Category Archives for "Athletic Performance"

Coaching Wisdom with Mike Boyle – The Barbell Life 360

Coach Mike Boyle needs no introduction.

He and I have had some discussions before about areas where we disagree – but no one can doubt the accomplishments and the knowledge of this man. And when you’ve been in the game as long as Coach Boyle, you gain coaching wisdom that simply doesn’t come any other way.

So it was a privilege to have him on the podcast today.

THE NEWEST EVOLUTION OF MASH PROGRAMMING

The latest and greatest methods from Travis Mash as he continues to innovate Mash Mafia programming.

Weightlifting - Powerlifting - Super Total

Garage Gym Warrior - Functional Fitness - Strength and Conditioning

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • How he changed the way hockey players train
  • The math of one-legged squats that will blow your mind
  • Giving props to Boyle on the power of unilateral squats
  • The best way to learn athleticism in kids (and how to make them injury proof)
  • Why you shouldn’t always try to learn from the training protocols of the Russians and Westside Barbell
  • and more…

Athlete Monitoring Made Simple – The Barbell Life 359

It’s one thing to throw out a 12-week program and check in with your athletes a few weeks later.

But to get maximum gains? To have the maximum protection against injury?

Well in that case you’ll want to monitor an athlete closely along the way to adjust as necessary – sometimes on a day-to-day or even a set-to-set basis.

And today on the podcast we share some simple and inexpensive ways to do that effectively.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • The golden ratio for deloading
  • What really matters in sleep
  • Why we have some athletes squatting much less
  • How to know if it’s a bad program or just a bad day for the athlete
  • Inexpensive methods of monitoring that rival the super expensive equipment
  • and more…

The New Science on Velocity Based Training with Coach Bryan Mann – The Barbell Life 358

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I am a huge fan of velocity based training.

So it is my privilege to once again have Bryan Mann on the podcast – the man who knows more about VBT than anyone else on the planet.

We talk today about how some people go too far with velocity, and we talk about how to get jacked with velocity. This one was so fun.

OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILITIES IN STRENGTH

Mash Elite's Guide to Velocity-Based Training

By measuring bar speed (simple to do with your smartphone), you can guarantee each and every training session is as effective and safe as possible.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Hypertrophy and velocity
  • Do some coaches over-rely on velocity?
  • It’s about the speed of RELAXING, not contracting
  • Changing terms because of so many misunderstandings
  • What changes with velocity based training as we age
  • and more…

The Current State of Coaching with Coach Joe Kenn – The Barbell Life 357

Once again we’re joined by my good friend Coach Joe Kenn from Dynamic Fitness and Strength.

Not only does Coach Kenn drop golden nuggets of programming wisdom – but we also get into the massive shifts going on in the world of strength coaching.

New technology is leading to more math and data than ever before in our profession, so we talk today about how you can stay competitive.

THE BEST OF EVERY WORLD: MASH ELITE PROGRAM SAMPLERS

These samplers of programs cover weightlifting, powerlifting, functional fitness, athletic performance, and more. With all these programs at your hands, coaches can handle any athlete who comes their way - and athletes can explore a variety of approaches.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Training with only bands while your team is on the road
  • The GPS makes you honest
  • How coaches can remain competitive in the new world of math and data
  • The new powerlifting team
  • How he trained the Panthers while they were on their way to the Super Bowl
  • and more…

Cytokine Hypothesis of Overtraining

Overtraining is a topic that has been highly debated in the strength world for quite some time now. I remember Glenn Pendlay saying that he didn’t believe in overtraining – only under-recovering. I think you will see from this research article review that it’s quite easy to discern between overtraining and overreaching.

Last week I read an interesting abstract from (Smith, 2004.) citing 75 studies backing her claims regarding the Overtraining Syndrome (OTS). My goals for this short article is to help all of you understand:

  • What is the Overtraining Syndrome?
  • How does one distinguish between OTS and overreaching?
  • What are cytokines and what is their purpose?
  • What distinguishes between acute/local and chronic/systemic inflammation?
  • How do cytokines affect the brain?
  • Difference between cell-mediated vs. humoral immunity?
  • Which branch of the immune system is altered by cytokines?
  • And consequently, how is the activity of the other branch affected, and with what result?
  • More importantly to you and your athletes, how does one avoid the Overtraining Syndrome?

What is the Overtraining Syndrome (OTS)? And what distinguishes OTS from “overreaching”? What is the most consistent symptom of OTS?

By definition overtraining syndrome is a decline in performance due to an amount of intensity in which the amount of recovery is not being met. This decrease in performance remains even after an extended rest period. OTS can last several weeks to months – and in some occasions for the duration of the athlete’s career.

The difference in OTS and overreaching is that overreaching is a training stimulus to promote adaptation leading to improved performance. This is the main premise behind supercompensation that we all strive to elicit with our athletes. The short decrease in performance only lasts a few days with overreaching, and most coaches would agree that overreaching is a planned stimulus that ends with increased performance.

THE NEWEST EVOLUTION OF MASH PROGRAMMING

The latest and greatest methods from Travis Mash as he continues to innovate Mash Mafia programming.

Weightlifting - Powerlifting - Super Total

Garage Gym Warrior - Functional Fitness - Strength and Conditioning

The most consistent symptom is a decrease in performance that persists even after prolonged rest periods. However, a change in mood is normally the first indicator leading me to believe a solid athlete monitoring program could help avoid OTS. There are several other symptoms that we will discuss later on that could easily be monitored with the most basic of monitoring systems.

