Typically I don’t even refer to my workouts as workouts, I refer to them as “training”” “I like to use the word “severety” for “effort” instead (of intensity)” “Words do matter, this is going to change the results we get” “(With language) taking a small thing and compounding it over time is going to be a big difference” “The four (learning) styles are visual, auditory, kinesthetic and digital” “Most people in sport tend to be kinesthetic learners…. The visual and kinesthetic are common in athletes” “As a coach, we are going to coach predominantly in our own style” “Very often,
280: Austin Jochum on Flowing From “Chaos to Order” and The Process of Multi-Dimensional Athletic Development
1:09:21Our guest for today’s show is Austin Jochum. Austin is the owner of Jochum Strength where he works with athletes and “washed up movers” to become the best versions of themselves. He is also the host of the Jochum Strength Podcast. Austin was a former NCAA D3 All-American football player and a hammer thrower (MIAC weight throw champion) at the University of St. Thomas, where he is now the speed and strength coach for the football team. Austin has appeared on episode 213, and also has written numerous articles for Just Fly Sports. One common theme of this podcast for so many years has been finding ways to make one’s training transfer to sport more, not just on the physical and mechanical level, but also on the mental and emotional level, and on a perception-reaction level. At some point, the hair splitting that happens in regards to weight room exercises (arguments on what set-rep scheme to use, single leg vs. bilateral lifting, etc.), or the minutia of biomechanics, can start to take away from developing other important components of athletics. Austin Jochum is a pioneer in the blending of sport elements into the traditional gym setting for athletes. He is a meathead, but also a die-hard athletic-mover, and passionately trains in a way that encompasses both the archetypes of strength, and performing ideally in one’s sport and movement practice. For the show today, Austin speaks on the art of developing a love for movement and play in athletes, how to build a “scorer’s” mentality, as well as how to optimize game-based scenarios in the gym to help improve transfer to the field. He then gets into an excellent discussion on exposing athletes to their weaknesses in a gym-game setting, and finishes with how he sets up his own training programs from not only a physical, but also a mental/emotional perspective, moving from external to internal states, relating each type of training stress to the emotional state of the athlete. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:00 – A story of two different soccer coaches and their approaches to training with their groups 11:00 – The link between love of movement/sport, obsession, and subsequent greatness, 15:30 – How to preserve, and grow, love for movement in coaching athletes 18:30 – Thoughts on “leveling up” on the levels of movement, as well as mental and emotional levels, in a training session 27:30 – How to set up games in a training session that can help to build a “scorer’s mentality” in athletes 29:00 – How to modulate the space of the field, and 1v1, or 2v2 type situations that can help athletes 36:00 – How to transfer between what athletes are really good, and really bad at, in their sport in order to create more robust athletic ability 44:30 – Insecurities that are wrapped up in not being able to expose one’s self to failure 51:30 – The importance of being on the fringe, and evolving the field, and realizing that no one individual has all of the answers 59:30 – The line between order and chaos within a training session, and how a strength session looks for Austin, and how he moves from fun, to funneling the energy into outputs or skill, then taking the athletes into themselves “If you listen to really really good athletes talk, I look at my own past successes, it is because you are obsessed with it… and how do you become obsessed with something? You gotta fall in love with it” “Something we’ve been doing is saying, “if this kid scores”, it’s worth two points, so now the stud who is always scoring is going to find a way to give the ball to someone else, he is going to expand the field” “Watch when your athlete, the first time you meet your athlete, watch how they walk into the gym, because you’ll know right away,
279: Katie St. Clair on “Inside-Out”, Biomechanical Approach for Improved Squatting, Running and Overall Athleticism
1:36:15Our guest for today’s show is Katie St. Clair. Katie is a strength and conditioning coach out of Charleston, SC who has been training general population and athletes for over 20 years, and is the creator of the Empowered Performance Program. She is passionate about helping everyone reclaim movement and find joy and reduction of pain using sound biomechanical principles alongside proper breathing. Katie has embarked on a journey of learning and combining that knowledge with her love of athletic movement, as well as her passion for empowering female movement professionals, with the intent to elevate the entire industry standard. In my last few years as a coach, I’ve become more and more aware of the underlying physical and structural characteristics of athletes that work to determine biomechanics that show up when they perform various sporting skills. I’ve really enjoyed having a variety of coaches on this show who have gone in detail on the biomechanics of the human body, (the pelvis, ribcage, breathing, etc.) and then have linked that up with what we might see in athletic movement, such as sprinting and jumping to name a few. Katie is an expert in human performance, and the fine details of human movement. On today’s show, she takes us on an approach to forward pelvic tilt, breathing mechanics, abdominal function, the feet, proper squatting, plyometrics and more that comes from a perspective of the underlying function of the human body. Katie helps us understand the “inside” mechanisms that are so often leading to compromised movement seen on the “outside”. So often we have athletes who just can’t seem to “find” the right joint motions in their movement, and this is when we need to have the ability to go a level deeper in our coaching, or our ability to know when to “refer out” to experts better able to cater to those areas. The more you know from “the inside out”, the greater the bandwidth of athletes you can serve in your efforts. