Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Day for CHAOS Sport-Speed DVD offer!

Hey folks, today is the LAST DAY of the awesome 'special offer' when you by the CHAOS SPORT-SPEED DVD. When you purchase the DVD, you will also be sent the Sleds & Ladders DVD absolutely FREE ($34.95 value)! This DVD has all of our dynamic warm-ups, sled drills, and ladder drills that we use with our athletes. A lot of folks have take advantage of this one week offer but it's about to dissappear......

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Go backwards to move forwards!

I have a guest blog today from my good friend across the pond, conditioning expert Nick Grantham.

OK, this is not a post about taking a false step to move forward (we can do that another time!). A colleague sent me a clip of a coach with a nice, very polished video of some 'tennis specific' speed and agility drills. Knowing that I work with a group of young and talented tennis players, he thought I would be interested. I was...what I found really interesting was that all the drills were linear drills. There were some 'lateral' drills in there but the lateral drills were not lateral - facing forward at the start of the drill, then turning 90 degrees and running forwards is not a lateral drill, its just a linear drill in a different direction! I was also interested to see the distances covered (at least 20m)- the coach must have their tennis players playing on a huge court! Finally - there were no drills where the coach went backwards! This is one thing that really boils my P**S! The title of the blog post says it all, we need to coach our athletes to go backwards - but most books/DVD's are packed full of drills that go forwards, or left/right - maybe I just live in an alternate universe where people do have to move backwards from time to time!

It was a nice video but the content was lacking.

My advice for anyone wanting to develop tennis (or any sport really)specific speed and agility would be:

1. Work all multidimensional (that's one of Vern Gambetta's) - forward,BACKWARDS, left, right, up etc etc.

2. Keep the distances short - in tennis a point is played with between 3-7 changes of direction in a confined area - if your drills are in excess of 10m then you need to tighten things up.

3. Practice going BACKWARDS - everyone wants to get fast going forwards - everyone forgets that you need to be good going backwards as well!

Once again we have coaches taking 'track' drills that get people moving fast in a straight line (with the occasional left turn) trying to convince us that they will help with the performance of a multidimensional sport such as tennis! STOP IT!
Remember folks....only a few days left to take advantage of my SPECIAL OFFER FOR MY CHAOS SPORT-SPEED DVD!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Putting the 'sub 4.0 second forty' in perspective...

It was only a matter of time before the 'what would Usain Bolt be able to do in the NFL?!" questions started to pop up. Well, the most recent article on his projected 40 yard sprint time has only served to fuel the fire. Seems that based on his world record 100 meter time he would have run an electronic timed 3.97 forty yard sprint or a 3.73 second hand-timed forty. This is even more impressive when we take a look at a short list of the 'fastest' NFL forty yard sprint performers....

Fastest NFL Combine 40-Yard Times
4.19 – Deion Sanders (DB), Florida State – 1989 (Hand Timed)
4.24 – Chris Johnson (RB), East Carolina – 2008
4.24 – Rondel Melendez (WR), Eastern Kentucky – 1999
4.28 – Jerome Mathis, (WR), Hampton – 2005 (electronic)
4.29 – Fabian Washington, (CB), Nebraska – 2005
4.30 – Darrent Williams, (CB), Oklahoma State – 2005
4.30 – Yamon Figurs, (WR), Kansas State – 2007

Ok, First off, why is it that when we hear that someone can flat out run in straight line that they somehow will automatically have success in the CHAOTIC game of football?? We are talking apples vs. oranges folks.....track athletes run in a straight line with occaional left turns, period. Football is about a 98% chaotic, change of direction sport where deceleration is as or maybe even MORE important than acceleration. Now factor in the fact that you will be, running routes against a defenders will and, oh...yeah....getting hit in the mouth, and we truly start to see the dissimilarities between these apples and oranges. Let's quit speculating how Bolt would do in the NFL.....this guys is sheduled to make over $10 million a year in endorsements soon so it is highly unlikely that he will be willing to let someone hit him in the mouth for NFL minimum $.

