ATHLETIC CONSULTING TRAINING REPORT - www.cbathletics.com
"CB ATHLETIC Recommended newsletters"
- "Weight-room tips for athletes"
- "Time-under-tension exposed"
- "ACSM Roundup: Incorporating science into
- FINANCIAL, PHYSICAL, & MENTAL FITNESS
the many daily, weekly and monthly email newsletters that
you can possibly get, here are 2 that stand out. The first
newsletter, available through www.jimrohn.com,
is a monthly motivational collection of articles and quotes
that will help you move toward financial freedom or a more
second email that will always be delivered to start your
week is Barrie Shepley's triathlon-based motivational newsletter
from his company, Personal Best. Sign up for the newsletter
The strength of Barrie's articles is the numerous success
stories that he is able to chronicle each week.
are many common threads between the two newsletters, despite
the great differences in their foundation. If you take the
time to read them, you will realize that both are consistently
reporting success stories of people who work hard, are consistent,
and believe in themselves even when no one else does.
- HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR GAME IN THE WEIGHT ROOM?
Coach John Davies has helped many athletes improve and reach
their potential. His secret: Hard work, and lots of it.
In Coach Davies' mind, the majority of athletic events require
a careful blend of many attributes, which he sees as "spokes
on a wheel". These include:
flexibility / range of motion
agility / mobility
general physical preparation
specialized physical preparation
Physical Preparation (GPP) is a term used by many, many
strength and conditioning coaches when referring to the
initial development of strength and work capacity. Exercises
like "Farmer's Walks", "Wheelbarrow carries", "Sled pulling",
etc., can be used in this phase to build an athlete's overall
work capacity. It is worth noting the irony in that these
activities that were once a large part of people's jobs
are now called "athletic preparation exercises".
is the training purpose of the FARMER'S WALK & other
you make it really. For a bit of background, the "Farmer's
walk" became popular after its exposure in Strongman competitions.
There are several ways to perform the exercise, each with
many benefits, so you see how it can be incorporated into
training for various goals.
general benefits of this exercise will be growth in the
upper back and traps, increased leg endurance under heavy
loads, and greater "holding ability" (if that is your training
goal - i.e. for increasing deadlift performance). For example,
you can use the Farmer's Walk to increase "work capacity"
or muscle growth by holding moderately heavy dumbbells in
your hands and walking for a specific time or distance.
are many other exercises that result in a number of benefits,
and these include most of the "best" exercises (squat, bench,
deadlift). You can achieve different results depending on
your technique (wide-stance, close-grip, stiff-leg) and
the duration of your sets. The great thing about the "best"
exercises is the large number of variations possible and
the same goes with the GPP exercises.
if you want to improve performance in the strictest "Strongman
competition" definition, you will simply need to improve
the distance you can walk with 225lbs in each hand!
next exercise: "CABLE CHOP for TORSO STRENGTH"
you play a team power sport? Does your game involve shooting,
swinging, or any form of trunk rotation? If it does, then
here is a cable exercise that should help increase your
abdominal strength for performance.
exercise that you may not have done before is called "Standing
cable chops". For this exercise, you will need to stand
sideways at a cable column. Grasp a handle from the highest
pulley setting with arms extended. Without bending at the
elbows, twist the torso and flex the trunk to bring the
shoulder to the opposite foot in a "wood-chop" motion. Slowly
return back to the upright position.
you get the hang of the motion, you can change the stimulus
by making the movement faster or by adding resistance (using
more weight from the cable stack). Make sure that you follow
the correct sequence of movements outlined above. The strength
must originate from the abdominal and lower back area, and
not by a pulling motion from your arms and back.
only does this exercise build strength in the torso area,
but it may also help increase your balance because this
exercise is performed while standing! So when it comes to
torso strength and control in a standing activity such as
a golf swing, this exercise may be much more effective than
twist crunches done while lying on your back.
next exercise: A FORWARD LUNGE with a "DISPLACED" LOAD
The purpose of this exercise is to simulate lifting, holding,
and moving with a load placed in unusual positions.
