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Prioritize For Program Success

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Prioritize for Program Success   Today a strength and conditioning coach has way to many things that they have to develop. The internet and equipment companies don’t make this any easier because both things muddy the waters and distort what our athletes need. Today a strength and conditioning coach is expected to increase strength, improve power, develop speed and agility, work on core strength/endurance, develop mobility, increase muscle size (if necessary), educate athletes on nutrition, warm the athlete up for...

Speed Training: You Don’t Need Frills

Speed is critical to sports performance. One of the side effects of the systematic incorporation of strength and conditioning into sports is that athletes are becoming bigger, stronger and they are a lot faster than they used to be. This means that if we have prospective athletes, speed training is something they are going to have to incorporate into their programs. Nowadays, lifting weights and practicing the sport are not enough!   In a previous post ( http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/10/speed-running-fast-is-a-skill/ ), we...

The Kettlebell Press is Important for Athletic Strength

The standing kettlebell press is one of the best kettlebell exercises for an athlete’s upper body strength. This exercise works the muscles of the shoulder, triceps, and develops a strong core to support the weight overhead. Additionally, as we’ll discuss later, it also allows for a great many variations. In this article we’re going to talk about how to perform the exercise, make some programming recommendations/examples, and talk about modifications.   Who needs to use this exercise: This exercise is...

Post-Activation Potentiation and the Nervous System: It’s Complicated

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There has been a lot of contradictory research on post-activation potentiation (PAP) over the last five to ten years. Briefly, this is performing a heavy, slow strength training exercise prior to performing an explosive activity (like a jump, throw, or sprint). The idea is that the heavy strength training exercise will increase neuromuscular recruitment, leading to enhanced performance.   In the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Thomas et al performed a study to assess whether this approach...

It May Not Matter What You Train First

Is there a best way to organize an athlete’s training? In other words, should we do plyometrics first because they involve speed and technique? Then, should we follow that with slower strength moves that don’t require the same level of nervous system demands? Or, should we flip that to fatigue the nervous system by doing the slow strength moves first and then requiring it to perform something explosive?   Kobal et al have a really fascinating study that seeks to...