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Remember on September 17th-18th we will be hosting the Mash Barbell Picnic” on the Farm. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2, but more importantly hanging out together the entire weekend. Check it out below:
Watching the Olympics this year has been incredible. We have all been able to once again watch these athletes perform. We have all been wowed, shocked, and sometimes saddened. That’s why we watch.
As a coach that works with athletes in an Olympic sport, the march for 2020 has already begun. Coach Don McCauley and I talk daily about the things that need to happen for our athletes to make the next team. Yesterday he was tweaking the jerk techniques of two of our female athletes. He says that he wants to go ahead and make the changes, so that they will be prepared for 2020. I say amen to that.
As coaches we have to make sure that our athletes have “No Weaknesses”. That’s our job. We need to look at all the variables that we can affect, and then our job is to improve as many of those variables as possible. I am not talking just about programming and coaching technique. I am talking about all the mundane aspects of athletic performance.
This article isn’t just for Olympic weightlifting. I am talking about all sports. If you want to be great, you have to do the things that no one wants to do. If you are an athlete, I have some news for you. Everyone goes to practice and trains hard so don’t be bragging about that. All of my athletes train hard in the gym. However, what are you doing when no one is looking? That’s the question.
Let’s look at the variables that coaches can affect other than just programming and practice:
• Overall nutrition
• Body Fat
• Muscular balance
• Sports Psychology
• Joint manipulation to deal with aches and pains
These are just a few that I can think I want to touch on. A lot of variable will vary based on the sport, but all of these are pretty common amongst all sports. Optimal mobility is important in just about every sport on the planet. Notice that I said optimal mobility. That doesn’t mean to stretch everything for hours every day. Some sports require maximum mobility, and some sports like weightlifting require just the right amount. If a weightlifter is hypermobile, they could be at risk of injury due to joint instability.
Nutrition is an aspect of athletic performance that can be a real game changer. There is an optimal body fat percentage for all sports. The key is to find out that percentage, and then eat to optimize your own body composition. For all of you in strength sports, I have some news for you. Fat doesn’t move weight. Look at all the top powerlifters in the world, and you will see some ripped dudes. When I was competing, I was very lean. In weightlifting all you have to do is look at the Chinese. Those athletes are ripped and jacked. Fat has nothing to do with muscular contractions. It just sits there.
Nutrition is also important to overall recovery. If you are an athlete, you either need to understand macronutrient or find someone who does. It’s not just about losing body fat. It’s also about performance during training and competition. If you are a competitive CrossFitter, you are going to need carbs and lots of them. You need carbs for energy.
Recovery can be affected by nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and outside forces to deal with the stress on the body. The body treats working out the same as an infection. Isn’t that crazy? We break down tissue, and then the body sends a signal to repair the breakdown. The speed of those repairs as well as the efficiency of those repairs is what we call recovery. Besides sleep and nutrition, we use a team Physical Therapist, John Davidson, DPT to help our athletes recover and mend their aches and pains.
Muscular Balance is the new buzzword, but this time the buzzword is for real. If your athlete can reach and maintain muscular balance, they will have a better chance of optimal performance and a lower risk of injury. I am on my way to see Louie Simmons today, which I am very excited about. He has been preaching about muscular balance, since the 1990’s. Now people are talking about it like it’s a new idea. It’s not!
We developed a 24-point test that will help us pinpoint the weaknesses in our athletes. It will give us ratios that will help quantify muscular imbalances, give us ideas of what to target with accessory movements, and it will help us quantify improvement. We plan to use this as a major tool to help our athletes have a better chance of competing on the International stage.
We are coming out with a book that will have this test for all of you. The book will have way more than just the test. It will also tell you exactly what to do with each ratio. The book will also have several of the techniques that we use to keep our athletes recovered and moving properly.
The book is called “No Weaknesses”. I am the most excited about this product than any other things that I have ever created. It’s a tool that I wish I had when I was competing at my highest level. If you are interested in this book, join the newsletter. You will also get my Free book “The Big Six”, which give you several of my ideas to improve the snatch, clean, jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift. Here’s the link:
This article isn’t an infomercial, but I am pretty pumped about the book. Supplements are another way to maximize recovery and performance. They key is knowing which supplements to take. Dr. Gray, my longtime sport’s doctor, is going to do several tests on our athletes. One of which is to determine which vitamins and minerals that my athletes are deficient. Then we can pinpoint, which supplements to give them. That is the best way to optimize supplement use.
Sports Psychology is something that I have been curious about for many years. I have watched it affect the performance of several athletes that I have worked with over the last few years. Some athletes are born with the ability to perform well during competition, and some struggle with negative or irrational thoughts. A good sports psychologist can help program healthier game day habits and thought processes.
Every athlete that competes is going to experience aches and pains. Sports at an elite level aren’t the healthiest thing in the world. You are pushing your body to its limit. At the highest point the body is somewhere between awesome and crushed. It’s that fine line that all athletes must learn to balance.
A big key is knowing when you are just aching and when you are hurt. If you aren’t able to perform the movements of your sport or you are altering those movements, I recommend going to a professional. The key is finding someone that you trust. We are blessed to have Dr. John Davidson, and Dr. Gray to go to. You need to find someone as well.
In our book “No Weaknesses”, we have included all the ways that we have dealt with aches and pains in the various joints with all of our athletes. We have also included ways to stabilize those joints to prevent injuries. I think that you guys are going to love “No Weaknesses”. My goal is that it helps all of you reach your goals, stay injury free, and keeps you competing for many years to come.
Once again, if you want to know when the book comes out, click on the link below and also receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”: