Band Resisted Eccentric Chin Up

Currently in the first week of an eccentric based block with UNH Men’s Soccer and we started off the week with some band resisted eccentric chin ups, trying to overload and really challenge them through the eccentric portion of the lift – plus they are kind of fun.

We aimed for ~5 seconds down for 3 sets of 4 reps, adding a rep each week for the next 3 weeks. Give a try and let me know what you think!

Power/Dynamic In-Season Lift

A quick glance at our current Wednesday lift with UNH Women’s hockey. Our goal is to perform movements with the intent of doing everything fast in order to prime the nervous system for the weekend of games as well as trying to ‘peak’ as we are in the late stages of the season and/or playoffs.

Things we aim to do or not do;

  • program movements that have little if any eccentric movement to eliminate any potential soreness
  • leave the weight room feeling fresh
  • have fresh legs going into and over the course of the weekend
  • amount of weight lifted goes down, speed of movement goes up

Yielding Isometrics

Yielding and Long Duration Isometrics with UNH Volleyball and UNH Men’s Soccer.

One change we’ve made in the first phase of our off-season training this year is adding both yielding and long duration isometrics, which simply asks an athlete to hold a certain position at a sub-maximal level for an extended period of time while fighting against an eccentric contraction.

The rationale behind this is to increase the ability of the muscle to tolerate stress – the more you can tolerate the better one should be able to perform during high intensity/high stress situations.

Again, curious if other coaches program yielding and long duration isometrics, how they implement them and with what exercises?

Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, I really enjoyed Mike Robertson’s Physical Preparation Podcast with John Kiely. John is quickly becoming a go-to resource when it comes to all things periodization and has a ton of valuable insight into how periodization applies to team sport athletes.

For articles, I enjoyed Joel Smith’s article on keeping things simple. In the current world of strength and conditioning and all the information out there, it can be easy to get away from what works, and that’s the basics.



Just Fly Performance with Carl Valle

CVASP with Dr. Zach Long

Pacey Performance with Andrew Russell

Physical Preparation with John Kiely


Overcoming Isometrics

Clusters for Power

Top 10 Strength and Conditioning Books to Read in 2018 by Carl Valle

Doing Simple Better by Joel Smith

Hockey Advice from a Strength Coach by Michael Boyle

Insighted on Functional Athletic Performance Training by Michael Boyle

Why ‘Conscious Coaching’ Beats a System Based Approach to Training and People by Brett Bartholomew

Overcoming Isometrics

Overcoming Isometrics with UNH Men’s Soccer & UNH Volleyball in the first block of their off-season training.

  • Easy to reach proper positions
  • Greater motor unit recruitment
  • Taxes movement patterns at specific joint angles
  • Potential increase in rate of force development

This is the first time we’ve used these in this phase of our off-season training.

Are any other coaches uses isometrics in their programs? When? How? Would be curious to see what others are doing.

Clusters for Power

Our in-season off-ice training with women’s hockey is essentially broken up into three phases;

  1. Strength-Speed (October – December)
  2. Speed-Strength (January – February)
  3. Power (March/playoffs

Ultimately, our goal from January on is to do everything we can to develop faster and more powerful hockey players. In trying to accomplish this one of the small changes we’ve made has been implementing cluster sets with our power work. The idea is that by adding adequate rest (we’ve used ~10 seconds) between reps of our cleans/snatches/jump squats, the athlete will be put in a position to better maintain velocity throughout the course of the entire set and as a result increase power output to a greater degree then they would if they were performing traditional straight sets.

Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, I really enjoyed the Just Fly Performance Podcast with Michael Zweifel. Lots of talk on speed development, agility and things along those lines.

For articles, I enjoyed Allistair McCaw’s article on ways to improve as a coach as we can always become better as a coach no matter how good we feel we are at the job. On top of this, I also really liked Zach Dechant’s article on why TCU baseball is a 3 day a week lifting team in the off-season and not a 4 day a week team like many are – it definitely makes you think about what the proper amount of strength training is!



Strength Coach Podcast #224

Rdella Training with Brett Bartholomew

Pacey Performance with Robert Butler

Just Fly Performance with Michael Zweifel

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Brian Sipotz


Why We Program the Overhead Throw

Why We Are a 3 Day Team by Zach Dechant

25 Ways to Improve Yourself as a Coach by Allistair McCaw

What Really Wins in the Real World by Sean Light

Leadership Comes Down to 3 Things by Justin Gray

Living Better in a Profession of Martyrdom: Advice for Young Strength Coaches by Byran Mann

A Simple Plan by Tony Holler

Why the Overhead Throw is a Staple in Our Program

Though the internet/instagram/Twitter continue to try to complicate the training process, I firmly believe simplicity is key in any sport performance program.

Case in point, one of our staple med ball exercises with UNH Volleyball is a simple overhead throw that’s effective for a handful of reasons;

  1. It improves/trains the anterior core for power which is important for any sport not just volleyball.
  2. It allows us to train a very sport-specific pattern that mimics the high speeds that are similar to those seen in their sport.
  3. When we progress to the standing, stepping and more dynamic variations of the exercise, it helps to teach an athlete how to properly create forces from the ground through the legs, through the core, then finally out of the arms in a similar fashion to their sport.
  4. Finally, and maybe the most importantly and often overlooked with med ball work for a volleyball and/or overhead athlete from an injury prevention and shoulder health standpoint, an overhead throw teaches the posterior shoulder to decelerate appropriately once the med ball is release, in a similar way that will be seen when hitting a volleyball.

Effective training doesn’t have to be complicated.

Off-Season Phase 1 Day 2 with Volleyball

Spring, Phase 1, Week 1, Day 2 with UNH Volleyball.

Squad is back from winter break getting ready for the 2018 season, starting with an isometric based phase comprised of a combination of overcoming, yielding and long duration isometrics.

1️⃣ Trap Bar Jump Squats
2️⃣ Bench Pin Press (not shown)
3️⃣ Bat Wings
4️⃣ 1-Leg Hip Bridge
5️⃣ Split Squat

We started the session off with a lateral based warm up consisting of some ladder work, lateral speed development, 1-Leg medial/lateral box hops and some med ball drills for core power/shoulder health

Weekend Week in Review

It’s Sunday which means I review some of the podcasts I listened to and articles that I read throughout the last week.

When it comes to the podcasts, I really enjoyed the Movement Fix with Brett Bartholomew. Brett is a strength coach that thinks beyond sets and reps, a coach that has a passion in developing human beings, which is a slightly different area of expertise then you’ll find with most strength coaches.

For articles, I enjoyed the article on the 1×20 system with Matt Thome. I have been thinking about giving 1×20 a try in the early off-season with teams in the reconditioning phase and this article helped clear up some of the confusion I had around the system.



Strength Chat with Bryan Mann

Movement Fix with Brett Bartholomew

CVASP with Tim DiFrancesco

CVASP with Jeremy Frisch

School of Greatness with Gary Vaynerchuk

Mobility WOD with Eric Cressey


Random Thoughts – February Edition

Strength Coach = Stress Manager?

High Performance Implementation of 1×20 and Beyond with Matt Thome

Modern Speed Training with Alex Natera

The Reason the Patriots Always Come Back by Kevin Clark

Optimal Tempo Training by Derek Hansen