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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Anthony Donskov

A system in “neutral” is desirable for physical activity.  It allows for efficient, alternating, reciprocal function in performing daily and sporting activities.   In other words, great fuel mileage with less wear and tear in the long run.  Taking the car analogy one step further, what would happen if we didn’t have neutrality, if we drove for miles and miles with our tires out of alignment?  Chances are we would end up on the side of the road sooner or later.  Well, our bodies are not designed for “neutrality”.  As humans our thorax, along with vital organs are different from right to left.  This affects our “alignment” and may cause us to use our fuel (a.k.a. oxygen) inefficiently.  Lets take a look at these differences.

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If you “teach”, but don’t apply…

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Posted by on in Business

There’s a lot of glimmer and sparkle in the fitness industry these days that comes at the expense of substance: Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, “likes”, “follows” and every other form of social marketing under the sun. While I certainly don’t blame fellow practitioners for jumping on the social media scene (I have), finding quality information is like mining for gold.  According to Wikipedia: “Gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious-metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recoded history.” In other words, gold is a valuable resource! Fool’s gold on the other hand is very common, so common in fact that in the earth's crust it is found in almost every possible environment, hence it has a vast number of forms and varieties. I believe the same holds true regarding information in the fitness industry. Plenty of resources, but few that hold their value in gold. Below are three ways to mine for gold in the fitness industry.

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It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people confuse strength and conditioning with personal training. Take a look at the chat on web site forums, so-called fitness experts and armchair trainers and you may think that personal training and strength and conditioning are the same. Conversations such as:

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Program design fascinates me!   So many unique elements make up the system that seeks to elicit results for various client populations. It takes years to master and is continuously under construction. As the saying goes, the best program is the one that you’re not currently on. Coach Boyle wrote an excellent article last year called “Should You Stick to the Recipe?”   This article is perfect for young, intermediate coaches who seek to build their own programs/recipes. The evolutionary stages of cook, sous-chef, and finally head chef are excellent analogies pertaining to learning the science of program design. Another important element is the menu. Once the recipe is mastered, there needs to be a menu set in place for your customers. What happens if a certain customer doesn’t eat red meat (they can’t squat) or is a vegetarian (had shoulder surgery)? Menu planning is an art. Here are the three stages of designing your own strength and conditioning menu. As Coaches, our goal is to design a menu that fits the needs of our customers.

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There is an evolutionary process in the strength and conditioning field that when nourished provides growth, insight and direction. This “growth” not only comes in the physical form (bodybuilder phase, power lifting phase, functional training phase), but also from our mental and personality traits. Unfortunately, this is an area where most coaches fail. I’m not suggesting that we meet with Dr. Phil to iron out our issues, but what I am suggesting is that many of our attitudes need adjustment (including my own at times).

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Accidents happen, so make sure to buckle up! The physical need(s) for athletes varies depending on the population being trained. Contact sports are subject to high impact collisions, traumatic injury mechanism and a higher rate of concussions (concussion education/testing is at an all time high within the governing bodies of contact sports, including The National Hockey League).  In other words, “accidents” happen on a daily basis. There were 44 hits in the average regular-season NHL game in 2009-10; that number went up to 63 in the playoffs, a jump of 43 percent. (NHL.com) Below are three training considerations for collision athletes. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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The field of strength and conditioning is a delicate mix of art and science. Both play an important role in professional development. In this day and age information is at a premium. Science plays an important role in evidence-based practice. However, the art of strength and conditioning is just as important. As John Wooden once said: “The person who can answer the question “how” will always have a job. The person that can answer the question “why” will be his/her boss.” In my opinion, one without the other is like peanut butter without the jelly. We can learn the “how” from science, textbooks, Dr.’s, PT’s and Coaches, however, to learn “why” takes years of experience. This is the art of strength and conditioning.

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It takes years of hard work to reach the pinnacle of a profession: a lifetime of commitment, hard work, long hours, failure, success, passion, perseverance and enough caffeine to kill a large farm animal. Overnight success only comes from the lottery; it’s not how the best coaches reach the top of their respective fields. Our society does not conform to these standards and instead revolves around convenience and the quick fix. This has created a separation in the strength and conditioning community.   You can’t steal home plate unless you round the bases first!

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Hockey is an extremely demanding sport! A quality strength and conditioning program needs to reflect these demands. Components such as: soft tissue work, static stretching, mobility, dynamic flexibility, upper/lower body plyometrics, speed development, strength training and energy system capacity are all vital for performance gains.   When designing programs we often overlook one of the most fundamental questions, what are the demands of the sport? Does my program reflect these qualities?

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