This will shift your center of gravity and impose greater
demands on your balance, leg strength, abdominal strength,
and lower back strength.
By strengthening your muscles with this exercise, you may
prepare and protect yourself against those instances where
people "pull" a muscle in their back.
If the low back is a current weak spot, keep the load as
close as possible to your torso at all times, or use a very
light load (to minimize lower back stress).
Stand upright with the load in hands.
You can use a medicine ball, DB, sandbag, rock, etc.
Hold the load above your head, to your right side, left
side, or against your chest.
Step forward with a slightly exaggerated stride.
Lower your body until the rear knee graces the ground.
Keep your torso upright.
You can move the load back into towards your chest, or you
may move the load out from the chest to a much more unstable
position (i.e. your left side or diagonally).
You may also move the load forward from your chest as if
reaching to place the load (i.e. putting a child in a car
Push off your lead leg using your quadriceps to return to
the starting position.
Legs, abdominals, lower back, forearms, and shoulders.
- THE KING "TUT"
worry, the focus of this newsletter has not gone from kinesiology
to archeology. Instead, this piece will focus on a controversial
training parameter. The term "Time-under-tension" (TUT)
is really hot in the bodybuilding, athletic consulting,
and fitness industries. It refers to the amount of time
per rep (or set, or exercise, or workout) that the muscle
is under tension. For example, if an athlete takes 4 seconds
to perform a biceps curl, it is said that the TUT was 4
seconds. If someone performs 100 repetitions, then the workout
TUT was 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
people want to know, "What is the best TUT for growth?"
really good question, but unfortunately, you will not find
any peer-reviewed research on the optimal time under tension.
All TUT claim's are merely anecdotal and have simply been
promoted by popular strength coaches, leading to this belief.
At present, no one, not even the most experienced exercise
physiologist truly can prove what is the optimal TUT for
growth, let alone prove the exact mechanism that controls
muscle hypertrophy. Is it training to failure, an optimal
TUT, an optimal resistance, or a specific number of reps
that gives you the greatest muscle growth from training?
none of the TUT schemes, nor any other bodybuilding method,
has been proven to be more effective than others in a research
setting. Muscle growth is merely an adaptation to the correct
intensity and volume of work. Your muscle responds to the
demand (training) by adapting (growing) so that the next
time you ask your muscle to lift that same weight, it will
have an easier time doing so. Almost all programs will work,
and that is why anyone and everyone can write training articles,
provided it has some common sense behind.
having said all that, strength coaches, bodybuilders, and
researchers are obviously on the right track with TUT philosophies.
Muscle tension is undoubtedly one of the most important
factors in muscle growth. After all, if you train too lightly
and with too many reps, your body will adapt by increasing
endurance properties...and muscle growth may actually be
the last thing your body will do in preparation for the
next training session. Basically, this is why endurance
exercise doesn't cause growth. Muscle doesn't need to get
bigger to have better endurance.
extremely heavy weights that allow only 1-2 repetitions
per set or performing a few explosive repetitions may not
provide enough tension for muscle growth. Therefore, if
muscle mass is your goal, sets lasting only 5-10 seconds
are probably not going to be optimal for gains. On the other
hand, you don't want to go too light, because performing
100 reps with the 5 lb dumbbells is not likely to prove
effective either, even though this represents a huge TUT.
YOUR MUSCLES EVEN DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN TUT & REPS?
answer is probably no, your muscles don't distinguish between
time under tension or the number of reps. Muscles simply
respond to the demands imposed on the body. If the exercise
demands the muscle to grow bigger in preparation for the
next session, then that is what will happen, regardless
of exercise choice.
fact is that a lot of guys go in the gym, lift hard, and
get big without giving the slightest thought to TUT. General
recommendations for "hypertrophy training" are 8-12 reps
per set, with multiple sets per exercise, and multiple exercises
per body part. The debate over the best training program
is endless. What is the optimal training frequency? How
often should you train a body part?
number of training questions is infinite, as the precise
knowledge is limited, despite the success of top-level bodybuilders
and athletes. The lack of uncertainty regarding TUT and
almost all training parameters gives good anecdotal evidence
that people should constantly be varying their programs
(after 3-4 weeks or when gains begin to slow down or disappear).
