Thursday, April 29, 2010

Todays Training Session!

Max Lower Body Day

Foam Roll - You know yourself

Stretch - Hip Flexors

Activation:
Single Hip Lifts 2x10secs
Feet Elevated Scap Push Ups x10
Feet Elevated Push Ups x10
Wall Slides x10

Mobility:
Ankle Mobility x10
Leg Swing x10
Reaching SLDL x5 Each Leg
Quadruped T-Spine Rotations x10
Static Spiderman x5 Each Leg
Squat to Stand x5
Alternating Lunge Matrix x5 Each Way

Dynamic Warm Up (Linear today):
Knee Hug
Heel to Butt and Reach
Spiderman
Inch Worm
Skip
Heels Up (Butt kickers)
Knees Up
Straight Leg Skip
Backpedal

Plyo's and Medball:
Plyo: Single Leg Hops Continuous 2x5

Medball: OH throw with step 2x10 (5 each leg),
& Standing side throw with step 2x10 (each side)

Total Warm Up Time: 15mins

Strength Session:

A1: Deadlift 7x1 @ 90%
A2: Standing T-Spine Rotations 6x10

B1: Clean Grip RFE Split Squat 3x5
B2: Plank Row 2x10

C1: Barbell RDL 2x12
C2: Standing Isometric Pallof Press with band 2x2x10secs/5secs


video



Conditioning:

4 Rounds:
Burpees x15
Split Squat Jumps x16 (8 Each Leg)
T-Push Ups x16 (8 Each Side)
Star Jumps x15

Rest: 60secs

Stay Strong:

RB

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sugar the bitter truth

This video is a lecture I wish everyone would watch. Professor Robert Lustig of the University of California discusses the true facts about why people have started to develop chronic illnesses and modern diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

Also in this video, Prof Lustig dispels YET AGAIN that fat was never the cause of our modern day health problems, but that it has indeed been sugar and processed foods. He states that high corn frustose-syrup is "poison"!

The video is long, it is an hour and a half, but please when you get a chance watch it!It will change the way you think about nutrition for the better.

Enjoy

RB

Sugar the Bitter Truth

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fat Loss

Here is a great article by Alwyn Cosgrove on Fat Loss

Hierarchy of Fat Loss

Enjoy,

RB

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who Are These Experts?

Last week I was in my friends house when he handed me the newspaper and said "this will piss you off"! It was a small section in the paper about Dublin senior footballer Bryan Cullen's ongoing low back problems.

In the paper Pat Gilroy is quoted as saying "we thought the problem might go away with rest"!! Cullen has supposedly seen several 'experts' at this stage and yet no one has been able to help him!

The following is what I would do if I was to rehab Bryan Cullens Low back.

1. Ask about job and lifestyle, and a static postural assessment.
2. Breathing Pattern
3. FMS
4. Look at Hip Mobility, and thoracic spine mobility
5. Look at hip flexors, rectus femoris to see if they are stiff/tight/short
6. Look at Core Endurance


Job and Lifestyle, and Static Posture Assessment
First things first. Nobody and I mean nobody should be getting non-contact injuries!! Hamstring strains, quad strains, back pain, shoulder pain, non-contact ACL etc. If you were not hit by something (oppontent, object), you should not be getting injured.

I would ask Bryan what does he do for a living? How long would he sit for at one time? How does he sit. What brings on the pain - flexion, extension, side flexing, rotation.

I would ask him what is current Strength program is, and ask is any exercises affect his back pain. I would proceed to look at his technique at all his exercises. As Eric Cressey once said "Its not what you are doing, its how you are doing it"!

I would also pay close attention to what Bryans Hip hinge pattern is like. Can he dissassociate low back flexion from hip flexion?

In this initial interaction I would also assess Bryans posture. I would look at things like feet, pelvic alignment, spine, neck etc. I know that static postures assessment cannot give you a total picture of what is going on, as they don't tell you how the body functions when moving dynamically, but there are still a good tool to have in the tool-box.

