Friday, May 1, 2009

Random Thoughts Friday: NSCA Clinic, More Muscle and Rock Stars

Coming at ya with another Random Friday since all the cool people are doing! Actually it is a good way to get out some thoughts running around in my head that I am not sure what to do with or don't have time to expand on.

If you are reading this at the butt crack of dawn, I will be starting or finishing up my 4th to last (fingers crossed) battery of tests in the Energy Drink study!! Getting close to the end of data collection and a HUGE thanks to everyone that has participated so far! I could not do it without you.

Here we go!

1) Minnesota NSCA clinic later today and tomorrow

It is an honor for me to be presenting later tonight and tomorrow with Brad "No Relation" Nelson from Kinetic Edge Performance on the topic "Speed: Walk Before You Run: How Neuroscience Affects Speed by Two Closet Geeks" I can't speak for Brad, but I burned my closet for kindling years ago--hahaha.

We will be covering some ways to make you faster using that big brain on your head and efficient foot work. The player/athlete that can minimize the number of unnecessary steps he/she takes will be faster.

One simple example is how to start out going straight ahead (or to slight angle).

Some coaches tell their athletes to "fall" forward to get that first step and go from there.

Lee Taft has been saying this for years (and Dr. Cobb covers it in Z Health S Phase too) that if you watch the fastest players, they take a very quick step BACKWARDS to propel them forward and the don't fall forward---it is too slow. Don't take my word for it--try it!

They don't rock back like slingshot, they step back (plyo step) and use that foot/leg to DRIVE them forward fast.

Be careful doing this, as there is a ton of stress applied to the driving (plyo) foot--that does not mean it is bad, just go slow and get the proper form down and ease into full speed drills and do NOT rush it. Most need more mobility work on both of their feet/ankles too.

Is there any research to support this? Glad you asked!

Starting from standing; why step backwards?

Reference Kraan GA e al. J Biomech. 2001 Feb;34(2):211-5.

3 different positions
  • an athletic stance with no step back
  • athletic stance allowing a step back (plyo step)
  • a standing track start with one foot in front of the other
  • Found that the Plyo Step had a greater impact on an athlete’s acceleration in terms of force and impulse time
  • Also referenced by Lee Taft in “Coaching Away an Athlete's Speed”
Stepping backward can improve sprint performance over short distances (2008)

“…utilizing a step forward to initiate movement resulted in significantly slower sprint times to both 2.5 and 5 m (6.4% and 5.3%, respectively)

“…adopting a starting technique in which a step backward is employed may result in superior performance.”

Reference: Strength Cond Res. 2008 May;22(3):918-22.

2) NSCA clinic, come talk to me and say hi

Seriously, come on over and at minimum say hi, argue or throw stale muffins at me. I look forward to meeting many of you there and talking shop for 1.5 days-----yeahhhh ha!

Super stoked to see the presentations and one of the Gillinghams and pro strong man from Minnesota Dave Ostlund. Dave is also a brand new dad, so congrats to him!

3) Remodeling your body

Thinking out loud here about the remodeling process of the body due to weight training (more strength, more muscle and perhaps less fat). Here are my thoughts

Stimulus (weight training) + protein (calories with sufficient protein) = more muscle!

Stimulus (weight training, jumping, etc) + calcium and minerals = more bone!

If the raw materials (calcium, protein, etc) are not present in your diet you will have less than optimal remodeling, and it will also be associated with a "higher cost"

Think of it this way, it would be like trying to fix your toilet downstairs by stealing part off the one upstairs. Yep, the downstairs one works great now, but you have another issue.

If you look in the literature, there are some older cool studies on rats where they cut the tendons in the calf area to completely overload the other muscle (soleus). They could stave them, cut their nuts off (youch, I am all for rat studies now!!), and lots of other things and the little buggers still had LOCALIZED muscle hypertrophy, since the stimulus was so large.

The take away
For muscle hypertrophy, the stimulus and protein (probably more calories too) are extremely important. You could argue that the stimulus is the most important thing.

: Experientia. 1971 Sep 15;27(9):1039-40.Links
'Compensatory' muscle hypertrophy in the rat induced by tenotomy of synergistic muscles."
Macková E, Hník P.

Cell Tissue Res. 1975 Jul 16;160(3):411-21.Links
Satellite cells of the rat soleus muscle in the process of compensatory hypertrophy combined with denervation.
Hanzlíková V, Macková EV, Hník P.

4) New Quote on Beliefs
I was talking to Frankie Faires the other night and the quote we came up with

"All beliefs are limited"

The mind is incredibly powerful and if you truly believe a new weight training program will help you, then it will (and there is nothing wrong with that). The power of belief is huge, but limited. I can try as hard as I want to believe that I can fly all by myself, but in the end gravity will win.

5) A shout out to all my friends kiteboarding in South Padre
Pete Koski shot this cool kite view video. I am so jealous....... if anyone in SPI is reading this, have some sweet rides and airs for me. Jodie and I will be down in Nov this year for sure.
Ride on

SPI #2 from Pete Koski on Vimeo.