The demands of sports like football, soccer, volleyball, basketball etc. require SPORT-SPEED. This is speed in the real-world....the type of speed and strength that allows for quick acceleration and the ability to decelerate WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DECELERATE! This is what I call your athletes to be the most efficient at these demands. Here is a peek my CHAOS Sport-Speed DVD...check out this crazy special (below) that' I'm running for ONE WEEK ONLY!

If you pick up a copy of the CHAOS Sports-Speed DVD by August 31, I will send you the Sleds & Ladders DVD FREE! ($34.95 value) See highlights below

Pick up your CHAOS DVD NOW!!!!! All orders of this DVD processed by August 31 will have the Sleds & Ladders DVD automatically shipped out at the same time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

College of the Canyons Weight Room Tour....

Had a chance to get a few more toys and tools for the old toolbox this past summer so I figured I would video a quick walkthrough of what might be one of the most versatile and useable community college weight rooms in the country! Not bad for a zero $ budget facility ey?!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Old School blog post but me Likey!

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

This is a blog post from Men's Health Editor Adam Borntein from a few months ago.....I think 'certified badass' might be my new nickname! HAHA! Check out Adams BADASS blog @


The missing blogger returns…sort of. I’m sorry for the lack of writing lately. Between celebrating Passover (which is not fun on a specialized diet—read: hello weight loss!), and being in six different states in the last six days, you’ll have to excuse me for the dearth of updates. But if there’s one thing non-stop traveling affords, it’s a chance to check in on some of our top contributors.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: one of my favorite “perks” of my job is working with the best minds in fitness and nutrition. The good become better and the better become the best by being humble—which means having the patience and willingness to learn from others. Alwyn Cosgrove summed it up well when he recently discussed his willingness to learn from anyone—regardless stature in a given field (and there are few that know more than Cosgrove; together with his wife Rachel, they act as a walking book of muscle knowledge). While I can’t offer you the direct access I have, I can provide you with a way to become indirectly influenced by their wisdom. Here are some of the sites I rely upon for quality information. Each week, I’ll try to drop another favorite into a post. If I made this list any longer, it’d start to sound like a speech at an award ceremony. Prepare to be educated (and hopefully not put to sleep).

Alwyn Cosgrove:
If you’ve ever picked up an issue of MH, you’re probably familiar with Cosgrove. He’s one of our top fitness experts, author of several books (including the very informative, The New Rules of Lifting), and a man who backs up his knowledge with incredible results at his facility—Results Fitness. Cosgrove has worked with enough clients and reads enough research to qualify for my hall of fame. Plus, he’s always one of the best speakers at conferences I attend, and he frequently requests that I call him “sir’—which makes him that much cooler.

Bill Hartman:
Whatever you do, be wary if you ever become involved in a long conversation with Bill. Why? Because he has so much knowledge that it might make your head hurt (or your fingers cringe trying to edit his brilliance). Bill is a humble guy (like everyone on this list), but don’t be fooled by his modesty. He is as good as they come in terms of knowledge, and when it comes to fixing any imbalances/injuries, there is no one better in the industry. Along with Mike Robertson (who will receive his own mention at another time), Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST) is a hotspot for anyone who desires knowledge on improving your body. It took me a while, but I finally found a reason to visit Indiana (note to self: still avoid Gary).

Alan Aragon:
Yeah, yeah. I know. Alan appears on my blog quite frequently. But when you spend more time with Pubmed than your wife (I’m kidding…kind of), you’re bound to learn something. Besides, Alan took me from a guy who suffered from TWC his entire life, and provided the tools for a 6-pack. If he can help me, I’m pretty sure he can help anyone.