How can exercise lead to an excess production of cytokines? What distinguishes regional inflammation from systemic inflammation?

Exercise is known to cause microtrauma. That’s the whole point of exercise – or in the case of weightlifters, powerlifters, and strength and conditioning athletes, the whole point of weight training. The trauma is healed by regional inflammation (aka acute) with a well-orchestrated response that leads to the healing and regeneration of tissue. This is why preparing wisely for performance is so important.

However, if the acute inflammation isn’t resolved with proper recovery, then chronic aka systemic inflammation is the result. After certain intervals of time regarding traumatized tissue, specifically white blood cells show up on the scene to aid with healing – and those WBCs are directed by cytokines. Cytokines in the bloodstream are a primary way of determining that acute inflammation is now systemic. Now the different organ systems of the body become involved, directed by the cytokines.

What are some specific effects of cytokines on the brain? Which regions of the brain have been found to be affected by cytokines?

Hormonal effects in the form of lower testosterone and higher cortisol are due to the effect of cytokines on the hypothalamus – also causing lower libido and a drop in appetite. The hypothalamus is also to blame for the lower energy levels and even depression associated with cytokines. A simple questionnaire would easily quantify this issue. I recommend asking questions like:

  • How was last night’s quality of sleep on a scale from 1-5 – with 5 being perfect? If their normal answer is 4 or 5 and all of a sudden you get a 2, it’s time for further conversation.
  • How is stress outside the gym (ex. relationships, school, or work) on a scale from 1-5? The goal is to look for an out of ordinary number.

The hippocampus is also affected by cytokines during systemic inflammation – which disrupts learning, memory, and academic performance. This again could lead to simple questions to encourage intervention to avoid a case of OTS. Also simply being aware of your athletes could help prevent OTS. Do they look mentally fatigued or in a fog? If so, don’t be afraid to ask some follow up questions.

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All profits go to benefit the Lenoir-Rhyne Weightlifting Team during this unusual and challenging time. Thank you for your support!

Which branch of the immune system is altered by cytokines? And consequently, how is the activity of the other branch affected, and with what result?

Cell-mediated immunity is related to the elimination of intracellular viruses and bacteria. Humoral immunity focuses on eliminating extracellular pathogens operating in the fluid of the body, such as blood and other extracellular fluid. It is thought that humoral immunity is increased while cell-mediated immunity is suppressed – mainly due to the research pertaining to responses to major surgical trauma. If this hypothesis is correct, chronic inflammation associated with OTS leaves the athlete open to viral or bacterial infection.

This hypothesis makes total sense when you look at the common side effects related to overtraining. This is why so many athletes get sick close to competition. They are a few days before a taper – meaning they are beatdown – and then boom, they get the flu. Avoiding going so far as to cause chronic inflammation is the way to avoid a lot of these negative side effects.

Here are some of the author’s recommendations to avoid overtraining that relate specifically to exercise programming:

  • Maintain meticulous records of training and competition. Monitoring your athlete in the following areas: choice of exercise, order of exercise, volume, average intensity, and rest between sets.
  • Don’t increase volume more than 10% per week.
  • Have at least one day of complete rest per week and also make note of required rest between sets and exercises.
  • Preferably vary loads and exercises at least somewhat from day to day – even if total load stays the same week to week. They’re referring to monotony, which is actually a measurable marker.
  • Vary hard and light days.
  • On heavy days, split loads if possible and avoid long durations on high intensity days.
  • Include seasonal variety including the use of macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcycles.
  • Avoid too many competitions.
  • Eat a well balanced diet, and possibly use a vitamin supplement and increase intake of antioxidants.
  • Monitor stress and axiety away from training ex. Family, relationships, school and work.
  • Make use of rest and recovery.

Protocols for Aches and Pains, Muscular Imbalances & Recovery

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Prevent injury, reduce pain and maintain joint health with Travis's specific corrections for your individual muscular imbalances.

This was a great article to read, and one that I will consider as I build my athlete monitoring system. Several of these are easily monitored, assuming that athletes are honest on daily questionnaires. This article will definitely lead to an article from me focused on prevention.

Here’s a list of signs and symptoms from the author to look out for:

I hope you enjoyed this short article, and I hope that it helps you and your athletes.

We are here for you during this Coronavirus crisis.

Let us help with customized programming and coaching when you have limited access to gym equipment.

If you are financially able to join our online team for customized programming at this time, we would appreciate your support.

If you are financially struggling during this time, we still want to help. Email us and we will try to help out in any way we can.

* Fully Customized Programming

* Unlimited Technique Analysis

* The Best Coaching in the World

Hustling to Build a Supplement Company with Jeff Evans – The Barbell Life 356

Sometimes the ingredients of success can’t be taught.

That’s how it is with Jeff Evans – because this guy has HUSTLE.

Yes, we talk about CrossFit. Yes, we talk about coaching and technique. But really on this podcast we get deep into how Jeff is launching a supplement during the middle of the pandemic.

Get ready to be inspired.

Short on time in the gym? Here's the blueprint you need to follow.

Get Travis Mash's Guide to Building Your Own Program

If your schedule is packed but you still want to smash weight, if you want a reliable method to break through plateaus, if you want to build a strength program that works for YOU, grab the Blueprint.

LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Childhood abuse, divorce, and suicide attempts
  • Reasons to prefer Front Squats over Back Squats
  • Starting a supplement company during the pandemic
  • Hustle that no one can teach
  • The ingredients that boost performance
  • and more…
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