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 4:45 – What led Katie into working in fitness and performance 10:15 – Katie’s “inside out” view, of helping athletes acquire better technique via changes on the level of the thorax, pelvis and rib-cage 15:45 – The art of coaching humans in a manner that helps them self-organize and learn to move effectively 18:45 – How being biased, or stuck, in anterior tilt impacts one’s ability to move, and how to help athletes get out of that position 25:45 – How to use inhalation and exhalation to neurologically reinforce supination/ER and pronation/IR 42:15 – General primers on how to start working with breathing and breath for clients 45:50 – Ideas on how compression can drive expansion on the opposite side of the body, and ideas on “functional” abdominal muscles 49:50 – Katie’s view on building strength at length with the abdominal wall 55:50 – Why some athletes (particularly female swimmers) often have a lot of spinal extension patterning in a pushup movement, and then what to do about it (if it is even a big deal in that group) 1:00.05 – Hypermobility as systemic laxity, versus adaptations that can lead to acquired hypermobility in the limbs via proximal stiffness 1:05.35 – The dichotomy between accessing the heels, and then moving into the forefoot in the process of squatting 1:14.50 – Dynamics of “no-toes” squatting and what it can do for athletes, and how it zeros in on the mid-foot 1:17.50 – The balance between being able to keep the heel down and pronate, and then get off the heel to make the foot a second class lever, in squatting and even in running/jumping 1:29.50 – How to help people who struggle to yield to gravity be able to do so, and achieve better glute activation in the process
278: Dr. Chris Gaviglio on Building Strength and Maximizing Recovery with Blood Flow Restriction Training
1:18:35Today’s show features Dr. Chris Gaviglio. Chris is a current senior strength and conditioning coach for the Queensland Academy of Sport, working with Olympic-based sports and athletes. Chris has been involved with elite sport for over 15 years working across multiple Olympic sports and professional football in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Chris provides applied sports science projects for the athletes he works with, particularly in the areas of salivary hormones, passive heat maintenance, blood flow restriction training, warm-up strategies, and power/strength development. I don’t often do shows that center around a piece of training technology, and the main reason for that is simply accessibility. If a training tool costs thousands of dollars, it isn’t something a large proportion of the athletic, and even coaching population can rationalize having in their training arsenal. The nice thing about blood flow restriction training is that it is available at a relatively low price point, with common units starting around $300USD. Other setups using squat wraps, for example, can be done basically for free, but I would recommend using an automated system for the safety and precision of band tightness (see show notes regarding safety considerations and contraindications to BFR, such as concussions or deep vein thrombosis). Blood Flow restriction training has been a training tool that has been on my radar for a long time. After seeing the results that a high-level Olympic swimmer I worked with got from them, and then hearing some results from Nicolai Morris having a 1.5 second drop in the 100 freestyle of a swimmer as well, as well as several of my coaching colleagues using the method, I knew that there was absolutely something to BFR that I needed to get further into. In using the AirBands from Vald performance myself, I continued to realize how beneficial this training stimulus is to our physiological response. For today’s show, Chris takes us into many topics of BFR, including its mechanisms and many benefits. As opposed to methods of mechanical stress (such as plyometrics, sprinting, heavy strength training methods) which tend to dominate this shows podcasts) BFR is a physiological stressor, and through this discussion, we can gain an appreciation for the contrast of physiological stress to more mechanical means. Chris finishes the show talking about how coaches and athletes can integrate BFR training, and gives many anecdotes and points of research, on how BFR can improve strength and speed recovery. Finally, our sponsor, Simplifaster is doing a Blood Flow Restiction cuff giveaway (Vald Airbands) so if you would like to get in on that, until November 11th, you can sign up for a chance to win a free pair of cuffs at bit.ly/freebfr . Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 6:00 – Chris’s experiment during quarantine using lighter, or minimal weights in an at-home training setting 17:00 – Discussion on using lighter implements and bodyweight in developing one’s athleticism 20:30 – What blood flow restriction training is, and where it originated from 27:00 – How the metabolic stress from BFR creates beneficial responses, similar to high-load lifting 35:25 – What BFR definitely helps with, and what elements of performance it is not as helpful for 41:25 – How BFR can help with creating “mild to moderate” doses of lactate – Using BFR style work in warming up for a training session 53:10 – If there are any similar places in sport where athletes will experience situations similar to what is created with BFR means 57:00 – How to get as close to BFR as one can in a gym without any sort of cuffs or wraps 1:00:00 – Anecdotes on how to integrate BFR in performance an...
