Tuesday, May 31, 2016

4 Secrets to Faster Sprinting

If you’re on offense in American Football, a sack is the last thing you want. It often means an ugly hit to the quarterback (and his ego) as well as a possible loss of yardage. Ironically, though, SAQ is actually the best way to avoid getting sacked.

SAQ stands, of course, for speed, agility, and quickness. Having been a swimmer for the better part of a decade, I didn’t know much about SAQ until I attended the National Personal Training Institute of Philadelphia, where we did weekly SAQ training.

Being an amputee, I was a little reluctant at first to partake. I wasn’t able to do all of the drills, and even the ones I did do, I knew I looked funny doing them. Fortunately, I eventually overcame my fear of failure and embarrassment and just went for it. As it turned out, I was the best in the class at the single-leg locomotion drills!

Fast forward to 2016 and my recently completed internship at Endeavor Sports Performance, where I coached kids in SAQ every single day. Our warm-up was chock-full of locomotion drills like butt kickers, high knee skips, side shuffles, carioca, back pedaling, and sprints.

4 Cues for Arm Drive

Even more important than learning how to execute these drills myself, I had to learn to teach them to young athletes. As anyone who’s worked with children before knows, different children learn in different ways. Some are visual learners, some are auditory learners, and some are tactile learners. Therefore, I had to refine a variety of coaching skills in order to get the athletes to perform the way I wanted.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The 10 Most Effective Mind-Muscle Connection Exercises for Your Upper Body

By James Harris and Travis Pollen

Hey! James here. A question I have long pondered is whether or not it matters if you “feel” a muscle actually working. I've had many trainees ask me this question over the years and I’ve always expressed my doubts in response. Well, now the research is out and Travis and I are here to talk about it.

Today, in the first of a two part series, we will be discussing muscles of the upper body that many trainees complain they don't feel. We’ll also talk about whether or not feeling it matters, and how to create more of a brain connection to the muscles you’re working in order to get a good muscle pump going.

Reminder: Don't forget to stay tuned for the next installment -- The 10 Most Effective Mind-Muscle Connection Exercises for Your Lower Body -- this Wednesday on www.titaniumstrength.org!


Over the years, trainers and trainees alike have evolved in their understanding of the human body. We hear about the new research and immediately all jump on the bandwagon. 

Low carb diets work the best.
No! High carb works the best!
High volume, lighter workouts for muscle growth!
No! Low volume, heavier workouts for muscle growth!

You get the idea.

Here's the thing: there is no one right answer. Most things in fitness need context. Except rounding your lower back during a deadlift. That's unanimously agreed upon to be a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Intervals: What Are You Really Training?

Here's a question I recently asked my friend and go-to on exercise physiology Marc Lewis regarding intervals and aerobic training. His answer made a ton of sense, and I think it's something a lot of trainers and coaches may not be aware of. #themoreyouknow


Hi Marc,

I have some questions about aerobic training. If I did hard battle rope waves for about 10 seconds, stopped to rest, my heart rate peaked at 150, and I continued to rest until it went back down to 120, then repeated in a similar fashion for several minutes, could I call that "cardiac output" training? Or not cardiac output since it’s not steady state, but still “aerobic” training?

Basically, I’m wondering if you can still call it aerobic if an anaerobic system predominates during those 10 seconds — even though you don’t work long enough for your heart rate to get above the aerobic zone.

Would it be more akin to "cardiac output" or “aerobic" if the exertion level were lower and the work periods were longer so that the climb up to 150 took longer than 10 seconds and the work-to-rest ratio favored more work than rest?



Friday, May 6, 2016

13 Exercises You Should Never Do and Why

The information contained in this blog post is for educational purposes only. The reader assumes the risks associated with performing the exercises described within, which may (or may not) be dangerous if performed incorrectly. Please consult your physician before beginning this or any other exercise program.

13 Exercises You Should Never Do and Why

1. Back Squats: Because they cause your knees, hips, and back to explode. Except if you do them correctly.

2. Bench press: Because your pecs are already strong from sitting hunched over at a computer all day... right?

3. Deadlifts: See back squats.

4. Pull-ups: Aren't those that flailing exercise that the CrossFighters do? I heard they cause rhabdo.

5. Upright Rows: Because they automatically impinge your shoulders (unless you have healthy shoulders and they don't).

6. Face Pulls: Because they strengthen the oft-neglected posterior deltoids, which deserve to be neglected. Stupid posterior deltoids.

7. Military press: Because putting weights over your head is just dangerous. Everybody knows that. And don't forget about that pesky shoulder impingement.

8. Bicep Curls: Because they are so non-functional. They only help you pick things up and bring them to your mouth.

9. Power Cleans: See bicep curls. Oh wait, you mean power cleans aren't just explosive reverse curls?!

10. Crunches: Because Stu McGill says so, and you don't mess with that mustache.

11. Glute Bridges & Hip Thrusts: They just look so... sexual. How embarrassing.

12. Burpees: Because when do you ever get up and down off the floor in the real world? That's almost as bad as bicep curls.

13. Turkish Get-ups: see burpees, glute bridges and hip thrusts, crunches, AND military press.

Bonus. Shrugs: Because they will make you jacked and tan.

RELATED: For more 'Things You Should Never Do in the Gym,' CLICK HERE.

P.S. This entire list is in jest. Lists like this are stupid. There's no need to vilify exercises, for there's no such thing as bad exercises, only bad exercises for a particular person.