Don't get hung up on one specific TUT. You can get growth
on sets shorter and longer than just one specific time period.
there are no scientific conclusions, only theories. You
are better off seeking research that shows significant muscle
growth with a certain number of reps, and then extrapolate
a TUT...because you will find very little, if any, science
that controls the speed of repetition. However, even repetition
data is scarce.
a related note, you must remember not to look at TUT as
an isolated factor in growth...You can train in the perfect
rep range with the perfect intensity, but if you neglect
adequate nutrition (i.e. a calorie surplus), then you can
forget about growing. In contrast, if you eat 5000kcal a
day, you will grow no matter how you train. Same with rest...you
shouldn't neglect it.
closing, think of muscle growth this way...does the construction
worker worry about "Time under tension"? NO! He simply carries
as many bricks as he can handle. Then next week, after he
has grown bigger and stronger, he carries more bricks...week
in and week out...plus he eats big. According to Men's Health
consultant Michael Mejia, "The bottom line is that there
is TONS of great information out there, but often we make
this stuff out to be rocket science when it really isn't."
- ACSM WRAP-UP: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF EXERCISE SCIENCE
carbohydrate intake can cause hypoglycemia and decrease
performance. (#252, Diedrich, D., et al.)
Ingesting 0.5g/kg of glucose (a simple sugar) 35 minutes
prior to intense exercise caused hypoglycemia (low blood
sugar) in the 14th minute of exercise.
This resulted in a reduction in sprinting power.
Therefore, pre-exercise sugar snacks may impair power performance.
Athletes shouldn't have an emergency sport drink 30-60 minutes
before game time! Plan your nutrition so you are properly
fueled well before game time.
stretching does not protect against eccentric exercise.
Black, J., and E. Stevens)
Researchers at the University of Guelph studied the effects
of pre-exercise stretching on protection against acute-contraction
Mice had their muscles stretched prior to damaging eccentric
Slow, static stretching was performed.
Stretched muscles were compared against non-stretched muscles
for decreases in force production. There were no differences
From this model, research suggests that stretching won't
prevent the loss in strength that occurs during eccentric
to improve Vertical Jump performance
Butcher, S., et al.)
Training to improve "trunk stability" and leg strength both
independently contributed to an increase in vertical jump
An obvious conclusion: Athletes should include squats &
abdominal exercises in their training programs.
strength & Bench press
Caterisano, A., et al.)
Ever wonder if the "grip strength" test really predicted
This study suggests that there is a relationship between
grip strength and bench press performance in untrained males
This is not the case in trained powerlifters and or football
Therefore, this is not a good test for athletes.
runners don't eat enough carbohydrate (CHO) prior to the
Vinci, D., et al.)
In the 3 days prior to a marathon, males and females averaged
a pathetic 5.5g CHO/kg in their efforts to glycogen load.
This pales in comparison to the recommended 7-10g CHO/kg
The problem was not the proportion of carbohydrate intake,
because the runners did eat 65% of calories from carbohydrate,
but rather their low total energy intake. The runners consumed
only ~2500 kcal.
This is likely not enough in the days just before a marathon!
Therefore, absolute CHO recommendations are warranted. It's
no good to get 100% of your calories from carbohydrate if
you are only consuming 1500kcal.
You must get enough GRAMS of carbohydrate, not % of carbohydrate,
in order to glycogen load and be successful in marathon
If you are training multiple times per day, research recommends
increasing your post-training intake to 1.2g/kg of carbohydrate
per hour for 2 hours to get a head start on glycogen replenishment.
For those seeking a secret weapon in glycogen loading, consider
a high-CHO creatine-containing beverage! Email for more