277: Frank Forencich on Respecting our “Primal Roots” in the Process of Training, Movement and Life
1:05:41Today’s show features Frank Forencich. Frank is an internationally recognized leader in health and performance education. He has over thirty years of teaching experience in martial art and health education. Frank holds black belt rankings in karate and aikido and has traveled to Africa on several occasions to study human origins and the ancestral environment. A former columnist for Paleo Magazine, Frank is the author of numerous books about health and the human predicament, including “The Exuberant Animal”, the book I read that originally led me to Frank’s work. We live in a time where early sport specialization and pressure has led to burnout and high injury rates amongst athletes, but the “rabbit hole” to a dis-satisfaction with sport and movement in general for so many, goes much deeper than that. As much as we fall prey to the stress-laden, year-round competitive schedule that leads athletes to higher pressure situations at younger ages, we also have “forgotten” our roots as athletes, and more importantly, as human beings, in so many senses of the word. We miss out on both training results, satisfaction and longevity by failing to study our ancestral nature. On today’s show, Frank Forencich goes into many important elements of our humanity that can help athletes not only recover and train better, but also help increase enjoyment of the training process. These elements include human biorhythms, dance, play and exploration, getting in the dirt, benefits of training in nature, purpose driven movement, and more. This podcast was truly important on the level of helping us use the principles of nature that define who we are, to help us in training, and far beyond. If you bring drums into your gym, or for your workout after this episode, PLEASE let me know. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:20 – Key trends seen in the animal kingdom, in physical movement that humans should pay attention to our own movement practices 11:50 – “Effortful striving” in human training versus more of a purpose-driven approach that is characteristic to non-human animals 20:30 – What the idea of “dancing being the original PE” means to athletes and all-human 28:20 – How play and exploration influences how we adapt to movement and training 33:50 – Frank’s thoughts on when to specialize in a sport, or movement practice 35:20 – The difference between the “jungle animal” and the “desert animal” and what this means for humans, training and moving in context with their environment 38:35 – The impact of bioregion on movement practice 40:40 – The impact of training in nature, versus training in an indoor gym setting, and then the “Bio-Philic” need of humans in regards to connection with nature 45:45 – Jim Thorpe’s primal and natural training methods 48:20 – The importance of getting “in the dirt” and actually connecting with dirt and the earth itself for the sake of the micro-biome 54:05 – Low hanging fruits on how to deal with stress better in context of our human biology 58:05 – The role of the athlete in modern society 1:01:55 – How to build a total training day based on the rhythms and mechanisms of the human being “There is no emphasis on appearance (regarding movement and “exercise” as observed in the animal kingdom)” “It’s important to remember that sports are movement specialties” “In human athletics, there is constant striving all the time that is divorced from habitat; it is almost as if we are training in a bubble” “For the playful athlete, the motivation is purely intrinsic” “We’ve lost sight of the fact that the dose makes the poison, the dose makes the medicine… the wisdom lies in remembering the shape of the inverse U-curve”
276: Michael Zweifel on Mirroring and Reinforcing Elite Athleticism in the Warm-Up Process
1:33:14Today’s show welcomes back coach Michael Zweifel. Michael is the owner and head of sports performance for “Building Better Athletes” performance center in Dubuque, Iowa. Building Better Athletes focuses on building the athlete from the ground up by mastering the fundamentals of movement mastery, strength/power training, recovery modalities, and promoting ownership in athletes. Michael is also a team member of the movement education group, “Emergence”. He has been a frequent guest on this podcast, speaking on topics of perception-reaction, exploration in the weight room, creativity and more. As I’ve grown as a coach (and a human mover/athlete) it’s been really enjoyable to experience sport, and movement in different ways. In working in a college weight room, it was also very interesting to pay attention to the defining characteristics of the best athletes. They weren’t always the strongest, or even the fastest, but they could move and react incredibly well in context of their sport… and they loved to play. One of the things I’ve been enjoying doing recently, is coaching youth sports (5 year olds, to be exact) and it’s a learning experience that impacts my philosophy, all the way up the chain into high level performers. With play and exploration at the core of athleticism and sport, why is it that the culture of the gym (and in many sports performance settings) completely the opposite? So much of modern sport acts like athletes are robots, a culture based on lines and whistles, and a perception of needing to do everything one particular way. On today’s show, Michael Zweifel goes into a deep dive on how his warmups fit with the key characteristics of elite athleticism. He speaks on how he connects his warmups to core human instincts and needs, and talks about how to develop a love for movement and play that transcends organized sport play. Michael and I also take on a broad-scope discussion on the over-structuring that is rampant in sport (and our culture in general). This show is truly important in light of our modern sport culture. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 4:50 – Michael’s thoughts on trail running, longer runs, and elasticity 13:20 – Michael’s biggest changes in his warmup process over the last decade 16:30 – What Michael would take back with him in terms of his warmups and training if he returned to the university sector of training 21:50 – Comparing “routine” warmups (lines, movement prep, etc.) versus a more dynamic and adaptive form of warming up for a training session 28:50 – Speaking on the different stages of the warmup defined by Emergence: Ownership, exploration and attunement 33:50 – If there are any general warmups that Michael’s athletes will actually do, and how he approaches that type of work 35:50 – A broader-scope discussion on coaching, creativity versus militaristic coaching 48:00 – What age groups and settings Michael feels sports performance coaches should work with to optimally learn the nature of training sport 52:50 – The critical nature of play for human beings, and how professional athletes are very play driven 1:05.35 – How Michael might lead up to a more output driven day in the gym from a warmup perspective 1:07:50 – Some more specific changes in the warmup process that Michael has made in the last few years: Applying “levels” in sport and human movement 1:14:50 – The sad reality of kids quitting sports early, and without preparedness for how to enjoy life from a movement practice at that point 1:20:50 – Key differences in what Michael has in the warmups of different age groups (elementary school, middle school, high school, etc.) “What transitioned my warmup was being in the private sector.
275: Kibwé Johnson on “The Tao of the Hammer”: Awareness, Reflexiveness, and Individuality in Sport Technique
1:15:17Today’s show is with Kibwé Johnson. Kibwé is the director of track and field at SPIRE Academy, in Geneva, Ohio, and the founder of FORTIUS performance. Prior to SPIRE, Kibwe coached throws at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for 4 years. In his time as an athlete, Kibwé established himself as one of the USA’s best hammer throwers by being ranked first or second for over a decade, and his personal best of 80.31m/263’5” in 2011 the best mark by an American hammer thrower in over ten years. He also owns the world’s all-time best HT/DT/WT combination of distances. Kibwé has personally worked with some of the most well regarded coaches in the US and internationally. His coach for his final 10 years, Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, greatly influenced the development of Kibwé’s own methodologies. Kibwé’s coaching philosophy is built on communication and cites his experiences as a husband and father with learning how to become more effective as a coach. In my time as a coach, I’ve learned that technique and skill are more than a set of instructions, or a final “model” to shoot for through a series of drills and cues. Although these instructions can certainly be helpful for lower level performers, once an athlete gets to a more advanced level of performance, drills lose their luster, and we must become more attuned to the actual interaction between the athlete and their environment (implements, the ground, gravity, etc.). On the show today, Kibwé talks about his experiences as an athlete, particularly with Dr. Bondarchuk that helped him develop as a thrower, and in his eventual career as a coach. He talks about the unique, high velocity and cyclical elements of the hammer that demand a particular relationship to the instrument, and things we can take from this relationship that can transfer to other skills, or life itself. Finally, Kibwe speaks extensively about drills, vs. holistic skill performance, and the many “subtle” elements, such as awareness, that go into enhancing holistic performance on the highest levels. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 6:40 – Kibwé’s evolution as an athlete, and what led him to his philosophy of “The Tao of the Hammer” 10:25 – Kibwé’s experience in working with Dr. Bondarchuk and how the communication barrier actually helped Kibwé to figure out his throw without the use of words or cues 18:20 – How the hammer throw in track and field is unique in respect to other throwing events due to its unique, very high velocity rotational dynamics 21:10 – Kibwé’s take on teaching athlete’s fundamental positions vs. letting them figure out skills in a different manner (or on their own), particularly in context of the hammer throw 26:40 – How acquiring the “feeling” of a good throw is helpful to scale to throws of all distances 32:25 – How people tend to want a “list of things” when doing something, and the battle of getting an athlete outside of a list of cues, and to facilitate them figuring things out on their own 34:40 – How to learn, from a “Tao of the Hammer” perspective, and what awareness in a hammer throw means to Kibwé 46:40 – Examples of elite athletes who have had their mechanics “fixed”, as per a “technical model” and had poor seasons or failed to improve 51:25 – How Kibwé would address a “mistake” in an athlete’s throwing, and portions of an athlete’s technique 56:40 – Where drills fall short in training a complex movement, such as the hammer throw 1:02:40 – Reactivity as needed between the hammer and the athlete, and how to “do less” in the course of a throw from a perspective of actively putting force into the implement “It really came down to trying to find the words to explain how I was feeling when I felt my best; because I w...
274: Alex Effer on “Stance-Driven” Performance Training, Crawling Mechanics, and Sensory Movement Principles
1:18:42Today’s show is with Alex Effer, owner of Resilient Training and Rehabilitation. Alex has treated and trained a variety of clients, from professional and amateur athletes, to a wide spectrum of the general population, ranging from those with certain medical conditions, to postoperative rehabilitation and individuals with chronic and complex pain. Alex has experience as an exercise physiologist, a strength and conditioning coach, and has consulted with a number of elite and Olympic organizations. Alex has taken a tremendous amount of continuing education courses and is on the leading edge of modern training theory. There are loads of different continuing education courses and theories, each carrying methods to train athletes from perspectives on breathing, corrective exercise, and exercise variations, to name a few. It is in the process of getting to the core principles that define these many training systems, that we can gain a greater level of wisdom to make better decisions in exercise selection and training organization. For today’s podcast, Alex speaks on his continuing education journey, and core principles that many current courses in human performance/assessment and biomechanics tend to have in common. He speaks on how to dial up, or down, points of contact in a movement to help an athlete achieve better mastery over a skill or core human function. In the second half of the show, Alex gives some analysis and progressions with functional training movements, such as crab walks, and bear crawls, and then talks about how some “meathead” oriented exercises are actually more functional than we give the credit for. Finally, Alex talks about exercises that either “push an athlete backwards in the chest” or “push them forwards” from the back, and how those ramifications can go into, not ony the way we select exercises, but aso the way that we periodize and organize our training programs. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster and Lost Empire Herbs. For 15% off your Lost Empire Herbs order, head to www.lostempireherbs.com/justfly View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage. Timestamps and Main Points 5:15 – Common trends that Alex found in his educational process, having taken “all the courses” 13:30 – How Alex looks at force vectors in training and movement, and the difference between walking and running when assessing gait and looking at these force vectors 20:15 – Where Alex has gotten most of his information in training when considering PRI versus other educational systems (such as DNS or SFMA) 22:15 – Why it may be a faulty method to try to compare babies to adults in terms of baseline movement patterning 30:00 – How to transition a client from 12 points of contact, to only 2, and how to use the extra points of contact to improve one’s movement ability when athletes may struggle with standing motions 44:30 – Assessing crab walks, and explaining (or regressing) why athletes might not be able to lift their hips up while performing the crab walk 51:15 – Why some “fitness/bodybuilding” movement can have athletic movement applications, such as a tricep kickback or arm curl coupled with head turn 56:15 – How athletes doing exercises in a manner that “feels good” often times is an optimal method of them doing that movement, versus whatever the commonly accepted technical model for that exercise might be 1:00:00 – Alex’s theory on periodizing training based on early, mid and late stance oriented movements 1:12:15 – Viewing training intervention as either “pulling someone back” or “pushing them forward” “When you take every single course, you kind of get mind-blown by them the first time… and then you hit a client that totally goes against all the algorithms and everything they say, and you have to pivot” “(all the continuing education courses) believe in some sort of respiration and how that affects the body”