Breathing Patterns
Like a lot of things in our industry (stability balls, foam rollers, workout muse, hip thrusts), breathing patterns seem to be the in thing at this moment in time. There is no doubt though that breathing patterns are a huge factor in pain and disease.

I would look to see if Bryan can effectively use his diaphragm, or does he use his upper chest to breath. If he breathes in his upper chest, instead of his diaphragm, his rage cage will not articulate how it should with each breath, and this in turn can lead to thoracic spine mobility issues. Allows listening to Pavel Kolar, we now are also starting to realize that proper diaphragm function is cruical for spine stability also.

FMS
Does Bryan have mainly a mobility issus or a stability issue, or both? Truth is one effects the other anyway.

The FMS is great brang for your buck assessment tool. I know that it is not the end all and be of assessments. I also know that it is not actually an assessment its a screen, but for the sake of this blog post I am going to call an assessment.

With the FMS I get a chance to see Bryan's feet as his perfroms some of the screens. The feet can tell you a lot about whats going on up the chain. I would look at things like a stiff 1st metatarsal joint, which can lead to a decrease in hip extension, which can lead to less glute strength on that leg, and more compensation in the low back and hamstrings to extend the hip when running, sprinting.

I would be interested to see Bryans shoulder mobility test (for thoracic spine mobility), and active straight leg raise (for hip disassociation, and to see if his in using his hamstrings to stabilze his pelvis instead of his core). Also a look at his trunk stability push up (to see if he can avoid hyperextension), and his rotary core test (to see if his can stabilize his spine effectively). These four assessments are known as the little four.

With the big three I would look for the usual's. Overhead squat - ankle mobility, hip mobility, t-spine mobility. If he can't get a 3/3 on this is it a mobility or stabilty problem. This is where the little four above come in to help with the decision making process.

Hurdle step - How well can he bring the leg over hurdle? Can he disassociate hip flexion and extension? Does he have a stiff hip flexor on the stance leg?

In-line Lunge - Looking for symmetrical stability on both sides. Are the hip flexors stiff and inhibiting the core from keeping the intregity of his posture and spine position. Can he extend his 1st metatarsal joint of his foot? Can he keep his head, upper back and sacrum in contact with th stick.


Look at hip and Thoracic Spine Mobility
99.9% of Low Back Pain (LBP) is not caused by the back. The LBP is the symptom, but it is not the cause. Linda Van Dillen has done research proving that a lack of hip internal rotation can lead to low back pain.

We know from the Joint by Joint model by Boyle and Cook that if the is pain in a joint or segment look above and below the joint for the cause (eg. LBP, look at hip mobility, and thoracic spine mobility).

Perform a Thomas Test
The Thomas Test is another Bang for your buck assessment. The assessment tells you many things about the hip flexors (psoas, illiacus, TFL), the adductors, rectus femoris, piriformis, ITB.

From reading the work of Shirley Sahrmann and listening to Bill Hartmann. I would then have to decide from the thomas test if Brian has stiffness issues or shortness in the muscles mentioned above.

Look at Core Endurance
People with LBP, generally have very poor core endurance. I would have Brian perfrom a plank, side plank, and an isometric hyperextension for time to get an idea of how long and how well he can stablize the spine.

Well there are the main things I would be looking for with Bryan Cullen. There are other things to look at and assess. You could also look at glute function in isolation, but if Bryan has Breathing issues, and a stiff/short anterior hip region (hip flexors, quads), I would already know that there is no way he can be effectively using his glutes to extend his hips, and that his core is not functioning optimally.

Hope you found this interesting. Bryan if reading (very doubthful), give me a call!

Stay Strong,
RB



Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Interview with Brian St. Pierre

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

Robbie, thanks for having me. I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Sports Nutritionist. I have my degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine, and I will actually be returning there this fall to get my Master’s degree in the same field, as well completing a Dietetic Internship to become a Registered Dietitian.
I currently work at Cressey Performance as the nutritionist and as a strength and conditioning coach.

My route to becoming a fitness professional was a strange one. I actually enrolled at UMaine to be an engineer. After suffering through three long and miserable years trying to make that happen, I decided that it was not for me. I had spent more time in those three years reading about training and nutrition than I had on my engineering work, so I decided that was probably a better direction for my career.

