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Are You Working Out Or Warming Up?

Are you training hard enough to improve your athletic performance? Answer these four questions and you'll be on the right track. I get new athletes every year. And each time they step thru my door, they are ready to conquer the world and show me how “hard they work” and “how intense their workouts are”. Then we go thru the first workout and they realize that what they thought was a great workout, was a warm-up. They never realized that there is this whole other gear they have and an entirely different level of intensity required to get better. So here is a gut check to see how intense your...

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Activate Your CNS For Peak Performance

Warming up your Central Nervous System prior to working out will help you maximize your power, speed, and performance. Want in on a little secret? Every great workout begins with a great warm-up. Just as you would warm-up and loosen up your legs prior to a heavy squat workout, or warm-up your chest prior to bench press, the same thought process must go into preparing the Central Nervous System (CNS) before all workouts in a similar capacity. Now that I’ve got your attention, what’s the CNS and why should you care? Basically, the CNS controls all of your motor functions, which means th...

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Meal Planning For a Healthy Pre-Game

Don't erase months of training because of a poor pregame meal. Eat healthily and be prepared with these pieces of advice. Timing, food choice, and portion size are all keys in planning your final meal(s) before competition. While some athletes can stomach just about anything, most will battle pregame jitters. Knowing that, here are some general principles for fueling your body, without disrupting your stomach, when it’s time to perform. This might sound crazy, but on game day it usually takes your body extra time to digest meals. Thus, you should plan to eat your final, full, pre-game m...

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The Importance of Post-Workout Nutrition

Building muscle and improving your athletic performance starts with your post-workout nutrition. If getting the most out of your workout is important to you, then putting the most into the workout should be equally as important. In my last article, “Run before you lift, or lift before you run”, I covered the topic of exercise order and more importantly its role in burning fat. Since the order in which you place exercises is important, so too are the meals that surround your training, espeically if you're an athlete. The post-activity (workout, practice, or competition) meal sets up th...

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08

Nov 2017

Move Like an Athlete

Understanding locomotion is the foundation for better athleticism. At the heart of every athletic competition lies the most fundamental of human activities: locomotion. Locomotion is cyclical movement with the purpose of transporting oneself from point A to point B. Sometimes this alone is an athletic competition, like in track, while in other sports it’s a critical element to performing at the highest level. Those who can’t be caught, can’t be tackled/blocked/tagged/defended, and will in all likelihood be the superior athlete. There is plenty of literature out there regarding the ...

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The Best Kettlebell Abs Exercises

Use these kettlebell abs exercises to take your core strength to the next level. Kettlebells are an awesome tool for true core training. Besides making you look like the absolute man on the beach, a strong core is critical to athletes who want to perform at peak levels and stay healthy, for all athletic movements (running, jumping, cutting, etc) start with your core. Unfortunately many people think of spinal flexion and extension when it comes to “core training,”’ but these types of exercises (like crunches, weighted situps, etc) will neither help stabilize your core, nor help you reach ...

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06

Nov 2017

Developing Athletic Abs

These three abdominal and core exercises laugh at the situps you're currently doing. I’m sure that everyone has seen a commercial for how to get perfect Six-Pack Abdominals. But from an athletic standpoint, what does it mean to have a strong core? I have worked with athletes that were super lean and had great looking abdominals but still had lower back issues. On the flip side, I’ve worked with athletes that didn’t look like much but could do any exercise that I asked them to do for days on end. So what is the difference between the two? In order to answer that question, you have to re...

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Fat Loss Planning Pt. 4:  Losing the Last Five Pounds

The final touches for meeting your weight loss goals. In Pt.1, Pt.2, and Pt.3, we discussed the core elements of losing weight. Having nailed down the basics, it’s time to think about the small factors that will push your fat loss to meet your target body composition. Fine-Tuning The beginning of a weight loss program is the easiest. The process is new, you’re excited, and the weight seems to fly off. Then after a month or two, things slow down, real life gets in the way, and gaining weight (or just eating normally) starts sounding like a great idea. Here are some tricks to make sure...

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Foam Rolling to Faster Recovery

Using a foam roller before and after workouts will help you alleviate soreness and get back to 100%. Everyone knows that recovery is a crucial component to increasing performance and decreasing the risk of injury. In order to minimize your recovery time, those who train consistently should get proper rest between training sessions, eat properly, and get enough sleep on a nightly basis. However, sometimes those methods aren’t enough to reduce soreness and get you back to 100%. I know because I’ve been there and my athletes have been there… But this is where your new best friend, the foam r...

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Workout Myths Exposed: Vol. 2

Here are three more training techniques that do absolutely nothing to help you gain strength, build muscle, or improve your athletic performance. In the first volume of this series we discussed three training mistakes happening at gyms across the country. I’d, however, be flat out lying to you if I said those are the only three I see on a daily basis. Thus, in an effort to set the record straight here are three more myths that need to be exposed. We’re all, at one time or another, guilty of doing one or more of these, so please read on, help spread the word, and let’s set the record strai...

