Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Interview with Brad Kaczmarski

1. Brad thank for your time. Could you give my readers your background, and how you came to be a strength and conditioning coach?

I, like most, started out by playing sports. In junior high, we started training for basketball and I enjoyed the training process. Overtime, I learned to enjoy the training process as much as the sport itself. When my sports career ran it's course, I continued to enjoy the training process.

Half way through college I switched my major to Exercise Science. I spent two years as a college Strength and Conditioning Coach. I then when to work at Velocity for a year, bounced around a few personal training facilities (hated it), spent a season with both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Buc's. I've currently been a high school Strength Coach for 4 ½ years now, along with some personal training on the side.

2. What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem you see within the fitness industry today?

Too much information to quickly. It's great to learn, but it seems like we spend to much time learning from others and not from doing the training our selves.

3. You work mainly with high school athletes. Could you give my readers some insight into what it is like to coach this population?

Every situation is different, so it's hard to say, but I'm sure there are some similarities across the board. For one, you have to establish and train proper movement. You also have to remember that not everyone shares the same excitement about training as we do. The bell curve is an appropriate view here, because a few of the kids hate it, most are indifferent, and a few just love it. You have to try to get that central area to at least come back. Then if you can, try to get them to get better and start to enjoy that process.

4. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a coach?

My dad definitely, for getting me into working out.
George Delp, who spent countless hours opening the weight room for me during his free time.
Eric Klein for teaching me a lot about college strength training.
Mike Boyle collecting and testing everything, and then giving out what he's learned.
Gray Cook for making movement health simple and testable.

5. What are you all-time favourite books in the following areas:

- Strength Training:
o Total Training for Young Champions
o Advances in Functional Training

- Physical Therapy Rehabilitation:
Gray Cook's book, video series and FMS seminar

- Nutrition:
Paul Chek's collective work
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Eating for Life, for it's simplicity

- Business:
The Power of Full Engagement

- Random:
Joel Osteen's books. Regardless of what you believe in, I think it's good to believe in something.

6. What do you do to for your continuing education (Seminars attended etc)?

I've gone to the NSCA Conference a few years, and I attended Gray Cook's FMS most recently.

7. What resources that are out there, would you recommend to young up and coming coaches (Podcasts, Websites, Blogs, Products)? and are great usable info

8. If you could pick one exercise, and one exercise only, what would it be and why?

Ha, I don't know. The Clean would make the most sense, but I'd probably do a Sled push/push combo.

9. Could you give my readers a basic summary of what your methodology on training is (eg. how do you assess, and design, and periodize programs)?

I try to always start and end with simple balance. Am I doing something with: Flexibility - Strength - Conditioning. If so, then I'm moving the right direction.
Beyond that, I have a few templates for strength training. If you can only strength train 2x's a week, I do full body. Three times a week, you can do full body or upper/lower split. Four or more times a week, I usually do some sort of upper/lower split. With-in all of those, I usually start with supersets of antagonists. Then I move on to tri-sets, so I add a core into the set. Then I'll move on to a giant set or big circuit.

10. Last question, what advice would you give to young coaches, like myself getting into the field?

You don't have to know everything and you'll drive yourself crazy if you think you need to before you begin training people. If you can find something or someone to follow, and you can learn, do it. Keep learning, but give yourself a break and don't expect to be great at this field until you are in your 40's or 50's. Remember, most sports coaches lives take that path, we just put to much pressure on ourselves to be experts too soon.

Brad , thank you so much for your time. Where can my readers find out more about you, and any projects that you may have coming up?

I don't do many projects right now, but my website is

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