From there I just happened to get in touch with Eric Cressey right as he was starting Cressey Performance. I went down and observed him and Tony Gentilcore train athletes a few times, completed Mike Boyle’s mentorship program, and then was offered an internship with Cressey Performance. A few months later I was hired to actually work there, and it has all just fallen into place since then. Right place right time I guess.

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

Wow, this could go a lot of different ways. I guess the biggest problem with the whole industry is that we have had such a minimal impact on the way the masses train. With all the advances in knowledge and application, when you set foot in a commercial gym you realize that almost nothing has changed. The biggest problem is not only getting good information into the hands of people that need it, but getting them to buy into and put it into practice.


3. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a coach and as a nutrition expert?

The biggest influence on me as a coach would most definitely be Eric Cressey. Working with him day in and day out, you see how relentless he is in making himself better, so he can make his clients better. The passion he has for his clients. He has certainly been a tremendous influence in that regard. Same goes for my programming, as I’ve learned practically everything I know about program design from EC. You truly become good at program design when Eric looks them over every day, because he will certainly let you know what he thinks!

For the nutrition aspect, no doubt it has been John Berardi. I spent more time reading his work in college than practically anything else I did. There is no question that his entire system was the basis for much of the way I thought about food and nutrition. I would go so far as to say I would not be in this field today if I had not come across Berardi’s website. There is no doubt in my mind.



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

Strength Training: Never Let Go – by Dan John

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation: Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes – by Shirley Sahrmann

Nutrition: The Omnivore’s Dilemma – by Michael Pollan

Business: E-Myth – by Michael Gerber

Random: Born to Run – by Christopher McDougall / The entire Harry Potter series

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

I read. A lot. There are a lot of great blogs out there where you can learn so much. I read probably about 10 blogs on a consistent basis. I read lots of books, which is why your above question was so hard! At CP we hold 1-2 seminars per year. Mike Boyle’s Winter Seminar, Perform Better Seminar, etc. Then there are things like the strengthcoach podcast, the FitCast, strengthcoach.com, etc. There is a lot of great information out there, you just have to look.


6. What resources that are out there, would you recommend to young up and coming coaches (Podcasts, Websites, Blogs, Products)?
See above.


7. If you could chose one exercise, and one exercise only, what would it be and why?

This is a tough question. If I had to pick one exercise, it would probably be pushing the Prowler. I know it sounds cliché because Mike wrote an article about it, but I think it is true. Almost any client can do it without contraindication. It is a true expression of someone’s ability to display strength, get leverage, and be fit. It also doesn’t have an eccentric component, so it does not get people sore for the most part, which can be advantageous in some situations. It really just gives you the biggest bang for your buck.


Anyone for the Powler!

8. If you could give someone one piece of nutritional advice, what would that be?


Eat Real Food. That’s it. If you focus on that one piece of advice, that probably covers 90% of your needs. Eat Real Food.

Real Food!

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 would say my methodology is about getting the client optimal results in minimal time. My assessment is pretty comprehensive, as I put clients through a battery of tests, ranges of motion, and dynamic movement patters looking for restrictions, asymmetries and other red flags.

My program design is built around one thing: fitting the program to the client, not the client to the program. Every client gets a personalized program based on their assessment outcome, health history, injury history, age, goals, and many other variables. The style of the program can vary greatly depending on all those factors, so every program is client-dependant. There is not one set style in mind, just whatever gets clients results.

My periodization also depends on the client. Are they an athlete? Multi-sport athlete? What position(s) do they play, what season are they in, how long have they been training, how often do they train, etc? Periodization is also something, just like program design, that is dictated by the client and all the different variables they bring to the table. It is a dynamic process that is constantly changing due to vacations, illness, and other unexpected occurrences in life that seem to come up and interrupt training cycles. In my mind it is best to program with some periodization in mind, but be aware of the fact that your program is going to have to adapt to the ever-changing demands of someone’s life.


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

Put your time in. Do not expect to finish up an internship and be an internet expert making 6 figures right out of the shoot, with your own high-profile facility. It does not work like that. It takes years to get good at this, so put your time in.