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Critical Component Series - The Dynamic Warm-Up

Include a dynamic warm-up into your training routine to ensure you are properly preparing your body for battle. In this 6-part series, I will briefly explain the essential pieces that comprise a complete strength and conditioning program for MMA and other combat athletes. The six components are as follows: Dynamic Warm-Up Explosive Medicine Ball Movements MMA-Specific Resistance Training Flexibility Energy System Development Regeneration Time While we may not include all six components into every session, these represent the foundation of the 8 to 10 week...

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Resistance Band Exercises to Add To Your Training Program

Think weight lifting is the only way to build muscle and gain strength? Think again. Heard it once, heard it a million times: unless you change up your routine, your body won’t be forced to adapt and your results will consequently suffer. But how does someone who’s accustomed to tossing around the steel adjust his/her workouts to continue building muscle and gain strength? Try mixing in resistance band exercises and you may very well begin breaking through the plateaus standing in your way. Resistance bands offer a unique stress most traditional strength training exercises do not, as th...

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The Dangers of Energy Drinks and Alcohol

Why you may want to skip energy drinks and alcohol mixes like Red Bull and Vodka this weekend. You’ve had a long week, so come Friday (or Tuesday, whatever, some weeks are especially difficult) it’s time to get out and head to the dive bar, club, lounge, or maybe even kick it old-school at a house party. While mixing your alcohol with an energy drink might seem like the perfect replacement for some sleep to snap out of your work/school funk, there are several reasons why doing so is more than just unhealthy; it’s potentially deadly. Check out the caffeine content of energy drinks, coffee ...

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Why Real Athletes Don’t Do Crossfit

Sure it looks cool on ESPN, but if you want to actually build muscle, gain strength, and improve athletic performance, you’re better off without Crossfit. Makes sense to start by writing that I realize this article may upset a few people, but I can take the criticism and hopefully they can too. Just seemed like an appropriate time to write about Crossfit, for everywhere I go, people are talking about how Crossfit can help you become a better athlete. But seriously, what part of Crossfit makes it good for athletes? It is the un-periodized workouts? Is the use of submaximal strength? Is ...

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Things All Serious Athletes Should Be Doing – Part 2

Five more aspects of training that no athlete should ever ignore. In part 1 of this series, we discussed the five basic things athletes should be doing to ensure their training program delivers maximum results. In part 2 we’ll touch on five additional rules you should adhere to if you’re looking to perform your best day in and day out.  1. Warm-Up Correctly The rules for warm-ups seem to change over time, and coaches go back and forth on what they think a proper warm-up should look like, but I’ve used the following template for warming up for years now, and feel like it covers the ne...

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31

Oct 2017

The Star Agility Drill

This agility drill will make you more agile and improve your on-field performance. Hopefully you’ve been training and perfecting your plant and cut agility mechanics, because now it’s time to put those skills to the test in one of my favorite agility and speed drills: the star drill. This movement, like the Borkowski Agility Series, will test your ability to accelerate and decelerate properly, and enhance your ability to plant and cut quickly and efficiently. If those don’t translate to on-field performance, I don’t know what does. Ok so let’s get right to the set up, shall we? Start b...

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30

Oct 2017

Carry Your Core

A different core work out that will help you see better results. Everyone wants to talk about “functional core training” but most people have no idea what it is, and no idea how to integrate it into their training. First let me say this, there is nothing functional about sitting or lying on a stability ball, or standing on a balance board swinging five pound dumbbells around, unless of course you’re going into the circus. The recent push for developing functional core strength has been training your body to be able to handle an external load while moving, or even more importantly, resist...

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Lifting Weights to Burn More Fat

If you're really trying to burn fat, hop off the cardio train and start strength training.  "What are you training for?" This simple question will provide the answer to many of your training solutions. While many athletes have similarities, most are looking to affect some kind of change in their body composition or athletic performance. Some athletes wish to get bigger, others want to lose weight. Still others wish to become faster, or more explosive. If this is the case, why are many athletes doing the same style of workout? Are you one of the athletes who endlessly repeats 3-4 sets of ...

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27

Oct 2017

Not 1R Approved Gym Gear

We’re not saying you have to be fashionable. We’re just encouraging you to not to show up with any of these. Let’s face it, there aren’t many places on Earth better than the gym. Whether working full time or in school, the gym lets you get away from the grind and stress, and almost always leaves you feeling better about life. Unfortunately, almost every gym in the country has its share of village idiots. You know, that guy who shows up in short shorts, a headband, and a tee three sizes too small. That guy who spends his entire workout grunting while pounding out tricep kickbacks with 5 lb ...

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Crunch Free Core Strengthening Movements

Stronger abs, obliques, and lower backs begin with these four exercises. To be a superior athlete, you need a superior core. Why? Because core strength helps keep you injury free, enable you to run faster, jump higher, and throw harder. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that a strong core will, undoubtedly, ensure you have the best abs on the beach too. However, when most think about developing a strong core, they think of performing endless crunches at the end of their strength training sessions. If that’s how you approach core training, the time has come for a change. Truth be told, the b...

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