Craig Ballantyne:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present Mr. Turbulence Training. Craig has been writing programs for MH for years, and has appeared in many of our exercises videos. Besides walking the walk (he oftentimes uses himself as a subject to prove the effectiveness of his workouts), Craig does an excellent job of developing programs that fit people of different shapes, sizes, and skill levels. And the biggest mista some people make? Underestimating his workouts. I promise you they’re more difficult than they seem.

Robert Dos Remedios:
Many people know Dos from his excellent book, Power Training. I know Dos because the man is a certified badass. In terms of strength and conditioning coaches, few can match his ability at creating functional workouts that will not only make you look good, but will improve your performance in most activities. His effectiveness and applicability is what separates him from many people who jumped on the functional bandwagon.

Tony Gentilcore (and the folks at Cressey Performance):
Tony is loaded with great workouts (and some allegedly large biceps) that blend multiple philosophies to improve strength and performance. But the best part about Tony is his blog, which is a mix of training knowledge and sarcasm at it’s finest. If you read my blog, you should check his out—simply because he does a much better job of telling jokes (and loving himself). And while I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting everyone at CP, that doesn’t mean I don’t admire their knowledge. These guys have a real gym that I hope to visit one of these days. Up until now I haven’t—but mainly because I’m afraid I’ll never want to go back to the commercial gym I’m left to attend.

Nick Tumminello:
I’ve dropped Nick’s name a few times recently, and that’s because he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite fitness experts. Nick is one of the better contributors I’ve found at creating original exercises that benefit your training without becoming too gimmicky. Plus, I have enough confidence to allow him to design a program for me (where the final result will include me removing my clothes—never a good thing for anyone). As Cosgrove taught me—the learning process should be continual, and Nick does a great job of adding to my knowledge bank.

Mike Boyle:
I like to attach the phrase “world famous strength coach” whenever I mention Mike. It doesn’t matter what I ask him about, he’s always quick with an answer that’s articulate and detailed. He's worked as a strength coach for amateurs, college athletes, professional, and Olympian. You name it, and Mike has probably covered it. Still wondering if he gets the job done? His BU hockey team just won the national championship. Trophies always say more than words.

Others to check out (who I’ll ramble about later):
JC Santana, Chad Waterbury, Charles Staley, CJ Murphy, Dan John, David Jack, Jim Liston, Joe Defranco, Joe Dowdell, Mark Verstegen, Martin Rooney, Mike Mejia, Mike Robertson, Todd Durkin

BTW, be sure to check out my TRX special deal @ gifts!!
DOS TRX Special!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Olympic lifts REALLY DO help improve athletic performance....

Just pulled up a couple of older studies looks at the effects of Olympic lifting on things like short sprint and vertical jump performance. The first study compares Olympic lifting to traditional plyometric training on vertical jump performance and sprint performance.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Article: pp. 433–437
Volume 19, Issue 2 (May 2005)

Short-Term Effects on Lower-Body Functional Power Development: Weightlifting vs. Vertical Jump Training Programs
Valmor Tricoli
1, 3, Leonardo Lamas1, 2, Roberto Carnevale2, and Carlos Ugrinowitsch1
1. Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil, 2. Center for Sports Conditioning, Esporte Clube Pinheiros, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil, 3. Address correspondence to Valmor Tricoli, E-mail:
Tricoli V, Lamas L, Carnevale R, Ugrinowitsch C (2005) Short-Term Effects on Lower-Body Functional Power Development: Weightlifting vs. Vertical Jump Training Programs. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 19, No. 2 pp. 433–437 -->