Other than that, I am going to steal a great quote from Mike Boyle, “Find the best places to work, and work there.” It is that simple. Find out what it takes to get a job there, and then do what is necessary to make it happen. Work your ass off, study your ass off, and good things will come.


11. Brian, 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?


Robbie thanks again for having me, it was my pleasure.
Your readers can find out more about me at my website, http://www.brianstpierretraining.com/. I try to blog 3-4 times per week, giving mainly nutrition and some training advice, with a few fun things mixed in as well.


I recently did an interview with Kevin Neeld for http://www.hockeystrengthandconditioning.com/. Other than that, there are always project ideas being kicked around, it is just a matter of finding the time!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The myths, lies, and misconceptions about saturated fat and your health

Here is a great article by Mike Geary on the benefits of saturated fat. Mike also dispels the common myths about saturated fat. Myths like saturated fat is a cause of heart disease.

Its like I have said before to many people - "It ain't the fat people, it ain't the fat!"

Enjoy

The myths, lies, and misconceptions about saturated fat and your health

RB

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy - Paul Chek


As I continue my quest to futher my nutrition knowledge I decided to purchased this much cited book. Chek is a well known figure in our industry. Regared as a genius by some, and a psycho by others. Sounds like my kinda guy!!

Chek is a firm believer in Metabolic typing. He also is a huge proponent of organic food. Throughout this book Chek talks about all the dangers of processed food, dehydration, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise.



Four Steps


Chek four steps in the book:

1. Complete a lifestyle and Nutrition questionaire

2. Nutrition Plan

3. Exercise Plan

4. Lifestyle Plan


Nutrition Plan:

As I stated above Chek is a big believer in Metabolic typing. This is a system that trys to determine what exact foods are right for your body to function optimally. Chek goes on to talk about the dangers of processed foods, and some of the additives that the FDA have claim are safe to be used in our foods when clearly it has been shown otherwise. Cheks also talks about the dreaded GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and the effect that these poisons are having on our bodies.

Chek also talks about why pasteurization and homogenization for many dairy products is probably doing more harm then good, because this process kills a lot of the key enzymes in the dairy. He recommends that if you are going to drink or eat dairy, get raw products.

So basically, to some up the main take home points from the Nutrition section:


  • Eat right for your Metabolic Type

  • Eat organic, and raw dairy (if you are going to have dairy) whenever possible

  • Limit or delete all processed foods

  • Drink half your body weight in water = kg x 0.o33

Exercise Plan:

Chek like many coaches is a believer in movements, not muscles. He talks about the seven key movement patterns that his has call Primal Patterns:



  • Squat Pattern

  • Bend Pattern (Deadlift)

  • Lunge Pattern

  • Push Pattern (Push Up)

  • Pull Patteern (DB Row)

  • Twist Pattern (Throwing)

  • Gait Pattern (walking, running, sprinting)

He believes that your exercise program should incorporate all of these pattens.





Lifestyle plan:

This section of the book was very interesting. Chek talks about the affects of stress, sleep, fad diets, and your digestive system.



Stress:

We all know people who are stresser's (if thats a word). Chek thats about how stress can elevate the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Your SNS is one half of your autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) being the other half.

The SNS is also know as the "fight or flight" system. This basically means that your body is ready and alert for action. Think about the feeling you get before a big match, or event. People also call it adrenline. This is produced by the SNS. This "fight or flight" is a good thing when needed, but if it is constantly "switch on" so to speak, you will start to exhaust your body by producing too many stress hormones.

Cortisol is one stress hormone that gets bashed a lot, and true too nuch cortisol is a bad thing, but it is still important to our body. It is just that most people can never seem to get out of this fight or flight mode, and this is where cortisol can start to cause problems.

Chek points out that caffeine, which stimulates the SNS, can adventually lead to fatigue of the adrenal glands.



Sleep:

Chek talks about how important getting to bed early is. 10.30 seems to be the magical time? He talks about the many benefits from proper sleep, and how you can maximize these benefits.


