Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. Tony Holler in an article on developing speed speaks about how strength coach should be looking to develop racehorses not workhorses. As Tony says, “Horses that can plow a field all day can’t win a race. Too many coaches take thoroughbreds and force them to plow fields. If you want a fast team (and who doesn’t?), treat all your horses like race horses. Train them for speed, not work.” I think that’s pretty spot on and Tony’s thoughts on speed have without a doubt influenced how I am programming currently. I am still trying to develop strength in athletes, but I have put more of an emphasis on developing more powerful/faster athletes.
  2. I think this is something most coaches would agree with yet most coaches don’t emphasis in their strength programs: diaphragmatic breathing is probably a low hanging fruit that most all athletes can benefit from.
  3. With most athletes coming back on campus this week, here is something to keep in mind. Most athletes will remember how you treated them and how you made them feel far longer then they will remember your kick-ass workout. Coach accordingly.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. Like every week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

For podcasts, Michelle Boland has been making the rounds on a handful of podcasts recently and she is extremely bright. Michelle always has some great thoughts and in the podcast with Mike Robertson was no different.

For articles, give the article about training every single day by Lee Boyce. Would I recommend training that many days in a row? No. But I think there are some great thoughts and knowledge that Lee shares as a result of the experiment.



Physical Prep with Michelle Boland

Physical Prep with Lance Walker

Pursuit of Excellence with Michael Boyle

Vigor Life Podcast #60


Sport Specific Training by Michael Boyle

How to Balance Pressing in Your Strength Program by Eric Cressey

The Rise of the College Football Coach by NY Times

Training for 365 Straight Days by Lee Boyce

Isometric Multi-Holds

Another training protocol we’ve stolen from Anthony Donskov’s work is adding Isometric Multi Holds for our last set of certain exercises on our work capacity days for more time under tension and working more isometric work into the program, among other things.

How it works;
👉 Perform the required amount of reps then hold for 5-20 seconds and repeat for the total amount of reps

How we implement it;
The two lower body videos
👉 2 reps, 10 second hold, 2 reps, 10 second hold, 2 reps, 10 second hold
The upper body row video
👉 4 reps, 20 second hold, 4 reps, 15 second hold, 4 reps, 10 second hold

Give it a try, it’s a lot more demanding then it seems!

Current Lower Body Training

Here is a little look into what my lower body training looks likes these days. Lots of single leg work. Lots of joint friendly training. Not a lot of spinal loading. Here’s why…

Lowest System Load: Trying to get the maximal benefit with the lowest overall load. As I get older my body doesn’t recover as well from many heavy bilateral lifts and quite honestly my desire to lift crazy heavy just isn’t there – and trust me, no one truly cares how much you squat or deadlift.

Less Spinal Loading: Again, as I get older, the less my body enjoys heavy spinal loading (it actually never really liked it). Plus, I think your body will thank in 20 years for not putting huge loads on your spine, no matter what your current age.

Joint Friendly: Training movement patterns (not leg presses and leg extensions) without putting excessive wear and tear on the joints.

Longevity: It would be nice to be able to tie my shoes, get up and down off the floor, and all the other little things we take for granted when we are young when I am 60+ years old.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. Being strong is never going to hurt anyone, but there is a point when you are probably strong enough. If a male athlete can only deadlift 135lbs, then getting that athlete to be able to deadlift 405lbs is going to make a world of difference. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much of a difference getting an athlete from a 405lbs deadlift to a 450+lbs is going to make. At some point there are other qualities to chase – there is a point of diminishing returns.
  2. I still think most people over-complicate the training process. It isn’t as complicated as people want to make it out to be.
  3. Being a good athletes is more then just being strong in the sagittal plane. Yes, getting strong in the sagittal plane is going to help many athletes. But, you have to get athletes strong, mobile and powerful outside of the sagittal plane if you want to see the biggest carryover to sport. There aren’t many sports played purely in the sagittal plane.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. There was some really good stuff put out there, especially podcasts.

For podcasts, there were again various good listens to choose from. However, listening to Michael Mullin is always a treat – and he always makes me feel like I have a ton to learn.

For articles, I think there are two you should absolutely read. One, the 15 random thoughts on coaching article that Mike Robertson wrote has a ton of applicable info that we all can find something useful. Also, the article on developing acceleration by JB Morin is great – developing faster athletes is always a good thing!



Culture Chats with Brendon Rearick

Physical Prep with Michael Mullin

Pacey Performance Podcast with Kevin Carr

Strength Coach Podcast #236 with Bill Parisi

Vigor Life Podcast #59


How AS Roma Crafted a Performance Culture

4 Squat Variations You Should Try by Mike Robertson

15 Random Thoughts on Coaching by Mike Robertson

Improving Acceleration Performance in Football Players by JB Morin

10 Exercises You Should Add to Your Warm Up by Luka Hocevar

Overcoming Isometrics

Small changes we’ve made in the last few months with our off-ice training via Anthony Donskov’s work 👉 adding a 6-10 second Overcoming Isometrics as a PAP (post activation potentiation) prior to or max effort lifts.

The goal of this is simple;

  1. stimulate the nervous system
  2. recruit more motor units for the heavy Strength work to follow

Here are two examples from our lower body strength work;

Trap Bar Pin Pull ➡️ Trap Bar Deadlift
Split Squat Pin Pull ➡️ Hand Supported Split Squat

A Late Slideboard Leg Curl Progression?

A co-contraction exercise I’ve been playing around with, especially with our hockey population that is around over the summer. I believe I originally saw Wilmot post this a while back.

Couple reasons why I like this for hockey players;

  • Bridging/Hip Extension: the skating stride places the athlete in a constant flexed hip position…more bridging and/or hip Extension is huge for trying to counteract that position (down leg)
  • Hip Flexion Strength: hockey players tend to have poor functioning hip flexors and/or poor hip flexor strength. Finding ways to continually develop stronger and/or better functioning hip flexors for improved long term health (up Leg)

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. As student-athletes come back to campus we will start our screening process which consists primarily of the FMS. And the FMS is a hot topic with people but I don’t know why. The FMS does nothing but trickle out what we shouldn’t be doing with certain athletes, not predict injuries. We screen, find out where they may have some dysfunctions and/or movement issues, and load them appropriately going forward.
  2. Something I need to do more often is to trust my coaching intuition – it’ll usually leads me in the right direction.
  3. One of the things I’ve learned over the years as a coach is that it doesn’t and shouldn’t be about you. I coach what needs to be coached but I don’t over-coach. I don’t need to hear myself coaching just to hear myself. I don’t need to say something just to say something. Sometimes we are better off sitting back and letting athletes be athletes once they have become competent in the lifts they are doing.