Tricoli, V., L. Lamas, R. Carnevale, and C. Ugrinowitsch. Short-term effects on lower-body functional power development: Weightlifting vs. vertical jump training programs. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19(2):433–437. 2005.—Among sport conditioning coaches, there is considerable discussion regarding the efficiency of training methods that improve lower-body power. Heavy resistance training combined with vertical jump (VJ) training is a well-established training method; however, there is a lack of information about its combination with Olympic weightlifting (WL) exercises. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the short-term effects of heavy resistance training combined with either the VJ or WL program. Thirty-two young men were assigned to 3 groups: WL = 12, VJ = 12, and control = 8. These 32 men participated in an 8-week training study. The WL training program consisted of 3 × 6RM high pull, 4 × 4RM power clean, and 4 × 4RM clean and jerk. The VJ training program consisted of 6 × 4 double-leg hurdle hops, 4 × 4 alternated single-leg hurdle hops, 4 × 4 single-leg hurdle hops, and 4 × 4 40-cm drop jumps. Additionally, both groups performed 4 × 6RM half-squat exercises. Training volume was increased after 4 weeks. Pretesting and posttesting consisted of squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) tests, 10- and 30-m sprint speeds, an agility test, a half-squat 1RM, and a clean-and-jerk 1RM (only for WL). The WL program significantly increased the 10-m sprint speed (p <>

Pretty significant stuff when a weightlifting program can increase sprint and jumping performance more than an actual jumping program. This most likely speaks to the efficacy of the Oly lifts helping to possible develop a more "syncronized" firing and strength/power of the body to perform things like sprint and jumps.

The next study looks at a group of football players and compares Olympic weightlifting vs. powerlifting protocol on sprint and vertical jump performance.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Article: pp. 129–135
Volume 18, Issue 1 (February 2004)

Comparison of Olympic vs. Traditional Power Lifting Training Programs in Football Players
Jay R. Hoffman
1, 2, Joshua Cooper1, Michael Wendell1, and Jie Kang1
1. Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey 08628-0718, 2. Address correspondence to Dr. Jay R. Hoffman, E-mail:
Hoffman JR, Cooper J, Wendell M, Kang J (2004) Comparison of Olympic vs. Traditional Power Lifting Training Programs in Football Players. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 18, No. 1 pp. 129–135 -->

Hoffman, J.R., J. Cooper, M. Wendell, and J. Kang. Comparison of olympic versus traditional power lifting training programs in football players. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(1):129–135. 2004.—Twenty members of an National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III collegiate football team were assigned to either an Olympic lifting (OL) group or power lifting (PL) group. Each group was matched by position and trained 4-days·wk−1 for 15 weeks. Testing consisted of field tests to evaluate strength (1RM squat and bench press), 40-yard sprint, agility, vertical jump height (VJ), and vertical jump power (VJP). No significant pre- to posttraining differences were observed in 1RM bench press, 40-yard sprint, agility, VJ or in VJP in either group. Significant improvements were seen in 1RM squat in both the OL and PL groups. After log10-transformation, OL were observed to have a significantly greater improvement in ΔVJ than PL. Despite an 18% greater improvement in 1RM squat (p > 0.05), and a twofold greater improvement (p > 0.05) in 40-yard sprint time by OL, no further significant group differences were seen. Results suggest that OL can provide a significant advantage over PL in vertical jump performance changes.
Keywords: athletic performance, football, resistance training, periodized training

This study is a little more telling. Now we get to see a direct comparison.....Olympic weightlifting based training vs. traditional powerlifting training. The results are quite significant, twofold greater improvement in 40 yard times and significantly greater improvements in vertical jump.

What does all this mean? Well, if you are training athletes and are relying on heavy powerlifts or traditional plyos to improve vertical jump performance (which, BTW, is probably the #1 variable in predicting athletic ability) I want to make sure you're on our schedule!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If you wanna get better at Pull-ups get off the Lat-Pulldown Machine!

Just read this research article in this month's Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Practitioners have said this for a long time now but as I always say, it's nice when researchers confirm what we have found in our 'labs'.

Relationship of 1 repetition maximum lat-pull to pull-up and lat-pull repetitions in elite collegiate women swimmers.