  • Dont eat anything too big before going to bed as this will active the SNS, and when going to bed you want your PNS to be elevated to help your body for growth and repair

  • Try not to be around bright lighting an hour or two before going to bed

  • Try to get your workouts done in the morning rather then late at night

  • Try not to have too many electromagnetic things (tvs, computers) where you sleep. If you do, ensure they are off before going to sleep.

Fad Diets:

In this chapter Chek talks about not cutting calories, as doing so puts a lot stress on your body as it thinks you are in starvation mode. If your body thinks your are in this mode of starvation it will store fat, and not lose it as a protective mechanism.


Eat right for your Metabolic Type, and to be healthy and you will be fine.


Your Digestive system:

This chapter made me feel so dirty. After reading this chapter I realized that I am not as healthy I as thought I was!!

Chek talks abou the common causes of poor digestion:



1. Dehydration

When you are dehydrated the colon squeezes as much water as possible from your feces. This results in both constipation and the absorption of toxic fluids into the blood steam. So drink your water!!

2. Toxic Bowel

This is another cause of poor digestion. The following can cause a toxic bowel:

  • Processed Foods
  • Pasteurized Dairy Products
  • Processed Juices
  • Dehydrogenated Fats
  • Tap Water
  • Caffeine
  • Drug use (both recreational and medical)

3. Stress

As stated earlier stress can lead to the "Fight of Flight" mode. This in turn can lead to a shut down of the digestive system and result in constipation. So learn to relax more damn it!!

Conclusion:

I liked this book. It is an easy read and informative. A lot of the information was not new to me except for the information on the digestive system and some other tips throughout the book. I think this would be a great book to give to a client who wanted more information on nutrition and lifestyle.

Things I took away fron the book:

  • Drink more water!!
  • Relax more - try decrease stress in your life. I find going for walks helps me a lot of the time
  • Quality sleep is essential for health

Stay Strong,

RB

Saturday, April 3, 2010

An Interview with Chris Shah

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

I was always involved in some competitive sport especially middle distance track. Funny considering I’m not a fan of long distance anymore. I started out like many training my friend’s not knowing at the time I had no principles or methodology guiding me.

About 6 years ago I sustained a reoccurring injury to my left pectoral. I had severe sharp pain that would appear out of the blue.

I bounced around like ping-pong from so-called expert to expert with no relieve in sight. I had every image and evaluation done to me. Or so I thought. After 6 months on the shelf and many alternative methods of healing with little relief in sight. I vowed I would find a solution to my problem so I hit the library.

Immediately I fell in love with learning about the human body and performance training. I soon realized how truly naïve I was in training and had no one to blame for my injury but myself. I started to get all the industry standard certifications (I’m originally a computer science major) and started again to train friends. The friends I trained encouraged me to actually become a trainer. So I took the plunge and started out as an independent trainer bouncing around different studios for a couple of years. I finally found a long time home with my current gym for the past three years. We recently changed our name and I became a partner/owner.

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

The EGO which builds a self imposed prison stumping their growth and in the process short changing their clients and athletes. Most coaches/trainers are on the independent hype which leaves them content with having their head in the sand. . I love Coach Boyle’s term “Fitness Ostridge” Here is a video blog describing how to spot one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJHKhtpeQ7U

I wish that the habit of interdependence would be valued more. I much rather know I’m wrong than think I’m right. If I know I’m wrong I can remedy the issue. I have been wrong many times and always enjoy learning why and how I was wrong. The only way to know such things is through the habit of egoless interdependence.

3. What is it like to own and run your own facility?

It is both exciting and scary at the same time. The exciting part is that any thought I have I can immediately play with; it’s my own personal fitness playground. The scary part is that the success of the gym is your responsibility and the weight on your shoulders can strain you if you don’t have a clear path of where you are going. I really underestimated how important the business side of things are. My business related books will shortly share the same amount of book shelf as training and personal development. It is very important to sit aside time to work on your business. You can be the best trainer in the world but at the end of the day you are running a business for profit. The buck stops with both my partner and I. The atmosphere and clients/athletes attitude to each other and to new clients/athletes is a direct reflection of our attitudes. People usually go to three places in a day 1) home 2) work and 3) another place. I want my gym to be the third place where they feel like their home and forget about the world for one hour.


