Archive for June, 2014

  • Couch hopping ain’t easy.
  • Living on the beach is.
  • Driving from Boston to Jersey is considered to be not that far to people from Kansas.
  • Hit glute medius too hard on someone who does no single leg work and see if they can walk the next day.
  • Meal prep is essential in life and most especially for jobs where you are on your feet all day.
  • Find a balance, if you are training and reading too much you will find yourself burnt out and forget what real life feels like, even if you don’t think you’re burnt out.  Most people were probably expecting me to drop advanced concepts and write about all the new things I’ve learned, and I will in the future, but this point needs to be emphasized.  Work hard, but enjoy the ride.  An hour of TV here and an hour by the pool there never killed anyone and you’ll be amazed when it actually improves your performance as a coach.  Remember this is a job where you need to actually interact with those you train and work with as well as people outside of work.  There is more to life than being in the gym. Balance.

I told the kids at Stang I would do a profile on whoever made the biggest improvement this off-season from late February testing to the early June combine.  This will obviously put a more advanced athlete at a disadvantage but I think that most of the weight room will agree that the clear winner of this spotlight is Nick Landry.  After almost deciding to lift on his own at a local gym so he could “bench more often,” I talked him out of it and told him to try my program for a week and if he didn’t like it he could do whatever he wanted.  The issue was never brought up again and he quickly bought in, showing up early to get his foam rolling in every day and staying late to hangout while he tackled his post-workout nutrition.  To speak about his work ethic, when I made him take the three days before the combine off, his first question was: “well what am I supposed to do after school then?”

Month                         February                           June

Age                               15                                      15

Weight                         162                                   175

Bench                           130                                  180

Squat                           185 (to 18″)                   265 (to 16″)

Hang Clean                    125                                   205

40-Yard Dash               DNR                                 4.8 (handtime)

Pro Agility                     4.24 (handtime)          4.27 (handtime)

Vertical Jump                22″                                    25″

I would like to congratulate everyone at Stang who worked hard on a successful combine and wish everyone the best of luck with the summer program and football season.

With week 1 of my internship coming to a close, I have decided to go with a random thoughts post on random things I’ve learned thus far.

  • How to coach 100x better.
  • I probably should have used regressions more in the past rather than cueing things athlete’s probably don’t know how to do in the first place.
  • I was starting to hit a point where I thought that glute activation was gimmicky and an over application of physical therapy into the wrong field.  I never stopped doing them, but I was questioning it.  Never again, I just needed to learn how to do it right.
  • PRI is cool.  In one sentence or less, organs are not distributed evenly in the body and it causes most of the population to sink into their right hip when standing.
  • “Don’t look at a pro athlete like its the first fish at the aquarium.”  In my defense, I was looking at how many plates were on the sled he was pulling and I had no idea who I was looking at.  Luckily, this went out to every intern and I wasn’t alone.
  • Pallof is pronounced pal-off.
  • Coconut oil is useful because it retains its nutritional value at higher temperatures.
  • Powerlifting will not keep you in shape.  OK, I knew this one but I did find out that athleticism comes back pretty quickly and lifting like an athlete feels a lot better on the body.
  • Irish people are literally petrified of the sun.
  • Sled pulls are awesome and if you’re on turf you can load them up pretty heavy and boost the ego a little bit.
  • Slideboards are the worst combination of fun and awful.
  • Not enough people know about Precision Nutrition.
  • How to mop.  Apparently I never learned how to do this well along the way and I’ve been exposed.
  • Even with the amount we did at Stang, I probably still underestimated importance of movement training and developing non-weight room qualities.
  • Turkish Get-Ups are hard to learn to do correctly and I fear will be even tougher to coach.  We shall find out next week.

Bishop Stang Warm-Up

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Bishop Stang

90% of the movements in the summer warm-up can be found in this video. Use this as reference. Via Kevin Carr.


boyleOn Tuesday, my second day of the internship, we had a staff meeting where Mike addressed the 25 interns and 50+ staff members.  He reminded us that he has put the last 30 years into developing his training philosophy and that some things may not make sense yet, but they will.  He didn’t brag about his accomplishments, he doesn’t have to.  Everyone in the room already knows them.  He talks and everyone listens.  He went on to say he doesn’t care how much you know about anatomy, physics and training and that trying to prove this will only prove how annoying you are.  You must prove that you know how to coach before anything else matters.  “21-year olds are dangerous, they’re smart enough to know there’s more to it but don’t realize that they don’t know anything yet.”  I’m actually 23 but no one likes you at that age either says Blink-182.