Halet KA, Mayhew JL, Murphy C, Fanthorpe J.
Human Performance Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri 63501, USA.
The purposes of this study were to determine the relationships among pull-ups, lat-pull repetitions, and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) lat-pull in elite women swimmers and to assess the effect of various anthropometric dimensions on each exercise. Women members (n = 28) of an elite National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II swim team were measured for their ability to perform a maximum number of free-hanging pull-ups, 1RM lat-pull, and lat-pull repetitions at 80% of 1RM. Anthropometric dimensions included selected arm lengths, percent body fat (%fat), and lean body mass (LBM) estimated from skinfold measurements. The correlations of 1RM lat-pull with body mass (r = 0.38, p = 0.04) and LBM (r = 0.41, p = 0.03) were significant, whereas that with %fat (r = 0.13, p = 0.49) was not. The same variables had a significant negative pattern with pull-ups (r = -0.48, -0.43, -0.32, respectively). Pull-ups were moderately correlated with 1RM lat-pull (r = 0.34, p = 0.08) but not with lat-pull repetitions (r = 0.07, p = 0.73). The product of pull-ups times body mass (PU x BM) was a better predictor of 1RM lat-pull (r = 0.86, standard errors of estimate [SEEs] = 4.4 kg) than either measurement alone. The addition of %fat to PU x BM in a stepwise regression analysis raised the correlation (R = 0.90) and reduced the SEE (3.9 kg) only slightly. Addition of arm or forearm lengths failed to increase the multiple R significantly. These results confirmed that the seemingly analogous exercises of pull-ups and lat-pulls were not highly related and should not be substituted for one another in a training regimen.

The correlations showed that the lat pulldown and the pull-up were not very closely related. In addition, several factors seem to come into play when testing females on pull-up performance. The researchers stated that body mass was the main factor in the inability to perform pull-ups. Since the lat pulldown is in fact a different exercise than the pull-up, the researchers recommended not trying to substitute one of another in training. We can now see that moving to the lat pulldown machine in hopes of improving your pull-up ability is not a great strategy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RECOVERY....The KEY to optimal performance?

When you are dealing with athletes who push themselves in every phase of preparation it is IMPERATIVE that we stress the importance or rest and recovery. I found this tremendous resource in a Training and Conditioning Magazine article this month Called "The Rest of the Story" that we have just started implementing with our athletic teams at College of the Canyons. This is a very simple downloadable checklist that each athlete can tally themselves each day. At the very least it could open their eyes (and yours of course) and answer some serious questions about your training and their ability to take care of themselves. I HIGHLY recommend using this checklist for anyone working with athletes. This is ESPECIALLY crucial with our football athletes this time of year...I kick myself for not doing something like this years ago!

Click here for the downloadable file

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The BEST Interval tracks on the planet!

It was a little over a year ago when I first met BJ Gaddour or At this time he and his partner in crime Topher Farell were just starting out creating MP3 tracks for various intervals like tabatas variations, 30:30 intervals etc. Well, the last year has been amazing for these guys.....their tracks are literally EVERYWHERE! Check us out DOING WORK with my fave 15:15 Tabata protocol variation at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago a few months ago!

We use the tabata tracks, the 30:30's and the 40:20 interval tracks a TON with our teams and I use them almost daily in my own training. In addition to coming up with custom interval tracks for me, workoutmuse has created tracks that enable you to perform CHAOSTM Sport-Speed Training by yourself...all you need is your iPod and voila! you have random verbal cues at your disposal. My boys have created an empire and it's only going to get bigger with the popularity of interval training for fat loss and fitness. In fact, Watch for the FREE bonus tracks that will be linked in my upcoming book Men's Health Cardio Strength Training due out January 2010 from Rodale books. CRANK IT now and get your tracks!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Men's Health lists America's Top 10 Gyms!

How cool is this guys? People ask me all the time, "Who do you go to for advice, ideas etc.?". Are you kidding me? I'm probably the most fortunate person in the world considering that Men's Health's recent rankings of the Top 10 gyms in America include a bevy of gyms owned by good friends of mine! Great job guys....and great job by Men's Health for sifting through the rubble to come up with 10 amazing training facilities. I'm proud just to be associated with some of these guys!