4. You train a lot of MMA fighters. Described what it is like to train this population?

I will go over generalities as this question in its self could be an entire interview. It is a challenge inherent with certain politics and egotistical mind sets. The guys that train their skill work at my gym have completely bought in to my training. It is like recess working with these guys. I also train BJJ when I have the time so I’m able to speak and translate fighting langue to my training program. The challenge lies with fighters who perform their skill work at other gyms but cross train their strength and conditioning work with me. I have to compete with their skill coaches trying to wear my hat. Generally hard or suffering training is equated with effective training.

Also the concept of “durability” or injury reduction is as foreign a concept as trigonometry to most fighters. I have a video blog on this very issue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ruXZS-M8A0
The skill training is inherently ripe for injuries as most of them always have some type of acute trauma based injury that simply by the nature of the sport cannot be avoided. My number one job is to keep them healthy so they can actually compete.
The potential for overtraining is very high for MMA athletes most will train x2 a day in different skill disciplines anywhere from 4-6 days a week. Add on top of that 2-3 days of strength and conditioning work with me. The cumulative fatigue must constantly be monitored. ( I have a system in place) If I have a very high-NSD work or complex training programmed for the day but the athlete for example has bruised up legs from sparring and generally fatigued I have to pull back accordingly. I want NSD work performed at or near full capacity without fatigue. Although their may be certain situations where I purposely overreach them then pull back for a super compensation effect.

Just as the mix martial artists must be diversified in his or her skill set I concurrently want all his or her strength and conditioning qualities to rise. Certain qualities will be stressed closer to fight time like the so-called power endurance quality. I see many MMA strength coaches who use a linear periodization model neglecting certain qualities for up to 4 weeks. This makes as much sense as neglecting a certain skill aspect for 4 weeks or one of your kids.

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

I consider Mike Boyle my mentor. I spent 4 days with him this past year and was enriched by the experience both as a coach and person. He has been responsible for a few paradigm shifts with my training. With every single thing I program or coach I always think how would I justify this to mike? What is the thought process?

Mike Boyle


Gray cook has also had a huge influence for taking complex issues like durability and quality of movement and simplifying them. I had a short discussion with Gray about fighting and he laid a great one liner on me regarding the FMS “1’s give your opponent more submissions and 3’s make you slippery in MMA/BJJ”


Gray Cook


6. Sometimes there seems to be a huge gap between some physical therapists and strength and conditioning coaches. How in your opinion can this gap be bridge?

We both want the same thing reduction of pain and increased durability. Most of the time the PT and S&C are talking about the same thing and want similar goals but using different langue. Essentially we are getting lost in translation. It comes down to communication and explaining each others principles, methodologies and programming goals. We must form an interdependent team effort. For example, I’m in contact with two local PT clinics and when discussing a client /athlete there is a common script I follow. Depending on who generated the referral it can be modified.

What are the red flags/ injury mechanisms/ movements to be avoided? What are the deficits and limitations? What I need from you is… What do you need from me? Then we can of course get into specifics of the programming. One of the 2 PT’s uses the FMS/SFMA so we are able to talk in terms of ASLR and extension breakout which really accelerates the process.


7. What are you all-time favourite books in the following areas?

Strength Training:
The science and practice of strength training. -Siff (A great bird’s eye view) Advances in functional training- Boyle (constant reference). The Charlie Francis training system. (It changed the way I view and program my athletes. A must read!)

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation: Diagnosis and treatment of movement impairment syndromes - Sahrmann. SFMA Selective functional movement assessment workshop course book. Ultimate back fitness and performance- McGill. Gray cook DVD series

Nutrition: A grappler’s guide to sports nutrition. John Berardi (don’t let the name fool you, many of the principles apply to most people)

Business: The E-myth revisited – Gerber ( A huge Ah-ha moment)
Thriving on Chaos – Tom Peters (Taking it to the next level)
Raving Fans. – Blanchard ( my recent paradigm shift!)