As I sat there, I thought about how upset I was when I went in to observe one day a few months before the internship started to find out that the FMS wasn’t used the way I thought it was and that everyone gets the same exact program.  It didn’t take me long to find out how shortsighted I was.  FMS correctives are worked into everyone’s workouts and there are progressions and regressions for everything.  In reality, everyone is being trained for efficient movement, no one has the same workout, and I am a moron.  It reminded me of an old story I heard Mike say in an interview once about a family who for three generations always cut the ends off of the ham before putting it into the oven just because the grandmother had done it that way.  When she was finally asked why she did it, she replied that she did so only because it would not fit in the pan whole and then everything made sense.  This experience will serve as a reminder throughout the internship that whenever anything happens that doesn’t make sense to me, I have two ears, two eyes and one mouth for a reason.


Get Me Here

Posted: June 2, 2014 in Motivation


1. Deadlifting with a flexed spine- I am convinced a proper deadlift can cure cancer among many other things.  I am also convinced that an improper deadlift is the worst thing someone can do in a weight room.  The difference between a good and bad deadlift is gigantic and puts it at number one on this list for a reason.  If a kids back is anything but flat, it needs to be corrected immediately.  This is literally the difference between a kid knowing and not knowing how to use his hips to generate power and will carry over to everything if it is not fixed.

Corrective Cues: Big chest, push your hips back, keep your weight on your heels, take some weight off the bar.

2. Squatting with a valgus collapse of the knee- Everyone has seen a kids knee buckle when they squat.  This is actually not a knee issue and usually either a foot or hip issue.  Put an abduction band around the athlete’s knees and usually the problem will take care of its self. If this doesn’t work, it is likely a foot issue more likely found in someone with flat feet or weak arches.  If at the bottom of their squat their feet externally rotate then you will know that this is the case.  Tell them to “grip the floor with their feet.”

Corrective Cues: Spread the floor, push knees out, grip the floor, *use band,* grip floor with feet.

3. Bench Pressing with flared elbows- This applies to push-ups as well. This will lead to shoulder issues if not fixed.  Also, make sure they pull their shoulders back and use a lift so they don’t lose this retraction.  Quick and easy way to increase safety and how much weight is on the bar.

Corrective Cues: Tell them their arms are at 9 and 3, you need them at 8 and 4. (like a clock)

4. Shrugging rows- This will lead to caveman shoulders.  I have found the best medicine is to feel their scaps and make sure they can feel them squeezing together correctly.  Other common compensations include using the body to lean back and get the weight up as well as seeing their head poke forward like a turtle poking its head out of a shell.  Also make sure that they aren’t finishing the row by internally rotating their shoulder.

Corrective Cues: Bring shoulders back and down, feel it in the middle of the back, pull elbow to back pocket.

5. Short striding a lunge- Most kids are quad dominant and will want to take baby steps.  These are the kids you need to get on in warm-ups to loosen their hips up a little.  Get them to take longer strides and you will likely see the next compensation, forward lean to get up.  This is also due to tight hips and quad dominance.  The stretch they feel isn’t a bad thing.  Stay on them to maintain their posture to get the most out a lunge or strength will be added to dysfunction.  Watch out for a knee collapse with these as well.

Corrective Cues: Fix your posture, don’t lean forward, take a bigger step, grip the floor.

6. Lumbar extention on a plank- Or a push-up.  These are kids who will shrug up a push-up because they aren’t pushing their whole body up. This will be even more apparent with kids using resistance bands too heavy for them to do push-ups.

Corrective Cues: Tell them to brace like you’re about to punch them in the stomach, *lightly kick their stomach with your foot.*

7. Butchering a plyo- We start with box jumps to teach them how to land correctly.  They shouldn’t progress to anything harder if they can’t figure this out.

Corrective Cues: Land with hips back and shoulders over knees, land as quietly as possible, land how they jumped (quarter squat position)

8. Too much weight-  It’s hard to fault a kid on this but sometimes they need to check their ego at the door.  This leads to bad deadlifts, quarter squats, partial rows, even a kid who brings his shoulders to the dumbbell instead of the other way around on something as easy as a curl.

Corrective Cues: Pretty self-explanatory.

9. Reverse curling a clean- A clean is easily the most complex lift that we do and can be very daunting to teach.  The kids reverse curling will be the ones who need the most help.  A good rule to live by is if at any point on hang clean day you find yourself not coaching then you aren’t trying hard enough.

Corrective Cues: I linked to a good progression here.

10. Everything-   There are a million other things I could put here.  If there is a way to compensate, a high school kid will find it.  Take advantage of this time to improve a coach.  There is always something to nitpick and the more you coach, the better they will get and the more it will carry over come football season.

Corrective Cues: This blog, my phone.