Drumroll Please!!!

  • Mike Boyle Strength & ConditioningWinchester, MA

  • Results Fitness Santa Clarita, CA

  • Peak Performance New York, NY

  • DeFranco's Wyckoff, NJ

  • Parisi Speed School Fair Lawn, NJ

  • The Institute of Human Performance (IHP) Boca Raton, FL

  • Competitive Athlete Training Zone (CATZ) Pasadena, CA

  • Fitness Quest 10 San Diego, CA

  • Philippi Sports Institute Las Vegas, NV

  • Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST) Indianapolis, IN

Man do I love the fact that over the past few years Men's Health has really stepped their game up in terms of training and conditioning advice, programs, experts etc. If it wasn't for this, Men's Health Power Training would have never been published!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Valslide Phenomenon!

My Girl Valerie Waters at the IDEA show 'spreadin the word' about the Valslide!

Here's a pic of he entrance to my home office....a kettlebell, TRX, and a pair of valslides, all I need to a kick butt home workout. People are always amazed when I pull out the Valslides and put them through the RINGER during my hands-on presentations at the Perform Better Summits. Quite simply put, as part of a circuit, a workout, or by themselves, valslides can flat our BREAK YOU.I don't endorse a lot of products and/or programs but I had no problem doing one for my friend Valerie Waters. Here is one of my collegiate basketball players doing a demo of our favorite valside exercise, the spiderman push-up.

If you take a peek at my earlier blog video of our exploits at this year's Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, CA you will once again see us performing, alligator walks, pikes, spiderman push-ups, mountain climbers, and even sled pushes with the valslide. If you don't have some, get some today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snatches & Beer - On Location in Long Beach!

Here is our latest installment of "Snatches and Beer" shot on location at this year's Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, CA. Okay, mostly beer this time but a great overall view at what goes down at these events = )

Great times folks....if you didn't get to it make sure to get there next year! Best fitness and conditioning summit on the planet, hands down!

Frankie's Lab, Valencia, CA

There's a special little place located in our Local Health club here in beautiful Valencia, CA. Tucked away in the back corner of this pristine club full of cardio and weight machines is a spot we like to call "Frankie's Lab". The mad professor who runs this little slice of pain and anguish is Frank Addelia. Frank is a dear friend of mine and is a HUGE REASON why my tool box is SO FULL of great ideas and exercises. From Bodyweight to TRX to Ropes to kettlebells, Frankie comes up with some stuff that is right out of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein..... If you're on Facebook be sure to hit Frankie and I up as we have some amazing videos etc. of our exploits in the lab. If you're not on Facebook just click on Frankie's name in this post and you will get all the directions you need to join. You can also click on my Facebook link on the top left of my Blog page!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

6am TRX circuit fun!

Had a chance to givee our returners a break pull out our brand new freshmen football players at COC the past couple of days and do some teaching @ 6am. This morning we played with the TRX's, the kettlebells and some bodyweight exercises....take a peek!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One year since we lost our Boy....

A year ago we lost a member of our family, Henry our English Bulldog. Henry led a full and awesome life and even though he passed away at 15 years old, we can't help but think that he still left us before his time. We miss you baby boy.....there will never be another Hen-Hen. This is for you son....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

TRX Madness!

Had a chance to meet the TRX crew including Jon Binder this weekend in Long Beach at the Perform Better Summit.....Watch for some vids and blog posts from me on the TRX site very soon. We have been using these bad boys like crazy with our teams and you will be amazed at seeing a TON of football players training and getting better on the TRX in our early morning workouts this summer. Had a great time incorporating them into my hands on with the help of my good friend (from 'Frankie's Lab' fame), Frank Addelia taking the inspirational crew of participants through some of our favorite explosive exercises on the TRX, if this tool isn't presently in your toolbox go get one NOW!