Random: An introduction to the study of experimental medicine -Claude Bernard.
(A great read for anyone who loves logical objective thinking.)

How to win friends and influence people- Dale Carnegie ( The world would be a better place If most of us read it in high school)



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

I have been to NSCA symposiums, Perform Better, FMS workshop and Mike Boyle’s mentorship. In June I’m spending 4 days with Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. As well as making the trip from the West coast to Rode Island for PB in June. I also consider visiting great coaches like Tim Vagen and Dewey Nielson unaccredited continuing education.

What resources that are out there, would you recommend to young up and coming coaches (Pod casts, Websites, Bogs, and Products)?
Strengthcoach.com, I feel like I’m stealing money from mike. Strength and conditioning webinars.com, sports rehab expert.com, http://iyca.org/, Mike Boyle DVD library, Gray cook DVD library, Eric cressey, Mike Robertson, Cosgrove blogs.



9. If you could chose one exercise, and one exercise only, what would it be and why?

The question I love to hate. In the past it has been different exercises and I’m sure in the future it might change as well. I will have to go with a sled push or sprint depending on the population. I use the sled with my rehab (re-conditioning clients) that have knee issues that cannot yet tolerate ROM knee/hip dominant exercises. With certain arm positions we can also morph the push into a core exercise as well.

With my athletes I use the sled for both NSD power work, conditioning as well as heavy MSD strength work. There is a great deal of benefit with very little risk!


Sled Pushes


10. 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)?

My driving paradigm is diversification of the athletes/clients strength and conditioning portfolio. We must both use all the appropriate tools, allocate resources and investments to all the needed physical industries and companies to yield a low-risk high-reward portfolio. If you are the fill in the blank “tool” guy you have a high-risk, low-reward program portfolio in my mind.

Assessment: (determines what tools, how much time and resources we put in certain physical industries and companies) Depending on client/athlete. FMS/SFMA and a mix of mis… from Sahrmann, Cressey, Robertson, McGill and Boyle. First thing I want to know is their red flags and/or specific injury mechanisms to be avoided?

Determine the person’s goals, needs and how much time we have.
Program phases of training based on many variables(training age, starting point, objective, and time together)

With general fitness personal training clients very little periodization is involved its good old progressive increases in either volume and or intensity with progressions of exercises and movements.

With my athletes it’s more of a non-linear periodization model.
I keep detailed records of everything I do with clients/athletes and constantly evaluate them almost to a fault.

The general working template is as follows in order. Tissue quality, stretch, activation, specific corrective work, Mobility/stability joint by joint work, dynamic movement, power complex (Rapid response, speed drill, pylometric work and mball throws), Then explosive lift (o-lift), Strength and or continued power work. I program core work every single day in between the main lifts in a triset. Then on to energy system work or full body complexes depending on specific populations and goals. Lastly we spend time on regeneration (ice plunge for fighters/athletes) and soft tissue and/or stretching for general population.



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

First and foremost learn how to make people smile and enjoy your company. After all these years I have come to the conclusion that I’m a self-esteem enhancement specialist first and a performance enhancement specialist second. Read a personal development book for every training book. My business went through the roof and continues to grow because I invest in my personal development and people skills.

Write every single thought in your head down on paper or use a voice recorder. Continue with all the continuing education that you posed in the above questions. Email the authors to get an update on what they have changed since writing the work. Continue to visit and mastermind with as many coaches as you can. Coach as much as you possibly can. Allot of times what we know from learning and how we apply it in real life works out seamlessly and other times we scratch our heads. The old saying that it looks good on paper but not in real life can be modified to looks good on paper but not good with john or Mary. Find out why it doesn’t look good with John or Mary. Is it because of their current functional state? Is it because of your current coaching state/level? Is it because it’s simply not meant for them? Is it because it’s the wrong time in their programming/progressions? Find out the why and how of that gap and you will grow tremendously!


Chris, 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 have a new blog at http://chrisshahgroundupfitness.blogspot.com/
Video blog http://www.youtube.com/ChrisShahPacifica .
My gym website which will have a major update soon http://groundupfitness.com/index.html